By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
The Card Counter (Revenge Thriller)
Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish and Tye Sheridan star in “The Card Counter,” arriving on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Dec. 14, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. It also is available for purchase now on Digital platforms.
An ex-military interrogator turned gambler is haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions. Redemption is the long game. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese, filmmaker Paul Schrader’s (writer of “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver”) gripping revenge thriller is told with the filmmaker’s trademark cinematic intensity.
The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus content includes “A High Stakes World,” in which Schrader discusses developing his signature characters and how the world of poker provided the perfect metaphor for William Tell’s predicament. It features additional interview with the film’s stars (Isaac and Haddish) as well as poker consultant, Joe Stapleton.
With the purchase of “The Card Counter” on disc or digital, viewers are eligible to earn points towards special rewards via the Universal All-Access Rewards program (www.MyUniversalRewards.com).
Cartoon Saloon’s Irish Folklore Trilogy (Animation)
Three treasured and critically-acclaimed animated films— “The Secret of Kells,” “Song of The Sea” and “Wolfwalkers”—will be released in “Cartoon Saloon’s Irish Folklore Trilogy,” a resplendent four-disc Blu-ray box set available Tuesday Dec. 14 in North America from GKIDS, with distribution by Shout! Factory.
Magic, fantasy and Celtic mythology come to life featuring these three Academy Award-nominated modern animated classics. The studio’s first film, “The Secret of Kells,” is a beautifully rendered tale of a master illuminator and his young apprentice, followed by the breathtakingly gorgeous “Song of the Sea,” the adventure of a mythical seal-child and her brother on a quest to save the spirit world, and their latest triumph “Wolfwalkers” follows a young huntress and her friendship with a free-spirited wolf-girl.
These culturally rich films celebrate the Irish heritage of the Kilkenny-based Cartoon Saloon filmmakers by looking at history through the lens of folklore, and the painstaking attention to detail and handcrafted animation utilized to do so are what makes these films so beloved by fans.
The limited-edition “Irish Folklore Trilogy” box set features the exclusive Blu-ray presentation of the spellbinding “Wolfwalkers,” as well as animatics and bonus features for the three films never released before in North America. This deluxe set is presented in beautiful and environmentally friendly packaging that reflects each film’s loving depiction of the natural world, and the art includes an original illustration by Cartoon Saloon. Also included is an illuminating 2,000-word essay by film critic Andy Crump about the lauded animation studio Cartoon Saloon, the origins and creation of these incredible films, and their role in the world of animation and the world at large.
The Fabulous Dorseys (Musical Biography)
Cinedigm and The Film Detective (TFD), the classic film restoration and streaming company, are releasing “The Fabulous Dorseys,” starring real-life jazz giants Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, on special-edition Blu-ray and DVD, available Tuesday Dec. 14.
The Dorsey brothers portray themselves in this rollicking, musical biography originally released in 1947, following Tommy and Jimmy from their upbringing in Pennsylvania to their great successes in the music business. Director Alfred E. Green (“The Jolson Story”) uses the film as a showcase for the tunes that charmed a generation, including “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” and “Tangerine.”
Janet Blair (“My Sister Eileen”) appears with the Dorseys, while jazz buffs will enjoy cameos by Paul Whiteman, Helen O’Connell and other stars of the day. The film’s undeniable highlight is a jam session featuring the Dorseys and piano legend Art Tatum, guaranteed to get every fan’s feet tapping.
“The Fabulous Dorseys” special-edition release comes with a beautiful, new restoration of the film, featuring a stunning 4K transfer from archival film elements, allowing the band to shine on screen like never before.
Special features include a full commentary track by author Jennifer Churchill; “The Fabulous Forties: Big Bands on Screen,” a brand-new documentary from Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; and “The Dorseys in Film,” an original insert essay by author Don Stradley.
“The Fabulous Dorseys” will be available to order on Blu-ray ($24.95) and DVD ($19.95) at https://www.thefilmdetective.com/fabulous-dorseys.
The Last Duel (Historic Drama)
20th Century Studios’ historical epic, “The Last Duel,” unravels the true story about France’s last sanctioned duel. Directed by the critically acclaimed Ridley Scott, the film stars Jodie Comer and Adam Driver as well as Academy Award winners Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. “The Last Duel” will be available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Dec. 14. It is available now on Digital platforms.
Comer stars as Marguerite de Carrouges, a noblewoman, in this tale of betrayal and vengeance set in 14th century France that are based on actual events. Damon and Driver are friends as well as knights, Jean de Carrouges and Jacques Le Gris, respectively, who must fight to the death after de Marguerite accuses Le Gris of assault.
Bonus features include a “making-of” documentary where the viewer gets unprecedented access to renowned director as he collaborates with the cast and crew to make critical decisions about location, cinematography and performances.
Memory House (Drama)
“Memory House” arrives on DVD/Digital Tuesday Dec. 14, from Film Movement.
Joao Paulo Miranda Maria’s audacious debut combines haunting folklore, lush imagery and rich, timely social commentary to explore the complex racial tensions of present-day Brazil. The film stars Antonio Pitanga, as Cristovam, an Indigenous black man from the rural north of Brazil who migrated for work during the economic boom to an affluent Austrian enclave in the south. Three decades later, he is lost in a decadent community. Informed that he must take a wage cut at the milk factory where he was worked for several years and confronted by virulent racism on a daily basis, Cristovam becomes more and more estranged from the white world and finds refuge in an abandoned home where he discovers artifacts reminiscent of his past.
As Cristovam rediscovers his roots, he comes to the realization that nothing has changed. The attacks he endures in the community, both mental and physical, awaken in him a legacy of abuse carried down for centuries as he begins a spiritual and physical metamorphosis.
With dreamlike images steeped in traditional Brazilian folklore from Oscar-winning cinematographer Benjamin Echazarreta (“A Fantastic Woman), “Memory House” is at once dystopian and filled with nostalgia.
Bonus features include a commentary on the film by the director as well as his short film “The Girl Who Danced with the Devil.” “Memory House” is in Portuguese and German with English subtitles, and will be available on DVD/Digital for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $24.95.
The Mitchells vs. The Machines (Animation)
“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Tuesday Dec. 14, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
From Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Academy Award winning producers of “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” centers on an old-school father and his plugged-in, filmmaker daughter who struggle to relate to each other as their family embarks on a road trip to her new college. Their drive is interrupted by a machine apocalypse that threatens to tear these unlikely heroes apart unless they can find a way to join forces and save humanity. The animated comedy is directed by Mike Riana, who also wrote the screenplay with co-director Jeff Rowe.
“The Mitchells vs. The Machines” features the voices of Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, Maya Rudolph, Mike Riana, Eric Andre and Olivia Colman.
The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital edition s contain more than two hours of new content including an all-new short and Katie’s extended cut on “Katie Mitchell’s Special Edition.” Exclusive Blu-ray bonus materials including “Dog Cop 7: The Final Chapter,” in which Katie is back and creating the most hilarious film of her young career, Katie’s Extended Cinematic Bonanza Cut!, in which Katie’s director’s cut, an extended version of the original film, with more than 40 minutes of deleted scenes, as well as eight bonus scenes totally more than 20 minutes of deleted and extended scenes as well as a filmmakers’ commentary.
South of Heaven (Crime Drama)
RLJE Films, a unit of AMC Networks, will release “South of Heaven” Tuesday Dec. 14 on DVD and Blu-ray.
Directed by Aharon Keshales (“Big Bad Wolves”), he co-wrote the film with Kai Mark and Navot Papushado (“Gunpowder Milkshake”). The film stars Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso,” “Colossal”), Evangeline Lilly (“Ant-Man” franchise, “Lost”), Mike Colter (“Luke Cage”, “Evil”) and Shea Whigham (“Joker,” “Boardwalk Empire”).
Convicted felon Jimmy (Sudeikis) gets early parole after serving twelve years for armed robbery. Upon his release he vows to give his girlfriend Annie (Lilly), who is dying of cancer, the best last year of her life. But things are never that simple, and when he is given a “side job” from his parole officer (Whigham), it sets off a series of events that leaves Jimmy in the crosshairs of a local crime boss (Colter). Now, he must stop at nothing to save Annie and fight for whatever time they have left.
RLJE Films will release “South of Heaven” on DVD for $29.26 (SRP) and on Blu-ray for $29.97 (SRP). Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray include a making-of and “meet-the-cast” featurettes.
The 2021 World Series and The 2021 World Series Collector’s Edition: Atlanta Braves (Documentary)
Baseball season may be over, but the legacy of the 2021 Atlanta Braves continues with “2021 World Series Collector’s Edition: Atlanta Braves,” an eight-disc Blu-ray set that includes “The 2021 World Series” documentary as well as all six complete games of the Fall Classic, and a bonus disc including the clinching LNLCS Game 6 vs. the Dodgers, arrives Tuesday Dec. 14, from Shout! Factory.
Viewers also can get the complete game set documentary about the thrilling baseball season for the underdog Atlanta Braves on a two-disc Blu-ray + DVD Combo.
With one of the most spectacular late-season surges in Major League Baseball history, the Atlanta Braves seized their first World Series Championship since 1995 and their thrilling ride is captured in one incredible film.
Narrated by Braves fan and multiple Grammy winner Chris “Ludacris” bridges, the pulse-pounding film delves into the team’s capping their championship run with a 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 6, completing one of the most spectacular late-season surges in baseball history. Halfway through the regular season, the tam had a losing record and were dealt a season-ending injury to superstar and National League MVP candidate, Ronald Acuna Jr., so general manager Alex Anthopoulos deftly trade for Joe Pederson, Jorge Soler, Adam Duvall and Eddie Rosario., changing the course of the season in undeniable ways. Braves lifer and manager Brian Snitker now, had his crew, and the Braves caught fire with a 36-19 (.655) finish to claim the NL East Division championship. They then beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS and dethroned the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS to set the matchup with the Astros, a franchise playing in the World Series for the third time in five years.
Expertly crafted, “The 2021 World Series” is edited together from hundreds of hours of original, cinematic hi-def game footage delivering the Braves World Series run in incredible fashion. Aside from the official film, this comprehensive bonus features include the featurette, “How They Got There,” a compilation of 2021 walk-offs, clinching moments and exclusive footage form the World Series parade, a raucous celebration dedicated to Braves legend Hank Aaron.
Die-hard fans can re-live the team’s entire Fall Classic from the first pitch to the last out with the “2021 World Series Collector’s Edition: Atlanta Braves.” The perfect gift for any proud member of Braves Country, this special edition includes SleeveStats inserts, which offer official stats and game trivia to enhance the viewing experience. Each game includes four audio options, allowing home audiences to watch the games while listening to the television broadcast, the Atlanta Braves Radio Network or a Spanish-language version of the broadcast.
The eight-disc “2021 World Series Collector’s Edition” on Blu-ray is available for $74.98 (SRP). The two-disc “2021 World Series Film” is available on Blu-ray for $26.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $19.98 (SRP).
Venom: Let There Be Carnage (Action Fantasy)
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Dec. 14, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
Tom Hardy returns as the lethal protector Venom, one of Marvel’s greatest and most complex characters. In search of his next big story, journalist Eddie Brock lands an exclusive interview with convicted murderer and death row inmate Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), who discovers Eddie’s secret and becomes the host for Carnage, a menacing and terrifying symbiote. Now, Eddie and Venom must get past their contentious relationship to defeat him. Directed by Andy Serkis (Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle) with a story by Tom Hardy with Kelly Marcel who also wrote the screenplay, “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” also stars Michelle Williams and Naomie Harris as Shriek.
“Venom: Let There Be Carnage” on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital contains more than an hour of bonus features including six deleted scenes, outtakes and blooper and more. The DVD contains the featurette “Let There Be … Action,” which takes the viewer to the set to experience the action of how “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” takes shape. From concept to stage, from green screen to film screen, follow the making of the film and see the intense stunts that were captured.
The Wolf of Wall Street (Dramedy)
Experience director Martin Scorsese’s cinematic triumph “The Wolf of Wall Street” on 4K Ultra HD for the first time Tuesday Dec. 14, from Paramount Home Entertainment.
An electrifying story of American excess, the 2013 film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Scorsese), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jonah Hill) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Terence Winter). It raked in more than $390 million worldwide.
DiCaprio delivers one of the best performances of his career as a young stockbroker hungry for a life of non-stop thrills where corruption is king and more is never enough. The film features a sensational supporting cast, including Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner and Jean Dujardin.
The 4K Ultra HD release features exceptional picture quality courtesy of a new film transfer supervised by Scorsese. The disc includes access to a digital copy of the film and the previously released bonus content including The Wolf Pack (HD), Running Wild (HD) and “The Wolf of Wall Street” roundtable.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” also will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a limited-edition Steelbook.
The Waltons’ Homecoming (Drama)
This holiday season, celebrate one of television’s most beloved family dramas with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s release of “The Waltons’ Homecoming,” available on DVD Dec. 14. The feature-length film commemorating the original holiday film that launched the long-running series “The Waltons” stars Logan Shroyer (“This Is Us”) as John Boy Walton, Bellamy Young (“Scandal,” “Prodigal Son”) as Olivia Walton, Ben Lawson (“Firefly Lane”) as John Walton Sr., and Richard Thomas (“The Americans,” “The Waltons”) reprises his role as the adult John Boy and narrator. Fans can own the film on Digital, following its broadcast premiere on The CW last month.
“The Waltons’ Homecoming” will retail for $9.99 (SRP) on Digital and $19.98 (SRP) ($24.98 SRP Canada) for the DVD.
“The Waltons’ Homecoming” is set in the 1933 Depression Era and is told through the eyes of John Boy, the 17-year-old eldest child of John and Olivia Walton. His mother expects John Boy to help her raise his sisters and brothers, and his father expects him to follow in his footsteps to help support the family but secretly, John Boy wants to be a writer. Times are hard enough in 1933, but to make matters worse, it looked to be the Waltons’ first Christmas without John Sr. When Olivia receives a letter that John Sr. is planning to make it home for Christmas after all, the family is thrilled and races to prepare for his homecoming. But when a storm threatens his arrival on Christmas Eve and John Sr., is nowhere to be found, Olivia sends John Boy out into the night to find his daddy—a journey that will change John Boy’s life forever.
“The Waltons’ Homecoming” also stars Marcelle LeBlanc as Mary Ellen Walton, Christian Finlayson (“The Gifted”) as Jason Walton, Tatum Sue Matthews as Erin Walton, Samuel Goergen as Jim Bob Walton, Callaway Corrick as Elizabeth Walton, Alpha Trivette as Grandpa Walton, Rebecca Koon (“The Walking Dead”) as Grandma Walton, Jacinte Blankenship (“Just Mercy”) as Rose Dooly, Arianna Rosario (“West Side Story”) as Maggie Sikes, with special appearance by legendary musicians and singers Marilyn McCoo as Sister Harriet and Billy Davis, Jr. as Brother William.
“The Waltons’ Homecoming” is based on the novel by Earl Hamner, with a teleplay by Hamner and Jim Strain. Lev L. Spiro is the director.
My Life is Murder (Mystery)
Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) returns an ex-police officer turned civilian crime-solver in “My Life is Murder: Series 2,” from Acorn TV.
Set in New Zealand, Lawless reprises her role as Alexa Crowe, who has returned to her hometown and finds herself investigating puzzling murders alongside charismatic DI Harry (Rawiri Jobe, “Tatau”) and partner-in-crime-solving Madison (Ebony Vagulans), who’s closer than ever to her mentor—literally, as she moves into Alexa’s home. But to truly make a fresh start, Alexa must deal with the family troubles she’s avoided for years.
The three-disc Blu-ray/DVD is available for $59.99 (SRP).