By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
“The Wild Life” arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital), and On Demand Tuesday Nov. 29 from nWave Pictures, Studiocanal and Summit Entertainment, a Lionsgate company. This wild, adventure comedy also is available on Digital HD. From the producers of “Shaun the Sheep,” “Paddington” and “A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures,” “The Wild Life” begins as Mak the parrot and his friends discover a mysterious visitor washed up on their island’s shore. They embark on a tropical misadventure with a group of quirky animals and their human castaway, Robinson Crusoe. When savage cats invade their paradise, Robinson and the island’s animals team up to defend themselves and their home.
“The Wild Life” home entertainment special features include a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of this animated feature, an introduction to the characters, a “Wild Life” music video and a short “Tips for Your Trip” featurette for viewers to successfully prepare for their next trip to the islands. “The Wild Life” is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $34.99 and $29.95, respectively.
The comedy-drama “The Intervention” makes its DVD debut on Tuesday Nov. 29, from Paramount Home Media Distribution. First time director Clea DuVall writes, directs and stars in the film, which features Melanie Lynskey, Natasha Lyonne, Vincent Piazza, Jason Ritter, Ben Schwartz, Alia Shawkat and Cobie Smulders. Four couples plan to reunite for a “marriage intervention” disguised as a fun-filled weekend at a lakeside vacation home. In an attempt to push Ruby (Smulders) and her husband Peter (Piazza) toward divorce, Annie (Lynskey) and her fiance Matt (Ritter) have gathered family and friends to address their failing marriage. Ruby’s sister Jessie (DuVall), her girlfriend Sarah (Lyonne), old buddy Jack (Schwartz), and “baby-stranger” Lola (Shawkat) engage in various games while trying to maintain the illusion of a fun weekend together. As it all falls apart, close quarters bring longstanding issues to the surface. As each couple reels from these revelations, they reach out to each other in unexpected ways, struggling to express their devotion and conceding that things may never be perfect. New bonds form and old wounds heal as all see the result when the best of intentions comes out in the most awkward fashion.
“The Intervention” includes a “Fade Out” music video by Tegan and Sara and a blooper reel.
Athena releases the star-studded, groundbreaking music documentary series “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music,” debuting on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Nov. 29. Currently airing on PBS to rave reviews, “Soundbreaking” features more than 150 exclusive and original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers of all time. Produced in association with the late legendary music producer Sir George Martin, the eight-part series took more than five years to make and features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Roger Waters, Joni Mitchell, Roger Daltrey, Linda Perry, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Roseanne Cash, Steve Van Zandt, Billy Idol, Beck, RZA and many other notable musicians.
“With more than 150 exclusive interviews and rarely seen footage, Higher Ground, Sir George Martin, and Show of Force have created a remarkable, one-of-kind music documentary series sure to become iconic,” said Mark Stevens, president of Acorn brands at RLJ Entertainment, in a statement. “‘Soundbreaking’ is exactly the kind of high caliber, non-fiction programming we seek out to offer consumers through our Athena brand.”
In eight episodes, “Soundbreaking” charts a century’s worth of innovation and experimentation, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. From the Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling, the series highlights the dynamic tension between the artificial and the natural—between the man-made and the God-given—and explores the way in which that tension has continuously redefined not only what is heard and how it’s heard, but the very sense of what music is and can be. “Soundbreaking” allows viewers to hear the songs they know and love in a whole new way, and illuminates the sonic alchemy listened to by generations to become a fundamental part of who we are.
“Soundbreaking” is presented by Higher Ground in association with Martin, and produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmakers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre of Show of Force. Martin, long regarded as the fifth Beatle, produced more than 50 number-one hit records for the British pop band and others. “Soundbreaking” marks his final project. He died earlier this year at age 90.
Organized thematically, each episode of “Soundbreaking” tells stories of pop music icons that used their determination, ingenuity and guts to create works of art that have touched fans. The episodes are titled The Art of Recording, Painting with Sound, The Human Instrument, Going Electric, Four on the Floor, The World is Yours, Sound and Vision and I Am My Music. The three-disc Blu-ray and DVD contain all eight episodes plus Elton John and George Martin in conversation, Ringo Starr on drums, Rosanne Cash on Sun Studios, Linda Perry on writing “Get the Party Started” and finding Pink, Les Paul on Charlie Christian and Tom Scholz Fires Up the Old Hammond B3. The Blu-ray and DVD are available for an SRP of $49.99 each.
Another British import, “Brief Encounters,” is available Tuesday Nov. 29 on DVD.” In early 1980s England, Pauline (Penelope Wilton, “Downton Abbey”), Steph (Sophie Rundle, “The Bletchley Circle”), Nita (Angela Griffin, “Inspector Lewis”) and Dawn (Sharon Rooney, “My Mad Fat Diary”) wrestle with the pressures of family, husbands and making ends meet. However, a chance meeting between Steph and Nita is destined to kick-start a transformation for all of them as they grasp the opportunity to become Ann Summers (lingerie and sex toy) party organizers. This joyful, uplifting, character-driven drama will see these four unlikely friends blossom, gaining confidence and independence as their ambition is ignited. As wives and businesswomen they discover hidden strengths, shaking up not just their town but their relationships too.
“Brief Encounters” made its U.S. premiere in October on the streaming service Acorn.TV. The two-disc DVD contains all six episodes plus a 15-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. The SRP is $39.99.
A “Star Trek Beyond” Mondo poster, commissioned by Paramount Pictures in conjunction with Mondo and artist Matt Taylor, is available to one lucky reader to celebrate the Digital HD and Blu-ray release of the film (which is available now). This limited edition poster is not for sale anywhere. So LIKE us on Facebook and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to enter the contest. The deadline for entries is Wednesday Nov. 30, 2016. Good luck!