‘Amerika Square,’ ‘Blumhouse of Horrors’ Collection, ‘Hip Hop’ Docu-series, More on Home Entertainment … Plus a Giveaway!!!

AMERIKA SQUARE. (DVD Artwork). ©Film Movement.


Front Row Features


Amerika Square

A tattoo artist, his xenophobic friend and a Syrian refugee collide in an Athens neighborhood in “Amerika Square,” available on DVD and Digital Tuesday Sept 29, from Corinth Films.

Yannis Sakaridis’ contemporary drama reveals the opposing forces facing today’s humanitarian crisis taking place in the ancient city. “Amerika Square” was Greece’s selection for “Best International Film” for the 90th Academy Awards. It is based on the novel by Yannis Tsirbas.

Nakos (Makis Papadimitriou) is an unemployed resident of the small Athenian neighborhood of Amerika Square and has had enough of the thousands of refugees that have arrived there. Much of his frustration stems from his inability to do anything about Athens’ new demographics, a situation he spends most of his time brooding over instead of undertaking measures to improve his dead-end life. Nakos’ only confidante in is his childhood friend, Billy (Yannis Stankoglou), who doesn’t share his friend’s worldview and believes welcoming refugees is the appropriate response to the crisis of people fleeing war and economic hardship.

While Nakos hatches a plan to eliminate the illegal refugees, Billy seizes upon an opportunity to help two migrants escape from Athens: Tereza, a beautiful African singer with whom he falls in love; and Tarek, a weary Syrian ex-military doctor escaping the war in Aleppo and trying desperately to reunite with his 9-year-old daughter who has resettled in Germany.

These characters’ stories merge when Nakos’ plot to stop their smuggler cold and Billy is forced to step in as time runs out. In the end, sympathy and selflessness resonate and Nakos finds his attitude has cost him friends, family as well as the remaining shreds of his pride and dignity.

“Amerika Square” is available for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $24.95.

Blumhouse of Horrors: 10-Movie Collection

Halloween is just around the corner so what better way to set the mood than to plan a horror fest right in your own home?

“Blumhouse of Horrors: 10-Movie Collection” welcomes viewers to the thrilling, chilling and unforgettable characters from “Get Out,” “The Purge,” “Ouija,” “Split,” “The Visit,” “Unfriended,” “Truth or Dare,” “The Boy Next Door,” “Happy Death Day” and “Ma.”

The studio and filmmakers, including Jordan Peele and M. Night Shyamalan will have you running for the front door. The collection includes iconic horror and suspense thrillers with all-star casts including Ethan Hawke, Jennifer Lopez, Octavia Spencer, James McAvoy and more. There are hours of bonus content including featurettes, deleted scenes, alternate endings, behind-the-scenes and much more. So, pop up the popcorn and turn down the lights. It’s going to be a scary night.

Dreamworks: 10-Movie Collection

It’s never too soon to think about holiday gift-buying.

Dreamworks, the studio that brought you “Shrek” “Madagascar,” “How to Train Your Dragon” and other popular animated features, unveils a 10-movie collection on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, Sept. 29, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Relive each classic moment as an ogre, a panda, a yeti, and so many more of your favorite characters embark on epic journeys across their worlds. With lots of laughs and breathtakingly beautiful animation, this collection is perfect for children and parents alike. The fun-filled collection includes “Shrek,” “Madagascar,” “Home,” “Spirit: Stallion of Cimarron,” “How to Train your Dragon,” “The Croods,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “Boss Baby,” “Abominable,” and “Trolls.”

The “Dreamworks 10-Movie Collection” comes with hours of bonus features including animated shorts, music videos, how-tos, trivia, deleted scenes, and more for the entire family.

El Calor Despues De La Lluvia

El Calor Despues De La Lluvia arrives on DVD and Digital Tuesday Sept. 29, from Indiepix Films.

For nearly 400 years, millions of Costa Ricans have annually made La Romería, the pilgrimage to Cartago to pay homage to La Virgin de Los Angeles, the country’s patron saint. But this year, something in Juana (Milena Picado) has snapped. You can see it in her eyes. She’s carrying within her the weight of a great loss and her hope is that joining the pilgrimage will help unburden her. However, she is surprised by a chance encounter with her ex-boyfriend, Gustavo (Luis Carlos Bogantes). Will she finally face what she’s been running away from and set herself free?

Featuring lush vistas and stunning Costa Rican scenery and a subtle and sensitive tender character-driven story from Cristobal Serra Jorquera in his feature-length dramatic debut, “El Calor Despues De La Lluvia” (“The Heat After the Rain”) will surprise viewers on many levels, from a director leading the charge of a new generation of Costa Rican filmmakers.

Focus Features:10-Movie Spotlight Collection

Since its founding in 2002, Focus Features has been synonymous with innovative and critically acclaimed filmmaking. The iconic studio presents its renowned films that illuminate some of Hollywood’s greatest writers, directors and actors in the “Focus Features: 10 Movie Spotlight Collection. The Blu-ray set is available Tuesday Sept. 29 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Amassing an impressive seven Academy Awards and 11 Golden Globes wins, the film set includes “Lost in Translation,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Pride & Prejudice,” Brokeback Mountain,” “Atonement,” “Burn After Reading,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Theory of Everything,” “On the Basis of Sex” and “Harriet.”

With films from acclaimed directors such as The Coen Brothers, Sofia Coppola, Ang Lee and Wes Anderson, the “Focus Features 10-Movie Collection” is loaded with bonus features including filmmaker feature commentaries, cast interviews, deleted scenes and more.

Illumination Presents: 10-Movie Collection

From the studio that brought you “Despicable Me” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” comes a special collection of its beloved family friendly films on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Sept. 29, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

“Illumination Presents: 10-Movie Collection” presents all 10 of their blockbuster comedies in one exciting box set. It includes all three “Despicable Me” films, “The Secret life of Pets 1 & 2,” “Hop,” “Minions,” “Sing,” “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” and “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch.”

With all-star voice casts including Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Sandra Bullock and Michael Keaton, the “Illumination Presents 10-Movie Collection” is packed with hours of bonus content including mini-movies, music and sing-alongs, games and more.

The Legend of Tomiris

“The Legend of Tomiris,” the epic Kazakhstan drama on one of the world’s first female warlords, debuts on Digital, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Sept. 29, from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Akan Satayev (“The Liquidator”), the drama tells the story of the life of the great queen of the steppe—the legendary Tomiris, a woman destined to become a skillful warrior and strategist and uniter of the Scythian/Saka tribes under her authority, who slayed the founder and first king of the Persian empire.

“The Legend of Tomiris” which has become the highest-grossing action film in Kazakhstan, stars Almira Tursyn, Adil Akhmetov, Yerkebulan Daiyrov, Berik Aitzhanov, Azamat Satybaldy, Aizhan Lighg and Ghassan Massoud (“Kingdom of Heaven”).

“The Legend of Tomiris” will be available in a Blu-ray Combo pack for $29.98 (SRP) and on DVD for $24.98 (SRP).

Sea Level and Sea Level 2: Magic Arch

The tides are rising with the upcoming release of the family-friendly animated features “Sea Level” and “Sea Level 2: Magic Arch.” Both films are arriving together on DVD, Digital, and On Demand Tuesday Sept. 29, from Lionsgate.

Following the success of 2011’s “Sea Level,” in which Pup, a bamboo shark, discovers egg sacs while playing around the ocean with his friends and ends up on an adventure to save them from human poachers, “Sea Level 2: Magic Arch” is set in an underwater land of courage and adventure with a new hero. One day, Delphi the dolphin discovers a magical archway that grants wishes to all who visit. But evil moray eels use the arch to become gigantic and menace peaceful Fish Town. Now, Delphi must summon his courage, master his “secret punch” fighting technique, and find his missing father to rescue his friends and win the love of pretty Mia.

These underwater adventures will be available on one disc for $16.98 (SRP).

The Secret: Dare to Dream

Believe again as “The Secret: Dare to Dream,” is now available in a Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital) as well as on Digital and On Demand.

Directed by Andy Tennant, “The Secret: Dare to Dream” stars Katie Holmes (“Dawson’s Creek”), Josh Lucas (“Sweet Home Alabama”), Celia Weston (“Hunters”) and Jerry O’Connell (“Billions”).

Based on the groundbreaking best-selling book by Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret: Dare to Dream” follows Miranda (Holmes), a young widow trying to make ends meet while raising her three children and dating her boyfriend (Jerry O’Connell). A devastating storm brings an enormous challenge and a mysterious man, Bray (Josh Lucas), into Miranda’s life. Bray reignites the the family’s spirit but, unbeknownst to Miranda, also holds an important secret—one that will change everything. With its timeless messages of hope, compassion, and gratitude, “The Secret: Dare to Dream” is an inspiring and heartwarming film that shows how positive thoughts can transform our lives.

The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes look on the set of the film.

“The Secret: Dare to Dream” is available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for the $39.99 (SRP) and $29.95 (SRP), respectively.

TV Shows

Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile

Coinciding with the release of the new theatrical adaptation from Kenneth Branagh, Acorn features the DVD and Blu-ray release of the acclaimed and star filled classic adaptation of the world renowned mystery novel, “Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile,” Tuesday Sept. 29.

While vacationing in Egypt, Inspector Hercule Poirot (David Suchet, “His Dark Materials,” “Decline & Fall”) meets the beautiful Linnet Ridgeway (Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns,” “A Quiet Place”), a wealthy British heiress on her honeymoon. Linnet requests his help, as she is being stalked by a former friend (Emma Griffiths Malin, “The Forsyte Saga”), who accuses Linnet of stealing her boyfriend (JJ Field, “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Ford v Ferrari”). Poirot declines to get involved in the quarrel, even as all four of them embark on a Nile cruise together. But when a murder occurs aboard the vessel, Poirot must turn his little gray cells from relaxation to investigation.

The cast also features Daniel Lapaine (“Catastrophe”), David Soul (“Starsky & Hutch”), Judy Parfitt (“Call the Midwife”) and Barbara Flynn (“Cranford,” “Cracker”). “Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for $19.99 each on Amazon.com.

Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America

AMC Networks’ RLJE Films features the DVD/Blu-ray debut of AMC’s fascinating docu-series “Hip Hop: The Songs that Shook America” Tuesday Sept. 29.

From executive producers Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Alex Gibney, and directors Erik Parker and One9, each episode of this six-part series focuses on a groundbreaking song pivotal to the evolution of American music and culture. Some of the songs featured in the series include Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Run-D.M.C.’s “Rock Box,” Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First,” and more. Now on a two-disc DVD or Blu-ray set available for $34.97 (SRP), it also comes with 30 minutes of bonus features including a Barbershop freestyle and additional interviews with music icons. “Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America” premiered on AMC last October.

Artists, their collaborators, and other influential musical and cultural figures deconstruct compositions, revisit the impact the song had on them personally, and dissect the socio-economic and cultural conditions that inspired the landmark work and gave voice to a generation.

Stargirl: The Complete First Season

Get ready for nonstop action with the release of “DC’s Stargirl: The Complete First Season” on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Sept. 29, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The box set includes all 13 episodes from the first season of the original series on DC Universe and The CW.

Focusing on the character that started creator Geoff Johns’ career in comic books, when he created her, lovingly inspired by his late sister who was killed in a plane explosion, “DC’s Stargirl” follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to take up the legacy of a long-lost superhero team—The Justice Society of America—and stop the super-villains of the past.

“DC’s Stargirl” stars Brec Bassinger (“Bella & the Bulldogs”), Yvette Monreal (“Rambo: Last Blood”), Anjelika Washington (“Tall Girl”), Cameron Gellman (“Heathers”), Trae Romano (“Robbie”), Jake Austin Walker (“Rectify”), Hunter Sansone (“Safety”), Meg DeLacy (“The Fosters”), Neil Jackson (“Absentia”) and Christopher James Baker (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), with Amy Smart (“Just Friends”) and Luke Wilson (“Old School”). Based on the DC characters and created for television by Geoff Johns, “DC’s Stargirl” is produced by Berlanti Productions and Mad Ghost Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“DC’s Stargirl: The Complete First Season” will be available for $24.98 (SRP) for the DVD and $29.98 (SRP) for the Blu-ray, which includes a Digital Copy. It is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

In celebration of strong female action heroes, Front Row Features is giving away a copy of “The Legend of Tomiris” to three lucky readers on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. For your chance to win the epic Kazakhstan drama, simply email socalmovieeditor@aol.com by Oct. 5 to enter the contest. Good luck!