By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Beats (Crime Drama)
Music Box Films and Vinegar Syndrome is releasing “Beats,” in a Blu-ray Standard Edition Tuesday Sept. 28.
A universal story of friendship, rebellion, and the irresistible power of music set against the backdrop of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994, which banned unlicensed raves across the UK, “Beats” follows best friends and polar opposites Johnno and Spanner who, realizing they are destined for different futures, sneak out to an illegal party in pursuit of one last crazy night together. The film stars Cristian Ortega, Lorn Macdonald, Ross Mann, Gemma McElhinney, and is directed by Brian Walsh from a screenplay he wrote with Kieran Hurley, based on Hurley’s play. It is executive produced by Steven Soderbergh.
The “Beats” Standard Edition, which includes a new commentary with Welsh and Hurley as well as “Scotland 1994: The Making of ‘Beats,’ “The Evolution of a Poster Gallery” and more, will be available for $29.95 (SRP), wherever Blu-rays are sold. A separate “Beats” Blu-ray Special Edition already is available now for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $34.95 only at Vinegar Syndrome online.
C.I.Ape (Family Fantasy/Comedy)
The family-friendly comedy “C.I.Ape” is coming to DVD and Digital Tuesday Sept. 28, from Lionsgate.
Sophia Alongi, Skip Schwink and Madelyn Kientz star in this film about the world of espionage, where some missions require an agent with a unique set of skills, possessing not just bravery but an ability to melt even the most villainous heart. This is a job for Sam, a.k.a. C.I.Ape, the first-ever chimpanzee to join the CIA.
First Date (Crime Drama)
“First Date” arrives on DVD and On Demand Tuesday Sept. 28, from Magnolia Home Entertainment’s Magnet label.
Mike (Tyson Brown, “Manufactured Beauty”), a shy teenager, finally summons the courage to ask out his badass neighbor, Kelsey (Shelby Duclos, “Melting Ice”), only to realize he’s missing a key element for a successful date—the car. Panicked and low on cash, Mike is conned into buying a beat up ‘65 Chrysler based on a shady online ad. His plan to win over Kelsey soon turns into a surreal misadventure when they are inexplicably targeted by a pair of cops, a criminal gang and a vengeful cat lady. A night fueled by desire, bullets and burning rubber makes any other first date seem like a walk in the park.
The Forever Purge (Action)
“The Forever Purge,” the third installment of the dystopian action franchise, arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday Sept 28, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
The latest installment of the successful franchise sees all the rules of the Purge broken as members of an underground movement, no longer satisfied with the annual night of anarchy and murder, decide that the Purge does not stop at daybreak and instead should never end.
“The Forever Purge” stars Ana de la Reguera (“Cowboys & Aliens”), Tenoch Huerta (“Days of Grace”), Cassidy Freeman (“The Righteous Gemstones”), Leven Rambin (“The Hunger Games”), with Josh Lucas (“Ford v Ferrari”) and Will Patton (“Halloween”). The film is directed by Everardo Valerio Gout (“Days of Grace”) and from the mind of Franchise-creator James DeMonaco.
Bonus features on each of the editions include a behind-the scenes featurette called “Collapsing the System: Behind ‘The Forever Purge,’” “Creeptastic Wardrobe,” alternate storyboard opening, a deleted scene and more.
Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films (Drama/Comedy Collection)
Director, writer, composer, actor, and one-man creative revolutionary Melvin Van Peebles jolted American independent cinema to new life with his explosive stylistic energy and unfiltered expression of Black consciousness. A five-disc Blu-ray set titled “Melvin Van Peebles: Essential Films” will be available Tuesday Sept. 28, from The Criterion Collection.
Though he undeniably altered the course of film history with the anarchic “Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song,” that pop-culture bombshell is just one piece of a remarkably varied career that has also encompassed forays into European art cinema (“The Story of a Three Day Pass”), mainstream Hollywood comedy (“Watermelon Man”) and Broadway musicals (“Don’t Play Us Cheap”). Each facet of Van Peebles’s renegade genius is on display in this collection of four films, a tribute to a transformative artist whose caustic social observation, radical formal innovation, and uncompromising vision established a new cinematic model for Black creative independence. Also included in the set is “Baadasssss!,” a chronicle of the production of “Sweet Sweetback” made by Van Peebles’s son Mario Van Peebles—and starring the younger Van Peebles as Melvin.
The Blu-ray set includes new restorations, a new conversation with Van Peebles (before his recent passing), rare early shorts and more.
Batwoman: The Complete Second Season (Action)
Javicia Leslie takes on the mantle of DC a DC superhero as “Batwoman: The Complete Second Season” is available now on Blu-ray, from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.
Strap yourself in for a thrilling ride with all 18 episodes from the second season, plus never-before-seen bonus content including deleted scenes and a gag reel.
At the end of the first season, Crows Commander Kane (Dougray Scott) has declared war on Batwoman, forcing everyone around them to choose sides. Season two kicks off with a major game-changer that alters Gotham City and The Bat Team forever. A new hero emerges from the shadows. Relatable, messy, loyal, and a little goofy, Ryan Wilder (Leslie) couldn’t be more different than the woman who wore the Batsuit before her, billionaire Kate Kane. Living in her van, Ryan has been made to feel trapped and powerless by the system her whole life and believes the Batsuit is the key to breaking out of it. But what she’ll come to discover is that it’s not the suit that makes Ryan Wilder powerful, it’s the woman inside of it who finds her destiny in changing Gotham City for good.
“Batwoman: The Complete Second Season” is available for $39.99 (SRP) for the DVD ($44.98 in Canada) and $44.98 (SRP) for the Blu-ray ($49.99 in Canada), which includes a Digital copy (U.S. only). It also is available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers, and to stream on HBO Max.
With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Batwoman: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. Featuring all 18 episodes from the second season in high definition, as well as a digital code of the season (available in the U.S. only).
Leslie (“God Friended Me”) is supported by an ensemble cast including Rachel Skarsten (“Birds of Prey”), Meagan Tandy (“Teen Wolf”), Nicole Kang (“You”), Camrus Johnson (“The Sun is also a Star”) and Dougray Scott (“Snatch”). Based on characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, “Batwoman” is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Calling all fans of “The Forever Purge.” Front Row Features is giving away one copy of the Blu-ray Combo Pack to one lucky winner. To enter this contest, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name by Oct. 6.