By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Bring family and friends together and have the time of your life with “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” Sing-Along edition, available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand Tuesday Oct. 23 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The smash-hit romantic comedy sequel is based on the songs of ABBA, for a one-of-a-kind at home experience.
Set a decade after “Mamma Mia The Movie” ended, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” invites viewers to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi to continue the story’s emotional journey of family and friendship while discovering just how those life-changing relationships were formed and includes hit songs such as “When I Kissed the Teacher,” “Fernando” and “Dancing Queen.”
The Littlestar/Playtone production is produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, producers of the original film. Craymer is also the creator and producer of the worldwide smash hit stage musical. Ol Parker, writer of “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” pens and directs the sequel from a story he conceived with Catherine Johnson and Richard Curtis. ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus return to provide music and lyrics and serve as executive producers.
The original cast members multi-award winner Meryl Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins,” “Into The Woods”), Pierce Brosnan (“The World is Not Enough”), Oscar winner Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), Stellan Skarsgard (“Good Will Hunting”), Julie Walters (the “Harry Potter” franchise), Dominic Cooper (“Avengers: Infinity Wars”), Amanda Seyfried (“Les Miserables”) and Christine Baranski (“The Good Wife”) return alongside new additions Lily James (“Cinderella”, “Baby Driver”), Oscar winner Cher (“Moonstruck”) and Andy Garcia (“Ocean’s Eleven”).
Both a prequel and a sequel, the film opens in present day as Sophie Sheridan (Seyfried) prepares for the grand reopening of her mother Donna’s (Streep) hotel and in 1979 when young Donna (James) first arrives on the island. Sophie learns about her mother’s exciting, fun-filled adventures with the young Dynamos, Tanya (Jessica Keenan-Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies), and how young Donna first met her three possible dads Harry (Hugh Skinner), Bill (Josh Dylan) and Sam (Jeremy Irvine) all those years ago. The musical is filled with summer fun, joy and romance that allows viewers to tap into their inner dancing queens in their own living rooms. Get ready to sing and dance all over again with the entire cast and go behind the scenes with more than an hour of bonus features including one- of-a-kind lyric videos and a never-before-seen performance of “I Wonder.”
“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” also is now available on Digital and the digital movie app Movies Anywhere.
An Elephant’s Journey
The family-friendly adventure “An Elephant’s Journey,” starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sam Ashe Arnold, arrives on DVD, Digital, and On Demand Tuesday Oct. 23 from Lionsgate.
When Phoenix Wilder (Arnold, “Adventure Club”), a 13-year-old orphan, moves in with his Aunt Sarah (Hurley, the “Austin Powers” franchise, “The Royals”)—his only surviving relative, living in Africa with her husband, Uncle Jack—Phoenix quickly falls in love with his surroundings. However, while on safari with his uncle, Phoenix gets separated from the rest of the group and becomes lost in the African bush. As the search for Phoenix continues, the boy becomes fast friends with a giant bull elephant he was able to free from a trap. Phoenix names the elephant Indlovu (“The Unstoppable”), and, as they begin to bond, he decides to try to stop a band of poachers who prey on African elephants. Receiving the Dove Seal of approval for all ages, the “An Elephant’s Journey” DVD will be available for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $19.98.
Extras include a commentary with writer-director Richard Boddington and interviews with and elephant expert Dr. Richard Leakey, plus a “Beyond the Journey: An In-Depth Look at Elephants” featurette.
Snake Outta Compton
Expect the unexpected when “Snake Outta Compton” arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand Tuesday Oct. 23 from Lionsgate.
Members of a young rap group suddenly finds themselves up against a giant, mutated snake that threatens to destroy their search for stardom in this comedic parody.
Cam and his hip-hop crew are all set to sign a record deal that could change their lives. But their jealous friend Vurkel wrecks their plans when he creates a giant, mutant snake that quickly lays waste to the city of Compton, eating everyone in its path. Soon Cam, Pinball, Neon and Beez Neez cook up a crazy scheme to stop the monstrous munching menace—blowing it away by pumping up the jams.
Aided by two corrupt cops, a crazed gangster and a mad scientist, the band has one thing to do before getting the record deal they need to get the heck out. Prepare yourself for dope beats, unfriendly fire and the biggest, nastiest snake you’ve ever seen in this outrageous comedy.
“Snake Outta Compton” will be available on DVD for an SRP of $19.98.
The DVD includes commentaries with director Hank Braxtan and actors Ricky Flowers Jr. (“The Sunshine Shop: The Lovaganza Convoy Proof of Concept”), Motown Maurice (“Mac & Devin Go to High School”) and Joston Theney.
A Happening of Monumental Proportions
Comedic actress Judy Greer (“Ant-Man and the Wasp,” “Kidding”) steps behind the camera for her directorial debut when “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” arrives on DVD, Digital, and On Demand Tuesday Oct. 23 from Lionsgate. Featuring an all-star cast including Common (“John Wick: Chapter 2”), Bradley Whitford (“Get Out”), Anders Holm (How to Be Single”) and Oscar winner Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), the film takes place over the course of one day and follows a group of school administrators as they find themselves caught up in a plot of sex, lies and dead bodies.
It’s Career Day, and two school administrators have just made a shocking discovery: the dead body of the groundskeeper. They decide to hide the body, sparking a series of wildly comic misadventures for teachers and students on day that no one will ever forget.
The “A Happening of Monumental Proportions” DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, “A Sneak Peek at ‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions.’” It will be available for an SRP of $19.98.
Acclaimed Emmy-nominated documentary photographer and director Lauren Greenfield (“Thin”) gives us an inside look at the heights of narcissism and greed within the global boom-bust economy in “Generation Wealth” now available on DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. Lauren Greenfield’s postcard from the edge of the American Empire captures A portrait of a materialistic, image-obsessed culture, it is simultaneously a personal journey and historical essay. The film bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream, and the human costs of late-stage capitalism, narcissism and greed. The documentary opened the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
“Generation Wealth” DVD includes a gallery of Greenfield’s photos, and will be available for an SRP of $19.98.
Vera: Sets 1-7 Collection
It’s never too early to start your holiday shopping. For fans of the smash hit British detective drama “Vera,” a special collection of 28 feature-length episodes is combined in a special box set called “Vera: Sets 1-7 Collection,” making its DVD debut from Acorn Tuesday Oct. 23. Inspired by the novels of best-selling author Ann Cleeves, Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn (“Pride & Prejudice,” “Atonement”) plays Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, a cantankerous, but brilliant detective who solves unthinkable crimes in northeast England. This collection of the first seven seasons delivers suspenseful mysteries, compelling characters, and superb performances. This DVD 28-Disc Collection features 28 feature-length mysteries, plus bonus ($219.99, Amazon.com). Five seasons of “Vera” also are available on Acorn TV. Acorn TV is North America’s most popular streaming service focused on British and international television from RLJ Entertainment.
As Detective Chief Inspector Vera Stanhope, Blethyn is a caustic but brilliant detective solving chilling crimes in the remote corners of rural Northumberland. Aided by right-hand man DS Joe Ashworth (David Leon, “RocknRolla”) and later by brash DS Aiden Healy (Kenny Doughty, “Love, Lies & Records”), Vera contends with the untamed evil that lurks below the surface and exposes the demons that plague even those who dedicate their lives to good.
Guest stars include Phyllis Logan (“Downton Abbey,” “Girlfriends”), Rose Leslie (“The Good Fight)”, Julie Graham (“The Bletchley Circle”), John Lynch (“The Fall”), Gina McKee (“Notting Hill”), Liam Cunningham (“Game of Thrones”) and Judy Parfitt (“Call the Midwife”).
The collection includes all 28 feature-length episodes (approximate 43 hours) plus photo galleries and text interviews with stars Blethyn and Leon.
800 Words, Season 3—Part 1
One of Acorn TV’s most popular series returns with the DVD debut of “800 Words, Season 3—Part 1” on Tuesday Oct. 23. Season 3, Part 1 of this heartwarming series continues the saga of George Turner (Erik Thomson, “Packed to the Rafters”), a man making a home for himself and his family in a strangely beautiful and quirky New Zealand coastal town. The series has received Logie Awards for Best Actor for Erik Thomson and Most Outstanding Newcomer for Melina Vidler as George’s daughter Shay.
As the award-winning dramedy returns, new challenges await newspaper columnist George Turner (Thompson) and his family, now settled in a charming New Zealand community after moving from Australia. Following last season’s harrowing boating accident, the townsfolk of Weld mount a search-and-rescue operation for the missing men, including the boyfriend of George’s daughter, Shay (Vidler).
Meanwhile, George anxiously considers the possibility of becoming a father again as his editor Jan (Bridie Carter, “McLeod’s Daughters”) goes into labor, but her twin’s paternity is still unknown. Later, George’s son, Arlo (Benson Jack Anthony), faces relationship problems, and George gets dragged into an elaborate scheme to help his friend Woody (Rick Donald, “A Place to Call Home”) out of a predicament that could ruin Woody’s forthcoming wedding.
Set against the stunning scenery of the New Zealand coast, this series also stars Emma Leonard (“Home and Away”), Michelle Langstone (“The Almightly Johnsons”) and Jonny Brugh (“What We Do in the Shadows”).
The two-disc DVD set features eight episodes, plus bonus behind-the-scenes featurettes ($49.99, Amazon.com). “800 Words, Season 3—Part 1” made its U.S. premiere in June on Acorn TV.
Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day
Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s long-unavailable television series “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day,” is available for the first time as a Criterion Collection DVD ad Blu-ray editions Tuesday Oct. 23. The working-class soap opera suffused with affection and solidarity, will appear in a new 2K restoration.
Commissioned to make a working-class family drama for public television, the then up-and-coming director took the assignment and ran, dodging expectations by depicting social realities in West Germany from a critical-yet far from cynical-perspective. Over the course of several hours, the sprawling story tracks the everyday triumphs and travails of the young toolmaker Jochen (Gottfried John) and many of the people populating his world, including the woman he loves (Hanna Schygulla), his eccentric nuclear family, and his fellow workers, with whom he bands together to improve conditions on the factory floor. Rarely screened since its popular but controversial initial broadcast, “Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day” rates as a true discovery, one of Fassbinder’s earliest and most tender experiments with the possibilities of melodrama.
Extras include a new 2K digital restoration by the Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; the 2017 documentary “‘Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day’—A Series Becomes a Family Reunion,”
directed by Juliane Maria Lorenz, featuring interviews with actors Hanna Schygulla, Irm Hermann, Wolfgang Schenck and Hans Hirschmuller; a new interview with film scholar Jane Shattuc; a new English subtitle translation and an essay by scholar Moira Weigel.
The two-disc Blu-ray edition is available for an SRP of $49.95 and the three-disc DVD edition is available for an SRP of $39.95.