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John Singleton’s Poetic Justice & Higher Learning on Blu-ray February 5

Grammy Award® winning superstar Janet Jackson makes her big screen debut for Academy Award® nominated Writer/Director John Singleton (Best Director & Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Boyz N the Hood, 1991) in the acclaimed and beloved romantic drama POETIC JUSTICE, newly remastered and debuting on Blu-ray™ February 5 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Also available on February 5, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings Writer/Director John Singleton’s bold look at college life to Blu-ray: HIGHER LEARNING, starring Omar Epps (“House”), Kristy Swanson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Michael Rapaport (Deep Blue Sea), Academy Award winner Jennifer Connelly (Best Supporting Actress, A Beautiful Mind, 2001) and Ice Cube (Ride Along). Newly remastered and debuting on Blu-ray as well, continue on to learn more about these upcoming releases.

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Believe The Hype. Own THE HATE U GIVE on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray January 22

Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.  Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. THE HATE U GIVE is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas and stars Amandla Stenberg as Starr, with Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby, Issa Rae, KJ Apa, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Common and Anthony Mackie.

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School Daze – 30th Anniversary (Blu-ray Review)

Director Spike Lee is having a great 2018, even if it means putting a spotlight on the same issues he’s been tackling since he began as a filmmaker. With BlacKkKlansman on its way to (hopefully) earning its fair share of awards, the director’s previous joins continue to make their way to HD formats slowly. A few years back we saw some of his films arrive in double packs. Kino Lorber has a few more coming next year. And now Sony has the 30th Anniversary release of Lee’s second film, School Daze. The film provided a look at black college life, and how the film plays into challenging viewpoints and self-identity continues to resonate today.

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Fassbinder, Bergman & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in February 2019

In February, Charles Burnett will join the Criterion Collection with To Sleep with Anger, his 1990 masterpiece starring a magnetic Danny Glover, appearing on Blu-ray for the first time in a new 4K restoration. Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice, the Italian master’s lush adaptation of Thomas Mann’s novella starring Dirk Bogarde in a devastating performance, will also make its Blu-ray debut. Brigitte Bardot stands trial in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Oscar-nominated courtroom thriller La vérité, appearing on home video for the first time. Criterion’s yearlong series of Ingmar Bergman releases will continue with a stand-alone edition of Shame, a wrenching study of life during wartime starring Liv Ullmann and Max von Sydow. And that’s not all: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s monumental, fifteen-hour Berlin Alexanderplatz, based on the novel by Alfred Döblin, will make its first appearance on Blu-ray.
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The Princess Bride – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Terminator 2, Predator, the Evil Dead films, Die Hard; some movies are just regularly given new home media releases. The Princess Bride is most certainly one of them. However, this time audiences can bring home Rob Reiner’s classic romantic adventure on a brand-new Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection. Brought out of the depths of the laserdisc era, Criterion’s updated release of this modern classic looks and sounds better than ever, with plenty of extras to go with it. It would be inconceivable to think the film wouldn’t earn such a great release anyway, but it’s always nice to see this sort of thing be delivered upon. Now would you like to learn more about this latest release? As you wish…

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Get SCROOGED With Bill Murray For Its 30th Anniversary This Holiday Season

I was late to the party when it came to Richard Donner’s 1988 holiday film, Scrooged, starring Bill Murray. This modern-set fantastical take on the Charles Dickens tale has a lot going for it, including wild makeup effects and a level of classic Murray-style comedy that really works. That’s without mentioning the ending of this movie, which hits harder on an emotional level than anyone may expect, thanks to what kind of warmth Murray can bring when turning around elements of his grumpy Scrooge persona. All that is a great way of saying I’m looking forward to the upcoming 30th-anniversary release of Scrooged, which is now available on Blu-ray.

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Sorry To Bother You (Blu-ray Review)

Sometimes it is easy to tell when a new cinematic voice is ready to be heard. Sorry to Bother You has the benefit of a high-profile cast to keep it from slipping through the cracks, which is precisely what is needed for an ambitious film like this. Because of that sort of attention, the summer of 2018 was able to be a little weirder. Here’s a film that moves from a corporate comedy to a genuinely bizarre satire that fortunately never loses focus on its point of view. Given the sort of reveals that take place, Sorry to Bother You manages to go to extreme lengths while clearly expressing the modern day challenges the filmmakers are wrestling with humorously.

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Hitchcock, Kiarostami & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in January 2019

In January, Elaine May will join the Criterion Collection with Mikey and Nicky, an unsung masterpiece of 1970s cinema, starring John Cassavetes and Peter Falk as small-time gangsters in a barbed study of friendship and betrayal. Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant enact an anguished romance in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic spy thriller Notorious, appearing in a stunning new 4K restoration. Cristian Mungiu’s riveting 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, the Palme d’Or-winning breakout film of the New Romanian Cinema, will appear on Blu-ray for the first time. The indomitable Sidney Poitier faces off against Rod Steiger in In the Heat of the Night, an Academy Award-winning landmark in Hollywood’s treatment of racism, appearing in a new 4K restoration. And there’s more: Abbas Kiarostami’s final film, the contemplative 24 Frames, breathes motion into still images in a poignant coda to a life dedicated to cinema.

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SCHOOL DAZE Arrives for the First Time on Blu-ray 11/13 — Includes an All-New Q&A with Spike Lee

Acclaimed filmmaker Spike Lee’s (BlacKkKlansman) contemporary comedy with music SCHOOL DAZE celebrates its 30th Anniversary by debuting on  Blu-ray November 13 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on Lee’s experiences while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, SCHOOL DAZE follows a group of fraternity and sorority members clashing with other students at a historically black college during homecoming weekend. The all-star cast includes Academy Award® nominee Laurence Fishburne, Emmy Award® nominee Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Kadeem Hardison, Jasmine Guy, and two-time Academy Award nominee and Honorary Oscar®winner Spike Lee. The Blu-ray release of SCHOOL DAZE includes an all-new special feature: a 2018 Q&A with Spike Lee and select cast and crew, along with some special guests. Continue on to learn more about this upcoming release.
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Stanwyck, Sutherland & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in December 2018

This December, Euzhan Palcy will join the Criterion Collection with A Dry White Season, a courageous chronicle of injustice and resistance in apartheid South Africa that made history as the first Hollywood studio film directed by a black woman. Barbara Stanwyck leads the charge in Samuel Fuller’s unconventional western Forty Guns, a thrilling exemplar of the director’s no-holds-barred approach to genre filmmaking, appearing on Blu-ray for the first time. Julien Duvivier’s long-unavailable Panique, an atmospheric thriller shot through with postwar paranoia, will appear in a new 2K restoration. And there’s more: Ingmar Bergman’s piercing psychological drama Sawdust and Tinsel, an early breakthrough for the legendary Swedish filmmaker, will appear in a stand-alone Blu-ray edition.

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Expect the Unexpected in SORRY TO BOTHER YOU Coming Blu-ray and DVD 10/23

Earlier this year, Sorry To Bother You arrived in theaters as one of my most anticipated films thanks to its wild trailer and build-up as a film that would throw everyone through a loop. It certainly delivered and now it’s coming to Bluray on October 23, with plenty of special features. Check it out – Expect the unexpected in hip-hop artist Boots Riley’s directorial and screenwriting debut, Sorry to Bother You – an outrageously surreal look at capitalism, corporate greed, and fractured workplace dynamics. In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, California, struggling telemarketer Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) discovers a magical key to professional success, which propels him into a macabre universe.

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The Tree of Life – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

While acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick is no stranger to The Criterion Collection, one could see The Tree of Life as one of the best examples of a film made with the eventual intention of being released in this manner. While the movie received plenty of plaudits and accolades in 2011, its regard as one of the defining films of this decade by many is not at all surprising. At the same time, the ethereal mystery that is this film makes it the perfect example of cinema bound to be explored by many, let alone given new perspective by those who appear on this new released to speak on its behalf. There’s also the matter of the entirely new cut of the film, which is just one of the many things to go over for this impressive release.

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Blu-ray Review)

Something I’ve kept in mind with the Jurassic Park sequels is how to gauge my expectations. When Steven Spielberg is only able to make a barely-average follow-up to his 90s blockbuster classic, I don’t have much issue lowering the bar for more dinosaur adventures. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom continues the tradition of being a merely decent entry in the ongoing franchise. It has enough elements to work as passable entertainment but misses out on delving even further into some of the rich ideas the film seems to have on its mind. Director J.A. Bayona is at least able to lend an artful touch from a visual standpoint but only so much can be accomplished when a film settles for easy thrills in an admittedly unique location. However, that didn’t stop the film from becoming another huge hit for Universal Studios, and it now comes to Blu-ray with an excellent presentation and plenty of extras.

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Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray Review)

As everyone gears up for the final season of Gotham, it’s time to go over the fourth and surprisingly best season of the series. I’ve been clear in my thoughts about the Batman show not featuring Batman in the past. The first season was a disappointment, the second season improved upon things, and the third season found the series embracing its craziness. The fourth season continues that trend, working more as a supervillain ensemble series, that happens to be in favor of the good guys somewhat succeeding, in the long run, to keep things going. Regardless of how compelling the storytelling is, this show works best as a wild and colorful series, happy to throw viewers through a loop by way of costume and production design, and the over-the-top acting that comes with it. Now fans can take in this fourth season, boasting some extras, and more.

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Deadpool 2 (Blu-ray Review)

With the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently paving the way for mainstream superhero cinema, it stands to reason that audiences could use Deadpool 2 as a reminder that stakes, budget, and even heroic sensibilities don’t need to be all that high. However, the sort of subversive desire that I could get from a 4th-wall breaking anti-hero continues to be held at somewhat of a distance. While this sequel improves upon 2016’s Deadpool in terms of style, scale, and direction, it’s the writing of the character and the universe in which he occupies that still feels like we’re scraping the surface of real satire. That didn’t stop the film from hitting big, again, at the box office, though, and now the packed Blu-ray is here to continue to entertain.

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Welles, Wilder, Bergman, Byrne & More Coming to The Criterion Collection in November 2018

This November, the Criterion Collection will present Orson Welles’s elegiac second feature, The Magnificent Ambersonsin its first-ever Blu-ray release, an edition packed with supplemental features. Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon, and Tony Curtis star in Billy Wilder’s gender-bending Some Like It Hota pinnacle of Hollywood comedy, appearing in a new 4K restoration. David Byrne explores the wild, wild life of Texas in the musical odyssey True Storiesmaking its Blu-ray debut in a special edition that also includes a never-before-released CD of the film’s complete soundtrack. And Kenji Mizoguchi’s long-unavailable late-career classic A Story from Chikamatsu will appear in a new 4K restoration. Plus: the previously announced Blu-ray box set Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema celebrates the visionary Swedish director’s 100th birthday with the most comprehensive collection of his films ever released on home video.

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Super Troopers 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Recent years have given rise to many sequels and reboots to films and even TV series from years ago. Super Troopers 2 is something that’s been talked about plenty for years but never came to fruition. Much of that was due to the first film being more of a home video/cult favorite than a worthy cinematic endeavor. That said, thanks to crowdfunding and the never-ending spirit of the Broken Lizard comedy team, the sequel was made and even succeeded as far as box office was concerned. But how about the movie? Was it a long-awaited disappointment, or a new, fun chapter for this team of Vermont Highway Patrolmen?

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A Matter of Life and Death – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

I was happy to put together my first write-up about an Ingmar Bergman film, and now I’ve had the chance to write at some length about a terrific film from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A Matter of Life and Death is finally debuting on The Criterion Collection Blu-ray, and it does not disappoint. Heralded as one of the best British films ever made, the 1946 fantasy-romance has had a significant impact on cinematic storytelling, influencing so many filmmakers in the decades since its original release. Now, everyone can have access to this restored feature that looks and sounds extraordinary and features an excellent set of supplemental material.

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