Paramount Home Media Distribution put forth a blizzard of new Blu-ray and DVD product announcements this past week … Selma, The Gambler and the return of Liev Schreiber as Ray Donovan, professional “fixer” for the rich and powerful who reside in LA LA LAnd, are all at the top of the list.
Streeting on May 5 will be DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) editions of director Ava DuVernay’s Best Picture nominee, Selma.
The ARR works out to 130 days and domestic ticket sales stand at $51 million.
The riveting portrayal of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by David Oyelowo (Interstellar, The Butler, Jack Reacher, Lincoln) is the very glue that holds this Best Picture candidate together, and yet his name was not included in the five finalists for the Best Actor Oscar. Really?
Such are the mysteries of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and its voting members. Selma is Oscar-worthy, but Oyelowo is not? Go figure.
But then these are the same enlightened voters who selected Birdman — an ego-driven tale about a once famous actor who has hit the skids — as Best Picture. Ten, 20 years from now Birdman will not be remembered, but filmmaker Clint Easterwood’s powerful American Sniper will be … that is the film that registered emotionally with paying theatre patrons, not Birdman. But it was deemed too political.
Perhaps this same group of self-serving, ego-driven narcissists who anointed Birdman Best Picture also found that David Oyelowo’s performance as the slain civil rights’ leader was too political as well. Indeed, these are the mysteries of the Academy voters that will likely never be understood.
You want an example? How about Shakespeare in Love as Best Picture over Saving Private Ryan in 1998! If you can decipher that bid of nonsense out, then the voting record of the members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will become crystal clear and as easy to understand as the core elements of string theory.
As to bonus goodies (exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU), viewers will have two separate commentary options — one featuring director Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow, Middle of Nowhere) and the film’s star, David Oyelowo, and a second that teams DuVernay with her long-time filmmaking associates, film editor Spencer Averick and the film’s director of photography, Bradford Young.
Other bonus features include five production featurettes, deleted and extended scenes and the music video, “Glory,” performed by Common (aka: Lonnie Lynn) and John Legend (aka: John Stephens).
Streeting one week earlier, on Apr. 28, will be both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) editions of director Rubert Wyatt’s remake of the 1974 film of the same name, The Gambler.
The ARR is 123 days and domestic ticket sales at the local multiplex registered $33.7 million.
Mark Wahlberg reprises the role first made famous by James Caan … the name of the character as been changed from Axel Freed to Jim Bennett, but the academic calling of literature professor remains the same. Oh yes, and the addiction to gambling carries over as well!
Jim Bennett finds that his addiction has landed him in a deep, deep hole and indebted to some very unsavory characters. With his life on the line he finds that his only out is to make THE BET!!!
Bonus goodies (exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU) are five featurettes — “Mr. Self Destruct: Inside The Gambler,” “Dark Before Dawn: The Descent of The Gambler,” “Changing The Game: Adaptation,” “In The City: Locations” and “Dressing The Players: Costume Design” — and deleted and extended scenes.
On May 26 everyone’s favorite “fixer” returns as four-disc DVD and three-disc Blu-ray collections of Ray Donovan: The Second Season.
Liev Schreiber stars as Ray Donovan, with Jon Voight returning once again as his criminally scheming father Mickey, in another 12 episodes of double-dealing, scams and ultra violence (murder is a benevolent act in Mickey’s world).
Bonus goodies include selected episode commentaries.
Not done yet!!! Also on the way from Paramount Home Media Distribution on the first street-date Tuesday in June (June 2) are DVD releases of Bonanza: The Official Eighth Season, Volume One (a five-disc set), Bonanza: The Official Eighth Season, Volume Two (four discs), Dora the Explorer: Whirl & Twirl Collection (a double-disc collection), L Word: The Complete Series (a whopping 24 disc set) and Max & Ruby: Sharing and Caring.