Monday, September 26, 2016

The Film Detective Announces Ten New Restorations For Delivery To DVD On Oct. 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe Film Detective announced this past week that ten new film restorations will be ready for a DVD release on Oct. 04.

They are an eclectic mix that includes a pair of Western entries from the 1930s.   Direct Robert F. Hill’s 1937 film release of Cheyenne Rides Again, starring Tom Tyler as Tom “Cheyenne Tommy” Wade is the first of these.    

The release of this fast-paced Western was so successful theatrically that Tyler was recruited to reprise his Tom Wade persona in four additional films.   Lucile Browne (Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Rainbow Valley, etc.) is Tyler’s co-star and none other than the great Lon Chaney Jr. is the villain of the piece.

Also from 1937 is director S. Roy Luby’s The Red Rope, starring Bob Steele as a cowboy that is targeted for murder, but manages to turn the tables in such a way that the hired gun, Rattler Haynes (Lew Meehan) goes after the man who hired him instead.   Talk about “Western justice” … Lois January (The Wizard of Oz, Rogue of the Range, One Rainy Afternoon, etc.) co-stars as Steele’s bride-to-be.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also getting a new film restoration is the 1926 silent film, The Black Pirate, starring Douglas Fairbanks.   

On the film noir front, director Bryon Haskin’s summer of 1949 thriller, Too Late For Tears, starring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea.   When a payoff of $60,000 is mistakenly dumped into the hands of Lizabeth Scott it sets in motion a wild and deadly ride as the real owner, Dan Duryea, comes looking for what belongs to him.   She will do anything to keep it — including murder — and he will do what is necessary to get it back … and MURDER is his business!

A sweet little murder mystery, director Elmer Clifton’s 1941 film release of City of Missing Girls, is also include in the Film Detective’s Oct. 4 DVD restoration mix.   The Crescent School of Fine Arts, run by King Peterson (Philip Van Zandt), is nothing but a front for a white-slavery operation … Nora Page (Astrid Allwyn) is hot on the story, but what she finds will end up breaking her heart!

Other product offerings in the mix include: Battle of San Pietro, Born to Fight, Breakfast in Hollywood, Night at the Follies and The Road to Hollywood.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Funny Life Of Pets On DVD From Ruthless Films On Oct. 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Ruthless Films, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will deliver laughs aplenty on Oct. 11 with the Dove Family Approved DVD debut of The Funny Life of Pets.     
Studios can spend tens of millions of dollars on state of the art CGI and special effects to arrive at exactly the same place that Evan Tramel has with his hilarious collection of live pet antics.  

The Funny Life of Pets is a 90-minute compilation of four-legged silliness —unscripted performances by just every day household pets — that is hosted by the animated cat and dog team of Catnip Everdeen and Ryan Fleacrest.   Kids can literally watch the fun over and over … and over again.   

Drafthouse Films To Release A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Edition Of Director Anders Thomas Jensen's Men And Chicken On Oct. 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The strangest film of the year — hand’s down; no arguments with this one — is Men & Chicken, the Danish-language import from Oscar-winning filmmaker Anders Thomas Jensen.  It will be a getting a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release on Oct. 25 from Drafthouse Films, with MVD Entertainment Group providing domestic sales and distribution support.

The ARR is a leisurely 186 days and domestic box office receipts from the film’s limited arthouse showcase were $30,127.

Gabriel (David Dencik) and Elias are (Mads Mikkelsen) loveless brothers who discover that they, at their father’s death, are not full brothers afterall, but half-brothers (apparently dear old dad got around).   So much for that … brothers, half-brothers, what does it matter if they can’t stand each other!  

Ah, but it turns out that Gabriel and Elias have other siblings that their father has neglected to inform either of them of.   And they too are in Denmark.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Now if you are either Gabriel or Elias, and have your wits about you, you are wise enough to let “sleeping Danish dogs lie.”  But then we wouldn’t have much of a story, would we?

The feuding brothers, and this where Jensen’s film goes off into the realm of “strange,” go in search of their siblings (a trio of DNA-challenged half-wits).   What they find takes Men & Chicken into the world of Fellini and David Lynch … they, the trio, reside in an asylum of their own making where strict rules of conduct are religiously adhered to!

Men & Chicken is presented in Danish with English subtitles.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Wolfe Announces The Dec. 6 DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Chris Kelly’s Heartfelt Other People

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Other People, Ralph Tribbey
You have to ask yourself the question: “Why don’t we see Molly Shannon in bigger movies?”   She made some really terrific comedies back in the late ‘90s, deed yeoman’s work for a decade and a half on Saturday Night Live and has done a ton of comedy series roles, but the big films don’t appear to be part of her work-mix.

The reason this question about Molly Shannon springs to mind is directly related to the news from Wolfe this past week that the DVD debut of writer/director Chris Kelly’s Other People will take place on Dec. 6. 
Molly Shannon co-stars with Jesse Plemons (as Landry in the Friday Night Lights television series, plus such films as Bridge of Spies, Black Mass, Battleship, etc.) and she is nothing short of sensational. 

Other People, an indie film production to be sure, had its film debut at Sundance earlier this year, hit the road to work the festival circuit and has been given a limited theatrical run (which continues in selected cities).   The ARR, for the record, is 88 days.

She plays against type, but her humor and comic talents show through.  Plemons plays her son, he’s a comedy writer, his personal life is in disarray and to make matters worse, his mom is dying of cancer.   He returns to the family home in Sacramento to help care for his mother and this is where the bulk of the story takes place.

The first thing you have to get out of your mind is that Other People is one of those maudlin “disease of the week” telefilms that seem to populate certain cable channels.   It’s actually a very personal film from Saturday Night Live writer Chris Kelly (five Emmy nominations for his work) — hence the connection with Molly Shannon — who is making his directorial debut here.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Other People, Ralph TribbeyHe worked though his own mother’s illness and death with a running blog and subsequently turned the experience into a working script and finally the finished film.   The script is solid, the dialog is at once both hilarious and moving and the interaction between Molly Shannon and Jesse Plemons makes this a film that you are going to want to see this December on DVD.

Yes, November and December are months that are loaded with all the big studio releases from the summer, but find the time for Wolfe’s Other People … you will not be disappointed in what Chris Kelly has delivered here. 
And, you will, ponder the question, “why don’t we see Molly Shannon cast in more films like this?”  Maybe they — they, meaning the “Hollywood” studios — don’t take her seriously?    Other People puts that nonsense to rest.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Other People, Ralph Tribbey

Artsploitation Films Tabs Nov. 15 As The DVD Debut Date For Filmmaker Byron C. Miller’s The Anatomy Of Monsters

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Anatomy of Monsters, Ralph Tribbey
Artsploitation Films has picked Nov. 15 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Byron C. Miller’s cat-and-mouse horror thriller, The Anatomy of Monsters.

You just have to love a film where no one behaves according to plan.   It’s like when the spider says to the fly, “come hither,” and the fly delightfully agrees … because the fly likes to feast on the flesh of spiders!

Andrew (Jesse Lee Keeter — The Gamers: Hands of Fate, Brides to Be), is the sort of fellow that Tom Waits would sing songs about, a late-night denizen who finds bars and dark places more palatable than a sunny day at the beach; a barbecue with his chums. 

We are introduced to him at a bar one night where he gives off a creepy vibe — a better-dressed Norman Bates, but Norman just the same — that no sane woman would find attractive.    

But surprise, surprise a sweetie by the name of Sarah (Tabitha Bastien — as Gina in Collin Joseph Neal’s Run, Hide, Run), warms to his advances and agrees to a late night tryst, not back at his place (or hers), but at a nearby motel; dingy, creepy to be sure.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Anatomy of Monsters, Ralph Tribbey
There’s your set-up.   A Jack-the-Ripper type picks up a pretty girl at a bar and lures her to a place where he can take his time to do unspeakable things to her … she will not see the dawn.   But what happens to that “set-up” if the would-be victim is actually on the prowl herself for a late-night bit of blood-letting.

Once our boy Andrew has Sarah in the room and properly restrained the fun begins.   Fellow serial killers doing a dance of the macabre as filmmaker Byron C. Miller uses a series of flashbacks to create the backstories for both the spider and the fly … and believe me this little “spider” has picked up one nasty fly!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

4K Ultra HD — And Much More — For Paramount Home Media's Nov. 1 Home Entertainment Launch Of Star Trek Beyond

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Star Trek Beyond, Ralph Tribbey
The J.J. Abrams bold reboot of the Star Trek film franchise in 2009 continues to pay dividends with director Justin Lin’s third installment in new series, Star Trek Beyond.

The summer box office sweepstakes brought in a solid $157.6 million in ticket sales, and word arrived from Paramount Home Media this week that Nov. 1 will mark the arrival of a stand-alone DVD edition, a pair of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (with and without a 3D viewing option — the premium is nine bucks) and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack .   The ARR works out to a relatively quick-to-market 102 days.

Chris Pine as Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Commander Spock once again lead the new timeline crew of the USS Enterprise for this third installment, which saw Abrams turning over the directorial reins to Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6 — and three others in the series — Annapolis, Better Luck Tomorrow), and sadly Leonard Nimoy (as the connection to the previous timeline) and Anton Yelchin (as the new Pavel Chekov) left us prior to the film’s theatrical debut.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Star Trek Beyond, Ralph TribbeyA new villain, Krall (Idris Elba — Thor: The Dark World, Pacific Rim, Prometheus), with a killer weapon that quickly dispatches the Enterprise (a spectacular film sequence) — and an even more deadly weapon waiting to be unleashed — plus the arrival of a new exotic alien character, Jaylah (played by Sofia Boutella — who stars in next summer’s The Mummy along side Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe), mark the storyline in Star Trek Beyond.  

The film’s storyline feels like something of a throwback episode of one of the Star Trek television series episodes, with various cast members being isolated and having to survive in a hostile environment before reteaming to defeat Krall — of course against seemingly impossible odds.   Which is, only fitting, since Star Trek Beyond marks the 50th anniversary of the original television series, which launched just after Labor Day in 1966.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Star Trek Beyond, Ralph Tribbey
All of the bonus goodies are reserved for the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD release SKUs.    These include deleted scenes, a gag reel and nine production featurettes — “Beyond the Darkness,” “Enterprise Takedown,” “Divided and Conquered,” “A Warped Sense of Revenge,” “Trekking in the Desert,” “Exploring Strange New Worlds,” “New Life, New Civilizations” “To Live Long and Prosper” and “For Leonard and Anton.”

Lionsgate Home Entertainment Tabs Oct. 25 For The Home Entertainment Launch Of Nerve Without A 4K Ultra HD Consumer Option

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Nerve, Ralph Tribbey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment might be having a change of heart when it comes to supporting the 4K Ultra HD format for its new theatrical releases.   

As industry watchers know, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has steadfastly refused to join the studio-supported hi-def format team and perhaps, just perhaps, with this week’s release news Lionsgate might be switching to the “no” side as well.

With the formal announcement this past week of an Oct. 25 street date for the filmmaking team of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s pedal-to-the-metal thriller, Nerve, we find that there is a stand-alone DVD edition and that there is a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack as well, but there is no, repeat NO, 4K Ultra HD product offering to be found in the mix.

Without setting off too many alarm bells, there could a number of reasons for Lionsgate, which was an early advocate of the 4K Ultra HD format, to forego a 4K Ultra HD product offering for Nerve at this time. 

Certainly not to be counted among the possible reasons are either the film’s genre-profile or its performance at the box office.    The film pulled in $38.3 million during its August theatrical run, a bright spot for Lionsgate, who just witnessed their reboot of Blair Witch go up in flames.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Nerve, Ralph TribbeyAnd then there’s the painful financial disaster of Gods of Egypt, which saw the company’s stockholders bleed red.    Bt the way, that bomb did get a 4K Ultra HD push and it grossed less than Nerve during its domestic theatrical run. 

And certainly this film adaptation of Jeanne Ryan’s 2012 novel of the same name fits the profile — a storyline that focuses on the dangers of online “truth or dare” gaming spinning dangerously out of control as “watchers” morph into that of an unruly and bloodthirsty mob.   

There’s lots of action, f/x and visual effects — Emmy-winner Eran Dinur (Boardwalk Empire) and visual effect whiz Harimander Singh Khalsa (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, etc.) are counted among the team members.   So, the profile for 4K Ultra HD is right — Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s press announcement even uses such descriptive phrases as “Electrifying” and “Adrenaline-Fueled Thriller.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Nerve, Ralph TribbeyOne factor that might be at play is the quick-turn to market.   The ARR is just 88 days, so perhaps Lionsgate Home Entertainment simply couldn’t pull off the necessary transfer elements to make this tight window.   

Without much, if any, fanfare they did set a Nov. 8 street date for all four Hunger Games films as 4K Ultra HD product releases, which could further signal Lionsgate’s exit from the format … get this franchise out and call it quits.

The home entertainment group has struggled with PR of late — which could be a further sign of financial difficulties.   Indeed, some of Lionsgate Home Entertainment’s outside support companies seem be engaged in on-the-job training at the studio’s expense — perhaps cost-cutting has led to the recruitment of home entertainment-challenged PR outside services.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Nerve, Ralph TribbeyTo that point, if you take one look at the company’s tenuous financial condition (a price to earnings ratio of over 400:1 is simply not sustainable), then you begin to connect the dots and suspect that these might be cautious times at this fledgling “Hollywood” studio.   The less-than-stellar Nerve home entertainment push just might be a casualty of the way things are.

As to bonus features, there are outtakes, a 15-segment presentation titled “Creating Nerve” and the featurette “The Governor’s Ball Takeover.”  Exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKU are the interactive game, “Do You Have the Nerve?,” a pop-quiz titled “Are You a Watcher or a Player?” and Player Profiles.