Wednesday, May 1, 2013

VCI Entertainment's Boys In Brown Makes Its DVD Debut On June 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment has selected June 18 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Montgomery Tully’s 1949 film adaptation of Reginald Beckwith’s stage play, Boys in Brown.    

This drama about Borstal Prison life (British for juvenile detention center) is of note for two reasons — the casting rising Brit stars Dirk Bogarde and Richard Attenborough as the leads and as a precursor to the uniquely “Kitchen Sink” films that would arrive during the 1950s and early 60s (notably Look Back in Anger and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner).  

It’s not quite social realism that defined the "Kitchen Sink" film movement, but it is damn close and the class distinctions are duly noted.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Queen On Fire From Eagle Rock Entertainment On May 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In the early 1980s the showman of showmen was, by any standard, Freddie Mercury.   When he put on a show, he PUT ON A SHOW!   As a fan; as a concert-goer, you got your money’s worth at a Queen “show” … thank you, Freddie Mercury.

Eagle Rock Entertainment has added the double-disc Queen on Fire: Live at the Bowl, another stunning example of his showmanship to its DVD release calendar for delivery on May 21.   

This 25-song set showcases just about every hit imaginable at the time (June 1982), including “Somebody To Love,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “We are the Champions.”  The companion disc is loaded with interviews, behind-the-scenes and bonus performances.   A must for Queen fans!

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Breaking Glass Pictures' An Affair Of The Heart On July 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On July 18, look for Breaking Glass Pictures to deliver both Blu-ray and DVD editions of documentary filmmaker Sylvia Caminer’s An Affair of the Heart, a cinematic love letter to some of the most loyal fans in the world.

For some 30 years singer and songwriter (and soap star) Rick Springfield has “worked” the audience and fans from all walks of life — just ordinary people for the most part — have gotten it.  Through good times and bad, once they get into him, they are hooked forever … and ever … and ever!

Using vintage footage, live concert performances, fan interviews (with a few well-known faces thrown in), Caminer spins an infectious narrative that by film’s end will convince even the most hardened of skeptics that Springfield — for better or worse  — is the real deal.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Film Chest's Best Of Film Noir Collector's Set On DVD May 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Film Chest will deliver to the collector’s market on May 28 a trio of film noir classics in the DVD release of Best of Film Noir, Volume One.   

Included in the package are: Director Delmer Daves’ 1947 film adaptation of George Agnew Chamberlain’s novel of the same name, The Red House (with Edward G. Robinson, Judith Anderson and Allene Roberts) and filmmaker Phil Karlson’s 1952 crime thriller, Kansas City Confidential (John Payne, Robert Foster and Coleen Gray, plus such “faces” as Neville Brand, Lee Van Cleef and Jack Elam).

Rounding out this stellar collection is Frank Sinatra/Sterling Hayden assassination tale, Suddenly (1954, direction by Lewis Allen).

All three films have been restored from the original 35mm prints and include before-and-after restoration examples, audio commentaries and poster galleries.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Artsploitation Films' Combat Girls Debuts On DVD July 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
There are horror movies.   You know, hide your eyes scary movies.   Films with slashers. Films with hideous creatures that give you nightmares.   Oh, and don’t forget those spooky films that deliver atmosphere; chills.   We all love a good a scare from time to time!

And then there are films like German writer/director David Wnendt’s Combat Girls.   A truly terrifying film to watch … it’s the kind of film that sends shivers down your spine.  A bit of cinema that attacks your senses and rubs your emotions raw — it’s Romper Stomper, A Clockwork Orange and more.

Artsploitation Films has tabbed July 9 as the DVD debut date for this German-language import (with English subtitles) that is absolutely guaranteed to creep you out.

Since 2011 Combat Girls has been working the European film festival circuit and scored wins for Best Picture, Best Actress or Best Director at nearly every stop along the way.   With those wins came a ton of rave reviews ... and buzz, lots of buzz.

So why is Combat Girls a scary film?   What Wnendt delivers rings incredibly true and therein frames the terror; the horror comes in asking how can this be?   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Alina Levshin (in a breakout performance) plays Marisa, a wannabe Neo-Nazi, living in what used to be East Germany, but now a united Germany.   She’d be an attractive young woman (maybe 20; a little older perhaps), but the tattoos, hair and clothing choices, coupled with her rudely violent social behavior makes her anything but.   She is the kind of person that you despise on sight; eye contact is avoided.

Levshin, an unknown talent in the domestic arena, but Best Actress wins at the German Film Awards, German Film Critics Association Awards, Munich Film Festival and the São Paulo International Film Festival (among others) will not keep her below the radar for long.   No one knew of Franka Potente around here before Run Lola RunCombat Girls is that kind of movie; one that launches a career.   

She gives an incredible performance as a young woman who lives and breathes a culture of hate and violence.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
But strangely, as the film progresses, Wnendt deals us some cards that cast her and her life choices in a slightly different light.   Not black and white, but filled with shades of gray.  How she got to where she is at is slowly revealed and we — as the audience — actually hope that she finds her way out of the dark place that she is in. 

She hangs with a group of skinheads; thugs, who take pleasure in making themselves known and felt.   Sandro (Gerdy Zint) is more or less the leader of the pack.  Their relationship is built on hate and violence, the sex is raw … drugs are plentiful.

An unlikely newcomer arrives — a catalyst that ultimately drives the film to its “inevitable” conclusion — in the form of a young teen named Svenja (Jella Haase).  She’s smart, comes from a reasonably well-off family environment and is right near the top of her class at school.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
She’s a child, just barely past puberty, who suddenly finds herself as much an outcast as those who run with Sandro and Alina — they are today’s “droogs,” no different from Alex and his mates from four decades earlier.   
With the young girl now taken in by Alina, changes in the dynamics of the group are set in motion that can only lead — in their tightly-wound world of anger, violence and hatred — to tragedy.   Combat Girls is not for the faint of heart … a horror tale to be sure.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

New World From Well Go U.S.A. To DVD and Blu-ray On July 23

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
You want crime thrillers?   You’re thinking the Mafia; the boys … films like The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Departed right?

All are excellent.   What is it about these films, and others, that make them so compelling?   They have great stories with intricate plots that draw you in, punctuated by violence, betrayal … and more.

Well Go USA has selected July 23 as the street date for one of the best in recent memory, writer/director Park Hoon-Jung’s New World.   Separate DVD and Blu-ray editions are planned for release.

The head of South Korea’s largest crime syndicate — the “Godfather,” if you will — is killed under mysterious circumstances (a car “accident”).   As a result, everything within the Goldmoon crime organization is thrown into chaos as the under lords immediately begin to plot against each other to fill the power vacuum.

What they don’t know — what these rivals can never know — is that for the past eight years they have been spied upon by an undercover cop, Ja-Seong (Lee Jeong-Jae), and during that time he has gained the trust and confidence of Jung Chung (Jung-Min Hwang — Dancing Queen, Happiness, A Bittersweet Life, etc.), one of two lieutenants (coupled with their minions) who are vying for the top spot.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Easy.  Ja-Seong simply rats them out, the entire organization collapses at this critical moment and South Korea is rid of a major problem.   Easy to say, but after eight years on the inside it is not so easy to pick sides … to know for certain what is right and wrong.   

Like chess pieces on a board, Hoon-Jung serves up a series of intricate moves — action set-pieces — with the “hero” at the center of the Machiavellian mayhem.   And we mean action!   New World delivers it in spades!!

Bonus features include a photo gallery and a behind-the-scenes production featurette.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

June 25 For Warner Home Video's The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
It’s magic time!   Drum roll please.   Hit the lights … and mark June 25 on your calendar for the home entertainment debut of director Don Scardino’s The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.

The ARR comes in at 102 days and ticket sales currently stand at $22.3 million.

This New Line Cinema film production drew the short straw when it went up against both the “Wizard” and Halle Berry on Mar. 15 … there are only so many film patrons to divvy up each week and the “rolling spring break effect” was just starting to kick in as well (other things to do for the prime viewing crowd).   Bad timing; bad luck.

It also didn’t help the film’s commercial prospects when co-star Jim Carrey suddenly went on a nationally broadcast gun-control rant during the film’s run … politics, especially mistimed politics, can have a devastating way of turning half of the country off.   There’s an old saw that all publicity is good publicity … not so sure if it is a political statement, a sex scandal sure, but politics these day seems to be a big turnoff.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
As a comedian, Carrey absolutely knows that timing on stage is everything … with that in mind he should have kept his powder dry and let the movie have a free reign to draw in theatre-goers while it was hot.   Oh well.

Between the competition, spring break and Carrey’s misfire, the box office haul was a tad disappointing, but the national exposure remains, the cast is solid, the movie is funny and so Warner Home Video is poised to cash in on the media and PR with DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet Digital Copy) editions when it heads home on June 25.

Steve Carell and Steve Buscemi star as Las Vegas showroom veterans, Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton, whose magic act (sort of like Siegfried and Roy, but without animals that can eat you) has been the main attraction at the Aztec for over a decade.   But now there’s new blood in the form of super-slick Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) and audiences can be fickle and attendance is down … way down.

To make matter worse, Burt and Anton’s childhood friendship is starting to come unglued and the solution to their career problem (a stunt without preparation) only makes things worse!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a fun comedy, with some terrific bits — very reminiscent of Blades of Glory, only instead of skating and all that goes with that, it is the world of magic and magicians.   Throw in a beautiful woman (Olivia Wilde — Tron: Legacy, Deadfall and as “Thirteen” on the House M.D. TV series) and an old timer (Alan Arkin in a delightful turn) who gave Burt his inspiration so many years ago and you’ve got it all.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Bonus features include a gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate takes and the featurette titled “Making Movie Magic with David Copperfield.”

Not done yet!   Also added to the release calendar from Warner Home Video this week is a second Lana Turner gem.    

Last week it was the big-budget Technicolor costume drama, Diane (with Roger Moore and Pedro Armendáriz) was announced for a DVD debut on May 28.  Joining Diane on May 28 will be director George Cukor’s 1950 weeper, A Life of Her Own, which teamed Lana Turner with Ray Milland, Tom Ewell and Ann Dvorak.

To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report:  DVD & Blu-ray Release Report DVD & Blu-ray Release Report