Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Image Entrertainment Says Aug. 6 For B.C. Furtney's Do Not Disturb

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
When you see the alluring scream queen Tiffany Shepis’ name in the credits of Image Entertainment’s newly announced horror film from writer/director B.C. Furtney you can’t help but sit up and take notice.   The film is Do Not Disturb and it is headed to DVD on Aug. 6.

That was the “calling card” that got our initial attention and then we realized that this was the missing in action New Terminal Hotel that was promised back in 2010 and may or may not have actually been released on DVD (perhaps a rogue/bootleg DVD-R product offering that quickly disappeared from sight).   

The backstory of the film’s checkerboard history might be fascinating, but time limitations prevent a trip down that path at this moment in time.   No matter, it is good to see that this film will finally be getting a proper release … Aug. 6 can’t come soon enough.

With that said, what makes this film important — especially for genre fans — is that Do Not Disturb (aka: New Terminal Hotel) not only showcases the talents of Shepis, but this is Corey Haim’s final screen appearance.  

But wait, there’s more, the lead is none other than Fright Night’s Evil Ed, Stephen Geoffreys, who plays a Hollywood screenwriter who has gone over the edge … in a big way.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The set-up goes pretty much like this, Don Malek (Stephen Geoffreys) is a screenwriter and Ava (Shepis) is his agent, who sticks with him despite some obvious issues that Malek is dealing with.   As it turns out his fiancée (played by Laura Hofrichter) has met an untimely end — the killer appears to have gotten away with it — and he has become obsessed with revenging her death … and why not write about the process of that revenge!

With an increasingly unhinged Malek at work and his agent moving him along (a little unhinged herself as the film progresses), Do Not Disturb quickly descends into a bloody rampage which genre fans will take great pleasure in.   It is not just a kill-spree film as Furtney has embedded some well-observed “Hollywood” lifestyle machinations into his script.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Indeed, anyone who has walked the streets of Hollywood (north of Santa Monica Blvd and south of the freeway) knows that strangeness — and strange people — can be the order of the day.   Clearly filmmaker B.C. Furtney knows his Hollywood and has written in some choice characters — in addition to Geoffreys and Shepis — and that includes Ezra Buzzington (The Hills Have Eyes, The Prestige, Secretary, etc.) as Malek’s neighbor Spitz, who is so strange that even Malek cringes at his peculiar predilections.   Which gets us back to the aforementioned well-observed “Hollywood” lifestyle machinations … so true; so Hollywood.

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

The Wizard Of Oz 75th Anniversary Celebration Begins On Oct. 1

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Home Video is off to see the Wizard on Oct. 1 with a 75th Anniversary celebration.   On that date The Wizard of Oz will be lighting candles on the birthday cake that features a four-SKU product offering, including the debut of a Blu-ray 3D edition of the film (an IMAX 3D theatrical launch is also planned for Sept. 20).

This newly remastered version of the film has been converted to 3D for the double set of The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition 3D/2D SKU — which will also be included as part of the The Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (a five disc affair featuring UltraViolet and both 3D and 2D versions of this classic, plus a boatload of collectible items).

Also counted in the SKU mix are both stand-alone single-disc Blu-ray and DVD editions.
As to bonus goodies, there is an all-new documentary titled The Making of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (included on all editions of the release), plus all of the bonus nuggets from the previous Blu-ray rollout in 2009 will be included on the Blu-ray editions.

Also heading to Blu-ray on Oct. 1 as a 3D and 2D presentation is the 1953 thriller starring Vincent Price, House of Wax.   Bonus features include a newly-prepared featurette titled “House of Wax: Unlike Anything You've Seen Before.”

Plus, Oct. 1 will also mark the Blu-ray debut of one of the greatest silent films of the period, director King Vidor’s 1925 World War I masterpiece, The Big Parade.   For those unfamiliar with the film, the last 30 minutes ranks right up there with the most riveting film sequences ever to grace the silver screen.

Included in this DigiBook SKU is a 64-page booklet prepared by historian Kevin Brownlow, plus there is commentary from film historian Jeffrey Vance, a 1925 silent short film (a tour of the MGM studio) and the documentary titled “The Men Who Made the Movies: King Vidor”.

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

CJ Entertainment's A Werewolf Boy Makes Its Domestic DVD Debut On Aug. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It has been pointed out that the CJ Entertainment Aug. 13 DVD debut of writer/director Jo Sung-hee’s A Werewolf Boy is not necessarily to be approached from an American POV, but rather one should consider the story from a distinctly Korean outlook.   Fair enough — either one works in the end.

From the American cinema understanding, this is a werewolf film with a twist; a romantic twist.   It is ultimately a sad, bittersweet film that has its moments of horror, but then so did The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is closer to being its cinematic cousin, then, say, The Howling.   

Told in flashback, which sets the film in the aftermath of the Korean War, a beautiful teenage girl named Suni (Park Bo-young — Don’t Click) has been moved from Seoul to the countryside for health issues.   It is here, during her recovery, that Chul-soo (Song Joon-ki — Penny Pinchers, Heart is ... 2, etc.) comes into her life.

He is seemingly a wandering orphan boy uprooted by the war.  The kid is mute and very strange, which we assume — at first — to be the result of the horrors of war and a survival instinct that has reduced him to an animal-like state.

It is her kindness and dedication to him that leads to a fondness and loyalty that could develop into a full-blown romance as the two grow up.   But we know from the early set-up that something happens to prevent this … it is unresolved in the past.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

From a Korean sensibility A Werewolf Boy is a tale of unrequited love; a love that can never be fulfilled.   The fact that Chul-soo has some issues (military experiments gone awry) is quite beside the point. 

There is this subtle difference.  In American cinema this horror story would have its linear trappings — set-up, development and resolution.   In the Korean sense, it is more lyrical, with Suni sacrificing the “resolution” — and potential happiness — for the sake of Chul-soo.    The “happily ever-after” timeline is not relevant.

This may seem confusing, but A Werewolf Boy is not a film to be easily pigeonholed.  It is part-fairy tale, part-love story and part-social commentary, wrapped with horror trappings.   

As to bonus features, CJ Entertainment has included three featurettes and deleted scenes (with commentary).   The film is presented in Korean with optional English subtitles.

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

Haunted House Chiller: An American Ghost Story From Breaking Glass Pictures On Aug. 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Breaking Glass Pictures has tabbed Aug. 20 as the DVD debut date for director Derek Cole’s haunted house thriller, An American Ghost Story (originally titled Revenant, which is a fancy word for ghost).

Stupid is as stupid does.   Paul and his girlfriend Stella — played by Stephen Twardokus and Liesel Kopp — move into a creepy “haunted house” so that he can get beyond his writer’s block and craft a ghost story.  

We all know that you don’t waste the time and effort to make a haunted house thriller if the place isn’t haunted.  Just how dull would a film be if a writer moves into a place to write a horror story and nothing happens?

When things really do start to turn south Stella does the only sensible thing, she gets the hell out.   Paul, well, he learns the hard way that creepy haunted houses are not for the faint of heart!   This is a keeper!

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

Wolfe Video Sets Cloudburst For DVD On July 30

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Is there some sort of record for the longest running festival film?  Does anyone actually keep such stats?   If so, writer/director Thom Fitzgerald’s Cloudburst would seem to be in the running as it has been in competition worldwide for over 18 months … that’s quite a stretch without a theatrical push (even a limited arthouse run … digital projection, you know) or a home entertainment launch.

That award-filled run appears to be coming to an end as it was announced this past week that Wolfe Video has picked up this delightful road movie for delivery to DVD on July 30. 

Normally, a film that is working the festival circuit plays for a season (maybe a little longer) and then makes the move to a minor theatrical run, digital download or home entertainment.   The mission having been accomplished with nice reviews, public awareness and awards; a following; buzz — all the good things that makes an indie film viable!

What makes Cloudburst so interesting — beyond its quality — is that it stars not one, but two Oscar-winners for acting — Olympia Dukakis (Best Supporting Actress, Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (Best Supporting Actress, My Left Foot) — who are teamed as Stella and Dotty, a lesbian couple in a multi-decade relationship that are forced to go on the run if they are to maintain their relationship.   

With Dotty (Fricker) legally-blind and threatened with confinement to a nursing home by her family, they decide that their only “legal” option is to hightail it to Canada, where gay marriage is legal.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Along the way this elderly version of “Thelma and Louise” pick up another lost soul and in their travels and teach us some valuable life lessons along the way, including if you value your freedom; your independence, then planning is a life-long job.   

It does strike a nerve.  When vulnerable, others have a way of making decisions for you … you run, you fight-back or you surrender and simply go along with the program.   There is no surrender in Dotty or Stella!

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

Artsploitation Films Says Sept. 17 For Hidden In The Woods

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Chile, noted for its fine wines, diverse geography, periodic revolutions and devastating earthquakes is the surprising source for one of the most intriguing horror films of the year.   
Artsploitation Films, with sales and distribution expertise provided by Kino-Lorber, announced this past week that director Patricio Valladares’ Hidden in the Woods will be making its domestic DVD debut on Sept. 17.

So you think that beautiful women being held captive are the exclusive domain of domestic filmmakers … think again.   Hidden in the Woods is a film that even genre fans are deeply divided about — is it too over the edge?

Apparently based on actual events — if so, there are some sick people out there (think: recent events in Cleveland, Ohio) — some backwoods Chilean drug dealer (played by Daniel Antivilo) keeps his daughters, Anny (Carolina Escobar) and Ana (Siboney Lo) prisoners for his own sexual and punching-bag amusement.   You can see that this isn’t going to be pretty — raping and brutalizing your own children … and sharing them with your drug dealing friends!   Gruesome.

This nastiness could have gone on forever, but the police came calling one day — not to rescue the young women (and a deformed offspring) — but to confront dear old dad and his cohorts over their drug dealing ways.   A shootout and a couple of dead cops later finds dear old dad in jail.  Suddenly, Anny and Ana (dad couldn’t be more original in their names?) are alone in the wilds and have to fend for themselves.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
You’ve certainly heard of that expression, “raised by wolves?”   Anny and Ana have their freedom at last, but when his “business” associates come calling (where are the drugs?), they find that fighting for that freedom requires a commitment on their part that can get pretty nasty.   They’ve been brutalized over the years … and now they are both conditioned and prepared to dish out the same.   Heavy stuff!

Hidden in the Woods has so hit a nerve on the international film scene that no less than Michael Biehn will be producing an English-language remake — with Valladares directing —featuring Jeannie Kaspar and Electra Avellan as the sisters, with both Biehn and William Forsythe on board in key roles.   If they stick to the script, this will get monster buzz on all fronts.   2014, the projected release date, can’t come soon enough!

In the meantime, Artsploitation Films has the original.   Make a date for Sept. 17 and be prepared for your skin to crawl and your sensibilities challenged.

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

July 23 Is The Street Date For Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Oblivion

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
July 23 is the street date for Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) product offerings of director Joseph Kosinski sci-fi thriller, Oblivion.  Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko are teamed as survivors (with a past) on a devastated Earth — the result of an all-out war with an invading alien species some 60 years earlier.

The ARR is 109 days and the box office take was a solid $88.5 million.

Bonus features include commentary with filmmaker Joseph Kosinski, who is joined by Tom Cruise, plus there are deleted scenes and a four-part featurette titled “Promise of a New World: The Making of Oblivion.”

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