Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Breaking Glass Pictures' Longing Nights Update

From Madrid, Spain on Nov. 5 comes the DVD debut of writer/director Tiago Leão’s Longing Nights.   Also in Spanish with English subtitles, this self-styled “docudrama” takes a look — a very candid look — at the lives of four 20-somethings living in Madrid as they struggle to find meaning in their lives.

Playing themselves are Aitana, Pierrick, Jorge and Rita who take us on a whirlwind journey through the metropolis of modern Madrid that features clubs, drugs, sex and a variety of relationships that range from the lonely and desperate to the erotic and sensual.

Bonus features include deleted scenes and a photo gallery.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

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

Argo: Extended Edition – Declassified On Blu-ray From Warner Home Video Dec. 3

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Last year’s Oscar derby for Best Picture was a nail-biter with Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln, Life of Pi and Les Misérables all being worthy contenders.   You would, however, be hard-pressed to find five such films so far this year, but that will change as the post-Labor Day period heralds the arrival of the more “prestigious” films and bids adieu to the loud and expensive summer super hero extravaganzas.

Certainly the Weinsteins will find a way to convince Academy voters that there’s a silk purse in there somewhere — let’s hope not, but they are the best damn marketeers and self-promoters since P.T. Barnum.   They managed to convince voters that Saving Private Ryan was not the Best Picture of 1998 … so never underestimate their powers of persuasion.

One thing seems certain, George Clooney will be in the middle of this year’s Oscar race — he has so many prospects that it is just plain crazy (how savvy has this guy become in picking projects!).   Gravity (Clooney opposite Sandra Bullock in early October) looks promising and the early buzz for both August: Osage County (Harvey has a piece of this, but this is really Clooney’s baby — and what a cast to savor on Christmas Day) and The Monuments Men (directed, starring, produced and written by Clooney — Dec. 18) has all been good.   

Auteur filmmaker Woody Allen could slip in with Blue Jasmine — the box office pattern suggests that strong word of mouth is driving ticket sales and not the underwhelming marketing and PR campaign launched by the studio.  And fellow auteur, Martin Scorsese, has the film adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s best-selling novel, The Wolf of Wall Street, lined up for a near-Thanksgiving launch (what is this, like his tenth film with Leonardo DiCaprio?).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
There will be surprises to be sure.   There will be lots of arthouse entries championed, but they rarely make the cut.   It’s a studio game (wink wink, nod nod).

In the meantime, Warner Home Video has announced that last year’s Best Picture winner, Argo, will be getting a double-disc special edition Blu-ray push on Dec. 3 with the release of Argo: Extended Edition – Declassified.

Nine minutes worth of trims (mainly backstory of Ben Affleck’s character and trims here and there for pacing) have been added back in, plus the original theatrical cut will also be available on the companion disc.  New features unique to this SKU include two new featurettes — “Ben Affleck’s Balancing Act” and “Argo Declassified” — and a gag reel titled “Argo F*ck! Yourself.”
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Included in the package are a 40-page booklet featuring production notes, biographies and behind the scenes photos, plus there’s a reproduction of Tony Mendez’s CIA ID card, a map of Tehran (handy little item) and a reproduction of the fake Argo theatrical one-sheet.

Also getting a Blu-ray release on Dec. 3 is writer/director James L. Brooks’ 1983 Best Picture, Best Director and Best Writing (adapted from Larry McMurtry’s best-seller), Terms of Endearment.

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

Image Entertainment's I Declare War Debuts On DVD And Blu-ray Nov. 12

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The film directing team of Jason Lapeyre and Robert Wilson will see their award-winning film festival hit, I Declare War, reach a much broader audience on Nov. 12 when Image Entertainment releases both DVD and Blu-ray editions.

A limited theatrical break — to further raise awareness — is planned for the Labor Day weekend.

At one level this seems like a story about a kid’s game — just a bunch of pre-teens playing Capture the Flag in the nearby woods; passing adults would see little more than that.   But locked in the telling of the story is a much deeper fable about the transition from a child’s fantasy playground to the world of an adult.

The rules are simple and they are honored.   But one day one of the players breaks from the tried and tested routine of the game and escalates the action to another level.   He gets caught-up in the game … much like adults getting lost in the winning and losing of life’s own battles (metaphors abound).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Despite the chaos that follows, we are given a sense from the filmmakers that unlike the boys in Lord of the Flies, this day will end, the reality of life will kick in once again and everyone will go home to dinner … perhaps a little worse for wear.   But you never know.

Bonus features include two separate commentary options, both featuring filmmakers Wilson and Lapeyre — one with and one without the child actors from the film — and the featurette titled “I Declare War.”

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

FilmWorks Entertainment To Unleash The Shotokan Man On Nov. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
You have no doubt heard of the clash of cultures that occurs when the Far East meets the West!   But what happens when you blend the mysteries of the orient with the heart of Dixie … the result is a cultural vortex of unimaginable strangeness!

This is the whacky world of writer/director Bob Clark’s animated film, Shotokan Man, which is making its DVD debut on Nov. 19 from FilmWorks Entertainment.   

In the sleepy hamlet of Westabooga, Alabama, the law is Sheriff Fuquay, an ex-Marine with a love of Japanese culture and a severe case of narcolepsy.   So imagine his delight when a strange Japanese man named Dirk wanders into town one night ... during his lucid moments it is bliss.

And for the wandering Dirk, he has at last found a home and the lovely Rose from the diner fans the passions of his heart, but Dewey — the local redneck kung fu fanatic — has his own plans for Rose and the power of the Double Death Dojo to make sure that he gets what he wants!   The stage is set for an epic battle!   

Bonus features include a photo gallery and downloadable desktops.

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

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4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker On DVD Oct. 8 From Breaking Glass Pictures

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The writing and directing team of Mike Campbell and Todd Johnson will have their haunted house thriller, 4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker, ready for DVD viewing on Oct. 8.

Timed for the Halloween promotional period, Breaking Glass Pictures serves up this supernatural tale of four attractive college co-eds who have pooled their resources for an off-campus home of their own.   Lily (Katherine Browning — Napoleon Bon Appétit, The Carpenter: Part 1 - And So They Die) and her long-time friend Bianca (Tiffany Walker) are joined by Lily’s younger sister, Lori (Ashley Love — Summer Blink) and her lover, Pam (Leah Verrill), for what they feel will be privacy and good times aplenty, but soon discover that too-good-to-be-true rental is haunted by a “soul taker.”

Mike Campbell, who has pretty much done it all — acting, producing, directing and writing — delivers a tasty deadpan turn as Devlin, the owner of the building and the embodiment of a legendary Choctaw soul eater called the Nalusa Chito.   He’s out-and-out creepy and we would offer a word of advice for the young ladies — after their first encounter with this landlord — be sure to check for hidden cameras.   He’s that kind of creepy.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyInstead of checking for voyeur cams, they should be checking for exits!   Oops, too late … only the “good” will survive as Devlin only consumes the souls of the bad girls!   He also has the uncanny ability to come and go as he pleases, so there is no place to hide … and no way out of this hell house!

Bonus features include interviews with cast members, deleted scenes and the featurette titled “SFX Creation.”

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

Eagle Rock Entertainment's Caro Emerald: In Concert On DVD And Blu-ray This Coming Oct. 1

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sultry Dutch jazz singer, Caro Emerald, will make her domestic DVD and Blu-ray debut on Oct. 1 courtesy of Eagle Rock Entertainment’s Caro Emerald: In Concert

Filmed for BBC’s “In Concert” series earlier this year, Eagle Rock will be delivering the complete 18-song set (the television broadcast was cut to just 60 minutes), which runs nearly two-hours and includes such numbers as “Back it Up,” “The Other Woman,” “Dr Wanna Do” and “A Night Like This.”

Bonus features include a newly prepared video interview with Caro Emerald and rehearsal footage for both “Tangled Up” and “That Man.”

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

Universal Studios Home Entertainment's R.I.P.D. To DVD And Blu-ray On Oct. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director Robert Schwentke’s clever film riff on the “undead,” R.I.P.D., will be getting a three-SKU launch from Universal Studios Home Entertainment that is timed for Halloween viewing fun this coming Oct. 29.   The ARR for that street date works out to 102 days and the domestic box office take was $32.7 million.

This action comedy (a buddy film) teams Jeff Bridges with Ryan Reynolds as deceased lawmen — now part of the Rest In Peace Department — whose first assignment is to bring Reynolds’ murderer to justice.  

It will be available as a stand-alone DVD release and as two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUs — one with and one without a 3D viewing option.   Both of the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs include UltraViolet.

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

Virgil Films And Entertainment Adds Two To Its Nov. Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Virgil Films & Entertainment has added two DVD product offerings to its November release slate … a big-budget film epic and an intense documentary about child exploitation.

Nov. 26 will be the street date for director Akan Satayev’s epic tale of the birth of Kazakhstan, Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe.   This film was Kazakhstan’s official entry for last year’s Academy Awards and is something of a Kazakh phenomenon — what is on the screen, if produced by a Hollywood-based production company, would have cost ten times what the actual budget (a national labor of love) turned out to be.

The story centers around the unlikely 1729 defeat of the far superior forces of the invading Dzungars (Zunghar Khanate) by a rag-tag force of young Kazakhs lead by a teenager named Sartay (Asylkhan Tolepov).   As with William Wallace of Braveheart fame, Sartay’s name represents Kazakh independence to this day (despite over 100 years of Russian and Soviet occupation).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

On Nov. 12 Virgil Films & Entertainment will release documentary filmmaker Todd Kellstein’s Buffalo Girls, a harrowing look at the underground world of Thai boxing … not that of adults, but of young girls who are recruited to the world of Muay Thai prizefights to earn money for their families.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Kellstein’s film focuses on the lives of two eight year-old girls — out of some 30,000 children who fight in the rings of rural Thailand, often without head gear and formal training.   In the case of sisters Stam and Pet, they have professional training, rigorous workouts and fight for both the money and the pride of it; of being a “professional.”   

The film doesn’t judge — in a Western sense — but shows the harsh realities of being born to poverty in the remote regions of Thailand.   Endless toil in the farming communities, the prospects of being sold off to the sex trade or fight, these are often the only options young girls in these villages have … the film is shocking, intense and yet both insightful and fascinating. 

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

Oscilloscope Says Nov. 5 For Baby Peggy: The Elephant In The Room

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscilloscope Laboratories has tabbed Nov. 5 as the DVD release date for Milestone Film & Video production of documentary filmmaker Vera Iwerebor’s Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room.

The story of Peggy-Jean Montgomery’s (aka: Baby Peggy) film career is something of a horror story.   The star of over 150 short and feature films, you would have expected her to be rich and famous … instead, by 11 years of age she was broke, her family had mismanaged her fortune (stock market crash of 1929 added to it) and she was virtually out of the business as a teenager.   

Blacklisted, ridiculed and burned out, Baby Peggy seemed destined for a sad ending, but she overcame it all to become a successful publisher and writer (as Diana Serra Cary) and a major advocate for laws related to children working in the entertainment industry.   Baby Peggy: The Elephant in the Room is that story ... a story of both failure and success; a fascinating look at “Hollywood.”  

Bonus features include the 1924 silent film, Captain January (opposite Hobart Bosworth and Irene Rich), and three of her surviving silent short films (most were lost to a 1926 studio fire) — Baby Peggy: Carmen, Jr. (1923), Peg O’ the Mounted (1924) and Such is Life (1924).   

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

Kino Lorber Announces 16-Strong November DVD and Blu-ray Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Kino Lorber announce a 16-SKU line-up of DVD and Blu-ray product offerings for the month of Nov. this past week.   As is the case with Kino Lorber, it is an eclectic blend of classics, arthouse enteries and foreign language imports.

In chronological order we begin on the first street date Tuesday of the month, Nov. 5, with DVD releases of both writer/director Andrew Bujalski’s award-winning tale of machine against man, Computer Chess (the ARR is 109 days and domestic major metro ticket sales are $90,619) and documentary filmmaker Molly Bernstein’s Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay (ARR is 200 days and the domestic box office was $147,986).

The early computer nerds rule in Computer Chess … it’s over 30 years ago and we meet the likes of  “Advantage” (Kriss Schludermann) and “Deep Speed” (Tom Fletcher) in a “what-might-have-been-encounter” at a convention for early computer programmers in their attempts to beat human contestants at chess.   It is, of course, a well-played metaphor on the coming of ever-increasing technology and the innocent nerds who unleashed it upon us.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe fascinating world of actor, writer and magician Ricky Jay is chronicled in Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay.   Included in the mix are early TV appearances, including a classic from The Dinah Shore Show featuring Ricky Jay with a young comedian by name of Steve Martin.

Shifting to Nov. 12, we discover fully-restored DVD and Blu-ray editions of director David Leeds’ 1978 cult favorite, Shoot the Sun Down: Director’s Cut, starring Christopher Walken (just prior to Deer Hunter) and Margot Kidder (just prior to Superman).

This pre-Western (Texas, circa 1830 … prior to the Battle of the Alamo in 1836), finds four unlikely characters — The Woman (Kidder), Mr. Rainbow (Walken), The Captain (Bo Brundin) and Scalphunter (Geoffrey Lewis) — on a three-day journey to the (New) Mexican city of Santa Fe as they search for the legendary treasure of Montezuma’s gold.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include an alternate opening title sequence.

Also streeting on Nov. 12 are DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Christian Petzold’s German-language import, Barbara.   Set in East Germany before reunification, Nina Hoss stars as Barbara, a doctor who is sent to a remote clinic as punishment for her views on the repressive political systems … her goal is to defect, but the care of her patients creates a moral conflict that she dare not resolve.

Shifting to Nov. 19, we find both newly remastered Blu-ray and DVD editions of the 1922 German silent classic, Nosferatu (a double-disc collection) and the Russian language import, Russian Ark: Anniversary Edition.

German filmmaker F.W. Murnau’s classic vampire tale, Nosferatu, arrives on both DVD and Blu-ray with two viewing options — the original German version (with optional English subtitles) or the domestic English Intertitles version with Hans Erdmann’s 1922 music score.  There is also the feature-length documentary, The Language of Shadows, included as a bonus feature.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Also streeting on Nov. 19 is the DVD-only release of documentary filmmaker Erik Sharkey’s intimate look at the life of movie poster artist Drew Struzan, Drew: The Man Behind the Poster.  

The ARR for this look the background of the artist who design such one-sheet classics as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future and Star Wars has an ARR of 95 days.
The month concludes on Nov. 26 with the DVD release of Danish filmmaker Martin Zandvliet’s Applause, starring Paprika Steen as has-been actress Thea Barfoed, who must now confront the damage she’s done to her life and relationships after a prolong period of alcoholism in her attempt to resurrect her career.

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