Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A.C.O.D. On DVD And Blu-ray From Paramount Home Media Distribution This Coming Jan. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution has snapped-up the Film Arcade theatrical release of writer/director Stu Zicherman’s laugh-out-loud broadside at the world of divorce, A.C.O.D. — due out on DVD and Blu-ray (with UltraViolet) on Jan. 14.   The ARR for this indie comedy release is 102 days and the box office tally was an under-appreciated $172,344.

If you are a fan of the ensemble work of Christopher Guest and his troop of cohorts (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, etc.), then Zicherman’s focus here on the subject of “Adult Children of Divorce” will be very much to your liking.   He even has a little troop of his own with TV’s Parks and Recreation co-stars Amy Poehler and Adam Scott in starring roles here.

Carter (Scott) doesn’t know that he has any deep-seated psychological issues stemming from the divorce of his parents (played perfectly by Richard Jenkins and Catherine O’Hara) until everything starts to innocently unravel when he agrees to help his younger brother Trey (Clark Duke — as Marty in the two Kick-Ass films) with his spur-of-the-moment wedding (Clark Duke as a would-be groom is a visual worth the price of admission alone).  

Carter’s task is to get their parents to attend — who are both now remarried — and to keep them from shedding any blood (which turns out to be the least of his worries).   To help him get through this, Carter turns to his childhood therapist (a spot-on performance by Jane Lynch — Emmy and Golden Globe winner for her role in the Glee TV series) for help.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On the surface that seems like a reasonable, even thoughtful, course of action for him.  After all, she helped him get though some pretty tough times as a kid.   But “Dr. Judith” has a confession to make, she was never really a therapist, but was researching a self-help book on “A.C.O.D.” and, well, he’s a big part of her success (sure, she changed his name in her best-seller, but it doesn’t take long for everyone to figure out who “Rick” is) … and we are only getting warmed up!

This is easily the most over-looked comedy of 2013 … and certainly one of the funniest!!!
Bonus features include outtakes featuring Amy Poehler, a “discussion” with the cast and crew and a half-dozen A.C.O.D. public service announcements.

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

Virgil Films And Entertainment's Autumn Blood Ready For DVD On Jan. 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Virgil Films & Entertainment has something of a sleeper release in inventory for early in 2014.   This would be writer/director Markus Blunder’s festival-winning “horror” tale, Autumn Blood.   

The street date for the domestic DVD debut is Jan. 28.

When a teenage girl (Sophie Lowe) finds herself orphaned — as the result of the death of her mother — she takes it upon herself to care for her ten year-old brother and carry on with life as normal in their remote mountain pasture home.

But the scent of the young woman, figuratively speaking, is too much for some of the local town toughs to simply ignore and so three of them pay her a visit.  A brutal visit!!

Autumn Blood combines the lyrical beauty of The Sound of Music with the intensity of Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs. The brutality of some and the well-meaning nature of others are set aside as innocence is shattered, the tranquility of the mountains destroyed and the basics of human survival become simply a matter of life and death.   

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

The Criterion Collection Sets Seven-Strong February 2014 Release Slate

The Criterion Collection, with sales and distribution support provided by Image Entertainment, has announced a seven-strong release package for delivery during Feb. of 2014.   

Let’s get right to it … in chronological order we start off the first street-date Tuesday of the month (Feb. 5) with the newly re-mastered Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of famed auteur filmmaker François Truffaut’s 1962 New Wave masterpiece, Jules et Jim.

Bonus features include two vintage commentary options —one teams film scholar Annette Insdorf with Truffaut, film editor Claudine Bouché and Jean Gruault, while the other has Truffaut biographer Serge Toubiana teamed with the film’s star, Jeanne Moreau.  

The following week, Feb. 11, marks the domestic DVD and Blu-ray debut of actor-turned-director Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d'Or-winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Blue is the Warmest Color.

Clocking in at three hours, Criterion is doing something a little different for their brand with this one.  They are bringing the film to market as no-frills DVD and separate Blu-ray editions … perhaps timed to take advantage of awards-season hype.  A special edition is promised sometime later in 2014.

For the record the ARR is 109 days and the current box office haul (mainly arthouse venues) currently stands at an impressive $746,428.

On Feb. 18 the latest Alfred Hitchcock remastered film presentation will be getting a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack push from the Criterion Collection.   This time it is his 1940 spy thriller, Foreign Correspondent, starring Joel McCrea, Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall and George Sanders.

Bonus goodies include a visual effects featurette hosted by f/x expert Craig Barron (Oscar-winner for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), a featurette titled “Hollywood Propaganda and World War II, a vintage interview with Hitchcock (circa 1972) and a radio adaptation of the film with Joseph Cotten (circa 1946).

Also streeting on Feb. 18 as a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack is director Wes Anderson’s 2009 film adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel, Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Bonus features here include commentary from Anderson, puppet animation tests and behind-the-scenes footage of the various actors voicing their puppet characters.

We finish up the month on Feb. 25 with the double-feature Blu-ray/double-disc DVD Combo Pack edition of director Steven Soderbergh’s King of the Hill (1993) and The Underneath (1995).   Included in the package are newly minted interviews with Soderbergh and auther A. E. Hotchner and the video essay titled “Against Tyranny.”

Also heading to retail on Feb. 25 is auteur filmmaker Roman Polanski’s 1979 Best Picture nominee, Tess (he was also nominated Best Director).  The film has been digitally restored by Criterion and will be released as a Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack.

Bonus features include a trio of featurettes, the 2006 feature-length documentary title Once Upon a Time … Tess, a vintage Polanski interview and French TV behind-the-scenes documentary filmed during the making of Tess.

Lastly, Feb. 25 also marks the release date for a restored Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack release of New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 feature film debut, Breathless (with a script proved by none other than François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol).

Bonus features include vintage interview, the 1959 short film, Charlotte et son Jules and the 1993 feature-length documentary, Chambre 12, Hôtel de Suède.

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

The Invoking From Image Entertainment On Feb. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Image Entertainment announced this past week that director Jeremy Berg’s award-winning demonic haunted house chiller, The Invoking, will be getting a DVD launch on Feb. 18.

You know that old saw about never looking a gift horse in the mouth … does that also apply to houses?   For ginger-hair beauty Samantha (Trin Miller — Distant Beats, Break, etc.) perhaps it should be “never open the door and go inside a gift house.”  

With a backstory that only comes into focus as the film progresses, we are introduced to “Sam” and her trio of college friends as they set out to explore a remote track of land, complete with house, that her “aunt” left her.   For traditionalists this quartet of young couples is the “victim pool,” but before you start laying wagers as to who will be the first victim you might take a closer look at Sam … especially as she quickly comes unglued under the influence of her surroundings.

Bonus features include two separate commentary options — one featuring writer/director Jeremy Berg, who is joined by co-writer and co-producer John Portanova and co-producer Matt Medisch, while the second includes a trio of the film’s stars, Trin Miller, D’Angelo Midili and Andi Norris — 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

Oscilloscope Laboratories Selects Feb. 11 As The DVD Debut Date For The Human Scale

Is Detroit the future of the world’s cities?   Dying … rotten at the core.  Or, are there solutions to congestion and over-crowding that not only make the cities of the future compelling and livable, but structurally different from the automobile-dominated grid layouts of today.  That’s the topic explored by Danish architect and writer Jan Gehl in documentary filmmaker Andreas Dalsgaard’s The Human Scale.
Oscilloscope Laboratories announced this past week that the Kimstim produced-documentary will be released on DVD on Feb. 11, 2014.  The ARR is 116 days and the box office tally from the film’s showcase arthouse run is $6,878.

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

Riddick On DVD And Blu-ray From Universal Studios Home Entertainment On Jan. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Riddick, the third installment in the “Chronicles of Riddick” sci-fi saga, will be heading to the home entertainment market place on Jan. 14 as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions (with UltraViolet) courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment.   The ARR for this Vin Diesel thriller (more akin to the original Pitch Black in feel and texture) comes in at 130 days and the box office take was right at $42 million.

Bonus goodies include a “motion comic” titled “Riddick: Blindsided” and a pair of featurettes.   Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are three additional production featurettes, including one titled “The World Of Riddick.”

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

The Market For Non-English Language Films On DVD In The United States

All language is foreign to those who do not speak or understand the words being spoken.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

There are over 14,500 films available on DVD in the domestic market place where the language spoken is not English.   Overall the category of “Foreign Language” films accounts for 9.3 percent of all releases.   

Those are healthy numbers by any standard — roughly one in every eleven SKUs is released to DVD as a feature film in a language other than English.  Think about that … one out of every eleven DVD releases since the inception of the format.

We thought that it might be interesting to take a snapshot of where — throughout the world — these films are coming from.   The results, when broken down into major language groupings, are very intriguing.   

A few caveats and observations before delving into these release numbers.   

First, not all foreign language films released on DVD are represented here.   Nothing goes into the various tracking databases without dates (sometimes titles just magically appear), SRPs and a domestic source of distribution — a DVD release (NTSC standard) set to Region Zero can be distributed anywhere in the world, especially through internet sales.   Without a source, a release date and a price, it doesn’t exist.

To cut down on this chaos certain basics have to be met for a DVD release to be counted … it is not rocket science, but some entities — especially those operating in the categories of Religion, Special Interest and Foreign Language — seem to go out of their way to be obtuse.  It makes you wonder, is it a hobby or a business for them?

And if you think that just capturing new title data from Amazon.com gets you the majority of new arrivals on DVD you’d be mistaken.   That key source, while helpful, only represents half of the SKU count — across the board — each week.   

You should also consider this: Up until about 2005 most of the current recognized distributors of films released on DVD from the Indian subcontinent played whack-a-mole with pirates operating in the United States.   You would literally see more information about piracy complaints and legal battles than you would actually see as “legitimate” new DVD release information.    

Once they, collectively speaking, got organized and began to compete in the domestic market for sales of their films (which are often turned in 30 to 60 days after a theatrical break) the mix of product being offered in this category changed dramatically.

And don’t make assumptions that Spanish is the obvious language choice being so close to Mexico … after a flood of titles that began in 2003 — and peaked just two years later — the SKU counts have steadily dropped.   In 2005, for example, there were over 800 Spanish-language films released on DVD in the domestic market.  Last year, just 70!

We suspect that most Spanish-language speakers are availing themselves of the various DVD and Blu-ray language options for current “Hollywood” theatrical releases and are less concerned about so-called “homeland” productions.  The tracking numbers each week seem to point this … otherwise we would see a more robust Spanish-language release schedule to meet the demand.

Various sources list the number of foreign languages spoken on this planet at somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 (makes you wonder if anyone really knows).   However, for the world of home entertainment the top 20 languages account for 98.6 percent of all DVD releases.   It is a universe of haves and have-nots … those that express themselves in film and those that cannot … or in some cases, will not.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs you might suspect, European “Romance” languages (based on Latin) is the number one grouping with a 38.7 percent share.   The obvious players here are Spanish (Mexico, Spain and South America), French, Italian and Portuguese (chiefly from Brazil).

The Dravidian languages of Southern India (Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu) are next with 19.9 percent.   India, or “Bollywood” is nothing like the domestic market … there are five major languages competing for audiences.   

Of note, Hindi, which most American audiences would associate with films from India is not a Dravidian-based language — the country is divided north and south when it comes to languages spoken (interesting).

In third and fourth place with 10.2 and 9.9 percent respectively are Sino-Tibetan (mainly Cantonese and Mandarin) and Macro-Altaic (chiefly Japanese and Korean) languages.  

We then drop down to fifth and sixth place with 6.1 and 5.0 market shares — Madhya (Hindi) and Germanic (German, Swedish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Flemish
and even a couple of Afrikaans releases).

Slavic rounds out the top seven language groupings with a 3.3 percent release share — these include Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbian, Slovenian, Croatian, Bulgarian, etc.

These seven main groupings account for 93.1 percent of all Foreign Language category releases.   Again, there are the haves and have-nots when it comes to the production and commerce of feature films released where the language spoken is something other than English.