Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Wolfe Video Selects Jan. 14 As The DVD Debut Date For Director Joshua Sanchez's Four

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe Video has circled Jan. 14 on its release calendar for the DVD debut of director Joshua Sanchez’s award-winning film adaptation of Obie-winner Christopher Shinn’s stage play, Four.

This intense drama — a four-person character study that deals with sex, lies, relationships, duty and racial issues — has been opened up by Sanchez from its stage origins to good results and if anything the power of the inner-locking stories become even more so with the sultry surroundings of the July 4th weekend layered onto the proceedings.

Father and daughter, Joe (Wendell Pierce — Treme, The Wire) and Abigayle (Aja Naomi King), have their secrets.   Joe’s wife is ill and the weight of her care falls to his daughter … it is oppressive and painful.   She wants relief … and he wants out.

He escapes through his work, while she takes flight — on this particular day — into a relationship with a young man named Dexter (E.J. Bonilla), whose school day’s fame has faded into a blur of drugs … it is not a wise choice on her part, but it does offer her something very different from the day-in and day-out drudgeries of being a caregiver.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The fourth member of this little group is June (Emory Cohen), a younger man conflicted in his sexual identity, whom Joe met online and has impulsively set up a meeting with.  An older black man — married as well — hooking up with a white “boy” has all the makings of an encounter that could quickly spiral out of control.  

As these two “escapes” develop over the course of this summer’s evening we witness emotions that are laid bare, secrets that are revealed and choices that are made.   The result … Four is absolutely mesmerizing. 

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Joshua Sanchez 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
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Joanie Loves Chachi: The Complete Series From Paramount Home Media Distribution On Feb. 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution announced this past week that the Happy Days spin-off, Joanie Loves Chachi: The Complete Series, will be making its long-awaited home entertainment debut on Feb. 4.

This comedy series, starring Erin Moran as Joanie Cunningham (sister of Richie) and Scott Baio as Chachi Arcola (Fonzie’s cousin), could almost be called a mini-series since it ran just 17 episodes (1982/1983) and both characters rejoined the Happy Days sitcom when the network dropped the show.    

The only bonus feature is a gag reel.

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

Writer/Director Cody Calahan's Antisocial On DVD From Breaking Glass Pictures On Jan. 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Breaking Glass Pictures will open its 2014 release campaign on Jan. 28 with the DVD debut of writer/director Cody Calahan’s social commentary and end-times horror film,  Antisocial.

So what causes seemingly ordinary people to turn into homicidal zombie-like maniacs? Eager to snatch-up the nearest sharp object and cut up their closest friends into little bity pieces?  

The signs are everywhere that this forthcoming zombie plague is of our own making and the causes are literally right in front of us.  That’s more or less the premise of Calahan’s claustrophobic apocalypse thriller (with a message of course).

A fun New Year’s Eve party brings Samantha (Michelle Mylett), her boyfriend Mark (Cody Ray Thompson) and a trio of their college friends together (for genre fans, this is the victim pool), but before the celebration can get into full swing they learn that some sort of virus or plague has broken out and unthinkable violence is running unchecked throughout the land … they are advised to remain calm and lock themselves in until it can be sorted out.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
What they don’t realize — until it is too late — is that the social media devices that they are hooked on are triggering the plague-like symptoms.   Let us just hope the power goes out or it is going to be one hell of a New Year’s party!!!

Bonus nuggets include interviews with the cast and crew, plus footage from the film’s debut in Toronto.

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

VCI Entertainment Opens 2014 On Jan. 7 With The Jerry Warren Collection Volume Two

DVD & Blui-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment will open 2014 on Jan. 7 with a genre fan’s dream … three horror vault treasures from cult filmmaker Jerry Warren.

Titled Jerry Warren Collection, Volume Two (the first collection streets on Dec. 10), we kick off the chills with horror veterans Lon Chaney, Jr. and John Carradine teaming in the 1965 warlock and werewolf battle, House of the Black Death (aka: Blood of the Man Beast).

According to legend, director Harold Daniels began the film, but wasn’t able to complete it to the satisfaction of the producers.   Enter Warren, who looked at what he, shot some connecting sequences and voila House of the Black Death was ready for its theatrical rollout.   This would help explain why Chaney and Carradine — much like Bette Davis and Paul Muni in Juarez — star in the same film, but never appear together on screen.

Another film that Warren “pieced together” just so happens to be next up in this collection, Attack of the Mayan Mummy.   This appears to be — and perhaps the details are lost to time — a blend of Mexican filmmaker Rafael Portillo’s 1957 La Momia Azteca and footage cobbled together by Warren (the story unfolds in a series of flashbacks featuring Rosa Arenas as “Ann Taylor”).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyRounding out this delectable trio of film classics in Creature of the Walking Dead.  Of the trio, this 1965 film (written and directed by Jerry Warren) about a mad scientist — with a terrible and deadly secret — coming back from the dead is almost entirely of his own making (borrowed footage from Fernando Cortés’ La Marca del Muerto is minimal).

No one will ever mistake a film crafted by Jerry Warren for a Scorsese or a Spielberg entry, but you cannot deny that his work is fun and often very entertaining (often for the wrong reasons). 

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

Kino Lorber Tabs Jan. 28 For The DVD Debut Of The Coexist Comedy Tour

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Jan. 28 Kino Lorber will be asking the question, “When a Jew, a Christian, a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist, and an atheist walk into a bar … what in God’s name could possibly go wrong?”   The answer is laughs, lots of laughs … or as Foghorn J. Leghorn might have said in answer to the question, “It’s a joke, son.”

Filmmaker Larry Brand captures the on-stage comedy and behind-the-scenes “coexistence” perfectly with the feature-length comedy concert film, The Coexist Comedy Tour.  

This stand-up comedy concert/documentary stars Moshe Kasher (Jew), John Fugelsang (Christian), Tissa Hami (Muslim), Tapan Trivedi (Hindu), Sammy Obied (Buddhist) and Keith Lowell Jensen (atheist) ... their on-stage delivery is that of humor — not hate — and the gist of their routine is that they are in search of a funny Christian!!!

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

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy On DVD And Blu-ray From Image Entertainment On Jan. 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The documentary filmmaking duo of Andrew Kasch and Daniel Farrands will see their award-winning four-hour, multi-part homage to the iconic horror film franchise, A Nightmare on Elm Street, released on DVD and Blu-ray (both double-disc SKUs) courtesy of Image Entertainment on Jan. 21.   

Titled Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, series alumni Heather Langenkamp serves as our guide through the inner workings of the Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) slasher series (nine films in all) launched by director Wes Craven back in 1984.    

Any genre fan worth their salt, especially those who own the series on either DVD or Blu-ray, will be lined up early on Jan. 21 for this must-have addition to their horror, sci-fi and fantasy film collection.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus goodies include extended interviews, a collection of production and behind-the-scenes featurettes, which include “First Look: Heather Langenkamp's “I Am Nancy”,” “Fred Heads: The Ultimate Freddy Fans” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street in 10 Minutes.”

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

Oscilloscope Laboratories Says Feb. 4 For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume II: Come Back, Africa/Black Roots

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscilloscope Laboratories announced this past week that the Milestone Films release of The Films of Lionel Rogosin, Volume II: Come Back, Africa/Black Roots will be released on both DVD and Blu-ray as double-disc product offerings on Feb. 4.

Born of privilege, educated at Yale, a World War II vet and secure with a future in the family business, Lionel Rogosin became, instead, a social commentary filmmaker and legendary arthouse exhibitor.   

His first film, On the Bowery, (1956) received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary and he seemed to be on his way.   

For his next project he came up with a slight-of-hand deception and headed to South Africa to do a documentary on Apartheid.   It was 1959 and such a topic for a film project could land him in prison … or worse.   

So instead he did a government sanctioned film on the music of South Africa, which was nothing more than an excuse to film as much as he could in Sophiatown … included in his final product — which was an improvised dramatic tale featuring local artists — was a performance featuring future Grammy-winner and radical activist Miriam “Mama Africa” Makeba (married for a time to none other than Stokely Carmichael). 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The film, Come Back, Africa, went on to win the Critics Award, Venice Film Festival … it was, of course, banned in South Africa.  As a side note, he would use the film’s prestigious debut at the Venice Film Festival as an excuse to get Makeba out of the country (once the cat was out of the bag her passport was revoked and she was not able to return to South Africa until 1990).

Upon his return to the United Stated Rogosin acquired the famed Bleecker Street Cinema and spent the next 14 years showcasing the early works of such auteurs as Miloš Forman, Robert Downey, Sr. and Francis Ford Coppola.

Towards the end of this period (1970) he did Black Roots, a documentary (really a gathering) on the black experience for musicians in the United States.   The film, unseen in many years, is making its domestic DVD and Blu-ray debut as part of this package.

Bonus features include an introduction by Martin Scorsese, a vintage interview with filmmaker Lionel Rogosin, his son, Michael Rogosin’s 2007 feature-length documentary, An American in Sophiatown, and the short film, Bitter Sweet Stories.

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

Mill Creek Entertainment Expands January Release Slate With Seven $9.98 Double-Disc DVD Sets

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment added to its already busy January release schedule with a seven-strong array of priced-to-move DVD collections that will be headed to retailers on Jan. 28.

All of these double-disc product offerings are priced at just $9.98 each (and that’s before discounts at retail).   Leading the way are four separate double-disc SKUs containing eight films each — more often than not any one of the eight films included in the mix are worth the $9.98 price all on their own.   

For example, Chick Flicks includes writer/director Joseph Brooks’ 1977 sleeper hit, You Light Up My Life (starring Didi Conn, Melanie Mayron and Joe Silver), director Paul Mazursky’s 1984 comedy starring Robin Williams and Maria Conchita Alonso, Moscow on the Hudson and Sarah Jessica Parker in director Eric Schaeffer’s 1996 romantic comedy If Lucy Fell.   For fans (and collectors) any of these three films would easily justify a $9.98 purchase … but you get all three and five more to boot for the same price!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn addition to these eight-film sets, there are also two six-film SKUs — British Cinema Showcase and Tear Jerkers — the former includes Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (with Shirley Henderson and Robert Carlyle), while the latter showcases the likes of Swept Away (with Madonna), To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday (with Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer and Peter Gallagher) and Avalon (directed by Barry Levinson).

Lastly, documentary filmmaker Frank Martin’s five-part documentary hosted by Halle Berry, For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots, will be available as part of this Jan. 28 release package as a double-disc DVD set for just $9.98.

See page 10 in this week's edition of the DVD & Blu-ray Release Report for a complete listing of all films included in these double-disc sets.  Or, visit Mill Creek Entertainment’s website at http://www.millcreekent.com for more details on these — and other — priced to own collectibles.

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