Friday, January 10, 2014

Paramount Home Media Distribution Brings I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season One To Blu-ray On Apr. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lucy turns Blu on Apr. 8!   That’s the street date that Paramount Home Media Distribution has selected for the Blu-ray debut of I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season One.

Spread over six-discs are all 35 episodes from the 1951/52 debut season of what is arguably one of the best television sitcoms ever produced.   Plus the original (unaired) pilot for the show has been restored from the original 35mm film elements and will be presented in color.

Other bonus goodies include home movies from the set (also in color) and wardrobe and makeup test for both Lucile Ball and Desi Arnaz.

Another vintage TV series heading to Blu-ray on Apr. 8 is The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete First Season.   The four-disc set features all 32 episodes complete with the original broadcast sponsor openings and signoffs.

In other TV series release news from Paramount, Star Trek Enterprise: The Complete Fourth Season (and a complete series box set) is slated for a six-disc Blu-ray release on Apr. 8, plus a double-disc DVD SKU of Californication: The Sixth Season will be available on Mar. 25.

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

Ariztical Entertainment's The Happy Sad Debuts On DVD On Mar. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Ariztical Entertainment has set a long lead for the DVD debut (Mar. 18) of director Rodney Evans’ film adaptation of Ken Urban’s stage play, The Happy Sad.

It is a smart move for a smart film that got its launch early last summer at the Frameline Film Festival and was then followed by a series of limited one-off theatrical engagements around the country … which is not all that uncommon for independently-produced films of this ilk.   You make it, you live it … and you get out and work it.  Ariztical is taking plenty of time to bang the promotional drums and “work it.”

The ARR works out to a leisurely 214 days and reported box office receipts thus far tally $8,395.

Filmmaker Rodney Evans has delivered an interesting romantic-drama about the interaction of two seemingly unrelated New York City couples — upwardly -mobile at that — who find, through the decisions they make, unexpected complications entering their staid little worlds.

What makes Evans approach to the subject even more compelling is that he not only knows his craft from the POV of the hands-on production side of it, but he also teaches the art as a professor with the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University.   He knows his stuff and it shows.

Aaron (Charlie Barnett) and Marcus (Leroy McClain) have been in a relationship for going on six years.   Now this should be a big red flag for just how stable that relationship is when suddenly Aaron suggests that they “explore” other opportunities, but still be a couple.   How does that work?

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sure enough, Marcus takes his partner up on that not so little suggestion and hooks up with Stan (Cameron Scoggins) for an afternoon encounter.   Now Stan — who we discover swings both ways — is actually dating a young woman named Annie (Sorel Carradine), who, as it turns out is frustrated to no end with where their relationship is going. 

She turns to her friend Mandy (Maria Dizzia) for a little advice and ends up being seduced by her friend.  Throw in a blind date with a reality show producer named Dave (Michael Nathanson) and even Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice couldn’t keep up with all of the assorted romantic encounters.

When Aaron discovers that Marcus has been “cheating” on him (hello, wasn’t it Aaron who started this all in the first place?) all hell breaks loose.   

So how does this all work out … unless you are lucky enough to catch a screening of the film you will just have to wait until the Ariztical Entertainment DVD streets on Mar. 18.  Love, sex and relationships, that’s what The Happy Sad is all about.

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

Mill Creek Entertainment Announces Massive February 2014 Home Entertainment Release Wave

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment announced this past week a three-wave release package of priced to sell DVDs for delivery during the month of February.   All SKUs carry an SRP of just $9.98 each (and that’s before discounts at retail).

Kicking off this hit parade on Feb. 4 is the double-disc, six film collection featuring those comedy greats, The Three Stooges.   Included in the mix — and remember this collectible is priced at just $9.98 — are four films featuring Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Joe DeRita as Curly-Joe: Have Rocket Will Travel (1959), The Three Stooges Meet Hercules (1962, with Samson Burke as Hercules), Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze (1963) and The Outlaws is Coming (1965, co-stars Adam West, Henry Gibson and Nancy Kovack).

The other two films in the collection star Moe Howard and Larry Fine, with Curly Howard as Curly: Rockin' in the Rockies (1945) and Time Out for Rhythm (1941, with Rudy Vallee and Ann Miller).

Also on Feb. 4 are The Ellen Show: The Complete Series (a double-disc collection) and The Tick: The Entire Series.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySkipping ahead to street-date Tuesday, Feb. 18, Mill Creek Entertainment has two separate six-SKU religious-themed series ready for consumers to select from.  The Biblical Collector’s Series features two separate documentaries on each $9.98-priced DVD release (approximately two hours per set).   For example, “Biblical End Times” is teamed with “Biblical Prophecies,” while “Biblical Rapture” finds “Biblical Armageddon” as its companion.

The other series — also a six-SKU array — is titled Miracles Around Us and focuses on such subjects as “Amazing Visions,” “Angels Among Us,” “Answered Prayers,” “Finding Faith,” “Guardian Angels” and “Saved by the Light.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out Feb. 18 selection of new DVD releases is director John Irvin’s 1999 mini-series Noah's Ark, starring Jon Voight, Mary Steenburgen, F. Murray Abraham and Carol Kane and the two documentary collection titled Noah's Ark Reveal (featuring Noah’s Ark and the Biblical Flood along with The Incredible Discovery of Noah’s Ark).

Feb. 25 brings DVD and Blu-ray editions of the six part series titled Lawmen of the Old West and the double-disc DVD release of 20th Century Timeline.

For more information on the February release slate — or other price-to-own Mill Creek Entertainment DVD and Blu-ray production — visit the company’s website at

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

Well Go U.S.A.'s The Truth About Emanuel On DVD This Coming Mar. 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Come Mar. 25 home entertainment consumers will be confronted with a film title that could pass as yet another sorry sequel to, or rip-off of, director Just Jaeckin’s 1974 erotic tale starring Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle.   

The film, of course, was simply titled Emmanuelle, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from making sequels and spin-offs — with various spellings on the name — to point where even the most ardent of Emmanuelle affectionados have long since given up caring about such things.

Thankfully, The Truth About Emanuel is not even remotely related to this sub-genre of films.   Well Go U.S.A. has captured writer/director Francesca Gregorini’s film distribution in the domestic market and announced this past week that DVD and Blu-ray editions are planned for Mar. 25.

The film debuted at Sundance last January and worked the festival circuit throughout 2013 … racking up awards along the way, including honors for director Francesca Gregorini (only her second film … the first being the 2009 release of Tanner Hall) and her cinematographer, Polly Morgan.   A limited theatrical break is planned for Jan. 14 to help raise further awareness for the home entertainment launch.

Kaya Scordelario (perhaps best known as Effy in the TV series Skins) is Emanuel, a SoCal teen who is basically a temper-tantrum brat with a gutter mouth who gives her father Dennis (Alfred Molina) and stepmother Janice (Frances O’Connor) the full force of her wrath.   

And why?   Because her mom died giving birth to her and she hasn’t been able to move beyond it.  Being a teenager, you would have thought that she might have other things to obsess on by now.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Things change — dramatically — when Linda (played by Jessica Biel), a single working mom with an infant, moves in next door.   She bears, in Emanuel’s mind, a striking resemblance to her dead mom and this flips the prickly teen into a “sugar and spice” fantasy mode with offers of babysitting and help with chores for her new neighbor.

Perhaps this is what she needs, something of a cathartic break from the past!   However, when you toss in a few secrets here and there and then mix in the sexual (dating) awakenings of a teenage girl — who has become fixated on her neighbor as the image of her long dead mother — you can only imagine that her “break” will not be in the normal sense.   

With top-notch acting from the leads, especially Scordelario, sure-handed direction and writing from Gregorini and technical aspects that belie the film’s production budget, this taut thriller — The Truth About Emanuel — should be high-up on everyone’s must-see list come Mar. 25.

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

2 Jacks Heads To DVD On Feb. 11 Courtesy Of Breaking Glass Pictures

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Breaking Glass Pictures has tabbed Feb. 11 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Bernard Rose’s 2 Jacks, a generational tale about the inner-workings of show business in Hollywood with a Tolstoy twist.

The knee-jerk is: Wow, what a cast Rose has assembled for this indie production.  It looks to be a budget-buster.

Danny Huston (son of John Huston and grandson of Walter Huston and accomplished actor in his own right — 21 Grams, The Constant Gardener, The Proposition, etc.) and Jack Huston (Danny’s nephew, who is perhaps best known as Richard Harrow in the Boardwalk Empire cable series — although you might not recognize him here … also in American Hustle, which is just opening) as father and son for starters.

Add in Jacqueline Bisset and Sienna Miller, who play the same character at different points in time, plus Billy Zane, Richard Portnow, Jamie Harris (son of Richard Harris) and the exotic Izabella Miko (among others) and you begin to suspect that they are friends and friends-of-friends who joined the production based on Rose’s clever script adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic 1856 short story, “Two Hussars.”

If this isn’t enough to attract you to this Breaking Glass Pictures release, then simply check out the producer credits and therein could be the secret as to how this indie was assembled.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Actress-turned-film producer Julia Verdin, who is building quite the resume as a filmmaker, reached out, networked and did what any good producer would do … she begged, she cajoled and she said “please.”   She delivered a winner.

The opening introduces us to Danny Huston as Jack Hussar, Sr., a filmmaker with a track record who has seen better days — the gambling, drinking and womanizing have all taken a toll.  He’s on the hustle to make a new film, but lacks the financing and some of his connections have distinctly turned cold (bridges burned, so to speak).   Through all of this he still manages to make time for the seduction of a young beauty named Diana (Sienna Miller), which becomes an important plot element. 

After this sequence is played out, the film jumps ahead some 20 years and we are introduced to his son, Jack Hussar, Jr. (Jack Huston), who is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps, but we soon suspect that he may have the intelligence, but not the savoir-faire to accomplish what his father did.

After all, getting a film made in Hollywood is, and always has been, one part talent and one part “the art of the deal.”   2 Jacks focuses, quite nicely, on the latter.
Bonus features on the 2 Jacks DVD release include a behind-the-scenes production featurette and footage selected from various film festival Q&A sessions. 

Indican Pictures Tabs Feb. 11 For The DVD Release Of Director Jim Klock's Murder Eleven

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Just when you thought that it could not possibly get any worse for Atlantic City — hurricane, fires and more — along comes writer/director Jim Klock’s Murder Eleven, the story of a serial killer named Richard (also played by Klock), who is stalking the streets of this storied city with ten victims already under his belt.

It is due out on DVD from Indican Pictures on Feb. 11.

Hot on his trail are two detectives — Mayfield (Michael Mack) and Jesse (Richard Reid) — desperate to catch him before he claims his eleventh.   His trophies have been hookers, so there’s not much in the way of resources being brought to the case … in other words, they are pretty much on their own.

Now just when you are thinking that Murder Eleven is going to be reduced down to some nut job with mommy issues or something do with being bullied as a school kid, which we’ve seen ad nauseum, filmmaker Jim Klock throws in a couple of twists — one (not to be revealed here) of which comes completely out of left field and leaves you wondering about all of those for better or worse “relationships.”  
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Richard’s latest “house guest” is Katey (Autumn Federici), a prostitute with drug issues who probably won’t be missed.  She becomes the central focus of the story as Mayfield and Jesse literally race against the clock to crack the case.

One last thing, Julienne Irons co-stars as Samantha, her character, along with the sleuthing work of the two detectives, really sets Murder Eleven apart from your typical spree-killer genre flick.

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

Warner Home Video Begins 2014 With Extensive DVD And Blu-ray Catalog Push

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Home Video wasted no time at the start of 2014 to pepper its DVD and Blu-ray release calendar with a slew of new product offerings.

In chronological order we need to look no further than Jan. 14 for the arrival of Fibber McGee and Molly Double Feature, which features the comedy duo in Here We Go Again and Heavenly Days.   The following week, Jan. 21, there are two Western-themed collections being made available, Kirby Grant and Chinook Adventure Triple Feature, Volume 2 (a three-film collection that includes: The Wolf Hunters, Snow Dog and Call of the Klondike) and the Monogram Cowboy Collection #7 (nine vintage B-Westerns from the Poverty Row” studio spread over three discs: Trigger Fingers, Whistling Hills, Man from the Black Hills, Saddle Serenade, Across the Rio Grande, Gunslingers, Silver Raiders, Arizona Territory and Lawless Cowboys).

On Mar. 25 is the latest animated Scooby-Doo! feature film — available on both DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) — Scooby-Doo! WrestleMania Mystery.

Getting a Blu-ray push on Apr. 15 are Rock Star and Vanilla Sky … the following week, Apr. 22, look for five action flicks making their debut as hi-def product offerings: Conspiracy Theory, Exit Wounds, Get Carter (with Michael Caine), Get Carter (Sly Stallone remake) and Torque.

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

Thor: The Dark World Ready For The Home Entertainment Market Place On Feb. 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has discovered the secret to marketing new DVD and Blu-ray releases.   Gather around and learn … you will be amazed!!!

It’s simple.  It’s eloquent.  And their stockholders must absolutely love it (along with their cheering over this year’s Razzie Award frontrunner).  The secret is: Do as little as possible … their films simply sell themselves.   They are, after all, Disney.

That’s being a little harsh, but the studio does have this tradition of believing that because they are Disney there is little that needs to be done beyond the waving of a magical wand (or would that be the Royal Wave?) when it comes to setting street dates for their products (and everything that follows after that).   

They simply slap old Walt’s name on it and their job is done.   Sales, marketing and publicity are just afterthoughts ... and they never give a whip about the competition.

The studio is in that mode right now.   Been that way for a few months.  Maybe they will wake up and snap out of it, or maybe they won’t.   So why are they sleepwalking their new product announcements right now?   The answer is simple … they are DISNEY!

The latest example in this head-in-the-clouds product launch (or, perhaps, anatomically elsewhere) is the recent theatrical hit from Marvel, Thor: The Dark World.  It is heading to the home entertainment market place as a three-SKU product offering on Feb. 25 — single-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions, plus a 3D/2D/DVD Combo Pack (which also features Digital Copy), but their PR people are giving every indication that they will not be supporting it.

For the record, the ARR is 109 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at a hefty $202.4 million.   You would think that with that magnitude of box office success those collecting paychecks over at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment would at least go through the motions in promoting their home entertainment releases.   

As to bonus features, in addition to a gag reel and deleted scenes, director Alan Taylor and producer Kevin Feige will be providing commentary … they are joined by cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau and actor Tom Hiddleston.

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

Thursday, January 9, 2014

John Wayne: Bigger Than Life DVD Collection From Film Chest On Jan. 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Film Chest announced this past week that a three-disc DVD collector’s set containing over seven hours of film material honoring screen legend John Wayne will be available on Jan. 28.  

Titled John Wayne: Bigger Than Life, the collection begins with director Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1963 Western, McLintock!, which teams John Wayne with Maureen O'Hara, Stefanie Powers and Patrick Wayne, plus an impressive array of co-stars that includes Chill Wills, Edgar Buchanan, Strother Martin and Yvonne De Carlo.

There are also three documentary feature films, The American West of John Ford, No Substitute for Victory and John Wayne: Bigger Than Life, plus some vintage television guest appearances, including People are Funny, The Colegate Comedy Hour and The Lucy Show.    

And more, including the 1958 television series episode, Wide Wide World: The Western.

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

It's Better To Jump Documentary On DVD From Cinema Libre Jan. 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Symbols can be powerful things.   Such is the subject of Cinema Libre’s Jan. 28 DVD debut of documentary filmmakers Gina Angelone, Patrick Stewart and Mouna Stewart’s It’s Better to Jump.

In the northern most reaches of Israel is the ancient city of Acre or Akka (Arabic), which has been continuously occupied — plus conquered and re-conquered — for over 3,500 years.   It has been a literal crossroads of cultures — name a Mediterranean or Asia Minor power from antiquity and they’ve been and left their mark.   

The symbol that the filmmakers have used to describe the city — and it’s cultural diversity — is the remains of the ancient seawall, a massive structure that juts out into the Mediterranean.   

For the locals, despite signs that read “Do Not Jump,” it has become both a symbol of life and something of a rite of passage for many of those of Palestinian heritage.   It is a political statement as well as one of culture, religion and even of “resistance.”
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

It may seem a simple thing.  Even a dangerous thing to do, but as we discover from the people that we meet in It’s Better to Jump, this simple and dangerous thing — jumping into the unforgiving sea — has great meaning.

Bonus features include additional interviews not used in the final cut of the documentary.

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 
For More Information On This Cinema Libre DVD Release - Click Here:  It's Better To Jump

Mad About Men Comedy Romp Heads To DVD From VCI Entertainment On Apr. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Two words: Gleynis Johns.   She returns as Miranda — the lovely, but oh so seductive mermaid from the 1948 film of the same title — on Apr. 8 when VCI Entertainment brings the DVD debut of director Ralph Thomas’ glorious Technicolor comedy, Mad About Men, to the home entertainment market place.

She pulls double-duty here as both the mermaid Miranda, who meets her look-alike “relative” Caroline, and in short order the two come up with a clever plan to switch places for a fortnight.   Caroline feigns an accident that will leave her wheel chair-bound (the blanket to disguise Miranda’s true features) and goes off on a bike trek to get away from it all.

With Miranda back among men, she wastes little time creating chaos.  Her first target is Caroline’s fiance Ronald (Peter Martyn), a dislikable public works bureaucrat, who has been dumping garbage into Miranda’s ocean.   She’ll fix that!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Once she gets rolling no man is safe.  Included in her flirtations is Colonel Barclay Sutton (Nicholas Phipps), the amore of the stuffy Barbara (Anne Crawford), who begins plotting an elaborate revenge on “Caroline” (that is sure to backfire).   Jeff (Donald Sinden) also becomes a target, which drives Ronald, who can’t figure what has gone wrong with his marriage plans, absolutely crazy.

Mad About Men is a terrific comedy, with a nifty twist ending — not to be revealed here — plus the iconic “Miss Marple,” Margaret Rutherford is on hand in a key comedic role. 

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

Green Apple Entertainment Says That It Is Surf Party Time On Mar. 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Green Apple Entertainment has tabbed Mar. 4 as the DVD debut date for National Lampoon’s latest film comedy about surfing, sun, babes and beer from filmmaker Sam Pillsbury, which is appropriately titled, Surf Party.

It’s Ventura (all shot on location) and the summer of 1984 with Khan Chittenden starring as J.D., a college-bound surfer, whose only concern right at the moment is the surf, the sun and having a good time with the local beach girls.   The books can wait until the Labor Day weekend arrives!

The local “Moondoggie” (borrowing from that 1959 surfing classic, Gidget), who provides surfing wisdom, life lessons, etc., is Mooney (played to perfection by Matthew Lillard), an aging surfer who has designed a state-of-the-art board for J.D..   It quickly becomes the center of the film, when after a few choice rides, it is stolen by a rival surfer from the Valley (the San Fernando Valley that is).   

Of course this macguffin becomes the excuse for a road movie — and all that goes with it — that involves J.D. recruiting his friends to get his ride back.   Since John “J. D.” Drury provided the script, we suspect that the underpinnings of the story might be grounded in an actual experience (embellished of course and over-layered with the National Lampoon brand).   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Surf Party is a fun diversion that has the requisite T&A, surf-culture silliness, a sweet soundtrack and some nice surprises — Joan Jett doing a cool bit as a burned out beach bum whose sharp eye sets J.D. on the right track in getting the iconic board back!

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