Monday, March 10, 2014

Eagle Rock Entertainment Celebrates Toto's 35th Anniversary On DVD And Blu-ray On Apr. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Eagle Rock Entertainment is teaming up with Toto for a three-SKU release of Toto: 35th Anniversary Tour – Live in Poland on Apr. 29.

Product offerings include a DVD edition, a stand-alone Blu-ray release and a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, which also features two bonus CDs of the concert plus a 60-page booklet.

Filmed at the Atlas Arena in Lodz, Poland in June of last year, this 21-song, two-hour (plus) rockfest included fan favorites “Hold the Line,” “Africa,” “Rosanna” and “Stop Loving You.”

Bonus goodies include unspecified “behind-the-scenes” content.

Toto will be on tour in Japan during April, a North American concert tour is planned during the summer and a new album release is on the calendar for early 2015.

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

Wolfe Selects May 6 As The DVD Debut Date For Writer/Director Doug Spearman's Hot Guys With Guns

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
When taking a class at the local junior college becomes reality and the bullets are real it’s time to run for cover!  

That’s what Danny (Marc Samuel, perhaps best known as Felix DuBois on Days of Our Lives, plus Model Minority) is faced with in writer/director Doug Spearman’s crime spree comedy, Hot Guys With Guns.  It is heading to DVD from Wolfe on May 6.   
The film has been working the festival circuit and a limited theatrical break is planned for early April to help raise awareness.

Danny is an actor who wants to land a career-making part on a TV real-life crime show, so he figures that a session of night classes for would-be private eyes is the perfect way to learn the jargon, procedures and the ins and outs of being a professional PI.   His instructor is none other than Jimmy Peppicelli (Alan Blumenfeld), a grizzled veteran of the peeper business and he spots in Danny all the talent necessary to become a real pro.    

One of the “homework” assignments that he assigns his star pupil is to shadow someone … Danny selects his old flame Patrick (Bryan McArdle), a pretty boy with a penchant for the party scene — his friends call him Pip.   In no time the assignment turns into the real deal when Pip reveals that he has been the victim of the “sex party bandits.”   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThis is a crew that is working the high profile gay party scene with a series of well-planned home invasion robberies.  The victims are keeping the police out it, for all sorts of reasons, and so it falls to Danny and Pip, with the help of Jimmy (who is not all that into the gay scene) to follow the clues and solve the mystery.

Hot Guys With Guns a fun outing and the finished product (technical aspects are all solid) belies the film’s budget … Bonus features include a blooper reel.

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 Please To Meet Me Arrives On DVD On May 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Louisville-based writer, director and producer Archie Borders was listening to NPR one day when Starlee Kine’s piece titled “Everyone Speaks Elton John.”   It was one of those “you won’t believe this” stories (but true) about a guy named Jon Langford (a real musician) who dug through the classified ads and put together a band from just those advertising.  

But it gets better, Langford pitched them on the idea that they would come together for one day, record Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and then go back to their lives.   That was more than enough for Borders, what a great metaphor for the often serendipitous life of musicians.  

That was ten years ago … it took awhile, but with the help of co-writer David Henry he fashioned a script based on Kine’s story (flushing out the backstories for his recruited musicians), put together the financing, recruited a hell of a cast and delivered Please to Meet Me.

Virgil Films & Entertainment has added Please to Meet Me to its May 20 DVD release calendar (already in place is American Made Movie).

Borders recruited established musicians and actors for one half of the cast members.  These include Aimee Mann (Oscar and Grammy nominations for her song, “Save Me,” from Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia), Grammy-winners Louden Wainwright III and Joe Henry and John Doe (who plays Jon Langford) founder of the punk rock band X (plus long-standing actor in his own right — Great Balls of Fire, Road House, Boogie Nights, etc.).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyHe then picked up some local acting talent (Timothy Morton, Adam Kramer and Katie O’Brien) and rounded out the cast with up-and-coming musicians — the lead singer of the band Over the Rhine, Karin Bergquist and actress Morgan Nagler (Bird, American Pie 2, etc.).

The result is electric.  Filmed on a tight schedule in and around Louisville, the recruited band members come together (as in Kine’s original story) for a one-shot recording session which is billed as an “experiment in musical purity” (whatever that is) … it is to be aired on a nationally syndicated radio show called “World Café,” if, and only if, they can pull it together.

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

Vinegar Syndrome Tabs Apr. 8 For A Restore Extended Cut Of Marilyn And The Senator

From the golden age of “adult” feature length films — which were actually shot on film — comes the Apr. 8 DVD debut from Vinegar Syndrome of a fully restored (from the original 35mm negatives), extended cut (“director’s cut”) of filmmaker Carlos Tobalina’s 1975 political seduction tale (think: Watergate), Marilyn and the Senator.

To put films of this era in context, you must see director Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights.   It is a must-see for students of film.   The transition from film to video and the implications that came with that transition are neatly chronicled.

The “porn” industry moved into the mainstream with the runaway success of Deep Throat in 1972 (but it was always there) and filmmakers working in the milieu shot on 35mm film and went beyond the “blue movies,” peaks and loops that defined the business over the years to include plot elements with some pretty descent technical support (lighting, sound, etc.).   

Theatre chains exhibited these films (Pussycat Theaters for those who remember them in SoCal are a prime example), legal battles were fought, stars were born … and HIV/AIDS was not on anyone’s radar (yet).   With the arrival of VHS, everything changed … 

Marilyn and the Senator, starring William Margold and Nina Fause is one of these golden age “porn” treasures.   An adult film with class … that may sound strange, but it is true.  With video and the internet anyone can be a porn star these days, but 40 years ago it was a very different world.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus features include commentary from star and adult-industry advocate William Margold.

Also on the Apr. 8 DVD release calendar from Vinegar Syndrome is the latest addition to its cultish “Drive-In Collection” series of double features — Drive In Collection: A Clockwork Blue/The Jekyll & Hyde Portfolio (two sexploitation classics from the early 1970s directed by Eric Jeffrey Haims) — plus director Eric Louzil’s 1987 women-in-prison thriller, Lust For Freedom, starring Melanie Coll.

Bonus features for film restoration of Lust For Freedom included a newly prepared video interview with legendary producer Lloyd Kaufman and commentary by director Eric Louzil (Class of Nuke 'Em High Part II: Subhumanoid Meltdown, Night of the Beast, Silent Fury, etc.).

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

Complete Animated Godzilla Series Heads To DVD From Mill Creek Entertainment On Apr. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
More monsters are on their way from Mill Creek Entertainment in April!

Last week we reported that Gamera would be getting the royal treatment on Apr. 29 with two Blu-ray collections (each featuring four films) and a massive 11-film DVD collection — all attractively priced for genre fans.   On Apr. 29 the fire-breathing turtle will be joined by the greatest Japanese monster of them all, Godzilla!

Planned for release as a four-disc DVD collection — and priced at just $9.98 — is Godzilla: The Complete Animated Series.   All 40 episodes (including two not aired) from the producers Roland Emmerich (a spinoff of his 1998 Godzilla remake starring Matthew Broderick) and Dean Devlin (Devlin co-scripted the 1998 theatrical remake with Emmerich) animated series are presented here.

Ian Ziering provides the voice for Dr. Niko "Nick" Tatopoulos (Broderick’s character in the film), who is joined by other voice actors that include Malcolm Danare, Rino Romano, Charity James and Brigitte Bako.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also added to the April release calendar for delivery on Apr. 15 as double-disc collections are The Cosby Show: Season Three and Cosby Show: Season Four.  The SRP is just $9.98 for each SKU or fans can purchase a promotional bundled two-pack which includes both seasons for just $14.98.

The same holds true for Married with Children: Season Three and Married with Children: Season Four, which are also being offered on Apr. 15 — $9.98 each or bundled at $14.98 for both.

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

Boss Status And Sideline Confessions From Urban Home Entertainment On Mar. 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Producer and filmmaker Marvin Watkins has teamed with Darius ‘Black’ Henderson to put together a 15-part tell-all documentary on the music business.   Titled Boss Status, hosted by Mack 10 and featuring some of the top names in Hip Hop and Rap — including Ice Cube, Snoop Lion, Faith Evans, Timbaland and more — it will be available on DVD from Urban Home Entertainment this coming Mar. 25.

The minefield of the music industry is covered with topics that include everything from lawyers, managers and contracts (all the ways you can get ripped off) to the actual recording, distribution and publishing aspects of the business … with special attention to downloads and bootlegging. 

Also heading to DVD on Mar. 25 from Urban Home Entertainment is writer/director LaShirl Smith’s Sideline Confessions a film adapation of  Jusbee Jones’ tell-all, “Confessions of the Twelfth Man,” combined with Smith’s own experiences as a publicist in the rough and tumble world of  sports and entertainment.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Candy Boudreaux (Frankie Blair — Jacob’s Eye) is a Dallas-based marketing executive who gets fixated on pro football player Eric Whitaker (Eric Window — The Ouija Experiment).    

He’s a “player” in every sense of the word, but she makes it her personal goal to “reform” him … it will not be an easy task with groupies (quick with the sexual favors), the over-the-top parties and all of the games that he’s learned to play (not just the one on the field).

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

Sophia Grace And Rosie's Royal Adventure From Warner Home Video On May 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director Brian Levant’s Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure will be making its DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack debut from Warner Home Video on May 20.

Cousins Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, the ten and seven year-old singing sensations of The Ellen Show — and potential heir apparent to the Olsen Twins — star in their own kid-friendly adventure.   Ellen DeGeneres sends them on assignment to the fictional land of Switzelvania as “special correspondents” to cover the coronation of the new queen!   

Bonus goodies for Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure include the featurette titled “Pink! Pink! Pink! The Story of Pink,” a music tribute “The Royal Music Jam: Laying Down The Beats with Sophia Grace & Rosie,” a blooper reel, outtakes and “Ellen’s Favorite Tea Times Moments.”

Also added to the release calendar this week is a Blu-ray rework of director Oliver Stone’s Alexander.   It arrives at retail on June 3 as Alexander: The Ultimate Cut (with UltraViolet), which will be the third version of the film — the theatrical release, a 2007 “Director’s Cut” and now “The Ultimate Cut.”    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
This is where Stone wanted the film to be when he originally conceived it, but contractual obligations demanded a finished theatrical release that came in under three hours and it also had to meet certain MPAA rating standards.   Those issues — those burdens — are no longer in play.

The double-dic Blu-ray SKU features both the original Theatrical Cut (it clocked in at two hours and 55 minutes), while the “The Ultimate Cut” runs some 31 minutes longer and includes an intermission. 

Bonus features include a newly-prepared documentary on the making of the film, which is titled “The Real Alexander and the World He Made,” plus Stone provides commentary on “The Ultimate Cut” and is joined by Ancient History Professor Robin Lane Fox for commentary on the original theatrical cut.   Additionally, there are five production featurettes — “Resurrecting Alexander,” “Perfect Is The Enemy of Good,” “The Death of Alexander,” “Vangelis Scores Alexander” and “Fight Against Time: Oliver Stone's Alexander by Sean Stone.”

Elsewhere on the new-to-DVD release calendar are five priced-to-move animated compilation collections being brought to market for just $9.98 each on Apr. 1 under the “And Friends“ promotional banner — these are: Batman and Friends, Bugs Bunny and Friends, Daffy Duck and Friends, Superman and Friends and Tweety Pie and Friends.

Lastly (for this week), two four-disc TV series collections will be ready for fans on June 10 … these are: Major Crimes: The Complete Second Season and Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fourth Season.

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. Tabs May 20 For The Blu-ray And DVD Launch Of Director Josh C. Waller's McCanick

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Glee star Cory Monteith’s final film performance was filmed and “in the can” when he died of a drug overdose in a Vancouver hotel room on a summer’s day last year … a promising career cut short.

The film in question is director Josh C. Waller’s taut police thriller, McCanick, which made its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival last September and has subsequently been picked up for domestic distribution by Well Go U.S.A.   A theatrical break is planned for Mar. 21, with Blu-ray and DVD editions following on May 20.

While the attention could well be focused on Monteith’s screen farewell, make no mistake about it this is David Morse’s film.   He’s the title character, Eugene "Mack" McCanick, a long-serving Philadelphia police detective who begins his day with some trepidation about an evening reunion with his estranged son.   As the events of the day unfold … those dinner plans will be the least of his worries.

He gets word that Simon Weeks (Monteith) has gotten an unannounced early release from prison.  This bit of news becomes the MacGuffin that sets the story in motion.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMcCanick flies into a rage at the news, especially when he learns that Weeks has been out and on the street for almost three months.   Your first knee-jerk reaction is, “why should it matter” … a seven year-old conviction, he’s been free for three months and any secrets the young Weeks might have had about McCanick’s involvement in his bust would have certainly long since been revealed to others.  Or, maybe not.
McCanick, with his partner, detective Intrator (Mike Vogel) in tow launches an obsessive, seemingly irrational search for the parole.   Every back alley; every drug den and just about every rat hole in Philly are given the once over in a desperate day-long search for Weeks and the secrets he possesses.   Get in the way of McCanick’s quest and you could be dead in a heartbeat … and that includes his partner!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs McCanick’s paranoia — and violence — increases Waller begins to reveal, through a series of flashbacks, the nature of Weeks’ crime and the relationship he had/has with the detective working the case.   Before day’s end the “issue” will be resolved one way or another.

No word just yet on any bonus features associated with the Blu-ray and DVD launch on May 20.

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

Remastered Fargo Available On Blu-ray From MGM Home Entertainment On Apr. 1

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Apr. 1, MGM Home Entertainment, with sales and distribution expertise provided by 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment, will be dishing out a hi-def, remastered Blu-ray edition of the Coen Brothers’ 1996 Best Picture nominee, Fargo.   

Bonus nuggets will include commentary from the director of photography Roger A. Deakins (nominated ten times for Oscars in the Best Cinematography category, including Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption, True Grit and Skyfall, but has yet to win), a trivia track and the featurette titled “Minnesota Nice.”

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