Monday, November 10, 2014

Paramount Home Media Distribution Says Jan. 13 For A DVD Release Of Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer: Mermaid Adventures Collection

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution teams with Nickelodeon on Jan. 13 for the release of Dora the Explorer: Mermaid Adventures Collection, a double-disc DVD presentation of six Dora the Explorer adventures … plus much more!

Included in this stellar assembly of Dora, Boots and friends adventures are: Dora Saves The Mermaids (complete with a singing clam), Fish Out Of Water (baby fish are trapped in a tide pool, so it is Dora and Boots to the rescue), Treasure Island (Dora and Boots are hot on the trail of Pirate Pig’s treasure), Dora’s Rescue in Mermaid Kingdom (can Dora and Boots get Maribel home safely?), Benny the Castaway (a mysterious message in a bottle launches this adventure) and Dora’s Moonlight Adventure (who knew that cat-sitting could be so much fun)!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features included in the Dora the Explorer: Mermaid Adventures Collection are a pair of music videos — “The Clean-Up Song” and a Yo Gabba Gabba! music video.

Arriving on Jan. 6, and timed to take advantage of the new SpongeBob movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (in theatres on Feb. 6) is the oddly-titled DVD release of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Pilot, A Mini Movie & The Squareshorts.

Included in this unique collection are the original 1999 pilot (runs about 12 minutes) SpongeBob SquarePants: Help Wanted, the 2009 “mini-movie,” SpongeBob SquarePants: Truth or Square and a collection of 40 shorts featuring everyone’s underwater hero, SpongeBob.

Kiss Me Kate Will Get A 3D Blu-ray Push On Mar. 3 Courtesy Of Waner Bros. Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It was a busy week for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on the announcement front … a trio of golden musicals heading to Blu-ray, a new Shaggy and Scooby-Doo! animated feature film and more, so let’s get to it.

Arriving on Mar. 3 will be newly-minted Blu-ray editions of director David Butler’s 1953 Oscar-winner for Best Song (“Secret Love”), Calamity Jane, starring Doris Day and Howard Keel; filmmaker Vincente Minnelli’s masterpiece of dance and music, The Band Wagon, teaming Cyd Charisse with Fred Astaire; and — saving the best for last — a 3D presentation of the musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew,” Kiss Me Kate … directed by George Sidney and starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson and Ann Miller.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThese three musical treasures will be available as individual Blu-ray SKUs or as elements in a four-film set that includes the recently released Blu-ray edition of Singin’ in the Rain.   It’s actually a pretty good deal … the SRP for the individual Blu-ray editions of Calamity Jane, The Band Wagon and Kiss Me Kate are $19.98 each, while the boxed set is just $34.99 (and you get Singin’ in the Rain as a bonus).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Feb. 10 the latest direct-to-video animated feature film starring Shaggy (voiced by Matthew Lillard) and everyone’s favorite K9 sleuth, Scooby-Doo! (voiced by Frank Welker), Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness, will be heading to DVD. 

Mindy Cohn returns as the voice of Velma and Grey DeLisle-Griffin will reprise the voice of Daphne, while former storyboard artist and storyboard director Paul McEvoy will be making his directorial debut here in this outer space adventure.  

Elsewhere, Jan. 13 marks the DVD debut of the animated series Steven Universe: Gem Glow, while Jan. 20 will see the next DVD edition of LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu - Rebooted, Fall of the Golden Master available at retail.

Well Go USA Has Selected Feb. 10 For The DVD And Blu-ray Debut Of Director Richard Gray's The Lookalike

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Once you go down this particular rabbit hole there will be no turning back.   Indeed, a miserable death is all but certain if you fail … but then, what does it matter since you are likely to be dead anyway.   Ahhh, go ahead, take the chance.

Here’s the set-up for director Richard Gray’s adrenaline-rush crime thriller, The Lookalike: Spinks (played by John Savage) is a drug kingpin and a stone cold killer who has one little kink in his armor …  a fetish (sexual in nature) for a trollop named Sadie.  It is their relationship with this beauty that has gotten brothers Joe (Jerry O’Connell) and Holt (Justin Long) on the inside of Spinks’ criminal empire, without her, they are just meat … dead meat.

They are poised to make the “big deal” with Spinks that will set them up, but on the very eve of this monster move their ticket, their bimbette ticket, ends up dead (literally, “lights out”).   She’s dead and so are they … unless they can come up with a “Hail Mary,” so to speak.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In the tradition of such films as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and Sexy Beast, Joe and Holt come up with a plan that is so complicated and unlikely to succeed that you can’t wait for the next thing to go wrong … and things do go wrong!   After all, when you mix in double-dealings (there is more going on here than just “their plan”), sex, police stings, drugs, the Big Easy and plenty of violence you would expect nothing less than a overload of twists, turns and surprises.   That’s The Lookalike in spades!

The plan seems simple enough, find a replacement for the dead Sadie just long enough to fool Spinks and make the deal.   Since the boys run in a “loser” circle, full of druggies and petty criminals, the choices seem pretty slim.   But there is one that has possibilities … and that would be Mila (Scottie Thompson).  
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

There are just a few things that boys need to work on.  First, she’s deaf.   Second, she’s missing a leg (seriously) … and third, she’s dying of some drug-induced disease (or is she?).   It is a piece of cake.

The Lookalike has some terrific action sequences, nice comedy touches and is populated by the likes of Steven Bauer, Luis Guzmán, John Corbett and Gina Gershon … the perfect action package.

The Lookalike will be making its DVD and Blu-ray debut on Feb. 10 courtesy of Well Go U.S.A.

VCI Entertainment Announces Its First Wave Of 2015 DVD Product Offerings

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment will open the New Year with some interesting DVD treats for film fans, collectors and those that are just plain curious.

During the Christmas holidays of 1939 Max Fleischer delivered the animated feature, Gulliver’s Travels (nominated for two Oscars) … it was a box office smash.  

One of the key characters was Gabby (voiced by Pinto Colvig, who also served as the voice of Goofy for Disney), the town crier who discovered the giant (Gulliver) in the forest on the outskirts of Lilliput.   Gabby was so popular that during October of the following year a series of eight Technicolor theatrical cartoons (animated short films) were launched (running through the summer of 1941).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Jan. 13, VCI Entertainment will deliver the complete series of all eight animated theatrical cartoons in the DVD release titled Max Fleischer's Gabby Cartoons Collection.   Included in the collection are Gabby Goes Fishing, Swing Cleaning, King for a Day, All's Well, Two for the Zoo, It's a Hap-Hap-Happy Day, Fire Cheese and The Constable … plus as a special bonus, Gulliver's Travels is also included in the package.

Also getting a Jan. 13 DVD release date is actor-turned-filmmaker (director and producer) Paul Henreid’s debut directorial effort, The Tall Lie (aka: For Men Only).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
He rose to fame in 1942 with Now, Voyager (opposite Bette Davis) and as Victor Laszlo in the Oscar-winning Casablanca.   After the war he continued to act, but the desire to both produce films (Hollow Triumph) and to direct beginning here with this dramatic tale about a college professor (yes, played by Henreid) who begins to suspect that the death of an underclassman named Tod Palmer (Robert Sherman) was no accident, but the result of some vicious fraternity hazing.

Of note, most of Henreid’s directorial work that followed was in the TV series arena (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Third Man, etc.), but he did reunite with Bette Davis in 1964 for Dead Ringer (he directed and she starred along with Karl Malden and Peter Lawford).

Also on the release schedule in January from VCI Entertainment is Mexican filmmaker Benito Alazraki’s 1952 film adaptation of W.W. Jacobs’ short story, “The Monkey’s Paw.”   Released theatrically in 1962 as Espiritismo, and starring Nora Veryán as the woman who makes a tragic deal with … the Devil!

Presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

And lastly, Jan. 6 also marks the release date for a DVD edition of director Veljko Bulajic’s 1977 theatrical release (English dubbed version) of The Day That Shook the World, starring Christopher Plummer as Archduke Ferdinand.

Virgil Films And Entertainment Selects Jan. 13 For DVD Editions Of Expedition to the End of the World And Filmmaker Richard Linklater's Up To Speed

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Virgil Films & Entertainment will enter the New Year with the Jan. 13 DVD debut of documentary filmmaker Daniel Dencik’s film festival-winner and real-life adventure, Expedition to the End of the World.

An unlikely group of artists and scientists (from various disciplines) board a classic three-masted schooner and head off to explore the previously uncharted Tkke Opmalt Fjords of Greenland.     It’s not so much about who they are, or what they say — which can range from the banal to the inspired — but what they experience.   

If you ever needed a reason to go off on an adventure, especially to a place where humans rarely go, Dencik’s film brightly serves as an infomercial for just that.  Go … just go!   The sights and sounds and the experiences of exploration are reward enough.

Also on the Jan. 13 release calendar from Virgil Films is filmmaker Richard Linklater’s six-episode travel web series, Up to Speed.   With Boyhood, his likely Best Picture nominee, arriving on both DVD and Blu-ray from Paramount Home Media the week before (Jan. 6), the timing is perfect for this special interest release.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Join Timothy "Speed" Levitch as he takes you on odd adventures; truly odd and whimsical adventures.    Visit San Francisco, but get a view unlike the traditional tourist … how about a “shoe garden?”     

Or visit, of all places, Lawrence, Kansas and discover how Bloody Kansas was just that on this seemingly quiet and picturesque landscape.   

Chicago … how about an obscure monument commemorating a violent event from the city’s distant pass … no gangsters involved.

Icarus Films Will Bring Director Ramon Zürcher’s The Strange Little Cat And French New Wave Filmmaker Éric Rohmer’s Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle To DVD On Jan. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films will begin its 2015 home entertainment release campaign with a pair of much anticipated DVD product offerings on Jan. 13. 

Included here in this initial ‘Q1 duo are both the debut of director Ramon Zürcher’s The Strange Little Cat and auteur Éric Rohmer’s 1987 treasure, Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle.

We can see nothing particularly odd about the little golden cat that roams about a Berlin apartment.   In fact, as Zürcher’s family tale unfolds over a dinner gathering it becomes fairly obvious that the feline (and maybe the dog) is the only “normal” one there … so the title makes sense in kind of a roundabout way (ergo, if everyone is odd, then the “normal” cat is strange). 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyRoughly adapted from Franz Kafka's “Metamorphosis” (which is coming up on its 100th Anniversary), The Strange Little Cat will not be for everyone (the action-crowd need not apply), but for those drawn to puzzles and nuance there is plenty to behold.   

The family is a cornucopia of movement — a tightly staged dance in a kitchen and dining area much too small for the three generations assembled there.   Each taking a turn with the sharing of seemingly mundane stories and the retelling of events in their lives, punctuated from time to time by a young girl’s screams (any time a kitchen appliance is in use she goes primal).    

Imagine alien creatures, in human form, describing their observations and you’ll get a sense of what  Zürcher is after here.   Strange, indeed.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
French New Wave filmmaker Éric Rohmer’s Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle makes its long-overdue DVD debut on Jan. 13.  This lyrical tale follows the interaction of country “mouse,” Reinette (played by Joëlle Miquel), with the worldly-wise Parisian, Mirabelle (Jessica Forde) as the latter visits the former in the country on holiday with her parents.   

They are opposites, who share small observations — tête-à-tête — and have debates/discussions about how they perceive their little worlds.  Like a fine wine, these interactions are to be savored for the subtlety of the moment and not consumed as a whole.   Very Gallic; very Rohmer.

Their adventures are divided into four chapters — “The Blue Hour,” “Selling the Picture,” “The Beggar, the Kleptomaniac, the Hustler” and “The Waiter.”   Presented in French with English subtitles.

Zeitgeist Films Has Selected Feb. 3 As The DVD Debut Date For Filmmaker Beth B's Exposed

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Zeitgeist Films will be delivering a DVD edition of “No Wave” filmmaker Beth B’s Exposed to the home entertainment market place on Feb. 3.

Burlesque has its origins in the Renaissance (and likely earlier in some form either from the Greeks or the Romans), but this entertainment art form reached perfection during the Victorian era.   Underground filmmaker Beth B’s film takes this performance discipline of satire and sexual expression/parody to a renaissance of its own with interviews and on-stage clips featuring eight of today’s la nouvelle vague Burlesque performers.   

Such expressive talents as Bambi the Mermaid, Bunny Love, Mat Fraser and Julie Atlas Muz are among those presented here.   These “outcasts” make good use of sexual expression to both compliment and enhance their respective routines, which can range from parody and satire to in-your-face political expression.   

Beth B’s Exposed is a solid blend of interviews (some very interesting human beings) and performances … some of which will leave you either shocked or yearning for more!!!

Director Sam Miller's No Good Deed On DVD And Blu-ray From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment On Jan. 6

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will open the New Year on Jan. 6 with DVD and Blu-ray (with UltraViolet) editions of director Sam Miller’s home invasion thriller, No Good Deed.

The ARR comes in at 116 days and the box office take is $52.5 million.

Colin (Idris Elba — Luther, Thor: The Dark World, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) is a convicted killer (and suspected of being a serial killer) who escapes and by chance ends up at the home of Terri (Taraji P. Henson — The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), the mother of two.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBefore the night ends the body count will mount and Terri will need to draw on all of her strength to protect her son and daughter and survive.   A taut thriller, indeed!

Bonus features include the featurette titled “Making a Thriller” … exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are two additional featurettes, “The Thrill of a Good Fight” and “Good Samaritan.”

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Declines Support For Director Wes Ball's Sci-Fi Hit The Maze Runner On Dec. 16

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
With a domestic box office haul of $97 million (and still growing) one would expect 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment to put all of its marketing, PR and advertising muscle behind the Dec. 16 DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) rollout of director Wes Ball’s very successful film adaptation of James Dashner’s best-seller, The Maze Runner.   

That will not be the case … despite a sequel already planned for next year, the studio is taking a pass on providing any PR support for the home entertainment launch on this prime pre-Christmas release date.

The strategy adopted for this release is, however, consistent with all of Fox’s DVD and Blu-ray product offerings of late: Do nothing and hope for the best.   That can’t possibly be a winning strategy, but there you have it.

As to bonus features, they appear to be limited to the Blu-ray SKU.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Commentary is provided by director Wes Ball (making his directing debut here), who is joined by screenwriter T.S. Nowlin … also counted among the bonus features are a gag reel, a reel devoted to the film’s extensive f/x, a short film by Wes Ball titled Ruin (which got him this direction gig) and a five-part production documentary.

For the record, the ARR for that Dec. 16 DVD and Blu-ray release date is a swift-to-market 88 days.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Tabs Jan. 6 For The DVD And Blu-ray Debut Of Director Tate Taylor's Get On Up

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Studios Home Entertainment will being its 2015 home entertainment packaged media campaign on Jan. 6 with DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of director Tate Taylor’s biopic on the life and music of James Brown, Get On Up.

The street date of Jan. 6 yields an ARR of 158 days and domestic ticket sales came in at $30.5 million.

Chadwick Boseman, who suited-up last year as baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 42, successfully channels the spirit of the late recording icon with an Oscar-worthy performance that captures both the spirit of the man and his incredible personal inner-strength — the heck with Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell or Diana Ross, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” should have been his theme song.   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus features (limited to the Blu-ray SKU) include commentary from producer/director Tate Taylor (The Help), deleted, extended and alternate scenes, six featurettes and extended versions of Chadwick Boseman performing a number of James Brown’s classics.

HBO Home Entertainment's Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fifth Season (And Final) On DVD And Blu-ray On Jan. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
HBO Home Entertainment will begin its 2015 home entertainment campaign on Jan. 13 with DVD and Blu-ray three-disc sets (with UltraViolet Digital Copy) of one of the best cable-based dramatic series around … which is sadly ending.   Of course this is Steve Buscemi’s brilliant Prohibition-era crime saga, Boardwalk Empire: The Complete Fifth Season.

As with previous seasons, there will be plenty of surprises … no one is safe, including Nucky!!!

Bonus features include selective episode cast commentaries and eight behind-the-scenes mini-featurettes.