Monday, February 2, 2015

Wolfe Tabs Mar. 31 For The Domestic DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Stefan Haupt’s The Circle

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Writer/director Stefan Haupt’s The Circle, the official Swiss film selection for this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar competition, will be making its domestic DVD debut courtesy of Wolfe on Mar. 31.

The Circle — a double-winner at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival — is an interesting film in that it is a documentary recreation, or what might be called a “docu-drama.”  The subject of writer/director Stefan Haupt’s interest is the Swiss underground (meaning forbidden and likely to lead to great bodily harm) movement and publication for gays that was called “Der Kreis” and the relationship between two of its members, Ernst Ostertag (played by Matthias Hungerbühler, but the real Ostertag is also featured during intercut interview sessions) and drag performer Röbi Rapp (played by Sven Schelker during period settings, with the real Röbi Rapp featured during interview sessions).

Their love affair was a closely guarded secret during the ‘40s and ‘50s, which is detailed in the dramatic recreations, but now their lifelong relationship is presented in the interview sessions (they were the first gay coupled married in Switzerland).

Of note, when filmmaker Stefan Haupt entered The Circle in the Molodist Film Festival last October in Kiev, local homophobic thugs were so incensed by the film they descended upon the venue (Zhovten Cinema) and set fire it.

The Circle is presented in German with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Preps 12 New Film Restorations For DVD Release On Mar. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective announced this past week that 12 new film restorations will be ready for the DVD market place this coming Mar. 10.   That’s right, a dozen film classics have been fully restored and will be ready for film buffs and collectors to own at very attractive pricing on Mar. 10.

Let’s begin with three-time Oscar nominated for Best Director Sam Wood’s 1946 film release of Heartbeat.   Ginger Rogers, who stars here, teamed with filmmaker Sam Wood six years earlier for Kitty Foyle, her performance in that film won her the Oscar for Best Actress.  

The same magic is as work here as Rogers stars as a pickpocket in training (her teacher is none other than Basil Rathbone) who falls for her mark (played by Jean Pierre Aumont).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMore star power is on parade in Jose Ferrer’s Oscar-winning performance in director Michael Gordon’s 1950 film adaptation of French playwright Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano De Bergerac.   And the same holds true for both director Stanley Donen’s 1951 romantic musical, Royal Wedding, which teamed Fred Astaire with Jane Powell and Peter Lawford and the 1941 comedy, Pot O’ Gold, starring five-time Oscar nominee for acting, James Stewart (a Best Actor win for The Philadelphia Story in 1940) and Paulette Goddard (nominated Best Actress for 1944 performance in So Proudly We Hail!).

You want sleuths?   The Film Detective has three new film restorations featuring mysteries and the detectives on the case to bring those bad guys to justice.   There are two Dick Tracy flicks, one with Ralph Byrd (1947, Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome … with Boris Karloff) and the second featuring Morgan Conway (1945, Dick Tracy Detective … with Mike Mazurki and Anne Jeffreys) and one starring Bonita Granville as kid sleuth Nancy Drew in the 1938 film release of Nancy Drew: Detective.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Westerns?  Sure!!   How about the Zane Gray novel-to-screen presentation of Fighting Caravans, starring Gary Cooper and Howard Hughes’ storied Western, The Outlaw, showcasing the abundant talents of Jane Russell!   Both are included in this Mar. 10 release package. 

A rare find that is also on the list is director Lew Landers’ 1944 comedy, I'm from Arkansas, starring Slim Summerville, Bruce Bennett and Iris Adrian.

Rounding out the film selections are Gulliver's Travels and Hollow Triumph.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

CJ Entertainment America Will Release Both DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of No Tears For Dead On Feb. 17

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Writer/director Lee Jeong-Beom, the Korean filmmaker who gave us The Man From Nowhere in 2010 is back with his latest thriller, No Tears for the Dead.   On Feb. 17 both DVD and Blu-ray editions will be heading to the domestic home entertainment courtesy of CJ Entertainment America. 

Gon (Jang Dong-Gun — The Warrior's Way, Dangerous Liaisons, etc.) is a professional killer — working both sides of the Pacific, who has been stateside since being kissed off by his mother upon arrival years earlier.   Raised as killer … a mob tool.  

When his latest “contract” goes awry, his employers “suggest” that he clean up the mess by returning to Seoul and take care of a certain “loose end.”   

The mess?   A young girl was caught in the crossfire and killed (children getting whacked tends to raise hell with the public).   The “loose end,” that would be the girl’s mother, Mo-Gyeong (Kim Min-hee — The Sword with No Name, Helpless, etc.) and Gon is dispatched to take care of her.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
No Tears for the Dead would be a very short movie if Gon actually followed orders and put a bullet in Mo-Gyeong’s head.   Instead, he has a change of heart and becomes her protector … and if you don’t think that starts World War III with his employers, then you haven’t seen a Lee Jeong-Beom film!   WOW!   If you demand action, then No Tears for the Dead delivers that in spades!!

Bonus features include two viewing options — the original Korean-language version or an English-dubbed presentation — commentary by writer/director Lee Jeong-Beom and a making-of featurette.  

Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are deleted scenes, interviews with cast members and a featurette titled “Action Highlights.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Selects May 26 For The DVD Release Of Looney Tunes Musical Masterpieces

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be serving up an 18-strong collection of classic Looney Tunes theatrical cartoons on May 26 with the DVD release of Looney Tunes Musical Masterpieces.

Included in the mix are director Robert Clampett’s 1943 spoof on Fantasia, A Corny Concerto  — starring Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and even a pint-sized version of Daffy Duck — Friz Freleng’s 1941 tribute to Liszt, Rhapsody in Rivets and Chuck Jones’ 1957 release of What’s Opera, Doc?, teaming Bugs Bunny with Elmer Fudd with a nod to Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries."

Also getting a release date assignment this past week is a Blu-ray edition of director John Schlesinger’s 1967 film adaptation of the Thomas Hardy novel, Far from the Madding Crowd … Julie Christie, Terence Stamp, Peter Finch and Alan Bates star.  

 The street date will be Feb. 10.

The MVD Entertainment Group To Provide Sales And Distribution Expertise For The Apr. DVD Debut Of Heavy Metal Aficionado Bob Nalbandian’s Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Documentary filmmaker and heavy metal aficionado Bob Nalbandian’s Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal, an exploration of the roots of the metal music genre, will be heading to DVD on Apr. 7 under the UMN, LLC banner, with the MVD Entertainment Group guiding the sales, promotional and distribution efforts.

Take a magic carpet ride, metaphorically-speaking, back to the 1970s and the departure from the early blues-tinged influence of metal to a hard-edge — “headbanger” — groove.   Filmmaker Bob Nalbandian, who founded The Headbanger, an underground publication dedicated to the metal movement at the ripe old age of 18, was the first to write about such groups as Megadeth, the Huntington Beach-based “Thrash Metal” band, Slayer and Metallica.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyHe was there, he knows the genre and his labor of love translates to the screen with a nice blend of rare concert footage clips, exclusive interviews and a look at not only the groups, but the club venues and those who worked behind the scenes to bring Heavy Metal to life.

Conversations and interviews include Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, both Carlos Cavazo  and Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, Jack Russell of Great White (aka: Dante Fox), and bassist and producer Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, etc.) … and many more!

If you are a metal fan, Inside Metal: Pioneers of L.A. Hard Rock & Metal, is a must!

More King Of The Hill On DVD From Olive Films This Coming Apr. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Olive Films announced this past week that not one, but two new full seasons of Mike Judge and Greg Daniels’ hit animated series, King of the Hill, will be heading to DVD as double-disc product offerings on Apr. 7.

Ready for fans to enjoy for first time on DVD are King of the Hill: The Complete 9th Season and King of the Hill: The Complete 10th Season.    

15 episodes from each season are included here … special guests (voice appearances) include Jason Bateman, Johnny Knoxville and Ricky Lake.

Icarus Films Teams With The Kimstim Collection For The Mar. 17 DVD Release Of Documentary Filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino: The Series

DVD and Blu-ray Release Report
If you enjoy wine and movies about wine, which seems like a winning combination, then you’ve likely savored director Alexander Payne’s 2004 Best Picture nominee, Sideways and writer/director Randall Miller’s 2008 film gem about the 1976 “Judgment of Paris” story, Bottle Shock, starring Alan Rickman, Chris Pine and Bill Pullman.   

Good films indeed, but if you are really into wine — really, really into wine — then you will need to check out the DVD release coming from Icarus Films and The Kimstim Collection on Mar. 17.   

It’s filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter’s Mondovino: The Series — note, this is not the 2004 feature-length documentary of the same name, but the complete ten-part series that Nossiter filmed over a four-year period.    This is the real deal, a four-disc collection featuring ten separate “wine adventures” (filmed in five different languages) derived from Nossiter’s journeys to the various wine producing regions of the world.   

It is a real eye-opener.  There’s snob wine and industrial wine (crude distinctions to be sure) and a war rages between the two camps, but it’s all good (yup, it’s ALL GOOD)!!!

After you’ve finished Mondovino: The Series you will know your wines … school is in session, so enjoy the journey.   

DVD and Blu-ray Release Report

Paramount Home Media Distribution Will Release A 55-Disc DVD Set Of JAG: The Complete Series On Apr. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution, in conjunction with CBS Home Entertainment, announced this past week that all 227 episodes of JAG: Judge Advocate General will be available on Apr. 14 as a DVD mega-set (55 discs) titled JAG: The Complete Series.

Launched on NBC in the fall of 1995 by Donald P. Bellisario, the series featured David James Elliott as JAG officer Harmon “Harm” Rabb, Jr. and Tracey Needham as fellow JAG lawyer Lieutenant JG Meg Austin.    

After the first season the series was dropped, re-tooled (with the replacement of Catherine Bell as Elliott’s courtroom partner) and picked up by CBS for nine additional seasons.   

It ran for nine additional seasons and yielded the spin-off series NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service — 11 seasons later it is still going strong!

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Adds A Three-SKU Helping Of Director Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings To Its Mar. 17 Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In a nicely choreographed one-two announcement move, 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment followed-up last week’s announcement for the Mar. 17 release of the Penguins of Madagascar by selecting the same date for a three-SKU helping of director Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings.    

The ARR is a zippy 95 and ticket sales were a ho-hum $64.5 million.

There will be a stand-alone DVD edition, a 2D Blu-ray edition and “Deluxe” Combo Pack featuring both 2D and 3D viewing options, a bonus Blu-ray special features disc and DVD version of the film.   

Bonus features include commentary from director Ridley Scott, nine deleted scenes, a 14-part production documentary titled “Keepers of the Covenant” and the featurette titled “The Lawgiver’s Legacy: Moses Throughout History.”

Front Line Assembly: Kampfbereit On DVD From The MVD Entertainment Group On Apr. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Canadian E.I. (Electro-Industrial) rockers, Front Line Assembly, will be heading to the DVD market place on Apr. 7 with the MVD Entertainment Group debut of Front Line Assembly: Kampfbereit, their 2011 live concert at the Kinetik Festival (on tour in support of their Improvised Electronic Device album) in Montreal.

Included in the 12-song set are “Pressure Wave,” “Liquid Separation,” “Angriff,” “Hostage” and their hit single from the Improvised Electronic Device album, “Shifting Through The Lens.”

The bonus goodie on the DVD release is the hidden track, “The Legend of Soy Leeb.”

VCI Entertainment Selects Mar. 24 As The DVD Release Date For Italian Neorealism Filmmaker Alberto Lattuada’s Without Pity

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment has tabbed Mar. 24 for the DVD debut of the ultra-rare 1948 film release of Italian Neorealism filmmaker Alberto Lattuada’s Without Pity.  

The names from this post-war movement read like a who’s who of the greats of Italian cinema … Visconti, De Sica, Rossellini and, of course, Fellini, who provided the script (it would be another two years before he made his debut as a director with the 1950 release of Variety Lights).

The war is over and Jerry (John Kitzmiller — best known as Quarrel in Dr. No), a black G.I., has decided to remain in Italy.   He sees little reason to return to the United States and racial tensions of a Jim Crow south.  An outcast at home, he falls in love with a woman named Angela (Carla Del Poggio — Alberto Lattuada’s wife of 60 years), who is a prostitute … an outcast in her own country.   

Their forbidden love becomes the focal point of tensions between the military, who questions his decision, and the local thugs who “own” Angela.   Harsh and unrelenting!

Presented in Italian with English subtitles.