Monday, April 20, 2015

Mill Creek Entertainment Announces A Double "Title" Wave Of New DVD Releases For The Month Of June

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment has announced a double-wave of new priced-to-DVD collectible films, TV-on-DVD collections and multi-film packages for the month of June.   The first onslaught occurs on June 2 and this is followed two weeks later, June 16, with the second wave of new product offerings.

We kick off the month with four new additions to the company’s popular “Anniversary Series” collection of classic films.   Priced at just $9.98 each, we begin with the arrival of director Charles Vidor’s six-times Oscar-nominated biopic about the life and times of composer Frédéric Chopin, 70th Anniversary Series: A Song to Remember.   Filmed in glorious Technicolor, Cornel Wilde starred as Chopin and was nominated Best Actor for his performance (he lost out to Ray Milland for his roll as alcoholic Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend, which also won Best Picture and Best Director honors for Billy Wilder).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyJoining Cornel Wilde in the impressive cast of A Song to Remember are Merle Oberon, Nina Foch and Paul Muni.

Next up in the “Anniversary Series” group is director Paul Wendkos’ 1960 film adaptation of prolific writer John Farris’ coming-of-age novel, “Harrison High,” which sold over a million copies when published in 1959 and was retitled for the screen and arrives on DVD from Mill Creek Entertainment as 55th Anniversary Series: Because They're Young.

Dick Clark, who was over-the-top popular at the time with his nationally-broadcast American Bandstand pop music show, makes his film debut here in the lead role as the affable high school teacher/coach (a demeanor which hides a tragic back story).  That’s all well and good, but there are two more important reasons fans will be adding this priced-to-own ditty to their film collections.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
First, Tuesday Weld shines as Anne, one of Clark’s students — Michael Callan (Cat Ballou, Mysterious Island, etc.) is cast opposite her as bad boy Griff Rimer (he will meet a sad ending to his teenage years).   And second, the rock’n’roll soundtrack, which features the likes of James Darrin, Duane Eddy and Bobby Rydell … worth the price of admission all on its own.

Rounding out the “Anniversary Series” additions on June 2 are director Michael Powell’s 1969 romantic comedy, 45th Anniversary Series: Age of Consent, which teams James Mason with then rising star Helen Mirren, and another romantic comedy, 20th Anniversary Series: Mad Love, co-starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O’Donnell.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso on DVD on June 2 from Mill Creek Entertainment are several multi-film collections.   Bulletproof: Tough Guys of Action is a double-disc, eight-film package that features eight different “tough guys” … these are: The Stone Killer (1973, starring Charles Bronson), Shamus (also from 1973, teaming Burt Reynolds with Dyan Cannon), The Anderson Tapes (1971, this time Dyan Cannon is paired with Sean Connery … and yes, that is a young Christopher Walken as part of Connery’s crew), Silent Rage (1981, with Chuck Norris), Universal Soldier: The Return (1999, Jean-Claude Van Damme returns), The Russian Specialist (2005, with Dolph Lundren, who also directed) and Into the Sun (2005, starring Steven Seagal).

Timed to be at retail outlets for the June 12 theatrical release of Jurassic World is the four-film collection titled Jurassic Adventures … spread over two-discs and priced at just $14.98 you get The Lost World and the follow-up, Return to the Lost World, plus Adventures in Dinotopia, Journey to the Center of the Earth and as a bonus goodies, dinosaur fans get the documentary Dinosaur Eggs and Babies.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Still not worn out from all this action, Mill Creek Entertainment has the five-film, double-disc collection titled Storms of the Century, which will be ready for those wanting more after attending the theatrical launch of director Brad Peyton’s San Andreas (starring Dwayne Johnson and in theatres beginning May 29).  Included here are Flood, Flood: A River's Revenge, Killer Wave, Tidal Wave: No Escape and Tornado!

June 16 is loaded with TV-on-DVD collections, including a three-disc set titled TV Guide Classics: Sherlock Holmes - The Complete Series, which features all 39 episodes from the 1954/1955 series starring Ronald Howard as Sherlock Holmes and Howard Marion-Crawford as his sidekick, Dr. Watson.    Archie Duncan is on hand as Inspector Lestrade.   This is quite a deal … 19 and ½ hours of classic Holmes adventures for just $9.98!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOther TV-on-DVD selections on June 16 under Mill Creek Entertainment’s “TV Guide Classics” promotional banner include TV Guide Classics: Ozzie & Harriet (three-disc set showcasing 25 classic episodes), TV Guide Classics: Television Legions - Milton Berle, Jack Benny and Johnny Carson (a three-disc collection featuring 31 episodes from The Johnny Carson Show, The Jack Benny Show and The Milton Berle Show) and TV Guide Classics: The Adventures of Robin Hood (39 episodes starring Richard Greene as Robin Hood on three-discs).

Also on the June 16 release calendar are Cosby Show: Season Seven and Cosby Show: Season Eight (bost are two-disc collections) and Married with Children: Season Eleven (also a two-disc set).

Indican Pictures To Release Director Richard Halpern's W.M.D. On DVD On Apr. 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Indican Pictures announced this past week that actor-turned-producer/director Richard Halpern’s no-holds-barred suspense thriller, W.M.D., will makes its DVD debut on Apr. 28.

It’s 2007, and the president of the United States (played by John Posey — RoboCop 3, Thirst, etc.) is paying a surprise visit to the troops in Iraq when suddenly a trio of frustrated combat veterans — fresh from a harrowing patrol — violently overcome his personal escort and take him captive.   

With a live news feed up and running, the president gets a full blown interrogation as to why the Iraq War has gone so horribly bad since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s vaunted Republican Guard.   Not only is he brutalized, but an impromptu “waterboarding” is broadcast live.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Of course it won’t end well in filmmaker Richard Halpern’s tautly-wound thriller … the clock is ticking and both the president and his captors will not be allowed to continue for long.   Blood will flow, people will die … and the war will go on.

Also on the release calendar from Indican Pictures this week is the Apr. 21 DVD debut of writer/director Zephyr Benson’s Straight Outta Tompkins.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyZephyr Benson, the son of iconic 1970s film star Robbie Benson (Jeremy, Ode to Billy Joe, etc.) is impressive here in his directorial debut, who also produced and stars as Gene, a high school kid who is struggling with the death of mother and the recent abandonment by his father, and now suddenly finds himself way in over his head with Cruz (played by Aaron Costa Ganis), a violent drug lord who has become his “mentor.”   

It is not as it seems.  Gene, gullible and, frankly, needy, is being used by Cruz to tap into his circle of friends (aka: would-be customers) and as the kid goes further and further down this up-scale rabbit hole it becomes apparent that the “getting-out” part will not be pretty.   Addiction and violence … and it all started out with such promise.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's Justice League: Gods & Monsters Makes Its DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Debut On July 28

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced this past week that July 28 will be the release date for the latest full-length DC Entertainment animated thriller, Justice League: Gods & Monsters.

Directed by three-time Emmy nominee Sam Liu (Thor: Tales of Asgard, Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, etc.), DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions are planned.

An alternate universe exists and the heroes of the Justice League are deviant, power-hungry freaks.   Superman is a tyrant, Batman has thirst for blood and Wonder Woman embraces the art of war … and now their reach into our world may be at hand!   Can these monsters be stopped in this ultimate battle between good and evil?

Bonus features include two production featurettes — “Alternate Realities: Infinite Possibilities” and “Calculated Risks: The Making of Gods and Monsters” — Jack Kirby’s documentary titled The New Gods and bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

In other release news this week, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will have newly-minted Blu-ray editions of The Cell (2000, starring Jennifer Lopez and Vincent D'Onofrio) and Virtuosity (1995, Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington and Kelly Lynch) on July 7, and Aug. 4 brings to the Blu-ray format both Free Willy and Innerspace (1987, directed by Joe Dante and starring Dennis Quaid, future wife, Meg Ryan and Martin Short).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On the DVD release front, Warner Bros. goes to the vaults on Apr. 21 for a quintet of rare-to-find classic Westerns that includes director Lesley Selander’s 1954 film release of Arrow in the Dust, starring Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray; the 1957 release of The Hired Gun, teaming Anne Francis with Rory Calhoun, Vince Edwards and Chuck Connors (the following year he would become the iconic Lucas McCain in the hit TV series, The Rifleman); Son of Belle Starr (1953, Keith Larsen, Peggie Castle, Regis Toomey and Myron Healey); The Marauders (1955, Dan Duryea, Jeff Richards and Keenan Wynn) and Sombrero (1953, Ricardo Montalban, Pier Angeli, Yvonne De Carlo, Nina Foch, Cyd Charisse and Vittorio Gassman).

Paramount Home Media Distribution's Hot Tub Time Machine 2 On Both DVD And Blu-ray This Coming May 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s forward to the past on May 19 when Paramount Home Media sends home DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Steve Pink’s Hot Tub Time Machine 2.    

The ARR is swift-to-market 88 days and ticket sales were $12.3 million.

When we last left Lou (Rob Corddy) and the boys, they had gone to the past in their time machine (beer and hot bubbles) and made their future secure.   Now they have to jump to the future to solve a life and death mystery of their own making!!!

Director Terra Renton's Generation Baby Buster Heads To DVD On June 9 From Cinema Libra

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Documentary filmmaker Terra Renton takes an interesting, even provocative, look at an emerging trend in Western culture (first Europe and down accelerating in the United States) of women either putting off, or excluding altogether, motherhood, children and family until well into their thirties. 

Cinema Libre has selected June 9 for the DVD debut of Generation Baby Buster.
Journalist, producer and now filmmaker, Terra Renton tackles this trend head-on, but not without a little bit of bias (admittedly so), which is reflected in her video sessions with women who are career-oriented, educated and wanting more out of life than getting pregnant and raising kids. 

Each generation is identified with some sort of “hook” … The Greatest, Baby Boom, Generation X, Millennials, etc.   Generation Baby Buster, as a name coined by Renton (as opposed to the film’s title), could well be an offshoot of Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1980), with many of the career women in this group not having fond memories of their parents want-it-all excesses.   

Like we said, Generation Baby Buster is provocative and well-worth a look.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Eagle Rock Entertainmnet Tabs June 16 For Blu-ray and DVD Edition Of Slash, Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators: Live At The Roxy 9/25/14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Eagle Rock Entertainment has tabbed June 16 as the street for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Saul Hudson’s Sept. 25, 2014 live concert at the Roxy in West Hollywood, California.   Fans know him as Slash, the former lead guitar for Guns N’ Roses and the release is titled Slash, Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators: Live At The Roxy 9/25/14 (that’s quite a mouthful).

There are 13 numbers featured, plus four bonus tracks … selections are a blend between Hudson’s Guns N’ Roses period and his solo career — included are “Ghost” and “Nightrain” (Guns N’ Roses), plus “World On Fire,” “You’re A Lie” and “Paradise City” (also Guns N’ Roses).

VCI Entertainment To Release DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Director Bill Rebane's The Giant Spider Invasion On June 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment has tabbed June 9 has the retail-ready date for newly minted Blu-ray and DVD editions of director Bill Rebane’s 1975 “horror/sci-fi” cult classic, The Giant Spider Invasion.

It’s lovable hokum on a grand scale as scantily clan young women and backwoods shotgun-totting country boys take on an inter-dimensional invasion of spiders — ranging from fist-sized to car-sized monsters.   All, mind you, with a hankering for human flesh!!!

As if tongue-in-cheek wasn’t enough for direct Bill Rebane — the same filmmaker who brought us such cinematic gems as Monster A-Go-Go and The Capture of Bigfoot — he managed to recruit a cast that would have late night channel-clickers salivating from a nostalgia overload.   

The heroine of this creepy-crawly tale is Dr. Jenny Langer, played by everyone’s favorite Donovan’s Brain, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, The Steel Helmet, Home of the Brave, etc., etc.).    
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Perry Mason sidekick, Della Street (Emmy-winner, Barbara Hale), who is teamed with “Dr. Vance,” who is played by legendary action and sci-fi actor Steve Brodie (

They are joined by “The Skipper” — that would be Alan Hale, Jr. as the local sheriff — and the late Robert Easton (fondly remembered as “The Henry Higgins of Hollywood” for his ability to master different voice inflections and accents).  Even Steve Brodie’s son, Kevin (an actor, director and producer in his own right shines as the reporter from the local paper in Merrill, Wisconsin), legendary Western tough guy Bill Williams, The Pom Pom Girls’ Diane Lee Hart and veteran TV actress (producer) Leslie Parrish (as three different women in three separate Perry Mason episodes in just a two-year period … and who thrilled us as Zema in Missile to the Moon) joined in on the fun.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
One suspects that Rebane simply opened his phone book and called his friends (and their friends) and asked them to be in this opus.  

Not only is The Giant Spider Invasion bad (bad in a good way), but legend has it that when the MST3K gang came calling, Rebane was an eager participant in their lampooning high jinks.

Bonus features include a newly-prepared documentary by Daniel Griffith titled “Size Does Matter!: Making the Giant Spider Invasion,” archival interviews with filmmaker Bill Rebane, actor Robert Easton (and other cast members), an introduction by MST3K cast members Kevin Murphy and Mike Nelson, a bonus CD from “The Giant Spider Invasion the Musical” (exclusive to the Blu-ray) and a behind-the-scenes still gallery.

They Call It Murder Heads To DVD On June 2 Courtesy Of The Film Chest

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Chest has unearthed director Walter Grauman’s 1971 made-for-TV film, They Call it Murder, which was a loose (and updated) adaptation of Erle Stanley Gardner’s District Attorney Doug Selby 1939 novel, “The D.A. Draws a Circle.”

The newly-transfer film restoration will be released on DVD this coming June 2. 

This feature-length film served as a would-be pilot for a proposed series (production actually began before Gardner’s death in 1970, but was shelved its airing in December of 1971) — a kindred spirit to Gardner’s long-running Perry Mason television series — but it never took off, so we are left with this one-off look at Gardner’s crusading District Attorney. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySelby is played by Jim Hutton (although unsuccessful here as a crime-fighter, four years later he would star as Ellery Queen in the TV series of the same name) and the local police chief, Otto Larkin, is none other than Ed Asner … Sheriff Brandon, Selby’s go-to-guy, is played by Western tough guy Robert J. Wilke.

This whodunit involves a mysterious murder — the victim is found floating in a swimming pool — with the body found to contain two bullet holes in the same place, from two different guns.   Two would-be murderers, but only one is really guilty!!!

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Selects June 9 As Release Date For Blu-ray And DVD Editions Of Kingsman: The Secret Service

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment announced this past week that director Matthew Vaughn’s film adaptation of the Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons comic book series, Kingsman: The Secret Service, will be available as DVD and Blu-ray product offerings on June 9.

The ARR is 116 days and the box office take was a sweet $124.5 million.

As to bonus features for this likely first entry in a film franchise series, there will be a commentary option (unspecified) and at least a half dozen featurettes, including one titled “Kingsman: The Secret Service Revealed - Panel-To-Screen: The Education of a 21st Century Super Spy.”

Also getting a release calendar assignment this past week is director David Gelb’s The Lazarus Effect, a not-so-subtle reimaging of filmmaker Joel Schumacher’s 1990 film release of Flatliners.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions is June 16 … the ARR works out to 109 days and domestic ticket sales were $25.4 million.

Although the plot lines are different, one can’t help bit compare The Lazarus Effect with Flatliners.  A young cast (looking to breakout), death being toyed with … and its after effects.   The big difference lies in the after effects, which take on Carrie-like creepiness when Zoe (Olivia Wilde — Deadfall, Cowboys & Aliens, TRON: Legacy), one of their members, dies and is brought back to life.

No word as to any bonus nuggets at this time.