Monday, April 27, 2015

Well Go USA Selects July 7 As The DVD And Blu-ray Street Date For Writer/Director Gren Wells’ Award-Winning The Road Within

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
A road trip for “broken toys” is in the offing on July 7 when Well Go U.S.A. brings writer/director Gren Wells’ award-winning The Road Within to both DVD and Blu-ray.    

A limited major-metro theatrical run was launched on Apr. 17 (and augmented with additional venues on Apr. 24) following a year-long journey through the film festival circuit (with wins at the Napa Valley Film Festival, Palm Spring International Film Festival … and others).

The “broken toys” in this case are institutionalized young adults with emotional issues that have made them unwelcomed in society, or in the case of Vincent (Robert Sheehan — The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, Love/Hate, Season of the Witch, etc.) — who suffers from Tourette's Syndrome — a liability for his father, Robert, and his political aspirations (played by T2’s Robert Patrick).

The clinic, Desert Bridge, run by the well-meaning Dr. Mia Rose (Kyra Sedgwick), is also home to Marie (Zoë Kravitz — as Christina in the Divergent film series, plus such films as After Earth, X-Men: First Class and as the character Toast in the forthcoming theatrical release of Mad Max: Fury Road on May 15) who suffers from anorexia.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
She’s recruited to show Vincent around the place, after he has been assigned a roommate by Dr. Rose, who figures that it would be good for him not to be alone in his new digs.   That roommate, Alex (played by Dev Patel — Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), turns out be an extreme germophobic (among other coping disorders), which was an interesting choice by the good doctor. 

Soon this trio of misfits are hanging out together and sharing meals (well at least Alex and Vincent, Marie has a tendency to make her food selections “disappear”) and it’s not long before an escape plan is hatched.   Vincent wants to scatter his recently deceased mother’s ashes in the ocean and Marie is bored silly with Desert Bridge … Alex is only included in the great escape as a measure to keep him from spilling the beans.

Off they go in a stolen car with no one in pursuit.  Robert persuades Dr. Rose to leave the police out of it (bad publicity for all) as they unite to become the mismatched trackers of the escapees.  

The Road Within avoids the “disease of the week” clichés and focuses on the three young adults trying to cope with their societal flaws (Dev Patel does a nice job of providing the comic relief … constantly running over pregnant women when it is his turn behind the wheel), while the “real” adults, Dr. Rose and politico Robert, use the time on the road to examine some of their own failings. 

Filmmaker Gren Wells has crafted a nice mix of comedy and drama that quickly invests the viewers in the three patients on the lam.   A nice trip is certainly in the offing on July 7 for those unable to catch The Road Within theatrically.

Writer/Director David Au's Eat With Me On DVD From Wolfe On June 2

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that writer/director David Au’s absolutely beautiful generational dramedy, Eat With Me, will be making its DVD debut on June 2.

Emma (Sharon Omi), a dutiful Chinese-American housewife, literally awakes one night to discover that her marriage has come to an end.   She has few options, so she turns to her estranged son, Elliot (Teddy Chen Culver), who is both gay and failing in his stab at running a restaurant.   The last thing he needs right now is his mom staying with him!!!

She doesn’t understand (or perhaps, accept) his sexual proclivities and he’s frustrated, not only with his relationship with her, but with his relationships in general and his pending failure as a chef and restaurateur.

With the help of his neighbor, Maureen (the incredibly funny Nicole Sullivan — The Family Guy, Cougar Town, The King of Queens, MADtv, etc.), who acts therapist, confidant and “Greek Chorus,” an understanding is reached and the skill-set that his mother possesses (the ability to cook) becomes the bridge that unites mother and son.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyWhat makes Eat With Me so enjoyable is that Sharon Omi always has this understated look of “huh?” on her face … and filmmaker David Au takes full advantage of it with a cameo appearance by Star Trek’s George Takei as himself.  He has a one-on-one conversation with her about her son’s sexual orientation and she doesn’t have a clue as to who he really is … again, it’s an expression of “huh?”  

Bonus goodies include film outtakes and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

VCI Entertainment's When Cowboys Were King Heads To DVD On June 2

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment has produced a double-disc collection of eight classic Westerns that will be available for collectors to savor on June 2.

Titled When Cowboys Were King, the talents of eight different iconic Western stars are showcased in the film selections that VCI Entertainment has selected … these are: Johnny Mack Brown, Tim McCoy, Ken Maynard, Tex Ritter, Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson and both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry.

In chronological theatrical release order the When Cowboys Were King kicks off with the 1931 release of director Phil Rosen’s The Pocatello Kid, which teamed Ken Maynard with Marceline Day and bad guy Charles King as One-Eyed Trinidad.

The Thrill Hunter, from 1933, stars Buck Jones as a tall-tale teller who gets hired as the star of a action movie and is exposed for being more mouth than ability (he can’t fly an aeroplane).  But when rough and tumble outlaws kidnap his co-star (Dorothy Revier) he literally rides to her rescue!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Hoot Gibson is front and center in the 1936 film release of director Harry L. Fraser’s Feud of the West (Hoot Gibson, 1936).  He’s framed for the attempted murder of a local rancher, but is able to both clear his name and rescue Molly (Joan Barclay) from the real gang of desperadoes before the final credits roll.

Also from 1936 is director Sam Newfield’s The Lion’s Den, starring Tim McCoy as trick-shot Tim Barton, who uncovers a land-grab scheme, exposes the bad guys and wins the hand of the lovely Ann (Joan Woodbury).

The following year, 1937, it’s Gene Autry starring in director Mack V. Wright’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Rhythm.  Gene and his trusty sidekick, Frog (Smiley Burnette), are out to crack a cattle-rustling gang, but still find time to sing a song or two, including Gene Autry teaming with Armida Vendrell for a memorable rendition of “Mexicali Rose.”

Tex Ritter gets his turn in the 1937 film release of Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts, where he has not one, but two sidekicks —Snub Pollard as Pee-Wee and Horace Murphy as Stubby.  Charles King is once again a bad guy … Marjorie Reynolds co-stars.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyJohnny Mack Brown stars in director Ray Taylor’s 1940 film release of Boss of Bullion City as a would-be newsman, but a crooked sheriff (Harry Woods) forces him and his sidekick Burt (Fuzzy Knight) to take the law into their own hands.  Nell O’Day (This Side of Heaven, Woman in the Dark) co-stars as a cowgirl who can handle a six-shooter with the best of them!

And last, but not least, VCI Entertainment’s When Cowboys Were King wraps its up with director Joseph Kane’s 1942 film release of Romance on the Range, starring Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes — between the action Roy finds time to knock out five songs with the Sons of the Pioneers and members of the cast, including Linda Hayes and Sally Payne.

Ariztical Entertainment Announces The DVD Debut Of Director Silvio Nacucchi’s Beyond Love For June 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Back in 1969 filmmaker Paul Mazursky served-up Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, a story of four close friends, their relationships (and needs) and the complications that can arise from such things.

Now meet Stefano and Anna and Tony and Marina, lovers, friends and on the cusp of making some life-changing decisions.   Oh, yes, one little detail, they are gay.

On June 9, be on the lookout for Italian filmmaker Silvio Nacucchi’s Beyond Love … that is the street date for its domestic DVD rollout courtesy of Ariztical Entertainment.

Anna (Simona Molinari) and Marina (Jessica Resteghini) are a loving couple who would like to take their ten-year-long relationship to the next level by starting a family of their own.   The solution appears to be simple, they simply turn to their best friend Stefano (Marco Gandolfi Vannini) and Tony (Graziano Scarabicchi) for a little help, comfort and advice.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySoon the “simple” thing is, as with Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice so many years ago, complicated.   Anna and Marina are at odds over who should be the birth mother (and that’s putting stress on their relationship) and Stefano’s very obvious solution of “sleep with a man,” gets him into hot water as well.

Beyond Love is a sweet little tale of just how complicated life can get when close friends, well-meaning close friends at that, begin making decisions — with all the best of intensions — that don’t work out so well.   

Beyond Love on DVD is presented in Italian with English subtitles and includes, as a bonus, a behind-the-scenes production featurette.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media Distribution Announces New DVD And Blu-ray Releases For Early July

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution unleashed a flurry of new Blu-ray and DVD SKUs that are scheduled to be retail-ready during the first two street-date Tuesdays in July (July 7 and July 14).

Leading the parade — and streeting on on July 14 — is the latest two-and-a-half hour collection of Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael adventures, which is titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Return to NYC!    

Included in this collection of seven thrill-packed adventures is the recently aired two-part episode, Battle for New York Part 1 and Battle for New York Part 2, which finds the boys locked in battle with Kraang Subprime and his minions with the future of the people of New York City at stake!

Bonus features include “Mutation of a Scene” for all seven episodes.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also streeting on July 14 is the five-disc Blu-ray collection of I Love Lucy: The Ultimate Season Two.   This particular season had the best Lucy episode ever … “Job Switching,” which Lucy fans know as the “Lucy and the Chocolate Factory” fiasco.    It gets special treatment in this collection with a newly-prepared colorized presentation and a French-Canadian listening option.

Bonus nuggets include a May of 1953 comedy sketch from The Red Skelton Show and a 1952 broadcast of Stars in the Eye showcasing the cast from I Love Lucy.

Comedy Central is teaming with Paramount Home Media Distribution on July 7 for three DVD volumes of Comedy Central Stand-Up Vault.   Three-hours of stand-up comedy is included on each DVD presentation from such greats as Ron White, Jeff Dunham, Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Amy Schumer and more.

And lastly, July 7 brings to retail the three-disc DVD collection from Nickelodeon, Play Date Pack, featuring Dora, the Bubble Guppies and more ... a total of seven hours of fun-packed animated adventures.

Olive Films Announces Four Blaxploitation Classics From The 1970s For Blu-ray And DVD On June 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Olive Films goes for a Blaxploitation vibe on June 9 with four classic films on both DVD and Blu-ray from the Golden Era of 1970s — one each from 1972, 1973, 1974 and 1975, with three of the four starring the timeless Pam Grier.

In chronological order we kick off with director Bruce Clark’s 1972 film, Hammer, starring former Oakland Raider football player Fred Williamson in the title role.   He’s an up-and-coming boxer who gets tangled up with some questionable promoters, but when they grab his girl (Vonetta McKee) and threaten to do harm to her, if he doesn’t throw a fight, it is hell to pay … smash, smash, smash goes the HAMMER!

The selection on Blu-ray and DVD from 1973 is writer/director Jack Hill’s Coffy, starring the tough-as-nails Pam Grier as Coffy, a sweet young nurse who takes on the mob when her sister falls victim to their drugs. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyShe becomes the perfect vigilante, but when she discovers that someone very close to her is not only crooked, but sleeping around, it is a vengeance she deals out that he (Booker Bradshaw) will not soon forget!

So good was Pam Grier in Coffy — both acting and as a commercial success (money maker) — iconic filmmaker Jack Hill (The Big Doll House, The Swinging Cheerleaders, Switchblade Sisters, etc.) re-teamed with her in 1974 for Foxy Brown.  While Coffy made her a rising star in the world of exploitation cinema, Foxy Brown made Pam Grier an out-and-out superstar.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe same revenge formula that worked so well in Coffy is repeated — this could almost be a sequel — as Foxy Brown (Pam Grier) takes to the streets as a hooker to ferret out those who were responsible for her lover’s murder.   They can run, they can try to hide and they can beg when found, but there is no mercy!!!

Lastly, the 1975 film entry is director Arthur Marks’ Friday Foster, which also stars Pam Grier, who is teamed with Yaphet Kotto (fresh from the success of Across 110th Street and as Bond villain Mr. Big in Live and Let Die) in a more elaborate story.   Grier gets to go more up-scale as a character, playing a magazine photographer who gets caught-up in an international scheme to assassinate various black leaders from around the world.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Prepares Both DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery For Delivery To Retail On July 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has selected July 21 as the release date for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the rest of the Mystery, Inc. gang’s latest feature-length animated adventure/mystery, Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock And Roll Mystery.

The challenge for KISS and Scooby-Doo comes in the form of the Crimson Witch, whose power threatens to bring The Destroyer from another dimension.    

Even though the fate of the world is at stake, KISS does manage to find the time to rock out with six classic tunes, plus the presentation of a brand new song exclusive to the film.

The Criterion Collection Prepares Its July Blu-ray And DVD Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection has its July release slate in place and once again it is an exciting mix of DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

Kicking off the month is the July 7 double feature release of director Robert Siodmak’s 1946 version of Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers (Burt Lancaster) and filmmaker Don Siegel’s 1964 remake starring Lee Marvin.   

New transfers of both films for the Blu-ray also includes vintage interviews and a 1949 Screen Director’s Playhouse radio adaptation starring Burt Lancaster and Shelley Winters.

July 14th brings a new 4K digital transfer (supervised by director of photography Caleb Deschanel) of director Carroll Ballard’s 1979 film adaptation of the Walter Farley 1941 adventure novel, The Black Stallion.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn addition to newly-prepared video sessions featuring Caleb Deschanel and director Pigs! (1965), The Perils of Priscilla (1969), Rodeo (1969), Seems Like Only Yesterday (1971) and Crystallization (1974).
Carroll Ballard there are five short films from Carroll Ballard —

Also streeting on July 14 are Blu-ray and DVD editions of French New Wave filmmaker Alain Resnais’ 1959 film, Hiroshima mon Amour and Swedish filmmaker Jan Troell’s 1966 film release of Here’s Your Life.

Rounding out the month on July 21 are two new Blu-ray and DVD film releases … director Stephen Frears’ 1985 film release of My Beautiful Laundrette (new video sessions with director Stephen Frears and producer Colin MacCabe) and Wes Anderson’s 2012 film release of Moonrise Kingdom (previously released by Universal Studios), which has a new hi-def digital transfer, commentary by Anderson and a behind-the-scenes featurette featuring Bill Murray.

Mae Whitman Stars In The DUFF From Lionsgate Home Entertainment On DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack On June 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment has selected June 9 as the street date for director Ari Sandel’s laugh-out-loud funny film adaptation of Kody Keplinger’s high school-hell novel, The DUFF.   DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions will be available.

The Duff, starring voice actress and former child star Mae Whitman (the voice of Tinker Bell — among others — and in such films as When a Man Loves a Woman, Independence Day, Nights in Rodanthe, One Fine Day, etc.) in what is clearly a breakout role for her, has an ARR of 109 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $33.8 million.

This could be the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid-like franchise (with a Mean Girl twist) … The Duff is a smart, funny look at high school life as lived by a wallflower teen.   Keplinger has more tales on the way and it would not come as a surprise if Whitman is recruited to reprise her role as “Designated Ugly Fat Friend” Bianca Piper in a quick follow-up.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus goodies include a gag reel and four featurettes — “The DUFF Hits The Red Carpet,” “Bringing the Book to Life,” “I Am the DUFF” and “Teen Comedies and The DUFF.”

Chappie On Blu-ray And DVD From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment On June 16

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
OK, we get it, writer/director Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 was about South African race relations dressed up as a sci-fi thriller.   Elysium was about the so-called “one-percenters” taking everything for themselves and leaving the rest to starve … dressed up as a sci-fi thriller.   

His latest, Chappie, due out on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on June 16 is more of the same.   And judging from the domestic box office take of just $31.3 million genre fans are onto Blomkamp’s one-note dreary samba — distorted and unjust political landscapes presented as cutting-edge sci-fi.    

For the record, the ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days.

Bonus features an alternate ending, eight featurettes and an extended scene.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Tabs June 2 As The Street Date For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of McFarland U.S.A.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Kevin Costner’s latest feel-good sports tale, director Niki Caro’s McFarland, USA, will be ready for the home entertainment market place on June 2 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings … so says Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

The ARR is 102 days and theatrical ticket sales were right at $43 million.

As to bonus goodies, there will be both deleted and extended scenes, a pair of production featurettes — “McFarland Reflections” and “Inspiring McFarland” — and the music video by Juanes (aka: Juan Esteban Aristizábal Vásquez) titled “Juntos.”