Monday, July 20, 2015

VCI Entertainment Will Release The Four Film Richard Attenborough Collection To The DVD Marketplace On Sept. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment has tabbed Sept. 8 as the street date for the double-disc, four-film DVD release of The Richard Attenborough Collection.

Included in this collection are some of Attenborough’s early films, with director Montgomery Tully’s 1949 film adaptation of the Reginald Beckwith stage play, Boys in Brown, being the earliest of the group.   He co-stars with Dirk Bogarde as juvenile delinquents in this post-war “Kitchen Sink” drama.

The following year, 1950, Attenborough appeared in the director Roy War Baker’s submarine drama, Morning Departure, which starred John Mills as the doomed Captain, with Attenborough as Stoker Snipe, a crewman who folds under the pressure of their predicament. 

Next up is the 1951 film release of Hell is Sold Out, which was directed by Michael Anderson (The Dam Busters) and based on a novel from French writer Maurice Dekobra.   Herbert Lom is Dominic Danges, a famous writer, who was a POW during the war and somehow was declared dead.   No matter, he continued to publish after his “death,” even having “his” latest book become a best-seller (and the one before that as well)!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
He returns home to find that someone in impersonating him, and, to make it even stranger, it is a woman (Mai Zetterling) and she is living in his house as his widow!!!   Attenborough plays Danges friend, who becomes enamored with the beautiful imposter. 

Last in the group is director Guy Green’s 1958 World War II story, Sea of Sand (shot on location in Libya), about a group of British soldiers on a mission behind German lines to blow up a fuel depot.   John Gregson and Michael Craig had the leading roles as feuding Captains, while Attenborough played one of the soldiers on the ill-fated mission.

Paramount Home Media Announces Good Kill (Sept. 1), Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (Oct. 6) And More!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
There are viewing riches galore on the menu from Paramount Home Media in October, but first, word arrived this past week that Paramount has added the IFC Films production of writer/director Andrew Niccol's Good Kill to its Sept. 1 release calendar.   

Blu-ray and DVD editions for this recent theatrical release will be available on that date.  The ARR for Good Kill comes in at 109 days and domestic ticket sales from the film’s limited showcase theatrical break currently stand at $316,842.

Ethan Hawke teams with filmmaker Andrew Niccol for the third time in this no-win scenario tale of a CIA drone pilot.   Their previous collaborations were Gattaca back in 1997 and In Time in 2001 … and, although Good Kill is a departure from the dystopian themes of these two earlier efforts, it still carries with it some of the underlying elements of despair and societal alienation.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyHere, Ethan Hawke is Major Tommy Egan — a former air combat pilot with six tours of duty under his belt — who spends his time now in a pre-fab trailer — air conditioned and full of high tech gear — near an active runway at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.   From this close-to-home “bunker” he flies drone aircraft half a world away for the CIA.   It is a no-win scenario for him as well as a thankless, unrewarding job.  

In fact, Egan is not cut out for this type of combat.   He’s fought in the real world, where there are risks.   Here, any kid with good hand-eye coordination can do his job.  Put those crosshairs on your target, launch the hellfire missiles and be sure to stop by the supermarket on the way home for the necessary fix’ins for tonight’s BBQ.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
His life is miserable.  His marriage is on the rocks.   And, there’s no satisfaction in killing the enemy … yes, the Taliban are evil little shits, but this is not a combat method that Egan can’t identify with and he takes no joy in it.   It is, in fact, destroying him.

Bonus nuggets included with Good Kill is the featurette titled “Good Kill: Behind the Scenes.”

Now to the DVD and Blu-ray goodies that Paramount has announced for delivery on Oct. 6.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyFirst up, it is the long-awaited DVD debut of the 1980 theatrical animated feature film, Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!), which has been digitally remastered for this release.  

Directed by the team of Bill Meléndez (if it has anything to do with Charles M. Schulz and the Peanuts gang you can bet Bill Meléndez was involved as either producer or director … or both) and Phil Roman (18 Emmy nominations, with multiple wins for his work on The Simpsons and Garfield animated series), we find Charlie Brown, Linus, Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Snoopy on their way to France as participants in a student exchange program.

Bonus features here include a newly prepared making-of featurette.

On the TV series front, Paramount Home Media has four — rather diverse — selections ready for fans to enjoy as part of this Oct. 6 Blu-ray and DVD release onslaught.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
First, we have both DVD (a double-disc set) and Blu-ray editions of all ten episodes of the Comedy Central production, South Park: The Complete Eighteenth Season.   The ageless Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny — and their cohorts — continue to find ways to amuse themselves (and us) with subjects that most television shows steer well clear of.

Bonus goodies include uncensored presentations for all ten episodes, deleted scenes and “mini” commentaries from the show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

Next up on the Oct. 6 release calendar are three-disc Blu-ray and three-disc DVD collections of Penny Dreadful: The Complete Second Season.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Josh Hartnett (as Ethan) and Eva Green (as Vanessa) return for ten new thrill-packed adventures spun around classic 19th Century literary characters — Dorian Grey (Reeve Carney), Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) and his Creature (Rory Kinnear) — plus explorer Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and his sidekick Sembene (Danny Sapani) … and, of course, the resurrected Brona Croft/Lily Frankenstein (Billie Piper).   

This second season’s story arc involves the Nightcomer Witches — Evelyn Poole/Madame Kali (Helen McCrory) and Hecate Poole (Sarah Greene) and their minions.

Bonuses for Penny Dreadful: The Complete Second Season include interview sessions, a video production blog and five featurettes — “Reeve Carney Round Table,” “History of the Occult,” “Character Profile,” “Evelyn Poole's Mansion” and “Behind-the-Scenes.”

Making its debut on Oct. 6 is the double-disc DVD release of Happyish:  Season One, starring Steve Coogan as Thom Payne, an advertising executive, who begins to question all the crap he’s been pushing.   Kathryn Hahn plays his “Stepford” yuppie wife, who is an artist and conflicted over motherhood, Jewish guilt and her career.

Lastly, Oct. 6 marks the arrival of a colossal 46-disc collection of Mission Impossible: The Original Televison Series — all 171 episodes!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Not done yet!   Oct. 6 is also the street date for director David Von Ancken’s ambitious mini-series, Tut, starring Avan Jogia as King Tutankhamun and Ben Kingsley as the crafty Grand Vizier Ay.  Both DVD (three disc set) and Blu-ray (double-disc) sets will be available.

The famous “Boy Pharaoh” of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty is presented here in full splendor, including his incestuous relationship with his wife/sister, Queen Ankhe (Sibylla Deen), and enough court intrigues to make the cast of Game of Thrones envious. 

Bonus features include four production featurettes — “Inside the Series,” “The Costumes of Tut,” “History Revealed” and “Unmasking the Legend: The Making of Tut.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Prepares DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Director Brad Peyton's San Andreas For Delivery On Oct. 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Like a massive zipper running from the Sea of Cortez to San Francisco (and out into the Pacific Ocean) and poised — at any moment — to unzip San Diego, Los Angeles and all points west and south of Hollister from the rest of the North American Continent is the dreaded San Andreas Fault.   

It shook San Francisco to rubble in 1906 and is talked about all the time as being the source of “The BIG One” … the one that will divide California in half; island and mainland.  

The San Andreas Fault got top billing in director Brad Peyton’s earthquake thriller, San Andreas, this year and scored seismic numbers at the box office in the process … $150 million and counting.   Moviegoers just loved the visceral thrill of seeing Los Angeles and San Francisco ripped to shreds (they loved it in 1974 too)!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
And just as certain, they will love San Andreas once again on Oct. 20 when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment shakes up the home entertainment marketplace with a three SKU helping of this action flick starring Dwayne Johnson  — there will be a stand-alone DVD double-disc edition and two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions (one with and one without a 3D viewing option) ready at retail for fans to shake their booty to.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus goodies include commentary from director Brad Peyton (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore), a gag reel, a stunt reel, deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Peyton) and a trio of production featurettes — “San Andreas: The Real Fault Line,” “Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue” and “Scoring the Quake.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also getting a mark on the release calendar this week from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is the comic book to TV series DVD release of iZombie: The Complete First Season, starring Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones), as Liv Moore, a fresh zombie with the unique ability to consume brains (yuck) of recent murder victims, and, in doing so, is able to help solve their murders.   

The street date for iZombie: The Complete First Season is Sept. 29.

Included on this three-disc collection are all 13 episodes from the premiere season (pilot plus 12), deleted scenes and video session from 2014 iZombie Comic-Con panel.

Mill Creek Entertainment To Release The Partridge Family: The Complete Series On Sept. 1 As An Eight-Disc DVD Collection

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment will not rest!  Yet another DVD collectible series has been added to its already very busy September release calendar!!

News arrived this past week that Sept. 1 will be the retail-ready date for the eight-disc, 96-episode collection of The Partridge Family: The Complete Series.

This early ‘70s sitcom, starring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce, blended music — Billboard Number 1 hit song in 1970 with “I Think I Love You”— with wholesome family entertainment.    

Musical guest stars included the likes of Johnny Cash, Bobby Sherman and legendary American Bandstand host, Dick Clark.

Well Go USA Will Release Both DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Director Jackie Wu's Wolf Warrior On Sept. 1

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Well Go USA has tabbed Sept. 1 for DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Jackie Wu’s Wolf Warrior.

A generation ago, the film industry in China would have been incapable of making anything like Wolf Warrior.   Jackie Wu’s character (yes, he also stars), Sergeant Leng Feng, would have been a one-dimensional cardboard soldier — glorious to be sure — in the People’s Liberation Army.   His exploits would have been as difficult to watch as would have the predictability of the outcome of the a-to-b-to-c storyline.

Not so today.   Wolf Warrior is both slick — matching anything out of Hollywood in terms of production quality — and multi-faceted.   The film works as either a straight-up action thriller, and not surprisingly, also as a well-crafted propaganda piece that extols the glorious virtues of this modern Chinese warrior.

Sergeant Feng is a marksman every bit as skillful as U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, and in an extended opening sequence he displays his expertise with a near-impossible shot that was taken against explicit orders.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
That bit of pique lands him in hot water with his superiors and subsequent confinement where he is to ponder his transgression.   This initial set up allows filmmaker Jackie Wu to showcase Feng’s shooting skills and a chance at redemption when he is offered an opportunity to do just that, redeem himself, by joining the elite Wolf Warriors.

Training and comradeship follow and it is during one of these mock exercises — ironically against his former unit — that a band of foreign mercenaries (lead by Scott Adkins) suddenly emerge from the woods with specific orders to assassinate Feng.   Circle back to the opening sequence, his target was the brother of a ruthless drug lord and these invading killers are his revenge!

Well Go USA’s release of Wolf Warrior is in Mandarin with English subtitles.

Director Madellaine Paxson’s Blood Punch Receives Sept. 1 DVD Debut From Midnight Releasing

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Nothing is what it seems in Midnight Releasing’s Sept. 1 DVD debut of director Madellaine Paxson’s mixed-genre film delight, Blood Punch.   

Part horror, part black comedy and part drug-dealing thriller all mixed together with a generous helping of film noir … and this doesn’t fully describe the fun to be had here with Blood Punch

The script is provided by Paxson’s husband, Eddie Guzelian, who have been prolific writers on such television series as Nickelodeon’s Peter Rabbit, Power Rangers R.P.M., Lilo & Stitch: The Series and The Penguins of Madagascar over the years and are stepping out for the first time on their own (they are also Executive Producers here).    

With those years of studio-level experience, Guzelian and Paxson have served up an indie film that doesn’t film feel like an indie film … and certainly doesn’t play like a low budget indie film.

The film opens with an impossible prologue, that only begins to makes sense much later in the proceedings.   There’s other mumbo-jumbo too, but that’s all there for a reason, which will become clear as Blood Punch unfolds.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe main body of the story begins with would-be tweaker Skyler (Olivia Tennet — as “Dr. Power Rangers R.P.M. series, plus small parts in such films as The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Boogeyman), who is as cute as a button, in a drug rehab center.    Now don’t believe any of this — not the cute part, she’s a dangerous, manipulative vixen.   Nor, the tweaker-part either, she’s in lockdown because she wants to be there; she’s on a mission.
K” in the

Her target is a druggie named Milton (Milo Cawthorne — as Ziggy on the Power Rangers R.P.M. series — are you beginning to see the connection here between filmmakers and actors?), a nice enough college kid who has been tossed into this particular facility for cooking meth.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cute little Skyler quickly seduces him and sets up the nourish elements of our story … Milton, I have over a hundred pounds of pseudoephedrine and I need you to cook it for me!   How can he say no?

Once poor Milton is hooked, not on drugs, but on Skyler, she then lets him in on another piece of information (another piece of the puzzle) about this get-rich-quick drug deal.   She has a “boyfiend” named Russell (Ari Boyland — yes, another Power Rangers R.P.M. alumni), who is dangerously psychotic, but is part of the deal and — pay close attention to Tennet’s performance here — she’s afraid of Russell, so poor Milton is not only going to be her cook, but her protector … sucker!

Blood Punch is a great thrill ride that will keep you guessing right up until the final twist.  Think: film noir.  Think: drug deals gone bad.   Think: slasher film, yes slasher film!!  Now combine them all together and you have the delicious film mixture that is titled Blood Punch.

Bonus features include “test footage” and deleted scenes.

Artsploitation Films Tabs Sept. 29 For The DVD Debut Of Director Iván Noel's Children Of The Night

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Globetrotting filmmaker Iván Noel will get a domestic DVD push for his different take on the subject of vampires this coming Sept. 29.   That’s the street date that Artsploitation Films has selected for Children of the Night (aka: Limbo).

When a child becomes the victim of a vampire — and is converted — their age is fixed.   They will always be of that form, that of a child.  

Such a “colony” of children are gathered together in a remote “orphanage” on the outskirts of the city of Córdoba in Argentina (the north-central part of the country, about 300 miles inland from Buenos Aries). 

They are segregated, or perhaps better stated, quarantined, from the overall population as they suffer from a “skin disease,” but that’s really a cover story to keep nosey neighbors away — they are literally the “children of the night.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Filmmaker Iván Noel uses the arrival of Alicia (Sabrina Ramos), a reporter, at the facility lorded over by Erda (Ana María Giunta), a retired nurse who has taken on the trappings of a religious figure, to introduce us to the narrative that will unfold — think: Van Helsing arriving at Castle Dracula.   

Alicia thinks that she is onto a story about missing and exploited children, but soon learns that the brood of kids living there are of quite a different ilk!!!

Children of the Night is a neat blend of humor and horror, with a dash of social commentary.   The use of children as ageless vampires — and Alicia’s growing fondness for them (perhaps the aging Erda’s replacement) — works surprisingly well, especially with Lauro Veron as the grandson of Dracula (who knew!).  

Children of the Night is presented in Spanish with English subtitles.

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment To Release An 18-Disc Blu-ray Collection Of Lost In Space: The Complete Adventures On Sept. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment has added an 18-disc Blu-ray edition of Lost in Space: The Complete Adventures to its Sept. 15 release calendar.

All 83 episodes, plus the unaired pilot episode titled “No Place to Hide” (two versions are being presented — long and short presentations) and a cast reading of the unproduced “Lost in Space: The Epilogue” episode are included in this remastered collectible set.

As to bonus nuggets, there are selected episode commentaries with cast and crew members, plus Fox is presenting six of the episodes in their original broadcast mode, complete with vintage commercials (these are: “The Reluctant Stowaway,” “The Derelict,” “The Magic Mirror,” “Follow the Leader,” “Blast Off Into Space” and “Target Earth”).   

There is also a vintage interview session with the show’s creator, Irwin Allen (recorded in 1985), a 1973 animated special, two Lost in Space documentaries and six different photo gallery collections.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn other new release announcements this week, 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment has tabbed Sept. 8 as the street date for both DVD (a four-disc collection) and Blu-ray (three discs) editions of Homeland: The Complete Fourth Season.

Claire Danes returns as CIA operative Carrie Mathison in 12 thrill-packed (and very timely) episodes that take her to Kabul, Afghanistan and Islamabad, Pakistan.  No word just yet on bonus materials.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Selects Aug. 25 As The Street Date For Both DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Filmmaker Cameron Crowe's Aloha

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Auteur filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s latest film, Aloha, will be making its way to DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Aug. 25.  

This romantic comedy, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, failed to connect with audiences as an almost universally-panned and very muddled script — with way too much political nonsense for a light romantic comedy — undercutting the budding romantic vibes between Cooper and Stone at nearly every turn.  

Box office receipts were light at just $20.9 million … the ARR is a zippy 88 days and with that pre-Labor Day street date, Sony Pictures is making it fairly clear that it is time to move on and say aloha to Aloha.

Bonus features include the featurette titled “The Untitled Hawaii Project: The Making of Aloha” and a gag reel … exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are commentary by filmmaker Cameron Crowe (perhaps he will offer insight into what he was thinking … he also produced and wrote the script), an alternated ending, deleted scenes and four additional featurettes.

The Criterion Collection Announces Its October Release Calendar For New DVD And Blu-ray Film Restorations

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection has staked out its release turf for the month of October with street dates for five restored film treasures destined for both Blu-ray and DVD.

Kicking off the month the month is the Oct. 6 Blu-ray debut of writer/director Gus Van Sant’s 1991 film, My Own Private Idaho, starring River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves as two-bit street hustlers on a road trip of self-discovery.

This new 4K transfer features the vintage 2005 making-of documentary, deleted scenes and other material from the 2005 DVD release.

The following week, Oct. 13, cult filmmaker David Cronenberg gets the Criterion treatment with newly prepared DVD and Blu-ray editions of his 1979 creepy horror classic, The Brood.   Samantha Eggar stars as a woman with a terrifying genetic secret and Oliver Reed plays the role of her estranged husband who tries to protect their daughter and sort out the mysterious killings that seem to follow his wife’s wake.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus features include a new documentary on the making of the film (and earlier works of the director), a restored presentation of Cronenberg’s ultra-creepy 1970 film, Crimes of the Future, and a pair of video sessions — one featuring Cronenberg with Fangoria editor Chris Alexander (2011) and the second with actors Art Hindle and Cindy Hinds (who played Oliver Reed’s daughter).

Next up, and also streeting on Oct. 13 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings, is Italian filmmaker Ettore Scola’s 1977 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, A Special Day, starring Marcello Mastroianni (nominated for Best Actor that year — losing out Richard Dreyfuss for his performance in The Goodbye Girl) and Sophia Loren.

Bonus features here include a new video session with Sophia Loren (who turned 80 last September) and director Ettore Scola (now 84) and two episodes from The Dick Cavett Show (1977) featuring Loren and Mastroianni.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Shifting to Oct. 20, the Criterion Collection has a new film restoration ready for Japanese filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi’s 1964 (1965, domestic) Best Foreign Language Oscar-nominee, Kwaidan.

Bonus features here include commentary from film historian, author and Professor of Cinema, Stephen Prince, a vintage interview with filmmaker Masaki Kobayashi (1993) and a newly-prepared video session with assistant director Kiyoshi Ogasawara.

The month of October closes out on the 27th with Blu-ray and DVD (two discs) editions of auteur filmmaker David Lynch’s 2001 neo-noir thriller, Mulholland Drive, teaming Naomi Watts with Laura Harring (of note, David Lynch was nominated Best Director for his work here — his third; Blue Velvet and The Elephant Man were the other two).

This new 4K transfer includes newly-prepared video sessions with Lynch, actors Naomi Watts and Laura Harring, director of photography Peter Deming, composer Angelo Badalamenti and casting director Johanna Ray, plus there is also a vintage session with Lynch, cast members and footage from the film’s set.