Monday, November 2, 2015

Wolfe To Open 2016 With The Jan. 26 DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Jay Dockendorf’s Naz & Maalik

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that it will be kicking off its 2016 release campaign on Jan. 26 with the DVD debut of writer/director Jay Dockendorf’s Naz & Maalik.

There is a certain irony in this day-in-the-life story of two Bedford–Stuyvesant teens, Maalik (Curtiss Cook Jr.) and Naz (Kerwin Johnson Jr.), that filmmaker Dockendorf was able to effectively convey during the film’s 2015 festival run (South by Southwest, Outfest, Frameline, etc.) without having to beat his audiences over the head with it.   

You see, Naz and Maalik are gay, black and Muslim.   In certain places their Islamic brothers wouldn’t think twice about hauling them to the roof of the nearest tall building and tossing them off.  Death!  Not for being either black or Muslim, but for being gay.

The two work the busy streets of “Bed-Stuy” with two-bit hustles that earn them some pocket money.   They are well-spoken, clean-cut, they even make time to attend prayers at a storefront Mosque, but most importantly they enjoy each others company, intimately.  They have not come out to their families, which is by far their biggest concern.   There is, in short, nothing sinister about them.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is, by all measure, an idyllic summer day.   Maalik and Naz, working the street, finding time for a tryst … and running afoul of the FBI all in one afternoon!  Because of who they are and “what” they are, these two teens are probably the least likely in the neighborhood to be terrorists, but when they hit the radar of a gun-running surveillance sting run being by an FBI agent named Sarah Mickell (Annie Grier) the two find their lives — and their secret — on the verge of being destroyed.

Dockendorf makes his directorial long-form debut here with an indie film production that belies its limited production budget.  The cinematography of Jake Magee (Up the River) is a major plus and the acting talents of both Cook and Johnson easily invests you in their characters.   

Paramount Home Media To Release CSI: The Finale On DVD This Coming Dec. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media has a pleasant surprise in store for CSI fans come Dec. 15.   That would be the special edition DVD release of CSI: The Finale (the two-part presentation of Immortality, Part One and Immortality, Part Two).

C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation ran for 15 wildly popular seasons on TV, spawned three spin-offs — CSI: Miami (ten seasons), CSI: New York (nine seasons) and the newly created, CSI: Cyber (currently beginning its second season) — and finishes with this two-parter that brings both Gil Grissom (William Petersen) and Catherine Willows (Marg Helgenberger) back to the series for a farewell sign-off.

Bonus features include a commentary option, deleted and extended scenes and a pair of production featurettes — “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Case Closed” and “CSI SIGN OFFS: The Finale Cast Says Goodbye.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Mill Creek Entertainment Announces Its First Wave Of DVD And Blu-ray Release For 2016

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment will open its 2016 DVD and Blu-ray release campaign beginning on Jan. 5 with four new priced-to-collect DVD releases, which are quickly followed the following week, Jan. 12, with five more DVD collections and the Blu-ray release of director Brian Levant’s 2005 comedy hit, Are We There Yet?, starring Ice Cube.

142 episodes, six seasons and 24 DVD discs, that’s what Mill Creek Entertainment has planned for its post-New Year’s celebration on Jan. 5.  This would be the release of the Emmy-nominated (and Golden Globe-winning) dramatic series, Party of Five, starring Matthew Fox, Scott Wolf, Neve Campbell and Lacey Chabert as the members of the Salinger clan, who have to overcome the loss of their parents to a tragic accident and somehow keep things together.

AMary Higgins Clark: The Queen of Suspense.   With an SRP of just $14.98, mystery fans can enjoy Where are the Children? (1986, directed by Bruce Malmuth, starring Jill Clayburgh), The Cradle Will Fall (2004, teaming Angie Everhart with John Ralston), Lucky Day (2002, starring Amanda Donohoe), Loves Music, Loves to Dance (2001, Patsy Kensit is on the case) and All Around the Town (2002, with Nastassja Kinski).
lso streeting on Jan. 5 is the double-disc, five-film collection titled,

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out the Jan. 5 new-to-DVD selections are the four-disc collection, March to Freedom, a 14-part, 400-year look at the progress from slavery to freedom for American men and women of color and the Hayley Mills-hosted Grimm’s Fairy Tales (six classic tales retold by Eric Carle — “The Fisherman and His Wife,” “Tom Thumb,” “Seven With One Blow,” “The Youth Who Wanted to Shiver,” “Three Gold Hairs” and “Hans in Luck”).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyShifting to Jan. 12, we find five new film collections that are all priced to own at just $9.98 each.   Leading the way is Alien Files, which showcases four sci-fi films — included are Night Skies (2007, directed by Roy Knyrim — a dramatic presentation of the famed “Phoenix Lights” UFO event), Alien Hunter (James Spader stars as a cryptologist who deciphers a warning from aliens … but it may be too late), John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars (2001, starring Ice Cube, Natasha Henstridge, Pam Grier and Jason Statham) and The Day the World Ended (also from 2001 and starring Nastassja Kinski and Randy Quaid).

Others in the mix are: Locked and Loaded (this action-themed collection includes Attack Force, The Point Men, Hunt for Eagle One and Walking Tall: Lone Justice), Queens of Scream (four horror treats — Vacancy, I Know What You Did Last Summer, When a Stranger Calls and The Cave), Divas (a three-film delight featuring Swept Away, Maid in Manhattan and Glitter) and lastly, Chop Kick Panda (four KidVids — Chop Kick Panda, What's Up: Balloon to the Rescue, Puss in Boots: A Furry Tail and Tappy Toes).

FilmWorks Entertainment's Sharkskin Heads To DVD On Jan. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Dan Perri, if you are a film fan, you’ve seen his work time and again, but odds are you unaware of his body of work over the past 40-plus years and his name likely doesn’t ring any bells.   He’s a specialist — his company specializes in “title design;” the opening credits of films.   

Have you seen The Exorcist, The Day of the Locust, Taxi Driver, All the President’s Men, The Warriors, Raging Bull and Star Wars?  Of course you have … they are all his; his creations — nearly 200 in all!

So now you know something of Dan Perri, he knows about film, he has an eye for detail and lives in a world of composition and creativity.   His opening title designs have captured the attention of audiences for over four decades.

Word arrived this past week from FilmWorks Entertainment that Dan Perri’s labor of love, his first full-length feature film as both a writer and a director, Sharkskin, will be making its DVD debut on Jan. 19.

Beautifully mounted, Skarkskin spins the story of the Italian Mafia in the New York City area during the immediate post-war period (very reminiscent of The Godfather in terms of timeframe and texture) through the eyes of a very unlikely individual, Mike Esposito (veteran character actor John Aprea — who played the younger version of Tessio in The Godfather, Part II, plus in such films as Crazy Mama, The Idolmaker, New Jack City, The Game, etc.), a tailor.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

If you’ve seen The Godfather, then you likely remember Enzo the Baker (Gabriele Torrei), who was recruited by Michael in a moment of desperation to act as armed bodyguard on the hospital steps when Sollozzo came to finish off his father.   Enzo was rewarded for his performance, but he was nothing more than “wallpaper” — a civilian.

Esposito the Tailor is a tailor, who is to provide a service for the local Mafia head, Don Piano (John Capodice), who has discovered the new Sharkskin cloth and wants a specific suit made from this “exotic” material.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mike’s son, Sammy (Christopher Amitrano — Jam, The Grind, Brooklyn Bound), is back from the war and his father wants him to learn the craft and take over the business, but his encounters with his father’s clients starts him to thinking about the “dark side.”

The Esposito’s are “wallpaper” — they are safe.   They provide a service, in their case, the craft of being a tailor, but when the allure of the big money beckons, that thin veil between company business and “civilians” can vanish in blink of an eye.  When Sammy starts down that path, suddenly his entire family is in danger and even Mike and all his experience might not be enough to stop the blood from flowing.

Bonus features include deleted scenes, a photo gallery and a behind-the-scenes production featurette.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Indican Pictures Readies Writer/Director Malindi Fickle's Award-Winning Suck It Up Buttercup For A Release To The DVD Market Place On Dec. 1

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Actor-turned-award-winning-documentary filmmaker, Malindi Fickle (By the People, plus an actor in such films as Eyes of the Prey, Everything Relative, St. Andrew’s Girls), made the transition to the writing and directing of her first dramatic production last year.

The film, titled Suck it Up Buttercup, scored film festival win after win after win in 2014 with a riveting tale about a small town girl on a downward spiral of violence, drugs and addiction.

Indican Pictures announced this past week that Suck it Up Buttercup will be making its long-awaited move from the film festival circuit — the Grand Jury Award at the Bare Bones International Film Festival; Best of Festival and Best Actress at the Hoboken International Film Festival; Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress at the Northeast Film Festival and many more — to the DVD market place on Dec. 1.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
For the Holman family the “American Dream” is on the ropes.  Jackie (Lacy Marie Meyer — The Last Apartment, Joker’s Wild) is at the beginning of her adult life.  18-years old and her future in front of her … that is, if she survives the night (more on that in a moment).   

Meanwhile, her parents are struggling to make it.   Her father, Joe (Gregory Konow), is out of work, her mom, Ellie (Robyn Ross), a nurse, suddenly finds herself pregnant, her older brother is in Afghanistan and her widowed grandfather is fighting dementia.  Life’s a bitch.

On this particular day, there is one other thing to add to this litany of misery, Jackie is an addict  — alcohol and drug addicted (a pill-popper) and to make matters even worse, she is in debt to her dealer.

She’s not stupid, she didn’t start out to be some would-be trailer-trash scuz … she was once an honor student with a bright future.  But this is where she’s at as we find her hanging out with her slacker friends and loser boyfriend, Sam (Alex Raymond), who all add to her circle of despondency.  

Jackie has worked herself into a financial hole with Devin (Brian Stuart Boyd), the local dealer, who is more or less holding her hostage until she ponies-up the $300 that she owes him.  Her friends are worthless and her frantic phone calls to her parents only serve to set in motion a series of events that will bring her and her parents to the edge.

Malindi Fickle’s Suck it Up Buttercup is both an edge of your seat thriller and a not-so-subtle look at small town life where economics are stagnant year-after-year … there is a price for that.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Jan. 26 Is The Street Date For The DVD Debut Of Wild Eye Releasing's Serial Kaller

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Babealicious TV promises to seduce, tantalize and arouse its followers with a steady of stream of beautiful women who are ready to chat (by the minute of course).   That’s the premise of Wild Eye Releasing Jan. 26 DVD debut of Serial Kaller, which by it’s very title suggests that these “BABE - alicious” ladies have at least one “devoted” follower with more than arousal on his (or perhaps, her) mind!

Filmmaker Dan Brownlie (whose 3's a Shroud was released on DVD by Wild Eye in September) teams with former model, film producer and scream queen, Dani Thompson for the script of Serial Kaller, with is a fun play on words — Caller, Killer … Kaller, get it!   

The lovely ladies of Babealicious TV are your basic “victim pool,” who suddenly find themselves trapped inside their internet production studio with their number one fan on the set and on a murderous rampage.   

For genre fans, Serial Kaller is an absolute “scream queen” delight, with Dani Thompson being joined for the blood-letting by the iconic Debbie Rochon, as well as Suzi Lorraine and Lucinda Rhodes.

Water Bearer Films To Release Writer/Director Everett Lewis' Somefarwhere On DVD On Nov. 3

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It was revealed this past week that writer/director Everett Lewis’ intense thriller, Somefarwhere, will be available on DVD from Water Bearer Films on Nov. 3.

Set in 2003 (during the Iraq War), but it is a story that could be plucked from today’s headlines, a U.S. Marine Captain has gone missing, but no one seems all that concerned.   He might be AWOL — that’s not a positive in the middle of an armed conflict.   He could be in Iran … if so, his fate may already be sealed.

His friend (and as it turns out, his lover) Price (Bryce Blais — The Pretty Boys, Territory) arrives in the hot zone as a photographer in search of his friend.   

He’s clearly a total fish out water; a neophyte, but he quickly learns that his survival (and that of his friend — gay men are beheaded, Marine or not) depends on him navigating the “mine fields” of war, duplicity and inbred prejudices.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Who do you trust?   His CIA contact, Combs (Dale Dymkoski — Lucky Bastard, The Pretty Boys), is clearly mendacious; his guide and interpreter to the dark side, Marwan (Khaled Haider), is too slick and friendly to be trusted … is this a fool’s errand?

Filmmaker Everett Lewis (The Pretty Boys, Lucky Bastard, The Natural History of Parking Lots) keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat with this thriller about love and friendship set against the backdrop of the Iraq War.

The Perfect Guy Heads To DVD And Blu-ray From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment On Dec. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment announced this past week that director David M. Rosenthal’s follow-up to his high tension A Single Shot, the stalker thriller titled The Perfect Guy, will be available on Dec. 29 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

The ARR works out to 109 days and the box office haul of $56.7 million during its post-Labor Day theatrical break was impressive.

Bonus features include newly prepared video sessions with filmmaker David M. Rosenthal and members of the cast and film crew and the featurette, “Lust and Obsession: Making The Perfect Guy.”

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment To Release Director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four On Both DVD And Blu-ray On Dec. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In a somewhat unusual move, 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment has placed director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four on its Blu-ray and DVD release calendar without fanfare or what appears to be a formal press announcement.   

Dec. 15 is the street date, which yields an ARR of 130 days … ticket sales were a lackluster $56.1 million.

The bonus feature, common to both the DVD and Blu-ray SKUs, is the featurette titled “Powering Up: Superpowers of the Fantastic Four.”  The Blu-ray edition includes three additional featurettes — “The Quantum Gates,” “Planet Zero” and “The Score.”