Monday, December 7, 2015

Vinegar Syndrome's Restore Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Of Writer/Director Carlton Albright's Luther the Geek Streets On Jan. 19

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome announced this past week that the New Year will bring the Jan. 19 Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of a new 2K restoration (from original 35mm film elements) of writer/director Carlton Albright's 1990 cult horror gem, Luther the Geek.   

Luther (Edward Terry — The Children) has a taste for blood and biting the heads off of chickens.  Call him strange.  Call him insane.  Call him a deviant; different … such is the life of a sideshow geek.   

After years in a mental institution (because our boy is crazy), he is cut loose and rejoins society, where he promptly goes on a clucking, cock-a-doodle doo killing spree.  A classic to be sure!!!

Bonus nuggets being served up on the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition of Luther the Geek include commentary by filmmaker Carlton Albright, a video session with actor Jerry Clarke (making his film debut here), deleted scenes and outtakes. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens open on Dec. 18 and will likely smash box office records.  It is all the buzz these days and savvy marketeers will certainly be taking full advantage of the film’s release — have you seen all of those TV commercial tie-ins … it’s mind-boggling!

You can also expect the home entertainment market place to be ready with all sorts of DVD and Blu-ray releases and promotions — no matter how tangential — that will seek to ride the crest of this wave of all-things Star Wars.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Well guess what, Vinegar Syndrome has one of the cleverest Star Wars promotions ready for fans of the series to enjoy on Jan. 19.   It comes in the form of adult filmmaker Howard Ziehm’s 1979 classic, Star Virgin, starring the alluring Kari Klark as Space Virgin, who has her own “R2D2” robot, Mentor, whose job is to “educate” her in the ways of all things carnal.  

Kari Klark was a Hustler Magazine centerfold and Star Virgin was itself an adult entertainment spin on the original 1977 film release of the Star Wars — amazing, isn’t it, how things come full circle.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Indican Pictures Picks Dec. 15 For The Domestic DVD Debut Of French Filmmaker Bertrand Bonello's On War

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Indican Pictures announced this past week that French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello, who has been nominated on three separate occasions for the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious Palme d'Or — including for last year’s critically acclaimed Saint Laurent —will see his cinematic assault on the senses, On War, released on DVD this coming Dec. 15.

Our protagonist for this strange adventure is a wide-eyed nebbish and would-be filmmaker named Bertrand — an interesting choice of name and perhaps based on Bonello’s own experiences or musings??? — who is played by none other than Mathieu Amalric (Munich, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Quantum of Solace, etc.).   

A lonely man, perhaps without close friends, we find Bertrand contemplating what it might be like to lay down in an open casket (he’s researching his latest film project) — what’s the view like from there?   How might it feel?  So sure enough he climbs in, lays down and WHOMP!, the coffin slams shut!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Trapped overnight he snaps.  He is rescued the next morning, but is clearly changed emotionally.    Although, as things play out, there is the possibility that he is — and this is where it gets tricky — trapped in the coffin and imagining all that subsequently transpires.

Nevertheless, Bertrand survives the night, is released from his terrifying prison and soon finds himself guided by a stranger to a remote mansion in the country, where he meets his own “Greek chorus.”   They dance, they perform skits, sex is to be had, death happens and the women whom Bertrand meets are both strange and beautiful.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIncluded in the mix is the seemingly asexual — and demanding — Uma (Asia Argento — Trauma, The Stendhal Syndrome, Land of the Dead, etc.), a goddess of sorts, who tantalizes the estate’s inhabitants with her avant-garde musical compositions.  

Bertrand soon finds a friend in Rachel (Elina Löwensohn) and is stalked — with seduction in mind — by the alluring Marie (played by Léa Seydoux — currently starring as Bond Girl Dr. Madeleine Swann in Spectre, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, etc.).   If Bertrand could make sense of his new found world, he would enjoy Rachel’s company and let Marie have her way with him — she, after all, Léa Seydoux!!!

On War is presented in French with English subtitles.

Paramount Home Media Preps The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series For A DVD Rollout On Feb. 16

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media announced this past week that the vintage 1972/73 animated television series, The Brady Kids — a spinoff of The Brady Bunch sitcom — will be making its DVD debut on Feb. 16.   The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series will feature all 22 episodes, spread over a three-disc collection.

All six of the kids from the popular The Brady Bunch series voiced their animated counterparts during the show’s 17-episode first season, with Susan Olsen (Cindy), Mike Lookinland (Bobby) and Eve Plumb (Jan) continuing during the series truncated (five episodes) second season.   Other voice talents include Larry Storch, Jane Webb, Lane Scheimer and Erika Scheimer.

Also being readied for fans to enjoy on Feb. 16 are a whopping 39-DVD collection of The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series and a 24 DVD box set of Melissa Joan Hart starring in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch: The Complete Series.

Also streeting on Feb. 16 is the comedy stand-up of Brian Regan in the Comedy Central production of Brian Regan: Live From Radio City Music Hall.

And lastly, Nickelodeon’s animated kidvid hit series, starring monster truck Blaze (voiced by Nolan North) and his friends, will be heading to DVD on Feb. 16 in the release of Blaze and the Monster Machines: Rev Up and Roar!

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Says 2016 For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of The Intern (Jan. 19) And Black Mass (Feb. 16)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
One of the most satisfying comedies of 2015 — on at least two levels — is writer/director Nancy Meyers’ The Intern, teaming Oscar-winner Robert De Niro (Godfather: Part II and Raging Bull) with Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables).

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced this past week that The Intern will be making its way to the home entertainment market place on Jan. 19 and both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions.

The ARR is an industry average 116 days and box office receipts totaled $74.6 million.

Bonus goodies include the featurette “Learning From Experience,” which is common to both the DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack SKUs, and two additional featurettes — “Designs on Life” and “The Three Interns” — which are exclusive to the Blu-ray edition.

Also announced by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment this week is the career-saving film from director Scott Cooper, Black Mass.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The career saved: Johnny Depp, who could get an Oscar nomination for his performance as career criminal James “Whitey” Bulger.   After Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Into the Woods and Mortdecai it look as though the only films that Depp could appear in — that were commercially successfully — would have to do with pirates (hint: another one is on the way in 2017).   Black Mass breaks that streak … he is brilliant here!

Warner Bros. has selected Feb. 16 as the release date for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions, which yields a leisurely 151 days for the ARR.  Box office receipts were a respectable $62.6 million.

Common to both release versions is the featurette titled, “Johnny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger.”  Exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack are two additional featurettes — “The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger” and “Black Mass: Deepest Cover, Darkest Crime.”

Film Chest Brings The Red House And Suddenly To Market On Jan. 26 As A Double-Feature Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Chest has a “double-double” promotion ready for film noir affectionados to savor come Jan. 26.

Streeting on that date are Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions — all in one four-disc set — of director Lewis Allen’s 1954 suspense thriller, Suddenly — starring Frank Sinatra, Nancy Gates and Sterling Hayden — and filmmaker Delmer Davis’ 1947 film noir classic, The Red House, toplining Edward G. Robinson and backed by Judith Anderson, Rory Calhoun and Lon McCallister.

Suddenly, restored from 35mm film elements, arrives with commentary from author Tom Santopietro (such books as: The Godfather Effect: Changing Hollywood, Sinatra in Hollywood and The Sound of Music Story) and a before-and-after demo reel on the restoration.

Tom Santopietro also supplies expert commentary for The Red House, which also features a before-and-after demo reel.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Last Witch Hunter Will Arrive On Feb. 2 From Lionsgate Home Entertainment As DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Selections

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment joins the hunt on Feb. 2 with DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of director Breck Eisner’s horror thriller, The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel as the immortal witch-stalker Kauder.

The ARR comes in at 102 days and domestic ticket sales were an OK $27 million.

Bonus materials include commentary from filmmaker Breck Eisner (Sahara, The Crazies, etc.), deleted scenes, a pair of animated short films — Cross and The Origins of the Axe — and the featurette titled “Crafting the Magic: The Last Witch Hunter.”

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Picks Jan. 26 For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Director Rob Letterman’s Goosebumps

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has selected Jan. 26 as the release date for director Rob Letterman’s CGI-laced horror/comedy, Goosebumps.   

The ARR is 102 days and domestic ticket sales were a nice $77.7 million.

Planned for distribution are a stand-alone DVD edition and two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (both with UltraViolet), one with and one without a 3D viewing option (the premium is seven dollars).   Bonus features include the featurettes “Beginners Guide to Surviving a Goosebumps Creature” and “Strange Things are Happening On-Set” — exclusive to the Blu-ray SKUs are two additional featurettes, a blooper reel, deleted scenes and both an alternate opening and ending.

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Fumbles Martian Launch — Retailers Get Jump On Jan. 12 DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Landing

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Weirdness abounds these days in the home entertainment market place.   

Consider this — just as one example, and there are many more, but space prohibits such a laundry list — 20th Century-Fox snaps up the rights to novice writer Andy Weir’s sci-fi sensation, The Martian, and then recruits A-list producer Simon Kinberg (X-Men: First Class, Elysium, X-Men: Days of Future Past, etc.) to develop the novel into a workable film project.   That’s what studios do — that’s not the weird part.

Kinberg in turn recruits Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, World War Z, etc.) to handle the adaptation (script) and superstar Ridley Scott to direct — Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down … and on and on and on — and before you can say “Matt Damon,” Matt Damon is onboard as Andy Weir’s stranded astronaut Mark Watney.   

With those four bankable elements in place — Kinberg, Goddard, Scott and Damon — the studio proceeded to plow over a $100 million into the production budget of the film and easily spent another $30 million in the domestic market launching The Martian on over 3,800 screens in early October of this year. 

That’s one hell of an investment.   And it paid off, as The Martian is not only a critical success, but a box office blockbuster as well — $218.5 million in domestic ticket sales and still counting.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySo what’s the problem?   Well here it is, Videoeta, Amazon, Best Buy (and a whole lot more online sources) are busy circulating the news (and taking orders) in the past few days for The Martian, which they say will be available as a three-SKU product offering on Jan. 12 … but there’s not a peep out of 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment.

It’s just a little weird that the studio would invest this much money, recruit this caliber of talent and launch a property nationally — with all that PR buzz and critical acclaim — and not even take the time to break wind when it comes to announcing both stand-alone DVD and Blu-ray editions, as well as a double-disc 3D/2D Blu-ray SKU (the SRP premium for the 3D viewing option is ten buck) for the second week of January — which just happens to be timed for the Jan. 14 Oscar nomination announcement.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIt’s weird, just plain weird, that with so much money on the table Fox isn’t making every effort possible to promote The Martian.

Just for the record, the ARR for that Jan. 12 street date works out to 102 days, about two-weeks below the industry average for theatrical releases grossing in excess of $25 million.   Perhaps this is too tight a window to get all the moving pieces — like a press announcement  — in place before retailers start taking orders (it’s a dog-eat-dog market out there, so once one goes, they all go).

Bonus materials for The Martian … well, we will have to wait for the “official” announcement (perhaps this next week) to find out what they are, but you can certainly expect the Blu-ray SKUs to be loaded with bonus goodies related to the production of the film.