Monday, December 14, 2015

The Film Detective Restores Director Phil Karlson's Film Noir Gem Kansas City Confidential For Blu-ray On Jan. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director Phil Karlson worked his way up the ranks at Universal Pictures during 1930s and early 40s before striking out on his own with a string of B-movie entries for Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures.  

Included in the mix were a pair of Charlie Chan films — The Shanghai Cobra and Dark Alibi — and a Bowery Boys comedy (Bowery Bombshell).  Then came a quick parade of post-war programmers that included The Big Cat (1949), The Iroquois Trail (1950, with Brenda Marshall and George Montgomery) and The Texas Rangers (1951, also with Montgomery and co-starring Gale Storm).

Then came 1952 and two film noir gems, Scandal Sheet (teaming Broderick Crawford with the likes of Donna Reed, John Derek, Rosemary DeCamp and Henry Morgan, who sadly passed away this past weekend at 96 years of age) and Kansas City Confidential, starring John Payne as an ex-con patsy framed by “Mister Big” (Preston Foster) as part of an elaborate heist.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Word arrived this week from the Film Detective that one of these 1952 film noir classics from filmmaker Phil Karlson has been newly restored from original 35mm source material (with a restored audio track as well) and will be released as newly-minted Blu-ray product offering on Jan. 26.

Drum roll … rat-a-tat, tat, tat, tat, tat … and the winner is Kansas City Confidential!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media To Release DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension On Jan. 12

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media announced this past week that the latest installment in the studio’s popular Paranormal Activity film franchise, director Gregory Plotkin’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, will be ready for fans to enjoy on Jan. 12.

The ARR is a swift-to-market 81 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $18.2 million.

Being served-up that day will be a three-SKU selection that includes a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) and a 3D/2D Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (also featuring UltraViolet).

The series comes to an end with this addition to the franchise — which under-performed at the box office, but is nevertheless a nice thrill ride.   The script is tight and coherent and there are plenty of gotcha moments.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features (all exclusive to the Blu-ray SKUs) include an unrated cut of the film, an alternate ending and the featurette titled “Lost Footage.”

Also getting both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings one week earlier — Jan. 5 — is the hoot and a half horror comedy from writer/director Christopher Landon, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse.

The ARR is a zippy 67 days and ticket sales were $3.6 million.

The film got a limited theatrical break during the Halloween weekend this year and more or less got lost in the shuffle.   That’s too bad as this is one fun ride.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Basically we have three scouts (high school outcasts) — Augie (Joey Morgan), Ben (Tye Sheridan — as Cyclops in the forthcoming X-Men: Apocalypse) and Carter (Logan Miller — The Stanford Prison Experiment) — who team with a stripper (oops, “cocktail waitress”) named Denise (Sarah Dumont) to fight their way to the hot party (they were given the wrong address, on purpose) and save the hot chicks from a zombie plague.   How cool is that?

Mill Creek Entertainment's DVD And Blu-ray Release Bonanza Announced For March Of 2016

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s a March priced-to-won DVD and Blu-ray release bonanza from Mill Creek Entertainment on the 15th of the month … a “baker’s dozen” in all.

But first, Mill Creek Entertainment also has the Mar. 1 double-disc DVD collection of the short-lived 1970’s series Future Cop on its release calendar.   This series teamed Ernest Borgnine with John Amos and featured Michael Shannon as a rookie (with special “programming”) in a Los Angeles-based cop series … included are the feature-length pilot, all six of the episodes from the series and the follow-on MOW titled “Cops and Robin.”

Also heading to the DVD market place on Mar. 1 are director Kevin Connor’s epic tele-drama, In the Beginning … (2000, featuring an all star cast that includes Martin Landau, Jacqueline Bisset, Christopher Lee, Geraldine Chaplin, Alan Bates and Billy Campbell as Moses).

Now to Mar. 15 and the six new Blu-ray selections being offered up by Mill Creek on that date … leading the way is the five-film, double-disc collection titled Jean-Claude Van Damme 5 Movie Collection (the SRP is $14.98).  Included in the mix are: The Hard Corps (2006 with Vivica A. Fox), Knock Off (1998, Rob Schneider, Paul Sorvino and Lela Rochon co-star), Maximum Risk (1996, with Natasha Henstridge), Second in Command (2006, co-starring Julie Cox) and Universal Soldier: The Return.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Also on the Blu-ray front on Mar. 15 is the four-film collection titled Sun, Sand and Sweat.   This fun-filled set, also priced at just $14.98, includes Private Resort (1985, starring Johnny Depp), Hardbodies (1984, with Teal Roberts), Spring Break (1983) and John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis starring in director James Bridges’ 1985 film release of Perfect.   Priced at just $9.98 is the SKU titled Spring Break Double Feature … it features the aforementioned Private Resort and Hardbodies films.

Single Blu-ray film offerings — priced at just $9.98 each — on Mar. 15 are the comedies Swing Vote (2008, Kevin Costner), Just Visiting (2001, Christina Applegate teams with Jean Reno) and Traci Lind stars in 1993 film release of My Boyfriend’s Back.

Shifting to the DVD format on Mar. 15, Mill Creek Entertainment has eight price-to-collection selections planned.   The aforementioned Jean-Claude Van Damme 5 Movie Collection is also counted among the list (the DVD SKU is just $9.98).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
There are two four-film, double-disc collections, also priced at $9.98 … these are Romance: 4 in 1 Collection, which includes The Scarlet Letter (1995, Gary Oldman, Demi Moore and Robert Duvall), Feast of July, Jefferson in Paris (1995, Nick Nolte and Gwyneth Paltrow) and Washington Square (1997, with Maggie Smith, Albert Finney and Jennifer Jason Leigh), and Thriller: 4 in 1 Collection, which showcases director Joel Schumacher’s 2003 film release of Veronica Guerin, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role, Before and After (1996, teaming Meryl Streep with Liam Neeson), Playing God (1997, Angelina Jolie joins Timothy Hutton and David Duchovny) and The Rich Man's Wife (1996, starring Halle Berry).

And finally, Mill Creek Entertainment has a total of four triple-feature DVD SKUs — all priced at just $9.98 each — planned for release on Mar. 15.  These are: Political Comedies Triple Feature (Swing Vote, Blaze and Wrong is Right), Political Dramas Triple Feature (Nixon, All the King's Men and Storyville are included here), Pretty Dumb Criminals (Mafia! is teamed with Big Trouble and High Heels and Low Lifes) and Rainy Day Romance 3 Movie Collection (Duets, Hope Springs and Mad Love).

Indican Pictures To Release Deadly Famous And Hot Water On DVD In January

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The directing/producing team of Jim Lane and Eric Troop will be celebrating the New Year with news this week that Indican Pictures has targeted Jan. 12 as the DVD debut date for their Hollywood horror tale, Deadly Famous.

The movie business in SoCal has its social structure.   Stars, would-be stars, up-and-coming stars, has-been stars, never-been stars … oh yes, all the technical people (those CGI artists, sound, editing, etc.) are in the mix as well.   Pamela (played by the dreamy blonde Jackie Moore — The Opposite Sex, Sensory Perception, etc.) is one of those “would-be stars” who is just starting out in her career … a bright future in front of her.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIf she is going to succeed in her career (and move up that ladder) our lovely Pamela has to deal with the survival part, food (work) and shelter (a place to live).   The shelter part comes in the form an answer to a classified ad offering a “guest room for rent,” the landlord — as luck would have it — is none other than Alan Miller (Daniel O'Meara — Tony 5, Castle Made of Sand, etc.), a peripheral player (who, by the way hangs out with Eric Roberts — playing himself here).  He must have had some success, he’s got a nice place and guest house to rent.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
Before the end credits our lovely heroine will learn all about surviving in Hollywood … the debonair Alan is a real lady killer!    Seriously, Alan’s a serial killer, urbane, social — geeze, he hangs out with Eric Roberts — and he’d very much like to make his latest tenant the star of his next film!!!   Creepy!

Also opening the New Year, with a Jan. 5 DVD debut date, is the documentary filmmaking team of Kevin Flint and Lizabeth Rogers’ Hot Water, a chilling look at our nation’s problems with nuclear waste — from mining to fuel to, well, waste; toxic waste.

Our drinking water, even the earth we walk on and the air we breath are all in the line of fire from the accumulation of heavy metals that are the residue of this “clean energy” source.    There are tons of it; mountains of waste with no plan for making it safe (landfills, is that a plan?) … and more everyday!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Wild Eye Releasing Tabs Feb. 23 For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Anthony Winson's House of Afflictions

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThings that go bump in the night (or go bump in broad daylight for that matter) is what writer/director Anthony Winson serves-up in House of Afflictions.  It’s a good, old fashion haunted house thriller and it is heading to DVD in the New Year courtesy of Wild Eye Releasing.

Word arrived this week that Feb. 23 will be the domestic release date for Brit filmmaker Anthony Winson’s latest horror thriller — he’s building quite the reputation for films of this ilk, which include The Witching Hour, Unholy and The Haunting of Baylock Residence.

Set in the 1970s, we meet Kate (Michelle Darkin Price — The Haunting of Baylock Residence, Zombie Hood), who is a mystery writer with writer’s block … and for good reason, her young daughter, Julia (Evie Mason), suddenly vanished and there is no trace of her.   

For Kate that is not a good thing on at least two levels. A s a mother, the pain is near unbearable.  As a writer prone to writing about such things, her thoughts of what happened to her daughter become something of a nightmare.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The solution is to retreat to a remote country house (the film was shot on location in The Midlands of England) with her husband John (Stefan Boehm).   Time to grieve; time to heal … perhaps a time to write once again.   

Welcome to the new “hell house” …  as here begins our haunted house thriller!  Kate slowly becomes unhinged with the thought — and then the visions — that she is not alone in this lovely, but now very creepy house.    Are those little bumps in the night real?   Or, is Kate losing her mind?   Perhaps there is something more sinister at play?

Sorry, but you will have to wait until Feb. 23 and Wild Eye Releasing’s DVD debut of House of Afflictions to solve this haunted house mystery.

Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season On DVD And Blu-ray From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment On Feb. 2

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has picked Feb. 2 as the retail-ready date for both DVD and Blu-ray (with UltraViolet) collections of the final season of the alien-invasion saga, Falling Skies.

Prepped for landing on that date are three-disc DVD editions and double-disc Blu-ray selections of Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season (complete collection buying options for both home entertainment formats will also be available on that date).

Bonus goodies include farewell video sessions, the featurette “A Look Back” and selections from the Los Angeles 2015 Wondercon Panel.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Targets Feb. 9 For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscar-nominated filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s turn-of-the-Century (20th Century that is) ghost story, Crimson Peak, will be getting both a DVD and a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) push from Universal Studios Home Entertainment on Feb. 9.

The ARR works out to an industry average of 116 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $31.1 million.

Edith (Mia Wasikowska — Madame Bovary, Albert Nobbs, Alice in Wonderland, etc.) is an up-and-coming author with both a penchant for penning gothic tales and periodic visitations from the ghost of her dead mother, who warns her cryptically about “Crimson Peak.”   

Such visions are not heeded — if they were we wouldn’t have much of a story — as the lovely Edith soon finds herself trapped in a creepy — and very haunted — English manor by incestuous siblings Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston — best known to American audiences as Loki from Thor and Thor: The Dark World) and Lady Lucille (Jessica Chastain — back-to-back Best Supporting Actress nominations for The Help (2011) and Zero Dark Thirty (2012)).  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Can Edith’s suspicious father (played by Deadwood’s Jim Beaver) and her would-be lover, Alan (Charlie Hunnam — Pacific Rim and as “Jax” from the Sons of Anarchy television series), discover her plight before she too falls victim to their evil ways?!

Crimson Peak is a visual feast, perhaps not as scary as genre fans would have hoped for, but nevertheless well worth a look-see for those who missed its theatrical run.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus nuggets include commentary from filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro, who is joined by co-writer Matthew Robbins (Mimic, The Sugarland Express, Dragonslayer, etc.), deleted scenes and a pair of production featurettes — “The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak” and “Beware Of Crimson Peak.”

Arrow Video Restores Pray For Death On Blu-ray For Feb. 16 Delivery

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, announced this past week that the late director Gordon Hessler’s 1985 revenge thriller, Pray for Death, has been given a new hi-def restoration.   

Feb. 16 is the assigned street date for the new Blu-ray editions, which features both the original theatrical cut and the unrated version.

Akira (Shô Kosugi — Enter the Ninja, Rage of Honor, Blind Fury, etc.) is a happily married Japanese businessman (with an interesting secret) who resettles to Houston, Texas with his Japanese-American wife and their two young boys.    

His dream of operating Aiko's Japanese Restaurant (named after his wife — played by Donna Kei Benz — Looker, The Challenge) are quickly destroyed by a thug by the name of Limelight Willy (James Booth), his henchmen and some local rogue cops (stolen merchandise, etc.).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThere is a steady escalation of the violence (the proverbial “fuse being lit), until a line is crossed — Aiko is murdered — and Akira’s “interesting secret” is revealed!

Bonus features include a newly-prepared video session with Shô Kosugi and an archival featurette showing a Ninjutsu demonstration by Kosugi.