Friday, April 8, 2016

4K Ultra HD Day-And-Date Edition Will Be Apart Of Lionsgate Home Entertainment's May 31 Home Entertainment Launch Of The Gods Of Egypt

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Gods of Egypt, Ralph TribbeyLionsgate Home Entertainment’s mega-buck epic, The Gods of Egypt, will be released on May 31 as a four-SKU selection of home entertainment products. 

On that date, consumers will be able to choose between either stand-alone DVD or Blu-ray editions, plus those willing to go upscale can purchase a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack presentation that includes a 3D viewing option (two Blu-rays and a DVD).   

And for those into the newly launched 4K Ultra HD format, Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be delivering a day and date 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition as well.

Domestic box office receipts were a disappointing $30.5 million, and for the record, the ARR is a very swift-to-market 81 days.   Bury your losers and move on.

Indeed, if those reported production costs of $140 million for The Gods of Egypt are any where close to the mark, then someone is absorbing quite a bit of red ink on this one.   Throw in another $20 million to $30 million in P&A (just for the domestic launch) and you can begin to see why Lionsgate stock has been in the tank of late — $41 per share in November and down to just half of that as April begins.

When you do the math, the studio has shed about $3 billion in market capitalization in just five months.   Ouch!   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Gods of Egypt, Ralph Tribbey
Part of that is directly related to the end of the Hunger Games franchise, which was handled very poorly by the home entertainment division with their feeble PR and marketing efforts (that was an unapologetically self-inflicted wound).  

That’s a tough film franchise to replace, but the same could have been said for the studio when Saw came to an end … Lionsgate got through that.

The other big chop to the stock price can be attributed to this film.  It’s simply not the next Mummy film franchise … reviews were generally on the negative side, which were more of a PC reaction to the casting of “white actors” (Gerald Butler, Brenton Thwaites, etc.) in the lead roles than an honest critique of the film itself.   

Criticize a film for bad acting, or a poor script or even botched production values, but The Gods of Egypt is a bad movie because the actors are white?  Please, that’s just stupid — PC run amok these days.   In all fairness, the film is lovely to look at and it is entertaining, but sadly, it is simply not the next Mummy film franchise.    

As to bonus goodies, the featurettes titled “The Battle for Eternity: Stunts” and “A Window into Another World: Visual Effects” are common to all release configurations. 
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, The Gods of Egypt, Ralph TribbeyExclusive to the Blu-ray editions are four additional featurettes — “A Divine Vision: Creating a Cinematic Action Fantasy,” “Of Gods and Mortals: The Cast,” “Transformation: Costume, Make-up & Hair” and “On Location: Shooting in Australia” — and deleted storyboards (that’s a new one; deleted scenes yes, deleted storyboards … scenes that were never filmed, interesting).

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Will Ship DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of How To Be Single On May 24

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, How to be Single, Ralph Tribbey
May 24 will be the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Christian Ditter’s film adaptation of the Liz Tuccillo’s novel, How to be Single, so says Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The ARR works out to 102 days from the film’s theatrical launch to its subsequent move to the home entertainment arena … ticket sales were a tasty $46.7 million.

Basically this is a comedy vehicle for the joyful Rebel Wilson, even though the storyline is more about the experiences of Fifty Shades of Grey’s Dakota Johnson in Manhattan.   But that’s OK, Wilson gets to chew on the scenery (a good thing), while Johnson, plus the likes of Alison Brie, Leslie Mann and Workaholics’ Anders Holm (among others) are along for the ride (and have their moments too).   

Bonus goodies common to both the DVD and Blu-ray SKUs are deleted scenes, while exclusives with the Blu-ray edition include a gag reel, outtakes featuring Rebel Wilson (looking forward to those) and a trio of featurettes —  “The Pros and Cons of How to be Single,” “Rebel Rabble: A Look at Rebel Wilson” and “The Best Idea Wins!: The Humor of How to be Single.”

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar! On DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack From Universal Studios Home Entertainment On June 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Hail, Caesar!, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has selected June 7 as the street date for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy about a fictionalized Hollywood studio and the problems associated with getting some of their films made during the early 1950s. 

With the likes of George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes as cast members, you would think that this fun piece about movie-making would be a natural.   But for some reason audiences failed to warm to it as box office receipts just reached the $30 million mark.   The ARR works out to 123 days.

Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, a 1950s version of the current Ray Donovan (Liev Schreiber), a Hollywood “fixer,” whose biggest problem is the abduction of the studio’s star attraction, Baird Whitlock (Clooney).   He’s right in the middle of shooting an epic and his abductors are demanding $100,000.

He also has to deal with the pregnancy of starlet DeeAnna Moran (Johansson) and his solution to that problem is actually quite clever (you have to wonder if such things actually happened back then).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Hail, Caesar!, Ralph Tribbey
Hail, Caesar! is a genuine throwback film, with nice homage touches … it’s too bad that brothers Ethan and Joel couldn’t have come up with a more clever script.  The Clooney plot line goes nowhere, but the bits with Ralph Fiennes (a snobbish director) and Alden Ehrenreich as a terribly miscast leading man are hysterical.

Bonus features, common to both the DVD and Blu-ray SKUs, are a quartet of production featurettes — “Directing Hollywood,” “The Stars Align,” “An Era of Glamour” and “Magic of a Bygone Era: Hail, Caesar!”

Monday, April 4, 2016

Vinegar Syndrome Preps 2K Restoration Double-Bill Of Crypt Of The Living Dead And House Of The Living Dead For DVD On Apr. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Vinegar Syndrome, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome has a double-bill “deadly” delight (as part of the company’s popular Drive-In Collection promotional banner) ready for fans to enjoy on Apr. 26 with new 2K restorations (from original 35mm film elements) of Crypt of the Living Dead (aka: Hannah, Queen of the Vampires) and House of the Living Dead (aka: Curse of the Living Dead).

After Night of the Living Dead was such a sensation everyone got into the act with naming films “Living Dead” this or that … it was great fun, and these “Dead” film gems make for one hell of a Drive-In double-feature!

Mill Creek Entertainment Adds Five New 50-Film Mega Sets To Its June 7 DVD Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Mill Creek Entertainment, Ralph Tribbey
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better … it did.   

Last week we reported that Mill Creek Entertainment had announced release plans for 14 new DVD multi-pack collections, plus the complete mini-series of Arabian Nights, that are destined for delivery to retail on June 7.   All sorts of different configurations, ranging from five-film collections — priced at just $9.98 — to 50-film Mega Sets, with an SRP (before discounts at retail) of $29.98, are included in the mix.

This past week, Mill Creek Entertainment added, not one or two, but five additional 50-film Mega Sets (“Instant Film Libraries,” if you will) to its June 7 release calendar.   These are: 50 Movie Collection: Crime Wave, 50 Movie Collection: Great Adaptations, 50 Movie Collection: Icons of Comedy, 50 Movie Collection: Midnight Movie Madness and 50 Movie Collection: Western Outlaws … all are ten-disc collections priced at just $29.98 each.

Wolfe Tabs June 14 As The DVD Debut Date For Writer/Director Joey Kuhn's Award-Winning Those People

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Those People, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that Joey Kuhn, a cinematographer-turned-writer/director, will have his award-winning directorial debut, Those People, released to the DVD market place this coming June 14.

Lushly mounted — certainly as a result of Kuhn’s work behind the camera — Those People is a film presented with a sure hand (based on his on experiences) that easily reaches all audiences with its message — whether gay or straight — that in each life, “everyone has a Sebastian.”  

That cryptic phrase refers to Charlie (Jonathan Gordon — God’s Pocket), the protagonist of the piece, and his secret love for his friend Sebastian (Jason Ralph — as Quentin in The Magicians television series, plus such films as Stereotypically You and A Most Violent Year).   An obsession, if you will, that Sebastian is all too aware of and uses to his advantage when either necessary … or when it pleases him.   

He’s the puppet master and Charlie’s strings are tied so very tight.   A whole genre of films spins around similar relationships and that would be film noir — usually it’s some poor smuck who is blinded by the allures of a no good dame and is helpless to do much about it.   The same holds true here.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Those People, Ralph Tribbey
Charlie and Sebastian are both of privilege, Manhattan Millennials, who socialize with their circle of friends … all equally self-important and adrift in Manhattan.    And there our story would languish, a Gatsby – esque tale of manners, social standing and echo chamber reassurances, but Kuhn introduces an outsider to this cloistered mix and everything changes.

His name is Tim (Haaz Sleiman — who landed the role of Jesus in Killing Jesus, plus acclaim for his performance as Tarek in writer/director Tom McCarthy’s The Visitor) and Charlie is attracted to him.   Of course that doesn’t please Sebastian, who has deeply guarded issues (financial dealings of his father, etc.) that are exposed — self-destructively so — when he feels his power over Charlie slipping away and his leadership of this Manhattan clique challenged.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Those People, Ralph TribbeyFilmmaker Kuhn cleverly uses a visual metaphor — a skill that Charlie possesses — to show first his bondage to Sebastian and then his eventual growth and freedom.   It works
exceedingly well within the structure of the story.

Those People, is well-produced, thoughtful and a more-than-worthy first effort from a filmmaker that we are sure to hear more about in the years ahead.  Bonus features include deleted scenes and casting audition clips. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Those People, Ralph Tribbey

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Writer/Director Robert Piroch's Valley Of The KIngs Receives An Apr. 12 DVD Debut Date From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Valley of the Kings, Ralph Tribbey
Writer/director Robert Pirosh’s long overdue DVD debut of his 1954 shot-on-location Technicolor triumph, Valley of the Kings, will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Apr. 12.

The war is over and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, among other studios at the time, looked to previously off-limit locations — armies at war tend to put places off limits — to serve as the backdrop for the filming of spectacular adventures.    

What better a place than the actual Pyramids at Giza and the sites of Luxor for a story about the search for the tomb of Ra-Hotep! 

Pirosh, fresh from an Oscar-win for Best Writing, Battleground (1950 — based on his own experiences at the Battle of the Bulge) and another nomination in 1952 for Go For Broke!, provided the script for Valley of the Kings and got the directing assignment … and so off he went to Egypt.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Valley of the Kings, Ralph TribbeyRobert Taylor starred as the man on that quest to find the tomb of the pharaoh, with Eleanor Parker as the woman who sides with him against the double-dealings of her treacherous husband (Carlos Thompson) … others in the cast include Victor Jory and Kurt Kasznar.

Cinema Libre Selects June 7 For The DVD Debut Of Director Philippe Gerard’s On a Long Breath

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, On a Long Breath, Ralph Tribbey
Close your eyes, take a deep breath and slowly (in your mind) count to 60.   Don’t breathe, hold your breath and just count … one, two, three and on and on.   At 60 your whole body is telling you “breathe, damn it, breathe, we’re going to die.”

For world champion free-diver Pierre Frolla, 60 seconds is just baby stuff.   While you’re screaming for air at 60, he’s just getting warmed up!

In documentary filmmaker Philippe Gerard’s On a Long Breath — heading to DVD courtesy of Cinema Libre on June 7 — we spend 51 days with Pierra Frolla free-diving up to six minutes at a time in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans … and for good measure in the Mediterranean as well.   

You read that right, “six minutes;” six full minutes interacting with Moray Eels, Tiger Sharks and Sperm Whales.   All of these amazing free-dives are presented with spectacular underwater footage that puts you along side Pierre as he swims, without fear, with these amazing creatures of the sea.

Director Nico Mastorakis' Hired To Kill Ready On May 17 From Arrow Video As A Newly Restored Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Hired to Kill, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, looks to May 17 for the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack release of a new 2K restoration of director Nico Mastorakis’ 1990 all-action thriller, Hired to Kill.

This is not to be confused with the Steven Seagal film of the same name released theatrically that year.   Mastorakis’ Hired to Kill went the direct-to-video route in the domestic market, but that wasn’t until February of 1992. 

This is the third Mastorakis film to be restored by Arrow Video — Island of Death was released in May of last year and The Zero Boys arrives on Apr. 26.   It is something of a cult thing and Hired to Kill fits right in … a pure guilty pleasure.

Recruited for the cast are such familiar faces as Oliver Reed and Oscar-winners George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke) and José Ferrer (Cyrano de Bergerac), but its Brian Thompson as hired gun Frank Ryan and his “magnificent seven” bevy of super model operatives that are the focus of our attention.   He’s hired to break Ferrer out of prison and his cover is that he is a fashion photographer (with a limp wrist) on a photo shoot (pardon us while we snicker).  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Hired to Kill, Ralph TribbeyYeah, right, that’s just an excuse for some skin between episodes of violence, but let’s give our boy Frank Ryan an A for effort in trying to sell dictator Michael Bartos (Reed) that he’s not the rugged action he appears to be (the big scene: “The Kiss”).

As to bonus goodies, Arrow Video has a commentary option with veteran film editor Barry Zetlin (Breeders, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Cellar Dweller, Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, etc.), newly prepared video sessions with both filmmaker Nico Mastorakis and the film’s star, Brian Thompson, plus there’s a copy of the original shooting script (which was titled “Freedom or Death”).

Film Chest Media Group Prepares An Uncut Presentation Of Director Len Anthony's Vampires For Delivery To DVD On May 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Vampires, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Chest announced this past week that writer/director Len Anthony’s Vampires (aka: Abadon) will be available on May 10 in its uncut form (clocking in at 80 minutes).

The film was originally produced by Len Anthony for Studio Entertainment (he was president and CEO of the company), but there is little record to indicate that it was actually released on VHS at the time (circa 1986).   Instead, the film was “trimmed” down and tacked onto Fright House, which was released in October of 1989 as a direct-to-video VHS release by Studio Entertainment.

The feature length presentation of Vampires stars Night of the Living Dead’s Duane Jones as Dr. Charles Harmon (a “defrocked scientist”), with Orly Benyar as Ione, a student at an art school (the Abadon School) who discovers that the mysterious Madeline Abadon (Jackie James) is up to no good … and just might be a vampire (or a “life-sucker” at the very least).  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Vampires, Ralph Tribbey
Her fears are well founded.   As it turns out, Madeline’s father used to run an insane asylum on the very site of the art school and had invented a machine that literally sucked the life out of his hapless patients.   

His evil daughter is actually 75-years old (a younger version is played by Kit Jones) and has (had) a “special” relationship with a younger version of Harmon!   Gulp!   Is the lovely Ione doomed to be drained of that which makes her young and sexy, or does Madeline have something else even more sinister in mind?

You’ll have to wait until May 10 and Film Chest’s feature-length presentation of Vampires to find the answer to that question … and more!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Vampires, Ralph Tribbey