Monday, November 14, 2016

Mill Creek Entertainment Continues To Expand Its January DVD And Blu-ray Release Calendar With Six New Announcements

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment continues to expand its selection of new priced-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray product offerings that will be retail-ready during January.   Five new DVD selections and the Blu-ray debut of Mariah Carey’s Glitter all received release dates this past week.

Jan. 3 will see two new collections on DVD (the SRP is $14.98 each).    The first of these is the double-disc set titled 7 Western Showdown Collection, which includes director Robert Rossen’s all-star Western, They Came to Cordura, starring Gary Cooper, Rita Hayworth, Van Heflin, Richard Conte and Tab Hunter. 

Other gems in this set are director George Marshall’s 1941 film release of Texas (starring William Holden, Glenn Ford and Claire Trevor) and director Henry Levin’s The Man from Colorado, which was released in 1948 and also starred William Holden and Glenn Ford.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out this magnificent seven selection of Westerns is the 1948 Durango Kid Western, Blazing Across the Pecos, starring Charles Starrett as the Durango Kid, director Raoul Walsh’s 1953 film release of Gun Fury (teaming Rock Hudson and Donna Reed), The Black Dakotas (1954, with Gary Merrill and Wanda Hendrix) and Cliff Robertson’s 1971 modern Western, J.W. Coop

Also on Jan. 3 is the three-disc DVD collection titled The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes.   Five different actors give us their unique interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective, Sherlock Holmes. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOf course you have Basil Rathbone, who stars in Terror by Night and The Woman in Green; Christopher Lee in his two made-for-TV films, Sherlock Holmes and the Leading Lady and Sherlock Holmes and the Incident at Victoria Falls (Patrick Macnee was his Watson); John Neville stars as Holmes in director James Hill’s 1965 mystery, A Study in Terror (Donald Houston as Watson); Reginald Owen stars in the similarly titled 1933 film release of A Study in Scarlet (Warburton Gamble as Watson) and lastly, Arthur Wontner is Holmes in the 1932 release of The Sign of Four (Ian Hunter co-stars as Watson).

As a bonus, The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes includes five episodes from the 1950s TV series, Sherlock Holmes, starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and Howard Marion-Crawford as Watson.

Shifting to Jan. 17 we find the kid-friendly double-disc DVD collection titled Classic Storybook Collection, which features 32 stories hosted by Hayley Mills, the 1994 mini-series Scarlett, starring Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler and Joanne Whalley as Scarlett — the action takes place eight years after the Civil War —  and the double-feature release of Footprints and Friends for Life.

The Film Detective Restores The Man Who Skied Down Everest For Blu-ray Release On Dec. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Insane!   In a single word we have Yuichiro Miura’s 1970 skiing expedition to the top of the world … Insane!   This bit of insanity just happens to be the subject of documentary filmmakers Bruce Nyznik and Lawrence Schiller’s 1975 Oscar-winner for Best Documentary, The Man Who Skied Down Everest.

Word arrived this past week that The Film Detective has restored and re-mastered this breathtaking adventure saga for release as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings on Dec. 13.

You don’t just climb up Mount Everest and ski back down.   You form an expedition and you haul tons of supplies up the mountain to support the needs of that expedition.   Indeed, according to the original Specialty Films/Crawley Films theatrical press release, that expedition involved over 800 people and something like 27 tons of equipment.   Along the way six members of the expedition died — Everest can be an unforgiving place.

The documentary, with narration provided by Douglas Rain (based on a translation of Miura’s diary), is absolutely gorgeous; stunning in its beauty.   And why not, this is Mount Everest — beautiful and deadly.  We follow the progress of the expedition, the background of Miura (he wasn’t new to this sort of ski-stunt) and finally, on May 6, 1970, he and his crew film the impossible.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The descent is from roughly 27,000 feet down a sheer ice face and everything has to be just perfect — including the camera positioning.   Miura knew from experience that once he got going he’d never be able to stop with his skies alone and so he tethered himself to a drogue parachute (think: space shuttle; drag racer … you will get the idea), which no one had experience with at this altitude!   He’s going to be traveling in excess of 100 miles per hour.  If he goes airborne, he’s dead.   If it doesn’t deploy properly, he’s dead.  

The descent — a one-shot deal — is both breath-taking and absolutely, magnificently insane!
Also announced by The Film Detective are ten new film restorations heading to DVD on Nov. 15.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Included in the eclectic mix of titles is director W. Lee Wilder’s 1954 sci-fi thriller, Killers From Space, starring Peter Graves as Dr. Doug Martin, a nuclear whiz, who miraculously survives a fighter jet crash and is found wandering in the desert shortly thereafter.   

As his memory returns — through a little help from truth serum — he begins to weave a fantastic tale that he was captured by bug-eyed aliens and subjected to clinical examination.   Of course he’s crazy.   

“Bug-eyed” aliens?   Aliens from another world with plans to use the energy released by our nuclear testing to turn ordinary insects and lizards into a vanguard of giant human-devouring beasts … please, who is going to believe that sort of hallucination!!   

There’s just one little problem.   The aliens of his confused mind actually brought him back to life — he didn’t survive that jet crash — and their plans are real.   The little problem for him is that no one believes him!   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso in the mix are a trio of Westerns — Kentucky Rifle (1956, Lance Fuller, Cathy Downs and Chill Wills), the ironically-titled 1935 film release of The Last of the Clintons (starring Harry Carey as “Trigger” Carson) and director Harry L. Fraser’s 1932 Bill Cody/Andy Shuford Western, Law of the North (part of a series of Monogram-produced Westerns featuring Bill Cody and his kid sidekick Andy Shuford).

Rounding out the Nov. 15 DVD releases from The Film Detective are The Lady Says No (1951, teaming David Niven with Joan Caulfield), Here’s Flash Casey (1938, directed by Lynn Shores and starring Eric Linden as would-be photo-journalist Flash Casey), Jungle Bride (Anita Page stars in this 1933 shipwreck adventure) and Jaws of the Jungle (a 1936 adventure short filmed on location in Ceylon).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Vinegar Syndrome Restores Director Michael Cooney's Jack Frost For Release On Dec. 13 As A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome surprised everyone this past week with news that director Michael Cooney’s 1996 Christmas-themed horror tale, Jack Frost, will be given a limited edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack push on Dec. 13.

This newly minted 2K restoration — from original 35mm film elements — stars Scott MacDonald (Fire in the Sky, Jarhead, etc.) as the notorious serial killer Jack Frost, who escapes — on the night of his execution — and makes good on his vow to visit vengeance upon Sheriff Sam Tiler (Christopher Allport — To Live and Die in L.A.), the man who captured him!

Only there’s a twist, Jack seemingly died during the escape when a tanker truck full of some sort of “acid” crashes and dumps its contents on the killer, melting him in the process.   So is it Jack Frost on this latest killing spree … or is it someone else, perhaps even the Sheriff?   Or, is there something else even more sinister going on!   

Bonus features include commentary with director Michael Cooney, who also provides a video introduction to the film, plus there are two video sessions featuring Scott MacDonald and cinematographer Dean Lent (Border Radio, The Dogwalker, etc.).

Pop Twist Entertainment Tags Dec. 13 For The DVD Debut Of The Ecstasy Of Isabel Mann

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Pop Twist Entertainment, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tagged Dec. 13 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Jason Figgis’ vampire chiller, The Ecstasy of Isabel Mann.

This Irish import toplines Ellen Mullen — also appearing in Figgis’ Children of a Darker Dawn (aka: Railway Children) — as an aliened teenager who manages to escape an assault in the nearby woods as the film opens.   Bloody and bruised she makes it home and we are initially left to ponder what might have been the cause of her assault.

As film progresses we learn that several of her classmates have gone missing and that a no-nonsense detective (Neill Fleming) has been assigned to the case.   It is through his investigation — assisted by his “leg-man” (Matthew Toman) — that we begin to understand that there is a lot going on in Isabel’s life (perhaps “life” is a poor choice of words) than we initially suspected.   

Mother dead, raised by her father, troubled teen … etc., etc.  Experimenting with sex and drugs, sure it’s all there, but — and here’s the surprise — it seems she’s become a “daywalker,” a blood-sucker being trained by Alejo (Karim Elgendy), a vampire.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyShe is progressing quite nicely from a novice to a killer, who is now under the microscope of the law.   But there’s one other little secret that remains to be uncovered and that one hits very close to home!

Bonus features include commentary from writer/director Jason Figgis, deleted scenes and an unspecified music video.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Storks On Its Way From Warner Bros. Home Entertainment As A Four-SKU Array Of Home Entertainment Products On Dec. 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has decided that the directing team of Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland’s CGI-generated animated hit, Storks, will be making a pre-Christmas landing after all.  

As a well-past, post-Labor Day theatrical release — with $70 million in domestic box office receipts — this looked certain to be heading for a Q1’17 release window, but instead it joins the studio’s Sully — in a classic one-two product rollout — on Dec. 20.    The ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days.

Planned for delivery to retail in time for last minute shoppers to add to their carts will be a four-SKU array of product offerings.   Included in the Stork selections are a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, a double-disc Blu-ray SKU featuring 3D and 2D viewing options and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.    Whew, that’s a mouthful.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus goodies, common to all home entertainment release configurations are the LEGO Ninjago short film, The Master, and the Jason Derulo music video, “Kiss the Sky.”

Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD products feature commentary from Stoller (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Sweetland (Oscar-nominated for his 2009 short film, Presto), deleted scenes (with a commentary option), outtakes and the featurette titled “Storks: Guide to Your New Baby.”

Paramount Home Media To Release Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Series On Jan. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyParamount Home Media has selected Jan. 10 as the street date for Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Series, a massive 27-DVD disc set featuring all 98 episodes from the series four-year run.

Scott Bakula stars as Capt. Jonathan Archer, the skipper of the Enterprise NX-01, a forerunner of the Enterprise that Kirk and Spock would inhabit a century later.   His ship can only achieve Warp Five, which means it takes much longer to get from place to place in the Milky Way.   

Other elements in this “prequel” series include the formation of The Federation — the introduction of Vulcans, Romulans and other alien species to Star Trek canon.

Jan. 17 also marks the arrival of Love Boat: Season Three, Volume One and Love Boat: Season Three, Volume Two … both are four-disc DVD collections.

MVD Entertainment Group To Release Jim Brown's 50 Years With Peter Paul And Mary On Dec. 9

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Friday, Dec. 9, MVD Entertainment Group will be guiding the DVD debut of Emmy-winning filmmaker Jim Brown’s music-themed documentary, 50 Years With Peter, Paul and Mary to market.   

This is not the first time that Brown and this iconic folk trio have collaborated … back in 2004 he delivered the well-received Peter, Paul and Mary: Carry It On - A Musical Legacy, which featured Pete Seeger and Ronnie Gilbert (both of these music greats have left us since Brown captured them on film back then). 

If you are a fan of Peter, Paul and Mary, or just music fans in general, then look to this tribute as something of a must-have for any home library collection.   This is Jim Brown’s “wheel-house,” so to speak.   Folk music is his absolute specialty, having delivered such documentary works as The Weavers: Wasn't That a Time, Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, Woody Guthrie: Hard Travelin' and four episodes of American Roots Music (plus other filmmaking triumphs). 

In short, he knows the subject and is intimate-with and trusted-by the artists.   

As for 50 Years With Peter, Paul and Mary, this is the perfect blend of biographical history of the group, coupled with complete presentations of vault performances that include “Puff, the Magic Dragon,” “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “Blowin' In The Wind,” “Early Mornin' Rain,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and more.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Selects Dec.27 As The Street Date For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Jon Cassar’s When the Bough Breaks

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has the week between Christmas and New Year’s all picked out for the home entertainment launch of director Jon Cassar’s twisted thriller, When the Bough Breaks. 

The street date for DVD and Blu-ray editions will be Dec. 27.   That yields an ARR of 109 days … domestic tickets were $29.7 million.

Bonus features include commentary from director Jon Cassar (Forsaken), who is joined by writer Jack Olsen and the film’s crazed surrogate mother-to-be Jaz Sinclair (Paper Towns), deleted and extended scenes and the featurette titled “The Have’s and the Have Not’s, The Cast.”