Monday, November 21, 2016

The Film Detective Unearths The New Howdy Doody Show For A DVD Collection On Nov. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s Howdy Doody time once again as The Film Detective has unearthed 20 ultra rare episodes from Buffalo Bob Smith and his trusty sidekick, Howdy Doody, the 1976 reincarnation of the classic kid program that ran from 1947 through 1960 (in various forms).   

Titled The New Howdy Doody Show, which will be available as a four-disc collection on Nov. 29, reunited Buffalo Bob Smith, Howdy Doody and Clarabell (Lew Anderson) for a year’s worth of memories, and of course, fun for the entire family. 
The Film Detective has broken the 20-episode collection down into four theme-groups … there’s are “Glory Grits,” “Grab Bag,” “Peanut Parade” and “Doodyville Documentary.”
We’re not done yet, The Film Detective also has ten new film restorations ready for the DVD market place on Nov. 22.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
So let’s get to it … John Wayne has two of his pre-Stagecoach Westerns in the mix.  These are director Robert N. Bradbury’s 1934 film release of The Lucky Texan (co-starring Gabby Hayes, Yakima Canutt and Barbara Sheldon) and director Harry L. Fraser’s release of 'Neath the Arizona Skies (co-starring Sheila Terry).

Other Western classics to be found in the Nov. 22 restoration mix are director John English’s 1948 Gene Autry Western, Loaded Pistols (co-starring Barbara Britton and Chill Wills) and the 1953 Allen “Rocky” Lane entry, Marshal of Cedar Rock (directed by Harry Keller and co-starring Phyllis Coates (as the first Lois Lane in the Adventures of Superman television series).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOn the classic film front a restored edition of director Frank Capra’s 1941 Oscar-nominated Meet John Doe (for Best Writing), teaming Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck is to be found in the Nov. 22 priced-to-collect DVD release mix.   So too is Meet Dr. Christian (1939, starring Jean Hersholt as the iconic physician) and the 1938 Dead End Kids entry, Little Tough Guy, starring Huntz Hall, Gabriel Dell and Billy Halop (sans Leo Gorcey).

The 1934 theatrical version (cut-down) of the 12-chapter Mascot Pictures serial, The Lost Jungle (starring Clyde Beatty and Cecilia Parker) is also counted in the mix.   This was a common practice, the serial would appear in installment form and then be condensed down to a feature-length presentation and reissued for those who missed the serialized version.

Rounding out the Nov. 22 DVD selections are writer/director Oscar Micheaux’s  1939 murder mystery, Lying Lips (starring Edna Mae Harris) and the 1971 MOW mystery, Murder Once Removed, starring John Forsythe.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Mongrel Media Joins Forces With MVD Entertainment Group On Dec. 13 For The DVD Release Of Director Billy O'Brien's Sci-Fi Thriller The Hybrid

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mongrel Media, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Dec. 13 as the DVD debut date for director Billy O’Brien’s sci-fi/horror thriller, The Hybrid.

The Russians were up to something, or perhaps we should say that the former Soviet Union was up to something.   It seems that they found a mysterious meteorite that allowed them to make hybrid humans, presumably for military purposes.   The old order collapses, militias fill the vacuum and the experimental facility falls into disuse. 
No problem, right?   A bad idea has come to an end.   If only that were the case as a commando team — basically guns for-hire — have been dispatched to find out what remains of the project.   

Can anything worthwhile be salvaged?  That’s what Powell (John Lynch) and a “scientist” by the name of Dr. Healy (Morjana Alaoui) are after, but what they find would best be left buried.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe Hybrid is a high-tech haunted house thriller and the heavily armed team of mercenaries is basically your “victim pool.”   First they have to work their way through hostile country — that’s a good half-hour of suspense — just to get to the “haunted house.”    Then comes all the creepy things that go with an unstoppable creature being set loose upon them … one by one by one they die!

Cool creature, great suspense and plenty of action makes Mongrel Media’s The Hybrid a must for genre fans during this Christmas season.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

CJ Entertainment Readies DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Operation Chromite For Domestic Release On Jan. 24

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Sept. 15, 1950 the beleaguered people of what would become the Republic of Korea (better known to the West as simply South Korea) saw the hope of freedom return to their land when ROK (Republic of Korea) and United States forces launched a surprise counter-attack at Inchon.   The code name for this undertaking was “Operation Chromite.”  

On Jan. 24, CJ Entertainment will be releasing DVD and Blu-ray editions of South Korean-born filmmaker John H. Lee’s (aka: Jae-han Lee) film of the same name, Operation Chromite.   

The film had a late summer theatrical run domestically, which yields an ARR of 172 days.   Domestic ticket sales (in its limited major metro theatrical break) were right at $1 million.

North Korea’s Russian-backed invasion of the south in June of 1950 had quickly taken Seoul and pushed ROK and US forces all the way to Pusan (aka: the Pusan Pocket; aka: Busan Pocket) on the southern tip of the peninsula.   All seemed hopeless.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lee’s Operation Chromite details General Douglas MacArthur’s (played by Liam Neeson) daring plan to retake the port city of Incheon, the gateway to Seoul, through the eyes of an elite ROK counterinsurgency unit headed by Lt. Jang Hak-soo (Jung-jae Lee — New World, Typhoon, Assassination, etc.).   

The harbor at Incheon is known for it’s wide range of tides (high and low), which means that MacArthur’s plan to land forces and cutoff the North Korean army in the south has to be timed perfectly.   But there’s another factor, the mines laid by DPK Navy in the harbor … this is Lt. Jang Hak-soo’s mission, find out their location at all costs.   The freedom of South Korean depends on it!

Operation Chromite is not so much a war story, but an edge-of-your-seat spy-on-spy thriller as Hak-soo’s eight-man force must complete their mission — they are expendable — if their country is to regain it’s freedom.   Basically, there is no tomorrow … succeed against impossible odds or die.

Operation Chromite is presented in Korean (with English dialogue for American forces) with optional English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Tabs Jan. 17 For DVD • Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack • And 4K Ultra/Blu-ray Combo Pack Editions Of The Girl On The Train

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment put Disney on the run this December with the double-whammy release of The Secret Life of Pets and Jason Bourne on Dec. 6.  When you are out first with Spielberg’s The BFG on that date and Universal drops those two blockbusters on you … well, you tuck your mouse tail and run for cover (they moved The BFG to Nov. 29). 

Now, we can’t speak with any authority on this, but about ten days ago Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment announced that their less-than-successful Light Between Oceans would be available on Jan. 17 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings. Did Universal take note of that?   Again, we can’t say.

But, are you ready for this, Universal dropped another two-ton load of bricks on Disney’s little sad puppy with news this week that both director Tate Taylor’s film adaptation of the Paul Hawkins’ novel, The Girl on a Train, and the next installment in Universal’s newly-minted horror franchise, writer/director Mike Lanagan’s Ouija: Origins of Evil (a prequel to writer/director Stiles White’s 2014 horror hit, Ouija) will be available on … drum roll please … Jan. 17!!!

It’s no secret that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has been struggling with their Blu-ray and DVD product offerings.   Their PR people rely way, way too much on the Disney name — you know, “we’re Disney and you’re not” — to push their product.   No effort is needed.   With that attitude it is no wonder that Universal is making Disney’s home entertainment life miserable these days.   

Will Light Between Oceans be moved to escape this crushing blow?   Probably not, it’s a write-off anyway, so why bother.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The great irony in all of this inside-the-industry home entertainment body-slamming is that Taylor’s The Girl on the Train began its film production life in the Disney world, but it slipped through their fingers to the benefit of Universal Pictures.

This alcohol-fueled thriller arrives as a three-SKU product offering on Jan. 17.   The ARR comes in at 102 days and domestic ticket sales were a solid $73.3 million.

Planned for release are a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.   This latter configuration is a format which, ironically again, Disney refuses to support, but consumers can select a 4K Ultra HD version The Girl on the Train — something they would be denied if the production had remained at the mouse kingdom.

Bonus nuggets include commentary by director Tate Taylor (The Help), deleted and extended scenes and a pair of extended featurettes — “The Women Behind The Girl” and “On Board the Train.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Teamed with The Girl on the Train on Jan. 17 is writer/director Mike Flanagan’s prequel to the 2014 release of Ouija, Ouija: Origin of Evil.   Planed for distribution on that date are DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack selections.

The ARR is a swift-to-market 88 days and ticket sales from this Halloween-season release were a tasty $34.2 million.

The “DZ” on the Ouija Board in the first film — the malevolent “ghost” of Doris Zander — becomes the subject of this prequel, which now leaves future filmmakers involved in the series the wherewithal to fully exploit this creepy, and seemingly unstoppable, horror creation.  

As to bonus goodies, writer/director Mike Flanagan (Hush, Oculus) provides commentary, there are deleted scenes and a trio of featurettes — “The Making of Ouija: Origin of Evil,” “Home is Where the Horror Is” and “The Girl Behind Doris.”

Lionsgate Home Entertainment Selects Jan. 10 For The Home Entertainment Rollout Of Director Peter Berg's Deepwater Horizon

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment has selected Jan. 10 as the street date for the release of a three-SKU helping of director Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon.

The ARR comes in at 102 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $60.6 million.
The consumer buying choices include a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Deepwater Horizon marks the second of three film collaborations between director Peter Berg and actor Mark Walhberg — the first being Lone Survivor and third being the Jan. 13, 2017 wide theatrical release of Patriots Day (the story of the events about the Boston Marathon bombing).    

The timing of the release of Deepwater Horizon on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD is perfect as Patriots Day will get a high-profile, but limited theatrical push on Dec. 21 in selected cities (an Oscar-qualifying opening), followed by the aforementioned nationwide push within three days of the Deepwater Horizon home entertainment launch.

Bonus features common to all SKU configurations include three featurettes — “The Fury of the Rig,” “Deepwater Surveillance” and “Work Like an American.”  Exclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions are the five-part production documentary title “Beyond the Horizon” (runs about 60 minutes) and the additional featurette titled “Captain of the Rig: Peter Berg.”

Mildred Pierce 4K Restoration Toplines The Criterion Collection's February 2017 Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection announced a new 4K restoration of director Michael Curtiz’s 1945 film noir masterpiece, Mildred Pierce, this past week the lead entry of its February release slate.   Both DVD (a double-disc set) and Blu-ray editions will be available for film buffs to update their collections on Feb. 21. 

Released theatrically just after the end of World War II in October of 1945, Mildred Pierce was a bold reshaping of James M. Cain’s 1941 novel of the same name that earned the film a Best Picture nomination and its star, Joan Crawford, an Oscar for Best Actress.   Others in the cast receiving Oscar nods were both Eve Arden and Ann Blyth in the Best Supporting Actress category, which likely paved the way for Anne Revere to win for her performance in National Velvet.

As to bonus goodies, there’s a vintage 2002 video session featuring Ann Blyth and film historian Eddie Muller, excepts from a vintage David Frost Show broadcast (circa 1970) featuring Joan Crawford, a clip from a 1969 Today broadcast featuring writer James M. Cain and documentary filmmaker Peter Fitzgerald’s 2002 feature-length documentary, Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso to be found on the February 2017 release calendar from The Criterion Collection are Cameraperson (the ARR is 151 days and film’s arthouse run generated ticket sales of $94,910); a new restoration of Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 Best Foreign Language nominee, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (both Blu-ray and DVD SKUs will be available on Feb. 21) and director Richard Linklater’s entire Before TrilogyBefore Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight — will presented as three-disc Blu-ray and DVD collections on Feb. 28.
documentary filmmaker Kirsten Johnson’s 2016 film release on Feb. 7 of DVD and Blu-ray editions of

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment To Release DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season On Jan. 10

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment will be looking to Jan. 10 for the next 12 thrill-packed adventures of former CIA operative Carrie Mathison (played by Emmy-winner Claire Danes), who is now working for a private security contractor.   That’s the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season.

As Michael Corleone so painfully emoted in The Godfather: Part III, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”   Such is Carrie’s fate as she finds that her past is always with her!

Bonus features include two production featurettes — “The Evolution of Carrie Mattison” and “Homeland" In Berlin: Beyond the Wall.”

City Drive Films Teams With MVD Entertainment Group For The DVD Launch Of Brad Paisley: Life Amplified World Tour On DVD On Dec. 16

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
City Drive Films, with MVD Entertainment Group providing domestic sales and distribution expertise, has selected Friday, Dec. 16 as the debut date for Brad Paisley: Life Amplified World Tour - Live From WVU.    

A two-SKU offering is planned — a stand-alone DVD edition and a DVD/CD Combo Pack (the SRP premium for the Combo Pack is just $3.00, so for fans that is probably the sweeter buy).

Brad Paisley, West Virginian native and Country Music superstar (five-time CMA’s Male Vocalist of the Year and three-time Grammy-winner) began his “Life Amplified World Tour” in May of this year and made stops throughout Canada and the United States, ending in Las Vegas on Oct. 1.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOn Sept. 9, City Drive Films was ready for him at West Virginia University in Morgantown with a 20-camera set-up, with direction by Daniel E Catullo III (Mariah Carey: Live from Central Park, Widespread Panic: Live from New Orleans and Grammy-nominated for Rush in Rio … plus many more).    

A packed crowd saw a two-hour live concert, which include such musical numbers as “Crushin' It,” “Alcohol,” “Country Nation,” “American Saturday Night” and a show-stopping tribute to John Denver with the song that every native West Virginian knows by heart, “Country Roads.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey