Monday, December 12, 2016

The Film Detective Readies Six Double-Features On DVD For Delivery To Consumers On Dec. 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective is heading to market on Dec. 13 with a half-dozen priced-to-own, double-disc DVD film collections.   All six combo-packs contained previously released film restorations that went out as stand-alone product offerings — if you missed any of them the first time around, this promotion basically works out to buy one, get the second half-off.

So let’s get to it!   First up is the Roger Corman Double Feature, which contains the 1963 Boris Karloff and Jack Nicholson horror tale, The Terror, and the 1959 horror black comedy, A Bucket of Blood (Corman produced and had a hand in the direction of both films).

Next up is the Vincent Price Double Feature, which features two of his all-time horror classics The Bat (1959, with Agnes Moorehead) and director William Castle’s 1959 horror/mystery, House on Haunted Hill (also released in 1959, with Carol Ohmart and Elisha Cook Jr.).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe Cary Grant Double Feature package contains director Howard Hawks’ 1940 film adaptation of the Ben Hecht stage play, His Girl Friday (co-starring Rosalind Russell) and from the following year, 1941, it’s director George Steven’s Penny Serenade (co-starring Irene Dunne), while the Sherlock Holmes Double Feature contains two of the Basil Rathbone/Nigel Bruce classics, Dressed to Kill and Terror by Night.

Rounding out this six-strong promotion are the Film Noir Double Feature, which includes director Phil Karlson’s 1952 thriller, Kansas City Confidential (starring John Payne and Coleen Gray) and director Steve Sekely’s 1948 film adaptation of the Murray Forbes crime novel, Hollow Triumph (teaming Paul Henreid with Joan Bennett) and the Blaxploitation Double Feature, which features writer/director Bill Berry’s 1976 tale of three Vietnam vets returning home to clean up the “neighborhood” in Brotherhood of Death and director Bill Brame’s 1974 all-action crime saga, Jive Turkey.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Icarus Films Targets Feb. 24 For The DVD Debut Of Filmmaker Pema Tseden’s Tharlo

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films will be celebrating the New Year with the DVD release of Chinese/Tibetan author and filmmaker Pema Tseden’s latest work, Tharlo (based on his own novella), on Feb. 24. 

The film had a brief Oscar-qualifying arthouse run during October of this year and arrives in the home entertainment market place with an ARR of 137 days.

Success allows access to remote locations in China and that is precisely what award-winning filmmaker Pema Tseden chose to do with his exquisitely-filmed drama, Tharlo, starring newcomer Shide Nyima (a notable Tibetan stage actor and comedian making his film debut here) as the title character, a simple Tibetan shepherd on a quest.

His quest seems easy enough, to gain an ID card from local officials, but he might as well have arrived at the gates of Gomorrah in attempting to accomplish this task.  He is indeed a simple man, his companions are sheep (he even carries a small lamb with him), who is not even certain how old he is (perhaps in his 40s), but he does have the ability to recall from memory the verses of Mao Zedong’s writings.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyTo obtain the ID card he must get a photo — a seemingly straightforward task — which   She, however, is something of a temptress who quickly introduces Tharlo to pleasures (sex, smoking and alcohol) that he is unaccustomed to.
leads him to the salon of Yangsto (Yangshik Tso) for the purpose of getting his long hair washed and groomed for the photo.

Tseden presents the seduction and potential ruin of Tharlo against the symbolic remoteness and rugged beauty of the filming location in Qinghai Province … the isolation of both the place and the man are unmistakable.   In many ways Tharlo is the tale of a simple man, on a simple quest, ultimately caught-up in Kafkaesque nightmare.

Tharlo is presented in glorious black and white and in Tibetan with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

FilmRise's Heartwarming Harry And Snowman Documentary Arrives On DVD On Jan. 17

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
FilmRise, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has selected Jan. 17 as the DVD street date for documentary filmmaker Ron Davis’ Harry and Snowman, a feel-good tale about a World War II vet and riding instructor named Harry de Leyer, who paid the princely sum of eighty bucks to rescue a plow horse from a trip to the slaughter house.

The film arrives with an ARR of 109 and domestic ticket sales from its limited theatrical run currently stand at $525,058 (that’s an outstanding number for a documentary).

You can’t make this stuff up — sure Hollywood tries, but this is the real deal.  As the story goes, Harry took the ungainly, but placidly calm white horse back to his Long Island-based riding school for kids to get use to being on the back of a horse.  Nothing special.  Because he was white, he was named Snowman.   

That was in 1956.   Within two years de Leyer and his rescued horse had become fast friends and won the horse show jumping Triple Crown  — the American Horse Shows Association Horse of the Year, the Professional Horseman's Association Champion and the Champion of Madison Square Garden's Diamond Jubilee (all in 1958) — and was twice named the United States Open Jumper Champion (1958 and 1959).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Seriously, Snowman was one of the great jumping horses of all time and if not for Harry being in the right place at the right moment in time he would have been slaughtered at the local glue factory.   Snowman was named to the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame, became an international celebrity and the subject of two books, including Elizabeth Letts 2011 New York Times best-selling, “Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation.”

If you are looking for a feel-good movie to drive away those January winter blues, then Harry and Snowman is the perfect DVD for you.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Prepares DVD • Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack • And 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Editions Of The Accountant For A Jan. 10 Delivery

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s surprise hit thriller, director Gavin O’Connor’s The Accountant, will be making its home entertainment debut in the New Year on Jan. 10 as a three-SKU product offering.

The ARR is a zippy 88 days and box office receipts from the film’s mid-October theatrical opening were an impressive $84.2 million.   The film’s open-ending leaves room for a potential sequel, so there is the real possibility that Ben Affleck’s character, “accountant” Christian Wolff, could be back for more action at some future date.

As to product offerings, there will be a DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack available for consumers to select from.

Bonus goodies, across all viewing platforms, are limited to a single featurette titled “Inside the Man.”   The Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions contain two additional production featurettes — “Behavioral Science” and “The Accountant in Action.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn other release news from Warner Bros. this past week, four new-to-Blu-ray releases from the studios vast film library will be making their way home at the rate of one each week in January beginning on Jan. 10 with director William Wellman’s 1949 retelling of the Battle of the Bulge, Battleground (nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and James Whitmore received a Best Supporting Actor nomination).

Subsequent weeks see the release of Bad Day at Black Rock (Jan. 17), Wait Until Dark (Jan. 24) and Bells are Ringing (Jan. 31).

Arrow Video's 2K Restoration Of Psychomania Arrives On Blu-ray On Feb. 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, looks to Feb. 21 as the street date for a new 2K restoration of director Don Sharp’s 1973 Brit-flick mixed-genre film release of Psychomania.   The film arrived in the domestic theatrical market place in January of 1974 as The Death Wheelers.    

Released by Scotia International — during their short-lived distribution life cycle in the early 1970s — The Death Wheelers joined the likes of Horror Express, The Baby, Pancho Villa and Suburban Wives (among others) before dropping out of sight. 

The influences of Peter Fonda’s Easy Rider and his earlier biker film, The Wild Angels, have been melted with Kubrick’s 1971 film release of A Clockwork Orange and some of the Amicus Productions that were popular at the time (The House that Dripped Blood, Tales from the Crypt, etc.) to form this wholly unique biker-horror tale.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Tom (Nicky Henson — The Conqueror Worm, The Bawdy Adventures of Tom Jones, etc.) is a blend of Peter Fonda and Malcolm McDowell, with a pedigree for the occult that is only revealed as the storyline progresses.   Once that is revealed his penchant for violence and mayhem takes on a whole new level … the ultimate evil!

Bonus goodies include a new video session with Nicky Henson, archived interviews with composer John Andrews and singer Harvey Andrews, a vintage featurette titled “Return of the Living Dead,” a newly-prepared featurette titled “Hell for Leather” and a look at the film’s restoration process.

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Selects Jan. 10 For The Home Entertainment Rollout Of Director Nate Parker's Birth Of A Nation

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment dropped in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children for delivery to the home entertainment market place on Dec. 13 and that will be that for 2016.   

And in doing so turned the page to the 2017 campaign with the announcement this past week of two recent theatrical releases that will be heading home in January.   These are not their first product selections for Q1’17 as they were out in November with some long leads for TV-on-DVD collections — Bones: The Complete Eleventh Season arrives on Jan. 3; Sleepy Hallow: The Complete Third Season, same date; and Homeland: The Complete Fifth Season is set for Jan. 10 — but these are their first theatrical titles to get marching orders for early in the New Year.

Streeting first on Jan. 10 is the Nate Turner slave rebellion film, Birth of a Nation, which managed to hit the controversy button not once, but twice on the run-up to its theatrical rollout.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyFirst, the title, which was borrowed from D.W. Griffith’s 1915 racially-charged KKK-themed film, and seemed to be a deliberate and very provocative choice by the film’s star, director and producer, Nate Parker.   That decision turned a major chunk of the potential audience off, especially during a very emotional election year.

Next, smack dab in the middle of the promotion of the film — which garnered Oscar-worthy reviews coming out of Sundance — a 1999 rape accusation bubbled to the surface that involved Parker when he was a student at Penn State. 

Rape and the controversial title, despite glowing reviews, combined to do the film in — ticket sales were a lackluster $15.9 million. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Birth of a Nation arrives with an ARR of 95 days and is configured as a stand-alone DVD SKU, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Bonus features common to all three consumer product choices include commentary from actor/director/producer Nate Parker and documentary filmmaker Bengt Anderson’s feature-length documentary, Rise Up: The Legacy of Nat Turner.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyExclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions are deleted scenes, two featurettes — “The Birth of a Nation: The Making of a Movement” and “Celebration of Independent Voices” — the short film, #AmeriCAN (with optional commentary) and a spoken word presentation titled “Free God.”  

The following week, Jan. 17, director Greg Mottola’s Keeping Up with the Joneses will be hitting retail as a three-SKU product offering — DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

The ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days and ticket sales for this Zach Galifianakis comedy were a disappointing $14.8 million.

Bonus features are a quartet of deleted scenes and two production featurettes — “Spy Game” and “Keeping Up with Georgia.”

Parade Deck Films Selects Jan. 17 For The DVD Debut Of The Freeman Brothers' Before I Die

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Parade Deck Films, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Jan. 17 as the DVD debut date for the directing and writing team of Jason and Todd Freeman’s Before I Die.

Filmed on location in and around Oregon City, Oregon (on the Willamette River just outside of Portland), the Brothers Freeman adapted their father’s novel, “My Soul to Take,” which focuses on a pastor named Dan Bennett (Robert McKeehen), his wife Cindy (Audrey Walker) and their children Sara (Cheyenne Canfield) and Aaron (Elijah Nelson) and their idyllic relocation to a “perfect” small town, plus the foster teen, Sally (Nouel Riel) who lives with them.

Dan’s new congregation is nothing like he expected — they seem very much set in their ways and have many “secrets” that they are reluctant to share with their new pastor.   Indeed, creepy is the operative word, especially Ethan (Michael J. Prosser), there is definitely something amiss with that fellow, but he is just the proverbial “tip of the iceberg.”  

Throw in a very confrontational stalker, who has designs on Sally, and Pastor Bennett’s perfect little hamlet quickly becomes his own twisted and very personal nightmare.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media's Blaze and the Monster Machines: Race Into Velocityville Arrives On DVD This Coming Feb. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media and Nickelodeon will be teaming up on Feb. 14 for the latest DVD collection of Blaze, AJ, Gabby and friends animated adventures with the release of Blaze and the Monster Machines: Race Into Velocityville.

The challenge is on for the race to the top of Eagle Rock and Blaze and AJ’s biggest rival, Crusher — who usually cuts corners to win — will stop at almost nothing to win the big event.  

Monster trucks and their drivers deliver plenty of animated action with a special focus on STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — as the core for the various narratives.