Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Paramount Home Media Readies DVD • 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack • Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back For Delivery On Jan. 31

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Jack’s Back!!  Paramount Home Media announced this past week that director Edward Zwick’s latest film adaptation of novelist Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, will be available as either a stand alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack or a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray SKU on Jan. 31.

The ARR for that end-of-January street date works out to 102 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $58.3 million.

Tom Cruise returns as Jack Reacher, a former Army investigator who now operates off the grid.  He learns that his friend, Major Susan Turner (Cobie Smulders — Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron), has been arrested for murder and espionage, but he’s not buying it … it’s a frame job and if you mess with a friend of Reacher’s, you are going to feel a world of pain!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Ah ha, to avoid that beat down, the bad guys also frame him for murder (her attorney is the unlucky victim) and he is soon locked up in a secure place where the both of them — Turner and Reacher — will be easy targets.

That’s your early set-up and up until that point it has been the easy part!   The rat who has framed both Reacher and Major Turner of being killers and traitors, Colonel Sam Morgan (Holt McCallany), is also murdered … and Reacher is fingered for that as well (that’s called tying up loose ends).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
And just when you think that it can’t possibly get any worse for him, an old flame by the name of Candice Dayton has slapped a paternity suit on him claiming that her 15-year old daughter, Samantha (Danika Yarosh — as Malina in the Heroes Reborn television series), is their love child.

With his daughter and Major Turner in tow, Reacher has to avoid assassins, put the clues together as to what the hell is going on and take down the real power behind this elaborate set-up.   And if he survives all of that, he has to also figure out if he is indeed the father of a teenager as well!         

All of that in 118 minutes … a word of advice, do not go out for popcorn or you’ll miss at least three clues and a shootout!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features are exclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions.   These include five featurettes — “Reacher Returns,” “An Unexpected Family,” “Relentless: On Location in Louisiana,” “Take Your Revenge First: Lethal Combat,” “No Quarter Given: Rooftop Battle” — and a video session with Tom Cruise and photographer David James that is titled “Reacher in Focus.”

Also added to the release schedule this past week by Paramount Home Media is the Mar. 7 DVD release of the massive 47 disc set of Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series.   All 172 episodes featuring Captain Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager — trapped in the far reaches of the Delta Quadrant — are presented in this stellar collection.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Mill Creek Entertainment Announces DVD And Blu-ray Product Offerings For The Month Of February (2017)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment announced a 17-strong selection of priced-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray product offerings that will be retail-ready during the month of February.   They arrive in back-to-back release waves on the 7th and 14th of the month.

Leading the charge on Feb. 7 are Blu-ray and DVD sets of Quantum Leap: The Complete Series.   All 97 episodes of the Emmy-winning series starring Scott Bakula as the time-jumping scientist who is trying to get back to the present day.   Bakula is aided by Dean Stockwell, his friend in the present day, who materializes as a holographic image and provides him with important information about his most current time-jumping predicament. 

Also on the TV-on-DVD release front on Feb. 7 is 227: The Complete First Season, a double-disc set featuring all 22 episodes from the 1985/86 broadcast season.  The series stars Marla Gibbs (fresh from The Jeffersons sitcom), Hal Williams and Regina King, the Jenkins family who live in the apartment building at 227 Lexington Place (hence the name of the series) in Washington D.C.   Jackée Harry was also a resident of the building and the best friend of Brenda (Regina King), the Jenkins’ teenage daughter (Jackée Harry won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actress during 1986/87 season).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso on Feb. 7 is the double-disc collection of It's Ernest: The Complete Series, starring Jim Varney as the iconic Ernest P. Worrell.   This Saturday-morning kid show ran for 13 episodes during the 1988 broadcast season (from just after Labor Day right up until Christmas Eve of that year).  

On the film-collection release front for delivery on Feb. 7 are three separate multi-film sets.  
The first of these is titled the 4 in 1 Latin Love Collection and it contains four films and is priced at just $9.98.   Included in the mix are Living it Up (2000, starring Salma Hayek and Carmelo Gómez), I Like it Like That (1994, with Lauren Luna Vélez, Jon Seda, Rita Moreno and Griffin Dunne), Yellow (2002, teaming Roselyn Sánchez with D.B. Sweeney and Bill Duke) and Passionada (2002, starring Sofia Milos, Emmy Rossum and Jason Isaacs).

Also priced at just $9.98 for deleivery on Feb. 7 is the five-film collection titled 5 Movie Freak Fest.   Featured in this sci-fi themed collection are director W. Lee Wilder’s 1954 alien-invasion thriller, Killers from Space (starring Peter Graves), the 1966 Spain-produced import, Sound of Horror (dubbed in English and released the same year theatrical by Europix … noted for featuring Ingrid Pitt among the cast members) and a trio of Japanese imports (dubbed in English) — Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967, featuring Gappa, a fire-breathing cousin of Godzilla), Destroy All Planets (1968) and Attack of the Monsters (1969), both starring Gamera (the flying turtle!).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Road of No Return is a ten-film, double-disc collection that is loaded with action and priced to sell (the SRP is just $9.98).   Included in the mix is the collection’s title feature, Road of No Return (2009, teaming Michael Madsen and David Carradine).   

Other films in this action-laced collection are: Without Warrant (2013, a crime thriller from Australia starring David Barry and Andy McPhee); Krews (2010, with Brian Geraghty and Jonathan Cake); Burning Daylight (2010, an interlaced modern-day telling of three Jack London short stories); Tunnel Vision (2012, starring Cristos); Open Gate (2011, teaming Tyler Hoechlin with Agnes Bruckner); Suspicion (2012, teaming Brad Blaisdell with Brad Blaisdell and Aidan Bristow); Twenty8K (2012, the streets of London run red with blood … starring Parminder Magra, Jonas Armstrong and Nichola Burley); The Killing Jar (1997) and Crosshairs (2013, starring Tom Sizemore).

There are three multi-part DVD programs also on the Feb. 7 release docket that include, as a bonus, Mill Creek Entertainment’s newly-launched streaming platform.   “Purchase, Redeem and Stream” on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, desktop or mobile viewing platforms (Watch.MillCreekENT.com) … 

These are: American Guns (available on both DVD and Blu-ray) is a 13-part series exploring the history of firearms in the United States (from the Kentucky Long Rifle to the weapons developed for World War I, World War II and Vietnam); American Warrior (two separate documentary series focusing on combat action in Iraq and Afghanistan) are included with this selection — Outside the Wire and Sniper: The Unseen Warrior — and The Evidence for Heaven contains not one, but four programs that investigate biblical stories … these are: The Evidence for Heaven (hosted by Jerry Rose), The Bible's Greatest Miracles: The Proof, Miraculous Messages and End Times: How Close are We.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Rounding out the Feb. 7 release package is director Ken Cameron’s 1994 Emmy-award winning film adaptation of the Allan Gurganus novel, The Oldest Living Confederate Widow.   An all-star cast includes Diane Lane, Donald Sutherland, Anne Bancroft, Cicely Tyson, Blythe Danner, Gwen Verdon and E.G. Marshall.

Shifting to Feb. 14, we find two addition DVD releases with the Digital Copy bonus from Mill Creek Entertainment.    These are: the four-disc collection of Liberty's Kids: The Complete Series, with none other than Walter Cronkite as the voice of Benjamin Franklin, and producer Chuck Neff’s SaltRiver Productions presentation of Perfect Sacrifice: When Heaven Comes To Earth, which includes two bonus programs — The Case for Christ's Resurrection and Jesus: The Evidence.

Rounding out the Feb. 14 selections are director 1997 film adaptation of Janice Woods Windle’s historical novel, True Women: The Complete Mini-Series (covering the period from Texas Independence through the Civil War), starring Dana Delany, Annabeth Gish and Angelina Jolie (among others) and the four-film collection titled Life in a Small Town.

Included in Life in a Small Town are: writer/director Tim McCanlies’ 1998 film release of Dancer, Texas Pop. 81; Falling from Grace (1992, with John Mellencamp and Mariel Hemingway); Lone Star State of Mind (2002, teaming Joshua Jackson with Jaime King) and Off the Map.

Wolfe Tabs Mar. 7 For The Domestic DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Andrew Steggall’s Departure

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that writer/director Andrew Steggall’s film festival favorite, Departure, will be making its way to the DVD market place on Mar. 7 after having been in international competition for nearly a year and a half.

Beatrice (Juliet Stevenson — The Letters, Being Julia, A Previous Engagement) has called it quits with her marriage to Philip (Finbar Lynch) and has taken off to Languedoc in the south of France with Elliot (Alex Lawther — A Brilliant Young Mind, The Imitation Game), her 15-year old son.   They have a “holiday” home there and the plan is to clean it up and prep it for sale before returning to England.

Beatrice is an absolutely miserable person, unhappy and this trip, she imagines, will do her a world of good.   It’s the end of the summer, it is beautiful and cleaning out the place will be good therapy.   Dealing with the divorce can wait.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Her son, on the other hand, is a moody little ass, spoiled, seemingly beyond redemption and none too happy about being in Languedoc with his mother.  And having to actually do some work, how dare she!

While out wandering in the countryside Elliot comes to a reservoir where he meets an older teenager named Clément (Phénix Brossard) who is about to go for a swim.   Taken with the handsome young lad, Elliot begins to see that things might be looking up … perhaps cleaning up the place won’t be so bad if he has company.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyWith something of a seduction in mind, Elliot introduces Clément to his mother and she too sees opportunities.   Indeed, in no time there is something of a competition between the two for the attention of “their” new friend ... stolen kisses and more.   

Sexual tension and social boundaries will be pushed to the limit as the lazy days of summer come to an end in Steggall’s Departure and life for both mother and son will never quite be the same again. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Icarus Films Teams With The KimStim Collection For The Feb. 28 DVD Release Of Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Creepy

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films will be teaming up with the KimStim Collection on Feb. 28 for the domestic DVD debut of auteur Japanese filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s horror thriller, Creepy.

As with some of his other films, The Cure and Pulse for example, Kurosawa doesn’t just go straight away to the horror elements, but rather builds a real world mystery that eventually takes the audience down that road.   

If you had to think of an American film as a reference point to understand Kurosawa’s film craft in this area, then check out director David Fincher’s 1995 film release of Seven.   In that film you had a pair of detectives investigating a twisted murder case that step-by-step turns into an absolute horror nightmare.

It’s the same with Creepy as a retired criminal psychologist by the name of Takakura (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is beset upon by not one, but two former colleagues to help them crack a “cold case.”   At first he demurs, he is still suffering from the horrible events (and, if the truth be known, his own stupid decisions) that led to his retirement, but upon reflection — and the second request — he decides to take a closer look for clues.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMistake, perhaps, but if he declined to pursue the case the movie would come to a screeching halt … and we can’t have that!    Basically, the “cold case” revolves around a missing family and sure enough the family that has moved in next door begins to more and more fit the profile of those who have gone missing.   

The mystery presented in Creepy slowly twists and turns its way into a nightmare as Takakura’s world turns into a real horror show.

Creepy is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Oscilloscope Laboratories' The Alchemist Cookbook Arrives On Blu-ray And DVD On Feb 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In a trailer home, hidden in the Michigan woods, a strange and bitter young man named Sean (Ty Hickson) lives alone with his cat, and he’s up to something.  Surrounded by makeshift lab equipment, you’d guess it’s drug manufacturing, but Sean is up to something else: alchemy. 

Sean’s a hermit, and other than his every-once-in-a-while supply visits by a relative, Cortez (Amari Cheatom), our strange backwoods character is our only human in the film.   

The Alchemist Cookbook comes from filmmaker Joel Potrykus, whose previous films (Buzzard and Ape) didn’t deal in the demonic, other than the behavior of their characters.   In this film, his latest societal castoff is by far his most grotesque (think ritual sacrifices of possums and how delicious cat food tastes).

Yes, his pursuits, we learn, go beyond simply golden alchemy desires: there’s dark magic here.  And those interests turn this film from a dark comedy to an even darker horror tale … and in more ways than one.  Things going horribly wrong (and grotesquely so) and to be expected when you’re dealing with demons.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
An official selection of the SXSW, Fantasia International and BAMcinemaFest film festivals, The Alchemist Cookbook has a Feb. 14 street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions.

Bonus features include with the director and lead actor Ty Hickson, deleted scenes, outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage and the featurette titled “Alchemist Mashup.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Judy Collins: A Love Letter to Sondheim On DVD From Cleopatra Records On Friday • February 24

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cleopatra Records will be teaming with MVD Entertainment Group on Friday, Feb. 24 for the domestic DVD debut of Judy Collins: A Love Letter to Sondheim.

Produced and directed by the Grammy and Emmy-award winning team of Pierre and Francois Lamoureux (brothers and members of the ‘90s Canadian rock group, Brasse-Camarade), this live concert was filmed at the Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver, Colorado, on Mother’s Day of this past year.

Just over 40 years ago Judy Collins’ presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” (from his 1973 musical A Little Night Music) was a major hit for her (from her March of 1975 release of the “Judith” album) and a began a career-long association with Sondheim and his music.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThis intimate — and insightful — concert presentation blends the music of Collins and Sondheim with a “remembrance” narrative between songs where Collins relates how each of the musical numbers fits within her illustrious recording career.

Included in the mix (in addition to “Send in the Clowns”) are: “No One is Alone” (from Into the Woods), “Being Alive” (from Company), “I'm Still Here” and “The Road You Didn't Take” (both from Follies), “There Won't Be Trumpets” (cut from the Anyone Can Whistle musical, but now something of Sondheim cult favorite) and “Sunday” and “Move On” (both from Sunday in the Park with George).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Ruthless Films' Down On The Farm Debut On DVD On Feb. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Ruthless Films, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Valentine’s Day as the DVD debut date for the Dove Family Approved CGI animated adventure, Down on the Farm.

Oink the Flying Pig and his sidekick, Boink the Owl, are faced with a mystery that needs to be solved.   A bale of hay has gone missing and there are plenty of “suspects” who would love to have that much hay all to themselves.

Down on the Farm is an animated learning adventure as Oink, before he can solve the case, has to first learn about the various farm animals who live on the farm.   So on Feb. 14 join Oink and Boink and see if you can discover who is the culprit!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment's Almost Christmas Arrives On DVD And Blu-ray On Feb. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On Feb. 7, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment streets Almost Christmas, the new comedy from writer/director David E. Talbert (Baggage Claim), which sees a normally abrasive family asked to honor just one wish from their patriarch: spend five days under the same roof, without killing each other.

The comedy has and ARR of 88 days and ticket sales for this mid-November theatrical currently stands at $41.2 million.

Bonus features include commentary with director Talbert, editor Troy Takaki and apprentice editor Gene Lewis Jr., a gag reel and seven featurettes — “Aunt May Unplugged,” “Home For the Holidays,” “The Director Diaries,” “Walter Meyers' Sweet Potato Pie,” “My Favorite Scene Is” and “Working With Actors.”

Lionsgate Home Entertainment's Christmas PR NightMare Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween And Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s the holiday season and things are bound to fall through the cracks, especially when a major studio delegates their press announcements to an amateurish outside PR firm and the contact person checks out for the rest of the year.   Oops!

Seriously, that is exactly what happened to Lionsgate Home Entertainment and the year-end announcements for two major theatrical hits that will be heading to the home entertainment market place during Q1’17.

Producer and actor Tyler Perry has been a proverbial gold mine for Lionsgate Home Entertainment.   So it came as something of a surprise when his latest smash comedy, Boo! A Madea Halloween, showed up on amazon.com without a press announcement.

Goodness, the film grossed $73.2 million in its domestic theatrical run and you would think that with that sort of box office action — especially when Tyler Perry has his name on it — it would merit the distribution of a formal press announcement.   But, alas, when one delegates such things that bit of basic PR activity can fall through the cracks.   Hey, it happens ... just don’t let Tyler Perry know that you are not putting in the effort to beat the promotional drums for his latest Madea comedy.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In any case, Jan. 31 will be the street for Blu-ray and DVD editions — no 4K Ultra HD for this one — and that end of January street date yields an ARR of 102 days.
Bonus features include a pair of featurettes — “Why We Love Madea!” and “Boo! From the Crew.”

That’s one, remember we said that there were two major theatrical hits given short shift in terms of an outside PR firm doing their job for Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

The other film is all but certain to get some Oscar action and Lionsgate, with that in mind, has targeted its release date to be retail-ready when the Oscar telecast takes place on Sunday evening, Feb. 26, 2017.   The street date for … drum roll please … director Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge will be Feb. 21.

That Oscar-targeted street date yields an ARR of 109 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $62.9 million.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThis will be a three-SKU array of product offerings — DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions.   There is one bonus feature common to all three of the home entertainment release selections and it is the featurette titled “Veterans Day Greeting with Mel Gibson.”

Exclusive to the Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD SKUs are deleted scenes and production documentary titled “The Soul of War: Making Hacksaw Ridge.”

The Criterion Collection Announces Its Blu-ray And DVD Product Line Up For The Month Of March (2017)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection has announced its DVD and Blu-ray film release line up for the month of March and, as always, there will be something on the calendar that will be of interest to pretty much anyone who loves the cinema.

You think not?  How about Blow Up, Being There and Multiple Maniacs as just three of the selections … throw in Felipe Cazals Siena’s edgy 1976 film release of Canoa: A Shameful Memory and director Andrew Haigh’s recent theatrical release of 45 Years — teaming Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay — and you are there; something for every taste.

Director Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 iconic arthouse film, Blow-Up, gets a new 4K digital transfer on Mar. 28 (Blu-ray and double disc DVD product offerings), a newly prepared video session with photography curator and actress Vanessa Redgrave lead the bonus features, plus there are archival interviews with both director Michelangelo Antonioni and the film’s star, David Hemmings and fellow actor Jane Birkin (as “The Blonde”) and a newly prepared, feature-length documentary titled Blow-Up of Blow-Up.

Director Hal Ashby’s 1979 film adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s satirical novel, Being There, also gets a new 4K digital transfer (Blu-ray and double-disc DVD SKUs) and will be available on Mar. 21.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyBonus features include a new making-of documentary, vintage (circa 1980) appearances on “The Today Show” and “The Don Lane Show” by Peter Sellers, excerpts from a 1980 AFI seminar featuring Hal Ashby, deleted scenes, outtakes and an alternate ending.

Also getting a new 4K digital transfer on Mar. 21 is auteur filmmaker John Waters’ 1970 cult gem, Multiple Maniacs, starring John Waters own acting troupe: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe, Edith Massey, George Figgs and Cookie Mueller.

Bonus features include a new commentary track by filmmaker John Waters and newly prepared video sessions with Pat Moran (three-time Emmy-winner for Casting), Vincent Peranio, Mink Stole, Susan Lowe and George Figgs.

Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Mar. 14) and 45 Years (Mar. 7) round out the selections from The Criterion Collection for the month of March.