Monday, June 19, 2017

Criminal Minds: The 12th Season Leads Paramount Home Media List Of New Blu-ray And DVD Announcements


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media announced its first selection of post-Labor Day DVD releases and leading the last summer charge on Sept. 5 will be the six-disc TV-on-DVD release of Criminal Minds: The 12th Season.  All 22 episodes (cases) are included here.

Gone is Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson … he left the series after the first two episodes of season 12), who is replaced by the new Unit Chief Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster) and added to the team is FBI profiler Stephen Walker (Damon Gupton) … the rest of team returns — David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), Jennifer "J.J." Jareau (A.J. Cook), Dr. Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), technical analyst Penelope Garcia (Kirsten Vangsness) and Dr. Tara Lewis (Aisha Tyler).

Bonus features include selected episode commentary, the featurette titled  “Director's Chair,” deleted scenes and a gag reel.

Also streeting on Sept. 5 is the six-disc DVD presentation of Hawaii Five-O: The Seventh Season … all 25 episodes are included in the set.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Laughlin) is back to lead his crime-fighting unit in paradise … Detectives Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) and Danny "Danno" Williams (Scott Caan) and Officer Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park).

Bonus goodies include production featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

On the kid-vid front, Paramount Home Media has two new additions to its popular Nickelodeon series on DVD for fans to enjoy.   First up, Shimmer and Shine: Magical Pets of Zahramay Falls will be ready on Aug. 22 … the collection features eight fun-filled adventures that feature magical pets, including a Zahramay Fox by the name of Parisa and a very rare Rainbow Tiger!

On Sept. 5 it is Paw Patrol: The Great Pirate Rescue, starring Ryder and his Paw Patrol team (Chase, Marshall, Rocky, Skye and more) in six pirate-themed adventures, including a show-stopping treasure hunt with Cap'n Turbot!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lastly, Paramount Home Media announced this past week that Blu-ray and DVD editions of director Philippe Falardeau’s Chuck, the biopic about the life and times of boxer Chuck Wepner, starring Liev Schreiber as Wepner, who goes toe-to-toe with Muhammad Ali (Pooch Hall) on March 24, 1975 for 15 rounds!

This IFC Films pick-up arrives with an ARR of 102 days and ticket sales generated during the film’s limited theatrical run were $320,725.

The only bonus goodie is the featurette titled “All About Chuck.”


The American Genre Film Archive Will Release Director Dusty Nelson's Effects On Blu-ray This Coming Aug. 22


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The American Genre Film Archive (AGFA), with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has unearthed director Dusty Nelson’s circa 1978 film adaptation of William H. Mooney’s novel titled, “Snuff” — which was retitled for the screen as Effects — for a 4K restoration from the only 35mm theatrical print known to be in existence.

The Blu-ray debut will take place on Aug. 22.

Director George Romero had wrapped both Martin and Dawn of the Dead in Pittsburgh and members of his film crews decided to try their hand at producing a genre film of their own.  They had caught the filmmaking bug! 

Included in this group were Tom Savini (he handled the make-up and f/x on Martin and had a small role as a drug dealer; and, was part of f/x team on Dawn of the Dead … plus a bit part), Pasquale Buba (bit parts in both Martin and Dawn of the Dead) and John Harrison (bit part in Dawn of the Dead).  Another Pittsburgh local, Dusty Nelson, would handle the direction of their opus.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is a little sketchy after that — whether it actually got any theatrical exposure, or was just screened around here and there.  Eventually, those who participated in the production moved onto other things. 

It really doesn’t matter what happened to Effects and its story about a film crew tricked into making a snuff film with themselves as the victims, AGFA — which has been formed to focus on the preservation and promotion of genre films that have slipped through the cracks over the years — has this baby ready for fans to enjoy on Aug. 22 on Blu-ray.   

Bonus goodies include a commentary track by John Harrison, Dusty Nelson, and Pasquale Buba, two short films — UBU and Beastie — and the behind-the-scenes documentary titled After Effects (with optional commentary).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


Mill Creek Entertainment Expands Its August 2017 Priced-To-Collection DVD And Blu-ray Release Slate With The Poseidon Adventure And More!


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment was back this past week with addition DVD and Blu-ray priced-to-collect releases that will be heading to retail in August.

Being released as both DVD and Blu-ray editions on Aug. 15 is director John Putch’s 2005 epic mini-series adaptation of Paul Gallico’s ship disaster thriller, The Poseidon Adventure.
Instead of a tidal wave capsizing the massive S.S. Poseidon, a terrorist organization has planted a bomb that blows a hole in the side of the ship on New Year’s Eve.   The flooding eventually causes the ship to go turtle.   

Steve Guttenberg stars as Richard Clarke, who is traveling with his family from Cape Town to Sydney, and having an affair with a member of the crew (played by Nathalie Boltt) at the same time.   He is discovered by his wife Rachel (Alexa Hamilton) and kicked out of the family stateroom.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMeanwhile, Clarke’s daughter has her eyes on the ship’s doctor (Amber Sainsbury and C. Thomas Howell respectively) … when the ship flips over, Clarke, the doctor, Clarke’s daughter and others decide to abandon the “safety” of the ship’s main ballroom and seek rescue by working their way up through the bottom of the ship (it’s upside down, of course).   Those who refuse to listen to Clarke’s pleadings to join them in their quest find a watery grave awaits.

The second half of the adventure deals with the escape, a potential terrorist among the group of survivors and the ever-rising water levels.  Time is against them!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also on the Aug. 15 release schedule from Mill Creek Entertainment is the Sheena Queen of the Jungle Collection, a six-disc DVD collection.   Included in the set is director John Guillermin’s 1984 theatrical release of Sheena, starring Tanya Roberts as the legendary comic book character (created by Will Eisner and Jerry Iger back in the 1930s).   

Also packed into the mix are all 35 episodes of Sheena: The Complete Series, starring Gena Lee Nolin (best known as Baywatch’s Neely Capshaw) and five classic episodes from the mid-50s television series, Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (aka: Sheena: Queen of the Congo), starring Irish McCalla as Sheena.

For fans of mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark, Mill Creek Entertainment has a three-film set on DVD titled Mary Higgins Clark: The Queen of Suspense - 3 Films, Original Television Mysteries that will also be available on Aug. 15.  Included in the set is Haven’t We Met Before, starring Nicollette Sheridan as a law student who is being stalked by a demented individual who firmly believes that she was his lover in a previously life … Anthony Lemke co-stars as Detective Jack Cobel, who tries to keep her from harm.    
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Up next is Try to Remember, featuring Gabrielle Anwar as a detective who returns to her home town and finds that her first case may (or may not) be a series of revenge killings … the chief suspect is Jake Mitchell (Diego Wallraff), a paroled murderer!

Lastly, A Crime of Passion stars Cynthia Gibb as a newly married businesswoman (half-owner of a winery) who finds herself involved in a murder mystery.   Is the murderer her husband?   Could the murderer be her business partner?  Or is there someone else involved?   It will keep you guessing right up until the end!


Oscilloscope Laboratories Readies Blu-ray And DVD Editions Of Director Asaph Polonsky’s One Week And A Day For Release On Sept. 5


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscilloscope Laboratories announced this past week that Israeli-American filmmaker Asaph Polonsky’s One Week and a Day, his award-winning dramatic tale of grief suffered by surviving parents at the death of their son, will be making its domestic home entertainment debut on Sept. 5 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

The film opened at the Cannes Film Festival in May of last year, where it won the Gan Foundation Support for Distribution Award and was nominated in both the Critics Week Grand Prize and Golden Camera competition categories.  One Week and a Day then worked the international festival circuit before arriving at the Mill Valley Film Festival in October of last year, followed by the Chicago International Film Festival a week later.   This release pattern continued through April of this year (piling up awards along the way and critical praise), before an arthouse theatrical launch was put in place at the end of April.   

The ARR works out to 130 days.

Based loosely on events that unfolded over the years in Polonsky’s own life — his experiences with death and the tradition of Shiva (seven days of mourning associated with the passing of a family member) — One Week and a Day tells the story of Eyal (Shai Avivi — Atomic Falafal, Epilogue) and his wife, Vicky (Evgenia Dodina — The Attack, Adam Resurrected), as they mourn the death of their adult son, Ronnie (health issues related to cancer).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vicky, at the end of this period, makes her best efforts to return to a normal routine.   It is difficult to bury a child, but life goes on.   

Eyal, on the other hand, has a different approach to the transition.    A token of his son’s memory turns into a mission to retrieve a blanket from the hospice, which turns into a medical marijuana “experience” with Ronnie’s goofy friend, Zooler (Tomer Kapon — A Tale of Love and Darkness, Hostages), and then Eyal suddenly realizes that burial plots next to his son’s resting place might be snapped up by strangers … that’s a mission too!   Yes, life goes on!!

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Asaph Polonsky, a video session with Polonsky at AFI, the short film In Bed at 10 P.M., the featurette titled “Tomer Kapon “Zooler” Air Guitar Rehearsal” and the American Pavilion panel discussion featuring Polonsky and Kapon.

One Week and a Day is presented in Hebrew with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


Ginger In The Morning Leads The Film Detective's Ten-Strong Film Restoration Slate On June 20


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective upped its game this past week with news that not five, but ten new film restorations will be ready for the DVD collectible market on June 20.

When it comes to collecting films on DVD everyone has an opinion.   So we will reach into the hat and draw out one priced-to-collect selection and start there … drum roll please!

Ah ha, we begin the June 20 hit parade with director Gordon Wiles’ summer of 1974 independent theatrical release of Ginger in the Morning, which stars Sissy Spacek as the title character, Ginger.    This film was between Terrence Malick’s Badlands (which was her theatrical release after debuting Prime Cut) and her signature role of Carrie White in Brian De Palma’s 1976 film release of Carrie.

Ginger is a “free spirit” who is picked up hitchhiking by a middle aged, recently divorced advertising executive named Joe (Monte Markham), who is attracted to her carefree nature.   They hit it off, but Ginger has a secret and her affection for Joe is packed with ulterior motives!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Others in the cast include Susan Oliver, Slim Pickens and Fred Ward (he was just starting out here).

Also in the June 20 mix is writer/director Andy Milligan’s 1970 horror flick, Guru, the Mad Monk.   This hard to find rarity, which was released theatrically by Nova International Productions (which came and went faster than you can say Guru, the Mad Monk), stars Neil Flanagan as a 15th Century priest named Guru, who is the titular religious figure at an island prison.   

He takes pleasure in torturing and killing anyone he takes a disliking to … and is ably assisted in his crimes by Olga (Jaqueline Webb), a necrophiliac, who fancies herself a vampire, and Igor (honest, Igor), his one-eyed hunchback sidekick (played by Jack Spencer).   The movie itself is so bad that it is considered a cult classic (Ed Wood would be proud).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director Robert Tansey’s 1950 film release of Forbidden Jungle, starring veteran character actor Don C. Harvey as Tom Burton, a famous big-game hunter, who is hired to find a young boy who has gone missing the jungle.   There is a lot of money on the table, but the crusty Burton has a change of heart and covers up the secret of the boy’s (played by Robert Cabal) new found home with Trader Kirk (Forrest Taylor) and his adopted daughter, Nita (Alyce Lewis).

Other adventure-themed films in the June 20 mix include Call of the Forest (1949, with Robert Lowery, Chief Thundercloud and Ken Curtis), Men of the Plains (1936, with Rex Bell and Joan Barclay) and director Harold Daniels’ 1953 son of the Count of Monte Cristo tale, Sword of Venus, teaming Robert Clarke with Catherine McLeod.

On the Western front on June 20, the Film Detective has the Hoot Gibson 1935 film release of Frontier Justice and director John English’s 1937 film, Whistling Bullets, starring Kermit Maynard as Texas Ranger who is sent to prison in order to infiltrate a gang of thieves.

Rounding out the June 20 release calendar are Damaged Lives and Miracle in Harlem.


VCI Entertainment Announces An Aug. 1 DVD Debut For Director/Producer Hal Roach's 1939 Down Under Adventure Captain Fury


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Before Quigley Down Under … long before!   Before World War II even, there was producer/director Hal Roach’s 1939 adventure tale of English and Irish prisoners sent Down Under to serve out their sentences in exile.   Australia of the 1840s … a wild, near lawless frontier!

The film was titled Captain Fury and it starred the likes of Brian Aherne (nominated the same year for Best Supporting Actor in Juarez) as Captain Fury (an Irish rebel banished for his revolutionary ways), Victor McLaglen as the scalawag Blackie (a heart of gold, but prone to thievery and other mischief), June Lang as the lovely Jeanette (who catches Fury’s eye) and George Zucco as the evil land baron, Arnold Trist (think: Alan Rickman’s Elliot Marston character in Quigley Down Under).   

Other familiar faces in this Australian story are Douglass Dumbrille as Trist’s enforcer, John Carradine as one of Fury’s fellow prisoners, Paul Lukas as Jeanette’s wishy-washy father and Charles “Ming the Merciless” Middleton as Mergon, another one of Trist’s men.   An entirely English and American cast starring in an Australian frontier saga that was film on location in … Malibu and Chatsworth!!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Word arrived this week that the wait is finally over for this Hal Roach’s Oscar-nominated Captain Fury (for Best Art Direction) as it will be making its DVD debut on Aug. 1 courtesy of VCI Entertainment!

Cinema Libre Targets July 18 For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Igor Lopatonok’s Ukraine on Fire


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cinema Libre has tabbed July 18 as the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray edition of producer Igor Lopatonok’s Ukraine on Fire.

Most Americans can’t find Ukraine on a map and most can’t quite understand what it is all about, this thing with Russia … is it part of Russia?   It is confusing as the country has been schizophrenic in nature since at least World War II, and certainly earlier.   

To understand this, you must know that Ukraine has been at the crossroads of empires, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, Poland and it fought on both sides in World War I — Ukrainians fighting Ukrainians (schizophrenic indeed).    The Nazis were openly welcomed in the western half of the country at the start of World War II and used their alliance with the Germans to slaughter tens of thousand of their neighbors, the Poles, who were their friends during the 20s and 30s.    

The eastern half of the country joined the Soviets in fighting the Nazis.  It was a bloodbath … in the end as many as eight million Ukrainians died.   And then the country was behind the Iron Curtain until the summer of 1990 (forgotten by the West).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lopantonok’s Ukraine on Fire delves into the horrors of today’s Ukraine.  A country divided … the Russian speaking-half (eastern) was simply annexed by Vladimir Putin (The Crimea), while chaos reigns in the western half (Kiev at the center of it) … and, under Lopantonok’s view, the US and European Union have been just as bad; just as devious in their dealing with the country.   

With fellow filmmaker Oliver Stone’s help, Lopantonok’s Ukraine on Fire looks to find an audience to expose the corruption and international intrigues that once again has brought death and destruction to Ukraine.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Stone conducts interviews that include former Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych (who all but accuses former Vice President Biden of selling his country out), former Interior Minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko and none other than Vladimir Putin.

Bonus features include deleted scenes and documentary filmmaker John Beck Hofmann’s 2014 film, Maidan Massacre (a look at the February of 2014 massacre in Kiev).   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Documentary Filmmaker Phil Strongman’s Anarchy! McLaren Westwood Gang On DVD Aug. 4 From Cadiz Music


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cadiz Music, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, will be bringing a double-disc DVD edition of documentary filmmaker Phil Strongman’s Anarchy! McLaren Westwood Gang.

The street date will be Friday, August 4.

Punk Rock some 40-years on and the story of a most unlikely member of the vanguard of that music revolution is the subject of Strongman’s film.   The individual in question is Malcolm McLaren, a self-style promoter (among other eclectic pursuits) who had the lucky happenstance of being in the right place at the right time to unite Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious and propel the Sex Pistols to stardom in 1977.   McLaren’s promotional stunt during the Silver Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign got the ball rolling! 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyWithin two years the Sex Pistols would go from obscurity to stardom to the death of Sid Vicious (and Nancy would follow).   Legal battles would drag on for another decade, but McLaren was on to something and guided more groups to stardom.

Of note, The Criterion Collection has a new 4K restoration of director Alex Cox’s Sid & Nancy prepped for release as DVD and Blu-ray edition on Aug. 22, so Cadiz and MVD Entertainment Group are spot-on in their time here).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The other half of Strongman’s film title, “Westwood,” refers to Vivienne Westwood, McLaren’s partner and successful fashion designer, who saw the future of Punk Rock and rode the wave to international stardom.

Strongman’s presentation of Anarchy! McLaren Westwood Gang blends his footage from the period featuring McLaren, which are combined with interviews (reminiscences) with the likes of Adam Ant, Boy George, writer Stuart Christie and visual design artist Nick Egan.   Strongman pack some surreal interludes in the proceedings as well … strange, but then so was the late Malcolm McLaren!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Tabs Aug. 22 For Both DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Supergirl: The Complete Second Season


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
With Wonder Woman this and Wonder Woman that, it’s nice to hear that Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has time for Kara Danvers/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist — Patriots Day, The Longest Ride), which takes the form of an Aug. 22 street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Supergirl: The Complete Second Season.

Included in the five-disc DVD edition and the four-disc Blu-ray SKU are all 22 episodes … the debut of season three will be on Oct. 9 (the cliffhanger leads us to believe that a new “super” force has plans for our planet).

Bonus goodies include video from the 2016 Comic-Con Panel, two featurettes — “Supergirl: Alien Fight Night” and “Aliens Among Us” — and “A Conversation with Andrew Kreisberg and Kevin Smith.”

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Film Detective Sets Five New Film Restorations For The Collectible DVD Market On June 13


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective will be ready on June 13 with five new film restorations for the DVD collectible market.

So let’s get to it!   We begin with writer/director Robert Tansey’s 1946 film adaptation of James Oliver Curwood’s best selling novel, God’s Country.  

This outdoor adventure stars Helen Gilbert (The Falcon Takes Over, The Secret of Dr. Kildare … who was married to none other than Johnny Stompanato in 1949 when he was murdered by Lana Turner’s daughter) as Lynn O'Mally, who lives with her uncle (played by William Farnum) at a remote trading post in the California redwoods with her half-wolf dog Powder.   She is at one with the forest.

Arriving in this picturesque setting is a man named Lee Preston (Robert Lowery), his guide, “Timber” Cross (Si Jenks) and their tag-along companion Old Tarp (Buster Keaton).   Lee takes an immediate liking to Lynn … but there are problems in “God’s Country” as Preston is the lam for a manslaughter beef and across the lake from the trading post is Howard King (Stanley Andrews) and his ravenous logging company, King Lumber Company.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
King has his eye on Lynn’s side of the lake and tricks Preston into helping him with his    King is so low that he even shoots Lynn’s pet bear cub!
plan.

So will Lee and Lynn find happiness?  Will the law catch up to Lee?  Will the dastardly King pull off his land-grab?   There’s a lot to reckon with in this taught little indie adventure film.

Also on the June 13 release calendar is filmmaker Robert C. Dertano’s 1954 youth-run-wild thriller, Girl Gang.   This is a remarkable film for the period as it deals with heroin addiction, marijuana as a gateway drug, prostitution, a gang-rape initiation, armed robbery and murder.  All-packed into a swiftly paced 63 minutes!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn the film’s opening sequence a quartet of young women beat senseless a motorist and steal his car, which they deliver to “Joe” (Timothy Farrell — Glen or Glenda, Dance Hall Racket, etc.), who runs girls, drugs and stolen cars.   

His immediate goal is to get his latest “girlfriend” — June (Joanne Arnold) — hooked on “H,” and insists that “Doc” (Harry Keaton), a physician who has had his license revoked, show her how it is done.   He refuses, but soon she is high as a kite anyway … and so too is Joe’s partner, Jack (Lou Monson), who has quickly turned the stolen car into a pile of cash.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyInto this den of thieves comes a rich high school girl by the name of Wanda (Mary Lou O'Connor), who is slumming, but she is quickly introduced to drugs and then gang-raped by Joe’s minions.   The drugs and “initiation” make Wanda a member in good standing in Joe’s “girl gang,” so a gas station stick-up is planned, but it goes south and poor Wanda doesn’t survive the night!   

Wow, if ever there ever was an exploitation film that screamed “drugs are bad,” this is it … Girl Gang, would make a perfect double-bill with Reefer Madness!

Rounding out the June 13 selection of new film restorations heading to the DVD are Chinese Mack, Gorilla Ship (1932, starring Ralph Ince as Captain “Gorilla” Larsen and Vera Reynolds as a woman he rescues at sea) and The Gunman From Bodie (1941, directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and starring “Rough Riders” Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton).

The Secret World of Alex Mack Leads Mill Creek Entertainment's Aug. 1 DVD And Blu-ray Release Calendar


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment was out with news this week relating to its first wave of August price-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

Leading the way on Aug. 1 is the six-disc collection of The Secret World of Alex Mack, starring Larisa Oleynik (The Baby-Sitters Club, 10 Things I Hate About You, Third Rock from the Sun, etc.) as an ordinary junior high school kid with super powers.
This ahead-of-its-time series ran for four seasons (a Nickelodeon production) and generated a total of 78 episodes.

Alex lives with her parents and older sister in the fictional town of Paradise Valley, Arizona, which is dominated by the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant, run by the sinister Danielle Atron (Louan Gideon).   It is here that a secret weight-loss concoction has been developed, GC-161, and it will become the source of Alex’s many powers (for example, she can turn herself into a blob of mercury — think: the T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
While heading home from school one day an incompetent truck driver (John Nielsen) loses control of truckload of 50-gallon drums containing GC-161, nearly runs poor Alex over and slams into a fire hydrant.   One of the drums is damaged, covering Alex in goo and the gushing water both spreads the nasty stuff all over Alex and eventually washes away the evidence as well.   

She soon realizes that the chemical bath has given her an odd assortment of “super powers,” which she is not really willing to use to their full extent as she is just trying to fit into junior high school.   These super powers, along with Atron’s attempts to track down the kid (the truck driver never reveals Alex’s secret) to experiment on her are the main story arcs. 

Darris Love is Alex’s best friend, Ray … and Jessica Alba got her start in this series as Alex’s junior high school rival.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso on the Aug. 1 release calendar are both DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Kevin Connor’s 2006 pirate adventure mini-series, Blackbeard, starring Angus Macfadyen (as Robert the Bruce in Braveheart) as the legendary West Indies English pirate who terrorized the seas with his 40-gun frigate, “The Queen Anne’s Revenge.”   

This presentation is part-fiction, part-fact, filmed in Thailand, with an elaborate set constructed specifically for the series and populated with cast members that include Richard Chamberlain, Mark Umbers, Jessica Chastain, Stacy Keach and Rachel Ward.

Rounding out the Aug. 1 DVD selections is the two film set titled Matrimony Double Feature, (priced at just $9.98) which includes director Bud Yorkin’s 1967 comedy, Divorce American Style, teaming Dick Van Dyke with the late Debbie Reynolds as the always-fighting Harmons, and director Fielder Cook’s 1968 film release of How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life, which Dean Martin and Stella Stevens.

And Aug. 1 also will see the release of the three-disc, 40-episode animated collection of Jumanji: The Complete Animated Series, which is timed to take full advantage of the media hype surrounding the forthcoming Christmas theatrical release of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, starring Dwayne Johnson.

 
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey



Director Andrew Cohn's Riveting Night School Documentary On DVD Aug. 8 From Oscilloscope Laboratories


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscilloscope Laboratories will be releasing documentary filmmaker Andrew Cohn’s Night School theatrically on June 9 (for the a limited run) … the film opened on the film festival circuit at the Tribeca Film Festival in April of 2016 and worked throughout the balance of last year and into this year.   

The critics have raved about the film and its life-changing story and the awards have piled up along the way, including the Jury Prize at the Bend Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at Heartland and more.   On Aug. 8 the cycle will be complete with the DVD debut.

Andrew Cohn could have picked any big city public school system, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, you name it the pattern is the same, but he zeroed on Indianapolis and three courageous black high school dropouts who have learned the hard lessons of the real world and now look to complete their basic high school education against long odds.   Cohn spent a full year tracking their progress.

His subjects are Greg Henson, who saw easy money in dealing drugs, but now has to raise a daughter and has the remnants of a criminal record that hangs like a dead weight around his neck; Shynika Jakes, who dreamed of becoming a medical professional, but instead finds herself working in fast food … and lastly, we have Melissa Lewis, a 50-something mother and grandmother who survives the day to day with menial jobs.   

Without an education there is no future.  They’ve learned this the hard way.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAll three of Cohn’s subjects are black.   Their only advantage is that they speak English … can you imagine three limited-English speakers in the same boat?  No education, no skills and limited English, where is the future?

All three have returned to adult school — night school — in an effort to expand their horizons.   Is it a false dream?   An illusion?   Maybe, but for Greg, Shynika and Melissa they know that without the effort there will be no change.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Night School is a riveting film that can easily be regarded as a dramatic feature film … we have empathic characters and a story arc that demands and holds our attention.   Bonus features include commentary from Emmy-winning filmmaker Andrew Cohn, who is joined by cinematographer Zachary Shields.


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


Arrow Video Tabs Aug. 22 For The Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Launch Of A New 4K Restoration Of Writer/Director J.S. Cardone's The Slayer


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Aug. 22 for the release of a new 4K restoration (from the original camera negative) of writer/director J.S. Cardone’s 1982 slasher film with a twist, The Slayer.   

Arrow Video will be bringing this cult gem to market on Aug. 22 as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

Give credit to filmmaker J.S. Cardone in this debut effort (he would go on to direct such genre fare as Shadowzone, The Forsaken, Wicked Little Things, etc.) for taking the slasher motif in a different direction than you initially expect.  The ending leaves you in doubt (deliberately so) as to whether you’ve been experiencing horrors in some sort of dream world; a real horror show populated by some monster from the Id ... or, the protagonist is simply bat-shit crazy and has totally lost it.   Or, yes, OR!!!   There’s a slasher afoot; a serial killer.   The point is that you are never really sure.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It starts off innocently enough with Kay (Sarah Kendall) and her wealthy husband, David (Alan McRae), along with her brother, Eric (Frederick Flynn) and his wife, Brooke (Carol Kottenbrook), being flown to a remote island (filmed in and around Savannah, Georgia and nearby Tybee Island) for a vacation getaway.   The pilot of the plane, a creepy guy named Marsh (Michael Holmes), no sooner gets them there and then he bails, saying that a hurricane is coming.

Stranded, the “victim” pool — and genre fans know this element well — settle in to their vacation hideaway and soon discover that the island has been abandoned. 

We also get a bit of a backstory about poor Kay being prone to nightmares.   So there’s your set up for The Slayer — a victim pool, a storm on the way, an abandoned island, a creepy guy (who may just be a red herring) and one of the cast members with recurring nightmares — violent nightmares.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
Sure enough, one by one by one they die horrible deaths.   A shadowy figure is responsible.   Is it crazy Kay?   Is it Marsh, who has returned to polish off a collection of helpless victims?   Or, is it something else … something unseen?  

Bonus goodies include newly prepared video sessions with the cast and crew.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey