Monday, February 6, 2017

Paramount Home Media Targets Apr. 4 For The DVD Release Of The Good Wife: The Complete Series

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media Distribution has targeted Apr. 4 as the street date for a massive 42-disc DVD box set of The Good Wife: The Complete Series, starring three-time Emmy-winner, Julianna Margulies

All seven seasons — 156 total episodes — are included in the collection. 

Also being made available on Apr. 04 to the DVD market place is the 35-disc collection of Medium: The Complete Series.

Mill Creek Entertainment Announces It April 2017 DVD And Blu-ray Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment announced its first wave of priced-to-collect DVD and Blu-ray product offerings this past week … 18 selections in all that will be arriving at home entertainment retailers on Apr. 4 (15) and Apr. 18 (3).

The month of April kicks off with a pair of three-film Blu-ray releases — the SRP will be just $14.98 each (and that’s before discounts at retail).   The first of these is titled Psycho Circus and it features three horror gems that will certainly please genre fans.   

Included in the mix are director Freddie Francis’ 1973 Tigon British Film Productions release of The Creeping Flesh, teaming horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing in a Victorian-era tale of an ancient skeleton that comes to life — re-growing its flesh — when exposed to water.   Is this a tale told by a mad man, confined to an insane asylum … or is his story based on his first hand experience, you decide!

Also directed by Freddie Francis is the 1968 Amicus Productions horror anthology film, Torture Garden, starring Burgess Meredith as Dr. Diabolo … Peter Cushing and Jack Palance co-star.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyLastly, we have director Bernard McEveety’s 1971 cult thriller, The Brotherhood of Satan, which features the likes of L.Q. Jones, Strother Martin, Charles Bateman, Alvy Moore and
Ahna Capri.

The other three-film Blu-ray SKU is simply titled Triple Feature and it includes director James Foley’s 2006 mystery thriller Perfect Stranger (with Halle Berry, Bruce Willis and Giovanni Ribisi), director Gregory Jacobs’ ghostly tale, Wind Chill (with Emily Blunt and Ashton Holmes) and X-Files’ Gillian Anderson stars in writer/director Dan Reed’s revenge thriller, Closure.

Arriving on Apr. 4 — and priced at just $9.98 each — are the stand-alone Blu-ray releases of writer/director David Seltzer’s 1988 “dramedy,” Punchline, teaming Tom Hanks with Sally Field as would-be comedians (John Goodman co-stars as Field’s husband) and actor-turned-director Richard Benjamin’s 1988 Cold War espionage thriller, Little Nikita, starring Sidney Poitier and River Phoenix.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On the DVD release front on Apr. 4 look for the aforementioned Punchline as well as five other films (all carrying a suggested retail price point of just $9.98). 

These are — writer/director Ed Solomon’s 2003 crime-themed drama, Levity (with Billy Bob Thornton, Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst), writer/director Todd Robinson’s 2006 detective story, Lonely Hearts (teaming John Travolta with James Gandolfini, plus Laura Dern, Salma Hayek and Jared Leto), John Travolta also stars in filmmaker Shainee Gabel’s 2004 film adaptation of the Ronald Everett Capps’ novel, Love Song for Bobby Long (with Scarlett Johansson), Jennifer Love Hewitt leads the way in the tale of a one-hit-wonder band reunion, The Suburbans and Vivica A. Fox stars in the romantic comedy, Three Can Play That Game.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso on Apr. 4 is the double-disc DVD five-film collection titled Mary Higgin Clark: The Queen of Suspense  — it showcases such made-for-TV mysteries as Pretend You Don't See Her (with Emma Samms), You Belong to Me (Lesley-Anne Down), We'll Meet Again (co-starring Laura Leighton and Brandy Ledford), I'll be Seeing You (Alison Eastwood) and Before I Say Goodbye (Sean Young).

Rounding out the Apr. 4 selections is the true-life, faith-based collection of stories about faith, home and survival titled Angels in Disguise.

Shifting to the Apr. 18 DVD selections we find director Ivan Passer’s 1995 television adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel, Kidnapped: The Complete Mini-Series, and two editions from Mill Creek Entertainment’s popular “Baby First” series — Baby First: Let's Learn and Baby First: Let's Play.

The Film Detective Preps Ten New Film Restorations For DVD Delivery On Feb. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s a Western bonanza on Feb. 7 as the Film Detective announced ten new film restorations for delivery to the home entertainment market place on DVD.   Four, count’em, four are classic Westerns, including two starring William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy — director Lesley Selander’s Christmas of 1942 release of Lost Canyon and Selander’s 1944 film release of Lumberjack (both films co-star Andy Clyde as California Carlson).

John Wayne, with Gabby Hayes as his sidekick, stars in the 1934 Lawless Frontier, which has Wayne hell-bent on protecting the honor of Sheila Terry and Light of the Western Stars is director Lesley Selander’s 1940 film adaptation of the Zane Grey novel … Jo Ann Sayers gets caught up in a gun smuggling scheme and it is Victor Jory to the rescue.

On the action front we find director William K. Howard’s 1942 film release of Klondike Fury, teaming doctor-on-the-lam Edmund Lowe with wilderness beauty Lucile Fairbanks, director Jean Yarbrough’s Law of the Jungle (also from 1942), a World War II espionage thriller starring Arline Judge, John King and Mantan Moreland and director William Nigh’s 1942 thriller, Lady from Chungking, starring Anna May Wong as a Chinese patriot, with Harold Huber in the role of the evil Japanese general by the name of Kaimura.

Lastly, the Film Detective goes to the vaults and returns with one from the golden age of silent films, director Sidney Franklin’s The Hoodlum, released in 1919 and starring Mary Pickford as a rich girl forced to get tough on the streets of Manhattan!

Wolfe Preps Blu-ray And DVD Editions Of Paris 05:59 Théo and Hugo For Domestic Release On Apr. 18

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The award-winning writing and directing team of Olivier Ducastel and Jacques Martineau have a created a provocative stream of consciousness tale that revolves around 93 minutes in the life of Théo (Geoffrey Couët — Up for Love, La Voyante), Hugo (François Nambot — The Missionaries) and the city streets of Paris, France.   

The Film is titled Paris 05:59 Théo and Hugo and it will be available as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings from Wolfe on Apr. 18.

The film has played the festival circuit — both domestically and internationally — since opening at the Berlin International Film Festival in February of last year and will be enjoying a limited arthouse theatrical run during Febuary and March of this year.

The story begins in a Paris “club” at around 4:30 in the morning.   The club is an underground “sex club,” which seems, these days, to be a dangerous place to be hanging out — between STDs and the Jihadi violence (of which France has had its share) you could literally be placing your life in jeopardy.  

Perhaps it is that danger — the allure of it — that has drawn these two young men to this place at such a late hour.  In any case, their passionate encounter blows through the usual cautionary signs and it is only afterwards that Hugo reveals that he is HIV positive … precautions were not taken.   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

He assures Théo that he is in treatment, so the chances of him infecting his partner are minimal.   Nevertheless, they leave the club and hit the sleepy streets of Paris in the pre-dawn darkness to find help at a local clinic.   

 It is during this hour that the pair encounter other denizens of the night; have adventures (Paris is so very still and quiet; beautiful) … soon the magic of the moment will be gone, the sun will rise and the Paris streets will fill with people.   But for these 93 minutes they have life … life to be lived.

Paris 05:59 Théo and Hugo is presented in French with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Icarus Films Teams With Bullfrog Films For The Mar. 28 DVD Debut Of Director Leah Mahan’s Come Hell Or High Water: The Battle For Turkey Creek

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films announced this past week that the Bullfrog Films production of documentary filmmaker Leah Mahan’s Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek will be making its DVD debut on Mar. 28.

If you watch the news on television (cable), even casually, you begin to get the sense that if it isn’t happening in New York City, Los Angeles or Washington D.C., then it really isn’t all that important; meaningful.   Who cares about the history and events of those off-the-beaten-path places and locales … those country roads and quiet hamlets.   Times Square they are not.

As the story goes, during the Christmas holidays in 2001 documentary filmmaker Leah Mahan, who had completed a film in 1996 titled Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street (a story about community redevelopment in Roxbury, Massachusetts) — so she knew something of documentary process — took a trip with her friend Derrick Evans (a Boston school teacher) to his childhood home of Turkey Creek, Mississippi to record an “oral history” of the area.   It was a personal task, simple, but what developed from that seemingly minor effort turned into this feature-length documentary.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Why Turkey Creek?   It has an interesting history … right after the Civil War (circa 1866) emancipated slaves purchased half of a “quarter section” (that would be 320 acres) of land and the generations that followed live and died there; they lived off of the land, it was their home.   

Literally surrounded by the Biloxi-Gulfport multiplex, Turkey Creek was standing in the way of progress — expansion, redevelopment and on and on.    Derrick simply wanted his friend Leah Mahan to record some of the stories about the area — the history — before it was lost.   It became his passion — to save and restore, not destroy, Turkey Creek. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyNo, this little backwater community, with a rich history, is not Times Square, it’s not    Derrick Evans makes the case that just because you can build another strip mall doesn’t mean that you should … Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek makes that case quite well and it is a story worth knowing about.New post
Hollywood and Vine; you’ve likely never heard of it, but it still matters.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Cinema Libre Announces Apr. 11 As The DVD Release Date For Director Christopher Papakaliatis’ Worlds Apart

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cinema Libre announced this past week that Greek actor and filmmaker Christopher Papakaliatis’ Worlds Apart will be making its domestic DVD debut on Apr. 11.

A limited major metro theatrical run is currently underway and ticket sales thus far amount to $45,483 … the ARR works out to 88 days.

Three seemingly unrated tales of the heart — each representing different generations — are presented by Papakaliatis, who cleverly brings them full circle in the film’s final act.
Greece, modern day, economic issues abound and the refugee storms of the Middle East are present.   Times are tough, but love somehow finds a path.  

The first of these stories introduces us to Daphne (played by Niki Vakali in her film debut), a lovely young woman, who finds herself in harm’s way and is rescued by a very unlikely stranger.   He is a Syrian refugee named Farris (Tawfeek Barhom — The Idol, A Borrowed Identity), who survives by hustling as a street vendor.  

Daphne and Farris are drawn to each other, but her father (played by the late Minas Hatzisavvas) forbids such a relationship … it just can’t happen!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The middle part of the film brings both romance and conflict as Giorgios (played by Papakaliatis) meets Elise (Andrea Osvart), who is something of a Viking goddess, in a local watering hole, has a one-night stand that turns into a passionate love affair.   There is just one little problem … Elise has been hired to find ways to cut the fat at Giorgios’ company!

And finally we have the sweetest story of the trio.   This one involves a woman named Maria (Maria Kavoyianni), who is a frumpy Greek housewife, unhappy in her marriage — no, make that miserable in her marriage.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAt the local supermarket she meets Sebastian (played by Oscar winner J.K. Simmons — Whiplash), a retired college professor from Germany, and they hit it off.   They are an unlikely pair, but there is a spark that brings light to her world (she literally comes alive in Sebastian’s presence) and, if the truth be known, her friendly smile and responsive glow opens up his heart (read: lonely).   They agree to meet each week, same time, same place … an affection grows, that, as viewers, we become emotionally invested in.

As mentioned, these three seemingly unrelated stories will come together … very sweet, very clever.

Bonus features include a “Making-Of” featurette and a video session with filmmaker Christopher Papakaliatis.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

SGL Entertainment Preps Apocalypse Kiss For DVD Release On Mar. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
SGL Entertainment, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has selected Mar. 14 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Christian Grillo’s neo-noir sci-fi thriller, Apocalypse Kiss.

If Blade Runner had a sequel this would be it.  The futuristic city of Deckard (Harrison Ford) has continued on in Apocalypse Kiss … only it has gotten seedier and more dangerous (if that is possible).   His “successor” in law enforcement is Jerry Hipple (Tom Detrik — Angel’s Blade), who spends his days trying to track down The Red Harvest Killer, but the why of it seems to be pointless.   

Hipple, it would seem, is simply going through the motions as it is clear from what we can see of this futuristic city that it is on the verge of devolving into a Felliniesque state of the absurd.   Rumor is the world is ending.   Could be.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyEntering this realm are Katia (Carmela Hayslett) and Gladys (Tammy Jean), lesbian lovers who have gone on a killing spree of their own, which the media is attributing to The Red Harvest Killer.   In this dysfunctional near-future world that sort of reporting would go unnoticed — what’s another a body, give or take.  

But when Adrian (D.C. Douglas), the real serial killer, hears of these copycats poaching on his turf he does the only sensible thing … he turns to Hipple for help!!!   He reasons that he is an artist and each one of his victims is a work of art and having amateurs getting credit for his work simply cannot stand!

Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette and fake television commercials from the future.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Shout! Factory Lands Iconic Willard Rat Saga For Blu-ray Release On May 16 — Ben (The Squeakquel) In The Mix As Well

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It has been a long, long, long wait, but news arrived this past week that director Daniel Mann’s 1971 film adaptation of Gilbert Ralston’s horror novel, “Ratman’s Notebooks,” which was retitled for the screen as simply, Willard, will finally be available (legitimately) as a Blu-ray/DVD product offering on May 16 from Shout! Factory.

This Cinerama Releasing production was a sleeper theatrical hit during the summer of 1971 and has been on every genre fan’s must-own list since the launch of DVD (and for that matter, Blu-ray) … but nothing, nada, no Willard year after year!   The drought is finally over.

After scoring solid reviews in both Last Summer and The Strawberry Statement, Bruce Davison was suddenly a star — not because of those films — but for his portrayal of Willard Stiles, the lonely young man who develops a friendship with a cadre of rats — Socrates, Queenie, Ben and their legions of friends.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
He’s a nice guy.   The rats like him; he’s kind to them.   But, they just keep coming and coming and before you know it poor Willard is up to his elbows in rats.   

“Tear it up” is his command to the rats (who have learned basic commands from him) and so they do (poor Ernest Borgnine), but when he double-crosses their titular leader, Ben, it is the rats that do the tearing up!

Another actor who catapulted into star status as result of Willard, was none other than Sondra Locke.  Although she had scored rave reviews for her debut performance in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968), it was her appearance here as Willard’s love interest that got her noticed (six films with Clint Eastwood would follow).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyShout! Factory is out early with the news, so according to their website: “Extras in progress and will be announced at a later date.”

The following summer (1972) Cinerama Releasing trotted out a sequel (when you have a hit and the main character is killed off, you still find a path to a sequel … possibly even a franchise) and titled it after the black rat, Ben, who turned on poor Willard in the first film.   On May 16 Shout! Factory also has Ben on its release schedule as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyWillard was iconic, Ben was dreck … there is just no way around that.   It plays like a bad TV movie (MOW) of the period, but it did accomplish something that even Willard couldn’t do (no, nothing to with rat count or anything like that).

Ben was nominated for an Oscar!   True!   Some 14-year old pop sensation named Michael Jackson (perhaps you’ve heard of him) sang an ode to Ben the rat during the closing credits and the member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences deemed it Oscar-worthy in the Best Song category (it was, however, sunk by “The Morning After” from The Poseidon Adventure).

Revised • 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment's Assassin's Creed On Mar. 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
A certain online retailer — hint: — decided to jump the gun over the weekend and make an announcement (via pre-orders) about 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment’s home entertainment launch of director Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed.    

According to them this will take place on Mar. 21 as a four-SKU product offering … date was quickly confirmed when Best Buy followed with an exclusive SteelBook offer on the same date.   

The ARR works out to a swift-to-market 88 days and domestic ticket sales currently stand at $54.1 million.

The Assassin’s Creed array of products are: A double-disc Blu-ray “Collector’s Edition,” which features both 2D and 3D viewing options; a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack; a stand-alone DVD presentation and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Bonus features are lacking, but you can fully expect to see a number of production featurettes included with the hi-def SKUs.

Update:  20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment made it official this past week, confirming the date as Mar. 21 and providing details as to the bonus materials.  

A multi-part behind-the-scenes production documentary, titled “Take the Pledge: Behind the Scenes of Assassin's Creed,” includes the following: “Legacy of Assassin’s Creed,” “Becoming an Assassin,” “Tools of the Trade,” “In the Realm of Realism” and “Swift Moves and Stealth Maneuvers.”   There are also two video sessions with filmmaker Justin Kurzel (discussing deleted scenes and production design) and a series of still galleries covering the set, concept, costumes and weapons art.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn other news, it was a carefully crafted public relations campaign that spread the word that Oscar-winning director Warren Beatty would be returning to the screen in a film written and directed by himself and one in which he also stars as none other than Howard Hughes.  

The film in question is Rules Don’t Apply, which is a beautifully crafted salute to Hollywood during the 1950s.   As a result of this PR push there was quite a bit of anticipation about what Beatty had crafted.  

The film opened at Thanksgiving and no one came.  It died.   Home entertainment  to the rescue!

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment is making it available as both Blu-ray and DVD product offerings on Feb. 28.   That date yields an ARR of 95 days, and, as mentioned, box office receipts were a very disappointing $3.6 million.

Bonus goodies including a making-of featurette titled “This is Rules Don’t Apply” and the Lily Collins’ music video “The Rules Don’t Apply.”

Blu-ray And DVD Editions Of Elle Heading Home On Mar. 14 From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Isabelle Huppert’s surprise win at the Golden Globes in the Best Actress category for her performance in director Paul Verhoeven’s film adaptation of the Philippe Djian novel “Oh … ” — retitled for the screen as Elle — has suddenly catapulted her into front-runner status in this year’s Oscar derby.   

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment sensing that Huppert might be the sympathetic favorite — and taking full advantage of the hype surrounding her Oscar nomination — has tabbed Mar. 14 as the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of Elle.

The ARR is 123 days and box office receipts for this French-language arthouse import currently stand at $1.8 million.

Presented in French with English subtitles, bonus features include a pair of featurettes — “A Tale of Empowerment: Making Elle” and “Celebrating an Icon: AFI’s Tribute to Isabelle Huppert.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's Peanuts by Schultz: Go Team Go! Arrives On DVD On Apr. 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has tabbed Apr. 25 as the street date for the second collection featuring the new animated series Peanuts by Schultz.   

Titled Peanuts by Schultz: Go Team Go!, this double-disc DVD set features 19 animated adventures starring Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang, including Peppermint Patty, Linus, Marcie, Woodstock … and some newbies, Crybaby Boobie (a real whiner, who is definitely not a good sport) and Molly Volley.

The first in the series, Peanuts by Schulz: Snoopy Tales, was released on DVD on Jan. 24.