Monday, February 13, 2017

Icarus Films Teams With Distrib Films On Mar. 28 For The Domestic DVD Launch Of Director Jérôme Bonnell’s Just A Sigh

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films announced this past week that the Distrib Films production of French filmmaker Jérôme Bonnell’s Just a Sigh will be arriving on DVD in the domestic market place this coming Mar. 28.

It was a long and winding road, but at last — thanks to Icarus Films newly announced distribution deal with Distrib Films — this romantic drama will finally be available on DVD.

It has been a four-year long journey since the film opened theatrically in France, jumped across the pond to a domestic festival debut at the Tribeca International Film Festival in April of 2013 — worked the international film festival circuit for a full year — and then had an arthouse theatrical release in March of 2014 … and then gone.   

The film piled up awards — Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress, etc. — and garnered strong critical buzz, but no home entertainment availability.   That comes to an end on Mar. 28!

For the record, the ARR works out to 1,103 days and the arthouse theatrical run generated report box office receipts of $75,531.

The story is a seductive one.   A beautiful actress named Alix (Emmanuelle Devos — Coco Before Chanel, Read My Lips, Kings and Queens, etc.) hops a train from Calais to Paris — a quick day trip — to take advantage of last minute audition opportunity.   The trip, as we shall discover, was not well planned out.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

During the train ride her attention is drawn to a handsome stranger, who we shall discover is named Doug (played by Gabriel Byrne).   She is fascinated by him — “eye candy,” if you will — but their train arrives in Paris and they go their separate ways.   It was a random moment, a flirtation that went nowhere.

Alix does her thing, tries to hook up with her boyfriend, has trouble with her debit card, frets about being short of cash and in her day trip around Paris she happens upon the stranger from the train once again.   It seems that Doug has journeyed to the city to attend a funeral.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is at this moment that you realize that the seemingly random events of Alix’s day in Paris have actually been a well-crafted set-up by filmmaker Jérôme Bonnell (All About Them, The Queen of Clubs, Les Yeux Clairs, etc.) to establish her character as impulsive; spontaneous.   It, therefore, makes perfect sense that she would approach him and get right to the heart — think: “any plans for the rest of the day?”  Une histoire d'amour décontracté?” (translation: “a casual romance?”).

Just a Sigh is an interesting moment caught in time; a day in Paris like none other.   We have beautiful strangers, new friends, shared secrets and intimacy between them all played out between the arrival and departure of trains.   

Just a Sigh is presented in French with English and English subtitles. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media Picks Apr. 4 For The Release Of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack And DVD Editions Of Office Christmas Party

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media says that you are all invited to a party on Apr. 4!    

That’s the street date for the directing team of Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s comedy hit, Office Christmas Party, starring Jason Bateman, Jennifer Aniston, T. J. Miller, Courtney B. Vance and Olivia Munn.

Available on that date will be DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions … the ARR comes in at 116 days and Christmas-season ticket sales were a snappy $54.7 million.

Trouble is brewing at Zenotek!   The CEO, Carol Vanstone (Aniston), is hell on wheels — there will be no Christmas party, even if they are calling it “a non-denominational holiday mixer,” PERIOD!   And, if that wasn’t a major downer for the holidays, layoffs are planned as well — even her brother, Clay (T.J. Miller — as Erlich in the Silicon Valley television series, plus such films as Deadpool, Transformers: Age of Extinction) is in the crosshairs!    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
There’s just one chance to save those jobs, land a major account headed by Chicago business tycoon Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance).   As for the Christmas party, no problem, Carol is heading out town so she will have no way of knowing if “that tree fell in the forest” or not.   Beside, the party would be a great way to introduce Davis to the employees … they could bond.

And just like the tagline from that 1973 sci-fi classic, Westworld, at this party “nothing can possibly go wrong … go wrong … go …”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus goodies, which are exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU, viewers will have two viewing options — the original theatrical cut and an unrated presentation (extra naughtiness) — commentary by filmmakers Josh Gordon and Will Speck (they previously teamed with Bateman and Aniston for The Switch), outtakes, deleted and extended scenes and the
featuretted titled “Throwing an Office Christmas Party.”

Vinegar Syndrome's March 28 Blu-ray And DVD Product Release Calendar Toplined By Writer/Director Kevin Tenney's Witchtrap

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome announced its Blu-ray and DVD selections for the month of March during this past week (all titles will be streeting on Mar. 28).   Leading the four-strong array of newly restored film offerings is none other than writer/director Kevin Tenney’s 1989 gem-of-a-horror tale, Witchtrap.

This haunted house thriller is arriving as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack sporting a new 2k restoration from the film’s 35mm interpositive.

The Lauder-House is a typical spooky old mansion haunted by the ghost of a magician, who just happened to be a serial killer.   People go in, they don’t come out, or so we are told.   So what does one to do as a new property owner?

Bulldoze it and start over?  Sure, that works.  Or, hire Agnes Goldberg (Judy Tatum) and her crew to drive the spirit(s) out (you know, “ghostbusters” … who you gonna call!).  
As genre fans we know that Agnes and her team are the “victim pool,” which includes legendary screen queen Linnea Quigley (who also appeared in Tenney’s Night of the Demons the previous year), who, sadly, dies a horrible death while taking a shower (worth the price of admission). 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include commentary with director Kevin Tenney, who is joined by producer Dan Duncan, cinematographer Tom Jewett and actor Hal Havins (as Elwin), video sessions with Kevin Tenney, Linnea Quigley, Tom Jewett and SFX Supervisor Tassilo Baur and filmmaker Kevin Tenney’s short film, Book of Joe (his U.S.C. student graduate film).

Also arriving on Mar. 28 as Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offering is director Paul Aratow’s 1975 indie adult-themed action film, China Girl, starring Annette Haven.  A new 2K restoration from the original 16mm film elements is in the offing.

Definitely X-rated for the period, China Girl managed to skirt the lines between    You have to put its release in context and remember that Deep Throat, a hardcore adult film, was able to crossover in 1972 and reach mainstream audiences.   
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
sexploitation and the world of adult cinema.

This was a turning point in the world of adult filmmaking (another turning point was the arrival of VHS — you must watch filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights to have an appreciation of what came next — but that’s another story), which meant that the key to not getting “busted” as a theatre operator or film producer in the mid-1970s was to have a film with a plot — the film had to have a story that wrapped around the sexual encounters to be exhibited theatrically (safely).

China Girl more than meets those standards as the alluring Annette Haven (in one of her very early roles), is a biochemist, kidnapped by Y. C. Chan (played by James Hong) and his henchwoman, Madame Woo (Pamela Yen), who is drugged with an experimental drug that turns her into a willing sex slave.   Can secret agent David Chase (Tom Douglass) find and rescue her before it is too late!!!

Bonus features include an audio interview with Annette Haven.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Rounding out the Mar. 28 release package from Vinegar Syndrome are two new additions to the company’s popular Peekarama adult film series.

This month we have the Peekarama double features of filmmaker Carlos Tobalina’s Boiling Desires (1987, with Candie Evans and Bunny Bleu), which is teamed with Love Champions (1985, with Crystal Breeze and Colleen Brennan) and Sherlick Holmes (1975, with Harry Reems as Holmes and Zebedy Colt as Watson) which arrives on DVD with Reunion (1976, with Tony Richards and Bree Anthony).

MVD Entertainment Group Targets Mar. 28 For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Erlingur Thoroddsen’s Child Eater

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
MVD Entertainment Group has selected Mar. 28 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Erlingur Thoroddsen’s horror chiller, Child Eater (which is based on his own 2012 short film of the same name).

A gruesome opening hook sets the tone as we quickly skip ahead to the present day.  This set-up is extremely effective on at least two levels … first, like fingernails on a blackboard, the opening sequence puts the viewer on edge.  Second, you are forewarned as to what will be coming!

With Child Eater, a new, iconic horror creature could be born.   Like those before him, such as Freddy Krueger or the Candyman, Robert Bowery (played by Jason Martin) is blessed with a trait — a killing trait — that is so creepy that just mentioning it (he consumes children’s eyes) is off-putting; sick.   He’s all about terror; he defines it!

So now, as mentioned, in the present day we are introduced to Lucas (Colin Critchley), a young boy whose mother has recently passed away and who is being cared for by a young woman named Helen (Cait Bliss) — think: Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) from Halloween.   She is the daughter of the local sheriff, so she’s well aware of all of those old tales about Robert Bowery — long since dead, so no worries.   The dead can’t hurt you!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyLucas goes missing, he kept telling her that there was a boogeyman in his closet … and sure enough, there was (and we have a pretty good idea who that is). So Helen does what any good babysitter would do, she takes off after him — into the spooky woods, of course — and as with all creepy pursuits, in the dark, the mind is prone to playing tricks.   And plenty of “tricks” there will be as the terror mounts and the time grows short … Child Eater is a must for genre fans!

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Preps DVD • Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack • 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Editions Of Why Him? For A Mar. 28 Rollout

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Writer/director John Hamburg’s latest comedy hit, Why Him?, will be heading to the home entertainment market place courtesy of 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment on Mar. 28.

That end of March street date yields an ARR of 95 days, the box office take was a solid $59.1 million and planned for release are a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a stand-alone DVD edition.

James Franco gets to eat the scenery big time, Bryan Cranston has fun reacting to the horror of it all … it’s all great fun.  Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker John Hamburg, who is joined by co-writer Ian Helfer and film editor William Kerr, deleted scenes, a gag reel and five featurettes — “47 Minutes on the Can,” “Why Gustav?,” “Barb Fleming: America's Mom,” “Lou The Entertainer” and “Richard Blais: Twisted Chef.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment To Release DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Director David Frankel's Collateral Beauty On Mar. 14

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be delivering both DVD and Blu-ray editions of David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty to the home entertainment market place on Mar. 14.

Despite an all-star cast that includes Will Smith, Edward Norton, Naomie Harris, Kate Winslet, Helen Mirren and Keira Knightley, Collateral Beauty got lambasted by the critics and was released theatrically the same week as Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (talk about into the teeth of a hurricane), but it still managed to pull in a respectable $31 million.   The ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days.

 The only bonus nugget is featurette titled “A Modern Fable: Discovering Collateral Beauty.”

The Sprocket Vault Unearths Director Alan H. Miner's Lost 1954 The Black Pirates For A DVD Debut On Mar. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
There, forgotten in a dusty corner of a warehouse in New Jersey, was the original 35mm color negative of director Alan H. Miner’s 1954 film release of The Black Pirates.   Film distributor, producer and preservationist Kit Parker had the rights to the film, but the material he had in possession was sketchy at best — certainly not usable for home entertainment distribution.   

After years of tracking down this scrap of information or one dead end lead after another, he had finally found what he had been looking for.   As it turned out, the 35mm negative had been sent down to Mexico to strike prints for theatrical exhibition in Central America and had then been returned to New Jersey, where it was stored and forgotten.

The Sprocket Vault announced this past week that on Mar. 7, The Black Pirates — starring Anthony Dexter, Martha Roth, Robert Clarke and Lon Chaney Jr. — will be making its debut as part of the double-feature DVD release titled Swashbuckler Double Feature.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyTeamed with it is director James Tinling’s 1951 film adventure, Tales of Robin Hood, also starring Robert Clarke as Robin Hood, with Mary Hatcher as the Maid Marian and Tiny Stowe as the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham.

Both of these films wereth Century-Fox.   Counted among the films that he had a hand in during the period are the likes of Samuel Fuller’s The Steel Helmet, director Samuel Newfield’s 1951 adventure, Lost Continent, Little Big Horn and Rocketship X-M.
produced by Robert L. Lippert of Lippert Pictures — he produced over 100 films between 1948 and 1955, before cutting an exclusive production deal with 20

Of note, The Black Pirates was shot on location in San Salvador during the middle of political unrest in neighboring Guatemala and due to budgetary considerations, the pirates are never seen aboard ship … they land via rowboat during the opening sequence and spend the entire film looking on land for the lost treasure.

As to bonus goodies, a reconstructed interview session between actor Robert Clarke and Robert L. Lippert, Jr. (preserved in transcript form) has been recreated using voice actor Tom Weaver.

FilmRise Tabs Feb. 28 For The DVD Release Of Documentary Filmmaker Benjamin Ree’s Magnus

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
FilmRise, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Feb. 28 as the street date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of documentary filmmaker Benjamin Ree’s award-winning Magnus, a look at the life of child chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen, who is the current World Chess Champion at the age of 26 (three-times running).

The film played the international film festival circuit (in competition) and had a brief Oscar-qualifying theatrical run at Thanksgiving … the ARR is 102 days and ticket sales were $8,944.

Bonus features include five chess lessons from Carlsen.