Monday, May 15, 2017

Oscilloscope Laboratories Tabs July 11 For DVD And Blu-ray Editions Of Contemporary Color

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Oscilloscope Laboratories has revealed that July 11 will be the release date for both DVD and Blu-ray editions of the documentary filmmaking team of Bill and Turner Ross’ one-of-a-kind event film, Contemporary Color.

The film had a brief arthouse showcase run (to garner media attention) after working the festival circuit — both domestically and overseas — throughout 2016.   The ARR for the limited theatrical break comes in at 130.   

During Contemporary Color’s film festival run it piled up awards, not only for the film in general, but for the technical aspects of the release — notably Jarred Alterman’s cinematography and Bill Ross IV’s editing.

So what’s the big deal?   Oscar and Grammy-winner David Byrne (of Talking Heads fame) is the big deal.  He came up with a “performance artist” idea that was innovative and challenging.

Have you been a sporting event?   Seen one on TV?   Sure.   You’ve seen the marching bands at the half time show, but have you noticed the Color Guard? The Color Guard is that group of young men and women who go through stylistic regiments of dance, flag and other representative accoutrement (rifles, sabres, etc.) movements in support of, and interpretation of the music and routines of the center stage performers. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Byrne noticed them and wondered what would happen if they were not the sideshow, but the main event.   Pomp, circumstance, an eye for detail, interpretative dance and team discipline in a setting that would serve to highlight their collective work … all supported by popular artists and their music.   

That’s what was achieved with Contemporary Color … a ballet; a concert; a stage performance of color and flash like none other.   So join David Byrne, filmmakers Bill and Turner Ross and ten top-of-their-art Color Guard teams in a one-of-a-kind event at Brooklyn's Barclays Center during the summer of 2015.   You will not be disappointed.

Bonus goodies include the short film collection (screened during the event) that is titled “Jumbotron Video,” a behind-the-scenes featurette titled “Temporary Color” and a news segment featuring Hartfield High School.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Vinegar Syndrome Announces Its June 27 Release Calendar Of New DVD And Blu-ray Product Offerings

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Vinegar Syndrome has set four new film restorations for DVD and Blu-ray release on June 27!

Leading the parade is a new 2K restoration of director Al Adamson’s summer of 1978 horror tale, Nurse Sherri, starring Jill Jacobson (The Jigsaw Murders, Bad Georgia Road) as the luckless hospital nurse who becomes demon-possessed for just being in the wrong place at the right time.    

Don’t you just hate it when the universe conspires against you, especially when it has to do with some mumbo jumbo about “bliss that lies beyond the borders of hell!”

This sexploitation/horror tale from Adamson, who delivered such gems in the 1970s as The Naughty Stewardesses, Blazing Stewardesses, Angels' Wild Women and Brain of Blood, fits right in with his winning blend of sex combined with action and/or horror — instead of sexy stewardess or biker chicks, this time it is nurses!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus delights for Nurse Sherri, producer Sam Sherman provides commentary, a pair of featurettes — “Nurses Confessions” and “Then and Now” — and an “exploitation” presentation of the film.

Joining the fun on June 27 is the 2K restoration (from the original 35mm camera negative) of director Joe Sarno’s 1974 adult comedy, A Touch of Genie.   It will be available as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.

During the early 1970s the prevailing legal thought was that if there was some semblance of a plot to the film it would be tougher for local authorities to shut it down.   The breakthrough of Deep Throat in 1972 opened up the adult film world (porn) to the general public, but it was still touch and go legally with respect to the exhibition of films with graphic sexual conduct.   The work-around was having a plot that could be argued as the primary focus of the film and not the gratuitous sex (wink, wink … nod, nod).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Filmmaker Joe Sarno, who worked the full spectrum from sexploitation to hardcore, came up with this comedy spin, A Touch of Genie, where a Jewish nebbish named Melvin (Douglas Stone) comes in possession of a magical lamp (complete with Genie) and uses it to fantasize what it would be like to cavort with real-life porn stars (Tina Russell stars).   It didn’t hurt that I Dream of Jeannie had been a popular comedy show leading up to this period, so exhibiting the film to general audiences was relatively safe.

Bonus features include video sessions with actor Eric Edwards and Sarno biographer Michael Bowen.

On the DVD release front on June 27, Vinegar Syndrome has the next installment in its popular “Peekarama” series, which teams two films (2K restorations from the original 35mm negatives) this time from director Dick Dumont — Pleasure Maze (1986, with Tracy Adams, Stacey Donovan, Amber Lynn and Joanna Storm) and Lovers Lane (also from 1986 and also counting among its cast members Tracy Adams and Stacey Donovan).

Lastly, June 27 marks the DVD release of director Kemal Horulu’s 1983 adult film release of Never Sleep Alone, starring John Leslie and Tina Marie as a married couple whose marriage is on the rocks — flashbacks during court room testimony highlight their numerous indiscretions.

The bonus nugget here is a video session with actress Joanna Storm).

Paramount Home Media To Release On DVD On July 18 The Untouchables: The Scarface Mob

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media and CBS Home Entertainment have gone to the vaults for a real hidden treasure that will be making its DVD debut on July 18.  The hidden treasure is The Untouchables: The Scarface Mob.

In October of 1958, Desi Arnaz and Westinghouse joined forces for a one-hour television anthology series titled “Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse,” which spawned two timeless television series.   Both debuted as full-fledged series in the Fall of 1959 — The Twilight Zone (based on Rod Serling’s “The Time Element” episode) and a two-part presentation that aired in April of 1959 of The Untouchables, which was based on Eliot Ness’ posthumously published book (co-authored by Oscar Fraley) of the same name and adapted for the broadcast by writer Paul Monash.

The Twilight Zone made its CBS network broadcast debut on Oct. 2, 1959 and The Untouchables followed on rival ABC on Oct. 15, 1959 … Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse gave birth to both of these!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
On July 18 the missing element in The Untouchables series, starring Robert Stack as Eliot Ness, will be complete with the presentation of the theatrical cut titled The Untouchables: The Scarface Mob.   The two-parter was edited into a theatrical release version and distributed to theatres during August of 1962, when the show took a two-month hiatus between the end of the third season (early July) and the start of the fourth and final season in late September of that year.

Icarus Films Teams With Bullfrog Films For The July 18 DVD Release Of Documentary Filmmaker Angela Sun's Plastic Paradise

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films will be delivering the Bullfrog Films production of documentary filmmaker Angela Sun’s Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the DVD marketplace on July 18.

In June of 1942 the fate of the world rested on the outcome of a naval battle at the tiny atoll of Midway in the Pacific.  For three days the Japanese Imperial Navy, under the command of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, battled the American Navy and Admiral Chester W. Nimitz … and the results changed the entire face of World War II in the vast Pacific Ocean.   

Now skip ahead 70 years to the same Midway Atoll and a new battle is being waged … that is what Angela Sun’s film is about.   And it is every bit as horrific as a world at war.

Remember the famous exchange in The Graduate — Walter Brooke’s character says to Benjamin (Dustin Hoffman), “I just want to say one word to you.  Just one word.” And, Benjamin bites, “Yes, sir.”   “Are you listening?”   “Yes, I am.”  And then comes the payoff, “Plastics.”   It is 1967 and the future is plastics.

Sun and her film crew arrive at Midway and a new battle is raging all around this remote island outpost.   It is literally the center of an ocean storm that swirls tons and tons of plastic to this part of the Pacific.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The result are bird kills of Biblical proportions … and all you need to see is a dead albatross gutted on camera by a member of Angela Sun’s film production team to understand the gravity of the problem.   Instead of fish guts spilling from the dead bird’s stomach, it is lumps of plastic … this majestic bird of the open seas — made famous in Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” —  literally starved to death on plastic.

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a wake-up call to think about what we are dumping into our oceans!  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Arrow Video To Release A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Edition Of Kinji Fukusaku’s Doberman Cop On June 27

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new hi-def transfer of Japanese filmmaker Kinji Fukusaku’s 1977 yakuza thriller, Doberman Cop, ready for release as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition on June 27.

Sonny Chiba stars an Okinawan detective — basically a fish out of water — who is dispatched to Tokyo to investigate the murder of a local, which turns into something more than even he could imagine!

Bonus features include newly prepared video sessions with Sonny Chiba and scripter Koji Takada (The Street Fighter, Tattooed Hit Man, etc.), plus the featurette “Beyond the Film: Doberman Cop,” which is a presentation by the biographer of Kinji Fukusaku by author Sadao Yamane.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Sets Five New Film Restorations For Release On DVD On May 16

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective announced five new film restorations this past week that will be heading home to the collector’s marketplace on May 16.   And the theme for this group could be … “the efficient use and re-use of film as a resource.”  

Topping the list — and that is always a subjective thing when it comes to films on DVD — is director Herbert J. Leder’s Doomsday Machine, which is a sci-fi film with a production history that is far more interesting than the film itself.

Singer/actor Bobby Van had just finished The Navy vs. the Night Monsters opposite Mamie Van Doren and somehow ended up as the star of Leder’s next film production after he, Leder, finished his two London-based films, which were finished, but yet to be released in the United States — It! and The Frozen Dead.   

This new film production, that Bobby Van was to star in, was Armageddon 1975 and also variously titled Doomsday Plus Seven and Escape from Planet Earth.   His co-stars were Ruta Lee and Mala Powers (who both worked as episode stars on many of the same television series during the run-up to this film — 77 Sunset Strip, Perry Mason, etc.) and Grant Williams (star of The Incredible Shrinking Man a decade earlier and such delights as The Monolith Monsters and The Leech Woman). 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
For whatever reason the film began production, with its story about a Chinese end-of-world doomsday weapon and a plan to salvage some small bit of humankind with a desperate launch of a NASA flight to Venus (Really?  Venus!!), and then it shuttered.  Never to see the light of day!   

But wait, along comes would-be film entrepreneur Harry Hope, who somehow acquires the rights and the footage to the unfinished film and hires veteran filmmaker Lee Sholem (who had the ability to set up and edit shots within the camera — which made him quick and very efficient) to shoot additional footage in order to finish the film.   It was released theatrically in 1972 as Doomsday Machine.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Plot and continuity be damned!   Doomsday Machine is a film that would have made Ed Wood proud and iconic film producer “Jungle” Sam Katzman envious (legend has it that he could look at stock footage and immediately come up with a storyline that would fit the footage)!   Incoherent, but here Doomsday Machine is in all of its glory to be enjoyed and savored (have fun figuring which is which — 1967 sequences and 1972 sequences).

Up next is another film curiosity, Chandu on the Magic Island, starring Bela Lugosi as the hero of the story (rare indeed for him).   In October of 1934 Sol Lesser’s Principal Pictures released the 12-chapter serial titled The Return of Chandu, which was a follow-up to the 1932 film release of Chandu the Magician (starring Edmund Lowe as Frank Chandler/Chandu, with Bela Lugosi as Roxor, the villain of the story).   

The serial itself was designed to be re-edited into not one, but two feature films (why let all    The first was The Return of Chandu, which featured the first four chapters of the serial and Lesser cleverly set it up in such a way so that theatre owners could book the film as either the complete serial or as the feature film version (talk about efficiency).   
of that footage go to waste).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe follow summer (1935), Chandu on the Magic Island was released theatrically, which is the edited version of the final eight chapters of the original serial.   Clever … to be sure!

Rounding out the May 16 film-to-DVD restorations from The Film Detective are director John Griffith Wray’s 1921 film release of Beau Revel, starring Lewis Stone as playboy cad, who realizes only too late that his life has been nothing but a lie; director Oliver Drake’s 1948 Western, Fighting Mustang, starring Sunset Carson (born as Winifred Maurice Harrison, a former rodeo rider who legally changed his name to Sunset Carson in 1944 and starred in a series of 21 “Sunset Carson” Westerns between 1944 and 1950) and director Arthur Dreifuss’ 1939 film release of Double Deal, starring Monte Hawley and Edward Thompson as pals in love with the same woman (Jeni Le Gon) … double-dealing, robbery and a frame-up follow!

Ocean Avenue Entertainment's DVD Debut Of Director Brandon Dickerson's Victor Will Be On June 13

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is the early 1960s in New York City and Victor Torres could be a member of the 1961 film cast of West Side Story.  He is a Puerto Rican teenager — a gangbanger into crime and drugs — who for all intents and purposes is likely destined for the same fate as Tony, dead on some sidewalk.

Writer/director Brandon Dickerson’s film adaptation of Victor Torres’ 1977 book, “Son of Evil Street” — titled for the screen as simply Victor — is due out on DVD from Ocean Avenue Entertainment on June 13  — with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group.  It is a faith-based story based on actual events.

The ARR for this 2016 theatrical release comes in at 270 days and domestic ticket sales for the film’s limited showcase run were $117,755.

Everything for Victor Torres (Patrick Davis — Creed, Secret in Their Eyes, Paint it Black, etc.) is on the line in 1962.  He’s a member of the Roman Lords, a drug dealer and addicted to heroin, which means he has to feed that habit, but street preacher David Wilkerson, coupled with his mother’s strong belief in the power of prayer, open a path for his salvation. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
At the moment of truth, when he is literally faced with murdering a rival, he hears a voice that turns his path … Victor Torres from that day forward carried the word of God in his life.   

He would go on to write a best-selling book about his redemption … he would share with others his redemption through his life and his ministry.   Brandon Dickerson’s film, Victor, is that inspirational story ... a story that could have ended on the streets of Brooklyn if not for a divine intervention.      

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Preps Director Daniel Espinosa's Sci-Fi Thriller Life For Delivery To The Home Entertainment Marketplace On June 20

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has the task of trying to salvage something from the lost opportunity of the theatrical launch of director Daniel Espinosa’s big-budget sci-fi thriller, Life.    

That fresh opportunity comes on June 20 in the form of a three-SKU home entertainment push — DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray editions will be offered.   

It’s a mystery as to how the studio could pump over $80 million into the budget of a sci-fi/horror tale — with a cast that features Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation) — plus another $15 to $25 million in domestic P&A and not generate more than just lackluster results.  

That’s one hell of an investment to pull in just $30 million in domestic box office receipts.   So that puts pressure on the home entertainment group to trim some of that red ink.

For the record, the ARR for that June 20 release date works out to a swift-to-market 88 days.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment Selects June 27 For The Release Of DVD • Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack • And 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack Editions Of Power Rangers

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Lionsgate Home Entertainment announced a three-SKU release package for director Dean Israelite’s Power Rangers this past week.  The street date for DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack editions will be June 27, which yields an ARR of 95 days.   

Ticket sales were $84.7 million, which puts both Saban and Lionsgate in something of a minor bind in their plans for a multi-film franchise series — they have got to get that production budget under control to make this a profitable series (a $100 million-plus budget, plus P&A, for $84.7 million in ticket sales is not a particularly long-term winning strategy).

Bonus goodies include commentary from director Dean Israelite (Project Almanac) and actor-turned-writer/producer John Gatins (Oscar-nominated for his Flight script, plus script involvement on such films as Kong: Skull Island, Coach Carter, Real Steel, etc.), a nine-part making-of documentary titled “The Power of the Present,” outtakes, deleted, alternate and extended scenes.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Confirms The June 6 Street Date For Director Bil Condon's Beauty And The Beast

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment — before dawn on Friday the 12th of May — issued a press release confirming what WaxWorks, Target and Best Buy have been saying for the past couple of weeks.   Namely, director Bill Condon’s sure-to-be Oscar-nominated mega-hit, Beauty and the Beast, will available on June 6.  The confirmation arrives after the pre-book date.

As to bonus goodies, Disney is touting three-ways-to-view the film.   These are: The theatrical cut of the film, the “premiere cut” of the film, which includes an overture, and a sing-along version.   

Other bonus features are deleted scenes, four productions featurettes titled “Enchanted Table Read with the Cast,” “Making a Moment with Celine Dion,” “From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences” and “The Women Behind Beauty and the Beast” — a “song selection” option and the “Beauty and the Beast” music video featuring Ariana Grande and John Legend.