Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Paramount Home Media Targets July 25 For The Release Of DVD • Blu-ray • And 4K Ultra HD Editions Of Ghost In The Shell

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Amazon.com began taking orders for a July 25 release of director Rupert Sanders’ live-action sci-fi film adaptation of the Shirow Masamune’s manga series, Ghost in the Shell, and the others (Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, etc.) quickly followed.

The ARR for that summer street date comes in at 116 days after the film’s theatrical rollout … ticket sales currently stand at $40.5 million.

Planned for release are a DVD edition, two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions (one with a 3D viewing option) and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Since Amazon.com jumped the gun — ahead of a formal release announcement from Paramount Home Media — details as to bonus goodies are lacking, but we know from WaxWorks’ latest Hot Sheet sales solicitation bulletin that “over 45 minutes of electrifying bonus content” will be available.

Ghost in the Shell was a difficult film for Paramount/DreamWorks to market theatrically in that the final product adheres too closely to its manga origins, which tended to limited its theatrical market to fanboys and allied genre fans.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
As with writer/director Alex Garland’s 2014 film, Ex Machina, the bigger societal issue at play is the rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence), not only as a robotic tool, but as a superior human replacement.   That can be pretty scary stuff. 

With Scarlett Johansson starring as “The Major” and the home entertainment launch on multiple platforms, Ghost in the Shell may well find a larger audience come July 25.  
Also on the way from Paramount Home Media are a trio of TV-on-DVD full-season releases that will be retail-ready for fans to enjoy on Aug. 15.

Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis continue to play their high-stakes games in the four-disc collection of Billions: Season Two.  No word just yet on bonus nuggets that might be included with the presentation of these 12 episodes (one thing is for sure, a third season is on the way … expect the first Showtime broadcast in January of next year).

Also returning on Aug. 15 is NCIS: New Orleans: The Third Season, a six-disc collection that features all 24 cases (episodes) that came into Scott Bakula as Special Agent Dwayne “King” Pride — and his team’s purview.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus features include selected episode commentaries, deleted scenes and an unspecified number of behind-the-scenes featurettes.   There is also a bonus “crossover” episode featuring the cast from NCIS.  

NCIS: New Orleans: The Third Season has also been renewed for another season … expect season four to begin airing this September.

Lastly, CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media will be teaming up on Aug. 15 for the DVD launch of Bull: Season One, starring Michael Weatherly as Dr. Jean Bull, the head of TAC (Trial Analysis Corporation), a jury consulting firm that uses hi-tech profiling techniques to analyze juries in structuring the best defense for clients that come his way. 

All 23 first season episodes are included here … bonus goodies include a gag reel, deleted scenes and featurettes.   Bull will return for a second season this September.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Wolfe Tabs Aug. 1 For The DVD Debut Of Director Issac Rentz's Musical Comedy Opening Night

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe announced this past week that director Issac Rentz’s musical comedy, Opening Night, will be making its DVD debut on Aug. 1.

Nick (Topher Grace — as Eric from That ’70s Show, plus such films as Spider-Man 3, Valentine's Day, Predators, etc.) once was a promising Broadway star, but now he stays in the game — the Broadway game — by being the production manager of an about-to-open Broadway musical by the name of “One Hit Wonderland.”   A nicely timed opening sequence sets all of this up … and then we arrived at the theatre and a world of backstage chaos, where the story-within-the-story unfolds.

The show has a chance to succeed (one-hit wonders are strung together to tell a story of promise and missed opportunities), but events leading up to the premiere seem to suggest that it will all be for naught.   

The lead singers are JC (played by real-life NSYNC recording star JC Chasez) and Brooke (Anne Heche), but disaster strikes when Brooke is knocked unconscious by a chopstick!    Well, it was actually a giant prop chopstick and Ron (played by comedian Paul Scheer), the prop manager, whacked her upside the head (think: baseball bat) and now she’s very much out of action (and every time she gets close to recovering some new accident occurs).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn the grand tradition of Broadway, the show must go on, so Chloe (Alona Tal), the understudy is given the news.   Chloe is Nick’s former girlfriend (lover), with the “former” part being the result of having an affair with JC … this only adds to the chaos.

Others in the cast include Nick’s best friend Malcolm (played by Taye Diggs), an ego-centric dancer, who serves as something of a sounding board for Nick to vent his frustrations (and move the very busy plot elements along) and Goldmeyer (Rob Riggle), the often oblivious-to-events-unfolding producer of the show.

The dialog is terrific, the production zips along and the musical-within-a-musical conceit works like a charm!   In short, this “opening night” is one for the ages!

Arrow Video Preps 2K Restoration Of Joseph H. Lewis' Terror In A Texas Town For Blu-ray Release On July 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new 2K restoration of director Joseph H. Lewis’ 1958 Western noir, Terror in a Texas Town, ready for delivery as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on July 11. 

Terror in a Texas Town is a mixed-genre film with a backstory that makes this a worthy addition to any film library.   It works as a traditional Western, which is fine, but it has also has a kind of a peculiarity about it that makes it a standout.   

First, the backstory, this is one of those Dalton Trumbo backlist scripts — fronted by Ben Perry — and Johnny Crale, the hired gun, is played by blacklisted actor  Nedrick Young, who would win the Oscar for his The Defiant Ones script the same year (he was also nominated for his adaptation of Inherit the Wind in 1960).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The other element of the film is the unique weapon that our hero, George Hansen (played Sterling Hayden) defends himself with against the six-gun action of Crale … a whaler’s harpoon!

The film noir elements come from the dark (black and white) presentation and the brooding and sinister nature of the plot.   

As to bonus features, there is a newly prepared introduction by author Peter Stanfield (“Hollywood, Westerns and the 1930s: The Lost Trail” and “Horse Opera: The Strange History of the Singing Cowboy”) and selected scene commentary by Stanfield.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

It Will Be July 18 As The Street Date For Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's Home Entertainment Launch Of Kong: Skull Island

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Kong!   The mighty Kong returns on July 18 with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s home entertainment launch of director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island, the second re-boot of classic “monsters” under the Legendary Entertainment envisioned “MonsterVerse” film franchise series.  

The first of these was director Gareth Edwards’ spring of 2014 film release of a revitalized Godzilla in a film simply titled, Godzilla.   Both of these “MonsterVerse” film releases have been successful … so, expect more.  

In any case, Kong: Skull Island arrives with an ARR of 130 days and domestic box office receipts were an impressive $167.1 million (expect more movies starring Kong too).

As for SKU configuration, we have four choices for consumers to choose from.  There will be a stand-alone DVD edition, two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs — one featuring a 3D presentation of the films — and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Give credit to director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and his team of screenwriters — Dan Gilroy (Oscar-nominated for his Nightcrawler script), Max Borenstein (provided the script for the 2014 Godzilla re-boot) and Derek Connolly (Monster Trucks and part of the Jurassic World writing team) — they deliver a story that both stands alone and yet has a feeling of connectivity to past incarnations of the King Kong film series (in its various forms).   In other works, it works … and filmgoers liked it!

As to bonus goodies, which are common to all SKU configurations, we have commentary by Vogt-Roberts, deleted scenes and a half-dozen production featurettes — “Creating a King: Realizing an Icon,” “Creating a King: Summoning a God,” “Monarch Files 2.0,” “Tom Hiddleston: The Intrepid Traveler,” “Through the Lens: Brie Larson’s Photography” and “On Location: Vietnam.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In other release news this week from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, writer/director John Patrick Shanley’s 1990 comedy teaming Tom Hanks with Meg Ryan, Joe Versus the Volcano, will be getting a Blu-ray push on June 20.

This was the first of four times that Hanks and Ryan would appear together … they would re-team for the smash hit, Sleepless in Seattle in 1993 and they would find the magic once again in You’ve Got Mail in 1998 and lastly, Ithaca, directed by Meg Ryan (bet you didn’t see this one) and available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Icarus Films Readies Mali Blues And The Country Doctor For DVD Release On July 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The hand of ISIS, Al-Qaeda or whatever other radical Islamic group you can think of, reaches deep into the heart of Africa with its peculiar brand of hate and intolerance.   

In documentary filmmaker Lutz Gregor’s Mali Blues, which will be making its domestic DVD debut on July 25 courtesy of Icarus Films, we learn firsthand of one frightful bit of insanity perpetrated by adherents to radical Islam.

The film worked the festival circuit internationally throughout 2016 and had a limited arthouse run domestically earlier this year … the ARR works out to 165 days.

In the land of fabled Timbuktu, musical instruments, song and dance were banned.   The penalty for defiance was torture or death.   Musicians were forced to flee … their instruments were smashed.   
Gregor’s film speaks of these outrages and the Mali musicians who now defy those who would silence them.   Performances from international recording star Fatoumata Diawara, Ahmed Ag Kaedi, Bassékou Kouyaté and Master Soumy are included as counterpoint to the terror.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Also announced for DVD delivery on July 25 is the latest film release from the Distrib Films distribution deal reached between Distrib Films and Icarus Films earlier this year.   

French filmmaker Thomas Lilti’s The Country Doctor is the next entry in Icarus Films’ ever-growing library of French-language imports. 

Jean-Pierre Werner (François Cluzet — Little White Lies, The Intouchables, Tell No One, etc.) is the doctor, the country doctor, who services the health needs of villagers in this rural area of France.   For him it is a “vocation;” a way of life.   Filmmaker Thomas Lilti, who is himself a doctor, uses his unique understanding of the profession to weave this story about a man, Dr. Jean-Pierre, and his extended family … his patients. 

When he is diagnosed with a brain tumor, things need to change.  He has to moderate his pace … his daily rounds of patient care need to be trimmed.   In short, he will need help and that help arrives in the form of a new “city” doctor by the name of Nathalie (Marianne Denicourt).   

She is competent in her skills, but she is not “one of the them” … not a member of the community.   Her understanding of medicine and Jean-Pierre’s practice of medicine are two very different things and if she is to succeed she will need to learn the difference between the two.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Country Doctor is a lovely slice-of-life film, especially so since filmmaker Thomas Lilti’s patient vignettes seem to be based on experiences in his own life.  They ring true, as does the professional, but well-meaning, “conflict” between Jean-Pierre and Nathalie.

The Country Doctor is presented in French with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Cinema Libre Selects June 20 For The DVD Debut Of Documentary Filmmaker Satinder Garcha's Under The Turban

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cinema Libre announced this past week that documentary filmmaker Satinder Garcha’s Under the Turban, a globetrotting look at the world’s fifth largest religion, Sikhism, will be making its DVD debut on June 20.

When Satinder Garcha and Harpreet Bedi’s eight-year-old daughter, Zara asked a seemingly simple question about their religion, Sikhism, “What makes me a Sikh?,” it set Garcha to thinking … that’s not an easy question to answer and the wheels in motion for a documentary designed to address that very question, not for his daughter, but for those in the world who know little to nothing about Sikhs (especially in a post-9/11 world). 

Garcha, the founder of Elevation Development, a company that specializes in high-end boutique hotel and residential properties, is both a world traveler and successful enough to have the resources necessary to take his family to the four corners of the earth in search of that answer.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeySo join Satinder, Harpreet and Zara as they journey to India, Argentina, Canada, Singapore, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States to meet with and interact with Sikh communities and in the process learn what it is like to be a member of the world’s fifth largest religion.

Along the way you will visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, meet cheese artisans in Italy, members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club in Canada, the UK’s Fauja Singh, the world’s oldest marathon runner and more!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Director Tom McGrath's The Boss Baby Arrives In The Home Entertainment Marketplace On July 25 From 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director Tom McGrath’s hilarious animated film adaptation of Marla Frazee’s 2010 illustrated children’s book, The Boss Baby, will be making its way to the home entertainment marketplace on July 25 … so says 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment.

The ARR for that end of July street date works out to 116 days and ticket sales were a robust $166.2 million (with those numbers, look for The Bossier Baby during the spring of 2021).

Planned for release are four SKUs — a stand-alone DVD edition, two Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (one with a 3D companion Blu-ray disc) and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

The Boss Baby comes loaded with extras, beginning with the new short animated film titled, The Boss Baby and Tim’s Treasure Hunt Through Time, deleted scenes and a half-dozen featurettes — “The Forever Puppy Infomercial,” “BabyCorp and You,” “Babies vs. Puppies: Who Do YOU Love?,” “The Boss Baby's Undercover Team,” “Cookies are for Closers: Inside BabyCorp” and “The Great Sibling Competition.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Wild Eye Releasing Picks July For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Patrick O'Bell's Cult Thriller The Blessed Ones

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Membership in the Polaris Society is a lifetime commitment, literally.   So when Spencer (Andy Gates — Cowboys & Indians, The Cleaning Lady) and Ursa (Tamzin Brown — The Institute, The Adderall Diaries) make the decision that living with a cult in the desert is no longer their cup of tea, they quickly discover that the only way out of their membership is death! 

Wild Eye Releasing, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed July 11 as the DVD debut date for writer/director Patrick O’Bell’s horrific cult tale, The Blessed Ones, which also stars Dave Vescio (Sienna's Choice, Alien Rising) as Elyon, the crazed leader of this doomsday cult (patterned somewhat after Marshall Applewhite’s infamous Heaven’s Gate cult of the late 1990s in San Diego County area).  

His vision is a mass suicide that will take his “family” to another dimension … Spencer and Ursa think otherwise and plan to take off, but Elyon has a murderous enforcer by the name of Draco (Jonathan Erickson Eisley), whose job is to make sure that Polaris Society members are forever faithful.   He’s one brutal thug, which makes sipping the poison a tempting alternative!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Preps Five New Film Restorations For DVD On May 30

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective announced this past week that they will have five new film restorations ready for collectors to enjoy on DVD on May 30.

We begin with writer/director Norman Foster’s 1950 film noir entry, Woman on the Run, starring Ann Sheridan and Dennis O’Keefe.   Here we find a San Francisco artist by the name Frank (played by Ross Elliott — The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, Chicago Calling, Indestructible Man, etc.), who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time.   A mob hit, and he is an eyewitness!

The police try to convince him that he should testify, but he figures that would be a death sentence and takes it on the lam.   Even though his estranged wife, Eleanor (played by Sheridan), is on the outs with Frank, she is worried that without his heart medication he could suffer a heart failure — talk about your classic case of “out of the pot and into the frying pan!”   Stay put and the mob rubs you out, stay on the run and your ticker times you out!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Meanwhile, if that wasn’t complicated enough, a nosey reporter by the name of Dan (Dennis O’Keefe) has interjected himself into the search for Frank and ends up helping Eleanor search the streets of San Francisco for him.

What Eleanor doesn’t realize, that is until it is perhaps too late, that her helper, this so-called news hawk, is actually a mob hitman and he is using her to track down his mark!  Twisted!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAlso on the May 30 release schedule are three classic Westerns — one each — starring legendary silver screen icons John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

Roy rides with Dale Evans in the 1944 Republic Pictures production of The Yellow Rose of Texas, Gene saddles up in director George Archainbaud’s 1953 film release of Winning of the West (Gail Davis and Smiley Burnette co-star) and John Wayne stars with Phyllis Fraser in director Mack V. Wright’s 1936 ghost town stagecoach tale, Winds of the Wasteland.

Lastly, The Film Detective has director Edward Ludwig’s 1934 comedy, A Woman's Man, teaming Marguerite De La Motte and Wallace Ford on its May 30 DVD release schedule.