Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Film Detective Sets Four Film Restorations For DVD Release On June 6

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The film is titled Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge, release theatrically in June of 1937 by Republic Pictures, and starring Gene Autry.   Everything in your heart of hearts tells you that this must be a happy-go-lucky Western musical, but it is anything but that!

This Western from Republic Picture and directed by Joseph Kane is one of four film restorations heading to the DVD marketplace on June 6 courtesy of The Film Detective.
In the first act of the film we find a turf war is going on between cattlemen, headed by Arthur Autry (played by none other than Charles “Ming the Merciless” Middleton) and a group of loggers known as the “turpentiners,” who distill turpentine from pine trees … the Greeks has a better use for pine tar — Retsina.  

But no matter, Gene Autry’s dad is having nothing to do with these interlopers and when he finds that his son, who is in love with Milly, the daughter of the leaders of the “turpertiners,” tips them off to a raid by the cattlemen he is banished. 

Skip ahead a couple of years and Gene (playing himself) returns to town as part of a traveling road show and finds that his father has been financially ruined, but that Milly (played by Betty Bronson) hasn’t yet married (bad news; good news).   In short order Gene is charged with murdering his father and Milly’s father (Russell Simpson), but — with the help of Milly and his faithful sidekick “Frog” (Smiley Burnette) —  he is able to bring the true villain to justice by the film’s end (hint: a cattleman and not a “turpertiner”).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIf The Film Detective has a Gene Autry Western on its release schedule on any given week, five will get you ten that there will also be a Roy Rogers film in the mix.  Have no fear as director Joseph Kane handles the action again in the 1939 film release of Saga of Death Valley, which teams Gene with Gabby Hayes, Don “Red” Berry and Doris Day in her film debut … no, not that Doris Day (aka: Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff), but the Doris Day that came before the other Doris Day (confusing).

As with Gene Autry in the aforementioned Yodelin' Kid from Pine Ridge, Roy’s dad is also murdered when he is but a child and his brother was kidnapped and raised by their father’s murderer.   As an adult Roy returns to find that his brother (played by Don “Red” Berry) is a treacherous outlaw with no memory of his brother.   So it is brother-against-brother on the frontier … only one will survive!

Rounding out this Western foursome on June 6 are director Lesley Selander’s 1941 film release of Wide Open Town, starring William Boyd as Hopalong Cassidy and director Robert Emmett Tansey’s 1942 Tom Keene Western, Western Mail.  

Mill Creek Entertainment Adds A Blu-ray Edition Of King Solomon's Mines To Its July 11 Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment announced this past week that director Steve Boyum’s 2004 mini-series adaptation of the H. Rider Haggard 1885 Victorian-era adventure novel, King Solomon’s Mines, will also be getting a Blu-ray push on July 11.  

Already in place on that date are plans for a DVD edition … King Solomon’s Mines joins both DVD and Blu-ray SKUs of the Bobcat Goldthwait’s clown-themed black comedy Shakes the Clown on that July 11 street date.

This presentation of King Solomon’s Mines (filmed on location in South Africa) stars Patrick Swayze as Allan Quartermain, with Bond girl Alison Doody (A View to a Kill, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) as the female lead in the search for both her father and the fabled mines of King Solomon.

Arrow Video's 4K Restoration Of John Frankenheimer's Ronin Will Be Release For Release As A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack On Aug. 15

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has announced a new 4K restoration (from the original camera negative) of auteur director John Frankenheimer’s 1998 thriller, Ronin, starring Robert De Niro and Jean Reno.   Ronin will be presented as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offering on Aug. 15.

The Russian mob, a femme-fatale (Natascha McElhone), a mysterious briefcase, the CIA and more double-crosses than a tic-tac-toe game are just some of the things involved in this action thriller that was filmed on location throughout France (notably, Paris and Nice). 

Bonus features for Ronin — the 4K restoration was supervised by Robert Fraisse the director of photography — include a vintage commentary track from filmmaker John Frankenheimer (The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, Seconds, etc.) and a newly-prepared video session with Robert Fraisse (Oscar-nominated in 1993 for his work on director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Lover … plus cinematography/director of photography on such films as Enemy at the Gates, Hotel Rwanda and The Notebook).

There are also six vintage featurettes — “Ronin: Filming in the Fast Lane,” “Through the Lens,” “The Driving of Ronin,” “Natascha McElhone: An Actor’s Process,” “Composing the Ronin Score” and “In the Ronin Cutting Room” — an alternate ending, the Venice Film Festival interviews with Robert De Niro, Jean Reno and Natascha McElhone and documentary filmmaker Paul Joyce’s 1994 film, Tarantino on De Niro.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment's Targets Aug. 1 For DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Zach Braff's Going In Style

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced this past week that director Zach Braff’s remake of the 1979 bank caper comedy, Going in Style, will be heading home on Aug. 1 as DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings.

The ARR is 116 days and domestic box office receipts currently amount to $43.9 million.
Back in 1979 it was George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg as the bored retirees who decide to stick up a bank and get away with it (well, sort of).   This time out it is Michael Caine, Alan Arkin and Morgan Freeman as the three retirees … they are actually motivated to rob “the bank” and the numbers involved in the heist (years of inflation we suspect) have grown from a paltry $35,000 to something like two million bucks.

Oh yes, and no one dies, there’s no quick trip to Las Vegas and no one goes to prison.  Other than that, Going in Style is pretty much the same as the original … three old codgers pulling off a bank heist. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to bonus goodies, actor-turned-filmmaker Zach Braff (Garden State, Wish I was Here) provides commentary and there are deleted scenes.

Also heading home from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is long-time film producer Denise Di Novi’s directing debut, Unforgettable.   It will be streeting on July 25 as both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions.

The ARR is 95 days and ticket sales were a lackluster $11.4 million.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In the film’s prologue we are introduced to Julia (Rosario Dawson), who has been hauled in by the police for murder.   It looks bad as there is a lot evidence pointing at her in the stabbing death of her crazy (controlling; psychotic) ex-lover, Michael (Simon Kassianides) … but looks can be deceiving.

We then jump back in time about a half-a-year and the backstory begins to get filled in.   She, Julia, is about to be married to a guy named David (Geoff Stults) and she will also be the new stepmom to Lilly (Isabella Rice), David’s daughter from his first marriage.  

Now about that first marriage, David’s ex-wife is a woman named Tessa (Katherine Heigl), who is none too happy about getting kicked to the curb.   Here’s where the “fun” begins.   It seems that Julia had a restraining order against this fellow named Michael — who is borderline bat-shit crazy — and Tessa finds out about this and begins to plot her revenge (trust us, she is full all sorts of very nasty ideas) using this “unhinged” ex-lover as the lynchpin to her murderous revenge plan.    

Does she get away with it?   You’ll have to wait until July 25 to find out (to cautioned, just when you think it’s over … it’s not)!
Bonus features include commentary from Denise Di Novi (as a producer, she has been involved in such films as Edward Scissorhands, Batman Returns and The Nightmare Before Christmas — all directed by Tim Burton — and a couple of Nicholas Sparks film adaptations — A Walk to Remember and Nights in Rodanthe), a deleted scene (with commentary) and the featurette titled “Reclaiming What's Yours: Making Unforgettable.”

4K Ultra HD For Director Kelly Asbury's July 11 Home Entertainment Launch Of Smurfs: The Lost Village By Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It’s a 4K Ultra HD edition for the little blue guys, but nothing of the like for Disney’s Moana, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Finding Dory (or the entire Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment library for that matter).   

That’s the state of the home entertainment business these days as Sony Pictures Home Entertainment manages to find room for a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition of director Kelly Asbury’s Smurfs: The Lost Village among its July 11 array of home entertainment product offerings, while Disney continues to be the lone studio holdout.   Oh well …

The ARR for that date works out to 95 days and revenues generated from the film’s theatrical run currently stand at $43.7 million.

Also included in the home entertainment launch mix on July 11 are DVD and Blu-ray selections.

As to bonus goodies, filmmaker Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo & Juliet, Shrek 2) provides commentary, there are ten, count’em ten, featurettes — “Kids at Heart! - The Making of  Smurfs: The Lost Village,” “Demi Lovato Meets Smurfette,” “Lost Village Dance Along,” “Smurfify Your Nails,” “Baker Smurf's Mini Kitchen,” “How To Draw Smurfette,” “How To Draw Brainy,” “How To Draw Clumsy,” “Making The Song ‘You Will Always Find Me In Your Heart’" and “The Sound of the Smurfs” — and the Meghan Trainor music video titled “I'm A Lady.”

Exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray SKUs are deleted scenes and an eleventh featurette titled “The Lost Auditions.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Cleopatra Films And Music Teams With MVD Entertainment Group On Aug. 4 For The Home Entertainment Launch Of Jane’s Addiction: Alive at 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Cleopatra Films and Music, with distribution and sales support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has target Friday, Aug. 4 as the release date for both DVD/CD Combo Pack and Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo Pack editions of Jane’s Addiction: Alive at 25.

Filmed live at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater in September of last year, this 12-number set capped off the band’s Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour, which celebrated the 25th anniversary release of the group’s legendary double-platinum album, “Ritual de lo Habitual” (released in late August of 1990).

All nine cuts from that album were presented live (in order of the album’s original track play listing), beginning with “Stop” and including the other hit singles of “Been Caught Stealing” and “Classic Girl.”

The band returned to the stage for and encore presentation of three cuts from the 1988 “Nothing Shocking” album — “Mountain Song,” “Ted, Just Admit It …” and “Jane Says” — and “Just Because” from the summer of 2003 “Stays” album.

The Combo Packs include a 20-page collectible booklet featuring photos.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Writer/Director Justin Barber's Phoenix Forgotten On DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack On Aug. 1 From 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment will be serving up DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of writer/director Justin Barber’s sci-fi themed mystery, Phoenix Forgotten, on Aug. 1.

The ARR works out to 102 days for this independent theatrical release and ticket sales from the film’s spotty theatrical break currently stand at $3.6 million.   

Normally this type of theatrical performance would pass unnoticed as the film  made its way to the home entertainment marketplace, but Ridley Scott was one of the 28 “producers” (that’s a hell of a number) connected to the project and the script, by first time director Justin Barber and his writing partner, T.S. Nowlin (The Maze Runner, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials … and the forthcoming Maze Runner: The Death Cure), shows quite a bit of promise.

Basically, the events of the “Phoenix Lights” mass UFO sighting in March of 1997 have been used as the backdrop for a story about three teens who went missing on that particular night when they went to investigate the strange lights in the sky.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It is now 20 years later and Sophie (Florence Hartigan), the sister of one of the missing teens, has decided to do a documentary on Josh, her missing brother (Luke Spencer Roberts — Hail, Caesar!).   She gets nowhere in her quest until she stubbles upon a cache of videos shot that night by Josh and his cohorts, Ashley (Chelsea Lopez) and Mark (Justin Matthews).   

So what happened that night … ah ha, you will have to catch Phoenix Forgotten on either DVD or Blu-ray on Aug. 1 to find out!

As to bonus goodies, we have commentary from filmmaker Justin Barber and actors Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez and Justin Matthews, plus a pair of featurettes — “Sophie’s Story” and “Phoenix Found.”

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Readies Director Niki Caro's The Zookeeper's Wife For DVD And Blu-ray Release On July 4

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has targeted July 4 for the delivery of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and DVD editions of director Niki Caro’s film adaptation of Diane Ackerman’s 2007 book, The Zookeeper’s Wife.

The ARR is 95 days and box office receipts for this World War II account of Jan and Antonina Żabiński’s (played by Johan Heldenbergh and Jessica Chastain) efforts to save Polish Jews from the Nazi death camps — using Jan Żabiński’s position as the director of the Warsaw Zoo — currently stands at $17.2 million.

Bonus goodies include deleted scenes and two featurettes — “The Making of The Zookeeper’s Wife” and “The Zabinski Family.”