Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Mill Creek Entertainment Sets 21-Disc Mega-Set Of Coach: The Complete Series For Release On Sept. 12

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
It was a TV-on-DVD celebration at Mill Creek Entertainment this past week with the announcement of not one, but three new priced-to-own releases that will be heading to retailers nationwide on Sept. 12.

And it is a big celebration indeed, as the first of the trio is the 21-disc mega-set of Coach: The Complete Series, starring Emmy-winner Craig T. Nelson as Coach Fox of the Minnesota State Screaming Eagles football team (and later the NFL expansion team, the Orlando Breakers), with Clare Carey as his fast-growing daughter, plus Shelley Fabares (as girlfriend and future wife) and Jerry Van Dyke and Bill Fagerbakke as his coaching assistants.

The release of all 200 episodes from the nine seasons that the program ran (1989 to 1997) marks the first time that episodes from seasons five through nine will be available for fans to enjoy!!!

Also heading home on Sept. 12 is the Juliette Lewis detective thriller, Secrets and Lies: Season One — a double-disc set featuring all ten episodes.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyLewis plays Detective Andrea Cornell and is assigned a case involving a man by the name of Ben Crawford (played by Ryan Phillippe), who is suspected of murdering a five-year old boy.  It seems, on the surface, an open and shut case, but it is anything but routine, as post-mortem tests reveal that the boy was Crawford’s illegitimate son!   

It’s a real whodunit and Detective Cornell has to solve the mystery … if Crawford didn’t do it, who did?

Also available on Sept. 15 is the double-disc release of Astronaut Wives Club: The Complete Series.   Based on Lily Koppel's best-selling novel of the same name, this ten-part mini-series follows the wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts … all the way through the landing of Apollo 11 on Moon.

Icarus Films Announces The DVD Release Of Chantal Akerman By Chantal Akerman For Delivery On Aug. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films announced this past week that Aug. 8 will be the street date for the DVD debut of Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman.   

The cinematic works of the late filmmaker have been showcased in such Icarus Films releases as I Don't Belong Here: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman and Chantal Akerman, From Here and so it is only fitting that we here from Akerman herself and that is what this “time capsule” release does for her admirers.   

Back in 1996 she was asked to do a segment for the France’s long-running filmmaker series Cinéma, de Notre Temps (Cinema, of Our Time), so she assembled a series of clips from her films to that point and submitted them to the producers of the show … who said, no, no, no, we want to here from you as well!  And so they did … the first half of the presentation is filmmaker Chantal Akerman describing her work, some of the challenges and what she has learned along the way, and the second half of the program is the aforementioned film clips.   This is indeed a moment captured in time that is to be savored.

This new digital transfer of Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman is presented in French with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Preps Five New Restorations For DVD On July — Roger Corman's She Gods Of Shark Reef Included In The Mix

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective announced five new film restorations for the collectible DVD market place over the July 4th holiday week … street date for these will be on July 11.   

Legendary filmmaker — director, writer and producer – Roger Corman is in the lead position with one of his early directing assignments, She Gods of Shark Reef.   The production was the second half a month-long gig in Hawaii in 1956 that saw Corman deliver Naked Paradise (with Beverly Garland and Richard Denning) and Shark Reef, starring Bill Cord and Don Durant as brothers on lam, who get shipwrecked on an island full of beautiful women (Lisa Montell among them).

The former, Naked Paradise, was released theatrically in 1957, but Shark Reef found no takers.  In the meantime, Corman delivered a string of hits, which included It Conquered the World, Not of this Earth (once again with the incredible Beverly Garland), Attack of the Crab Monsters and Machine-Gun Kelly (with a young Charles Bronson) and then in 1958 Nicholson and Arkoff over at American International Pictures needed a second feature to go with director Bernard L. Kowalski’s Night of the Blood Beast (produced by Corman) and so they bought Shark Reef and spiced it up a tad by adding “She Gods” to the title.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
She Gods of Shark Reef is born, arrives in theatres (mainly drive-ins) in the summer of 1958 and gets tagged for all time as something of a horror film, but it’s actually an adventure film with scantily clad women.  For Corman fans, this is a keeper.

Also heading to the collector’s market on July 11 is director Albert Parker’s 1927 silent film, The Love of Sunya, produced and starring Gloria Swanson as Sunya Ashling, as a dead Egyptian maiden, whose soul inhabits a young woman faced with many choices … the priest (John Boles), who wronged her, is reincarnated as something of a footloose and fancy free fortune teller, who finds her in the present day and grants her three visions of her future (each choice that she is faced with).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

It is an interesting film in the lexicon of Swanson’s starring roles — not really a financial success — in that the troubles with the production aspects of The Love of Sunya proved to be far more valuable — something like a doctorate-level education — to the aspiring producer and film star.   Her next film was director Raoul Walsh’s Sadie Thompson, which earned her first of three Best Actress nominations (The Trespasser and Sunset Blvd.).

Rounding out the July 11 quintet of film restorations heading to the DVD marketplace from The Film Detective are director Christy Cabanne’s 1932 film release of Hearts of Humanity (starring Jean Hersholt), Lucky Ghost (1942 with Mantan Moreland) and Randy Rides Alone (1934 John Wayne B-Western, directed by Harry Fraser and co-starring Gabby Hayes, Yakima Canutt and Alberta Vaughn).

VCI Entertainment Preps Restored Topper For Blu-ray Release On Aug. 22 — Topper Collection On DVD Ready On Aug. 22 As Well

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
VCI Entertainment announced this past week that Thorne Smith’s 1926 creations, Cosmo Topper, Marion Kerby and her husband, George Kerby, will be the focus of the fun and merriment on Aug. 22.   

On that date a new restoration of director Norman Z. McLeod’s 1937 film adaption of Smith’s novel, Topper, starring Constance Bennett as ghost Marion Kerby, Cary Grant as her husband, George (a ghost, sadly, as well), and Roland Young, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here as the long-suffering banker Cosmo Topper, will be available as a Blu-ray release.

This laugh-out-loud comedy will also be included in a three-film DVD collection on the same date that is titled The Topper Collection.  The collection features the aforementioned Topper and the two film sequels that followed — Topper Takes a Trip (1938) and Topper Returns (1941).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Warner Bros. Home Entertainent Readies King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (Aug. 8) And Everything Everything (Aug. 15) For The Home Entertainment Marketplace

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment had a pair of new theatrical-to-home entertainment product announcements ready for street date assignments on the run-up to the long July 4th holiday weekend … so let’s get right to them.

With a short window for retail order placement, director Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword has been slotted into the Aug. 8 calendar spot for a four-SKU release blitz.
The ARR for that date works out to just 88 days from the film’s theatrical opening to its subsequent arrival in the home entertainment marketplace.  Domestic box office receipts currently stand at $38.7 million.  

With a reported production budget in excess of $170 million, this sort of box office result can’t be good news for the studio (foreign markets did produce better returns, but that still may not be enough to wash away the red ink).

We’d comment on the ever-shrinking digital windows that the Hollywood Studios have become enamored with these days and how it is affecting the theatrical experience, but those observations have long sense fallen on deaf ears.   The home entertainment group will do what they can to stem some of these production losses.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
To that point, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is offering up the following for consumers to choose from — a stand-alone DVD edition, a pair of Blu-ray/DVD Combo Packs (one with a 3D viewing option … the premium is nine bucks) and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack (SRP is the same as the 3D Combo Pack).

As to the bonus features for King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which, by the way, abandons the traditional “legend” of Arthur, Camelot, etc. in favor of CGI-generated warlocks and such (Richard Harris is likely spinning in his grave over this one; et tu David Hemmings), we have no less than eight production featurettes.  These are: “Arthur with Swagger,” “Sword from the Stone,” “Parry and Bleed,” “Building on the Past,” “Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur.” “Camelot in 93 Days,” “Legend of Excalibur” and “Scenic Scotland.”

Up next, and heading to home entertainment the following week, Aug. 15, is director Stella Meghi’s film adaptation of the J. Mills Goodloe best-selling novel, Everything, Everything.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe ARR is also just 88 days from its theatrical launch and box office receipts are $33.6

Planned for release are a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a stand-alone DVD edition.
Maddy Whittier (played by Amandla Stenberg — as Rue in The Hunger Games) is living a lie, but we, the audience, don’t know it (yet).  Nor does she.  She’s 18-years old and cannot go outside her home … she will die if she does so as she is allergic to everything (if you thought peanut butter was a problem, you don’t know the half of it with her).   

Her mother (Anika Noni Rose), a doctor, says that she has SDIC (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) and can never leave the sanctuary of her climate controlled home … her only contact with the outside world comes in the form of Carla (Ana de la Reguera), her nurse.

This all changes when a new family moves in next door and the teenage son, Olly (Nick Robinson — The Fifth Wave, Jurassic World), spots Maddy in her class cage and begins texting her … a friendship builds and he convinces her to join him on an adventure in Hawaii (so she can walk on the beach), where she will surely die.   End of story, poor Maddy.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Except she doesn’t die … her mother, for personal reasons, has kept Maddy a prisoner all of her life.   The film, wisely, foregoes this aspect of the story and instead focuses on the puppy-love elements of Maddy and Olly’s budding relationship (think about just how sick Maddy’s mother is, but that’s a different story; that’s a horror story). 

Bonus goodies include deleted scenes and the featurette titled “Trapped in Love: The Story of Everything, Everything.”

Arrow Video Restores Director Robert Aldrich's The Big Knife For Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Release On Aug. 29

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Aug. 29 as the release date for a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition of director Robert Aldrich’s 1955 film noir interpretation of playwright Clifford Odets’ 1949 Broadway play, The Big Knife.

Jack Palance, who was riding high during this period with Best Supporting Actor nominations for his performances in Sudden Fear (1952) and Shane (1953), took over for John Garfield (stage play) as film star Charlie Castle.   

Since Aldrich produced the film, with the screen adaptation handled by James Poe (nominated for four Oscars for his writing — Around the World in 80 Days, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Lilies of the Field and They Shoot Horses Don’t They? — with a win for Around the World in 80 Days), so he signaled the importance of the release by opening it at the Venice Film Festival in September of 1955.  It won the Silver Lion and opened theatrically the following month.

Charlie Castle (Palance) is a movie star, a big star, with an estranged trophy wife (played by Ida Lupino), who wants to control his career (shadows of Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland legal battles with their respective studios), but his efforts to do so are frustrated by studio boss Stanley Shriner Hoff (Rod Steiger), who has the “dirt” on his star (an auto accident).   Hoff’s studio “henchman,” Smiley Coy (played by Wendell Cory), keeps Castle in line and eventually Castle simply gives up (literally).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Others in this star-packed cast include Jean Hagen and Shelley Winters as Castle love interests, with Winters the target of a murder plot (she got on the wrong side of Smiley Coy), and Everett Sloane as Castle’s ineffectual agent.

This new 2K restoration (from the original film elements) includes a new film commentary by film critics Glenn Kenny (Premiere and the Village Voice, among others) and Nick Pinkerton (Film Comment) and the 1977 documentary short titled Bass on Titles (Saul Bass prepared the film’s unique title sequence).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media To Release Nickelodeon's Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Wanted Bebop and Rocksteady This September (And More)

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media turned to the world of kidvid during the lead-up to the long July 4th holiday weekend and offered up two new DVD release announcements featuring popular Nickelodeon series.

On Sept. 12 our friends Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo are back with more adventures in the DVD debut of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Wanted Bebop and Rocksteady.   

With the demise of Super-Shredder in the climax to the fourth season of the series, it seemed that all would be right in the turtle universe, but Tiger Claw has other ideas … including using Kavaxas to bring Shredder back as a, gulp, zombie!   Stay tuned, this battle between good and evil isn’t over yet!

Arriving the following week, Sept. 19, is Blaze and the Monster Machines: Wild Wheels Escape to Animal Island.   Four amazing episodes featuring Blaze and his friends (Stripes, Starla, Darington, etc.), who land on Animal Island, a magical place, where they are transformed into “animal-trucks” … new friends, new adventures and a lizard truck named Lazard (voiced by Bill Ray Cyrus), who is none too friendly, await them there!  Wild races … and even wilder rescues, go Blaze, go!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Synergetic Distribution's Charlotte Heads To The DVD Marketplace On Aug. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Synergetic Distribution, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Aug. 8 as the DVD debut date for the horror anthology titled Charlotte.

The young boy is safely tucked in bed, the phone rings and it is the dutiful mother checking in with the babysitter to see how things are going.   “Fine,” the young woman responds.   She is then momentarily distracted, “Huh, what, oh sorry, it was the doll,” says the babysitter.   

There is a moment of silence and then comes, “Doll?,” the mother questions, “what doll?”  The babysitter seems equally puzzled by the question (after all, the doll is right there in front of her), “Why the doll with the cracked face.”   

Two things happen next in Charlotte … first the concerned mother replies, “We don’t have a doll,” and second, the babysitter is suddenly powerless to stop what unfolds before her — transfixed by the power of the doll who is not there!   Six tales of the macabre transpire, each more terrifying the next, and the helpless babysitter must endure them all!  

Will the mother return and end the nightmare, or is this a vortex of evil from which there is no escape!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Selects Oct. 3 As The Street Date For A New 4K Restoration Of Lost Horizon: 80th Anniversary Edition

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has tabbed Oct. 3 for the delivery of a new 4K restoration of director Frank Capra’s 1937 Shangri-La adventure classic.  On that early October street date film fans will certainly be lining up early for the Blu-ray release of Lost Horizon: 80th Anniversary Edition, starring Ronald Colman, Jane Wyatt and Sam Jaffe as the “High Lama.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Nominated for Best Picture (losing out to The Life of Emile Zola), Sony Pictures has included a restoration audio commentary, an alternate ending and a featurette showcasing the before and after comparisons of the film’s new 4K restoration.

Universal Picture Home Entertainment Pick Oct. 3 For The Dubut Of Cult Of Chucky As DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment announced this past week that Chucky will return for another round of mayhem on Oct. 3 in DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of his latest horror outing, Cult of Chucky.

It’s a family (Chucky family, that is) reunion as Don Mancini handles the writing and directing, Brad Dourif returns as the iconic voice of Chucky, Jennifer Tilly is Tiffany (Chucky’s “lovely” bride), Fiona Dourif returns as Nica Pierce, who is locked up in a nut house for Chucky’s crimes and an adult Alex Vincent returns as Andy (27 years later) to bring the events of the original film, Child’s Play, full circle.

Bonus features include commentary from filmmaker Don Mancini and puppeteer Tony Gardner and a pair of featurettes — “Inside the Insanity of Cult of Chucky” and “Good Guy Gone Bad: The Incarnations of Chucky.”

Writer/Director David Bowers’ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul Arrives As DVD And Blu-ray Product Offerings On Aug. 8

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment will be bringing to market on Aug. 8 the latest installment in the adventures of Greg — the “Wimpy Kid” — Heffley (this time played by Jason Drucker).  The plan is to have both DVD and Blu-ray editions of writer/director David Bowers’ Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul available at retail on that date.

The ARR is a quick-to-market 81 days and domestic box office receipts were $20.3 million (if there is to be fifth film in the series it will likely be a direct-to-video product offering).

Bonus features, deleted scenes (including deleted animation), a blooper reel and six featurettes — “Making a Scene,” “Greg Heffley’s 10 Rules for the Perfect Road Trip,” “Road Games,” “A Decade of Wimpy Fun,” “Learn to Draw” and “Haulin’ Through Georgia.”

Undercrank Productions Debuts Marion Davies 1922 Silent Film Release Of When Knighthood Was In Flower As A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack On July 25

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Her name was Marion Davies, one the great stars of the silent era, but she was perhaps best known for her long-standing relationship with William Randolph Hearst and the lavish, star-studded parties that the couple hosted at Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.   

This past week, Undercrank Productions, a specialist is the restoration of silent films, announced that three of her films from the early 1920s will be making their home entertainment debuts on July 25.

Key among these is director Robert G. Vignola’s 1922 film adaptation of Charles Major’s turn of the century best-selling novel, When Knighthood Was In Flower.   Working with the Library of Congress, Ben Model’s Undercrank Productions will be making a new 2K scan (from a surviving 35mm nitrate print) of the film, which will be made available for the first time to the home entertainment marketplace as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack.   A new theatre organ score is also provided by Model.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Davies stars as Mary Tudor, sister to King Henry VIII (Lyn Harding), who is in love with a commoner (played by Forrest Stanley), but her brother has other plans for her … a marriage to the King of France!

Also heading home — as DVD-only releases — are The Bride's Play (1922, direction by George Terwilliger, co-starring John B. O'Brien and Frank Shannon) and Beauty's Worth (1922, Vignola also directs and Forrest Stanley is once again her co-star).