Monday, August 7, 2017

Mill Creek Entertainment Preps A SteelBook Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Special Edition Of Driector Joel Schumacher's Flatliners For Release On Sept. 26

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Mill Creek Entertainment has tabbed Sept. 26 as the retail-ready date for a special SteelBook Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack edition of director Joel Schumacher’s summer of 1990 sci-fi thriller, Flatliners, starring Kevin Bacon Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt. 

The special packaging features vignettes of each character’s haunted past … and the timing of this collectible release puts it in the market on the eve of director Niels Arden Oplev’s theatrical launch of the remake (Sept. 29), featuring Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton and Kiersey Clemons, with Kiefer Sutherland reprising his role of Nelson.

Shifting to the first week of October (the 3rd), we find nine new priced-to-collect releases heading to the home entertainment marketplace from Mill Creek Entertainment — two Blu-ray and nine DVD selections.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyOn the Blu-ray front, look for director Stephen Frears’ 1996 film adaptation of Valerie Martin’s novel, Mary Reilly, starring Julia Roberts as the title character, a servant in the household of one Doctor Henry Jekyll.   John Malkovich is Doctor Jekyll and the evil Mister Hyde, while Glenn Close is Farraday, the madam of a house frequented by Hyde (she makes the mistake of trying to blackmail Hyde), with George Cole as Mr. Poole, the head of the servants.

Also on the same date is director Brian Gilbert’s 1988 comedy switch-a-roo, Vice Versa, teaming Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage as father and son who end up each other’s bodies.

On the priced-to-collect DVD release front, Mill Creek Entertainment presents a whopping 10-disc collection, featuring the comedy antics of the Three Stooges, which is planned for delivery on Oct. 3.

Titled Three Stooges: Big Box of Nyuks, it begins with six Three Stooges features films … these are: Time Out for Rhythm, Rockin' in the Rockies, Have Rocket, Will Travel, Three Stooges Go Around The World In A Daze, The Three Stooges Meet Hercules and The Outlaws is Coming

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Next in this stunning collection we have The Three Stooges: The Complete Animated Series, The Three Stooges: Rare Treasures from the Vault (which includes 28 short films and three cartoons) and the made-for-TV film titled: The Three Stooges.

There’s more, much more, including the documentary The Three Stooges: Hey Moe, Hey Dad! … in all over 42 hours of Three Stooges merriment!

Oct. 3 will also see two 10-film collections priced at just $9.98 each — you read that right, $9.98 for ten films on DVD.  These double disc sets are: 10 Action Movies: Death Grip — which includes Death Grip, The Advocate, Night Drive, The New Republic, Nobody Can Cool, Mall, Legacy, Lost Dream, The Silent Thief and Who is Deslin? — and 10 Horror Films: The Purgation (included are: The Purgation, All Alone, Ashes, Bloodline, All God's Creatures, Billy's Cult, Phobia, Summer School, Vanished and Stevie).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
For two seasons (1958/59 and 1959/60), Charles Bronson starred as Mike Kovac in the television crime series, Man With a Camera.   On Oct. 3, Mill Creek Entertainment will be delivering a double-disc set, with Digital Copy, featuring the complete series of 29 episodes.   The SRP is just $14.98 for this collection.

Rounding out the Oct. 3 DVD price-to-own DVD releases are: Harts of the West: The Complete Series (a double-disc set, with Digital Copy), starring Jeff and Beau Bridges (all 15 episodes); The Vincent Price Collection (a five-film set that includes The Bat, The Last Man on Earth, The Jackals, Shock and House on Haunted Hill all for just $9.98 … and the collection includes Digital Copy) and lastly, director Lloyd Kramer made-for-TV film adaptation of Mitch Albom’s book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven (starring Jon Voight as Eddie).

Wild Eye Releasing Preps Writer/Director Elgin Cahill's Beware The Lake For Its DVD Debut On Dec. 12

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wild Eye Releasing, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has given a long lead to the DVD debut of writer/director Elgin Cahill’s jumps-and-jolts horror film, Beware the Lake.   Dec. 12 is the street date … plenty of time to work this one!

It works like this, you are new in town, the local high school is full of cliques and money is tight, which means you get a job and work … you work, while the “mean girls” party and do their cheerleading thing.   

The new girl is named Tabitha (Anja Knebl in her film debut), and normally she wouldn’t feel the wrath of Blair (Ava Dalgaard — Hell Night: The Summoning) and her tag-along followers, but when she catches the eye of Mason Clay (Jonathan Lipnicki — you won’t recognize him, but this is Ray, the little boy, from Jerry Maguire … he’s been a working actor since then) she becomes the target for “payback.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyMason was — that’s the important part, WAS — the captain of the football team and college bound, but that didn’t work out as planned.   He’s moved on, but Blair, who is now a senior, still views him as her property.   He’s having nothing to do with that and when he meets the down-to-earth Tabitha he is even more convinced than ever that the shallow Blair is not his cup of tea.

This is the slow burning fuss set-up for Cahill’s Beware the Lake.   Sympathy for outcast Tabitha and a genuine dislike for Blair and her posse of cheerleaders (aka: the victim pool), which leads us to Blair’s plan to put the new girl in her place.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAfter giving her the needle at work (sequences filmed at The Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey, Colorado), Blair does a 180 and invites her to join the girls for a trip up to the nearby lake (a tradition).   She foolishly jumps at the chance to “belong” and joins them on the long ride to the secluded lake, where they dump her.   To dig it in just a little deeper, the evil Blair invites two backwoods hillbillies — Wyatt (Cody Dermon) and Charlie (Jason Knauf) — to join the “party-ready” Tabitha at the lake, who is soaking wet and down to just her panties and bra — yup, Blair took her clothes.

The attempted rape goes south and Wyatt, who is none too smart, ends up killing Tabitha and in a panic dumps her body in the lake.  Now the horror can begin!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
You have to give kudos to Anja Knebl’s performance as the revenge-seeking Tabitha, who systematically kills her tormentors one-by-one-by-one, and does so by looking creepy — zombie like — and wearing next to nothing while going about her business.    

Filmmaker Elgin Cahill has delivered a solid horror tale, packed with Roger Corman-like screen jolts and has blended in some nice comedy bits (various degrees of social commentary) to make the Dec. 12 street for Beware the Lake a date worth waiting for.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Arrow Video's Film Restoration Of Director Sergio Martino’s Suspicious Death Of A Minor Set For Sept. 12 As A Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Release

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 (from the original camera negative) of director Sergio Martino’s Suspicious Death of a Minor ready for release as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on Sept. 12.

In this giallo-themed detective thriller, the hunter becomes the hunter when a Milan detective by the name of Paolo Germi (Claudio Cassinelli — The Scorpion with Two Tails, Slave of the Cannibal God) takes a fancy to a “dancehall” girl named Marisa (Patrizia Castaldi), who is then brutally butchered by a mysterious killer.  

Germi decides to avenge her death by solving her murder … which in short order marks him for death as well as there is more going on than the killing of a Milanese call girl.
His methods are unconventional (that’s an understatement), which makes him something of an anti-hero as he takes shortcuts (threatens and beats potential witnesses) and uses questionable police procedures to crack the case.   There’s also a car chase — on what appears to be a micro budget — involving what can best be described as “clown” cars and a shootout on a “rollercoaster” ride that borders on the silly (call these set-ups “comic relief”).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIn any case, the body count mounts as those associated with the dead girl are also killed off — in between attempts on his own life.   But one by one he kills off the assassins and the henchmen to the final reveal of “Mister Big” and the reasons for Marisa’s murder.

Bonus goodies include two viewing options — the original Italian-language version (with English subtitles) or an English-dubbed presentation.   There is a newly prepared commentary track featuring author Troy Howarth (“So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films”) and newly minted video sessions with director Sergio Martino and cinematographer Giancarlo Ferrando. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Film Detective Targets Sept. 12 For A DVD Special Edition Of Groucho Marx's You Bet Your Life

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Film Detective has gathered and remastered eight complete episodes of the Groucho Marx and George Fenneman comedy game show, You Bet Your Life!, for DVD release on Sept. 12.

It may have been a “game show,” but most everyone tuned in each week to watch comedy ad-lib antics of Groucho Marx, who was able to verbally feed off the studio contestants.   Of note, according to several sources, the show was filmed before a live audience, but not shown live.   Instead, the film from the show each week was screened and then edited to take out broadcast code-related issues and dull portions … there was always plenty to work with.

The Film Detective is presenting the eight episodes complete with the commercials from the period — which are often, in retrospect, as funny as the show itself.

In other release news from The Film Detective, Aug. 15 marks the arrival of five new film restorations on DVD.   So let’s take a look at what film buffs can expect on that date.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Before Ed Wood laid claim to being the worst filmmaker of the 1950s — only by his sheer tenacity in cranking one “cult” film after another — there was his contemporary, Phil Tucker, who produced and directed the 1953 “cult” sci-fi classic, Robot Monster, which is the lead film in The Film Detective’s Aug. 15 film restoration parade.

Notice how the word “cult” is used to describe both the collective films of Ed Wood and Phil Tucker’s Robot Monster … it is much akin to how motorists always slowdown to take a gander at a car wreck on the freeway.   

Also of note, Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda opened theatrically in April of 1953 and Tucker’s Robot Monster made its theatrical debut two months later.   Both, by any standard, are truly bad films (aka: “cult”), but the big difference between the two is that Robot Monster was profitable … so much so that Tucker went on a rampage of filmmaking over the next 18 months and directed such gems as Dance Hall Racket (noted for starring Lenny Bruce and his “former” stripper wife, Honey), Broadway Jungle, Dream Jungle and the “After Midnight” gems, Tia Juana After Midnight and Baghdad After Midnight.   He then took the rest of the 1950s off, which gave Wood free reign to establish himself as the king of bad filmmaking.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyAs to Robot Monster, when you make a hit theatrical release that is so bad that it is good, you are bound to get plenty of ink (critical writing) over the next fifty years on the film itself.   In other words, there is plenty of history on this golden treasure and any genre fan knows that if you don’t have a decent copy of Robot Monster in your film library, then you are simply not all that serious about your film library, or for that matter, movies in general.

The film was shot in the 3D process over a 96-hour period in the Griffith Park area of Los Angeles — notably Bronson Canyon and Chavez Ravine (the future home of Dodger Stadium).   96 hours from start to wrap, Stanley Kubrick could take 96 hours just to get one scene right!!

The film had a zero budget — the honey wagon alone at a major Hollywood production blows through the Robot Monster budget in the same 96 hours and little if anything gets on film.   So by any standard this is keeper.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Robot Monster, Aug. 15, The Film Detective, that is all that you need to know.   Circle the date on your calendar.   You know you want it!

Also heading to retail on Aug. 15 is director Lambert Hillyer’s 1938 gangster tale, Gang Bullets, starring Morgan Wallace as “Big Bill” Anderson, a notorious racketeer, who opens up shop in Bridgetown, much to the disgust of the local DA, Dexter Wayne (Charles Trowbridge) and his chief of staff, John Carter (Robert Kent), who is engaged to Wayne’s daughter, Patricia (played by Anne Nagel).

The local newspaper, run by Jim Wallace (Joseph Crehan) starts receiving — and publishing — a series of letters from the mysterious “Junius” (the middle name of Lucius (Junius) Brutus) — which are highly critical of the DA and his efforts in stopping Anderson’s ever-growing crime network.    

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIf the letters were awful, what follows next is even worst for the DA … he gets caught (on tape) of accepting a bribe from Anderson.   Both are swiftly convicted and are bound for prison, but Anderson has other plans, which includes escaping and the murder of the now disgraced DA.   

So who is the mysterious “Junius” and will “Big Bill” Anderson make good with his plans … you’ll have to pick up your copy of Gang Bullets on Aug. 15 to find out!

The other three entries in The Film Detective’s Aug. 15 line up of new films restorations on DVD are: Range Busters (1940, the first of 24 films in the “Range Busters” Western series starring Ray “Crash” Corrigan, John “Dusty” King and Max “Alibi” Terhune), The Return of Casey Jones (1933, starring Charles Starrett and Ruth Hall, with Robert Elliott as the legendary Illinois Central train engineer) and Riders of the Deadline (1943, William Boyd stars as Hopalong Cassidy).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Dreamgirls: Director's Extended Edition From Paramount Home Media On Oct. 10 As Both DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media has announced an Oct. 10 delivery date for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack “Director’s Extended Editions” of director Bill Condon’s 2006 Oscar-winning film release of Dreamgirls (Oscar wins for Best Supporting Actress for Jennifer Hudson and Best Achievement in Sound Mixing).   

The Director’s Extended cut of the film runs roughly 140 minutes versus the original theatrical release’s 130 minute running time.

Bonus goodies include Jennifer Hudson’s auditions and screens, plus auditions for the music numbers “Can He Even Sing” and “What About Me,” and the screen test “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going.”   Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU is the additional audition for “And I am Telling You I’m Not Going” and the original theatrical cut of the film.

In additional Blu-ray release news, Christmas-themed Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack editions of director Richard Donner’s 1988 comedy masterpiece, Scrooged, starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen and writer/director John Hughes’ road trip from hell, Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 30th Anniversary Edition, teaming Steve Martin with John Candy, will also be hitting retail outlets on Oct. 10.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Unpacks Six Katharine Hepburn Films On DVD On Aug. 22

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Katharine Hepburn goes solo on Aug. 22 when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment re-issues six of her films as individual DVD product offerings that were previously only available as the May of 2007 collection titled, Katharine Hepburn 100th Anniversary Collection.

In chronological order these six films are: the 1933 film release of Morning Glory, directed by Lowell Sherman, which earned Hepburn her first of four Oscar-wins for Best Actress (she was nominated a dozen times in the category during her career) and next is the Christmas of 1935 release of Sylvia Scarlett (direction by George Cukor), teaming her with Carey Grant and Brian Aherne. 

During the war she starred as an-out-of-character Chinese peasant in the 1944 film adaptation of the Pearl S. Buck novel, Dragon Seed (Aline MacMahon received a Best Supporting Actress nomination); the following year, 1945, Hepburn was teamed in Without Love with Spencer Tracy and Lucille Ball in the film adaptation of the 1942 Philip Barry stage play (Hepburn also starred on Broadway); 1946 noirish thriller Undercurrent directed by Vincente Minnelli and teaming Hepburn with Robert Taylor and Robert Mitchum; lastly, we have the 1979 MOW, The Corn is Green (directed by George Cukor).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
In other release news from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment this past week, writer(s)/director(s) Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Paladino’s four-part mini-series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, will be delivered to the home entertainment marketplace (with Christmas-season gift-giving in mind) on Nov. 28 as both double-disc DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

Set ten years after the popular series concluded its run in the spring of 2007 (154 episodes), fans are reunited with Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel — who was recently nominated for an Emmy for her performance as Ofglen in The Handmaid’s Tale television series) in four 90-minute seasonal titled segments — “Winter,” “Spring,” “Summer” and “Fall.”  

The pair come into conflict over a proposed book that Rory wants to write about her relationship with Lorelai … and they both have to contend with the matriarch of the family, Emily (Kelly Bishop).   The ending (not to be revealed here) leaves it open for another return to Stars Hollow and new life-cycle “seasons.”

Amazon Jumps The Gun On Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Sept. 5 Release Of Writer/Director Lucia Aniello's Rough Night

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Amazon decided that Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was taking too long to announce the home entertainment launch of writer/director Lucia Aniello’s black comedy misfire, Rough Night, so they took matters into their own hands and assigned Sept. 5 as the street for a three-SKU product offering.   Ingram’s website confirms that street date.

The ARR for this Scarlett Johansson comedy comes in at 81 days and domestic box office receipts were a disappointing $21.9 million.   

The home entertainment rollout will open the film up to a wider audience … theatre patrons may have thought that this was nothing more than a summer-season “chick flick” and looked elsewhere for their theatrical viewing choices.   Rough Night is definitely not a “chick flick,” or at least not your “typical” one.

Planned for release on Sept. 5 are a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include a gag reel, deleted scenes, a sing-a-along titled “Scandalous” and a minimum of four featurettes — “Naughty Neighbor Diaries,” “Improv-o-Rama,” “Killer Cast” and “The Dynamic Duo: Lucia and Paul.”

In other release news from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Sept. 19 will be the street date for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 40th Anniversary Edition.   This is a new 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative and it will be available as both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack product offerings.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The PR Newswire press announcement was scant on details, but it appears that the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack will have three different presentations of the film — the original 1977 theatrical cut, the truncated 1980 “special edition” and the 1997 “Director’s Cut.”   No word on any additional bonus features.

Of note, the film gets a theatrical re-release over the Labor Day weekend.
On the direct-to-home entertainment release front, Oct. 3 marks the arrival of DVD and Blu-ray editions of director Claudio Fäh’s Sniper: Ultimate Kill, the seventh film in the franchise series that begin with Sniper in 1993.

20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment Picks Sept. 12 For The Home Entertainment Launch Of Director David Soren's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Director David Soren’s hit animated film (with the goofy title), Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, will be getting a three-SKU push from 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment on Sept. 12.   Planned for release are a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a stand-alone DVD SKU.

The ARR works out to 102 days and domestic multiplex box office receipts currently stand at a tasty $72.5 million.

Bonuses include deleted scenes, a pair of music videos (Captain Underpants Theme by “Weird Al” Yankovic and “A Friend Like You” by Andy Grammer), a Q&A session and five featurettes — “The Really Cool Adventures of Captain Underpants Motion Comic,” “The Captain Underpants Guide to Being a Hero,” “Kevin Hart and Ed Helms Surprise Fans,” “Lunch Lady PSA with Kristen Schaal” and “Sock Puppets Real Stars.”