Monday, September 18, 2017

Icarus Films Teams With The KimStim Collection For Two New DVD Releases In November

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films announced this past week that they will be teaming with The KimStim Collection for two new DVD releases during the month of November.  The first of these arrives on Nov. 7 and it is writer/director Azik’s (aka: Achim Bornhak) The Nightmare, a German-language high-energy horror import.   

Tina (Carolyn Genzkow), an angular 17-year old Berlin teen, is looking forward to her upcoming birthday party, when she will be 18 and an adult.    And therein lies her nightmare.

She likes to party … the lights, the pounding music, the drugs, the alcohol, the scene.   And not much thought is given to anything but the moment; the now.  Although it is Berlin, the shallowness of her existence (think: social media) could easily translate stateside.   

It is at one of these parties that she gets in a little too deep — too much of this, too much of that — and is nearly killed by a speeding car.   Back safely at home, strange things begin to happen, which culminate in the kitchen being turned into a garbage pile as the contents of the fridge have been emptied onto the floor.   Tina blames this on a “creature” that only she can see!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyNaturally the parents put two and two together.   Our little girl has been hitting one too many late night parties, has probably been doing things — if we took the time to care — we would disapprove of, and she has just had a dreadful experience.   That all adds up to … therapy!   She just needs a little counseling to make her little monster go away!

A well-meaning psychiatrist suggests that she embrace (face) her “monster” and that it is only natural at her age to have anxieties about leaving childhood behind and becoming an adult.   That certainly makes sense, so she makes friends with the creature (a marvelous design by Azik), which only she can see and communicate with.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Filmmaker Azik leaves it open to interpretation as to what is real in Tina’s world and what might be drug-induced, alcohol-induced or death-induced hallucinations.   She could also be heading for an extended period in a nut-house (that’s a horror story all onto itself) as her parents plant that thought in her mind with a little tough-love therapy of their own.

The Nightmare is just creepy enough to give you chills, the music, pounding music that is, puts you on edge and the presence of the creature — real or not — demands that you move into Tina’s world in an effort to make sense of it all.  

The Nightmare is presented in German with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThe following week, Nov. 14, Icarus Films and The KimStim Collection team for the DVD debut of documentary filmmaker Reiner Holzemer’s Dries.

For those who follow the world of high fashion, the title is a dead giveaway that the subject will be the life and career of iconic fashion designer Dries Van Noten.  

The viewer gets a full year of Dries, a usually private, even reclusive individual There are four seasons (aka: collections) featured … if for no other reason, just seeing the process unfold, even if you are not into high fashion, makes Holzemer’s Dries absolutely fascinating.    As a bonus, the viewer also gets a peek into his private life and his marvelous home.

Dries is presented in English and Flemish, with English subtitles.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Documentary FIlmmaker Gorman Bechard’s Who Is Lydia Loveless? Arrives On DVD This Coming Nov. 24

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Last year we sang the praises of filmmaker Gorman Bechard’s documentary about A Dog Named Gucci, which told the story of a man named Doug James who rescued a dog that was being tortured by a trio of monsters and nurtured him back to health.   That act of kindness set in a motion a quest for James to change the laws of Alabama regarding the treatment of animals — the “monsters” were given community service for torching the puppy (they burned his ears off).  That could not stand!!!

The film, in addition to being a full-box of Kleenex gem, had a wonderful soundtrack, which was used as a fundraiser for animal charities.   People took notice of recording Lydia Loveless and her compatriots and their delivery of Ruth Moody’s “One Voice.”

So here we are about 18 months later and Gorman Bechard is back with his latest documentary, Who Is Lydia Loveless?, which just happens to focus on recording artist Lydia Loveless (talk about a small world).   

It will be making it’s DVD debut on Friday, Nov. 24, courtesy of What Were We Thinking Films, with domestic sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bechard once again nails it!   If Lydia Loveless has not been on your radar — she’s country, she’s not country … Lydia marches to the beat of her own private drummer — she will be if you dial into Bechard’s behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of her latest album, “Real” (a real eye-opener on how money issues can get in the way of the music).

The reason we started off with A Dog Named Gucci is that Bechard knows how to tell a story that is engaging.   Who is Lydia Loveless? is cut from the same filmmaking cloth.   Check it out!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

It Will Be Dec. 5 For Wolfe's DVD Debut Of Documentary Filmmaker Jennifer Kroot’s The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Famed Tales of the City author, Armistead Maupin, is the subject of documentary filmmaker Jennifer Kroot’s The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin, which will be making it’s DVD debut courtesy of Wolfe on Dec. 5.

Maupin led the life of a would-be southern gentleman, educated, privileged, a Vietnam War vet … and then he moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s as an AP reporter and there he found his “muse.”   The nine Tales of the City novels followed (and an Emmy-nominated mini-series) and Maupin found himself as an unlikely voice of gay rights.

Kroot, who has scored numerous film festival awards (FilmOut San Diego, Nashville Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, etc.) for her insights into Maupin’s life, uses a blend of humor and in-your-face storytelling to flush out the life and times of Armistead Maupin.   Think about it … Vietnam, Haight-Ashbury, the arrival of the mystery HIV virus and more, and Maupin was a witness to it all.  A front row seat and the ability to write about it in the most intimate of ways.
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

The Untold Tales of Armistead Maupin is a great companion piece to the Tales of the City mini series starring Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney and Ian Mckellen (among others), who all appear in Kroot’s documentary.   Bonus features include deleted scenes.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Arrow Video Restores Director Mike Hodges' Pulp For DVD And Blu-ray Release On Nov. 7

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has lined up a new 2K restoration of writer/director Mike Hodges’ 1972 film release of Pulp, starring Michael Caine as the popular pulp fiction writer Mickey King … or is it Guy Strange … or Susan Eager … or perhaps S. Odomy!    

In any case, Pulp will be available on Nov. 7 as both DVD and Blu-ray product offerings.

Mickey (Michael Caine) gets involved in an elaborate “meet-and-greet,” which, of course, goes very wrong.   After a dead body, in a bathtub, he begins to think that he might be on someone’s hit list.   There’s this guy named Miller (Al Lettieri), a guy named Preston Gilbert (Mickey Rooney), a gangster named Marcovic (Leopoldo Trieste), his representative, Dinuccio (Lionel Stander), a prince — yes, an Italian prince — by the name of Cippola (Victor Mercieca) and a femme fatale named Liz (Nadia Cassini), who all might be involved … sort of his own personal “pulp fiction” adventure!

It’s all great fun — and Michael Caine enjoys every minute of it.   

 Bonus goodies include four new video sessions featuring writer/director Mike Hodges (who also did Get Carter with Caine), director of photography Ousama Rawi (Emmy-winner for his work on The Tudors), assistant director John Glen (he would go on to do five 007 films — For Your Eyes Only (1981), Octopussy (1983), A View to a Kill (1985), The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989) — and the son of producer Michael Klinger, Tony Klinger.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media Selects Nov. 21 As The Street Date For The DVD Release Of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Collection

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Paramount Home Media and CBS Home Entertainment, plus a very large delivery truck, will be bringing to market on Nov. 21 a massive 93-disc collection of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Complete Collection.

It adds up to 15 seasons and 337 episodes — or should we call them “case files” — including the two-hour finale!

Also included are 19 hours worth of bonus features … and, if that wasn’t enough, Paramount has the SRP (before discounts at retail) set so that it works out to 47 cents per episode (not counting the bonus content).   In a word: WOW!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Winter Arrives Early This Year With The Release Of HBO Home Entertainment's Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season On Dec. 12!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Winter arrives early this year … instead of Dec. 21, it will begin on Dec. 12!

A week ago the street date for HBO Home Entertainment’s mega cable hit, Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season, was leaked (the usual suspects).   

We immediately asked HBO to confirm the date and provide information related to bonus goodies, but the company asked us to hold off until the final sign-offs could be dealt with on their formal press release announcement.   As a professional courtesy we honored that request, even though it meant that we’d be late to the party (a certain giant online retailer doesn’t like to be late with their pre-order taking frenzy and will ambush any and everyone to push to the front of the line).   

So here it is, Dec. 12 is the street date for DVD (a four-disc set) and Blu-ray (a three-disc configuration) editions of Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
As an aside, the launch of season eight will likely be the most anticipated event in television history … and HBO has until (likely) 2019 to hype it.   Word is already circulating that multiple endings are being filmed to avoid pre-launch leaks.  

As to bonus goodies for this home entertainment “event,” there is a 45-minute presentation titled “Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms,” a two-part featurette showcasing the show’s spectular production design, “From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department,” and a behind-the-scenes featurette titled, “Fire & Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros” (oops, that sounds like a “spoiler” alert). 

Additionally, there will be cast and crew commentaries for all seven episodes.

Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKU are in-episode guides and the featurette titled “Histories and Lore.”

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Tabs Nov. 14 As The Street Date For Director David Leitch's Atomic Blonde

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Stuntman-turned-filmmaker, David Leitch, made his official directorial debut with his film adaptation of the Johnson and Hart graphic novel, “The Coldest City” — titled for the screen as Atomic Blonde — and judging from the results he will be back for more behind-the-camera action.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment announced this past week that a three-SKU helping of Charlize Theron’s Cold War spy thriller — can she take a punch, or what! — will be hitting (pun intended) retail outlets on Nov. 14.   Planned for release are a stand-alone DVD edition, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack.

The ARR is 109 days and summer ticket sales came in at $51 million.

Bonus features include commentary from David Leitch, whose stunt work includes such films as xXx: State of the Union — Brad Pitt’s stunt double in both Troy and Mr. & Mrs. SmithThe Bourne Ultimatum and many more … he is joined by film editor Elísabet Ronaldsdóttir (John Wick).   There are also deleted and extended scenes and four featurettes — “Welcome to Berlin,” “Blondes Have More Gun,” “Spymaster” and “Anatomy of a Fight Scene.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Writer/Director Tony Leondis’ The Emoji Movie From Sony Pictures Home Entertainment On Oct. 24

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has made it official, Oct. 24 is the street date for a three-SKU release of writer/director Tony Leondis’ CGI animated summer theatrical hit, The Emoji Movie.

The ARR is a quick-to-market 88 days and ticket sales, despite some pretty harsh major media reviews, chimed in at an impressive $82.6 million (you’d have to guess that the critics and their snarky remarks were pretty much ignored on this one).

Planned for release are DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack editions.

As to bonus goodies, Leondis provides commentary, there’s bonus short film titled “Puppy!,” seven production featurettes — “Jailbreak: Decoded: The Untold Story,” “Express Yourself: Meet the Cast,” “Girls Can Code!” “Choreographing Emoji With Matt Steffanina,” “Creating the World Inside Your Phone” and “Bringing Emojis to Life” — Ricky Reed’s “Good Vibrations” is presented as both a dance-along and music video with lyrics, plus there are two “how to” videos … “How to Draw Poop” and “How to Draw Gene.”

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Exclusive to the Blu-ray SKUs are two additional featurettes — “Gimme a Hand!  Guess the Emoji Game” and “Sweet App-etite: Make Your Own Candy Crush Inspired Saga Cake.”

Lionsgate Home Entertainment To Release Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets On Nov. 21

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The media bashed it, even going so far as to call it the biggest independently produced film disaster in the history of cinema.   That might be true, but when you pull in $40.3 million in domestic ticket sales, the film, if it bled red ink for EuropaCorp, is an “A-list” home entertainment release.   Production profits and losses don’t matter to the consumer.

The overall reviews for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets were mixed — the trade press tended to focus on the red ink — and theatre-goers were lukewarm.   In other words, it is a big-budget sci-fi entry, but it’s no Star Wars.  That means that it will translate well to home entertainment viewing interest.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment will be handling the domestic home entertainment distribution of director Luc Besson’s film adaptation of the French comic book series, which means that the studio likely has no financial exposure as a fee-based gun-for-hire.   They’ve picked Nov. 21 for a three-SKU product launch.

The ARR is 123 days and, as mentioned, domestic ticket sales during the film’s summer theatrical run came in at $40.2 million.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyPlanned for release are a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack and a DVD edition.

Bonus features include the five-part making-of documentary titled “Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian,” the featurette titled “Enhancement Pods” and the much talked about photo gallery of the film’s production, “The Art of Valerian.”

The Criterion Collection Announces Its December Of 2017 DVD And Blu-ray Release Calendar

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The Criterion Collection announced its December release calendar of new DVD and Blu-ray product offerings this past week.

Heading the limited number of selections planned for the month of December — the new announcements this week all street on Dec. 12 — is a new 4K digital transfer of director Alexander Payne’s 1999 film adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s novel, Election, teaming Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, a high school student with wisdom and motivation beyond her years, with Matthew Broderick, a teacher who is just trying to survive Tracy’s senior year.

Election, a wickedly black comedy, arrives as both DVD and Blu-ray editions on Dec. 12, which is ten days before Payne’s latest film, Downsizing, is set to hit theatres.  Payne has been nominated three times for his directing — Nebraska, The Descendants and Sideways — three times for his writing — Election, Sideways and The Descendants (winning Oscars for both Sideways and The Descendants) — and once for being a producer, The Descendants, so there is some anticipation that Downsizing will put him in the running the running for Oscar gold once again.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include a vintage commentary track (2008) from writer/director Alexander Payne, newly-minted video sessions with both Payne and Witherspoon, Payne’s UCLA student film, The Passion of Martin and the 2016 documentary titled TruInside: Election.

Also heading home on Dec. 12 are a new 2K transfer of director Barbet Schroeder’s General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait and a new 4K restoration of director D.A. Pennepaker’s iconic 1968 film release of Monterey Pop, which includes two-hours worth of excised footage not used in the final theatrical cut.