Monday, June 1, 2020

Vinegar Syndrome Announces Its June 30 Release Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
This past week, Vinegar Syndrome announced a five-strong slate of new film restorations heading to the Blu-ray marketplace on June 30.  
It is, of course, always a subjective consideration as to which among the new film restorations should be considered as the leader of the pack, but let’s go with director Paul Schrader’s 1988 film release of Patty Hearst.

Based the 1982 book, “Every Secret Thing” by her and Alvin Moscow, which was subsequently re-released in paperback under the new title, “Patty Hearst – Her Own Story.”   Vinegar Syndrome has a new 2K film restoration (from an interpositive) in the works.

Told almost exclusively from Hearst’s POV (played by Natasha Richardson — Fat Man and Little Boy, Asylum, Widows' Peak, etc.), we follow her kidnapping, imprisonment and eventual conversion by the Symbionese Liberation Army and then there is the infamous, or should we say, “iconic,” Hibernia National Bank robbery.   History would record that Patty Hearst would be captured, tried, convicted, imprisoned and eventually pardoned by president Jimmy Carter.

The only bonus feature (at this time) is the video session with Paul Schrader titled “Telling Her Story.”
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Other films in the June 30 Blu-ray release mix are: A new 2K film restoration of Noel Nosseck’s 1975 directing debut, Best Friends, a cross-country road trip with four friends (starring Richard Hatch, Doug Chapin, Susanne Benton and Ann Noland) that ends in tragedy; director Joel Bender’s 1989 direct-to-video sci-fi/horror thriller, The Immortalizer — brain transplanting for fun and profit — and a new 2K film restoration of director Clive Donner’s horror spoof, Old Dracula, starring David Niven as Dracula, with Teresa Graves as Countess Vampira.

Lastly, adult filmmaker Paul Vatelli gets the double-bill treatment with I Like to Watch (1983, with Bridgette Monet) teamed with his Sorority Sweethearts (1984, with Lisa De Leeuw).

For the period ending May 29, 2020 ... New DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD selections added to the DVD & Blu-ray Release Report's database



DVD New Additions


Bayview Entertainment
08/11/20 — Sets 16/03, Coffee In Winter, Internment (Albanian), Love Is Cold (Cantonese) and Moments Of Darkness

Bridgestone Multimedia (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Secret Garden and Silver Wolf

CBS Home Entertainment (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Trade: Season One and Trade: Season Two

Conscious Films (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Dr. Llaila O. Africa: Death of Blacks by Food, Part 1

Eagle Rock Entertainment
05/26/20 — Released Def Leppard: London to Vegas (2 DVD/4 CD Combo Pack)

Eye Film Releasing, Inc. (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Wu Tang Saga

Giant Interactive (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Panama Papers

Grapevine Video (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Desert Victory, Moulin Rouge (silent-1928) and Return of Wildfire

Gravitas Ventures (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released I Will Make You Mine, In the Belly of the Moon, Isolani and Pain Warriors

Hallmark Channel (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Christmas Detour

Icarus Films
06/30/20 — Sets Spark (Mandarin)/The Observer (Mandarin)

Martial Arts History Museum (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Biography: Chuck Sullivan

Paramount Home Meida
07/28/20 — Sets Blaze & The Monster Machines: Race for the Golden Treasure
08/04/20 — Sets Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Season Two (3 disc set)

SL Entertainment
05/26/20 — Released Southland Tale

Shout! Factory
09/15/20 — Sets Weathering With You (Japanese) (ARR of 242 days; box office: $7,778,682)

Smart Mark Video (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released H2O Wrestling: Career Restrospective Inverview Series - Devon Moore in H2O and H2O Wrestling: Career Restrospective Inverview Series - Stockcade in H2O

Stow Town Records
05/26/20 — Released Collingsworth Family: Mercy & Love - Live at Inspiration Encounter

Vision Films (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released 10 Things We Should Do Before We Break Up and Horse Camp: A Love Tail

Wild Eye Releasing
05/26/20 — Released Creeps: A Tale of Murder and Mayhem

06/09/20 — Sets Jules of Light and Dark
06/30/20 — Sets Almost Love

WOWnow Entertainment
05/26/20 — Released Epstein: Behind The Facade

Blu-ray New Additions


Acorn Media
05/26/20 — Released Agatha Raisin: Series 3 (3 disc set)

Dark Force Entertainment
08/25/20 — Sets The Dead Pit

Eagle Rock Entertainment
05/26/20 — Released Def Leppard: London to Vegas (2 Blu-ray/4 CD Combo Pack)

Eastern Star
05/26/20 — Released Battery: The Animation (2 disc set), City Hunter Shinjuku Private Eyes, Konosuba Season 1 + OVA (2 disc set), Poco's Udon World (2 disc set) and She and Her Cat: Everything Flows

Epic Pictures Group, Inc.
05/26/20 — Released Torpedo U-235 (German)

Flicker Alley
05/26/20 — Released Spring Night, Summer Night

05/26/20 — Released Fractale: The Complete Series (2 disc set), Rising of the Shield: Season 1, Part 1 (2 Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack) and Rising of the Shield: Season 1, Part 2 (2 Blu-ray/2 DVD Combo Pack)

Grapevine Video (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Moulin Rouge (silent-1928)

Gravitas Ventures (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released I Will Make You Mine, In the Belly of the Moon, Isolani and Pain Warriors

Kino Lorber
05/26/20 — Released All Night Long, Chicken Chronicles, In Search of Dracula, Man, A Woman and a Bank and Taza, Son of Cochise

Learn with Lee, LLC (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Learn with Lee: Season 1

MVD Entertainment Group
09/11/20 — Sets Swans: Where Does A Body End? (with bonus DVD disc)

Mondo Macabro
05/26/20 — Released Ideal Place to Kill (Italian)

PCN Productions (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Pennsylvania Country Roads: Farmers Market & Glenn Thompson

Paramount Home Media
08/04/20 — Sets Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Season Two (2 disc set)

Sentai Filmworks
05/26/20 — Released Run with the Wind: Complete Collection (4 disc set) and Why the Hell are You Here Teacher: Complete Collection (2 disc set)

Severin Films, LLC
05/26/20 — Released Horrors of Spider Island (German) and Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh (Italian) (with bonus CD)

Shout! Factory
05/26/20 — Released Before the Devil Knows You're Dead: Collector's Edition, Escape from L.A.: Collector's Edition and Midnight Clear
09/15/20 — Sets Weathering With You (Japanese) (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack)

Starry Night Publishing, LLC (MOD)
05/26/20 — Released Cold Fish (Japanese), Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Jackie Chan's Project A2 (Cantonese) (2 disc set) and Suicide Club (Japanese)

Vinegar Syndrome
05/26/20 — Released Blood Games, Dr. Jekyll's Dungeon of Death, L.A. Wars and Severed Arm
06/30/20 — Sets Best Friends, I Like to Watch/Sorority Sweethearts, Immortalizer, Old Dracula and Patty Hearst

4K Ultra HD New Additions

Blue Underground
05/26/20 — Released Maniac (with Bonus Blu-ray disc) and Zombie (with Bonus Blu-ray disc)
08/25/20 — Sets House by the Cemetery (with Bonus Blu-ray disc) and New York Ripper (with Bonus Blu-ray disc)

MVD Entertainment Group Preps Blu-ray Release (With Bonus DVD) Of Diector Marco Porsia's Where Does A Body End? For Release On Sept. 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
MVD Entertainment Group looks to the post-Labor Day period for the company’s first September Blu-ray release with this past week’s announcement that Friday, Sept. 11, will be the street date for award-winning editor Marco Porsia’s first feature-length documentary, Where Does a Body End?
This intimated look at the tumultuous four-decade-long history of Michael Gira and his rock group, Swans, will be arriving as a Blu-ray presentation, packed with loads and loads of extras on a companion DVD.

Where Does a Body End? takes a look at the early years, beginning with Gira, Swans and the New York City’s no wave music and “artist” culture of the late 1970s.   Some might call it “rock noise” — rebellious and unstructured — which sort of begs the question, how did the Swans create a generational fan base when basically their music started out in your face, basically telling you to go “F*#@ yourself.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThey have survived, grown, mutated and Porsia uses interviews — both current and archival — plus vintage footage (underground), with a blend of newly-minted concert performances to tell their story.   

The entire companion DVD disc comes packed with 156 minutes worth of bonus goodies … fans of Swans will not be disappointed.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Paramount Home Media Tabs Aug. 04 For Both DVD And Blu-ray Collections Of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan: Season Two

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, DVD & Blu-ray Release Report
Paramount Home Media brings the action to both DVD and Blu-ray on Aug. 4 with the release of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season Two.

All eight episodes from the second season, starring John Krasinski as Dr. Jack Ryan, will be available as a three-disc DVD presentation and a double-disc Blu-ray product offering.  And the good news is that a third season is already in the works.

Also on the release calendar from Paramount Home Media is the next DVD installment of Nickelodeon’s popular Blaze and the Monster Machines kidvid series.   Slated for release on July 28 is the DVD debut of Blaze & The Monster Machines: Race for the Golden Treasure.

Blaze joins with Pegwheel the Pirate-Truck and sets sails for golden treasure which is to be found by finding three mysterious keys.   Journey to the Island of Lost Treasure and use a treasure map to find the goodies … and learn the secrets of an ancient “race track” and the very magical “Wishing Wheel.”   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, DVD & Blu-ray Release Report

Icarus Films To Release Spark/The Observer Double-Feature On DVD On June 30

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Icarus Films will be teaming up with the dGenerate Films Collection for the double-feature release on DVD this coming June 30 of documentary filmmaker Hu Jie’s Spark, which is joined by director Rita Andreetti’s biographical documentary about Hu Jie, The Observer.

With the potential assault on Hong Kong and the ending of the Sino-British Joint Declaration by the Chinese Communist Party, the release of Hu Jie’s Spark could not be better timed by Icarus Films.

His film details the history of the students who dared publish a journal, “Spark,” that covered the deceit, out right lies and violence of Mao’s Great Leap Forward.  It didn’t start out as they intended, just a small publication that spoke of what, to them, seemed to be a local (province-level) bureaucracy that was inept and actually doing a disservice to Mao’s teachings.   It was only when the publishers of “Spark” journeyed to other areas of China that they discovered the true intent of the Great Leap Forward — the consolidation of power by any means necessary.

For their trouble, two of the original student-members of “Spark” were purged (that is a nicety for being murdered).
DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey 
The companion piece, The Observer, is documentary filmmaker Rita Andreetti’s look at the life Hu Jie, including his trilogy of films about Mao’s China that concluded with Spark in 2013 and included Searching for Lin Zhao's Soul in 2004 and the 2007 release of Though I Am Gone.

Both Spark and The Observer on DVD from Icarus Films on June 30 are presented in Mandarin with English subtitles.   The Observer includes bonus scenes, extra interview footage and exclusive scenes filmed by Hu Jie.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bayview Entertainment Locks In Aug. 11 For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Manjeet S. Gill's Coffee In Winter

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bayview Entertainment has selected Aug. 11 for the DVD debut of writer/director Manjeet S. Gill’s Coffee in Winter.

Rod (Roderick Masih — Moments of Darkness), of Indian descent, has come to view his arrangement with Hema (Anna Devi) as not something of dreams and a future, but of a commitment — something to please others; to please an ethereal “they” — that he comes to realize that he is, perhaps, not prepared for.  

So a change in direction might be something to alter how he feels.   Living in London, Rod leaves his techie job and returns to the university for instruction in photography, this leaves Hema to carry the financial load.   

It is during his course studies that he meets fellow student Kim (Kim Bormann) … they share a passion for photography.   They share photography assignments together, meet for coffee, dinner … and slowly a love affair, but Rod still remains detached.   Almost as if he is viewing his life unfold before him in a dream.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyFilmmaker Manjeet S. Gill, in interviews and at various screenings of Coffee in Winter, has made it pretty clear that his film is inspired by the film Hou Hsiao Hsien (The Assassin, Flowers of Shanghai, etc.) … who in turn was inspired by Japanese filmmaking legend, Yasujiro Ozu.  

What emerges with Gill’s Coffee in Winter is a lyrical, beautifully photographed tale of a man lost in a world of his own making, but yet that he has no control over.   Lost between tradition … and desire.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Wolfe Sets June 30 For The DVD Debut Of Writer/Director Mike Doyle's Almost Love

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Wolfe has tabbed June 30 for the DVD release of actor-turned-filmmaker Mike Doyle’s Almost Love, his feature film writing and directing debut.   From what is on the screen, it will not be his last.

Launched at the Toronto Inside Out Film Festival in May of last year, Almost Love worked the festival circuit, with stops at Frameline, Outfest Los Angeles and Westfield International Film Festival (among many others).   The awards piled up and the reviews — from indie bloggers to mainline entertainment publications — came rolling in.   

As with other indie films, you can continue to work through the festival screening process — building awareness, look for an arthouse break or move into the home entertainment marketplace.   Wolfe, faced with the national theatrical shutdown, lost the first two options as festival screenings and arthouse options dried up very quickly after Mar. 20.   So June 30, DVD … 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyIt what could easily be a crossover story, we begin in New York City where we are introduced to Adam (Scott Evans — Behaving Badly, Madhouse Mecca), an exceptionally talented artist, who lives in the background of the prominent commercial artist by the name of Ravella (played by Patricia Clarkson — Best Supporting Actress nominee for Pieces of April … as Ava Paige in the Maze Runner series, plus two-time Emmy-winner for Six Feet Under).   Adam is her work-for-hire artist, who has become ever-more frustrated with the arrangement.

Meanwhile, he is a long-time relationship with Marklin (Augustus Prew ), who is an “influencer.”   He has made a small fortune as an internet promoter for men’s fashions, which provides Adam and Marklin a nice lifestyle.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
You can’t help but see the irony of Adam, a talented artist, living in New York City by benefit of his relationship with Marklin, whose income stream is largely an illusion.  
Filmmaker Mike Doyle doesn’t keep the focus just on Adam’s relationship with Marklin, but expands out the narrative to include their circle of friends — think along the lines of films like Annie Hall, Manhattan or Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve.   There is plenty of angst to be shared … relationships, careers and navigating the cityscape of New York.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Dark Force Entertainment Tabs Aug. 25 For The Blu-ray Release Of The Dead Pit

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Dark Force Entertainment, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new 2K scan — from the original camera negative — of director Brett Leonard’s 1989 debut film, The Dead Pit, which has been set for a first-time Blu-ray release on Aug. 25.

This unique spin on the undead begins with a prologue featuring Dr. Colin Ramzi (Danny Gochnauer), who works at a state-run nut house (if it looks familiar, this is where One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed) and has a secret basement torture chamber (aka: research lab).  

One night, Ramzi’s murderous experiments are discovered by Dr. Gerald Swan (played by Jeremy Slate — The Sons of Katie Elder, The Born Losers, Hell's Angels '69, etc.), who promptly kills his crazed colleague … and then calls the police, right?   That would be no.   Instead, he seals up Dr. Ramzi in his basement lair, with all of his victims, and moves on (exactly what kind of a nut house are we running here?).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
We now come to modern times — 20 years later — and Dr. Swan continues to soldier on, although the once sprawling “mental health facility” has been downsized (you know, budget cuts, etc.).   

Enter “Jane Doe” (played by Cheryl Lawson — The Vineyard, Reckoning … but who has spent the bulk of her career as a stunt woman in such films as Poseidon, Ocean’s Eleven, The Scorpion King and more), who is found wandering the streets having lost her memory.  She is taken to “State Hospital,” which is Swan’s nut house.   

You are thinking about this time, why would you take an amnesiac to a mental hospital, well that’s the exactly the question that our “Jane Doe” asks … which means she hasn’t seen Catch-22.   Swan assures her that he can cure her and get her repressed memory back (all things considered our “Jane Doe” would rather wander the streets without her memory).

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph TribbeyThat is your set-up for The Dead Pit, a long-dead crazy doctor in the basement, an attractive young woman with no memory (who spends much of her time with little or nothing on) and Dr. Swan in charge.   Sure enough, “Jane Doe” appears to trigger the long-dormant lust of Dr. Ramzi, who rises from the undead, with his legion of zombies, and proceeds to work his way thought the hospital’s remaining staff (which genre fans will recognize as the “victim pool”).  

Bonus goodies include video sessions with actors Cheryl Lawson and Jeremy Slate, director Brett Leonard (The Lawnmower Man, Virtuosity, T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous) and writer/producer Gimel Everett.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey