Thursday, June 15, 2023

Ignite Media Distribution Targets July 11 For A Full-Spread Home Entertainment Packaged Media Celebration Of Director William Cameron Menzies’ Invaders From Mars

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Ignite Media Distribution Services, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has selected July 11 as the street date for a three-SKU helping of director William Cameron Menzies’ 1953 sci-fi classic, Invaders from Mars.         

Genre fans, film buffs, collectors and the curious will be able to choose between DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD editions of this new 4K film restoration, which is something of a 70th Anniversary Edition.

Jimmy Hunt (Pitfall, Sorry, Wrong Number, She Couldn’t Say No) stars as grade school kid David MacLean, an astronomy buff and scientist in the making (following in dear old’s footsteps), who awakes one night to see a flying saucer land and suddenly disappear into the nearby sand dunes.   Did he imagine it?  Was it a dream?

Upset, he wakes up his parents, George (Leif Erickson — Night Monster, Johnny Stool Pigeon, The Cimarron Kid … as Big John Cannon in The High Chaparral television series) and Mary (Hillary Brooke — The Woman in Green, The Fuller Brush Man, Lost Continent, The Maze, The Man Who Knew Too Much), who find his behavior quite out of character. 

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
We will soon discover that David was not dreaming.   His father goes to investigate and doesn’t return.   David’s mom calls the cops and soon officers Jackson (Douglas Kennedy) and Blaine (Charles Cane) show up and go off to investigate.

Whew!   David’s father suddenly returns, but there is something that is very wrong.  Come on, his little brat son woke him up in the middle of the night to rant and cry about flying saucers, so naturally he’s a tad put off.   Smack that kid (oops, he does). 

Jackson and Blaine return … are they zombies?   What’s going on?   Did David just see his neighbor Kathy Wilson (Janine Perreau — The Shanghai Story) get swallowed-up in the sand dunes?  Get help!  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
The more David tells people that something is terribly wrong, the more his family and neighbors think he is demented … Kathy returns, nothing wrong, pay no attention to her zombie-like state!!

We all know — as the audience to this classic sci-fi tale — where this is going.  David is doomed, the Martians will take over … unless he can find someone, anyone, to believe his crazy story!!  

Check it out on July 11 with the 70th Anniversary celebration of director William Cameron Menzies’ Invaders from Mars.  

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Bonus features include video sessions with Jimmy Hunt (be sure to check out the Cereal at Midnight podcast interview with Hunt — linked here:, William Cameron Menzies’ biographer James Curtis and Menzies’ eldest granddaughter Pamela Lauesen, a featurette featuring John Landis, Joe Dante, Mark Goldblatt, Robert Skotak and Scott MacQueen and before and after restoration clips.

Additionally, there is a 2K restoration of the “alternate international cut” of the film, an alternate ending and an extended Planetarium scene.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


The Criterion Collection Announces Its September 2023 Film Restoration Slate

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey


That’s the word for the Criterion Collection’s September line-up of new film restorations.

There will be a new 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack edition heading home on each of the four street-date Tuesday during the month … so let’s get to it.

Sept. 5 kicks off the proceedings with a new 4K digital restoration of director Rob Reiner’s post-Labor Day of 1987 romantic comedy-adventure gem, The Princess Bride, starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Andre the Giant and Wallace Shawn, with Chris Sarandon and Christopher Guest (and, of course, some surprise guests alone the way).

William Goldman completed his novel, “The Princess Bride,” sometime in 1973 and it was already optioned for a film adaptation, but nothing came of it.   A decade later the rights were back in his hands, he adapted his own novel, Reiner was brought on board to direct and the rest is, as they say, history.   It only took 14 years to move this classic from the page to the screen!!

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus goodies include commentary featuring Reiner and Goldman, who are joined by producer Andrew Scheinman and cast members Billy Crystal and Peter Falk, various video sessions with Reiner, Goldman, and Crystal, plus Cary Elwes, Christopher Guest, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Fred Savage and Robin Wright.

There is also an on-set video diary narrated by Cary Elwes, five behind-the-scene videos with narration by Reiner, Scheinman and Crystal, plus several featurettes and more.

The next street-date Tuesday, Sept. 12, marks the 4K Ultra HD debut of auteur filmmaker Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 outback adventure, Walkabout, starring Jenny Agutter (Logan’s Run, The Eagle has Landed, An American Werewolf in London … and as Sister Julienne in the long-running Call the Midwife dramatic series), David Gulpilil and Luc Roeg.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Bonus features included with the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray Combo Pack presentation of Walkabout begin with commentary by Nicolas Roeg and Jenny Agutter, video sessions with Agutter and Luc Roeg and documentary filmmaker Darlene Johnson’s 2002 film titled Gulpilil: One Red Blood.

That’s two.   Criterion could call it quits right there for the month and it would still be impressive, but there are two more street-date Tuesdays still to go!

Arriving on Sept. 19 is filmmaker Orson Welles’ 1962 film adaptation of Franz Kafka’s 1925 novel, The Trial, starring Anthony Perkins (as Josef K), Jeanne Moreau, Romy Schneider and Orson Welles.

Film historian Joseph McBride (“Orson Welles,” “Frank Capra: The Catastrophe of Success,” “Billy Wilder: Dancing on the Edge” … and more) provides a newly-minted commentary, plus there are archival video sessins with Welles, Jeanne Moreau and the director of photography Edmond Richard, plus Orson Welles’ 1981 feature-length documentary titled Filming The Trial.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey

Criterion’s 4K Ultra HD hit parade for the month of September concludes on Sept. 26 with writer/director/producer Brett Morgen’s 2022 theatrical biopic/documentary tribute to David Bowie, Moonage Daydream.

This new 4K film restoration includes commentary from Brett Morgen (Oscar nominated for his On the Ropes documentary, plus the Emmy-winning Jane … plus films as Cobain: Montage of Heck, Chicago 10 and The Kid Stays in the Picture), a Q&A session and a video session with rerecording mixers David Giammarco and Paul Massey.

And, last but certainly not least, is the Sept. 26 Blu-ray release of director Luis Valdez’s 1987 biopic, La Bamba.

This is a new 4K digital restoration.   Bonus features include commentary, video session, audition footage and a making-of featurette.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Lionsgate Home Entertainment Looks To July 11 For The Release Of DVD And Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Editions Of Writer/Director Ari Aster's Beau Is Afraid

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Writer/Director Ari Aster’s surreal — and very epic — journey of Beau Wassermann (played by Joaquin Phoenix), Beau is Afraid, arrives as both DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack product offerings from Lionsgate Home Entertainment on July 11.

With a production budget in the neighborhood of $35 million, Beau is Afraid becomes A24 Films most ambitious effort to date.   However, the domestic box office results have been disappointing with just $8.2 million hauled in thus far. 

For the record, the ARR is 88 days from the film’s theatrical opening to its subsequent arrival as home entertainment packaged media product offerings.

The light box office result comes as a bit of a surprise on two levels.  First, coming off the Best Picture win for Everything Everywhere All at Once (and its nice word-of-mouth run in theatres) it appeared that A24 was hot-wired for success with this high-profile (and very ambitious) production. 

Couple that with Aster’s track record with both Hereditary ($44.1 million in 2018; against a $10 million budget) and Midsommar ($27.4 million in 2019; with a $9 million production budget) and you can appreciate how Beau is Afraid has not lived up to expectations.

Joaquin Phoenix’s performance here makes him an early Oscar contender — that could help — and there’s home entertainment, which could cut into the red ink as well.  Beau is Afraid could end up being one of those films that gains a following … only time will tell.

As to bonus features, there is the featurette titled “Finally Home: Making Beau is Afraid.”

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Moves Director George Tillman Jr.’s Big George Foreman In Just 60 Days To The Home Entertainment Packaged Media Marketplace With The June 27 Street Date

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has moved director George Tillman Jr.’s biopic, Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World, quickly to the home entertainment packaged media marketplace with a June 27 street-date.

The ARR is a swiftly paced transition from theatrical venues that works out to just 60 days for both the DVD and Blu-ray product offerings. 

Critics were so-so on the film, while audiences — who attended theatrical venues — were pleased with Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah, Summer Night) performance as Foreman.   The ticket-buying public was, however, limited with domestic box office receipts coming in at just $5.4 million.  

Sony Pictures kept moving the film around … first a September of 2022 opening was cancelled and then the March 24 date was shifted to April 28, which could have confused audiences.

The film got a VOD/streaming window of May 17 and was immediately pirated by at least two “helper”/”void-filler” sources as Blu-ray editions.  We’ve often made the case that this interim step should be as least day/date with the Blu-ray and DVD rollout to cut down on “unauthorized” releases.

Bonus features include a gag reel, deleted scenes and two featurettes — “Big George Foreman: A Look at the Making of the Film” and “Toe to Toe: Foreman & Ali.”