Thursday, April 4, 2024

New DVD • Blu-ray • 4K Ultra HD Activity For The Period Ending March 29, 2024

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Arrow Video Announces A June 18 Street Date For The 4K Ultra HD Debut Of Writer/Director Paul Schrader's American Gigolo

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
Arrow Video, with domestic sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has a new 4K Ultra HD edition (from the original camera negative) of writer/director Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo.

The street date will be June 18.   A Blu-ray buying option will also be available on that date.
This was the film that moved Richard Gere’s career from being an actor to that of a star, but it almost didn’t happen.   Paramount had made a major announcement — hitting all the trade publications in early 1978 — that John Travolta, the star of Paramount’s Saturday Night Fever and Grease, would be in the lead, even to point of decking him out in Giorgio Armani suits for a major photo shoot.

Instead, he backed out (for personal reasons), kept the Armani suits tailored for him and did a little film instead … one that you might remember, Urban Cowboy.

In one of those “only in Hollywood” twists, Richard Gere was offered the role (after “Superman,” Christopher Reeve turned it down) for a fraction of Travolta’s starring fee, but he got points (whether he collected or not is between him and the studio).   His co-star, Lauren Hutton —fashion model turned actor — waited patiently for all this to be sorted out.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
The film was a box office success and set Gere up for the lead in An Officer and a Gentleman (also from Paramount) in 1982 … and, likely, all that followed, including Pretty Woman, Primal Fear, Chicago and more.   

Bonus delights included with this 4K Ultra HD debut of American Gigolo are a newly prepared commentary option with film critic Adrian Martin, a new video session with filmmaker Paul Schrader and six new featurettes — “Six Ways to Sunday,” “The Business of Pleasure,” “Montages and Monologues,” “The Non-Conformist,” “Man Machine” and “American Icon.”


DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport


The Film Chest Announces The Release Of A Long Lost Series Treasure On Apr. 30 • The Complete Collection Of Boris Karloff's Colonel March of Scotland Yard

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
The Film Chest has scored a major coup with the announcement this past week that the ultra rare Boris Karloff ITV London television mystery series (1954/1955) titled Colonel March of Scotland Yard.

All 26 episodes will be presented as a three-disc DVD collection for amateur sleuths to enjoy on Apr. 30.

Based on writer John Dickson Carr’s (aka: Carter Dickson) 1940 novel, “The Department of Queer Complaints,” Colonel March of Scotland Yard (Karloff) is assigned the task of solving mysteries that have baffled law enforcement.

This was certainly an odd duck.   No less than three pilots were filmed in effort to pitch the series.   And, since nothing would possibly go to waste, director Cy Endfield (Zulu, Mysterious Island, Tarzan’s Savage Fury, etc.) had the three pilots edited into a feature length film titled Colonel March Investigates, which was released theatrical in the UK during the summer of 1953.

This is X-Files before there was such a thing.   Mysteries that cannot possibly be solved … but then there’s Colonel March.

Be sure to check it out Apr. 30.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport

Unearthed Films Will Be Deliverying The Blu-ray Debut Of Director James Bershears' Homework To Long-Awaiting Fans On June 11

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
Unearthed Films, with sales and distribution support provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has locked into June 11 as Blu-ray debut date for director James Bershears’ 1982 shamelessly exploitative comedy, Homework.

Critics can slam a film for being bad.   There can even be legal action taken by some of the film’s “stars” because the marketing of the film was something along the lines of a bait and switch scam — Marketing!   Marketing!   Marketing!!!

It doesn’t matter!  Only time makes a movie a fan’s delight, dare we say, “cult.”   Such is the case with Homework, which was filmed sometime during 1980, but didn’t see a theatrical release (and that was on a market by market basis related to limited prints) until the run up to Labor Day in 1982.

The film stars Michael Morgan as a high school named Tommy, who is frustrated over his lack of sexual “advancement.”   Morgan was a child actor, who had done small parts in episodic television, a few MOWs (Go Ask Alice, Love is Not Forever, Addie and the King of Hearts) and was now making his theatrical debut as a typical “Hollywood teenager” at the ripe old age of 21.

Meanwhile, legendary British actress Joan Collins took a small acting gig (day work for a $25,000 fee) in Homework, which was billed to her as something of a mentor to the confused teen.  A few days worth of filming and then she moved on.   

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
What she moved onto was a starring role as Alexis in the primetime soap Dynasty.   She was electric and the ratings went through the roof.

Homework finally gets a limited theatrical release in late August of 1982, timed to take advantage of the next season of Dynasty — which would begin airing in late October.   Collins was red hot, and suddenly her minor role in the film had been “tweaked” a bit (body double, sex scene, etc.) and she was featured on the film’s theatrical poster and in all of the advertising.   Marketing!!

That’s Hollywood, babe!   Can anyone say “lawsuit?”   

Homework was released on DVD way back in 2002, so for many this Blu-ray edition from Unearthed Films will be the first opportunity to enjoy this “sexploitation” gem.  

Bonuses include a vintage video session with producer Max Rosenberg, who is best known to genre fans for his ‘70s horror films — The House That Dripped Blood, Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, And Now the Scream Starts!, etc.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment Selects May 14 As The Street Date For The 4K Ultra HD Release Of Director Clint Eastwood's American Sniper

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment has tabbed May 14 as the street date for the 4K Ultra HD debut of director Clint Eastwood’s 2014 Best Picture nominee, American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper (nominated Best Actor … one of six of his acting nominations to date) as Chris Kyle, a real-life Navy SEAL sniper who served four tours of duty in Iraq.

Bonus selections are seven vintage featurettes — “One Soldier's Story: The Journey of American Sniper,” “Chris Kyle: The Man Behind the Legend,” “Clint Eastwood: A Cinematic Legacy – The Heart of a Hero,” “Navy SEALs: In War and Peace,” “Bringing the War Home: The Cost of Heroism,” “The Making of American Sniper” and “Guardian.”

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Readies The Release Of 4K Ultra HD Editions Of La Femme Nikita (June 11) And The Karate Kid (June 18) During The Month Of June

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has two new 4K Ultra HD releases ready for delivery during the month of June (maybe more as we move along).

June 11 has been circled on the release calendar as the street date for a 4K Ultra HD SteelBook edition of director Luc Besson’s La Femme Nikita.   That’s the first one; excellent choice!

It’s rare that a foreign language action film becomes part of the popular culture, but Anne Parillaud’s performance (along with Jeanne Moreau and Jean Reno) made this a keeper when it arrived theatrically in April of 1991 (1990 in France).   

Indeed, Warner Bros. thought so much of the film that they made a domestic English-language remake in 1993 with Bridget Fonda in the lead.

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
The following week, June 18, Sony is back with a 40th anniversary 4K Ultra HD edition of director John G. Avildsen’s The Karate Kid … in retro VHS packaging.

Bonus features include a new commentary track featuring Cobra Kai creators Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg, deleted scenes, the featurette titled “Remembering The Karate Kid” and over 30 minutes worth of newly discovered deleted scene “dailies.”   

Other bonus goodie include a vintage commentary with Avildsen, actors Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita, plus writer Robert Mark Kamen and four archived featurettes — “The Way of The Karate Kid,” “Beyond the Form,” “East Meets West: A Composer’s Notebook” and “Life of Bonsai.”



DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport


Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Moves Director Zelda Williams' Lisa Frankenstein Quickly To The Physical Media Marketplace On Apr. 09

DVD & Blu-ray Release Report, Ralph Tribbey, @DVDblurayreport
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment moved director Zelda Williams’ romantic horror comedy, Lisa Frankenstein, in quick step fashion from theatres to the physical media marketplace with the assignment of an Apr. 9 street date for both DVD and Blu-ray purchasing options.

The ARR is a lightning quick 60 days (a premium VOD window was at 18 days) and the domestic box tally was $9.2 million.   

Bonus features include commentary by Williams, deleted scenes, a gag reel and a trio of featurettes — “Resurrecting the 1980s,” “An Electric Connection” and “A Dark Comedy Duo.”