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"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
May 232017
 

From the Big Screen:

"Get Out," "Logan" and "The Great Wall."For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Highlights:

The films of Jacques Rivette (1928-2016) — unarguably the grand master of the French New Wave Cinema — have long been the Holy Grail of cinema. Most of his 28 films have had little or no distribution on the big screen — and have appeared sporadically on DVD. And not because of their quality — his films are brilliant if not genius — but, like so many works of art, they are at times difficult to fathom. His first feature, "Paris Belongs to Us" (1961), began production as the first New Wave feature in 1958 but, because of financing difficulties, was not released until 1961 (previously, François Truffaut, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol, Eric Rohmer all worked with Rivette on his early short films). photo for Jacques Rivette Collection Limited Edition The cinematic themes that he would deal with for the rest of his career — the theatricality of film, the thin line between dream and reality, the prominence of the actor and improvisation, the importance of magic and imagination, and the stand of the individual against the institutional conspiracies that want to control us — all came forth in his early films and were refined in his subsequent productions. Last year Carlotta Films released a DVD/Blu-ray box set of Rivette's magnum opus, the nearly 13-hour "Out 1: Noli me tangere" (1970), a gigantic canvas on which he made a major break from the confines of narative film structure. Now, Arrow Academy has done a great service for cinema history by releasing the "Jacques Rivette Collection Limited Edition," a six disc DVD/Blu-ray combo set with three of Rivette's late-1970s outings. In 1975, Rivette reunited with "Out" 1 producer Stéphane Tchal Gadjieff with the idea of a four-film cycle. He would create a quartet of interconnected films, each in a different genre. One was to be a love story, another a Western, and there was to be a fantastical thriller and a musical comedy starring Anna Karina and Jean Marais too. Ill health intervened, and only two of the films were completed. "Duelle (une quarantine)" (1976) sees Rivette in fantasy territory, cross-pollinating Val Lewton, Jean Cocteau and film noir as the Queen of the Sun (Bulle Ogier) and the Queen of the Night (Juliet Berto) search for a magical diamond in the present day. Its parallel film, "Noroît (une vengeance)" (1976), is a pirate tale — and a loose adaptation of "The Revenger's Tragedy" — starring Geraldine Chaplin ("Nashville"). A third film began production — "Marie et Julien" starring Albert Finney and Leslie Caron — but Rivette succumbed to nervous exhaustion and shooting was abandoned. When he did return to filmmaking, Rivette borrowed some of the elements of "Duelle" and "Noroît" and came up with" Merry-Go-Round" (1981). Joe Dallesandro ("Trash," "Flesh for Frankenstein") and Maria Schneider ("Last Tango in Paris," "The Passenger") are summoned to Paris, which leads to one of the most surreal and mysterious tales in a career that was dominated by surrealism and mystery. Now if someone would just release a DVD/Blu-ray version of Rivette's most accessible and populkar film, the playful, mysterious and shape-shifting 1974 "Céline et Julie vont en bateau: Phantom Ladies Over Paris" ("Celine and Julie Go Boating") — along with the "Godfather," "Citizen Kane," "El Topo" and "The Searchers," for me one of the greatest films of all time — cineastes would be in seventh heaven. Extras on the "Jacques Rivette Collection" include "Scenes from a Parallel Life: Jacques Rivette Remembers," an archive interview with the director, in which he discusses "Duelle (une quarantaine)," "Noroît (une vengeance)" and "Merry-Go-Round"; "Remembering Duelle": Bulle Ogier and Hermine Karagheuz recollect their work on the 1976 feature; interview with critic Jonathan Rosenbaum, who reported from the sets of both "Duelle" and "Noroît"; and an exclusive perfect-bound book containing superb writing on the films by Mary M. Wiles, Brad Stevens and Nick Pinkerton plus a reprint of four on-set reports from "Duelle" and "Noroît." Distributed by MVD Entertainment.

With the Palme d'Or-winning drama "Dheepan" (2015), which deftly combines seemingly disparate genres, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard cemented his status as one of the titans of contemporary world cinema. In an arresting performance, the nonprofessional photo for Dheepan actor Antonythasan Jesuthasan (himself a former child soldier) stars as a Tamil fighter who, along with a woman and child posing as his wife and daughter, flees war-torn Sri Lanka only to land in a Paris suburb riddled with drugs. As the makeshift family embarks on a new life, Dheepan settles into an intimate social-realist mode, before tightening, gradually and organically, into a dynamic turf-war thriller, as well as an unsettling study of the psychological aftereffects of combat. Searing and sensitive, Audiard's film is a unique depiction of the refugee experience as a continuous crisis of identity. On DVD and Blu-ray from a high-definition digital master, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection … "Cops vs Thugs" (1975), Considered by many to be director Kinji Fukasaku's greatest single-film achievement in the yakuza genre, was made at the height of popularity of Toei Studios' jitsuroku boom: realistic, modern crime movies based on true stories taken from photo for Cops vs Thugs contemporary headlines. Returning to the screen after completing their "Battles Without Honor and Humanity" series together, Fukasaku joined forces once again with screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara, composer Toshiaki Tsushima and star Bunta Sugawara to create one of the crowning achievements of his career, and a hard-boiled classic which is still ranked as one of the best Japanese films of the 1970s. It's 1963 in the southern Japanese city of Kurashima, and tough-as-nails detective Kuno (Sugawara) oversees a detente between the warring Kawade and Ohara gangs. Best friends with Ohara lieutenant Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata), he understands that there are no clear lines in the underworld, and that everything is colored a different shade of gray. But when random violence interrupts the peace and an ambitious, by-the-books lieutenant (Tatsuo Umemiya) comes to town, Kuno's fragile alliance begins to crumble. Greedy bosses and politicians alike seize the opportunity to wipe out their enemies, and Kuno faces the painful choice of pledging allegiance to his badge and keeping a promise to his brother. Echoing the great crime films of Sidney Lumet and Jean-Pierre Melville, in Fukasaku's world, there's no honor among thieves or lawmen alike, and the only thing that matters is personal honor and duty among friends. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo with a high definition digital transfer and original uncompressed mono audio. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to DVD:

"Outsiders: Season Two<" (2017) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes. A struggle for power and control continues in the rugged hills of Appalachia as the battle between the clan and the town escalates with the Farrells becoming more isolated than ever before. The uneasy truce that had previously existed between the townspeople and the family tribe came to an abrupt end when Big Coal headed up the mountain and the standoff continues to have repercussions. Also available today is "Outsiders: Seasons One and Two" (2016-17), an eight-disc set with all 26 episodes. From Sony.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba is a martial arts "manimal" in the ultra-70's, 100% bizarre mixture of horror, action and sci-fi that is "Wolf Guy" (1975 – Japan), one of the rarest and most sought-after cult films produced by Japan's Toei Studio. Based on a manga by Kazumasa Hirai (creator of "8 Man"), and never before released outside of Japan, it's a genre film classic waiting to be discovered and a completely unclassifiable trip into phantasmagoric funk. Chiba stars as Akira Inugami, the only survivor of a clan of photo for Wolf Guy ancient werewolves who relies on his supernatural powers to solve mysterious crimes. After a series of bloody killings perpetrated by an unseen force, Inugami uncovers a conspiracy involving a murdered cabaret singer, corrupt politicians, and a plot by the J-CIA to harvest his blood in order to steal his lycanthropic powers. At the same time, Inugami also discovers the truth behind his family heritage, and that he may not be the last of his kind. Directed by B-movie genius Kazuhiko Yamaguchi ("Sister Streetfighter," "Wandering Ginza Butterfly," "Karate Bear Fighter"), "Wolf Guy" truly is one-of-a-kind, with Chiba in full effect as the part-man, part-wolf, all-karate action hero. Violence, action, nudity, real surgical footage, and a psychedelic musical score all work together to create an unforgettable trip to the heights of Japanese cinematic weirdness. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo in a high Definition digital transfer with original uncompressed mono audio. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment … In the inspiring tale "American Wrestler: The Wizard" (2016), starring Jon Voight, William Fichtner, Ali Afshar and George Kosturos, 17-year-old Ali Jahani comes to live with his cynical uncle in a California town. Because Ali is different, he’s met by a very unwelcoming community, and faces a mountain of photo for The High Schooler's Guide to College Parties adversity everywhere he turns. Spurned by everybody and determined to fit in, Ali signs up for his high school’s losing wrestling team. With the hope of changing the way people perceive him, Ali must meet a number of challenges, not the least of which is to become a hero. Bbased on true events. From Warner … In "The High Schooler's Guide to College Parties" (2015), starring Nate Rubin, Kris Kiley, Brina Palencia, Rebekah Kennedy and Juan Felipe Barrientos, high schooler Shaquille has grown up below the radar and believes that his ticket to a better life lies in throwing a college party — he wants to raise himself up from "loser" status so he can get into a good college and fraternity. But all hell breaks loose as Shaq tries to fix the party — and his future. From FilmRise/MVD Visual … "XX" (2017) is a new all-female helmed horror anthology featuring four dark tales written and directed by fiercely talented women: Annie Clark ("St. Vincent") rocks her directorial debut with "The Birthday Party"; Karyn Kusama ("The Invitation," "Girl Fight") exorcises "Her Only Living Son"; Roxanne Benjamin ("Southbound" screams "Don't Fall"; and Jovanka Vuckovic ("The Captured Bird") dares to open "The Box." Award-winning animator Sofia Carrillo ("La Casa Triste") wraps together four suspenseful stories of terror featuring a cast including Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool and Christina Kirk. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label … photo for XX "VIXEN: The Movie" (2017) is an animated feature that combines the first two seasons of the CW Seed digital series into a single uniform story. Originally from Africa, Mari McCabe grew up an orphan after her parents were killed by local greed, corruption and wanton violence. But Mari refuses to succumb to the terrors surrounding her. Inheriting her family's Tantu Totem, Mari can access the powers of animals – anything from the strength of a gorilla to the speed of a cheetah. As Vixen, she fights valiantly to protect the world from threats like those that claimed her family.On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Warner … In "Illicit" (2017), starring David Ramsey, Vivica A. Fox, McKinley Freeman and Dean Cain, a well-liked parole officer and a beautiful former model enjoy a successful marriage until she gets the itch to go back to work. As the wife forms an “unlikely friendship” with an emerging photographer, the husband is dealing with a parolee who proves to be more than he bargained for. From Breaking Glass Pictures … In "Voodoo Black Exorcist" (1974 – Spain), starring Aldo Sambrell, Fernando Sanchez and Eva León, te mummy of a Caribbean voodoo priest stalks the passengers of a South Seas ocean liner in a sexy, quirky, ’70s Euro horror-thriller from director Manuel Caño. In a new 2K scan from a rare 35mm archival print. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from The Film Detective.

Foreign:

"On the Road, Somewhere (Algun Lugar)" (2015 — Dominican Republic) follows three high-school best friends, Oliver (Arnold Martínez), Moises (Javier Grullón), and Hemingway (Victor Alfonso), on a summer road-trip through the Dominican Republic — their last together before college. Along the way, the car breaks down frequently, leaving the three boys stranded with nearly every character under the Dominican sun: a Haitian hitchhiker, a famous photographer and an intriguing artist. And when these strangers trigger a series of adventures unexpectedly changing their travel plans, their celebratory journey may well become a final farewell. From IndiePix Films.

For the Family:

"Welcome to the Loud House: Season 1, Volume 1" (2016) is a two-disc set that contains the first 13 episodes of the first season of the Nickelodeon series that introduces Lincoln Loud, an 11-year old boy who is the middle child of 10 sisters. The series follows Lincoln and his sisters for an inside look at what it takes to survive growing up in a huge family. Lincoln remains the man with the plan to stay one step ahead of the chaos, but whether or not it works is where the adventures begin. Inspired by creator and executive producer Chris Savino's ("Rocko's Modern Life," "The Powerpuff Girls") life growing up in a family of 10 kids. From Paramount … photo for Rock Dog< In "Rock Dog" (2016), when a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events. With the voices of J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black and Kenan Thompson. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate … When duty calls again hero dog Max returns to action in "Max 2: White House Hero" (2017), starring Zane Austin, Francesca Capaldi, Carrie Genzel and Lochlyn Munro. His new assignment brings Max to Washington, D.C. to serve on the U.S. president's Secret Service detail. When a foreign leader arrives with his precocious daughter Alex, tensions arise between both countries. First Son TJ, along with Max and Alex, uncover a dangerous plot that puts both kids and both nations in jeopardy. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Warner … photo for My Life as a Zucchini Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, "My Life as a Zucchini" (2016 — French) is a delightful and touching tale about the uplifting power of friendship in the face of adversity. After losing his mother, a young boy is sent to a foster home with other orphans his age where he begins to learn the meaning of trust and true love. Though he struggles to find his place at first, with the help of his new friends, Zucchini learns to trust and love again as he searches for a new family of his own. With a band of unforgettable characters, "My Life as a Zucchini" stands as a testament to the resilience of the human heart. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal … Class is back in session at Super Hero High in "DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games" (2017), the second feature in the new, animated universe celebrating young girls. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee and Katana square off against Korugar Academy in the Intergalactic Games, but trouble is in the air as Lena Luthor takes advantage of the gathering of the Supers to enact her villainous plan. It’s up to the DC Super Hero Girls to fight the forces of evil and protect their
school. From Warner.

Special Interest:

Adored by many fans and audiences, Heath Ledger was one of Hollywood's most gifted young actors. Starring in break-out hits like "Brokeback Mountain" and "The Dark Knight," Ledger quickly rose to fame before his tragic and unexpected death at the age of 28. The documentary "I Am Heath Ledger" (2017) recounts his remarkable acting career, from his early days performing in Australia to his rapid rise in the Hollywood spotlight. The documentary also showcases footage captured through the lens of Ledger's own camera, offering a unique look into his personal life. In addition to never before seen footage, photo for I Am Heath Ledger "I Am Heath Ledger" features a wide range of interviews, from close friends and family members to industry colleagues including directors Ang Lee and Catherine Hardwicke; actors Naomi Watts, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, and Emile Hirsch; musicians Ben Harper, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), N'fa, and Grace Woodroofe; and the Ledger family. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Virgil Films … "Shaquille O’Neal Presents All-Star Comedy Jam: Live from Sin City" (2017) is hosted by stand-up entertainer Lavell Crawford; the live recording presents some of the hottest comedians around, including K-Dubb, Cocoa Brown, Donnell Rawlings and Earthquake. From Codeblack Films/Lionsgate … There's three important documentaries this week from First Run Features: "Unlocking the Cage" (2016) by Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise as he tries to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. Arguing that cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants deserve to be treated as sentient, self-aware and autonomous beings, Steve and his legal team are making history by fighting to transform a chimpanzee from a "thing" with no photo for All Governments Lie rights to a "person" with limited legal protections. This riveting film captures a monumental shift in our culture as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Steve's impassioned arguments … Independent journalists like Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Matt Taibbi are changing the face of journalism, providing investigative, adversarial alternatives to mainstream, corporate news outlets. "All Governments Lie" (2016) follows them as they expose government and corporate deception — just as the ground-breaking independent journalist I.F. Stone did decades ago … In the "The Future of Work and Death" (2016), worldwide experts in the fields of futurology, anthropology, neuroscience and philosophy consider the impact of technological advances on the two certainties of human life: work and death. Charting human developments from early man, past the Industrial Revolution, to the digital age and beyond, this documentary looks at the astonishing exponential rate at which mankind creates technologies to ease the process of living. As we embark on the next phase of our "advancement," with automation and artificial intelligence driving the transformation from man to machine, the film gives a shockingly realistic look into the future of human life.

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on May 23, 2017 No Responses »
May 162017
 

From the Big Screen:

"Resident Evil: The Final Chapter," "xXx: Return of Xander Cage" and "The Space Between Us."For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Highlights:

"Good Morning" (1959) is a lighthearted take on director Yasujiro Ozu's perennial theme of the challenges of intergenerational relationships, "Good Morning (Ohayo)" tells the story of two young boys who stop speaking as an act of resistance after their parents photo for Good Morning refuse to buy a television set. Ozu weaves a wealth of subtle gags through a family portrait as rich as those of his dramatic films, mocking the foibles of the adult world through the eyes of his childish protagonists. Shot in stunning Technicolor and set in a suburb of Tokyo where housewives gossip about the neighbors' new washing machine and unemployed men look for work as door-to-door salesmen, this charming comedy reworks Ozu's own silent classic "I Was Born, But …" to gently satirize consumerism in postwar Japan. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc with a new 4K digital restoration from Shochiku Co., with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection.

Shout! Factory has a pair of ratty releases making Blu-ray debuts this week: In "Willard" (1971), starring Bruce Davison, Elsa Lanchester and Ernest Borgnine, Willard Stiles (Davison) is a young man with a big problem. He lives alone in a crumbling house with his ailing mother. His boss, Al Martin is a vulgar, cruel man who stole his photo for business from Willard’s father and is now working Willard to death at his factory job. Lonely, depressed and isolated, Willard is on the verge of a breakdown when he makes a new friend: Ben, one of the many rats who inhabit his dilapidated home. Not only can Willard communicate with the rodent, but he can actually command him to do his bidding. Using Ben and his furry friends as instruments of retaliation, Willard commands his pets to carry out his vengeance. New 4K scan of the original camera negative. "Ben" (1972), starring Lee Montgomery, Joseph Campanella, Arthur O'Connell, Rosemary Murphy and Meredith Baxter, is a sequel to "Willard." When detective sergeant Cliff Kirtland (Campanella) investigates the horrifying murder of Willard Stiles by a band of rats, he discovers that the rats are now an organized army, and he must destroy the murderous rodents before it is too late. But the rats, led by Ben, the only survivor of the Willard attack, take to the challenge with full force and little fear. New HD transfer of the best surviving archive print.

After shooting cult favorites "Flesh for Frankenstein" and "Blood for Dracula" in Europe, photo for The Climber Joe Dallesandro spent much of the 70s making movies on the continent. In France, he worked with auteurs like Louis Malle and Walerian Borowczyk, and in Italy he starred in all manner of genre fare from poliziotteschi ("Savage Three," "Season for Assassins") to nunsploitation ("Killer Nun"). "The Climber" (1975) follows in the tradition of gangster classics such as "The Public Enemy" and "Scarface" as it charts the rise and inevitable fall of small-time smuggler Aldo (Dallesandro). Beaten and abandoned by the local gang boss after he tries to skim off some profits for himself, Aldo forms his own group of misfits in order to exact revenge… . On Blu-ray/DVD Combo with new 4K restoration of the film from the original negative, the original Italian soundtrack in uncompressed PCM mono with optional and alternative English-language soundtrack. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment.

From TV to DVD:

"Ice: Season One" (2016-17) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of the DIRECTV high-impact crime series starring Jeremy Sisto, Cam Gigandet, Donald Sutherland, Ray Winstone. "Ice" follows the prestigious diamond-dealing Green Family, as they plunge into the high-stakes underbelly of the Los Angeles diamond trade. From Entertainment One.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "A Mermaid's Tale" (2017), starring Jerry O'Connell, Barry Bostwick, Caitlin Carmichael and Nancy Stafford, a young girl is forced to move with her father to a small seaside town, where she struggles to fit in and make new friends. One day she discovers a secluded cove where she befriends a mysterious mermaid, and together they uncover a secret that could help save the town and heal an age-old feud between humans and sea people. From Lionsgate … "Extortion" (2017), starring Eion Bailey, photo for The Outcasts Barkhad Abdi, Bethany Joy Lenz and Danny Glover, a family vacationing at a Caribbean resort takes a carefree boat ride that turns tragic when they’re stranded on an island. Near death, they’re rescued by a local fisherman, who demands a million dollars, forcing the father to find his dying wife and son on an unknown island before their time runs out. From Lionsgate … In "The Outcasts" (2017), starring Victoria Justice, Eden Sher, Ashley Rickards, Peyton List and Avan Jogia, Mindy and Jodi are two world-class high school geeks who have been tormented for years by Whitney, the most popular girl in school, and Mackenzie, her second in command. When Jodi becomes the target of Whitney's worst prank yet — embarrassing her at a party in front of a potential love interest — the two outcasts conspire to unite the other nerds and put the bully clique in their place. From Monarch Home Entertainment.

On the Indie Front:

In "Country Crush" (2016), starring Madeline Merlo, Munro Chambers and Sophie Tweed-Simmons, follows city girl Nancy Taylor (newcomer Merlo) who meets Charlie Bishop (Chambers) on her way to a party in the country. He returns with her to New York City where her music career is beginning to flourish, and despite the reservations of her best friend Ainsley, their romance continues. From Shout! Factory … In "Lovesong" (2016), starring Riley Keough, Jena Malone and Cary Joji Fukunaga, Sarah (Keough), neglected by her husband, embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy (Malone). Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding.From Strand Releasing.

For the Family:

"Digimon Adventure Tri. – Reunion" (2015 — Japan) is Digimon’s first feature-length movie since 2000; it reunites the characters and original cast from the classic series and picks up where the beloved Digimon adventure 2002 series ended. It's been six years since that summer adventure when Tai (now in high school) and the rest of the photo for Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition“DigiDestined” crossed over to the Digital World, and nearly three years since the frenzied final battles between warring factions. With the gate to the Digital World closed, time continues to pass, until the adventure “digi-volves” once again. On DVD, Blu-ray from Shout! Factory … "Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition" is a re-release of the 2009 DC Universe Original Movies feature with the voices of Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Virginia Madsen, David McCallum, Marg Helgenberger, Oliver Platt and Vicki Lewis. From Warner … "Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies" (2017) is a new collection featuring five heroic "tails." Whether they're diving into a comic book, going on a treasure hunt or helping to keep the streets safe, the Bubble Guppies prove that being a hero is a lot more than just fighting crime. From Nickelodeon/Paramount.

Special Interest:

"Special Blood" (2016) is an Award-winning documentary that chronicles the lives of four patients living with the rare and life-threatening blood disease Hereditary Angioedema (HAE). Failed by a healthcare system that is largely ignorant of their existence, patients Ava, Noah, Kelsie, and Lora join their voices together to conquer adversity and create change. Natalie Metzger, a filmmaker as well as an HAE patient herself, directed and produced the film. The film will be released in conjunction with the fifth national HAE Day. May 16 has been an important day of awareness for the HAE community ever since the US Congress signed a resolution in 2012 to make May 16 national HAE Day, now celebrated internationally. Hereditary Angioedema (HAE) is a rare genetic disease that causes unpredictable attacks of extreme swelling. Attacks can happen anywhere in the body and range from inconvenient hand swelling to grotesque facial distortion to throat swelling that can lead to suffocation and death. HAE is very rare, only affecting 1 in 50,000 people. Because of its rarity, many healthcare professionals have never heard of it, causing patients to often be misdiagnosed or treated incorrectly, sometimes even having unnecessary surgeries. In America, it takes nine years on average for an HAE patient to get diagnosed; that is almost a decade of not knowing what is wrong and of not having proper treatment. The delay in diagnosis is appalling, but more troubling is that six to ten patients still die every year from HAE, despite the recent development of life-saving medication. Many of these deaths are a result of ignorance about the disease or lack of access to medication. Some deaths even happen within a hospital setting, where the patient could have easily been saved. From Random Media … Eagle Rock Entertainment will photo for he Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Showsrelease on May 19 two volumes of "The Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Shows," bringing together some of Frank Sinatra’s finest performances on television and in concert. Vol. 1 combines his first two Timex TV shows from the late ‘50s. The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: First broadcast by ABC on October 19, 1959. This was the first of four Timex-sponsored television specials that Sinatra hosted. It’s a fun and energetic show that captures Frank Sinatra at the top of his game. Guests include Dean Martin, Mitzi Gaynor and Bing Crosby, who join forces for an opening rendition of “High Hopes” and later Jimmy Durante makes a surprise appearance. An Afternoon With Frank Sinatra: First broadcast by ABC on December 13, 1959, this was the second of Sinatra’s four Timex television specials. The show includes guest appearances from Peter Lawford, Hermione Gingold, The Hi-Lo’s, Red Norvo’s jazz combo, dancer Juliet Prowse and the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. Sinatra sings such hits as “I’ve Got The World On A String,” "I'll Never Smile Again" and duets on "Can't We Be Friends" with Ella. Vol. 2 combines his two final Timex TV shows from 1960. To the Ladies: First broadcast by ABC on February 15, 1960, this show surrounded Frank Sinatra with a host of wonderful female performers for his third Timex-sponsored television special. It’s a mix of comedy, opera, dancing and great songs. Guests include Lena Horne, Mary Costa, Barbara Heller, Juliet Prowse and special guest star Eleanor Roosevelt. Welcome Home Elvis: First broadcast by ABC on May 12, 1960, this was Sinatra’s fourth and final Timex special. It marked Elvis Presley’s first TV appearance after coming home from military service. Elvis performs “Fame And Fortune” and “Stuck On You” then Presley and Sinatra join forces on great renditions of “Witchcraft” and “Love Me Tender.” Joining in the fun is Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

 Posted by on May 16, 2017 No Responses »
May 012017
 

From the Big Screen:

"I Am Not Your Negro," "The Salesman," "A Dog’s Purpose," "The Comedian" and "Rings."

This Week's Highlights:

If any film can be said to represent a decade, then "Saturday Night Fever" has to be at the top of the list — no other film so caught the era of disco as this 1977 outing photo for Saturday Night Feverfrom director John Badham and star John Travolta. Paramount has just released a 40th Anniversary Blu-ray edition that was fine-tuned by Badham, who sat down with Paramount in 2016 to restore the film in 4K using the original negative and to update the surround sound mix. During this process he added scenes to the theatrical R-rated version that round out character and plot, making this new Director's Cut the definitive representation of his original vision. The film co-stars Karen Lynn Gorney, Barry Miller, Joseph Cali, Paul Pape, Donna Pescow, Bruce Ornstein and Julie Bovasso. Extras include "‘70s Discopedia," "Catching the Fever," "Back to Bay Ridge," "Dance Like Travolta with John Cassese," "Fever Challenge!", deleted scene, the theatrical version in high definition with commentary by Badham. The film will also be available on DVD.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

In "The Shadow Effect" (2017), starring Cam Gigandet, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Brit Shaw and Michael Biehn, researcher Dr. Reese (Rhys Meyers), obsessed with gene regeneration and fascinated by the phenomenon of the waking dream, explores the psyche of Gabriel Howarth (Gigandet), a young man whose life is turned upside down when his violent photo for MindGamers dreams begin to blend with reality. When Gabriel's dreams mirror political assassinations, he must race against the clock to not only save himself and his wife Brinn (Shaw), but stop an experimental government program. From Momentum Pictures … In "MindGamers" (2015 – Austria), starring Tom Payne, Sam Neill, Dominique Tipper and Oliver Stark, a group of brilliant young students create a wireless neural network, linking multiple minds via a quantum computer. Capable of transferring motor skills from one brain to another, they have brought into existence the first shareware for human motor skills. They freely spread this technology, believing it to be a first step towards a new equality and intellectual freedom. But they soon discover that they themselves are part of a much greater and more sinister experiment, as dark forces emerge that threaten to subvert this technology into a means of mass-control. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Universal … In "Tunnel" (2016 – South Korea), South Korean superstar Ha Jung-woo ("The Handmaiden") plays a car salesman fighting for survival inside a collapsed tunnel while rescue workers race against time to free him. With draining cell phone battery power and a rescue effort that might end before they locate him, days pass by without success, and people start to lose hope as the rescue operation becomes an ordeal when incompetence, the media and government interference slow down the process. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … "The Age of Shadows" (2016 — South Korea) is the first project from Warner Bros. Korea. The film takes place in 1920s Korea and Shanghai during the Japanese photo for Tunnel occupation. The stylistic espionage-thriller is based on real people and incidents surrounding the dramatic events that transpired between the Korean resistance and their occupiers. Lee Jung-chool, a Korean police captain in the Japanese police force, is given a special mission to infiltrate the armed resistance fighting for the independence of Korea, which is led by an old acquaintance of his, Kim Woo-jin. After an intel leak and the death of a resistance leader, pressure on Captain Lee to take down the resistance grows — but as he works deeper into their web, it becomes more unclear who is actually playing who and where true allegiances lie. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from CJ Entertainment … "Beyond the Gates" (2017), starring Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper and Barbara Crampton, is a creepy homage to 80s horror films and a love letter to the VHS Golden Age of home video. After their father's unexplained disappearance, two estranged brothers — responsible Gordon and reckless John — reunite to sift through the contents of his stubbornly anachronistic VHS rental store. Among the inventory, they find an old interactive VCR board game. Intrigued, the brothers pop in the tape … and soon discover that this video is no ordinary game, but a portal to a nightmarish alternate reality, one with deadly consequences for anyone who dares to press ‘play.’ On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from IFC Midnight/Scream Factory … "Gold" (2016), starring Matthew photo for The Resurrection of Gavin Stone McConaughey, Edgar Ramírez, Bryce Dallas Howard and Craig T. Nelson, is a tale about one man’s pursuit of the American dream — to discover gold. Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, who teams up with a similarly eager geologist, and they set off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. The film is inspired by a true story. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Dimension Films/Anchor Bay … In "The Resurrection of Gavin Stone" (2016), starring Brett Dalton, Neil Flynn, D.B. Sweeney and Shawn Michaels, Gavin Stone is a former child star whose hard-partying ways get him in trouble, forcing him to do 200 hours of community service at a church in his hometown. Gavin pretends to be a Christian to land the part of Jesus in the church's annual Passion Play and discovers that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal.

On the Indie Front:

In "Counting for Thunder" (2015), starring Phillip Irwin Cooper, Mariette Hartley, John Heard, Peter Stebbings and Alison Elliott, actor-director-writer Phillip Irwin Cooper, inspired by his own life experiences, tells a story of a son's return home to Alabama, where he is faced with caring for his ill mother (Hartley) and reconciling with his supportive father (Heard) while also coming out later in life and discovering romantic feelings for a childhood friend from a life he left behind. From Wolfe Video.

For the Family:

For a new generation of parents and kids, Paramount has released "Rugrats: Season 1 and Rugrats: Season 2" (1991-1993). A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do. Told from the perspective of a group of adventurous and imaginative toddlers, Rugrats transformed the most mundane activities into unforgettable adventures. Led by fearless leader Tommy photo for Rugrats: Season 1 and Rugrats: Season 2 Pickles, the gang can turn an ordinary trip to the park into a journey across the Sahara in search of water, a visit to the plant nursery into a jungle trek to find a cure for "jungle beaver," or a search for cookies into a prehistoric fantasy. Together, there's no adventure too big and no problem they can't solve … or at least nothing that a good nap won't help. "Rugrats: Season 1" ($14.99) contains 25 episodes on two discs; "Rugrats: Season 2" ($19.99) contains 51 photo for The Red Turtle episodes on four discs … Marking the much-anticipated return of Studio Ghibli, the masterfully animated fantasy film "The Red Turtle" (2016) tells the story of a man shipwrecked at sea who becomes stranded on a beautiful but desolate island. He learns to live in isolation, seemingly tormented in his efforts to escape the island by a giant red turtle. Miraculously, soon he comes upon a young woman, also lost at sea, and they create a family together. The film was an Academy Award-nominee for Best Animated Feature Film, and won both the Annie Award for Best Independent Animated Film and the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony.

Special Interest:

When art collector and preservationist Brian Greif decides to save an iconic work hailing from the world's most renowned street artist, it sets off an art world struggle chronicled photo for Saving Banksy in "Saving Banksy" (2016). The eponymous street artist originally painted the "Haight Street Rat" on the side of a building in San Francisco in 2010, in lieu of interviews for the premiere of the Banksy doc, "Exit Through the Gift Shop." Enter Greif, who spent months negotiating with the owners of the vandalized Red Victorian Bed and Breakfast to carefully remove 10 redwood siding planks, with every intention of preserving Banksy's work for the public. However, years pass before Greif is able to show the work to the public — no major museum will display it without proper authentication and greedy collectors and dealers simply want to sell or own it — for up to three quarters of a million dollars. From Candy Factory Films.

 Posted by on May 1, 2017 No Responses »
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