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


Apr 122014

photo for Lone Survivor Based on The New York Times best-selling true story of heroism, courage and survival, "Lone Survivor" tells the incredible tale of four Navy SEALs on Operation Red Wings, a covert mission to neutralize a high-level al-Qaeda operative deep in the mountains of Afghanistan. The four men must make an impossible moral decision in the mountains of Afghanistan that leads them into an enemy ambush. As the confront unthinkable odds, the SEALs must find reserves of strength and resilience to fight to the finish. Extras: "Bringing the Story to Light" behind-the-scenes featurette, "The Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings" profile of the real-life heroes. Blu-ray adds "Will of the Warrior" in-depth look at Marcus Luttrell, the real-life Navy SEAL who received the Navy Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in Operation Red Wings; "Recreating the Firefight" featurette; "Learning the Basics" SEAL training for the four leads; "The Pashtun Code of Life" featurette. Vitals: Director: Peter Berg. Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Eric Bana, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Ali Suliman, Alexander Ludwig, Yousuf Azami, Sammy Sheik. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Action-Drama-War, Box office gross: $125.069 million, Universal.

 Posted by on April 12, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 082014


JONNY QUEST: THE COMPLETE EIGHTIES ADVENTURES (1986-87) Jonny Quest, Hadji, Bandit, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon return for an all-new suite of super-adventures in this originally syndicated sequel series from the heyday of the animation awesome age. In this 13-Episode go round, plucky pre-teen tomboy Jessie Bradshaw breaks into the band of bros along with a new stoneman ally, Hardrok. The Quest plane gets a too-cool makeover as well, now capable of splitting off a hi-speed shuttle for one-man missions. But the more things change© the more Jonny and company still square off against weird menaces from the very edge of science! Giant Viking apes, prehistoric reptile clones, animated clay warriors are just some of the fantastic foes faced in this funtastic new series – not to mention the implacable, fiendish Dr. Zin. 2-Disc, 13-Episode Collection.

Welcome Back, Warner Bros. (BACK IN PRINT)

TREASURE ISLAND (1934) Victor Fleming's classic adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson beloved adventure tale defines the gold standard of Long John Silvers with Wallace Beery's amazing performance as the one-legged pirate. Lionel Barrymore's Billy Bones raises the bar plenty high in the first act, and MGM's A-team of Lewis Stone, Otto Kruger, and Nigel Bruce are on hand to help young Jim Hawkins (Jackie Cooper) navigate the treacherous waters to treasure and maturity.

CAGED (1950) While working on the story that would give birth to "Caged," writer Virginia Kellogg ("White Heat") reportedly went undercover inside a women's prison in her quest for truth. What emerged was one of the most noted – and notorious – pictures of the women-behind-bars sub-genre. While its over-the-top mise-en-scene and sly Sapphic references may place the picture in "camp" territory," Eleanor Parker's and Hope Emerson's performances elevate "Caged" from a cinema curio to a movie must-see. When 19-year-old Marie Allen (Parker) arrives at a women's prison already pregnant, she finds herself at the center of a war for her soul waged between a reform minded warden (Agnes Moorehead) and a sadistic matron (Emerson).

BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1979) Michael Caine and Sally Field head a cast of all-stars in Irwin Allen's action-packed sequel that picks up where "The Poseidon Adventure" left off. Rival teams of salvage crew race through the capsized superliner to claim a secret fortune before the craft finally sinks to her watery grave. One crew finds a cluster of survivors, while another, headed by the sinister Dr. Stefan Svevo (Telly Savalas) hunts for a deadly secret. (Never trust Savalas aboard a cruise ship!) 16×9 Widescreen.

THE SOULER OPPOSITE (1998) Christopher Meloni stars in this indie romance of mismatched lovers, one a struggling stand-up (Meloni), the other a political idealist (Janel Moloney). He's an overgrown adolescent getting by on a glib, crass, and sexist routinge, while she's an old soul that's ten years younger and will tear his whole world apart. (But in a good way. Really.) A mature look love in its early bloom for a late bloomer. Written and directed by Bill Kalmenson, also starring Timothy Busfield. 16×9 Widescreen.

Re-Paramount Time (BACK IN PRINT) 

LADY JANE (1986) Helena Bonham Carter and Cary Elwes star in this historical epic detailing the events that led to Lady Jane Grey's infamous nine day reign. Carter's control and range astonishes, given her very apparent youth. 16×9 Widescreen.

BRAIN DONORS (1992) The comedic tropes and stylings of the Marx Brothers receive a nineties era makeover in this manic comedy. John Turturro, Bob Nelson and Mel Smith play a lawyer, a cabbie and a handyman who end up in charge of a ballet company. 16×9 Widescreen.

THE ADVENTURES OF SEBASTIAN COLE (1998) Adrian Grenier and Clark Gregg star in this art-house coming-of-age tale about an iconoclastic teen and his clash with unconvention. Clark Gregg's heartfelt and hysterical turn as the lad's transgender step-dad is one for the ages. 16×9 Widescreen.

ANGELA'S ASHES (1999) Frank McCourt's debasing memoir of life on the streets of New York and Limerick. Alan Parker directs Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle. 16×9 Widescreen.

BLOODY SUNDAY (2003) Director Paul Greengrass bring his dramatic verite style to bear on this look at one of the most tragic moments in the history of the troubles – one that led to the shooting of 26 civil rights marchers by police in Northern Ireland. James Nesbitt stars. 16×9 Widescreen.

 Posted by on April 8, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 082014

photo for Grudge Match Though it must have looked good on paper, the idea for this senior citizen's version of "The Fighter" — let's pit "Raging Bull's" Robert De Niro against "Rocky's" Sylvester Stallone in a boxing match 30 years down the road from their prime — gets bogged down with cliched plot lines, sentimental shtick, and the general unbelievability of seeing 70-year-old De Niro facing off against an almost-68 Stallone in the ring. Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (De Niro) and Henry "Razor" Sharp (Stallone) were two local Pittsburgh fighters with a fierce rivalry; each had scored a victory against the other. But, in 1983, on the eve of their decisive third match, Razor suddenly announced his retirement, ending their careers. Thirty years later, a wannabe boxing promoter (Kevin Hart) persuades them to re-enter the ring and settle the score once and for all — with a lot of money riding on the match. There's plenty of stale "old-man" jokes (many of the predictable punchlines are uttered by grumpy-old-man Alan Arkin, who's Stallone's trainer), a cardboard characterization by De Niro as a skirt-chasing senior, and lifeless directing by Peter Segal, whose portfolio includes "Tommy Boy," "My Fellow Americans," "Nutty Professor II – The Klumps," "Anger Management," "50 First Dates," the remake of "The Longest Yard" and "Get Smart." The stars of the film: a still-radiant Kim Basinger as Stallone's love interest, the de-aging technology used in the scenes with De Niro and Stallone as younger boxers, and Stallone's vintage white mustang. Extras: Deleted scenes. Blu-ray adds "The Bull & The Stallion," "In the Ring With Kevin Hart," "Ringside With Tyson & Holyfield," "Blow for Blow With Larry Holmes," "Kevin Hart Unedited," alternate opening, alternate endings with an introduction by Peter Segal. Vitals: Director: Peter Segal. Stars: Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Hart, Alan Arkin, Kim Basinger. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 113 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $29.342 million, Warner. 2 stars

 Posted by on April 8, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 082014

Peter Jackson's second in his Hobbit film trilogy continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. There's lots of action, great special effects and enough mystical goings-on to thrill photo for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug J.R.R. Tolkien fans and aficionados of this genre. Like many other movie franchises taken from fantasy books, you need to be primed for the story line and can't jump in mid-stream, so if you're inclined to grab hold of this escapist entertainment, make sure you take a look at Jackson's previous "Ring" and "Hobbit" work. I understand that Jackson really loves this stuff, but I wish he would go back to making small films; his quest for the gold has all but obscured the fine directing hand that gave us the masterpieces "Dead Alive" (1992) and "Heavenly Creatures" (1994). Available as a Limited Collector's Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack (includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S., $105.43), in a 3D Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack, a Blu-ray/DVD Combo pack and two-disc DVD. Extras: "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: In the Company of the Hobbit" and "Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: All in a Day's Work" behind-the-scenes featurette; Peter Jackson production videos; "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2" locations featurette; Ed Sheeran "I See Fire" music video. Vitals: Director: Peter Jackson. Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Andy Serkis, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood, Hugo Weaving, Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O'Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Lawrence Makoare. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 161 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $255.576 million, Warner. 3stars

 Posted by on April 8, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 062014

From the Big Screen:

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Grudge Match" and "August: Osage County." For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

This Week's Best Bets:

The Cohen Film Collection and the British Film Institute teamed up to restore "Black Jack" (1979), a little-seen classic from social-realist master Ken Loach and a real gem of a film. "Black Jack," based on Leon Garfield's novel for children, is a dark and complex photo for Black Jack: 35th Anniversary Edition adventure film set in brutal 18th century England — 1750 to be exact. After French thief and ruffian Black Jack (Jean Franval) escapes the hangman's noose after being convicted of murder, he kidnaps young Tolly (Stephen Hirst) and forces him to accompany him in his escape. Along the way they save a young girl, Belle (Louise Cooper), who is being transported by a pair of unscrupulous doctors to a madhouse because her wealthy parents don't want her to get in the way of their older daughter's marriage; join up with a traveling fair; get involved in murder and blackmail; and solve a nefarious crime. Shot primarily in 16mm and on a modest budget on location in Yorkshire by future Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges with a young cast of non professionals — chosen by Loach for their authentic northern accents — the film is a naturalistic tour-de-force and, like most of Loach's later films, deals with ordinary people and their dilemmas. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

"The 400 Blows" (1959) is the unforgettable debut feature by Francois Truffaut; it's a wrenchingly personal coming-of-age story that introduced the character that would become the director's lifelong cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Leaud, in one of the screen's great child performances). With the utmost sensitivity, "The 400 Blows" dramatizes the trials of Truffaut's own difficult childhood, characterized by aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime. The film marks its maker's official transition from influential critic to one of Europe's most brilliant auteurs. In a high-definition digital restoration, in a Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition (with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray) from The Criterion Collection.

"I Am Divine" (2013) by award-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Schwartz ("Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story") is a superb documentary that chronicles the life and times of Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, an overweight, teased Baltimore youth who rose to prominence as a photo for I Am Divine "drag" superstar in a series of John Waters' films and on-stage performances in major cities around the world. Milstead — with the help of Waters and other friends — reinvented himself as Divine, using his plus-size to defy the status quo of body image, gender identity, sexuality, and preconceived notions of beauty. He took the world by storm in Waters' "Pink Flamingos," "Lust in the Dust" and "Hairspray" with a completely committed in-your-face style that blurred the line between performer and personality; he was the ultimate outsider turned underground royalty. In addition to its complete coverage of Divine's rise to fame, the film is also a cultural artifact that shines a light on the underground film and pop culture scene of the late-1960s and 1970s. Schwartz has compiled great clips from Divine's movies and stage appearances, as well as interviews with many key figures from Divine's life, including Waters, co-stars Ricki Lake, Tab Hunter and Mink Stole, and his mother. On DVD from Wolfe Video.

For sheer fun check out "Nurse" (2013), a blood-infused black comedy-thriller about a split-personality nurse, Abby Russell (Paz de la Huerta), who lovingly attends to the patients at All Saints Memorial Hospital during the day but, at night, prowls nightclubs to lure photo for Nurse unfaithful married men into dangerous liaisons so she can kill them. Abby's two lives are kept separate until she meets and falls for Danni (Katrina Bowden), a young, sensitive nurse, who has just joined the hospital's staff. When Danni spurns her amorous advances, Abby becomes obsessed with the younger woman and she goes on a rampage of terror that unleashes a bloodbath in the hospital's wards. Great gore effects and a wonderfully off-kilter performance by de la Huerta. Co-stars Corbin Bleu and Judd Nelson. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Lionsgate.

I was really looking forward to "Snake and Mongoo$e" (2013), a dramatization of the lives of Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen, a pair of Southern California drag racers who, beginning in the 1960s and through the 1970s, helped legitimize the sport by merchandising their drag racing rivalry, primarily by swinging a sponsorship by Mattel Hot Wheels. Unfortunately the film, which intersperses real drag-racing footage with vignettes from the men's lives, comes off as a made-for-TV movie, with weak acting by the leads, sluggish and leaden scenes, and, at times, inane and cliche dialogue (in one scene, when McEwen tells his head mechanic that he wishes that his dad, who died as a test pilot when he was a baby, could see him racing, the mechanic replies: "That sure does explain … your craving for speed"). Still, for car buffs, it has enough fast cars, racing scenes and sense of history to make it an enjoyable ride. Stars Jesse Williams, Richard Blake, Ashley Hinshaw, Kim Shaw, Fred Dryer, Ian Ziering, Tim Blake Nelson and Noah Wyle. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay.

From TV to DVD:

"Holliston: The Complete Second Season" (2013) is a single disc set with 10 episodes of the FEARnet series about two down and out aspiring filmmakers who struggle with life, career, photo for Mayberry R.F.D.: The Complete First Season and the opposite sex as they attempt to make it out of their small New England town. $19.98 on Blu-ray Disc from Image Entertainment … "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax" (2014) is the tale of Lizzie Borden,a young American woman accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an ax in 1892, and whose subsequent trial fed into America's obsession with the scandalous and sordid. Stars Christina Ricci, Billy Campbell, Clea DuVall and Gregg Henry. From Sony … "Mayberry R.F.D.: The Complete First Season" (1968-69): The classic continuation of "The Andy Griffith Show" comes to DVD for the very first time in a four-disc set with 26 episodes, $29.98. Ken Berry stars as widowed farmer Sam Jones, who's raising his son Mike with the help of their outspoken, headstrong, and lovable housekeeper Aunt Bee. Add to the mix Sam's girlfriend Millie, good-natured Goober, County Clerk Howard and fix-it man Emmett, and you've got a slice of American small-town life. On DVD from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

Filmed over the course of five years, Michael Winterbottom's "Everyday" (2012) is a portrait of a family trying to hold itself together despite the harsh passage of time. After being found guilty of drug smuggling, patriarch Ian is sent to prison, leaving his wife to care for their four children alone. Offered only occasional visits, each member of Ian's family develops a different relationship with him, as their lives take their own paths without the guidance of a father and husband. Stars John Simm, Shirley Henderson, real-life siblings Shaun, Katrina, Stephanie and Robert Kirk. From IFC Films … In "Bad Ass 2: Bad Asses" (2014), starring Danny Trejo, Danny Glover, Loni Love, Jonathan Lipnicki and Andrew Divoff, Vietnam vet Frank Vega (Trejo) runs an East L.A. community center where he trains young boxers photo for Everydayto survive in and out of the ring. But when his prize student falls in with the wrong crowd and turns up dead, Frank teams up with his pal Bernie (Glover) to take matters into their own fists and prove that justice never gets old. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Fox … "Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones" (2014) expands on the world created by the phenomenal horror franchise with an intense tale of black magic, superstition and possession set in a gritty urban environment. Stars Andrew Jacobs, Katie Featherston, Molly Ephraim and Richard Cabral. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Paramount … A sheriff and his deputy track down a serial killer in the old West in "Sheriff of Contention" (2010), starring Angelo Ortega, Miguel Corona, Wendy Wiltsey and Tom O'Mary. From Lionsgate … After a night of partying, four friends are kidnapped by a mysterious man, wake up in a basement, and realize they are part of something horrifying: A human breeding farm where they're to be milked, bred, and … in "Breeding Farm" (2010), starring Thomas Sender, Timo Fuchs and Manoush. From Troma/CAV Distributing … "Holy Ghost People" (2013) is a Southern Gothic thriller about a teenager searching for her lost sister in the Appalachian Mountains, where she encounters a snake-handling religious cult who risk their lives seeking salvation in the Holy Ghost. Stars Emma Greenwell, Brendan McCarthy, Joe Egender and Cameron Richardson. From XLrator Media … A group of English Civil War soldiers in the 17th century are captured by an alchemist and led photo for Sheriff of Contention into a vast mushroom field to find a treasure, where they fall victim to violent and nightmarish forces in "A Field in England" (2013), starring Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, Julian Barratt and Peter Ferdinando. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Drafthouse Films … After being released from prison for a crime he didn't commit, a young man discovers that the justice that awaits him on the streets is far worse than anything he had experienced behind bars and his older brother must do one last "delivery" to break them free from the criminal underworld in "513 Degrees" (2013), starring Malik Barnhardt, Avelawance Phillips, Danny Trejo, Tom Sizemore, Taryn Manning, James Russo, Steven Bauer, Bokeem Woodbine and Gary Dourdan. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Entertainment One … "Four Seasons" (2014), starring Robin Givens, Jazsmin Lewis, Keith Robinson and Laila Odom, is an urban comedy about a 35-year-old bachelor who is "almost" ready to settle down, but first wants to try the singles scene one last time, deciding to date a different woman each season and then choose the one he will commit to marrying. From Entertainment One … "Men, Money & Gold Diggers" (2014) is an urban comedy about a man who has it all: a great job, plenty of money, and a fiancee who he's ready to marry — but he won't sign a prenuptial agreement. Stars Omar Gooding, Patrice Fisher, Miguel A. Nunez Jr. and Vanessa Williams. From Entertainment One.

On the Indie Front:

"Black Coffee" (2014), starring Darrin Dewitt Henson, Gabrielle Dennis, Lamman Rucker, Christian Keyes, Erica Hubbard and Tiffany Hines, is a romcom about a young man who meets his soulmate after being fired from his own father's company and who has to contend with her ex-photo for Cavemen husband, who wants her back, and his gold-digging ex-girlfriend, who has an agenda of her own. From One Village Entertainment … In "Cavemen" (2013), an aspiring screenwriter living in Los Angeles' "hip" downtown artists' loft district grows tired of one-night-stands and searches for true love, turning to his nine-year-old nephew and his best friend for dating advice … but he quickly realizes that finding love in L.A. is more difficult than he thought. Stars Skylar Astin, Camilla Belle, Chad Michael Murray, Dayo Okeniyi, Kenny Wormald, Alexis Knapp. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … A bride-to-be, her sister and two quirky friends set off to Las Vegas for a one-night bachelorette party that turns out to be more than they bargained for in "Best Night Ever" (2014), starring Desiree Hall, Samantha Colburn, Eddie Ritchard and Crista Flanagan. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment/Magnet Label.

For the Family:

"Ben 10 Omniverse: Duel of the Duplicates" (2012) is a three-part story arc from the fourth installment of the franchise that follows the adventures of Ben Tennyson, wielder of the Omnitrix, a watch-like device that allows him to change into aliens to battler evil from space and on the earth: "The Ultimate Heist, "A Fistful of Brains" and "For a Few Brains More." $14.97 from Cartoon Network/Warner … "Guardian of the Highlands" (2012 — U.K.) is an photo for Ben 10 Omniverse: Duel of the Duplicates animated film about Sir Billi, an eccentric veterinarian working in a remote Scottish village who encounters a goat who thinks he's a dog, an Admiral who's afraid of the water and a beaver who was raised by rabbits. The skateboard-loving vet unites the local people to protect the last beaver in Scotland. Voices of Sean Connery (his first animated voice-over role), Alan Cumming, Patrick Doyle. $14.93 from Random Media/Cinedigm … "Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit" (2013) features four episodes of the hit Nickelodeon series about a group of teenage superheroes who must work together to defend the planet from evil. Troy, Noah, Emma, Gia and Jake must convince the mysterious Robo Knight to work alongside them and battle a collection of enemies with evil powers including photo for Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon SpiritPsychotick's energy-draining abilities, Shadow Serpent's paralyzing touch, Distractor's giant army of MegaMonsters and Nojoke's laughter-stealing traps. $14.98 from Lionsgate … In "Lalaloopsy Ponies: The Big Show" (2014), the Lalaloopsy girls welcome some new friends to Lalaloopsy Land: a group of talking ponies. The ponies are eager to put on a show, but there's a hitch — their caravan and carousel need rebuilding. Third release from the successful Lalaloopsy toy and entertainment brand. From Lionsgate … "Bella Sara: Emma'a Wings" (2013) is the first animated feature-length movie based on the trading card sensation; it takes kids on a magical journey to "North of North," a mythical horse-filled land where earthling Emma comes face to face with the evil Ivenna, who is out to destroy the herds, steal their magic and take possession of the land itself. $14.98 from Entertainment One.

Special Interest:

  • "Bayou Blue" (2011): From 1997 until 2006, Ronald Dominique raped and murdered 23 men across Southern Louisiana, from New Orleans to Houma. Some of these men came from hard-working families, some were homeless, some were drug addicts, some were still high school students. This documentary tells the story of these victims and their families. Using the audiotapes from Dominique's interrogation to guide the story, the film follows an increasingly dark trail. Included are interviews with the arresting officers, who visit the sugar cane fields, small bayous, and ditches where Dominique discarded the bodies. From Garden Thieves Pictures. photo for Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded
  • "Cocaine Cowboys Reloaded" (2014): Third documentary (after "Cocaine Cowboys" and "Cocaine Cowboys II: Hustlin' With the Godmother") about how Miami became the drug, murder, and cash capital of the United States. This docu is packed with footage and stories that have never been told about the Griselda Blanco, the Medellin Cartel, and Miami's Cocaine Wars, with firsthand accounts by hit man Jorge "Rivi" Avala, cocaine trafficker Jon Roberts, smuggler Mickey Munday, and others.On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment.
  • "Don't Ask Me Questions: The Unsung Life of Graham Parker and the Rumour"
    (2014): Graham Parker has recorded and performed nonstop for more than 35 years. Refusing to compromise, he has always marched to his own drum. He was a heroic inspiration for artists who followed him such as Elvis Costello and Joe Jackson and admired by the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. But in the end he defied the new wave movement that he had helped spark. As the music business continued to change beyond recognition, he remained true to his musical vision. But, at age 59, he has had a slight change of heart: He may be ready to go just a little commercial. Leaning on his publishing company to place his music in ads and TV shows, Parker attempts to sell without selling out. The film, from documentarian Michael Gramaglia, recounts Parker's long career up to the present, revealing his independent spirit and defiant optimism while celebrating the sincerity of his music and his self-deprecating wit. From Virgil Films.


 Posted by on April 6, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 062014

photo for About Last Night A modern reimagining of the classic romantic comedy from 1986, this version follows two couples as they discover new love and journey from the bar to the bedroom, testing their relationships in the real world. Extras: TBA. Vitals: Director: Steve Pink. Stars: Michael Ealy, Kevin Hart, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher McDonald, Paula Patton. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $27.838 million, Sony.

 Posted by on April 6, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 052014

photo for The Great FloodThe Great Flood (2012) "The Great Flood" is the story, told without dialogue, of the Mississippi River Flood of 1927, the most destructive in U.S. history and the cause of a million people's displacement. Bill Morrison, the acclaimed director of "Decasia" (the newest inductee to the Library of Congress' National Film Registry) and Bill Frisell, Grammy-winning composer and guitarist, have teamed up to create a powerful new cinematic experience. In the spring of 1927, the river broke out of its earthen embankments in 145 places and inundated 27,000 square miles. Part of its legacy was the forced exodus of displaced sharecroppers, who left plantation life and migrated to Northern cities, adapting to an industrial society with its own set of challenges. Musically, the Great Migration fueled the evolution of acoustic blues to electric blues bands that thrived in cities like Memphis, Detroit and Chicago, becoming the wellspring for R&B and rock as well as developing jazz styles. For the film, Morrison scoured film archives, including the Fox Movietone Newsfilm Library and the National archives, for footage of the Mississippi River Flood. All film documenting this catastrophe was shot on volatile nitrate stock, and what footage remains is pock marked and partially deteriorated. The degraded filmstock figures prominently in Morrison's aesthetic with distorted images suggesting different planes of reality in the story — those lived, dreamt, or remembered. For the score, Frisell has drawn upon his wide musical palette informed by elements of American roots music, but refracted through his uniquely evocative approach that highlights essential qualities of his thematic focus. Playing guitar, Frisell is joined by Tony Scherr on bass, Kenny Wollesen on drums and Ron Miles on trumpet. Formats: DVD, VOD. Extras: Eight-page booklet. (Icarus Films).

 Posted by on April 5, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 042014

dave-clarkPBS Distribution has announced the May 13 release of “The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over” on DVD and Blu-ray. Great Performances presents a look at the British invasion 50 years after both the Dave Clark Five and The Beatles hit our shores. “The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over” features newly filmed interviews with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zand, Stevie Wonder, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Gene Simmons , Whoopi Goldberg, Dionne Warwick, 60s fashion icon Twiggy and Ian McKellen, all sharing their memories of how the music of the 60s and the cultural revolution of 1964 changed their lives forever.

The DVD SRP is $29.99 and the Blu-ray SRP is $34.99. Disc 1 features the extended director’s cut of the documentary, which is approximately 120 minutes. Disc 2 features bonus video – extra interview scenes and rare archival footage, including never-before-seen star performances and alternate performances from The DC5. This bonus disc is approximately 120 minutes.

Included in the film are The DC5’s iconic performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” along with rare live concert footage and their countless appearances on television with American musical icons. Much of this material – much of it on 35mm film – has not been seen in decades, either on television or home video.

The film also features never-before-seen footage from Clark’s personal archives together with performances by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, Dusty Springfield, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Freddie Mercury of Queen and Sir Laurence Olivier. The DC5 were the first English group to tour America (in May 1964), thus spearheading the British Invasion.

They achieved a record-breaking 15 consecutive Top 20 U.S. hit singles within a two-year period – more than any other group in the world except the Beatles. They appeared a record-breaking 18 times on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” with its weekly audience of 70 million viewers – more than any other rock, pop or R&B artist. They took the world by storm and helped change the rock scene, blasting hit after hit over the world’s radio airwaves.

“The Dave Clark Five and Beyond: Glad All Over” features scenes from their feature film "Catch Us If You Can (Having a Wild Weekend in the U.S.)." The group is seen with Lucille Ball (on whose “Lucy in London” special they guest-starred), Dean Martin, and Richard Chamberlain.

The DC5, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were all war babies, born during World War II. The film highlights The DC5’s working-class roots in war-torn England and tells in fascinating detail the story of how the five – Clark, Mike Smith (an underrated rock vocalist, as several of the luminaries in the film attest), Denis Payton, Rick Huxley and Lenny Davidson – met while training in the gym two nights a week in Tottenham and their rise to worldwide fame, selling more than 100 million records in the process.

Clark, a fan of the legendary Buddy Rich, was the drummer and manager of the group; his drumming was a key influence on Springsteen, Max Weinberg, Van Zandt and others. Clark – whom Elton John praises in the film as a “stone-cold genius” – made sure they owned the masters of all their music and video appearances.

Further demonstration of Clark’s business acumen was his acquisition of the pioneering classic British rock/pop series “Ready Steady Go!,” which was released on TV and video throughout the world. In the United States, it was released on the Disney Channel, which billed it as “a timeless treasure.”

Clark studied at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama and with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in Los Angeles. He created the long-running British musical Time, which featured the hologram image of Olivier. Clark had the privilege of directing him in his final theatrical performance, one that received critical acclaim.

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN for WNET

 Posted by on April 4, 2014 1 Response »
Apr 042014

photo for The Andy Griffith Show – Season One BLU-RAY DEBUTThanks to CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Media, three iconic TV series from the 1950s and 1960s will make their Blu-ray debut on May 6. All three shows are finally available in high-definition, with every episode transferred from the original camera negative. In addition, each set will boast a host of new and unusual features. Here's the breakdown on the three releases:

The Andy Griffith Show – Season One (1960-61) All 32 episodes of the first season have been restored in high definition, with original sponsor openings and closings. Starring Andy Griffith, Ron Howard, Don Knotts and Frances Bavier, the beloved series about small-town America includes rare special features, including color on-set home movies shot by Ron Howard's father Rance, Edward R. Murrow's insightful interview of Andy Griffith on "Person to Person" in 1957 and a new HD transfer of the "Return to Mayberry" television movie. Four-disc set, $129.99.photo for The Honeymooners – Classic 39 Episodes BLU-RAY DEBUT

The Honeymooners – Classic 39 Episodes (1955-56) Re-mastered full-length episodes of the iconic series, starring the one and only Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph. Special features include a never-before-released, hour-long musical "The Honeymooners: The Adoption" from 1966; a memorable 1984 "60 Minutes" profile of Jackie Gleason; both "The Honeymooners Anniversary Special" (1990) and "The Honeymooners 50th Anniversary Celebration" (2002); Jackie Gleason interviewing a Queens bus driver as guest host for Edward R. Murrow on "Person to Person"; original openings, closings and cast commercials. Five-disc set, $129.99.

photo for I Love Lucy – Ultimate Season One BLU-RAY DEBUTI Love Lucy – Ultimate Season One  (1951-52) The hilarious first episodes of the groundbreaking series starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Alongside such classics as the "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode selling Vitameatavegamin are never-before seen treats, including Lucy and Desi's makeup and wardrobe tests where the off-screen couple are filmed together just days before full-scale production began. Also included is the pilot episode, re-mastered from its recently discovered original 35mm negative, radio broadcasts, on-set color home movies and backstage photos. Six-disc set, $129.99.




 Posted by on April 4, 2014 No Responses »
Apr 042014

photo for Labor Day Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by Joyce Maynard, this lilting melodrama is told from the point-of-view of 13-year-old Henry Wheeler, who struggles to be the man of his house and care for his reclusive mother Adele while confronting all the pangs of adolescence. On a back-to-school shopping trip during the Labor Day weekend, Henry and Adele encounter Frank Chambers, a man both intimidating and clearly in need of help, who convinces them to take him into their home and later reveals that he's an escaped convict. The events of this long Labor Day weekend will shape them for the rest of their lives. Blu-ray extras: Commentary by director Jason Reitman, director of photography Eric Steelberg and first assistant director/co-producer Jason Blumenfeld; "End of Summer: Making Labor Day"; deleted scenes. Vitals: Director: Jason Reitman. Stars: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire, Tom Lipinski, Maika Monroe, Clark Gregg, James Van Der Beek, J.K. Simmons, Brooke Smith. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 111 min., Drama, Box office gross: $13.362 million, Paramount.

 Posted by on April 4, 2014 No Responses »