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


Mar 192014

photo for Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Based on the CIA analyst created by espionage master Tom Clancy, the film follows Ryan (Chris Pine) from his quiet double-life as a veteran-turned-Wall Street executive to his all-out initiation as a hunted American agent on the trail of a massive terrorist plot in Moscow. Ryan appears to be just another New York executive to his friends and loved ones, but his enlistment into the CIA secretly goes back years. He was brought in as a brainy Ph.D. who crunches global data — but when Ryan ferrets out a meticulously planned scheme to collapse the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. Now, he's gone fully operational, thrust into a world of mounting suspicion, deception and deadly force. Caught between his tight-lipped handler Harper (Kevin Costner), his in-the-dark fiancee Cathy (Keira Knightley) and a brilliant Russian oligarch (Kenneth Branagh), Jack must confront a new reality where no one can seem to be trusted, yet the fate of millions rests on his finding the truth. With the urgency of a lit fuse, he's in a race to stay one step ahead of everyone around him. Blu-ray extras: Commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Lorenzo di Bonaventura, "Jack Ryan: The Smartest Guy in the Room," "Sir Kenneth Branagh: The Tsar of Shadow Recruit," "Jack Ryan: A Thinking Man of Action," "Old Enemies Return," deleted & extended scenes. Vitals: Director: Kenneth Branagh. Stars: Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Keira Knightley, Kenneth Branagh, Colm Feore, Gemma Chan, Karen David. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 105 min., Action-Thriller, Box office gross: $49.297 million, Paramount.

 Posted by on March 19, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 192014

The Lucio Fulci Collection

Three DVDs
Label: Severin Films
lucio-fulci-1Total Run Time: 306 Minutes
Perversion Story- 92 Minutes; The Eroticist- 109 Minutes; The Psychic- 97 Minutes
Language: Italian, Subtitled in English
Genre: Drama MPAA Rating: NR Closed Captioned
Color Widescreen 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Region: 0
Production Years:
Perversion Story 1969
The Eroticist 1972
The Psychic 1977
Directed by: Lucio Fulci
Perversion Story: Jean Sorel, Marisa Mell, Elsa Matinelli
The Eroticist: Lando Buzzanca, Lionel Stander, Laura Antonelli
The Psychic: Jennifer O'Neill, Gabriele Ferzetti, Marc Porel

Perversion Story: In a controversial career that flayed every envelope of cinematic excess, nothing can prepare you for this stunning thriller from the infamous director of Zombie, and The Beyond. Jean Sorel (Belle De Jour) stars as an arrogant San Francisco doctor trapped between his sultry mistress (Elsa Martinelli of Blood And Roses) and an amoral stripper (Marisa Mell of Danger: Diabolik) who bears an uncanny resemblance to his recently deceased and possibly murdered wife. What follows has been called Fulci's first true masterpiece, where sexual obsession, cruel deception and depraved murder all come together in one unforgettable Perversion Story.

John Ireland and Faith Domergue co-star in this gripping giallo – also known as One On Top Of The Other – that features eye-popping nudity, provocative locations (including the gas chamber at San Quentin) and a badass jazz score by Riz Ortolani (Mondo Cane, Kill Bill). Severin Films is proud to present Perversion Story in a startling new high definition transfer from the original vault negative thought to be lost for more than 35 years!

The Eroticist: For the legendary director of Zombie, The Beyond and Perversion Story it was perhaps the most shocking film of his entire career: A blasphemous yet acclaimed erotic comedy bursting with depraved priests, luscious nuns, and a possessed politician with a compulsion for perversion. Laura Antonelli (The Divine Nymph), Agostina Belli (The Fifth Cord), Lando Buzzabca (When Women Had Tails), Anita Strindberg (Lizard In A Woman's Skin), and Lionel Stander (Cul-De-Sac) star in the surreal '70s flesh-fest that could only come from the immoral imagination of Lucio Fulci!

Severin Films is proud to present this sacrilegious sexcapade – also known as The Senator Likes Women – now fully restored from elements recently discovered in a secret underground vault near The Vatican!

The Psychic: Shortly before he surrendered to the gory excesses of horror, Lucio Fulci – the notorious director of Zombie and Perversion Story – crafted one last brilliant thriller with a killer twist. Jennifer O'Neill (Scanners) stars as a clairvoyant tormented by visions of a violent murder. But will her own investigation into the crime lead to the most shocking discovery of all? Marc Porel (Don't Torture A Duckling) and Evelyn Stewart (The Whip And The Body) co-star in this chilling giallo that critics and fans – including avowed devotee Quentin Tarantino – consider the most stunning of the maestro's entire career.

lucii-fulci-2Released in the U.S. with several key scenes removed, The Psychic (aka Seven Notes In Black) is now presented in its fully restored European Version featuring footage never before seen in America.

Bonus Features:

Perversion Story:
Rare soundtrack CD with music by Riz Ortolani
Theatrical Trailer

The Eroticist:
History of Censorship- Featurette with Actor Lando Buzzanca, Cinematographer Sergio D'Offizi and Make-Up Artist Giannetto De Rossi

The Psychic:
Voices From The Black- Featurette with Co-Writer Dardano Sacchetti,Costume Designer Massimo Lentini, Editor Bruno Micheli

 Posted by on March 19, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 182014

photo for American Hustle Though overlooked at this year's Oscars, David O. Russell's film set in the alluring world of high-stakes scams and politics, loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation of the late 1970s and early '80s that ensnared East Coast politicians and congressmen in accepting bribes for political favors, was still one of the highlights of a year that produced a lot of "good" films but was shy on great ones (except for our pick for best film of the year, "The Great Gatsby.") Russell's hard-driving direction, lightly-convoluted screenplay, playful camerawork and choice of actors (top-notch performances by Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence) made this an involving production that swept you away in its audaciousness. It's over the top and very watchable. Extras: "The Making of American Hustle" featurette, deleted and extended scenes. Vitals: Director: David O. Russell. Stars: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence, Louis C.K., Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Rohm, Dawn Olivieri, Jack Huston, Michael Pena. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 138 min., Drama, Box office gross: $132.1 million, Sony. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 18, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 182014

photo for Disney's 53rd animated feature is a reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Snow Queen," here about a young princess cursed with the magical ability to create ice and snow but who can't control her powers, jeopardizing her younger sister as well as her entire kingdom. When she "freezes" the land of Arendelle and runs away to hide in the mountains, her younger sister, accompanied by a thrill-seeking mountain man, take of on a journey to return her to the castle and undo the icy damage. It's by far Disney's best non-Pixar animated film in ages, harking back to the story depth of "The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast" (in fact, it shares many of the same motifs with "Beast": a handsome bad guy, clumsy slapstick scenes, a surprise hero, anthropomorphic characters, and lively, bouncing songs ("Frozen" won Best Original Song for "Let It Go"). The animation is rich, the story line fast, the music catchy, the sentiment of "love and righteousness will conquer all" just perfect for younger viewers and just sentimental enough for old codgers like me (I shed a tear at the happy ending). No surprise that "Frozen" won the Oscar for Best Animated Film and will sell like crazy on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras: Deleted scenes; original theatrical short: "Get A Horse"; "Let It Go" music videos by Demi Lovato, Martina Stoessel & Marsha Milan Londoh; "Frozen" teaser trailer. Blu-ray adds "The Making"; "Breaking the Ice — The Real Making of Frozen." Vitals: Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Stars: Voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Williams. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 102 min., Animated, Box office gross: $388.736 million, Disney. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 18, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 182014

photo for Though Walt Disney was at the top of his game in 1962 — having come off TV and movie hits like "Lady and the Tramp," "Sleeping Beauty," "One Hundred and One Dalmatians," "The Mickey Mouse Club" and " Davy Crockett," as well as the success of Disneyland — there was one project that eluded him: a live-action adaptation of P.L. Travers' children's book "Mary Poppins." Disney was up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who had absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine but, as the books stoped selling and money grew short, Travers reluctantly agreed to go to Los Angeles from England to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. "Saving Mr. Banks" maps the trials and tribulations Disney faced in trying to persuade the author to allow him to make a film of her cherished story. Tom Hanks is perfect as the low-keyed but always sunny Walt Disney (though in real life, Walt had a somewhat darker side) and Emma Thompson, who like Kristin Scott Thomas can do no wrong, dominates the film as the persnickety author whose craggy exterior harbors a traumatic past. It's not a remarkable film but rather a nice nugget of Hollywood history. Extras: Deleted scene "Nanny Song," in which the Sherman Brothers composers perform a song that P.L. Travers is less than thrilled about. Blu-ray adds two more deleted scenes, "The Walt Disney Studios: From Poppins to Present" featurette, "Let's Go Fly a Kite" in which the cast and crew sing break out in a rousing, heartfelt tribute to composer Richard Sherman on the last day of filming. Vitals: Director: John Lee Hancock. Stars: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Buckley, Ruth Wilson, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, Kathy Baker. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 125 min., Bio-Drama, Box office gross: $81.877 million, Disney. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 18, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 182014

photo for Kill Your Darlings The fascination for the Beat Generation poets and writers of the 50s and early 60s has had a bit of a renaissance as of late, with such documentaries and movies as "Howl" (2010), "William S. Burroughs: A Man Within" (2010), "Magic Trip" (2011), "Big Sur" (2012), "Corso: The Last Beat" (2012), "On the Road" (2012) and "The Beat Hotel" (2012). Now add to that list "Kill Your Darlings," a weak, uneven attempt at portraying Alan Ginsberg's early literary life at Columbia University in 1944, a time that supposedly set the foundation and themes for his later, groundbreaking work. At first it's intriguing to see younger versions of Beat stalwarts Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac playing at being literary revolutionaries, but the film gets bogged done in too much exposition and off-key characterizations, including that of Ginsberg's mother's insanity, Ginsberg's exploration of homosexuality, and his experimentation with drugs (a drug-infused, fast-motion Ginsberg writing session is a little too slapstick). The centerpiece of the film is the murder of a gay hanger-on that involves Ginsberg, Kerouac, Burroughs and Lucien Carr (one of Ginsberg's muses), and the movie picks up as it approaches that watershed event. But until then, there's nothing really to "Howl" about. When is someone going to get this stuff right? Extras: "On the Red Carpet at the Toronto Film Festival"; commentary with Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, John Krokidas and Austin Bunn; "In Conversation With Daniel Radcliffe and Dane DeHaan"; Q&A with director/co-writer John Krokidas and co-writer Austin Bunn; deleted scenes. Vitals: Director: John Krokidas. Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth Olsen. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.019 million, Sony. 2 stars

 Posted by on March 18, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 182014

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" is a straight-ahead lookphoto for at the life and times of Nelson Mandela, the South African lawyer who, in the 1960s, became radicalized by the horrors of apartheid, joined and help lead the African National Congress, was imprisoned by the government for 27 years and finally, when released, became South Africa's first democratically elected president, from 1994 to 1999. The film chronicles his early life, education, marriage to Winnie Mandela, prison sentence and his efforts to rebuild the country's once segregated society. "Mandela" the film is stirring in its depiction of the horrors of segregation and slavery, and sets out to do three things: tell Mandela's story, depict the struggle for freedom by African blacks, and paint the Afrikaner overlords as the horrible monsters they most likely were. It succeeds — enjoyably — on all levels. And Idris Elba is insanely great as Mandela. Extras: "Mandela: The Leader You Know, The Man You Didn't" featurette, commentary with Director Justin Chadwick. Blu-ray adds behind-the-scenes featurettes and a tribute video gallery. Vitals: Director: Justin Chadwick. Stars: Idris Elba, Naomi Harris, Tony Kgoroge, Riaad Moosa. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 141 min., Bio-Drama Box office gross: $8.079 million, The Weinsterin Co./Anchor Bay. 3 stars

 Posted by on March 18, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 172014

From the Big Screen:

"American Hustle," "Frozen," "Saving Mr. Banks," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" and "Kill Your Darlings." For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.

DVD Collectibles:

The Criterion Collection this week offers looks at the world from both ends of the human telescope: from the ground-level, earthy adventures of Akira Kurosawa's "The Hidden Fortress" (1958) to the amazing and lofty work of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in "A Brief History of Time" (1991). "Hidden Fortress" is a grand-scale adventure as only Kurosawa could make one, starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan's princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile photo for The Hidden Fortressterritory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director's most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas' "Star Wars." "The Hidden Fortress" delivers Kurosawa's trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity. In a new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Released as a Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition. In "A Brief History of Time," Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris's documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawkin's body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man's incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawkin's best-selling book of the same name, "A Brief History of Time" is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe. New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by director of photography John Bailey and approved by director Errol Morris, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Released in a Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition.

photo for Mysterious Skin BLU-RAY DEBUT Strand Releasing has given the HD treatment to Gregg Araki's controversial "Mysterious Skin" (2004), an at once harrowing and tender look at the consequences of child abuse. At the age of eight, Kansas youngsters Neil (an incredible Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Brian (Brady Corbet) — both from broken families — played on the same little league baseball team. Neil became the protege of the team's coach, who groomed him into the world of pedophilia. Brian, however, begins to have blackouts and nosebleeds, and becomes a nervous introvert. Ten years later, Neil is a charismatic but emotionally aloof male hustler while Brian is obsessed with the idea that he has been abducted by a UFO. When the boys parallel lives inevitably intersect, the pair unearth dark, repressed secrets on a harrowing and unforgettable journey of self discovery. Adapted from Scott Heim's acclaimed novel. Co-stars Michelle Trachtenberg, Elisabeth Shue, Jeff Licon and Bill Sage. Highly recommended.

From TV to DVD:

"Atlantis: Season One" (2013) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes. DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray Disc, $39.98. From BBC Home Entertainment … "Flashpoint: The Final Season" (2013) is a photo for Flashpoint: The Final Season three-disc set with 13 episodes, $42.99. Follows the exploits of Team One of the Strategic Response Unit (SRU), an elite SWAT team that specializes in resolving extreme situations. Armed and dangerous criminals, bomb threats, abduction and gang wars are all in a day's work for these expert cops. This season the unit faces a serial killer on the run with a victim in tow, a deadly "smart" gun that is stolen, and a terrorist who starts bombing the city's most populated buildings. From CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount … "Mako Mermaids – An H2O Adventure Season 1, Vol. 1: Island of Secrets and Mako Mermaids – An H2O Adventure Season 1, Vol. 2: Moon Pool Magic " (2013) is the live-action teen mermaid dramedy spin-off from the TeenNick series "H20: Just Add Water," and follows the adventures of mermaids Sirena, Nixie and Lyla, who are part of a mermaid pod that lives in the waters of Mako island. Season 1, Vol. 1 contains episodes 1-13, Season 1, Vol. 2 contains episodes 14-26. In two-disc DVD sets, $19.95 each from Cinedigm … "Monsters: The Complete Series" (1988-90) is a nine-disc set with 72 episodes of the fan-favorite syndicated horror anthology series, $99.98 from Entertainment One.

Buzzin' the 'B's:

Although the South Korean plague thriller "Flu" (2013) at first glance appears to be a clone of Steven Soderbergh's "Contagion" (2011), the film actually ratchets up the fear and horror of the spread of a contagious disease by keying on Chinese-Korean animosity (an unknown virus attacks a group of illegal Chinese immigrants as they are "shipped" to Bundang, photo for Flu South Korea, in a container), unfeeling military officials with a one-sided solution (blow the infected to kingdom-come), government paranoia, political power trips, and the breakdown of law and order. Shortly after one of the immigrants dies in a Bundang hospital, covered in red rashes and coughing up blood, similar cases are reported all over the city. As the plague spreads, scientists find a sole survivor (Chinese) who may have developed antibodies against the viral mutation and they try to track him down in a city panicked with fear, violence, and quarantine camps. An exciting outing with great effects. Stars Jang Hyuk, Su Ae, Yoo Hae-jin, Park Min-ha. From CJ Entertainment … Want more infections? In "Contracted" (2013), starring Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Alice Macdonald, Katie Stegeman and Simon Barrett, a twentysomething party girl has sex with a stranger at a party and contracts what she thinks is a sexually-transmitted disease. But she soon realizes that she is the host of something much more catastrophic, and that she and those around her are in mortal danger. Part zombie film and part body-horror shocker. From IFC Films … More death and destruction: In "The Wrath of Vajra" (2013 — China), a death cult working with the Imperial Army In 1930s Japan buys children and trains them as deadly assassins. When 8-year-old Vajrasattva accidentally kills his own brother in a fight for food, he makes a secret oath to take revenge. photo for Reasonable Doubt As an adult, he emerges as the cult's best assassin, returning to China where he joins the Southern Shaolin Temple to protect his people from Japanese invaders. When the death cult opens a branch in China and starts buying local children, he sets out to save them and avenge his brother. Stars Xing Yu, Steve Yoo, Poppin Hyun-Joon, Jiang Baocheng, Ya Mei. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … In "Reasonable Doubt" (2014), starring Dominic Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson, Gloria Reuben, Ryan Robbins and Erin Karpluk, hotshot district attorney Mitch Brockden (Cooper) is involved in a fatal hit-and-run, but Clinton Davis (Jackson) is found with the body and charged with murder. Believing that Davis is innocent, Brockden is compelled to throw the trial but, soon after, Brockden's perfect life begins to unravel as he realizes that the man he set free is hiding a secret that will destroy him. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Lionsgate.

More gore: In "Return to Nuke 'Em High, Vol. 1" (2013), it's readin', writin' and radiation again as the folks at Troma (creators of the Toxic Avenger and Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD) return to Tromaville High School ("Class of Nuke 'Em High," 1986) as young couple Chrissy and Lauren go up against the school glee club — which has mutated into a gang called The Cretins photo for Here Comes the Devil after eating tainted tacos courtesy of the Tromorganic Foodstuffs Conglomerate. When the other students begin to undergo mutations, the pair — along with their mutant pet duck — must solve the mystery and save Tromaville High. It's full of satire, sci-fi, plenty of Troma's world famous green goo and themes of anti-bullying and LGBT rights. Stars Catherine Corcoran, Asta Paredes, Debbie Rochon, Lemmy Kilmister, Kevin the Wonder Duck. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Troma/Anchor Bay … In "20 Ft. Below: The Darkness Descending" (2014), starring Kinga Philipps and Danny Trejo, an eager, young documentary filmmaker ventures below the bustling streets of New York City to shed light on the homeless population living in abandoned subway tunnels. But once underground, she discovers a much darker reality than ever imagined. On DVD from Vertical Entertainment … In "Here Comes the Devil" (2012 — Mexico), a couple's preteen son and daughter inexplicably reappear after being lost overnight on a desolate, cave-riddled mountainside, but the kids become withdrawn and begin to exhibit strange behavior, leading the parents to believe that they may have fallen prey to something inhuman — and that this dark, unstoppable evil has now returned home with them. Stars Francisco Barreiro, Laura Caro, Alan Martinez, Michele Garcia. On DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia photo for Swerve Home Entertainment) … In "Swerve" (2011), starring David Lyons, Emma Booth, Jason Clarke and Travis McMahon, while driving cross-country in the Australian outback to a job interview, Colin (David Lyons) witnesses a two-car crash that leaves one driver decapitated. The good-hearted Colin pulls a beautiful and mysterious young woman, Jina (Emma Booth), from the wreckage, along with a suitcase full of money. He soon becomes entangled with a crooked local cop (Jason Clarke) — who happens to be the very jealous husband of Jina — as well as a murderous thug who's after the cash. On DVD and Blu-ray from Cohen Media Group … "Tom Holland's Twisted Tales" (2014) Anthology of nine nerve-shredding, totally "Twisted Tales" directed by Holland and starring William Forsythe, Danielle Harris, Ray Wise, AJ Bowen, Sarah Butler and more. A new drug offers users a glimpse of the future … with beastly consequences. A murderous husband is stalked by his own cell phone. A jilted lover wreaks satanic vengeance. The nightmarish action then leads to worlds haunted by dark magic, demonic possession, vampires, witches and more.

And on the lighter side: in "Almost Sharkproof" (2012), starring Jon Lovitz, Cameron Van Hoy, Michael Drayer, Kinga Kierzek and Ken Davitian, two broke buddies down on their luck come up with a big idea: wetsuits that can save surfers from shark bites. With nothing to lose and everything to gain, they seek the help of a shady loan shark and nightclub owner to help finance their big idea, but when they both fall in love with the female half of a knife-throwing act at the club, they find themselves at the mercy of an angry gangster and his team of goons. From Cinedigm … In "Sparks" (2013), starring Chase Williamson, Ashley Bell, Clancy Brown, photo for Almost Sharkproof Clint Howard, Jake Busey and William Katt, a genetically altered group, known as The Rochester 13, gain astonishing, superhuman powers after a radioactive meteor strikes Earth. Among them is Ian Sparks, who teams up with the beautiful Lady Heavenly to decimates New York's army of thugs … until they tangle with the nation's most twisted arch-villain. From Image Entertainment … From the inventive mind of Jeff Dunham comes "Achmed Saves America" (2013), the first animated movie starring Achmed the Dead Terrorist. When Achmed unexpectedly finds himself in Americaville, USA, he's mistaken as a French exchange student while he bumblingly plots to destroy the town and all its "infidels." But when exposed to the sweet things in life, including all-you-can-eat buffets and frozen yogurt, Achmed's campaign of hate turns into a patriotic all-American lovefest. From Paramount … "Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz" (2013) is the third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action-horror franchise, here detailing the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers as they battle the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz. Stars Bryan Larkin, James "The Colossus" Thompson. From XLrator Media.

Also this week: "Kingdom of Conquerors" (2013 — China), a period actioner that follows the rise of the Mongolian Empire as Genghis Khan unites all the nomadic tribes of 13th century photo for The Horror at 37,000 Feet Asia under his banner. Stars Yu Shaoqun, Geng Le, Men Tu. From Lionsgate … In "Cybergeddon" (2012), starring Missy Peregrym, Olivier Martinez and Manny Montana, a pair of agents who investigate a slew of seemingly unrelated cyber attacks that are actually the work of a cybercrime ring. From Arc Entertainment … "The Horror at 37,000 Feet" (1973) is a supernatural horror telefilm that centers on a hapless ensemble of airline passengers plagued by a demon that somehow escapes from an ancient altar that's being shipped to the U.S. in the plane's cargo hold. Stars Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen, Tammy Grimes, Lynn Loring, France Nuyen, William Shatner, Roy Thinnes, Paul Winfield, Jane Merrow. From CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount.photo for The Slumber Party Massacre BLU-RAY DEBUT

And, last but not least, get ready for the overnight party to end all such parties: the original "The Slumber Party Massacre" released to Blu-ray for the first time. The 1982 horror film helped define the slasher film ethos of the 1980s. Put together by first-time director Amy Holden from a script, titled "Don't Open the Door," by feminist author Rita Mae Brown ("Rubyfruit Jungle"), the film was an immediate hit for Roger Corman's New World Pictures, eventually spawning two sequels. New HD transfer from the original camera negative. Stars Michele Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villela, Andree Honore. From Shout! Factory.


photo for The Patience Stone "The Patience Stone" (2013 — Afghanistan): Golshifteh Farahani, Hamid Djavadan, Hassina Burgan. In a country torn apart by war, a young woman watches over her older husband, who took a bullet in the neck that has reduced him to a comatose state. One day, the woman's vigil changes and she begins to speak truth to her silent husband, telling him about her suffering, her dreams and her secrets. After years of living under his control, with no voice of her own, she says things she could never have spoken before. Her husband has unconsciously become "syngue sabour" (the patience stone) — a magical black stone that, according to Persian mythology, absorbs the plight of those who confide in it. After weeks of looking after her husband, she begins to act, discovering herself in the relationship she starts with a young soldier. From Sony.

For the Family:

"Peppa Pig: My Birthday Party" (2014) is the U.S. DVD launch of the international animated preschool favorite that airs on Nick Jr. The series follows the adventures of Peppa, a lovable little piggy, her family and all of her animal friend. Fourteen "Peppasodes," $14.98 from Entertainment One … "Doc McStuffins: Mobile Clinic" (2013) features five song-filled episodes and a free Doc McStuffins reusable tote bag. From Disney … Cinedigm has just released the first three volumes of photo for Justin Time "Justin Time" (2011), the popular preschool animated series airing in more than 70 countries that follows the wild imagination of Justin and his friends, Olive and Squidgy, as they travel to fascinating places and meet new and interesting characters. In "Justin Time Amazing Adventures" the kids journey to ancient Aztec Mexico in search of the mysterious Missing Mask, ride a giant tortoise on the Galapagos Islands and make a new friend in China who loves to fly kites next to the Great Wall. In "Justin Time Goes Exploring," the trio ride an Emu through the Australian Outback to help track down Olive's lost chickens, chug through the Canadian Rocky Mountains aboard the Pancake Express train, then blast off from Cape Canaveral Space Center to rescue a lonely stranded astronaut. "Justin Time Far Away Friends" finds the three friends traveling back to the Ice Age to help a heartbroken Woolly Mammoth, to Italy in search of special meatballs for a picky Princess, and back to ancient Egypt to find Cleopatra s missing cat. $12.95 each from.

Special Interest:

photo for Punk in Africa
"Punk in Africa" (2012) is the story of the multi-racial punk movement within the recent political and social upheavals in three Southern African countries: South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In these societies, the punk subculture represented a genuinely radical political impulse, playing out against a backdrop of intense political struggle, economic hardship and even civil war. Documentary traces this until-now untold story from its roots in the underground rock music of early 1970s Johannesburg, where the first multi-racial punk bands formed in the wake of the Soweto Uprising, and the militant anti-apartheid hardcore and post-punk bands of the 1980s, to the rise of celebratory African-inspired ska bands which sprang up from Cape Town to Maputo in the democratic era of the 1990s. $16.95 from MVD Entertainment.

 Posted by on March 17, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 172014

The Pawnbroker  (1964) Dir.: Sidney Lumet; Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Thelma Oliver, Jaime Sanchez, Raymond St. Jacques. Rod Steiger gives a mesmerizing Oscar-nominated performance as the embittered survivor of a Nazi death camp — where his wife, parents and children were murdered photo for The Pawnbroker BLU-RAY DEBUT — who can't escape the ghosts of his past. His soul robbed of hope, he takes refuge in misery and a bitter condemnation of humanity — the endless parade of prostitutes, pimps and thieves who pass through his shop — and ridicules his idealistic assistant, Ortiz, who dreams of a better life. Only when Ortiz, powerfully portrayed by Jaime Sanchez, puts his life on the line for Sol, does he learn the ultimate truth about hope and humanity. Under the brilliant direction of Sidney Lumet, Steiger's first major starring role is among the finest of his career. Hugely controversial and denounced by everyone, including the Catholic Legion of Decency for a taboo-breaking nude scene, this landmark film remains not just powerful entertainment, but a stunning example of how movies can alter our emotions and perceptions forever. Two of the film's best features are the gorgeous black-and-white cinematography by the great Boris Kaufman ("On the Waterfront") and the memorable trumpet score by the legendary Quincy Jones. Remastered. Formats: Blu-ray, DVD. (Olive Films).

Newly remastered in HD for this release, "The Pawnbroker" is also being honored with a special screening as part of the 2014 TCM Film Festival.

 Posted by on March 17, 2014 No Responses »
Mar 142014

estherFilm aficionados everywhere, rejoice! 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment has announced it will release a new wave of classic films on DVD from the Fox Cinema Archives vault. More than 18 classic film titles – ranging from the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s – will be added to the Fox Cinema Archives collection this spring.

This rich collection of iconic Fox films highlights key dramas, comedies, romances and Biblical tales giving film buffs the opportunity to enhance their collection by purchasing a variety of iconic movies at major top-tier retailers.

The following 18 films will be available on DVD beginning March 18 through April 25.


March 18

Sodom and Gomorrah (1962), 154 min.
Sex, torture and betrayal follow the characters of this striking Biblical tale. After Lot leads the Hebrew people into the sinful cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, believing his people can co-exist, he must wait for divine intervention in order to help them escape. The film stars Stewart Granger, Stanley Baker and the lovely Pier Angeli.

Esther and the King (1960), 109 min.
Esther comes to the attention of the widowed King Ahasuerus, who has attempted to end hatred against the Jews led by the evil Haman. Joan Collins, Richard Egan, Denis O'Dea and Sergio Fantoni star in this Biblical tale directed by the great Raoul Walsh.

Dante’s Inferno (1935), 88 min.
A ruthless carnival barker, blinded by ambition, keeps a fair open ­ despite warnings from an inspector that the fair is unsafe ­ which leads to a fatal disaster. Spencer Tracy, Claire Trevor, and Rita Hayworth star in Dante’s Inferno.

March 25

Cardinal Richelieu (1935), 81 min.
The intrigues and counter-intrigues that swirled around 17th century statesman Cardinal Richelieu and his attempt to thwart the insidious passion behind King Louis XIII of France are unveiled. George Arliss, Maureen O’Sullivan, Edward Arnold and Cesar Romero star in this 1935 classic.

I’d Climb the Highest Mountain (1951), 87 min.
This simple story directed by Henry King follows a Methodist minister called to a rural Georgia mountain community. There he and his city-bred wife use their love to help a small town find God. Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, Rory Calhoun and Barbara Bates star in the film.

April 1

The Gay Deception (1935), 76 min.
Ecstatic over her winnings in a sweepstakes, a woman heads for New York City to make her dreams come true. This Oscar-nominated film stars Francis Lederer, Alan Mowbray, Benita Hume and Frances Dee.

bachelorBachelor Flat (1961), 87 min.
British Anthropology Professor Bruce Patterson moves into his fiancée Helen’s apartment to get away from pursuant female college students. His plan to scare the girls away backfires when his fiancée's daughter, Libby, arrives home incognito. Bachelor Flat stars Terry Thomas, Celeste Holm, Richard Beymer and Tuesday Weld.

The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971), 95 min.
Richard Benjamin plays a stockbroker who is bored with his marriage and job and tries to spice his life up. In order to deal with this dilemma, he becomes a peeping Tom much to the chagrin of his wife. Benjamin stars alongside Joanna Shimkus, Elizabeth Ashley, Patricia Barry and Adam West.

April 8

The Pleasure Seekers (1964), 106 min.
In a remake of the 1954 hit "Three Coins in the Fountain," "The Pleasure Seekers" tells the story of three women searching for love in Madrid. As the story unfolds, the women find themselves in bad relationships. Ann Margret, Carol Lynley, Gene Tierney and Anthony Franciosa star in this Oscar-nominated film.

Footlight Serenade (1942), 80 min.
When a boxing champ turned Broadway star falls in love with his married co-star, he goes too far and causes her jealous husband to seek revenge. The film stars John Payne, Betty Grable and Victor Mature.

April 15

Marry the Boss’s Daughter (1941), 59 min.
Jefferson Cole, a young man from Kansas, ventures to New York in search of a bright career in the city. When he meets the daughter of a city tycoon, she persuades her father to give him a job, so he can find what he is capable of. Brenda Joyce, Bruce Edwards, George Barbier, and Hardie Albright star in this 1941 classic.

scuddaScudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948), 95 min.
Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! is an old-style romance about a Midwest farmhand who gets more than he bargained in his new job. He buys a pair of strapping mules from his employer. Meanwhile, his boss’ daughter keeps him guessing about her true feelings. June Haver, Lon McCallister, Walter Brennan and Natalie Wood star in this 1948 classic.

That Other Woman (1942), 76 min.
A secretary by the name of Emily Borden comes up with a convoluted plan to get her boss to marry her, which backfires after some bad advice. "That Other Woman" stars Virginia Gilmore, James Ellison and Dan Duryea.

April 22

Good Morning, Miss Dove (1955), 107 min.
While she rehabilitates in the hospital, Miss Dove, an aging teacher, recollects some of the students who have passed through her classroom over the years. Jennifer Jones, Robert Stack, Kipp Hamilton and Peggy Knudsen star.

Star Dust (1940), 85 min.
Star Dust is loosely based on the true story of actress Linda Darnell’s rise to fame. Linda plays a young actress with talent to spare, who is helped on her rise to stardom by those around her. John Payne, Roland Young and Charlotte Greenwood also star in the film.

Decline and Fall of a Bird Watcher (1968), 112 min.
This satire from a novel by Evelyn Waugh, tells a story of young British teacher Paul Pennyfeather after he is dismissed from Oxford. Eventually, he works his way into the private school system in Wales where he becomes involved with Margot Beste-Chetwynde, the glamorous mother of one of his pupils. Robin Phillips, Michael Elwyn, Norman Scace and Geneviève Page star.

April 25

foreverKentucky (1938), 96 min.
Based on the novel, "The Look of Eagles," the film tells the story of the feud between two Kentuckian families that begins during the civil war and lasts for three generations. The feud ends when the two family heirs fall in love eighty years later. Loretta Young, Richard Greene, Douglas Dumbrille, Karen Morley and Oscar- winner Walter Brennan star in Kentucky.

Forever Amber (1947), 138 min.
Amber, a woman confined by her Puritan upbringing, ventures to London where she finds a better life as a courtesan. Linda Darnell, Cornel Wilde, Richard Greene and George Sanders star in this Oscar-nominated film.

 Posted by on March 14, 2014 No Responses »