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


Oct 122013

Naked City: The Complete Series (1958-63) is a 29-nine disc set with all 138 classic episodes of the acclaimed Emmy Award-winning police drama series filmed entirely in New York City and starring Paul Burke, Horace McMahon, Harry Bellaver, James Franciscus, John McIntire and Nancy Malone. “Naked City’s” first season featured half-hour episodes while the remainder of its four season run was comprised of hour-long episodes. The classic TV seriphoto for es (based on the 1948 Jules Dassin film of the same name) — which focused on the lives of the detectives of New York’s 65th Precinct, but wasn’t shy on vivid chases and gun fights — was famous for the signature closing line of every episode, “There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them.” The show featured an amazing list of guest stars including Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall, Rip Torn, Alan Alda, George C. Scott, Telly Savalas, Leslie Nielsen, Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, James Caan, Jack Klugman, Jean Stapleton, Walter Matthau, Jon Voight, Gene Hackman, Christopher Walken, Carroll O’Connor, Jean Stapleton, Peter Falk, George Segal, Jack Warden, Ed Asner, Doris Roberts, Suzanne Pleshette, Diane Ladd, Vic Morrow, James Coburn, Mickey Rooney and Burgess Meredith, to name just a few. Formats: DVD, $179.98 but available for preorder at Amazon for $99.99.  From Image Entertainment.

 Posted by on October 12, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013
warner-archive-10-15BILLY ROSE’S JUMBO (1962) On Blu-ray! Billy Rose’s mammoth Broadway musical extravaganza took nearly three decades to journey from New York’s fabled Hippodrome to the Panavision movie screen. By the time it arrived however, the film would prove to be the swan song for the grand movie musical. But it certainly went out with a bravura bang now captured in this sparkling Blu-ray Disc presentation. Jimmy Durante (who also appeared in the 30s stage version) stars with Doris Day (in her last movie musical) as the father-daughter owners of a family circus that see their sideshow become the target of a hostile takeover. Charles Walters directs Sidney Sheldon’s adaptation of the Ben Hecht/ Charles MacArthur book with music by master songsmiths Rodgers and Hart. Also stars Martha Raye and Stephen Boyd. 16×9, 2.40 Letterbox 1080p HD, 5.1 DTS Master HD Audio Special Features: Musical Short “Yours Sincerely”; the Tom and Jerry Cartoon ,”Jerry and Jumbo” (presented in 1080p HD); Original Overture; Theatrical Trailer.


MAVERICK: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON (1959-60) James Garner and Jack Kelly are back for another round of high stakes wild west poker in the third season of this beloved TV classic. Bret (Garner) and Bart (Kelly) Maverick scheme and dream across the plains, always with a weathered eye out for way to line their coats with silver, both separately and together. The boys start the third season facing their most fearsome foe of all: their own, very quotable Pappy who is credited by being played by “???” – so tune in to find out who it is! Adding to the fun are a passel of special guest stars including Virginia Gregg, Henry Daniell, Adam West and Troy Donahue! Also among the psychotic sheriffs, lovely lady thieves, dangerous desperadoes featured in season three’s 26 off-the-beaten-path adventures can be found the likes of Buddy Ebsen, Joel Grey, and a very young Robert Redford.



SPACE STARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1981) As the entire world went “space crazy” at the end of the 70s, Hanna-Barbera remustered its Sci-Fi superstars Space Ghost and the Herculoids for an all-new round of adventures. Joining the 60s sci-fi faves in their interstellar battles against evil were newcomers Teen Force and Astro and the Space Mutts ­yes, that Astro! This collection of Space Stars comes complete with the recently discovered, never-before-seen “Space Science” segments, restored in all their educational glory. In each episode you can learn Space Magic tricks with Blip, Space Facts from Space Ace, or crack the Space Code with the Herculoids. There’s also a challenge to solve a Space Mystery (Hint: learn your Space Facts!) or you can just rock out to laser light show music video, “Space Mix”! They’re back ­ for the first time ever! Newly Remastered



THE COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR (1962) William Holden stars in this biopic portrait of real-life espionage ace Eric Erickson. American born Swedish oil trader Erickson (Holden) gets suborned into service by an oily and unctuous freelance operative (an excellent Hugh Griffith). As cynical as they come, Erickson thinks its possible to pass through the holocaust of World War II without taking sides. Teamed with a German freedom fighter (Lilli Palmer), Erickson travels a most dangerous “Road to Damascus” – inspecting and reporting on the Nazi oil industry to OSS – before the scales fall from his eyes at great personal cost. Directed by George Seaton. 16 x 9 Widescreen

FUNERAL IN BERLIN (1966) Michael Caine plays working class espionage agent Harry Palmer in the second film in the series based on the books by Len Deighton. Facing a prison stay for his extra-legal activities, Palmer makes a most unwilling agent for Her Majesty’s Secret Service. This installment sees Harry sent back to Berlin to facilitate the extraction of a defecting Russian general. But nothing in Harry’s world goes according to plan, and no one is who they appear to be. Directed by James Bond mainstay Guy Hamilton. 16 x 9 Widescreen

 THE ASSASSINATION BUREAU (1969) Oliver Reed, Diana Rigg and Telly Savalas topline this tongue-in-cheek adaptation of Jack London’s posthumously finished pot-boiler. Reed plays Ivan Dragoff, the supremely confident head of The Assassination Bureau, Ltd, the largest and most effective organization of killers-for-hire in the world. So confident, in fact, that he accepts a reporter’s challenge of taking out a contract with the bureau — on himself! Basil Dearden directs. 16 x 9 Widescreen

 POSSE (1975) Kirk Douglas produced and directed this revisionist Western that’s aimed squarely between the eyes of modern American politics. Douglas plays Howard Nightingale, a publicity-hungry U.S. Marshal who doesn’t just hunt down and capture fugitives, he makes sure a photographer is around to record his crime-fighting exploits and bolster his political aspirations. But after setting his sights on badman Jack Strawman (Bruce Dern at his damned Derniest), Howard finds the tables turned. Bo Hopkins, James Stacy, and Alfonso Arau costar. 16 x 9 Widescreen

 ELEPHANT WALK (1954) Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Finch and Dana Andrews star in this action fused costume drama set in Ceylon. Taylor plays a newlywed who accompanies Finch to his sprawling tea plantation called Elephant Walk… and falls for the overseer played by Andrews. But this love triangle is dwarfed by bigger events including cholera, drought, and a massive elephant stampede straight through their house.

 THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960) One of the film’s that helped pave the way for the end of the Production Code, The World of Suzie Wong is a frank portrayal of the burgeoning brothel business found in the heart of colonial Hong Kong. William Holden plays an architect turned artist who falls for a beautiful Chinese prostitute (Nancy Kwan). Uncovering her world proves as enriching as it is eye-opening for the artist and the audience. 16 x 9 Widescreen

 THE CARPETBAGGERS (1964) Harold Robbins’ best-seller about 30s Hollywood comes to the screen in a torrent of frank, controversial and (for the times) sensational scenes that helped further send the Code packing. George Peppard is the ruthless and troubled Howard Hughes-like tycoon who builds a multi-million-dollar empire. Carroll Baker plays the platinum, while Alan Ladd delivers a terrific final screen performance as the cowboy star Nevada Smith. 16 x 9 Widescreen

NOTE: These DVDs are Manufactured on Demand (MOD); to order, fans must visit The Warner Archive Collection or WB Shop.com

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013

photo for Europa Report “Europa Report” is one of the new breed of thrillers (using any combination of “documentary” story-telling, video camera footage, talking heads and real-time action) that has brought us “The Blair Witch Project,” the “Paranormal Activity” outings, “Cloverfield,” “Apollo 18” and “Troll Hunter.” Though this science fiction actioner puts a lot of emphasis on science fact, it never shortchanges the fiction, stylishly delivering its thrills and chills, much like Danny Boyle’s highly underrated “Sunshine,” to which “Europa Report” has a striking kinship. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary possibility that life may exist there. It’s a doomed mission, and we’re given privy to the failures of the venture: the loss of communications, equipment breakdowns, the tragic death of a crew member, the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel and, after arriving on Europa, a discovery more frightening than the crew could ever have imagined. It’s well-acted, directed, and the CGI is incredible — with utmost detail to scientific realities. Sci-fi fans need to put this on their short list. Extras: “Exploring the Visual Effects of Europa Report,” “The Musical Journey of Europa Report,” behind-the-scenes photo gallery, theatrical trailer. Vitals: Director: Sebastian Cordero. Stars: Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra, Sharlto Copley. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $.123 million, Magnolia Home Entertainment. 3 stars

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013

photo for Much Ado About Nothing Speaking of vanity projects, here’s one that works: director Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” a delightful Shakespearean romp gussied up in 21st century garb and surroundings with 21st century sensuality and looks. The film was shot in just 12 days (using the original text), in secret, while Whedon was working on “Marvel’s The Avengers,” at Whedon’s Santa Monica home. It’s amazing that after seven centuries, ol’ William’s words and insights about relationships, lust, revenge and the game of love — here epitomized by sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick — still hold true. Lighthearted and thoroughly entertaining, mostly because the actors here strut their stuff, working with a director whose passion for the project drove him to forgo a vacation for his 20th wedding anniversary (suggested by his wife, Kai Cole.) Subtitled “Shakespeare Knew How to Throw a Party.” Extras: “Much Ado About Making Nothing” featurette, “Bus Ado About Nothing” featurette, commentary with screenwriter-director Joss Whedon, commentary with screenwriter-director Joss Whedon and cast, “Sigh No More” music video. Vitals: Director: Joss Whedon. Stars: Reed Diamond, Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Tom Lenk, Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Jillian Morgese, Sean Maher, Riki Lindhome, Spencer Treat Clark. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Comedy-Romance-Drama, Box office gross: $4.096 million, Lionsgate. 3 stars

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013

photo for After Earth In “After Earth,” Jaden Smith stars as Kitai Raige, the failed cadet son of the zen-like general of the United Ranger Corps (Will Smith in a god-like role as Cypher Raige), the military arm of a human race transplanted onto a new world after destroying the Earth 1,000 years earlier. But the kid gets a chance to prove his mettle when the space ship he’s traveling on — with his dad — crash lands on, of all places, Earth, and he must travel 100km over rough land to retrieve a beacon to signal for help. The movie starts off with some weak narration to introduce the action, then segues into a contrived storyline with weak acting by the young Smith (the kid just can’t take command of a scene, though he plays scared really well). It’s goofy and ludicrous and a vanity project for kid Smith by pop Smith’s production company. The best part of the film is one of its extras: “The Nature of the Future” featurette that explores the beautiful landscapes in which the film was shot (Costa Rica, Utah and Northern California), set to lush music.Extras: “A Father’s Legacy” featurette with Will and Jaden Smith on- and off-screen; “1,000 Years in 300 Seconds” on-location featurette; “The Nature of the Future” featurette that explores the beautiful landscapes in which the film was shot (Costa Rica, Utah and Northern California), set to lush music. Blu-ray adds alternate opening sequence; “Building a World” featurette; “Pre-Visualizing the Future” featurette; “The Animatics of After Earth” featurette. Vitals: Director: M. Night Shyamalan. Stars: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Isabelle Fuhrman, Zoe Kravitz, David Denman, Sophie Okonedo. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $60.047 million, Sony. 2 stars

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013

photo for For “The Hangover Part III,” director Todd Phillips and stars Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Ken Jeong reunited for a little “hair of the dog” to pad their checking accounts one last time. In this nasty sequel, the guys of the Wolfpack are happily married and content with their lives — except for Alan (Galifianakis), who’s rudderless and off his meds. The boys decide to stage an intervention and take him to a retreat in Arizona — but get waylaid and double-crossed by murderers, thieves, drug dealers, and their old Bangkok buddy, Leslie Chow (Jeong). The first “Hangover” was lewd and rude and a surprise hit; No. 2 upped the ante by transporting the first’s Las Vegas shenanigans into Thailand, amping up the violence and stupidity. For No. 3, the only way to outdo the previous editions was by killing people — which they do. Without the shock of the new, this “Hangover” just flounders around, gasping for air. And, to make matters worse, the film ends a full 12 minutes before the credits roll. I needed a stiff drink after this one. Extras: “Replacing Zach: The Secret Auditions,” outtakes, “The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts,” “Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words,” “Pushing the Limits,” action mash-up, “Inside Focus: The Real Chow,” extended scenes. Vitals: Director: Todd Phillips. Stars: Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Vigman, Sasha Barrese, Jamie Chung, John Goodman. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $112.142 million, Warner. 1 stars

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Oct 102013

photo for The Purge “The Purge” combines the best of several thriller genres all in one fairly tightly directed and acted outing: there’s the near-futuristic “Clockwork Orange” violence-for-violence’s- sake scenario, a home-invasion-by-strangers attack, and a “Straw Dogs’s” fight-back retaliation. In the near future, in order to reduce crime in America, the government has sanctioned an annual 12-hour period in which any and all criminal activity — including murder — is legal. Supposedly this quells bad behavior the other 364 days of the year. Ethan Hawke’s family — wife (Lena Headey), daughter and son — hunker down in their secure home in a gated community to wait out the night. But when they allow a homeless man to find safety in their house, a gang of yuppie murderers mount an all-out assault on them — and the family has to learn to defend themselves. It’s all very exciting and edge-of-your seat, with several neat twists and a predictable ending that you wait for since it’s been foreshadowed about 30 minutes into the film. “The Purge” didn’t fare well at the box office or with the critics but it definitely deserves a better chance on DVD — it’s much better than you suspect. Co-stars Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane and Edwin Hodge. Extras: “Surviving the Night: The Making of The Purge.” Vitals: Director: James DeMonaco. Stars: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 85 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $64.423 million, Universal. 2 stars

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 102013

photo for Action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man, who survived the turmoil of 1930s China to change the world of martial arts forever (he was Bruce Lee’s teacher). The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China’s last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. In Mandarin Chinese with English subtitles. Extras: “The Grandmaster: From Ip Man to Bruce Lee,” “A Conversation With Shannon Lee (daughter of Bruce Lee), “The Grandmaster: According to RZA,” behind-the-scenes footage. Vitals: Director: Wong Kar Wai. Stars: Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Chang Chen. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 108 min., Action, Box office gross: $6.505 million, The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay. 2 stars

 Posted by on October 10, 2013 No Responses »
Oct 092013

Sony’s October Manufactured-on-Demand Releases:

"Air Hostess"

“Air Hostess”

Feature Films:

Air Hostess (1933)
Kitty King (Evalyn Knapp, “His Private Secretary”) is an air hostess for TWA. She falls for rugged and rakish stunt pilot Ted Hunter (James Murray, “Bachelor Mother”), and the two get married despite protests from Kitty’s friends. They move away to Albuquerque, and soon Kitty finds Ted canoodling with a socialite. As Kitty travels home on a train, Ted realizes the train is heading for a collapsing bridge. It is up to Ted to use his skillful flying to save the day.

Unwelcome Stranger (1935)
Howard Chamberlain (Jack Holt, “They Were Expendable”) is a renowned but superstitious horse breeder. When an orphan, Gimpy (Jackie Searl, “The Paleface”), shows up at his house looking for a place to stay, Howard resists, thinking that orphans are a jinx. Howard’s wife, Madeline (Mona Barrie, “Something to Sing About”), doesn’t listen to Howard, however, and lets Gimpy into their home to work in the barn. Suddenly, Howard’s superstitious ways are put to the test.

Babies for Sale (1940)
Ruth Williams (Rochelle Hudson, “Rebel Without a Cause”), a recently widowed pregnant woman, shows up at the charitable foundation of Dr. Wallace Rankin (Miles Mander, “Wuthering Heights”) to find help with her pregnancy. But Rankin is running an illegal adoption agency, tricking women into giving up their babies. When Ruth refuses to sign the release that gives up her child, she is told the baby died at birth. But Ruth doesn’t believe Rankin, and intrepid reporter Steve Burton (Glenn Ford,) is on the case to bring down Rankin and others who profit from those who can’t fight for themselves.

Made in Italy (1965)
“Made in Italy” is a loving and satirical look at Italy during the 1960s. Featuring dozens of Italian stars (Aldo Fabrizi, “The Teacher and the Miracle”; Anna Magnani, “Rome, Open City”; and Nino Manfredi, “Bread and Chocolate”; to name a few), the film is an anthology of five stories woven together with affection. Tourists, restaurateurs, car lovers, philanderers and a variety of other crazy characters come together in this lively comedy.

The Comic (1969)
Silent film star Billy Bright (Dick Van Dyke) was a legend on the silver screen, but he also had a legendary ego, one that ruined his career. Dealing with womanizing, alcoholism and professional squabbles, Billy is unable to see the real source of his problems — himself. From director Carl Reiner comes a film mixed with slapstick laughs and great performances from Michele Lee, Mickey Rooney and Cornel Wilde.

Whatever (1998)
In 1981, in the middle of the “Just Say No” era, Anna (Liza Weil, TV’s “Gilmore Girls”) uses her time in high school as an opportunity to experiment with boys, drugs and alcohol. Still a virgin, Anna finds herself hanging out with the party crowd, which affects her grades and may hurt her opportunity to go to an art school her instructor (Frederic Forrest) champions. A story about rebelliousness and lost innocence. An assured, compelling drama.

TV on DVD: Manufactured on Demand:

Happy Endings: The Complete Third Season
Your favorite sextet of young, hip Chicagoans are back for another season of this critically-acclaimed comedy. Dave (Zachary Knighton, TV’s “FlashForward”) and Alex (Elisha Cuthbert, TV’s “24”) try to rekindle their old romance; Brad (Damon Wayans, Jr., TV’s “The Underground”) and Jane (Eliza Coupe, TV’s “Scrubs”) go through the trials of marriage; Penny (Casey Wilson, TV’s “Saturday Night Live”) manages a new relationship, a body cast and a prescriptive helmet; and Max (Adam Pally, “Iron Man 3”) deals with bar mitzvah DJing, unusual handshakes and figuring out to which gay subculture he belongs. Season Three of HAPPY ENDINGS reaffirms it is one of the funniest shows on TV!

Party of Five: The Complete Sixth Season
In the final season of this popular drama series, the Salinger family deals with the hardships of living after the loss of their parents. Charlie (Matthew Fox, TV’s “Lost”) and Kirsten (Paula Devicq, “The Breakup Artist”) get married and try to have a child; Bailey (Scott Wolf, “Go”) tries to find his life’s calling; Julia (Neve Campbell, “Scream”) has issues with her writing and dating life; Claudia (Lacey Chabert, “Mean Girls”) prepares for college and has some tough decisions to make. All of this, including a “What If” episode that shows what would have happened if the Salinger family’s parents didn’t die, make the final season a compelling one.

Gidget Gets Married (1972 – TV Movie)
Everyone’s favorite surfers, Gidget (Monie Ellis, TV’s “The Partridge Family”) and Jeff (Michael Burns, TV’s “Wagon Train”), have grown up and decided to get married. The couple moves to Florida, where Jeff’s job at World Wide Dynamics causes him to work late hours. The company’s strict rules and regulations also cause a strain in their marriage. But Gidget won’t stand still and let things be, and her free-spirited ways shake up the company and the town. Featuring Don Ameche and Paul Lynde.

Kiss Me, Kill Me (1976 – TV Movie)
A young, crippled schoolteacher is murdered, and Stella Stafford (Stella Stevens) is put on the case. Due to the teacher’s active and unusual sex life, there are several suspects, and it’s up to Stella to figure it out before the killer acts again. Also starring Michael Anderson, Jr. (“Logan’s Run”), Dabney Coleman (“Nine to Five”), Bruce Boxleitner (TV’s “Scarecrow and Mrs. King”) and Robert Vaughn (TV’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”), the film is a compelling crime drama.

 Posted by on October 9, 2013 2 Responses »
Oct 082013

From the Big Screen:

“The Purge,” “The Hangover Part III,” “After Earth” and “Much Ado About Nothing.” For more releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.


At the top of the list this week is the great French director Rene Clair’s second American film, the fantasy romantic comedy “I Married a Witch” (1942). Here Veronica Lake casts a photo for I Married a Witch seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic. Many centuries after cursing the male descendants of the Salem Puritan who sent her to the stake, this blonde bombshell with a broomstick finds herself drawn to one of them — ­a prospective governor (Fredric March) about to marry a spoiled socialite (Susan Hayward). This most delightful of the films the innovative French director made in Hollywood is a comic confection bursting with playful special effects and sparkling witticisms. In a new 2K digital restoration, on Blu-ray and DVD. Extras include an audio interview with Clair, the trailer, and a booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Guy Maddin and a 1970 interview with Clair. From the Criterion Collection.

From Out of the Vaults:

“The Avengers — The Complete Emma Peel Megaset” (1965-1968) is a 16-disc set, including all three seasons and 51 episodes that featured Emma Peel’s (Diana Rigg) undercover roles, from her unforgettable debut in her famous leather cat suit, to her thrilling last spy adventure. Available on DVD for the first time in four years, the collection spans all of Peel’s time on the hit series with star Patrick Macnee. $49.98 from Lionsgate … The Star Wars trilogies are photo for back, this time in combo Blu-ray/DVD sets: “Star Wars Trilogy Episodes IV-VI” consists of the original “Star Wars” trilogy: “A New Hope,” “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” “Star Wars Trilogy Episodes I-III” consists of the “Star Wars” prequels: “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace”, “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” Each set goes for $59.99 … “Night Train to Terror” (1985) makes its Blu-ray debut this week. It’s a trio of stories that takes place aboard a fast moving train bound for Hell, during which God and Satan decide the fates of three unfortunate mortals: Harry, a fiendish killer who keeps the horribly mutilated body parts of his countless victims in a diabolical torture chamber; Gretta, a young woman, obsessed with death, who takes part in an unspeakable ritual of Russian roulette; and Claire, a young woman and a Holocaust survivor who is terrorized by the son of Satan. Stars Cameron Mitchell, John Phillip Law, Merideth Haze and Richard Moll. From Vinegar Syndrome.

For Halloween Thrills:

Universal has “Chucky: The Complete Collection — Limited Edition” so you can set a play date with Chucky with all six movies together for the first time in a chilling collection: “Child’s Play,” “Child’s Play 2,” “Child’s Play 3,” “Bride of Chucky,” “Seed of Chucky” and “Curse of Chucky.” On Blu-ray and DVD.

Blu-ray Debuts:

“On the Riviera “ (1951), starring Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney and Corinne Calvet. Danny Kaye stars in dual performances in this musical farce about a womanizing French financier-aviator (Kaye) who, faced with a scheduling conflict, hires a nightclub performer (also Kaye) to temporarily impersonate him … and romance two beautiful women who both think he’s their lover. Released to celebrate Kaye’s centennial“Fantastic Voyage” (1966), directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Stephen Boyd, Donald Pleasence, Raquel Welch, Edmond O’Brien, Arthur O’Connell and Arthur Kennedy … and “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1961), directed by Irwin Allen and starring Walter Pidgeon, Barbara Eden, Peter Lorre, Joan Fontaine, Robert Sterling, Michael Ansara, Frankie Avalon and Regis Toomey. All three from Fox.

Blu-ray Anniversary Editions:

photo for The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Extended Director's Cut Warner has released a 40th anniversary edition of what has to be one of the scariest movies of all time (due to great writing, directing, acting and verisimilitude): “The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Extended Director’s Cut” (1973), directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, Linda Blair and Mercedes McCambridge (as the voice of the devil). The set includes the extended director’s cut and the theatrical version. Extras include a new featurette, “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist,” in which author Blatty returns to some of the locations that figure in the novel and film; “Talk of the Devil,” in which Blatty talks with Father Eugene Gallagher about the true story behind the exorcism; two commentaries by Friedkin; commentary by Blatty; introduction by Friedkin; 1998 BBC documentary “The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist”; “Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist” set footage; “The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now”; “Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist,” with Friedkin and Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film; original ending; interviews; sketches and storyboards; radio spots; TV spots; and trailers … Universal has released “Monty photo for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life -- 30th Anniversary Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT Python’s The Meaning of Life — 30th Anniversary Edition” (1983), starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Celebrate the 30th anniversary by re-living every side-splitting comedic moment, every outrageous vignette and every tasteless joke, as Monty Python commands your attention once again following their breakthrough “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Life of Brian.” “The Meaning of Life” brought all the loyal Pythonites back together, sharing writing responsibilities as they returned to their much loved sketch show format, with Terry Jones directing and John Goldstone producing, the group bringing to life roles ranging from The Grim Reaper to the legendary Mr. Creosote. Segments included “The Miracle of Birth,” “Live Organ Transplants” and “The Autumn Years.” Extras include “The Meaning of Monty Python: 30th Anniversary Reunion,” in which the Pythons takes a funny, enlightening trip down memory lane. Thirty years after making “The Meaning of Life,” Cleese, Gilliam, Idle, Jones and Palin reunite for a new hour-long conversation about the last movie they made together. From the beach in Jamaica where it was written to the hilarious ideas that didn’t make the cut, the Pythons provoke laughter and thought with a wide-ranging discussion about comedy, society, the universe and the biggest mystery of all: “why are fish funny?” And there’s a sing-along version of the film.

From TV to DVD:

“American Horror Story: Asylum: The Complete Second Season” (2012-13) is a four-disc DVD, or three-disc Blu-ray set with 13, from Fox … “Bones Season Eight” (2012-13) is a six-disc DVD or five-disc Blu-ray set with 26 episodes, from Fox … “A Day in the Life Seasons 1 and 2” (2011-12) is a two-disc set with 16 episodes of Morgan Spurlock’s series that takes a look at the most innovative and intriguing individuals in our cultural and business landscape, $24.89 from Virgil Films … photo for The Guild: Season Six “The Guild: Season Six” (2012) is the final season of the web series created by geek goddess Felicia Day. Codex (Day) thinks she has found her calling working for Floyd Petrovski at the headquarters of “The Game.” Instead, she finds that her new job is less a dream and more of a nightmare when Floyd’s insecurities prevent him from releasing the much-anticipated underwater expansion. Vork, Zaboo and Tink complicate her life even more when they invade her workplace to advance their own gaming agendas. Meanwhile, Bladezz gets kicked out of the house and ropes Clara into the addictive world of video blogging. From Cinedigm … “The Guild Complete Megaset” (2007-2012) is a six disc set of the pioneering and award-winning web series, $59.95 from Cinedigm … “In the Flesh” (2013) is the three-part BBC America series about a zombie epidemic, a catastrophic war, and the rehabilitation and medication for those with PDS (Partially Deceased Syndrome). Four years after the Rising, the government starts to bring the Undead back into society, including teenager Kieren Walker, who returns home to his small Lancashire village to face a hostile reception as well as his own demons. $19.98 from BBC Home Entertainment … “Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis Pilot Through Series 6” (2012) is a 14-disc set with 27 mysteries and a bonus video that features “The Making of…” and an interview with Kevin Whately (Inspector Lewis), $129.99 from PBS Distribution … “The Middle: The Complete Third Season” (2011-12) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $44.98 from Warner … “90210 — The Final photo for Psych: The Complete Seventh Season Season” (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $47.99 from CBS/Paramount … “Psych: The Complete Seventh Season” (2013) is a three-disc set with 14 episodes, $59.98. It’s business as unusual for “psychic” crime fighter Shawn Spencer (James Roday) and best pal Burton “Gus” Guster (Dule Hill) as they track down Bigfoot, go undercover as wacky radio DJs, and solve the ultimate murder mystery. And, Gus finally gets the girl. From Universal … “Robot Chicken Season 6” (2012-13) consists of 20 episodes of the top-rated, animated Adult Swim television series. Guest stars this season include Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Chalke, Kat Dennings, Sam Elliott, Ben Foster, Whoopi Goldberg, Lucas Grabeel, Megan Hilty, Gillian Jacobs, Zachary Levi, J.B. Smoove, Liev Schreiber, Jon Stewart, Patrick Stewart, Stanley Tucci, Olivia Wilde, and Alex Winter. Two-disc DVD, $29.98; single-disc Blu-ray, $39.98. From Warner … “The Secret of Crickley Hall” (2012), about a family that moves to Crickley Hall, a seemingly perfect countryside house, a year after their 5-year-old son goes missing, where they encounter supernatural events. From BBC Home Entertainment … “The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 4” (1976-77) is an eight-disc set with 22 uncut episodes and three crossover episodes of “The Bionic Woman,” $39.98 from Universal … “White Collar Season Four” (2012-13) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $39.98 from Fox.

Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:

“Europa Report” (2013) is one of the new breed of thrillers (using any combination of “documentary” story-telling, video camera footage, talking heads and real-time action) that has brought us “The Blair Witch Project,” the “Paranormal Activity” outings, “Cloverfield,” “Apollo 18” and “Troll Hunter.” Though this science fiction actioner puts a lot of emphasis on science fact, it never shortchanges the fiction, stylishly delivering its thrills and chills, much like photo for Europa Report Danny Boyle’s highly underrated “Sunshine,” to which “Europa Report” has a striking kinship. When unmanned probes suggest that a hidden ocean could exist underneath Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa Ventures, a privately funded space exploration company, sends six of the best astronauts from around the world to confirm the data and explore the revolutionary possibility that life may exist there. It’s a doomed mission, and we’re given privy to the failures of the venture: the loss of communications, equipment breakdowns, the tragic death of a crew member, the psychological and physical toll of deep space travel and, after arriving on Europa, a discovery more frightening than the crew could ever have imagined. It’s well-acted, directed, and the CGI is incredible — with utmost detail to scientific realities. Sci-fi fans need to put this on their short list. Helmed by up-and-coming Ecuadorian director Sebastian Cordero and starring Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Anamaria Marinca, Michael Nyqvist, Daniel Wu, Karolina Wydra and Sharlto Copley. Extras include a pair of enlightening featurettes, “Exploring the Visual Effects of Europa Report” and “The Musical Journey of Europa Report.” From Magnolia Home Entertainment.

It’s been a quarter of a century since fans were first petrified by Toyland’s most lethal serial killer, and now Chucky is back to finish off the job he started so long ago in “Curse of Chucky” (2013), staring Fiona Dourif, A Martinez, Danielle Bisutti, Brennan Elliott and with Brad Dourif once again providing the voice of Chucky. When a mysterious package arrives at the house of Nica (Fiona Dourif), she doesn’t give it much thought. However, after her mother’s mysterious death, Nica begins to suspect that the talking, red-haired doll her visiting niece has been playing with may be the key to the ensuing bloodshed and chaos. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc photo for Curse of Chucky< from Universal … The latest victim of a serial killer — who has claimed the lives of a number of other women — escapes his assault, only to be tracked down by the murderer, who is now obsessed with and holds great affection for the woman in “Shiver” (2012), starring Danielle Harris, John Jarratt and Casper Van Dien. From Image Entertainment … When a seemingly fun party goes horribly awry with the rape of a girl and the murder of the perpetrator, a group of teenagers decide to cover up the crime … only to unearth a shocking truth that leads them down an even more sinister path that forces them to make hard decisions about their fates in “Complicity” (2012), starring Shoshana Bush, Heather Hemmens, Sean Young, Jenna Boyd and Haley Ramm. From Inception Media Group … A Caucasian boy — adopted by an Asian family — who dreams of being a ninja travels to Hollywood to avenge the death of the Dancing Ninja school’s beloved sensei at the hands of a vicious ex-student, an American action movie star in “Dancing Ninja” (2010), starring Lucas Grabeel, David Hasselhoff, Patrick Gallagher, Bree Turner and Gary Hudson. From Inception Media Group … Set in a post-apocalyptic Zombie wasteland caused by the mysterious street drug “Natas,” “Zombie Hunter” (2013), starring Martin Copping, Danny Trejo, Claire Neiderpruem, Jason K. Wixom and Jade Regier, follows the Hunter (Copping), who has nothing left other than a beat up Camaro and a trunk full of guns and booze. He runs down Flesh Eaters, hunting for sport and redemption and, after crashing into a small group of survivors running low on resources led by an ass-kicking priest (Trejo), he decides to lend a hand. On DVD and Blu-rafrom Well Go USA … In “Adam Chaplin: photo for Zombie Hunter Violent Avenger” (2013), starring Emanuele De Santi, Valeria Sannino, Paolo Luciani, Alessandro Gramanti and Wilmar Zimosa, a young man makes a pact with a demon to give him superhuman strength and dark powers to wreak bloody revenge on the local mafia and corrupt police for the death of his wife. From Autonomy Pictures … “Berlin Job (aka St George’s Day)” (2012) follows two infamous London gangsters who are on top of the food chain until their world is turned upside down when they lose a shipment of the Russian Mafia’s cocaine. Stars Charles Dance, Sean Pertwee, Dexter Fletcher, Vincent Regan, Luke Treadaway, William Bishop and Craig Fairbrass. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Cinedigm … A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their lives turned upside down when a panicked girl appears at their home in the middle of the night, followed by masked intruders in the 3D thriller “Static” (2012), starring Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother and Sara Paxton. From Cinedigm … A move into a Beverly Hills home with a low price tag is too good to be true, until a family discovers that one of the previous owners was murdered and the ghostly victim turns the dream house into the house from hell in “Paranormal Apparition: Revenge From Beyond the Grave” (2012), starring Lulu Brud, CJ Baker and Elissa Dowling. From MVD Entertainment … “Corruption” (1968), starring Peter Cushing, Sue Lloyd, Kate O’Mara, Billy Murray, Wendy Varnals, Jan Waters and David Lodge, is the first-ever U.S. home video release of arguably the photo for wildest, sickest and sleaziest swinging-sixties British horror thriller. The legendary Peter Cushing stars as a surgeon driven to murder and madness as he attempts to restore the beauty of his hideously disfigured fashion model wife. This special edition contains shocking scenes of gore and nudity previously deemed too strong for American audiences. Released to coincide with Cushing’s 100th birthday (1913-1994). From Grindhouse Releasing … “House on Straw Hill” (1976), banned in Britain for 30 years, is a shockingly violent and erotic tale of seduction, brutality and revenge. Cult movie icon Udo Kier stars as a successful novelist suffering from writer’s block, who rents a country cottage in the hope of finding inspiration. But the arrival of a sensual secretary (Linda Haydena) sets in motion a chain of events that culminate in an unrestrained explosion of sex and savagery. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Severin Films.

On the Indie Front:

Two brothers, Kyle and Quentin “Q” Cooper, raised to carry on their family’s proud legacy in the Delta Gamma fraternity, become rivals when Kyle pledges another fraternity, causing a huge family rift and disappointing his over-bearing father in “Frat Brothers”
Frat Brothers (2013), starring Romeo Miller, Darrin Henson, Mishon Ratliff and Denyce Lawton. From DVD One Village Entertainment … When a young woman discovers two horses stranded deep in the Rocky Mountain snow, she makes it her mission to find a way to get them to safety: With no other options, she picks up a shovel and starts to dig out the mile long path, inspiring her father and the entire community to band together to save the horses in the spirit of Christmas in “The Horses of McBride” (2013) starring Aidan Quinn, MacKenzie Porter and Kari Matchett. Inspired by a true story. From Entertainment One … In “Resolution” (2013), starring Peter Cilella and Vinny Curran, a man implements a plan to force his best friend to end his drug addiction before it leads to an early death, tying him up in an abandoned cabin. But events take an unexpected turn as the pair confront personal demons, the consequences of past actions, and forces beyond their control. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Cinedigm/Tribeca.

For the Family:

  • “Alpha and Omega 2: A Howl-iday Adventure” (2013) is a holiday-themed sequel to the 2010 animated family film. Here Alpha and Omega’s youngest cub disappears just before the holiday festivities and the pair set off to track him down. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo — available exclusively at Walmart — from Lionsgate.
  • “The Borrowers” (2011 — TV) Stars Aisling Loftus, Christopher Eccleston, Sharon Horgan, Stephen Fry, Robert Sheehan. Based on Mary Norton’s novels, “The Borrowers” (also a 1997 feature film starring Jim Broadbent and John Goodman and the 2012 Studio Ghibli “The Secret World of Arrietty”) follows the adventures of a secret family of four-inch people living inside the walls of a house. From Universal.
  • “Bratz Go to Paris The Movie” (2013) When someone starts mysteriously poisoning the most popular models in Paris, Cloe, Yasmin, Jade and Sasha are recruited to go undercover in the City of Lights as supermodels to find the evil mastermind. $14.98 from Lionsgate.
  • “Caillou: Let’s Go Sledding” (2013) Nine adventures in which Caillou teaches kids about patience, recognizing limits and the benefits of practice. $9.99 from PBS Distribution.
  • “Dinosaur Train: We Are a Dinosaur Family” (2013) Eight prehistoric family adventures that embrace and celebrate the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains, while encouraging basic scientific thinking skills. $9.99 from PBS Distribution.photo for League of Super Evil Megaset
  • “Drawing With Mark “ (2013) Hosted by Mark Marderosian, a professional cartoonist and illustrator with more than 25 years of experience, this Parents’ Choice and Creative Child Magazine award-winning television series teaches children of all ages the fundamentals of drawing. There are two separate DVDs, each containing two episodes: “Reach for the Stars and A Day With the Dinosaurs” and “We All Scream for Ice Cream and Happy Tails.” $14.98 each from Shelter Island.
  • “Enchanted Tales” Six new DVDs each featuring two animated retellings of the most beloved classic tales, originally airing on Comcast and Hulu: “The Night Before Christmas & The Christmas Elves,” “Snow White & The Princess Castle,” “The Jungle King & The Prince and the Pauper,” “A Tale of Egypt & Noah’s Ark,” “Beauty and the Beast & Pocahontas” and “Camelot & Hercules.” $9.95 each from Cinedigm.
  • “League of Super Evil Megaset” (2013) Eight-disc set with all 52 episodes of the animated TV series that follows four Super Villains (L.O.S.E.) who have set their sights on nothing less than total neighborhood domination, except they have no powers, no skills, no money … and the worst thing they’ve done is irritate their neighbors. Led by self-proclaimed mastermind Voltar, L.O.S.E. includes muscle-bound nice-guy Red Menace, Mad Scientist Doktor Frogg and inter-dimensional hell-hound Doomageddon. $79.95 from Cinedigm.
  • “Lifetime 12 Films of Christmas” Six-disc set with 12 Lifetime Holiday films: “The Road to Christmas,” “Recipe for a Perfect Christmas,” “Home By Christmas,” “A Christmas Wedding,” “Holiday Switch,” “A Very Merry Daughter of the Bride,” “Under the Mistletoe,” “Holiday Wishes,” “Christmas in Paradise,” “Deck the Halls,” “His & Her Christmas,” “Will You Merry Me?” $24.98 from Lionsgate.photo for Lifetime 12 Films of Christmas
  • “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble: Assembly Required” (2013 — TV) Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow and the newest recruit Falcon, battle Red Skull and M.O.D.O.K. in this two-part animated adventure. $19.99 from Disney.
  • “Monster High: 13 Wishes” (2013) More animated adventures of the kids at Monster High: When the little sister of Clawdeen Wolf, Howleen, stumbles upon a genie who grants her not 3, but 13 wishes, the ghouls quickly learn to be scareful what you wish for, because each wish comes with a dark side, and soon the student disem-body of Monster High is turned upside-down. From Universal.
  • “My Little Pony: A Very Minty Christmas” (2005) First in the My Little Pony Classic Movies reissue program. $9.99 from Shout! Factory Kids.
  • “Power Rangers Super Samurai: A Christmas Wish” (2013) Three Christmas-themed episodes with the Samurai Rangers: “Super Samurai Stuck on Christmas,” “Mighty Morphin Forever Friends” and “Mighty Morphin Alpha’s Magical Christmas.” $14.98 from Lionsgate.
  • “Tad: The Lost Explorer” (2012 — Spain) CGI-animated family film. Construction worker Tad Stones often daydreams of an exciting life as an adventurer. One day, his dreams come true when he is mistaken for a famous archeologist and is whisked off to Peru while in possession of a sacred key; there he’s caught up in a thrilling race against evil treasure hunters as he joins a professor and his beautiful daughter in their search for the Lost City of Paititi. Features music from One Direction. On DVD and 3D Blu-ray Disc/Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.photo for
  • “Thomas and Friends: Santa’s Little Engine” (2013) Five episodes: Thomas is full steam ahead as a Really Useful Reindeer, saving the day by guiding Santa’s sleigh straight to the Sodor Christmas celebration. When snowfall transforms the island of Sodor into a winter wonderland, Thomas discovers that being safe is the best route to holiday fun, Percy makes everyone’s Christmas wishes come true and Gordon discovers his friends’ special skills are the gifts that keep on giving, all year long. $14.98 from Lionsgate).
  • “Totally Spies Season 2: Volume 1: Secret Agents” and “Totally Spies Season 2: Volume 2: Fame & Fashion” (2003-4) are two-disc sets with 13 episodes of the Cartoon Network and ABC Family teen girl series about three typical high school girls — best friends — who work as undercover spies for the secret organization WOOHP. $19.95 each from Cinedigm.
  • “Totally Spies Collection: Seasons 1-3” (2001-5) is a 12-disc set with the first three seasons of the aforementioned Cartoon Network and ABC Family teen girl series. $99.95 from Cinedigm.
  • “Transformers Prime Beast Hunters — Predacons Rising” (2013) Ninety-minute epilogue to the final season wraps up the series that chronicled the epic battle between the Decepticons and the Autobots: A resurrected Unicron has taken over the now-lifeless body of Megatron to seek vengeance on the Autobots and ultimately, the destruction of Cybertron. This formidable enemy forces an unlikely alliance between the Autobots, Decepticons, Predaking and two new Predacons, who come together in an epic battle to help protect their newly restored planet. ON DVD, $16.97; Blu-ray/DVD Combo, $24.97 from Shout! Factory.

Special Interest:

“The Best of (The Original) An Evening at the Improv” (2013) is a four-disc set with 12 hours of invaluable archival footage of more than 100 iconic comedians who performed at the famous venue (and which was aired as hour programs on A&E as “An Evening at the Improv”), including Milton Berle, Shecky Greene, Shelley Berman, Paul Reiser, Jackie Mason, Mort Sahl, Jerry Seinfeld, Howie Mandel, Jim Carrey, Richard Lewis, Bob Saget, Arsenio Hall, Billy Crystal, Bill Maher, Phyllis Diller, Sandra Bernhard, Elayne Boosler, Paula Poundstone, Carol Leifer, Steven Wright, Father Guido Sarducci, Fred Willard, John Byner and Pee-wee Herman. From Somerville House … “Bob and the Monster” photo for Bob and the Monster (2011) is an award winning documentary that follows outspoken indie-rock hero Bob Forrest (lead vocalist and lyricist for Los Angeles bands Thelonious Monster and The Bicycle Thief) through his life-threatening struggle with addiction, to his transformation into one of the most influential and controversial drug counselors in the U.S. today. The film crafts contemporary footage and compelling interviews with archival performances to reveal the complex layers of this troubled, but hopeful soul. Testimony from his peers, including Courtney Love, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, add texture, but it’s the depth of Bob’s music, interwoven throughout the film, that illuminates this unforgettable and inspirational story. On DVD and Blu-ray from Shaker Films/MVD Entertainment … In “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” (2012), documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney explores the charged issue of pedophilia in the Catholic Church, following a trail from the first known protest against clerical sexual abuse in the United States all the way to the Vatican. Voiceover talent includes John Slattery, Ethan Hawke, Chris Cooper and James Patrick Sheridan. From Cinedigm.

 Posted by on October 8, 2013 No Responses »