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More DVD News: May 2012
'Titanic' Sets Sail on Blu-ray, 3D Sept. 10
One of the most-requested of all DVD titles (now out of print) is retuning to home video with a vengeance. Paramount and Fox today announced a Sept. 10 release for James Cameron's "Titanic" (which grossed more than $2 billion and received 11 Academy Awards) in three configurations: A four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo (with digital copy), a four-disc 3D Blu-ray set and a two-disc DVD version. Both Blu-ray sets feature more than 2 1/2 hours of new bonus footage, including a fascinating in-depth exploration of the film with Cameron, as well as new National Geographic documentary footage that further probes the mysteries of why and how the "unsinkable" ship sank. The sets also boast previously released special features including 30 deleted scenes, over 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, a look at the groundbreaking visual effects, over 2,000 photos, three commentaries and much, much more. The two-disc DVD set comes with deleted scenes and digital download.
Read the complete press release here.
This Just In: 'E.T.' Comes Home
"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," Steven Spielberg's magical adventure, celebrates its 30th Anniversary with its first-ever release on Blu-ray this October. Featuring an all-new, digitally remastered picture as well as all-new 7.1 surround sound, the "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the 1982 theatrical movie, an all-new interview with director Steven Spielberg, and "The E.T. Journals," featuring never-before-seen footage from the set of the film. An exact street date has yet to be announced.Read the complete press release here.
This Week's Releases (May 29)
From the Big Screen:
"Man on a Ledge," "Gone," "We Need to Talk About Kevin," "Coriolanus" and "Goon." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (5/29)
The best -- and most absorbing -- film of the week is actually a 90-minute TV show from Sweden: "Henning Mankell's Wallander." "Wallander," based on original stories from "The Godfather of Swedish Crime" Henning Mankell, follows the titular, middle-aged (he's 62) chief inspector Kurt Wallander (Krister Henriksson) as he investigates crimes and solves mysteries in the deceptively dark underbelly of picturesque modern Sweden. Wallander is a brilliant but flawed detective who drinks a little too much, struggles with anger control, meets opposition from his friends, family and co-workers, but always is on the job when it comes to tracking down the evildoers who slither through the countryside: There's religious cults, abandoned babies, art theft, pedophiles, Russian drug smuggling, vigilantes and more seedy crimes, most talking place in the provincial town of Ystad. (The novels have also been adapted as nine television films for the BBC, starring Kenneth Branagh as Wallander). Music Box Films is releasing the complete Series 2 (2009-10) as a seven-disc set with 13 feature-length episodes for $74.95. We had the privilege of screening the first episode, "The Revenge" (from the producers of the original "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"), which begins with Wallander celebrating his 62nd birthday, having achieved his lifelong dream of purchasing a house by the sea. Suddenly, a heavy explosion disrupts the peace and quiet in Ystad, knocking out the town’s lone power transformer. When more explosions follow, the military is called in and the little town starts to look like a war zone. Are the explosions acts of sabotage? Or terrorism directed at a local Islamic exhibition? Everything is in chaos as Wallander navigates through the darkness to track down the culprits. If you liked the "original "Dragon Tattoo" series, or the Norwegian "Insomnia" (starring Stellan Skarsgard) or even the recent "Headhunters" (also from Norway), you'll love this gritty, no-nonsense series. Highly recommended.
With Summer coming on, what better way to celebrate the season than with dark blasts from Ingmar Bergman. Our friends over at The Criterion Collection have released two of his early 1950s films. "Summer Interlude" (1951): Touching on many of the themes that would define the rest of his legendary career -- isolation, performance, the inescapability of the past -- the 10th film by Ingmar Bergman was a gentle sway toward true mastery. In one of the director's great early female roles, Maj-Britt Nilsson beguiles as Marie, an accomplished ballet dancer haunted by her tragic youthful affair with a shy, handsome student (Birger Malmsten). Her memories of the rocky shores of Stockholm's outer archipelago mingle with scenes from her gloomy present, most of them set in the dark backstage environs of the theater where she works. A film that the director considered a creative turning point, "Summer Interlude" is a reverie on life and death that bridges the gap between Bergman's past and future, theater and cinema. "Summer With Monika" (1953): Inspired by the earthy eroticism of his muse Harriet Andersson, in the first of her many roles for him, Bergman had a major international breakthrough with this ravaging, sensual tale of young love. In Stockholm, a girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair is forced to return to reality. The version originally released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original "Summer With Monika," as presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman's most important films.
From TV to Video: (5/29)
"Drop Dead Diva: The Complete Third Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $45.99 from Sony ... "Fairly Legal: Season One"
(2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, from Universal ... "In Plain Sight: Season Four" (2011) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, from Universal ... "Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp" (1970-72) is a three-disc set with 17 episodes, $24.98 from Film Chest. Proceeds will benefit Lancelot's retirement home, Los Angeles' Wildlife Waystation ... "Maverick: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a seven-disc set with 27 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Monroe, Series 1" (2011) stars James Nesbitt in this new medical drama described as a dose of "House's" dark humor mixed with an infusion of humanity and warmth; Nesbitt plays Dr. Monroe, a neurosurgical genius with a quick wit and a heart to match his titanic ego. Series 1 premiered on ITV in March 2011. From Acorn Media ... "Murdoch Mysteries, Season 4" (2012) features forensic sleuthing in the Age of Invention; the charming period mystery is available to U.S. audiences for the first time. Based on the characters from award-winning author Maureen Jennings' Detective Murdoch novels. From Acorn Media ... "Necessary Roughness: Season One" (2011) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, from Universal ... "Rookie Blue: The Complete Second Season"
(2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $44.98 from Entertainment One ... "Royal Pains: Season Three -- Volume Two" (2011-12) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, from Universal ... "True Blood: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011) is a five-disc set with 12 episodes, $59.99 from HBO.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (5/29)
"96 Minutes" (2011) is an intense story of four lives slammed together after a terrifying carjacking, intercutting between the carjacking and the separate stories of the four young people involved. Stars Brittany Snow, Evan Ross, Christian Serratos, David Oyelowo. From ARC Entertainment ... "Love Never Dies" (2012) is Andrew Lloyd Webber's sequel of sorts to his "The Phantom of the Opera." Having relocated to a vivacious amusement resort in Coney Island, The Phantom of the Paris Opera House uses a pseudonym to invite renowned soprano Christine Daae to perform. She and her husband Raoul have no idea what lies in store. Stars Ben Lewis, Anna O'Byrne. From Universal ... "Dawn Rider" (2012) is a remake of the John Wayne 1935 Western. It's a story of vengeance and passion set in the American West. When the father of gunslinger John Mason (Christian Slater) is shot to death by masked bandits, he sets out with guns blazing to track down the killers. During his quest, he finds himself involved in a grim love triangle when he falls for Alice, the determined and beautiful woman also adored by John's best friend. From Nasser Entertainment/Vivendi Entertainment ... "Jules Verne's Mysterious Island" (2012) is a modern updating of the classic. As famine and death ravage Richmond, Va., five northern Civil War POWs plan a daring escape by hijacking a hot air balloon. Drifting through the night, they wake to find themselves marooned on a strange island littered with wreckage and home to a cast of survivors who have been lost in space and time. Stars Pruitt Taylor Vince, Lochlyn Munro, Susie Arbromeit. From Green Apple Entertainment ... "The Aggression Scale" (2012), starring Dana Ashbrook, Derek Mears, Ray Wise, Ryan Hartwig and Fabianne Therese, is a unique take on the home invasion thriller with two teenagers -- one of whom is emotionally disturbed with a history of violent behavior -- confronting some heavily armed bad guys who are looking for stolen cash, leading to a bloody battle of wits and will. From Anchor Bay ... "Memorial Day" (2011) stars Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell, John Cromwell, Jackson Bond and Mary Kay Fortier-Spalding. It's Memorial Day 1993, when 13-year-old Kyle Vogel stumbles upon his grandfather Bud's World War II footlocker. Though reluctant to discuss the war with his grandson, Bud strikes a deal with Kyle: He'll tell the stories of any three objects from the footlocker that Kyle choose; as the WWII tales from Europe unfold, the film flashes forward to see how the present day SSgt. Kyle Vogel's experiences in Iraq parallel them. From Image Entertainment.
On the Indie Front: (5/29)
In "Dirty Old Town" (2010), starring William Leroy, Nicholas De Cegli and Scott Dillin, the Bowery becomes a nexus of shattered dreams when a merchant has 72 hours to pay his rent. Facing extinction, his ramshackle tent of antiquities lures a troop of misfits, freaks and renegades who form a tableaux full of carnival pageantry, white lies and victimless crime in a fleeting glimpse of Downtown New York. From Microcinema International ... As summer begins for five teenage boys, everything seems absolutely perfect ... until each loses his innocence while facing life-changing issues, including divorcing parents in "too perfect" (2011), starring Sam Lant, Elijah Stevens. From Osiris Entertainment ... In "Valley of the Sun" (2011), starring Johnny Whitworth, Heather Burns, Beth Grant, Barry Corbin, Garrett Morris and Graham Greene, a young adult-film star, feeling disillusioned and trapped, walks off the set and lands in a mental hospital, where his unwitting parents retrieve him and take him back to their Arizona retirement community for rest and relaxation; his troubles seemingly disappear until his past comes back to haunt him in the last place on Earth he expected. From Monarch Home Entertainment.
"Life Without Principle" (2011 -- Hong Kong) is the latest from prolific director Johnny To; it follows three individuals forced into situations that tax their moral principles. An ordinary bank teller turned financial analyst is forced to sell high-risk securities to her customers in order to meet her sales target. A small-time thug delves into the futures index hoping to earn easy money to post bail for a buddy in trouble with the law. A straight-arrow Police inspector who has always enjoyed his middle income lifestyle is suddenly desperate for money when his wife puts a down payment on a luxury flat she can't afford and his dying father wants him to look after a young half-sister he never knew he had. Three in dire need of money have nothing in common until a bag of stolen money lands them in an intricate situation that forces them into making soul searching decisions about right and wrong and everything in between. From Indomina Releasing/Vivendi.
Special Interest: (5/29)
"Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston" (2011) is an exploration of the clothes, the glamour and the decadence of iconic fashion designer Halston. At the height of his fame -- in the 60s and 70s -- Halston was an emperor of fashion and style. He had his name and distinct aesthetic on everything from luxurious towels, sheets, sunglasses, carpets, shoes, gloves to a successful line of fragrance. His circle of clients and friends included Jackie Kennedy (for whom he designed the famous pill box hat), Elizabeth Taylor, Liza past 100 years, the fascination with the sinking of the RMS Titanic has grown so large that legend has replaced the truth. However, recent findings and modern technology have raised new questions about what really happened that fateful night. Follow Titanic detective Tim Maltin from the icy Labrador current of the Atlantic to the blistering deserts of the Mojave as he shatters old myths and sheds new light on the disaster that sent over 1,500 passengers and crew to a watery grave in "Titanic's Final Mystery" (2012), from Inception Media Group ... "Sing Your Song: Harry Belafonte" (2011) is a survey of the life and times of Harry Belafonte. Most people know the lasting legacy of Belafonte, the entertainer. This film unearths his significant contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and to social justice globally. From Docurama.
'Hunger Games' Arrives August 18
Lionsgate's "The Hunger Games" will arrive on home entertainment at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, August 18, as the first film in the studio's "The Hunger Games" franchise (the second film in the trilogy, "Catching Fire," is in rewrites, with an expected theatrical release date of November 22, 2013). The film, which has already grossed nearly $400 million at the North American box office and is approaching $650 million at the worldwide box office, debuts on two-disc DVD (plus digital copy), two-disc Blu-Ray (plus digital copy), VOD and digital download with three hours of bonus materials. Based on the New York Times best-selling novel from writer Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Games" can be pre-ordered for $21.69 DVD and $27.99 Blu-ray. Read more here.
May 22 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"This Means War," "The Woman in Black" and "Red Tails." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (5/22)
This week's highlights include an inscrutable film from France, three fabulous outings arriving on Blu-ray from the famed Japanese Studio Ghibli, and a box set anthologizing the work of a doyen of 1960s underground filmmaking, Robert Downey (yes, the actor's dad).
In "Certified Copy" (2010 -- France), Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami travels to Tuscany for a luminous and provocative romance in which nothing is as it appears. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people -- played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell -- getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, "Certified Copy (Copie conforme)" reminds us that love itself is an enigma. In a new high-definition digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. From The Criterion Collection ... Disney brings to Blu-ray for the first time three absorbing animated tales from Studio Ghibli: Castle in the Sky (1986), directed by Hayao Miyazaki, in which an engineer's apprentice finds a young girl floating down from the sky, and discovers they are both searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa; together, they embark on a daring quest and encounter greedy pirates, secret agents and astounding obstacles that keep them from the truth -- and from each other; Whisper of the Heart (1995), in which a chance encounter with a mysterious cat sends a quiet schoolgirl on a quest for her true talent beyond the boundaries of her imagination; and
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010), based on the acclaimed children's book series "The Borrowers," by Mary Norton.
Let's celebrate Father's Day early with an anthology of work by Robert Downey Jr.'s dad: "Eclipse Series 33: Up All Night with Robert Downey Sr."
Rarely do landmark works of cinema seem so ... wrong. Robert Downey Sr. emerged as one of the most irreverent filmmakers of the new American underground of the early sixties, taking no prisoners in his rough-and-tumble treatises on politics, race, and consumer culture. In his most famous, the midnight-movie mainstay "Putney Swope," an advertising agency is turned on its head when a militant African American man takes charge. Like Swope, Downey held nothing sacred. This selection of five of his most raucous and outlandish films, dating from 1964 to 1975, offers a unique mix of the hilariously abrasive and the intensely experimental. The two-disc box set includes: "Babo 73" (1964): Taylor Mead plays the president of the United Status, who conducts his top-secret international affairs on a deserted beach when he isn't at the White House (a dilapidated Victorian), in this political satire. Downey’s first feature is a rollicking, slapstick, ultra-low-budget 16 mm comedy experiment; "Chafed Elbows" (1966): This bad-taste riot was a breakthrough for Downey Sr., thanks to rave notices. Visualized largely in still 35mm photographs, it follows a shiftless downtown Manhattanite having his "annual November breakdown," wandering from one odd job to the next, and encountering all sorts of sordid types, from desperate low-budget filmmakers to destitute dirty-sock sniffers. And there are incest, murder, and bad pop songssomething to offend everyone. "No More Excuses" (1968): Downey Sr. takes his camera and microphone onto the streets (and into some bedrooms) for a close look at Manhattan's swinging singles scene of the late sixties. Of course, that's not all: "No More Excuses" cuts between this footage and the fragmented tale of a time-traveling Civil War soldier, a rant from the director of the fictional Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, and other assorted improprieties; "Putney Swope" (1969): The most popular film by Downey Sr. is this oddball classic about the antics that ensue after Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson, his voice dubbed by a gravelly Downey), the token black man on the board of a Madison Avenue advertising agency, is inadvertently elected chairman. Putney summarily fires all the whiteys, replaces them with Black Power apostles, renames the company Truth and Soul, Inc., and proceeds to wreak politically incorrect havoc; "Two Tons of Turquoise to Taos Tonight" (1975): "A film without a beginning or an end," in Downey Sr.’s words, this Dadaist thingamajiga never-before-seen, newly reedited version of the director's 1975 release "Moment to Moment" (also known as "Jive") is a cascade of curious sketches, scenes, and shots that takes on a rhythmic life. It stars Downey’s wife, Elsie, in an endless succession of off-the-wall roles, from dancer to cocaine fiend. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Video: (5/22)
"Ghost Hunters International Season 2: Part 2," (2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.98 from Image Entertainment ... "Mega Builders" (2012) is an eight-disc set of the Discovery Channel program with more than 25 hours showcasing some of the most incredible, history-making engineering projects and the people who make it happen, $59.98 from Entertainment One ... "My Babysitter's a Vampire: The First Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.99, from Warner ... "Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a four-disc set with 15 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "Route 66: The Complete Series" (1960-64) is a 24-disc set with all 116 episodes, $129.99 from Shout! Factory ... Benedict Cumberbatch returns as Holmes and Martin Freeman is back as Dr. John Watson in three new 90-minute stories -- inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic tales of the brilliant crime-solving icon -- in this spectacular blend of the 21st century and the original wit and spirit of the mysteries in "Sherlock: Season Two" (2012), on DVD and Blu-ray, from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Teen Wolf Season 1"
(2011) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from Fox.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (5/22)
"Mutant Girls Squad":
(2010 -- Japan) Three leaders in the Japanese splatter movement -- Noboru Iguchi ("The Machine Girl"), Yoshihiro Nishimura ("Tokyo Gore Police") and Tak Sakaguchi ("Yoroi: Samurai Zombie") -- join forces to bring three times the crazy action, three times the comedy and three times the head-exploding splatter of your average action/horror/comedy with this story -- touted as a warped version of X-Men -- that focuses on Rin, a beautiful 16-year-old who experiences one hell of a coming-of-age when her birthday present from nature comes in the form of a shocking revelation: while her mother is human, her dad is a Hiruko, a race of mutant creatures whose bodies transform themselves in strange ways and can sprout weapons at will. When the government launches a campaign to eradicate the Hirukos, she teams up with other similar kids to fight back. From the prolific Japanese cult film label Sushi Typhoon, from Well Go USA Entertainment ... When a 7-year-old girl is kidnapped from her bedroom in a small suburb of Anchorage, a detective on the verge of retirement (Jon Voight) with an obsessive hatred for child abductions, anxiously begins the hunt for the culprit. As the trail gets cold and time is running out, the detective forms an unlikely partnership with a mysterious radio psychic (Julian Morris) who claims to have visions of the missing girl. The case takes a disturbing twist when it becomes clear that the most substantial clues all lead towards something outside of the law, past human reason and forever frighteningly "Beyond" (2011). Co-stars Teri Polo, Dermot Mulroney and Brett Baker. From Anchor Bay ... When a ground-breaking industrial experiment goes awry, the energy overflow manifests into a deadly swirling magnetic field that quickly overwhelms the plant and begins consuming anything metallic -- growing in strength and shredding everything in its path
in "Metal Tornado" (2011), starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Nicole Deboer, Greg Evigan, Stephen MacDonald and John Maclaren, from ARC Entertainment ... In "Perfect Sense" (2011), starring Eva Green, Ewan McGregor, Connie Nielsen, Stephen Dillane and Ewen Bremner, a chef and a scientist fall in love as a worldwide epidemic begins to rob people of their sensory perceptions. From IFC Films ... In "Teen Spirit" (2011), starring Cassie Scerb, Lindsey Shaw, Chris Zylk and Tim Gunn, a popular (but decidedly mean-spirited) high-school girl's ultimate glory as Prom Queen is short lived when a freak accident ends her earth-bound existence and she has to earn her heavenly wings by transforming a notoriously shy and socially awkward fellow student into the next Prom Queen. From Image Entertainment ... "Black Cobra" (2012) is a direct-to-DVD thriller about a smuggler who sells illegal black diamonds to pay for his father's pardon in South Africa. But when he arrives in the U.S. to finalize what appears to be a simple transaction, he is soon double-crossed and becomes caught up in a lethal battle with a powerful opponent. From Lionsgate ... "The Kane Files" (2010) stars Drew Fuller, Ethan Embry, William Devane, William Atherton and Whitney Able in a thriller about a former hit man who returns to a life of crime to earn money to pay for the treatment for his gravely ill son. From Inception Media Group ... In "All God's Creatures" (2011), starring Josh Folan and Jessica Kaye, a mild-mannered New York barista turns into a cold-blooded killer at night, ridding the city of "filthy women." From Osiris Entertainment ... "Worried About the Boy" (2011) stars Douglas Booth and Marc Warren in this biopic that captures the true life story of George O'Dowd, the iconoclast who would eventually become known as Boy George. From Entertainment One.
Special Interest: (5/22)
"Love, Etc." (2011) is Jill Andresevic's award-winning documentary that travels through the boroughs of New York City to find the reality of love: In the forms of an elderly couple proving that love truly lasts forever, a teenage couple caught up in the effervescence of first love, a divorced parent starting over, a couple diving into the sanctity of marriage, and a single gay man embarking on the journey of parenthood. Presented by Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). From Virgil Films & Entertainment ... Ray Romano's eight-day drive through the south on a stand-up comedy tour becomes more than he bargains for when longtime friend and opening act, Tom Caltabiano, brings a film student along to document their thousand-mile journey in "95 Miles to Go" (2004). Together, all three struggle with Ray's obsessions, phobias, and insecurities in this unscripted exploration of newfound fame. From Video Services Corp. ... "Carol Channing: Larger Than Life" (2012) is a documentary on Broadway legend Carol Channing. If Channing didn't exist, no one could have made her up. One in a billion, at 89, she remains an unstoppable, megawatt dynamo. Broadway diva extraordinaire is just the icing. Carol Channing hovered at the pinnacle of the entertainment world from the late-1950's through the 1960's and beyond, living life sensationally large. From Entertainment One.
MGM Announces September Release
All the Bonds. All the girls. All the action. All in high-definition. MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment mark James Bond's monumental golden anniversary with the release of "Bond 50," the complete Bond experience showcasing all 22 007 films on Blu-ray together for the first time ever, neatly packaged into one cool, sleek collectable box set. The collection will be available beginning Sept. 24 in the U.K. and Sept. 25 in North America, with additional international markets to follow that week. "Bond 50" marks the debut of nine James Bond films previously unavailable in high definition Blu-ray and comes with a dossier of more than 122 hours of bonus features. Suggested retail price for the set is $299.00, but Amazon is already taking pre-orders at $199.00. Order your copy here. And check out the complete press release with all the bonus features here
for 'Bond 50' 22-Film Blu-ray Set
May 15 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"The Grey," "One for the Money," "Chronicle," "Albert Nobbs" and "Rampart." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (5/15)
Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for 15 minutes before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike? Then director Spike Jonze, writer Charlie Kaufman and The Criterion Collection have the movie for you: "Being John Malkovich" (1999), featuring melancholy marionettes, office drudgery, a frizzy-haired Cameron Diaz, surrealism, possession, John Cusack, a domesticated primate, Freud, Catherine Keener, non sequiturs, and absolutely no romance! But wait: get "Being John Malkovich" now and they'll throw in emasculation, slapstick, Abelard and Heloise, and extra Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich. This is definitely the highlight of the week. In a new high-definition digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.
For Buford Pusser/"Walking Tall" fans who have despaired lo these many years, looking for remastered versions of their favs, the Shout! Factory has come to your rescue: This week the company will release "Walking Tall Trilogy Collectors Edition" on DVD and Blu-ray; the three-disc set includes all three "Walking Tall" films, remastered and with new bonus features, including "Walking Tall: The Buford Pusser Story" documentary with new interviews. $24.97 DVD and $39.97 Blu-ray. The titles: "Walking Tall" (1973) starring Joe Don Baker, Noah Berry Jr., Elizabeth Hartman and Felton Perry; "Walking Tall Part 2" (1975), starring Bo Svenson, Richard Jaeckel, Noah Berry Jr.; "Final Chapter: Walking Tall" (1977), starring Bo Svenson,Margaret Blye, Forrest Tucker, Morgan Woodward. Get it before you get hit with a baseball bat.
From TV to Video: (5/15)
"Flashpoint: The Fourth Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 18 episodes, $42.99 CBS/Paramount ... "Hell on Wheels: The Complete First Season"
(2011-12) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes the critically acclaimed post-Civil War Western series, on DVD and Blu-ray $39.98/$44.98). Extras include "Recreating the Past: The Making of Hell on Wheels," "Crashing a Train: From Concept to Camera," seven making-of featurettes, 10 "Inside the Episode" featurettes, seven character featurettes and behind-the-scenes footage. From Entertainment One.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (5/15)
In an unknown future, the Earth has been destroyed by man and the air is polluted with a mysterious virus that turns humans into zombies, and only a few children are immune to the disease. Camille, a 9-year-old girl, wanders through these desolate wastelands, protecting herself from zombie and armed military forces that roam the land killing anyone in sight. As she makes her escape to the ocean, she will do whatever it takes to survive and be among other "Descendents" (2008 -- Chile), starring Karina Pizarro, Cristobal Barra, Patricio Lynch, Sergio Allard. From Lionsgate ... A woman becomes involved in a series of unauthorized exorcisms during her mission to discover what happened to her mother, who allegedly murdered three people during her own exorcism in "The Devil Inside" (2012), starring Fernanda Andrade, Simon Quarterman, Evan Helmuth, Ionut Grama and Suzan Crowley, from Paramount ... "Michael" (2011 -- Austria) focuses on five months in the life of a pedophile -- Michael, a seemingly meek insurance agent -- who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement. An official selection at the Cannes and Toronto film festivals. Stars Michael Fuith and David Rauchenberger, from Strand Releasing ... A criminal gang that kidnaps women and sells them to wealthy clients meets its match when they abduct the wife of an Army Ranger in "Chained: Code 207" (2011), starring Tino Struckmann, Jill Headrick, Jack Dimich, Tiffany Anne Hughes, Chase Stevens and Tommy Mercer, from MTI Home Video ... "The Bling Ring" (2011), starring Austin Butler, Yin Chang and Jennifer Grey, is the true story of the group of average, middle-class teens from a quiet suburb who broke into celebrities homes -- including Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan -- and robed them of millions of dollars in clothes and jewelry. From A&E ... "Freak Dance" (2012) is a musical send-up from the inventive minds at the Upright Citizens Brigade, from Image Entertainment.
Special Interest: (5/15)
"Dragonslayer" (2011) documents the transgressions of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a local skate legend from the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California, in the aftermath of America's economic collapse. Taking the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of broken homes, abandoned swimming pools and stray glimpses of unusual beauty, the film captures the life and times of Sandoval -- new father -- as his endless summer finally collides with the future. From First Run Features ... "Time Team: Unearthing the Roman Invasion" -- the popular British science-reality series presented by "Blackadder's" Tony Robinson -- makes its U.S. debut. Go along as archaeologists dig up the past in this long-running U.K. hit. Accompanied by an eclectic band of historians and experts, Robinson travels across Britain to unearth secrets from the era of the Roman occupation. Includes 12 collected episodes about Britain's Roman past from Series 2-18 (1995-2011), plus a 16-page viewer’s guide. From Acorn Media ... "The Universe: The Complete Season Six" (2011) is a four-disc set from A&E ... "Treasure Houses of Britain" (2012) is a new documentary that offers intimate tours of England's most magnificent homes. From Acorn Media.
May 8 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"Underworld: Awakening," "Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie" and "The Vow." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
Blu-ray Collectibles: (5/8)
Mathieu Kassovitz ("The Crimson Rivers," one of our favorite creepy horror-thrillers) took the film world by storm with 1999's "La haine (Hate)," a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically the low-income banlieues on Paris's outskirts. Aimlessly passing their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Kounde) and Said (Said Taghmaoui), white, black, and Arabgive human faces to France's immigrant and otherwise marginalized populations, seethe with resentment at their situation until they reach the boiling point. A work of tough beauty, "La haine" is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country's ongoing identity crisis. Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Mathieu Kassovitz, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Bonus features include an introduction by actor Jodie Foster; "Ten Years of La haine," an 80-minute documentary that brings together cast and crew a decade after the film's landmark release; a featurette on the film's banlieue setting, including interviews with sociologists Sophie Body-Gendrot, Jeffrey Fagan, and William Kornblum; deleted and extended scenes; more. From The Criterion Collection.
From TV to Video: (5/8)
"The Big C: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $45.99. from Sony ... "Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season" (2011) is a five-disc set with 13 episodes, from Warner ... "Cold War: The Complete Series"
(2011) is a six-disc set with 24 episodes of the CNN documentary series that outlines the events that shaped the course of the Cold War and the United States' relationship with the Soviet Union. Released in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. $68.92. From Warner ... BBC Worldwide Americas has three Doctor Who releases this week: "Doctor Who: Nightmare Of Eden," "Doctor Who: Dragonfire" and "Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol" ... Inspired by a true story, "Girl Fight" (2011) is the harrowing tale of a school girl who runs afoul of some friends on social media, is beaten by them, and further humiliated when the girls post the beating video on the Internet. Stars Anne Heche and James Tupper. From A&E ... "Fantasy Island: The Complete Second Season"
(1978-79) is a six-disc set with 25 episodes, $39.97 from Shout! Factory ... "Love's Everlasting Courage" (2011) Takes place in the early West and follows a young husband's trials in raising his child after his wife's unexpected death, and stars Wes Brown, Cheryl Ladd, Bruce Boxleitner and Julie Mond. It's another film based on the "Love Comes Softly" series by Janette Oke. From Fox ... " The Twilight Zone: More Fan Favorites"
(1959 - 1964) is a five-disc set with 20 episodes from the legendary series, $29.98 from Image Entertainment ... "Vega$: The Third Season, Volume One" (1980-81) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.99 from CBS/Paramount.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (5/8)
The sadistic members of a villainous family -- headed up by their mother -- return to their childhood home to terrorize the new home owners and their guests in "Mother's Day"
(2010), a remake of the Troma cult film, starring Rebecca De Mornay, Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, Warren Kole and Deborah Ann Woll. From Anchor Bay ... In "From Reykjavik to Rotterdam" (2010 -- Iceland), an ex-con working as a security guard is sucked back into the smuggling business; remade in a U.S. version as "Contraband." Stars Baltasar Kormakur, Ingvar Eggert Sigurosson, Lilja Nott Porarinsdottir. From Entertainment One ... "Playback" (2011), starring Christian Slater, Johnny Pacar, Toby Hemingway and Amber Childers, follows a group of high school students who begin to dig into their town's infamous past and unwittingly unlock a dark secret that has been kept hidden for years: an evil spirit is awakened and will stop at nothing to get what it wants. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "Shock Labyrinth 3D" (2009), starring Yagira Yuya, Maeda Ai, Renbutsu Misako and Katsuji Ryo, is Japan's first full-length, live-action digital 3D feature, directed by Takashi Shimizu ("The Grudge"). The horror-thriller follows a group of teenagers dealing with the sudden return of a friend who went missing a decade ago. When the friend falls ill they take her to a hospital, but end up trapped in a horrific labyrinth. The film was inspired by Fuji-Q High Land's famous "Labyrinth of Horrors" haunted house ride, and the film was shot at night in the amusement park. From Well Go USA ... "Elvira's Movie Macabre: Wild Women" is a two-disc set with four 'B' films: "Untamed Women" (1952), about a tribe of beautiful, primitive cave-women discovered by a stranded American bomber pilot during WWII; "Hercules and the Captive Women" (1961), in which the mighty and heroic Hercules battles the seductive powers of the wicked Queen of Atlantis; "Wild Women of Wongo," from iconic director Roger Corman, starring Adrienne Barbeau as one of the Wild Women tasked with fending off a tribe of evil ape men; "The Wasp Woman" (1959), Susan Cabot's ("Machine-Gun Kelly") final film, in which she turns into a lusting Queen Wasp after administering a serum developed to stop the aging process. From Entertainment One.
Special Interest: (5/8)
Norman Mailer was an American iconoclast who lived by his own rules. "Norman Mailer: The American" (2012) goes beyond the Mailer of the bookshelves and The New York Times best sellers list to the social critic, family man, filmmaker and lover, taking a look into the life of a complex, intellectual, working class hero. The documentary includes footage and interview from wives and lovers, enemies and admirers, his children and the man himself. From Cinema Libre Studio ... In the desperate hours and days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the fate of thousands of Japanese citizens fell into the hands of a small corps of engineers, firemen and soldiers who risked their lives to prevent the Daiichi nuclear complex from complete meltdown. Now, one year later, "Frontline: Inside Japan's Nuclear Meltdown"
(2012) presents their story, with rare footage from inside the plant and eyewitness testimony. From PBS Distribution ... An international team of experts explore the Great White Shark's anatomy to find out how it has evolved into one of the most feared predators in the ocean in "Inside Nature's Giants: Great White Shark" (2012), $19.99 from PBS Dis a two-disc set that explains menopause to the 40+ million women in North America who are experiencing it or are about to experience it. The clear and concise user-friendly program also helps family and friends understand and get involved. Includes a 48-page guidebook, "Symptoms and Solutions," that addresses hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sexual interest, weight gain, mood changes, cognitive issues and more. $24.98 from True Mind.
'Avengers' Take Massive Bow
From Ray Subers at Boxoffice Mojo: "It's been clear for a while that 'The Avengers' would be a box office success, though few people could have foreseen this opening. The superhero team-up got off to an unprecedented $207.4 million start this weekend, which obliterates the previous all-time weekend record set by 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' last Summer ($169.2 million). While it fell short of setting a new opening day record (that still belongs to 'Potter'), 'The Avengers' was responsible for new high marks in most other major categories. It was the fastest movie ever to reach $100 million, $150 million, and $200 million, and it set new records for Saturday ($69.6 million) and Sunday ($57.1 million) grosses. It also had the highest per-theater average ever for a nationwide release with $47,698." Throw in overseas ticket sales, and 'The Avengers' has earned $654.8 million.
at Box Office
May 1 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"Haywire," "New Year's Eve," "W.E." and "Joyful Noise." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (5/1)
Warner Home Video has pulled out the Blu-ray disc of "Casablanca" from their recent "Casablanca 70th Anniversary Limited Collector's Edition" and packaged it as a stand-alone product for those wishing to own just the movie (and not the commemorative book and memorabilia packed in the elaborate box set). This single-disc version of the film still has more than five hours of bonus content including over 45 minutes of two new documentaries ... Paramount has on hand the Blu-ray debut of "Clueless" (1995), director Amy Heckerling's take on West Coast teen lifesyles, starring Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Jeremy Sisto and Breckin Meyer. Bonus features include a new "Clue or False Trivia Game," featurettes: "The Class of '95," "Creative Writing," "Fashion 101," "Language Arts," "Suck 'N Blow -- A Tutorial," "Driver's Ed," "We're History" ... And, lastly, Universal has added "Pillow Talk" to its 100th Anniversary Collector's Series celebrating the studio's centennial. The 1959 film, starring Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Thelma Ritter and Tony Randall, took its lumps as a prime example of the tame, sexless, airheaded romantic comedies of the era, but in hindsight, the film has more to say about mid-century mores and culture than was given credit at the time. Bonus features include "Back in Bed With Pillow Talk," "Chemistry 101: The Film Duo of Doris Day and Rock Hudson," commentary with film historians Jeff Bond, Julie Kirgo and Nick Redman. The film is available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with an illustrated booklet.
From TV to Video: (5/1)
"Covert Affairs: Season Two" (2011) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... "The Dick Van Dyke Show: Carl Reiner's Favorites" (2011) features 20 classic episodes personally handpicked by comedy genius and creator-producer Carl Reiner, $24.98 Image Entertainment ... "Dirty Sexy Money: Season One" (2007) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Dirty Sexy Money: Season Two" (2008) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Felicity: Season One" (1998-99) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Felicity: Season Two" (1999-2000) is a three-disc set with 23 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... On June 8, 1870, Charles Dickens concluded a full-day's work on his latest novel and set down his pen. He died the next day, leaving "The Mystery of Edwin Drood" a mystery indeed. In "Masterpiece Classic: The Mystery of Edwin Drood" (2012), starring Matthew Rhys and Tamzin Merchant, Masterpiece Classic uses clues left by the author himself, together with inspired guesswork, to solve this famous literary puzzle. From PBS Distribution ... "Samantha Who?: Season One" (2007-08) is a three-disc set with 15 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Samantha Who?: Season Two" (2008-09) is a two-disc set with 20 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Snow White: A Tale of Terror" (1997) stars Sigourney Weaver, Sam Neill and Monica Keena in a more accurate -- and gruesome -- take on the Grimm Brothers' story, from Universal ... "Suits: Season One" (2011) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, from Universal ... "Who Do You Think You Are? Season 2" (2012) is the second season of NBC and Lisa Kudrow's celebrity family history series features Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim McGraw, Vanessa Williams, Rosie O'Donnell, Kim Cattrall, Steve Buscemi, Lionel Richie and Ashley Judd. Working alongside genealogists, researchers and historians, the stars excavates stories from their families' past. The fascinating series paints an intimate portrait of how a journey through history can change everything -- including one's idea of self. From Acorn Media ... "A Woman of Substance Trilogy" is a new edition of the star-studded miniseries, with casts that included Liam Neeson, Deborah Kerr, Jenny Seagrove and Anthony Hopkins. The trilogy brings to life two of Barbara Taylor Bradford's most unforgettable heroines from her bestselling trilogy; includes the three complete miniseries: "A Woman of Substance," "Hold the Dream" and "To Be the Best," plus bonus interviews with Bradford. From Acorn Media.
There's two interesting foreign films hitting the shelves this week:
"The Front Line" (2011 -- South Korea), starring Ha-kyun Shin, Soo Go, Seung-su Ryu and Je-hoon Lee, centers on the Korean War's final battle to determine the border between North and South Korea; this was South Korea's submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Film. From Well Go USA ... In "Cirkus Columbia" (2010 -- Bosnia) Divko Buntic (Miki Manojlovic) returns to his former home after a 20-year exile in Germany following the fall of the communist regime in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991. Returning with an attractive young girlfriend, a flashy new Mercedes, a pocketful of cash, and a lucky black cat, things are looking good for Divko. When his cat goes missing things begin to fall apart: trouble with his girlfriend and the fledgling relationship with his estranged son are strained as the entire town scrambles to find the cat and collect a cash reward. Divko's personal tumult mirrors the country's situation at large, with signs appearing that the Bosnian War is coming. As the war looms, tensions run high and Divko must decide whether to stay in his newly reestablished home or retreat. Directed by Danis Tanovie ("No Man's Land"). From Strand Releasing.
Special Interest: (5/1)
"Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century: Season 6" (2012) is the Peabody Award-winning documentary series that offers viewers a unique look into the thoughts, processes, and lives of today's most accomplished artists, $29.99 from PBS Distribution ... With the help of new spacecraft and Earth-based telescopes, scientists are seeing the sun as they never have before and are even re-creating what happens at the very center of the sun in labs here on Earth. Their work -- chronicled here in "Nova: Secrets of the Sun" (2012) will help us understand aspects of the sun that have puzzled scientists for decades -- and may even help us predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications, and ground global air travel for days, weeks, or even longer. From PBS Distribution ... Jesse Owens was the most famous athlete of his time, whose stunning triumph at the 1936 Olympic Games captivated the world, even as it infuriated the Nazis. Despite the racial slurs he endured, his grace and athleticism rallied crowds around the world. Yet when the four-time Olympic gold medalist returned home, he couldn't even ride in the front of a bus. "American Experience: Jesse Owens" (2012) follows his life and career. From PBS Distribution.
This following release is not politically correct, so if you're easily offended by the sexist trappings of a time gone bye, you can stop reading right now. Image Entertainment takes you back to the gorgeous, glamorous, girl-esque of the 1950's with "Strip Strip Hooray," a six-movie compilation featuring the best of burlesque exploitation films: "Midnight Frolics" (1949, B/W, 68 mins.): Direct from L.A.'s Belasco Theatre comes a galaxy of gorgeous girls including Sunny Knight (The Golden Girl of the Golden West), Mickey "Ginger" Jones, Aleene, Boo LaVon, Shirley Heart, Annette Warren and "Sonney's Sunkist Beauties"; "Everybody's Girl" (1950, B/W, 83 mins.): Gay Dawn heads a "Whirly-Girly cast of 40" including Mary Andes, Sylvia, Levalon, Leonora, Alberta, Charmaine, and Diana (The Glamour Girl of Burlesque). If you don’t have high blood pressure already, you will after ogling this humdinger; "French Follies" (1951, B/W, 77 mins.): The Strip Parade continues with Mary Andes, Jennie Lee (The Sexiest Girl in Burlesque), Joanne Bridges (The Platinum Dream Girl), Ruby Lee, headliner Val de Val (The H Bomb of Burlesque), and the classic "Crazy House" comedy routine; "'B' Girl Rhapsody" (1952, B/W, 77 mins.): To be or double-D is the question, and here to answer it is Amber Dawn, Frenchy La Von, Ruby Lee (The Wham-Wham Girl), Nona Carver (The Blonde Venus), smoking (literally) Joan Bridges, red hot Chili Pepper (The South American Cyclone) and headliner Lily; "The A-B-C's of Love" (1953, B/W, 74 mins.): Get ready for more wiggles, jiggles, and giggles featuring Blaza Glory, Mae Blondell (The Blonde Temptress), Bebe Hughes, Helen Lewis, and headliner Gilda (The Golden Girl) who’s actually former Little Rascals child-star Shirley Jean Rickert turned Striptease Queen; "A Night in Hollywood "(1953, B/W & Color, 62 mins.): Misty Ayers, Jeanne Saunders, Rea Walker, and Mae Blondell set the stage on fire before the tempestuous Tempest Storm, The Girl with the Fabulous Front, turns this black-and-white film into gorgeous color for a dazzling bra-busting climax. $19.98.
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June 1, 2012
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).