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More DVD News: June 2012
'The Avengers' Arrive to Save
The third highest-grossing movie of all time and this year's No. 1, Marvel's "The Avengers," will assemble on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On-Demand platforms on Sept. 25. In anticipation of the release, Marvel is launching an all-new App in July -- "The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App" (available for the first time on iPhone) that gives fans access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release. Pieces will be unleashed bi-weekly in July and August and weekly in September, leading up to a full immersive experience accompanying the film on Blu-ray. Content includes special access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, invitations to "special missions" either remotely or in the field, links to character profiles, stories and scenes, interactive Marvel digital reader comic books and more. App owners will receive push notifications whenever new content is uploaded and available for their viewing. The DVD release itself will be loaded with bonus features, including featurettes, gag reel, commentary, deleted scenes and more. From Disney.Read the press release.
the World September 25
More New Releases: Indy and Monsters
Paramount will release on Sept. 18 "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures," a four- disc set with all four Indie films; the highlight will be the the completely restored "Raiders of the Lost Arc." Read the complete press release here. Retail price is $99.99 but the set is available for $68.99 preorder from Amazon. Meanwhile, Universal will release on Oct. 2
"Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection Blu-ray," an eight-disc set with "Dracula," "Frankenstein," "The Mummy," "The Invisible Man," "Bride of Frankenstein," The Wolf Man," "Phantom of the Opera," "Creature From the Black Lagooon" (with a 3D version of the film. Includes a 48-page "House of Horror" book featuring behind-the-scenes photographs, original posters and rare correspondences. Read the complete press release. The set has a $159.98 retail price but it's available for preorder now from Amazon for $111.99.
June 26 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"The Artist," "21 Jump Street," "Wrath of the Titans," "Mirror, Mirror" and "A Thousand Words." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (6/26)
The Criterion Collection has two superb releases on DVD and Blu-ray this week: "The Samurai Trilogy"(1954-56), directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan's most successful exports of the 1950s. Based on a novel that's often called Japan's "Gone with the Wind," this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary 17th-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films -- 1954's Oscar-winning "Musashi Miyamoto," 1955's "Duel at Ichijoji Temple," and 1956's "Duel at Ganryu Island" -- Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action. A new high-definition digital restoration of all three films, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-ray edition. "The 39 Steps" (1935) is a heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, following Richard Hannay (Robert Donat), who stumbles into a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors -- a chase in which he is both the pursuer and the pursued -- as well as into an expected romance with the cool Pamela (Madeline Carroll). Adapted from a novel by John Buchan, this classic wrong-man thriller from the Master of Suspense anticipates the director's most famous works (especially "North by Northwest"), and remains one of his cleverest and most entertaining films. A new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.
From TV to Video: (6/26)
In "Agatha Christi's Poirot: Series 5," David Suchet returns as Christie's peerless detective in eight mysteries from the hit series, newly remastered and restored to their original U.K. broadcast order; on DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Acorn Media ... "The Best of Foyle's War" contains six feature-length episodes specially selected by star Michael Kitchen from the first four years of playing detective chief inspector Christopher Foyle. From Acorn Media ... "Damages: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, from Sony ... "Law & Order: Criminal Intent: The Seventh Year" (2011) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, from Shout! Factory ... "Love in a Cold Climate" is a period romance and social satire set against a backdrop of the English nobility's golden age -- and a looming world war. This long-awaited debut of the eight-part series originally broadcast on Masterpiece Theatre in the 1980s stars Judi Dench, Michael Williams, Lucy Gutteridge, Rosalyn Landor, Michael Aldridge, Vivian Pickles and Anthony Stewart Head. From Acorn Media ... "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns: Season 6"
(2012) is a three-disc set with 20 episodes, from Lionsgate.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (6/26)
Wanting a closer connection with the older brother he idolizes, high school freshman Ted Wheeler seeks initiation into a group called "The Kings," along the way uncovering unpleasant information about his brother and his friends in "Almost Kings" (2010), starring Alex Russell, Billy Campbell, Lorenzo James Henrie, Alex Frost, Haley Ramm and Kelsey Grammer. From Breaking Glass Pictures ... "Oranges and Sunshine" (2010 -- U.K./Australia) tells the unforgettable true story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who uncovered one of the most controversial scandals of recent times: the organized deportation of innocent children from the U.K. to Australia, where they were thought to be lost in the system forever. Against overwhelming odds, and with little regard for her own safety, Humphreys reunited thousands of families and brought worldwide attention to a corrupt system and an extraordinary miscarriage of justice. Stars Hugo Weaving, Emily Watson, David Wenham and Tara Morice. From New Video ... "Sector 7" (2011 -- South Korea) is that country's first 3D sci-fi thriller: An underwater creature invades a deep sea drilling platform, growing to enormous size and feeding off the crew members. Stars Ha Ji-Won, Ahn Sung-Ki and Oh Ji-Ho. From Shout! Factory ... A lonely man, fresh out of the loony bin, sets out to kill those he deems responsible for his miserable life in "Some Guy Who Kills People" (2011), starring Kevin Corrigan, Barry Bostwick, Karen Black, Leo Fitzpatrick, Ariel Gade and Lucy Davis. From Anchor Bay ... In "Hiding" (2012), starring Ana Villafane, Jeremy Sumpter and Tyler Blackburn, a teenager who witnesses the murder of her parents and testifies against the son of a notorious crime boss is placed in the Witness Protection Program in Montana -- where life is good as a normal, small-town teen until her parents' murderer sets his hit men after her. From Anchor Bay ... "Best Laid Plans" (2011) stars Stephen Graham and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in an urban reworking of John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men." Set in Nottingham, England, the film revolves around the relationship between the thuggish Danny and Joseph, a giant of a man with a mental age of seven. When Danny finds himself in debt to a local crime boss, he feels he is left with no choice but to manipulate Joseph into participating in a series of underground cage fights from which Danny can pay his debts. From Well Go USA ... Identical twins -- one good, one evil -- fall for the same woman, setting off a nasty love triangle in "Identical" (2011), starring Jonathan Togo, Pascal Yen-Pfister, Emily Foxler, Kelly Baugher and Ed Asner. From Green Apple Entertainment ... A comedian, fresh out of rehab, struggles to make it to the top in "C'mon Man (aka The Last Laugh" (2012), starring Tony Rock, Rodney Perry and Faune Chambers Watkins. From Lionsgate ... In "Second-Story Man" (2011), starring Christopher J. Domig, Zaira Crystal, Lindsay Goranson and Valerie Evering, a small-town stickup artist's wife is killed by a security guard during a robbery; the man tries to balance being a good father to their 7-year-old daughter while planning his revenge against the guard. From Osiris Entertainment.
On the Indie Front: (6/26)
When nominated for "Catholic Woman of The Year," Eileen (Kathleen Turner, in her first big-screen appearance in 19 years) and her family are placed under the microscope and put to the test by her parish, church members, and each other in "The Perfect Family"
(2011). While the competition heats up at church, Eileen realizes she must also find a way to keep her dysfunctional family away from their sinful ways. Co-stars Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter, Elizabeth Pena, Michael McGrady, Richard Chamberlain and Sharon Lawrence. From Virgil Films & Entertainment ... When the world's media descend on the remote Scottish island where a Hollywood actress is attempting to get married, a local girl is hired as a decoy bride to put the paparazzi off the scent in "The Decoy Bride" (2011), starring Alice Eve, David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald, from IFC/MPI.
The "Sound of Noise" (2010 -- Sweden) is a "musical comedy" about a tone-deaf cop who works to track down a group of guerilla percussionists whose anarchic public performances are terrorizing the city. Follow-up to the short film Web sensation "Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers," which is included on the disc. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... In "Bullhead" (2011 -- Belgium), circumstances lead cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille down a twisted road of vengeance and torment after he initiates a shady deal with a notorious Mafioso meat trader, When an investigating federal agent is assassinated and a woman from his horrid past resurfaces, he must confront far-reaching consequences and whether the real meaning of manhood is hormonal or emotional. Academy-Award nominee for Best Foreign-language Film. From Drafthouse Films/Image Entertainment ... "The Hedgehog (Le Herisson)"
(2009 -- France) is a coming-of-age story about Paloma, a gifted young girl bent on ending it all on her upcoming 12th birthday. Using her father's old camcorder to chronicle the hypocrisy she sees in adults, Paloma begins to learn about life from her stuffy building "concierge," Renee. When Paloma's camera reveals an extensive secret library in Renee's back room, and that the usually gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, Paloma begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors. From NeoClassics Films.
There's two wonderful nature documentaries this week from Mill Creek Entertainment: "Earth From Above," which includes the first two installments in the "Earth From Above" travelogue series. "Food and Wildlife Conservation" and "Preservation of Water and Forest" are hosted by world-famous photographer and best-selling author Yann Arthus Bertrand, and each contain three hours of visually compelling and environmentally conscious programming ... "Shark Divers -- Documentary Collection" (2011) captures the breathtaking beauty of the amazing creatures of the sea; includes "Shark Divers," "Shark Business," "Whale Sharks: Gentle Giants" and "Giants of San Benedicto."
June 19 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"Big Miracle," "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," "Project X," "Seeking Justice" and "Wanderlust." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (6/19)
From 1953 to 1959, journalistic icon and television legend Edward R. Murrow informally welcomed television viewers into the homes of the 20th century's most well-known stars and celebrities on "Person to Person." Using perhaps the simplest set in television -- a chair, a table, an ashtray and a picture window -- Murrow greeted two guests per week in remote interviews that candidly revealed the private lives of such notable figures as John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Sammy Davis Jr., Milton Berle, Sophia Loren and many more. Now home audiences can revisit the classic program with three specially-priced single disc releases. "The Best of Person to Person: American Icons": Murrow presents 11 at-home celebrity interviews featuring Dick Clark, Billy Graham, Andy Griffith, Oscar Hammerstein, Robert Kennedy, John & Jacqueline Kennedy, Norman Rockwell, Eleanor Roosevelt, Danny Thomas, Art Linkletter and Esther Williams. "The Best of Person to Person: Hollywood Legends": Eleven of Tinseltown's most legendary stars are featured in this fascinating compilation, including Bogart & Bacall, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Gene Kelly, Bette Davis, Kirk Douglas, Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, and Elizabeth Taylor and Mike Todd. "The Best of Person to Person: Legendary Entertainers": Murrow sits down with 10 of the 20th century's most entertaining, larger-than-life performers, including Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sid Caesar, Liberace, Carol Channing, Helen Hayes and Jerry Lewis. $9.98 each from Entertainment One.
From TV to Video: (6/19)
"Franklin & Bash: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, from Warner ... "Louie Season 2" (2011) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.99 from Fox ... In the Disney Channel's "Radio Rebel"
(2012), starring Debby Ryan, Sarena Parmar, Adam DiMarco and Merritt Patterson, a shy high school girl has a secret identity: She's actually Radio Rebel, the most popular DJ in Seattle. From Image Entertainment ... "The Sarah Silverman Program: The Complete Series" (2007-10) is a seven-disc set with all 32 episodes, from Shout! Factory ... "Tyler Perry's House of Payne: Volume Nine" (2012) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes, $29.98 from Lionsgate ... "Web Therapy: The Complete First Season" (2008) is a two-disc set with 15 episodes of the Showtime series about Dr. Fiona Wallice (Lisa Kudrow), a therapist sick of hearing about "dreams" and "feelings" who decides that three minutes over a web cam is better than 50 minutes of patients rambling on; from Entertainment One ... "Wilfred Season 1" (2011) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.98 from Fox.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (6/19)
"The FP" (2011), starring Jason Trost, Lee Valmassy, Art Hsu and Caitlyn Folley, is set in a dystopian future where a relentless turf war rages. Two rival gangs feud for control of rural wasteland Frazier Park ('The FP') in the deadly arena of competitive dance-fight video game "Beat-Beat Revelation." After hometown hero BTRO is slain on the dance platform by thug leader L Dubba E, his younger brother JTRO goes into isolation, vowing never to duel again. One year later, The FP is in ruins, and JTRO must find the courage to return and restore order in a ruthless battle for revenge that can only leave one man dancing. Featuring narration by James Remar. Off-beat comedy mixing competitive dance video gaming and gang culture was a midnight movie sensation at film festivals around the world. From Image Entertainment/Drafthouse Films ... When a sexy, high-end escort holds the key evidence to a scandalous government cover-up, two bumbling young detectives become her unlikely protectors from a ruthless assassin hired to silence her in "Cat Run" (2011), starring Paz Vega, Janet McTeer, Alphonso McAuley, Scott Mechlowicz, Christopher McDonald, Karel Roden and D.L. Hughley. From Universal ... "The Disco Exorcist" (2010), starring Michael Reed, Sarah Nicklin and Ruth Sullivan, is an homage to 70s sex and horror films, featuring supernatural sex, disco dancing deaths, roller skating sinners -- and beautiful women possessed and perverted by evil. From MVD Entertainment Group ... Inspired by a true story, "The Legend of Hell's Gate" (2011) is a Texas-based tale that uncovers the mystery of the events surrounding the legendary Hell's Gate, a cliff formation that rises out of Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas. According to legend, a curious errand boy catches wind of one of America's most infamous crimes -- the assassination of Abraham Lincoln -- and falls in with two desperate men on the wrong side of the law. Crossing paths with some of the West's most notorious figures, these three outlaws fight for their lives in the pursuit of fame and riches. Stars Eric Balfour and Henry Thomas. From Lionsgate ... "Down for the Count" (2009) is a Muay Thai boxing saga about a stranger in an unfamiliar country who ends up challenging the country's champion. From Lionsgate.
On the Indie Front: (6/19)
In "Reel Love" (2011), starring LeAnn Rimes, Shawn Roberts, Christian Potenza and Burt Reynolds, a successful, big city girl returns to her small town roots after a family emergency; once there she goes on a soulful journey to reconnect with family and friends and finds romance along the way. From Entertainment One ... "A Bag of Hammers" (2011), starring Jason Ritter, Jake Sandvig, Rebecca Hall and Chandler Canterbury, is a comedy about two misfit best friends incapable of growing up, whose direction is tested by a street-smart 12-year-old boy who moves next door with his stressed-out single mom; together they invent the family they've always needed. From MPI Home Video ... An aspiring recording artist is burned by a bad relationship experience and decides that if women won't respond to the "nice guy" then he'll be "the jerk" ... until he meets a woman who really likes "nice guys" in "The Jerk Theory" (2009), starring Josh Henderson, Jenna Dewan and Tom Arnold. From ARC Entertainment.
In "My Afternoons With Margueritte" (2010 -- France), starring Gerard Depardieu and Gisele Casadesus, Germain, an illiterate and lonely man, bonds with an older and well-read woman. As Margueritte broadens his mind via reading excerpts from her novel, Germain realizes that he is more of an intellectual than he has ever allowed himself to be. Afternoons spent reading aloud on their favorite bench transform their lives and start them both on a new journey -- to literacy and respect for Germain, and to the deepest friendship for Margueritte. From New Video ... "Attenberg" (2010 -- Greece), Greece's official entry for the Academy Awards, is a deadpan, surprisingly touching coming-of-age story. Twenty-three-year-old Marina lives in a small, factory town by the sea where she passes her time watching Sir David Attenborough's nature programs, listening to the proto-punk songs of Suicide, goofing with her only friend Bella, and tending to her ailing father. When a visiting engineer comes to town, the two form a tentative relationship that pushes Marina into contact with the strange and complex world of adulthood. Stars Ariane Labed, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou and Yorgos Lanthimos.
From Strand Releasing.
For the Family: (6/19)
"Power Rangers Samurai: The Team Unites (Vol. 1)" and "Power Rangers Samurai: A New Enemy (Vol. 2)" each feature four episodes of the kids favorites, $14.98 from Lionsgate.
Special Interest: (6/19)
"The Big Fix" (2011) is a documentary that recounts the events surrounding the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico and paints a disturbing picture of the aftermath of the largest oil spill in America's history. "We never intended to make this movie," director Josh Tickell said. "It was only after going home, to my native Louisiana, and being dumbstruck by the true level of destruction and the downplaying of the situation, that we picked up our cameras and began to document this unparalleled man-made disaster." The film reveals the powerful political and corporate system that put profits over the health and long-term sustainability of people and the environment: No matter what the petroleum and government officials say, the oil is still coming ashore, the seafood industry has been wiped out, and many local people have become sick. Executive produced by Tim Robbins, Maggie Wachsberger and Peter Fonda. Associate producer Jason Mraz contributed a new song, "Collapsible Plans," to the film. From Green Planet Productions ... There's a pair of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network documentaries this week: "Tent City, U.S.A."
(2012), about a growing number of people who are finding themselves in a position they never imagined: homeless. Nashville, TN, is home to a fast rising tent city population. With a shelter system that cannot support even 1 out of 5 of the city's homeless population, most people have nowhere to go. Nearly 100 homeless individuals have come together to form Nashville's Tent City, which is located under a bridge close to the city's center. "Tent City, U.S.A." explores this community, which is self-sustained and self-governed. "65_RedRoses" (2012) is an unflinching look into the lives of Eva Markvoort and her two online friends who are all battling cystic fibrosis -- a fatal genetic disease affecting the lungs and digestive system. Unable to meet in person because of the spread of infections and super bugs, the girls have become each other's lifelines through the Internet, providing unconditional love, support and understanding long after visiting hours are over. Both releases are from Virgil Films & Entertainment.
June 12 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," "In Darkness," "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" and "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (6/12)
With the idiosyncratic American fable "Harold and Maude" (1971), countercultural director Hal Ashby fashioned what would become the cult classic of its era. Working from a script by Colin Higgins ("9 to 5"), Ashby tells the story of the emotional and romantic bond between a death-obsessed young man (Bud Cort) from a wealthy family and a devil-may-care, bohemian octogenarian (Ruth Gordon). Equal parts gallows humor and romantic innocence, "Harold and Maude" dissolves the line between darkness and light along with the ones that separate people by class, gender, and age, and it features indelible performances and a remarkable soundtrack by Cat Stevens. From The Criterion Collection).
Also from Criterion comes a new, restored version of Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush." The first feature-length comedy by Chaplin -- which charts a hapless prospector's search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale) -- forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character. Shot partly on location in the Sierra Nevadas and featuring such timeless gags as Chaplin's dance of the dinner rolls and meal of boiled shoe leather, "The Gold Rush" is an indelible work of nonstop hilarity. This special edition features both Chaplin's definitive 1942 version, for which the director added new music and narration, and a new edition of the original silent 1925 film, restored in collaboration with the Cineteca di Bologna, with a newly recorded version of director Chaplin's score, presented in 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition ... The diabolical thriller "Shallow Grave"
(1994) was the first film from director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew MacDonald, and screenwriter John Hodge (the team behind "Trainspotting"). In "Shallow Grave," three self-involved Edinburgh roommates -- played by Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston and Ewan McGregor, in his first starring role -- take in a brooding boarder. When he dies of an overdose, leaving a suitcase full of money, the trio embark on a series of very bad decisions, with extraordinarily grim consequences for all. Macabre but with a streak of offbeat humor, this stylistically influential tale of guilt and derangement is a full-throttle bit of Hitchcockian nastiness. New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Brian Tufano, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition.
From TV to Video: (6/12)
"Brad Meltzer's Decoded: Season Two" (2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $29.95, from A&E ... "Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death Special Edition" and "Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks," both from
BBC Home Entertainment ... "Dog the Bounty Hunter: Taking It to the Streets"
(2011), with four episodes, $19.95 from A&E ... "Entourage: The Complete Eighth Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $39.98 from HBO ... "Episodes: The First Season" (2011) is a single disc with seven episodes, $29.99 from Showtime/Paramount ... "Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Season 6, Part 1" (2010-11) is a two-disc set with nine episodes, and "Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Season 6, Part 2" (2010-11) is a two-disc set with four episodes, $19.95 each from A&E ... "The River" (2012) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.99 from ABC/Disney ... "The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Fifth Season" (2011) is the last season (six episodes) of the Doctor Who spinoff, $19.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Scandal: The Complete First Season" (2012) is a two-disc set with seven episodes, $29.99 from ABC/Disney ... "Too Big to Fail" (2011), directed by Curtis Hanson and starring James Woods, John Heard, William Hurt, Topher Grace, Cynthia Nixon, Kathy Baker, Edward Asner and Paul Giamatti, is an HBO drama that chronicles the financial meltdown of 2008; from HBO ... "Top Gear 18" (2011) is a three-disc set, $24.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "The Tribe: Series 1 Part 2" (1999) is a four-disc set with the second 25 episodes from the first season, $29.93 from Shout! Factory.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (6/12)
"Accident" (2009 -- Hong Kong) is an exciting, off-beat dark thriller starring Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Feng Tsui Fan, Michelle Ye, Lam Suet, Han Yuqin and Monica Mok. A self-styled accident choreographer, Brain is a professional hit man who kills his victims by trapping them in well crafted accidents that look like unfortunate mishaps but are in fact perfectly staged acts of crime. After one mission inexplicably goes wrong, costing the life of one of his men, Brain becomes convinced that the accident has been choreographed: someone is out there plotting to terminate him and his team. He becomes increasingly paranoid, not knowing whether or not to trust his friends and accomplices. From Shout! Factory ...
Thrill seeking party boy Sean Strayger and his friends support a lavish lifestyle by running drugs across the Mexican border in private planes, but when Strayger meets the beautiful and mysterious Rosanna, high-flying fun takes a dangerous turn in "Kill Speed"
(2010), starring Andrew Keegan, Brandon Quinn, Natalia Cigliuti, Nick Carter and Tom Arnold, from Epic Pictures ... In the action-comedy"Monster Brawl" (2011), starring David Foley, Robert Maillet, Kevin Nash and Jimmy Hart, eight classic horror monsters -- supported by their colorful and eccentric managers -- compete in visceral bloody combat to determine who will be the most feared and powerful fiend of all time, from Image Entertainment ... First-time director Vincent D'Onofrio explores love, greed and ruthlessness in the twisted musical/horror hybrid "Don't Go in the Woods" (2010), telling the story of a young band who heads to the woods to get away from their everyday lives and focus on writing new songs. Hoping to walk away from the trip with new tunes that will score them their big break, they instead find themselves in the middle of a nightmare beyond comprehension. Stars Bo Boddie, Eric Bogosian. From New Video ... What goes around comes around for a pair of prank-playing tire salesmen who find themselves placed in secretarial jobs by their put-upon boss in "Demoted" (2011), starring Michael Vartan, Sean Astin and David Cross, from Anchor Bay ... Feeling afraid and isolated living in the over-populated, concrete-filled Los Angeles, a young woman joins a group of dysfunctional friends on a camping trip that ends up in violence in "All Alone" (2010), starring Mandy Levin, Suzy Cote and Brice Williams, from Osiris Entertainment ... In "Decisions" (2011), starring Matt Medrano, Yeniffer Behrens, Corey Haim and Anthony Vitale, a group of friends decide to pull a bank heist to get out from underneath their money troubles but run afoul of a corrupt LAPD Detective on the take with a crime syndicate figure; the bank was the depository for the cop's dirty money and he'll do anything to get it back. Corey Haim's last movie. From Inception Media Group.
Meet "Miss Minoes" (2001 -- Netherlands), a charming young woman in the Dutch town of Killendoorn who until recently was ... a cat! Based on the classic 1970 book by Dutch children's author Annie M.G. Schmidt and starring award-winning Dutch star Carice van Houten (who's currently taking the U.S. by storm as the magical priestess Melisandre in HBO's "Game of Thrones") in the title role of the cat-turned-woman Miss Minoes. Just because she's magically changed into a lady doesn't mean all her feline tendencies have fallen to the wayside: Miss Minoes still enjoys purring, rubbing her face against other people's faces, sleeping in a box, and, of course, communicating with her fellow cats -- all of whom still recognize her from her days as a local feline. In her new human form, she meets Tibbe, a shy but talented journalist, who Miss Minoes gives journalistic assistance to in the form of her team of news-gathering kitties, who pass on local gossip to Tibbe and turn him into a star reporter before they uncover the nefarious plans of a scheming nearby factory owner. From Music Box Films.
For the Family: (6/12)
The three-disc set "My First Collection, Volume 3 Featuring Chicken Little" is part of Scholastic Storybook Treasures' line that supports early literacy skills for the pre- and early reader; it sports Scholastic's innovative read-along function and features narrators such as Sean Hayes, John Lithgow and Randy Travis: "Chicken Little ... and More Zany Animal Stories," "Katie Loves the Kittens ... and More Funny Stories" and "Bark George ... and More Doggie Tales." $24.95.
Special Interest: (6/12)
Docurama has three documentaries on their docket this week: "Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance" (2011), the story behind one of the most famous ballet companies in America; "Fastest" (2011), the sequel to the hit extreme motocross documentary, "Faster." Shot around the world in 2010 and 2011, the film distills the thrilling, terrifying reality of the MotoGP world championship into a maximum-speed, full-length documentary feature film; narrated by Ewan McGregor; and "Something's Gonna Live" (2011), in which Academy Award-nominated director Daniel Raim captures the late-in-life coming together of renowned art directors (and life long friends) Robert "Bob" Boyle ("North by Northwest," "The Birds"), Henry "Bummy" Bumstead ("To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Sting") and Albert Nozaki ("The War of the Worlds," "The Ten Commandments"), storyboard artist Harold Michelson ("The Graduate," "Star Trek: The Motion Picture"), and master cinematographers Haskell Wexler ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" "Medium Cool") and Conrad Hall ("In Cold Blood," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"). From snapshots, sketches and vintage footage interwoven with interviews, we get a behind-the-scenes look at movie-making in the golden age of cinema. As we watch iconic scenes of our collective imaginations emerge from their drawings, models, matte paintings and sets, we hear tales of Mae West, "Hitch" and DeMille in this celebration of the human stories behind the glamorous edifice of Hollywood.
June 5 Releases
From the Big Screen:
"Safe House," "John Carter," "Act of Valor," "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island" and "Machine Gun Preacher." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."
DVD Collectibles: (6/5)
"The Three Stooges Ultimate Collection" is a beautiful boxed set of work by the Stooges: all 190 short films, plus 11 hours of movies, shorts and never-before-released material on 20 discs. The entire Three Stooges Columbia shorts catalog spans three decades of slapstick and silliness. Fans will revel in this chance to see several of the Stooges work separately in solo shorts, developing the comic skills that would lead them to their roles as successors to Curly in the comedy trio. The collection includes 28 never-before-released short films starring Stooges actors Shemp Howard, Joe Besser, and Joe DeRita, as well as the feature length films "Have Rocket, Will Travel" and "Rockin' in the Rockies," available for the first time on DVD. From Sony.
And don't forget "The Sting Universal 100th Anniversary Edition"
(1973). director George Roy Hill's Oscar-winning film of an elaborate con job set in 1930s Chicago, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Eileen Brennan and Harold Gould. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo includes a 48-page book with director Hill's script pages, personal letters, Edith Head's costume sketches, more.
From TV to Video: (6/5)
"American Pickers: Volume Three" (2011) is a two-disc set with 18 episodes, $19.95 from A&E ... "Arn: The Complete Series" (2010) is a Swedish miniseries set in Sweden and the Middle East, a sweeping and epic tale of war and intrigue, friendship and betrayal -- as well as an unforgettable love story -- portrayed through a rich gallery of brave knights, powerful queens and treacherous kings during the Crusades. Stars Stellan Skarsgard. From Entertainment One ... "Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, from Sony ... "Burn Notice Season 5" (2011) is a four-disc set with 18 episodes, $49.98. from Fox ... "Doc Martin, Series 5" (2011) is the smash-hit British dramedy that currently airs on public television. BAFTA Winner Martin Clunes stars in the series as a misanthropic, socially maladjusted doctor forced to relocate to a rustic seaside village, where he immediately clashes with the town's eccentric citizens. Two-disc set includes eight episodes, plus 62-minutes of behind-the-scenes segments. From Acorn Media ... "Falling Skies: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98 from Warner ... "G.I. Joe: Renegades Season One, Volume 1" (2011) is a two-disc set with the first 13 Episodes from the first season of popular animated series, from Shout! Factory ... "New Tricks, Season 7 " is the long-running, award-winning series that stars Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, Alun Armstrong and James Bolam as a team of semi-retired and somewhat curmudgeonly detectives investigating cold cases. From Acorn Media) ... "Pawn Stars: Volume 4" (2011) is a two-disc set with 16 episodes, $19.95 from A&E ... "Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a six-disc set with 25 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "White Collar Season 3" (2011-12) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $49.98 from Fox ... "Washington: Behind Closed Doors"
(1977) is the star-studded, Emmy-winning political drama showcasing high-stakes political intrigue at its best, the miniseries -- inspired by the Nixon presidency -- makes its long-awaited home video debut. Based on the post-Watergate novel, "The Company," by former Nixon advisor John Ehrlichman, the Emmy-nominated program stars Cliff Robertson, Jason Robards,
Stefanie Powers, Robert Vaughn, Andy Griffith. John Houseman. From Acorn Media ... "Workaholics Season Two" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $19.99 from Comedy Central/Paramount Home Entertainment ... "Workaholics Season 1 and 2 Combo Doggy Blu-Rays" (2011) are two-disc sets with 20 episodes, $29.99 each from Comedy Central/Paramount Home Entertainment.
Buzzin' the 'B's: (6/5)
In "Bad Ass" (2012) starring Danny Trejo, Ron Perlma and Charles S. Dutton, a Vietnam veteran becomes a local hero after saving a man from attackers on a city bus but decides to take action when his best friend is murdered and the police show little interest in solving the crime. Inspired by the "Epic Beard Man" video that captured two men's highly charged verbal and brutal physical altercation on a public bus in Oakland, California. Posted to YouTube, the video spread like wildfire and the heroic elder bearded man was anointed Epic Beard Man. From Fox ... After an unsuccessful and bloody raid in Istanbul, two Turkish anti- terrorist agents are sent to New York City on a mission to capture a notorious terrorist known only as "Dejjal" (Arabic for Antichrist) in "Act of Vengeance (aka Five Minarets in New York)" (2010). Working with the FBI and NYPD, the agents orchestrate the arrest of a suspect who may or not be the notorious Dejjal, but when events escalate, the foreign agents must take things in their own hands to avert disaster. Stars Haluk Bilginer, Danny Glover, Gina Gershon and Robert Patrick. From Millennium Entertainment ... "Hatfields & McCoys: Bad Blood" (2012) stars Jeff Fahey, Perry King, Priscilla Barnes and Christian Slater in the story of the The Hatfields and McCoys and their fight for justice and vengeance in a feud that spans decades. Not part of the current History Channel TV miniseries. From Lionsgate ... In "Rogue River" (2012), starring Bill Moseley, Michelle Page, Lucinda Jenney and Michael Cudlitz,a young woman travels to the isolated wilderness of Oregon to spread her father's ashes and gets abducted by a nasty old man. From Lionsgate ... A former American boxer, now exiled in Bangkok after attacking a bookie who tried to fix one of his fights, is forced to confront his violent past in the city's notorious underground fight clubs after meeting a mysterious fan from his hometown in "Knockdown (aka The Bad Penny)" (2010), starring Casey T. Evans, Bai Ling, Tom Arnold and Nick Faltas. From ARC Entertainment.
On the Indie Front: (6/5)
In "Footprints" (2009), starring Sybil Temtchine, H.M. Wynant and Pippa Scott, an amnesiac young woman (Temtchine) wakes up, face down on the footprints of Graumans Chinese Theatre, and spends one day, from sunrise to sunset, entirely on Hollywood Boulevard, piecing together her identity through her interaction with a host of disparate characters and famous locales. Available via Amazon .... "Private Romeo" (2011), starring Seth Numrich and Matt Doyle., updates Shakespeare's classic tragedy by setting it in an all-male military school, incorporating the original text of "Romeo and Juliet," YouTube videos, and lip-synced indie rock music. From Wolfe Video ... A washed up, ex-major league ballplayer who needs to meet his community service hours as a coach gets a second chance at life and love by managing a Jewish, orthodox yeshiva baseball team in "The Yankles" (2009), starring Don Most, Bart Johnson and Brian Wimmer. From Magnolia Home Entertainment.
Stories of love and desire form the emotional and sensual epicenter of the controversial film "Desire (aka Q)" (2011 -- France), starring Deborah Revy, Helene Zimmer, Gowan Didi and Johnny Amaro: When the enigmatic 20-year-old Cecile walks into the lives of a group of conflicted teenagers, their deepest-felt sexual urges are unleashed and their worlds changed forever. After the death of her father, Cecile looks for support from her friends, but it's only through random sexual encounters that she finds solace. From Strand Releasing ... In "Tomboy" (2011 -- France), starring Zoe Heran, Malonn Levana, Sophie Cattani and Mathieu Demy, 10-year-old Laure moves to the suburbs and decides to pass as a boy amongst the pack of neighborhood kids. As "Mikael" she catches the attention of leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten with her. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret. From Wolfe Video.
For the Family: (6/5)
"Babar: The Classic Series: The Complete First Season" (1989) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.98. First appearing in "Histoire de Babar," Jean de Brunhoff's 1931 storybook classic based on a tale that his wife Cecile had invented for their children, Babar the Elephant has, for 80 years, captivated millions around the globe. The story of the little elephant who leaves the jungle, visits a big city and returns to bring the benefits of civilization to his fellow elephants has been captured in a multitude of best-selling books (over 12 million sold worldwide, and more than 1000 titles in print) and several animated series, including "Classic Babar," and a new series, "Babar & the Adventures of Badou," which airs daily on Disney Junior. From Entertainment One ... "ThunderCats: Season 1, Book 2"
(1985) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $19.97 from Warner.
Special Interest: (6/5)
In "Civilization: The West and the Rest With Niall Ferguson" (2012), Niall Ferguson, internationally acclaimed author and historian, investigates the influence of the West and its hold over the rest of the world since 1500 A.D. Two-disc set, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... A cell lives an average of 5 minutes. A hummingbird for 5 years. Right now, humans live for about 75 years. What might it mean to live forever? In "How to Live Forever" (2009), director Mark Wexler embarks on a worldwide trek to investigate just what it means to grow old and what it could mean to really live forever. The film documents his journey as he seeks to learn if eternal life is possible or even desirable. Exploring these issues with a fascinating array of people -- from futurist Ray Kurzweil to comedian Phyllis Diller to a 101-year-old chain-smoking marathon runner -- Wexler presents a riveting series of stories and insights about youth, aging and longevity. From Docurama ... "Titanic at 100: Mystery Solved" (2012) claims to be the most thorough and exhaustive study of the wreck ever made, yielding unprecedented new discoveries and the first comprehensive map of Titanic's watery grave, helping specialists solve the century-old puzzle of what went wrong on April 15, 1912,— and determine who or what was responsible. In the 25 years since the wreck was located, no one had ever explored and mapped the entire site -- nearly half the area remained unseen and unknown, and significant portions of the ship, which could reveal how it broke, were missing. Now, after 100 years, every inch of the entire site is finally known, and every piece of the ship documented exactly where it landed on the ocean floor a century ago. $19.95 from A&E.
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June 1, 2012
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).