“Hedgehogs” animates its way to DVD and Digital in February

Save the date: The animated family adventure Hedgehogs arrives on DVD and Digital February 27 from Lionsgate. Watch for it. Awarded the Dove Seal of Approval, the film follows a mischievous hedgehog named Bobby (voiced by Anthony Padilla of Smosh) and a pigeon named Hubert on a wild journey.

In this outrageous family adventure, Web superstars @jennxpenn (Jen McAllister) and the Smosh duo (Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox) join forces with comedy legends Jon Heder and Chevy Chase. The laughter begins as a mischievous hedgehog named Bobby leaves his wilderness home and joins Hubert, a featherbrained pigeon, on a wild, unpredictable journey. They make their way to the big city, where stressed-out humans are losing their minds. Bobby and Hubert must calm the nervous citizens by being their cute, cuddly selves.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
“Bringing the Characters to Life: At the Recording Studio with Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox (Creators of Smosh), Jon Heder and Jenn ‘@jennxpenn’ McAllister” Featurette

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Great news busting out: The Day Scott Ian took Madonna to a strip club to see an exotic dancer with 42GGG boobs!

A new year. A new crop of musical memoirs.  The first (and a really good one): Scott Ian’s Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life (Da Capo, $26).

Ian, rhythm guitarist and cofounder of the thrash-metal band, Anthrax, has seen his share of dive hotels, dirty tour buses, and decrepit green rooms. In Access All Areas: Stories from a Hard Rock Life, he collects his craziest stories to give an honest account of life on the road for a touring musician. Along the way, he recounts his encounters with celebrities such as Kirk Hammett, Dimebag Darrell, Trent Reznor, Steven Spielberg and David Lee Roth.

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Throughout the book, Scott Ian steps up to the line and purposely crosses it, chronicling everything from witnessing an enema contest involving Fruit Loops backstage at Madison Square Garden after a Nine Inch Nails concert; to accompanying Madonna to a strip club to see an exotic dancer with 42GGG breasts; to blacking out after dinner with Mario Batali and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio at the Palazzo in Vegas (only to wake up and discover he’d somehow managed to play online poker in the middle of the night—and won!); to having his sexy storyline with Christina Applegate edited out during a guest appearance on Married with Children; to seeing his hero, Lemmy Kilmister, in a pair of Daisy Dukes; to punching Michael Stipe at a loft party “because everybody hurts.”

Let us treat you to a bon mot from chapter three: “I’ve done a lot of interviews over the last thirty-three years. A LOT. It’s safe to say that the number is somewhere in the thousands, and of those thousands of interviews and tens of thousands of questions I’ve been asked there’s one question I’ve been asked more than any other: ‘What is the craziest thing you’ve seen on tour?’”

With chapters like “What If We Were the Dicks?” and “Sorry Never Felt So Good,” Access All Areas is told with an artist’s eye for detail, a performer’s knack for storytelling…and an utterly inexplicable lack of embarrassment.

 

“American Masters: This is Bob Hope” celebrates the 80-year career of Skinose

PBS Distribution is ready to thank him for the memories. They have just released American Masters: This is Bob Hope on DVD and Digital HD. During his eight-decade career, Hope was the only performer to achieve top-rated success in every form of mass entertainment: vaudeville, Broadway, movies, radio, television, popular songs and personal appearances, including his annual USO Christmas military tours and hosting the Academy Awards more times than anyone else.

A comedy innovator, Hope invented the topical monologue that later became a late-night TV staple and comedy tropes like talking while backing up. He refined a spontaneous, conversational, improvisational style of comedy as a vaudeville master of ceremonies that created a blueprint for acerbic stand-up comics.

Written, directed and produced by John Scheinfeld, the documentary presents a candid look at a remarkable life. With unprecedented access to Hope’s personal archives, including writings voiced by Billy Crystal and clips from Hope’s body of work to reveal a gifted individual who recognized the power of fame, the documentary presents Hope’s handling of celebrity with extraordinary wit and grace, becoming a model for public service in Hollywood.

The program features new interviews with Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Margaret Cho, daughter Linda Hope, Kermit the Frog, film critic/historian Leonard Maltin, Conan O’Brien, Tom Selleck, Brooke Shields, Connie Stevens and biographer Richard Zoglin (Hope: Entertainer of the Century). Edited to evoke the fast, fun pace of Hope’s classic monologues, clips include highlights from numerous TV specials, his Pepsodent radio shows and classic films like The Cat and the Canary, My Favorite Blonde, his iconic Road pictures with Bing Crosby, and The Big Broadcast of 1938, featuring his signature song “Thanks for the Memory.”

Director Marina Willer traces her father’s journey as a member of one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during World War II

As the world struggles with the current refugee crisis, a powerful new film serves as a timely look at a family besieged by war who finds peace across an ocean. It’s called Red Trees, a film with “of-the-moment resonance(The Hollywood Reporter), arrives on Cohen Media Group Blu-ray and DVD, as well as digital platforms, on January 23. Save the date. It’s important.

Award-winning filmmaker Marina Willer creates an impressionistic visual essay as she traces her father’s journey as a member of one of only 12 Jewish families to survive the Nazi occupation of Prague during World War II. Photographed by Oscar nominee César Charlone, the film travels from war-torn Eastern Europe to the color and light of South America and is told through the voice of Willer’s father, Alfred (narrated by Tim Piggot-Smith), who witnessed bureaucratic nightmares, transportations and suicides but survived to build a post-war life as an architect in Brazil.
Sophia Cowley of Film Inquiry says, “With Red Trees, Marina Willer does something both intimate and daring. Its vivid shots ensure the entire film plays out like a series of moving paintings.” “In many ways, this is the most powerful anti-fascist film you will see this or any other year,” wrote Louis Proyect of Counterpunch.org.
CMG’s Blu-ray and DVD of Red Trees include an interview with director Willer.

New York City can be a great city . . . unless Cloverfield returns in 4K

Manhattan is a great city . . . wonderful people, super stores and all the love that’s in the air. It can also be a deadly, frightening city. Remember Cloverfield?  Producer J.J. Abrams’ and director Matt Reeves’ monster hit arrives on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever.

The flick thrilled critics and audiences alike with its shocking, first-person video account of a horrifying attack on Manhattan by an unknown—and seemingly unstoppable—force.  Relive the mysterious and thrilling story with the sensational picture quality only 4K Ultra HD can deliver.

Need more thrills and chills? Opt for 10 Cloverfield Lane, a two-disc 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack with a digital copy. Producer J.J. Abrams’ and director Dan Trachtenberg’s chilling and intense thriller debuts on 4K Ultra HD.

Starring John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, the film follows a young woman who survives a catastrophic car crash only to wake up in a survivalist’s underground bunker. He claims to have saved her from an apocalyptic attack that has left the outside world uninhabitable, but as his increasingly suspicious actions lead her to question his motives, she’ll have to escape in order to discover the truth.

Both films from Paramount Home Media Distribution  will be released January 23. It’s worth the wait. Trust us.

 

Hungry for ideas in food? The recipe is clear: “Gluten-Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table”

Let us serve you a great idea for what will be a great new year: Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot—chefs and restaurant consultants known for their innovative approach to tricky food conundrums, and their widely-popular book and blog Ideas in Food—apply their characteristic blend of diligent, kitchen-tested solutions and eclectic influences in Gluten-Free Flour Power: Bringing Your Favorite Foods Back to the Table [W. W. Norton & Company, $19.95). With more than 90 recipes and photographs, Aki and Alex provide answers to home cooks’ toughest questions about making delicious gluten-free foods at home. Whether it’s deliciously fluffy blueberry muffins, crispy homemade pizza dough, hearty spiced pumpkin waffles, or chewy chocolate chip cookies, Aki and Alex are always looking to maximize flavor, texture and taste.

Gluten-free Flour Power

While gluten-free flour blends are readily available at the store, Aki and Alex demonstrate how simple it is to create a homemade blend that’s more reliable (and affordable) than the prepackaged store-bought flours. The book covers the flours, gums and starches needed to make great gluten-free dishes and how to put them to work in your kitchen every day, with three unique flour blends designed to be used interchangeably with each recipe in the book. Each blend takes into account an allergen beyond gluten sensitivity: soy, dairy, and gums. Readers will also find simple, satisfying recipes that are at once familiar and groundbreaking: light and airy doughnuts made with buttermilk brioche; pass-around Stromboli made with yogurt; and a triple chocolate cake, each layer pre-soaked in a smooth chocolate syrup.

Aki and Alex show how easy it can be to amp up familiar recipes to get incredible results: harnessing tapioca starch to get a perfectly thick texture in homemade ice cream; adding potato starch for light, crispy, fully-flavored fried chicken; or boosting biscuit and cake batters with toasted milk powder to produce delicious caramelized flavors. Their “seamless” ravioli, with pepperoni Bolognese, starts with rounds of cheese filling that are slowly coated in flour to create a smooth, seamless exterior. When you drop the balls into boiling water, the flour gelatinizes, forming a skin around the filling and creating the perfect marriage of cheese and pasta texture.

For many people, maintaining a gluten-free diet has become more than a dietary choice. It can be a statement about the state of the food industry writ large, a desire to take a closer look at—and take some control over—the food we put in our bodies. With fully illustrated step-by-step instructions accompanying nearly every recipe, Gluten-Free Flour Power will change the way you plan everyday meals and dream of new dishes for friends and family.

A new chapter for 2018: Two new must-read books from W.W. Norton

Here’s a sneak peek of two W. W. Norton non-fiction titles being released early this year. Save the date, save time to read them.

In CRÆFT: An Inquiry into the Origins and True Meaning of Traditional Crafts [now on sale], archaeologist and medieval historian Alexander Langlands takes us into the world of traditional crafts to recover a sense of cræft that connects us with our human past, our sense of place, and our remarkable capacity to survive in the harshest of landscapes. We follow Langlands as he journeys from his home in Wales to Spain, France, England, Scotland, and Iceland in search of the material traces and lost meanings of everyday human making. https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/QxQh7unOElOxUyyJ81N1VUplSQ_jel1msAJEgMJ_QSCf2Y1_B4ec31A6jvm28eKmYgqK2ur8G4btpNjfo0ZKdiWU-YCdn7chuu3CanSYz93PC4Qs8pfa-mLMfpSMi7YfDdNv84nFAlong the way, we glimpse living embodiments of ancient cræft through Langlands’ engaging tales of his own adventures herding sheep, keeping bees, tanning hides, spinning wool, and thatching roofs. Langlands reveals that what lies behind our desire for products bearing the mark of authenticity—from the DIY movement to the rise of craft beers—may be nothing less than an a deep respect for human ingenuity and the passing on of traditions from generation to generation.

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World [on sale February 2] presents a sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on society. https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/OlnGkYRTVmWxFOqtnevpNnODW8ASUuxor_TdibpZeSkvmRnkE5PAsvbo1JPKdHkSMg9k3i9_t4b4hQmex4NEsLMlTHFmUSbjHsLkRye8O917vQkjH_A1E9BcgckbJEZX61ks6zJlIn an ambitious work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares. Guiding readers from the textile mills of Victorian England to the present-day behemoth factories of China and Vietnam, Freeman also traces the idea of the factory in the history of thought, politics, and art, giving weight to the industrial legacies that shaped and continue to define our world.

Fuck yeah: Scientist Emma Byrne’s book proves “Swearing is Good For You”

I curse all the fucking time. I am glad I do:  Scientist Emma Byrne’s sparkling debut Swearing is Good For You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language (W.W. Norton, $25.95) holds a surprising suggestion for healthy living: Start cursing more and you might just decrease stress, reduce pain, and increase cooperation.

book cover

In her book, an irreverent and impeccably researched defense of our dirtiest words, Byrne examines the latest research to show how swearing can be good for you. With humor and colorful language, she explores every angle of swearing—why we do it, how we do it, and what it tells us about ourselves. Byrne reveals how swearing has been around since the earliest humans began to communicate, and has been shown to reduce physical pain, lower anxiety, prevent physical violence, help trauma victims recover language, and promote human cooperation.

Fuck you by liftarn

Taking readers on a whirlwind tour through scientific experiments, historical case studies, and cutting-edge research on language in both humans and other primates, Byrne defends cursing and demonstrates how much it can reveal about different cultures, their taboos and their values. Packed with the results of unlikely and often hilarious scientific studies—from the “ice bucket test” for coping with pain, to the connection between Tourette’s and swearing, to a chimpanzee who curses at her handler in sign language—Swearing is Good for You presents a lighthearted but convincing case for the foulmouthed.

 

VERMEER, BEYOND TIME paints an absorbing portrait of the influential artist

Images from his paintings have become part of our collective imagination and are instantly recognizable and include pieces such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring”, “The Astronomer” and “The Geographer”.  The artful documentary Vermeer, Beyond Time (Public Media Distribution, LLC ) explores the life and work of one of the most loved, influential, and well-known artists, Johannes Vermeer. The film is narrated by actor Steve Martin.

In the program, French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Cottet adopts an imaginative and sensitive approach to Vermeer, focusing on not only his work, but also his family life.  Cottet looks at Vermeer’s conversion to Catholicism, his artistic contemporaries, and the wider world of the short lived Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century.

In 1675, overwhelmed by poverty, physically weakened, and humiliated, Vermeer dies at the age of 43. Soon afterwards, his paintings are sold to cover his debts, and Vermeer disappears from memory. His rediscovery some 200 years later has seen his popularity soar, claiming both our hearts and our admiration.

“Rise of the Footsoldier Part II” rises to the occasion and (almost) tops the first flick

Sequels are sometimes as good (if not better) than the flick they follow. Witness the crime-thriller Rise of the Footsoldier Part II, the follow-up to 2007’s cult hit Rise of the Footsoldier. Save the date: Part II arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand on February 20 from Lionsgate.

Rise of the Footsoldier Part II follows football-hooligan-turned-professional-criminal Carlton Leach, who’s still mourning the loss of his friends and is convinced that it’s only a matter of time before he’s next. For him, the only way out is to go back in and work his way back up the criminal ladder . . . but the higher he gets, the more violent the jobs become, until his quest for power turns into an obsession. With life and family on the line, can he hold his nerves together one last time in order to get out alive?

We ain’t telling.

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