All posts by alanwp

Kids in quarantine? The welcome and wondrous “Ants Don’t Talk, Do They?” will help them start a new chapter in the “new normal”

We almost bugged out when we realized a new and good . . . a new and very good . . . kids’ book was being released tomorrow!  How did this happen? Do we blame spam? Laziness? The pandemic? We’ll blame all of them, though we do wish important emails that live in  our unwelcome underground go to . . .

Spam should be against the law, which brings us to British lawyer/author John Sharer,  who now brings us to Ants Don’t Talk, Do They? (Wompetias Press, $18.95/$10.95), the warm and welcoming story of Chet, a lonely boy who, because he has a contagious  illness, has to stay in his room. By himself. All day every day. For month after month.

Chet keeps busy by daydreaming and playing games on his tablet.  One day an ant walked across the screen. It looked like an ordinary insect, but over several weeks, Chet learned this was not an ordinary ant. It talked! It did wondrous and  magical things! It was kind and gentle, actions which really helped Chet overcome his loneliness and boredom, helped him stay engaged and, of course,  get well. The most important lesson he learned? Not to take anything before being quarantine for granted . . . especially when he’s able to return to his friends, family and school.

Indeed, such adventures didn’t bug out Chet. But what would you do if an ant started talking to you? Would you faint? Run from the room? Or, gulp!, stomp on the little creature? No need to worry: Talking ants—officially known as member of the special club  ASK (Ants for Sick Kids)—only visit and interact with children who are ill and contagious and who must be quarantined from others.

We told you such talking ants was anything but ordinary!

With warmth and humor, Ants Don”t Talk, Do They?  will capture the imagination of kids during these extraordinary and sometimes challenging times. And the illustrations by Jay Mazhar are simply delightful! This amusing and lighthearted tale offers a very relatable situation for children—and adults—as we all begin to reemerge from months of staying at home to a “new normal”.

Think of this as a gift parents, grandparents and “ants” and uncles, should give to restless and bored little ones.

Learn more about the author and book @ johnhsharer.com

An “Outback” urban legend comes to life . . . as alive as the snakes and scorpions and wild dogs

Even the DVD cover scares us.
Outback tells the terrifying tale of a young couple lost in the wilderness and fighting for survival. Wade and Lisa head to Australia hoping to recharge their failing romance. When their GPS fails, they leave their car and head off on foot to find a new route. As night falls, they must spend the night in the bush without food, water or weapons, surrounded by snakes, scorpions and wild dogs. Now, one decision could mean the difference between life. And certain death.
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A unique spin on the wilderness survival thriller, Outback has just arrived on DVD, Digital and On Demand from Lionsgate. The lengths people go to save their loved ones are portrayed in a tragically touching way as time is quickly running out for a stranded couple. By the way, the film is based on a true story. Outback legend.

Expect chills and thrills in thttp://theentertainmentreport.org/expect-chills-and-thrills-in-the-pulse-pounding-global-spy-thriller-legacy-of-lies/he pulse-pounding global spy-thriller “Legacy of Lies”

Scott Adkins stars in the explosive action-thriller Legacy of Lies, arriving on DVD, Digital, and On Demand July 28th from Lionsgate. This political espionage thriller follows a former assassin (Adkins) who is pulled back into the dangerous world he hoped he’d left behind

A decade ago, agent Martin Baxter quit MI6 after his wife’s tragic murder in an operation gone wrong. But when Sacha, a beautiful journalist, asks for help solving an old case, Martin finds himself in the crosshairs of both UK and Russian intelligence. Now, with his daughter held captive by the KGB, Martin has just 24 hours to deliver the secret case files—which means risking both Sacha’s life and his own.

Expect chills and thrills in this pulse-pounding global spy-thriller.

Mel Gibson delivers a knock-out performance as he deals with a Category 5 hurricane in “Force of Nature”

A perfect storm of action is unleashed when Force of Nature premieres, perfectly. On June 30, the film can be caught on Digital and On Demand from Lionsgate; it will also be released on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD.
This is a high-stakes thriller starring Emile Hirsch, Kate Bosworth and Mel Gibson. David Zayas, Stephanie Cayo, and Will Catlett also star.

What’s the fuss?

This edge-of-your-seat action-thriller explodes during a violent Category 5 hurricane. As disgraced cop Cardillo (Hirsch) races to evacuate an apartment building, he comes across Dr. Troy (Bosworth)and her retired detective father, Ray (Gibson). When a murderous gang of thieves arrives to rob a wealthy tenant, they must join forces to battle the criminals and escape with their lives before the entire city is deep underwater.
We did edge-of-your-seat!

Four kids. A visit to the beach. A floppy-eared creature that grants their wishes. Welcome to “Four Kids and It”.

Brady Bunch fans will relist Four Kids and It, a heartwarming story about a newly blended family getting to know one another amidst extraordinary and magical circumstances.  Catch it on June 30  the flick will be available on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand, including major digital platforms including will be available on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand, including major digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and others. will be available on Digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand, including major digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon Prime and Vudu.

The flick is a charming and whimsical story features a star-studded cast including Paula Patton, Matthew Goode and Russell Brand, as well as and the voice of Michael Caine. Based on iconic children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s novel, the story is a modern twist based on E. Nesbit’s 1902 classic Five Children and It. The brood of kids? Four talented youngsters: Teddie Malleson-Allen, Ashley Aufderheide, Billy Jenkins and Ellie-Mae Siame.
On a seaside holiday,K But there’s a catch: the kids’ adventures in rock-climbing, pop stardom, and flying end promptly at sunset—leaving them in danger each time. Can they learn to control the magic before something dreadful happens?

Surviving the days during the pandemic? “Survive the Night” is well worth the wait

The pandemic keeps us waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

Wait some more. For a good reason. On July 21, from an executive producer of Live Free or Die Hard and A Good Day to Die Hard, comes the tense home invasion thriller Survive the Night, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital) and DVD July 21 from Lionsgate. This film is currently available On Demand.

Bruce Willis drives the action in this gripping home-invasion thriller with lots of shocking twists and turns.  After two brothers commit a robbery that goes wrong, one of them, Mathias, is mortally wounded, forcing sibling Jamie to stalk a trauma doctor named Rich (Chad Michael Murray) from the hospital to his home. While holding Rich’s wife and daughter hostage, Jamie forces Rich to operate on Mathias. For the family to survive the night, Rich must team up with his estranged tough-as-nails father, retired sheriff Frank (Willis), in order to gain the upper hand and turn the tables on the criminals.

“Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations” will happily toss us into another nice mess!

They are, without a doubt, the greatest comedy team to have ever graced the big screen. The laughs! The slapstick shenanigans! The  homoerotic moments. (No, Ollie and Stan were not gay . . . but think back: They slept in one bed. Stan was married four times; Ollie three time.)
But it’s the laughs and slapstick and laughs and slapstick that we remember after all these years. (L&H made 106 films as a team, including guest appearances.
How did Stan and Ollie get together in the first place? They had appeared together by chance in an earlier film called The Lucky Dog, but it was not until each had joined Hal Roach that their teaming began.

Their first screen appearance in “The Lucky Dog”

Stanley and Ollie were appearing in the same films at Roach when director/supervisor Leo McCarey recognized the comic contrast between them and encouraged their teamwork. They first appeared in something resembling their eventual format in a 1927 release called Duck Soup.

And oh, by the way, Hardy’s most famous catchphrase is often misquoted, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into.” The incorrect “another fine mess” comes from the name of one of their short films, made in 1930.
So beloved that many of the available copies are blurred dupes printed from worn-out negatives. Now, the best of their short comedies and two of their finest features have been fully restored and collected in Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations (MVD Entertainment Group).  Save the date: The set goes on sale June 16.
This is, so far, the most exciting news about a DVD release this year.
These new prints, 2K and 4K transfers from the finest original 35mm materials in the world, look and sound as spectacular as when they were first released. Just how great are these prints?

“It’s no exaggeration to say that the films haven’t looked this good since they were first released in the ’30s'”, gushes Leonard Maltin.

Check out the clips below!

Other reasons you must own this set: There are world premieres of the L&H legendary “pie fight” from their 1927 silent film The Battle of the Century; here it makes makes its video debut after being “lost” for 90 years! Want more? There’s also That’s That!, the only reel of L&H bloopers and out-takes.
The set contains the classic shorts Berth Marks, Brats, Hog Wild, Come Clean, One Good Turn, Helpmates, Scram!, Their First Mistake, County Hospital, The Chimp, Towed in a Hole, Twice Two, Me and My Pal, The Midnight Patrol, Busy Bodies, The Music Box (which won the first Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Comedy in 1932); also included are their two best feature-length films, Sons of the Desert and Way Out West.
Not enough? There are eight hours of exclusive extras, including 2,500 rare photos and studio documents; audio and film interviews with L&H co-workers; original music tracks and trailers; and a full restoration of their one surviving color film, The Tree in a Test Tube.
Well, here’s another nice mess they’ve gotten us into!

 

Could there be a more goofy horror hybrid than “Ghost Killers Vs Bloody Mary”?

You gotta love any film with a title more catchy that Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter, the 1966 low-budget western/horror hybrid.
And we found it: Ghost Killers Vs Bloody Mary.
You gotta wait until March 10 when Dark Sky Films unleashes the gem.
And we loved it much more than Jesse and Frank’s daughter.
Looking for an easy way to internet stardom, a quartet of self-proclaimed ghost hunters take an assignment at a local school to rid its halls of the newly unleashed spirit of “Bloody Mary.” But despite their efforts to stage the perfect supernatural hoax, the group discovers instead that the ghost is very real and very much out for blood. Enlisting all of the ragtag help they can get, the four must find a way to turn their skills as charlatans into skills for survival in order to combat the ghost and save the day.

In the spirit of Peter Jackson’s earliest work, Ghost Killers Vs Bloody Mary is an exercise in hilariously bad taste, featuring gratuitous sex, violence, profanity and one seriously pissed-off ghost.  Dani Calabresa, Léo Lins, Danilo Gentili and Murilo Couto star in this outrageous and unforgettable film.
Trust us.

“The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend” proves friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places

Friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Witness The Adventures of A.R.I: My Robot Friend, arriving on DVD, Digital and On Demand March 10 from Lionsgate. This out of this world family adventure received the Dove Seal of Approval for All Ages and “provides the rare lesson of compassion being transferred to others through action”.
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In this funny, thrilling family adventure, a boy named Noah finds a broken A.R.I.-9 robot at his dad’s tech job. After he accidentally reboots “Ari,” the smart, playful robot comes to life. Then, when Noah brings Ari to school to show his friend Bethany, they are amazed to learn he can turn invisible—and even fly!  But Ari’s angry creators want to steal his circuitry for a new droid.  When they send a signal that puts the robot into battle mode, will Noah’s new best friend become his most dangerous enemy?

Film Movement offers an exemplary Blu-ray collector’s set that commemorates the bravery of a nation at war in five gloriously restored British World War II classics.

War is hell. Film Movement is offering an exemplary Blu-ray collector’s set that commemorates the bravery of a nation at war in five gloriously restored British World War II classics.

Their Finest Hour: 5 British WWII Classicsbrings together some of the most celebrated British war films, digitally restored and available for the very first time on Blu-ray. Titles include the Ealing Studios-produced, Graham Greene adaptation Went the Day Well? (1942), along with Michael Anderson’s Oscar-nominated The Dam Busters (1955), as well as three box-office hits starring John Mills: The Colditz Story (1955), Dunkirk (1958) and Ice Cold in Alex (1958). The set releases on March 17.

WENT THE DAY WELL? (1942)
Based on a story by Graham Greene and directed by Alberto Cavalcanti. Bramley End, snug and safe, seemed far away from the perils of World War II. Little did the villagers suspect the grim events that would arrive at their doorsteps. Surprised by the lorry loads of Royal Engineers that rolled onto their village green, they had no reason to believe that these soldiers were disguised German paratroopers, and even less reason to be suspicious of Oliver Wilsford (portrayed by Leslie Banks), their trusted town squire. A.O. Scott of The New York Times, said this Ealing Studios wartime production “contemplates some pretty grim stuff, but with equipoise, discipline and a sense of humor that embody exactly the virtues it sets out to defend. Apart from its considerable historical interest, this is a movie about how civilization survives.” 

THE COLDITZ STORY (1955)
The Nazis believed that no man could break out of Colditz Castle. A medieval fortress located in the heart of Saxony and situated 400 miles from any neutral frontier, it was the prison where the most contentious Allied POWs were held. Determined to find a way out, a British officer (John Mills) hatches a plan to navigate the castle’s subterranean tunnels towards freedom. Based on the best-selling book by actual Colditz escapee Major Pat Reid and brought to screen by four-time James Bond director Guy Hamilton. Nominated for a “Best Film” BAFTA Awards, THE COLDITZ STORY was called “Easily one of the best prisoner-of-war yarns to come from any British studio” (Variety).
THE DAM BUSTERS (1955)
Based on actual events. Convinced that the war can be shortened by attacking the German industrial nerve center, Dr. Barnes N. Wallis (Michael Redgrave) develops a “bouncing bomb” that can be used to destroy the Ruhr dams. Facing seemingly impossible odds, the 617 Squadron, led by Air Ace Wing Commander Guy Gibson (Richard Todd), is then tasked with carrying out the dangerous night raids to complete the mission. Adapted by R.C. Sherriff from the book by Paul Brickhill and featuring innovative special effects photography by Gilbert Taylor (cinematographer of Star Wars: A New Hope), The Dam Busters would become a major influence on George Lucas in his storyboarding and filming of the Death Star attack sequence. James Dennis of Screen Anarchy called the film “a triumph of British ingenuity [that] served to highlight the best of the war effort in a wonderfully celebratory fashion.”
DUNKIRK (1958)
It is early May 1940. London is lulled into an atmosphere of false security, but war correspondent Charles Foreman (Bernard Lee) knows better. As the Battle of France takes a turn for the worse, he joins the Merchant Navy and volunteers for Operation Dynamo, the greatest rescue mission ever mounted. John Mills and Richard Attenborough star in this Leslie Norman-directed first cinematic retelling of the 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk, produced by Ealing Studios. James McAllister of The London Economic said, “Those who thought Christopher Nolan’s shattering summer spectacle could have benefitted from greater historical context, need look no further than [this] epic wartime classic.”
ICE COLD IN ALEX (1958)

The year is 1942. Along the barren North African coast where war has turned towns into smoking ruins, Captain Anson (John Mills), a commanding officer in the Royal Army Service Corps, is tired and thirsty. Separated from his unit while evacuating to Alexandria in a military ambulance, he takes on several passengers but soon realizes that one of them may be a German spy. Nominated for four BAFTA Awards and winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1958 Berlin International Film Festival. Lou Thomas of the British Film Institute says, “Sixty years after its release, director J. Lee Thompson’s desert epic still stands up as an essential war film.”

BONUS FEATURES
THE COLDITZ STORY
  • Colditz Revealed documentary
  • Restoration Comparison
THE DAM BUSTERS
  • The Making of The Dam Busters
  • Sir Barnes Wallis documentary
  • 617 Squadron Remembers documentary
  • Footage of the Bomb Tests
  • The Dam Busters Royal Premiere
  • Restoration of a Classic featurette
  • The Dam Busters 75th anniversary trailer
DUNKIRK
  • Dunkirk Operation Dynamo Newsreel
  • Young Veteran Ealing Studios documentary (1940)
  • Interview with actor Sean Barrett
  • John Mills home movie footage
ICE COLD IN ALEX
  • Extended Clip from A Very British War Movie documentary
  • John Mills home movie footage
  • Interview with Melanie Williams
  • Steve Chibnall on J. Lee Thompson
  • Interview with Sylvia Syms
PROGRAM INFORMATION
 
Type: Blu-ray (New Digital Restorations)
Running Time: 572 Total minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio: WENT THE DAY WELL, THE COLDITZ STORY, THE DAM BUSTERS; 1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio: DUNKIRK, ICE COLD IN ALEX
Audio: Mono