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.
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!
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.
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”.
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?
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.”
THE COLDITZ STORY
Colditz Revealed documentary
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 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
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
Country music is often a tale of blues.
Now Time Life presents CMA Awards Live Greatest Moments: 2008-2015, the first Blu-ray installment in their top-selling CMA Awards Live home entertainment line.
Available on March 3 and for the first time on Blu-ray in HD, this collection features unforgettable collaborations that could only happen on “Country Music’s Biggest Night”, including such gems as “Coal Miner’s Daughter” by Miranda Lambert, Sheryl Crow, and Loretta Lynn; “Cowgirls Don’t Cry” by Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire; “Tennessee Whiskey/Drink You Away” by Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake; “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by Alan Jackson and George Strait.
Plus this release takes audiences behind the scenes, thanks to candid artist interviews and an interview with Robert Deaton, Executive Producer of the CMA Awards.
For more than 50 years, the CMA Awards have spotlighted the top performers of America’s favorite music, capturing the songs and artists who have provided a soundtrack for our lives.
Showcasing the diversity of talent and the powerful songs that have made country music the heartbeat of America, this collection of CMA Awards performances includes:
“More Like Her” | MIRANDA LAMBERT
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry” | BROOKS & DUNN featuring REBA McENTIRE
“You’re Gonna Miss This” | TRACE ADKINS
“Need You Now” | LADY ANTEBELLUM
“Fifteen” | TAYLOR SWIFT
“Consider Me Gone” | REBA McENTIRE
“As She’s Walking Away” | ZAC BROWN BRAND featuring ALAN JACKSON
“Don’t You Wanna Stay” | JASON ALDEAN with KELLY CLARKSON
“Coal Miner’s Daughter” | MIRANDA LAMBERT, SHERYL CROW, LORETTA LYNN
“Red” | TAYLOR SWIFT, ALISON KRAUSS, VINCE GILL, SAM BUSH, EDGAR MEYER, ERIC DARKEN
“Round Here” | FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE
“The Outsiders” | ERIC CHURCH
“He Stopped Loving Her Today” | ALAN JACKSON and GEORGE STRAIT
“Somewhere in My Car” | KEITH URBAN
“Drunk on a Plane” | DIERKS BENTLEY
“Take Your Time” | SAM HUNT
“Girl Crush” | LITTLE BIG TOWN
“Tennessee Whiskey/Drink You Away ” | CHRIS STAPLETON and JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE
“Gonna” | BLAKE SHELTON
, delivers country music lovers the very best highlights from the show’s modern era featuring country’s biggest and brightest stars – Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, and more.
It’s a courageous journey, transgendering from man to woman, woman to man. Full Bloom: Transcending Gender follows 13 transgender and two gay actors as they transform their lives through the use of monologue, dialogue and performance art while preparing for the world premiere of the play, Lovely Bouquet of Flowers: An Exploration of Non-Traditional Gender Voices.
Michael D. Brewer’s Full Bloom features behind-the-scenes, rehearsal and performance footage that are interwoven with candid personal interviews with the cast, who talk about how they deal with family, inner conflicts, discrimination, coming out, surgery, hormones and the complexities of sexual identity and orientation. By sharing their own journeys, the actors transcend gender and challenge us to move past stereotypes and see what we all have in common as human beings.
Share the journeys with the First Run Features DVD release.
MVD Entertainment is releasing more titles from the Yari Film Group, an independent film company founded in 2002. New titles this month:
Making its debut on physical media on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD and digital comes Yari’s feature directorial debut Mind Games. Maxwell Caulfield stars in this taut psychological thriller about a family’s battle for survival against a cruel, scheming stranger.
Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Dana Lund (played by Edward Albert) and his wife, Rita (Shawn Weatherly) try to breathe new life into their relationship by taking a trip through northern California with their 10-year-old son Kevin (Matt Norero).
Along the way they pick up Eric (Caufield) an amiable hitchhiker who’s a psychology student. But Eric’s charm masks the fact that he is psychotic. Sensing the Lund’s vulnerability, he decides to take control of the family, then destroy it through deceit and emotional manipulation. At first the Lunds are easy prey until they realize they’ve become victims of a bizarre reign of terror. They begin to fight back in a desperate attempt to save themselves from Eric’s madness and perverse, well, mind games.
The Special Edition Blu-ray of Mind Games includes great exclusive bonus material including a brand new feature length documentary The Making of Mind Games, featuring interviews with Mawell Caulfield, Norero and Weatherly, producer Mary Apick and director Yari.
Additional features include “Bob Yari: Portrait of a Producer“, a retrospective featurette on the career of the producer of the Academy Award Best Picture Winning Crash, The Illusionist and Find Me Guilty. Also included is the film’s original trailer, reversible artwork sleeve, mini-poster and a limited slipcover.
Guy Pearce, Piper Perabo and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons star in First Snow, an intriguing thriller about a man whose life spins out of control after psychic tells him his days are numbered. After his car breaks down in a desolate town, a slick salesman, Jimmy Starks (Pearce), visits a fortune teller (Simmons) to kill some time.
But the psychic’s ominous reading sends Jimmy’s life into a tailspin when he learns that his life will soon end, but he is safe at least, until the first snow of the season. Now, with his ultimate fate looming nearer, Jimmy becomes obsessed with revisiting his past in hopes of changing his destiny before it’s too late.
Sarah Michelle Gellar leads an all-star cast including Lee Pace and Michael Landes in the year’s most mesmerizing thriller, Possession. Newlyweds Jess (Gellar) and Ryan (Landes) seem to have it all until a car accident renders both Ryan and his brother Roman (Pace) comatose.
But things spin even more eerily out of control when Roman awakens and tries to convince Jess that he is her husband. Beside herself with fear and grief, Jess grapples with one question: Could the man before her actually be the man she lost….or does something far more sinister await her in his arms?
Academy Award winners Kim Basinger and Forest Whitaker join Danny Devito and an all-star cast in Even Money, a compelling thriller directed by Academy Award nominee Mark Rydell that follows the lives of nine individuals, as their fates become increasingly entwined in a web of addiction and gambling, culminating at one critical moment where their lives will be lost or reclaimed.
Struggling writer Kate (Basinger) loses her family’s savings at a casino; a washed-up magician ( Devito) tries to help Carol regain her money; Clyde (Whitaker) owes so much money to his dangerous bookie (Jay Mohr) that he asks his NBA-destined nephew (Nick Cannon) to throw the game.
Also starring Kelsey Grammer, Tim Roth, Ray Liotta and Carla Gugino, Even Money is a cautionary thriller about addiction and deception that hits a jackpot of suspense.
We turned green with fear and shock the first time we watched The House By the Cemetery, a truly frightening horror flick released in 1984. So bloody that cuts had to be made in Europe before its release.
Let us tell you the story: A young family moves from their cramped New York City apartment to a spacious new home in New England. But this is no ordinary house in the country: the previous owner was the deranged Dr. Freudstein, whose monstrous human experiments have left a legacy of bloody mayhem. Now someone ( or something) is alive in the basement, and home sweet home is about to become a horrific hell on earth.
Catriona MacColl, Paolo Malco, Ania Pieroni, Carlo De Mejo and Dagmar Lassander star in this outrageous Italian shocker from Godfather of Gore Lucio Fulci.
Now, Blue Underground is now proud to present the flick in a new 4K restoration from the original uncut and uncensored camera negative, fully loaded with exclusive new and archival extras.
Bask in . . .
Disc 1 (Blu-ray) Feature Film + Extras
NEW! Audio Commentary with Troy Howarth, author of SplinteredVisions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
Poster & Still Galleries
Disc 2 (Blu-ray) Extras: Meet the Boyles Interviews with Stars Catriona MacColl and Paolo Malco Children of the Night Interviews with stars Giovanni Frezza and Silvia Collatina Tales of Laura Gittleson Interview with Star Dagmar Lassander My Time With Terror Interview with Star Carlo De Mejo A Haunted House Story Interviews with Co-Writers Dardano Sacchetti and Elisa Briganti To Build a Better Death Trap Interviews with Cinematographer Sergio Salvati, Special Make-Up Effects Artist Maurizio Trani, Special Effects Artist Gino De Rossi, and Actor Giovanni De Nava
NEW!House Quake Interview with Co-Writer Giorgio Mariuzzo
NEW! Catriona MacColl Q&A
NEW! Calling Dr. Freudstein Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
Disc 3 (CD): Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Walter Rizzati
BONUS! Collectible Booklet with new essay by Michael Gingold
We are often on overload.
And that’s a good thing.
Especially when MVD Entertainment Group announces new DVD and Blu-Ray releases. They are titles movie mavens have wanted to (finally) be released; even re-released since the group’s various labels offer truly wonderous titles, almost always in new high definition prints.
Can we hear a bravo?
One gem: The Point! makes its HD debut on both Blu-ray and HD Digital in an Ultimate Edition. In late ’70, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson released his groundbreaking album, “The Point!”, a thematically brilliant, densely orchestrated concept album packed with more hooks than a meat locker. According to Nilsson himself: “I looked at the trees and realized all the leaves came to points and even the branches came to points. I thought, ‘Oh! Everything has a point, and even if it doesn’t, there’s a point to it.'”
Produced in ’70, the animated film version of The Point! first aired February 2, 1971, as an ABC Movie of the Week. The film was directed by Oscar-winner Fred Wolf and produced by Murakami-Wolf Films in association with Nilsson House Music. Complete with story and songs written by Nilsson and narration by Ringo Starr, The Point! is a timeless enchanting fable for the whole family to enjoy!
Years ago there was a place called The Land of the Point, because everything in The Land of the Point had one: the barns, the houses, the cars, everything-–even the people. Everyone, that is, except Oblio (played by Brady Bunch alum Mike Lookinland) who was born round-headed. Since he had no point, Oblio—along with his trusty dog, Arrow—was banished to the Pointless Forest. Join them to see what wonders await these two intrepid travelers as they make their way on their amazing, song-filled journey of discovery.!
With the entire re-release endeavor overseen by Lee Blackman for the Nilsson Estate and MVD Rewind Collection’s Eric D. Wilkinson, the project proved to be a challenging process.
According to Wilkinson, “We searched everywhere but came up empty-handed in regard to locating the original negative elements. Thanks to the generosity of collector Kier-La Janisse, who provided a rare 16mm print, we oversaw a 2K HD scan, which included shot-by-shot color-grading to reduce fade and improve consistency. Considering the condition of the elements we had – while a complete restoration proved to be unfeasible – the end result is the best the film has ever looked and we are proud to give fans and collectors the best edition on disc and digital that has ever been created for this classic animated film.” The Point! Ultimate Edition Blu-ray is packed with hours of bonus material that includes not only all of the previously available bonus featurettes, but also brand new material produced exclusively for this release by Kier-La Janisse and Lee Blackman, including new interviews with voice-over cast member Mike Lookinland; screenwriter Norm Lenzer; Harry Nilsson’s son Kiefo Nilsson and composer/producer Bobby Halvorson; and Nilsson biographer Alyn Shipton, whose featurette contains mini-interviews with several people familiar with Harry Nilsson’s work on film.
Yes, the beat goes on.
Sonny and Cher share great memories, great music and great guest stars when they take the spotlight on I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher(Time Life). The five-disc set is packed with never-before-released episodes of their ’70s variety TV show. And the added bonus–an interview with Cher recalling those sunny days—is most welcome!
When Salvatore “Sonny” Bono and Cherilyn “Cher” Sarkisian came together it was undeniably magical. America first knew them as the duo behind the classic hit “I Got You Babe,” and their popularity exploded with the ’70s smash variety show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. The perfect match on stage and off, millions of fans tuned in each week to watch the sparks fly and see what Bob Mackie rags Cher was (or wasn’t!) wearing and the show quickly became essential viewing.
The TV gig was a gift from heaven . . . or at least CBS entertainment chief Fred Silverman, who “discovered” them performing in nightclubs and decided they had great potential for a weekly variety series. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour premiered on August 1, 1971 as a summer replacement, but quickly reached the top 20, becoming a Wednesday night draw for the CBS and cementing Sonny and Cher as one of Hollywood’s most beloved couples.
The DVD set contains 10 hilarious, never-before-released episodes beginning, bringing by bringing TV viewers back to the beginning with the pilot episode,. Oh! The classic sketches are still just naughty enough for nighttime! And tune in for an incredible line-up of guest stars including Dick Clark, Jerry Lewis, Jim Nabors, Joe Namath, The Righteous Brothers, Dinah Shore, Carroll O’Connor, Art Carney, Chuck Berry and The Supremes.
I Got You Babe: The Best of Sonny & Cher also features exclusive extras including:
Sonny & Cher’s pilot, an appearance on The Barbara McNair Show (Original Air Date: February 15, 1970)
Jerry Blavat’s 1970 interview of the duo on Jerry’s Place featuring an impromptu performance of “I Got You Babe”
Interviews with Frankie Avalon, producers Allan Blye and Chris Bearde and Cher herself!
Petrucelli Picks the best in books, music and film . . . and then some