Category Archives: DVDs

Interviews, anecdotes and photographs document the seminal magazine “Melody Makers”

Holy high notes! A new bible will be rocking and rolling into musical history when Cleopatra Entertainment release Melody Makers, a chronicle of the birth of music journalism from the world’s oldest and longest standing seminal music magazine. Melody Makers is not just another music documentary; through a series of interviews from artists and journalists of the time, the film tells the true story of the rise and fall of the world’s most influential music publication and uncovers an era of tremendous creative freedom.

The gem is from venerable and respected Canadian award-winning filmmaker (and Female Eye Film Festival founder/director) Leslie Ann Coles. The immensely entertaining and insightful documentary will screen at the Arena Cinelounge on November 29 and run through December 4. There will be a Q&A with Coles on December 2 at 6:30 . . . and she’s bringing along a musician who’s featured in the film. We promised not reveal his/her name, but we will tell you that some of the musicians appearing in Melody Makers include Eric Burdon, Ian Anderson,  Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Alan White, Dave Cousins, Judy Dyble, Pete Agnew, Dan McCafferty and Steve Abbott.
In tandem with the theatrical release of the film is the perfect companion: Melody Makers Companion Apple Book.
This is one helluva immersive experience, an interactive book that takes users from  the rise of Melody Maker magazine through a series of rock trivia games, photo puzzles, embedded interviews.
At the heart of the story is the iconic photographic archive of legendary musicians during the birth of the rock ‘n roll era by the magazine’slong-time main photographer  Barrie Wentzell. Along with his journalist colleagues, Wentzell gained unprecedented access to bands and musicians that would go on to become the legends of rock n’ roll.  His photos are the touchstone of this documentary as the photographer and others recount the many untold stories from behind the pictures. Barrie recalls a Peter Townshend telling him about an idea he had for a rock opera when Tommy was a concept. Journalist Chris Charlesworth recalls when the magazine tried to expand into the U.S. market without paying off the mobsters who controlled magazine distribution; PR Keith Altham shares an anecdotal story about a publicity stunt gone awry involving  notorious drummer, Keith Moon and a hovercraft.   and a photographic gallery full of Barrie Wentzell’s Legends Series culled from his iconic rock photographic archive (1965-1975).
Musical  memories are truly resurrected and relived.

“Strange But True” Arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital. Hardly strange, but true.

It’s hardly strange.
But definitely  true.
Based on the acclaimed novel by John Searles, Strange but True had just arrived on Blu-ray (plus Digital), DVD and Digital October 22 from Lionsgate. This film is currently available On Demand.
Produced by Academy Award nominee Fred Berger and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, the film stars Oscar and Golden Globe nominee Amy Ryan, as well as Nick Robinson, Margaret Qualley, Mena Massoud, Golden Globe nominee and Primetime Emmy winner Blythe Danner, Golden Globe nominee and Primetime Emmy winner Brian Cox, and Daytime Emmy winner, Academy Award, Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy nominee Greg Kinnear in a riveting tale of a family facing an unlikely truth that unravels a web of lies and deception.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
A family is caught in a web of lies, fears, and suspense after the ex-girlfriend of their deceased son appears five years after his death—and tells them she is carrying his child.

Mark Hamill, iJustine and Ron Perlman are all washed up . . . that’s a compliment!

Fishing for some family fun?
Try Go Fish, a fun, heartwarming under-the-sea journey for the entire family,  that arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand November 19 from Lionsgate.
Winner of the Dove Seal of Approval for all ages and featuring the voice talents of iJustine, Mark Hamill and Ron Perlman, this delightful film about friendship, adventure and helping the environment “teaches kids how humble wisdom can make you” (The Dove Foundation). The will include a music video for “Go Fish (Side by Side)”–an original song performed by pop singer Kate Steinberg– and a digital comic book.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
All his life, plucky parrotfish Alex has dreamed of being a superhero. He gets his chance when a mysterious flood of black goop erupts near his coral reef. As Alex and his pals—a sea horse, an eel and a blowfish—swim off to confront the menace and save their home, they face a sunken ship with hidden treasure, an abandoned airplane, angry sharks and an undersea volcano.

“Angel of Mine”: A thrilling treat and oodles of tricks

Halloween is a day away.
And a few screams as well.
Noomi Rapace, Yvonne Strahovski, and Luke Evans star in the tense psychological thriller Angel of Mine, which just landed on Blu-ray (plus Digital), DVD and Digital from Lionsgate. This film is currently available On Demand.
Directed by Kim Farrant and written for the screen by Luke Davies and David Regal, Rapace gives an “Oscar-worthy performance” (The Weekend Warrior) as a woman on the edge who believes the daughter of a neighbor, played by Strahovski, is actually her own. The Blu-ray and DVD  includes a “making-of featurette” and cast/crew interviews.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
Noomi Rapace stars as Lizzie, a woman who, having suffered a tragic loss years earlier, is trying to rebuild her life when she suddenly becomes obsessed with a neighbor’s daughter, believing the girl to be her own child. As Lizzie’s shocking, threatening acts grow increasingly dangerous, they lead to an explosive confrontation with the girl’s angry, defensive mother (played by Strahovski).
Indeed, a treat full pf tricks.

Rolling Stoner Bill Wyman shows how his music has given him so much satisfaction

Throughout his three-decade career as a founding member of and bassist for The Rolling Stones, Bill Wyman was known to the world as the band’s “quiet one”. Now, in The Quiet One (IFC Films), the famously private music legend speaks out about his extraordinary life and experiences as part of “the greatest rock and roll band in the world.”

Opening up his vast personal archive—a lifetime’s worth of previously unseen home movies, photographs and memorabilia— Wyman reflects on his early years with The Stones, the band’s meteoric rise to fame, and his search for a sense of “normalcy” amid the whirlwind of sex, drugs, and rebellion. Endearingly humble and down to earth, Wyman pulls back the curtain to offer a one-of-a-kind perspective on life as a reluctant rock star who let his pulsating bass do all the talking on “Brown Sugar,” “Gimme Shelter,” “Paint It Black” and countless other Stones classics.
 
The Quiet One also includes interviews with Eric Clapton, Bob Geldof, and Stones record producer Andrew Oldham and engineer Glyn Johns. The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Joel Selvin said, “After umpteen previous documentaries, concert films and video biographies, that this film consists almost entirely of previously unseen footage of the band qualifies as something of a minor miracle.”

A real-time thriller promises a bad-ass female motorcycle courier

Olga Kurylenko, Gary Oldman and Dermot Mulroney star in the fast-paced action-thriller The Courier, arriving in select theaters and everywhere On Demand on Friday, November 22 from Lionsgate. Kurylenko stars as a bad-ass female motorcycle courier who must fight off a sadistic crime boss’ henchmen in order to protect the one witness that can bring him down!
Drop image here
The official scoop:
This intense action-thriller unfolds in real time as two embattled souls fight for their lives. Oscar- winner Oldman stars as a vicious crime boss out to kill Nick, the lone witness set to testify against him.

He hires a mysterious (and, yes, gorgeous) female motorcycle courier (Kurylenko) to unknowingly deliver a poison-gas bomb to slay Nick, but after she rescues Nick from certain death, the duo must confront an army of ruthless hired killers in order to survive the night.

A restored “The Bostonians” explores political intrigue and forbidden romance in post-Civil War Boston.

Charles S. Cohen, Chairman and CEO of Cohen Media Group is ready to pull another gem out of his wealth of wonders.  On May 21, Cohen releases Merchant Ivory Productions’ Academy Award-nominated The Bostonians in a 4K restoration on Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.
The Bostonians (1984) was the second of three handsomely mounted Henry James adaptations by the team of producer Ismail Merchant, director James Ivory and screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, following 1979’s The Europeans and preceding The Golden Bowl (2000).
Academy Award-winning actresses Jessica Tandy, Vanessa Redgrave and Linda Hunt headline an all-star cast alongside Christopher Reeve in this adaptation of James’s 1886 novel of political intrigue and forbidden romance in post-Civil War Boston. Olive Chancellor (played by Redgrave) finds her infatuation with young activist Verena Tarrant (Madeleine Potter) challenged by a Southern lawyer (Christopher Reeve) who also loves her. An intricately drawn study of the impact of women’s suffrage on society, The Bostonians is also a lush evocation of the late 19th century, with dazzling cinematography by Walter Lassally and a memorable score by frequent Merchant Ivory collaborator Richard Robbins.

The film received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Actress (Vanessa Redgrave) and Costume Design (Jenny Beavan, John Bright). Redgrave was named Best Actress by the National Society of Film Critics.
Special features on the Blu-ray and DVD include a new interview with director James Ivory, “Conversations from the Quad: James Ivory on The Bostonians,” the original trailer and the 2018 re-release trailer.

“That Way Madness Lies” takes an unfliching look at schizophrenia

What do you do when your brother descends into a black hole of mental instability, starting with falling for a Nigerian email scam but eventually winding up involuntary committed into the hospital made famous by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest?

Award-winning filmmaker Sandra Luckow unflinchingly turns her camera on her own family as they attempt to navigate the broken mental health system in an effort to save their brother, whose iPhone video diary ultimately becomes an unfiltered look at the mind of a man with untreated schizophrenia as well as an indictment of how the system failed.

The riveting film, That Way Madness Lies…, has been released on DVD by First Run Features. May is Mental Awareness Month, but this is a documentary that’s mandatory viewing all year.

High Notes and Even Higher Passions Abound in “Farinelli”, the true story of the legendary castrato

He was born Carlo Maria Michelangelo Nicola Broschi, but audiences in the 18th century during Handel’s time, knew him as Farinelli.  And no man could eclipse the fame or passion of the opera singer who had been castrated as a child to preserve his angelic voice
Filled with romance and eroticism, Farinelli is the incredible, true story of the legendary castrato and the internationally-acclaimed period piece has made its North American Blu-ray debut in a stunning, new 2K digital restoration. The lavish drama, winner of the 1995 Best Foreign Language Golden Globe, will also be available on DVD and all via leading digital platforms from Film Movement Classics.

Farinelli (played by Stefano Dionisi) tours the royal courts of Europe with his brother and composer Riccardo (Enrico Lo Verso). The two are inseparable, seducing audiences both on and off the stage, while sharing everything—even lovers—until rivalry and obsession threaten to tear them apart. Filled with romance and eroticism, this Oscar-nominated drama from acclaimed producer Véra Belmont lavishly recreates the life and loves of one of history’s most fascinating musical artists.
 

Remastered, restored “The New York Ripper” will scare the shit out of you

A blade-wielding psychopath is on the loose, turning The Big Apple bright red with the blood of beautiful young women. As NYPD detective Fred Williams  follows the trail of butchery from the decks of the Staten Island Ferry to the sex shows of Times Square, each brutal murder becomes a sadistic taunt. In the city that never sleeps, the hunt is on for the killer that can’t be stopped.

Oh! Welcome to Madhattan.
Co-written and directed by acclaimed horror maestro Lucio Fulci and filmed on location on the mean streets of New York City, this is one of Fulci’s most savage and controversial thrillers. Now Blue Underground is proud to present The New York Ripper in a new 4K restoration from its original camera negative, completely uncut and uncensored, and fully loaded with exclusive new extras.

New 4K restoration from its original camera negative, completely uncut and uncensored, the 3-disc set is loaded with exclusive extras:
  • Audio commentary with Troy Howarth, author of Splintered Visions: Lucio Fulci and His Films
  • The Art Of Killing: Interview with co-writer Dardano Sacchetti
  • Three Fingers Of Violence: Interview with film’s star Howard Ross
  • The Second Victim: Interview with co-star Cinzia de Ponti
  • The Broken Bottle Murder: Interview with co-star Zora Kerova
  • “I’m an Actress!”: 2009 Interview with co-star Zora Kerova
  • The Beauty Killer: Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of Beyond Terror: The Films of Lucio Fulci
  • Paint Me Blood Red: Interview with poster artist Enzo Sciotti
  • NYC locations: Then and now
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Poster & still gallery