Category Archives: DVDs

“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”.
Drop image here
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

“CMA Awards Live Greatest Moments: 2008-2015” showcases blues on Blu-ray . . . and much more

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.
Keith Urban. We are sure Nicole is watching.
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
  • “A Little Bit Stronger” | SARA EVANS
  • “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” | LUKE BRYAN
  • “You and Tequila” | KENNY CHESNEY featuring GRACE POTTER”Remind Me” | BRAD PAISLEY featuring CARRIE UNDERWOOD
  • “Begin Again” | TAYLOR SWIFT
  • “Pontoon” | LITTLE BIG TOWN
  • “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.

“Full Bloom: Transcending Gender” follows the courageous journey of 13 transgender and two gay actors

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.

Sonny and Cher share 10 memorable and magical episodes from their TV show. Yep, they still got it babe

Yes, the beat goes on.
And on.
And 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!

Bela Lugosi + Edgar Allan Poe + creepy pre-Code condition + Arlene Francis =”Murders In The Rue Morgue”

What’s her line?
Arlene Francis may be most famous for her years-long stint on What’s My Line?, but she has a teeny (and uncredited) part as a “streetwalker” in the creepy 1932 American pre-Code horror flick. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe, Murders In The Rue Morgue is a haunting atmospheric thriller heavily influenced by the German Expressionist classic, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari, and features Bela Lugosi in one of his most sinister roles.

Bela and Arlene

A deranged scientist, Dr. Mirakle (Lugosi), searches Paris for a “prospective bride” for his pet gorilla. Inviting young ladies to his laboratory, he injects his victims with gorilla blood and then disposes of their ravaged bodies through a trapdoor. Mirakle finally settles on a beautiful woman to be the mate of the gorilla, kidnapping her from her fiancé, Pierre Dupin.

Murders In The Rue Morgue

But just as the young lady is about to be sacrificed in the name of unholy science, a frantic Dupin locates his betrothed and tries to rescue her from Mirakle’s unspeakable evolutionary experiments.

Scream Factory, the deranged sister of Shout factory!, has released a crisp, remastered Blu-ray of the film. Great cover art, too!

Bonuses include new audio commentary by authors/film historians Gregory William Mank and Gary D. Rhodes; the flick’s theatrical trailer and a stills gallery.

Mill Creek Entertainment offers exceptional box sets of favorite and funny TV series

Curious people may meander down to the old mill stream, but whenever we want something special to do, we head to Mill Creek. Here is where we (and you) will find with Entertainment with a capital E.

We stumbled upon two nifty complete series box sets whose content Mill Creek licensed (legally, of course).  Great picture quality and sound. And a hell of a lot cheaper than the same sets issued by the original studio.

Once upon a time… there were three girls who went to work for Charles Townsend, a mysterious man they never got to see, at his Beverly Hills detective agency. And they became the sexiest private eyes to ever grace TV.

Welcome to Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Series, a 20-disc Blu-ray gem. Enjoy every episode of high-kicking action, glamour, guns, bikinis and hair. Each is packed with dangerous intrigue in the Angels’ world of money, mystery and murder. And the guest stars?

Then there’s, the 12-time Emmy winning Mad About You that explores the romantic ups and downs of an endearingly neurotic couple, Paul and Jamie Buchman, as they cope with marriage, mood swings, love and life. Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser still make us laugh . . . again and again.

Celebrity guests include such familiar faces as Lisa Kudrow, Carl Reiner, Sid Caesar, Estelle Getty, Bruce Willis, Hank Azaria and Cyndi Lauper. The 14-disc set includes a host of bonus features including commentaries, featurettes and a blooper reel.

“The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-The Blu-Ray Collection” is the biggest and best video music collection. Ever.

Sex, drugs and rock and roll. We’ll focus on the last of life’s lessons.
For more than 30 years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has honored rock music’s greats during annual prestigious black-tie ceremonies which have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate. Featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, as well as once-in-a-lifetime collaborations that can only happen at these very special events, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-The Blu-Ray Collection is the biggest and best video music collection Time Life has ever produced.
Giving home audiences front row seats to the greatest performances from the historic Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concerts, this Blu-ray collector’s set, never before available at retail in one comprehensive collection, features nearly 30 hours of entertainment and more than 150 unforgettable performances from 2009-2017, as well as historic, irreverent and emotional induction speeches across six discs. Among the iconic acts featured are Alice Cooper, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Electric Light Orchestra, Heart, James Taylor, Journey, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Ringo Starr, Simon and Garfunkel, Sting, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers, Stevie Nicks, Glenn Frey, Green Day, Yes, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Beastie Boys, Genesis, N.W.A., Randy Newman, Public Enemy and U2. Simply put, if you’re a fan of live classic rock, this is the collection to own.

Housed in one handsome collector’s case are three distinct Blu-ray collections: Rock Hall In Concert-EncoreRock Hall in Concert and The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert-Encore features 44 iconic performances from the 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 induction ceremonies. Among the highlights:
  • The legendary Canadian power trio Rush performing fiery classics Tom Sawyer and The Spirit of Radio for their fervent fans.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers leading a searing all-star jam session of Higher Ground anchored by Slash and Ron Wood.
  • Heart going Crazy on You before being joined onstage by fellow members of Seattle rock royalty from Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains.
  • Alice Cooper ripping into ferocious versions of Eighteen and Under My Wheels before closing the set with Rob Zombie on School’s Out.
  • The Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan is joined onstage by John Mellencamp for a chilling performance of Season of the Witch.
  • Hall of Fame induction speeches including Don Henley inducting Randy Newman and Neil Young inducting Tom Waits.
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert features 53 iconic performances from the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 induction ceremonies. Among the highlights:
  • Bruce Springsteen joining inductees the E Street Band for the deep-cut classic The E Street Shuffle from the Boss’s second album, from 1973.
  • Legendary grunge-rock group Pearl Jam delivering thundering performances of AliveGiven to Fly and Better Man.
  • The two surviving members of Nirvana joined on stage by Lorde, Annie Clark, Kim Gordon and Joan Jett for emotional renderings of the group’s biggest hits.
  • Cat Stevens performing a spine-tingling version of Father & Son that rendered the massive Barclays Center quiet as a church.
  • Journey performing three classic cuts: Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)Lights and Don’t Stop Believin’.
  • Hall of Fame induction speeches including Coldplay’s Chris Martin inducting Peter Gabriel and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich inducting Deep Purple
The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts  On October 29th and 30th, 2009, rock n’ roll royalty held court at Madison Square Garden for what has been called “the mother of all concerts.” Featuring a who’s who of rock from the ’50s to the ’90s, the concerts, as always, included artists performing together in unprecedented combinations that will most likely never be witnessed again. Highlights include:
  • Mick Jagger and Fergie in a blistering version of the Stones’ classic Gimme Shelter, with U2
  • Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel on-stage for a rollicking rendition of Born to Run.
    Sting joins Jeff Beck for the Curtis Mayfeld classic People Get Ready.
  • Paul Simon, David Crosby and Graham Nash join together for a spine-tingling Here Comes the Sun.
  • Ozzy Osbourne sings with Metallica on the Black Sabbath classics Iron Man and Paranoid.
  • John Fogerty & Bruce Springsteen share vocals on Roy Orbison’s Oh, Pretty Woman.