Category Archives: DVDs

Return to the Black Hills Forest for a bewitching primal scream (or two) in “Witch Project”

A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland to uncover the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of their friend’s sister, who many believe is connected to the legend of the Blair Witch.

At first the group is hopeful, especially when a pair of locals offer to act as guides through the dark and winding woods, but as the endless night wears on, the group is visited by a menacing presence. Slowly, they begin to realize the legend is all too real and more sinister than they could have imagined.

Nearly two decades after documentary filmmakers vanished in the groundbreaking film The Blair Witch Project, an investigative team searches for them and the truth behind their disappearance in Blair Witch. The flick has landed on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD and On Demand from Lionsgate. From acclaimed filmmakers Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, Blair Witch stars James Allen McCune, Callie Hernandez, Brandon Scott, Valorie Curry, Corbin Reid and Wes Robinson. An official selection of the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, this much-buzzed-about film will haunt viewers far beyond the closing credits.

Also get buzzed with more than three hours of bonus features on the Blair Witch Blu-ray and Digital HD, including an audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett; the House of Horrors: Exploring the Set featurette; and a six-part making-of documentary, “Never Ending Night: The Making of Blair Witch”. The DVD release includes the audio commentary and the “House of Horrors: Exploring the Set” featurette. The Blu-ray Disc of Blair Witch will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room.

Quite bewitching, eh?

 

Time Life celebrates Johnny Carson, his late-night gem and his friends in a new DVD series

Before the Seinfeld sitcom success, it started with Johnny’s couch.
Revisit that time with The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends featuring Jerry Seinfeld. This DVD includes three classic ’80s episodes, complete with commercials! Jerry Seinfeld is on Carson chum; other shows include Arnold Schwarzenegger, an 18-year-old named Andre Agassi and Oprah’s first Tonight Show appearance. Save the date: The recollections begin on January 10.
Featuring the best episodes from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, the Johnny and Friends series will include some of the best loved guests from The Tonight Show. Each DVD features full episodes-including original commercials-that showcase an amazing talent and true American icon who, across 30 years and 4,000 shows, paved the way for a late night TV revolution in memorable fashion.
The inaugural release stars Jerry Seinfeld before his eponymous sitcom rewrote TV history.  After his first appearance (May 6, 1981), Carson was impressed and Seinfeld became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. In 1989, Seinfeld debuted on NBC, and by its fourth season, it had become the most popular and successful sitcom on American television.  This Johnny and Friends release features  pre-Seinfeld episodes, allowing home audiences to watch the evolution of the iconic comedian.
Episodes include: 
  • Show 1 (June 27, 1985) A true classic is now released from The Tonight Show Vaults!  Not only does this show feature an appearance by Jerry Seinfeld early in his career, but it also includes one of Johnny’s most famous sketches by The Mighty Carson Art Players: Mr. Rambo’s Neighborhood.
  • Show 2 (February 21, 1986) In this historic show from 1986, Seinfeld is joined by drag racer Shirley Muldowney, and that’s not all, watch as the future “Queen of all Media” meets the “King of Late Night” during the first appearance of Oprah Winfrey on The Tonight Show.
  • Show 3 (June 9, 1988) A star studded evening closes this DVD as Johnny’s guests include Seinfeld, Schwarzenegger and Agassi. 

“Roseanne for President!” takes a spin on the funny lady’s 2012 run for The White House

Nearly 30 years after Roseanne Barr’s groundbreaking sitcom Roseanne became the No. 1 show on television, Roseanne for President! (IFC) brings you the story of the Emmy-winning actress and trailblazing comedian’s 2012 gonzo campaign for President of the United States.

Money was one of Barr’s signature talking points when she ran for president, first as a Green Party candidate and ultimately as the Peace and Freedom Party’s nominee.
And now, the movie. The flick was  directed by Michael Moore collaborator Eric Weinrib. Barr and Moore are also friends. He’s the person who encouraged her to film her campaign endeavor.
Having created a sitcom that changed the cultural landscape by revolutionizing what Americans think of family, class, race, gender and gay rights, Roseanne is uniquely qualified to fix well, everything.
Through the warped lens of the Barr Campaign, this surreal dark comedy examines the impact Roseanne’s work has had on society and who she is as a person. Her motivations for seeking office? They were the same motivations she’s had since her boundary-breaking eponymous sitcom: Never stop fighting for the less-privileged class.

Film Movement releases the sci-fi cult classic “The Quiet Earth”

Film Movement, the New York-based distributor of arthouse and independent films, has released Geoffrey Murphy’s sci-fi cult classic The Quiet Earth. It’s news that shouldn’t remain quiet: The 1985 flick is now available for the first time on DVD and  Blu-ray.

Bruno Lawrence stars as scientist Zac Hobson, a mid-level scientist working on a global energy project who wakes up to a nightmare. After his project malfunctions, he discovers that he may be the last man on Earth. As he searches empty cities for other survivors, Zac’s mental state begins to deteriorate, culminating in the film’s iconic and hotly debated ending.

Called “the best science fiction film of the ’80s” by the Los Angeles Daily NewsThe Quiet Earth is loosely based on Craig Harrison’s novel of the same name. With this film Geoff Murphy ushered in a renaissance of classic New Zealand films in the ’80s. The film, which was originally screenwriter and producer Sam Pillsbury’s project, was sold to 80 countries, gained a cult following and won Murphy attention in the United States.

The DVD and Blu-ray editions feature a unique bonus: Commentary by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Director of the Hayden Planetarium of the Natural History Museum in New York, together with rogerebert.com film critic Odie Henderson. FYI: The Quiet Man is one of deGrasse Tyson’s favorite science fiction films.

Don’t think twice, it’s all right: “50 Years with Peter Paul and Mary” is essential

The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.

I have such cherished memories of spending time with Mary Travers throughout the years. Then, on September 16, 2009, one day before my birthday, something happened to Mary: She died.

Now Peter and Paul, apostles of folk music, continue the legacy.

50 Years with Peter Paul and Mary  (MVD Entertainment Group) is a new documentary by four-time Emmy-winning producer/director Jim Brown that focuses on portions of the trio’s career not included in previously aired PBS specials. This program features rare and previously unseen television footage including a BBC program from the early ’60s that embodies many of the trio’s best performances and most popular songs.
This is Peter Paul and Mary at the peak of their artistry, a time when this popular and influential trio dominated the Billboard music charts.  From the group’s emergence in Greenwich Village, to the Civil Rights and Antiwar era of the 1960s, through the decades of their later advocacy and music, to Mary’s moving memorial, and finally to the present, where their legacy continues to inform and inspire successive generations, this far deeper and more intimate exploration of the trio reveals the impact of their artistry and activism on their generation and the world. Celebrate the trio whose anthems provided America’s soundtrack for generations. And still do.

Three broads (Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer and Hillary Clinton) and their “Broad City” (mis)adventures

Think of them a 2 broke girls.

Broad City is an odd couple comedy about two best friends navigating their twenties in Madhattan. Their (mis)adventures always lead down unexpected and outlandish paths. They’re broke, flawed and don’t shy away from the sticky situations NYC throws at them . . . they dive right into the shi…, er, muck. But no matter how bad it gets, these young broads are always down with whatever hits them.

Think of it as comedy central.

Upright Citizens Brigade alums Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer came up with the idea for the show; the gals also star and their dynamic relationship, combined with their impeccable comedic timing and chemistry, has been described as “passionate, funny and sometimes raunchy” by The New York Times.

Broad City: Season 3 hits stores on January 10. The two-disc set brings back TV’s baddest BFFs for a whole new set of adventures. Join Abbi, Ilana and a lineup of special guests as they find true love (or one-night stands), get high on life (among other things) and show New York City how it’s done. Just ask one of the season three’s guest stars, Hillary Clinton. 

Vestron Video Collector’s Series is a horror. That’s a bloody good compliment!

We must have been spending too much time cat-walking through catacombs since we just learned that  Lionsgate is exhuming classic horror films for the limited-edition Vestron Video Collector’s Series. Hours of materials have been assembled for the Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray releases, starting with six horror cult classics. Lionsgate vows fan will “taste the fear and the flesh, in shocking high definition for the first time, as teenagers meet their untimely demise at the hands of cannibals, killer robots, horror icons, sewer-dwelling monsters and an army of the undead!” Just the way we like it.

Starting with Chopping Mall and Blood Diner, and continuing with Waxwork and Waxwork II: Lost in Time Double Feature, Return of the Living Dead 3, and C.H.U.D. II: Bud the CHUD, these rereleases are for the collector and horror fan alike and will be available for a limited amount of time.

Other releases of grave matters . . .

Return of the Living Dead 3
Watch all of the terror in high definition when Curt transforms his girlfriend into a flesh-eating monster after her accidental death, in order to fulfill their pact to love each other forever. 

The Lair of the White Worm (available  on January 31). We can’t wait to hear the audio commentary by director Ken Russell.

Parents (January 31)
In this black-comedy horror classic, a young boy in ’50s suburbia suspects his parents are cannibalistic murderers.

The Gate (February 28)
When two suburban kids accidentally open a portal filled with pint-sized demons hell-bent on taking over the planet, it’s up to them to seal the gateway and save mankind!

“American Violence.” Even the flick’s title should scare you.

Think of this as a no-holds-barred thriller that demands to be seen. American Violence follows one man’s path to execution and the strong-minded doctor brought in to take a deeper look at the violent circumstances that have doomed him.

Jackson Shea (portrayed by Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau) has lived a life of deceit, brutality and corruption. But when a series of chilling, violent events lands him on Death Row, psychologist Amanda Tyler (Denise Richards) must find whether his violent behavior is inherent in his soul, or if he will be rehabilitated.

As the interview commences, and Jack’s fate hangs in the balance, Amanda must decide whether a stay of execution will be granted.

“The goal was to create a film that was gripping and emotional, and that would leave an impact on the viewers while inviting them in for a closer look at the American justice system and the death penalty,” says Timothy Woodward Jr., the film’s director. “I wanted our audience to not only ask questions, but feel for the characters and the life altering circumstances they find themselves in.”

Save the date: American Violence premieres in theaters, and on Video on Demand and Digital HD on February 3.

Disney’s dazzler “Pinocchio” will thrill new generations with a stunning Blu-ray debut

We cannot tell a lie: Pinocchio is considered one of the greatest animated films ever made, with two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Original Song “When You Wish Upon a Star”) and a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Pinocchio (1940) was the second animated feature film produced by Walt Disney, made after the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs three years earlier.

Now, the Disney dazzler will delight a whole new generation of dreamers with its masterful animation, unforgettable characters and award-winning music when the flick arrives for the first time on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on January 10, and on Blu-ray and DVD on January 31.

The Walt Disney Signature Collection release includes hours of classic bonus material and exclusive features including a reinvented rendition of “When You Wish Upon a Star” created and performed by music mavens from Disney’s Maker Studios; never-before-seen artwork from the film’s Pleasure Island sequence; archival recordings of Walt himself during Pinocchio production; and a recently restored and scored 1927 short featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Who voiced Pinocchio? It was Dick Jones, then known as Dickie

Pinocchio tells the tale of wood-carver Geppetto’s beloved puppet who embarks on a thrilling quest–with faithful friend Jiminy Cricket–that tests his bravery, loyalty and honesty, all virtues he must learn to fulfill his heart’s desire: to become a real boy.

Savor the bonus features:
Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island The Pleasure Island scene in Pinocchio had much more development than what is seen in the film. Join Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman as they explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen.

In Walt’s Words Hear Walt Disney discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.

The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star” Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.

Poor Papa This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.

Classic Bonus Features  Offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as the making of Pinocchio, deleted scenes, singalongs, storyboards and theatrical trailers.

A forgotten town. A mysterious drifter. Violence and vitriol. Welcome to life “In a Valley of Violence”

A lone, mysterious drifter (and his dog Abbie) enters into the forgotten town of Denton, Texas–dubbed by locals as the “valley of violence”. There, he picks a fight with a wrong man named Gilly, the troublemaking son of the town’s unforgiving Marshal.

As tensions arise between Paul and Gilly, an inevitable act of violence starts a disastrous chain reaction that quickly drags the whole town into the bloody crosshairs of revenge.  Only the world-weary Marshal struggles to stop the violent hysteria, but after a gruesome discovery about Paul’s past . . . there’s no stopping the escalation.

And you thought this was Mayberry R.F.D.

No, this is the edgy action film, In a Valley of Violence, on Digital HD and on Blu-ray and DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. From acclaimed director, Ti West and famed producer Jason Blum, the film stars Academy Award nominees; John Travolta and Ethan Hawke. The In a Valley of Violence Blu-ray and DVD include bonus content that takes viewers on a wild ride behind the scenes with an exciting inside look at the making of the film.

 

Prepare for a thrilling ride.