Category Archives: DVDs

To life! “9 Months That Made You” chronicles human gestation

As Zorba the Greek liked to sing . . .

Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die,

Life is how the time goes by!
Life is where you wait while you’re waiting to leave,
Life is where where you grin and grieve!

But what about the “9 Months That Made You”?  This three-part PBS program takes viewers through the astonishing journey of human gestation and its minute-by-minute genetic process. Told through a series of personal stories that introduce viewers to people born with surprising and unexpected differences, the program explores just how complex the human gestational process truly is. The riveting documentary will be available on DVD from PBS Distribution August 2; the program will also be available for digital download.

With the help of CGI, the program goes inside the womb to re-create the growth process of a fetus and explains how genetics can cause fascinating and unexpected mutations. In the initial episode, “The First 8 Weeks,” for example, viewers meet a family in Brazil whose multi-generational genetic mutation has caused half of them to grow six digits on each hand. Later, the series visits professional surfer Laird Hamilton, whose extreme sense of fearlessness is actually a genetic trait he may have passed on to his children.

Below are descriptions for each of the three episodes.

“The First 8 Weeks”
Follow the story of how a fertilized egg acquires individual traits through the gestation process. Chart the metamorphosis from the various embryonic forms you once took on until the moment around 12 weeks when you became unmistakably human.

“One of a Kind”
Learn how you became the unique individual you are. No two people—even “identical” twins—are identical. Through riveting examples, explore how your face was shaped, why you’re likely to be right-handed, even how your sexuality formed.

“The Final Countdown”
Meet the miracle that is you. See how your time in the womb, as your senses mature, has determined your destiny on the outside. Survey the latest epigenetic research that shows how the womb environment leaves its mark, even altering your DNA.

Watch, digest and leave Zorba on his own.

“Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made” finally hits Blu-ray/DVD

“I hate snakes! I hate ’em!”

And so said Indiana Jones a few times in the 1981 hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. We may hate snakes, but three 11-year-old boys from Mississippi loved Indy and the film so much that after Steven Spielberg’s classic was released 35 years ago, they set out on what would become a 7-year-long labor of love and tribute to their favorite film: A faithful, shot-for-shot adaptation of the action adventure film, which The New York Times calls “a testament to the transporting power of movie love.” They finished every scene . . . except one; the film’s explosive airplane set piece.

Drafthouse Films and MVD Entertainment will release Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack on August 16.

More than two decades later, the trio reunited with the original cast members from their childhood in order to complete their masterpiece in what IGN has dubbed “the Boyhood of fan movies.” Featuring interviews with John Rhys Davies, Eli Roth and more, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is just that: The story of this long-gestating project’s culmination, chronicling the friends’ dedication to their artistic vision-mixed in with some movie magic-to create a personal, epic love letter to a true modern classic.
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Tim Skousen and Jeremy Coon’s critically-acclaimed documentary (Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes with a 93% rating and an Audience Score of 92%) premiered at SXSW in 2015 and enjoyed a healthy festival campaign before its debut in theaters and On Demand. At the same time, film subjects Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala embarked on the multi-city “Follow Your Dreams Tour”, presenting Skousen and Coon’s film alongside their rarely-screened Adaptation, which will continue into September.
Special features include more than four hours on bonus content such as dual audio commentary tracks (with Skousen and Coon as well as Strompolos and Zala); deleted scenes from the documentary; outtakes from Adaptation, Q&A footage from the Adaptation‘s 2003 premiere at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX;, a photo booklet featuring storyboard art from the Adaptation and a free HD digital copy of the film.
Harrison Ford is not included, but we’re not saying anything about snakes . . .

If the White House is the “People’s House,” why wasn’tt I invited?

It’s known as the “Peoples’ House”, yet no one ever invited me to spend a night. Michelle and Barack: You have just a short time to send me an invite! Figuring they won’t, I visited their digs with the PBS documentary “The White House: Inside Story.” It took me on an intimate behind-the-scenes historical tour told through the first-person stories of First Family members, former employees, historians members of the press and a rare informal interview with President Obama inside the Oval Office.

Through current-day filming combined with stock footage and still photos of past presidents, their families and staff, viewers will experience the precision with which the Executive Mansion operates—as a private home and a workplace where military and economic decisions shape and affect history.

Those who missed the show can nab it on DVD; the program will also be available for digital download.

In addition to President Obama and former President Jimmy Carter, the program features new interviews with First Ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter reminiscing about their families’ place in the 200-year history of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. These personal stories are interwoven with historical facts about the “house that George Washington built.” First Lady Michelle Obama, for example, reveals that “the White House is a fabulously magical place to live, that’s not difficult to make a home.” Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter admits that thinking about the history of the White House “gives her chills.” And former First Lady Barbara Bush recalls, “You can feel history, and hope you can live up to it.”

Perhaps most revealing is a story told by former Chief Usher Gary Walters, who was preparing a luncheon for the entire Congress and their families on the White House lawn the morning of September 11, 2001, when news of the terrorist attacks reached Washington. Despite Secret Service orders to evacuate the White House, Walters recalls how he quickly assessed the severity of the situation and made the decision to remain behind and dismantle the outdoor luncheon space, thus freeing up the lawn to allow the president’s helicopter to land. He then went on to prepare the Oval Office for President Bush to address the nation later that day. “One of the things that I turned to in my own mind on 9/11 was the role that the White House plays in disasters and wars,” says Walters. “People have a tendency to turn to the White House as a symbol of our American Heritage.”

Adds Michelle: “This is really what the White House is all about. It’s the “People’s House.” It’s a place that is steeped in history, but it’s also a place where everyone should feel welcome. And that’s why my husband and I have made it our mission to open up the house to as many people as we can.”

I’m still waiting.

Scream Factory unleashes a terrific Blu-ray edition of “The Thing” with hours of extras!

 

The thing escaped in 1982, when legendary filmmaker John Carpenter unleashed The Thing, a chilling sci-fi thriller that raised the bar on shocking special effects and terrified movie audiences worldwide. See it again in a way you’ve never seen it, since Scream Factory will present the landmark horror film in a 2-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray release which includes a brand new 2K scan of the film (supervised by Director of Photography Dean Cundey) and more than 5 hours of extras. Save the date:  You’ll have to watch the old DVD until you scream for the Scream Factory release on September 20.

Remember? In the winter of 1982, a twelve-man research team at a remote Antarctic research station discovers an alien buried in the snow for over 100,000 years. Soon unfrozen, the form-changing alien wreaks havoc, creates terror and takes on the appearance of those it kills.

The Thing stars Kurt Russell and features special visual effects by Albert Whitlock and special makeup effects by Rob Bottin. This definitive set includes a collectible slipcover featuring newly rendered artwork and a reversible cover wrap featuring original theatrical key art. A must-have for movie collectors, sci-fi horror enthusiasts and loyal fans, The Thing Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set is available for pre-order now at ShoutFactory.com.

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What makes this thing so special? Some things we should tell you:

  • NEW 2K scan of the inter-positive supervised and approved by director of photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW 4.1 created from the original 70mm Six Track Dolby Stereo soundtrack
  • NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Dean Cundey
  • NEW The Men of Outpost 31: Interviews with Keith David, Thomas Waites, Peter Maloney and others
  • NEW Assembling and Assimilation: An interview with editor Todd Ramsay
  • NEW Behind the Chameleon: Interviews with visual effects artists Peter Kuran and Susan Turner, special make-up effects artist Rob Burman and Brian Wade
  • NEW Sounds from the Cold: Interviews with supervising sound editor David Lewis Yewdall and special sound effects designer Alan Howarth
  • NEW Between the Lines: An interview with novelization author Alan Dean Foster
  • Audio Commentary by John Carpenter and  Kurt Russell
  • John Carpenter’s The Thing: Terror Takes Shape: A documentary on the making of The Thing featuring interviews with Carpenter, Russell, special effects make-up designer Rob Bottin, legendary matte artist Albert Whitlock plus members of the cast and crew (80 minutes – SD)
  • Outtakes (5 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage featurettes from the electronic press kit featuring interviews with John , Kurt and Rob Bottin (12 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage featurettes: The Making of a Chilling Tale and The Making of The Thing (1982 – 14 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage Product Reel: Contains a promotional condensed version of the film with additional footage not in the film (19 minutes – SD)
  • Vintage behind-the-scenes footage (2 minutes – SD)
  • Annotated Production Archive: Production Art and Storyboards, Location Scouting, Special Make-up Effects, Post Production (48 minutes – SD)
  • Network TV Broadcast version of The Thing (92 minutes – SD)
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailers (U.S. and German trailers)
  • TV spots
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Gallery (behind-the-scenes photos, posters and lobby cards)

 

Avid fans of the film will want to take note of two exclusive offers on the release—which are only available at shoutfactory.com while supplies last.

STANDARD OFFER

♦ Receive the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray with slipcover

♦ Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” poster of the newly-designed art from artist Paul Shipper

♦ Product will be shipped two weeks earlier than National Street date of September 20th

Pre-order @ www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-thing-collector-s-edition

DELUXE OFFER (Limited to 1,500 orders only – pictured below)

♦ Receive the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray with slipcover

♦ Receive a limited-edition 18” x 24” poster of the newly-designed art from Paul Shipper

♦ Product will be shipped three weeks earlier than September 20

♦ Receive a second slipcover made exclusively for this promotion and newly-designed from artist Nat Marsh

♦ Receive a second 18” x 24” poster of the newly designed art from Nat Marsh

Pre-order @ www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/the-thing-deluxe-limited-edition

 

 

 

 

 

Dead body found in The Chunnel. We guarantee an addiction to “The Tunnel”.

From the makers of Broadchurch comes a new thriller that has to have mass appeal.  The Tunnel is set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis . . . and what a crisis it is. When a prominent French politician is found dead in the middle of the Channel Tunnel, straddling the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck (superbly played by Stephen Dillane) and Elise Wassermann (an excellent  Clémence Poésy) are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries. The case takes a surreal turn when a shocking discovery is made at the crime scene, forcing the French and British police into an uneasy partnership. As the serial killer uses ever more elaborate and ingenious methods to highlight the moral bankruptcy of modern society, Karl and Elise are drawn deeper into his increasingly personal agenda.

The Tunnel has already addicted PBS viewers (the series airs Sunday through August 21); the Blu-ray and DVD will be released on August 9 by PBS Distribution. The DVD and Blu-ray editions also include 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage, cast interviews, and more. The program will also be available for digital download.

We won’t reveal anything else, except to remind you that faces may look quite familiar: In addition to Dillane and Poésy, The Tunnel also features Angel Coulby as Laura Roebuck, James Frain as John Sumner, Joseph Mawle as Stephen Beaumont, Keeley Hawes as Suze Beaumont, Tom Bateman as Danny Hillier, Jeanne Balibar as Charlotte Jubin, Thibaut de Montalembert as Olivier Pujol, Jack Lowden as Adam Roebuck, Cedric Vieira as Philippe Viot and Sigrid Bouaziz as Cecille Cabrillac.

Proof that men have balls . . . on and off screen

No one has more balls than Richard Linklater, who wrote and directed the the critically-acclaimed sports comedy Everybody Wants Some!!, unless you count  the film’s star Tyler Hoechlin who recently played in the MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game at Petco Park in San Diego. His co-stars, Glen Powell, J. Quinton Johnson and Juston Street also have balls: They, were on hand to cheer him on in support of the Blu-ray/DVD release of the fratboy frenzy film.

The film, now available on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand, follows freshman pitcher Jake as he arrives at college in the summer of 1980 and meets his new rowdy teammates. Together, they must navigate their way between girls, parties and baseball, all in the last weekend before school begins.

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Jake (Blake Jenner) puts the moves on Beverly (Zoey Deutch). Think his balls will take over?

Maybe the film is so good because two cast members have balls in their blood: Tyler Hoechlin began playing baseball at the age of seven; Juston Street is a  former professional baseball pitcher.

Got the balls to watch a preview?

MVD Entertainment Group unleashes two classic, sick Arrow Video flicks on Blu-ray/DVD

examiner.com never allowed us to say what we really wanted to say . . . so now we say it: MVD Entertainment Group is one fucking great company and they distribute Arrow Video macabre masterpieces that are so sick and (often) so bloody they are fucking mandatory movies to see and own.

We start off with Microwave Massacre, escaping onto Blu-ray + DVD on  August 16. The flick stars legendary stand-up comedian Jackie Vernon as Donald, a disgruntled construction worker whose wife’s predilection for haute cuisine drives him to cannibalism.
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Donald unwittingly stumbles upon a solution to his two major problems in his life: his nagging wife and his lack of decent meals; one night, he bludgeons his better half to death with a pepper grinder in a drunken rage. Thinking on his feet, Donald dismembers the body and sets about microwaving the remains, which turn out to be rather delicious. Trouble is, now he has a taste for human flesh that needs satisfying . . .

Eschewing all notions of good taste, Wayne Berwick’s Microwave Massacre is a deliciously depraved exercise in political incorrectness that has gone on to gain a cult following thanks to a characteristically deadpan performance from Vernon, who delivers such choice lines as “I’m so hungry I could eat a whore.” Vegetarians need not apply!

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
– Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with writer-producer Craig Muckler, moderated by Mike Tristano
– Brand new making-of featurette including interviews with Muckler, director Wayne Berwick and actor Loren Schein
– Original treatment and 8-page synopsis (BD/DVD-ROM content)
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Wes Benscoter

Hungry for more? The Bloodstained Butterfly flies onto Blu-ray + DVD on August 23. Directed by Duccio Tessari, The Bloodstained Butterfly melds the lurid giallo traditions popularized by Dario Argento and Mario Bava with courtroom drama, resulting in a film that is as concerned with forensic detail and legal process as it is with grisly murders and audacious set-pieces.
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When a young female student is savagely killed in a park during a thunderstorm, the culprit seems obvious: her lover, TV sports personality Alessandro Marchi (played by Giancarlo Sbragia), seen fleeing the scene of the crime by numerous eyewitnesses. The evidence against him is damning . . .  but is it all too convenient? And when the killer strikes again while Marchi is in custody, it quickly becomes apparent that there’s more to the case than meets the eye.
Starring openly bisexual heartthrob Helmut Berger alongside genre mainstays Evelyn Stewart and Carole André and featuring a score by Gianni Ferrio, The Bloodstained Butterfly is presented uncut and in a sumptuous new 4K restoration that allows this unique and haunting thriller to shine like never before!
BONUS MATERIALS
– Brand new 4K restoration of the film from the original camera negative
– High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
– Original Italian and English soundtracks in DTS-HD MA mono 1.0
– Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
– New audio commentary with critics Alan Jones and Kim Newman
Murder in B-Flat Minor, a new visual essay on the film, its cast and crew by author Troy Howarth.
Mad Dog Helmut, a new interview with actor Helmut Berger
– Exclusive introduction by Helmut Berger
– New interview with actress Evelyn Stewart/Ida Galli
– Interview with Lorella De Luca, actress and wife of director Duccio Tessari
– Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
– Gallery of original promotional images
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
– Limited edition 36-page booklet (first pressing only) illustrated by Tonci Zonjic, containing writing by James Blackford, Howard Hughes and Leonard Jacobs

Roald Dahl, a true bastard to former wife Pat Neal, may very well be a “BFG”

Our dear friend Patricia Neal once told us how mean her husband Roald Dahl could be . . . regaling us with tales of terror. That was then, and we know Dahl was so beloved for his children’s classic books. Public Media Distribution, LLC has re-released Roald Dahl’s The BFG” on DVD.  This film is also available for digital download. Neal would say the title stands for “Big Fucking Goon.”

It actually stands for The Big Friendly Giant; Dahl’s beloved children’s book comes to life in this classic animated feature, which debuted in 1989, about the amazing power of friendship between a little girl and a big-hearted giant.
One moonlit night, little orphan Sophie is snatched from her bed by an awesome giant who whisks her away on a magical, thrilling, and funny adventure. Unlike scary giants such as the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater, and the Bonecruncher, the BFG is a good giant who blows sweet dreams into the bedroom windows of children as they slumber.

When Sophie learns that a monstrous crew of meanies is off to England to gobble up innocent boys and girls, she sets out to stop them once and for all, with the help of her new, rather large, friend.

This DVD includes the digitally restored version of the animated film along with two special features, a never-before-seen bfg

Dahl documentary and before/after Restoration Video. The documentary features an interview with Dahl in which he talks about several of the well-known books he has written including The BFG, The Witches and Matilda. In this video viewers gain insight into how some of these classics came to life.

 

 

 

The Dove-approved “Martial Arts Kid” is crammed with Karate masters and grandmasters from across the country

Don’t expect severed heads, blood spurting from ever orifice and dazzling dismemberment. The Dove Foundation  frowns on such cinematic magic. But that doesn’t mean films they approve are to be poo-pooed. Hardly. Witness The Martial Arts Kid,  a flick awarded five Doves, the Foundation’s highest possible score. The film is Family Approved for ages 12+; won four awards in film festival competition (including a Platinum Remi Award at the 2015 WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival); and was released theatrically in 20 cities in fall 2015.

PrintSo what are chatting about? The Martial Arts Kid tells the tale of troubled teen Robbie. When he runs into trouble once again in his Ohio hometown, his beleaguered grandmother sends him to spend the summer with his aunt and uncle, who owns a martial arts school in a sleepy, Florida beach community. The defiant teen is less than pleased with the “tough love” arrangement … until he encounters a local girl named Rina.  However, her boyfriend, Bo, is the town bully and, backed by a posse of tough pals, seems to run things. With things spiraling out of control and desperately wanting to prove himself to his family and Rina, Robbie reluctantly turns to his uncle for help …

The film comes to Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on July 19 from Traditionz Entertainment. Stars include Jansen Panettiere; Kathryn Newton; Don “The Dragon” Wilson (an 11-time world champion kickboxer who has scored 47 knockouts, is a European Martial Arts Hall of Famer and a veteran star of more than 30 action films); Cynthia Rothrock (who holds six black belts and is one of the first female martial arts action stars); Mathew Ziff; and T.J. Storm (a world-class martial artist).  Karate masters and grandmasters from across the country also populate the flick, including Gerry Blanck, Pete “Sugarfoot” Cunningham, Jeff Smith, Olando Rivera, Christine Bannon-Rodrigues, Dewey “Black Kobra” Cooper, Glenn Wilson, Barry Broughton, Sergio Barriga, Sayed Qubadi, Jody Nolan, Ewart Chin, Dr. Richard Hill and Kevin Bergquist.

There’s also a stellar soundtrack, with music from such artists as Martin Blasick; YouTube star Megan Nicole; Jamie Slocum; The Gills; Malik Williams;and  Kayley Stallings (who also plays “Katie” in the film).