Category Archives: Movies

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR (PART DEUX)

We’ve said it once, we say it again. Jeanine Basinger is the best (read:  insightful, pithy, fun) film historian.
With her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical is told in the most telling, most incisive, most detailed, most gorgeously illustrated book of her long and remarkable career.
Welcome to The Movie Musical (Knopf, $45). From Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores (me too!), Basinger examines a dazzling array of stars, strategies, talents, and innovations in the history of musical cinema. Whether analyzing a classic Gene Kelly routine, relishing a Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonald operetta, or touting a dynamic hip hop number (in the underrated Idlewild), she is a canny and charismatic guide to the many ways that song and dance have been seen and heard on film.


War sucks. Yet Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy (Simon & Schuster, $35) tells the full story of  the last stronghold of the Confederacy on the Mississippi River. It prevented the Union from using the river for shipping between the Union-controlled Midwest and New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. The Union navy tried to take Vicksburg, which sat on a high bluff overlooking the river, but couldn’t do it. General Grant moved his army south and joined forces with Admiral Porter, but even together they could not come up with a successful plan.
At one point Grant even tried to build a canal so that the river could be diverted away from Vicksburg.is year-long campaign to win the city.
Donald L. Miller brings to life all the drama, characters, and significance of Vicksburg, a historic moment that rivals any war story in history.


Cute book, clever design. The Queeriodic Table: A Celebration of LGBTQ+ Culture ( Summersdale , $13.99) plays on the periodic table to celebrate all aspects of the culture in small, easy-to-digest sections.
Celebrate the richness of modern queer culture and its vast history with this fascinating introduction to all the essential elements that helped sculpt the queer community up to the present day.


Stephen King calls the book “one hell of a suspense novel.” We couldn’t agreed more.  ?—Stephen King
Linwood Barclay’s Elevator Pitch (William Morrow, $26.99) begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets.
Right to the bottom of the shaft.
It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world—and the nation’s capital of media, finance and entertainment—is plunged into chaos.
You expect us to give more away?
Take the elevator to the bottom floor and go get your copy!


People from all over the United States visit Nantucket Island to celebrate Christmas in a charming Early American setting. From the Christmas Stroll along cobblestoned Main Street to the Festival of Trees held each year at the historic Whaling Museum, Nantucket celebrates the holiday season with traditions and decorations that transform the island into a winter wonderland.
Can’t make it this year? Opt for Lesley Linsley’s Christmas on Nantucket (Globe Pequot, $29.99) as she takes readers on a holiday tour through this picturesque island, offering her own ideas for recreating a quaint Nantucket-style Christmas along the way.


The Wild Bunch has been named one of the greatest Westerns of all time by the American Film Institute. With good reason. Sam Peckinpah’s film is the story of a gang of outlaws who are one big steal from retirement. When their attempted train robbery goes awry, the gang flees to Mexico and falls in with a brutal general of the Mexican Revolution, who offers them the job of a lifetime. Conceived by a stuntman, directed by a blacklisted director, and shot in the sand and heat of the Mexican desert, the movie seemed doomed. Instead, it became an instant classic with a dark, violent take on the Western movie tradition.
In The Wild Bunch: Sam Peckinpah, a Revolution in Hollywood, and the Making of a Legendary Film  Bloomsbury Publishing, $28), W.K. Stratton tells the fascinating history of the making of the movie and documents for the first time the extraordinary contribution of Mexican and Mexican-American actors and crew members to the movie’s success. The Wild Bunch is an authoritative history of the making of a movie and the era behind it.


Written in Gary John Bishop’s  irreverent, in-your-face style that resonated with the hundreds of thousand of fans who read his  Unfu*k YourselfStop Doing That Sh*t: End Self-Sabotage and Demand Your Life Back (HarperOne, $22.99) reveals our deepest subconscious machinery, with a real-world approach to powerfully translate our most negative thoughts and behaviors into a vitalizing, sabotage-free future.
Think you’ve unfucked yourself? Yet why do you act the way you do? Do you ever feel like you get stuck in destructive cycles that hold you back from living the life you really want? In a dynamic, compelling and aha-filled journey, the book helps you connect the dots of your “stuff” all the way from your past to the present. You’ll make sense of yourself as you uncover how to interrupt those destructive cycles of yours and make the kind of profound shift needed to get your life on track.


Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen ( W. W. Norton & Company, $25.95) is a charming account of Mary Norris’s lifelong love affair with words (pencils and punctuation kept her busy in The New Yorker’s celebrated copy department)  and her solo adventures in the land of olive trees and ouzo.
Along the way, Norris explains how the alphabet originated in Greece, makes the case for Athena as a feminist icon, goes searching for the fabled Baths of Aphrodite, and reveals the surprising ways Greek helped form English. Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine―and more than a few Greek men―Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.


Since the moment we first entered Downton Abbey in 1912, we have been swept away by Julian Fellowes’ evocative world of romance, intrigue, drama and tradition. Now, in 1925, as Downton Abbey prepares to close its doors for the final time, Jessica Fellowes leads us through the house and estate, reliving the iconic moments of the wonderfully aristocratic Crawley family and their servants as they navigate the emerging modern age.
St. Martin’s Press has released two scumptions books that fans will relish. Downton Abbey A Celebration: The Official Companion to All Six Seasons ($22.99) is crammed with  in-depth cast interview, as well as a complete episode guide for the first five seasons and a teaser for the sixth.
Downton Abbey: The Official Film Companion (St. Martin’s Press, $29.99) brings the world and the characters of our favorite fictional country house to life.
Featuring spectacular photographs from the production, interviews with the cast and crew, and a look into the historical and geographical backdrop of the film, this official guide to the film is made to be treasured and loved by fans across the globe.
The film revolves around the King and Queen making an official visit to Downton in 1927, and not only sees the return of all the main cast from the final television series, but also introduces some great British actors to the world of Downton, as we meet the royal family and their retinue. The accompanying book is lavishly illustrated with stunning shots from both behind and in front of the camera, which capture some wonderful off-guard moments during filming, as well as the original costume illustrations.


Did you know that one of the world’s sharpest and most forensic minds inhabited the persona of an attractive old lady, with pink cheeks and blue eyes and a gentle, rather fussy manner? Discover the secrets of Miss Marple in Murder, She Said: The Quotable Miss Marple (William Morrow, $16.99).
It’s a tiny tome of her quotes and sayings, and an essay by Agatha Christie (the Queen of Crime who created MM) appearing for the first time in any book.


Experience the work of Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest painters, inventors, and scientists of all time, in a brand-new way. Courtney Watson McCarthy has crafted many brilliant pop-up books, and Leonardo Pop-Ups (Thames & Hudson, $34.95) is the most dynamic.
Featuring many of Da Vinci’s most enduring artworks, both as illustrations and pop-ups, including The Vitruvian ManThe Last Supper, and, of course, the Mona LisaLeonardo Pop-Ups also includes Da Vinci’s self-portrait, an overview of his architectural designs, and inventions such as a flapping ornithopter.


Spanning every episode of Game of Thrones across all eight seasons, Kim Renfro goes deep into how the show was made, why it became such a phenomenon and explores every detail you want to know.
The Unofficial Guide to Game of Thrones is the perfect book to look back at all you may have missed or to jump-start you on a second viewing of the whole series. Valar morghulis!


We would not have honey without honeybees. Without the pinhead-sized chocolate midge, cocoa flowers would not pollinate. No cocoa, no chocolate. The ink that was used to write the Declaration of Independence was derived from galls on oak trees, which are induced by a small wasp. The fruit fly was essential to medical and biological research experiments that resulted in six Nobel prizes. Blowfly larva can clean difficult wounds; flour beetle larva can digest plastic; several species of insects have been essential to the development of antibiotics. Insects turn dead plants and animals into soil. They pollinate flowers, including crops that we depend on. They provide food for other animals, such as birds and bats. They control organisms that are harmful to humans. Life as we know it depends on these small creatures.
With ecologist Anne Sverdrup-Thygeson as our capable, entertaining guide into the insect world, we’ll learn that there is more variety among insects than we can even imagine and the more you learn about insects, the more fascinating they become. Buzz, Sting, Bite: Why We Need Insects (Simon & Schuster, $26) is an essential introduction to the little creatures that make the world go round.


Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille’s blistering thriller The Deserter (Simon & Schuster, $28.99) is and features a brilliant and unorthodox Army investigator, his enigmatic female partner, and their hunt for the Army’s most notorious—and dangerous—deserter.
When Captain Kyle Mercer of the Army’s elite Delta Force disappeared from his post in Afghanistan, a video released by his Taliban captors made international headlines.
But circumstances were murky: Did Mercer desert before he was captured? Then a second video sent to Mercer’s Army commanders leaves no doubt: The trained assassin and keeper of classified Army intelligence has willfully disappeared.
And we ain’t telling you anything else: Why spoil the read?


1973 was the year rock hit its peak while splintering―just like the rest of the world. Ziggy Stardust travelled to America in David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. The Dark Side of the Moon began its epic run on the Billboard charts, inspired by the madness of Pink Floyd’s founder, while all four former Beatles scored top ten albums, two hitting #1. FM battled AM, and Motown battled Philly on the charts, as the era of protest soul gave way to disco, while DJ Kool Herc gave birth to hip hop in the Bronx. The glam rock of the New York Dolls and Alice Cooper split into glam metal and punk. Elvis Presley’s Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite was NBC’s top-rated special of the year, while Elton John’s albums dominated the number one spot for two and a half months.
Just as U.S. involvement in Vietnam drew to a close, Roe v. Wade ignited a new phase in the culture war. While the oil crisis imploded the American dream of endless prosperity, and Watergate’s walls closed in on Nixon, the music of 1973 both reflected a shattered world and brought us together.
Celebrate the year with 1973: Rock at the Crossroads (Thomas Dunne Books, $29.99). You will be glad you did.

 

PETRUCELLI PICKS: GIFT GUIDE 2019: THE BEST CELEBRITY TELL-ALLS OF THE YEAR (PART DEUX)

Oh! We so love tattletales, books that reveal the underbellies of stars and singers and criminals and musicians and authors and politicians . . . even if they are written by the celebs themselves.
Our picks for the best of 2019 continue. . .

Blue: The Color of Noise (St. Martin’s Press, $27.99) is the remarkable story―in pictures and words―of Steve Aoki, the superstar DJ/producer who started his career as a vegan straightedge hardcore music kid hellbent on defying his millionaire father, whose unquenchable thirst to entertain―inherited from his dad, Rocky Aoki, founder of Benihana―led him to global success and two Grammy nominations.
Aoki–also known for his outrageous stage antics (cake throwing, champagne spraying, and the ‘Aoki Jump’) and his endearing personality–recounts the epic highs of music festivals, clubs and pool parties around the world, as well as the lows of friendships lost to drugs and alcohol, and his relationship with his flamboyant father. Illustrated with candid photos gathered throughout his life, the book reveals how Aoki became a force of nature as an early social media adopter, helping to turn dance music into the phenomenon it is today.


Throughout her rise to fame and during some of the most pivotal moments of her life, Demi Moore battled addiction, body image issues and childhood trauma that would follow her for years―all while juggling a skyrocketing career and at times negative public perception.  As her success grew, Demi found herself questioning if she belonged in Hollywood, if she was a good mother, a good actress―and, always, if she was simply good enough.
As much as her story is about adversity, it is also about tremendous resilience. In the deeply candid and reflective memoir Inside Out (Harper, $27.99),  Demi pulls back the curtain and opens up about her career and personal life―laying bare her tumultuous relationship with her mother, her marriages, her struggles balancing stardom with raising a family, and her journey toward open heartedness.


In an arresting mix of visceral, soulful storytelling and stunning visuals, Face It (Dey Street Books, $32.50) upends the standard music memoir while delivering a truly prismatic portrait. With all the grit, grime, and glory recounted in intimate detail, the book re-creates the downtown scene of 1970s New York City,
where Blondie– a band that forged a new sound that brought together the worlds of rock, punk, disco, reggae and hip-hop to create some of the most beloved pop songs of all time– played alongside the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop and David Bowie. Aesthetically dazzling, and including never-before-seen photographs, bespoke illustrations and fan art installations, Face It brings Debbie Harry’s world and artistic sensibilities to life.


Rollicking but intimate, Still Here (Farrar, Straus and Giroux , $28) tracks one of Broadway’s more outlandish and direct personalities, Elaine Stritch.  We accompany Stritch through her jagged rise to fame, to Hollywood and London, and across her later years, when she enjoyed a stunning renaissance, punctuated by a turn on the popular television show 30 Rock. We explore the influential―and often fraught―collaborations she developed with Noël Coward, Tennessee Williams and above all Stephen Sondheim, as well as her courageous yet flawed attempts to control a serious drinking problem. And we see the entertainer triumphing over personal turmoil with the development of her Tony –winning one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which established her as an emblem of spiky independence and Manhattan life for an entirely new generation of admirers. I’ll drink to that, and one for Mahler!


With her second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books, $30), Julie Andrews picks up the story with her arrival in Hollywood and her years in the film industry, from the incredible highs to the challenging lows.
Not only does she discuss her work in now-classic films and her collaborations with giants of cinema and television, she also unveils her personal story of adjusting to a new and often daunting world, dealing with the demands of unimaginable success, being a new mother, the end of her first marriage, embracing two stepchildren, adopting two more children, and falling in love with the brilliant and mercurial Blake Edwards. Co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and told with Andrews’s trademark charm and candor, Home Work takes us on a rare and intimate journey into an extraordinary life that is funny, heartrending, and inspiring.


With candor, humor and warmth, Olivia writes about her life and career and cancer in the must-have Don’t Stop Believin’ (Gallery Books, $28). Available for the first time in the United States, this edition includes a new afterword by Olivia.
She speaks about her childhood, her father’s role in breaking German Enigma codes during World War II,  her feeling about about stardom,her beloved daughter Chloe, meeting the love of her life, and her passion and unwavering advocacy for health and wellness.
“I hope this story of my life from my early years up to today will bring some inspiration and positivity to the reader,” Olivia says. “We all share so many experiences in our own unique way.”
Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992; the diagnosis “came the same weekend my father died of cancer, so you can imagine the shock”, she remembers. Learn more @ onjcancercentre.org.
Olivia has always radiated joy, hope and compassionate.
She continues to be a force for love, for goodness, for strength, throughout the world.
“I also  believe that when you go through something difficult, even something as dramatic as cancer, that something positive will come of it,” she says.
Don’t stop believin’.


As a young man Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery.
Douglass spoke widely, using his own story to condemn slavery. By the Civil War, Douglass had become the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot.
In Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom (Simon & Schuster, $37.5), David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. This is an important, compelling biography, the winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in history.


Condé Nast’s life and career was as high profile and glamourous as his magazines. Moving to New York in the early 20th century with just the shirt on his back, he soon became the highest paid executive in the United States, acquiring Vogue in 1909 and Vanity Fair in 1913. Alongside his editors, he built the first-ever international magazine empire, introducing European modern art, style, and fashions to an American audience. Conde Nast: The Man and His Empire (St. Martin’s Press, $32.50) was written with the cooperation of his family on both sides of the Atlantic and a dedicated team at Condé Nast Publications; here Susan Ronald reveals the life of an extraordinary American success story.


Recalling pivotal moments from her dynamic career on the front lines of American diplomacy and foreign policy, Susan E. Rice—National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama and US Ambassador to the United Nations—reveals her surprising story with unflinching candor in Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For (Simon & Schuster, $30).
Rice provides an insider’s account of some of the most complex issues confronting the United States over three decades, ranging from “Black Hawk Down” in Somalia to the genocide in Rwanda and the East Africa embassy bombings in the late ’90s, and from conflicts in Libya and Syria to the Ebola epidemic, a secret channel to Iran, and the opening to Cuba during the Obama years.
Intimate, sometimes humorous, but always candid, Tough Love makes an urgent appeal to the American public to bridge our dangerous domestic divides in order to preserve our democracy and sustain our global leadership.


Before he stole our hearts as the grooming and self-care expert on Netflix’s hit show Queer Eye, Jonathan Van Ness was growing up in a small Midwestern town that didn’t understand why he was so over the top. From choreographed carpet figure skating routines to the unavoidable fact that he was Just. So. Gay., Jonathan was an easy target and endured years of judgement, ridicule and trauma—yet none of it crushed his uniquely effervescent spirit.
Over the Top: A raw Journey to Self-Love  (HarperOne, $27.99) uncovers the pain and passion it took to end up becoming the model of self-love and acceptance that Jonathan is today. In this revelatory, raw, and rambunctious memoir, Jonathan shares never-before-told secrets and reveals sides of himself that the public has never seen.


Twyla Tharp is revered not only for the dances she makes—but for her astounding regime of exercise and non-stop engagement. She is famed for religiously hitting the gym each morning at daybreak, and utilizing that energy to propel her breakneck schedule as a teacher, writer, creator and lecturer. This book grew out of the question she was asked most frequently: “How do you keep working?”
Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life (Simon & Schuster,  $27) is a series of no-nonsense mediations on how to live with purpose as time passes.
From the details of how she stays motivated to the stages of her fitness routine, Tharp models how fulfillment depends not on fortune—but on attitude, possible for anyone willing to try and keep trying. Culling anecdotes from her life and the lives of other luminaries, each chapter is accompanied by an exercise that helps anyone develop a more hopeful and energetic approach to the everyday.


Common, the man who owns a Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe, follows up his best-selling memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense with Let Love Have the Last Word (Atria Books, $26), an inspiring exploration of how love and mindfulness can build communities and allow you to take better control of your life through actions and words.
Common believes that the phrase “let love have the last word” is not just a declaration; it is a statement of purpose, a daily promise. Love is the most powerful force on the planet and ultimately, the way you love determines who you are and how you experience life. He explores the core tenets of love to help others understand what it means to receive and, most important, to give love.  He knows there’s no quick remedy for all of the hurt in the world, but love, for yourself and for others, is where the healing begins.


As part of Motown’s legendary songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Lamont Dozier is responsible for such classics as “You Can’t Hurry Love;” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch);” “Stop! In the Name of Love;” “Heat Wave;” “Baby Love;”  “You Keep Me Hanging On;” and on . . . and on.
After leaving Motown, he continued to make his mark as an influential songwriter, artist and producer with hits such as “Give Me Just a Little More Time,” “Band of Gold,” and “Two Hearts,” a chart-topping Phil Collins single that earned the pair a grammy and an Oscar nomination.
In How Sweet It Is: A Songwriter’s Reflections on Music, Motown and the Mystery of the Muse (BMG Books, $27.99) Lamont takes us behind the scenes of the Motown machine, sharing personal stories of his encounters with such icons as Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy. He reveals the moments that inspired some of his timeless songs—and pulls back the curtain on the studio secrets that helped him and his colleagues create “the sound of young America.”


P. T. Barnum is the greatest showman the world has ever seen. As a creator of the Barnum & Baily Circus and a champion of wonder, joy, trickery and “humbug,” he was the founding father of American entertainment—and as Robert Wilson argues in Barnum: An American Life (Simon & Schuster, $28), one of the most important figures in American history.
Wilson’s vivid new biography captures the full genius, infamy and allure of the ebullient showman, who, from birth to death, repeatedly reinvented himself. He learned as a young man how to wow crowds, and built a fortune that placed him among the first millionaires in the United States. He also suffered tragedy, bankruptcy, and fires that destroyed his life’s work, yet willed himself to recover and succeed again. As an entertainer, Barnum courted controversy throughout his life—yet he was also a man of strong convictions, guided in his work not by a desire to deceive, but an eagerness to thrill and bring joy to his audiences. He almost certainly never uttered the infamous line, “There’s a sucker born every minute,” instead taking pride in giving crowds their money’s worth and more.


Why shouldn’t we despise the asshole who’s about to be impeached? Protect your wives and daughters since Frump’s proclaimed his  seduction technique is to “grab ’em by the pussy.”  In Golden Handcuffs: The Secret of Trump’s Women (Gallery Books, $28), Nina Burleigh, explores his attitudes toward women by providing in-depth analysis and background on the women who have had the most profound influence on his life—the mother and grandmother who raised him, the wives who lived with him and the ugly daughter who is poised to inherit it all.
Has any president in the history of the United States had a more fraught relationship with women than Donald Trump? He flagrantly cheated on all three of his wives, brushed off multiple accusations of sexual assault, publicly ogled his eldest daughter, bought the silence of a porn star and a Playmate. The books proves is one sick motherfucker.


Winston Churchill called him World War II’s “organizer of victory.” Harry Truman said he was “the greatest military man that this country ever produced.” George Catlett Marshall was America’s most distinguished soldier-statesman since George Washington, whose selfless leadership and moral character influenced the course of two world wars and helped define the American century.
Long seen as a stoic, almost statuesque figure, he emerges in the pages of George Marshall: Defender of the Republic (Dutton Caliber, $34) as a man both remarkable and deeply human, thanks to newly discovered sources.
Set against the backdrop of five major conflicts—two world wars, Palestine, Korea, and the Cold War—Marshall’s education in military, diplomatic and political power, replete with their nuances and ambiguities, runs parallel with America’s emergence as a global superpower. The result is a defining account of one of our most consequential leaders.


In 1975 Andrew Ridgeley took a shy new boy at school under his wing. They instantly hit it off, and their boyhood escapades at Bushy Meads School built a bond that was never broken. As Wham!, R and George Michael, found themselves riding an astonishing roller coaster of success, taking them all over the world. They made and broke iconic records, they were treated like gods, but they stayed true to their friendship and ultimately to themselves. It was a party that seemed as if it would never end.
Wham!, George Michael and Me: A Memoir Hardcover And then it did, in front of tens of thousands of tearful fans at Wembley Stadium in 1986.
With WHAM!, George Michael and Me, (Dutton, $28), one half of one of the most famous bands in the world, tells the inside story of  his lifelong friendship with George Michael, and the formation of a band that changed the shape of the music scene in the early ’80s. Ridgeley ‘s memoir covers in wonderful detail those years, up until that last iconic concert: the scrapes, the laughs, the relationships, the good, and the bad. It’s a unique and one-and-only time to remember that era, that band, and those boys.


 

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.