Category Archives: Movies

Morphine remains addictive. Join them for a “Journey of Dreams”

Morphine can be addictive. It’s a drug of choice. When it comes to “low rock,” the Boston-born band Morphine blazed like a comet across the international music scene in the ’90s, rising from local small clubs to indie and major label record deals, high and wide critical acclaim, and packed shows until their untimely demise.

The trio’s unique and mesmeric sound continues to resonate with its fans and music lovers as the group ascends to legendary if not iconic status. The documentary Morphine: Journey of Dreams  (MVD Entertainment Group) is the definitive, in-depth tale of this unique musical act’s compelling career and life together and their resonant musical creativity.

Journey of Dreams  doesn’t just get behind the music, but inside the band as its story is primarily told by the trio’s surviving members, saxophonist Dana Colley and drummers Billy Conway and Jerome Dupree, plus the close-knit familial coterie that worked with them as well as Sandman’s girlfriend Sabine Hrechdakian.

It’s punctuated by incisive commentary and observations from such friends and admirers of the group as Henry Rollins, Joe Strummer and Steve Berlin of Los Lobos. A wealth of live performance footage gathered from across Morphine’s career recalls and amplifies the band’s innovative yet at the same time classic, timeless and “beautifully bottom-heavy” sound, as Rolling Stone (the mag, not the Mick) praised it.

Viewers ride and fly along with the hard- touring band’s road experiences, vibrantly brought to life as Colley reads from his tour diaries at key points in the film as well as through his accompanying Polaroid pictures and Super 8 films.

Journey of Dreams is not just a tale of music business struggle, triumph and tragedy, but also a love story (among its members and team as well as Sandman and Hrechdakian) as well as an adventure, drama, travelogue, and something of a roller coaster ride. When all is told, an evocative and loving tribute to a rock band that was like no other.

Addictive.

Tyler Perry, matriarch Madea and other family faves return for laughs (and a few boos)

Lionsgate is celebrating the New Year with a most unusual treat . . . some 10 months in advance. Of sorts.

On January 31, Tyler Perry’s Boo! A Madea Halloween–the outrageous return of Madea after a three-year theatrical hiatus–lands on on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD and On Demand. Perry returns as Madea along with fan favorites Aunt Bam and Hattie to prevent her teenage niece from attending the crazy frat party next door.

The film tells the story of Madea being summoned to keep a watchful eye on Brian’s teenage daughter and keep her out of trouble. Little does Madea know, the trouble is coming for her. Fortunately, or not, she has her posse of Bam, Hattie and Joe to shield off ghosts and killer clowns.

More Madea? Also on January 31, following a nine-month nationwide tour, Tyler Perry’s Madea on the Run (The Play) will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD, Digital HD and On Demand. On the run from the law, Madea hides out at Bam’s house, thinking she will lie low. Unfortunately, Bam’s house is packed with rambunctious family and friends, and Madea finds herself needing to lay down her own law and drop the hammer.

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?

 

“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.

Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds are still in “Bright Lights”; the highly-acclaimed HBO documentary airs this month

Carrie is dead. So is Debbie. The mother-daughter duo died just 24 hours apart. What better why for HBO to cash in than by airing the documentary Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds? It  debuts Saturday, January 7 at 8 p.m. (ET/PT).

HBO calls Bright Lights “an intimate portrait of Hollywood royalty, in all its eccentricity.” Carrie and her mother, Debbi, lived in the same Beverly Hills compound. The 83-year-old grand dame still has a Las Vegas act, but performing was taking its toll.

Carrie’s response is both hilarious and heart-rending. “Mother and I live next door to each other, separated by one daunting hill,” Carrie explains. “I usually come to her. I always come to her.” Featuring vintage family films that bring iconic old-world Hollywood to life, as well as extensive vérité footage, the film has been directed by Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens.

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds has already received audience and critical acclaim at many prestigious film festivals, including the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. The documentary holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; The Hollywood Reporter called it “warmly engaging” and a “tender tribute to two iconic women”, and compared it favorably to the Maysles Bros classic 1975 mother-daughter portrait, Grey Gardens.

The film was reportedly Fisher’s idea, who wanted to document Reynolds’ final live performances in Las Vegas two years ago, aged 82.

Not enough?

HBO’s 2010 special Wishful Drinking will receive an encore presentation on January 1 at 9 (ET/PT). This feature-length adaptation of Fisher’s hit autobiographical stage production tells the intoxicating tale of her life, combining her raucous one-woman stage performance, interviews with family and friends, and archival footage.

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.

Have the Time of Your Life with “The Red Skelton Show in Color,” not seen for more than 50 years!

Leave it to Time Life to make the New Year the time of your life. And in color! And with such guests as Clem Kadiddlehopper and Freddie the Freeloader!

Welcome, with open arms, The Red Skelton Show in Color. Home audiences will be entertained by America’s Clown Prince with brilliant full-color episodes of The Red Skelton Hour, some of which have been unseen for more than 50 years.

After purchasing an old movie studio and converting it for TV productions, Skelton was the first CBS host to begin taping his weekly programs in color. And now Time Life brings viewers back to a simpler time, showcasing never-before-released shows as they were originally broadcast more than five decades ago.

One of the country’s most treasured comedians, Skelton kept TV audiences in stitches for 20 groundbreaking seasons on The Red Skelton Show. The son of a circus clown, Red always had a twinkle in his eye and a spring in his step (often accompanied by a cowbell sound effect); his heart was pure gold, his jokes were silly and his gifts for physical comedy remain priceless. And from his inimitable comic mind also came a memorable lineup of zany characters including the country bumpkin Clem Kadiddlehopper, the lovable hobo Freddie the Freeloader and Sheriff Deadeye.

The Red Skelton Show in Color is available in two configurations. The three-disc collector’s set features 12 never-before-released episodes, including best-loved sketches with Freddie the Freeloader joining a love-in with hippie Tim Conway; Sheriff Deadeye facing off with Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne); and Clem Kadiddlehopper being mistaken for a robot by mad scientists Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. Other fan favorite sketches include classics such as “Dial M for Moron” with Phyllis Diller, “Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Dumb” with George Gobel, and “Eenie Meenie Minee Schmo” with Mickey Rooney. The single disc release includes 4 complete episodes. Additionally, both releases include exclusive new interviews with Bobby Rydell and Vicki Lawrence.

Boris, Red and Vincent. Boo!

You thought it was easy being green? Think Red!