Category Archives: Uncategorized

“The Ice King” chronicles the emotionally resonant journey through John Curry’s remarkable life and career

Forget Frozen. Perhaps the best film taking place on frozen water (think ice) is The Ice King (Film Movement). With a mix of new interviews, crisp footage and a treasure-trove of archival materials,  Emmy-nominated documentarian James Erskine takes viewers on an emotionally resonant journey through John Curry’s remarkable life and career. Curry transformed ice skating from a dated sport into an exalted art form. Coming out on the night of his Olympic win in 1976, he became the first openly gay Olympian in a time when homosexuality was not even fully legal.

Toxic yet charming; rebellious yet elitist; emotionally aloof yet spectacularly needy; ferociously ambitious yet bent on self-destruction, Curry was a man forever on the run: from his father’s ghost, his country,  even his own self.

Above all, he was an artist and an athlete whose body time and time again—sometimes against his will—became a political battlefield. This documentary uses Curry’s life and accomplishments to chart both the evolution of competitive ice skating and of the gay movement of the ’70s and ’80s that culminated in the onslaught of AIDS, which he was diagnosed with in 1987 and which contributed to his death in 1994.

John Curry with his Gold medal in 1976.
BONUS FEATURES
  • On the Beautiful Blue Danube: Creating the Music of The Ice King
  • Q&A with director James Erskine 

Joys and hardships. Overcoming obstacles. Near-daily adversities. Welcome to “Animal Babies: First Year on Earth”

Doris Day once told us that “four-legged animals are so much nicer than the two-legged ones”.

We couldn’t agree more.

In Animal Babies: First Year on Earth viewers meet six baby animals from across the globe, the toque macaque monkey, the spotted hyena, the African elephant, the sea otter, the mountain gorilla, and the Arctic fox. Like all babies, young animals can have a first year filled with joy, love and play. To survive, however, they must overcome threats and challenges, from rivals, from the elements, and from predators. Follow along as they experience joy and hardship, confront near-daily adversities, navigate their habitats and overcome challenges in their first year of life

Renowned wildlife cinematographers tell the stories of these magical first months in three parts, First Steps, Testing the Limits and New Frontiers. They travel the globe to follow the lives of these six iconic baby animals as they grow and develop. This is the story of what it takes to survive in the wild. This is their first year on Earth. Welcome.

DL, the action movie hunk known as Dolph Lundgren, has a “Hard Night Falling”

Husband. Father. Agent. Killing Machine. And action movie wonder. Don’t miss Dolph Lundgren in the intense action thriller Hard Night Falling (Lionsgate), now wowing audiences on DVD, Digital and On Demand.

Lundgren stars as a highly trained foreign operative fighting a criminal mastermind to save not only hostages, but his imperiled family as well. This is a must-have for every Lundgren  fan.

More on this intense action thriller. After years fighting crime at Interpol, agent Michael Anderson (Lundgren) takes the night off to reconnect with his estranged wife and teen daughter at an Italian villa. But their peaceful night is shattered as mastermind Goro and his mercenaries invade the property, hoping to find a lost cache of gold. With his family in danger, Anderson summons his team of crack operatives to help turn the tide and wipe Goro off the map.

Forget the chocolates . . . “The Gallows Act II” is a Valentine’s Day treat

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: A supernatural thriller summoning the darkest evil through a viral challenge. The Gallows Act II has arrived on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital) and DVD from Lionsgate.

You were expecting a box of chocolates?

Blumhouse Productions’ The Gallows Act II is a sequel to 2015’s The Gallows, with both films written and directed by Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff.  When teenage vlogger and aspiring actress Auna Rue logs onto a sinister website, she’s trapped in the malevolent world of a cursed stage play, The Gallows. After performing a passage from the play for her tiny online fan base, Auna instantly achieves the stardom she seeks—as well as a twisted challenge from a deadly spirit (The Hangman) in this nightmarish supernatural thriller from the company that brought you Paranormal Activity and Insidious.

 

Horror melds with fantasy in “The Siren”, an enthralling and creepy supernatural tale about cursed star-crossed lovers

Readers know one simple fact about scary movies: We love them. And we are often scared . . . Big Time. And we try not to reveal too much of the plot, just how many bloody moments will get you, who the next victim will be.

We’ve changed our mind.

This one time.

Witness The Siren. A man searches a secluded lake for the monster that murdered his husband, while that monster falls in love with an unsuspecting visitor in the fantasy-horror film from writer-director Perry Blackshear. It arrives on DVD (courtesy of Dark Sky Films) on January 28.

The Siren is an enthralling, seductive and creepy supernatural tale about cursed star-crossed lovers. Tom (played wonderfully by Evan Dumouchel) is a mute man from a sheltered, religious background who is haunted by the childhood accident that cost him his voice. While on a retreat at a lake house, he meets Al (MacLeod Andrews), whose husband drowned in the lake-one of many mysterious deaths there.

The area is marked by a local legend of a lovelorn spirit who haunts the surrounding woods and drowns anyone she encounters. The legend proves all too real when Tom encounters the beautiful creature. Drawn to her immediately, Tom knows he has found his soulmate in the seemingly human Nina (Margaret Ying Drake), who must battle to repress her demonic instincts when she feels the same toward him. Meanwhile, Al, possessed by vengeance, circles the pair, getting ever closer to tracking down the monster that destroyed his happy marriage.
Part dark fairy tale and part elegant nightmare, The Siren is a heart-wrenching story of passion and revenge that will take hold of you and never let you go.

PETRUCELLI PICKS: 2019 GIFT GUIDE: THE YEAR’S BEST BOOKS FOR THE YOUNG AND YOUNG-AT-HEART

From Advocate to Feminist, Grassroots to Queens, and Revolutionary to Zeal, The ABCs of AOC (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $13.99) introduces readers to values, places and issues that relate to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s life and platform.
A clear and engaging explanation of each term is paired with a stunning, contemporary illustration that will delight readers. This is an alphabet book, an  empowering and informative book, that’s the perfect conversation starter for young people interested in government and activism.


Oh the joy of Naked Mole Rat Saves the World (Algonquin Young Readers , $16.95)! Twelve-year-old kit-with-a-small-k likes shopping at the flea market with her best friend, Clem, roller-skating, climbing to the roof to look at the stars, and volunteering at an animal shelter. Until suddenly she has a really big, really strange secret that makes life more complicated than she’s prepared for: Sometimes, without warning, she turns into a tiny naked mole rat.

It first happened as kit watched Clem fall and get hurt during a performance with her acrobatic-troupe family on TV. Since then, the transformations keep coming. Kit can’t tell Clem, because Clem hasn’t been herself after the accident. Somehow, kit has to save the day. But she’s no hero, and turning into a naked mole rat isn’t a superpower. Or is it?


Just think! A trip to Down Under without the expenses or passport.  Outback: The Amazing Animals of Australia: A Photoicular Book (Workman Publishing, $26.95) uses Photicular technology that’s like a 3-D movie on the page, this book whisks you to the vast, remote world of wild Australia, where heat waves dance forever and animals, isolated by the vagaries of continental drift, are unlike those found anywhere else on Earth.
Each moving image delivers a rich, immersive visual experience—and the result is breathtaking. The kangaroo hops. A wombat waddles. The frilled lizard races on two legs across the desert floor. A peacock spider dances and shows off its vibrant colors. A superb experience!


Unearth a wealth of weird, wacky and wild facts about dinosaurs, told in Mike Lowery’s signature comic style with bright and energetic artwork, fresh framing devices and hilarious jokes in Everything Awesome about Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Beasts (Orchard Books, $16.99).
This will be the go-to book for dinosaur enthusiasts that kids will put in their backpacks and obsess over, bridging the gap between encyclopedic nonfiction content and lighter picture book fare, filling the need with a one-stop shop for the legions of 6-9 year-olds who want to know absolutely everything there is to know about dinosaurs. Everything.


Are you ready to swing? Discover the wonders of jazz with Welcome to Jazz (Workman Publishing , $24.95), an interactive swing-along picture book whose 12 sound chips will introduce readers to the instruments of jazz—the rhythm section with its banjo, drums, and tuba, and the leads, like the clarinet, trumpet and trombone.
And you’ll hear singers scat, improvising melodies with nonsense syllables like be-bop and doo-we-ah!
Along the way, you’ll learn how this unique African American art form started in New Orleans, and how jazz changed over time as innovative musicians like King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday added their own ideas to it.
Press the buttons to hear the band, the rhythms and the singer calling out: “Oh when the saints—oh when the saints. . . “


The Christina Starspeeder saga continues in Attack of the Furball (Scholastic Inc., $12.99) a laugh-out-loud epic from author Amy Ignatow and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka in the bestselling series, Star Wars: Jedi Academy.
As told through a mix of comics, doodles and journal entries, it’s a new year at Jedi Academy. Christina Starspeeder made it through her first year at the advanced Jedi Academy . . . barely.. And year two isn’t looking any easier.
When working on the planet Cholganna, Christina falls in love with a baby nexu, a cat-like creature who’s fluffiness is impossible to resist. But when she sneaks “Fluffernut” into the dorms, Christina slowly begins to realize why it’s never a good idea to take wild animals for pets.  Fluffernut begins growing and growing . . . she’ll eventually grow to be 14 feet long and 3 feet tall! Will this be the end of Christina’s Jedi Academy career?


The Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid (Workman Publishing, $19.95) is a thrilling expedition to 100 of the most surprising, mysterious and weird-but-true places on earth.
For curious kids, this is the chance to embark on the journey of a lifetime—and see how faraway countries have more in common than you might expect.
Hopscotch from country to country in a chain of connecting attractions: Explore Mexico’s glittering cave of crystals, then visit the world’s largest cave in Vietnam. Peer over a 355-foot waterfall in Zambia, then learn how Antarctica’s Blood Falls got their mysterious color. Or see mysterious mummies in Japan and France, then majestic ice caves in both Argentina and Austria.  passports not needed.


Everything I Need to Know I Learned From Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Wonderful Wisdom From Everyone’s Favorite Neighbor (Clarkson Potter , $15) is for the young . . . and young-at-heart.
With colorful illustrations and quotes that touch on themes of kindness, empathy, self-care, respect and love, this feel-good (re)introduces and reminds us that we are special, we must be generous with our gratitude, remember to have fun and feed the fish and that all kinds of feelings are okay.


He’s hot and hunky and waiting to be your boyfriend. Sort of. If Keanu Were Your Boyfriend: The Man, the Myth, the WHOA! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $13.00) is  part biography and part dreamlike narrative, an  imagination to dating the Internet’s boyfriend, Keanu Reeves.

Apparently, Keanu’s humility knows no bounds, just like our love for him. After all, the Keanusance didn’t just come out of nowhere. He’s had an epic 40-year career that includes the heart-stopping John Wick, the heart-melting Always Be My Maybe, and the heart-pounding The Matrix. His generosity and kindness are legendary, and he remains an enigmatic mystery we’re dying to solve.


Paint by Sticker Kids includes everything you need to create twelve vibrant, full-color “paintings.” The images are rendered in “low-poly,” a computer graphics style that creates a 3-D effect.
As in paint-by-number, each template is divided into dozens of spaces, each with a number that corresponds to a particular colored sticker.
Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns and MagicFind the sticker, peel it and place it in the right space. Add the next, and the next, and the next—it’s an activity that’s utterly absorbing as you watch a “painting” emerge from a flat black-and-white illustration to a dazzling image with color, body, spirit. The pages are perforated for easy removal, making it simple to frame the completed images. Workman has a slew of such artistic adventures.
Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns & Magic (Workman Publishing, $9.95) are recent addition to the bestselling series.  Theses boredom-busting activity books features a dazzling array of magical creatures including an enchanted cottage, a mystical wizard casting a spell, a sparkling mermaid, and more.
Paint by Sticker Kids: ChristmasAnd with Paint by Sticker Kids: Christmas ($9.95) the fun continues. From a sparkling Christmas Tree to a fluffy snowman, this activity book is packed with 10 playful illustrations that will get every kid in the holiday spirit.


How about a wild adventure? Venture around the world with Coyote Peterson with Wildlife Adventure: An Interactive Guide With Facts, Photos, and More! (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $12.99).
Peterson teaches fans how to discover the animals in their own backyard before whisking them away to learn more about the desert, rainforest, savanna, even more epic locations.
Wildlife Adventure: An Interactive Guide with Facts, Photos, and More! (Brave Wilderness)Members of the Coyote Pack will be able to go on endless adventures through 10 photographic scenes that can be decorated with this guide’s hundreds of stickers. Jam-packed with animal facts, gear check-lists, write-in activities, Coyote Pack badges and much more, this guide is the perfect holiday gift for boys and girls of all ages. Be brave and stay wild.
A perfect companion: Epic Encounters in the Animal Kingdom (tk), Coyote Peterson, is back with the sequel to the bestselling Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World. Once again, Coyote and his crew voyage to new environments and encounter an even more eclectic ensemble of the planets’ animals.
From a slimy octopus to elusive tree climbing lizards to nomadic wolverines, this book promises to be another fast-paced, wild experience.

Ugh. The beginning of a new year means planning, rescheduling, cancelling and planning and rescheduling again. And again. And again.  Welcome Beth Evans’ nifty I Can’t Wait to Cancel This: A Planner For People Won’t Don’t Like People (Morrow Gift, $14.99), an undated monthly (un)planner featuring a dozen never-been-seen-before cartoons from the delightfully unconventional Evans.
I Can’t Wait to Cancel This includes 12 month sections that can be started anytime—just circle the appropriate month listed at the top of the section page—each illustrated with a never-been-seen-before cartoon, as well as four- week-long spreads broken down into seven-day slots. It also features a portfolio pocket on the inside back cover, an elastic closure and original cover art created by Evans.


Straight from the mind of New York Times bestselling author Nathan W. Pyle, Strange Planet (Morrow Gift, $14.99) is an adorable and profound universe in pink, blue, green and purple, based on the phenomenally popular Instagram of the same name.
The book covers a full life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants, including milestones such as The Emergence Day,  The Formal Education of a Being, Being Begins a Vocation, The Hobbies of a Being and The Being Reflects on Life While Watching the Planet Rotate.
With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own.


Holidaze cheer pops up with Star Wars: A Merry Sithmas Pop-Up Book (Insight Kids, $15.99). Color and create festive 3D paper models during an enchanting journey through the galaxy. This gem includes removable paper pieces, more than two dozen stickers and step-by-step instructions to construct and color holiday-themed 3D pop-ups.
Each pop-up is easy and fun to build, from Darth Vader and a gingerbread Boba Fett, to Chewbacca and a collection of caroling porgs—plus more—for the ultimate Star Wars holiday celebration.


Hungry for a most appetizing book? A Woman’s Place: The Inventors, Rumrunners, Lawbreakers, Scientists, and Single Moms Who Changed the World with Food  (Little, Brown and Company, $25) sets the record straight, sharing stories of more than 80 hidden figures of food who made a lasting mark on history.
 Discover the stories of:
  • Georgia Gilmore, who fueled the Montgomery Bus Boycott with chicken sandwiches and slices of pie
  • Hattie Burr, who financed the fight for female suffrage by publishing cookbooks
  • Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, who, with just a few grains of salt, inspired a march for the independence of India
  • The inventors of the dishwasher, coffee filter, the first buffalo wings, Veuve Clicquot champagne (the only bubbly I drink!) , the PB&J sandwich, and more
With gorgeous full-color illustrations and 10 recipes that bring the story off of the page and onto your plate, this book reclaims women’s rightful place–in the kitchen, and beyond.

Howard Stern on his new book: “Fuck Hemingway! I put my heart and soul into this book and could not be more proud of it.”

Simon & Schuster is doing a pretty good job when it comes to the meat of Howard Stern’s new book private, as in private parts. The price is known ($35, retail) and the cover as well. And, of course, one important fact: Howard Stern Comes Again is his first book in more than 20 years and hits shelves and amazon.com May 14.

Private Parts, published in 1993, was (at that time) the fastest-selling book in the history of Simon & Schuster. When the first-printing of 250,000 copies sold out in just a few hours, a second printing of 600,000 copies was ordered. Within two weeks the book would be in its eighth printing, for a total of more than one million copies. So great was the demand that 10,000 people turned up for a signing at the midtown Barnes & Noble, creating a massive traffic jam in which Stern himself was trapped, effectively shutting down Fifth Avenue.

Private Parts went on to spend 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list—all the more remarkable considering that several national accounts refused to sell the book.

Stern’s follow-up, Miss America, released in 1995, sold even faster. Barnes & Noble recorded 33,000 sales on publication date—a one-day record for the chain at that time. 15,000 people showed up for a signing at a Borders Books & Music in Los Angeles. Miss America spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

“I’ve been waiting two years for this book to be finished, because Howard Stern told me to be patient,” says Jonathan Karp, Publisher of Simon & Schuster. “It was well worth the wait. Howard Stern Strikes Again is certain to be one of the most entertaining and widely read books of the year.”

Stern, when asked to comment, offered “Fuck Hemingway! I put my heart and soul into this book and could not be more proud of it.”

“Before Stonewall”, back and better than its initial theatrical release

Everything old is new again. An important move by First Run Features, who are proud to announce the theatrical re-release of the legendary documentary Before Stonewall on June 21 in New York and June 28 in Los Angeles, with other cities to follow. Fifty years after the riots gave birth to the modern lesbian and gay liberation movement, and with substantial progress made, LGBTQ Americans still find themselves fighting on many fronts for full equality, in the U.S. and around the world. Before Stonewall offers a potent reminder of what life was like for LGBTQ people before that extraordinary event.

In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, leading to three nights of rioting by the city’s gay community. With this outpouring of courage and unity the gay and lesbian liberation movement had begun.

Before Stonewall pries open the closet door, setting free the dramatic story of the sometimes horrifying public and private existences experienced by LGBT Americans since the early 1900’s. Revealing and often humorous, this widely acclaimed film relives the emotionally-charged sparking of today’s gay rights movement, from the events that led to the fevered 1969 riots to many other milestones in the brave fight for acceptance.

Experience the fascinating and unforgettable, decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America through eye-opening historical footage and amazing interviews with those who lived through an often brutal closeted history. The theatrical re-release of Before Stonewall is a chance for audiences to experience this eye-opening film on the big screen, with an audience, the way it was meant to be seen.

Narrated by iconic author Rita Mae Brownthe film features stirring interviews with pioneering cultural figures and activists including Audre Lorde, Allen Ginsberg, Harry Hay, Richard Bruce Nugent, Frank Kameny and Barbara Gittings.

PBS Distribution new DVD, “Nature: Super Cats”, is the cat’s meow!

Everyone is intrigued by big cats, but how much do we really know about them? In Nature: Super Cats (PBS Distribution), viewers get a never before seen glimpse into the lives of these wild creatures. Presented in three parts, this series uncovers the secret lives of wild cats with groundbreaking technology, never used before to film our feline friends.

Filmed over a span of 600 days in 14 different countries, this program features 31 cat species, including the Iberian Lynx, the Margay from Central and South America, and the deadliest cat of them all, Africa’s Black-Footed Cat.

Super Cats also reveals the social sides…their complex communication, devoted parental care, courtship rituals, hunting patterns and more. Remote cameras and low-light technology help capture rare moments in the lives of wildcats including a swamp tiger taking a bath in the sea, never before revealed on screen.

The three episodes included in the program are: Extreme Lives, where we meet the planet’s ultimate cats, including the Cheetah, the Snow Leopard, the Canada Lynx, and the African Leopard.  Using the latest scientific research, we are exposed to the inner life of these cats like never before. In episode two, Cats in Every Corner, we discover how cats thrive in almost every landscape on earth from the wetlands of Asia to the world’s oldest desert in Africa to the forest of Central America and in the secluded beaches of California. Episode three, Science and Secretsreveals how new approaches and technologies are helping to uncover some of cats most intimate secrets including the cheetah’s remarkable gymnastic abilities and why lions are able to hunt so cooperatively.

Narrated by Oscar winning actor F. Murray Abraham, (“Amadeus”) “NATURE: SUPER CATS” unveils the various lives these creatures lead from the solitary bachelor snow leopard in the Himalayas to the elusive swamp tiger of South Asia. It follows exquisite predators such as one exceptional Californian bobcat, blind in one eye yet able to capture airborne prey.

Working Out with Jane Fonda is still getting obese America in shape

She obviously has done something right.
Jane Fonda is 81 years old and looks 55. Plastic surgery? Probably, but her doctor is really really good . . . not like the work done on Lily and Dolly, whose doctors worked way beyond 9 to 5.
Yet much of Fonda’s great looks and shape are the result of decades of working out, feeling the burn, sweating to the oldies. She was the first Big Name to make exercise tapes (remember those?), and now, Lightyear Entertainment, in partnership with Fonda, Inc., has released those workouts on DVD, released in the U.S. and Canada through MVD Distribution.

“Who knew that this many years later people would still be doing The Workout, but they are!,” coos Fonda.”
Arnie Holland, President of Lightyear, adds, “The five DVDs we released in 2015 and the Boxed Set have been selling extraordinarily well and steadily for the past three years. We are delighted that Jane Fonda and Warner Bros. have agreed to allow us to release more of these programs, which changed the face of the home video business when originally released. They set unheard of sales records, dominated the sell-through charts for more than a decade, and changed American culture.”