“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.

Get off your Uranus and discover the starry plight of planets

Jupiter, Pluto and two stunning sets of U.S. postal stamps. In recent weeks, the solar system and certain planets have been  taking center stage, even if Jupiter’s stage (when the Earth and Jupiter are at their closest point, 365 million miles) and Pluto’s stage is 4.67 billion miles miles away.

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Anyone can take a journey from your doorstep into outer space with A Journey Through Space ( QEB Publishing, $16.95). Zoom through the solar system, discovering satellites, comets and asteroids along the way. Explore craters on Mars, do the moonwalk around Jupiter and get a close-up view of Saturn’s amazing rings. You’re even warned not to travel too close to the Sun.
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The book, packed with lively illustrations to reveal our amazing universe, is perfect for a parent and child to read together or to explore independently. Bonus: The book includes a dust jacket that unfolds into a poster.

QEB Publishing has released a second book that’s outer space! Get ready to explore the magical night sky. Find out everything there is to know about what you can spot in the sky, such as how explorers used constellations as a form of navigation. Discover the best time to spot comets and why the Moon’s appearance has changed over time. Night Sky Watcher ($12.95) includes everything from the Sun to the Moon, to the stars and planets.
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Symbols are used within the book to show what can be seen in the northern and southern hemispheres, allowing readers to view exactly what they can see in the sky, regardless of their location. The book comes with a zipper slipcase, so you can take it on all your adventures!

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

 

 

 

 

 

“When Mountain Lions are Neighbors” . . . coexisting with wildlife

Did you know that a mountain lion, known as P-22, lives in the middle of Los Angeles? Did you know that on the Facebook campus in Silicon Valley, Mark Zuckerberg and his staff have provided a home for an endearing family of wild gray foxes? Or that wolves have returned to California after a 90-year absence, led by the remarkable journey of the wolf OR-7? The important book When Mountain Lions Are Neighbors: People and Wildlife Working It Out in California (Heyday, $18) shares dozens of stories highlighting the work of individuals, groups, organizations and communities throughout California that help foster place-based connections for wildlife to thrive alongside people, even in highly urbanized areas. The author receives no royalties from this book, and proceeds will benefit the National Wildlife Federation’s conservation work in California.
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The book, created in partnership with Heyday and the National Wildlife Federation, written by National Wildlife Federation’s California Director, Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, is an entertaining read of true tales about people and wildlife championing a new paradigm for conservation: coexistence.
“The truth is that we can each play an important role in ensuring a bright future for wildlife, no matter where we live, and these California stories serve as examples of how we can each take action, from anywhere across our country and around the world,” says Collin O’Mara, President, CEO, National Wildlife Federation.

Many do not realize that California, with its many successful wildlife stories, provides a great example in understanding ways that people can conserve and better co-exist with wildlife that can function as a model worldwide. This “new nature” is personal, urban, social, and diverse, and California has given birth to it.

“When the number-one threat to wildlife worldwide is loss of habitat, we can no longer think of our cities or towns or neighborhoods, or even our backyards, as exempt from the natural world—or as off-limits to wildlife,’ says Beth Pratt-Bergstrom. “We need to expand our view and realize that our shared spaces are as essential to conservation as our traditional protected lands. We need to create a new model of suburban and urban wildlife refugia.”

Pratt-Bergstrom has worked in environmental leadership roles for more than 25 years, and in two of the country’s largest national parks: Yosemite and Yellowstone. As the California Director for the National Wildlife Federation, she says, “I have the best job in the world—advocating for the state’s remarkable wildlife.” Indeed! Connect with Beth at BethPratt.com.
Books will be sold in bookstores, libraries, museums, parks and other retail locations. It will also be sold on IndieBound.com, Amazon.com, and BarnesandNoble.com, as well as on the National Wildlife Federation’s site (NWF.org) and Heyday’s (HeydayBooks.com).

Yearning to learn more about the Vietnam War? Enter here.

Most people called it a war. Most still do, except for the more than three million people (including 58,000 Americans) who were killed in the Vietnam War; more than half were Vietnamese civilians. The war was actually a costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies, known as the Viet Cong, against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. It began in 1954 (though conflict in the region stretched back to the mid-1940s), after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam, and continued against the backdrop of an intense Cold War between two global superpowers: the United States and the Soviet Union.  The video is graphic!

People who still yearn to learn about the event will find out how it developed, learn about the main battles and meet the key figures involved in 50 Things You Should Know About the Vietnam War (QEB Publishing, $15.95). This new title from the 50 Things You Should Know About series is packed full of infographics, illustrations, maps and color photographs from the Vietnam War.
9781609929619Not only identifying major political and military figures from both sides of the conflict with the ‘”Who’s Who” pages, this title also documents the significance of medical workers, protesters, and civilians who were also a part of this tumultuous time. Photos of memorabilia, such as patches, pins and bracelets, add a personal aspect to the war. Yes, it’s much less graphic that the footage seen here.

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.

Sean Combs combs through Bad Boy’s inventory to release a cursed box set

Someone’s got to take the rap, so we figure Sean “Diddy” Combs, known to too many people as Puff Daddy. Combs will be puffing his pride as he celebrates his 20+ year legacy as the ruling authority on hip hop and R&B with the release of the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition, escaping on August 12.  Bad Boy Entertainment, whose founder and chairman  is Combs, is also puffing the fact that they relish explicit lyrics. How can they accept a song (let’s take the ditty “Blessings”; how can we mix God with the lyric Man, the clique is the tightest, the pussy’s the tightest pussy?

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Disturbed music fans will find the CD constipated with tunes such as “I Need a Girl,” “Juicy,” “I Don’t Wanna Know,” “Hypnotize,” “Money, Power, Respect,” “Peaches & Cream,” “Can’t You See,” “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix),” “Love Like This,” “Feel So Good,” “Pop That,” “Damaged” and “I’ll Be Missing You,” from a lineup of “artists” including Puff Daddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Craig Mack, Faith Evans, Total, Carl Thomas, Mase, 112, The Lox, Cassie, Janelle Monáe, Danity Kane, Machine Gun Kelly and French Montana.  The Bad Boy 20th Anniversary Box Set Edition is available for preorder now digitally and physically at iTunes and Amazon.

Accompanied by a 64-page historiography and foreword by hip hop journalist Michael A. Gonzales, the collection will take readers on a journey through the history of Bad Boy Entertainment, reminding fans of the label’s reputation as hip hop’s most notorious vanguards.  With contributions from music industry veterans, readers and listeners alike will gain a 360 view of the rise of the label and their revolutionary sound.

Following a painstakingly thorough selection process, which was curated by Bad Boy President Harve Pierre, the collection arrives at the perfect time, the announcement of Puff Daddy & the Family’s highly-anticipated Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, set to kick off August 25.  Tickets for the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour are available at Livenation.com. For additional information about the Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour, click here.

Coos Combs: “Bad Boy helped make hip hop what it is today and this collection highlights all the music, history and vision that made Bad Boy number one. We want to thank our fans, celebrate the music, the people and the Bad Boy lifestyle that have defined the past two decades.  We’ve always made music that makes the people dance; this collection does all that and more, and it is a celebration of all things Bad Boy.”

Earplugs not included.

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Setting such a good example

 

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?

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