HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Monday, November 29, 2010

STONE with two-time Oscar winner Robert DeNiro and Oscar-nominee Edward Norton comes to Blu-ray and DVD January 18th from Anchor Bay Entertainment


“Powerful and Provocative.” - Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger

Academy Award® Winner Robert De Niro and Academy Award® Nominee Edward Norton Star in the Suspense-Filled Thriller STONE

Available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 from Anchor Bay Entertainment



BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Academy Award® winner Robert De Niro and Oscar® nominee Edward Norton deliver powerful performances as a seasoned corrections official and a scheming inmate whose lives become dangerously intertwined in Stone, available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on Tuesday, January 18th, 2011 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.  Directed by John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don’t Live Here Anymore) and written by Angus MacLachlan (Junebug), the Fall 2010 Overture Films release’s superb ensemble features Milla Jovovich (The Fifth Element) and Golden Globe® winner Frances Conroy (“Six Feet Under”). 

Steve O’Brien of WCBS-FM calls Stone a “gritty and engrossing thriller.”  Adds Edward Douglas of ComingSoon.net, Stone is “captivating.”  KNBC’s Jeffrey Lyons says “Norton is amazing”, while SSG Syndicate’s Susan Granger calls Stone “a superbly crafted, smartly acted, suspense-filled thriller.”

In Stone, Jack Mabry (De Niro), a parole officer days away from retirement, is asked to review the case of Gerald “Stone” Creeson (Norton), who’s in prison for arson.  Now eligible for early release, Stone needs to convince Jack he has reformed, but his attempts to use his wife Lucetta (Milla Jovovich) to influence the older man’s decision have profound and unexpected effects on them both.  This tale of passion, betrayal and corruption skillfully weaves together the parallel journeys of two men grappling with dark impulses, as the line between lawman and lawbreaker becomes precariously thin.

Jovovich delivers a startlingly raw, breakout performance as Lucetta, the sexy, casually amoral woman both men desire. Conroy, a Golden Globe® winner, completes the talented ensemble as Madylyn, Jack’s devout, long-suffering spouse.

Available for an SRP of $39.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $29.98 for the DVD, the Stone Blu-ray™ and DVD bonus features include a “The Making of Stone” featurette and the theatrical trailer.

STONE BLU-RAY™
Street Date:               January 18th, 2011
Pre-book:                   December 29th, 2011
Cat. #:                         BD21681
UPC:                           0 1313 21681-9 7
Run Time:                   105 Minutes
Rating:                        Rated R
SRP:                           $39.99
Format:                       2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio:                         Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles:                    English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:        “The Making of Stone” featurette and theatrical trailer

STONE DVD
Street Date:               January 18th, 2011
Pre-book:                   December 29th, 2011
Cat. #:                         OV21678
UPC:                           0 1313 21678-9 3
Run Time:                   105 Minutes
Rating:                        Rated R
SRP:                           $29.98
Format:                       2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio:                         Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:                    English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:        “The Making of Stone” featurette and theatrical trailer

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen


Leslie Nielsen, gone?  Surely you can't be serious.

The 84-year-old Canadian-born actor who made his name in serious roles before becoming a surprise comedy legend with AIRPLANE! and the NAKED GUN films has passed away due to complications from pneumonia. 

Best known by many sci-fi fans from his starring role in the classic FORBIDDEN PLANET, Nielsen was a familiar face not only in films but in his many television appearances, often as a hard-bitten cop.
 

Spoofing this image in the Zucker brothers' smash laugh-fest AIRPLANE!, he proved to be even more adept at comedy than drama and became one of the most popular comic stars of all time (while giving us one of the most oft-quoted lines in film history: "I am serious...and don't call me Shirley.") 

He followed up this newfound success with the hilarious NAKED GUN trilogy (based on his short-lived cult TV series "Police Squad!") in which he played bumbling police detective Lt. Frank Drebin.  Other films in the same vein included SPY HARD, WRONGFULLY ACCUSED, and the recent STAN HELSING.
 


While fondly remembered for his dramatic work, his absence will be felt most keenly in the world of comedy where he scored such a triumphant comeback late in his career.  We here at HKCFN offer condolences to his family and friends and bid an affectionate farewell to one of our favorite funny men.  And, surely, we are serious.


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Feral House Unleashes Mike Howlett's THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS


Feral House has unleashed THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS, a book that looks at the sickest comics to ever disgrace the newsstands!

Eerie Publications’ horror magazines brought blood and bad taste to America’s kids from 1965 through 1975. Ultra gory covers and bottom of the barrel production values lent an air of danger to every issue, daring you to purchase them.
 

THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS introduces the reader to Myron Fass, the gun-toting megalomaniac publisher who, with tyranny and glee, made a career of fishing pocket change from young readers with the with the most insidious sort of exploitation. You’ll also meet Carl Burgos, who, as editor of Eerie Publications, ground his axe against the entire comics industry. Slumming comic art greats and unknown no-names were both employed by Eerie to plagiarize the more inspired work of pre-Code comic art of the 1950s.

Somehow these lowbrow abominations influenced a generation of artists who proudly blame career choices (and mental problems) on Eerie Publications. One of them, Stephen R. Bissette (Swamp Thing, Taboo, Tyrant), provides the introduction for this volume.


Here’s the sordid background behind this mysterious comics publisher, featuring astonishingly red reproductions of many covers and the most spectacularly creepy art. Researched and written with love by Mike Howlett and featuring an all new Dick Ayers 6-page horror comic, THE WEIRD WORLD OF EERIE PUBLICATIONS delivers the gory goods to those twisted enough to take a peek.

The Weird World of Eerie Publications:
Comic Gore That Warped Millions of Young Minds


Mike Howlett | Introduction by Stephen R Bissette
8 x 11 • 310 pages • ISBN: 978-1-932595-87-1 • $32.95 • Pub date Jan 10, 2011 • A Feral House Original Hardcover

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

BENEATH STILL WATERS -- movie review by porfle


I have a thing about big, dark bodies of water--I hate 'em.  Especially lakes.  So BENEATH STILL WATERS (2005) should've creeped me out big-time.  But aside from some mildly entertaining effects and situations here and there, it never really made much of a splash with me.  (Get it?  "Waters"?  "Splash"?  Hold on, there are some more hilarious jokes in the last paragraph, too.)

The movie opens with a flashback of two little boys exploring an abandoned town in rural Spain that is gradually being flooded by a newly-built dam.  This will create a huge lake that will supposedly be a financial boon to the surrounding areas, although Mayor Borgia has pushed the deal through for other reasons, which will become frighteningly apparent later in the movie.  Meanwhile, the two boys discover a house that looks to be still occupied, and inside they find some people chained in a dungeon-like cellar.  After letting one of them go, he rips off his hood and is revealed to be an evil-looking, glowing-eyed warlock who resembles Angus Scrimm's "Tall Man" as played by an undernourished Eric Roberts on valium.  He grabs one of the boys and rips his jaws apart.  Wow, he sure is mean!  The other boy, Luis, gets away--for now.

Flash forward forty years (that always gives me such a rush) and we find Mayor Borgia's granddaughter Clara (Charlotte Salt) having creepy visions of his ghost, warning her of an impending catastrophe.  Later we'll find that the evil warlock, Mordecai Salas (Patrick Gordon) has sworn vengeance on the people who flooded his town, and picked the occasion of the dam's fortieth-anniversary celebration to carry it out.  The dam, as a visiting journalist named Dan Quarry (Mike McKell) and Clara's TV news reporter mom Teresa (Raquel Meroño) soon discover, is developing a huge crack that threatens to blow wide open at any moment, and the lake seems to be inhabited by evil seaweed that grabs people, in addition to recently-deceased corpses coming back to life to attack swimmers.  Oh, and grotesque monsters, too. 

This threatens to put a crimp in the big celebration, and the sleazy new mayor, Luca (Ricard Borrás), in the tradition of guys like Murray Hamilton's Mayor Vaughn in JAWS, wants the local cops to sweep all this bad news under the rug.  But this becomes more and more difficult to do as more people start dying horribly and Salas starts popping up all over the place, ripping people's jaws apart and stuff. 

Director Brian Yuzna (the RE-ANIMATOR sequels, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD III) never really manages to build up any steadily-increasing sense of dread or suspense here--it's mainly just a series of set pieces that don't come together all that well.  There is some interesting stuff along the way, though--the underwater scenes of Quarry diving to the bottom of the lake and investigating the sunken town are eerie, and the creature effects are passable.  I found the part where Teresa stumbles upon a possessed cop gleefully sawing his own legs off to be rather startling, especially when he starts crawling after her, laughing. 

This film is somewhat reminiscent of John Carpenter's THE FOG, as both movies involve a town being overrun by the vengeful dead during an ill-fated anniversary celebration.  In fact, it kinda made me wish I was watching THE FOG.  The big party itself, attended by local civic leaders, clergy, and other upstanding citizens, degenerates under the influence of the encroaching evil forces into a violent, perverse orgy that provides some entertainment, although the sequence feels like it belongs in another movie. 

BENEATH STILL WATERS at times has the feel of a cheap Italian horror flick that will do anything, logic be damned, to gross you out or make ya go "huh?"  This occurred to me in particular as Salas was magically causing a certain character to twirl around in the air after slicing through his own Achilles tendons. (Yowch!)  And what do you think Salas does to him after that?  Well, he rips his jaws apart, of course.  There's a lot of gore in this movie, and it's mostly pretty well done.  And a couple of shock cuts that might make you jump an eighth of an inch or so.

McKell is a likable lead as Quarry, the scuba-diving journalist, and Meroño and Salt make an okay mother-daughter team who, being direct descendants of Salas' nemesis, Mayor Borgia, find themselves the main targets of the evil warlock's vengeance.  (Which means, as you might guess, that he's just achin' to rip their jaws apart.)  But while a few amusing vignettes occur here and there, the whole is disappointingly less than the sum of its body parts.  Even the timeworn "gotcha!" ending didn't quite get me.  So while BENEATH STILL WATERS isn't all wet, it didn't exactly make me wet my pants, either. 


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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CLOAK & SHAG HER -- DVD review by porfle


With its poppy 60s-spoof packaging and "Austin Powers" overtones, CLOAK & SHAG HER (2008) looks like it's going to be as much fun as another  Seduction Cinema release I caught earlier, SSI: SEXY SQUAD INVESTIGATION.  But this one doesn't quite have the same mojo, baby.

I don't know about you, but I find extended softcore sex scenes to be even more boring than extended hardcore sex scenes.  Sure, I love looking at nude women, but watching long, drawn-out sequences of them coyly fiddling around with each other and doing R-rated stuff eventually makes me start to yawn, especially when a movie is composed of several of these scenes linked by brief patches of lame, half-hearted comedy. 

Maybe that's why I liked SSI so much--it had the same structure but the comedy was actually funny in its own dopey way.  And I think it helped that I saw the shorter version in which the pretend-sex scenes ended before I started to nod off.  SSI also had the advantage of some location photography, as opposed to the claustrophobic CLOAK & SHAG HER which was taped entirely under one roof, plus an overall sense of comic enthusiasm that is lacking here. 
 
The story, such as it is, concerns a scheme by the evil Dr. Mean (Darian Caine) to use a love potion to make horny yuppies more susceptible to her commands.  I think.  This is such a terrifying prospect that super-sexy secret agent April Flowers (Julian Wells) and her bumbling partner Basil Shagalittle (Dean Paul) are fetched from the late 60s via time machine and summoned into action.  This action, of course, consists of having sex with Dr. Mean and her minions.

The actors are adequate but nobody in the cast is in danger of winning an Oscar.  As April Flowers, Julian Wells is cute as a button and makes really cool faces during sex.  Dean Paul gives us his best Austin Powers imitation as Basil, but it just ain't happenin', baby.  Darian Caine is a little bland for a super-villian--she recites her lines okay but doesn't really put much into them.  As her minions, the sexy A.J. Khan and the incredibly non-sexy Shane Annigans (as the hulking, homicidal-but-sensitive henchman "Sid the Mangler") do what they can with their roles, while Ruby LaRocca is a lot funnier as herself in the making-of featurette than she is in the movie.

The extras also include a director's commentary and a bunch of trailers from other Seduction Cinema releases (most of which looked like more fun than this one).  And there's also a 2nd disc that consists of--surprise!--the film's soundtrack music by a group called Trigger Finger.  The songs tend to get a little monotonous, but this is mainly because they were written as backup to monotonous scenes.  Otherwise, it's a pretty cool CD. 

This might be a pleasant diversion if you catch it in the right mood, but it's just too blah for me to give it a "yeah, baby, yeah!"  The pop-art opening titles sequence, with all the female characters indulging in some topless go-go dancing to Trigger Finger's catchy main theme, is a lot of fun and kicks the movie off right.  It's too bad the rest of CLOAK & SHAG HER barely even tries to be as shag-a-delic.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HARPOON: WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE -- DVD review by porfle


After the success of DIE HARD came a slew of action flicks billing themselves as "DIE HARD on a plane", "DIE HARD on a bus", etc.  (The story goes that some brainiac eventually came up with the bright idea of doing "DIE HARD in a building.")  In the same vein, you might describe the Icelandic splatterfest HARPOON: WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE (2009) as "THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE on a whaling ship."  With a little THE HILLS HAVE EYES, MOTHER'S DAY, and whatever else you can think of thrown into the mix.  If you think that sounds just about dumb enough to be fun, I'd agree with you.

Even "Leatherface" is here, although this time Gunnar Hansen isn't one of the crazies.  He plays the captain of a small fishing vessel in Iceland who augments his dwindling income by taking tourists out on the ocean to gawk at whales.  His current customers are a real mixed bunch and it doesn't take long for us to start picking out who we like and who we wouldn't mind seeing harpooned. 

Right off the bat, my pick for "final girl" was Annette (Pihla Viitala), a pretty but shy blonde who'd rather eyeball large fish than party.  Her bad day begins early when Gunnar's helper tries to rape her in his cabin.  The emotionally-fragile Marie-Anne (Miranda Hennessy), whose fiance' was recently killed just before their wedding, is so lost in her own world she doesn't even try to help Annette when she walks in on the assault.  Leon (Terence Anderson) is a handsome young black guy who attracts Marie-Anne's attention and looks like our best bet for a hero.  There's also a trio of bitchy older women and an Asian couple consisting of a misogynist husband, a terminally submissive wife, and their timid servant Endo (Nae).
 

A playfully drunk Frenchman named Jean Francois (Aymen Hamdouchi) heads the expedition straight south when he inadvertently incapacitates Captain Gunnar.  When the first mate abandons ship in a motorboat, the helpless tourists are stranded on the high seas until they're taken aboard a decrepit whaling ship populated by a family of inbreds you'd expect to see roaming around the backwoods stalking city folk.  Big, bearded Tryggvi (Helgi Björnsson), peabrained hunchback Siggi (Stefán Jónsson), and cackling crone Mamma (Guðrún Gísladóttir) start sizing up their "catch" the moment they're brought onboard, and it isn't long before the bloody slaughter is under way.

Júlíus Kemp's direction is workmanlike and the photography, while a bit cheapish-looking, has a nice documentary feel to it.  The splatter effects are meat-and-potatoes stuff for the most part but there are a few moments that display some wit and style, such as a rather impressive flying-hatchet decapitation and an unusual three-way configuration involving a killer with a harpoon, two simultaneously-speared victims, and an explosive kamikaze finish.  Flare guns, sniper rifles, shotguns, and even a killer whale (definitely not Shamu) also figure into the action at various times.
 

While the situation is rather absurd and the bad guys a tad over-the-top, I thought the performances of most of the beleaguered main characters were realistic enough to keep things genuinely suspenseful.  Some of the dialogue is dumb but in a tongue-in-cheek way--in fact, the film's humorous touches are often so dry that (according to Wikipedia) producers eventually replaced the tagline "The first Icelandic thriller" with the disclaimer "Should only be seen if you have a sense of humor" in the ads.  I had no problem with the film's tone, and found the more outlandish elements well balanced by an underlying sense of tragedy which, at times, was slightly reminiscent of EDEN LAKE.  On the whole, however, HARPOON simply struck me as dark but lighthearted fun from beginning to end.

The DVD from Image Entertainment, which contains the unrated version of the film, is in 2.35:1 widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.  There are no subtitles.  Extras consist of a trailer and a "making of" featurette hosted by Gunnar Hansen. 

With an interesting premise, unusual locations, and a variety of kills, HARPOON: WHALE WATCHING MASSACRE serves up a generous helping of potential victims to be dispatched in fine style by a suitably grotesque bunch of crazies.  (And in case you're wondering, yes--that big ol' deck-mounted whale harpoon does come into play.)  The question of who lives and who dies yields some surprising answers and kept me guessing right up to the fadeout.  While some will undoubtedly consider it a dreary misfire, I found this lively, unassuming little splatter flick to be unexpectedly entertaining.


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Image Entertainment presents BULLSHOT from HandMade Films -- Saving the Day on DVD and Digital Download February 1st


“A daft and often delightfully nutty send-up.” - The Hollywood Reporter

FOR KING AND COUNTRY…AND COMEDY! IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS: "BULLSHOT"

The Heroics Begin On Digital Download And DVD February 1, 2011

Directed by Emmy® and BAFTA® Award-Winner Dick Clement - Featuring BAFTA® Award-Nominee Billy Connolly


Chatsworth, CA – He is dashing, determined, daring, and debonair.  Part aristocrat, part athlete, part amateur sleuth: he is the complete Englishman and an all around good sport. On February 1, 2011 Image Entertainment will release Handmade Films’ Bullshot, a delicious and deliriously funny satire of the gentleman detective who will do anything to protect his country, defeat the always dastardly criminal and save the girl who is always in distress. Available via digital download and DVD, Bullshot is a romp through post-World War I England, depicting a world of high adventure, low life, patriots and villains. SRP is $9.98 for the digital download, and $14.98 for the DVD. Pre-book is January 4.  

Captain Hugh “Bullshot” Crummond (Alan Shearman – Happy Feet, Eragon) is an Olympic athlete, flying ace, car racer and a suave sleuth. He’s an expert in all brave, masculine pursuits, including the seduction of lovely Rosemary Fenton (Bullshot co-writer Diz White – Eragon, Jackie Chan’s First Strike).  When Bullshot finds out that her scientist father has been abducted by his wartime adversary Count Otto Van Bruno (Ronald E. Law – “L.A. Law”, Escape From New York) nothing will stop him from rescuing Mr. Fenton,  no matter what the cost!

An affectionate parody of the detective stories of the 1930’s, Bullshot is based on the adventures of the popular British hero, Bulldog Drummond. A combination of Monty Python, Austin Powers and Inspector Clouseau, Bullshot is like a bull in a tea shop:  bumbling yet brave, elegant yet slapstick, witty and silly, very British and very, very funny!

Image Entertainment, Inc. (OTCQB: DISK ) is a leading independent licensee and distributor of entertainment programming in North America, with approximately 3,000 exclusive DVD titles and approximately 340 exclusive CD titles in domestic release and more than 450 programs internationally via sublicense agreements. For many of its titles, the Company has exclusive audio and broadcast rights, as well as digital download rights to over 2,100 video programs and approximately 400 audio titles containing more than 5,600 individual tracks. The Company is headquartered in Chatsworth , California . For more information about Image Entertainment, Inc., please go to www.image-entertainment.com.

Bullshot – DVD
Genre:             Comedy, 80s, Parody, Screwball, Slapstick , United Kingdom
Rating:             PG
Languages:       English
Format:            Anamorphic Widescreen (1.33:1)
Audio:              Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Subtitles:           No
Year:                1983
SRP :                $14.98
Street Date:      February 1, 2011
Pre-Book:        January 4, 2011
Length:             86 minutes
UPC :                014381657029
Cat#:                ID6570HHDVD


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Monday, November 22, 2010

Anchor Bay Entertainment lets LET ME IN onto Blu-ray and DVD February 1, 2011


“The BEST American horror film in the last 20 years.” – Stephen King

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS THE HAUNTING AND PROVOCATIVE THRILLER "LET ME IN"

Available On Blu-Ray™ And DVD On February 1, 2011

Jam-Packed with Bonus Features, the Blu-Ray™ and DVD Boast an Exclusive
Let Me In Comic Book and Fan-Favorite “Car Crash Sequence” Visual Effects Piece!


Beverly Hills, CA – A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire in the thriller,  Let Me In, available on Blu-ray™ and DVD on February 1st, 2011 from Anchor Bay Entertainment.  Written and directed by filmmaker Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), Let Me In is based on the best-selling Swedish novel Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let The Right One In) by John Ajvide Lindqvist, and the highly acclaimed film of the same name.  The film’s score is by Oscar®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, “Lost”).

Starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road), Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass), Elias Koteas (Shutter Island), Cara Buono (“The Sopranos”), and Oscar® nominee Richard Jenkins (The Visitor),  Let Me In is a poignant coming-of-age story as well as a bone-chilling horror film.  In a pop-culture landscape littered with the bloodthirsty undead, the 2010 release from Overture Films Let Me In stands out as a very different kind of vampire movie – a haunting meditation on the difficult and often painful transition into adolescence.  SRP is $39.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $29.98 for the DVD.


Genre fans and DVD aficionados will be thrilled with the generous amount of bonus features on the Let Me In Blu-ray™ and DVD, including the much-talked-about visual effects piece, “Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step”, with commentary from Director Matt Reeves; “From The Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In”; “The Art of Special Effects”; Unrated Deleted Scenes; Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer; and a Poster and Still Gallery. The Blu-ray™ edition also includes the Blu-ray™ exclusive: “Dissecting Let Me In”, as well as a digital copy of the film.  And if that wasn’t enough, both editions include a Let Me In comic book with an exclusive cover designed by award-winning comic book artist Sean Phillips.  A graphic novel will be released next year.

Here’s what the critics have to say about Let Me In:

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post calls Let Me In, “The scariest, creepiest and most elegantly filmed horror movie in years.”  Says TIME’s Richard Corliss, Let Me In is “Seductive and shocking.  A film people will talk about!” Adds Bloody-Disgusting.com’s Brad Miska, “It will be nearly impossible for any vampire film, ever, to measure up.”  Scott Bowles of USA Today calls the film “chillingly real,” while Cinematical describes it as “one of the best horror films of the year,” and Pete Hammond of Boxoffice Magazine says Let Me In is “a haunting, touching and unforgettable thriller.”

In bleak New Mexico, a lonely, bullied boy, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), forms a unique bond with his mysterious new neighbor, Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), who moves from town to town with the man who appears to be her father (Richard Jenkins).  Trapped in the mind and body of a child, however, Abby is forced to hide a horrific secret of bloodthirsty survival.  But in a world of both tenderness and terror, how can you invite in the one friend who may unleash the ultimate nightmare?

Based on the Swedish novel, Let the Right One In, “Let Me In is a dark and violent love story, a beautiful piece of cinema and a respectful rendering of my novel for which I am grateful,” says the book’s author, John Ajvide Lindqvist.


LET ME IN BLU-RAY™
Street Date:               February 1st, 2011
Pre-book:                   January 5th, 2011
Cat. #:                         BD21464
UPC:                           0 1313 21464-9 2
Run Time:                   115 Minutes
Rating:                        Rated R
SRP:                           $39.99
Format:                       2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio:                        Dolby TrueHD 5.1
Subtitles:                    English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:        Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In
The Art of Special Effects
Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step
Blu-ray™ Exclusive: Dissecting Let Me In
Unrated Deleted Scenes
Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery
Digital copy of the film

LET ME IN DVD
Street Date:               February 1st, 2011
Pre-book:                   January 5th, 2011
Cat. #:                         OV21461
UPC:                           0 1313 21461-9 5
Run Time:                   115 Minutes
Rating:                        Rated R
SRP:                           $29.98
Format:                       2.40:1 / 16x9
Audio:                         Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:                    English SDH, Spanish
Bonus Features:        Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Matt Reeves
From the Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In
The Art of Special Effects
Car Crash Sequence Step-By-Step
Unrated Deleted Scenes
Trailer Gallery: Greenband Trailer, Redband Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

LOVE AT FIRST KILL with Margot Kidder and Michael Bowen -- coming February 15th on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment


From the producer of Platoon and The Terminator

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT FALLS FOR "LOVE AT FIRST KILL"

Secrets Will Be Revealed On DVD February 15th


BEVERLY HILLS , CA – On February 15th, Anchor Bay Entertainment premieres the provocative thriller Love At First Kill on DVD. Directed by John Daly, the Oscar-nominated producer behind such classic films as Oliver Stone’s Platoon, James Cameron’s The Terminator, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and Robert Altman’s Images, Love At First Kill stars Margot Kidder (Lois Lane of Superman, Halloween II, The Amityville Horror), Noah Segan (Fanboys, Deadgirl, Adam & Steve), Lyne Renée (The Hessen Conspiracy), Michael Bowen (Magnolia, Kill Bill: Volume 1) and Onalee Adams (The Lazarus Project). SRP is $26.98 and pre-book is January 19th.

Harry Teberg (Segan) is a brooding young artist who collects cardboard boxes of all sizes and shapes, draws and paints them. He still lives with his possessive and over-protective mother Beth (Kidder), a widow of twenty years who dominates him. Harry suffers from recurring nightmares, a blocked-out memory of something horrific from his childhood. When Marie Dupont (Renée), a pretty young European divorcée, moves into the house next door with her daughter Kiki (Annika Moffat), Harry begins to experience thoughts and feelings he never knew he had.

Beth starts losing her mind as Harry tells her that he loves Marie, and is leaving with her. Beth will do whatever it takes to stop her from running off with her son. With her paranoia now at full throttle, Beth puts a plan into action to keep them apart – a plan loaded with twists, turns and revelations as Harry begins to recall the events that led to his father’s death.

LOVE AT FIRST KILL DVD
Street Date:                  February 15, 2011
Pre-book:                     January 19, 2011
Cat. #:                          DV22048
UPC:                            0 1313 22048-9 5
Run Time:                     94 Minutes
Rating:                          Not Rated
SRP:                            $26.98
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:                       English SDH, Spanish


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Friday, November 19, 2010

THE ABANDONED -- movie review by porfle


I have to go to the bathroom real bad, damn it.  But the bathroom is at the end of a dark hallway which is behind a closed door, and it's late, and I'm by myself. 

Watching scary movies by myself at night isn't the same as it was when I was a kid; rarely do I see one that cuts right through my adult sensibilities and makes me afraid to go down a dark hallway because there might be something creeping up behind me or because when I turn on the bathroom light that same something will be standing in there ready to lunge at me.  THE ABANDONED (2006), however, is one of those movies.

The story begins as Marie (Anastasia Hille) arrives in Moscow to track down her origins, having been adopted as an infant after her Russian mother was found brutally murdered.  She discovers that she has inherited the old home place, a sprawling, dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of the deep, dark woods between nothing and nowhere, and hires a farmer to take her there in his truck.  Before they leave, an old Russian woman pleads with her not to go, while other bystanders regard her with fear and sorrow.  It's very similar to the scene at the beginning of DRACULA in which the villagers beseech Renfield not to travel to the evil Count's castle, and we all know what happened to him.

After what seems like hours of travel, the driver leaves Marie alone in the woods at night, within walking distance of the house.  Out of the corner of her eye, Marie thinks she sees a ghostly figure glide across the path up ahead.  She reaches the really, really spooky old house and goes inside, peering into the deep darkness with her flashlight and making her way slowly through shadowy, cobwebbed rooms and corridors.  She hears noises.  And maybe a voice or two.  I'm thinking, "Would I be in that house at that time?  No, I would not."  I'm also thinking that there's gonna be a "jump" shock any second now, and I'm right--there is.  But expecting it doesn't help.  In fact, it just makes it worse.


A lot of horror flicks these days depend on jump shocks, which can startle the crap out of you for a few seconds but are soon forgotten.  This film is filled with them, but they're often only the beginning of a long sequence of sustained fear that doesn't subside after you've been soundly goosed.  The interplay of the various cinematic elements is masterful in these scenes--direction, photography, special effects, and acting are all outstanding--creating the sort of sustained terror that usually comes along only in your worst nightmares.  This movie, in fact, is like one long nightmare that you don't even fully wake up from when the end credits start rolling.

But back to Marie.  After the first really scary stuff happens, she discovers that there's someone else in the house with her.  That is, another living, flesh-and-blood someone.  He turns out to be her twin brother, Nicolai (Karel Roden of BLADE II and HELLBOY), who has also been drawn to the house trying to find out what awful thing happened to their mother there, forty years ago.  After suffering through one hellishly terrifying ordeal after another, they finally find out.  I'm not going to tell you any more of what happens, but when Nicolai has a sudden realization and says ominously to Marie, "We're haunting ourselves...", you just might be thinking: "No sh*t!"  One thing's for sure--the old "blank white eyeballs" thing has rarely looked scarier.

The last haunted house movie that tried to scare me was THE MARSH.  But it tried to do this with a bunch of obvious CGI and noisy, flashy effects.  THE ABANDONED has some CGI, too, but it's the best kind--the kind that tries not to look like CGI.  Both of these films contain a similar scene in which a decrepit old room goes backward in time to its original state, but the difference is stunning.  One scene seems to say "Look at this cool CGI!", while the other is more interested in maintaining your level of involvement in the scene itself.


THE ABANDONED looks great, with beautiful photography and imaginative editing worthy of an art film, always establishing and maintaining the right mood without being merely for show.  The sound design and haunting score also contribute substantially to the ominous atmosphere, making even the scenes of Marie arriving in Moscow seem forboding and pulsing with bad tidings for what's to come.

The house itself is a marvel of production design, a labyrinth of dingy rooms, spooky corridors, and ominous passageways that constantly had me muttering "Don't go in there!"  And with it, the stage is set for Spanish director Nacho Cerdà to do his stuff.  To paraphrase a line from POLTERGEIST, he knows what scares you.  His handling of this type of material is masterful compared to the ham-fisted direction often seen in similar films.  And the two leads, Anastasia Hille and Karel Roden, are so good that they put the whole thing across with utter conviction.  It didn't even bother me that the last few minutes didn't really seem to make total sense, because the worst nightmares rarely do. 

I've seen a lot of horror films, especially of the haunted house variety, that tried their best to be scary but just didn't know how to do it, or how to sustain it all the way through to the end.  But THE ABANDONED knows how.  Boy, does it ever.  It left me feeling drained, stunned, entertained yet uncomfortably uneasy and disturbed; and most of all, really, really creeped out.  And I still have to go to the bathroom real bad, damn it.


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

CHASING CHRISTMAS -- movie review by porfle


Here's the deal: the Bureau of Yuletide Affairs constantly monitors everyone, looking for people who hate Christmas so that they can send the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future into action. Charles Dickens was one of their former targets, and he wrote a fictionalized account of the experience in "A Christmas Carol", but don't mention that book around the Bureau because they find it an unflattering depiction of their organization.

Anyway, in CHASING CHRISTMAS (2005), the latest focus of their efforts is Jack Cameron (Tom Arnold), a divorced father who despises Christmas because, seven years earlier, he caught his former wife Alison (played by the MILF-tastic Sarah-Jane Redmond of "Smallville" and "Millenium") fooling around with their dentist in the coatroom during their daughter Suzanne's Christmas play. In an early scene, two cute little kids notice that Jack doesn't have any Christmas decorations around his house so they cheerfully give him one of theirs, a happy plastic snowman which Jack gratefully places out in the street so a truck can run over it. At the coat factory that he owns, an employee is shocked to find that he's no longer donating their irregulars to the homeless at Christmas, selling them instead to the Guatemalan army. "They don't care if the epaulets are upside-down or not," he tells her. "They're not a very good army--they'll probably only wear 'em once, anyway."

So, with Jack's Scrooge-ness well established, it looks like we're in store for yet another "A Christmas Carol" variant with few surprises along the way. Indeed, at the stroke of seven on Christmas Eve, the Ghost Of Christmas Past shows up in Jack's livingroom just as he's downing a large glass of Scotch and watching non-seasonal shows on TV. Past is played by Leslie Jordan, who used to be Lonnie Garr on "Hearts Afire" and has appeared in numerous other movies and TV shows ("Will & Grace", "Boston Legal", "Boston Public", JASON GOES TO HELL, HERO). You'd know him if you saw him--he's about four feet tall and he's pretty funny. But when he hurls a reluctant Jack over the couch and launches him down the front stairs to get him motivated, we detect that something seems to be bothering him.

Zipping back to 1965, they visit Jack's boyhood home on Christmas Eve, beginning the usual "A Christmas Carol" guilt-trip cycle. But Past is fed up with all that--he yearns to be human, smoke cigarettes, drink alky-hol, chase babes, and stay forever in his beloved past. So, going off-mission a tad, he smashes his "snowflake of invisibility" in order to become human (don't ask), knocks Jack out with a holiday snowglobe, ties him to a chair with a string of decorative lights, and scampers off into the night. It's at this point, you might guess, that the story begins to veer off from the usual "A Christmas Carol" template and become somewhat less predictable.

The Ghost Of Christmas Present is called into action ahead of schedule and sent to the scene to perform damage control before the timeline is irrevocably altered. But first, her "snowflake of invisibility" must also be smashed so that she can become human, too. (Really, it's just better not to ask.) Present is a tall, blonde babe, which I found to distinctly increase this movie's watchability. She is played by a tall, blonde actress named Andrea Roth, who has also been in a whole bunch of other stuff ("Rescue Me", "CSI", THE PERFECT HUSBAND). Her character doesn't know anything about the past, only the present ("Where's Madonna right now?" Jack asks her. "In the bathroom," she replies.)

In their quest to track down Past across various time periods, she'll experience things she's never known before, such as getting drunk, disco dancing, and falling in love. That's right--she falls in love with Jack, as if you didn't already see that coming. (I think it happens while they're in the hot tub.) And Jack gets to see himself not only as a little boy (played by the hilarious Zak Ludwig in an all-too-brief scene), but during his ski-lodge honeymoon ("I was BORING!" he groans), where he also discovers that Alison was already cheating on him with a low-forehead hunk in the bar while he was in their room watching IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.

And somehow during it all, Jack learns the true meaning of Christmas, although I didn't really understand exactly how all that frantic chasing around caused this to happen. "God bless us every one!" is shoehorned in at the end, as well as the standard "Scrooge transformed" ending, but I just didn't get that Christmas vibe--which leads me to doubt that CHASING CHRISTMAS will ever become any kind of modern seasonal tradition along the lines of A CHRISTMAS STORY, or even THE SANTA CLAUSE.

But it is fun and fairly entertaining, and I didn't regret sitting through it. I'm a fan of Tom Arnold (although I never understood the whole Rosanne thing) and a non-raunchy, family-friendly Tom is still funny. I like his comedy persona, which seemed to come into full fruition as Ah-nuld's sidekick in TRUE LIES, and which easily keeps this ABC Family TV production enjoyable throughout. Just don't expect to get all misty-eyed and start reaching for the eggnog when he jumps around at the end screaming "Merry Christmas, everybody!"


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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 1978 and 2010 on Blu-ray and DVD February 8, 2011 from Anchor Bay Entertainment


“It’s unrated. Can you handle it? I don’t think you can.” – Kyle Smith, New York Post

“Despicable remake of the despicable 1978 film…”
– Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
 
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT UNLEASHES "I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE"

1978 ORIGINAL AND 2010 REMAKE

Dual Blu-ray™ and DVD releases February 8th With All-New Bonus Features


Beverly Hills , CA – In 1978, Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave shocked audiences all over the world. Critics reviled it, but audiences embraced its “Day of the Woman” empowerment message. Three decades later, lightning struck again with the 2010 remake, which shocked 21st century moviegoers. Now, Anchor Bay Entertainment completes the grisly circle of revenge with the February 8, 2011 release of the unrated I Spit On Your Grave – both the 1978 original classic and the state-of-the-art 2010 remake on high-definition Blu-ray™ and DVD. This release marks the U.S. Blu-ray™ debut of the original cult classic. SRPs for the 2010 DVD are $29.97, and $34.99 for the Blu-ray™; the 1978 version SRPs are $24.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $19.98 for the DVD. Pre-book is January 12th.

Produced by CineTel Films’ Lisa Hansen and Paul Hertzberg in association with Anchor Bay Films, and directed by Steven R. Monroe, 2010’s I Spit On Your Grave tells the story of Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler), a city girl who rents an isolated cabin in the country to write her latest novel. On one terrifying evening, a group of local lowlifes break into the cabin, overpower and assault Jennifer, ultimately leaving her for dead. But Jennifer miraculously survives her ordeal; consumed with hell-borne vengeance for those who so violated her, she repays their heinous acts in gruesome ways that these lowlifes never thought imaginable. The cast includes Jeff Branson (“The Young and the Restless”), Daniel Franzese (Mean Girls, Bully), Rodney Eastman (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 & 4), Chad Lindberg (“Supernatural,” The Fast and the Furious), Tracey Walter (Erin Brockovich, Batman, Repo Man) and Andrew Howard (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen). Meir Zarchi, the writer/producer/director of the 1978 original, served as Executive Producer.

Unlike with the original film, mainstream and genre critics alike have embraced the new version from the very beginning. The New York Times called it “extremely efficient grindhouse,” while New York Magazine’s David Edelstein extolled “Each killing is as protracted, humiliating, ingenious, gory and downright poetic as any I’ve seen, and I’ve seen it all.” Bloody-Disgusting’s Brad Miska said “The audience gasped, screamed and cheered as they watched Sarah Butler drop the axe on her assailants,” while Rue Morgue Magazine declared it “a cinematic bulldozer…it handily trumps the original in the ferocious revenge sequences.”


Bonus features on the 2010 I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray™ and DVD include a filmmakers commentary track with Hansen and Monroe, an in-depth behind-the-scenes featurette, the original theatrical teaser and trailer, deleted scenes and much more. The 1978 I Spit On Your Grave Blu-ray™ features an all-new high definition transfer, Dolby TrueHD audio and an all-new interview with writer/producer/director Meir Zarchi about the making of this infamous cinematic landmark and its legacy for the past three decades.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010 Blu-ray™
Street Date:                  February 8, 2011        
Pre-book:                     January 12, 2011
Cat. #:                          BD21696
UPC:                            0 1313 21696-9 9
Run Time:                     108 minutes
Genre:                          Horror / Action
Rating:                          Unrated
SRP:                            $34.99
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio:                          Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE 2010 DVD
Street Date:                  February 8, 2011        
Pre-book:                     January 12, 2011
Cat. #:                          AF21693
UPC:                            0 1313 21693-9 2
Run Time:                     108 minutes
Genre:                          Horror / Action
Rating:                          Unrated
SRP:                           $29.97
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
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I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) Blu-ray™
Street Date:                  February 8, 2011        
Pre-book:                     January 12, 2011
Cat. #:                          BD22340
UPC:                            0 1313 22340-9 0
Run Time:                     101 minutes
Genre:                          Horror / Action
Rating:                          Unrated
SRP:                            $24.99
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                          Dolby TrueHD 5.1
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I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1978) DVD
Street Date:                  February 8, 2011        
Pre-book:                     January 12, 2011
Cat. #:                          DV22335
UPC:                            0 1313 22335-9 8
Run Time:                     101 minutes
Genre:                          Horror / Action
Rating:                          Unrated
SRP:                            $19.98
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
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Two New Titles Coming to DVD From Green Apple Entertainment


Green Apple Entertainment Proudly Presents: DYING GOD starring James Horan & Lance Henrickson

A Corrupt Cop Tracks a Brutal Serial Killer… Who Just May Not be Human

The Hunt Begins on DVD Dec. 28th


BOCA RATON - Dec. 1, 2010 - For Immediate Release - The search for a brutal serial killer becomes other-worldly in the suspenseful horror film Dying God, coming to DVD Dec. 28 from Green Apple Entertainment.

When a series of bizarre and violent killings haunt a dark and decadent city, a corrupt cop, Sean Fallon (James Horan, Flags of Our Fathers), must face his own demons to put an end to the brutal string of rape-murders.

With the help of an unsavory band of pimps, headed by Chance (Lance Henrickson, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Millenium, Aliens, The Terminator) - his only allies - Fallon tracks the mysterious assailant … who just may not be human!

Directed by French director Fabrice Lambot (Le Sang du Chatiment, Insanity), Dying God is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (1.2.1) and stereo. Bonus material includes trailer.

Dying God
Green Apple Entertainment
Genre:  Horror
Rated:  R
Format:  DVD Only
Running Time:  Approx. 85 Minutes (Plus Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price:  $24.98
Pre-Order Date:  December 3, 2010
Street Date:  December 28, 2010
Catalog #:  GAE-F07
UPC Code:  #855982002067

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Green Apple Entertainment Proudly Presents BREAD CRUMBS

Some Fairy Tales are True …

Heart-Pounding Thriller Comes to DVD Jan. 25th

"Terrifying and original. A macabre retelling of Hansel & Gretel." - Independent Film Quarterly


BOCA RATON - Jan. 1, 2011 - For Immediate Release - Mama was wrong … some fairy tales are true in Bread Crumbs, a heart-pounding thriller coming to DVD Jan. 25 from Green Apple Entertainment.

An aging star, Angie (Marianne Hagan, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Perfume), reluctantly goes on one last shoot for a seedy, B-movie producer. On location -  lodging in an enchanting, old cabin deep in the shadowy forest - the cast and crew encounter Henry (Dan Shaked, Counting to Infinity) and his little sister, Patti (Amy Crowdis, The Melancholy Fantastic), two odd children who mysteriously seem to live in the woods. 

A violent attack on the second evening of shooting sends Angie, her handsome lead Billy (Steve Carey, Jack and Jill vs. the World) and the rest of the crew into a frightened frenzy. Barricading themselves in the secluded cabin, they are trapped by an unknown assailant and, one by one, being horrifically slaughtered.

Could these two children be responsible for such brutal slayings?  A rollercoaster ride to the terrifying conclusion, Bread Crumbs is a fairy tale of terror, the classic fable of Hansel & Gretel re-imagined. Eat the candy, if you dare!

Directed by Mike Nichols (Dead Calling), Bread Crumbs - which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival - also stars Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie's Halloween).

Bread Crumbs is presented in full screen with an aspect ratio of 4 x 3 (1.33:1) and Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0.  Bonus material includes trailer.

Green Apple Entertainment is a leading international distributor of quality, independent entertainment on DVD, Blu-ray, download and streaming platforms and cable VOD. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., Green Apple works directly with filmmakers to cultivate superior filmmaking for a variety of genres - including action, drama, romance, thrillers, horror/sci-fi, documentaries, family and animation - and fresh new viewing experiences for a diverse array of audiences. Green Apple was founded in 2005 by industry veteran Tim Warren.

Bread Crumbs
Green Apple Entertainment
Genre:  Horror
Not Rated
Format:  DVD Only
Running Time:  Approx. 88 Minutes (Plus Special Features)
Suggested Retail Price:  $24.98
Pre-Order Date:  January 4, 2011
Street Date:  January 25, 2011
Catalog #:  GAE-F13
UPC Code:  #855982002135

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SONDHEIM! THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT -- DVD review by porfle


I wasn't looking forward to SONDHEIM! THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT (2010) because I didn't really know how I'd respond to a gala evening of musical theater selections from plays I'd never seen.  After awhile, though, it starts to heat up and get interesting.  Even for a non-fan like me, the wide range of material and the passion with which it's performed can become infectious if you're willing to give in to it.

Recorded on March 15-16, 2010 in the Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall, the concert is a celebration of composer Steven Sondheim's 80th birthday and features tunes from througout his long career.  With longtime collaborator Paul Gemignani conducting the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the vocal talent on display here is top-notch and the songlist is filled with some of Sondheim's finest and most popular works.  Tony Award winner David Hyde Pierce (of "Frasier" fame) provides the segues between numbers with his usual droll style which, unlike the forced humor of most emcees, is actually funny.

After the overture, the current cast of West Side Story kicks things off with a dash through "America."  (I know that one!)  Director Lonny Price goes a little nuts with the rapid-fire camera angles here, but fortunately he settles down as the evening progresses.  This is followed by "Something's Coming", another one that I recognized from West Side Story, sung by the conductor's son, Alexander Gemingnani. 

A number of noteworthy duets include Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley's "We're Gonna Be Alright" and Audrey McDonald and Nathan Gunn with "Too Many Mornings."  Joanna Gleason and Chip Zien's cheerful "It Takes Two" lightens things up.  In between are solo performances by Victoria Clark ("Don't Laugh") and familiar film actor John McMartin ("The Road You Didn't Take").
 

Mandy Patinkin gives us "Finishing the Hat" in his usual oddball style, then is joined by the still-gorgeous Bernadette Peters for the emotional "Move On."  It's at this point, thanks in large part to the divine Bernadette, that the event really starts to ignite.  Some frivolous fun finally lights up the place with a raucous "Sweeney Todd" medley ("Pretty Women", "Little Priest") by Patti LuPone, George Hearn, and Michael Cerveris. 

After a few more songs, the main reason for watching this concert comes when Pierce steps out from behind his emcee's podium and croons "Beautiful Girls", bringing a group of the evening's female singers onto the stage in what will be a series of dazzling solo performances.  Patti LuPone's belts out "The Ladies Who Lunch" in classic show-stopper style and is topped only by the venerable Elaine Stritch, showing that she still has it despite her advanced age with the delightfully triumphant "I'm Still Here."  These two ladies really bring the house down with what are easily the most exciting performances of the entire evening.


The only way to go out after that is to bring in performers from shows currently playing all over New York for a final tribute.  Seated in the audience, Sondheim reacts with extreme emotion as scores of people file down the aisles and congregate onstage singing the elegaic "Sunday."  (I think I even recognized "Benny" from TOTAL RECALL up there!)  Then comes the inevitable "Happy Birthday To You", a tearful thank you from Sondheim, and the show's over.

The DVD from Image Entertainment is in 1.78:1 widescreen with Dolby DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.  There are no subtitles or extras.  This show originally aired on PBS' "Great Performances" (most likely interrupted every ten minutes by pledge breaks) and runs almost two hours. 

You probably have to be familiar with Sondheim's musicals to get the most out of SONDHEIM! THE BIRTHDAY CONCERT, and it's a sure bet that some viewers aren't going to get anything out of it at all.  But despite a few numbers that aren't all that exciting, and taking into account the fact that I'm about as familiar with musical theater as I am with nuclear fission, I found a lot to be entertained by in this set.  Especially in that second half, which contains some performances that are just plain impressive no matter what kind of music you're into.


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January Releases From CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment


MANNIX: THE FOURTH SEASON (1970-1971)

Street Date:  January 4
Prebook Date:  November 23
Studio:  CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment
Genre:  Crime/ Drama/ TV
Stars:  Mike Connors, Gail Fisher, Ward Wood, Robert Reed, Joseph Campanella

Synopsis  The fourth season of Mannix chronicles the weekly adventures of private detective Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) in Los Angeles and his  faithful  assistant Peggy Fair  (Gail Fisher).   Hard-boiled  and  gritty, Mannix  is  constantly  putting  his  life  on  the  line  to  boldly
encourage justice for his clients, even outside of the law.

•  Full Frame
•  English Mono
Rating  Not Rated
Additional  Running Time: 1216 minutes
6 x DVD 9          
S.R.P.: $54.99
6 Discs      

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MATLOCK: THE SIXTH SEASON (1991-1992)

Street Date:  January 25
Prebook Date:  December 14
Studio:   CBS Home Entertainment / Paramount Home Entertainment
Genre:  Crime/ TV
Stars:  Andy Griffith, Clarence Gilyard, Jr., Nancy Stafford, Julie Sommars

Synopsis  Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith) is a Harvard-educated defense attorney and fiery Southerner who wins almost every case he has ever taken,  especially  murder  cases.  Known  for  his  thriftiness,  love  of  hot  dogs  and  the  extremely  high  demands  he  places  on
investigators, Matlock charges a hefty sum of $100,000 for each case to brilliantly defend his client.

•  Full Screen Format
•  English Stereo Surround
Rating  Not Rated
Additional  Running Time: 1030 minutes
6 x DVD  9
S.R.P.: $54.99
6 Discs
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