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Friday, May 30, 2014

"TORMENT" Coming to VOD & DVD This Summer From Vertical Entertainment



Vertical Entertainment Proudly Presents
"Torment"

Welcome to the Family

Premiering on VOD June 6th & DVD July 15th

Equal parts psychological and brutal.” -- CraveOnline


LOS ANGELES — June 1, 2014 — For Immediate Release — A family vacation goes horribly wrong in Torment, premiering on VOD (June 6) and DVD (July 15) from Vertical Entertainment.

Newlyweds Sarah (Katharine Isabelle, American Mary, Freddy vs. Jason, Insomnia) and Cory (Robin Dunne, TV’s Sanctuary) take Cory’s seven-year-old son, Liam (Peter DaCunha, Haunter, A Dark Truth, The Barrens), to a county home for some much-needed family bonding, hoping the boy – who resents his widowed father for remarrying – will warm up to his new stepmother.

Upon their arrival, it appears someone has been living in the house. Assured by the local sheriff that the intruders have moved on, they continue with their holiday plans … But the decision soon proves a terrible mistake when Liam goes missing.

Worry evolves into utter terror as the couple confronts a sadistic, cult-like family who have been hiding in the house all along. Now, Sarah and Cory must fight to save their entire family from these vicious kidnappers.

Also starring Stephen McHattie (Watchmen, 300), Torment is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (2.40:1) and 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

About Vertical Entertainment
Based in Santa Monica, Calif., Vertical Entertainment was founded in 2013 by entertainment industry veterans Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin and has quickly become a notable force in indie film distribution for theatrical, television, DVD, VOD and digital platforms. With a focus on family fare and theatrical genre films with A-list casts in the $5-10 million budget range, the company plans to release up to 24 films a year.  High-profile titles acquired to date  include The Hot Flashes, starring Brooke Shields, Wanda Sykes, Virginia Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Camryn Manheim; Scenic Route, starring Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler; Rushlights with Josh Henderson, Beau Bridges and Aidan Quinn; the animated Freedom Force, voiced by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Christopher Lloyd; and the 3-D animated film The Snow Queen, based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and produced by Timur Bekmambetov.

Torment
Vertical Entertainment
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Rated: R
Format: DVD & VOD
Running Time: Approx. 92 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $20.99
VOD Release: June 6, 2014
DVD Pre-Order Date: June 17, 2014
DVD Street Date: July 15, 2014
Catalog #: 03320
UPC Code: #037117033201



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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

VENDETTA -- DVD review by porfle


  

As reflected by several recent movies, many typical English citizens tend to feel helpless in the face of rising crime--especially when committed against innocent people by snotty young chavs with no moral compass whatsoever--and yearn for some good old-fashioned justice. 

 I can relate to that, which is why Danny Dyer's gritty revenge thriller VENDETTA (2013) is such a blast to watch.

Dyer (FREERUNNER, MALICE IN WONDERLAND, OUTLAW) plays Jimmy Vickers, an interrogation expert for the British forces in Afghanistan who, upon being dishonorably discharged, returns to London to visit his parents.  Tragically, they're both brutally tortured and killed before his arrival by a bunch of drug-dealing punks after Jimmy's dad (Tony Denham) heroically foils their robbery of a young woman on a bank run.  Breaking into their house, the gang rape Jimmy's mom (Emma Samms, "Dynasty") and then, in a scene which recalls a bit of the EDEN LAKE vibe, burn the couple alive.


What these vile (and very well-cast) hooligans don't realize is that they've just gotten on the bad side of someone whose job it is to go medieval on people's arses.  I don't know about you, but this sort of set-up has me chomping at the bit to see some of that hardcore Charles Bronson/DEATH WISH-style revenge served up in heaping helpings to the bad guys.  In other words, the last thing I want is to see someone reading these guys their rights and offering to appoint a lawyer for them.

VENDETTA knows what we want, and wastes little time satisfying our sweet tooth for vengeance.  Driven by intense grief and a burning anger, Jimmy Vickers uses all his Black Ops military training to go to war against the bad guys in ways that would border on torture porn if these sequences weren't so "short but sweet." 

Simply put, I love seeing sadistic bastards get back in spades the same kind of violence and intimidation that they inflict on others.  And with Jimmy, we have the perfect vehicle for such fitting revenge played out in a series of tense and sometimes action-packed scenes. 


Still, there wouldn't be much to the film it that were all there were to it.  And writer-director-editor Stephen Reynolds (TOMB RAIDER ASCENSION) gradually gives us more and more of Jimmy's backstory, introducing a succession of new characters to go with it, until there's a whole lot of other interesting stuff going on. 

An ongoing conflict rages between the cops who actually want to "take a bite out of crime"--such as Jimmy's supportive beat-cop friend Griff (Michael Ryan)--and career-conscious bureaucrats such as the loathesome DCI Holland (Alistair Petrie), who wants Jimmy stuffed on his mantelpiece while shrugging off the horrors going on around him. 

And then there's the sudden appearance of Jimmy's military cohorts, led by no-nonsense Colonel Leach (Vincent Regan, 300, TROY), to whom Jimmy is a much more valuable tool in extracting vital information from terrorists than in Holland's public image as a crimestopper.  Leach confronts Holland in one of the film's many powerful dialogue scenes that give its middle section just the right kind of edge to keep things interesting.  Bruce Payne (PASSENGER 57) lends his stone-faced acting weight as the even more intense government mystery man Rooker, another highly interested party in Jimmy's immediate future. 


But with all of that, the main thrust of VENDETTA remains the basic revenge story done well.  Dyer is at his low-key best as the wounded soul at the heart of it all, portraying a tender emotional side with his estranged wife Morgan (Roxanne McKee, WRONG TURN 5: BLOODLINES)--for whom he still wears his wedding ring--and his alter ego, the cold, calculating, almost fearless stalker-killer.  Director Reynolds keeps things tense, lean, and visually pleasing (except for some bothersome Shaky-Cam) and really knows how to ratchet up our vicarious need to see the baddies bite the big one.

The DVD from Inception Media Group is in 16x9 widescreen with 5.1 digital surround sound and both English subtitles and closed-captions.  Extras include a chummy commentary track with Reynolds and Dyer, a deleted scene,  and a trailer. (Don't miss the extra scene which pops up during the end credits crawl and teases us for the impending sequel.)

Is Jimmy Vickers' VENDETTA morally repugnant despite how utterly deserving of it these scum-of-the-earth  villains are?  And is it wrong of me to enjoy seeing such violent retribution against them?  Oh, well, it's only a movie... only a movie... only a movie...

Buy it at Amazon.com



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ETERNAL CON, The "Long Island" Comic Con: A Pop Culture Convention Experience Right in Your Backyard



MEET STAR WARS, ONCE UPON A TIME, COMIC BOOK STARS + MORE IN PERSON AS ETERNAL CON RETURNS TO CRADLE OF AVIATION JUNE 14 -15

Garden City, NY (May 20, 2014) - After the success of its inaugural event in June 2013 ETERNAL CON (The Long Island Comic Con) returns with a huge 2-day extravaganza June 14 &15 2014, taking place at the Cradle of Aviation’s Reckson Center, Garden City, NY.

Show Hours:

Saturday June 14th: 10:00am - 7:00 pm
Sunday June 15th: 10:00am - 5:00pm

This year’s celebrity guests include Rebecca Mader (star of the hit ABC tv series “Once Upon a Time” and LOST), Daniel Cudmore (Star of X-Men: Days of Future Past and the Twilight series), Ray Park (Star of G.I Joe and Star Wars), Lee Arenberg (Star of “Once Upon A Time, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Trek), the original Red Power Ranger Steve Cardenas, Zach Galligan (star of Gremlins), Catherine Mary Stewart (Star of The Last Starfighter and Weekend at Bernie’s), WWE wrestler Mick Foley, Tiamak (star of the Last Dragon), Paris Themmen (star of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory), with more guests to announced in the coming weeks.

Among the top names in the comic book industry attending are Amanda Conner (Supergirl, Harley Quinn), Jimmy Palmiotti (Jonah Hex, Painkiller Jane), Adam Kubert (Avengers, X-Men), Larry Hama (G.I. Joe), Bob Larkin (Famous Cover Artist), Sean Chen (X-Men, Iron Man), Billy Tucci (Shi, Wonder Woman), and over 70 comic book professionals expected to be in attendance!

On Sunday Jun 15th, in honor of Father’s Day, ETERNAL CON presents Kids day! The entire day will feature special events for children including “Youngling Training” where children are invited to join the NY-Jedi instructors in a supervised training session to learn basic Light Saber choreography & technique. Every child who participates will receive a free lightsaber!

New for 2014 is the COSPLAY PARADE. This FREE event is open to the public. The parade will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday June 14th of Aviation museums parking lot and proceed along Charles Lindberg Blvd and lead into the Cradle. More information on the parade is available on the ETERNAL CON website.

One of the biggest events in 2013 was the Costume Contest in the 300-seat IMax theatre. This year’s event will be pre-judged by Sue Lee (Star of the popular SYFY series Face-Off) and comic book superstar artist Amanda Conner. This live event will be simulcast on the IMax screen so everyone in the theatre gets a good look at all the costumes. The contest is open to all cosplayers and fans.

Again this year ETERNAL CON will help raise money for several worthy charities working in the local community including The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, Hurricane Sandy Relief, and The Special Olympics (to be confirmed). In addition, Long Island Blood Services will be in attendance and will be conducting a special blood drive. ETERNAL CON will also be supporting the fundraising efforts with a series of charity auctions and a portion of the ticket sales from “Cosplay Night” at CitiField on June 12th presented by Eternal Con.

Throughout the weekend attendees will have the opportunity for Portfolio Reviews, Gaming tournaments, informative panels (such as the Women in Comics panel), the return of the Planet of the Apes movie prop gallery, a Car Show (with the 1966 Batmobile and many other cars from movies and television), a expanded Art Show, Cosplay groups, special performances, and a vendor room with over 150 tables of toys, jewelry, clothing, and collectibles.

For convention updates and announcements:

Official Website
Facebook 
Twitter
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Monday, May 26, 2014

GHOST OF GOODNIGHT LANE -- DVD review by porfle



These days, when you see that a movie has Billy Zane in it, you never know if he's going to actually apply himself or just wander through it until somebody hands him a check.  Maybe it says something for his latest flick, the Dallas-based spookfest GHOST OF GOODNIGHT LANE (2014), that he seems to muster up what comes as close to a performance as you're likely to see from him in something not on the same sea level as, say, TITANIC.

Here, Billy not only displays his best deadpan sense of humor but even wears funny hats as Alan, the crotchety head honcho of a no-budget production facility that churns out crappy movies.  Next to the larger building which houses his soundstage, there's a little old house which is used for editing and other post-production work.  A little old house that's--as Alan and his crew will discover--is haunted.

No time is lost setting things up.  Familiar actor Richard Tyson, who played the bully in THREE O'CLOCK HIGH and also shows up in such films as BLACK HAWK DOWN and BLACK WATERS OF ECHO POND, is the first to die when he's left alone in the house one night to finish editing a sequence and runs afoul of what appears to be a freaky-looking young female ghost who seems very agitated and very angry.  I watched this part right before going to bed, and yes, it did give me the creeps.


After the messy business of  his demise is dealt with (the police rule it an accident) Alan and the rest apply themselves to finishing their latest piece of crap as ominous storm clouds gather around the studio.  We meet his makeup girl Dani (the eternally cute Lacey Chabert), music and sound guy Amin (Lynn Andrews III), fill-in editor/janitor/Dani's boyfriend Ben (Matt Dallas, BEAUTY & THE BRIEFCASE), and the resident needs-a-shower loser Johnny (Adam Whittington), who runs the camera while lusting after actresses such as the plastic-enhanced blonde bimbo Laurel (Christine Bently Quinn).

Creepy-quirky little ghostly pranks occur all morning as you-know-who displays her mischievous side,  while Alan tries to shrug it all off in order to keep everyone from running out on him.  This is made more difficult when Thelma (Allyn Carrell), a weird old lady who claims to have once lived in the little house, suddenly shows up and reveals the whole story of who the ghost is, why she's there, and what she plans to do.  And it ain't pretty.

The movie continues in this vein until finally genre superstar Danielle Harris (HALLOWEEN series, CYRUS, BLACK WATERS OF ECHO POND, CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST 2, THE VICTIM) as Chloe shows up with fellow thespians Micah (the also-cute Brina Palencia) and musclebound himbo Nico (the not-so-cute John Franklin) to get the ball rolling on what turns out to be the funniest part of the film, the big funky dance scene.  We get to see Alan the director at work here as he urges his performers to be ever more sexy and then foists product placement items upon them in the form of Uzis and "Muscle Milk" health drinks.  ("Muscle Milk" is actually mentioned in the closing credits, making it a genuine product placement item.)


With all this out of the way,  it's finally time for GHOST OF GOODNIGHT LANE to stop farting around and start bringing on the scary, which it does in a big way when the ectoplasm finally hits the fan around the midway point.  Despite all the tongue-in-cheek humor (which continues to amuse even after things get really serious) the story takes a deadly turn involving some pretty effective scares along with wince-inducing violence (one actress is confronted by the decaying, gibbering ghost and is made to slice herself to ribbons with pieces of a broken mirror) and just-plain "WTF?" moments such as one character suddenly flying around the room in fast motion and banging into walls until he's finally sucked through a trapdoor in the floor. 

Director and co-writer Alin Bijan (BELLS OF INNOCENCE) fills the movie with so many shocks both big and small that some of them can't help but score while others fall flat.  (In addition to which, this gang of idiots seems to specialize in sneaking up on each other and going "Boo!")  The ghost, whom we'll come to know as "Carly" (Sophia Arias), is a direct descendant of the stringy-haired young dead girls dressed in rags from such films as THE RING who appear several yards away at first and then instantly jut into screaming close-up, while moving around in jittery, jerkily-edited fast-motion.  One such instance caught on camera made me laugh out loud when budget-conscious Alan remarks, "Was that CGI?  I did NOT approve that."


Before it's all over, we get more cringeworthy instances of self-mutilation (one involving a spinning fan blade), some strange supernatural anomalies, spooky bedroom and bathroom-type scenes with dolls and mirrors, a possession-enhanced catfight (Lacey Chabert punching out Danielle Harris goes on my mental keeper reel), and a bad-CGI-slathered finale.

The DVD from Inception Media Group is in 16x9 widescreen with 5.1 surround sound with English subtitles and closed-captions.  A trailer is the sole extra. (Don't miss the final scene which appears after the end credits have already started rolling.)

At least we get a different set of stereotypes here besides the usual jocks, nerds, and camp counsellors (although there's no shortage of bimbos and horndogs), and the whole thing just kind of ambles along in an agreeable way until some quite watchable mayhem perks up the second half.  And with Billy Zane seemingly enjoying his time spent filming GHOST OF GOODNIGHT LANE, we get to see him actually invest part of his talent into his performance while remaining his casual, Zane-y self.

Buy it at Amazon.com



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Sunday, May 25, 2014

MURPH: THE PROTECTOR -- DVD review by porfle



The importance of a life can be gauged by how deeply it affected others, and continues to do so.  We aren't even five minutes into the instantly-engaging documentary MURPH: THE PROTECTOR (2013) and we already get the impression of a life well lived. 

This glowing cinematic tribute by Navy veteran Scott Mactavish, who also recently gave us RIDE FOR LANCE, is like a positive charge for anyone whose spiritual batteries are drained from hearing about nothing but the negative aspects of life. 

The memory of Lt. Michael P. Murphy is in no danger of fading away--not with such a wealth of family and friends who continue to hold him in such high esteem.  Many of them are on hand here, including his proud parents, Maureen and Daniel, and people who either grew up with Michael or encountered him as fellow schoolmates, lifeguards, or soldiers.


We get to know him pretty well.  Mike was the small but scrappy, studious but athletic kid who would not only dive into a mud puddle for the football or get skinned knees playing hockey, but would give up his room when orphaned cousins came to live with them. 

Endearing testimonials tell of Mike's overriding concern for others, especially weaker people being abused and taken advantage of by stronger ones.  Stories such as his defense of a class nerd being humiliated by bullies have me silently cheering for him, as does a later incident in which, as a Navy SEAL, he will sacrifice his life during a hopeless firefight in Afghanistan in order to try and save the men serving with him.

The presentation is tastefully done, and tugs lightly at the heartstrings without lapsing into maudlin sentiment.  Artistically designed photo montages along with old film and video footage are very well integrated with the interview segments to bring "Murph", as he liked to be called, to life for us. 


Mactavish keeps things pleasingly low-key and doesn't go overboard in trying to make Murphy into a saint--although merely relating the facts as they happened would seem to go a long way in doing so.  With both a battleship and a scholarship named after him, he's a guy whose memory can't help but inspire and enlighten.

Perhaps the most striking thing about the interview segments is how happy the mood is--these are joyful memories and recollections, some simple, others deeply emotional, that people relish sharing and that still make their eyes light up.

Even his parents' recollections are mostly told with a smile, and they beam while rummaging through old, cherished memories of their son.  Good spirits prevail because these memories are so uplifting, which is infectious for the viewer as well.  It isn't until Michael's final mission as a Navy SEAL is recalled that the mood darkens considerably.


Making us realize how much Michael meant to others, and how much a vital part of their lives he had become over the years, emphasizes the enormity of his loss.  Thus,  when late in the film the smiles turn to sadness and voices begin to crack as people hold back the tears, the film's subtle emotional impact reaches its peak.  Mactavish, to his credit, allows this to happen naturally without having to pound the point home.

The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with stereo sound.  Subtitles are in English and Spanish.  No extras.

While these days scandalous behavior so often gets the most attention, it's a nice change to hear the story of a life such as this.  Every battery needs a positive charge, and MURPH: THE PROTECTOR has the power to generate it.

Buy it at Amazon.com


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Saturday, May 24, 2014

RIDE FOR LANCE -- DVD review by porfle



Heartfelt but dull, the 2013 documentary RIDE FOR LANCE proves that the best intentions don't always make for the best viewing.

The "Lance" of the title is Chief Petty Officer Lance Michael Vaccaro, a young Navy SEAL who was killed in a skydiving training accident on March 6th, 2008.  Up till then,  he and his friend and fellow SEAL Jim Graham had often discussed making a motorcycle tour of the USA not unlike the expedition undertaken in the television mini-series "Long  Way Round" (the sequel of which we reviewed here.) 

It was just the sort of adventure,  we come to learn through numerous anecdotes from friends and family (in addition to a wealth of old video footage and photographs), which the fun-loving Vaccaro would've thrived upon. 


As our  current story opens, Graham and mutual friend Scott Letellier have decided to carry on by making the ride themselves in Lance's honor.  The jaunt quickly blossoms into a high-profile event with TV news coverage and various sponsors donating bikes and other goods. 

By the time Jim, Scott, and their ever-increasing entourage (including Lance's mom, Christine Vaccaro) embark on the 12,000-mile journey along with the rest of their caravan, there are patriotic fans and well-wishers waiting to greet them from every street corner and overpass from Virginia to Alaska. 

The video camera follows this group from town to town and documents their initial surprise at such a warm reception from a wide range of Americans.  We see them getting VIP escorts by local motorcycle cops plus free gasoline, food, and lodging at several stops.  Along with these, of course, come the inevitable bad weather, mishaps, and mechanical difficulties that accompany any trip of this nature.



The downside to all of this--as far as the viewer is concerned--is that it's all presented in a no-frills, home-video-level style and composed of a seemingly endless series of bland travelogue shots, talking head segments, and occasionally puzzling digressions.  (At one point, Scott offers us a lengthy close-up of his injured foot.) 

There are only so many scenes we need to see of people sitting around motel rooms toasting or singing odes to Lance, or relating some anecdote of the day's events while a nearby engine sound drowns out their words.  Such material is often awkwardly blended with the travel footage, and seldom does it all build up any momentum toward a meaningful conclusion. Worst of all, things are occasionally allowed to become overly sentimental and even maudlin.



The DVD from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with stereo sound.  No subtitles or extras.  For each DVD purchased, Anchor Bay Entertainment will make a donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Navy veteran Scott Mactavish ("Murph: The Protector") is to be commended for producing, writing, and directing this emotional tribute to a fallen American hero.  It's definitely well-intentioned, and I'm glad I watched it.  But this only makes me regret it more having to report that, as a documentary, RIDE FOR LANCE fails to be as interesting or moving as one would hope.

Official site
Street date: May 27


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HIDE AND SEEK -- DVD review by porfle



There are some pretty hair-raising Asian horror movies that rely on the supernatural, along with a hefty amount of nerve-jangling jump scares, to chill the blood.  Korean writer-director Jung Huh's HIDE AND SEEK (2013), on the other hand, is a reality-based suspense thriller that literally strikes close to home.

Seong-soo (Hyeon-ju Son) is an obsessive-compulsive upper-class business owner with a lovely wife, Min-ji (Mi-seon Jeon) and two darling (ehh) children who live in one of those antiseptic, high-security apartment buildings.  Some of the film's most unsettling early scenes are those in which this hand-washing neat freak is exposed to germs.  And when we see this happy family playing a carefree game of hide-and-seek in an early scene, we know they're really in for it.

When he discovers that his estranged stepbrother Sung-chul has been reported missing, Seong-soo goes to the soon-to-be-demolished slum where he's been living to investigate.  Since we saw one of the tenants brutally murdered in her apartment in the way-disturbing opening sequence, we know something really bad is going on there. 


Seong-soo has his own suspicions when he notices that the doorbells in the building are crudely inscribed with mysterious symbols.  Back at his nice, well-protected apartment building, he finds the same symbols showing up there as well.  It appears, then, that not only might the killer be his stepbrother looking for revenge for a past wrong, but that he may have followed Seong-soo home.

But we're never really sure, and that's one of the fun things about HIDE AND SEEK.  The killer appears to be a Jason/Michael Myers clone with his dark outfit, face-obscuring motorcycle helmet, and silent but deadly demeanor.  But he's realistic enough to give us the old "this could really happen" feeling, especially when he tries to force his way into the apartment as Min-ji stands between him and her children. 

Seong-soo, meanwhile, has some downright scary experiences of his own back at Sung-chul's place, some of which involve grievous bodily harm and discovery of a dead body or two.  And when his own behavior starts to go off the rails as a result of it all,  we begin to doubt his sanity as well as that of his mysterious stepbrother.


Despite some early nods (mostly during dream sequences), the story doesn't aspire to the fear level of a supernatural Asian horror film with jack-in-the-box ghosts and other sudden scares, depending as much on getting our adrenaline going as chilling the blood. 

This is especially true of a fight scene about midway in the film in which Seong-soo has a tooth-and-nail encounter with a helmeted figure who may be Sung-chul.  The violence isn't extremely gory but it may have you wincing in sympathetic pain a few times as people get stabbed and beaten with blunt instruments. 

Early on there are mild hints of Argento and Hitchcock, with a bit of a CACHE' vibe creeping in due  to some story elements.  Jung Huh has a clean, economical directing style that moves it all along briskly while relentlessly building tension.  (A plot twist late in the film may have you doing a mental doubletake unless you're one of those "I saw it coming" types.)

Even when things get more chaotic the director keeps it all effectively restrained and well-controlled for the most part, stretching our nerves like piano wires--until finally allowing the ending sequence to go on too long.  Here,  one climax too many robs the film of its effectiveness in the final minutes, although--for me--this didn't prevent it from being a worthwhile experience.


Performances are good, notably Hyeon-ju Son as the deceptively placid-looking Seong-soo and Jung-Hee Moon as Joo-hee, a furtive neighbor of Sung-chul who may hold the key to his disappearance.  Even the smallest children in the cast, called upon to portray either screaming terror or abnormal behavior, are well up to the task.

The DVD from RAM Releasing is widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound.  Korean soundtrack with English subtitles and closed captioning.  Extras consist of a behind-the-scenes featurette (about half an hour long) and trailers for this and other films from RAM.

Tense, unsettling, and at times achingly suspenseful, HIDE AND SEEK has a decadently dark appeal much like a modern-day Hitchcock horror with both an Asian flavor and a dash of giallo.  It's only in the closing minutes that we start wishing it would hurry up and end already. 

Buy it at Amazon.com



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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

"Ride for Lance" From Anchor Bay Entertainment on DVD May 27th, the Day After Memorial Day



Memorial Day -- Not Just A Day Off!

Memorial Day. We often take for granted that it’s a Monday off but what is the real history behind this holiday?  The practice of decorating warriors’ graves with flowers defies sentimentality and obligation; it is a tradition to remember and honor those brave fighters. 

Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day, grew out of the destruction of the American Civil war, when people wanted to memorialize the sacrifices their loved ones had made.

Memorial Day came from that reflective time, when it seemed that all the gardens in the world had no more flowers to give.  By the 20th century there was not just a Civil War to consider, but many wars – and a day was needed to honor all Americans who had died while in military service.

On May 27th, the day following Memorial Day, Anchor Bay Entertainment will release Mactavish Pictures’ Ride for Lance.  From Producer and Navy veteran Scott Mactavish, Ride for Lance is a moving tribute to Chief Petty Officer Lance Vaccaro. 

A decorated Navy SEAL, Vaccaro gave his life for his country in 2008.  Two years later, to honor a fallen hero and their brother, four riders launched a Memorial Ride that covered the United States.  12,000 miles in 31 days. 

Ride for Lance follows this emotional journey and will be available on iTunes and DVD May 27, 2014.  In honor of Chief Petty Officer Lance Vaccaro, Anchor Bay Entertainment will make a donation to the Navy SEAL Foundation.

Mactavish, who last year produced the critically-acclaimed and recently released documentary Murph: The Protector has created a powerful film of inspiration and honesty.  Touching upon the thoughts of those united in grief and pride, it embraces the thrill of the open road as the riders meet thousands of Americans on their crossing.

Along with Murph: The Protector, Ride for Lance reveals the powerful emotions that define Memorial Day.  It is a stirring document of friends and family; of courage and patriotism, of memories to be treasured…and of a man that will never be forgotten.

Official site
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"Adjust Your Tracking"--Acclaimed VHS Documentary Coming to DVD June 17th



Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector

Special Edition 2 Disc DVD Set Available June 17th


Los Angeles, CA - VHSh*tfest, in conjunction with Horror Boobs and Lunchmeat, are excited to announce the June 17th Special Edition DVD release of Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector.  The acclaimed documentary from co-directors Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic dispels the myth that the original home video format is dead and buried and has received audience and critical praise around the world since its premiere at Days of the Dead in Los Angeles. 

Fangoria hailed the film as a "fascinating look into a burgeoning underground scene of cinephiles" while Pittsburgh City Paper called it "loads of fun for fans of VHS, not-quite-dead formats and films about hard-core collectors."

Some see VHS as worthless plastic, but Adjust Your Tracking shows a vibrant world of collectors and movie fans who are keeping the format, and the movies, alive.   Over 100 collectors, filmmakers, producers, and video store owners express how VHS changed their lives.  Travel back to the days of video rental stores with those who still buy, sell, rent and trade the format that will not die - VHS.

The Special Edition 2 Disc DVD release of Adjust Your Tracking (SRP $19.95) will include hours of bonus features: a feature length commentary with co-directors Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic, a feature length commentary with producers Josh Schafer and Matt Desiderio, extended interviews with industry veterans including Lloyd Kaufman, a behind the scenes documentary, three short films by the directors, deleted scenes, festival Q&A footage, trailers and Easter eggs for eagle-eyed fans.

Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector (Official Trailer)

For the collectors, Kinem and Peretic have released a DVD/VHS combo pack available exclusively on www.adjustyourtracking.com.     



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Monday, May 19, 2014

"HALLOWEEN THE COMPLETE COLLECTION" Blu-ray sets from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory -- Coming September 23rd!



THE ONE THAT STARTED IT ALL…
Michael is Coming Home September 23rd

ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT AND SCREAM FACTORY™,
IN AN UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP,
PROUDLY UNVEIL

HALLOWEEN THE COMPLETE COLLECTION

BLU-RAY™ BOX SETS

Limited Edition 15-Disc Deluxe and 10-Disc Edition Brings Together ALL The Halloween Feature Films In One Massive Set For the First Time EVER; All-New Bonus Features, Collectible Packaging, and 40-Page Book Make This
THE Blu-ray™ Box Set Event of 2014!

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Last year, the horror classic Halloween celebrated 35 years of terror for those willing to partake in its vision of unrelenting horror. But that was only the beginning of the celebration. What producers Moustapha Akkad, Debra Hill and Irwin Yablans, writer/director John Carpenter and stars Jamie Lee Curtis & Donald Pleasence started in 1978 has transformed into one of the most durable, iconic – and copiously studied -- horror film franchises ever created.

Before Jason, before Freddy, and before Jigsaw, there was…Michael.  Over the years, audiences have lived and relived the terrors of Michael Myers through ten feature films, as well as various re-edits and alternate versions. Yet to date, the complete saga of Michael Myers could only be told in pieces, in individual DVD and Blu-ray™ releases, with the rights spread across multiple home entertainment studios.

Until now…

Through the unprecedented collaboration of rival home entertainment companies Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory – the leading purveyors in horror home entertainment –Halloween The Complete Collection Blu-ray™ box sets arrive September 23rd.

For the legions of Halloween fans, the Deluxe Edition boasts 15 discs and contains all the Halloween feature films – Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Halloween H20, Halloween: Resurrection, Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.

The set includes the NEVER BEFORE RELEASED producers cut of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers as well as the ultra-rare network TV version of the original Halloween, the network TV version of Halloween II,  plus the unrated versions of Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween II.  It is packed with hours of BRAND NEW bonus features including new interviews with cast and crew from the entire franchise!  In response to years of fan feedback, the first Halloween will now also include the original mono audio track and the set will include both versions of the original Halloween-the original Blu-ray™ release and the recently remastered 35th Anniversary version with the mono track added back in!

It also comes with a limited edition 40-page book written by Michael Gingold of Fangoria Magazine.  The collectible packaging will include a newly commissioned illustration on the outer case and each film will be in its own black Blu-ray™ case with the original theatrical one sheet as the key art. This deluxe set carries an SRP of $169.99.

“This compilation is the ultimate collector's item for fans of the Halloween films and a testament to all the wonderful talent that have worked on them,” remarked Malek Akkad, President of Trancas International Films and son of series producer Moustapha Akkad.  “The partnership between Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory to present fans for the first time with all the Halloween films in one definitive package is a tribute to everyone – including my father – who made these films the terrifying classics they are today.”

The 10-disc Edition includes the original theatrical versions of the Halloween films and will include select bonus features.  SRP is $129.99.

Both sets pre-book August 27 and will be distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment with bonus features developed and created by Scream Factory and Anchor Bay.

Artwork and bonus features to be announced in the next couple of months.


Halloween The Complete Collection Blu-ray™ box sets contain the following classics:

Halloween (1978)

Director: John Carpenter

The original indie blockbuster that launched a thousand cuts…Halloween stars Jamie Lee Curtis (A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies) in her debut role. Anyone who’s ever watched a horror film in the last 35 years knows the story of Michael Myers, who as a child, butchered his sister with a kitchen knife. Committed to a mental institution and watched over by Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasance, Halloween II, IV & V, Fantastic Voyage), he engineers his escape 15 years later, returning to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween night to terrorize anyone who gets in his way, including babysitter Laurie Strode (Curtis). Co-starring P.J. Soles (Carrie, Stripes, Rock ‘n Roll High School), Kyle Richards (The Watcher in the Woods, Eaten Alive), Nancy Loomis (Carpenter’s Assault On Precinct 13, The Fog), Charles Cyphers (Escape From New York, The Fog) and Brian Andrews (The Great Santini, Three O’Clock High), Halloween also cemented the careers of many behind the camera including Carpenter, Cundey, producer Debra Hill and film editor/production designer Tommy Lee Wallace (Halloween III: Season of the Witch, “It”).

Halloween II (1981)

Director: Rick Rosenthal

Picking up exactly where the first film left off, Halloween II follows the same ill-fated characters as they once again encounter the knife-wielding maniac they thought they had left for dead. It seems the inhuman Michael Myers is still very much alive and out for more revenge as he stalks the deserted halls of the Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. As he gets closer to his main target, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) discovers the chilling mystery behind the crazed psychopath’s actions. Written by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Halloween II is a spine-tingling dark ride into the scariest night of the year.
Exclusively on the Deluxe Set: Halloween II (1981) Network Television Version
Airing on network TV since the early 80’s, the TV cut features several new scenes and additional cut scenes as well as an alternate ending from the theatrical version.           

Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

When a terrified toy salesman is mysteriously attacked and brought to the hospital, babbling and clutching the year’s most popular Halloween costume — an eerie pumpkin mask — Dr. Daniel Challis (Tom Atkins, The Fog, Night Of The Creeps) is thrust into a terrifying Halloween nightmare. Working with the salesman’s daughter, Ellie (Stacey Nelkin), Daniel traces the mask to the Silver Shamrock Novelties company and its founder, Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy, RoboCop). Ellie and Daniel uncover Cochran’s shocking Halloween plan and must stop him before trick-or-treaters across the country are kept from ever coming home in this terrifying thriller from writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace (Stephen King’s It).

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

Director: Dwight H. Little

A decade ago, he butchered 16 people trying to get to his sister. He was shot and incinerated, but still the entity that Dr. Sam Loomis (the legendary Donald Pleasence) calls “Evil on two legs” would not die. Tonight, Michael Myers has come home again…to kill! This time, Michael returns to Haddonfield for Jamie Lloyd (Scream Queen Danielle Harris of Halloween 5 and Hatchett II and III) – the orphaned daughter of Laurie Strode – and her babysitter Rachel (Ellie Cornell of Halloween 5 and House of the Dead). Can Loomis stop Michael before the unholy slaughter reaches his innocent young niece? Michael Pataki, Sasha Jenson and Kathleen Kinmont co-star in this smash sequel that marked the long-awaited return to the original storyline and remains infamous for its startling twist ending and graphic violence.

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

Director: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Because Hell would not have him, Michael Myers survived the mine explosion thought to have killed him. One year later, his traumatized young niece Jamie (Danielle Harris of Halloween 4) is horrified to discover she has a telepathic bond with her evil Uncle…and that Uncle Michael is on his way back to Haddonfield. But Dr. Loomis (the late, great Donald Pleasence) has a new plan to destroy The Boogey Man in his childhood home using Jamie as bait. Tonight, the carnage begins again: Michael Myers is back with a vengeance! Ellie Cornell and Beau Starr return for this hit sequel that features grisly gore by Greg Nicotero (“The Walking Dead”).

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

Director: Joe Chappelle

In a single horrifying night, Michael Myers' masked reign of terror changed Halloween forever! Now, six years after he was presumed dead in a fire, Myers has returned to kill again - and this time there's no escape! As the homicidal fury builds to a spine-tingling climax, the long-hidden secrets of the screen's most maniacal murderer are revealed...with shocking results! Starring a thrilling cast including legendary Donald Pleasence (Halloween) and Paul Rudd (Anchorman).
Exclusively on the Deluxe Set Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995) Producer’s Cut
The so-called “Producer’s Cut of Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (aka Halloween 666), was a workprint of the original film.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Director: Steve Miner

This smart and suspenseful thriller scares up a bone-chilling good time with original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis (True Lies, Halloween I & II) and a hot cast of hip young stars! Now the headmistress of a private school, Laurie Strode (Curtis) is still struggling with the horrifying, 20-year-old memories of the maniacal killer Michael Myers...when he suddenly reappears with a vengeance! And this Halloween, his terror will strike a whole new generation! Laurie's rebellious son (Josh Hartnett - The Faculty, 30 Days of Night), his girlfriend (Golden Globe Winner Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn), and the school security guard (LL Cool J - CBS’s “NCIS Los Angeles” will become Michael's newest victims unless Laurie can conquer her greatest fears and put evil in its place once and for all! The time has come again for you to experience the frightening fun of Halloween - the motion picture series that totally redefined terror.

Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

Director: Rick Rosenthal

Original Halloween I & II alums star Jamie Lee Curtis (You Again) and director Rick Rosenthal are back and joined by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks in the terrifying Halloween: Resurrection, another installment in the electrifying horror film series.  The reality programmers at DangerTainment (Rhymes, Banks) have selected Rudy (Sean Patrick Thomas, The Fountain), Bill (Thomas Ian Nicholas, American Pie), Jen (“Battlestar Galactica’s” Katee Sackhoff) and a group of thrill-seeking teenagers to spend one fun-filled night in the childhood home of serial killer Michael Meyers. But the planned live broadcast turns deadly when their evening of excitement becomes a night of horror as Michael himself decides to crash the party.

Halloween (2007)

Director: Rob Zombie

What happens when one legendary horror filmmaker tackles a horror film icon? A new chapter in the legend is born! Rob Zombie (Lords of Salem, The Devil's Rejects) reinvents the ultimate slasher classic, unleashing Michael Myers for a bloody rollercoaster of a rampage like fans have never seen. Including a retelling of the original story that unfolds at a breakneck pace, as well as a chilling new introduction that finally reveals the secrets behind Myers' disturbing childhood, Halloween breathes new life into one of film history's most terrifying tales. Presenting both the original theatrical version and the unrated feature with director's commentary, thrilling bonus features including deleted scenes and an alternate ending, and an exhaustive 4 1/2 hour documentary giving a behind the scenes look at how Zombie created "the scariest Halloween to date" (Debbie Rochon, Fangoria Radio).

Halloween 2 (2009)

Director: Rob Zombie

Rob Zombie's H2 (Halloween) picks up at the exact moment that 2007's box-office smash, Halloween stopped and follows the aftermath of Michael Myers's (Tyler Mane) murderous rampage through the eyes of heroine Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor Compton). Evil has a new destiny. Michael Myers is back in this terrifying sequel to Rob Zombie's visionary re-imagining of Halloween which grossed almost $80 million worldwide. It is that time of year again, and Michael Myers has returned home to sleepy Haddonfield, Illinois to take care of some unfinished family business. Unleashing a trail of terror that only horror master Zombie can, Myers will stop at nothing to bring closure to the secrets of his twisted past. But the town's got an unlikely new hero, if they can only stay alive long enough to stop the unstoppable.

About Trancas International Films
Trancas International Films is a motion picture production and distribution company based primarily in Los Angeles, California, but operating worldwide.  In addition to numerous other films in its library, Trancas, along with its subsidiary, Compass International Pictures, has been involved with each film in the Halloween franchise.  Trancas most recently completed production on the motion picture Free Fall starring D.B. Sweeney, Sarah Butler and Halloween Alum Malcolm McDowell, and which is set to be distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading home entertainment company.  Anchor Bay acquires and distributes feature films, original television programming including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, anime (Manga Entertainment), fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports, and other filmed entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray™ formats.  The company has long term distribution agreements in place for select programming with AMC Networks, RADiUS, and The Weinstein Company. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy, MI, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Anchor Bay Entertainment (www.anchorbayentertainment.com) is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.

About Scream Factory and Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras.  Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit shoutfactory.com

Halloween The Complete Collection Deluxe Edition Blu-ray™ Box Set
Number of discs: 15
Genre:             Horror
Rating:            R (all features)
Languages:      English
Format:            Various
Audio:             Various
Year:               Various
SRP:                $169.99
Street Date:     September 23, 2014
Pre-Book:        August 27, 2014
Length:            1,075 minutes
Subtitles:         Various
UPC:               01313262325280
Cat#:               BD62325

Halloween The Complete Collection Blu-ray™ Box Set
Number of discs: 10
Genre:             Horror
Rating:            R (all features)
Languages:      English
Format:            Various
Audio:             Various
Year:               Various
SRP:                $129.99
Street Date:     September 23, 2014
Pre-Book:        August 27, 2014
Length:            1,075 minutes
Subtitles:         Various
UPC:               01313262326980
Cat#:               BD62326

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Inception Media Group Announces June Titles -- "Ghost of Goodnight Lane" and "Vendetta"




Inception Media Group Proudly Presents
Ghost of Goodnight Lane

The Roots of Evil Run Deep

Homage to Horror’s Greatest Kills On DVD & VOD June 10th


LOS ANGELES — June 1, 2014 — For Immediate Release — The line between real-and reel-life blurs when a resentful ghost takes over a film production office in Ghost of Goodnight Lane, haunting DVD  and VOD June 10 from Inception Media Group.

In a newly renovated film studio, the cast and crew of a horror flick become victims of their own bloody story when a co-worker is found dead. The director and his beautiful actresses begin to piece together a 40-year-old puzzle, leading them to believe the house-turned-studio is haunted.

As the vengeful ghost – who seems to be re-enacting the scariest moments in the history of motion pictures – protects her home, they are killed off one by one. The key to any survivor’s freedom is held by a mysterious, old woman who reveals a murder mystery with a shocking and sinister twist … But will they ever get out alive?

Starring Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls, Lost in Space), Billy Zane (Titanic, The Phantom, Back to the Future I & II), Matt Dallas (Babysitter Wanted, Kyle XY) and Richard Tyson (Black Hawk Down, There’s Something About Mary, Kingpin, Kindergarten Cop).

Ghost of Goodnight Lane is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (2.35:1) and 5.1 digital surround sound. 

Ghost of Goodnight Lane
Inception Media Group
Genre:  Horror/Thriller
Not Rated
Format:  DVD & VOD
Running Time:  Approx. 96 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price:  $26.98
Pre-Order Date:  May 6, 2014
Street Date:  June 10, 2014
Catalog #:  IMG1304DVD
UPC Code:  #815300012321

-----------------------------------------

Inception Media Group Proudly Presents
Vendetta

Judge. Jury. Executioner.

Vigilante Thriller Starring Danny Dyer Hits DVD & VOD June 10th

Awesome … Dyer is back to his best.”
GQ


LOS ANGELES — June 1, 2014 — For Immediate Release — He’ll stop at nothing to get revenge in Vendetta, coming to DVD and VOD June 10 from Inception Media Group.

When dishonorably discharged, former special ops interrogation officer Jimmy Vickers (Danny Dyer, Doghouse, The Business, The Football Factory, Human Traffic) learns his parents have been mercilessly slaughtered after an attempted robbery gone horribly wrong, he sets out to exact revenge on his parents’ killers. Using his military training, he tracks down the gang responsible and administers his own chillingly brutal justice.

Now, Vickers must stay two steps ahead of the police who are closing in on the case. With his old, military unit also on his trail, he must evade capture long enough to complete his gruesome crusade.

Also starring Roxanne McKee (The Legend of Hercules, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines, The Expelled), Vincent Regan (Lockout, Snow White and the Huntsman, 300), Bruce Payne (Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God, Dungeons & Dragons) Simona Roman (Gallowwalkers, Theft by Deception), Ricci Harnett (Rise of the Footsoldier, Flick, 28 Days Later) and Josef Altin (Game of Thrones).

Vendetta is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16 x 9 (2.40:1) and 5.1 digital surround sound.  Special features include deleted scenes and commentary by director Stephen Reynolds and star Danny Dyer.

About Inception Media Group
Inception Media Group, LLC is based in Los Angeles and is a diversified media company specializing in the production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures and other filmed entertainment across all media platforms and channels of distribution. Inception Media Group's management team has extensive relationships with exhibitors, retailers, distributors and technology companies, enabling the Company to maximize the services performed on behalf of its content partners. The company boasts a catalog of approximately 100 filmed entertainment properties and over 2,500 hours of digital content encompassing feature films, episodic television series, documentaries and special interest programming. More information is available at http://www.inceptionmediagroup.com

Vendetta
Inception Media Group
Genre:  Action/Thriller
Not Rated
Format:  DVD & VOD
Running Time:  Approx. 106 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price:  $26.98
Pre-Order Date:  May 6, 2014
Street Date:  June 10, 2014
Catalog #:  IMG1301DVD
UPC Code:  #815300012307

Buy "Ghost of Goodnight Lane" at Amazon.com
Buy Vendetta at Amazon.com
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

THE WOMEN -- Blu-ray review by porfle



No doubt one of the big "event" movies of 1939 was THE WOMEN, director George Cukor's raucous and rocket-paced comedy-drama which boasts a cast of over 130 actresses with not a man in sight. 

The trailer tells us that even with an all-female cast, the movie is all about men.  But it's told from the women's point of view, and boy do we ever get to hear all about that in this wisecrack-packed script co-written by Anita Loos from the hit Clare Boothe Luce play. (An uncredited F. Scott Fitzgerald also contributed.)

It hits the ground running with the opening sequence, which takes place in a beauty parlor that's almost as elaborate as the one in the Emerald City of Oz (another MGM creation from '39), but filled with women of leisure abuzz with catty remarks and gossip--the latter eagerly absorbed by blabbermouth Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell), who spreads the rumor that the husband of happily-married Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) is stepping out on her.


What starts out breezy and comical takes a sudden turn for the dramatic when the same gossip that a certain manicurist has been dishing out to all her customers finds its way to Mary Haines herself.  We can't imagine the radiant Mary being cheated on (especially with the radiant Shearer playing her) until we get a load of the other woman--none other than a ravishing Joan Crawford at her aggressive, overbearing best.  (The scene with her phoning a secret lover in the bubble bath while puffing on a cigarette is classic stuff, and the razor-sharp Crawford is superb.)

The snappy dialogue flies by fast and furious when these women get together in groups, with allegiances and loyalties switching according to who's cheating on who's husband.  Some of it goes by at such a breakneck pace, in fact, that you may have to listen to it more  than once just to get what's going on. 

At times, all that non-stop gabbiness gets to be a bit much--this is one movie that comes close to talking your ear off, especially when the incredibly energetic Roz Russell is gossiping it up with one of her pals and it sounds like a tape recorder speeding up out of control.  (Russell also supplies much physical comedy as in her frantic workout scene.)



Still, most of it is witty, giddy, and sharp as a cat's claws, aided by some fine performances with a wonderful succession of great female stars of the era.  Headed by Shearer, Russell, and Crawford, the cast also includes a cute young Joan Fontaine, Virginia Grey,  Ruth Hussey,  Marjorie "Ma Kettle" Main (as the proprietor of a Reno dude ranch for newly-divorced women where several of the characters including Mary end up), Butterfly McQueen, and a breathtakingly beautiful Paulette Goddard. 

The opening titles start the film on a wickedly comical note by comparing the main characters to various animals--a fawn, a jungle cat (today she'd be a cougar), a hissing house cat, a fox, a monkey, a lamb...even a cud-chewing cow.  Child actress Virginia Weidler is appealing as Mary's daughter Little Mary, and we hate to think of how she'll take her parents' divorce.  Her scenes with Shearer are just about the only truly heartfelt moments in the film. 

THE WOMEN is exquisitely photographed in black-and-white with a Technicolor fashion-show sequence featuring some wonderfully leggy models showing off an array of dazzling outfits.  The musical score by Edward Ward and David Snell is consistently good.  At 133 minutes, things get a tad draggy in the middle but perk back up when opposing sides really start to clash and Mary decides not to take the theft of her husband lying down.  And yes, there's a catfight.


The Blu-ray from Warner Home Video is window-boxed (1.77:1) with soundtracks in English and Spanish 1.0.  Subtitles are in English, French, and Spanish.  Extras consist of the featurettes "From the Ends of the Earth" (1939) and "Hollywood: Style Center of the World" (1940)(both of which contain several previews of coming MGM attractions), an alternate black-and-white fashion show sequence with different footage, almost an hour's worth of the isolated musical score, and trailers for both THE WOMEN and its 1956 musical remake, THE OPPOSITE SEX. 

When all the husband-snatching, hair-pulling, heart-rending, and other hysteria have finally propelled THE WOMEN to its claws-out conclusion, you may find yourself sitting back and taking a deep breath.  It isn't very deep (save for the scenes with Little Mary) but it's a fast-paced joyride of a film that left me exhilarated. 

Own it on Blu-ray: Check out the official site
Official Facebook
Official You Tube Videos

Get The Women on Blu-ray for the first time May 6th!



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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"HIDE AND SEEK" -- South Korean Box Office Smash Available on DVD June 10



"A heart-stopping jolt! This slick South Korean thriller
cunningly manipulates our primal fears...superbly shot and paced!"
-Variety

"HIDE AND SEEK is Lord of the Korean Thrillers...
a solid and brooding piece of cinema!"
-TwitchFilm.com

May 13, 2014 (NY, NY) – RAM Releasing, the genre shingle under New York-based distributor Film Movement, today announces the DVD release of HIDE AND SEEK, Jung Huh's critically acclaimed thriller and one of the highest-grossing films at the South Korean box office in 2013. Nominated for two Blue Dragon Film Awards, including Best Actress for Jung-hee Moon and Best New Director, HIDE AND SEEK is an electrifying debut by writer/director Jung, resulting in a new kind of South Korean thriller that recalls the work of such acclaimed modern masters as Kim-Ji Woon (I Saw The Devil) and Na Hong-Jim (The Chaser).

Sung-soo (Son Hyun Ju, Secretly Greatly) has everything: a beautiful wife and children, a comfortable home and luxury car, and plenty of money in the bank. When he learns that his estranged brother has gone missing, he visits his apartment in search of answers. Unsettled by the shabby, half-empty apartment complex, he quickly notices strange symbols inscribed under the doorbells and the terrified residents who hurriedly lock their doors at the sight of an outsider.

The disturbing visit follows Sung-soo and his family home, as they soon find themselves stalked by a mysterious masked figure, and the same strange symbols appear under their doorbell. With his own nightmares escalating out of control, Sung-soo must face his most primal fears to reveal the shocking truth behind the intensifying horror.

HIDE AND SEEK comes to DVD on June 10, including a bonus Making Of featurette that takes audiences behind the scenes of this thrilling, impressive new film. In addition, HIDE AND SEEK also begins streaming on Netflix and Amazon Instant on June 10.

HIDE AND SEEK | 2013 | Thriller | Korean w/ English Subtitles | 107 minutes I Unrated

About RAM Releasing:
An ancillary label at FILM MOVEMENT, the North American distributor of award-winning independent films, RAM Releasing is the shot in the arm movies have been waiting for. With an eye for the suspenseful, the action-packed and the noir of the best dark-genre films, RAM Releasing delivers movie experiences in theaters, on DVD and Bluray, and all digital platforms. Established in late 2013 and currently launching a full slate of releases in 2014, RAM Releasing's first films include current and upcoming hits like APP, Hide & Seek and Moebius. To learn more, visit RAMReleasing.com, or follow on Twitter (@RAM_Releasing) and Facebook (/RAMReleasing).

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Friday, May 9, 2014

HOUSE OF DUST -- DVD review by porfle



When a modern horror flick tries to come on like an old-fashioned ghost story instead of just dishing out the same old bloody kill-a-thon, you have to give it some credit for the ol' college try regardless of the results. 

With HOUSE OF DUST (2013), those results are mixed but not altogether badly so.  In a horrific opening flashback worthy of Dr. Herbert West, mental asylum inmates are being creatively lobotomized by demented doctors and their bodies later cremated (some while not quite dead).  Naturally, their ashes end up getting inhaled many years later by college students exploring the abandoned asylum, who will later become possessed by the restless and sometimes angry spirits of the unfortunate inmates.

While this is going on down in the basement crematorium,  Emma (Inbar Lavi     of MTV's "Underemployed"),  a painfully shy new student with a past wracked by severe emotional problems, is wandering around elsewhere within the asylum where she's being stalked by the worst of the ghostly inmates, a cackling, kill-crazy psycho named Levius (John Lee Ames).   After getting chased out of the place by a portly campus cop, the hapless students then wreak havoc in their coed dorm building when the spirits possessing them start to act out in all sorts of unexpected ways.


Leading up to this, we get plenty of painfully dull and vacuous dialogue coming from the mouths of some unlikable characters who are barely there enough to be called stereotypes.  Thank goodness, after the initial scenes in the dorm and during a beer party on the campus lawn, most of the coy teen-romance and "whoa, dude" crap is dispensed with and we begin to tolerate such college mainstays as inveterate slob Dylan (Eddie Hassell), straight-laced teetotaler Kolt (Steven Grayhm), Emma's ditzy roommate Gabby (Holland Roden), and a trio of gossipy bully girls who are mean to poor, disturbed Emma.

Emma, meanwhile, seems to have a mental mainline to all the otherworldly vibes given off by the old asylum next door, and is a bundle of nerves who can barely look at her laptop or dream a dreamy dream without seeing shadows and glimpses of Levius everywhere (accompanied by the usual musical stings). 

Director A.D. Calvo (THE MIDNIGHT GAME) creates a densely ominous atmosphere within the darkened after-hours dorm (some of it not unlike that established by Kubrick in THE SHINING) and packs it with all the ghostly visions and jump scares he can muster.  Some of this can't help being scary, while much of it is simply Calvo trying to goose us at every turn. 


But the ambience of unease is effective, aided by good visuals and the fact that Joe Carrano's moody music and sound design are done by the same person and thus work hand in hand.

The real fun begins when our heroes and heroines start displaying kooky behavior that is totally not within their norm.  Dylan the slob becomes an obsessive neat freak, while social butterfly Gabby starts getting all weepy and suicidal while going on about how much she loves her pet rat.  Mild-mannered Kolt shows the most disturbing change, however, suddenly morphing into a hooch-guzzling sex maniac who may or may not be responsible for the disapperance of one of the bad girls. 

Meanwhile, it's up to the girl with the real emotional problems, our damaged dove Emma, to try and set all of this straight, which leads to a showdown between her and Levius within the dark and terrifying confines of the asylum itself.  As before, what happens is way more "ghost story" spooky than violent, and anyone expecting the usual gory body-count action is going to be severely disappointed.  In fact, when it's all over you may feel as though you've just watched a college-level version of a "Nick at Nite" ghost story. 


Performances are adequate, especially when the cast start having fun acting out their ghostly counterparts' behavior.  Inbar Lavi as Emma is the standout, making us emphathize with her character without having to overdo it.  Technically, the film looks good but not too slick, and there's a bit of an 80s SILENT SCREAM-type vibe to it that I found appealing. 

The asylum is one of those ideal found locations that add immeasurably to a film's production values as in such other fright flicks as CREDO (THE DEVIL'S CURSE) and PRISON OF THE PSYCHOTIC DAMNED.  A factoid during the closing credits tells us that the story was inspired by the discovery in the Oregon State Hospital of the unclaimed ashes of thousands of deceased patients.

The DVD from  Anchor Bay is in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and English and Spanish subtitles.  No extras.

After an attention-getting opening sequence, HOUSE OF DUST settles into yawn-inducing boredom until it slowly makes its way toward being fairly entertaining again.  That is, if a traditional ghost story permeated by an ominous atmosphere--and barely any gore--is enough to give you the shivers. 

Buy it at Amazon.com



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Thursday, May 8, 2014

PIGGY -- DVD review by porfle



Sometimes a movie can have a twist ending that leaves me in a twist myself.  Or maybe I just missed it because I was trying too hard to get it.

Even so, PIGGY (2012) is a pretty good movie, although it wants to be really memorable and doesn't quite make it.  Martin Compston (THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ALICE CREEDA GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS) plays Joe, a nebbishy young loner ("I fancy my own company") whose rowdy, outgoing older brother John (Neil Maskell, KILL LIST) shows up one day after a long absence to become Joe's best pal and intimate confidant once again.  

The solitary Joe begins to come out of his shell, until one night John is set upon by some punks he clashed with earlier in a pub and is murdered.  As Joe and John's grieving fiance' Claire (Louise Dylan, "Emma") feel helpless to do anything about it, a mysterious stranger (Paul Anderson) claiming to be an old friend of John appears.  Calling himself "Piggy", he offers Joe the chance to help him track down and get revenge on John's killers.


First-time feature writer-director Kieron Hawkes gives PIGGY a dreamlike sort of mood (I felt a bit like I was waking up when it was over) with his fluid directing style and editing in which scenes flow smoothly together and often rely on wordless images and sound design to convey the story.  He's not afraid to let his film get slow and thoughtful at times,  with his main character engaged in reflective introspection which he relates to us in voiceover. 

Piggy, of course, is a jarring contrast to all of this with his manic, erratic behavior and bursts of shocking violence which he  carries out with utter nonchalance.  Joe doesn't even try to find out anything about this guy's background--in particular, what turned him into the glib, wiry, street-savvy predator we see before us--and simply goes along with him as a mainly passive participant in hunting down those guilty for his brother's murder.

As each instance turns uglier, Joe's second thoughts about Piggy, and revenge in general, haunt him more and more.  Yet so do his feelings of impotence not  only in the face of his brother's murder but in his inability to take action against both a random mugger and an ex-boyfriend stalking and terrorizing Claire (for whom he's developing strong feelings).  So while he's put off by the violence committed by Piggy, he can't help welcoming the feeling of power that this sort of payback instills in him. 


With Piggy as his mentor, teaching him to read things like "body language and unspoken interaction" along with other valuable life lessons, we feel that eventually Joe will take a more active part during their revenge sessions, which tend to get pretty intense.  Director Hawkes depicts violence with a combination of very graphic visuals and a variety of crunching and squishing sound effects that are almost equally disturbing.  Piggy, unsurprisingly, practices what would most accurately be described as "overkill."

As all of this escalates, the similarities between PIGGY and another well-known film about an ineffectual man being tutored in violence by a charismatic yet borderline psychotic sadist became rather unmistakable (and, it would seem, intentional).  This is so obvious, in fact, that I kept wondering if it were a red herring.  After the reveal,  I was still wondering.  Was I being faked out?  Double faked out?  Or was I to take the most apparent "surprise" ending at face value? 

The DVD from  Inception Media Group is in 16x9 widescreen with 5.1 digital surround sound and subtitles in English.  The sole extra is the film's trailer.

PIGGY is definitely a worthwhile view--Kieron Hawkes has put together an artistically pleasing film with its share of drama, shocking violence, and intrigue, brought to life by a capable cast.  As for the ending, it seems to be open to whichever twist you find most preferable.  I agonized over it during the closing credits, then chose a bit of each and took a nap.

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"OPERATION PETTICOAT" Surfaces on DVD and Blu-ray July 1st From Olive Films



OLIVE FILMS RELEASES
20,000 LAUGHS UNDER THE SEA  

OPERATION PETTICOAT
ON BLU-RAY™ AND DVD JULY 1, 2014

Newly remastered in HD and on Blu-ray™ for the First Time!

Chicago, IL – Olive Films releases one of the funniest films of the ‘50s, Operation Petticoat on Blu-ray™ and DVD July 1st.  Directed by Blake Edwards (Pink Panther, Victor Victoria) and released in 1959, screen legends Cary Grant (Father Goose) and Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot) ship out for laughs and adventure in one of the most hilarious naval comedies to ever hit the high seas.

Enjoy the screwiest of screwball comedies as the crew of the U.S.S. Sea Tiger scavenge for parts and supplies they need to keep their wacked-out submarine afloat! Operation Petticoat was a huge box office success and one of the top grossing films of 1960.

Operation Petticoat begins as Commander Matt Sherman (Grant) has his toughest assignment yet - to put a broken sardine can of a submarine back in action. Enter supply officer Nick Holden (Curtis), a master scavenger who has some very shady plans to get the Sea Tiger purring again.

But after rescuing five stranded beautiful nurses, the grey, battle-scarred sub is suddenly painted a blushingly bold pink – becoming a party-ready hot tub sub for all that come aboard. Leaving Sherman and his men to sink, swim or surrender to the fun!

The two legendary leads are joined by an all-star supporting cast that includes Joan O’Brien, Dina Merrill, Gene Evans, Dick Sargent, Arthur O’Connell, Gavin MacLeod, Madlyn Rhue and Marion Ross. Directed by Edwards, Operation Petticoat was photographed by Russell Harlan (Rio Bravo, Red River) and looks better (and pinker) than ever on this new release.

The classic comedy received a 1959 Academy Award® nomination for Best Writing (Story and Screenplay written directly for the screen) and over 50 years later this wild comedy still packs plenty of laughs into one tiny pink submarine!

About Olive Films
Olive Films was founded in 2003 by Farhad Arshad as a boutique theatrical and distribution label. Currently located in Chicago, Illinois, its catalog boasts over 500 titles cultivated from the libraries of Paramount, Republic, Warner and HBO and includes such Hollywood classics as the Oscar® winners High Noon starring Gary Cooper and John Ford’s The Quiet Man starring John Wayne, the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers starring Kevin McCarthy, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900 starring Robert DeNiro, the John Wayne classics Rio Grande, McLintock! and Sands of Iwo Jima, along with such contemporary classics as Stephen King’s Cujo, the Wachowski’s Bound, The Running Man starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ironweed starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

Operation Petticoat Blu-ray™
Street Date:                 July 2, 2014   
Pre-book:                     May 27, 2014
Cat. #:                         OF800
UPC:                           887090079907
Run Time:                   122 Minutes
Rating:                        Not Rated
SRP:                            $29.95
Format:                        (16x9) 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio:                         Mono

Operation Petticoat DVD
Street Date:                 July 2, 2014   
Pre-book:                     May 27, 2014
Cat. #:                         OF763
UPC:                           887090076302
Run Time:                   122 Minutes
Rating:                        Not Rated
SRP:                            $19.95
Format:                        (16x9) 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Audio:                         Mono

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Blu-Ray
DVD



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