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Saturday, August 29, 2015
LOST AFTER DARK
Cast/Crew Blu-ray signing at
Dark Delicacies Bookstore in Burbank !!!
WHAT: Tubular! Go full retro when the cast and crew from the new 80’s inspired thriller LOST AFTER DARK autograph Blu-rays at Burbank’s favorite gothic retailer Dark Delicacies bookstore.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 1st, 2015, 7:00pm
WHERE: Dark Delicacies Bookstore
3512 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
GUESTS: Director/writer Ian Kessner;
Writer Bo Ransdell;
Producer Eric Gozlan;
Composer Eric Allaman;
Actors Robert Patrick (schedule permitting); David Lipper and Rick Rosenthal (Director, Halloween II and Halloween:Resurrection)
DETAILS: Fans must purchase LOST AFTER DARK Blu-rays and DVDs at Dark Delicacies for signing. One additional item will be signed at celebrities’ discretion.
Spring Ball, 1984. Adrienne (Kendra Leigh Timmins, Midnight Sun, "Wingin' It"), a straight-A student, joins her quarterback crush Sean (Justin Kelly, Maps To The Stars, Big Muddy) and some friends in sneaking out of their high school dance for some unsupervised mayhem. The teens' party plans hit a snag when they run out of gas on a deserted road. They head out on foot and discover a rundown farmhouse where they hope to find help. Instead they find themselves at the mercy of Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe, Sweet Karma), a cannibal killer from an urban legend. After the brutal murder of one of their friends, the group’s quest for help becomes one of survival. Will anyone survive the night? LOST AFTER DARK arrives September 1st on Blu-ray and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment!
Read our review of LOST AFTER DARK
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:10 PM
Friday, August 28, 2015
From the "he was a quiet man" school of kill flicks, the main character of #1 SERIAL KILLER, a.k.a. "Chink" (2013), is fed up as hell and doesn't want to take being regarded as the office creep anymore. But instead of going postal, Eddy (Jason Tobin, THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS: TOKYO DRIFT) aspires to something greater--becoming the best serial killer of all time.
It's a pathetic goal and we know Eddy's too much of a loser to achieve even this, but once he gets started he certainly makes a concerted effort to match or surpass his hero, Ted Bundy. There are scenes of him acting tough and scary in front of the bathroom mirror to clippings of Bundy, and we almost expect the creepy bastard to materialize as a spectral mentor a la Elvis in TRUE ROMANCE.
At his job in a company called "HK and Chang Imports" (nice name) Eddy's the guy with a hopeless crush on a co-worker--in this case, beautiful blonde babe Amber (Kenzie Dalton). But no matter how he tries to summon his courage and break the ice he can't help coming off as weird, especially to Amber's bitchy friend Tricia (Shoshana Bush) who keep a suspicious eye on him.
Amber's rejection of Eddy during a party sends him into a "Carrie"-style nightmare of insecurity and humiliation that stokes his growing urge to make that first big kill. The violence and audacity of his murders will grow as he becomes more detached from reality and fancies himself some kind of higher being.
Eddy's increased self-confidence comes in handy when he starts dating the new Asian girl in the office, Karena (Eugenia Yuan, I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT), who is actually the boss's reluctant mistress. Karena helps Eddy overcome his odd self-loathing for being Chinese--he goes by the last name "Richards" and tells people he was adopted by Caucasian parents--and, in scenes that would be rather charming in any other kind of movie, she takes him to various Asian restaurants to introduce him to exotic foods he's never tried before.
This aspect of the story, how Asian-Americans feel about and are perceived by modern American society, is something screenwriter Koji Steven Sakai and director Stanley Yung felt compelled to explore even if it took making their main character a wacko serial killer to do it. (The original title, "Chink", indicates their desire to be provocative.)
Be that as it may, the story takes some not-so-unexpected turns when his boss, Mr. Chang (Tzi Ma, RUSH HOUR, THE LADYKILLERS), is angered by Eddy's relationship with Karena and takes action. This is further complicated when she finally discovers his true nature and he's forced to take desperate actions himself which will result in even more killing and a final shocking resolution to the whole sordid situation.
All of this potentially garish material is presented in a low-key, deliberately-paced style that's functional without drawing attention to itself. While I originally expected the film to be torture porn and/or a gorehound's delight, it's actually neither. Instead, although there are definitely a few "wet" parts, the violence is often suggested (effectively) rather than graphically depicted.
The DVD from Indican Pictures is in 1:85 widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound and English subtitles. Extras consist of an official trailer and two festival teasers, a "Chink" music video, a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted and alternate scenes, and cast and crew interviews.
This is more of a twisted character study than anything else, not unlike HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER but without that film's stark realism and heavily oppressive atmosphere. Indeed, Jason Tobin's energetic performance as a monstrous, yet enterprising young psycho, along with that of the likable Eugenia Yuan and the rest of the capable cast, actually gives #1 SERIAL KILLER a kind of light touch that keeps it from descending to the level of more lurid and tawdry entries in the genre. I didn't love it, but I liked it, despite an ending that I didn't find altogether convincing.
Runtime: 87 minutes
Sound: Dolby SR
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:40 PM
Thursday, August 27, 2015
This movie is just so pleasantly goofy in all the right ways that I just couldn't help but thoroughly enjoy it. Not too heavy on slapstick or farce, GONE DOGGY GONE (2014) is like a live-action cartoon for adults in which certain of their foibles are skewered in delightfully nutty ways.
Abby and Elliott Harmon are one of those boring yuppie couples who have absolutely no clue how out of it they are. Their first scene together is one of the funniest, in which it sounds as though they're carrying on a totally nonsensical conversation with each other until we realize each is speaking to someone else via headset phones. When they actually start talking to each other, they can't think of anything to say.
The only interest they seem to share with any enthusiasm is their tiny "Teacup Yorkie" dog, Laila, with whom both are abnormally obsessed. The trouble is, the babysitter they've hired to take care of Laila--a nice but socially-awkward nerdgirl named Jill (Shaina Vorspan, REDEMPTION)--is equally devoted to the li'l nipper. So much so, in fact, that one day she impulsively kidnaps the dog (her "BFF") and makes off with her in her car.
The Harmons frantically set off in pursuit, taking them on a life-changing odyssey that will bring them together by throwing them into some wildly bizarre situations--such as being forced to strip naked at gunpoint by robbers who abscond with $30,000 in ransom money--and turning GONE DOGGY GONE into a road picture.
Things get even more complicated when Dan (Jeff Sloniker), the inept private investigator they hire to tail Jill, falls in love with her and they end up having to tail him. Sloniker plays Dan as a disgusting slob who hates working for his overbearing dad Stan (special guest star Richard Riehle of OFFICE SPACE), and they all end up at Jill's mom's house in New Mexico being menaced by a scary Mafia loan shark to whom Stan is deeply in debt.
Kasi Brown and Brandon Walter, who play Abby and Elliott, also do an utterly surehanded job writing, producing, and directing the film with an exquisite subtlety that gives even the most outlandish scenes a painfully deadpan quality. Brown's frantic reactions to Laila's kidnapping and their subsequent indignities along the road are priceless, as is Walter's passively resigned response to it all. Abby's friend Kat (Kate Connor), a wine-swilling cougar along for the ride, adds her own cynical eccentricities to the mix.
Vorspan is a delight as Jill--she's a well-meaning ditz who loves her beat-boxing boyfriend even when he dumps her right after sex, and can't believe she just got laid off from her temp job when people who didn't even make coffee or decorate cute mugs for everyone else got to stay.
Jill's pitiful need for love, which is the reason she's so desperately attached to Laila, comes from feelings of rejection by her cold-shoulder mom Ruth (Marsha Waterbury). This, along with some genuinely moving moments as the emotionally stunted Harmons start to regain their humanity, gives GONE DOGGY GONE an actual heart which makes the comedy even better while never lapsing into bathos.
The DVD from Indican Pictures is in 1.78 widescreen and Dolby 2.0 sound, with English subtitles. Extras consist of a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, bloopers, and trailers for this and other Indican releases.
GONE DOGGY GONE reminded me a bit of another upstart indy comedy about a dog, Bobcat Goldthwaite's exquisite SLEEPING DOGS LIE, with its ability to surprise us by being so much better than expected. And like that film, this wonderful little romp is out-of-its-mind unhinged but pretends not to be, which just makes it even funnier.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 9:32 PM
** POSTER NOW AVAILABLE **
Directed by Corin Hardy
Click here to download the poster
*Opens in Select Theaters on November 6th*
(VOD and Digital Platforms on November 5th)
"A viscerally scary fantasy horror tale... [Hardy] proves himself both a gifted visual stylist and an assured storyteller with a wicked grasp of sustained dread."
- David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
"A slick, confident debut... This pleasingly old-school Irish-backwoods scarer should appeal to fans of Guillermo Del Toro."
- Charles Gant, SCREEN DAILY
"Embraces a thrilling mix of practical effects, animatronics, puppetry and prosthetics along with subtle CG enhancements to create a vivid collection of nightmarish fiends."
- Geoff Berkshire, VARIETY
Deep within the darkness of secluded forest land in rural Ireland dwells an ancient evil. Feared by the nearby superstitious villagers as cursed creatures who prey upon the lost, their secrets have been kept from civilization and remain on their hallowed ground. But when a conservationist from London moves in with his wife and infant child in order to survey the land for future construction, his actions unwittingly disturb the horde of demonic forces. Alone in a remote wilderness, he must now ensure his family's survival from their relentless attacks.
With his feature debut, acclaimed visual stylist Corin Hardy displays an innate talent for the macabre, approaching the medium with a cocksure confidence in his construction of the modern horror fable. Relying upon a precise and layered technical elegance, The Hallow seethes with an uncommonly sophisticated terror that uncoils effortlessly into an atmosphere of disquieting intensity and primal dread.
Joseph Mawle, Bojana Novakovic, Michael McElhatton, Michael Smiley
About The Director:
Corin Hardy is an award-winning filmmaker, whose live action and animated work mixes the macabre, the beautiful and the epic to visually dazzling results. Corin studied Special Effects at Wimbledon School of Art before making his award-winning stop-motion short film Butterfly in 2003. This led into directing music videos, beginning with Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and ‘Bedshaped’ and continuing with films for a mix of mainstream acts including The Prodigy, Biffy Clyro, Olly Murs, Paolo Nutini and The Rizzle Kicks as well as underground indies The Horrors, Dry The River, The Horrible Crowes – and recently the 9 minute crime epic for Devlin and Ed Sheeran’s Watchtower, all produced with Academy Films. For the past 10 years Corin has been writing and developing four of his own horror-based feature film projects with production companies in UK & US these include: The Hallow with Occupant Films, Refuge with Big Talk Films, Frogz Legz with Brilliant Films and F E S T with Pari Passu. Corin is also attached to direct Element Pictures teen thriller Where There’s Darkness.
COUNTRY: Ireland/United Kingdom
RUN TIME: 97 min
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 4:46 PM
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Sort of a sandy, sun-blanched noir, DEATH VALLEY (2015) forgoes gut-punch visceral impact for a more snakelike seductive quality that simmers until done.
After a cop picks up a terrified, traumatized girl on a lonely highway, crying "Dead! They're all dead!", we flashback to her tearful story as she spins it back at the station. Two odd couples set out across the desert from L.A. to Vegas on a brand-new road that hasn't even been opened to the public yet--ensuring a privacy they'll soon regret--and are shocked when a woman in nothing but her lacy underwear leaps in their path and starts blasting away at them with a gun.
They hit her, crash the car, bury the body, and set out across the desert in search of a parallel highway which is supposed to be within walking distance. But during this "trudge through the desert" sequence, some dramatic revelations emerge between the characters that really liven things up and keep them--and us--on edge.
For one thing, TV and movie producer Billy (Lochlyn Munro, IN THE NAME OF THE KING 2: TWO WORLDS, JULES VERNE'S MYSTERIOUS ISLAND, UNFORGIVEN) and Annie (Katrina Law, "Spartacus"), the aspiring actress he's on his way to Vegas to marry after a one-night courtship, still have a paper-thin relationship and thus certain revelations might tend to dim the blush on the rose of their tentative love.
As for the other couple, prison parolee Roy (Nick E. Tarabay, excellent as the devious Ashur in "Spartacus") and his wife Jamie (Victoria Pratt, "Heartland"), who just might've gotten it on with Billy the night before, are at an even more volatile crossroads which will not end well. When these four people get out in the middle of nowhere with too much booze, too many pills, and a situation growing hotter than the burning sands (including yet another dead body or two), it's a powderkeg just waiting for something to set it off.
A surehanded subtlety is the order of the day as this deceptively simple storyline gets deeper as we go farther into the desert. Prolific TV director T.J. Scott shows a deft touch for this kind of slightly-bent character drama with elements of the predicament movie and the adult thriller mixed well into an off-center, off-balance puzzler that keeps us guessing who's not what they seem and who's a lot badder than they let on.
Scott also makes great use of beautiful desert locations, photographing his actors against picturesque Southwestern backdrops that capture the expansiveness of their surroundings and their vulnerability to both the elements and to irrevocable fate itself.
Each cast member is fine. The ubiquitous Lochlyn Munro is a particular hoot as Billy, a typical obnoxious, low-level Hollywood type who always has hot irons in somebody else's fire. For fans of the epic TV series "Spartacus", it's great seeing Nick E. Tarabay and Katrina Law in something that continues to take good advantage of their talents. Victoria Pratt as Jamie manages to evoke our sympathy in the smaller role of the emotionally-conflicted Jamie.
The pressure cooker finally blows its lid in the closing minutes when all the mysteries are revealed and all the masks come off. While hardly a steamrolling action epic or mind-blowing drama, DEATH VALLEY is well-rendered, performed with verve by a cracking good cast, and doesn't leave the viewer feeling stranded in the middle of nowhere.
Runtime: 88 minutes
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:47 PM
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Critical Hit A Plague So Pleasant Held Back
The Infection Now Breaks Free September 29th
"Puts a new cinematic spin on the zombie genre."
New York, NY - Wild Eye Releasing has announced a date change for their latest cinematic epidemic. A Plague So Pleasant will now infect home entertainment systems beginning September 29th. A more dangerous strain than recent efforts, the film has been hailed by undead aficionados as "a miraculous accomplishment" (Zombie Guide Magazine), "an Excellent, Original Zombie Movie" (ZMDB.com), and "so much better than the average straight to video zombie travesty" (The Rotting Zombie).
In the near future, zombies have become a protected, endangered species, held in captivity and legally wandering the streets free from harm by the living. But for the loved ones of those who die, sometimes coping is just too much to handle, especially when not everyone feels the dead have a right to exist, and are willing to break the law to rid the world of this new population of the dead.
The DVD release of A Plague So Pleasant (SRP $19.95) will exclusively include promos and trailers.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 1:54 PM
Monday, August 24, 2015
Remember in GROUNDHOG DAY when Bill Murray was reliving the same day again and again, and kept on killing the same guy over and over in different ways because if he didn't, the guy would kill him? And the guy's former girlfriend was now Bill Murray's girlfriend and they were all stuck in the time loop together, and the only way to escape from it was to figure out who to kill, and when and how? Remember that?
You probably don't remember it because it didn't happen, but it happens in Midnight Releasing's new DVD, BLOOD PUNCH (2013), a kickass feature-film directing debut by Madellaine Paxson. Paxson and scripter Eddie Guzelian used to write episodes of "Power Rangers R.P.M." and have cast former stars of that show in this film's main roles, and they're all excellent. Who'd have thought "Power Rangers R.P.M." would be the breeding ground for something this good?
Olivia Tennet, who was also in THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS, plays a dark, enigmatic babe named Skyler who recruits mild-mannered brainiac Milton (Milo Cawthorne, DEATHGASM) straight out of a meth-addict rehab group in order to cook up a couple million dollars worth of the stuff for her and her cheerfully psychotic bad-cop boyfriend Russell (Ari Boyland) to sell and make them all rich.
The trouble is, as soon as they get to the secluded cabin where all this is supposed to take place, Milton suspects (correctly, as it turns out) that his life expectancy may be growing shorter. After a wild evening of meth and peyote, in which the three manage to invoke an ancient Native American curse that affects anyone who spills blood on the sacred land around them, they find themselves trapped in a repeating timeline filled with deceit, betrayal, and what might be referred to as "chronic death syndrome."
Every day is Tuesday, and each morning begins with killing Russell in whatever way strikes their fancy since he's the most dangerous one and has already proven that he's going to kill Milton by killing him the night before. This gives Milton and Skyler the rest of the day to throw today's Russell on the pile of dead Russells and brainstorm about how to solve their predicament, which results in their trying a number of desperate ways to set things right again, none of which work.
BLOOD PUNCH is kind of like what would happen if a young Quentin Tarantino had been hired to do a feature-length episode of "The Twilight Zone" and had a ball making it. It's certainly loads of fun to watch, with surprises galore and an endless sense of mischief that keeps on being scintillating right up to the very last satisfying twist before the fadeout.
Tennet is top-notch as Skyler, the perfect modern-noir mystery woman, with Cawthorne well-cast as the unsuspecting fall guy in the deal. As Russell, Boyard is a pure delight and makes the character likable despite his utter homicidal insanity. Cohen Holloway and Adelaide Kane (GOATS) are memorable as Archer, a loose cannon to whom our heroes try to sell their wares, and his femme fatale girlfriend Nabiki, in the film's most bullet-riddled scene (out of several).
Elsewhere, the dramatic plot developments and tongue-in-cheek humor are frequently punctuated by potent doses of violence which is as quirkily entertaining as it is shocking. While the film is deadpan funny the cast plays it straight, so once we get caught up in this outlandish story the suspense just keeps on building. In this way, it reminded me of TIMECRIMES, another film of recent years which had the same kind of cockeyed appeal.
The DVD from Midnight Releasing is in 16:9 widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and English subtitles. Extras consist of several deleted scenes, test footage clips, and bloopers.
This is the sort of funhouse flick that gives us something cool to watch while we're waiting for the next Tarantino movie to come out. Not that this one's necessarily as good as a QT flick, but it sure manages to generate that same kind of imaginative zing which makes it stimulating to watch. And BLOOD PUNCH, one of the best indy films I've seen in a long time, is just all kinds of imaginative.
Buy it at Amazon.com
Street date: Sept. 1, 2015
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:50 PM
"BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON" Sets Course on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD November 3, 2015 from Anchor Bay Entertainment
“… a bona fide hit…”
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
RELEASES THE NEXT CHAPTER OF
HIGH SEAS ADVENTURE
“BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON”
ON BLU-RAY™ + Digital HD with Ultraviolet™ AND DVD NOVEMBER 3, 2015
Three-Disc Set Contains All 10 Episodes and New Exclusive Extras!
Beverly Hills, Calif., August 24, 2015 – Anchor Bay Entertainment announced today that they will release the thrilling STARZ Original series “BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON” on Blu-ray™ + Digital HD with Ultraviolet™ and DVD on November 3, 2015. The Emmy® Award-winning series, created by Jonathan E. Steinberg (“Jericho,” “Human Target”) and Robert Levine (“Touch”) and executive produced by Michael Bay (the Transformers franchise, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor), and his Platinum Dunes partners Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Purge), follows the most feared pirate of the day, Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), and takes place twenty years prior to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic “Treasure Island.”
The first two seasons of “Black Sails” averaged 4.5 million multi-platform viewers per episode* and the series is distributed in over 175 countries and territories worldwide. A fourth season greenlight was announced at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour, and will follow the 2016 season three return.
The second season release has over an hour of new, exclusive bonus features including expanded commentaries from the cast and creators, and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the stunts and stunning special effects that garnered the series an Emmy® win in 2014 for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.
“BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON” begins where we left off, as the Walrus crew is stranded with an army of Spanish soldiers standing between them and the precious Urca gold. And with their crimes against their brethren no longer a secret, Flint and Silver must join forces in a desperate bid for survival. Meanwhile, Eleanor Guthrie struggles to maintain her grip on Nassau, as a new breed of pirate arrives in the form of Ned Low, a man for whom violence isn't just a tool ... it's a past time.
As blood is spilled, and tensions mount, Charles Vane must decide which he values more; Eleanor's life, or the respect of his men. And unbeknownst to all of them, a prize of immeasurable value has already been smuggled onto the island ... one whose discovery will alter the very landscape of their world, and force everyone in Nassau toward the ultimate judgment: are they men, or are they monsters?
New Bonus Features:
Inside The World Of “Black Sails”
The Man O' War
High Seas Action
“Black Sails” stars Toby Stephens as the brilliant and unstoppable ‘Captain Flint.’ Stephens is an accomplished film, television and stage actor, who will appear in the 2016 feature film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi directed by Michael Bay, and is well-known for his role in Die Another Day. He starred in BBC’s “Vexed” and on stage in “Noel Coward’s Private Lives.” His many film credits include Believe and Twelfth Night. London-born Hannah New portrays ‘Eleanor Guthrie,’ a beautiful and determined young woman who runs the smuggling operation on New Providence. New starred in the miniseries, "El Tiempo Entre Costuras (The Time Between Seams)," the feature Fuga De Cerebros 2, and most recently in Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning. Luke Arnold portrays the classic character, ‘John Silver,’ in the years before his well-known feats. Arnold is a native of Australia, where he began working in television on series including “McLeod's Daughters,” “Rush” and “Rescue: Special Ops.” He also went on to appear in the feature film, Broken Hill and most recently starred in the miniseries “INXS: The Michael Hutchence Story.” Jessica Parker Kennedy is in the role of ‘Max,’ a young prostitute with an eye towards advancement. Parker Kennedy is known for her work in the television series, “The Secret Circle,” and has appeared in the films 50/50 and In Time. British actor Tom Hopper stars as ‘Billy Bones’ of “Treasure Island” fame. Hopper is most well-known for his role as ‘Sir Percival’ in “Merlin” and has recently appeared in Northmen – A Viking Saga. Zach McGowan is featured as ‘Captain Charles Vane,’ a rival pirate to Captain Flint. McGowan is most well-known for his role in the series “Shameless” and appeared last year in the feature film Dracula Untold.
*Multiplatform results based on Starz internal estimates of linear and time shifted results from Nielsen (NPower), Rentrak (On Demand Essentials) and internal broadband data.
About Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. Anchor Bay acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment (www.anchorbayentertainment.com) is a full service distributor in the North American market. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com. Anchor Bay Entertainment (www.anchorbayentertainment.com) is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.
Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) is a leading integrated global media and entertainment company with operating units that provide premium subscription video programming on domestic U.S. pay television channels (Starz Networks), global content distribution (Starz Distribution) and animated television and movie production (Starz Animation), www.starz.com.
Starz Networks is a leading provider of premium subscription video programming through the flagship STARZ® and ENCORE® pay TV networks which showcase premium original programming and movies to U.S. multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies. As of June 30, 2015, STARZ and ENCORE serve a combined 56.8 million subscribers, including 23.5 million at STARZ, and 33.3 million at ENCORE, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S. STARZ® and ENCORE®, along with Starz Networks’ third network MOVIEPLEX®, air more than 1,000 movies monthly across 17 linear networks, complemented by On Demand and authenticated online offerings through STARZ PLAY, ENCORE PLAY, and MOVIEPLEX PLAY. Starz Distribution develops, produces and acquires entertainment content, distributing it to consumers globally on DVD, digital formats and traditional television. Starz Distribution’s home video, digital media and worldwide distribution business units distribute original programming content produced by Starz, as well as entertainment content for itself and third parties. Starz Animation produces animated TV and movie content for studios, networks, distributors and audiences worldwide.
“BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON”
Blu -ray™ + Digital HD with Ultraviolet™
Street Date: November 3, 2015
Pre-book: September 30, 2015
Cat. #: BD63084
Run Time: 555 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Format: 1.78:1 / 16x9
English Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Spanish & French Audio: Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
“BLACK SAILS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON” DVD
Street Date: November 3, 2015
Pre-book: September 30, 2015, 2014
Cat. #: ST63083
Run Time: 555 Minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Format: 1.78:1 / 16x9
English Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish & French Audio: Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 12:05 PM
The Long Island Serial Killer Strikes on DVD August 25th
The Truth is Darker than Fiction
New York, NY - Wild Eye Releasing has announced the nationwide release of the first film to depict the unsolved case of The Long Island Serial Killer. The August 25th release dramatizes the brutal crimes of a serial killer who has been dumping the bodies of sex workers on the barren stretch of Gilgo Beach for years. Joseph DiPietro's debut feature places a fictitious coed in the path of the sadistic killer, who is believed responsible for the death of up to seventeen sex workers, and is still at large in the New York area.
A serial killer is at large in the edges of New York City, luring prostitutes from the Internet and leaving a trail of bodies along Gilgo Beach in Long Island. While the friends and families of the victims search for answers, the police remain unable to solve the murders or stop him from taunting the grieving survivors. A young, down on her luck college student turns to the escort business in desperation, but she unknowingly places herself directly in the path of one of New York's most vicious serial killers.
The DVD release of The Long Island Serial Killer (SRP $19.95) will exclusively include two feature length cast and crew commentaries, deleted scenes and trailers.
The Long Island Serial Killer (Official Trailer)
Order The Long Island Serial Killer on DVD
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:37 AM
Friday, August 21, 2015
Every once in a while these days someone will decide to make a slasher flick, but they won't want to put a lot of effort into the story so they'll whip out the old barebones template, hang a bunch of hoary cliches on it, and call it an "80s homage." Whether or not this is entertaining usually depends largely upon the mood of the viewer at the time.
Continuing in this dubious tradition is LOST AFTER DARK (2014), the "story" of a bunch of teens being terrorized and slaughtered one by one in the middle of nowhere by a psycho killer. After stealing a school bus, they head off into the night for a secluded cabin belonging to the father of virginal "final girl" contestant Adrienne (Kendra Timmins) for one of those "party down" weekends that always turn out bad.
Adrienne, whose older sister Laurie we saw getting the old "bear trap to the face" routine in a pre-titles flashback, feels bad about lying to her kindly single dad Norman (David Lipper) about her whereabouts, but she can't wait for some alone time with her heartthrob Sean (Justin Kelly), and perhaps her first kiss. Also along for the ride are her BFF Jamie (Elise Gatien), rude boy Johnnie (Alexander Calvert) and his blonde bimbo girlfriend Heather (Lanie McAuley), token "cool black dude" Wes (Stephan James in a really bad afro wig), misfit Goth chick Marilyn (Eve Harlow), and, last but not least, lonely fat guy Tobe (Jesse Camacho), who has a pitiful unrequited crush on Marilyn.
The dialogue these characters spout is so inane that it hovers precariously between tongue-in-cheek and just plain dumb. They're also not too smart, which, to be fair, is something of a requirement in these movies. After their bus runs out of gas on the most deserted road in the United States (of Canada, that is), they hoof it just long enough to find the darkest scariest old house in the universe to force their way into and go prowling around for absolutely no reason whatsoever except to rouse its hopelessly inbred inhabitant into a blind killing frenzy.
Much of what elevated certain films in this genre above the rest of the pack was the perverse appeal of stalkers such as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, etc. The best this one can do, unfortunately, is a shaggy hillbilly cannibal named Junior Joad (Mark Wiebe) who looks like a Duck Dynasty reject. He doesn't even start killing until almost an hour in, hovering in the shadows and making with the usual POV shots in order to build "suspense" (i.e., boredom) as our unsuspecting heroes galumph around in the dark.
Things pick up a bit when the farm implements finally start a-swingin', and there's even something of a plot twist that manages to surprise. The kills are just bloody enough to keep gorehounds from feeling totally gypped, although there's very little of the old Tom Savini-style imagination and ingenuity involved. Ultimately the final stalk-and-slash sequence drags on long enough for me to start hoping old Junior would wrap things up.
Director Ian Kessner makes a mild effort to give LOST AFTER DARK that "grindhouse" look, but this is limited to a few rough edits, occasional simulated film imperfections, and, in one jarring instance, the old "reel missing" gag that you'll no doubt remember from PLANET TERROR. This approach seemed odd to me since I remember most of my 80s slasher flicks as either first-run theatrical prints or VHS tape rentals.
Performances are more or less adequate. Robert Patrick of TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY fame gets to overact as Vice-Principal Cunningham, a stressed-out Viet Nam vet who doesn't allow this sort of thing from his students, while HALLOWEEN 2 director Rick Rosenthal turns up near the end as a grizzled old sheriff. Astute viewers will notice that every character (except for the killer) is named after either a slasher flick director or final girl.
The Blu-ray from Anchor Bay is in 1.78:1 widescreen with Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound and subtitles in English and Spanish. No extras.
Neither one of the worst modern-day slasher flicks I've seen (it's better than MOTOR HOME MASSACRE, THE EVIL WOODS, and DARK FIELDS, to name a few) nor one of the best, LOST AFTER DARK exists in that creepy, mist-shrouded zone of mystery that I call "take it or leave it." If you take it, just keep your expectations low and--as Jamie keeps telling herself while fleeing through the woods from Junior's pickaxe--"keep breathing."
Buy it at Amazon.com:
Street date: Sept. 1, 2015
Stills used are not taken from Blu-ray
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:13 PM
Thursday, August 20, 2015
If you're a fan of that weird sort of "Americanized anime" style of cartoons found on the Cartoon Network--you know, stuff like "Powerpuff Girls" and "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack"--then chances are you're already familiar with "Teen Titans Go!" This speed-freak-paced series takes what was once a serious DC Comics property and turns it into some of the most surrealistically silly animated shorts that will ever dazzle your eyeballs and sizzle your brain.
We've already covered the previous DVD set, "Teen Titans Go!: Appetite For Destruction Season 2 Part 1", and with TEEN TITANS GO!: HOUSE PESTS SEASON 2 PART 2, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gives us another 26 episodes on two DVDs. There aren't any extras (unless you count two trailers) but if you're into this kind of supreme goofiness as I am, then the cartoons themselves are extra enough.
Besides being bright, colorful, sharply drawn, and impeccably animated, these things just move like a house on fire and are addictively entertaining. The Titans do very little crimefighting, with the stories focusing instead on their domestic infighting and other non-sequitur trainwrecks of thought which often exist merely to celebrate sheer silliness itself.
Batman's old chum Robin, the team's leader, is portrayed as an immature, insecure, vainglorious boob whose hyperactive overenthusiasm for his job is matched only by his pathetic attempts to woo teammate Starfire, a female alien glowing with girlish, frilly-pink sweetness. Guy's guy Cyborg, a big half-human, half-robot lug, and lovable little shape-shifting slob Beast Boy spend most of their time watching TV and eating pizza, while sullen half-demon Raven reads, sulks, and casts spells.
The Teen Titans live in a giant T-shaped building on a tiny island in the bay next to Jump City and only occasionally protect its citizens from their super-powered teen rivals, the Hive. In the episode "Cool School" they try to stop bad girl Rose Wilson aka "Ravager" from breaking out of prison until she stops them cold by pointing out how "uncool" they are. While Rose and Raven strike up an unlikely friendship, the rest of the Titans go to Cool School in a vain effort to get cooler. Meanwhile, Rose deflects Robin's demand that she return to jail by insisting that she's already in jail and challenging him to prove otherwise, which just confuses him.
"Robin Backwards" introduces us to Robin's Bizarro counterpart, Nibor, who becomes more popular with the other Titans than the original. "Crazy Day" is pretty much as it sounds, with everyone except a predictably glum Raven taking part in acting as crazy as possible. In "Smile Bones", Cyborg and Beast Boy's habit of inhaling their food without chewing it comes back to haunt them when their bellies grow to gargantuan proportions, sprout faces and limbs, and take over Jump City.
"Real Boy Adventures" is a twisted retelling of "Pinocchio" with Raven granting Cyborg's wish to be human, which he'll regret when he finds out how vulnerable he is in his new guise as "Fleshy Guy." "Hose Water" is the story of the Titans' overly successful attempt to get in touch with their inner children. In "Let's Get Serious", Robin decides the team needs to cut out the clowning after a rival good-guy group led by archly-grim Aqualad easily defeats the Hive.
In other stories, Beast Boy decides to replace paper currency with bees and wasps ("Two Bumble Bees and a Wasp"), the team combat the worldwide conspiracy of evil soccer trolls who trick the unwary populace into liking soccer ("Kicking a Ball and Pretending to Be Hurt"), the evil-but-cuddly Whisperer grants Raven's foolish request to deprive the world of all sound ("And the Award For Sound Design Goes to Rob"), the Titans visit Starfire's ultra-weird home planet and start a war ("Tamaranian Vacation"), and, in perhaps my favorite cartoon in the set, they enter a world of 80s-style video games that recreates the era beautifully ("Video Game References").
Other episodes in the set: "Rocks and Water", "Multiple Trick Pony", "Truth, Justice and What?", "Oil Drums", "Head Fruit", "Yearbook Madness", "Operation Tin Man", "Nean", "Campfire Stories", "Beast Man", "The Hive Five", "The Return of Slade", "More of the Same", and "Some of Their Parts."
The 2-disc DVD set from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (26 episodes, 11 minutes each) is in matted widescreen with English, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby surround sound. Subtitles are in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. No extras except trailers for two other WBHE releases.
As before, TEEN TITANS GO!: HOUSE PESTS SEASON 2 PART 2 is a dizzying dash through some of the fastest, prettiest, and most cultural-reference-packed cartoons being made today. I previously commented that it seemed "as though the scripts had been dictated on tape by a Red Bull-fueled Robin Williams and animated by Tex Avery at his most unhinged", and that description still stands. Fans of earlier incarnations of the Teen Titans may balk, but to me, these cartoons are like brightly-wrapped candy that I can't get enough of.
Buy it at WBShop.com
Street date: Aug. 18, 2015
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:51 PM
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
LANTICA MEDIA AND SOBINI FILMS PARTNER FOR ZORRO FUTURISTIC REBOOT
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Lantica Media and Sobini Films announced today that they have partnered to produce Sobini’s Zorro Reborn project. Lantica Media will finance the film which is due to begin principal photography in March 2016 at the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. Zorro Reborn is a reboot of the wildly successful film franchise based on the beloved masked character. Pantelion Films will handle international sales. The deal was announced jointly by Lantica Media’s CEO Antonio Gennari and Sobini Films’ Mark Amin.
“We’re extremely excited to have partnered with Sobini on this project,” commented Gennari. “The Zorro character has nearly a 100 year history in various entertainment mediums as well as a tremendous worldwide appeal. Every generation has its own Zorro hero and we’re proud to be able to introduce a new Zorro to this generation.”
Amin added, “This has been a fifteen year journey filled with ups and downs but it has remained my passion project over the years. I’m so happy to have found partners in Antonio and Albert who share my vision for what this project will be.”
Set in the near future, Zorro Reborn is the re-imagining of the classic legend which will take audiences to a new and visually exciting world.
International sales will be launched this fall in Toronto by Anne-Marie Ross, President of International at Pantelion. “Zorro Reborn offers a unique opportunity for international distributors to come on board an action film with a brand that is already a household name worldwide,” said Ross.
Veteran producer Amin, whose credits include Good Kill and Frida, will produce the film with Albert Martinez Martin overseeing production for Lantica Pictures. Cami Winikoff and David W. Higgins are set to executive produce on behalf of Sobini.
About Lantica Media
Lantica Media (www.lantica.media) is an innovative media company that invests across several segments of the entertainment industry. Its subsidiaries offer world-class studio facilities and production services as well as production, financing and distribution solutions for films and television shows.
The company's operating units currently include Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios and Lantica Pictures. Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios is a state-of-the-art film and TV studio established with Pinewood Studios Group plc. Lantica Pictures develops, finances and produces original content for English and Spanish language audiences.
Lantica Media is an asset managed by VICINI’s Terra-RD platform.
About Sobini Films
Sobini Films, an independent production and finance company that focuses on feature films and long-form television, is headed by Mark Amin, veteran producer, distributor and financier whose credits include FRIDA, GOOD KILL, EVE’S BAYOU, and STONEHEARST ASYLUM. The company also has the upcoming MILES AHEAD, directed by and starring Don Cheadle as Miles Davis which just sold in a bidding war to Sony Classics as well as RUSS & ROGER GO BEYOND, starring Will Ferrell and Josh Gad with Michael Winterbottom to direct.
About Pantelion Films
Pantelion Films is the first major Latino Hollywood studio and the new face of Hispanic entertainment. Launched in 2010, Pantelion releases include the breakout hit Instructions Not Included, the recent box office success Cantinflas which achieved the highest per screen average of any film in nationwide release on its opening weekend as well as films such as Pulling Strings, Casa de mi Padre and From Prada to Nada.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:22 AM
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Well, here we go again--another season of the AMC series "The Walking Dead", which means another nonstop binge-watching session that drags on into the wee hours of the morning. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
This is quite simply, in my opinion, one of my most watchable TV shows ever. My annual viewing marathon is almost on the same anticipation level as a yearly holiday such as Labor Day, or at least Arbor Day. And THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON, a 5-disc Blu-ray set from Anchor Bay, is a worthy continuation of that show's tradition of insane watchability.
Most people are familiar with the premise by now--a ragtag group of survivors make their way through the zombie apocalypse with ex-Georgia sheriff Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as their dauntless leader, trying to hold on to their humanity even as circumstances make them more hard-edged and ruthless with each struggle to stay alive.
The longer they do survive, however, the more callous they become, and season five finds Rick and his people dealing with their enemies with a blood-and-thunder attitude that would've shocked them all just a year or two ago. If they'd run into their present selves back then, they'd have fled the other way.
But by now they've pretty much had enough of all the other living humans who've screwed them over, such as their nemesis from the last couple of seasons, The Governor (David Morrissey). This new set begins with the resolution to last season's tantalizing cliffhanger in which our heroes were taken prisoner by the inhabitants of a community called Terminus which is supposed to be a haven for survivors but turns out to be anything but.
Led by a smirking young sociopath named Gareth (Andrew J. West), the Terminus gang turn out to be a bunch of cannibals who gleefully harvest their human captives like cattle. The first episode casts us right into the middle of a harrowing slaughter sequence which leads to a thrilling free-for-all of humans vs. zombies vs. cannibals involving several group chow-downs of screaming victims by ravenous walkers and loads of special makeup effects, rivalling season four's spectacular opening.
Further segments will take us on a journey with our protagonists through many gripping battles for survival and encounters with other groups of people whose motives are ever under suspicion. While the walking, flesh-devouring dead remain a constant threat, it's the living who consistently pose the greatest danger.
By this point in the series, many other factions exist with their own laws and principals, centered around a leader who is either good, bad, or insane (or a combination of the three). Just like Ben and Harry in George Romero's original NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (from whence all other current zombie apocalypse sagas seem to have been spawned), this can lead to serious conflicts in which it's hard to tell who's right and who's wrong.
This is especially true when Rick's group discover an idyllic walled-in community known as Alexandria, near what's left of Washington, D.C. They're invited to become citizens of the seemingly genteel and peaceful collective, yet even here there's danger of many different kinds lurking at every turn. And by now, Rick's people have themselves become too feral to coexist with civilized society! Tovuh Feldshuh guest stars as Alexandria's leader, Deanna, whose initially warm welcome toward them will soon turn to fear and mistrust.
The show features more fascinating continuing characters than ever and most get their time in the spotlight, including the ever-popular crossbow-wielding wild man Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), samurai swordswoman Michonne (Danai Gurira), lovebirds Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), and Rick's son Carl (Chandler Riggs), whose adolescence has been unconventional to say the least.
Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and his sister Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) each get some highly-dramatic storylines that bring home the emotional devastation that comes from living so close to death on such intimate terms every day. Maggie's missing-in-action sister Beth (Emily Kinney) turns up again in a hospital setting known as "Slabtown" in the middle of ruined Atlanta, dealing with a mentally-unbalanced policewoman (Christine Woods) and her squad of fascist cops.
And there's the continuing saga of Eugene (Josh McDermitt), a scientist who ostensibly holds the solution to the zombie problem if only he can get to Washington, D.C. with the help of his hulking ex-military bodyguard with the anger-management problem, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).
Best of all, we get to see the continuing saga of Carol (Melissa McBride), the once-timid domestic abuse victim turned hardened survivalist who is the most calmly and ruthlessly pragmatic of them all. After being exiled from the group last season, Carol is the one who rescues her former friends from the cannibals at Terminus while drenched in blood and guts in order to throw surrounding zombies off her scent. Later, she gets back together with her friend and fellow one-time outcast Daryl in a storyline that will tie in with Beth's adventures in Slabtown.
While most of the drama and action involve the living, there's always the ever-present threat of the walkers, who seem to pop out of nowhere every time someone turns around (sneaky little buggers). These shambling corpses are all getting more decomposed than ever--sometimes we see something that's so horrible we think "Oh, that's not right."
Greg Nicotero's SPFX team keep coming up with endlessly imaginative ways of grossing us out, such as zombies that are little more than blobs of napalmed flesh stuck to the pavement--still horribly "alive", of course--and waterlogged zombies who've been slogging around in a flooded basement for months.
The combination of practical effects with impeccably-rendered CGI is excellent, often downright spectacular. Thanks to the creativity and imagination of everyone involved, the show still has the power to flabbergast us after all these years. Just when we should be starting to get numbed by all the gory violence and horror, something will happen to make us say "whoa."
The 5-disc, 16-episode Blu-ray set from Anchor Bay (which includes instructions for a complete digital download of its contents) is in 1.78:1 widescreen with English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and French Dolby 2.0 surround sound. Subtitles are in English and Spanish. Several of the episodes have cast and crew audio commentaries. (A couple of episodes have post-credits "sting" scenes, so be sure not to miss them.)
Disc five contains a wealth of extras including:
•Inside “The Walking Dead” (covers each individual episode)
•The Making of “The Walking Dead” (covers each individual episode)
•The Making of Alexandria
•A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz
•A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt
•Rotters in the Flesh
These days "The Walking Dead" has so many good characters that we get several alternating plotlines to keep things interesting. Rick and his followers are changing, growing, evolving (in some cases devolving) all over the place this season, and it makes THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON an endlessly entertaining treat for fans of both this show and gory zombie apocalypse epics in general to gorge themselves on.
Buy it at Amazon.com:
Our Season One review
Our Season Two review
Our Season Three review
Our Season Four review
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 12:01 AM
Thursday, August 13, 2015
"Sesame Street: Elmo Can Do It!" - Take a Journey to Discover All Your Favorite Sesame Street Friend's First Encounters
SHARE YOUR FAVORITE FIRST MEMORIES WITH ELMO
AND THE SESAME STREET CREW AS WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT
AND SESAME WORKSHOP RELEASE
SESAME STREET: ELMO CAN DO IT!
ON DVD OCTOBER 13, 2015!
BURBANK, CA (August 11, 2015) – Everyone remembers their first day of school or their first lost tooth. Now you can share these fabulous first memories with your Sesame Street friends in Sesame Street: Elmo Can Do It! This all new video compilation full of stories and songs takes you on a journey to discover all your favorite Sesame Street friend’s first encounters. From haircuts to sleepovers, preschoolers will enjoy learning life lessons, while addressing milestones and transitions in a fun way. Sesame Street: Elmo Can Do It! is available on DVD October 13, 2015 for $14.98 SRP.
Start your adventure with Abby as she packs her wand and pajamas to embark on her first sleepover at Big Bird’s nest. Then, while Papa Bear and Mama Bear spend some time away, help Baby Bear get excited about meeting his new babysitter! Continue the fun with Elmo as he harnesses his writing skills and composes a letter for the first time. Finally, all your Sesame Street friends will come together for “National Try a New Food Day” as they each try a delicious treat they’ve never had before. You may even discover the first time Cookie Monster ate a cookie! All these firsts and more in Sesame Street: Elmo Can Do It!
“Warner Home Bros Home Entertainment is thrilled to release our next exciting and educational title, Sesame Street: Elmo Can Do It,” said Jeff Brown, WBHE Executive Vice President and GM of Non-Theatrical Franchise Marketing. “Kids now have the opportunity to view their favorite TV character’s first memories all on one fantastic DVD.”
Celebrating its impressive 45th anniversary this season, Sesame Street is the #1 top-of-mind preschool show with moms. The series has received more Emmy awards than any other show in television history, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award.
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street which reaches 156 million children across more than 150 countries. The Workshop’s mission is to help kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder. Delivered through a variety of platforms, including television programs, digital experiences, books and community engagement, its research-based programs are tailored to the needs of the communities and countries they serve. For more information, visit us at www.sesameworkshop.org.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 11:00 AM
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
"Some things should stay frozen," says one of the Harbinger's crew after they recover a crashed Soviet spacecraft in the frozen Arctic and discover that there's something alien--and alive--still on board.
The sci-fi/horror thriller HARBINGER DOWN (2015) is the brainchild of writer/director Alec Gillis, co-owner of Amalgamated Dynamics (ADI), the FX group behind the original practical effects for the 2011 remake-prequel to John Carpenter's 80s classic THE THING. As can be seen in a popular YouTube video, ADI's extensive work was deleted from the film and replaced with digital effects by studio execs who thought the old-school stuff looked "too 80s" and thus unsuitable for modern CGI-hungry audiences.
Gillis, wanting to prove them wrong, then put HARBINGER DOWN together and packed it with practical effects, with not even a hint of CGI. The result is an attempt by a who's who of PFX artists (including Tom Woodruff, Jr. of THE TERMINATOR and the ALIEN series) to recreate the kind of stuff animatronics artist Rob Bottin (THE HOWLING, TOTAL RECALL, SE7EN) and crew achieved on John Carpenter's THE THING, not to mention other pre-CGI creature classics such as ALIENS, David Cronenberg's THE FLY, and a host of other favorites from the era.
The result is a mixed bag with Gillis and company doing their best with what they have. While some of the effects are impressive, there's unfortunately nothing as awesome as what we see in the THING remake video because this movie has a much tighter effects budget.
The most striking thing about Carpenter's THE THING is how the undulating tentacled creatures retained certain humanoid elements that made the whole thing that much more horrible, while here the alien lifeforms are mostly amorphous shapes squirming all over the place. The occasional recognizable human body parts add a more horrific touch (I especially liked the pair of legs running around topped by a roiling mass of intestines, and another crawling blob with a recognizable human head) but for the most part we get a lot of big, purple spaghetti creatures.
The film's opening is similar to THE THING with a crippled spaceship entering Earth's atmosphere, but this time it's a Soviet craft which is barbecued on reentry with one unlucky cosmonaut and a cargo of green alien goo. Years later, the crabbing vessel Harbinger picks up three passengers, a teacher and two students studying the effects of "climate change" on Beluga whales. One student, Sadie (Camille Balsamo), is the granddaughter of ship's captain Graff (the venerable Lance Henriksen), and it is she who spots the downed spacecraft under the water's icy surface.
The object is brought aboard, after which it's not hard to figure out what happens when the globs of pulsating alien protoplasm thaw out and start slithering about, engulfing various crewmembers into hideous makeshift orifices and digesting them. This time there's no assimilation and mimicking of their human hosts, but simple attack-and-devour stuff by creature creations that are fun but, as previously noted, not all that imaginative or stunningly rendered.
With a simple plot similar to the THING remakes and the original THE THING (FROM ANOTHER WORLD) along with shades of ALIEN and older monster flicks like IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE, HARBINGER DOWN is the classic 50s sci-fi/monster-type yarn that's fun and mildly exciting without being especially memorable.
Gillis' direction is okay (save for the occasional Shaky-Cam) yet lacking the finesse of a John Carpenter in building tension and suspense, and the shocks aren't as sharply-staged as one might wish. The film does establish a satisfying atmosphere of cold and isolation for its budget, with some nice model work of the ship and its environs and some well-done interiors.
The crew are a colorful group of people such as Svet, the Russian babe with a king-sized chip on her shoulder (Milla Bjorn), comically paranoid Dock (Michael Estime, "Everybody Hates Chris"), and Big G (Winston James Francis), the extra-large guy with the extra-corny sense of humor. Henriksen--who gets the corniest line when he recalls the most famous quip from JAWS--is wonderfully grizzled and able to convey a wealth of emotion with just a look and a grunt.
As Dr. Stephen, the head of the scientific trio, Matt Winston (A.I., THE CORE) is exquisitely vain, petty, and supercilious as he grows increasingly desperate to retain control of the expedition and get all the credit for their find. Camille Balsamo (THE PAPERBOY, "Murder in the First"), on the other hand, is instantly likable as Sadie and makes a fine heroine.
HARBINGER DOWN is the result of a bunch of ace practical effects wizards saying "Okay, this is how it's done without slathering on a bunch of cartoony CGI." As such, it's a good low-key monster movie, but I wish the filmmakers had been able to spend enough time and money on those PFX to make them not just passably entertaining, but astounding.
DVD release date: Sept. 1, 2015
Theatrical Release in select cities:
LA SF NY PHL DET CHI ATL DAL HOU PHX
Available on VOD on these platforms: iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Vudu and Xbox and on cable and satellite providers, including:
Dish Digital/Sling TV
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 10:41 PM
THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Limited Edition Coming December 1st From Anchor Bay Entertainment!
AMC’S “THE WALKING DEAD:
THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON”
ARRIVES DECEMBER 1ST FROM
ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – In what has become a highly anticipated annual tradition for “Walking Dead” fans the world over, Anchor Bay Entertainment will be releasing THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Blu-ray™ + Digital HD Limited Edition set on December 1st. As with previous limited editions, McFarlane Toys has once again created a striking, must-own packaging concept. This year’s Limited Edition features an “asphalt” walker, one of the many unforgettable images that have made the AMC series a global phenomenon. Handsomely crafted and intricately detailed, the figurine is based on the original walker designed by award-winning SFX make-up Supervisor and Executive Producer, Greg Nicotero. Packaging also includes a collectible 5-disc Blu-ray™ set digipack with exclusive “walker” cover art available only with this set. SRP is $149.99, and available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.
Previous “Walking Dead” Limited Edition releases include the “Screwdriver Walker Head” (Season 2), the “Governor’s Walker Head Tank” (Season 3), and the “Tree Walker” (Season 4).
Bonus Features on the Blu-ray™ + Digital HD include:
Audio commentaries featuring Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer Tom Luse, Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor /Director Greg Nicotero, Director Julius Ramsay; Actors Lauren Cohan, Chad L. Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Alanna Masterson, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Norman Reedus, Christian Serratos and Steven Yeun.
Inside “The Walking Dead”
The Making of “The Walking Dead”
The Making of Alexandria
A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz
A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt
Rotters in the Flesh
THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON cast also includes Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr., Michael Cudlitz, Emily Kinney, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt and Andrew J. West.
“The Walking Dead” Season 6 returns to AMC Sunday, October 11th 9/8c.
“THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON”Blu-ray™ + Digital HD Limited Edition
Street Date: December 1, 2015
Cat. #: BD63544
UPC: 0 1313 2635448 61
Run Time: 710 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Format: Widescreen Presentation 1.78:1
Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row with “Mad Men,” and six of the last seven with current back-to-back honoree, “Breaking Bad.” The network boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last three years with “The Walking Dead.” AMC’s original drama series include “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul,” “Hell on Wheels,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” and the forthcoming “Humans,” “The Making of The Mob: New York,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Into the Badlands” and “The Night Manager.” AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like “Talking Dead” and “Comic Book Men.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.
About Anchor Bay Entertainment:
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. Anchor Bay acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment (www.anchorbayentertainment.com) is a full service distributor in the North American market. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business, www.starz.com.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 1:15 PM
Festival Hit Blood Punch Available Nationwide September 1
Die A Different Way on DVD and Digital HD
"...a supernatural film noir on meth, with heaps of dark humor and a madcap edge that cuts deep." -- Bloody Disgusting
Los Angeles, CA - Bluff Road Productions and Midnight Releasing are excited to announce the DVD and VOD release of Blood Punch. Directed by Madellaine Paxson, the film reunites "Power Rangers RPM" stars Milo Cawthorne, Olivia Tennet and Ari Boyland in a bloody thriller, centered on a murderous love triangle that takes a shocking and grisly supernatural turn. Blood Punch pulls you into its vicious cycle on DVD, Digital HD and cable VOD starting September 1.
Blood Punch has been an audience and critical favorite since its premiere at the Austin Film Festival, where it won the Dark Matters Audience Award. Paxson was honored with Best Director and Best Feature at the Hoboken Film Festival, while the film has taken home seven additional Audience and Best Feature awards.
Milton (Cawthorne, Deathgasm), a brilliant chemistry student breaks out of court-mandated drug rehab with a mysterious bad girl, Skyler (Tennet, "When We Go to War"). Looking to recruit a cook for a one-day drug score, she lures him to an isolated cabin with her psychotic and trigger-happy boyfriend Russell (Boyland, "Shortland Street").
Russell reveals that he plans to murder Milton as soon as he is finished cooking the drugs, and their simple love triangle quickly descends into a mind-blowing supernatural cycle of carnage and mayhem with no end...and no escape.
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The DVD release of Blood Punch (SRP $17.98) will exclusively include deleted scenes, outtakes and test footage.
Posted by Porfle Popnecker at 12:56 PM