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Monday, August 28, 2017

FLIPPER: SEASON TWO -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle



More of the day he came home--and by "he", I mean everyone's favorite dolphin, Flipper.

FLIPPER: SEASON TWO (Olive Films, 3-disc set) offers up thirty more half-hour episodes of good, clean family fun (1965 style) that even a crusty old curmugeon such as myself can sit back and binge watch till I'm seasick.

The boys, freckle-faced Bud (Tommy Norden) and older brother Sandy ("16 Magazine" heartthrob Luke Halpin), are back and still having adventures with their aquatic pal, the world's smartest dolphin. 

Their dad, oceanic park ranger Porter Ricks (Brian Kelly), spends much of his time keeping Bud out of trouble when he isn't taking care of poachers, smugglers, dolphin-snatchers, and other problems that keep this from being just a harmless kiddy show.

Episodes range from innocuous kid-type concerns (paper routes, homework) to actual suspense and danger stuff, as when the boys discover a cache of counterfeit money in a sunken wreck but are unaware that it's booby-trapped with explosives. 


In another instance, an attractive female oceanographer named Ulla (new semi-regular, Ulla Strömstedt) gets trapped underwater as her scuba tank starts running out of air. Later, she'll take part in such adventures as helping to track down an escaped convict (Burt Reynolds) who steals her mini-sub.

A lot more happens this season, with Flipper getting caught in a net next to a floating mine and going deaf in yet another underwater explosion.  In the two-part season ender, he even gets a girlfriend. 

All of it is light and easy to take, done in an era when TV shows knew how to pack a lot of entertainment into a briskly-paced half-hour time slot.  There's always time for fun, excitement, and, every once in a while, even heartwarming moments between father and son (or boy and dolphin). 

And unlike some shows of its kind, this one does it all with surprising subtlety, restraint, and a refreshing lack of cloying sentimentality.


The familiar jaunty theme song is jazzed up this time around, with some guy named Frankie Randall crooning new lyrics that include "Beware of Flipper, Flipper, he's such a lover..."  Production values are as simple, colorful, and appealing as usual.

Guest stars for the season include the aforementioned Burt Reynolds, Bo Svenson as a coral poacher, and Daniel J. Travanti.

Having never been a fan before, I never thought I'd be watching this show with such enthusiasm, but I'm captivated. FLIPPER: SEASON TWO is great fun that takes me right back to the good old days of family TV entertainment.


Buy it at Olive Films

YEAR: 1964-1965
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:  780 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO
RELEASE DATE: August 29





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Sunday, August 27, 2017

THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (1977) -- DVD Review by Porfle



I like it when a movie I was totally unimpressed with on first viewing turns out to be much better upon later reappraisal.  If that second viewing comes forty years later, all the better.

I saw THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (Olive Films) when it was released in 1977 and found it rather pedestrian and even sub-par.  Now it seems almost classic in stature somehow--the adaptation seems good although I've not read the original H.G. Wells novel in several decades, the performances, production values, and makeup are fine, and the direction by Don Taylor, a prolific TV director whose screen credits include RIDE THE WILD SURF, EVERYTHING'S DUCKY, and ESCAPE FROM THE PLANET OF THE APES, is nowhere near as artless as I first believed.  (The lighting in the interiors is exquisite.)

In fact, Taylor establishes a strong mood from the first moments shipwrecked sailor Braddock (Michael York) finds himself on the secluded island of Dr. Moreau (Burt Lancaster).  Moreau's compound, including a plantation house that seemed to have been dropped right in the middle of the jungle, is like an oasis of strained civility surrounded by a beast-filled jungle that could be a manifestation of his own dark id.


Braddock becomes enchanted by the beautiful Maria (Barbara Carrera), an exotic woman Moreau's gruff foreman Montgomery (Nigel Davenport) describes as belonging to the doctor although she shows a marked interest in young Braddock.  But it's the doctor's strange experiments that Braddock soon comes to dread--a twisted perversion of scientific endeavor involving the artificial evolution of wild animals into horrific animal/human hybrids, or "humanimals."

These creatures are what place the film into classic "monster movie" territory, a menagerie of fascinating beasts courtesy of 70s makeup masters John Chambers and Tom Burman.  They include the great Richard Basehart as "The Lawgiver", who keeps Moreau's strict commandments against killing or eating flesh but becomes confused when he sees Moreau himself break them, which leads to the film's fiery animal vs. humans revolt.

Lancaster plays Moreau with quiet authority, sans the usual villainy, resulting in an interestingly conflicted character. York gets to emote to his heart's content and is especially good when Moreau makes him the unwilling subject in an experiment on human-to-animal regression.  Nigel Davenport is fine as the gruff foreman who may be on Braddock's side, as is Barbara Carrera in a role seemingly tailor-made for her.  


The DVD from Olive Films is in 1.85:1 widescreen with mono sound and optional English subtitles.  Extras include a commentary by paranormal author Jeff Belanger and horror host Dr. Dreck, a trailer, and an essay by Gorman Beauchamp entitled "The Island of Dr. Moreau as Theological Grotesque."  (This can also be found in the disc's illustrated booklet.)

I can't compare this with the Charles Laughton original since I haven't seen it for many years, but on its own, 1977's THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU is a terrific monster flick that mixes interesting philosophical ideas with some perversely delightful elements of the grotesque.



Buy it at Olive Films


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Saturday, August 26, 2017

FLIPPER: SEASON ONE -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Even as a kid, I avoided producer Ivan Tors' "Flipper" because I thought it just another dumb show about a kid and his freakishly intelligent pet getting him out of trouble all the time.  Now, however, with the 3-disc Blu-ray FLIPPER: SEASON ONE from Olive Films, I've been binge-watching this show like there's no tomorrow.

It's basically the same sort of kids-and-pets premise as "Lassie" (a boy and his dog on the farm) or "Fury" (a boy and his horse on a ranch) or "Gentle Ben" (a boy and his grizzly bear wherever they were) only instead of a dog or a horse, the rambunctious young freckle-faced kid (Tommy Norden as Bud) and older brother Sandy (Luke Halpin) are having adventures on the Florida coast with their beloved dolphin while helping Dad (Brian Kelly as Ranger Porter Ricks) with his duties as a park ranger for a marine preserve.

The uncomplicated plots still manage to generate conflict and suspense, usually on the mild side (although Dad occasionally has to get rough with various poachers, smugglers, etc.) 


This is a good example of how they used to be able to cram lots of story into a half-hour episode without any filler and keep us sufficiently entertained the entire time.  It also takes us back to a more innocent television era when such stories were simple and fun.

The characters are surprisingly realistic, frequently engaging in sincere, understated father-son exchanges that ring true while teaching valuable lessons to both kid and adult viewers.  Moreover, their actions rarely strain credulity or descend into forced humor or bathos.

Even the fantasy element of Flipper seeming to understand and respond intelligently to Bud is done sparingly and with some subtlety (we only occasionally get the standard "Go get help, Flipper! Find Dad!" scene).

Dad's job as aquatic park ranger is fodder for a wealth of exciting stories.  In the pilot, "300 Feet Below", a shark-attack victim calls for help from his boat before passing out, and it's up to Flipper to make sure he gets needed plasma in time for a transfusion. (A young Jessica Walter appears as his wife.)


In another story, lobster trap poachers overpower Ranger Ricks during a nocturnal arrest and leave him stranded in the middle of the ocean to die.  (Andy Devine guest stars.) A hurricane threatens coastal inhabitants in "The Second Time Around", with an impossibly young Linda Day as a former water-skiing champion who loses the will to live after being confined to a wheelchair.

Stories such as this emphasize the human element that the series handles with ample skill.  Most are involved enough for adults but with a vicarious fantasy element that should appeal to kids as they watch Bud and Sandy living on the beach, constantly swimming and scuba-diving, having fun adventures with Flipper, etc.  It's enough to make me wish I were a kid again myself. 

Kelly is solid as the stern but easygoing Dad, with Luke Halpin ably portraying a likable teen on the verge of manhood while satisfying the "16 Magazine" readers in the audience. Red-headed Tommy Norden is ideal as the precocious kid who gets into trouble sometimes but is basically a model son.


The show benefits from colorful, simple, down-to-earth production values as well as the active participation of underwater expert Ricou Browning (CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON).  Olive Films' three-disc Blu-ray (full screen, mono, English subtitles, no extras) nicely preserves the show's brightness and clarity despite some occasional wear in the original elements.

Even if you weren't a fan of this series the first time around, you may find yourself warming up to it considerably upon reappraisal.  It's great light viewing if you're in the mood for something simple and uncomplicated.  As for me, FLIPPER: SEASON ONE is the kind of easy-to-take family entertainment that I can binge watch till it's coming out of my ears.


Buy it at Olive Films

YEAR: 1964-1965
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:  780 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO
RELEASE DATE: August 29

Read our review of Season Two



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Friday, August 25, 2017

OXENFREE -- Movie Review by Porfle



Sort of a guy flick with feels, OXENFREE (Candy Factory, 2016) takes the cake for not letting on what kind of movie it's going to be at first and then surprising us with something that resembles a cross between LORD OF THE FLIES and "Kick the Can."

It opens at the secluded family cabin where Aaron (Steven Molony) awaits the arrival of his stepbrothers Roy (Paul Vonasek) and Benjamin (Timothy R. Lane).  Aaron clearly suffers from some health difficulty--an oxygen tank is never far from his reach--which he will hide from the others. 

We sense a strained relationship between him and both the burly, somewhat overbearing Roy and the more mild-mannered Benjamin stemming from old childhood hurts that have never healed. 


Their efforts to overcome them are awkward but earnest as they spend an evening around the campfire, relating old stories, tall tales, and memories of Aaron's biological father who adopted the other two boys before he was born.

But just as it appears as though their differences may be irreconcilable, Aaron sets his master plan into motion: to lure them, via a crumbling old map, across the lake and deep into the forest where they once built a makeshift fort and pretended to be heroic adventure characters. 

Roy and Benjamin arrive at the site of Fort Buttkicker, now rebuilt by Aaron and ready for action, and find themselves gradually drawn back into the world of make-believe that once captivated them.

That's when OXENFREE becomes an odd, almost surreal world of super-soakers, slingshots, war paint, imaginary battles, and random cosplay in which these three grown men gradually surrender themselves to a totally immersive childhood fantasy that brings them together, free from the constraints of adulthood and the outside world.


Director Dan Glaser (PINCHING PENNY, PETTY CRIMES) and a lean script by Timothy J. Meyer handle all of this well, without actually getting overly cute or silly with the idea. 

And neither do they pile on the maudlin sentiment when the brothers suddenly face the harsh reality behind their wild-child weekend and are forced to come clean with each other about old family grievances and other pressing matters.

Any more I dare not reveal, save to say that I found OXENFREE much more thoughtful, contemplative, and evocative than I originally expected.  Which is probably just the way Roy and Benjamin feel after this strangely liberating excursion into childhood abandon which Aaron has in store for them.  And us.




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FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (1943) -- Movie Review by Porfle



I love FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN (Universal, 1943) because Lon Chaney, Jr.'s Wolf Man is my favorite monster, and this is the best Wolf Man movie ever, at least in that you get to see a lot of him, his story is interesting, and there are some great transformation scenes. Also because you get two awesome Frankenstein Monsters for the price of one--Bela Lugosi and Gil Perkins--combined to make one great tag-team performance that somehow comes together.

Bela, as many will know, was getting on in years when finally given the role of the Monster after famously refusing it in 1931.  To be fair, the part probably wasn't all that much as originally conceived, before director James Whale entered the picture with his imaginative revisions.

By the time Bela finally donned the makeup over a decade later, he had Karloff's definitive interpretation to live up to as well as the fact that his distinctive features seemed oddly ill-suited for the role.


Most damaging to his performance, however, was the fact that the script originally specified that the Monster be both blind and capable of speech, a result of Bela's "Ygor" character having his brain transplanted into the Monster's skull in the previous film, GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN. 

While this would seem a logical development, the subsequent excision of all references in the film to the Monster's blindness rendered Lugosi's stumbling, groping movements extremely awkward-looking.  The missing dialogue (the story goes that Bela's voice coming out of the Monster sounded unintentionally funny) also resulted in shots in which the Monster's lips moved soundlessly.

By now pushing sixty, Bela was happy to turn over the role's more strenuous "acting" requirements to stuntman Gil Perkins, who not only went mano-a-mano with the Wolf Man in the final scenes but also withstood being packed into that wall of ice where he's first discovered and then freed by Lawrence Talbot (Chaney). 

Oddly, the burly Perkins looked so impressive in the Monster's makeup that it's a closeup of him we first see in the ice, and a stunning one at that.  So much so that one might wonder why he wasn't given the role in the subsequent films that featured fellow actor/stuntman Glenn Strange instead.


But aside from my affection for Bela and his ill-fated turn as the Monster, it's my love for the Wolf Man that most warms my heart toward this film.  For, indeed, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN is more a sequel to the 1941 classic THE WOLF MAN than anything else, and a terrific one at that. 

It begins with that famous scene of two graverobbers invading Lawrence Talbot's crypt and getting much more than they bargained for, exposing his dormant body to the rays of the full moon and releasing the Wolf Man into the wild once again.

Talbot subsequently ends up in a hospital under the care of Dr. Mannering (Patrick Knowles, who played a different character in THE WOLF MAN), during which the full moon rises again and we get to see the first (and perhaps best) actual close-up transformation scene from man to wolf, done in a series of meticulous lap-dissolves featuring gradually increasing werewolf makeup in an exhaustive process that took all day and was an ordeal for all involved, especially Chaney.


Leaving the hospital--with a concerned Dr. Mannering on his heels--Talbot seeks help from the gypsy woman, Maleva (venerable actress Maria Ouspenskaya), who once cared for her own lycanthropic son Bela (played by Lugosi in THE WOLF MAN) before he passed his terrible curse on to Talbot and was then killed by him.  Together they travel to the village of Vasaria, where Maleva is sure Dr. Frankenstein (that is, the original Dr. Frankenstein's son Ludwig) will be able to help Talbot. 

When they arrive, they discover that Dr. Frankenstein is dead and his castle (into which the mental institution of the previous film seems to have morphed) is in ruins.  The full moon rises, and Talbot once again becomes the Wolf Man.  With a passel of torch-wielding villagers hot on his heels (including Lionel Atwill as mayor and Dwight Frye in a bit part), he darts into the ruins of Frankenstein's castle and falls through a hole into an underground ice cavern. 

There, after returning to human form, he discovers the Frankenstein Monster (Perkins) frozen in that wall of ice.  How did he get there, after last being seen burning alive in Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory?  Hmmm.  I guess he fell through the floor again like he did in the windmill at the end of the first movie. 


Talbot frees the Monster, hoping he can lead him to Dr. Frankenstein's diary and perhaps a way to end his own life of misery.  He then devises a plan to contact Frankenstein's daughter, Elsa (played by Evelyn Ankers in GHOST, but now embodied by bombshell Ilona Massey), to see if she knows the diary's whereabouts.  Talbot persuades Elsa to come to the castle with him, where she shows him a hidden compartment that contains the actual Frankenstein records.

Dr. Mannering shows up and inexplicably agrees to help Talbot in his suicidal endeavor (one of the troubled script's most puzzling elements), restoring Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory and using his records to come up with a way to drain off Talbot's life energies.  Elsa urges him to use the same technology to finish off the Monster as well, to which he agrees. 

Everything builds up to the film's highly-anticipated final confrontation.  As hotheaded villager Vaszec (Rex Evans) plots to blow up the dam overlooking the castle ruins and drown its inhabitants, both the Monster and Lawrence Talbot are strapped to lab tables, ostensibly so that Dr. Mannering can drain them both of their life energies and provide each a merciful death. 


Of course, it doesn't work that way--just at the point of throwing the proper switch, Mannering gets that old "mad doctor" gleam in his eyes (familiar to Universal monster movie fans) and suddenly decides he simply must see the Monster at his full power. 

Bela blinks his eyes as his sight returns, making the Monster more dangerous than he's been since the climax of GHOST OF FRANKENSTEIN.  The resulting surge of renewed energy gives us his finest closeup in the film, a crazed look of juiced-up triumph that turns into an evil sideways leer as he focuses his attention upon the lovely Elsa (apparently electricity acts as a sort of Viagra for monsters). 

Just at the point where the later films in the series began to fizzle out (Monster breaks straps, galumphs around for a while, blunders into quicksand or fire and conveniently expires), this one switches into high gear. When Elsa hits the wrong switch in an attempt to turn off the machine and the lab is shaken by explosions, with heavy wooden beams falling from the ceiling, a thrill of anticipation fills the air and we just know things are about to get really good.

The Monster bursts his straps and grabs Elsa--it's the only time in Universal's "Frankenstein" series when he'll do the traditional "monster carries girl" move--and the Wolf Man (for the full moon has just risen and Talbot has turned) follows suit soon after, attacking him from behind as Mannering whisks Elsa to safety. 

The fight itself isn't all that imaginatively staged, with the Wolf Man leaping on the Monster from various perches and the Monster throwing him around, with a little old-fashioned wrestling thrown in for good measure.  But it's still an exciting monster rumble designed to delight the fans. The dam blowing up and the raging waters surging downhill toward the castle add to the suspense.


Adding to the eternal confusion as to how many people played the Monster in this film, the shot of him bursting his straps and sullenly lumbering down off the lab table looks for all the world like an insert of actor/stuntman Eddie Parker (who reportedly doubled Chaney as the Wolf Man) in the makeup, as do some of the subsequent shots during the fight. 

This would attest to the notion of the film's final sequence being heavily redone to account for script changes, with the Monster's oversized boots being filled by whomever happened to be available that day.  In some shots he seems to be a poorly made-up Parker; in others, he's unmistakably Perkins.
 
The interspersed closeups of Bela--growling, sneering, wickedly gleeful--seem to be from the original version of the sequence which featured a talking Monster gloating over his renewed strength and power.  At one point right before the deluge he throws his arms up in a grin of triumph--is this a glimpse of the Monster right after electrical rejuvenation, when the original strap-bursting scene featured a talking, gloating Monster? I believe so, although we'll probably never know for sure.

One thing is sure, however--for pure all-around fun, the Universal horror pictures rarely, if ever, get any better than this.  While more serious critics ponder its many mysteries and hash over its faults, of which there are, admittedly, a few, fans revel in the undiluted monster goodness that is FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN.  It's a priceless example of richly-evocative vintage filmmaking that continues to fascinate and find renewed appreciation as time goes by.
  

Read the in-depth discussion of the film at Classic Horror Film Board

Getting the Story Straight: The Universal "Frankenstein" Series, Part One

Getting the Story Straight: The Universal "Frankenstein" Series, Part Two




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Thursday, August 24, 2017

“#FOCUSFRIDAYS” on Facebook Live -- Free Live-Streaming of Classic Focus Feature Movies on Friday Nights in Aug. & Sept.



“#FOCUSFRIDAYS” ON FACEBOOK LIVE

FREE LIVE-STREAMING OF CLASSIC FOCUS FEATURES MOVIES
ON FRIDAY NIGHTS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER
CONTINUES CELEBRATION OF COMPANY’S 15th ANNIVERSARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LOS ANGELES, August 24, 2017 – A trio of film favorites from Focus Features will be streamed on Facebook Live over the next three Friday nights in August and September. #FocusFridays will take place each Friday night on the Focus Features Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/FocusFeatures/ beginning @6:00 PM PT. Promotional video can be viewed here.


The lineup of classic movies is as follows:
 
Friday, August 25th: The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Al Otro Lado del Río”). Following an inspiring journey of self-discovery and tracing the youthful origins of a revolutionary heart, the Latin American continent is unveiled in all its glory as two friends experience life at its fullest.
 
Friday, September 1st: The Constant Gardener (2005) sweeps audiences along one man’s emotional and global journey to uncover the truth behind a personal loss and a worldwide conspiracy. For her performance opposite Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz won the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Academy Award.
 
Friday, September 8th: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) earned Golden Globe Award nominations for its stars Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, in an unforgettable love story, a tumultuous relationship seen through a maze of memories. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

#FocusFridays is the latest celebration part of Focus 15 (www.focusfifteen.com), the initiative commemorating the founding 15 years ago of worldwide film company Focus Features, whose films have garnered 105 Academy Award nominations and won 21 Oscars. Film buffs and movie fans can sign up at Focus Insider for invites to retrospective screenings, limited-edition soundtracks and posters giveaways, and all Focus 15 updates through www.focusfeatures.com/subscribe.
 

Focus Features (www.focusfeatures.com) acquires and produces specialty films for the global market, and holds a library of iconic movies from fearless filmmakers. Current and upcoming domestic releases from Focus include Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, winner of the Best Director award at the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival; the breakneck action-thriller Atomic Blonde, directed by David Leitch and starring Charlize Theron and James McAvoy; Victoria & Abdul, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Judi Dench as Queen Victoria; Darkest Hour, directed by Joe Wright and starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill; the untitled Entebbe project, a gripping political thriller directed by José Padilha and starring Rosamund Pike and Daniel Brühl; Jason Reitman’s new comedy Tully, starring Charlize Theron and written by Diablo Cody; and the untitled new film from Paul Thomas Anderson starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.




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STAR WARS Fans Invited to "Find the Force" As Unprecedented Augmented Reality Event Sweeps the Globe for Force Friday II



Star Wars Fans Invited to “Find the Force” As Unprecedented Augmented Reality Event Sweeps the Globe for

Force Friday II


Fans to reveal a new Star Wars: The Last Jedi character via social media

New product line for Star Wars: The Last Jedi launches globally at 12:01 AM September 1

More than 20,000 retail locations worldwide will become home to augmented reality Star Wars characters from September 1-3

GLENDALE, Calif. (August 24, 2017) –  Following the global phenomenon of Force Friday in 2015, Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Find the Force, a global augmented reality (AR) event rolling out on Force Friday II (September 1) to commemorate the worldwide launch of new products inspired by Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The pop-up AR treasure hunt aims to unite fans around the world in the battle against the dark side in a unique three-day event at over 20,000 retail locations across 30 countries. As fans turn up to take home new Star Wars: The Last Jedi products, they will have the opportunity to activate a unique augmented reality experience featuring Star Wars characters, including fan-favorites and new surprise additions from the film.


“Force Friday II is a major milestone in the countdown to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Star Wars has always championed new technology, and we are excited that augmented reality will allow fans to experience the universe in a whole new way,” says Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm.

From September 1-3, retailers around the world will invite fans to Find the Force by taking part in an AR treasure hunt. Here’s how it works: first, download the Star Wars App, which is your one-stop-shop for all things Star Wars (those who already have the app will need to download the latest version).

Then, visit any one of 20,000 participating retail locations to find a graphic that contains the Find the Force logo. When you scan the graphic using the Star Wars App, you’ll reveal a character, who through augmented reality, will appear in the room with you. You can then take photos, record videos, and share the experience on social media. Come back each day to reveal new characters
(15 in total across the program’s three-day run). Click here for more information: www.starwars.com/findtheforce

“Force Friday II puts fans right at the center of the action using augmented reality to bring our characters to life like never before. The technology theme continues in the Star Wars: The Last Jedi product line, which is our most innovative yet - we can’t wait for fans to see what’s in store.” said Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.

Fans can download the latest version of the Star Wars App (v. 2.3 or higher) beginning Aug. 24 for an early look at the new Porg characters in AR before the AR treasure hunt goes live at retail.

By sharing photos or videos featuring the in-store AR characters on Twitter or Instagram using #FindtheForce and #Sweepstakes throughout Force Friday II weekend, fans in select global markets can participate in a sweepstakes for the chance to win the ultimate fan experience: tickets to the Star Wars: The Last Jedi premiere in December.

No Purchase Necessary. Enter sweepstakes between August 31, 2017 at 7:00 a.m. Pacific Time (“PT”)/3:00 p.m. British Summer Time (“BST”) and September 4, 2017 at 2:59 a.m. PT/10:59 a.m. BST. Open to legal residents in 50 U.S. + D.C., Canada (excluding Quebec), Australia, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, France, South Korea and Chile who are 18+ or the age of majority in their place of residence, whichever is older. Limit 15 entries per person. There is 1 Grand Prize available to be won (ARV: US $4,500). Grand Prize winner must travel to Los Angeles, California USA on or about December 12, 2017. Visit starwars.com/findtheforce. for Official Rules including details on how to enter, additional eligibility requirements, prize descriptions and limitations. Void where prohibited. Sponsor: The Walt Disney Company (Australia) Pty. Limited, Level 5, Chapel Street, South Yarra, Victoria 3141, Australia.

More information about Find the Force and a how-to video is available at www.starwars.com/findtheforce.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017.


About Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media
Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media (DCPI) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) that brings our Company’s stories and characters to life through innovative and engaging physical products and digital experiences across more than 100 categories, from toys and t-shirts, to apps, books and console games. DCPI comprises four main lines of business: Global Licensing, Disney Retail, Publishing and Digital Media, and Games, Apps, and Labs. The segment is home to world-class teams of app and game developers, licensing and retail experts, a leading retail business (Disney Store), artists and storytellers, and technologists who inspire imaginations and bring the magic of Disney into the daily lives of families and fans around the world.

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.



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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

RED CHRISTMAS -- Movie Review by Porfle



A movie that might also have been called "When Abortions Attack!", RED CHRISTMAS (Artsploitation Films, 2016) is a pretty effective cautionary tale about what can happen if your viable aborted fetus is rescued by the guy who's about to blow up the abortion clinic, grows up into a twisted, deformed freak, and then returns as an adult on Christmas Day to wreak bloody revenge on his erstwhile mother and her comically dysfunctional family. 

Of course, any such film must star beloved genre queen Dee Wallace as the mom, who so desperately wants a traditional, happy family get-together despite having a woefully untraditional, unhappy family with absolutely no intention of getting together.  Her only solace is son Jerry (Gerard Odwyer), whose Downs Syndrome only makes him more special in Mommy's heart.

The rest of the clan includes the rebellious teen girl, her witheringly cynical and very, very pregnant older sister, the ultra-religious sister whose husband is a pious man of the cloth, and Mom's old-hippie brother who is forever puffing away on his medicinal marijuana. 


The prickly interactions amongst this motley bunch, spurred by various family issues and clashing personalities, would be sufficient for a twisted "Big Chill" sort of ensemble dramedy were it not for the fact that their ritual of exchanging gifts around the Christmas tree is interrupted by the entrance of one Cletus, an extremely creepy figure robed in black and wrapped from head to toe like a leper. 

Anyone who watches the abortion clinic prologue and then gets a load of Cletus should have very little trouble putting two and two together as well as mentally mapping out pretty much what territory the rest of RED CHRISTMAS is going to cover. 

All that's left to discover is who's gonna die in what order, how (and how bad) it's going to be, and whether or not first-time writer-director Craig Anderson will be able to make it entertaining for us jaded old slasher-flick junkies. 


Of course, the movie has already proven itself absorbing and fun thanks to good dialogue and performances and a pleasing overall look which includes nicely creative use of color and camera movement. 

Once the axe hits the skull and Cletus starts racking up his body count, the story goes into high gear and keeps us on our toes even though most of the plot's twists and turns cover pretty familiar ground. 

Granted, things start to lag a bit in the second half, but remain generally engaging enough to keep us wanting to see what happens next.  The kills range from teasing glimpses to graphic gore (although this isn't really a gorehound's dream) while our fleeting glimpse of Cletus sans facial bandages drives home the pleasingly retro nature of the film's practical effects. 


The tone is mock serious, with any humor that's inherent in the script kept utterly deadpan and never overt, which I like.  I also like the fact that the premise is so refreshingly different from the usual teens-in-a-cabin or campers-in-the-woods slasher fare while retaining the better elements of such films.

Mainly, though, RED CHRISTMAS lets us enjoy watching the wonderful Dee Wallace giving her all in a great role while fun and entertaining murder, mayhem, and carnage ensue all around her.  It's enough to give horror fans a little taste of Christmas right here in the middle of August.


Buy it at Amazon.com:Blu-ray
DVD

August 25th Theatrical Release:
Laemmle Music Hall 3
9036 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211



Red Christmas: English / Australia / 82 minutes



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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Strap in for Takeshi Kitano's Explosive Cinematic Masterpiece "HANA-BI" on Blu-ray 9/19 for the Very First Time!



"Frequently surprising... sure to keep an audience on its toes." -- Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Bracing and original... a personal film that speaks to everyone." -- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

THIS SEPTEMBER, STRAP IN FOR THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF TAKESHI KITANO'S NEWLY-RESTORED CINEMATIC MASTERPIECE, AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NORTH AMERICA

"HANA-BI (FIREWORKS)"


Winner of 19 International Awards, Including the Prestigious Golden Lion for Best Film at the Venice Int'l Film Festival, The Exclusive Collector's Release from Film Movement Classics Includes Commentary from Rolling Stone Film Critic David Fear, a "Making of Hana-Bi" Featurette and a Collector's Book

Beautifully Restored in HD, This Highly Original Crime Drama Will be Available on Blu-ray ($39.95srp) and DVD ($29.95srp) on September 19, 2017

SYNOPSIS
Feeling responsible for the shattered lives of his loved ones, beleaguered police detective Nishi (Takeshi Kitano, Ghost in the Shell, Brother, Violent Cop, Boiling Point) takes desperate measures to try and set things right in a world gone wrong. With his wife suffering from leukemia and his partner paralyzed from a brutal gangster attack, Nishi borrows money from a yakuza loan shark and then robs a bank to clear his debt.  The yakuza, however, are not so easily bought off, sending Nishi down a road paved with nihilism and violence. Considered Kitano's first true cinematic masterpiece, HANA-BI demonstrates the auteur's immense talents both in front of and behind the camera.

Available for the first time on Blu-ray in North America, this new digital HD restoration from Film Movement Classics offers cinema buffs a singular viewing experience of the film that Entertainment Weekly calls a "rich and visually beautiful work that, for all its stylized violence, manages to convey stillness, sweetness, and affecting emotional depth."

WATCH THE TRAILER


BONUS FEATURES
Commentary by Rolling Stone Film Critic David Fear
"Making-of Hana-bi" featurette
Collector's booklet featuring a new essay from film writer Jasper Sharp

CAST
Takeshi Kitano (as Yoshitaka Nishi)
Ren Osugi (as Horibe)
Kayoko Kishimoto (Nishi's wife)
Susumu Terajima (as Nakamura)
Tetsu Watanabe (as Junkyard Owner)

AWARDS
Awards of the Japanese Academy (1999) - Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Music Score
Blue Ribbon Awards (1999) - Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director
Camerimage (1998) - Silver Frog (Hideo Yamamoto)
European Film Awards (1997) - Screen International Award
Film Critics Circle of Australia (1997) - Best Foreign Language Film
French Syndicate of Cinema Critics (1998) Best Foreign Film
Grand Prix de I'UCC (1999)
Hochi Film Award (1998) - Best Film, Best Supporting Actor
Kinema Junpo Awards (1999) - Best Film, Reader's Choice Award/Best Film
Mainichi Film Concours (1999) - Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography
Nikkan Sports Film Award - Ishihara Yujiro Award, Best Supporting Actor
Russian Guild of Film Critics (1999) - Best Foreign Actor
São Paulo International Film Festival (1997) - Critics' Award
Venice Film Festival (1997) - Golden Lion for Best Film
Yokohama Film Festival (1999) - Best Supporting Actor

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Type:  Blu-ray/DVD
Running Time: 103 mins. + extras
Rating:  N/A
Genre:  Crime/Drama
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen 1.85:1
Audio:  Stereo
Language: Japanese with English Subtitles

About Film Movement
Celebrating its 15th year, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City.  Film Movement has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide, and last year it had its first Academy Award-nominated film, Naji Abu Nowar's THEEB. Film Movement's theatrical distribution strategy has evolved to include promising American independent films, documentaries, and an even stronger slate of foreign art house titles.  Its catalog includes titles by directors such as Hirokazu Kore-eda, Maren Ade, Jessica Hausner, Andrei Konchalovsky, Andrzej Wajda, Diane Kurys, Ciro Guerra and Melanie Laurent. In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Eric Rohmer, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, and Ettore Scola. For more information, please visit www.filmmovement.com


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This week: Frightfest Premiere of "MINDHACK" with Spencer Locke (TARZAN), Faran Tahir (IRON MAN), Chris Mason (BETWEEN TWO WORLDS)



HAS YOUR MIND BEEN HACKED?
FILM MODE ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES THE FRIGHTFEST PREMIERE OF
"MINDHACK"

 
New sci-fi thriller featuring amazing special F/X delves deep into the controversial, chilling and terrifying world of bio-hacking starring SPENCER LOCKE (TARZAN), FARAN TAHIR (IRON MAN), SCOTT MECHLOWICZ (DEMONIC) and CHRIS MASON (BETWEEN TWO WORLDS)

   
LONDON (22, August 2017) – Film Mode Entertainment is pleased to announce the 2017 FRIGHTFEST Premiere of Sci-Fi Thriller MINDHACK: #savetheworld. The film stars Spencer Locke (TARZAN), Faran Tahir (IRON MAN), Scott Mechlowicz (DEMONIC) and Chris Mason (BETWEEN TWO WORLDS) and is commercial director Royce Gorsuch’s feature directorial debut.

”We were blown away by the originality and timeliness of Royce’s directorial debut.  This is one of the most creative and commercially relevant films in the marketplace that knows exactly who its audience is; Millennials and Gen Z” Said Clay Epstein, President of Film Mode Entertainment.

MINDHACK: #savetheworld is an action-packed sci-fi thriller about a brilliant scientist on a mission to hack into the human mind in order to save humanity from its own catastrophic errors. Once he begins work on the controversial project, there is no stopping him as he is pushed to do whatever is necessary to accomplish his mission.

The film comes at an extremely poignant and timely juncture where hacking has taken the world by storm, from governments and other sources hacking into the systems of their adversaries to actual mind hacking incidents throughout the Silicon Valley and elsewhere throughout the world. Major news outlets including The Telegraph, Yahoo News and others have been reporting on how scientists have discovered how to upload knowledge to the human brain. Additionally, there is scientific evidence noted in articles in these media outlets and many more that “mind-hacking” has been going on since ancient Egypt.

Never in the history of the human race has there been such rampant hacking.
"This film was born from the exponentially evolving technological world we now live in and tells the paradoxical story of a generation who can currently change the world from their computers, and in the future will change the world by enhancing the power of the human mind. It was incredible to see the cast not only grasp these far reaching concepts of the film, but bring it to life with incredibly thrilling and emotionally charged performances. We assembled a team of geniuses to execute film, and we are thrilled to now partner with Clay Epstein and his team of geniuses for its release." Said Gorsuch.


                                          MINDHACK trailer


Screening info at FRIGHTFEST 2017


FRIGHTFEST reported on MINDHACK: A brilliant scientist is on a mission to hack the human mind to save humanity from its own catastrophic errors and is pushed to do whatever is necessary to complete the assignment. An extraordinary visionary experience about the inner conflicts of being a culture-jamming creator, director Royce Gorsuch’s kaleidoscopic mindbender is an astonishingly visual tour de force about the cacophony of voices in our heads pushing us, confusing us, mixing signals, the ego, reason, and the mistaken evils which might come from accomplishing the goal.  An inner space odyssey through reconciliation, forgiveness and self-sacrifice for the greater good.

The film was produced by VIX PROD. CO.

Royce Gorsuch is represented by Matt Shichtman at The Gotham Group

Spencer Locke is represented by Paradigm, Faran Tahir by Greene & Associates, Scott Mechlowicz also by Greene & Associates, Chris Mason by 3 Arts / UTA / United Agents UK, Gbenga Akinnagbe by APA and Brandon Scott by Innovative Artists.

Clay Epstein’s Film Mode Entertainment is representing worldwide rights on MINDHACK: #savetheworld.

Lon Haber & Co is handling PR for the film, and for Film Mode Entertainment.

About Film Mode Entertainment
Film Mode Entertainment is a leading worldwide sales agent and production entity, focusing on commercially driven feature films of all genres and budget sizes. Film Mode represents projects at all stages of the filmmaking process, often as Executive Producer, with the aim of helping our producers and distributors achieve maximum exposure for their films. Film Mode’s recent successes include SUGAR MOUNTAIN starring Jason Momoa, LITTLE PINK HOUSE starring two time, Academy Award nominatee, Catherine Keener and the SXSW official entry, THE GOOD NEIGHBOR starring the legendary Academy Award nominee James Caan. Upcoming productions include VIKING DESTINY starring Academy Award nominee Terence Stamp. In 2017, Film Mode launched DocMode to focus on award winning Documentaries that impact the world. Film Mode is based in Beverly Hills, CA. with a satellite office in New York City.


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Monday, August 21, 2017

One Woman Must Face Her Fears In This Movie Poster and Clip for Walter Moise's "THE DOCUMENTARY"



A Young Woman Finds Out What Really Scares Her in THE DOCUMENTARY Releasing from Terror Films

LOS ANGELES, CA (August 21, 2017) - Terror Films is set to release THE DOCUMENTARY onto digital platforms this Tuesday, August 22. The film was written and directed by Walter Moise (producer/editor of the award winning sci-fi indie Counter Clockwise).  The cast is comprised of Tristin Rupp, Jake B. Miller, and Aaron Bowden. The film’s official artwork and trailer are available now.

Through a found footage aesthetic, the story follows Sandra Novak (Rupp) who has agreed to be the subject of a documentary film. The documentary deals with “conquering fear.” Unbeknownst to her, the filmmaker that has chosen her may have ulterior motives as he infiltrates her home and begins to gather information to sabotage her relationship and her life.


Moise has something to say of the filmmaking process. Moise has said: “I was trying to capture the closest thing to actual reality. I shot the whole film in chronological order and chose not to write a script but a treatment that the actors would improvise.”  Moise also says that he has derived inspiration from the works of Michael Haenke and Stanley Kubrick.

In their ongoing effort to bring the best and most diverse indie horror content to the masses, Terror Films will release this film across multiple digital platforms. Platforms include:  iTunes, Amazon Instant/Prime, Vudu, Google Play/You Tube, X-Box Live and many others.  The release begins with North America and will be followed by a worldwide digital release on iFlix.

THE DOCUMENTARY Official Trailer


THE DOCUMENTARY clip “You told me about a fear…”


For more information on Terror Films, visit: www.terrorfilms.net
And here: www.facebook.com/TerrorFilmsLLC/


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Sunday, August 20, 2017

THE ERRAND BOY -- Movie Review by Porfle



THE ERRAND BOY (1961) recalls the previous year's THE BELLBOY in that we find writer-director-star Jerry Lewis shooting a low-budget black-and-white feature which is simply a plotless series of gags set in one location (in THE BELLBOY it was a busy Miami Beach hotel, while this takes place in and around a bustling movie studio).

There's a semblance of plot involving studio head Brian Donlevy and his obsequious toady, played with verve by Howard McNear (Floyd the barber from "The Andy Griffith Show") but it's just an excuse to give Lewis the run of the place once again, packing each scene with as many imaginative gags as he can devise

Jerry is helped in this task by an excellent cast that also includes Stanley "Cyrano Jones" Adams, Kathleen Freeman, Doodles Weaver, Sig Ruman, Fritz Feld, Iris Adrian, and some surprise guest stars.


Much of it is as laugh-out-loud funny as you'd expect, while the rest is rather hit-and-miss. Jerry, of course, disrupts the orderly filmmaking process at every turn, at one point dubbing his own ear-splitting vocals into a lovely young actress' song interlude and elsewhere attempting to eat a quiet sidewalk lunch on the set of a war film.

The usual bathos occurs when the errand boy befriends some cute little puppets which come to life for him in a dusty storeroom--it's in these moments that Lewis tries too hard to be charming when we really want him to keep making with the funny.

This he does in one of his most celebrated sequences, in which he pretends to be the chairman of the board non-verbally chewing out his underlings while broadly pantomiming the instruments in a blaring big band tune. For this scene alone THE ERRAND BOY is well worth a look for Lewis fans, but it has so much more to offer as well including a raucous, slapstick finale.



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Friday, August 18, 2017

Olive Films Announces August 2017 DVD & Blu-ray Releases



COMING IN August 2017
ON DVD & BLU-RAY


From OLIVE FILMS

Olive Films is proud to announce the following August 2017 releases:

The Wedding Banquet (1993) - DVD/BD
Hell Up In Harlem (1973) - DVD/BD
Flipper Season 1 (1964 - 1965) - DVD/BD
Flipper Season 2 (1965 - 1966) - DVD/BD
The Stranger (1946) - DVD/BD
The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1977) - DVD
Dracula In Vegas (1999) - DVD
Spirits Of The Somme (2012) - DVD

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



FIRST TIME ON
BLU-RAY!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:        8/22/17
STREET:            8/29/17

THE WEDDING BANQUET
DVD

CAT:                 OF1356
UPC:       887090135610
SRP:                 $19.95

THE WEDDING BANQUET
BD
       
CAT:                 OF1357
UPC:       887090135719
SRP:                 $29.95
THE WEDDING BANQUET
MITCHELL LICHTENSTEIN
(Flawless, Streamers, Kangaroo Man)
WINSTON CHAO
(Eat Drink Man Woman, Island of Greed, Intimates)
MAY CHIN
(Woman Soup, Magic Sword, May Jane)
SIHUNG LUNG
(Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Eat Drink Man Woman; Pushing Hands)
AH-LEH GUA
(Eat Drink Man Woman, Intimates, Fleeing by Night)

Directed by
ANG LEE (Brokeback Mountain; Life of Pi; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

Ang Lee, the two-time Academy Award winner for Best Director (Brokeback Mountain – 2006, Life of Pi – 2013) co-wrote, directed and makes a cameo appearance in the comedy-with-heart The Wedding Banquet.

YEAR: 1993
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH and MANDARIN (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 107 mins
RATING: R
VIDEO: 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO

EXTRAS
Trailer
“A Forbidden Passion” Featurette

Ang Lee (Life of Pi) directs this heartwarming comedy about a young gay man who, in order to placate his traditional parents, must hide his “secret” and marry in The Wedding Banquet.

Gay couple Wai-Tung (Winston Chao, Eat Drink Man Woman) and Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein, Streamers) are happily cohabitating in New York when word comes from Wai-Tung’s parents, who, tired of waiting for their son to marry and give them grandchildren, have hired a dating service to get him closer to the altar. Wai-Tung and Simon hatch a plot that’ll see Wai-Tung married to Wei-Wei (May Chin, Woman Soup), an acquaintance in need of her green card. Problem solved. That is, until Wai-Tung’s parents announce a visit and insist that a customary wedding banquet is given to atone for the less-than-spectacular city hall marriage ceremony. And there’s another surprise. Could there soon be the pitter patter of little feet?

The Wedding Banquet, written for the screen by Ang Lee, Neil Peng and James Schamus, brings together an eclectic cast of American and Asian actors including Sihung Lung and Ah-Leh Gua, who would both appear in Ang Lee’s follow-up film, Eat Drink Man Woman.

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

FIRST TIME ON
BLU-RAY!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:        8/22/17
STREET:            8/29/17

HELL UP IN HARLEM       DVD     
CAT:                 OF1360
UPC:       887090136013
SRP:                 $19.95

HELL UP IN HARLEM       BD       
CAT:                 OF1361
UPC:       887090136112
SRP:                 $29.95
HELL UP IN HARLEM
FRED WILLIAMSON
(Black Caesar; Hammer; Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon)
JULIUS W. HARRIS
(King Kong, Live and Let Die, Super Fly)
GLORIA HENDRY
(Black Caesar, Live and Let Die, Black Belt Jones)
MARGARET AVERY
(The Color Purple, Magnum Force, TV’s Being Mary Jane)
D’URVILLE MARTIN
(Black Caesar, Rosemary’s Baby, Dolemite)
TONY KING
(Shaft, Bucktown, The Toy)
GERALD GORDON
(One Man’s Way, Patty Hearst, The Judas Project)
BOBBY RAMSEN
(God Told Me To, It Lives Again, Nobody’s Perfekt)

Directed by
LARRY COHEN
(Special Effects, Black Caesar, It’s Alive)

Writer and director Larry Cohen’s ability to move smoothly between genres (Special Effects, It’s Alive, God Told Me To, Original Gangstas) is on full display in the blaxploitation film Hell Up in Harlem, starring Fred Williamson.

YEAR: 1973
GENRE: ACTION, DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 95 mins
RATING: R
VIDEO: 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO

EXTRAS
NEW audio commentary with director Larry Cohen, moderated by Steve Mitchell, director of the upcoming documentary King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen.


He’s alive!?!

Fred Williamson (Black Caesar) returns as the Godfather of Harlem in director Larry Cohen’s sequel to the blaxploitation hit Black Caesar.

Recovering from an onslaught of bullets that would have killed a lesser man, Tommy Gibbs is out for revenge against DiAngelo (Gerald Gordon, One Man’s Way), a sleazy New York District Attorney with mob ties who set up the hit-gone-wrong. Tommy, with the aid of his father, Papa Gibbs (Julius W. Harris, Super Fly) is soon on the mend and putting his Harlem empire back on track. But there’s a catch. Could Tommy’s near-death experience have changed the man who was once called the “Overlord of the Underworld”? Is redemption stronger than temptation? All will be revealed in the action-packed sequel to Black Caesar featuring Gloria Hendry (reprising her role as Helen in Black Caesar), Margaret Avery (The Color Purple), D’Urville Martin (the returning Reverend Rufus of Black Caesar), Tony King (Shaft) and Bobby Ramsen (God Told Me To). Written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen (Black Caesar, Special Effects), Hell Up in Harlem is a Samuel Z. Arkoff presentation featuring a musical score by Fonce Mizell and Freddie Perren with songs performed by Edwin Starr.

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

FIRST TIME ON
BLU-RAY!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:        8/22/17
STREET:            8/29/17

FLIPPER SEASON 1        DVD     
CAT:                 OF1362
UPC:       887090136211
SRP:                 $34.95

FLIPPER SEASON 1        BD       
CAT:                 OF1363
UPC:       887090136310
SRP:                 $39.95
FLIPPER SEASON 1
BRIAN KELLY
(Around the World Under the Sea, TV’s Straightaway, TV’s 21 Beacon Street)
LUKE HALPIN
(Island of the Lost, Shock Waves, Nobody’s Perfekt)
TOMMY NORDEN
(Five Miles to Midnight, TV’s Search for Tomorrow, TV’s Naked City)

Flipper, created by Ricou Browning and Jack Cowden and shepherded to the small screen by Ivan Tors, the veteran producer of the TV classics Sea Hunt, Science Fiction Theatre and Daktari, featured one of the catchiest theme songs (written by William “By” Dunham and Henry Vars) ever composed for television.

YEAR: 1964-1965
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:  780 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO


No one you see, is smarter than he! They call him Flipper …

The classic TV series Flipper, starring Brian Kelly (Around the World Under the Sea) as Porter Ricks, Chief Warden and Park Ranger at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve, comes to DVD and Blu-ray in a beautiful new presentation that captures the pristine aquatic Florida backdrop in all its glory. Ricks, along with his two young sons Sandy (Luke Halpin, Island of the Lost) and Bud (Tommy Norden, Five Miles to Midnight) share weekly adventures aided by Flipper, their friend and pet, a highly intellectual and daring dolphin adept at protecting the preserve and sleuthing out unsavory characters.

Throughout its three-season run (1964 through 1967), Flipper featured a galaxy of guest stars including Burt Reynolds (Shark), John Kerr (South Pacific), Jessica Walter (Play Misty for Me), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), Barbara Feldon (TV’s Get Smart), David Soul (TV’s Starsky and Hutch), Bo Svenson (Heartbreak Ridge), Huntz Hall (The Bowery Boys), Daniel J. Travanti (TV’s Hill Street Blues), Marshall Thompson (It! The Terror from Beyond Space), Julie Sommars (TV’s Matlock), Pat Henning (On the Waterfront), Denise Nickerson (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), John Castle (Blow-Up), Michael Conrad (TV’s Hill Street Blues), Aline Towne (The Invisible Monster), John Abbott (Gigi), Jon Cypher (TV’s Major Dad), Karen Steele (Marty), Andy Devine (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), Wende Wagner (Rosemary’s Baby), Jean-Pierre Aumont (Day for Night), and Gloria DeHaven (Summer Stock).

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

FIRST TIME ON
BLU-RAY!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:        8/22/17
STREET:            8/29/17

FLIPPER SEASON 2        DVD     
CAT:                 OF1365
UPC:       887090136518
SRP:                 $34.95

FLIPPER SEASON 2        BD       
CAT:                 OF1366
UPC:       887090136617
SRP:                 $39.95
FLIPPER SEASON 2

BRIAN KELLY
(Around the World Under the Sea, TV’s Straightaway, TV’s 21 Beacon Street)
LUKE HALPIN
(Island of the Lost, Shock Waves, Nobody’s Perfekt)
TOMMY NORDEN
(Five Miles to Midnight, TV’s Search for Tomorrow, TV’s Naked City)

Flipper, created by Ricou Browning and Jack Cowden and shepherded to the small screen by Ivan Tors, the veteran producer of the TV classics Sea Hunt, Science Fiction Theatre and Daktari, featured one of the catchiest theme songs (written by William “By” Dunham and Henry Vars) ever composed for television.

YEAR: 1965-1966
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:  780 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; Color
AUDIO: MONO


No one you see, is smarter than he! They call him Flipper …

The classic TV series Flipper, starring Brian Kelly (Around the World Under the Sea) as Porter Ricks, Chief Warden and Park Ranger at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve, comes to DVD and Blu-ray in a beautiful new presentation that captures the pristine aquatic Florida backdrop in all its glory. Ricks, along with his two young sons Sandy (Luke Halpin, Island of the Lost) and Bud (Tommy Norden, Five Miles to Midnight) share weekly adventures aided by Flipper, their friend and pet, a highly intellectual and daring dolphin adept at protecting the preserve and sleuthing out unsavory characters.

Throughout its three-season run (1964 through 1967), Flipper featured a galaxy of guest stars including Burt Reynolds (Shark), John Kerr (South Pacific), Jessica Walter (Play Misty for Me), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), Barbara Feldon (TV’s Get Smart), David Soul (TV’s Starsky and Hutch), Bo Svenson (Heartbreak Ridge), Huntz Hall (The Bowery Boys), Daniel J. Travanti (TV’s Hill Street Blues), Marshall Thompson (It! The Terror from Beyond Space), Julie Sommars (TV’s Matlock), Pat Henning (On the Waterfront), Denise Nickerson (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), John Castle (Blow-Up), Michael Conrad (TV’s Hill Street Blues), Aline Towne (The Invisible Monster), John Abbott (Gigi), Jon Cypher (TV’s Major Dad), Karen Steele (Marty), Andy Devine (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), Wende Wagner (Rosemary’s Baby), Jean-Pierre Aumont (Day for Night), and Gloria DeHaven (Summer Stock).

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



US+CANADA
PREBOOK:        8/22/17
STREET:            8/29/17

THE STRANGER DVD
CAT:                 OF1367
UPC:       887090136716
SRP:                 $19.95

THE STRANGER BD       
CAT:                 OF1368
UPC:       887090136815
SRP:                 $29.95
THE STRANGER
ORSON WELLES
(Citizen Kane, Touch of Evil, Chimes at Midnight)
LORETTA YOUNG
(The Bishop’s Wife, Come to the Stable, The Farmer’s Daughter)
EDWARD G. ROBINSON
(A Hole in the Head, Key Largo, Double Indemnity)
RICHARD LONG
(The Dark Mirror, House on Haunted Hill, TV’s The Big Valley)

Directed by
ORSON WELLES
(Citizen Kane, Macbeth, Touch of Evil)

Academy Award winner Orson Welles (Best Screenplay, Citizen Kane) directs and stars in the thought-provoking noir The Stranger. Starring alongside Welles are Loretta Young (Academy Award winner for Best Actress, The Farmer’s Daughter – 1948) and Edward G. Robinson (Double Indemnity) in a film photographed by Academy Award winning cinematographer Russell Metty (Spartacus – 1961) from a story by Victor Trivas (Academy Award nominee for Best Writing, Original Story – 1947).


YEAR: 1946
GENRE: DRAMA
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 95 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO:  1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; B&W
AUDIO: MONO

EXTRAS
New audio commentary by Nora Fiore
“The Stranger: Murderers Among Us” – essay by Dr. Jennifer Lynde Barker


The Stranger, Orson Welles’ fourth outing as director, is a tautly paced noir that features Welles as Franz Kindler, a Nazi on the run who, posing as Professor Charles Rankin, insinuates himself into the town of Harper, Connecticut. Unbeknownst to Mary Longstreet (Loretta Young, The Bishop’s Wife), now married to Kindler, her husband’s past is quickly catching up with him when Mr. Wilson of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (embodied by Key Largo’s Edward G. Robinson) closes in on the sleepy hamlet.

The Stranger stands the test of time with its use of noir tropes, Russell Metty’s (Touch of Evil) chiaroscuro black & white photography and the bold decision to incorporate footage of actual Nazi atrocities into its plot to moving effect. With this striking new edition of The Stranger, Welles fans and film aficionados alike will fall under its spell.

The Stranger, directed by and starring Orson Welles (Citizen Kane) from a screenplay by Anthony Veiller, adapted by Victor Trivas (Academy Award nominee for Best Writing, Original Story, The Stranger - 1947) and Decla Dunning from a story by Trivas with uncredited contributions by Welles and John Huston, features supporting performances by Richard Long (The Dark Mirror), Philip Merivale (Mr. & Mrs. Smith), Konstantin Shayne (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) and Byron Keith (Journey Into Light).

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

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:       8/22/17
STREET:          8/29/17

THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU        DVD   
CAT:                 OF1371
UPC:       887090137119
SRP:                 $19.95
THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
BURT LANCASTER
(Elmer Gantry, Atlantic City, 1900)
MICHAEL YORK
(Cabaret, The Three Musketeers, Logan’s Run)
BARBARA CARRERA
(Embryo, Lone Wolf McQuade, Never Say Never Again)
RICHARD BASEHART
(TV’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Moby Dick, La Strada)
NIGEL DAVENPORT
(Phase IV, Chariots of Fire, A Man for All Seasons)

Directed by
DON TAYLOR
(Damien: Omen II, Escape from the Planet of the Apes, The Final Countdown)

With a total of four Academy Award nominations under his belt for Best Actor (including a win for his performance as Elmer Gantry – 1961), Burt Lancaster stars as the twisted genius Dr. Paul Moreau in The Island of Dr. Moreau, based on the novel by H.G. Wells.
 

YEAR: 1977
GENRE: HORROR
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 99 mins
RATING: PG
VIDEO:  1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO

EXTRAS
New audio commentary with Jeff Belanger and Dr. Dreck
“The Island of Doctor Moreau as Theological Grotesque” – essay by Gorman Beauchamp

The Island of Dr. Moreau, based on the H.G. Wells novel, stars Academy Award winner Burt Lancaster (Best Actor, Elmer Gantry – 1961) as the titular doctor in this screen adaptation that also features Michael York (Cabaret) and Barbara Carrera (Never Say Never Again).

Following a shipwreck, crewman Andrew Braddock (York) washes up on a mysterious island ruled by the seemingly benevolent Dr. Moreau (Lancaster). Braddock will learn that this “man of science” has been testing a serum on the island animals which is able to transform them into near-human beings.  As the deranged doctor slips ever closer to insanity, Braddock’s plans to escape the island along with Maria (Carrera), another of the doctor’s guests, is thwarted at every turn. Has Braddock’s discovery come too late? And at what cost?

Rounding out the cast in this top-notch horror film are Nigel Davenport (Phase IV) as Montgomery, Dr. Moreau’s right-hand man, and Richard Basehart (TV’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) as the island’s Sayer of the Law.

The Island of Dr. Moreau, directed by Don Taylor (Damien: Omen II) from a screenplay by Al Ramrus and John Herman Shaner (based on the novel by H.G. Wells), is photographed by Gerry Fisher (Fedora, Don Giovanni) and features a score by Academy Award nominee Laurence Rosenthal (Becket – 1965, Man of La Mancha – 1973).

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FIRST TIME ON
DVD!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:       8/22/17
STREET:          8/29/17

DRACULA IN VEGAS       DVD     
CAT:                 ME036
UPC:       887090703604
SRP:                 $19.95
DRACULA IN VEGAS
MAXIMILLIAN GRABINGER
APRIL LEIGH
FLORA MYERS (Death Nurse, Death Nurse 2, Criminally Insane 2)
SAM GARTNER

Directed by
NICK MILLARD (Death Nurse, Death Nurse 2, Cemetery Sisters)

Cemetery Sisters director Nick Millard returns to fertile ground with the coming-of-age vampire comedy Dracula in Vegas.


YEAR: 1999
GENRE: HORROR
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME: 62 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO:  1.33:1 Aspect Ratio; COLOR
AUDIO: MONO

EXTRAS
Audio commentary with director Nick Millard, Irmi Millard, and Slasher // Video’s Jesus Terán
Interview with director Nick Millard and Producer Irmi Millard
Photo Gallery
Trailer


Dracula in Vegas … and necking will never be the same.

It’s Auf wiedersehen, Germany. Hello, Las Vegas when young vampire Max (Munich’s very own Maximillian Grabinger) makes the University of Nevada his college of choice. Not only does the school offer great academic corpses, er, courses, the campus is teeming with beautiful young ladies and an ample blood supply.

But when Max falls for gorgeous coed Christine, his love for her and a desire to settle down comes under the scrutiny of his parents, nosferatu with a more traditional vampire ethos. Maybe Max’s Uncle Felonious, a director of “art” films (who espouses the cinematic philosophies of Hitchcock and Rossellini) will put him on the straight and narrow.

But don’t be fooled: Dracula in Vegas is not a bleak, Bergmanesque view of the undead. It offers thrills & chills, and laughs & gasps in equal measure, along with some awesome fang work.

Dracula in Vegas, the vampire film with bite, is written and directed by Nick Millard (Cemetery Sisters) and produced by Flora Myers (aka Frances Millard).

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FIRST TIME ON
DVD!

US+CANADA
PREBOOK:       8/22/17
STREET:          8/29/17

SPIRITS OF THE SOMME        DVD          
CAT:                 OF1364
UPC:       887090136419
SRP:                 $14.95

SPIRITS OF THE SOMME
Directed by
BOB CARRUTHERS


YEAR: 2012
GENRE: DOCUMENTARY
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH (with optional English subtitles)
LABEL: OLIVE FILMS
TOTAL RUNNING TIME:  52 mins
RATING: N/R
VIDEO: 1.78:1 and 1.33 Aspect Ratios; COLOR and B&W
AUDIO: MONO


The first day on the Somme, one of the darkest periods of World War I, is chronicled in the emotionally charged documentary Spirits of the Somme. Bob Carruthers, the Emmy Award winning writer of Dinosaurs Myths & Reality (1995), explores the battle that left 60,000 British casualties in its wake on the fields of Somme in France on July 1, 1916. Utilizing rare footage and archival photographs to tell its story, Spirits of the Somme is a gripping tale of the British, French and German soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the Great War and the monumental efforts made by archivists, historians and the public alike to ensure that this piece of history is not forgotten.

Spirits of the Somme, produced and directed by Bob Carruthers, features on-camera commentary by Jeremy Banning, Peter Barton and Simon Jones of La Boisselle Study Group and Richard Dunning, Custodian of Lochnagar Crater, and is edited by Paula Badham with Clare Gambold and Gwilym Davies serving as executive producers.


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