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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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).

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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).

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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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HOLY CELEBRATION BATMAN! Walla Walla to Honor Actor and Favorite Son ADAM WEST!



HOLY CELEBRATION BATMAN! WALLA WALLA TO HONOR ACTOR AND FAVORITE SON ADAM WEST WITH DAY OF FESTIVITIES ON SEPT. 19

‘Adam West Day’ includes screening of West documentary, Bat Signal lighting, Q&A panels, music, food, and more


(WALLA WALLA, Wash.) — Quick, to Walla Walla to honor legendary actor Adam West. Walla Walla is celebrating the life of its favorite son on Tuesday, Sept. 19 — known the world over as Batman and later the voice of Mayor Adam West on the show The Family Guy — in a way that only West’s hometown can.

Held on West’s birthday, as proclaimed in June by the City of Walla Walla, “Adam West Day” will include a day full of festivities. The event includes a showing of West documentary “Starring Adam West”, a Q&A panel, music, food, contests, an official lighting of the Bat Signal, activities for kids, and much more.

Adam West died on June 9 in Los Angeles, but his Walla Walla roots run deep. He was born in 1928 in Walla Walla as William West Anderson. He grew up in what was then a tiny southeastern Washington farming community, before moving to Seattle at age 15. After graduating from high school, though, he returned to Walla Walla and graduated from Whitman College.


In 1959, he changed his name to Adam West and began his acting career, famously portraying Batman in the 1960s television version of the comic book hero. Though he moved away from Walla Walla, he returned frequently throughout his life. And it seems most every longtime Walla Walla resident has a personal Adam West story to share.

“Adam West is beloved in Walla Walla like few others, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that he was Walla Walla’s favorite son,” said Ron Williams, executive director of Visit Walla Walla. “So it is only natural for the entire community to honor his life together. And in a way that befits the moniker, ‘The town so nice they named it twice,’ Walla Walla is inviting his fans from near and far to come join us in the celebration.”

Walla Walla, the unofficial capital of Washington wine country with more than 120 wineries, knows how to throw a party. The Adam West Day events include:

--Q&A panel at The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center in downtown Walla Walla with Ruben Procopio, an American animation and comic book artist, animator, and sculptor, who West once called his personal sculptor.
--A showing of the documentary “Starring Adam West” at the Gesa Power House Theatre in downtown Walla Walla.
--Official lighting of the Bat Signal in the evening.
--Live music and kids activities in the downtown Walla Walla Plaza.
--The Adam West Experience, a joint effort of downtown Walla Walla businesses. Each
participating  business will display a bat sticker that indicates its     involvement, which could     include a special, a giveaway, or a drink or food item named in West’s honor. An award will be given to the three downtown   businesses wit the best decorations.

“This is a community joining together to honor someone who they love and that the residents of this city are quite proud of,” said Jonathan Grant, front office manager at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center and a co-organizer of the event.  “Frankly, it is something we should have done years ago, but I am excited that we are doing it now.”


All net proceeds from the event will be donated to Camp Rainbow, a camp based in Idaho for children who are either cancer survivors or are undergoing treatment for blood-related cancer diseases. West was a supporter of the camp.

For more information on planning a trip to Walla Walla, go to visitwallawalla.com. For more details on Adam West Day, visit www.adamwestday.com.

About Walla Walla:
As the unofficial capital of Washington wine country, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries, a nationally recognized culinary scene, access to an abundance of outdoor recreation, and an arts & entertainment scene that rivals cities many times its size. This community of just over 30,000 residents is known for many things, including its friendliness and hospitality, the quality of its wine, and of course the famous Walla Walla Sweet Onion. An easy and scenic four-hour drive from Seattle, Portland, or Boise, Walla Walla can also be accessed via Alaska Airlines daily non-stop flights from Seattle. For more information and to begin planning a trip to Walla Walla, visit www.visitwallawalla.com.

Read our review of BATMAN: THE MOVIE


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Monday, August 14, 2017

ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON -- DVD Review by Porfle



Finally, a comedy show that was ALL comedy.  No out of character chit-chat, no maudlin songs, no fake sincerity--just wall-to-wall silliness that kept going right through the closing credits and beyond.  Joke followed gag followed blackout followed non sequitur, with absolutely no qualms about coming off as supremely silly.  As a kid, I felt as though the show had been designed specifically with me in mind.

The format would start to get tired and a bit worn out as time went on, but in 1968, during the groundbreaking, trailblazing ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Time-Life, 4-disc DVD), it seemed like a totally fresh, endlessly inventive comedy powerhouse.

Dan Rowan, the cigarette-puffing straight man who looked like he should always have a bourbon on the rocks in his hand, and Dick Martin, the wisecracking "funny" one who seemed to have already had a few, were like dinner-theater comics who'd stepped into their own network comedy show by surprise and decided to have the time of their lives.


The cast were an eclectic bunch of crazies who would almost all become household names--Jo Anne Worley, Arte Johnson, Ruth Buzzi, "Get Smart" star Barbara Feldon, Henry Gibson, Eileen Brennan, Larry Hovis, announcer Gary Owens, and "sock it to me" girl Judy Carne.  The show's biggest star, Goldie Hawn, would enter the scene in the third episode and become the show's reigning dumb blonde.

The jokes came fast and furious, practically piling up on each other, much of them silly sight gags and wordplay.  Weekly features included "The Party", "News of the Past, Present, and Future", "Sock It To Me" Time, "The Joke Wall", "It's a Mod, Mod World", and "Potpourri."  All were just excuses for more comic madness. 

And despite the show's counterculture vibe, much of it is actually your standard "old fogey"-type comedy with a veneer of feigned "hip"-ness--a weird mixture to be sure.  But it seemed fresh and rebellious at the time because it was so different from the usual straightlaced variety shows (such as Carol Burnett's over on CBS).


The "Party" sequences play like Hugh Hefner's "Playboy After Dark"--complete with middle-aged swingers awkwardly dressed in mod clothes--but packed with oodles of groan-worthy one-liners ("My brother's a Quaker--some of his best Jews are friends", "I wanted a nose job, but my husband said it would be like putting a new luggage rack on a 1953 De Soto.")

The jokes cover previously taboo subjects such as birth control, marijuana, race, and various kinds of sex, with the censors seemingly letting them get away with a lot more than usual.  But this was back before everyone was so easily triggered and being politically incorrect was an act of social rebellion by the counter-culture against the "establishment."

Weekly guest stars doing their bit(s) included Flip Wilson, Harry Belafonte, Milton Berle, Johnny Carson, Cher, Tim Conway, Sammy Davis Jr., Sally Field, Jerry Lewis, Muriel Landers, Kaye Ballard, Sheldon Leonard, Tommy Smothers, and even John Wayne.  The infamous ukulele-playing folk singer Tiny Tim, who became a superstar because of the show, makes three separate appearances.


The DVD set from Time-Life contains four discs with 14 remastered episodes.  Disc one's bonus features include a cast reunion, blooper reel, a new interview with creator and executive-producer George Schlatter, and the show's entire pilot episode.

ROWAN & MARTIN'S LAUGH-IN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON was a blast in its time and still comes through as fresh and funny, but with added nostalgia value.  It's just as much a treat to watch now as it was back in 1968.

Buy it at Amazon.com

Street Date: September 5, 2017

CAST
Dan Rowan
Dick Martin
Pamela Austin
Ken Berry
Eileen Brennan
Ruth Buzzi
Judy Carne
Barbara Feldon
Henry Gibson
Goldie Hawn
Larry Hovis
Arte Johnson
Gary Owens
Jo Anne Worley

PROGRAM INFORMATION
Format: DVD/4 Discs
Running Time: 869 minutes
Genre:  TV DVD/Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Audio: Stereo






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Saturday, August 12, 2017

"OPEN WATER 3: CAGE DIVE" -- In Theaters, On Demand and on Digital HD TODAY



OPEN WATER 3: CAGE DIVE
LIONSGATE


Genre:    Thriller 
Rating: R for language and some bloody images.
U.S. Release Date:  August 11, 2017 (In Theaters, On Demand and on Digital HD)
Run Time:   80 minutes

Cast: Joel Hogan (Jeff Miller), Josh Potthoff (Josh Miller), Megan Peta Hill (Megan Murphy), Pete Valley (Greg)

SYNOPSIS
In this intense thriller, three friends from California head to the rugged Australian coast for a cage-dive encounter with deadly Great Whites. But after attracting a swarm of vicious sharks, their tour boat is destroyed by a massive rogue wave.

As clouds gather and darkness descends, the three friends find themselves alone and defenseless, afloat in the chilly ocean as hungry man-eaters begin to circle. With little hope of rescue, they must fight to survive using only their courage.

Directed by:  Gerald Rascionato

Written by:  Gerald Rascionato

Story by:  Gerald Rascionato
 Stephen Lister

Produced by:  Gerald Rascionato
 Antoine Mouawad
 Charles M. Barsamian
 Rana Joy Glickman

Co-Produced by:  Andre Stamatakakos

Executive Produced by:  Tony Rascionato
 Paul Adams
 Wilma Adams
 Pete Valley
 Marcel Mouawad
 John Mouawad
 Jacob H. Gray
 Robert Lambert
 Michael Favelle
 Herb Ankrom

Cinematography by:  Gerald Rascionato
 Andy Bambach

Production Design by: Angela Rascionato
 MacPherson Downs

Edited by:  Gerald Rascionato
 Antoine Mouawad
 Andre Stamatakakos

Casting by:  Gerald Rascionato
 Stephen Lister

Just One More Productions presents, in association with Odlin’s Eye Entertainment, a Gerald Rascionato Film.


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Thursday, August 10, 2017

FACE 2 FACE -- Movie Review by Porfle



So, when seriocomic cyber-drama FACE 2 FACE (2016) started out as two childhood friends reuniting online after many years, with the whole thing taking place on their webcams and iPhones and the dialogue all fluffy and cutesy and coy, I thought I was in for an ordeal of unendurable boredom. 

Thankfully, however, it gets better as we get to know these initially shallow characters--he, a lonely, friendless gamer nerd named Teel (Daniel Amerman, COLLEGE MUSICAL, "Arrested Development"), and she, an outgoing bundle of teen energy named Madison (Daniela Bobadilla, TEXAS HEART, MOTHERS OF THE BRIDE)--who eventually get to know one another well enough to suss out each other's weak points, insecurities, etc. and try to fix them.

For her, it means getting Teel to admit he's a friendless gamer nerd and do wild things like joining Facebook and auditioning for parts in school plays even though his mom wants him to be a jock.  For him, it means helping her appreciate her natural qualities and identifying various behavioral traits and social interactions that are in serious need of a tune-up.


It threatens to be a feature-length meet-cute at first, which much of the early section pretty much is.  But little by little, things start to get more serious, and that's when Teel and Madison begin to delve into one another's lives in depth.  Not surprisingly, this also makes the story that much more fun and involving for us.

In fact, FACE 2 FACE reaches a point somewhere along the way where we stop noticing the whole "found footage"-esque premise so much and just start following the story.

Director and co-writer (with brother Aaron) Matthew Toronto helps open things up as much as possible by switching to mobile cams now and then to catch outside action such as Teel getting beaten up by school thugs or Madison having way too much "fun" at wild parties to over-compensate for serious troubles in her personal life. 

There are a couple of plot twists to spice things up, one of which should come as no surprise to absolutely anyone (except Madison, who obviously isn't as perceptive as we thought), and another which I did find rather startling.  Both contribute greatly to giving the story a depth and gravitas that the initial scenes don't hint at, setting us up for the big finish. 


Of course, we're left to wonder if Teel and Madison would hit it off romantically if not separated by thousands of miles and limited only to contact in the digital realm.  This question, as you probably guessed, will be answered sooner or later, in somewhat predictable but still satisfying fashion. 

Performances by the leads are quite good.  Then again, they'd have to be in order for these two actors to carry the entire film with nothing but their faces and voices for much of the running time.  Mary Gordon Murray shows up a few times as Teel's overbearing mother, and we see various boyfriends and girlfriends here and there, but most of the other characters are fleeting background figures. 

FACE 2 FACE restricts itself to an unwieldy format from the start and then does its best to make it engaging and cinematic for us.  It succeeds to a pleasing degree, mainly because the lead characters and their stories have a way of growing on us until we actually care what happens to them next.


TECH SPECS:
Type: DVD/Digital HD
Running Time: 88 min.
Rating: N/A
Genre: Drama
Aspect Ratio: 1.85
Audio: 5.1 Surround Sound
Release Date: August 15



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"30 YEARS OF GARBAGE: THE GARBAGE PAIL KIDS STORY" -- Documentary In Theaters Aug. and DVD/VOD Sept.




30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story
“From Counter-culture to Candy Culture”

West Hollywood, California (Tuesday, August 8th) - Indican Pictures is set to release the pivotal documentary on the Garbage Pail Kids. Titled 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story, this documentary revisits the artists, who made these collectibles famous. Showing a rare glimpse into the corporate culture of Topps as they launched Garbage Pail Kids through the height of the cards fame, the downfall from the legal battle with the Cabbage Patch kids and their untimely demise.

The film is jam packed with interviews of over a half dozen artists. Each artist penned these counter-culture trading cards and each artist gives you the inside story of why these cards poked fun at: the collectibles’ movement, the 80’s culture of greed and gave kids a unique piece of historical fun. Details on the film’s theatrical and home entertainment launch are available here.

This documentary interviews actors from the ‘80s film, Garbage Pail Kids the Movie (1987). Interviews take place with: Mackenzie Astin, Debbie Lee Carrington and others. It also includes interviews with Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Art Spiegelman, Pumpkinhead screenwriter Gary Gerani, comic book artists Tom Bunk and John Pound. It even includes an interview with TV producer Adam F. Goldberg (creator of the Goldbergs TV Series).


Many of the artists from the original series are revisited, for their take on what made these cards so popular. The film also includes collectors, of the cards, who share their nostalgic memories and collections with the world, in this one-of-a-kind documentary. All of these people and more give their take on what made The Garbage Pail Kids so famous, such a worldwide sensation.

30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story hits theatres this summer in select cities. Indican Pictures will launch this title in several theatres, starting August 18th and continuing throughout the month of August and September. On 9/20/17, 30 Years of Garbage: The Garbage Pail Kids Story will show in front of an even larger audience as the film is launched nationwide, throughout the United States. All of the release details on this artistic movement and the collectors are hosted here.

The trailer for: https://vimeo.com/228398601

The film’s official synopsis: In the 1980′s some eclectic underground cartoonists parodied a popular doll craze (whose name cannot be spoken…). The resulting pop culture commercial trading cards/stickers tapped into an international zeitgeist that was brewing in a young generation who felt that this product spoke to the revulsion they had for the corporate junk that was being fed to them. Learn the truth behind the myth of The Garbage Pail Kids, the lawsuit that ensued and the resulting iconic status!


Release Date: August, 2017 (U.S., Limited Theatrical) and September 20th, 2017 (VOD/DVD).

Director/writer: Jeff Zapata, Joe Simko.

Interviewees: Art Spiegelman, John Pound, James Warhola, Adam F. Goldberg, Tom Bunk, Jay Lynch, Mark Newgarden, Gary Gerani, Len Brown, Mackenzie Astin, Debbie Lee Carrington, Arturo Gil.

More film details at Indican: http://bit.ly/2flLdAX

The film’s homepage: https://www.30yearsofgarbage.com/

About Indican Pictures
Indican Pictures acquires and distributes feature films to a broad range of entertainment outlets by providing a diverse selection of movies across: theatrical, home video, TV, VOD, PPV and streaming platforms.




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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"DEATH FIGHTER" -- Action-packed Thriller With Don "The Dragon" Wilson Now Out On DVD & VOD in the USA



ACTION-PACKED THRILLER MOVIE “DEATH FIGHTER” OUT NOW ON DVD & VOD IN THE USA

Los Angeles, CA – The all new action-packed thriller movie DEATH FIGHTER is now available on DVD and VOD in the USA, courtesy of Vision Films!

Starring Don “The Dragon” Wilson (“The Martial Arts Kid,” “Stealing Harvard”), Joe Lewis (“Jaguar Lives!,” “Force: Five”), Matt Mullins (“Straight Outta Compton,” “Divergent”) and Cynthia Rothrock (“Showdown in Manila “Sci-Fighter”), DEATH FIGHTER follows a young American cop with a bounty on his head. He teams up with a rage-filled ex-military outcast to avenge his slain mentor’s death. His mission proves a hard and dangerous one when he finds himself in a head-to-head showdown with one of the most notorious and ruthless criminals in the country.

Watch the Trailer:


DEATH FIGHTER was written by Lawrence Riggins and directed by Toby Russell. Kazu Patrick Tang is the Action Director and Stunt Coordinator. Tang has previously choreographed action scenes with Jackie Chan, Orlando Bloom and Jason Statham, among others. Karen Kaing.

Karen Kaing says:

“Making a film is like building a home. I was very excited to work with the talented cast. Joe Lewis was one of Bruce Lee’s students and Don Wilson has won 11 championships." 

Vision Films’ Managing Director/ CEO, Lise Romanoff says:

“The revenge plot, non-stop action and kickass authentic fight scenes in DEATH FIGHTER gives a modern spin on classic martial arts films. Fans of the genre won’t want to miss this one!”

DEATH FIGHTER is out now on DVD and VOD in the USA.

About Vision Films
Vision Films is an Independent Worldwide Distributor and VOD Aggregator of over 800 Feature Films, Documentaries and Music Programs from some of the most prolific independent film producers in the world.  Led by Lise Romanoff, Managing Director/CEO Worldwide Distribution, Vision Films releases 2-4 films a month through Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and manages all the windows between Theatrical, DVD, VOD and Television.


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Phillip Noyce to Direct World War II Thriller "THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE"



PHILLIP NOYCE TO DIRECT WORLD WAR II THRILLER “THE DEVIL'S BRIGADE”

Foresight Unlimited to Handle International Sales with Principal Photography Commencing at the End of This Year


LOS ANGELES (August 9, 2017) — Foresight Unlimited has announced that Phillip Noyce (Salt, The Giver, The Bone Collector) has been tapped to direct The Devil’s Brigade. Moshe Diamant will produce the World War II action-thriller, and Foresight Unlimited will handle international sales. Principal photography is set to begin at the end of this year in France, with casting currently underway. 

The Devil’s Brigade tells the true story of how Davie Berman, the only Jewish member of the Luciano mob, is requested by the U.S. military to help turn the tide of events against the Germans in Italy. In organizing a team of Sicilian Cosa Nostra to work with the Americans, he almost single-handedly drives the Germans out of the southern region of Italy, and returns to America as a decorated hero.

Australian-born Noyce is known for his work across various action-dramas, most notably he directed Academy Award Nominated Salt starring Angelina Jolie and Liev Schreiber for Colombia Pictures. His previous work also includes the box-office smash hits Clear And Present Danger and Patriot Games, Collector also starring Jolie and Denzel Washington for Universal Pictures, and the critically acclaimed Rabbit-Proof Fence and The Quiet American.

Noyce is currently in production on TV drama series “Reside” starring Emily VanCamp and Matt Czurchry. He most recently completed crime-thriller Above Suspicion for Bold Films starring Emilia Clarke, Thora Birch and Jack Huston.

Noyce is represented by WME, Cameron Creswell Agency, and Fireman Entertainment.

Foresight Unlimited is currently in production on Todd Robinson’s The Last Full Measure, with an all-star cast led by Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt, Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, Peter Fonda, and Amy Madigan. The Foresight slate also includes: Rob Cohen’s The Hurricane Heist, starring Toby Kebbell and Maggie Grace; Michael Mailer’s Blind, starring Demi Moore and Alec Baldwin; and the $130M sci-fi epic Inversion.

ABOUT FORESIGHT UNLIMITED
Foresight Unlimited is one of the industry’s leading independent film production, sales, and distribution companies.  With a pioneering entertainment career spanning over 50 years, CEO, Mark Damon is considered to be one of the leading authorities on international film financing, distribution and marketing strategies as well as being a successful independent producer. The company’s management group is helmed by President Tamara Birkemoe who oversees all aspects of the company’s slate.


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Monday, August 7, 2017

"JUSTICE" -- Revenge Has a New Name in Latest Western From Universal



JUSTICE

Release Date: 10/17/2017 
Theatrical Release: 9/15/2017


Synopsis: It's 1868 and the Civil War has been over for three years. An old, abandoned mine is now being transformed into a military stronghold by a corrupt mayor and a band of bloodthirsty outlaws hell-bent on reigniting the war.

When a U.S. Marshal comes to town only to find out that his brother, the town priest, has been murdered, his search for the killer leads to an inevitable clash that becomes a life or death struggle for a much greater cause.

Blu-ray Widescreen (61188189) : Disc 1 (Side A): Justice
 Format: Blu-ray
 UPC: 1-9132-90183-3-0
 Unit Type: Standard
 Number of Media: 1
 Street Date: 10/17/2017 11:38:00 AM
 Run Time (HH:MM): 1 Hour 33 Minutes
 Language: English
 Disc Type: BD-50 (Single Sided)
 Packaging: Snap Case
 Layers: Single
 Audio:English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
 Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
 Picture: Widescreen
 Version: Blu-ray + Digital
 Rating: R
 Bonus Features: • Digital Copy of Justice

DVD Widescreen (61188190) : Disc 1 (Side A): Justice
 Format: DVD
 UPC: 1-9132-90183-4-7
 Unit Type: Standard
 Number of Media: 1
 Street Date: 10/17/2017 11:38:00 AM
 Run Time (HH:MM): 1 Hour 33 Minutes
 Language: English
 Disc Type: DVD-9 (Single Sided)
 Packaging: Snap Case
 Layers: Single
 Audio:English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
 Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
 Picture: Anamorphic Widescreen
 Rating: R
 

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

MGM's "DEATH WISH" With Bruce Willis -- See the Trailer Now



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's
DEATH WISH


RELEASE DATE: November 22, 2017
GENRE: Action- Thriller
DIRECTOR: Eli Roth



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures presents director Eli Roth's reimagining of the classic 1974 revenge thriller Death Wish. Dr. Paul Kersey (Bruce Willis) is a surgeon who only sees the aftermath of Chicago violence when it is rushed into his ER - until his wife (Elisabeth Shue) and college-age daughter (Camila Morrone) are viciously attacked in their suburban home. With the police overloaded with crimes, Paul, burning for revenge, hunts his family's assailants to deliver justice. As the anonymous slayings of criminals grabs the media's attention, the city wonders if this deadlyvigilante is a guardian angel or a grim reaper. Fury and fate collide in the intense, action-thrillerDeath Wish.

Paul Kersey becomes a divided person: A man who saves lives, and a man who takes them; a husband and father trying to take care of his family, and a shadowy figure fighting Chicago crime; a surgeon extracting bullets from suspects' bodies, and the vigilante called "The Grim Reaper" who detectives are quickly closing in on.

Updated from the original novel by Brian Garfield, director Eli Roth  and screenwriter Joe Carnahan's (The Grey, Narc) Death Wish also stars Vincent D'Onofrio (The Magnificent Seven, TV's Daredeviland Law & Order: Criminal Intent), Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas), Camila Morrone, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) and Kimberly Elise (The Great Debaters). It's a knife's-edge portrayal that challenges our assumptions, and pushes our buttons.

By bringing the complex psychology of Brian Garfield's book up-to-the-moment and injecting new thrills and a stark, unflinchinglook at the American psyche in 2017, Eli Roth and Death Wish brings audiences to the height of unforgettable suspense.

A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures production, Death Wish is set for release on November 22, 2017. It will be distributed in the U.S. by APR and internationally by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. Death Wish stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris, Kimberly Elise. Directed by Eli Roth.Screenplay by Joe Carnahan, based on the 1974 Motion Picture by Wendell Mayes from the Novel by Brian Garfield. Producer, Roger Birnbaum. Associate Producer, Stephen J. Eads. Executive Producer, Ilona Herzberg. Director of Photography, Rogier Stoffers.Edited by Mark Goldblatt. Music by Ludwig Göransson. Production Design by Paul Kirby. Costume Design by Mary Jane Fort.

SCREENPLAY: Joe Carnahan, based on a novel by Brian Garfield
PRODUCER: Roger Birnbaum
CAST: Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue, Camila Morrone, Dean Norris and Kimberly Elise

DEATH WISH Official Channels
Website: http://deathwish.movie/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DeathWishFilm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeathWishMovie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/DeathWishMovie


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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

SIMPLE CREATURE -- Movie Review by Porfle



A keg party meet-cute between sophisticated city girl Em (Carollani Sandberg) and old-fashioned farm boy Seth (D'Angelo Midili) leads to a quirky yet believable courtship. 

We predict romance and its usual complications, with either a happy or tragic resolution, but what surprises us is when SIMPLE CREATURE (Indican Pictures, 2016) takes a sharp left turn into the sci-fi genre after such a mundane build-up and is all the more convincing for it. 

We're not really sure where the story's going at first, as it initially focuses on Em's college life full of wild parties, drinking too much, etc. and then switches its P.O.V. to show Seth's plight after his dad dies and the farm's in danger of having to be sold even though this may kill his invalid mother.  The two meet halfway, literally, in a motel between city and country, and ponder their future together--if they indeed have one.


So far, the story is passable human drama.  We learn that Em and her emotionally distant father have barely related to one another since her mother's death. Seth, on the other hand, is desperate to keep his farm, mainly for his mother's sake, as his creditors close in.  Not exactly edge-of-your-seat stuff, but still the basis for an interesting story if handled well.   

What happens next is one of those great unexpected moments that a film is able to pull on us from time to time, elevating it in the blink of an eye to a whole different level. 

I won't give it away, but this where the sci-fi comes in--Em is suddenly in critical condition, and the only thing that can save her is the fact that her father is part of a top-secret scientific project known as "Singularity" involving artificially-enhanced human beings, and she has come along at just the right time to become its main guinea pig.

Now we're talking. From this point, SIMPLE CREATURE spins an absorbing speculative tale in which Em receives life-saving human and artificial organ transplants along with an electronic device embedded in her brain which enables her to interface with a computer.  But while seemingly super-human, she struggles to regain lost memories and even her identity as a person, to the point of wondering if she still has a soul.


Writer-director Andrew Finnigan is treading into "Frankenstein" territory here, as well as recalling a number of interesting sci-fi stories about identity and humanity and technology gone too far.  When Em finally escapes from the lab and into the (wild) world, as we know she will, the "Stranger in a Strange Land" aspect is explored along with her plight as a fugitive struggling to stay one step ahead of potentially sinister pursuers. 

Em's eventual reunion with Seth dredges up the romance angle again with a dark twist--believing her dead all this time, he doesn't know what to make of the hybrid creature that suddenly confronts him.  His involvement with a fringe conspiracy cult holding their meetings in his barn also bodes ill when they find out about her.  Suffice it to say, "complications ensue."

SIMPLE CREATURE is one of those satisfying sci-fi thrillers where imagination, clever writing, and sharp performances take the place of a big budget and flashy SPFX.  Even the downbeat ending seems right, especially if you're a fan of George Orwell. 

Tech Specs
Runtime: 92mins
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: DolbySR
Country: USA
Language: English
Website: www.IndicanPictures.com
Genre: Sci-Fi


Amazon Video






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