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Thursday, January 31, 2019

ECCO/ THE FORBIDDEN -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




ECCO (1963)


It may not have the word "Mondo" in the title, but ECCO, aka "Il mondo di notte numero 3" (Severin Films, 1963), is an offshoot of the infamous, wildly successful shock-u-mentary "Mondo Cane" just as sure as its goal is to shock, titillate, and even disgust everyone who shells out the price of a ticket to see it.

"Ecco" is an Italian word meaning "look here", and as soon as American producer Bob Cresse (MONDO FREUDO, MONDO BIZARRO) took a look at this Italian production, he knew he had to purchase the rights and release an Americanized version of it himself.  Which, one assumes, cleaned up at the box office.

He hired venerable actor George Sanders to intone the pithy narration, keeping the excellent musical soundtrack which includes both rock'n'roll and crooner-type ballads in addition to some stirring orchestral music like something out of a spaghetti western.


But the real attraction is the non-stop travelogue of exotic, outlandish, and often highly strange sights and sounds from around the world, some filmed as they occurred and others staged for the camera but, unlike many "Mondo" films, based (mostly) on actual events.

Some of this stuff is relatively mundane enough to show up in a TV travelogue, such as a look at Rio de Janiero's famed Mardi Gras celebration and a brief example of rough-and-tumble women's roller derby.

One mountain village in Europe is visited by a family of daredevil circus performers, and elsewhere we see some amazing Grecian monasteries built high atop mountain peaks (as seen in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only").  Portuguese fishermen go whaling in nothing but simple rowboats, a dangerous task which, if they survive, will benefit their entire village in many ways.


But before long, the more extreme exploitation aim of this eye-popping cinematic grab bag makes itself known in a variety of ways, beginning with some young German men who get together for a night of drinking and then bloody jousting with swords.

A satanic ritual ends with a naked woman drenched in chicken blood, while Swedish delinquents roam the streets getting into trouble, attacking citizens, and then having wild sex in front of a group of straight-laced oldies.  A visit to what is purported to be the final performance in the famous Grand Guignol theater finds the actors involved in a typically gruesome scene.

In one of the film's most amazing sequences, hundreds of young, half-naked Japanese men form a roiling, squirming, tightly-packed mass of humanity during a weird annual "game" in which at least a dozen of them are expected to be crushed or trampled to death just for funsies.


Sex really comes to the fore (finally!) in the film's latter half--matronly Vegas women drool over oiled, posing muscle men, a popular European stripper has a whole hall of lecherous guys in a state of giddy arousal, and a forbidden all-lesbian club engages in same-sex nudie frolics for the camera's benefit.

But just as I was beginning to write off ECCO as a fairly standard "Mondo" flick, then came a guy named Ivan--one of those "mind over body" zealots--who started driving long, sharp needles through his skinny body in a segment that may be staged but definitely isn't faked.

"Cringe" doesn't go far enough to describe watching this guy slowly penetrate his neck with a needle while describing how he's studiously avoiding the carotid artery, the jugular vein, and, of course, the esophagus.  Eventually we witness the needle's point emerge from the other side, whereupon he invites a member of the audience to pull it out. Yikes.


I figured they couldn't top this, but the next segment goes right into a reindeer roundup in Lapland where an amazing wave of thousands of reindeer swarm tsunami-like into an enclosed area where they scuttle around in a huge circle while the natives lasso them.

Some are slaughtered, while others are castrated to become steers.  How is this done? Why, the ladies do the honors with their teeth, of course.  And thus, my mind is blown.

Other things happen which I can't recall at the moment, all very beautifully narrated by silken-toned George Sanders (who even throws in a little Shakespeare), but this should suffice to give an overview of ECCO'S mindbending menu.  I expected the usual weird sex practices and bizarre rituals, but some of this stuff really had me in full "SMH" mode and then left me benumbed, bewildered, and thoroughly be-cringed.


THE FORBIDDEN (1966)


Having roughly the form of a "Mondo" but with much less of a travelogue element and much more unmitigated sleaze, Bob Cresse & Lee Frost's THE FORBIDDEN (1966) is composed almost exclusively of softcore sex stuff--mostly strippers pretending to be performing in Paris or London but mainly in dark little soundstages with drapes over the walls to simulate nightclubs. It's probably the same set every time, just redressed a bit.

The film does veer occasionally into actual documentary territory as when we're shown genuine footage of a riot that occurred in Los Angeles when hundreds of teenagers refused to obey a ten o'clock curfew and clashed with the police, causing much chaos and property damage.


There's also a couple of detours into lurid fiction via re-enactments of "true" cases, one involving a woman's lethal jealousy toward her ex-husband and his lovers (this one ends DEATH PROOF-style) and another telling of a lonely woman's very unconventional method of getting the man she loves to come and visit her in Paris from his home in Mexico.

Mostly, however, we're treated to the kind of nudie-cutie segments that one often saw in 8mm film loops in the 60s, given hokey wraparound stories.  One stripper is supposedly performing in East Berlin and pretending to be Hitler's girlfriend.  Another, the gorgeous "Baby Bubbles" from Frost & Cresse's MONDO BIZARRO, plays a woman who teaches timid housewives how to strip for their husbands. 

We get a good idea of what we're in for with the opening segment showing two women in varying states of undress while a creepy peeper peers at them through their window.  He breaks in and attacks, during which we find that this is supposedly a commerical commissioned by the female owner of a karate school for women wanting to learn self-defense.


A secret initiation of two girls into a lesbian club is an excuse for us to--you guessed it--watch some naked lesbians for awhile.  There's also a scene with a prostitute who drugs and rapes her female clients before robbing them. And with that, your evening's entertainment is pretty well rounded except for just one more stripper (and some fervid, near-incomprehensible narration) to send THE FORBIDDEN off in sleazy style. 


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:
The Bandit: Producer David Goldstein Remembers Bob Cresse
I Want More: Short Film
Ecco Trailer
English Subtitles


The Stripper is scanned in 4K from the original internegative
The Forbidden is newly-transferred from the only known 35m print in existence



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The Two Funniest Scenes In Dario Argento's "Tenebrae" (1982) (video)




But first, here's one of the coolest scenes: the fence-climbing dog.

Let's hear it for the fence-climbing dog! (applause)

And now for the two funniest. (If you disagree, that's okay.)

The first is John Saxon's giddy pride in his silly new hat.

The second is Tony Franciosa's reaction to a motoring near-mishap.

Whew!

Read our review of the movie


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!



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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

ALL THE COLORS OF GIALLO -- Blu-ray/DVD/CD Review by Porfle




A primer, a history, and a celebration of giallo all rolled into one 3-disc set, Severin Films' ALL THE COLORS OF GIALLO pretty much covers all the bases for new fans wanting to learn more and old ones who just want to revel in it all.

As the publicity states, "‘Giallo’ is Italian for ‘yellow’, the color of the lurid pulp novels that inspired one of the most intense, extreme and influential genres in movie history."

The genesis of all this is the krimi, or German crime novel, which contains elements (shadowy settings, shocking murders, mysterious phantom killers, police procedurals) that would later be adopted by Italian filmmakers but jacked up to new levels of violence and lavish indulgences in cinematic style for its own sake.


Disc One (Blu-ray) starts off with a feature-length documentary by Federico Caddeo entitled "All the Colors of Giallo", an exhaustive history of the genre that takes us from the beginnings of the German krimi books and films, and in particular the works of Edgar Wallace, all the way through the evolution of the giallo thrillers by such directors as Mario Bava, Lucio Fulci, and Dario Argento.

Several of giallo's main figures are interviewed including Fulci and Argento themselves, along with familiar screen talents such as Barbara Bouchet and Susan Scott.

"The Giallo Frames" offers even more on the subject, giving us an in-depth interview with John Martin, editor of "The Giallo Pages." 


But best of all (for me, anyway) is a full four-hour collection of giallo trailers that run the gamut of the entire genre and are accompanied by a commentary track from Kat Ellinger, author of "All the Colors of Sergio Martino."

Kat showed her depth of knowledge on the subject during her commentary for Martino's film "All the Colors of the Dark", but here she is a veritable gold mine of information and unbridled enthusiasm on each and every trailer that we see, keeping a running commentary that never fails to entertain.  Thus, the trailer collection becomes a four-hour documentary unto itself, and perhaps the highlight of the entire collection.

Disc two (DVD) delves deeper into the subject of the krimi, with the informative documentaries  "The Case Of The Krimi" and "The Case Of The Krimi: Interview With Film Historian Marcus Stiglegger."

Then we get yet another hour-and-a-half of trailers, this time mostly in beautiful, atmospheric black-and-white (with very nice picture quality as well) before turning to color for the later ones.


Klaus Kinski fans will be pleased to find that he appears in practically all of these krimi trailers, which are a lively bunch of clips providing much entertainment and amusement.

Disc three is a CD entitled "The Strange Sounds of the Bloodstained Films", containing twenty giallo soundtrack selections from such composers as Ennio Morricone, Riz Ortolani, Bruno Nicolai, Stelvio Cipriani, and others.  It's great stuff, whether you have it on in the background or don your headphones for an intensive listening session.

Experienced giallo fans will enjoy reliving old favorites with this collection of documentaries, interviews, and trailers, and those just getting into such lively, lurid, and lavishly cinematic fare may find their curiosity stoked into an insatiable desire.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:

DISC 1 – Blu-ray
All the Colors of Giallo: A New Feature Length Documentary By Federico Caddeo
The Giallo Frames: Interview With John Martin, Editor Of The Giallo Pages
Audio Commentary with Kat Ellinger, Author of All The Colors Of Sergio Martino


DISC 2 – DVD: The Case of the Krimi
Kriminal!: Trailer Compilation
The Case Of The Krimi: Interview With Film Historian Marcus Stiglegger


DISC 3 – CD
The Strange Sounds Of The Bloodstained Films: Compiled By Alfonso Carillo of Rendezvous! From The Archives Of Beat Records. Remastered By Claudio Fuiano.



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Production Underway for STXfilms / Lakeshore Entertainment's "THE BOY 2" Starring Katie Holmes




PRODUCTION IS UNDERWAY FOR STXfilms / LAKESHORE ENTERTAINMENT’S “THE BOY 2”, STARRING KATIE HOLMES

Principal photography began in Vancouver this week


LOS ANGELES, CA (JANUARY 30, 2019) – STXfilms, a division of STX Entertainment, and Lakeshore Entertainment announced today that The Boy 2, a follow-up to horror film director William Brent Bell’s The Boy (2016), began principal photography on Monday 28 January, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Brent Bell returns to the helm following the success of The Boy (2016), which grossed $68M worldwide. Katie Holmes (Batman Begins, Logan Lucky, Dawson’s Creek) leads the cast as “Liza,” with Christopher Convery (Gotham, The Girl in the Spider's Web) to co-star as her son “Jude.” Owain Yeoman (American Sniper, The Belko Experiment) joins as her husband, “Sean,” and Ralph Ineson (The Witch, Guardians of the Galaxy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I & II) will play the role of “Joseph.”

Written by Stacey Menear, who also penned its predecessor, The Boy 2 will be produced by Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi and Eric Reid, in addition to Matt Berenson, Jim Wedaa and Roy Lee.

Unaware of the terrifying history of Heelshire Mansion, a young family moves into the estate, where their young son soon makes an unsettling new friend, an eerily life-like doll he calls Brahms.

STXinternational and Lakeshore introduced the film for the first time at last year’s AFM, where it sold out for all international territories.

Following their recent collaborations on Pierre Morel’s action-thriller Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner, and the romantic drama Adrift, starring Sam Claflin and Shailene Woodley, STXfilms and Lakeshore Entertainment continue their successful partnership with The Boy 2. STX Entertainment, which is co-producing with Lakeshore, will distribute in the US, having jointly handled international sales with Lakeshore.

Holmes is represented by Adam Schweitzer at ICM Partners and managed by Jason Weinberg at Untitled Entertainment. Christopher Convery is represented by Paradigm, Sinclair Management, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. Yeoman is represented by Adam Schweitzer and Dar Rollins at ICM Partners and managed by Ron West and Steven Kavovit at Thruline Entertainment. Ineson is represented by Donna French at Gordon and French, Alexander Yarosh at The Gersh Agency, and by Tim Beaumont and Elisa Christophe at Beaumont Communications. Brent Bell is represented by Harley Copen at ICM Partners. 


About STXfilms
STXfilms is a division of STX Entertainment, a global, next-generation media company whose mission is to unlock the value of the direct connection stars have with their fans through the development, financing, production, marketing and distribution of film, television, VR, digital video, music and live entertainment content.  It is the industry leader in transforming beyond traditional platform-driven content to creating talent-driven enterprises.

The company is led by accomplished businessman Robert Simonds and was co-founded by Bill McGlashan, managing partner of the leading global private investment firm TPG.  Other investors include Hony Capital, a leading private equity firm in China; PCCW, Southeast Asia's largest Internet and cable services provider; Tencent Holdings, China's leading provider of online products and services; Liberty Global, the world’s largest distribution platform; Dominic Ng, Chairman of East West Bank; New Enterprise Associates (NEA); DNS Capital (representing the business interests of Gigi Pritzker and her immediate family); and Beau Wrigley, former Chairman and CEO of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, among others.  With these strategic relationships, the company is uniquely positioned to maximize the impact of content worldwide, with direct passage into the China market.

For more information, please visit http://www.stxentertainment.com.

ABOUT LAKESHORE ENTERTAINMENT
Lakeshore Entertainment is a leading independent motion picture production, distribution and international sales company. Founded in 1994 by Tom Rosenberg, Lakeshore has produced over 60 films including the Academy Award winning Million Dollar Baby, as well as the Underworld film franchise, The Boy, The Age of Adaline, The Lincoln Lawyer, Runaway Bride, The Ugly Truth, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Crank, Arlington Road and The Gift. Lakeshore also produced the film adaptation of Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel American Pastoral, directed by and starring Ewan McGregor, Underworld: Blood Wars, the fifth installment of the Underworld franchise, AXL, a contemporary nod to the classic 1980s E.T., romantic drama Adrift and Pierre Morel’s revenge thriller, Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner. Lakeshore is currently in post-production on The Wedding Year, a romantic comedy starring Sarah Hyland.



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How Did Alfred Hitchcock Do A Cameo In "Rope"? (1948) (video)




Legendary director Alfred Hitchcock is known for his brief cameo appearances.

Fans of his films began to look for these cameos in each new film.
But his 1948 film ROPE takes place in one room with a limited cast.

So how did Hitchcock manage his usual cameo?

Some say that's Hitchcock in that post-titles shot from the balcony...
...but it's still up for debate.

To see his most-recognized cameo...
...watch the red neon sign outside the window.

It's the trademark profile of Alfred Hitchcock.


(Suggested by Kay Miles)

I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

MONDO FREUDO/ MONDO BIZARRO -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




MONDO BIZARRO (1966)

In 1962, exploitation filmmakers had a massive surprise hit with the shock-u-mentary MONDO CANE (Italian for "Dog's World"), a showcase for the twisted,  bizarre, and exotic things that go on in the world.  Audiences didn't know or care that the actual footage was heavily augmented with obviously staged material, and it was such a success that it even scored an Oscar for Best Song ("More").

As you might guess, this was followed by scores of imitations including 1966's MONDO BIZARRO (Severin Films). Producers Bob Cresse and Lee Frost spared every expense to put together a mixed bag of shocking sex and violence vignettes from around the world, or rather from in and around the Hollywood area with lots of stock footage of foreign countries to give things a faux international flavor.

The result is an interesting look at what audiences found shocking in 1966 and what exploitation filmmakers were allowed to get away with in terms of sex, violence, and forbidden content.


We the audience are invited to view it all as vicarious voyeurs, sometimes by means of a supposed super-powered telescopic lens (with infra-red capabilities for night shooting) that brings us up close to such forbidden nocturnal activities as a voodoo ritual in the Bahamas and half-naked lovers cavorting on a dark beach somewhere in California.

The most authentic footage is found in a sequence about spring break on the California coast, in which we see real-life mid-sixties teens blowing into town by the hundreds to engage in bacchanalian revelries.

There's also a lengthy bit which simply invites us to gaze at bikini-clad babes sunbathing on a public beach, and a profile of a man who lies on a bed of nails and pushes long needles through his cheeks (this part is disturbingly real). This is followed by a man who eats glass, although I'm betting this guy's not the real deal.


MONDO BIZARRO gets going when it starts focusing on sex, beginning with the relatively innocuous with a day in the bustling Frederick's of Hollywood mail order room (complete with models showing off their latest fashions for us) and night footage of various prostitutes, male and female, plying their wares on Hollywood Boulevard. There's also a few scenes of nude body painting, art classes with a nude model, and a beatnik photog snapping a topless dancing girl.

More endearing fakery comes with a naive guy's first visit to a massage parlor (supposedly in the Far East), which we witness through a one-way mirror. Already this technique has been used in the film's opening as supposedly unsuspecting women are filmed, again through one-way glass, stripping off in a dressing room with their eyes crudely obscured for anonymity.

The really dark side of sex comes into play with a trip to "Berlin" where leering audience members relive the glories of the Third Reich by gleefully watching a play about a Jewish girl who is kidnapped, stripped naked, and whipped as Hitler's recorded voice blares out. 


The film ends with a lengthy slave auction in which California's Bronson Canyon doubles as the Middle East and our high-tech telescopic lens captures wealthy sheiks bidding on hapless, naked slave girls who are brought out one at a time from their cages on the back of a truck (their lower regions crudely obscured to avoid obscenity charges). 

Cresse's sober voiceover observations ("To a maggot, the cadaver is infinity") add extra camp-humor icing to the cake.  While much of this sounds horrifically unsuitable for decent folk to watch (though it must've been irresistibly titillating to audiences at the time), the fact that it's all so wonderfully fake is what now gives MONDO BIZARRO its substantial entertainment value.


MONDO FREUDO (1966)

The second shock-doc on Severin's double-feature Blu-ray disc is the follow-up, MONDO FREUDO (also from 1966), which is more of the same but with even greater emphasis on the dark side of sex.

As with MONDO BIZARRO, the most true-to-life stuff involves real-life teenagers out for a good time.  Here, they're shown riding around up and down Hollywood Boulevard at night (for no apparent reason other than it's a fun thing to do) and hanging out in Watusi clubs.

The film then wastes little time steering us into a strip club where we get to watch a dancer named "Baby Bubbles" do her thing. While the club looks suspiciously like the same soundstage where almost every other such scene in these two "Mondo" films takes place, the dancer herself is a knockout (we'll see her again).

The same can't be said for all of the supposed prostitutes on display at other clubs (this time in both Tijuana and jolly old England, we're told), who pose as dancers while actually advertising themselves to potential clients. 


We learn that as long as they're wearing outfits that can be purchased in a store, they qualify as "models" and can therefore legally display their naughty bits for an audience. Makes sense, I guess!

More slave auctions take place, this time in Mexico, with more nudity and more of that odd film-scratching effect to obscure the more forbidden zones.  Then, a lengthy visit to a black mass ritual takes up much of the film's latter half, with a woman who appears to be "Baby Bubbles" herself writhing vigorously in black undies (once again, she's a total knockout) before helping to initiate another woman into the cult during a blood ceremony. 

My enjoyment of both documentaries was greatly increased upon second viewing thanks to the commentary tracks by Johnny Legend and Eric Caidin, whose humorous remarks on the onscreen action and first-hand stories about the times and places involved are as entertaining as the films themselves.  Also of much interest is an informative featurette, "The Cadaver Is Infinity: Bob Cresse, Lee Frost, and the Birth of American Mondo", featuring Chris Poggiali. 

Much of the lurid material in MONDO FREUDO/MONDO BIZARRO seems relatively tame these days, but it's interesting to see what was once considered so shockingly taboo to movie audiences.  (Admittedly, some of it still is, and viewer discretion is advised.)  But whether you're shocked, titillated, or simply moved to laughter, chances are you'll have a mondo good time watching.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:
4K Scans From Original "Something Weird" Vault Negatives
Audio Commentary with Johnny Legend and Eric Caidin
The Cadaver Is Infinity: Bob Cresse, Lee Frost and the Birth of American Mondo – Interview With Chris Poggiali
Mondo Bizarro Trailer
Mondo Freudo Trailer
English Subtitles




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Same Drunk Walks Into Saloon Twice: "War Wagon" Blooper (John Wayne, 1967)




In this classic John Wayne/Kirk Douglas western...

...Robert Walker Jr. plays a demolitions expert who's also a roaring drunk.

He loves to drink so much, in fact, that in one scene...

...he walks into the same saloon not once, but twice.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!




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Monday, January 28, 2019

How Did Alfred Hitchcock Do A Cameo In "Lifeboat"? (1944) (video)




Alfred Hitchcock was famous for his brief cameos appearances.

Before long, viewers began trying to spot him in each of his films.

But "Lifeboat" took place in one tiny location with a limited cast.

So how did Hitchcock manage to make a cameo appearance in it?

Here's how...


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


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Sunday, January 27, 2019

ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK -- Blu-ray/CD Review by Porfle




I'm not all that familiar with the Italian "Giallo" genre (save for some Dario Argento classics such as TENEBRE) which consists of warped, horror-tinged murder stories with lots of bloody violence and other lurid elements. 

So it's always nice to catch a really good one like the Italian/Spanish co-production ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK, aka "Tutti i colori del buio" (Severin Films, 1972) from Sergio Martino, the director who also gave us TORSO, SLAVE OF THE CANNIBAL GOD, and SCREAMERS.

This one is nowhere near as formally-shot and polished-looking as the usual Argento effort, but Martino has a loose, imaginative style that fits the "anything goes" nature of the material, as well as a talent for staging suspense scenes in interesting ways. 


Our heroine, Jane (cult star Edwige Fenech), has been plagued by horrible nightmares ever since the traumatic loss of her unborn baby following a car crash.  Her lover, Richard (George Hilton), is devoted but unable to help, especially since his job keeps him away for days at a time. 

Jane's sister Barbara (Susan Scott) advises her to visit Dr. Burton, the seemingly kindly psychiatrist she works for.  But Jane finds more solace with a new friend, Mary (Marina Malfatti), a mysterious woman who inducts her into a black magic cult filled with arcane rituals that take place in a creepy old castle in the country.

While the mentally and emotionally frazzled Jane may be a bit slow on the uptake, we can tell right away that being forced to drink fresh dog blood and then getting gang-banged by a bunch of stabby, whacked-out weirdos in a cult from which there is no escape probably isn't going to help her as much as a few quiet sessions with Dr. Burton.  Especially since one of the cult members is a creepy trench-coated stalker with neon blue eyes (Ivan Rassimov) who keeps following her everywhere and trying to kill her.


We're never quite sure if we're seeing something real or just one of Jane's waking nightmares, but this lively film keeps us on our toes by constantly alternating the talkier scenes with sudden bursts of action and sometimes shocking violence. 

Much of the suspense is effectively staged around the creaky, open elevator and winding staircase in Jane's shadowy apartment building, and there's a terrific sequence inside Dr. Burton's country estate where Jane discovers a grisly scene involving the elderly caretakers who've been charged with watching over her.

I noticed a few similarities here and there with ROSEMARY'S BABY, which had me suspecting Jane's lover Richard, her sister Barbara, her friend Mary, her shrink Dr. Burton--oh heck, practically everybody--of secretly being part of the cult and their sinister plans for Jane.  Director Martino does like to keep us guessing, all the way up to a nifty fake-out ending in which fantasy and reality clash with deadly results.


The 2-disc Blu-ray from Severin Films is widescreen 1080p full HD resolution with a new 4k scan from the original negative.  Audio is 2.0 English and Italian with English subtitles.  Bonus features include a very learned and thoughtful commentary with Kat Ellinger (author of "All the Colors of Sergio Martino"), interviews with Sergio Martino, screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi, actor George Hilton & horror expert Antonio Tentori, trailers, and the unrestored alternate US cut of the film entitled "They're Coming to Get You." Also included is a CD of the film's musical score by Bruno Nicolai.

With a fine cast (Edwige Fenech fans will be extra happy), great use of scenic London locations, and a scintillating story full of colorful characters and sinister goings-on, ALL THE COLORS OF THE DARK is pure nerve-wracking fun all the way.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:
They’re Coming To Get You: Alternate US Cut (88 mins.)
Color My Nightmare: Interview with Director Sergio Martino
Last Of The Mohicans: Interview with Screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
Giallo is the Color: Interviews with Actor George Hilton & Italian Horror Expert Antonio Tentori
Audio Commentary with Kat Ellinger, Author of All The Colors of Sergio Martino
Trailers
BONUS Disc: CD Soundtrack 






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Hamaguchi's Much Beloved Epic "HAPPY HOUR" Hits Blu-ray 2/12




A film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

HAPPY HOUR


First ever   release in North America!


Available on February 12th
with special BONUS FEATURE (38 min)


"Quietly beautiful... disarmingly moving." —Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"A monumental film [that] finds majesty in the mundane." —Melissa Anderson, Village Voice

"Its length is entirely justified indeed richly and deeply filled." —Richard Brody, The New Yorker

"The most immensely absorbing and deeply satisfying cinematic experience."—Christopher Bourne, ScreenAnarchy

I suspect we'll be talking about this one for some time to come.” —Dan Sullivan, Film Comment

"Happy Hour commands respect through the audacity of its conception and scale, and it earns affection through its human attentiveness." —Reverse Shot

2016  |  317 minutes | Color | In Japanese w/English Subtitles | 2-Disc Set

*FIRST TIME EVER   NORTH AMERICAN RELEASE *

A powerful affirmation of the immersive potential of cinema. HAPPY HOUR is a slow-burning epic chronicling the emotional journey of four thirtysomething women in the misty seaside city of Kobe. As they navigate the unsteady currents of their work, domestic, and romantic lives a sudden, unexpected rift opens between that propels each to a new, richer understanding of life and love.

Winner of awards at major international festivals—including Locarno, where stars Sachie Tanaka, Hazuki Kikuchi, Maiko Mihara and Rira Kawamura shared the Golden Leopard for Best Actress—HAPPY HOUR has brought new attention to the work and career of one of Japan’s most talented young directors.

WATCH THE TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/236616964

MORE INFORMATION: www.icarusfilms.com/ks-happy

Hamaguchi's newest film ASAKO I & II competed for Cannes top prize and will open theatrically in 2019.

INCLUDES: BONUS FEATURE (38 MINUTES)

Winner, Best Screenplay, 2016 Asia Pacific Screen Awards
Winner, Audience Award, 2016 Festival Internacional de Cinema d’Autor de Barcelona
Winner, Best International Feature Narrative, 2016 Guanajuato International Film Festival
Winner, Best Actress, 2015 Locarno International Film Festival
Winner, Audience Award, 2015 Festival des 3 continents
Winner, Best Director, 2015 Singapore International Film Festival

SRP: $42.48 • UPC #6-98452-21254-8

From KimStim Films
An Icarus Films Release



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Janice Rand (Grace Lee Whitney) After "Star Trek: The Original Series" (video)




Grace Lee Whitney played Yeoman Janice Rand...

...in eight episodes of the original "Star Trek" (1966).

She would return as Rand seven more times in "Star Trek" movies and episodes both official and fan-made.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Star Trek: Voyager/ "Flashback" (1996)
Star Trek: Of Gods and Men (2007)
Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II/ "World Enough and Time" (2007)

For Grace Lee Whitney (1930-2015)


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


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Saturday, January 26, 2019

Intense Dramatic Performance In Cheap Sex Flick: "Wild and Wicked" (aka "Flesh Merchant", 1956) (video)




In this lurid sexploitation thriller, Lisa Rack plays a professional "good time gal"...

...whose naive little sister comes to the big city seeking the "glamorous" life herself.

Lisa has an unpolished but intense acting style...

...and in her big climactic scene, she blows the doors off the place.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


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Friday, January 25, 2019

Saban Films Partners with Kevin Smith on "JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT"




SABAN FILMS PARTNERS WITH KEVIN SMITH ON “JAY AND SILENT BOB REBOOT”

PARK CITY (JANUARY 25, 2019) – Saban Films has acquired North American rights to Kevin Smith’s highly-anticipated Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Jason Mewes and Smith are reprising the lead roles, alongside a number of returning players from the star-studded cast of the original movie, as well as a fresh new crop of cameos from the worlds of movies, TV, music and podcasting. Saban Films has committed to a substantial theatrical release. Jordan Monsanto of Smodco is producing alongside Destro Film’s Liz Destro. Production is currently underway.

Jay (Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) were first introduced 25 years ago in Smith’s directorial debut, Clerks. The unlikely stoner icons have subsequently appeared in Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II, as well as the animated film Jay and Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie. The new movie will skewer reboots, remakes, and sequels while simultaneously being all three at the same time.

Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley commented, “Jay and Silent Bob is a global franchise which has a very loyal fan base.  Partnering with Kevin at script stage on the next chapter of these iconic characters is a huge milestone. This is the beginning of a new initiative at Saban Films, to partner on IP with seasoned filmmakers and talent early on in the creative process all the way through distribution.”

Smith said, “Last February, I almost died. So on the one year anniversary of my widow maker heart attack, as a celebration of life and a big ol’ F you to Death, my best friend and I will be rolling cameras on a sequel/remake/reboot of a movie we first made nearly twenty years ago! In Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back our herbal heroes found out Hollywood was making a movie based on them, so they journeyed out to Hollywood to stop it. But I’ve learned so much as a storyteller and have grown immensely as a filmmaker since then, so audiences can expect something completely different: In Jay & Silent Bob Reboot our herbal heroes find out Hollywood is making a reboot of the old movie that was based on them, so they journey out to Hollywood to stop it again. I offer my (literal) undying thanks to our amazing partners at Saban and Universal for making this dream come true and backing this cinematic silliness!”

Mewes said, “I’m tired of doing Shakespeare all the time so it’ll be nice to get back to playing Jay again. It may be 25 years since I first played the idiot man-child from Jersey but this time’s going to be the best because I’ve really grown into the role of idiot man-child in my old age.”

Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films, with Jackie Eckhouse of Sloss Eckhouse LawCo on behalf of the filmmakers.  Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group has picked up all international rights.

Equity Financing for the Picture has been provided by Hideout Pictures, Mickey Gooch Jr’s Skitbags Entertainment, and Fan Owned Legion M. Debt Financing for the film has been provided by Three Point Capital Louisiana and Intercut Capital.

Saban Films continues to be active in the acquisition and distribution space, with upcoming titles including: The Haunting of Sharon Tate starring Hilary Duff; Derrick Borte’s American Dreamer starring Jim Gaffigan; James Marsh’s King of Thieves starring Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon; Richard Says Goodbye, the Wayne Roberts-directed drama starring Johnny Depp; and Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s A Vigilante starring Olivia Wilde. 

The company continues to grow its presence in the industry, with successes that have run the gamut from critically acclaimed theatrical films such as The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, to one of the biggest Fathom events in 2016 with Rob Zombie’s horror thriller 31.  Recent titles include the anthology Berlin, I Love You with Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jim Sturgess; the Gerard Butler starrer The Vanishing; Alexandre Moors’ The Yellow Birds starring Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Toni Collette, Jason Patric, Jack Huston and Jennifer Aniston; Eshom and Ian Nelms’ lauded feature Small Town Crime starring John Hawkes and Octavia Spencer; and Ivan Kavanagh’s Never Grow Old starring John Cusack and Emile Hirsch.

About Saban Films
Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America.  Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as President, Shanan Becker, Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Vice President of Business Development.

About UPHE Content Group
Headquartered in London, UPHE Content Group is a repertoire center of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, acquiring and producing multi-genre entertainment for distribution across theatrical, home entertainment, television and digital platforms on a worldwide basis.  UPHE Content Group is part of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, a unit of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG) produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment.  The global division includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television.  UFEG 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.



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JACK THE RIPPER (1959) -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




I saw JACK THE RIPPER (Severin Films, 1959) on TV as a kid in the 60s, and the thing I remember most is the horrific elevator scene at the end.  Sure enough, that memorable moment is right here in my long-overdue rewatch, and, although the rest of the film is in glorious black and white, that final ghastly image is in living, bloody color.

At least, it is in the US version. Severin's Blu-ray release has both this and the original British version, the rights of which were purchased for release in the States by famed film entrepreneur Joseph E. Levine (HERCULES) and jazzed-up (literally) with a new musical score, a teasing voiceover intro by Paul Frees inviting us to solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper ourselves while watching the film, and other small touches here and there including that color shot.

The film's original elements are gone, so Severin has assembled the best looking prints of both versions with the elements available.  The British director's cut, which is in 1.33:1, is near-pristine and quite lovely, while the US print (1.66:1) is considerably more worn.


This, however, is a plus for me, as my frequent readers will know.  I love a print that looks like it has been around the block a few times--it's a nostalgia thing, and a big reason why I love PLANET TERROR so much.

The story itself is a taut, wonderfully compelling fictional account by screenwriter Jimmy Sangster (CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HORROR OF DRACULA) of the famous tale about mysterious serial killer Jack the Ripper's six notorious and very brutal slayings of prostitutes in London's Whitechapel district in 1888, a case that was never solved.

Here, London police inspector O'Neill (Eddie Byrne) and his American friend, Detective Sam Lowry (Lee Patterson) stay one step behind the killer's trail of ravaged bodies found in back alleys, their deaths apparently the work of a surgeon or other person with knowledge of anatomy and surgical tools.


Seeking advice from medical experts leads them to a hospital where we meet some of our main suspects--chief surgeon Sir David Rogers (Ewen Solon), aging and possibly over-the-hill Dr. Tranter (John Le Mesurier), surgical assistant Dr. Urquhart (Garard Green), and facially-disfigured hunchback (and thus chief suspect in the film's publicity) Louis Benz (Endre Muller), who tends to the surgical instruments during operations.

The atmosphere in the district is heated and volatile, with mobs of angry and often drunk men ready to form at a moment's notice to hunt down anyone even slightly suspected of being the ripper, resulting in a few tense sequences.

This mood is exacerbated by the sometimes claustrophobic nature of the film's stagebound sets (at Shepperton Studios), which are otherwise ideal for establishing the 19th-century setting filled with grimy cobblestone streets and dark, foggy alleyways where dastardly deeds are performed in the shadows.


In contrast to these are the bright music hall scenes that are alive with period frivolity including a raucous can-can dance sequence and a clash between some posh visitors on the prowl for a good time and a naive young dancing girl who didn't realize this was part of her job description. When she gets wise to her companion's intentions, she flees into the night and right into the clutches of the mysterious stalker.

Production, direction, and photography are all credited to Robert S. Baker and Monty Berman, who stage each scene in a just-right way that, unless I'm mistaken, was an inspiration for some of the visuals of the later version, FROM HELL.

The black and white cinematography is exquisite, and the music in both versions very good. I enjoy the brash Jimmy McHugh and Pete Rugolo score (I had the 45 rpm single of the main theme at the time) while some might prefer the more stately original by Stanley Black.

The cast is top-notch, delivering Sangster's snappy dialogue with aplomb.  The romantic angle between Detective Lowry and Dr. Tranter's beautiful, plucky ward Anne (winsomely portrayed by Betty McDowall), who works at the hospital, is well-handled.


The main draw, of course, is the sick thrill of Jack the Ripper's horrific murders (some shockingly staged for 1959) and the increasing urgency for our detective heroes to put a stop to them.  In the exciting finale, the killer finally tracks down the woman he's been searching for (each murder begins with him asking, in creepy, sotto voice, "Mary Clark? Are you Mary Clark?") and then menacing Anne herself as Lowry races to her rescue.

The Blu-ray from Severin Films is in 2.0 English mono sound and 1080p full HD resolution.  The British version has English subtitles while the US version does not.

Besides the two versions of the film, extras include the US trailer, photo and poster gallery, alternate "continental" takes which contain nudity, an essential interview about the film with author Denis Meikle ("Jack the Ripper: The Murders and the Movies"), and a history of the case entitled "The Real Jack the Ripper." Last but not least is a commentary track with Robert S. Baker, Jimmy Sangster, and assistant director Peter Manley, moderated by film historian Marcus Hearn.

JACK THE RIPPER is moody, atmospheric black and white 50s-style horror entertainment at its best, sharply-rendered in all aspects and a real treat for genre fans.  And there's a reason that elevator scene stayed in my memory for over half a century--it really tops off the movie in shocking style.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:
British Version
US Version
Audio Commentary With Co-Director/Co-Producer/Co-Cinematographer Robert S. Baker, Screenwriter Jimmy Sangster, Assistant Director Peter Manley, Moderated By British Horror Historian Marcus Hearn
Alternate Continental Takes
Interview With Denis Meikle, Author of “Jack The Ripper: The Murders And The Movies”
The Real Jack the Ripper Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Poster & Still Gallery




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Odessa Steps Sequence ("Potemkin", 1925) Set To Robert Plant's "The Way I Feel" (video)




The legendary scene from Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 silent classic, "The Battleship Potemkin"...

...known as "The Odessa Steps Sequence"...

...set to the song "The Way I Feel" by Robert Plant.


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!



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Cinemark and SPACES to Open "Terminator" VR Experience in San Jose on Feb. 8




CINEMARK AND SPACES EMBRACE THE FUTURE OF ENTERTAINMENT WITH MULTI-SENSORY VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE IN SAN JOSE

Tickets are on sale now for Cinemark’s brand-new, immersive VR experience at the Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre featuring “Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future”

PLANO, Texas (January 23, 2019) – Cinemark Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CNK), one of the world’s largest motion picture exhibitors, announced it is opening a brand-new, immersive virtual reality (VR) experience on February 8 at its Century 20 Oakridge and XD theatre in San Jose, CA at the Westfield Oakridge Shopping Center.  As the newest SPACES location, it will feature multi-sensory VR technology blending 4D effects, 3D face scanning, physical interaction and social group play. Tickets and information are available now at Cinemark.com/SPACES.

“Cinemark is constantly innovating and providing new experiences for our guests; we love taking entertainment and moviegoing to the next level,” said Mark Zoradi, Cinemark’s CEO. “Cinemark is excited to partner with SPACES to provide our Bay area guests with a fun, immersive, mixed-reality adventure.”

Thrill-seekers gear up and join the resistance in the fight against Skynet in a heart-pounding, untethered, adventure that takes place in the Terminator universe. The first Cinemark SPACES experience will be “Fight for the Future” based on “Terminator Salvation.” Upon entering Cinemark SPACES, guests will register and then scan their faces using SPACES’ unique, proprietary face scanning technology. Fans will be immersed in a free-roam, virtual reality battle with up to four people in a group.

Transforming locations into digital playgrounds, SPACES invites guests to engage their senses through virtual reality, haptic feedback and environmental effects that guests can reach out and touch. The moment they take off their headsets, guests immediately receive a cinematic video of their experience that they can take home and share on social media.

“At SPACES, we say ‘Go Anywhere, Do Anything’ where guests are the stars of the experiences,” said Shiraz Akmal, SPACES CEO. “We provide consumers an incredible, virtual reality adventure where they can suit up and escape with their friends. Guests depart from SPACES and are transported into the action.  We especially love that our experiences are meant to be shared; people repeat the experiences with friends and family again and again.”

The Cinemark SPACES is located at 925 Blossom Hill Rd., San Jose, CA 95123 in the Westfield Oakridge Shopping Center.

About Cinemark Holdings, Inc.:
Cinemark is a leading domestic and international motion picture exhibitor, operating 541 theatres with 6,014 screens in 41 U.S. states, Brazil, Argentina and 13 other Latin American countries as of September 30, 2018. For more information go to investors.cinemark.com.

About SPACES Inc.:
SPACES global retail locations, parks, and attractions deliver unique and unparalleled VR, AR and MR entertainment experiences that deploy cutting-edge technology, fully immersive, multiplayer, highly sensorial experiences featuring original and globally- recognized Hollywood and video game brands. SPACES was founded at DreamWorks Animation and the team has wide-ranging backgrounds in film, television, video games and theme parks. SPACES has raised over $10M from Comcast Ventures; Songcheng Performance Co.; Match VC; Boost VC; Canyon Creek Capital; Colopl VR Fund; GREE Inc.; Kai Huang; Sinovation Fund; The Venture Reality Fund; and Youku Global Media Fund and CRCM VC, and has a $30M partnership with Songcheng Performance Co. to build next-generation attractions for parks and retail locations.​​​​​​​​


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"BENCHWARMERS 2: BREAKING BALLS": Next Hilarious Chapter of the "Benchwarmers" Franchise With Jon Lovitz, Chris Klein, Lochlyn Munro




UNIVERSAL 1440 ENTERTAINMENT AND REVOLUTION STUDIOS PRESENT THE HILARIOUS NEXT CHAPTER OF THE BENCHWARMERS FRANCHISE STARRING JON LOVITZ, CHRIS KLEIN, LOCHLYN MUNRO

"BENCHWARMERS 2: BREAKING BALLS"

AVAILABLE ON DVD AND DIGITAL JANUARY 29, 2019

Universal City, California, January 23, 2019 – Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls is based on Revolution Studios’ wildly successful 2006 comedy, The Benchwarmers. This is the first title to emerge from the deal between Revolution Studios, a subsidiary of Content Partners, and Universal 1440 Entertainment, the original content production arm of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Filled with side-splitting antics, Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls will be available on DVD, Digital and On Demand on January 29th, 2019.

Ben McGrath (Chris Klein) had major league potential playing professional baseball, but his hopes to play ball literally get crushed. Down on his luck, Ben gets another swing at redemption as a new attorney for Schmood & Associates. His unorthodox boss, Mel (Jon Lovitz), convinces him to manage their eclectic softball team full of misfits and strikeouts. Together, will they have enough spirit to rally and win it all?

WATCH THE TRAILER:


Bringing together an incredible cast of characters to the franchise, Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls welcomes the return of Jon Lovitz (The Ridiculous 6, A League of Their Own) reprising his role as “Mel” and stars Chris Klein (American Pie franchise, Just Friends), Lochlyn Munro (“Riverdale,” White Chicks) and Chelsey Reist (“The 100,” Dark Harvest).

Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls is directed by Jon Rosenbaum (Cop and Half: New Recruit) from a script by Stephen Mazur (Liar, Liar).  Executive producers include Kim Arnott (“R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour”) and Jon Rosenbaum along with Vince Totino (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Scott Hemming (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and Marla Levine (the live television event “RENT” on Fox).  The film is produced by Dan Angel (R.L. Stine’s Monsterville: Cabinet of Souls, Cop and a Half: New Recruit).

 Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls will be available on DVD and Digital. 

⦁ DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away.
⦁ Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.
⦁ Movies Anywhere is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is only available in the United States. For more information, visit ⦁ https://moviesanywhere.com.

Social Media:
Website: www.uphe.com/movies/benchwarmers-2-breaking-balls
Trailer: https://youtu.be/-F5896hmx8k
Facebook: https://facebook.com/BenchwarmersMovie
Twitter: https://twitter.com/benchwarmers
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/benchwarmersmovie
#Benchwarmers2

FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Chris Klein, Chelsey Reist, Jonathan Silverman, Liam Hughes, Zak Santiago, Chris Gauthier with Lochlyn Munro and Jon Lovitz 
Casting Director: Judy JK Lee
U.S. Casting By: Jennifer K.M. Treadwell, CSA, Monica Kelly, CSA
Costume Designer: Ariana Preece
Score By: Shawn Pierce
Edited By: Mark Shearer
Production Designer: Nick Richardson
Director of Photography: Toby Gorman
Executive Producers: Kim Arnott, Jon Rosenbaum
Executive Producers: Vince Totino, Scott Hemming, Marla Levine
Produced By: Dan Angel
Based In Part On Characters Created By: Allen Covert & Nick Swardson
From the Motion Picture: “The Benchwarmers”
Written By: Stephen Mazur
Directed By: Jon Rosenbaum

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:
Street Date: January 29, 2019
Selection Number: 63197867 / 63198110 (CDN)
Running time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1

About Revolution Studios
Revolution Studios, a subsidiary of Content Partners, is a diversified entertainment company that owns, acquires and exploits film, television and stage productions.  Led by CEO Vince Totino and President and COO Scott Hemming, the company boasts one of the largest independent libraries of premium content, including 126 motion pictures which collectively earned more than $7.1 billion in box office receipts, as well as 240 television episodes.   Revolution recently produced xXx: Return of Xander Cage, as well as 46 of the motion pictures in its library, including Maid in Manhattan, Anger Management, Daddy Day Care, America’s Sweethearts, Hellboy, xXx, White Chicks and the Academy Award®-winning Black Hawk Down.  More recently, Revolution has acquired 80 movies through library acquisitions, including those of Morgan Creek International, Cold Spring Pictures and GK Films. 
Content Partners, which purchased Revolution in 2017, is a unique investment fund and asset management company that is the leading purchaser of film and television libraries and profit participations.

About Universal 1440 Entertainment, LLC:
The Universal 1440 Entertainment banner develops and produces live-action and animated productions for distribution in all media worldwide. Since its formation in 2005, the group has assembled an exceptional roster of animated family fare, including the Daytime Emmy®-winning Curious George television series for PBS Kids and Hulu; as well as the latest installment of the beloved The Land Before Time film series, The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave. The group also has successfully built upon some of Universal’s highly celebrated live-action, comedy and drama franchises, Jarhead, American Pie, Honey and Bring It On as well as the terrifying Chucky movies. The division’s next project readying for release is the hilarious family comedy Grand-Daddy Day Care.
 
Universal 1440 Entertainment is a production entity of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (www.uphe.com). Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) is a unit of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG). UFEG produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment. The global division includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television.  UFEG 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 networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

THE GOLEM (2018) -- Movie Review by Porfle




I've never seen the original "Golem" movies of the silent era, but I do recall the tall, hulking figure of Paul Wegener with his forboding stance and scowling face.

So it's interesting to see the character as a creepy little boy, as in brothers Doron and Yoav Paz's very dark, very atmospheric horror tale THE GOLEM (2018).

It's a concept which works quite well indeed.  In this telling of the old Jewish legend, a remote 17-century village in Lithuania is beseiged by vengeful outsiders who blame them for the plague which has devastated their own village.


The leader of the outsiders renders an ultimatim--either the Jewish medicine woman Perla (Brynie Furstenberg) saves his sick daughter's life, or he and his men will kill them all and burn their village to the ground.

Hanna (Hani Furstenberg), who has been trying in vain to conceive a child with husband Benjamin (Ishai Golan) after the death of their son years before, uses her knowledge of the Kabbalah and its deepest, most secret passages to create a Golem, a supernatural protector, to save them from the outsiders.

Taking the form of her dead son, it strikes back at the marauders, only to become a deadly threat also to Hanna's own people including her husband.


This is one beautifully dark and richly rendered movie that I can only describe as "Jewish Gothic."  The period atmosphere and overall feeling of Old World antiquity are fully realized and quite impressive.

The intense and unpredictable presence of the Golem, a monster in the form of a little boy yearning for Hanna's love and acceptance, remains morbidly fascinating throughout.

A confrontation occurs when Benjamin and his men finally clash with the outsiders against the wishes of the village rabbi, which is when the Golem first wields his power in a shocking, bloody scene.


Once the cycle of violence is set into motion, we're kept on edge wondering how far it will go not just for the outsiders but against fellow villagers when the term "double-edged sword" comes fully into play.

The Paz brothers direct it all with exquisite visual style, contrasting the old-style storytelling with sudden bursts of gore until the film's finale brings out the full horror of the situation.

THE GOLEM doesn't try to terrify or turn our stomachs, but it keeps us on edge with pure, earthy weirdness and some genuine dead-of-night chills.  It's one of the most interesting and original horror films I've seen in a while, and well worth delving into for those who like to take an occasional creep through the dark side.



THE GOLEM opens in Los Angeles on Friday, February 1 and on VOD, DVD & Blu-ray Tuesday, February 5



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"GRAND-DADDY DAY CARE" Available On DVD and Digital Feb. 5 -- Stars Danny Trejo, Garrett Morris, Roxana Ortega, George Wendt, And More




DANNY TREJO, RENO WILSON, ROXANA ORTEGA, GARRETT MORRIS, MARGARET AVERY AND GEORGE WENDT STAR IN THE HYSTERICAL FOLLOW UP TO THE BELOVED FAMILY COMEDY DADDY DAY CARE


"GRAND-DADDY DAY CARE"

AVAILABLE ON DVD AND DIGITAL FEBRUARY 5, 2019



Universal City, CA, January 23, 2019 – A hilarious comedy for the whole  family to enjoy, Grand-Daddy Day Care arrives on DVD, Digital and On Demand February 5th, 2019 from Revolution Studios, a subsidiary of Content Partners, and Universal 1440, the original content production arm of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

When Frank Collins (Reno Wilson) suffers from writer’s block, he decides to start a day care for his father-in-law (Danny Trejo) and other seniors as a way to make quick cash, while giving him time to still work on his next book. Eventually getting a small group to care for, Frank soon learns that these are not your typical seniors and they can’t be easily corralled. With a code enforcement officer challenging the legality of his business, and his senior charges getting into all kinds of trouble, Frank’s work days become anything but effortless. Featuring an all-star cast of TV’s greatest stars, Grand-Daddy Day Care is a hilarious story for the young, and the young at heart.

Starring Danny Trejo (Machete, Dead Again in Tombstone) and Reno Wilson (Transformers franchise, “Good Girls”) along with supporting cast members Barry Bostwick (“Inside the Extras Studio,” The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Linda Gray (“Hilton Head Island,” “Hand of God”), Julia Duffy (“The Cool Kids,” “American Housewife”), Alec Mapa (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Marley & Me), Garrett Morris, Margaret Avery (“Being Mary Jane,” Proud Mary), Roxana Ortega (“The Loud House,” “The Santa Clarita Diet”), (Coneheads, “Saturday Night Live”) and George Wendt (“Cheers,” “Modern Men”).

Grand-Daddy Day Care is directed by Ron Oliver (Bigger Fatter Liar, Beethoven’s Treasure Tail) from a script by Robbie Fox (Playing For Keeps, So I Married An Axe Murderer) and David H. Steinberg, (American Pie 2, Slackers) and is produced by Mike Elliott (Death Race franchise, Woody Woodpecker).  Executive Producers include Vince Totino (xXx: Return of Xander Cage), Scott Hemming (xXx: Return of Xander Cage) and Marla Levine (the live television event “RENT”).

Grand-Daddy Day Care will be available on DVD and Digital.

DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing movies in more places, both at home and away
Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can instantly stream or download.

Movies Anywhere is the digital app that simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is only available in the United States. For more information, visit https://moviesanywhere.com.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Website: https://www.uphe.com/movies/grand-daddy-day-care
Trailer: https://youtu.be/-F5896hmx8k
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GDDayCare
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GDDayCare
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gddaycare
#GrandDaddyDayCare #GDDC

FILMMAKERS:
Cast: Danny Trejo, Reno Wilson, Margaret Avery, Barry Bostwick, Julia Duffy, Anthony Gonzalez, Linda Gray, James Hong, Hal Linden, Alec Mapa, Garrett Morris, Roxana Ortega, George Wendt
Casting By: Jan Glaser, CSA
Costume Designer: Barbara Vazquez
Score By: Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum
Edited By: Heath Ryan
Production Designer: Scott H. Campbell
Director of Photography: Graham Robbins
Executive Producers: Vince Totino, Scott Hemming, Marla Levine
Producers: Joseph P. Genier, Greg Holstein
Produced By: Mike Elliott
Based In Part On Characters Created By: Geoff Rodkey from the motion picture “Daddy Day Care”
Story By: Robbie Fox
Screenplay By: Robbie Fox and David H. Steinberg
Directed By: Ron Oliver 

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:
Street Date: February 5, 2019
Selection Number: 63197875 / 63197876 (CDN)
Running time: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Layers: Dual Layer
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78:1
Rating: PG-13 for some drug material
Languages/Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Sound: English Dolby Digital 5.1

About Revolution Studios:
Revolution Studios, a subsidiary of Content Partners, is a diversified entertainment company that owns, acquires and exploits film, television and stage productions.  Led by CEO Vince Totino and President and COO Scott Hemming, the company boasts one of the largest independent libraries of premium content, including 126 motion pictures which collectively earned more than $7.1 billion in box office receipts, as well as 240 television episodes.   Revolution recently produced xXx: Return of Xander Cage, as well as 46 of the motion pictures in its library, including Maid in Manhattan, Anger Management, Daddy Day Care, America’s Sweethearts, Hellboy, xXx, White Chicks and the Academy Award®-winning Black Hawk Down.  More recently, Revolution has acquired 80 movies through library acquisitions, including those of Morgan Creek International, Cold Spring Pictures and GK Films. 

Content Partners, which purchased Revolution in 2017, is a unique investment fund and asset management company that is the leading purchaser of film and television libraries and profit participations. 

About Universal 1440 Entertainment, LLC:
The Universal 1440 Entertainment banner develops and produces live-action and animated productions for distribution in all media worldwide. Since its formation in 2005, the group has assembled an exceptional roster of animated family fare, including the Daytime Emmy®-winning Curious George television series for PBS Kids and Hulu; as well as the latest installment of the beloved The Land Before Time film series, The Land Before Time: Journey of the Brave. The group also has successfully built upon some of Universal’s highly celebrated live-action, comedy and drama franchises, Jarhead, American Pie, Honey and Bring It On as well as the terrifying Chucky movies.  The division’s next project readying for release is the hilarious comedy Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls.
 
Universal 1440 Entertainment is a production entity of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (www.uphe.com). Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (UPHE) is a unit of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group (UFEG). UFEG produces, acquires, markets and distributes filmed entertainment worldwide in various media formats for theatrical, home entertainment, television and other distribution platforms, as well as consumer products, interactive gaming and live entertainment. The global division includes Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Brand Development, Fandango and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television.  UFEG 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 networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.



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3 Times When John Wayne Did His Own Stunts (Donovan's Reef/ The War Wagon/ Big Jake) (video)




One stunt often attributed to Duke that he DIDN'T do...

...was the four-rail-fence horse jump in TRUE GRIT (1969).

Halfway during the jump the scene cuts away to a stuntman with his face away from the camera.
Rest assured, if Duke had done that jump...we'd have seen his face the whole time.

That's why Quentin Tarantino hired stuntwoman Zoe Bell for DEATH PROOF...
...so that you could see her face during this entire stunt sequence.

But despite his failing health in the early 60s and beyond...
...John Wayne was known to sometimes handle a stunt himself.

1. Donovan's Reef (1963)
2. The War Wagon (1967)
3. Big Jake (1971)

Not bad for a "fat old man" (as he's described in True Grit)...with one lung!


I neither own nor claim any rights to this material.  Just having some fun with it.  Thanks for watching!


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