HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Only Six Weeks Left! "The Knick: The Complete First Season" on Blu-ray and DVD August 11

"Fascinating!" - The New York Times


Season One of the Peabody Award-Winning Cinemax® Series
Available August 11, 2015 on Blu-ray™ and DVD

Early Digital HD Release Set for August 3, 2015

New York, N.Y., June 30, 2015 - Modern medicine had to start somewhere. In the hit Cinemax drama series The Knick, from executive producer Steven Soderbergh (who directed all ten episodes), brilliant surgeon John Thackery (Clive Owen in a Golden Globe-nominated performance) pushes the boundaries of medicine, morality and race relations in 1900 at a downtown NYC hospital known as The Knick. The "must watch" (Entertainment Weekly) and "beautifully crafted" (Los Angeles Times) series broke Cinemax viewing records, becoming the most watched first season of any Cinemax Original Series.

Now, fans will have the chance to take home all ten episodes of the debut season when The Knick: Complete First Season comes to Blu-ray with Digital HD ($39.98) and DVD ($29.98) on August 11, 2015. For even earlier access to The Knick, the season will also be released to Digital HD on August 3.

In The Knick, while Dr. Thackery searches to solve a plethora of medical mysteries and develops an unhealthy addiction to cocaine, which was legal at the time, the fate of The Knickerbocker Hospital hangs in the balance. Thanks to the influence of rich patrons like Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance) Thackery is paired against his will with a young black doctor, Algernon Edwards (André Holland), whose intelligence and at-all-costs methods rivals Thackery's, and who is hired over Thackery's protégé, Dr. Everett Gallinger (Eric Johnson). 

Other supporters of Thackery at the hospital include Dr. "Bertie" Chickering Jr. (Michael Angarano), a young surgeon secretly in love with nurse Lucy Elkins (Eve Hewson), who is drawn to Thackery; Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour), who runs the foundling hospital and maternity ward; Herman Barrow (Jeremy Bobb), the Knick's crooked superintendent, awash in debt and willing to risk The Knick's future to pay it off; and Tom Cleary (Chris Sullivan), the ambulance driver who will stoop to the lowest depths to bring the right kind of patients to The Knick.

The Knick: The Complete First Season
Blu-ray with Digital HD, DVD, & Digital HD
Street Date:      August 11, 2015                       
Order Date:       July 7, 2015
Rating:               TV-MA
Runtime:           Approx. 600 minutes (excluding bonus features)
Price:                 $39.98 Blu-ray with Digital HD (4 discs)                
Price:                 $29.98 DVD (4 discs)                                                          
About HBO Home Entertainment®   
HBO Home Entertainment develops, distributes and markets an extensive array of critically-acclaimed and groundbreaking programs in three formats: Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD throughout the world.  Releases include the global hit Game of Thrones®, the #1 selling TV on DVD/Blu-ray title in major territories throughout the world over the past four years, in addition to current hits and classic favorites including True Detective®, Girls®, The Sopranos®, Sex and the City® True Blood®, The Wire® and Entourage®. The company's catalog contains hundreds of titles including multiple Emmy Award-winning mini-series The Pacific® and Band of Brothers®, which holds the record through 2014 as the all-time best selling TV on DVD/Blu-ray title in the US;  the Peabody Award-winning children's program Classical Baby; provocative programs from HBO Documentary Films including The Jinx: The Life & Deaths of Robert Durst and The Case Against 8; innovative movies from HBO Films including Game Change and The Normal Heart; hit Cinemax® original series including BansheeSM and Strike Back®; and comedy specials featuring stand-up performers like Bill Maher and Billy Crystal.  Launched in 1984, HBO Home Entertainment has offices in New York, London and Toronto and the company's releases are sold in more than 70 territories around the world and digitally distributes content on a transactional basis on 13 platforms across 8 territories including the major global platforms such as iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, Xbox Video and PlayStation Video. 

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Monday, June 29, 2015

THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Arriving August 25th on Blu-ray + Digital HD and DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment!



BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Five years ago, a man awoke from a coma in a hospital. For sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), what should have been a cause of celebration became the flash point for five years of unceasing horror, unrelenting personal sacrifice...and one of the most popular TV shows ever broadcast. On August 25th, Anchor Bay Entertainment gives home entertainment fans their annual Walker fix with THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Blu-ray™ + Digital HD and DVD releases.

Each 5-disc set presents all sixteen gripping episodes from the series that has single-handedly redefined the zombie genre. True to the tradition of the previously released seasons, THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON arrives jam-packed with three hours of insightful and provocative bonus features that give viewers yet another inside glimpse into creating the fallen world of the Walkers and the souls brave – and crazy – enough to attempt survival. SRP is $79.99 for the Blu-ray™ + Digital HD, $69.98 for the DVD, with pre-book on July 22nd.

Fans can also look forward to THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON Limited Edition. Once again, legendary collectibles creator McFarlane Toys has created another must-have unique package for the Blu-ray™ + Digital HD discs. Artwork and release date will be announced shortly.

Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, AMC’s “The Walking Dead” continues to grow in global popularity and audience viewership. The fifth season also saw the introduction of such notable characters from the graphic novel as Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) and the cannibalistic Hunters.

THE WALKING DEAD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON cast also includes Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Chandler Riggs, Melissa McBride, Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green, Lawrence Gilliard, Jr., Michael Cudlitz, Emily Kinney, Alanna Masterson, Christian Serratos, Josh McDermitt and Andrew J. West.

“The Walking Dead” Season 6 premieres on AMC this October.

Bonus Features on the Blu-ray™ + Digital HD and DVD include:

•Audio commentaries featuring Showrunner/Executive Producer/Writer Scott M. Gimple, Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Executive Producer Tom Luse, Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Supervisor /Director Greg Nicotero, Director Julius Ramsay; Actors Lauren Cohan, Chad L. Coleman, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Danai Gurira, Alana Masterson, Melissa McBride, Josh McDermitt, Norman Reedus, Christian Serratos and Steven Yuen.
•Deleted Scenes
•Inside “The Walking Dead” 
•The Making of “The Walking Dead” 
•The Making of Alexandria
•Beth’s Journey
•Bob’s Journey
•Noah’s Journey
•Tyreese’s Journey
•A Day in the Life of Michael Cudlitz
•A Day in the Life of Josh McDermitt
•Rotters in the Flesh

About AMC
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row with “Mad Men,” and six of the last seven with current back-to-back honoree, “Breaking Bad.” The network boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last three years with “The Walking Dead.” AMC’s original drama series include “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul,” “Hell on Wheels,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” and the forthcoming “Humans,” “The Making of The Mob: New York,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Into the Badlands” and “The Night Manager.” AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like “Talking Dead” and “Comic Book Men.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment:
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. Anchor Bay acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment (>) is a full service distributor in the North American market. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business,>.

Blu-ray™ + Digital HD
Street Date:                 August 25, 2015        
Pre-book:                     July 22, 2015
Cat. #:                         BD62900
UPC:                           0-1313 26900-1
Run Time:                   710 minutes
Rating:                        Not Rated
SRP:                            $79.99
Format:                        Widescreen Presentation 1.78:1
Audio:                         English Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:                     English SDH and Spanish

Street Date:                 August 25, 2015        
Pre-book:                     July 22, 2015
Cat. #:                         DV62899
UPC:                           0-1313 26899-8
Run Time:                   710 minutes
Rating:                        Not Rated
SRP:                            $69.98
Format:                        Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio:                         English Dolby Digital 5.1 and French Dolby Surround 2.0
Subtitles:                     English SDH and Spanish


Saturday, June 27, 2015

"HALLOWEEN COMPLETE COLLECTION" Shines at 2015 Saturn Awards

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Recognizes
Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory™
For “Best DVD/BD Collection Release”
BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Four years after the Saturn Awards were born, an indie horror film was released that would transform the genre.  The 1978 John Carpenter terror classic, Halloween, was the beginning of one of the most durable, iconic and copiously studied horror franchises ever created.  Ten films and over three decades later, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Scream Factory released the entire collection on Blu-ray™.  Last evening, the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films awarded the Halloween Complete Collection with the Saturn Award for Best DVD/BD Collection release.   Malek Akkad, son of the original film’s producer Moustapha Akkad and producer of the next installment of Halloween, accepted the honor.  The event was held at the Castaway in Burbank, California and attended by an audience of over 600 attendees. 
The release was amidst a field of stellar releases including The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology, Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection, Steven Spielberg Director's Collection, Toho Godzilla Collection and Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30 Film Collection. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films was founded in 1972 by Dr. Donald A. Reed to recognize and honor excellence among filmmakers in the science fiction, fantasy, horror and action/adventure/thriller genres.
“A huge thank you to the Academy for this award,” commented Trancas International Films’ President Malek Akkad.  “It is quite symbolic and emotional on many levels.  I have to thank the teams at both Anchor Bay and Shout Factory for the tireless work they did on the collection.  It’s crazy to see all the experiences and fantastic memories condensed into one small box.  I also want to thank all the craftsman – actors, writers, directors and especially John Carpenter and Debra Hill for their work on this amazing franchise.  Most of all though, I want to thank my father, Moustapha Akkad, who produced the first eight films.  He loved the franchise, the fans and everything about it.  It is on his behalf that I’m accepting this Saturn.”

In a historic partnership with Scream Factory, the Halloween Complete Collection Blu-ray™ presents all the films in the iconic Halloween film franchise in a single package – all 10 films packaged together for the first time, including the newly restored Halloween 6 Curse of Michael Myers Producers Cut, the Halloween 35TH Anniversary Edition, the two Rob Zombie films, and hours of NEW bonus features that will thrill fans of the legendary franchise and fans of modern horror cinema.

About Trancas International Films
Trancas International Films is a motion picture production and distribution company based primarily in Los Angeles, California, but operating worldwide.  In addition to numerous other films in its library, Trancas, along with its subsidiary, Compass International Pictures, has been involved with each film in the Halloween franchise.  Trancas most recently completed production on the motion picture Free Fall starring D.B. Sweeney, Sarah Butler and Halloween Alum Malcolm McDowell.  The company is currently working on Halloween Returns with Dimension Films set for release in 2016. 
About Anchor Bay Entertainment
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015.  Anchor Bay acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats.  The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.  Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment ( is a full service distributor in the North American market.  Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business,
About Scream Factory and Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory, LLC is a diversified multi-platform entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering, preserving and revitalizing the very best of pop culture. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their entire careers sharing their music, television and film favorites with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD and Blu-Ray™ offerings serve up feature films, classic and contemporary TV series, animation, live music and comedy specials in lavish packages crammed with extras.  Shout’s audio division boasts GRAMMY®-nominated box sets, new releases from storied artists, lovingly assembled album reissues and indispensable “best of” compilations.  In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.  Shout! Factory also owns and operates Timeless Media Group, Biograph Records, Majordomo Records, HighTone Records and Video Time Machine. These riches are the result of a creative acquisition mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention.  Shout! Factory is based in Santa Monica, California. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

Buy it at

Read our previous coverage of this set

Read our review of HALLOWEEN


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ARIZONA FLATS -- Movie Review by Porfle

One of those weepy ensemble pieces about a family on the fritz, writer-director Susan K. Brigham's ARIZONA FLATS, aka "Greasewood Flat" (2003), presses all the "feelgood" and "downer" buttons in turn while trying not to be one of the duller knives in the drama drawer.

Currently estranged from the rest of his clan, blues guitarist Johnny (Chip Adams) and his drummer/partner Fred (the ubiquitous Mark Boone Junior, who was "Stinky Man" in SE7EN and the motel clerk in MEMENTO) must retreat to the desert homeplace of Johnny's hard-luck family after failing as nightclub performers. 

Although Johnny's dying mom Janette (Virginia Hawkins) is thrilled to see him, former hostilities between him and headstrong sister Claire (Allison Stander-Marley) are reawakened while Claire's tweener daughter Sarah (Jamie Johnsen-Brigham) doesn't quite know what to think of these two guys.

Claire's about to lose the homeplace due to financial woes, which will include their outdoor restaurant and bar, Greasewood Flat, and their small horse ranch.  Restaurant employees include pretty waitress Abbey (Irene Bedard, the speaking voice of Disney's "Pocahontas"), who lives in an old Airstream trailer on the premises, and Henry the bartender (Kieran Mulroney, George's "double-dip" accuser on "Seinfeld"), who pines for Abbey although she sees him only as a friend.

While poor Janette's impending demise hangs over everyone like the sword of Damoclese, the various characters interact in ways that bring out the sappiness in them all.  Johnny is both rebellious and confused and just doesn't fit in, Claire resents him for running away and leaving her with all the family responsibities, Sarah can't quite find herself, and Abbey's driving poor Henry nuts even as she starts to fall for Johnny. 

All of this is conveyed not through scintillating dialogue (it never quite reaches that level) but by often mawkish exchanges filled with doe-eyed smiles, humid hugs, and voices softly cracking with emotion, periodically giving way to sudden outbreaks of forced, wildly emotional behavior such as Claire venting her spleen at Johnny and making him all hurt and pensive. 

Even more awkward is the scene in which Johnny and Abbey finally get together in her trailer, or try to anyway, during which Abbey freaks out for reasons unknown to Johnny and causes the encounter to turn creepy.  (The fact that Johnny has no natural charm whatsoever doesn't help.)

Claire finally blows up at him real good and he runs off to find himself through a series of aimless montages.  Meanwhile, Fred's animal-like, sweetly-stupid persona ingratiates him with the family and he finds his heart's desire living in their barn and helping with the chores. 

What the leisurely-paced movie takes its time leading up to is the big night in which Greasewood Flat gets a makeover as a fancy dance club with live music--that is, if Johnny can get his act together and play--and a $500 dance contest prize that will hopefully pack 'em in.  By this point, the movie has hit its modest stride and we can finally settle in and watch everything resolve itself, more or less.

(I viewed a barebones screener and thus can't comment on DVD details.)

Will the new, improved Greasewood Flat be a success?  Will Johnny and Fred slay 'em with their music?  Will Janette stay alive long enough to hear them?  Will Henry go postal over Abbey?  Will Claire keep it all together?  Will we care?  As for that last thing, I stuck with ARIZONA FLATS long enough to end up caring (sorta) about what happened to these people by the fadeout, although getting there was a chore even old Fred might find daunting. 

Buy it at
Official site

Tech Specs
Runtime: 88 minutes
Format: 1:85 Flat
Sound: Dolby SR
Country: USA
Language: English



Sunday, June 21, 2015

LOLA'S LOVE SHACK -- DVD Review by Porfle

With its emphasis on three teen Latino boys desperately trying to lose their virginity, LOLA'S LOVE SHACK (2013) apparently wants to be another PORKY'S. Fortunately, though, its attempts to be crude and tasteless keep getting sidetracked by its likable characters and easygoing charm.

Sharky (Ronnie Alvarez) is the more worldly of the three (although that's relative) and masterminds most of their exploits while deciding whether to be a baseball player or a gangbanger like his brother.  Joker (Erik Estrada Loaiza) is the fat one, which in these movies often indicates being more prone to give in to various impulses (food, sex, etc).  Beetle (Martin Rocha) is the most innocent of the three, and really wants nothing more than to win pretty Felicia (Edy Ganem) as his steady girl.

Their pre-senior-year summer vacation is filled with fervid dreams of "achieving manhood" as well as finding an adult to buy alcohol for them.  The sequence in which a cartoonishly-stacked MILF invites them to her apartment and turns out to be freakier than they expected (as well as being the wife of their nemesis, the gung-ho neighborhood cop) is played for fun more than raunch as is most of the film. 

Even their lecherous romp in the park with a loose girl who's drunk on "Booze Farms Date Grape" wine fails to result in anything particularly heinous besides Felicia happening by and mistaking Beetle for a pervert.

The MILF incident reminded me of a similar scene in THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN, and the film's biggest nod to PORKY'S is probably when our sex-starved trio find their way into a local den of ill-repute--in this case, Lola's Love Shack--only to get badly ripped off, which will lead to their seeking revenge. 

But even this potentially off-putting stuff is done with a light touch, and with much less emphasis on humiliation and mean-spiritedness than PORKY'S.  Even the big revenge scene degenerates into a silly speeded-up slapstick chase through the halls of the Love Shack that resembles something out of the Three Stooges. 

When not obsessed with carnal desires, LOLA'S LOVE SHACK has other kinds of fun, too.  My favorite is when we discover that Joker's family--Mom, Dad and sister--are into performing as a Western-Banda dance act complete with cowboy hats, boots, and the rest, and that deep down Joker enjoys it, too.  It pains him when he has to get cash by dipping into the family's special "gazebo fund", since his parents' fondest dream is to have their own backyard gazebo to perform in. 

Meanwhile, there's some good stuff about Sharky (who has the stereotypically abusive father) not giving in to the gang life as his brother did, Joker establishing a tender relationship with one of Lola's girls, and Beetle finding out that there are more important things than just having sex (well, equally important, anyway).

It's quite a contrast to the aforementioned examples with the main characters behaving like rutting animals, or a film such as SCREWBALLS in which they barely even resemble actual human beings. 

The DVD from Indican Pictures in in 1:78 widescreen with Dolby 2.0 sound.  Subtitles are in English.  The sole extra is a selection of trailers from other Indican releases.

LOLA'S LOVE SHACK has its raunchy moments, but they're offset by the general lack of dourness and cynicism that seems to fuel a lot of this kind of humor.  It's nice for a change, being entertained by positive vibes instead of just grossed out by a roll in the gutter. 

Buy it at

Tech Specs
Runtime: 93 minutes
Format: 1:78 HD
Sound: Dolby Sr.
Rating: R
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy


DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON -- Movie Review by Porfle

The opening teaser is the usual "teen couple killed by unseen menace" thing, followed by a very leisurely main titles sequence, and then we meet Barry Corbin as irascible old bartender Cyrus regaling some city folk who've wandered into his country tavern with stories of the local "Legend of Blood Lake."  

After that, DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON (2014) dissolves to a group of college kids coming to town to research the tale for their Myths and Legends class.  We expect the same old stereotypes from previous dead-teenager flicks, but this bunch isn't that bad--Lanie (Lauren Leal) is blonde but not that dumb, Nick (Edward Hong) is a brainy Asian kid but not all that nerdy, group leader Michael (Kurt Cole) is a straight-arrow type who isn't a stiff, and crude, fratboy-type Penn (Johnny Walter) is...well, okay, he's a crude fratboy-type.  But even he gets all emo during the "campfire confessions" scene.

In said scene, which takes place after the gang have set up camp out at Blood Lake for what definitely doesn't promise to be a fun-filled weekend, everyone opens up about their most intimate, soul-baring secrets.  Very little of interest has happened by this point in the film and the campfire scene, like most of the scenes before it, really starts to drag. Only the presence of gorgeous Dawn (Shiree Nelson), a town girl who's helping the kids out for some reason, kept me from dozing off.

Still, we learn some things that will be important later on, and we also find out that the final member of the group, disturbed Goth loner Mara (Brooke Coleman), sees dead people.  Mention a dead person you've known during your intimate confession, and chances are Mara can see that person standing right next to you.

As you might guess, these dead people start popping up all over the place and forcing our protagonists to face certain bad things that have happened to them in their lives, for better or worse.  It isn't very scary, and you might get the impression that you're watching a big outdoor group therapy session that mixes the paranormal with a Hallmark Channel original. 

The part that does try to give us the willies is how the massacre of a Comanche tribe by Texas Rangers back in the cowboy days has left a horde of very unquiet ghosts roaming around the lake and terrorizing anyone who tries to find the Comanche chief's gold which was given to him by the Great Spirit. 

If you're having trouble following any of that, rest assured that the details don't really matter.  The ghosts, dressed in hooded robes and appearing out of nowhere armed with big hooks like the spectral pirates in John Carpenter's THE FOG, aren't too scary at all and the film, while teasing us a couple of times, doesn't try to pull off a single gory kill. 

After a lot of running around in the woods with not that much entertainment value to show for it, we get a resolution of the main ghostly concerns on the part of both the Native Americans and the emotionally-wounded college kids.  I would've preferred a horrific free-for-all of stalking, slashing mayhem, but it turns out that this isn't really that kind of movie.  The only really "Night Gallery" type of thing that happens is when one of the kids turns out to be a really bad person and suffers a poetic-justice comeuppance. 

Performances are good, with familiar face Barry Corbin (WARGAMES, THE GRAND, THAT EVENING SUN) serving as a sort of master of ceremonies as he reels off these various stories and legends from behind his bar.  The film itself is very low-budget, although director Kirk Loudon does nice work and manages to keep things watchable enough. 

(I viewed a barebones screener of the film and thus cannot comment on tech specs or extra features.)

If you're looking for a bloody teen slasher flick or a supernatural thriller that'll have you jumping out of your seat, then DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON probably won't do it for you.  If you'll settle for a mildly spooky tale that's passably entertaining provided you don't expect too much, it might.

Buy it at
Official website
Street date: July 28, 2015

Runtime: 95 minutes
Format: 1:85 Flat
Sound: Dolby SR
Genre: Mystery/Horror
Country: USA
Language: English


Thursday, June 18, 2015

TOM & JERRY: SPY QUEST -- DVD Review by Porfle

When the evil Dr. Zim's henchcats kidnap Dr. Benton Quest and his pilot/bodyguard "Race" Bannon, along with Quest's powerful energy-generating invention, the "Q Sphere", it's up to Quest's son Jonny, his Indian friend Hadji, their dog Bandit, and new friends Tom & Jerry to find their way to Dr. Zim's volcano hideout and save the day.

That's right, Tom & Jerry, the cartoon cat-and-mouse team who've been chasing each other around our movie and TV screens since King Kong was underage.  It seems  they've been getting paired up with a series of unlikely co-stars in TV movies these days, from Sherlock Holmes to the Wizard of Oz, and in the original feature-length cartoon TOM & JERRY: SPY QUEST (2015) they inadvertently fall in with one of the most action-prone animated clans to ever grace Saturday mornings. 

"Jonny Quest" started out in primetime back in 1964 with surprisingly violent and adult-tinged adventures that we kids went crazy over.  The show seems to have been influenced by James Bond's 1962 movie debut DR. NO--the Quests' main adversary is Asian baddie Dr. Zim, who is often found hanging out in an empty volcano and doing things like toppling rockets.  In the episode "The Fraudulent Volcano" (included on this disc), a sleeping Dr. Quest is even threatened by a deadly tarantula as is Bond in his first film. 

TOM & JERRY: SPY QUEST continues this Bond vibe but with additional elements from such films as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, CASABLANCA, and even Rob Zombie's own full-length cartoon THE HAUNTED WORLD OF EL SUPERBEASTO. The latter two are particularly evident in sexy leading lady Jade's big song-and-dance number which she performs in her nightclub, Jade's Cafe' Americain.  (Jade, it turns out, is one of Race Bannon's old girlfriends, and their breakup wasn't on good terms.)  This elaborate sequence, with MGM star Droopy putting in a droll cameo appearance, is one of the film's highlights.

The RAIDERS influence is the most obvious--the action sequences are fast and furious, packed with plane crashes, chases, hand-to-paw combat, et cetera.  Everything zips along as though the filmmakers are deathly afraid we'll doze off if things slow down for five seconds.

Of course, the juxtaposition of all this with comedy stars Tom & Jerry is sometimes just as awkward as it sounds, but there are stretches in which either the Quest bunch do their thing or Tom and Jerry go about their business as though they were back in one of their regular cartoon shorts. 

Actually, the combo isn't really all that bad once you get used to it--it's kind of like one of those Colgate Comedy Hour sketches in which Martin and Lewis are their usual wacky selves while guest stars such as Humphrey Bogart or Burt Lancaster spoof their own serious personas. 

The pre-titles segment of the movie is a separate Tom & Jerry short unto itself, with the adversarial duo getting in each other's way while hanging out at the beach.  It isn't until Jonny and Hadji show up, followed by a trio of Zim's attack cats (Tin, Pan, and Alley--get it?) in power suits, that the odd clash of sensibilities begins.  The titles themselves harken back to the original Jonny Quest show's classic opening sequence and thrilling musical theme. 

Strangely, we get the same unequal relationship between housecat Tom and the talking, uniformed bad-guy cats that exists between Disney's canine characters Goofy and Pluto.  (One of Dr. Zim's feline henchcats is even based on Dustin Hoffman's "Rain Man.") 

Dr. Zim and his gang are played for laughs more here than ever before, although the final phase of his scheme turns into a thrilling suicide attack on Washington D.C. in which his entire volcano hideout takes off and is set to crash into the White House with all of our heroes aboard.  (Dr. Quest's solution to this, involving the Washington Monument, is a bit of a stunner.)

Once again, Tom gets the brunt of the most sadistic gags--and for no apparent reason, since he's mostly just minding his own business while Jerry's being his usual insufferable, hateful little self.  One running gag has the starving Tom being constantly denied food while Jerry, of course, gets to gorge himself.  (A scene in which Jerry snatches a juicy steak right out of Tom's mouth just before he bites down on it--and then SLAPS him with it--is especially galling.) 

This is partially made up for by having Dr. Zim mistake Tom for a fearless, super-efficient action hero thanks to the hapless cat accidentally defeating Zim's henchmen during their various attacks while wearing one of their power suits.  Still, this movie only serves to increase my utter hatred for Jerry the mouse while causing me to cringe every time Tom is unfairly made the brunt of the usual sadistic and humiliating gags. 

The character design and backgrounds are eye-pleasing, with Tom and Jerry looking much like they did back in the 40s and 50s and the Quest crew rendered better than in previous reboots of the original series.  The story zips along with nary a slow spot to catch our breath, culminating in an effectively suspenseful climactic sequence that's very nicely done. 

Voice talent includes original Jonny Quest voice actor Tim Matheson (ANIMAL HOUSE, A VERY BRADY SEQUEL) as the President, James Hong (BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA) as Dr. Zim, and Tia Carrere (WAYNE'S WORLD) as femme fatale Jade. 

The DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is in matted widescreen format, with Dolby 5.1 sound and subtitles available in several languages including English, Spanish, and French.   Extras include four recent "Tom & Jerry" cartoon shorts ("Birthday Bashed", Feline Fatale", "For the Love of Ruggles", and "Sleuth or Consequences"), an episode of "The New Jonny Quest" ("Deadly Junket"), and, best of all, an episode from the classic original series entitled "The Fraudulent Volcano" which beats "You Only Live Twice" and its secret volcano bad-guy lair by several years. 

TOM & JERRY: SPY QUEST isn't nearly the mutant mess I was expecting, although funny animal comedy and hard-bitten action and intrigue being shoehorned into the same frantic film does lead to a somewhat uneasy alliance.  Still, I got a kick out of the novelty of it all and enjoyed seeing these characters given such a lavish vehicle that's worthy of their stature. 

Buy it at
Street date: June 23, 2015


FRIDAY THE 13TH's Adrienne King Makes a Rare Appearance in "ALL AMERICAN BULLY"

Friday the 13th Final Girl Adrienne King
Co-Stars in All American Bully
Available Nationwide On DVD and VOD June 23rd

New York, NY - Wild Eye Releasing has put a famous face to the ever-present topic of bullying in schools.  Adrienne King (Friday the 13th) makes a rare appearance on the screen as a tyrannical principal with a secret in All American Bully, coming to DVD and VOD June 23rd.

Three friends try to cope after one of them is victimized by a bully, and their lives are slowly torn apart as the they fall deeper into a twisted web of buried secrets, ignorance, and revenge.  Through it all, Principal Kane (King) rules her small town high school with an iron fist, teaching harsh lessons to students and faculty alike.  The vicious cycle leads to a disturbing and violent conclusion where it turns out no one is truly innocent.

All American Bully (Official Trailer)

The DVD release of All American Bully (SRP $14.95) will exclusively include behind the scenes interviews and and trailers. 

Order All American Bully on DVD
Reserve at Redbox


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"THE RED ROAD: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON" Coming September 22nd to DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment

“Season 2 is even more intense than the first.”
-The Wrap

The Stunning Next Chapter on DVD September 22, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – On September 22nd, Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the critically acclaimed SundanceTV series “The Red Road: The Complete Second Season” on DVD. Available as a 2-disc set, “The Red Road: The Complete Second Season” contains all 6 episodes of the surprising season of the series that has become required viewing for those who want the best in cutting-edge drama. The release also contains an in-depth bonus feature about the making of this powerful show, including behind-the-scenes footage and interviews that give you an insider’s view of this uncompromising series.

“The Red Road” is a gripping, dramatic thriller that centers around two clashing communities: a Native American tribe and the small town with which they are forced to coexist. The long-awaited federal recognition of the tribe has exacerbated decades-old tensions and history. The fates of Harold Jensen and Phillip Kopus are once again tied as the relationship between their communities becomes volatile.

“The Red Road: The Complete Second Season” picks up a year after season one with Phillip on parole and trying to stay out of trouble. But things have changed, Sheriff Harold Jensen has become a lieutenant and the tribe is now officially recognized by the government and in talks to build a casino. Values, allegiances and allies are now more in question than ever before.

Back for season two are Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones,” Road to Paloma), Martin Henderson (Devil’s Knot, The Ring), Julianne Nicholson (“Masters of Sex,” August: Osage County), Tamara Tunie (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “The Good Wife”), Lisa Bonet (High Fidelity, “The Cosby Show”), Allie Gonino (“The Lying Game,” Hidden Away), Kiowa Gordon (The Twilight Saga, Wind Walkers) and Golden Globe® nominee Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbor, Heat), while Native American actor Wes Studi (Road to Paloma, “Hell on Wheels”) joins the exceptional cast as tribal chief Levi.

Here is the acclaimed and addictive “The Red Road: The Complete Second Season” in one package that’s ready for your binge watching pleasure! You’ll take an unforgettable journey into dark family secrets, battles of the conscience, lies of the heart…and the struggle to find a road to redemption.

About SundanceTV
SundanceTV is making and celebrating television as distinctive as the best independent films. Working with today’s most remarkable talent, SundanceTV is attracting viewer and critical acclaim for its original scripted and unscripted series. Launched in 1996 and owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., SundanceTV delivers on the spirit of founder Robert Redford’s mission to celebrate creativity.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment:
Anchor Bay Entertainment is a leading independent home entertainment company celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. Anchor Bay acquires and releases a wide array of filmed entertainment in the theatrical and home entertainment markets, including STARZ Original series, children's entertainment, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment ( is a full service distributor in the North American market. Anchor Bay Entertainment is a Starz (NASDAQ: STRZA, STRZB) business,

“The Red Road: The Complete Second Season” DVD
Street Date:                  September 22, 2015          
Pre-book:                     August 19, 2015
Cat. #:                          DV63662
UPC:                            0 1313 2636627
Run Time:                    265 Minutes
Rating:                         Not Rated
SRP:                             $29.98
Format:                        1.78:1/16x9
Audio:                          Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:                      English SDH and Spanish

Read our review of Season One


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection 'F' Hits U.S. Theaters August 2015


Premiere to be Held July 2 at Regal LA LIVE during Anime Expo 2015 in Los Angeles

FLOWER MOUND, TEXAS – June 16, 2015. FUNimation Entertainment announced today that the world premiere of the English dub of “Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’” will be held on Thursday, July 2, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at the Regal LA LIVE Stadium 14 in Los Angeles, Calif.  The premiere coincides with opening night of Anime Expo 2015 — the largest anime and manga convention in North America. FUNimation recently completed principal production of the English dub for the movie which was written by series creator Akira Toriyama and directed by Naoyoshi Yamamuro. 
Actors Seán Schemmel and Christopher R. Sabat, starring in the roles of Goku and Vegeta respectively, will be attending the premiere, which will also feature a red carpet event prior to the screening.  Schemmel and Sabat are reprising their roles from last year’s highly-successful “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.”

“We’re pleased to premiere the English dub of “Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’” during Anime Expo 2015,” said Gen Fukunaga, CEO and founder of FUNimation. “Our cast and crew have done an amazing job with the dub. Fans will enjoy every minute of it — from the first scene through the ending credits.”

“Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’” is the 20th film in the Dragon Ball franchise.  The story is the follow-up to “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods” and showcases the return of Frieza — one of the greatest villains in all of anime. The new film will screen in theaters across the U.S. and Canada from August 4 - 12, 2015.  Fans are invited to sign up at to be alerted when ticketing opens later this month.  Subscribers can also look forward to receiving exclusive offers, sneak peeks, and other news about the film.

A limited amount of tickets to the premiere will be made available to fans and the general public.
For more information on Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, please visit
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Watch the teaser trailer
About FUNimation® Entertainment
FUNimation® Entertainment is the leading anime company in North America. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands. They manage a full spectrum of rights for most of their brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, Internet, and home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit


Monday, June 15, 2015

"He's A Bully, Charlie Brown"--Enjoy the Peanuts Gang Again in This All New Compilation!


Release aligns with Anti-Bullying Month in Support of Educating and Raising Awareness of Bullying Prevention
BURBANK, CA (June 15, 2015) -- Important life lessons are learned by the Peanuts gang, on He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown available October 6, 2015 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE). This heartwarming collection brings together two Peanuts specials that are paired with an episode of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show, that have been brilliantly remastered in all-new 4K Ultra HD transfers to DVD. In this must-own compilation, Charlie Brown is called upon to stand up for one of his pals, who is taken advantage of by a bully at summer camp. This title will be released in time for National Bullying Prevention Month, which takes place in October. He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown will retail for $19.97 SRP.

With school out for summer, Charlie Brown and his pals set out for camp. Rerun van Pelt, Lucy’s youngest brother, brings his prized collection of marbles, which once belonged to his grandfather, Felix, an award-winning marbles champ. Rerun is determined to become a marble master just like his grandpa but first, he must find someone who will teach him how to play the game.

At camp, Rerun meets Joe Agate, a tough-talking and disrespectful older boy who takes advantage of Rerun’s naiveté and cons him out of all his grandpa Felix’s marbles. A devastated Rerun confides in Charlie Brown, who is so disgusted by Joe’s behavior that he decides to stand up to him, with the help of Snoopy as Joe Cool, of course. Will Charlie Brown summon the courage to face the awful Joe Agate and win back Rerun’s beloved marbles?

In It was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown, which is also featured on this release, it’s a hilarious battle of boys against girls, with Snoopy having to get in the middle of it all.  At summer camp, the Peanuts gang put up with poor food and the girls winning all the sports competitions. To get even, the boys challenge them to an arm-wrestling contest between Lucy and “The Masked Marvel” – aka Snoopy in disguise. Will the boys triumph or stay defeated?

He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown also features an episode of The Charlie Brown & Snoopy Show, which includes four delightful segments, including Shoveling, Rerun, Lost Blanket and The Manager.

“He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown, sends a powerful message. From time to time, we’re all faced with situations in which we have to be strong, courageous and stand up for what we believe is right,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Vice President Family & Animation Marketing. She added, “We’re delighted to release this inspiring collection. If you love Peanuts, this is one title you won’t want to miss.”

The Credits

About Peanuts Worldwide
The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. About Iconix Brand Group, Inc. Iconix Brand Group, Inc. owns, licenses and markets a growing portfolio of consumer brands including: CANDIE'S (R), BONGO (R), BADGLEY MISCHKA (R), JOE BOXER (R), RAMPAGE (R), MUDD (R), MOSSIMO (R), LONDON FOG (R), OCEAN PACIFIC (R), DANSKIN (R), ROCAWEAR (R), CANNON (R), ROYAL VELVET (R), FIELDCREST (R), CHARISMA (R), STARTER (R), WAVERLY (R), ZOO YORK (R), SHARPER IMAGE (R), UMBRO (R), LEE COOPER (R), ECKO UNLTD. (R), MARC ECKO (R) and STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE (R). In addition, Iconix owns interests in the ARTFUL DODGER (R), MATERIAL GIRL (R), PEANUTS (R), ED HARDY (R), TRUTH OR DARE (R), BILLIONAIRE BOYS CLUB (R), ICE CREAM (R), MODERN AMUSEMENT (R), BUFFALO (R), NICK GRAHAM (R) and PONY (R) brands. The Company licenses its brands to a network of leading retailers and manufacturers that touch every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in both the U.S. and worldwide. Through its in-house business development, merchandising, advertising and public relations departments, Iconix manages its brands to drive greater consumer awareness and equity.

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industsary leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

PEARL -- Movie Review by Porfle

Way, way low-budget urban crime and violent-revenge thrills highlight the blood-splattered character study PEARL, aka "Pearl: The Assassin" (2013), directed by first-timer Guy Patton and starring his wife Dana in the title role. 

The story gets right into the swing of things with Pearl cleaning up after what must've been one heck of a pool hall melee by shooting one guy execution style and beating another to death with a pipe.  (Later she'll slit a pimp's throat with a straight-razor for good measure.)

After this cheerful opening we'll get intermittent flashbacks of whatever event it was that has driven her to get bloody revenge against dealers, pimps, and other lawbreakers, with much of it hinging on some drug-filled teddy bears.  This will bring her into direct conflict with the city's baddest drug lord, Tre (Justin Brown), and his big, scary henchman Swiss (Robert Pettiford), neither of whom you'd want to run afoul of.

Fortunately, the movie isn't all grim and ghoulish, since there's some amusing character interplay between grizzled old homicide detective Wyatt (George Morafetis) and an enthusiastic young CSI examiner named Trunks (Johnathan Fernandez) who thinks crime scenes are fun. 

As the hard-luck Erik, a brainy but flaky meth addict who makes the stuff for Tre in order to feed his habit, Scott Michael Morales also gives even the grittiest scenes a twinge of edgy comedy, particulary early on when Pearl keeps wrapping him in duct tape and threatening to dismember him if he doesn't cooperate with her. They eventually evolve into an entertainingly incompatible team, and we discover that even Erik has personal reasons for wanting to bring down Tre.

Pearl can't fight for beans, which is fitting since the director can't choreograph fight scenes for beans either.  But he does fairly well with the bang-bang stuff and other nasty violence, including shoot-outs, explosions, etc., with an economy that cleverly hints at more than is actually shown.  The script, which the Pattons collaborated on together, also generates enough tension to get us through the slower spots between the action. 

The rest of the supporting cast is good, including Jeff Kim as a benevolent young priest named Daniel who grew up with Pearl and grudgingly helps in her mission, to his eventual regret.  Justin Brown makes for a good bad guy as Tre, whose utter ruthlessness is shockingly captured in his first scene when we see how he deals with the happy news of his girlfriend's pregnancy.

Dana Patton is somewhat one-note in the title role, although to be fair the character is pretty much written that way.  At any rate she carries herself well as the sad-faced but unflinching avenger.  

(I reviewed a barebones screener for this Indican Pictures DVD release and thus can't comment on any tech specs or bonus features.)

Despite an abrupt ending and sparse production values that some viewers will find off-putting, PEARL is a fairly engaging showcase for a promising director working within a very limited budget.  Not a great film by any means, but an okay way to pass the time until a better one comes along.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete First Season" - The 1st Successful Spy Show on American Televison Comes to DVD! (Updated)


Features All 29 Digitally Remastered Episodes!
BURBANK, CA (June 9, 2015) – The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has captured the hearts of its viewers since its premiere in 1964. This critically-acclaimed spoof television series featuring Leo G. Carroll, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy was the first successful spy show on American television and one of the first series to become an international phenomenon. Prior to the theatrical release of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. in August 2015, fans can now relive their favorite moments as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment gets set to release The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete First Season on DVD August 4, 2015. This digitally enhanced series, also nominated for 7 Emmy Awards over its successful 4 season run, includes 29 one-hour long episodes of priceless entertainment.

In this hit spoof of the spy genre, actors Robert Vaughn and David McCallum play the roles of top agents Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin who use their charm, wit, and a never-ending assortment of gadgets to defend the world from evil, chaos and bad taste. The successful series also stars Leo G. Carroll as Alexander Waverly and features guest stars such as William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, of Star Trek, Kurt Russell, Ricardo Montalban and longtime comedy favorite Ken Murray. From trying to save the world from fear gas to trying to save themselves from a pack of bloodthirsty cheetahs, these serious spies bring the suspense and fun to life. You may even forget it's in black and white!

“The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete First Season is the first successful spy series of its kind and we are proud to bring it back to viewers to experience all the action” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “The episodes have been digitally remastered and will allow audiences young and old to relive this phenomenon before the theatrical release!”

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete First Season Enhanced on DVD includes 29 1-Hour Episodes:

The Vulcan Affair
1.       The Iowa-Scuba Affair
2.       The Quadripartite Affair

3.       The Shark Affair
4.       The Deadly Games Affair
5.       The Green Opal Affair

6.       The Giuoco Piano Affair
7.       The Double Affair
8.       The Project Strigas Affair

9.     The Finny Foot Affair
10.   The Neptune Affair
11.   The Dove Affair

12.   The King of Knaves Affair
13.   The Terbuf Affair
14.   The Deadly Decoy Affair

15.   DISC SIX
16.   The Fiddlesticks Affair
17.   The Yellow Scarf Affair
18.   The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair

19.   The Secret Sceptre Affair
20.   The Bow-Wow Affair
21.   The Four-Steps Affair

22.   The See-Paris-And-Die Affair
23.   The Brain-Killer Affair
24.   The Hong Kong Shilling Affair

25.   The Never-Never Affair
26.   The Love Affair
27.   The Gazebo in the Maze Affair

28.   The Girls of Nazarene Affair
29.   The Odd Man Affair

About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution and interactive entertainment businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHE oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHE distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees.

Buy it at



I'm not into basketball.  I mean, like, at all.  Fortunately, SURVIVOR'S REMORSE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON, which is about a pro basketball player, has very little basketball in it.  In fact, the main character might as well have been a rap singer or the star of a TV show on Starz, since this series is about dealing with the fame and fortune that go along with extreme success in one's occupation rather than the occupation itself.

The show is a comedy with just enough dramatic touches now and then to keep it from needing a laugh track, especially when the leads overact like they're playing to a live studio audience.  But since most of them don't strive for realism, that style kind of fits the show.

Jessie Usher (BEAUTIFUL BOY, the upcoming INDEPENDENCE DAY sequel) plays callow young sports star Cam Calloway, whose basketball skills have gotten him out of the hood and into a highly lucrative contract with a major Atlanta team.  So he moves there along with his entourage (that is, his family) who are all along for the ride.

Cam, as the series title suggests, feels guilty for lucking out and being so successful while those he grew up with are still stuck in their dreary lives with little hope of bettering themselves.  Some of them, unfortunately, see Cam as a way to get ahead, which leaves him vulnerable to moochers and blackmailers. That's where Cam's cousin Reggie (RonReaco Lee, RETURN OF THE SWAMP THING, PARIS TROUT) comes in. 

Reggie Vaughn, Cam's lifelong friend, cousin, and manager, is the voice of reason in the midst of all this chaos and we fear that if Cam and his family don't listen to Reggie more often (which they rarely do, of course) then they're all going to end up in the poorhouse before this series is over.  Reggie's the one who makes Cam put everyone on a fixed salary and give them definite jobs to do rather than letting them simply pump him for insane sums of spending cash at their every whim.

Cam's mom, Cassie (Tichina Arnold), is a brassy broad with old-fashioned attitudes that don't always suit Cam's politically-correct fanbase, which displeases his boss Mr. Flaherty (Chris Bauer), the team's owner.  Cassie's fondest dream is to live the "Oprah" lifestyle and she wastes no time in following it. 

M-Chuck (Erica Ash, SCARY MOVIE 5, "MADtv") is the "funny lesbian" sister who horndogs after all the sexy women she meets.  Uncle Julius (Mike Epps) is the "funny dirty old man" who does the same thing, acting as a "taste tester" for Cam's potential groupies and dishing out advice that's only rarely worth listening to.

Each of the six half-hour episodes focuses on some unforeseen aspect of sudden wealth and stardom that must be dealt with by the unwary Cam, even as his friends and family lay a guilt trip on him whenever he tries to impose limits on their newly lavish lifestyles.  In the first episode, Cam himself has to be reined in by Reggie after he rents the most expensive penthouse in town and goes on his own spending sprees when the temptation to spend all that money becomes too much. 

In episode two ("On the Carpet"), Cassie's vivid account of how she used to physically discipline the young Cam during a red-carpet TV interview brings charges of child abuse from an outraged public.  "How to Build a Brand" clumsily goes for Larry David-style shock value when Cam's visit to a comatose teen turns from publicity opportunity to nightmare after the kid wakes up and turns out to be a total jerk.  (I found some of the sexual themes in this one questionable but maybe that's just me.)

"The Decisions" finds the family joining both a black-owned country club and a new church, with disastrous results.  The latter adventure is played for yet more over-the-top shock value when a church service lapses into utter chaos due (predictably) to homophobia directed at Cam's sister M-Chuck.  The overall anti-religion vibe of this episode will probably offend more than a few viewers.

The final two episodes of the season find Cam and Reggie weighing the pros and cons of various multi-million-dollar athletic shoe deals and then scrambling to avoid trouble when one of Reggie's old flames, Adina (Nafessa Williams), shows up to cause a potential rift between him and his lovely wife Missy (Teyonah Parris). 

The shoe dilemma is interesting and at times funny, but the Adina situation is part of that drama aspect of the show which I think is one of its weak points.  This is especially true when we find that Jessie Usher isn't a particularly outstanding dramatic actor.  Here, as in the rest of the series, the majority of the acting responsibilities are handled by RonReaco Lee, who, more than anyone else in the cast, is just plain good. 

The 2-disc DVD set from Anchor Bay and Starz is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with Dolby 5.1 sound and subtitles in English and Spanish.  The sole extra is a brief  featurette entitled "Meet the Cast."

SURVIVOR'S REMORSE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON is slickly-produced, lightweight entertainment which, with its "movin' on up" theme, actually reminded me a little of "The Jeffersons."  I found it mildly enjoyable but hardly essential viewing, and I think that the show must improve both as a comedy and a drama if it is going to survive.

Buy it at


Sunday, June 7, 2015

HARDLY WORKING -- Mini Movie Review by Porfle

I saw Jerry Lewis' 1980 comeback film HARDLY WORKING when it was first released, in a theater filled to the gills with rabid Jerry Lewis fans (of which I am one) who were all joyously ecstatic to be seeing a new Jerry Lewis movie after all those years.

The opening montage of scenes from his earlier comedies was greeted with cheers, and this giddy enthusiasm carried over for the rest of the film. (The donut scene was a particular favorite--everybody there totally "got" it.)

Good spirits and joyous Jerry Lewis fandom abounded in that theater that night, and I had a wonderful time.  It didn't matter that some scenes went too long, or didn't have as much comic oomph as they should, or that Jerry occasionally gave in to his tendency for "sad clown" mawkishness.  We didn't care. 

Whenever I see this movie now, I recall the feelings I had when I first saw it that night. Maybe you had to see it in that context and that frame of mind to truly enjoy it.

Anyway, I'm still a huge Jerry Lewis fan as I have been all my life, and I enjoy all of his movies from the highs of THE NUTTY PROFESSOR and THE LADIES MAN, to the middle ground of THE BIG MOUTH, THREE ON A COUCH, and CRACKING UP, to the lows of WHICH WAY TO THE FRONT? and HOOK, LINE, AND SINKER.

Now if I could just see THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED, my life would be complete.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN -- Movie Review by Porfle

(NOTE: This is one of my earliest online reviews, which first appeared at back in 2006.)

 At first it was a little daunting to sit down to watch a three-hour movie that I knew nothing about except that it was a made-for-TV murder mystery. But once GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN (2004) gets going, it doesn't stop.

 Brooke Shields plays Betsy Tannenbaum, a hot-shot defense attorney in Sacramento, California who is quickly making a name for herself as a champion for women's rights. So she's understandably surprised when millionaire construction tycoon Martin Darius (a very creepy Scott Glenn) enters her office one dark and stormy night to offer her a $100,000 retainer as his attorney -- "just in case" some legal difficulties might pop up in his future. Before you know it, the bodies of three missing women are discovered on one of his construction sites, and he's the main suspect.

 Is Darius the serial killer the police have been looking for, known for leaving a black rose and a card reading "Gone but not forgotten" at the scene of each abduction? It sure looks like it, especially when district attorney Alan Page (Lou Diamond Phillips) gets a visit from a police detective from the small town of Hunter's Point, New York, who brings news of another series of killings involving black roses and identical calling cards.

Detective Nancy Gordon (Marilu Henner) is still obsessed with the ten-year-old case that, to her, was never resolved. Although a hapless chump with a police record for indecent exposure took the fall for it, she thinks he was framed and that the real killer got away with murder. When she shows the D.A. an old newspaper photo of the suspect, he recognizes the face immediately -- it's Martin Darius.

 The evidence against him mounts when it's discovered that Darius was having a affair with one of the murdered women, who happened to be the wife of one of his business partners, and was also acquainted with the other two victims. Plus, we the viewers are privy to something that the police don't know about -- a sleazy private detective (Jon Polito, who plays sleazy like nobody else can) hired to get some dirt on Darius, and who then tried to blackmail him with some incriminating photos, is ambushed in his home late one night (in a scene that literally made me jump), and we see a crazed Martin Darius hovering over him with a really big knife, blithely discussing various means of butchering animals. Yikes! Looks like the cops have got the right guy!

 And so, as the first half of the movie draws to a close, we figure that the rest of it is shaping up to be one of those tense courtroom dramas with lots of objections, cross-examinations, order-in-the-courts, and all the other standard courtroom-drama stuff, which, judging from what's gone before, will no doubt be entertaining but not all that surprising.

 And that's where GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN takes a sharp left turn into Weirdsville and drags us down the rabbit hole, where nothing is as it seems and the mystery just keeps getting deeper, darker, and stranger.

Unlike murder mysteries in which the viewer is given the same clues as the investigators and is invited to guess along with them, this movie consistently surprises us with one totally unexpected revelation after another. This is especially so when the D.A. and the defense attorney both travel to Hunter's Point, the scene of the original crimes, to dig into Darius' past.  The more they find out, the more it looks like maybe Darius didn't commit those murders back in Sacramento after all. But if he didn't, who the heck did?

 This movie kept me guessing for its entire running time, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The performances, especially by Brooke Shields (forget THE BLUE LAGOON -- she really is a good actress) and Lou Diamond Phillips are very good. And the ever-capable Scott Glenn is wonderfully slimy and creepy as Martin Darius. This movie is solid and well-crafted in every respect, way above average for a TV-movie. (One thing I'd like to point out, though -- don't look at the cast list before you see it, because it contains a MAJOR spoiler. Check it out afterward and you'll see what I mean.)

 Watching GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN is like curling up with a good book, and it's a real page-turner.

Buy it at


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser" Streaming July 16, 2015



Streaming July 16, 2015

In this sequel to the 2001 cult favorite, David Spade ("Rules of Engagement") returns as the mullet-wearing, rock and roll loving, down on his luck white-trash-hero who embarks on another epic journey, this time through the recent past, the heartland of America - and his own mind - to get back to his loved ones. Joe Dirt is back with a vengeance, and a mop.

David Spade reprises his role alongside Oscar winner Christopher Walken (WEDDING CRASHERS), Brittany Daniel ("The Game"), Dennis Miller and Adam Beach (FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS). Patrick Warburton ("Rules of Engagement"), Mark McGrath (SHARKNADO 2), Charlotte McKinney ("Dancing with the Stars") and Kevin Farley also star in the sequel.


Director, Writer and Producer:

Writer and Producer:
David Spade

Produced by:
Happy Madison Productions
Lifeboat Productions

Available July 16, 2015