HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Where Were You Born?" (video)




A Stooge or supporting character is asked where they were born.

They respond "A hospital" [or "in bed"]...

"...I wanted to be near my mother!"

Or a variation thereof.

(threestooges.net)

RHYTHM AND WEEP (1947)
DON'T THROW THAT KNIFE (1951)
TRICKY DICKS (1953)
HOT AND SWEET (1958)

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


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"The Big Bang Theory" - Celebrating Love & Laughter With An All-New Wedding Supercut!




Take a trip down memory lane with Penny & Leonard, Bernadette & Howard, and Sheldon & Amy going down all kinds of aisles to say “I Do"!
 

They call it “The Big Day,” because it is such a memorable and significant day in your life!

We're celebrating love and laughter and all of the wonderful weddings of The Big Bang Theory with this all-new supercut! We will warm your hearts, honor those that are about to take the plunge, and bring love into your homes with this adorable clip!


Remember -- the only way to get all 279 original episodes and 12 seasons of the top-rated sitcom commercial free is to own it on Digital, Blu-ray & DVD today!  All individual seasons and compilation sets are available to purchase here:


http://www.ownwbtv.com/?bigbangtheory
 

All seasons are also available to own at all major digital retailers; including iTunes, Amazon Prime, VUDU, and GooglePlay. DVD and Blu-ray (which include incredible extra features) can be purchased from all major retailers - including Walmart, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy.

Synopsis:
The Complete Series of this blockbuster comedy follows the hilarious trajectory of best friends Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper: geniuses in the lab and challenged in the real world. Yet both somehow manage to entangle themselves in wedded bliss: Leonard with his street-smart neighbor, Penny, and Sheldon, after a long courtship, with Amy, a successful neurobiologist. Across 12 universally beloved seasons, they and their friends—fellow scientist Howard, his adorable microbiologist wife, Bernadette, and astrophysicist bachelor Raj—attempt to solve quotidian conundrums posed by academia, family crises and video games while solving world-changing problems in physics. Proving, ultimately, that what matters most in the universe is fun, friendship and a well-founded theory. Oh, and a Nobel Prize would be nice.

From Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc., in association with Warner Bros. Television, The Big Bang Theory stars Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch. Chuck Lorre, Steve Holland, Steven Molaro, Bill Prady, Dave Goetsch, Eric Kaplan and Maria Ferrari are executive producers of the series, which was created by Lorre & Prady.

#BigBangTheory 
 
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Just Announced - "Batwoman: The Complete First Season" Coming To Blu-ray and DVD 8/18/2020




The CW’s #1 New Show

"BATWOMAN: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON"

Contains All 20 Exhilarating Episodes from the First Season
Plus All-New Special Features!

Available on Blu-ray™ & DVD August 18, 2020

Blu-ray includes a Limited-Edition Bonus Disc
with All Five Episodes of the DC Crossover Event
Crisis on Infinite Earths and 6 Crossover Bonus Features!

 

BURBANK, CA (April 30, 2020) – The future of Gotham is in her hands with the release of Batwoman: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD on August 18, 2020 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Strap yourself in for an exhilarating ride with all 20 episodes from the first season, plus The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2019, deleted scenes and a gag reel. A limited-edition bonus disc featuring all five DC Crossover Event Crisis on Infinite Earths episodes will be available exclusively for fans who purchase the Blu-ray. Batwoman: The Complete First Season is priced to own at $39.99 SRP for the DVD ($44.98 in Canada) and $44.98 SRP for the Blu-ray ($49.99 in Canada), which includes a Digital Copy (U.S. only). Batwoman: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers.

Kate Kane never planned to be Gotham’s new vigilante. After Batman disappeared, Gotham was in despair… until she returned. Armed with a passion for justice and a flair for speaking her mind, she soars through the shadowed streets of Gotham as Batwoman. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, she must first overcome her own demons before becoming Gotham’s symbol of hope. 

“In only its first season on the air, Batwoman quickly established itself as the #1 new show on The CW given its legendary superhero following, stellar casting, and action-packed drama,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. "With 2.1 million people tuning in weekly, the devoted fan base for this phenomenal series will love the extra content on the discs, while newcomers can catch up on the hit series just in time for Season 2.”

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Batwoman: The Complete First Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. Featuring all 20 episodes from the first season in high definition, as well as a digital code of the season (available in the U.S. only).

Batwoman stars Ruby Rose (Orange Is the New Black, John Wick: Chapter 2), Rachel Skarsten (Birds of Prey, Reign), Meagan Tandy (unREAL, Teen Wolf), Nicole Kang (You), Camrus Johnson (The Sun Is Also A Star), Elizabeth Anweis (NCIS: Los Angeles, 9-1-1), and Dougray Scott (Departure, Snatch). Based on the characters created for DC by Bob Kane with Bill Finger, Batwoman is produced by Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl), Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries, Smallville), Geoff Johns (Stargirl, The Flash, Titans) and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl).

BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES*

    On The Set
    The Best of DC TV's Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2019    
    Deleted Scenes
    Gag Reel

*Special Features are subject to change.

20 ONE-HOUR EPISODES

    Pilot
    The Rabbit Hole
    Down, Down, Down
    Who Are You?
    Mine Is a Long and a Sad Tale
    I'll Be Judge, I'll Be Jury
    Tell Me the Truth
    A Mad Tea-Party
    Crisis on Infinite Earths: Hour Two
    How Queer Everything is Today!
    An Un-Birthday Present
    Take Your Choice
    Drink Me
    Grinning From Ear to Ear
    Off With Her Head
    Through the Looking Glass
    A Narrow Escape
    If You Believe In Me, I'll Believe In You
    A Secret Kept From All the Rest
    O, Mouse!


DIGITAL
Batwoman: The Complete First Season is currently available to own on Digital. Digital allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital is available from various retailers including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu, PlayStation, Xbox and others. A Digital Code is also included in the U.S. with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs for redemption and cloud storage.

THE BASICS
Street Date: August 18, 2020
Order Due Date: July 14, 2020
BD and DVD Presented in 16x9 widescreen format
Running Time: Feature: Approx. 880 min
Enhanced Content: Approx. 57 min

DVD
Price: $39.99 SRP ($44.98 in Canada)
5 DVD-9s
Audio – English (5.1)
Subtitles – English SDH

BLU-RAY
Price: $44.98 SRP ($49.99 in Canada)
5-Discs (4 BD-50s + 1 BD-50 BONUS DISC)
Audio – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 – English
BD Subtitles – English SDH

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.

About DC
DC is one of the largest English-language publishers of comics and graphic novels in the world and home to some of the most iconic and recognizable characters ever created. As a creative unit of WarnerMedia, DC is charged with strategically integrating its stories and characters across film, television, consumer products, home entertainment, interactive games and the DC Universe subscription streaming service. For more information visit dccomics.com.

BATWOMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics.


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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Gimme A Break" (video)




To break an object in half...

...Moe asks one of the other two Stooges to bend over and find something on the floor.

When the Stooge does this...

...Moe breaks the object in half over the Stooge's head.

(threestooges.net)

A PAIN IN THE PULLMAN (1936)
DUNKED IN THE DEEP (1949)
HORSING AROUND (1957)

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


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Monday, April 27, 2020

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Bloodhound Stooge" (video)




A Stooge acts like a bloodhound...

(It's usually Curly)

...and tries to sniff out the tracks of enemies that they're looking for.

(threestooges.net)


GOOFS AND SADDLES (1937)
PHONY EXPRESS (1943)
SLAPHAPPY SLEUTHS (1950)


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



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Shout! Factory TV Releases all 11 Seasons of "The Carol Burnett Show"!




ALL 11 SEASONS OF ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL SHOWS OF ALL TIME, “THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW,” TO BE MADE  AVAILABLE ON STREAMING PLATFORMS FOR THE FIRST TIME ON JUNE 1, 2020

STREAMING LAUNCH TO BE SUPPORTED BY 48-HOUR MARATHON ON SHOUT! FACTORY TV

 

Los Angeles, CA – Shout! Factory TV has announced that on June 1, 2020, all 11 seasons of one of the most acclaimed and influential TV series of all-time, and the winner of 25 Emmy® Awards, “The Carol Burnett Show,” will be available for viewing on streaming platforms. On May 30 and 31, Shout! Factory TV will kick things off by celebrating the release with a weekend-long marathon.

“The Carol Burnett Show” will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Factory TV platforms, on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and on various Shout! Factory TV branded channels including Tubi, Amazon Prime Channels, and the Roku Channel.


Many of the episodes included in the streaming release will be available to watch for the first time since the original broadcast, more than 40 years ago. The comedy legend, who celebrated her 87th birthday on April 26, worked with Shout! Factory to find the long-lost masters of these episodes. Now, for the ultimate binge experience, fans will be able to watch all of the show’s episodes and see the evolution of key characters and sketches. 

Shout! Factory TV will celebrate the streaming launch by hosting “The Carol Burnett Show” marathon, which will be streaming curated episodes of the classic show all weekend long on May 30 and 31. The marathon can be viewed on ShoutFactoryTV.com; Shout! Factory TV’s Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and Android apps; and the following digital streaming platforms: Twitch, Samsung TV Plus, Comcast Xfinity, Xumo, YouTube, Redbox, Vizio, Pluto TV, IMDb, and STIRR. Viewers will also be able to chat live on Shout! Factory TV’s Twitch channel and the Shout! Factory YouTube channel, and answer trivia questions on Twitter @ShoutFactoryTV.

Carol Burnett and her star cast of Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, and Lyle Waggoner were among the originators of the sketch comedy format. Cited as one of the best TV shows of all time by TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, TIME, Rolling Stone, and others, “The Carol Burnett Show” was coming to the end of its 11-year run just as “Saturday Night Live” was starting in 1975.


Over 11 inventive seasons, “The Carol Burnett Show” featured a who’s-who of stars from film, TV and music, including Betty White, Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, Lucille Ball, George Carlin, Cher, Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Roddy McDowall, The Smothers Brothers, Bernadette Peters, Sammy Davis, Jr., Lily Tomlin, Bing Crosby, Ken Berry, Madeline Kahn, Steve Lawrence and Jim Nabors, among others.

From Season 1’s first ‘Carol & Sis’ sketches, with a teenage Vicki Lawrence playing a character based on Carol Burnett’s real-life sister, and ‘As The Stomach Turns,’ a soap opera parody which ran for all 11 seasons, to the evolution of Tim Conway’s “Oldest Man” character, which he introduced in Season 2 and performed nearly 20 times over the course of the series, “The Carol Burnett Show” made a lasting impression on its audience.


Some of the most beloved sketches from the series include the iconic “Gone With The Wind” parody ‘Went with the Wind,’ the ongoing Conway/Burnett sketch ‘Tudball & Wiggins,’ Harvey Korman’s ‘Mother Marcus,’ where he played a Yiddish grandmother based on his own real-life grandmother, ‘The Charwoman,’ Carol Burnett’s signature character, and the classic   Conway/Korman sketch ‘The Dentist,’ where Conway’s ad-libs made Korman crack up uncontrollably. 

Last but not least, the 1973-74 season introduced ‘The Family,’ in which Vickie Lawrence played “Mama,” Burnett played her daughter “Eunice,” and Korman played Eunice’s husband “Ed.” The sketch portraying this dysfunctional but lovable family provided myriad opportunities for guest stars to play various family members, including Roddy McDowall, Tom Smothers, Alan Alda, Betty White, Joanne Woodward, Maggie Smith and William Conrad, and would later be parlayed into the long-running classic  sitcom “Mama’s Family.”


Carol Burnett continues to inspire her fans, and her brilliant comedic work resonates as much as ever. She is a past recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The Golden Globes created The Carol Burnett Award in 2018, which was presented to Carol in 2019, and to Ellen DeGeneres in 2020. She continues to tour regularly, taking audience questions in a nod to “The Carol Burnett Show.”

ABOUT SHOUT! FACTORY TV
Shout! Factory TV is a digital entertainment streaming service that brings timeless and contemporary cult favorites to pop culture fans. Shout! Factory TV offers an unrivaled blend of original programming and TV shows and movies curated from major studios, independent producers and its own distinctive entertainment library. The Shout! Factory TV family of channels also includes Mystery Science Theater 3000 and TokuSHOUTsu™, with more to come soon. Shout! Factory TV provides an immersive, high-quality viewing experience across a wide variety of platforms: online at ShoutFactoryTV.com, on smartphone devices, tablets and connected TV, and via apps on the Roku player, Android, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire TV. Shout! Factory TV is also available as a branded channel on Amazon Prime Channels, Comcast Xfinity, Pluto TV, Redbox, Roku Premium Subscriptions, Samsung TV Plus, STIRR, Tubi, Twitch, Vizio and XUMO among others. For more information, please visit ShoutFactoryTV.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SHOUT! FACTORY TV:

WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER



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Sunday, April 26, 2020

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Huddle Up A Little Closer" (video)




When the Stooges move their heads together...

...to huddle up or take a bow, they move too far forward...

...and accidentally bonk heads with each other.

(threestooges.net)


SO LONG MR. CHUMPS (1941)
IN THE SWEET PIE AND PIE (1941)
A MISSED FORTUNE (1952)
HORSING AROUND (1957)
HAVE ROCKET -- WILL TRAVEL (1959)


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


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Saturday, April 25, 2020

FIST OF FEAR, TOUCH OF DEATH -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Some movies take material that's unused or left over from other films, shoot new footage to augment it, and repackage it all as a new film. But every once in a while a movie is such a mishmash of various elements that it looks like something out of Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory.

Which brings us to the 1980 martial arts monstrosity FIST OF FEAR, TOUCH OF DEATH (Film Detective), one of the most stupefyingly shameless Bruce Lee death-sploitation pastiches you'll ever see.

Being that he was the most popular martial arts superstar of all time, Bruce Lee's death brought on an endless parade of cash-ins that used either random footage of the man himself or lookalikes pretending to be him, or both, all hoping to appeal to fans of actual Bruce Lee films such as ENTER THE DRAGON.


Here, exploitation producer Terry Levene discovered a print of a black and white film called "Thunderstorm" which featured a very young Bruce Lee in a pedestrian family drama.

Redubbing it to turn it into a story of a young man who wants to be a martial artist despite his parents' wishes, Levene also added lengthy scenes from an unrelated samurai film as flashbacks, its lead character now identified as Bruce's great-grandfather who was a great warrior.

But Levene wasn't done yet. To this he added new scenes with action star Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, martial arts legend Ron "The Black Dragon" Van Clief, and fight promoter and star Aaron Banks, in a wraparound scenario which takes place during a major fight event at Madison Square Garden in which a new successor to Bruce Lee is to be named.


Some of the ring action is as fake as WWE wrestling (one fighter plucks out an opponent's eyeballs and tosses them to the fans) but there are also some exhibitions of skill and a climactic kickboxing match.

With Banks promoting the actual event, a non-union film crew was allowed access disguised as a TV news crew, including golden-voiced actor Adolph Caesar (who would later be nominated for an Oscar for A SOLDIER'S STORY) serving as both sports commentator and the film's narrator.

Caesar's narration and interviews with actual fight stars give the film a mockumentary quality at times, and his reminiscences about Bruce Lee's early life serve to introduce the "Thunderstorm" footage.


This storyline fails to generate much interest save for the novelty of seeing the charming young star playing a "gee whiz" teen who just wants to skip homework and attend the big karate match.  The "samurai" scenes are even less compelling since we keep joining them in progress and don't really know or care what's going on in them.

In fact, when the film starts juggling scenes from these different old movies in earnest, you may want to start chapter skipping through them just to see what this dizzying patchwork narrative has in store for us next.

I like the Fred Williamson storyline, with some funny touches such as having everyone mistake him for Harry Belafonte. When he fights over a taxi with a nerdy white dude in a suit, I even laughed out loud at the obviousness of the guy's name (scripter Ron Harvey as "Jasper Milktoast").


Later, martial arts star Bill Louie rescues two women from being raped in the park, fighting off a horde of thugs while dressed as Bruce Lee's character "Kato" from TV's "The Green Hornet." And interlaced with all this is actual interview footage of Bruce Lee, dubbed with new dialogue.

Restored from the original 35mm camera negative, the print is not bad at all for an old grindhouse flick such as this. Special features include trailers and a lengthy making-of featurette with Levene, Harvey, Williamson, Van Clief, and director Matthew Mallinson which I actually found more enjoyable than the feature (!) The keepcase includes liner notes from Will Sloan and Justin Decloux, hosts of The Important Cinema Club podcast.

Bottom line: if you get a kick out of this sort of cinematic oddity, then you know just what you're in for and should view FIST OF FEAR, TOUCH OF DEATH in a state of giddy delight. If not, then chances are you'll like it about as much as a swift kick in the teeth.


Buy it from Film Detective

SPECIAL FEATURES

    Restoration from the original 35mm camera negative
    A featurette of behind-the-camera takes on the film in brand new interviews with Fist of Fear, Touch of Death actors Fred Willaimson and Ron Van Clief, producer Terry Levene, director Matthew Mallinson, and scriptwriter Ron Harvey
    Original theatrical trailer
    Liner notes from Will Sloan and Justin Decloux, hosts of The Important Cinema Club podcast

Release Date: 3-31-2020
Runtime: 82 minutes
Genre: Action
Language: English
Rating: R
Color/BW: Color





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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Breakfast!" (video)




When the Stooges are asleep...

...somebody says "Breakfast!"

...and the Stooges instantly wake up.

(threestooges.net)


DIZZY DOCTORS (1937)
UP IN DAISY'S PENTHOUSE (1953)
RUMPUS IN THE HAREM (1956)


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


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Friday, April 24, 2020

WHEN THE WIND BLOWS -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Did you ever wonder what it would look like if THREADS had a cartoon-animated subplot? Or if the creators of "Wallace & Gromit" had placed their beloved characters in the middle of a nuclear holocaust?

Children's author Raymond Briggs conceived such an idea in a graphic novel which a group of filmmakers including director Jimmy T. Murakami (HEAVY METAL, BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS) brought to the screen, thus giving us the entrancingly compelling cinematic oddity entitled WHEN THE WIND BLOWS (Severin Kids, 1986).

Unlike the frantically alarmist apocalypse thrillers to which we're accustomed, this tale of an elderly couple whose peaceful retirement is shattered by nuclear war is quietly, disarmingly genteel.


We first see them enjoying a typical day in their secluded cottage, chatting absently about tea and gardening and such, while news of impending war sparks Jim's interest and motivates him into a mildly industrious fervor of preparation that brings back nostalgic feelings of the Blitz.

Meanwhile, Hilda (whom Jim endearingly calls "Ducks") refuses to entertain the notion that anything could disturb their blissful daily routines, their ability to pop down to a shop for fresh food or other supplies, or their access to telly or radio plays. 

These are the sort of likable, roundly-drawn cartoon characters (they look a bit like cuddly plush dolls) we know from a thousand children's books and movies, characters whose only concerns should be gentle, placid ones such as, say, a naughty bunny rabbit helping himself to their carrot garden.


Here, however, their idyllic lives are disrupted when the harsh, cruel reality of the really-real world ruptures the curtain of their cartoon dimension and leaves it all a charred, smoking ruin with a dark cloud of radioactive fallout drifting through it.

Jim and Hilda are similar to the older couple in THREADS with their lean-to shelter in the livingroom providing sparse protection against the blast and their halfhearted efforts to stock food, water, and other necessities quickly proving inadequate. 

What makes them different is that they continue to behave just like endearing cartoon figures out of a children's story, with Jim remaining a font of quiet optimism--after all, they lived through something similar back when they fought the Jerries--and Hilda blessedly oblivious to the fact that she can't just tidy things up and wait for the milkman to come.


The restraint shown by the filmmakers in not giving in to the usual dramatic overkill makes the encroaching horrors Jim and Hilda inevitably face seem even more wrenching, with their continued devotion to each other through it all especially heartrending as their ordinary storybook lives crumble to dust.

Artwork and animation are expertly done, using a combination of various methods such as cel animation, a bit of CGI, what appears to be some miniature work on the interiors, and the occasional well-integrated live action footage. 

The musical score includes songs by David Bowie, Roger Waters, and others. Jim and Hilda are wonderfully voiced by venerable actors Sir John Mills and Dame Peggy Ashcroft.


The Blu-ray from Severin Films' "Severin Kids" label contains their usual ample menu, including a documentary about the director ("Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien"), a making-of featurette ("The Wind and the Bomb"), an audio commentary with first assistant editor Joe Fordham and film historian Nick Redman, an interview with children's author Raymond Briggs, an original public information film ("Protect and Serve"), isolated music and effects audio track, and trailers.

In its own remarkable way, WHEN THE WIND BLOWS is one of the darkest and most disheartening of the post-nuclear nightmare tales. It's like watching Wallace and Gromit slowly withering away from radiation poisoning, and, worst of all, Wallace finally realizing at the point of dying that there may never, ever be any more cheese.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:

    Jimmy Murakami: Non Alien – Feature Length Documentary About the Film’s Director
    The Wind and The Bomb: The Making of WHEN THE WIND BLOWS
    Audio Commentary with First Assistant Editor Joe Fordham and Film Historian Nick Redman
    An Interview with Raymond Briggs
    Protect and Survive: Public Information Film Designed to be Broadcast When a Nuclear Attack Was Imminent
    Isolated Music and Effects Audio Track
    Trailers





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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "And Here's The Wind-Up!" (video)




Curly gets hit in the face by a pie or shoe.

When he tries to retaliate by throwing a pie/shoe back at the person, Curly gets hit again before he can throw it.

This goes on for a while and usually, Curly will hit himself in the face with a pie/shoe...

...then stick his tongue out at the other person, followed by the person hitting Curly in the face again.



(threestooges.net)

THREE SAPPY PEOPLE (1939)
IN THE SWEET PIE AND PIE (1941)
THREE SMART SAPS (1942)


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


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Thursday, April 23, 2020

CARNIVAL MAGIC -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




I'm not sure if it's a kid movie with adult elements, or an adult movie with kid elements, but Al Adamson's 1983 novelty feature CARNIVAL MAGIC (Severin Films) has all those elements rattling around in it and more, and you never know which one's going to jump out at you next.

Most of all, though, it's got that magical element of legendary exploitation filmmaker Al Adamson (SATAN’S SADISTS, DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN, BRAIN OF BLOOD) knocking out his next-to-last finished movie with all his limited but very enthusiastic skills in play, making the most of a small budget to create something that, hopefully, will pack 'em into neighborhood theaters.

The final stage of Al's career veered inexplicably into family film territory, hence this colorful tale of a cash-strapped carnival whose desperate owner depends on the popularity of a very unpleasant and cruel animal trainer (Joe Cirillo, GHOSTBUSTERS) whose own animals are starting to turn against him. 


But when their resident magician, Markov (Don Taylor, star of the soap opera "The Guiding Light"), reveals that he owns a talking chimp--a fact he'd somehow managed to keep secret all this time--he becomes the carnival's lucrative star attraction while making a mortal enemy of the jealous animal trainer.

And as if that weren't enough, an unscrupulous research scientist named Dr. Poole wants to kidnap "Alex" the talking chimp so that he can run him through an exhaustive series of experiments back at the lab, ending with a complete vivisection.

If you think some of this sounds a bit strong for a kids' film, wait'll you get a load of sexy Adamson regular Regina Carrol's boob-a-licious costumes as Markov's assistant, Alex the chimp's lecherous mumbled asides, and the sight of the increasingly hostile animal trainer going on a booze bender and beating the daylights out of his girlfriend.


Still, the plot also includes some nice stuff like the carnival owner's tomboy daughter "Buddy" (Jennifer Houlton) coming into her own as a young woman and falling for her dad's handsome young public relations guy as Markov gives her life advice while trying to deal with his own bitter memories.

But the main focus of this ostensible "kid" flick is Alex the mumbling chimp, who comes off like some senile old vaudevillian or a simian version of Buster Keaton at his most sullen. 

Not only does he play an active role in Markov's cheesy magical act, mostly by making insulting remarks or blowing raspberries from the sidelines, but there's a lively sequence in which he takes off in a car and causes havoc along several miles of highway as your standard redneck cop gives chase.

The very leisurely-paced story finally picks up in the latter half when Alex is ape-snatched by the horrible Dr. Poole and taken to his lab of horrors, with Markov, Buddy, and all the other good guys racing against time to rescue him.


When compared to Al Adamson's quick and dirty exploitation jobs with their hasty set-ups, bobbling hand-held camerawork, and threadbare production values, CARNIVAL MAGIC seems relatively lavish. 

(He even stages a real parade during the closing credits in which the joyous inhabitants of the local town act as extras, many of the female ones rushing up to give soap opera star Don Stewart a big kiss.)

The three-week shooting schedule must've seemed luxurious to a director used to lensing a feature by the seat of his pants in five-to-ten days or so, and the producer for whom he shot the film obviously gave him a more substantial budget to work with.

Thus, while hardly resembling a Grade-A film, this modest production shows Al Adamson capable of doing a workmanlike job under the right circumstances, while still allowing his somewhat oddball imagination to bleed through the more mundane material given him in lieu of one of his own fevered screenplays.


The Blu-ray from Severin Films boasts the last surviving pre-print 35mm elements of CARNIVAL MAGIC, already in a state of decomposition when discovered and scanned to create the nicely-restored copy we see here.

Special features consist of the very entertaining restoration featurette "A Boon To Science: A Critical Appreciation by Zack Carlson & Lars Nilsen", an audio commentary with producer Elvin Feltner, outtakes, and a trailer and TV spot.

In addition to this we also get a complete second feature, LOST, which was Al Adamson's final completed film and yet another odd  foray into family entertainment, this time about a man (Don Stewart again), his wife (Sandra Dee), and her daughter moving from the city to a cabin in the wilderness. Ken Curtis and Jack Elam also appear in this tale of the daughter getting lost in the mountains as her family endures much emotional distress during the frantic search.

While it will hardly appeal much to viewers whose tastes run toward films that are more polished and less conspicuously odd, CARNIVAL MAGIC is essential for Al Adamson fans who will delight in seeing him work within a normally mundane genre and turn it into something which, in its own way, pretty much defies description.


Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:

    A Boom To Science – A Critical Appreciation by Zack Carlson & Lars Nilsen
    Audio Commentary with Producer Elvin Feltner
    Outtakes
    TV Spot
    Trailer


    Bonus Film: LOST
    The Happy Hobo – Rushes for Promo From Unproduced Adamson Kids Film
    LOST Trailer








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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Watch Out For Falling Birds" (video)




A Stooge accidentally fires a rifle in the air...

...(usually when he gets kicked in the behind)...

...and shoots down a bird.

(threestooges.net)

BACK TO THE WOODS (1937)
ROCKIN' THRU THE ROCKIES (1940)
BOOBS IN ARMS (1940)
IDIOTS DELUXE (1945)
G. I. WANNA HOME (1946)
FLYING SAUCER DAFFY (1948)

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



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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Filmmaker Al Adamson made a lasting name for himself by creating lurid low-budget exploitation movies with that indefinable "so bad it's good" greatness that many strive for but few achieve.  A well-made documentary about his lively career would be interesting enough, but even more so if his personal life ended on a note that was way more fascinating, mystifying, and downright creepy than any of his actual films ever came close to being.

BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON
(Severin Films) is that documentary, and it's well-made indeed. It's tricky to construct a documentary with just the right balance of talking heads and informative narration, along with movie clips and other audio-visual elements, while maintaing our interest to the same degree as a fictional narrative, and this one does so in a way that's utterly involving.


Any collection of clips from Adamson's films would be fun to watch, and here we get plenty of footage from such trash classics as "Satan's Sadists", "Horror of the Blood Monsters", "Brain of Blood", "The Female Bunch", "Blazing Stewardesses", and of course what some might consider his magnum opus, the immortal "Dracula vs. Frankenstein."

These are augmented by interview clips with the most important players in the Al Adamson saga, including (besides Al himself) such familiar names as Vilmos Zsigmond, Russ Tamblyn, Fred Olen Ray, Gary Graver, and many others who offer a wealth of personal stories about working with a man whom most remember very fondly, some with gratitude for helping them begin successful careers in the film business.  (Celebrated cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs also started out with Adamson.)

Best are the stories of Adamson's endearing eccentricities and his devotion to making films not to win awards but simply to entertain the masses, using his imagination and ingenuity to overcome meager budgets and resources that would severely daunt other struggling filmmakers.


His exploits in the field serve as a primer for others wishing to follow in his footsteps and are scintillating stuff for those of us who simply love hearing about such adventures.

Adamson's efforts to knock together these films, usually offering his cast and crew valuable experience rather than money, also include the fascinating field of promotion and distribution in which such commodities were sold to the public in whatever form and by whatever means would be most exploitable.

Thus, a film about outlaw bikers might, if trends suddenly changed, be transformed through editing, reshoots, and a new title into a horror or crime thriller.

Conversations with Oscar-winner Russ Tamblyn are fun since he takes an amusedly lighthearted view of his association with the B-movie maven. Like many stars persuaded to participate in these films, Tamblyn was a big name on his way down who was happy for the work since Hollywood was no longer calling. Others included the likes of John Carradine, Kent Taylor, Broderick Crawford, Yvonne DeCarlo, J. Carroll Naish, and Lon Chaney, Jr.


The latter two joined Tamblyn for what may be Adamson's most celebrated classic, "Dracula vs. Frankenstein", which underwent drastic thematic changes during its creation (the original script didn't even include the title monsters).

Dealing with an alcoholic Chaney and a wheelchair-bound Naish, with his noisy dentures and inability to remember his lines, are just two of the interesting elements of this film's production.I had the pleasure of seeing it on a double bill with "Horror of the Blood Monsters" back in the 70s, a movie-going experience that I still treasure.

Long-time producer and partner Sam Sherwood adds invaluable personal knowledge of everything including Adamson's devotion to his wife Regina Carrol, a blonde bombshell who starred in many of his later films until her untimely death from cancer, and a strange project he undertook concerning UFOs and aliens which Sherwood believes was discontinued under shady circumstances involving the government.


But most mysterious of all are the circumstances surrounding Adamson's death, the details of which are fully explored in the film's final third and have all the morbid fascination of an Ann Rule true-crime book.

Even the director's previous association with Charles Manson and his flaky followers at Spahn Movie Ranch pales in comparison to the story of his disappearance from his desert home and the following investigation which uncovered a grisly fate that's right out of a horror movie.

The Blu-ray from Severin Films consists of not only this film but a bonus feature, Adamson's 1971 sleazefest "The Female Bunch" which co-stars a hard-drinking Lon Chaney, Jr. as well as Russ Tamblyn and Regina Carrol.  Pieced together from the best available elements, the print has a delightful grindhouse feel.


The disc also offers some irresistible--one might even say essential--outtakes from the documentary including an in-depth look at Adamson's western movie star father Denver Dixon, Russ Tamblyn's mysterious melted TV, some more creepy stuff about Charles Manson, and a promo reel for that eerie, unfinished project about aliens and UFOs.

Regardless of the man's gruesome demise, however, what lingers most for me after watching BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON is his joyous devotion to making exploitation movies and, we discover, his delight that after many years they were still being enjoyed and even revered by fans old and new.  That many of his most fervent fans include the very people who knew him best is a testament that this documentary so richly conveys.



Buy it from Severin Films

Special Features:

    Outtakes – The Cowboy Life Of Denver Dixon, Russ Tamblyn’s Melted TV, Manson & Screaming Angels, and The Prophetic Screenplay Makes Gary Kent Testify
    Beyond This Earth Promo Reel
    Trailer
    BONUS FILM: The Female Bunch
    The Bunch Speaks Out
    THE FEMALE BUNCH Trailers


WATCH THE TRAILER:



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Get In On The Action With This Week's #BingeWatchWednesdays Guide!




Looking to go on a mission filled with adrenaline, sacrifice and the ultimate challenges? 

Well search no further as we have the perfect “action-animated” themed list to fulfill your needs, and take you on the adventures that you have been longing for!
 

Be the champion of the internet and share this week’s binge-watching guide on your sites and socials today from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. All titles are available to own at major digital retailers today; including iTunes, Amazon Prime, VUDU and GooglePlay!

#BingeWatchWednesdays


TOP PICK OF THE WEEK

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (R)

Based on the worldwide hit game created by Ed Boon & John Tobias, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge spotlights the once-in-a-generation tournament between the champions of Outworld and Earthrealm – a competition that will ultimately determine the fate of Earth and all its citizens. Lord Raiden, protector of Earthrealm, must gather the greatest fighters of his realm to defend it from the evil Shang Tsung in the battle to end all battles - Mortal Kombat!


Joel McHale (Community, The CW’s upcoming Stargirl) and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) lead a stellar cast as the voices of Hollywood star-turned-fighter Johnny Cage and all-business warrior Sonya Blade, respectively. The voice cast also includes Jordan Rodrigues (Lady Bird, The Fosters) as Liu Kang, Patrick Seitz (Mortal Kombat X, Agrretsuko, Naruto: Shippuden) as Scorpion & Hanzo Hasashi, Steve Blum (Cowboy Bebop, Star Wars Rebels) as Sub-Zero, Artt Butler (Her, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as Shang Tsung, Darin De Paul (Overwatch, Fortnite) as Quan Chi, Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain, Batman: The Killing Joke) as Kano, David B. Mitchell (Mortal Kombat 11, World of Warcraft franchise) as Raiden, Ike Amadi (Mass Effect 3, Mortal Kombat 11) as Jax Briggs, Kevin Michael Richardson (Family Guy, The Simpsons) as Goro, Grey Griffin (The Loud House, Young Justice, Scooby-Doo franchise) as Kitana & Satoshi Hasashi, and Fred Tatasciore (Robot Chicken, Family Guy) as Demon Torturer.

Available on Digital now and coming to 4K Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 28, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is directed by Ethan Spaulding (Batman: Assault on Arkham, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis) from a script by Jeremy Adams (Supernatural, Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans) based on the videogame created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Rick Morales (Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, Batman vs. Two-Face) is Producer, and Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is co-producer. Executive Producer is Sam Register. Ed Boon (NetherRealm Studios) is Creative Consultant.

In efforts to provide you even more entertainment – we have an exclusive clip from Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge that you can click on above! Will Jack get past the champion? Find out when you own the Digital today, and the Blu-ray Combo Pack next week!



MORE TITLES TO CONSIDER

Justice League Dark (R)
When innocent civilians begin committing unthinkable crimes across Metropolis, Gotham City and beyond, Batman must call upon mystical counterparts to eradicate this demonic threat to the planet. Enter Justice League Dark, reluctantly led by the Hellblazer himself, John Constantine. Like Batman, Constantine is a cunning, often cynical loner who is the best at his chosen profession – but quickly realizes the sinister forces plaguing the planet will require help from other supernatural alliances. Forming a new “league” with sorceress Zatanna, otherworldly Deadman, and Jason Blood and his powerful alter ego Etrigan the Demon, this team of Dark Arts specialists must unravel the mystery of Earth’s supernatural plague and contend with the rising, powerful villainous forces behind the siege – before it’s too late for all of mankind.


Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (PG-13)
Led by Starfire, the Teen Titans – Beast Boy, Raven, Blue Beetle, Robin and the just-returned Nightwing – have built a cohesive team in their never-ending battle against evil; but their newest teammate, the mysterious and powerful Terra, may be altering that dynamic. Meanwhile, an ancient evil, Brother Blood, has awakened, and familiar foe Deathstroke is lurking in the shadows – both waiting to pounce. Ultimately, the Teen Titans will need to battle their enemies and their own doubts to unite and overcome the malicious forces around them in this twisting tale of intrigue, adventure and deception.

Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay (R)
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay finds Amanda Waller’s top secret “Task Force X” – Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Copperhead – on a mission to retrieve a mystical object so powerful that they’re willing to risk their own lives to steal it. But the Suicide Squad isn’t the only group of villains seeking to possess the object. The race is on for the golden prize … and, to stay alive, second place isn’t an option.

Batman: Hush (PG-13)
An adaptation of the seminal DC classic tale, Batman: Hush centers on a shadowy new villain known only as Hush, who uses Gotham’s Rogues Gallery to destroy Batman’s crime-fighting career, as well as Bruce Wayne’s personal life – which has already been complicated by a relationship with Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman.


Batman: The Killing Joke (R)
Based on DC’s two-time Eisner Award winning graphic novel of the same name, Batman: The Killing Joke takes a journey into the dark psyche of the Clown Prince of Crime – from his humble beginnings as a struggling comedian to his fateful encounter with Batman that changes both of their lives forever. Years later, and now escaped from Arkham Asylum, The Joker devises a plan to prove that one bad day can make anyone as insane as he is – setting his sights on Commissioner Gordon. It’s up to the Dark Knight to put a stop to The Joker’s latest scheme and save one of Gotham City’s finest. Following a gripping prologue introducing Barbara Gordon’s heroic adventures alongside Batman as Batgirl, Batman: The Killing Joke stays true to the authentic tale that has held fans’ imaginations for nearly three decades – spotlighting the birth of a Super-Villain, the fortitude of a Super Hero and the punchline that will leave you speechless.

Batman: Gotham By Gaslight (R)

Inspired by the landmark one-shot Elseworlds tale by Brian Augustyn and Mike Mignola, Batman: Gotham By Gaslight takes place at the turn of the century as America’s continued industrial revolution is to be showcased at a World’s Fair hosted by Gotham City. But while the world prepares to witness the glittery glory of Gotham’s technological advances, there is a killer loose in the city’s darkest shadows. Preying on the city’s women, this killer is as precise as he is cruel. As Police Commissioner James Gordon tries to calm the fears of Gotham’s citizens regarding the butcher called Jack the Ripper, the masked vigilante Batman enacts his own detective work – with the help of confident, capable Selina Kyle – to stop the Ripper’s murderous spree. Witness a world in flames as the notorious serial killer’s controlled savagery meets the calculated stealth of the Dark Knight.

Batman: Under the Red Hood (PG-13)
In Batman: Under the Red Hood, Batman faces his ultimate challenge as the mysterious Red Hood takes Gotham City by firestorm. One part vigilante, one part criminal kingpin, Red Hood begins cleaning up Gotham with the efficiency of Batman, but without following the same ethical code. Killing is an option. And when The Joker falls in the balance between the two, hard truths are revealed and old wounds are reopened.

Batman: Assault on Arkham (PG-13)
Gotham is in great danger when the government assembles a group of villains — code named the Suicide Squad — and forces them to break into Arkham Asylum to retrieve top secret information stolen by the Riddler. Things take a turn for the worse when one of the Squad members (Harley Quinn) frees the Joker, who is intent on blowing up Arkham Asylum and Gotham City. Batman must use his super hero wits and strength to thwart the wicked plans of the Joker and the Suicide Squad.


Justice League: Gods and Monsters (PG-13)
Witness a divergent reality where the Justice League protects the planet – but answers to no one but themselves. Employing methods of intimidation and fear, this Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman deal brute force in the name of justice. From the creative genius of executive producer Bruce Timm and co-producer Alan Burnett comes an original story where the world’s greatest triumvirate of super heroes has distinctly different origins. Superman was not raised by the Kents in Smallville, the Caped Crusader is not Bruce Wayne, and Wonder Woman is not an Amazon warrior of Themyscira. They are as likely the world’s saviors as Earth’s despotic rulers. When a group of famed scientists experience untimely “accidents,” a government task force follows the trail of clues to the Justice League – but is there a more powerful player operating from the shadows? It’s a high stakes game of intrigue, mystery and action that asks the question: How do you serve justice to those above the law?

All photos are courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

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The #1 Coolest Scene In "STAR TREK: GENERATIONS" (1994) (video)




The Enterprise has destroyed the Klingon war bird commanded by B'Etor and Lursa...

...but the resulting warp core breach means the ship will explode in mere minutes.

All aboard are evacuated into the saucer, which then separates from the drive section.

When warp core explodes, the shock wave causes the saucer to make a crash landing on the planet, and...

The result is one of the most thrilling sequences in all of "Star Trek."


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


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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

ALASTAIR SIM'S SCHOOL FOR LAUGHTER -- Blu-ray Review by Porfle




Film Movement Classics' four-disc Blu-ray collection ALASTAIR SIM'S SCHOOL FOR LAUGHTER is a delightful sampler of British film star Alastair Sim's best comedy films of the 40s and 50s, all beautifully restored (especially for fans of fine black and white photography) and augmented with a number of bonus features. Here are our impressions of each film.


THE BELLES OF ST. TRINIAN'S (1954)

If you thought Hayley Mills' mischievous Catholic schoolgirl in THE TROUBLE WITH ANGELS was something, wait'll you get a load of THE BELLES OF ST. TRINIAN'S (1954). These girls and their crooked moneymaking schemes would be the admiration of both Sgt. Bilko and all of McHale's Navy.

Popular British comedy actor Alastair Sim scores a homerun here in the dual role of St. Trinian's harried headmistress Millicent Fritton, who struggles to turn a blind eye to the goings on in her severely cash-strapped institution, and her conniving brother Clarence, a bookmaker with a special interest in horse racing.


The plot, about a visiting Sultan and his prize racehorse Arab Boy upon whom the girls are planning to make a potentially lucrative wager if they can scrape together enough money (a scheme in which Miss Fritton will also become involved), provides an excuse for scene after frenetic scene of wildly inappropriate behavior by this bunch of very dirty-faced angels.

Not only do they make their own moonshine gin in chemistry class, which is bottled and sold by their weaselly bookie Flash Harry (George Cole), and cheat at intermural field hockey games by knocking the referees and opposing coaches cold with mallets, but they're not above actually kidnapping Arab Boy and keeping him under wraps at the school in order to foil Clarence's own kidnapping scheme.  

As Miss Fritton states, "At most schools, girls are sent out quite unprepared for a merciless world but, when our girls leave here, it is the merciless world which has to be prepared."

Each of these girls is like a cross between Wednesday and Pugsley Addams, who should've been sent to St. Trinian's in ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES instead of that happy-shiny summer camp. Here, they'd have barely seemed out of place.

We can't help rooting for these female refugees from "Lord of the Flies" even at the expense of the good girls in the school, bless them, whose efforts to maintain a sense of order and decency are utterly doomed. (Hammer horror fans will be pleased to spot a very young Andree Melly of THE BRIDES OF DRACULA as one of the bad girls.)

Created by cartoonist Ronald Searle in a series of popular cartoons which in turn spawned this film series, THE BELLES OF ST. TRINIAN'S are so brazenly and unabashedly warped that their exploits seem to appeal to our most basic desire for chaos and nonconformity.  And for fans of the very dry, very droll Alastair Sim, his amusing dual role here (helped by some nifty split-screen effects) will have an irresistible appeal all its own.


SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (1960)

This time, achingly droll British comedy star Alastair Sim plays more background character than lead as headmaster of the SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS (1960), the main focus being on his clumsy, mild-mannered, and socially inept (but very willing) student Henry Palfrey (Ian Carmichael).

Henry's a nice enough young chap but totally out of his league when his attempts to woo pretty young acquaintance April (Janette Scott, HOW WENT THE DAY?, DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS) are thwarted by snide upper-class cad Delauney, played to perfection by Terry-Thomas at the top of his game, who steps all over Henry's romantic aspirations with a curdled grace and sadistic glee.


With other aspects of his life proving too much to handle, including an inherited family business he's unable to manage, Henry makes his way to a dumpy old mansion on the outskirts of a small English village, where cynical old Mr. Potter (Sims) and his staff teach their pupils all about one-upmanship, i.e. how to always get the upper hand over one's fellow man.

Thus, the first half of the film is a brutally cringeworthy account of Henry's staggering ineptitude that's keenly funny in an almost unpleasant way. Carmichael's easy likable as Henry, with Scott a winsome object of his affections, but it's Terry-Thomas who provides the most joy as we watch his Delauney effortlessly steamroll over Henry's every feeble effort to impress while laciviously moving in on the lovely April.

This includes dinner in an expensive restaurant--Delauney manages to sit between Henry and April while mocking Henry's attempts to order from the complicated menu--and a disastrous tennis match in which Delauney breezes to victory with insufferable ease.

A particularly funny scene occurs when Henry tries to purchase a fancy auto to compete with Delauney's expensive sports car and ends up being taken to the cleaners by a couple of smooth con artists. The sputtering, smoke-churning monstrosity that he ends up with is unlike anything I've seen on four wheels. 

Naturally, after all of this build-up, we view Henry's successful graduation from Mr. Potter's "Lifemanship" course and subsequent declaration of war against Delauney with a great deal of satisfaction. 

It's gratifying to watch Henry's devious plans to humiliate his foe and win April's heart come to fruition--but at what cost? Will Henry stop being the lovable fellow we've come to admire and become a lecherous cad like Delauney?

With a very capable cast (look for Jeremy Lloyd, the tall man who dances with Ringo in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, in a bit part as a student) bringing this sharply-written story to life, SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS is one of the most giddily enjoyable and well-rendered of the classic British comedies.


LAUGHTER IN PARADISE (1951)

Sometimes the premise of a comedy sounds so enticing that you can't wait to see how it's actually carried out. For me, that was the case with LAUGHTER IN PARADISE (1951), in which a notorious practical joker dies and his will stipulates that all beneficiaries must perform certain tasks before they can receive their inheritance.

Naturally, all of them are in need of the money and willing to do whatever is required of them, no matter how outlandish. Which of course is the built-in appeal of this pleasantly appealing comedy whose various interrelated subplots consist of either light farce or more substantial personal drama.


That most unlikely of comedy stars, the terminally droll Alastair Sim, embodies the former as Deniston Russell, a mild-mannered gent who secretly writes the most lurid best-selling pulp novels under various pen names while living in fear that his bride-to-be, a straight-edge military woman with a humorless father, will find out.

His task in pursuit of the inheritance is to commit a crime like one depicted in his novels and spend at least 28 days in lock-up. Thus, his scenes are a series of amusing attempts to get arrested without having to do anything really harmful or destructive. He even goes to a police station trying to solicit their advice for the most genteel ways of breaking the law.

Other humorous subplots involve a milquetoast bank worker (George Cole) tasked with robbing his tyrannical boss at gunpoint, and an irresponsible cad (Guy Middleton) who must marry the first single woman he speaks to after leaving the reading of the will.

In the more heartfelt segment of the story, a wealthy woman (Fay Compton) who is cruel and thoughtless to her servants must hire on as a servant herself for one month to a similarly callous rich old eccentric.  As one might guess, she will soon learn what it's like to be browbeaten and emotionally abused by a "superior."

As with so many of these classic British comedies, the technical aspects are neatly done in eye-pleasing black and white and with modest production values. Sharp-eyed viewers will spot such familiar faces in the supporting cast as a young Sebastian Cabot and an even younger Audrey Hepburn.  BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE OLD DARK HOUSE fans will enjoy seeing an older Ernest Thesiger as the reader of the will.

While this premise may have resulted in raucous mayhem in other hands, LAUGHTER IN PARADISE treats it with a sublety and restraint that invites the viewer to simply settle in and watch things unfold without being wracked with guffaws and belly laughs. Which, every once in a while, is a markedly pleasant way to enjoy a comedy. 


HUE AND CRY (1946)

Ostensibly a comedy--known, in fact, as the first from Britain's venerable Ealing Studios--1946's HUE AND CRY is actually more of a rousing boys' adventure yarn in which a group of rowdy city boys (and one plucky girl) take on one of England's most insidious smuggling gangs.

Harry Fowler plays Joe Kirby, a typical teen boy whose love for the "kids' papers", or comic-book type serial stories printed in the newspapers, leads him to the shocking discovery that local criminals are using the periodical to transmit information on upcoming robberies to various members of their gang.


Trying to inform the police of this phenomenon only gets him in hot water, so Joe must organize his friends and undertake an investigation that will lead them into plenty of hair-raising situations that will pit them directly against the ruthless bad guys. 

The pace never lets up in this surprisingly gritty tale which boasts a superb cast, crisp black and white photography, and sharp direction that often has the look and feel of a Hitchcock thriller.

Unlike most boys' adventure films, this one places its young characters into some truly perilous scrapes, sometimes in opposition to the police themselves, with the kids making a harrowing escape through the sewer system or going into actual physical battle with burly baddies.

Some of the few purely comedic scenes are those involving Alastair Sim as the unsuspecting writer of the comics (his work is later altered before publication by the gang's beautiful moll who works for the printer).

Sim, probably the biggest name in the picture, has a surprisingly minor role here although his fans will enjoy his cowardly eccentric who writes lurid crime stories in a creepy old apartment building with only a cat as his companion.

The kids themselves are refreshingly realistic, not above getting into fistfights with each other but pulling together in times of danger. Their exploits in pursuit of the smugglers lead to an action-filled finale fit for an adult crime thriller, which, along with its more lighthearted aspects, makes HUE AND CRY a wholly satisfying entertainment.



Buy it from Film Movement Classics


Blu-ray Features

The Belles of St. Trinian's:
Interview with Geoff Brown
Interview with Melanie Williams
Interview with Alistair Sim’s Daughter - Meredith McKendrick
Interview with Steve Chibnall
The Girls of St Trinian’s


School for Scoundrels:
School for Scoundrels Trailer
Interview with Peter Bradshaw
Interview with Graham McCann
Interview with Chris Potter


Hue and Cry:
Interview with Steve Chibnall
Location Featurette

Booklet with notes, written by film scholar Ronald Bergan

Sound: Mono
Discs: 4





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NEON Launches Matt Wolf's "SPACESHIP EARTH" on May 8th -- Watch Trailer HERE!




MATT WOLF’S STRANGER THAN FICTION

"SPACESHIP EARTH" LAUNCHES EVERYWHERE MAY 8TH

NEON SETS INNOVATIVE RELEASE STRATEGY IN RESPONSE TO GLOBAL SHUTDOWN



New York, New York (April 21, 2020) - NEON will launch the Sundance hit Spaceship Earth on May 8th across an innovative footprint of both traditional and non-traditional venues.  As an homage to NEON's love of cinema, the film will play theatrically in participating drive-ins, and select pop-up city-scape projections (safely accessible by quarantined city dwellers). In addition, NEON has made a special arrangement with exhibitors to launch the film on theater websites plus websites of other affected businesses interested in participating. Current confirmed distribution partners include film festivals, museums and first-time film purveyors like bookstores, restaurants and more. The footprint is rounded out by a simultaneous digital launch on Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, FandangoNow, Vudu, DIRECTV, DISH and longtime NEON partner Hulu.

WATCH THE TRAILER:



AN Impact Partners’, RadicalMedia and Stacey Reiss Production, Spaceship Earth was directed by Matt Wolf and debuted at Sundance to rave reviews with critics hailing it as “out of this world.”  NEON tracked the film and its director long prior to its 2020 Sundance premiere attempting to buy it last year, but little did anyone know just how apt the film and its story would become.

Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called BIOSPHERE 2. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life-threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult.

The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.   It’s an eerily prescient and telling film for the world of today.

NEON’s release strategy was devised as a way to address the current limitations of the theatrical experience with the aim of bringing communities and cinephiles together and help support organizations and businesses in need.

Allowing independent movie theaters, museums, book stores, arts and cultural organizations, non-profits, restaurants and other severely impacted small businesses to participate in the release will give them the opportunity to stay connected with their community and hopefully provide some much-needed financial support.

Additionally, partners will have the option to host private screenings and/or to co-host live online Q&A’s and panels with filmmakers, film subjects and special guests.  A partial list of non-traditional partners includes Atlas Obscura, Earth Day Network, Books are Magic, the Explorers Club, Posteritati, Fernbank Museum, NYC Trivia League, Talcott Mountain Science Center, Ground Support Cafe, Explorers Club, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Cafe, SITE Sante Fe, Synergetic Press, City Growers, Bud Werner Memorial Library, Santa Monica French bistro Pasjoli and Brooklyn’s famous eatery Locanda Vinii & Olie. Other small businesses and organizations in the US interested in partnering with NEON can learn more and sign-up at www.NEONrated.com.

“NEON has never released a film without the benefit of theaters and Spaceship Earth is no exception to that rule,” says NEON Founder/CEO Tom Quinn.  “As every day becomes a harsh, almost surreal, new reality, it’s clear we must continue launching new films and entertain audiences as best we can.  It’s also important we innovate and adapt to support the many businesses in need.  Even though Spaceship Earth won’t be playing in theaters across the country we hope by making it available ‘everywhere’ the film's release can at least embody the communal spirit of cinema if not the big screen.  We miss our partners in exhibition greatly and look forward to cinema's triumphant return.”

NEON acquired worldwide rights to the film.  Details of the film’s global launch plans to be announced later this week.


About NEON
A little less than 3 years since inception, NEON has garnered 12 Oscar nominations and grossed over $150M at the Box Office. It continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $53M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. Other noteworthy NEON releases include: Double Oscar nominee Honeyland; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019's highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.

The company continues to be an impressive force, with recent acquisitions such as: Pig, starring Nicolas Cage; Brandon Cronenberg’s Possessor; Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Samberg, which NEON acquired with Hulu; Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss; and the documentary Gunda directed by Viktor Kossakovsky and executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix.   Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record- breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thriller Monos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’sLuce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.

After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.


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Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "In The Lion's Den" (video)




When the Stooges are running away from a group of people...

...they hide in a room and close the door.

However, the "room" turns out to be a lion den.



(threestooges.net)


MOVIE MANIACS (1936)
WEE WEE MONSIEUR (1938)
YOU NAZTY SPY! (1940)
HOLD THAT LION! (1947)

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



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Monday, April 20, 2020

The Second Coolest Scene In "STAR TREK: GENERATIONS" (1994) (video)




The evil Soran (Malcolm McDowell) has placed a tiny camera in Geordi's visor...

...allowing him to view the Enterprise's shield modulation...

...which then allows the Klingon sisters Lursa and B'Etor to launch a surprise attack!

This leads to what I regard as the second coolest scene in the whole movie.


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



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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Great 3 Stooges Running Gag: "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" (video)




A dazed or sleeping Stooge rips out scraps of Larry's hair...

...while saying "She loves me...She loves me not...She loves me..."

And that's just one example of the many times the "Porcupine" lost great clumps of hair.

But there always seemed to be more where that came from!

(threestooges.net)


TASSELS IN THE AIR (1938)
CALLING ALL CURS (1939)
FROM NURSE TO WORSE (1940)
DIZZY PILOTS (1943)
I'M A MONKEY'S UNCLE (1948)
A SNITCH IN TIME (1950)
HUGS AND MUGS (1950)
CORNY CASANOVAS (1952)


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



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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Haunting Main Title Theme From "WUTHERING HEIGHTS" (Michel Legrand,1970) (video)




Timothy Dalton and Anna Caulder-Marshall play tragic lovers Heathcliff and Cathy...

...in this moody 1970 adaptation of the classic Emily Brontë novel.

The film's beautiful cinematography is complimented...

...by one of composer Michel Legrand's most haunting and evocative love themes.

And we've put together a montage of scenes from the film to go with it.



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


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Friday, April 17, 2020

John Wayne's Coolest Scenes #63: The Conversation Kinda Dried Up, "THE UNDEFEATED" (1969) (video)




John Wayne plays a former Union officer leading a cattle drive into Mexico...

...and Rock Hudson is an unbowed Confederate officer leading a group of diehard rebels.

When they join forces against a band of ruthless Mexican bandidos...

...their attempt to negotiate with the leader


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



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