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26 June 2016

Paramount Pictures celebrates 45 YEARS (review)

Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay give award-winning performances as a British couple who receive devastating news five days before their forty-fifth anniversary and try to figure out if their love can survive the revelation of a major secret from before they were a couple.  From the director of WEEKEND and LOOKING.

REVIEW LINK: Paramount Pictures (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

45 YEARS Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles

Vinegar Syndrome has a PHYSICAL ATTRACTION to CLASSICAL ROMANCE (review)

The latest Peekarama release is a double bill of back-to-back Richard Mailer productions.  In PHYSICAL ATTRACTION, hooker Bobbi dreams of something more in life and finds it when she begins training for Olympic track trials.  In CLASSICAL ROMANCE, a talented pianist wastes away playing a piano bar until an encounter with a beautiful married woman drives him to chase his dreams.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

  • 2K restorations of 16mm original camera negatives
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono

Simply Media attends a MASQUERADE IN MEXICO (review)

Dorothy Lamour stars in this remake of the Claudette Colbert vehicle MIDNIGHT as a showgirl who gets stranded in Mexico after her fiance tricks her into transporting a stolen diamond across the border.  She soon finds herself impersonating a countess in the scheme of an American who wants to lure an amorous bullfighter away from his wife.  Patric Knowles, Ann Dvorak, Natalie Schafer, George Rigaud, and Arturo de Córdova also star.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Simply Media has only ONE DESIRE (review)

Rock Hudson and Anne Baxter star as a casino dealer Clint and showgirl Tracey who move to a booming Colorado town in search of respectability.  When spoiled rich girl Judith (Julie Adams) spots Clint, she yearns to possess him and turns the town against Tracey when she learns of her background.  When Tracey eventually discovers Judith was responsible for running her out of town, she defiantly returns for revenge.  Natalie Wood and William Hopper co-star.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.00:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Simply Media enlists with HERE COME THE WAVES (review)

Bing Crosby stars in this musical as a singer who enlists in the military to get away from his mob of female fans only to be respectively stalked by and fall for twin sisters (Betty Hutton) who have joined the Women's Reserve.  Sonny Tufts co-stars.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Simply Media and THE LADY TAKES A FLYER (review)

Lana Turner and Jeff Chandler star in this Jack Arnold romantic comedy as commercial flyers who fall in love and find their love for the skies and each other tested by family life.  Richard Denning and Chuck Connors co-star.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (US) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Wolfe Video sips MARGARITA WITH A STRAW (review)

Laila is a college student from India with cerebral palsy.  When she is accepted into a NYU creative writing program, she begins a journey of sexual self-exploration, creating a rift in her relationship with her mother as she experiments and eventually has to chose between being loved and wanting to be "normal."

REVIEW LINK: Wolfe Video (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English/Hindi Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 stereo
  • English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Permanent English subtitles for Hindi dialogue and optional English SDH subtitles
  • Five making-of featurettes
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Previews

24 June 2016

LionsGate urges GET A JOB (review)

Miles Teller and Anna Kendrick lead an all-star cast in this tale of a generation of entitled kids sent out into a world where job security is a thing of the past.  John Cho, Bruce Davison, Marcia Gay Harden, John C. McGinley, Jay Pharoah, and Bryan Cranston also star.

REVIEW LINK: LionsGate (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

GET A JOB Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Optional English, English SDH, and Spanish subtitles
  • Actors' Video Resume
  • "The Casting of GET A JOB" featurette
  • Previews
  • Digital HD download code

Jezebel screens FOR MEN ONLY Pete Walker's SCHOOL FOR SEX (review)

After a prolific career shooting 8mm glamour loops, Pete Walker moved into independent film production at a time when British mainstream cinema was in a slump.  In FOR MEN ONLY, a writer for Women's Vogue is urged by his jealous fiancee to take a job for a more serious conservative magazine only to discover that it is a front for girly magazines.  In SCHOOL FOR SEX, an aristocrat five times divorced and swindled of his fortune opens a school for sex to teach young women how to con men out of their fortunes in exchange for a hefty commission.

REVIEW LINK: Jezebel/Kino Lorber (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

  • For Men Only (1968):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.33:1 pillarboxed fullscreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • School for Sex (1969):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
    • Alternate Continental Footage
    • Theatrical Trailer
  • "Getting Cheeky with Pete Walker" interview
  • Vintage Pete Walker Glamour Loops (63 minutes)

Synapse Films is bewitched by SORCERESS

Linda Blair and Julie Strain star in this nineties softcore erotic horror film from Jim Wynorski.  After he discovers his wife using witchcraft against his rival for a law partnership, Larry tries to leave her and accidentally kills her in a struggle.  As he tries to get over her death, he is haunted by ghostly and erotic visions and his new girlfriend starts to act more and more like his dead wife.  Larry Poindexter, Edward Albert, Rochelle Swanson, and Michael Parks also star.

REVIEW LINK: Synapse Films (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

SORCERESS Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by director Jim Wynorski
  • Audio Commentary by director Jim Wynorski and effects artist Tom Savini

Vinegar Syndrome buys a HARLOT for TIJUANA BLUE (review)

Before FLESH GORDON, director Howard Ziehm and producer Bill Osco moved up from hardcore loops with HARLOT in which bad girl Mary schools good girl Melody in hitching and hooking.  In TIJUANA BLUE, herion user Jamie agrees on a Tijuana drug trafficking assignment when he learns his girlfriend is pregnant.  Traveling south of the border with fun-loving friend Rick, Jamie is given the runaround from whorehouse to whorehouse in search of his contact "Oddball".

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

  • 2K masters from 16mm elements of uncut versions
  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
  • Audio Commentary on HARLOT by director Howard Ziehm

18 June 2016

Film Movement Classics has THE BEST INTENTIONS (review)

In Bille August's take on a biographical script by Ingmar Bergman, theology student Henrik Bergman and aristocratic nursing student Anna form a tempestuous relationship that leads to a marriage full of unhappiness in nineteenth century Sweden.

REVIEW LINK: Film Movement (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
  • Swedish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English and French subtitles
  • Ingmar Bergman short "Karin's Face"
  • Previews
  • Essay by critic Peter Cowie

Scorpion Releasing challenges FORCE: FIVE (review)

When a young heiress is recruited into a religious cult, secret agent Jim Martin recruits a team of four (including THE OCTAGON's Richard Norton) to rescue her from the clutches of its corrupt leader and his karate kicking minions. From the people who brought you ENTER THE DRAGON and BLACK BELT JONES.

REVIEW LINK: Scorpion Releasing (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

FORCE: FIVE Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
  • Theatrical Trailer
Limited Edition available exclusively from Screen Archives.

Code Red hitches with TRUCK STOP WOMEN (review)

Seventies playmate turned tragic exploitation icon Claudia Jennings stars in TRUCK STOP WOMEN as the truckjacking daughter of a woman who runs a New Mexico truck stop/brothel to gather intelligence about the cargo of trucks in order to hijack them, selling off the trucks to a dealer in Los Angeles and profiting from the stolen cargo.  When the New York mob try to move in on their business, betrayal and double crosses give way to an old west standoff.

REVIEW LINK: Code Red Releasing (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVD Drive-in)

TRUCK STOP WOMEN Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono
  • Audio Commentary by director Mark Lester
  • Interview with director Mark Lester
  • Code Red Trailers 
Limited Edition available directly from Code Red.

16 June 2016

Simply Media deals with JOE BUTTERFLY (review)

Audie Murphy, George Nader, Keenan Wynn, and Burgess Meredith star in JOE BUTTERFLY where a quintet of war correspondents race against a deadline and a rival to publish the first issue of their magazine in Tokyo after surrender and are forced to rely on the resources of a houseboy turned black market smuggler.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 2.23:1 letterbox
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Simply Media has a HIRED WIFE (review)

Rosalind Russell stars as Kendal, a secretary in love with her boss who is in love with a social climbing model.  When his company's finances are threatened, he needs a spouse to put all of his interests in her name and Kendal will scheme to be the one tossing the bouquet with the help of a South American gigolo and a bewildered attorney.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (US) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 4:3 non-anamorphic 1.33:1 fullscreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Arrow Video USA introduces NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS VOL. 2 (review)

Arrow Video's NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS VOLUME 2 set showcases two stars from the studio's contract Diamond Line of the sixties.  Akira Kobayashi headlines TOKYO MIGHTY GUY as a young man who comes home from studying in Paris to turn his parents' restaurant into an elegant French restaurant and runs into various complications from gangsters, hookers, and an ill-tempered politician.  Jo Shishido stars in DANGER PAYS and MURDER UNINCORPORATED.  In the first film, he is one of a trio of small time criminals who try to abduct a forger in order to cash in on a larger gang's operation when they steal paper for creating Japanese yen.  In the second film, a criminal organization hires ten assassins to track down the hitman who is taking them out one by one.

REVIEW LINK: Arrow Video USA (US) Region A/B Blu-ray/Region 1/2 DVD (DVD Drive-in)

NIKKATSU DIAMOND GUYS Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • All three films on one 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 widescreen BD50 Blu-ray and two dual-layer DVDs
  • Japanese LPCM 1.0 on Blu-ray (Dolby Digital 1.0 on DVD)
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Jasper Sharp Introductions on actors Jo Shishido and Akira Kobayashi
  • Theatrical trailers and still galleries for all three films
  • Theatrical trailers for the six OUTLAW GANGSTER VIP films
  • Reversible Cover Art
  • Booklet featuring new writing on all the films and director profiles by Stuart Galbraith IV, Tom Mes and Mark Schilling

12 June 2016

Universal Pictures initiates JARHEAD 3: THE SIEGE (review)

Corporal Evan Albright (Charlie Weber) arrives at his post at an American embassy in a Muslim country in time for danger in JARHEAD 3: THE SIEGE also starring Dennis Haysbert and Scott Adkins.

REVIEW LINK: Universal (US) Region A Blu-ray/Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

JARHEAD 3: THE SIEGE Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen presentations of the R-rated and Unrated versions
    • English, French, and Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen presentations of the R-rated and Unrated versions
    • English, French, and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks
  • Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish
  • "Creating JARHEAD 3: THE SIEGE" featurette
  • Previews
  • Digital HD download code

11 June 2016

Strand Releasing explores the VALLEY OF LOVE (review)

In this mystical take on mourning from Guillaume Nicloux (THE NUN), Isabelle Huppert and Gerard Depardieu play a long divorced couple who reunite in Death Valley in response to letters left by their son who committed suicide promising a reunion with them at one of the desert's landmarks.  Forced to spend a week together, they rehash their broken relationship and the mystery of their son's death.

REVIEW LINK: Strand Releasing (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 2.48:1 widescreen
  • French/English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Optional English and English SDH subtitles
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Previews

Second Run trades in STUFF AND DOUGH (review)

In the feature debut from the director of the award-winning THE DEATH OF MISTER LAZARESCU, young Ovidiu agrees to transport a cache of "medicine" for a local well-to-do thug.  Bringing his buddy and sullen girlfriend along, the trio begin to realize that they are in way over their heads once a mysterious red SUV begins trailing them on the road to Bucharest.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run DVD (UK) Region 0 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
  • Romanian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Interview with director Cristi Puiu
  • 2004 short film "Coffee and Cigarettes"
  • Liner Notes Booklet by critic Carmen Gray

Simply Media is GOING BERSERK (Review)

SCTV's John Candy, Joe Flaherty, and Eugene Levy reunite in this bizarre early eighties Canadian/American comedy.  John runs a limo service with his buddy Chick and is about to marry into the family of a wealthy senator and presidential candidate.  When the senator goes after a scam religion, its maniacal head brainwashes John in order to kill him at the wedding.  Ernie Hudson and Dixie Carter also star.

REVIEW LINK: Simply Media (US) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Drafthouse Films hunts down DANGEROUS MEN (review)

More bizarre than THE ROOM is DANGEROUS MEN, the American debut of enigmatic Iranian filmmaker/architect John S. Rad.  Started in the eighties and completed nearly twenty years later, DANGEROUS MEN came out of nowhere with promos on MTV and a four-walled theatrical release in 2005.  Since then, this utterly disjointed action flick has been sought out by the seven or eight people who actually paid to see it.  Drafthouse Films' Blu-ray/DVD combo finally makes the film available to a whole new audience.

REVIEW LINK: Drafthouse Films (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

DANGEROUS MEN Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Audio Commentary by DESTROY ALL MOVIES' authors Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly
  • "That's So John Rad" documentary
  • Interview with cinematographer Peter Pallan
  • Local Access TV show with John S. Rad (48 minutes)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser
  • Previews
  • Reversible Cover
  • Interview Booklet
  • Digital Copy Code

09 June 2016

LionsGate gets CASUAL: SEASON 1 (review)

From the director of JUNO comes the Hulu series CASUAL.  Divorced Valerie moves her daughter Laura and herself in with her single brother Alex.  As the two siblings navigate the dating scene anew, they are confronted with differing expectations of love and relationships and deal with family drama as their narcissistic parents reappear in their lives and Laura tries to substitute her unfaithful father with an inappropriate new love.

REVIEW LINK: LionsGate (US) Region 1 NTSC DVD (DVDCompare)

  • Ten episodes on two DVDs
  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.78:1 widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • English SDH and Spanish subtitles
  • "Creating CASUAL" featurette
  • Previews
  • Digital Copy Code

08 June 2016

MVD VIsual liberates HELGA: SHE-WOLF OF STILBERG (review)

In this obscure Eurocine women-in-prison film, Helga overseas the punishment of political dissidents in a gothic fortress of a South American dictatorship.  Malisa Longo, Olivier Mathot, and Patrizia Gori star.

REVIEW LINK: MVD Visual (US) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

  • 16:9 anamorphic 1.66:1 widescreen
  • English and French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
  • Alternate Covered Outtakes
  • Opening and Closing Credits

06 June 2016

Five Door Films experiences the ROMANCE OF THE FAR FUR COUNTRY (Review)

A year before Robert Flaherty painted a romantic picture of Eskimo culture in NANOOK OF THE NORTH, New York filmmaker Harold Wyckoff was commissioned by Canada's Hudson's Bay Company to make a film about Canada's fur trade for the company's 250th anniversary in 1920.  Following the company's trade routes, Wyckoff charted the company's interaction with the Eskimo and First Nations peoples and the arduous and unforgiving terrain of the unknown north.  The film was never shown in its complete form in the United States and in a reedited form in the UK.  It disappeared from circulation when all of the materials were transferred to the company's Londo arm and then to the British Film Institute for safekeeping and archiving.  In 2009, the materials were returned to the Hudson's Bay archives in Winnipeg.  The subsequent restoration and reconstruction sheds light not only on Canada's history but also its cultural and colonial interactions.

REVIEW LINK: Five Door Films (Canada) Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVDBeaver)

  • Disc One:
    • 16:9 pillarboxed 1.33:1 fullscreen
    • Music LPCM 2.0 stereo
    • Audio Commentary by historian Peter Geller & curatorial editor Kevin Nikkel
    • "Explore the 1919 Expedition"
      • Map of the 1919 Journey
      • Excerpt from Wyckoff's Letters & Diary
      • Wyckoff's Photo Expedition Album
    • "Trials and Tribulations of a Cameraman" short
    • "Treasures of the Far Fur Country" short
    • "Rediscovering the Far Fur Country" restoration demo
  • Disc Two:
    • Shortened UK Version "The Heritage of Adventure" 
    • "Scenes from the Far Fur Country" regional short films from the period:
      • "Baffin Region" 
      • "James Bay & Abitibi Region" 
      • "Prairie Region" 
      • "Athabasca Region" 
      • "BC Region" 
    • Additional Unedited Silent Films from the 1919 Expedition and 1920 Release:
      • "H.B. Pageant" 
      • "It's A Great Life --If" 
      • HBC Comics 
    • Trailer for "On The Trail of the Far Fur Country" 
  • 24-page Collector's Booklet
The two-disc set is available directly from The Winnipeg Film Group separately or in a combo with the documentary ON THE TRAIL OF THE FAR FUR COUNTRY.

02 June 2016

Well Go USA witnesses the RISE OF THE LEGEND (review)

Eddie Peng brings grandmaster folk hero Wong Fei-hung back to the screen in RISE OF THE LEGEND.  Previously the subject of Jackie Chan's DRUNKEN MASTER series, Tsui Hark's ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA series, and a long running series of films from 1948 to 1970, the character gets an origin story as he infiltrates a gang who brutally dominates a Silk Road pier to dismantle them from the inside.  Sammo Hung and Tony Leung also star.

REVIEW LINK: Well Go USA (US) Region A Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

RISE OF THE LEGEND Blu-ray specs:
  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.40:1 widescreen
  • Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Making-of featurette (5 parts)
  • Trailer
  • Previews

Vinegar Syndrome gets caught up in THE HUMAN TORNADO (review)

Rudy Ray Moore is back as Dolemite in THE HUMAN TORNADO.  Escaping a racist Alabama sheriff for Los Angeles, Dolemite and his buddies discover that club owner Queen Bee and her girls are being force to work for the mob.

REVIEW LINK: Vinegar Syndrome (US) Region ALL Blu-ray/Region 0 NTSC DVD (DVD Drive-in)

THE HUMAN TORNADO Blu-ray/DVD combo specs:
  • Blu-ray:
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 mono
  • DVD:
    • 16:9 anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen
    • English Dolby Digital 1.0 mono
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Rudy Ray Moore biographer Mark Jason Murray and actor Jimmy Lynch
  • Alternate German-dubbed version DER BASTARD
  • "I, Dolemite Part II" featurette with Rudy Ray Moore, director Cliff Roquemore's sons, actor Jimmy Lynch, writer Jerry Jones, and cameraman Nicholas Joseph Von Sternberg
  • Audio Interview with Cliff Roquemore and martial arts choreographer Howard Jackson
  • Full soundtrack with alternate cues and single versions (103 minutes)
  • Still Gallery
  • Radio Spot
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Reversible Cover

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