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10 August 2022

Universal Pictures ushers in DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA (review)

Motion pictures come to Downton Abbey and the older set flee to the South of France to solve a half-century-old mystery involving the Dowager Countess in DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA.

REVIEW LINK: Universal Pictures (Canada) Region ALL Blu-ray/DVD Combo (DVDCompare)

DOWNTON ABBEY: A NEW ERA Blu-ray/DVD Combo specs:

  • DISC ONE (Blu-ray):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.39:1 Widescreen
    • English Dolby Atmos, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
    • Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish Subtitles
       
  • DISC TWO (DVD):
    • 16:9 anamorphic 2.39:1 Widescreen
    • English, French, and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
    • English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
    • Optional English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles
       
  • Audio Commentary by director Simon Curtis
  • Behind the Scenes:
    • "Good to Be Back"
    • "Return to Downton Abbey: The Making of a New Era"
    • "A Legendary Character"
    • "Creating the Film... Within the Film"
    • "Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia"3
    • "Spill the Tea(time)"
  • Digital Copy Code
  • Embossed Slipcover

08 August 2022

Dark Star Pictures has POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA (review)

During the fall of the Soviet Union, Potato and his mother Lena imagine a better life in America.  Writing to a mail order bride service, Lena meets and marries the mysterious John who moves them to Seattle where Potato's growing sexual awareness is threatened by John's religiosity and controlling nature which is harboring a secret of its own. 

REVIEW LINK: Dark Star Pictures (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

POTATO DREAMS OF AMERICA Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English SDH Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by writer/co-producer/director Wes Hurley
  • Behind the Scenes featurettes:
    • "American School Day"
    • "Soviet Russia"
    • "John and Hersh Dancing"
    • "Extended Dance Sequence"
    • "Recording the Score"
    • "Breakdown Scene"
  • Introduction by the Actors
  • Actor Interviews:
    • Dan Lauria
    • Hersh Powers
    • Jonathan Bennett
    • Lea DeLaria
    • Marya Sea Kaminski
    • Tyler Bocock
    • "The Boys"
  • Deleted Scene: "Potato at Pride"
  • Outtake: "School Dance"
  • "Little Potato (The Story Begins...)" documentary
  • Short Films: 
    • "Rachels Don't Run"
    • "Rusalka"
  • "Capitol Hill" Web Series: Season 1 (10 episodes)
  • Trailers
  • Comes with a reversible cover and a poster insert with an essay by filmmaker Guinevere Turner on the back.
  • The first 1,000 copies ordered directly from Vinegar Syndrome come with a special limited edition slipcover designed by Jess Rotter.

03 August 2022

Cult Epics' exposes NAKED OVER THE FENCE (review)

A pinball arcade owner, a karate champion, and a schoolteacher become entangled in a web of pornography, blackmail, and murder when they become involved with a TV singer (EMMANUELLE's Sylvia Kristel) in the Dutch sex comedy thriller NAKED OVER THE FENCE.

REVIEW LINK: Cult Epics (US) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

NAKED OVER THE FENCE Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.37:1 Pillarboxed Fullscreen
  • Dutch DTS-HD Master Audio and LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by biographer Harry Hosman
  • Behind the Scenes with Sylvia Kristel 
  • KRO Radio Interview with director Frans Weisz
  • B-Movie Orchestra and VPRO interview with composer Ruud Bos
  • Promotional Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer 
  • Sylvia Kristel Film Trailers
  • Limited edition of 1,000 copies includes a slipcover and a CD soundtrack of the film's score including "A Letter Came Today" performed by Sylvia Kristel

31 July 2022

Acorn Media interrogates WITNESS NUMBER 3 (review)

A chance glance outside a shop window plunges a hair salon owner into a terror campaign when she becomes WITNESS NUMBER 3.  Nina Toussaint-White stars.

REVIEW LINK: Acorn Media (UK) Region 2 PAL DVD (DVDCompare)

WITNESS NUMBER 3 DVD specs:

  • Four episodes on one dual-layer DVD
  • 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen
  • English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • Optional English HoH Subtitles
  • Behind the Scenes Cast and Crew Interviews
  • Photo Gallery

28 July 2022

Second Run puppets LARKS ON A STRING (review)

Set in a scrap metal yard where dissidents are interned to be ‘re-educated’, the film is both a powerful critique of totalitarianism and a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit.  Shot in 1968 but promptly banned by the Communist regime, the film remained unseen until 1990, when it was released to great acclaim, winning the grand prize at the Berlin Film Festival.

REVIEW LINK: Second Run (UK) Region ALL Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

LARKS ON A STRING Blu-ray specs: 

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.66:1 Widescreen
  • Czech LPCM 2.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by The Projection Booth's Mike White and critic Jonathan Owen
  • "Jiří Menzel: 7 Questions" archival interview
  • "Jiří Menzel on Larks on a String" discussion with filmmaker Shivendra Singh Dungarpur
  • "Our Dear Mister Foerster Died (Umřel nám pan Foerster)" 1963 short film by Jiří Menzel
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • 20-page booklet featuring an essay by author Peter Hames and an introduction by cinematographer Jaromír Šofr

Eureka fights crime with SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON (review)

Karl Maka and Sammo Hung star in the buddy cop comedy SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON as a pair of plainclothes cops who get into hot water with their unconventional methods in trying to apprehend a cocaine kingpin.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

SKINNY TIGER AND FATTY DRAGON Blu-ray specs:

  • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 Widescreen
  • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 Mono, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 1.0 Mono
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival) and martial artist/actor Robert “Bobby” Samuels
  • Audio Commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
  • Audio interview with stuntman and martial artist Mark Houghton
  • "The Weapon Master" interview with director Lau Kar-wing
  • "Partner in Crime" interview with actor, stuntman, and action choreographer Ridley Tsui
  • Extended Fight Scene from the Taiwanese Cut
  • International Trailer

Eureka Classics books THE MILLIONAIRES' EXPRESS (review)

Sammo Hung directs this epic Chinese Lunar New Year "Eastern Western" comedy in which an outlaw and a band of prostitutes set about rebuilding his home town after a bank robbery.  The outlaw hits upon the idea of bombing a train track so that the moneyed passengers of the Millionaires' Express must stay the night.  Unfortuantely, a band of gangsters and bandits have planned to rob the train and soon take over the town.  Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, and Kenny Bee star.

REVIEW LINK: Eureka (UK) Region B Blu-ray (DVDCompare)

THE MILLIONAIRES' EXPRESS Blu-ray specs:

  • Hong Kong Theatrical Version (98 minutes):
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Cantonese LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng, NY Asian Film Festival
    • Selected Scene Audio Commentary by actress Cynthia Rothrock 
  • Extended Version (102 minutes): 
    • 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 2.35:1 Widescreen
    • Cantonese and English LPCM 1.0 Mono
    • Optional English Subtitles
    • Audio Commentary by film historians Mike Leeder and Arne Venema 
  • "Cynthia Rothrock on Millionaires' Express" interview
  • "Shanghai Express: Behind the Scenes" archival interview with actress Cynthia Rothrock
  • "A New Frontier" interview with actor/director Sammo Hung
  • "Express Delivery" interview with actor/director Sammo Hung
  • "Trailblazer" interview with actress Cynthia Rothrock
  • "Way Out West" interview with actor/stuntman Yuen Biao
  • "On the Cutting Edge" interview with actress Yukari Oshima
  • Alternate English Opening and Closing Credits
  • Trailers:
    • Hong Kong Theatrical Trailer
    • "Shanghai Express" Export Trailer
    • Tai Seng Promotional Video Trailer
  • "My Lucky Stars" Vintage Japanese Behind the Scenes Promo
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