MVD Entertainment Going “Prehysteric” Next Month

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are taking over this fall, but they’re not the dinosaurs one might think!

Full Moon Features announced this week that it will release the family-friendly 1993 live action/stop motion hybrid dino flick Prehysteria! on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack next month through MVD Entertainment.  The movie, released originally through its imprint Moonbeam Entertainment, is scheduled to be re-issued Oct. 9.

The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians — but that’s not all.  An evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs.

The re-issue comes a little more than 25 years after it originally premiered on VHS on June 1, 1993.  A trailer for the movie is streaming online now herePre-orders for the movie are open now.

More information on this and other titles from MVD Entertainment is available online now at:






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Say Hello To ‘Bye Bye Germany,’ America

Courtesy: Film Movement

Hollywood has dried up, ladies and gentlemen.  That goes without saying. It’s been a while since American audiences have seen anything original from Hollywood’s “Big Six.”  Thankfully though, independent studios such as Level 33 Entertainment, Cohen Media Group, IFC Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment and Film Movement have taken over time and again over the past decade or so where Hollywood has failed, with so many enjoyable offerings.  Film Movement offered audiences one of the most recent of those standout offerings early this past August when it released the German import Bye Bye Germany.  The 102-minute (1-hour, 42-minute) dramedy is takes place in Post World War II-era Germany, but is not another one of those run-of-the-mill stories based on actual events or even some author’s book.  Rather, it is its own work that SF Weekly writer Sherilynn Connelly accurately compared to works from the famed Cohen Brothers.  With its original story, engaging acting from its cast, and a look that pulls viewers in just as much as those noted elements, Bye Bye Germany  proves to be a work that will appeal equally to fans of WWII-era stories, dramedies and anyone simply looking for an alternative to Hollywood’s seemingly endless ocean of forgettable flicks.

Independent movie studio Film Movement’s recently released German import Bye Bye Germany likely will never get the attention that its American counterparts get, but the fact of the matter is that it is actually quite the entertaining offering, even being another WWII-era tale.  That is thanks in part to the movie’s story.  Unlike so many movies churned out by Hollywood’s “Big Six” Bye Bye Germany’s story is not another run-of-the-mill overly embellished work based on actual events.  Rather, it is its own original story.  The story takes audiences to Germany, 1946, just after the end of the war.  A group of German Jews who survived the Holocaust have come up with a plan to get the money they need to get to America, and it involves tricking former Nazis who currently live in the region.  It is complimented by a secondary story involving the group’s leader, David Bermann (Moritz Bleibtreu – Run Lola Run, In July, Atomised) being accused of conspiring with the Nazis.  When one of his friends follows him to an interrogation session one day, he reports back to the others, leading to suspicion among the group.  The final outcome won’t be revealed here, for the sake ok those who have not yet seen the movie, but the story overall will certainly keep audiences engaged.  It is expertly balanced with the movie’s primary story to make a presentation in whole that forms a solid foundation for this movie and gives audiences plenty of reason in itself to watch.  The movie’s dual-plot story is just one of the elements that makes Bye Bye Germany such an interesting presentation.  The work of the movie’s cast adds even more interest to its whole.

The work of the movie’s cast stands out because of the subtlety in each actor’s work.  Again, viewers should take note that this is another World War II movie, so even being  dramedy, it would have been so easy for Bleibtreu and his cast mates to go over the top at any given point, but they didn’t do that.  Case in point is Bleibtreu’s interrogation room scenes with co-star Antje Traue (Man of Steel, Pandorum, Woman in Gold).  There were moments in which Sara (Traue) asked David questions that would have allowed David to become irate, yet he never did.  Rather, he responded, again, with that noted subtlety each time.  The less is more approach in these tense moments adds to much depth to the scenes, and pulls audiences in even more when coupled with the story that unfolds throughout.  The same can be said of the revelations from David’s friends about their own past interactions with the Nazis.  One reveals how an SS officer corralled his parents and a group of other Jews into a synagogue and burned them alive, while another reveals he lost his sight when another SS officer hit him repeatedly in the eye in a bar in China.  Both men could have so easily hammed it up and overly emoted, but instead used a similar subtlety as they told their stories.  The result is that each story makes each character that much more sympathetic, and in turn ensures even more viewers’ engagement.  Even Antje Traue adds her own touch as she intently listens to David’s recollections of his efforts to survive in the POW camp.  Whether in the more emotional moments of his testimony or some of the more lighthearted moments, Traue’s reactions to David’s testimony is spot on.  Considering this and the other noted cast members’ work on camera (including that work not noted here), it can be said with ease that the work of the movie’s cast adds its own depth to the story; depth that in turn ensures even more, viewers’ engagement.  Considering this along with the engagement insured through the movie’s story, and audiences see even more why Bye Bye Germany is well worth the watch.  These elements are not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  Its overall look rounds out its most important elements. notes in its outline for Bye Bye Germany that in making sure the look of the movie was fully believable, the set design crew made certain to only use certain material that were period accurate, right down to the concrete and wood.  That applied to the movie’s main set, the crossroad.  Just as important to note is the look of Bermann’s store.  The broken windows and dimly lit interior, with its empty floors and walls, collectively do a good job of showing what the Nazis did to the store.  In the final act, Elsa (Jeanne Werner – Tied, Before The Winter Chill, Invisible Sue) sits on a bombed out part of the crossroad that looks just like the pictures taken from the war.  Even here, it is obvious that the set/art design crew wanted to get things right so as to ensure even more, viewers’ engagement through suspension of disbelief.  As if all of that is not enough, the cinematic effects used in the movie’s post production add their own interesting element to the movie’s look.  It seems like there is a slight sepia-tone effect similar to that used in The Cohen Brothers’ hit movie O Brother, Where Art Thou? Used here to add to the general effect and look.  That subtle addition to the movie’s presentation makes for even more interest.  When it is considered along with the other general effect items noted here (and those not directly noted), the overall result is a presentation that is just as visually enjoyable as it is for the rest of its content.  When it is all joined together, the noted elements make Bye Bye Germany a surprisingly enjoyable presentation whose overall appeal makes it one of this year’s hidden cinematic gems.

Bye Bye Germany is one of the most welcome cinematic surprises of this year.  While it originally debuted in its home nation in 2017, its domestic debut this past April – and home domestic release in August – makes it a new release for American audiences.  Keeping that in mind, it is one of this year’s best new imports and independent offerings at the same time.  That is proven through an original two-part story that is certain in itself to keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish.  The work of the movie’s cast does just as much to keep viewers engaged and entertained, as has been noted already.  The work of the movie’s art/set design crew rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  Their work does just as much to pull audiences into the movie as that of the writers and cast.  Each item is important in its own right to the movie’s overall presentation.  All things considered, they make Bye Bye Germany a movie to which so many audiences will want to say, “hello.”

More information on this and other titles from Film Movement is available online now at:










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‘The Jazz Ambassadors’ Tells A Surprising Story Of Music, Politics Colliding

Courtesy: PBS

When most people think of jazz, they think of a musical genre that has stayed to itself throughout America’s history.  They think it is a genre that, like classical, has been aimed at a very specific audience.  However, in the mid 1950s and early 1960s, jazz took to the world stage thanks to the cold war and other global issues.  In the process, its rise around the world also helped to bring more attention not only to itself, but to the racial disparity and civil rights movement that was growing back home.  That story of jazz’s global reach is the basis for PBS’ recently released documentary The Jazz Ambassadors.  Released late this past June, the documentary’s story is the most important of its elements.  It will be discussed shortly.  The story’s transitions play their own crucial part to its overall presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  The interviews, pictures and footage used to help tell the story round out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make The Jazz Ambassadors a far-reaching presentation that will appeal to students and lovers of music, politics and jazz alike.

PBS’ recently released documentary The Jazz Ambassadors is a far-reaching documentary about the relationship between the worlds of jazz and politics that is certain to appeal to students and lovers of both realms.  That is due in no small part to the 90-minute documentary’s story.  As already noted, the story at the center of this program focuses on the unlikely relationship between the worlds of jazz and global politics during the mid 1950s and early 1960s.  The story starts at the start of the Cold War, with Russia pointing out the blatant racism that plagued America, and the attempt by American political forces to change that view.  The American government’s response was to send some of the biggest names in the jazz world to Russia, India, Africa and other nations as “ambassadors.”  The reaction from those acts – many of which were desegregated – actually had unintended results.  By sending acts such as Duke Ellington, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Dizzie Gillespie and others overseas, their music brought more attention to the plight of African-Americans at the time while also raising the profile of jazz around the world.  Audiences will be surprised to find out that one act in particular – Louis Armstrong – even clashed with the government at one point over its efforts.  Not to give away too much, but at one point, Armstrong had some very strong words for Ike Eisenhower.  These are just some of the interesting elements that make Jazz Ambassadors’ story so interesting.  The revelation that Armstrong unwittingly helped the American government in a conflict in Africa is just as interesting to note, as is then President John F. Kennedy’s reaction to the Civil Rights Movement.  This is included in the final chapter of the documentary.  Between all of this and so much more presented from start to finish, the story at the center of The Jazz Ambassadors gives the already noted audiences plenty to appreciate.  It is of course just one of the elements that makes the documentary stand out.  The story’s transitions play their own important role in the doc’s presentation.

The transitions used throughout the course of the story are subtle, but do so much for the doc’s overall presentation.  It is not obvious at first, but the transitions appear in the form of quotes in white, set against a black background.  Those quotes set the scene for each of the program’s chapters.  At first glance, the quotes don’t seem like much, but in hindsight, they make plenty of sense as each segment progresses.  Case in point, the final segment introducing Duke Ellington’s role in the government’s PR efforts.  It opens with a quote from Ellington about being able to speak about the government’s actions if one disagrees with what is going on.  This plays into the segment as the interviewees talk about Ellington’s trip to India with his orchestra and what happened while they were there.  The quotes from the Polish and Russian musicians that lead into the segments focusing on their reaction to meeting the American jazz stars work just as well, as those stories are told, as are the other quotes and their segments.  Keeping all of this in mind, the break points are not only placed well, but fully functional, too.  To that end, they help keep the program moving fluidly while also proving key to each segment in their own right.  When this is considered along with the story itself, both elements go a long way toward keeping the program engaging throughout.  While they do plenty collectively to keep audiences entertained, they are not the only elements to note in examining the program’s presentation.  The collected interviews, footage and pictures used to tell the story round out the most important of its elements.

The interviews, footage and pictures included in The Jazz Ambassadors are collectively, the foundation of the program.  Without their inclusion in the program, there would be no program to speak of.  From academics, authors and ordinary musicians who had first-hand encounters with the noted celebrities to the artists’ family and fellow musicians, viewers are offered plenty of engaging insights and stories about the international trips taken by Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong and others “employed” by the U.S. government.  The footage gives audiences a rare chance to hear the noted audiences in settings outside the studio, both in interview and performing settings.  Those moments create their own entertainment and engagement, too.  The archived photos add even more interest and depth to the program because they serve to illustrate the items discussed by the interviewees.  As minor as it may seem in itself, it does plenty to keep viewers engaged, especially considering the sometimes slower pace of the story.  To that end, those visual aids, coupled with the discussions, prove hugely important to the program’s presentation.  When they are coupled with that noted archived footage, the whole of those elements proves critical to the program’s presentation.  Next to the story itself, they are among the most important of the program’s whole.  When they are considered along with the program’s transitions, all three elements together make The Jazz Ambassadors an important presentation about not only the history of jazz, but of political history, too.  In other words, it proves to be a far-reaching presentation that will appeal to plenty of audiences.

PBS’ recently released historical work The Jazz Ambassadors is an intriguing presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  It is a program that outlines a key period in the history of jazz and the history of America’s political and social upheaval.  This is done by outlining how the two worlds collided in unlikely fashion, ultimately leading to a growth of jazz’s popularity globally and of the importance of the civil rights movement in America.  The stories and insight offered by the interviewees ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment throughout the story.  The same can be said of the transitions used to divide the program’s segments and keep the program moving.  When they are all combined, they make the program in whole a presentation that the noted audiences will agree is an important addition to their libraries and classrooms.  It is available now and can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:










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CMG Announces Release Date For New Rodin Biopic

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group is bringing a powerful new biopic to audiences this fall.

Rodin is currently scheduled to be released Oct. 2 on DVD and Blu-ray.  The nearly two-hour movie centers on the life of the famed sculptor and features Vincent Lindon (The Measure of a ManDiary of a ChambermaidAnything For Her) in the starring role. It is the latest offering from Jacques Doillon, the award-winning director of PonetteLa droless and many other famed European films.

The story presented in this movie starts in Paris, 1880.  Rodin has just received his first state commission, “The Gates of Hell.”  It will include The Kiss and his famed The Thinker.  He is joined by a handful of other figures including his partner Rose (Severine Caneele — When The Sea RisesA Piece of SkyHumanite) and his mistress Camille Claudel (SambaBad GirlSummertime).

Rodin has just dealt with a painful breakup, and now has to focus on his sculptures.  The starting point of his focus is his equally famed sculpture Balzac.

Rodin will retail for MSRP of $19.99 (DVD) and $25.99 (Blu-ray).  More information on Rodin and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:






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Shout! Factory Announces ‘SBTB: The Complete Series’ Bonus Features List

Courtesy: Shout! FactoryNBC

Shout! Factory has announced the bonus materials to be included in the upcoming release of Saved By The BellThe Complete Collection.

The bonus features that will be included with the new collection are headlined by two brand new making-of documentaries — “Past Time at Bayside High: Making Saved by the Bell” and “Bayside’s Greatest Hits: The Music of Saved by the Bell.”

Also featured in the collection will be the featurettes, “Saturday Morning: From Toon to Teen,” “It’s Alright: Back to the Bell,” “The First of Its Class: From Sitcom to Icon,” audio commentaries, photo galleries and a 16-page companion booklet.

Saved by the BellThe Complete Collection is scheduled to be released Oct. 2, and for true devotees of the timeless series, this set gets right what the show’s previous series offerings have gotten wrong.

Whereas previous sets — including the most recent from Lionsgate — omitted the college years, this set includes those episodes and the previously omitted “Good Morning, Miss Bliss.”  The full, 86-episode series run spans 2,790 minutes across 16 discs and even includes the rare Saved by the Bell movies as an added bonus. They were previously omitted from the series’ most recent release.

Pre-orders are open now for the set at Amazon.  More information on Saved by the BellThe Complete Collecion and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:






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Hendrix’s Final Album To Be Re-issued This Fall

Courtesy: Experience Hendrix LLC/Legacy Recordings

Legacy Records and Experience Hendrix, LLC will re-issue another of Jimi Hendrix’s classic records this fall.

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary Box Set is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 9.  The forthcoming re-issue will be released on separate 3CD/1 Blu-ray and 6 LP/1 Blu-ray sets.

Both platforms will feature the original double album in a new 5.1 surround sound mix by Eddy Kramer — the first time any of Hendrix’s records have received such treatment.  They will also feature an expanded documentary following the making of Electric Ladyland, 24 bit/96 kz high resolution stereo audio, previously unreleased takes of songs recorded during the album’s recording sessions, a previously unreleased live album and new companion book featuring handwritten lyrics and previously unreleased photos.

The previously unreleased live album, Jimi HendrixLive at the Hollywood Bowl 9/14/68was pulled from Experience Hendrix’s Dagger Records official bootlegs series.

Originally released October 16, 1968, Electric Ladyland is considered one of Jimi Hendrix’s most important albums.  That is because the album is considered to present Hendrix at his most focused and cohesive point.  The album, which features such hits as ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ ‘Crosstown Traffic,’ ‘Burning of the Midnight Lamp’ and ‘Voodoo Child (Slight Return),’ is the only of Hendrix’s studio recordings to ever reach the top spot on Billboard’s charts.  It was also his final album before his untimely death in 1970.

The bonus compilation Electric LadylandThe Early Takes features song ideas that Hendrix himself recorded on a reel-to-reel tape machine in early 1968.  It also features songs recorded at Sound Center and The Record Plant in New York.  Some of the early takes featured in this collection are ‘Angel Caterina,’ ‘Little Miss Strange,’ which features guest appearances from Buddy Miles and Stephen Stills, and ‘Long Hot Summer,’ which features a guest appearance by Al Kooper on piano.

At Last…The BeginningThe Making of Electric Ladyland chronicles the album’s creation through interviews with those close to Hendrix including Kramer, Miles, Jimmy Hendrix bassist Noel Redding and band mate, drummer Mitch Mitchell among others.  Kramer discusses the techniques that Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell used to create the album during his interviews.

The companion 48-page booklet features essays by music critic David Fricke and producer John McDermott.  It also features previously unreleased photos taken by Kramer during the album’s creation and directions from Hendrix to executives at Warner Brothers Records taken from his own personal notebook accompanied by internal memos from the label.

The full track listing for the upcoming release of Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition 50th Anniversary Box Set is noted below.  Pre-orders are open now, and a trailer for the box set is streaming online here.

Electric Ladyland Deluxe Edition includes:

Electric Ladyland – original album remixed by Eddie Kramer in 5.1 Surround Sound 

Side A

1)   … And the Gods Made Love

2)   Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)

3)   Crosstown Traffic

4)   Voodoo Chile

Side B

1)   Little Miss Strange

2)   Long Hot Summer Night

3)   Come On (Part I)

4)   Gypsy Eyes

5)   Burning of the Midnight Lamp

Side C

1)   Rainy Day, Dream Away

2)   1983….(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

3)   Moon, Turn the Tides….Gently Gently Away

Side D

1)   Still Raining, Still Dreaming

2)   House Burning Down

3)   All Along the Watchtower

4)   Voodoo Child (Slight Return)


 At Last…The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland: The Early Takes

Side A

1)   1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

2)   Voodoo Chile

3)   Cherokee Mist

4)   Hear My Train A Comin’

Side B

1)   Angel

2)   Gypsy Eyes

3)   Somewhere

4)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 1]

5)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 3]

6)   Long Hot Summer Night [Demo 4]

7)   Snowballs At My Window

8)   My Friend

Side C

1)   At Last…The Beginning

2)   Angel Caterina (1983)

3)   Little Miss Strange

4)   Long Hot Summer Night [Take 1]

5)   Long Hot Summer Night [Take 14]

Side D

1)   Rainy Day, Dream Away

2)   Rainy Day Shuffle

3)   1983…(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)

Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At The Hollywood Bowl Sept. 14, 1968 (Dagger Records) 

Side A

 1)   Introduction

 2)   Are You Experienced

3)   Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

Side B

 1)   Red House

 2)   Foxey Lady

3)   Fire

Side C

 1)   Hey Joe

 2)   Sunshine of Your Love

3)   I Won’t Live Today

Side D

1)   Little Wing

2)   Star Spangled Banner

3)   Purple Haze

At Last… The Beginning: The Making of Electric Ladyland documentary (Blu-ray)

·       Uncompressed LPCM Stereo 24b/96k

·       Uncompressed LPCM 5.1 Surround 24b/96k

·       DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround 24b/96k

More information on the box set is available online along with all of the latest Jimi Hendrix news at:






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Shout! Factory Announces Release Date For ‘Get Shorty’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Shout! Factory will re-issue MGM’s classic 1995 comedy flick Get Shorty this fall.

The movie is currently scheduled to be released Oct. 23 as on Blu-ray as part of Shout! Factory’s “Shout! Select” movie series.  It will be presented in a new 4K HD scan and will feature new bonus materials, such as a feature-length audio commentary from director Barry Sonnenfeld, gag reel and the featurettes, “Get Short — Look At Me” and “Get Shorty — Wise Guys & Dolls.”

The full list of bonus materials featured in the movie’s re-issue is noted below.

Special Features:
  • Remastered from a new 4K transfer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Barry Sonnenfeld
  • Featurettes: “Get Shorty – Look at Me,” ” Get Shorty – Wise Guys + Dolls,” “Going Again”
  • Get Shorty Party Reel
  • Page to Screen of Get Shorty
  • Vignettes
  • The Graveyard Scene
  • Trailer

Get Shorty follows former gangster turned loan shark Chili Palmer (John Travolta — Pulp FictionFace-OffGrease) as he travels to Los Angeles to collect a debt from down-and-out filmmaker Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman — Enemy of the StateSuperman IVThe French Connection).  His trip leads him to schmooze Hollywood figures Martin Weir (Danny DeVito — MatildaBatman ReturnsThrow Mama From The Train) and romances B-movie star Karen Flores (Rene Russo — AppaloosaLethal Weapon 4Ransom).  Things get even more interesting though when Palmer’s past comes back to haunt him courtesy of another mobster and a group of drug smugglers who are on his heels.

Those not-so-good figures are played by James Gandolfini (The SopranosEnough Said, The Mexican), Dennis Farina (Law & OrderSnatchMidnight Run), Delroy Lindo (UpMalcolm XRansom) and Jon Gries (Napoleon DynamiteMen in BlackReal Genius).

Get Shorty can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:





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