Shout! Factory’s ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Re-Issue Is Anything But Rotten

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Later this spring, MGM Studios is going to release a not-so-new movie to theaters titled The Hustle.  The movie, which stars the trio of Rebel Wilson, Anne Hathaway and Alex Sharp, is nothing more than a re-imagining of the same studio’s timeless 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which saw the great Michael Caine and Steve Martin joined by Glenne Headly in the lead roles.  The Hustle just puts women in the lead in place of the two male leads in the previous movie, and modernizes the story.  Ironically, Hollywood’s latest re-imagining will come only months after Shout! Factory re-issued Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Blu-ray.  The movie was re-issued this week as part of Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.  In an age when the problem of scammers and con artists seems to be at an all-time high around the world, this movie, which pokes fun at those hated criminal types is a welcome presentation.  That is proven in part collectively through the movie’s story, and the work of its cast.  The movie’s bonus content adds to its appeal in its new re-issue.  This will be discussed a little later.  The movie’s average price point plays into its appeal just as much as its overall content, and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ new re-issue.  All things considered, they make the movie’s re-issue one that fans of the movie will agree is anything but rotten.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of MGM’s timeless 1988 comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is another welcome entry to the company’s Shout! Select movie series, which already boasts dozens of titles.  That statement is supported in part through the movie’s central story, which is for all intents and purposes, a buddy comedy that centers on the buddies – played by Steve Martin (Roxanne, The Jerk, L.A. Story) and Michael Caine (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises) – spending most of the movie as competitors, trying to extract $50,000 from a woman they think is an unsuspecting victim.  While it is not ultimately until the end that the competitors become cohorts of sorts – not to give away too much story info – it can be easily argued that the pair in fact are “buddies” of sorts throughout.  Director Frank Oz even makes an allusion to this element in the movie’s bonus feature-length commentary, which will be discussed later.  The constant back and forth between Freddy (Martin) and Lawrence (Caine) in their competition creates plenty of comedy, and a type of comedy at that, which is rarely seen even in today’s buddy comedies.  The twist in the story’s finale adds to the story’s comedy even more, giving audiences one last laugh.  The one problem with the story’s final act is that it drags on maybe longer than it really needed to, and writer Dale Launer (who was just one member of the movie’s three-member writing) discusses the movie’s finale in the movie’s new bonus interview.  His discussion, which will be discussed at more length later, explains why the finale was so long.  Even with that pacing issue (and some other minor pacing issues throughout) in mind, the story still manages to keep audiences engaged and entertained throughout.

In direct connection to the story, the work of Martin, Caine and fellow co-star Glenne Headly does plenty to keep audiences entertained and engaged in the story.  The constant back and forth between Caine and Martin creates a sense that the men must have gotten along well off-camera as well as in front of the lens.  The friendly competition between the men is that believable.  That is especially the case considering the certain reserved nature of each character as he responds to the other.  It leaves audiences wondering in the best way possible how each man will react to the other.  The simplest comparison that can perhaps be made is to the back and forth between Foghorn Leghorn and his canine companion in those famous Looney Tunes shorts.  Headley’s work as Janet is just as impressive, as she is fully believable as the standard love interest.  It leaves that ultimate revelation in the final act that much more enjoyable, again not to give away too much.  This is another item that Oz discusses in his commentary and will also be addressed later.  Between Headley’s performance and that of Martin and Caine, the trio puts on a performance in this movie that is something rarely seen in any buddy comedy before or after.  When it is coupled with the movie’s story, the result is a presentation whose primary content is more than enough reason for audiences to take in this movie.  It is just part of the proof of the movie’s success.  The bonus content featured in the movie’s new re-issue makes the re-issue in whole even more of a success.

The bonus content presented in Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels adds even more enjoyment to the movie because of the background information and extra tidbits that are offered through said content.  As previously noted, Dale Launer, one member of the movie’s three-person writing team — that also included Stanley Shapiro (who also wrote Bedtime Story, the inspiration for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and apparently The Hustle) and Paul Henning – is featured in an interview that is new to this re-issue.  He talks about a variety of topics related to the movie, not the least of which being the movie’s previously noted finale.  He mentions that a variety of ideas were developed for the story’s final act, including one that he notes raised concerns about potential racist portrayals by the cast.  Thankfully, that idea ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor.  He also discusses how issues of copyrights played into the movie’s birth, as well as its tie to the 1964 movie Bedtime Story.  Launer openly admits that Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a re-imagining of Bedtime Story, adding that the latter movie was birthed because there was a belief that there was room for improvement on the prior.  Interestingly enough, he makes no mention of the forthcoming movie The Hustle, showing that he likely conducted the interview before The Hustle (which is just a female fronted re-imagining of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) had been proposed.  Other interesting topics that he raises involve revelations of certain well-known figures who were considered for the movie before Caine and Martin.  Hint, two of those stars are famed rock stars.  Another is a very highly revered actor, who has starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest movies.  He also reveals that while Frank Oz helmed the movie, he was in fact not the first choice for its director.  Another figure was chosen first, and circumstances led to him helming the movie.  How he came to helm the movie will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

Speaking of Frank Oz, the movie’s new re-issue features a full audio-commentary from Oz as another of the movie’s bonuses.  Oz discusses just as many items throughout the commentary as Launer in his interview.  One of the most interesting notes that Oz shares in his commentary is the revelation that Steve Martin did a bit of ad libbing throughout the movie, including in the jail cell scene.  He additionally notes that the scene in which Martin, playing Lawrence’s “brother” Ruprecht, ass to go to the bathroom was not originally part of the script.  He notes that this moment was part of Martin’s early comedy bits, and that it was added to the script after Martin suggested its inclusion in said scene.  In a similar note, Oz, who notes his joy at watching the movie again, also talks about the joy of creating the scene in which “Ruprecht” was first introduced.  He laughs as he recalls the riotously comedic scene and how it came to be.  On a side note, Launer also addresses the scene in his interview, adding even more insight into that moment.  As if these discussions are not enough, Oz also highlights the now famous scene in which Lawrence “whips” Freddy, stating prosthetic shins were used for Martin, so that he would not get hurt.  He adds Martin’s tears in that sequence’s finale were actually fake, and that the rest of the crew was actually laughing so hard behind the scenes, that they were crying.  He goes on to note in the final act, to note the ability of all involved to keep many audiences from realizing the reality about Janet, and how proud he and the rest of the cast and crew were for that.  It is another testament to the time and effort put into the movie’s story and even the acting.  Between these discussions and plenty of others presented by Oz throughout his commentary, audiences get plenty of insight and entertainment.  The same can be said of the commentary from Launer.  Between the two commentaries, the two bonuses more than prove themselves just as important to the movie’s presentation in its new re-issue as the movie’s primary content, proving even more, why this re-issue is another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.  Keeping in mind the overall content and its proven value, it becomes clear that they collectively do plenty to the positive for this movie in its new re-issue.  They are just some of the movie’s positives.  The movie’s average price point in its new re-issue is another positive to note.

The average price point of Shout! Factory’s new Dirty Rotten Scoundrels re-issue – using prices from Shout! Factory’s store, Amazon, Walmart and Barnes & Noble Booksellers – the re-issue’s average price point comes to $27.48.  It was not listed at Target, Books-A-Million, Target or Best Buy.  Considering that the various outlets list the movie at roughly $26 to $27 (the prices are separated by a matter of just cents), that average price point is right about on par with the listed prices.  Add in the noted primary and secondary content presented throughout the Blu-ray and the equally unnoted content that is also there, the movie’s price is a little high, yes, but it is money well-spent.  Audiences are paying for roughly two-and-a-half hours of entertainment, if not more than that, between the movie’s primary content and its bonus material.  Audiences should take into account that the movie’s previous re-issues lack the new interview with Launer, and some do not even have the feature-length commentary with Frank Oz.  Keeping that in mind, while they might be less expensive than this release, but they also lack that noted entertaining and enlightening bonus content.  To that end, the price is – again – a little high, but it is money well-spent considering all of the content, and its comparison to the prices from stores where listed puts it right on par with those prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels proves to be another successful entry to the company’s Shout! Select series.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a successful new addition to the company’s ever-growing Shout! Select series.  That is proven in part through the movie’s story, and by relation, the work of its lead cast.  The bonus content included with the movie’s presentation gives audiences even more to appreciate, as it adds plenty of entertainment value and insight into the movie.  The movie’s average price point, while not inexpensive, is still money well-spent considering everything noted here.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ new re-issue.  All things considered, they make this movie anything but rotten in its re-issue.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ Re-Issue Date

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/MGM

Steve Martin and Michael Caine’s classic comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is joining Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is scheduled for release on Blu-ray on Jan. 22.  Pre-orders are open now.

MGM’s 1989 riotous comedy finds Freddy Benson (Steve Martin — The JerkPlanes Trains & AutomobilesLittle Shop of Horrors) — and Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine — Secondhand Lions, Batman Begins, The Dark KnightThe Dark Knight Rises) — as a pair of con men who make a bet with one another:  The first to swindle a wealthy heiress out of $50,000 wins the bet while the other leaves town.  The deal comes from a sort of comedy of errors, which is set off by Lawrence believing Freddy is a nefarious con man called “The Jackal.”  When it is revealed that he is not “The Jackal,” the bet is set, and leads to plenty of comedy and laughs.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming re-issue of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels features the movie presented in a new 2K scan, a new bonus interview with script writer Dale Launer and feature-length audio commentary with director Frank Oz.

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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‘Bill & Ted’ Sequel’s BD Steelbook Re-Issue Is Anything But Bogus

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Interscope Communications/Nelson Entertainment

Bill S. Preston, Esquire and Ted Theodore Logan (a.k.a. Bill & Ted) are officially coming back for a new adventure.  This announcement was made official this past May.  Currently, little is known about the plot for the long-awaited second sequel to the now cult classic 1989 movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, but audiences can keep up with the latest on the movie’s official Facebook page.  While audiences wait for the latest on the news the movie, Shout! Factory has a special treat for audiences in the form of its new re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  The company re-issued the movie in a new Blu-ray steelbook presentation late last month.  Its release comes a little more than two years after Shout! Factory released both movies in a special Blu-ray combo pack titled Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, and a little more than six months after the company re-issued Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in its own Blu-ray steelbook presentation.  It may sound a bit odd, but the movie’s standalone presentation is actually one of its important elements, and will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included in the movie is another important element to discuss, and will be touched on a little later.  The movie’s average price point rounds out its most important element and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey not too bogus.

Shout! Factory’s recently released re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is an interesting new offering for fans of the cult-favorite Bill & Ted franchise.  That is due in part to the movie’s very presentation.  Alex Winter (who played Bill S. Preston, Esquire) in the B&T movies, notes in one of the movie’s two bonus audio commentaries that there are those who prefer one movie to the other.  This will be discussed later in more depth.  What he was saying is that there are those who actually like this movie more than its predecessor.  Now being that the movie was previously available along with said predecessor on Blu-ray – that combo pack was also available via Shout! Factory —  this re-issue actually marks the first time since at least 2006 that Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has been available as a standalone presentation.  That last standalone availability was through MGM.  In other words, more than 12 years have passed since it was last available by itself.  All of its other re-issues were as part of various combo packs.  Considering that such amount of time has passed between the two standalone re-issues, and that there are those who prefer this movie to its predecessor (again, according to star Alex Winter), then said audiences that prefer specifically this movie by itself can own it without having to pay the extra cost for both movies at a relatively affordable price; a price that will also be discussed later.  Of course those that want to own both movies together can do just that again thanks to Shout! Factory through the previously noted Blu-ray combo pack.  The availability of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey in a standalone presentation is just one of the items that should be noted in examining this new re-issue.  The movie’s bonus content is important to address, too.

The bonus material included in this iteration of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is important to note as it is exactly the same material included with the movie in its inclusion in Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, which itself was released by Shout! Factory in 2016.  Two feature-length commentaries and an in-depth retrospective of the movie, which runs just shy of two hours, make up the movie’s bonus material.  Each feature offers its own share of entertainment and enlightenment for audiences who perhaps did not already take in said material in the noted combo pack.  The feature-length commentary featuring Winter and producer Scott Kroopf reveals quite a bit of interesting information.  As previously noted, Winter notes in this commentary, that there are in fact audiences who prefer this movie to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and vice versa.  Just as interesting is Winter and Kroopf’s discussion on the role that Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the Saturday morning cartoon that followed soon after had in the creative process of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Just as interesting is the pair’s discussion early on in the movie’s roughly 90-minute run time about that creative process.  The duo talks about the thought put into the script, and how it eventually became a coming-of-age style story that sees Bill & Ted trying to figure out their place in the world.  Late in the story’s run, the pair also does finally address how the movie went from being titled Bill & Ted Go To Hell to Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.  Not to give away too much, but according to Winter, studio executives at Orion Films played a direct role in that aspect of the movie.  As if all of this is not enough, the guys’ discussions also turn to more light-hearted fare such as fellow cast member Joss Ackland’s alleged feelings about Winter and [Keanu] Reeves, as well as those of Warren Beatty.  Beatty is mentioned because according to Winter, he was working on the movie Bugsy in the same area in which Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey was being shot, so the actors ran into each other from time to time.  There are also plenty of fun talks about William Sadler, who played the infamous Grim Reaper in this movie.  Those talks will bring plenty of laughs for audiences, along with the revelation that the women cast to play the princesses were different from the women in the franchise’s first movie.

Speaking of Sadler, he offers his own comments throughout the course of the bonus retrospective, Bill & Ted Go To Hell.  Sadler offers some entertaining anecdotes about his ad-libing and having to wear his extremely heavy costume and makeup during the shooting.  He notes how hot the weather was during shooting, and its physical impact on him.  Audiences will laugh as he shares his recollection of the ad-libbing in the scene prior to Bill & Ted’s arrival at the Battle of the Bands, and smile just as much as he talks about how much fun he had overall throughout the movie’s shooting.  Sadler’s is not the only interesting interview featured in this bonus feature.  Those behind the scenes, responsible for the special effects, costumes and sets also get plenty of their own screen time to talk about the work that went into the movie’s creation.  Those talks add even more appreciation for the movie.  Perhaps the most intriguing discussion of all comes from writer Chris Matheson, one member of the writing team that also included Ed Solomon.  Matheson reveals late in the feature that the movie did in fact “go off the rails” as it neared its end.  He reveals that from the heaven scene to the movie’s end, there was a lot of grasping at straws to make the movie end.  He almost sounds ashamed as he reveals this piece of information.  In hindsight, it really does seem to make little sense, that whole third act, but somehow it still ends up working.  Between everything noted here, the rest of the discussions in the retrospective and those items addressed in the audio commentaries, audiences have plenty to appreciate in the movie’s bonus features.  Of course, it should be reiterated that these are the same bonuses included with the movie in its inclusion in the 2016 Blu-ray combo pack, Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection.  This means that the bonuses will appeal to those who do not already own the movie in either setting.  To that end, the bonus content and the very presentation of the movie by itself in this new steelbook presentation is that much more appealing especially for audiences who prefer this movie to its predecessor.  Even with all of that in mind, it still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.

Research into the availability of the movie’s new steelbook presentation reveals that apparently, it is only listed at Shout! Factory’s online store and via Amazon.  Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million do not have it listed.  That makes the movie’s average price point approximately $26.97.  That is actually less expensive than the average price point of $34.46 for the Blu-ray combo pack of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection, but a little more expensive than the average price point of $20.99 for the steelbook re-issue of Bill &Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  That price point was determined using pricing listed at Amazon and Best Buy.  It was not listed at Target, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million or even at Shout! Factory’s online store.  Keeping that in mind, that movie’s average price point might actually be higher if it was listed at the other retailers’ sites.  To that end, the average price point for Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey steelbook re-issue is actually quite affordable by itself.  Considering the bonus content provided in the movie’s presentation and the story presented as the movie’s center, it becomes a price point that is worth paying.  Again, noting the bonus content and the movie’s standalone presentation along with the story itself, all the noted elements join to make the movie’s steelbook presentation especially positive for its fans.

Shout! Factory’s new steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey is a positive presentation for fans of this modern cult favorite flick.  That is proven in part through the movie’s physical presentation.  Its release late last month marks the first time in roughly 12 years that it has been released by itself.  The bonus material included in the movie adds even more for audiences to appreciate.  The steelbook’s average price point, when compared to that of Bill & Ted’s Most Excellent Collection and the steelbook re-issue of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure couples with the bonus material (and its primary content) and the movie’s physical presentation to show even more clearly why fans specifically of this addition to the Bill & Ted franchise will appreciate this latest release.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Shout! Factory’s ‘City Slickers’ Re-Issue Is Entertaining, But Priced Poorly

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Three years after its most recent re-issue, Shout! Factory has re-issued MGM’s classic comedy City Slickers again as part of its ongoing Shout! Select series.  City Slickers: Collector’s Edition was released Oct. 16 on Blu-ray.  This latest re-issue of the classic buddy comedy/western is a good fit for anyone who might not already own the movie from its 2015 re-issue.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s writing, which will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included in this re-issue plays into that, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The Blu-ray’s average price point is another reason that this latest re-issue of City Slickers will appeal to fans of the movie who might not already own the movie in its previous releases.  Each item is key in its own way to the whole of the movie’s latest release.  All things considered, Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of City Slickers is another welcome offering at least for those who do not already own this timeless story of friendship and personal growth.

Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of MGM’s 1991 buddy comedy City Slickers is a welcome addition to the home library of any fan of the timeless movie that might not already own the movie.  That is due in part to the movie’s writing.  The writing includes the story itself, which finds three longtime friends go on an “adventure vacation” following the 39th birthday of the movie’s main character, Mitch (Billy Crystal – Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, Parental Guidance).  Once the trio heads out west to New Mexico for its vacation, plenty of hilarity ensues and plenty of male bonding, too.  What’s really good here is that the male bonding in question never goes over the top.  Rather, that bonding is something to which plenty of male viewers can relate, making it that much more entertaining.  That is thanks to plenty of jokes about sports, life and some totally random subjects and general dialogue, certain to put a smile on any viewer’s face.

The story at the center of City Slickers is just one of the key portions of the writing that makes the writing so notable.  The story’s pacing is just as important to consider in examining the writing as the story itself.  The movie clocks in at just under two hours (one hour, 54 minutes), yet even considering that run time, the story moves relatively swiftly.  That is especially important to note being that the story, which was originally the idea of its lead star, is supposed to follow Mitch and his friends Phil (Daniel Stern – Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Bushwacked) and Ed (Bruno Kirby – Good Morning, Vietnam, When Harry Met Sally, Sleepers) on a two-week long cattle drive.  The writing team of Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel deserves its share of credit for this and for how it whittled down the original group of 12 to just three in the process.  The manner in which the pair addressed that part of the story and the very journey itself did an excellent job of keeping the story moving forward, even in some of the less action packed moments.  To that end, the writing that went into this movie forms a solid foundation for City Slickers.  It is just one part of what makes the movie’s latest re-issue so entertaining.  The bonus material included in this new re-issue ads to that enjoyment.

The bonus material included in Shout! Factory’s brand new re-issue of City Slickers is important to note because it is exactly the same bonus material included in the movie’s 2015 Blu-ray re-issue from MGM.  That includes even the feature-length audio commentary from Crystal, Stern and director Ron Underwood.  That content is also the same as the bonus material included in the movie’s 2011 “Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray, also re-issued via MGM.  On the surface, some might argue that is a bad thing, but on a deeper level, it is clearly important.  That is because it does not force audiences to choose between one re-issue and another.  From the primary bonus feature, “Back in the Saddle: City Slickers Revisited,” which takes audiences through a series of discussions on the movie’s story, the importance of the movie in Hollywood’s history and other related topics, to an equally in-depth discussion on the movie’s script to the even funnier (and shorter) discussion on the unlikely star that was Norman the calf, to even the discussions on the deleted scenes, the bonus material included with the movie offers so much entertainment.  In turn, that entertainment (and insight) adds even more appreciation for the movie.  Case in point is the discussion on the movie’s original final scene, which saw Mitch and company actually release the cattle from the farm as one of the deleted scenes.  Underwood reveals that this scene, which is presented as a bonus, was the original finale for the movie, but was cut because of audience response and concerns from the movie’s creative heads.  Knowing that this scene was cut from the final presentation actually presents a smoother and happier ending.  “A Star is Born: An Ode To Norman” is interesting as it reveals how the cast and crew shot the now famous scene of Mitch birthing Norman.  As it turns out, that scene was shot in three separate locations due to weather and scheduling.  The full explanation will be left for those who have yet to see the movie.  “Back in the Saddle: Revisiting City Slickers” reveals as one of its most intriguing notes that Jack Palance (Sudden Fear, Batman, Shane) was allegedly so nervous on his first day of filming that he had a rather loud outburst against Underwood, but later apologized for it to Underwood and to Crystal.  Even more interesting is the revelation from Crystal that he believed he might have in fact lived a prior life, and that life may have had some connection to the old west.  That discussion is certain to create its own share of discussions.

The items noted here and plenty of others presented in the movie’s primary bonus material offers plenty of its own entertainment and interest for audiences.  It certainly is not the only interesting information shared through the bonus material.  The bonus feature-length commentary reveals that Mitch’s Mets outfit was the result of a connection with the New York Mets.  Crystal reveals that as a Yankees fan, he wanted to wear Yankees gear in the running of the bulls scene, but because of some charity work from the Mets, he ended up wearing their apparel.  That’s early on in the movie, of course.  He later reveals that the inspiration for the movie’s initial development came after watching a program on television about adventure vacations.  Going back to his discussion about his sense of déjà vu from being out west, one cannot help but wonder if in fact, he might have lived before.  Even later on, the discussion turns to Crystal’s friendship with Palance.  Hearing the emotion in his voice (and that of Stern and Underwood) is a moving moment from the trio who is otherwise light-hearted throughout the movie.  When one considers all of this and more along with the entertainment and insight offered through the movie’s main bonus material, the whole of the movie’s bonus material proves integral in its own right to its new re-issue.  When it is considered along with all of the positives in the movie’s writing, the two elements give audiences more than enough reason to add this re-issue to their home library.  For all of the positives offered through this latest re-issue, the movie’s price the movie’s only con.

At the time of this review, Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of City Slickers is listed only on its own website.  It is not listed at the websites of Walmart, Best Buy, Target or even Amazon.  The 2015 re-issue is the most recent re-issue listed.  Its average price point is $9.97.  That is determined using prices from Amazon, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.  The movie is listed at Target only as DVD.  The price listed on Shout! Factory’s store for this new re-issue is $24.99.  Considering this, that pricing is a bit high since all of the material is exactly the same as those previous re-issues.  The only thing that makes this price acceptable is the bonus poster that comes with the movie in its online store.  To that end, the price is still somewhat high, and being that the 2011 and 2015 re-issues can also be ordered online at a far lower price (even with shipping & handling), it just makes the price that much more questionable.  To that end, one can only wonder what the outcome will be for this addition to Shout! Factory’s ongoing Shout! Select series.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of MGM’s City Slickers is an interesting new offering in its Shout! Select series of movies.  That is because it offers audiences the exact same presentation put forth in the movie’s past two re-issues from 2015 and 2011.  Audiences who do not already own one or the other of those re-issues would be recommended to pick up this copy, if not for the movie’s price, as it is currently listed only on Shout! Factory’s website.  That price is not competitive in comparison to the movie’s previous re-issues.  Keeping that in mind, one cannot help but be at least somewhat disappointed, if only for that pricing.  Other than that, it is an enjoyable presentation.  Hopefully this will lead to a price reduction that is more affordable for consumers.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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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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‘The Man From Planet X’ BD Re-Issue Shows There Is Still A Clear Place And Need For The Classics Today

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Scream! Factory/MGM/United Artists

Science fiction and horror are not what they once were. They are focused so much on quantity than quality. The amount of special effects and over the top violence to be exact. That is something about which audiences did not have to be concerned during Hollywood’s golden era. Classic science fiction and horror — including even the cheesiest flicks such as It Came From Outer Space, The Invisible Boy, and The Man From Planet X among so many others — stand head and shoulders above today’s largely forgettable flicks because they focused more on quality than quantity. Thanks to the work of the people at Shout! Factory, the latter of that trio recently received new life through a new Blu-ray re-issue this past July. That re-issue gave the movie its own new life while also helping to show why classic sci-fi and horror is just as good as its modern counterparts, if not better. That is due in part to the movie’s familiar yet still entertaining story, which will be discussed shortly. The movie’s production values (I.E. sets, special effects, etc.) also play into its enjoyment and will be discussed later. The bonus audio commentary tracks included in the movie’s re-issue round out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own way in showing why this movie is so enjoyable. All things considered, they prove clearly that this movie is in fact one more example of why classic sci-fi and horror is just as good as its modern counterparts if not better than them.

Scream! Factory’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of MGM and United Artists’ 1951 sci-fi/horror flick The Man From Planet X is a fun watch for any classic sci-fi and horror fan that proves clearly why movies of its ilk and era are just as good as their descendants if not better. That is proven in part through the movie’s simple story. The story centers on an alien from another planet that lands on a small fog-filled Scottish island in order to start an invasion of Earth. In order to start paving the way for that invasion, the unnamed alien puts the tiny village’s residents under its control by taking over their minds. It’s not the only time that Hollywood presented a story involving a villain using mind control for a nefarious purpose, but it is one of the earlier films to take this route. Interestingly enough, even when under the alien’s mind control, the villagers are still cognizant of their surroundings — enough so that they can give the movie’s protagonist, John Lawrence, the information he needs to stop the alien. Obviously in the end, Lawrence is able to stop the alien. How he does that won’t be given away here. The truly surprising aspect of the whole story is that the alien is not the only villain. Dr. Mears is also a villain, yet manages through his own greed, is the one who unwittingly uncovers the alien’s plot. It is definitely an interesting twist, and one that makes the movie that much more entertaining. Keeping all of this in mind, the movie’s story does plenty to make the movie entertaining, and is not the movie’s only key element. Its production values play into its entertainment value, too.

The production values at the center of The Man From Planet X are collectively speaking just as important to the movie’s presentation as its story. Those values include the movie’s sets, special effects and even collective editing and cinematography. There are those out there who have lamented the movie’s production values, but the simplicity of the movie’s production values are a big part of its interest, but those behind the lens used the resources that they had at the time. They are even discussed in the movie’s bonus audio commentaries. Those commentaries will be discussed shortly. The simplicity in the sets is in fact part of what makes the movie’s look so endearing. They show that a movie (whether sci-fi, horror or both) doesn’t always need over the top effects, etc. in order to have a great look. In fact they show that sometimes, a minimalist can have more impact than the overblown approach taken by so many of today’s sci/fi and horror blockbusters. The same applies to the movie’s cinematography and editing. The angles and cuts are simple in their own right, using the simple sets to their fullest for just as much impact. The combination of that expert editing, cinematography and set design makes suspension of disbelief even easier for audiences, and in turn, insures even more audiences’ maintained entertainment and engagement. When this is considered along with the impact of the movie’s story, the whole of those elements strengthens the movie’s presentation even more. They are not the movie’s only key elements. The movie’s bonus audio commentaries round out its most important elements.

As was noted previously, one of the items noted in the bonus commentaries included in The Man From Planet X‘s home release is that of its budget. Author Tom Weaver, who provides one of the two full-length audio commentaries, notes that the movie’s budget was low. He does so in a respectful manner, though. He explains that the movie did not have a major budget, yet still managed to make the most of the budget. His discussion on this topic is just one of the items that makes the bonus commentaries so engaging. Weaver also notes early on in his commentary that this movie is both sci-fi and horror because of elements such as the “mad scientist” (Professor Elliot) in his castle and of course the evil, mind-controlling alien. Another interesting item that he notes is that of when he first saw the movie in the 1980s and became a fan of the movie from then on. That he openly admitted not having seen it until almost 40 years after its debut, but still became a fan, shows its impact, despite being a b-flick.

Weaver’s is not the only commentary included as a bonus for the movie. Glenn Erikson, who sometimes writes for Turner Classic Movies, sits down for an interview with Arianne Ulmer, daughter of the movie’s famed director Edgar Ulmer as an additional commentary. Audiences learn through the younger Ulmer’s interview that he was concerned about his legacy being forgotten and about her father’s favorite films. The Man From Planet X apparently was one that her dad liked, but apparently was not one of his “favorites.” Early on, there is also discussion on her own efforts to preserve her father’s works. That dedication to keeping her father’s legacy and memory alive is a touching sentiment. If not for her efforts, audiences in fact might not have this re-issue today. Keeping that (and all of the other discussions) in mind, such commentary proves fully important to this presentation. the same can be said of the movie’s other bonus commentary. When this is considered along with the importance of the movie’s simple yet engaging and entertaining story and its equally laudable production values, the whole of those elements makes this presentation in whole full proof of why there is still a place and need for classic sci-fi and horror in today’s market.

Scream! Factory’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of MGM and United Artists’ classic sci-fi horror flick The Man From Planet X is a work that shows clearly and fully that there is both a place and need for classic science fiction in today’s movie industry. It shows that the classics are just as good as their counterparts, if not better, in many cases. In the matter of this rarity, that is shown through the movie’s story, which insures entertainment and engagement through its simplicity. Its production values, which are simple in their own right, join with that simple story to strengthen the movie’s presentation even more. Both of the in-depth feature-length audio commentaries included as bonus material to the movie, adds even more to its presentation. When all of these noted elements are joined together, they make the whole of The Man From Planet X a movie that easily rivals its modern counterparts and will entertain sci-fi and horror fans of all ages. It is available now in stores and online to prove that argument to everyone. More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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‘Green Acres: The Complete Series’ Is A Must Have For Any Classic TV Fan

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is going “Green” next month.  That is because for the first time ever, the renowned home entertainment company will release to the masses Green Acres: The Complete Series.  The six-season set is currently expected to be released in stores and online Tuesday, Oct. 17.  Those fans who have waited for so long for its release will be happy to know that with this forthcoming release, the wait was well worth it.  That is due in no small part to the episodes.  This will be discussed shortly.  The set’s packaging is another important part of its presentation that cannot and should not be ignored, and will be discussed later.  The bonus material included in this package rounds out its most important elements. Each element is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.  All things considered, the first-ever run of Green Acres: The Complete Series proves, again, to have been well worth the wait and one that is easily one of this year’s best new box sets for grown-ups.

Shout! Factory’s forthcoming release of Green Acres: The Complete Series is a set that fans of the classic sitcom will find was well worth the wait.  That is especially the case considering that its release next month will mark the first time that the show has ever received a full-series treatment.  That is due in part to the episodes presented here.  From start to finish, audiences get all 170 episodes of the classic series, including the series’ rare pilot episode, which even has its own audio commentary track featuring thoughts from pop culture historian Russell Dyball.  That commentary is just one of the bonuses included in the set that will be discussed later.  Getting back on the subject, this set marks the first time that all 170 episodes of the largely family friendly series have ever been released together or otherwise.  What’s more, each episode looks and sounds just as good as they did in their original broadcasts if not better.  This is a real tribute to the series’ fans on the part of Shout! Factory and MGM, and both companies are to be commended for those efforts.  That is just one of the reasons that both companies should be commended here.  The set’s packaging is deserving of just as much praise as the episodes and their presentation.

The packaging used for Green Acres: The Complete Series is once more everything that audiences have come to expect from box sets released via Shout! Factory.  All six seasons of the classic sitcom are set in their own cases with the discs themselves being placed on their own plates inside the boxes.  Even with four discs being placed inside each case (for a total of 24 discs), the cases are still standard single-disc DVD size cases, showing once again how much thought was obviously put into the set’s packaging.  While separating the seasons out into separate cases might have expanded the set’s overall packaging, it is a sacrifice worth having to make in order to preserve the discs, and in turn, the series.  What’s more, even while this method might expand the packaging, it still in essence doesn’t expand it too much.

The physical aspect of the set’s packaging is only one part of what makes this element stand out.  Once again, Shout! Factory has included inside each season’s case, a chronological episode listing for audiences that includes a short but concise summary for each episode, the episode’s original air date and title.  The result here is two-fold.  One on level, the episode title and summary helps audiences decide which episode(s) they want to watch at one point or another.  On another level, the air date serves as its own starting point for perhaps a history lesson on the episode and even the series.  In other words, the set’s packaging is pleasing not just for its physical aspect but for its aesthetic aspect, too.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why this collection’s packaging is just as important as its episodes, if not more important.  Of course it is not the last of the set’s most important elements.  The set’s bonus material forms the set’s cornerstone.

The bonus material included with Green Acres: The Complete Series offers just as much entertainment as the series’ episodes if not more.  That is because of its quantity and quality.  As previously noted, the series’ pilot episode can be viewed both by itself and with an isolated audio commentary track from pop culture historian Russell Dyball.  Dyball’s commentary both entertains and informs audiences of all ages with his insight.  The Granby’s Green Acres radio broadcasts, which are also briefly discussed in the bonus featurette Green Acres Is The Place To Be.  Audiences get to experience for themselves here just some of the episodes from the short-lived radio broadcast series, which was the foundation for Green Acres.  After taking in those broadcasts and learning about them through the aforementioned bonus discussion with author Stephen Cox, audiences gain a whole new respect and appreciation for the series in both incarnations.  Speaking of Cox’s discussion, his discussion about Green Acres’ radio roots is just one of so many topics that he covers in his featurette. Along with that discussion, he also touches on the series’ connections to I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and other series through casting, production and other topics.  That is just the tip of the iceberg, too.  He also goes into depth about the off-screen friendship between the series’ stars, Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor—there was nothing romantic there, so no one should get their hopes up for any gossip—the fact that Albert and Gabor were not the original picks for the show’s leads and why, the series’ animal stars and their training and even the importance of the series’ theme song as a scene setter for the show among so much more.  Between his in-depth discussions and those from Dyball, audiences get more than they could have hoped for in terms of engagement and entertainment.  The radio broadcasts and Merv Griffin Show appearances starring Albert and Gabor collectively add even more entertainment.  From one item to the next, it is clear that the bonus material included with Green Acres: The Complete Series is pivotal to this set’s presentation.  It collectively succeeds, too.  When it is considered alongside the series’ full 170-episode presentation and the continued standard-setting packaging, all three elements join to make this first-time release one that was well worth the wait and the money.  They join to make the set one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming release of Green Acres: The Complete Series is definitely one that was well worth the wait.  It is also one of the year’s top new box sets for grown-ups (and maybe even families in whole, which the world needs more of in this day and age).  From the presentation of its full 170-episode run to its continued bar-setting packaging to its equally entertaining and engaging bonus material, it offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Considering that, audiences will agree when they experience it for themselves–once more-that it was well worth the wait and the cost.  It 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:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.