MVD Visual’s New ‘Raiders’ Fan Flick Doc Is A Treasure For Cinephiles, ‘Raiders’ Fans Alike

Courtesy: MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Imitation, it is often said, is the sincerest form of flattery.  That is why in the entertainment world, thousands of people every year dress up as their favorite TV and movie characters and why just as many people set out every year to make their own fan-made versions of their favorite TV shows and movies.  Late last month MVD Visual, a division of MVD Entertainment Group, released a new documentary on one of those countless fan made films in the form of Raiders!: The Story of The Greatest Fan Film Ever Made.  This documentary is a gripping story of one group of people’s dreams and their drive to make their dreams come true.  That story is the central element of this recently released documentary and goes a long way toward making it worth the watch.  While the program’s central story gives viewers plenty of reason to watch this doc, its editing sadly detracts from the program’s presentation to a point.  That cannot be ignored.  Of course it doesn’t make the program completely unwatchable.  The movie’s bonus material makes up for that one negative and makes for even more reason to watch this doc.  All things considered, MVD Visual’s new documentary Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made proves in the end to be a presentation that any true cinephile should see at least once.

MVD Visual’s new documentary Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a presentation that every cinephile should see at least once.  That is the case even if audiences disagree about which is the greatest fan film ever made.  That is due in no small part to the story at the center of the documentary.  The story focuses on three men who set out as boys to recreate Steven Speilberg’s cinema masterpiece Raiders of the Lost Ark.  It follows the story of the then boys’ seven-year journey to create their own adaptation of that now legendary action flick and what happened to their relationships as the years passed.  From fighting over a woman as boys, to one of the men almost losing his job as a result of the attempt to recreate just one scene that the trio never accomplished, the story follows the trio’s journey warts and all.  It doesn’t pull any punches.  The end result is a story that interestingly enough screenwriters look for when they look for major blockbusters.  It is one of those underdog stories that results in dreams achieved in the end.  Considering this, the story at the center of Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made gives audiences plenty of reason to see this new doc from MVD Visual.  As much as its story does to interest audiences, the program’s presentation is sadly not perfect.  The program’s editing does detract from its presentation to a point.  There is no denying this.

The story at the center of Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is the stuff that producers and screenwriters from Hollywood’s “Big Six” dream of.  It is an underdog story that results in dreams realized in the end even being a documentary.  That in itself gives audiences plenty of reason to check out this presentation.  Of course as much as the story does to make the program worth the watch, its editing detracts from the presentation to a point.  There are a lot of jump cuts in some of the interview segments.  The jump cuts that are used are used so much at points that it becomes almost uncomfortable to watch.  Other interview segments are cut short due to fade in and fade out segments.  The problem here is that interviewees are talking as these effects are used. So, audiences don’t necessarily get the full story from the interviewees.  The result of these editing issues is a presentation that could likely have a negative impact on viewer engagement.  Luckily though, it happens at various points rather than continuously.  So even if does cause some viewer engagement problems, that risk won’t be too great.  Keeping that in mind, the editing issues, while undeniable, are not enough of a problem that they will keep viewers from watching the documentary in whole.  Even with the editing problems in mind, the documentary is still worth at least one watch thanks to its story.  The story is complimented quite well by the bonus material included with its presentation.  That is especially the case with the story’s bonus deleted scenes.

The story at the center of Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is an enjoyable story that any cinephile should see at least once.  That is because its story is the kind of thing that audiences see in the biggest dramatic blockbusters from Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios.  It is an underdog story that will move any viewer as the dreams of three men come true.  It shows that anyone can accomplish anything if they put their mind to it and really want it.  This comes through loud and clear even despite the issues raised in the program’s editing.  The jump cuts and dissolves do detract from the overall experience, but luckily not so much that they make the documentary unwatchable.  Keeping all of this in mind, this documentary is still well worth the watch whether one is a fan of Raiders of the Lost Ark or one is just a cinephile.  Even with everything noted, there is still at least one more element to note in the program’s presentation. That element is the program’s bonus material.  More specifically, the program’s bonus deleted scenes are of note.  The bonus deleted scenes barely top the half hour mark, pushing the documentary’s overall length to just over two hours.  They are, collectively, a prime example of the importance of deleted scenes to any presentation’s home release.  In the case of this program’s deleted scenes, audiences find out that not one but two young women played the part of Marion in Eric and Chris’ adaptation of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  Audiences also learn how the men – then boys – edited their movie and even get to see the letter that Steven Spielberg sent the men, inviting them to meet him along with much more.  The material that is presented in the deleted scenes adds so much more depth to the primary feature in this documentary.  It is clear in watching them that they were removed most likely for time.  Even with that in mind it is good to see that these scenes were included in the final product.  That is because of the value that they add to the doc’s story.  When that is considered along with the central feature and even the editing issues, the final product is one that, again, any cinephile should see at least once.

MVD Visual’s new documentary Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a documentary that any cinephile should see at least once.  That is due in part to the underdog story at the center of the program.  It is a story that proves dreams can and do come true.  It is just up to a person’s own drive to make those dreams become reality, as is shown here.  The editing issues that are evident throughout the program’s 93-minute run time cannot be ignored.  They are problematic to say the least.  But they are not, collectively, so problematic that they make the doc unwatchable.  The deleted scenes that are included as bonus material do plenty to make up for those editing issues and in turn do just as much as the story itself to make this doc worth the watch.  The commentary plays its own part in making the program worth the watch, too as does the fact that the story is presented both on separate DVD and Blu-ray.  All things considered, Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made proves in the end to be one more movie-centered documentary that any cinephile should see at least once.  It is available via MVD Entertainment Group’s online store at http://mvdb2b.com/s/RaidersBluRayDVD/MVD8448BR.  More information on this and other titles from MVD Visual is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://mvdvisual.com, http://www.mvdentertainment.com

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Hiddleston Shines In Magnet Releasing’s New Drama ‘High Rise’

Courtesy: Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures

Courtesy: Magnet Releasing/Magnolia Pictures

Tom Hiddleston has made quite the name for himself in recent years, starring as Loki, the evil brother of Thor is Marvel’s Avengers movies (including the standalone Thor movies).  He has also been one of the key names tossed around to potentially replace Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. That could actually be a good choice in the eyes of this critic.  While Hiddleston has some major movies under his belt and possibly on the horizon they aren’t his only credits.  Earlier this year Hiddleston also starred in independent studio Magnet Releasing’s new art flick High Rise.  This movie is a huge departure for Hiddleston from his previous offerings.  Considering this, his acting in this movie is clearly worth noting.  Even as impressive as Hiddleston’s acting (and that of his cast mates) is in High Rise, the movie is far from perfect.  The movie’s story proves to be a matter that is certain to divide audiences.  That will be discussed shortly.  Its  pacing is just as problematic especially considering the movie’s two-hour run time.  There is no ignoring this issue.  All things considered High Rise is not a movie for everyone, including Tom Hiddleston’s fans.  But it is worth at least one watch for those who are able to sit through the whole thing.

Tom Hiddleston’s new indie art flick High Rise is a huge departure for the Avengers star. That is due in large part to the movie’s story and its leader character, Dr. Laing.  Hiddleston’s work (and that of his cast mates) is certain to unite audiences in agreement of his talents.  Hiddleston completely embraces Dr. Laing’s personality throughout the movie.  As Dr. Laing tries to navigate the intricacies of the building’s clearly defined social structure the stresses of making that effort becomes increasingly clear. And Hiddleston handles the growing stress on Laing with the fullest expertise.  Even as the building’s social structure collapses around him, He keeps Laing completely calm even though it is clear that he is being emotionally and psychologically impacted by it all.  Hiddleston’s cast mate Luke Evans (Fast & Furious 6, The Raven, Dracula Untold) is just as impressive as Wilder.  He is the perfect contradiction to Laing thanks to his…well…wild personality.  Evans is perfect in the role, really showing clearly how easily the separation of classes and resources can create a negative scenario.  Jeremy Irons is just as impressive as Royal, too.  One could go on pointing out the positives presented by the rest of the cast.  Needless to say, the combined efforts of all involved make the cast’s work one of this movie’s rare bright spots.  As much as Hiddleston’s work (and that of his cast mates) does to make High Rise worth the watch, the movie’s pacing sadly offsets it.

Tom Hiddleston’s work as Dr. Laing in High Rise is undeniably the movie’s most important positive.  The same can be said of his cast mates’ work on camera, too.  As important as it proves to be in making the movie worth at least one watch, it can’t be said that the movie is perfect.  That is due to the movie’s pacing.  The movie clocks in at roughly two hours.  Thanks to the story’s pacing, that run time feels far longer.  Whether screenwriter Amy Jump directly adapted J.G. Ballard’s original novel or not, the movie’s pacing is still extremely problematic.  It seems like the breakdown of the building’s social structure just takes far longer than it should.  Even when it does finally happen, it feels as if the consequences of that breakdown take just as long.  Considering this, some audiences might find themselves fast forwarding through certain points.  That clearly exhibits why the movie’s pacing is so problematic.  Even as problematic as it is, it doesn’t make the movie completely unwatchable.  The movie’s central story and the approach to the story couples with the work of the movie’s cast to, again, make the movie worth at least one watch.

Tom Hiddleston’s new indie drama High Rise is not a perfect movie.  That is evidenced through the movie’s problematic pacing.  As problematic as the movie’s pacing proves to be, it is not enough to make the movie unwatchable.  The work of the movie’s cast makes the movie worth at least one watch.  The same can be said of the movie’s story and the approach taken to the story.  The movie’s story is an over the top artsy commentary on capitalism gone awry and the consequences of  trying to control social classes.  It is definitely an original approach to such commentary.  There is no denying that.  But the fact of the matter is that said approach is so over the top that it will, in itself, likely turn off any number of viewers.  That aside, it is still a story worth seeing at least once.  Viewers should be warned that there is an extreme amount of sex and violence throughout the course of the two-hour movie and a healthy amount of nudity, too.  So it definitely earned its “R” rating and then some.  Even with this in mind, and the fact that the story will divide audiences, it is still serves to help the movie stand on solid ground, if not high ground.

High Rise, Magnet Releasing’s new offering starring superstar Tom Hiddleston, is not a movie for everyone.  It is unquestionably an art film, and a total departure for Hiddleston.  That being the case, it was a huge risk for Hiddleston.  For his sake, it was a risk worth taking.  That is because his work on camera and that of his cast mates saves the movie even with its problematic pacing and divisive story.  It might not go on to become one of Hiddleston’s most well-known works.  But it is worth at least one watch.  It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Magnet Releasing is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.magnetreleasing.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/magnetreleasing

 

 

 

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True ‘Transformers’ Fans Will Appreciate ‘The Transformers: The Movie’ 30th Anniversary Edition

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Hasbro Studios

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Hasbro Studios

It’s hard to believe but thirty years ago this year The Transformers: The Movie made its big screen debut.  The movie, which was essentially just a way for Hasbro to eliminate its original Transformers toy line and pave the way for a new line of bots, didn’t do too well in its original run.  However, it is gone on to become a cult favorite among the franchise’s fans in the decades since.  Now thanks to Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios Transformers fans can own the movie for themselves in its new 30th Anniversary edition.  There is a lot for fans to appreciate about the movie’s new release, beginning with its story.  That will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material that is included in the movie’s new 30th anniversary edition presentation is another of the positives to note in its presentation. The various platforms on which the movie is available is just as notable but hardly least of note.  One could also make note of the cast’s acting, the movie’s artwork, and much more in considering its overall presentation.  All things considered, the new 30th Anniversary edition of The Transformers: The Movie is a welcome addition to any true Transformers fan’s movie library.

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios re-issued the classic animated movie The Transformers: The Movie this week in a brand new 30th Anniversary Edition. The new re-issue is a presentation that will be welcome in any true Transformers fan’s movie library.  That is especially the case for fans that perhaps don’t already own the movie in its previous releases.  Its story is one of the reasons that audiences will enjoy it.  The story centers on the battle for control of Cybertron between the Autobots and Decepticons. As is discussed in the movie’s bonus features, the purpose of the story was essentially a way to eliminate Hasbro’s original Transformers toy line and introduce a new line of toys.  Even with that in mind, and the fact that the movie bears little to no connection to the Transformers TV series, the story is still interesting.  It eventually sees both the Decepticons and Autobots having to face the ultimate evil in Unicron, the planet devouring Transformer.  If that sounds familiar, it should.  Marvel Productions played a role in the movie’s creation. Marvel Productions was the film branch of Marvel Entertainment Group, the parent group to Marvel Comics.  Fantastic Four is one of Marvel Comics’ titles.  For those who might not know, the Fantastic Four faced a similar villain in its original comics storyline named Galactus.  Galactus had a herald called The Silver Surfer who would hunt out new worlds for him to devour. In the case of The Transformers Movie Galactus and The Silver Surfer were replaced with Unicron and Galvatron (Megatron reborn, so to speak).  What all of this means to say is that the story isn’t exactly original per se when one really analyzes all of the facts.  But it is still a fun story nonetheless, especially since it created new worlds within the Transformers universe as well as new characters.  To that end, the story is still an important part of the movie’s overall presentation.  It is just one of the movie’s key elements to note.  The bonus material that is included in the movie’s 30th Anniversary Edition is just as important to note in examining its presentation as the movie’s central story.

The story at the center of The Transformers: The Movie is clearly an important piece of the movie’s presentation.  Considering all of the facts, it is not exactly an original story, as has been noted already.  But it is original within the Transformers universe.  To that end, it is just one of the movie’s key elements.  The bonus material that has been included in the movie’s new 30th Anniversary Edition presentation is just as important to note as its story.  The movie’s new 30th Anniversary Edition comes with some bonus material that despite originally having been recorded for the movie’s 20th anniversary in 2006, is still interesting for those who might have not seen it before.  That is clear both in the discussions themselves and in posters sitting behind star Susan Blu, who voiced Arcee for the movie. Audiences get to hear from Blu as well as cast mates Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee), Gregg Berger (Grimlock), and others.  Audiences learn some interesting tidbits through the discussions provided through the bonus interviews including the revelation that when Orson Wells recorded his lines for Unicron, no one was allowed to be in the booth with him.  It is revealed here that Wells demanded to be alone when he recorded his lines.  That is just one of the more interesting revelations that are made through the bonus interviews.  The cast and crew also reveal that the movie got less than a warm welcome by fans when it killed off Optimus Prime.

One of the cast members reveals in the discussion on this topic that one young viewer was so devoted to the Transformers franchise that after Optimus was killed off in the movie, that unnamed viewer allegedly locked himself in his room for two weeks straight, mourning for the loss.  That viewer’s reaction wasn’t the only negative reaction.  The reaction was so negative in fact, that the creative forces behind the G.I. Joe Movie, which was released not too long after The Transformers: The Movie, made sure that Duke survived just to avoid the same negative reaction from audiences.  As if that isn’t enough for viewers, it is also revealed that the foul language included in the movie’s original presentation is also included here, thus providing the movie’s “PG” rating.  One of the instances in which that language is presented comes as Spike and Bumblebee are trying to escape the Autobots’ moon base 2.  Spike drops an “S”-bomb in that moment.  There is also a moment later in which another character drops the “D” bomb.  They are the only times throughout the movie in which any foul language is used.  But those instances combine with the movie’s themes of death and its violent content to clearly show why the movie received a “PG” rating in its original presentation.  The revelation about the use of that language and its inclusion here is just one more of so many examples of what makes the movie’s bonus material so enjoyable in its new re-issue, even if said material isn’t original.  Keeping all of this in mind, the bonus material that is included with the new 30th Anniversary edition of The Transformers: The Movie proves in the end to be. Again, just as important to the movie’s presentation as its story.  It is still hardly the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The various platforms on which it is available are just as important to note as its bonus material and its story.

The story at the center of The Transformers: The Movie and its bonus material are both key elements in the movie’s new 30th Anniversary Edition.  The story, while not exactly original, stands apart from the series and the bonus material is enlightening and entertaining for audiences that might not have seen it before.  It provides quite a bit of extra insight into the movie, and in turn appreciation for the movie, too.  For all of the value that each element brings to the movie’s presentation, there are still plenty of other elements to note including the various platforms on which the movie has been made available in its new re-issue.  It has been made available on DVD, Blu-ray, and special edition steelbook.  For the sake of this review, movie’s Blu-ray re-issue will receive the attention.  The Blu-ray re-issue presents the movie in both letterbox and full screen.  It also includes a code for a digital download of the movie so that audiences can take the movie with them everywhere that they go.  The movie’s availability on Blu-ray for this presentation also marks the first time that the movie has ever been available on said format.  It is also the first time that it has been made available on a digital platform, too.  To that end, Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios have covered al of their bases in presenting the movie in its expansive Blu-ray presentation as well as its DVD and steelbook presentation.  It allows audiences across the board to be able to enjoy the movie regardless of whether they have a Blu-ray player or a DVD player.  When this positive is set against the movie’s central story and its new bonus material, all three elements join together to show clearly why The Transformers: The Movie is welcome in the home library of any Transformers fan’s home library in its new 30th Anniversary re-issues.

Shout! Factory and Hasbro Studios’ new 30th Anniversary re-issue of The Transformers: The Movie is a welcome addition to the home library of any of the franchise’s true hardcore fans.  That is evident in the movie’s story, which holds its own against the franchise’s TV installments.  It may not exactly be an original story, considering Marvel Productions’ role in its creation.  But it is still a story that holds its own. The bonus material that is included in the movie’s new re-issue adds even more entertainment and appreciation to the movie’s presentation.  The various platforms on which it is available in its new re-issue are—collectively speaking—just as important to its presentation here as its story and its bonus material.  These elements, as important as they are to the movie’s presentation, are hardly the movie’s only key elements.  The movie’s artwork, its soundtrack, and so many other elements can be noted just as easily as the elements discussed here.  All things considered, the new 30th Anniversary Edition of The Transformers: The Movie is a welcome addition to the library of any true hardcore Transformers fan’s movie library. It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered direct online 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

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Secular, Non-Secular Audiences Alike Will Enjoy ‘In-Lawfully Yours’

Courtesy: Cinedigm/Regent Pictures

Courtesy: Cinedigm/Regent Pictures

Boy who is the total opposite of girl finds girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets girl back in the end.  This formula has been used as the basis for every romantic comedy and dramedy that has ever been crafted, going all the way back to Hollywood’s silver age.  It has even been used for any number of romantic dramas, too with very little variance from its use in rom-coms and romantic dramedies.  So if there is little to no variance in that formula from one movie to the next, one is left to wonder why anyone would even begin to give any romantic flick a chance?  The only answer that this critic can possibly come up with is the story in which that formula is incorporated.  In the case of Cinedigm’s new romantic drama In-Lawfully Yours the story that is connected to that formula makes the movie worth at least one watch.  It is just one of the most notable of the elements that makes the movie worth the chance.  The messages that are contained within the story are just as important to note as the story itself here.  Last but not least of note in the movie’s presentation is its pacing.  It rounds out the most important of the movie’s elements.  It goes without saying that each element is important in its own way to the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, In-Lawfully Yours proves to be a movie that despite being just as formulaic as any other romance flick past and present, it is still worth at least one watch by fans of said genre.

Cinedigm’s new romantic drama In-Lawfully Yours is nothing new to the realm of romance flicks.  The formula that has been the center of every rom-com, romantic drama, and romantic dramedy throughout history is just as prevalent here as it has been in every other romance flick that has come before.  Keeping that in mind, the one thing that sets the movie apart from its counterparts is its story.  It is the most important of the movie’s elements.  In the case of this religiously-based romantic drama the story is centered on two in-laws—Jesse and Ben (who are brother-in-law and sister-in-law)—who meet after Jesse (Chelsey Crisp—Fresh Off The Boat, The Joe Schmo Show, New Girl) files for divorce from her cheating husband Chaz (Philip Boyd—The Haves and Have Nots, The Young and the Restless, Saving Grace).  Jesse ends up falling for Ben (Joe Williamson—Grey’s Anatomy, Looking, Mad Men).  And as the formula goes, the two are polar opposites.  In the case of this story, Ben is a minister and Jesse is not exactly the most devoted Christian.  When Chaz finds out that the pair is falling for each other, he turns vindictive and tries to make the people of Bethel Cove hate her by convincing diner owner Daphe (Erin Muroski—Henry Danger, Burning Love) that Jesse cheated on him.  She ends up spreading vicious rumors about Jesse, leading to the hate.  Of course the story has a happy ending.  Viewers can likely figure out what happens, again considering the oft-used formula for romantic flicks.  Of course figuring that while Jesse an Ben are not directly related, the fact that they are brother-in-law and sister-in-law does kind of make things a little bit uncomfortable when one really thinks about it.  The pair is only related through marriage to Naomi’s (Marilu Henner—Taxi, Evening Shade, L.A. Story) children—Ben married Naomi’s daughter and Jesse married Naomi’s son—the fact that two “family members” of sorts fall for each other is a little bit weird.  That is at least the case to this critic.  That aside, the story is still worth at least one watch since it is different from at least some of its counterparts.  The movie’s story is just one of the movie’s elements that makes it worth at least one watch.  The messages that are incorporated into the story are just as important to note in its presentation as the story itself.

The story at the center of In-Lawfully Yours is in itself reason enough for fans of romance flicks to see this movie at least once.  That is because while it uses an all too familiar formula for its setup, the story that is crafted around that formula is not as familiar as that used in its counterparts.  Keeping this in mind, the movie’s story is just one of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The messages that are incorporated into the movie are just as important to note as its story.  It should be noted here that Cinedigm partnered with independent Christian movie studio Regent Pictures for the movie’s creation.  That is why the movie also boasts the messages in question.  One of the most notable of those messages centers on the issue of churches becoming more exclusive and snobbish than inclusive and free-thinking.  The message is sent through the use of Doris’ (Kate Sanford—A Year and Change, Beautifully Departed, Paranormal) constant meddling and attempts to control how Ben runs the church’s service.  This is so important to note because sadly, there is a Doris in most churches out there today if not every church.  This is someone who is completely stuck in her or her own ways and wants to control everyone and everything regardless of the long-term costs of their short-sighted actions.  The other message presented within the story is that of welcoming open thought and discussion about religion and the bible in whole.  It works directly with the previously noted message about churches needing to be more welcoming.  Far too few churches and their members today encourage any kind of discussion on biblical interpretation other than what they want to hear.  It is really a concerning issue when one really thinks about it and one that is certain to be a starting point in any church group’s discussions on church reform just as the message about churches’ openness is, too. Kate Sanford,

The messages that are incorporated into In-Lawfully Yours’ story are just the tip of the iceberg in discussing their importance.  The manner in which they are presented is just as important to point out as the messages alone.  Unlike the movies turned out by Sherwood Pictures (another religious-based film studio) Regent Studios opted to not be so preachy in presenting its religious messages.  Rather it incorporated them surprisingly smoothly into the movie’s story.  They are obvious in their presence.  There is no denying that.  At no point, though does their use leave viewers feel like they are being preached at.  Considering that, it is a breath of fresh air in the realm of religiously-based movies and is still not the only important element to be examined in looking at the movie’s overall presentation.  The movies pacing is just as important to note as its story and its messages.

The story at the center of In-Lawfully Yours and its associated messages are both clearly important pieces of the movie’s overall presentation.  That is because they stand out both in their presentation and how they are presented.  While both elements are clearly important in their own part to the movies presentation, they are not its only key elements.  The movie’s pacing is just as important to note as the story and its associated messages.  The movie’s run time comes in at just under an hour and a half.  It clocks in at 86 minutes to be exact.  Considering that relatively short time, there was a lot of story to tell.  Somehow, the team of writer/director Robert Kirbyson and Sean Gaffney manages to make the most of that time, not moving too fast or too slow.  The initial setup involving Ben and Jesse’s romance takes only the first twenty minutes or so of that nearly ninety-minute run time.  In most romance flicks, the boy meets girl portion of the formula takes slightly longer.  But in the case of this movie, even jumping into the first part of the formula so soon still manages to work.  That’s even with a little bit of a plot hole involving why Ben was following Jesse in his truck.  Since the setup takes so little time, that offers more time for story development and for the movie’s messages to be presented, eventually building to the shorter boy loses girl and gets her back segments of the formula.  Keeping all of this in mind, the movie’s pacing over the course of its 86-minute run time is laudable in its own right.  It is just stable enough that viewers are able to keep up with everything happening within each of the story’s segments.  The result of that ability to follow the story leads the movie full circle.  It leads to the appreciation of the fact that the movie’s story is a new take on a standard formula.  It also leads to an appreciation for the religious messages presented within the story and the manner in which they are presented.  All things considered, the elements noted here make In-Lawfully Yours a romantic flick that fans of the genre will appreciate just as much as the movie’s intended church-based audiences.

Regent Pictures’ and Cinedigm’s new romance flick In-Lawfully Yours is a work that both secular and non-secular audiences alike will appreciate and will agree is worth at least one watch.  That is due in part to the movie’s story.  The story takes a slightly new take on what is a standard formula of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back in the end.  The religious-themed messages that are incorporated into the movie and the manner in which they are presented add even more reason for audiences to see the movie, even if only once.  That is because both are the polar opposite of the approach used by Sherwood Pictures.  The movie’s pacing rounds out its most important elements.  Thanks to the movie’s pacing, audiences will have an easy time following the story and identifying its associated messages.  In turn, audiences will agree that all three elements are equally important to In-Lawfully Yours.  Altogether, they make In-Lawfully Yours a movie that, again, both secular and non-secular audiences alike will appreciate even with just one watch.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Cinedigm is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cinedigmentertainment.com

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

 

 

 

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MVD Visual’s New ‘Back To The Future’ Doc Is Worth Seeing “Time” And Again

Courtesy: MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Visual/MVD Entertainment Group

Thirty-one years ago this year, Universal Pictures released a movie that since its release has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon.  That movie goes by the titled of Back to the Future.  It is a movie that has led countless masses to dress up like their favorite time traveling characters at conventions around the country.  It has led to an animated series and any number of documentaries, too.  The latest of those documentaries, OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine was released this past July.  This coming Tuesday, Sept. 13, another documentary centered on the now “timeless” (bad pun completely intended there) will be released MVD Visual that branches out on the movie’s significance even more in the form of the simply titled Back in Time.  The ninety-five minute documentary, while another independent release, is another piece that cinephiles and Back to the Future fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the documentary’s story.  That will be discussed shortly.  The manner in which the story is told is just as important to note in the program’s presentation.  Last of note in the doc’s presentation is its pacing.  Each element is important in its own right to the documentary’s presentation.  Altogether they make Back in Time another Back to the Future feature that, again, cinephiles and Back to the Future fans alike will want to see “time” and again.

MVD Visual’s new Back to the Future retrospective Back in Time is hardly the first documentary centered on Universal Pictures’ “timeless” movie.  Regardless it still proves over the course of its ninety-five minute run time that it is another presentation that both cinephiles and Back to the Future fans alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the program’s story.  The story presents the role that Back to The Future has had, and continues to have, now thirty-plus years after it made its big screen debut.  It tells that story through interviews with the movie’s cast and crew—including Lea Thompson, Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Donald Fullilove, Claudia Wells, Steven Spielberg, and even Robert Zemeckis—and interviews with a small handful of the movie’s fans among others.  Viewers learn through the interviews some very interesting facts and stories connected to the movie.  One of the most interesting revelations made in the interviews comes from Bob Gale.  Gale, who was one of the creative forces behind Back to the Future reveals that the movie was shopped around to every one of Hollywood’s major studios but none would take it.  He said it was even shopped to Disney because that had been recommended by those other studios.  Gale reveals in his interview that when the movie was presented to them, executives with the studio refused to touch it because they thought the topic of Marty’s mom falling for him in the past hinted at incest.  This is funny to note because Gale said no other studios had even begun to take that angle in reviewing the movie’s script.

Another interesting revelation comes from an interview with Michael J. Fox.  Fox recollects in said interview that none other than Princess Diana actually sat next to him at the movie’s premiere.  He reveals in his interview that he didn’t know she would be sitting next to him and because of certain protocol about being around her, he couldn’t even use the bathroom, so when he started feeling nature call, he couldn’t even respond to its call.  Throughout that anecdote, audiences can’t help but laugh along with Fox as he recalls that silly story.  In the same moment, Fox also recalls Princess Diana’s reaction to one scene in particular in comparison to her reaction to other moments.  That is worth its own share of laughs, too.  It is just one more of the interesting tidbits that make the documentary’s story so interesting.

There is also an outright statement from Robert Zemeckis himself at one point that he has zero intention of making a fourth Back to The Future movie.  Considering the way that most of Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios are taking right now, one can only hope that he will hold true to that even today and that no one else will ever try to make another movie.  Keeping in mind all of the revelations noted here and all of the other interesting and intriguing information shared throughout the program, it becomes clear why the story at the center of Back in Time is so important to its presentation.  Even with its clear importance to the doc’s presentation the story is just one of the program’s key elements.  The manner in which the story is told is just as important to note as the story itself.

The story at the center of Back in Time is clearly an important element in the program’s presentation if not the program’s most important element.  That means that even potentially being the program’s most important element, it is not the program’s only important element.  As important as the story is, the manner in which the story is told is just as important to note as the story itself.  The story is told through two clearly separated segments, which span the course of the doc’s ninety-five minutes.  The first segment focuses on the movie and its significance through the eyes of the cast and crew.  It should be noted specifically here the focus is strictly on Back to The Future, not the two sequels that followed or even the short-lived animated series that it spun off in the early 90s on CBS.  Though there is an indirect connection to the work done by the restoration team in OUTATIME: Saving The DeLorean Time Machine in this segment.  Two members of the build team are interviewed about the work put in to restore the trilogy’s “A” car with footage from that do directly incorporated into this segment.  The program’s second segment examines the significance of Back to The Future through the eyes of some of the movie’s devotees.  The fans in question are not just your average fans either.  One of the fans in question owns the actual VW bus that was used in Back to The Future as well as the truck that Marty won in the movie, as well as other memorabilia.  Another fan has one of the DeLorean replicas incorporated into his own nine-hole mini-golf course at his home.  He uses the car, and the golf course, to raise money for good causes every year.  In another case, viewers are introduced to a young pair of fans who ended up getting married at a Back to The Future convention.  It just so happened that Christopher Lloyd was in attendance as the young man popped the question to his bride to be.  He wasn’t the only one who was there, either.  Harry Waters, Jr., who played Chuck Berry’s cousin Berry (from the movie’s high school dance segment), was also there and sang to the couple after the young lady said yes.  It is a moment that will put a smile on any viewer’s face.  Through it all, the documentary does a laudable job of balancing each segment with the other.  The end result is a story that, thanks to that solid division, will keep viewers completely engaged and entertained.  Of course the segments’ division and the story together are not the only factors that will keep audiences engaged in this presentation.  The program’s pacing is important in its own right, too.

The story at the center of Back in Time and the general manner in which the story is told are both key to the doc’s presentation.  That is because both elements work together expertly to keep viewers completely engaged and entertained from the story’s beginning to its end.  While both elements are clearly important both in themselves and jointly, they are not the program’s only important elements.  The program’s pacing is just as important to note as the story and how it is told.  The program’s pacing is so important because without proper pacing there would be no reason to sit through either of the program’s two segments.  Thankfully the program’s pacing is relatively solid from beginning to end.  The topics that are discussed within each segment are many.  But they do not move so fast that audiences will feel left behind nor do those behind the lens allow the program to lag at any point within any discussion either.  That being the case, the documentary’s pacing joins with its story and its segmentation to make the program in whole one that will keep audiences completely engaged and entertained.  In turn audiences will come out of the program agreeing that while it is not the only Back to the Future to ever be released, it is one that cinephiles and Back to The Future fans alike will enjoy watching “time” and again.

Back in Time is not the only Back to the Future documentary to ever be released.  But in considering all that went into assembling the program it is safe to say that it is another enjoyable piece centered on the landmark movie.  Its story explains not just the significance of the DeLorean (as in OUTATIME: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine) but the cultural significance of the movie in whole.  That is examined through interviews with both fans and with the movie’s cast and crew.  The division of the story into two distinct segments adds to the enjoyment of the program’s presentation.  The pacing of each segment rounds out the doc’s most important elements.  It should be clear in reading this analysis why each element is so important to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, it is clear that the documentary is, in whole, another retrospective centered on Universal’s iconic movie that cinephiles and Back to The Future fans alike will appreciate.  Back in Time will be available in stores and online this coming Tuesday, Sept. 12.  It can be ordered online direct via MVD Entertainment Group’s online store at http://mvdb2b.com/s/BackInTime/MVD8722D.  More information on Back in Time and other titles from MVD Entertainment Group/MVD Visual is available online now at:

 

 

 

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‘Peanuts’ Movies Are New Again…Sort Of

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang are coming to Blu-ray for the first time ever next week with the re-issue of two classic Peanuts movies—Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown.  The two new re-issues will be released Tuesday, September 6th in stores and online. While not the first time ever that the specials have been released to the masses (they were released on their own standalone platforms and in a pair of multi-movie sets just last year along with the full-length Peanuts movies Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back) ) these latest re-issues are a good fit for anyone that might not have been lucky enough to get their hands on the specials’ DVD re-issues.  That is due at least in part to each movie’s general presentation. That will be discussed shortly.  The story behind each movie is just as important to note as each movie’s presentation.  That will be discussed later.  The movies’ pricing rounds out each presentation’s most important elements.  It brings everything full circle in the movies’ overall presentation. As important as they are to note, audiences should also keep in mind that CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount will be re-issuing them again later this fall in a new Blu-ray dual movie presentation just as they were last year in DVD format.  Keeping that in mind, while these re-issues are enjoyable in their own right, audiences might be better served to wait for that upcoming re-issue and hold off on these.

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount’s new Blu-ray presentations of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are enjoyable new re-issues for anyone that might not already own the movies’ DVD presentation.  That is due at least in part to the movies’ general presentations.  The movies’ new Blu-ray presentations are exactly the same as that of their DVD counterparts.  Audiences get in each movie just the movies, nothing more, nothing less.  In other words they are bare bones releases just like their DVD counterparts.  This is important to note because there are so many studios out there who make each of their titles’ re-issues different from one another in one way or another.  That isn’t the case here.  The movies’ Blu-ray presentations are mirror images of their DVD counterparts except for their platforms.  Keeping that in mind, the stories behind the movies are just as important to note as the movies’ presentations.

Courtesy:  CBS DVD/Paramount

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

The general presentation of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are key to note for each.  That is because each movie’s presentation is a mirror image of its DVD counterpart save for the fact that they are now on Blu-ray platform.  That means audiences both with and without the movies’ previous DVD re-issues will be on the same level in terms of what each title offers for entertainment.  Keeping that in mind, the movie’s stories are just as important to note as the presentations themselves.  Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home follows Snoopy as he suddenly packs up and leaves Charlie Brown one day without any explanation whatsoever.  At first everyone is left wondering why Snoopy left.  The final revelation as to Snoopy’s disappearance is one that will move audiences of all ages to both smiles and tears.  Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown is the first of the Peanuts movies to ever be created.  The movie follows Charlie Brown as he wins his school’s spelling bee and is sent to New York City to compete at a national level.  Meanwhile Charlie’s best friend Linus is in search of his beloved blanket after it “mysteriously” disappears.  Things seem to be going well for Charlie Brown at first.  But when the big day arrives, things don’t turn out quite as he (and his friends) had hoped.  The story still has a happy ending of sorts when it’s all said and done.  That being the case, its story is just as enjoyable as that of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home. When the movies’ stories are set against their general presentation, the two elements join together to show even more why these new Peanuts Blu-ray re-issues are just as enjoyable as their recently released DVD counterparts.  The stories are general presentations of each movie are not the movies’ only key elements to consider.  Each movie’s pricing rounds out their most important elements.

The general presentation of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown and the movies’ stories are both key elements of the movies’ new Blu-ray re-issues.  While each element plays its own important part in the movies’ collective presentation they are not the movies’ only important elements.  The movies’ pricing in their new Blu-ray re-issues are just as important to note as the other, previously noted elements.  Each movie’s retail MSRP is a little more than $17 each in its new Blu-ray platform.  That is according to Amazon.com, where audiences can order each movie online.  Wal-Mart lists each movie at the same price online. Best Buy has each movie listed at $17.99 in its new Blu-ray platform while Target doesn’t have either one listed.  Odds are when and if Target opts to include the movies in its online listings, that price will likely be close to the same if not the same as those listed here.  One can only hope that those prices will be lower in store.  Considering that each movie is presented in exactly the same fashion as their DVD counterparts, those prices far too high.  Given the price will be high simply because they are presented in Blu-ray.  But by comparison the movies’ pricing on DVD is only about eight dollars each.  That should make the movies’ Blu-ray platforms no more than $10 or $11 at the most…maybe $15, but no more than that.  Keeping this in mind, the movies’ pricing is perhaps their only downfall.  That is especially the case being that CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount are going to re-issue them again later this fall on a double-movie Blu-ray combo set; a set that will likely be an equal price for the two together as for just one movie on Blu-ray.  All things considered, CBS Home Entertainment’s Blu-ray re-issues of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are both enjoyable in their own right.  But any true Peanuts fan that doesn’t already own either movie on DVD will be better served to wait for the movies’ upcoming double-movie BD re-issue or to just pick up the movies’ DVD re-issues since they are the same as these re-issues and cheaper.

CBS Home Entertainment and Paramount’s new Blu-ray re-issues of Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home and Peanuts: A Boy Named Charlie Brown are both enjoyable in their own right.  Any true Peanuts fan will agree with that.  At the same time, true Peanuts fans will also question-along with this critic—if they were even needed.  That is because the general presentation of each movie is the same here as in their 2015 DVD re-issues.  There is no more or less in these re-issues as was presented in the movie’s 2015 DVD re-issues.  And the story presented in each movie is exactly the same as before, too.  The movies’ MSRP across the board in their new Blu-ray re-issues puts the final nail in their proverbial coffin.  While the movies are enjoyable thanks to their stories and their hand-drawn animation, that pricing—and the other  previously noted elements–proves that true Peanuts fans would be better served to purchase the movies in their DVD platforms if they don’t already own them.  Those that do already own the movies have no reason to purchase them again in these latest re-issues.  All things considered, even those that don’t already own these movies on DVD would be better served to purchase them on DVD (especially in their four-movie set) unless they can’t find them on DVD.  That is about the only reason that audiences should even consider purchasing them in their new Blu-ray platforms.

More information on these and other Peanuts releases is available online now along with all of the latest Peanuts news and more at:

 

 

 

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‘Humpback Whales’ Is Another Successful Entry In Shout! Factory’s IMAX Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Humpback whales are among the most beautiful, stunning creatures on the face of the Earth.  One would be hard pressed to find someone who would disagree with that sentiment.  One need only look at the number of documentaries and movies made about humpback whales to see just the level of reverence that people have for them.  Earlier this month, yet another entry was added to the field in the form of the new IMAX offering, simply titled Humpback Whales.  This latest entry in Shout! Factory’s ongoing series of IMAX documentaries doesn’t necessarily teach anything new about the whales in question.  That has to be noted right up front.  Rather, it is more of an activist film than documentary.  That is beside the point.  The program’s most important feature is its cinematography. It is a stunning visual treat for the eyes.  The bonus material that is included in the program is just as important to note in examining the program’s presentation as its cinematography.  The program’s central story rounds out the most important of its elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the program.  When they are combined into one presentation, they make Humpback Whales another enjoyable offering in Shout! Factory’s IMAX series.

Shout! Factory’s latest IMAX offering Humpback Whales is another enjoyable offering from the company’s IMAX series.  Most notable of the program’s presentation is its cinematography.  Recorded entirely in IMAX and in 3D audiences are taken on an incredible visual trip throughout the course of the program’s 40-minut run time thanks to the work of its cinematographers.  The footage of the whales surfacing so as to feed is incredible to experience even in standard 2D hi-def.  Even in standard 2D such a moment still pulls audiences into the program. The footage presenting the whales breaching is just as powerful in its own right.  The aerial views of this action and the closer, sea level views are just as incredible to experience as is the footage of the mother whale with her young calf.  Of course there is also some more stirring footage, too that some might be unsuitable for younger viewers as the program addresses how certain nations still skirt international whaling laws and get away with killing the whales.  That should be mentioned right now.  That aside, the program’s overall cinematography stands out as its key element in examining its overall presentation.  If for no other reason, audiences should see this program—whether in 3D or 2D—for its cinematography.  The cinematography is in itself just one reason that the program is worth the watch.  Its bonus material actually compliments its cinematography.

The cinematography that is presented throughout the course of Humpback Whales is in itself an important part of the program’s presentation.  It is not the program’s only important element, though.  The bonus material that is included in the program’ home release is just as important as the program’s cinematography.  That is because the bonus material takes audiences behind the lens.  It presents to audiences just how much time and effort went in to bringing the cinematography in question to life.  The filming crew had to weather storms in order to catch all of the right shots.  It had to figure out where the whales would be feeding to get just the right shots of them in action for other footage.  And in another case, they had to work with members of a whale rescue group as it tailed a whale in distress to capture the group trying to save the whale from a bunch of netting.  These are just some of the examples of what audiences get to see in terms of the program’s creative process thanks to the program’s bonus material.  There is much more presented in the program’s bonus material that will keep audiences just as engaged as that which is noted here.   All in all, the bonus material included in Humpback Whales’ home release proves just as important to the program as its stunning cinematography.  That is because it creates an appreciation for the amount of time and work that went into capturing the footage for the program and assembling it for its presentation.  It still is not the last remaining element to consider in examining the program’s presentation.  The story that is presented at the heart of the program rounds out its presentation.

The cinematography that is presented throughout Humpback Whales and the bonus material that is included in the program are both key to the program’s presentation.  That is because of how closely the two elements work together.  While both elements are undeniably important to the program’s presentation they are not its only important elements.  The story at the heart of the program is just as important to note as those elements.  It doesn’t try to pass itself off as a documentary a la those presented by PBS or even like its predecessors—Rocky Mountain Express, Journey To Space, Flight of the Butterflies.  Rather it makes clear that it is an activist story aimed at raising awareness about the dangers that still face humpback whales today.  Most of those dangers are, as it points out, man-made.  Some are intentional while others are not.  In whole, though those dangers are there and people should be aware of said dangers.  It doesn’t allow itself to become as preachy as some other activist presentations either.  That makes the story stand on its own merits, too.  It makes the program in whole that much more worth at least one watch.  When this element is set against the program’s cinematography and its bonus material all three elements present Humpback Whales as a program that animal rights activists and filmmakers alike will appreciate.

Humpback Whales, the latest of Shout! Factory’s new IMAX releases, is a presentation that animal rights activists and filmmakers alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to the program’s cinematography.  The footage that is presented throughout the forty-minute program is stunning in its angles, its lighting and so many other aspects.  The bonus material included in the program’s home release is just as important to the program because it shows how much time and effort went in to bringing the footage to the screen.  It will create a whole new appreciation for even those that are not deeply involved in the world of filmmaking.  The story at the heart of the program is an activist story.  There is no getting around that.  That aside, it is nowhere near as preachy as some other activist programs out there.  Keeping that in mind it makes the program even more worth at least one watch.  When it is set alongside the program’s cinematography and its bonus material, all three elements combine to make this program ultimately, another successful entry in Shout! Factory’s IMAX series.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/documentary/humpback-whales.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

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