CMG’s British Noir Double Feature Will Appeal To The Most Devoted Noir Fans

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Money, power, and sex.  Those are the three reasons that people commit crimes.  Whether it be in real life, in any crime novel or movie, the premise is pretty much the same.  Cohen Media Group’s recently released British noir double feature of Cast a Dark Shadow and Wanted for Murder is more proof of the noted statements.  The two-movie presentation will appeal to fans of the genre on either side of the Atlantic.  That is due in no small part to each movie’s central story.  They will be discussed shortly.  While the stories serve as solid starting points for the movies, their execution (pardon the pun there) does pose a slight problem for their overall presentation.  This will be discussed a little later.  While the manner in which the stories are told is somewhat problematic for their overall presentation, it is not enough to make the movies fail.  Staying on that note, the work done to restore the footage and present it in this recently released Blu-ray package is also of note.  It will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the presentation.  All things considered, the presentation in whole proves to be such that any noir fan will find it worth watching occasionally.

Cohen Media Group’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of Cast a Dark Shadow and Wanted for Murder is a presentation in which most noir fans will find some enjoyment.  That is due in part to the story featured in each movie presented in the double feature.  Cast a Dark Shadow (1955) centers on a playboy named Edward Bare (Dirk Bogarde – Death in Venice, The Servant, Darling) who has a history of using women and then disposing of them so as to take their money and live a lavish life.  Of course his evil ways do come to an end in an unlikely way.  That revelation will not be spoiled here for those who have yet to see the movie.  This is actually a believable premise.  Anyone who has ever watched TV news magazine shows, such as 48 Hours, Dateline, and 20/20 will attest to the fact that such a story is more based in reality than fiction, even though the story is fiction.  

Wanted for Murder (1946) features another serial killer.  This time the serial killer is a crazed strangler named Victor (Eric Portman – 49th Parallel, A Canterbury Tale, Whisperers) that no one ever would have suspected.  Allegedly Victor became a serial killer because his father was a hangman, and somehow that affected him mentally and emotionally.  This will be discussed shortly because it does become a little bit of a plot hole that detracts from the story’s execution.  Getting back on topic, Victor finds unsuspecting women to become his victims until his own guilt and a hard-working Scotland Yard Detective bring about his (rather anticlimactic) end.  If the concept of a psychotic strangler sounds familiar, it should.  The real life case of the BTK Killer is ironically very similar.  Interestingly, before meeting his own unlikely end, Victor sends letters to law enforcement, teasing them about his crimes.  So again, here audiences get a story that ironically is more akin to real crime than any fiction.  One can’t help but wonder if the Zodiac Killer (whoever he or she is/was) was influenced by this story.  This is yet another way in which the movies’ real life comparisons prove so important in their role in their presentations.  That the stories featured here are so close to real crime stories means audiences will largely be able to suspend their disbelief and in turn take in each story more easily.  This makes for a good starting point for the overall presentation.  As much as the stories’ bases do for their enjoyment, the execution thereof detracts from that enjoyment to a point.

The execution of the movies’ stories detracts from their presentations because it leaves out so much important content.  In the case of Cast a Dark Shadow, the story opens abruptly with Edward his latest victim, who happens to be an elderly woman named Monica (Mona Washbourne – My Fair Lady, Billy Liar, Stevie).  Viewers learn quickly that Monica is Victor’s latest wife.  The couple is on a ride through what is assumed to be a haunted house ride at a fair.  It has to be assumed at that immediate point that viewers are in fact seeing Edward and a victim since there is no real setup or back story here to identify them.  What’s more, taking into consideration the noted assumptions, viewers are also left to assume that Edward’s intent here was to scare Monica to the point of a fatal heart attack.  This is problematic for the story because again, audiences are forced to make so much assumption rather than just have it certified.  As things progress, it is revealed that Monica has named Edward in her will, leading him to, yes, dispose of her. It is here that the story becomes even problematic.  Monica’s lawyer reveals that Edward cannot get Monica’s money until certain circumstances arise.  That aside, Edward goes on to romance yet another woman while living in Monica’s house (his house now).  Enter Monica’s sister Charlotte Young (Kay Walsh – Oliver Twist, Stage Fright, The Horse’s Mouth) in rather unlikely fashion.  Charlotte sets out to uncover Edward’s crime.  Even here, things get somewhat contrived in the whole investigation and even Edward’s eventual confession.  That moment is one of the most confusing times simply because of how it is presented.  Between that moment and so many others throughout this 80-minute (one hour, 20-minute) movie, the story just suffers in its execution.  The dialogue proves problematic.  The abrupt opening, and the general execution right to the equally abrupt ending ultimately makes this movie’s story the lesser of the pair.

The story featured in Wanted for Murder is not without its own fault in terms of its execution.  As noted earlier, Victor is the story’s antagonist.  The only real back story that viewers get on him comes as he make a visit to a museum of infamous historical figures, one of which apparently is his father, who was an infamous hangman.  Here is the problem with this moment.  It is not pointed out directly that the man in question was Victor’s father.  Rather, viewers are left to figure that out for themselves.  This is problematic in that without the direct knowledge that the hangman was Victor’s father, Victor yelling at the mannequin just seems random.  Adding to the problems, the story never really explains how Victor’s father being a hangman led him to become a serial killer.  Again, there is no back story here to really explain away this aspect.  To that end, it makes Victor’s declarations late in the story that his father was the one committing the crimes just as random as his heinous acts.  Had the story’s writer(s) taken more time to explain Victor’s back story it would have made the story more gripping.  That is not to say that it is not gripping.  Though that one aspect really cannot be ignored, nor can the story’s equally random closing moments.  All things considered, the story featured in Wanted for Murder is better than that of Cast a Dark Shadow.  As a matter of fact, there is a certain Hitchcock style sense about the story.  That aside, it is still only slightly better than that featured in Cast a Dark Shadow.  Keeping all of this in mind, the execution of each story featured here detracts considerably from their presentations.  Luckily, this concern is not enough to completely doom the overall presentation.  The restoration of  the footage works with the stories to make them worth watching at least occasionally.

The restoration work in CMG’s presentation of Cast a Dark Shadow and Wanted for Murder is worth noting because as old as the movies are, one would think the footage would not look and sound as good as it does.  Thankfully, painstaking efforts were clearly taken to bring the footage back to quality.  It paid off, too.  The sound of the static from the original soundtracks is there in each movie.  The grainy quality is there in the footage, too.  At the same time, it is clear that some re-mastering was done to clean up the footage to a point.  The result is a visual aspect that maintains the footage’s vintage look without that aspect being overpowering.  That and the clear audio collectively show the efforts to restore the footage fully paid off.  To that end, it will encourage viewers to remain engaged and entertained through both movies, even with the concerns raised through the execution of their stories.  All things considered, this noir double proves a work that most noir fans will find worth watching at least occasionally.  

Cohen Media Group’s recently release noir double feature of Cast a Dark Shadow and Wanted for Murder is an interesting offering from the company, which is known for releasing vintage cinema.  It proves itself worth watching in part through its stories.  The stories are fiction.  However, a comparison to crimes that have been committed throughout history shows that they are not as fictitious as one might think.  While the stories are believable, considering the real crimes that have been committed around the world through the ages.  While the stories make suspension of disbelief relatively easy for viewers, the execution of each story proves somewhat problematic.  There are some clear concerns raised by plot holes and other general writing problems in each story.  It   detracts from the Blu-ray’s overall presentation, but not enough to make the presentation a failure.  The efforts put in to restore the footage rounds out the Blu-ray’s most important elements.  That is because of how well those efforts paid off.  The footage looks and sounds great in each movie thanks to those efforts.  When the result of that work is considered along with the stories, the two elements are enough to make these vintage noir flicks worth watching at least once even despite the concerns raised through the stories’ execution.  All in all, CMG’s presentation of Cast a Dark Shadow and Wanted for Murder is imperfect but still a presentation that most noir fans will find worth watching occasionally.  The double feature is available now.

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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.

Tracy Bonham’s Debut Family Music Album Is A Great Tool For Elementary Level Music Educators

Grammy®-nominated rocker Tracy Bonham will make her first venture into the world of family music Friday when she releases her debut family music album, Young Maestros Vol. 1.  The 11-song record is short, clocking in at just 29 minutes, but still offers plenty for audiences of all ages to enjoy, not the least of which being its varied musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements makes for its own share of enjoyment.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they earn the album a spot on the list of 2021’s top new family music albums.

Tracy Bonham’s debut family music album, Young Maestros Vol. 1 is a work that leaves audiences looking forward to its follow-up in the best way possible.  That is proven in part through the record’s varied musical arrangements.  Throughout the course of the album’s nearly 30-minute run time, it presents listeners with arrangements whose stylistic approaches and sounds span the musical universe.  ‘Background Singers’ for instance takes listeners back to the golden age of Rhythm and Blues as it pays tribute to…well…background singers.   The subtle keyboard line, guitar, and bass join with the subtle vocals to present the noted stylistic approach and sound.  ‘Shake Like a Rattlesnake,’ which comes a little earlier in the album, uses its country music style sound and stylistic approach to conjure thoughts of country music legend Johnny Cash.  As a matter of fact, there is a moment in the song’s chorus and its refrains in which she will have listeners thinking of Cash’s timeless hit ‘Folsom Prison Blues.’  More specifically, her refrains sound like Cash’s as he sings in his chorus, “I hang my head and Cry.’  Cash isn’t the only country music legend to whom Bonham pays tribute in this record’s musical arrangements.  ‘Song Without an Ending’ immediately lends itself to thoughts of Hank Williams’ timeless song, ‘I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.’  As if that is not enough, Bonham even pays tribute to Julie Andrews with references to Andrews take on the big screen adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music.  That is quite a wide spread of musical styles and arrangements, and it certainly does not end there.  When the varied arrangements and styles noted here are considered with the rest of the album’s musical content, the whole builds a solid foundation for the album.  Building on that foundation is the engagement and entertainment offered through the album’s equally diverse lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured alongside the album’s musical arrangements follows one central theme of music and music theory.  The matter is discussed through a variety of musical topics  ‘Big Beats,’ whose musical arrangement is a direct tribute to a certain well-known song from Sir Mix-a-Lot, and ‘Beats to a Measure’ are both songs that address basic counting in music.  ‘Feelin’ Pretty Major,’ with its throwback 1960s style pop rock style arrangement and sound, also notes beats.  It additionally approaches the topic of major and minor thirds, and other chord structures.  One of the most notable of the songs here, in terms of its music theory-related content comes early in the album in the form of ‘All The Blackbirds.’  The song is actually a unique pneumonic device meant to help young listeners who might be learning how to play piano.  Bonham does not immediately come out and make that clear.  Audiences have to listen close in order to catch the subtle connection, but it is there.  That Bonham could so creatively find a way to help young pianists develop their talent in this case is impressive.  Considering this, the other lyrical content noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, the overall lyrical content featured in Young Maestros Vol. 1 does well in following the theme of the album’s title.  It and the album’s musical content collectively goes a long way toward making the album successful.  Even with this in mind, there is still at least one more item that makes the album work.  That last item is the record’s sequencing.

As already noted, the album’s musical arrangements are unique of one another throughout the course of its 29 minute run time.  The album’s lyrical content varies from on to the next, too, even as it centers on one central theme.  The record’s sequencing plays into that variety in both aspects.  It ensures that the content in both cases constantly changes, ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  At the same, the sequencing also ensures that the energy in the record’s songs stays stable from start to end.  That energy seems to stick within a specific range from one to the next, never getting too slow and soft or too fast and loud.  That the energy remains so stable throughout shows even more why the record’s sequencing is so important.  When that overall importance is considered with the importance of the record’s overall content, it makes the album’s overall presentation even more engaging and entertaining.  All things considered, the record more than proves it deserves a spot among this year’s top new family music albums.

Tracy Bonham’s debut family music album, Young Maestro’s Vol. 1 is an impressive first family outing for the Grammy®-nominated rocker.  Its positives start in its musical content.  That content proves diverse throughout, reaching across the musical universe.  It features some country and bluegrass alongside some kindie pop and even R&B and hip-hop.  This alone ensures a wide appeal among audiences.  The lyrical content that accompanies the album’s music arrangement is diverse in its own right.  That is even as it follows one central lyrical theme.  The diverse lyrical content featured here touches on basic music theory concepts, making it a great tool for any elementary level music educator.  The sequencing of all of the noted content puts the finishing touch to the recording, bringing everything full circle.  That is because it ensures the record’s content changes up constantly.  Each item noted is important in its own way to this album.  All things considered, the album proves itself an enjoyable new family music offering that will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  Young Maestros Vol. 1 is scheduled for release Friday through Melodeon Music.

Pre-orders for Bonham’s new album are open now.

More information on Tracy Bonham’s new single, video and album is available along with her latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.ecrmusicgrop.com/artists/tracy-bonham

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/TracyBonhamMusic

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/tracy_bonham

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

CMG Announces Details For Forthcoming British Crime Noir Double Feature

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Cohen Media Group has a new film noir double feature scheduled for release later this month on Blu-ray and DVD.

The forthcoming collection features the 1946 flick Wanted for Murder and the 1955 movie Cast a Dark Shadow as its primary content. The movies are classic British noir movies.

Wanted For Murder stars Eric Portman (49th Parallel, A Canterbury Tale, The Whisperers) as Victor, the son of a hangman. Thanks to his father’s occupation, Victor eventually goes crazy and starts starts strangling women, essentially emulating his father. However, when he meets and falls in love with Anne Fielding (Dulcie Gray — The Glass Mountain, The Franchise Affair, My Brother Jonathan) he has to suppress his urge to kill even her.

Cast a Dark Shadow stars Dirk Bogarde (Death in Venice, The Servant, Darling) and Margaret Lockwood (The Lady Vanishes, Night Train to Munich, Jassy) in the lead roles. Bogarde stars as playboy Edward Bare, who has developed a knack for marrying women and then killing them and taking their money. However, Charlotte Young (Kay Walsh — Oliver Twist, Stage Fright, The Horse’s Mouth), the sister of one of Edward’s victims is determined to bring him to justice. Things take an extra interesting turn when one of Edward’s latest wives tells him she wants to keep their accounts separate, leading to another murder plot. Charlotte’s plan plays into this matter in its own way.

The double feature will retail for MSRP of $19.95 on DVD and $29.95 on Blu-ray.

More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online now at:

Websitehttp://www.cohenmedia.net

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/CohenMediaGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

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.

ABKCO Releases ‘Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson’ Soundtrack

Courtesy: ABKCO

ABKCO is celebrating the forthcoming debut of Lifetime’s forthcoming Mahalia Jackson biopic Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia Jackson with the release of the movie’s soundtrack.

The label released the movie’s soundtrack Friday to all digital outlets. The 20-song soundtrack features multiple performances by lead star Danielle Brooks, who takes on the role of the iconic singer.

Brooks, a Juliard graduate and Grammy Award winner, discussed portraying Jackson and performing in the movie during a recent interview.

“Mahalia Jackson moved the masses with her sound,” said Brooks. “Her voice somehow encompassed the fullness of the black experience. It represented where we wanted to go, how we wanted to be seen. While recording her music I definitely felt a high level of responsibility to fulfill all that she was through spirit, sound, and feeling. I’m grateful for the opportunity to remind this generation of her legacy and all the goodness she left the world with.”

Matthew Head, who produced the movie’s soundtrack, also wrote the movie’s instrumental score. His work is, by connection, also featured as part of the overall soundtrack. The soundtrack’s track listing is noted below.

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Music From The Motion Picture) tracklisting

  1. Worthy Of Your Gifts – Matthew Head  

  2. Hello Heartbreak – Jazmin Crumley 

  3. My God Is Real (Yes God Is Real) – Danielle Brooks 

  4. Elijah Rock – Danielle Brooks 

  5. Estelle’s Childhood – Matthew Head 

  6. Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – Danielle Brooks 

  7. Hallelujah, Praise God (Mildred’s Piano Audition) – Matthew Head 

  8. Come On Children, Let’s Sing – Danielle Brooks 

  9. Move On Up A Little Higher – Danielle Brooks 

  10. How I Got Over – Danielle Brooks 

  11. Mildred Soaks Her Hands – Matthew Head 

  12. Sweetened Water Song – Matthew Head 

  13. His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Danielle Brooks 

  14. Studs and Mahalia discuss Bus Boycott – Matthew Head 

  15. Discussion of Faith – Matthew Head 

  16. Didn’t It Rain – Danielle Brooks 

  17. I’ve Been Buked – Danielle Brooks 

  18. Mildred Storms Out – Matthew Head 

  19. Take My Hand, Precious Lord – Danielle Brooks 

  20. I’m Going to Live the Life I Sing About in My Song – Danielle Brooks

More information on this and other titles from ABKCO is available along with the label’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.abkco.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abkco

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ABKCO

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

Ellefson Films Announces Home Release Date For New Found Footage Horror Flick

Courtesy: Ellefson Films/Amped/Alliance

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson’s movie company Ellefson Films (Amped/Alliance) will release its new horror movie, Dwellers to home platforms this fall.

The found footage flick is scheduled for release Oct. 12 on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack. Ellefson produced the movie while Drew Fortier wrote, directed and starred in the story. The movie has garnered a handful of awards since making its cinematic debut. Its awards are noted below.

Best Feature (Screamwriting Festival)

Best Director (The Thing in the Basement Horror Fest)

Best Horror Feature (Mad Monster Party Film Fest)

Best Documentary (Hollywood Blood Horror Festival)

Most Disturbing Scenes (Horror Bowl Movie Awards)

Dwellers‘ plot follows a film crew that is investigating a disappearance in city’s homeless community. In the process, the crew itself goes missing. This leads to an allegedly scary secret beneath the city’s streets.

Along with Fortier, the movie also stars James L. Edwards (Her Name Was Christa), Douglas Esper (The Nutshell), and Omar Baig (Let’s Make a Movie). Former Mushroomhead vocalist Jeff Hatrix (a.k.a. Jeffrey Nothing) and Ellefson himself make guest appearances.

Dwellers will be screened March 20 as part of the HorrorHound Film Festival’s Midnight Madness Feature. A Q&A session with the cast members will follow. Tickets for the screening are available here.

More information on Dwellers is available along with all of Ellefson Films’ latest news at https://www.facebook.com/ellefsonfilmco.

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

Watertower Music To Release Zach Snyder’s ‘Justice League’ Soundtrack Alongside Movie’s Debut

Courtesy: Watertower Music

Fans of director Zach Snyder’s Justice League will get a special experience next week.

Those fans will get not only the movie, but its soundtrack the same day through Watertower Music, a division of Warner Records and Warner Brothers. The soundtrack was composed by Tom Holenborg (a.k.a. Junkie XL).

The movie’s soundtrack features two new songs previously unreleased in Warner Brothers’ original cut of the movie. They are ‘Middle Mass‘ and ‘The Crew at Warpower

Holkenborg, calling the soundtrack his “Mount Everest of Scores” spoke highly of the experience of working on the movie’s music.

“Scoring Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been a project like no other in my career,” said Holkenborg. “It’s a four-and-a- half-hour movie. I wrote so much music! The score is, at times, fully electronic, and at other times fully orchestral. It included many global elements, rock and even trap. And it was all written during Covid, so it was an incredibly hands on, isolated and intense experience; and I think that comes out in the score. This project demanded so much on so many levels, and all of us involved owed it to the fans and Zack to give it everything we had.”

The extensive track listing for the movie’s soundtrack is noted below.

Song to the Siren  Performed by Rose Betts

A Hunter Gathers 

Migratory 

Things Fall Apart

Wonder Woman Defending / And What Rough Beast

World Ending Fire 

Middle Mass 

Long Division 

No Paradise, No Fall 

The Center Will Not Hold, Twenty Centuries of Stony Sleep 

As Above, So Below 

No Dog, No Master 

Take This Kingdom by Force 

A Splinter from the Thorn That Pricked You 

Cyborg Becoming / Human All Too Human 

The Path Chooses You 

Aquaman Returning / Carry Your Own Water  

The Provenance of Something Gathered 

We Do This Together 

The Will to Power 

Smoke Become Fire 

I Teach You, the Overman 

A Glimmer at the Door of the Living 

How We Achieve Ourselves 

The Sun Forever Rising 

Underworld 

Superman Rising, Pt. 1 / A Book of Hours 

Beyond Good and Evil 

Monument Builder 

Monument Destroyer 

Urgrund 

So Begins the End 

The House of Belonging 

Earthling 

Flight Is Our Nature 

Indivisible 

And the Lion-Earth Did Roar, Pt. 1 

And the Lion-Earth Did Roar, Pt. 2 

Superman Rising, Pt. 2 / Immovable  

At the Speed of Force 

My Broken Boy 

That Terrible Strength 

An Eternal Reoccurrence of Change 

We Slay Ourselves 

Your Own House Turned to Ashes 

All of You Undisturbed Cities 

The Art of Preserving Fire 

The Crew at Warpower 

The Foundation Theme (from Zack Snyder’s Justice League) 

Batman, a Duty to Fight / To See 

Batman, an Invocation to Heal / To Be Seen  

Wonder Woman, a Call to Stand / A World Awakened  

Flash, The Space to Win / Our Legacy Is Now  

Hallelujah     Performed by Allison Crowe


More information on this and other titles from Watertown Music is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.watertower-music.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WaterTowerMusic

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


Watertower Music Announces Release Date, Art, Track Listing For ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ Soundtrack

Courtesy: Watertower Music

The official soundtrack to the upcoming reboot of Godzilla vs. Kong will release later this month.

The soundtrack is scheduled for release March 26 through Watertower Music, a division of Warner Records. Its release will come less than a week ahead of the movie’s premiere on March 31. The reboot will come through Legendary Pictures and Warner Brothers. The music featured in the soundtrack was composed by Tom Holkenborg (a.k.a. Junkie XL).

Holkenborg said taking part in the movie by composing its score was a special experience.

“I’m a huge fan of Godzilla and Kong!,”  he said. “I’ve watched over 35 Godzilla movies over the years, so geeking out with Adam over this film came naturally. Kong is such an iconic character with over 90 years of scoring history behind him, and this was a perfect project for me to flex the retro monster orchestral scoring side of my brain, mixed with my very contemporary electronic side – in this case `80s sequences and basslines in the vein of John Carpenter. In this score I am trying to emphasize the insanity of Godzilla and the humanity of Kong. In the spirit of the film, it was fun to get my mad scientist coat on and make some monstrous sounds!”

The soundtrack’s track listing is noted below. Two of its songs — ‘Pensacola, Florida (Godzilla Theme)‘ and ‘Skull Island (Kong Theme)‘ — are available now digitally.

01) Pensacola, Florida (Godzilla Theme)

02) Skull Island (Kong Theme)

03) Apex Cybernetics

04) A New Language

05) Just Now

06) Tasman Sea

07) Through There

08) Antarctica

09) Hollow Earth

10) The Throne

11) Lunch

12) Nuclear Blast

13) The Royal Axe

14) Mega

15) Hong Kong

More information on this and other titles from Watertown Music is available along with all of the label’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.watertower-music.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WaterTowerMusic

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

Cinephiles On Both Sides Of The Atlantic Will Enjoy Film Movement, Studio Canal’s BD Re-Issue of ‘The Belles Of St. Trinian’s’

Courtesy: Film Movement/Film Movement Classics/Studio Canal

American television and cinema are all but dead nowadays.  Cinemas and streaming services continue to be overloaded with never-ending seas of prequels, sequels, reboots, and overly embellished movies that are based on actual events.  TV studios and their streaming outlets are also overloaded with their own share of forgettable reboots, many of which have themselves already flopped, and equally unsubstantial new content.  What with the virtual wasteland that TV and cinema remain today, the question remains what actually is worth watching.  Film Movement and Studio Canal have at least one answer in the form of the recently re-issued 1954 British screwball comedy, The Belles of St. Trinian’s.  Re-issued Feb. 23, the classic comedy will entertain audiences who remember the movie and even those who are just searching for plenty of laughs.  Its appeal comes primarily from its central story, which will be discussed shortly.   The cast’s work on camera adds its own touch to the presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie’s re-issue rounds out the presentation’s most important elements and will be discussed later, too.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the re-issue’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this new re-issue of The Belles of St. Trinian’s a great watch for any viewer and an equally positive addition to this year’s list of top new DVD and BD re-issues.

Film Movement and Studio Canal’s recent re-issue of The Belles of St. Trinian’s is a welcome respite from the content that film and television studios continue to churn out.  It is an especially welcome considering audiences’ continued need to laugh.  The movie is so entertaining in part because of its central story.  The synopses that outlets have provided about the story are mostly incorrect.  The story is actually a great screwball comedy that also boasts some heart.  The story centers on the failing all-girls school, St. Trinian’s.  The school is in some dire financial straits, as viewers will learn as the story progresses.  It just so happens that the brother of the school’s headmistress, Miss Millicent Fritton – both of whom are played by Alastair Sim – and his daughter Arabella have a scheme involving a horse race that is planned to take place near the school.  Clarence (Millicent’s brother) and Arabella “kidnap” the horse Arab Boy, the odds on favorite to win the race, so that their horse can win.  When Millicent and her young charges find out that Arab Boy is being kept at the school, the group plans to get the horse back into the race so that they can win enough money to save the school.  The previous synopses noting the role of the young Princess Fatima in the movie over blow her role.  She is really more or less a secondary character here.  Between that central story and the hijinks in which the girls take part throughout – including making illegal alcohol and fixing a field hockey game – the overall story makes for reason enough for audiences to take in the classic cinematic screwball Brit-com.  The work of the movie’s cast builds on the strong foundation formed by the movie’s story.

The cast’s work on camera in this movie ensures just as many laughs as the story itself.  As a matter of fact, one could argue that the story would not even work without the cast’s work.  Sim (A Christmas Carol, School for Scoundrels) leads the way as Millicent.  One can’t help but imagine that his performance played some role in the work of Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot, which came along five years later.  The subtleties that he presents as he takes on the role of the prim and proper, but still slightly playful headmistress are spot on throughout the movie.  The result is that while audiences know they are watching Sim in drag, they are still entertained.  His performance against that of George Cole (who played Flash Harry) makes for even more entertainment.  Speaking of Cole, his performance works so well not just of how he delivers his lines, but also his physical performance.  The way he walks into the school, wearing his hat over his head, and his stiff gait as he walks into Millicent’s office are great reflections of the adage, “actions speak louder than words.”   The students at the school make for their own entertainment, too.  Their casual behavior as they brew their own “home made” alcohol and lower it to Flash makes for its own share of laughs, too.  What’s more, the girls’ willingness to cheat at a game of field hockey and even their ability to get Arab Boy back to the track will have audiences laughing just as much.  Between these noted performances and others throughout, the cast’s overall performance in this roughly 90-minute madcap comedy makes for more than enough reason to take in the movie.  Their work interpreting the scripts together with the story itself strengthens the movie’s presentation even more.  They are just a part of what makes the movie entertaining.  The bonus content that accompanies the re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus content that accompanies the movie’s re-issue is important because of the background that it offers not just the movie but those involved.  Viewers learn through the bonus interview with Steve Chibnall, Professor of British Cinema at De Montfort University, that while Sim and co-director Sidney Gilliat started out working well together, the pair’s working relationship eventually soured over the course of the franchise which was started by this movie. Chibnall alleges during his interview that things eventually got so bad during filming of one of the movie’s sequels, that an argument ensued and the pair never worked together again.  It’s just one of the tidbits shared in the bonus interviews.  Chibnall also points out that while Gilliat and fellow co-director Frank Launder were versatile in their tastes and abilities, the pair was more well-known for the comedies on which it worked.

Dr. Melanie Williams, Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, UEA adds her own background insights to the movie during her interview.  She points out that many critics lauded The Belles of St. Trinian’s because its portrayal of women was counter to the culture at the time.  She goes into depth with this discussion, and that depth will keep viewers fully engaged. 

On yet another note, Sim’s daughter Merlith McKendrick pointed out that at the time of The Belles of St. Trinian’s’ debut, she was young, and did not realize he was a celebrity.  The story here will be left for audiences to discover themselves.  What will be stated is that she points out it had something to do with her own view of her father.  This anecdote is certain to generate plenty of laughs among viewers.  It is just one more example of how much the bonus content adds to the viewing experience in the case of this movie.  When it and the other noted discussions are considered along with the remainder of the interview discussions, that whole cements even more, the role of the bonus content in this presentation.  When the bonus content in whole is considered along with the work of the movie’s cast and the story itself, that whole becomes a work that any cinephile will enjoy.  In that agreement, those audiences will agree that The Belles of St. Trinian’s is one of the best of this year’s DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

Film Movement and Studio Canal’s recent Blu-ray re-issue of The Belles of St. Trinian’s is an impressive new addition to this still young year’s field of new re-issues.  It is a work that any viewer will find a welcome alternative to everything being churned out by all   the movie and television studios.  That is proven in part by its story.  The story blends lots of screwball elements with just enough heart and a familiar plot element to make it fun for so many audiences.  The work of the movie’s cast as it interprets the scripts adds its own share of entertainment.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie’s re-issue puts the finishing touch to the movie’s presentation.  The interviews that make up that bonus content offer so much interesting background information on the movie.  That final touch, together with the story and the cast’s work, the whole makes the movie in whole a wonderfully welcome watch that any cinephile will enjoy.  The Belles of St. Trinian’s is available now.

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

Websitehttps://www.filmmovement.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/FilmMovement

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Film_Movement

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Blue Underground Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘The Final Countdown’ Re-issue

Courtesy: Blue Underground/United Artists

Independent movie studio Blue Underground will re-issue United Artists’ 1980 action/drama flick The Final Countdown this spring.

The company is scheduled to release the lesser-known science fiction flick April 27 on 4K Ultra HD/BD combo pack. Starring Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now, The Departed, The West Wing), and Kirk Douglas (Spartacus, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Ace in the Hole), the movie’s story finds the crew of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz transported back in time to Dec. 6, 1941, the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor during an electrical storm.

As a result of the unexpected trip back in time, a difficult decision must be made by the carrier’s officers and political officers in Washington, D.C. at the time. A trailer for the movie is streaming here.

Blue Underground’s forthcoming re-issue comes with a variety, such as a feature-length audio commentary, interview with the F-14 crew that starred in the movie, and soundtrack to the movie. Additionally, the first printing will feature as a bonus, a 3D lenticular slipcover. The full listing of bonus content is noted below.

Extras:

  • Audio Commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper
  • Lloyd Kaufman Goes Hollywood – Interview with Associate Producer Lloyd Kaufman
  • Starring The Jolly Rogers – Interviews with The Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Poster & Still Galleries

BONUS! THE FINAL COUNTDOWN Original Motion Picture Soundtrack CD by John Scott

BONUS! Collectible Booklet featuring The Zero Pilot Journal 

BONUS! 3D Lenticular Slipcover (First Pressing Only)

Pre-orders are open now.

More information on this and other titles from Blue Underground is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Website: https://blue-underground.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlueUndergroundFilms

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blunderground

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

Corinth Films Announces ‘The Interrogation’ Domestic Release Date

Courtesy: Corinth Films

Independent movie studio Corinth Films will bring a new story from WWII to American audiences next month.

The studio is scheduled to release its new movie The Interrogation on DVD on March 23. The story featured in the movie centers on the autobiography of the infamous Auschwitz camp commandant Rudolf Hoss. It follows his interrogation by Albert Piotrowski prior to his hanging for the heinous acts that he oversaw at Auschwitz.

Following the fall of the Nazi empire in 1945, Allied forces hunted down members of the party and convicted them before executing them for their crimes. Hoss was discovered by British troops, hiding out in Gottrupel, Germany, disguised as a gardener. His location was revealed by his own wife, who said she turned him in over concern over the safety of the couple’s son.

The Interrogation originally premiered in 2016 in its home nation of Israel. It was helmed by Israel-born director Erez Pery. The movie’s trailer is streaming here.

More information on this and other titles from Corinth Films is available along with the studio’s latest news at:

Website: https://corinthfilms.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corinthfilms1977

Twitter: https://twitter.com/corinthfilms

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