Moonwatcher Films’ Indie Flick, ‘5-25-77’ Is A Surprisingly Enjoyable Based On Actual Events Presentation

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

With 2022 officially in its waning days, it is safe to say that Hollywood’s major studios have struggled to release very much in the way of substantive content. This year has largely been just another filled with prequels, sequels, reboots, and movies based on books and actual events. However, it looks like with the year finally winding down, maybe just maybe something positive might be finally here thanks to the premiere of Amblin Entertainment’s new drama, The Fablemans. Directed by none other than Steve Spielberg, the movie is a love letter to classic cinema and its role in a person’s own development. Whether it lives up to the hype is yet to be seen since it only premiered today. It is hardly the only movie of its sort. As a matter of fact, independent studio Moonwatcher Films’ brand new movie, 5-25-77 is its own unique story of the role of cinema in a young man’s personal growth. Released to DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, the movie is a surprisingly engaging and entertaining presentation that will move audiences to plenty of laughs and tears. That is due in large part to its story, which will be discussed shortly. The bonus feature-length audio commentary that accompanies the movie adds to the movie’s appeal. It will be examined a little later. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out the most important of the movie’s positives and will also be examined later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the movie’s presentation. All things considered they make this movie a refreshing alternative to everything churned out by Hollywood’s major studios so far this year and one more of the year’s top new independent movies.

5-25-77, the newest independent movie from independent studio Moonwatcher Films, is a surprisingly enjoyable addition to this year’s field of new independent movies. What’s more it is also a welcome alternative to all of the content being churned out by Hollywood’s major movie studios, what with all of the prequels, sequels, reboots, and movies based on books and movies that they have continued to churn on this year. The movie’s appeal comes in large part through its story. The story here is simple: It is a coming-of-age story of sorts that follows the personal growth and development of writer/director/actor Patrick Read Johnson, during his teenage years. The story starts in 1968, when Patrick, as a young boy, is taken to the theater by his parents to see the timeless science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is clear in that opening scene that is where his love of cinema started. From there, he decides to start making his own movies with his own models and friends as the casts. As the story progresses over the course of the movie’s two hour, 13 minute run time, viewers see Patrick grow from a clumsy, goofy young man with stars in his eyes to a more thoughtful, mature young adult. What is really interesting in the overall story is that there is actually so much more depth than audiences realize at first. This is revealed late in the story as one of Patrick’s friends psychoanalyzes him as they and Bill wait outside the hospital for another of the friends, Robin. Patrick’s friend gets him to finally reveal the real reason for his drive to make movies. That revelation will be left for audiences to discover for themselves, but suffice it to say that the revelation in question will lead many viewers to want to go back and watch the movie again. When they do, they will catch something very important that they likely overlooked to begin with early on in the story. The subtlety of that element’s incorporation into the story gives the story so much more depth in the bigger picture.

Another aspect of Patrick’s growth comes through the story of Patrick’s relationship with Linda. The puppy love that he exhibits with Linda is a situation to which so many audiences can relate even today. That is because everyone has felt that infatuation (which is what he was really feeling) at one point or more in their young lives. Patrick’s eventual revelation of the situation involving Linda and Tony is just as pivotal to the story of his development. That is because it is really the final breaking point of sorts for him. The revelation that he makes is the catalyst to him finally making the most important decision of his life at that point. The way in which Johnson weaved this story in with the story of the impact of his childhood on his young adult life makes the overall story so rich and engaging. At times, audiences will be drawn to so much laughter. At others, they will be led to some tears as they watch Johnson’s growth. As a result of the engagement and entertainment that the story generates, audiences will agree that it forms a strong foundation for the movie’s presentation.

The story gains even more traction as audiences go back and watch the movie with its bonus feature-length commentary. The commentary is provided by Johnson and fellow well-known cinema figure, Seth Gaven, founder of the A.V. Squad and editor of the 1990 family friendly sci-fi flick, Spaced Invaders. The background that the duo provides is what adds to that depth. For instance, audiences learn through the commentary that unlike so many movies that are based on actual events, most of what is portrayed in this movie actually happened, including Robin putting her own fist in her mouth and getting it stuck. Yes, audiences will most definitely be left to learn more about that one on their own. On another level, Johnson reveals that the cost of one portion of the movie was roughly $100,000. In other words, the overall cost to make the movie was likely very low. This is important to note because even being a low budget movie, the overall presentation proves to be so engaging and entertaining. There are no special effects or any big budget items anywhere in the movie. As a matter of fact, Johnson and Gaven go into a discussion on that simplicity and tie that into a discussion on the overuse of special effects in the current era of movie making. As if all of this is not enough, Johnson, who appears in the movie as his father, also goes into a brief discussion about his relationship with his father, which again does play its own subtle but pivotal part in the bigger story. His discussion on this topic makes for even more appreciation for the overall story and is just one more of so many interesting anecdotes that Johnson and Gaven share throughout the movie’s commentary. When all of the noted discussions are considered along with the rest of the commentary included in the audio track, the whole makes the whole of the commentary truly a bonus in every sense of the word and even more reason to take in this movie.

The commentary that accompanies the movie is not the last of the items that make 5-25-77 worth watching. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out the most important of its elements. Backing up a little bit, the cast’s work is also discussed in the audio commentary. Johnson reveals in the commentary that the real life Bill and Robin both play small parts in the movie. Bill takes on the role of the theater manager while the real life Robin only gets a brief appearance at a nurse at the hospital. John Francis Daley (Spiderman: Homecoming, Bones, Vacation) takes on the role of Johnson, and does such an entertaining job in his performance. The goofy smile that he gives any time a girl even looks at him is so laugh-inspiring. His dedication to bringing his own movies to life and the awe that he exhibits as young Patrick is introduced to a young Steven Spielberg and just as young George Lucas (as he creates Star Wars) is certain to move audiences. That is because viewers can fully appreciate the stars that are in Patrick’s eyes and the impact that the experience had on him. It is a performance that is fully believable.

Just as impressive is Steve Coulter’s performance of Bill. Coulter (Coasting, Fate Twisted Simply, Please Wait To Be Seated) is a wonderful foil to Daley. He does so well trying to keep Patrick as grounded as possible throughout the story, even as Patrick just keeps letting everything get to him. For lack of better wording he is the straight man to Daley’s more energetic lead who is so deserving of his own praise because of just how he portrays Bill’s more level-headed and realistic approach to everything. His dedication to his friend even as Patrick changes so dramatically is admirable to say the least and it makes for its own share of applause.

One more noteworthy performance come from Collen Camp (Clue, Die Hard With a Vengeance, Sliver) who plays the part of Patrick’s mother. Those moments throughout the movie when she comes into Patrick’s room, calling his name out of frustration are so hilarious. Every viewer will relate to those moments, as everyone has had that happen on one end or the other. At the same time, that moment when she realizes that Patrick has given up his dream of becoming a movie maker just so that he could make Linda happy, the compassion that comes into her eyes is so moving even in its simplicity and subtlety. Her determination to help Patrick get to Hollywood, and the little song and dance moment that follows is such a wonderfully moving and lighthearted scene. It will inspire tears and laughter all at once, as will her reaction in the story’s finale when Patrick finally makes that final decision to take a big step. Again that moment will not be revealed here for the sake of those who have yet to see the movie. That aside, Camp’s performance is engaging and entertaining in its own right. She brings so much emotional depth to the movie in the moments when she is on screen in all of the best ways. When her performance is considered along with the other performances noted here and with the rest of the cast’s work, the whole makes clear, the overall importance of the cast’s work to the movie’s presentation. When the impact of the cast’s work is considered alongside the depth of the movie’s story and the depth that the audio commentary adds to the story, the whole makes 5-25-77 a movie based on actual events that is surprisingly worth watching.

5-25-77, the newest cinematic offering from independent movie studio Moonwatcher Films, is a surprisingly enjoyable presentation. That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie. The movie’s story is a coming of age story that while yes, it is based on actual events, proves to be anything but the overblown, overly embellished movies that are its counterparts from Hollywood’s major studio counterparts. The feature-length audio commentary that accompanies the movie in its new home release adds even more appreciation for the story. That is because it reveals at least in part just how much of the story actually did happen. It also presents a number of other intriguing anecdotes that will keep audiences engaged. The cast’s work throughout the movie makes for its own interest, too. That is because each cast member’s performance is that believable. Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of 5-25-77‘s presentation. All things considered they make this movie one more of the year’s top new independent movies.

5-25-77 is available now on DVD and Blu-ray through MVD Entertainment Group. More information on this and other titles from The Film Detective is available at:

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Classic Film Buffs Will Appreciate The Film Detective’s ‘The Bat’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: The Film Detective/MVD Entertainment Group

Halloween is just a matter of days away and just in time for the big day, independent movie distribution company The Film Detective will re-issue Universal Studios’ 1959 movie The Bat on DVD and Blu-ray.  The cult classic has been panned by audiences and critics alike, getting a 20% score from Rotten Tomatoes.  Even Vincent Price (who played more of a supporting part in the movie than lead) allegedly said he was ultimately disappointed with the movie in hindsight.  All of this aside, it is still a work that its established audiences will find just as appealing in its latest presentation as in its theatrical premiere.  That is due in part to the movie’s central story, which will be discussed shortly.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its latest re-issue is far from perfect but does add at least a little something to the presentation.  The audio and video in this latest presentation is also of note and will also be discussed later.  When it is considered alongside the other elements noted here, the whole makes The Film Detective’s forthcoming re-issue of The Bat a welcome addition to this year’s field of new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

The Film Detective’s upcoming re-issue of The Bat is a mostly successful offering from the classic cinema distribution company.  The movie’s success comes in part through its central story.  The story is simple:  $1 million that was embezzled by a bank president is hidden in a house that has been rented by author Cornelia Van Gorder (Agnes Moorehead – Bewitched, Charlotte’s Web, Citizen Kane).  Van Gorder and a group of others are in the house and are well aware of the money, searching for it during their stay.  There’s just one problem, the infamous killer known as “The Bat” is also looking for the money, and will stop at nothing, including murder, to get the money first.  While Moorehead is the lead here, the movie continues to be marketed, oddly, more on the back of Vincent Price (The House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax, The Great Mouse Detective).  That is of note because for all intents and purposes, Price’s character of Dr. Malcolm Wells is in fact more of a supporting character here than a lead.  Not to give it away for those who have yet to see the movie, but he is more or less a red herring and not the star, showing up at only certain points in the story.  The Bat’s identity is eventually revealed in the story’s finale, but only after Dr. Wells ends up being killed by The Bat.  Sorry, folks, that had to be revealed.  The money is also found after The Bat is also killed.  Who finally ended The Bat’s reign of terror (so to speak) and how will be left for audiences to figure out for themselves.  There are some very real plot holes and other problems with the acting throughout the movie, but otherwise, they can be overlooked when looking at the bigger picture of the movie’s story.  To that end, the story here is reason enough for audiences to take in this movie.

While the story at the center of The Bat gives audiences reason enough to makethe movie worth watching, the bonus content that accompanies the movie in its latest iteration makes for at least a little bit more reason to take in the movie.  The most notable of the bonuses featured with the movie’s new re-issue is the essay composed by professor and film scholar Jason A. Ney.  Ney’s essay is presented in a booklet that comes with the package.  He notes in his essay, the roots of The Bat, pointing at that it was author Mary Roberts Rinehart’s debut novel, The Circular Staircase, that paved the way for what would become the stage presentation of The Bat.  That presentation, which apparently Price greatly enjoyed as a child, went on to be made into a movie three times over, the final time with Price as one of its stars.  He also points out the very deliberate choice by Rinehart and those involved in The Bat’s creation.  From there Ney furthers the discussion, pointing out how Moorehead’s character of Van Gorder intentionally takes it on herself to try to solve the mystery of The Bat’s identity and the location of the stolen money.  It really is a reflection of changing roles of women in society and again, Ney addresses this, too.  It could be a starting point on so many discussions on feminism and its role in society and in cinema.  As if all of this background is not enough, Ney also offers audiences a background on Rinehart’s very motivation for becoming an author.  Not to give everything away, but it has to do with her family’s own standing.  Interestingly, according to Ney, Rinehart remains one of the lesser-known figures in the literary world today, despite the maintained popularity of The Bat to this day.  This and so much other background information and history that Ney provides in his essay makes for plenty of engaging reading material, and in turn really the most notable of the re-issue’s bonus content.

Ney also provides a feature-length audio commentary throughout the movie.  The problem though, is that he clearly reads from a script throughout the course of his discussion.  That is clear through his pacing and general delivery.  He is not sitting there watching the movie at the same time as audiences.  It detracts from the viewing experience and leaves one feeling like he only did the commentary to get paid, rather than out of love for the movie.  It all just feels too scripted and fluid rather than organic.  To that end, it really does detract from the movie’s presentation.  Thankfully, the negative impact that the commentary leaves is not enough to doom the presentation.

The career retrospective of Crane Wilbur, who wrote the screenplay for The Bat also adds little if anything to the viewing experience and appreciation for the movie.  That is because of how fast it moves.  It just goes from one movie to the next on which he worked, so rapidly that it makes it difficult to follow even for those who fully engage themselves in the brief presentation.

On the positive side of things, the bonus radio broadcasts, which feature Price, of other programs make for their own enjoyment.  They are not connected in the least to The Bat but are still fun to hear.  They take audiences back to another time and give audiences more of a profile of Price’s work.  Keeping that in mind, this and Ney’s essay do just enough to make the bonus content its own positive overall.

Knowing that the bonus content featured in The Bat’s new re-issue is neither entirely good nor bad, there is one more complete positive to note.  That positive is the movie’s overall production.  The audio and video presented here is so clear, even more than 60 years after the movie made its theatrical debut.  It is unknown if any work was done to remaster the footage for its presentation here, but regardless, the overall presentation looks and sounds so good.  That alone more than wakes for reason to take in the movie, especially among its established audiences.  When this and the story are taken into account with the re-issue’s more notable bonus content, the whole makes The Bat’s new re-issue all the more engaging and entertaining.

The Film Detective’s forthcoming re-issue of Universal’s The Bat is a mostly successful presentation that classic film buffs will find enjoyable.  That is due in part to its story, which is a simple soft-boiled crime tale.  The bonus content that accompanies the movie in its new re-issue makes for its own appeal, at least to a point.  The movie’s production rounds out its most important elements.  That is because of the high quality of the sound and video.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the whole of the movie in its new presentation.  All things considered they make The Bat a welcome addition to this year’s field of new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

The Film Detective’s forthcoming re-issue of The Bat is scheduled for release Oct. 25 on DVD and Blu-ray.  More information on this and other titles from The Film Detective is available at:

Website: https://thefilmdetective.com

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Home Release Date Announced For ‘The Beatles and India’

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Renoir Pictures and Silva Screen’s documentary, The Beatles and India will come home this summer.

The documentary is scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-ray June 21 through MVD Entertainment Group. The documentary’s home release will come more than a year after it made its theatrical debut at the UK Asian Film Festival.

The documentary focuses on the impact that Indian culture had on The Beatles’ music. It follows the band’s journey to Rishikesh, India in 1968 and how the Fab Four’s journey changed them and their journey. The doc was inspired by author Ajoy Bose’s book, Across The Universe – The Beatles in India, produced by British Indian music businessman Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose.

The documentary’s soundtrack was released in March through Silva Screen Records. The doc’s DVD presentation is expected to retail for MSRP of $19.95 and its Blu-ray presentation for MSRP of $24.95. Each can be ordered here.

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

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

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Release Date Announced For Dave Brubeck Trio Live Recording

Courtesy: Brubeck Editions/MVD Entertainment Group

Devotees of the Dave Brubeck Quartet will get a very special concert recording of the group next month.

Brubeck Editions and MVD Entertainment Group are scheduled to release Dave Brubeck Trio – Live From Vienna 1967 on April 15. A vinyl pressing of the one-off concert is scheduled for release April 23 for Record Store Day.

The concert, recorded Nov. 12, 1967 in Vienna, Austria, was the last stop on what was the band’s very last European tour. Following a performance Nov. 10 in Hamburg, Germany, saxophonist Paul Desmond got “distracted” after a night out with an “old friend.” Instead of postponing the Nov. 11 concert, the group — Brubeck, Joe Morello (drums), and Eugene Wright (bass) — went on to perform sans Desmond.

Brubeck’s son Chris spoke highly of the forthcoming presentation.

“I think if our dad were alive to hear this Brubeck Trio recording now, he’d be flashing his famous big smile,” Brubeck said. “He would be extremely proud to hear how, more than half a century ago, he, Gene and Joe got thrown a curve ball and knocked it out of the park!”

The set’s expansive set list features performance of standards, such as ‘Swanee River,’ ‘Take The A Train,’ and ‘St. Louis Blues.’ The full set list is noted below.

Dave Brubeck Trio – Live From Vienna 1967 is distributed by MVD Audio. LP’s are 180 gram virgin vinyl.

LP Track Listing:

Side A

  1. St. Louis Blues (W. C. Handy, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 8:55
  2. One Moment Worth Years (Dave Brubeck) 10:10

Side B

  1. Swanee River (S. Foster, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 7:37
  2. La Paloma Azul (Traditional, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 6:09
  3. Someday My Prince Will Come (F. Churchill & L. Morey) 5:28
  4. Take the A Train (B. Strayhorn) 4:16

LP Catalog Number:  BELP20220301

CD/Digital Track Listing: 

 Side A

  1. St. Louis Blues (W. C. Handy, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 8:55
  2. One Moment Worth Years (Dave Brubeck) 10:10
  3. Swanee River (S. Foster, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 7:37
  4. La Paloma Azul (Traditional, Arr. by Dave Brubeck) 6:09
  5. Someday My Prince Will Come (F. Churchill & L. Morey) 5:28
  6. Take the A Train (B. Strayhorn) 4:16

Pre-orders are open.

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

Website: https://mvdentertainment.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

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.

Re-issues Saved Movie, TV Studios During Pandemic

Courtesy: Arrow Video

This year was another rough one for television and movie studios alike.  Movie studios were forced to postpone the release of so many new movies until either 2021 or beyond and TV studios were forced to shut down production all as they faced the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  On top of all of that, the movies and TV shows that did release this year and that were announced for release were largely another massive batch of prequels, sequels, reboots, and movies based on actual events.  That, again, made for very little for audiences to really appreciate.  Thankfully, there were a lot of worthwhile box sets for families and grown-ups alike.  There were also lots of enjoyable re-issues.  That is why Phil’s Picks once again is presenting a list of the year’s top new DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.  MVD Entertainment Group and Arrow Video released some of the best of this year’s re-issues, with re-releases of classics, such as Black Angel, Flash Gordon, and The Last Starfighter.  Shout! Factory meanwhile produced its own interesting re-issues in the form of Thomas and the Magic Railroad, The Spider, and Attack of the Crab People.  CBS DVD and Paramount even had their share of interesting re-issues in the form of Mission: ImpossibleThe Original TV Series, Police Squad: The Complete Series, and Gunsmoke: The Complete Series 65th Anniversary Edition.  Audiences were even treated to re-issues of more classics, such as Roman Holiday, To Catch a Thief, and The Flintstones: The Complete Series.  All of these titles and others are on Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVD and Blu-ray re-issues.

As with each other list from Phil’s Picks, this final list of 2020 features the Top 10 New titles for the year along with five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVD & Blu-ray Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW DVD & BLU-RAY RE-ISSUES

  1. Black Angel
  2. Flash Gordon
  3. Mission: Impossible: The Original TV Series
  4. The Last Starfighter
  5. Thomas & The Magic Railroad
  6. The Spider
  7. The Flintstones: The Complete Series
  8. Warning From Space
  9. Mallrats
  10. War of the Colossal Beast
  11. Attack of the Crab People
  12. To Catch A Thief
  13. Roman Holiday
  14. Police Squad: The Complete Series
  15. Transformers: The Complete Series

That’s it for this year’s year-ender lists.  With 2021 already coming fast, plans are already in the works for lots more new music, movies, and TV shows.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.  

Vintage, Modern Offerings Gave Families Lots To Like This Year

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Families spent a lot of time indoors together this year thanks to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Between parents working from home and students forced to take classes online, parents and their children have seen a lot of each other this year; Probably a lot more than usual.  That increased time together can often lead to tensions between families.  Thankfully, plenty of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets were released this year to help relieve that tension and give families plenty to enjoy together.  That has already been pointed out in part through Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New DVDs & Blu-rays list.  Single disc presentations are just a part of what families had to enjoy together this year.  There was also plenty of content thrown in this year in the form of new DVD and Blu-ray box sets for families.  Among some of the best of this year’s new family box sets are first time releases from the likes of Time Life, PBS, and Nickelodeon.

As with each list from Phil’s Picks, this list features the year’s Top 10 new titles and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Family DVD & Blu-ray Box Sets.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW FAMILY DVD & BLU-RAY BOX SETS

  1. Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
  2. The Buster Keaton Collection: Volume 4
  3. Dolly: The Ultimate Collection
  4. Arthur: The Complete Friendship Collection
  5. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 2
  6. The Berenstain Bears: Tree House Tales Vol. 3
  7. Molly of Denali: Molly’s Awesome Alaskan Adventures
  8. The Jetsons: The Complete Series
  9. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 1
  10. Sesame Street: Old School Volume 2
  11. Spongebob Squarepants: Season 11
  12. Paw  Patrol: PUP-tastic 8-DVD Collection
  13. The Flintstones: 2 Movies & 5 Specials
  14. Garfield & Friends: Season Three
  15. Benji 4-Movie Collection

Next up from Phil’s Picks is the 2020 Top 10 New Grown-Up Box Sets and then the year’s top new re-issues to finish off this year’s lists.  Stay tuned for all of that this weekend.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.  

Arrow Video Announces Release Date, Specs For ‘Silent Running’ BD Re-Issue

Courtesy: Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group

Arrow Video is resurrecting Universal’s 1972 ecologically-minded science fiction flick Silent Running.

The company is scheduled to re-issue the movie Nov. 17 on Blu-ray. The movie stars Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The Burbs, Nebraska) as lead character Freeman Lowell. Lowell is on a ship carrying some of the last forests from Earth and is told that the ship is to be destroyed and that he will return to Earth. He refuses to follow orders and takes matters into his own hands in order to protect the ship’s plant life, going to very even desperate measures in the process.

The forthcoming re-issue will feature a new 2K scan. Additionally, it will feature a variety of bonus features, such as a new feature length audio commentary from critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw, a new interview with music historian Jeff Bond about the movie’s soundtrack ,and collector’s booklet with new liner notes on the movie by Forshaw and Peter Tonguette.

The full listing of the re-issue’s bonus content is noted below.

Bonus Materials

— Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative, approved by director Douglas Trumbull and produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release

— High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation

— Original lossless mono audio

— Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

— Brand new audio commentary by critics Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw

— Original audio commentary by Douglas Trumbull and actor Bruce Dern

— Isolated music and effects track

— No Turning Back, a new interview with film music historian Jeff Bond on the film’s score

— First Run, a new visual essay by writer and filmmaker Jon Spira exploring the evolution of Silent Running’s screenplay

— The Making of Silent Running, an archival 1972 on-set documentary

— Silent Running by Douglas Trumbull and Douglas Trumbull: Then and Now, two archival interviews with the film’s director

— A Conversation with Bruce Dern, an archival interview with the film’s lead actor

— Theatrical trailer

— Extensive behind-the-scenes gallery

— Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Arik Roper

— FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Barry Forshaw and Peter Tonguette

Pre-orders are open for Silent Running.

More information on Arrow Video’s Silent Runnning re-issue is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.arrowfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArrowVideo

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ArrowFilmsVideo

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Metal Rock Films Announces Release Date For New Flying V Guitar Documentary

Courtesy: Metal Rock Films

Metal Rock Films will release a new documentary next month, about the history of one of rock’s most well-known guitars.

Flying V is scheduled for release Sept. 11 on DVD.  The documentary, which is part of the studio’s Inside Metal documentary series, focues on the history of the Flying V style guitar.  The documentary was produced and directed by Peter Hansen and co-produced by Michael Denner.

The program tells the guitar’s history through interviews with metal luminaries, such as James Hetfield (Metallica), Kerry King (Slayer), and Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, Michael Schenker Group, Michael Schenker Fest).

The documentary follows the creation of the Flying V in the 1950s and follows its evolution through the decades, including its use by guitarists in a variety of musical styles, not just metal.  The documentary’s trailer is streaming here.

Flying V is available to order through Amazon and MVD Entertainment Group.

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

 

Website: http://metalrockfilms.com

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

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‘Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations’ Is “Definitely” An Enjoyable Presentation

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

Audiences need a laugh today more than ever.  With broadcast news agencies churning out a constant stream of negativity about the COVID-19 pandemic and everything happening in the political world, it’s tough to find something positive.  Enter MVD Entertainment Group and its recently released Laurel & Hardy Blu-ray collection The Definitive Restorations.  This four-disc collection gives audiences plenty of laughs throughout its overall presentation.  Additionally, it ensures audiences’ engagement just as much as their entertainment.  That is thanks to its extensive primary and secondary content.  Each item will receive its own attention here.  The set’s restoration rounds out its most important elements.  Together with the set’s content, all three elements make this collection unquestionably one of the year’s top new family DVD/BD sets and a welcome watch for any viewer looking for an enjoyable way to pass that time indoors.

MVD Entertainment Group’s recently released Laurel & Hardy Blu-ray box set, The Definitive Restorations is a must have for classic movie and TV aficionados just as much as for the most devoted Laurel & Hardy fans.  That is thanks in no small part to its featured primary content.  The content in question is a deep dive into the legendary duo’s shorts, including the ultra rare short “The Battle of the Century.”  The story centers on Laurel as a boxer whose quest to get insurance should he get injured.  This after Laurel ended up losing a boxing match.  The result of that search for insurance is the noted pie fight, which is the ultimate slapstick bit on the highest level.  In yet another enjoyable short, titled “Me and My Pal,” Oliver’s wedding to the daughter of an oil magnate is put in jeopardy all thanks to a puzzle that Laurel bought for him as a wedding gift.  Laurel and others inadvertently become completely wrapped up in assembling the puzzle, leading to plenty of laughs.  In yet another great moment, Stan and Oliver are delivery men who are trying to get a piano delivered to a house in “The Music Box.”  This short immediately conjures thoughts of some of The Three Stooges’ best bits.  Much the same can be said of the short, “Busy Bodies,” in which the pair plays a pair of carpenters who get into all kinds of trouble.  These are just some of the set’s most notable moments.  The physical comedy that is incorporated into each story, such as Oliver getting stuck on the ladder, which itself is in a car driven by Laurel – in “Hog Wild” – is classic comedy in its own right and will entertain audiences just as much as the story.  That moment in “County Hospital” when the doctor hangs out a window a la Harold Lloyd in the 1923 short “Safety Last!” makes for its own share of laughs, too, adding even more entertainment value.  Even the more subtle physical comedy in “Their First Mistake,” which finds Oliver accidentally feeding Stan with a bottle at one point, makes for its own laughs.  Simply put, the stories featured in this set and their overall content is sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained.  Sure, it isn’t the complete shorts collection – It features 20 shorts in all, and the one “movie” “Sons of the Desert” — but it certainly is a rich presentation that any viewer will appreciate.  Keeping all of this in mind, the content featured in Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations more than makes this collection worth watching.  It is only one part of what makes the set so appealing.  Its secondary content – the bonus content – adds to that entertainment and engagement.

The bonus content that accompanies the set’s shorts is important to note because it takes viewers behind the scenes of Laurel & Hardy’s shorts.  Hal Roach’s audio interview is one of the most notable of the interviews.  Roach, who’s studio handled Laurel & Hardy’s presentations, reveals in his interview that the writing process for the shorts was handled mainly by the writers and by Stan and Oliver.  He stresses that he kept a hands-off approach to the shorts’ creative process during his discussion.  He goes so far as to admit that, “I’d just slow them down on set.”   This gives viewers a glimpse into how the stories in these shorts came to life.  It creates a new appreciation for the final product.

Another notable interview that accompanies the set comes from actress Anita Garvin.  Featured in the set’s first disc, Garvin’s interview finds her talking about her initial fear of Stan Laurel, because she had never met him or Oliver Hardy.  As she continues, Garvin reveals that in meeting them, she realized that Laurel was actually a very “sweet, lovable man.”  She talked about his positive work ethic in the process.  Additionally, Garvin revealed that scripts were rare in Stan and Laurel’s features, and that ad-libbing was commonplace.  This goes back to what Hal Roach noted in his interview about taking a hands-off approach to the features.  This is just one more example of what audiences will appreciate in the way of the interviews.  Joe Rock’s interview adds its own share of interest to the set, even  despite being shorter than other interviews.

Rock reveals in his interview, that the budget for “Sons of the Desert” was very tight.  He tied that in to an anecdote about discussions surrounding Stan Laurel’s salary at the time.  On yet another topic, Rock also makes a statement about how much he enjoyed working with Stan and Laurel because the features at the time did not rely on sex and violence, unlike today’s comedy.  He could not be more right.  Between that discussion, his others, and those from the other noted figures (and those not noted here), the interviews in whole make for their own share of entertainment and engagement.  When this item is considered with the overall content in the featured shorts, the overall content makes the overall viewing experience that much more enjoyable for audiences.  Even with this in mind, there is still more to consider.  That “more” is the actual presentation of the shorts.

The shorts featured in this set are presented in 2K/4K, remastered from the original 35mm film.  The restoration was not just a one and done sort of process.  It took painstaking efforts to bring them back to their original glory.  There was first, a process to restore the film negatives, using chemicals.  That was followed by another process to further define the footage and make it sharp and clear.  The time and effort that was used to restore the footage clearly paid off.  Each short is crystal clear yet still has that original grainy feel, which will certainly generate a sense of nostalgia among audiences.  What’s more, that general clarity of the picture and sound adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the set.  That appeal ensures in its own right, viewers’ maintained engagement and entertainment because it will keep audiences watching and laughing at each featured short.  The result of all things considered is a presentation that is just as wonderful for its actual content as for the presentation of said content.  Simply put, they come together to make the set, again, a must have for any classic movie and TV aficionado and any Laurle & Hardy devotee.

MVD Entertainment Group’s recently released Blu-ray set The Definitive Restorations is a presentation that so many audiences will appreciate.  Its stories and their featured comedic content is sure to give audiences the happy escape that they need from all the negativity in the news and the world.  The interviews that accompany the shorts adds its own share of entertainment and engagement for audiences.  The painstaking efforts that were made to restore the featured shorts adds even more appreciation for the set.  Given, it is not the definitive collection of Laurel & Hardy features by any means, but it definitely is an enjoyable presentation.  It is available now.

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

 

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

MVD Entertainment Group Announces Release Date, Specs For New Laurel & Hardy Collection

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

MVD Entertainment Group will resurrect the classic comedy films and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy this summer.

Laurel & HardyThe Definitive Restorations is scheduled for release June 16.  The collection’s release will feature the duo’s classic comedy shorts presented for the first time ever in 2K and 4K restorations from the films’ 35mm originals.  It will feature shorts, such as “Me and My Pal,” “County Hospital” and “Come Clean” as well as the debut of Laurel & Hardy’s 1927 silent “pie fight” film from the short “Battle of the Century” and the only Laurel & Hardy blooper reel.

Adding to the viewing experience is eight hours of bonus content, such as rare photos and studio documents, interviews with those who worked with Laurel & Hardy and original music tracks and trailers, plus the full restoration of one of Laurel & Hardy’s surviving color films, The Tree In A Test Tube.

Commentaries from Laurel & Hardy historian Randy Skretvedt and Richard W. Bann are also featured as part of the collection’s extensive bonus content.  The restorations were made by possible by Jeff Joseph and SabuCat in conjunction with UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Library of Congress.

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

 

Website: http://mvdentertainment.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.