Shout! Factory’ Adds ‘The Jerk’ To Its Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is re-issuing Steve Martin’s classic comedy, The Jerk.

The movie is scheduled to be released on Blu-ray Tuesday as part of the company’s ongoing Shout! Select series.  Originally released Dec. 14, 1979 via Universal Pictures, the movie is considered by many to be Martin’s breakout movie.

The story stars Martin as Navin Johnson, the adopted son of a poor, black sharecropping family in Mississippi.  Johnson heads out into the world on his own to find his “special purpose,” which leads to meetings with a would-be assassin, work with the circus and gas stations, an encounter with a service dog, a romance and a financial windfall.  Navi’s new-found fame and fortune leads to plenty of its own problems for the hapless man.

Shout! Factory’s new re-issue of the classic comedy features a handful of bonuses, including, but not limited to two new interviews with Martin and Reiner, and with the writing team of Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb.  The full list of the movie’s bonus material is noted below.

Bonus Features:
·        NEW Remastered from a Brand-New 2K Transfer
·        NEW A Conversation with Steve Martin and Carl Reiner
·        NEW A Conversation with Writers Michael Elias and Carl Gottlieb
·        Learn How to Play “Tonight You Belong To Me”
·        The Lost Film Strips of Father Carols Las Vegas De Cordova
·        Trailers & Radio Spots

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

 

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Shout! Factory’s ‘Dragnet’ Re-Issue Is Another Welcome Addition To Company’s Shout! Select Series

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

When Jack Webb’s timeless cop action drama series Dragnet first aired Dec. 16, 1951, likely no one at the time thought it would be a timeless franchise that would go on to transcend generations of audiences.  Now 67 years later, it has become one of the most beloved and important properties in the worlds of television and movies.  That is proven as the series would go on to have its own extensive life on television – a life which is still very vibrant through and even turned into a big screen adaptation in 1987 in the form of Universal Pictures’ Dragnet.  The movie, which flopped in its opening weekend – according to information from Internet Movie Database (IMDB), it grossed $10.5 million, just over half of its $20 million budget – did end up going on to success both domestically and globally, ultimately grossing $53 million nationwide and more than $66 million overseas before ending its theatrical run.  Now more than 31 years after it made its initial debut, the movie – which has since gone on to be a cult favorite – has seen the light of day once again thanks to Shout! Factory.  The home entertainment company re-issued the modern classic on Blu-ray Oct. 30 as part of its ongoing Shout! Select series.  This latest re-issue is an overall welcome new addition to that series, too.  This statement is supported in part through the story’s writing.  This will be discussed shortly.  The bonus material included with the movie’s new re-issue strengthens that foundation even more.  It will be discussed a little later.  The movie’s average price range rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Dragnet’s re-issue.  All things considered, the whole of Dragnet makes this re-issue another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series and to the library of any classic movie buff.

Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1987 cinematic adaptation of Jack Webb’s Dragnet franchise is another good addition to the Shout! Select series.  It is just as welcome in the libraries of any of the movie’s fans.  That is proven in part through the movie’s writing. The script finds Joe Friday’s nephew (played here by Dan Akroyd, and also named Joe) continuing in his uncle’s footsteps.  He is joined in this adventure by Pep Streebek (Tom Hanks – The Polar Express, Philadelphia, The Burbs).  This in itself is a tribute to the radio and television series that preceded this movie, as Friday notes his previous partners, and even includes a pack of Chesterfield cigarettes and a picture of Webb.  Where Webb’s original radio and TV series were serious, action-packed presentations, this incarnation has a much more light-hearted feel, yet does not sacrifice the action of those series.  The use of an evil cult that aims to take over the city throws back maybe not so much to the old Dragnet radio and TV series, but to old-time radio and TV in general.  To that it, it actually generates its own welcome sense of nostalgia.  The balance of the comedic elements to the action elements is a surprisingly welcome addition to the writing.  That is not to say that the serious side of Dragnet, which is more prevalent in the classic TV and movie series, is not welcome.  As a matter of fact, there is some of that seriousness here, but the more light-hearted approach set alongside that seriousness makes for a good balance of hard and soft at the same time.  The writing also is proven positive in the movie’s pacing.  From start to finish, the script never once loses focus or momentum, ensuring even more, viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  Between this factor, the balance of the script’s comedic and serious elements and the homage paid both to the original Dragnet series (and other classic radio and TV dramas), audiences get in the writing, an element that in whole, that forms a solid foundation for the movie’s new presentation.  While the combined writing elements go a long way toward making Dragnet engaging and enjoyable, that foundation is strengthened even more through the bonus content included with the movie’s presentation.

The bonus content featured with Dragnet’s new re-issue is important to note because of the insight and entertainment that it adds to the movie’s overall presentation.  The new audio commentary from famed pop culture historian Russell Dyball is one item that supports that statement. Dyball’s commentary is loaded with plenty of interesting tidbits throughout the story.  He shares discussions early on, of a former Los Angeles Police Chief.  He also offers commentary about Friday reciting LAPD dress code, noting that it is factual, as Friday and Streebek first meet, which is interesting in its own right.  As the story progresses, Dyball, who has provided commentary for various other movies’ home releases, also shares commentary about workings behind the camera connected to director Tom Mankiewicz and Akroyd, as well as notes of Akroyd’s refusal to use teleprompters, unlike that of Webb in the original series, the joke of Orange County residents’ conservative nature and that tie to Connie’s character and the subtlety of Friday’s transition from a grey suit to a brown suit.  That commentary is intriguing in its own right.  Between all of this and so much more that Dyball discusses over the course of the movie’s nearly two-hour run time (one hour, 46 minutes to be exact), audiences get so much to appreciate from that commentary.  It is yet another way in which bonus material proves to be just as important to a movie’s home release as the movie itself.  If any one thing can be said to the negative of Dyball’s commentary, it is that at times, Dyball comes across as he is reading from his own script than actually getting into the movie.  That is inferred through his delivery.  Of course at other times, he does seem to be involved in the movie, so maybe those other moments in which he seems disconnected are just misinterpretations.  Keeping this in mind, audiences will agree that Dyball’s commentary is, in the end, a crucial addition to the movie’s whole.

Dyball’s commentary is just one of the key bonuses included with Dragnet’s new re-issue.  The previously released bonus featurette “Just The Facts!: A Promotional Look At Dragnet With Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks, adds even more for audiences to appreciate.  Given that this roughly 45-minute featurette (probably stretched to an hour for television at the time) was clearly released with the movie to help its ticket sales, many of today’s audiences likely have not seen it, or have not seen it in many years.  To that end, it is its own crucial addition to the presentation.  Audiences learn through the featurette, which is in fact hosted by Hanks and Akroyd, quite a bit of interesting information.  Viewers learn that Akroyd and Hanks were two very different types of actors off-screen for starters.  It is revealed that Akroyd apparently was very much the method actor, using old Jack Webb tapes between takes to get into the role of Friday’s nephew, while Hanks was more of an “act-as-you-go type of actor.  Additionally, viewers learn quite a bit about Webb the man, the director and the actor through this presentation.  It is revealed that Webb had a wonderful sense of humor as a person, but as a director, he was very strict.  According to the information in the featurette, Webb took very few takes and allowed for the use of very few suits by himself and his cast mates, thus cutting costs.  Another interesting note in this featurette is the respect that Webb had for the Los Angeles Police Department, and in turn the respect that the agency had for him.  There was so much respect in both directions, that the LAPD even held a very special memorial for Webb upon his untimely death in 1959 from a heart attack.  As if all  of this is not enough, the featurette also delves into the history of Dragnet’s music, adding even more interest for audiences.  Add in brief discussions comparing the original Dragnet series to the 1987 movie in terms of dialogue and action, talks on the shows created through Webb’s Mark VIII Productions Studio and more, and the whole of this featurette strengthens the overall presentation of Dragnet’s even more.

The interview with co-star Alexandra Paul adds a little bit more to the experience.  She notes fondly her interactions with Hanks and Akroyd on-set, noting that both men were very wonderful figures.  She laughs happily as she recalls Akroyd’s gentlemanly nature both on and off-screen, and Hanks’ more happy-go-lucky yet professional manner.  It shows even more the distinctly different personalities that the actors brought to the set, and how it played into their on-screen chemistry.  Paul also offers an interesting note about her own innocence coming into the movie, and how that played into her portrayal of Connie that viewers will appreciate learning.  That revelation indeed succeeds in making for more appreciation for Paul’s acting.  Additionally, Paul also laughs as she recalls that prior to her interview, which was recorded especially for the movie’s Blu-ray re-issue, she had seen the movie only once prior to her review, and that was in its debut way back in 1987.  She never says if that avoidance of the movie was intentional, which in itself creates plenty of discussion.  When all of these discussions are considered along with the information shared in Dyball’s commentary and the information shared in the vintage featurette, it becomes fully evident why the bonus content included with Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue is so important to the movie’s overall presentation.  It strengthens the Blu-ray’s presentation quite a bit.  The bonus material is not the last of the Blu-ray’s most important elements.  The movie’s average price point rounds out those elements.

The average price point of Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue is $24.99.  that price is found using prices from Shout! Factory’s store, Amazon and Walmart.  The movie’s new Blu-ray re-issue is not listed at the sites of Target, Best Buy, Books-A-Million, Barnes & Noble at the time of this review.  Considering just the amount of entertainment and insight that audiences get just through the bonus material included in Dragnet’s new Blu-ray re-issue, that price point is relatively affordable.  It gives audiences almost three hours – if not more – of entertainment and engagement when considered along with all of the entertainment and insight offered through the movie itself.  When all of this is considered together, audiences will agree that the Blu-ray’s affordable pricing and the entertainment and engagement offered throughout this Blu-ray makes the package in whole one that classic movie buffs and Dragnet fans alike will agree is a wonderful new addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series, and to any movie lover’s library.

Shout! Factory’s recent addition of Dragnet to its ongoing Shout! Select series is a wonderful new addition to that series.  Classic movie buffs and fans of the movie (and maybe even fans of the original TV and radio series) will agree to that, especially after watching the movie – some for the first time and others for the first time again.  The movie pays a great homage to its source material with its script and acting while the bonus content gives viewers even more to appreciate.  The average price point certainly will not break anyone’s bank, either.  Each item is important in its own right to the whole of Dragnet’s new Blu-ray presentation.  All things considered, they make this re-issue another welcome addition to Shout! Factory’s Shout! Select series and to any viewer’s home movie library.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Shout! Factory Announces ‘Dragnet’ Re-Issue Release Date

Courtesy: Shout! Factory/Universal Pictures

Shout! Factory is adding another modern classic flick to its Shout! Select series.

The company announced this week that it will release Dragnet on Oct. 30 on Blu-ray.  Originally released June 26, 1987 via Universal Pictures, the movie was an adaptation of the classic TV series, which rose to popularity in the 1950s and again in the ’60s. Webb (Dragnet, Adam-12Emergency!) starred as Sgt. Joe Friday in both series.  He was joined by Ben Alexander (Scotty of the ScoutsFlirtationAll Quiet on the Western Front) as Officer Frank Smith in the series’ initial run, and by Harry Morgan (M.A.S.H.The Cat From Outer SpaceInheriti The Wind) as Bill Gannon in its 1960s run.

The big-screen adaptation saw Dan Akroyd (Ghosbusters 1-2The Blues BrothersThe Blues Brothers 2000) filling Webb’s shoes as Sgt. Friday while Tom Hanks (Toy Story 1-3PhiladelphiaThe Polar Express) takes on the part of Friday’s latest partner, Officer Pep Streebek. The odd couple style story finds the two men working to solve a series of robberies and bizarre ritual-style murders that ultimately leads to a much bigger story involving a group that is working to undermine all authority in Los Angeles.

Morgan reprises his role of Bill Gannon in this update on the TV series.  He is joined by co-stars Christopher Plummer (A Beautiful MindBeginnersAll The Money in the World), Dabney Coleman (WarGamesYou’ve Got MailStuart Little) and Alexandra Paul (ChristineSpy HardThe B Team.

Speaking of Alexandra Paul, included in the movie’s forthcoming Blu-ray re-issue is an interview with her as a brand new addition.  The movie also includes a feature-length audio commentary from pop culture historian Russell Dyball.  The full list of the movie’s bonus material is noted below.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s online store.  The collector’s edition will ship two weeks early and will include a free 18X24 poster featuring new artwork from the movie.

Special Features:
 
  • NEW “A Quiet Evening in the Company of Connie Swail”: An Interview With Co-Star Alexandra Paul
  • NEW Audio Commentary with Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball
  • “Just the Facts!”: A Promotional Look at Dragnet with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks
  • Original Theatrical Trailers & Promos
  • Photo Gallery

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

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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

 

 

Comedy, Heart, Bonus Content, Combine To Make ‘Doctor Detroit’ One Of 2018’s Top New Movie Re-Issues

Courtesy: SHout! Factory

Truly diversely talented actors are hard to find in the current era of entertainment.  Sure, there are good actors, both male and female, but finding actors who show true diversity and talent within that diversity is difficult to say the very least.  Thinking briefly, some of the names that come to this critic’s mind are the likes of Meryl Streep, the late great Robin Williams, the legendary Katherine Hepburn, and as underappreciated as he is, Paul Giamatti among others.  These actors showed time and again their ability to adapt to so many different styles of performances, and did so with such talent.  As noted, they are just some of the people on that list.  Another name that deserves to be discussed along with them is none other than Dan Akroyd.  Akroyd, has shown just as much talent through his diverse roles as his counterparts and contemporaries.  Ghostbusters, Driving Miss Daisy, My Stepmother Is An Alien, My Girl and so many other movies have allowed Akroyd to exhibit such range and talent therein.  On April 24, another of Akroyd’s classics – Doctor Detroit — will get new life thanks to Universal Pictures and Shout! Factory, thus serving as more proof of Akroyd’s talents and abilities.  Whether audiences are seeing it for the first time or first time in a long time, it proves in many ways not only Akroyd’s talents, but in itself to be one of his best movies.  It proves both statements first and foremost through its story, which will be discussed shortly.  Speaking of Akroyd’s talent and diversity, both show through clearly in his acting, which will be discussed later.  The bonus material included with the movie’s forthcoming Blu-ray re-issue put the final touch on the movie’s presentation.  Each element is important in its own right to the overall presentation of Doctor Detroit.  All things considered, these elements make this movie (and its soon to be released re-issue) a work that any Dan Akroyd fan will appreciate and that proves Akroyd’s place in the pantheon of great actors.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming Blu-ray re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1983 adult comedy Doctor Detroit is a work that will appeal to any Dan Akroyd fan while also proving just as much as Akroyd’s other movies, why he is one of Hollywood’s elite actors.  Both of those statements are supported in part through the story at the center of this classic comedy.  The story, which is at its heart an underdog story, sees mild-mannered (and very geeky) professor Clifford Skridlow unwittingly thrust into a world that is the polar opposite of his life of academia and the upper crust.  It’s really a fish-out-of-water element that when coupled with that underdog element gives this story so much heart.  One could even argue that Skridlow having to take on an alter ego of sorts in order to free Walker’s ladies – Monica, Jasmine, Thelma and Karen – even gives the movie a sort of super hero element even though it’s not a super hero story.  Through it all, Skridlow maintains his sense of honor, respecting the ladies and befriending Diavolo (T.K. Carter—Domino, Rush Hour, The Thing), again highlighting the story’s underdog element.  Considering that element, the super hero element, and the fish-out-of-water element all being so expertly balanced here, the writing team of Bruce Jay Friedman, Carl Gottlieb and Robert Boris deserve their own share of applause for their work.  More often than not, the more hands in a proverbial pot, the more troubled things get, but that didn’t happen here.  What’s more even with everything going on, the story’s pacing still stayed solid throughout.  What’s more the elements themselves blended together just as well and in turn complimented each other quite well.  In all honesty, if not for the drugs and sexual content, this movie would have been a great family movie.  Director Michael Pressman even makes note of this in his new bonus interview included with the movie’s re-issue. This will be discussed later in the discussion on the movie’s bonus material.  Getting back on track, the story itself and the elements tied into the story give the story so much heart that it alone makes this movie a standout work not just from Akroyd and Universal Pictures, but in general.  It is just part of the reason that the movie stands out, too.  Akroyd’s work on camera is another way in which the movie stands out.

Akroyd’s portrayal of Skridlow and his wild alter ego is so important to note because it keeps audiences just as engaged and entertained as the movie’s story and its combined elements.  The two characters so dramatically juxtapose each other throughout.  One could almost argue that Akroyd took certain parts of his character from his Coneheads skits on Saturday Night Live and attributed it to his take on the “good doctor.”  Those familiar with his performance in those skits will hopefully see that comparison just as much as this critic.  In the same breath, his presentation of Skridlow as a geeky, mild-mannered figure makes one wonder if that portrayal played – at least in part – to his portrayal of Ray Stanz in The Ghostbusters.  That’s because there is at least some similarity in those characters.  Watching Akroyd’s portrayal of Skridlow as he tries to balance the two personality types throughout is a laugh riot and makes suspension of disbelief so easy.  Considering all of this, and the work of his supporting cast, those collective performances go a long way toward making the story even more interesting.  They make their characters that entertaining with their comic and caring personas.  While Akroyd’s work, and that of his cast mates, clearly does plenty to add to Doctor Detroit’s enjoyment, it still is not the last of the movie’s most important elements.  The bonus material included in the movie’s upcoming re-issue rounds out its most important elements.

The bonus material included in Doctor Detroit’s new re-issue is important to note because it combines some previous bonus material with some new material.  The new material includes a feature length audio commentary with director Michael Pressman and Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball and a one-on-one interview with Pressman about the movie.  The older material includes the familiar promotional radio interviews that the cast did for the movie, the trailers, TV spots, radio spots and photo gallery.  The new material included in this release offers quite a bit of insight and entertainment.  One of the most interesting comments that comes from Pressman’s one-on-one interview is his hindsight revelation about the movie’s drug and sexual content.  He said in no uncertain terms of that content, that he was not fond of that content, looking back on the movie.  Ironically, if that content had not been there, the movie’s story might have been quite different.  That’s not to say a similar story could not have been told.  But it would have likely ended up quite different, but probably still as entertaining in its own right.  That sentiment is echoed in the feature-length audio commentary along with his discussion his decision to make the movie very cartoonish, right down to the wrecker running through the junkyard gate.  Just as interesting to note in his interview and commentary is the note the connection of the drug content to the death of Akroyd’s fellow actor and longtime friend John Belushi’s death not long before the movie’s filming from a drug overdose.  Pressman openly ruminates that he was concerned how Akroyd would handle those references considering Belushi’s passing so soon before work on the movie started.  Bringing everything full circle, Dyball notes during the audio commentary that he personally thought this movie was the point at which Akroyd’s star really started to rise, creatively speaking.  He admitted The Blues Brothers and 1941 were both good movies, but that it wasn’t until this movie that things really started moving for him.  He has a point.  Looking at the movies that came after Doctor DetroitTrading Places, Ghostbusters, Spies Like Us, Dragnet, etc – it is a valid statement, at least to this critic.

As if the information shared in the new bonus material is not enough, the promotional radio interviews offer their own insight and entertainment.  Akroyd talks about The Blues Brothers in one of the radio interviews, noting that he felt the movie was, at its heart, about separation of church and state.  That is an interesting angle to take.  He also notes the creative process for Doctor Detroit and a handful of other topics that are in themselves certain to keep audiences just as entertained and engaged as the information shared in the new bonus material.  Between the information shared by Akroyd and the rest of the movie’s cast in the radio interviews and the information and thoughts shared in the movie’s new bonus material, the bonus material overall presents plenty of its own reason for audiences to watch this new re-issue.  When all of the bonus material is considered along with the work of Akroyd (and his castmates) and the movie’s fully entertaining story, the whole of those elements makes Doctor Detroit the right prescription (yes, this critic went there) for Akroyd’s fans and for classic movie buffs alike.

Shout! Factory’s upcoming re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1983 adult comedy Doctor Detroit is a wonderful watch for Dan Akroyd’s fans and classic film buffs alike.  It is the perfect prescription (yes, this critic went there again) for anyone looking for an alternative to all of the prequels, sequels, reboots, biopics and movies based on actual events currently filling theaters.  That is proven in no small part to the movie’s central story, which expertly balances so many story elements into one whole.  Even being an adult comedy, those elements give the movie just enough heart that if not for the drug and sexual references (including the sexual content that makes up its central plot), this could easily be a family movie.  The work of Akroyd and his fellow cast mates throughout does plenty in its own right to keep audiences entertained and engaged.  The entertainment and insight offered through the movie’s bonus material – both the familiar and the new – adds its own level of enjoyment here, too.  Each element is important in its own right, as has hopefully been made clear in this review.  All things considered, they make the upcoming re-issue of Doctor Detroit one of this year’s top new movie re-issues.  It will be available April 24 in stores and online.  It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s 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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Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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Former Holiday Entry ‘Trespass’ Will Entertain Audiences Looking To Get Away From The Standard Holiday Fare

Courtesy: Universal Pictures/Shout! Factory

The holiday season is officially upon us once again, and that means very soon TV networks and theaters alike will be inundated with their respective annual holiday fare.  Of course that fare, both new and old alike, is not for everyone.  Keeping this in mind, Shout! Factory has an interesting alternative for those looking to avoid that standard fare in the form of the recently re-issued 1992 action flicked Trespass.  Originally released in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, Shout! Factory re-issued the largely forgotten flick on Blu-ray June 27 of this year. The fast-paced ensemble flick features famed actors/rappers Ice-T and Ice Cube alongside then up-and-coming actors William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, Iron Man 3) and Bill Paxton (Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens) as its leads.  Trespass is not the most memorable action flick out there, but that is due in part to its original release date, which is discussed in the movie’s bonus material – the re-issue’s foundation.  That material will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s story is also discussed in its bonus material, and will be discussed in regards to its importance to its whole later.  The cast’s acting rounds out the movie’s most important elements.  When it is joined with the other noted elements, the whole of those elements makes this largely forgotten action flick one worth at least one watch among action aficionados.

Universal Pictures’ 1992 action flick Trespass is an interesting presentation for those looking for an alternative to the standard holiday fare on television and in theaters.  Having debuted in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day 1992, the 101-minute (1-hour 41-minute) movie is not one of the 90s most well-known action flicks.  It debuted at #7 and pulled in just over $5 million in ticket sales nationwide in its opening weekend, eventually reaching sales of $13.2 million before moving from theaters to home video.  That is according to boxofficemojo.com.  Thanks to Shout! Factory though, it now is getting the chance that it never truly got back in 1992, and the bonus material included in its recent re-issue forms the proverbial foundation for its presentation in its second life.

As Bob Gale, one of the movie’s two writers (the other writer was Robert Zemeckis, of Back to the Future fame), noted in the re-issue’s bonus material, the movie’s original Christmas Day 1992 release date was one of a number of obstacles that the movie faced in its original theatrical release.  Also against the movie was the fact that Gale and Zemeckis had to change the movie’s title not once but twice before it even went into production.  Gale notes in his discussion that the movie’s original title was The Looters, and eventually was changed to just Looters before the riots from the Rodney King verdict forced its title to change simply to Trespass out of concern of how audiences would potentially connect the two.  Ironically enough, the title actually works considering the story’s title.  That story will be discussed later.  As if the already noted items were not enough obstacles, Gale also notes in his discussion that his agent was concerned about possible race relation issues that he found in the script, darkening the movie’s hopes even more.  Considering all of these factors discussed by Gale, it is clear that the deck was stacked against Trespass right from the get-go. This vivid revelation shows why Trespass needed, if not deserved, its second life from Shout! Factory.  It also serves to show the importance of bonus material included in the movie’s Blu-ray re-issue.  Much the same can also be said of the separate interviews with Sadler and the movie’s producer Neil Canton, which present their own insight into the script’s roots and its production.

Keeping this in mind, it is wholly clear why the bonus material included in Trespass’ recent re-issue is so critical to its presentation.  It is only one of the elements proving why action flick fans looking to escape the annual holiday TV and movie fare will want to give this re-issue a chance.  The movie’s story is just as important to its overall presentation as the bonus material included in its recent Blu-ray re-issue.

Trespass’ story is relatively simple:  Two firefighters discover a map to an allegedly hidden treasure in a building that the pair had only recently tried to save from a fire.  When they go back to the building to search for said treasure, they unwittingly witness a gang crime that they otherwise would not have seen had they not been there.  When the pair is caught by the gang, action ensues that ultimately leads to things somewhat coming full circle by the story’s end.  There are no underlying subplots or any other elements here to distract audiences and cause the story to get bogged down in itself.  It’s a straight-forward early 90’s shoot-‘em-up action story that is sure to appeal to the most devout action flick aficionados, even those likely not so familiar with the story or the movie which influenced it, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – another item discussed in the movie’s bonus material — since it doesn’t require audiences to do a lot of thinking, opting instead for just entertainment, which is what action flicks are supposed to do.

Considering this simplicity and the draw that it was certain to have had, it’s easy to see why the movie likely would have had at least a fighting *no pun intended* chance in its original release had it been given perhaps an early spring or early fall release in its original release. Again, at least it will have that chance with its re-issue.  Even as important as it is, it still is not the last of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The work of the movie’s cast rounds out its most important elements.

Considering that the movie’s lead cast – all four previously noted actors – was still very young when it starred in Trespass, its collective work is important to note in examining the movie.  That is because of how surprisingly entertaining the cast proved to be in whole.  Ice Cube and Ice T showed through their performances their natural on-screen talent – talent that has since proven itself time and again for both men.  One moment that proves this comes late in the movie as Savon (Ice Cube) and King James (Ice-T) go toe to toe against one another over the treasure and what to do about Vince (Paxton) and Don (Sadler).  That moment of conflict shows just how much tension had been underlying between the men even before the events of the story happened.  It would have been so easy for both actors to go over the top, but instead, both men showed such control that they ensured just as much here as in any other moment, viewers’ engagement and entertainment.  Much the same can be said of Paxton and Sadler as tensions eventually grow between their characters, too.  Audiences will be kept fully engaged as Vince and Don start to clash over their search and related safety or lack thereof.  The pairs’ growing conflicts generates a certain ambiguity over whether the story even has a real villain or hero.  Were Don and Vince the heroes or villains?  Were the gangsters Savon and King James the villains or good guys?  That ambiguity, and its ability to create so much discussion is a tribute to each actor’s work.  It shows once more the importance of their work to the movie’s presentation.  When that expert work is joined with the movie’s simple story and the in-depth bonus material included in the movie’s recent Blu-ray re-issue, the whole of these elements makes Trespass a movie that proves well-deserving of its second life.  It also proves it to be a former holiday movie in itself that deserves at least one watch by those looking today for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare.

Universal Pictures’ 1992 holiday action flick Trespass is one of the famed studios’ least known and least appreciated offerings.  It is a movie that, thanks to its recent re-issue via Shout! Factory, proves to be worth at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to the current standard holiday fare.  This is proven in part through the extensive interviews that make up the re-issue’s bonus material.  Those collective interviews form the re-issue’s foundation.  The movie’s simple story strengthens its presentation even more, proving again why it is deserving of that chance.  The collective work presented by the movie’s cast shows in its own way why the movie deserves its new chance, too.  Each element is important in its own way, as has been noted here.  All things considered, Trespass proves to be a former holiday release that is deserving of at least one watch by those looking for an alternative to today’s current holiday fare.  It is available now in stores and online, and can be ordered direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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CMG’s ‘The Old Dark House’ Re-Issue Is Sure To “Scare Up” Plenty Of Fans

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Halloween night is almost upon us, and in celebration of the big night, Turner Classic Movies has a full slate of movies throughout the day and night sure to give people plenty of good scares.  From White Zombie to the original 1960 take of 13 Ghosts to the original 1963 take of The Haunting and more, the greatest classic movies network has plenty on its schedule to help audiences celebrate Halloween in the safety of their own homes.  As notable as most of the movies on the network’s schedule are, it does have some lesser-known yet just as spine-tingling movies on its list including The Old Dark House.  Originally released in 1932 by Universal Pictures, starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whaley (who also directed Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, The Man in the Iron Mask, etc.), it was recently re-issued on Blu-ray Oct. 24 via Cohen Media Group.  This movie is one of the hidden gems of Karloff’s career and a work that every horror purist will want to own now that it has finally been re-issued.  That is due in no small part to the movie’s story, which will be discussed shortly.  The approach taken in the story’s presentation is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.  It will be discussed later.  The bonus material included with the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of The Old Dark House a re-issue that will shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 classic horror/thriller The Old Dark House is a release that is certain to shine in any horror movie purist’s collection.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is relatively simple to follow.  A group of people trying to get out of a bad storm end up together in a creepy old house with some equally creepy figures.  When one of those really creepy figures (played by Boris Karloff) gets hold of some alcohol, the danger to the group of strangers becomes very real.  This is a storyline that has been used any number of times since this movie’s debut.  In some cases, it has worked.  In just as many cases, it has failed in grand fashion.  Considering this, The Old Dark House is among the best of the story’s instances.

Adding even more importance to the story is that the 72-minute tale takes place over the course of a single night in the creepy old house, thus keeping the story from getting too bogged down in itself.  Even with the characters’ interweaving storylines added to that central story, the focus remains clearly on the group’s attempts to survive into the morning.  The overall simplicity in the story’s time frame and plot setup are collectively so simple that collectively, they alone give audiences plenty to enjoy here.  They are also collectively just one of the most important of the movie’s elements.  The overall approach to the story is just as important to note in examining the movie as the story itself.

The approach to The Old Dark House’s story is so important because it heightens the story’s tension, and in turn, makes the movie that much more engaging.  The subtle use of lighting throughout the movie is just one important part of the approach that creates that tension.  There are also certain shots throughout the movie that utilize a certain “fuzzing” effect that is just as subtle as the lighting effects.  That subtle aesthetic effect adds even more impact to the movie’s approach, and in turn makes the movie that much more engaging for audiences.  On yet another level, audiences will take note of the juxtaposition of Morgan’s (played by Boris Karloff) diabolical side to his surprisingly humane side as another important part of the movie’s approach.  That element of the movie’s approach is certain to generate its own interest and discussion among audiences.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear just why the approach taken to The Old Dark House is so important to its overall presentation.  It is not the last of the movie’s most important elements, either.  The bonus material included with the movie is just as important to note as the approach to the movie and its story.

The bonus material included in The Old Dark House’s brand new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Audiences get lots of bonuses in this re-issue, too. The sit-down interview with Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara in which she discusses her father’s distaste for gory horror movies, the three most important elements of his own acting profile, and her own surprising admission about how long it took her to watch some of her father’s works (among other topics) is one of the most important of the movie’s bonuses.  The feature-length audio commentary with Gloria Stuart adds even more depth to the movie’s overall presentation.  Audiences learn through her commentary early on about her cast mates complaining about the shooting schedule as well as the fear factor of certain scenes as well as so much more.  That’s only within the movie’s first half hour or so.  Audiences will also appreciate the discussion on the movie’s restoration and the interview included in the movie’s companion booklet.  When this is all joined with the feature-length commentary from James Curtis, the whole of these bonuses adds so much depth to the movie that their importance simply cannot be argued or ignored.  Keeping this in mind, the bonus material included in this re-issue puts the final touch to the movie’s overall presentation.  When this is considered along with the importance of the movie’s story and the approach to the story, the end result is a movie that every horror purist will appreciate whether on Halloween or another time of year.

Cohen Media Group’s brand new re-issue of Universal Pictures’ 1932 horror thriller classic The Old Dark House is a release that every horror purist will appreciate not just on Halloween but at any time of the year.  That is due in no small part to its story, which is so enjoyable thanks to its simplicity.  The overall approach to the story’s presentation – both in terms of its aesthetic elements and other content – strengthens the movie’s presentation even more.  The rich breadth of bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s whole. All things considered, the noted elements make The Old Dark House a title that is certain to “scare up” plenty of horror movie purists.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Cohen Media Group is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.cohenmedia.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cohenmediagroup

 

 

 

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‘Car Wash’ BD Re-Issue Is A Must See For Any Classic Movie Fan

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

The summer movie season is officially in swing once again, but sadly, Hollywood’s “Big Six” studios haven’t really turned out much about which audiences can be excited.  That leaves one wondering what alternatives are available.  One answer comes in the form of Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of the classic dramedy Car Wash.  Released June 20 on Blu-ray, this 1976 flick is the polar opposite of everything in theaters today and almost everything before with few exceptions.  That is due in part to the movie’s story, one of its key elements to examine.  It will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note believe it or not.  It will be discussed later.  The soundtrack is discussed at more length in the movie’s bonus material, which in itself is important to note.  Each element noted here is important in its own right to the whole of Car Wash’s presentation in its recent re-issue.  All things considered, Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Car Wash is a solid alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of summer entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent re-issue of Universal Pictures’ classic dramedy Car Wash is an enjoyable alternative to Hollywood’s annual lack of entertaining summer fare.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story is relatively simple.  It follows a group of car wash employees over the course of a single day on the job. It sounds simple, and it is.  But it’s that simplicity that makes the story so interesting even with all of the different story lines.  Far too often in today’s movies, multiple story lines are the norm, and far too often, those multiple story lines mess up said movies because said movies’ writers don’t know how to balance the stories.  That wasn’t the case here.  Script writer Joel Schumacher (yes, the same one responsible for those awful Batman movies) actually did an applause worthy job in balancing each character’s story within the bigger picture of the story’s script.  That ability to balance the stories ensures audiences engagement from beginning to end.

On another level, the story’s aesthetic elements add even more to its surprising enjoyment.  It balances just as well its dramatic elements and its more comedic moments, making the story even more entertaining.  Viewers will laugh as one of the guys stuffs his friend’s sandwich with hot peppers and as George Carlin’s taxi driver looks for a woman who tried to get a free ride in his cab, trying to get his money.  What’s interesting about his performance is that one can’t help but wonder if Bill Murray might have taken Carlin’s performance as inspiration for his performance in Caddyshack.  Putting the pair’s performances side by side, one can’t ignore the similarity in the characters’ portrayals.  Getting back on track, audiences will be just as entertained in the story’s more moving moments such as when T.C. tries to woo a certain young lady and when Duane tries to rob the car wash (not to give away too much).  Between these moments and so many more, the balance of the story’s humorous and heartfelt elements makes the story even more entertaining.  Doing a comparison to certain other movies, one can’t help but compare that balance to that presented in Friday.  Stylistically, the two stories are very similar in that aspect.  Keeping that in mind, it shows potentially the long reach that this story has had.  Considering that and the balance in the story’s multiple lines, it becomes clear why Car Wash’s story is central to its presentation in more ways than one.  It is of course just one of the movie’s important elements.  Its soundtrack is an important element to note, too.

The story at the center of Car Wash is central to its presentation not just because it is the story, but because of the balance in its multiple arcs and aesthetic elements.  That balance ensures audiences’ engagement throughout the course of the classic dramedy.  Even with this in mind, it is not the movie’s only important element.  The movie’s soundtrack is just as important to note.  That’s because it isn’t just a random soundtrack.  In fact, as is discussed in the bonus material, it is actually its own part of the movie.  As is noted, the movie is actually built around its soundtrack.  The songs are deliberately placed alongside each scene in order to heighten each scene’s appropriate emotion.  Such a practice is something rare nowadays in most films.  It shows, too, with so many soundtracks just overflowing with Top 40 and rock songs.  Given, the songs included in this movie are major radio hits to this day.  But they were strategically placed, and quite well at that.  Even more interesting to note is that the movie’s title song was released before the movie even hit theaters.  That, too is noted in the movie’s bonus material, which will be discussed shortly.  Considering the deliberate, well thought out placement of the movie’s soundtrack, it goes a long way toward adding to the movie’s entertainment especially taking into account the knowledge of that intentional placement.  Keeping this in mind, it becomes fully clear why the soundtrack around which Car Wash’s story is built is just as important as the movie’s story.  It is not the last of the movie’s important elements either.  Those previously noted bonus materials round out the movie’s most important elements in its recent re-issue.

The bonus material included in Car Wash’s recent Blu-ray re-issue via Shout! Factory are important to the movie’s presentation because they, surprisingly, create the movie’s backbone.  It is through Producer Gary Stromberg’s discussions that audiences learn about the movie’s story being created around its soundtrack rather than the other way around.  His discussion also reveals the tidbit about the movie’s title song being released to radio in order to build excitement about the movie.  Audiences will be surprised to learn just how much excitement that approach built.  For those unfamiliar with the song, the discussion on the song along provides an interesting history behind the composition.  As if that isn’t enough, Stromberg reveals he was still a struggling college student when the idea for Car Wash came about.  Audiences will be surprised to learn this piece of history, considering how popular the movie has gone on to become in the now almost 41 years since it debuted—on Oct. 22, 1976.  Stromberg’s discussions on the Soul train dancers being hired to dance at the movie’s premiere, how the story was scripted, and more are just as enlightening as his other discussions, too.  Considering all of this, Stromberg’s overall discussions form a solid foundation for Car Wash in its recent re-issue.  Looking back in hindsight, it is recommended that audiences watch this discussion before taking in the movie because of the groundwork that it lays.

Stromberg’s thoughts are not the only important input presented through the movie’s bonus material in its recent re-issue. Schumacher’s own commentary throughout the movie offers its own interest.  That will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  His commentary, when coupled with that of Stromberg, creates a solid foundation for Car Wash proving finally just how important the movie’s bonus material is to its whole.  Keeping this in mind, the movie’s bonus material proves to be just as important to its presentation as its soundtrack and story in making it entertaining in its recent re-issue. Keeping all of this in mind, the movie in whole proves to be, again, a solid alternative to anything that Hollywood’s current lack of worthwhile entertainment.

Shout! Factory’s recent Car Wash re-issue is a classic that was well-deserving of being unearthed.  In a time when Hollywood’s Big Six are struggling to turn out anything truly meaningful or even memorable, its balance of heart and humor couples with its equally well-balanced story lines to make it a movie that will resonate with any true classic movie buff and that shows how far Hollywood has fallen from its former glory.  With that in mind, it is – once again – a movie that will entertain any audience looking for an alternative to Hollywood’s current fare.  It is available now in stores and online and can be ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store.  More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

 

 

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