Dead Kennedys Continue 40th Anniversary Celebration With DK40

Three-CD set, capturing classic San Francisco punk band live in its prime, will be released April 26 on Manifesto Records. Digital version to follow on May 10. PurchaseEPK Out of the hundreds of punk bands that emerged from the late ’70s punk scene, only about a dozen or so have achieved iconic status four decades later. They include the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Damned from the U.K.; the Ramones and Patti Smith Group from New York; X, the Germs and Black Flag from Los Angeles; and from San Francisco, the Dead Kennedys. The DKs embodied the spirit of punk from the get-go. Their very name was a shocking reminder of the collapse of the American Dream. Then again, the name would be nothing if the Dead Kennedys didn’t have the goods to back it up. DK40, a three-CD live collection due April 26 from Manifesto Records, offers the aural evidence that the Dead Kennedys were one of the most potent punk bands — period.  It features the band serving up amped-up live versions of all their classic tracks, free from the constraints of the recording studio. 

Formed in 1978 after guitarist East Bay Ray’s ad in The Recycler attracted the attention of singer Jello Biafra, they were soon joined by bassist Klaus Flouride; guitarist 6025 and drummer Ted.   D.H Peligro soon took over the rule of the drum chair. After gigging around the Bay Area, they soon built a reputation cemented by the release of their first single, “California Über Alles,” on their own DIY label, within a year of their formation. Over a boleroesque rhythm consisting of pounding drums, throbbing bass and jagged guitar lines, Biafra lays into then-and-future California Governor Jerry Brown and the hippy dream.

The song includes such memorable lines as “It’s the suede denim secret police / They have come for your uncool niece.” With their follow-up, 1980’s “Holiday in Cambodia,” the DKs showed no signs of letting up. It offered a brutal take on the powers behind the Vietnam War, with East Bay Ray’s iconic guitar parts showing people that the DKs were very much a musical force to be reckoned with. The band went onto release their debut album, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, in 1980, featuring newly recorded versions of “California Über Alles” and “Holiday in Cambodia,” along with other classics such as “Kill the Poor,” “Let’s Lynch the Landlord” and a notable cover of the Elvis Presley hit “Viva Las Vegas.” The subsequent releases, the 1981 EP, In God We Trust, Inc., 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters and 1985’s Frankenchrist albums followed.  Live versions of the material from these releases are showcased on DK40

Disc 1 captures the DKs at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, Netherlands in 1982, with a 13-song set, including “Holiday in Cambodia,” “Nazi Punks Fuck Off” and “Too Drunk to Fuck.” The second disc has the DKs at Alabama Halle in Munich, Germany, also in 1982, with an 18-track set, including “Man With the Dogs,” “Police Truck” and “Chemical Warfare.” The final disc of DK40 captures the band back on its home turf, at the Farm in San Francisco in 1985, with a 16-song romp that includes “Soup Is Good Food,” “Stars And Stripes Of Corruption” and “MTV Get Off The Air.” While the DKs continue on following lineup changes, including the departure of Jello Biafra – vocalist Skip McSkipster of the Wynona Riders now bringing the songs to thousands of fans — DK40 captures the band at the height of their youthful exuberance, with the classic lineup of Jello Biafra, East Bay Ray, Klaus Flouride and D.H Peligro. 

You’ll find DK40 even more fun than a holiday in Cambodia and the band’s blistering counsel is even more relevant today.  They are here to remind us, “It’s never too late to think.” Paradiso (December 5, 1982): 

1. Moral Majority
2. Am the Owl
3. Life Sentence
4. Police Truck
5, Riot
6. Bleed For Me
7. Holiday in Cambodia
8. Let’s Lynch the Landlord
9. Chemical Warfare
10. Nazi Punks Fuck Off
11. Kill The Poor
12. We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
13. Too Drunk To Fuck Skateboard Party (December 13, 1982):

1. Skateboard Talk+Intro Noise
2. Man With The Dogs
3. Forward to Death
4. Kepone Factory
5. Life Sentence
6. Trust Your Mechanic
7, Moral Majority
8. Forest Fire
9. Winnebago Warrior
10. Police Truck
11. Bleed For Me
12. Holiday In Cambodia
13. Let’s Lynch the Landord
14. Chemical Warfare
15. Nazi Punks
16. We’ve Got A Bigger Problem Now
17. Too Drunk to Fuck
18. Kill the Poor The Farm (May 25, 1985):

1. Darren’s Mom
2. Goons of Hazard
3. Hellnation
4. This Could Be Anywhere
5. Soup Is Good Food
6. Chemical Warfare
7. Macho Insecurity
8. A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch
9. Forest Fire
10. Moon Over Marin
11. Jack-O-Rama12. Encore 
13. Stars and Stripes of Corruption
14. Second Encore
15. MTV Get Off the Air
16. Holiday In Cambodia

KISS to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of Solo Releases with 4LP Vinyl Box Set

The Iconic Rock Band’s Four Same-Day-Released Solo Albums Come Together To Celebrate Their 40th Anniversary In
A Limited-Edition 4LP Vinyl Box Set Via Casablanca/UMe On October 19

Forty years ago today, each one the four founding members of KISS — Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss — released their respective solo albums all on the same day to much fanfare, chart success, and platinum sales. And now, four decades later, all four of these pioneering albums are celebrated in KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection, a limited-edition 180-gram 4LP box set by Casablanca/UMe that’s earmarked for release on October 19.

Preorders commence today, September 18, for the limited run of 2,500 vinyl box sets, available exclusively through KISS’s artist webstore (https://www.shopkissonline.com) and The Sound of Vinyl (https://SOV.lnk.to/KISSSoloAlbumsText). Each heavyweight 180-gram LP features a unique color to match its associated cover art; Gene Simmons appears in red vinyl, Paul Stanley sports purple vinyl, Ace Frehley contains blue vinyl, and Peter Criss is in green vinyl. All four albums are housed together in a deluxe black-matte slipcase that features glossy black images of the four artists’ faces surrounding a silver-foil print of the infamous KISS logo.

Also included in this set are four 12-by-12-inch posters of each album cover, plus an exclusive turntable slipmat that shows all four of artist Eraldo Carugati’s iconic, painted album-cover face images all connected together.

All four of these solo albums served to showcase the wide range of talents of each KISS bandmember.Gene Simmons, co-produced by Simmons and Sean Delaney, features the band’s bassist and co-lead vocalist switching over mainly to acoustic and electric guitar duties for songs that highlight his penchant for Beatlesque melodies, funk, and hard rock. Highlights include a remake of “See You In Your Dreams” (initially found on KISS’ 1976 benchmark album, Rock And Roll Over) and a cover of the 1940 Disney classic from Pinocchio, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” Guest musicians include Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, Bob Seger, Cher, Donna Summer, and Katey Sagal.

Meanwhile, Paul Stanley was co-produced by Stanley and Jeff Glixman and it showcases all-original material and stellar work across the board from the KISS lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, in addition to lead and acoustic guitar work from longtime KISS axe associate Bob Kulick. The super-catchy track “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)” reached No. 46 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Ace Frehley, produced by Eddie Kramer and Frehley, finds the lead guitarist doing what he does best. Frehley’s foot-stomping cover of “New York Groove,” originally a 1975 hit by the British glam band Hello, peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Guest musicians include Anton Fig on drums (a sometimes KISS session musician who later became a member of Frehley’s Comet) and bassist Will Lee, both of whom went on to become core members of both of David Letterman’s late-night talk-show house bands led by keyboardist Paul Shaffer.

Finally, Peter Criss was produced by Vini Poncia, a onetime Ringo Starr co-writer who later produced a pair of key KISS albums, 1979’s Dynasty and 1980’s Unmasked. Most of the songs on Peter Criss had been written back in 1971 for the drummer/vocalist’s aptly named pre-KISS band, Lips. The album also boasts a rousing cover of Bobby Lewis’s No. 1 1961 hit single, “Tossin’ And Turnin’,” a song that KISS often wound up playing live during their 1979 Dynasty Tour.

Preorder KISS: The Solo Albums – 40th Anniversary Collection here: https://SOV.lnk.to/KISSSoloAlbumsText

KISS – KISS SOLO ALBUMS [4LP 180g vinyl]

GENE SIMMONS
SIDE A
1. Radioactive
2. Burning Up With Fever
3. See You Tonite
4. Tunnel Of Love
5. True Confessions
SIDE B
6. Living In Sin
7. Always Near You/Nowhere To Hide
8. Man Of 1,000 Faces
9. Mr. Make Believe
10. See You In Your Dreams
11. When You Wish Upon A Star

PAUL STANLEY
SIDE A
1. Tonight You Belong To Me
2. Move On
3. Ain’t Quite Right
4. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me
5. Take Me Away (Together As One)
SIDE B
6. It’s Alright
7. Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)
8. Love In Chains
9. Goodbye

ACE FREHLEY
SIDE A
1. Rip It Out
2. Speedin’ Back To My Baby
3. Snow Blind
4. Ozone
5. What’s On Your Mind?
SIDE B
6. New York Groove
7. I’m In Need Of Love
8. Wiped-Out
9. Fractured Mirror

PETER CRISS
SIDE A
1. I’m Gonna Love You
2. You Matter To Me
3. Tossin’ And Turnin’
4. Don’t You Let Me Down
5. That’s The Kind Of Sugar Papa Likes
SIDE B
6. Easy Thing
7. Rock Me, Baby
8. Kiss The Girl Goodbye
9. Hooked On Rock ’N’ Roll
10. I Can’t Stop The Rain

Win Passes to 40th Anniversary Screening of “Satan’s Children” in Tampa [ENDED]

Media Mikes would like to give our readers the chance to attend a special 40th Anniversary Screening of the locally made horror film “Satan’s Children” on November 15 at the beautiful and historic Tampa Theatre.

Made in the spring of 1974, and directed by the late Joe Wiezycki, a determined group of local TV crew people filmed “Satan’s Children,” a shocking and exploitive tale of brutal revenge, bizarre unholy rituals, hedonistic hippie culture, weird sex, and the seductive spell of Satanism and devil-cults. In other words: grindhouse heaven! A fantastic acting ensemble cast was assembled, with most coming from the University of South Florida in Tampa. Sadly, the film never received a proper release.

Now, 40 years later, we’re giving the devil his due! Two lucky readers (and a guest) will win passes to attend this fun filled event. Not only will be winners get to attend the special screening, they will be able to meet some of the cast and crew from the film that will also be in attendance.

All you have to do to be eligible is to let us know below what long-ago or obscure horror film you’d like to see on the big screen. Two random entrants will be chosen and notified by email. This contest ends on November 7, 2014. Good luck!

For more information, head to http://tampatheatre.org/movies/satans-children/

Blu-ray Review “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition”

Starring: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal
Director: Tobe Hooper
Number of discs: 4
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Love it (myself) or hate it (my wife), “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” is an absolutely classic in the horror genre. It is iconic and has stood the test of time. Speaking of time, the film is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year. MPI Media Group is re-releasing the film on Blu-ray presenting the original restored film in an all-new 4k scan authorized by Tobe Hooper and a ridiculous all-new 7.1 channel soundtrack. If you think you have seen “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” before, think again because watching this Blu-ray is like an entirely new experience.

Official Premise: It has been called grisly, sick, and perverse, as well as raw, unshakeable, and the movie that redefined horror. It was attacked by churches, banned by governments, and acclaimed by only the bravest of critics. It stunned audiences worldwide and set a new standard in movie terror forever. Today writer-producer-director Tobe Hooper s dark, visionary tale remains unparalleled in its impact as perhaps the most frightening motion picture ever made.

“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition” is released as a kick ass DigiPack  combo pack with two Blu-Rays and two DVDs. If this only had a digital Ultraviolet copy, it would be absolutely perfect. The film itself is gritty and was shot on 16mm film, so this film never looked really amazing. I remember watching it on VHS tape and if you could compare that to this new Blu-ray, it would be like two different films. For this release, the film was mastered in 4K and presented on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition. It just looks terrific. Horror fans get ready to do a back flip.

I never thought I would be seeing a film like “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track on Blu-ray but that is what we get here. You would expect this track from a big-budget summer action but never a 40 year old horror film. This track is fantastic and works so well with all aspects from the revving of the chainsaw to the  famous flash photography sounds. Along with this epic track, there are three other tracks including a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0 and LPCM Mono. So there are tracks for everyone whatever you are craving

The special features are split over two discs. The first disc is purely audio commentary tracks. Anything you ever wanted to know about this film is included in these tracks. The first track is with Producer-Director Tobe Hooper, Actor Gunnar Hansen, and Cinematrographer Daniel Pearl. The second is with Production Designer Robert Burns and Actors Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, and Paul A. Partain. The third is Writer-Producer-Director Tobe Hooper. The last is withCinematographer Daniel Pearl, Editor J. Larry Carroll, and Sound Recordist Ted Nicolaou. One is better than the next.

The second disc includes “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Shocking Truth”, which runs over 70 minutes. “Flesh Wounds: Seven Stories of the Saw” is another 70 minute featurette. Between these two extras, you will be exhausted with knowledge. “A Tour of the TCSM House with Gunnar Hansen” is a chat with Leatherface himself. “Off the Hook with Teri McMinn” and “The Business of Chain Saw: An Interview with Production Manager Ron Bozman” are interviews with the respective actors.

“Grandpa’s Tales: An Interview with John Dugan” features the actor reflecting on his iconic role. “Cutting Chain Saw: An Interview with Editor J. Larry Carroll” talks about his work on the film. There are 15 minutes of BRAND NEW Deleted Scenes and Outtakes along with the previous released 25 minutes of additional Deleted Scenes and Outtakes. There is also a Blooper Reel, Horror’s Hallowed Grounds, Still Gallery, Trailers, TV and Radio spots included.

Blu-ray Review “Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles: 40th Anniversary”

Actors: Gene Wilder, Cleavon Little, Madeleine Kahn, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens
Directors: Mel Brooks
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Blazing Saddles” is no question of the funniest and most outrageous film ever made. I even believe that it was one of the first Mel Brooks movies that I ever experience. I remember my dad telling me about the bean campfire scene growing up and the guy who punches the horse. These are classic scenes and can never be topped. Mel Brooks is a legend of comedy and this film is easily one of his best. This is also the first time that this film is being released solo on Blu-ray as it was last available as part of “The Mel Brooks Collection”. The film also co-stars Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, who are also at their comedic best.

Official Premise: The railroad’s got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you’ve got…and name a new sheriff who’ll last about 24 hours. But that’s not really the plot of Blazing Saddles, just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks’ lunatic film many call his best gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns, howlers, growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all.

This 40th Anniversary Bu-ray includes 10 quotable art cards with funny quotes and images from the film. That was a big draw for me but also there is a brand new featurette “Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks’ Wild, Wild West”, which has the legend talking about the film and it’s effect on his career. There is also fantastic vintage extras including a must listen Mel Brooks’ commentary track, a cast reunion documentary, “Black Bart,” the 1975 television pilot inspired by the movie and lastly some deleted scenes and theatrical trailer included. If you love this film, as every comedy fan should and don’t own “The Mel Brooks Collection”, I would run out and surly pick this up!

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the funniest movie ever made! Get the Blazing Saddles: 40th Anniversary Blu-ray, available May 6

Monte A. Melnick talks about his book “On the Road with The Ramones” and 40th Anniversary of the band

Monte A. Melnick worked with the legendary band The Ramones since the group’s inception in 1974 and served as the group’s tour manager up until the bands last show in 1996. Monte’s book “On the Road with The Ramones” which was co-wrote with Kevin Meyer and released in 2007 garnered rave reviews and has gone on to be released in several other languages. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Monte recently about his time with the band, the success of his book and the upcoming 40th anniversary of the Ramones formation.

Adam Lawton: How did you initially start working with the Ramones?
Monte A. Melnick: I grew up with Tommy Ramone and we went to school together. We had also played in bands with one another along with setting up studios with each other. I was there at the very beginning when Tommy first got involved with the Ramones and that’s really how I became involved with them as well.

AL: Were you still looking to be in a band at this time or were you looking to move more towards the management side of the business?
MM: By this time Tommy and I had already built Performance Studios and we were also managing it. While doing all of that we still had time for our own bands and my band Thirty Days Out put out two records on Reprise Records in 1971 and 1972. Tommy had his own stuff going on at the same time as well but he was mostly doing engineering. When it started Tommy was really only looking to produce the Ramones however after a couple showcases they couldn’t find a drummer and Tommy ended up becoming the drummer. Eventually the studio had to close down because of noise problems and the Ramones started to get jobs here and there and they asked me to go along with them. Sometimes when there’s a fork in the road you just have to take it and that’s how I transitioned.

AL: What was your first impression of the Ramones?
MM: When I first saw them I was playing in bands that did three part harmonies and had already done some album work myself. At the beginning the band was incredibly raw. I didn’t like them.  They had to develop and grow which took them awhile. That wasn’t my kind of music to start with but working with them and watching them develop I got used to it and they grew on me.

AL: What was it like dealing with Johnny and some of the other stronger personalities in the group on a daily basis?
MM: John was a difficult personality however he kept everyone in line and was very good at that. John had a very good business sense. We weren’t really friends but we were co-workers. I was more friends with Joey and the other guys as John kept to himself around me. Its part of the tour manager’s job to be able to not only handle the personalities of the band but also those of the crew as well. The tour manager has double the people he has to account for. That was a big part of the reason I wrote the book was to show both sides of what I was dealing with on a daily basis.

AL: Did you notice a big shift in the band with the addition of members like Marky, CJ and Richie?
MM: Most of the changes that happened were very good. There have been eight different Ramones but basically the members dealt with the changes and tried integrating the new members as best as possible. Guys like CJ filled some remarkably big shoes helped elevate the band to the next level. Richie was another guy that was a great addition to the band as he wrote songs and sang. It was terrific. Sadly he left on a bad note which I have the whole story about that in my book.

AL: How did the idea for your book “On the Road with the Ramones” initially come about?
MM: People kept coming to me and telling me to write a book. I’m not a writer so I didn’t think there was any way I was going to do something like this. Joey had released a solo album on Sanctuary records and at the time they were doing publishing as well. They dragged me in to this thing and gave me a ghost writer by the name of Frank Meyer. Frank was a huge fan of the band and is a great writer so when he came in things just fell in to place and I ended up giving him a co-writing credit because he did such a great job. When we started I didn’t know how things were going to turn out. I submitted around 250 images for the book and they all made it in which is very rare for a biography. I have a room full of stuff and they let me put in all of this stuff. The book had a great art director so when you look at the pages everything just flows together. I am very happy how it turned out.

AL: Do you have plans to release another update anytime soon for your book?
MM: I have done one update already so fans who haven’t got the book yet will want to make sure they get the updated version as it has everything in there. Lately I have been focusing on releasing the book in different languages. We are currently working on our 7th language right now which is going to be in Italian. It’s great to be able to spread the book out around the whole world.

AL: With a lot of the recent commercialization of the band do you feel they would still be around today recording and touring had Dee Dee, Johnny and Joey not passed away?
MM: I think it’s great that stuff like the t-shirts and what not is available. The Ramones were never against commercialization which is why they tried so many different producers. They wanted to make money. The band just tried so hard to make it through out their career. After Joey’s death, the group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and then Johnny and Dee Dee’s deaths the Ramones have become bigger than ever. If the Ramones were this big when I was working with them I would have gotten a raise. (Laughs) They are iconic and it’s a shame that they all can’t see this.  I think if they were all around and in good health they still would be playing. They probably would have played passed 1996 just how far though I don’t know. Joey was not in the greatest of health at the time they decided to call it quits and Johnny figured if Joey wasn’t going to be in good health then he would quit also while he was ahead. They had tons of offers to keep the band going.

AL: Looking back on the bands 40 years of existence/history what is your fondest memory and have there been any talks of a 40th anniversary celebration?
MM: That’s another reason I wrote the book was to tell all of those fond and not so fond memories. There was a lot of stuff going on during 22 years on the road. I loved traveling and seeing the world. After awhile the band got big enough to where traveling became comfortable because in the beginning it was not always the easiest. I miss being out there and experiencing all of the different cultures. As for celebrations I haven’t heard of anything yet. Joey’s brother Mickey has his Birthday Bashes in New York and Linda, Johnny’s wife has her thing in Los Angeles at The Hollywood Forever Cemetery where Dee Dee is buried and they have the statue of John. I am not sure what else they could really do.

 

Related Content

Blu-ray Review “Robin Hood: 40th Anniversary Edition”

Actors: Brian Bedford, Pat Buttram, Andy Devine, Monica Evans, Phil Harris
Directors: Wolfgang Reitherman
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Video
Release Date: August 6, 2013
Run Time: 83 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Disney’s “Robin Hood” is not one of the biggest classics to have come out of Disney but I have always loved this film.  The story, the characters, the music! Roger Miller some of the most fun and catchy songs for the film. I recently watched this film on Disney Channel and much to my surprise I felt like I had just watched it the day before. My 14 month old daughter also had a blast watching this film and couldn’t take her eyes off the screen. Disney did a good job with this release and gave it the love that it deserves. Fans of this film should not miss this Blu-ray release, it is a must. Oo-De-Lally, Oo-De-Lally, Oo-De-Lally, what a release.

Disney has been releasing all the animated classics in their library recently onto Blu-ray. Along with this, “The Sword in the Stone” (1963) and and “Oliver & Company” (1988) were released as well. In fact after looking into it they should be coming to an end shortly with only fourteen more theatrically released Disney Animated Classics left with two more set for this year alone. Next up we have “The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” and “The Little Mermaid”.

Official Premise: To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Disney proudly presents the unforgettable animated classic Robin Hood on Blu-ray for the first time ever. Experience all the fun, thrills and celebrated music of this legendary adventure with perfect picture and sound! Join Robin Hood, his trusted companion Little John and his hilarious band of Merry Men as they outfox greedy Prince John to save the good people of Nottingham. Dashing from one daring deed to the next, Robin won’t rest until he wins the hand of Maid Marian and restores King Richard to the throne. One of Disney’s most beloved movies is even better on Blu-ray Combo Pack!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy included. Unlike “The Sword in the Stone”, this release delivers the goods. The 1080p transfer makes this film look better than it ever has.  The colors are really sharp and the line details are impressive as well. Disney gets a big thumbs up on this restoration job. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track also delivers with the sharp with dialogue and Miller’s tunes.

The special features are pretty good as well with a few nice high-def extras. First off, we get a never-before-seen deleted storyline presented with black and white storyboards. There is also an alternate ending included. There are four isolated songs from the film including “Oo-De-Lally,” “Love,” “The Phony King of England” and “Not in Nottingham”, as well as sing alongs. There is an behind the scenes look at the original artwork with a nice gallery of images. There is a fun read along for kids with the “Robin Hood Storybook”, runs about 15 minutes. Lastly, there is a bonus short film “Ye Olden Days” starring Mickey Mouse.

“The Exorcist” 40th Anniversary Extended Director’s Cut Blu-ray Streets October 8th

THE EXORCIST CELEBRATES 40THANNIVERSARY OCTOBER 8

Blu-ray Includes the Extended Director’s Cut, Theatrical Version  with New Special Features and Premiums

Burbank, Calif. June 20, 2013 – When The Exorcist was first released in 1973, viewers were frightened out of their wits – and literally out of their seats. Now Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Academy Award® winning director William Friedkin’s suspense masterpiece that haunted and intrigued the world, with a new Blu-ray release featuring the Extended Director’s Cut and Theatrical Version with new special features and premiums ($49.99 SRP). Available October 8, just ahead of Halloween, this 40th Anniversary Edition will include two new featurettes: “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist” and “Talk of the Devil,” as well as an excerpt from Friedkin’s book The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir.

A true cinema landmark, the theological thriller is one of the top ten box-office performers of all time.* The Exorcist took 10 Academy Award® nominations[i], including Best Picture, and won two Oscars®[ii], for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as winning for Best Sound. Subsequently, the film went on to become a multi-million dollar franchise. Directed by Friedkin (Oscar®-winner for The French Connection – Directing 1971) and written by William Peter Blatty, the film is based on his best-selling novel, which sold nearly 13 million copies domestically and was the #1 book on the New York Times Best Seller List for 57 weeks, 17 of them at #1.

Regarding the Extended Director’s Cut, Friedkin says, “After my initial cut, I took out 12 more minutes before we released it in theatres. Years later, Bill Blatty asked if I’d review some of that rejected footage (which he always felt should have remained) with an eye towards putting it back in a new version. In so doing I believe we strengthened the spiritual aspect of the film.”

Celebrated for his directorial role in this seminal film, Friedkin is still very much in the limelight. His new book, The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir,recently published by HarperCollins, extensively discusses the background and casting of The Exorcist. The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films will honor Friedkin this month with their Lifetime Achievement Award for his continually influential work in genre entertainment at this year’s Saturn Awards. In August, Friedkin will receive the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 70th Venice International Film Festival, where he will present the restored version of Warner Bros.’ Sorcerer. And Friedkin and author Blatty will attend a special 40th Anniversary screening of their film at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. on October 30. The film will also have an exclusive theatrical engagement October 31 through November 7th at the AMC Georgetown.

Synopsis

The Exorcist tells the now-famous story of a girl’s demonic possession, and a gripping fight between good and evil. Linda Blair, in a breakout role, plays Regan, a young girl who starts to exhibit strange, arcane behavior. Her mother (Ellen Burstyn, Oscarâ-winner for Best Actress Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) calls upon a priest, Father Karras (Jason Miller) to investigate. But Karras, who has a spiritual crisis of his own, is suddenly confronted with the unimaginable evil of Regan’s possession. Father Lankester Merrin (Max Von Sydow), an archeologist-priest, is called to help, and a horrific battle for her soul begins.

Special Features:

  • Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist (NEW) 40 years after his novel was published, The Exorcist author, screenwriter and producer returns to where it all began. First stop is a cabin/guest house in the hills of Encino, California, where Blatty wrote the novel. The author visits the place for the first time in 40 years and shares not only memories of writing the book, but also discusses how it inspired him. We then meet Blatty in two key and iconic locations; Georgetown University where the film was shot, and at the now-famous Exorciststeps. Throughout, Blatty reads from his novel, including an excerpt from a chilling newly published passage.
  • Talk of the Devil (NEW) – While at Georgetown University, William Peter Blatty heard about a true case of possession from Father Eugene Gallagher. At the time the film came out, the priest talked at length about exorcism, the true story and about Blatty; this footage is now available for the first time in many years. It is as revealing as it is shocking.
  • Two Commentaries by William Friedkin
  • Commentary by William Peter Blatty
  • Introduction by William Friedkin
  • 1998 BBC Documentary “The Fear of God: 25 Years of the Exorcist”
  • Raising Hell: Filming the Exorcist Set footage produced and photographed by Owen Roizman, camera and makeup tests, and interviews with director William Friedkin, actress Linda Blair, author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty and Owen Roizman.
  • The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then and Now — Featuring a tour of the iconic locations where the film was shot.
  • Faces of Evil: The Different Versions of The Exorcist — with director William Friedkin and author/screenwriter/producer William Peter Blatty discussing the different versions of the film and featuring outtakes from the film.
  • Original Ending
  • Interviews

o   The Original Cut

o   Stairway to Heaven

o   The Final Reckoning

  • Sketches & Storyboards
  • Radio Spots
  • TV Spots
  • Trailers

Premium:

Excerpt of The Friedkin Connection: A Memoir

 The Exorcist 40th Anniversary Extended Director’s Cut Blu-ray™

Street Date: October 8, 2013

Order Due Date: September 3, 2013

Rated R

Run Time: 132min (Extended Director’s Cut)

122 (Theatrical Version)

Pricing: $49.99 SRP

Blu-ray Review “Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Ahna Capri, Bob Wall, Shih Kien
Directors: Robert Clouse
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Bruce Lee is one of our most well-known martial arts icons.  “Enter the Dragon” was one of Bruce Lee’s last films but one that made him the international star that he has become. To celebrate it’s 40th Anniversary, Warner Bros is releasing this Ultimate Collector’s Edition giftset, which includes collectible art cards, lenticular card and an embroidered patch. Top that with a new transfer and some amazing new extras and this release is instant purchase for any martial arts or Bruce Lee fan! It is crazy to believe that this film is actually 40 years old but it still holds up today and has never looked better.

Official Premise: Recruited by an intelligence agency, outstanding martial arts student Bruce Lee participates in a brutal karate tournament hosted by the evil Han. Along with champions Roper and Williams, he uncovers Han’s white slavery and drug trafficking ring located on a secret island fortress. In the exciting climax, hundreds of freed prisoners fight in an epic battle with Lee and Han locked in a deadly duel.

“Enter The Dragon” is not new to Blu-ray as it has been previously released back in 2007 in the early days of Blu-ray.  If you own that release this one is a real improvement.  The new transfer looks much sharper and clear. Really hides the fact that this film is 40 years old. The real star of this release though has to be the audio track which was upgraded from a wimpy Dolby Digital 5.1 last time to a powerful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. The track really delivers the punches and the action overall quite well.

The special features are in line with what should be included with an Ultimate Collector’s Edition. There are three new featurette including “No Way As Way”, “The Return to Han’s Island” and “Wing Chun: The Art that Introduced Kung Fu to Bruce Lee”. These are worth the purchase alone of this release. There is a nice commentary track with producer Paul Heller. There is an a few interviews with Lee’s wife, Linda Lee Caldwell compiled together. “Curse of the Dragon” is a excellent extensive documentary looking into Lee’s legacy and death, narrated by George Takai.

“Location: Hong Kong with Enter the Dragon” focuses on the shooting locations. “Blood and Steel: The Making of Enter the Dragon” is a typical behind-the-scenes that runs 30 minutes and dives into the films stuntwork and fight choreography.”Personal Profile Bruce Lee: In His Own Words” is a rare interviews with Lee pieced together with film clips. There is a vintage featurette from 1973 included, which I always enjoy watching.  There is a personal B&W featurette called “Backyard Workout with Bruce Lee”, nice but runs only two minutes. Rounding out the extras are five trailers and seven TV spots.

Enter The Dragon 40th Anniversary is Available on Blu-ray 6/11/2013 at the WB Shop http://bit.ly/ETD-40
Like us on Facebook at http://on.fb.me/WBEntFB
Follow us on Twitter at http://bit.ly/WBHETW

The Stars of Cabaret Reunite to Celebrate the Film’s 40th Anniversary

Its been forty years since Bob Fosse’s classic musical Cabaret walked away with eight Academy Awards. Warner Brothers is celebrating the film’s anniversary with its release of a fully remastered Blu-Ray book set on February 5th.

The stars of the film, Joel Grey, Michael York, Marisa Berenson and Louise Quick, along with Bob Fosse’s daughter, Nicole, and Warner Brothers’ Vice President of Mastering Ned Price, gathered in Manhattan, where the film originally premiered to discuss their memories of the movie as well as this new release.

Ned Price, the Vice President of Mastering at Warner Brothers Technical Operations oversaw the actual restoration process of the film.

Media Mikes: What was the biggest challenge about this remaster?
Ned Price: The technical challenge on this particular film was that one of the film reels was literally scratched right through the emulsion. I can tell you basically how. It happened back in the late eighties and I know that it was on a film cleaner…and it’s meant for newer negatives but somebody put it up with an older negative. And on older negatives, dirt becomes embedded into the emulsion, so what it did was it picked up a piece of dirt that was in the emulsion and it rolled as it went through the cleaner all the way down. And it wasn’t a fine scratch to the point where you could just paint it out with a wet gate and it wasn’t fine enough where you could just say ‘okay kind of meld the image a little bit’ it was large enough where you would have to paint…by eye frame by frame. We tried to create a digital process, new software where it could identify information in between the scratch and replicate the material, but all we really succeeded in doing was warping things and it wasn’t good enough. So ultimately we ended up painting.

MM: Seeing the restored version was there anything you noticed that struck you and you didn’t see before your work?
Price: Color design. My experience had been seeing the film with rather poor prints commercially before I was with the studio…When we started to pull in prints that were technicolor made which means that they didn’t fade, we started weening through those and found about three or four which really looked accurate and good for color. I saw amazing color design. You know, you’ve got green nails against purple and just beautiful color design that were not necessarily apparent in the poor prints. Which were more blue, more green, just kind of muted and polluted in terms of their color values.
Also, the Kit Kat girls! Man…We were going shot by shot and you see these women in these impossible poses and you think ‘oh god, how many takes did they take?’

One such dancer was Louise Quick, who talked about her experience of being a Kit Kit dancer.

Louise Quick: I never thought of it as tough because it was…exciting is kind of a plain word–there was so much electricity, the air was so alive and the work is hard but you don’t think about that. That’s not important.

In one of the film’s most iconic musical numbers, “If You Could See Her”, Quick, dressed in a gorilla suit, dances with Joel Grey’s Master of Ceremonies.

Media Mikes: How did you wind up being in the gorilla suit?
Louise Quick: I don’t know! I didn’t know until right before we started doing it. It wasn’t decided before hand.
Nicole Fosse: I’m going to take a guess and say it was there were only two Kit Kat dancers that spoke English and it was Kathryn Doby and Louise Quick. And Kathryn was much taller–[laughs] not that it would have been Kathryn had she been shorter! But you have two who speak English, how do you communicate? So, Louise, get in the suit!
Quick: Her mother, Gwen Verdon, brought that mask back from New York to Munich on a plane with it on her lap I heard, she would not part with it because it’s a beautiful mask.

Joel Grey won an Academy Award for best supporting actor in his role as the Kit Kat Klub’s MC, a devilish character we never see outside of the club environment. When asked about his favorite scenes from the film, he discussed “If You Could See Her”:

Joel Grey: I like the Gorilla number of course. It’s so mean, seductive, beautiful melody and it’s just a big idea. I wanted to make him as vile as I possibly could and that gave me that opportunity late in the film. To not be charming but to be evil.

Media Mikes: Did you have a backstory for the MC?
Joel Grey: Of course!
MM: What is it?
Grey: You can’t know! It’s reeeeally gross. I made a whole life for myself since there was no text and no really description about who he was. I was terrified because I thought it was gonna be a musical comedy–four, five numbers– and I wanted it to be horrifying and important and capable of saying many things. Not just a song and dance number. So I dug and dug and dug and looked at German expressionists paintings and listened to music…and he came. One day, he came.

Michael York played Brian Roberts, a British language teacher who enters the world of the Kit Kat Club when he meets Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) in their German boarding house. His character isn’t in any of the musical numbers and fittingly, York selected a quieter scene as his favorite:

Michael York: It’s easy for me, it’s a scene that was unscripted. We’re at the Baron’s castle…and Maximilian von Heune [Helmut Griem] has invited us to stay in this threesome. There was no scene written, you just turn up at 8 o’clock in the morning trying to be awake. And there was this beautiful room where they lit fires on each end. And we started to improvise. And it ended up where there’s a shot in the movie where they start dancing around each other and the heads go in and out. They’re looking at each other and it’s this sort of, I don’ t know, it’s a microcosm of all that’s been going on, that is going on, that will go on.

Grey: I thought you looked like you were enjoying that a little too much.
York: It was exciting. You’re right it was exciting.

Grey: Tell the truth!
York: Yes, it was one of those rare days you don’t know what you have. But what they did cutting it together, David Bretherton and Bob between them, edited this film in such a brilliant way that you never see too much. You’re always left wanting more. And so that was a good day.

Finally, actress Marisa Berenson who took on the role of Natalia Landauer discussed what it was like working with the other actors on what was only her second role.

Media Mikes: You were a newcomer when you did Cabaret, were the other actors welcoming to you?
Marisa Berenson: Immediately. Because they’re all the most generous, wonderful people…they made me feel instantly comfortable…which is rare because not everybody makes you feel like that. It’s a rare thing and it’s a wonderful thing.

MM: What was it like doing scenes with Liza Minnelli?
Berenson: We became close friends very early on and the minute we met we became–you know how you immediately meet someone and you connect with them? And Liza and I have that connection all our lives now…I learned so much from Liza just watching her as an actor. Seeing the way she worked. I have such respect for her as an actor, her talent, and she was so funny. She was so intelligent too. She’s such an intelligent person.

Cabaret 40th Anniversary Blu-Ray is available to own on February 5th

Click here for our review

 

Related Content

Blu-ray Review “Cabaret: 40th Anniversary”

Starring: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Marisa Berenson, Helmut Griem
Director: Bob Fosse
Rated: PG
Studio: Warner Brothers
Run Time: 124 minutes
Own it on Blu-Ray: February 5, 2013

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Musical and film fans will be pleased to own Warner Brothers’ blu-ray release of Bob Fosse’s 1972 classic, Cabaret.

Official Synopsis: Flamboyant and eccentric American entertainer Sally Bowles (Minnelli) sings in Berlin’s decadent Kit Kat Club, even as Nazism rises in Germany in 1931. She falls in love with a British language teacher (York) – whom she shares with a homosexual German baron (Griem). But Sally’s insular, carefree, tolerant and fragile cabaret world is about to be crushed under the boot of the Nazis as Berlin becomes a trap from which Sally’s German friends will not escape.

Even forty years later and amidst modern movie musicals such as Les Mis and Chicago, Cabaret still maintains its edge. It’s perhaps because of Joel Grey’s disturbingly impish Master of Ceremonies that we never quite get to know while his Kit Kat Klub performances are all too aware of, if not concerned by, the dark times brewing outside. It was not for nothing that one of this film’s eight Oscar wins was for David Bretherton’s film editing, which among other structural coups features Grey doing a gleeful German slap dance as we watch a man beaten by Nazis.

Bridging the gap between the club and the outside world at the center of the film is Liza Minnelli’s brash American entertainer Sally Bowles. Bowles may seem at first to be the manic-pixie-dreamgirl to York’s straight-laced Brian Roberts but she’s much more than that. On top of the powerhouse performances Minnelli gives to such classics as “Maybe this Time” and “Mein Heir”, she is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as Sally’s eccentricities expose a loneliness and desperation for attention that she may finally get from York’s charming Brian.

Some of the major themes explored in the film such as homosexuality and abortion, though far more taboo at the time of the film’s release, still hit home today. Cabaret sharpened the edge on movie musicals in a way you’d be challenged to find in the big bright musicals of the sixties. That impact is more thoroughly discussed on this set’s new featurette “Cabaret: The Musical That Changed Musicals” which features the film’s stars as well as additional commentators. Most notably director Rob Marshall, whose Chicago was the most direct benefactor from the structure set in place by Cabaret.

As for the Blu-Ray remastering, which apparently involved the manual removal of a thousand foot scratch on the film’s original print, the film looks stunning. The effects of the remastering, the first done to the film in over twenty years, are most evident when you compare the feature presentation to the clips of the film utilized in previously produced (1997) featurettes “Cabaret: A Legend in the Making” and “The Recreation of an Era” which are also included here. Additional features included many of the cast sharing fond memories from making the film and are welcome additions if perhaps not new to any die-hard fans out there.

Blu-ray Review “Deliverance: 40th Anniversary Edition”

Directed by: John Boorman
Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox
MPAA Rating: R
Distributed by: Warner Home Video
Release Date: June 26, 2012
Running Time: 109 minutes

Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Film: 3.5 out of stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It’s really hard to believe that “Deliverance” was released 40 years ago.  I remember the first time I say this film as a kid and being completely mortified.  The film is such a classic and packs some of the most notable quotes and music in film history.  I mean who doesn’t love the “Dueling Banjos”?  This 40th Anniversary Edition release DigiBook is a real improvement from Warner’s last Blu-ray release back in 2007.  I have to say this film probably contains the best performances from its cast Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ned Beatty.  If you are a fan of this movie, it is worth the upgrade if you have it on Blu-ray and if you don’t it is a simple no-brainer.

This 40th Anniversary Edition release of “Deliverance” comes in my favorite packaging, DigiBook.  I am a huge fan of this type of packaging and it really adds a lot of value for fans of the film and much better than an empty plastic case.  This film really excels it its 1080p video transfer and looks amazing with its aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  Though the spotlight of this release has to go to Warner’s DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.  It is a new lossless mix and really adds a lot to the release value.

For those looking for more value, the special features are impressive and contain a newly produced retrospective with the film’s leading men.  “Deliverance: The Cast Looks Back” runs about 30 minutes and features Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds and Ronny Cox reflecting back on the production, 40 years backs. It is a great new features.  There is a rehashed “Four-Part Retrospective” from the 2007 Blu-ray release, which covers from author James Dickey’s best-selling novel to the shooting on locations to the notable Dueling Banjos scene and many of the controversies that have surrounded this film.  There is an audio commentary track with Director John Boorma, which is decent but nothing special.  Next up there is a “The Dangerous World of Deliverance” which is an awesome vintage featurette, dated but still super cool.  Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included.

Buy It 6/26 on Blu-ray™ http://bit.ly/K2TPAF
Like us on Facebook – http://on.fb.me/WBEntFB
Follow us on Twitter – http://bit.ly/WBHETW

Premise: Four city men on a weekend canoe trip pit their nerve and muscle against the churning waters of a wild Georgia river — where only three are “delivered” from the heart-pounding experience.

Blu-ray Review “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Directed by: Mel Stuart
Starring: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Julie Dawn Cole, Paris Themmen, Denise Nickerson & Michael Bollner
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
MPAA Rating: PG
Running time: 100 minutes

Ultimate Collector’s Edition: 5 out of 5 stars

I have seen “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” an uncountable amount of times. I have also interview most of the cast/crew, check it out here. It is for sure in my top 5 films of all time, no question. So obviously, I will not need to say more about the film…and plus who hasn’t seen “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” at least once. When this film came to Blu-ray, I think I smiled for a complete 24 hours straight. The film is meant for this format. The colors are so vibrant, rich and brought to life on this release. The sound and music are perfect and really makes singing along very easy…come on, you all know the words. Now with the Ultimate Collector’s Edition, we get the perfect beautiful Blu-ray release and SOOOOO much more…

Besides the Blu-ray and DVD disc, the set some with a 144-page paperback book, “Pure Imagination: The Making of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” from director Mel Stuart talking about the production from behind the scenes. Next is a replica production correspondence in a heavy paper envelope and it contains 14 letters.  A reprint of the cast list, a letter from producer Stan Margulies to Pia Arnold, a handwritten letter from Gene Wilder to Mel Stuart, a note from producer David L. Wolper to Mel Stuart and some of the letter included. There is a Wonka Bar tin container which holds four multi-colored scratch-n-sniff pencils and a scented chocolate eraser. There is also a replica of a Wonka golden ticket with an online code for a new prize giveaway. I mean if all that isn’t worth the purchase alone then you obviously aren’t a fan of this film.

The special features are a little light and not in HD but there has never been real extras on any of the releases in the past so it is not a shock. Being a fan of this film for almost 30 years, the audio commentary is worth the price of the set alone which included all five Wonka kids, Peter Ostrum (Charlie Bucket), Julie Dawn Cole (Veruca Salt), Paris Themmen (Mike Teevee), Michael Bollner (Augustus Gloop) and Denise Nickerson (Violet Beauregarde). It is fun and very entertaining. The first extra is called “Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory”, which runs about 30 minutes and pretty much is a verbal coverage from Mel Stuart behind the scenes book. There are four karaoke-style sing-along videos for “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” “Pure Imagination,” “I Want It Now” and “Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do.” Come all though…we all know the words! There is a really cool vintage featurette from 1971, which is really interesting and of course disc 1 wrap with the 1971 theatrical trailer. The second disc only has two special features first with “Mel Stuart’s Wonkavision” which is a new featurette that has Mel Stuart reminiscing about the film. Lastly, “A World of Pure Imagination” is a newly found vintage featurette with the interview with author Roald Dahl.

Synopsis: A poor little boy wins a ticket to visit the inside of a mysterious and magical chocolate factory. When he experiences the wonders inside the factory, the boy discovers that the entire visit is a test of his character. Special Features: Scrumptious Documentary, Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, Mouth Watering Commentary With The Wonka Kids, 4 Sing-Along Songs, Vintage 1971 Featurette, Stills Gallery & Theatrical Trailer.

Available on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, On Demand and for Download 10/18! http://bit.ly/oSDajR