Blu-ray Review “The Nutty Professor: 50th Anniversary – Ultimate Collector’s Edition”

Starring: Jerry Lewis, Stella Stevens (I), Kathleen Freeman, Med Flory, Norman Alden, Howard Morris (I)
Director: Jerry Lewis
Number of discs: 4
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Video
DVD Release Date: June 3, 2014
Run Time: 397 minutes

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

“The Nutty Professor” is easily one of Jerry Lewis’ best comedies. He directed, stars in, and co-wrote (with Bill Richmond) this very funny film, which is a parody of the classic “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. 50 years and this film is still a laugh riot and to celebrate that date Warner Bros is releasing this film in a brand-new 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition. In fact this new release also received personal input from Mr. Lewis and he helped compile some of the extra content as well. This film has always been a favorite of mine and it is great to see this wonderful released put out to remind people today of what a real comedy looks like to be honest. Warner Bros has always been a leader of giving films the treatment they deserve. Their “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” releases are like none other and this is no exception. A must have for any Jerry Lewis fan!

Here is the official premise for “The Nutty Professor”: The title’s eponymous professor is Julius F. Kelp (Lewis), a shy, bumbling chemistry teacher who has a mad crush on his student Stella Purdy (Stella Stevens). When he tires of being made fun of, Kelp develops a magic potion that turns him into smooth and smarmy nightclub singer Buddy Love. Stella is drawn to Buddy but unfortunately, the potion’s formula is unstable and Buddy keeps slipping back into Julius at the most embarrassing moments. In the end the professor’s ploy is revealed, but not before he delivers a speech calling for everyone to learn to love themselves first before others can return the favor. Stella realizes she loves him for who he is and, needless to say, the ending is a happy one.

In this release we get not only “The Nutty Professor” on Blu-ray but also in DVD format as well. But wait there is still more we also get DVDs of two other well-known Lewis comedies including “Cinderfella” and “The Errand Boy”. This are great films as well. Obviously, they don’t have relation to “The Nutty Professor” but they are a nice bonus for sure. But wait there is still more…there is also a CD included of “Phoney Phone calls 1959-1972”, which features Lewis’s collection of private prank calls secretly recorded over the years. And since we are on the topic of Warner Bros and Jerry Lewis, if you are looking for more rare films be sure to check out the Warner Archive Collection (www.warnerarchive.com), which has various other Lewis’ films available including, “Family Jewels”, “Cracking Up (aka Smorgasbord)” and “Which Way to the Front?”

Since this film is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary, Warner Bros did not take that lightly and really jam-packed “The Nutty Professor” with great extras. “Jerry Lewis: No Apologies” is a brand new intimate look at the legend who has entertained and educated audiences for more than eight decades. There is a “Directors Letter”, which is specially written by Lewis himself to present this new collection. Recreated “Being A Person” is a 96 page book that is made up of drawings and quotes inspired/written by Jerry Lewis and drawn by his personal illustrator. When the first was first made there were only 250 copies of this book made and given to members of the cast and crew of “The Nutty Professor”, so this is cool to be able to own. There is also a 48-Page Storyboard Book and a 44-Page Cutting Script with Jerry’s notes included.

There is an audio commentary track with Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence. There is a great making of look in the film with “The Nutty Professor: Perfecting The Formula Behind-The-Scenes Footage”. “Jerry Lewis at Work” looks into the legend doing what he does best. “Jerry at Movieland Wax Museum” shows the actor visiting the location, which also includes commentary by son Chris Lewis. There are also deleted scenes, promos, bloopers, screen tests, outtakes and trailers included. With the bonus DVD includes, “Cinderfella”, there are special features as well including an audio commentary track with Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence, as well as Bloopers. “The Errand Boy” includes select scene audio commentary also with Jerry Lewis and Steve Lawrence. Lastly, there are also Bloopers, Promo Spots and trailer included.

The Nutty Professor 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition is available on Blu-ray 6/3/14 at the WB Shop http://bit.ly/TNP50THWBShop

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Arrives onto Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack on April 8

CONTINUE THE EPIC ADVENTURE WHEN
“THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG,”
A PRODUCTION OF NEW LINE CINEMA AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES,
ARRIVES ONTO LIMITED COLLECTOR’S EDITION BLU-RAY 3D COMBO PACK, BLU-RAY 3D COMBO PACK, BLU-RAY COMBO PACK, 2-DISC DVD SPECIAL EDITION and DIGITAL HD
ON APRIL 8 FROM WARNER BROS. HOME ENTERTAINMENT

Burbank, CA, February 18, 2014 – Adventures abound as Bilbo, Gandalf and the Company of Dwarves continue their Quest through Middle-earth in “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), arriving onto Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on April 8 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, is directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, who also produces together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” was the number one 2013 home entertainment title across physical and digital accounts in the U.S.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” will be available on Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $105.43, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack for $44.95, Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and 2-disc DVD Special Edition for $28.98.  The Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack includes two Gates of Erebor replica bookends from the Noble Collection and features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition; only 25,000 will be available in the U.S. The Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition; the Blu-ray Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray; and the DVD features the theatrical version in standard definition.  All versions include a digital version of the movie on Digital HD with UltraViolet.* Fans can also own “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in Digital HD on April 8 via purchase from digital retailers.

SYNOPSIS

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.

Having survived the beginning of their unexpected journey, the Company travels East, encountering along the way skin-changer Beorn and a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. After escaping capture by the dangerous Wood-elves, the Dwarves journey to Lake-town, and finally to the Lonely Mountain itself, where they must face the greatest danger of all–a creature more terrifying than any other; one which will test not only the depth of their courage but the limits of their friendship and the wisdom of the journey itself–The Dragon Smaug.

BLU-RAY AND DVD ELEMENTS

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and 2-Disc Standard Definition DVD Special Edition contain the following special features:

  • Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: In the Company of the Hobbit and Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set: All in a Day’s Work – Experience the film’s challenges and demands, and journey alongside the director into Mirkwood, Lake-town and Dale as the movie’s most intense, pivotal scenes are created
  • Production Videos – Watch production come to life as Peter Jackson gives you an inside look at the making of the film
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2 – Travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand transformed by the filmmakers into Middle-earth
  • “I See Fire” Music Video – Ed Sheeran’s beautiful theme song from the film is illuminated with this intimate music video

Blu-ray Review “Pain & Gain: Special Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson, Ed Harris, Tony Shalhoub, Ken Jeong
Directors: Michael Bay
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Paramount
DVD Release Date: December 3rd, 2013
Run Time: 129 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am feeling a little bit of deja vu here, I just reviewing “Pain & Gain” on Blu-ray only a few weeks ago. I was pretty taken back that it was completely bare-bones in terms of special features. So I think Paramount realized they made a mistake and are issuing this Special Collector’s Edition for the holiday season. The only draw for this release is that it includes about an hour of special features and a new (weaker) cover and also leaving out the DVD copy, otherwise it is same release.  Unless you are a die-hard Michael Bay fan and really need these bonus features, I would recommend a pass on this release.

If you want slightly more technical review, here is our review for the film and it’s original bare bones Blu-ray, which was released on August 27, 2013. I am honestly not a fan of double-dipping and the first release was really just a way for them to rush the film out onto Blu-ray fast. Since the draw for this release is the extras, so let’s get cracking on them, as are all bundled under “The A Game: Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain”. This consists of eight featurettes are can be viewed as a big one-hour documentary. The extra looks pretty in-depth behind-the-scenes on the production and also touches on true crime events as well. Since this is labeled as a “Special Collector’s Edition”, I would have wanted a bit more than just an hour of extras and there are still no commentary tracks included.

Here is a break down on the eight featurettes included. “Still a True Story: Ripped from the Headlines” looks into the real crime and being turned into a movie with reporter Pete Collins and the real Ed DuBois. “Back to Basics: Michael Bay’s Vision” is a love fest for Bay with himself and the cast talking about the film. “American Dreamer: Daniel Lugo” features Mark Wahlberg talking about his role. “Passion Player: Paul Doyle” is the same thing for Dwayne Johnson’s character. “Dirty Work: Adrian Doorbal” again does the same thing for Anthony Mackie’s role. “Victimless Crime: Victor Kershaw” looks into Tony Shalhoub’s character as well. “Diamonds in the Rough: Locations” talks about shooting locations in Miami. Lastly “The Real Deal: Law Enforcement” talks about the use of real police officers.

Blu-ray Review “Duck Dynasty: Seasons 1-3 Collectors Set”

Starring: Willie Robertson, Jase Robertson, Kay Robertson, Phil Robertson
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Thomas Nelson
DVD Release Date: December 3, 2013
Run Time: 954 minutes

Series: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“Duck Dynasty” is an A&E reality show that follows the Robertson family, who run a multi-million dollar enterprise called Duck Commander. The show has been getting more and more popular since its first season and in fact, the saga of the Roberston family has recently become one of the biggest phenomenas in cable history as it smashed ratings for the series’ fourth season premiere episode. I am normally not a fan of reality shows but I have recently become hooked into “Duck Dynasty” like most people have. They also released a Christmas album this year as well, so they are everywhere right now. Seriously though, once you start watching this show you cannot stop. It is like a train wreck that doesn’t allow you to look away. If you haven’t seen it and want to binge like myself, this set is a great way to do it and would also make a great holiday gift!

Official Premise: Keep the camo-clad Robertsons in your sights at all times with this Duck Dynasty gift set from A&E. With these down-home millionaires from Louisiana, there’s always somebody up to something that you can rest assured somebody else isn’t going to like. See what happens when Willie hosts his own radio show, but makes the mistake of bringing Uncle Si on the air with him. Watch how his employee retreat fails to build trust among the Duck Commander team. And you’ll want to catch Jase’s plans to prevent Missy from finding out he’s lost his second, newly replaced wedding ring. But the Robertsons never back down from a challenge, always taking on new adventures. Whether it’s a family cooking, fishing or football competition; a blind leap into winemaking; a spontaneous road trip in the RV; or their run-ins with critters of all kinds, this clan makes the most of their funny business. And now you can, too. But please, don’t fight over who gets to wear the enclosed Duck Dynasty bandana!

Since we are talking about a reality TV series, “Duck Dynasty” doesn’t blow you away in terms of audio and video but it still is a solid presentation…after the first season. The first season is basically a DVD upscale with its 1080i transfer in an 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The subsequent two seasons have received a 1080p presentation. All three seasons come with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 surround track, which again isn’t bad but also doesn’t stand out since the show is all dialogue. This 6 disc collection also comes with a limited-edition, exclusive Duck Camo Bandana.

In terms of special features, this release certainly does not disappoint. There are around 70 minutes of bonus footage from the three season. Season one includes 25 short featurettes of interviews and extra scenes, which run just over 35 minutes. The featurettes are: Romeo & Juliet, Sibling Rivalry, Willie CEO, Yuppies, Hairy Guys, The World’s Largest Deer, Si-ence Fiction, All Cameramen Are Weird, Miss Kay’s Cookin’, When You Feed Them They Will Come, Generations, Uncle Si’s Tea Party, Phil-osophies The Birds and the Bees, The Other White Meat, Jase “Si” Robertson, A Kind Gentle Woman, The Making of the Duck Call, Talkin’ My Language, The Making of “The Commander’s Kitchen”, Snakes, Phil-osophies Chatter, Gators, Boys Will Be Boys, The Wives of Duck Dynasty, and Decoy Hunting.

Season two doesn’t pack the same punch as season one but does include nine short featurettes with additional interviews and bonus scenes. The featurettes are: Workin’ With Family, Jack of All Trades, Momma’s Boy, Pizza vs. Toast, Mountain Man, The Brains Behind the Duck, Bootleg Building, Catch Phrases, and Work Hard Nap Hard. Season three gets back to deliver the goods including a bunch of great extras after season two was a little light. First up we have, “The Duck Dynasty Phenomenon”, which focuses on the success of the show with various interviews included. There are also Cast Interviews, Deleted Scenes, a few Webisodes, Mash-Ups and Amanda Ryan Song Recaps included.

Blu-ray Feature “The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhar, Tom Hardy
Directors: Christopher Nolan
Number of discs: 6
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 456 minutes

From the very first time that I picked up a Batman comic back in the 80’s, he was always my favorite superhero. When you think about the word superhero and then think about Batman, some can debate whether or not his is really super. But in my eyes he is definitely a hero. Batman is one of the more darker of comic book heroes. His back story is grim and he is always battling himself with what he is doing and why he is doing it and always looking for a way out. Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” trilogy has been the best portrayal of the caped crusader to date, no question. His vision of these characters are so deep and lined with tons of great themes. These themes are what take this film beyond the typical superhero action film into something with much more depth and drama. Now that Nolan’s chapter for The Dark Knight has come to an end and we are celebrating the recent release of “The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition”, I wanted to take some time to look into these themes that are presented in these great films. I figured we have all seen the film, so I wanted to focus on something new.

When you think about “Batman Begins”, it’s main focus was the rise of our hero. His struggle and fight through his own issues and fear is what made him the hero that he became. Heroism in the film is an apparent theme. The city of Gotham has never had anyone to look up before like him and putting their well-being over his own is what helped Bruce Wayne transforms himself into their hero. This also brings up point of what makes a hero? Batman wouldn’t be where he was if he didn’t experience all his pain and suffering. That is what made him a hero and helped him to overcome it. Another theme that plays a prominent factor in “Batman Begins” is fear. Like I said Bruce Wayne fights not only the villains in the film but also is own fear. His fear of bats and his want to strike fear into his victims are two main points. Also focusing on fear would be the Scarecrow, who hoped to expose the city to fear with this hallucinogen drug.

Anarchy comes to mind when I think about “The Dark Knight”. The Joker’s role in the film is to just spread anarchy and wreck havoc in Gotham. He doesn’t have any clear reasons or purpose, he just does it because it is fun and it entertains him. His back story isn’t clear at all, especially since he changes it every time he tells the story when he asks “You wanna know how I got these scars?”. He is one of the great villains in history due to that reason of him being unpredictable and unreasonable. To be honest, I think that we are all scared of anarchy in general and what it would bring if there really was someone like Joker terrorizing our streets. That is why it resonates with us so well and we are enamored with this character. Betrayal is also a theme that The Dark Knight faces himself when the city of Gotham turns there back on him after the death of Harvey Dent.

In “The Dark Knight Rises”, I have always felt that it is a blend of all the themes from the previous film and wrapping up all open-ended questions. Carrying over from “The Dark Knight”, Bruce Wayne is dealing with the denial from Gotham turning their backs on him. He continues to fight with him fears of continuing to put on the cowl and fighting for justice. He questions his intentions and almost let’s it get the better of him. With the character of Bane, the idea of order really comes into play. Bane wants to take all order out of Gotham and succeeds for the most part when the city is under his control. His character also deals with a bit of betrayal as well as we see in his back story when we find out what made him snap. Human nature is also a very big part of the film, as we see what happens when the order is removed from society. Luckily strength defeats the chaos in the film as we seen not only Batman’s rise over his enemies and his own struggles but the city itself as they step up on their own.

So obviously these are only a few of the dozens of amazing themes included within these three very well made films. Before Nolan’s trilogy for “The Dark Knight”, you would never have thought that a “superhero” movie would have this much depth and character to it. I believe that it has changed the path for the future of these films and it will open doors for filmmakers to expand the universe of this films. I would love to open the door as well to everyone reading to point our your favorite themes from these films as well in the comments below. If you are looking to revisit these great themes and enjoy these films again, I would highly recommend picking up “The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition”.

This amazing release includes all previous special features from the films as well as a bunch of one extras as well. “The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy”, is a behind-the-scenes look on the franchise and is full of never-before-seen footage, rare moments, and exclusive interviews. “Christopher Nolan & Richard Donner: A Conversation” is a sit down chat with directors Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight Trilogy”) and Richard Donner (“Superman”). Lastly there are the complete IMAX® Sequences included for “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises”. There is also some great new and exclusive memorabilia including three premium Mattel Hot Wheels Vehicles: Batmobile, Batpod and Tumbler. There is a newly commissioned collectible art cards by Mondo featuring Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Harvey Dent, and Ra’s al Ghul and a 48-page book featuring production stills and behind-the-scenes images from all three movies. Lastly, you get digital copies of all the films to add to your Ultraviolet account. Act quick though since this set is limited and numbered to only 141,000 copies.

Blu-ray Review “Psycho III: Collector’s Edition”

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell
Director: Anthony Perkins
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 93 minutes

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

You would think by the time you made it to the second sequel of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece “Psycho” that it would be past its prime but that is not the case here.  Anthony Perkins returns yet again in his iconic role, in fact he also directs the film as well. He is joins by Jeff Fahey, who I have always loved from this film. The film takes place one month after the events of “Psycho II” and is very clever and an all around fun ride. Despite that the film became the lowest grossing film in the “Psycho” franchise, though it was still followed by the TV movie, “Psycho IV: The Beginning”. If you are a fan of this franchise or horror in general, Scream Factory has done it again, delivering another great release.

Official Premise: The Bates Motel is once again the site of something evil as the rehabilitated Norman attempts to help a disturbed young woman, Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid, Mommie Dearest), who has left the convent because she can’t find any proof that God exists. Maureen bears a striking resemblance to one-time Bates Motel guest Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) which puts Norman on edge. At the same time, a nosy reporter is snooping around town looking into Norman’s past. Suspense, terror and black comedy worthy of the master himself are in hearty supply in the most shocking Psycho of them all!

Like “Psycho II”, Scream Factory really delivered a fantastic release for this film. The Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.84:1 is very impressive and despite some grain looks great overall. Same goes for the audio tracks, like “Psycho II” this film also contains both DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 aiming to showcase the film’s original sound design and a supped up DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Carter Burwell took over the duty for the score from Jerry Goldsmith and does a solid job and it sounds great here, no questions.

The special features included some great new extras and just like “Psycho II” are worthy of this collector’s edition as well. To kick them off there is an audio commentary with writer Charles Edward Pogue and hosted by Red Shirt Productions’ Michael Felsher, must listen for any fan of the series.”Watch the Guitar: An Interview with Jeff Fahey” is a great new feature with the actor reflecting on his role. “Patsy’s Last Night: An Interview with Katt Shea” talks about working on her role and working with Anthony Perkins. “Mother’s Maker: An Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Michael Westmore” talks about the effects in the film. “Body Double with Brinke Stevens” talks about her work on the film. Lastly there are trailers and still gallery included.

Blu-ray Review “Psycho II: Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly,Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz
Directors: Richard Franklin
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Run Time: 113 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

How do you follow up an amazing classic film like Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho”? Well for first bring back Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. Second bring in hot newbie writer Tom Holland (Fright Night) to set a killer (no pun intended…well maybe some) script. While this film does not reach the reaches of the first “Psycho” but it is a damn awesome sequel. The film is set 22 years after the events of the first “Psycho” and packs a great cast, besdies Perkins, including Vera Miles, Robert Loggia, Meg Tilly and Dennis Franz.  The film always struck me as being very clever and still holds up today. A must have for any horrorhound.

Official Premise: Psycho II is the terrifying sequel to one of the most suspenseful films of all time, Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho. Anthony Perkins makes a horrific homecoming in his role as the infamous Norman Bates, who, after years of treatment at a mental institution for the criminally insane, still can’t quite elude the demands of “Mother.” Vera Miles also returns a the inquisitive woman who is haunted by her sister’s brutal murder and the ominous motel where it all occurred.

Scream Factory really gave a lot of love to “Psycho II” as it has never looked better.  The Blu-ray’s 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.84:1 is very sharp and quite impressive. There is a little bit of grain showing but overall, it is a great high-definition transfer. In terms of audio tracks “Psycho II” contains both DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 aiming to showcase the film’s original sound design and a supped up DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. I have to admit, I enjoyed both but the 5.1 track really worked the best for me with Jerry Goldsmith’s score.

The special features are worthy of this collector’s edition as well.  There are vintage cast and crew interviews, which runs just over 30 minutes. There is a option to play the film with cast and crew interviews (audio only), which are different from the ones above. This is a pretty cool feature for hardcore fans. There is a brand new audio commentary track with Tom Holland and is hosted by Rob Galluzzo (writer-producer-director of “The Psycho Legacy”). Great addition to this release and a must listen for any fan of the film. Holland really kicks some ass here. Lastly there are some trailers, TV spots and a still gallery included.

Blu-ray Review “George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (Collector’s Edition)”

Actors: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Richard Liberty, Joseph Pilato
Directors: George A. Romero
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: September 17, 2013
Run Time: 101 minutes

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

I have always loved “Day of the Dead” but it is a very hard act to follow! “Dawn of the Dead” is easily one of the best horror films ever. But “Day” still has a ton of life in it (get the pun?!) and still holds up today even after almost 30 years. With TV shows like “The Walking Dead” and  films like “World War Z”, zombies have never been hotter, so this is a great time to revisit this classic. You also get to see “The Walking Dead” Director/Co-Executive Producer/Special Effects Make-Up Artist Greg Nicotero start off in the business with his first acting role. “Scream Factory, which is part Shout Factory, is finally giving this film the release that it deserves with this Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. This film has never looked so good and shines with this release. If you own Starz/Anchor Bay rather bland 2007 release of this film, it is definitely worth the upgrade. No question!

Official Premise: The concluding part of George A. Romero’s cult horror trilogy opens with the undead roaming the planet freely. The living have been forced underground, where they make their base in a hidden missile depot, helping with the experiments of scientist Doctor Logan (Liberty), who hopes to domesticate the zombies. However, the military faction of the human survivors favour a more direct approach, and with food stocks becoming ever more depleted, they decide to take action. What folllows is the final showdown between the forces of the living and the armies of the dead.

Scream Factory gave this film a lot of love with a brand new high-def transfer…and it looks stunning. I have the older 2007 Blu-ray and the comparison is really amazing.  Top that with a solid DTS-HD Master Audio track and this release is kicking on all cylinders. There is also some fantastic special features including two brand new extras. “World’s End: The Legacy of “Day of the Dead” is a brand new documentary, which is easily worth the purchase of the disc alone. “Underground: A Look into the ‘Day of the Dead’ Mines” is another new feature looking into the film’s shooting location.  There are two audio commentary tracks, the first with writer/director George A. Romero, Special Make-up Effects artist Tom Savini, Production Designer Cletus Anderson and actress Lori Cardille. The second is with filmmaker Roger Avary.  There is some great behind-the-scenes footage coming straight from Tom Savini’s personal archives. Lastly there are Photo Galleries, Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots included.

Blu-ray Review “Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie” (Collector’s Edition)

Actors: Michael J. Nelson, Trace Beaulieu, Kevin Murphy
Directors: Jim Mallon
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: September 3, 2013
Run Time: 74 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have been a way of Mystery Science Theater 3000 or MST3K (to hardcore fans) since it first started airing on TV. I have always admired classic 50/60’s cheesy sci-fi/horror films growing up and this was a great way to enjoy it on a new level through humor. MST3K was produced and set between seasons 6 and 7 of the show and felt like a regular episode of the show yet quite epic at the same time. Trace Beaulieu (Crow T. Robot), Kevin Murphy (Tom Servo) and Michael J. Nelson are just a riot together. If you are a fan of this type of humor also check out Michael J. Nelson and Kevin Murphy’s latest collaboration, RiffTrax, which are downloadable audio commentaries for many many great (I mean horrible films). “This Island Earth” is such a fun film, bad, but still fun. The jokes are never better and still funny after all these years. I highly recommended release for all fans of MST3K!

Official Premise: After six seasons of sublime, nerdy fun on television, the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 took to the big screen in 1996 for its deliriously funny takedown of the 1955 alien invasion epic This Island Earth. Evil scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester explains the premise at the start: in his quest for world domination, he devises a scheme to subject the human race to the worst movies ever made. He tests his plan on Mike Nelson, the sole human aboard an Earth-orbiting space station known as the Satellite of Love. But our hero and his two robot sidekicks turn a lemon into a much funnier lemon by showering This Island Earth with wisecracks, ridicule and general silliness. The human race may never be rid of cheesy movies, but when the critics are this nutty, who cares?

Shout! Factory released this Collector’s Edition as a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. I have to admit, I was actually rather impressed with the 1080p transfer. We have all see MST3K and we know that the films that they critique are not the highest quality of cinema. They are usually old 50/60’s public domain films but they did a good job of cleaning this up for its high-def debut. The DTS-HD Master Audio track also works well with the film’s very fast and snappy jokes.

What I am most excited about is the fact that there are some decent special features included for this release. There is “The Making of Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie”, which gives a lot of great insight about the MST3K crew and the production. There are deleted scenes including the removed sequences from the riffed motion picture and the alternate ending. So this is a must for all fans! “Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie: The Motion Picture Odyssey” includes new interviews with cast and crew and never-before-seen behind the scenes footage. This is again a must for any fan. “This Island Earth: 2 1/2 Years In the Making” shows how much preparation it was to put this today. Lastly there is the original trailer included.

“The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray Debut September 24

All Three Films, New Special Features, and Memorabilia 

Burbank, Calif. July 1, 2013 – Christopher Nolan’s reimagining of the Batman franchise beginning with 2005’s Batman Begins enjoyed phenomenal critical and box-office success.

Now on September 24, Nolan’s three Batman films  Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises – will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition. The six-disc set will feature all three films with their existing extra content, two new featurettes and exclusive new collectible memorabilia. This must-own collection for fans of DC Comics’ Caped Crusader is available in premium packaging and will sell for $99.97 SRP.

About the Ultimate Collector’s Edition (UCE):

  *Disc 1 – Batman Begins Feature and Special Features

  *Disc 2 – The Dark Knight Feature

  *Disc 3 – The Dark Knight Special Features

  *Disc 4 – The Dark Knight Rises Feature

  *Disc 5 – The Dark Knight Rises Special Features

  *Disc 6 – Bonus Disc of New Special Features (details follow)

 

NEW Special Features:

  • The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy  The inside perspective on the fascinating story behind the creation of one of the most celebrated franchises and how it changed the scope of movie making….forever.  Full of never-before-seen footage, rare moments, and exclusive interviews with  Guillermo Del Toro, Damon Lindelof, Michael Mann, Richard Roeper, Zack Snyder and others.
  • Christopher Nolan & Richard Donner: A Conversation – For the first time, Directors Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Trilogy) and Richard Donner (Superman) sit down to discuss the trials and triumphs involved in bringing the two most iconic superheroes of all time to the big screen, and how Superman influenced Nolan when developing Batman Begins.
  • IMAX® Sequences: The Dark Knight; The Dark Knight Rises – See your favorite scenes as they were intended in the original IMAX© aspect ratio

 

Exclusive NEW Memorabilia:

  • Premium Mattel Hot Wheels Vehicles: Batmobile, Batpod and Tumbler
  • Newly commissioned collectible art cards by Mondo featuring Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Harvey Dent, and Ra’s al Ghul
  • 48-page hardcover book featuring production stills and behind the scenes images from all three movies

 

About The Films

Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight’s emergence as a force for good in Gotham. In the wake of his parents’ murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful. He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.

 

The Dark Knight (2008)

The follow-up to Batman BeginsThe Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who reprises the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne in his continuing war on crime. With the help of Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to destroy organized crime in Gotham for good. The triumvirate proves effective, but soon find themselves prey to a rising criminal mastermind known as The Joker (Heath Ledger), who thrusts Gotham into anarchy and forces Batman closer to crossing the fine line between hero and vigilante. Maggie Gyllenhaal joins the cast as Rachel Dawes. Returning from Batman Begins are Oldman, Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

 

Dark Knight Rises (2012)

It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.

But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane. Christian Bale stars, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman.

 

THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY: ULTIMATE COLLECTOR’S EDITION (BD)

Street Date: September 24, 2013

Order Due Date: August 20, 2013

Catalog/UPC #: 1000372133 / 883929308002

Pricing: $99.97 SRP

Note: All enhanced content listed above is subject to change.

 

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“Blu-ray Review “The Howling: Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Dee Wallace Stone, Patrick Macnee, Dennis Dugan, Christopher Stone, Belinda Belaski
Directors: Joe Dante
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4.5 out of 5 stars

When it comes to “The Howling” it is considered one of the greatest werewolf films. It also features on of the best transformation scenes during its time, along with “An American Werewolf in London”. The practical effects are nothing short of amazing and a must see if you have never experienced it. I miss these days where everything wasn’t CGI.  Believe it or not this film also spawned seven sequels a crappy high school reboot. “The Howling” stars the amazing and lovely Dee Wallace and if you grew up with this film, what guy didn’t have a crush on Elisabeth Brooks? Am I right? Horrorhounds should be very excited with this release and just wait to you see the special features!

Official Premise: From the director of “Gremlins” and “Piranha” comes the ultimate masterpiece of primal terror. Severely traumatized by a near-fatal encounter with a serial killer, TV newscaster Karen White (Dee Wallace) takes time off at a secluded retreat called “The Colony.” But when, after nights of being tormented by bestial, bloodcurdling cries, Karen ventures into the woods seeking answers, she makes a terrifying discovery. Now she must fight not only for her life but for her soul!

Unlike with the recent “Lifeforce” transfer approved and worked on by Tobe Hopper himself, Scream Factory packed the 1080p transfer in 1.86:1 from previously released European Blu-ray. Don’t get me wrong it is still pretty sharp and looks great. “The Howling” includes a brand new DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track along with the original mono track as a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. I have to admit, the 5.1 track is quite epic, especially with the transformation scenes. Pino Donaggio’s score also is complemented very well. I was a little upset that this “Collector’s Edition” is Blu-ray only unlike the recent “Lifeforce” Blu-ray which is a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. But they make it up with their amazing special features.

There are tons of speicWith “Howlings Eternal with Steven A. Lane” we get some back story from the executive producer. “Cut to Shreds with Editor Mark Goldblatt” gives us the scare techniques used in the film. “Interview with Co-writer Terrence Winkless” gets some insight on the film’s writting process. “Horror’s Hallowed Ground: A Look at the Film’s Locations” is hosted by Sean Clark as he tours the film’s shooting locations. “Making a Monster Movie: Inside The Howling” is a cool behind-the-scenes vintage featurette. “Interview with Stop Motion Animator David Allen” is a look into the special effects. “Unleashing the Beast – The Making of The Howling” is an in-depth feature look into werewolf mythology.

Next up are the commentary tracks, which there are two included. The first is with director Joe Dante, Dee Wallace, Christopher Stone and Robert Picardo. It is not a new track but still great to hear Christopher Stone again (R.I.P). The next audio commentary is with author Gary Brandner, which is a new commentary hosted by Red Shirt Productions’ Michael Felsher. I was not a big fan of this track and definitely still prefer the first over it. Lastly included there are a few Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary, some Outtakes, a Theatrical Trailer and a Photo Gallery included.

Blu-ray Review “Lifeforce: Collector’s Edition”

Actors: Steve Railsback, Peter Firth, Frank Finlay, Mathilda May, Patrick Stewart
Directors: Tobe Hooper
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013
Run Time: 101 / 116 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

Based on Colin Wilson’s novel “The Space Vampires”, “Lifeforce” is Tobe Hopper’s first shot a big-budget film. For the most part, the film is visually amazing and still holds up, thanks to Academy Awardwinner John Dykstra (1977 Best Visual Effects, “Star Wars”). Fans can rejoice that this new Blu-ray transfer was actually overseen by Hooper himself, which is pretty cool (more on that below). It also stars the smoking hot, Mathilda May, who looks amazing in HD, especially she is naked for the majority of the film. The final act of “Lifeforce” is where the film really looses me but overall it still holds up for the most part. Also This Blu-ray contains both the theatrical cut and the director approved extended cut. Horrorhounds and fans of this film should be thrilled with this release. Did I mention that Mathilda May is very easy on the eyes?

Official Premise: A mission to investigate Halley’s Comet discovers an even stranger phenomenon: an alien spacecraft! Following a deadly confrontation, the aliens arrive on Earth, where their seductive leader begins a terrifying campaign to drain the lifeforce of everyone she encounters. Her victims, in turn, continue the cycle, and soon the entire planet is in mortal danger. And when the mission’s sole survivor (Steve Railsback) sets out to destroy her, he comes face to face with the most charming – and horrifying – being he’s ever known. Will he be able to destroy the lovely vampiress…or will he become yet another victim of her fatal charm.

Scream Factory delivered this film with a very sharp and clever 1080p transfer with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. Like I said above, Hooper oversaw this restoration and high definition transfer upgrade. He also states in the commentary track that he personally worked on the color timing in order to get it to his original vision. “Lifeforce” features two audio tracks, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. Henry Mancini’s kick-ass score, though only in whole on the director’s cut. The theatrical release cut differs with cutting out some of the erotic content and also some slight differences in the music. Also the theatrical cut only packs a pretty weak Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

The special features are equally as impressive as the Blu-ray transfer. There is a commentary with Director Tobe Hooper, moderated Tim Sullivan (director of “2001 Maniacs”). Highly recommended for any fan of this film. There is another commentary track with Make-Up Effects Designer Nick Maley and hosted by Michael Felcher, decent but doesn’t compare to the first. “Dangerous Beauty with Mathilda May” is a great interview with the still stunning actress. “Space Vampires in London with Tobe Hooper” is a feature focusing on the novel. “Carlsen’s Curse with Steve Railsback” has the actor looking into the film. Lastly there is a Vintage Making of Lifeforce, Theatrical Trailers, TV Spot and a Still Gallery included.

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
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Blu-ray Review "Hats Off to Dr. Seuss: Collector's Edition"

Starring: Allan Sherman, Bob Holt, Hans Conried, June Foray, Boris Karloff, Chuck Jones
Narrators: Eddie Albert, Boris Karloff
Directors: Hawley Pratt, Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Number of discs: 5
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: February 19, 2013
Running Time: 132 minutes

Specials: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

2013 marks Warner’s celebration of the 75th Anniversary of Seuss’ “The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins”. What better way to celebrate than give your “Hats Off to Dr. Seuss” with this amazing collector’s edition including five of his classic TV specials. The first is “The Cat in the Hat” (1971), “The Lorax” (1972), “Horton Hears a Who!” (1970), “Green Eggs & Ham And Other Stories” (1973) – which was formally titled “Dr. Seuss on the Loose” and includes “The Sneetches”, “The Zax” and “Green Eggs and Ham”.  Lastly “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (1966) wraps ups this release. Each of these are available for purchase on Blu-ray previously. If you own these already then this is a simple repackaged box set but if you don’t then it is worth it to check this out. I look forward to sharing these TV specials with my daughter as she grows up.

The Cat in the Hat: It’s a rainy day at home and siblings Dick and Sally have nothing to do. But all of that changes when The Cat and his messy sidekicks, Thing One and Thing Two, burst onto the scene, bringing with them adventure and chaos much to the dismay of a worried pet goldfish. Then, The Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Daisy-Head Mayzie, a girl who mistakenly thinks that the flower blooming on her head will only bring trouble, but eventually propels her to fame and fortune. And finally, blast off to The Hoober-Bloob Highway, where every road from a space laboratory leads to Earth… and eventually to gratitude.

Green Eggs & Ham and Other Stories: Join Sam-Am-I and his persistent attempts at introducing a reluctant fellow to a most delectable dish. Their escapades take them across a zany landscape while assembling a cast of characters that only the imagination of Dr. Seuss can bring to life. Will Sam-I-Am convince his new friend to take a chance and finally try something new? Find out in this timeless tale the whole family will enjoy. Then, meet The Sneetches, who teach us that being yourself is the best way to fit in, while the story of The Zax reminds us that there is nothing to gain from being stubborn.

The Lorax: The award-winning tale of The Lorax tells the story of the greedy, tree-chopping Once-ler and his equally greedy, tree-chopping clan, the brave little Lorax who speaks up for the vanishing forest, and the boy who could right all the Once-ler’s wrongs with a seed and a lesson learned. Then enjoy Pontoffel Pock, Where Are You? and Butter Battle Book, a pair of bonus Dr. Seuss television specials sure to delight.

Horton Hears a Who!: Based on the 1954 book of the same name, the 1970 animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who tells the classic story of an elephant named Horton who just so happens to be the only creature capable of hearing the people of a tiny planet floating on a speck of dust. Or perhaps just the only creature who will listen long enough to hear them. Fully remastered, the special also features Horton Hatches the Egg!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Every who down in Who-ville likes Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived just north of Who-ville did NOT! So the cuddly as a cactus Grinch (with termites in his smile and garlic in his soul) tries to wipe out Christmas for the cheerful Who-villains, only to discover: maybe Christmas, he thought doesn’t come from as store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more! Narrated by Boris Karloff and animated by cartoon legend Chuck Jones, it’s an award-winning Who-roast-beast-feast of a holiday classic.

When it comes to the Blu-ray presentations, each of these are equally very impressive with their 1080p transfers.  The colors are very crisp and really pop out well. You can’t forget that some of these specials have a few years under their belt.  There are various audio tracks on each of these specials.  The best of the bunch gets awards to “The Cat in the Hat”, “Green Eggs & Ham and Other Stories” and “The Lorax” with a nice DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.  They are clear and work well with the dialogue and music.  Next up are good but not really up to Blu-ray full potential. “Horton Hears a Who!” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” both come with a Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps) track.  Seeing that these are two of my personal favorites, I was a little let down but overall it is not a total letdown.

On the scale of special features, this release delivers a nice collection of extras.  To start their are four additional TV specials including “The Butter Battle Book” (1989), “Daisy-Head Mayzie” (1995), “The Hoober-Bloob Highway” (1975) and “Pontoffel Pock & His Magic Piano” (1980). Other bonus features includes a sing along version of “The Cat in the Hat”, which is fun for the little kiddies (and the big kiddies also).  There is a 1994 documentary “In Search of Dr. Seuss”, which worth a watch.  There is a featurette for “The Lorax” called “The Trees! The Trees! The Voice Of The Trees”.  Another featurette includes “Dr. Seuss and the Grinch: From Whoville in Hollywood” follows the road from the pages to the screen. Lastly there are four interactive puzzles. Also I should mention that this release comes with a booklet of rate Dr. Seuss artwork including a few images of his hat collection.  I wish this was much longer but still very cool.

DVD Review “Dark Night of the Scarecrow (Deluxe Collector’s Edition)”

Actors: Charles Durning, Tonya Crowe, Larry Drake, Lane Smith
Directors: Frank De Felitta
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: VCI Entertainment
DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
Run Time: 96 minutes

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

If you are a fan of horror, then you surely know about “Dark Night of the Scarecrow”.  The film has never had love from studios and was only just finally released on DVD for the first time in late 2010, thanks to VCI Entertainment.  It is hard to believe that this was a made-for-TV movie back in the day. Even for a TV movie, the film is still extremely disturbing and unsettling.  If it wasn’t for VCI, this film might still be missing and might have never seen the light of day. This Deluxe Collector’s Edition includes some great new special features and worth the purchase you don’t already own this.  There are certain horror films that have stood the test of time and this is certainly one of them.  Thanks to VCI, the film was given a wonderful restoration for the DVD release and really looks amazing.

Official Premise: When young Marylee Williams (Tonya Crowe) is found viciously mauled, all hell breaks loose in her small rural town. Officious postmaster Otis P. Hazelrigg (Charles Durning) leads a gang of bigots in pursuit of the suspect: her mentally challenged friend Bubba Ritter (Larry Drake). Finding him hiding inside a scarecrow, they exact brutal mob “justice”…only to discover a tragic mistake! Now a strange apparition stalks the land seeking each of them out, as the legend of the Scarecrow begins.

This DVD comes with two fantastic audio tracks, a Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono & 5.1 Surround track.  I prefer the 2.0 since it feels original but the later is very well-done.  Like I mentioned above, the transfer is very sharp and the colors look brand new and not from 1981 at all, especially within its original aspect ratio – 1.33:1. There special features are a nice improvement from the 2010 release.  There is a commentary track from director Frank De Felitta and writer J.D. Feigelson.  There are two trailers including the Original CBS World Premiere Trailer and CBS Rebroadcast Trailer.  There is also a great Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery included.  The new features include “Bubba Didn’t Do it: 30 Years of the Scarecrow” (2012 Extended Version) it is directed by Daniel Griffith and produced by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures.  It includes a new video interview with composer Glenn Paxton.   There is also the “DNOTS Cast Reunion Q & A” -that was recorded at the 2011 Frightfest Film Festival in Louisville, KY.

 

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