Mill Creek Entertainment Announces the Launch of Moviespree, a New On-demand Streaming Service

Mill Creek Entertainment has established itself as the leading independent home entertainment studio in North America. From special edition Complete TV Series releases including The Shield, Married…With Children, and Roseanne, to special edition SteelBook® release of Mothra and an entire lineup of Retro VHS-style movies on Blu-ray, Mill Creek’s extensive catalog contains both mainstream and cult entertainment offerings that have exceeded performance expectations at retail despite the declining packaged media industry reports.  And now has joined the bandwagon with an all new on-demand streaming service which offers value-priced movie bundles, TV Series, and Premium Entertainment Options. New customers can build a vast digital library and receive an offer to redeem 100 free movies which will be added to their library.

This new streaming alternative gives movie buffs and cord-cutters an exciting new destination to build a digital library. With apps now available on RokuApple TVAmazon Fire TV, and Android devices, movieSPREE is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements. movieSPREE has a robust assortment of bingeworthy film and TV bundles, genre-based collections and specially curated compilations including Lonesome Dove, The 10th Kingdom, The Kids in the Hall, Documentary Now!, Benji, Gone in 60 Seconds and over 2500 hours of entertainment. 

Many of Mill Creek Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include digital redemption offers which will allow end users to add to their movieSPREE library. Content can be streamed from the movieSPREE apps and website using your phone, tablet, laptop or supported OTT devices. movieSPREE also features exclusive content and offers that do not have a DVD or Blu-ray counterpart or availability on other streaming platforms. Unlike many streaming services, this one doesn’t seem to be much of a gamble. It is a sure win if you are a fan of getting free movies, this is a smart move. If you are looking for a gamble, you can check out the Smart Casino Guide to accompany your time while you are streaming this content and a way to win some extra money!

movieSPREE has collaborated with leading OTT content distribution provider ViewLift to create a cohesive customer experience across web, mobile, and connected devices. ViewLift’s end-to-end distribution and monetization platform provides a comprehensive solution that allows real-time publishing across all movieSPREE apps and sites. 

Blu-ray Review “Willow Creek”

Starring: Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson
Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Dark Sky Films
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Run Time: 80 minutes

Film: 1 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I am getting terribly bored and tired of found footage movies. There is nothing new and original here and the pay off seems to get less and less each time. I figured I would give this film a chance because when I interviewed Bobcat Goldthwait (“Police Academy”), he was raving about it. It kept my interest for the first few minutes but then just really dived off the deep end. It is less than 80 minutes long yet it feels like 2+ hours. Firstly, I wouldn’t call it horror either since nothing happens until the last 10 minutes and even then it is isn’t scary at all. We spend about 10 minutes just starring at these people in a tent freaking out at some noises in which we never see who/what they come from. Save yourself the 80 minutes and don’t waste your time here.

Official Premise: Looking to make a splash with his research videos into the existence of Bigfoot, Jim (Bryce Johnson, Pretty Little Liars) and his girlfriend Kelly take a camping trip to the mountains surrounding Willow Creek, California, a small town where infamous footage of the supposed Sasquatch was filmed. Before long the headstrong couple are lost in the woods and discover that someone – or something – is stalking them. With each passing night bringing unknowable danger, the two must use all of their cunning to try to make it out of the forest alive.

The Blu-ray presentation is not anything amazing either. It is shot handheld and even though some of the locations are very pretty to look at there is so much grain shown. Especially when the film goes dark and we are in the tent, I looked at my screen and it looks like a ripped DVD quality. The film comes with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which is also wasted since there is no score or anything in the film besides the dialogue. Special features include a commentary track with Writer/Director Bobcat Goldthwait and Stars Alexie Gilmore and Bryce Johnson, which is decent. There is “Bryce Johnson’s The Making of Willow Creek” follows only day day of shooting from the film so hardly a making of featurette. Lastly there is a deleted scene and a trailer included.

Blu-ray Reviews: Mill Creek Entertainment – July 22nd Releases

Mill Creek Entertainment  is releasing six new titles to their Blu-ray catalog on July 22nd. We have the following Matthew Robbins’ “The Legend of Billie Jean” (1985), Phil Joanou’s “Gridiron Gang” (2006), Joel Schumacher’s “Flatliners” (1990), Luis Llosa’s “Anaconda” (1997), John McTiernan’s “Last Action Hero” (1993), and Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco” (1997). We received four of these six to review for the site but the results are in and we are not very impressed with these releses.

“Anaconda” Official Premise: A film crew headed by anthropologist Steve Cale and director Terri Flores journey through a river to find a mysterious Indian tribe and shoot a documentary on them. They save a guy called Paul Sarone from a sinking boat. He offers to help in their search for the tribe, but he is actually a snake-hunter looking for legendary anaconda snake, and when Cale is bitten by some tropical insect, Sarone takes over the boat.

I do not think that “Anaconda” is a very good film today. It thought it was good when I saw it in theaters many years ago but it certainly hasn’t stood up to time. This is the not the first time that this film has been released on Blu-ray either. It was put out back in 2009 by Sony Picture. It had a solid 1080p transfer, as does this, and a rocking Dolby TrueHD 5.1, unlike this. This Blu-ray only trumps a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is barely DVD quality in today’s standards. It also includes no special features of any sort, though the 2009 Blu-ray was bare bones as well.

“Donnie Brasco” Official Premise: Posing as jewel broker Donnie Brasco, FBI agent Joseph D. Pistone (Johnny Depp) is granted entrance into the violent mob family of aging hitman Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino). When his personal and professional lives collide, Pistone jeopardizes his marriage, his job, his life and, ultimately, the gangster mentor he has come to respect and admire. From acclaimed director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral), and featuring an extraordinary supporting cast including Michael Madsen, Anne Heche, Bruno Kirby and James Russo, Donnie Brasco is “one terrific movie!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone).

Being an Italian man with a huge Italian family, it is hard not to quote this film at least once a month. It’s a fugazi!! “Donnie Brasco” has also been released before by Sony Pictures dating back to 2007. Though in that release only the Extended Cut was included. This release now only includes the Theatrical Cut. The 2007 Blu-ray included a nice LPCM 5.1 track and a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, while this one only includes the latter. That is two for two of these new releases from Mill Creek with only DVD quality audio. Top it out with no special features, even though 2007 release extras sucked they at least still has something.

“Flatliners” Official Premise: An ambitious, charismatic medical student persuades his classmates to take part in a reckless experiment. To see if there is life after death, they will kill themselves: temporarily shut down (“flatline”) their heart and brain functions to briefly experience clinical death. Their horror begins when they realize that although they’ve come back alive… they haven’t come back alone.

It has been many years since I last watched this film, it is still a great ride. “Flatliners” has continued to flat line for their Blu-ray releases. In case you are not seeing a trend here. This film has also previously been released by Sony on Blu-ray dating back to 2007. It came with disappointing 1080p transfer and a flat LPCM 5.1 audio track. This release continues that trend but also only includes a Dolby Digital 2.0 track for the audio, which fares even worse than the original. Lastly, there are no special features included at all, which though matches the previous release.

“Last Action Hero” Official Premise: Danny Madigan knows all the first 3 Jack Slater movies in and out. The 4th one is just about to be released too, and with a magical ticket Danny really gets to know that movie in and out too, literally speaking. During one of the action climaxes Danny is transported into the movie, into a world following other rules than the real one. Benedict, one of the evil guys, gets hold of the ticket and escapes out to the real world, a world where evil guys can actually win. Danny and Jack follow him back to the real world to get back the ticket and stop Benedict from killing the actor playing Jack.

“Last Action Hero” was never my favorite Schwarzenegger film. It has its moments but nothing too memorable. This film like the past three has received a Blu-ray release back in 2010 from Sony Pictures. It includes easily the best audio and video of the four combined. Though the 1080p transfer holds up with this release, once again we are missing out on a solid action packed DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for a lame Dolby Digital 5.1 track. There are no special features included either but in case you are skipping around here, none of these have any extras included.

So I know these don’t sound to flattering from but if you like these films, it is worth the less than $10 bucks to pick them up. They are not stunning Blu-ray releases at all but they are worth a few bucks if you have a hankering to revisit these films and do not already own them, just as long as you aren’t looking for an impressive release you will not be disappointed.

Blu-ray Review “Wolf Creek 2”

Actors: Gerard Kennedy, John Jarratt, Ryan Corr, Philippe Klaus
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Image Entertainment
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Run Time: 106 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

Maybe I am getting old but torture films really don’t do it for me anymore. “Wolf Creek” was a 2005 Australian horror film that has collected a bit of a cult classic. I saw it once and completely forgot about it, to be honest. I wasn’t really expecting or hoping for a sequel. Well, either way here it is and it is more brutal and violent that the first film, but like I said that doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing. I could be losing my taste for the unnecessary “violent” gore, violent being the key word. John Jarratt does play a good baddie though with the infamous local killer Mick Taylor. I just personally would have left this as the one film.

Official Premise: Lured by the promise of an Australian holiday, exchange student Paul visits the notorious Wolf Creek Crater. His dream Outback adventure soon becomes a horrific reality when he encounters the site’s most infamous local, Mick Taylor (John Jarratt). When Paul attempts to flee, Mick pursues him across a hostile wasteland and eventually drags him back to his underground lair. After seeing the true magnitude of Mick’s monstrosity, Paul’s only hope of surviving, where no one has before, will be to use every ounce of cunning to outwit the man behind the monster.

Image is releasing this film as a Blu-ray combo pack with a DVD also included. The 1080p transfer is actually quite impressive. I loved the way the film was shot and it was quite gritty yet also sharp. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also worked well with the action and bone-breaking violence (if you like that short of thing). In terms of special features, there is only two quick extras included. “Creating a Monster: The Making of Wolf Creek 2” is a look behind-the-scenes into the making of the film. Lastly there is a few deleted scenes included under “Butcher’s Cut”.

Bobcat Goldthwait reflects on "God Bless America" and new Bigfoot movie "Willow Creek"

Bobcat Goldthwait is known best for his role of Zed in the “Police Academy” franchise and for work as a stand-up comedian. “Share The Warmth” still holds up and is an incredibly funny stand-up show. Bobcat has been spending his time doing what he loves most – writing and directing movies, like “World’s Greatest Dad” and “God Bless America”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Bobcat about “God Bless America” and also his new Bigfoot movie “Willow Creek”.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about the origins of “God Bless America”?
Bobcat Goldthwait: There are a couple things leading to its genesis. First, I was in London and there was a “My Super Sweet 16” marathon on – going back about two years now. It really bothered me that is the way that we are represented. I wrote the script initially as a Christmas present for my wife, I guess that came from me being cheap [laughs]. I think this is a really screwed up time and I wanted to write a movie that is, as I say, a violent movie about kindness. I think if I made a documentary on how we are becoming attached from each other, it would be preaching to the converted. So being a fan of films like “Bonnie and Clyde”, that and also TV networks were the big inspiration here.

MG: What inspires you most about directing?
BG: I just write a lot of screenplays all the time. When I can get a budget to make them I go out and do it. Some of them are much smaller budgeted and some are bigger. What inspires me to keep directing is that it has almost taken be 30+ years in show business to finally find something that I really love doing. I really love writing and directing movies. It is the job that I have found most rewarding that I have done in my career.

MG: How do you feel you have matured as a director since 1991 with “Shakes the Clown”?
BG: Hopefully I am getting better in what I am doing [laughs]. If I were to make “Shakes” now, I do not think that anything positive would happen to him. It probably would have ended with him jumping off a bridge or something [laughs]. I am hoping that I just keep evolving. People that I admire are directors like Steven Soderbergh, who just keeps making movies and don’t seem to be too concerned about how he is conceived – in a good way.

MG: Joel Murray was amazing in the film, tell us about casting him?
BG: Joel is an old friend of mine. I had back surgery and my wife and I watched a whole set of “Mad Men” that he had dropped off. He thought it would be good for me to occupy my time with [laughs]. With him in mind, my wife suggested that we cast Joel as Frank. When I sent him the script, he thought I wanted him to play a small part…not the main guy! That is what was one of the best parts of making the movie was to get to work with an old friend. Him and I then got to travel all over the world going to film festivals and hanging out. It was great.

MG: What was your biggest challenge with “God Bless America”?
BG: I think you are always faced with the major issues of budget, even for directors like Christopher Nolan. How can you make an action film for well under a million dollars? It is still a lot of money but when you compare it to other action films, it is nothing really. So that is definitely the biggest challenge.

MG: Do you see yourself ever returning to acting?
BG: I think for me to actually be in a movie, it would have to be something that would be a lot of fun or something I couldn’t say no to. I always joke I retired from acting the same time people stopped hiring me [laughs]. I do small cameos in my movies but that is usually brought upon my necessity like someone is out that day or something. In “World’s Greatest Dad”, the guy slated to play the limo driver didn’t show up, so it ended up being me. In “God Bless America”, I quickly jumped in when we were stealing a shot at a festival with the balloon game. There was an empty seat where you keep getting wet, so I jumped it and got water shot at me.

MG: You’ve recently came out of retirement to do some stand-up; how has being on stage changed for you?
BG: Stand-up is different. Some nights I really like it. But then sometimes people come with expectations for me to be a character from 30 years ago. Having that aspect becomes boring after a while. But when people are there solely due to films I did in the 80’s -or I don’t mind if they come due to that – but it is a drag when they have come with only those expectations. Sometimes it is hard to combat that.

MG: What next for you? Is “Schoolboys in Disgrace” in the cards?
BG: “Schoolboys in Disgrace” is a film that is something that I am always working on and meeting about. That is a bigger movie with a bigger budget, so it is taking a little longer for me than usual. I am just wrapping up the final touches on a Bigfoot movie that I shot called “Willow Creek”. I actually went up to where the Patterson-Gimlin footage was shot 45 years ago and that is where we shot the movie there on location. So that was very excited.

 

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