Thursday, October 19, 2017

Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Copy 30th Anniversary Two-Disc Set Review

John Hughes’ Planes,Trains and Automobiles is arguably the best of his adult comedies that he wrote and directed following Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and it features cameos from several alumni stars of previous Hughes films, such as Ben Stein, Edie McClurg, Kevin Bacon, William Windom, Lyman Ward as well as character appearances by Bill Erwin, Richard Herd, Martin Ferraro, Larry Hankin, Dylan Baker and Michael McKean. It was also the first comedy he directed that was not centralized around high school characters. What made John Hughes’ comedies so much fun is he had a magical ability to feel the pulse of the 1980s and understood teenagers in a way that it spoke directly to them instead of exploiting them or talking down to them and the same can be said of his adult comedies, which tended to feature upper middle class to all out well off Parents and Adults wanting things that were relatable for almost anyone regardless of where you were from. So whether it is a young man struggling to write his first novel while working full time writing matchbook cover ads and trying to provide a better life for his wife and there soon to be born first child, an unorthodox Uncle baby sitting his brother’s children or simply the tale of a man (Steve Martin) trying to get back to his family in time for Thanksgiving and encountering all sorts of hilarious setbacks along with well meaning, but somewhat obnoxious shower curtain ring salesman (John Candy), in one of his best big screen comedic roles. Through unlikely circumstances or perhaps fate, both men manage to grow beyond their perceptions of each other leading to a heartwarming conclusion that captures the true meaning of Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday of the year.

Presented in a beautiful high definition 1080p transfer I don’t think Trains, Planes and Automobiles has ever looked better. A full English DTS HD MA 5.1 Surround Soundtrack mix is included along with Spanish and Portuguese Language Mono Dolby Digital Soundtracks as well as English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese Language Subtitles encoded as options. There is also a companion standard definition DVD included with a 16 by 9 enhanced presentation as well as English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and Spanish Language Mono Dolby Digital Sound too. English Closed Captions for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired and English, French and Spanish Language Subtitles are also included on the DVD. Exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc are John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast, which is split up between two HD featurettes, which are The Legacy Of John Hughes (27:39) with new interviews with Producer Howard Deutch, Actors Mathew Broderick, Alan Ruck and John Cryer as well as Actress Leah Thompson. Heartbreak and Triumph (25:32) details John Hughes career from Advertising to writing for National Lampoon and then his work as a screenwriter on National Lampoon’s Vacation and Mr. Mom and then his career as a Writer and Director as well as the voice for my generation that began in films like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club and continued onward from there with Weird Science and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and beyond. A humorous deleted scene entitled Airline Food (3:24) is also included in full HD. 

Retrospective featurettes covering the making of Trains, Planes and Automobiles (16:38) and a press junket with John Hughes (4:02) and Steve Martin highlighting the comedy of John Candy (3:01) wrap up the extra value features found within the Two-Disc Set. A coupon containing a limited time only redeemable code for either an iTunes Digital Copy or an Ultraviolet Digital Copy is included within blue BD case too. Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Copy 30th Anniversary Two-Disc Set is available now at retailers on and offline courtesy of Paramount Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2017 By Mark A. Rivera
 All Rights Reserved.

OVERDRIVE roars onto Blu-ray and DVD November 7th


FROM THE WRITERS OF 2 FAST 2 FURIOUS AND THE DIRECTOR OF TAKEN COMES A HIGH-OCTANE JOYRIDE OVERDRIVE Action-Packed Caper Arrives on Blu-ray™ and DVD November 7, 2017 HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The race is on to steal one of the most expensive cars in the world in the thrilling action adventure OVERDRIVE, arriving on Blu-ray and DVD November 7, 2017 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Scott Eastwood (The Fate of the Furious) and Freddie Thorp (To Dream) star as legendary car thieves who are caught in the act of stealing from notorious crime boss Jacomo Morier. In order to win back their freedom they're put to the ultimate test – the theft of a priceless car from Morier’s sworn enemy. While putting together a crew to pull off the daring heist they're joined by two beautiful women (Ana de Armas, Blade Runner 2049 & Gaia Weiss, The Legend of Hercules) who are more dangerous than they look. The team has one week to put the plan in motion, steal the car, and make their escape or lose everything, including their lives. The OVERDRIVE Blu-ray includes behind-the-scenes featurettes that delve into the film’s action-packed story, sexy cast, and, of course, sensational high performance cars. The Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and English, English SDH and Spanish subtitles. The OVERDRIVE DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 televisions with English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English and Spanish subtitles.

DC All Access - October 19, 2017

GEOFF JOHNS invites you on a personal tour inside the DOOMSDAY CLOCK preview!
Want a sneak peek inside the masterwork that is the upcoming DC Comics event, DOOMSDAY CLOCK? Join NY TIMES bestselling writer Geoff Johns as he takes you deep inside the first 6 pages of issue 1.  You have heard about it.  You may think you know what's in it.  But until you've had Geoff guide you through the amazing work of Gary Frank, you are not prepared.

NIGHTWING Leaving Bl├╝dhaven Forever? + The Future of GREENLANTERNS
Goodbye, Bludhaven... Hello, Mogo! No, Dick Grayson hasn't taken the Green Lantern oath, but his writer Tim Seeley is leaving Nightwing to take the reins of Green Lanterns. DC All Access talks to Seeley about what it feels like to be leaving Nightwing, a book he's written since Rebirth, and what we can expect from his farewell arc before we dive into what lies ahead for Simon and Jessica. The Green Lanterns of Sector 2814 no longer worry about whether they can protect the Earth. But job interviews? Those are absolutely terrifying!

BATMAN: THE DROWNED – Metal’s Newest Dark Knight
Some people want to rule the world. She just wants to drown it. In this DC All Access news roundup, we look at the newest Dark Knights one-shot, Batman: The Drowned. Plus, we take a gander at the new Raiden Injustice 2 DLC (featuring a Black Lightning premiere skin), remember Adam West in Batman vs. Two-Face and thumb through the latest issues of Batman and The Wild Storm. Don't miss it!
https://youtu.be/PZDC0_4RE9A

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

“MARIO LANZA: THE BEST OF EVERYTHING”

FILMRISE RELEASES DOCUMENTARY ABOUT 

THE LIFE AND CAREER OF THE MOST FAMOUS TENOR 

THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN

“MARIO LANZA: THE BEST OF EVERYTHING”

ON DVD

 

Special Bonus Features Include Rarely Seen Performance at the London Palladium 

 

Public television stations across the U.S. to air documentary and offer DVD containing over 40 minutes of additional material in its ongoing fundraising pledge drives

beginning in November

 

Brooklyn, NY –October 18, 2017– This November, FilmRise will release a new documentary that celebrates the life and career of the world’s most famous tenor with the “voice from God” --  “Mario Lanza: The Best of Everything.” Lanza was an opera singer and Hollywood film star, but the most dramatic role he ever played was that of Mario Lanza himself.  It was a life overflowing with fame, passion, tantrums, success, vices, generosity and incomprehensible tragedies. Featuring interviews with his daughter Ellisa and contemporary musicians including Joseph Calleja and Gianluca Terranova, as well as rare archival concert footage, the film is an intimate portrait of a true superstar.  “Mario Lanza: The Best of Everything” will be available for sale on DVD only beginning November 28, 2017.

 

The DVD includes 25 additional minutes from the documentary not seen on public television plus special bonus features including: a gallery of Mario Lanza’s personal photos; his rarely seen full 15-minute performance at the London Palladium in 1957; and a “Lanza Extravaganza Countdown,” featuring clips of film interviewees talking about their favorite Lanza recordings making this a true collectible for any Mario Lanza fan.

 

Mario Lanza was a tenor like no other, and was the first true crossover artist when MGM made him a matinee idol. As his daughter says in the film, “He could act, he could sing and he was handsome!” Pavarotti, Carreras, Domingo, and Bocelli all trace their inspiration back to Lanza.   Lanza’s voice even impressed pop-stars Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Lanza’s Hollywood career catapulted in the 1950s when he starred in the box office hits “The Toast of New Orleans,” “The Great Caruso,” and “Because You’re Mine.” His singing voice was also featured in “The Student Prince.”  

 

He earned five gold records: three for singles (“Be My Love,” “The Loveliest Night of the Year,” and “Because You're Mine”) ...and two for albums (“The Student Prince and Other Hit Songs from Musical Comedies” and “The Great Caruso”). All of these would qualify as platinum records in today's terms, with “Be My Love” double platinum at two million copies sold. Lanza was also the first classical artist to sell more than a million copies of an album (“The Great Caruso”). 

 

The film is not rated, and has a running time of 82 minutes, with over 18 minutes of bonus material

Monday, October 16, 2017

DAY OF ROMERO in Los Angeles -- October 25, 2017 -- Details and more

 

Chris Roe's Statement:

 

“It has been a very long journey to make this day happen and so many have given their support.  With George’s star ceremony on Hollywood Blvd., the reception that follows and the well-deserved tribute that evening at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, there is no doubt that October 25, 2017 WILL be the DAY OF ROMERO in Los Angeles,” commented Chris Roe, Manager of George A. Romero & Director of the Romero Star Campaign.

 

Information regarding The George A. Romero Official Memorial and Tribute:

 

              Below is the artwork for The George A. Romero Official Memorial and Tribute.

 

              Additionally, below is a link to the Alex Theatre website to purchase tickets for this event.

 

              Bitly Link

              http://bit.ly/2xzCnI9

 

              Full Link

              http://www.alextheatre.org/event/prospect-house-entertainment-presents-the-george-a-romero-official-tribute-memorial

 

Hollywood Walk of Fame Information As a condition of being considered for and subsequently issued press credentials for the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremonies, your outlet has agreed to abide by the following restrictions: No portion of the Walk of Fame Ceremony presentation may be rebroadcast or live streamed or used in any medium whatsoever, including internet, prior to the conclusion of the live ceremony.


HOLLYWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE TO HONOR THE LATE 

GEORGE A. ROMERO

GODFATHER OF THE MODERN ZOMBIE FILM GENRE WITH POSTHUMOUS 

WALK OF FAME STAR   

 

WHO:         Honoree: George A. Romero

Emcee: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speaker: Filmmaker Edgar Wright and special effects make-up artist/producer, Greg Nicotero.  Accepting the star on behalf of the family will be Romero’s wife Suzanne Desrocher-Romero

 

WHAT:       Dedication of the 2,621st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame 
in the category of Motion Pictures

 

WHERE:    6604 Hollywood Boulevard in front the Hollywood Toy & Costume Store

 

WHEN:      Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. PDT

Event will be live-streamed exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

 

COMMENTS:

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that filmmaker George A. Romero will be honored posthumously with the 2,621st star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. PDT. The star will be dedicated in the category of Motion Pictures at 6604 Hollywood Boulevard in front the Hollywood Toy & Costume Store.“The fact that fans nominated Mr. Romero for the Walk of Fame star speaks volumes of how loved he was for his work in the horror film genre and for being the person he was. Fortunately, prior to his passing he learned that he was selected for a star, and we are saddened that he won’t be here with us for his special day,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame.

Helping Emcee and Hollywood Chamber President/CEO Leron Gubler to unveil the star will be guest speakers: Filmmaker Edgar Wright and special effects make-up artist Greg Nicotero.  Accepting the star will be Romero’s wife Suzanne Desrocher-Romero. 

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce which administers the popular star ceremonies encourages people who are unable to attend and fans around the world to watch the event live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com.

Born on Feb. 4, 1940 in New York City, Romero became interested in filmmaking at a young age when he borrowed an 8mm camera from a wealthy uncle. Inspired by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s musical opera, “Tales of Hoffmann” (1951), Romero began making his own short films and was arrested at 14 years old after he threw a flaming dummy off the roof of a building while making “Man from the Meteor” (1954). While attending Suffield Academy in Connecticut, Romero made two 8mm shorts, “Gorilla” (1956) and “Earth Bottom” (1956); the latter being a geology documentary that won him a Future Scientists of America award. After graduating high school, he attended Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA where he earned his Bachelor’s in Art, Theater and Design in 1960. Romero continued making shorts such as “Curly” (1958) and graduated to 16mm films with “Slant” (1958), both of which he made with sometime collaborator Rudolph Ricci. Following work as a grip on Alfred Hitchcock's “North by Northwest” (1958), Romero shot the feature-length “Expostulations” (1962), a satirical anthology of loosely-connected shorts that showed hints of his later social consciousness.

After forming the commercial and industrial production company, Latent Image, in 1963, Romero cobbled together $114,000 in order to direct his first feature film, “Night of the Flesh Eaters.” Renamed “Night of the Living Dead” (1968) after landing a distributor, the unrelenting film - which was criticized at the time for its onscreen excesses - became a landmark cult film and significant social barometer that forever changed the horror genre. With no heroes or redemptive meaning - only unstoppable nihilistic evil rampaging through small town America - the movie popularized the zombie apocalypse subgenre of horror, spawning numerous imitators throughout the ensuing decades. Though decidedly cheap in production values, “Night of the Living Dead” nonetheless stood the test of time as an innovative cult film that attracted new fans every generation and became Romero’s signature work.

Romero’s other films include: “Season of the Witch,” “The Crazies, “Knight Riders,” “Creep Show,” “Monkey Shines: An Experiment in Fear,” “Two Evil Eyes.” 

Romero secured his cult status with two remarkable films: “Martin” and “Dawn of the Dead”.   He later went on to write “Day of the Dead, the ostensible conclusion to the “Living Dead” trilogy which emerged as one Romero’s strongest horror films to date.

Romero also worked in television as the creator, co-executive producer and occasional writer of “Tales from the Dark Side.”  Romero teamed up with Stephen King again for his adaptation of King’s novel, “The Dark Half.”

In 2004, Romero returned to familiar territory with “Land of the Dead,” a continuation of his zombie franchise long thought to be finished with “Day of the Dead.” This time, however, Romero increased the energy with a fast-paced actioner that was not shy on the gore and violence, pleasing both fans and the uninitiated. “Land of the Dead” ended up being one of the best reviewed films of the 2005 summer! He continued his zombie revitalization with “Diary of the Dead,” which was more of a reboot than a sequel to the other four movies in the “Dead” series. He then made the sixth in the series, “Survival of the Dead” (2010), which saw the inhabitants of an isolated island off the coast of North America conflicted whether to kill their own relatives rising from the grave, or try to find a cure. Romero’s “Dead” films continue to inspire such hits as “Shaun of the Dead” (2004) and “Zombieland” (2009).

In 2013, Romero’s “Empire of the Dead” was announced by Marvel Comics. It was a 15-issue limited comic book series which began publication in 2014, and ended in late 2015. “Empire” features zombies similar to those in his “Living Dead” film series, but differs slightly because vampires are also part of the story.

Dubbed the “Godfather of Zombie Films,” George A. Romero was a pivotal figure in the development of the contemporary horror film and the progenitor of the zombie apocalypse subgenre.  

Filmmakers who consider Romero as one of their influences include Frank Darabont, Guillermo Del Toro, Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino to name just few!

Sadly, Romero passed away on July 16, 2017 from a brief, but aggressive battle with lung cancer. He slipped away listening to the score of “The Quite Man,” one of his all-time favorite films, with his family by his side. He leaves behind a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time!