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Blu-ray Reviews for December 11, 2018

Selections from this week’s Blu-ray releases can be found below in this ongoing weekly summary of reviews. Click on any of the following titles to navigate directly to that review. This week’s releases include: National Lampoon’s slasher parody Class Reunion, the goofy Christmas slasher flick Silent Night, Deadly Night  2, John Carpenter’s Starman, and the late-’90s slasher-thriller Urban Legend. A gigantic list of other titles also available this week can be found at the end.


Distributor: Kino Lorber

From National Lampoon and screenwriter John Hughes (Weird Science, National Lampoon’s Vacation) comes this very funny teen horror parody set in the hallowed halls of a boarded-up high school. It’s been 10 years since Lizzie Borden High School’s class of ’72 graduated, and everyone—the preppies, the hippies and the in-crowd—has returned to reminisce over good times past. But classmate Walter Baylor has returned too—with a vengeance. While the rest of the gang is misbehaving at its alma mater, Walter, who was a misunderstood freak then and a certified psychopath now, is still not over a prank played on him a decade ago and out to wreak havoc of a different sort. Roger Corman alumnus Michael Miller (Silent Rage, Jackson County Jail) directed the hilarious cast that includes Gerrit Graham (Used Cars), Michael Lerner (Barton Fink), Miriam Flynn (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation), Stephen Furst (Up the Creek), Zane Buzby (Up in Smoke), Art Evans (Die Hard 2: Die Harder), Misty Rowe (TV’s When Things Were Rotten), Anne Ramsey (Throw Momma from the Train) and soap opera legend Jacklyn Zeman (General Hospital). National Lampoon’s Class Reunion will make you scream and shake… with laughter!

Being how popular the slasher phenomenon was in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, it should come as no surprise that there were a fair amount of slasher parodies eager to exploit the movement. The most well-known of these is 1981’s Student Bodies, accompanied by 1982’s Pandemonium, 1987’s Return to Horror High (featuring a pre-stardom George Clooney), and this oddball entry, National Lampoon’s Class Reunion. Most horror comedies tend to made my blood cold, especially ones from this era, but being that I’ve been delving into very forgotten and actual slashers from this period, I was curious to see what National Lampoon could bring to the deconstruction of this despised cinematic movement. If you’re familiar with the National Lampoon brand, then you’re already way ahead of me. Class Reunion manages to be funny maybe twice during its entire running time, all the while exercising a whole array of sketchy jokes that easily-outraged 2018 audiences would find offensive: all stereotypical characters are here and accounted for: the gay one, the cross-dressing/transgender one, the blind one, the pothead one, the date-rapist one, and probably more that I’ve managed to block out. Class Reunion contains all the debaucherous horndog characters obsessed with boobs and butts that you’re also expecting, which is immediately established by the film’s opening in which a prank is pulled on a fellow student by luring him to a car where his apparently insane twin sister gives him a handjob, which turns the young horndog insane and into the film’s killer.

Comedy!

One man’s trash is another man’s trash that he likes for some reason, so naturally your mileage will vary depending on your own personal aesthetic. There’s very little going on that I would call smart or meta or self-aware; in fact, Class Reunion plays much more as a typical sex comedy with minor deviations into the genre it’s sending up, instead of towing that line straight down the middle of comedy/horror (there’s not a single drop of blood in this thing, despite multiple deaths). That John Hughes wrote the script is the most surprising and disappointing thing of all.

Kino’s reissue gives the film a nice facelift, and even offers an audio commentary with director Michael Miller and an interview with one of the lead actors, Gerrit Graham, aka the at-one-time thinner, more handsome version of Jeffrey Jones.  

I won’t pretend that I’ve seen all, or most, of the horror parodies that were released during the ‘80s, but based on Class Reunion, good lord, this can’t rank anywhere near the top.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • NEW Interview with star Gerrit Graham
  • NEW Audio Commentary with director Michael Miller and stunt coordinator Dean Raphael Ferrandini
  • KLSC Trailers


Distributor: Shout! Factory

Ricky is being released from a mental hospital. He takes with him the terrifying memory of his brother Billy’s death and the memory of Mother Superior who brought about his brother’s demise. For Ricky, starting a new life means avenging his brother’s death, which sets him on a blind journey of relentless revenge, leading ultimately to Mother Superior. And when he gets to her, not even her faith will be enough to stop Ricky as he follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage.

The first Silent Night, Deadly Night is an unremarkable, yet fun and unapologetically gimmicky slasher movie whose late-1980s presence at theaters was very brief; lame parents with lame ideals protested the movie’s depiction of a killer Santa offing “naughty” people and had the movie successfully banned from all theaters. For a long time, Silent Night, Deadly Night was a mirage until it was released on VHS years later and became a cult favorite. The flick isn’t groundbreaking in any way, and compared to today’s standards, where we’re able to see testicles ripped off a man and fed to wild dogs in theatrical films (preceded by commercials for Fanta), the idea of a man in a Santa costume offing people doesn’t just pale in comparison—it’s become its own punchline.
A few years down the road, folks decided that Silent Night, Deadly Night—the movie that no one saw—needed a sequel, anyway. And with an entire first film from which to haphazardly pluck footage, a lazy and monotonous wrap-around story was written so audiences could see the original movie that disappeared from theaters, but in a new way.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is absurd in every way, from its Frankensteinian presentation to an exercise in how to make a tone-deaf horror film whose new footage is completely unlike the older footage it’s desperately depending on to help tell its story, all while not looking to it for any kind of guidance on how the new portions should feel. Silent Night, Deadly Night is silly, sure, but it was trying to be visceral. Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 knows right off the bat that it’s dumb and doesn’t try to hide it. Every single moment of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 could be capped and turned into a gif or a meme (or both). Eric Freeman’s eyebrows do all the acting, and every single line-reading from his mouth sounds like he’s saying his dialogue out of spite instead of menace. It’s truly a thing to behold.

Despite my poo-pooing, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is a silly good time, and has a nice little body count for you slasher flick aficionados. It’s not taking things nearly as seriously as its predecessor, but it’s also not out-and-out going for humor, either; it exists in a weird no-man’s-land where the film it’s following is its own kind of silly, but which isn’t nearly as silly as its sequel that is wholly incomplete without that old footage. It’s an odd way to construct a sequel, but it is unique — I have to give it that.

Unfortunately, Shout! Factory’s presentation of this title is a total mess. Though the packaging boasts a 2K scan of a theatrical print, there’s no polishing a turd. It looks terrible, not helped by its three difference video sources from which the footage is being culled: from the first Silent Night, Deadly Night theatrical edition, to that film’s spliced-in, lesser-quality gorier footage, and to the theatrical footage of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 taken from a print that’s assuredly been through the ringer. None of it looks particularly good, and as someone who used to own the sequel on DVD, it’s sad to say that the DVD sported a better presentation. The transfer is littered with screen artifacts, print damage, and wildly differing color grading. (The college boy D-bag’s white-blonde hair appears Slimer green during the movie theater scenes, for example.)

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is such a dumb flick that it’s doubtful it will ever see another domestic release, so if you’re desperate to own this title, I’m afraid this will be your only underwhelming option.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Lee Harry, And Actors Eric Freeman And James Newman
  • NEW Slay Bells Ring Again: The Story Of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Actors Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Darrel Guilbeau, And Kenny McCabe, And Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
  • NEW Garbage Days Are Here Again – A Look At The Film’s Locations
  • NEW Ricky Today – A Short Film Featuring A 2018 Interview With Ricky Caldwell
  • NEW I Don’t Sleep – An Extended Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Christopher Biggs
  • Audio Commentary By Co-Writer/Director Lee Harry, Co-Writer Joseph H. Earle, And Actor James Newman
  • Theatrical Trailer


Distributor: Shout! Factory

When his spacecraft is shot down over Wisconsin, an alien (Jeff Bridges) arrives at the remote cabin of a distraught young widow, Jenny Hayden (Karen Allen), and clones itself into the form of her recently deceased husband. The alien coerces the shell-shocked Jenny to drive him to a pickup point hundreds of miles away, explaining that if he doesn’t meet his mothership in three days, he’ll die. Hot on their trail are government agents, intent on seizing him, dead or alive. En route, Jenny turns from captive to captivated as the alien re-awakens her humanity … Starman is “a wonderful film that combines science fiction, road movies, and romance into an engaging, very entertaining whole” (TV Guide)!

The beauty of Starman is not just the film itself, but who made it — horror director John Carpenter, who just a few years earlier had been lambasted and nearly run out of Hollywood for having directed The Thing, a nasty, gooey, and bleak alien thriller that had the misfortune of coming out not long after E.T., an admitted juggernaut that had audiences feeling the warm and fuzzies about alien lifeforms. Starman was Carpenter’s apology to audiences, which allowed him to show off a much different side of him than was essayed by his filmography up to that point. Produced by Michael Douglas and featuring perhaps the best cast ever assembled for a Carpenter film, Starman is a feel-good hybrid of nearly every genre there is — sci-fi, romance, drama, adventure, and comedy, all wrapped up into one of Hollywood’s oldest and most relied on locations: the open road.

Carpenter directs Starman with a gentleness not yet (or since) seen from the filmmaker, which is what makes the finished film so inspiring: from beginning to end, Carpenter willfully, gleefully embraces the romantic inside of him he modestly claims not to possess, and crafts, frankly, a beautiful story about love, loss, and hope, with a message that even he doesn’t believe in, but which is a touching way to end his story: when the Starman (Bridges) tells Charles Martin Smith’s scientist, “Do you know what I find most beautiful about your people? You are at your best when things are at their worst.” To echo Carpenter’s sentiments, it’s not at all true, especially in 2018, but it is a beautiful way to end a film constructed on the most otherworldly love story one could imagine.

Along with a decidedly non-horrific, non-R-rated tone, Carpenter also eschews his scoring duties, allowing famed composer Jack Nitzsche to take on the task; he creates a gorgeous, ethereal score, some of which consists of vocal samplings from his wife and which are turned into galaxical, unearthly tones.That aside, and the lack of usual Carpenter D.P. Dean Cundey, don’t think that Starman doesn’t feel like a Carpenter film, because it absolutely does — look no further than the tracking shot rushing in on Starman as a handful of good ol’ boys rush him in a truckstop diner parking lot.

As for Shout’s release of this title, finally — FINALLY — we have the 2000 audio commentary that Carpenter and Bridges recorded for a UK release that’s eluded domestic releases since. Their conversation is very warm, interesting, and filled to the brim with recollections of the shoot as well as Bridges’ approach to the character, whom he purposely plays like a bird. (Very interestingly, during the commentary, Bridges asks Carpenter how far away he thinks the industry is from digitally recreating an actor in his/her entirety for a movie — 12 years later, Bridges would nearly be digitally recreated for Disney’s TRON: Legacy.) Rounding out the special features is a brief but nice making-of retrospective newly produced for this release. Very unfortunate audio issues marr most of the interview segments, affecting Carpenter’s and Bridges’ the most, but thankfully most of the information on hand is already available in the commentary. In spite of that, I’m delighted Bridges took the time out to participate with a new interview — he might be the biggest name yet secured for a Shout! Release, and his coming back goes a little further in legitimizing Carpenter’s career in Hollywood and his importance to cinema in general.

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

 

  • NEW They Came from Hollywood: Re-visiting STARMAN – Featuring Director John Carpenter, Actors Jeff Bridges And Charles Martin Smith, And Script Supervisor Sandy King-Carpenter

 

  • Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Jeff Bridges
  • Vintage Featurette
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots


Distributor: Shout! Factory

When New England college student Natalie (Alicia Witt, TV’s The Exorcist) finds herself at the center of a series of sadistic murders seemingly inspired by urban legends, she resolves to find the truth about her school’s own legend: a twenty-five-year-old story of a student massacre at the hands of an abnormal Psych professor. As the fraternities prepare to celebrate the macabre anniversary, Natalie discovers that she is the focus of the crazed killer’s intentions in the ultimate urban legend – the unfolding story of her own horrific murder.

Following the gargantuan release of Scream in 1996, which ironically heavily homaged 1978’s Halloween (which had kickstarted the first slasher craze), studios were in a huge hurry to replicate its success by greenlighting every slasher script they had already, or by commissioning new ones with the directive to make them Scream-like. Some of these resulted in very okay flicks (I Know What You Did Last Summer, penned by Scream’s Kevin Williamson), and very bad ones (Valentine, starring Bones’ David Boreanaz). Even the Halloween franchise, which had been beaten to death with 1995’s Curse of Michael Myers, was revitalized with the very Scream-like Halloween: H20 in 1998. Among all these was that same year’s Urban Legend, courtesy of Australian filmmaker Jamie Blanks. Like its many post-Scream colleagues, it was very okay, receiving a minor boost above some of the others due to its more earthly basis for a story, and somewhat grislier and more mean-spirited tone. (A dog ends up in a microwave, for pup’s sake.) It also follows the ‘90s slasher rules by casting young people from television shows (Cybill’s Alicia Witt, Dawson’s Creek’s Joshua Jackson) along with folks from equally popular teen horror fare (Scream 2’s Rebecca Gayheart, Halloween 4/5’s Danielle Harris) and offering the killer both a face-obscuring costume and a kill-by-design gimmick: the recreation of folklore’s most infamous urban legends, some of which had been the basis for many previous classic horror films (“the calls are coming from inside the house” had been previously used by 1976’s Black Christmas and 1977’s When a Stranger Calls). Collecting these in one script was an inspired idea, and Urban Legend is as its best when these different myths play out, especially in the film’s opening featuring a typically great appearance from Brad Dourif’s creepy gas station attendant (resurrecting his stutter from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest). The deaths, too, feel a little darker than what was being presented in other ‘90s slasher flicks: hangings, axings, beer-bonged-drain cleaner, and more are on the menu, and while they’re not necessarily things you haven’t seen in the genre before (okay, the drain cleaner thing is pretty unique), Blanks executes them with a slightly but detectable harder edge, dancing that line between titillation and discomfort.  

Like most slasher flicks from this era, Urban Legend shits the bed by having a hair too many unlikeable characters (which Jared Leto seems to excel at) and an ending that lets the air out of the room in one overly silly killer reveal, stealing away the power from every death scene that was on display, but up until then, it’s a perfectly acceptable addition to the sub-genre.

Scream’s success was unprecedented and has yet to be replicated by a slasher — not a single one released in its wake came anywhere close to its ingenuity or marksmanship. To say that Urban Legend is the best of the mediocre slasher run is faint praise, but your typical horror fan is usually pretty forgiving, so this new edition from Shout! Factory, which has a nice video and audio presentation and a silly amount of special features, is a no-brainer for most. For casual fans of the flick, the features will be your determining factor for sure. A making-of retrospective that runs longer than the actual film its honoring is this release’s major selling point.  

THE SUPPLEMENTS:

The complete list of special features is as follows:

Disc One:

  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks, Producer Michael McDonnell, Assistant Edgar Pablos, Moderated By Author Peter M. Bracke
  • Audio Commentary With Director Jamie Blanks, Writer Silvio Horta, And Actor Michael Rosenbaum
  • Theatrical Trailer

Disc Two:

  • NEW Urban Legacy – An Eight-Part Documentary On The Making Of Urban Legend (147 Minutes) Including Interviews With Director Jamie Blanks, Writer Silvio Horta, Executive Producers Brad Luff And Nick Osborne, Producers Neal Moritz, Gina Matthews, And Michael McDonnell, Chairman And CEO Of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, Production Designer Charles Breen, Director Of Photography James Chressanthis, Editor Jay Cassidy, Composer Christopher Young, Actors Alicia Witt, Michael Rosenbaum, Natasha Gregson Wagner, Robert Englund, Loretta Devine, Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid, And Danielle Harris, Assistant Edgar Pablos, Author Peter M. Bracke, And More…
  • NEW Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • NEW Extended Interviews From The Eight-Part Documentary
  • Archival Making Of Featurette
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scene
  • TV Spots


Also Available This Week:

Distributor: Unearthed Films

A savage murderer is on the prowl in Japan. One by one, his victims fall but what is he searching for? The same thing a murderess is looking for. We are all looking for that special love of our lives and sometimes, we’re willing to kill everyone to find that special someone. This is the tale of two people finding each other in the most vicious way possible.

Special Features:

  • Behind the Scenes
  • Trailers
  • Music Videos

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Kevin Costner stars in and directs this triumphant masterpiece written by Michael Blake, based on his novel. This breathtaking Steelbook Collector’s Edition includes the original theatrical cut for the first time on Blu-ray, an extended cut of the film and an entire disc of bonus features. Winner* of seven Academy Awards®, including Best Director and Best Picture, this modern classic tells the story of Lt. Dunbar (Costner), a Civil War hero who befriends a tribe of Native Americans while stationed at a desolate outpost on the frontier. What follows is a series of unforgettable moments — from Dunbar’s tender scenes with Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell), to the thrilling, action-packed buffalo hunt. INCLUDES THE ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNING* THEATRICAL CUT FOR THE FIRST TIME ON BLU-RAY!

Special Features:
Disc One: Theatrical Cut

Disc Two: Extended Cut

  • Audio Commentary With Actor/Producer/Director Kevin Costner And Producer Jim Wilson
  • Audio Commentary With Director of Photography Dean Semler and Editor Neil Travis

Disc Three: Bonus Features

  • A Day in the Life on the Western Frontier
  • The Original Making of Dances with Wolves
  • The Creation of an Epic – A Retrospective Documentary
  • Music Video
  • Five Featurettes (Second Wind, Confederate March And Music, Getting the Point,
  • Burying the Hatchet, Animatronic Buffalo)
  • TV Spots
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Poster and Photo Galleries

Distributor: Shout! Factory

Nothing is as it seems in this brain-bending plunge into our darkest desires. Elizabeth (Abbey Lee, The Neon Demon), a beautiful young newlywed, arrives at the palatial estate of her brilliant scientist husband Henry (Ciarán Hinds, Justice League). Ensconced in modernist luxury with an obedient — if slightly unsettling — house staff (Carla Gugino, Gerald’s Game and Matthew Beard, The Imitation Game), she has seemingly everything she could want. But one mystery tantalizes her: what is behind the locked door to Henry’s laboratory that he has forbidden her to enter? When an inquisitive Elizabeth dares to find out, everything she thought she knew about her husband — and about herself — will change. Elizabeth Harvest casts a spell of creeping Gothic menace as it unravels a disturbing tale of identity, obsession, and twisted love.

Special Features:

  • “Making Of Elizabeth Harvest” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Distributor: Arrow Video

In 2001, Robert Altman (MASH, The Long Goodbye) took the unexpected step into Agatha Christie territory with Gosford Park, a murder-mystery whodunit set in an English country house starring a host of British acting greats and with an Oscar-winning screenplay by Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. It would become a huge success with audiences and critics alike. Set in 1932, the action unfolds during a weekend shooting party hosted by William McCordle (Michael Gambon), and his wife Lady Sylvia (Kristin Scott Thomas) at his estate, Gosford Park. Among the guests are friends, relatives, the actor and composer Ivor Novello (Jeremy Northam), and an American film producer (Bob Balaban). When Sir William is found murdered in the library, everyone – and their servants – becomes a suspect. Also starring Charles Dance, Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Helen Mirren, Clive Owen, Maggie Smith, Emily Watson and many more, Altman produced another masterpiece deserving to be ranked alongside Nashville and Short Cuts as one his finest forays into ensemble drama.

Special Features:

    • Brand new 2K restoration from a 4K scan, carried out by Arrow films exclusively for this release, supervised and approved by director of photography Andrew Dunn
    • Audio commentary by director Robert Altman, production designer Stephen Altman and producer David Levy
    • Audio commentary by writer-producer Julian Fellowes
    • Brand-new audio commentary by critics Geoff Andrew and David Thompson (author of Altman on Altman)
    • Introduction by critic Geoff Andrew
    • Brand new cast and crew interviews recorded exclusively for this release
    • The Making of Gosford Park archive featurette
    • Keeping Gosford Park Authentic archive featurette
    • Q&A Session with Altman and the cast
    • Fifteen deleted scenes with optional Altman commentary
    • Trailer
    • Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin
    • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Sheila O’Malley and an archive interview with Robert Altman

 

 


Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American Dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and non, join the journey, including Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers, and Dan Rather, among many others.


Distributor: Artsploitation Films

Natalia is a 19-year-old novice who reluctantly returns home to say goodbye to her dying father. But when she meets up with her sister and her friends, she decides instead to travel the jungle in search of a mystical plant. Instead of pleasure, they find a world of Black Masses, strange pregnancies, bloody deaths and perhaps, a sexually violent clash with the Devil himself. Calzada (Resurrection, The Clairvoyant’s Prayer) directs a visually explosive film where religion, innocence, repressed sexuality and evil build to a boil and spectacularly collide. He has screened the film at festivals around the world, including FrightFest London, Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival, Fantaspoa and Cinepolcalypse, where Luciferina took home the award for Best Sexorcism Scene.


Distributor: MVD Visual

Billy Crystal (City Slickers) and Alan King (Casino) will keep you in stitches in director Henry Winkler’s heartwarming comedy about a feuding father and son who discover that love is a family trait. With a script by Crystal and Oscar® Winner Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Memories of Me is “well written, well directed [and] smart and tender” (Roger Ebert, ‘Siskel & Ebert’). They say, like father, like son, but for Abe (King) and Abbie (Crystal) Polin, nothing could be further from the truth. Abe is king of the Hollywood extras. As an actor he’s an expert at being a face in the crowd. His son Abbie is a respected New York heart surgeon who’s always felt like a bit player in his father’s life. When Abbie suffers a mild heart attack, he decides it’s time to mend family ties…or break them altogether. So he heads out to Hollywood, where his efforts at reconciliation lead to hilarious consequences.

Special Features:

  • “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

On a dangerous assignment to recover stolen plutonium, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) chooses to save his friends over the mission, allowing it to fall into the hands of a deadly network of highly skilled operatives intent on destroying civilization. Now, with the world at risk, Ethan and his IMF team (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson) are forced to work with a hard-hitting CIA agent (Henry Cavill) as they race against time to stop the nuclear threat. Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE—FALLOUT also stars Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin.

Special Features:

    • DOLBY VISION PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
    • DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
    • Behind the Fallout
    • Light the Fuse
    • Top of the World
    • The Big Swing: Deleted Scene Breakdown
    • Rendezvous in Paris
    • The Fall
    • The Hunt is On
    • Cliffside Clash
    • Deleted Scenes Montage with Optional Commentary by director Christopher
    • McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton
    • Foot Chase Musical Breakdown
    • The Ultimate Mission
    • Storyboards
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise
    • Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton
    • Commentary by composer Lorne Balfe
    • Isolated Score Track

 

 


Distributor: MVD Visual

Two-time Academy Award® Winner Sally Field (Forrest Gump) adds another powerful acting triumph to her gallery of great roles in the suspense thriller Not Without My Daughter, a riveting true story of terror and escape. Betty has come to the Middle East with her daughter and native-born husband (Alfred Molina, Spider-Man 2) for a visit with his family, but soon the horrible truth about their vacation surfaces; Betty’s husband doesn’t intend to bring his family back to America…ever. She may return, he says, but their daughter must stay. And he has centuries of local custom and the oppressive might of a police state behind him. As a stranger in a foreign land, Betty has no money, no friends and no rights. But she does have an unconquerable will. In a hostile, war-torn country, where even the slightest misstep can mean death, she makes a desperate bid to escape with her child. Her story, her courage and her ultimate triumph are unforgettable.

Special Features:

  • ‘Making of” Featurette
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Distributor: Warner Bros.

When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate. Together they uncover the order’s unholy secret. Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in “The Conjuring 2,” as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned. Corin Hardy (“The Hallow”) directed “The Nun” from a screenplay by Gary Dauberman (“IT”) and story by James Wan and Dauberman, which delves into the shocking origin of the demonic Nun Valak, who first made her evil presence known in “The Conjuring 2.”

Special Features:

  • A New Horror Icon
  • Gruesome Planet
  • The Conjuring Chronology
  • Over 10 minutes of deleted scenes

Distributor: MVD Visual

From father and son producers Albert and Charles Band comes this completely crazy and totally twisted Moonbeam Entertainment family film classic, available now for the first time on any format since its VHS debut in 1994! Pet Shop tells the wacky, way-out tale of a pair of alien fiends disguised as over-the-top cowboys who touch down in the Arizona desert town of Cactus Flats and immediately buy a run down pet store. Their mission? To lure local children with promises of cuddly companions…and then eat them for dinner! 14 year-old Dena (Leigh Ann Orsi) – whose family has also recently hit town as part of a witness protection program initiative – gets wise to the otherworldly weirdos schemes and with the help of some adorable alien critters and three local kids, sets out to stop the spaced out, tyke-munching retailers for good. Co-starring the great Terry Kiser (Three’s Company, Weekend at Bernie’s) and featuring charming animatronic puppet effects by Mark Rappaport (Army of Darkness, I Am Legend), Pet Shop is a deeply odd and wildly hilarious fantasy favorite for kids of every age, presented here for the first time on Blu-ray in a High Definition transfer culled from the original 35mm negative. Get ready for some seriously strange out-of-this world laughter, as only Full Moon and Moonbeam can provide!

Special Features:

  • Rare Moon Beam Videozone Behind-the-scenes Featurette

Distributor: Arrow Video

In 1977, legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman (The Seventh Seal, Persona) teamed up with the equally legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis (La strada, Danger: Diabolik) for what would be the director’s one and only Hollywood feature. Berlin, 1923. Out-of-work circus performer Abel Rosenberg (David Carradine, Bound in Glory, Kill Bill) is living in poverty. When his brother commits suicide, he moves into the apartment of his cabaret singer sister-in-law (Liv Ullmann, The Emigrants, Scenes from a Marriage), but the pair soon attract the attentions of both the police and a professor with a terrifying area of research when they start to make enquiries about his mysterious death. One of Bergman’s darkest – and most unlikely – films, The Serpent’s Egg is a hypnotic, Kafkaesque tale of paranoia in a poisoned city.

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by actor David Carradine
  • Bergman’s Egg – a newly filmed appreciation by critic and author Barry Forshaw
  • Away From Home, archival featurette including interviews with David Carradine and Liv Ullman
  • German Expressionism, archival interview with Author Marc Gervais
  • Stills gallery
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two artwork choices
  • FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author Geoffrey Macnab

Distributor: MVD Visual

Alexa Vega (Spy Kids) stars in this irresistible comedy about four best friends who embark on a zany, all-night scavenger hunt against their “popular girl” rivals! Bursting with hilarious hi-jinks, glorious girl-power and true-blue friendship, Sleepover is a high-spirited, high-stakes romp that’s “topped with sprinklings of Cinderella enchantment” (The Seattle Times)! Featuring an all-star cast that includes Academy Award® Winner* Brie Larson (Room), Mika Boorem (Hearts in Atlantis), Jane Lynch (Glee), Sara Paxton (The Last House on the Left), Academy Award® Nominee* Steve Carell (The Office), Jeff Garlin (The Goldbergs), Evan Peters (X-Men: Apocolypse), Scout Taylor-Compton (Halloween), Summer Glau (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles), Scoot McNairy (Argo), Sean Faris (Never Back Down), Hunter Parrish (Weeds) and Sam Huntington (Fanboys) in this hilarious “good-hearted tween comedy” (San Francisco Chronicle).

Special Features:

  • Audio commentary by Director Joe Nussbaum and actors Alexa Vega, Scout Taylor-Compton, Mika Boorem and Kallie Flynn Childress
  • ‘A Guide to the Perfect Sleepover’ making-of featurette
  • ‘Meet the Girls’ actress profiles
  • ‘Ready, Set, Action!’ featurette
  • Sleepover Confessions
  • Gag Reel
  • Wrap Party Reel
  • Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

Distributor: Artsploitation Films

Following an acclaimed run on the international film festival circuit, Artsploitation has announced the U.S. release of Adolfo Kolmerer’s Snowflake. Snowflake world premiered at the Lund International Fantastic Film Festival, where Kolmerer took home the Méliès d’Argent Award for Best Film. The film continued to screen around the globe, picking up Best Director and Best Film awards at Negative Fest and Horrible Imaginings, as well as Best Achievement in Directing and an Audience Award at Cinepocalypse. Cryptic Rock hailed Kolmerer’s debut feature as “an extraordinary genre mix”, comparing the surreal crime action film to Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs. Hunting down the murderer of their families in an anarchic near-future Berlin, two outlaws find themselves trapped in the wicked fairy tale of a mysterious screenplay that entangles them in a vicious circle of revenge – apparently all written by a clueless dentist. In their quest for vengeance, they must contend with a myriad of wicked fairy tale assassins, madmen, a blood-covered angel, and an electric-powered superhero.


Distributor: Shout! Factory

The making of a horror movie takes on a terrifying reality for students at the most prestigious film school in the country in Urban Legends: Final Cut, the suspenseful follow-up to the smash hit Urban Legend. At Alpine University, someone is determined to win the best film award at any cost – even if it means eliminating the competition. No one is safe and everyone is a suspect. Urban Legends: Final Cut is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you guessing until the shocking climax. Starring Jennifer Morrison (Amityville: The Awakening), Matthew Davis (Below), Joseph Lawrence (Rest Stop), Eva Mendes (Ghost Rider), Anthony Anderson (Scream 4), Hart Bochner (Die Hard) and Loretta Devine (Urban Legend).

Special Features:

  • NEW The Legend Continues: Urban Legends: Final Cut Including Interviews With Producers Gina Matthews And Michael McDonnell, Executive Producers Nick Osborne And Brad Luff, Chairman And CEO Of Phoenix Pictures Mike Medavoy, Writer Silvio Horta, And Actors Loretta Devine And Rebecca Gayheart
  • NEW Interview With Actress Jessica Cauffiel
  • Audio Commentary With Director John Ottman
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Commentary By Director John Ottman
  • Vintage Making Of Featurette
  • Gag Reel
  • Theatrical Trailer

Distributor: Oscilloscope Pictures

WILD COMBINATION is director Matt Wolf’s visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art. Now, over fifteen years since his passing, Arthur’s work is finally finding its audience. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthur’s family, friends, and closest collaborators—including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg—to tell this poignant and important story.


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Written by

J. Tonzelli is a writer, film critiquer, and avid Arnold/Van Damme/Bronson enthusiast who resides in rural South Jersey. He is the author of "The End of Summer: Thirteen Tales of Halloween" and the "Fright Friends Adventure" series, co-authored with Chris Evangelista. He loves abandoned buildings, the supernatural, and films by John Carpenter. You can read some of his short fiction at his website, JTonzelli.com, or objectify him by staring at his tweets: @jtonzelli. He apologizes for all the profanity.

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