My Two Cents
Monday, 29 August 2016 19:58

October Sky, Severin Films sale, September Storm, film restoration & more, plus Gene Wilder RIP

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In release news today, Scream Factory has announced that it’s working on a new Blu-ray edition of Narciso Ibáñez-Serrador’s The House that Screamed, a 1970 AIP title, for release later this year. Also coming on 12/6 from the company is Bob Clark’s Black Christmas: Collector’s Edition.

20th Century Fox has just announced the 9/27 release of Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates on Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD. It’s actually got a lot of extras, including deleted and extended scenes, alternate takes, audio commentary, and more. But still, it’s Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. So you know.

PBS Home Video will release the Forces of Nature documentary series on Blu-ray and DVD on 11/1.

Kino Lorber is working on a new Blu-ray and DVD release of Enzo Barboni’s Chuck Moll: The Unholy Four (1970 - aka  Ciakmull: L’uomo della vendetta). This Italian spaghetti western stars Leonard Mann and Woody Strode.

In other news, Best Buy has just listed a new Blu-ray edition of Joe Johnston’s October Sky for Blu-ray release on 10/4. This may be a Best Buy exclusive, and we have reason to believe that it may be accompanied by Bowfinger as well. Both are new to the Blu-ray format.

Severin Films is currently holding a big blow-out sale (via their website here) on five titles they’re about to lose the rights to, including Psychomania (DVD), The Baby (Blu-ray and DVD), Bloody Birthday (Blu-ray and DVD), Horror Express (Blu-ray/DVD Combo), and House of Seven Corpses (Blu-ray/DVD Combo). So if you want them, you have until Thursday to get your hands on them. It’s 3 for $20, all 5 for $30 or any one for $10. Click here and act fast!

Here’s something exciting: There’s just been a successful Kickstarter effort to restore the lost CinemaScope and 3-D classic film September Storm (1960). We actually meant to mention this last week, but we’re thrilled to say the Kickstarter was a success in any case. The good news is that the group behind this is also talking with a commercial distributor who can help to get the project a wide release on Blu-ray 3D down the line. You can read more about it all here.

Also today, there’s good article on The New York Times today on the race to preserve classic photochemical films in the digital age. It’s well worth a read. Thanks to Bits reader Jason B for the link!

And finally today, we need to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of the legendary actor Gene Wilder. If he’d done nothing more than play Jim the “Waco Kid”, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, and Willy Wonka on the big screen, his career would have been a triumph. But just think of it: Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Silver Streak, Another You, Stir Crazy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, The Producers, The Frisco Kid... what an amazing body of work! It’s hard to imagine the fabric of our film-going lives without him in it. And it’s impossible imagine any of those films without his quiet talent, without those eyes and that smile. Thanks for everything, Gene. You’ll be missed. Wilder was 83. You can read more here at Variety and The New York Times. And please feel free to visit our post on the news on Facebook to share your thoughts on what Wilder and his career have meant to you. Meanwhile, we’ll leave you with a favorite photo of Gene with Cleavon Little in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974). Still one of the greatest comedies – and satires on race in America – ever made.

Gene Wilder and Cleavon Little as Jim “the Waco Kid” and Sheriff Bart in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles (1974).

Stay tuned...

- Bill Hunt (@BillHuntBits)


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