Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Film Box Office Crosses $11B Mark !

Rentrak a leader in precisely measuring movies and TV everywhere, today announced the North American box office crossed the $11 billion benchmark for the year on Tuesday, December 29, 2015, making 2015 the highest-earning year at the North American box office in movie history.
A wide assortment of movies brought enthusiastic patrons to movie theaters across the USA throughout the year, giving the film industry its biggest overall revenue in North American box office history, with a total of $11.1 billion projected for the calendar year through December 31, 2015. The previous record was set in 2013, which brought in $10.919 billion to the North American box office at year-end.
"Hollywood built the perfect box office beast in 2015, with one hit movie after the next, week after week, exceeding expectations with a regularity that made it look easy. With records falling like dominoes, the revenues just kept building as audiences flooded multiplexes in huge numbers," said Rentrak's Senior Media Analyst, Paul Dergarabedian. "A diverse and compelling selection of great titles, big and small, from every studio fueled an extraordinary level of interest by patrons who seemingly could not get enough of the big screen experience in 2015."

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Off the Menu : Asian America" Arrives on DVD in January

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICA” on DVD. From award-winning filmmaker Grace Lee (American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs), “Off the Menu: ASIAN AMERICA” is a road trip into the kitchens, factories, temples, and farms of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving community.

“OFF THE MENU: ASIAN AMERICA” will be available on DVD January 5, 2016 from Baker & Taylor AV. The run time of this program is approximately 60 minutes and it has a SRP of $24.99.

What exactly does food reflect about Asian Pacific Americans? This documentary grapples with how family, tradition, faith, and geography shape our relationship to food. Viewers are introduced to the sushi king of Texas, the Sikh Temple of Oak Creek, Wisconsin and their weekly practice of langar, a communal meal open to anyone. The program also follows a French-trained chef who creates modern Chinese American dishes on New York’s Lower East Side and a Hawaiian woman restoring an ancient fishpond on the island of Oahu. These are just a few of stories and traditions and unexpected characters that help nourish this nation of immigrants and make up “Off the Menu: Asian America”.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Warner Bros Home Entertainment Announces Ultra HD Blu-ray Release Plans

To coincide with the availability of Ultra HD Blu-ray players in the marketplace in early 2016, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will be offering four titles on Ultra HD Blu-ray at initial launch showcasing 4K Ultra HD resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR), offering consumers a sharper, brighter and more colorful home entertainment viewing experience than ever before.

The first available titles will be Mad Max: Fury Road, San Andreas, The Lego Movie and Pan. Actully  release date has yet to be announced.  Following the initial titles, WB plans to make new release titles available day and date with their initial home DVD & BD entertainment release. They  have also committed to releasing a selection of catalog titles throughout the year including Man of Steel and Pacific Rim. By the end of 2016, Warner Bros plans to have over 35 titles available on Ultra HD Blu-ray.  Dolby Atmos will also be included on select titles for a truly immersive home theater experience.

"We are excited to take this next technological leap which will allow us to bring our audiences the best possible home viewing experience with crystal clear images and immersive audio," said Ron Sanders, President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution. "Ultra HD with HDR is the next, and most exciting, advancement in home entertainment, and with the anticipated proliferation of Ultra HD televisions in the coming years, our Ultra HD Blu-ray product offerings will truly complement the stunning capabilities of this new generation of home entertainment hardware. Warner Bros. is fully committed to releasing a wide range of Ultra HD Blu-ray titles, including both new release titles and offerings from our vast catalog."

Monday, December 28, 2015

"How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It)" to Get Re-release on DVD

Melvin Van Peebles' extraordinary life story reveals an artist and a man whose groundbreaking impact on film, politics and pop culture remains as relevant as ever. On the 45thAnniversary of his landmark 1971 film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song—the most successful independent film of its time and a watershed in African-American cinema—Melvin Van Peebles’ life and career are celebrated in a DVD re-issue of filmmaker Joe Angio’s 2005 documentary How To Eat Your Watermelon In White Company (and Enjoy It).

Taking its title after a never-published essay Mr. Van Peebles once wrote, How To Eat Your Watermelon In White Company (and Enjoy It) presents a multi-talented and wildly prolific man whose personal and professional résumé defies categorization. Boasting a life and career as diverse and unexpected as the art he’s best known for creating, Melvin Van Peebles is a trailblazer of the tallest order who has at turns made his living as a filmmaker, a Tony-nominated playwright, an Air Force navigator, a novelist in two languages, a pioneer of the rap genre, a floor trader at the American Stock Exchange and more.

Van Peebles was never deterred by opportunity that failed to knock; he’d simply build his own door and get on with it. After Hollywood rejected his early filmmaking efforts, his self-produced Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (which he wrote, produced, financed, directed, scored and starred in) earned more than $10 million at the box office and indelibly changed independent cinema forever.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Yanni Announces "Sensuous Chill" Album, DVD/Blu-ray and PBS Special

Global superstar Yanni announces a new album and PBS Special with corresponding DVD and Blu-Ray. His new album, SENSUOUS CHILL, is available worldwide via Sony Music Masterworks imprint Portrait Records on January 29, 2016. His new PBS Special - YANNI: THE DREAM CONCERT - LIVE FROM THE GREAT PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT – will air nationwide in March. A DVD and Blu-Ray of the special will be available as well.

SENSUOUS CHILL comes mere weeks after Yanni made history with two sold out performances at the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt. Yanni's first new release since 2014's chart-topping INSPIRATO, the album features Yanni exploring new realms of sound and creativity inspired by his extensive world travels. Tracks like 'Rapture' and the bhangra-spiced 'Dance For Me' are among the most physically stimulating on SENSUOUS CHILL offering a new sonic perspective on his adventures and experiences amidst myriad aspects of global culture.

Raffi Announces January 15 Release for "Owl Singalong" CD

For four decades, children's troubadour Raffi has been the world’s best-selling and most influential
children's entertainer, delighting successive generations of kids and their parents with his playful, exuberant personality and his irresistibly infectious songs.

Owl Singalong is the latest masterful children’s recording from Raffi, featuring 16 new songs incorporating a range of styles and a variety of instruments including strings, horns and ukulele. Raffi entertains his young fans with exuberant, infectious new tunes such as"More We Sing Together" and "Dog on the Bus," sings in Spanish on "Somos El Barco" and in French on "Dans La Forêt Lointaine.”

He pays tribute to the late folk-music icon Pete Seeger with "Garden Song" and a rollicking spoken-word rendition of the beloved African folk tale "Abiyoyo.”  The children’s voices on this album are a total delight. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Suffragette" Arrives on March 1 for Public Libraries from Universal Home Entertainment

An electrifying story of the women on the front lines of the real-life battle for the vote, Focus Features' Suffragette is coming to Blu-ray and DVD for public libraries on March 1, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. 

An "inspiring, unforgettable movie!" according to Scott Mantz of Access Hollywood, Suffragette stars Academy Award nominees Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech), and three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep (Sophie's Choice). The first feature film to focus on a remarkable moment in history, Suffragette comes to Blu-ray and DVD with an array of bonus features including a look behind the scenes of this groundbreaking motion picture, and feature commentary by director Sarah Gavron and screenwriter Abi Morgan.

The powerful drama inspired by true events is about the women willing to lose everything in their fight for equality in early 20th-century Britain. Galvanized by the outlaw fugitive Emmeline Pankhurst (Ms. Streep), Maud (Ms. Mulligan) joins the U.K.'s growing Suffragette movement alongside women from all walks of life who will sacrifice their jobs, homes, and even their lives for the right to vote. The stellar cast of Suffragette also includes Brendan Gleeson (British Independent Film Award winner for Best Supporting Actor for Suffragette), Anne-Marie Duff (Closed Circuit), Ben Whishaw (Spectre), Romola Garai (Atonement), and Natalie Press (My Summer of Love).

Love the Coopers Reunite on DVD/BD in February

Academy Award winners Alan Arkin (Best Supporting Actor, Little Miss Sunshine, 2006), Diane Keaton (Best Actress, Annie Hall,1977), and Marisa Tomei (Best Supporting Actress, My Cousin Vinny, 1992) team up to rediscover the power of love across every generation in Love the Coopers on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD February 9, 2016 Lionsgate and CBS Films. The heart-warming comedy that reminds audiences what family is all about also stars Golden Globe winner John Goodman (Argo), Ed Helms (The Hangover), Jake Lacy (Carol), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Amanda Seyfried (While We’re Young), June Squibb (Nebraska), and Olivia Wilde (TRON: Legacy).

When four generations of the Cooper clan gather for a reunion, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down—leading the Coopers toward a joyful rediscovery of family bonds and the magic of love.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Don Verdean Arrives on DVD/BD in March

Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2), Amy Ryan (Capote) and Jemaine Clement (HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords”) put a comedic spin on evangelical fraud in the wildly funny adventure, Don Verdean, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) on March 1, 2016 from Lionsgate. The “absurdly funny” (WNYN-TV) Sundance Film Festival favorite features laugh-out-loud performances by Leslie Bibb (Talladega Nights), Primetime Emmy nominee Will Forte (TV’s “Last Man on Earth”), and Danny McBride (The Is the End).

 From the writers of Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre comes a comedy of biblical proportions. Hired by an ambitious small-town pastor to find sacred relics in the Holy Land, a self-proclaimed biblical archaeologist comes up short and his attempt to cover up his failure fuels a comic conspiracy.

The Don Verdean home entertainment release includes two behind-the-scenes featurettes and audio commentary with director Jared Hess. The Don Verdean Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.99 and $19.98, respectively.

The Wiz LIVE! on CD December 18

Sony Music Masterworks and Broadway Records have released on CD the original soundtrack of the NBC “The Wiz LIVE!” today, December 18., 2015.

“The Wiz LIVE!” soundtrack features the well-known hits “Ease on Down the Road,” “A Brand New Day” and “Home,” plus the new song “We Got It.” Written by Grammy Award winners, NE-YO, Mason Jr. and Oremus with Elijah Kelley, “We Got It” was performed in the broadcast by cast members NE-YO and Kelley, along with Shanice Williams, David Alan Grier and The Wiz ensemble.

NBC’s highly rated production of “The Wiz LIVE!” was broadcast December 3 and will re-air December 19. Rising star Shanice Williams (Dorothy) leads an all-star cast featuring Queen Latifah (The Wiz), Mary J. Blige (Evillene), David Alan Grier (Cowardly Lion), NE-YO (Tin Man), Elijah Kelley (Scarecrow), Uzo Aduba (Glinda), Amber Riley (Addaperle), Common (Bouncer), Stephanie Mills (Aunt Em) and Cirque du Soleil.

Star Wars: Force Awakens in Theatres Now!

Actor Harrison Ford and CP30 & R2D2 attend
the World Premiere of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" at the Dolby, El Capitan, and TCL Theatres
on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, CA.

The Force Awakens is in theatres now, to fan and critical acclaim!   No word on DVD/BD release yet, but reserve your library's copies now with B&T AV.  

More @ Star Wars / B&T AV

  (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for Disney)

SUPER WHY & "The Three Billy Goats Gruff and Other Fairytale Adventures" on DVD from PBS !

PBS Distribution will release four stories from PBS KIDS’ popular SUPER WHY series on the new DVD “THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF AND OTHER FAIRYTALE ADVENTURES” on January 26, 2016. The four reading-powered adventures on this DVD not only help kids with the critical skills they need to learn to read, they also provide them with important life lessons. Two of the lessons kids will take away after watching these stories are the importance of good manners and that in order to learn a new skill, you need to be persistent and keep trying!

The four stories included on this DVD are “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” “The Tortoise and the Hare,” “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Elves and the Shoemaker.” In “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” Red’s grandmother won’t let her into the kitchen to have some red velvet cake, and she doesn’t know why. In order to find the answer, the Super Readers jump into the book “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” After watching a troll stop all three goats from crossing his bridge, the answer emerges. The Super Readers also jump into the story “The Tortoise and the Hare!” In this episode the Super Readers spell the words G-O and B-E-L-L and learn that participating in a contest isn’t always about winning, it’s also important to enjoy the game.

“THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF AND OTHER FAIRYTALE ADVENTURES” will be available on DVD January 26, 2016. The DVD has a run time of approximately 120 minutes and an SRP of $12.99. The episodes included on this DVD are listed below.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

IL Classic Rockers, CHEAP TRICK, Sign with Big Machine Records for New "Bang Zoom Crazy... Hello"

Celebrating a long-anticipated induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cheap Trick today also announces an
exclusive new deal with leading global independent record label Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift, Steven Tyler, Tim McGraw). The legendary band is currently hard at work finishing their Big Machine debut album titled Bang Zoom Crazy… Hello, slated for release on April 1, 2016 and distributed by Universal Music Group.   Produced by GRAMMY-winning producer Julian Raymond, the project marks Cheap Trick’s 17th studio album and first in more than five years.

“We can't thank the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame enough for honoring Cheap Trick. Thanks to all the fans who have supported us for all these years and to the Hall of Fame members who cast their votes. We are excited,” said Cheap Trick bass guitarist Tom Petersson. 

“Coinciding with their entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I am beyond proud and excited to announce that Cheap Trick are the newest members of the Big Machine Records family,” said Big Machine Label Group President and CEO Scott Borchetta.  “As a band, they’ve never stopped rock’n the free world and they play every night with as much conviction as their first power-pop-punk club shows from the mid ’70’s. I can’t wait for Cheap Trick fans everywhere to have the new album.”

PBS to Release "NOVA: CYBERWAR THREAT" in January on DVD

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “NOVA: CYBERWAR THREAT” on DVD. The global cyberwar is heating up, and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers. Now, sophisticated cyber weapons unleashed via the Internet can inflict physical damage—destroying control systems that regulate everything from food factories, gas pipelines, power plants and chemical facilities to the elevators in our buildings.

It may seem farfetched that a computer program can wreak destruction from a distance. But the United States is investing billions of dollars in this new form of warfare—and we’re not alone. Allies and enemies alike are rushing to develop these weapons. But what will this new arms race mean for our future? Will it make the U.S. more vulnerable to cyber attacks and retaliation?

“NOVA: CYBERWAR THREAT” will be available on DVD January 5, 2016. The run time of the program is approximately 60 minutes, and the SRP is $24.99. The program will also be available for digital download.  Watch  the trailer, below from Baker & Taylor AV.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

AFI Announces the Official Selections of AFI AWARDS 2015

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the Official Selections of AFI AWARDS 2015, celebrating the year's most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image.

In addition to the 20 honorees of 2015, AFI also recognizes MAD MEN with an AFI Special Award, acknowledging its landmark contributions to America's cultural legacy across nine years. In the history of AFI AWARDS, no other television program has earned as many honors.

An almanac documenting works of excellence, AFI AWARDS is also the only national honor for the entertainment community's creative teams as a whole, recognizing the collaborative nature of the art form. Honorees are selected based on works that advance the art of the moving image, enhance the rich cultural heritage of America's art form, inspire audiences and artists alike and make a mark on American society.
















Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Steve Jobs on Blu-ray and DVD for Libraries on March 15

An intimate and revealing portrait of one of the chief architects of the digital age, Steve Jobs is coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on March 15, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.  Steve Jobs on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD also comes with a revealing "making-of" documentary and feature commentary by the filmmakers.

From Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), Steve Jobs is an up-close-and-personal look at the founder of Apple, a remarkable creative genius whose vow to put computers in the hands of ordinary people changed the world. A "must-see, one-of-a-kind that cannot be ignored" according to Indiewire's Anne Thompson,

Witness the founder of Apple like never before. Steve Jobs paints an intimate portrait of the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, backstage in the final minutes before three iconic product launches. Directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), written by Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) and starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels. Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 12 Years a Slave) stars as the enigmatic Jobs, headlining an accomplished cast that includes Academy Award®-winner Kate Winslet (The Reader, Titanic), Seth Rogen (Neighbors, This is the End) and Jeff Daniels ("The Newsroom," The Martian) in an unexpected and enthralling film that led Peter Travers of Rolling Stone to declare, "Steve Jobs is a triumph."

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Intern Clocks in on DVD & BD on January 19, 2016

Academy Award winners Robert De Niro (Raging Bull, Silver Linings Playbook) and Anne Hathaway (Les Misérables, The Devil Wears Prada) star together in Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Intern. Oscar-nominated and award-winning filmmaker Nancy Meyers (It’s Complicated, Something’s Gotta Give, Private Benjamin) is directing the dramatic comedy from her own screenplay.

In The Intern, De Niro stars as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower who has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Hathaway).

The film’s multi-generational cast also features Rene Russo (Thor), Anders Holm (Workaholics), Andrew Rannells (Girls), Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect), Celia Weston (No Reservations), Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars), Linda Lavin (Wanderlust), Zack Pearlman (The Inbetweeners), newcomer Jason Orley, and Christina Scherer (Living with Uncle Charlie).

Pan Drops in on DVD & BD on December 22

From director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) comes Pan, a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. 

Peter (Levi Miller) is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara) and a new friend named James Hook (Garrett Hedlund), Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan.

Wright directed Pan from a screenplay written by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Oscar nominee Paul Webster (Atonement) produced the film, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer.

The film stars Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund (Inside Llewyn Davis) as James Hook; Oscar nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as Tiger Lily; newcomer Levi Miller as Peter; and Amanda Seyfried (Les Misérables) as Mary.

Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets Vist With Conan, Watch!

Last week, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets took to the stage of Conan to perform two songs from The Quality Holiday Revue.

Check out “Christmas At The Airport,” and the web-exclusive “Half A Boy And Half A Man” below.

Wiener Dog Internationals barks its way to DVD on February 16

Join Shelly, the USA wiener dog racing champion, on the adventure of a lifetime when Wiener Dog Internationals barks its way to DVD on February 16, 2016 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.
Receiving the Dove Foundation seal of approval and starring Golden Globe nominee Morgan Fairchild (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2), Bryan Batt (TV’s “Mad Men”) and Jason London (Dazed and Confused), Wiener Dog Internationals is a wholesome movie the entire family can enjoy! The Wiener Dog Internationals DVD, including four “Minuscule” bonus episodes, will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

The Jack family is at it again, as they enter the International World of Wiener Dog Racing. The kids sneak away to enter Shelly in the Internationals, and find themselves caught in a devious plot hatched by Miss Merryweather that may change wiener dog races forever! Can little Shelly, the champion dog from the U.S., really take on the world?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bill Murrary and Rock the Kasbah to Rock Libraries in February

A has-been rock manager from Van Nuys, California, stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in aVan Nuys, California, stumbles upon a once-in-a-lifetime voice in a remote Afghan cave in Rock the Kasbah, arriving on on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD February 2e, 2016, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Inspired by stranger-than-fiction, real-life events and directed by Oscar winner Barry Levinson (Good Morning Vietnam, Rain Man, Diner), the dramatic comedy stars Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Groundhog Day, Ghostbusters) as Richie Lanz, an irreverent, self-involved and completely unprincipled rock 'n' roll animal who finds his last chance in the last place he ever expected.

Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense, Die Hard), Kate Hudson (Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days), Zooey Deschanel ("New Girl," 500 Days of Summer), Scott Caan ("Hawaii 5-0," Ocean's Eleven), Danny McBride (This Is the End, Pineapple Express), Leem Lubany (Omar, From A to B) and Arian Moayed (Rosewater, Broadway's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo") provide support for Murray's Richie, a notable addition to the actor's rogue's gallery of lovable scalawags. With an eclectic soundtrack that ranges from Lubany's haunting covers of Cat Stevens' classics to Murray's outrageous rendition of "Smoke on the Water" and bonus features including deleted scenes and a pair of behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries, Rock the Kasbah is a one-of-a-kind cinematic treasure.  

MI-5 to DVD & BD in February

Based on the hit British TV series, MI-5 comes to life as it arrives on Blu-ray and DVD and February
9, 2016 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.  Kit Harington (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) stars alongside “MI-5” veteran Peter Firth, Tuppence Middleton (The Imitation Game), Jennifer Ehle (Fifty Shades of Grey) and Laura Pulver (Edge of Tomorrow) in the high-stakes action adventure. The MI-5 home entertainment release includes exclusive deleted scenes and an exciting behind-the-scenes featurette. The MI-5 Blu-ray and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively. 

When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Ex-Warner Exec Departs Redbox

Redbox owner, Outerwall quietly announced that Mark Horak, president of Redbox, is stepping down, just 21 months after joining the kiosk video vendor following a long tenure with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Outerwall CEO Erik Prusch will serve as interim president of Redbox until the position is filled. The company will initiate a search process to fill the role.  While no official reason has been given for Horak’s departure, Prusch alluded to ongoing softness in kiosk disc rental as a concern.

"Consumers' rental patterns have not returned to the levels we had expected by this time,” Prusch said in a statement.

Horak was hired by former CEO J. Scott Di Valerio in March 2014 and Mr Di Valerio was let go in January.  Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter says Horak was hired during the 28-day embargo discussions period with studios, which he said Horak help successfully navigate. Inventory management, however, was another issue for the firm.

"It appears he didn’t do a great job understanding their customer," Pachter said. "Horak allowed them to over-order inventory in the current quarter and demand dropped, costing them millions of dollars. That’s why he’s gone."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Final Season of "Downton Abbey", Season 6 Announced for DVD & Blu-ray

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “DOWNTON ABBEY SEASON 6” on DVD and
Blu-ray. The top-rated PBS drama of all time approaches its climactic chapter as it enters its sixth and final season on MASTERPIECE, bringing exciting closure to a remarkable series. Where will fate, passion, ambition, and duty lead television’s most beloved characters? Millions of devoted viewers will soon find out in the final season of Downton Abbey. 

Making their bittersweet farewell are members of the beloved cast, including Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael, Brendan Coyle, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Kevin Doyle, Samantha Bond, David Robb, Raquel Cassidy and Michael Fox.

DOWNTON ABBEY SEASON 6” will be available on DVD and Blu-ray January 26, 2016. The DVD SRP is $49.99 and the Blu-ray SRP is $59.99. The run time is approximately 9 hours on 3 discs. The DVD and Blu-ray sets contain all of Season 6, including the finale. The DVD and Blu-ray feature the original U.K. edition of Season 6 as well as more than 30 minutes of bonus video.  And by special arrangement with PBS, Baker & Taylor AV will exclusively include a free dvd copy of DOWNTON ABBEY MANNERS with each Season 6 dvd order.

Barbra Streisand to Direct "Catherine the Great" Film

Barbra Streisand has signed on to direct "CATHERINE THE GREAT," written by Kristina Lauren Anderson.  The news was announced by Gil Netter who will produce the film. With Streisand helming and Netter producing, casting is now underway.

The film is about a young, sensual Catherine trapped into an abusive marriage with the heir to the Russian throne. But, when her inept husband proves incapable of ruling, she utilizes her intelligence, fortitude, and passion to rise to power, becoming Catherine the Great. Anderson's script was honored with the top spot on 2014's 'Black List,' an insider's list of Hollywood's best yet unproduced screenplays.

Barbra Streisand is an entertainment icon, with award-winning success as filmmaker, actor, singer and composer. The three films directed by Streisand, "Yentl," "The Prince of Tides," and "The Mirror has Two Faces," received a total of fourteen Oscar nominations. Streisand won Oscars for Best Actress in "Funny Girl" and Best Original Song for "Evergreen." In 1984, she became the first woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Director, for the motion picture "Yentl." With that film she also became the first woman to direct, write, produce and star in a major studio film. One of show business' most highly-lauded stars, she is the only person ever to receive all of the following: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, National Medal of Arts, and Peabody award, as well as the American Film Institute's Lifetime Achievement honor and the Film Society of Lincoln Center Chaplin Award. Most recently President Barack Obama awarded Streisand with our nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Relativity Studios Announces 2016 Theatrical Release Slate

Relativity Studios, the film division of troubled Relativity, this week announced U.S. theatrical release dates in 2016 for the following films:
  • March 25, 2016: The Disappointments Room
  • April 8, 2016: Before I Wake
  • May 13, 2016: Kidnap
  • September 30, 2016: Masterminds
  • December 2, 2016: Strangers 2

Relativity is a next-generation global media company engaged in multiple aspects of content production and distribution, including movies, sports, digital, branded entertainment and music.

Relativity Studios, the Company's largest division, has produced, distributed or structured financing for more than 200 motion pictures, generating more than $17 billion in worldwide box-office revenue and earning 60 Oscar nominations. Relativity's films include Oculus, Safe Haven, Act of Valor, Immortals, Limitless, and The Fighter

Lions Gate Readies MAN UP February DVD/BD Release

Take a chance on love when the “laugh out loud funny” (Los Angeles Times) romantic comedy Man Up arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) on February 2 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Featuring the “hilarious and heartwarming” (The Spinoff) Simon Pegg (The World’s End) and Lake Bell (Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”), Man Up is “a smart and winning rom-com” (US Weekly.) The film follows Nancy (Bell), a charming, albeit awkward single woman determined to add spontaneity to her drab love life. When she accepts a blind date from a misinformed stranger, Jack (Pegg), she finds that giving love a chance can lead to the most unexpected of romances.

From the producer of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Man Up will be available on Blu-ray and DVD for the suggested retail price of $19.99 and $19.98, respectively. The film is currently available On Demand.
When Nancy (Lake Bell) is mistaken for Jack’s (Simon Pegg) blind date, she decides to take fate into her own hands and just go with it. What could possibly go wrong? From the producer of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz comes a screwball romantic comedy about one night, two people, and a first date like no other...

Judy Collins’ 1974 Oscar Nominated Documentary About The First Female Conductor Of Major Orchestras Re-Released On DVD!

Antonia: A Portrait Of The Woman, the celebrated documentary film about the first woman
conductor of major orchestras in the U.S. and Europe, Antonia Brico, was recently re-released on DVD via Cleoptra Records. Folk music icon Judy Collins produced and co-directed this highly acclaimed 1974 Academy Award nominated documentary film, which explores themes of gender discrimination that are still highly relevant today.

An unforgettable and inspiring figure, Brico faced hardship after hardship, overcoming enormous obstacles and prejudice to pursue her life’s passion in the male-dominated field of classical conducting. Alongside co-director Jill Godmillow, Collins tells the story of Brico, her former piano teacher, with tremendous emotion and skill using both historic news clippings as well as an in-depth interview with the Maestro herself. This 2015 Edition includes the feature-length film as well as bonus features including a photo gallery and commentary tracks, plus a brand new interview with Collins who reflects on the personal and professional impact of Brico’s life and pioneering spirit.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Lions Gate to Release Discovery Titles on DVD & Blu-ray

Only a month after purchasing a stake in Lionsgate, Discovery has agreed to a long-term deal with
the studio to distribute Discovery's programming on DVD & Blu-ray (BD) in the USA.  The deal covers the DVD and Blu-ray distribution of Discovery's portfolio of series and specials across its networks, which include Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery.

The first release under the agreement will be the February 23, 2016 Blu-ray and DVD release of Racing Extinction, the landmark documentary which had its worldwide premiere yesterday on Discovery Channel in more than 220 markets. The film, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (The Cove), tells the story of a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world's most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, Racing Extinction reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.

The pact shows billionaire executive John Malone's growing interest in the Santa Monica, CA-based film and television studio who've released "The Hunger Games" franchise and "Orange Is the New Black, among others.

Malone holds a significant stake in both Discovery and Liberty Global, each of which last month acquired a 3.4% stake in Lionsgate.
“We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with Discovery, home of some of the most exciting brands on television, and delighted to bring their diverse and growing portfolio of programming to our home entertainment consumers,” said Lionsgate Home Entertainment President Ron Schwartz in a statement.

Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight OST Details Announced

In The Hateful Eight, set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles
through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, Bounty Hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his gugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. 

Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Walton Goggins), a southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff.  Losing their lead in the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie's Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass.  When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces.  Bob (Demian Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Tim Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Michael Madsen), and confederate general Sanford Smithers (Bruce Dern).  As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, our eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all…

And now, Verve has announced the track list  for the 12/8/15 releasing Original Soundtrack (OST) for the 12/25 theatrical release of Quentin Tarantino's film, The Hateful Eight.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Julianne Moore Starrer FREEHELD Arrives on February 2 from Summit Entertainment

Based on an inspiring true story, Academy Award winner Julianne Moore (Best Actress, Still Alice, Freeheld, arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital) February 2, 2016 from Summit Entertainment, a LIONSGATE company. The compelling film was adapted by the Academy Award-nominated writer of Philadelphia and had its world premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Delivering critically acclaimed performances, the powerful film also stars Academy Award nominees Michael Shannon (Best Supporting Actor, Revolutionary Road, 2008) and Steve Carell (Best Actor, Foxcatcher, 2014.)
2014) and Academy Award nominee Ellen Page (Best Actress, Juno, 2007) headline the emotionally charged drama,

After detective Laurel Hester (Moore) is diagnosed with cancer, she learns that government officials won’t award her pension benefits to her domestic partner, Stacie (Page). Refusing to accept the officials’ decision, Laurel and Stacie lead a battle for equal rights in this unforgettable movie that speaks to the power of love and the pursuit of justice.

Special features include the complete 38-minute Oscar-winning documentary short, “FREEHELD” (2007), which the movie was based upon, an audio commentary with the director, Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, plus two featurettes looking at the making of the film and how the people that experienced the events in real life are doing now.

The Dunwells Announce February CD Release

Fresh from a wealth of international heavyweight touring, The Dunwells have announced plans for their hugely anticipated second album, ‘Light Up The Sky’. Set for release February 26, 2016 and released via Concord Music Group,  the band worked with producers including Steve Harris (Kodaline), Dan McDougall (Aurora) and Manny Marroquin (Haim, Sia, Taylor Swift). Check out the brand new video for the single "Hey Now", below from Baker & Taylor.

Though there may only be two members with the same surname, but The Dunwells are very much a band of brothers consisting of two siblings Joe (vocals, guitar) and David Dunwell (vocal, piano, guitar) and their two close school friends, Rob Clayton (bass) and Adam Taylor (drums). Hailing from Leeds, the band formed in 2009, drawn together by a mutual love of bands such as Bon Iver, Elbow, and Damien Rice. Joe (lead vocals) had this to say about the album:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mercy Street Arrives on DVD & Blu-Ray in February

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “MERCY STREET” on DVD and Blu-ray. Go beyond the battlefield and into the lives of Americans on the Civil War home front as they face the unprecedented challenges of one of the most turbulent times in our nation’s history.

Set in Virginia in the spring of 1862, the program follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict; Mary Phinney, (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a staunch New England abolitionist, and Emma Green, (Hannah James), a naive young Confederate belle. The two collide at Mansion House, the Green family’s luxury hotel that has been taken over and transformed into a Union Army Hospital in Alexandria, a border town between North and South and the longest-occupied Confederate city of the war. Ruled under martial law, Alexandria is now the melting pot of the region, filled with soldiers, civilians, female volunteers, doctors, wounded fighting men from both sides, runaway slaves, prostitutes, speculators and spies.

The series is executive produced by Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Thelma and Louise); David W. Zucker (The Good Wife and The Man in the High Castle) of Scott Free; Lisa Q. Wolfinger (Desperate Crossing, The untold story of the Mayflower) and David Zabel (ER).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack

Available for the First Time Ever on Blu-ray Combo Pack February 2, 2016 the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will mark the launch of The Walt Disney Signature Collection 

The release will feature In-Depth Brand New Bonus Material Including "In Walt's Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Iconography," "@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney's First Princess," "The Fairest Facts of Them All: 7 Facts You May Not Know About Snow White," "Snow White in Seventy Seconds," "Alternate Sequence: The Prince Meets Snow White" and Much More!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Lego Star Wars Returns on DVD

Your Favorite Star Wars Heroes will be back with five complete episodes that unleash the lighter ide of the Force in LEGO STAR WARS: Droid Tales. The fun begins following the victory celebration in the Ewok village on Endor, at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. R2-D2 and C-3PO have gathered to regale Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca and the other Rebels with the tales of their adventures that led to the events of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.

An accidental kidnapping occurs while the droids are reminiscing, and suddenly you're taken on a new journey that leads to the retelling of the entire Star Wars saga, as told by R2-D2 and C-3PO! It's hilarious and playful, packed with all your favorite interlocking characters. LEGO STAR WARS: DROID TALES is intergalactic thrills for the whole family! On DVD  March 1, 2016 from Disney Home Entertainment.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Violinist Itzhak Perlman Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Israeli-born American violinist Itzhak Perlman has been chosen as one of 17 recipients of this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was awarded the honor in a ceremony on November 24.

The awards celebrate important lifelong contributions to security, world peace, and the arts: President Obama described Perlman and other recipients from the cultural sphere as "artists who expanded our imaginations...enriched our lives and helped define our shared experience as Americans."

The accolade comes the year of Perlman's 70th birthday celebrations, which has seen his complete Warner Classics catalogue of iconic recordings released in a collectors' boxed set of his Complete Warner Recordings (see image below, available from B&T through our Titlesource platform).  He has dazzled generations of music-lovers in repertoire as diverse as Paganini's Caprices and soulful klezmer, collaborating with some of the greatest musicians of the last century - Daniel Barenboim, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern and André Previn - who Perlman counts among his closest friends.

The prize also acknowledges his contribution to the future of classical music and his generosity to young artists through his teaching activities at the Juilliard School in New York. In 1994, with his wife Toby, he founded the Perlman Music Program, an intensive summer school and mentoring program for talented young string players.

CREED OST Arrives on CD in December

Atlantic Records has announced the release of “CREED: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE
SOUNDTRACK,” the music from the eagerly awaited film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema. The album arrives on CD on December 18, 2015 and is available form Baker & Taylor.  CREED opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, November 25th.

Highlights on the soundtrack include a brand new song from platinum-selling rapper Future, inspired by the film and written exclusively for this collection, marking the first new release from the Atlanta native since the release of both his #1 album “DS2” and the chart-topping collaborative album with Drake, “WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE.”

 “CREED: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK” is also heralded by the song “Lord Knows,” from Maybach Music Group/Atlantic rapper Meek Mill, which also appears on the rapper’s chart-topping sophomore studio album “DREAMS WORTH MORE THAN MONEY.” The track’s thrilling, Spike Jordan-directed companion video – featuring exclusive footage from CREED – premieres today and can be viewed, below.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event "The Wiz Live" Releasing on CD

Sony Music Masterworks and Broadway Records will release the original soundtrack of the NBC
Television event “The Wiz LIVE!”.  “The Wiz LIVE!” soundtrack features the well-known hits “Ease on Down the Road,” “A Brand New Day” and “Home,” plus the new song “We Got It.” Written by Grammy Award winners, NE-YO, Harvey Mason Jr. and Stephen Oremus with Elijah Kelley, “We Got It” will be performed in the broadcast by cast members NE-YO and Kelley, along with Shanice Williams, David Alan Grier and The Wiz ensemble. The single “Home” performed by Williams will be available digitally on November 27. “The Wiz LIVE!” soundtrack will be released on CD on December 18.

NBC’s highly anticipated production of “The Wiz LIVE!” will broadcast December 3. Rising star Shanice Williams (Dorothy) leads an all-star cast featuring Queen Latifah (The Wiz), Mary J. Blige (Evillene), David Alan Grier (Cowardly Lion), NE-YO (Tin Man), Elijah Kelley (Scarecrow), Uzo Aduba (Glinda), Amber Riley (Addaperle), Common (Bouncer), Stephanie Mills (Aunt Em) and Cirque du Soleil.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vince Gill Announces "Down to My Last Bad Habit" CD Release

GRAMMY Award-winning MCA Nashville country star Vince Gill revealed via NPR his new album
Down To My Last Bad Habit is set for release on February 12, 2016.  As part of the announcement, NPR has an exclusive first-listen of Gill’s lead single, “Take Me Down” featuring Little Big Town . Gill wrote/co-wrote, co-produced and is a featured musician on all 12 songs on Down To My Last Bad Habit. “Forty years into this, it’s still as much fun as it’s ever been to play music,” notes Gill. “At the end of the day, what I get excited about is doing something I haven’t done before. When I record a song, I feel successful if I’ve accomplished something new.”

Down to My Last Bad Habit marks Gill’s first solo album since 2011’s Guitar Slinger. In 2013, The Oklahoma native partnered with famed steel guitarist Paul Franklin on Bakersfield as a tribute to the “Bakersfield” sound of Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. With 20 GRAMMY Awards to his credit, Gill has emerged as country music’s most eloquent and impassioned champion. He is both a world-class guitar picker and a wide-ranging songwriter whose compositions earned him entry into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. Gill has produced albums for LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant as well as Ashley Monroe and has made guest appearances on over 500+ albums including Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, George Jones and more.

Paramount and Walt Disney Studios Join EMA / Entertainment Merchants Association

EMA (Entertainment Merchants Association)  announced today that they're pleased to welcome Paramount and Walt Disney Studios to membership in the Association. "EMA's membership now includes all the major motion picture studios, and we look forward to working with them, along with all of our other members, to foster the health and vitality of the home entertainment industry," said EMA President & CEO Mark Fisher.

EMA member Baker & Taylor also welcomes these two key video suppliers to the association and looks forward to their participation.

Friday, November 20, 2015

David Bowie's New Album "Blackstar" Available to Order

David Bowie’s new album ★ (pronounced Blackstar) is now available for pre-order.  The ★ album will be released January 8, 2016 on Iso/Columbia Records on CD, and a stunning die-cut vinyl LP package;  a video of the vinyl LP can be seen below. 
The album’s title track and first single released globally yesterday, November 19, 2015 and the single and film will premiere worldwide today in venues ranging from special theatrical premiere screenings presented in cooperation with Noisey at the Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn to a USA broadcast premiere on Palladia. 

The full ★ short film was made available as well.  Check it out-

photo - Jimmy King

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Straight Outta Compton" Unrated Director's Cut on DVD/BD in February

Follow the world's most dangerous group, N.W.A. as they forge their anger and frustrations into the most potent weapon imaginable: their music.  In inner-city Straight Outta Compton: Unrated Director's Cut you can follow N.W.A.'s electrifying lyrics and unique sound, which introduced a truth that no one had heard before and exposed life in the hood igniting a social revolution that still reverberates today.  The culturally relevant and explosively entertaining biopic is coming to Blu-ray and DVD January 19, 2016 (street date for public libraries is February 16 per Uni's library holdback policy)  from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.  The Blu-ray includes the exclusive Unrated Director's Cut that gives fans more of the N.W.A. story with 20 additional minutes of the film.  Directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, Friday), Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of five young rebels from South Central Los Angeles who, armed with only their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent, stood up to the authorities attempting to keep them down.

With an 89% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and hailed by critics as, "an electrifying piece of hip-hop history that speaks urgently to right now," (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), Straight Outta Compton bowed as the box office's biggest R-rated August film opening of all time and biggest musical biopic ever, grossing $60 million during its opening weekend and generating over $200 million worldwide to date.

Following the rise of the world's most notorious group, Straight Outta Compton features breakout stars O'Shea Jackson Jr. (Ice Cube), Corey Hawkins (Dr. Dre), Jason Mitchell (the late Eazy-E), Neil Brown, Jr. (DJ Yella) and Aldis Hodge (MC Ren) as members of N.W.A. and Golden Globe Award-winning actor Paul Giamatti (HBO's John Adams) as the group's manager.

Brad Mehldau’s "10 Years Solo Live" Out Now in 4-CD Box Set

This weeks marks the release of Brad Mehldau's 10 Years Solo Live as a four-CD box set on Nonesuch Records. The set, which was first released as an eight-LP vinyl box set last month, is culled from nineteen live recordings made over a decade of the pianist's European solo concerts and is divided into four thematic subsets of four sides each: Dark/Light, The Concert, Intermezzo/ Rückblick, and E Minor/E Major.

The new set "contains some of the most impressive pianism Mr. Mehldau has captured on record," exclaims the New York Times' Nate Chinen. It "also confirms that his pristine technique and prismatic elaboration are distinctive traits unto themselves," closing with a performance that is "an astonishment even by his lofty standards." Jazzwise, in a five-star review, calls it "a monumental achievement, and one of the most rewarding solo piano collections of the 21st century so far." The BBC Music Magazine five-star review says it's "a powerful picture of a renaissance artist at the height of his powers."

The Irish Times has named 10 Years Solo Live its Album of the Week. "To listen intently is to engage in the tangle of a great musician's mind, one whose influence may now be discerned in pretty much every jazz pianist that has come after him," says the five-star review. "Nothing can replace the thrill of actually being in the room when Mehldau is in the act of creation, but 10 Years Solo Live is a close second."

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Academy Award Winner Robert De Niro, and Kate Bosworth Star in the High-Octane Thriller "HEIST"

Academy Award winner Robert De Niro (Best Actor, Raging Bull, 1980) leads a critically acclaimed cast in the action-packed Heist arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD) and DVD (plus Digital)
December 29, 2015 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. With enough twists and heart-pounding moments to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, this nonstop thrill ride finds one father risking it all to save his only child. From the producers of Escape Plan, the film also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen), Kate Bosworth (Still Alice), Gina Carano (upcoming Deadpool), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (TV’s “Franklin & Bash”), D.B. Sweeney (Taken 2), Lydia Hull (Vice), and Tyler J. Olson (Jarhead), with Morris Chestnut (The Perfect Guy) and Dave Bautista (Spectre).

When their attempt to rob a casino owned by the feared gangster Pope (Robert De Niro) goes awry and a shootout ensues, Vaughn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Cox (Dave Bautista) are forced to flee on foot and hijack city bus 657 and take the passengers hostage. Now, in a high-speed chase, Vaughn will not only have to outwit the police who are in hot pursuit, led by Officer Bajos (Gina Carano), but he will have to contend with Pope’s maniacal right hand man, Dog (Morris Chestnut), in order to make it through the day alive. But we quickly learn that things are not what they seem, and Vaughn has more than one card up his sleeve.

Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin Star in Critically Acclaimed Action Thriller "SICARIO"

Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow), Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro (Best Supporting Actor, Traffic, 2000), Oscar nominee Josh Brolin (Best Supporting Actor, Milk, 2008), and Victor Garber (Titanic) star in the must-see Rotten Tomatoes Certified Fresh drug war thriller Sicario, arriving on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD (plus Digital) on January 5, 2016 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.  An official selection of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the edge-of-your-seat action-packed story follows a covert group of crime fighters on a treacherous cross-border operation to take down a Mexican drug kingpin. 

From the director of Prisoners comes this taut, critically acclaimed thriller filled with pulse-pounding suspense, shot by twelve-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins. After an idealistic FBI agent (Blunt) is recruited by a government task-force official (Brolin) to pursue a drug lord, she begins a perilous mission that forces her to question everything she believes—and pits her against a shadowy consultant (Del Toro) with a dangerous agenda.

Friday, November 13, 2015

BURNT Soundtrack to Arrive in December

Lakeshore Records will release BURNT- Original Motion Picture Soundtrack on CD December 18, 2015. The album features the film’s original score by Rob Simonsen (THE AGE OF ADALINE, FOXCATCHER) and tracks by Barnes Courtney, Autograf, RY X, The Avener & John Lee Hooker,
plus the original track “Ode to a Sous Vide” performed by the film’s Bradley Cooper. The deluxe version contains one additional song, “Flashlight” by Bonobo.

“We wanted something elegant, but with movement,” said composer Simonsen. “A small chamber orchestra seemed to fit the bill, along with looped and treated sounds and electronics.” Simonsen wanted to cover a few bases in the score: “Emotional moments for budding romance or moments of tenderness, which is more about Adam softening, moments of tension where things were in jeopardy, and moments of the act of cooking/creating/celebrating.”

BURNT is about a chef, Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper), who had it all – and lost it. The former enfant terrible of the Paris restaurant scene had earned two Michelin stars and only ever cared about the thrill of creating explosions of taste. To land his own kitchen and that third elusive star though, Jones will need to leave his bad habits behind and get the best of the best on his side, including the beautiful Helene (Sienna Miller). BURNT is a remarkably funny and emotional story about the love of food, the love between two people, and the power of second chances.

PBS Sets December 1 Release Date for "Nature: Pets; Wild at Heart"

PBS Distribution announced today it is releasing “NATURE: PETS: WILD AT HEART” on DVD. Most pet owners feel they understand their cat, dog or hamster. Pets are cute, loving and adored, with familiar behaviors that make them seem far removed from their wild counterparts. But exactly why do hamsters love to run on a wheel, what are cat and mouse games really all about, and how do dogs know the rules of the pack? As these two hours show, while our pets may have been tame for thousands of years and made a successful transition to domestic life, they were wild for millions more, and their natural instincts remain intact, hiding in plain sight. This program delves into the secret world our pets inhabit, ruled by their intrinsic wild behavior, extraordinary senses and special skills. Using spy cameras, moving x-rays, ultra slow-motion and thermal imagery, filmmakers uncover the hidden powers that pets possess.

 “PETS: WILD AT HEART” will be available on DVD December 1, 2015 from PBS via Baker & Taylor. The program has a run time of approximately 60 minutes The DVD SRP is $19.99.

The first episode, Playful Creatures, explores how pets get in touch with their wild side through play. In one example, seven-week-old Cockapoo puppies are shown jostling with each other, but there’s more than just play going on. They are, in fact, rehearsing the same rules that enable wolves to hunt as an organized pack. Although dominant puppies fight the weaker ones, they learn to restrain their bite so no one gets hurt. They may practice killer holds, but if a puppy rolls over exposing its vulnerable belly, that’s a signal to stop. If this rule is ignored, the offending puppy is ostracized.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Film Adaptation of James Patterson's MIDDLE SCHOOL Cast Announced

CBS Films announced today the cast for the theatrical motion picture adaptation of James Patterson's award-winning, bestselling series MIDDLE SCHOOL, arriving in theaters October 2016.

The cast will include Lauren Graham ("Parenthood," "Gilmore Girls"), Rob Riggle ("22 Jump Street," "Hotel Transylvania 2"), Thomas Barbusca ("Preacher," "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp"), Andrew Daly ("Review," "Black-ish"), Adam Pally ("The Mindy Project," "The To Do List"), Efren Ramirez ("Constantine," "Napoleon Dynamite"), Isabela Moner ("100 Things to Do Before High School," "Dora and Friends: Into the City!") and Alexa Nisenson ("Constantine") are joining Griffin Gluck ("About a Boy," "Red Band Society").  Steve Carr is set to direct the film from a screenplay by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer and Kara Holden. Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson are producing and James Patterson and Steve Bowen are executive producing for James Patterson Entertainment.

The first entry in the series, MIDDLE SCHOOL: THE WORST YEARS OF MY LIFE, chronicles the trials and triumphs of Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck) as he uses all of his wits to battle bullies, hormones and the tyrannical, test-obsessed Principal Dwight (Daly). Graham co-stars as Rafe's mother Jules, along with Riggle as her boyfriend Bear, Nisenson as Rafe's sister Georgia, Barbusca as Rafe's best friend Leo, Moner as Rafe's first crush Jeanne, Ramirez as Gus and Pally as his favorite teacher, Mr. Teller.

PA Commission for Women Joins PCAR, State System of Higher Education to Host "The Hunting Ground " Screening

The Pennsylvania Commission for Women recently joined the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape(PCAR) and Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education to host a screening of the documentary The Hunting Ground, followed by a panel discussion focused on sexual assault on college campuses. The event, which took place at the Governor's Residence, was held in conjunction with the It's On Us campaign's 2015 National Week of Action.

"Pennsylvania is home to some of the best colleges and universities in the country, and we must ensure that our students are not only being academically enriched but also cared for and protected emotionally and physically as well," said Governor Tom Wolf. "It is a priority for my administration to ensure that sexual assault on our campuses is not tolerated and that our schools are promoting the best possible academic and social environment for our students. Today's event was an important step toward that goal and we will continue this discussion with key stakeholders throughout the commonwealth to ensure that this issue is being addressed and that our students' safety is protected."

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Unveils First 4K Ultra HD Discs

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) this week announced its first releases in the next-generation 4K Ultra HD Disc format, which will arrive in early 2016.  "By some estimates, consumers will own over 100 million Ultra HD television sets by 2019.  Sony Pictures' 4K Ultra HD Discs will deliver consumers the ultimate home theater experience, with stunning picture and sound quality," said SPHE president, Man Jit Singh.  Singh continued, "Ten years ago this month, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment authored the world's first feature film on Blu-ray Disc™, and we continue to bring consumers the most innovative, immersive home entertainment experiences available."

SPHE's first 4K Ultra HD releases will include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Salt, Hancock, Chappie, Pineapple Express, and The Smurfs 2, followed by a growing roster of titles including new release film and television content.

SPHE's 4K Ultra HD Discs feature four times the resolution of HD and include high dynamic range (HDR), which produces brilliant highlights, vibrant colors and greater contrast on compatible displays. Many titles will also support next-generation immersive audio formats.

Sony Pictures has a  large library of 4K content, including newer films and television shows, as well as classic catalog films restored from original film elements, including Fury, Captain Phillips, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Men In Black, Ghostbusters, The Fifth Element, Bad Boys, The Da Vinci Code, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Leon: The Professional, Lawrence Of Arabia, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Guns of Navarone, Taxi Driver, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and many others.

Pawn Sacrifice Checks in at Libraries on January 19

A long-anticipated chess match between an American upstart and a Russian grandmaster captures the imagination of the world in Pawn Sacrifice, coming to Blu-ray and DVD January 19, 2016 for public libraries from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. A riveting and revealing portrait of Bobby Fischer, the troubled genius who sparked an international chess craze, Pawn Sacrifice vividly recreates an era in which international gamesmanship achieved new heights – on and off the chess board.

In a gripping true story set during the height of the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers when he challenges the Soviet Empire, whose players have dominated the game for decades. Pawn Sacrifice chronicles Fischer's terrifying struggles with genius and madness, and the rise and fall of a kid from Brooklyn who captured the imagination of the world.

Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby, Spider-Man) stars as the gifted and tormented Fischer, with Liev Schreiber ("Ray Donovan," Salt) as his Russian nemesis Boris Spassky. The film also stars Peter Sarsgaard (Black Mass, Jarhead), Lily Rabe ("American Horror Story," All Good Things), Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Trumbo) and Robin Weigert (The Sessions, "Deadwood").

They Might Be Giants Back With "Why?" on November 27

Brooklyn, NY’s original alternative rockers, They Might Be Giants, are in the middle of an epic year! Having already released a new album of original songs, Glean, TMBG is gearing up to release their new family album Why? on November 27th via Idlewild Records.  And, the cool new album features the catchy track Or So I Have Read” (listen above).
And, the band announces a national spring 2016 tour that will bring their explosive live show to cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, and more.  All shows are for ages 14+ unless otherwise noted.

Bette Midler Love Song Collection; "A Gift of Love" in December

Bette Midler has been singing her way into people's hearts since her debut album, The Divine Miss M back in 1972, became a platinum-seller and helped the singer win her first Grammy Award. Since then, she has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide and earned the distinction as only the second female singer to score a Top 10 album in five consecutive decades.

Throughout her career, Ms Midler has demonstrated a remarkable musical range, but many of her signature hits have focused on matters of the heart. That's why Rhino will bring together 18 of her best love songs for a new collection A GIFT OF LOVE, available on December 4 on CD.

After Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertugun discovered Midler in 1972, the irrepressible singer with the unmistakable voice went on to enjoy an amazing career that continues to this day. This new collection includes highlights from albums she recorded for both Atlantic Records and Warner Bros. between 1976 and 2014.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Elton John to Release "Wonderful Crazy Night" on February 5


Elton John is still at it,  and will release his 33rd studio album in 2016 next year. John's publicists announced recently  that his Wonderful Crazy Night album is due for release on Island Records on February 5. The first single, "Looking Up," was released last month.

Wonderful Crazy Night was co-produced by Mr John and T Bone Burnett, who worked on the piano-playing star's rootsy, well-received 2013 release The Diving Board.  Lyrics are again by Bernie Taupin, John's songwriting partner of almost fifty years.

Mr John, 68, is one of UK's most enduringly successful musicians, and a campaigner for gay rights around the world. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II back in 1998 for his contributions to pop music and to the fight against AIDS.