On The First Day Of Christmas, Black Phoenix Gave To Me…

Black Phoenix Krampus 2017

Rejoice! You have survived 2017! All the natural disasters, all the important people whipping their dick out without permission, and all the bat shittiness from the Orange Julius Caesar. You’re still here. So relax, have a glass of eggnog, and watch a holiday classic. Like The Thin Man, Die Hard, or even Batman Returns. I’m currently waiting for Krampus for our usual round of reindeer games. I’m making some birch switches and Krampus is bringing his manacles. He’s a traditionalist but I’m sure he’ll some of the other… devices I have in store. A silver lining to this year being so evil, it gives Krampus more energy and stamina. He likes it when I wear some scent, especially since we get all sweaty from all the naughty naughty things we do. I’d tell you but Widge gets all sensitive and prudish. So I will tell you about the scents that Black Phoenix offering this Yule season for when you kiss (or other amorous act) Santa Claus. He could use some attention too.

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By | 2017-12-23T08:30:10+00:00 December 23rd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Sky, Space, and San Francisco

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the third title featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

Castle in the Sky Picture BookPrincess Mononoke Picture Book

Starting with its premiere feature film Castle in the Sky in 1986, Studio Ghibli has enjoyed decades of producing highly popular anime feature films, including The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, The Secret World of Arrietty, Spirited Away, and the highly celebrated Princess Mononoke, which marks the twentieth anniversary of its release this year. Castle in the Sky follows the adventures of a young boy and girl as they try to protect a magic crystal and find a mysterious floating island all while dealing with pirates, a group of military agents, and a weapon of mass destruction, among other challenges. Another adventuresome pair appear in Princess Mononoke, which tells the story of an unlikely partnership between a cursed prince (Ashitaka) and a feral girl (San / Princess Mononoke) as they join forces in an attempt to stop the destruction of the wild lands. Now out from Viz Media are hardcover picture books of Castle in the Sky and Princess Mononoke, which feature the stories from the films presented in a family-friendly oversized hardcover format along with easy-to-read text and full-color pictures from the films themselves.  Both publications are currently on Amazon: the Castle in the Sky Picture Book (112 pages) is available for $13.59 and the Princess Mononoke Picture Book (232 pages) is available for $20.39.

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By | 2017-12-23T08:31:41+00:00 December 21st, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Decepticons, Diamonds, and Dystopia

 

Transformers 4K Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen 4K
Transformers - Dark of the Moon 4K

Out now on 4K Blu-ray are the first four Transformers films, each in a 3-disc combo pack which includes a digital copy and a host of extras.  Transformers (2007) features audio commentary from director Michael Bay, a Transformers Heads Up Display, and featurette compilations “Our World” (exploring the world of Transformers), “Their World” (examining the Autobots and Decepticons), and “More than Meets the Eye” (a look inside the desert attack scene, including concept boards), along with some Easter eggs.  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) boasts an audio commentary by Michael Bay, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman along with deleted and alternate scenes, Easter eggs, and multiple featurettes (including “Deconstructing Visual Bayhem” with commentary by pre-vis supervisor Steve Yamamoto, “25 Years of Transformers”, and “The Matrix of Marketing”, among many others.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) doesn’t have the audio commentary or Easter eggs featured in the previous two sets but does include multiple featurettes— notable among them are “Above and Beyond: Exploring Dark of the Moon”, “Uncharted Territory: NASA’s Future Then and Now”, and “The Art of Cybertron.”  Rounding out the release is Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), which (like Transformers: Dark of the Moon) doesn’t have audio commentary, Easter eggs, or alternate and deleted scenes.  Extras on this one include the behind-the-scenes special “Evolution with Extinction: The Making of Transformers: Age of Extinction” along with some featurettes about the design of the film and the action sequences.  You can find the Blu-ray 4K Combo sets of TransformersTransformers: Revenge of the FallenTransformers: Dark of the Moon, and Transformers: Age of Extinction on Amazon for $19.99 each.

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By | 2017-12-09T03:29:23+00:00 December 9th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: The Sissi Collection

Sissi Collection Blu-ray
If you’re someone who enjoys period foreign films, you’ll be excited to hear that The Sissi Collection starring Romy Schneider is now out (for the first time in a Blu-ray set) from Film Movement.  Throughout the trilogy, Schneider portrays Princess Elisabeth (“Sissi”) of Austria, whose 44-year reign from 1854-1898 made her the longest serving Empress in the country’s history.  The collection includes the three titular Sissi films directed by Ernst Marischka (and produced almost exactly one hundred years after Elisabeth became Empress):  Sissi (1955) Sissi: The Young Empress (1956), and Sissi: The Fateful Years of the Empress (1957).  All three films have been restored in 2K and are presented in both 16:9 widescreen and the original theatrical full screen aspect ratios.  As a special bonus, the collection also features the 1962 film Forever My Love (a condensed version of the Sissi trilogy dubbed into English and originally released by Paramount Pictures) and the 1954 film Victoria in Dover (where Schneider stars as Princess Victoria of Britain).

Bonus content also includes “From Romy to Sissi” (a 20-minute behind-the-scenes featurette) and “Sissi’s Great-Grandson at the Movies” (an excerpt from the documentary film Elisabeth: Enigma of an Empress).  In addition, the five-disc set is presented with a twenty-page collector’s booklet, which includes a new essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme.  It is important to be aware that the trilogy of Sissi films (along with Forever My Love and Victoria in Dover) were already released as a DVD set back in 2007, so be aware before purchasing for your home library or a gift that the main difference between the two releases content-wise is the “Sissi’s Great-Grandson at the Movies” feature and the collector’s booklet (the previous set was also only available in DVD format).  The new release of The Sissi Collection is currently available on Amazon with the DVD set priced at $39.99 and the Blu-ray set at $48.42.

By | 2017-11-22T06:33:51+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Black Phoenix Halloween 2017

Black Phoenix Halloween 2017

I don’t know if I should be worried or impressed that the bunny is scarier

I’m getting worried about our dear leader, Widgett Walls. I sent him a email saying my post about the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Halloween perfumes would be late, he said I have pretty of time because we’re coming up on Second Halloween. I spent like a half an hour trying to remind him that it’s actually Thanksgiving. He has taken The Oatmeal’s suggestion WAY too seriously. I know the last couple of years haven’t been easy but I am concerned. Mostly that I might have to take over if Widge “takes a vacation” and I don’t need that kind of pressure.

(Widge’s Note: Too Seriously? He has NO idea… Moohoohahaha.)

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By | 2017-11-22T04:32:52+00:00 November 22nd, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Androids, Animation, and Anime

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the first two titles featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

Westworld Season One 4KIn a time when Artificial Intelligence has gone from science fiction to a viable business tool, “Westworld” is an immersive fantasy role-playing game where guests have the opportunity to explore the best and worst sides of themselves without moral or legal consequence— as far as they know.  Based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, the HBO series features an awards-laden cast led by Oscar winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, Golden Globe winner Ed Harris, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Evan Rachel Wood, and Golden Globe nominee Thandie Newton.  Westworld: Season One is now available on 4K Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, and DVD.  The 4K and regular Blu-ray sets also include a collectible booklet that mimics a corporate guidebook for new Westworld employees and the 4K is housed in a special limited-edition tin.  All three formats boast a wide array of bonus features, including featurettes about the main title sequence, the symbolism of the player piano and Ramin Djawadi’s score, Artificial Intelligence, and the Westworld set.  Additional extras include a behind-the-scenes look at the first week of filming, examinations of key scenes from the season, an audio commentary on the season’s final episode by the co-creators and showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and a gag reel.  Amazon and iTunes both offer the season digitally (for $38.99 and $32.99, respectively), with Amazon including the Westworld Comic-Con panel and season trailer and iTunes including no bonus features.  If the (almost two hours of) bonus features are important to you, though, the best option is still getting the season in disc format— on Amazon you can get the 4k Blu-ray set for $44.99, the regular Blu-ray set for $36.99, and the DVD set for $34.99.

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By | 2017-11-09T03:21:30+00:00 November 9th, 2017|Headsup|1 Comment

Headsup: Kicking Butts and Shrinking Butts

Carol Burnett Show: Carol's Lost Christmas Richard Simmons: Sweatin to the Oldies 30th Anniversary Batman vs. Two-Face Blu-Ray

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the third title featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

If you’re in the mood for some laughter, music, and classic lighthearted fun this coming holiday season, you will be happy to know that Time Life just released The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Lost Christmas on DVD. Spanning three holiday shows (which haven’t been seen in over 40 years) from the first four seasons of the series’ run, the collection features treats such as Jonathan Winters as a weird-doll-collecting Santa, a serenade by the Bob Mitchell Singing Boys, a courtroom sketch written by Neil Simon, a performance by 16-year-old Julie Budd singing “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, and much more. The DVD runs a little over two hours and is available on Amazon for $8.29.

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By | 2017-10-28T10:19:57+00:00 October 25th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: Jokers, Singers, Killers, and Queens

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the fourth title featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

Red-Christmas-Blu-rayIt’s almost Halloween, and what does that mean?  HOLIDAY SEASON IS COMING!!!!  A film drawing from both the spectacle of Christmas and the horror of Halloween is Red Christmas from Artsploitation Films (how much do we love that name?).  The cinematic debut of television director and actor Craig Anderson, the film tells the story of a family in a remote house during Christmas who must fight off a deformed and mysterious  attacker bent on revenge.  Starring genre icon Dee Wallace (The Hills Have Eyes, The Howling, E.T., Cujo, Critters), the film was an official selection at multiple festivals, including Fantasia Film Festival, Frightest: London, Buried Alive Film Fest, and Los Angeles Cine Fest.  Red Christmas is being released on Blu-ray and DVD on October 17 and offers a fair selection of bonus features.  Leading the extras are a director’s audio commentary, “Dee Wallace Speaks!” (a twenty-minute interview between Director Craig Anderson and Dee Wallace), and a ten-minute interview between Craig Anderson, Sam Campbell, and Gerald Odwyer.  Additional extras include a mini-interview (2 minutes) with Craig Anderson, a deleted scene, and a blooper reel.  Pre-order Amazon pricing on this one is pretty wonky as of this writing, showing the DVD available for $17.99 and the Blu-ray for $11.99… not sure if this is based on typos or what, but I’d say if this film is up your alley and you like having stuff on Blu-ray, grab it before someone makes a pricing correction.

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By | 2017-10-15T21:14:15+00:00 October 15th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: That’s Life… Being a Drunk, Being a Girl, Being a Ninja

Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of the first four titles featured below. The opinions I share are my own.

 

Shameless Season 7 Blu-rayA remake of the British series of the same name, Shameless is a comedy-drama series that follows the misadventures of alcoholic single father Frank Gallagher (Oscar nominee William H. Macy) and his six children. In Season Seven, Frank wakes up from being in a coma for the past month only to realize that no one came looking for him when he went missing (having been tossed into the Chicago river). Things aren’t calm for the rest of the clan either, as they deal with relationship and job problems, the challenges of single parenthood and post-rehab life, and important decisions such as whether to get circumcised and if starting a topless maid service is a savvy business decision. Now out on DVD and Blu-ray is Shameless: The Complete Seventh Season, featuring all twelve episodes of Season Seven. Special features include two new featurettes, “Growing Up Shameless” (where Emma Kenney and Ethan Cutkosky discuss their amusing real-life journey growing up on the set of Shameless) and “The Shameless Politics of Frank” (which examines Frank’s politics while drunk and sober), along with some unaired scenes.  The season is available digitally on Amazon (which includes “The Shameless Politics of Frank”) and on iTunes (which includes both featurettes) for $29.99, but the cheaper option on this one would definitely be to get it in disc format—on Amazon you can currently snag the DVD for $22.99 and the Blu-ray for $27.99.

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By | 2017-10-04T20:13:17+00:00 October 4th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments

Headsup: The Vietnam War

Vietnam War Ken Burns Blu-RayAn epic documentary a decade in the making, The Vietnam War is the latest work by Ken Burns and Lynn Novik which takes a 360-degree look at the conflict that would cost the lives of millions and create one of the defining periods of the twentieth century.  The film features digitally remastered footage sourced from all over the world (some of which has rarely been seen since it was originally shot)  as well as accounts from over ninety witnesses from both sides, including both political proponents and opponents and combatants from either side of the battle line in Vietnam.  Filling out the picture of the devastating epoch are television broadcasts, pictures from some of the period’s most acclaimed photojournalists, clips of home movies, and audio recordings of conversations from the political administrations of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon.

Permanently intertwined with the events of the period was, of course, the music of the day.  The documentary features over one hundred and twenty evocative songs from the era, including music from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Santana, Joni Mitchell, and others.  No work would have Ken Burns’ stamp of approval without an epic score, and this one is no different—-in addition to music from the era of the Vietnam War, the film features original music composed (and recorded) by Academy Award-winning composers Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor along with pieces by David Cieri and Doug Wamble.  It also boasts some new music arranged by Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who also recorded it along with the Silk Road Ensemble.

The Vietnam War is out now on DVD and Blu-ray, which includes all ten parts of the series presented this month on PBS as well as over one hundred minutes of additional footage (adding up to around eighteen hours total across ten discs).  Extras featured on these collections include a 45-minute preview program, a couple of featurettes on the present lives of two of the interview participants, and some additional bonus content.  If you’re a big fan but missed seeing it this time around on PBS, you will have another chance to see the documentary for free starting October 3rd (when the series will re-air on a weekly basis through November 28th).  However, if you don’t want to risk missing one of the ten installments or if you want to be able to take a mental break without sacrificing the opportunity to see it in its entirety (this is really heavy stuff, after all), you may want to consider getting the series in disc form and watching at your leisure.  If you think one of the disc sets might be right for you, you can grab the DVD and Blu-ray on Amazon (for $59.16 and $74.29, respectively).  The Vietnam War: An Intimate History (a companion book to the series authored by the film’s writer Geoffrey C. Ward) is available on Amazon as well.

By | 2017-09-26T11:34:11+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Headsup|0 Comments