Help! appears on Blu-ray in a single-disc package pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features, including a 30-minute documentary about the making of the film, memories of the cast and crew, an in-depth look at the restoration process, an outtake scene, and original theatrical trailers and radio spots. An introduction by the film's director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation by Martin Scorsese are included in the Blu-ray's booklet.
Directed by Richard Lester, who also directed the band's debut feature film, 1964's A Hard Day's Night, Help! follows The Beatles as they become passive recipients of an outside plot that revolves around Ringo's possession of a sacrificial ring, which he cannot remove from his finger. As a result, he and his bandmates John, Paul and George are chased from London to the Austrian Alps and the Bahamas by religious cult members, a mad scientist and the London police.
In addition to starring The Beatles, Help! boasts a witty script, a great cast of British character actors, and classic Beatles songs 'Help!,' 'You're Going To Lose That Girl,' 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away,' 'Ticket To Ride,' 'I Need You,' 'The Night Before,' and 'Another Girl.'
Manufacturer: Lions Gate
Brand: LIONS GATE HOME ENT.
Tyler Perry's new musical stage play starring the infamous Mabel Simmons or "Madea" as her fans know her. When a judge orders Madea to do 20 hours of community service at a local retirement home the residents and staff are not ready for Madea's brand of "the truth," but all is well that ends well when Madea helps the residence of Easy Rest Retirement Home realize the importance of family, love and forgiveness.
Eddie Izzard spins free-flowing jokes about San Francisco, transvestitism, squirrels, American optimism, Hitler, the British royal family, mass murder, and Stonehenge--and that's only the first 30 minutes. Izzard romps through human history and transforms surprisingly complex ideas into biting satire--as well as knockout bits of sublime frivolity, like describing the movie Speed entirely in French. His mercurial patter is sprinkled with four-letter words, but his twinkling glances make this more mischievous than crude. In Dress to Kill, Eddie Izzard spins free-flowing jokes about San Francisco (where the comedy concert was filmed), transvestitism, squirrels, American optimism, Hitler, the British royal family, mass murder, and Stonehenge--and that's only the first 30 minutes. It's as if this ingenious comedian says whatever comes off the top of his head, but giving that impression demands cunning and skill; Izzard romps through human history and transforms surprisingly complex ideas into biting satire--as well as knockout bits of sublime frivolity, like describing the movie Speed entirely in French. His mercurial patter is sprinkled with four-letter words, but his twinkling glances make this more mischievous than crude. Izzard has delivered some excellent performances in movies (like Velvet Goldmine and The Cat's Meow), but it's on stage that he really explodes with daffy wit and charisma. Simply brilliant and completely addictive; you will want to watch this over and over. --Bret Fetzer
Manufacturer: Geffen Records
Brand: Alfred Music
An MTV special featuring soft rock giants the Eagles, who have incited the world into a state of uncontrollable mellowness with hits like 'Take It Easy', 'Desperado' and, of course, 'Hotel California'.
Manufacturer: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Brand: UNI DIST CORP. (MCA)
The Pirates of Penzance, Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic musical comedy of mistaken identity, comes swashbuckling to the screen with all the laughs, songs and stars that made it a long-running Broadway smash! Kevin Kline reprises his Tony Award winning role along with Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, George Rose and Rex Smith in the story of a roguish pirate king and his adventurous young charge who explore the coastline in search of treasure and romance. Digitally remastered for optimum picture quality, it’s a fresh, funny and colorful extravaganza that’s the very model of a modern movie musical.
Brand: Warner Manufacturing
Sparkle (DVD)Three talented sisters claw their way from the Harlem ghetto to stardom in the rock 'n' world of the 1950s, a world of fame, music and Sparkle. But even though they escape the ghetto, the sisters cannot escape its problems, and their dream of celebrity and success becomes a nightmare of jealousy and drugs in this powerful tale.]]> Before Dreamgirls hit cineplexes in 2006, there was Sparkle. Released in 1976, the low-budget movie (which is also loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes) achieved somewhat of a cult following among fans that enjoy a good cry along with their kitsch. Sparkle tells the rags-to-riches (and rags again, for some of the characters) tale of three sisters with gorgeous voices. There's Sister (Lonette McKee), Sparkle (Irene Cara, Fame), and Delores (Dwan Smith), who team up with a couple of players (including a very young Philip Michael Thomas, pre-Miami Vice) to form a singing group. Because the men add little oomph to the outfit, the quintet becomes an all-girl trio and is renamed the redundant (and hysterical) Sister and the Sisters. But because this movie is called Sparkle and not Sister, we know that Irene Cara's character is the one to watch. Cara is a joy to listen to when she unleashes her powerful pipes. And as the much put-upon Sister, McKee is convincing and earns the viewer's sympathy. Set in the 1950's, the movie tackles racism, sexism, jealousy, and both chemical and physical abuse. While it is overly dramatic and liberally serves up sloppy doses of soap opera clichés, the film also is highly watchable because of its over-the-top campiness. --Jae-Ha Kim