MVD Nabs Rights to 1992 Cult Classic ‘The Linguini Incident,’ Starring David Bowie

MVD Entertainment Group has acquired North American rights to Emmy-winning director Richard Shepard’s debut film, The Linguini Incident, which stars the late David Bowie and Rosanna Arquette.

Shepard went on to direct the hit streaming series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” as well as the films The Matador and Dom Hemingway.

MVD is planning a limited theatrical release for the film, followed by a digital and physical media release under the company’s “Marquee Collection” banner. Dates have not yet been announced.

Richard Shepard

The Linguini Incident is a crime comedy about a perennially underpaid waitress named Lucy (Arquette) and Monte (Bowie), a mysterious, charming (and very in debt) bartender. Lucy is seriously in need of cash and Monte needs to marry someone, anyone, by the end of the week, or face dire consequences at the hands of his creditors.

The two join forces with Lucy’s lingerie-designing best friend, Viv
(Eszter Balint), to rob their terminally hip New York City restaurant and solve their financial woes. However, these three are far from master criminals and they soon learn that in robberies, as in love, things never go as planned.

The Linguini Incident, originally released in 1992, also stars Oscar winner Marlee Matlin, Buck Henry, Andre Gregory, Viveca Lindfors, James Avery and Maura Tierney. 

Shepard, who also co-wrote the film’s script, and producer Sarah Jackson re-claimed the rights to the film from Academy Entertainment, scanned and restored the movie in 4K and developed a never-before-seen director’s cut.

“I’m thrilled that the great folks at MVD are going to re-release The Linguini Incident and present this brand-new director’s cut, with an incredibly beautiful transfer,” Shepard said. “It’s going to be a fun discovery or rediscovery for fans of Bowie, Arquette or independent films of the early 90s.”

Eric Wilkinson

“I’m a huge fan of Richard’s body of work, especially The Matador, and one of the great privileges of my career is getting to collaborate with some of my favorite filmmakers and help bring their passion projects back to life,” said Eric D. Wilkinson, director of acquisitions at MVD Entertainment Group.

The Linguini Incident is a criminally underrated gem, and I’m excited to
be re-introducing Richard’s restored director’s cut the way it was meant to be seen under our prestigious ‘Marquee Collection’ banner.”

The deal was negotiated by producer Jackson and Lawrence Kopeikin on behalf of the filmmakers and by Wilkinson on behalf of MVD.

Music Doc ‘Blitzed: The ’80s Blitz Kids’ Due on DVD Feb. 17 From MVD

The music documentary Blitzed: The ’80s Blitz Kids will be released on DVD Feb. 17 from MVD Entertainment Group.

The documentary explores the club where Boy George was the coat check girl (admittedly stealing money from the purses), and Bowie, synth beats, and a new freedom of sexual identity were in the air. The Blitz Club was where a hotbed of talent emerged: Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Culture Club, Sade, and many others. This is the story of a cultural revolution — spawned from a grimy West End club patronized by impoverished but lavishly wardrobed trendsetters, art students and trans slackers. It was a movement that redefined music, fashion and sexual expression.  Among the stories: Mick Jagger was turned away from the door for not being well enough dressed.

Derided by many, the New Romantics can now claim influence that stretches to the modern wave of synth bands, sounds, gender fluidity and fashion sensibilities that mark the second decade of the 21st century. The music the scene spawned on the dance floor of Egan’s Blitz nightclub in Covent Garden can be heard on dance floors, films and TV soundtracks to this day. Through interviews with key players, current contemporaries, punters and pundits together with archival footage, recreated scenes and original footage, the documentary shows how and why the movement took hold and where it landed today.

Labyrinth: 35th Anniversary Edition

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Fantasy;
$40.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Toby Froud, Brian Henson, Ron Mueck.

Master puppeteer Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy Labyrinth is a bit of an odd duck — a bizarre adventure with a chilly reception upon its release that has since become a cult classic. Labyrinth sits alongside similar films such as 1984’s The NeverEnding Story and 1985’s Return to Oz in providing fantastical escapism with slightly darker overtones for a kids movie.

The reason the film’s reputation has grown such as it has is undoubtedly due to David Bowie in the key role of Jareth the goblin king, whose look has become iconic. Casting Bowie afforded Henson the luxury of injecting more songs into the narrative, giving it the feeling of a musical that doesn’t always mesh with the darker elements of the story.

The film was also one of the first roles for Jennifer Connelly, who stars as Sarah, the teenage girl who, annoyed with the constant crying of her baby brother, wishes Jareth would take him away to the land of the goblins — an action she immediately regrets when he indeed shows up to do so. He gives her 13 hours to traverse the maze surrounding his castle and defeat his minions so that she may rescue the baby.

Much of the publicity promoting nostalgia for the film over the years has been to prominently feature Connelly in an elaborate ball gown, playing up the otherworldly high fantasy elements of the story. In fact, this comprises just one short sequence in the film, with Connelly, who was 14 during filming, spending most of the movie in blue jeans like a typical ’80s kid.

The film’s contemporary setting — Sarah is rehearsing for a play based on the goblin lore, hence her familiarity with it — on its own begs the question of how much of Sarah’s adventures are just a dream, though the movie doesn’t offer many clues to suggest it’s anything other than really happening to her. However, like The Wizard of Oz, Sarah’s “real world” offers a number of clues that would seem to influence the goblin world, and it’s fun on subsequent viewings to spot these details in her bedroom.

One of them pointed out by Henson’s son Brian on the new 4K disc is that Sarah has a newspaper clipping of a photo of her mother with Bowie (a photo of Connelly’s actual mother with Bowie) — the implication being that her mother left the family and ran off with Bowie, causing Sarah to subconsciously cast him as the villain in her adventure.

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The story bears more than a passing resemblance to Maurice Sendak’s Outside Over There, which led to some legal controversy before an acknowledgement to Sendak’s work was added to the credits. (Outside Over There, along with The Wizard of Oz and other similar works, are among the books in Sarah’s room).

In addition to Henson and his usual team, Labyrinth also boasts some impressive filmmaking pedigree, with “Monty Python” star Terry Jones getting screenplay credit, and George Lucas assisting with both the script and the editing.

Labyrinth ended up being the final film directed by Henson, who was dismayed by its negative reception. After returning to his forte of children’s television, Henson died in 1990, four years after Labyrinth’s release.

The new 35th anniversary 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition comes in a digibook designed to resemble Sarah’s “Labyrinth” book in the movie. The two-disc set includes the movie on both a 4K disc and a standard Blu-ray Disc.

The regular Blu-ray is the same disc that was released as the 30th anniversary edition in 2016, and includes a commentary track, a picture-in-picture mode and several retrospective featurettes.

The 4K disc includes the film with Dolby Vision, and it looks great despite some dodgy composite shots. The puppetry is expectedly top notch, the key contributor to the film’s sense of fun.

The previously unreleased extras on this set both come on the 4K disc, and include 25 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, plus 55 minutes of footage from the original auditions for the role of Sarah.

The deleted scenes are presented in rough video form, and mostly expand on ideas already in the movie. The scenes are offered with optional commentary by Brian Henson (one of which being a longer scene focused more on the previously mentioned picture of Sarah’s mother).

The audition tapes include actresses such as Molly Ringwald, Tracey Gold of “Growing Pains,” and Back to the Future’s Claudia Wells, among others.

Both the deleted scenes and auditions have an oversight common to such extras on many discs, in that they have a “play all” option but no title cards for each segment, so the only way to identify the segment is to go back to the original menu.

Jim Henson’s ‘Labyrinth’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD Aug. 17 for 35th Anniversary

The Jim Henson fantasy Labyrinth will debut on 4K Ultra HD Aug. 17 for its 35th anniversary from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The 1986 film follows a 16-year-old girl (Jennifer Connelly) who is given 13 hours to solve a dangerous and wonderful labyrinth and rescue her baby brother when her wish for him to be taken away is granted by the Goblin King (the late David Bowie).

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The release will feature Dolby Vision and an hour of new and archival special features. The limited-edition collectible set also includes a 28-page Digibook — featuring artwork, photography and early script pages — styled to resemble Sarah’s book of The Labyrinth from the film.

Shout! Factory Slates ‘Just a Gigolo’ for Blu-ray Disc Debut June 29

Shout! Factory has announced a June 29 home release date for the celebrated 1978 David Bowie starrer Just a Gigolo, an action film detailing a young Prussian war hero turned gigolo after his return from World War I in Berlin.  

Just a Gigolo is making its debut on Blu-ray Disc. It will also be released on DVD, digital and on demand. The disc editions come with a 32-page booklet and other bonus features, including a making-of feature with producer-writer Joshua Sinclair and assistant to the director Rory Maclean, and an audio commentary with Maclean.

The Blu-ray Disc is priced at $22.98 and the DVD at $16.98.

Bowie portrays Paul von Przygodski, a young Prussian gentleman who arrives in the trenches in time to be caught in the final explosion of the Great War. After recuperating in a military hospital, where he is mistaken for a French hero, he returns to Berlin. His family home has been turned into a boarding house, his father (Rudolf Schündler) is paralyzed, and his mother (Maria Schell) is working in the Turkish baths.

Attempting to find a new purpose, his childhood friend, Cilly (Sydne Rome) abandons him for fame and fortune; his former commanding officer, Captain Kraft (David Hemmings), tries to persuade him to join his right-wing movement; and a widow, Helga von Kaiserling (Kim Novak), briefly seduces him with the finer things in life. In a society where the individual comes first and anyone can be bought, he is recruited by Baroness von Semering (Marlene Dietrich) as one in her regiment of gigolos.