Christopher Lee Euro Films, Dennis Hopper’s ‘Out of the Blue’ Among Titles Due on Disc From Severin and MVD July 26

Another collection of European Christopher Lee films, Lee in The Return of Captain Invincible, and Dennis Hopper in Out of the Blue are due on disc July 26 from MVD Entertainment Group and Severin Films.

“The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee Collection 2,” available on Blu-ray Disc, presents five films from the iconic actor’s European career. Immediately following Horror of Dracula, Lee reprised the role in the quirky 1959 Italian comedy Uncle Was a Vampire. Lee speaks fluent German opposite Klaus Kinski for the crazed 1962 crime thriller The Secret of the Red Orchid. In the 1974 U.K. psycho-thriller Dark Place, Lee leads a cast that includes Joan Collins, Herbert Lom and Jane Birkin. Lee’s final performance as The Count in the 1976 French comedy Dracula and Son can at last be seen in its superior director’s cut, while the ultra-rare 1989 Dutch drama Murder Story brings Lee into the sex shops of Amsterdam. Each film has been remastered from original negative materials with more than 15 total hours of trailers, commentaries, alternate cuts, vintage interviews and new featurettes, plus the Dracula and Son soundtrack and a new 100-page book by Lee biographer Jonathan Rigby.

The Return of Captain Invincible, featuring Alan Arkin and Lee, is available on Blu-ray. The two star in the long-unseen 1982 action-comedy from the director of The Beast Within and Howling II, with songs by Richard O’Brien (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and co-written by the screenwriter of Die Hard and 48 Hours. In the film, when archcriminal Mr. Midnight (Lee) plots to take over the world, humanity’s only hope is World War II’s formerly indestructible “Legend In Leotards” (Arkin) who is now a burnt-out drunk. The released includes three discs, the theatrical version, the director’s cut and the soundtrack CD, with two-plus hours of special features.

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The drama Out of the Blue (1980), directed by and starring Dennis Hopper, is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. Virtually unseen for more than 40 years, the film stars Linda Manz as a 15-year-old who idolizes Elvis, punk rock, and her ex-con father (Hopper). Surrounded by junkies and predators, she follows them all down a one-way road to oblivion. Sharon Farrell (The Stunt Man), Don Gordon (The Last Movie) and Raymond Burr co-star. Special features include audio commentaries from Hopper, executive producer Paul Lewis and distributor John Alan Simon, the writer, and film scholar Kate Rennenbohm; cast interviews; and “Gone But Not Forgotten — Remembering Linda Manz.” 

Controversial Dennis Hopper Film ‘Out of the Blue’ To Get Home Release in Early 2022

The controversial Dennis Hopper film Out of the Blue, which premiered to much acclaim at Cannes in 1980 only to be shelved due to its bleak nature, will finally be available for U.S. audiences.

The U.S. theatrical debut of a new 4K restoration of the film premieres Nov. 17 at New York City’s Metrograph on Nov. 17, presented by Chloë Sevigny & Natasha Lyonne.

A home release across digital, DVD and Blu-ray Disc platforms will follow in early 2022, according to a spokesperson for Discovery Productions.

Out of the Blue was directed by Hopper and stars Linda Manz, Sharon Farrell, Don Gordon and Raymond Burr. 

Billed by Discovery as “a kind of spiritual sequel (and cautionary counterpoint)” to Hopper’s 1969 breakout film, Easy Rider, Out of the Blue chronicles the idealism of the 1960s as its declined into the hazy nihilism of the 1980s. 

Hopper portrays Don Barnes, a truck driver in prison for drunkenly smashing his rig into a school bus. Manz (Days of Heaven) plays Cebe, his daughter, a teen rebel obsessed with Elvis and The Sex Pistols. Her mother (Farrell) waitresses, shoots up drugs and takes refuge in the arms of other men. Cebe runs away to Vancouver’s punk scene and ends up on probation under the care of psychiatrist Burr. After Don’s release, the family struggles to re-connect before the revelation of dark secrets leads to a harrowing conclusion. 

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Working from the original 35mm negative restored by Discovery in 2010, John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr’s Discovery Productions undertook the digital scan and mastering of Out of the Blue to premiere as an official selection at the Venice Film Festival in 2019. The new 4K restoration is being shown for the first time on the big screen theatrically at Metrograph in New York.

Despite critical acclaim at its original Cannes premiere in 1980, Out of the Blue went unreleased because it was considered too bleak for U.S. audiences, Discovery says. John Alan Simon, then a film critic/journalist, rescued the film from the shelf, secured distribution rights and took it on the road with Hopper in 1982 to art house theaters across the U.S., including a 17-week run at the Coolidge Corner Cinema in Boston and then New York City and Los Angeles theatrical releases.   

“It’s incredibly important to us that Out of the Blue be preserved for future generations to experience its emotional impact and as the artistic achievement that helped re-establish Dennis Hopper as an important American director,” Karr said in a statement.

“For me, this restoration project was payback for all I learned from Dennis Hopper when we originally took Out of the Blue on the road in 1982 after I rescued it from the shelf,” Simon said. “He was an amazing artist and friend and Out of the Blue remains as unforgettable as he was and serves as an indelible tribute to the talents of Linda Manz.”

‘Speed’ Racing to 4K Ultra HD May 4

Jan de Bont’s action thriller Speed will motor to 4K Ultra HD for the first time May 4, including a limited-edition exclusive Best Buy Steelbook, from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

In the Fox film, Keanu Reeves stars as an L.A.P.D. SWAT team specialist who is sent to diffuse a bomb that a revenge-driven extortionist (Dennis Hopper) has planted on a city bus. But until he does, one of the passengers (Sandra Bullock) must keep the bus speeding through the streets of Los Angeles at more than 50 miles per hour — or the bomb will explode.

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Special features, which vary by product and retailer, include audio commentary by de Bont; audio commentary by Graham Yost and Mark Gordon; several making-of featurettes; extended scenes; and a Speed music video by Billy Idol.

The film, released theatrically in 1994, earned more than $350 million at the worldwide box office.

Best Buy’s ‘Speed’ 4K Steelbook

‘Easy Rider’ Released on 4K Digital for 50th Anniversary

The road trip classic Easy Rider is now available on 4K digital with high dynamic range from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, marking the 50th anniversary of the film.

Starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, directed by Hopper, and co-written by Fonda, Hopper and Terry Southern, the counterculture classic focuses on two bikers who set off on a cross-country road trip. The cast also includes Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Antonio Mendoza and Phil Spector.

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Digital extras available through participating platforms include a Hopper commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

The 4K restoration premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, mirroring the film’s original debut at the festival in 1969.

‘Apocalypse Now’ 40 Years Later

The acclaimed Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now has been a saga in more ways than one, plagued by a change of lead ac­tors from Harvey Keitel to Mar­tin Sheen, a typhoon in the Phil­ippines and Sheen’s heart attack during filming, critical and skeptical press, and multiple edits.

But this month for its 40th anniversary director Francis Ford Coppola re­leases what he considers his “final cut.”

Apocalypse Now Final Cut will be released in select Imax theaters Aug. 15 and 18, followed by region­al theaters Aug. 23 from NAGRA myCinema, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (two 4K discs, four Blu-ray discs and a digital copy) and digital 4K Ultra HD (for the first time ever) Aug. 27 featuring new special features from Li­onsgate. The release includes Dolby Vision HDR and Dol­by Atmos audio. In addition, the film has been enhanced with Meyer Sound Labo­ratories’ newly developed Sensual Sound, a technology engineered to output audio below the limits of human hearing. It’s all to realize the best version of the film. “A lot of the things that we did to truncate the movie I put back in this version,” said Coppola in a Q&A shot at the Tribeca Film Festival in April with director Steven Soder­bergh that is part of the extras.

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As for the problems that beset the production, doc­umented in the award-winning Hearts of Darkness (also included in the extras with footage shot during filming by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor), Coppola told So­derbergh, “In filmmaking and in life, extraordinary things happen to you, and it’s up to you to make them be positive.”

Brando

Restored from the original negative for the first time ever, Apocalypse Now Fi­nal Cut is Coppola’s most realized version of the film, which was nominated for eight Academy Awards, won three Golden Globes and is one of AFI’s top 100 films. Starring Sheen, Marlon Bran­do, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hop­per, Laurence Fishburne and Harrison Ford, the war epic, in­spired by Joseph Conrad’s story Heart of Darkness, follows Army Capt. Willard (Sheen), a trou­bled man sent on a dangerous odyssey into Cambodia to assassi­nate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz (Brando), who has succumbed to the horrors of war and barricaded himself in a remote outpost.

Duvall

“I had this idea to do it like The Guns of Navarone, some extraor­dinary, big World War II movie,” Coppola told Soderbergh. “The irony is that the movie took on its own life, became stranger and more surreal, and in a sense, I think it went in a direction correct for that issue — because the Viet­nam War was very strange.”

The very innovative nature of the film made Coppola cautious and worried. He decided to release a “work in progress” of the film at the Cannes Film Festival to allay critics who were calling it a disas­ter. It ended up winning the Palme d’Or triumph at the festival in 1979 (shared with The Tin Drum).

His caution resulted in a truncated cut of the film that he later expanded in the 2001 release Apocalypse Now Redux. But this is his ultimate cut.

“I realized that I wanted to make a version that I like,” Coppola said in the introduction to Final Cut included in the extras. “It was longer than the 1979 version but shorter than Apocalypse Now Redux, and it’s the one that I recommend to you and it’s the one that is my favorite.”

The 40th anniversary release features multiple archival and new special features, including the film’s theatrical cut and extended cut (Redux), as well as the acclaimed Hearts of Darkness documentary:

 

4K UHD SPECIAL FEATURES

DISC ONE

  • NEW: Introduction to Final Cut by Francis Ford Coppola

 

DISC TWO

  • Audio Commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now Redux)

 

DISC THREE

  • An Interview with screenwriter John Milius
  • A Conversation with Martin Sheen and Francis Ford Coppola
  • “Fred Roos: Casting Apocalypse” Featurette
  • The Mercury Theatre on the Air: Heart of Darkness – November 6, 1938
  • “The Hollow Men” Featurette
  • Monkey Sampan “Lost Scene”
  • Additional Scenes
  • “Destruction of the Kurtz Compound” End Credits (with Non-Optional Audio Commentary by Francis Ford Coppola)
  • “The Birth of 5.1 Sound” Featurette
  • “Ghost Helicopter Flyover” Sound Effects Demonstration
  • “The Synthesizer Soundtrack” Article by Bob Moog
  • “A Million Feet of Film: The Editing of Apocalypse Now” Featurette
  • “Heard Any Good Movies Lately? The Sound Design of Apocalypse Now” Featurette
  • “The Final Mix” Featurette
  • “2001 Cannes Film Festival: Francis Ford Coppola” Featurette
  • “PBR Streetgang” Featurette
  • “The Color Palette of Apocalypse Now” Featurette
  • Disc Credits

 

DISC FOUR

  • Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (with Optional Audio Commentary by Francis and Eleanor Coppola)
  • NEW: Tribeca Film Festival Q&A with Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Soderbergh
  • NEW: Super 8mm Behind-the-Scenes Footage
  • NEW: “Dutch Angle: Chas Gerresten & Apocalypse Now” Featurette
  • NEW: “Apocalypse Now: A Forty Year Journey” Featurette
  • NEW: “Sensual Sound Technology from Meyer Sound” Featurette
  • John Milius Script Excerpt with Francis Coppola Notes (Still Gallery)
  • Storyboard Collection
  • Photo Archive

–            Unit Photography

–            Mary Ellen Mark Photography

  • Marketing Archive

–            1979 Teaser Trailer

–            1979 Theatrical Trailer

–            1979 Radio Spots

–            1979 Theatrical Program

–            Lobby Card and Press Kit Photos

–            Poster Gallery

–            Apocalypse Now Redux Trailer

 

DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola (Apocalypse Now Redux)