FilmRise, Redbox Free Live TV Streaming Music Concert Marathon

FilmRise, along with Redbox Free Live TV, will stream a music concert marathon on Sept. 27th. The concert marathon features more than 30 concerts, including Frank Zappa, The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Phil Collins, among others. Specific highlights include Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), Paul McCartney and Wings: Rockshow (1980), The Doors: Live at the Bowl (1968), and Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music + Ella + Jobim (1967), among others.

Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times is a concert film with theatrical staging, featuring live performances by Prince and his band.

Paul McCartney & Wings: Rockshow: In 1975 and 1976 McCartney and his band undertook the Wings over the World tour, the largest scale tour they would ever undertake as a band. From this tour came both the “Wings over America” triple live album and the concert film “Rockshow.”  Although filmed on this tour at the Kingdome in Seattle, “Rockshow,” originally was a cut-down version of the concert, that did not premier until November 1980 in New York and April 1981 in London.

Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music + Ella & Jobin is a 1967 television event that finds Sinatra joined by Ella Fitzgerald in an historic pairing of the two preeminent vocal talents of the era.

The Doors: Live at the Bowl ‘68 is a concert movie depicting the performance of the Doors at the Hollywood Bowl.

Doc ‘Rewind’ and Drama ‘Driveways’ Due on Disc and Digital Sept. 15 From FilmRise and MVD

The documentary Rewind and the drama Driveways are coming to Blu-ray, DVD and digital Sept. 15 from FilmRise and MVD Entertainment Group.

Driveways: Special Edition (2019), starring the late Brian Dennehy (Tommy Boy), follows a lonesome boy who accompanies his mother on a trip to clean out his late aunt’s house, where he ends up forming an unexpected friendship with the retiree who lives next door. From director Andrew Ahn (Spa Night), Driveways also stars Hong Chau (Downsizing), Lucas Jaye (“Fuller House”), Christine Ebersole (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jerry Adler (Find Me Guilty). The film was an Official Selection at festivals worldwide, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival and the Berlin International Fest. Extras include a photo gallery and theatrical trailer.

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In the documentary Rewind (2019), digging through the vast collection of his father’s home videos, a young man reconstructs the unthinkable story of his boyhood and exposes vile abuse passed through generations. The film was an Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, the Heartland International Film Festival and the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Extras include a filmmaker interview with Sasha Joseph Neulinger, a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer.

Doc ‘1275 Days’ Available on Disc and Digital From Filmrise and MVD

A special edition of the documentary 1275 Days will come out on Blu-ray, DVD and digital from Filmrise and MVD Entertainment Group.

The film follows 15-year-old Blake who, after a botched home invasion, finds himself facing a virtual life prison sentence for felony murder. With the unwavering support of his single mother and teenage girlfriend, Blake embarks on a David-and-Goliath uphill battle in Elkhart, Indiana, taking on the system in hopes of a second chance.

Extras include deleted scenes, “Experts on Retroactivity,” a photo gallery and the theatrical trailer.

It was an official selection at the 2019 Heartland International Film Festival and an official selection and 2019 DOC NYC.

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FilmRise Picks Up Select International Streaming Rights to ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women’

New York-based FilmRise has acquired select international streaming rights to Beyond Distribution’s Emmy-nominated science entertainment show “MythBusters” and true crime series “Deadly Women.”

The company will distribute “MythBusters,” starring special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, in the United Kingdom and Australia.

“Deadly Women,” the miniseries that chronicles three murders within each episode, all committed by women, will be digitally distributed by FilmRise in the United Kingdom.

“We are thrilled to begin our partnership with Beyond Distribution by helping to expand the reach of their amazing shows ‘MythBusters’ and ‘Deadly Women,” FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher said in a statement. “Streaming audiences adore shows that debunk myths and solve mysteries, so we are confident they will be enjoyed among our streaming partner platforms, both in the SVOD and ad-supported space.”

“MythBusters” aired in North America on the Discovery Channel from 2003 through 2016, with 282 total episodes and eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The series takes myths, tall tales and urban legends and gives them the scientific treatment to determine their validity. Myths are proven true, probable, possible, improbable or busted. Often after the real-world practical tests have proved or debunked a myth, the team will take the experiment to the extreme, many times using more modern technology than the myth could have used or upping the black powder for impressive explosions.

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“Deadly Women” is a true-life crime documentary-style TV series with each episode having a unifying theme such as jealousy, financial gain, mental illness or crimes committed by teenagers or the elderly. The stories are told through re-enactments and interviews. Episodes also feature contributors in relevant fields such as law enforcement, law media and forensic experts. Occasionally, family or friends of the subject or their victims appear. Hosted by FBI Criminal Profiler Candice DeLong and narrated by Lynnanne Zager, the program has become a staple on Investigation Discovery (ID), has racked up 13 seasons and remains in production.

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The deal was negotiated by FilmRise VP of acquisitions Max Einhorn and Munia Kanna-Konsek, head of sales at Beyond Distribution.

FilmRise Inks Streaming Deal for PRO Library Including ‘My Favorite Martian,’ ‘The Rifleman’

FilmRise, the New York-based TV and film company, has acquired exclusive streaming rights to the Peter Rodgers Organization (PRO) Film and Television library for North America.

The deal includes 1,115 episodes of content including the Western “The Rifleman,” starring Chuck Connors and Johnny Crawford, the first TV show to present single-parenthood; the sci-fi sitcom “My Favorite Martian,” starring Ray Walston and Bill Bixby; and the very first network Western TV series “Hopalong Cassidy,” starring William Boyd, which aired on NBC after the network had success broadcasting television cuts of the original feature films.

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“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with [PRO CEO] Stephen Rodgers,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “As traditional television viewing continues to move more toward streaming destinations, we believe fans of classic TV will be excited to find their favorites like ‘The Rifleman’ and ‘My Favorite Martian.’  And now we are offering the opportunity for new streaming audiences to discover them.”

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Programs within the PRO library that FilmRise will be distributing also include “Acapulco H.E.A.T.” seasons 1-2 (1993, 1998); “Celebrity Bowling” seasons 1-3 (1971); “The Cisco Kid” seasons 1-6 (1950); “The Comedy Show” seasons 1-3 (1978); “Conan: The Adventurer” (1997); “Courageous Cat” (1960) seasons 1-4 (1990); “Gigantor” (1964); “I Spy” seasons 1-3 (1965); “Movin’ On” seasons 1-2 (1974); and “Tarzan” seasons 1-3 (1991).

FilmRise content can be seen on free streaming platforms including The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi, IMDb TV, Crackle, Vudu, Sling, Stirr, Samsung TV Plus, Stirr, Xumo and many more — including FilmRise’s own apps on Roku, Fire TV and on iOS and Android devices.

‘The Cat and the Moon’ and ‘Unintended’ Coming to Disc and Digital April 14 From FilmRise and MVD

The Cat and the Moon and Unintended will come out on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats April 14 from FilmRise and MVD Entertainment Group.

From executive producers Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Mile 22) and Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars, The New Mutants), The Cat and the Moon features a cast that includes Alex Wolff (Hereditary, Patriots Day), Skyler Gisondo (Booksmart, Vacation), Stefania LaVie Owen (The Lovely Bones, Krampus), Mike Epps (Dolemite Is My Name, The Last Black Man in San Francisco) and Camrus Johnson (“Batwoman”). While his mother seeks treatment in rehab, teenager Nick (Wolff) comes to New York to stay with Cal, a jazz musician and friend of his late father’s. During his stay, he makes friends who show him what the city has to offer. The film won awards at the 2019 San Antonio Film Festival and the Ischia Global Film Festival. It was also an official selection of New Filmmakers Los Angeles, Sidewalk Film Festival and Woodstock Film Festival.

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From producer Sabine Schenk (A Cure for Wellness, The Reader), Unintended features a cast that includes Elizabeth Lail (Netflix’s “You”), Hannah Westerfield (Logan), Nathan Keyes (The Kings of Summer), Sean Cullen (“Mindhunter”) and Amy Hargreaves (“Homeland”). In the film, a young woman has repressed the memory of having killed someone when she was 12 years old. Thirteen years later, that memory comes back. Unintended was an official selection of the 2018 Woodstock Film Festival.

FilmRise Inks New Deal With ITV Studios for Shows Such as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

FilmRise has announced a deal that extends and expands its partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for streaming rights to more than 1,000 hours of programming across SVOD and AVOD platforms.

In addition to new titles being distributed by FilmRise, the company is digitally distributing all 18 seasons of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and all seasons of “Kitchen Nightmares” for SVOD and AVOD in the United States.

FilmRise has also extended its multi-year rights for the shows and will also become the exclusive digital distributor of “Hell’s Kitchen” in Canada.

The deal furthers FilmRise’s distribution to Canada, extending the original deal struck in early 2018 between the two companies, and includes shows such as “Emmerdale,” “Heartbeat” and “Peak Practice,” which will now be available on AVOD and SVOD in all of North America.

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“We are excited about increasing our partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “This deal expands the scope of our rights, including into Canada, providing access to audiences across North America to stream these high-quality programs.”

“FilmRise is an exceptional partner,” added Rob Kaplan, VP sales, U.S. and global accounts at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, in a statement. “The company’s distribution network across SVOD and AVOD platforms in North America will allow audiences of our fan favorite programming to have many different viewing options.”

As part of the deal, FilmRise will also be bringing the comedy series “Miranda,” sci-fi shows “Saphire & Steel” and Gerry Anderson’s “UFO,” and Jason Isaac’s crime drama “Case Histories” to its North American streaming audiences.

FilmRise Adds Free Content to Sling TV

FilmRise July 28 announced it has partnered with Dish Network’s online TV service, Sling TV, to add free ad-supported content to the service.

Sling TV subscribers using Roku devices will be able to watch programming from the New York-based distributor even if they are not a FilmRise base service subscriber.

Sling Orange and Sling Blue subscribers will automatically see FilmRise available as a channel in their channel guide, and Sling users on Roku devices can access the content by opening the Sling app and selecting “browse as guest” option.

“Sling provides consumers with their favorite TV programming and now, with this new offering, they can further their audience’s options without viewers’ payment commitment,” Danny Fisher of FilmRise said in a statement. “It’s a win-win for all.”

FilmRise titles available on Sling TV include, series “Forensic Files,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and “Kitchen Nightmares.” Movies include Bernie, The Illusionist and the “Ernest” franchise, among others.

The pact comes as Sling TV has seen subscriber growth cool. It added just 48,000 subscribers in the most-recent fiscal period to end the period with 2.47 million subs — four years after launching.

‘Robotech’ Catalog Streaming on AVOD Platforms

All series and the feature Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles from the anime franchise “Robotech” are available to stream at no cost on AVOD platforms, including The Roku Channel, Vudu and FilmRise, FilmRise announced.

The announcement was made July 18 during the Robotech panel at San Diego Comic-Con by Harmony Gold.

The content available to stream includes all 85 episodes of  the original syndicated television series, all 85 re-mastered “original edit” episodes of the entire series, all 36 episodes of “Super Dimension Fortress Macross,” all 23 episodes of “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross,” all 25 episodes of “Genesis Climber Mospeada,” the feature The Shadow Chronicles, and up to 11 hours of bonus features from both the series and the film.

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View the trailer here.

Beer League

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/14/19
MVD/FilmRise;
Comedy, B.O. $0.5 million, $14.95 DVD, $24.95 Blu-ray, ‘R’ for nonstop language, including strong sexual references, sexuality, nudity and drug use.
Stars Artie Lange, Ralph Macchio, Anthony De Sando, Cara Buono, Jimmy Palumbo, Jerry Minor, Joe Lo Truglio, Seymour Cassel, Laurie Metcalf, Louis Lombardi.

I love this movie. It’s the perfect tonic for the Al Bundy in us all — an ode to camaraderie, teamwork and the art of the great insult.

That description belies a certain temperament, of course, but how one not eyeball a movie headlined by Artie Lange about a softball squad of New Jersey drunks and not expect to find something potentially offensive to ponder? If it was un-PC when it first premiered in 2006, and it most certainly was, it would be hard pressed to even get made in the Twitter-fueled outrage culture of today. And that’s aside from how years of cocaine use have turned Lange’s nose into silly putty.

Co-written by Lange and director Frank Sebastiano (and based on Shakespeare’s Ale League, Sebastiano quips in the commentary), Beer League is the Bad News Bears if the entire team were Buttermakers — a portrait of drunken thirtysomethings whose last shot at glory rests with success in one of those community rec-center slow-pitch softball leagues where the teams consist of bar buddies.

Lange basically plays himself, a guy named Artie whose team is so bad they always end up picking a fight with their main rivals rather than admit defeat. A local cop (a great cameo by Louis Lombardi of “24”) is so fed up with the fights he orders the team that finishes with the worst record to leave the league.

Artie has a personal motivation for winning, as the other team is led by his oldest rival, who has held the upper hand in their feud since high school.

All seems lost until Artie realizes that if his team can stay sober in a league of drunks, they might actually have an advantage.

But Artie can’t seem to get out of the way of his own personal problems, particularly when it comes to his new girlfriend, played by Cara Buono, who later had a prominent role in season four of “Mad Men” as the love interest of Don Draper who gets dumped so he can marry his secretary; most recently she’s been on “Stranger Things” as Mike’s mom.

A few other plot machinations conspire to bring the team to their lowest point just before the championship, leading to a final game one must see to believe. There’s just something special about seeing a batter throw up in mid-swing, a feat Joe Lo Truglio (of “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) pulls off with aplomb.

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The late Seymour Cassel, who just died in April, gets some of the film’s best lines and steals nearly every scene he’s in as the crotchety old-timer who pitches for Artie’s team.

Also notable is Jimmy Palumbo as Johnny, who constantly refers to his quest to finish the season with a .700 batting average (“It’s so unfair … it’s like pitching to a healthy Lou Gehrig”).

Artie’s best friend is played by Ralph Macchio, who at the time was basically at the tail end of his Karate Kid fame before a guest appearance on HBO’s “Entourage” led to his casting in this movie and sparked a bit of a career renaissance that brought him full circle with “Cobra Kai.”

Even Tina Fey gets in on the action with a one-line cameo as a gym receptionist. Fey was wrapping up her stint on “Saturday Night Live” at the time and about to debut “30 Rock,” and shows up here visibly pregnant with her first daughter.

This is one of those films that critics are prone to dismiss, and most did at the time, but for the audience in the target demographic, which I suppose would be middle-aged Johnny Six-Packs, it hits the sweet spot. It’s crude, extremely funny and eminently watchable in the vein of The Hangover or Major League, and rife with quotability. My brother and I still toss off zingers from the film to this day.

With its flair for crudeness and apathy toward the human condition, Beer League is a perfect companion piece for 1998’s Dirty Work, which was co-written by Sebastiano and also starred Lange.

The new FilmRise Blu-ray edition of the film is basically an updated pressing of the Echo Bridge Blu-ray from 2008, with a new menu and the same previously released trove of bonus material.

The Lange-Sebastiano commentary ends up being surprisingly serious compared with the tone of the film itself, mainly because in-between Lange laughing about his various drug habits they actually focus on how the film was made.

We get a glimpse of Sebastiano’s directing style in the 19-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, which shows him calling the shots in a Yankee cap and bath robe.

The Blu-ray also includes the minute-long faux “Beer Goggles” commercial that went on to inspire the production of Beer League.

Additional extras include the film’s trailers; a photo gallery; four minutes of Lange recording jokes for the film’s promotional campaign; footage of Lange behind the scenes at “Best Damn Sports Show,” “The Jimmy Kimmel Show” and Cine Vegas (3-4 minutes each); and 19 minutes of cast junket interviews.