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Shopping: The Evil of Frankenstein...

1964 UK Hammer horror by Freddie Francis, once cut for cinema, just released on US Blu-ray


Link Here23rd May 2020
The Evil of Frankenstein is a 1964 UK horror by Freddie Francis.
Starring Peter Cushing, Peter Woodthorpe and Duncan Lamont. IMDb
The BBFC cut the X rated 1964 cinema release but waived the cuts for 12 rated 2007 DVD. There also exists a cut US TV version.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Evil of Frankenstein

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
  • 2020 Shout! Factory Collector's Edition RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 19th May 2020
  • 2020 Shout! Factory Amazon Prime VoD [US only] at US Amazon

Promotional Material

Frozen in ice, can the creature be brought back to live again? Horror great Peter Cushing stars in this fantastic tale as the monster's creator, Baron von Frankenstein, determined to bring the creature back to life. Long thought destroyed, Dr. Frankenstein's creation is discovered frozen alive and resurrected back in his laboratory. Unfortunately, the creature's mind is dormant and, much to the Baron's horror, he finds that only a hypnotist can order the creature to do his unfathomable bidding now.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM from an interpositive
  • NEW Audio Commentary with filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr
  • NEW The Men Who Made Hammer: Freddie Francis
  • NEW an interview with assistant director William P. Cartlidge
  • NEW an interview with actress Katy Wild
  • TV version of THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN (from the best available 16mm print)
  • The Making of THE EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN -- Narrated by Edward de Souza and featuring interviews with Wayne Kinsey, Caron Gardner, Hugh Harlow, Pauline Harlow, Peter Cushing and Don Mingay
  • A moment with actress Caron Gardner
  • TALES OF FRANKENSTEIN TV Pilot
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Gallery
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature

 

 

Shopping: The Specialists...

1969 Italy / France / West Germany western by Sergio Corbucci, previously cut for cinema, just released on UK Blu-ray


Link Here22nd May 2020
The Specialists is a 1969 Italy / France / West Germany western by Sergio Corbucci.
Starring Johnny Hallyday, Gastone Moschin and Françoise Fabian. BBFC link IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for an X rated cinema release in 1973. Passed 15 uncut for 2020 Blu-ray. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.

UK: Passed 15 uncut for sexual violence, strong violence, nudity, threat, very strong language:
  • 2020 Eureka Limited Edition (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 18th May 2020

Reviews

Promotional Material

From Sergio Corbucci , the legendary director of Django, Navajo Joe, The Great Silence, Companeros and The Mercenary comes The Specialists (Gli Specialisti, aka Drop Them or I ll Shoot) , a thrilling spaghetti western starring French music and film great Johnny Hallyday ( The Man on the Train, Détective, Vengeance ).

Notorious gunfighter Hud Dixon (Hallyday) arrives in Blackstone, a town where his brother was wrongfully accused of robbing a bank and lynched for it. As Hud seeks revenge, he starts to discover the truth behind the stolen loot, and has to contend with an idealistic sheriff, a beautiful and seductive female banker, a corrupt businessman and a one-armed Mexican bandit, who was once his friend.

Also starring Gastone Moschin ( The Conformist, Caliber 9 ), Françoise Fabian ( Belle de Jour, My Night at Maud s ), and gorgeously filmed by Dario Di Palma ( The Seduction of Mimi, The Oldest Profession ), Eureka Classics is proud to present Gli Specialisti on Blu-ray from a new 4K restoration.

BLU-RAY EDITION SPECIAL FEATURES
  • LIMITED EDITION O-CARD SLIPCASE [First Print Run of 2000 units]
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from an incredible 4K restoration
  • Restored Italian and French audio options
  • Rarely heard English dub track
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Feature-length audio commentary by filmmaker Alex Cox
  • A brand new and exclusive interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A LIMITED EDITION collector s booklet [First Print Run of 2000 units] featuring new writing by western authority Howard Hughes on both the film, and the "French-western" sub-genre

 

 

Shopping: Macabre...

1980 Italy horror thriller by Lamberto Bava with a bit part in the video nastes panic, just released on UK Blu-ray


Link Here22nd May 2020
Macabre is a 1980 Italy horror thriller by Lamberto Bava.
Starring Bernice Stegers, Stanko Molnar and Veronica Zinny. BBFC link IMDb
Never censored but played a small part in British censorship history when the VHS was held up at the 1983 Conservative Party conference during the video nasties panic as an example of everything rotten in the video industry and proof that censorship was urgently needed.
UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong horror, sexualised nudity and necrophilia theme:
  • 2020 88 Films R0 Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 18th May 2020

Promotional Material

Synopsis Don't open the fridge! Lamberto Bava was taught his trade by his father, horror legend Mario Bava. Macabre, his first film as director, showed how well he'd learnt his lessons. Still recovering from a pair of tragic and traumatic bereavements, Jane Baker (Bernice Steggers; Xtro, Sky Pilots) moves into a new apartment in New Orleans. The owner's son, Robert, is blind -- but that doesn't stop him hearing what Jane gets up to. It sounds like she's resumed her passionate affair with her lover, Fred. Except that Fred died a year ago... Not quite a giallo, not quite a ghost story and with a final twist that will make you re-think everything you've already seen, Macabre showed that Bava Jr. -- who'd go on to make the horror classic Demons -- was a chip off the old block.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEW 2K RESTORATION FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
  • NEW Don't Lose Your Head - Interview with Director Lamberto Bava
  • Audio Commentary by Giallo Experts, Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
  • Alternate Italian Opening and End Credit Titles
  • Original Trailer
  • Reversible Sleeve featuring Original Poster and VHS artwork
  • Limited Edition "Soft Touch" Slipcase
  • Limited Edition Booklet Essay by Rachael Nisbet
  • Audio:
    • DTS-HD MA Dual Mono English Audio
    • DTS-HD MA Dual-Mono Italian Audio with newly translated English Subtitles
  • REGION-FREE

 

 

Hate Crime...

BBFC banned film set for a US VoD and DVD re-release


Link Here21st May 2020
Full story: Hate Crime...Banned by the BBFC
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

A Jewish family, that just arrived in a new neighborhood, are recording their youngest son's birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed Neo-Nazi lunatics.

Hate Crime received the rare accolade of a BBFC ban for the film's DVD release in 2015. Now in 2020 the film is set for re-release (presumably only in the US).

The first two films from director James Cullen Bressack are getting the re-release treatment later this year on VOD and DVD: My Pure Joy and Hate Crime.

 

 

Shopping: Danger: Diabolik...

1968 Italy / France action crime comedy by Mario Bava, once cut by the BBFC, just released on US Blu-ray


Link Here21st May 2020
Danger: Diabolik is a 1968 Italy / France action crime comedy by Mario Bava.
Starring John Phillip Law, Marisa Mell and Michel Piccoli. BBFC link IMDb 

BBFC category cuts were required for an 'A' rated cinema release in 1968. Later uncut and 12 rated on DVD. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.

US: Uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for:
  • 2020 Shout! Factory RA Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 19th May 2020
  • 2020 Shout! Factory Amazon Prime VoD [US only] at US Amazon

Promotional Material

"A delightfully outlandish comic strip directed by the master of the Italian B movie." -- Tom Milne, Time Out The suave, psychedelic-era thief called Diabolik (John Phillip Law) can't get enough of life's good -- or glittery -- things. Not when there are currency shipments to steal from under the noses of snooty government officials and priceless jewels to lift from the boudoirs of the super-rich. The elusive scoundrel finds plenty of ways to live up to his name in this tongue-in-cheek, live-action caper inspired by Europe's popular Diabolik comics. He clambers up walls, zaps a press conference with Exhilaration Gas, smacks a confession out of a crime lord while freefalling with him from an airplane, and pulls off the heist of a twenty-ton gold ingot. Impossible? No, diabolical -- Danger: Diabolik, to be exact!

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • NEW Audio Commentary with critics Troy Howarth and Nathaniel Thompson
  • Audio Commentary With Actor John Phillip Law And Tim Lucas, Biographer Of Director Mario Bava
  • Danger: Diabolik -- From Fumetti To Film
  • The Beastie Boys Music Video Body Movin' With Optional Commentary By Adam Yauch
  • Teaser Trailer
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Optional English subtitles for the main feature

 

 

Shopping: Lonely are the Brave...

1962 USA western drama by David Miller, once cut by the BBFC, just released on US Blu-ray


Link Here20th May 2020
Lonely Are the Brave is a 1962 USA western drama by David Miller.
Starring Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau. BBFC link IMDb
Cut by the BBFC for an 'A' rated cinema release in 1962. Uncut and PG rated for home video. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.
US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
  • 2020 KL Studio Classics (RA) Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 19th May 2020
  • 2020 KL Studio Classics Amazon Prime VoD [US only] at US Amazon

Promotional Material

From David Miller, the outstanding director of Flying Tigers, Sudden Fear, Midnight Lace, Captain Newman, M.D. and Executive Action, comes this contemporary western based on a novel by Edward Abbey (Fire on the Mountain) and adapted for the screen by the great Dalton Trumbo (Papillon). Hollywood legend Kirk Douglas (The Vikings) ignites the screen in his personal favorite role as a cowboy on a collision course with the modern world in Lonely Are the Brave. After landing himself in jail trying to break out his friend, Jack Burns (Douglas) finds himself alone and on the run from the law. Leading the manhunt is Sheriff Morey Johnson (Walter Matthau, Charley Varrick), who must bring Burns to justice despite his own sympathy for the fugitive. Co-starring Gena Rowlands (Gloria), George Kennedy (Thunderbolt and Lightfoot) and Carroll O'Connor (Point Blank) and featuring top-notch cinematography by Philip H. Lathrop (Experiment in Terror) with a rousing score by Jerry Goldsmith (100 Rifles), Lonely Are the Brave is an unforgettable portrait of a lawless man defying life in an orderly world.

Special Features:
-NEW Audio Commentary by Film Historians Howard S. Berger and Steve Mitchell
-A Tribute: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rawlands, Steven Spielberg and Michael Douglas Discuss the Film's Legacy
-The Music of LONELY ARE THE BRAVE: A Look Back at the Film's Memorable Score by Jerry Goldsmith
-Optional English Subtitles
-Dual-Layered BD50 Disc
-Theatrical Trailer

 

 

The UK's opening gambit in US trade negotiations is to stifle US social media giants...

The government seems a bit cagey about the timetable for introducing the internet censorship measures contained in ICO's Age Appropriate Design rules


Link Here19th May 2020
Full story: ICO Age Appropriate Design...ICO calls for age assurance for websites accessed by children
The Age Appropriate Design Code has been written by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to inform websites what they must do to keep ICO internet censors at bay with regards to the government's interpretations of GDPR provisions. Perhaps in the same way that the Crown Prosecution Service provides prosecution guidance as to how it interprets criminal law.

The Age Appropriate Design Code dictates how websites, and in particular social media, make sure that they are not exploiting children's personal data. Perhaps the most immediate effect is that social media will have to allow a level of usages that simply does not require children to hand over personal data. Requiring more extensive personal data, say in the way that Facebook does, requires users to provide 'age assurance' that they are old enough to take such decisions wisely.

However adult users may not be so willing to age verify, and may in fact also appreciate an option to use such websites without handing over data into the exploitative hands of social media companies.

So one suspects that US internet social media giants may not see Age Appropriate Design and the government's Online Harms model for internet censorship as commercially very desirable for their best interests. And one suspects that maybe US internet industry pushback may be something that is exerting pressure on UK negotiators seeking a free trade agreement with the US.

Pure conjecture of course, but the government does seem very cagey about its timetable for both the Age Appropriate Design Code and the Online Harms bill. Here is the latest parliamentary debate in the House of Lords very much on the subject of the government's timetable.

House of Lords Hansard: Age-appropriate Design Code, 18 May 2020

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara:

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they intend to lay the regulation giving effect to the age- appropriate design code required under section 123 of the Data Protection Act 2018 before Parliament.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Baroness Barran) (Con)

The age-appropriate design code will play an important role in protecting children's personal data online. The Government notified the final draft of the age-appropriate design code to the European Commission as part of our obligations under the technical standards and regulations directive. The standstill period required under the directive has concluded. The Data Protection Act requires that the code is laid in Parliament as soon as is practicably possible.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara:

I am delighted to hear that, my Lords, although no date has been given. The Government have a bit of ground to make up here, so perhaps it will not be delayed too long. Does the Minister agree that the Covid-19 pandemic is a perfect storm for children and for young people's digital experience? More children are online for more time and are more reliant on digital technology. In light of that, more action needs to be taken. Can she give us some information about when the Government will publish their final response to the consultation on the online harms White Paper, for example, and a date for when we are likely to see the draft Bill for pre-legislative scrutiny?

Baroness Barran

I spent some time this morning with a group of young people, in part discussing their experience online. The noble Lord is right that the pandemic presents significant challenges, and they were clear that they wanted a safe space online as well as physical safe spaces. The Government share that aspiration. We expect to publish our response to the online harms consultation this autumn and to introduce the legislation this Session.

Lord Clement-Jones (LD)

My Lords, I was very disappointed to see in the final version of the code that the section dealing with age-appropriate application has been watered down to leave out reference to age-verification mechanisms. Is this because the age-verification provisions of the Digital Economy Act have been kicked into the long grass at the behest of the pornography industry so that we will not have officially sanctioned age-verification tools available any time soon?

Baroness Barran

There is no intention to water down the code. Its content is the responsibility of the Information Commissioner, who has engaged widely to develop the code, with a call for evidence and a full public consultation.

Lord Moynihan (Con)

My Lords, is my noble friend the Minister able to tell the House the results of the consultation process with the industry on possible ways to implement age verification online?

Baroness Barran

We believe that our online harms proposals will deliver a much higher level of protection for children, as is absolutely appropriate. We expect companies to use a proportionate range of tools, including age-assurance and age-verification technologies, to prevent children accessing inappropriate behaviour, whether that be via a website or social media.

The Earl of Erroll (CB)

May I too push the Government to use the design code to cover the content of publicly accessible parts of pornographic websites, since the Government are not implementing Part 3 of the Digital Economy Act to protect children? Any online harms Act will be a long time in becoming effective, and such sites are highly attractive to young teenagers.

Baroness Barran

We agree absolutely about the importance of protecting young children online and that is why we are aiming to have the most ambitious online harms legislation in the world. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State and the Minister for Digital and Culture meet representatives of the industry regularly to urge them to improve their actions in this area.

Lord Holmes of Richmond (Con)

My Lords, does my noble friend agree that the code represents a negotiation vis-à-vis the tech companies and thus there is no reason for any delay in laying it before Parliament? Does she further agree that it should be laid before Parliament before 10 June to enable it to pass before the summer break? This would enable the Government to deliver on the claim that the UK is the safest place on the planet to be online. Share The edit just sent has not been saved. The following error was returned: This content has already been edited and is awaiting review.

Baroness Barran

The negotiation is not just with the tech companies. We have ambitions to be not only a commercially attractive place for tech companies but a very safe place to be online, while ensuring that freedom of speech is upheld. The timing of the laying of the code is dependent on discussions with the House authorities. As my noble friend is aware, there is a backlog of work which needs to be processed because of the impact of Covid-19.

 

 

On the wrong wavelength...

Ofcom sanctions religious channel for 'potentially harmful' beliefs


Link Here18th May 2020
Full story: Ofcom on Religion...ofcom keep religious extremism in check

Ofcom has today imposed a sanction on the licensee Loveworld Limited, which broadcasts the religious television channel Loveworld, after a news programme and a live sermon included potentially harmful claims about causes of, and treatments for, Covid-19.

Our investigation found that a report on Loveworld News included unsubstantiated claims that 5G was the cause of the pandemic, and that this was the subject of a global cover-up. Another report during the programme presented hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid-19, without acknowledging that its effectiveness and safety as a treatment was clinically unproven, or making clear that it has potentially serious side effects.

A sermon broadcast on Your Loveworld also included unsubstantiated claims linking the pandemic to 5G technology; as well as claims which cast serious doubt on the necessity for lockdown measures and the motives behind official health advice on Covid-19, including in relation to vaccination. These views were presented as facts without evidence or challenge.

Ofcom stresses that there is no prohibition on broadcasting controversial views which diverge from, or challenge, official authorities on public health information. However, given the unsubstantiated claims in both these programmes were not sufficiently put into context, they risked undermining viewers' trust in official health advice, with potentially serious consequences for public health.

Given these serious failings, we concluded that Loveworld Limited did not adequately protect viewers from the potentially harmful content in the news programme and the sermon, and the news reports were not duly accurate. We have directed Loveworld Limited to broadcast statements of our findings and are now considering whether to impose any further sanction.

 

 

Nag nag nag...

Twitch introduces a new PC censor and heath nanny


Link Here17th May 2020
Twitch has introduced a new PC censor in the following blog post:

Keeping our community safe and healthy is a top priority for Twitch. Today, we're excited to announce the formation of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council, which will support the growth of our community moving forward.

The Safety Advisory Council will inform and guide decisions made at Twitch by contributing their experience, expertise, and belief in Twitch's mission of empowering communities to create together. The Council will advise on a number of topics including:

  • Drafting new policies and policy updates
  • Developing products and features to improve safety and moderation
  • Promoting healthy streaming and work-life balance habits
  • Protecting the interests of marginalized groups
  • Identifying emerging trends that could impact the Twitch experience

This group is composed of online safety experts and Twitch creators who have a deep understanding of Twitch, its content, and its community. When developing this council we felt it was essential to include both experts who can provide an external perspective, as well as Twitch streamers who deeply understand creators' unique challenges and viewpoints. Each member of the council was carefully selected based on their familiarity with the Twitch community and their relevant personal and professional experiences.

We are excited to work with this talented group to make Twitch the best place to grow and foster a community. The creation of the Safety Advisory Council is just one way we are enhancing our approach to issues of trust and safety. We will continue to invest in tools, products, and policies that promote the safety and well-being of everyone on Twitch.

 

 

Mentally challenged...

Facebook opens an AI challenge to help it to censor hateful messages hidden in memes


Link Here16th May 2020
Full story: Facebook Censorship since 2020...Left wing bias, prudery and multiple 'mistakes'
Facebook is seeking help in the censorship of hateful messages that have been encoded into meme. The company writes in a post:

In order for AI to become a more effective tool for detecting hate speech, it must be able to understand content the way people do: holistically. When viewing a meme, for example, we don't think about the words and photo independently of each other; we understand the combined meaning together. This is extremely challenging for machines, however, because it means they can't just analyze the text and the image separately. They must combine these different modalities and understand how the meaning changes when they are presented together. To catalyze research in this area, Facebook AI has created a data set to help build systems that better understand multimodal hate speech. Today, we are releasing this Hateful Memes data set to the broader research community and launching an associated competition, hosted by DrivenData with a $100,000 prize pool.

The challenges of harmful content affect the entire tech industry and society at large. As with our work on initiatives like the Deepfake Detection Challenge and the Reproducibility Challenge, Facebook AI believes the best solutions will come from open collaboration by experts across the AI community.

We continue to make progress in improving our AI systems to detect hate speech and other harmful content on our platforms, and we believe the Hateful Memes project will enable Facebook and others to do more to keep people safe.




 

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