December 29, 1988 |
"A decade like the '60s comes along once in a lifetime," asserts pop- music disc jockey Casey Kasem in Casey Kasem's Rock 'n' Roll Goldmine. And insight like that typifies the platitudinous commentary of this series of vintage rock clips, now numbering four volumes with the release this month of The San Francisco Sound and The British Invasion (Vestron Video, 39 minutes each, $19.95). Like the previous releases (The Sixties and The Soul Years), these tapes offer little in the way of historical value concerning that seminal rock decade.
June 23, 1988 |
Music television was not born with MTV. Rock and roll has had a long and sometimes contentious relationship with television that is now documented on a variety of home videos. The other night, a selection of the sounds and sights of the past filled the living room: Jerry Lee Lewis ripping his way through "Great Balls of Fire" on American Bandstand, the Animals howling that "We Gotta Get Out of This Place," and Otis Redding turning out one last version of "Try a Little Tenderness" just hours before he boarded the plane that would take him to his death.
April 7, 1988 |
Spring has sprung, and so has fitness on videotape. With more Americans trying to lose weight, the videotape industry is complying with a flood of films. Already, Jane Fonda and Kathy Smith are setting sales records. And now a new wave of sports tapes is about to hit retailers' shelves. Recommended viewing includes: "Your Best Shot" (1987, New Star Video, $29.95) - Lakers star swing man Michael Cooper, roundball great Bill Russell and Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn teach the art of the perfect jump shot.
January 24, 1988 |
From movies such as La Bamba to TV commercials for running shoes, there's no escaping rock-and-roll nostalgia. The teenagers of the late '50s and '60s may not have been the first to grow up with their own incessant sound track, but 20 years later they may be the first to have their own video category. Next week, Vestron Video, the company that distributes Dick Clark's Best of Bandstand videocassettes, will have a companion item in Casey Kasem's Rock 'n' Roll Goldmine. The first two volumes in the projected series are The Sixties and The Soul Years, each running 40 minutes and priced at $19.95.
January 7, 1988 |
Dirty Dancing, the highest-grossing independently distributed movie in history, landed in video stores yesterday, and plenty of people are glad of it. "I can't wait! I'm going to buy it," says Kathy Linus, 45, a Philadelphia office manager who has seen the steamy blockbuster twice and clearly plans to see it a lot more. "It is absolutely great, the best movie I have seen in a long time. I had no idea he danced like that, and he is so sexy. I mean, he is really good. " "He" is Patrick Swayze, star of the relatively low-budget film, who brought a professional ballet background and hunky good looks to the story of a hot young couple at a Catskills resort in 1963.
January 2, 1988 |
The good news is that the video version of "Platoon" will eventually arrive in stores. The bad news is, we still don't know when. Here's the bottom line: Vestron Video, which originally had video rights to the Vietnam war epic, is attempting to win them back from HBO Video, which had snatched them away in a contract squabble. (And another hearing is set in Los Angeles.) Although Vestron appears to be making ground, even with a victory it could be anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months before "Platoon" hits the shelves.
October 15, 1987 |
Responding to a federal court injunction issued in San Francisco Friday against HBO Video, some video stores in Philadelphia have removed "Hoosiers" from their shelves. Others still rent the title - the fourth most popular rental tape in the U.S. last week, according to Billboard magazine. As directed by the federal appeals court order, HBO issued a memo to its distributors Friday to "cease distribution, marketing, rental or sale of 'Hoosiers' videocassettes and video discs.
May 3, 1987 |
Back when the major studios and Sony were slugging it out in court over the issues of copyright and home taping, all sorts of dire predictions were made in Hollywood about the video boom's unprecedented threat to the movie industry. But as time goes on, it becomes increasingly clear that the rise in popularity of videocassette recorders has proven a bonanza for filmmakers. In the first quarter of this year, Hollywood's box-office receipts were $506 million, about 5 percent over the same period last year - a traditionally slow season, at that.
June 8, 1986 |
Video has shown you how to dress for success, color yourself beautiful, choose the right wine, and flatten your tummy. Now that you've got social insecurity just about licked, video has the answer to another threat - the street criminal who wants to support his lifestyle at the expense of yours. Lisa Sliwa, wife of Guardian Angels leader Curtis Sliwa and a member of that New York anti-crime group herself, has put together a video version of her workshops for women called "Lisa Sliwa's Common Sense Defense.
May 29, 1986 |
It's that time of year. Film critics are trotting out their lists of suggested summer releases. With the growing importance of video, why not a look at the summer video release schedule, too? The following list is not complete, since tapes spill into release daily. Although many of the release dates are firm, many are changing even as you read this lineup. To be sure when a tape will arrive, check with your local video outlet. Also, for competitive reasons, video labels don't schedule releases any further than two months ahead, so the scope of the list that follows is limited to the end of July.