Music Box Films Presents THE GREEN PRINCE on VOD, DVD and Blu Jan 20th

December 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


The Green Prince


Coming to VOD, Blu-ray and DVD on January 20, 2015

“Gripping…sustains the tension of a well-executed thriller.” – StephenHolden, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Intense and fascinating…takes unforeseen turns even the best of novelists would have trouble imagining.”
– Kenneth Turan, LOS ANGELES TIMES

FOUR STARS! “Terrific. As gripping as any high-concept Hollywood thriller.” – Xan Brooks, THE GUARDIAN

“A thrill-a-minute spy caper too strange to be real, though it is.” –Jordan Hoffman, NY DAILY NEWS

Chicago, IL (December 5, 2014) – The gripping portrait of THE GREEN PRINCE recounts the true story of the son of a Hamas leader who emerged as one of Israel’s prized informants, and the Israeli agent who risked his life and career to protect him. Set against the chaotic backdrop of recent events in the Middle East and served up in the style of a spy thriller by writer/director Nadav Schirman, THE GREEN PRINCE is a unique chronicle on the dangerous and unprecedented partnership that developed between sworn enemies.

Growing up in Palestine as the son of a founder and leader of the Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef’s fervor against Israel was unquestionable, ultimately landing him in an Israeli prison. As the gruesome brutality heightened within the prison’s walls, Mosab had an unexpected change of heart and began to see Hamas as more of a problem than a solution. Recruited by the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security agency) and given the code name “GreenPrince,” Mosab spied on the Hamas elite for more than a decade from 1997 to 2007, risking exposure and certain death while grappling with the perception that he had betrayed his own family and people. Along the way, what started as a cautious alliance between Mosab and his Shin Bet handler Gonen Ben Yitzhak grew into an enduring loyalty that no one could’ve ever predicted.

Through exclusive first-hand testimony, dramatic action sequences and rare archival footage, decades of secrets come to light in THE GREEN PRINCE, unveiling a world of terror, betrayal, and impossible choices.

Produced by the Academy Award-winning team behind such leading documentaries as Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man and One Day in September, THE GREEN PRINCE is based on Mosab Hassan Yousef’s 2010 bestselling memoir Son of Hamas. Accordingly, the film was shot in fascinating international locations such as Ramallah, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Kfar Kassem, Munich, Frankfurt and Los Angeles, further enhancing its undeniably Hollywood-styled thriller texture.

Music Box Films HomeEntertainment will release THE GREEN PRINCE on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD for the first time on January 20, 2015 (prebook December 16, 2014). Rolling out to the U.S.’stop theatrical markets this fall, THE GREEN PRINCE arrives on disc with a host of bonus features including a documentary television special featuring “The Green Prince” and director Nadav Schirman. The Blu-ray and DVD carry the suggested retail price of $34.95 and $29.95, respectively.

An official selection at the London, São Paulo, Zurich, Stockholm and New Zealand Film Festivals, THE GREEN PRINCE won the Audience Award for Best Documentary, World Cinema at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. THE GREEN PRINCE also bought home the Audience Award prize at the 2014 Moscow International Film Festival, as well as the prize for Best Editing at the 2014 Docaviv Awards in Israel.

An unflinching exploration of espionage, spiritual transformation and the transcendent bonds of friendship through the prism of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, THE GREEN PRINCE demands to be seen.

More information on THE GREEN PRINCE can be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at

About Music BoxFilms:

Music Box Films is a leading distributor of international, American independent, and documentary content in North America along with the best in international TV series and mini-series.

Releases in 2014 included Roger Michell’s LE WEEK-END,written by Hanif Kureishi and starring Jim Broadbent; the Emmy Award winning French-language series “The Returned”; Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA, the official Polish submission to the Academy Awards®; and the Sundance Award-winning documentary THE GREEN PRINCE.

Upcoming releases include Dominik Graf’s BELOVED SISTERS, Germany’s official submission to the Academy Awards® and Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz’s GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM, Israel’s official submission to the Academy Awards®.

Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation, which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

TheGreen Prince
Music Box Films Home Entertainment
DVD RELEASE DATE: January 20, 2015
PRE-ORDER DATE: December 16, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $34.95
DVD $29.95
Director/Writer: Nadav Schirman
Running Time: 101 minutes
Format: 1.85:1 widescreen
Sound Format: Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating: PG-13
Country: Israel, German, UK
Language: English and Hebrew with English subtitles

Bonus Features*

Documentary television special hosted by Ondi Timoner featuring The Green Prince and director Nadav Schirman
“Son of Hamas” TV interview with Mosab
Exclusive archive and interview extracts
Full color storyboards
Theatrical trailer

Young Goethe in Love (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

April 19, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For the hopeless romantics, “Young Goethe in Love” is a fantastic, enchanting romantic comedy!

Images courtesy of © Southport Music Box Corporation, Music Box Films. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Young Goethe in Love


DURATION: 102 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen 2:35:1, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround

COMPANY: Music Box Films

RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2012

Directed by Philipp Stölzl

Screenplay by Alexander Dydyna, Christoph Muller, Philipp Stölzl

Producer: Christoph Muller, Helge Sasse

Executive Producer: Peter Hartwig, Matthias Triebel

Associate Producer: Alexander Dydyna

Co-Produced by Christian Angermayer, Sven Burgemeister, Klaus Dohle, Nick Hamson, Michael Herbig, Marco Kreuzpaintner, Anatol Nitschke, Yasin Qureshi, Fabian Wolfart

Line Producer: Patricia Barona

Music by Ingo Frenzel

Cinematography by Kolja Brandt

Edited by Sven Budelmann

Production Design by Udo Kramer


Alexander Fehling as Johann Wolfgang Goethe

Miriam Stein as Lotte Buff

Moritz Bleibtreu as Albert Kestner

Volker Bruch as Wilhelm Jerusalem

Burghart Klaubner as Vater Buff

Henry Hubchen as Johann Kaspar Goethe – Vater

Hans-Micahel Rehberg as Gerichtprasident Kammermeier

Anna Bottcher as Hausmadchen

Germany 1772 – the young and tumultuous Johann Goethe (Alexander Fehling) aspires to be a poet; but after failing his law exams, he is sent by his father (Henry Huebchen) to a sleepy provincial court to mend his ways. Unsure of his talent and eager to prove himself, Goethe soon wins the praise and friendship of his superior Kestner (Moritz Bleibtreu). But then Lotte (Miriam Stein) enters his life and nothing is the same as before. However, the young lovers are unaware that her father has already promised Lotte’s hand to another man.

Director Phillip Stölzl (North Face) returns to the very wellspring of Romanticism – Goethe’s autobiographical masterpiece The Sorrows of Young Werther – and conjures up a beguiling and refreshingly innocent period romance.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the legendary German writer and the man of all talents, from art to science and considered a genius of modern German literature who is known for his works of poetry, drama, philosophy and science.

Known for his drama “Faust” and the “Marienbad Elegy” to name a few, when it comes to romance stories, Goethe will forever be remembered for his short epistolary  and loosely autobiographical novel titled “Die Leiden des jungen Werthers” (The Sorrows of Young Werther), which was published back in 1774.

It was a novel that was inspired by pain of loving someone so much, but yet not being able to be with them.  Pain of losing someone and for love, a sacrifice had to be made.

Suffice to say, “The Sorrows of Young Werther” was a hit and a novel that would propel Goethe to superstar status and even created a fad in which many young men would take their lives because some interpreted “suicide” as the best form of showing one’s love and despair.

It was a story written by a Goethe as a young adult, while he was studying law in Leipzing.  While studying law, he met a girl and through circumstance, “The Sorrows of Young Werther” was inspired by his love for Charlotte Buff.    A story about two people who loved each other but were unable to be together because she was arranged to marry someone else and keep the family financially supported, while the tragedy was inspired by his friend Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem, who killed himself after the woman he had an affair with, chose her husband over him.  But also the disdain of how people who committed suicide were treated posthumously at the time (people who killed themselves were looked at with the lowest disdain).

While Goethe did use the name of Werther, the real life Goethe was not so pleased about the popularity of his novel as he learned that it also outed his real relationship with Charlotte Buff, who was already married to Johann Christian Kestner.  Also, for Goethe, he didn’t like how most people knew of him only through this work despite authoring other novels and literary work and disliked how he was pigeonholed as part of the Romantic movement.

Needless to say, to this day, “The Sorrows of Young Werther” is looked at as impressive romantic novel and a storyline that has been romanticized through other books and poetry.  And once again, the story of Goethe and his relationship has been romanticized by director/writer Philipp Stölzl (“North Face”, “Rammstein: Lichtspielhaus”, “Baby”) and fellow co-writers Christoph Muller and Alexander Dydyna for the 2010 film “Goethe!” (aka in the U.S. as “Young Goethe in Love”).

And the film will now be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Music Box Films in April 2012.

“Young Goethe in Love” is a loosely-based historical romantic comedy about a young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  A young man who loves to write poetry but because his strict father expects him to become a lawyer, Goethe is a law student.

Unfortunately, due to his passion of writing, Goethe has not studied any of his law books and fails a major test.  So, his father, Johann Kaspar Goethe, a well-known lawyer, is disappointed of his son’s ambition to be a writer and insists that he become a lawyer.  So, young Goethe (played by Alexander Fehling) is enrolled at a prestigious law school in Leipzig in a place where he must learn the judicial rules by heart.  And supervising him is the ambitious lawyer, Alert Kestner (played by Moritz Bleibtreu).

While at the school, he befriends Karl Wilhelm Jerusalem  (played by Volker Bruch) and both men end up going out at nights.  While at a dance, Goethe meets Lotte Buff (played by Miriam Stein), a young woman who accidentally spills red wine on Goethe and needless to say, their first encounter does not go to well.

The two young men then go to a church where they go find women and while they listen to the women sing, one of the women is Charlotte Buff, the woman that Goethe ran into at the party.  While both Goethe and Karl introduce themselves to Charlotte and their friend, both men leave the church immediately when they spot Albert Kestner.

Lotte’s father introduces his daughter to Albert Kestner, while Goethe is intrigued by Lotte that he wants to see her again.  Goethe also shows his passion for poetry and tells Karl about how he loves to write but his father has forbidden it.  Karl is struck by how passionate Goethe’s poetry is and tries to make his friend feel better about not pursuing his passion by paying a visit to the home of Lotte Buff.

As both young men visit Lotte at her home, they find out that she has many, many siblings and literally takes care of her siblings since her mother’s passing over a year ago.  Lotte’s father is close to retiring and worries about his family’s well-being, as the family members are trying to survive.

And immediately, both Goethe and Karl are well-liked by the Buff children as Goethe helps cook bread for the family and plays with the children.  And as Karl tells Lotte about his passion for poetry, being a fan of it, she wants Goethe to showcase his passion of poetry to her, but Goethe does not.

As the young men depart, both hope they can still keep in contact.

And as time passes, both Goethe and Lotte start to realize they have fallen for each other and can’t wait to hear from one another.  But to their stubbornness, they both await a letter from each other which does not come.

So, the two decide to see each other and confess their love…and for the first time, Goethe shows her his love for poetry and she is stunned by his true talent.  Both Goethe and Lotte consummate their love with one another and it looks as if these two individuals are destined for each other.

But unbeknown to Lotte, because of the financial situation of the family, she has been arranged to marry ambitious and wealthy lawyer Albert Kestner.  While she does not love him, she knows that she must marry him in order to take care of the family.

Meanwhile, Goethe does not know his supervisor, Albert is seeing Lotte and thus gives him advice on asking his girlfriend to marry him, not knowing that the woman that Albert Kestner is talking about is Lotte.

And as Goethe feels love in his heart for Lotte, his friend Karl is courting a married woman and loves her to death.  But she is stuck between her love for Karl and her husband.

And through his love for Lotte Buff and his friendship with Karl, life will begin to spiral downward for young Goethe as the experience with these two individuals will take him through the darkest moment of his life, a dark moment which will lead Goethe to create his epistolary, “The Sorrows of Young Werther”.


“Young Goethe in Love” is presented in widescreen 2:35:1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.  It’s important to note that I am reviewing a DVD screener of “Young Goethe in Love” and not the final DVD version.   So, I am unable to discuss the overall picture quality of the film.

What I will say is that there are beautiful cinematography moments courtesy of Kolja Brandt.  The scene featuring both Goethe and Lotte together in the rain as they share their first kiss is an amazing scene and shot wonderfully.  The set and costume design captures the look and feel of the late 1700’s and for the most part, I was enjoying the overall cinematography and thinking how beautiful this film would look on Blu-ray.

As for the audio, audio is clear and while there are moments of gun shots that can be heard through the surround channels and some crowd-based ambiance, “Young Goethe in Love” is a dialogue-driven film.  As for subtitles, subtitles are in English and are easy to read.


“Young Goethe in Love” comes with three special features (which were not included in our screener, so I am unable to comment on them):

  • The Making of “Young Goethe in Love”
  • The Visual Effects of Goethe
  • Theatrical and International Trailers

For the hopeless romantics, “Young Goethe in Love” is a fantastic, enchanting romantic comedy!

And while there are people who disdain dramatizations of historical individuals, especially one as notable as Johann Goethe and creating a romantic story revolved around the creation of his well-known epistolary and loosely-based autobiographical novel, it all comes down to one’s appreciation for romantic films and also romantic comedy.

While “The Sorrows of Young Werther” is a love story that captures a young man’s pain and broken heart after knowing that he can’t be with the woman he loves, because of her family commitment, what I enjoyed about “Young Goethe in Love” was how the writers were able to craft a story integrating Lotte Buff in somewhat of a more positive character for Goethe.

In the novel, the character of Werther makes the ultimate sacrifice for his love for Lotte.  In the film, loosely-based on the real life situation between Goethe and Lotte, it is Lotte who makes a sacrifice for her love towards Goethe, but it’s a sacrifice that you don’t see coming and leaves you with a smile on your face because although this is a romantic film, it’s a romantic film where both people can not be together due to circumstances, but they make one last effort not by physical contact, but by action to show their love.

So, in many ways, the basis of Goethe’s “The Sorrows of Young Werther” is a testament to a love that can not be shared in reality, but a love that will forever live in poetry.  How romantic is that?

The performances by both Alexander Fehling and Miriam Stein were delightful and fantastic, cinematography, costume and set design were well-done and a screenplay that manages to balance the romantic drama and comedy fairly well. And enough to keep the storyline from straying into banality.

Overall, “Young Goethe in Love” is a film that will captivate the hopeless romantics and may turn off those who have a disdain towards dramatizations of well-known figures.  But in the end, I have to say it has been many, many years since I have been captivated by a recent romantic drama and I have to say that “Young Goethe in Love” is a delightful, wonderful film that will no doubt captivate the hopeless romantic within you.

Definitely recommended!

Note: Review rating is based on film, not the DVD

The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

March 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Based on the popular Belgian comic book series, “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” will appeal to audiences wanting a straightforward popcorn action film.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Images courtesy of © Southport Music Box Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch

DURATION: 108 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Widescreen (2:35:1), French and English 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Music Box Films


RELEASE DATE: March 27, 2012

Directed by Jerome Salle

Screenplay by Julien Rappeneau, Jerome Salle

Comic by Jean Van Hamme, Philippe Francq

Producer: Nathalie Gastaldo, Philippe Godeau

Line Producer: Eric Zaouali, Chen On Chu

Assistant Executive Producer: Geoffrey de Boissezon

Music by Alexandre Desplat

Cinematoraphy by Denis Rouden

Edited by Richard Marizy

Casting by Gigi Akoka, Toby Whale

Production Design by Michel Barthelmy

Art Direction by Benoit Bechet, Ino Bonello, Yann Megard

Costume Design by Khadija Zeggai


Tomer Sisley as Largo Winch

Kristin Scott Thomas as Ann Ferguson

Miki Manojlovic as Nerio Winch

Melanie Thierry as Lea/Naomi

Gilbert Melki as Freddy

Karel Roden as Mikhail Korsky

Steven Waddington as Stephan Marcus

Anne Consigny as Hannah

Radivoje Bukvic as Goran

Nicolas Vaude as Gauthier

Benedict Wong as William Kwan

Gerard Watkins as Cattaneo

Wolfgang Pissors as Attinger

Theodore Thomas as Greenfield

David Gasman as Alexander Meyer

Elizabeth Bennett as Miss Pennywinkle

When billionaire financier Nerio Winch (Miki Manojlovic) and head of the W Group is murdered, his second in command (Kristin Scott Thomas) must locate his only heir — a heretofore unknown adopted son, Largo (Tomer Sisley). But first the heir — a twentysomething adventurer — must overcome an onslaught of drug traffickers, assassins, corporate raiders and double-dealing insiders to fulfill his destiny in this twisty, fast-paced corporate thriller.

For decades, many people in Europe grew up reading the “Largo Winch” novels (by Jean Van Hamme) or the Belgian comic book series (by Philippe Francq and Jean Van Hamme) have been intrigued by this character and its action-packed storyline.

The novels would lead to a TV series in Germany in 2001 and in 2008, a French film titled “Largo Winch” was released, followed by a sequel titled “Largo Winch II: The Burma Conspiracy” in 2011. Directed by Jérôme Salle (writer of “The Tourist”, “Duplicity” and “Anthony Zimmer”),  “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” would be nominated for “Best International Film” at the 2012 Saturn Awards and now, the first film titled “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” will be released on DVD courtesy of Music Box Films in March 2012.

“The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” begins with the murder of Nerio Winch (played by Miki Manojlovic, “Underground”, “Irina Palm”), the owner of the huge corporation Group W.  But the murder is concealed and the cause of death was due to natural reasons and now Group W is in a disarray.

As Nerio Winch was the leader and with no leader in place, many of the senior executives start to discuss who will lead Group W now?    Executive and Winch confidant Ann Ferguson (played by Kristin Scott Thomas, “The English Patient”, “Gosford Park”, “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) tells the executives that Nerio planned what to do in case he dies and that is for his son to take over.

But the executives are not aware of a son.  Ann tells them that he has an adopted son named Largo Winch.

We are then taken to a Brazil where we see Largo Winch (played by Tomer Sisley, “Nativity Story”, “Sleepless Night”) getting a tattoo, but while getting the tattoo, he hears screams from a woman being hassled by a group of soldiers.  When Largo comes to her rescue, a soldier starts roughing him up.  Which then sends Largo to a frenzy and manages to defeat all soldiers.

He then gets closer to the young woman named Lea (played by Melanie Thierry) and after a night of passion, while he is sleeping, Lea uses a syringe and knocks him out cold.  By the time he wakes up, he is busted by the police for narcotics possession and receives jail time.  As he is beaten by authorities, a guest named Freddy (an assistant of Nerio Winch, played by Gilbert Melki) appears to have arranged for his release but instead of walking out of his prison cell nicely, he beats up the guards and after alluding the police through heavy gunfire, he and Freddy escape.

Largo is then told about his father’s death and is also told by the coroner that a second autopsy was done and the death of Nerio may have been foul play.

Meanwhile, the executives are briefed by Ann about Nerio’s son Largo and are told how Nerio adopted the boy in Yugoslavia.  Largo was raised by a couple and then taken to an Academy at a young age.  He then started to learn about the corporation through his father and despite the two having a rocky relationship, Largo was selected by Nerio to inherit and run the company.

When Largo arrives to meet with the corporate executives, he learns that no one believes he is the adopted son of Nerio Winch and that he must prove it.  To their shock, Nerio knows every secretive detail about each member of the corporation.  Meanwhile, an unknown businessman intervenes in the corporate meeting to meet with Largo as it is urgent.  But the man is shot and killed by an unknown assailant.

We then learn that there are individuals within the corporation such as Russian arms trader Mikhail Korsky (played by Karel Roden) that want control and will do anything they can to have Largo killed.

And for Largo, he is not a “business man” who will stay in an office.  He plays by force and will do all it takes to find the people responsible for killing Nerio.


The DVD  screener I received is not the official DVD for retail (this is a straight run DVD with Music Box Films ownership titles on print, no menu, no special features DVD).  So, I can’t say how the PQ and AQ is for this DVD but I will say that the film is presented in widescreen 2:35:1 and presented in French and English 5.1 Dolby Digital with English subtitles.  I can say that “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” is shot outdoors in many sequences and the colors are absolutely vibrant and there is a ton of action that this is a film that deserves to be seen on Blu-ray.

While the film has been released on Blu-ray in other countries, as of now, Music Box Films will be releasing “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” on DVD.


The copy I received is a screener and did not come with the special features.  According to the case, the DVD comes with a special digital comic of “Largo Winch” Issue #1 “The Heir”, the Making of Largo Winch featurette and the theatrical trailer.

Note:  The review is for the film as the screener DVD is not the finalized DVD release.

While watching “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch”, there is no doubt that this French film was a major attempt to create an action thriller along the lines of “Bourne Identity”, “Die Hard”etc.

First the good news.  The good news is that for action fans, what you get with “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” is a straight-up popcorn action film.  A lot of vehicles are totaled, a lot of firearms are fired and a lot of fighting.    Also, because the eponymous Largo Winch is not your average protagonist and is rough around the edges, he’s definitely a character that kicks a lot of ass!

Now the not so good news.

It’s formulaic and overly predictable.  But the worst offender is the spotty acting in this film.

“The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” had intriguing potential but according to fans, the French film strays away from the comic books too much for its own good.  Among the criticisms is that Largo Winch is to supposed to live in the New York at the Winch Building but instead, he operates from a yacht near Hong Kong and not all characters are represented in this first film.

The film has an international flavor, which is great!  Unfortunately, the acting is quite weak and while the English conversations will work on most countries outside of the United States, for me, some characters don’t seem natural enough in their dialogue and it really makes this film out to be more of a B-film.  Most of the time, I was hoping Kristin Scott Thomas would come back on screen because at least she is actress that can deliver and possibly save the scene.

Along with Kristin Scott Thomas, I did enjoy seeing Tomer Sisley as Largo Winch.  I know the character may be too different from what people have read and seen of the character in the original comic book series, but I felt he did a good job playing Largo Winch.  He doesn’t have the typical muscles-bulging action hero, if anything, he seemed like a stoic, carefree free spirit doing whatever he wants and he fit that mold perfectly.

And also, it was great to see “Babylon A.D.” actress Melanie Thierry playing the double role of Lea/Naomi and although her scenes were limited to a sex and massage scene and few other minor shots, the actress also had wonderful chemistry with actor Tomer Sisley onscreen.

Overall, I really wanted to enjoy “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” and really hoped to see an action thriller with the comic book hero Largo Winch and if anything, show that Europeans can make excellent action thrillers based on a comic book character.  I was hoping to watch a film with not just attention to the action but overall storyline but “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” became too simplistic and banal.

After all, with the corporate backstabbing and your not so clean cut protagonist, this could have been a film that would rival James Bond, Jason Bourne or John McClane.  And while the film started off with a lot of excitement, with plenty of action and a passionate sex scene all within the first 20-minutes of the film, unfortunately the pacing starts to go way off, the storyline and acting starts to spiral downward and all that is left is the film’s action sequences which were good but not awesome!

In the end, “The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch” will appeal to audiences wanting a straightforward popcorn action film.  Nothing more, nothing less.

Young Goethe In Love Arrives on DVD and VOD April 24

March 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Chicago, IL (March 15, 2012) – Johann Wolfgang Goethe remains Germany’s most famous and important poet and philosopher, a mythic figure who has universally been regarded as a genius for more than 200 years. The inspiration that sparked Goethe’s rise to greatness is the subject of Young Goethe In Love, a beautifully innocent yet achingly insightful romantic drama about the 23-year-old Johann Goethe, his summer of self-discovery and unrequited love, and the birth of the first-ever literary superstar.

Featuring an all-star cast, including: Alexander Fehling (Inglourious Basterds), Moritz Bleibtreu (Much, Run Lola Run), Burghart Klaussner (The White Ribbon), and Volker Bruch (The Reader), Young Goethe In Love makes its DVD, VOD and Digital Download debut on April 24 (prebook March 20) by Music Box Films Home Entertainment. Released theatrically in 2011 to acclaim around the world and in the U.S.’s top markets, the DVD disc will carry special bonus features including a ‘Making Of’ featurette for the suggested retail price of $29.95.

Directed and co-written by acclaimed international filmmaker Philipp Stölzl (North Face), Young Goethe In Love follows the young Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Alexander Fehling) in 1772 as he struggles in his budding career as a lawyer even as he yearns to be a poet. After failing his law exams, he is sent by his father (Henry Huebchen) to the sleepy town of Wetzlar to toil as a law clerk and mend his ways. Soon after arriving, Johann meets the boisterous, crimson-tressed Lotte Buff (Miriam Stein), and the two fall in love. But their road to romance is filled with obstacles—employers to be obeyed, fathers to be heeded and duels to be contemplated—and hearts are destined to be broken. Such are the affairs of the heart and head that inspire a young poet—a poet who will soon go on to pen one his most vital and influential works.
Filmed against the backdrop of the gorgeous German countryside and filled with sumptuous 19th Century costumes and evocative scenery, Young Goethe In Love is as much a feast for the eyes and ears as it is for the heart and soul.  A richly detailed historical flight of fancy in the tradition of such romantic period works as Amadeus and Shakespeare in Love, Young Goethe In Love offers “many period charms, fine actors and lovely landscapes” according to John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter, while Ben Sachs of Chicago Reader confirms that it contains “energetic lead performances.”

Enlightening, entertaining and unabashedly romantic, Young Goethe In Love offers an undeniably fresh and free-spirited look at the earlier years of one of the key figures of world literature.

More information on Young Goethe In Love can be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at and the film’s website at

Young Goethe In Love — Synopsis:
In Germany, 1772, the young and tumultuous Johann Wolfgang Goethe (Alexander Fehling) aspires to be poet. But after failing his law exams, he is sent by his father (Henry Huebchen) to a sleepy provincial court in the small town of Wetzlar to mend his ways. Unsure of his talent and eager to prove himself, Goethe soon wins the praise and friendship of his superior Kestner (Moritz Bleibtreu). Not long thereafter, the beautiful and exciting Lotte (Miriam Stein) enters his life and nothing is the same. But the young lovers are unaware that Lotte’s father has already promised her hand to another man, a reality that threatens to shatter the innocence of youth—while igniting Goethe’s heretofore unseen talents at the same time.

Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has quickly established itself as one of the leading distributors of non-English language feature films in the US in theaters, on DVD and Blu-ray, and via Video-on-Demand. Music Box’s release of Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One was the most popular foreign-language film of 2008. In 2010, the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of international mega-sellers dominated the foreign-language film market: the first in the series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was one of the most popular international releases of the decade with over $10 million in US box office. Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation, which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

Young Goethe In Love
Music Box Films Home Entertainment
STREET DATE:  April 24, 2012
Pre-book Date:                March 20, 2012
Format: DVD
SRP:      $29.95
Cast: Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaußner, Henry Hübchen
Director: Philipp Stölzl
Running Time: 102 minutes
Format:               2.35:1 widescreen
Sound Format:  Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating:                 NR

Country:              German
Language:           German with English subtitles

Bonus Features*

-The Making of Young Goethe In Love
-The Visual Effects of Goethe
-Theatrical and international trailer

Mozart’s Sister (a J!-ENT DVD Review)

February 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

“Mozart’s Sister” is beautifully shot film featuring wonderful costume and set design and an intriguing story written and directed by Rene Feret.

Images courtesy of © 2011 Music Box Films. All rights reserved.

DVD TITLE: Mozart’s Sister


DURATION: 120 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: Color, Widescreen1:85:1, Dolby Digital, French with English Subtitles

COMPANY: Music Box Films


RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2012

Directed by Rene Feret

Screenplay by Rene Feret

Producer: Fabienne Feret, Rene Feret

Music by Marie-Jeanne Serrero

Cinematography by Benjamin Echazarreta

Edited by Fabienne Feret

Production Design by Veronica Fruhbrodt

Costume Design by Dominique Louis


Marie Feret as Nannerl Mozart

Marc Barbe as Leopold Mozart

Delphine Chuillot as Anna-Maria Mozart

David Moreau as Wolfgang Mozart

Clovis Fouin as Le Dauphin

Lisa Feret as Louise de France

Adele Lepretre as Victoire de France

Valentine Duval as Sophie de France

Dominique Marcas as La mere abbesse

Mona Heftre as Madame Van Eyck

Salome Stevenin as Isabelle d’Aubusson

Mozart’s Sister is a re-imagined account of the early life of Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, five years older than Wolfgang and a musical prodigy in her own right. Once the featured performer, Nannerl has given way to Wolfgang as the main attraction, as their strict but loving father Leopold tours his talented offspring in front of the royal courts of pre-French Revolution Europe. Approaching marriageable age and now forbidden to play the violin or compose, Nannerl chafes at the limitations imposed on her gender. But a friendship with the son and daughter of Louis XV offers her ways to challenge the established sexual and social order.

The world may be familiar with the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era and among the few classical composers that continues to be popular today.

But many do not know that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was a music prodigy that played piano and violin at the age of 5, grew up playing as a duo with a musically talented sister named Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart.

Unfortunately, we do not hear too much about Nannerl.  Reason being is that during that era in time, women, no matter how talented they were musically, were not seen as equals to men.  Their status was lower and men thought that women just were not capable of having talent like men, may it be playing music or composing.  In fact, women were just seen as housewives, nothing more, nothing less.

In 2010, screenwriter/filmmaker Rene Feret (“Bapteme”, “Solemn Communion”) wrote a fictional drama based on the life of Maria Anna Mozart.

The film is set in 1763 and a time where family patriarch, Leopold Mozart (played by Marc Barbe), a German composer, conductor, teacher and violinist is responsible for strictly keeping his prodigal son, 11-year-old, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (played by David Moreau) and his older sister, 16-year-old Anna Marie “Nannerl” Mozart (played by Marie Feret) focused on their music.

The family of four are touring central and western Europe and Leopold has his two talented children on concert tours to perform for aristocrats and the public and promoted as child musical prodigies.

One day while traveling, the axle of the carriage broke and the family had to seek shelter at a nearby Abbey of Fontevraud while their carriage is being fixed.  While at the Abbey, Nannerl becomes friends with a group of sisters who were brought up at the monastery, one of the sisters that she becomes good friends with is 13-year-old Princess Louise Marie of France (played by Lisa Feret), daughter of King Louis XV of France.

While Nannerl and her younger brother continue to play at concerts and amaze people who hear their music (despite their father not thinking they are doing their best and is often very strict on their schedules), while in Versailles, she meets Princess Louise Marie’s brother, Louis, Dauphin of France.

Despite Nannerl being talented in both the keyboard and violin and wants to compose her own music like her brother, her father forbids it.  Telling her that women do not have the same talent as men and as far as composing goes, her music is no good (despite Leopold and his wife knowing that she is good, but knowing in society, a female is not seen in such a position).

While performing in front of aristocrats, as Leopold uses his children to help support the family, for Louis, Dauphin of France (played by Clovis Fouin), Nannerl is forced to disguise herself as a boy and pretend she is Wolfgang.  And immediately, Louis can not understand why he has fallen for Nannerl’s music and voice, and wonders if he is falling for a young man.

And while he is enthusiastic about Nannerl’s music, he inspires her to take on composition despite her father telling her not do so.  Nannerl has fallen for Louis and reveals herself to him that she is in fact a young woman, but Louis is not upset.  He is rather happy that Nanenrl is a young woman and both have feelings towards each other.

Nannerl begins to compose so much music for him and he absolutely loves it.

But because the Mozart family must travel on their concert tour, Nannerl is faced with her feelings of wanting to stay in France for the man she has become smitten with, but also a man who accepts her for her musical talents. But what happens when she meets with her friend Princess Louise and she tells Nannerl to end all communication with her brother?


It’s important to note that I am viewing a DVD screener ala DVR, so I am not going to comment on picture quality.  I will say that with a Blu-ray and DVD release of “Mozart’s Sister” being released, I recommend going for the Blu-ray version for better picture and audio quality.

With that being said, “Mozart’s Sister” is presented in widescreen 1:85:1 and audio in French Dolby Digital 5.1 with English subtitles.  The cinematography by Benjamin Echazarreta is very good in capturing close-up scenes of emotion but also the lavish costume and set design featured in the film, but most importantly capturing that look and feel of the 1700’s.   The film is dialogue-driven but there are moments of music and ambience which I’m sure is much more evident on the lossless soundtrack on the Blu-ray release than the DVD version.


There were no special features on the screener disc provided to us.

Beautifully shot, wonderful costume and set design and a film that classical music fans will enjoy, while others will find it sad knowing that talents of women were suppressed during that era in time.

“Mozart’s Sister” is a sad film which writer Rene Feret really did some intriguing writing and craft a story around Nannerl Mozart, a talented musician who had to quit her passion because of the status of women during the 1700’s.

While this film is a work of fiction and there is no record that Nannerl and Princess Louise of France corresponded, nor records that she and Louis le Daphin were romantically linked, what we do know is that because of that era in time, women could not really hold a high position in power or status.

For Nannerl, she was talented, she can compose and she can play, but once she reached a certain age (and her father could no longer promote her as a child musical prodigy), it didn’t matter how talented she was, she was expected to be a housewife and raise children.  While I don’t know if there are letters showing her regret of how women were treated at the time, as I am no erudite on Mozart historical records, I often wonder if this was just accepted by women that their status was low and not much was expected of them?

What is known is that Mozart looked up to his older sister and at a young age, wrote works such as “Prelude and Fugue C, K. 394” in 1782 for the two to perform and even sent her copies of his piano concertos.  We know that Wolfgang and is father were always at odds, while his sister did everything that her father wished. And while she fell in love with one man, her father turned down his marriage proposal, despite Wolfgang trying to get his sister to stand up for herself.

So, there may be a different from what is featured of Nannerl in reality to what was Nannerl in the film.  In the film, Nannerl Mozart walked on the beat of her own drum and not that I would use the word “fearless” but she did what she wanted despite what her father would think.  But in reality, it was Wolfgang who walked the beat of his own drum and made his own choices, his sister did what her father asked.

And while the film is quite evident that the message was how unhappy women were that they weren’t given the same liberties as men (as both Nannerl and Princess Louise have a conversation about how things would be different if both were born a boy), the sadness I have towards this film was the fact that the talented Nannerl had to give up so much and would never be recognized for her talent because she is a woman.

In reality, things even get worse as she was forced to marry a man who was in his ’50s and had children, she died blind, unable to speak and even for her first son Leopold, her father Leopold literally took her son away and raised him.  While it is debated of why Leopold raised his grandson and not Nannerl, it is thought that Leopold wanted to raise his grandson in a similar manner to Wolfgang and Nannerl and for him to become a musical genius.

And last, that loving relationship between Wolfgang and Nannerl ended for some unknown reason.

If anything, the more you read about what is out there of Nannerl Mozart, it is quite depressing.  At least “Mozart’s Sister” would make things a bit dramatic but I wouldn’t be surprised if the reality was that Leopold had a tremendous hold over his daughter and literally suppressed all independence from her and that she had no voice whatsoever.  She listened to her father and did everything that he wished.

As I watched “Mozart’s Sister”, you have to give Rene Feret some credit of trying to make Nannerl’s life so dramatic.  How he came up with the Princess Louise and Louis storyline was out of left field but for the film, it did work.

Feret’s film doesn’t follow the traditional Hollywood film of a happy ending.  We know that Nannerl is not going to be able pursue her life as a musician, we see in her face how unfortunate things are that her younger brother will have all the opportunities and she won’t.

While purists and the Mozart erudite may be irritated by this fictional story, and possibly would rather see another film about Wolfgang than his sister, I did enjoy “Mozart’s Sister” (although I felt it ran a bit too long for my taste).  The cinematography, costume and set design were beautiful, acting could have been better at times but for what its worth, while the film was banal, the fact that filmmaker/screenwriter Rene Feret was able to craft a story around Nannerl Mozart was rather fascinating but definitely opened my eyes and made me want to know more about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his family.


Mysteries of Lisbon on DVD and Blu (December 20, 2011)

November 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 


Mysteries of Lisbon


Available on VOD and Special 3-disc DVD and Blu-ray
December 20, 2011

Chicago, IL (November 2, 2011 ) – An orphan boy in Portugal sets out on a quest to learn the story behind his origins, his parents and his own identity in MYSTERIES OF LISBON, the acclaimed epic film by legendary Chilean-born filmmaker, Raúl Ruiz. Adapted from the 19th Century novel by Portugal’s Camilo Castelo Branco, the film covers three decades, four countries and a host of rich characters—all sparked by one man’s search for the truth—and is filled with all manner of adventures and escapades, coincidences and revelations, sentiments and violent passions, and vengeance and romance.

MYSTERIES OF LISBON is a large-scale film of such scope and complexity that it could only be mounted by a true cinematic genius like Ruiz, whose nearly 50-year career has yielded more than 100 movies, including such masterpieces as Time Regained, On Top of the Whale and Three Lives and Only One Death. One of Ruiz’s final works (he died this year at the age of 70), MYSTERIES OF LISBON is a saga that evokes the artistry, intricacy and richness of the sprawling intertwined narratives of such giants as Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. It’s truly a magnificent milestone in the career of one of the cinema’s most ambitious and visionary directors.

Music Box Films Home Entertainment presents MYSTERIES OF LISBON on Digital Download, VOD, and 3-disc DVD and Blu-ray collector’s set w/special booklet, for the first time on December 20 (prebook November 21).  Released theatrically around the world and in the U.S.’s top markets following its premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, the MYSTERIES OF LISBON Blu-ray and DVD will carry the suggested retail prices of $34.95 and $43.95, respectively.

Set in Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon in the 19th Century, the story at the heart of MYSTERIES OF LISBON centers on the 14-year-old João (portrayed as a child by João Luis Arrais and as an adult by premiere Portuguese actor Afonso Pimentel), an orphan in a boarding school who’s compelled to discover the truth behind his parents, his origins, and thus, himself.  Setting out on a quest that will span more than 30 years, João encounters a collection of inimitable characters in the Portuguese aristocracy who are all somehow connected to him. Questions are answered and secrets are revealed as the years go by and João’s voyage takes him from Portugal to France, Italy, and even Brazil. Over a journey filled with war, romance, passion and betrayal, João sees that his life and destiny are connected to those of the people he meets. And the truth for one man, he learns, isn’t always the truth for all.

The film was immediately praised at prominent film festivals around the world and Raúl Ruiz received honorable accolades noting MYSTERIES OF LISBON as one of the finest works he ever made, winning the Silver Shell for Best Director at the San Sebastián International Film Festival and France’s prestigious Louis Delluc Prize.

Audiences and critics uniformly agree, with LA WEEKLY describing MYSTERIES OF LISBON as “an utterly absorbing masterwork” and gushing that, “Once you start to ride with the rapturous, gorgeous, digressive symphony of images and words and music in this film, it’s completely absorbing and unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” VOGUE’s John Powers’s review of the film perfectly sums ups its excellence:  “…Moment after moment, shot after shot, [MYSTERIES OF LISBON] shows a level of attention to detail that is never less than magisterial. Every location is perfect. Every camera placement is perfect. Every performance is perfect.”

A hypnotically engrossing motion picture experience and a landmark film by one of the international cinema’s most respected storytellers, MYSTERIES OF LISBON demands to be seen.

More information on MYSTERIES OF LISBON can be found on the MUSIC BOX FILMS website at and the film’s website at

In 19th Century Lisbon, Portugal, João, an orphan in a boarding school, sets out on a quest to discover the story behind his origins, his parents and his true identity. From this city of intrigue and secrets emerges a collection of characters who are all somehow linked to João’s destiny: Father Dinis, a descendant of the aristocratic libertines who later becomes a hero who defends justice; a countess maddened by her jealousy and obsessed with vengeance; and a prosperous businessman who mysteriously made his fortune as a bloodthirsty pirate. João’s questions are slowly answered—while others are raised—over the course of three decades and a personal voyage that takes him from Portugal to France, Italy, and even Brazil. But as secrets are revealed and João’s life begins to intertwine with those of the people he meets, he slowly learns that the truth for one isn’t always the truth for all.

About Music Box Films:
Founded in 2007, Music Box Films has quickly established itself as one of the leading distributors of non-English language feature films in the US in theaters, on DVD and Blu-ray, and via Video-on-Demand. Music Box’s release of Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One was the most popular foreign-language film of 2008. In 2010, the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy of international mega-sellers dominated the foreign-language film market: the first in the series, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, was one of the most popular international releases of the decade with over $10 million in US box office. Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

MAX MANUS MAN OF WAR on DVD and Blu-ray June 28th from Music Box Films

May 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Chicago, IL (May 2, 2011) – A rousing historical epic in the tradition of classic European films about World War II including Flame and Citron, Black Book, and Stalingrad, which unveils the remarkable story of one of Europe’s most celebrated World War II-era resistance fighters, Max Manus: Man of War is an instant war movie classic. It recounts the true saga of young Norwegian soldier Max Manus, a pioneer of Norway’s resistance movement and one of the most brilliant saboteurs of World War II, whose aggressive sinking and damaging of German ships of war has since become legend.

The winner of six Norwegian Academy Awards (including Best Film and Best Actor), Max Manus: Man of War is directed by leading Norwegian filmmakers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, who create an incredible, pulse-pounding adventure that is as engrossing as it is explosive—as well as the most expensive film production in Norwegian cinema history.

Music Box Films Home Entertainment will release Max Manus: Man of War on Blu-ray disc and DVD for the first time on June 28 (pre-book May 25) for the suggested retail prices of $38.94 and $29.95, respectively.  Extra bonus features on the DVD includes 45 documentary with interview footage and archival material of Manus, his daughter, the Directors, and cast & crew.

Popular Norwegian leading man Aksel Hennie (Age of Heroes) stars as Max Manus, one man whose strength, intelligence and valor in the line of duty helped to liberate his country from the occupying Nazi forces of World War II. Twice escaping Nazi captivity, reshaping the tactics of guerrilla warfare, and harnessing his abilities for the precision and courage required to mount sabotage attacks on the Germans, Manus’s wartime triumphs—and losses—are unlike any others. And with the thrilling Max Manus: Man of War, an epic chapter in World War II history is finally revealed in all its spectacle and glory.

Described by The Sun Online as “A good old-fashioned war movie – a tale of courage and honour based on fact” and as “A tense drama of the deadly-cat-and-mouse between The Resistance and The Nazis” by Anthony Quinn of The Independent (UK), Max Manus: Man of War is an exciting blockbuster saga of men and war. An indispensable tale of a world thrown into chaos, and of  one man who dared to fight overwhelming odds to forge a future for himself and his country, Max Manus: Man of War demands to be seen.

Max Manus: Man of War — Synopsis:
After fighting against the Russians during the Winter War in Finland in 1939, Norwegian soldier Max Manus (Aksel Hennie) returns to a German-occupied Norway. He joins the resistance movement and becomes one of the most important members of the so-called “Oslo Gang,” soon confirming his reputation for audacity by making two daring escapes from German captivity. He eventually reunites with his best friend Gregers Gram (Nicolai Cleve Broch) in Scotland, where they receive special training as saboteurs with a pan-national resistance movement, after which they are parachuted back to their homeland. While there, Max and Gregers lead a mission to sink German supply ships in the heavily guarded Oslo harbor, a spectacular act that leads to severe retaliation from the local Gestapo leader, Siegfred Fehmer (Ken Duken).

About Music Box Films:
Founded in 2007, Music Box Films serves the viewing interests of sophisticated US movie audiences in select cinemas nationwide, on DVD and Blu-Ray, on cable TV and on emerging VOD delivery formats. With a focus on foreign-language cinema, Music Box’s release of Guillaume Canet’s Tell No One was the most popular foreign-language theatrical release of 2008 and the most popular foreign-language DVD of 2009.  Music Box Films is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation which also owns and operates The Music Box Theatre, Chicago’s premiere venue for independent and foreign films.

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST – Watch the Official Trailer!!

October 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Presented by Music Box Films

Directed by Daniel Alfredson

Starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin and Anders Ahlbom

Synopsis: In THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS’ NEST – the final installment of the “Millenium Trilogy” – Lisbeth Salander is fighting for her life in more ways than one. In intensive care and charged with three murders, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST opens in theaters October 29, 2010.

THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE available On-Demand and on DVD October 26, 2010.

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