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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

This Island Earth (Blu-ray Review)

Well, well, well. More “Universally” welcomed surprises coming from Scream Factory as the year of 2019 continues onward. Its actually incredibly surprising that its taken until 2019 for This Island Earth to find its way onto the high definition format. You’d think it would have at least found its way into some sort of Classic Science Fiction multi-film set if Universal didn’t think it’d do well enough on its own. Crazy enough, it made its way to the format via Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie before getting its own release. Fittingly, Shout! Factory (Under the Scream Factory banner) will be putting the film’s non-riffed and original theatrical version out as well. And they aren’t messing around with it either, its coming with a really rad set of bonus features that’ll have you shouting “Mu-TANT”! This year has seen Universal tackling this unique science fiction horror era between the classic monsters age and the Hammer/API era of horror. This Island Earth can be yours if the price is right, on July 9th.
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Silent Hill – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory not only has some fresh new studio catalog titles to tackle with Warner Bros recently, they’ve also been getting some output from Sony. As such, their new release of the 2006 film Silent Hill marks the distributor’s first foray into the video game film genre. The critically reviled box office disappointment did have its fans, making it a little bit of a cult film for which to maybe take another look at and a good candidate for a Scream Factory release. It also is a film whose director is quite popular with some of his other efforts (Brotherhood of the Wolf and his Lea Seydoux starring Beauty and the Beast). Scream Factory is giving this one a pretty solid treatment in the form of a 2-disc set with bonus features provided by Reverend Entertainment. The release will be their to cool down and spook you following your 4th of July firework excitement when it arrives on July 9th. You an pre-order the Blu-ray from Shout! Factory’s website or by using the Amazon link at the end of the review.
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Dumbo (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Dumbo marks the first of a handful of formerly classic Disney animated features to be having blustering new live action representations in 2019. This has been going on and building for a few years now, but 2019 could be the apex for just how many come out in a calendar year. Disney is probably going to be a bit more careful as to which ones they choose from here on out based on the box office for this film. Not every one of these will hit the Beauty and the Beast paydirt, but you kinda have an idea which ones are going to catch fire (Which, is funny how people doubted Aladdin, not realizing people find too hefty an opinion to have actual weight on “Film Twitter”). Anyway, Dumbo will be arriving on all formats and even the (Why the hell won’t you die?) dated DVD one. The date for this circus full of excitement is June 25th. Don’t all you go trampling over each other to land a copy first. Just go ahead and utilize the Amazon link like a civilized adult.
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Swing Time – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Who’s ready to put on a show? Musical comedies were huge in the 1930s, and many studios were happy to deliver. One of the highlights of this era were the many films starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, with Swing Time being looked as possibly the best of their collaborations. Winner of an Oscar for Best Original Song (for “The Way You Look Tonight”), the film has often been looked at as one of the best cinema has had to offer, and has even been entered into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Now the Criterion Collection has gone the extra mile in providing a brand-new digital restoration of the film, with plenty of terrific supplements to go with it.

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Us (4K UHD Blu-Ray Review)

Jordan Peele is, in my humble opinion, a truly innovative filmmaker. He has made two films that manage to creep us out, make us laugh, challenge our way of thinking and entertain without sacrificing true film art. Us is the type of film that improves with repeat viewings. I myself watched it more than once while preparing this review. I was introduced to more nuances, influences and appreciations and was truly entertained with each viewing. Take a look with some more depth below about Us which hits stores June 18th! Continue reading ‘Us (4K UHD Blu-Ray Review)’

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Us (Blu-ray Review)

After finding unquestionable success with Get Out, Jordan Peele is back with Us. As writer, director, and producer, Peele is in full control here, and he has used his power as a filmmaker to deliver another fresh, scary, and darkly humorous film. More than simple descriptors, however, is seeing how Us moves into territory that has very little in common with Peele’s previous film. Rather than deliver another contained social thriller speaking to the ills of race relations taken to an extreme, here is an expansive look at the crumbling of the American experience made possible by the darker sides of the human condition. After earning rave reviews and a hefty amount of money at the box office, Us now arrives on Blu-ray with a nice set of extras to help a viewer explore the film even further.

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Universal Horror Collection: Volume 1 (Blu-ray Review)

The Universal Horror Collection: Volume 1 from Scream Factory may have had a name change as well as key art facelift since its original announcement (Then the “Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi Collection), but the film inside remain the same. In fact, we are probably benefiting from that change as this looks like a series with no limitations now. Exciting are the possibilities and directions it could take. This collection features 4 non-Classic Monster films featuring Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff together, complete with some new commentaries and featurettes. For vintage horror nuts like myself, this is a very exciting and big sublicensing deal for Scream Factory. You’ll be able to add it to your shelf on June 18th.
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Shaft In Africa (Blu-ray Review)

Exactly five years ago (to the day of this film and the other’s release), during my weekly wishlist articles, I made the request that the two 1970s Shaft sequels be released on Blu-ray. And thanks to the new film opening in theaters next week (The third film in the series to be titled merely as Shaft), Warner Archive Collection has scored another win and scratched yet another title from the wishlist. Shaft’s Big Score! and the final film of the original trilogy, Shaft In Africa, made their way to the Blu-ray format on May 21st.  For this review, we’ll be focusing on Shaft In Africa, which capped off the character’s run theatrically in the 1970s (There were some forgotten TV movies), with a more genre-embracing tale.
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Shaft’s Big Score! (Blu-ray Review)

Exactly five years ago (to the day of this film and the other’s release), during my weekly wishlist articles, I made the request that the two 1970s Shaft sequels be released on Blu-ray. And thanks to the new film opening in theaters next week (The third film in the series to be titled merely as Shaft), Warner Archive Collection has scored another win and scratched yet another title from the wishlist. Shaft’s Big Score! and the final film of the original trilogy, Shaft In Africa, made their way to the Blu-ray format on May 21st.  For this review, we’ll be focusing on Shaft’s Big Score!, the follow up to the original, breakout (And Academy Award winning) classic!
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JT Leroy (Blu-ray Review)

Based on Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy, this captivating true story goes beyond the headlines to tell the story of the most compelling literary ‘hoax’ of recent times. Laura Albert (Laura Dern) writes as her “avatar,” a disenfranchised young queer man named JT LeRoy. When her debut novel becomes a best-seller and JT becomes the darling of the literary world, she comes up with a unique solution to preserve her anonymity but give life to her nom-de-plume. Enter her boyfriend’s androgynous fun-loving sister Savannah Knoop (Kristen Stewart), who connects with Laura’s punk, feminist, outsider universe and agrees to be JT in the public eye. Together, they embark on a wild ride of double lives, infiltrating the Hollywood and literary elite, only to discover who they are while pretending to be someone else. Continue reading ‘JT Leroy (Blu-ray Review)’

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Captain Marvel (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Marvel continues to soar to billion dollar heights with every fresh turn it takes. Boasted by them as their first female led film (Though, I mean, let’s not forget The Wasp), it was a nice box office set before Avengers: Endgame’s major spike a few months later. In fact, Captain Marvel continued to do solid business alongside Endgame, improving its business. It arrives here on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on June 11th (Already on digital), yet was still playing at my local AMC last weekend when I was at the theater. Our theatrical to home video window has become a very quick and literal 90 days now. So, either go see it again, or order yourself a copy for your home. You currently have that option for one of the biggest movies of the year.  Continue reading ‘Captain Marvel (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Mash-ups can be a slippery slope. It’s certainly not a new concept as I’ve been a fan of them since the early 90’s when I read Magnus: Robot Fighter vs. Predator, courtesy of Valiant and Dark Horse. That mini-series was, at least at the moment, exceptional. I haven’t revisited it since so who knows if it stood the test of time, but I digress. Others, like Robocop vs. Terminator, have been less memorable, though the title alone was enough to draw me in. In December 2015, another epic-sounding mash-up in comics arrived in the form of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The series proved to be an entertaining read that has since spawned two sequel mini-series, the latter of which, Batman vs. TMNT III, is ongoing as we speak. However, if that wasn’t enough to whet your Dark Knight/reptilian ninjutsu palette, then certainly a feature-length animated film would be.

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I’ll Take Your Dead (Blu-ray Review)

Shout! Studios continues to emerge and grow and their latest, I’ll Take Your Dead is arriving on Blu-ray June 4th. Directed by Chad Archibald (Bite, The Heretics), and starring Aidan Devine (A History of Violence, Suicide Squad), Ava Preston (DC’s Shazam!, The Kennedys), Jess Salgueiro(Workin’ Moms, Mary Kills People), and Ari Millen (Orphan Black, Rupture), the home entertainment release of I’ll Take Your Dead includes a behind-the-scenes featurette that takes a look at the production of the film along with cast and crew interviews, as well as a script-to-screen comparison piece, deleted scenes, and trailers. Continue reading ‘I’ll Take Your Dead (Blu-ray Review)’

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Batman & Robin (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

There was no way this 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray journey through the 1989-1997 Batman series wasn’t dive-bombing into a brick wall to finish things off. As we all know, its inevitable that we come to a close on the notoriously despised Batman & Robin. Like the rest of the films in the series, it has been given a proper, caring restoration and charged up with a brand new Dolby Atmos track to pulsate through your viewing area. Along with that, the film carries over the outstanding previous bonus material found on the 2005 Special Edition DVD release (And subsequent Blu-ray editions for that matter). For the fans (?) of this film and the Batman completists (“Well, I might as well complete the set, right?”), the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray of Batman & Robin debuts on the illustrious format June 4th (Next week).
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Batman Forever (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

As we close the book on the Tim Burton-helmed Batman era, we set sights on Joel Schumacher’s turn at “bat”. Batman Forever proved the biggest opening weekend and highest grossing live action film of 1995 (Only Toy Story earned more money). It was a pretty stunning bounce back for the caped crusader as it reinvented itself and continued its box office glory, proving it to be THE franchise of the decade. Batman was clearly the James Bond/Star Wars/Indiana Jones of the 1990s. The film is arriving with the rest of the “bat pack” on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray June 4th with a brand new restoration, Atmos track and the terrific extras from the 2005 DVD special editions.
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Batman Returns (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Quite possibly one of the my most personally anticipated sequels of all time, Batman Returns, continues our spin here on this look at the new 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray releases of the 89-97 Batman series. Like the previous film, both the 4K Ultra-HD and standard Blu-ray discs have been given a nice new transfer and restoration to go along with a new Dolby Atmos track. The extras for the film have been ported over from the 2005 Special Edition DVD releases, making it pretty much the definitive Batman Returns package. You can upgrade it and the others when they arrive on shelves June 4th.
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The Entity – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

The Entity is a much respected and loved horror film that still is probably under the radar for many (Including fans of the genre). Anchor Bay (When owned by Starz) originally released the film in the most barest of bones releases. I’m not talking void of bonus features, this thing had no menu and played like that of a review screener. There are some that roll their eyes on double dips and whatnot, but having a menu for the movie is a massive improvement already. In addition, Scream Factory has loaded it with new interviews and such. You’ll be able to pick it up starting June 11th. Continue reading ‘The Entity – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Batman: 30th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

I don’t even know if I need one hand to count the amount of films to give me as much excited being released on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray as Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. With the 30th anniversary dropping next month, I had been hoping dearly that the film would get the chance (As well as its sequels-even you, Batman & Robin) to be remastered and shine on the format. The Blu-ray releases had left much to be desired in terms of picture/audio quality (The extras are home video perfection). Alas, we will be dancing with the devil in the pale moonlight to all 4 films in this canon when they arrive on June 4th.
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