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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Blu-ray Review)

The wizarding world of Harry Potter led one of the most impressive runs in cinematic franchise history.  Not only did all seven books in the series get adapted, but there were eight films.  Aside from one major change due to a death, the films managed to keep its cast intact for the entire telling of J.K. Rowling’s story.  Harry Potter started before brand IP became a major thing and it left us as it was becoming one.  Being that its one of the most successful and popular cinematic IPs ever, it could only lay dormant for so long.  What direction to go with it now that a major eight film story has taken place and the characters completed their important arcs? Well, the answer is backward. J.K. Rowling has returned to give us a new story based loosely off the adventures of a fictional author of a book in the wizarding world.  And back in November, we began what is to be a five film journey on its own about events well before even Harry Potter’s parents were around.  The magic was not gone, as Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them made almost a billion dollars worldwide. It now makes its way to 4K Ultra-HD and Blu-ray March 28th. Continue reading ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (Blu-ray Review)’

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Sing (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Illumination Entertainment, the animation studio most known for those darn Minions.  Actually, I enjoy the Despicable Me films, its just the one that focused on the little side characters was a giant waste of time (Though, I’m sure those seven and under probably loved it).  While that’s the flagship, they’ve actually carved quite a remarkable track record in six short years.  All but two of their films have made over a half a billion dollars worldwide.  Which, one of those two was The Lorax which did exceedingly well at 348 million worldwide.  They hit big in summer and winter in 2016, showing they are much more than the Minion house.  The Secret Life of Pets almost made a billion dollars in the summer and the film we are reviewing here, Sing, made over half a billion running up against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.  They appear to be a major force to be reckoned with, holding their own in a world usually owned by Disney and Pixar.  Sing proved to be quite popular, not just with audiences, but seemingly winning over critics as well.  It comes to 4K UHD Blu-ray on March 21st! Continue reading ‘Sing (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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20th Century Women (Blu-ray Review)

20th Century Women comes from writer/director Mike Mills of whom I only familiar with his film Thumbsucker, which was one of the first films that was highly recommended to me by Scott Mendelson early on in our friendship.  It was a terrific coming of age comedy, the best of what seemed to have a lot of similar ones like it back in 2005, and one of the best films that year.  This film, featuring a single mother tasking two younger women with helping to shape her 15 year old son’s adolescence, is my first venture with Mills since.  I highly enjoyed the trailer when I saw it back during December (Actually had me cracking up aloud at a few moments), but wasn’t able to get to it during its theatrical run.  It looked like another big awards run movie for Annette Bening, but the film wound up only getting nominated for Best Original Screenplay.  The film very much offers far more than its lack of award season nods would lead you to believe.  20th Century Women will be available to purchase on (21st century, yok yok) Blu-ray March 28th. Continue reading ’20th Century Women (Blu-ray Review)’

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Arsenal (Blu-ray Review)

It sounds very silly to have expectations for or to be really looking forward to a film like Arsenal.  A primarily straight to Blu-ray and DVD (I think it played a couple festivals) release where the leads are Adrien Grenier and Johnathon Schaech.  And John Cusack, has been less of the kicker than ever in the past couple of years, looking unhappy stuck in some sort of slow rent action movie straight to video hell.  The kicker here was someone also kind of stuck there, but who always commits; Nicolas Cage.  This trailer actually brought the internet abuzz as he looked to be going full on Cage for this one and was resurreting his Deadfall past with “Eddie”.  Maybe Cusack would find it in himself to bring it too.  This looked like it could be bringing the right amount of crazy and silly to an otherwise tired looking story.  Therein lies the potential I (And I was not alone) was seeing in this movie.  Everything seemed like it was on the table, but would it actually pan out. Continue reading ‘Arsenal (Blu-ray Review)’

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Live By Night (Blu-ray Review)

In terms of his directorial output, Ben Affleck has had a perfect track record with me.  Gone Baby Gone was one hell of a debut for him and surprisingly his least talked about film in his director catalog (It shouldn’t be, its fantastic).  That film was based on a novel by Dennis Lehane, which is a well Affleck is seemingly returning to by adapting another one of his books into Live By Night.  For critical reception, its been a rough year for Ben Affleck, with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice being thrashed (Though he was almost praised across the board for it) and The Accountant getting a mediocre reception (Though being a rock solid hit).  It seemed like, well, at least he has his own film to end the year on.  A Ben Affleck film was something we thought we could count on.  Though, disappointingly, he’d end the year on a huge double whammy, with more awful reviews and a having his film totally bomb at the box office.  This, being the film that followed up his widely praised and Academy Award winner for best picture, Argo. Continue reading ‘Live By Night (Blu-ray Review)’

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Patriots Day (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

In 2016, director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg teamed for a pair of action-oriented films base on real life big headline stories trying to display American heroism.  The first was Deepwater Horizon, focusing on the 2010 oil spill and the other was Patriots Day that was about the bombing  at the 2013 Boston Marathon and hunt for the terrorists behind it.  Patriots Day came out in a limited fashion in 2016 and was spread more wide in early January.  Maybe it was too early for this one or just too much else to see, but despite good reviews, the film failed to connect with audiences and underperformed.  Its now maybe hoping to find audience at home with its 4K UHD Blu-ray release, coming on March 21st.  You can check it out early via streaming and digital, but physical is always the preferred method of delivery and you can ensure yourself a copy on release day by pre-ordering from the Amazon link provided below. Continue reading ‘Patriots Day (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Passengers (4K UHD & 3D Blu-ray Review)

Passengers is a film that I have a lot of history with personally speaking.  The original script for Passengers was written by Jon Spaihts way back in 2007, and had been in development hell for years now.  I mention this because not only have my own projects been in development hell, but this very script was my first read in a screenwriting class I took at Cleveland State University way back when.  I remember this time period too because at one point the film was set to star Keanu Reeves and Emily Blunt.  God this movie would have been fantastic with Emily as the leading female.  Eventually in 2014 it it was announced that Sony had won the auction for the rights to the sci-fi flick and here we are.  It’s 2017 and Passengers came out theatrically last year, but more importantly it’s finally here in 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray! Continue reading ‘Passengers (4K UHD & 3D Blu-ray Review)’

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Wishmaster Collection – Collector’s Series (Blu-ray Review)

Twenty years ago this September launched a little horror series called Wishmaster.  Back when a horror movie could do over fifteen million at the box office and be considered a success, that’s what this was.  While coming post-Scream, it was before the effects and wave had taken over (That would come a month later with I Know What You Did Last Summer).  In a way, it made the monster one the last one of an era before the Scream-like slashers would take over in iconography before the remakes and Jigsaw carried on from there.  Wishmaster did spawn three sequels in a 5 years run from 1997-2002, but none of them ever found major theatrical release (Straight to video in the US).  The series and character of the Wishmaster has lied dormant ever since, yet to make a return, but who knows, maybe this set will spark an interest or drum up nostalgia or a new fanbase for the little underground cult series. Continue reading ‘Wishmaster Collection – Collector’s Series (Blu-ray Review)’

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Fences (Blu-ray Review)

To see Denzel Washington star, produce and direct an adaptation of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play Fences is to literally watch the superstar paint himself into a corner. I mean that in a good way, as this is a story that was originally set entirely in the backyard of a house in Pittsburgh. This means Washington had to come up with a way to creatively express this story on a cinematic level. That can prove to be difficult and I am one to call out play-to-film adaptations for their staginess, but the strength of acting can be a powerful thing and Fences certainly knows how to harness that power. Following much acclaim, multiple Oscar nominations (and a deserved win for Viola Davis), Fences now comes home to Blu-ray.

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Firestarter – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory first dipped their toes into the world of Stephen King last fall with its definitive release of the initial classic (And one of horror’s all-time best) Carrie.  Now, they are at it again with another of his telekinetic girls with the Drew Barrymore-led Firestarter.  Yes, its already on Blu-ray, but that lackluster release is getting a masterful update with Scream Factory’s Collector’s edition.  Not only does this boast a lot of brand next extras for this disc, but its been given a brand new 2K transfer as well.  As per usual, this thing will be well worth the upgrade, or the holdout you’ve had for the movie (Even just the curious bystander that picks up based on Scream Factory’s choice to release).  But, lets dig into this anyway, shall we?  The release is set for March 14th, but you can make sure you have one come release day by pre-ordering on the Amazon link below. Continue reading ‘Firestarter – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Insecure Season 1 (Blu-ray Review)

Releasing soon on Blu-ray and Digital HD, the first season of HBO’s new comedy “Insecure” stars comedian Issa Rae as an awkward young black woman just trying to live her life in Los Angeles. The show is created by Rae and Larry Wilmore, of the unfortunately cancelled “Nightly Show” on Comedy Central, and makes a point to tackle the topic of modern female blackness from the lens of an everyday regular person. Issa’s character is not a strong, loud, independent black female stereotype. Instead, she is, as the title of the show might suggest, insecure – in many senses of the term. Continue reading ‘Insecure Season 1 (Blu-ray Review)’

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Jackie (Blu-ray Review)

Finding the right focus and exploring a character in interesting ways is what I enjoy when it comes to biopics. Jackie has the right idea. This is not a film about the life of Jackie Kennedy. It also doesn’t place her in a supporting role, so we can follow someone else around and observe her from afar. What this film does is much more effective. Jackie holds focus on the time surrounding the worst day of her life and what her state of mind was. The result is a dreamy, yet engaging feature. Nominated for three Academy Awards, the film has now arrived on Blu-ray for all to see up close.

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Moana (Blu-ray Review)

Moana is finally here on Blu-ray!  “How far will you go” to get yourself a copy?  Target? Best Buy? Fry’s? Amazon? Deep Discount? Or was the walk too long and you just settled to buy the digital one and call it a day?  Hopefully not, especially if you’re a reader on a site that’s called Why So Blu.  But, its a weird world that doesn’t seem to make sense anymore, so I kind of understand that.  Yes, this might be the weirdest intro paragraph to a Moana review there is.  The box office and global sensation IS indeed coming to home video and its got plenty of bonus features to boot.  This movie was gonna make “ze monies” no matter what, but its kinda funny that you can add that “The Rock” bump to it if you so want to please.  You can order yourself a copy of the newest Dwayne Johnson epic by clicking the Amazon link below (I also appreciate that when you do!).  Continue reading ‘Moana (Blu-ray Review)’

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Ghost In The Shell – Mondo X SteelBook Series (Blu-ray Review)

With the upcoming release of Paramount’s live-action Ghost in the Shell film, starring Scarlett Johansson, it’s not too much of a surprise to see another release of the original anime on Blu-ray. You can find my previous review of the 25th Anniversary Edition from 2014 here, but just know this latest release is all about the packaging. This new edition of the film is another release coming out of the Mondo X SteelBook Series. There are no new features to speak of (nor were there any to begin with), but collectors or steelbook enthusiasts will likely be happy with the new packaging.

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Red Dawn – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Red-DawnRed Dawn is one of those quintessential 1980s “super 80s” films that has lived on with nostalgia goggles long since it dropped in on us back in 1984.  It features an all-star cast of the era, including Patrick Swayze (Road House), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Lea Thompson (Back To The Future), Ben Johnson (Terror Train), Harry Dean Stanton (Alien), Ron O’Neal (Super Fly), William Smith (Conan The Barbarian), Charlie Sheen (Platoon), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) and Powers Boothe (Tombstone) and comes from legendary writer-director John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan The Barbarian).  Shout Factory is putting out the 4th iteration of the film on Blu-ray, adding it to its coveted Collector’s Edition series in the Shout Select line of films.  It’ll add a new featurette and be available March 21st. Continue reading ‘Red Dawn – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Rules Don’t Apply (Blu-ray Review)

rules dont apply coverRules Don’t Apply came and went this past awards season, but there is now a Blu-ray here for this latest Howard Hughes biopic. Produced, written and directed by Warren Beatty, nearly twenty years after his last directorial effort, Bulworth, the film serves as a semi-fictional biopic, a screwball comedy and a drama all rolled into one. Coming from an idea Beatty started developing 40 years ago, the film is a clear passion project and despite all the various issues involving tone and narrative construction, I dug it. Beatty and his four editors have assembled a messy film out of what is likely a ton of footage, but it was never uninteresting, features some terrific performances and even buries some interesting themes amidst all the Hughes-focused chaos.

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RoboCop 3 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Robocop 3Like Dr. Sam Beckett used to do through time, Scream Factory (Shout! Factory, in general) is on a mission to put right what once wrong.  Giving to us the versions of films we like that celebrate the fan and collector, while the studio original just put out a minimal effort.  And now its time to give some love to the RoboCop sequels.  I’m pretty sure nobody prefers either over the original, but the second film has its fans (I’m sorta one) at least.  Despite their quality, these misses always make for a great retrospective documentary, making the film worth owning or taking another look at.  On March 14th, RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 will get some beefy Collector’s Edition releases from Scream Factory.  In this review, we’ll look at RoboCop 3. Continue reading ‘RoboCop 3 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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RoboCop 2 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Robocop 2Like Dr. Sam Beckett used to do through time, Scream Factory (Shout! Factory, in general) is on a mission to put right what once wrong.  Giving to us the versions of films we like that celebrate the fan and collector, while the studio original just put out a minimal effort.  And now its time to give some love to the RoboCop sequels.  I’m pretty sure nobody prefers either over the original, but the second film has its fans (I’m sorta one) at least.  Despite their quality, these misses always make for a great retrospective documentary, making the film worth owning or taking another look at.  On March 14th, RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 will get some beefy Collector’s Edition releases from Scream Factory.  In this review, we’ll look at RoboCop 2. Continue reading ‘RoboCop 2 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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