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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Friend Request (Blu-ray Review)

2017 has been a banner year for the horror genre both with critical acclaim, audience adoration and big box office intake. As a matter of fact, that’s one of the bigger stories of 2017 in how huge horror has been. Whether it be confirming of brand trust recognition with horror profiteering masters Blumhouse or the massive success of the cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s IT, everyone has seen some success. Everyone, except this movie Friend Request that I’m covering today. While English language and released this past September, its actually a 2016 English Language German film. Maybe Lionsgate just picked it up to roll the dice on just having a low budget, teen-friendly horror film to grab a couple dollars with. I don’t know how much their acquisition valued at, but the box office probably didn’t cover it. So now, they look toward this Blu-ray that releases on January 9th to probably recoup. Continue reading ‘Friend Request (Blu-ray Review)’

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mother! (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

We’re currently in the middle of a heated debate about a divisive Star Wars film, but earlier in the year we had a moment with a little arthouse picture that got a wide release. Darren Aronofsky returned to more or less his roots with the very challenging and not audience friendly mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence. The film saw critical praise (Which, seemingly has gone down since its release) and audience ire. The film outright bombed, which means many of you probably didn’t even go to see it in the theaters. Well, now’s your chance to take a look at it in the comfort of your own home. And why not give the film a gander on the best possible format while you’re at it? On December 19th, this trivial film will be available on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for your digestion. Order yourself a copy if you loved it or are curious from the Amazon link provided below. Continue reading ‘mother! (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Kingsman 2: The Golden Circle (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Kingsman 2 4K The Golden Circle ReviewFirst there was Matthew Vaughn and Mark Millar’s Kick-Ass in 2010 and then there was Kingsman: The Secret Service (Aaron Neuwirth’s review of it all here and mine) in 2014.  Needless to say I’m a big fan of both.   Now we have the sequel here titled Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  I was one of the lucky ones to be able to attend the Hall H Comic-Con panel in San Diego for this action spy flick this past July (see Jordan Grout’s coverage of it all here).  Not only did I get an orange/white tuxedo t-shirt and a rad Kingsman fidget spinner, but I also witnessed the entire opening sequence, which is quite breathtaking, and two awesome clips that whet my appetite greater than the thought of Red Robin’s steak fries covered in that yummy sodium laced seasoning of theirs.  You picking up what I’m dropping?  While outside of a flashback Kingsman: The Golden Circle may not include the exotic mummy, Sofia Boutella, this time around (for obvious reasons) it does have one hell of an all-star studded lineup.  If you choose to accept this mission, then let me fill you in on everything below.
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Interstellar (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Interstellar 4K ReviewWho here is not looking forward to this December 19th Interstellar 4K release on Ultra HD Blu-ray, not to mention the rest of Christopher Nolan films previously announced here?  Yes we’re not getting a few of his movies and no we’re not getting new atmospheric surround audio packages, but we’re getting something so much more important.  We’re getting some of Nolan’s 5-star masterpieces on the best looking home video format!  Who wants to argue with me there?  You wouldn’t even be reading this review here if you weren’t a Nolan fan.  Interstellar and I have an interesting love/hate relationship with each other.  My take on it all can be found below.  It was originally published in my 2015 Blu-ray review of it all here.  However, my observations on the audio and video presentations of this Interstellar 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release are all new.  So there’s that!  Also, for those of you who may have missed it make sure you check out Brandon Peters’ 4K review of Dunkirk here.  Now let’s get started!
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Hell Night – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

One the most demanded and begged for vintage horror titles of the last so many years to get boosted to the Blu-ray format has been Hell Night. The Linda Blair-led slasher film from the producer of Halloween (Irwin Yablans) seemed like it was one of those “long way off” or “not gonna happen” deals. Anchor Bay had last had it, but they let the rights go away and whoever had them wasn’t giving them up or nobody knew where exactly it went to after Anchor Bay’s expired. Well, leave it to Scream Factory to take that challenge and deliver upon it. Their Collector’s Edition release will include a 4K transfer from the best existing 35mm print and has a boatload of brand new interview. You can the first big release of next year now so you can have it when it arrives on January 2nd. Continue reading ‘Hell Night – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Detroit (Blu-ray Review)

After failing to make a more significant impact this past summer, Detroit is now available on Blu-ray. Working as a war film, a hostage thriller, a horror film and a searing commentary all rolled into one, director Kathryn Bigelow isn’t here to hold hands and make false assurances. Detroit is an angry film that once again plays as a spectacular historical research project brought to cinematic life by Bigelow and screenwriter/producer Mark Boal. Made with the same confidence that found this filmmaking duo success with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Detroit heads back in time to paint a startling picture of a pivotal moment in American history. The results are upsetting and not always easy to sit through, but also powerful and now audiences can take in this film from their own home.

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Nutcracker: The Motion Picture (Blu-ray Review)

Brought to you by Olive Films, Tchaikovsky’s classic musical fantasy Nutcracker, The Motion Picture features members of the Pacific Northwest Ballet. This is the classic holiday story of Clara, a young girl who dreams of a prince and a magical kingdom of sweets. Led by the odd toymaker Drosselmeier she is guided into a land of enchanted toys, giant mice, and sugary sweets. The film is directed by Carroll Ballard, conceived by Kent Stowell and Maurice Sendak, photographed by Stephen H. Burum, with the music of Tchaikovsky conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. A great film to bring you that great holiday feeling.

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Men In Black Trilogy: 20th Anniversary (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Men In Black is 20 years old? Damn! Within a period of years it managed to put out a trilogy of films.  It has proved to be a well that Will Smith has gone back to time and time again to grab himself a little piece of blockbuster. Recently it had made waves when there as talk that the Jonah Hill/Channing Tatum-led 21 Jump Street relaunch series would spend its third film crossing over with the Men In Black franchise. Now THAT is something that would have been so insane that I would have KILLED to see it. Unfortunately that’s not coming to fruition probably ever. But, what is coming fruition for the 20th anniversary is a nice 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray box set. The set features all the same features as before, but with a new 4K transfer and Dolby Atmos tracks. And its available now. So order yourself a copy from the Amazon linkage you find below at the very bottom. Continue reading ‘Men In Black Trilogy: 20th Anniversary (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Dunkirk (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Christopher Nolan stands as one of maybe our last great filmmakers that have bridged the gap of their visions to big budget mainstream productions. While he gained esteem and clout through making some Batman films, he’s used it to distance himself and become a household name among directors not unlike Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg. His films are original and his name attached to it make the film an event. They are both impressive and success stories at the box office. His latest, a passionate endeavor on the more little known battle of Dunkirk, amazed audiences and critics alike with its bold choice to be primarily shot in IMAX. While nobody’s home is going to accurately replicate that experience, you’ll still be able to enjoy this landmark war film when it comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on December 19th as a standalone or part of the 4K Ultra-HD Christopher Nolan box set. Continue reading ‘Dunkirk (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Brawl In Cell Block 99 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Director S. Craig Zahler caught the attention of many with his 2015 film Bone Tomahawk. I know here at Why So Blu, many of us were quite fond of that little Western-horror hybrid gem.  Now he returns with his follow up, Brawl In Cell Block 99, a sorta prison thriller starring the likes of Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Don Johnson, Marc Blucas and the loveable Udo Kier. Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, this one had a smaller theatrical run, paired with a VOD release shortly after. The film has received many positive marks from all around the globe, most of them praising Vince Vaughn as giving one of his career best performances. RLJE Films is surprising us with not just a Blu-ray and DVD release, but a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray home video edition of the film on December 26th.  Continue reading ‘Brawl In Cell Block 99 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series (Blu-ray Review)

Twin Peaks was a true cult sensation. The short lived show is probably the biggest such television program since the original Star Trek. It only had life for 2 seasons and almost 30 episodes. Fandom never died on the show, it delivered a film prequel by Lynch himself and was one of the few televisions shows to have a complete series release on VHS. When Netflix rolled out the show, it found a new life with many newcomers entering the world of Twin Peaks. Now, finally, the series received a popular return and Showtime gave the show an completely unfiltered 18 episode run with every single hour directed and written by David Lynch himself. Now, we get the full collection, with a proper and full on “go for broke” Blu-ray set, coming December 5th.  Continue reading ‘Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series (Blu-ray Review)’

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Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray Review)

Game of Thrones Season 7 Blu-ray ReviewIn addition to our exclusive 2017 Game of Thrones Hall H Comic-Con coverage here it’s that time of the year once again here at Why So Blu.  HBO’s record-breaking phenomenon, Game of Thrones, is back with a seventh season that proved to be worth the extra wait this year.  In fact, despite the brevity of this year only being 7 episodes it packs the most action packed wallop ever seen thus far in a single season.  Yes ladies and gentlemen there’s finally epic dragon battles and long awaited character meetings too.  Best of all Winter is FINALLY here!  Also, try these stats on for size as the latest season of Game of Thrones here featured the most-watched premiere and finale episodes in HBO history.  The series also remains the most-awarded drama series in Emmy history with 109 nominations to date and inner of the 2015 and 2016 Best Drama Series.  If you missed any of our past coverage of these best selling Blu-ray sets, please refer to the following links to seasons 1 and 2 here, 3 here, 4 here, here and 6 over here.   So join me down below as we celebrate everything Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season in this historic December 12th HBO Blu-ray release.
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Election – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when The Criterion Collection announced it would be bringing Election into its lineup. The company tends to find some of the older works of celebrated directors and it just so happens that this film was one of the best comedies of the 90s. Alexander Payne’s acclaimed comedic satire has landed in the cinematic pantheon of being an acclaimed and popular enough film, and a cult favorite in its own way. Perhaps that has to do with the film’s spirit. There’s a Midwestern charm, but the film’s whole story is rooted in very political ideas that reflect not only one important election, but others as well. All of that and Election still manages to be wickedly funny. Now it has this fantastic Criterion Blu-ray release sure to please many.

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Leatherface (Blu-ray Review)

In terms of horror franchising, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (Or Chainsaw as just one word, it varies) is the messiest of the bunch in terms of finding any semblance of continuity or hold. They’ve had sequels, soft reboots, remakes, prequels to remakes, sequels that ignore all the rest and now we have a prequel to the original in the world of the sequel that ignored all the rest. To make matters all the more confusing, it named itself the same as the third film. Well, if there is one constant its the title character of this (And the third film), the horror icon Leatherface. This latest installment was moved around, delayed and then finally debuted in a couple theaters and straight to VOD. Now, just a couple months later you can pick it up on Blu-ray December 12th. Continue reading ‘Leatherface (Blu-ray Review)’

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A New Leaf (Blu-ray Review)

 A New Leaf, presented by Olive Films is a dark, sarcastic, deadpan comedy from writer-director-comedian Elaine May. It stars Walter Matthau as Henry Graham, who, due to his extravagant lifestyle and having no job, has emptied his bank account of his inheritance entirely. After pleading with the Uncle who raised him for a loan, Henry convinces Uncle Harry to give him the money under the terms that the loan must be repaid within six weeks or Henry will forfeit all of his property used as collateral. With the aid of his gentleman’s gentleman, Harold, George Rose, Henry decides to marry into wealth, and once the vows have been taken he’ll decide how to handle getting out of the marriage. Enter wealthy heiress Henrietta Lowell, played by May, a klutzy botanist and the woman of Henry’s get-rich-quick-scheme dreams. But as best laid plans often go, Henry must weather the obstacles placed in his path not only by his Uncle Harry but by Andy McPherson, Jack Weston, Henrietta’s jealous and unscrupulous lawyer.

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Operation Petticoat (Blu-ray Review)

Olive Films has done a terrific job with the high definition transfer of Operation Petticoat. Cary Grant is the commander of a wheezy old submarine which he gets underway and operational through his conniving junior officer, Tony Curtis.  In a series of improbable but acceptable situations, the sub takes on as passengers five army nurses, a few Filipino families including expectant mothers, and a goat.  Some of the situations are predictable, such as those arising when chesty nurses meet seamen in a sub’s narrow corridors. At first, this odd group of characters seems poised to eternal conflict, but as it happens in these comedies, they soon learn to complement each other and become indispensable as a team.

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Father Goose (Blu-ray Review)

Olive Films is proud to present this unusual Cary Grant film. Set in 1941 as the Japanese advance and the Australians withdraw from the South Pacific islands. Cary Grant plays Walter Eckland, an American ex-professor who fled to the islands before the war to escape civilization. He is not well mannered in the least and would much rather have a crate of whiskey than anything else. Eckland is persuaded to volunteer, although that term seems to be used quite loosely as he doesn’t seem to have any choice, as a lookout, and is posted on a South Pacific island alone. He attempts to rescue a watcher from another island, but turns up too late and finds him dead. Instead, he discovers Catherine Freneau, Leslie Caron, the daughter of the French Consul in possession of seven little girls who were students at the consulate. He takes them back to his lookout in a boat more suitable for one where they take over his home and attempt to improve his habits. Because it’s too dangerous to arrange to airlift them off the island, they’re stuck living with alcoholic slob that is Eckland for many weeks. The comedy between this battle of the sexes is quite fun as Freneau tries to make a proper home for the girls and Eckland refuses to cooperate.

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Le Samouraï – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

In having the opportunity to review new releases from The Criterion Collection, there are certain films I have been waiting to see make their way to Blu-ray. Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï is one of the ultimate examples of this. Here’s the film that brought a modern sense of cool to practically all the movies about contract killers, hitmen, assassins that proceeded it. Thanks to a blend of elegance, straightforward storytelling, well-handled tension and a pitch-perfect lead performance, Le Samouraï is a true masterpiece that skillfully blends 40s gangster/noir sensibilities and the evolving nature of 60s new wave cinema. Now the film has arrived on Blu-ray with a new HD digital restoration and some worthwhile extras.

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