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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Batman: The Long Halloween – Part Two (Blu-ray Review)

June saw the first half of the DC Animated Universe’s adaptation of the seminal Batman comic book arc, The Long Halloween. It was a pretty big deal, as its been such an influential story any way you shake it regarding the caped crusader. And what better crew to have done it justice than that of the well regarded animation unit they have going on. This second half arrives to conclude things on August 10th. Aside from the Blue Beetle short if features no bonus features about the film itself. Please note, that there will also be a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release later this year for the whole she-bang of Part One and Part Two for a complete The Long Halloween release for bats. If Blu-ray is your bag and just grabbing these two parts is it for you, go ahead and use the paid Amazon Associates link following the review to land yourself a copy in time for release.
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GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Paramount’s a pretty timely studio when it comes to 4K Ultra-HD upgrades. If you have a franchise you like or a film that’s getting remade, they probably have a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release ready to go around the time it comes out. With the new GI Joe film Snake Eyes out in theaters, it was high time to get those former entries into the mixer for 4K goodness. Oddly no new Atmos track or bonus features here, so you’ll have to float on whether you think the new transfer alone will do it. This first review will cover 2009’s Stephen Sommers film, GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra, which I oddly found myself a fan of when it came out, despite it being largely dismissed. That arrives with the other film, GI Joe: Retaliation, on 4K Ultra-HD Blur-ay July 20th. You can land yourself copy of this one by using the paid Amazon Associates link below.
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A Quiet Place Part II (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

If people want to see something, they WILL go to the theaters for it, as proven by one of the “return to cinemas” biggest hits in A Quiet Place Part II. The first film was wildly successful a few years back, so of course you know Paramount would want to capitalize on those big box office dollars. With a shortened home video window now, it feels like a literally just saw the film a few weeks ago (Tho its been 2 months). But nonetheless, here it comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray after an exclusive period on Paramount+. It has a nice array of bonus features, but one of the coolest things is that this is a modern movie with a native 4K presentation. There’s a lot of (nice) 4K upscales out there when it comes to today’s blockbusters. You’ll be able to grab this one (Also available on a double feature release with the first one) when it arrives on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray July 27th. You can pre-order the film using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.
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The Dead Zone – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Last year, Paramount released a multi-movie set of Stephen King films which featured the long awaited debut of David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone on Blu-ray. I had an inkling at that time that the following year we’d get a Scream Factory Collector’s Edition of the 1983 film. I’ll pat myself on the back here, because on July 27th, I’ll be proven right. They’ve done the film up nicely with a load of new extras, including a Brooke Adams interview and 4 commentaries. In addition, this also features a brand new 4K scan of the film (and in its correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio, too). Its surprising the film has taken so long to get to Blu-ray in the first place, being both good, notable and having both a name star director and actor in it. But, alas, better late than never. And better a big Collector’s Edition than bare bones. You can pre-order the release via the paid Amazon Associates link below the review to ensure yourself a copy for release day, July 27th!
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Initiation (Blu-ray Review)

Coming to you on Blu-ray July 20th is the modern slasher film, Initiation (I don’t know how to make the exclamation point upside down). The film is the product of director, co-writer and co-producer John Berdado. Its based off of his short film Dembanger, which was also the original title of this film. It was set to be a South By Southwest premiere film, but the pandemic had other plans for it and wound up premiering at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival last year. For those at home, its been available via streaming rental/purchase since May, but now finds itself with a Blu-ray that has some neat little bonus features to accompany the release. You can own Initiation (And its Day 1 is a rather decent price for a new movie) by using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes (Blu-ray Review)

This month from Warner Archive Collection sees a pair of classic noir tales being restored and brought to the Blu-ray format for the very first time. One of those is the 1948 American film noir I Wouldn’t Be In Your Shoes directed by William Nigh, starring Don Castle and Elyse Knox.  The film is based on the 1943 Cornell Woolrich novel of the same name. Warner Archive Collection is putting it out, like Step By Step, with a short film and a cartoon as bonus features. The film is making its debut to the Blu-ray format on July 20th. You can pre-order it using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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The Wraith – Collector’s Series (Blu-ray Review)

Welp, for many people, a big bucket list item is being crossed off. For as long as I can remember over the last ten years, The Wraith has been at the top of many people’s wishlists to make the jump to Blu-ray. Years ago when Lionsgate introduced the Vestron Video line, peoples’ hopes grew bigger. Then there was rumor a year or so ago that it was indeed being worked on. FINALLY – no more speculation – its here! And they’ve done a heck of job putting together some new bonus materials for the release. And can you believe that for day 1 they are only charging $12 for this beauty? Its out now (It hit shelves on July 20th). You can easily order yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.

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Snatch (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Its crazy to think that Guy Ritchie’s film Snatch is old enough to drink this year. In celebration of that occasion, here’s the debut of the film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. In addition to a new transfer, the film is also receiving a lovely Dolby Atmos track. It’ll come packaged with the original Blu-ray disc and a digital code to redeem on one of those streaming rental/purchase places. There aren’t any new bonus features for this, so you’ll just have to pop in the old Blu-ray (Included with this release) to check out the old ones. The film was released on the format last week on July 13th. You can order a copy using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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Mortal Kombat (4K UHD Blu-Ray Review)

Although I was bummed not to see Mortal Kombat on the big screen back in April because of COVID-19, I was still excited to witness a new CG-filled, gory, R-rated adaptation of the game previously realized as director Paul W.S Anderson’s first hit film from 1995. The burden of what makes a good or bad videogame movie can’t be put entirely on Anderson’s shoulders even though he made many films based on two of them. Yet if you’ve seen the cheesy 90s MK movies, you can probably exclaim, “mortal kombaaattttt!” whether or not you’re being asked. Could a new, big-budget, 21st-century upgrade legitimize video game movies once and for all? Or, at the very least, would it be as fun as pantomiming a fatality to your friends and co-workers? (Probably not). Boasting 4K HDR picture quality along with Dolby Atmos is certainly a sensation for the eyes and ears either way. 3 2 1 FIGHT!

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House Of Wax (2005) – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Social media is a funny animal. For all the bad and the insufferable, it has some nice aspects to it that keep people coming back. For instance, for years and years I felt alone in that I thought the mocked upon release film House of Wax from 2005 was in actuality, pretty good. Much of its marketing and buzz was a backlash on “how dare a movie cast Paris Hilton” that was embraced in a marketing tactic of “come watch us kill Paris Hilton”. That in the far rearview, perhaps some will check it out without that bit loudly shouting at them and others might take a look to re-evaluate. It excites me that Scream Factory has done a collector’s edition of it AND got Paris Hilton back for an interview. There’s also a new transfer of the film. It releases on July 13th. You can pre-order a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.
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Deep Cover – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

The great thing about this surprise Criterion Collection choice, Bill Duke’s 1992 undercover cop thriller Deep Cover, is that it’s a great film, regardless of its placement in Criterion’s extensive library. As much as I dig the collection, it’s not hard to see a curious lack of films directed by Black Americans. Whether or not this is the first in a series of attempts to help change up that balance (remember, a Melvin Van Peebles box set is coming soon), getting a chance to revisit this well made 90s film was certainly worthwhile, and the work done to restore the movie has paid off immensely.

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Step By Step (Blu-ray Review)

This month from Warner Archive Collection sees a pair of classic noir tales being restored and brought to the Blu-ray format for the very first time. One of those is 1946’s Step By Step. It was one of the last films directed by Phil Rosen who had done a good handful of the popular Charlie Chan films. Rosen’s career has 143 directorial credits to his name which is an insane amount of films, but that was the way the studio workhouse produced back in those early days. You’ll be able to pick this one up and add to your collection when it releases on July 20th. You can pre-order it using the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review.

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Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Both the Saw franchise and Fast and Furious franchises landed on their ninth installments here in 2021, originally  meant for 2020 (Give or take Hobbes and Shaw. And I’ve seen where this new one being the ninth in the Saw storyline is debatable. Overcomplicated narratives is par for the course on screen and offscreen for these two sequel machines). Saw obviously darted out to a bigger lead with seven years of consecutive sequels before taking a hiatus until Jigsaw a few years ago. Spiral: From The Book of Saw grabbed attention when it brought Chris Rock on board not just to star but to produce and do the story. Toss in Samuel L. Jackson and you’ve instantly the highest profile Saw film to date. Spiral was my first film back to the theaters post-vaccination. Its arriving on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray on July 20th, where I imagine more people are going to discover this latest Saw film. You can pre-order it from the paid Amazon Associates link below for hopeful arrival when it releases.
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Almost Famous (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Paramount’s 4K Ultra-HD debut of Cameron Crowe’s masterpiece Almost Famous is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. In a year where 4K Ultra-HD is have a banner year for great titles, nonetheless. This beloved film has a brand new restoration and will have brand new bonus materials to boot. Quite possibly one of the best features of it will be that it includes both the theatrical and director’s cuts of the film (On their own discs, too). Prior to this release, the theatrical version of the film never made the jump from DVD to Blu-ray. It feels like Paramount has gone all out to craft an all encompassing and most definitive version of the film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray right from the start. Almost Famous even comes packaged in a steelbook in the first wave. You’ll be able to have it to own on July 13th, and you can pre-order a copy now using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.
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Another 48 Hrs – Paramount Presents (Blu-ray Review)

July’s contribution to the Paramount Presents line is kind of a beautiful two-fer. One is a film that had a prior release with a subpart transfer and the other has never been on Blu-ray before. And together, they both make and complete a series of film. Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs and Another 48 Hrs starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy will be getting the fancy editions featuring new interviews with Walter Hill. Both are getting brand new 4K restorations as well. This early edition of what would become the buddy cop genre will be landing on shelves (maybe?) on July 6th. This review will cover the sequel, Another 48 Hrs. You can pre-order using the paid Amazon Associates link below to land yourself a copy of this new Blu-ray if you so please. Continue reading ‘Another 48 Hrs – Paramount Presents (Blu-ray Review)’

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48 Hrs – Paramount Presents (Blu-ray Review)

July’s contribution to the Paramount Presents line is kind of a beautiful two-fer. One is a film that had a prior release with a subpart transfer and the other has never been on Blu-ray before. And together, they both make and complete a series of film. Walter Hill’s 48 Hrs and Another 48 Hrs starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy will be getting the fancy editions featuring new interviews with Walter Hill. Both are getting brand new 4K restorations as well. This early edition of what would become the buddy cop genre will be landing on shelves (maybe?) on July 6th. This review will cover the first film, 48 Hrs. You can pre-order using the paid Amazon Associates link below to land yourself a copy of this new Blu-ray if you so please.
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Space Jam (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Just in time for LeBron James long awaited take on the Looney Tunes meets NBA superstar big screen adventure, Warner Bros is giving the original Michael Jordan starring Space Jam its 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray update.  As has been proven over the last decade or so, there is a fondness or nostalgia for any given cinematic property from someone’s childhood. I’d never imagined the original Space Jam would be anything more than a footnote/fun fact in the storied career of Michael Jordan, but if you check out social media, you’ll find its some sort of beloved classic to a generation in the same way Hook has turned out to be. But, if the film makes people happy, then so be it, what’s the harm in that. The original Space Jam will be available July 6th. You can pre-order it to secure yourself a copy by using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review.
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Boogie (Blu-Ray Review)

Boogie is another in a long line of “sports dramas.”  The price of fame, romance, and the inevitable showdown at the end… Yep, it’s all there.  But does it hold up the formula or bring it down? Eddie Huang breaking out of his producer’s chair to write and direct has delivered this entry, which became available on Blu-ray way back in early June! Check out my thoughts as I go in depth, and if the mood strikes you, go ahead and click the link at the end to get yourself a copy of Boogie.

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