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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Ip Man 4: The Finale (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Ip Man Finale 4K Donnie Yen reprises his role as the legendary Wing Chun master in the grand finale of the revolutionary martial arts series. Following the death of his wife, Ip Man travels to San Francisco to ease tensions between the local kung fu masters and his star student, Bruce Lee, while searching for a better future for his son. From the action visionary behind Kill Bill and The Matrix, witness the heroic sendoff to the saga that inspired a new wave of martial arts movie fans. Continue reading ‘Ip Man 4: The Finale (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Just Mercy (Blu-ray Review)

Just Mercy was one of those films I didn’t hear about too much at the end of the year.  Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson should’ve been a huge draw for moviegoers, even with this film being a drama.  The surprising part for me, is that they all shine here (more on that below) and the story is injected with determination, community and love at its core.  Read more on Just Mercy below and be sure to click the paid Amazon link below to get your own copy too!

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Spies in Disguise (4K Blu-ray Review)

Will Smith and Tom Holland team up in Spies in Disguise.  The film was the first non-Disney/Pixar animated film since the big acquisitionThis particular cartoon journey is centered in a super-cool spy situation. Will Smith’s super spy has a doppelganger on his hands… How does he clear his name and still stay hidden… Duh… Disguise! But… Does the film go for the gold, or does it come in dead last? Read in depth below, and check for a paid purchase link afterwards to grab a copy for yourself!

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Little Women (Blu-ray Review)

It saddens me to say, but quite possibly my largest blind spot in the Academy Award nominated films from 2019 was Greta Gerwig’s new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Gerwig’s Lady Bird was one of my absolute favorite films of 2017 and (Like her acting output) I’ll see anything she directs. Unfortunately, for personal reasons, the holiday season wasn’t the easiest time for me to get out and see a movie this past season. I am very excited to finally be seeing it via Blu-ray for this review. I don’t know why Sony has opted to shaft it on getting a 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray release, but here we are. They have supplied it with a nice chunk of featurettes (But no commentary) which is nifty. If you are really itching for the 4K Ultra-HD presentation, infuriatingly it IS available that way via streaming for purchase and on-demand rental. This standard Blu-ray edition of the film will be available on April 7th, though I don’t know delivery for it will be getting to people by then (Hopefully it does!). You can roll the dice on that using the Amazon Associates link below if you’re feeling lucky!
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Dolittle (4K Blu-ray Review)

Robert Downey Jr. returns after his epic demise in Endgame with a little family movie reimagining Dr. Doolittle.  Rex Harrison’s first incarnation remains the one to beat, despite being dated. Eddie Murphy had a nice retread that worked for me in the 90’s but which wore off considerably as an adult. Does RDJ save the storied history of the doc who can talk to the animals? Or is it just as bad as you read it was?

 

 

 

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Jumanji: The Next Level (Blu-ray Review)

One of 2017’s big surprises was Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. It featured a fun concept, different from the original with humorous angle for its cast that absolutely nailed it. Even more surprising was hold well it was able to do so well alongside box office juggernaut Star Wars: The Last Jedi as well as the leggy The Greatest Showman. Holiday 2017 seasons was one prosperous time for the accountants at the studios as they counted all them big bucks for these movies. Obviously as sequel was an easy conclusion and it arrived just 2 years later with its victory lap in the form of Jumanji: The Next Level, also a substantial hit film at the box office. That film is on the 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray format, which you should definitely go and purchase. But for today, we’ll be talking about the standard Blu-ray version of the film and how it fares on the edition for the outdated format. Pre-order below if you’d like, and know that it is linked to an Amazon Associates account.
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Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker gave us the finale of the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars Universe. Though ultimately that’s primarily been the crux of the whole thing, we’ll likely be seeing spin-offs and new efforts finding themselves even more separate from it as time wages onward for the Disney Lucasfilm investment. Perhaps a lot of streaming television programming is the majority of it, with The Mandalorian going over very well as a Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi pair of series set to arrive in the future. As far as feature films, the allure of a Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, or Kylo Ren focused films are pretty much now in the rearview. And your collections will all find themselves complete one the ninth and “final” episode of the saga finds its way to your shelves on March 31st. It will be available in many different standalone versions and also as a part of the Skywalker Saga box set that includes all nine Star Wars episodes.
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Munster, Go Home! (Blu-ray Review)

The Munsters or The Addams Family? What kind of a household are you? How about you can love and enjoy both of them! Its crazy how we had multiple horror based sitcoms at the same time, but here we are. Both were pretty popular too and pop culture staples. Scream Factory is taking on the feature film from The Munsters, aptly titled Munster, Go Home! And I got to hand it to them, they created quite a bit of excitement for me when they unveiled the special features for this that included a commentary not just with Butch Patrick, but also dragging Rob Zombie along for the ride. That might be the most exciting thing I’m looking forward to on this release. They also have included the TV film The Munsters’ Revenge, so its pretty much a double feature disc. Quite a fun release that other studios might not have done so much with. You’ll be able to collect this one when it arrives…well…during these times I’d say its safer to say “online”…March 31st!
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Uncut Gems (Blu-ray Review)

The Safdie Brothers made a nice jump onto the scene a couple years back with their rough and tumble thriller, GoodTime. Not only did they make someone what of a critical cult hit, the film also took note for its outstanding performance from Robert Pattinson (Adding such humor to the people who don’t seem to realize the Twilight movies ended almost 10 years ago, showcasing their lack of movie watching/knowledge). And in a nice turn of events, their follow up effort, Uncut Gems followed suit in upping their game and continuing to explore the magic they found with GoodTime. While the films are quite different, the descriptor of a rough and tumble thriller highlighted by a Goliath performance from the lead remains. And this time, even more people became aware of their talents, with people quite disappointed in the lack of any recognition from the Academy. And in another disappointment, it was stiffed on the 4K Ultra-HD treatment, landing on standard Blu-ray. Available now.
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Knives Out (4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray Review)

When it comes to modern filmmakers, Rian Johnson is an instant ticket purchased no matter what he’s doing. He’s proven over and over a knowledgeable student of film and a clever, thoughtful filmmaker with a fantastic ideology in the world of story craft and character work. The fact that this guy went and tackled an Agatha Christie style murder mystery is even more delicious and exciting. Just hearing of Knives Out, you knew this would be special and then the trailer made it one of the most exciting releases of the year. And it proved to be that old school star-led programmer people had been clamoring for as it continued to make a leggy run at the box office (Even, funny enough, surpassing The Rise of Skywalker in regular daily grosses late into its run). It found itself nominated for an Oscar, but could have easily been worthy of many more. The film is now available on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray (Apologies, review copies were sent out late for it), and you can order from the Amazon Associates link following the review.
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Shadow (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Shadow 4K UHD Blu-rayWith Shadow, director Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers) once again pushes the boundaries of wuxia action to create a film like no other, masterfully painting a canvas of inky blacks and greys punctuated with bursts of color from the blood of the defeated. In a kingdom ruled by a young and unpredictable king, the military commander has a secret weapon: a shadow , a look-alike who can fool both his enemies and the King himself. Now he must use this weapon in an intricate plan that will lead his people to victory in a war that the King does not want. Continue reading ‘Shadow (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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1917 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

When it comes to end of the year “Best” (or as I like to say, “Favorite”) lists, many of us looked toward Sam Mendes 1917 as a glaring omission as it had not opened in theaters near our residency. And I’ll be damned if the first time I watch something like this is on an overly compressed, watermarked behind on the times format DVD screener. To the luck of some of the other films that DID get included on my Top Films of 2019 list, they were grateful for my snobbery as some of them were included where they may have been given an unfortunate bump. 1917 would easily have moved into my top ten and shaken the list up had it been able to open wide before I wrote my list (I believe it came out just a week after mine published). It is one of the great theatrical experiences of this millennium and I hope people truly find themselves immersed at home (At least watch it on a damn TV folks, please don’t do this on your phone, tablet or laptop). You’ll be able to watch it in the comfort of said home when it arrives on March 24th.
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Bamboozled – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

If ever there was a movie ready for re-examination, it’s Spike Lee’s Bamboozled. A theatrical bomb with audiences, and the recipient of mixed reviews from critics, there’s no denying a lack of ambition on Lee’s part with a film satirizing racism in American pop culture, but was the film ahead of its time or a misguided way to tackle the system? Lee has a way of taking big swings and landing them every so often. Perhaps The Criterion Collection putting out this film now is a way of showing audiences what Lee was up to back in 2000, showing just how tapped into the continued issues of the day he was aware of. Of course, being aware of certain problems doesn’t mean putting them on display automatically makes the film great. Still, it’s hard to ever say Lee isn’t trying.

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Superman: Red Son (4k Blu-ray Review)

In 2003, DC Comics did a total 180 with the world’s most popular superhero. The mega publisher released a three-issue mini-series titled Superman: Red Son. The Mark Millar-written tale (also known for his work on Kick-ass) could be construed as a “what if” in the sense that instead of Kal-El landing in Kansas after the destruction of Krypton, his escape pod crashed in the Soviet Union. Clark Kent is a name you won’t see in this story. Superman, however, is a name you’ll hear as he serves under USSR communist leader Josef Stalin in DC’s latest animated feature, Superman: Red Son directed by Sam Liu.

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April Fool’s Day – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

The Scream Factory dip into the Paramount catalog vault has not been messing around. From the outset they are getting right to the titles they KNOW people are wanting. April Fool’s Day is one of those titles, being one of the most popular slasher films from the 1980s still left with no Blu-ray release (He Knows You’re Alone still looms large. Will 2020 finally be the year?). Longtime readers will know I’ve been waiting for this one for a good while as I wrote THIS wishlist piece <<Eyes open wide when they see the date>> six years ago. The wait is worth it in the end as a company is putting it out that will put some effort in to the extras, giving us a slew of new interviews that I’m not sure Paramount themselves would have. This super exciting release will be landing on shelves virtual and physical on March 24th, just in time for you to watch it ON April 1st this year. How considerate of Scream Factory (They’re no dummies.). Continue reading ‘April Fool’s Day – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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The Wizard – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Kids movies were of a whole different world back in the 1980s and 1990s. There is nothing quite like them. And when they are bad, they are baaaad or quite fun for the shortcomings. When they are on, the tears be flowing or a lifelong fandom be growing. The Wizard is a bit of a crazy concoction when you hear about it, that someone how finished itself a pretty solid story narratively. The whole purpose of this thing was to sell Nintendo and Nintendo products be “Kids like it, its cool.” We’ll get into it a little more in the review, but it has had a legacy of dedicated fandom and nostalgic memories for it, mainly because we really didn’t get much in the way of stuff like this that seemed to know exactly what we were into. Incredibly, Shout! Factory is giving the film the handsome 4K restorative treatment along with some great new bonus features to celebrate the film. Personally, I think the new cover art is right on the money and one of their most brilliant ones of all time. You’ll be able to marvel at said art in person when it arrives on Blu-ray March 24th.
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Universal Horror Collection: Volume 4 (Blu-ray Review)

Scream Factory is continuing its new line of vault “horror” titles collecting dust in the Universal Studios library with Universal Horror Collection: Volume 4. These have all been released a sets of four, typically starring the icons of the time (Lots of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lionel Atwill). For the fourth incarnation of the series, the films included are; 1937’s Night Key, Night Monster (1942), The Climax (1944) and House of Horrors (1946). Now, I had to be “that” guy, but some of these have been steering in the direction of “Is this really a horror movie?”. To make up for that, I can accept “No, but it has one of horror’s biggest stars of the time in it” as a worthy reason to include a film in these sets. And I’m also not aware if something that feels not at all like a horror movie now, may have been or may have been sold as one (Some of the posters suggest as much) when it was released. This new set will release on March 17th and you can pre-order a copy now using the paid Amazon Associates link following the review. Continue reading ‘Universal Horror Collection: Volume 4 (Blu-ray Review)’

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Bombshell (Blu-ray Review)

Bombshell is a film where I initially only showed up for because of the 3 leading women, most notably Harley Quinn…err I mean Margot Robbie.  I pretty much will see anything with her nowadays, but I digress.  Other than that I had originally thought there was really no reason for me to watch Bombshell.  I mean our site reviewer Aaron Neuwirth hates it, so why should I care then?  While I am totally for the women exposing the audacious acts against them here there were a few moments in the trailer I didn’t particularly care for.  On the surface I thought it was going to be a lot of political propaganda.  I‘ll usually leave it at that because politics is something I never talk about or at least I do my best to try not to, but I do need to still address it here.  Truth be told though there was also something very trippy and mesmerizing in that first Bombshell trailer that hook, line and sinker caught ahold of me and never let me go (that song and the leading ladies in the elevator).  So that’s why I’m here…plus I really liked it too!
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