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Dark Horse Fires Off First Issue of ‘Bang!’

Looking for a break from your standard super hero tales? Tired of interdimensional villains trying to step on Earth? Dark Horse has a flavor that is off the beaten path, though not one that hasn’t been done before. Written by Matt Kindt (X-O Manowar) with artwork by Wilfredo Torres (Black Panther), we delve into a tale of espionage and cryptic novel-writing in Bang! that will throw you for a loop before you can say ‘Agent Thomas Cord’.

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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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Sciamma, Keaton, Mazursky & More Coming to The Criterion Collection June 2020

This June, Elem Klimov’s long-unavailable masterpiece Come and See, a harrowing child’s-eye vision of World War II, will join the Criterion Collection in a new 2K restoration. Céline Sciamma’s ravishing romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire, one of the most acclaimed films of 2019, will appear on home video for the first time. Buster Keaton will join the Collection with The Cameraman, a riotous farce that finds the silent-screen legend at the peak of his slapstick powers, appearing in a landmark 4K restoration. Jill Clayburgh embarks on a journey of self-discovery in Paul Mazursky’s heartfelt character study An Unmarried Woman, making its Blu-ray debut. And that’s not all: Tokyo Olympiad, Kon Ichikawa’s visually astonishing documentary about the 1964 Olympic Games, will appear on Blu-ray in a stunning 4K restoration. Continue reading ‘Sciamma, Keaton, Mazursky & More Coming to The Criterion Collection June 2020’

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)’

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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Early Digital Release for Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn!

Birds of Prey The flock’s all here when “Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn” arrives on Digital on March 24. Margot Robbie (“Bombshell,” “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood,” “I, Tonya”) reprises her role as the endearingly daring ne’er-do-well Harley Quinn in DC’s “Birds of Prey and the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.”  Directed by Cathy Yan (“Dead Pigs”) from a script by Christina Hodson (“Bumblebee”), the film is based on characters from DC. The main cast also includes Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“10 Cloverfield Lane,” TV’s “Fargo”) as Huntress, Jurnee Smollett-Bell (TV’s “True Blood”) as Black Canary, Rosie Perez (“Fearless,” “Pitch Perfect 2”) as Renee Montoya, Chris Messina (“Argo,” TV’s “Sharp Objects”) as Victor Zsasz, and Ewan McGregor (“Doctor Sleep,” the “Trainspotting” films) as DC Super-Villain Roman Sionis/Black Mask. Newcomer Ella Jay Basco also stars as Cassandra “Cass” Cain in her feature film debut.

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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)’

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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‘Bloodshot’ Eyes Prize Above Mediocrity

Back in 1989, a startup comic book publisher known as Valiant had arrived on the scene. The company made it a point to offer up characters a little more complex than your average super hero as these newly developed personalities had allegiances and demeanors that were not always so clear cut. Some of their more premier characters and successful titles include X-O Manowar, Ninjak, Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and one in particular known as Bloodshot. The story of Bloodshot featured an expert soldier maimed by war and reclaimed by science only to build a better soldier. With a repeatedly wiped memory and the ability to take a ridiculously inhuman beating, Bloodshot has become the first Valiant character to hit the big screen.

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Hammer’s THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF – Collector’s Edition Arrives April 21st!

His beast-blood demanded him KILL … KILL … KILL! On April 21, 2020, SCREAM FACTORY™ is excited to present the highly sought-after Hammer Film cult classic THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF Collector’s Edition Blu-ray. Directed by legendary horror filmmaker Terence Fisher (Horror of Dracula, The Curse Of Frankenstein), this horror classic stars Clifford Evans (The Kiss of the Vampire), Oliver Reed (Gladiator), Yvonne Romain (The Last of Sheila), and Catherine Feller (The Little World of Don Camillo). A must-have for movie collectors, this definitive Blu-ray release contains special bonus content, including a new 4K scan of the original film elements, new audio commentaries, and much more! Pre-order is available now at ShoutFactory.com.

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THE MASK OF ZORRO Debuts On 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray May 5th!

Here comes a nice surprise from Sony today! The classic swashbuckling superhero film The Mask of Zorro which starred Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins and introduced most everyone to Catherine Zeta-Jones is getting a handsome 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray upgrade coming on May 5th. This is one of the best efforts coming in the wake of Tim Burton’s Batman nine years later and at the end of that run right before X-Men would change the game. I personally saw this one a few times in the theater as it absolutely delivered and saved the day as the best big budget blockbuster film of the summer of 1998. A summer that had a lot of largely hyped films that turned into big disappointments. Sony is giving this one a blistering new 4K transfer from the original negative, an Atmos track and new deleted scenes to make the release fully worthwhile. See the details for yourself below.

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The Hunt Is On For Those Darn Deplorables (Movie Review)

After a nearly six-month delay, Universal/Blumhouse is releasing Craig Zobel’s lightning rod horror/political satire/action flick, The Hunt. Derided by our current POTUS – based on his shortsighted take on the initial trailer – the story concerns a small group of liberal elites who hunt and kill “deplorables” for sport. Recent shootings in both El Passo and Dayton supposedly made releasing such a potentially polarizing film a deal-breaker, so the film was shelved… until now.

As the citizens of planet Earth fear a real-life viral outbreak more than mass shooters (these truly are the end days folks), the movie is set to hit theaters all over. Was the wait worth it? Will audiences predisposed to either the left or right be offended? As far as this writer is concerned, any kind of movie that ignites a national conversation is a win. Still, one hopes for a film which is as entertaining as it is topical, right? Read on to find out if this Hunt is worth suiting up for…

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Be LIKE A BOSS on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital this April!

 “Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne are knockdown hilarious” (Julian Roman, MovieWeb) in the “outrageously funny” (Dave Morales, KRIV FOX- Houston) comedy LIKE A BOSS, debuting on Digital April 7, 2020 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand April 21 from Paramount Home Entertainment!

Best friends, Mia and Mel (Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne) are living their best lives, running their own cosmetics company until a villainous beauty mogul (Salma Hayek) conspires to steal it from under them. When her devious plan drives the besties apart, Mia and Mel learn that sticking together is the only way to turn the tables and take their company back. The beauty business is about to get ugly.  The film also stars Jennifer Coolidge and Billy Porter.

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“Paramount Presents” Blu-ray Line Debuts With TO CATCH A THIEF, FATAL ATTRACTION & KING CREOLE!

Paramount Pictures announced today that it will introduce a new “Paramount Presents” label to recognize and celebrate films from the studio’s vast and storied library.  The “Paramount Presents” banner will be used for a new line of collectible Blu-ray Discs™ incorporating a curated selection of endearingly popular movies, as well as films that had a cultural impact upon their release.  The  label will also be used to bring classic films to select theaters for limited theatrical runs so audiences can experience them again on the big screen.

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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)’