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Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Aug. 27

Thor Diakow | posted Wednesday, Aug 28th, 2019

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

August 27, 2019: Rocketman, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, The Secret Life of Pets 2


SYNOPSIS: ROCKETMAN is a one-of-a-kind musical celebration set to Elton John’s most beloved songs. Discover how a shy, small-town boy becomes one of the most iconic figures in rock & roll. Featuring an all-star cast, this truly spectacular and utterly electrifying ride is filled with show-stopping musical performances.

Rousing, mesmerizing, and just bit unconventional, Rocketman boasts one tremendous performance from Taron Egerton – proving he is indeed the real deal – and breathes new life into the standard musical biopic formula. Mixing dreamlike sequences and fantasy-driven musical numbers, this crowd-pleaser takes an eclectic look at one of the world’s most iconic performers in a dazzling cinematic way, befitting of the real life superstar.


•Extended Musical Numbers:
•Introduction by Dexter Fletcher
•The Bitch Is Back
•Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
•Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache
•Honky Cat
•Deleted and Extended Scenes
•It’s Going to Be a Wild Ride: Creative Vision
•Becoming Elton John: Taron’s Transformation
•Larger Than Life: Production Design & Costuming
•Full Tilt: Staging the Musical Numbers
•Music Reimagined: The Studio Sessions – Behind the scenes in the recording studio with Taron & Elton
•ROCKETMAN Lyric Companion: Sing-Along with Select
•ROCKETMAN Jukebox: Jump Straight to the Music

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

SYNOPSIS: The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance.

While the creature carnage is EPIC, the dialogue is rather tedious; but really, who watches a Godzilla movie for the talking? King of the Monsters certainly gives more behemoth bang for your buck than the Gareth Edwards 2014 predecessor and welcomes some classic foes that should satisfy franchise fans. A star-studded cast does its best with the needlessly padded plot but the final battles are certainly worth the wait.


•Commentary by Director
•Godzilla: Nature’s Fearsome Guardian
•Mothra: Queen of the Monsters
•King Ghidorah: The Living Extinction Machine
•Rodan: Airborne God of Fire
•Godzilla 2.0
•Making Morthra
•Creating Ghidorah
•Reimagining Rodan
•The Yunnan Temple
•Castle Bravo
•The Antarctic Base
•The Isla de Mara Volcano
•The Undersea Lair
•Millie Bobby Brown: Force of Nature
•Monster Tech: Monarch Joins the Fight
•Monsters Are Real
•Welcome to the Monsterverse
•Deleted Scenes

The Secret Life of Pets 2

SYNOPSIS: The Secret Life of Pets 2 explores the emotional lives of our pets, the deep bond between them, the families that love them and answers the question: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home? Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.

This family-friendly sequel brings back lovable characters from the first one plus adds some quirky and even poignant new additions. Full credit to Brian Lynch’s story, which takes the plot in several new directions while maintaining the charms of the original. Pet owners and kids alike should relish this timely tale, which is full of great gags and vibrant animation, that effectively examines the bond between us and our furry families.


•Mini Movies
-Minion Scouts – When Margo, Agnes and Edith return from Badger Scout camp, three of the Minions are entranced by the girls’ merit badges. Their own attempt at scout camp results in attracting a bear, eating poison berries and eventually blowing up a dam, creating a massive flood. But, when they arrive back home, the girls share their badges, encouraging the rest of the Minions to try their hand at scouting.
*DVD format includes over 75 minutes of bonus content
•Super Gidget – When Max is kidnapped by an army of squirrels, Super Gidget is the only one who can save him. It turns out that Max’s captor is a flea with the power of mind control. Gidget must use her pluckiness, strength and smarts to save her one true love…until it turns out it was all just a dream.
•The Making of the Mini Movies – Every Illumination film is accompanied by mini movies that are a production all their own.  Each film’s directing partners will explore how the mini movies were made.
•Deleted Scenes
•A Tapestry of a Tail: The Making Of – The plot of The Secret Life of Pets 2 involves multiple storylines ultimately coming together to create a larger than life tale. We talk with the filmmakers, editor and cast about the delicate dance of juggling multiple narratives in one movie.
•How to Draw – Hosted by Head of Story, Eric Favela, follow the step-by-step tutorial to learn to draw Max, Snowball and Chloe
•Frame by Frame: How to Make a Flip Book – In this DIY-style vignette, Head of Story Eric Favela will teach viewers about the essence of animation and how they can create their very own flip book animations at home.
•Character Pods – Get a closer look at your favorite characters of The Secret Life of Pets 2 with these delightful character pods that might just give away a few more pet secrets.
•A Party Fit for a Pet – Using stop motion animation, this step-by-step guide teaches you everything you need to know to throw the very best party for your pet!
•Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart – Join Kevin Hart as he shows off his dog training skills.
•Pets Yule Log – Sit back and relax in front of this exclusive The Secret Life of Pets 2 themed animated ‘Yule Log.’
•Lyric Videos
-‘Panda’ Lyric Video
-‘It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2)’ Lyric Video

•The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball (Interactive) – This animated ‘Motion Comic’ expands the world of our furry hero, Captain Snowball. Using a ‘superhero’ comic book style and custom animation, we discover more about the secret world of our caped crusader with a little help from our viewers. At key moments in the story, the viewer is presented with a choice: left, or right? Fight or flight? Their choice determines our hero’s next move!

•My Buddy and Me – We interview the Illumination cast and crew talking about The Secret Life of Pets 2 while holding (or trying to hold) their pets.
•Pets with Jobs: A Documentary – We find and profile animals with special jobs – a service dog that detects when its epileptic owner is about to have a seizure; ponies that provide comfort to children with cancer; police dogs that go the extra mile to catch the bad guys. Meet some of the many animals who make the world a better place every day!
•Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pets Massage – A professional pet masseuse shows the cast how to read signs of tension in their pet and use massage techniques to keep their furry babies relaxed and happy!
•Production Pets – It takes hundreds of people to make an animated movie and a lot of those people have pets that can’t wait for them to come home. This piece is dedicated to all those faithful companions.

Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Aug. 13

Thor Diakow | posted Wednesday, Aug 14th, 2019

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

August 13, 2019: Avengers: Endgame, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Avengers: Endgame

SYNOPSIS: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers — Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner — must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos — the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe.

The highest grossing movie of all time, completing an 11-year, 22-film series, finally comes home. Relive the thrills, twists, and laughs once again with the whole Marvel gang. Endgame gives fans plenty of classic moments and closes out the Infinity Saga admirably. Watch the film again and then go behind-the-scenes with some insanely thorough bonus features, that delve into multiple aspects of the production process, and learn how Endgame came together.


Digital Exclusive:
•Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance – Explore Captain America and Peggy Carter’s bond, forged in moments from previous films that lead to a momentous choice in “Avengers: Endgame.”

Blu-ray & Digital:
•Remembering Stan Lee – Filmmakers and cast honour the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos.
•Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original “Iron Man” — and launched the MCU.
•A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America – Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero.
•Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – Follow Black Widow’s journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way.
•The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame – See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helming two of the biggest films in cinematic history … back-to-back!
•The Women of the MCU – MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble.
•Bro Thor – His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created.
•Six Deleted Scenes – “Goji Berries,” “Bombs on Board,” “Suckiest Army in the Galaxy,” “You Used to Frickin’ Live Here,” “Tony and Howard” and “Avengers Take a Knee.”
•Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs and gaffes from set.
•Visionary Intro – Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
•Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

 Pokémon Detective Pikachu

SYNOPSIS: When detective Harry Goodman goes missing, his son Tim (Justice Smith) and Harry’s former Pokémon partner Detective Pikachu (Ryan Reynolds) join forces to unravel the tangled mystery. Chasing clues together on an epic adventure through Ryme City, they uncover a shocking plot that could destroy the whole Pokémon universe.

Cute and colourful, Pokémon Detective Pikachu does a commendable job at introducing casual viewers to the world of Pokémon, while providing loads of fan service that should satisfy the die-hards. Justice Smith it fun to watch, as he unravels the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his father, and Ryan Reynolds brings just enough comic charm to keep the plot moving. The movie is also jammed with crazy critters and will surely satisfy those looking for a good ol’ creature feature.


•Detective Mode
•Alternate Opening
•My Pokémon Adventure
•Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Welcome to Ryme City
•Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Uncovering the Magic
•Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Action
•Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Colourful Characters
•Creating the World of Detective Pikachu: Bringing Pokémon to Life
•Mr. Mime’s Audio Commentary
•Ryan Reynolds – Outside the Actor’s Studio
•”Carry On” by Rita Ora and Kygo (Music Video)

What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

SYNOPSIS:From directors Ira Steven Behr (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showrunner) and David Zappone (producer of For the Love of Spock, The Captains) comes the critically acclaimed documentary feature What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.  A fascinating in-depth look at the past, present and future of a series whose dark, edgy take on Gene Roddenberry’s vision was often misunderstood when it premiered but has grown into a beloved mainstay in the Star Trek franchise. Featuring extensive new interviews with the cast and crew of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as well as newly remastered HD footage from the television series, What We Left Behind also focuses on the original writers of the series as they craft a brand-new episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, developing what would be the eighth-season premiere if the show were to return to the air today.

While I never actually watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine during its initial run on TV, I was nonetheless engrossed and fascinated by this meticulous examination of a series that was perhaps light years ahead of its time. Full of cast interviews, a writers reunion, and classic clips, this immersive documentary is a must-own for any sci-fi and Star Trek fan.


•An Intro from Ira
•A Brief History of Deep Space Nine featurette
•What We Left Out – Deleted Scenes
•Behind the Scenes at the Variety photoshoot featurette
•HD Remaster Discussion with the filmmakers
•More from the Fans featurette
•Theatrical Trailer

What We Left Behind Two-Disc Special Edition Bonus Features
•An Intro from Ira
•A Brief History of Deep Space Nine featurette
•What We Left Out – Deleted Scenes
•Behind the Scenes at the Variety photoshoot featurette
•HD Remaster Discussion with the filmmakers
•More from the Fans featurette
•Theatrical Trailer

Second Disc
•A Roundtable Look at The Making of the Documentary, a 50-minute discussion with co-director and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr, co-director David Zappone, producer Kai de Mello-Folsom, producer/editor Joseph Kornbrodt and producer/editor Luke Snailham
•A Musical Reunion with Composers Dennis McCarthy and Kevin Kiner