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Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Oct. 15

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Oct 15th, 2019

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

October 15, 2019: Toy Story 4, Stuber, Crawl, The Haunting of Hill House, Deadwood: The Movie.

Toy Story 4

SYNOPSIS: In “Toy Story 4,” Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy Forky (voice of Tony Hale) calls himself “trash,” Woody decides to teach Forky how to embrace being a toy. But a road-trip adventure, including an unexpected reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts), shows Woody how big the world can be for a toy. In addition, carnival prizes Ducky (voice of Keegan-Michael Key) and Bunny (voice of
Jordan Peele) bring a new level of fun to the film.

Incredibly the magic is still alive, even though the last Toy Story movie came out almost 10 years ago. While it was always going to be a Herculean effort to top the third installment, this new adventure finds our favourite characters in fine form with the addition of new, endearing ones who provide some patented life lessons along the way. Don’t forget to keep watching while the end credits are rolling before taking a deep dive into the bonus features!

Bonus Features:
Blu-ray & Digital:
•’Toy Stories – The Toy Story 4 cast and crew share their love of toys!
•Woody & Buzz – Take a look at the relationship between these two legendary characters.
•Bo Rebooted – Discover how Team Bo reimagined all aspects of Bo Peep’s identity to arrive at the fully realized character seen in the film.
•Toy Box – Enjoy a collection of mini-docs on the film’s memorable new characters, featuring
the voice actors, director Josh Cooley and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that
make these characters fun and lovable
•Let’s Ride With Ally Maki – Ally Maki, voice of Giggle McDimples, learns all about Pixar’s dialogue recording process from director Josh Cooley and his team.
•Deleted Scenes introduced by director Josh Cooley including:
-Scamming Playtime
-Bo Knows Hippos
-Desperate Toys
-Knock-Offs
-Recruit Duke
-She’s The One
•Audio Commentary, Trailers and more!
Digital Exclusive:
•Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue – Filmmakers and crew review key scenes of the movie and dissect the practical and technological methods used to bring them to life.
•Additional Deleted scene – Bonnie’s Playtime

Stuber

SYNOPSIS: When a mild-mannered driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani; “Silicon Valley”) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista; Guardians of the Galaxy) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, Stu is thrust into a harrowing ordeal in which he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.

Despite some simplistic plot issues, Stuber makes great use of its two leads and provides some admittedly hilarious road trip movie laughs. Nanjiani and Bautista make the perfect foil as their two characters couldn’t be further apart at the start. Stuber doesn’t rewrite the playbook when it comes to comedies but brings just enough wit, physical gags, and even some heart to the table.

Bonus Features:
•Deleted Scenes
•Gag Reel
•Joke-O-Rama
•Georgia Film Works
•Audio Commentary by Michael Dowse and Kumail Nanjiani
•Gallery
•Theatrical Trailer
•Sneak Peak

Crawl

SYNOPSIS: As a hurricane tears through Florida, Haley (Kaya Scodelario) rushes to find her father (Barry Pepper), who is injured and trapped in the crawl space of their home. With the storm intensifying and water levels rising, the pair face an even bigger threat lurking below the surface.

This year’s best guilty pleasure cult hit; Crawl is perfect for B-movie lovers and a thoroughly crowd-pleasing creature feature. Backed by a solid cast, genuine tension, and some decent visual effects, the film is the perfect schlocky horror thriller with just the right amount of self-awareness.

Bonus Features:
•Intro to Alternate Opening
•Alternate Opening
•Deleted and Extended Scenes
•Beneath Crawl
•Category 5 Gators: The VFX of Crawl
•Alligator Attacks

The Haunting of Hill House

SYNOPSIS: The Haunting of Hill House is the critically acclaimed, modern reimagining of Shirley Jackson’s legendary novel about five siblings who grew up in the most famous haunted house in America. Now adults, they’re reunited by the suicide of their youngest sister, which forces them to finally confront the ghosts of their pasts… some of which lurk in their minds… and some of which may really be lurking in the shadows of the iconic Hill House. For the first time, experience even more thrills with three extended Director’s Cut episodes featuring never-before-seen footage and go deeper inside Hill House with four exclusive commentaries from Creator and Director Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep).

Riveting tension, palpable thrills, strong acting, and excellent writing make this one of the finest entries into the world of TV horror in recent memory. The Haunting of Hill House features impeccable production design and atmospheric dread, plus benefits immensely from a sprawling story that is equal parts terrifying saga and epic family drama.

Bonus Features:
•EP 101: Steven Sees a Ghost
•Steven Sees a Ghost Extended Director’s Cut
•Steven Sees a Ghost Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
•EP 102: Open Casket
•EP 103: Touch
•EP 104: The Twin Thing
•EP 105: The Bent-Neck Lady
•The Bent-Neck Lady Extended Director’s Cut
•The Bent-Neck Lady Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
•EP 106: Two Storms
•Two Storms Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan
•EP 107: Eulogy
•EP 108: Witness Marks
•EP 109: Screaming Meemies
•EP 110: Silence Lay Steadily
•Silence Lay Steadily Extended Director’s Cut
•Silence Lay Steadily Extended Director’s Cut Commentary by Director Mike Flanagan

Deadwood: The Movie

SYNOPSIS: Continuing the story begun in David Milch’s critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning HBO series, DEADWOOD: THE MOVIE follows the indelible characters of the series, who are reunited after ten years to celebrate South Dakota’s statehood. Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds are reopened, as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought. Returning cast members for the Deadwood movie include: Ian McShane (Al Swearengen), Timothy Olyphant (Seth Bullock), Molly Parker (Alma Ellsworth), Paula Malcomson (Trixie), John Hawkes (Sol Star), Anna Gunn (Martha Bullock), Dayton Callie (Charlie Utter), Brad Dourif (Doc Cochran), Robin Weigert (“Calamity” Jane Canary), William Sanderson (E.B. Farnum), Kim Dickens (Joanie Stubbs) and Gerald McRaney (George Hearst).

The wait is over, Deadwood fans! A must-have for those who followed the storied (and all too brief) exploits of the residents of the infamous South Dakota town. The real treat of the long-gestating movie is how effortless the entire cast falls back into their respective roles. It may not be an entire season but the movie is sure to satisfy loyal viewers who felt the show was gone too soon, when it ended in season three, and should provide some much-needed character closure.

Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Oct. 1

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Oct 1st, 2019

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

October 1, 2019: Spider-Man: Far From Home, Chernobyl, True Detective: The Complete Third Season, The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2-Movie Collection, Avatar & Legend of Korra Complete Series Collection.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

SYNOPSIS: Tom Holland returns as everyone’s favorite web-slinger in SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, the next chapter after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Our friendly neighbourhood wall-crawler decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plans to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks! Spider-Man and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) join forces to fight the havoc unleashed across the continent, but all is not as it seems.

While this Spidey adventure doesn’t quite soar as high as Homecoming, it still contains plenty of dazzling eye candy, plot twists, witty banter, crazy CG action, cool gadgets, and one rather outstanding performance from Gyllenhaal. Holland once again proves he’s the perfect actor for this role, which is ironic given the shaky cinematic future of the character thanks to the complicated Sony and Marvel rights issue (though we are getting at least one more Holland adventure in 2021). For those looking for a wealth of insightful information into the production and a bevvy of behind-the scenes tidbits, the bonus features do not disappoint.

Bonus Features:
•World Wide Web-Slinger: An in-depth look at Spider-Man’s web-slinging adventure around the world featuring new interviews and behind-the-scene with the cast and crew.
•New Original Short, Peter’s To – Do – List: Peter has a few errands to run before he can leave on his class trip.
•Teachers’ Travel Tips: Mr. Harrington & Mr. Dell present a few tips on how to traverse the European continent.
•Stepping Up: Explore how Spider-Man was introduced in the MCU, the ways Tom Holland transformed the character of Peter Parker, and what the future holds for Spider-Man.
•Suit Up: The suit doesn’t make the hero – but it does play a big role in who they are and who they can become. This piece examines all of Peter’s different suits in the movie, and with behind the scenes footage, we see why some suits are better than others.
•Far, FAR, Far from Home: The film’s illustrious locations serve story points and establish tone, but they’re also amazing to travel to! Hear from the cast on their experiences filming on-location.
•It Takes Two: A special look at the chemistry between Jon Watts and Tom Holland.
•Fury & Hill: MCU stalwarts Cobie Smulders and Samuel L. Jackson are back as Agent Maria Hill & Nick Fury!
•The Ginter-Riva Effect: A look at the villain sub-plot and how William Ginter-Riva ties Spider-Man: Far From Home all the way back to the beginning of the MCU.
•Thank You, Mrs. Parker: A look at Marisa Tomei’s reimagining of Aunt May, from Homecoming to Far From Home.
•The Brother’s Trust: A quick look into some of the amazing work Tom Holland and his brothers have done through their charity, The Brothers Trust.
•The Jump Off: Interviews with the cast & crew take us through all of the amazing stunts of Far From Home.
•Now You See Me: We examine the evolution of Mysterio and why Jake Gyllenhaal was the perfect fit for the role.
•Stealthy Easter Eggs: Allow E.D.I.T.H. to reveal some of the hidden Easter Eggs you may have missed!
•Select Scene Pre – Vis: A side by side comparison of the Pre-Vis with the film
•Gag Reel & Outakes
•Never-Before-Seen Alternate & Extended Scenes
•Catch a first look at the all-new series “Alex Rider” coming soon! When Alex leaves his ordinary teenage life to go on a dangerous mission to work as an undercover agent at the Point Blanc academy, he must call upon skills he didn’t even know he had as he investigates the sinister truth behind the school. Alex Rider is based on the series of best-selling novels by Anthony Horowitz.

Chernobyl

SYNOPSIS: On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, Soviet Union suffered a massive explosion resulting in one of the worst human-made catastrophes in history. CHERNOBYL tells the story of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save Europe from unimaginable disaster, all the while battling a culture of disinformation. Jared Harris portrays Valery Legasov, a leading Soviet nuclear physicist. As part of the response team, he was one of the first to grasp the scope of the unparalleled disaster that occurred. Stellan Skarsgård plays Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Boris Shcherbina, who is assigned by the Kremlin to lead the government commission on Chernobyl in the hours immediately following the accident. Emily Watson portrays Ulana Khomyuk, a Soviet nuclear physicist committed to solving the mystery of what led to the Chernobyl disaster.

Essential viewing when it comes to TV drama; Chernobyl is masterfully crafted in every aspect and makes for one of the most engrossing, terrifying, and thought-provoking series in recent years. Equal parts harrowing and heartbreaking, the precision writing mixed with top-notch performances – and stunning production design – make this one brilliant, albeit disturbing must-see show.

True Detective: The Complete Third Season

SYNOPSIS: 1980: Will and Julie Purcell, the children of feuding parents Tom and Lucy Purcell, go missing a week after Halloween in West Finger, Ark. 2015: Retired detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali), who originally investigated the crime, is asked to look back on the twists of the unsolved case with a true-crime documentary producer.

True Detective‘s third season starts as a slow burn, which gradually beautifully builds into an extremely compelling mystery. An incredible cast – highlighted by Mahershala Ali, Stephen Dorff, Carmen Ejogo, Scoot McNairy, and Mamie Gummer – help give the writing a pristine quality as the season unspools and the viewer is pulled more into the unfolding crime drama. Taking a page more from the moody and introspective first season (and dispensing with the somewhat ham-fisted approach the second season brought) this season is a riveting character-driven saga well worth your time.

The Addams Family/Addams Family Values 2-Movie Collection

SYNOPSIS: THE ADDAMS FAMILY When long-lost Uncle Fester (Christopher Lloyd) reappears after twenty-five years in the Bermuda Triangle, Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) plan a celebration to wake the dead. But Wednesday (Christina Ricci) barely has time to warm up her electric chair before Thing points out Fester’s uncommonly ‘normal’ behavior. Could this Fester be a fake, part of an evil scheme to raid the Addams fortune? Based on Charles Addams’ beloved cartoons and following the success of the hit TV series, The Addams Family is a visual funhouse, packed with plenty of treats, tricks and turns by director Barry Sonnenfeld. ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES It’s love at first fright when Gomez (Raul Julia) and Morticia (Anjelica Huston) welcome a new addition to the Addams household – Pubert, their soft, cuddly, mustachioed baby boy. As Fester (Christopher Lloyd) falls hard for voluptuous nanny Debbie Jilinsky (Joan Cusack), Wednesday (Christina Ricci) and Pugsley (Jimmy Workman) discover she’s a black-widow murderess who plans to add Fester to her collection of dead husbands. The family’s future grows even bleaker when the no-good nanny marries Fester and has the kids shipped off to summer camp. But Wednesday still has a Thing or two up her sleeve.

As a ’90s kid I totally remember seeing BOTH of these frightfully funny flicks on the big screen. They’re together for the first time on Blu-ray so it’s a good time to add them to your home collection. Relish the past glory of the late, great Raul Julia, appreciate the inventive special effects, and marvel at how young Christina Ricci was! The Addams Family has been and will continue to be rebooted in many forms down the road but these movies have earned their endearing place in the genre.

Avatar & Legend of Korra Complete Series Collection

SYNOPSIS: For the first time together on Blu-ray & DVD, experience the complete Avatar saga with Aang and Korra. From the discovery of Avatar Aang in the frozen iceberg in Avatar: The Last Airbender to Korra’s heroic journey to set things right in Republic City through The Legend of Korra, relive all the epic air, earth, water and firebending in this ultimate Avatar collection.

A must-have for fans of both shows as they come in one epic package and are loaded with insightful bonus features that help illustrate the lasting impact of both shows’ legacies. Rarely do animated series attain such a level of quality storytelling, mature themes, and breathtaking visuals.

Bonus Features:
The Making of Avatar Featurettes
Original Uncut Animatic “The Avatar State”
Behind the Scenes with the Avatar Cast & Crew
The Women of “Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Legend of Aang)”
Audio Commentaries with the Cast & Crew of The Legend of Korra
Scene Bending Animatics
“The Making of a Legend: The Untold Story” – Parts I & II
Plus Featurettes, Animatics, Shorts, and More!

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