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Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Nov. 13

Thor Diakow | posted Wednesday, Nov 14th, 2018

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

November 13, 2018: The Meg, Star Trek: Discovery – Season One, Scorpion: The Complete Series, A Legacy of Whining.

The Meg

SYNOPSIS: A deep-sea submersible—part of an international undersea observation program—has been attacked by a massive creature and now lies disabled at the bottom of the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean…with its crew trapped inside. With time running out, former deep-sea rescue diver Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) is drawn out of self-imposed exile by a visionary Chinese oceanographer, Dr. Zhang (Winston Chao), against the wishes of his daughter, Suyin (Li Bingbing), who thinks she can rescue the crew on her own. But it will take their combined efforts to save the crew, and the ocean itself, from this seemingly unstoppable threat—a prehistoric 75-foot-long shark known as the Megalodon. Thought to be extinct, the Meg turns out to be very much alive…and on the hunt. Five years before, Jonas had encountered this same terrifying creature, but no one had believed him. Now, teamed with Suyin, Jonas must confront his fears and risk his own life to return to the ocean depths…bringing him face-to-face once more with the apex predator of all time.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Chomp On This: The Making Of The Meg
•Creating The Beast

Jason Statham does his best to crank up the charm in this B-movie schlock-fest but even his undeniable charisma can’t save the sinking mess that is The Meg. It does have some decent moments and a bit of fun, plus boasts a formidably diverse cast, but this creature feature ultimately lacks bite and contains only a few pulpy thrills.

Star Trek: Discovery – Season One

SYNOPSIS: Welcome to STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Season One, an odyssey that unfolds a decade before the era of Star Trek: The Original Series. Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Michael Burnham, formerly one of Starfleets’s most respected first officers – and now its first mutineer. A human raised as a Vulcan, Burnham learned early that “all life is born from chaos.” Her defiance of a direct order resulted in an all-out war with the Klingon Empire, and she was sentenced to life in prison – until Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs) recruits her aboard the U.S.S. Discovery. Joining her on this dramatic, epic journey are Captain Gabriel Lorca (Jason Isaacs), First Officer Saru (Doug Jones), Chief of Security Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif), Chief Engineer Paul Stamets (Anthony Rapp), and Cadet Sylvia Tilly (Mary Wiseman). Together, their powers of logic, science and compassion will meld on their quest for victory, survival and ultimately, peace in the universe.

Star Trek is back on the small screen and boldly takes the franchise in thrilling new directions. Discovery brilliantly combines hard sci-fi tropes, compelling performances from a solid cast, striking production design, top-notch visual effects, and insightful themes that have helped consistently propel the Star Trek universe into pop culture for decades.

Scorpion: The Complete Series

SYNOPSIS: All 4 Seasons of SUPER SMART STUFF Take a group of misfit super-geniuses, one brainy kid, his beautiful mom, a super spy and you have Scorpion. Inspired by the true-life story of hacker Walter O’Brien, this brilliant, quirky team starring– Katherine McPhee (Paige), Elyes Gabel (Walter), Jadyn Wong (Happy), Eddie Kay Thomas (Toby), Robert Patrick (Cabe), and Ari Stidham (Sylvester) combine brainpower, street smarts, and clashing personalities to defend the world against global threats. Now all 94 unforgettable episodes, plus hours of must-see bonus features, are packed into this collectible box set.

Don’t miss your chance to own this charming mixed genre show that quickly became a favourite with fans of brainiacs on TV. Consistently engaging and full of intriguing episodes, Scorpion always maintained a likeably quirky cast and plenty of super sleuth twists.

A Legacy of Whining

SYNOPSIS: A Legacy of Whining not only throws gasoline on the familiar cinematic trope of male mid-life crisis but watches gleefully as it sits back and throws a lighted match onto the proceedings. Inspired by its love of early 1970’s American buddy films, this shaggy dog comedy (played out in one desperation-soaked dreamlike evening) tells the tale of two former high school friends, Mitch and Dunc, who reunite thirty years later in an attempt to resurrect the faded corpse of their “glory years” only to find, perhaps, that the past ain’t all it’s cracked up to be… “A Legacy of Whining” is really funny!” Starring Ross Munro (“Mitch”), Robert David Duncan (“Dunc”) and Angie Descalzi (“Esmeralda”). Written and Directed by Ross Munro. Produced by Maria Munro, Ross Munro, and Ron Heaps. Cinematography by Ron Heaps.

Get ready for one twisted reunion! This delightful indie features some hilarious performances and is full of verve. A Legacy of Whining should satisfy anyone looking for a nice little dark comedy.

Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Nov. 6

Thor Diakow | posted Thursday, Nov 8th, 2018

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

November 6, 2018: Incredibles 2, Christoper Robin, BlacKkKlansman, Who Is America.

Incredibles 2

SYNOPSIS: In “Incredibles 2,” Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.

BONUS FEATURES:
Blu-ray & Digital:
•All-New “Auntie Edna” Mini-Movie – When Bob Parr visits super-suit designer Edna Mode looking for help with his high-energy toddler Jack-Jack, Edna pulls an all-nighter designing a suit to harness the baby’s seemingly limitless powers.
•10 Deleted Scenes With Introductions – Suburban Escape,  Kari Revisited, Return of the Supers, Chewed Out, Late Audition, Slow Day, Frozone and Honey, Restaurant Robbery, Fashion Show and Security Breakdown.
•Super Stuff – From buildings and vehicles to costumes and props, every action movie requires a lot of really cool stuff. Meet the makers and learn what it takes to design and build such a uniquely incredible world.
•Heroes & Villains – A collection of mini-docs about the backstory and major design ideas behind the “Incredibles 2” characters — featuring voice actors, director Brad Bird, and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters feel real.
•Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer – This short piece explores the many ways a single production designer has influenced the look, feel and character of the Pixar universe, culminating in “Incredibles 2.”
•Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird – Brad Bird’s passion for animation dates back to his childhood and mentorship under Disney’s Milt Kahl, and that enthusiasm and powerful insight emanates from every film he’s made. Take a deep dive into Brad’s early years at Disney Animation Studios and his time at Pixar.
•Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes – At its heart, “Incredibles 2” is about family dynamics and the challenges of being a working parent. Meet the parents of Pixar as they discuss their personal connections to the film and their experience with stretching to balance work and family.
•SuperBaby – A documentary/hip hop music video hybrid hosted by Frankie and Paige from Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. This piece explores how Jack-Jack came to life onscreen — from design to special effects to animation — all set to a hot beat.
•Commentary – Get inside commentary from animators Alan Barillaro (supervising animator), Tony Fucile (supervising animator, story artist and character designer), Dave Mullins (supervising animator) and Bret Parker (animation second unit and crowds supervisor).
•Theatrical Short: “Bao” – An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy.
•Making “Bao” – Director Domee Shi shares her secret recipe for making an animated short — discussing how her rich cultural heritage, unique relationship with her mom, and her love of food all informed the making of the food-fantasy “Bao.”
•Outtakes & Stories – Raccoon Fight Story, Evelyn Animation Outtakes, Puppet Animator Interview, Outtakes Goofy Arms Story and SuperBaby Music Video.
•Character Theme Songs, Vintage Toy Commercial TV Spots , Toolkit Montage and Global “Incredibles 2” Trailers

DVD:
•Theatrical Short: “Bao” & Commentary

After years in development, Incredibles 2 finally arrived this year and managed to recapture most of the magic that was laid down in 2004. The sequel’s plot does a commendable job of bringing many current social themes to the forefront and features loads of dazzling animation, action, comedy, and good old fashioned hijinks, including one hilarious raccoon sequence. Grab the Blu-ray as it’s LOADED with juicy bonus material.

Christopher Robin

SYNOPSIS: Disney’s “Christopher Robin,” the wondrous, live-action film in which Winnie the Pooh and friends venture into mid-century London to help grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), arrives. The fun-filled tale features A.A. Milne’s timeless characters from the Hundred Acre Wood — Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl — making their first appearance as three-dimensional characters who remind Christopher Robin, and viewers of all ages, to appreciate the simple pleasures in life.

BONUS FEATURES:
•In Which … A Movie Is Made for Pooh – Filmmakers and cast share their passion for this story in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.
•In Which … Pooh Finds His Voice – Discover what it’s like to voice Winne the Pooh, from voice actors Sterling Holloway to Jim Cummings.
•In Which … Pooh and Walt Become Friends – How did Walt Disney and Pooh meet? Take a journey through time to explore the legacy of Walt’s first encounter with Pooh.
•In Which … Pooh and Friends Come to Life – See how Winnie the Pooh and Friends were brought to life as walking and talking stuffed animals in this magical live-action world.
EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL BONUS FEATURE:
•In Which … We Were Very Young – Meet the actual, original teddy bear who, along with his best friends, has inspired so much love worldwide for almost a century.

Break out the tissues because this nostalgia-soaked trip down memory lane is sure to tug at the heartstrings of anyone who grew up loving Pooh and all his friends. Ewan McGregor does solid work in the lead and the story, which may not work for some purists, is a lovely updated tale that should give original fans all the feels while introducing a new generation to these beloved characters. Earnestly-made and lovingly-crafted, Christopher Robin has tons of heart.

BlacKkKlansman

SYNOPSIS: From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. In the early 1970s Ron Stallworth (Washington) becomes the first African-American detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a difference, he bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. He recruits a seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Driver), into the undercover investigation. Together, they team up to take down the extremist organization aiming to garner mainstream appeal. BlacKkKlansman offers an unflinching, true-life examination of race relations in 1970s America that is just as relevant in today’s tumultuous world.

BONUS FEATURES ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD AND DIGITAL:
•A Spike Lee Joint – Producer Jordan Peele, cast and film subject Ron Stallworth discuss the unique experience of working with iconic director Spike Lee.
•BlacKkKlansman Extended Trailer Featuring Prince’s “Mary Don’t You Weep”

Spike Lee is back with one of his most incendiary films in decades. BlacKkKlansman weaves compelling performances – highlighted by Washington and Driver – razor-sharp wit, and timely themes. The brilliance of the film lies in its deft handling of comedy and dark subject matter as it examines a troubling time in U.S. society, that bears eerie parallels to the present day.

Who Is America

SYNOPSIS: Famous for creating some of the funniest movies the world has known, Baron Cohen returns to TV for the first time in 15 years. WHO IS AMERICA features incendiary characters so believably performed that they can exist in the real world and even convince some of America’s most notable political and pop culture figures. Hoodwinking high-profile names such as Bernie Sanders, O.J. Simpson, Corinne Olympios, Ted Koppel, Dick Cheney and more, Baron Cohen pulls back the curtain and provides a shocking look at the nation. Baron Cohen created 6 hilarious characters in the most biting satire of the Trump era: right-wing conspiracy theorist and citizen journalist Billy Wayne Ruddick, Jr., PhD; Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello, a Democratic activist and far-left lecturer on gender studies; the British ex-convict and artist Rick Sherman; Erran Morad, an Israeli anti-terrorism expert with unconventional tactics against terrorists, immigrants and pedophiles; Italian billionaire playboy and fashion photographer Gio Monaldo; and OMGWhizzBoyOMG!, a Finnish YouTuber.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Dick Cheney Extended Interview
•Megamosque Extended Cut
•Joe Arpaio Extended Interview
•Deleted Scenes

Get ready for the most cringeworthy television of the year! Who Is America is equal parts hilarious, shocking, and downright infuriating. Watch the master of disguise do what he does best while exposing the seedy underbelly of a fractured and divisive American political society.

Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Oct. 30

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Oct 30th, 2018

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

October 30, 2018: Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Teens Titans GO! to the Movies, The Darkest Minds, 2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Ultra HD, Seinfeld: The Complete Series Festivus Boxset.

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

SYNOPSIS: Both a prequel and a sequel, the film tells two stories: present day as Sophie Sheridan (Seyfried) prepares for the grand reopening of her mother Donna’s (Streep) hotel and 1979 when young Donna (James) first arrives on the island. Sophie learns about her mother’s exciting, fun-filled adventures with the young Dynamos, Tanya (Jessica Keenan-Wynn) and Rosie (Alexa Davies), and how young Donna first met her three possible dads Harry (Hugh Skinner), Bill (Josh Dylan) and Sam (Jeremy Irvine) all those years ago.

BONUS FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM & DIGITAL:
•Deleted/Extended Songs and Scenes with Commentary by Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker
-Extended Song Performance – The Name Of The Game
-Extended Song Performance – Knowing Me, Knowing You
•Enhanced Sing-Alongs
• Cast Meets Cast
-Tanya Meets Tanya – Jessica Keenan Wynn interviews Christine Baranski about playing the sassiest Dynamo – Tanya.
-Rosie Meets Rosie – Alexa Davies interviews Julie Walters as the two actresses share their experiences playing Rosie.
• Cast Chats
-Dynamo Chit-Chat – A conversation between the three Young Dynamos reflecting on their favorite song, costumes, scenes to shoot, and funniest moments.
-Dad Chat – The young dads come together to share some of their favorite memories from set.
•High Jinks
•Sophie’s Story – Of all the characters, Amanda Seyfried’s Sophie has developed the most since the first movie. Here we will chart how Sophie has gone from a vulnerable young girl to a confident young woman following life-changing events.
• Choreographing MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN – Choreographer Anthony Van Laast and his team will reveal some of the secrets behind the highly original dance routines.
•Dancing Queen: Anatomy of a Scene – The most famous piano roll in musical history opens one of ABBA’S biggest hits, “Dancing Queen.” The number is the biggest and most complex sequence. Ol Parker will discuss where and how he wanted to use the song in the story.
•Performing for Legends – Here the Young Dynamos will discuss the daunting prospect of stepping into the recording booth at Air Studios to sing ABBA to ABBA.
•Class of ’79 – The story of the Young Dads and Dynamos is told against the backdrop of Oxford, Paris and the Greek Islands of 1979, when hairstyles were wackier and the fashions were bolder. This featurette will focus on the Young Dads and Dynamos and their experience bringing these characters to life.

BONUS FEATURES ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY, DVD & DIGITAL:
• Deleted Songs and Scenes with Commentary by Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker
-Deleted Song Performance – I Wonder
-Deleted Scene – Tahini
•Enhanced Sing-Alongs
•The Story – Producer Judy Craymer reveals how the MAMMA MIA! legacy began, evolved into the first feature film and how she teamed with executive producer/co-story writer Richard Curtis and director/screenplay writer Ol Parker to develop the perfect sequel.
•MAMMA MIA! Reunited – Focusing on the legacy performers and their excitement at reuniting a decade later, the filmmakers discuss the paths they’ve paved for the characters since we last saw them.
•Playing Donna – This piece centers on Meryl Streep’s cameo performance and Lily James’ preparation for filling this iconic role.
•Meeting Cher – The Queen of pop reveals her excitement at joining the MAMMA MIA! family as Ruby Sheridan – Sophie’s glamorous grandmother. Fellow cast members will share their delight at meeting and watching a legend on set.
•Costumes and The Dynamos – The Young Dynamos have some pretty cool costumes in MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN, and of course so does Cher. And who could forget those trademark dungarees? We will join costume designer Michelle Clapton as she highlights some of her favorite outfits from the movie.
•Curtain Call – Who can forget the finale to MAMMA MIA! when the cast danced onto cinema screens in full spandex for one final number? Ol Parker has chosen “Super Trouper” to close his movie and it features all 16 key cast members.
•NBC’s TODAY Show Interview with Cher & Judy Craymer
•Feature Commentary with Director/Screenplay Writer Ol Parker
•Feature Commentary with Producer Judy Craymer

The gang’s all back…well almost all of the them. Despite the notable lack of Meryl Streep (until the rousing finish), this follow-up to the global smash (ten years ago!) is a total blast from start to finish. Jam-packed with more epic singing and dancing, a more fleshed out (and sometimes rather poignant) story, and a sensational performance from Lily James make this one exuberant crowd-pleaser. Plus the Blu-ray is loaded with delightful extra goodies!

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies

It seems like all the superheroes are getting their own movies – everyone but the Teen Titans, that is! Determined to be a star, Robin vows to change this. If only they could get Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) to notice them! With a few madcap ideas and musical numbers (of course), the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town. But when Supervillain Slade (Will Arnett) messes with their plans, the Teen Titans will have to become true superheroes to save the world!

BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

“Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:
•Lil Yachty Music Video: “Teen Titans GO! Rap”
•Sing-a-long with Silkie “DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby” Mini-Movie
•Red Carpet Mayhem
•Teen Titans GO! To the Movies: WB Lot Shenanigans
•“Everything is Fake”: Exclusive song not in the movie
•“Teen Titans GO!: Translated”
•Storyboard Animatics:
“Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
•Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
•The Final Battle

The Teen Titans finally get their own movie and it’s a total winner! This one works as a straight animated flick for the kids, which should also satisfy adults, and makes for a genuinely hilarious superhero parody. Bursting with verve, dazzling animation, exciting action, and loaded with zingers, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies is definitely one to add to your collection.

The Darkest Minds

SYNOPSIS: From producers of Stranger Things comes an empowering tale of teens who mysteriously develop new abilities and are declared a threat by the government. Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon, this newfound family realizes that collective power is needed to take back control of their fate and save future generations.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Remember – A Look Beyond Ruby and Liam’s Last Kiss (Original Animatic by Jennifer Yuh Nelson)
•Deleted Scene
•Gag Reel
•Jennifer Yuh Nelson: Heroine at the Helm
•Character Profiles
•Storyboard to Screen Comparison
•Feature Commentary by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Dan Levine and Dan Cohen
•The Power of Georgia
•Behind the Scenes in Georgia
•Gallery
•Theatrical Trailer

While well-intentioned and boasting a solid central performance from Amandla Stenberg, The Darkest Minds amounts to little more than a familiar ride through many tropes and themes we’ve seen executed more effectively in previous dystopian young adult franchises.

2001: A Space Odyssey 4K Ultra HD

SYNOPSIS: Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling, Academy Award-winning achievement is a compelling drama of man vs. machine, a stunning meld of music and motion. Kubrick (who co-wrote the screenplay with Arthur C. Clarke) first visits our prehistoric ape-ancestry past, then leaps millennia (via one of the most mind-blowing jump cuts ever) into colonized space, and ultimately whisks astronaut Bowman (Keir Dullea) into uncharted space, perhaps even into immortality. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” Let an awesome journey unlike any other begin.

4K UHD AND BLU-RAY ELEMENTS:
•4K UHD Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
•Remastered Blu-ray™ with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
•The Making of a Myth
•Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
•Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
•2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
•What Is Out There?
•2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
•Look: Stanley Kubrick!
•11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
•Original Theatrical Trailer
•Premium Booklet
•Art Cards

One of the greatest movies of all time gets an extreme makeover. Despite being made in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey continues to be the gold standard when it comes to bold science-fiction and remains one of Stanley Kubrick’s finest, and most spellbinding, films. What are you waiting for? Just buy it!

Seinfeld: The Complete Series Festivus Boxset

SYNOPSIS: Widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential sitcoms ever made, Seinfeld follows four single friends living in Manhattan’s Upper West Side in New York City. The show features a handful of Jerry’s friends and acquaintances, including best friend George Costanza (Jason Alexander), friend and former girlfriend Elaine Benes (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), and neighbour across the hall Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) who all deal with the absurdities of everyday life in New York City. Includes all 180 episodes in the 33-disc set, all the features above, as well as items to throw your very own “FESTIVUS FOR THE REST OF US’ party! Includes a set of 8 invitations and RSVPS, cups/napkins, a mini Festivus pole replica, 4 thumb wrestlers for a “Feats of Strength” physical challenge and a deck of playing cards for a “Feats of Strength” mental challenge.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
•Documentaries For All Nine Seasons
•Inside Looks
•Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That (Bloopers)
•In the Vault (Deleted Scenes)
•Yada Yada Yada (Commentaries)
•“SEIN-IMATION”
•Notes About Nothing
•Bonus disc featuring the exciting reunion of the entire cast plus Larry David on the ninth anniversary of the season finale.

The ultimate collection for any Seinfeld fan, just in time for the holidays!

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