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First Look at Batman: The Long Halloween Part 2
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First Look at Batman: The Long Halloween Part 2

BURBANK, CA (May 20, 2021) – The Dark Knight must combat a unified front of classic DC Super-Villains, diffuse an escalating mob war and solve the mystery of the Holiday Killer in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two, the thrilling conclusion to the two-part entry in the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length animated film – which will be accompanied by the latest DC Showcase animated short, Blue Beetle –arrives July 27, 2021 on Digital and August 10, 2021 on Blu-ray. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two is rated R for some violence and bloody images.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two will be available on Blu-ray (USA $34.98 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) as well as on Digital. The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie. In 2022, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack as a combined film presentation with Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One.

Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two continues as the Holiday Killer is still at large and, with Bruce Wayne under the spell of the venomous Poison Ivy, Batman is nowhere to be found. Liberated by an unlikely ally, Bruce quickly uncovers the real culprit: Poison Ivy’s employer Carmine Falcone. The Roman, his ranks decimated by Holiday and his business spinning out of control, has been forced to bring on less desirable partners – Gotham City’s rogues’ gallery. In the meantime, Harvey Dent is confronting battles on two fronts: attempting to end the mob war while also dealing with a strained marriage. And, after an attack that leaves Harvey hideously disfigured, the District Attorney unleashes the duality of his psyche that he’s strived his entire life to suppress. Now, as Two-Face, Dent decides to take the law into his own hands and deliver judgment to those who’ve wronged him, his family and all of Gotham. Ultimately, the Dark Knight must put together the tragic pieces that converged to create Two-Face, the Holiday Killer, Batman and Gotham City itself.

Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Batman: Under the Red Hood) leads an all-star cast as the voice of Batman/Bruce Wayne alongside the late Naya Rivera (Glee) as Catwoman/Selina Kyle, Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Billy Burke (Twilight, Revolution, Zoo) as Commissioner James Gordon, Katee Sackhoff (The Mandalorian, Battlestar Galactica, Batman: Year One) as Poison Ivy, Titus Welliver (Bosch, Deadwood) as Carmine Falcone, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Dune, Ant-Man,) as Calendar Man & The Penguin, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as The Joker, Amy Landecker (Your Honor, Transparent) as Barbara Gordon & Carla Vitti, Fred Tatasciore (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Solomon Grundy, Alyssa Diaz (The Rookie, Ray Donovan) as Renee Montoya, and Alastair Duncan (The Batman, Batman Unlimited franchise) as Alfred. In addition, Robin Atkin Downes (The Strain, Constantine: City of Demons) voices both Scarecrow & Thomas Wayne, John DiMaggio (Futurama, Disenchantment) is the Mad Hatter, Laila Berzins (Genshin Impact) is Sofia Falcone, Jim Pirri (World of Warcraft franchise) is Sal Maroni, and Zach Callison (The Goldbergs, Steven Universe) is Young Bruce Wayne. Additional voice work was provided by Gary Leroi Gray and Rick Wasserman.

The entire filmmaking team returns for Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two as led by supervising producer Butch Lukic (Justice Society: World War II, Superman: Man of Tomorrow), director Chris Palmer (Superman: Man of Tomorrow), and screenwriter Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen, Superman: Man of Tomorrow). Producers are Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Kimberly S. Moreau (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Executive Producer is Michael Uslan. Sam Register is Executive Producer.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two – Special Features

Blu-ray and Digital

●      DC Showcase – Blue Beetle (New Animated Short) – Sufferin’ Scarabs! Silver Age Blue Beetle is back! And, had he ever starred in a 1960s Saturday-morning limited-animation cartoon with its own jazzy earworm of a theme song, it would have been just like this! Welcome to the adventures of Ted Kord, alias the Blue Beetle, as he teams up with fellow super heroes Captain Atom, The Question and Nightshade to battle that nefarious finagler of feelings, Doctor Spectro.

●      A Sneak Peek at the next DC Animated Movie – An advanced look at Injustice.

●      DC Universe Movies Flashback

  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2
  • Batman: Hush

●      From the DC Vault

  • Batman: The Animated Series – “Two-Face, Part 1”
  • Batman: The Animated Series – “Two-Face, Part 2”

Want to check out more animated DC Super Hero entertainment before seeing Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two? HBO Max has a wide array of DC Universe Movies available for viewing. And you can catch up on all of the comic book source material by visiting DC UNIVERSE INFINITE (US-only).

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

BASICS

Blu-ray, $34.98 USA, $39.99 Canada

Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French, German

Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian

Running Time: 87 minutes

Rated R for some violence and bloody images

Mark Millar confirms Emerald Fennell as “Nemesis” screenwriter for WB
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Mark Millar confirms Emerald Fennell as “Nemesis” screenwriter for WB

Mark Millar – creator of Kick-Ass, Jupiter’s Legacy, The Secret Service & Kingsman – has confirmed to retailer Forbidden Planet that Emerald Fennell – winner of the 2021 Oscar for Original Screenplay (Promising Young Woman) – will pen the script for Millar’s hotly-anticipated Warner Bros adaptation of his critically acclaimed comic book, Nemesis.

Speaking exclusively to Forbidden Planet TV, Millar said: “Emerald Fennell, who just won an Oscar for best screenplay for Promising Young Woman, has just delivered the latest draft of the Nemesis screenplay, which is extremely cool, especially after the initial development of the movie by the late Tony Scott, who established some amazing visual ideas for the movie!”

Nemesis is a tale of one man with a plan for vengeance! Who is Nemesis? He is a son of privilege, an inheritor of billions from his deceased parents. He owns a fleet of the finest cars and a hangar full of planes, and has countless technological gadgets at his command. He’s the ultimate super-villain fighting relentlessly for a nihilsitic cause in which he believes.

Forbidden Planet TV host Andrew Sumner said: “This interview with Mark Millar is another example of the pop culture status that enables Forbidden Planet to attract high-profile creatives from the comic book and entertainment industry, whether it’s for an interview for our newly-launched online TV show, a store signing or an exclusive edition. Fans won’t want to miss out on this special interview, as Millar introduces his new Netflix show Jupiter’s Legacy, chats about a new Netflix spy show he’s developing, previews the latest Kingsman movie and reveals an all-new anime adaption of his comic book Supercrooks.”

The new Forbidden Planet TV channel is available to watch on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/Forbiddenplanetdotcom/videos – over 150 episodes are already available to view and four new episodes are posted every week featuring influential & creative guests from all spheres of the global entertainment industry.

The full interview with Mark Millar will be available on Forbidden Planet TV from May 19th, 2021. For more information about Forbidden Planet, visit https://forbiddenplanet.com/

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4 New Images from Batman: The Long Halloween Animated Adaptation

Central to the story of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One are its primary protagonists: Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Jensen Ackles), Police Captain James Gordon (Billy Burke) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel).

The centerpiece of Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One revolves around the triumvirate of crimefighters – Batman/Bruce Wayne, Police Captain James Gordon and District Attorney Harvey Dent – as they try to solve the mystery of the Holiday Killer.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be distributed by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and Blu-ray on June 22, 2021.

Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen – Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent – in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer – the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer.

BURBANK, CA – Atrocious serial killings on holidays in Gotham send The World’s Greatest Detective into action – confronting both organized crime and a mysterious murderer – in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, the next entry in the popular series of the DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length animated film – which will be accompanied by the latest DC Showcase animated short, The Losers – is set for release on Digital and Blu-ray on June 22, 2021.

Complicated relationships are a recurring theme in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One, particularly where Batman/Bruce Wayne (voiced by Jensen Ackles) and Catwoman/Selina Kyle (Naya Rivera) are involved.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available on Blu-ray (USA $29.98 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) as well as on Digital. The Blu-ray features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition and a digital version of the movie. Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack at a later date in 2022 as a combined presentation of the film with Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.

Inspired by the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One begins as a brutal murder on Halloween prompts Gotham’s young vigilante, the Batman, to form a pact with the city’s only two uncorrupt lawmen (Police Captain James Gordan and District Attorney Harvey Dent) in order to take down The Roman, head of the notorious and powerful Falcone Crime Family. But when more deaths occur on Thanksgiving and Christmas, it becomes clear that, instead of ordinary gang violence, they’re also dealing with a serial killer – the identity of whom, with each conflicting clue, grows harder to discern. Few cases have ever tested the wits of the World’s Greatest Detective like the mystery behind the Holiday Killer.

Lauded for his performance as Red Hood/Jason Todd in 2010’s Batman Under the Red Hood, Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, Smallville) returns to the DC Universe Movies as the title character of Batman/Bruce Wayne. The late Naya Rivera (Glee), who passed away in 2020, gives one of her final performances as Catwoman/Selina Kyle. The all-star cast includes Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Las Vegas) as Harvey Dent, Billy Burke (Twilight, Revolution, Zoo) as James Gordon, Titus Welliver (Bosch, Deadwood, The Town) as Carmine Falcone, David Dastmalchian (The Suicide Squad, Ant-Man, Dune, The Dark Knight) as Calendar Man, Troy Baker (The Last of Us, Batman: Arkham Knight) as Joker, Amy Landecker (Your Honor, Transparent) as Barbara Gordon, Julie Nathanson (Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay) as Gilda Dent, Jack Quaid (The Boys, The Hunger Games) as Alberto, Fred Tatasciore (American Dad!, Family Guy) as Solomon Grundy, Jim Pirri (World of Warcraft franchise) as Sal Maroni, and Alastair Duncan (The Batman, Batman Unlimited franchise) as Alfred. Additional voices provided by Frances Callier, Greg Chun and Gary Leroi Gray.

Police Captain James Gordon (voiced by Billy Burke) leads a team of trusted detectives, including Renee Montoya (voiced by Alyssa Diaz) in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One.

Chris Palmer (Superman: Man of Tomorrow) directs Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One from a screenplay by Tim Sheridan (Reign of the Supermen, Superman: Man of Tomorrow). Producers are Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) and Kimberly S. Moreau (Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). Butch Lukic (Justice Society: World War II, Superman: Man of Tomorrow) is Supervising Producer. Executive Producer is Michael Uslan. Sam Register is Executive Producer.

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One – Special Features

Blu-ray and Digital

DC Showcase – The Losers (New Animated Short) – The legendary rag-tag team of World War II outcasts – Captain Storm, Johnny Cloud, “Mile-a Minute” Jones, rookie Gunner and Sarge – find themselves marooned on an uncharted island in the South Pacific that is completely overrun with dinosaurs! Their would-be ally on this deadly mission, the mysterious and beautiful Fan Long of the Chinese Security Agency, tells them their job is to rescue the scientists that have been sent to study the time/space anomaly. Perhaps… but what is her mission?

A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie – An advance look at the next animated film in the popular DC Universe Movies collection, Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two.

From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “Christmas With The Joker”

From the DC Vault – Batman: The Animated Series – “It’s Never Too Late”

One of the more complicated relationships in Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Oneinvolves District Attorney Harvey Dent (voiced by Josh Duhamel) and his wife Gilda (Julie Nathanson).

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One will also be available on Movies Anywhere. Using the free Movies Anywhere app and website, consumers can access all their eligible movies by connecting their Movies Anywhere account with their participating digital retailer accounts.

BASICS

Blu-ray, $29.98 USA, $39.99 Canada

Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French, German

Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian

Running Time: 85 minutes

Rated PG-13 for violence, bloody images, language and some smoking

Snake Eyes gets new One Sheet
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Snake Eyes gets new One Sheet

Paramount Pictures has released a new one-sheet for their G.I. Joe spinoff, Snake Eyes, featuring arguably the most popular character from the 1980s revival of the popular Hasbro toy line.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins stars Henry Golding as Snake Eyes, a tenacious loner who is welcomed into an ancient Japanese clan called the Arashikage after saving the life of their heir apparent. Upon arrival in Japan, the Arashikage teach Snake Eyes the ways of the ninja warrior while also providing something he’s been longing for: a home. But, when secrets from his past are revealed, Snake Eyes’ honor and allegiance will be tested – even if that means losing the trust of those closest to him. Based on the iconic G.I. Joe character, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins also stars Andrew Koji as Storm Shadow, Úrsula Corberó as The Baroness, Samara Weaving as Scarlett, Haruka Abe as Akiko, Tahehiro Hira as Kenta and Iko Uwais as Hard Master.

DIRECTED BY

Robert Schwentke

BASED ON

Hasbro’s G.I. JOE® Characters

STORY BY

Evan Spiliotopoulos

SCREENPLAY BY

Evan Spiliotopoulos and Anna Waterhouse & Joe Shrapnel

STARRING

Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira with Iko Uwais

EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY

David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Jeff G. Waxman, Greg Mooradian

PRODUCED BY

Brian Goldner, Erik Howsam, p.g.a., Lorenzo di Bonaventura, p.g.a.

Willy Wonka Whips up 4K Debut in June
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Willy Wonka Whips up 4K Debut in June

BURBANK, CA – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the perennial family classic Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on June 29.  Called a “genuine work of imagination” by Roger Ebert, the film stars Gene Wilder in one of his most famous roles.

Directed by Mel Stuart from a screenplay by Roald Dahl, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory was produced by Stan Margulies and David L. Wolper. The film is an adaptation of Dahl’s 1964 novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”  Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory stars Gene Wilder as Wily Wonka, Jack Albertson as Grandpa Joe, Peter Ostrum as Charlie Bucket, Roy Kinnear as Mr. Salt, Julie Dawn Cole as Veruca Salt, Leonard Stone as Mr. Beauregarde, Denise Nickerson as Violet Beauregarde, Dodo Denney as Mrs. Teevee, and Paris Themmen as Mike Teevee.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on June 29.

About the Film:
Directed by Mel Stuart and starring Gene Wilder as the legendary Candy Man Willy Wonka, this splendiferous movie brings to the screen the endlessly appetizing delights of Roald Dahl’s cherished book. Coated with flavorful tunes and production designs that are a visual treat for the eyes, this effervescent musical never fails to enchant young and old. On a whirlwind tour of Willy’s incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, elfish Oompa-Loompas and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie (Peter Ostrum) will discover the sweetest secret of all: a generous, loving heart. And viewers will rediscover all the timeless magic as it was meant to be seen.

Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray Elements
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary with the Wonka Kids
  • Pure Imagination: The Story of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
  • The Moviemakers
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Pure Imagination
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I Want It Now!
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: I’ve Got A Golden Ticket
  • Scrumptious Sing-Along: Oompa-Loompa-Doompa-De-Do
  • Theatrical Trailer

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On June 29, 2021, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory 4K UHD will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS
Ultra HD Blu-ray, $24.99
Standard Street Date: 6/29/2021
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Parisian French
Run Time: 99 min 30 sec (Feature Only)
Rated: G

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Elektra by Greg Rucka Ultimate Collection (with various artists)

I’m going to try to be quick with this one: it’s very much not my thing in multiple ways, and I read it to sample both what my old college buddy Rucka has been doing and what mainstream Marvel comics are like. The answer, in both cases, is: still things I’m not all that interested in, and which I do not enjoy, which is totally fine.

Elektra by Greg Rucka Ultimate Collection  collects more than a year of the title comic about the ninja super-assassin, issues 7-22 from just over a decade ago. The art is by a whole lot of different people, most of which was in styles I found actively off-putting. (Worst: Greg Horn, whose glossy photorealism seemingly only comes at the expense of composition and energy and movement and human body proportions. Best: Carlos Meglia, with two great cartoony issues full of zip and vigor. Everyone else was variously muddy and dull and generically gritty, to my eye.)

This is the kind of comic that aggressively insists that it’s nothing like superheroes as it features an unstoppable overpowered killing machine wearing a silly unfeasible costume and fighting against magic ninjas. I have never found any part of that argument compelling. And the fact that the overall plotline here is, more or less, “maybe, Elektra, spending your life murdering people for money in job lots is not the greatest thing you could possibly be doing” adds to that great-power-great-responsibility hoo-ha.

Anyway, Elektra is the world’s greatest assassin, who kills people in that stripper costume she’s wearing on the cover (and often other clothes; she’s an equal-opportunity murderess) in various inventive ways and, at this point, was completely separate from the regular Marvel Universe so she could be grimmer and grittier. Although the trained-by-good-and-then-evil-ninjas thing, and the whole she-was-dead-for-a-while-but-got-better deal, are still baked into her backstory on a molecular level.

These are crime stories about a globetrotting international assassin, and they are never as fun and thrilling as that phrase makes them sound. As usual, Rucka focuses on the mental trauma his characters face, and Elektra has been brainwashed so many times it’s a wonder she can cross the street without a Boy Scout. They are largely “about” the kind of serious “issues” that superhero comics get into when they’re feeling expansive: life’s purpose and meaning, how glorious and intoxicating it is to murder a whole lot of people, the difficulty of maintaining a steady clientele in the international-assassin business, and so on.

I’m already running on too long, and getting too snarky: the stories here are solid of their kind, but they’re very tough-guy stories, in the old paperback thriller mode. It is nice to see that Marvel can publish stories in which people in funny costumes kill each other, instead of just punch each other through buildings and then take each other to super-jail, I guess.

This sequence of stories seems to have largely been Rucka trying to reset from “Elektra kills people for money and is a total badass about it” to “Elektra feels bad about having killed lots of people and might possibly be looking to do Good Things to redress her karmic balance,” but the moment of reset, if I’m right, is at the very end of this book. So I don’t know if it stuck, and frankly I don’t care enough to investigate.

Reposted from The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Space Jam hits 4K Before Sequel Release
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Space Jam hits 4K Before Sequel Release

Burbank, Calif., May 11, 2021 – To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved classic, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that the perennial family film Space Jam will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on July 6th.

Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes linchpin Bugs Bunny star in the family comedy classic that introduced a whole new dimension of entertainment. The film also stars Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle, and the voice of Danny DeVito. Bill Murray, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing appear as themselves. Space Jam was produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Joe Pytka.

Ultra HD* showcases 4K resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR) and a wider color spectrum, offering consumers brighter, deeper, more lifelike colors for a home entertainment viewing experience like never before.
Space Jam will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $24.99 ERP and includes an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and a Blu-ray disc with the feature film and special features. Fans can also own Space Jam in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on July 6th.

Space Jam received an Annie Award for Best Individual Achievement: Technical Achievement and a Grammy® Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (1997).

SYNOPSIS
The world’s greatest legends collide in a future universe with Jordan as a live-action hero entering a spectacular animated world. Captured by Bugs Bunny to foil a ghastly gang of space creatures, Jordan must play the basketball game of his life to save the beloved cartoon heroes from a hideous kidnapping scheme.

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY COMBO PACK ELEMENTS

Space Jam Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following previously released special features:

  • Commentary from director Joe Pytka, Bugs Bunny (voiced by Billy West) and Daffy Duck (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)
  • Featurette: “Jammin” with Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan
  • Music videos including Seal’s “Fly Like an Eagle” and Monstars’ anthem “Hit ‘Em High”

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS
On July 6thSpace Jam 4K UHD will be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

BASICS
Ultra HD Blu-ray, $24.99
Standard Street Date: 7/6/2021
Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, Parisian French, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish
Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Parisian French, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish
Run Time: 87 min (Feature Only)
Rated: PG

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Geoffrey Arend Relishes Voicing a JSA Villain

Geoff Arend provides the voice of Charles Halstead in the current entry in the DC Universe Movies canon, Justice Society: World War II

Arend, best known for his work on Madame Secretary, also voiced one of the Dark Knight’s most complicated nemeses in Batman: Hush. He is highly regarded for his work as a series regular on the long-running Madam Secretary and Body of Proof, as well as having featured roles in the popular films 500 Days of Summer and Garden State.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated Justice Society: World War II is now available via Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray.

The three interview bites (tied together) feature Arend talking about finding the controlling voice of his character, Charles Halstead; and the joys of bringing shadowy villainy to animated life for Justice Society: World War II.

REVIEW: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition
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REVIEW: Shrek 20th Anniversary Edition

The best thing about Shrek when it debuted 20 (yikes!) years ago was that it brought a fresh take on traditional fairy tales and got a generation of children to understand that there were more ways to tell these classic stories than the Disney way. The humor here was contemporary and original while still respecting the lessons these were designed to convey.

Now, celebrating the 20th anniversary of its release, Universal Home Entertainment has spruced up the original film for its 4k Ultra HD debut. It comes in a combo pack with the Blu-ray disc and Digital HD code.

It’s still funny, with Mike Meyers affecting a fine Scottish accent for the title character, paired with Eddie Murphy’s memorable Donkey along with Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona), John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad), and Vincent Cassel as Monsieur Hood. To protect the swamp home of the ogre and its other denizens, Shrek takes on the evil Lord, rescues the princess, and a fine time is had by all. The music sells itself and there are funny moments throughout, still making me laugh.

While the CGI animation hasn’t aged as well as some other productions, Shrek is still good to watch and Universal gets credit for cleaning it up as best it could for both the 4K and Blu-ray discs. The color balance is nicely improved along with the depth of field.

The DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack is perhaps stronger, so you can enjoy the music, dialogue, and sound effects.

Given the film’s smash success, it spawned several sequels (none yet in 4K) in addition to television shorts, music videos, and related fun. Much of it can be found on the two Blu-rays discs in the set. There is actually no new content produced for the anniversary edition, just collecting previously released material. You can decide for yourself if the upgrade in the film itself is worth the investment.

On the 4K Ultra HD disc, you can find several of the original Blu-ray features:

  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey: 1
  • Spotlight on Donkey (11:37).
  • Secrets of Shrek (3:50):
  • Deleted Scenes (8:01).
  • Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2:51).
  • Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (3:08).
  • Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (1080p, 3:15).
  • Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (3:56).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.

On Blu-ray disc 1:

  • The Animators’ Corner
  • Shrek’s Interactive Journey
  • Spotlight on Donkey (11:38)
  • Secrets of Shrek (3:52)
  • Deleted Scenes (8:01).
  • Audio Commentary: Directors Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson and Producer Aron Warner.
  • Shrek, Rattle & Roll:
    • Swamp Karaoke Dance Party (2:53),
    • Baha Men “Best Years of Our Lives” (3:08)
    • Smash Mouth “I’m a Believer” (3:15)
    • Shrek The Musical: “What’s Up, Duloc?” (3:57)
    • DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox (1080p)

On Blu-ray disc 2:

  • Swamp Karaoke Party (2:51)
  • Far Far Away Idol (9:00)
  • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (13:06)
  • Shrek’s Halloween Favorites:
    • The Ghost of Lord Farquaad (12:34)
    • Scared Shrekless (25:30)
    • Thriller Night (6:08)
    • The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (6:49)
  • Shrek’s Holiday Favorites:
    • Shrek the Halls (28:02)
    • Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular (6:39)
    • Shrek’s Yule Log (30:19)
  • The Adventures of Puss In Boots:
    • Hidden (23:04)
    • Sphinx (23:04)
    • Brothers (23:04)
    • Dutchess (23:04)
    • Adventure (23:02):
REVIEW: Justice Society: World War II
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REVIEW: Justice Society: World War II

Comic fandom has crossed so thoroughly into the mainstream, that mass media is proving elastic enough to encompass what was previously considered the obscure. Case in point, the just-released Justice Society: World War II direct-to-video film. Here is a story focused on the first comic book team that finally gets the spotlight after making cameos and guest appearances on animated and live-action television productions dating back to Smallville.

I personally love the JSA and was thrilled they were getting a film of their own. Unfortunately, the finished product is not the JSA we know, nor is it a particularly good piece of storytelling. Producers Butch Lukic and Jim Krieg apparently started this project as a Wonder Woman in WW II story that morphed and was appended to the parallel worlds concept.

We start on what we presume is the DCAU world as Flash (Matt Bomer) comes to aid Superman (Darren Criss) but clearly, it’s not our familiar world because there is no JLA. As the Scarlet Speedster tries to save Superman from a kryptonite missile fired by Brainiac, he winds up piercing the dimension veil to find himself not only on a parallel world but back in time.

He arrives in Europe as Hawkman (Omid Abtahi), Black Canary (Elysia Rotaru), Hourman (Matthew Mercer), and Flash (Armen Taylor), follow Wonder Woman’s (Stana Katic) lead. The initial battle sequence shows exactly why super-heroes didn’t directly engage against the Axis forces. The war would end in days not years.

Along the way, the modern-day Flash is slow to figure things out and the others view him askance until his older counterpart offers up the multiple worlds theory and then he’s one of them. Tagging along is a war correspondent, nicknamed Shakespeare, but it is actually Clark Kent, but a man whose adoptive parents, the Kents, died young and he was raised in an orphanage with a jaundiced view of using his powers for a humanity that has not been kind to him.

And of course, there’s Steve Trevor (Chris Diamantopoulos), the audience’s human connection to the story. Here, he’s accomplished and heroic, but hopelessly devoted to Wonder Woman, proposing to her daily. He’s probably the best thing in the film.

As we shift into the second half of the film, the real threat is presented in the form of The Advisor (Geoffrey Arend), who has taken mental control of that world’s Aquaman (Liam McIntyre). He’s out to conquer all, which is a brutal way to end the global conflict. At least it’s a threat worthy of super-heroes. So, as we build to the climax, there’s death, destruction, and lots of predictable moments.

Along the way, the heroes are never given a chance to be developed as characters. Audiences are left wondering as to the cherry-picked nature of the team, why this Canary has the sonic scream, why does Jay Garrick know about the Speed Force but Barry, who comes across as a dim bulb, does not. Of all the JSA characters present, the one receiving the worst treatment was Doctor Fate (Keith Ferguson).

Director Jeff Wamester and screenwriters Meghan Fitzmartin & Jeremy Adams could have done so much more with the source material, but what is presented here is soulless and unsurprising. The animation looks more limited than usual, which takes away from the enjoyment.

The 1.78:1 high-definition film looks sharp with good colors in what is a generally muted palette, bringing the horrors of war nicely to life. The video is nicely complemented by the audio.

Thankfully, the Combo Pack (4K, Blu-ray, Digital), comes with the far superior DC Showcase: Kamandi (18:03), which faithfully adapts Jack Kirby’s adventure series. Visually, the Kirby designs come to life and the story feels like Earth After the Great Disaster.

The director, producers, and screenwriters sit around congratulating themselves in Adventures in Storytelling (30:04), where they explain their choices and touch on the ideas they brought to the production, but it didn’t translate from idea to execution anywhere near as well as they think.

We also have Sneak Peek: Batman: The Long Halloween Part 1 (10:29) which is being touted as being the most faithful adaptation from a comic story. It certainly looks great with strong visuals and an interesting voice cast including the late Naya Rivera as Catwoman.

Finally, only available on disc is the From the DC Vault: Justice League: “Legends, Part One” and “Legends, Part Two”.