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The Spy who Dumped Me Sneaks onto Home Video October 30

SANTA MONICA, CA (September 10, 2018) – Two of today’s biggest female comedians join forces to thwart a high-stakes undercover operation when The Spy Who Dumped Me arrives on Digital October 16 and on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand October 30 from Lionsgate. Directed by Susanna Fogel, acclaimed creator of TV’s Chasing Life, and written by Fogel & David Iserson, The Spy Who Dumped Me is a hilarious, action-packed ride that also features the work of Gary Powell, the stunt coordinator behind Jason Bourne, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Mission: Impossible. Golden Globe® nominee Mila Kunis (Best Supporting Actress, Black Swan, 2011) and Emmy® Award winner Kate McKinnon (Best Supporting Actress, Saturday Night Live, 2016 and 2017) “show the boys a thing or two about pals-in-peril laughs and thrills” (Robert Abele, The Wrap) in this buddy spy comedy romp. Also starring in the film are Justin Theroux (The Girl on the Train, The Leftovers), Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), and Sam Heughan (Outlander).

Audrey (Mila Kunis) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon), two thirty-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey’s ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail. Surprising even themselves, the duo jump into action, on the run throughout Europe from assassins and a suspicious-but-charming British agent, as they hatch a plan to save the world.

The Spy Who Dumped Me home entertainment release includes never-before-seen deleted scenes, outtakes, and four featurettes giving insight into the making of this huge action comedy. Experience four times the resolution of full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision HDR, bringing entertainment to life through ultra-vivid picture quality. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. The release also feature Dolby Atmos® audio mixed specifically for the home, to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. The Spy Who Dumped Me will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD for the suggested retail price of $42.99, $39.99, and $29.95, respectively.


  • “Covert Operations: The Making of The Spy Who Dumped Me” Featurette
  • “Gary Powell: The King of Action” Featurette
  • “Makin’ Friends with Hasan Minhaj” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • “Off Script” Featurette


Year of Production:  2017
Title Copyright: The Spy Who Dumped Me, Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2018 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: R for violence, language throughout, some crude sexual material and graphic nudity.
Genre: Comedy, Action
Closed-Captioned: NA
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 116 Minutes
4K Ultra HD™ Format: Dolby Vision, 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
BD Format: 1080P High Definition 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 2.40:1 Presentation
4K Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Audio
BD Audio Status: English Dolby Atmos, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio, English Descriptive Audio, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Audio

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Arrives in Homes October 30

Burbank, CA, September 11 – When the Teen Titans go to the big screen, they go big! Teen Titans GO! to the Movies finds our egocentric, wildly satirical superheroes in their first feature film extravaganza—a fresh, gleefully clever, kid-appropriately crass and tongue-in-cheek play on the superhero genre, complete with musical numbers. Get ready to LOL when Teen Titans GO! to the Movies arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital.

The first-ever big-screen version of DC Entertainment and Cartoon Network’s animated TV show stars Greg Cipes (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) as Beast Boy, Scott Menville (Spider-Man) as Robin, Khary Payton (The Walking Dead) as Cyborg, Tara Strong (the My Little Pony franchise) as Raven, and Hynden Walch (Adventure Time with Finn & Jake) as Starfire, reprising their roles from the series. Will Arnett (The LEGO® Batman Movie) and Kristen Bell (Frozen) also lend their voices as the evil Slade and Hollywood director Jade Wilson.

Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath directed the film from a screenplay by Michael Jelenic and Horvath, which is based on characters from DC. Horvath, Jelenic, Peggy Regan, Michail and Arnett produced the film with Sam Register serving as executive producer. The music is by Jared Faber. Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack for $35.99 and DVD for $28.98. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film and special features in high definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition and a Digital version of the movie. Blu-ray special features are filled with music and fun, including the DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby mini-movie, sing-a-longs, a hilarious look at the Teen Titans characters dubbing their favorite lines in other languages in Teen Titans GO!: Translated plus much more!

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies 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.

Fans can also own Teen Titans GO! to the Movies via purchase from digital retailers beginning October 9.


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!


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:
    • Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
    • The Final Battle

Teen Titans GO! to the Movies Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:

  • Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
  • The Final Battle

Blu-ray Combo Pack $35.99
DVD $28.98
Blu-ray and DVD Street Date: October 30
DVD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French
BD Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Canadian French, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, French
BD Subtitles: English, Latin Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese
Running Time: 84 minutes
Rating: Rated PG for action and rude humor
Blu-ray: DTS HD-MA

Fox Combines X-Men Trilogy for 4K Release

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 10, 2018) – Coming this Fall, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is releasing a fan favorite in 4K Ultra HD™. Grab the enhanced X-Men Trilogy on September 25th.

X-Men Trilogy – September 25th
Relive the original X-Men excitement with the first three films starring Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry. Follow the group of mutant outcasts as they learn to control their powers in the first X-MEN. Then, watch as the X-Men join forces with their enemies to save all mutants in X2: X-MEN UNITED. Finish the trilogy with X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, as the discovery of a “cure” for the mutation starts a war.

  • Special Features: Audio Commentaries, Behind-the-Scenes Footage, Deleted/Extended Scenes, The Mutant Watch, Animatics, Character and Production Design Stills

Book-A-Day 2018 #254: Jack Staff, Vols. 3 & 4 by Paul Grist

It can be annoying to catch up on something you’re enjoying. Doubly so if “caught up” means “read up to the stuff published in 2009, which just sort of stops.”

But I just caught up with Paul Grist’s quirky British superhero comic Jack Staff, with the back half of the collections — the third book was Echoes of Tomorrow  and the fourth one was Rocky Realities . They’re both roughly a decade old at this point, and I don’t think there’s been any new Jack Staff material since then.

(See my posts on the first two volumes — Everything Used To Be Black and White  and Soldiers  — for more background and details. In general, since those posts are from earlier this year, I won’t talk about anything I mentioned then, like the tropism to have a splash panel and logo every time the focus shifts to another major character. [1])

Creator Paul Grist is still having massive amounts of fun with the various things he can do with a superhero universe in these stories from 2004-09, bouncing from plotline to plotline and character to character with glee and verve, throwing ideas up on one page to catch them ten pages later. It’s a whole mini-superhero universe, contained in one comic and centered on one minor British city, with multiple heroes (each with their own complicated histories) and villains and others, plus vampires and vampire hunters and plain cops and spooky cops just to keep it all interesting.

The last plotline even introduces a time cop, in the person of spacesuit-wearing chimp Rocky Reality. [2] And I have to imagine that Jack Staff‘s world would continue to grow and proliferate for as long as Grist wanted to keep it up.

Actually, I can’t prove he didn’t stop Jack Staff out of ennui or boredom. I can say that it doesn’t feel that way: the series doesn’t really have any sort of ending. The particular villain in the last issue (#20) is captured, but, as usual, the last few pages see Grist throw some more balls up in the air…and he hasn’t had a chance to catch them since then.

With that caveat in place, I’ll still recommend Jack Staff. It’s goofy and more-or-less serious and full of smart dialogue and quirky situations and energetic art. I usually hate superhero stuff, and I think this is a hoot, and wish there were five or six more volumes full of the stories Grist would have made over the past decade in a better universe.

[1] Saying that I won’t mention something and then mentioning it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Everything in science fiction should be mentioned twice — with the possible exception of science fiction.” — Samuel Delaney

The only problem is, I haven’t been able to source that quote. I have a vague memory of reading it in a book about SF: I used to think it was in Tom Disch’s The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, but I poked through that extensively and didn’t find it.

So it is entirely possible one of my favorite quotes is either horribly mangled or entirely false. I’m OK with that.

[2] He, too, gets a logo and a jingle: “If normality is out of whack, Rocky Reality whacks it back!”

You can almost hear Grist chortling as he draws these pages: that’s how much he’s having.

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

Ant-Man and the Wasp Flies Home October 16

BURBANK, Calif. (Sept. 10, 2018) — Moviegoers are still buzzing about Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp, the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man and the 20th consecutive Marvel Cinematic Universe film to debut at No. 1 opening weekend and ranked in the box office top 10 for six consecutive weeks this summer. On Oct. 2, fans can instantly watch the laugh-out-loud super hero adventure Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™, and on Movies Anywhere; and on Oct. 16, take it home on Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™.

Exclusive extras provide an inside look at some of Marvel Comics’ most celebrated characters and the consummate, comedic actors who portray them in Ant-Man and The Wasp. Featurettes spotlight Paul Rudd, who returns as good-hearted thief turned hero, Scott Lang, and delivers big laughs both on set and in theaters; Evangeline Lilly, who transforms into The Wasp, the first female character to be featured in the title treatment of a Marvel Studios film; and iconic actors Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfeiffer as super couple Hank and Janet Van Dyne.  Viewers can explore more about the visual development artists and effects used to bring the characters to life and drastically alter the size of the Super Heroes and their surroundings. Additional extras include deleted scenes, bloopers, outtakes, and audio commentary by Ant-Man franchise director Peyton Reed.

Ant-Man and The Wasp comes packaged in several formats to best fit today’s varying consumer desires. Viewers can instantly bring home the film two weeks early on Digital SD/HD/4K Ultra HD and receive access to two exclusive features — including a clever commercial promoting a close-up look at the online magic school that FBI agent Jimmy Woo references to learn his card tricks and a 10 years of Marvel Studios featurette profiling the artists of the MCU — or they can purchase a physical copy of the film as either a Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Code) or a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray and Digital Code), granting the flexibility to watch the device of their choice.

BONUS MATERIAL (may vary by retailer):
Blu-ray & Digital:

  • Director’s Intro by Peyton Reed – The talented creator behind some of Marvel Studios’ funniest and most charming films will invite home audiences deeper into the world of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
  • Making-of Featurettes:
    • Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang – Hero and all-star dad Scott Lang keeps the laughs coming for the audience, cast and crew.
    • A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp – Highly trained Hope Van Dyne is now the Wasp. See how some of her craziest stunts and action-packed scenes were brought to life.
    • Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet – Hank Pym’s wife Janet was lost in the quantum realm. Trace the legacy of these characters and the iconic actors who portray them.
    • Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of Ant-Man and The Wasp – Explore the movie’s visual effects and production design from a whole new viewpoint, in which every micro and macro detail counts.
  • Gag Reel and Outtakes – Audiences are treated to the hilarious quips that did not make the film as well as exclusive outtakes from Stan Lee and Tim Heidecker.
    • Gag Reel – Join in the fun with these outtakes from the set.
    • Stan Lee Outtakes – Stan Lee tries out a series of hilarious one-liners for the scene in which his car shrinks.
    • Tim Heidecker Outtakes – Check out Whale Boat Captain Daniel Goobler and his improvised whale-watching riffs.
  • Deleted Scenes (with commentary by Director Peyton Reed)
    • Worlds Upon Worlds – As Janet leads Hank through the surreal landscape of the quantum realm, they encounter an intelligent life form.
    • Sonny’s on the Trail – On the hunt for Hank Pym and his lab, Sonny Burch and his henchmen check the security camera of a neighborhood bookstore.

Digital Exclusives:

  • 10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – See what it takes to bring the MCU to life, and the role concept artists play in bringing Super Heroes from comic book to screen.
  • Online Close-Up Magic University – This commercial will inspire you to expand your mind and maximize your full potential!

In Ant-Man and The Wasp, Scott Lang is grappling with the consequences of his choices, as both the Super Hero Ant-Man and a father, in the aftermath of Captain America: Civil War. As he struggles to rebalance his home life with his responsibilities as Ant-Man, he’s confronted by Hope van Dyne and Dr. Hank Pym with an urgent new mission to rescue Janet van Dyne from the Quantum Realm. Scott must once again put on the suit and learn to fight alongside The Wasp, all while attempting to serve house arrest, assist fast talking-Luis (Michael Peña) and the X-con Security crew, and thwart the efforts of a new adversary called Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) and her ally Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne).

Ant-Man and The Wasp returns director Peyton Reed to the franchise and stars Paul Rudd (Captain America: Civil War, Knocked Up), Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Lost), Michael Peña (The Martian, Fury), Walton Goggins (Vice Principals, Six), Bobby Cannavale (Vinyl, Chef), Judy Greer (War for the Planet of the Apes, Wilson), Tip “T.I.” Harris (Sleepless, Get Hard), David Dastmalchian (Twin Peaks, The Belko Experiment), Hannah John-Kamen (Black Mirror, Ready Player One), Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness, Transparent), Randall Park (Veep, Fresh Off the Boat), with Academy Award® nominee Michelle Pfeiffer (1993 best actress in a leading role nominee for Love Field), Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne (1994 best actor in a leading role nominee for What’s Love Got to Do with It) and Academy Award winner Michael Douglas (1988 best actor in a leading role winner for Wall Street).

Kevin Feige and Stephen Broussard produced the film with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers and Paul Rudd & Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari wrote the screenplay.

Peyton Reed’s creative team includes Academy Award®–nominated director of photography Dante Spinotti (2000 best cinematography nominee for The Insider); production designer Shepherd Frankel (Ant-Man, Bad Words”); editors Dan Lebental (Ant-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Craig Wood (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Great Wall); costume designer Louise Frogley (Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Finest Hours); two-time Academy Award nominee, visuals effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti (2017 best achievement in visual effects nominee for Doctor Strange); and eight-time Academy Award nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudick (2018 best achievement in visual effects nominee for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2).

DISC SPECIFICATIONS (applies to film content only):
Product SKUs: 4K Cinematic Universe Edition (4K Ultra HD+Blu-ray+Digital Code), Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray+Digital Code), Digital UHD, HD, SD, DVD and On-Demand
Feature Run Time:Approximately 118 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Aspect Ratio: 2.39

  • UHD BD: English Dolby Atmos; Latin Spanish, French Parisian, German & Italian 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus; French Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital; English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, Brazilian Portuguese, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • DVD: English, French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • UHD Digital: English Dolby Atmos (some platforms), English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus (some platforms), English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • HD Digital:  English 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus (some platforms), English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital
  • SD Digital:  English 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, Latin Spanish 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 & 2.0 Dolby Digital, English Descriptive Audio 2.0 Dolby Digital

UHD Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, French Canadian, German, Italian, Dutch, Swedish, Traditional Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, Thai
BD Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese
DVD Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
Digital Subtitles: English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
Digital & DVD Captions: English

P/Review: “The Wrong Earth”

It’s exciting to be at the start of something. It’s especially exciting to be at the start of a new line of comics. Somehow comics, more than other forms of entertainment, have that feel of immediacy combined with a substantial tapestry of creative team-work. There’s always lots of dedicated people involved, and when they work together and make something new and exciting happen, it’s pretty special.

Ahoy Comic’s first new series, The Wrong Earth, is pretty special. And you can be at the start of it when issue #1 drops in stores tomorrow.

The new series offers readers a double-fish out-of-water story, as a classic Silver Age crime fighter changes places with a gritty “modern” hero. For superhero fans, there’s a lot to compare and contrast. And it’s done without any judgement on what type of storytelling is better. Writer Tom Peyer serves up clever new versions of old favorites, gently acknowledging the collective comic’s history that rattles around in collectors’ and/or fanboys’ heads. But he’s such an out-of-the box thinker that he will keep even the most jaded fans on their toes.

On the other hand, folks who aren’t overly well-versed in the nuances of fifty years of comic book heroes can enjoy this too. Anyone who’s seen one Marvel movie or one episode of a WB Superhero show is good to go.

Jamal Igle and inker Juan Castro provide solid art, often so smooth and skillful that you don’t even realize how good it is. Igle, as always, takes complicated scenes and makes them readable and engaging. He resists the urge to overdo it as he toggles between worlds, and what could have been jarring or tiresome is engaging.

One of the mantra’s for Ahoy is to provide a lot of material in each issue, and to ensure that it’s all diverse. The Wrong Earth #1 is overstuffed with creativity – including a prose story by Grant Morrison, a Too Much Coffee Man gag panel, a Q & A with Jamal Igle and a wonderful “lost” solo adventure of Stinger, the super hero sidekick.

Paul Constant teams with SU professor and artist Frank Cammuso on the Stinger short story called “The Fairgrounds Horror”. It has all the charm and fun of finding an old comic in your grandma’s attic. There’s an astounding level of detail, and the yellowed pages really look like they are from a 1940s comic.

Ahoy Comics’ first comic, The Wrong Earth, is a promising start to new publishing enterprise. I’m hopeful retailers will support this book, and if your retailer doesn’t carry it, ask him to snag you a copy. You will both be happier for it.

Book-A-Day 2018 #253: Comics Dementia by Gilbert Hernandez

I’m just focusing on the work in this series of “I Love (And Rockets) Mondays” post, and not getting into any behind-the-scenes stuff. But it’s clear that Gilbert Hernandez, for whatever reason, just generates more Love And Rockets-related material than his brother Jaime in the same amount of time, which I can imagine is an issue for a publisher that wants to keep things even.

This reprint series has alternated Jaime books and Gilbert books, except for the everything-else collection Amor Y Cohetes , which gathered all of the stories from both brothers (and their early occasional compatriot, third brother Mario) that didn’t fit into their respective main sequences. I had the sense that book had more Gilbert than Jaime, though I didn’t count pages.

But this twelfth volume, Comics Dementia , also breaks the sequence — it collects the Gilbert stories after the end of Love and Rockets volume one that don’t fit into the “Palomar” continuity in any way. (There are a couple of linked stories set in a small Latin American town that could be Palomar, but the possible connection is never made.)

Comics Dementia includes sixty-four mostly short stories — many of them are single pages; a number are three-panel gags like a daily newspaper strip, placed at the bottom of another comic that doesn’t user that full page — over 224 pages. They originally appeared in all sorts of places: many in the second series of L&R, but many in other publications as well. And this 2016 book has comics from as early as 1996 (right after the end of the first L&R series) and as recent as 2015.

These are all experiments or trials of one form or another: surrealism, exercises in visual storytelling, jokes, contributions to anthologies, and a lot of religious and semi-religious questioning. (I wouldn’t try to characterize Hernandez’s personal religious convictions, but he’s been wrestling with the questions of sin and redemption and the nature of evil since the very beginning — those are important concerns throughout his work, and surface more obviously here in short strips that are all about those concerns.)

It also has to be said that nearly all of this is aggressively weird: the Candide-esque turmoils of the preternaturally positive Roy; adventures of the Leaping Elite, women whose highly-trained thighs let them semi-fly; several appearances by the destructive and frequently giant-sized Love Gremlins; murderous attacks by the fearsome Froat, the brain-sucker of Delaware; three completely different consecutive stories all titled “Heroin;” philosophical musings; vaguely SF and fantasy-tinged strips that tend to end in horrifying violence; a collection of profiles of Catholic saints; random bits of non-fiction; and strips I can’t even describe.

Comics Dementia also more-or-less forms a single world — Roy battles the Froat, and meets the Leaping Elite, who capture Love Gremlins. Or maybe it’s just that there’s a loose “Roy” world that a lot of these strips fit into, since the more surreal or philosophical strips here don’t really fit into anything else. (And there are a bunch of those.)

This is a book for serious Gilbert Hernandez fans, the ones who want to dive into his quirky, one-off strips and are OK with the fact that a lot of them just end in death and dismemberment the way that old Monty Python skits would often end with a meta-joke about not having a punchline. Comics Dementia is the furthest reaches of the land of Love and Rockets, far out on the border with pure-art comics and stranger things. It’s an interesting journey, if you manage to travel there, but it’s not for everyone.

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

REVIEW: Predator 4K Blu-ray

REVIEW: Predator 4K Blu-ray

On Friday, Shane Black’s The Predator will arrive, intending to be a fresh take on the franchise that appears to be playing up the humor. It’s set after the 1987 original and its Predator 2 sequel so acknowledges those events happened, which is cool.

Additionally, 20th Century Home Entertainment has wisely capitalized on the new film by releasing 4K UHD releases of Predator 4K, Predator 2 4K and Predators 4K.

When the film first arrived, audiences suspected it was another Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick with sci-fi trappings. After all, the one-sheet positioned him, rifle in hand, in the crosshairs of someone. He was paired with Carl Weathers, Bill Duke, Richard Chaves, Jesse Ventura, and so on (including Black back when he acted). What no one was prepared for, though, was John McTiernan’s taut direction and Stan Winston’s amazing alien hunter; the helmet removal moment late in the film stunned audiences.

A franchise was born, populating film sequels, comics, novels, and the crossovers with 20th’s Aliens series. As a result, the thrills were gone, the surprises were quickly absent, and they become more of the same.

Therefore, it’s interesting to go back to the beginning and relive those suspenseful moments when no one was sure exactly what unearthly creature was now hunting humans. It was camouflaged, rendered seemingly invisible, through most of the film so it was a cat and mouse game until Arnold figured out how to get the upper hand. The script from Jim Thomas and John Thomas nicely ratcheted up the suspense, giving us just enough characterization to help differentiate one target from another.

It remains a good movie, a strong piece of entertainment and reminds you how the Predator was fresh.

The previous Blu-ray editions were okay but never great so it’s nice to have a strong, 4K Ultra HD release. The 2160p transfer in 1.85:1 nicely captures the original look of the film, grain and all. The colors are more vivid and the subtle alien tech is sharper which enhances the rewatching. We get a good DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix but I would have preferred they invested in the Dolby Atmos upgrade to match the visuals.

The 4K disc comes with Audio Commentary from McTiernan, Text Commentary by Eric Lichtenfeld, who contributed to the 2001 documentary, If It Bleeds We Can Kill It: The Making of Predator and interviews with various production personnel.

The 4K disc is accompanied by the most recent Blu-ray pressing and that disc contains all the same Special Features as it did when originally released. The combo pack also comes with a 4K Digital HD code, so will look very snazzy on the right monitors.

The Today Show honors Marie Severin

Yesterday, Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist remembered mirthful Marie Severin, who designed, sketched and colored covers for many of the most famous characters in the Marvel Universe, including Doctor Strange; The Incredible Hulk; Prince Namor, the Sub-Mariner; Spider-Woman; and the parody series Not Brand Echh, and who died last week at age 89.

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Book-A-Day 2018 #252: Pictures That Tick 2 by Dave McKean

Dave McKean is a deeply classy cartoonist, the kind whose work is as likely to be first shown on the walls of a gallery as in a publication somewhere. And even his comics that do appear alongside other comical funnies are more serious and elevated than their peers — aiming to be Works of Art and not just entertainments.

Sometimes this can be exhilarating, since creators working at a high pitch can bring audiences up to their level. And sometimes it can be annoying, as when you’re trying to read over two hundred pages of far-too-stylized Dave McKean lettering on a tablet, with the pages just that little bit smaller than they would be on paper.

McKean is never going to go out of his way to make it easy for you to read and understand his work — not physically (just understanding the words and images) and not conceptually. He’s simply not interested in an audience that isn’t going to work at least as hard as he does.

Pictures That Tick 2  is a 2014 collection of McKean’s short comics; it’s so classy that it’s subtitled “Short Narrative Exhibition.” Set your expectations appropriately.

It’s also so classy, or so heavily designed, that it has a short comic even before the table of contents, and a title page that primarily consists of squiggles laid out to look like words but which cannot be ready, on a typically moody McKean background. You know, I like his work, but often a little of it goes a long way.

Oh, and another short strip interrupts the title/copyright page — McKean is never not futzing around with book design if you let him.

Finally, about a dozen pages in, you’ll finally get that table of contents, in a small scripty font on a red-and-black mottled background. (One suspects no one ever actually explained the importance of legibility in book design to a young and impressionable McKean, but instead expounded the virtues of drama.)

There are about five substantial stories here — two creation myths from an aborted project where McKean would be a showrunner for a third incarnation of the Storyeller series for Jim Henson Productions, and three projects that were art exhibitions/installations converted into comics. Also included are about a dozen shorter pieces — dreams, posters, wordless pieces, evocative comics for a jazz CD, and other random stuff.

The two creation myths are fairly straightforward: they’re very Dave McKean-ish comics, so the words are sometimes hard to read and the virtuosity of the art sometimes obscures the meaning, but the story isn’t difficult to follow or deliberately obscure.

The three gallery pieces are more evocative, designed to be fragments or moments that gallery-goers will experience probably but not necessarily in this order, and so the bits have to be more independent and separate. One is a journey around part of England’s coast, as a woman chases her runaway husband and finds the art he has inspired in his wake. Another is a series of bits of dialogue related to a true story from McKean’s youth, about something bad he did that he doesn’t quite explain or detail. The other one, “The Blue Tree,” which comes first in the book, is the closest to a conventional narrative and relates pretty closely to the two creation myths — McKean’s notes say he was explicitly trying to combine religious and scientific ways of looking at the world, from his two immediately preceding projects.

I’m not sure what size Pictures That Tick 2 is in the physical world. I hope it’s as large as possible: McKean’s work is best the more you can submerge yourself into it, to have it surrounding you on all sides. (So he’s probably best at gallery shows, and second best making movies.) These are comics to think about and ruminate on and read slowly, teasing out nuance and detail. But they will probably be slightly annoying, at least at moments, even to readers who like and enjoy McKean’s work, just because of the barriers McKean puts up between his work and the audience. So make sure you know that going in, if you do decide to go in.

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