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Glory makes 4K Debut on June 4

Glory makes 4K Debut on June 4

SYNOPSIS
Commemorate the 35th anniversary of GLORY: the heart-stopping story of the first Black regiment to fight for the North in the Civil War, starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman. Broderick and Elwes are the idealistic young Bostonians who lead the regiment; Freeman is the inspirational sergeant who unites the troops; and Denzel Washington, in an Academy Award®-winning performance (1989, Best Supporting Actor), is the runaway slave who embodies the indomitable spirit of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts.

DISC DETAILS & BONUS MATERIALS
4K ULTRA HD DISC
Restored from the original camera negative, presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision
English Dolby Atmos + 5.1 + 2-channel surround
Special Features:
Visual Feature-Length Commentary
Theatrical Trailer

BLU-RAY DISC™
Feature presented in high definition
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio
Special Features:
Director’s Commentary
Deleted Scenes with Commentary
Virtual Civil War Battlefield Interactive Map
“The True Story Continues” Documentary
“The Voices of Glory” Featurette
“The Making of Glory” Featurette

CAST AND CREW
Directed By: Edward Zwick
Produced By: Freddie Fields
Screenplay By: Kevin Jarre
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman

SPECS
Run Time: Approx. 122 minutes
Rating: R
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 1.85:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible), English, French, Spanish (Castilian) 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2-Channel Surround DTS-HD MA

American Hustle Makes 4K Debut as a Limited Edition Steelbook May 21

American Hustle Makes 4K Debut as a Limited Edition Steelbook May 21

SYNOPSISThe con is on when scam artists and lovers Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) and Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) are entrapped by ambitious FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) and coerced into participating in a major sting operation which hinges on snaring politician Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) and his associates. Complicating matters is Irving’s wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), who could bring the whole operation crashing down around them all. From the director of Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter, AMERICAN HUSTLE is outrageously entertaining and one of the most acclaimed films of 2013.
DISC DETAILS & BONUS MATERIALS 4K ULTRA HD DISCPresented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, featuring English Dolby Atmos + 5.1 audioHDR and Atmos approved by director David O. RussellSpecial Features:NEW: Nearly 15 Minutes of Additional Never-Before-Seen Deleted & Extended ScenesTheatrical TrailerBLU-RAY DISC™Feature presented in high definitionEnglish DTS-HD MA 5.1 audioSpecial Features:11 Deleted and Extended ScenesThe Making of American Hustle
CAST AND CREWDirected By: David O. Russell
Produced By: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon
Written By: Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Executive Producers: Matthew Budman, Bradley Cooper, Eric Warren Singer, George Parra
Cast: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Jennifer LawrenceSPECS
Run Time: Approx. 138 minutes
Rating: R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 2.39:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible), English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Red 2-Film Collection Arrives April 2

Red 2-Film Collection Arrives April 2

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
Bruce Willis reassembles his old crew when Red 2-Film Collection becomes available on Steelbook® on April 2 by Lionsgate. This double feature comes with deleted and extra scenes, along with audio commentary and a multi-part documentary. Red 2-Film Collection will only be available at Walmart on Steelbook® for the suggested retail price of $39.99.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS
RED: Frank (Willis) is a former black-ops CIA agent living a quiet life alone… until the day a hit squad shows up to kill him. With his identity compromised, Frank reassembles his old team — Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich), and Victoria (Mirren) — and sets out to prove that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Stand back and watch the bullets fly in this explosive action-comedy that critics call “A rip-roaring good time” (Kevin Steincross, Fox-TV).

RED 2: Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. To succeed, they’ll need to survive assassins, terrorists, and power-crazed government officials, all eager to get their hands on the superweapon.

CAST
Bruce Willis                                         Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, The Fifth Element
Morgan Freeman                                The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Bruce Almighty
John Malkovich                                   Being John Malkovich, Con Air, Of Mice and Men
Helen Mirren                                       Golda, The Queen, TV’s “1923”
Mary-Louise Parker                            Fried Green TomatoesR.I.P.D, TV’s “Weeds”
Brian Cox                                            X2, Troy, TV’s “Succession”

4K UHD STEELBOOK® SPECIAL FEATURES:
RED

  • Deleted And Extended Scenes
  • Audio Commentary with Retired CIA Field Officer Robert Baer
  • Theatrical Trailer

RED 2

  • “The Red 2 Experience” Multi-Part Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

PROGRAM INFORMATION
RED
Year of Production: 2010
Title Copyright: Red © 2010, Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2024 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Catalog Re-Release
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action, Comedy
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Run Time: 112 Minutes
4K UHD Format: 2160p Ultra High Definition • 16×9 (2.40:1) Presentation
4K UHD Audio: English Dolby Atmos • Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Audio • English 2.0 Dolby Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
Artist Information: Marko Manev

RED 2
Year of Production: 2013
Title Copyright: Red 2 © 2013, Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2024 Summit Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Catalog Re-Release
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Action, Comedy
Closed-Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Run Time: 116 Minutes
4K UHD Format: 2160p Ultra High Definition • 16×9 (2.40:1) Presentation
4K UHD Audio: English Dolby Atmos • Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Audio • English 2.0 Dolby Audio Optimized for Late-Night Listening
Artist Information: Marko Manev

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two   

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two   

Available on Digital on April 23

BURBANK, CA (February 21, 2024) – Based on DC’s iconic comic book limited series ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, join DC Super Heroes from across the multiverse in the second of three parts in DC’s new animated film Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two, which continues the trilogy that marks the beginning of the end to the Tomorrowverse story arc.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the all-new, action-packed DC animated film features some of DC’s most famous Super Heroes from multiple universes, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman, who come together to stop an impending threat of doom and destruction. Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two will be available to purchase on digital and on 4K UHD in limited edition steelbook packaging and Blu-ray on April 23.

Fans of this superhero adventure will also be able to indulge in a range of bonus features, including interviews with the filmmakers on how they created a comprehensive universe across seven films.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part One is available now on Digital, 4K UHD and Blu-ray.The final part of the trilogy will be available later in 2024.

Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two features returning popular voice cast members: Jensen Ackles (Supernatural, The Boys, The Winchesters) as Batman/Bruce Wayne, Emmy winner Darren Criss (The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, Glee) as Superman & Earth-2 Superman, Meg Donnelly (Legion of Super-Heroes, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,) as Supergirl & Harbinger, and Stana Katic (Castle, Absentia) as Wonder Woman & Superwoman.

Aside from the returning voice cast, the star-studded ensemble voice cast includes Jonathan Adams as Monitor, Gideon Adlon as Batgirl, Geoffrey Arend as Psycho Pirate/Charles Halstead & Hawkman, Troy Baker as Joker, Zach Callison as Robin, Darin De Paul as Solovar, Ato Essandoh as Mr. Terrific & Anti-Monitor, Keith Ferguson as Dr. Fate & Atomic Knight, Will Friedle as Batman Beyond & Kamandi, Jennifer Hale as Alura & Hippolyta, Aldis Hodge as John Stewart, Jamie Gray Hyder as Hawkgirl, Erika Ishii as Doctor Light/Dr. Hoshi & Huntress, David Kaye as The Question & Satellite, Matt Lanter as Blue Beetle, Liam McIntyre as Aquaman, Lou Diamond Phillips as Spectre, Matt Ryan as Constantine, Keesha Sharp as Vixen, Harry Shum Jr. as Brainiac 5, and Jimmi Simpson as Green Arrow.

Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two is produced by Jim Krieg and Kimberly S. Moreau and executive produced by Butch Lukic, Sam Register, and Michael Uslan. The film is directed by Jeff Wamester from a script by Jim Krieg. Casting and voice direction is by Wes Gleason. The film is based on characters from DC and the graphic novel “Crisis on Infinite Earths” by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez

Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Two will be available on April 3 9 to purchase digitally from Amazon Prime Video, AppleTV, Google Play, Vudu and more. On April 30 23 the film will be available to purchase on 4K Ultra HD in limited edition steelbook packaging and Blu-Ray Discs online and in-store at major retailers. Pre-order your copy now.

SYNOPSIS:

An endless army of SHADOW DEMONS bent on the destruction of all reality swarms over our world and all parallel Earths! The only thing opposing them is the mightiest team of metahumans ever assembled. But not even the combined power of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and all their fellow superheroes can slow down the onslaught of this invincible horde. What mysterious force is driving them? And how do the long-buried secrets of the Monitor and Supergirl threaten to crush our last defense?

SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE:

Physical and Digital

  • Voices in Crisis
  • The Bat-Family of the Multiverse
  • Justice League Crisis on Infinite Earths – Part Three Sneak Peek

PRICING AND FILM INFORMATION

PRODUCT                                                                             SRP

Digital purchase                                                                      $19.99

4K Ultra HD Steelbook + Digital Version*                           $47.99 USA

4K Ultra HD Steelbook                                                          $54.99 Canada

Blu-ray + Digital Version*                                                     $29.98 USA    

Blu-ray                                                                                    $39.99 Canada

4K/Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French

Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, Dutch, French

Running Time: 95 min

Rated PG-13 for violence, some disturbing images and thematic elements.

*Digital version not available in Canada

Marvel Celebrates Milestone 700th issue of Uncanny X-Men

Marvel Celebrates Milestone 700th issue of Uncanny X-Men

New York, NY— March 6, 2024 — In July 2019, the world of the X-Men was shattered and reborn on Krakoa in visionary writer Jonathan Hickman’s House of X. In the years since, fans have experienced a golden age of mutant storytelling, filled with bold ideas, astonishing character developments, and revolutionary new takes on the mutant metaphor. Now, the next seminal shift in the history of the X-Men is on the horizon, but first, Marvel Comics proudly presents the final act of the Krakoan Age this June in X-MEN #35!

X-MEN #35 will be the milestone 700th issue of Uncanny X-Men and will feature an epic-length story by acclaimed writers and artists who shaped the Krakoan Age, including Gerry Duggan, Kieron Gillen, Al Ewing, Lucas Werneck, Joshua Cassara, and more. The giant-sized issue will also feature a story of family by X-Men master Chris Claremont and offer a glimpse of things to come in the new X-Men titles launching this summer. It’s a landmark issue for one of pop culture’s most beloved franchises that no comic book fan will want to miss!

All good things must come to an end, and as good of a thing as the Krakoan era has been for mutantkind…its time has come at last. The tragedy and triumph of FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X, the madness and mystery of RISE OF THE POWERS OF X…they have all come to their end and led to this moment that will change the future of mutantkind for years to come.

On closing out this groundbreaking period of the mutant mythos, Senior Editor Jordan D. White shared, “Being a part of the Krakoan experiment has been a true thrill. Honestly—in many ways, it echoed the experience of mutant-kind itself in the era. We worked. Differently, we tried new things, and we survived incredible new experiences. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have worked with such fantastically talented creators throughout the era, and working on the glorious ending is truly bittersweet. I will miss it with my whole heart, but I do know… Krakoa will live on within us forever.”

REVIEW: Contagion

REVIEW: Contagion

In 2011, I watched Contagion and found it a gripping thriller with an all-star cast–Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Elliott Gould, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, Sanaa Lathan, and Gwyneth Paltrow–then promptly stopped thinking about it. I was, though, reminded of it in 2021 when the global pandemic became a reality.

And yet, Warner Home Entertainment skipped the obvious 10th anniversary in favor of finally releasing the 4K Ultra HD edition. It’s a stunning disc and well worth your attention.

From director Steven Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns, we have a now-eerily familiar situation that a weary world is hardly prepared for. As the camera casually pans across the empty spaces and we see only masked faces, it feels more like memory than fiction. We can admire how accurately they projected what a modern pandemic might be like and you would have thought more people would have paid attention back then and made us all better prepared for what is now clearly the inevitable.

PR executive Beth Emhoff (Paltrow), returns from Asia, and brings with her a disease that was already spreading. A flashback at the end shows how it all innocently started with…a bat. Her husband, Damon, is the character we follow through the various lot threads as the world rapidly spirals out of control. Dr. Leonora Orantes, Cotillard’s WHO epidemiologist, comes from Europe to study the disease and her outsider status rubs people the wrong way and also is discordant with the rest of the narrative.

We’re far enough away from our real-world life-changing circumstances to once again watch the film, but with fresh eyes and knowing nods of the head. Overall, it’s a compelling story with many strong performances.

The studio’s 2160p/HDR10 transfer is superb and an improvement over the previous Blu-ray edition. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is fine, although can’t keep up with the visual. Not that most of us would notice.

The release offers just the 4K and a Digital HD code, repackaging the 2012 special features while adding nothing new, which is a missed opportunity.  For the record, these include The Reality of Contagion (11:00), The Contagion Detectives (5:00), and How a Virus Changes the World (2:00).

Feeding Ghosts by Tessa Hulls

Feeding Ghosts by Tessa Hulls

We are all haunted by history, one way or another. For some, it’s personal; for others, it’s public. After the 20th century we had, for all too many it’s both, intertwined.

Tessa Hulls is in her thirties, the second child of two first-generation immigrants to the US, brought up in a tiny Northern California town where she and her brother were  the only people at all like them. Her mother Rose is mixed-race, born in tumultuous 1950 Shanghai to a Swiss diplomat who had already run back home before the birth and a Chinese journalist, Sun Yi, who thought she could weather any storm.

Hulls tells the story of all three women, over the last hundred years, in Feeding Ghosts , a magnificent, impressive first graphic novel all about the ways Tessa and Rose, and Sun Yi before them, are haunted by history.

Hulls is the one telling the story, and that frames it all: she has those core American concerns of “who am I?” and “where did I come from?” Making it more complicated, she’s here exploring her Chinese identity as the daughter of two generations of Chinese women who had children with European men, and as someone raised in America entirely in the English language.

One more thing: one very big thing. Sun Yi was moderately famous: she escaped China for Hong Kong in the late 1950s, when Rose was a child, and wrote a scandalous memoir of her life under the Communist upheavals of the previous decade. She got her daughter, Rose, accepted into a very highly regarded boarding school in Hong Kong, despite not really having the money to pay for it. And then she mentally collapsed. Sun Yi spent the next two decades in and out of mental hospitals and was eventually cared for by her daughter in America starting in 1977, when Rose was 27. Rose spent her teen years in that boarding school, alternately worrying about her mother’s care and being molded to be part of an internationalist elite. And then Rose fled to America, first for college, then for a brief nomadic freedom that her daughter would eventually emulate.

Let me pull that all together: Tessa Hulls, whom a lot of Americans would cruelly call “one-quarter Chinese,” grew up in a town with no other Chinese people. Just a mother, quirky and specific and tightly controlled, the kind of mother who has Rules for everything that are rarely said explicitly, never explained, seemingly arbitrary, and core to her concept of the world. And a grandmother, trapped in her own head, scribbling every day as if she was eternally re-writing that famous memoir, and speaking only the smallest bits of broken English. That mother and grandmother spoke a different language together – I think mostly the dialect of Shanghai – which they never taught Tessa. “Chinese” was that language, that mysterious past, the symbol for all that was hidden and frightening and different for Hulls growing up.

Hulls has a lot to get through in Feeding Ghosts: a lot of family history and related world history, a lot of nuance and cultural detail that she learned as she was researching her family’s past. She tells it all mostly in sequence, after a brief prologue, but “Tessa Hulls” is present throughout, our narrator and filter, the voice telling us how she learned the story almost as much as she tells the story itself. This is a story unearthed and told, not something pretending to be purely dry and factual. It’s not an exaggeration to say it’s primarily about Tessa’s journey, how she decided to figure out this tangled knot of her family history, to do it with her mother as much as possible, to reconcile the two of them and try to come to a place here they could better meet and understand each other.

Hull’s pages are organic, specific, inky. She uses swirling white outlines on a black background as a visual element regularly – the pull of all of those ghosts, if you want to be reductive – to open and close chapters, and more subtly in the backgrounds of fraught moments.

One of the hallmarks of a great big book is that it leaves you wanting to know more. I was enthralled by the stories of young Sun Yi and Rose, and how Tessa learned what they did and what it meant. (The latter is the more important thing, in an ancient, rule-bound, formalistic society like China – maybe even more so in a time of such transition and upheaval as the early Communist years.) But I felt that she was less forthcoming about her own youth. This is very much a story of these three women, but I wondered about other figures: Hulls’s father is almost entirely absent, signposted as a British man with a thicker accent than Rose and seen only a handful of times. And Tessa’s brother, just one year older, growing up in this same house and environment, is even less present – did he feel any of these pressures? Or was this so much a matrilineal thing, tied into those cultural assumptions of what men and women do, that he was able to “be American” in ways more closed to Tessa?

But that’s not the story Hulls is telling. And every story casts shadows: the story that-is dimly showing flickers of other stories that could have been, or might yet be. The brightest, most brilliant stories cast the clearest shadows – that may be why I wonder so much about Hull’s father and brother; they’re dark, mysterious shadows just outside the circle of these three women, brilliantly illuminated and seen in depth.

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

Michael T. Gilbert’s The Complete Wraith!

Michael T. Gilbert’s The Complete Wraith!

Sometimes there’s a creator whose work you like, and you keep checking to see if they have anything new, and they just don’t. For a decade or two. You’re pretty sure they’re still out there, and you hope they’re doing something fun and interesting. You may have the secret hope, most famously centered around J.D. Salinger, that the creator is just piling up lots of Good Stuff, kept unpublished for idiosyncratic reasons, and you will eventually get to see all of that on some glorious future day.

Michael T. Gilbert is one of those, for me. I liked his Mr. Monster stories both in the ’80s, with goofy, near-parody humor/horror style, and in the ’90s, when he retooled in a more serious mode for an “Origins” series. And I gather he’s had some random Mr. Monster stories since then, but nothing regular. I keep hoping there will be a book, since I mostly read books these days, but that seems unlikely. (I gather most of Gilbert’s comics work for the last two decades has been scripting Disney comics for European publishers – nice work if you can get it, but apparently completely unseen in his own homeland.)

But I did just see Michael T. Gilbert’s The Complete Wraith! , which collects the major work he did before Mr. Monster, in the late ’70s. And I’ll take what I can get.

Wraith is an anthropomorphic version of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, created as such to be a feature in the all-anthropomorphic anthology series Quack! in 1976. Quack! had six issues, with eight Wraith stories, over the next two years, and there was one more Wraith story in a 1982 solo Gilbert comic – add in a new comics introduction featuring Mr. Monster, some explanatory text-and-photo pieces between the stories, and extensive story notes from Gilbert, and you have this book. It’s designed well, and showcases what does seem to be the entirely complete Wraith: it’s a model of what a book like this should be.

On the story side, Gilbert is very clearly aping Eisner, in story structure, twists, ironic reversals, and even cast. That’s not a bad model, since Eisner’s Spirit was a lot more ambitious than it might look, and Gilbert is always entertaining here, even if not all of the stories make full use of the Eisnerian materials.

Gilbert was already experimenting with washes and Craftint and other texture and background effects that I can’t really describe adequately – I’m no artist, or a serious scholar of comics art. But his pages, even at the very beginning of this book, were carefully constructed, from panel layout to art tools to textures, and towards the middle of the book, it begins to look pretty much the same as Gilbert’s mature Mr. Monster style. (And, aside from the first story, which is pretty thin, the storytelling holds up as well, too – they’re short kicker stories about a dog adventurer in an Eisnerian world, admittedly, but they do good work within that tight structure.)

This is a fun ’70s exercise, collecting energetic work from a then-young creator working out some of his influences and seeing how different kinds of stories can work on paper for him. It’s not a lost classic, and the tone is pretty different from both Mr. Monster eras, for anyone looking for more of that. Oh, and he gets testy if you call him “Wrath,” which I expect a lot of readers did. With that in mind, this is a lot of fun, presented in a well-made package.

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

REVIEW: Fall Through

REVIEW: Fall Through

Fall Through

By Nate Powell

Abrams ComicArts, 192 pages, $24.99

Artist Nate Powell gained international acclaim for his work on the March trilogy of graphic novels recounting the life and career of the much-missed John Lewis. However, he is more than just that; he’s an acclaimed writer/artist, as seen in the just-released Fall Through.

Powell is celebrating the punk aesthetic from the late 1970s and early 1980s, set somewhere between the Ramones and the arrival of the New Wave sound. It’s a narrow slice of music history since the beloved Ramones started in 1974, and New Wave may have first appeared with the Talking Heads in 1977, a year before part of this story is set. He traces the rise of Diamond Mine, a small quartet that struggles to get from gig to gig as they attempt to be Arkansas’ first punk band.

While that would have been interesting enough for a story, he layers on the fact that they have crafted a song that propels them through time and space to alternate realities and it then becomes a search for home. They arrive in 1994 and want to get back to 1978 without a pair of silver slippers in sight.While the marketing calls it “Love and Rockets meets Russian Doll”,  I call it needlessly confusing. Powell vividly presents the power of music, adding in a layer of lightning to accompany their thrashing. It’s a visually interesting story if the narrative doesn’t quite connect.Of the four characters, vocalist Diana is perhaps the best delineated. It’s her powerful song “Fall Through” that sends them everywhere. Interestingly, this isn’t her story, but it’s Jody, the band’s bassist, who emerges as the protagonist. With the encouragement of her father, she leaves home with her bass, and hooks up with the others, forming the group. Unfortunately, she’s not particularly well-defined, and the other members of the band, Napoleon and Steff, come across with barely acknowledged wants and needs. We get glimpses of what’s on her mind through her tour diary, which spaces six weeks for her, and years for everyone else.

I don’t mind a good circular story (I really enjoy Russian Doll), but visually, it’s hard to parse which reality we’re in or what time period. Had Powell stuck with the punk community the band encounters across the country and the power of music. This could have been a significantly stronger narrative.

REVIEW: Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar

REVIEW: Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar

Space Wars: Quest for the Deepstar very much wants to be one of the plethora of low-budget 1970s knock offs of Star Wars riding the comet tail of that phenomenon. It’s just not bad enough to be lumped in with Bartle Beyond the Stars or the 3-D mess of Spacehunters. Nor is it good enough to be a thoughtful low-budget meditation on the soul. It falls in between and is quickly forgotten the moment you turn off the DVD of the 2022 release, out now from Uncork’d Entertainment.

Late in the 30th century, mankind has somehow managed to survive the contemporary mess we’ve made of ourselves and has even managed to find a way to preserve the human soul, reducing it to a blue goo. The catch is that it’s expensive, so only the top 1% of the 1% can afford it, although starship captain Kip Corman (Michael Paré), a scavenger eking out a living, won’t let that stop him. He’s recently lost his wife and wants her essence poured into an android. With his daughter Taylor (Sarah French), they search for credits and the legendary Deepstar, where his salvation awaits.

This quest occupies the bulk of the film, as any story adhering to the three-act structure demands, and here there are some interesting obstacles, such as pirate Dykstra (Olivier Gruner). They even encounter an interesting scientist, Jackie (Anahit Setian), who promises them the starship’s location in exchange for their protection.

Based on what we’re shown, the future is shinier but nowhere near as advanced as one would have hoped. The costumes and sets are okay while the CGI effects get the job done.

Paré was on the cusp of stardom in the 80s with features like the underrated Streets of Fire, and here, he’s an older but engaging leading man. The relationship between him and French show some genuine warmth. However, they’re stuck with mediocre dialogue from Joe Knetter and Garo Setian, with the latter directing in an adequate, if unimaginative, manner. The rest of the cast are less talented and without stronger material to work from, fill the screen, and keep things moving.

The film is available as a DVD only and comes with a fine 1080p digital transfer and 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track. Neither are great, nor do they need to be given the content.

There are a reasonable number of Special Features including Commentary from director Garo Setian, screenwriter Joe Knetter, and stars Anahit Setian and Sarah French. Additionally, there are four Deleted Scenes (5:29), the inevitable Bloopers (4:15), and the Trailer (1:34).