The best of DC Comics’ Elseworlds stories where when the writers challenged the conventional wisdom, upending how we envisioned our heroes. Among the more celebrated of these stories was Mark Millar and Dave Johnson’s Superman: Red Son, imagining the Kryptonian rocket ship landing in Soviet Russia, not Kansas.
It has long been on people’s wish list for adaptation as either a live-action or animated feature. Those wishes have finally been granted in one of Warner Animation’s more successful adaptations. The film is out now from Warner Home Entertainment in all the usual formats including the popular 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD combo.
Superman (Jason Isaacs) arrives in the late 1930s and by the time his powers begin to manifest with his adolescence, we’re on the tail end of World War II and the arrival of Joseph Stalin’s (William Salyers) Iron Curtain. With a super-powered loyalist, Stalin manages to exert even greater influence over his people and the world at large. America may have introduced the atomic bomb, but they were clearly behind in the super-powers arms race. Presidents began to rely on brilliant industrialist Lex Luthor (Diedrich Bader) to close that gap. He’s encouraged by his reporter wife Lois Lane (Amy Acker).
The timeline is altered from our world since Stalin died in 1953 but is still alive when the planet was being orbited by multiple Russian satellites. When the Man of Steel arrives in America to save it from a failed Russian satellite, he is shown proof of Stalin’s atrocities, including an underground slave labor camp for political dissidents, including his childhood friend Svetlana Winter Ave Zoli). In his anger, Superman kills Stalin and tries to do the right thing, further spreading the Communist ideal to countries around the world.
In time, he and Princess Diana (Vanessa Marshall), ambassador from Themyscira, form a friendship where she checks his idealism with doses of realism. Over the years, he grows more strident and blindered, eventually costing him her loyalty. Other dissidents arise, including Batman (Roger Craig Smith), but the bigger threat to his rule is the extraterrestrial Brainiac (Paul Williams), which shrinks Stalingrad before he subdues and seemingly reprograms the alien tech to do his bidding.
Human nature has proven Communism to be an unattainable goal and here, even a super-powered idealist cannot make it work. He is opposed by Democratic ideals, positioned here as the one true form of government; a facsimile made from his DNA, and that pesky Bat. Everything builds up until there’s betrayal, realization, catharsis, and genuine heroism.
It’s an exceedingly well told tale thanks to a solid script from J.M. DeMatteis and strong direction from Sam Liu, who finally has tempered some of his action excesses in favor of better character moments. Frequent composer Frederik Wiedmann turns in an excellent score.
The UHD’s 2160p transfer is visibly superior to the Blu-ray (not that its bad), but the color palette is well-captured here. This gray world is nicely depicted and looks terrific. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track captures the booms, sound effects, and music quite well.
The Special Features have fallen into a predictable pattern. We start off with another wonderful installment of the DC Showcase shorts. Here we have a Phantom Stranger (15:07) installment, set in the psychedelic era, just when the feature was being revived by DC. Then we have the routine look at the story underlying the Elseworlds tale: Cold Red War (16:57) as Dave Johnson, Mike Carlin, Sam Liu and others from the crew talk about the source material. Thankfully they also brought on screen several people to address the real history, including history professors Miriam Neirick, Ph.D. and Michaela Crawford Reaves, Ph.D.
Additionally, there’s a useful, abbreviated motion comic (6:03) version of the graphic novel and Sneak Peek: Justice League Dark: Apokolips War (10:23), which is being billed as the final installment in this incarnation of the animated continuity.
The disc is rounded out with older previews and the two-part Justice League episode “A Better World”.
BURBANK, CA (March 10, 2020) – Two fan-favorite HBO television series will be available in their entirety when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Silicon Valley: The Complete Series boxset on DVD ($89.99 SRP US / $169.99 SRP Canada) and The Deuce: The Complete Series boxset on DVD ($79.99 SRP US / $109.99 SRP Canada) on May 26, 2020.
Additionally, the Silicon Valley: The Complete Sixth Season DVD and The Deuce: The Complete Third Season DVD will both be available the same day-and-date courtesy of Warner Archive Collection. Warner Archive releases are found at wb.com/warnerarchive and your favorite online retailer.
“Following the highly successful run of both Silicon Valley and The Deuce on HBO,” said Rosemary Markson, WHBE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is thrilled to bring the complete series boxsets of each show to fans this spring so they can relive and collect their favorite show.”
Silicon Valley is a comedy series set in the high-tech gold run of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. The story is familiar for series co-creator Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill), who worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley in the late 1980s before moving to television and achieving success with Beavis and Butthead. Silicon Valley was Judge’s first live-action comedy series, which he helmed for six seasons alongside comedy writer/director/producer Alec Berg (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Barry).
The series stars a hilarious ensemble featuring Thomas Middleditch (Tag, Search Party), T.J. Miller (Mash Up, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World), Zach Woods (Avenue 5, The Office), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Stuber), Martin Starr (Freaks and Geeks, Party Down), Josh Brener (Glory Daze, The Internship), Christopher Evan Welch (The Master, Vicky Christina Barcelona), Amanda Crew (Jobs, Charlie St. Cloud), Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians), Suzanne Cryer (10 Cloverfield Lane) and Matt Ross (Big Love, Magic City).
In the sixth and final season of the hit series, Pied Piper is finally seeing the fruits of their labor – they have a huge new office and employees to fill it. But they soon find that being a bigger company means dealing with bigger problems. Can they achieve their vision without sacrificing their morals?
7 HALF-HOUR EPISODES
Artificial Lack of Intelligence
Silicon Valley: The Complete Series, a 9-disc DVD boxed set includes all the episodes from Seasons 1 through 6 featuring approximately 1,800 minutes of laughs.
Boasting a superb ensemble cast and executive produced by David Simon, George Pelecanos, Nina K. Noble and James Franco, The Deuce chronicles the rise of the porn industry that began in New York City in 1971-72 and ends with the deterioration of NYC’s Times Square in the 1980s. Shot on location in New York, The Deuce features remarkable ‘70s-era production design, costumes and music that capture the thrilling, pre-sanitized aura of Times Square during this decade.
The series also marked the return of Simon, whose other acclaimed HBO projects include both The Wire and Treme as well as the miniseries Generation Kill, Show Me a Hero and The Corner. The Deuce stars a pedigree cast led by James Franco (Oscar® nominee for 127 Hours), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Oscar® nominee for Crazy Heart), Gary Carr (Downton Abbey), Margarita Levieva (How to Make it in America), Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. (The Wire), Dominique Fishback (Show Me a Hero), Emily Meade (The Leftovers), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Knucklehead), Chris Bauer (True Blood, The Wire), Chris Coy (Banshee) and Michael Rispoli (The Sopranos). Prominent guest stars throughout the series include Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick), Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid), Cliff “Method Man” Smith (8 Mile) and many others.
The Deuce: The Complete Third Season brings us into the world of 1985, just as VHS overtakes film as the primary medium for porn production and distribution. The lure of the California sunshine, the city’s aggressive takeover of commercial sex properties in Times Square and the devastating impact of the AIDS epidemic mark the end of an era. With the party of the 1970s winding down, 42nd Street has deteriorated into a hive of uncontrolled violent crime and seedy video stores, making urban renewal seem more unlikely than ever before. Following the interconnected lives of Times Square’s barkeeps, prostitutes, pimps, police, mobsters, porn actors and producers, the eight-episode third season of The Deuce brings the series’ arc to a dramatic conclusion.
In addition to the series regulars listed above, season three finds familiar faces who return this season as cast regulars including, David Krumholtz (HBO’s upcoming miniseries The Plot Against America), Daniel Sauli (House of Cards), Olivia Luccardi (Channel Zero) and Sepideh Moafi (Falling Water). Season 2 cast regulars Jamie Neumann (Jessica Jones) and Luke Kirby (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) also return for season three.
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
Stage Setting Piece
8 Inside the Episode Featurettes
8 ONE-HOUR EPISODES
The Camera Loves You
Morta di Fame
Normal Is a Lie
They Can Never Go Home
You Only Get One
This Trust Thing
That’s a Wrap
The Deuce: The Complete Series, an 8-disc DVD boxed set includes all episodes from Seasons 1 through 3, including previously released special features, featuring approximately 1,500 minutes of content.
All seasons of Silicon Valley and The Deuce are also currently available to own on Digital. Digital purchase allows consumers to instantly stream and download all episodes to watch anywhere and anytime on their favorite devices. Digital movies and TV shows are available from various digital retailers including iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, Vudu and others.
Writer’s notes: All DC Comics references imply past events. They do not indicate any criticism or suggest answerability from current management.
I’ve built my career around what I call my Studio 54 philosophy. It’s that philosophy that I’ll use to explain how those dancing on Dan Didio’s grave do so at considerable risk.
If you have not read last week’s article, please do so. If you don’t, this is gonna read strangely.
There’s no way to say this without sounding a bit full of myself, so here goes… I’m the Master Of The Universe. Yep, call me Motu if you like, but I am indeed the Master, etc. etc.
To be the Master of anything requires intelligence, the ability to reason, and self-confidence. Believe it or not, reason and self-esteem are more critical than being smart. If I had to pick one overall, it would be confidence.
Another way to put it is a force of will.
Studio 54 was a fantasy, a wish, a dream to me. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be able to roll in there at will.
Well, rejection is a great motivator.
I was NEVER rejected from 54. My most painful rejection was from the most excellent high school known to mankind the universe (of which I am Master) and all of creation (that’s not me) the High School of Art & Design.
WHAT? But we’ve read dozens of articles where you tell of the love for that high school because you went there. The fans of Michael Davis (both of them) are saying.
I did go there— but was rejected my first try. I tried in the ninth grade for admittance to the tenth grade. DENIED! I’ve wanted to go to that school since I found out it existed in the fourth grade. At that age, waiting six minutes is agony— imagine waiting six years.
I could try again, but there was a catch.
The odds of getting into A&D for admittance to the 9th and 10th grade were four people admitted out of every ten that applied. The 9th and 10th were foundation years where you learn the principals of art. Anyone hoping to get into the 11th grade, the odds were 1 out of 25.
The odds were that low because you’re skipping the foundation years. You major immediately. I was told this by my guidance counselor, no doubt hoping to spare me the pain of rejection for the second time.
“An artist is wishful thinking for one in your position Michael.” Translation: “Nigger*, PLEASE. There’s always work at the Post Office.”
I got in.
That was the moment I realized what my boy Lee calls; THE POWER OF DAVIS.
It wasn’t too long after that I was getting into 54. Because I began to look at things differently.
It wasn’t a Black and White world; there are plenty of shades; this underaged Black kid was now made aware of. My friend Earl and later Lee would hop (not pay) the train from Far Rockaway to Manhattan just to stare at what we thought we would never take part in, life like white people lived.
We would stand outside of Broadway plays, hoping to see whatever TV stars we heard were appearing in the play come out. Stand outside movie theaters showing blockbuster movies. One night we noticed the usher tearing ticket stubs dropping his half. One of us would pretend to trip while walking by, grab the discarded stubs go to the back of the line, and MOVIE NIGHT was born. The highlight of our Manhattan nights was always Studio 54. The street was packed with people all trying to get in; we stood there for hours just happy to be near a place we saw on television.
No such ‘stub’ opportunity at Studio 54, but watching the news one night gave me an idea. There was a story about this woman who gifted Steve Rubell a Studio 54 sculpture. I did a drawing and went down to 54 during the day.
I knocked on the door, a lady answered, said with a smile, “No.” When I asked for Mr. Rubell. That ‘no’ caused me to refine my plan. I knew I’d get in eventually Why? One out of twenty-five is why.
There were photos of all the top doorman from the top clubs in a magazine story that for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of. I did caricatures of all of them. Then I talked to an editor of a pennysaver circular. I’d met her at my cousin’s house, she gave me her number. I was studying illustration at the world’s most fabulous high school, and she told me to come to see her when I graduated.
She ran the art.
The “magazine” came out, my intention; give the originals to the doormen.
I set about dropping the artwork off at the clubs. The first club I got into was Xenon, the only real competition 54 ever had. Funny thing the doorman, Charles, had not seen the drawing just undid the velvet rope for me and my girlfriend Renee. An hour or so later, I caught him by the bar and told him about the drawings.
Valerie Perrine dances with Disco stars The Village People at Xenon.
He sent someone to the office to look for them. Turns out Roger, the other head door guy at Xenon, was recruited by 54 and took all the art with him. Charles was so moved by the gesture he told me to come down anytime then introduced me to Brian, Roger’s replacement. From that moment on, I was VIP at the 2nd biggest nightclub in NYC.
This was the night that started to shape my Studio 54 philosophy.
My Studio 54 philosophy:
Get to the decision-maker.
One night I showed up at Xenon, and neither Brian or Charles were at the door. The guy there was someone I’d seen before from his swagger I knew he was the boss. I rolled up to the rope and dropped a “Charles always lets me in” all I got was a look and a view of his back when he turned around on me. I was heartbroken, so I started to leave when I hear—
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING?” The voice belonged to a stunning Black woman who was always at the club.
She was standing next to the guy who turned his back on me. Now I was being waved in by the same guy. Turns out, I was right; the guy was the owner Howard Stein and the woman was his girlfriend Tawn Christian. I’d happen upon some guys crowding her once and told them to step off (white folk, that means “leave her alone” ). I’d forgotten all about that. She hadn’t.
Now not only was I getting into Xenon, but I was also getting in free.
It’s not easy getting to the guy on top, but once you do that makes it much more manageable. Put another way, if you know Jay-Z you now have access to his infrastructure. Work your relationship with Jay first. If you’re interested in just milking connections for whatever you can get, you will quickly be found out.
Once that happens, you’re DEAD. Jay makes a call telling people you’re a dick, you are done done done.
Safeguard your relationships.
I learned the hard way to guard your relationships like its water, and you’re in the desert. At one point, I’m riding high thinking my shit don’t stink (white folk y’all got that I assume), so I bring my boy Lee who invites his boy Lenny who invites his girl Ghetto to Studio 54. I don’t remember her name, but Ghetto fits. While working through the crowded dance floor, Ghetto steps on the foot of a Princess. A real honest to Jesus Allah Jehovah Buddha Kirby Princess.
That was bad enough, but Ghetto acted her name. I’m still surprised the Princess’ bodyguards didn’t shoot Ms. G. That’s kinda what saved me. I quickly owned up to bringing the group that almost caused an international incident. What else could I do? It’s a fair bet we were the only Black people from the hood there. Ghetto’s “YEAH, WHAT? That’s what you get for BE IN IN MY WAY!” Made it more visible.
When wrong, apologize.
If possible, bring up the wrong and take responsibility before you’re summoned to explain yourself. Trust me, seldom will that not get you points.
My apology featured:
A promise never to bring thugs with me again.
A plea to continue coming to Studio 54, the highlight of my life.
A plan: “If you want to bust a cap in the back of her head, I’m ok with it.”
That I said to the bodyguards a laugh from those guys and a hug from the Princess saved my Studio 54 privileges. Roger slapped me on the back, then whispered, “Michael, well done, but if it happens again, you’re gone.”
Consider who brought you in.
No one can control how someone you don’ t know will act. If the Princess wasn’t even-tempered if Roger was in a bad mood, if any of those were in play—I’m dead at 54. Roger then makes a call, I’m gone at Xenon, I’m gone everywhere.
Never again would I make the mistake of hooking someone up with people I don’t know. Roger may have been fired if the incident had turned into a critical issue why? Because of his relationship with me. He was the reason I was there, and in business, if you bring someone in, they are your responsibility at the start of their involvement.
Remember, most likely, YOUR contact has a boss.
Don’t sever a relationship when someone is fired.
This may be the most crucial part of my Studio 54 philosophy.
Roger going to 54 worked out great for me. He was truly touched when he was gifted with the original artwork.
Xenon was my favorite club; however, this was Studio 54.
I was getting into the most famous nightclub in the world and for free.
Talented People always end up somewhere else.
Charles went to a new club ‘X’ Roger went back to Xenon, and Mark from 54 ended up in LA, where he was on the door at a few clubs.
Wherever those guys went, I had carte blanche.
A lot of people are dancing a gig on Dan Didio’s grave. Dan isn’t dead. Far from it.
He’s got almost two decades of insider information from one of the two top comic book publishers on Earth. Dan possesses relationships with world-class talent, and there is no-one except idiots who won’t take his call.
Dan did great things at DC that non-competes he no doubt signed don’t mean shit in reality. All it does is buy DC time to change some internal workings. It also stops Dan from writing DC COMICS: THE UNBELIEVABLE STORY OF SUPERMAN’S METH HABIT.
That’s a joke title, everyone knows Superman does not do meth. The hardest thing he does is drink coke he tried snorting it but sneezed and blew his dealer’s head off.
Yeah, that was uncalled for. I’m going to remove it. But if I do that, you won’t see I did such a noble thing. That means its YOUR fault that silliness is here.
Wow. GROW UP, will ya?
If Dan’s non-compete is one or even two years, during that time, he’ll be working on what his next act is anyway. When my year-long non-compete with Motown expired, my next project with Simon and Schuster was announced a day after it ended. By the end of the month, the project was in the market place.
Dan will not have any problem maintaining his boss’s status because he’s a smart, talented, capable executive.
The dumbest— I mean DUMBEST— thing a creator without the influence of a significant playa could do is go online and bath in a glowing victory they had nothing to do with.
Figure out what real power is.
Roger, Charles, Brian, and Mark, actual power wasn’t because they were the doormen at elite clubs. Their power is WHY they were the doormen.
The doormen at clubs like 54 and Xenon were not just some lucky guy who filled out an application. Anyone could recognize Mick Jagger or Andy Warhol.
Doormen at 5-star clubs were put in that position to spot CEO’s, Senators, royalty, and the like.
Could you spot those people?
Many doormen from the Studio 54 era came from an Ivy League school, an influential, wealthy family, or both.
Don’t take it personally.
Dan was once a friend. I did a giant solid for him, and he never returned the gesture. How could he? His boss tried to destroy me, and Dan would have been an idiot to cross that line.
I’m gonna do exactly what I did when Disney canned him. I’m going to call and offer him a hand. If he needs anything and I can be of some help, I will.
It’s never a good thing to rejoice when someone is suffering a setback.
Once Frank Sinatra was the biggest star in the world. He fell hard from that and was back playing very small singing gigs. Also, an actor his acting career was all but dead. He had to beg to audition for a part in the movie; From Here To Eternity.
He won the Academy Award for his role.
Just like that, he was a headliner again. Within a year, he was the biggest star on the planet again.
Remember if a person screwed you once they may do it again. They may not, but why chance it?
Sinatra never forgot those who were there when he was on top but deserted him when he hit bottom.
Keep the true nature of all your relationships on the down-low.
What many young people don’t understand about influence is this; let’s say you said nothing about Dan’s dismissal. If buddies with someone who did that puts you at risk.
It works another way also.
DC Comics has relationships with many of my Bad Boy Studio Mentor program alumni. Although DC wants nothing to do with me.
Almost to a person I’ve heard this from my former students; “Michael, would you mind if I did x for DC? “Or “Say the word Mike and I’m done with them.”
The ability to remove a revenue source from a company is real power. Why haven’t I done that?
Twice I killed a project that directly affected my house. It wasn’t revenge; it was business.
When I was a kid, I read The Fountainhead. I loved that book. Then I grew up. Now the book and its writer, in my opinion, are jokes.
I will admit the characters in the book are excellent as examples. Everyone wants to be Howard Roark, the novel’s hero, a brilliant architect of absolute integrity.
I’m Ellsworth Toohey. Like Toohey, I’ve built an influential brand command a large part of (Black) content talent and distribution.
UPS Hilton Hotels and DC learned I’m a dangerous opponent AKA the wrong nigga* too fuck with.
As is Dan Didio.
*Writer’s notes yet again: The use of ‘nigga’ in this narrative means imposing dangerous and formidable. It’s a hip-hop term used in this manner, not a racial one.
DC Universe’s Titans series is maddeningly uneven. Its second season, out now on disc for those unwilling to buy the service, is perhaps slightly better than its inaugural outing but it’s still a mess.
Let’s start with the fact that everyone behind the camera doesn’t understand Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), so they depict him as bitter and angry, lost and without a clear sense of self. He was never like that in the comics and this is jarring and not terribly well thought through. During the season he is haunted by the vision of Bruce Wayne (Ian Glen), who seems far less brooding than one would expect an aging Batman to be.
The final episode shot for season one is used to open season two as Dick, Donna Troy (Conor Leslie), Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson), Gar Logan (Ryan Potter), Kory Anders (Anna Diop), Jason Todd (Curran Walters), and Rachel (Teagan Croft) face off against Trigon (Seamus Dever). Once his threat is easily dispatched, the team go their separate ways for most of the season.
Titans in the comics, whether under Bob Haney, Marv Wolfman, or Geoff Johns, worked best when they were together, loving, laughing, and fighting as a surrogate family unit. Instead, we have multiple storylines going on that allows them to introduce Conner Kent (Joshua Orpin), Deathstroke/Slade Wilson (Esai Morales), his son, Jericho (Chella Man), and daughter, Rose (Chelsea Zhang). Slade wants revenge against Dick for Jericho’s injuries while Rose was sent to infiltrate and betray the team in a variation of the classic storyline “The Judas Contract”.
It never quite gels and comes together as it needs to although Dick finally forges his Nightwing identity, just in time for a member of the team to be needlessly killed. There are times I think the best character in the show is Krypto, who never gets enough screen time.
A third season is in the works and one can hope they learn their lessons and grow rather than retreat.
The 1080p transfer is crisp which is good considering how dark the series is, even in daytime. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is a match if not a touch better so you’re in for a good viewing experience.
The 13 episodes are accompanied by one Special Feature: Jason Todd – Fate by the Fans (11:52), which examines the disastrous call in stunt that doomed Jason Todd to a grisly death in the best-selling “Death in the Family” storyline from 1989.
Between Walt Disney’s death in 1966 and 1988’s released of Oliver and Company, the namesake company’s animated output was stale, unimaginative, and paralyzed by execs whose manta was “What would Walt do?” Then came a second Golden Age of animation and generations have been entertained anew as they embraced bolder storytelling, more diverse characters, and even CGI versus cel animation.
And yet, I wonder how Walt would have felt about sequels. The direct to video sequels to films like The Lion King were sheer cash grabs and diluted the core properties. He would have been pleasantly surprised at how good the Pixar sequels to Toy Story have been. But, would he have approved a Frozen II? We’ll never know and it had to be a risk to bring a second adventure to the big screen considering the phenomenal success of the 2013 original.
Thankfully, the current team didn’t rush out a hasty sequel to squeeze every last nickel from their audience. Instead, they took their time to ensure a sequel was strong enough to handle the pent up expectations. There was no way the sequel, out now on disc from Disney Home Entertainment, could measure up but one would have hoped for something with a bit more zest.
The movie is pleasant enough as it builds on the world established in the original, giving us insight to the politics that beset Arendelle, which Else (Idina Menzel) now governs. She hears a call, one last heard in childhood, that brings her to the mythic forest. Accompanied by Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad), the adventure begins. They find a misty barrier and once they pierce it, they find Arendelle’s long lost warriors, including Mattias (Sterling K. Brown). Secrets are revealed, the true nature of the conflict with Northuldra included, and the Queen must sort things out.
There are gasps and guffaws and the overall story is a good one, just not great and far from magical. Partly it’s familiarity, and partly there was no way they could live up to the anticipation.
The 2160p is a step above the Blu-ray but not enough to justify the extra cost (the combo pack here is your friend). Colors and details are crystal clear, the animated figures move fluidly and the effects are strong. Both 4K and Blu-ray come with DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 or Dolby Atmos track and they both sound strong, but could be better.
The Special Features are usually where Disney shines, especially for their younger viewers but here it’s all just so ordinary. The 4K disc merely contains the movie with a karaoke-style lyric track. The rest are on the Blu-ray and there are plenty:
Outtakes (2:26) from the voice recording sessions; Did You Know??? (4:27), The Spirits of Frozen 2 (12:02), Scoring a Sequel (3:49); Deleted Scenes (17:58) with Director Chris Buck and Writer/Director Jennifer Lee introductions; Deleted Songs, including “Home” (4:22) and “I Wanna Get This Right” (6:24); two Gale Tests (3:56); “Into the Unknown” (3:07) seamlessly intercut in 29 Languages, which inspired the wonderful piece we see at the Academy Awards; Music Videos: “Into the Unknown” (Panic! At the Disco Version) (3:16) and “Lost in the Woods” (Weezer Version) (3:06).
Kristen Stewart gives a powerful performance in this action-packed sci-fi thriller. The crew of the Kepler undersea mining rig knew there would be hardships on their current mission, but nothing prepared them for the terrors they’re about to face. The heart-stopping adventure begins when a devastating earthquake damages the rig, including its communication devices and escape vehicle. Although quick-thinking mechanical engineer Norah Price (Stewart) manages to temporarily stave off imminent disaster, the need to evacuate escalates quickly. Their only hope is to walk across the ocean floor to an abandoned vessel, in hopes that its communication equipment still works. As if their journey isn’t treacherous enough, they begin to sense that they’re not alone in the murky ocean depths. Also starring Vincent Cassel, Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr., Mamoudou Athie and T.J. Miller, Underwater is a chilling, suspenseful adventure that’s filled with nonstop action from start to finish.
Dive into a digital exclusive alternate ending with audio commentary, and a wealth of other bonus content when you redeem your digital code. Add UNDERWATER to your digital collection on Movies Anywhere™ and buy it on Blu-rayTM and DVD April 14.
UNDERWATER Blu-ray and Digital Special Features:
Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary*
Deleted Scene with Optional Commentary:
Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary:
Crew Suit Up
Ocean Floor Walk
Real Bunny Montage
Creatures & Visual Effects
Feature Audio Commentary by William Eubank, Jared Purrington and Phil Gawthorne *Alternate Ending available on Digital only.
UNDERWATER Blu-ray Technical Specifications:
Street Date: April 14, 2020
Screen Format: Widescreen 2.40:1 (16:9)
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Total Run Time: 95 minutes
U.S. Rating: PG-13
UNDERWATER DVD Technical Specifications:
Street Date: April 14, 2020
Screen Format: Widescreen 2.40:1 (16:9)
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Descriptive Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Total Run Time: 95 minutes
U.S. Rating: PG-13
BURBANK, CA (March 4, 2020) – The World’s Greatest Super Heroes square off once-and-for-all against the despotic Darkseid – with the fate of all humanity hanging in the balance – in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, the next entry in the popular series of DC UniverseMovies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting May 5, 2020, and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on May 19, 2020.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be accompanied by the all-new DC Showcase animated short, Adam Strange. The thrilling tale, which offers insight into the space adventurer’s fascinating backstory, features Charlie Weber (How To Get Away with Murder) as the voice of title character.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be available on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (USA $39.99 SRP; Canada $44.98 SRP) and Blu-ray Combo Pack (USA $24.98 SRP; Canada $29.98 SRP) as well as on Digital. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack features an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc in 4K with HDR, a Blu-ray disc featuring the film in hi-definition, and a digital version of the movie. The Blu-ray Combo Pack features a Blu-ray disc with the film in hi-definition, a DVD with the film in standard definition, and a digital version of the movie.
Culminating a six-year animated journey that began with the release of Justice League War in 2014, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War finds Earth decimated after intergalactic tyrant Darkseid has devastated the Justice League in a poorly executed war by the DC Super Heroes. Now the remaining bastions of good – the Justice League, Teen Titans, Suicide Squad and assorted others – must regroup, strategize and take the war to Darkseid in order to save the planet and its surviving inhabitants. This is truly the war to end all wars, and only the victor will live to enjoy the spoils.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War features the largest Super Hero cast in the history of DC Universe Movies with dozens of actors/characters spotlighted in a grand ensemble of talent reprising their roles from this six-year story continuum. Matt Ryan (Legends of Tomorrow, Constantine), Jerry O’Connell (Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play,Stand by Me) and Taissa Farmiga (The Nun, The Mule,American Horror Story) anchor the cast as Constantine, Superman and Raven, respectively – the triumvirate determined to assemble the forces necessary to lead humanity’s final attack. Alongside that trio are the long-running core of Justice League voices — Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Batman, Rosario Dawson (Briar Patch,Daredevil, Sin City) as Wonder Woman, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg and Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Insatiable, Ugly Betty) as The Flash – as well as JL-adjacents Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Rainn Wilson (The Office, The Meg) as the voices of Lois Lane and Lex Luthor, respectively.
Tony Todd (Candyman) is the voice of the film’s key villain, Darkseid. The cast also boasts appearances by Camilla Luddington (Grey’s Anatomy) as Zatanna, Ray Chase (Justice League Dark, Final Fantasy XV videogame) as Jason Blood/Etrigan, Roger R. Cross (24, The Strain, Arrow) as John Stewart & Swamp Thing, Liam McIntyre (Spartacus: War of the Damned, The Flash) as Captain Boomerang, Hynden Walch (Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans) as Harley Quinn, Stuart Allan (Batman vs. Robin, Batman: Bad Blood) as Robin/Damian, Sachie Alessio (Batman: Hush) as Lady Shiva, and John DiMaggio (Futurama, Batman: Under the Red Hood) as King Shark.
Directors Matt Peters (LEGO DC: Batman – Family Matters) and Christina Sotta (Young Justice) helm Justice League Dark: Apokolips War from a script by Ernie Altbacker (Batman: Hush, Justice League Dark) and Mairghread Scott (Wonder Woman: Bloodlines), who is also credited with creating the story. Amy McKenna (The Death of Superman) is producer, and Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by Gaslight) is co-producer. Executive Producers are Sam Register and James Tucker (Reign of the Supermen, Justice League Dark).
“Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is an epic story of supernatural proportions. A blockbuster, battle royale of a film filled with intense action and heartfelt emotions, serving up spotlight moments for our cast of unique characters,” said Mary Ellen Thomas, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Senior Vice President, Originals, Animation and Family Marketing. “This incredible thrill-ride takes us to the edge of the DC universe and sets the stage for an exciting new chapter.”
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War Special Features
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital
DC Showcase: Adam Strange (Animated Short) – On an asteroid mining colony, mysterious drifter Adam Strange is dismissed as an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a fissure into the home of a horde of deadly alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long. Charlie Weber provides the voice of Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase and Fred Tatasciore. Adam Strange is produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Batman Unlimited franchise), who also conceived the original story – which is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Constantine: City of Demons).
Darkseid: New God/Evil Classic (New Featurette) – This documentary explores the machinations of one of fiction¹s greatest Super Villains as we learn more about what fuels Darkseid¹s drive to becoming a galactic Atilla the Hun and the importance of Deities in our classic and modern fiction.
Filmmaker Audio Commentary – Observations and behind-the-scenes insight from Executive Producer James Tucker, Directors Matt Peters and Christina Sotta, and Screenwriter Ernie Altbacker.
Look Back: Justice League Dark (Featurette) – John Constantine leads a group of misfit characters that use magic to vanquish their opponents. This is the dark version of the Justice League taking on the malevolent forces that go beyond our plane of existence.
Look Back: Batman and Harley Quinn (Featurette) – Take a peek at the animated feature film, Batman and Harley Quinn, featuring the creators and talented voice cast.
From the DC Vault: Justice League Action, “Zombie King”
From the DC Vault: Justice League Action, “Abate and Switch”
From the DC Comics Vault: Teen Titans, “Nevermore”
A Sneak Peek at the next DC Universe Movie, Superman: Man of Tomorrow – An advanced look at the next animated film in the popular DC UniverseMovies collection.
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War 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.
4K UHD Combo Pack $39.99 USA, $44.98 Canada
Blu-ray Combo Pack $24.98 USA, $29.98 Canada
Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Languages: English, Spanish, French
4K Blu-ray Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rated R for bloody violence, language and some sexual references.
After a lackluster summer where there were far more misses than hits, audiences were hungry for something fresh, something different. Lionsgate met that need with the surprise hit, Knives Out, which is out now on disc.
It’s a contemporary take on the kind of murder mysteries Agatha Christie made a career out of and like the film adaptations of her works, this comes with a stellar cast. Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed the feature, serves up an incredibly enjoyable tale, letting familiar performers work outside their familiar character types.
We have world-famous author Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) and his immediate family gathering for an 80th birthday party, but by midnight, he’s dead with all four children suspects in the crime.
Lieutenant Elliott (Lakeith Stanfield) and a trooper Wagner (Noah Segan), perhaps the weakest written characters in the film, have been taking statements and investigating but seem to be getting nowhere. Sitting quietly in the shadows, observing is Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), a private investigator mysteriously hired to ferret out the real killer.
Could it be Harlan’s daughter Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis), or her husband Richard (Don Johnson) or even Richard’s ne’er-do-well son Hugh Ransom (Chris Evans)? Maybe it was Harlan’s son Walt (Michael Shannon) or his wife Donna (Riki Lindhome), or Joni Thrombey (Toni Collette), the widow of Harlan’s deceased son Neil. Or we could skip a generation and cast a jaundiced eye at Walt and Donna’s alt-right son Jacob (Jaeden Martell), Joni’s daughter Meg (Katherine Langford), or even Harlan’s elderly mother Wanetta (K Callan).
Helping fill in some of the gaps while hiding secrets of her own is Harlan’s nurse Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who the family treated as one of their own until their true selves were teased out through Blanc’s questioning.
We get plenty of flashbacks until the truth is revealed to the audience and then the fun begins with the weakest car chase of all time, projectile vomiting, and plenty of scenery-chewing. A great time can be had with this delight of a film.
Johnson clearly had fun crafting this and his cast gave it their all, turning de Armas, next seen with Craig in No Time to Die, into the current It Girl. The box office success h meant work already has begun on a new Blanc mystery to solve.
The film is out on a variety of formats including the Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD combo. The AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 works fine and only the most discerning may quibble at some of the color changes. Really, it looks fine and the Dolby Atmos audio track is crisp and clear.
I wish the special features were a little more special but they’re okay. We have In Theater Commentary with Rian Johnson, Deleted Scenes (4:57) complete with optional commentary from Johnson; Making a Murder (1:54:07), a fine behind-the-scenes look; Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder (6:17); Director and Cast Q & A (42:09) derived from a 2019 screening in Westwood, California; Marketing Gallery, three Trailers, viral ads for Thrombey Real Estate (00:34), Blood Like Wine Publishing (00:56), and Flam (00:34); and Ode to the Murder Mystery (1:43).
This may be the big one, folks. This may be the year that the San Diego Comic-Con gets cancelled.
You think I’m kidding?
The word came out from C2E2 this past weekend: People slated for Emerald City Comic Con Artist Alley in two weeks are publicly cancelling. A rumor that the whole dang con is cancelling is also doing the rounds.
Why? Because the first casualty from COVID-19 is from the Seattle area. There’s a cluster of people there who are already infected.
And neither the coronavirus nor the cancellations going to stop there.
The week after ECCC? ACE in Boston and Planet Comicon in Kansas City. Two weeks after that? Great Philadelphia, Big Apple and MoCCA.
And that just gets us to April.
Guests will cancel. The comics industry is filled with people who simply don’t have health insurance, and can’t risk the costs, the time out of work, or (obviously) their lives for the worst con-crud ever. Old-timers won’t even dare to leave their homes, nor should they. And all of this is before there are mandatory shutdowns by hotels, convention centers– even government order.
There’s no way to avoid it: if you’re expecting to go to any more conventions this year, you’d best be preparing alternate plans. If you’re expecting to make money at a show, you’d best be exploring mail order options or other sources of income.
I expect we’re going to start hearing about official cancellations of major conventions in ten days, possibly less.
How long will it go on? Hard to say, but if they’re talking the cancellation of events like the 2020 Tokyo Olympics this summer, you can’t believe that San Diego Comic-Con International isn’t going to be on the list to avoid like the– well, to avoid. At the very least, it’s not going to be nearly as international as in years past.
But that’s just the beginning of the troubles for the comics industry.
Are you going to be able to get to your local comic store on a regular basis? Is that store in a mall that’s in danger of quarantine? How many of those stores are getting books from overseas? (Assume anything from China will be an extra month late at minimum.) What happens if there are road closures? Travel restrictions between states?
And you’re going to have strange happenings. It just might be that Birds Of Prey is going to be the only comic book movie that is released to theaters directly this year– a number of people may check what’s at their local theater in two weeks and see the signs saying NO TIME TO DIE, and take the hint.
This is going to be a crazy year, folks. Be prepared. Keep checking CDC.gov. And for heaven’s sake, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. You even know the length of time… it’s the time to sing this to yourself:
And no, we’re not sorry that song will be stuck in your head for the next year.
That meant if you were not from Manhattan, you had little chance of ever getting into what is now known as the world’s most famous nightclub.
Back then and even now, only the very rich or very poor live on the isle of Manhattan. I’m neither, although I’ve been poor and have had a bit of wealth.
Wealth, in this case, being able to afford a Manhattan residence. That by no means is a declaration of endless Benjamin’s. The thing about being from no money when you get some, you either blow it (done that) lose it (done that) or finally learn to make it work for you.
If you’re wondering what the difference between losing it and blowing it is, you’re blowing it.