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Batman Films Make Ultra HD Debut in June

BURBANK, CA, APRIL 2, 2019 – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and DC announced today that four Batman titles will be released on 4K UHD to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the DC Super Hero created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger.  The films include 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, directed by Tim Burton, and 1995’s Batman Forever and 1997’s Batman & Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher.  The four films, which earned more than $1.2 billion in global box office, have been remastered in 4K UHD for the first time.

The films will be available as 4K UHD singles on June 4 and will also be available as a four-film collection on September 17. The 4K UHD singles and the four-film collection available in September will also include remastered Blu-ray discs of the films.

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

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray discs of Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin will feature a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. To experience Dolby Atmos at home, a Dolby Atmos enabled AV receiver and additional speakers are required, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar. Dolby Atmos soundtracks are also fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment.

Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin will be available on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack for $41.99 SRP and feature an Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with the feature film in 4K with HDR and digitally remastered Blu-ray disc of the films. Fans can also own Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin in 4K Ultra HD via purchase from select digital retailers beginning on June 4.  The singles and the four-film collection will include collectible packaging with new art designed in stunning glossy retro colors reminiscent of the 1980’s and 1990’s era when the films were originally released in theaters.  The 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital versions of the film will collectively include more than 17 hours of previously released extras, including full-length commentaries by director Tim Burton on Batman and Batman Returns and director Joel Schumacher on Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin 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.

1989’s Batman was directed by Tim Burton and stars Jack Nicolson as The Joker and Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader.  Produced by Jon Peters and Peter Guber from a screenplay by Sam Hamm and Warren Skaren, the film also stars Kim Basinger as Vicki Vale. The film won an Academy Award for Best Art Direction

1992’s Batman Returns was also directed by Burton and stars Keaton again as The Dark Knight.  Produced Denise Di Novi and Burton, the screenplay is by Daniel Waters from a story by Waters and Sam Hamm.  The film also stars Danny DeVito as Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer and Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Christopher Walken as Max Shreck.

1995’s Batman Forever was directed by Joel Schumacher and stars Val Kilmer as Batman. 

Produced by Tim Burton and Peter McGregor-Scott, the screenplay is by Lee Batchler, Janet Scott-Batchler and Akiva Goldsman from a story by Batchler and Batchler-Scott.  The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones as Harvey Dent/Two-Face, Jim Carrey and Edward Nygma/The Riddler, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian, and Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin.

1997’s Batman & Robin saw  Joel Schumacher return as director and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze and George Clooney as Batman.  The film was produced by Tim Burton McGregor-Scott and written by Akiva Goldsman and also stars Chris O’Donnell as Dick Grayson/Robin, Uma Thurman as Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy, and Alicia Silverstone as Barbara Wilson/Batgirl.

SYNOPSIS

Batman

The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.

Batman Returns

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Batman Forever

Batman must battle former district attorney Harvey Dent, who is now Two-Face and Edward Nygma, The Riddler with help from an amorous psychologist and a young circus acrobat who becomes his sidekick, Robin.

Batman & Robin

Batman and Robin try to keep their relationship together even as they must stop Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy from freezing Gotham City.

DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION ELEMENTS

On June 4, Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever and Batman & Robin 4K UHDwill be available to own for streaming and download to watch anywhere in high definition and standard definition on favorite devices from select digital retailers including GooglePlay, Vudu, Xbox and others, and will be made available digitally on Video On Demand services from cable and satellite providers, and on select gaming consoles.

ABOUT DIGITAL

*Digital movies or TV episodes allow fans to watch a digital version of their movie or TV show anywhere, on their favorite devices. Digital movies or TV episodes are included with the purchase of specially marked Blu-ray discs. With digital, consumers are able to instantly stream and download movies and TV shows to TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones through retail services like CinemaNow, Flixster Video, Vudu and more. For more information on compatible devices and services go to wb.com/digitalmoviefaq. Consult a digital retailer for details and requirements and for a list of digital-compatible devices.

ABOUT MOVIES ANYWHERE

Movies Anywhere is a digital movie platform that enables movie fans to discover, access, and watch their favorite digital movies in one place. Movies Anywhere brings together a library of nearly 7,500 digital movies from Sony Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film, The Walt Disney Studios (including Disney, Pixar, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm), Universal Pictures (including DreamWorks and Illumination Entertainment) and Warner Bros., and will continue to expand the consumer experience as more content providers, digital retailers and platforms are added. By connecting participating digital retailers that include Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNOW, Google Play, iTunes and Vudu, movie fans can now bring together their digital movie collections (whether purchased or redeemed) in one place and enjoy them from the comfort of their living rooms, and across multiple devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire devices; Android devices and Android TV; Apple TV; Chromecast; iPhone, iPad and iPod touch; Roku® devices and popular browsers. Movie fans can also redeem digital codes found in eligible Blu-ray and DVD disc packages from participating studios and enjoy them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere – your movies, together at last.

BASICS

PRODUCT

Ultra HD Blu-ray $41.99

Ultra HD Digital $29.99

Ultra HD Blu-ray Four-Film Collection (9/17)  $90.00

Standard Street Date: June 4, 2019

EST Street Date: June 4, 2019

Four-Film Collection Street Date: September 17, 2019

Ultra HD Blu-ray Languages: English, Latin Spanish, Castilian Spanish, Canadian French, Parisian French, German, Italian, Japanese

Ultra HD Blu-ray Subtitles: English SDH, Latin Spanish, Castilian Spanish, Parisian French, German, Italian, Japanese

Running Time: Batman – 126 minutes, Batman Returns – 126 minutes, Batman Forever – 121 minutes, Batman & Robin – 124 minutes

Rating: Rated PG-13

REVIEW: Bumblebee

REVIEW: Bumblebee

Allow me to state upfront that I have now nor ever have been a fan of the Transformers. When they arrived, my tastes ran in other directions. That said, I have done some behind-the-scenes work with the franchise a few times in my career so have a good working knowledge. I’ve also seen the first Michael Bay and bits of the subsequent ones, enough to know these also aren’t to my taste.

I was therefore ready to outright reject the first solo film, Bumblebee, but the trailers hooked me. That and the arrival of Hailee Steinfeld, who I have enjoyed since True Grit. As a result, the film, out now on disc from Paramount Home Entertainment, is far more enjoyable than imagined.

By making this about a girl and her robot, a tried and true formula dating back decades (was Gigantor the first?), the film is smaller, needing only so much backstory to be plausible. Set in the film universe, it’s set in the past and therefore acts as a prequel to the overstuffed films that have ground the series into rust.

We get glimpses of the Cybertron civil war, with Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), the Autobot leader, ordering loyal B-127 (Dylan O’Brien) to seek safety on Earth. No sooner does he land than scared humans and vile Decipticons batter him, damaging his vocal synthesizer and sending him into hiding. That is, until he’s discovered by18-year-old Charlie Watson (Steinfeld). She’s emotionally damaged, having just lost her father, and they find one another in a series of charming scenes.

All that changes when Sector 7’s Jack Burns (John Cena) alerts the bad guys B-127 has been located, then the running, chasing, shooting, and exploding begins in earnest. By then, we’re emotionally invested in the pair and put up with the noise. At its core, the film is about people learning to find their voices and overcome adversity of all stripes, in order to stand tall and move forward. That’s a good message for the intended audience.

The film is out in a nice variety of formats including the 4K Ultra HD Combo and Blu-ray combo. The movie is said to have been shot at a resolution of 3.4K, and finished at 2K giving us a sharp, colorful, and detailed image. All the CGI looks particularly good in 4K. The Blu-ray 1080p transfer is equally good. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack provides an excellent companion to the visuals.

What’s lacking are excellent special features, delivering instead, the same old. We have

The best part of the package (both $k and Blu-ray) is the prequel mini-comic Sector 7 Adventures, which is nicely written and drawn and I wish the credits were provided although it was packaged by Avalanche Comics Entertainment, which produced a previous Transformers in-pack comic and know their stuff.

The special features include Sector 7 Archive: Agent Burns: Welcome to Sector 7 (0:50), Sector 7 Adventures: The Battle at Half Dome (9:19), a motion comic version of the ACE comic; Deleted and Extended Scenes (19:05) — Original Opening, Drive to Karate Class, Birthday Present, Car Wash and Beetle Breakdown, Charlie Drops Off Mona and Conan, Decepticons Inspect the Armory, Drive to Cliff, Sector 7, and Appliance War; Outtakes) — Burns Meets Bee, War Room, There’s a Door in My Way, Charlie in Trash, and Saved the World; Bee Vision: The Transformers Robots of Cybertron (3:56); Bringing Bumblebee to the Big Screen in five parts: The Story of Bumblebee (3:54), The Stars Align (7:04), Bumblebee Goes Back to G1 (10:02), Back to the Beetle (6:20), and California Cruisin’ Down Memory Lane (19:57).

REVIEW: Aquaman

REVIEW: Aquaman

Aquaman is wet and wild fun while not entirely holding together as well as it should. The film, the sixth in the in the loosely-connected DC Extended Universe, continues the momentum started with Wonder Woman. Director James Wan certainly makes the undersea world come to vivid life although I wish he spent a little more time on the world-building and character interrelationships.

We pick up a year after his appearance in the disappointing Justice League and Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) continues to reject his fate as a hero. While he opens the film by stopping a sub full of pirates, including the man who will become Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), it seems an infrequent activity. He’s quickly back to drinking and bar fighting, hoping the world will leave him alone.

Instead, forces are at work to make certain that never happens.

While hanging out with dad, Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison), he’s under attack and Mera (Amber Heard), whose relationship with him is never clearly established her or in JL, shows up to explain Atlantis is readying to make war on the surface world and this was just the beginning.

His half-brother, Orm (Patrick Wilson), is scheming with Mera’s dad to either forge alliances with the various undersea kingdoms, or seize them, creating an unstoppable force.

Well, there’s one force: Arthur. He is convinced to claim his birthright and we get some lovely flashbacks about his origins so we see Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), an exiled queen, fall in love with the lonely lighthouse keeper until the day soldiers came crashing into their home to take her away. Young Arthur is trained by Vulko (Willem Dafoe), adviser to throne, and we watch his burgeoning telepathic command of sea life.

He challenges Orm, gets beaten, and goes on the run as the film shifts to a quest adventure to find the powerful trident of King Atlan, which will acknowledge his right to the throne. (Atlan was created by Peter David and Esteban Maroto for DC’s The Atlantis Chronicles which I edited and personally, couldn’t have been happier to see their names in the credits.)

While on the quest, the relationship between allies becomes something more, but they get interrupted by Black Manta, who is out for revenge since Arthur allowed his dad to die during the pre-credits sequence.

Everything builds to the all-out war between Aquaman and Meta versus Orm’s army. Lots of special effects, bombastic music, and special effects galore. Of course, once we reach the mid-point, the film stops surprising us and delivers every anticipated beat, robbing the film of being something above average.

The film is bloated but entertaining and with the backstory established, maybe the inevitable sequel (and unnecessary Trench spinoff) will go in fresh directions.

The movie is out in the usual assortment of packages, complete with retail exclusives. The Blu-ray combo was reviewed and the 1080p transfer looks sharp and brilliantly colorful. The aspect ratio is 2.40:1, with the IMAX-formatted scenes framed at 1.78:1. The Dolby Atmos soundtrack is actually superior with TrueHD 7.1 in the mix. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix is adequate.

One would think that with Aquaman a staple of television since his animated debut in 1967, there’d be some special features about the character and his comic book origins, but no such luck. Instead, its all about the movie, ranging from interesting to boring to perfunctory.

We open with Going Deep Into the World of Aquaman (19:00); Becoming Aquaman (13:00); James Wan: World Builder (8:00); Aqua Tech (6:00), Atlantis Warfare (5:00), The Dark Depths of Black Manta (7:00), Heroines of Atlantis (6:00), Villainous Training (6:00), Kingdoms of the Seven Seas (7:00), Creating Undersea Creatures (7:00), A Match Made in Atlantis (3:00), and finally, Scene Study Breakdowns (11:00). There’s also a Shazam! Sneak Peek (3:00), with a scene from the following film in the series.

Sony battles DC Comics over ‘Zero Hour’ TM

Sony battles DC Comics over ‘Zero Hour’ TM

See, we’re not the only comic company with trademark fights!

Sony has filed a petition to cancel DC Comics’ trademark hfor its 1994 comic book series ‘Zero Hour’.

In December 2017 Sony filed a trademark application (US number 87713622) for the title. The US Patent and Trademark Office rejected the application in September last year as the examiner found it was likely to cause confusion with DC’s marks.

Sony has now taken its fight to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, claiming that DC has not shown sufficient use of the mark in the period since it was registered.

Sales of a series published in 1994 cannot be considered “continuous” use of the mark, according to Sony.

Originally at www.worldipreview.com

Gina Rodriguez’s “Miss Bala” Hunts for Home in April

Golden Globe® winner Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation, “Jane the Virgin”) takes charge in the high-octane action adventure, MISS BALA, debuting on Digital April 16 and coming to Blu-ray and DVD April 30, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Caught in the perilous world of a brutal cross-border cartel, a young woman finds powers she never knew she had as she seeks to rescue her friend. Hollywood’s newest heartthrob, Ismael Cruz-Córdova (Mary Queen of Scots), stars alongside Rodriguez as the cartel kingpin, whose growing attraction to his strong-willed female hostage raises the stakes for both as the CIA, DEA, and rival cartels close in. Rodriguez and Cruz-Córdova are joined by co-stars, Anthony Mackie (Avengers: Infinity War) and Matt Lauria (“Friday Night Lights”) in this female-driven action story directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) from a screenplay by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Contrapelo).
 
MISS BALA on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital comes loaded with over 60 minutes of bonus material, including eight deleted and extended scenes, wardrobe and rehearsal footage with insights by director Catherine Hardwicke, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes. In “Gina: The Unstoppable Strength of a Woman”, Rodriguez explains the importance of portraying a strong Latina woman on the big screen, with the cast & crew proclaiming why she was the only actress who could tackle on this role. Learn how the cast and stunt team created the action-packed gun fights and explosive scenes in “The Bigger the Bang: Action on Set”. In “The Making of MISS BALA”, discover how this empowering story was brought to life from script to screen with a 95 percent Latinx cast and crew, a new benchmark for Hollywood diversity, with looks into the supporting cast and vibrant locations. Finally, delve deeper into the production with a feature audio commentary by Director Catherine Hardwicke, Executive Producer Jamie Marshall, and Associate Producer Shayda Frost.
 

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“The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” comes home in April

It’s time to go where no brick has gone before when The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part arrives on 4K UHD Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD Special Edition and Digital. The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, global box office phenomenon that started it all, The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all-new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city.

Reprising their starring roles from the first film are Chris Pratt (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Jurassic World”) as Emmet; Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games” movies, “Love & Mercy”) as Lucy, aka Wyldstyle; Will Arnett (“The LEGO® Batman Movies,” TV’s “Arrested Development”) as LEGO Batman; Alison Brie (TV’s “GLOW,” TV’s “Community”) as Unikitty; Nick Offerman (“Fargo,” TV’s “Parks and Recreation”) as MetalBeard; and Charlie Day (the “Horrible Bosses” movies, TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadephia”) as Benny. They are joined by Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip,” “Keanu”) and Stephanie Beatriz (“Short Term 12,” TV’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as new characters Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi and General Mayhem, respectively, and Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids,” TV’s “Big Mouth”), as Mom.

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Senator Patrick Leahy writes a tribute for his longtime friend, Batman

Senator Patrick Leahy writes a tribute for his longtime friend, Batman

Senator Patrick Leahy, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, talks about his introduction for Detective Comics #1000, his longtime relationship with fellow crimefighter Batman, how he’s appeared in more Batman movies than any mere actor, and more in his local paper.

Decades after meeting him in Montpelier’s Kellogg-Hubbard Library, the longest-serving U.S. senator, Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., is wishing a happy 80th anniversary to his best-known associate and Gotham City’s Dark Knight, the Batman.

Originally at www.rutlandherald.com

Man, 39, Arrested In Modesto Comic Book Store Break-Ins

There’s been an arrest in Modesto comic book store burglaries

Detectives have made an arrest in the case of thousands of dollars worth of rare merchandise stolen from a Modesto comic book store.

Modesto police say 39-year-old David Garcia has been arrested in connection to the break-ins at Invincible Comics back in February. About $5,000 worth or rare comic books and other merchandise was taken.

Originally at sacramento.cbslocal.com

It’s official: Fox’s Marvel heroes go to Disney, along with everything else

Here we go, kids. The acquisition of 20th Century Fox by Disney is official today.

Ryan Reynolds is getting into the spirit of the thing:

And some happy soul has helpfully embedded Deadpool into Avengers: Endgame…

The Hollywood Reporter, umm, reports:

Reynolds’ Deadpool is expected to be the only iteration of the X-Men to make the jump to Disney, with Disney CEO Bob Iger having confirmed multiple times that popular, R-rated version of the character could exist at the studio. […] Marvel Studios has not publicly revealed any plans for integrating members of the X-Men and Fantastic Four into its cinematic universe, though Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is said to have met with several members of the X-Men old guard in recent months. Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley, who was hired to write a Doctor Doom movie in 2017, earlier this month confirmed he’s spoken to Feige about the script centering on the Fantastic Four villain, though Hawley downplayed how serious those discussions were.

Here’s hoping the, ah, crisis passes smoothly.

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