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REVIEW: F9: The Fast Saga
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REVIEW: F9: The Fast Saga

Since 2001, long before Tony Stark got shelled, a kinetic shared universe was quietly taking shape and across the last two decades, the Fast & Furious franchise has become a homegrown phenomenon. This testosterone- and diesel-fueled series has become increasingly popular worldwide but has grown like kudzu, uncontrolled and able to entangle all who come near.

The series has suffered from the lack of a blueprint despite the obvious need to tend to the growing roster of characters and interrelationships. As a result, the series feels as chaotic as its stunts, as characters come and go, relationships merge and evolve, and all are in service to a complicated series of stunts with a thread of plot to tie them together.

Needing to top what came before, each film has grown in challenging stunts that rock your understanding of physics. Whereas the bar is raised by Tom Cruise in each Mission: Impossible film, you never shake your head in disbelief. Instead, it’s wonder.

F9: The Fast Saga opens with a signature stunt but one that tells you right from the start that reality is something to wave at in passing. This is not a film for newcomers as it is entirely dependent on what came before. What the film, written by director Justin Lin and Daniel Casey, does nicely is let the characters age and have lives between films.

But old grudges die hard and once again, the fate of the world is at stake thanks to Ares, a device that can access any computer system in the world, this film’s MacGuffin.

All your familiar faces are back along with cameos from others from throughout the preceding films including one specific surprise appearance. We even get flashbacks allowing us to see key players at earlier stages of their lives.

It’s frantic and frenetic, the stakes ever higher, and the jokes just as lame as before. The stunts make the films worth watching with its core stars—Vin Diesel, John Cena, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez—having fun despite how tired some of the material has come to feel. It should be noted that the regulars made room for new faces including Michael Rooker, MMA Fighter Francis Ngannou, Ozuna and Cardi B. Even the creators know it’s time to make a final pit stop with the franchise ending after the next two films.

Universal Home Entertainment has released the movie on a variety of formats including the now-standard 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital HD code combo. The 1080p transfer is very sharp, nicely capturing the colors and shadows. For a movie built on sound, the Dolby Atmos audio tracks are superb. The 4k Ultra HD 2160p is just that much sharper.

For fans of the series, the extras certainly deliver some fine entertainment including both the Theatrical (2:22:52) and Director’s (2:29:55) cuts. The extra six minutes is more mayhem. Additionally, there is the requisite Gag Reel (3:34); F9: All In, a nine-part behind-the-scenes piece, The Family Returns (3:19), New Breed of Bad Guy (6:12), Building the Land Mine Chase (5:42), A Woman’s Touch (5:10), Vin, Helen, and the Queen (6:07), Growing the Family (4:27):, Controlled Chaos (9:10), Tokyo Drift Reunited (2:48), Raising the Bar (3:22), Practically Fast (7:52), Shifting Priorities (3:59), Justice for Han (3:37), A Day on the Set with Justin Lin (10:00), and John Cena: Supercar Superfan (4:36). The disc is rounded out with Audio Commentary from Justin Lin.

Shyamalan’s Old Arrives on Disc in October
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Shyamalan’s Old Arrives on Disc in October

Universal City, California – Take a thrilling trip from the mind behind The Sixth Sense (1999), Signs (2002) and Split (2016) in M. Night Shyamalan’s OLD, available to own on Digital October 5 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and DVD on October 19 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Take a seat behind-the-camera with never-before-seen deleted scenes and bonus features that offer a deep dive into this mystery of a family vacation that quickly turns sinister.
 
Starring an impressive international cast including Golden Globe winner Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread), Rufus Sewell (The Illusionist, A Knight’s Tale), Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Thomasin McKenzie (JoJo Rabbit), Abbey Lee (Mad Max: Fury Road), Nikki Amuka-Bird (Jupiter Ascending), Ken Leung (‘The Sopranos’, ‘Lost’), Eliza Scanlen (Little Women), Aaron Pierre (‘Britannia’), Embeth Davidtz (Schindler’s List, Matilda) and Emun Elliott (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens). OLD is directed and produced by critically acclaimed filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan.
 
This chilling, mysterious new thriller follows a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly … reducing their entire lives into a single day.
 
BONUS FEATURES ON 4K Ultra Hd, BLU-RAYTM, DVD and digital:

  • DELETED SCENES
  • SHYAMALAN FAMILY BUSINESS – We look at what Night’s two daughters, Ishana and Saleka, contributed to the film and how collaborating with family made filming outside Philadelphia still feel like home.
  • ALL THE BEACH IS A STAGE – Shooting a film in a wide-open space is challenging because angles have to be created, much like theatre. Night explains the significance of his camera movements and the cast discuss the unique experience of filming without coverage.
  • NIGHTMARES IN PARADISE – When making a film like OLD, finding the right shooting location is everything. Hear the story of why Night took the production to the Dominican Republic and how Mother Nature both challenged and helped the production.
  • A FAMILY IN THE MOMENT – Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Thomasin McKenzie and Alex Wolff recount one very special, emotional night of filming that brought them closer than they ever imagined.

.

OLD will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and Digital.

  • 4K Ultra HD delivers the ultimate movie watching experience. Featuring the combination of 4K resolution, the color brilliance of High Dynamic Range (HDR).
  • Blu-ray Combo Pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and Digital copy.
  • Digital lets fans watch movies anywhere on their favorite devices. Users can buy or rent instantly.
New images released from Night of the Animated Dead
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New images released from Night of the Animated Dead

Four key characters – Ben (voiced by Dulé Hill), Barbara (Katharine Isabelle), Judy (Katee Sackhoff) and Tom (James Roday Rodriguez) – get the spotlight in new images released today from Night of the Animated Dead. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will distribute the animated remake of George A. Romero’s 1968 horror classic on Digital starting next Tuesday, September 21, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 5. 

The four new images from the film are:

Barbara’s journey opens the film – in an ominously quiet graveyard with her brother Johnny – and the intensity ramps up from there in Night of the Animated Dead. Scream queen Katharine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) takes on the iconic role of Barbara in the film.

Ben discovers quickly that zombies are not fond of fire in Night of the Animated Dead. Dulé Hill (The West Wing, Psych), whose new series The Wonder Years premieres on ABC on September 22, provides the voice of Ben. 

Attempting to escape from their boarded up house, Judy, Tom and Ben try getting their truck to an abandoned gas pump in a key scene from Night of the Animated Dead. Katee Sackhoff (The Mandalorian, Battlestar Galactica) gives voice to Judy, playing opposite the Psych tag team of James Roday Rodriguez and Dulé Hill as the voices of Tom and Ben, respectively.

Escaping their fortified house, Tom leaps behind the wheel of a truck – with zombies hot on his trail – in a frightening scene from Night of the Animated Dead. James Roday Rodriguez (A Million Little Things, Psych) provides the voice of Tom in the film.

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Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil by Jeff Lemire and David Rubin

Names come with expectations. If a biker gang has members named Trash, Jocko, Bonecrusher, and Fluffy, you’re going to expect there’s a story there. And if the names are references, you’ll already have preconceptions based on the originals.

So when a major character is named “Sherlock Frankenstein,” you’re going to expect a detective who is a monster – or, maybe, if you’re more of a purist, a detective who creates monsters. If you’re told this Sherlock Frankenstein is a villain, that might be a little confusing at first, particularly the “Sherlock” bit, but you assume the creators know what they’re doing.

Until you realize they mean “Sherlock” in the kid-insult sense: this guy is kinda smart, but it implies no more than that. And they mean “Frankenstein” at about the same level: it sounds cool, and he’s old, like the Frankenstein story. Both words here signify “vaguely 19th century dude,” and the man with those names is a tinkerer-type supervillain with a silly circa-1900 origin (hero! villain! random transatlantic journey!  long years as an always-failing villain! hero once more many decades later!) and no motivation other than “a sad thing happened to me, and so therefore the world is horrible and I will make it worse.”

Well, that’s disappointing. But superhero comics traffic in disappointment as much as they do in punching: it’s in the top five ingredients on the label. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that “Sherlock Frankenstein” is much duller and more generic than his name implied. That’s how superhero comics work.

And then we come to Sherlock’s big story: Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil ! You can’t even say it out loud without adding a “bwa-ha-ha!” on the end! Surely this will be an epic story of villainy (presumably thwarted, but maybe not if he’s the title character) full of epic battles with do-gooders and prominently featuring the battle aftermath we see on the cover. If we like superhero stories – and why the hell else would we be reading Sherlock Fucking Frankenstein and the Motherfucking Legion of Evil if we don’t? – we’re keyed up for it.

Reader: that scene appears nowhere in the book. There isn’t a plotline that could lead to that scene. It presumably depicts some old battle of Sherlock against whatever the hell the WWII superhero team is called in this universe, in which some other superhero then came in from off the cover to save the day, hurrah! It’s purely a bait-and-switch, which sadly is also in the top five label ingredients of superhero comics. [1]

No, Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil (bwa-ha-ha!) is actually a story that would more honestly be titled Black Hammer II: Lucy’s Quest or something along those lines. It is a sidebar to the main Black Hammer storyline – this phrasing implies there is a main Black Hammer storyline, and I’ve seen very little evidence of that in the first two volumes, but I’m willing to be generous – in which Sherlock is the McGuffin, not the main character. He’s the guy the narrative circles, and eventually shows up onstage at the end for an extended talking-heads sequence, but engages in exactly zero world-conquering plots and at no time uses an insectoid mechanized thing to defeat Golden Gail and whoever the hell the rest of the people on the cover are.

In the main Black Hammer story, a small band of heroes were transported to a farm on the outskirts of a rural town – which itself is in a pocket universe or something, so they can’t get out – a decade ago, after defeating not-Darkseid in the not-Crisis. The hero actually named Black Hammer was physically disassembled attempting to cross that pocket-universe border and get back to Spiral City, main venue for all the punching. Everyone in Spiral City believes all of the heroes were killed in “the event,” but the rest of the main cast is sure only Black Hammer is dead. (And we the readers realize he’s only as dead as any superhero character ever is: until his triumphant return.)

Black Hammer had a young daughter when he “died,” Lucy Weber. In the Black Hammer comics, we saw her, now a reporter in her early ’20s, do the spunky-reporter thing, find a way into the pocket universe, and take up her father’s hammer to become what has not yet been inevitably named Black Hammer II [2]. None of that is surprising or new.

This Sherlock Frankenstein series tells more of Lucy’s story: some of the things she did to learn about her father’s life before the final success we’ve already seen. Yes: it’s yet another fucking flashback. At this point, the entire Black Hammer saga is a loose tapestry of flashbacks held together by the thinnest possible “present-day” (probably actually mid-90s) story.

I’m half-expecting the gang will never leave the pocket universe, that every Black Hammer story will flash back more and more to tell smaller and smaller stories about things we really don’t care about. How Abraham Slam found boots that are comfortable and long-lasting! Barbalien’s first epic love story on earth in the 1950s! Talky-Walky’s brief spin-off, The League of Super-Robots! Mildly Unsettling Tales, hosted by Madame Dragonfly! All of them with titles that imply much more action and punching than we actually get.

Look: Jeff Lemire is an excellent writer. His people talk like human beings and have understandable motivations, which is rare in comics about punching. But this whole Black Hammer thing is a two-finger exercise that he seems to be doing in his sleep. There is nothing surprising or new or exciting about any of it; it doesn’t even have the usual energy and forward momentum that’s one of the major draws of the superhero comic.

It all also looks very nice: for this story, David Rubin provides full art and colors, and his dynamic layouts mostly hide the fact that this is a superhero story entirely about people talking to each other.

But I just don’t get it. I gather the appeal here is the “superhero universe” thing, to see Lemire spin out more variations on (mostly) DC Comics history, but there’s a gigantic actual DC Comics universe out there, with probably thousands of issues of comics (admittedly, written and drawn much more for socially maladjusted pre-teens of the 1970s, but with stories that actually go places and include vastly more of the punching that superhero fans crave) that people could be reading instead.

And naming this Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil instead of Black Hammer, Vol. 3 leaves a bad taste in my mouth. This is not a standalone, it’s not about Sherlock, and he’s nothing like what “Sherlock Frankenstein” would imply to begin with. Frankly, it all feels like Lemire is trying to build an entire superhero universe out of the avoidance of finishing a single story.

But maybe it’s just that I don’t get how superhero universes work these days. Maybe this is all the point. It’s confusing, it doesn’t go anywhere, the character names are deliberately misleading, you have to follow the thinnest thread of story through a dozen books with confusing and changing titles, and you never get the big scene on the cover. Maybe Lemire is either just really good at doing what usually takes a whole Big Two bureaucracy or the whole thing is a deeply meta piss-take.

I doubt it. But maybe.

[1] What are the other two ingredients in the top five, you ask? Let’s say “silly costumes” and “problematic social attitudes,” today. I reserve the right to pick five entirely different ones tomorrow. Well, except for punching. Punching is like sugar in kid’s cereal: people who know better will always point out how unhealthy it is, but it’s the whole point of the thing.

[2] I think she will actually be the third, but I’m calling her Black Hammer II in all my Black Hammer posts because otherwise it’s just too damn silly and confusing. (Although “too damn silly and confusing” is roughly my take on nearly all superhero comics nearly all of the time.)

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

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The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag

I could pretend that I did it on purpose: that I skipped The Hidden Witch because this book is newer, maybe as some kind of comment on how commercial fiction, especially for younger readers, is so trope-ridden and bend-over-backward accessible that any reader can jump in anywhere and figure out everything important.

I could. But I shouldn’t: it’s not true. So I won’t.

I did read The Witch Boy , the first book in this series of graphic novels by Molly Knox Ostertag (who also, apropos of nothing, is the artist of the great Strong Female Protagonist  series). But I missed the second one, and maybe got The Midwinter Witch  from the library thinking it was the second one. (I had them in the wrong order in my list there, so that’s my excuse.) Whatever: I read book one three years ago, and now I read book three.

There are secret families of magical people – large, extended clans spread across the world, several families, each with slightly different traditions and skills and abilities. As far as we’ve seen, they’re almost entirely good, nurturing people, though, like anyone else, they can be close-minded and unwilling to want change. [1]

Aster is a boy, and in his family, boys are typically shifters – they transform into animals – and girls are witches, casting spells. In Witch Boy, Aster was able to show that typically does not mean must always be, and was able to start training publicly as a witch.

I think Hidden introduced Ariel, a girl about the same age – maybe ten? I’m not clear how old these kids are, but they feel early-middle-schoolish, just prior to the pairing up and worrying-about-sex years – who has witchy abilities, but was adopted, so her heritage was somewhat unknown. Ariel is now part of the same cluster of kids that learn magic (and maybe other things? there may be a Hogwarts-education issue in this world as well) in a homeschooling environment, along with Aster.

This book is about the runup to the big Midwinter Festival, in which Aster’s family (Vanisen) gathers together for a combination family reunion and competition. The shifters (just the kids, as far as I can see) compete in one contest, the witches in another. And the drama in this book is about whether Aster and Ariel will compete.

Aster wants to compete: wants to be seen as what he is. Ariel is reticent: she’s good at magic, but not good at family, and this is all really new to her. Aster’s mother Holly wants Aster to take a pass this year (for what seem to be mostly not-making-waves reasons) and Ariel to compete (since that would help cement her place in the larger family).

Meanwhile, Ariel is having dreams of a powerful older witch who claims to be a living real relative of hers, and trying to drag her into a very different, much nastier kind of magic.

Who! Will! Win!

This is a YA graphic novel series, so obviously it all turns out fine in the end, with all of the good people hugging and being friendly, and everyone winning to at least some degree. I tend to prefer stories with slightly harder choices, but this is fun and positive and affirming: I expect it, and the whole series, are big confidence-builders for all sorts of kids who are odd in one way or another, particularly those whose oddities run up against the gender norms in their families.

[1] This has been a series for pre-sex kids so far, so how people pair up isn’t as clear. I’m hoping there are pan-family gatherings at least partially for teens to meet and match with each other, or else each family is going to get really unpleasant genetically.

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

REVIEW: Black Widow
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REVIEW: Black Widow

Since her introduction in Iron Man 2, the Black Widow has been the most human of the heroes (yes, more than Hawkeye). It was fitting that it was the non-powered Avenger to actually shut down the device in the first Avengers film and for her to make the ultimate sacrifice that led to the restoration of half the life in the universe. So, it’s fitting that her one and only solo film is also one of the most emotional in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Screenwriter Eric Pearson neatly weaves in bits and pieces from the other films to provide background and context for who Natasha Romanoff is, making us all the sadder for her loss. In the hands of the skilled Cate Shortland, the movie is as much about Natasha as it is saving the world (again).

We discover that she was recruited as a Widow at a very young age, raised in the dreaded Red Room to be the ultimate espionage agent. We learn what happened in Budapest. And we learn what it cost her to chart her own path.

As it turns out, she had a “sister”, Yelena and a mother, Melina, and a father, Alexei, a faux family embedded in Ohio for three years. When they leave, in a hurry, the family is separated and do not reunite until 20 years later. We then get a series of set pieces that slowly build backstory as the sisters first reunited with their fists and then with their words.

After breaking Alexei out of his prison exile, they reunite with Melina and the scene set at the dinner table is priceless as they settle back into their old roles while simmering tensions and old wounds are revealed.

Yeah, this is all done in service to bringing down the Red Room and its airborne master, Dreykov (a weak Bond villain despite Ray Winstone’s efforts), freeing the mind-controlled current generation of Widows. His ace in the hole is Taskmaster, a silent warrior who can mimic anyone’s moves, forcing Natasha to change her game. Unfortunately, Taskmaster (Olga Kurylenko) is way too similar to Ant-Man’s Ghost with similar tragic backgrounds, another example of Marvel repeating itself.

There are some lovely action sequences and fights along the way, but the thrills come from the interactions between the characters. Here, Shortland’s work is superb as is the acting. Much has been made about Florence Pugh stealing the film as Yelena, but this has more to do with the fact that we have known and loved Scarlett Johansson’s Widow since 2009 and Pugh is something fresh and different. Yelena is like her “father” as she and Alexei hold nothing back while Natasha is more like Melina, quiet and reserved. The contrasts are well defined here.

David Harbour is having the time of his life as Alexei, the one-time Red Guardian, leaning into his aging, overweight condition, a sharp deviation from Rachel Weisz’s Melina, who remains Russian to the core, until motherly love wins the day.

The movie, out today from Disney Home Entertainment, is available for streaming and in an assortment of disc combinations (4K, Blu-ray, both with Digital HD code). The 1080p transfer on the Blu-ray is very strong, preserving the rich textures of the international locations, which adds another Bond-like element to the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is equally good so the at home experience is a solid one.

The film comes with a brief introduction for Shortland. The special features are fairly basic starting with Sisters Gonna Work it Out (5:24), focusing on Natasha and Yelena and Go Big if You’re Going Home (8:50), a catch-all behind-the-scenes piece, and a Gag Reel (2:54). There are nine deleted scenes (14:10), with several nice beats.

Batman Year One gets 10th Anniversary Treatment
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Batman Year One gets 10th Anniversary Treatment

BURBANK, CA, (September 13, 2021) – Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the DC Universe Movies release Batman: Year One with a fully-remastered version of the film and a newly-created bonus feature, Reinventing Gordon. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the PG-13 rated film arrives on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (USA $33.99 SRP; Canada $39.99 SRP) and Digital starting November 9, 2021.

Originally released on Blu-ray and DVD in 2011, Batman: Year One is based on the landmark 1987 DC titles from 12-time Eisner Award winner and Eisner Award Hall of Fame member Frank Miller and illustrator David Mazzucchelli. The film depicts young Bruce Wayne’s return to Gotham City in his first attempts to fight injustice as a costumed Super Hero. The playboy billionaire chooses the guise of a giant bat to combat crime, creates an early bond with a young Lieutenant James Gordon (who is already battling corruption from inside the police department), inadvertently plays a role in the birth of Catwoman, and helps to bring down a crooked political system that infests Gotham City.

Six-time Emmy® Award winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Trumbo, Your Honor) and Gotham star Ben McKenzie (Southland, The O.C.) lead a star-studded cast as Lieutenant James Gordon and Bruce Wayne/Batman, respectively. Eliza Dushku (Dollhouse, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) provides the voice of Selina Kyle/Catwoman, Katee Sackhoff (The Mandalorian, Battlestar Galactica) gives voice to Detective Sarah Essen, and the late Alex Rocco (The Godfather) is the voice of crime lord Carmine Falcone. Additional voices/characters include the late Jon Polito as Commissioner Loeb, Jeff Bennett as Alfred, Grey Griffin as Barbara Gordon & Vicki Vale, Robin Atkin Downes as Harvey Dent, Keith Ferguson as Jefferson Skeevers, Fred Tatasciore as Detective Flass, Stephen Root as Brendon, Liliana Mumy as Holly and Nick Jameson as Merkel.

Lauren Montgomery (Wonder Woman, Voltron: Legendary Defender) and Sam Liu (Batman: Soul of the Dragon, Superman: Red Son) co-directed Batman: Year One from a script penned by Academy Award® nominee Tab Murphy (Gorillas in the Mist, Disney’s Tarzan). Animation legend Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) is executive producer of Batman: Year One. Executive producers are Sam Register, Michael Uslan and the late Benjamin Melniker.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 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.

Get a sneak peek at the new special feature Reinventing Gordon at DCFanDome. The ultimate global fan experience returns on Saturday, October 16 at 10 a.m. PDT with an all-new, epic streaming event. The free virtual event will once again welcome fans from around the world to immerse themselves in the DC Multiverse at DCFanDome.com and celebrate the stars and creators of their favorite feature films, live-action and animated television series, games, comics, home entertainment releases and more. DC FanDome 2021 will also be available on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, giving fans more ways to watch the events unfolding in DC FanDome’s Hall of Heroes.

Batman: Year OneSpecial Features

4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital

  • Featurette – Reinventing Gordon (New) – An examination of the history of James Gordon through comics, animation, and feature films.
  • Featurette – Conversations with DC Comics – The Batman creative team at DC discusses the personal influence of Batman: Year One on their careers. Batman producer Michael Uslan leads the chat amongst well-known writers, editors, and artists of Batman lore, focusing on the darker, realistic interpretation of Batman’s origins by Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli.
  • Audio Commentary – Featuring co-producer Alan Burnett, co-director Sam Liu, DC creative director Mike Carlin and casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano.
  • Featurette – Heart of Vengeance: Returning Batman to His Roots – “The Dark Knight Returns” provided the denouement of Batman’s life. Frank Miller’s next seminal work would provide his near-mythic origin in “Batman: Year One.” This documentary spotlights the contemporary genius of Miller and the audience that was poised to appreciate the depths of his work.
  • DC Showcase – Catwoman (2011 Animated Short) – The felonious feline’s adventure takes her through the seedy streets of Gotham City. Eliza Dushku reprises her Batman: Year One role as the voice of Catwoman. The short is directed by Lauren Montgomery (Batman: Year One) from a script by Paul Dini (Batman: The Animated Series).
  • DC Universe Movies Flashbacks
    • Batman: Soul of the Dragon
    • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One
    • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two

BASICS

4K + Blu-ray + Digital                                      $33.99 USA, $39.99 Canada

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

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

Running Time: 64 minutes

Rated PG-13 for violence and some sexual material

Lionsgate Invites you to The Colony in October
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Lionsgate Invites you to The Colony in October

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Executive produced by Roland Emmerich (Midway, 2019), the new visually stunning sci-fi thriller film The Colony arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) and DVD October 12 from Lionsgate. The Colony stars Nora Arnezeder (Origin, Mozart in the Jungle, Safe House), Iain Glen (Titans, Game of ThronesLara Croft: Tomb Raider), Sarah-Sofie Boussnina (Department Q: The Absent One, Knightfall, The Bridge), and Sope Dirisu (Gangs of London, Humans, The Huntsman: Winter’s War). The Colony will be available on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital) and DVD for the suggested retail price of $21.99 and $19.98, respectively.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

In this riveting sci-fi thriller from executive producer Roland Emmerich, Earth has been decimated by climate change, pandemics, and war. Years after the ruling elite escaped to another planet, a mission was launched to find out if a return to an uninhabitable Earth were possible. That mission was lost. Now, a lone astronaut in search of answers struggles to survive the hostile planet, and she must ultimately make a choice that will seal the fate of the wasteland’s remaining populace.

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Tim Fehlbaum
  • Visions of the Future: Making The Colony

CAST

Nora Arnezeder                      Origin, Mozart in the Jungle, Safe House

Iain Glen                                 Titans, Game of ThronesLara Croft: Tomb Raider

Sarah-Sofie Boussnina          Department Q: The Absent One, Knightfall, The Bridge

Sope Dirisu                             Gangs of London, Humans, The Huntsman: Winter’s War

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2021

Title Copyright: The Colony © 2020 BerghausWöbke Filmproduktion GmbH Vega Film Ag Constantin Film Produktion GmbH. Artwork & Supplementary Materials © 2021 Saban Films

LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Type: Theatrical Release

Rating: R for some violence

Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Closed-Captioned: N/A

Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH

Feature Run Time: 104 minutes

Blu-ray Format: 1080p High Definition, 16×9 (2.39:1) Presentation 

DVD Format: 16×9 (2.39:1) Presentation

Blu-ray Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™

DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Audio            

Zero Contact Trailer Drops from Vuele
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Zero Contact Trailer Drops from Vuele

Beverly Hills, CA – New global NFT distribution and viewing platform VUELE™ today launched the trailer for thriller ZERO CONTACT starring Oscar-winning Best Actor Anthony Hopkins (The Father).  ZERO CONTACT marks the first feature film release on the Vuele.io platform and will be offered in several consecutive “drops” with new content for fans including the exclusive “Platinum Edition” auction launching on the VUELE™ platform on Sept. 24th
The 72-hour online auction of the premiere “1 of 1” drop will feature the exclusive opportunity for one lucky winner to join the cast in a walk-on role for the ZERO CONTACT Universe. 

For both “Platinum Edition” and “Elite Edition” drops, fans will also have an opportunity to be edited into the feature film.  Additional drops of the film include the “Exclusive” and “Collector’s” Edition coming in October.

In addition, a “Golden Ticket” sweepstakes launching today will offer 100 early NFT fans each week to score exclusive free NFT bundles just for signing up at the Vuele.io site. 

“Our platform is designed to offer something to high-end collectors as well as the every day film fan.” said Director/Producer and VUELE™ Co-Founder Rick Dugdale.  “The ZERO CONTACT Golden Ticket offers fans an opportunity to explore this NFT world and start building their digital wallet to get comfortable watching and owning movies on this new platform.  As the NFT market is driven by scarcity, we are offering a “1 of 1” NFT for the film.  There will only ever be one minted of its kind.”

VUELE™ will offer multiple NFT Bundles for the ZERO CONTACT feature film.  Fans can sign up for more information at Vuele.io to receive notifications on auctions and bidding opportunities on the following:

ZERO CONTACT Golden Ticket NFT Sweepstakes (ongoing, 100 per week to lucky winners)

  • A digital “Golden Ticket” token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELE™  
  • NOTE: Each week, 100 winners will be randomly selected from all eligible entries, with the final draw on September 30, 2021.

ZERO CONTACT Platinum “1 of 1” Edition (72-hour online bidding begins September 24, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Platinum Edition Original Cut – this will be the only version ever to be minted, and will be yours to own. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • All-expense paid trip to visit production set for Zero Contact Universe to meet the cast, crew and experience a day on the set. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • A walk-on role in the Zero Contact Universe, available to be utilized by yourself or someone else you nominate. (1 of 1 Editions)
  • Crypto Art – Original Generative Art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit – An opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual Feature Film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast. (1 of 11 Editions)
  • VUELETM Golden Ticket – A digital Golden Ticket token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELE™ platform. (1 of 2,500 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Elite Edition (48-hour online bidding begins September 24, 2021)

  • Crypto Art – Original Generative Art NFT by REMO x Dcsan (1 of 11 Editions)
  • Personal Zero Contact shoot and edit – An opportunity to have yourself (or someone you nominate) professionally shot and edited into the actual Feature Film as one of the characters playing alongside Anthony Hopkins and the rest of the cast. (1 of 11 Editions)
  • VUELETM Golden Ticket – A digital Golden Ticket token providing you with access to the Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage, as well as access to the Collector’s Edition versions of the next three feature films to be released on the VUELETM platform. (1 of 2,500 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Exclusive Edition (NFT Offering available October 4, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Digital artwork of Film Poster Signed by Cast & Crew. (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Making of the Zero Contact film – (1 of 2,511 Editions)
  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

ZERO CONTACT Collector’s Edition (NFT Offering available October 22, 2021)

  • Zero Contact Collector’s Edition, including behind-the-scenes footage (1 of 27,511 Editions)

Produced in 17 different countries entirely virtually during the 2020 global pandemic,
ZERO CONTACT follows five characters based all over the world, connected only by their devotion to the late founder and tech titan Finley Hart (played by Anthony Hopkins).  Forced to work together to shut down Hart’s most secret invention, a machine that is either the solution to mankind’s problems or the end of life on earth.  The ensemble cast also features Veronica Ferres, Aleks Paunovic, Chris Brochu, Lilly Krug, TJ Kayama, and Martin Stenmarck.

VUELEis a feature-length film and digital collectible viewing and distribution platform created by Enderby Entertainment and CurrencyWorks Inc.

ZERO CONTACT is produced and directed by Rick Dugdale (Intrigo Anthology, Recon), written and co-produced by Cam Cannon (USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage), production design by Tink, cinematography by Edd Lukas; producer, Peter Toumasis (Man on Fire, Domino) with an executive producer team that includes Dan Petrie, Jr (Blackway, An Ordinary Man) and Dan Fellman (Logan Lucky) and Hakan Karlsson.