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Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash by Dave McKean

You know what’s weird? Reading a book about an artist with no examples of that artist’s work – but pages filled with art by somebody else. It might be inherent in the form – a graphic novel about an artist who’s been dead about seventy years – but it’s still weird.

It would be fine if the artist the book was about was someone world-famous – someone’s whose style was instant recognizable, and could be called to mind by any of us. Oh, it would still be at least a little weird to have a book all about an artist with art by someone else, but it would be the kind of weird that happens every day.

Paul Nash, though, is not world-famous. He was a British gallery painter in the first half of the 20th century, formed strongly by his fighting in the Great War, and noted as a surrealist for the rest of his life. Art historians know him, devotees know him, probably a lot of museum-goers do – but he’s no Picasso or Monet or even Turner, to live in the minds of millions every day.

All that hit me, as I got to the end of Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash , a 2016 graphic novel by Dave McKean. I realized I really didn’t know what Paul Nash’s art looked like. I now knew how McKean drew Nash, and how McKean interpreted Nash’s life, but not what an actual Nash painting looked like. If you’re in a similar situation, the Tate (I assume the London museum) has a Paul Nash page with some of his art, a potted bio, and other details.

Unsurprisingly, he looks to my post-Black Dog eye a lot like a Dave McKean precursor, angular figures (very occasionally) in muted landscapes filled with heaped objects. His work, from the little I’ve seen now, is awfully quiet and still for what I’m told is a war artist: Nash’s stuff looks almost frozen to me, pictures in which usually nothing is moving and often it looks like nothing will ever move.

I have no idea what Dave McKean sees in Nash’s work: I assume entirely different things

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, since that’s how art works.

Black Dog is a biographical story: it doesn’t tell Nash’s whole life, or even the whole of his service in the war. Instead, it focuses on a recurring series of dreams he had, about a black dog, starting in childhood and ending around the end of the war. This is a book about the war, but mostly elliptically: not the flow of lives in the war, or the mass deaths, or stories of fighting, or troop movements, but individual, small moments, mostly as remembered afterward. The thoughts of someone who survived the war. But then all stories are from those who survived their wars.

I wanted to read this because I’m a fan of McKean. I missed it for five years because I suspected it was mostly for people who already knew Nash, or at least more about the Great War art scene in the UK. I was not wrong: this book was commissioned by a festival and by a project to commemorate the war a century later; it’s a book by one person for his own reasons, but it’s also a work of public art for a public purpose, made as part of public commemorations.

Many of McKean’s characters are ciphers; Nash is another one of them. We do get some answers, but much of what we see in his dreams is strange and inexplicable because they are dreams. So the more you know about Nash, and the war, and the UK at the time going in to this book

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, the better.

This is a fine thing to exist, but it is a bit chilly and a bit official, like so much public art is. It can’t shake the fact that it was commissioned, that it has a place in the world because of arts bureaucracy and a rollover of the calendar. If, like me, you knew nothing about Paul Nash going into this book, you won’t get all that much out of it.

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

Thomas Jane’s Punisher gets 4K Steelbook in Jan.

Thomas Jane’s Punisher gets 4K Steelbook in Jan.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

One of the most popular Marvel vigilantes, The Punisher arrives January 25 on 4K Ultra HD™ SteelBook from Lionsgate, exclusively at Best Buy. Featuring Golden Globe® Award nominee Thomas Jane (2012, Best Television Actor – Musical/Comedy Series, Hung), Academy Award® nominee John Travolta (1994, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Pulp Fiction), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Postman, No Way Out), and Academy Award® nominee Roy Scheider (1979, Best Actor in a Leading Role, All That Jazz). Featuring all-new artwork from Orlando Arocena, The Punisher will be available on 4K Ultra HD™ SteelBook at Best Buy for the suggested retail price of $27.99.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

The Punisher walks through the world we all know, a world darkened by war, crime, cruelty, and injustice. He has no superpowers to battle the evil he sees — only his fierce intelligence, his years of combat experience and, above all, his iron determination to avenge those wronged by society’s villains.

4K ULTRA HD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Audio Commentary with Director Jonathan Hensleigh
  • Deleted Scenes (with Optional Director Commentary)
  • Keepin’ It Real: The Punisher Stunts
  • Army of One: The Punisher Origins
  • War Journal: On the Set of The Punisher
  • Music Video – “Step Up” Performed by Drowning Pool
  • Drawing Blood: Bradstreet Style

CAST

Thomas Jane                          Boogie Nights, Deep Blue Sea, The Mist

John Travolta                          Pulp Fiction

, Grease, Saturday Night Fever

Will Patton                               Armageddon, The Postman, No Way Out

Roy Scheider                          Jaws, All That Jazz, The French Connection

PROGRAM INFORMATION

Year of Production: 2004

Title Copyright: The Punisher © 2004 Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 2 GmbH & Co. KG

, Film & Entertainment VIP Medienfonds 3 GmbH & Co. KG, and Artisan GmbH. Artwork & Supplementary Materials ®, ™ & © 2022 Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Type: Catalog Re-Release

Rating: R for pervasive brutal violence, language and brief nudity.

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Closed-Captioned: N/A

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish

Feature Run Time: 123 minutes

4K Format: 2160p Ultra High Definition 16×9 (2.35:1) Presentation with Dolby Vision

4K Audio: English Dolby Atmos

, Spanish 5.1 Dolby AudioBlu-ray™ Audio: English 6.1 DTS-ES™ Discrete Audio

REVIEW: Venom: Let there Be Carnage

REVIEW: Venom: Let there Be Carnage

After Spider-Man’s black suit was revealed to be an alien symbiote, I lost all interest. I have never cared about Venom or Carnage or their symbiote children. The viciousness and exaggerated fangs and tongue are relics of the 1990s that I wish would just go away.

I was not at all surprised Sony went ahead with a Venom movie, but what surprised me was that it received not only good word of mouth but enough box office to receive a sequel. Venom: Let there Be Carnage has the benefit of being mercifully short. As a buddy movie, with the buddies sharing one body, it has some nice lightweight moments that Eddie Brock/Venom (Tom Hardy) plays well enough.

But, when Brock interviews Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson) on Death Row, things turn decidedly darker as the red-hued symbiote emerges. There’s mayhem and blood everywhere, but not much sympathy for the newer, deadlier villain. Any attempt at that, as he tracks down lover Shriek (Naomie Harris), fails to elicit any emotion. And poor Anne (Michelle Williams) can only watch with growing horror at the world that keeps knocking on her door.

Andy Serkis’s direction is perfectly adequate

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, using his CGI experience to get the most out of Venom and Carnage. But, the story, crafted by Hardy and Kelly Marcel, who went on to write the script, can’t sustain a tone to serve the story. The buddy stuff is entertaining enough but Carnage is under-developed and the romantic elements just feel tacked on. The heart and soul found in the Spider-Man movies, from which these technically spin from, is absent and lessons need to be learned before the Sony Spiderverse grows.

The tone doesn’t work and had they leaned into an out-and-out horror film, it would have been R-rated and perhaps more interesting. Instead, this mess ill-serves its cast and the characters. That the end credit sequence sends Venom to Peter Parker’s world, as seen currently in Spider-Man: No Way Home, is inevitable but disappointing.

The film is out now on disc: 4k, Blu-ray, and DVD combo packages with Digital HD codes. The Blu-ray was reviewed and the 1080p transfer is just fine. It captures the color palette and deep shadows just fine. This edition has a solid DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack while the 4K Ultra HD also has Dolby Atmos. Everything sounds just fine on basic home audio equipment.

There is the usual assortment of Special Features including Let There Be…Action (7:20), Outtakes & Bloopers (3:22); Deleted Scenes (9:33); Eddie & Venom: The Odd Couple (10:18); Tangled Web: Easter Eggs (4:31); Sick and Twisted Cletus Kasady (5:36); A Fine Romance: Cletus & Shriek (5:02); Concept to Carnage (1080p

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, 4:23); Select Scene Previs: Ravencroft Breakout (2:15), San Quentin Carnage (4:10), and Show & Tell (2:23).

No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

Comics memoirs don’t have to be about something life-shattering that happened when you were younger. It just seems that way sometimes. And, to be honest, any book should be about something important: one old piece of fiction-writing advice is that a story should be about the most important thing that ever happened to that person. [1]

Of course, not everyone has a father who survived the Holocaust, or fled their birth country when very young because of upheavals, or was unable to speak for months at a time, or had a major intestinal condition as a middle-schooler, or…so on. But everyone’s life was changed, at least once. So everyone has at least that one story to tell.

Hazel Newlevant is a relatively young cartoonist, about a decade into their career. No Ivy League  was their new graphic novel for 2019; my sense is this was a bigger book, maybe more of a breakout book, than Newlevant’s previous work. I could easily be wrong: but the “Comics” page on Newlevant’s site seems to mostly have shorter pieces. My sense is that cartoonists list all of their work until the list gets too long, and then prune down to book-length works and either just “Shorter Stories” or a couple of categories of those shorter pieces.

This is a story about a seventeen-year-old named Hazel. From the afterword, it’s based on Newlevant’s real life, with details changed for everyone else (like so many memoirs). Now, I want to apologize if I screw up pronouns from here on: Newlevant’s site describes theirself as transmaculine and uses they/them pronouns, but the Hazel in the book presents as female and uses she/her. This is not a transition story: it’s a story about a person who later transitioned, and I’m going to try to be precise in talking about Hazel (the seventeen-year-old character in the memoir) and Newlevant (the decade-older person who made the story).

Hazel is a high-achieving homeschooled kid in Portland, Oregon. She seems to be an only child, the kind whose parents poured everything they ever wanted into her upbringing, and that’s the kind of homeschooling she had: the regular-schools-aren’t-good-enough-for-my-awesome-child kind, not the keep-my-brood-away-from-secular-temptations kind. She has a small group of other homeschooled kids she hangs and works with regularly; they’re making videos for a national contest to promote homeschooling with the hope of using that money to go on a road trip the coming fall to see the band Guster in concert.

Another making-money scheme is a summer job: Hazel gets hired into No Ivy League, a youth group that will spend the summer removing invasive ivy from Forest Park, a gigantic semi-wild area in the city. There she’s thrown in with a large group of other kids her age for what may be the first time in a long time: certainly the most mixed group that she’s ben part of

, in race and background and outlook and life experience.

The bulk of the book is about Hazel’s time with that group, for good and bad. She learns to play ultimate frisbee and gets sexually harassed; she works hard and has to deal with people very unlike those she’s used to. There’s no one lesson, no one big thing – she does get sexually harassed, but just once, briefly, and she reports it. The aftermath is messier, since it leads to her harasser being kicked out of the program, and everyone knows it was because of her.

(This is also mildly parallel to a very inappropriate flirting that Hazel carries on – one-sidedly, only from her – with one of the adult leaders. She says things to that leader arguably as bad as what was said to her, and does it over a longer period of time.)

The biggest piece of the experience is Hazel realizing how insulated homeschooling has made her, and how it’s intertwined with her privilege. Like the grind she is, she tries to fix the situation by reading a bunch of books and learning better. (It’s not the worst reaction, certainly! Frankly, it might be about the best possible one.)

No Ivy League is not about A Problem in the way so many memoirs are – or

, if it is, the “problem” is vastly larger and ubiquitous. Hazel can’t solve the problem, and it’s not her problem the way it usually is in comics memoirs. She can learn more, and understand better, but all of her vegan living and good intentions won’t change that most of No Ivy League is made up of “at-risk youth,” and all of the ways that’s coded, and all of the ways all of those kids have not been set up to succeed a tenth of the way she has.

Hazel does learn; she does do better. And one hopes the reader learns alongside her. I’m pretty sure that’s why Newlevant chose this story to tell: it’s a story about a young person learning more

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, and doing better. My sense is that No Ivy League is aimed at people like Hazel – young, well-meaning, probably more privileged than they realize, and in need of something to make them pop their heads up and look around.

Newlevant tells that story in a mostly quiet, naturalistic way. Their lettering is softly rounded, the art is watercolor but mostly in shades of greenish gray, the people are a little bit cartoony but their surroundings are precise and real. This is not a story that will hit you over the head; it will creep around the sides until you’re right in the middle of it without realizing. Even if you’re not a privileged seventeen-year-old, No Ivy League has a lot to offer.

[1] It’s not perfect advice, obviously – what about series characters? But it’s good new-creator advice, to focus on stories that really matter to your characters. And “your characters” are “you” for the autobio cartoonist.

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

The Law Is A Ass #458: The Human Torch Wants Just The Tax, Ma’am

The Law Is A Ass #458: The Human Torch Wants Just The Tax, Ma’am

I’m not an insurance company executive. I don’t even play one on TV. But if I were – or a probate judge or some similarly situated professional – and someone came to me to tell me that a Marvel hero, say Reed Richards, had died, my initial reaction would be, “Reed Richards? It’s an even-numbered week. That mean’s it’s Ben Grimm’s turn to die.”

In 2015, forces beyond their control killed the Fantastic Four. No, not the cosmic forces behind the latest version of Secret Wars. That was just the story where the FF died, not the forces that killed them. Said forces were higher ups at Marvel who decided if Fox wouldn’t give the film rights for the Fantastic Four back to Marvel Studios

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, then Marvel Comics shouldn’t publish a Fantastic Four comic and give free publicity to a competing studio’s movies. So at the end of the Secret Wars story line, Reed (Mr. Fantastic) Richards, Sue (Invisible Woman) Richards, and their children all died.

No, of course they didn’t die. But everyone including Johnny (The Human Torch) Storm and Ben (The Thing) Grimm thought they had died. Someone even had them declared legally dead, because in Uncanny Avengers (2017) #28, a lawyer named Harris Hutchley told Johnny that he had inherited Reed’s $5,196,353,518.41 estate.

Which, like a sleep over camp bed, is pure bunk.

Reed and Sue lived, and Johnny lives, in New York City, so that means the laws of New York would cover Reed’s estate. New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law § 2-1.7 reads, “A person who is absent for a continuous period of three years, during which, after diligent search, he or she has not been seen or heard of or from, and whose absence is not satisfactorily explained shall be presumed, in any action or proceeding involving any property of such person, contractual or property rights contingent upon his or her death or the administration of his or her estate, to have died three years after the date such unexplained absence commenced, or on such earlier date as clear and convincing evidence establishes is the most probable date of death.”

Which means, in simpler terms and with far fewer commas, that after three years of Reed and Sue being missing, a court could declare them dead.

Reed and Sue’s “death” happened in Uncanny Avengers (2015) #4, which came out in January of 2016. Johnny was informed he had inherited the estate in Uncanny Avengers (2017) #28, which came out in October of 2017. Now I may have been bad at math, but I wasn’t so bad that I can’t count to one and one-half years. I was even good enough to know that’s only half of the time the statute requires before a declaration of death should be made. And that’s one and one-half years of our real-world time. One and one-half of our years is probably just a weekend in Marvel time; maybe a Labor Day weekend. But far less time than the statute requires.

In the interests of full disclosure, I must add that the statute also says, “The fact that such person was exposed to a specific peril of death may be a sufficient basis for determining at any time after such exposure that he or she died less than three years after the date his or her absence commenced.” Surely said paragraph would apply to people who tick off Dr. Doom, Annihilus, or even Paste-Pot Pete on a weekly basis. No, I think not.

As I said earlier in this column, if I were an insurance executive or a probate judge in the Marvel Universe and someone came to me to say some Marvel super hero had disappeared and should be declared legally dead, I’d say, “Not so fast.” Let’s face it, “dead” heroes in the Marvel Universe come back so often you’d think Jesus was offering a Lazarus special at a Costco kiosk. Reed Richards himself died in Fantastic Four (1993) #381 only to return in Fantastic Four (1995) #407. And let’s not forget the original “Heroes Reborn” incident. (Yes, let’s all forget that, please. —Ed.)

The point being, legal officials in the Marvel Universe have seen people die and return to life so often, I don’t think any of them would be willing to have a Marvel hero declared legally dead just because someone asked. There’s a lot of paperwork and court hearings involved in declaring a person legally dead. There’s even more of that involved in declaring a person not-dead. After all, a judge who distributed probate assets for some Marvel character who was presumed dead would have to figure out how to get those assets back to the original owner after that character invariably came back in a few issues. At the very least, I think the legal profession would wait the full three years before declaring a Marvel character dead, not a year and a half.

Even if Reed had been declared legally dead, I seriously doubt that his estate, which had to be long and complicated, would have been completely probated in only a year and one-half. It took almost that long for my mother’s estate to be probated, and it was about as complicated as a glass of water.

But in this story, Reed and Sue were declared legally dead faster than Quicksilver can play the Minute Waltz and Johnny inherited. Only to learn that he had to pay something called the “business and opportunity tax.”

The what now?

I’ve heard of the income tax. I’ve heard of the sales tax. I’ve even heard of the marza tax. But I’ve never heard of the business and opportunity tax.

Neither has Google or Wikipedia.

That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. It only means that my quick internet searches didn’t find any taxes with that name. Not in the USA or any of its component states. Moreover

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, the concept of Johnny owing any tax on the money he inherited is dubious at best. After all, if death isn’t certain in the Marvel Universe, why should taxes be?

While some states have what’s called an inheritance tax that require the legatee to pay taxes on what was inherited, New York and the federal government don’t have an inheritance tax. They have an estate tax. With an estate tax, the estate, not the legatee, pays the tax out of the estate proceeds. That means Reed’s estate, not Johnny, would have paid the taxes then Johnny would have inherited whatever was left after the estate tax was paid tax free.

Oh, Johnny will pay income taxes on his personal income from Reed’s various patents and holdings. But those will be due weeks or months down the road

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, not the same day he inherited.

Earlier I said I didn’t know what a business and opportunity tax was. If any of you know what it is, let me know. Not just because, even at this late stage in my life, I like learning new things, but for an even better reason. If the business and opportunity tax actually exists, it’s just one more reason for me to be happy I’m retired.

REVIEW: Copshop

REVIEW: Copshop

Thanks to the pandemic, many a good film winds up overlooked and underappreciated. Joe Carnahan’s Copshop is such an offering. Out now from Universal Home Entertainment, it boasts a well-constructed story using a solid cast, and set almost entirely in a Nevada police station.

It’s clear something’s amiss when Teddy Murretto (Vincent Grillo) pulls up in a police car riddled with bullets and sucker punches rookie cop Valerie Young (Alexis Louder), forcing her to arrest him. The why becomes clear when the intoxicated Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler) is also brought in. Viddick is there to kill Murretto, who has been informing the Feds about an assassination plot. Add in Huber (Ryan O’Nan) and Anthony Lamb (Toby Huss) as wild cards just to keep things interesting.

The ensuing chaos is loud

, brash, and inventive as the cops and criminals and innocents are all caught up in a cat and mouse game, with bullets flying and alliances appearing more mercurial than originally believed.

Carnahan, who made his name with Narc, Smokin’ Aces, and The A-Team so he knows how to handle action and memorable characters. Working with screenwriter Mark Williams (Ozark), there is a sense of fun brought to the mayhem, making for a satisfying filmgoing experience. The bad guys are far more than two-dimensional, adding a fine layer of meaning to the proceedings, their code versus the police rules.

Grillo and Butler are fine, but it’s The Tomorrow War’s Louder who shines her, as a by-the-book cop who has to sort out the mess and survive.

The film arrives in the traditional Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD code combo pack. The 1080p transfer in 2.39:1 is very crisp, retaining the interesting color palette, starting with the amber of the desert and including the red and blue hues of the police lights. The blacks are retained just as well. The DTS HD-MA 5.1 audio track is strong, given all the shooting and shouting.

Surprisingly, there are no Special Features to accompany the movie, not even its trailer. Given the fun experience in watching it

, no doubt there would have been interesting Behind the Scenes stories to share.

Four new Catwoman: Hunted Images Revealed

Four new Catwoman: Hunted Images Revealed

In a cast packed with villains, Barbara Minerva tops the roster as the leader of Leviathan. And nobody gets under Minerva’s skin like Catwoman. Kirby Howell-Baptiste (The Good Place, Barry) provides the voice of Barbara Minerva. 

Everyone’s favorite felonious feline arrives with her own film – Catwoman: Hunted – just two months from now … and attached are new images spotlighting Selina Kyle and some of her foes in the film. 

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the feature-length, anime-style Catwoman: Hunted arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray and Digital on February 8, 2022.

In the all-new original film, Catwoman’s attempt to steal a priceless jewel puts her squarely in the crosshairs of both a powerful consortium of villains and the ever-resourceful Interpol, not to mention Batwoman. It might just be enough to contain her. Or not.

There’s no end to the cat fight, starting with Cheshire taking her best shot at Catwoman atop a roof. Kelly Hu (Arrow, X2: X-Men United) supplies the voice of Cheshire.

.

Batwoman isn’t the only bat-like character in Catwoman: Hunted as Nosferta makes an impressive entrance in the film. Zehra Fazal (Young Justice franchise) provides the voice of Nosferata.
Nothing like being awakened by your best friend – especially when she’s a cat. Isis is along for every step of the adventure as Selina Kyle/Catwoman attempts to steal and connive her way past both Interpol and the villainous organization Leviathan in Catwoman: Hunted. Elizabeth Gillies (Dynasty

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) leads the star-studded voice cast as Catwoman
Halloween Kills Stalks Homes in January

Halloween Kills Stalks Homes in January

Universal City, California, December 8, 2021 – Evil dies tonight. Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”, Knives Out), Judy Greer (The Village, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Andi Matichak (Blue Bloods, Orange is the New Black) and the entire town of Haddonfield band together to take down the infamous killer Michael Myers in the never-before-seen Extended Cut of HALLOWEEN KILLS, arriving on Digital December 14, 2021, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD January 11, 2022. Hailed as “A bloodthirsty sequel” (Bloody Disgusting), HALLOWEEN KILLS features the original theatrical release, the Extended Cut with Alternate Ending and exclusive bonus content which includes extended and deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes look at creating the film, special gag reel and more!

The Halloween night when Michael Myers returned isn’t over yet. Michael manages to free himself from Laurie Strode’s (Jamie Lee Curtis) trap to resume his ritual bloodbath. As Laurie fights for her life from injuries from her last encounter with Michael, she inspires her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), and all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. The vigilante mob then sets out to hunt Michael down, once and for all.

Master of horror John Carpenter (Halloween 1978, Halloween 2018) once again joins forces with director David Gordon Green (Halloween, Pineapple Express) and producers Jason Blum (Blumhouse), Malek Akkad (Trancas International Films) and Bill Block (Miramax) for this continuation of the Halloween franchise. HALLOWEEN KILLS also includes a stellar cast, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton (The Forever Purge, The Postman), Thomas Mann (Kong: Skull Island, Amityville: The Awakening) and Anthony Michael Hall (The Dead Zone, The Dark Knight). “As immortal as Michael Myers himself” (The Wrap), HALLOWEEN KILLS offers a tricky treat for audiences both old and new.

BONUS FEATURES on 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL:
• GAG REEL
• DELETED/EXTENDED SCENES
• HADDONFIELD’S OPEN WOUNDS – Those who die at the hands of Michael Myers are not his only victims. We look at some of the returning characters, and why their past traumatic encounters with The Shape made them natural candidates to try and defend Haddonfield against him.
• THE KILL TEAM – It takes a big team to create a film the scale of HALLOWEEN KILLS, especially when part of the task is raising the bar for Michael’s gruesome kills. We hear the people behind the mayhem discuss how they continue to push the franchise to new heights.
• STRODE FAMILY VALUES – Filmmakers and cast discuss the three generations of Strode women that have been terrorized by The Shape, and the roles Laurie, Karen and Allyson play in trying to vanquish his evil.
• 1978 TRANSFORMATIONS – Shooting new footage that matches the feel of the iconic 1978 footage is no easy task, and even takes a little bit of luck. We reveal some of the secrets of how filmmakers achieved these stunning sequences.
• THE POWER OF FEAR – The impact of Michael Myers’ pure evil extends far beyond his victims. We examine how fear of The Shape changed the psychology of the people of Haddonfield.
• KILL COUNT
• FEATURE COMMENTARY – Director/co-writer David Gordon Green and stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer

HALLOWEEN KILLS will be available on 4K Ultra HD

, Blu-ray™, 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) and HDR10+* which delivers incredible brightness and contrast for each scene and immersive audio for a multidimensional sound experience.
• 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.
• The Movies Anywhere Digital App simplifies and enhances the digital movie collection and viewing experience by allowing consumers to access their favorite digital movies in one place when purchased or redeemed through participating digital retailers. Consumers can also redeem digital copy codes found in eligible Blu-rayTM and DVD disc packages from participating studios and stream or download them through Movies Anywhere. Movies Anywhere is available only in the United States.
*HDR10+ only available on digital

Looper Celebrates 10th Anniversary with 4K Release

Looper Celebrates 10th Anniversary with 4K Release

Sony Home Entertainment has announced that the cult favorite Looper is coming to 4K Ultra HD libraries with a new release February 15.

SYNOPSIS
In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented – but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past where a “looper” – a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good…until the day the mob decides to “close the loop,” sending back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, and also starring Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels.

DISC DETAILS & BONUS MATERIALS

4K ULTRA HD DISC
• Feature presented in 4K resolution with Dolby Vision, reviewed and approved by the filmmakers
• All-new Director-approved Dolby Atmos audio + Original 5.1 audio

BLU-RAY DISC™
• Feature presented in High Definition
• Special Features:
o Feature Commentary with Director Rian Johnson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt
o Looper: The Future From the Beginning — Making-of Featurette
o 22 Deleted Scenes with Commentary
o Scoring Looper
o The Science of Time Travel Featurette
o Looper Animated Trailer

CAST AND CREW
Written and Directed By: Rian Johnson
Produced by: Ram Bergman and James D. Stern
Executive Producers: Douglas E. Hansen

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, Julie Goldstein, Peter Schlessel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dan Mintz
Cast: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, Noah Segan, Piper Perabo, Garret Dillahunt and Jeff Daniels

SPECS
Run Time: Approx. 119 minutes
Rating: R for strong violence

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, language, some sexuality / nudity and drug content
4K UHD Feature Picture: 2160p Ultra High Definition, 2.35:1
4K UHD Feature Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible) | English 5.1 DTS-HD MA

REVIEW: Superman: The Complete Animated Series

REVIEW: Superman: The Complete Animated Series

After the beautiful restoration of Batman: The Animated Series to Blu-ray, now in time for holiday gift-giving is the Blu-ray edition of Superman: The Complete Animated Series. When the DVD edition arrived in 2009, I wrote in part:

“All the love and attention lavished on the Dark Knight was poured into this show, which was brighter and shinier, the villains larger in scope and giving the animators a chance to bust loose. Superman works great in animation and after the lackluster efforts from Filmation, Hanna-Barbera, and Ruby-Spears, this one clearly shows the potential fulfilled.

“As usual, the voice casting is fairly top-notch with Tim Daly alternating nicely between Superman and Clark Kent, sparring playfully with Dana Delany’s Lois Lane. Clancy Brown is wonderfully malevolent as Luthor and his ever-present menace is well handled, matching the reboot version launched a decade earlier.”

The new edition looks very sharp in 1080p in the original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. Seeing some of this again was a joy given how clean and sharp everything looked. The video is well matched by its DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.

Most of the 2009 Special Features are included:

Disc 1:

“The Last Son of Krypton – Part 1” Video Commentary by Bruce Timm, Dan Riba, Alan Burnett, Paul Dini, and Glen Murakami.

“Stolen Memories” Commentary by Timm, Murakami, Burnett, Dini, and Curt Geda.

Disc 2:

“The Main Man – Part II” Commentary by Timm, Murakami, Burnett, Dini, and Riba. (SD, 21:16)

Disc 3:

“Mxyzpixilated” Commentary by Dini

, Jason Hillhouse, Timm, and Riba.

Disc 6:

Menaces of Metropolis: Behind the Villains of Superman (13:02)

Building the Mythology: Superman’s Supporting Cast (9:37)

Superman: Learning to Fly (9:41)

A Little Piece of Trivia (21:29)

The Despot Darkseid: A Villain Worthy of Superman (16:57)

And new to the collection is Superman: Timeless Icon (32:45) as a handful of creative forces— producers Timm and Dini, director Riba, writer Bob Goodman, casting/dialogue director Andrea Romano, and vocal talent Tim Daly and Clancy Brown— discuss the Last Son of Krypton’s importance to comics, mass media, and the world at large.

This set is missing some material commentaries for “Tools of the Trade,” “Brave New Metropolis,” “World’s Finest Part 1,” “Apokolips…Now! Part 2,” “New Kids in Town

,” and “Legacy Part 2,” along with the “Apokolips…Now! Part 1” easter egg commentary and “Superman: Behind the Cape” Special Feature.

That said, the entire Blu-ray set is well-wroth having to enjoy or bring delight to a new generation of fan.