The Mix : What are people talking about today?

Evil Dead 2 gets 4K Ultra HD treatment in December


Ash returns in one of horror’s greatest sequels when Evil Dead 2 arrives on 4K Ultra HD™ Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray™ and Digital) December 11 from Lionsgate. Written and directed by Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Army of Darkness), and starring Bruce Campbell in the role that cemented his place in horror history, Ash must, once again, battle the deranged dead after returning to the same cabin from The Evil Dead and unleashing Hell on Earth. Experience four times the resolution of Full HD with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes Dolby Vision HDR, bringing the stunning cinematography of this supernatural horror film to life. When compared to a standard picture, Dolby Vision can deliver spectacular colors never before seen on a screen, highlights that are up to 40 times brighter, and blacks that are 10 times darker. Available for the very first time in this absolutely stunning format, the Evil Dead 2 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack will include a brand new, never-before-seen 52 minute featurette, “Bloody and Groovy, Baby! – A Tribute to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II” featurette and will be available for the suggested retail price of $22.99.


Ash, the sole survivor of The Evil Dead, returns to the same cabin in the woods and again unleashes the dead. With his girlfriend possessed and his body parts running amok, Ash must again single-handedly battle the damned in this unhinged horror classic!


Bruce Campbell                      Army of Darkness, Ash vs Evil Dead
Dan Hicks                               Darkman, Intruder, Spider-Man 2
Kassie Wesley Depaiva         One Life to Live, Days of Our Lives
and Ted Raimi                        Spider-Man 3, The Midnight Meat Train, Ash vs Evil Dead


  • NEW “Bloody and Groovy, Baby!” – A Tribute to Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2 Featurette
  • Audio Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and special make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero


  • Audio Commentary with writer-director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell, co-writer Scott Spiegel, and special make-up effects artist Greg Nicotero
  • “Swallowed Souls: The Making of Evil Dead 2” Featurette
  • “Cabin Fever – A ‘Fly on the Wall’ Look Behind-the-Scenes of Evil Dead 2” Featurette
  • “Road to Wadesboro: Revisiting the Shooting Location with Filmmaker Tony Elwood” Featurette
  • Evil Dead 2: Behind-the-Screams” Featurette
  • “The Gore The Merrier” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Still Galleries

John Cho and Debra Messing go Searching at home in Nov.

CULVER CITY, Calif. (October 15, 2018) – Dive deep into the virtual world of social media with a mystery-thriller for the digital age, SEARCHING, debuting on Digital and redeemable via the Movies Anywhere App. on November 13, coming to Blu-ray and DVD November 27 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. A unique take on society’s pervasive use of technology, SEARCHING is the feature film debut for writer-director Aneesh Chaganty, and writer-producer Sev Ohanian. Chaganty and Ohanian’s script constructs a new form of cinema inspired by the connection between parent and child in the Internet age. Stopping at no lengths to find his missing daughter, a determined father, played by John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar), explores her social media accounts, emails, pictures, videos and more to aid in the police investigation. Cho is joined by an impressive cast including Emmy Award® winner Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”), Joseph Lee (“NCIS: Los Angeles”) and Michelle La in her feature film debut.

Since winning the audience award and the Alfred P. Slogan Feature Film Prize at its Sundance debut, SEARCHING has riveted audiences and critics alike, with a 93% Certified Fresh score, and critics calling it a “groundbreaking” (Den of Geek, The Wrap) film in the vein of classic Hitchcock thrillers (“Hitchcock levels of suspense” CNET). Expertly blending innovative storytelling and modern technology, Chaganty has crafted an enthralling missing person story bookended by an endearing opening sequence and stunning conclusion. Keep your eyes peeled for clues that lead to the movie’s shocking finale and don’t blink if you want to uncover additional subplots to unravel those hidden mysteries within the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus features.

The SEARCHING Blu-ray, DVD and Digital bonus features uncovers this innovative storytelling through the commentary of the director and three exclusive behind-the scenes featurettes. Explore the creative process of producing a film told entirely on the screens we use every day in “Changing The Language Of Cinema”. Delve into the film’s challenging cinematography in “Update Username: Cast And Characters”, featuring interviews with the cast and the filmmakers. Finally, in “Searching For Easter Eggs”, where filmmaking duo, Chaganty and Ohanian reveal the compelling “blink and you missed it” Easter Eggs hidden in the ancillary screen space throughout the film.

SEARCHING was executive produced by Maria Zatuloyskaya, Ana Liza Murayina, Igor Tsay and co-produced by Congyu E. The film was produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Sev Ohanian, Adam Sidman, and Natalie Oasabian.

After David Kim (John Cho)’s 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a local investigation is opened and a detective is assigned to the case. But 37 hours later and without a single lead, David decides to search the one place no one has looked yet, where all secrets are kept today: his daughter’s laptop. In a hyper-modern thriller told via the technology devices we use every day to communicate, David must trace his daughter’s digital footprints before she disappears forever.

Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Bonus Materials Include:

  • “Changing The Language Of Cinema”
  • “Update Username: Cast and Characters”
  • “Searching For Easter Eggs”
  • “Audio Commentary with Aneesh Chaganty & Sev Ohanian”

SEARCHING has a run time of approximately 102 minutes and is rated PG-13 for strong violence, bloody images, and language.

Emmy Award® is a registered trademarks of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

REVIEW: Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Lafayette

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Lafayette
By Nathan Hale
Abrams Amulet, 128 pages, $13.99

There really is a Nathan Hale providing guided tours through American history, neatly playing off his namesake’s name recognition. The Eisner-nominated creator has explored the first Hale, the Donner party, and World War I. Here’s back with his eighth fun volume spotlighting the French adventurer and American patriot Marquis de Lafayette (revitalized thanks to Hamilton).

We get the Frenchman’s aristocratic background and upbringing, explaining how he found himself coming to America early during the War for Independence, well ahead of France’s more formal declaration of support,

Hale uses a masked version of himself to narrate the tale, pausing to help us identify the supporting figures in Lafayette’s life, enriching the overall narrative. The Frenchman arrives, seriously sea sick, in 1777 and is initially dismissed by the Continental Congress, considering him a dilettante. He’s dispatched to General George Washington, who welcomes him with open arms, making him an aide-de-camp, and puts him right to work while the military leader is also feuding with a frustrated Congress, some of whom are trying to remove him.

Lafayette, not yet twenty, is off to do battle, accompanied by Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s right-hand man. They grow to respect one another and Hale takes us through their various battles, demonstrating how Lafayette was more helpful than the Americans ever could have imagined.

Hale’s pages are filled with detail, using black, white, and shades of red to vividly bring the past to life. While aimed at middle grades, this would certainly be a fine supplemental work for slightly older readers. There are helpful maps and a useful bibliography along with a cheeky author’s note of sorts.

For people who claim history is boring, Hale through his works proves history is anything but.

REVIEW: Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ten years ago, Iron Man was released and was hailed as brilliant interpretation of a B-list hero few outside of comic shops knew. Just three years ago, Ant-Man was lauded for taking an even more obscure hero and making the same magic. Where the former’s sequel stumbled, the latter’s soared.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, out today on 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray/Digital HD from Walt Disney Home Entertainment, is possibly even more enjoyable but wouldn’t be that way without having the first film to build on. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) was the first diminutive hero, using the Pym particles to shrink and perform feats on behalf of S.H.I.E.L.D., eventually sharing his adventures with his equally brilliant scientist wife Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), until there was the mission where she didn’t return.

Heart-broken, the mercurial Pym withdrew, overly protective of his adult daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly), who yearned to be a hero. Instead, she watched over her father’s company until circumstances forced Hank to bring in Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) for help. The first film, reviewed here, was charming and focused on family and redemption as sub-text.

But we got a glimmer of Janet in the Quantum Realm and rescuing her became the launch point for the sequel. Wisely, they pick up two years later, with Scott under house arrest for violating the Sokovia Accords and participating in Captain America: Civil War. While he made the most of his time with Cassie (Abby Ruder Fortson), the Pyms were building a quantum tunnel to attempt a rescue. When things go sideways thanks to unscrupulous antics of Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins), the Pyms need Hank’s help once more.

All the threads from the first film are extended and enriched here, from Luis (Michael Peña), Kurt (David Dastmalchian), and Dave (Tip “T.I.” Harris) struggling to keep X-Con Security afloat to Cassie’s strong bond with her father. There’s a weird frenemy relationship that has formed between Lang and his keeper, FBI Agent Jimmy Woo (Randall Park), and their final scene together is a delightful study of awkwardness.

Added to the cast is Bill Foster (Laurence Fishburne), a former friend and rival with Pym, who once adventured as Goliath. He’s been harboring and aiding Ava Starr (Hannah John-Kamen), whose molecular structure was damaged in a Pym experiment gone wrong that also killed her parents. When Foster and Pym need the same piece of tech, held by Burch, competing needs clash and the fun begins. Ava, known as Ghost, proves a damaged, desperate woman trying to survive much as Hope needs to find her mother, adding a nice level of pathos to the conflict.

The size-changing is amped up throughout the film, mostly for comedic effects and it works but there’s little consideration of the physical toll this must take on Lang and Pym. It seemed to stop Foster at some point, but it never comes up.

Despite there being five credited writers — Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, Gabriel Ferrari – we learn from the special features that director Peyton Reed wisely allowed a certain amount of improvisation. As a result, the finished film is funny, action-packed, heart-warming, and vastly entertaining. The mid-credits sequence also dramatically establishes exactly where the film fits in with Phase Three.

The film has been released in a variety of formats including retail exclusive editions with varying content. The one under review is billed as the Cinematic Universe Edition. The dual-layered UHD66 disc brilliantly shows off the vivid colors with a stunning HEVC H.265 encode. Filming used digital photography allowing the 4K disc to be noticeably superior to the Blu-ray. Accompanying is a fine Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The Blu-ray has a satisfactory 7.1 DTS-HD MA audio track.

Special features found on the disc includes Audio Commentary from Reed, complete with an intro (1:08). From there, we have a series of interesting but not terribly informative Making of Featurettes (22:30): Back in the Ant-Suit: Scott Lang; A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp; Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet; and Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of Ant-Man and The Wasp.

Additionally, there are surprisingly short Gag Reel (1:31) and Outtakes, featuring Stan Lee adlibbing for his cameo (:46) and Tim Heidecker (1:29). We have just a two Deleted Scenes, with Optional Commentary by Reed (1:38).

There are some Digital Exclusives, with Movies Anywhere offering It Takes Two (:59) and Vudu including the previously seen 10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (10:19) and Leader of the Colony (2:36), spotlighting Reed

Book-A-Day 2018 #288: Love and Rockets: New Stories, No. 3 by The Hernandez Brothers

Comics are not movies: obviously. The two forms do have some things in common, and can use similar visual language — they’re both storytelling mediums with limited space for dialogue and various ingenious ways to show time passing, among other parallels.

But, even at best, they’re parallel: they can do similar things in different ways. So when a creator continuously evokes cinema in his comics, as matter and style, the reader starts to wonder what is up.

By 2010’s Love and Rockets: New Stories, No. 3 , Gilbert Hernandez had been telling movie-inspired stories for about a decade. His major character Fritzi had become a B-movie star, in at least a minor way, and he’d not only told stories about her life and work, but he’d “released” several of her “movies” as separate graphic novels: Chance in Hell (2007), Speak of the Devil (2008), The Troublemakers  (2009). And, in the previous year’s No. 2, he’d launched another young buxom starlet on a Hollywood career, in Dora “Killer” Rivera, daughter of Guadalupe and grand-niece of Fritzi.

Killer is back in Gilbert’s two stories in No.3: “Scarlet in Starlight” is the comics version of what in-continuity is a ten-year-old SF movie that Killer is being considered for a sequel/remake of, and “Killer * Sad Girl * Star” explains that. They’re both intensely late-Gilbert stories, full of people talking about the things that they want to talk about, having endless meta-conversations about the things they’re doing and feeling and saying to each other. I’m finding this is getting more airless and hermetic at this point, as if Gilbert is circling the same material ever closer — the re-run of Fritzi’s movie career in miniature with Killer is another example — and I hope he broke out of that cycle between then and now.

Jaime’s half of No. 3 is the first two pieces of “The Love Bunglers” (set in the modern day) and the flashback “Browntown,” part of the same overall story. I’ve already read the second half — both in the Angels and Magpies  omnibus a few weeks ago and in No. 4 this morning before I got to typing this very post — so I’m mostly going to save my thoughts about that overall story for the conclusion.

But I will repeat what I said before: “Love Bunglers” is Jaime’s masterwork, even more so than the previous high points like “Flies on the Ceiling” and “The Death of Speedy.” And if you think this first half is emotionally strong, you don’t know what you’re in for.

(And I note that I, like nearly everyone else, found “Browntown” the standout when I read No. 3  new in 2010: none of us realized it was part of the same story of “Love Bunglers” and that the latter was not nearly as light as it seemed.)

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

REVIEW: Constantine: City of Demons

John Constantine, done right, is one of DC Comics’ strongest characters. The current incarnation in the Rebirth universe is a pale comparison to his Vertigo roots and the NBC series didn’t push the horrific elements far enough (being a prime time series, after all). Matt Ryan’s wonderful interpretation has been further watered down for the CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, so hearing him in all his weary glory in Constantine: City of Demons is most welcome.

This is one of the best animated adaptations of a comic book character, thanks to letting it be an R-rated film ensuring the horror/supernatural elements were true to the source material and not just curse words tossed in for “authenticity”. Kudos to J.M. DeMatteis for bringing Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette, and John Totleben’s character to proper life. His original script loosely adapts Hellblazer: All His Engines graphic novel by Mike Carey and Leonardo Manco.

We open with hints of what happened in the past, sending a young, irresponsible Constantine to Ravenscar. His guilt, especially as the past is revealed throughout the 90-minute film, drives his actions and decisions, building to a most satisfying climax.

Constantine is cursed to fight the good fight but at a terrible cost and that has never been truer here. His longtime pal, Chas Chandler (Damian O’Hare), seeks him out to help find out what’s ailing his young daughter Trish. Of course, it’s supernatural in nature and off we go.

While Constantine and Chas jet from London to Los Angeles, Chas’ estranged wife Renee (Emily O’Brien), watches over their comatose child. Watching over her though is Asa the Nightmare Nurse (Laura Bailey), who is, of course, not what she appears.

This is the Constantine who practices magic, who smokes too much, drinks too much, carries too much pain with him, and is at his best when his back is up against the wall. While he tries to free Trish’s soul from Beroul (Jim Meskimen), he also has to contend with the Aztec god, Mictlantecuhtli (Rick D. Wasserman). The only assistance he receives is from the enigmatic Angela (Rachel Kimsey), who acts like Deadman, but has less altruistic motives. He makes deals, double-crosses whoever or whatever he needs to, all for the right reasons. However, there’s a price, always there’s a price. You suspect you know who pays it but it’s far steeper than imagined.

In Director Doug Murphy’s capable hands, the film is dark, atmospheric, and graphic in its violence. Whatever awkwardness existed when it ran on CW Seed in six parts is gone in this compilation.

The film has been released by Warner Home Entertainment in a 4K/Blu-ray/Digital HD combo set. Obviously, the 2160p, HEVC/H.265-encoded UHD definition is sharp, but here, it’s noticeably better than the Blu-ray disc, with more subtle colors popping off the screen. It is well served by the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track.

Both 4K and Blu-ray come with a scarcity of bonus features. The most interesting is The Sorcerer’s Occultist: Understanding John Constantine (13:38), exploring the character with director Doug Murphy, producer Butch Lukic, executive producers David Goyer and  so-called “Occult Expert” Jason Louv. Entertaining but less interesting is the WonderCon Panel—2018 where we hear from Ryan, DeMatteis, and Blue Ribbon Content’s Peter Girardi. There are also trailers for other animated fare all of which pale in comparison.

Note: Some version of the film will air tonight on the CW, but I suspect some of the gore and language will be scrubbed.

Book-A-Day 2018 #287: The Imitation Game by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Purvis

I’m going to start out with a potted rant; regular visitors may want to skip it.

A graphic novel is not “by” the writer. It is not “illustrated” by the artist. It is an inherently collaborative work equally created by both of them. (Assuming there are only two: it could easily be more.) Crediting a book that way is a mistake: even if the writer does detailed thumbnails of every single page and the artist follows them scrupulously, what the artist brings to the table is crucial to the telling of that story. It is not secondary; it is not “illustration.”

The Imitation Game  is a biography in comics form of British mathematician Alan Turing. The copy I have is credited as “by” Jim Ottaviani and “illustrated by” Leland Purvis. Now, I have an uncorrected proof, so the final book may have changed that.

But, if not, this is me looking sternly over my glasses at Abrams ComicArts and saying “tsk-tsk” while I do that little one-finger wave. This is Not Proper. This is Not Done. And we are Not Amused.

But on to the book itself. (If skimming to find the end of the potted rant, this is it.)

Alan Turing, I think, was born at either the exact right time or the exact wrong time. Professionally, he couldn’t have turned up at a better moment to turn his particular genius into reality. But socially and personally, he might have had a quiet happy life in some earlier time and he definitely would have been better off born a decade or three later, when his condition would be better understood and accepted. (I mean his mental condition, since he seems to have been somewhere on the autism spectrum, but his homosexuality would obviously have been less of an issue.)

Ottaviani tells Turing’s story at a slant, or at least starts that way: he opens with (and occasionally returns to) a conceit that he, or someone, is interviewing Turning’s friends and family after his death. But most of the book is just his life dramatized, with lots of explanatory captions (sometimes voiceovers from those interviewees) and a tight focus on his work during WW II.

Imitation Game doesn’t get into the math; it just shows what Turing did, and is particularly interested in the title experiment, better known to us as the Turing Test. It’s also very much a serious biography in comics form, and isn’t afraid to get a little artsy in presentation here and there. Turing’s suicide — I might note that there is now some scholarly doubt as to whether it was suicide — is presented in a particularly elliptical way, and readers who don’t know what he actually did will probably not be able to tell what he actually did.

(On the other hand, I read this in a black-and-white proof, and sometimes color can make things clearer in comics.)

I think biography, particularly of a thinker, is an odd subject for comics: it’s harder to show interior life in comics than in prose, so it’s a slightly less useful tool for the job than the usual one. That said, Imitation Game is a good, thoughtful biography of an important, quirky man, told well and using the form’s strengths well.

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

Book-A-Day 2018 #285: High Society by Dave Sim

I don’t have an accurate record of when Dave Sim first said Cerebus would run for 300 issues. But my guess is that his plans became real during this storyline.

The first volume of Cerebus, which I covered last month , saw Sim moving rapidly from an amusing Thomas/Smith Conan parody with an oddly funny-animal main character to something more detailed and particular, and those twenty-five issues moved from standalone stories to trilogies and ongoing continuous plotlines.

No one expected Sim would then embark on a new story that would be as long as all of Cerebus to date. My guess is that not even Sim knew, when he was writing and drawing issue #26, “High Society,” that that would be the title for a much longer story. Somewhere in those first few High Society  issues, though, it clicked: he wasn’t just making a somewhat longer story: his narrative would stick around the city-state of Iest for more than two years of serial comics, over five hundred pages, and more political machinations than anyone had ever seen on the comics page.

So it became High Society. And a storyline many times longer than the previous ones posed a problem to Sim in the mid-80s. He was already a pioneer in reprinting his comics in permanent book editions, with the Swords of Cerebus series. But the sixth volume of that was already longer than the previous ones, reprinting five issues instead of four. Swords of Cerebus Seven would either be five times as long as the previous book or would break in the middle of the story.

Obviously it didn’t. Instead, Sim invented the “phone book” format — one little-used by other creators since, mostly because very few comics-makers have series with multiple five-hundred-page long plotlines to begin with. (He also annoyed the comics distribution network by going entirely direct-to-consumer for the High Society first printing, an innovation that made him money immediately but caused hassles for a while afterward.)

We tend to forget all of the business things Sim pioneered in independent comics, but there’s no Image without Sim, without that model of doing your comics your way, and then collecting them permanently. And this is the era when Sim was still exciting and vital and fizzy and Zeitgest-y, telling his own story and making sarcastic comments on the current comics scene at the same time.

High Society is probably the single highest point of Cerebus: a graphic novel that can stand alone and that a new reader can come into cold. Cerebus is this guy arriving in a new city, and then stuff happens to him: you don’t need to know more than that, and the first page tells you that much.

“Stuff happens” gets very baroque very quickly: Cerebus is caught up in other people’s schemes, as had been more and more central as the comic Cerebus went on the early ’80s, and the ultimate mover of those schemes was Sim’s brilliant re-imagining of Groucho Marx as Lord Julius, ruler of Palnu. [1]

High Society is a story about money and power, and particularly the power of money. Palnu is the only fiscally sound city-state in the entire Feldwar valley; every other country is running massive deficits and getting further and further in debt to Julius. Cerebus is the perfect counterweight to Palnu’s soft power, since he’s instinctively a creature of hard power: he knows armies and mercenaries and war tactics deeply, and his first instinct in any situation is to find and army and conquer something.

(This is not a good impulse in a modern world, obviously. But that raises the question of how modern Cerebus‘s world is. Is it modern enough that wars of conquest primarily smash economic activity and leave everyone poorer, or is it still medieval enough that conquest can be lasting and profitable?)

So Cerebus is first the Ranking Diplomatic Representative of Palnu to Iest, named as such without his knowledge. And then there’s a confusing plot where he’s running to keep that title, even though it’s pretty obviously a role that is going to always be in the direct remit of the ruler of the sending country. (How could it be otherwise?)

But that campaign ends up being the warm-up for the real one: Cerebus runs for Prime Minister of Iest, a job that has first slowly and then suddenly transformed from being a minor adjunct to a theocracy to being the center of secular power in the city-state. And that “suddenly” is because of Cerebus personally, in the sideways complicated manner common to Cerebus plots.

Like the best Cerebus plots, High Society is a one-damn-thing-after-another story. Cerebus is always his own worst enemy; he’s never satisfied with what he has and is the epitome of the guy who hits on sixteen every damn time. And Sim was notably never on Cerebus’s side, which is rare for a creator so closely identified with a single character. Cerebus is a horrible person in a whole host of ways, and was like that right from the beginning: Sim made him that way, and kept putting him in plots that exploited his flaws and worst tendencies. For about the first half of his adventures, Cerebus is the greatest anti-hero in comics.

Alongside all of the politics and plotting is Sim’s characteristic humor: he was the most consistently funny comics humorist of the early ’80s, and this volume has a string of his greatest hits. Sure, a lot of that humor was odd adaptations of other people’s characters — every funny character in Cerebus is based on a comedian or outside source — but Sim turned it all into comics, made it all work in his specific invented world, and gave all of those characters new, setting-appropriate jokes to tell. It’s hugely idiosyncratic, but it works amazingly well.

If you’ve never read Cerebus, and you’re willing to give Dave Sim one shot, this is the shot to take. Some parts of it are more meaningful, or funnier, if you’ve read the stories in the first collection, but I don’t think anything will be incomprehensible or particularly obscure. This is a great story about a grumpy, self-destructive guy who falls into politics in the worst way, in a vaguely late-medieval world where parts are rapidly modernizing, and has a masterful mix of humor and seriousness. If any of that sounds appealing, give it a try.

[1] Julius would make an interesting contrast to Terry Pratchett’s Patrician: both rule completely and capriciously, and both are shown to be master manipulators who always come out on top. But the Patrician works by extreme clarity and veiled threats, while Julius is his world’s master obfuscator and equivocator and either is the most Machiavellian planner of all time or just extremely good at thinking on his feet.

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

Christopher Robin seeks Winnie the Pooh at home Starting Nov. 6

BURBANK, Calif. (October 10, 2018) — On Nov. 6, Disney’s Christopher Robin, the wondrous, live-action film in which Winnie the Pooh and friends venture into mid-century London to help grown-up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), arrives instantly on Digital and Movies Anywhere and on Blu-ray™ and DVD with captivating, behind-the-scenes extras. The fun-filled tale features A.A. Milne’s timeless characters from the Hundred Acre Wood — Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit and Owl — making their first appearance as three-dimensional characters who remind Christopher Robin, and viewers of all ages, to appreciate the simple pleasures in life.

This entirely new take on the Winnie the Pooh stories will transport parents back to the imaginative, carefree days of childhood and allow them to share their love of Pooh and friends with their own children. “When you are able to make people laugh and cry in the same movie and you are able to tell the story with integrity and ground it in reality and have the magic realism on top of it, it lifts your spirits and connects you with the people you love,” says director Marc Forster. “We could all use a little bit of Pooh’s heart and wisdom right now.”

Bonus features provide a heartfelt look at the making of Christopher Robin, showcasing the magical artistry that brings the classic characters to life, the human actors’ techniques for interacting with stuffed animals, and the filmmakers’ passion for their project. Bronte Carmichael, who plays Christopher Robin’s daughter Madeline, takes viewers on an exciting journey from the drawing board to film locations throughout the United Kingdom. Features flash back to highlight Walt Disney’s fondness for Winnie the Pooh and recall the voice actors who lovingly portrayed the unforgettable voice of the iconic character. An exclusive digital bonus feature explores the actual teddy bear, given to Christopher Robin Milne 98 years ago, which inspired the original Pooh stories that have been shared and adored by families around the globe.

Christopher Robin will be packaged and released in several different formats, giving families the flexibility to watch the film on a variety of different devices. Viewers can instantly watch the film in Digital HD and SD, and bring home a physical copy of the film as a Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy) or a single DVD.

Bonus features include*:

  • In Which … A Movie Is Made for Pooh – Filmmakers and cast share their passion for this story in a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie.
  • In Which … Pooh Finds His Voice – Discover what it’s like to voice Winnie the Pooh, from voice actors Sterling Holloway to Jim Cummings.
  • In Which … Pooh and Walt Become Friends – How did Walt Disney and Pooh meet? Take a journey through time to explore the legacy of Walt’s first encounter with Pooh.
  • In Which … Pooh and Friends Come to Life – See how Winnie the Pooh and Friends were brought to life as walking and talking stuffed animals in this magical live-action world.


  • In Which … We Were Very Young – Meet the actual, original teddy bear who, along with his best friends, has inspired so much love worldwide for almost a century.

Product SKUs: Digital HD, SD; Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Code) Feature Film, DVD and On-Demand
Feature Run Time: Approximately 104 minutes
Rating:  PG in U.S. (bonus material not rated), G in CE and G in CF
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: Blu-ray = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish  and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks
DVD = English, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Tracks, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
HD/SD Digital = English 5.1/2.0, Latin Spanish 5.1/2.0, French 5.1/2.0 (for some clients), English 2.0 Descriptive Audio (for some clients)
Languages/Subtitles: Blu-ray = English SDH, French and Spanish
DVD = English SDH, French and Spanish
HD/SD Digital = English SDH, French and Spanish
Closed Captions: English (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital)

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

Book-A-Day 2018 #283: Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen

In a serial medium, there’s always the need to make sure the audience keeps up. So each new installment needs to do some work to give backstory, either with the potted “who they are and how they came to be!” box or flashbacks or whatever.

And when the story is moving quickly, one of the ways to do that effectively can be to slip back in time slightly at the beginning of each new installment, so the end of Section X and the beginning of Section Y tell the same moment in time, and overlap.

Jeff Lemire does that for every single transition in Descender, Vol. 5: Rise of the Robots , which I’m taking as a sign that he’s stomping his foot down on the gas and charging towards an ending in the not-too-distant future.

(I might as well throw in links to my posts on the earlier books, for those of you who are lost or just want more details: one and two and three and four .)

If you haven’t read Descender before, it’s soft-ish medium-future SF (intelligent but not godlike AI, some kind of unexplained FTL, various alien species, a galactic scope) in which planetoid-sized robot “Harvesters” appeared mysteriously about a generation ago, killed a large proportion of the organic sentients in the galaxy, and then went away. Since then, the robots created by those sentients have mostly been hunted and destroyed, for understandable if not strictly logical reasons.

(It’s a second cousin of the Butlerian Jihad, I suppose.)

Our main characters are on the human/robot interface: one special robot boy who was in hibernation since the attacks, the man who was his human companion as a boy, the roboticist that created that robot boy. Plus, of course, a larger cast of soldiers and schemers and killers on all sides of the conflicts — what was a fairly unified, advanced multi-species civilization shattered into a dozen or more nastier shards in the aftermath of that attack.

And it’s all coming to a head now: the Harvesters may be coming back, the local robots have definitely organized and are ready for their own counter-pogrom, and more individual acts of violence are also happening quickly.

Descender is a strong, somewhat space-operatic comic, a little more conventional and action-oriented than I’d expect from Jeff Lemire — but, then again, I’ve never read his Big Two work. It shows every sign of having a real ending, and to be barreling at top speed towards that ending. It’s good stuff: if you like SF, you should check it out.

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