July 31, 2019

THE SWINDLERS: A Familiar Diversion

https://www.wellgousa.com/
THE SWINDLERS (2017)
Starring Hyun Bin, Yoo Ji-tae, Bae Seong-woo, Park Sung-woong, Nana, Ahn Se-ha. Directed by Jang Chang-yeon. (116 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM WELL GO USA

Review by Tiger the Terrible😼

If the Blu-ray cover for The Swindlers evokes a bit of deja vu, perhaps it’s because the photo & lay-out is remarkably similar to that of Now You See Me. Probably no accident, either, since both films involve eclectic teams with elaborate schemes. In this case, it’s a plan to out-con the world’s most notorious con-man.

In the prologue, countless innocent people are duped by Jang (Heo Sung-tae) in a Ponzi scheme to the tune of $4 billion dollars. Lives are ruined and some commit suicide. A retiring forger – nicknamed “London Fog” - is also murdered after preparing fake documents which allow Jang to flee the country. His death is listed as a suicide, but his son, Hwang (Hyun Bin), knows better.

A decade later, Hwang is a clever con-man himself, but makes his living swindling other swindlers (I guess so we have somebody not-so morally ambiguous to root for). Since then, the Korean government’s official position is that Jang is dead, though rumors persist he’s hiding in Thailand. After being apprehended by ambitious prosecutor Park Hee-soo (Yoo Ji-tae), Hwang reveals he knows Jang is still alive. He agrees to work with Park – as well as a group of rival swindlers – to coax Jang out of hiding...on one condition: Hwang gets to kill him.

Hwang makes a considerable anatomical boast.
The remainder of the plot involves the team’s intricate plan to root-out Jang. Though more serious in tone than similar films like Now You See Me or Ocean’s Eleven, The Swindlers plays a similar game...to not-only deceive the bad guys, but also the audience (and not always fairly). Nobody is quite what they seem, nor are most of their actions. In fact, the plot becomes so twist-laden that the film sometimes trips over its own logic. Watching how everything plays-out is fun, but when all is said and done, it doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny.

But I’ll concede one thing. Far-fetched as it is, The Swindlers is enjoyably unpredictable, even if some of its revelations are sucker-punches that might have the viewer crying foul. Still, it’s fun in-the-moment and certainly worth checking-out one time. Any more than that would probably just make the holes bigger.

EXTRA KIBBLES
TRAILER
KITTY CONSENSUS:
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW.

July 30, 2019

AVENGERS ENDGAME - Bonus Clips

Marvel Studios Avengers: Endgame is now available on Digital HD and Movies Anywhere! To celebrate, we have a variety of bonus clips featuring Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth, along with the cast & crew! The film arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand beginning August 13th.

https://youtu.be/zDCLVGDStGA
DELETED SCENE: Take a Knee

BLOOPERS
https://youtu.be/VNaT6o22kb0
A NEW VERSION OF THOR

THE POOP SCOOP: Time Travel, Baba Yaga and a Dinosaur Priest

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB-_oNDH0d8&feature=youtu.be
CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL TRAILER
DON’T LET GO – IN THEATERS AUGUST 30
Blumhouse's latest thriller starring David Oyelowo and Storm Reid. In ​Don’t Let Go,​ detective Jack Radcliff (Oyelowo) gets a shocking phone call from his recently-murdered niece Ashley (Reid). Working together across time, they race to solve her murder before it can happen.
 
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D_QAWa8QoY
VIEW THE NEW TRAILER!
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM on Digital 8/23 and on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand 9/10
Super assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) has a $14 million price tag on his head after killing a member of the High Table, the shadowy international assassins’ guild. Now excommunicado, and with an army of the world’s most ruthless hit men and women on his trail, John must find a way to survive in this third chapter of the adrenaline-fueled action series. Take home John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum and immerse yourself in the thrilling world with exclusive special features, including all-new featurettes that explore the mythology and over-the-top action of the John Wick expanded universe. Dive into the hidden world of Killer Ballerinas, Shinobi, and the Bowery King, learn the intense planning that went into the film’s incredible horse chase sequence and “dog-fu” fight sequences, and even get an editing master class with director Chad Stahelski and editor Evan Schiff!
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ebcpw7_KuA&feature=youtu.be
CATCH A SNEAK PEEK
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL on Digital 8/20 & 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD 9/3
The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest, most global threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. The 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack and Blu-ray of MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL feature exclusive deleted scenes--plus erase away those embarrassing moments with an all-new Neuralyzer infomercial and let Frank the Pug trace your out-of-this-world roots with Alien-centry.com. All formats come packed with bonus feature content, including a gag reel, several behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more!

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OUR EARLY OSCAR PICK...
 
THE VELOCIPASTOR - out this August!
The Brendan Steere directed classic-in-the-making will be available on DVD and Digital August 13 on such platforms as iTunes, Comcast, Spectrum, Dish, Vudu, Amazon, Fandango and Sling. A Blu-ray release will follow September 17.

After a devastating family tragedy, a priest travels to China to find deeper spirituality, but instead is endowed with an ancient ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first, he is horrified by his newfound superpower, but a local prostitute convinces him to use his newfound gift to fight evil – and ninjas.
Gregory James Cohan, Alyssa Kempinski, Daniel Steere, Yang Jiechang, Jesse Turits, Fernando Pacheco de Castro star with Aurelio Voltaire in the Wild Eye Releasing title.

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ADVENTURES IN THE BUDGET BIN

SHARKNADO 3-PACK
Like that five-year-old nephew who thinks the exact same fart joke is just as funny tenth time as it is the first, there are more Sharknado movies than the surgeon general recommends. Still, the first two were funny and the third had Brad Keslowski, and we found this triple feature at DOLLAR TREE. Broken down, that’s only 33 cents per flick. Whether you were in on the joke or thought it was stupid from the get-go, that's a lot of gratuitous cameos, CGI blood and blatant product placement for your buck.

July 29, 2019

THE ISLAND at the End of the World

https://www.wellgousa.com/
THE ISLAND (2018)
Starring Huang Bo, Shu Qi, Wang Baoqiang, Zhang Yixing, Yu Hewei, Wang Xun. Directed by Huang Bo. (134 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM WELL GO USA

Review by Stinky the Destroyer😽

While we don’t play “for investment purposes,” my wife and I occasionally buy lottery tickets. Most often, it’s when the jackpot is too huge to ignore or one of us had a particularly bad day at work (generally the latter). During those stretches in life when nothing’s going right, we'd also joke that, with our luck, we’d probably hit the lottery just as a rogue comet or Titan missile triggers the apocalypse.

Which is essentially what happens to Ma Jin (Huang Bo) and his brother, Xiao Xing (Lay Zhang), in the Chinese survival comedy, The Island.

As a potentially devastating meteor is hurling toward the Earth, Ma Jin and Xiao Xing are on-board a chartered boat with their co-workers heading to a business retreat. It’s established during the ride that Ma Jin is infatuated with Shanshan (Lay Zhang), but neither she nor anyone else appear to regard him very highly. When he discovers he has a winning lottery ticket worth $60 million, his elation is short-lived because the boat is struck by a massive tsunami, stranding the survivors on a remote island.

The Not-So-Magic School Bus.
It’s not revealed if the tsunami was caused by the meteor strike, but since no one is able to contact the mainland, the survivors increasingly believe civilization is dead. Ma Jin still holds out hope, trying to get back home before the time to cash-in his lottery ticket expires. In the meantime, the boat driver and company boss have separated everyone into to rival groups, both scrambling for food, shelter and other necessities for survival. Once Ma Jin’s ticket expires, he miraculously hits a jackpot of a different sort, which allows he and his mechanically-inclined brother to assumed control over all of them.

While The Island sounds like a variation of Lord of the Flies, the tone is considerably lighter, often comedic. Sometimes it’s quite funny, other times sweet-natured, but also has its share of dramatic moments. However, writer-director-star Huang Bo doesn’t isn’t always able to juggle these elements effectively. Not only is the film a too episodic for its own good, it’s also overlong, considering the basic premise. Additionally, some of the dialogue is really bizarre, perhaps due to some questionable translation since the subtitles don’t always make sense (even grammatically).

Still, The Island is watchable and sort-of charming, partially thanks to a likable underdog we can empathize with. Some patience is required during the more meandering scenes – most of them stacked at the beginning – but the story comes to a satisfying conclusion that’s ultimately worth the effort.

KITTY CONSENSUS:
NOT BAD. LIKE CAT CHOW. 

July 27, 2019

BLOOD PARADISE: Do-It-Yourself Horror

http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/
BLOOD PARADISE (2018)
Starring Andrea Winter, Christer Cavallius, Rolf Brunnstrom, Patrick von Barkenberg, Ingrid Hedstrom, Ellinor Berglund. Directed by Patrick von Barkenberg. (84 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM ARTSPLOITATION FILMS


Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

Patrick von Barkenberg and Andrea Winter are quite the pair of auteurs. Their names dominate the credits of Blood Paradise, with one-or-both of them producing, directing, writing, editing, scoring, set-designing, costuming and prominently starring. Even the two music videos included here, credited to “Baba Yaga,” are by Winter.

So it goes without saying this film was probably a labor of love. But while their DIY spirit is admirable, perhaps they should consider delegating some of the duties next time, such as the screenplay. Maybe that way the story won’t be quite as aimless.

Winter plays Robin Richards, a novelist whose latest book is a critical flop. Hoping to gain some inspiration, she decides to spend time at a remote farm in the country, run by a creepy farmer who recently buried his wife in their garden. She also must deal with her driver, Hans (Christer Cavallius), a huge fan of her books, to the chagrin of his obnoxiously jealous wife, Elsa (Ellinor Berglund). But it turns out her jealousy is justified since he’s seen fondling Robin’s panties and leering in the background as she dresses. Robin’s boyfriend Teddy (von Barkenberg) later texts that he’s going to join her at the farm, but he’s mysteriously murdered upon arrival.

"Hey, mister! I found your shirt!"
While the basic premise is okay and it begins promisingly, Blood Paradise is bogged down by lethargic pacing, scenes that have little to do with the plot and way too much emphasis on the Teddy & Elsa’s domestic woes. Touted as a ‘sexy thriller,’ the film is neither sexy nor thrilling. Winter’s ample nude scenes (bathing, swimming, etc) are simply gratuitous, while most sequences calculated to generate suspense ultimately amount to nothing. None of these characters are interesting and the revelation of who’s terrorizing Robin will surprise no one. The ending is also a real bummer, despite an amusing appearance by a flock of curious sheep.

Some of this is played for laughs and the S&M-tinged opening scene is admittedly hilarious. But while there will undoubtedly be viewers tickled by its self-consciously quirky tone, Blood Farmer is seldom as funny, scary, violent or sexually-charged as its trailer suggests. The film ultimately ends up feeling a lot longer than its scant running time.

EXTRA KIBBLES
DELETED SCENES
2 MUSIC VIDEOS
KITTY CONSENSUS:
MEH...LIKE SHARING THE BED WITH THE DOG.

July 26, 2019

THE BUSTER KEATON COLLECTION Volume 2: Another Batch of His Best

http://cohenmedia.net/
SHERLOCK JR. (1924) – Starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Ward Crane, Erwin Connelly, Joe Keaton. Directed by Buster Keaton. (45 min)
THE NAVIGATOR (1924) – Starring Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Noble Johnson, Frederick Vroom. Directed by Buster Keaton & Donald Crisp. (59 min)
ON BLU-RAY FROM COHEN MEDIA GROUP

Review by Mr. Paws😸

Cohen Media Group continues rolling-out their 4K restorations of Buster Keaton classics. Like Volume 1, which is one of the best Blu-rays of the year, Volume 2 presents two more films from the era that’s universally considered his creative peak.

In Sherlock Jr., Keaton plays a lowly theater projectionist with dreams of being a great detective. In a roundabout way, he gets his wish when he falls asleep on the job and projects himself into the film he’s showing. In this movie-within-a-movie - which mirrors the wraparound story – he’s Sherlock Jr., dapper detective brought in to solve the case of some missing pearls. Of course, being Keaton, he’s more bumbling buffoon than super sleuth. While the story is fitfully amusing, what makes Sherlock Jr. a true masterpiece is the editing, visual trickery and action sequences, all of which are pretty jawdropping for a 95 year old film.

One helluva hangnail.
Released the same year, The Navigator has Keaton playing Rollo Treadway, a wealthy young man trapped on-board an adrift ship along with Betsy (Kathryn McGuire), a snooty local girl he just proposed to (she said no, of course). Unaccustomed to fending for themselves, much of the humor comes from the two of them figuring out how to survive. Along the way, Keaton must deal with swordfish, a leaky ship and a tribe of cannibals. Though not as story-driven or technically impressive as Sherlock Jr., the episodic nature of The Navigator lends itself to some gags that are as funny as anything in Keaton’s filmography (the scene where he’s fleeing from a small cannon tied to his ankle is my personal favorite).

Both films have been given an impressive restoration, each with brand new music scores by Timothy Brock (Sherlock Jr.) and Robert Israel (The Navigator). As a matter of personal preference, this one isn’t quite as indispensable as Volume 1, if only because I consider The General to be Keaton’s crowning achievement. Still, these features are both great examples of a legend at the height of his comic powers, making The Buster Keaton Collection Volume 2 another fine addition to any classic film library.

EXTRA KIBBLES
FEATURETTES - “Buster Keaton: The Great Stone Face”; “Buster Keaton: The Comedian” (Brief testimonials from many of the same actors, critics & filmmakers who contributed to Peter Bogdanovich’s recent documentary, The Great Buster)
RESTORATION TRAILERS FOR EACH FILM

KITTY CONSENSUS:
MEE-OW! LIKE TAUNTING A MOUSE TO DEATH.

July 25, 2019

CRAWL and the Death of a Douchebag

CRAWL (2019)
Starring Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper, Ross Anderson, Moryfydd Clark. Directed by Alexandre Aja. (97 min)

Essay by D.M. ANDERSON💀

I am guilty of murder. Multiple-murders, actually. In fact, I might even be a serial killer. I knew some of my victims, while others were complete strangers. But all of them had one thing in common: They deserved what they got.

Like many writers with quietly-vindictive dispositions and a poison pen, I’ve occasionally taken perverse pleasure in vicariously killing those who’ve wronged me in real life. Through various writings over the years, I’ve whacked childhood bullies, girlfriends who broke up with me, various in-laws, a few former bosses, bad drivers, noisy neighbors, our current president, my ex-wife and the guy who slept with her.

I’ve just recently killed again, and if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to offer my written confession…

One sunny summer afternoon, me and my youngest daughter, Lucy, decided to escape the heat and take in a movie. The multiplex was busier than I expected, but fortunately for us, most appeared to be there for Disney’s NatGeo musical, The Lion King, while we were planning to check-out the gobblin’ gatorfest, Crawl. Both of us being horror fans, ravenous reptiles had considerably more appeal than computer-created cats belting out 25-year-old showtunes.

Crawl was one of only two movies at this 10-screen theater that wasn’t a sequel, remake, reboot or part of a cinematic universe, meaning no one was lined up to see it. While that’s kind-of a sad testimony on the current state of suburban moviegoing, it also meant there was a decent chance Lucy and I would have the theater to ourselves.

"No one tells me 'See ya later'."
I’d actually been pretty jazzed to see Crawl for awhile, being that it looked like a mash-up of my two favorite genres: disaster and killer animals. As for Lucy, I think I’ve raised her right. While I couldn’t to get her to appreciate the cataclysmic pleasures of The Towering Inferno or Deep Impact, she grew loving the likes of Jaws, Jurassic Park and Eight Legged Freaks. As fans if either genre will attest, such movies are either good, terrible or good because they're terrible.

Crawl turned out to be a good one, partially because of its more-or-less straight-forward approach, but mainly because it delivers exactly what it promises. Taking place in Florida during a hurricane, Haley Keller (Kaya Scodelario) is a collegiate swimmer who reluctantly returns home to look for her estranged father, Dave (Barry Pepper), because he isn’t answering his phone. The town is already beginning to flood by the time she arrives. When she gets to the house, Haley learns why her dad didn’t return her calls: He’s stuck in the crawlspace below with serious injuries. She also discovers – the hard way – what injured him in the first place. Lurking under the house with them are a couple o’ big-ass alligators.

With the water rising, Haley and Dave need to get out, which is easier said than done. Not only are both of them hurt, their phones don’t work, the town is evacuated and hungry gators are everywhere, as a boatload of looters and some local cops fatally discover. This is all before the hurricane reaches full force. Then there’s Dave’s mangy mutt, Sugar, and goddamn if he isn’t just personable enough to have the viewer going “Oh, no! Not the Dog!” every ten minutes or so.

"This makes me wanna pee."
None of it is very plausible, but it’s deftly directed by Alexandre Aja, who knows how to build suspense and put-together some great, well-timed jump-scares, most of which do not come when expected. He also knows a movie like this needs characters we care about for any of it to work. Most of the secondary cast is simply gator fodder, but Haley and Dave are sympathetic and likable, the complexities of their volatile relationship explored with a surprising amount of depth. Crawl won’t make anyone forget Jaws, but it’s fast-paced and fun, with visual effects that are more-or-less convincing and a few great critter kills.

Not that the idiot seated a few rows ahead of us ever noticed.

Alas, despite the fact Crawl wasn’t exactly packin’ ‘em in, Lucy and I didn’t quite have the theater to ourselves. Near the front was a guy, maybe in his late-twenties, who looked like he just graduated from the Douche Academy: Tapout muscle shirt, tribal tattoo, gym shorts and fucking sandals (never trust a guy wearing sandals anywhere but the beach). He was loudly barking into his cellphone and I’m sure if I tore it from his hand, I’d find 90 selfies of him giving the backwards peace-sign. While his friend sat next to him in silence, this guy – whom we’ll dub Chad because calling him Dick would be too obviouslaughed and dropped f-bombs without regard to anyone else in the vicinity. Lucy and I took seats a few rows back, thinking he’d probably shut-up once the lights went down.

Though he did put his phone away (for now), Chad talked through all the previews, occasionally laughing. I didn’t know what he was saying, but he had one of those booming voices that seemed to reverberate throughout the theater. Nor did he stop when the movie started. While his friend remained relatively quiet, Chad consistently made comments and talked at the screen, stopping only to occasionally pull out his phone for a quick text. Hell, he kept talking even while his friend left to fetch a soda, meaning he was so into himself and his own babbling that it didn’t matter if anyone was actually listening. Hoping to avoid an unpleasant confrontation, Lucy and I moved further back, and even though it made Chad’s douchebaggery at-least tolerable, we could still hear him bubbling under the surface of everything happening on-screen.

Kitchen Nightmares: The Movie
Afterwards, Chad was out of his seat and on his phone the second the credits began to roll. However, the act of talking & talking was apparently too cumbersome, so he stopped at the entrance, meaning Lucy and I had to walk around his ignorant ass. That’s it, I thought. Enough is enough.

I stopped, turned to face him and indignantly stated, “You, sir, are one of the worst people I’ve ever shared a theater with.”

Chad shot me a glance. His mouth fell open, a string of drool hanging from his lip. “Wha?” Then he continued his phone conversation.

Further incensed and taking a cue from Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout, I gave Chad a swift, powerful palm-strike to the nose. I felt a satisfying crunch, confident I’d just driven bone shards into that feeble brain. Chad’s eyes crossed as he dropped his phone. He wobbled a few seconds, then dropped to the floor like a bag of wet cement. I nonchalantly took his phone and casually informed the individual on the other end that Chad was no longer available. Then I rolled him over, yanked down his gym shorts and shoved the phone up his ass.

"Oh my God,” Chad’s friend cried as he scampered toward the lobby. “You killed him! You killed him!”

Hearing the commotion, patrons began filing out of other theaters, gasping when they spotted Chad’s twitching corpse. The phone lodged between his butt-cheeks began to vibrate.

Soon after, the manager pushed his way through the gathering crowd. “Alright, alright! What’s going on, here?” He looked down at the body, then at Lucy and I. “What happened?”

Chad’s friend aimed an accusing finger my way. “He killed Chad! Killed him in cold blood!”

The manager lifted a brow. “Did you?”

"Indeed, I did,” I replied. “He was talking during the movie.”

He glanced to Chad’s friend inquisitively. “Is that true?”

Chad’s friend slowly exhaled and began to nod. “Yeah...yeah he was...quite a bit, actually.”

Regarding me once again, the manager’s harsh face curled into a toothy grin. He placed a hand on my shoulder. “You, good sir, are a hero.” Then he turned to address the crowd. “Ladies and gentleman! We are in the presence of greatness! This guy stood up to a douchebag and gave him exactly what he deserved!”

The crowd suddenly broke out into cheers and applause. They hoisted me above their heads as they chanted “Dave! Dave! Dave!”  Even Chad’s friend gave me a hearty high-five.

"Yay, Daddy!” Lucy shouted, tears of joy rolling down her cheeks. “I’m proud to be your daughter!”

"Go, Dave, go!"
As the crowd carried me to the lobby on their shoulders, the manager boldly proclaimed, “Free movie tickets for life, Dave! For you and your whole family!” 

Suddenly, Salma Hayek emerged from the crowd, shot me a seductive smile and offered the key to her hotel room. Though flattered, I politely informed her I was happily married. “But I’ll see you in the movies!” I added.

"Mister, it’s a date!” she replied.

Just then, a CNN news van screeched to a halt in from of the theater. Anderson Cooper and a cameraman burst into the lobby. After the crowd finally put me down, I strolled over for my interview.

Anderson thrust a microphone in my face. “Dave, you just liberated the world from a notorious cinema terrorist. To what do you credit your awesomeness?”

"Well, Andy,” I replied. “I can call you Andy, right? I owe it all to God, clean living and learning how to kill a man with my bare hands from watching action movies. I also wanna thank my lovely wife for finding that twenty dollar bill in my pants while doing the laundry. Without it, this afternoon at the movies with my kid wouldn’t have been possible.”

"Speaking of kids, do you have words of advice for little ones who might be watching?”

With that, I grabbed the microphone and stared into the camera with the most menacing mug I could muster. “When you’re at the movies, kids, shut the fuck up. I just might be watching.” Then I dropped the mic, took Lucy by the hand and strolled out of the theater. As the crowd followed, Anderson and Salma led them in a chorus of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.”

And there you have it. My confession. While it feels liberating to get it off my chest, I can’t help but wonder when (not if) I’ll be compelled to kill again. After all, there are legions of Chads out there and I seem to run into most of them at the movies. Here's hoping the next Chad won’t be you.

THE POOP SCOOP: Gators Don't Sing

PAW OF APPROVAL: CRAWL

While the rest of the free world flocks to the first NatGeo musical, I checked out Alexandre Aja’s Crawl. Personally, I prefer to watch animals kill people than belt-out 25 year old showtunes and was not disappointed. Crawl is a lot of grisly fun, delivering exactly as promised. And with a category 5 hurricane thrown-in for good measure, what’s not to love? It’s a shame the movie is playing to empty theaters. On the plus side...no mouth-breathing rugrats were kicking my chair.

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UPCOMING CAT TOYS
THE DEAD DON'T DIE on Digital 9/3 and on Blu-ray & DVD 9/10
A quiet town finds itself under attack from the undead with the greatest zombie cast ever disassembled in the comedy, THE DEAD DON’T DIE, arriving on Digital on September 3, 2019 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on September 10, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Showcasing exclusive bonus features not seen in theaters including insight from the cast and filmmakers, as well as a closer look at the making of the film that takes fans deeper into this “giddy apocalypse with no way out” (Richard Brody, The New Yorker). Starring Academy Award winner Bill Murray (Olive Kitteridge, Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters), Adam Driver (Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, BlacKkKlansman) and Chloë Sevigny (“The Act,” Boys Don’t Cry), THE DEAD DON’T DIE is a “hilariously fun” (Adam Patterson, Film Pulse) and irreverent film unlike any you’ve seen before.

Olivia Wilde’s Directorial Debut, BOOKSMART, on Digital 8/20 and Blu-ray 9/3
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents BOOKSMART, arriving on Digital August 20 and Blu-ray and DVD September 3. In this fresh, unfiltered modern comedy, best friends and academic overachievers Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realize they’ve missed out on pretty much all fun during high school. So, on the eve of graduation, they decide to make up for lost time with one wild adventure in this hilarious coming-of-age story about the meaningful bonds we create, also starring Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis.

Disney's ALADDIN on Digital 4K Ultra HD and Movies Anywhere 8/27 and 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray 9/10
Extras explore elements of Aladdin that audiences adore, from the film’s treasured, iconic award-winning music to its beloved characters and their hilarious antics on and off screen. Viewers get the first look at an all-new song “Desert Moon,” deleted from the final film, written by eight-time Academy Award winning composer Alan Menken and Oscar-and Tony Award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (“The Greatest Showman,” “La La Land”). Features document Guy Ritchie’s joyful, easy-going approach to directing that led to movie magic; Will Smith’s fresh take on the infamous shape-shifting blue entity confined to an oil lamp; Naomi Scott’s powerful performance as the spirited princess who yearns to lead the people of Agrabah; and the indescribable feeling of playing Aladdin chronicled personally by Mena Massoud. Deleted scenes and a blooper reel round out the fun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJL37O4QXtI&feature=youtu.be
Pet Beast for a flying lesson.
X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX on Digital 9/3 and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD 9/17
Sophie Turner, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence fire up an all-star cast in this spectacular culmination of the X-Men saga! During a rescue mission in space, Jean Grey (Turner) is transformed into the infinitely powerful and dangerous DARK PHOENIX. As Jean spirals out of control, the X-Men must unite to face their most devastating enemy yet — one of their own. The home entertainment release comes packed with hours of extensive special features and behind-the-scenes insights from Simon Kinberg and Hutch Parker delving into everything it took to bring X-MEN: DARK PHOENIX to the big screen. Beast also offers a hilarious, but important, one-on-one “How to Fly Your Jet to Space” lesson in the Special Features section. Check out a clip of the top-notch class sessions below!

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  ADVENTURES IN THE BUDGET BIN
 
Big Lots doesn’t re-stock their Blu-ray shelf as often as I’d like (though my wife is probably grateful). Sometimes have have nothing, other times they’re loaded, and among the junk are a surprising number of classics for five bucks or less. So while the missus shopped for cleaning supplies and kitty litter, I recently found these:

ALIEN ANTHOLOGY (Blu-ray) – The first four Alien films, including original and alternative versions and literally hours of bonus features. This is essentially the same content as the massive Alien Quadrilogy DVD collection that set fans back $100. $5.00 at Big Lots.

ON A RELATED NOTE: We found Prometheus (Blu-Ray) at the same time. Say what you will about Ridley Scott’s return to the franchise, which is sometimes really dumb, but this polarizing film is certainly worth five bucks. For those who care – or need a few beverage coasters for the family room, the two Alien vs Predator films are available as a double feature DVD for three bucks. Still overpriced.

PLANET OF THE APES LEGACY COLLECTION (Blu-Ray) – Sure, the original franchise of five films had a few wonky entries, but the 1968 film is an unqualified classic and this set also includes a slew of bonus features that were not part of the DVD release. $5.00 at Big Lots.