Oregon Beats Michigan State in Low-Scoring Redbox Bowl

The Oregon Ducks Dec. 31 held off the Michigan State Spartans, 7-6, in the inaugural Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. Oregon finished the season 9-4, while the Spartans finished 7-6.

The match-up featuring schools from the Pac-12 and Big Ten was marked by sloppy play, a faked Oregon punt that ended up as a sack, and a botched Spartans field-goal attempt, among other miscues.

The good news for Redbox was that the 17th edition of the former Foster Farms Bowl game featured the highest game attendance since 2011, with more than 30,000 tickets sold. Fans attending the game were given a special promo code for a free one-night movie rental.

The game was televised on the Fox broadcast network with a Spanish-language simulcast on Fox Deportes.

 

 

Bad Times at the El Royale

While Drew Goddard’s latest directorial effort isn’t as memorable as his horror deconstruction The Cabin in the Woods, the neo-noir thriller Bad Times at the El Royale still offers a solid showcase for its talented cast, a soundtrack fueled by a dynamite selection of period-appropriate songs, and a quirky setting that serves the story well.

 

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 1/1/19;
Fox;
Thriller;
Box Office $17.84 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity.
Stars Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Chris Hemsworth, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Nick Offerman, Shea Whigham.

Writer-director Drew Goddard scratches an itch to play in the noir sandbox with Bad Times at the El Royale, a breezy mystery that coasts on some nice directorial touches and the strength of its cast.

Not as engrossing or genre-bending as Goddard’s previous directorial effort, The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale is more of a Tarantino-esque thriller that brings a group of strangers into a remote location and then reveals they aren’t quite who they claim to be.

Bad Times at the El Royale

The caper takes place at the El Royale hotel of the title, a former hotspot straddling the California-Nevada border that lost its popularity after losing its gambling license. The setting is apparently based on the real-life Cal-Neva Lodge, a Lake Tahoe hotspot that has seen its own troubled history. It also brings to mind the hotel managed by Tony Curtis in 40 Pounds of Trouble that was situated close enough to the stateline so he could see the Cali detectives waiting to nab him for missing alimony payments.

In the first scene we bear witness to Nick Offerman tearing up the floorboards in one of the rooms to stash a bag of what is presumably money, then restoring everything to its original condition before he gets shot by a shadowy associate.

Several years later, in 1969, a disparate group of travelers arrive, including a vacuum salesman (Jon Hamm), a priest (Jeff Bridges), a runaway (Dakota Johnson) and a lounge singer (Cynthia Erivo).

Thanks to flashbacks, a non-linear story structure, and a hidden corridor that looks into all the rooms unbeknownst to the guests via a two-way mirror, we soon learn their true identities, and what brought them to the El Royale (including who is after that floorboard cash).

Things heat up a bit with the arrival of a cult leader (Chris Hemsworth) looking for some missing “property” of his own.

In a good 29-minute behind-the-scenes featurette included as the only extra on the Blu-ray, Goddard discusses several reasons why he wanted to make this film. One was to assemble a talented cast and give him an excuse to pitch something to Jeff Bridges.

Another was the chance to explore the music of the genre and experiment with ways to tie the songs into the story. Goddard even refers to the film as a love letter to music and an appreciation for the ways it changed his life.

The featurette also provides some great insights into the production design and look of the film, such as how the filmmakers built the entire hotel on a soundstage in order to accomplish the shots they needed to get. There’s also some fascinating tidbits about the film’s use of (and in some cases, omission of) color — a subtle touch that helps establish the mood for a story that at times can get extremely dark.

We also get to see some of Bridges’ on-set photography, a tradition of his dating back to the production of 1984’s Starman.

Bad Times at the El Royale

A Message to Our Readers

As another year comes to an end, I’d like to say thank you to our readers and our advertisers for making us a part of your professional lives. Media Play News is coming off a very successful first year. We began the year with a new company, name, brand, website, newsletter, and production and art staff.

All that we carried over from our previous property were five staffers and the determination to do everything we did before, only more of it, and better.

We also set out to redefine the concept of home entertainment, broadening the definition to include any filmed content brought into the home, on demand — regardless of whether it was bought or rented on Blu-ray Disc, DVD or digital, or streamed via Netflix, Amazon or Hulu.

We went live with our website and daily newsletter on Jan. 2, 2018, and our first monthly magazine was available in print and digital editions on Jan. 29. The website was built from the ground up using a responsive web design. Largely because of this, on Feb. 3 MediaPlayNews.com was OK’d for pickup by Google News. The print magazine, too, was improved, with a heavier paper stock and a higher gloss finish. And our daily newsletter, which used to include three to five stories daily, typically has as many as nine or 10, or even more.

That first month, we had 17,105 unique visitors, about half what Home Media Magazine had in its peak. By April, that number had grown to 62,257, with more than half visiting our site on their phones or other mobile devices. Our peak of 266,061 was in July, when Comic-Con hit.

Social media outreach has certainly helped us increase our readership. From the time we launched Media Play News, we have made it a point to write stories about as many product releases as we can, and then push out these stories on Facebook and on Twitter. On Twitter, we use appropriate hashtags as well as @twittername of key cast members and other creatives as well as fan groups. Since Oct. 1, we also have employed the same approach with Instagram.

We employ the same social media strategy with our various “chart” stories, and we’re starting to get quite a bit of attention from stars and other creatives — including Tyler Perry, who posted a link to one of our stories about the weekly Redbox charts to his Facebook page. That brought us over 119,000 unique visitors in a matter of hours.

In 2019, we plan on doubling down on efforts in the digital space. We intend to enhance our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram efforts and start issuing Instagram stories as well as venture into Snapchat. We also plan on allocating more money toward paid promotions.

We also would like to launch a vibrant and compelling YouTube channel, bringing on talent to film a weekly “new on disc and digital” episode each week, ideally with snippets of trailers and conversations about the biggest or most notable product releases. We would like to do the same with our three chart stories.

We also intend to host trailers on our site and each week will issue “editor’s picks” highlighting the top new releases.

Home entertainment remains a truly remarkable business, and we’re proud to be a part of it.

2018: Getting Along in a Multi-Platform World

Back in 1989, a State Department official named Francis Fukuyama wrote a controversial essay on the “end of history,” opining that the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern bloc communism, the reform movement in China, and the reunification of Germany signaled a triumph for Western democracy and a very real promise of freedom and liberty for all.

Fukuyama’s vision of a global utopia didn’t last long, but for a brief moment in time cultural and political differences seemed to be set aside in favor of everyone working together to make the world a better place.

Similarly, in 2018 the various factions in home entertainment seemed to set aside their differences and recognize that we’re living in a multi-platform world — and that a peaceful coexistence between disc and digital, subscription and transactional, was, indeed, possible.

“2018 saw the continued integration of technology and content at an even more accelerated pace, and, with that, the opportunity to engage fans with more focused and meaningful experiences that extend the life of our film and television properties,” said Keith Feldman, president of worldwide home entertainment for 20th Century Fox.

Indeed, studios cut back on selling content to Netflix — most notably Disney, which pulled all its movies off the service by the end of the year — in favor of issuing it on their own platforms. They rallied behind Movies Anywhere, a digital movie storage “locker” launched in October 2017, and saw digital movie sales soar, with an 18% gain reported in the third quarter of 2018, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group numbers.

Netflix, meanwhile, vowed to spend $8 billion in 2018 on producing its own shows, with the goal of making its content library 50% original.

Studios that once sued Redbox for renting DVDs and Blu-ray Discs, claiming the kiosk vendor was cannibalizing disc sales, struck distribution deals in which prior holdbacks were either sharply cut back or eliminated. They also rallied behind Redbox On Demand, a digital movie store launched in December 2017.

On the retail front, big-box chains like Best Buy and Walmart put discs back into the spotlight, buoyed by the emergence of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray.

And digital retailers like FandangoNow and Google Play revved up their promotional muscle and pumped up the message that they had fresh movies for sale or rent. FandangoNow even put up a notice on its home page, touting the fact that it offers “New releases not on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime subscriptions.”

It was all part of a bigger picture, in a year dominated by major media mergers — AT&T buying Time Warner, Disney buying 20th Century Fox — suggesting it was high time to come together and restructure existing business models to reflect changing consumer habits.

Content, as always, was king, but the feuding fiefdoms of the past were at last coming to peace with each other — and with themselves.

Subscription streaming continued to dominate the home entertainment business in 2018. Indeed, in the first nine months of this year, according to DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, consumer spending on Netflix and other subscription streaming services rose more than 30% to $9.4 billion, nearly $2 billion more than consumers spent on all other forms of home entertainment combined– disc purchases ($2.79 billion) and rentals ($1.37 billion); digital purchases, or electronic sellthrough (EST, $1.8 billion),  and digital rentals, or transactional video-on-demand (TVOD, $1.57 billion).

But where Hollywood once saw a threat, in 2018 the studios saw an opportunity. As consumers, thanks to streaming, became increasingly accustomed to viewing movies and other content electronically, studios focused on moving them toward on-demand digital purchases or rentals — driving home the message that new releases aren’t typically available through subscriptions.

“Our comprehensive and strategic efforts to drive digital ownership and bolster engagement such as leveraging the early window, offering exclusive extras and emphasizing the best viewing experience possible are proving to be very effective as consumers continue to move toward and embrace the digital experience,” said Chris Oldre, EVP of pay TV, digital and international distribution at Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International.

“Movies Anywhere has had a tremendous impact on transforming digital consumption and is a testament to the strength of the studios and digital retailers that have joined forces on an unprecedented scale. This year Disney once again experienced remarkable growth as our digital sales exceeded expectations in conjunction with the studio’s unrivaled box office success. Disney has the top three bestselling digital titles to date with Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther and Thor: Ragnarok. We’re also incredibly proud of our celebration of Marvel’s 10-year anniversary this year.  We promoted the Marvel Cinematic Universe home entertainment catalog with a special sales promotion across digital, which undoubtedly helped propel Avengers: Infinity War to the No. 1 live-action spot on the all-time digital sales chart in a record-setting period.”

Ron Schwartz, president of Lionsgate Worldwide Home Entertainment, said that as consumer habits evolve, digital movie sales and rentals – electronic sellthrough (EST) and transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) — remain a priority. “We saw a significant increase in industry spending in this area in 2018, up 20%, and we will continue to collaborate with our retail partners on fresh ideas to keep consumer interest alive,” he said. “We see a large and growing market with multi-platform and specialty releases and will continue to build our leadership in this area.”

At the same time, Schwartz notes, “Disc sales remain robust … 4K UHD BD is rapidly gaining in popularity, as spend is on track to double this year versus last. We are committed to serving our audiences across the full spectrum of the digital   and physical business and we will continue to be a first mover in adapting these businesses as they continue to evolve.”

For Bob Buchi, president of worldwide home media distribution at Paramount Pictures, 2018 was the year of 4K.

“More than 42 million homes now have a 4K Ultra HD television and roughly 400 titles are available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc and over 600 on Digital 4K,” Buchi said. “The numbers keep growing and for good reason: 4K brings home entertainment to life like never before, delivering content that better represents filmmakers’ original vision.  We’ve seen this play out with the week one 4K sales of Mission: Impossible — Fallout, which delivered our highest number of UHD discs sold, as well as the highest percentage of our physical sales ever.”

Disney’s Oldre agrees. “4K Ultra HD is a robust line of business for us and we’re experiencing healthy growth,” he said. “We continue to receive solid support from our physical retail partners and are confident it’s a market that our customers will continue to embrace given the format’s premier resolution.”

Catalog sales were another bright spot in 2018, Buchi said. “We’ve seen our digital catalog sales growing in markets around the world, including a 35% increase domestically through October, which indicates that more and more consumers have become comfortable with the format and are returning to the concept of building collections.  In addition, physical catalog sales have exceeded our expectations, as we continue to make concerted efforts to celebrate anniversaries of classic titles and strategically promote films from our library.”

Retailers certainly did their part in pushing the transactional business. At Best Buy and Walmart, the emergence of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray led to bigger disc sections and, in the case of Best Buy, placement back in the center of the store.

Redbox in 2018 relaunched its brand, which included some major ad campaigns and sponsorships, including the Redbox Bowl college football game on New Year’s Eve at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The company also revamped its loyalty program; negotiated more favorable distribution deals with studios; and expanded the availability of previously rented movies and video games at kiosks.

The Redbox On Demand digital service, meanwhile, celebrated its first birthday in December with a new app on Vizio SmartCast TVs. The company also expanded its selection to 12,000 titles, from 7,000 at launch. CEO Galen Smith in December told Media Play News that Redbox On Demand has “surpassed major milestones to become a real player in the competitive digital home entertainment space. We’re seeing hundreds of thousands of customers, including bringing back folks we haven’t seen in a while.”

FandangoNow, a business unit of movie-ticket seller Fandango, struck deals with most major studios that allow it to package movie rentals into “binge bundles” that let consumers watch multiple movies at a lower price. The new offering launched on the Labor Day weekend with more than 100 bundles.

FandangoNow also cross-promotes digital movie sales and rentals with ticket sales. In December, just before the holidays, consumers who spent $20 on FandangoNow received $8 toward a movie ticket.

In the end, studio executives agree, it all comes down to keeping consumers engaged — which requires constant work.

“From a functional solution like Movies Anywhere that allows consumers to build and enjoy a streamlined digital library, to premium viewing with 4K HDR, to story extensions through virtual reality and other emerging formats, keeping consumers invested and engaged requires constant experimentation and innovation,” says Fox’s Keith Feldman. “Our ongoing challenge is to exceed consumer expectations today and simultaneously deliver next-generation offerings that will continue that engagement in the future.”

Starman: Collector’s Edition

As discussed in depth in the bonus materials of the new Scream Factory Blu-ray of 1984’s Starman, director John Carpenter was eager to use the film to veer away from the scary fare he was known for and into the gentler realms of sci-fi and romance. Jeff Bridges anchors the film with a quirky, subtle performance as an alien entity trying to adjust to life as in a human body as he makes his way across the country to rendezvous with his mothership.

 

 

 

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Shout! Factory;
Sci-Fi;
$34.93 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel.

To differentiate itself from the recent success of E.T., 1984’s Starman was billed as a “science-fiction romance” that played heavily on the idea of the “Greetings From Earth” messages launched with the Voyager space probes a few years earlier.

Director John Carpenter took on the project because he wanted to distance himself from his reputation as a horror director, but he was no stranger to science-fiction. He made his directorial debut with the expanded student film Dark Star in 1974 before establishing himself as a horror icon with Halloween, The Fog and Christine. But interspersed with those was the Elvis TV movie (with Kurt Russell), not to mention the Escape From New York and The Thing, both undisputable examples of sci-fi, even if The Thing takes full advantage of his horror sensibilities. And four years later he would make They Live.

Starman, however, would prove to be much lighter in tone than his previous works, with Carpenter putting an emphasis on the road trip aspect of the story that would center on the rapport between his two leads. While most of the film is a conventional “government searching for aliens” type of plot, it succeeds primarily due to the performance of Jeff Bridges, who was nominated for an Oscar for his efforts.

The film stars with one of the Voyager probes being intercepted by an alien ship, which finds the golden record on it containing samples of Earth culture and an invitation from the U.N. for alien life to visit. The aliens then send a smaller craft to accept the invitation, only for it to be shot down by the U.S. military.

After the ship crashes in rural Wisconsin, its occupant discovers the remote cabin occupied by Jenny (Karen Allen), who is pining over her recently deceased husband (Bridges). The alien uses photos of the man and some DNA from a lock of his hair in a scrapbook to create a body it can use to study humanity. This is where Bridges shines through, amplifying the awkwardness of an alien form in a new body slowly growing accustomed to it as he learns more about the world around him.

Bridges in the bonus materials recalls the approach he took to the character as one of an advanced being in a human body trying to impersonate a human. The transformation of the alien into Bridges was the result of the combination of work from three masters of movie makeup effects: Dick Smith, Rick Baker and Stan Winston.

Jenny is understandably freaked out by the clone of her dead husband standing in front of her, but quickly comes to understand what he’s there for. He needs to travel to Arizona to be picked up by his people in three days, before his human body can no longer sustain his alien energies (which allow him to control electronic devices, such as jumpstarting a car or keying the jackpot of a Vegas slot machine).

With the aid of some little metal spheres, the Starman’s powers include the ability to shield himself from danger and resurrect the dead, as in a memorable scene in which he cures a deer from recently being shot by a hunter.

Starman’s antics naturally cause a disturbance wherever he goes, creating a ripple effect that is being tracked by a group of government operatives who are divided by their interests in the alien. Some want to learn from him (as in Charles Martin Smith SETI scientist), but some want to dissect him, which creates some tension over which group gets to him first.

Shout! Factory’s new Blu-ray edition looks fantastic and really does justice to the cinematography of Donald M. Morgan. Aside from the few necessary visual effects shots to establish the alien spacecraft, most of the film’s look is defined by subtle lighting effects that come across really well in high-definition.

The film gave Bridges a chance to show off some of his musical chops thanks to his alien persona relaying himself through music he’s picked up, and a film-reel flashback of his human self playing the guitar and singing “All I Have to Do Is Dream” with Allen (a duet that was included on the film’s soundtrack album). He’s eventually win the Best Actor Oscar for playing a musician in 2009’s Crazy Heart. For Allen, this was probably her best-known role outside of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The Blu-ray combines some legacy bonus materials with a new 24-minute retrospective, called “They Came From Hollywood: Remembering Starman.” Bridges, Smith, Carpenter and a handful of the filmmakers are shown in separate interviews recalling their experience of making the film and what it meant for their careers.

For Bridges in particular, the film marked the start of a tradition in which he would assemble the photographs he takes on the set of his films into a scrapbook memento for the cast and crew.

The audio on some of the interviews is a bit scratchy, so viewers shouldn’t worry that their speakers are blowing out.

The Blu-ray also includes a great, insightful audio commentary with Carpenter and Bridges ported over from an overseas Blu-ray release, plus an 11-minute promotional featurette from the ’80s.

The film would go on to spawn a short-lived sequel TV series in 1986, though none of the cast reprised their roles. The show is available as a manufactured-on-demand DVD from Sony.

Starman

Warner Plans Bi-Coastal Premiere of ‘Reign of the Supermen’

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will premiere Reign of the Supermen, the next entry in the DC Universe series of animated superhero movies, with a pair of events in Los Angeles and New York in January.

The Los Angeles premiere will take place Jan. 10 at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills, followed Jan. 28 by a premiere at the Directors Guild of America in New York. Each screening begins at 7 p.m. local time and filmmakers and cast members will participate in a panel discussion afterwards.

The movie, a follow-up to The Death of Superman, deals with four super-powered individuals emerging in Metropolis to claim the legacy of Superman after the original’s body disappears, leading to the question of whether he’s still alive.

The cast includes Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Romijn, Rainn Wilson, Cress Williams, Cameron Monaghan, Patrick Fabian, Tony Todd, Charles Halford, Rocky Carrell, Jason O’Mara, Rosario Dawson, Shemar Moore, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Gorham and Nyambi Nyambi.

A limited number of free tickets are available to the general public. Fans who want a chance at a ticket should send an email containing just their name, number of tickets requested (up to four) and a valid email address to ReignSupermenLA@gmail.com for the L.A. event or ReignSupermenNY@gmail.com for the New York event, and include the location (L.A. or N.Y.) in the subject line. Tickets will be assigned on a “first come, first served” basis, and fans will be notified via email.

Reign of the Supermen will be available through digital retailers starting Jan. 15, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Jan. 29.

 

Netflix Says Record 45 Million People Streamed Original Movie ‘Bird Box’ During First Week

Netflix Dec. 28 disclosed that 45 million people streamed post-apocalyptic original movie Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, since its Dec. 21 launch. The tally is the largest-ever over a seven-day period for the subscription streaming video pioneer.

Netflix, which does not disclose viewer statistics as a matter of policy, previously revealed that 20 million people streamed The Christmas Chronicles, starring Kirk Russell.

“Took off my blindfold this morning to discover that 45,037,125 Netflix accounts have already watched Bird Box — best first 7 days ever for a Netflix film!” Netflix tweeted.

The service didn’t say whether viewer households were global or just domestic. Netflix ended the most-recent fiscal period with 130 million paid subscribers worldwide.

Bird Box, directed by Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier, and co-starring Sarah Paulson, John Malkovich and Jacki Weaver, among others, features Bullock as a single mom attempting to save her family from a mysterious force that makes people kill themselves if they see it. Bullock and her kids are forced to escape wearing blindfolds.

Netflix has high hopes for film, agreeing to give it a limited exclusive theatrical run to appease industry awards voters.

 

 

‘Waterworld,’ Del Toro’s ‘Crimson Peak’ on Tap in January from Arrow and MVD

The Kevin Costner dystopian tale Waterworld, Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, and the blacksploitation classic Willie Dynamite are among the films coming to Blu-ray in January from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Willie Dynamite debuts Jan. 8. Director Gilbert Moses balances action and social commentary in this story of Willie Dynamite (Roscoe Orman), the flashiest pimp in New York, who sports a personalized purple-and-gold Cadillac and eye-catching clothes. Dynamite wants to be No. 1, but he has the police, the D.A., fellow pimps and a tough-talking social worker on his tail. The score by J.J. Johnson features Motown legend Martha Reeves. Special features include “Kiss My Baad Asss,” a guide to blaxploitation hosted by actor and musician Ice-T and featuring interviews with Richard Roundtree, Melvin van Peebles, Isaac Hayes and others; the theatrical trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sean Phillips; and for the first pressing only, a fully illustrated collector’s booklet containing new writing on the film by Cullen Gallagher.

Jan. 15 comes Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro’s (The Shape of Water) gothic romance Crimson PeakMia Wasikowska stars as an aspiring author struck by family tragedy. The film also features Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston. Special features include audio commentary by co-writer and director Del Toro; “The House is Alive: Constructing Crimson Peak,” a newly edited, feature-length documentary with cast and crew interviews and extensive behind-the-scenes footage; a previously unseen Spanish-language interview with Del Toro; “A Primer on Gothic Romance,” in which the director and stars talk about the key traits of gothic romance; “The Light and Dark of Crimson Peak,” in which the cast and crew talk about the film’s use of color; “Hand Tailored Gothic,” a featurette on the film’s costumes; “A Living Thing,” a look at the design, modelling and construction of the Allerdale Hall sets; “Beware of Crimson Peak,” a walking tour around Allerdale Hall with Hiddleston; “Crimson Phantoms,” a featurette on the film’s ghosts; a newly filmed interview with author and critic Kim Newman on Crimson Peak and the tradition of gothic romance; “Violence and Beauty in Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic Fairy Tale Films,” a new video essay by the writer Kat Ellinger; deleted scenes; original trailers and TV spots; a double-sided, fold-out poster; four double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions; limited edition packaging newly designed by Crimson Peak concept artist Guy Davis; and a limited edition 80-page, hard-bound book featuring new writing by David Jenkins and Simon Abrams, an archival interview with del Toro, and original conceptual design illustrations by artists Guy Davis and Oscar Chichoni.

Also due Jan. 15 is the horror film The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion, from Italian director Luciano Ercoli. The twisting tale takes viewers through a triangle of friendship, sex and murder. Special features include new audio commentary by Kat Ellinger, author and editor-in-chief of Diabolique Magazine; “Private Pictures,” a newly-edited documentary featuring archival interviews with actress Nieves Navarro and director Luciano Ercoli, and new interview material with writer Ernesto Gastaldi; “The Forbidden Soundtrack of the Big Three,” a new appreciation of the music of Forbidden Photos and 1970s Italian cult cinema by musician and soundtrack collector Lovely Jon; “The Forbidden Lady,” a Q&A with actress Dagmar Lassander at the 2016 Festival of Fantastic Films; original Italian and English theatrical trailers; an image gallery; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Twins of Evil; and for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Michael Mackenzie.

Jan. 22 comes the Costner actioner notorious for its expensive budget, Waterworld, a dystopian tale about Earth being completely submerged in water. The new release features a 4K restoration and three cuts of the film, including the extended U.S. TV cut that runs 40 minutes longer than the theatrical release. Other special features include six collector’s postcards; a double-sided fold-out poster; a limited edition 60-page book featuring new writing on the film by David J. Moore and Daniel Griffith, archival articles and original reviews; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Paul Shipper; “Maelstrom: The Odyssey of Waterworld,” a new, feature-length, making-of documentary including cast and crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage; an original archival featurette capturing the film’s production; “Global Warnings,” in which film critic Glenn Kenny explores the subgenre of ecologically aware Hollywood blockbusters; a production and promotional stills gallery; a visual effects stills gallery; and original trailers and TV spots.

Used Packaged Media Retailer ‘2nd & Charles’ Opening First Kentucky Store

Retailer 2nd & Charles, which specializes in selling previously-owned packaged media, including DVD, Blu-ray Disc movies, books, music CDs, video games and consumer electronics, is opening its first location in the state of Kentucky.

The eclectic retailer, which has locations in 17 states, will officially debut the new store, located at 2520 Calumet Trace in Owensboro on Jan. 19. Festivities are set to begin at 10 a.m. and will include live music, food trucks, face painting, giveaways and more family-friendly activities.

2nd & Charles buys new and used books, CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray DIsc, video games, game systems, vinyl records, comic books, electronics, toys, collectibles and more. Customers wishing to sell their own used items can check them upon arrival and redeem for cash or store credit.

The specialty shop, which draws a diverse audience of gamer fanatics, pop culture junkies, movie buffs, bookworms and much more, offers over 300,000 items in more than three miles of stocked shelf space.

“Our store is chock-full of one-of-a-kind offerings across nearly every genre, including pop culture, books, collectibles and electronics. Our guests always enjoy browsing the aisles and discovering treasures they didn’t know even existed!”Scott Kappler, chief marketing officer at 2nd & Charles, said in a statement.

As part of the grand opening festivities, five lucky guests will receive a $100 2nd & Charles gift card, and one customer will be the winner of a $500 shopping spree at 2nd & Charles. Shoppers who want first dibs on the hidden gems at 2nd & Charles Owensboro are invited to the new store’s soft opening during the weekend of Jan. 12th.

 

 

 

Netflix Unveils Executive Pay for 2019 — and Hastings’ Salary Isn’t the Highest

In the coming year, Chief content officer Ted Sarandos will get the top salary — $18 million — and CEO and chairman of the board Reed Hastings will garner the most stock options — 30.8 million, Netflix announced in an SEC filing on its executive compensation.

Hasting’s salary is a mere $700,000 (the same as in 2018), as the executive is taking most of his compensation in stock options. Sarandos will pick up 13.5 million stock options. In the end, Hastings and Sarandos should make about the same in salary and options.

Still, Sarandos’ salary jumped considerably. His salary for 2018 was $12 million with 14.25 million options.

Chief product officer Greg Peters will have a salary of $10 million (up from $6 million in 2018), with 6.8 million options.

Among the other executives, CFO David Wells and general counsel and secretary David Hyman will each earn $3.5 million in salary (roughly a $1 million raise for both from 2018). Wells garners 2.8 million options, with Hyman getting 3.85 million.