‘Super 8’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD May 25

Super 8, from writer/director J.J. Abrams and producer Steven Spielberg, will debut on 4K Ultra HD May 25 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Originally released on June 10, 2011, the film celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Newly remastered for the 4K Ultra HD release, Super 8 stars Joel Courtney (The Kissing Booth), Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and Elle Fanning (“The Great”). It tells the story of six friends who witness a train wreck while making a Super 8 movie, only to discover that something unimaginable escaped during the crash. They soon discover that the only thing more mysterious than what it is, is what it wants.

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The 4K Ultra HD release includes access to a digital copy of the film and more than two hours of previously released bonus content, commentary by Abrams, Bryan Burk and Larry Fong; “The Dream Behind Super 8”(HD); “The Search for New Faces” (HD); “Meet Joel Courtney (HD); “Rediscovering Steel Town (HD); “The Visitor Lives (HD); “Scoring Super 8 (HD); “Do You Believe in Magic?” (HD); “The 8mm Revolution (HD); Easter eggs (HD); “Deconstructing the Train Crash” (HD); and deleted scenes (HD).

Tim Burton’s ‘Big Fish’ Coming to 4K Ultra HD May 4

The Tim Burton-directed 2003 fantasy drama Big Fish is coming to 4K Ultra HD May 4 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, Alison Lohman, Robert Guillaume and Marion Cotillard with Steve Buscemi and Danny DeVito.

The story, based on the book, follows Edward Bloom (McGregor), who throughout his life has always been a man of big appetites, enormous passions and tall tales. In his later years, portrayed by five-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Finney (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Erin Brockovich, 2000), he remains a huge mystery to his son, William (Crudup). Now, to get to know the real man, Will begins piecing together a true picture of his father from flashbacks of his amazing adventures.

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The 4K UHD disc is newly remastered in 4K resolution from the original camera negative with HDR10 and includes new Dolby Atmos audio plus original theatrical 5.1 audio. The Blu-ray disc includes the feature presented in HD, sourced from the new 4K master; Burton audio commentary, moderated by Mark Salisbury; several featurettes; Easter eggs; and the theatrical trailer.

Warner Sets Dates for ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ PVOD, Digital Sellthrough and Disc Release

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will bow Wonder Woman 1984 as a 48-hour premium VOD rental for $19.99 starting Feb. 12, prior to making the superhero sequel available through digital retailers March 16, and on Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray March 30.

The film was famously released Christmas Day concurrently in theaters and on streaming service HBO Max, the first in WarnerMedia’s pandemic strategy for its entire theatrical slate through 2021. It earned $40.3 million at the domestic box office while also being available to watch at home by HBO Max subscribers for a month.

For the first time, Warner is creating a PVOD window after the streaming release of a first-run film, perhaps indicating a change in release strategy.

Directed by Patty Jenkins, the follow-up to 2017’s Wonder Woman sees Gal Gadot returning to the title role, updating the setting from World War I Europe to Washington D.C. in the mid 1980s. The latest adventure finds the Amazonian heroine battling a megalomaniacal businessman (Pedro Pascal) who comes into possession of a magical stone that grants wishes. As the world descends into chaos as a result, she must also deal with a co-worker (Kristen Wiig) who becomes the villainous Cheetah, as well as the return of her long-dead boyfriend, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).

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The Blu-ray and 4K combo packs will include the featurettes “The Making of Wonder Woman 1984: Expanding the Wonder,” “Gal & Kristen: Friends Forever,” “Small But Mighty,” “Gal & Krissy Having Fun” and “Meet the Amazons,” as well as “Scene Study: The Open Road” and “Scene Study: The Mall.” Other extras include a gag reel, the Black Gold Infomercial seen in the film, and a “Wonder Woman 1984 Retro Remix.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc of Wonder Woman 1984 will feature DolbyVision HDR, which dramatically expands the color palette and contrast range, and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame, as well as HDR10+, a new HDR technology that optimizes brightness levels and contrast for each scene, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker to deliver a lifelike viewing experience. It will also feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack.

 

2012

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Sci-Fi;
$30.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense disaster sequences and some language.
Stars John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson
.

There’s nothing like a Roland Emmerich disaster film to brighten your day during a pandemic, making our current situation look rosy by comparison.

The director (The Day After TomorrowIndependence Day) has given us many an epic about the end of the world, but none perhaps so gloriously catastrophic as 2012, in which we watch cities collapse and continents crumble as John Cusack mugs his way through the chaos famously predicted by the ancient Mayans. Basically, it’s something about planets aligning, solar flares, the center of the Earth heating up and the world ending in 2012 (Transpose the last two numbers and you get 2021. Hmmm…). But honestly Emmerich fans don’t really dwell too much on the whys and hows of it all. They’re too busy waiting for the next earthquake, volcano explosion and tsunami to wipe out America and the world. Iconic shots include Los Angeles sliding into the ocean, St. Peter’s Basilica rolling over worshippers, and the John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier toppling onto the White House — all of which look disastrously wonderful in 4K with HDR.

Woody Harrelson offers some scene-chewing dark humor as a conspiracy theorist waiting at Yellowstone National Park for the explosion of the super volcano. The president (Danny Glover) and his daughter, a scientist who predicts it all, a Russian oligarch and his mistress, and a plane-flying stepdad all make appearances, but at the core of the film is Jackson Curtis (Cusack), a struggling writer and limo driver who is trying to save his ex-wife and children from pending doom. The actors add to the fun with performances that are, as always in an Emmerich film, bordering on the cartoonish, but just convincing enough to keep audiences relishing the action and going with the premise.

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The 4K disc features Dolby Atmos sound and the Discovery Channel’s 2012 Apocalypse featurette, which speculates on the likelihood of the disastrous events in the film using footage from the movie. Actually, the featurette is interesting because it answers some of the scientific questions one might have about how probable this all is. (Basically, it’s not. Whew!)

Bonus features on the Blu-ray in the combo pack include an interactive Mayan calendar; five featurettes on bringing the epic to life; deleted scenes; an alternate ending; “Picture-in-Picture: Roland’s Vision”; feature commentary; and an Adam Lambert music video.

2012 is one of those 4K discs that enthusiasts are going to want pop into their player to show off their home theater.

2014 Epic ‘Godzilla’ Due on 4K Disc and Digital March 23

The 2014 action-adventure Godzilla will be released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack and digital on March 23 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ Godzilla marked the long-awaited big-screen return of the King of the Monsters. The adventure pits Godzilla against malevolent creatures that, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Directed by Gareth Edwards (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) from a screenplay by Max Borenstein and a story by David Callaham, Godzilla is based on the character “Godzilla,” owned and created by Toho Co. It stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, Inception), Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame),  Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Cosmopolis), and Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), alongside David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, The Bourne Legacy) and Bryan Cranston (Argo, TV’s “Breaking Bad”).

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The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and Blu-ray disc of “Godzilla” will feature a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The Ultra HD Blu-ray contains the previously released special features “MONARCH: Declassified,” offering new evidence not contained in the film that unravels the massive cover-up to keep Godzilla’s existence a secret, and “The Legendary Godzilla,” a behind the scenes look at the monsters in the film.

Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ Due on 4K Ultra HD Feb. 2

Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, will come out on 4K Ultra HD for the first time Feb. 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment timed to Black History Month.

In the 1989 film, a hot summer day in the inner city brings racial tensions to a boiling point in a tough Brooklyn neighborhood. Stars include Lee, Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Rosie Perez, John Turturro and Samuel L. Jackson.

The film earned two Oscar nominations, including one for Best Original Screenplay and a Best Supporting Actor nod for Aiello.

Extras in the combo pack include a new introduction by Lee; deleted and extended scenes; feature commentary by Lee; and a documentary featuring cast and crew.

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DeMille Classic ‘The Ten Commandments’ Arriving on 4K Ultra HD March 30

Director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic The Ten Commandments will arrive on 4K Ultra HD for the first time on March 30 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The release commemorates the film’s 65th anniversary and is available in time for Easter.

Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed for a motion picture, DeMille’s last motion picture made Charlton Heston, who plays Moses, a superstar. In the classic story of Moses, once favored in the Pharaoh’s (Yul Brynner) household, Moses turns his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom.

As part of the restoration done in 2010, the film was scanned in 6K and those files were the basis for this Dolby Vision version, which “shows off the full beauty of the original VistaVision negative,” according to a Paramount release. The VistaVision format used special cameras to feed 35mm film into the camera horizontally in order to capture a wider image spread over two 35mm film frames, giving VistaVision twice the resolution of regular 35mm film. In addition, Paramount spent more than 150 hours doing new color work and clean-up on the scan, according to the release. The move to Dolby Vision created the opportunity to further improve the look of the film with blacks enhanced and improvements made to smooth out special effects mattes.

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The 4K film presentation contains an introduction by DeMille, an intermission, an overture/exit music card, and an entr’acte card, along with a DTS-HD 5.1 lossless soundtrack.

The new set includes a 4K Ultra HD disc, two Blu-ray discs, and access to a digital copy of the film.

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The disc contents include:

4K Ultra HD Disc

  • 1956 feature film in 4K Ultra HD
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”

 

Blu-ray Disc One

  • 1956 feature film in high definition (Part 1)
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”

 

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • 1956 feature film in high definition (Part 2)
  • Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of “Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic The Ten Commandments”
  • Newsreel footage of the film’s New York premiere
  • Theatrical trailers, including at 10-minute “making of” trailer

Merchandising: Best Buy Begins 2021 With 4K Sale

A dearth of big new home video releases at the end of 2020 and beginning of 2021 didn’t have retailers scrambling to offer exclusive promotions for any of them.

Many Target locations, for example, still won’t even bother to put out what new releases they do get on shelves in a timely manner.

With options limited, Best Buy continues to tout catalog sales on its website. The first week of 2021 saw its top movie deals focused on Blu-ray Discs and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays.

Blu-rays were offered as low as $3.99, for Straight Outta Compton. Blu-rays offered at $5.99 included Abominable, Downton Abbey: The Motion Picture, Hustlers and Queen & Slim. Blu-rays offered at $9.99 included Joker, 1917, The Gentlemen, Doctor Sleep, The Invisible Man, The Hunt, It: Chapter Two and Oscar winner Parasite. A selection of Blu-rays at $11.99 included Birds of Prey, Trolls World Tour and The King of Staten Island.

Among 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, those offered at $10.99 included Hustlers and The House With a Clock in Its Walls. A selection of 4K discs at $13.99 included 1917, The Blues Brothers, Trolls World Tour, The Croods, Hobbs & Shaw, The Invisible Man, The Gentlemen, The Purge: Election Year and Parasite. The sale also had 4K titles such as Lucy for $9.99 and Birds of Prey for $17.99.

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Cinema Paradiso

4K ULTRA HD REVIEW:

MVD/Arrow;
Drama;
$49.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Agnese Nano.

With movie theaters facing an existential threat, there is perhaps no better time to revisit this 1989 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner about the magic of cinema, available in 4K for the first time.

Through extended flashbacks, the Italian film traces one man’s love affair with the movies beginning as a boy in war torn Sicily in the pre-television era. The boy Toto is fascinated by his small town’s movie theater and the projectionist, Alfredo, who creates magic on the screen from his small booth above the balcony. The booth also houses treasure, stolen kiss clips from various films that the local priest has had the projectionist excise from reels shown in the theater. Through his special relationship with the projectionist and the theater, the fatherless boy grows to cherish the magic of cinematic storytelling. Revisiting the town as an accomplished filmmaker, he reminisces about love, movies and loss.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving homage to the cinema also earned five BAFTA Awards, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more plaudits.

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The original award-winning theatrical version of Tornatore’s classic is presented here for the first time on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with DolbyVision. Special features include audio commentary with Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus; “A Dream of Sicily,” a 52-minute documentary profile of Tornatore featuring interviews with the director and extracts from his early home movies and interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by Ennio Morricone; “A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise,” a 27-minute documentary on the making of Cinema Paradiso and the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio, as well as Tornatore; “The Kissing Sequence,” in which Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with clips identifying each scene; and the original director’s cut theatrical trailer and 25th anniversary re-release trailer. This 4K combo pack also includes the expanded director’s cut on Blu-ray, which delves deeper into Salvatore’s backstory.

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While the extras provide interesting backstory information, especially about the climactic and affecting “Kissing Sequence,” the real star here is the film itself polished for 4K. I saw the film when it first came out, and it has lost none of its power. As we move into the digital age, and physical media and theatergoing are increasingly labeled passé, Cinema Paradiso is a loving look back at moviegoing in a time when moving pictures were projected on a film strip of successive photos, capturing moments of magic.