Netflix’s ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Watched by 62M Households

“The Queen’s Gambit” has become Netflix’s biggest limited scripted series ever, with 62 million households having watched it in its first 28 days, according to the service.

The show made the Top 10 in 92 countries and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries, including the United Kingdom, Argentina, Israel and South Africa.

“The Queen’s Gambit” is adapted by Scott Frank from Walter Tevis’s 1983 book about a young chess prodigy, Beth (Anya Taylor-Joy), an underdog who faces addiction, loss and abandonment.

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“It’s a true testament to Scott’s skill as a writer and filmmaker that he was able to bring the drama and detail of the many chess matches to life on camera — generating rave reviews and a rare 100% on Rotten Tomatoes,” read a Netflix press release. “Scott also had tremendous help from the series’ talented crafts team. Costume designer Gabriele Binder’s exquisite use of checkerboard patterns in Beth’s wardrobe, composer Carlos Rafael Rivera’s suspenseful score, editor Michelle Tesoro’s gripping montages, production designer Uli Hanisch’s vibrant choices that pop off the screen in every scene, and cinematographer Steven Meizler, whose work transformed every match into heart-pounding drama.”

The New Mutants

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

20th Century;
Horror;
Box Office $23.8 million;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violent content, some disturbing/bloody images, some strong language, thematic elements and suggestive material.
Stars Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt, Henry Zaga, Adam Beach.

Reflecting its comic book source material, The New Mutants offers a horror-infused take on the “X-Men” franchise and its penchant for finding people with bizarre superpowers.

As a spinoff of the “X-Men” comics, the “New Mutants” series focused more on younger mutants — the people born with genes that evolved to give them superpowers — who might one day be developed into full-fledged X-Men. The book’s style took on more surreal elements than the rest of the brand, though over the years it was the book that introduced characters such as Deadpool, Cable and Domino.

The New Mutants film moves away from “X-Men” style action and leans more into the realm of Stephen King thrillers and psychological horror. The story centers on a group of teenagers locked up in an asylum for evaluation of their powers, which manifest at the onset of puberty. But they seem to be under attack by an unseen force that takes that form of what terrified them as children. As discussed by director Josh Boone in the bonus materials, the film’s story draws particular inspiration from the “Demon Bear” storyline, in which one of the kids manifests her fears into a giant bear that attacks everyone.

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The film is taut in its execution and the cast is likable, but the film’s primary obstacle is its ‘PG-13’ rating, which doesn’t allow the filmmakers to take the story as extreme as it perhaps needs to go, resulting in the intended frightfest coming off as rather bland.

They also minimize any connection to the greater “X-Men” franchise, aside from a few generalized references. That it serves mostly as a standalone film is just as well, considering the film was delayed for so long its ownership in the interim transferred to Disney through its Fox studio purchase, making this the final “X-Men” film of the old regime, aside from more “Deadpool” movies that Disney-owned Marvel Studios might want to produce.

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The Blu-ray includes 11 minutes of deleted scenes that are pretty much more of the same of what the film delivers.

There are also two featurettes running just over seven minutes: “Origins & Influences,” about how the original comic book influenced the filmmakers, and “Meet the New Mutants,” a profile of the characters and the cast behind them.

Finally, the disc includes a commentary track in which Boone interviews Bill Sienkiewicz, the comic book artist who worked on the “New Mutants” story arcs being adapted. It’s an interesting conversation about the artistic pathways taken by each man, but it’s not synched in any way to the movie itself.

Disney Sets Home Release Date for ‘The New Mutants’ After $21 Million Domestic Theatrical Run

Disney Media Distribution has set a Nov. 17 home release date for The New Mutants, the 13th and final installment in 20th Century’s “X-Men” franchise.

The film, released theatrically in August despite many theaters still being closed, earned a domestic box office gross of just over $21 million.

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD, as well as through digital retailers.

The New Mutants focuses on five young people with special powers who are forced to undergo treatment at a secret institution — allegedly to cure them of the dangers of their powers. But it’s soon clear that their containment is part of a much bigger battle between the forces of good and evil.

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The film was directed by Josh Boone from a screenplay he wrote with Knate Lee. The cast includes Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Braga, Blu Hunt and Henry Zaga.

Bonus features on the 4K Ultra HD and regular Blu-ray include:

  • “Origins & Influences” — Legendary comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz and the filmmakers explore the origins and influences behind The New Mutants;
  • “Meet the New Mutants” — Cast members share their experiences while filming and reveal how they bonded as a family, much like the characters in the film;
  • Deleted scenes.

Universal’s ‘Emma’ Available for Purchase in May

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the latest remake of Emma. for digital purchase May 5, and on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 19. The film is available now for premium digital rental.

Jane Austen’s 19th-century comedy on misguided matchmaking and romantic mishaps chronicles the privileged but well-meaning young Emma Woodhouse (Anya Taylor-Joy), a restless “queen bee” without rivals in her sleepy little English town. In this glittering satire of social class, Emma must navigate her way through the challenges of growing up, misguided matches and romantic missteps to realize the love that has been there all along.

The cast includes Johnny Flynn, Bill Nighy, Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor, Miranda Hart, Callum Turner, Tanya Reynolds, Connor Swindells, Rupert Graves and Gemma Whelan.

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Extras include deleted scenes; a gag reel; commentary with director Autumn de Wilde, screenwriter Eleanor Catton and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt; and the behind-the-scenes featurette “A Playful Tease.”

Extras exclusive to the Blu-ray and digital versions include the featurette “Crafting a Colorful World,” in which the cast and crew discuss the gorgeously preserved locations, extravagant set dressing, and authentic Regency costumes featured in the film; and “The Autumn Gaze,” an intimate look at director Autumn de Wilde’s filmmaking process and her photographic eye.

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Glass

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 4/16/19;
Universal;
Thriller;
Box Office $111.04 million;
$28.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements, and language.
Stars James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Sarah Paulson, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard.

After a career of gimmicky storytelling and a reputation for surprise plot twists, M. Night Shyamalan presents a class in subverting expectations with Glass.

However, the approach employed in connecting two of his most memorable films has left a lot of fans scratching their heads over whether it was worth the wait.

Fans of Shyamalan’s 2000 superhero movie deconstruction Unbreakable had been clamoring for a sequel since it was released, but hopes for one diminished as the years ticked away, particularly as the quality of the writer-director’s output declined in the eyes of critics and audiences alike.

In the midst of a bit of a career renaissance, however, Shyamalan dropped a cameo into 2016’s Split that brought the prospects of that long-awaited sequel back to the forefront.

In particular, with respect to spoiler concerns, an appearance by Bruce Willis in Split as his Unbreakable character teased an eventual confrontation between his strongman hero and the multiple personalities of James McAvoy’s Split psychopath.

And while they do face off in Glass, the bulk of the film involves them being captured and committed to an insane asylum for treatment alongside Unbreakable villain Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson). Their doctor (Sarah Paulson) hopes to convince them that their abilities are not superhuman at all, but the result of self-delusion and some freaky but explainable physical tricks.

While it’s fun to see the lead trio and some of the supporting cast return to their roles, watching them end up in a group therapy session is not exactly where audiences were expecting this to go. Though with Mr. Glass involved, viewers can rest assured that whatever return to normalcy the doctor has in mind is probably not going to be in the cards, especially with a potential showdown over the fate of a highrise looming.

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McAvoy’s character from Split, it turns out, was originally from a draft of Unbreakable, but removed due to plot complications his presence was causing in the screenplay. As a result, the characters from the two films mesh well together and pave the way for a few more surprises Shyamalan has up his sleeve to round out what has come to be known as the “East-Rail 177 Trilogy,” after the train derailment that kicks off the first film.

According to Shyamalan in the Blu-ray bonus materials, the first cut of the film was 3 hours and 20 minutes, meaning that more than an hour was sliced out to achieve the final 2-hour-9-minute run time. About 14 minutes of this material is offered as deleted scenes on the disc, with optional introductions for each by Shyamalan. There’s also an alternate opening sequence that runs a couple of minutes as well.

The bulk of the extras are about 40 minutes of various behind-the-scenes featurettes, covering both the making of this film and the elements that were established in the two previous entries.

“The Collection of Main Characters” runs 8:43 and profiles both the three lead characters and the actors who play them.

“A Conversation With James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan” is a 5:10 segment of the pair interviewing each other.

The 2:54 “Bringing the Team Back Together” looks at the various members of the cast and crew who previously worked with Shyamalan.

The 2:16 “Raven Hill Memorial” chronicles filming at an old asylum, and the 1:56 “Night Vision” delves into bringing the film’s storyboards to life.

Rounding out the list are “David Dunn vs. The Beast” (2:11) “Glass Decoded” (2:52), “Breaking Glass: The Stunts” (1:28), “Connecting the Glass Universe” (2:54), “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens” (2:46), “The Sound of Glass” (1:50) and “Enhancing the Spectacle” (2:53).

‘Glass’ Breaks Out on Digital April 2, Disc April 16 From Universal

Glass, from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth SenseSigns), is coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) April 2 and to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand April 16 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $107.9 million in theaters.

Glass completes Shyamalan’s grounded-in-reality, comic-book thriller trilogy, started with Unbreakable and Split. It stars James McAvoy (SplitAtonement)Samuel L. Jackson (Hitman’s Bodyguard, “Avengers” Franchise, Unbreakable), Bruce Willis (Unbreakable, Die Hard), Sarah Paulson (Ocean’s Eight, “American Horror Story”) and Anya-Taylor Joy (SplitThe Witch). The story offers s closer look at the world of the Elijah Price, also known as Mr. Glass (Jackson), David Dunn (Willis) and Kevin Wendell Crumb (McAvoy) as they experience a series of escalating encounters in an escape from an asylum and embark on a battle of good versus evil.

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More than 60 minutes of special features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and digital include:

  • “The Collection of Main Characters,”a look at all the main players and how they fit in the universe created by Shyamalan;
  • “Bringing the Team Back Together,” in which the cast and crew share personal stories of why Shyamalan’s productions feel like seeing family again;
  • “David Dunn vs. The Beast,” an in-depth look at the animalistic face-off between David Dunn and the Beast;
  • Glass Decoded,” in which Shyamalan unveils some secrets of continuity and style from across the trilogy;
  • “Breaking Glass: The Stunts,” about the stunts that show the superhuman strength of the Beast;
  • “Connecting the Glass Universe,” exploring Shyamalan’s stylistic approach to the trilogy and the concept of a comic book movie grounded in reality;
  • “M. Night Shyamalan: Behind the Lens,” in which the cast and crew discuss Shyamalan’s meticulous approach to storytelling;
  • “The Sound of Glass,” in which composer West Dylan Thordson elaborates on his use of string instruments to create tension, and explains why recording the score on-location enhanced the tone of the movie;
  • “Enhancing the Spectacle,” in which the VFX team provides details on the task of using CGI to intensify the narrative;
  • “Raven Hill Memorial,” about the Raven Hill Memorial Hospital location;
  • “Night Vision,” a look at the the storyboards and their similarity to the final shots in the film;
  • an alternate opening with an introduction by Shyamalan;
  • deleted scenes with introductions by director Shyamalan;
  • and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”

 

DVD special features include the alternate opening, deleted scenes and “A Conversation with James McAvoy and M. Night Shyamalan.”