Licorice Pizza

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Universal/MGM;
Comedy;
Box Office $17.32 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language, sexual material and some drug use.
Stars Alana Haim, Cooper Hoffman, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie.

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, whose films typically emphasize mood over story, adds to his oeuvre with Licorice Pizza, his reflection on life growing up in Los Angeles in the early 1970s.

The centerpiece of the film is an unconventional love story between a 15-year-old child actor and a listless 25-year-old woman he hits on during photo day at his high school.

Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, a frequent Anderson collaborator, makes his feature debut as Gary Valentine, a young hustler loosely based on producer Gary Goetzman. He is instantly attracted to the sassy Alana (Alana Haim, a musician also marking her film debut), who finds herself intrigued by his forwardness despite being 10 years older than him.

Gary, as an actor whose mother is involved with marketing several restaurants around the San Fernando Valley, seems to have connections all over town and is quick to exploit any opportunity for profit. First, he starts a business selling water beds, recruiting several of his friends, including Alana, to help run it.

Things are going swimmingly until the oil crisis inflates the costs of plastics needed for his beds, forcing him to close up shop, but not before one last installation at the home of eccentric Hollywood personality Jon Peters (Bradley Cooper), leading to a wild night around town.

Questioning her life choices, Alana turns to political activism, allowing Anderson to dramatize the real-life mayoral campaign of closeted L.A. councilman Joel Wachs (Benny Safdie).

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Like most of Anderson’s films, Licorice Pizza is carried by quirky characters and unconventional dialogue. The title is a reference to a defunct chain of record stores, which Anderson likened to evoking the feeling of childhood memories. The film is somewhat ethereal in that regard, more like a series of vignettes connected through character arcs. Its wistful quality might make it feel disconnected to some viewers, though PTA fans should enjoy his usual touchstones embedded throughout.

Fans of Hollywood history will also enjoy the numerous references to the entertainment industry of the 1970s, not unlike how Once Upon a Time In Hollywood paid tribute to Hollywood in the 1960s.

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The Blu-ray includes a handful of extras but nothing too exciting. Most interesting is a two-minute deleted scene that pays off a pretty important joke that’s in the movie. There’s also Gary filming a fake commercial for his waterbed store.

Also included are four minutes of camera tests and a 10-and-a-half-minute behind-the-scenes featurette that just shows scenes being filmed, without any interviews or context. In fact, the Blu-ray doesn’t really offer any filmmaker discussion, leaving the film’s messaging to pretty much stand on its own. Curious viewers looking for such insights will have better luck on the internet.

‘Aquaman’ Makes Another Splash on FandangoNow Chart

Aquaman emerged at No. 1 on FandangoNow’s chart of top movies for digital rental and purchase for another week.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Warner’s DC Comics superhero feature held off the studio’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which levitated to No. 2 (from No. 8) on the chart for the week ended March 17. “Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling’s followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them earned $160 million in theaters, while the swimming superhero vehicle earned $334 million at the box office.

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Warner also took the third spot on the FandangoNow chart with the Oscar-launded A Star Is Born, which earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song and eight nominations. The music drama starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga slipped just one spot from No. 2 the previous week.

Best Picture Academy Award winner Green Book landed at No. 4, rising from No. 10 the previous week. The film also picked up Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali.

Newly arriving on the chart were Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, which took the fifth spot, and Universal’s Mortal Engines, which came in at No. 10. Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, earned $171 million at the box office, while Mortal Engines, a post-apocalyptic actioner backed by Peter Jackson, made just $16 million theatrically.

The top films to purchase and/or rent on FandangoNow for the week ended March 17 were:

  1. Aquaman — Warner
  2. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  3. A Star is Born(2018) — Warner
  4. Green Book— Universal
  5. Mary Poppins Returns — Disney
  6. Instant Family — Paramount
  7. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — Sony
  8. Creed II — Warner
  9. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  10. Mortal Engines— Universal

‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Casts Spell on Redbox Charts

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald worked some magic the week ended March 17, levitating to the top spot on both Redbox charts.

“Harry Potter” writer J.K. Rowling’s followup to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. The Warner release was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 12.

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Two other new disc releases, both from Universal, entered the chart for the week. Best Picture Oscar winner Green Book nabbed the No. 2 spot. The film also picked up Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. Mortal Engines, a post-apocalyptic actioner backed by Peter Jackson, came in at No. 4, just behind the previous week’s top title, Paramount’s Instant Family, a comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne.

Warner’s fight drama Creed II landed at No. 5 on the disc chart, falling from No. 2 the previous week.

On the digital side, coming in at No. 2 for the week was Instant Family, sliding from No. 1. Green Book entered at No. 3, followed at No. 4 by another Oscar-lauded film, Warner’s A Star Is Born, which picked up an Academy Award for Best Original Song and earned eight nominations, including acting nods for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. Mortal Engines rounded out the top five on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 17:

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (New) — Warner
  2. Green Book (New) — Universal
  3. Instant Family — Paramount
  4. Mortal Engines (New) — Universal
  5. Creed II — Warner
  6. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  7. A Star Is Born (2018)— Warner
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  9. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  10. The Grinch — Universal

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 17:

  1. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald — Warner
  2. Instant Family — Paramount
  3. Green Book — Universal
  4. A Star Is Born (2018)— Warner
  5. Mortal Engines — Universal
  6. Creed II — Warner
  7. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  8. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  9. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  10. The Possession of Hannah Grace — Sony

‘Instant Family’ Tops Redbox Charts

Paramount’s Instant Family fostered a win on both Redbox charts the week ended March 10.

The family comedy, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. It was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 5.

Warner’s boxing drama Creed II, also released on disc March 5, took the No. 2 spot on both charts.

Oscar-lauded films made several appearances on the Redbox charts. Disney’s sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, remained at No. 3 on the disc chart, the same spot it held the previous week. The music drama A Star Is Born — which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, including nods for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 on the disc chart, and from No. 1 to No. 3 on the digital side. Bohemian Rhapsody slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 on the disc chart, and from No. 2 to No. 4 on the digital chart. The film, about the life of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Three other new disc releases entered the top 10. In the eighth spot was Lionsgate’s Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts as a desperate mother with a troubled son. At No. 9 was Fox’s The Favourite, which earned a surprise Best Actress Oscar for Olivia Colman. And landing at No. 10 was the Lionsgate thriller The Vanishing, starring Gerard Butler.

Ben Is Back (No. 8) and The Favourite (No. 7) also placed on the digital chart.

Lionsgate’s Robin Hood held strong on both charts, placing No. 6 (from No. 4 the previous week) on the disc chart and No. 6 (from No. 3) on the digital chart.

Meanwhile, Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch settled at No. 7 (from No. 5) on the disc chart.

Sony’s Venom, which debuted on digital late last year, made an appearance on the digital chart at No. 5 — perhaps boosted by anticipation for the latest superhero movie hitting theaters, Captain Marvel.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family (New) — Paramount
  2. Creed II (New) — Warner
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  4. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Ben Is Back (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Favourite (New) — Fox
  10. The Vanishing (2019) (New)— Lionsgate

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family — Paramount
  2. Creed II — Warner
  3. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  5. Venom (2018) — Sony
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. The Favourite — Fox
  8. Ben Is Back — Lionsgate
  9. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  10. The Possession of Hannah Grace — Sony

‘A Star Is Born’ Continues to Shine on Redbox Charts

A Star Is Born is still soaring.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story continued to top both Redbox charts the week ended March 3. It took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, for a second consecutive week.

The film, which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians in a love affair on stage and in life. It has earned $212.9 million at the box office.

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Another Oscar winner, Bohemian Rhapsody, moved up one spot to No. 2 on the disc chart and maintained its second-place spot on the digital chart for the week. The film about the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

A new release, Disney’s animated hit Ralph Breaks the Internet, entered the disc chart at No. 3. The sequel was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and made $200.2 million at the box office.

Two other new releases entered the top 10 on the disc chart. Sony’s horror thriller The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 7. And Universal’s period drama Mary Queen of Scots, which earned Oscar nominations for Best Costume design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling and stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, entered the chart at No. 10.

On the digital chart, Nos. 1-8 maintained positions from the previous week, while The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 9 and Warner’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, which debuted digitally last fall, nabbed the No. 10 spot.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (New) — Disney
  4. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  5. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  6. Overlord (2018) — Paramount
  7. The Possession of Hannah Grace (New) — Sony
  8. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  9. Widows — Fox
  10. Mary Queen of Scots (New) — Universal

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  5. Overlord(2018) — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me?— Fox
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. The Possession of Hannah Grace— Sony
  10. Crazy Rich Asians — Warner

Warner’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Shoots to No. 1 on Redbox Charts

It may have picked up just one Academy Award (Best Original Song) from its eight nominations, but A Star Is Born triumphed on both Redbox charts the week leading up to the Oscar ceremony Feb. 24.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story landed at No. 1 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, the week ended Feb. 24.

The film, which earned $210.9 million at the box office and debuted on disc Feb. 19, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians who come together on stage and in life in a complex journey through the beauty and heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.

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Four other new releases appeared on the Redbox disc chart for the week. Lionsgate’s Robin Hood, another retelling of a classic story, starring Taron Egerton as Robin Hood and Jamie Foxx as Little John, debuted at No. 2. Paramount Pictures’ Overlord, a story produced by J.J. Abrams about a team of American paratroopers who encounter Nazi super-soldiers, entered the chart at No. 4. Lionsgate’s Backtrace, an action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, debuted at No. 8. And 20th Century Fox’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? — which earned three Oscar noms, for Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant) and Best Adapted Screenplay — entered the disc chart at No. 10.

Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won all but one of the five Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Actor for Rami Malek, finished its second week in disc release at No. 3, falling from No. 1.

On the digital chart, Bohemian Rhapsody fell one spot to No. 2, behind A Star Is Born, which shot up the chart from No. 10 the previous week. Robin Hood took the third spot, followed by Paramount’s Tyler Perry comedy Nobody’s Fool at No. 4 (from No. 2 the previous week), Overlord at No. 5 and Can You Ever Forgive Me? at No. 6.

Interestingly, two titles released in the fall of last year appeared on the digital chart. Sony Pictures’ Nov. 13 release Searching, which stars John Cho as a distraught father who sifts through his missing daughter’s digital footprint determined to find her, appeared at No. 9. And Universal Pictures’ Sept. 25 release Skyscraper, an actioner starring Dwayne Johnson, came in at No. 10.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) (New) — Warner
  2. Robin Hood (2018) (New) — Lionsgate
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  4. Overlord (New) — Paramount
  5. The Grinch — Universal
  6. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  7. Widows — Fox
  8. Backtrace (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Girl in the Spider’s Web — Sony
  10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (New) — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  5. Overlord — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me? — Fox
  7. The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. Searching — Sony
  10. Skyscraper — Universal

Eastwood’s ‘The Mule’ Coming to Digital March 19, Disc April 2 from Warner

The Mule, from star and director Clint Eastwood, travels to digital (including Movies Anywhere) March 19 and 4K UHD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD April 2 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film also stars Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born, American Sniper), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix, What’s Love Got to Do With It), Michael Peña (American Hustle, Cesar Chavez), Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Bullets Over Broadway) and Andy Garcia (Ocean’s Eleven, The Godfather: Part III). It follows Earl Stone (Eastwood), a man in his 80s who is broke, alone and facing foreclosure of his business when he is offered a job that simply requires him to drive. Unbeknownst to Earl, he’s just signed on as a drug courier for the cartel, and eventually, he hits the radar of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Cooper).

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Special features on the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include “Nobody Runs Forever: The Making of The Mule” (also on the DVD) and Toby Keith’s “Don’t Let the Old Man In” music video.

‘A Star Is Born’ No. 3 Best Seller of All Time on FandangoNow

After its first two weeks of digital release, A Star Is Born has become the No. 3 best-selling title of all time, eclipsing 2013’s Frozen in total digital purchases on FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service.

Only 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle rank ahead of Bradley Cooper’s music-based drama in all-time sales.

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, A Star Is Born made its EST debut Jan. 15.

A Star Is Born is selling like a superhero movie on FandangoNow,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “We’ve definitely seen an Oscar bump in sales, and its continued success on digital is a testament to the film’s unforgettable music, the beautiful work of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, and a classic love story that fans want to experience again and again.”

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The all-time top five sellers on FandangoNow, by units sold, are:

  1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  2. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
  3. A Star Is Born (2018)
  4. Frozen (2013)
  5. Black Panther (2018)

FandangoNow Offering ‘A Star is Born’ Streaming Discount

FandangoNow, the transactional video-on-demand service owned by NBC Universal, is offering a $3 discount for streaming access to Golden Globes winning movie A Star is Born, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.

Using promo code, “STARISBORN” users can get $3 off the $19.99 purchase price. The offer ends Jan. 31. The movie is not yet available for rent.

Additionally, all previous domestic adaptations of A Star is Born — starring Barbra Streisand (1976), Judy Garland (1954) and Janet Gaynor (1937) — are available to rent for 99 cents or $7.99 to own. The catalog promotion runs from Jan. 18 to Jan. 24.

 

Warner Slates ‘A Star Is Born’ for Digital Release Jan. 15, Disc Feb. 19

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release the 2018 version of A Star Is Born through digital retailers Jan. 15, followed by Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 19.

The fourth Hollywood incarnation of the classic story stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga as two musicians who come together on stage and in life in a complex journey through the beauty and heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.

The critically acclaimed film marks the directorial debut for Cooper and also stars Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott.

Lady Gaga performs original songs in the film with Cooper, which they wrote with a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell and Mark Ronson. Vocals were recorded live during filming.

The film has earned about $200 million at the domestic box office and was nominated for five Golden Globes, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Actor for Cooper, Best Actress for Lady Gaga, and Best Original Song for “Shallow.”

In addition, the Feb. 19 disc street date comes in the week leading up to the 91st Academy Awards ceremony.

The home video editions of A Star Is Born will feature almost 10 minutes of never-before-seen musical performances by Cooper and Lady Gaga, with jam session recordings of the songs “Baby What You Want Me To Do,”“Midnight Special” and “Is That Alright.”

The disc will also include the featurette “The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born” and music videos for “Shallow,” “Always Remember Us This Way,” “Look What I Found” and “I’ll Never Love Again.”

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray will feature Dolby Vision HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment.