Scream (2022)

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 4/5/22;
Paramount;
Horror;
Box Office $81.62 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.
Stars Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Sonia Ammar, Marley Shelton, Kyle Gallner, Heather Matarazzo, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich.

Rather than use the idea of a franchise relaunch to make a standalone movie unconnected to what came before, or ignoring previous sequels, creators of the new Scream explicitly wanted a continuation that honored all the previous installments.

Thus a lot of care went into crafting the fifth “Scream” film, and the result might be the best entry in the franchise since the 1996 original.

The new Scream focuses on a girl named Samantha (Melissa Barrera), a former resident of Woodsboro who is drawn back into town when her younger sister (Jenna Ortega) is attacked by the latest copycat Ghostface killer, 25 years following the events of the original film.

Sam turns out to have a secret connection to a character from the original film, and imagines communicating with that individual in a way that might drawn some comparisons with “Dexter.”

To help make sense of what’s happening, Sam and her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid), recruit Dewey (David Arquette), which subsequently ends up dragging Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) back into the picture as well.

In sticking with the tradition of “Scream” movies dissecting the horror movie genre while being part of it, the new edition manages to cleverly assemble a number of homages to the original while also layering in an amusing satire of fan culture.

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The film’s home video configurations include separate DVD, Blu-ray and 4K releases that are not combo packs (ie, the 4K release does not also include a regular Blu-ray), with digital copies included with the Blu-ray and 4K versions.

Extras are included on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs, led by an enthusiastic and informative commentary with co-writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, co-directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, and executive producer Chad Villella.

There are also three behind-the-scenes featurettes:  the seven-and-a-half-minute “New Blood,” about the new characters; the eight-and-a-half-minute “Bloodlines,” about connections to the earlier films; and the seven-and-a-half-minute “In the Shadow of the Master,” a tribute to the late Wes Craven, who directed the first four films.

Rounding out the extras are three minutes of some pretty good deleted scenes, and the trailer for the 1996 film.

 

New ‘Scream’ Horror Flick Available on Digital March 1, Disc April 5

The new Scream horror flick from Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group arrives for digital purchase March 1, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 5 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The studio is also releasing the new film and the original 1996 horror flick in a “Scream” two-movie collection on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.

The 2022 film reunites Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, reprising their roles. The story takes place 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro as a terrifying new killer resurrects the Ghostface mask. As the deaths mount, Woodsboro’s new targets must seek help from the survivors of the original Ghostface attacks. Only Sidney Prescott (Campbell), former sheriff Dewey Riley (Arquette), and reporter Gale Weathers (Cox) can find a way to stop the killer when everyone is a suspect.

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The film also stars Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid and Marley Shelton.

The digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes, interviews with the new and returning cast, a look at the legacy of horror legend Wes Craven, and filmmaker commentary.

‘Friends’ Cast to Reunite for Special on HBO Max

The “Friends” cast will be reuniting exclusively for an untitled unscripted special for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering debuting in May 2020.

The subscription streaming service will cost $14.99 a month.

Series stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer will return to the comedy’s original soundstage, Stage 24, on the Warner Bros. Studio lot in Burbank for a celebration of the show. The unscripted cast reunion special, along with all 236 episodes of the Emmy-winning series, will be available to subscribers at the launch of HBO Max.

“Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together — we are reuniting with David, Jennifer, Courteney, Matt, Lisa, and Matthew for an HBO Max special that will be programmed alongside the entire Friends library,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV, in a statement. “I became aware of ‘Friends’ when it was in the very early stages of development and then had the opportunity to work on the series many years later and have delighted in seeing it catch on with viewers generation after generation. It taps into an era when friends — and audiences — gathered together in real time and we think this reunion special will capture that spirit, uniting original and new fans.”

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Ben Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with “Friends” executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane. Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, LeBlanc, Perry, and Schwimmer will also executive produce the special.

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To get caught up on original “Friends” episodes, sister WarnerMedia network TBS recently announced that for the next four weeks every episode of “Friends” will air on TBS and livestream on the TBS app, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Additionally, the network has curated an experience for fans offering the best of the series on their digital platforms.

A Casualty of Streaming Wars, ‘Friends’ Sees Spike in Disc, Digital Sales

“Friends” is giving the transactional side of the home entertainment business a very happy new year.

The landmark sitcom that helped birth the TV DVD category nearly two decades ago is once again a top DVD and Blu-ray Disc seller — and this time the sales boost is also being felt in digital sales, commonly known in the industry as “electronic sellthrough.”

The catalyst: the disappearance of “Friends” from its longtime exclusive on-demand home, the Netflix subscription streaming service. With streaming wars accelerating, AT&T, which owns the Warner Bros. studio that produced “Friends,” made plans for the show to come off Netflix once the license expired Dec. 31, 2019, and reappear on its own streaming service, HBO Max, which is launching in May 2020.

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In the meantime, “Friends” is only available for on-demand viewing on disc and for digital purchase or rental — and that’s led to a significant spike in sales.

Jeff Brown, EVP and GM of Television and Animation for Warner Bros.’ home entertainment division, said sales began to rise shortly after the announcement in July 2019 that “Friends” would be leaving Netflix at the end of the year.

Through the end of 2019, he said, sales of the season and complete series sets more than tripled. And since the official departure of “Friends” from Netflix on Jan. 1, Brown said, sales have spiked even higher, on both physical and digital formats.

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“Not bad for a 20-year-old TV show,” Brown said. “The discs really started selling well in the summer, when we announced the show was coming off Netflix and we launched a 25th anniversary promotion — but the digital really took off after the first of the year, once the show was off Netflix.”

The top seller is the complete series set, which Warner re-released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in September. The package contains 10 seasons’ worth of shows, or a total of 236 episodes. On Amazon, the complete series set retails for $69.99 on DVD (40 discs), and $109.16 on Blu-ray Disc (21 discs).

Bundles of all 10 seasons also are available digitally through other retailers, like Apple iTunes and Walmart’s Vudu. They, too, are leading sales.

Individual season sets are also available for purchase on disc and through digital retailers, including Amazon Prime. DVD season sets sell for $13.19 on Amazon, with digital season sets going for $19.95. Consumers who want digital versions also can buy individual episodes at $1.99.

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During the five months in which “Friends” is absent from the streaming world, Brown said, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will mount a “robust” promotional campaign he hopes will drive sales even higher.