Fandango Celebrates Vudu’s 4K Release of ‘Godfather’ Trilogy With Exclusive Clip

Fandango is celebrating the arrival of the iconic “Godfather” movies in 4K on its transactional VOD service Vudu with an exclusive “before and after restoration” video clip.

The clip shows a scene from The Godfather Part II with Al Pacino.

For the 50th anniversary of The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s remastered and restored “The Godfather Trilogy” arrives on digital for the first time in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision.

The classic film is available as a standalone or as part of the “Godfather” trilogy, featuring The Godfather Part II and The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. The Godfather is available on Vudu in 4K Ultra HD for a limited time for $12.99, while the trilogy is available in 4K Ultra HD for $29.99. Fans who previously bought the movies on Vudu prior to March 22 can upgrade to 4K Ultra HD with special pricing. 

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This latest 4K Ultra HD offering from Vudu follows the service’s exclusive release of “Game of Thrones” on 4K Ultra HD.

Xgimi Showcases Aura 4K Short-Throw Laser Projector at CES 2022

Xgimi at CES 2022 is showcasing its new 4K ultra short-throw laser projector, the Aura.

Launched in October 2021, Aura “reimagines home entertainment” utilizing ultra short-throw technology to project 4K images at up to 150 inches, while only being inches away from the screen, according to Xgimi.

The Aura features HDR10 resolution, is powered by 2,400 ANSI lumens of brightness, and includes an Android TV 10 user interface that runs major streaming services such as Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Prime. It also includes built-in Chromecast functionality; three HDMI ports for external devices such as game consoles, cable boxes and Blu-ray players; and four 15W Harman-Kardon built-in speakers with two tweeters and two subwoofers with Dolby Audio support. 

Eight-point keystone correction technology makes focusing “a breeze,” according to an Xgimi release.

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The Xgimi Aura 4K UST Laser Projector joins the Horizon series, Elfin and Halo & MoGo series in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

‘A Quiet Place Part II’ Coming to Digital July 13, Disc July 27

The thriller sequel A Quiet Place Part II will debut on digital July 13 and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, Blu-ray and DVD July 27 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

In the sequel, written and directed by John Krasinski, following the deadly events at home, the Abbott family (Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe) must now face the terrors of the outside world as they continue their fight for survival in silence. Forced to venture into the unknown, they quickly realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path.

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Special features include Krasinski on the set of the new film as he details the cast and crew’s work in a video director’s diary; information about the secrets of the monstrous invaders; an explanation of the two-film character arc of daughter Regan; a breakdown of the marina scene; and exploration of the visual effects and sound design.

The 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Discs also include a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and the 4K Ultra HD disc features Dolby Vision.

The  two-movie collection will also be available to buy exclusively on digital or Blu-ray with bonus content on both films.

‘The Social Network,’ ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Oliver!’ Among Six Classics in Sony 4K Collection Coming Oct. 12

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is debuting six more classics on 4K Ultra HD disc for the first time ever Oct. 12, exclusively within the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection Vol. 2.

Films in the collection, only available on 4K as part of the set, include Anatomy of a Murder, Oliver!, Taxi Driver, Stripes, Sense and Sensibility and The Social Network. Each title includes special features.

Included with the collection is a hardbound 80-page book, featuring in-depth sections about the making of each film via six new essays from writers Julie Kirgo, John Kenrick, Glenn Kenny, Michael G. McDunnah, Kayti Burt and Nev Pierce.

The set also includes an exclusive Blu-ray bonus disc featuring 20 short films from the Columbia Pictures library, all presented in high-definition. The shorts, curated from more than 80 years of the studio’s history, showcase a wide scope of creative output across both live-action and animation, from “The Three Stooges” to award-winning mid-century cartoons to titles from Sony Pictures Animation.

The courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture (1959). The film pits a humble small-town lawyer (James Stewart) against a hard-headed big-city prosecutor (George C. Scott). Emotions flare as a jealous army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) pleads innocent to murdering the rapist of his seductive, beautiful wife (Lee Remick). Produced and directed by  Otto Preminger, the film features a score by Duke Ellington.

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The musical Oliver!, based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, won six 1968 Academy Awards including Best Picture. It follows the story of a plucky young orphan and his quest for love and happiness in a world populated by Oscars rascals, rogues and thieves.

Winner of the prestigious Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival (1976) and nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Taxi Driver stars Robert De Niro in Martin Scorsese’s classic film of a psychotic New York cabbie driven to violence by loneliness and desperation. The film co-stars Jodie Foster, Albert Brooks, Harvey Keitel, Peter Boyle and Cybill Shepherd.

In the comedy classic Stripes (1981), when quick-witted slacker John Winger (Bill Murray) loses his apartment, girlfriend and job all in one day, he joins the army. Directed by Ivan Reitman, the film also stars Harold Ramis, John Candy and John Larroquette.

Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture (1995), and directed by Ang Lee, Sense and Sensibility stars Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. The romantic comedy, based on Jane Austen’s classic novel, tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, sensible Elinor (Thompson) and passionate Marianne (Winslet), whose chances at marriage seem doomed by their family’s sudden loss of fortune. Rickman, Grant and Greg Wise co-star as the well-intentioned suitors who are trapped by the strict rules of society and the conflicting laws of desire.

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture (2010), The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, chronicles the formation of Facebook and the battles over ownership that followed upon the website’s unfathomable success. With a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, the film bears witness to the birth of an idea that rewove the fabric of society even as it unraveled the friendship of its creators.

Update (8/24/21): Release date changed from Sept. 14 to Sept. 28.
Update (9/10/21): Date changed to Oct. 12.

Apple Announces New Apple TV 4K Device With High-Frame-Rate HDR and Dolby Vision

Apple April 20 announced the next generation of Apple TV 4K, delivering high frame rate HDR with Dolby Vision.

The new Apple TV 4K features an A12 Bionic chip that provides a significant boost in graphics performance, video decoding and audio processing, according to Apple. The Siri Remote also has a new design.

The new Apple TV 4K will be available starting at $179 (U.S.) from apple.com, in the Apple Store app, and at Apple Store locations. Apple TV 4K is also available through Apple Authorized Resellers and select pay TV providers.

Customers can order the new Apple TV 4K beginning April 30, with availability beginning in the second half of May in more than 30 countries and regions, including the United States. Apple TV HD with the new Siri Remote will be available for $149. The new Siri Remote will be available separately for $59, and is compatible with the previous-generation Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD.

“Apple TV 4K is in a category of its own, leveraging a deep integration of Apple hardware, software, and services that delivers a massive upgrade to any TV for the very best cinematic experience,” Bob Borchers, Apple’s VP of worldwide product marketing, said in a statement. “With the A12 Bionic and the all-new Siri Remote, Apple TV 4K lets customers enjoy their favorite shows, movies, and more in the highest quality, with simple and intuitive controls. And of course, Apple TV 4K offers easy access to Apple services, along with thousands of apps on the App Store for even more entertainment options.”

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With A12 Bionic, Apple TV 4K now supports high frame rate HDR (high dynamic range) and Dolby Vision video, enabling fast-moving action at 60 frames per second (fps) to play more smoothly and appear more lifelike, according to the Apple announcement. Apple is working with leading video providers around the world, including Fox Sports, NBCUniversal, Paramount+, Red Bull TV and Canal+, as they begin to stream in high-frame-rate HDR. With high-frame-rate support in AirPlay, videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision on the new Apple TV 4K.

Through a new color balance process, Apple TV works with iPhone and its advanced sensors to improve a television’s picture quality, according to the announcement. Apple TV uses the light sensor in the iPhone to compare the color balance to the industry-standard specifications used by cinematographers worldwide. Using this data, Apple TV automatically tailors its video output to deliver much more accurate colors and improved contrast — without customers ever having to adjust their television settings, according to Apple.

The new Siri remote for Apple TV

The new Siri Remote features a clickpad control that offers five-way navigation for better accuracy and is also touch-enabled for fast directional swipes. The outer ring of the clickpad supports a circular gesture that turns it into a jog control, which can be used for finding a scene in a movie or show. The new Siri Remote also has a power button that controls a TV’s power and another for mute to eliminate the need for other remots. Using Siri, customers can search for specific shows or movies, control smart home accessories, check sports scores or the weather and more, according to Apple. Siri now works on Apple TV in Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand, joining the 13 countries and regions that already support Siri.

Apple TV 4K runs tvOS. AirPlay on Apple TV 4K lets customers effortlessly share videos, school projects and other content from their iPhone, iPad or Mac directly to the TV. Videos shot on iPhone 12 Pro can be displayed in full 60-fps Dolby Vision with high frame rate support in AirPlay. Apple TV 4K can be used as a home hub to control HomeKit accessories, and allows customers to view HomeKit video cameras and doorbell notifications on the television screen. With multiuser support on Apple TV 4K, family members can see personalized recommendations for shows, movies and music, access their purchased apps in the App Store, or play games on Apple Arcade.

For the first time, AppleCare+ will be available for Apple TV, providing three years of technical support and additional hardware coverage, including up to two incidents of accidental damage protection every 12 months.

Kaleidescape, Sony Mount Joint Promotion

Kaleidescape, designer and manufacturer of home movie servers and players, has mounted a joint promotion with Sony Electronics offering a $3,000 discount to customers purchasing a Kaleidescape system alongside one of four Sony projectors: VPL-GTZ380, VPL-VW5000ES, VPL-VW995ES or VPL-VW915ES.

“This joint promotion with Kaleidescape underscores our unwavering commitment to provide the finest in 4K HDR entertainment,” Jeff Goldstein, head of custom integrator channel sales at Sony Electronics, said in a statement. “Besides being an incredible deal, this incentive ensures that our customers will get the very best from their premium Sony projector.”

Kaleidescape delivers reference-quality 4K HDR movies at the source, optimizing for the highest resolution, dynamic range and contrast capabilities of Sony’s high-end projectors, according to a company press release. With more than 12,000 movies and shows to choose from within its interface, Kaleidescape employs proprietary metadata to adjust Sony’s projectors to display every movie in native aspect ratio.

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“Sony is synonymous with 4K innovation and shares Kaleidescape’s vision for delivering the finest picture and sound quality,” Kaleidescape CEO Tayloe Stansbury said in a statement. “When you combine Sony’s finest projectors with Kaleidescape’s exceptional products, like the newly released Terra movie server with 48TB storage, the result is a 4K HDR experience you can’t take your eyes off.”

A streaming device cannot maximize a high-end projector’s innovative capabilities and stops short of delivering the best possible viewing experience, according to the press release. In contrast, a Kaleidescape system is designed to play 4K HDR movies with a video bitrate four times higher while reproducing lossless audio at up to 10 times higher than any streaming device.

YouTube TV Bows 4K Content, Will Launch Mobile Phone Video Tool to Compete With TikTok

Online TV platform YouTube TV has 3 million subscribers, 85 channels and access to the MLB World Series and the NFL, among other high-profile events. Now, the Google-owned platform is offering subs access to 4K content (4K HD TV required), offline content, and unlimited concurrent streams at home so the whole family can stream on different screens at once.

YouTube TV now supports a combination of SD, HD, 4K, VR, HDR and live video, as well as DVR on nearly every device with an Internet connection — from desktops to mobile, and gaming consoles to VR headsets.

“While the majority of YouTube videos are watched on mobile, our fastest area of growth is the TV,” Neal Mohan, chief product officer for YouTube, wrote in a blog post. “Later this year, we’ll launch a redesign of the YouTube VR app homepage to improve navigation, accessibility and search functionality.”

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Separately, Google in March will roll out YouTube Shorts, a mobile phone-centric platform that aims to compete with TikTok, enabling creators and artists to shoot snappy videos. Currently, Shorts is available in beta in India. Since the beginning of December, the number of Indian channels using Shorts creation tools has more than tripled, and the YouTube Shorts player is now receiving more than 3.5 billion daily views globally, according to the company.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll begin expanding the beta to the U.S., unlocking our tools to even more creators so they can get started with Shorts,” Mohan wrote.

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.