Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Lionsgate;
Comedy;
$19.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for crude sexual content, drug use and some strong language.
Stars Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., Michael Hitchcock, Reyn Doi, Vanessa Bayer, Wendi McLendon-Covey.

If there were a way to turn pastels directly into a movie, Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar would probably be it.

“Golden Girls” meets “Austin Powers” in this zany comedy in which Kristen Wiig (as Star) and Annie Mumolo (as Barb) play a pair of daft Midwestern middle-aged roommates who breeze through life until deciding on a whim to embark on a vacation to Florida.

The “coming of middle-age” story, as described by director Josh Greenbaum, was co-written by Wiig and Mumolo as well, apparently based on inside jokes that developed during their own year’s long real life friendship, and characters who began to crystalize as they were collaborating on 2011’s Bridesmaids. Wiig even admits in the bonus materials that they thought up the title first and then came up with a story to fit it (to the degree that a story even matters to this movie).

Barb & Star plays like the movie version of an “SNL” sketch that never existed. The duo find themselves out of work when they learn the furniture store chain they work for closed down months ago, and no one bothered to tell anyone at their franchise to pack it in. So, with nary a care in the world, they depart their small Nebraska town for a resort community in Florida called Vista Del Mar, and run smack dab into the middle of a plot to destroy the town by an albino villain who seems like she’s on loan from Dr. Evil’s crew.

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This baddie, also played by Wiig, wants revenge on Vista Del Mar for embarrassing her during a shrimp festival years earlier, so she plans to unleash genetically engineered mosquitos to kill everyone. To prepare the attack, she sends her supposed lover, Edgar (Jamie Dornan), but things go off the rails when he encounters Barb and Star and engages in a drug-fueled sexual tryst with them that completely changes his worldview.

But really, the heart of the movie is Wiig and Mumolo, and they’re willing to throw everything at the wall for the sake of comedy. From improvised dialogue to musical numbers to shameless celebrity cameos to talking crabs who dispense sage advice with a voice that sounds like Morgan Freeman, the film isn’t afraid to try anything for a laugh. And for the most part, it works. The actors are charming, the gags are witty and unexpected, and the film just radiates lighthearted fun with every colorful setting.

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Mumolo and Wiig join Greenbaum for a delightful Blu-ray commentary track in which they discuss the making of the film and how fun it was to finally bring these characters to life.

Also included on the Blu-ray are nine deleted scenes that have a total run time of just under 13 minutes. These are basically just extra bits of comedy from the ladies, as is the six-minute blooper reel. There’s also a weird minute-and-a-half “Fashion Show” video featuring several characters from the film prancing around a fake beach in different outfits.

The making of the film is covered in two featurettes: the 10-minute “Barb & Star: Making Life a Little Brighter” is about the overall production, while the 11-minute “Barb & Star: Casting in Paradise” looks at the film’s various characters.

A Target-exclusive Blu-ray offers a few additional featurettes if anyone is so inclined for more.

 

‘Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar’ Traveling to Digital March 26, Disc April 6 From Lionsgate

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, from co-stars and co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), will come out on digital March 26 and on Blu-ray combo pack and DVD April 6 from Lionsgate.

The film debuted on PVOD Feb. 12.

The comedy follows lifelong friends Barb and Star, who embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever. The trip includes romance, friendship and a villain’s evil plot. The film also stars Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., Fortune Feimster, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Abdoo, Vanessa Bayer, Phyllis Smith and Kwame Patterson.

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Special features include audio commentary with director Josh Greenbaum, Mumolo and Wiig; the “Barb & Star: Making Life a Little Brighter” featurette; the “Barb & Star: Casting in Paradise” featurette; bloopers; deleted scenes; and the “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Fashion Show” piece.

Emily Blunt Romance ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ Available on DVD and Digital Feb. 2

The Emily Blunt romance Wild Mountain Thyme will come out on DVD and digital Feb. 2 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

From John Patrick Shanley (Moonstruck), the film follows headstrong farmer Rosemary Muldoon (Blunt), who has her heart set on winning her neighbor Anthony Reilly’s love. The problem is Anthony (Jamie Dornan) seems to have inherited a family curse and remains oblivious to his beautiful admirer.

Stung by his father Tony Reilly’s (Christopher Walken) plans to sell the family farm to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams in this comedic romantic tale.

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Sci-fi Thriller ‘Synchronic’ Coming to Digital Jan. 12, Disc Jan. 26 From Well Go

The sci-fi thriller Synchronic will debut on digital Jan. 12 and on Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 26 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

From directing duo of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (The Endless), the film stars Anthony Mackie (“Altered Carbon,” Falcon in the “Avengers” franchise), Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy), Katie Aselton (Bombshell) and Ally Ioannides (“Into the Badlands”) in the story of two paramedics whose lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.

When New Orleans paramedics and longtime best friends Steve (Mackie) and Dennis (Dornan) are called to a series of bizarre, gruesome accidents, they chalk it up to the mysterious new party drug found at the scene. But after Dennis’s oldest daughter suddenly disappears, Steve stumbles upon a terrifying truth about the supposed psychedelic that will challenge everything he knows about reality — and the flow of time itself.

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Bonus features include commentary with directors and product, a making-of featurette, previsualization, a VFX breakdown, a deleted scene and an alternate ending.

Lionsgate Bringing ‘Robin Hood’ Remake With Taron Egerton Home in February

Lionsgate will release the Robin Hood remake starring Taron Egerton as the title hero digitally Feb. 5, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Feb. 19.

The cast also includes Jamie Foxx as Little John,  Ben Mendelsohn as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Eve Hewson as Maid Marian and Jamie Dornan as Will Scarlet.

Bonus material includes the seven-part documentary “Outlaws and Auteurs: Reshaping Robin Hood,” plus outtakes and deleted scenes.

The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray combo pack will include Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos audio.

‘My Dinner With Hervé’ Available on Digital From HBO

My Dinner With Hervé is available now on digital from HBO Home Entertainment.

The film explores the unlikely friendship between struggling journalist Danny Tate (Jamie Dornan) and Hervé Villechaize (Peter Dinklage), the world’s most famous French dwarf actor.

The story unfolds over one wild night in Los Angeles — an encounter that has life-changing consequences for both men.

My Dinner with Hervé also stars Golden Globe nominee Mireille Enos (The Killing), David Strathairn (Lincoln), Andy García (Ocean’s Eleven), Harriet Walter (Succession) and Oona Chaplin (“Game of Thrones”).

Universal Pictures Q2 Home Entertainment Revenue Falls

Box office and retail success of movies is often difficult to replicate year-over-year.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment July 26 reported second-quarter (ended June 30) revenue of $225 million, down more than 38% from revenue of $334 million during the previous-year period.

Through the first-half of the fiscal year, home entertainment revenue reached $473 million, down less than 24% from $620 million last year.

The studio attributed the decline to the success of several releases in the prior-year period, including Fifty Shades Darker, Sing, Split and Get Out, partially offset by Fifty Shades Freed in this year’s quarter

Indeed, Freed, the third installment in the Fifty Shades franchise co-starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan, has generated $15 million in sales of more than 784,000 combined DVD/Blu-ray Disc units – 11thbest-selling title thus far in 2018, according to The-Numbers.com.

By comparison, however, sequel Darker, Sing, Split and Get Out combined for more than $111.3 million in disc revenue in 2017.

Theatrical revenue decreased 35.5%, also primarily due to the strength of releases in last year’s second quarter, including Fate of the Furious, and timing of this quarter’s releases, including Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom– released just eight days before the end of Q2.

Total studio revenue decreased 20% to $1.7 billion from $2.1 billion, reflecting lower theatrical, home entertainment and content licensing revenue. Pre-tax earnings decreased 52% to $138 million, reflecting lower revenue, partially offset by lower programming and production costs.

Through the first six months of the year, studio revenue is down more than 18% to $3.3 billion from $4.1 billion last year. Pre-tax earnings are down more than 48% to $341 million from $658 million last year.

 

Unrated ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Coming to Digital April 24, Disc May 8

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release Fifty Shades Freed through digital retailers April 24, and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray May 8.

The conclusion to the “Fifty Shades” trilogy stars Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson as newlyweds Christian and Ana exploring new levels of their relationship after their sexually charged past. The film earned nearly $100 million at the domestic box office.

The home video version includes both the ‘R’-rated theatrical version and an unrated version.

Extras include a deleted scenes, “The Final Climax” behind-the-scenes featurettes, and the featurette “Christian & Ana By Jamie & Dakota,” in which the actors look back at their characters.

Digital and Blu-ray-exclusive bonus materials include music videos and a conversation between actor Eric Johnson and “Fifty Shades” novelist EL James.