A Quiet Place Part II

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 7/27/21;
Paramount;
Horror;
$29.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD BD;
Box Office $157.52 million;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for terror, violence and bloody/disturbing images.
Stars Emily Blunt, Cillian Murphy, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe, Djimon Hounsou, John Krasinski, Scoot McNairy.

Director John Krasinski delivers another eerily effective thriller predicated on silence in his follow up to the surprise 2018 hit film A Quiet Place.

The sequel actually begins as a bit of a prequel, showing how the alien creatures that prey on sound first arrived on Earth, giving Krasinski an opportunity to make a brief appearance as Lee Abbott, the father who in the first film sacrificed himself to distract the aliens and save his family.

The film then cuts to the immediate aftermath of the first film, as Lee’s wife, Evelyn (Emily Blunt), is left to fend for survival with their newborn baby, son Marcus (Noah Jupe) and deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Regan’s hearing aid proved deadly to the aliens, emitting a frequency that disturbs their super hearing and makes them possible to kill.

The Abbotts set off to seek new shelter after theirs was pretty much destroyed by the alien attacks of the first film. They end up crossing into the booby-trapped land of their neighbor Emmett (Cillian Murphy), who wants them to leave so as not to squander the few resources he has.

However, they pick up a radio signal of someone broadcasting the song “Beyond the Sea,” which Regan intuits is a message to find a conclave of survivors living on an island, since the aliens don’t like water.

With Marcus injured by a bear trap (in a horrifying sequence involving a lot of screaming), and Evelyn forced to tend to him, Regan sets off to find a boat to get to the island, joined by a reluctant Emmett, who slowly starts to realize that perhaps there are still things to hope for in this otherwise dangerous world.

Naturally, the sound parasites are a constant threat to all the characters.

While the 4K disc includes just the film in Ultra HD, the Blu-ray edition includes several behind-the-scenes featurettes.

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‘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.

Paramount’s ‘A Quiet Place Part 2’ Theatrical Release Bumped Up

In a switch, Paramount Pictures has moved forward the release date of oft-delayed sequel A Quiet Place Part 2 to Memorial Day weekend (May 28) from its previously delayed Sept. 4 debut.

The move means that the John Krasinski-directed follow-up to his original 2018 sleeper hit, A Quiet Place, starring his wife Emily Blunt in a post-apocalyptic world where sound can get someone killed, will stream earlier than expected on new subscription streaming service Paramount+. The first movie generated $340 million in global ticket sales, including $188 million domestically.

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A Quiet Place Part 2, along with Mission: Impossible 7, starring Tom Cruise, have both been tagged by Paramount with shortened theatrical windows (45 days) in order to expedite streaming access into consumer homes.

Paramount made the decision after Universal Pictures pushed back again the theatrical (and PVOD) release of F9, or Fast & Furious 9, from May 22 to June 25 due to the pandemic’s ongoing economic impact on movie theaters. F9 was originally slated to launch May 22, 2020. Universal also pushed the next installment in the “Despicable Me” franchise, Minions: The Rise of Gru, to 2022.

Paramount also moved the theatrical release of sci-fi thriller Infinite, co-starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to Sept. 24.

Season Two of Amazon’s ‘Jack Ryan’ on Disc Aug. 4

Paramount Home Entertainment will release Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season Two on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 4.

The show stars John Krasinski as the CIA analyst from the series of novels by Tom Clancy. In the second season, Jack investigates potentially illegal arms shipments in Venezuela. As Jack threatens to uncover a far-reaching conspiracy, the President of Venezuela launches a counter-attack that hits home for Jack, leading him and his fellow operatives on a global mission to unravel the President’s nefarious plot and bring stability to a country on the brink of chaos.​

The cast also includes Wendell Pierce, Michael Kelly, Tom Wlaschiha, Noomi Rapace, Jordi Molla and Cristina Umaña.

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The two-disc Blu-ray and three-disc DVD sets will include all eight second-season episodes, plus exclusive deleted scenes.

The series has already been renewed for a third season on Amazon Prime Video.

‘Jack Ryan: Season One’ on Disc June 4

Paramount Home Media Entertainment will release Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan: Season One on Blu-ray and DVD June 4 (order date April 23).

The Amazon Prime Video original series stars John Krasinski as the CIA analyst from the Tom Clancy novels, who finds himself at the center of a search for a terrorist figurehead preparing to attack the United States. The cast also includes Wendell Pierce and Abbie Cornish.

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The two-disc Blu-ray and three-disc DVD sets include all eight episodes from the first season, plus exclusive deleted scenes.

Amazon has renewed the series for a second and third season.

 

Paramount Releasing ’13 Hours’ in 4K UHD June 11

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release director Michael Bay’s 2016 docudrama 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital June 11.

Starring John Krasinski, James Badge Dale and Pablo Schreiber, 13 Hours recounts the story of the unite of elite ex-military operators who fought to protect a CIA compound in Libya from a terrorist attack in 2012.

The two-disc UHD Blu-ray includes more than an hour of behind-the-scenes bonus material.

 

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan

STREAMING REVIEW: 

Amazon Prime Video;
Action;
Stars John Krasinski, Abbie Cornish, Wendell Pierce, Ali Suliman, Dina Shihabi, Timothy Hutton.

Despite being one of Tom Clancy’s most enduring literary characters, including a stint as president of the United States, Jack Ryan’s cinematic exploits have not been so consistent.

Sure, adapting the books have led to a handful of entertaining espionage thrillers, all the while producers seem intent on making Jack less of the analyst he is in the books and more of a hands-on, American James Bond type of secret agent. And after a few films that seemed to follow the progression of the novels, the film series veered into prequel territory, exploring Jack’s early years with the CIA.

The most-recent film, 2014’s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, wasn’t even based on one of the novels, looking in on Jack in one of his first big cases for the CIA and his rise to action-hero status. However, its lackluster box office performance cast further doubt on the future of more Jack Ryan adventures on the big screen.

Instead, the character’s handlers took the “Hannibal” route by putting the character at the center of a television series, where the story could be given a chance to develop at a reasonable pace.

The show, as with Shadow Recruit before it, focuses on the younger Jack Ryan, adjusting to a career in the CIA after an injury-shortened military career. And like that film, it’s not specifically based on any of the novels, though it seems to borrow a few elements from them, most notably Executive Orders.

Here, Jack is an analyst for a secret CIA division tracking terrorists’ finances. He believes that a new power in Islamic extremism is about to make a major move, but his evidence is sketchy and no one wants to believe him until he forces the issue by convincing the authorities to freeze the suspects’ bank accounts, thus setting off a sequence of events that exposes a new terrorist faction led by a sheik named Suleiman who wants revenge on the West for the death of his family during military strikes when he was a boy.

One key to the effectiveness of the series is the casting of John Krasinski as Jack Ryan, grounding the character as an analyst and unlikely field operative, as opposed to the films that tend to want to cast action-hero types in the part. Krasinski’s presence lends credence to both the idea that Jack could be in over his head but that, over time, he can become more adept at field work.

The show takes its time to get going as is establishes all its main characters, their motivations and locales in great detail, which can be a bit of a chore for the audience at first when the show shifts so much of its time away from what Jack is up to. One of the subplots involves Suleiman’s wife, who begins to fear the man her husband has revealed himself to be and takes steps to protect herself and her kids from his actions.

The show also spends time with Jack’s courtship of his future wife, Kathy, now played by Abbie Cornish, who is wary of their potential relationship since he keeps spouting an unconvincing cover story about a mundane State Department job to explain why he keeps getting whisked away in helicopters to travel to the Middle East and returns with fresh stab wounds.

Aside from its slow pacing in the early episodes, the biggest mark against the show is the way it relies on operational sloppiness on the part of its law enforcement contingent to allow key bad guys to keep getting away so they can carry out their plans. It would be one thing if the show were trying to depict inter-agency rivalries, a la The Looming Tower, but that’s not the case here, and the plot contrivances that do pop up are so obvious as to be distracting.

The eight-episode series also attempts to take a thoughtful examination of many different angles of the War on Terror. While noble in its intent, it does result in a few subplots that don’t seem to lead anywhere, most notably with a U.S. drone pilot who feels guilty over killing enemy combatants from 10,000 miles away.

Eventually, though, the storylines converge in a satisfying way that raises the stakes for Jack both personally and professionally, and should leave viewers eagerly awaiting the upcoming second season.

Amazon’s ‘Jack Ryan’ Getting Dolby Treatment

Actor Jack Krasinski’s recent movie, A Quiet Place, stressed silence as a means of survival against extraterrestrial creatures that hunt by sound.

Now, the “The Office” alum is upping the volume in a second season turn as a CIA analyst in “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” which begins streaming on Prime Video Aug. 31.

Dolby Laboratories and Amazon announced that the series will be available in both Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR. The combined Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision experience will initially be available on certain Dolby Vision TVs and Dolby Atmos enabled audio devices.

Dolby Vision claims to deliver contrast, color highlights that are up to 40 times brighter than standard TV quality, and blacks that are 10 times darker. When combined, Dolby says the lifelike images and sound “leap from the screen” to make entertainment experiences “truly spectacular.”

“Amazon is committed to delivering immersive and compelling content to our Prime Video members around the world,” Greg Hart, VP of Prime Video, said in a statement. “Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision will enhance the action-packed scenes in ‘Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan’and make viewers feel like they are at the center of the story.”

“Dolby enables spectacular audio and visual experiences that take your favorite entertainment to the next level,” said John Couling, SVP, commercial partnerships, Dolby Labs. “Through our growing work with Amazon, we can now bring more lifelike experiences to Prime members.”

 

 

A Quiet Place

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street 7/10/18;
Paramount;
Horror;
Box Office $187.28 million;
$29.99 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for terror and some bloody images.
Stars Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe.

Sometimes the simplest concepts, when engineered properly, can produce the most effective films.

A Quiet Place is based on the basic idea of a family that can’t make a sound as they try to survive isolated from the rest of the world. A cataclysmic event has resulted in the planet being roamed by fierce creatures that hunt by sound, so any noise will attract them.

This sets the stage for a visceral viewing experience, with minimal dialogue and even the slightest noise proving to be a source of great tension.

The final form of the story was developed and directed by John Krasinski, who also stars as the father alongside his real-life wife, Emily Blunt. The film begins as they and their three children are rummaging for supplies in a local abandoned town. But their youngest son isn’t quite aware of the danger of playing with a loud, flashy toy out in the open, and he gets snatched by a creature.

Cut to a year later, and the mother is pregnant again as the family still struggles to cope with the child’s death. The natural tendency upon hearing the film’s premise is to wonder how they can possibly avoid making any sounds, given the potential for noise in so many mundane activities, not to mention bodily processes — for example, how can someone give birth without so much as a peep?

Well, the beauty of the film is the way it sidesteps some logistical issues by addressing others, and the potential dangers of childbirth, not to mention the potential for a crying newborn, are at the forefront of the family’s lifestyle. The film is rather clever in showing how the family has adapted everyday tasks to minimize the noise output involved. And yet, sounds remain unavoidable. That the judicious use of sound in the film so effectively contributes to an overwhelming sense of fear is due in no small part to the film’s brilliant sound design and editing.

A Quiet Place is something of a throwback to the silent film era in that regard, though it’s not being presented as some grand experiment in the genre.

The minimal dialogue also sets the stage for some terrific visual performances by the entire cast. The family primarily communicates through sign language, which comes in handy given their circumstances but is also a necessity given the daughter is deaf — which ironically becomes a major challenge in a world where sound invites death, since it helps to know when sounds are being made. The actress who plays the daughter, Millicent Simmonds, is deaf in real life, which adds to the film’s sense of realism.

Krasinski has crafted a beautiful-looking film as well, with lush farmlands that appear inviting in daytime turning to foreboding landscapes hiding all sorts of dangers at night. Not that it matters with these creatures, who will attack whenever.

The Blu-ray includes three short but effective behind-the-scenes featurettes that run a bit more than a half-hour in total. One is a general making-of piece running about 15 minutes, the others focus on sound design and visual effects, respectively.