Lady of the Manor

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Lionsgate;
Comedy;
$19.98 DVD, $21.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for language throughout, sexual material and drug use.
Stars Melanie Lynskey, Judy Greer, Justin Long, Luis Guzmán, Ryan Phillippe.

The casually raunchy Lady of the Manor generates a moderate amount of laughs by turning a ghost story into a mismatched buddy comedy.

Melanie Lynskey stars as Hannah, a slacker whose life is upended when her job delivering weed leads her to the wrong house and an arrest on a false sex offender charge. Hearing her plight, the lecherous Tanner (Ryan Phillippe) hopes to seduce her by hiring her to dress up as a 19th century Southern belle to give tours at Wadsworth Manor, a historic home owned by his family.

Lacking the knowledge of the period, Hannah begins making up facts about the manor, which brings her into conflict with local college history professor Max (Justin Long). Meanwhile, her efforts to engage Tanner in a sexual liaison conjures the spirit of Lady Wadsworth herself (Judy Greer), the former proprietor of the establishment and Tanner’s ancestor who died in 1875.

Assuming Hannah is a prostitute, Lady Wadsworth berates her for her uncouth ways and begins taunting her during the tours, prompting Hannah to recruit Max to learn about why she would be haunting the place. When that doesn’t work, Hannah strikes a deal with Lady Wadsworth to learn about how to better portray her for the tours, which leads to them uncovering a long-buried Wadsworth family conspiracy with huge implications over the ownership of the manor.

Greer is quite effective as the 19th century lady aghast at the affectations of the 21st century, introducing an “odd couple” dynamic into her relationship with Hannah and setting up the past-present dichotomy that drives the film’s central conceit. Phillippe is appropriately sleazy as Tanner, taking to the role so breezily he seems more like a generic dirtbag type from central casting.

Long co-wrote and co-directed the film with his brother, Christian, and the duo contribute a commentary track in which they discuss the challenges of making the film, praising the performances but also pointing out things they might have done differently in retrospect.

The Blu-ray also includes an 11-minute behind-the-scenes featurette, 17 minutes of repetitive deleted scenes, and a five-minute outtakes reel.

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Ghostly Comedy ‘Lady of the Manor’ Hitting Theaters and VOD Sept. 17, Disc Sept. 21

Lionsgate will release the comedy Lady of the Manor in theaters, on VOD and for digital purchase Sept. 17, followed by a Blu-ray Disc and DVD release Sept. 21.

Written and directed by actor Justin Long and his brother Christian, the supernatural buddy comedy stars Melanie Lynskey as a stoner-slacker hired to portray Lady Wadsworth (Judy Greer), a Southern belle who died in 1875, in a tour at Wadsworth Manor. Hannah, a hot mess, figures she can fake it — until the ghost of Lady Wadsworth appears and tells her it’s time to change her wild ways — and she’ll haunt her until she does.

The cast also includes Justin Long, Luis Guzmán and Ryan Phillippe. The film is rated ‘R’ for language throughout, sexual material and drug use.

Bonus materials include audio commentary with Justin and Christian Long, the featurette “A Fart-Warming Tale of Friendship & Vengeance: Making Lady of the Manor,” outtakes and deleted scenes.

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Like, ‘Valley Girl’ Bows on Disc Oct. 6

Valley Girl, a musical romantic comedy adaptation of the 1983 film, arrives on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and MGM Oct. 6.

From MGM’s Orion Pictures and directed by Rachel Lee Goldenberg, the film stars Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day, La La Land) as Julie Richman, Josh Whitehouse (The Knight Before Christmas) as Randy, Mae Whitman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) as Jack, and Judy Greer (13 Going on 30, Ant-Man, 27 Dresses) as Diana.

Set to a new wave ’80s soundtrack, the film follows a pair of young lovers from different backgrounds defy their parents and friends to stay together.

The 1983 classic, directed by Martha Coolidge, starred Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman.

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‘Halloween’ to Stalk Digital Dec. 28, Disc Jan. 15 From Universal

Halloween, the latest sequel to the horror franchise, will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand Jan. 15 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $158.8 million in theaters.

The film takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, reprising her role in the 1978 John Carpenter classic) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. She now lives in a heavily guarded home on the edge of Haddonfield, where she’s spent decades preparing for Michael’s potential return. After being locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when a bus transfer goes terribly wrong, leading to chaos in the same town he preyed on decades earlier. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the deranged killer returns for her and her family — but this time, she’s ready for him.

The film also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man and The WaspJurassic World), Andi Matichak (“Underground”), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Punisher) and Virginia Gardner (Project Almanac, “Runaways”).

Bonus features on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and digital include deleted and extended scenes and the featurettes “Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween,” “The Original Scream Queen,” “The Sound of Fear,” “Journey of the Mask” and “The Legacy of Halloween.”

The film will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-ray version, all in 4K resolution.

Ant-Man and The Wasp

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 10/16/18;
Disney/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $216.42 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for for some sci-fi action violence.
Stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas.

The 20th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe arrived in a somewhat awkward position for the franchise. Coming off the dire circumstances of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp offers more of the lighthearted, fun romp first served up in 2015’s Ant-Man. It’s certainly a shift in tone for dedicated Marvel watchers, but also serves as a satisfactory palate cleanser for the despair that “Avengers” movie dished out.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man wasn’t in Infinity War, and this movie delves into what he was up to as Thanos was preparing to battle the rest of the Avengers. Under house arrest as a result of the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott Lang (Rudd) is once again recruited by the father-daughter science whiz team of Hank Pym and Hope Van Dyne (Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly), who are now fugitives because Lang used their shrinking technology to help Captain America fight Iron Man.

Hank needs Scott’s help to locate his wife, Janet (Michelle Pfeiffer) in the quantum realm, where she vanished 30 years ago after going too microscopic to return. Hope, meanwhile, has become The Wasp, fulfilling the setup from the first film for her to don a shrinking suit of her own.

However, their efforts have attracted some unwanted attention in the form of a criminal (Walton Goggins) who wants to get his hands on their technology, and a girl (Hannah John-Kamen) who needs energy from the quantum realm to reverse the effects of an accident that is causing her to phase out of existence.

Scott, meanwhile, has to avoid getting caught by the authorities by making sure he’s back home before they stop by for an inspection, lest he be sent back to prison for 20 years.

Director Peyton Reed takes advantage of the size-shifting premise to present both some very funny gags and some inventive action sequences. Reed says in an introduction to the film and his feature-length commentary that one of his main goals on the sequel was to really take advantage of the different perspectives that shrinking and growing can offer, much more than he did in the first film.

The film also sets up how Rudd will make his way into the fourth “Avengers” film, leaving even more clues with which fans can speculate about how the whole Thanos saga will be resolved next year.

For the here and now, though, the Ant-Man and The Wasp Blu-ray includes more than 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes with some good insights about establishing the characters in this new story, plus how the production design team mixed practical and CG effects to create sets and sequences that immerse the viewer into a world where the scale of everyday items is often out of whack.

The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes running about a minute each, which are interesting on their own but weren’t essential to the overall story. Then there are about four minutes of gag reels, including a minute of Stan Lee’s outtakes trying different lines for his cameo.

The digital editions include an exclusive eight-minute retrospective on the concept artists of the now 10-year-old MCU, plus a minute-long commercial for a company at the center of one of the film’s key running gags. Vudu also offers a two-and-a-half-minute featurette about Reed.

‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ Arrives on DVD and Digital Oct. 23

Lionsgate will release A Happening of Monumental Proportions, the directorial debut from actress Judy Greer, on DVD, digital and on demand Oct. 23.

The comedy takes place over the course of one day and follows a group of school administrators as they find themselves caught up in a sex scandal that leads to the discovery of the dead body of the school’s groundskeeper. The cast includes Common, Jennifer Garner, Katie Holmes, John Cho, Rob Riggle, Bradley Whitford, Anders Holm and Allison Janney.

The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Eastwood’s ’15:17 to Paris’ Coming Home in May

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release director Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris digitally May 1, and on Blu-ray and DVD May 22.

The docu-drama recounts the story of three Americans — Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone — who stopped a terrorist attack on a train in Europe in 2015.

Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone play themselves in the film, joined by a cast that includes Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Ray Corasani, P.J. Byrne, Tony Hale and Thomas Lennon. Paul-Mikél Williams plays the younger Anthony, Bryce Gheisar plays the younger Alek and William Jennings plays the younger Spencer.

The Blu-ray and DVD will include the featurette “Portrait of Courage,” in which Eastwood and his creative team discuss how the story inspired them and why they moved to have the three Americans to play themselves.

The Blu-ray will include the additional featurette “Making Every Second Count,” in which Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler take viewers moment-by-moment through the real-life drama, just as they lived it.