Catwoman: Hunted

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Warner;
Animated;
$24.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence, bloody images and suggestive material.
Voices of Elizabeth Gilles, Stephanie Beatriz, Lauren Cohan, Kelly Hu, Jonathan Banks, Keith David, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Jonathan Frakes.

The anime-inspired Catwoman: Hunted puts its title character in the middle of a jazzy crime caper, manipulating her way through a cadre of DC Comics characters, none of which is Batman. It’s a fun, sexy ride despite its convoluted plot. And it remembers that there is more than one cat-themed character hanging around the DC universe.

The story involves Catwoman (Elizabeth Gilles) crashing a costume party of gangsters connected to the Leviathan crime syndicate in order to steal a valuable jewel. Though her attempt is eventually thwarted by Batwoman (Stephanie Beatriz), Catwoman is ensnared in a globe-trotting Interpol operation to take down Leviathan’s leadership.

The Blu-ray includes two featurettes. The 19-minute “When the Hunter Becomes the Hunted” is an interesting piece that briefly explores the popularity of Catwoman before diving into how the filmmakers crafted the movie around her. The 40-minute “Catwoman: The Femme Fatale” is a good mini-documentary, originally released online last year, about the history of the character in comics, video games, TV shows and movies, infused with archival interviews with many of the actresses who played her.

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Creepshow: Season 2

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

RLJ/Shudder;
Horror;
$34.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Kevin Dillon, Ted Raimi, Ali Larter, C. Thomas Howell, Iman Benson, Josh McDermitt, Ashley Laurence, Keith David, Ryan Kwanten, Breckin Meyer, Molly Ringwald, Eric Edelstein, Barbara Crampton, Denise Crosby, Justin Long, D’Arcy Carden, Kiefer Sutherland, Joey King, Anna Camp, Adam Pally. 

The Shudder original series “Creepshow” returns with a second season consisting of five new episodes, an animated special and a holiday special.

The anthology-style episodes offer two stories each, except for the season finale, which consists of one single story — “Night of the Living Late Show,” a tribute to classic horror films in which Justin Long plays a man who invents a VR device that allows him to insert himself into his favorite movies. The hourlong Christmas special also presents a single story.

Other highlights include “The Right Snuff,” in which an unhinged astronaut who dreams of surpassing his father’s legacy jeopardizes a meeting with alien life; and “Model Kid,” another vintage-movie tribute in which a kid uses his love of scary movie monster toys to cope with an abusive uncle.

The show’s quaint production values evoke the feeling of 1950s ‘B’-movies, with retro-style practical effects and cheesy-looking monsters.

The Blu-ray also includes several behind-the-scenes featurettes, a WonderCon@Home interview with producer Greg Nicotero and photo galleries, and comes with a nifty comic-book-style episode guide.

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Muhammad Ali: A Film by Ken Burns, Sarah Burns & David McMahon

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

PBS Distribution;
Documentary;
$69.99 DVD, $79.99 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Narrated by Keith David.

Boxing history meets the civil rights movement in PBS documentarian Ken Burns and his team’s latest sojourn into the historical record, an examination of the life of legendary boxing champion Muhammad Ali.

Presented as four two-hour episodes, Muhammad Ali is an engrossing profile of the man who dubbed himself “The Greatest,” and backed up his claim in the ring. The political aspects of his life amid the racial tensions of the mid-20th century make it easy to see what made Ali an attractive subject for Burns, who often incorporates the history of race relations into the broader context of American History.

The first episode chronicles Ali’s boyhood in Kentucky, when he was known as Cassius Clay. Seeking help after his bike was stolen, young Clay stumbled across a cop giving boxing lessons, sealing his destiny. A sparkling amateur career led to an Olympic gold medal in Rome in 1960. Turning pro, Ali won his first heavyweight title in 1964.

The second episode finds fame and notoriety catching up to the champ, whose involvement with the Nation of Islam makes him a controversial figure and prompts him to change his name to Muhammad Ali. As he mows down contenders to his title, his biggest foe becomes the U.S. government, as he is drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. His refusal to accept induction leads to a lengthy legal battle, during which he is stripped of his titles and exiled from the sport for three years.

The third disc details his comeback in the early 1970s. As his case makes its way to the Supreme Court, Ali sparks his famous rivalry with Joe Frazier as he embarks on a quest to reclaim his crown.

The fourth disc covers the final years of Ali’s career, his declining health and being embraced as a cultural and sports icon.

While the documentary celebrates the glory of his success, it also takes an unflinching look at his personal life, including a string of troubled marriages, as well as a brazen attitude that didn’t make too many friends.

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Shout! Factory Releasing ‘They Live’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

Shout! Factory’s horror imprint, Scream Factory, will release director John Carpenter’s They Live on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dec. 8.

The 1988 sci-fi allegory will be available as a two-disc They Live: Collector’s Edition combo pack with the 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray. This marks the first time the film will be available in 4K in North America.

The film stars Rowdy Roddy Piper as Nada, a drifter in Los Angeles who comes across a pair of sunglasses that allows him to see a hidden society of aliens living among humans and systematically taking over Earth by luring society into submission.

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The 4K combo pack will include a new 7.1 Dolby Atmos audio mix, Dolby Vision HDR, and all the previous bonus features from Scream Factory’s 2012 Blu-ray of the film:

  • Commentary with Carpenter and Piper;
  • “Independent Thoughts” — an interview with Carpenter;
  • “Man vs. Aliens” — An interview with actor Keith David;
  • “Woman of Mystery” — An interview with actress Meg Foster;
  • “Watch, Look, Listen: The Sights & Sounds of They Live” — A look at the visual style, stunts and music with director of photography Gary B. Kibbe, stunt coordinator Jeff Imada, and co-composer Alan Howarth;
  • Vintage “The Making of They Live” featurette;
  • Footage from commercials created for the film;
  • Original theatrical trailer;
  • TV Spots;
  • still gallery.

 

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The ShoutFactory.com store also features five exclusive offers tied to the They Live 4K release.

Fans who order the 4K disc (priced at $34.98) directly from ShoutFactory.com will receive an 18×24-inch rolled poster reproduction of the film’s original one-sheet, while supplies last.

ShoutFactory.com also has an exclusive limited-edition NECA 8-inch clothed action figure of Keith David’s “Frank,” who joins Nada in the fight against the aliens. Limited to a run of 4,000 units, the figure will be housed in retro box packaging featuring original theatrical art, and  comes with two accessory machine guns, a purple shirt, khaki pants, and a pair of the special sunglasses. The figure is meant as a companion to NECA’s Nada action figure due in November 2020.

The Frank figure can be purchased on its own for $39.99.

A bundle of the 4K disc, poster and the Frank figure is available for $74.99.

Scream Factory will also have an exclusive 7-inch bubble gum pink vinyl record via Sacred Bones, limited to a run of 2,500 units and featuring music from They Live composed by Carpenter. The ‘A’-side includes the 2017 version of the main title and the ‘B’-side contains a never-before-released recording of “Wake Up” recorded by John Carpenter, Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies in 2019.

The 4K disc with the poster and vinyl is available for $58.99.

Finally, a deluxe bundle of the 4K disc with the poster, Frank figure and vinyl is offered for $94.99.