80 for Brady

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Paramount;
Comedy;
Box Office $39.33 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for brief strong language, some drug content and some suggestive references.
Stars Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno, Sally Field, Tom Brady, Billy Porter, Harry Hamlin, Guy Fieri, Alex Moffat, Rob Corddry, Glynn Turman, Ron Funches, Bob Balaban, Jimmy O. Yang, Matt Lauria, Sara Gilbert, Sally Kirkland, Andy Richter.

On the roster of wackiest sports comedies in cinema history, there have been films about field-goal kicking mules, dogs playing basketball, and angels providing supernatural guidance to baseball teams. So the premise of four old ladies taking a road trip to see Tom Brady play in the Super Bowl would hardly scratch the surface.

80 for Brady chronicles a weekend in the lives of four friends — Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field — as they attempt to crash Super Bowl LI in Houston. The game has a special significance to them as they are huge devotees of Tom Brady, having accidentally stumbled upon the game in 2001 in which the Patriots were playing the Jets and Brady had to come in off the bench to take over for an injured Drew Bledsoe. The moment inspired Lou (Tomlin) in her battle against cancer, so the quartet made rooting for Brady a weekly tradition.

After 16 years, however, Lou fears the cancer may have returned, and hits upon the idea of visiting the Super Bowl as one last great adventure. Lou surprises her friends with tickets to the big game she says she won in a radio contest, and the trip is on.

The concept was inspired by a real-life group of Patriots fans called the “Over 80 for Brady” club, with the idea for a film based upon them being pitched by one of their grandsons.

Sports enthusiasts in the audience might recall that Super Bowl LI, played in 2017, was the game in which the Atlanta Falcons held a commanding 28-3 lead before Brady led the Patriots to a comeback win to claim the NFL championship. That’s the backdrop for 80 for Brady, which is essentially the story of Super Bowl LI by way of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, as the ladies find themselves involved in all sorts of mischief during the festivities leading up to the big game, putting themselves in a position to alter the course of sports history.

It’s all an amusing bit of fluff that gives four iconic Hollywood actresses another chance to command the screen and have a lot of fun doing so. The project also let Tomlin and Fonda continue their collaborative streak that began when they started production on “Grace and Frankie” in 2014.

As if feeding off that vibe, there’s a music video on the Blu-ray for the song “Gonna Be You” written by Diane Warren, performed by Tomlin and Fonda’s old 9 to 5 co-star Dolly Parton alongside Belinda Carlisle, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan and Debbie Harry — a lineup of music legends to parallel the group from the film.

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The Blu-ray is loaded with a ton of behind-the-scenes material, starting with the nearly 14-minute “The Game Plan: Making 80 For Brady,” which offers a general look at the production. The nine-minute “The GOATs: Jane, Lily, Rita & Sally” focuses on the main cast, while the seven-minute “The Visiting Team: Meet the Supporting Cast” gives their co-stars a chance to discuss the fun they had making the movie. There’s also a four-minute “80 For Brady: Play-By-Play” roundtable discussion with some of the actresses, hosted by Billy Porter.

On the sports side of things, the six -minute “The Largest Comeback in Super Bowl History” looks at the real-life game at the center of the film.

Rounding out the extras are three deleted and extended scenes totaling about four minutes of material.

Comedy ‘Moving On’ Headed to Digital May 2, Disc May 16 From Lionsgate

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin reunite once again in the comedy Moving On, which arrives for digital purchase May 2, and on VOD, Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD May 16 from Lionsgate. 

In the revenge comedy from Academy Award-nominated writer Paul Weitz, Claire (Academy Award winner Jane Fonda) and Evelyn (Academy Award nominee Lily Tomlin) are estranged friends who reunite to get even with Howard (Malcolm McDowell), the petulant widower of their recently deceased best friend. Along the way, Claire reunites with Ralph (Richard Roundtree), her great love from her younger years, as each woman must make peace with her past and learn to treasure the value of a good friend.

Special features include a photo gallery.

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Paramount to Bow ’80 for Brady’ for Premium Digital Purchase and Rental March 7

Paramount Home Entertainment will release the comedy 80 for Brady for premium digital purchase (PEST) and rental (PVOD) March 7.

Inspired by a true story, the film follows four best friends (played by Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Rita Moreno and Sally Field) living life to the fullest when they take a wild trip to the 2017 Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play.

The film also stars Tom Brady, Billy Porter, Rob Corddry, Alex Moffat, Guy Fieri, Harry Hamlin, Bob Balaban, Glynn Turman, Sara Gilbert, Jimmy O. Yang, Ron Funches and Matt Lauria.

Special features on digital include “The Game Plan: Making 80 for Brady,” a sneak peek at the making of the film; “The GOATs: Jane, Lily, Rita & Sally,” an ode to aging, the power of female friendship, and how wisdom surpasses youth; “The Visiting Team: Meet the Supporting Cast,” featuring Sara Gilbert, Billy Porter, Jimmy O. Yang, Harry Hamlin, Guy Fieri, and Patton Oswalt for behind-the-scenes interviews; “The Largest Comeback in Super Bowl History,” in which Tom Brady and his teammates relive their epic comeback; extended and deleted scenes; “80 For Brady: Play-By-Play,” a roundtable play-by-play with host Billy Porter; and the “Gonna Be You” music video, featuring Dolly Parton, Belinda Carlisle, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan, and Debbie Harry for the song written by Diane Warren.

80 for Brady will also be available in a two-movie collection with Book Club for digital purchase at a special price starting March 7. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 2.

‘A Place in the Sun,’ ‘Nashville’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’ Join Paramount Presents Blu-ray Line in August

Three classics, A Place in the Sun, Nashville and Bugsy Malone, are joining the “Paramount Presents” Blu-ray line in August.

The limited-edition Paramount Presents Blu-rays come in collectible packaging featuring a foldout image of each film’s theatrical poster and an interior spread with key movie moments. Each disc also includes access to a digital copy of the film.

Due Aug. 10 is A Place in the Sun, from director George Stevens. The 1951 film, which won six Academy Awards, is remastered from a 4K film transfer in celebration of its 70th anniversary. The release includes a new “Filmmaker Focus” featuring film historian Leonard Maltin talking about Stevens and the innovative film techniques he used for this story of ambition, passion and betrayal. The disc also features previously released bonus content, including commentary by George Stevens Jr. and Ivan Moffat, retrospective cast and crew interviews, and a segment on Stevens featuring filmmakers who knew him. In the film, Montgomery Clift stars as George Eastman, a young man determined to win a place in respectable society and the heart of a beautiful socialite (Elizabeth Taylor). Shelley Winters is the factory girl whose dark secret threatens Eastman’s professional and romantic prospects.

Nashville is also coming out Aug. 10. Director Robert Altman’s seminal 1970s film is newly remastered from a 4K scan of original elements. The release includes a new featurette entitled “24 Tracks: Robert Altman’s Nashville.” The disc also includes a previously released commentary by Altman. The film follows 24 distinct characters with intersecting storylines over five days in the titular city. The ensemble cast includes Ned Beatty, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Geraldine Chaplin, Henry Gibson, Michael Murphy, Lily Tomlin, Shelley Duvall, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum and Barbara Harris.

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Bugsy Malone will make its U.S. Blu-ray debut Aug. 31. Director Alan Parker redefined the movie musical with his first feature-length film, which celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The film has been remastered from the original elements for this limited-edition release. The Blu-ray includes a new Filmmaker Focus delving into this early work from the director of FameThe Commitments, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Mississippi Burning and Evita. Set in 1929 New York City, Bugsy Malone captures a flashy world of would-be hoodlums, showgirls, and dreamers — all portrayed by child actors. As Tallulah, the sassy girlfriend of the owner of Fat Sam’s Grand Slam Speakeasy, future superstar Jodie Foster leads a talented cast. Parker’s script is combined with the music and lyrics of Paul Williams.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 3/19/19;
Sony Pictures;
Animated;
Box Office $189.87 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG’ for frenetic sequences of animated action violence, thematic elements, and mild language.
Voices of Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Chris Pine.

One of the Holy Grails of adapting a comic book to film is the idea of evoking the feeling of reading a comic while watching the story play out. Filmmakers have tried different techniques over the years to achieve this, such as brighter colors or hyper-stylized action, to varying effect, with the best results often focusing on just telling the story in a way that brings the spirit of the work into a different medium.

Animation would seem to be closer to the artistic foundations of comic books, but often present challenges of their own.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is probably the closest a movie has come to finding that sweet spot between telling a comic book story while immersing the viewer in the fantastic art that is often unique to the panel-to-panel format.

Its innovative animation style, layering hand-drawn animation over CGI, combined with a thrilling story of self-discovery are just a few of the reasons Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature at the 91st Academy Awards.

The film is a deft blending of self-parody with an ambitious attempt by Sony Pictures to explore new aspects of the Spider-Man concept while the live-action version of the character is on loan to Marvel Studios.

In particular, the film is an adaptation of the Miles Morales version of the character, a mixed-race teenager who gains the powers of Spider-Man in an alternate reality in which Peter Parker is killed.

In the film, Miles (voiced by Shameik Moore), stumbles upon a plot by the villainous gangster Kingpin (Live Schreiber) to open a portal into alternate dimensions in search of replacement versions of his recently deceased wife and son. The plan goes awry when versions of Spider-Man from a variety of realities began to appear, and they team up to help Miles learn how to control his new powers and figure out how to return home before Kingpin’s machine damages the multiverse.

The alternate versions of Spider-Man really let the creative team shine with the parody aspects of the film by introducing characters in a variety of styles. There’s a late-30s Spider-Man (Jake Johnson) who has become depressed after years of being a hero has left his personal life in shambles; there’s Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), a teenage girl version of Spidey; there’s Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), a black-and-white private detective from the 1930s; there’s an anime version involving a little girl and her pet robot from the future; and there’s Spider-Ham (John Mulaney), essentially Porky Pig in a Spider-Man costume.

The combination of the various versions offers not only some of the best laughs ever to be had with a superhero movie, but make for a terrific tribute to what has made Spider-Man such an iconic character over the years. There’s also a post-credits sequence that really takes it up a notch in that regard.

It’s enough to thrill longtime fans of the character, particularly the Miles Morales version, while providing enough nods to the aspects of the mythology that most average viewers would already be familiar with so as not to need to be an avid comics reader to follow along.

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The Blu-ray is loaded with a ton of bonus material, including the new animated short “Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham,” which serves as a prequel to the film in showing us a Spider-Ham adventure that was interrupted when he gets pulled into Miles’ reality.

In addition, there’s an “Alternate Universe Mode” for the movie in which some scenes are replaced with storyboards of earlier concepts, as a way for the filmmakers to ponder how the film could have turned out. It runs about 26 minutes longer than the theatrical cut (which comes in at 117 minutes) and even starts with the Spider-Ham short.

The regular version of the film includes a commentary with the filmmakers, which is a nice guide to how the various creative decisions evolved to get to the final movie, including casting decisions and the re-imagining of certain well-known characters.

Many of the topics are covered in specific featurettes as well.

The eight-minute “We Are Spider-Man” examines the key messages of the film, while the five-minute “Spider-Verse: A New Dimension” deals with the animation style and techniques for adapting the comics.

The 15-minute “The Ultimate Comics Cast” showcases the actors involved in the film and what makes them such a good fit for their characters. The two-part “Designing Cinematic Comics Characters” offers an eight-minute look at the design of the heroes, and five-minutes devoted to the creation of the villains.

“The Spider-Verse Super-Fan Easter Egg Challenge” is a five-minute video that points out some of the references hidden throughout the film, while inviting viewers to look for more.

There’s also the eight-and-a-half-minute “A Tribute to Stan Lee & Steve Ditko,” the co-creators of Spider-Man who both passed away in 2018. Stan Lee recorded one of his famous cameos for the film.

Finally, the disc includes music lyric videos for two songs, “Sunflower” and “Familia.”

There are also some digital-exclusive bonus featurettes. The three-minute “Another, Another Times Square” provides a primer on the concept of alternate realities, the minute-and-a-half “Meanwhile, in a Gassy Universe” is a juvenile montage of various clips from the film with dialogue replaced by fart sounds (no doubt the work of Spider-Ham).

Vudu has a minute-long “An All-Star Cast” promotional video, while Movies Anywhere provides videos for how to draw Miles and Gwen, about three minutes for each character.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

‘Marvel’s The Punisher’ Repeats at No. 1 on Parrot Analytics Digital Originals Chart

Netflix viewership may have taken a hit during the Super Bowl, but the subscription streamer continues to dominate the digital originals chart, locking up seven of the top 10 spots the week ended Feb. 2, according to Parrot Analytics.

“Marvel’s The Punisher” remained in the No. 1 spot, even though the superhero series suffered a 15.8% decline in average daily Demand Expressions from the prior week. Attribute its staying power to the fact that it is the only Marvel series on Netflix that is currently airing new episodes.

“Titans,” from DC Universe, rose to No. 2 from the prior week despite a 5.5% decline in demand.

That’s because last week’s second-place finisher, Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie,” plummeted to No. 8 with a 28.4% drop in demand. The week before its No. 2 debut in the top 10, “Grace and Frankie” – a comedy with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin – had been No. 15. Demand for the series spiked after season 5 launched on Netflix on Jan. 18.

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“Titans” and its companion series, “Young Justice,” had topped the charts the week that ended Jan. 19, but both are now going into hiatus. “Young Justice” remained at No. 5, with a 4.4% drop in average daily Demand Expressions.

Demand Expressions is a proprietary metric used by Parrot Analytics to measure global demand for TV content. The metric draws from a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

A “digital original” is a multi-episode series in which the most recent season was first made available on a streaming platform such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States, based on the firm’s  proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

Netflix Blows Lid Off Hollywood’s Female Age Ceiling

Hollywood’s age cap on conventional female attractiveness has always been unfairly low when compared to male actors. Netflix appears to be disrupting this industry norm as well.

It just launched a 13-episode reboot of Norman Lear’s long-running 70s-80s sitcom, “One Day at a Time,” co-starring 87-year-old Rita Moreno as an “old-school” Cuban-born mom who hardly looks or acts her age.

The SVOD behemoth earlier this month bowed season four of acclaimed comedy, “Grace and Frankie,” co-starring timeless Jane Fonda (who just turned 80) and 79-year-old Lily Tomlin. Both actors shine with their 77-year-old male counterparts, Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston.

But they’re all “teens” compared to Betty White, who at age 96 has inked a deal to reprise her role in a reboot of “The Golden Girls.” The original 80s series co-starred Bea Arthur, Estelle Getty and Rue McClanahan, all of whom have died.

It’s a strong statement in an industry obsessed with youth and millennial indifference toward tradition. A Time magazine study found female actors’ careers peak at age 30 in the number of roles available, compared to age 46 for male actors. The study found that while Sandra Bullock generated more paying roles (14) than George Clooney (2) at age 29 – at age 38, Clooney generated 11 roles compared to six for Bullock.

To watch Moreno guest-star on an episode of “Grace and Frankie” is to watch time stand still. In a career that spans almost 70 years, Moreno held her own among strong personalities Fonda, Tomlin, Marsha Mason (75) and Swoosie Kurtz (73).

Indeed, series creator Marta Kauffmann (“Friends”) has made a point to comedically showcase yesterday’s female (and male) stars coming to grips being seniors in a tech-savvy age — a dilemma no one can escape.

But will Hollywood take note?

Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, says that while Netflix is again pushing the envelope, he believes Fonda, Tomlin, Moreno and White are outliers in an industry still preoccupied by youth.

“The biggest appeal of age is relatability to the target audience, so I presume these actors resonate with a demographic that Netflix is trying to capture,” Pachter said.