Uncharted

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Sony Pictures;
Adventure;
Box Office $146.64 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence/action and language.
Stars Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas.

While not a perfect adaptation of the popular video game franchise of the same name, Uncharted delivers an entertaining adventure film pastiche anchored by its likable leads.

The casting of Tom Holland to play the game’s protagonist, treasure hunter Nathan Drake, was almost certainly an attempt by Sony to repurpose the most bankable star on their roster as the anchor for a new franchise following his mega-successful “Spider-Man” movies. However, as Holland is a bit young to play the seasoned Drake portrayed in the games, the film’s plot takes on the flavor of a prequel, telling the story of Nate’s first big adventure.

In taking this direction, the film draws inspiration mostly from the third and fourth games, which featured flashbacks to the younger Nate’s time spent as a wayward youth in and out of orphanages with his brother, Sam.

Mark Wahlberg plays Sully, who in the games is Nate’s mentor and pilot, but is presented in the film as more of a rival and reluctant ally as the pair learn to trust each other to set up the relationship seen in the games. Wahlberg had actually been tapped to play Nate when attempts to make an Uncharted movie first started swirling a decade ago.

In the film, Sully recruits Nate to help him find the lost treasure of Ferdinand Magellan. Sully explains that he had been working with Sam, who disappeared, and he needs Nate’s help to decipher the clues to the whereabouts of Magellan’s ships. Nate agrees, hoping to find his long-lost brother.

Standing in their way is Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas), whose family originally funded Magellan’s expedition. He wants to find the gold collected by Magellan’s crews in order to restore his family’s name.

From there, the film is pretty straightforward in sticking to the tropes of treasure quests — from Indiana Jones to National Treasure to The Goonies — with the characters navigating their way through clever clues and death traps to discover the prize. Director Ruben Fleischer provides a commentary track on the Blu-ray in which he lays out many of his inspirations for the film, as well as his attempts to stay true to the spirit of the games while also laying the groundwork for future movies.

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Holland and Wahlberg for the most part seem like their typical film personas than the characters from the game they’re supposed to be playing, but they work well together, and their breezy charisma brings a lighter touch to the proceedings. And, at times, the action does evoke some of the feeling of playing the games.

Aside from some clunky CGI used to enhance certain action scenes, the film looks great, hopping around the globe from one exotic locale to another.

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The Blu-ray includes several behind-the-scenes featurettes that tally close to a half-hour in total. The four-minute “Becoming Nathan Drake” looks at Holland’s take on the character, while the four-minute “The Buddy System” looks at the pairing of Holland and Wahlberg. The four-minute “Villains, Backstabbers, & Accomplices” examines many of the films’ supporting characters, and the four-and-a-half-minute “Charting the Course: On Set With Ruben Fleischer” delves into the director’s vision for the film. The six-minute “Never a Dull Moment: Stunts & Action” is pretty self-explanatory, and is supplemented by a five-minute breakdown of a big action scene set on a cargo plane.

Among the promotional materials are a three-minute music video for “No Mind” by Milkblood, and four-minutes of Web ads.

Rounding out the extras are more than 10 minutes of deleted scenes that offer some fun additional tidbits and character interactions.

Mark Wahlberg Drama ‘Father Stu’ Headed to Digital May 31, Disc June 14

The Mark Wahlberg drama Father Stu will be released on digital May 31 and on Blu-ray and DVD June 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film based on a true story, after surviving a terrible motorcycle accident, Stuart Long (Wahlberg) wonders if he can use his second chance to help others find their way — and leads this former amateur boxer to the surprising realization that he is meant to be a priest. Despite a devasting health crisis and the skepticism of church officials and his estranged parents (Mel Gibson and Jacki Weaver), Stu pursues his vocation with courage and compassion.

Special features include “You Don’t Know Stu: More About Father Stuart Long” and more than 10 Minutes of deleted scenes.

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Sony Actioner ‘Uncharted’ Tops Weekly Vudu Chart

Sony Pictures’ Uncharted topped the chart of the 10 most-popular titles on Fandango’s transactional digital service Vudu the week ended May 1.

Newly available for digital purchase, the action adventure stars Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. In the film, Holland plays street-smart thief Nathan Drake, who is recruited by seasoned treasure hunger Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago.

Debuting at No. 2 was Universal Pictures’ Michael Bay action thriller Ambulance, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Available for premium digital rental and purchase, the film follows a veteran desperate for money who turns to his adoptive brother, a career criminal, who plans a heist.

Warner Bros.’ The Batman dropped from the top spot the previous week to No. 3 on the chart. The DC Comics-based superhero actioner, which debuted for premium digital rental and purchase April 18, stars Robert Pattinson as the caped crusader, who after more than a year of stalking the streets and striking fear into the hearts of criminals, dives deep into the shadows of Gotham City. 

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Falling from No. 2 to No. 4 on the chart was the canine buddy comedy Dog. Available for digital purchase, the MGM film follows an Army ranger (Channing Tatum, who also co-directs) who races down the Pacific Coast with an Army dog named Lulu to make it to a fellow soldier’s funeral on time. Along the way, they drive each other crazy.

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Remaining at No. 5 on the chart was Lionsgate’s Roland Emmerich disaster film Moonfall, starring Halle Berry. Available for digital purchase beginning April 1 and newly available to rent, the film follows a space crew attempting to save the Earth when a mysterious force knocks the moon out of its orbit.

Vudu’s top 10 titles for the week ended May 1, in terms of revenue, were:

  1. Uncharted
  2. Ambulance
  3. The Batman
  4. Dog
  5. Moonfall
  6. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  7. Sing 2
  8. Turning Red
  9. Jackass Forever
  10. Blacklight

‘Uncharted’ Headed to Digital April 26, 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD May 10

The action adventure Uncharted is headed to digital April 26 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc and DVD May 10 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the film, street-smart thief Nathan Drake (Tom Holland) is recruited by seasoned treasure hunter Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Mark Wahlberg) to recover a fortune lost by Ferdinand Magellan 500 years ago. What starts as a heist job for the duo becomes a globe-trotting race to reach the prize before the ruthless Moncada (Antonio Banderas), who believes he and his family are the rightful heirs.

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Special features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and digital include deleted and extended scenes; behind-the-scenes featurettes; and commentary with director Ruben Fleischer. The DVD includes one behind-the-scenes featurette.

 

Mark Wahlberg Thriller ‘Shooter’ Headed to 4K Ultra HD March 15

The 2007 Mark Wahlberg actioner Shooter will be released on 4K Ultra HD for the first time March 15 in a limited-edition Steelbook from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Wahlberg and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Infinite) team up for the first time on this action thriller in which Wahlberg stars as a respected former Marine sniper who is pressed into service to stop an assassination attempt on the president. When he’s double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he must prove his innocence while evading every law enforcement agency in the country and a shadowy organization that wants him dead. 

Originally released on March 23, 2007, Shooter celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.

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Mark Wahlberg Sci-Fi Actioner ‘Infinite’ Due on Digital April 12, Disc May 17

The sci-fi actioner Infinite will arrive for digital purchase April 12 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD May 17 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Starring Mark Wahlberg and Chiwetel Ejiofor and directed by Antoine Fuqua, the film is based on the book The Reincarnationist Papers by D. Eric Maikranz. The film follows characters who must use memories and skills from past lives to protect the future of humanity in a race against time in the fight between good and evil.

Wahlberg plays Evan McCauley, who is haunted by skills he has never learned and memories of places he has never visited. As he is self-medicated and on the brink of a mental breakdown, a secret group that call themselves “Infinites” comes to his rescue, revealing to him that his memories are real — but they are from multiple past lives. The Infinites bring Evan into their extraordinary world, where a gifted few are given the ability to be reborn with their memories and knowledge accumulated over centuries. With critical secrets buried in his past, Evan must work with the Infinites to unlock the answers in his memories in a race against time to save humanity from one of their own (Ejiofor) who seeks to destroy it.

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The film also stars Sophie Cookson, Jason Mantzoukas, Rupert Friend, Liz Carr, Toby Jones and Dylan O’Brien.

Special features on digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include “They Call Themselves Infinites,” a deep dive into the concept of reincarnation, character development, creative direction and set design; “The Kinetic Action of Infinite,” a behind-the-scenes look at the vehicles, stunt drivers, and technology used to achieve the action scenes in the film;”Anatomy of a Scene — Police Station & Forest,” an in-depth look with the cast and crew at the creation of two of the film’s major scenes; and “Infinite Time,” an exploration of the creation of the film’s effects, including a breakdown of the on-set fight action and the visual effects work employed in post-production.

The DVD includes the feature film in standard-definition.

‘Joe Bell,’ ‘Free Guy’ Top Redbox Charts

Vertical Entertainment’s Joe Bell topped Redbox’s disc rental chart the week ended Oct. 17, while Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ Free Guy was the top Redbox On Demand title for the week.

Joe Bell, which earned $1.4 million at the domestic box office, stars Mark Wahlberg as a father who takes a road trip to bond with his gay son, who is being bullied at school. The film wasn’t be released on Blu-ray Disc or DVD until Oct. 19, but was available early at Redbox kiosks. It was No. 8 on the digital list.

Free Guy, which stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller who learns he is a video game character, earned $120.8 million at the domestic box office. While the film was released on disc Oct. 12, it isn’t available for rent at Redbox kiosks. It was No. 7 on the digital chart a week earlier.

Universal Pictures’ F9: The Fast Saga slipped to No. 2 on both the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks digital VOD and sellthrough transactions, and the disc rental chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at Redbox’s more than 40,000 red kiosks.

The No. 3 title on the disc rental chart was Warner’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, followed by Universal’s The Forever Purge at No. 4, and Sony Pictures’ Escape Room: Tournament of Champions at No. 5.

On the Redbox On Demand chart, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions was No. 3 and The Forever Purge was No. 4. No. 5 was Paramount’s Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.

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Other newcomers to the disc rental chart include Lionsgate’s Survive the Game, with Bruce Willis, at No. 6, and The Green Knight at No. 9. Also, appearing at No. 7 was the Nicolas Cage starrer Pig from Decal, available at Redbox kiosks several weeks prior to its wide Blu-ray and DVD release.

Marvel Studios’ Black Widow, from Disney, fell to No. 8 on the disc rental chart.

Paramount’s animated Paw Patrol: The Movie landed at No. 10 on the digital chart.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Oct. 17:

  1. Joe Bell — Vertical
  2. F9: The Fast Saga — Universal
  3. Space Jam: A New Legacy — Warner
  4. The Forever Purge — Universal
  5. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions — Sony Pictures
  6. Survive the Game — Lionsgate
  7. Pig — Decal
  8. Black Widow — Disney/Marvel
  9. The Green Knight — Lionsgate
  10. The Boss Baby: Family Business — Universal/DreamWorks

 

Top Digital (VOD + Sellthrough), Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Oct. 17:

  1. Free Guy — Disney/20th Century
  2. F9: The Fast Saga — Universal
  3. Escape Room: Tournament of Champions — Sony Pictures
  4. The Forever Purge — Universal
  5. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins — Paramount
  6. The Addams Family 2 — MGM
  7. Halloween (2018) — Universal
  8. Joe Bell — Vertical
  9. The Boss Baby: Family Business — Universal/DreamWorks
  10. Paw Patrol: The Movie — Paramount

 

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HBO Max Renews Mark Wahlberg Docuseries ‘Wahl Street’

HBO Max has ordered a second season of the Max Original and Critics Choice Real TV Awards Best Business show nominee “Wahl Street” from actor Mark Wahlberg. The 10-episode order is produced by Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas.

As the pandemic world adjusts to a new version of normal, Wahlberg, like many, is facing a multitude of new challenges, both personally and professionally. With 2021 fraught with plenty of obstacles and potential failure, Wahlberg and his team juggle the demands of their business portfolio, with notable brands such as Municipal, F45 and Wahlburgers, among others.

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In addition, Wahlberg celebrates major milestones — from turning 50 to working alongside his wife and business partner, Rhea, who, serving as a creative consultant for Municipal, launches the first women’s collection for the brand.

“Last season, fans gravitated to Mark’s unwavering resilience, commitment to self-reflection, and his unique ability to innovate his business strategies to weather this global and unprecedented pandemic,” Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of nonfiction and live-action family programming at Max, said in a statement. “I’m eager to see what’s on the horizon for Mark, his family and his team.”

Wahlberg says the show reveals a behind-the-scenes look at his “busy” life with few filters.

“The daily grind looks different for everyone, but we all have to work hard to provide a future for our families,” he said. “Hopefully, the series will keep inspiring people to achieve their own dreams too.”

Peacock Orders Original Series Based on ‘Ted’ ‘R’-Rated Comedies

NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service June 10 announced a straight-to-series order for “Ted,” from Universal Content Productions (UCP), a division of Universal Studio Group, and MRC Television.

The series is based on the Universal Pictures/MRC movie Ted, starring Mark Wahlberg and the highest-grossing original ‘R’-rated comedy of all time. Collectively Ted and Ted 2 grossed more than $765 million worldwide.

Creator Seth MacFarlane is in negotiations to reprise the voice of the lovable foul-mouthed teddy bear Ted. The live-action series will be executive produced by MacFarlane and Erica Huggins for Fuzzy Door.

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This is the second series order since MacFarlane and Fuzzy Door signed an overall development deal with UCP in 2020. Earlier this year, Peacock announced a series order of “The End is Nye,” hosted by Bill Nye. The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and UCP, divisions of Universal Studio Group, and Fuzzy Door.

UCP is responsible for series such as Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Mr. Robot,” “The Act,” “Monk,” “Homecoming,” “The Sinner,” “Suits,” “Dirty John” and “Psych.”  Upcoming titles include “Dr. Death,” starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater; and “Gaslit” starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn.

MRC’s series have been nominated for 94 Emmy Awards and 18 Golden Globe Awards. The current slate includes “Ozark,” from Chris Mundy and starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner, on Netflix; “The Great,” from Tony McNamara, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult, on Hulu; “The Shrink Next Door,” starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd and from director Michael Showalter and writer Georgia Pritchett for Apple TV+; “The Terminal List,” for which Chris Pratt stars and executive produces alongside director Antoine Fuqua and writer David DiGilio, with Amazon Studios; “Shining Girls,” starring Elisabeth Moss and produced with Appian Way and Love & Squalor Pictures  for Apple TV+; the Rian Johnson series “Poker Face,” with T-Street and starring Natasha Lyonne for Peacock; and “Hello Tomorrrow!” starring Billy Crudup, from creators Amit Bhalla and Lucas Jansen and director Jonathan Entwistle for Apple TV+.

MRC’s previous series included Netflix’s “House of Cards” and “Counterpart,” among others.

Paramount+ to Debut New Mark Wahlberg Sci-Fi Thriller ‘Infinite’

Paramount+ (formerly CBS All Access) in June will exclusively debut the new science-fiction thriller Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg and directed by Antoine Fuqua, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said on the May 6 first-quarter (ended March 31) fiscal call.

The movie will skip theaters, Bakish said. It was originally slated to launch in theaters on Sept. 24 — then subsequently got pushed up to Memorial Day, according to Box Office Mojo.

The move mirrors WarnerMedia’s strategy to release the entire 2021 Warner Bros. theatrical slate concurrently on its streaming service HBO Max and in theaters — a strategy corporate parent AT&T has attributed to ongoing Max sub growth.

Paramount, which generated a record low $1 million in revenue during the 90-day fiscal period due to shuttered theaters, had previously announced shortened theatrical windows for  A Quiet Place Part II and Mission: Impossible 7 in an effort to expedite access on Paramount+. New “Paranormal Activity” and “Pet Sematary” releases will now also forgo theatrical distribution for the streamer.

Paramount previously licensed Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the comedy The Lovebirds to Netflix. The studio also licensed rights to Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, starring Michael B. Jordan, and Eddie Murphy sequel Coming 2 America to Amazon Prime Video. Oscar winner The United States vs. Billie Holiday was licensed to Hulu.

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Paramount+ will add 1,000 movies in June as part of a “Mountain of Movies” marketing campaign designed to upgrade the platform’s title count to 2,500.

“All of this is a preview to a substantial ramping up of original movies next year, when we expect to begin averaging an original movie a week in 2022,” Bakish said.