‘Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning’ Bowing on Paramount+ Jan. 25

The action sequel Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning will debut on the Paramount+ streaming service Jan. 25 in the United States and Canada. The film will premiere in additional Paramount+ international markets beginning in February.

The film, which earned more than $172 million at the domestic box office, is the seventh “Mission: Impossible” film and stars Tom Cruise returning as IMF team leader Ethan Hunt. In their latest mission, Hunt and his team must track down a key that controls a weaponized AI program threatening the globe.

The cast also includes Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Mariela Garriga, Henry Czerny, Shea Whigham, Greg Tarzan Davis, Charles Parnell, Frederick Schmidt, Cary Elwes, Mark Gatiss, Indira Varma and Rob Delaney.

The film was released in theaters in July 2023, and on transaction digital and disc in October, as Dead Reckoning Part One. Paramount’s streaming announcement dropped the Part One from the title in the wake of reports the next sequel will be renamed from the planned Dead Reckoning Part Two due to Part One underperforming at the box office.

‘Mission: Impossible,’ ‘Blue Beetle,’ ‘Greek Wedding’ New to Disc, ‘Paw Patrol,’ ‘Haunting’ Available Digitally Oct. 31

The Oct. 31 slate of new Blu-ray Discs and DVDs includes Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One, Blue Beetle, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 and Retribution, while titles that become available through digital retailers include Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie and A Haunting in Venice.

Paramount Home Entertainment Oct. 31 releases Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One on DVD, Blu-ray (with digital), 4K Ultra HD disc (with digital) and a 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray/digital combo pack Steelbook. The seventh “Mission: Impossible” film stars Tom Cruise reprising his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt, whose IMF team embarks on their most dangerous mission yet, to track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. The film earned $172 million at the domestic box office and $567.5 million globally. Read a review here.

The DC Comics-based feature Blue Beetle will debut on DVD, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Disc, as well as regular digital, on Oct. 31 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. The film has earned more than $72 million at the domestic box office and $129 million globally. In the DC superhero’s first-ever standalone feature film, recent college grad Jaime Reyes returns home full of aspirations for his future, only to find that home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the Blue Beetle.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 will be available on regular digital, Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 31 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. In the comedic romance drama, the Portokalos family travels to Greece to fulfill the final wish of their beloved patriarch. The film, which has earned $38.4 million at the global box office, is written and directed by Academy Award nominee Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek WeddingMy Life in RuinsConnie and Carla). My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 stars Vardalos along with John Corbett (“Sex and the City,” “And Just Like That …,” God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness), Louis Mandylor (Code of HonorRambo: Last Blood), Elena Kampouris (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2), Gia Carides (Austin Powers: The Spy who Shagged Me), Joey Fatone (The Opposite SexBring It On), Maria Vacratsis (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), Elias Kacavas (“Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin”) and Melina Kotselou (Magma), with Lainie Kazan (BeachesYou Don’t Mess with the Zohan) and Andrea Martin (Night at the Museum: Secret of the TombLittle Italy).

Lionsgate will release Roadside Attractions’ Liam Neeson action thriller Retribution as a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack with digital copy Oct. 31. Directed by Nimród Antal (Control), the film also stars Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) and Noma Dumezweni (The Little Mermaid). The film made $16.7 million at the global box office. In the ticking-clock thriller, Matt Turner (Neeson) begins a high-speed chase across Berlin to complete a specific series of tasks after a mysterious caller puts a bomb under his car seat. With Matt’s kids trapped in the back seat and a bomb that will explode if they get out of the car, a normal commute becomes a twisted game of life or death as Matt follows the stranger’s increasingly dangerous instructions in a race against time to save his family.

The crossover between the heroes of DC’s Justice League and Rooster Teeth Animation’s RWBY continues in the animated movie Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part Two, available on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Oct. 31 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. On the heels of successfully escaping a deadly digital trap, the members of the Justice League emerge in their own world to discover ! In order to defeat the monsters, they must call on their new friends – Team RWBY – for help! In the feature crossover, part of the DC Animated Movie line, after visiting the RWBY world in the first film, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Vixen return home to discover that Grimm, ravenous creatures from Remnant, have overtaken Earth. To defeat the monsters, they call upon their new friends on Team RWBY (Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang) for help. Joining the voice cast are Jamie Chung as Black Canary, David Dastmalchian as The Flash, Laura Bailey as Wonder Woman, Troy Baker as Batman, and Travis Willingham as Superman. Returning from Part One are Ozioma Akagha as Vixen, Jeannie Tirado as Green Lantern, Tru Valentino as Cyborg, Lindsay Jones ​​as Ruby, Kara Eberle as Weiss, Arryn Zech ​as Blake, and Barbara Dunkelman as Yang.​​

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Paramount will release PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie through digital retailers Oct. 31. The film earned $166.4 million at the global box office. In the film, when a magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City, it gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers, transforming them into the “Mighty Pups.” But they face their mightiest challenge yet when the pups’ archrival Humdinger breaks out of jail and teams up with Victoria Vance, a mad scientist, to steal the superpowers for themselves. With the fate of Adventure City hanging in the balance, the Mighty Pups have to stop the supervillains before it’s too late. It arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Dec. 12.

Disney-owned 20th Century Studios’ A Haunting in Venice, the thriller based on the 1969 Agatha Christie Hallowe’en Party novel, will be released Oct. 31 through digital retailers for purchase only, as well as on the Hulu streaming service. A Haunting in Venice is set in eerie, post-World War II Venice on All Hallows’ Eve and features the return of the celebrated sleuth, Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, who also produced and directed. Now retired and living in self-imposed exile, Poirot reluctantly attends a séance at a decaying, haunted palazzo. When one of the guests is murdered, the detective is thrust into a sinister world of shadows and secrets. The film has grossed more than $41.9 million in North American theaters, with total global box office earnings of $118.8 million. A Haunting in Venice is the third film in Branagh’s “Poirot” trilogy, which also includes 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and 2022’s Death on the Nile. Branagh stars alongside an ensemble cast that includes Kyle Allen, Camille Cottin, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Jude Hill, Ali Khan, Emma Laird, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio and Michelle Yeoh. It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Nov. 28.

A comprehensive list of new disc and digital releases, compiled each week by the Media Play News market research team, can be found here.

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 10/31/23;
Paramount;
Action;
Box Office $172.14 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $37.99 UHD, $44.99 UHD/BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of violence and action, some language and suggestive material.
Stars Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Esai Morales, Pom Klementieff, Henry Czerny, Shea Whigham, Greg Tarzan Davis, Cary Elwes.

The last few “Mission: Impossible” movies have pretty much set the standard for espionage actioners the past decade. However, Dead Reckoning, the seventh film derived from the premise of the 1960s TV series, feels more formulaic than the franchise has for a long time.

While it still features some terrific action scenes and excuses for star Tom Cruise to do many of his own stunts, Dead Reckoning offers the thinnest story of the franchise since the third film. Of course, ostensibly all the plots for films such as this are crafted as an excuse to string together a series of action sequences, but the seams for Dead Reckoning are showing a bit more than usual, which isn’t ideal for a film that, at 163 minutes, is not only the longest “Mission,” but also the first half of what is meant to be an epic two-parter.

The antagonist is an elusive artificial intelligence program called “The Entity” that has somehow become sentient. What it ultimately wants to do isn’t exactly clear, but its immediate concern is finding a special key that can apparently be used to gain access to the computer that stores its base code. The key is thus the film’s MacGuffin, the object being sought after by all the major characters that puts them in conflict with one another, from Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, to the Entity’s handpicked mercenary, Gabriel (Esai Morales), and all parties in between, including a thief (Hayley Atwell) in above her head, to CIA operatives tracking Ethan for once again going rogue on a mission.

It’s all well and good, and an entertaining adventure on the whole that looks and sounds great on disc, though some of the character arcs are questionable, and the action beats seem to take more than a few pages from the book of Bond. The finale on board a train is also well realized, though it does bring to mind similarly staged sequences from the film Under Siege 2 as well as the “Uncharted” video games.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film’s HD disc configurations include a standalone regular Blu-ray Disc, a standalone 4K Ultra HD disc, and a Steelbook containing the film on both 4K and Blu-ray discs. The only extras included with the film discs are an audio commentary with director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton, and an isolated track of Lorne Balfe’s musical score. The filmmaker commentary is informative but tends to lean heavily toward the technical side.

The Blu-ray, 4K and Steelbook all come with the same bonus Blu-ray of additional extras, amounting to just six short featurettes totaling 31 minutes of behind-the-scenes material. Each of the videos focuses on a different setting or stunt: “Abu Dhabi,” “Rome,” “Venice,” “Freefall” (about Cruise’s well-publicized motorcycle jump off a cliff), “Speed Flying” and “Train.” These are pretty typical of promotional videos for movies such as this, though it is interesting to see some of the raw footage of the action sequences before visual effects were used for things such as removing cameras and replacing motorcycle ramps.

Digital versions of the film also include a nine-minute montage of deleted footage and a 10-minute featurette about editing the opening submarine sequence. Both are available with an optional commentary from McQuarrie and Hamilton.

Without the commentary, the deleted footage plays with a sample of Balfe’s score and no other sound or dialogue, as the footage is offered without any context aside from the viewer’s presumed knowledge of the film itself.

The editing featurette includes footage of the finished scene next to earlier footage and unfinished visual effects to provide some contrast between them as a demonstration of how the post-production process completes a film.

That these two pieces that total just 20 minutes are digital exclusives and weren’t included on the extras Blu-ray is something of a headscratcher, as surely the disc would have room for them given how scant what’s on there actually is.

Xfinity Offering Pay-TV Subs $1 Movie Rentals, Free Peacock Service, Discounted Theatrical, Theme Park Access

Comcast-owned pay-TV service Xfinity July 11 announced the return of its “Summer of Movies” marketing campaign, affording “Rewards” subscribers an array of complimentary and discounted movies, premium content, and exclusive entertainment experiences across Comcast’s brands through Aug. 13.

Rewards members have access to five free digital movie downloads, beginning with the original 1996 Mission: Impossible. A different movie will be released each Monday and can be accessed at-home, or on-the-go on the X1, Stream and Flex platforms.

Xfinity is also offering $1 weekend movie rentals across a library of thousands of titles originally priced up to $5.99 each on X1, Stream and Flex.

NBCUniversal’s Fandango ticket service is also offering a buy-one-get-one-free ticket offer for new release Oppenheimer, which debuts in theaters July 21. The promotion ends Aug. 13.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Diamond and Platinum Xfinity Rewards subscribers can now redeem a complimentary subscription to Peacock Premium, while Xfinity is giving away 100 50-inch smart TVs with Xumo OS, UHD, 4K HDR Dolby Vision, a voice remote, and a six-month Peacock Premium subscription.

Members can also access a Universal Orlando Resort three-day ticket for the price of a regular two-day admission ticket, or save on a two-park, one-day VIP Tour Experience.

The campaign aims to offer perks to stop it from bleeding subscribers. Xfinity ended the most-recent fiscal period with 15.5 million subscribers, down from 17.6 million subs at the end of the prior-year period. Xfinity lost 614,000 pay-TV subs in the first three months of 2023.

“This is just one way we’re leveraging Comcast’s portfolio of brands to deliver even more value to our Xfinity customers,” Pooja Kapadia, VP of customer loyalty and growth at Comcast, said in a statement.

Tom Cruise Reflects on Original ‘Mission: Impossible’ Film 25 Years Later

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of first Mission: Impossible film, Tom Cruise took a break from filming the franchise’s latest installment (the seventh) with director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie for a series of video interviews to look back on his path from actor to producer, why he chose Mission: Impossible as the first film he wanted to produce, his memories of working with director Brian De Palma, and more. Based on the classic 1960s TV series, Mission: Impossible was originally released May 22, 1996. A newly remastered 25th anniversary collector’s edition Blu-ray was released May 18 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

 

Pluto TV Streaming Classic CBS Series for Winter Holidays

Heading into the Thanksgiving holiday, ViacomCBS-owned ad-supported VOD service Pluto TV will begin streaming classic CBS television series as branded channels. They include: “Happy Days,” “Family Ties,” “The Love Boat,” “Wings,” “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Mission: Impossible,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Mork & Mindy.”

All of Pluto TV’s new channels will stream for free beginning Nov. 24. Channel line-ups include:

“Happy Days”: Features three classic sitcoms created by the late Garry Marshall. “Happy Days” (11 seasons), “Laverne & Shirley” (8 seasons), and “Mork & Mindy” (4 seasons).

“Wings”: Showcases Tim Daly, Steven Weber, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Haden Church, and Tony Shaloub in eight seasons of the sitcom from the creators of “Cheers.”

“Family Ties”: The Emmy-winning seven-season sitcom launched Michael J. Fox, and also stars Meredith Baxter, Michael Gross, Justine Bateman, and Tina Yothers.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“The Love Boat”: Finds the crew of the S.S. Pacific Princess and their all-star passengers 24 hours a day for nine seasons.

“Beverly Hillbillies”: The original fish-out-of-water sitcom showcasing characters Jed, Granny, Jethro, and Elly May over nine seasons.

“Mission: Impossible”: The original 1960s spy thriller series starring Peter Graves, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Greg Morris, Peter Lupus, and Leonard Nimoy, among others, over seven seasons.

Separately, Pluto TV is making a donation to World Central Kitchen to support of ongoing efforts to use the power of food to heal communities and strengthen economies during times of crisis and beyond.

Throughout the holiday season, to drive even greater awareness to this noteworthy cause and amplify the efforts for World Central Kitchen, Pluto TV’s social media will feature curated holiday recipes inspired these shows and favorite recipes from beloved stars of the series.

Pluto TV has a global audience of over 36 million monthly active users, with over 28.4 million in the U.S. Pluto TV has an international footprint that spans across three continents and 25 countries throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America.

Original ‘Mission: Impossible’ TV Series Coming to Blu-ray Dec. 1

CBS and Paramount Home Entertainment will release Mission: Impossible — The Original TV Series on Blu-ray Disc for the first time Dec. 1.

Starring Peter Graves, the 1966-73 series ran seven seasons and followed the Impossible Missions Force (IMF), is a government agency of spies assigned to do the most dangerous espionage missions.

Each episode starts with the famous tape-recorded message detailing the upcoming mission, from overthrowing corrupt leaders to exploiting dangerous crime lords.

The show’s 171 episodes will be spread across 46 discs.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Note: The set had originally been slated for release Nov. 17 before CBS announced a date change Nov. 10.

Mission: Impossible — Fallout

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 12/4/18;
Paramount;
Action;
Box Office $220.16 million;
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $37.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence and intense sequences of action, and for brief strong language.
Stars Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Henry Cavill, Sean Harris, Vanessa Kirby, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, Alec Baldwin. 

The latest entry in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise brings together elements from all the movies to craft a top-notch, high-energy action adventure that could go down as a benchmark in the genre.

Central to the film’s success is star Tom Cruise, who took on many of the most dangerous stunt sequences himself. This emphasis on practical stunts lends a verisimilitude other contemporary action movies would be hard-pressed to match, as they so often resort to frenetic editing to mask underwhelming stuntwork or visual effects.

What’s even more remarkable about this is that Cruise is now 56 years old. By comparison, Roger Moore was 58 by the time he walked away from James Bond, when critics were saying he seemed way too old for the part. Even more astonishing, as has been pointed out online, perpetual old guy Wilford Brimley was five years younger in the quintessential senior citizen movie Cocoon than Cruise was in this movie. And yet Cruise shows no signs of slowing down (though a broken ankle during one of his stunts does raise the question of how far is too far).

In Mission: Impossible — Fallout, the sixth film in the franchise based on the classic TV series, Cruise personally executes a lengthy skydiving sequence, pilots a helicopter through a narrow mountain pass and races a motorcycle without a helmet through the streets of Paris. Not to mention his signature running scenes that have become a staple of the franchise. All this comes, of course, after he learned to hold his breath for five minutes for the previous movie.

In Fallout, Cruise’s Ethan Hunt has to track down stolen plutonium that got into the hands of terrorists because his personal attachment to members of his team led him to save them instead, compromising the safety of the world (and highlighting a big reason why James Bond usually works alone).

Hunt’s IMF squad is then saddled with a CIA observer (Henry Cavill) as they attempt to recover the plutonium again, which now involves a group that wants to free Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), the bad guy from the previous film who ran a covert network of rogue secret agents looking to undermine world governments.

Another subplot deals with Ethan’s relationship with Julia (Michelle Monaghan) from Mission: Impossible III, and how they had to part ways so he could continue to save the world without putting her at risk. (Cleaning up this storyline was one of Cruise’s main goals for the film, he says in the supplements).

What’s clear from the bonus materials is that, aside from the flexibility Cruise doing his own stunts being a huge advantage for the film’s editors, director Christopher McQuarrie and the writers were still making up the story as they were filming (which isn’t unlike Ethan’s methodology for completing the mission).

McQuarrie is the first person to direct a second “Mission: Impossible” movie, and even though this film is very much a direct sequel to his Rogue Nation, he insisted on bringing in a new production team to give the film a different style than his previous work, and the results speak for themselves. McQuarrie’s action is kinetic and thrilling while maintaining a clear sense of space and geography so the audience can easily track where the characters are and what is going on.

A number of the action sequences were shot using Imax cameras, and the Blu-ray aspect ratio adjusts to fill the full screen during these scenes.

The Blu-ray comes loaded with bonus materials, including three audio commentaries — a rarity in a day and age when most new home videos are reluctant to include even one.

McQuarrie is involved in two of the commentaries — sharing one with Cruise and another with editor Eddie Hamilton. The McQuarrie/Cruise pairing, amusingly dubbed “Tom Cruise University” at one point, is more an exercise in self-praise and an affirmation of how much fun they were having crafting the film. The track with Hamilton gets more into the filmmaking process in general.

The third commentary involves composer Lorne Balfe, who discusses his creative process and how he went about incorporating the iconic “Mission: Impossible” theme. Fittingly, there’s a score-only audio option to show off the terrific music.

The disc also includes an introduction of sorts in the form of a PSA-type video with Cruise and McQuarrie discussing motion-smooting settings on new TVs and telling viewers they should turn it off to avoid the movie looking like glossy videotape.

All the featurettes and behind-the-scenes material are on a bonus disc, with the main piece being “Behind the Fallout,” a grouping of seven featurettes that run a total of 53 minutes.

Balfe returns in a five-minute featurette to discuss mixing the music for the foot chase sequence. There’s also a three-minute featurette called “The Ultimate Mission” in which Cruise offers his own reflections on the franchise.

The bonus disc also includes the theatrical trailer and storyboards for several sequences, plus a four-minute montage of deleted scenes, offered with or without the director’s commentary.

The deleted scenes are alluded to frequently in the commentaries, but the montage is mostly just the visuals of the scenes set to music, with minimal sound effects and no dialogue. McQuarrie says he usually prefers not to show deleted scenes but decided to present them in a musical montage as a compromise because he really wanted audiences to see the hard work that went into them.

While a couple work fine without sound, it probably would have been more effective to just present the scenes as a disc typically would, rather than make a music video out of them.

Paramount Releasing ‘Mission: Impossible — Fallout’ Digitally Nov. 20, on Disc Dec. 4

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release Mission: Impossible — Fallout digitally Nov. 20 and on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Dec. 4.

Tom Cruise returns as agent Ethan Hunt, this time leading his IMF team (Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson) in a race to stop a nuclear threat following a mission that goes awry. Henry Cavill, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin also star.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, the sixth film in the “Mission: Impossible” franchise earned more than $219 million at the domestic box office.

Blu-ray extras include a series of “Behind the Fallout” featurettes; a deleted scenes montage with optional commentary by McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton; three feature commentaries — one with McQuarrie and Cruise,  one with McQuarrie and Hamilton, and one with composer Lorne Balfe; an isolated score track; a foot chase musical breakdown; “The Ultimate Mission” featurette; storyboards; and the theatrical trailer.

Fallout will also be included in the new Mission: Impossible 6-Movie Collection on Blu-ray and 4K UHD BD.

Netflix Releases First Screen Shot of Olivia Colman as the Queen in ‘The Crown’

Netflix July 16 released on Twitter a screen shot of British actress Olivia Colman playing Queen Elizabeth II on upcoming seasons three and four of its immensely popular original series, “The Crown.”

The 44-year-old Colman, who is seen holding a cup of tea, has won three BAFTA Awards, three BIFA Awards, a Golden Globe Award (“The Night Manager”) and has two Emmy nominations in her career.

Season three is currently in production and slated for release in 2019, covering the time period from the early 1960s to 1970s.

The second season, which just received 13 Emmy nominations, starred Emmy nominees Claire Foy (who already won Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards) as Her Majesty, Matt Smith as Prince Philip, and Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret. Kirby, who co-stars with Tom Cruise in upcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout, won a BAFTA TV Award for her role in season two.

Newcomers Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Daniels play Margaret and her husband, respectively, in season three, among other cast changes implemented to better reflect the aging of the show’s principal characters.

Netflix releases second quarter financials today after the market’s close.