Shout! Studios;
$39.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG.’
Stars Tim Curry, Eileen Brennan, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Lee Ving, Colleen Camp, Howard Hesseman, Jane Wiedlin, Bill Henderson, Jeffrey Kramer, Kellye Nakahara.

Nowadays the thought of making a movie based on a board game wouldn’t be an altogether surprising creative choice for a studio. But in 1985 the notion would have been downright absurd. Then Paramount released Clue, a trailblazer of sorts for the genre of mining games for source material.

The basic premise of the game itself, of course, has no real story. Players begin with the knowledge that a murder has taken place in a mansion, and must simply use a process of elimination to determine a who did it, with what weapon, and in which room. Clue the movie takes all the famous elements of the game (originally released as Cluedo in the U.K. in 1949) and crafts an Agatha Christie-style mystery around them by filling in the backstory with some tropes of the genre (the butler, the maid, unwanted visitors, a dark and stormy night, and so on).

The screenplay, which director Jonathan Lynn rewrote from an original treatment by John Landis, gets by on an almost excessive amount of puns and witty wordplay. The result isn’t necessarily a satisfying mystery, but a charming romp of talented performers that comes across more as a spoof of the genre while remaining true to the spirit of the game.

Tim Curry gives a terrific performance as Wadsworth, a butler who arranges for all the characters to meet for dinner at a secluded mansion. The setting is the Red Scare of the 1950s, and each of the characters is someone connected to the government and being extorted by an unknown blackmailer. When their secrets are threatened to be exposed, the bodies start piling up. The six central characters from the game search the house for clues, setting up any number of comedic gags, until after an hour or so Wadsworth declares he knows who the killer is, and Curry spends the final act of the film retracing the plot to explain it all.

This then leads to the film’s most famous twist, in that it was originally released to theaters with three different endings (a fourth ending was cut because it just didn’t work, according to the director). Judging by the retrospective featurettes included with Shout! Studios’ new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray of the film, the gimmick was apparently conceived of in order to build audience interest in repeated viewings of the film, but the studio marketing department didn’t quite know how to handle releasing them. Thinking the need to see the movie three times to see all the endings would boost the films’ box office, the studio booked theaters using a letter coding that told audiences which of the three endings they could see (A, B or C). However, the maneuver was mostly panned by critics and succeeded in little more than confusing audiences to the point of the film underperforming at the box office.

Lynn says he wanted the three endings to play together, thus demonstrating how clever the script and staging of the film was to the point where each ending makes sense. The first home video releases of the film then presented the film with all three endings back-to-back-to-back, and Clue became a cult hit that is now fondly remembered as a staple of the murder mystery genre.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Clue is a film where a little nostalgia goes a long way. The recent Shout! Studios edition presents a new 2023 4K scan of the film that looks terrific, providing nice color contrasts despite the sometimes darker settings, while preserving the texture of a mid-’80s film.

The combo pack includes the film on both a 4K disc and a regular Blu-ray, both containing the remastered cut of the film. Each offers the option of viewing the film with one of the three random endings in the theatrical style, or with the home video-style “trilogy ending.”

Supplemental materials can be found on the regular Blu-ray disc in the set and include the film’s trailer and three new featurettes.

The 28-minute “The Perfect Motive: Directing Clue” presents a fresh interview with writer-director Jonathan Lynn, and provides the best look back at the making of the film. The 22-minute “Scene of the Crime: Producing Clue” adds to this with an interview of associate producer Jeffrey Chernov. Completing the set is the nine-minute “Not Just a Game: Scoring Clue,” in which film music historian Daniel Schweiger discusses the contributions of John Morris, the longtime Mel Brooks collaborator who passed away in 2018.

Netflix: ‘The Night Agent’ Ups Second-Week Viewing Hours 28%, Easily Topping ‘Murder Mystery’ Movies

The original series “The Night Agent” showed no signs of weakening viewership, finishing the week ended April 2 with 216.4 million hours streamed across 93 countries on Netflix’s charts. The tally was up more than 28% from the 168.7 million hours streamed during the previous week’s premiere. The series, starring Gabriel Basso as an FBI agent thrown into national conspiracy with ties to the White House, now has more than 385 million hours viewed since launching. 

Season four of “Love Is Blind” added 47.6 million hours viewed to finish No. 2 on the English-language TV chart. Netflix is set to stream its first live reunion special, Love Is Blind: The Live Reunion, from Los Angeles on April 16 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

New titles on the English TV chart included South African thriller “Unseen” (24.3 million hours viewed), docuseries “Emergency: NYC” (18.2 million hours viewed), comedies “Wellmania” (14.5 million hours viewed) and Rob Lowe’s “Unstable” (11.36 million hours). Meanwhile, Season four of “You” (18.2 million), season three of “Outer Banks” (11.3 million), and “Wednesday” (12.2 million hours viewed after 18 weeks) maintained their standing on the chart. 

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The highly marketed original movie Murder Mystery 2, co-starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, debuted at No. 1 on the English-language movies chart with 64.4 million hours viewed across 91 countries — marking the second-biggest opening weekend for a comedy film on Netflix. The sequel buzz helped return the original 2019 Murder Mystery to No. 2 with 24.7 million hours viewed. Other movies returning to the chart included Luther: The Fallen Sun with 12.7 million hours viewed and The Magician’s Elephant with 6.33 million hours viewed.  

Among non-English-language movies, Korean actioner Kill Boksoon topped the chart with with almost 20 million hours streamed across 82 countries. Hindi-language thriller Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga (17.3 million hours), Polish drama Johnny (6.9 million), Vietnamese action-adventure Furies (3.7 million), four-time Academy award winner All Quiet on the Western Front (3.4 million), Italian romantic comedy Still Time (2.9 million) and French drama In His Shadow (2.5 million) all returned to the chart.    

Finally, the Turkish thriller “Who Were We Running From?” topped the non-English-language episodic program chart with almost 36 million hours streamed across 78 countries. The Korean drama “The Glory” added 26.7 million hours (now No. 5 on the Most Popular List with 430.5 million hours viewed to date), while the Spanish thriller “Sky High: The Series (8.6 million hours), season two of the Spanish reality series “I Am Georgina (17.2 million hours), the Korean romantic comedy “Crash Course in Romance” (10.9 million hours), season two of the Brazilian “Invisible City” (7.8 million hours), and the Spanish drama “Wrong Side of the Tracks”  (7.2 million hours viewed) all remained on the chart. 

Apple TV+ Renews ‘Bad Sisters’ for Second Season

Apple TV+ has renewed “Bad Sisters” for a second season.

The darkly comedic murder mystery series from Emmy Award nominee and BAFTA Award-winning executive producer and star Sharon Horgan follows the tight-knit Garvey sisters who have always looked out for each other. When their brother-in-law winds up dead, his life insurers launch an investigation to prove malicious intent — and set their sights on the sisters, all of whom had ample reason to kill him.

The “Bad Sisters” ensemble cast is led by Horgan, Anne-Marie Duff, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene and Eve Hewson as the Garvey sisters. Claes Bang, Brian Gleeson, Daryl McCormack, Assaad Bouab and newcomer Saise Quinn round out the ensemble cast.  
Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“If you’d have told me three years ago that I’d be making a series about five murderous sisters chasing a man around Ireland trying to kill him I’d have said; yeah, that sounds about right,” Hogan said in a statement. “The response to our show had been beyond what we could have hoped for. It gave us the opportunity to shine a light on stories that don’t always get such a global platform. I look forward to getting chilly in the Irish Sea one more time.”

Murder Mystery ‘See How They Run’ Headed to Digital Nov. 1

The Searchlight Pictures murder mystery See How They Run will be released on all major digital platforms Nov. 1 from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

From BAFTA-winning director Tom George and screenwriter Mark Chappell, the film features an ensemble cast, led by Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan.

In the film, in the West End of London in the 1950s, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play have come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and his eager rookie sidekick Constable Stalker (Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground. The more they investigate the mysterious homicide, the more they realize that they do so at their own peril.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Bonus features include a making-of feature.


First Episode of Apple TV+ Original Series ‘The Afterparty’ Available on YouTube

In celebration of the Jan. 28 global debut of the murder-mystery comedy “The Afterparty,” Apple TV+ has released the first episode on YouTube.

The first three episodes of “The Afterparty” are now streaming on Apple TV+, followed by one new episode weekly, every Friday through March 4. From Academy Award winners Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the eight-episode season stars Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson, Zoë Chao, Ben Schwartz, Ike Barinholtz, Ilana Glazer, Jamie Demetriou and Dave Franco. 
The cast and creators will appear for a live watch party of the series on Twitter Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. PST (#TheAfterparty). Participants include Miller, Lord and Haddish.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The series centers on a murder mystery at a high school reunion, with each episode exploring a different character’s account of the fateful evening in question, all through the lens of popular film genres and visuals to match the storyteller’s perspective. 

Apple TV+ Sets Jan. 28 Premiere of Murder-Mystery Comedy Series ‘The Afterparty’

The Apple TV+ murder-mystery comedy series “The Afterparty” will debut on the SVOD service Jan. 28.

From Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe Award winners Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street), the eight-episode first season of the series will launch with three episodes, followed by one new episode weekly each Friday.

“The Afterparty” stars Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, Like a Boss), Sam Richardson (The Tomorrow War, “Veep”), Zoë Chao (“Love Life,” Downhill), Ben Schwartz (“Space Force,” “House of Lies”), Ike Barinholtz (“The Mindy Project,” Neighbors), Ilana Glazer (“Broad City”), Jamie Demetriou (“Fleabag,” “Stath Lets Flats”) and Dave Franco (The Rental, The Disaster Artist).

Created and directed by Miller, the series is centered on a murder mystery at a high school reunion. Each episode explores a different character’s account of the fateful evening in question, all through the lens of popular film genres and unique visuals to match the storyteller’s perspective.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In addition to directing, Miller serves as showrunner and is executive producing alongside Lord through the pair’s production banner, Lord Miller. Tony and Emmy-nominated writer, producer and performer Anthony King (“Search Party,” “Dead to Me”) will also executive produce the series. Lord Miller’s VP of Television Aubrey Lee is a producer on the series, which was produced for Apple by TriStar TV and Sony Pictures Television as part of Lord and Miller’s five-year overall television deal.


Three Murder Mystery Films With Agatha Christie Character Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May

Three murder mystery films, Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders will be streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May.

In the films, viewers follow what might have happened to the author Agatha Christie, a writer who also happens to investigate real life crimes.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due May 11 is Agatha and the Truth of Murder. In the film, in 1926, with her writing in crisis and her personal life in tatters, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder. With Dean Andrews (“Ashes to Ashes,” “Life on Mars”), Bebe Cave (“Victoria,” “Great Expectations”), Amelia Dell and Ruth Bradley (“In Her Skin,” “Grabbers”) as Agatha Christie.

Coming May 18 is Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar. In the film, set in 1928, bruised from divorce and struggling with fame, Agatha travels to Iraq and finds a web of murder, intrigue and love. With Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home, World on Fire, Little Women) and Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours, Rome, Hereafter) as Agatha Christie.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Available starting May 25 is Agatha and the Midnight Murders. In the film set in London in 1940, as the Blitz rages and her future is threatened by fallout from the war, Agatha makes the decision to kill off her most famous creation. With Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal, World on Fire, “The Great”), Jacqueline Boatswain (Bloodborne, London Voodoo), Gina Bramhill (Us, “Sherlock,” “Endeavour”) and Helen Baxendale (Anonymous, “Cold Feet”) as Agatha Christie.

In addition, “Masterpiece: Indian Summers” seasons one and two will be added to the channel in May, as well as a number of international programs from Walter Presents including “Le Monstre,” “1864,” “Crimes of Passion” and “The Nordic Murders.”

Knives Out


Street Date 2/25/20;
Mystery Comedy;
Box Office $163.71 million;
$29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $42.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references, and drug material.
Stars Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, Christopher Plummer, Riki Lindhome, Edi Patterson, Noah Segan, K Callan, M. Emmet Walsh, Frank Oz.

Director Rian Johnson’s penchant for subverting expectations has manifested itself in the delightful Knives Out, a modernized take on the classic murder mystery format.

The set-up is familiar. In a quirky mansion in the countryside of New England, the maid discovers the body of her wealthy employer — crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) — dead from seemingly cutting his own throat.

As Harlan’s family comes out of the woodwork for the funeral and reading of the will, the police initially rule it a suicide. Yet the case remains open at the behest of private sleuth Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), Johnson’s southern-flavored homage to the likes of Columbo and Hercule Peroit. Hired by an anonymous party to ensure all aspects of Harlan’s death are explored, Blanc quickly uncovers dissension within the family, several members of which having had loud arguments with Harlan in the day leading up to his death.

The expertly-crafted, Oscar-nominated screenplay toys with the conventions of the genre, revealing what actually happened within the first 30 minutes or so, then uses the next hour-and-a-half to clue the audience in the fuller context of the events viewers have already seen, thus providing the true focus of the mystery.

Blanc recruits Harlan’s nurse, Marta (Ana de Armas), to aid in his investigation, though she is more aware of what happened than she lets on. A unique physical tic causes her to puke whenever she lies, providing one of the film’s central running gags but also lending a fair amount of tension to the proceedings as Marta has a fair number of secrets she’d rather not help expose either. The pairing of Craig and de Armas must have been agreeable enough for them, as she’s slated to appear in his next James Bond movie. And for Craig, tapped to reprise Blanc investigating new cases in future sequels, the role offers a nice new franchise once he wraps up his tenure as the super spy.

Follow us on Instagram!

This is the kind of film that not only invites multiple viewings, but practically demands them. Luckily, the Blu-ray offers a couple of nice options for the rewatch in the form of audio commentaries that dissect the story structure and reveal many of the details layered into the film’s intricate construction. Both are well worth a listen. One is a solo commentary by Johnson, originally released online while the film was still in theaters so fans could listen to it through headphones when they returned to their local cinema to partake in a fresh viewing. The second commentary, recorded for the home video release, features Johnson, cinematographer Steve Yedlin, and actor Noah Segan, who plays one of the cops investigating the murder.

Visually, Knives Out is gorgeous, shot digitally yet rendered to evoke the feeling of classic film, bringing forth textures and color that immerse the viewer in the story’s uneasy atmosphere while making one wish they too could be crawling around that quirky old mansion searching for clues.

The Blu-ray includes the outstanding “Making a Murder,” an eight-part, feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary that provides in-depth details on all aspects of the production, from writing it, to casting it, to making the costumes and sets, and recording the music. It runs a shade under two hours in total.

The “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” featurette supplements this a bit, with a six-minute video on how Johnson created the story to be, as he describes it, a Hitchcock thriller within a whodunit. There’s also a 42-minute Q&A from a SAG screening in November that gives the massive cast a chance to sing their own praises while recounting their joy in making the movie.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Blu-ray also includes two deleted scenes comprising about five total minutes, with optional commentary by Johnson. These add some interesting subtext to some of the film’s subplots, but it’s easy to understand the decision to omit them from the final cut.

Finally, the disc offers a trove of marketing materials, including trailers and viral ads starring several of the characters in the film.

All-in-all, it’s an impressive package that harkens back to the glory days of DVDs that really gave fans a lot of bang for their buck.

Netflix Expands Adam Sandler Production Deal

Fresh off the release of Murder Mystery, Adam Sandler’s most popular Netflix film to date, the SVOD behemoth extended its deal with Sandler and Happy Madison Productions to make four more films.

Netflix said subscribers have spent two billion hours watching Sandler films since 2015 — the year The Ridiculous 6 premiered.

“Whether you know him as Sandman, the Water Boy, Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, Nick Spitz or simply Adam, one thing is clear: our members can’t get enough of him,” Ted Sarandos, chief content officer, said in a statement. “They love his stories and his humor, as we saw with Murder Mystery. So I could not be more excited to extend our partnership with Adam and the Happy Madison team and deliver more laughs around the world.”

Follow us on Instagram

Sandler is currently starring in Josh and Benny Safdie’s critically acclaimed Uncut Gems, which is being released in U.S. theaters by A24. The film was released globally (excluding the U.S.) on Netflix on Jan. 31. Sandler was named Best Actor for his portrayal of Howard Ratner by the National Board of Review, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, Boston Society of Film Critics, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle, St. Louis Film Critics Association, Austin Film Critics Association, AARP Movies for Grown Ups and is nominated for an Independent Spirit Award.

Sandler was Emmy nominated for his Netflix original comedy special 100% Fresh and for his “Saturday Night Live” hosted episode this season. Murder Mystery, which co-stars Jennifer Aniston, won The People’s Choice Award for Best Comedy of 2019.

Later this year, Sandler will star in the Netflix family film, Hubie Halloween alongside Kevin James, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Maya Rudolph, Rob Schneider, Kenan Thompson, Steve Buscemi, Michael Chiklis, Tim Meadows, Noah Schnapp, Paris Berelc, China Anne McClain and Shaquille O’Neal, and has animated feature film that he will write, produce, and star in as a voice actor in the works at the studio.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Ridiculous 6 was the first film Sandler made with Netflix, followed by The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of, Murder Mystery and stand-up special “100% Fresh.” Additionally, Happy Madison has produced Father of the Year and the upcoming The Wrong Missy.

Sandler, whose films have grossed more than $3 billion, dominated box offices around the world with such films as Grown Ups, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, Billy Madison, Big Daddy and The Waterboy. In 2014, the multi-hyphenate actor, writer, producer and occasional singer-songwriter set his sights on conquering the streaming world and his films have found enormous success on Netflix.

Sandler began his career as a stand-up comedian and joined Saturday Night Live as a writer and featured player before founding Happy Madison Productions. He went on to star, produce and write numerous films which went on to become box office hits.

By the Numbers:

  • 2 Billion: Since 2015, the year The Ridiculous 6 premiered, members have spent more than two billion hours watching Adam Sandler on Netflix.
  • 83 Million: The number of households that picked Murder Mystery in its first four weeks on Netflix.
  • #1 Most Popular: Murder Mystery was the most popular title on Netflix in the U.S. last year, and its most popular film. It was also the number one most popular title in eight other countries including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Singapore and UAE.
  • 6: The number of films Sandler has made with Netflix: The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler, The Week Of and Murder Mystery. Family film Hubie Halloween will be released later this year.
  • 22 Years: Last year, Sandler released his first stand-up special in 22 years, “100% Fresh,” which The New York Times said found “pitch-perfect emotionalism” and reminds everyone why he’s so beloved and one of the funniest comedians of our time.