Warner Releasing ‘V for Vendetta’ on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Nov. 3

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release 2005’s V for Vendetta on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and digital Nov. 3.

Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and David Lloyd, V for Vendetta was adapted and produced by the Wachowskis (The Matrix), and directed by James McTeigue. The film stars Natalie Portman as a woman in futuristic Britain who becomes the unlikely accomplice of a mysterious freedom fighter (Hugo Weaving) in his radical effort to rid the country of oppression. The cast also includes Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt and Tim Pigott-Smith.

The 4K Ultra HD release of V for Vendetta comes from a new scan of the original camera negative and includes HDR and a Dolby Atmos soundtrack. The combo pack includes a 4K disc with three new extras, a regular Blu-ray Disc with previously released extras, and a digital copy of the film.

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New extras on the 4K disc include the featurette “V for Vendetta Unmasked”; a conversation between McTeigue and Lana Wachowski; and Portman’s previously unreleased audition footage.

Extras from the previously released Blu-ray include a theatrical trailer; a montage of Cat Power music played to images of the film; a “Saturday Night Live” digital short Easter Egg; and the featurettes “Making V for Vendetta,” “Designing the Near Future,” “Remember, Remember: Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot” and “England Prevails: V for Vendetta and the New Wave in Comics.”

‘Lucy in the Sky’ Flying to Digital Dec. 17

The astronaut drama Lucy in the Sky will land on digital Dec. 17 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film stars Natalie Portman and Jon Hamm in a story inspired by true events ripped from the headlines. After star astronaut Lucy Cola (Portman) earns a coveted spot on a NASA mission, she’s moved by the transcendence of being in space. But when she returns to Earth, her everyday life feels too small. Soon, she engages in a reckless love triangle that threatens her career and her sanity.

Special features on the digital release includes four deleted scenes and four making-of featurettes.

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Analyst: Marvel/Disney+ to Help Disney Double Earnings by 2024

Expect an increase in Marvel-related content by Disney across all distribution channels, including the branded $6.99 Disney+ subscription streaming video platform launching on Nov. 12.

The latter strategycould lead to Disney doubling its earnings by 2024, according to Benjamin Swinburne, analyst at Morgan Stanley.

Indeed, Marvel Studios – not Disney – was on major display at the recent San Diego Comic-Con 2019.

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The studio’s panel presentation featured surprise appearances by Oscar winners Natalie Portman and Mahershala Ali touting their separate roles in upcoming movies (Thor: Love and Thunder and Blade) reportedly generated some of the confab’s biggest buzz.

To Swinburne, Marvel’s outsized presence on Disney+ could help double Disney’s stock earnings from $6.50 per share in fiscal 2020 to upwards of $12 per share in 2024.

“For all the complexities of Disney’s business model transition and the stock’s investment case, the durability of its content underpins everything,” Swinburne wrote in a note.

Specifically, the analyst contends Marvel has successfully transcended the narrowly defined superhero genre to mass appeal.

Swinburne cites this year’s theatrical release Avengers: Endgame, last year’s release, Captain Marvel, and pending Disney+ exclusives, “The Falcon and The Winter Soldier,” starring Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan and Daniel Brühl; “WandaVision,” featuring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany; “Loki” with Tom Hiddleston, and “Hawkeye,” starring Jeremy Renner, among others, as proof of Marvel’s expanding impact on Disney investors.

With Disney+ targeting 60 million to 90 million subs globally by 2024, the analyst contends more than 60% of that subscriber base will come from Marvel’s growing worldwide appeal.

“Marvel has broken beyond fanboy demand to mass market,” Swinburne wrote, adding the aforementioned streaming series will “lock in Marvel fans between theatrical releases.”

Annihilation

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Paramount;
Sci-Fi;
Box Office $32.73 million;
$25.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray;
Rated ‘R’ for violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality.
Stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny, Benedict Wong, Oscar Isaac.

Director Alex Garland is settling into a nice niche making deliberate, thought-provoking science-fiction films that defy the usual tropes of the genre.

His 2015 directorial debut Ex Machina made waves for its exploration of artificial intelligence and the nature of identity and what it means to be alive, and Annihilation deals with some of those themes as well.

Based on the novel of the same name by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation is a sublime mix of alien invasion movie, psychological thriller and horror film. In the disc’s bonus materials, Garland discusses his apprehension in trying to adapt the source material, before settling on the strategy of, as he cleverly phrases it, adapting his subjective reaction to his reading of the book, rather than attempting a straight linear narrative.

The film stars Natalie Portman as a member of a team of scientists who explore a strange barrier that has surrounded an area of Southern swampland and continues to expand, distorting the biological processes of all life within it. The team encounters a litany of bizarre occurrences, such as different species of animals merging together. They find videos left by previous teams that explored the region, including Portman’s character’s husband, and watch their descent into madness. And the women soon realize the area is beginning to change them as well, adding urgency to the need to uncover what is happening and how to stop it.

The film is visually stunning, both for its reinterpretation of nature and also, in a twisted way, the very artistic ways the production crew has re-created the aftermath of some of the violent deaths of previous explorers. The film’s rich subtext and visual details will require multiple viewings to fully absorb Garland’s vision.

The Blu-ray includes six featurettes grouped into three categories, which all told equate to a comprehensive and insightful 75-minute behind-the-scenes documentary.

Paramount Brings ‘Annihilation’ Home in May

Paramount Home Media Distribution will release Annihilation digitally May 22 and on Blu-ray and DVD May 29.

Directed by Alex Garland, the sci-fi film stars Natalie Portman as a biologist who leads a team to investigate a beautiful but mysterious phenomenon that threatens all life on Earth. Annihilation, which earned $32.7 million at the domestic box office, also stars Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson and Tuva Novotny.

The Blu-ray includes a digital copy of the film and several behind-the-scenes featurettes.