Scream (2022)

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW: 

Street Date 4/5/22;
Paramount;
Horror;
Box Office $81.62 million;
$25.99 DVD, $31.99 Blu-ray, $34.99 UHD;
Rated ‘R’ for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.
Stars Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Mikey Madison, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Sonia Ammar, Marley Shelton, Kyle Gallner, Heather Matarazzo, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich.

Rather than use the idea of a franchise relaunch to make a standalone movie unconnected to what came before, or ignoring previous sequels, creators of the new Scream explicitly wanted a continuation that honored all the previous installments.

Thus a lot of care went into crafting the fifth “Scream” film, and the result might be the best entry in the franchise since the 1996 original.

The new Scream focuses on a girl named Samantha (Melissa Barrera), a former resident of Woodsboro who is drawn back into town when her younger sister (Jenna Ortega) is attacked by the latest copycat Ghostface killer, 25 years following the events of the original film.

Sam turns out to have a secret connection to a character from the original film, and imagines communicating with that individual in a way that might drawn some comparisons with “Dexter.”

To help make sense of what’s happening, Sam and her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid), recruit Dewey (David Arquette), which subsequently ends up dragging Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) back into the picture as well.

In sticking with the tradition of “Scream” movies dissecting the horror movie genre while being part of it, the new edition manages to cleverly assemble a number of homages to the original while also layering in an amusing satire of fan culture.

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The film’s home video configurations include separate DVD, Blu-ray and 4K releases that are not combo packs (ie, the 4K release does not also include a regular Blu-ray), with digital copies included with the Blu-ray and 4K versions.

Extras are included on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs, led by an enthusiastic and informative commentary with co-writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, co-directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, and executive producer Chad Villella.

There are also three behind-the-scenes featurettes:  the seven-and-a-half-minute “New Blood,” about the new characters; the eight-and-a-half-minute “Bloodlines,” about connections to the earlier films; and the seven-and-a-half-minute “In the Shadow of the Master,” a tribute to the late Wes Craven, who directed the first four films.

Rounding out the extras are three minutes of some pretty good deleted scenes, and the trailer for the 1996 film.

 

New ‘Scream’ Horror Flick Available on Digital March 1, Disc April 5

The new Scream horror flick from Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group arrives for digital purchase March 1, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD April 5 from Paramount Home Entertainment.

The studio is also releasing the new film and the original 1996 horror flick in a “Scream” two-movie collection on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray.

The 2022 film reunites Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, reprising their roles. The story takes place 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro as a terrifying new killer resurrects the Ghostface mask. As the deaths mount, Woodsboro’s new targets must seek help from the survivors of the original Ghostface attacks. Only Sidney Prescott (Campbell), former sheriff Dewey Riley (Arquette), and reporter Gale Weathers (Cox) can find a way to stop the killer when everyone is a suspect.

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The film also stars Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid and Marley Shelton.

The digital, 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes, interviews with the new and returning cast, a look at the legacy of horror legend Wes Craven, and filmmaker commentary.

Skyscraper

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 10/9/18;
Universal;
Action;
Box Office $67.8 million;
$24.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 3D BD, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of gun violence and action, and for brief strong language.
Stars Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Noah Taylor, Byron Mann, Pablo Schreiber, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell.

Writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber pivots from comedies to action in this slick hybrid of the Die Hard and Towering Inferno formulas that provides plenty of excuses for Dwayne Johnson to run around and beat people up.

An added twist to the Johnson tough-man routine this time around is that his character is an amputee — a former FBI agent who lost a leg during a hostage negotiation gone wrong in the film’s opening scene.

Cut to 10 years later and Johnson’s Will Sawyer character is now a security consultant for a new, mile-high skyscraper in Hong Kong. The top half of the building is mostly unpopulated since it’s so tall the developers are having trouble securing sufficient insurance to allow people to move into the residential floors, with Sawyer and his family the only residents aside from the owner in the penthouse suite.

An inspection by representatives of the insurance company thus gives some bad guys an opportunity to take control of the building and set it on fire as they carry out an agenda against the guy who built it.

As the plot unfolds around him, Sawyer learns his wife (Neve Campbell) and two children are still in the building, he embarks on a series of breathtaking action scenes to get to them, even as he’s being framed for sabotaging the building’s fire-suppression systems. (You can best believe Sawyer’s fake limb will make for a handy tool when the story requires it.)

The filmmakers have no qualms about any comparisons between this film and the original Die Hard. There’s even a jokey deleted scenes in which Sawyer ponders that his next step should be to call Bruce Willis.

What sets Skyscraper apart, to a degree, is the way the building itself becomes a character in the story — imbued with plenty of design quirks to aid in setting up a variety of action scenes. It even has a multi-leveled park halfway up so that Sawyer’s family can find themselves in the middle of a forest fire 2000 feet in the air.

The top-notch production design really gives the film a visual flair that is only enhanced by the film’s ability to get down and dirty with its characters. Campbell’s character in particular is allowed to evolve beyond the typical wife-in-distress role, given a military background that pays off as she holds her own in several fight scenes of her own.

Otherwise, though, the villains are mostly a cookie-cutter assortment of disposable henchmen inserted when needed into the story to provide more obstacles for the Sawyers to overcome.

The Bu-ray includes about 18-and-a-half minutes of traditional-style behind-the-scenes featurettes that focus on developing some of the key characters and finding the right actors to portray them. There’s also a cute story about how Thurber pitched the film to Johnson, with whom he previously worked on Central Intelligence.

Most of the details of the making of the film are revealed in a feature-length solo commentary from Thurber, who says he has envisioned making a movie like this since he was 8 (he’s 43 now).

The Blu-ray also includes more than 22 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, including a lot of excised exposition that offers more details about how the bad guys’ plan is supposed to work. These are fine to have on the record but ultimately would have worked against the pacing of an action film that ended up a tight hour and 42 minutes (which Thurber points out in optional commentary available with the scenes).

Also included with the deleted material are alternate versions of scenes involving the primary Hong Kong police characters in which they speak English in one version and Cantonese in the other. Thurber shot these scenes in both languages before deciding that having the Chinese characters speaking their native language better served the film.

Universal Building ‘Skyscraper’ on Digital Sept. 25, on Disc Oct. 9

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will release the action movie Skyscraper through digital retailers and Movies Anywhere Sept. 25, followed by Blu-ray, DVD, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray and on demand Oct. 9.

The film stars Dwayne Johnson as a security expert trying to rescue his family from a fire in the world’s tallest building and clear his name after being framed for setting the blaze in the first place.

The cast also includes Neve Campbell, Chin Han, Roland Møller, Pablo Schreiber and Hannah Quinlivan. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. the film has earned $66.8 million at the domestic box office.

Bonus materials include feature commentary from Thurber; deleted scenes and extended scenes with optional commentary; the featurette “Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero”; the featurette “Inspiration,” focusing on the real-life inspiration for Johnson’s character; “Opposing Forces,” a focus on the film’s female stars; “Friends No More,” an in-depth look at a key fight scene; “Kids in Action,” a look at some of the stunts involving the children in the cast; and “Pineapple Pitch,” a recollection from Johnson about how Thurber pitched the film to him.