No Time to Die

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 12/21/21;
Universal/MGM;
Action;
Box Office $158.62 million;
$34.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for sequences of violence and action, some disturbing images, brief strong language and some suggestive material.
Stars Daniel Craig, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Billy Magnussen, Ana de Armas, David Dencik, Rory Kinnear, Dali Benssalah.

After nearly 60 years of cinematic history, audiences have a certain expectation of what a James Bond movie is supposed to be. No Time to Die defies a lot of those tropes.

The 25th film in the EON Productions Bond canon, No Time to Die serves as a coda to the Daniel Craig era of the character, a five-film arc that began with 2006’s Casino Royale. As such, it plays very much like a series finale, wrapping up a number of loose threads that interconnected the Craig’s films.

Most notably, the film finds Bond with the same love interest from the previous film, a first for the franchise. In this case, 2015’s Spectre had Bond retire from the British Secret Service and run away with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux). No Time to Die picks up with their attempts to build a life together, a prospect hampered by her complicated past being the daughter of a top Spectre agent. When Bond assumes she arranged for Spectre to attack him on vacation, he puts her on a train and vows to never see her again.

Cut to five years later, and Bond is living in seclusion in Jamaica (a location iconic to the Bond franchise) when his old CIA buddy Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright) recruits him to help retrieve a missing Russian scientist who is responsible for a biological weapon that can target the DNA of specific bloodlines.

Bond has a run-in with the British agent (Lashana Lynch) who took over his 007 number, and learns the weapon was originally developed by the British government. It has fallen into the hands of a man named Safin (Rami Malek), who wants to use it to cleanse the world of people he considers detrimental to his utopian vision. What’s worse, the answers to retrieve it seem to lie with Bond’s Spectre nemesis Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) and Madeleine.

Director Cary Fukunaga has delivered an entertaining Bond adventure filled with splendid action sequences, beautiful visuals and amazing set designs that evoke the great over-the-top villain lairs of yesteryear.

As both a capper to the Craig era and a milestone film for EON, No Time to Die is loaded with references to several previous Bond films dating back to the beginning of the series with 1962’s Dr. No, as well as Bond creator Ian Fleming’s novels. The film draws particular influence from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, from Hans Zimmer’s terrific score quoting some of its music to Craig uttering the immortal line “We have all the time in the world,” which Bond fans know always foreshadows trouble ahead.

The Easter eggs should provide a serious blast of nostalgia for Bond fans without being distracting for viewers not intimately familiar with the entire history of the franchise.

Craig himself puts a memorable cap on a unique run for the character, in that all five of his films more or less tell a larger story of the life of a British superspy and his complicated love life. One interesting aspect of No Time to Die is that it is almost framed as a story told from Madeleine’s perspective, evoking the essence of Fleming’s The Spy Who Loved Me novel if not the plot itself.

The experiment of serializing the Bond movies certainly had its ups and downs, with the biggest complaint being that the films were too reliant on tracking Bond through missions that had a personal connection to him, from seeking revenge for fallen lovers to uncovering long-lost family secrets. While in retrospect the Craig saga plays fine for what it is, it’s hard to argue that the two best films in the sequence aren’t Casino Royale and 2012’s Skyfall, the only two films of the five that could be considered standalone adventures. Detractors will say the interconnectedness is just an attempt to modernize Bond by aping the Bourne movies. Fans would just as soon see Bond get back to duty carrying out just protecting the free world with fantastical missions he otherwise has no personal stake in.

While this is Craig’s swan song in the role, the movie does carry on the franchise tradition of promising that “James Bond Will Return,” which begs the question of where the series goes from here. I for one would be interested in seeing the series returning to its roots by going retro with Bond immersed in the Cold War in the 1960s.

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The No Time to Die Blu-ray presentation is a bit unusual in how the extras are presented. The 4K combo pack offers the extras on the 4K disc alongside the film, which the regular Blu-ray that is included has no extras. Most discs typically employ the reverse strategy, with minimal extras on the 4K disc and all of them on the Blu-ray.

The included extras consist of four behind-the-scenes featurettes and the 47-minute Being James Bond documentary that was previously released in the lead-up to No Time to Die and provides an intimate look at Craig’s history with the character. Being James Bond is exclusive to the 4K edition.

The making-of material totals about 35 minutes and gives a succinct EPK-style glimpse at the production. The longest is the 11-and-a-half-minute “Anatomy of a Scene: Matera,” which deconstructs one of the film’s pre-credits action scenes. The six-minute “Keeping it Real: The Action of No Time to Die” focuses on the film’s stuntwork, the eight-minute “A Global Journey” looks at the film’s shooting locations, and the 11-minute “Designing Bond” details the building of the film’s sets and costumes.

The standard Blu-ray combo pack and the DVD editions it seems have the supplements included on a separate bonus disc. Even keeping Being James Bond as a 4K exclusive, it’s only a handful of featurettes that would need to be included so it’s a bit baffling why they weren’t stacked onto the same Blu-ray disc as the film.

Also note that the included digital copy code is listed as redeemable through Apple TV/iTunes, but not Movies Anywhere, as MGM is not a signatory to the digital locker service.

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Warner’s ‘The Little Things’ Due on PVOD March 19, Digital April 20, Disc May 4

The crime drama The Little Things is coming to premium VOD rental March 19 at $19.99, digital sale April 20, and Blu-ray and DVD May 4.

The film debuted in theaters and on WarnerMedia’s HBO Max SVOD service Jan. 29.

The psychological thriller stars Academy Award winners Denzel Washington (Training Day, Glory), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club). It follows Kern County Deputy Sheriff Joe “Deke” Deacon (Washington), who is sent to Los Angeles for what should have been a quick evidence-gathering assignment. Instead, he becomes embroiled in the search for a killer who is terrorizing the city. Leading the hunt is L.A. Sheriff Department Sergeant Jim Baxter (Malek), impressed with Deke’s cop instincts, unofficially engages his help. But as they track the killer, Baxter is unaware that the investigation is dredging up echoes of Deke’s past, uncovering disturbing secrets that could threaten more than his case.

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The film was written and directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks, The Founder) based on his own original screenplay.

Warner’s ‘The Little Things’ Helps Pandemic Weekend Box Office Top $10 Million

The little things do matter, especially during a pandemic. Warner Bros. Pictures’ criminal thriller The Little Things, starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington, Remi Malek and Jared Leto, topped the domestic weekend box office (Jan. 29-31) with an estimated $4.8 million in ticket sales across more than 2,100 screens.

The drama about a burned-out Kern County, Calif. deputy sheriff (Washington) who teams up with a Los Angeles County Sheriff detective (Malek) to nab a serial killer (Leto) proved successful with COVID-19 moviegoers despite launching concurrently on HBO Max as part of Warner’s 2021 strategy to release its theatrical slate simultaneously on the $14.99 monthly subscription streaming platform.

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“We are absolutely thrilled by how Warner Bros.’ The Little Things is performing on HBO Max — it immediately shot up to number one, where it currently remains,” said Andy Forssell, EVP and GM at Max, said in a statement. “Following the breakthrough success of WW84, The Little Things shows the insatiable appetite our audience has for high quality, feature films.”

Universal Pictures/DreamWorks Animation’s perennial pandemic box office champ, The Croods: A New Age, again proved a strong attraction on the big screen and home entertainment. The sequel finished No. 2 generated $1.8 million in ticket sales to bring its global tally to $144.3 million, including $44 million domestically.

Warner’s Wonder Woman 1984 rounded out the podium with $1.3 million in ticket sales, bringing the Gal Gadot-starrer past $152$ million at the global box office ($40 million domestically).

Previous weekend box office winner The Marksman saw the Open Road Films drama starring Liam Neeson generate $1.25 million in ticket sales for $8.5 million worldwide total since bowing Jan. 15. Sony Pictures’ Monster Hunter tracked $740,000 in ticket sales to up its global count near $20 million ($11.1 million domestically) since launching Dec. 18, 2020.

‘Dolittle’ Coming to Digital March 24, Disc — Including 4K — April 7

Dolittle will arrive on digital March 24 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand April 7 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Dr. Dolittle, a man who can talk to animals. The cast also includes the voice talents of Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez, John Cena and Tom Holland, among others.

After losing his wife, Dolittle he locks himself away behind the high wall of his manor but is forced to set sail on an epic adventure when the queen falls gravely ill. Helping Dolittle in search of a rare cure are his animal friends — including Chee-Chee (Malek), an anxious, self-conscious gorilla; Dab-Dab (Octavia Spencer), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck; the bickering duo of cynical, neurotic ostrich Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani) and the polar bear Yoshi (Cena); and a headstrong parrot named Polynesia (Thompson).

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The film earned $161.7 million at the global box office.

The 4K disc includes HDR+.

Bonus features include:

  • “Talk to the Animals,” a peek at the fun the cast had giving each of the animals their unique voice;
  • “Robert Downey Jr. & Harry: Mentor and Mentee,” about the unique bond the two actors formed on-set, and how Downey took the film’s young co-star under his wing;
  • “Becoming the Good Doctor,” about how Downey transformed into the iconic Dolittle;
  • “Antonio Banderas: Pirate King,” in which Banderas discusses what attracted him to the project, his experiences working with Downey and what he brought to the role of King Rassouli;
  • “The Wicked Dr. Mudfly,” about the nefarious villain Dr. Blair Müdfly with Michael Sheen diving into his character’s motivations for being Dolittle’s foil; and
  • “A Most Unusual House,” about the unique rooms and modifications that allow Dolittle to house anyone or anything, big or small.

 

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‘Instant Family’ Tops Redbox Charts

Paramount’s Instant Family fostered a win on both Redbox charts the week ended March 10.

The family comedy, starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne, took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming. It was new-to-disc for the week, streeting March 5.

Warner’s boxing drama Creed II, also released on disc March 5, took the No. 2 spot on both charts.

Oscar-lauded films made several appearances on the Redbox charts. Disney’s sequel Ralph Breaks the Internet, which was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar, remained at No. 3 on the disc chart, the same spot it held the previous week. The music drama A Star Is Born — which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, including nods for Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 on the disc chart, and from No. 1 to No. 3 on the digital side. Bohemian Rhapsody slipped from No. 2 to No. 5 on the disc chart, and from No. 2 to No. 4 on the digital chart. The film, about the life of Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

Three other new disc releases entered the top 10. In the eighth spot was Lionsgate’s Ben Is Back, starring Julia Roberts as a desperate mother with a troubled son. At No. 9 was Fox’s The Favourite, which earned a surprise Best Actress Oscar for Olivia Colman. And landing at No. 10 was the Lionsgate thriller The Vanishing, starring Gerard Butler.

Ben Is Back (No. 8) and The Favourite (No. 7) also placed on the digital chart.

Lionsgate’s Robin Hood held strong on both charts, placing No. 6 (from No. 4 the previous week) on the disc chart and No. 6 (from No. 3) on the digital chart.

Meanwhile, Universal’s Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch settled at No. 7 (from No. 5) on the disc chart.

Sony’s Venom, which debuted on digital late last year, made an appearance on the digital chart at No. 5 — perhaps boosted by anticipation for the latest superhero movie hitting theaters, Captain Marvel.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family (New) — Paramount
  2. Creed II (New) — Warner
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet — Disney
  4. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Ben Is Back (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Favourite (New) — Fox
  10. The Vanishing (2019) (New)— Lionsgate

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 10:

  1. Instant Family — Paramount
  2. Creed II — Warner
  3. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  4. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  5. Venom (2018) — Sony
  6. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  7. The Favourite — Fox
  8. Ben Is Back — Lionsgate
  9. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  10. The Possession of Hannah Grace — Sony

‘A Star Is Born’ Continues to Shine on Redbox Charts

A Star Is Born is still soaring.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story continued to top both Redbox charts the week ended March 3. It took the No. 1 spot on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, for a second consecutive week.

The film, which garnered an Academy Award for Best Original Song and picked up eight nominations, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians in a love affair on stage and in life. It has earned $212.9 million at the box office.

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Another Oscar winner, Bohemian Rhapsody, moved up one spot to No. 2 on the disc chart and maintained its second-place spot on the digital chart for the week. The film about the life of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, won Academy Awards for Best Actor for Rami Malek, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

A new release, Disney’s animated hit Ralph Breaks the Internet, entered the disc chart at No. 3. The sequel was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar and made $200.2 million at the box office.

Two other new releases entered the top 10 on the disc chart. Sony’s horror thriller The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 7. And Universal’s period drama Mary Queen of Scots, which earned Oscar nominations for Best Costume design and Best Makeup and Hairstyling and stars Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, entered the chart at No. 10.

On the digital chart, Nos. 1-8 maintained positions from the previous week, while The Possession of Hannah Grace landed at No. 9 and Warner’s romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, which debuted digitally last fall, nabbed the No. 10 spot.

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (New) — Disney
  4. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  5. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  6. Overlord (2018) — Paramount
  7. The Possession of Hannah Grace (New) — Sony
  8. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  9. Widows — Fox
  10. Mary Queen of Scots (New) — Universal

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended March 3:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool (2018) — Paramount
  5. Overlord(2018) — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me?— Fox
  7. Seuss’ The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. The Possession of Hannah Grace— Sony
  10. Crazy Rich Asians — Warner

Warner’s ‘A Star Is Born’ Shoots to No. 1 on Redbox Charts

It may have picked up just one Academy Award (Best Original Song) from its eight nominations, but A Star Is Born triumphed on both Redbox charts the week leading up to the Oscar ceremony Feb. 24.

Warner’s 2018 update of the classic film story landed at No. 1 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming, the week ended Feb. 24.

The film, which earned $210.9 million at the box office and debuted on disc Feb. 19, stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — both nominated for Oscars for their performances — as two musicians who come together on stage and in life in a complex journey through the beauty and heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.

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Four other new releases appeared on the Redbox disc chart for the week. Lionsgate’s Robin Hood, another retelling of a classic story, starring Taron Egerton as Robin Hood and Jamie Foxx as Little John, debuted at No. 2. Paramount Pictures’ Overlord, a story produced by J.J. Abrams about a team of American paratroopers who encounter Nazi super-soldiers, entered the chart at No. 4. Lionsgate’s Backtrace, an action thriller starring Sylvester Stallone, debuted at No. 8. And 20th Century Fox’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? — which earned three Oscar noms, for Best Actress (Melissa McCarthy), Best Supporting Actor (Richard E. Grant) and Best Adapted Screenplay — entered the disc chart at No. 10.

Fox’s Bohemian Rhapsody, which won all but one of the five Oscars for which it was nominated, including Best Actor for Rami Malek, finished its second week in disc release at No. 3, falling from No. 1.

On the digital chart, Bohemian Rhapsody fell one spot to No. 2, behind A Star Is Born, which shot up the chart from No. 10 the previous week. Robin Hood took the third spot, followed by Paramount’s Tyler Perry comedy Nobody’s Fool at No. 4 (from No. 2 the previous week), Overlord at No. 5 and Can You Ever Forgive Me? at No. 6.

Interestingly, two titles released in the fall of last year appeared on the digital chart. Sony Pictures’ Nov. 13 release Searching, which stars John Cho as a distraught father who sifts through his missing daughter’s digital footprint determined to find her, appeared at No. 9. And Universal Pictures’ Sept. 25 release Skyscraper, an actioner starring Dwayne Johnson, came in at No. 10.

 

Top DVD and Blu-ray Disc Rentals, Redbox Kiosks, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) (New) — Warner
  2. Robin Hood (2018) (New) — Lionsgate
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  4. Overlord (New) — Paramount
  5. The Grinch — Universal
  6. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  7. Widows — Fox
  8. Backtrace (New) — Lionsgate
  9. The Girl in the Spider’s Web — Sony
  10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (New) — Fox

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 24:

  1. A Star Is Born (2018) — Warner
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody — Fox
  3. Robin Hood (2018) — Lionsgate
  4. Nobody’s Fool — Paramount
  5. Overlord — Paramount
  6. Can You Ever Forgive Me? — Fox
  7. The Grinch — Universal
  8. Widows — Fox
  9. Searching — Sony
  10. Skyscraper — Universal

‘Black Panther’ Top Pick for Best Picture Oscar in Fandango Fan Survey

Black Panther was the top pick in the Best Picture race, while Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) were the favorites in the Best Actor and Actress categories, in a survey of more than 3,000 movie fans on ticketing site Fandango and its VOD platform FandangoNow.

First-time nominee in the Best Director category, Spike Lee, was the fans’ choice for his work on BlackKklansman.

The Academy Awards will be announced Feb. 24.

“Fans came to the theater in droves and helped make Black Panther a cultural phenomenon, and now they want to see the film take home a big win for Wakanda,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis in a statement. “Moviegoers are also rooting for powerhouse musical performances this year, with Star Is Born’s Lady Gaga and Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Rami Malek getting the top fan honors in the acting races. While it’s hard to believe this is Spike Lee’s first directorial nod, Fandango fans feel it would be a delight to see the Academy do the right thing and give a well-deserved award to the BlacKkKlansman director.”

FandangoNow is also offering fans the opportunity to watch four Oscar contenders — Green Book, The Favourite, Free Solo and Mary Queen of Scots — for 30% off with the code “FNOWOscar.” The promotion ends Feb. 21.

Fans can find this year’s nominees on FandangoNow’s curated Oscars list here. Fandango has also created a downloadable Oscar ballot with Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer scores for all the nominated films.

Complete results of the survey were:

 

Best Picture

Black Panther – 24%

Bohemian Rhapsody – 19%

A Star Is Born – 18%

Green Book – 14%

BlacKkKlansman – 8%

Roma – 7%

The Favourite – 6%

Vice – 4%

 

Best Leading Actor

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody – 44%

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born – 20%

Christian Bale, Vice – 19%

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book – 11%\

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate – 6%

 

Best Leading Actress

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born – 42%

Glenn Close, The Wife – 22%

Olivia Colman, The Favourite – 13%

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 13%

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma – 10%

 

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book – 40%

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born – 28%

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman – 16%

Sam Rockwell, Vice – 10%

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 6%

 

Best Supporting Actress

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk – 35%

Emma Stone, The Favourite – 24%

Amy Adams, Vice – 19%

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite – 15%

Marina de Tavira, Roma – 7%

 

Best Director

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman – 36%

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma – 25%

Adam McKay, Vice – 18%

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite – 14%

Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War – 7%

 

Best Animated Feature

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – 50%

Incredibles 2 – 24%

Isle of Dogs – 15%

Ralph Breaks the Internet – 10%

Mirai – 1%

 

Best Original Screenplay

Green Book – 38%

The Favourite – 21%

Vice – 17%

Roma – 17%

First Reformed – 7%

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

A Star Is Born – 38%

BlacKkKlansman – 23%

If Beale Street Could Talk – 20%

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 10%

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 9%

 

Best Original Song

“Shallow” from A Star Is Born – 52%

“All The Stars” from Black Panther – 22%

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns – 14%

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – 6%

“I’ll Fight” from RBG – 6%

Fox’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Champion of Redbox Charts

The Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody rocked the Redbox charts the week ended Feb. 17.

The 20th Century Fox film debuted at No. 1 on both the Redbox kiosk chart, which tracks DVD and Blu-ray Disc rentals at the company’s more than 40,000 red vending machines, and the Redbox On Demand chart, which tracks transactional video-on-demand (TVOD), both electronic sellthrough (EST) and streaming.

The critically acclaimed story of the lead singer of the rock band Queen received five Oscar nominations, including Best Actor for Rami Malek in the role of Mercury, and earned more than $212.2 million in theaters.

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The Grinch, the latest take on the classic children’s Christmas story from Universal Pictures, fell to No. 2 on the disc chart its second week in physical release. It landed at No. 4 (falling from No. 1) on the digital chart.

The only other new release on the disc chart for the week, Paramount’s Tyler Perry comedy Nobody’s Fool, debuted at No. 3. It came in at No. 2 on Redbox’s digital chart. The film, starring Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter and Whoopi Goldberg, earned $31.7 million in theaters.

Fox’s heist-thriller Widows, starring Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki and Cynthia Erivo, slipped to No. 4 on the disc chart and to No. 3 on the Redbox On Demand chart. The film, which took in $42.4 million at the box office, gathered plaudits for Davis and Debicki, but it was snubbed in the Oscar race.

Sony Pictures’ action-thriller The Girl in the Spider’s Web, starring Claire Foy, took the fifth spot on both Redbox’s disc and digital charts after landing at No. 3 on both charts the week before. A sequel to the The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the film earned $14.8 million theatrically.

Meanwhile, more than a year after its digital release, Universal’s Happy Death Day made an appearance on the Redbox On Demand chart at No. 8 as its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, came out in theaters Feb. 13.

Also popping back up on the digital chart at No. 10 about a month after its release was Warner’s A Star Is Born, which has received eight Oscar noms. The 91st Academy Awards takes place Feb. 24.

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

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody (New)
  2. The Grinch
  3. Nobody’s Fool (2018) (New)
  4. Widows
  5. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  6. Hunter Killer
  7. First Man
  8. Night School
  9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
  10. Venom (2018)

 

Top Digital, Redbox On Demand, Week Ended Feb. 17

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody
  2. Nobody’s Fool
  3. Widows
  4. The Grinch
  5. The Girl in the Spider’s Web
  6. Hunter Killer
  7. Crazy Rich Asians
  8. Happy Death Day
  9. The Sisters Brothers
  10. A Star Is Born (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 2/12/19;
Fox;
Drama;
Box Office $210.68 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for thematic elements, suggestive material, drug material and language.
Stars Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers.

In telling the history of the legendary rock band Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t get any more complicated than it needs to be.

Presented primarily as a biopic of lead singer Freddie Mercury, the film depicts the band’s formation, their rise to stardom and their triumphant performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert. Mercury’s sometimes turbulent personal life as he realizes his sexual identity provides the primary character drama of the movie, interspersed with the touchstones of the group’s greatest hits being created.

It’s essentially a two-hour long Queen tribute video that isn’t so much interested in diving into the more tawdry aspects of Mercury’s life as it is focusing on the music (which is to be expected, given how the film was co-produced by some of Mercury’s old bandmates, who were looking for more of a tribute than an exposé).

Of course, the fact that it’s such a loving tribute, loaded with such great music, makes it an easy movie to enjoy. There’s also a fun cameo from Mike Myers, calling back to the memorable use of “Bohemian Rhapsody” in Wayne’s World.

Rami Malek so thoroughly transforms into Mercury that it’s easy to forget it’s a performance, especially during re-creations of the band’s shows, particularly the final Live Aid extravaganza, which is the subject of two separate extras on the Blu-ray.

One is the complete 22-minute re-creation of the Live Aid performance, which is absolutely faithful to the original event and a pretty fantastic medley of Queen songs. The other is a 20-minute featurette about staging the Live Aid performance, which involved a lot of visual effects to re-create the old Wembley Stadium and digitally fill it with 100,000 screaming music fans.

Malek’s transformation into Freddie Mercury is the subject of another 16-minute featurette, while the 20-minute “The Look and Sound of Queen” deals with the process of re-creating the era.