‘The Flash’ Speeds to No. 1 on Blu-ray and DVD Sales Charts

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s The Flash debuted at No. 1 on the Circana VideoScan First Alert chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc unit sales, and the dedicated Blu-ray Disc chart the week ended Sept. 2.

Based on DC comics characters, the film finds the Scarlet Speedster attempting to alter the timeline to save his mother, but when things go wrong he seeks the help of heroes from across the multiverse to set things right. The film was a theatrical disappointment with $108 million at the domestic box office.

The top seller the previous three weeks, Universal Pictures’ Fast X, slipped to No. 2 on both charts, selling about 40% as many copies in its fourth week as The Flash did in its first.

No. 3 on both charts was another newcomer, Sony Pictures’s No Hard Feelings, a raunchy comedy starring Jennifer Lawrence as a woman so desperate for a car she agrees to date the college-bound son of a rich couple in order to boost his confidence. In earned just over $50 million from U.S. theaters.

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No. 4 on both charts was Disney-owned Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, in its fifth week on shelves.

The No. 5 overall seller (No. 10 on the Blu-ray chart), was the first season of the “Yellowstone” prequel “1923.” The No. 5 Blu-ray seller (No. 6 overall) was Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4.

HD formats accounted for 70% of first-week unit sales of The Flash, with 39% from regular Blu-ray and 31% from 4K Ultra HD editions (the wide release of The Flash on 4K was not a combo pack with a Blu-ray included; 4K combo packs were exclusive to Best Buy and Walmart). No Hard Feelings, for which there was no 4K release, had 54% of its total unit sales come from Blu-ray.

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The Media Play News rental chart for the week ended Sept. 3 had Fast X at No. 1 for a fourth week, with John Wick: Chapter 4 at No. 2 for a seventh.

No. 3 was again Universal’s Kandahar, followed at No. 4 by Universal’s The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and at No. 5 by Universal’s Asteroid City.

Top 20 Sellers for Week Ended 9-2-23
Top 20 Rentals for Week Ended 9-3-23
Top 20 Selling Blu-ray and 4K Discs for Week Ended 9-2-23
Top HD Formats Disc Share Per Title for Week Ended 9-2-23
Sales Report for Week Ended 9-2-23
Digital Transactions Snapshot for Week Ended 9-4-23

Merchandising: ‘Flash’ Exclusives Run to Retail

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment’s Aug. 29 release of The Flash on Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray included several exclusive retailer editions.

The release pattern for The Flash home video editions represents a departure from the combo packs the studio usually offers. Instead of 4K + Blu-ray or Blu-ray + DVD combo packs, the film’s wide release is standalone 4K, Blu-ray or DVD, each with an add-on digital copy.

The multidisc combo packs this time were left to the retail exclusives.

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Best Buy offered its usual Steelbook packaging with a 4K + Blu-ray combo pack, at $36.99.

Best Buy’s ‘The Flash’ 4K Steelbook

Walmart also had a 4K/Blu-ray combo pack, with fold-out cardboard “Icon Edition” packaging adorned with artwork from the film, for $34.96.

Target had a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack with unique box art and four packed-in character cards, for $26.99.

Target’s ‘The Flash’ Blu-ray with character cards

Another exclusive released during the week was that Best Buy had a Steelbook edition of the 4K Ultra HD/Blu-ray combo pack of the 1978 TV movie version of Battlestar Galactica, the edited version of the first episode, for $27.99.

Aug. 29 New Releases Include ‘The Flash,’ ‘No Hard Feelings’ on Disc, ‘Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny’ Digitally

The home entertainment new releases for the week of Aug. 29 include The Flash and No Hard Feelings on disc, while digital offerings include Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and 2The Boogeyman.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment releases The Flash on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Aug. 29. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti with Ezra Miller returning as The Flash/Barry Allen in the DC superhero’s first-ever standalone feature film. The film also stars Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verduì, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue and Michael Keaton. In the film, worlds collide when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no superheroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian — albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. The Flash has earned $108.1 million at the domestic box office. Read a review here. Among the bonus materials is the six-part original scripted podcast “The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus.” An original, standalone audio series, the podcast features Max Greenfield (TV’s “New Girl”) as the voice of The Flash/Barry Allen.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment releases the comedy No Hard Feelings on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Aug. 29. The film stars Jennifer Lawrence as Maddie, who thinks she’s found the answer to her financial troubles when she discovers an intriguing job listing: wealthy helicopter parents looking for someone to “date” their introverted 19-year-old son Percy and bring him out of his shell before he leaves for college. But awkward Percy proves to be a real challenge, and time is running out. She has one summer to make him a man or lose it all. The film earned more than $50 million at the domestic box office.

Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny becomes available through digital retailers starting Aug. 29. The fifth film in the “Indiana Jones” franchise finds Harrison Ford reprising his role as the iconic archaeologist in a globe-trotting adventure in 1969 to recover an ancient artifact called the Archimedes Dial before a former Nazi scientist can use it to change history. The cast includes Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, John Rhys-Davies, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Olivier Richters, Ethann Isidore and Mads Mikkelsen. The film was directed by James Mangold, and written by Jez Butterworth & John-Henry Butterworth and David Koepp and James Mangold, based on characters created by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. John Williams once again returns to provide the film’s musical score. The film has earned over $174 million at the domestic box office. Bonus features with the digital release include a five-part making-of documentary. A physical media release has not yet been announced.

The horror thriller The Boogeyman becomes available for digital purchase Aug. 29 from Disney-owned 20th Century studios. Based on the story by Stephen King, the film follows two sisters — along with their therapist father — who are reeling from their mother’s death. When a desperate patient comes to their home, he leaves behind a terrifying entity that feeds on its victims’ suffering. The film earned $43 million at the domestic box office.

DreamWorks Animation’s action comedy Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken becomes available for digital purchase at regular pricing Aug. 29  from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The animated comedy follows a shy teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed. Learning to be an all-powerful sea creature while hiding among humans is hard enough for Ruby, but to make matters worse, her super popular new bestie Chelsea is secretly a mermaid. Mermaids have been battling the krakens for eons to rule the ocean, but Chelsea has come to land to finally put an end to that conflict. However, when Chelsea double-crosses her, Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and “go big” to protect those she loves most. Directed by Kirk DeMicco (The Croods), the film’s voice actors include Lana Candor (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” franchise), Jane Fonda (Book Club: The Next Chapter80 For Brady), Toni Collette (Knives Out) and Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”). It arrives on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 26.

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BayView Entertainment will release the action drama You Should Have Killed Me on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 29. The film is about a man whose life revolves around the underground crime world. He has a reputation for violence, and is respected on the streets, but one event flips his world upside down. It’s a story of revenge, sacrifice, and ultimately justice. It was an official selection and winner at the International Film & Script Festival Lotus 2023; an official selection and winner at the Cannes Indies Cinema Awards 2023; an official nominee for the Excellence Award and Achievement Award at the 32nd Annual Iowa Motion picture Awards 2023; and an official selection at the 2023 Cedar Rapids Independent Film Festival.

History’s Greatest of All Time With Peyton Manning arrives on DVD Aug. 29 from Lionsgate. Hosted by two-time Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback Manning, the eight-episode series asks more than 100 experts from a range of fields of study: What defines the greatest of all time (G.O.A.T.)? The series explores G.O.A.T.’s in a wide range of disciplines, from toys, inventions, and sports cars to daredevils and titans of industry. Each episode counts down the 10 most iconic people, places, or things through vigorous debate from experts and analysts (including  Bob Costas, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Rob Parker, Nicole Lyons, Rutledge Wood and many more). They weigh in on the skills and historic impact of the list, ultimately deciding who or what deserves the title of G.O.A.T. by the end of each episode.

The spring break drama Deltopia will be released on demand and for digital purchase Aug. 29 from Lionsgate. Inspired by true events, Deltopia follows a group of recent high school grads who join tens of thousands of college kids who descend upon Isla Vista, Calif., for the spring break celebration Deltopia. But nothing can prepare these friends for Deltopia’s volatile mix of sex, drugs and rebellion, as they unite for a life-changing adventure that brings exhilaration, heartbreak, and — ultimately — hope. The film stars Luna Blaise (“Manifest,” “Fresh Off the Boat”), Madison Pettis (He’s All That, The Game Plan, “Cory in the House”) and Charlie Gillespie (“Julie and the Phantoms,” “Charmed,” “Degrassi: Next Class”).

BayView Entertainment will release the Brazilian comedy drama Pacarrete on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 29. Pacarrete is an elderly ballet dancer from Brazil who after her retirement as a dance and ballet instructor goes back to hometown. She decides to give a dance performance as a “gift to the people” on the eve of the city’s bicentennial celebration. But it seems nobody cares about Pacarrete. The comedic drama stars Marcelia Cartaxo (The Hour of the Star). The film won 44 festival awards, including Best Film, Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Screenplay and Best Cinematography at the SESC Film Festival, Brazil; Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Supporting Actor – João Miguel, Best Screenplay – Original, Best Art Direction, Best Music, Best Comedy and Best Film at the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize; and Best Actress – Marcelia Cartaxo, Best Supporting Actress – Zezita Matos, Best Supporting Actor – João Miguel, Best Ensemble Cast, Best Costume Design and Best Screenplay – Original at Prêmio Guarani.

BayView Entertainment will release the documentary Two Straight Girls at a Queer Fest on Blu-ray Disc on Aug. 29. In the film, Em and Jay, respectively a woman film director and her lead actress, both with ailing careers, embark on a journey between Montreal, Canada, and Durham, N.C., where a short film of theirs is being presented at the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. They drive a Jeep and pull a pop-up tent and decide to shoot a film along the way. Nothing much happens except that they develop a beautiful friendship and debunk quite a few taboos. The film was an official selection at the Out South Queer Film Festival and and won “Best LGBTQ+ Project” at the Social Impact Film and Art SIFA Festival.

Milestone Films & Video will release the silent film The Spanish Dancer (1923), restored by Eye Filmmuseum and archivist Rob Byrne using material from archives around the world, on Blu-ray Disc Aug. 29. It will also be available digitally on Kino Now. The romance features Pola Negri (The Wildcat), already an international star, and Antonio Moreno (The Searchers). Director Herbert Brenon (Beau Geste) was assisted by legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe (Hud). In addition to Wallace Beery and Adoph Menjou, the film features a cast of thousands. Negri, a trained dancer from her days at Warsaw’s Imperial Ballet was matched with famed choreographer Ernest Belcher (father of Marge Champion and mentor to Gwen Verdon, Cyd Charisse and Maria Tallchief) to create the dance pieces. The composer of the new orchestral score is Bill Ware, a founding member of the Jazz Passengers and Groove Collective. During his career, he has collaborated with Steely Dan, John Zorn, JD Parran, Marc Ribot, Bobby Sanabria, Deborah Harry, the BBC Concert Orchestra, Chico Mendoza, Bobby Previte, Joe Henderson, Jerome Harris, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Minnesota Symphony, Elvis Costello, Arturo O’Farrill, Andy Summers, Marshall Crenshaw, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore and many more.

Gravitas Ventures releases the crime thriller Welcome to Redville via VOD on Aug. 29. Directed by Isaac H Eaton, the film stars Jake Manley, Highdee Kuan, Chris Elliott, Sabrina Haskett, Mitch Field, Chase Dean Baker, Warren Sweeney, Phil Hendrie, Robert Craighead, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Matt Cannon, Ashley Doris Wilson, Dusty Sorg, Katelyn Eaton, Michael Lanahan, Joe Palubinsky, Steven M. Porter, Phire Whitaker, Dominic Hernandez and Joeal Nicassio. It is written by Eaton and Danny DeVoto. Welcome to Redville follows Leo and Toni, a young couple who flee from the police after a botched robbery and lie low in the secluded desert town of Redville. Soon, they have a run-in with the local sheriff, whose daughter entices Leo to steal her uncle’s million-dollar diamond. After they have strange encounters with Redville’s townsfolk, Leo convinces a reluctant Toni to help him steal the diamond. When the sheriff catches them fleeing with the diamond, Leo shoots him dead. As they flee, they keep running again and aging into the ghostly “Welcome To Redville” sign. Driving in endless circles they end up back in Redville where they are confronted by the townsfolk and the sheriff who is very much alive.

The comedy Millie Lies Low will be released digitally Aug. 29 from Film Movement. The film, nominated for Generation 14plus Best Film Crystal Bear at the 2022 Berlin International Film Festival, follows Millie, an architecture student from Wellington, New Zealand, who has landed a competitive internship with a prestigious firm in New York. After telling everyone she knows about the opportunity, she suddenly suffers a panic attack as her plane is about to take off, and misses her flight. In a desperate pivot, Millie decides to save face by hiding in plain sight around Wellington, suitcase in tow, using Instagram and the power of denial to depict a trip to New York City that never happened. Trapped in a spiral of hilariously uncomfortable self-inflected scenarios, Millie has to dig deep to restore her mental health and her dignity. It arrives on DVD Oct. 17.

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

The Flash

4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 8/29/23;
Warner;
Action;
Box Office $108.13 million;
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $44.98 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for partial nudity, action sequences of Violence, some strong language.
Stars Ezra Miller, Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verduì, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue, Michael Keaton.

Director Andy Muschietti’s The Flash would probably have been better regarded as a fun superhero movie if it weren’t dragged down by the baggage of the so-called DCEU.

On the one hand, it’s a solid portrayal of the character that, while taking some liberties with the source material, doesn’t deviate so much from the comics that he’s unrecognizable to fans. On the other hand, the film’s connection with the larger DC movie continuity serves as a beacon-call for hate-watchers to pick apart all the ways it doesn’t make much sense.

That dichotomy is likely to serve as the defining parameter of the ultimate legacy of The Flash — a film that’s entertaining on the surface and offers some genuine emotional beats, but doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny.

It’s also a bit unique among the superhero genre in that it’s one of the rare solo-titled adaptations that doesn’t offer a standalone depiction of the character’s origin story. To be honest, it’s actually not much of a solo movie, with all the various Justice League characters that keep popping up.

Instead, the screenplay finds clever ways to present the Flash’s history to the audience by deconstructing his origin story in a way to serve the larger plot.

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Loosely based on the “Flashpoint” storyline from the comics, the film finds Barry Allen (Ezra Miller) feeling helpless in trying to find the key evidence to prove that his dad didn’t murder his mom when he was a kid. When he discovers his super-speed abilities allow him to travel through time, he decides to change history by saving his mom. However, this fractures the timeline to the point where other superheroes no longer exist, leaving the Earth vulnerable to General Zod’s attack (from 2013’s Man of Steel).

Teaming with his younger self, Barry then seeks the aid of this new timeline’s Batman, which turns out to be the Michael Keaton version from the 1989 movie, though now older and retired but seeking a return to action. Hoping to find Superman to fight Zod, they instead uncover Supergirl (Sasha Calle), and set about to restore order.

And that brings us back to the film being anchored to its baggage. With its multiversal time-travel plot, The Flash is essentially a big “what if” scenario for the DC Extended Universe. And since fans already know the DCEU is becoming defunct thanks James Gunn’s new creative direction for a DC-based movie continuity, the Flash’s meddling through time won’t have many consequences going forward.

Having Flash revisit the events of Man of Steel might have served as a poignant capper to the DCEU continuity. But this isn’t quite the end of the DCEU, as there’s still another “Aquaman” movie set for release, which The Flash does pay lip service to setting up. The original intent was supposedly to use Barry’s time meddling in this movie to set up a modified DCEU with Michael Keaton’s Batman, which would then carry over into the Batgirl movie, but when those plans were scuttled the film reshot its ending to rely on nostalgia-based sight gags.

This is not a movie for viewers unfamiliar with what has come before, either in the DCEU or previous DC-based movies and TV shows, as the nostalgia-bait references are laid on fast and thick. There’s even a payoff to what might be one of the biggest Hollywood inside jokes depicted in a movie, stemming from a Kevin Smith anecdote about his work on a Superman movie in the 1990s.

There’s also the matter of the film’s real-world baggage in the form of star Miller’s well-publicized personal and legal troubles, which likely turned off a huge portion of the audience and would make future Miller-based “Flash” movies problematic at best even if this film didn’t lose hundreds of millions of dollars in box office cash. For those able to compartmentalize those issues, Miller actually turns in a good performance as the two Barrys playing off each other. Serving as a superhero mentor to his younger self, in the same way his Justice League cohorts encouraged him, forces Barry to experience some vital self-examination, while his immature counterpart provides the film an opportunity for self-parody.

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Warner’s release pattern for The Flash home video editions represents a departure from the combo packs the studio usually offers, which is disappointing if it represents a policy shift at the studio.

Instead of 4K + Blu-ray or Blu-ray + DVD combo packs, the film’s wide release is standalone 4K, Blu-ray or DVD, each with an add-on digital copy. Fans looking for multidisc combo packs will have to turn to retail exclusives, with Best Buy and Walmart offering 4K+Blu-ray sets, and Target a Blu-ray + DVD pack.

The distribution of the extras is confusing as well, as only the 4K disc offers the full array of bonus materials.

Available with the 4K disc, Blu-ray and digital versions of the film are a handful of pretty good behind-the-scenes featurettes, including the 37-minute “Making the Flash: Worlds Collide,” the eight-and-a-half-minute “Let’s Get Nuts: Batman Returns, Again,” and the six-and-a-half-minute “Flashpoint: Introducing the Multiverse.”

Also included is the 16-minute “Supergirl: Last Daughter of Krypton” mini-documentary about the character’s history and legacy.

However, the most intriguing extra is the entire six-episode “The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus” podcast, which is basically a radio drama of another Flash time travel adventure, running about 93 minutes in total, with Max Greenfield as The Flash. There’s also a two-minute “Midnight Circus” behind-the-scenes featurette.

Exclusive to the 4K disc and digital versions are four featurettes (“Saving Supergirl,” “The Bat Chase,” Battling Zod” and “Fighting Dark Flash,” about six to seven minutes each) and 10 deleted scenes running about 14 minutes total. Many of the deleted scenes expand on character interactions in the film and fill in some minor plot gaps, but are also interesting because the visual effects aren’t finished, so we get to see Ed Wade as the second Barry before being digitally replaced by Miller.

The 4K disc also includes the 38-minute “The Flash: The Saga of the Scarlett Speedster,” a must-see documentary for any fan of The Flash as it delves into the publication history of the character and his pop culture legacy. The digital version of this extra is available exclusively at Amazon Prime Video.

 

‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Holds Off ‘The Flash’ to Claim Third Week Atop U.K. Home Entertainment Sales Chart

Disney/Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 earned its third consecutive week at No. 1 on the Official Film Chart as the top-selling movie in the United Kingdom for the week ended July 26. The movie held off the retail bow of Warner Bros. Pictures The Flash at No. 2, with both titles available exclusively via digital platforms.

Universal Pictures’ former chart topper The Super Mario Bros. Movie rounded out the podium, finishing just ahead of Studiocanal’s Evil Dead Rise, which climbed six spots in its second week, to a new peak at No. 4. Paramount Home Entertainment’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves dropped three spots to No. 5.

Universal’s comedy-horror Renfield returned to the top 10 at No. 6 following its release on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K UHD Blu-ray, earning the title of the U.K.’s biggest film of the week on disc.

Rounding out the rest of the top 10 are four more previous chart toppers: Lionsgate U.K.’s John Wick: Chapter 4 (No. 7), 20th Century Studios’ Avatar: The Way of Water (No. 8), Universal’s Fast X (No. 9) and Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick (No. 10).

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In top 20 were several new and re-releases, including the Bruce Lee 4K UHD Blu-ray Disc boxset Bruce Lee at Golden Harvest (No. 11), the Rachel McAdams family dramedy Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (No. 15), and the 1978 classic Jaws 2 (No. 17), which had a special edition 4K Blu-ray Disc release. Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (No. 12) and Inception (No. 18) moved up as well.

The Official Film Chart Top 10 – July 26, 2023

Rank Previous Week Movie Distributor
1 1 GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3 DISNEY/MARVEL
2 NEW THE FLASH WARNER
3 3 THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE UNIVERSAL
4 10 EVIL DEAD RISE STUDIOCANAL
5 2 DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES PARAMOUNT
6 12 RENFIELD UNIVERSAL
7 5 JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 LIONSGATE U.K.
8 6 AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER 20TH CENTURY
9 7 FAST X UNIVERSAL
10 8 TOP GUN: MAVERICK PARAMOUNT

© Official Charts Company 2023

Week of July 18 New Releases Include ‘The Flash,’ ‘Ruby Gilman’ via PVOD, ‘Fool’s Paradise,’ ‘Kandahar,’ ‘The Last of Us’ on Disc

The Week of July 18 sees the premium digital release of The Flash and Ruby Gilman, Teenage Kraken, plus the digital release of a new “Venture Bros.” movie, while new Blu-ray and DVD releases include Fool’s Paradise, Kandahar, Love Again and The Last of Us: The Complete First Season.

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment releases The Flash for premium digital rental ($19.99) and purchase ($24.99) July 18. The film is directed by Andy Muschietti with Ezra Miller returning as The Flash/Barry Allen in the DC superhero’s first-ever standalone feature film. The film also stars Sasha Calle, Michael Shannon, Ron Livingston, Maribel Verduì, Kiersey Clemons, Antje Traue and Michael Keaton. In The Flash, worlds collide when Barry uses his superpowers to travel back in time in order to change the events of the past. But when his attempt to save his family inadvertently alters the future, Barry becomes trapped in a reality in which General Zod has returned, threatening annihilation, and there are no superheroes to turn to. That is, unless Barry can coax a very different Batman out of retirement and rescue an imprisoned Kryptonian — albeit not the one he’s looking for. Ultimately, to save the world that he is in and return to the future that he knows, Barry’s only hope is to race for his life. The Flash has earned more than $267 million at the global box office.

Additionally, on July 18, the film will be available as a Web3 Movie Experience, a multimedia NFT allowing fans to own and to engage with the 2023 DC superhero film. Through dynamic menu options based on locations from the film, owners can watch the film in 4K UHD on desktop, mobile, tablet or TV, access special features, collect standard or motion key art, discover digital Easter eggs, uncover hidden AR collectibles, and more.  The Flash Web3 Movie Experience will be available for purchase at https://web3.wb.com

Also included with The Flash purchase on digital is the six-part original scripted podcast “The Flash: Escape the Midnight Circus.” An original, standalone audio series, the podcast features Max Greenfield (TV’s “New Girl”) as the voice of The Flash/Barry Allen.  The podcast is also available to follow on Apple Podcasts at https://apple.co/theflashpodcast.

The Flash will be available on regular digital, DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Aug. 29.

DreamWorks Animation’s action comedy Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken will be available for premium digital purchase (PEST) and premium digital rental (PVOD) July 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film has earned $34.2 million at the global box office. Directed by Academy Award nominee Kirk DeMicco (The Croods), the film’s voice actors include Lana Candor (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” franchise), Jane Fonda (Book Club: The Next Chapter, 80 For Brady), Toni Collette (Knives Out) and Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”). The animated comedy follows a shy teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed. Learning to be an all-powerful sea creature while hiding among humans is hard enough for Ruby, but to make matters worse, her super popular new bestie Chelsea is secretly a mermaid. Mermaids have been battling the krakens for eons to rule the ocean, but Chelsea has come to land to finally put an end to that conflict. However, when Chelsea double-crosses her, Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and “go big” to protect those she loves most.

The comedy Fool’s Paradise arrives on Blu-ray (plus digital) and DVD July 18 from Lionsgate. Written, starring and directed by Charlie Day (TV’s “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” Fist Fight, Horrible Bosses), it’s a tale of mistaken identities and outlandish schemes, as a motley crew of eccentric characters stumbles their way through a paradise where the line between fools and geniuses becomes blurred. The film also stars Jason Bateman (Primetime Emmy: TV’s “Ozark,” “Arrested Development”) and Jason Sudeikis (Primetime Emmy: TV’s “Ted Lasso,” Colossal, We’re the Millers). The comedy follows an ordinary guy (Day) who happens to be a dead ringer for a hot-headed movie star. When he replaces the movie star in a major film, he becomes an accidental celebrity thrown into a fever dream of Hollywood fame brought to life by a stellar cast, including Ken Jeong, Kate Beckinsale, Adrien Brody, Sudeikis, Edie Falco, Bateman, Common and Ray Liotta.

Open Road’s action thriller Kandahar will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc July 18 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The film is also available now for regular digital purchase. It had been available for premium digital purchase and rental starting June 16. Gerard Butler (“Has Fallen” trilogy, Plane) reteams with action director Ric Roman Waugh (Angel Has FallenGreenland) in the thriller set in the Middle East. It follows Tom Harris (Butler) an undercover CIA operative who is stuck deep in hostile territory in Afghanistan. After his mission is exposed, he must fight his way out, alongside his Afghan translator, to an extraction point in Kandahar, all while avoiding elite enemy forces and foreign spies tasked with hunting them down. The film also stars Navid Negahban (Aladdin, “Homeland”), Ali Fazal (Victoria & Abdul, “Mirzapur”), Tom Rhys Harries (“White Lines,” The Gentlemen), Rebecca Calder (Love Me DoThe Dark Mile), and Travis Fimmel (“Vikings,” Warcraft).

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will released the romantic comedy Love Again on Blu-ray and DVD July 18. In this romantic comedy, dealing with the loss of her fiancé, Mira Ray sends a series of romantic texts to his old cell phone number — not realizing the number was reassigned to Rob Burns’ new work phone. A journalist, Rob is captivated by the honesty in the beautifully confessional texts. When he’s assigned to write a profile of megastar Celine Dion (playing herself in her first film role), he enlists her help in figuring out how to meet Mira in person — and win her heart. The film also stars Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sam Heughan. 

HBO’s The Last of Us: The Complete First Season arrives on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray July 18 from Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment. Based on the hit video game, “The Last of Us” takes place 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal and heartbreaking journey as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival. Season one stars Pedro Pascal as Joel, Bella Ramsey as Ellie, Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill,Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, and Elaine Miles as Florence.

Season two of “Your Honor,” starring Emmy Award and Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), arrives on DVD July 18 from CBS Video and Paramount. In the series, disbarred, disgraced, and all but destroyed ex-judge Michael Desiato (Cranston) is offered a ray of hope when a federal agent recruits him to take down the empire of corruption and vengeance that runs New Orleans. The series also stars Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire”), Emmy nominees Michael Stuhlbarg (Doctor Strange) and Hope Davis (About Schmidt). From the executive producers of “The Good Wife,” “The Good Fight” and “The Night Of,” the season’s guest stars include Academy Award nominated Rosie Perez (“The Flight Attendant”), Emmy Award winner Margo Martindale (“The Americans”) and Amy Landecker (“Transparent”). The three-disc set includes all 10 episodes, along with extras.

Lionsgate releases the horror film Devilreaux on DVD July 18. Vincent M. Ward (“The Walking Dead”) and Tony Todd (Candyman) star in this tale of horrific and bloody revenge that awaits just beyond the grave. After several thrill-seeking teens go missing, Detective Bobbie Briggs (Krista Grotte Saxon) investigates the lone survivor and her incredible tale of Devilreaux, an undead, shovel-wielding monster seeking revenge for murders committed long ago. Now, Briggs must visit the legend’s abandoned farmhouse to confront Devilreaux himself — and try to survive his vengeful, razor-sharp shovel. The film was written and directed by Thomas J. Churchill, with a story by Ward.

The Chinese World War II thriller Hidden Blade will be released on digital July 18 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Set during World War II at the height of China’s war of resistance against Japan, it follows citizens who develop a top-secret underground espionage network under the nose of the newly established puppet regime. At increasingly great peril to their own lives, the double-agents extract classified information from deep behind enemy lines, an effort that gives rise to the united front that will help turn the tide of the conflict. Written and directed by Cheng Er (Lethal HostageThe Wasted Times), Hidden Blade stars action icon Tony Leung (“Infernal Affairs” franchise, Hero, The Grandmaster), Wang Yibo (Born to Fly), Chengpeng Dong (City of Rock, I am Not Madame Bovary, The Thousand Faces of Dunjia), Xun Zhou (2022’s Hero, Painted SkinPerhaps Love), Eric Wang (Saturday Fiction, Dying to Survive) and Lei Huang (Farewell My Concubine, Phantom of the Theatre). 

The Chinese neo-noir thriller Are You Lonesome Tonight? will be released on DVD and digital July 18 from Film Movement. In the film, one dark night, AC repairman Wang Xueming (Eddie Peng, The Rescue) hits a pedestrian with his van, panics and flees the scene. Tormented by the accident and desperate to escape his feelings of guilt, he approaches the widow, Mrs. Liang (Sylvia Chang), and strikes up a relationship. Meanwhile, her husband’s body is discovered — riddled with bullets. Though he’s determined to piece together the complete events of that fateful night, Wang is also being stalked by a shadowy killer (Lu Xin) who spotted his van at the site of the hit-and-run. To complicate matters further, the detective in charge of the investigation, Chen, becomes obsessed with the case. Years later, the trio remain trapped in a tangled web of memories and lies, desperately searching for a truth that refuses to be revealed. Director Wen Shipei made his feature film debut with the Cannes Camer D-Or-nominated thriller. The release includes a bonus short film “Killing Time,” also directed by Wen Shipei, which is about a futuristic super-assassin who meets his match.

The Venture Bros. return in a new original movie, distributed by Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment, that picks up right after the season season Adult Swim finale. The Venture Bros. — Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart, based on one of Adult Swim’s longest-running original adult animated series, will be available to purchase digitally on July 21 and on Blu-ray Disc on July 25. Returning in their original series roles are James Urbaniak as Dr. Venture, Patrick Warburton as Brock Samson, Michael Sinterniklaas as Dean Venture, Chris McCulloch as Hank Venture and Doc Hammer as Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. The voice cast also includes Nina Arianda as Mantilla, Clancy Brown as Red Death, John Hodgman as Snoopy, Hal Lublin as Clayton, Jane Lynch as Bobbi St. Simone, Charles Parnell as Jefferson Twilight, Jay Pharoah as Nuno Blood, Steven Rattazzi as Dr. Orpheus, J.K. Simmons as Ben, and Dana Snyder as The Alchemist. In the film, Doc’s latest invention will either bankrupt Team Venture or launch them to new heights, as Hank searches for himself, Dean searches for Hank, The Monarch searches for answers, and a mysterious woman from their pasts threatens to bring their entire world crashing down on them.

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The 1985 neo-noir crime thriller To Live and Die in L.A. will make its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut on July 18, courtesy of Kino Lorber. To Live and Die in L.A. was directed and co-written by William Friedkin and is based on the 1984 novel by former Secret Service agent Gerald Petievich, who co-wrote the screenplay with Friedkin. The film stars William Petersen, Willem Dafoe, John Turturro, Darlanne Fluegel, Debra Feuer, Dwier Brown, John Pankow, Dean Stockwell, Steve James, Michael Greene, and Robert Downey Sr., among others. In the film, federal agent Richard Chance (Petersen) has a score to settle, and he’s through playing by the rules. Whether that means blackmailing a beautiful parolee, disobeying direct orders or hurtling the wrong way down a crowded freeway, he vows to take down a murderous counterfeiter (Dafoe) by any means necessary.  The 4K Ultra HD edition was made from a new HDR/Dolby Vision master from a 4K scan of the original camera negative, and features 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Lossless Audio. Bonus features include an audio commentary with Friedkin. The package also includes a regular Blu-ray Disc, which is also available separately. The Blu-ray Disc edition was made from a new HD master and in addition to the audio commentary with Friedkin includes interviews with actors Petersen, Feuer and Brown; composers Wang Chung; and stunt coordinator Buddy Joe Hooker. There’s also a making-of documentary, a deleted scene, and an alternate ending.

Kino Lorber will release the 1980 John Cassavetes neo-noir crime thriller Gloria on Blu-ray Disc July 18 as part of its Studio Classics line. Gena Rowlands was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Gloria, an ex-gun moll and showgirl suddenly forced to protect a 6-year-old child. An accountant (Buck Henry) is in possession of a ledger which could put a number of mob bosses behind bars for a long time. Before he is killed, however, he manages to entrust the ledger and his son to his neighbor, Gloria, for protection. Gloria reluctantly takes the kid on the run while keeping the mob at bay, sometimes at the point of a gun. Finally, tired of running, she decides to confront them head on. The cast also includes Julie Carmen, John Adames, Lupe Garnica, John Finnegan, Lawrence Tierney, Tom Noonan, J.C. Quinn, and Sonny Landham.

The Japanese classic Big Time Gambling Boss will be released on Blu-ray Disc July 18 from Radiance Films and MVD Entertainment Group. Originally released in 1968, Big Time Gambling Boss is set in Tokyo in the 1930s, where gang boss Arakawa is ill and a successor must be named. The choice falls on Nakai, but being an outsider he refuses and suggests senior clansman Matsuda instead. But Matsuda is in jail and the elders won’t wait for his release, so they appoint the younger and more malleable Ishido to take the reins. Clan honor and loyalties are severely tested when Matsuda is released, resulting in an increasingly violent internal strife. An atmospheric tale of gangland intrigue written by Kazuo Kasahara (Battles Without Honor and Humanity) and starring Tomisaburo Wakayama (Lone Wolf and Cub, “The Bounty Hunter Trilogy”) and genre legend Koji Tsuruta, Big Time Gambling Boss is a classic of the Yakuza genre. Special features include a visual essay by genre expert Chris D., author of Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980, on Big Time Gambling Boss‘s origins in the Toei studio’s serialized yakuza movie production and what sets the film apart; “Ninkyo 101,” a video essay with Mark Schilling, author of The Yakuza Movie Book; a gallery of promotional stills; and the trailer.

The Italian classic The Iron Prefect will be released on Blu-ray Disc July 18 from Radiance Films and MVD Entertainment Group. The Iron Prefect (1977) is based on the true story of Cesare Mori, the Iron Prefect who was sent to Sicily for an Eliot Ness-in-The Untouchables style clean up of the mafia. Mori approaches organized crime on the island with uncompromising force even in the face of mass murders designed to scare him off. Pasquale Squitieri (The Climber) directs the period piece which won the David di Donatello award for best film and features spaghetti western icon Giuliano Gemma playing against type as the titular hero, winning him an award for his performance at the prestigious Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Alongside Gemma are co-stars Claudia Cardinale (The Day of the Owl) and Francisco Rabal (Sorcerer), screenwriter Ugo Pirro (The Working Class Goes to Heaven) and composer Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in America). The released includes a 2K restoration of the film from the original negative presented with Italian and English audio options; new and improved English subtitles for Italian audio and English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for English audio; and uncompressed mono PCM audio. Special features include an archival interview with director Pasquale Squitieri and star Giuliano Gemma (2009); a new interview with Squitieri biographer Domenico Monetti (2023); a new appreciation of Giuliano Gemma and the film by filmmaker Alex Cox (2023); the original trailer; a reversible sleeve featuring designs based on the original posters; and a limited edition booklet featuring new writing by Italian cinema expert Guido Bonsaver and an original article on the real-life Cesare Mori and his Mafia raid as depicted within the film.

Seasons 21-25 of the animated series “South Park” arrive on Blu-ray and DVD July 18 in a boxed set from Paramount Media Networks and MTV Entertainment Studios. The boxed set includes 35 episodes from seasons 21 through 25. In the seasons, the residents of everyone’s favorite little mountain town contend with the vaping epidemic, the Underbelly of Social Media, and the return of ManBearPig. Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny take on COVID-19, tackle the consequences of immigration, and correct a long-held misconception about one of their classmates. Bonus features include audio commentaries from creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, deleted scenes, and concept art.

NCircle Entertainment will release Mattel’s animated Barbie 4-Movie Special Collection on DVD July 18.

The collection includes:

Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams, which finds Barbie heading to New York for a summer program, where she meets another Barbie Roberts and competes in the “Spotlight Solo” competition;

Barbie: Dreamtopia features Barbie and Chelsea as they swim through rainbow rivers with beautiful mermaids and fly through cotton candy clouds with fairies;

Barbie & Chelsea: The Lost Birthday — When the Roberts family crosses the International Date Line during their adventure cruise, Chelsea discovers her birthday has been lost; and

Barbie: Princess Adventure — Barbie and her friends travel to the country of Floravia, where Barbie switches places with Princess Amelia.

The four-movie DVD collection features diverse voices, including America Young as the voice of Barbie “Malibu” Roberts, Amber May as the voice of Barbie “Brooklyn” Roberts, Alejandro Saab as the voice of Rafa, and as the voice of Skipper.

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

‘The Flash’ Slows to Father’s Day Weekend Box Office Win; ‘Elemental’ Disappoints

Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Flash, starring Ezra Miller in the title role, started fast out of the gate before cooling off with a projected $55 million opening box office through June 18 — significantly less than the previously estimated $70 million in ticket sales. Disney/Pixar Animation’s Elemental generated about $30 million in debut revenue, which was at the lower end of projections, to finish No. 2.

The Elemental opening was lower than previous underachieving Pixar releases The Good Dinosaur in 2015 and Onward in 2020, at $39 million each.

Combined, the two movies had a reported production budget around $200 million, which, when including marketing costs, sets a high bar for any profitability.

In addition, Flash’s debut underscores an ongoing underperforming trend among superhero movies. Compared with other recent DC-based films, The Flash is on track to match Black Adam, the Dwayne Johnson-starrer that failed to generate a sustained box office considering its budget and lead actor. In March, DC’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods generated less than $60 million at the North American box office.

Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse made $8.125 million on Friday, $10.1 million on Saturday and is projected to add $9.575 million on Sunday and $4.62 million on Monday, June 19 — a federal holiday — across 3,873 screens.

Sony is projecting $32.42 million in ticket sales over the four-day weekend ($27.8 million for the three-day), bringing its total domestic gross to $285 million through Monday.

The sequel to 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, pushed its global take through Sunday to $489.3 million worldwide after an international weekend of $27.6 million from 18,700+ screens in 60 markets for an overseas total of $209 million. The movie debuted in Japan at No. 1 to $2.8 million, besting the opening of the original by 82%. Holdover business remained brisk with markets down 48% as a group.

Meanwhile, Lionsgate’s The Blackening, from director Tim Story, took in an estimated $6 million across 1,775 locations. The film delivered in the pre-release range predicted. Driven by its 86% Certified Fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, the movie is poised to take advantage of the Juneteenth holiday on Monday (four-day $7 million), which plays a part in the storyline.

The studio has a low lift to profitability based in part on a $5 million production, which was acquired from MRC after its world premiere was met with raves at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

The Blackening centers on a group of black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer. 

Warner’s ‘The Flash’ Eyes Father’s Day Weekend Box Office Win Following $9.7 Million Thursday Haul

Warner Bros. Pictures’ DC Universe superhero film The Flash is projected to emerge No. 1 in the box office tally for the Father’s Day weekend ended June 18  with almost $70 million in North American ticket sales, according to new data from Box Office Pro.

The movie generated $9.7 million in special Thursday sneak peak screenings.

The movie, starring Ezra Miller in the title role, and Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck as Batman, is Warner’s second DC release of the year following underperforming Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which was released in March to a disappointing opening theatrical debut of $30 million.

The Flash is expected to top Disney/Pixar Animation’s debut of Elemental, which is projected to generate north of $35 million in its box office bow. That should be enough to hold off three prior weekend box office champs: Sony Pictures Animation’s Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (projected $31 million for the weekend), Paramount Pictures’ Transformers: Rise of the Beasts ($22.8 million) and Disney’s The Little Mermaid reboot ($18.2 million).

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Separately, Lionsgate’s The Blackening took in an estimated $900,000 from Thursday night previews (including early access grosses from Wednesday), according to the studio. The film opened wide June 16 across 1,775 screens.  Industry tracking is pointing to a three-day weekend in the $6 million to $8 million range — a strong start for the horror film heading into the holiday Monday for Juneteenth. The movie centers on a group of black friends who reunite for a Juneteenth weekend getaway only to find themselves trapped in a remote cabin with a twisted killer.

Season 7 of ‘The Flash’ Running to Blu-ray and DVD Oct. 12

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release The Flash: The Complete Seventh Season on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Oct. 12.

The collection includes all 18 episodes from the 2021 season of the CW series that chronicles the adventures of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), who uses his super-speed powers to become the superhero known as the Flash, and his friends as they protect Central City from a variety of threats.

The cast also includes Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Killer Frost, Carlos Valdes as Cisco, Tom Cavanagh as Wells, Jesse L. Martin as Joe West, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile, Kayle Compton as Allegra and Brandon McKnight as Chester.

Extras include the show’s 2020 DC FanDom panel, plus the featurettes “The Journey Ends: Carlos and Tom Cavanagh” and “Never Alone: Heroes and Allies.” Exclusive to the Blu-ray and DVD will be deleted scenes and a gag reel.

The season is also available to own from digital retailers. The Blu-ray will include a code for a digital copy of the season, redeemable in the United States only.

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Justice Society: World War II

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 5/11/21;
Warner;
Animated;
$29.98 Blu-ray, $39.99 UHD BD;
Rated ‘PG-13’ for violence and some bloody images.
Voices of Stana Katic, Matt Bomer, Omid Abtahi, Geoffrey Arend, Chris Diamantopoulos, Matthew Mercer, Liam McIntyre, Elysia Rotaru, Armen Taylor, Darren Criss.

The plot mechanics that presumably served as the jumping off point for Justice Society: World War II ultimately cause the latest DC Universe animated movie to struggle to become a satisfying standalone adventure.

The film starts off in modern times, with Barry Allen (Matt Bomer) interrupting a picnic with his girlfriend to become the Flash and help Superman hold off an attempt by Brainiac to invade Metropolis. The battle ends up opening a rift that sends the Flash to World War II, where he encounters the Justice Society of America, the team of the greatest superheroes of that era (known in comic book lingo as the Golden Age).

They are led by the ageless Wonder Woman (Stana Katic, effectively laying on her best Gal Gadot accent). But the team also includes the Golden Age version of the Flash, Jay Garrick (Armen Taylor), allowing the iconic speedsters of two eras to meet each other.

As Barry works to figure out how to get home, he agrees to help the JSA on their mission, which involves stopping Hitler from collecting mystical artifacts (a nice nod to Indiana Jones), and leads them to uncover a Nazi plot involving the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, ruled by Aquaman (Liam McIntyre).

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The film is loaded with some great animated action sequences, nice character dynamics and some intriguing plot twists. But what could have been a good period piece about Golden Age comic book characters during WWII gets sidetracked by the question of why the future Flash had to be involved for the story to work.

Turns out there are a couple of reasons for it, and it has more to do with franchise building and comic book history than servicing the story (or, at the very least, the story that they appear to be telling).

Based on a half-hour roundtable with the filmmakers included on the Blu-ray, the genesis for the film seems to be adapting the classic 1961 comic book story called “Flash of Two Worlds,” which is generally credited with establishing the idea of a comic book multiverse. That story, by Flash creator Gardner Fox, was a fun, meta examination of the nature of comic book storytelling. A number of characters from the Golden Age (roughly the 1940s through the mid 1950s) had been either retired or redesigned heading into the Silver Age (mid-1950s through the 1960s). The Flash was one of the ones redesigned for a new audience, switching from the maskless, helmeted Jay Garrick to the red-suited Barry Allen we still know today. “Flash of Two Worlds” saw Barry Allen’s Flash cross into the dimension where Garrick had been the Flash 20 years earlier, putting the two on an adventure together. The multiverse was significant in that it freed writers from adhering to established continuity when it no longer made sense due to the passage of time (e.g., Superman and Batman supposedly being the same age in the 1960s as they were when they were created in the 1930s), while allowing them to honor the legacies of characters from the eras in which they were introduced.

So, building a version of “Flash of Two Worlds” into a movie then begins with the concept of sending Barry Allen into Jay Garrick’s time. Which then requires the filmmakers to develop Garrick and his era.

The other factor that seems to have influenced this movie is that it’s apparently set in the same continuity as 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow. The animation styles are similar and Darren Criss voices Superman in both movies. So, that makes the two films an early attempt to establish a new DC shared animated universe, and uses the story of Barry Allen meeting the JSA to inspire him to help build the team of modern heroes that will be known as the Justice League for future movies.

Otherwise, the Golden Age trappings are just a great excuse to either revisit characters that don’t get as much screentime anymore, or look at familiar characters through a different lens.

This just leads back to the idea of the JSA fighting Nazis being a strong enough premise on its own without the Flash framing device pulling focus from it. Of course, time will tell if future movies pay off some of the story threads introduced here in a way that reframes how this particular movie ends up being perceived.

The filmmaker roundtable is a fun watch and a nice departure from the usual talking-heads featurettes usually included with the DC animation Blu-rays. The format provides for a fun conversation about exploring different superheroes and bringing their stories to life through animation in a way that both satisfies the curiosities of the writer and entertains the audience.

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The Blu-ray also includes the two-part “Legends” episode of the “Justice League” animated series which tells the same basic story — the Flash and some other Justice League team members are sent to an alternate dimension where they encounter another superhero team that is eerily similar to yet slightly different from their own.

The other notable inclusion on the Blu-ray is the 18-minute animated short film Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. This is a fun adventure set in an apocalyptic future that begins with some clever nods to Planet of the Apes. Kamandi is a teenager trying to survive in a world in which humans are gone and animals have evolved into walking, talking tribes. A clan of apes captures Kamandi and some of this friends and subjects them to a series of tests, hoping to find the reincarnation of the great warrior who shaped the world after the fall of society. Kamandi’s backstory (created by the legendary Jack Kirby) and the world of humanoid animals give the short the feeling of a classic 1980s Saturday morning cartoon.

Rounding out the extras are previews for other DC animated movies, including the upcoming Batman: The Long Halloween.