Netflix Picks Up Zendaya Film ‘Malcolm & Marie’

Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to Sam Levinson’s romantic drama Malcolm & Marie starring Zendaya and John David Washington.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” director-writer-producer Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

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The story follows a filmmaker (Washington) and his girlfriend (Zendaya) who return home following a celebratory movie premiere as he awaits what’s sure to be imminent critical and financial success. The evening suddenly takes a turn as revelations about their relationships begin to surface, testing the strength of their love.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

BLU-RAY REVIEW:

Street Date 10/1/19;
Sony Pictures/Marvel;
Action;
Box Office $389.86 million;
$30.99 DVD, $38.99 Blu-ray, $45.99 UHD BD;
Rated’PG-13’ for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
Stars Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Peter Billingsley, Marisa Tomei.

Well, that could have been awkward.

Amid reports that Sony Pictures and Disney would not renew their landmark deal to share Spider-Man, the home video release of the latest film featuring the character looked to be in the unenviable position of reminding audiences just how valuable the partnership had been, both from a financial and a creative standpoint.

And since Spider-Man: Far From Home ends with a cliffhanger that recasts the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Spidey’s place within it, a fresh viewing of the film under the shadow of its sequel potentially not being connected to the MCU only puts a more glaring spotlight on the impasse, much to the disappointment of fans. The bonus materials accompanying the release don’t sidestep the issues, either, with direct discussions of Spidey’s impact on the MCU (particularly the four-minute “Stepping Up” featurette).

Fortunately, such prospects were avoided with the news of a new agreement to allow Marvel to make a proper sequel, completing a trilogy with Tom Holland as the title character at the very least, and paving the way for whatever Sony has planned for the character down the road.

And that’s very good news indeed, as Far From Home offers a spectacular adventure, from the perspective of both a Spider-Man story and the 23rd chapter of the MCU (serving as the epilogue of Phase 3).

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With the world adjusting to the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker (Holland) and his high school class take a summer trip to Europe, where Peter hopes to relax, take some time away from being Spider-Man, and explore a relationship with MJ (Zendaya). Unfortunately, he is recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) battle a threat from another dimension. As Peter struggles to balance his personal and superhero lives, he is confronted by the legacy of Tony Stark.

But as Peter questions what his place within that legacy is, he learns that things are not what they seem, forcing him to step up to become the hero he was destined to be.

The film looks great, blending scenic European locales with dazzling visual effects to create an eye-popping piece of entertainment.

Holland remains one of the most likeable stars of the MCU, handling with ease whatever challenges the movie throws at him. Gyllenhaal makes for an engaging Mysterio, an effective counterbalance to Peter’s crisis of confidence. Far From Home features a lot of surprises, both in terms of how the story unfolds and in references to earlier Marvel movies.

As with the previous film in this particular franchise, 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, the villains are remnants of Stark’s actions in prior films, which has left some fans a bit miffed that the MCU Spider-Man seems more like an Iron Man Jr. cleaning up Stark’s messes. There is some truth to that, but within the context of the story of the films, it works really well.

The Blu-ray also includes what is billed as a new original short, but it’s essentially a three-and-a-half minute deleted scene of Peter preparing for his vacation, clips of which were used in some of the earliest Far From Home trailers.

Separately, the disc includes another six minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, plus a three-and-a-half-minute gag reel.

The four-and-a-half-minute “Stealthy Easter Eggs” featurette shows off some of the film’s hidden references, while the five-minute “Teachers’ Travel Tips” offers a comedic look at the chaperones played by Martin Starr and JB Smoove trying to ensure a smooth trip.

For behind-the-scenes footage, the disc offers nine featurettes that run about 40 minutes in total. These cover everything from the new suits, new locations and new cast members seen in the film, to the extensive stunts, a look at MCU guest stars, and how director Jon Watts put his spin on the material.

Another section of the extras offers eight minutes of comparisons between pre-vis storyboards and the final version of select scenes.

Finally, there’s a 12-minute video called “The Brother’s Trust,” an inspiring look at the charity work of Holland and his brothers.

 

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Comes Home on Digital Sept. 17, Disc Oct. 1 Including 4K

Spider-Man: Far From Home will fly to digital Sept. 17 and 4K Ultra HD combo pack, Blu-ray combo pack and DVD Oct. 1 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film earned $386.1 million in domestic theaters.

Tom Holland returns as the web-slinger Peter Parker in the next chapter after Spider-Man: Homecoming. He joins his best friends Ned, M.J. and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plans to leave heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks. Spider-Man and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) join forces to fight the havoc unleashed across the continent — but all is not as it seems.

The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan and Zendaya as M.J.

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Special features include a new original short, alternate and extended scenes, gag reels, and Easter Eggs. Additional special features include “Teachers’ Travel Tips,” with Mr. Harrington and Mr. Dell on how to traverse the European continent, as well as interviews with the cast and crew focused on stunts and location in “The Jump Off” and “Far, FAR, From Home.” Viewers can explore how Spider-Man was introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in “Stepping Up” and get a closer look at the chemistry between Jon Watts and Tom Holland in “It Takes Two.” Viewers can also dive into the “The Ginter-Riva Effect,” “Thank You, Mrs. Parker” and “Now You See Me” featurettes for more character focused details.

The 4K Ultra HD also features Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio.

‘Lucifer’ Rules Binges and ‘Euphoria’ Is on the Rise on TV Time Charts

Netflix’s “Lucifer” continued as the top “Binge” show while HBO’s “Euphoria” led the “Shows on the Rise” on TV Time’s charts for the week ended June 23.

TV Time is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by more than 1 million consumers every day, according to the company.

“Lucifer,” a canceled Fox series rescued by Netflix about the Lucifer’s escapades in Los Angeles, remained at No. 1 on the weekly “Binge Report,” which ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day.

HBO’s “Euphoria,” took the top spot on the “Shows on the Rise” chart, which is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The show follows a group of high school students as they navigate love and friendships in a world of drugs, sex, trauma and social media. Actor and singer Zendaya leads an ensemble cast including Hunter Schafer, Jacob Elordi, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney.

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended June 23 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Lucifer” (Neflix) 4.50%
  2. “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” (Netflix) 3.49%
  3. “Trinkets” (Netflix) 2.94%
  4. “Friends” (NBC) 2.27%
  5. “Dark” (Netflix) 1.87%
  6. “The 100” (CW) 1.72%
  7. “Good Girls” (NBC) 1.60%
  8. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC) 1.52%
  9. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) 1.43%
  10. “Game of Thrones” (HBO) 1.32%

 

Top Shows on the Rise Week Ended June 23 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Euphoria” (HBO) 100%
  2. “Go! Live Your Way” (Netflix) 93.4%
  3. “Dark” (Netflix) 88.4%
  4. “Well-Intended Love” (Mango TV) 88.4%
  5. “Trinkets” (Netflix) 78.2%
  6. “Good Trouble” (Freeform) 77.8%
  7. “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” (Netflix) 72.1%
  8. “Aggretsuko” (Netflix) 58.8%
  9. “Siren” (Freeform) 45%
  10. “Younger” (TV Land) 42.5%

‘Smallfoot’ to March to Digital Dec. 4, Disc Dec. 11 from Warner

The animated Smallfoot will come out on digital (including Movies Anywhere) Dec. 4 and Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD Dec. 11 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The film, featuring music by Zendaya and Common, turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (voice of Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist — a human. News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (voice of James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village. The film also features the voice talent of Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Danny DeVito, Gina Rodriguez, Yara Shahidi, Ely Henry and Jimmy Tatro.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack, which features a Blu-ray disc, a DVD and a digital version of the movie, includes an interactive sing-along that lets viewers follow the words of their favorite songs from the film. Other bonuses include:

  • the “Super Soozie” Mini Movie, with custom animation featuring the yeti toddler Soozie;
  • Migo in “The Secret of the Yeti Stones,” a featurette with Tatum;
  • “Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot,” a making of featurette;
  • the Nial Horran “Finally Free” music video;
  • the Cyn “Moment of Truth” music video;
  • the “Wonderful Life: In 28 Languages, Sung Around the World” music video; and
  • theatrical promos.

 

DVD bonus features include “Yeti or Not, Here They Come! Imagining Smallfoot.”