Blu-ray Invasion – June 13th
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.
This live-action remake is an interesting experiment in time because it’s almost 40 minutes longer than that animated version, but with all the familiar beats being here, this moves along at the wonderfully brisk pace you’re used to with the animated classic. Emma Watson is a great Belle and Dan Stevens continues his rise in Hollywood with his turn as the CGI-aided Beast. These new live-action remakes of animated classics hardly ever feel necessary, but this one feels like it brings enough different to the table visually that it makes up for any redundancies. Plus this disk is loaded with extra features that’ll take hours to pour through as well as singalong version. BUY IT
Bambi (Anniversary Edition)
A timeless classic that has been loved for generations, Bambi now joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection
In this life-changing adventure, Bambi sets off with his best friends Thumper and Flower to explore the wonders and challenges of the woods – and fulfill his destiny as the prince of the forest. Full of humor and heart, and featuring awe-inspiring animation, Bambi remains a family favorite, ready to delight a whole new generation.
This release, while obviously not providing anything new you haven’t seen dozens of times before since your childhood does offer a slew of brand new extras, including deleted scenes. This release is pretty much only for those who want the extra features if they already have previous versions. If for some reason you’ve never owned Bambi in any format, this is the definitive version to get. BUY IT
A United Kingdom
In the late 1940s, Prince Seretse Khama of Bechuanaland is studying law in Britain in preparation for his eventual ascension to the throne. There, the dashing prince falls in love with a white British clerk, Ruth Williams, and they plan to marry. While they suspect that his uncle, the Regent, would disapprove, nothing prepares them for the diplomatic firestorm and domestic political tumult their defiant love would spark. Now facing a citizenry leery of a white Briton as their Queen, the international opposition is even more unyielding from the British holding their land as a protectorate and fearful of South Africa’s racist backlash to this affront to their apartheid domination. Against all odds, King Khama and Ruth must struggle to maintain their love and help their people in a land that would become the Republic of Botswana
Certainly not an original template for a romance film, but an absolutely unique setting that provides stellar imagery. Combined with the true story basis and top notch acting from David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike, this is worth a view, and could very well be destined to be a mainstay in your romantic film library shelf. There aren’t a lot of extras, but there is one good one focusing on the location and the challenges of shooting in Botswana which is fascinating. Queue It
A Cure for Wellness
From the director of The Ring comes this psychological thriller and “Fantastically creepy experience” about an ambitious young executive sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a remote and mysterious “wellness center”. When he begins to unravel the retreats’ terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests there longing for the cure.
This is an extremely long movie and not one for the novice film-goer. This offers plenty of amazing visuals, and the story is at times interesting, but very complex. It’s also not the easiest to absorb. If you’re a science fiction zealot, there will be a lot here for you to love. Another drawback to this disk is as interesting as the presentation is, it’s severely lacking in special features. Queue It
John Wick: Chapter 2 (4K UHD)
Legendary hitman John Wick is back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.
Everything you wanted from the first chapter of the John Wick saga is here in the second chapter. There is no sequel jinx here. The filmmaking team knew what worked in the first one and they didn’t stray from that, but they expanded upon the extremely interesting world whose surface was only scratched in the previous film. Keanu Reeves continues to prove he’s a great action star and on top of that, this disk is packed to the gills with an amazing package of extras that cover a wide range of topics. Included amongst the extras are training sequences, a look back at the unexpected success of the first film, a fake trailer for Dog Wick (it’s amazing, trust me) and much, much more. 1000% BUY IT
Academy Award Nominee Anna Kendrick leads a hilarious ensemble cast including Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, and Craig Robinson-in this laugh-out-loud tale of mischief and matrimony. Relieved of her maid of honor duties after being dumped by the best man, Eloise (Kendrick) decides to attend her oldest friend’s wedding anyway and finds herself seated among random strangers in the back of the ballroom. As secrets are revealed, Eloise bonds with her new tablemates and discovers that friendships, and even romance, can develop under the most unlikely circumstances.
A really delightful comedy that might conjure up some memories of weddings you’ve been to in the past. At 87 minutes, this is pretty much a pleasant way to pass the time, but it’s nothing that you’d ever feel the need to go back and revisit multiple times over. Unless you’re an Anna Kendrick fan, in which case, this is her at her most Anna Kendrick. Queue It
Bones: The Flesh and Blood Collection
Based on the experiences of real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs, this chilling Fox mystery series focuses on Dr. Temperence “Bones” Brennan (Emily Deschanel), a forensics expert and part-time novelist who gets recruited by FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz) to help solve a series of murders involving victims who cannot be identified by conventional means. Jonathan Adams, Michaela Conlin, Eric Millegan also star. 245 episodes on 66 discs. 175 1/2 hrs. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish, French; featurette; character profiles.
This box set doesn’t bring any new extras, and inside the box are the retail releases of the previous 12 seasons of the show. This is a must own set for fans of the show if they’ve been waiting for a singular box set. This one is gorgeous sitting on your shelf and is an infinitely rewatchable show. Buy It