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Saturday, November 19, 2022

4K Digital Review: See How They Run

 



On the surface, See How They Run looks like a mystery that will go through the motions. It is 1953 in London's West End and Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" is celebrating its 100th performance with a lavish party. Hollywood Director Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody) is murdered there and Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) is put on the case with rookie Constable Stalker (Saorise Ronan). 

The world is a beautiful take on the 1950s and the jazz score is perfection. David Oyelowo is fantastic as the obnoxious screenwriter and Harris Dickinson is superb in his take on actual "The Mousetrap" star Richard Attenborough. But Rockwell and Ronan are the true standouts here. They play off each other extremely well. 

The twists and turns of the film do its best to outsmart you. It is a very entertaining film and a wonderful gateway to newcomers to the mystery genre. 




Video:

The streaming 4K UHD video is stunning. Colors are bright and dazzling, skin tones are natural, clothing material details are crystal clear and blacks are inky. A wonderful transfer that we expect from Disney. 


Audio:

The streaming 5.1 audio track is superb. From the very beginning the environmental of the street and the theater surround you, inviting you into this world. Dialogue is crystal clear, the score is vibrant and fills the room and ambient sounds fill in the rest in the surround channels. 


Bonus Features:


  • See How They Run Behind The Curtain – Hear from the talented filmmakers and cast as they pull back the curtain on the filmmaking process which had its unique challenges and rewards. Take a look at the special access to famous locations as well as the care and detail used to recreate them.

Conclusion:

See How They Run is an entertaining film filled with laughs and a fun take on the mystery genre. The video and audio presentation shines though I wish there were a few more supplementary features. I am always a fan of a good audio commentary that would add to the bonus features. 

*The film was sent by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of review. The review is solely my opinion.*

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Teaser Trailer and Poster for DISNEY AND PIXAR’S “ELEMENTAL”

 


Check out the teaser trailer and a poster for Disney and Pixar’s “Elemental,” an all-new, original feature film set in Element City, where fire-, water-, land- and air-residents live together. The story introduces Ember, a tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman, whose friendship with a fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy named Wade challenges her beliefs about the world they live in. Directed by Peter Sohn, produced by Denise Ream, and featuring the voices of Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie as Ember and Wade, respectively, “Elemental” releases on June 16, 2023. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

4K Digital Review: Barbarian

 


Director Zach Cregger has pieced together a fantastic horror film with Barbarian. The cast is wonderful here with Georgina Campbell as Tess, Justin Long as AJ and Bill Skarsgard as Keith. The basic premise is that Tess arrives at her Airbnb in Detroit only to find that there is already another renter there named Keith. 

The tension between the two strangers who do not trust each other is perfect. You will be on the edge of your seat until the film takes another turn when the Airbnb owner AJ shows up. Campbell is fantastic here playing someone who has to overcome their terror of confronting their own fears and be brave enough to survive. Skarsgard is great as well but Long really shines. He is a perfect blend of a villain who is also pretty funny and dumb all at the same time.  Surround this with some over-the-top scenes and some dark comedy and you have a horror film unlike any other and is a welcome change to the genre. 


Video:

The video is a really great 2160p UHD 4K transfer on streaming platforms. The dark basement areas are inky black and the Airbnb is warm with rich orange and browns. Later on in the film, we see the landscapes and buildings in beautiful primary colors. One flashback to the 1950s brings the pastels of the homes to life. Other details such as close-ups of physical makeup effects, gore and blood are vivid. Skin, clothing textures and environmental details are amazing.  


Audio:

The digital release comes with a digital 5.1 audio mix. Dialogue is crisp and easy to follow. Environmental sounds such as rain and thunder are low in the background with a low rumble with the bass. Sounds such as gunshots, car engines, frightened breathing and people screaming all sound fantastic. The surround channels bring the creaking sounds of the house to life. 

Bonus Features:


Featurette 

  • Behind Barbarian - Director Zach Cregger and the cast and crew discuss both the unique and familiar horror elements that make Barbarian terrifying and reveal the inspiration behind the horrific tale. 

 

Deleted Scenes 

  • Bonnie 
  • Doug Extended
  • Tess Calls Marcus
  • The Rat

Conclusion:

Barbarian is a welcomed addition to the horror movie genre. It is a solid movie with wonderful characters, a story that it all too real, some wonderful laughs and really great scares. The video and audio are great but I wish there were more bonus features such as an audio commentary. But I recommend it solely for the film itself. 

Barbarian is out on all major digital platforms already. 

*A review copy of the film was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for the sole purpose of review and the review is strictly my own opinion.* 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

STUDIO GHIBLI AND LUCASFILM TEAM UP TO SURPRISE DISNEY+ FANS WITH SHORT “ZEN - GROGU AND DUST BUNNIES”

 


Disney+ shared a special surprise today for fans of Lucasfilm’s “The Mandalorian.” A new, original short, “Zen - Grogu and Dust Bunnies,” from famed Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, will premiere on November 12, exclusively on Disney+ in celebration of the third anniversary of the streaming service and the debut of popular Star Wars series “The Mandalorian.” The hand-drawn, animated short is directed by Katsuya Kondo with music by Ludwig Göransson.

DISNEY+ ANNOUNCES CAST FOR NEW STAR WARS SERIES “THE ACOLYTE”

 


Disney+ announced the cast for “The Acolyte,” an upcoming original Star Wars series from Lucasfilm. Joining the previously announced Amandla Stenberg (“The Hate U Give”) are Emmy Award-winner Lee Jung-jae (“Squid Game”), Manny Jacinto (“Nine Perfect Strangers”), Dafne Keen (“His Dark Materials”), Jodie Turner-Smith (“Queen & Slim”), Rebecca Henderson (“Inventing Anna”), Charlie Barnett (“Russian Doll”), Dean-Charles Chapman (“1917”) and Carrie-Anne Moss (“The Matrix”).

 

“The Acolyte” is a mystery-thriller that will take viewers into a galaxy of shadowy secrets and emerging dark-side powers in the final days of the High Republic era. A former Padawan reunites with her Jedi Master to investigate a series of crimes, but the forces they confront are more sinister than they ever anticipated. 

 

From creator, showrunner and executive producer Leslye Headland (“Russian Doll”), “The Acolyte” has begun production in the U.K. The executive producers are Kathleen Kennedy, Simon Emanuel, Jeff F. King and Jason Micallef. Rayne Roberts and Damian Anderson are producing. Headland will also direct the series pilot.

 

“The Acolyte” will stream exclusively on Disney+. 

DISNEY ANIMATION’S “STRANGE WORLD” – ALL-NEW FEATURETTE NOW AVAILABLE

 


A new featurette is now available for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action-packed adventure “Strange World,” revealing how the voice cast describes the upcoming feature: crazy, bizarre, adventurous, mysterious, thrilling, mind-blowing and, of course, strange. Featured stars include Jake Gyllenhaal, who lends his voice to Searcher Clade, a family man who finds himself out of his element on an unpredictable mission; Dennis Quaid, who voices Searcher’s larger-than-life explorer father, Jaeger; Jaboukie Young-White, who is the voice of Searcher’s 16-year-old, adventure-seeking son, Ethan; Gabrielle Union, who provides the voice of Meridian Clade, an accomplished pilot and Searcher’s partner in all things; and Lucy Liu, who voices Callisto Mal, Avalonia’s fearless leader who spearheads the exploration into the strange world. Opening in U.S. theaters this Nov. 23rd, the feature film introduces a legendary family of explorers, the Clades, as they attempt to navigate an uncharted, treacherous land alongside a motley crew that includes a mischievous blob, a three-legged dog and a slew of ravenous creatures. “Strange World” is helmed by Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”), and produced by Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”).

 

The Strange World Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, featuring score by composer Henry Jackman (“The Gray Man,” “Ron’s Gone Wrong,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”), will be released in both digital and Dolby Atmos by Walt Disney Records on Nov. 23. The soundtrack is available for pre-save/pre-add here.


NEW TRAILER AND POSTER FOR “AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER”

 


20th Century Studios has released a new trailer and poster for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” James Cameron’s highly anticipated, first follow-up to his Academy Award®-winning “Avatar,” the highest-grossing film of all time. “Avatar: The Way of Water” opens in theaters on December 16.

 

In celebration of the trailer and poster launch for “Avatar: The Way of Water,” a stunning light show of massive proportions featuring highlights from the film will be projected tonight over Niagara Falls.

 

With “Avatar: The Way of Water,”  the cinematic experience reaches new heights as Cameron transports audiences back to the magnificent world of Pandora in a spectacular and stirring action-packed adventure.

 

Set more than a decade after the events of the first film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” begins to tell the story of the Sully family (Jake, Neytiri, and their kids), the trouble that follows them, the lengths they go to keep each other safe, the battles they fight to stay alive,  and the tragedies they endure. 

 

Directed by James Cameron and produced by Cameron and Jon Landau, the Lightstorm Entertainment Production stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang and Kate Winslet. Screenplay by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver. Story by James Cameron & Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver & Josh Friedman & Shane Salerno. David Valdes and Richard Baneham serve as the film’s executive producers.


DISNEY+ CASTS A SPELL WITH A NEW TRAILER FOR “DISENCHANTED”

 


Disney+ has released a delightful new trailer for “Disenchanted,” the all-new musical comedy and sequel to “Enchanted.” The film, which reunites original cast members Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel, and James Marsden and also stars Maya Rudolph, Gabriella Baldacchino, Yvette Nicole Brown, and Jayma Mays, is directed by Adam Shankman and features new songs from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. “Disenchanted” debuts November 18, exclusively on Disney+.

 

It has been more than ten years since Giselle (Adams) and Robert (Dempsey) wed, but Giselle has grown disillusioned with life in the city, so they move their growing family to the sleepy suburban community of Monroeville in search of a more fairy tale life. Unfortunately, it isn’t the quick fix she had hoped for. Suburbia has a whole new set of rules and a local queen bee, Malvina Monroe (Rudolph), who makes Giselle feel more out of place than ever. Frustrated that her happily ever after hasn’t been so easy to find, she turns to the magic of Andalasia for help, accidentally transforming the entire town into a real-life fairy tale and placing her family’s future happiness in jeopardy.Now, Giselle is in a race against time to reverse the spell and determine what happily ever after truly means to her and her family.

 

“Disenchanted stars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Maya Rudolph, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jayma Mays, Gabriella Baldacchino, with Idina Menzel and James Marsden. Directed by Adam Shankman from a screenplay by Brigitte Hales and a story by J. David Stem & David N. Weiss, and Richard LaGravenese, “Disenchanted” is produced by Barry Josephson, Barry Sonnenfeld, and Amy Adams, with Jo Burn, Sunil Perkash, and Adam Shankman serving as executive producers. The movie features songs with music by 8-time Oscar®-winning composer Alan Menken and lyrics by three-time Oscar-winning lyricist Stephen Schwartz, whose work on “Enchanted” garnered three Academy Award® nominations and a score by Alan Menken.

 

The digital soundtrack from Walt Disney Records will be available on Nov. 18 and is available for Pre-Save/Pre-Add here.


WAKANDA FOREVER: THE OFFICIAL BLACK PANTHER PODCAST

 


Proximity Media, in collaboration with Marvel Studios and Marvel Entertainment, announces an upcoming six-episode podcast about the making of the highly anticipated film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” opening in theaters nationwide Nov. 11. WAKANDA FOREVER: THE OFFICIAL BLACK PANTHER PODCAST explores the next chapter in the story of Wakanda and honors the remarkable legacy of Chadwick Boseman. National Book Award-winning author, journalist, and writer for Marvel Comics’ BLACK PANTHER Ta-Nehisi Coates serves as host and writer. Proximity’s Head of Audio Paola Mardo serves as producer, as well as executive producer alongside Proximity’s founders Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler, and Sev Ohanian. A preview of the show, which is the first podcast from Proximity Media’s new audio division, is now available across all major podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.

 

Said Mardo, “Ever since Ryan, Zinzi, and Sev entrusted Proximity's Audio division with this project, our goal has been to tell the story of the making of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ with as much heart and authenticity as the film itself. With our premiere episode, we've accomplished this goal while breaking new ground in the process, thanks to the awesome collaboration between our incredible host Ta-Nehisi Coates, our talented podcast production team, and our collaborators at Marvel and Disney.”

 

Debuting Nov. 3, the first episode features a conversation between Coates and director and co-writer Ryan Coogler. The two artists and friends reflect on the cultural impact of ‘Black Panther,’ the legacy of Chadwick Boseman and his inspiration to the cast and crew. “There is no storyteller I admire more than Ryan Coogler,” said Coates, who makes his podcast-hosting debut. “Any chance to partner with him, Proximity Media and Marvel, is a worthy one. For that opportunity to be a chronicle of the making of ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ was simply too good to pass up.” 


Subsequent episodes will be available weekly in January 2023, celebrating the five-year anniversary of the first “Black Panther” film. Guests will include cast and crew, including stars Angela Bassett and Dominique Thorne; score and soundtrack composer and producer Ludwig Göransson; production designer Hannah Beachler; director of photography Autumn Durald Arkapaw; co-writer Joe Robert Cole; producers Kevin Feige and Nate Moore; and more. Each episode, in tandem with guests’ conversation, will weave host narration, Göransson’s original score, film clips and field recordings. Story editing for the podcast is by James Kim. Audio editing is by Cameron Kell and Cedric Wilson. Sound design and additional music is by Pat Mesiti-Miller. Audio engineering is by Lauryn Newson. Production assistance is from Polina Cherezova.

“Willow” Streams Exclusively on Disney+ Beginning November 30, 2022

 


The final poster and a 60-second special look at Lucasfilm and Imagine Entertainment’s all-new action-adventure series “Willow” are available now. And in less than one month, the series based on George Lucas’ fantasy-adventure film will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+.

 

The story began when an aspiring sorcerer, played by Warwick Davis, is whisked away on a journey to protect an infant empress Elora Danan and vanquish the evil Queen Bavmorda from their world of Andowyne. Now, the story continues with Davis reprising his titular role, as he leads an unlikely crew of heroes on a quest to protect Andowyne from an even larger foe than they had imagined possible. “Willow” also stars Ellie Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel, Dempsey Bryk, and Joanne Whalley. Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jonathan Kasdan, Tommy Harper, Wendy Mericle, Roopesh Parekh, Ron Howard, and Samie Kim Falvey serve as executive producers. Writers are John Bickerstaff, Hannah Friedman, and Jonathan Kasdan. The producers are Stephen Woolfenden, Julia Cooperman, Hameed Shaukat, and Max Taylor. 


CHECK OUT NEW VIDEO OF RIHANNA’S NEW LEAD SINGLE “LIFT ME UP” FROM MARVEL STUDIOS’ “BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER”

 


 

LISTEN TO “LIFT ME UP”

 

WATCH MUSIC VIDEO FEATURING FOOTAGE FROM THE FILM

Directed by: Autumn Durald Arkapaw; Art Direction: Fenty Corp; Edited by:  Andrew Hegele; Produced by: Whitney Jackson; Production Company: Somesuch Co.

 

Additional Asset Links:

Single Artwork; Main Artist Image; Lift Me Up (Visualizer); Lift Me Up (Lyric Video); Lift Me Up (Wakandan Lyric Video); Lift Me Up (Audio); Lift Me Up (Instrumental Video)


Rihanna – the global icon, designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and the top-selling digital singles artist of all time – makes her highly-anticipated return to the airwaves today with “Lift Me Up,” the lead single from the upcoming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever original soundtrack. The single is now available to listen to, and check out the brand-new music video, directed by the movie’s director of photography, Autumn Durald Arkapaw, and featuring footage from the film. Also available are single and artist images, as well as visualizer, lyric videos and an instrumental video. Please share with your readers. 

 

“Lift Me Up” - a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman written by Tems, Oscar winner Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and Ryan Coogler -leads the forthcoming soundtrack Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By, available November 4 from Roc Nation Records/Def Jam Recordings/Hollywood Records. The soundtrack is produced by Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Göransson, Archie Davis and Dave Jordan. The Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Original Score, composed and produced by Ludwig Göransson, will be available on November 11 from Hollywood Records.

 

In Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” – one of the most highly anticipated film events of the year – Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett), Shuri (Letitia Wright), M’Baku (Winston Duke), Okoye (Danai Gurira) and the Dora Milaje (including Florence Kasumba) fight to protect their nation from intervening world powers in the wake of King T’Challa’s death. As the Wakandans strive to embrace their next chapter, the heroes must band together with the help of War Dog Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) and forge a new path for the kingdom of Wakanda. Introducing Tenoch Huerta Mejía as Namor, king of a hidden undersea nation, the film also stars Dominique Thorne, Michaela Coel, Mabel Cadena and Alex Livinalli. “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” directed by Ryan Coogler and produced by Kevin Feige and Nate Moore, opens in U.S. theaters Nov. 11, 2022.

DISNEY+ BRINGS THE MAGIC OF ‘ENCANTO AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL' TO HOMES DEC. 28

 


Celebrate the holiday season with the Madrigal family as the storied Hollywood Bowl transforms into the magical Casita from “Encanto” in a show-stopping concert event, “Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl,” with a special introduction by Lin-Manuel Miranda. From Disney Branded Television and produced by Fulwell 73 Productions (“Among the Stars,” Emmy Award®-winning “Adele: One Night Only,” “GRAMMYS®”), the all-new original special will be available to stream on Wednesday, Dec. 28, only on Disney+.

 

Step into Casa Madrigal for an unprecedented concert spectacular as the original voice cast of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-winning “Encanto” reunites at the Hollywood Bowl. Starring Stephanie Beatriz (as Mirabel), Adassa (as Dolores), Carolina Gaitán (as Pepa), Jessica Darrow (as Luisa), Diane Guerrero (as Isabela), Mauro Castillo (as Félix), Angie Cepeda (as Julieta) and Olga Merediz (as Abuela Alma) and special guests, including legendary Colombian superstars and multiple Latin GRAMMY Winners Carlos Vives and Andrés Cepeda, “Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl” turns the historic venue into the world of the animated film that became a global phenomenon. This live-to-film concert experience, featuring an 80-person orchestra, 50 dancers and out-of-this-world special effects, gives viewers a front-row seat to the unprecedented musical extravaganza celebrating the world, characters and songs of Disney Animation’s “Encanto.”

 

“‘Encanto,’ the film, has connected with people in so many important and wonderful ways, and playing Mirabel was an incredibly powerful and life-changing experience. I’m beyond thrilled to perform these beautiful songs live, along with my fellow ‘Encanto’ cast, in one of the most iconic concert venues in the world,” says Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel).

 

“‘Encanto’ has seen incredible success on Disney+, quickly rising as one of the most-watched animated films on the streaming service and ultimately becoming a global phenomenon that fans couldn’t stop talking about. This holiday season, Disney+ is opening the doors to Casa Madrigal once again for a dazzling musical experience that will celebrate the magic and wonder of ‘Encanto’ in a whole new way,” says Alisa Bowen, president of Disney+.

 

“We are so excited for this incredibly prolific concert event that is bringing together award-winning talent and some of the best storytellers in the world. With our partners at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Disney Concerts, Fulwell 73 Productions, AMP Worldwide and Live Nation-Hewitt Silva, the music of ‘Encanto’ will come to life in a must-see way that rivals the likes of the biggest award-show performances, and we’re so thrilled audiences across the world can experience the spectacle from wherever they are on Disney+,” says Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television.


As previously announced, the spectacular concert production, on a massive scale, reunites the all-star cast who will perform the songs from the Oscar®-winning film, including fan-favorite musical numbers such as “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” and “Surface Pressure,” at the iconic Hollywood Bowl.

 

“Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl” will be directed by Chris Howe (“Coldplay Live at Whitby Abbey,” “Bruno Mars: 24k Magic Live at Apollo”) and Jamal Sims (original “Encanto” film choreographer) with production design by Misty Buckley (“Coldplay’s 2016 Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show,” ABC’s “The Little Mermaid Live!). Sally Wood (“BRIT Awards 2021,” “An Audience with Adele”) is Fulwell 73 Productions’ creative showrunner, with Gabe Turner, Emma Conway and Lou Fox serving as executive producers. The Hollywood Bowl’s visual transformation into the Casita is brought to life by NorthHouse (Coldplay at “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee”). The concert event is produced by Fulwell 73 Productions, Live Nation-Hewitt Silva and Disney Concerts, along with AMP Worldwide, the team behind several highly acclaimed live-to-film events at the Hollywood Bowl, including Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast in Concert,” starring Zooey Deschanel and Kelsey Grammer, as well as Disney’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” starring Danny Elfman and Catherine O’Hara. For Disney Branded Television, Marc Buhaj is vice president, unscripted and nonfiction, and Nicole Silveira is vice president, unscripted.

 

Conductor Anthony Parnther will lead the full orchestra performing the film’s score and cherished songs live-to-picture, along with the outstanding cast and special guest artists performing the film’s acclaimed songs live. A Colombian band, featuring musicians from the original soundtrack, will accompany the orchestra.

 

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Encanto” tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia in a magical house within a vibrant town that’s situated in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal — every child except one: Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she — the only ordinary Madrigal — just might be her exceptional family’s last hope.

 

The “Encanto” original motion picture soundtrack features eight original songs by Academy Award-nominated, Tony® and GRAMMY-winning songwriter/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) with an original score by Academy Award-nominated composer Germaine Franco. The R.I.A.A. platinum-certified soundtrack held the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 album chart for nine non-consecutive weeks, and the R.I.A.A. three-time platinum-certified song “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” topped the Hot 100 chart for five weeks. The soundtrack and song held the No. 1 position on the Billboard 200 and Hot 100 simultaneously for five consecutive weeks.