Friday, December 31, 2021

4K Digital Review: Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch


Wes Anderson's tenth film, The French Dispatch, is a love letter to journalists by bringing their words to life. An amazing cast fills the screen. Using the layout of the fictional titular newspaper to tell four stories that transport us to the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blase in midcentury France. We get to see a tour of the city, a criminally insane genius of an artist, a youth revolt and the abduction of the police commissioner's son. 

Each story celebrates the filmmaking styles of the time. We get scenes in black and white and even the color segments evoke the time period. There are even a few hand drawn animated scenes done in the style of a magazine illustrator of the era. 

As with all Wes Anderson films, the visuals are bold and features and all-star list of actors. Anjelica Huston narrates the film and the ensemble includes Jason Schwartzman, Benicio Del Toro, Adrian Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. 

The release on 4K digital download includes a fine video transfer. The film looks striking and colors are vivid and bold. Audio is in 5.1 surround sound with the score filling the rear channels and dialogue crystal clear from the front channels. Sadly there are no extras included with the digital download, not even a trailer. All of Wes Anderson's films have eventually received a Criterion Collection release so there is hope down the road for supplemental features. 

The French Dispatch is a great film with a wonderful cast, top-notch sets and art direction as well as with all of Wes Anderson's best work, a very funny film. 

Monday, December 27, 2021

4K Digital Review: Ron's Gone Wrong


Easily the most underrated film of the year, Ron's Gone Wrong is heartfelt, charming and delivers an important message of what is friendship in today's world of social media. Today, the word friend and friendship have entirely different meanings and many times we all have confused the two especially in this day and age of social media. In terms of social media, a "friend" can be someone who likes or shares your posts. You can add them as a friend, but is this "friendship"? Can a real friendship exist simply because of similar interests and opinions in a social media setting or does there have to be something organic? Ron's Gone Wrong looks at these questions.

The Bubble Bot is "your best friend out of the box" and created by tech giant Bubble. The Bubble Bot or B*Bot scans your social media profiles and uses that information to find other's with similar likes and interests. It's an instant hit and every kid has one except for Barney (Jack Dylan Grazer) who not only doesn't have a B*Bot but he also doesn't have any friends in real life either. His father (Ed Helms) gets him a B*Bot but it's dented. Barney is still beyond happy with his B*Bot but quickly discovers that his B*Bot (Zach Galifianakis) that he names Ron is malfunctioning. 

The film makes us look at a world that is supposedly getting closer connected than ever before because of technology but in reality is becoming more and more distant. Barney and Ron are more connected than one might think.  Both are broken in different ways but as they both go through various experiences they learn about one another together. A real friendship is formed and brought together in a thoughtful and meaningful way.


Disney brings a stunning 4K presentation home. Take a look at the fine details of the human faces and hair, the plastic robot shells, the environments such as the woods and the school. Colors are deep and vibrant. Even the white on Ron is luminous and look at the light reflections off of him. The colors of the school are rich and bold and the various B*Bots are all brightly colorful. Just an outstanding video presentation from Disney.  


The 5.1 audio mix is superb on this digital release. The dialogue is clear and well positioned front and center, the soundtrack and sound effects are crystal clear and well defined creating a sense of full immersion. 


  • Designing the World of "Ron's Gone Wrong"
  • A Boy and His B*Bot: When Jack Met Zach – Zach Galifianakis and Jack Dylan Grazer, the voices behind Ron and Barney, sit down to chat about a fun assortment of topics. From social media to skateboarding, the two actors from two very different generations tell us all about when Jack met Zach.
  • Making Ron Right  Join cast and crew behind the scenes as they reveal the skill, dedication and friendship it took to bring this film to life. From writing the script to the voice-over booth, Locksmith’s artisans detail how they made Ron right.
  • “Sunshine” Music Video – Song from the motion picture Ron’s Gone Wrong, performed by Liam Payne.
  • Theatrical Trailer


A hugely underrated movie full of heart and humor with top tier video, fantastic audio and some fun extras. Highly recommended! 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

DVD Review: Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends


With teens and adults heading to theaters to watch Spider-Man: No Way Home, what do you do if you have a younger superhero fan? Well, with Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends on DVD, it's a great way to introduce the smallest of Marvel fans to Spider-Man.

Your youngsters will meet three amazing kids who grab their spider suits to become superheroes. Peter Parker, along with his friends Gwen Stacy and Miles Morales also team up with others kids who are also superheroes. You will meet Black Panther, Ms. Marvel or even The Hulk. Together they will all learn the importance of friendship, working together and doing the right thing. 

You get 12 episodes as well as 11 bonus shorts. 

Episode Titles:           Spidey to the Power of Three

Panther Pateince

Super Hero Hiccups

Lost and Found

Doc Ock’s Super Octopus

Attack of the Green Giggles

Mother’s Day Mayhem

Not-So-Fun House

Trick or TRACE-E

Bug in the System

Test Your Super Strength

Bonus Shorts:            Web-Ster

S.O.S. Kitty!

Spidey Mystery

A Helping Hulk

Spidey Surprise

Rock-A-Bye Rhino

Stop Doc Ock

The Spidey Team

Monkeying Around

Power Practive

Road Raging Rhino

Wednesday, December 22, 2021



Today, Marvel Studios debuted the teaser trailer and poster for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”—a thrilling ride through the Multiverse with Doctor Strange, his trusted friend Wong and Wanda Maximoff, aka Scarlet Witch.


“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” opens in U.S. theaters on May 6, 2022.



Today, Disney+ debuted an exciting, exclusive featurette to herald the return of Boba Fett, the mysterious titular character of their new original series from Lucasfilm, “The Book of Boba Fett.”  Watch “Return of a “Legend” as filmmakers Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau and Robert Rodriguez, and stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen, give an overview of the show and celebrate Boba Fett’s arrival next Wednesday, December 29, exclusively on Disney+. 

“The Book of Boba Fett,” a thrilling Star Wars adventure teased in a surprise end-credit sequence following the Season 2 finale of “The Mandalorian,” finds legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigating the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.


“The Book of Boba Fett” stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson are the executive producers. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck serve as co-executive producers, with John Bartnicki producing and John Hampian as co-producer.


Monday, December 13, 2021

Encanto Arrives on Digital December 24 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD February 8


Bring Home the Magic When Encanto Arrives on Digital December 24
and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ and DVD February 8


Includes All-New Animated Short, Far From The Tree, Plus Sing-Along Version With On-Screen Lyrics and Never-Before-Seen Bonus Features


LOS ANGELES, CA (December 13, 2021)  Encanto marks the 60th animated feature from Walt Disney Animation Studios and will soon be available to audiences to enjoy at home. Fans can enjoy a sing-along movie version, never-before-seen bonus features and deleted scenes when Encanto arrives on all major digital platforms this holiday season on December 24 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD February 8.


Encanto will also be available on Disney+ starting December 24.


Film Synopsis

Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Encanto, with all-new songs by award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, tells the tale of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family living in a magical house in the mountains of Colombia. But when Mirabel, the only ordinary Madrigal, discovers the magic surrounding their home is in danger, she may be her family’s last hope.

Bonus Features*

  • Sing Along with the Movie – Sing along with your favorite songs with on-screen lyrics as you watch the movie.
  • Familia Lo Es Todo – Members of the Disney Animation “Familia” cultural trust share real-life experiences in this exploration of the lovable Madrigal family members. We learn what inspired each character, and about how the artists’ designs bring realism to their personalities.
  • Discover Colombia – The filmmaking team discusses how the multiple cultures, biodiversity and vibrant colors of Colombia are expressed in Encanto. They describe how satisfying it was to fully celebrate this beautiful country and support the theme of magical realism.
  • A Journey Through Music – The filmmakers invite us to discover how each character came to be represented musically. We follow the creation of Encanto’s Colombian-inspired music, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs and Germaine Franco’s score, from concept to final recording.
  • Let’s Talk About Bruno – Learn how the song “We Don't Talk About Bruno,” with its intriguing undertones, was created. Discover the extensive collaboration between Lin-Manuel Miranda, choreographer Jamal Sims, the voice cast and animators in bringing it to the screen.
  • Our Casita – La Casa Madrigal is alive with magic, and its emotional state is affected by other family members. From its colorful doors to its fine stonework, the magical house was designed using principles of Colombian tradition.
  • Outtakes – From the thrill of “nailing” a take in the presence of an entertainment industry icon to the hilarity of losing a wrestling match with tongue-twisting dialogue, join the cast for some good-natured fun from behind the microphone.
  • Journey to Colombia – With the help of the Colombian Cultural Trust, a dedicated team of consultants, the filmmakers of Encanto embark on a journey of discovery to learn more about Colombia and how best to reflect the country’s cultures and environments on the big screen.
  • An Introduction to Far From the Tree – Writer and director Natalie Nourigat introduces the Walt Disney Animation Studios short film Far From the Tree.
  • Far From the Tree – Parenting is hard, especially when curiosity tugs at a young raccoon whose parent tries to keep them both safe. In the Walt Disney Animation Studios short Far From the Tree, this youngster learns to live with an open heart… even as danger lurks. 
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Introduction – Heads of Story Jason Hand and Nancy Kruse present four scenes not seen in the film’s release, but were part of the journey toward the final version of the story.
    • Chores! – Abuela has sent most of the family to town on various assignments that bring them acclaim, while Mirabel, her father and uncle are asked to clean the house.
    • Another Way In – Mirabel attempts to understand a clue found in her uncle’s vision. To make this happen, she must go through Antonio’s room, where adventures unfold.
    • Isabela Goes Into the Woods – When Mirabel sees her sister head for apparent danger in the woods, she races to save her, and encounters the surprise of a lifetime!
    • Back to the Mural – Feeling rejected, Mirabel goes back to town. Abuela seeks her out and reveals a part of her personality that her granddaughter has never seen.
  • Song Selection  Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics.
  • o    The Family Madrigal 

    o    Colombia, Mi Encanto 

    o    Waiting on a Miracle

    o    Surface Pressure

    o    We Don’t Talk About Bruno

    o    What Else Can I Do

    o    Dos Oruguitas

    o    All of You

Friday, December 10, 2021



Today, Disney+ announced that Marvel Studios’ “Eternals,” one of the biggest movies of the year, will start streaming exclusively on Disney+ on January 12, 2022. The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s newest team of Super Heroes has led theater audiences on an exciting journey spanning thousands of years, and now the Eternals are bringing all of that signature Marvel Studios’ action, spectacle and thrill to Disney+.


“Eternals” joins 13 other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies now streaming in IMAX Enhanced on Disney+, which gives subscribers more picture with an expanded aspect ratio for an immersive viewing experience at home (content availability varies by region). More information about IMAX Enhanced on Disney+ is available here


Marvel Studios’ “Eternals” follows a group of heroes from beyond the stars who had protected the Earth since the dawn of man. When monstrous creatures called the Deviants, long thought lost to history, mysteriously return, the Eternals are forced to reunite in order to defend humanity once again.


The outstanding ensemble cast includes Gemma Chan as humankind-loving Sersi, Richard Madden as the all-powerful Ikaris, Kumail Nanjiani as cosmic-powered Kingo, Lia McHugh as the eternally young, old-soul Sprite, Brian Tyree Henry as the intelligent inventor Phastos, Lauren Ridloff as the super-fast Makkari, Barry Keoghan as aloof loner Druig, Don Lee as the powerful Gilgamesh, with Kit Harington as Dane Whitman, with Salma Hayek as the wise and spiritual leader Ajak, and Angelina Jolie as the fierce warrior Thena. 


Chloé Zhao directs the film, and Kevin Feige and Nate Moore are the producers, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Kevin de la Noy serving as executive producers. The screen story is by Ryan Firpo & Kaz Firpo, and the screenplay is by Chloé Zhao and Chloé Zhao & Patrick Burleigh and Ryan Firpo & Kaz Firpo.



Concept art is now available for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming feature film “Strange World.” The original action-adventure journeys deep into an uncharted and treacherous land where fantastical creatures await the legendary Clades, a family of explorers whose differences threaten to topple their latest—and by far— most crucial mission. According to director Don Hall, “Strange World” is a nod to pulp magazines—popular fiction from the first half of the 20th century that was printed on inexpensive wood pulp paper. “I loved reading the old issues of pulps growing up,” he said. “They were big adventures in which a group of explorers might discover a hidden world or ancient creatures. They’ve been a huge inspiration for ‘Strange World.’”


Helmed by 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”), “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022.


The Last Duel Digital Copy Review


Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) and Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) are friends and squires in 14th century France, who faithfully serve their count, Pierre d’Alençon (Ben Affleck), and his cousin King Charlies VI. When Le Gris viciously assaults Carrouges’ wife Lady Marguerite (Jodie Comer), she bravely and defiantly accuses her attacker. Jean challenges Le Gris to a trial by combat, a duel to the death, which places the fate of all three in God’s hands.

The Last Duel is literally Ridley Scott’s Rashomon. The story, told around the crime of a rape, is told three times from each perspective and plays with time and character development. The cast is stellar and delivers solid performances. There is also a focus on the process of film-making with the importance of camera angles, performance, direction and editing to bring the three perspectives of the same event together.

If you have seen Rashomon, then this will be a pale comparison of the Kurosawa classic. If you haven't then you may find this film perfectly compelling. At the end of the day, I still found Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel as a solid film. 


The Last Duel digital copy arrives on 4K Ultra-HD in Dolby Vision where available. The images are outstanding despite the dark and gloomy settings. Blacks are rich and there are quite natural in terms of shadows and darkness. Textures on fabrics stand out but the star here is anything with fire and the glowing effect they produce.  Another great transfer for 20th Century Studios.


The Last Duel comes with a wonderful Dolby Atmos mix. The sound stage is large and booming in the battle scenes. The rear channels provide steady ambiance to create a good sense of depth. The dialogue is also crystal clear and well prioritized. 


Surprisingly light on extras here. 

The Making of The Last Duel (HD, 33:48) – A collection of on set footage and photography from Ridley Scott’s daughter Cuba. It features some showcasing of Ridley’s directing, conversations on the set to figure out sequences and some actors giving thoughts on the the film. All done during Covid as people have various safety gear and methods going on.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:29)


Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel finds itself being a solid film with great performances. The digital 4K version looks pristine and the Dolby Atmos track creates and thoroughly immersive experience in your home. There is only one featurette, but its over 30 minutes and it is wonderful to see Ridley Scott making the film. Pick up one of the year’s best with The Last Duel on digital 4K now or the physical copy 4K UHD, blu-ray or dvd on December 14th.