Monday, February 28, 2022

4K Digital Review: The King's Man


The first two Kingsman movies were action spy comedies that never took themselves too seriously. The King's Man, while being a prequel, is more a traditional spy thriller that doesn't live up to the expectations set forth by the previous two movies. 

The cast is solid with the likes of Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Djimon Hounsou, Rhys Ifans, and more that all stand out. Unfortunately, the film tries to do too much. While I enjoyed the historical references of World War 1, it seems like director Matthew Vaughn is trying to set up another Kingsman franchise within the timeline of this movie.  

The action sequences are far and few between but all of them will leave a solid impression on you. After all action sequences are what Vaughn is known for. But in the end, all the action and comedy of the previous Kingsman films make way for a more serious movie closely tied into the actual events of World War 1, making for a much more serious movie than the previous two. 


The 4K video is crisp and clean. The black levels are dark and inky. The details on clothing and even the beard on Rasputin are crystal clear. In fact, the video clarity is almost too clean and there is no evidence of film grain.  


The Dolby Atmos 5.1 audio track is wonderful and makes full use of all the surround sound speakers. The World War 1 battle scenes are the best examples of this as the sounds of war envelope you into the scene. The score makes incredible use of all the speakers available to it and dialogue is crystal clear. 

Bonus Features*

  • The King's Man: The Great Game Begins Documentary
    • A Generation Lost – Discover how the filmmakers created a richly textured story that explores the origins of the Kingsman spy organization.
    • Oxfords and Rogues – Meet the phenomenal new cast of characters Matthew Vaughn has assembled.
    • All the World's a Stage – Delve into the meticulous world-building of THE KING’S MAN with interviews, on-location footage, artwork, and details of on-set construction and design.
    • Instruments of War – Experience the analog spy tech and early 20th century weaponry utilized in THE KING’S MAN and see a breakdown of the precise execution and evolution of the major stunts and combat in the film.
    • Fortune Favors the Bold – Join Matthew Vaughn and his team for music scoring and sound design.
    • Long Live the Kingsman – Cast and crew reveal their thoughts about their collective journey through the very special experience of making THE KING’S MAN.
  • Featurettes
    • No Man's Land – Experience the creative process behind the harrowing knife battle sequence in several stages: rehearsals, storyboards, interviews and on-set footage, culminating with the atmospheric VFX.
    • Remembrance and Finding Purpose  Learn about amazing organizations such as The Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, two U.K.-based resources for recovery, well-being and employment for military veterans. Also hear why Matthew Vaughn strongly supports their mission.


The King's Man is a decent prequel to the Kingsman franchise but might be setting up more stories for future movies. The video and audio are exceptional and the bonus features are top notch. 

*disclaimer: The digital download was provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment but the review is strictly my opinion*

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

4K Digital Review: Summer of Soul - Perhaps the Best Concert Film of All-Time


It was the summer of 1969 and some of the biggest acts in music took the stage and I am not talking about Woodstock. This was a six-weekend festival in the heart of Harlem, that was filmed and no producers were interested so the footage ended up in a basement for half a century. Imagine a festival with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Mahalia Jackson, The Fifth Dimension and Gladys Knight and The Pips all in their prime and yet this event was written out of the history books. Musician and record producer Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson feature debut intertwines the music with interviews and politics to make perhaps the best concert film of all-time.  

The 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival played out during a time of cultural and political change. While it was a little over a year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the festival was taking place at the same time as the moon landing.  One common view at the festival was that more attention was spent on sending men into space than ending poverty or racism. Fifty years later, how much has changed? Think about that as you take in the powerful performances at a turning point in the the history of the United States. 

The 4K transfer is great considering most of the footage is from archival footage sitting in a basement for 50 years. Skin tones look natural and details hold up really well. 

The 5.1 surround sound is pretty good considering the audio sources were from 50 years ago. In the commentary you find out that they recorded the festival using 19 microphones so there was abundant sources of audio available. 

Bonus Features*

  • Audio Commentary – View the film with audio commentary by director Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson. This is a really insightful commentary and you learn so much about the making of the film that it truly is information overload in the best way possible. 
  • Soul Searching – A behind-the-scenes look at Summer of Soul. We’ll learn about where the footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival has been, how it was uncovered, and why director Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson decided to tell this story now.
  • Harlem: Then & Now – We revisit Mount Morris Park, location of the Harlem Cultural Festival. We learn how the neighborhood was a crossroads of culture and precarious politics and explore why Summer of Soul is so relevant during this present time of great political upheaval.

Summer of Soul is one of the best concert films of all-time in terms of the musical content as well as the insight from people in attendance as well as what was happening in our country during the time of this music festival. The film quality is exceptional considering the age of the footage and the audio commentary alone is worth the price of this digital download. A solid addition to your film collection. 

Summer of Soul is now available on digital and DVD. 

*disclaimer: the digital download was provided by Disney for the purpose of this review but the opinions are entirely my own*

Tuesday, February 15, 2022



Today, Disney+ released the first trailer and a new poster for the original movie “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.” A comeback 30 years in the making, the hybrid live-action/CG animated action-comedy catches up with the former Disney Afternoon television stars in modern-day Los Angeles. “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” premieres May 20, 2022, exclusively on Disney+.


“Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers” stars John Mulaney (“Saturday Night Live”) as Chip, Andy Samberg (“Palm Springs”) as Dale and KiKi Layne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”). Also joining the cast are Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”), Eric Bana (“Dirty John”), Flula Borg (“Pitch Perfect 2”), Dennis Haysbert (“24”), Keegan-Michael Key (“Schmigadoon!”), Tress MacNeille (“The Simpsons”), Tim Robinson (“I Think You Should Leave”), Seth Rogen (“Pam and Tommy”), J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”), Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live”). The film is directed by Akiva Schaffer (“Saturday Night Live”), written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and is produced by Todd Lieberman (“Wonder”) and David Hoberman (“Beauty and the Beast”), with Alexander Young (“Extinction”) and Tom Peitzman serving as executive producers.


In “Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers,” Chip and Dale are living amongst cartoons and humans in modern-day Los Angeles, but their lives are quite different now. It has been decades since their successful television series was canceled, and Chip (voice of Mulaney) has succumbed to a life of suburban domesticity as an insurance salesman. Dale (voice of Sandberg), meanwhile, has had CGI surgery and works the nostalgia convention circuit, desperate to relive his glory days. When a former cast mate mysteriously disappears, Chip and Dale must repair their broken friendship and take on their Rescue Rangers detective personas once again to save their friend’s life.

Sunday, February 13, 2022



Today, during the Big Game, an action-packed TV spot offered viewers a thrilling look at “Moon Knight,” an original series from Marvel Studios exclusively for Disney+. Disney+ also unveiled a brand-new poster for the series, which brings a never-before-seen Marvel Super Hero to the screen. 


The story follows Steven Grant, a mild-mannered gift-shop employee, who becomes plagued with blackouts and memories of another life. Steven discovers he has dissociative identity disorder and shares a body with mercenary Marc Spector. As Steven/Marc’s enemies converge upon them, they must navigate their complex identities while thrust into a deadly mystery among the powerful gods of Egypt. 


“Moon Knight” stars Oscar Isaac, Ethan Hawke and May Calamawy. Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Grant Curtis, Brad Winderbaum, Oscar Isaac, Mohamed Diab and Jeremy Slater are the executive producers, with Trevor Waterson and Rebecca Kirsch serving as co-executive producers. Jeremy Slater is the head writer. 


"Moon Knight" debuts exclusively on Disney+ March 30, 2022.



Today, during the Big Game coverage, Marvel Studios debuted a brand-new trailer for “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” that took viewers on a mind-blowing whirlwind through the Multiverse. In addition, Marvel Studios also released a new poster for the supernatural adventure—available now.


In Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” the MCU unlocks the Multiverse and pushes its boundaries further than ever before. Journey into the unknown with Doctor Strange, who, with the help of mystical allies both old and new, traverses the mind-bending anddangerous alternate realities of the Multiverse to confront a mysteriousnew                       adversary.


“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Elizabeth Olsen, Benedict Wong, Xochitl Gomez, with Michael Stühlbarg, and Rachel McAdams. 


The film is directed by Sam Raimi, and Kevin Feige is the producer. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Eric Hauserman Carroll and Jamie Christopher serve as executive producers. The screenplay was written by Michael Waldron. 


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

Wednesday, February 9, 2022



““Obi-Wan Kenobi,” the new Disney+ limited series from Lucasfilm, will debut exclusively on Disney+ May 25. The series stars Ewan McGregor, reprising his role as the iconic Jedi Master. 


The story begins 10 years after the dramatic events of “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” where Obi-Wan Kenobi faced his greatest defeat—the downfall and corruption of his best friend and Jedi apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, who turned to the dark side as evil Sith Lord Darth Vader. 


The series also marks the return of Hayden Christensen in the role of Darth Vader. Joining the cast are Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Sung Kang, Simone Kessell and Benny Safdie. 


“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is executive-produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor and Joby Harold.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

4K Digital Review: Disney's Encanto - A Magical Film About Family


Walt Disney Animation Studio's 60th film Encanto is another classic!

We are introduced to the Madrigal family, who live in a magical home that bestows upon each of them a magical gift when they become of age. That is, everyone but for Maribel, who is constantly reminded that gifts are of utmost importance in the family. The lack of her gift makes Maribel feel worthless. But as the house begins to lose its magic, we also see each family members facade start to crack and fall apart. In order to try to save the house, the magic and her family, Maribel sets out to find Bruno, the black sheep of the family, who can see the future and his vision may tear the family apart or bring it back together.

Encanto continues Disney's excellence in embracing family and friendship. The animation is gorgeous and the colors explode off the screen while the memorable songs will have you singing for days. We are also reminded that while families don't always get along, in the end, they will always be there for one another. 


The streaming 4K video is excellent. Details are superb from clothing to the house itself. Colors pop off the screen. Just a perfect video presentation. 


The 5.1 audio mix is superb offering pinpoint clarity of audio effects, crystal clear dialogue and the score and songs envelope you. 

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        


Encanto is an instant classic full of warmth and thoughfulness that we have come to expect from Disney. A family film about family filled with gorgeous animation, solid music and wonderful bonus features makes Encanto a must have in your collection.

Encanto is available now on digital and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD February 8th. 

*disclaimer: a digital copy was provided to me by Walt Disney Home Entertainment for review purposes but all of the opinions are strictly mine*