Blu-ray Review “Aftermath (2017)”

Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hannah Ware, Kevin Zegers, Scoot McNairy, Mariana Klaveno
Directors: Elliott Lester
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: June 6, 2017
Run Time: 94 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

I know everyone has been shitty on Schwarzenegger’s films recently but he is really stepping out of his comfort zone with his last two films “Maggie” and now “Aftermath”. They are little indie films that surprisingly deliver solid performances from the Terminator. His glory days may well be gone with starring in huge blockbusters but solid films like this should get him more credit than they have. I say Kudos to him and I hope he does more films like this. Also my boy, Scoot McNairy, deserves a big chance finally. He nails this role (and every other he does as well). He is an amazing actor and deserves a big shot.

Official Premise: Roman’s (Schwarzenegger) life changes forever when he loses his wife and daughter in a plane crash. He attempts to move on from the tragedy but soon finds that he cannot face life without confronting Jake (Scoot McNairy), the air traffic controller responsible for the accident.

Lionsgate delivered “Aftermath” in a combo pack with a Blu-ray disc and a digital copy as well. The 1080p transfer works for the scope of the film, nothing flashy or big here but I like the way it was shot. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track also does a good job of building up the suspense throughout. The special features are light and nothing major here. There is an audio commentary with Director Elliott Lester and Producer Eric Watson as well as interviews with Director Elliott Lester and Director of Photography Pieter Vermeer included further discussing the film.

Blu-ray Review “The Shack”

Actors: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Avraham Aviv Alush, Radha Mitchell
Directors: Stuart Hazeldine
Rated: PG-13
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Run Time: 132 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“The Shack” is the latest faith filled drama to be released, hoping to catch that niche market. I am not one to have huge religious beliefs but this film definitely caught my attention. A little “Hallmark movie” cheesy at times yet it still delivers a good solid message about faith and could help some people who are looking for answers within their beliefs.  Rounded out with a solid cast including Sam Worthington (where did this guy disappear to?), Octavia Spencer (always lovely and such an amazing actress) and who doesn’t need a little country loving from Tim McGraw, the musician adds a nice addition to the cast as well. Worth a watch if you are open minded.

Official Premise: Based on The New York Times best-selling novel, written for the screen by John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom) and Andrew Lanham (The Glass Castle) & Destin Cretton (The Glass Castle), and directed by Stuart Hazeldine (Exam), The Shack takes us on a father’s transformative spiritual journey. After a family tragedy, Mack (Worthington) spirals into a crisis of faith and questions God’s existence and life’s purpose. Mack is unable to move on, until he gets a mysterious invitation to an abandoned shack. There, God reveals Himself in the form of three strangers led by Papa (Spencer). Mack’s journey will transform audiences of all ages, in this movie that you will want to watch over and over.

Lionsgate delivered this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD and a Digital HD copy included. Appreciate the combo back here because since reviewing it, it is making its rounds with the family taking turns for those that have been wanting to see it. It is nice to have the various formats to share with everyone. The 1080p transfer was solid. The scenery is beautiful and the colors are vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track is also solid, quiet yet very effective with simple sounds standing out.

The special features are decent, nothing amazing but a few good featurettes. To start, there is a solid audio commentary track with Director Stuart Hazeldine and then we have five featurettes included. The first is “Touched by God: A Writer’s Journey” which focuses on author William Paul Young. There is a song featurette for “Heaven Knows” – The Power of Song with Hillsong United, as well as a basic EPK behind-the-scenes in “Something Bigger Than Ourselves: The Making of The Shack”. “God’s Heart for Humanity”piece about faith and interpretations of it. Lastly “Premiere Night: A Blessed Evening” features radio personality Delilah and rounding out with one deleted scene included.

Blu-ray Review “Logan”

Actors: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Sienna Novikov, Boyd Holbrook, Doris Morgado
Directors: James Mangold
Number of discs: 3
Rated: R
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: May 23, 2017

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Personally, I have never really gotten excited for the films in the “X-Men” universe. “Logan” is the first film in the franchise that has getting my attention. It is dark, gritty, violent and intense. It is honestly how a Wolverine film should be. It is also set in an alternate X-Men universe, so it almost makes you think that mutants aren’t real in this world and is it very interesting. Easily one of my favorite films of the year and no question the best “X-Men” movie…with Wolverine (sorry “Deadpool” wins that)

Official Premise: In the near future, a weary Logan (Hugh Jackman) cares for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) at a remote outpost on the Mexican border. His plan to hide from the outside world gets upended when he meets a young mutant (Dafne Keen) who is very much like him. Logan must now protect the girl and battle the dark forces that want to capture her.

Fox is delivering this Blu-ray as a three disc set with two Blu-ray discs, a DVD and a digital HD copy. There are two versions of the film: the theatrical cut and also the new black and white cut called “Logan Noir”. The film does work very well in the black and white setting gives the film more life and another way to enjoy it.

The 1080p transfer is flawless. It was shot beautifully and doesn’t feel like any of the other films in the “X-Men” franchise. Same goes for the black and white cut which gives this film a true noir feeling. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is also perfect. The action is literally wall shaking and the score is amazing.

The special features are good but not amazing, the higher score comes due to the fact that there is the alternate cut of the film, “Logan Noir” on its own with accompanied with an audio commentary track with director James Mangold. On the main disc, there is the same commentary track, which is excellent BTW and a few short deleted scenes. The main winner is a solid 75+ minute behind-the-scenes look into the film “Making Logan”, worth checking out for sure!

Blu-ray Review “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”

Starring: Vin Diesel, Nina Dobrev, Samuel L. Jackson, Donnie Yen, Ruby Rose, Toni Collette
Director: D.J. Caruso
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Paramount
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Run Time: 96 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

Vin Diesel is a man that does not give up. The film “Pitch Black” was a good film that was turned into a mediocre franchise. “The Fast and Furious” was a film that was great and turned into a global phenomenon that normally wouldn’t have had more than one film. Same goes with “xXx”. The book should have been closed after the second film, yet here we are with another installment riding on the popularity of Vin Diesel. The film is honestly crap, no joke, there are some cool action scenes but literally this doesn’t have the power of Diesel’s “Fast and Furious” franchise, which was probably the hopes here. Worth watching for a laugh but otherwise nothing smart of that this third sequel at all and I have a feeling unfortunately we haven’t seen the end of Xander Cage.

Official Premise: The third explosive chapter of the blockbuster franchise that redefined the spy thriller finds extreme athlete turned government operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) coming out of self-imposed exile and on a collision course with deadly alpha warrior Xiang and his team in a race to recover a sinister and seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box. Recruiting an all-new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself enmeshed in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of world governments.

Paramount is releasing this film as a combo pack with Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. The 1080p transfer is near flawless. This film is definitely beautiful to look at and shows off its beautiful shooting locations quite well. The audio on this Blu-ray is also near perfect with both a Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 tracks included. These tracks are amazing with the action in the film and really shake the walls, no questions.

The special features are decent and worth checking out if you loved the film but otherwise not much here other than four featurettes and a gag reel. The first featurette focuses on bringing back the franchise to live in “Third Time’s the Charm: Xander Returns”. Since this film is basically made for an international market, “Rebels, Tyrants & Ghosts: The Cast” looks at the new cast brought in to sweeten the deal. “Opening Pandora’s Box: On Location” showcases the snazzy locations where this film was shot. Lastly, the highlight of the film is it stunts and the last featurette focuses on those in “I Live for This Sh#t!: Stunts”.

Blu-ray Review “Get Out”

Actors: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root
Directors: Jordan Peele
Rated: R
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Run Time: 108 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Get Out” is a once in a decade hit. It cost nothing, came from a first time director, had no well-known cast and yet destroyed the box office and all other films in its path. Hollywood is going to spend the next decade trying to replicate this one. I personally have loved Jordan Peele in his sketch comedy show “Key & Peele” but this film is SO MUCH different. It is a social satire mixed with a horror film. Totally original and different. “Get Out” is an excellent film that will leave you holding her breath in terror and at the same time laughing out loud. This is no question one of the best films of 2017.

Official Premise: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario), a young African-American man, and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, “Girls”), a young white woman, have been dating for several months, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate at her family’s upstate home with parents Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods). At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

I knew of the film’s lead, Daniel Kaluuya, from his role in the BBC series “Black Mirror”, which he stood at boldly. He was amazing in this film and I see really big things coming to him in the near future. Also VIPs in this film were veterans Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich) and Bradley Whitford (“Billy Madison”). When you are watching this film you will find it hard to take your eyes off the screen. I cannot wait to see what Jordan Peele has planned next (I hear it is another social satire and couldn’t be more psyched). This is a movie not to be missed for sure.

Universal delivered the film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy included. The 1080p transfer works perfectly for the film. It is super sharp and the film which has a specific look to it ends up looking sharper than it should. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is simply haunting. From the score to the stirring of the damn spoon, this track lures you into deeper into the sucken place with our actors.

The special features are a little lighter than hoped but still some decent content included here. First we have an Alternate Ending with optional Jordan Peele commentary. Solid but I am still happier with the theatrical ending. There is a crazy total of nearly 25 minutes of Deleted Scenes included also with optional Peele commentary. “Unveiling the Horror of Get Out” is a quick behind-the-scenes look into the film. Lastly there is a short Q&A Discussion with Writer/Director Jordan Peele and the Cast, as well as an audio Commentary with Writer/Director Jordan Peele, which is a must listen for sure.

Blu-ray Review “Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition”

Actors: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Marg Helgenberger
Directors: Lauren Montgomery
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Warner Brothers
Release Date: May 16, 2017

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition” is a cash-in re-release of the 2009 animated film from Warner Brothers to ride in on the release of the new live-action “Wonder Woman” movie. This was the fourth film in the DC Animated Universe that is now up to twenty-eight films and counting. The new “Commemorative Edition” isn’t the WOW release that I was hoping for. It packs the same video as the 2009 Blu-ray and a slightly upgraded audio track. There are few new extras but also some missing from previous release. Also I would have loved them to include an exclusive action figure or something to make this extra special.

Official Premise: On the mystical island of Themyscira, a proud and fierce warrior race of Amazons have raised a princess of untold beauty, grace and strength – Diana. When U.S. fighter pilot Steve Trevor crash-lands on the island, the rebellious and headstrong Diana defies Amazonian law by accompanying Trevor back to civilization. Meanwhile, Ares (the God of War) has escaped his imprisonment at the hands of the Amazonians and has decided to exact his revenge by starting a World War that will last for centuries and wipe out every living being on the planet, starting with the Amazons. It is up to Diana to save her people and the world – by using her gifts and becoming the ultimate Wonder Woman!

“Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet copy included. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a step up from the previous Blu-ray release. There is really only one new short special feature included here: “What Makes a Wonder Woman” which dives into the overview of the character. The only new extra is a “Sneak Peek at Batman and Harley Quinn”, which is an upcoming DCU Animated feature.

Other special features taken from previous release are “Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream”, which runs nearly 30 minutes as does “Wonder Woman: Daughter of Myth”, which go deeper into the mythology of the character. Lastly there is a a commentary track from the creative team on this film. Sadly though we lost the two bonus Justice League Episodes (“Paradise Lost” parts 1 and 2, “Hawk and Dove”, and “To Another Shore”) from the last release. So its a toss up for me. If you have never seen this film and looking to get the digital copy, this might be for you if you own it already, no need to repurchase.

Blu-ray Review “The Blackcoat’s Daughter”

Actors: Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Lauren Holly, James Remar
Directors: Osgood Perkins
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” is a film that premiered back at TIFF back in 2015 and has sat on the shelf since then without getting a proper release. This film is a great mix of creepy slow-burn almost Hammer like atmosphere with a solid horror angle mixed it. It has a solid cast including Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, James Remar, Lauren Holly, and Lucy Boynton. Great talent here. Worth checking out on a lazy weekend for sure for a few good jumps.

Official Premise: Beautiful and haunted Joan (Emma Roberts) makes a bloody and determined pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all-girls prep school, where Rose (Lucy Boynton) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka) find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. As Joan gets closer, Rose watches in horror while Kat suffers terrifying visions and becomes possessed by an unseen force.

“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” comes as combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD copy included. The 1080p transfer works with the dark and creepy feel for the film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track delivers the eerie score perfectly and adds to the Gothic feeling of the film. The special features include an audio commentary track with Writer-Director Osgood Perkins as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette “The Dead of Winter: Making The Blackcoat’s Daughter”.

Blu-ray Review “Rock Dog”

Actors: Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson
Directors: Ash Brannon
Number of discs: 2
Rated: PG
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Rock Dog” is the latest in the cheap animated films that get zero promotion and then slapped with an American cast. This one does actually pack some talent with Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, and Kenan Thompson but unfortunately the film is just completely forgettable and not worth your time. Young kids might like the music but parents will tear their hair out.

Official Premise: When a radio falls from the sky into the hands of a wide-eyed Tibetan Mastiff, he leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician, setting into motion a series of completely unexpected events.

“Rock Dog” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD and Digital HD copy included. The Blu-ray specs are solid. The 1080p transfer is solid for the CG animation and the colors are vibrant though doesn’t make it feel any less cheap. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is a great track for the music in the film and works well.

The special features includes are not as bad as I would have expected. There are four featurettes included. The first “Finding the Fire: The Making of Rock Dog” takes us through the production. “Mic Check: Casting the Voices” looks at the cast. “A Rockin’ New World: Animating Rock Dog” shows how our characters were made. The last “Rock Dog and Roll: Exploring the Music” focus on the tunes in the film. Lastly there is a music video included for the track “Glorious”.

Blu-ray Review “Fifty Shades Darker”

Actors: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes
Directors: James Foley
Rated: NR
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Run Time: 131 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I do not understand the thrill of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series. The first film is a melodramatic turd and the second film is honestly worse. The “steamy scenes” in the film are not sexy at all and nearly laughable. Watching this film was petty painful to be honest. Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson are fine in the film and do what they can with this mess but I wouldn’t waste my time on this…just watch a damn porn, LOL. The production though is decent and you can tell that they were trying harder this time but it’s a hard pass for me…and to think there is still another sequel coming.

Official Premise: Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Darker, the second chapter based on the worldwide bestselling Fifty Shades phenomenon. When a wounded Christian tries to entice a cautious Anastasia back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple. Jack Hyde (Eric Johnson) and Elena Lincoln (Kim Basinger) join the cast, determined to destroy the couple’s hopes for a future together. This time there are no rules.

This Blu-ray includes an unrated cut of the film. Personally the film is long enough running 117 minutes but this new cut expands it out to 131 minutes. If you enjoyed the film you might be interested in more, but I’m not. Despite whether or not the film is worth watching, the A/V presentation is extremely solid. The 1080p transfer looks amazing and really crisp colors. The real shocker here is definitely the DTS:X Master Audio soundtrack. Normally, I would say a film like this wouldn’t need a track like this but it really does sound great. From the film’s music to the subtle sound effects throughout. It is really solid.

“Fifty Shades Darker” comes with some solid special features including contains six featurettes, a two short deleted scenes, and a preview for the next film, “Fifty Shades Freed”…very short. “Writing Darker” features the author E.L. James talking about the book and the film. “A Darker Direction” features cast and crew talking about this sequel. “Dark Reunion” looks deeper into the characters. “New Threats” looks at the films new characters. “The Masquerade” looks at the films party sequence. Lastly “Intimate with Darker” looks at the sex scenes both filming and physical meaning.

Blu-ray Review “The Red Turtle”

Directors: Michael Dudok De Wit
Rated: PG
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 81 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, “The Red Turtle” marks a change for the company. This is not an original film from them but instead a French film acquisition. It is also a wordless film yet also a beautiful film. Put it this way, I watched this film with my 5 year old and she was interested the whole time, even without words. The story was beautiful and the animation was gorgeous. Not your typical Ghibli film but definitely a different one and quite enjoyable.

Official Premise: Marking the much-anticipated return of Studio Ghibli, this masterfully animated fantasy film tells the story of a man shipwrecked at sea who becomes stranded on a beautiful but desolate island. He learns to live in isolation, seemingly tormented in his efforts to escape the island by a giant red turtle. Miraculously, he soon comes upon a young woman also lost at sea and they create a family together.

The 1080p transfer looks solid. The animation is well represented here and the colors are vibrant. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works perfectly with the films score and sound effects, which gracefully drive the film along. The special features are a little light. There are two featurettes going behind-the-scenes including “The Birth of The Red Turtle” and “The Secrets of The Red Turtle” as well as a AFI Fest Q&A with Director Michael Dudok de Wit. This is a solid interview with a lot of great details though.

Blu-ray Review “Orange Is The New Black: Season Four”

Actors: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Harney, Nick Sandow
Number of discs: 3
Rated: NR
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Run Time: 778 minutes

Season: 4 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras’: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The fourth season of Orange Is The New Black proves this show gets better and better with each new season. It is darker, gritty, funnier, crazier! Just all around great! This show is showing no signs of slowing down at all. The cast is all simply amazing together. The story for this season just brings this show to a whole new level of great. I can’t wait to see what is in store for season 5!

Season 4 Premise: New faces and old resentments make for a potentially volatile blend, especially now that Litchfield is a for-profit business. Overrun with new inmates and overseen by inexperienced guards, the prison undergoes an unprecedented culture war.

The 1080p transfer of the episodes looks great. The colors are crisp and even though the prison is drab. The flashbacks and outside scenes are well represented. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 works as well with no issues and spotlights the movie well. The special features are not the best to be honest, There are only two audio commentary tracks include as well as a tour of Litchfield and a gag reel included.

Blu-ray Review “A Dog’s Purpose”

Actors: Britt Robertson, KJ Apa, John Ortiz, Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad
Directors: Lasse Hallstrom
Rated: PG
Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 100 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love animals?! This movie looked really cute film about a dog through many lives to help its original owner. I enjoyed it overall. I don’t see myself raving about it though to anyone else, especially after the controversy came out about the production. But I do like the message over and how it was setup. Dennis Quaid pops in for a few minutes and does his confused look thing. Dog lover will probably love it if they if they don’t know about what happened during the production. Otherwise, this is a one-timer.

Official Premise: Based on the beloved bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron, A Dog’s Purpose, from director Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules, Dear John, The Hundred-Foot Journey), shares the soulful and surprising story of one devoted dog (voiced by Josh Gad) who finds the meaning of his own existence through the lives of the humans he teaches to laugh and love.

Like all Universal releases, this one is no different impressive audio and video included, though nothing spectacular worth mentioned for this film. It comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital copy included. The special features are very light the are two production featurettes including “Lights, Camera, Woof!” and “A Writer’s Purpose”. There are also Deleted Scenes and Outtakes included.

Blu-ray Review “La La Land”

Actors: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie Dewitt, Finn Wittrock
Directors: Damien Chazelle
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Lionsgate
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Run Time: 128 minutes

Film: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I was highly anticipating “La La Land”. I told myself I wasn’t going to hear a note of the music before seeing the film. Funnily enough after my first viewing, I felt really let down. Afterwards, I spent time listening to the soundtrack and since have fallen absolutely in love with the music and the film itself becoming one of my favorites from 2016. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are/and also sound amazing. I love them singing and I love them together. A must see for sure!

Official Premise: Winner of 6 Academy Awards® including Best Director for writer/director Damien Chazelle, and winner of a record-breaking 7 Golden Globe® Awards, LA LA LAND is more than the most acclaimed movie of the year – it’s a cinematic treasure for the ages that you’ll fall in love with again and again. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as Mia and Sebastian, an actress and a jazz musician pursuing their Hollywood dreams – and finding each other – in a vibrant celebration of hope, dreams, and love.

The 1080p transfer is gorgeous. I love the look and the way that this film was shot. I feel like it speaks true to Hollywood today. Since this is an musical, you would assume that the sound of this Blu-ray is very important. Well Lionsgate films does not disappoint. They have delivered us with an epic Dolby Atmos track as well as a Dolby TrueHD 7.1. So two great options way to enjoy this beautiful film and its beautiful songs!

The special features are solid. There are about over 10 featurettes focusing on all aspects of the production bringing nearly 80 minutes of content. There is an informative audio commentary with Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz. I love these two together on this track. “Damien and Justin Sing: The Demos” is a look at two demos for the track “What a Waste of a Lovely Night” and “City of Stars”. Lastly there is a gallery and trailers.

Blu-ray Review “Rings”

Starring: Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki, Aimee Teegarden, Bonnie Morgan, Vincent D’Onofrio
Director: F. Javier Gutiérrez
Rated: PG-13
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 102 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

“Ringu” aka “The Ring” originally was a great Japanese horror movie. Honestly didn’t need an expensive US remake. Still, the remake was decent and worth working. “The Ring 2” is hardly. When I heard report of “Rings”, I thought “yeah sounds cool, it’s been some years now and what could they do with all this new technology etc”. Well this was just another boring reboot of the original film with nothing worth wild here at all. Samara is not scary at all and all her scenes could have been taken scene for scene from the previous films and you wouldn’t have realized.

Official Premise: A new chapter in the beloved RING horror franchise. A young woman becomes worried about her boyfriend when he explores a dark subculture surrounding a mysterious videotape said to kill the watcher seven days after he has viewed it. She sacrifices herself to save her boyfriend and in doing so makes a horrifying discovery: there is a “movie within the movie” that no one has ever seen before…

“Rings” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD+ Digital HD cop included. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is solid for this film I do have to give credit there! The special features are bland and pointless like the movie. There are two featurettes “Terror Comes Full Circle” and “Resurrecting the Dead: Bringing Samara Back” about the production and creating Samara again, respectively. “Scary Scenes” is a stupid cast reaction to horror. Lastly there are nearly 20 minutes of deleted/alternate/extended scenes, cause you can tell this movie was chopped up to hell and was probably an entirely different film before it was released!

Blu-ray Review “Gold”

Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Edgar Ramirez, Corey Stoll, Bryce Dallas Howard
Directors: Stephen Gaghan
Rated: R
Studio: LIONSGATE
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Run Time: 121 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

For the talent involved you would have thought that a film like “Gold” would have gotten a lot more notice. This film stars Matthew McConaughey (“The Dark Tower”), Bryce Dallas Howard (“Jurassic World”), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), as well as veterans Stacy Keach (“American History X”) and Bruce Greenwood (“Star Trek”). Talent-wise this film is a score. I enjoyed watching it, thought it would be a film that I would never see again for sure. Not my kinda movie.

Official Premise: “Gold” is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream — to discover gold. Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, who teams up with a similarly eager geologist, and they set off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street.

“Gold” comes in a combo pack with a Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD included.  The 1080p transfer is typical. Doesn’t stand out. Doesn’t suck. Looks solid enough. Same goes for thhe DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track, which delivers great sound especially for the title track by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse. The special features includes an audio commentary with director Stephen Gaghan as well as a deleted scene, a featurette on the film’s locations and a behind-the-scenes look at Matthew McConaughey’s character.