Blu-ray Review “The Marine 4: Moving Target”

Actors: Paul McGillion, Mike Mizanin, Curtis Caravaggio, Matthew MacCaull
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Run Time: 91 minutes

Film: 3 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

WWE has definitely been busy in the film industry. They have been cranking out movies non-stop starting their WWE Superstars. “The Marine” series started back in 2006 with John Cena taking on the lead role. The Miz took the lead in “The Marine 3” and is returning in sequel and also features the film debut for WWE Diva Summer Rae. So the two play well off each other. Honestly, who knew that this would turn into a four film franchise that is actually not that bad. In terms of scale, this is a not a scale film but the action is there and is it definitely entertaining.

Official Premise: WWE Superstar Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is back as American hero Jake Carter in an all-new thrill-packed Marine adventure. Now in the private sector, Carter is assigned to protect a “high-value package” – a beautiful whistleblower trying to expose a corrupt military defense contractor. But a heavily armed team of mercenaries has been hired to kill her, along with anyone who gets in their way, and it’s going to take a fearless one-man fighting machine to stop them.

“The Marine 4: Moving Target” comes as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and Digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer is quite impressive, especially for a direct-to-video release. The picture is clear and sharp. Same goes for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, which captures the action very well. In terms of special features, there is not much at all given to us through besides three short featurettes. “Firepower” looks into the weapons in the film and it’s authenticity. “The Franchise” looks into the series and its appeal. Lastly “Beauty is Dangerous” focuses on the film’s cast and their makeup.

 

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The Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Julianne Moore

Jan. 21 – Call it a pre-Oscar victory lap. Tuesday night in New York Julianne Moore was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image at their annual gala. This salute comes right as Moore is tipped to win Best Actress this year for her portrayal of a linguistics professor facing a devastating Alzheimers’ diagnosis in Still Alice. On her way into the presentation, she described taking on the role as “a privilege. It was a privilege to learn about [Alzheimers’]. And the people, because I had no personal experience with it, I spent about four months doing research and the people that I spoke to were so incredibly generous with their time and their experience and their information. So I learned a tremendous amount and it was a great experience.”

Moore was supported by her children, Cal and Liv, husband Bart Freundlich and friends at the tribute who enjoyed a presentation about the museum in Queens before taking a thorough look at her cinematic career. On hand to introduce highlights of Moore’s work were former co-stars including Chloe Grace Moretz (Carrie), Sarah Paulson (Game Change), Ethan Hawke (upcoming Maggie’s Plan) and in a pre-recorded message, Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right) who said acting alongside Moore and Annett Bening at the same time was like “sharing the court with Michael Jordan.”

Some of the most joyful crowd reaction came from Steve Buscemi introducing a clip from “Stoner Citizen Kane”, The Big Lebowski which featured both Moore and Buscemi though never on screen at the same time. On the red carpet prior to the event, Buscemi said he “certainly had no idea” that Lebowski would go on to be the cult classic it’s seen as today. He also had nothing but kind words for her when asked what people take away from her work: “She always puts her heart into anything she does. It’s amazing all the different characters that she played and yet there’s something of herself. She really gives I think to every character and that’s what I think everybody responds to.”

 Also on the carpet, actor Billy Crudup described working with Moore and her director husband, on their two films, World Traveler and Trust the Man as “Superb. It was so easy, I was dying for either of our movies to be hugely successful so we could do it again and again and again because the joy of getting to work with your friends in your home city is, for people who travel all the time and have to form new families every time they go somewhere else, you know it was one of a kind.” Asked his favorite role of Julianne’s Crudup replied “I was just thinking of a couple of them but A Single Man…I thought that was an exciting, excellent performance.”

Moore graciously accepted the award from MMI director Carl Goodman and MMI Co-Chairman Herbert Schlosser before creditting her own family story “with Bart and Cal and Liv that has given [her] life so much meaning.”

 

Julianne Moore will next be seen in Maggie’s Plan.

For more information about the Museum of the Moving Image, visit their website.

Studio Ghilbi Blu-ray Giveaway: “Howl’s Moving Castle” & “My Neighbor Totoro” [ENDED]

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED AND WINNERS HAVE BEEN NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL. PLEASE CHECK BACK EACH WEEK FOR NEW GIVEAWAYS!

To celebrate the release of Studio Ghilbi’s latest Blu-ray releases, Media Mikes would like to giveaway a Blu-ray of both “Howl’s Moving Castle” & “My Neighbor Totoro”. If you would like to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes, please leave us a comment below or send us an email indicating your favorite Studio Ghibli film and why? This giveaway will remain open until May 31st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to all fans of Media Mikes, worldwide!! One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

“Howl’s Moving Castle” Official Premise: Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!

“My Neighbor Totoro” Official Premise: Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei as they discover their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit named Totoro who can only be seen by the eyes of a child. As Totoro introduces the girls to his extraordinary friends, they embark on the journey of a lifetime. Featuring the voice talents of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing animated adventure the whole family will fall in love with.

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Blu-ray Review “Howl’s Moving Castle”

Actors: Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Lauren Bacall, Blythe Danner, Billy Crystal
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 119 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

You have no idea how excited I am for this Blu-ray! This is one of my all-time favorite Studio Ghibli films form the amazing Hayao Miyazaki. I don’t even know where to start with this film.  The story. The music. The characters.  everything about “Howl’s Moving Castle” is just amazing. It is one of those films that you can just watch over and over and never get bored. The film gets better and better with each viewing.  Thanks to Disney this film has also never looked better with a stunning new HD digital transfer, and perfect picture and sound! Perfect, that is a great word to describe this film. If you are a Ghibli fan, this is a must have for your collection.

Official Premise: Sophie, a quiet girl working in a hat shop, finds her life thrown into turmoil when she is literally swept off her feet by a handsome but mysterious wizard named Howl. The vain and vengeful Witch of the Waste, jealous of their friendship, puts a spell on Sophie. In a life-changing adventure, Sophie climbs aboard Howl’s magnificent moving castle and enters a magical world on a quest to break the spell. Featuring the voice talents of Christian Bale and Billy Crystal, Miyazaki’s artistry comes to life with inventive characters, unique storytelling, and richly detailed animation. Your whole family will love this epic fantasy on Disney Blu-ray!

Disney is releasing this film as a combo pack with a Blu-ray and also a DVD of the film.  The 1080p transfer is gorgeous and really well done.  The colors jump right off the screen and if you’ve seen this film it is very colorful! There are two audio tracks included, both which are DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  I have to go with the original Japanese track, which has always been my favorite.  Although, the English dub does have Christian Bale and he does give Howl some great life. Also Billy Crystal brings the funny while voice Calcifer. So I guess they are both good in their own way.  The action is captured well with the audio tracks as is the amazing Joe Hisaishi and his wonderful and beautiful score.

The special features are good but not as stunning as I would have hoped but I will take what I can get.  There is a featurette called “Behind the Microphone”, which shows our cast behind-the-scenes who gave these great characters life.  There is an interview with Pixar Animation Studios Director, Pete Docter, who worked on the US release for this film. There is a fun feature “Hello Mr. Lasseter”, which shows us Hayao Miyazaki visits to Pixar Animation Studios.  Lastly there are the original Japanese TV Spots and Trailers, as well as the original Japanese Storyboards.  ”My Neighbor Totoro” had a great collection of short extras “Behind the Studio”, I would have loved to see that for this release.