Blu-Ray Reviews

Krypton: The Complete First Season

5/5

DC Entertainment presents a new look at the mythology of Superman and his lineage with Krypton. The show’s complete first season is now available on Blu-ray. Already renewed for a second season, Krypton explores the lives of Superman’s ancestors on a planet that seems to be doomed for destruction.

Premiering on the SyFy Network in March 2018, DC’s Krypton was a new take on the Superman mythology exploring the mainstay hero’s early ancestry but with a bit of a twist. Similar to Gotham for Batman, fans see the events on planet Krypton before the planet’s destruction and the life of the House of El before the birth of the future Superman, aka Clark Kent, in Kal-El. However, things get a wrench thrown into the mix with time travel elements.

Set 200 years before Superman’s birth, Krypton begins with the disgrace and embarrassment for House El. Krypton is an isolated planet in its galaxy, run by a tyrannical theocracy, headed up by a religious figure head, The Voice of Rao. The great grandfather of Superman, Val-El, was seen as a traitor and heretic for presenting his findings to the Kryptonian government and is sentenced to execution, making the rest of his family lose their rank, title and nobility.

14 years later, and Val-El’s grandson, Seg-El, and his parents are scraping by a meager living among the destitute “Rankless” population of Krypton. However, with the scheming Gilded nobility, the dissident rebellion that is Black Zero, Krypton is a powder keg that is on the verge of blowing up. Also, there’s the knowledge of a threat from the future in the malevolent super-computer Braniac and a space-faring time traveler who calls himself Adam Strange. Thanks to Adam Strange’s help, Seg-El learns his grandfather was right about the oncoming threat about Braniac, who seeks to wipe out life on Krypton to prevent the birth of Superman, which could have grave consequences for the fate of Earth and the rest of the universe when you think about it.

The series definitely makes the most out of its premise. It definitely makes the most out of exploring the mythology and lore around Krypton. It’s not a subject matter that really gets covered a lot in film and TV.

It definitely appears the writers throw in a few twists with the time travel aspect. Due to the time travel, it creates more doubt around what will take place or what is supposed to take place. Case in point, Adam Strange has traveled back in time with Superman’s cape.

Also, another major DC and Superman rogue is present in the story from the future in the from of Dru-Zod, played by Colin Salmon. Salmon is an incredibly underrated talent, and he definitely brings something interest to the table as Zod. It definitely plays up the more pragmatic side of Zod, while an enemy of Superman, someone who is desperate to save its home world and prevent its destruction. It actually presents an interesting dilemma when this comes to light in the story. What would some benevolent Kryptonians do when confronted with the reality of Krypton’s fate? Strange is there to save Superman. But what if saving Krypton means preventing the birth of Superman? What if the only way to make Superman born is to condemn Krypton and the lives of millions of innocents to its fate? Those are the more interesting conflicts and aspects for the first season of the show.

The romances for the show are a little on the melodramatic side. In the world of the show, Krypton is a very organized society, where it seems the government decides everything for you in terms of your rank, social status, and even who you marry and start a family with. People are not allowed to choose who they essentially wed. Having a child is also as simple as getting your DNA sampled out of your fingertip in a lab. But Seg-El has a forbidden romance with his longtime love, Lyta-Zod. So yeah, the show takes the conflict of the Zod and Superman relationship a few steps further by making their ancestors star-crossed lovers.

While I definitely have some doubts about how long Krypton can maintain its story through its run with all the time travel elements, the show has been compelling enough to keep me wanting to tune in for more and see what will ultimately befall Superman’s ancestors.

The show does offer a lot of intrigue regarding the current state of Krypton. It appears the planet is already in bad shape at the start of the series. It’s stopped rotating, making it quite chaotic. The humanoid population is forced to live in underground compounds or domed cities. It appears at the start of the show, Krypton is very much a world in decline, so its doomed fate seems inevitable.

 

BLU-RAY & DVD FEATURES

•Krypton : 2017 Comic – Con Panel

•Krypton : Bringing the Home World to Life

•A Lost Kingdom: Life on Krypton

•Gag reel

•Deleted Scenes

10 ONE – HOUR EPISODES

1.Pilot

2.House of El

3.The Rankless Initiative

4.The Word of Rao

5.House of Zod

6.Civil Wars

7.Transformation

8.Savage Night

9.Hope

10.The Phantom Zone

Bohemian Rhapsody

5/5

Bohemian Rhapsody is the story of Queen and their dynamic frontman, the late-great Freddie Mercury. Produced with a lot of input, and costume and prop contributions from Queen’s Brian May & Roger Taylor, the film attempts a look at Queen from the beginning, to their performance at Live Aid in July 1985, called by many the best rock performance of all time.

A lot has been said about the quality of Bohemian Rhapsody as a film, and as the story of Mercury’s life. The consensus by most critics seems to be that it lets Mercury down, and Taylor and May were given far too much input into the story, leading to an idealized version of themselves, and a shortfall in portraying the realities of Mercury’s life. Meanwhile, the general public has embraced the film, leading to a worldwide gross of over $840 million. Something we usually only see for superheroes or other huge action films these days. Star Rami Malek has won Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Oscar and more for his phenomenal portrayal of Mercury, and the film itself won the Golden Globe for Best Picture.

Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Anthony McCarten, Peter Morgan, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson
Starring: Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Allen Leech, Lucy Boynton
Producers: Robert De Niro, Graham King, Brian May, Jane Rosenthal, Roger Taylor, Bryan Singer

Powerful Performance by Viola Davis in Widows

4/5

Adapted from the 1983 British TV mini-series, Widows is set against the backdrop of present-day Chicago. The film opens with a heist gone wrong. Harry Rawlings (Liam Neeson) and his crew are blown up in a van while trying to steal a few million dollars, which belonged to drug dealer-turned-politician Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry).

Jamal Manning is running for local office and is going head-to-head with Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell), a wealthy man whose racist father (Robert Duvall) doesn’t approve of some of his son’s choices. The political themes come through as Jamal and Jack use their own strategies to win votes.

When Jamal realizes he’s lost $2 million due to the heist going bad, he sends his sadistic brother Jatemme (Daniel Kaluuya) to do the dirty work. Jamel pays a visit to Harry’s widow, Veronica (Viola Davis), and tells her she only has one month to come up with $2 million. We are then taken into her world through flashbacks. The intimate moments between Harry and Veronica hint at a world of pain that they suffered, and we are only privy to some of their secrets at this point.

When Veronica finds Harry’s book filled with details of his heists, including a new one that would bring in $5 million, she contacts the widows of Harry’s former accomplices to plan the heist. We are introduced to Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), who was abused by her husband; Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), a mother of two whose husband was a gambler; and Amanda (Carrie Coon), who stays out of the scheme for her own reasons.

They also bring in Belle (Cynthia Erivo), a part-time babysitter who shows she has the street smarts to be a part of their plan. Using Harry’s book, the widows plan a heist that no one sees coming.

Bonus Blu-ray features include:

60 minutes of additional content, including behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with the cast and crew, and filming on set.

Gallery

Widows Unmasked

A Chicago story

Assembling the Crew:Production
The Scene of the Crime Locations
Plotting the Heist

The Story

First Man - ON 4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY™ AND DVD JANUARY 22, 2019

5/5

Intimate Portrayal of an American Icon

First Man is based on the book First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong by James R. Hansen. First Man opens in 1961 with Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) as a test pilot for NASA. A humble, quiet man, Armstrong was facing difficulty at work and heartbreak at home. He had several high profile crashes that worried his superiors. His beloved two-year-old daughter, Karen, had an inoperable brain tumor. Neil and his wife, Janet (Claire Foy), held their family together during her sickness. Karen’s tragic death devastated the Armstrong family. In 1962, Neil was chosen to be an astronaut in Project Gemini. The mission was to successfully rendezvous a manned capsule with an orbiting spacecraft. The Armstrongs jumped at the chance to start anew. But the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States was distinctly in the Communists favor. NASA chartered a bold new mission, Project Apollo; with a goal to land an astronaut on the moon’s surface by the decade’s end. The astronomical effort was fraught with horrific tragedy and setbacks. During this time, Neil Armstrong had proven to be supremely capable under dire circumstances. He is chosen to command Apollo 11, the lunar mission. Janet is terrified of the risk, but Neil was resolutely driven by the memory of his daughter. First Man is ten years in the life of Neil Armstrong. It’s a fascinating character study of a great man stricken by grief.

Directed by Damien Chazelle.

Starring:  Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Ciaran Hinds, Ethan Embry, Olivia Hamilton, Lukas Haas, Shea Whigham, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Cory Michael Smith, J.D. Evermore, John David Whalen, Kris Swanberg, Skyler Bible, Ben Owen, William Gregory Lee, Steven Coulter, Shawn Eric Jones, Brady Smith, Gavin Warren, Luke Winters, and Pablo Schreiber.

4K UHD, BLU-RAYTM, DVD & DIGITAL BONUS FEATURES:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Shooting for the Moon – Take an intimate look at the production of FIRST MANand the collaborative relationship between Director Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling.
  • Preparing to Launch – It’s difficult to believe that FIRST MANis the first major feature film to tell the journey of Apollo 11. Hear from Director Damien Chazelle and his cast why now is the time to tell the story of this historic event.
  • Giant Leap in One Small Step – A heroic character study, FIRST MANsheds light on all the hard working individuals that got us to the moon and back.
  • Mission Gone Wrong – Watch as Ryan Gosling reenacts a test piloting sequence gone terribly wrong. Go behind the scenes to see how he trained to nail the landing, performing the majority of his own stunts.
  • Putting You In the Seat – Through the use of innovative technology, most of FIRST MANwas shot in-camera. Take an in-depth look behind the lens of this epic film.
  • Recreating the Moon Landing– Filmed in IMAX to show the vastness of the moon, find out all that it took to recreate the most famous moment in NASA history.
  • Shooting at NASA – Hear from Ryan Gosling and Director Damien Chazelle on how shooting at NASA brought unparalleled authenticity to FIRST MAN.
  • Astronaut Training – Go behind the scenes of the three day boot camp each of the actors underwent prior to filmingFIRST MAN.
  • Feature Commentary with Director Damien Chazelle, Screenwriter Josh Singer and Editor Tom Cross

Red vs. Blue: The Shisno Paradox Blu-Ray + DVD Combo Pack on January 1

3/5

Red Vs. Blue follows two groups of soldiers in the distant future who are battling for control of the least desirable piece of real estate in the known universe: a box canyon in the middle of nowhere.

“The passionate fan base of Red vs. Blue is one of the main reasons why it is the longest running web-series on the internet,” said Joe Nicolosi, Director of Red vs. Blue. “We’re thrilled to offer up a new cosmically crazy adventure with these colorful characters for all of our fans – new and old.”

In Red Vs. Blue: The Shisno Paradox, a simple trip out for pizza ends with the Reds and Blues scattered and lost in time. Their ridiculous adventures in history inadvertently make them pawns in a war between Gods and Titans, which has been raging since before the dawn of time.

The Red Vs. Blue franchise, which is based on the best-selling Xbox video game Halo, has had over one billion total views online with over one million DVDs sold. The Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack and digital release are jam-packed with bonus features including behind-the-scenes, director/writer commentary and crew photos.

I really enjoyed The Shisno Paradox it left me looking forward to the next installment in this series. Fans of the series will love it and if you’re a newcomer to the series you can jump right in.

The Oath arrives on Digital 12/28 and DVD 1/8

3/5

‘The Oath’ : Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz Face a Divided America at the Dinner Table on Thanksgiving.

The Oath is a satirical political comedy.

The United States government has put into place the “loyalty oath” for the population to sign. It becomes a major point of contention for the country. If you sign it, you get “perks” and if you don’t… well, you could be taken away by the newly created Citizens Protection Unit (CPU) and never be heard from or seen again. The government claims you won’t necessarily be penalized for not signing, but the implication is that you’re not a patriot if you don’t.

The movie centers around Chris (Ike Barinholtz), a seemingly well-off man living with his wife, Kai (Tiffany Haddish) and their daughter in the suburbs of somewhere. Chris is always irate about the news, but there’s an addiction to it as well. He wants to constantly be in the know, even if it drives up his blood pressure and tests the patience of his family. His views don’t exactly coincide with the ideas of his family, which includes his brother, Pat (Jon Barinholtz), mother and father (Nora Dunn and Chris Ellis), and Pat’s girlfriend, Abbie (Meredith Hagner). The only person he gets along with in his family is his sister, Alice (Carrie Brownstein). But as the deadline to sign the loyalty oath approaches, which is right around Thanksgiving, and it becomes harder and harder to not discuss politics at the family dinner.

Then, on Thanksgiving Day, there’s a knock at the door. Two agents from the “CPU,” an upstart division within Homeland Security, want to question Chris based on a complaint that he attempted to persuade someone from signing the oath. John Cho and Billy Magnussen play the agents with a good cop-bad cop dynamic, Cho attempting to keep the peace while Magnussen constantly baits with partisan talking points. Chris refuses to be questioned and the agents refuse to leave, and so it begins and everything takes a turn for the worse.

Director: Ike Barinholtz
Writer: Ike Barinholtz
Starring: Ike Barinholtz, Tiffany Haddish, Jon Barinholtz, Nora Dunn, Carrie Brownstein, Chris Ellis, Meredith Hagner, Billy Magnussen, John Cho, Jay Duplass.

DVD/DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Deleted Scenes
  • “Fake News or Facts” Featurette
  • “Turkey Day Trauma” Featurette
  • Photo Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer

Halloween is currently available on Digital HD, and it will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on January 15!

3/5

It’s been nearly a decade since we last saw Michael Myers grace the silver screen in Halloween. But unfortunately it lacks all the suspense, frightening scares, terror from the 1978 original.
Halloween 2018, picks up forty years after the infamous events that took place in 1978 when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) narrowly escaped with her life after her encounter with the deranged masked serial killer Michael Myers. A team of investigative journalists decide to dig deep into the case and venture to Haddonfield on the eve of the 40th anniversary of these tragic events. Meanwhile, Laurie has spent the last four decades preparing for Michael’s inevitable escape, at great cost to her personal life. Her reclusive nature and lingering trauma have strained her relationship with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), who is trying to keep her own daughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) away from her grandmother. Unfortunately, Laurie’s worst fears are realized and Michael once again manages to escape and he’s got decades worth of blood lust to get out of his system. The Strode family will have to come together in order to survive the night, leading to a long-awaited rematch between Laurie and Michael.

Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Will Patton, Nick Castle, Andi Matichak, Omar J. Dorsey.

Bonus features with deleted & extended scenes include:

  • Back in Haddonfield: Making Halloween
  • The Original Scream Queen
  • The Sound of Fear
  • Journey of the Mask
  • The Legacy of Halloween

THE PREDATOR

4/5

The movie kicks off with a Predator crash-landing on Earth. An unlucky soldier by the name of Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook) who was just doing his job happens to witness the whole thing. He rightfully assumes nobody will believe him and decides to secure some proof. That turns out to be a decision that comes with consequences. His young son, who suffers from Asperger’s, gets his hands on the alien gear and that leads the fight straight to the suburbs. All the while, a mysterious government body is very interested in what the Predators can teach us and what it is they want with our planet. It turns out that the already lethal hunters have been genetically upgrading themselves with DNA from other species. Now, it’s up to McKenna and a group of battle-hardened and eccentric soldiers to save the day.
Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen and Sterling K. Brown.

 
The Predator Digital, 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™ & DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Touch of Black
  • Predator Evolution
  • The Takedown Team
  • Predator Catch-Up
  • Gallery

Sharp Objects

5/5

This psychological Drama is based on the book of the same name by Gillian Flynn and is created for HBO specifically by Marti Noxon and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.

The series also has some parallels to Big Little Lies and True Detective in terms of its formula, where it shows key events from the past that links to the present plus a sprinkle of Twin Peaks thrown in for good measures. As a result, it makes for some great problem solving by the viewer and really adds to the overall atmosphere of this dark and at times disturbing drama.

The story is definitely worth watching, it revolves around newspaper reporter Camille Preaker (Amy Adams) who is an alcoholic and also spent time in a psychiatric hospital for self-harm which probably made things worse for her.

However when her home town of Wind Gap suffers the grisly murders of two teenage girls, her editor Frank (Miguel Sandoval) sends her back home in order to write a story about how this affecting the town much to her disdain. Frank also hopes this might set her on the right path again and without alcohol.

With that said, this catalyst was sparked by the death of her sister that has led Camille down a dark and lonely road, particularly that she has lost the love of her mother and socialite Adora (Patricia Clarkson). Clarkson plays this damaged and unlikable character very well and needless to say, just about everyone in this town has their own demons that all cross paths with the main characters.

Another key character is Detective Richard Willis (Chris Messina) who has been sent to the town of Wind Gap from Kansas City in order to help the local and perhaps incompetent authorities in solving the murders of these young girls. Like Camille, this character has his own secrets as does her family like her step-father Alan (Henry Czerny) and half-sister Emma (Eliza Scanlen) .

I only can recommended this 8-episode TV series.

Cast: Amy Adams, Patricia Clarkson, Chris Messina, Eliza Scanlen and Matt Craven.