Category Archives: DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Westworld Season 2: The Door

Westworld Season 2: The Door Blu-Ray

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Synopsis:
In Season Two, viewers are welcomed back to Westworld, where the puppet show is over and the newly liberated “hosts” are coming for humankind. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) takes charge, Maeve (Thandie Newton) is on a mission and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) is back. Chaos takes control in this dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness, the birth of a new form of life and the evolution of sin.

Review:
The hosts have revolted and most want revenge or simply freedom from humanity. Deloris is now self-aware, with a mission. Maeve searches for her daughter. Bernard searches for answers. And we get to see more of the Man in Black’s past catch up with him.

This second season is just as dark and violent as before. But we get more answers, if muddled with time jumping. Poor Bernard’s memories are so confusing that it’s hard to keep track of what is past and present. The acting is fantastic, and the story (while sometimes confusing) is even more intriguing and engaging than last season. With loads of mystery, action, and drama – this mature scifi show has only gotten better. With plenty of surprises along the way, there is an impressive amount of story packed into just 10 episodes.

DIGITAL SPECIAL FEATURES:
-Bring Yourself Back Online (New)
-Reflections on Season Two –Dolores, Teddy and Bernard
-Of Love and Shogun –Maeve, Hector and Lee
-Journeys and Technology –Stubbs, Logan and Clementine
-The Buzz: On the Red Carpet
-Return To Westworld
-Creating Westworld’s Reality
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: An Evocative Location
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Fort Forlorn Hope
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Delos Experiment
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Shogun World
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Inside the Cradle
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Chaos In The Mesa
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Ghost Nation
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: Deconstructing Maeve
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Valley Beyond
-Creating Westworld’s Reality: The Drone Hosts
4K ULTRA HD, BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
Includes all digital special features plus:
-The Truth Behind Delos(New)
-These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends (New)

4K Blu Ray Review: Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition

Justice League: Throne of Atlantis 4K Blu Ray

About the Film:
In Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition, Cyborg discovers an imminent threat in the depths of the oceans so powerful that it rallies together the newly formed Justice League. Meanwhile, wandering thousands of feet above the ocean floor is drifter Arthur Curry, a man with strange powers who may be the last chance to bridge the ancient Atlantean world with our own. Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of DC’s Justice League must band together as they face off against warmongering Orm, an army of sea creatures, otherworldly weapons and perilous odds. In this all-new epic adventure from the DC Universe, mankind’s only hope of escaping from the darkness lies with the guiding light of a man – Aquaman!

The celebrity laden cast features primetime television stars Matt Lanter (Timeless, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 90210) as Aquaman, Sam Witwer (Being Human, Smallville, Star Wars: Rebels) as Orm, Jason O’Mara (The Man in the High Castle) as Batman, Christopher Gorham (Insatiable, Two Broke Girls, Covert Affairs) as Flash, Nathan Fillion (The Rookie, Castle) as Green Lantern, Shemar Moore (S.W.A.T., Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Daredevil) as Wonder Woman, Jerry O’Connell (Real Men Watch Bravo, The Death of Superman) as Superman, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) as Shazam, Sumalee Montano (Scandal, Critical Role) as Mera, Sirena Irwin (Superman: Unbound) as Queen Atlanna, and Harry Lennix (Man of Steel, The Blacklist) as Manta.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The Opinions I share are my own.”

Review:
I don’t watch a lot of animated tv or films. But I love superhero stuff. And with the Aquaman film releasing soon, I wanted to check this one out. I was already familiar with this story, as Arthur Curry fights his half brother for the right to lead Atlantis. But I enjoyed the cast of characters and the numerous voice actors. Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern was the easiest to recognize. And he brought a fun and humorous element to the film, that was a great opposition to Batman’s dark, grumpy mood.

There were little things I didn’t care for – like Wonder Woman’s costume and that it was PG-13 instead of PG. The bloody violence and swearing means it isn’t for children. Which seems strange when it’s an animated superhero film that kids will want to see. But I still enjoyed the movie overall. It was fast-paced and a full cast of the Justice League – including Shazam, who was another fun addition. The special features were decent too. There’s a bonus sequence of Robin and Nightwing with a nice explanation of it’s purpose.

SPECIAL FEATURES:
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis – Commemorative Edition contains two all-new bonus features, along with special features from the film’s original release:
• Aquaman: The New King (NEW featurette) – An immersive look at Arthur Curry’s evolution from guardian of the ocean to the King of Atlantis and key member of the Justice League.
• Audio Commentary (NEW) – Renowned former DC Editor and current Creative Director of Animation Mike Carlin, Creative Director of Animation, and Throne of Atlantis screenwriter Heath Corson share their insights into the legend of Aquaman.
• Scoring Atlantis: The Sound of the Deep (Featurette) – Every great film needs a great musical score. Filled with emotion, music takes us on a dynamic journey as we adventure with the hero. Throne of Atlantis takes us on that quest through the eyes of Arthur Curry.
• Robin and Nightwing Bonus Sequence – Producer James Tucker provides video commentary for this exciting bonus sequence where Robin and Nightwing join forces.
• Throne of Atlantis: 2014 New York Comic Con Panel – The entire, lively one-hour panel discussion between actor Matt Lanter, producer James Tucker, screenwriter Heath Corson, character designer Phil Bourassa and dialogue director Andrea Romano.
• Villains of the Deep (Featurette) – From Ocean Master to Black Manta to King Shark, each villain operates from his own deep sense of conviction, presenting an incredible challenge for the hero in Arthur Curry, aka Aquaman. This documentary goes into the biographical details of the villains.
• A Sneak Peek at The Death of Superman – The Death of Superman is widely considered one of the most popular stories in the Superman canon and the DCU. This sneak peek at the exciting new film discusses the story and its place in pop culture.
• A Sneak Peek at Reign of the Supermen – An exciting look at the new film which brings the epic and emotional story of a world without the Man of Steel to life.
• Bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault:
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure!”
o Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Evil Under the Sea!”
o Aquaman, “Menace of The Black Manta” and “The Rampaging Reptile-Men”
o Justice League Unlimited, “Far from Home”

Blu-Ray Review: Beyond the Sky

Beyond The Sky

Synopsis:
In BEYOND THE SKY, Chris Norton (Ryan Carnes) has been hearing about alien abductions his entire life but, in his gut, he knows they are not real. Setting out to disprove the alien abduction phenomenon once and for all, he attends a UFO convention to meet alleged abductees and reveal the truth behind their experiences. It is only when he meets Emily, who claims to have been abducted every seven years on her birthday, that Chris realizes there may be more to these claims than meets the eye. With Emily’s 28th birthday only days away, Chris helps her to uncover the truth as they come face to face with the reality that we are not alone.

Review:
Chris Norton’s father claims that his wife was abducted by aliens, when Chris believes his mother just walked out on them. He even has a video of that night with strange lights that could easily be explained. So Chris visits a UFO convention in New Mexico with the intent to prove them all wrong. He’s disrespectful at times, thinking it’s all funny, as I imagine many people would. And Chris finds the perfect person to investigate when her next supposed-abduction date is in just a couple days.

Beyond the Sky feels like a documentary, with a scifi twist. With the fascinating drama, there is a bit of humor, and several intense scenes. I enjoyed the inclusion of unique-looking alien figures and the creepiness of lost time – caught on camera. Emily is a great character who helps to get the viewer involved. And because of her, Chris becomes more likable as he tries to protect her. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. There were a couple of fun surprises that I didn’t see coming. And I loved the different take on an alien abduction story. This is definitely one of the better low budget scifi films I’ve seen.

The BEYOND THE SKY DVD and Blu-ray include the following bonus features:
• Interview with Travis Walton, Alien Abductee and Author of “Fire in the Sky”
• Interview with Navajo Artist at the International UFO Congress.

4K Blu-Ray Review: Ocean’s 8

Ocean’s 8 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital

Synopsis:
Five years, eight months, 12 days…and counting. That’s how long Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock)—just released from prison—has been concocting the greatest heist of her storied career.

She knows what it’s going to take—a team of the best in their field, starting with her former partner-in-crime Lou (Cate Blanchett). Together, they recruit a crew of specialists: jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), street con Constance (Awkwafina), expert fence Tammy (Sarah Paulson), hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna) and fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter).

The target is $150 million in diamonds—diamonds that will adorn the neck of world-famous actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway), who will be center stage at the event of the year, the Met Gala. Their plan appears rock solid, but it will need to be flawless if the team is to get in and get away—all in plain sight.

Review:
Sandra Bullock stars as Danny Ocean’s sister, Debbie. She is every bit the scheming thief that her brother was (is?). And she has been planning the heist of millions in jewels from her prison cell. She is joined by a colorful cast of characters with specific skill sets. These women were even more memorable than their male counterparts in previous films. The heist itself was a little disappointing – fun, yet a little predictable. But the actual planning of the heist was the highlight – and the fantastic characters. While there weren’t any big, shocking reveals (all fairly predictable), it was still a really fun story with a lot of laughs.

Special Features Include:
– A Heist in Heels
– Ocean’s Team 3.0
– Reimagining the Met Gala
– Deleted Scenes

Blu-Ray Spotlight and Giveaway! Hocus Pocus Anniversary Edition

HOCUS POCUS Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
In “Hocus Pocus,” the Sanderson sisters are in for a devil of a time when their restless spirits are accidentally conjured up on Halloween night, in 1993 Salem, Massachusetts. Banished 300 years ago for practicing their sorcery, this trio of triple-threat demons vowed to one day reappear—and now they’re back—weaving an outrageous web of comedy and chaos. However, to guarantee their immortality, the things they need are the very things that could bring them down: Max Dennison (Omri Katz), his little sister Dani (Thora Birch), and the Allison (Vinessa Shaw), three kids with the power to make or break the witches’ spell.

Review:
I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since the release of this Halloween classic! Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy make for an unforgettable trio of hilarious witches. And for the masses who have seen the movie, the “Treats and Trivia” edition is a lot of fun. There are pop-up video facts, illustrations, deleted scenes, interesting commentaries, and more. It would’ve been nice if some of these things, like deleted scenes were separate from having to re-watch the actual film along side. But it is a nice edition with plenty of fascinating, behind-the-scenes clips.

Bonus Features:
BLU-RAY & DIGITAL*:
• We ♥︎ “Hocus Pocus”: Trivia and Treats Edition – A spellbinding new way to experience the film with:
o Fun facts and trivia
o Deleted scenes
o Cast and crew commentary
o Concept art and storyboards
o Behind-the-scenes secrets, and more!
• Original 1993 Production Featurette – Discover that witchcraft is cinematic artistry in disguise in this resurrected throwback production featurette.

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

___________________________

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DVD Review: Young Sheldon The Complete First Season

Young Sheldon: Season 1
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.

Synopsis:
For 9-year-old Sheldon Cooper, being a once-in-a-generation mind capable of advanced mathematics and science isn’t always helpful in East Texas where church and football are king. And while the vulnerable, gifted and somewhat naïve Sheldon deals with the world, his very normal family must find a way to deal with him. His father is struggling as a high school football coach and as father to a boy he doesn’t understand. Sheldon’s mother fiercely protects and nurtures her son who just doesn’t fit in. Sheldon’s older brother does the best he can in high school, but he’s also in the same classes with Sheldon. Finally, there’s Sheldon’s twin sister who remains the one person who can reliably tell Sheldon the truth. For 10 years on The Big Bang Theory, audiences have come to know the iconic, eccentric and extraordinary Sheldon Cooper. Now meet him as he embarks on his innocent, awkward journey toward the man he will become.

Review:
Sheldon is easily the most iconic character on the Big Bang Theory. Now, we get to see him as a young, boy genius, raised in a average family. The actors are fantastic – especially the child actors Iain Armitage and Raegan Revord as young Sheldon and Missy respectively. Each episode is very funny, with wonderful wit. But there are plenty of times of sweetness and drama that give this show plenty of heart. It feels very different from it’s predecessor, but Young Sheldon can stand on its own as a fun, family comedy.

DVD Review: Blindpost Season 3

Blindspot: The Complete Third Season

Synopsis:
The non-stop adrenaline rush continues in the third electrifying season of Blindspot. Following the shocking second season finale, which revealed a new set of bioluminescent tattoos that mysteriously appeared on Jane Doe’s body, season three jumps forward two years as FBI Agent Kurt Weller (Sullivan Stapleton) finally tracks down Jane (Jaimie Alexander), who has been on the run. After the two discover her new hidden tattoos, Jane is forced to return to the FBI, where Weller, Jane and the rest of the team set out to solve these new puzzles and stop the dangerous conspiracies they reveal. The tattoos however, reveal the team’s darkest secrets.

Review:
When a contract is put out on her life, Jane flees to protect those she loves. But Weller finally tracks her down with a clue left that unlocks a whole new set of tattoos on Jane’s body. It seems that Roman wants revenge, and Jane’s tattoos will reveal secrets about the former team in hopes of tearing them apart.

This third season has a nice revamp – with familiar faces and dark secrets. At the end of season 2, I thought that this story had reached a conclusion. This is more of an emotional journey for Jane as she learns more about her past. And Roman’s complex character becomes someone very different. I love that the only thing predictable about each episode is that something unexpected will happen. Each episode is packed with clues, twists, and non-stop suspense. I thoroughly enjoyed this latest season, and look forward to the next.

Special Features Include:
– Surveillance On Set: Agent Zapata
– Deleted Scenes
– Gag Reel

Blu-Ray Review: Counterpart Season 1

Counterpart: Season 1 [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
Howard Silk (JK Simmons) is a lowly cog in the bureaucratic machinery of a Berlin-based United Nations spy agency. When Howard discovers that his organization safeguards the secret of a crossing into a parallel dimension, he is thrust into a shadow world of intrigue, danger, and double cross… where the only man he can trust is his near-identical counterpart from this parallel world. The show explores themes of identity, fate, and lost love, posing the eternal question, “what if our lives could have been different?”

Review:
Howard Silk is in a dead-end job and lives a seemingly sad, dull existence. But when his double from an alternate world arrives, Howard’s life is turned upside down. The company he’s been working for has been hiding a huge secret since the Cold War. And Howard’s counterpart is nothing like him.

Counterpart is a STARZ original that I had never heard of until I received the promo. Blending science fiction and a spy thriller, this was a surprising series that I binge-watched in one weekend. I was completely hooked. It’s Fringe meets The Americans. Since it’s on a premium network, they (of course) had to throw in unnecessary nudity that otherwise would have made it a show I’d recommend to friends. It’s a pulse-pounding, suspenseful series with plenty of intrigue and drama.

JK Simmons does an amazing job of playing the same man as two distinctly different characters. They look exactly the same, but it’s obvious who’s who. It’s a slow build at times, but completely unpredictable. There are a lot of questions still lingering. And a bit of a cliffhanger ending, left me wanting more. I look forward to seeing the story unfold in future seasons.