September 21, 2016

Stephen King's IT Blu-ray Review






**SYNOPSIS**



October 1957: "It" awakens and the small town of Derry, Maine will never be the same. Stephen King brings to life every childhood fear and phobia as seven children face an unthinkable horror which appears in various forms, including “Pennywise” (Tim Curry), a clown who lives, hunts and kills from the towns sewers. Years later, the surviving adults who are brave enough return to stop the new killing spree, this time for good.





**MOVIE REVIEW**



Stephen King's IT is to me his most chilling novel and the made for tv two night event that adapted it had to tone down some more disturbing parts of the book but it remains a moody and entertaining watch. The first half is without question the best where we see the children form a bond that is endearing and the group has a similar feel to the ones in Stand By Me or The Goonies. The late Jonathan Brandis is symapthetic as the grieving Bill who lost his little brother Georgie and has a stutter. A young Seth Green gives a fun performance as the comedian of the group, "Beep Beep Richie". This collection of young talent felt quite natural in their roles and you root for their characters then and when they have to return as adults to Derry to put an end to the evil demon IT.

Tim Curry is the standout performer as Pennywise. He is at times funny, creepy and truly terrifying if you are someone that is affected by clowns. Pennywise is just one of the forms that IT takes but it is without a shadow of a doubt the one it enjoys using the most. The second half features strong work by the likes of John Ritter, Annette O' Toole, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid and Richard Thomas. 8/10


**VIDEO QUALITY**



Stephen King's IT arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1. - IT is present in it's original uncropped ratio and it is a stunner when comparing it to the stretched out widescreen DVD and Fuzzy VHS releases. Colors exhibit lush saturation with no signs of bleeding. Bold primaries like the red of Pennywise's nose and hair, a yellow rain slicker, and the 50's fashions pop. Contrast balance was excellent. Black levels were deep and inky throughout the 187 minute running time. Details in freckles, the makeup and wrinkle lines on Pennwise's face, stitching and textures on clothing were revealing in their clarity. The image shows no signs of print damage or speckles that I could see. A fine layer of grain is noticeable in scenes that adds to the feel of this transfer. Warner has really stepped up their game for this latest batch of catalog release. 9/10


**AUDIO QUALITY**



Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track. - Dialogue was crisp and clearly presented. Stereo separation was engaging during more eerie moments. The score has a nice amount of depth too it. The mix is well balanced. No signs of popping or hissing. 8.5/10


**SPECIAL FEATURES**



* Audio Commentary - Director Tommy Lee Wallace and Actors Dennis Christopher, Tim Reid, John Ritter and Richard Thomas

September 19, 2016

HBO's The Night Of Blu-ray October 18th






HBO Home Entertainment has officially announced they will be releasing The Night Of to Blu-ray and DVD on October 18, 2016. The Blu-ray will feature 1080p video in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Below are the official details:





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**SYNOPSIS**



“The best TV you’ll see this summer” (Vanity Fair) will be available to own this fall when The Night Of, the acclaimed HBO limited series that captivated TV audiences this summer, comes to Digital HD on September 26, 2016, and to DVD and Blu-ray on October 18, 2016. Starring John Turturro in “a mind-blowing performance” (Wall Street Journal) and the “extraordinary” (Boston Globe) Riz Ahmed, The Night Of is “an anthem to television’s unique power to turn a series of understated performances into sustained magnificence” (Los Angeles Times). The series, which delves into the intricacies of a complex New York City murder case with cultural and political overtones, was a critical and ratings sensation on HBO this summer, with critics heralding the show as “exquisite… richly detailed” (The New York Times), “mesmerizing” (Entertainment Weekly) and “as complicated and layered as life itself” (TV Guide).

In The Night Of, Pakistani-American college student Nasir “Naz” Khan, who lives with his parents in Queens, NY, takes his father’s taxi to go to a party in Manhattan. But what starts as a perfect night for Naz becomes a nightmare when he’s arrested for murder. The series examines the police investigation, the legal proceedings, the criminal justice system and Rikers Island, where the accused await trial.

The Night Of is created and executive produced by Steven Zaillian (Oscar® winner, Best Adapted Screenplay, Schindler’s List) and Richard Price (The Wire, Oscar® nominee, Best Adapted Screenplay, The Color of Money), based on the BBC series Criminal Justice, created by Peter Moffat. Other executive producers are Jane Tranter, James Gandolfini and Peter Moffat; co-executive produced by Garrett Basch, Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong.

The ensemble cast includes Michael Kenneth Williams, Bill Camp, Jeannie Berlin, Poorna Jagannathan, Payman Maadi, Glenne Headly, Amara Karan, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Paul Sparks, Ben Shenkman, Afton Williamson, Paulo Costanzo, Ned Eisenberg, Moha Bakri, Nabil Elouahabi, Ashley Thomas, Glenn Fleshler, and Chip Zien.

Bad Moms Blu-ray November 1st






Universal Studios Home Entertainment has officially announced they will release Bad Moms to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on November 1, 2016. The Blu-ray specs are set to be 1080p video in the 2.40:1 aspect ratio and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for audio. Below are the official details:





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**SYNOPSIS**



Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (The Hangover Trilogy, Four Christmases) and produced by Suzanne Todd, (Alice Through The Looking Glass) and Bill Block (Dirty Grandpa), the comedy also features Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women), Christina Applegate (Anchorman 1 &2), Annie Mumolo (The Boss) and Jay Hernandez (Suicide Squad). It’s time to party like a mother with this hysterical and relatable film.

In this hilarious and heartfelt comedy from the writing duo behind The Hangover, Amy (Mila Kunis) has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However, she's over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms (Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn) on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn (Christina Applegate) and her clique of devoted perfect moms (Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo).


**SPECIAL FEATURES**



* Deleted Scenes
* Gag Reel
* Cast & Moms Interviews: A collection of intimate moments between the leading cast including Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn, Christina Applegate, Jada Pinkett Smith and Annie Mumolo and their moms.

September 8, 2016

All the Way Blu-ray Review






**SYNOPSIS**



Hailed as “dramatically dazzling” (Baltimore Sun) and “powerful” (Chicago Sun-Times), All the Way was nominated for eight 2016 Emmy Awards® including Outstanding Television Movie, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (Bryan Cranston, who reprises his Tony® Award winning role). The film follows LBJ during his early administration, as he stakes his presidency on what would be an historic, unprecedented Civil Rights Act. Johnson finds himself caught between the moral imperative of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the expectations of the southern Democratic Party leaders who brought Johnson to power. As King battles to press Johnson while controlling more radical elements of the Civil Rights movement, Johnson navigates the bill through Congress, winning a landslide victory against Barry Goldwater, but causing the South to defect from the Democratic Party.

Co-starring with Cranston are Anthony Mackie (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Melissa Leo (Lady Bird Johnson), Bradley Whitford (Hubert Humphrey) and Frank Langella (Sen. Richard Russell). Additional cast members include Joe Morton (Roy Wilkins), Stephen Root (J. Edgar Hoover), Marque Richardson (Bob Moses), Aisha Hinds (Fanny Lou Hamer), Todd Weeks (Walter Jenkins), Mo McRae (Stokely Carmichael) and Spencer Garrett (Walter Reuther). The film was directed by Jay Roach (Emmy® winner for HBO’s Game Change and Recount) from a screenplay by Robert Schenkkan (Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Kentucky Cycle”; two-time Emmy® nominee and Writers Guild Award winner for HBO’s The Pacific), who has adapted his Tony Award-winning play of the same name.





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**MOVIE REVIEW**



All the Way is a well made if bland HBO movie but the incomparable Bryan Cranston gives a powerhouse performance as LBJ that makes it worth watching, as does rest of the tremendously talented cast. This is a film of performances but the actual storyline while following history I couldn't fine myself engaged in. 7/10


**VIDEO QUALITY**



All the Way arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p transfer in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1. - Colors have a natural appearance but there isn't much in the way of lush or bold primaries. Black levels were okay. Detail in close ups of the intricate makeup work are razor sharp, textures and patterns in period clothing show great clarity.8/10


**AUDIO QUALITY**



Audio is provided by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. - The track is a front heavy affair except for the use of surrounds for crowd din. Dialogue reproduction was crisp and clear. The LFE Channel lends some heft to gunshots and the score by James Newton Howard. 8.5/10


**SPECIAL FEATURES**



* Bryan Cranston: Becoming LBJ (HD, 01;55)

* All the Way: A Walk Through History (HD, 10:06)