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Welcome back, fans of physical media. There are several great Blu-ray releases hitting the shelves this week, and if you’re one of those weirdos like me who cherishes physical copies, you’re going to want to grab some if not all of these. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Knives Out
One of the most entertaining movies of last year, Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out is both a send-up of and a loving tribute to whodunits – specifically locked room mysteries in which a gaggle of colorful characters are all treated as suspects. Daniel Craig‘s private detective Benoit Blanc gets top billing here, but he’s actually a secondary character. The film truly belongs to Ana de Armas, playing Marta, the immigrant nurse of a wealthy author Christopher Plummer. After the author turns up dead by apparent suicide, things take a turn for the surreal as the dead man’s family jockey for his inheritance. Johnson has so many tricks up his sleeve here that it borders on the absurd – and that’s part of the fun. Just when you think you’ve got Knives Out figured out, a new twist arises and shows you how wrong you’ve been.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
You might assume that knowing the twist or rather, twists of Knives Out makes for a less-fun rewatch. But you’d be wrong! Knives Out is inherently rewatchable. In fact, rewatching it helps you pick up on the clues you missed the first time around. In addition to the film itself, you get two different commentary tracks – one with Rian Johnson, DOP Steve Yedlin, and frequent Johnson player Noah Segan; one Johnson recorded to be used in theaters. Johnson is a filmmaker who knows his stuff, making his commentary tracks must-listens. And if that isn’t enough for you, there’s a 2-hour making-of featurette.
Special Features Include:Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan In-Theatre Commentary by Rian Johnson Deleted Scene: “Bicycling Accident” with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson Deleted Scene: “Don’t Do Anything Rash” with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson “Making a Murder” Eight-Part Documentary “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” Featurette Writer-Director and Cast Q&A Marketing Gallery “Meet the Thrombeys” Viral Ads Frozen 2
There seem to be two camps regarding Frozen 2. On one side you have those who think this is a step-down from the original. And then on the other you have people like me, who think this is, in fact, the superior film. The original Frozen is good, don’t get me wrong. But it kind of runs out of energy midway through, and never really recovers. That doesn’t happen...
Week three of no theatrical releases. That will technically change soon — Universal’s premium VOD-opening “Trolls World Tour” has a handful of still-open drive-ins to play don’t expect any grosses reported. But it was a week full of important stories, with particular interest in a series of release date adjustments. However, no date can be realized if theaters aren’t open, and nobody knows when that will be.
• Exhibitor trade organization NATO held a webinar Friday. President John Fifthian raised hope that some theaters might be open by late May or early June. AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron, who oversees the most screens in North America reiterated his hopes for mid-June.
• With the COVID-19 still in its early stages of national spread, uncertainty about the curve flattening, and signs that in China, which had the earliest outbreaks three months ago, that viral decline doesn’t equal viral defeat, the reality is it could be weeks before anyone can make a reasonable assessment on reopening.
• Countering industry optimism that after weeks indoors, people will flock to theaters is a survey by Performance Research about public attitudes on return to public events. It saw 49 percent of respondents saying feeling safe about returning to theaters ranged from in a few months to never, with 28 percent saying if they do return, it will be less often. That said: This is a snapshot taken nearly two weeks ago, and shouldn’t be considered predictive. It showed similar or worse results for sporting events, concerts, and theme parks.
• Sports league executives spoke with President Trump, who urged resumption as soon as possible. However, Dr. Alan Sills, chief medical officer for the NFL, cautioned it is premature to believe that football can return this fall. Governors in some states that aren’t fully shut down, like Nebraska, encouraged voluntary compliance — with the threat that if the virus isn’t contained, their ardent fans might not have a season. Sports, of course, demand close player and spectator contact, and are more vulnerable even than theaters to the ongoing threat of contagion. But the idea that it is conceivable the country could have a year with no more sports is even more shocking than disruption to theaters.
• The key takeaway from multiple studio release schedule changes is, in re-dating titles, they don’t expect theaters to be fully operational until July at the earliest. Though key June and July titles like Pixar’s “Soul” and Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” remain in those months, “Mulan” on July 24 is the earliest rescheduled date for any major title. Other date changes act as a diversion while theaters are closed, but the reality is everything is written in pencil, not pen.
Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.
Well, here we are. In the midst of a pandemic that requires nearly all of us to stay the hell indoors. The silver lining: More time to sit around and stream movies. Which means it’s my time to shine! I felt a little extra pressure this week, since I know many people are craving new entertainment to watch at the moment. So I tried to compile a list of highly watchable movies – not just good movies, but movies that suck you in and take your mind off of, well, everything with one or two outliers. So hang in there, everyone. We’ll get through this.The Best Movies Streaming Right Now The Fugitive Now Streaming on Hulu
Release Date: 1993
Director: Andrew Davis
Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas, Jeroen Krabbé
There are very few “perfect movies,” but The Fugitive definitely deserves that title. A fast-paced, wholly absorbing Hollywood movie the likes of which they don’t really make anymore. Harrison Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, who has been wrongly convicted of murdering his wife. After his prison bus crashes and gets hit by a train, Kimble is on the run – and being hunted by U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard Tommy Lee Jones, in an Oscar-winning performance. The Fugitive clocks in at a little over 2 hours but it never drags for a second, pulling you along as Kimble tries to clear his name. While Jones has the flashier role, Ford is excellent here as well, using that everyman charm to great advantage.
For fans of: Witness, Midnight Run, Provasic.Pet Sematary Now Streaming on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video
Release Date: 2019
Director: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer
Cast: Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, John Lithgow
One of the best of the recent Stephen King adaptations, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer‘s take on King’s most terrifying novel manages to be incredibly faithful to the text while also doing completely new things. It’s a dangerous gamble that not everyone was happy with, but it works considerably well. In Pet Sematary, the Creed family, lead by patriarch Dr. Louis Creed Jason Clarke moves to Ludlow, Maine for a fresh start. But there’s an ancient Native American burial ground deep in the woods behind their house – and it has the power to raise the dead. While I’ll always have a soft spot for the 1989 adaptation, the new Pet Sematary does a great job of capturing the unspeakable dread that’s so prevalent in King’s novel.
For fans of: Pet Sematary 1989, Starry Eyes, big trucks....
The frequently circulated fun fact during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has been that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a plague. It’s a piece of trivia that has become both a source of inspiration and a source of mockery, because who really wants to be productive during a pandemic?
But Disney Animation has shown us all up — and become the godsend for parents everywhere — by releasing a series of animated Frozen shorts, recorded and animated completely from home. At Home With Olaf, with dialogue recorded by Josh Gad, is a new digital animated series that will debut on Disney+ this week and make us all feel bad for not writing our novel while in quarantine.
The staff at Disney Animation just raised the bar on working from home. The animators, sound engineers, and Olaf voice actor Josh Gad have banded together to create the At Home With Olaf animated digital series, set to debut on Disney+ this week. Disney animation director Hyrum Osmond, who worked as head of animation on Disney’s Moana, spearheaded the project, which will follow the fan-favorite Frozen snowman on several adventures in a series of digital shorts.
Starting this week, enjoy an all-new original Disney Animation digital series with everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. #AtHomeWithOlaf created at home by Hyrum Osmond. Voiced from home by Josh Gad. #DisneyMagicMoments pic.twitter.com/gFFuHE8mev
— Disney Animation @DisneyAnimation April 6, 2020
The teaser for the digital series shows Olaf happily throwing snowballs when he accidentally throws the head of a little snowman friend. While there’s no dialogue in the short clip, that is clearly Gad making the little grunts and noises. Gad, who has also been contributing to coronavirus relief efforts and quarantined children’s boredom by reading books to Frozen fans online in his Olaf voice, revealed that he was approached by Frozen director Jennifer Lee and Osmond to record some dialogue for the shorts from home. The Disney Animation staff even helped him set up the appropriate sound equipment to get the best-quality sound, Gad revealed in a behind-the-scenes photo.
“My friends Jennifer Lee & Hyrum Osmond called me up one day & asked me if I would be able 2 record some dialogue & sounds as Olaf from home,” Gad said in a tweet. “These little shorts done from home by Hyrum & the Disney Animation team are so charming & hopefully provide a smile during these scary times.”
Here’s a behind the scenes look at me recording new Olaf dialogue from home for #AtHomeWithOlaf in conjunction with @DisneyAnimation led by @mrhyrum and the geniuses all working from homes to bring these new shorts to life. Also, guys, I’m now a sound engineer...