movie news New on Blu-ray: ‘Hobbs and Shaw’, ‘Kundun’, ‘Popstar’, ‘Road Games’, ‘Dracula’

New on Blu-ray: ‘Hobbs and Shaw’, ‘Kundun’, ‘Popstar’, ‘Road Games’, ‘Dracula’

MOVIE NEWS - on 16 Nov 2019

It’s that time again! Time to revel in a new assortment of physical media. I know there are approximately ten bajillion streaming services right now, but that doesn’t mean you should give up on physical media. Streaming content can come and go like the tide. Physical media lasts forever. Unless you lose it. Or your house burns down. Anyway, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week!

Hobbs and Shaw

I am one of the very few people who aren’t enamored with the  Fast and Furious franchise. I don’t think it’s bad, I just don’t love it as much as, well…everyone. So with that in mind, I went into  Hobbs and Shaw without many expectations. I wasn’t dead-set on this film being tied into the  Furious world. I just wanted a big, silly action flick. And to be fair,  Hobbs and Shaw is indeed that. Sadly, it’s also not very good. The story involves DSS Agent Luke Hobbs Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and mercenary Deckard Shaw Jason Statham teaming up yet again. This time they have to go up against Brixton Lore, a self-proclaimed “Black Superman” who is “cyber-genetically enhanced” he’s basically a cyborg. Also thrown into the mix is Shaw’s sister, MI6 agent Hattie Shaw Vanessa Kirby. All of these people are talented and very attractive. But the script, courtesy of Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce, is so clunky that it hurts. Here is a film that  thinks it’s hilarious, so it has endless scenes of “banter.” But here’s the thing: the “jokes” here aren’t funny at all, making the banter painful. But the action is solid, and if that’s all you care about – and it very well might be! – you’ll be satisfied.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat this: you could do without this movie. If you’re a completist who owns the rest of the  Fast and the Furious franchise, and you  need to add this to your collection, then by all means – go nuts. But if you’re looking for some action-packed, globe-trotting fun, you should probably just stuck with the  Mission: Impossible movies – which  Hobbs and Shaw so badly wants to be.

Special Features Include: 

ALTERNATE OPENING* DELETED/EXTENDED/ALTERNATE SCENES JOHNSON & STATHAM: HOBBS & SHAW – Why this film duo works so well together on and off the set. PROGRESS OF A FIGHT SCENE WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH – From script, to storyboard, to finally arriving on set and working with cast and crew, this piece will illustrate the progression of fight scenes from concept to execution. PRACTICAL ACTION – Any film featuring Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson is sure to be action packed and feature some over-the-top fight scenes. For the film, each fight sequence was carefully choreographed and shot ahead of time for the actors to use in training and ultimately in shooting the scene. THE BAD GUY* – Fans can explore what makes the ultimate baddie, as well as Brixton’s backstory, casting Idris Elba, special effects for his cyber features and what makes him tick. THE SISTER* – This piece will highlight Vanessa Kirby as Hattie Shaw – she may be Deckard Shaw’s little sister, but don’t be fooled, she’s equally capable of kicking just as much ass as he does. HOBBS’ FAMILY TREE* – This character piece will highlight the extended family of the Hobbs heroes. From Hobbs’ daughter, mother and brothers, take a high-energy, behind-the-scenes look at their time on set. THE MATRIARCH* – With her brief appearance in HOBBS & SHAW, audiences are reminded of the matriarchal might of Helen Mirren as mother Shaw. This piece will feature Mirren in her return to the role. NEW FRIENDS – Featuring hilarious moments with the cameos featured in the film, this piece will showcase some of the best moments from their days on set. ELEVATOR ACTION* – The elevator scene in the trailer – yes, you know the one.  This is just one of the crazy stunts in the film – now fans can see how it was done. STUNT SHOW AND TELL* – Along with film clips and stunt vis, this firsthand look at some of the key sequences in the film will peel back the layers of the stunt process. KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMAN AND DWAYNE* – In this intimate conversation, Roman Reigns and Dwayne Johnson discuss their personal relationship, coming from a long lineage of wrestlers, and what it’s like to be working side by side on a project so close to Johnson’s heart. BLIND FURY* – Dwayne reveals the inspiration behind one of the film’s key scenes – his grandfather! DWAYNE AND HOBBS: LOVE AT FIRST BITE* – We know how important family is to Dwayne Johnson, and his French Bulldog Hobbs is no exception. In this fun piece, fans can learn more about Dwayne and man’s best friend. FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH

Kundun

Pfft, here we go again, another Martin Scorsese gangster movie! Oh, what’s that? This is actually a soulful film about the Dalai Lama? My mistake. Scorsese’s  Kundun is an outlier – the film in the great director’s filmography that seems almost forgotten. For years,  Kundun was left in the shadows, primarily because it’s a Disney-owned film, and China had a lot of problems with the film. To make China happy, Disney actually issued an  apology for this movie. Now, Kino Lorber has given it a wonderful Blu-ray release well worth picking up. Is it one of Scorsese’s best films? No. But it’s a passionate, entrancing portrait of a young boy thrust into an overwhelming position. Spanning the years between 1937 to 1959,  Kundun is a look at the 14th Dalai Lama played as an adult by Tenzin Thuthob Tsarong, who lives in exile to this day. Scorsese, who considered joining the priesthood before becoming a filmmaker, brings the same type of religious study here that he brings to films like  The Last Temptation of Christ and  Silence. It may be a completely different religion on display here, but the reverie is the same.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

This is the first time  Kundun has ever been released on Blu-ray, so that alone makes this a must-have. Kino Lorber has loaded up the disc with older special features that showcase Scorsese’s vision. There’s even a feature-length documentary about the making of the movie. “I think my association comes from being involved with religion a great deal,” Scorsese says, “especially when I was younger, and believing in the good nature of man, there’s the bad and there’s the good, the negative and positive, and I think in the movies I’ve made I’ve always sort of been skirting around, for better or for worse, these issues, which is what makes up a human being? Are we intrinsically evil, or are we intrinsically good, deep down? What is our species, what are we about?”

Special Features Include: 

Interview with Director Martin Scorsese Interview with Composer Philip Glass Interview with Screenwriter Melissa Mathison IN SEARCH OF KUNDUN with Martin Scorsese – Documentary Interview with IN SEARCH OF KUNDUN Director Michael Henry Wilson Compassion in Exile – Documentary EPK Extras with Cast and Crew Audio Commentary by Film Historian and Critic Peter Tonguette Booklet Essay by Filmmaker Zade Constantine Theatrical Trailer

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping is one of the funniest movies you probably never saw apologies if you have. This absolutely ludicrous mockumentary from Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone stars Andy Samberg as Conner4Real, a superstar in the midst of his new album flopping. The plot is paper-thin, but that’s okay.  Popstar isn’t concerned with plot. It just wants to use its set-up to stage a series of laugh-out-loud moments and show-stopping musical numbers. In a just world,  Popstar would’ve done boffo box office so we could’ve gotten more movies like this. Alas, we’ll just have to make do with the film being a new cult classic.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

The good folks at Shout Factory have given  Popstar the special treatment it deserves, packaging it in a fancy steelbook. The special features are ported over from the previous Blu, but this is the version you’re going to want to own. While a large amount of people seems to have discovered this movie in the wake of its box office failure, I still think there’s a good chunk of movie watchers out there who have never given this film the light of day. Here’s your chance! Pick up  Popstar, and marvel at the sights, the sounds, the songs!

Special Features Include: 

Audio Commentary With Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer And Jorma Taccone Deleted Scenes Music Videos Gag Reel Interview Outtakes Bonus Footage And More!

Road Games

Road Games is one of those highway horror films; the type where someone is stuck on the road, dealing with a madman. Stacy Keach is Pat Quid, a trucker in Australia even though he’s American who picks up a hitchhiker named Pamela, who is  also American, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. The two run afoul of a killer in a green van, setting the stage for a Hitchcockian cat-and-mouse game. Along the way, the local cops begin to suspect Keach’s Quid is the killer, which means he has to prove them wrong and clear his name. Is it a great movie? Not really. But it does feature Stacy Keach yelling out things like, “Come out here, you miserable stink!”

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Never in my life did I think that  Road Games, a movie I watched on VHS years and years ago, would get itself a special Blu-ray release. But here we are! Thanks to Scream Factory, this somewhat forgotten horror-thriller has itself a new Blu complete with a new audio commentary, an interview with Stacy Keach, and more. Again:  Road Games isn’t some forgotten masterpiece, but it is a highly enjoyable flick that deserves to find a new audience here in 2019 and beyond.

Special Features Include: 

NEW  Australian Long Haul – An Interview With Actor Stacy Keach NEW Audio Commentary With Cinematographer Vincent Monton, Production Coordinator Helen Watts, And Costume Designer Aphrodite Kondos, Moderated By Filmmaker Mark Hartley NEW 1980 Script Read With Producer/Director Richard Franklin And Actors Stacy Keach And Marion Edwards NEW Composer Brian May Music Demos Accompanied By Stills And Poster Gallery Audio Commentary With Producer/Director Richard Franklin Kangaroo Hitchcock: The Making Of Road Games – Featuring Interviews With Director Richard Franklin And Actor Stacey Keach Extended Interviews From Mark Hartley’s Documentary  Not Quite Hollywood Featuring Jamie Lee Curtis, Stacy Keach, Director Richard Franklin, Stunt Coordinator Grant Page, Screenwriter Everett De Roche, Cinematographer Vincent Monton, And Assistant Director Tom Burstall Lecture On The Making Of  Road Games With Richard Franklin, Co-producer Barbi Taylor, And Composer Brian May, Introduced By Critic Tom Ryan Profile On Richard Franklin 1981 Audio Interview With Richard Franklin 2001 Audio Interview With Actor Stacy Keach 2016 Audio Interview With Stunt Coordinator And Actor Grant Page 2016 Gallery Of Stills, Production Shots, Storyboards, Newspaper Reviews, Promotional And Artwork Materials Theatrical Trailer

Dracula

There have been many adaptations of  Dracula, but few have featured as handsome a count as the 1979 version with Frank Langella. Langella had famously played old Drac on Broadway, with a production that featured sets designed by legendary artist Edward Gorey. This John Badham-directed feature adapts that production without Gorey’s illustrated sets. You know the story: bloodsucking aristocrat comes to England to feed but ends up butting heads with vampire hunters. This  Dracula isn’t the most sophisticated adaptation, but it does benefit from Langella’s performance. He turns the Count into an irresistible force; a sexy, devilish monster who is almost impossible to resist.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

This great new Blu-ray release from Scream Factory features two versions of the film: the original theatrical cut, which is colored normally, and a “desaturated” cut that casts the film in an eerie sepia-toned light. The sepia version is the preferable one, as it gives the movie a haunted feel. Director John Badham actually wanted to shoot  Dracula in black and white, but Universal Pictures objected. When it came time to release  Dracula on Laserdisc remember that??, Badham ered the color to be desaturated. Some people prefer this version like me, and some like the more natural theatrical colors. The Scream Factory Blu-ray gives you the option to choose your own preferrable version.

Special Features Include: 

DISC ONE: DESATURATED COLOR TIMING

NEW Introduction By Director John Badham NEW King Of My Kind – An Interview With John Badham NEW What Sad Music – An Interview With Writer W.D. Richter NEW Dracula’s Guest – An Interview With Camera Assistant Jim Alloway NEW Interview With Editor John Bloom NEW Interview With Make-Up Artist Peter Robb-King NEW Interview With Hair Stylist Colin Jamison NEW Interview With Assistant Director Anthony Waye NEW Interview With Production Manager Hugh Harlow Audio Commentary With Director John Badham The Revamping Of Dracula Featurette

DISC TWO: ORIGINAL THEATRICAL COLOR TIMING

NEW 4K Scan Of The Best Available Original Film Elements NEW Introduction By Director John Badham NEW Audio Commentary By Film Historian/Filmmaker Constantine Nasr Theatrical Trailer Radio Spots Still Gallery

Source: Slashfilm.com

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movie news New on Blu-ray: ‘Hobbs and Shaw’, ‘Kundun’, ‘Popstar’, ‘Road Games’, ‘Dracula’
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