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Summer is starting to wind down, but the home entertainment movie releases aren’t. The summer months have offered some of the best releases of the year. Enter the summer spectacular of must-see movies of the summer of 2023.
The highest grossing movie of 2023 is The Super Mario Bros. Movie. It’s everything you’d want in a Mario movie. It took awhile to get here, but the live-action film is true to the games and so much fun. Your favorite characters from the Mario world are in the film, yes, including Donkey Kong. Browser is plotting a takeover and it’s up to Mario and Princess Peach to stop him and save Luigi. The visuals are great. It’s filled with humor and characters so many have grown up with. The movie is entertaining from start to finish. It has a lot of action and a super cool Mario Kart race! Can’t say enough good things about the film. It hits on all levels (no pun intended). My favorite animated film of 2023. The film comes with a cool getting to know the cast behind-the-scenes featurette. THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE ‘POWER UP EDITION’ is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital One of the all-time great family comedies, National Lampoon’s Vacation. Many associate the Griswold family with their ‘Christmas Vacation’, but before they went on that vacation or the European and Vagas ones, it all started with “Vacation”. The first of Harold Ramis “Vacation” classics. I love this one for it’s originality, humor and high entertainment value. This was the star making performance from Chevy Chase that made him a superstar. This film is absolutely bonkers fun. If for some reason you haven’t seen this film, do yourself a favor and check out this summer classic. NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION is out now for the first time on 4K and Digital Evil rises again in Evil Dead Rise. We are out of the woods and in the city, but for two estranged sisters their reunion is anything but out of the woods when an evil possessing demons take over. I really liked this film. It was gory, violent and twisted. Not to mention chilling and creepy. Lily Sullivan and Alyssa Sutherland play off each other really well in their respective leading roles. This franchise is given a new shot of adrenaline with Rise. It’s a fun watch. EVIL DEAD RISE is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Director Zach Braff, yes director, best work he’s done since Garden State. Thee film stars the powerhouse duo of Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman. The film is a serious one that’s not only rated R, but involves the themes of loss, grief, family struggles and addiction. Pugh is phenomenal as the lead. It has a unique mix of heartbreak and joy. It’s a human story kinda film with characters that feel like real people. A must-watch carefully crafted film. A GOOD PERSON is available now on Blu-ray and Digital Disney & Pixar Elemental is unique and fun. Who would have thought that water and fire can work so well, but also make compelling characters with Wade and Ember. The Element City is really imaginative and cool. It’s an immersive world where not only fire and water exist, but they share it with air and earth. Elemental is creative and entertaining. With a strong message on diversity and connection, no matter what your background is, elemental or not. The film comes with a variety of bonus features, so don’t miss them. ELEMENTAL arrives on Digital on August 15, and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on September 26 Based on the life of composer Joseph Bologne, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner. Kelvin Harrison Jr. electrifies as Chevalier de Saint-Georges. The film is highly entertaining and moving. Lucy Boynton does fantastic work as the love interest Marie Antoinette. The two have a complex romance that’s illustrated in the film. The story and performances make this film a must-see. Make sure to check out the bonus feature Chevalier: Note by Note. CHEVALIER is out now on Digital It be hard to argue that Avatar isn’t one of the most groundbreaking films of this century. James Cameron’s masterpiece was so innovative when it released and as lifelike as you’ll see animation portrayed. It still holds up very well 14 years later. The story is fantastic and the characters are relatable. The world of Avatar is as imaginative as you can hope it could be. A modern time classic that feels timeless. With over 3 hours of bonus content this new remastered version of the original is a can’t miss. AVATAR is out now on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital A Disney classic The Little Mermaid gets its first live-action adaptation and it’s magical. Halle Bailey is terrific as Ariel. Her singing is extraordinary. The cast delivers and the songs are just as good as in the animated original. The visuals are mesmerizing and the story offers some new additions and songs. Fans of the original should be pleased. It’s fun for the kids, family and fans who grew up on the original. Make sure to pick up a copy of the film which includes a bunch of awesome bonus content, including a sing along version. Disney’s THE LITTLE MERMAID is out now on Digital, on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital on September 19 The Guardians of the Galaxy are back to complete the trilogy and bid farewell. See your favorites come together. The gang of misfits unites to save Rocket from a new villain that might be their toughest one yet. This is one of the best superhero franchises ever. Always a ton of fun, filled with laughter and likeable characters. Vol. 3 is no different than its predecessors when it comes to the the spirit and entertainment value. It’s sad to see the story end, but the characters will remain in the Marvel universe. Pick up a copy to witness hours of bonus features with unseen featurettes and deleted scenes. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital When it comes to action, few do it better than Gerard Butler. Kandahar pits Butler as a CIA agent on a mission in Afghanistan that gets exposed and he must find a way to survive in enemy territory. This film kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s thrilling film with intense moments. It reminded me of a recent movie, Guy Ritchie’s ‘Covenant’. If you’re into thrilling explosive action (no pun intended) this film won’t disappoint. One of the better action thrillers of the year. KANDAHAR is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital East of Eden is one of 400 greatest films, named by the American Film Institute. Directed by the great Elia Kazan and starring the legendary James Dean. This WWI period drama has a strong family theme. The film is a bit ahead of its time. One of the best James Dean performances and undoubtedly an all-time classic. As a big James Dean fan this is an easy must-own. Also, a must see in 4K. EAST OF EDEN is out now in 4K UHD and Digital. Rio Bravo is a classic John Wayne western directed by the great Howard Hawks, that’s a powerhouse duo. Add Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson and you have yourself an all-time classic. Arguably Hawk’s greatest film (that’s saying a lot). Rio Bravo is highly entertaining. It’s what you’d want in a western, major stars, gun fights and fun. For the first time the film is available in 4K. RIO BRAVO is out now on 4K UHD and Digital. Do you believe in fate and second chances? Well then Love Again is definitely a movie for you. Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Sam Heughan star, with a supporting performance from Celine Dion. A texting glitch leads to an unlikely romantic connection. I really enjoyed this film. It has heart and humor. The leads worked well together. It’s just good to see romantic movies being made. If you’re a suckerfor them like I am, this is a definite must-watch. The film comes with two bonus features that include 6 deleted scenes and a featurette. Best of all, it includes 5 new songs from Celine Dion. LOVE AGAIN is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital It’s hard to imagine that the Fast and Furious franchise has already reached 10 films! Fast X might be the most action filled and star-studded one of them all. The gang is back with some new faces debuting, such as Jason Momoa who plays the lead villain. This one is as globe trotting as any of the films in the franchise, they hit up multiple continents in the film. It feels like the franchise is coming to an end, but not before it leaves with a bang. Fast X is that bang! It’s fun, exciting, action packed, thrilling and cool. Some insane action sequences that I can’t say i’ve seen before. X is a blast. When you pick up a copy be ready to spend a few hours with all the bonus features, over 10 of them! FAST X is out on Digital on August 1, and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on August 8 One of the biggest comedians in the world is now starring in his own movie about his life. Sebastian Maniscalco stars alongside Robert De Niro in the outrageous comedy About My Father. De Niro plays Maniscalco’s real-life father. It’s laugh out loud humor, with Maniscalco doing what he does best, entertain. The chemistry between Maniscalco and De Niro is great. They play-off each other in the best of ways. The theme of family is at the core of this film amid the silliness and wackiness. The film includes three features, plus a theatrical trailer. ABOUT MY FATHER is out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital and On Demand Nic Cage as Dracula? Hell yes! Cage is awesome as the charismatic evil Renfield. The film is filled with clever dark humor. Nicholas Hoult and Awkwafina star alongside Cage. It’s a modern spin on dracula, taking place in the current world, but featuring classic dracula elements. I loved how Cage played Dracula as this narcissistic charmer with a serious mean/evil streak. It’s just a fun ride from start to finish. Lots of wild action. It’s got a little bit of everything in it. Pick up a copy to access a bunch of never-before-seen bonus content features. RENFIELD is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital One of the best modern horror franchises is Insidious. Horror maestro James Wan’s first Insidious still remains at the top of the mountain. Chilling and engrossing. It’s one of those films you can’t look at but also can’t look away from. The thrills and chills are legitimate. Fantastic cast lead by ‘The Conjuring’ team of Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne, with Line Shaye, Leigh Whannell and Barbara Hershey. Check out how the franchise started and see the bonus features that come with the film for it’s 4K debut. INSIDIOUS is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital in a limited edition steelbook Russell Crowe as an exorcist? It happens in The Pope’s Exorcist. Based and inspired on the files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican. Crowe is compelling in this role. Charismatic in his portrayal of Father Amorth. He’s chill and sarcasting when chaos ensues around him. The film offers quite a few scares and creepy chilling scenes and moments. I found it to have an element of adventure, in the mold of the Davinci Code. A solid horror with twists and supernatural elements. The film comes with two bonus features. THE POPE’S EXORCIST is available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Celebrating the 30th anniversary of it’s release, So I Married An Axe Murder is a romantic comedy thriller. Mike Myers and Nancy Travis steal the spotlight in this highly entertaining film. Myers’ Charlie MacKenzie thinks is bad luck in love just changed for the better when he meets Travis’ Harriet, until he’s lead to believe she might be a serial killer! This is one fun movie with a clever plot and it’s Myers and Travis at their best. The film comes with 30 minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes. SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER is out now for the first time on 4K UHD and Digital One of my favorite films of the year is Book Club: The Next Chapter aka Book Club 2. Fun, entertaining and hilarious with a terrific ensemble. Not often does the sequel significantly outdo the original, but that’s the case with The Next Chapter. The entire cast from the original return, but the addition of new supporting characters added so much to the film. The trip around Italy is just the perfect place for these characters. It was such an adventure to watch and the way they captured Italy…chef’s kiss! The humor was better, the story was better and the overall film is just a slice of Italy that tastes so good. The women and their chemistry remains seamless. I took my mom to see this film for the second time and plan on rewatching it again, it has that much rewatchability (I’m using that word) value. Buy it so you can also have access to the bonus content. BOOK CLUB: THE NEXT CHAPTER is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Based on the life of the legendary boxer George Foreman. The Foreman story is made for the movies. A rags to riches tale of an underdog that became a boxing World Heavyweight Champion. Known for being the oldest ever heavyweight champ to being a community advocate to having one of the most successful kitchen appliances. Follow Foreman’s journey from humble beginning to worldwide fame. A true rollercoaster life that’s a fascinating watch. I found the film to be inspiring and invested in rooting for George. This is not only a top-notch sports movie, but movie in general. The Blu-ray and digital come with a few bonus features worth checking out. BIG GEORGE FOREMAN is available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Adam Driver heads back in time 65 million years ago. After a ship crashes on an unknown planet. Doesn’t take long for pilot Mills (Driver) to
discover he’s on prehistoric earth trapped with modern equipment but having to deal with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. This is a sci-fi that pits the prehistoric world with a human from the future world. Will having the knowledge and futuristic weaponry help him survive and come out alive from the far past? That’s the ultimate question the film presents. I found it to be a fun contrast between far past and a futuristic human. The unlikeliest of parallels. The film offers bonus features that includes deleted and extended scenes, creating the world of 65 and more. 65 is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves surprised me in a good way. I knew of the game, but never played it or was familiar with it. The movie was a lot of fun though. Chris Pine leads the way with a good supporting cast. I found this film to be entertaining and exciting. Lots of good laughs. It’s just the kind of summer action adventure flick that works. It’s just a good mix of action and comedy with an adventurous world and characters that are plenty interesting and likeable, and it gave me an old-school vibe. The film includes a bunch of bonus content so check that out. DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: HONOR AMONG THIEVES is available now on 4K UHD SteelBook, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital The Flash is one of the most anticipated films of 2023. Contrary to some opinions, I found this film to be exciting and highly entertaining. Just the mere presence of Michael Keaton returning as Batman after decades long absence makes his a worthwhile watch. General Zod returns also as the main villain. The story is inspired by the flashpoint paradox storyline. If you’re a fan of multiverses and secret dimensions, the film has plenty of that. Lots of fun time travel and some unforgettable cameos and easter eggs throughout. It’s a satisfying ending to the DC universe we came to know over the years. You will want to pick up the 4K combo pack to check out the dozen available bonus features. THE FLASH is available now on Digital, and on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on August 29 Hotel Transylvania galore. Drac and the family of fun misfits are facing their most unusual obstacle in Transformania. Imagine what would happen if Drac and company turned huma and Johnny into a monster? What a heck of a role reversal that would be right? Well that’s what happens in Transformania when Van Helsing’s big project goes awry. This was a fun twist on a fun franchise. Speaking of this franchise, the Hotel Transylvania 4-movie-collection is also releasing and you can own all four of the movies in one set. HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA TRANSFORMANIA releases on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital on August 15, the HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA multi feature also will be available on August 15 on DVD and Digital