Must See Early January Blu-ray Releases

Welcome 2018, lets hope you have a lot of great releases in store for us. The first week of January offers some of my personal favorites of 2017. So check out the following movies that are finally out on Blu-ray and VOD.

AMERICAN MADE:

This was probably my favorite movie of 2017. An incredible true story of Barry Seal, a real-life pilot turned drug runner turned government spy. Yes, this man ruled the 1980’s, and no very few knew about it. Tom Cruise is fantastic as Seal, he brings the Cruise charm, energy, but also an authentic side you don’t get to see in his films often. This is one of those films that’s so entertaining and insane from start to finish that you keep thinking if all of this could have possibly been real? A little tidbit, the drug dealer that Seal is a runner for is none other than Pablo Escobar. Just one of the many twists and crazy turns you’ll witness that you never knew about happening. If you liked movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and War Dogs, then this is a definite must-see movie for you.

American Made is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD

Must See Movies of the Week (12/19)

It’s Christmas week! Many of you are running out and getting last minute presents. Well I’m here to help out. Here are this weeks must-see movie recommendations that would also be ideal stocking stuffer gifts. This week’s movie pics offer a nice variety of selections.

DUNKIRK:

After a few years away from the big screen, director Christopher Nolan returned with the jaw-dropping war epic, Dunkirk. The World War II battle of Dunkirk didn’t get much mention mainstream (at least in America) as a significant event, but this movie is certain to give you a new perspective and education. The way Nolan encapsulated the scale and magnitude of this event is remarkable. The visuals are top-notch. The terrific ensemble of actors includes the vastly underrated Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, along with a surprise debut from singer Harry Styles, whose actually alright in the movie.

There is a lot that this movie offers. Spectacular sights, incredible storytelling, fantastic directing and good acting. The score is also to behold. There is no reason not to see Dunkirk, which will be a frontrunner in many categories during awards season, certainly to include a Best Picture nomination.

Find out why Dunkirk would be a perfect stocking stuffer gift

Dunkirk is out now on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

Interview: Director Jessica M. Thompson

The Light of the Moon is a really timely film about sexual assault and the aftermath of it. Director Jessica M. Thompson does good work illustrating the struggles a sexual assault victim endures and the aftermath of it is detailed in ways unlike any other films have documented. I spoke to Jessica about the film and she shares her thoughts about the sexual harassment scandals.

What made you want to do this story:

JT: I was thinking what kinda ideas I have in my mind that would work for a low-budget film for my first feature. I was thinking and was very aware and cognizant of the way sexual assault was being portrayed in film and television, as I think a lot of probably women filmmakers are. For the past five years, deservingly, so many of these stories coming out.

How important was the research you’ve done and what did you discover along the way:

JT: I discovered so much, that’s the way I kinda operate because I’ve worked on a lot of documentaries. To me research is key. They say, write what you know, and if you don’t know it yourself personally then I think you should get to know it.

REAL TALK:

I loved how open and outspoken Jessica was with me. Not often do you get someone willing to put themselves out there like she did. She brought up her thoughts on Harvey Weinstein and Terry Richardson and didn’t hold back at all. So refreshing to hear that honesty and truth.

Jessica went into depth on her research and importance of being factual and honest in her character portrayals in the movie. She definitely accomplished on delivering that truth. She stressed how important it was to relate this movie to men as much as women, which is an aspect that gets overlooked at times that men are also susceptible to being victims of sexual assault and harassment.

The movie is as informative and detailed as you can get. It has a very lifelike feel to it and it feels as much a documentary as a scripted film. You should definitely check this film out and it is certainly capable of giving you a real perspective of sexual assault victims side and the people around them in their lives and the impact it has on them also.

For more information on the film and where you can see it, check out the film’s website

Must See Movie Releases of the Week (Oct. 24)

October is winding down, but the film release slate is strong for the week of October 24. This weeks Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases include some notable films and some under-the-radar.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES:

The recent Planet of the Apes franchise has been outstanding. Matt Reeves has taken this franchise to a new level, War is the proof in that. War is as complete of a movie as you can get in a trilogy. Naturally sequels tend to water down, but War may the best of the three. The evolution of Ceasar has been thorough and compelling. In the film, we see Ceasar as an established leader that’s grown older, but wiser. The apes are facing their biggest threat, a ruthless out-of-control Colonel (Woody Harrelson). Many apes will die, but it’s up to Ceasar to guide them to safety.

The cool thing about the Apes movies is that they have had a natural progression of the characters. They went from wild and semi-villainous, to being the ones you root for, while the humans have gradually turned into the villains. These movies have a lot of underlying messages. From political to the human treatment of animals. These are smart films. War is as emotionally impactful as it’s visually startling. Tears will be shed from the pure emotions that the story will make you feel. Whether this is the end of the franchise or a new start, War for the Planet of Apes is one of the best films of 2017. An absolute must-see blockbuster that feels a lot more like a finely crafted indie drama.

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Blu-ray Special Features Include:

  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by Matt Reeves

–    Graveyard

–    Turncoats

–    Barrier Wall

–    “I Owe You One”

–    “A Great Man”

–   “Do Not Lose Hope”

–   Snowfall

–   The Colonel’s Speech

–   Malcolm and the Dinosaurs

–   “I Am Like Koba”

  • Featurettes:
  • “Waging War for the Planet of the Apes” – In-depth documentary on the making of ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’

–  “All About Caesar”

–    “WETA: Pushing Boundaries”

–    “Music for Apes”

–    “Apes: The Meaning of it All”

–   “The Apes Saga: An Homage”

  • Concept Art Gallery

MOVIE RATING: 9/10

BLU-RAY/DVD FEATURES: 9.5/10

War for the Planet of the Apes is out now on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD

Must See Movies Of The Week

We have entered the second week of August and this week offers another interesting blend of movies to see. A few of these titles are fun under-the-radar choices. Here are the Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases you should see for the week of August 8.

KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD:

The movie might not have done great box office numbers, but the good things the movie offers has been overlooked. It pops visually. The landscapes of tall intimidating castles to the towering mountainous regions and endless seas, it all looks really grand. The special effects look good. The battles look cool. The action delivers. I liked Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law in their roles. The film has some really good qualities to it, so for an action movie it delivers. I can see how it would appeal more to fans than critics, but films like these are made for fans. This is a good movie to watch at home with a bowl of popcorn.

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King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is out now on 4K Ultra HD, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD

Must-See July Home Movie Releases

July marks the middle of summer and for movie lovers this marks the strongest month of the theatrical summer movie season. As far as the home entertainment movie releases this year has proved to be a strong July. Below is a list of the Blu-ray/DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases you should see.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS:

This franchise isn’t slowing down. The eight installment is action packed and fun. The stunts are bigger than ever and the stakes are higher. Fan favorite Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) goes rogue and it leaves the rest of the team to go up against him and the villainous Charlize Theron. Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson electrify (no pun intended, Rock). Sadly Paul Walker is gone, but the franchise is still in good hands with more big name stars coming aboard. There are a couple big reveals also. The franchise fans should love it and any fan of action also. There are a ton of special features on the Blu-ray

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‘The Fate of the Furious’ is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital HD and VOD

Stardust TV/Movie App Is A Must Get

Last week I was introduced to to this new app called Stardust (iPhone & Android). I had never heard of this app and wasn’t sure what it was all about, besides the fact that it was used to record movie reactions. If Instagram and Snapchat merged and had a movie theme to it then this would be the app. So I checked the site out and here are my positives and negatives:

PROS:

Ease of use 

There is no denying that one of the best features about this app is the ease of use and quickness. It’s very basic in usage (good thing). You don’t need any tutorial, soon as you log in you’re a few buttons away from posting your videos.

Once you download the app (21.5 MB) on your iPhone or Android device (mine was iPhone) you are prompted with signing in with Facebook or manually filling out your name, email, date of birth. Next you are asked to pick a username. Then you just turn on notifications for the use of camera and sound. Once that step is complete, you’re good to go. Simple, easy and takes up less than 5 minutes to set up.

You can search for and invite your friends to join the app, that way you can keeps tabs on when or if they post their reactions.

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Options

The app has a limited, yet effective amount of options. Aside from recording your video reaction to a movie there are other options on the app:

  • Trending Movies & Shows: List of recent and most trendy movies and shows that are being talked about. If you log on now it’s definitely titles such as: Dunkirk, Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes, Game of Thrones, etc. This is what a casual fan would like to see and it’s available to you on the top of the home screen.
  • Trending Reactions: These are the reaction videos from fans and critics to the films that are currently trending.
  • Now in Theaters: Instead of heading over to Fandango, Flixster, Imdb, etc., you can just check out all and get the info on all current movies in theaters.
  • New Trailers: Instead of searching the web or going to YouTube for new movie trailers, you can view them on the app. There is a section for it and easy swipe scroll to view a new trailer of your choosing.
  • Coming Soon: Once again you don’t have to search the web for upcoming movie releases, Stardust lists the upcoming theatrical releases by date and week of the release. Convenient and easy swipe will show you all the options.
  • Season Premieres: For all you TV show lovers this option lists all the recent, current and upcoming TV show season premieres.
  • New Episodes: A list for the most recent television show episode releases.

With all the above options, you just click on the section and check out the info, details and can post a reaction video to the show episode or film.

Bookmark

Once you select a particular show or movie you are able to post a reaction or add it to your watchlist. You can also see the trailer of the show/film and see the rating for it from your fellow Stardusters (that’s what they call them). I really like the option it gives you to view the film by showing you all the streaming services you can purchase to view it on and directly linking you to them.

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CONS:

Video Timing:

So depends on what way you look at it, as far as the amount of time you have to record your reaction video, it’s fairly short. You are given the option of recording a video between 3-30 seconds. Yes, 3 seconds! I can barely say the title of the show or movie in that span, unless you just wanna say “It sucks!”. While 30 seconds isn’t bad, having the option of one minute would be ideal. You don’t want quick reactions to linger so a time limit of 10-60 seconds would be the way to go.

VERDICT:

I believe that Stardust is an outstanding app for movie lovers. It gives you an opportunity to share your reaction with fellow movie lovers. I also loved the fact that aside from movies and shows, there was an option to react to the most recent WWE PPV. As a fan of WWE that’s awesome to incorporate the sports entertainment aspect alongside movies and shows. The search toolbar allows you to search for something specific, which is quick and to the point.

The ease of use of this app can’t go unnoticed. Personally I get turned off or discouraged with apps that are hard to navigate and figure out. I had this issue with Snapchat. This app is so user friendly that it’s a huge part of its appeal.

You don’t have to turn to critic such as myself (although I encourage you still do) with an app like this. You can get a variety of thoughts from actual people. You see their reaction without just having to rely on words and comments. If they are excited, you’ll know. If they are disappointed, you’ll know and see.

I highly encourage you to download this app. It takes up little space on your phone and it’s a quick, easy and effective way to share your immediate thoughts on a movie the minute you get out of the theater. Next time you don’t have to wait hours to hear and share your reaction to your favorite show, you just open up Stardust and let it fly. I believe this app will become a big deal, so hop on and enjoy it right now so you can say you were there from the start.

Stardust Rating: 9/10

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @thereeltalker