7 NEW TO NETFLIX
7 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
For a very long time, it felt like if you had a DVD player, it was required that you also owned two films, The Wachowskis’ “The Matrix” and Stanley Kubrick‘s “2001.” Now the tide is slowly shifting from standard HD Blu-rays to 4K ones and a legion of great, essential films are being remastered for the new format. Some of the 4K remasters feel almost like afterthoughts. You could barely tell the difference between an upscaled Blu-ray and the 4K release, so why bother the double dip into your wallet? However, there are some titles that simply look made for 4K, and one of those films is “2001,” now available with the best technical presentation it’s ever received. The depth of the field and the complexity of the audio mix have never popped quite like this, and that’s coming from someone who has covered this film on DVD, Blu-ray, and seen it in a theater. This is the best it’s ever looked.
Audio Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
Remastered Blu-ray with Commentary from Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood
The Making of a Myth
Standing on the Shoulders of Kubrick: The Legacy of 2001
Vision of a Future Passed: The Prophecy of 2001
2001: A Space Odyssey – A Look Behind the Future
What Is Out There?
2001: FX and Early Conceptual Artwork
Look: Stanley Kubrick!
11/27/66 Interview with Stanley Kubrick [Audio Only]
Original Theatrical Trailer
It may not have the visual depth of field as “2001,” but another one of Roger’s Great Movies hit 4K this month, likely to coincide with the launch of Joel and Ethan Coen’s “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” on Netflix. And while you probably remember most of the memorable lines from the “The Big Lebowski,” you might have forgotten how much this film pops visually, making it a great addition to a 4K collection.
U-Control: Scene Companion
U-Control: Mark It, Dude
U-Control: The Music of The Big Lebowski
Worthy Adversaries: What’s My Line Trivia
The Dude’s Life
The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later
Making of The Big Lebowski
The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story
Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude
Jeff Bridges Photo Book
No Kid Hungry PSA
As the year comes to a close, there have been a number of Sundance hits popping up on year-end lists like “Leave No Trace” and “Sorry to Bother You,” both winners at Gotham, National Board of Review, and the Independent Spirit Awards. One of the forgotten films appears to be the Opening Night film from this year’s Park City event, Daveed Diggs‘ and Rafael Casal‘s excellent dramedy about a young man in Oakland who witnesses a police-involved shooting. Although that description doesn’t really get at what this film accomplishes. It’s smart, hysterical, and emotionally raw. A decade from now, Daveed Diggs is going to be HUGE, and people will look back at this film like they look at “Do the Right Thing” (a clear inspiration) now. And they’ll wonder why more people weren’t talking about it in 2018.
Audio Commentary with Director Carlos López Estrada
Audio Commentary with Writers/Actors Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal
Straight from the Town: Making Blindspotting Featurette
Carlos López Estrada: A Director’s Featurette
The way the internet and my odd career works, I’ve ended up writing about “Candyman” several times in the last few weeks, assisted by this excellent new release from Scream Factory. It’s one of the best horror movie Special Editions of the year, with tons of special features, including new interviews with the cast and crew, but it’s the movie itself that will startle you. I’ll admit that the teenage me had kind of blown it off as just another boogeyman movie, but there’s a lot going on here regarding race and urban legends, elements that I virtually guarantee you the Jordan Peele-produced sequel announced this week will emphasize. This is the best thing you could be the horror fan on your holiday list.
BRAND NEW NEW 2K RESTORATION from a new 4K scan of the original negative, supervised and approve by writer/director Bernard Rose and director of photography Anthony B. Richmond
NEW audio commentary with writer-director Bernard Rose and actor Tony Todd
NEW audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
Audio Commentary with director Bernard Rose, author Clive Barker, producer Alan Poul and actors Tony Todd, Virginia Madsen and Kasi Lemmons
Audio Commentary with director Bernard Rose, from The Movie Crypt Podcast hosted by filmmakers Adam Green and Joe Lynch
Sweets to the Sweet: The Candyman Mythos featuring interviews with director Bernard Rose, producer Alan Poul, executive producer Clive Barker, actors Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd and Kasi Lemmons
Clive Barker: Raising Hell – an interview with author/artist/filmmaker Clive Barker
Interview with actor Tony Todd (2014)
Bernard Rose’s Storyboards
DISC TWO – UNRATED CUT
BRAND NEW 2K RESTORATION from a new 4K scan of the original negative with high definition inserts for the uncut footage from an archival film print
NEW Be My Victim – an interview with Tony Todd
NEW It Was Always You, Helen – an interview with Virginia Madsen
NEW Reflection in the Mirror – an interview with Kasi Lemmons
NEW A Kid in Candyman – an interview with actor DeJuan Guy
NEW The Writing on the Wall: The Production Design of Candyman – an interview with production designer Jane Ann Stewart
NEW Forbidden Flesh: The Makeup FX of Candyman – including interviews with special makeup effects artists Bob Keen, Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Mark Coulier
NEW A Story to Tell: Clive Barker’s “The Forbidden” – writer Douglas E. Winter on Clive Barker’s seminal Books of Blood and Candyman’s source story, “The Forbidden”
NEW “Urban Legend: Unwrapping Candyman” – A Critical Analysis Of The Film With Writers Tananarive Due And Steven Barnes
There are scant few actual movie phenomenons any more. Most of the movies that make a fortune at the box office are more product than art. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Black Panther” and “Incredibles 2” but their box office success was as guaranteed as the sun coming up tomorrow. A film that truly exceeds all pre-buzz is rare. We got “A Quiet Place” early in the year, but the real box office story of 2018 is probably “Crazy Rich Asians,” a film so successful that it’s even being predicted for some guild citations and maybe even an Oscar nomination or two. As if there was any question as to whether or not an Asian ensemble could anchor a blockbuster, it’s been answered with over $220 million worldwide and counting. People love this movie and it’s been encouraging to feel like that love is more than just a calculated response to a known commodity and more of an embracing of a previously-unheard voice reaching a mass audience.
Oh how I wish I could wholeheartedly recommend “The Meg.” As a fan of the Statham Era of the “Fast and Furious” movies and someone who considers “Jaws” one of the best movies ever made, the idea of “Transporter vs. Shark” had me pumped from the minute I first saw the preview. But this is a half-hearted “Sure, if you have nothing else to do” more than a strong thumbs up. The more I think about it, the more stunned I am how often this movie goes wrong. First, it takes itself WAY too seriously. A movie like this needs to be tongue-in-cheek, allowing Statham to show how he can blend action and humor like has in the “Fast” movies and “Spy.” There’s arguably no one better than him and combining the two, and yet “The Meg” rarely allows him to do so. By the time the shark is getting to beach goers, you’ll be bored. And I never thought a movie about a giant shark that starred Jason Statham could be boring.
Chomp On This: The Making Of The Meg
Creating The Beast
Optional English, Latin Spanish, Parisian French, and Brazilian Portuguese subtitles for the main feature
“Pixar Short Film Collection, Vol. 3”
The third edition of short films created by the geniuses at Pixar should make for a great gift this holiday season…but only for people who already have the first two. This is easily the weakest collection overall, even if it does have a few highlights like the gorgeous “Piper” and “Lou,” the two best on here by some stretch. As someone who loves Pixar and short films, my family has watched all three volumes, and this is the first one that they almost checked out of. It doesn’t help that a LOT of the ones included here aren’t the theatrical kind (like “Bao” or the dreadful “Lava”) but mini-movies included on Blu-ray releases, quick tie-ins to films like “Inside Out,” “Monsters University,” and “Cars 3,” which Disney collectors almost certainly already own.