It’s a dancing elephant of a movie. It has a few decent moves, but you’d never call it light on its feet.
9 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
Quick, what's the most recent Marvel movie? It feels like a lot of people would say "Avengers: Infinity War" or maybe even "Black Panther," forgetting that there was a sequel to "Ant-Man" released this summer. Marvel has become so dominant that even one of their successful, well-liked tentpole movies can be considered relatively minor. Having said that, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" mostly works. It's under two hours (unlike a lot of MCU movies) and provides a fun diversion. In fact, it's got an element that I wish more Marvel would copy in that it's practically a one-off, tied into the rest of the MCU for sure but also working with its own mythology and characters to satisfy viewers THIS TIME instead of merely planting seeds for the future. It also has one of the best ensembles in the standalone MCU, all the way down to scene-stealers like Michael Pena and David Dastmalchian.
Director's Intro by Peyton Reed
Back in the Ant Suit: Scott Lang
A Suit of Her Own: The Wasp
Subatomic Super Heroes: Hank & Janet
Quantum Perspective: The VFX and Production Design of "Ant-Man and The Wasp"
Gag Reel and Outtakes
It's that wonderful time of year when Shout Factory's genre banner known as Scream Factory releases special editions of horror classics, complete with new transfers and special features. There are three such releases in this edition of the HECG, and, believe it or not, two of them are anthologies. One of the most famous such films of all time is this George A. Romero and Stephen King classic, which comes in a gorgeous box set with a booklet and a quote from Roger's review on the back. It's also LOADED with special features, including a new audio commentary, interviews, and a round table discussion, along with all of the imported archival features. "Creepshow" is an inconsistent but really fun movie. It's nice to see it get such a lavish treatment.
BRAND NEW 4K REMASTER SOURCED FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE, with color correction supervised and approved by director of photography Michael Gornick
NEW Audio Commentary with director of photography Michael Gornick
NEW Audio Commentary with composer/first assistant director John Harrison and construction co-ordinator Ed Fountain
NEW Terror and the Three Rivers – a round table discussion on the making of CREEPSHOW with John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini and Marty Schiff
NEW The Comic Book Look – an interview with costume designer Barbara Anderson
NEW Ripped From The Pages – an interview with animator Rick Catizone
NEW The Colors of Creepshow – a look at the restoration of CREEPSHOW with director of photography Michael Gornick
NEW Into The Mix – an interview with sound re-recordist Chris Jenkins
NEW Mondo Macabre – A look at Mondo's various CREEPSHOW posters with Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones and Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry
NEW Collecting Creepshow – a look at some of the original props and collectibles from the film with collector Dave Burian
Audio Commentary with Director George A. Romero and Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini
Audio Interviews with director of photography Michael Gornick, actor John Amplas, property master Bruce Alan Miller, and make-up effects assistant Darryl Ferrucci
Tom Savini's Behind-the-Scenes Footage
Horror's Hallowed Grounds – a look at the original film locations hosted by Sean Clark
Still Galleries – Posters, Lobby Cards and Movie Stills
Still Galleries – Behind the Scenes photos
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
Bo Burnham's directorial debut is one of the most quietly beloved films of 2018, often appearing on lists of films from this year that you really should see before you do any year-end consideration. It really is something special, capturing what it's like to be an eighth grader in the '10s better than any film to date. Not only is Burnham's writing and directing surprisingly sensitive, he found something incredibly special in Elsie Fisher, who gives what is quite simply one of the best performances of the year. So many young actresses in movies "about teenage life" feel like they're making a statement instead of embodying a character but Fisher is always real, and inevitably heartbreaking. This is a wonderful movie.
Audio Commentary with Director Bo Burnham and Actress Elsie Fisher
"You're Not Alone: Life in Eighth Grade" Featurette
"Hotel Transylvania 3"
I'm including this one for my kids and because the market is kind of dry right now for family films. Could you do worse than the latest Adam Sandler riff on the Universal monsters? Sure, but these movies started on low ground in terms of quality and have only sunk into the muck. Trust me, I've seen this one a bunch as my boys are somehow obsessed enough with this franchise for repeat viewing. Kudos, I guess, to Sony for timing this release for Halloween marathons for the little ones who can't quite do actual horror movies yet and before the superior "Teen Titans Go! To the Movies" and "Incredibles 2" hit the home market.
Three All New Scary-Oke Sing Alongs: Sing along to three Hotel Transylvania 3 inspired songs with your favorite characters!
"Dennis Had a Giant Dog" – Sung by Dennis & Winnie
"Monsters Like to Party Down" – Sung by Johnny
"Oh These Wolf Pups" – Sung by Wanda Werewolf
Plan Your Own Spook-tacular Sleepover: This feature will give you all details on how to make your own sleepover spook-tacular! From snacks to crafts to games and more, follow these steps to create a Hotel T sleep-over with your friends and family, the perfect setting to binge watch all 3 Hotel Transylvania movies.
Vampire Make Over: Mavis and Drac Tutorial: Learn how to turn yourself into your favorite Hotel Transylvania 3 characters.
Behind the Screams – The Voices of Hotel Transylvania 3: Step behind the "screams" with the returning stars and hilarious new cast to see how these characters are brought to life in the recording booth.
Johnny's Home Movies (Franchise Recap): Johnny brings viewers up to speed on what's happened in the Hotel Transylvania franchise so far.
"I See Love" Monster Dance Party Dance Along: Get up and get moving to this haunting monster mash.
Drac's Zing-tastic Read Along: It's storytime with your favorite characters have a silly tale about Drac's search for a Zing! Read along or sit back and enjoy!
Two Mini Movies (rated G): Two mini-features that will have you howling.
Goodnight Mr. Foot
"House on Haunted Hill"
William Malone's remake of the Vincent Price classic is a mixed bag, to be kind. The 1999 launching pad for Joel Silver's Dark Castle production banner, this gory flick has some great moments, including a brilliant set-up that allows Geoffrey Rush and Famke Janssen to wonderfully chew some scenery. For about an hour, this twisted tale actually kind of works. They just forgot to write a coherent ending. Just fall asleep or turn it off before that point and you'll be happier.
BRAND NEW 2K REMASTER from the original film elements
NEW interview with director William Malone
NEW interview with composer Don Davis
NEW Interview with visual effects supervisor Robert Skotak
Never-Before-Seen storyboards, concept art and behind-the-scenes photos courtesy of visual effects producer Paul Taglianetti
Audio Commentary with director William Malone
A Tale of Two Houses – vintage featurette
Behind the Visual FX – vintage featurette
Movie Stills and Poster Gallery
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
The best Criterion release of the month is a classic that always crosses my mind when I think about films that caught performers at their most charismatic. You know what I mean. Some movies find stars at exactly the moment it needed to find them. There's an element of this in the current success of "A Star is Born," which wouldn't work the same without Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga being exactly where they are in their careers in 2018. Same goes for Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn in 1975's "Shampoo" (along with Julie Christie and Lee Grant, for that matter.) One of Hal Ashby's best films comes with a great 4K transfer but a relatively, for Criterion, slight collection of special features. The new conversation between Mark Harris and Frank Rich is excellent, however.
New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
New conversation between critics Mark Harris and Frank Rich
Excerpt from a 1998 appearance by producer, cowriter, and actor Warren Beatty on The South Bank Show
PLUS: An essay by Rich
Did we get a bit too much of The Rock in too short a period of time? For a period of time there, it looked like Dwayne Johnson may be the biggest star in the world. (And he may still be). With the success of the "Furious" movies and the phenomenon that was "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," he entered 2018 on a high, but both of his films this year, "Rampage" and "Skyscraper," were domestic disappointments. (Both did much better overseas.) Perhaps worse than their box office fates, they just weren't very good. This one is particularly dispiriting, coming off like the bland "Die Hard" retreads we got so often in the '90s. Come on, Dwayne. If you're gonna be our #1 star than we need you to pass on junk like this.
Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber – Go behind the scenes with Dwayne Johnson and the rest of the cast of Skyscraper.
Extended Scenes with Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber
Dwayne Johnson: Embodying a Hero – Go behind the scenes to see what it took for Dwayne Johnson to bring the intense character of Will Sawyer to life.
Inspiration – Meet real life amputee and motivational speaker Jeff Glasbrenner, the inspiration for Dwayne Johnson's role of Will Sawyer. See how Jeff's consultations helped inform Dwayne's character from day one.
Opposing Forces – There's no holding back as the women of Skyscraper get in on the action. Now, see first-hand what it took for Neve Campbell and Hannah Quinlivan to be fight ready.
Friends No More – When Dwayne Johnson and Pablo Schreiber met face to face, they immediately knew what they were up against. Witness first-hand the making of the intense apartment fight between two former on-screen friends, Will and Ben.
Kids in Action – In Skyscraper everyone gets in on the action, even the Sawyer children. Go on set with Noah Cottrell and McKenna Roberts to discover the moves behind their stunts.
Pineapple Pitch – Hear first-hand from Dwayne Johnson how writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber pitched him the idea of Skyscraper. It may be a little fruitier than you think.
Feature Commentary by Director Rawson Marshall Thurber
The closer we get to the end of the year, the more I think Boots Riley's debut is one of its best films. It's certainly one of its most unforgettable. I've already written about the film twice (Sundance and theatrical) so I don't have much more to say, but let me throw in with my other Gotham Awards committee members who nominated Lakeith Stanfield for his fantastic work here, giving an incredibly physical and committed performance. So much of "Sorry to Bother You" feels like "Boots' Movie" but it wouldn't work at all without someone so completely on the same page as the film's creator as Stanfield, who has quietly become one of the most interesting actors of his generation. I hope he continues to do challenging, fascinating work such as what he delivers here.
Beautiful Clutter with Director Boots Riley
Audio Commentary with Director Boots Riley
The Cast of Sorry to Bother You
The Art of the White Voice
"Trick 'r Treat"
Horror is still the only genre that can truly produce word-of-mouth, home market hits, such as this anthology flick that never even played in movie theaters. Anywhere. And yet it became an instant hit when it was released on DVD in late 2009. So much so that Scream Factory has given it one of their most lavish Halloween season Collector's Edition treatments. It's a fantastic release for what's a really solid flick, a clear child of "Creepshow" with smart writing and direction. Hopefully it will spur enough interest to get the long-delayed sequel finally off the ground.
BRAND NEW 2K REMASTER OF THE FILM supervised and approved by director Michael Dougherty
NEW Tales of Folklore & Fright: Creating Trick 'r Treat – including interviews with writer/director Michael Dougherty, conceptual artist Breehn Burns, and storyboard artist Simeon Wilkins.
NEW Tales of Mischief & Mayhem: Filming Trick 'r Treat – in-depth interview with Michael Dougherty on the making of the film
NEW Sounds of Shock & Superstition: Scoring Trick 'r Treat – including interviews with Michael Dougherty and composer Douglas Pipes
NEW Tales of Dread and Despair: Releasing Trick 'r Treat – a look at the release and fandom with Michael Dougherty and writer Rob Galluzzo
Season's Greetings – NEW 2K scan of the original 16mm elements – a short film by Michael Dougherty with optional commentary by Dougherty
NEW Storyboard and Conceptual Artwork Gallery
NEW Behind the Scenes Still Gallery
NEW Monster Mash – a story from the TRICK 'R TREAT graphic novel
NEW FEARnet.com Shorts
Audio Commentary with director Michael Dougherty
Trick 'R Treat: The Lore and Legends of Halloween featurette
Deleted and Alternate Scenes with optional commentary by director Michael Dougherty
School Bus FX Comparison
Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
A tribute to Doris Day.
A review of the newest film by Quentin Tarantino.