Halloween 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner
  • Director: David Gordon Green
  • Writers: David Gordon Green, Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride
  • Producers: Malek Akkad, Jason Blum, Bill Block
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     
     
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 15, 2019
  • Run Time: 106 minutes


        There is something definitive about giving the latest Halloween sequel the exact same title as the original 1978 masterpiece. The expectations become even greater with the knowledge that it is not a remake, but actually a continuation of that first film. The hype leading up to this film’s release led me to believe it would be something original, when the reality is a lot closer to any of the early sequels in the 1980s. In a lot of ways, the kindest thing I can say about Halloween (2018) is that watching it felt somewhat like discovering an unseen sequel from the franchise’s past. Even with a female-empowered action climax, I was disappointed by the film’s lack of creativity and innovation.

The House with a Clock in Its Walls 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic
  • Director: Eli Roth
  • Writer: Eric Kripke
  • Producers: Bradley J. Fischer, James Vanderbilt, Eric Kripke
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: 
     PG 
     Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 18, 2018
  • Run Time: 105 minutes



        I’m certain if there are fans of the novel by John Bellairs, they will appreciate the nuances transferred over from that work. But for everyone else, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is likely to resemble numerous other fantasy family films from recent past. Because of the film’s use of magic, comparisons to Harry Potter are inevitable, despite being based on a work that came long before that British behemoth of a franchise ever existed. While this film adaptation of that classic children’s book is certainly watchable, assuming the audience member is old enough to handle the frightening elements, the most original aspect of the production is the choice of director. And he is likely the reason that younger audience members must be wary of the content.

4DX: Relief from Average Film Experience







        I complain about Hollywood blockbusters often. As a lifelong fan of genre filmmaking, a film critic and professor, I typically end up seeing everything that major American studios have to offer, and my experience is nearly always the same. Desensitized by constant emersion in the big-screen spectacle and bored by formulaic structure of the narrative, it feels as though I spend a sad amount of time unengaged while sitting in the increasingly comfortable chairs of my local multiplex. The movie industry has become just that; an industry, churning out a product with consistency that seems to be the death of creativity and innovation. For years, I have complained, and I thought that the only solution was for the films to get better. But after watching my first film in 4DX, my entire perspective has been changed. And not just about Hollywood blockbusters. The truth is, after experiencing the latest advances in public film exhibition provided by CJ Group, including their 4DX and ScreenX technology, I now see a new direction for the future of the art form as a whole.   

Night School 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco
  • Director: Malcolm D. Lee
  • Writers: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller
  • Producers: Kevin Hart, Will Packer
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Rated: 
     Not Rated
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 1, 2019
  • Run Time: 116 minutes



        There are no surprises with Night School, especially if you have seen the trailer or any of Kevin Hart’s sub-par comedic releases over the past five years. It is a generic and harmless comedy, the equivalent of watching a bad sitcom with no real plot structure and a bloated run-time. After a long day in the reality of the world, there are worse things than shutting your brain off and watching a stupid comedy. I’m just pretty sure that if my brain were off enough to enjoy this film, I would probably be dead. But those who typically enjoy the high-pitched short jokes of Kevin Hart will likely find this adequate entertainment.

Schindler’s List: 25th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Writer: Steven Zaillian
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, Branko Lustig
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1 
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 18, 2018
  • Run Time: 196 minutes


        There’s a quote that I like to refer to when discussing the purpose of watching movies, which is something I am inclined to do in order to justify the amount of time spent in front of a screen. There is debate over its origins (I first heard it said by David Foster Wallace) and the quote discusses art in general, claiming the function, “is to comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable.” More and more, it feels like a majority of the films made in America are simply intended to comfort, to entertain and amuse without too many challenged, intellectually or emotionally. We are so accustomed to popcorn entertainment in this country that it is easy to forget how powerful a film can be when the intention is discomfort instead. Schindler’s List is exactly this type of film; a masterpiece that is painful to endure. This is a film everyone should see at least once in their life, and there is now one more way to view it, with the release of the 25th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD Edition.

First Man Blu-ray Giveaway!



First Man is available on Digital on January 8th and Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and DVD on January 22nd
 

And Real Movie News has a copy for you! 
 

Pick of the Litter DVD Review

  • Directors: Don Jr. Hardy, Dana Nachman
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2018
  • Run Time: 81 minutes




        Don’t get me wrong; I like dogs, but I was concerned that the cuteness of a handful of puppies was all that Pick of the Litter might provide as appeal. Oh boy, was I wrong. Following the journey of five puppies on the road to becoming guide dogs for the blind, the film provides an empathetic and educational glimpse into the two-year process. And there are cute puppies.

Peppermint Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Jennifer Garner, John Ortiz, Jr. John Gallagher, Juan Pablo Raba
  • Director: Pierre Morel
  • Writer: Chad St. John
  • Producers: Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright, Eric Reid
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 11, 2018
  • Run Time: 102 minutes




        I’ve always been a sucker for a well-made revenge film. This may be why South Korean cinema has such appeal, with these narratives creatively showing up in a variety of genres. While there are also a consistent stream of American revenge movies, they haven’t really been innovative or original since the 1970s. These days we mostly get cheap remakes of those brutal classics (such as Death Wish and I Spit on Your Grave), and those that aren’t just imitate the expected story points in the most generic of fashion. Peppermint is exactly this type of film, and might as well have just been titled Female Death Wish.

The Marine 6: Close Quarters DVD Review

  • Actors: Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin, Shawn Michaels, Rebecca Quin
  • Director: James Nunn
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Spanish, English, Japanese
  • Dubbed: French, Japanese, English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2018
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2020
  • Run Time: 85 minutes





        Continuing the tradition of the franchise with mindless obedience, the latest installment in The Marine series is indistinguishable from the rest, with the exception of a single twist that is more likely to impact future sequels than this one. Following the original theatrical film starring John Cena and its first sequel with a relatively unknown WWE cast member, each future installment has starred Mike “The Miz” Mizanin as former marine Jake Carter. Whether working private security, as an EMT, or simply on vacation, Jake always seems to be in the wrong place at the right time, allowing him to use his training to save lives.

Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Carina Lau, Feng Shaofeng, Mark Chao
  • Director: Tsui Hark
  • Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: November 13, 2018
  • Run Time: 132 minutes





        Based on the Chinese folk hero Di Renjie (known as Judge Dee in a series of western mystery novels), Detective Dee was clearly intended as an Eastern Sherlock Holmes in the franchise’s earlier installments. While there are still some mysteries for Dee to solve in The Four Heavenly Kings, emphasis has shifted more on the supernatural and the martial arts instead. Although the original film may have had some basis in reality, by now the film series is simply choosing the stories that will be most cinematic, especially when considering what will provide the most special effects and mindless entertainment.

BlacKkKlansman 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: John David Washington, Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins
  • Director: Spike Lee
  • Writers: Spike Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott
  • Producers: Spike Lee, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Shaun Redick
  • Format: 4K
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Restricted
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 6, 2018
  • Run Time: 135 minutes




        BlacKkKlansman has all of the subtlety that its title would suggest, and feels nearly as pointlessly gimmicky as well. One would think that Spike Lee was the perfect director to herald this project, but gone are the days of Do the Right Thing, or even Malcolm X. Although BlacKkKlansman still has Lee’s signature righteous anger over issues of race in America, the screenplay’s insistence that we see the connection to our current political climate becomes overbearing.

Believer Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Cho Jin-woong, Ryu Jun-yeo, Kim Sung-ryoung
  • Director: Lee Hae-young
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1), Korean (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go Usa
  • Release Date: October 30, 2018
  • Run Time: 123 minutes




        Drug War is easily one of best entries into the Chinese crime genre in recent years, so I was immediately skeptical of the decision to remake it, especially a mere six years after the original film’s release. Not only is the decision to remake a good film always a dangerous one due to audience expectations, Drug War also has a plot twist rendered ineffective by previous knowledge. While some of the problems with this may be solved by the fact that Believer is a South Korean remake, ensuring a different national audience, those who watch a lot of foreign films may still find more than a little bit familiar in this one. But even with the largest twist of the film slightly spoiled, Believer still managed to improve on an already great film.

A Happening of Monumental Proportions DVD Review

  • Actors: Common, Bradley Whitford, Anders Holm, Rob Riggle, Katie Holmes
  • Director: Judy Greer
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2018
  • Run Time: 82 minutes




        If ever there was evidence that getting a film made is more about who you know than what you can do, A Happening of Monumental Proportions would be exhibit A. Filled to the brim with recognizable and name actors, mostly an assembly line of glorified cameos, one can’t help but wonder what they are all doing in a film with such an unimpressive script. The answer comes with the realization that this unfocused ensemble comedy is the directorial debut of character actor Judy Greer. Greer has had an impressive career as a supporting actress, which is undoubtedly how she was able to get so many fellow actors to commit to being in the first screenplay by Gary Lundy (another working actor) that fails at every turn.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia
  • Director: Ol Parker
  • Writer: Ol Parker
  • Producers: Judy Craymer, Gary Goetzman
  • Disc Format: 4K
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 23, 2018
  • Run Time: 114 minutes



        Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a shameless excuse to shoehorn more ridiculous over-the-top renditions of ABBA songs into a near non-existent story. That’s it. There is no need to consider this film’s artistic merits, because the filmmakers didn’t make this effort. This movie is a self-indulgent cash-grab, and one that effectively capitalized on an often neglected audience demographic. It is the same reason that faith-based films continue to thrive in the box office, regardless of quality, But the Mamma Mia sequel is far from a Christian film, this time allowing us to see the flashbacks of Donna (played by Lily James) as she sleeps with three men in a row.

Generational Wealth DVD Review

  • Producer: Lauren Greenfield
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2018
  • Run Time: 105 minutes




        It is ironic that in creating a documentary about the narcissism of the entitled and wealthy, filmmaker Lauren Greenfield chooses to make herself and her family a part of the conversation. Fragmented doesn’t even begin to describe the film, jumping around from theory to theory about the wealthy, Greenfield is more concerned with shoehorning herself into the discussion than any thoughtful consideration. One gets the impression that despite being a documentary about the character flaws of the wealthy, Generation Wealthy is mostly just an excuse for self-promotion.

Rodin Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Vincent Lindon, Izïa Higelin, Séverine Caneele, Bernard Verley
  • Director: Jacques Doillon
  • Producer: Kristina Larsen
  • Disc Format: Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 2, 2018
  • Run Time: 119 minutes




        Along with last year’s Final Portrait, Stanley Tucci’s bare-bones adaptation of James Lord’s memoir from his encounters with artist Alberto Giacometti, Rodin seems to solidify a trend in the depiction of the creative process of artists in progress. Often painfully monotonous and undeniably obsessive, these films do not make the life of an artist out to be glamorous, though indulgence seems to be key. Although the narrative of Rodin covers the crucial years of Auguste Rodin (Vincent Lindon), beginning with his rise to fame in his 40s, there is far more consideration given to his personal/romantic relationships.

Blackkklansman Blu-ray Giveaway!


 Blackkklansman is available on Digital on October 23rd and Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and DVD on November 6th

And Real Movie News has a copy for you! 

To enter the Blackkklansman Giveaway leave a comment with your favorite Spike Lee film on the Real Movie News Facebook or Twitter pages.

Girls vs. Gangsters DVD Review

  • Actors: Mike Tyson, Ivy Chen, Yang Zishan
  • Director: Barbara Wong Chun-Chun
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2018
  • Run Time: 138 minutes




        Although Girls vs. Gangsters is a sequel to a previously established Chinese franchise, most American audiences are more likely to find it recognizable due to the similarities in plot structure to the Hangover movies. Besides a gender swap and a far more conservative approach to the content, Girls vs. Gangsters owes so much to the Hangover formula that derivative is the only fair word to use in description. On the other hand, those who long for the silliness of those stories within an innocuous female buddy comedy need look no further.

The Witch Files DVD Review

  • Actors: Paget Brewster
  • Director: Kyle Rankin
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Mpi Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2018
  • Run Time: 87 minutes




        The Witch Files feels like a rejected CW teen series that was reworked into a low budget independent film. And in case it isn’t clear, I don’t mean that as a compliment. With a cast of flat teenage stereotypes played by attractive mannequins standing in for actors, a nonsensical found-footage format, and cheesy CGI effects, I was thankful for a run-time under 90-minutes. Even with improved budget and cast, I don’t think I could have endured an entire season of a Witch Files TV series.

Molly Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Julia Batelaan, Emma de Paauw, Annelies Appelhof, Andre Dongelmans, Joost Bolt
  • Directors: Colinda Bongers, Thijs Meuwese
  • Disc Format: Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Artsploitation
  • Release Date: October 2, 2018
  • Run Time: 91 minutes




        Had Molly been a Hollywood film, it would feel like a dozen other postapocalyptic sci-fi films. Add to that a teenage protagonist with special supernatural abilities that may save the world, and little about Molly doesn’t feel derivative. The most original and impressive things about the film have to do with the production rather than the final product. Not only is the scope of the film more impressive due to the obvious budget limitations, but it also has the unique distinction of being from the Netherlands.