From the Big Screen:
Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One
(2023) Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team embark on their most dangerous mission yet: To track down a terrifying new weapon that threatens all of humanity before it falls into the wrong hands. With the fate of the world at stake, a deadly race around the globe begins. Confronted by a mysterious, all-powerful enemy, Ethan is forced to consider that nothing can matter more than his mission – not even the lives of those he cares about most. Vitals: Director: Christopher McQuarrie. Stars: Tom Cruise, Hayley Atwell, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Henry Czerny. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 163 min., Action, North American box office gross: $172.0 million, worldwide $566.1 million, Paramount. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Commentary by director Christopher McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton—McQuarrie; “Abu Dhabi” location featurette; “Rome” behind-the-scenes look at the thrilling car chase through Italy’s historic capital; “Venice” location featurette; “Freefall” extended behind-the-scenes look at one of the biggest stunts in cinema history as Tom Cruise launches a motorcycle off a cliff; “Speed Flying” stunt featurette; “Train” featurette on the climactic train sequence; deleted shots montage; editorial featurette: “The Sevastopol” Read more here
(2023) Recent college grad Jaime Reyes returns home full of aspirations for his future, only to find that home is not quite as he left it. As he searches to find his purpose in the world, fate intervenes when Jaime unexpectedly finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology: the Scarab. When the Scarab suddenly chooses Jaime to be its symbiotic host, he is bestowed with an incredible suit of armor capable of extraordinary and unpredictable powers, forever changing his destiny as he becomes the Super Hero Blue Beetle. Vitals: Director: Angel Manuel Soto. Stars: Xolo Maridueña, Adriana Barraza, Damían Alcázar, Elpidia Carrillo, Bruna Marquezine, Raoul Max Trujillo, Susan Sarandon, George Lopez. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 127 min., Action, North American box office gross: $70.254 million, worldwide $125.254 million, Warners. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray + Digital Code, 4K Ultra HD + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: “Generations: Blue Beetle” four-part documentary; “Nana Knows Best” featurette; “Scarab Vision” two-part featurette. Read more here
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3
(2023) When Toula (Nia Vardalos) plans a trip to Greece to honor her late father Gus’ (Michael Constantine) final wish, the family’s reunion becomes complicated with the reveal of a deep family secret. Vitals: Director: Nia Vardalos. Stars: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Louis Mandylor, Elena Kampouris, Gia Carides, Joey Fatone, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin. CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Comedy, North American box office gross: $28.496 million, worldwide $38.399 million, Universal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Code, VOD, Digital. Extras: Gag reel; deleted and extended scenes; “On Set With Nia Vardalos – The My Big Fat Greek Wedding”; “Opa! The Making Of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3”; commentary with writer-director Nia Vardalos.
This Week’s Best Bets:
Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis star as would-be lovers from two different worlds in “Witness” (1985), director Peter Weir’s Academy Award-winning neo-noir thriller that pits modernity against tradition. When a young Amish boy inadvertently witnesses a brutal murder while en route to Philadelphia with his recently widowed mother, Rachel (McGillis), Detective John Book (Ford) is assigned to the case. With the perpetrators desperate to silence the sole witness, Ford and his two wards are forced to hide out in the heart of the Amish community. As passions between Book and Rachel ignite, the killers close in, culminating in a dramatic, life-and-death clash of cultures that will change the lives of those involved forever. Noted for its sensitive portrayal of the Amish community, “Witness” features a career-best performance from Ford, earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. Co-stars Patti LuPone, Josef Sommer; Alexander Godunov; Danny Glover; Viggo Mortensen. Now fully restored in 4K, “Witness” proves as timeless as it is masterful. On Blu-ray, 4K UHD. High-Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation on the Blu-ray; 4K (2160p) Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation in Dolby Vision (HDR10 compatible) on the 4K UHD edition. From Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment. Read more here … A spellbinding blend of social observation and artful shocks, “Nanny” (2022), the debut feature from Nikyatu Jusu, plunges into the increasingly fractured consciousness of Aisha (Anna Diop), a Senegalese immigrant who takes a job as a nanny for a wealthy white family in New York City. Separated from her own son and casually exploited by her employers, Aisha finds herself consumed by unsettling visions and a growing rage—one that could either destroy or empower her. This visually captivating tour de force—the first horror movie to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival—distills complex ideas about motherhood, inequality, and cultural dislocation into a work of dreamlike dread. In English and Wolof with English subtitles. On DVD, Blu-ray, with new 4K digital master, approved by director Nikyatu Jusu, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio and uncompressed stereo soundtracks on the Blu-ray. From The Criterion Collection. Read more here.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
Based on a graphic novel by writer-director Kevin Grevioux, “King of Killers” (2023), starring Alain Moussi, Marie Avgeropoulos, Georges St-Pierre, Stephen Dorff and Frank Grillo, follows former Agency hit man Marcus Garan (Moussi) as he attempts to unravel the mystery behind a tragic incident. When offered a $10 million contract to eliminate the world’s greatest assassin, Marcus travels to Tokyo to meet the client (Grillo), but discovers other professional killers have been invited as well. Now Marcus and the others must confront this deadly, mythical assassin…or die trying. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Lionsgate … In the ticking-clock thriller of redemption and revenge “Retribution” (2023), starring Liam Neeson, Jack Champion, Noma Dumezweni, Emily Kusche, Embeth Davidtz and Matthew Modine, Matt Turner (Neeson) begins a high-speed chase across Berlin to complete a specific series of tasks after a mysterious caller puts a bomb under his car seat. With Matt’s kids trapped in the back seat and a bomb that will explode if they get out of the car, a normal commute becomes a twisted game of life or death as Matt follows the stranger’s increasingly dangerous instructions in a race against time to save his family. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Lionsgate. Read more here … Following “Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One,” the new animated film from Rooster Teeth Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Animation, “Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part Two” (2023), follows the Justice League and Team RWBY team up again in a whole new environment as they take on Grimm, who has arrived on Earth with even more powers. On the heels of successfully escaping a deadly digital trap, the members of the Justice League emerge in their own world to discover that Grimm, ravenous creatures from Remnant, have overtaken Earth. In order to defeat the monsters, they must call on their new friends – Team RWBY – for help. On Blu-ray from Warner … In “Bloodthirst” (2023), starring Costas Mandylor, Tara Reid and Robert LaSardo, after the apocalypse, only two tribes remain: desperate humans and the roving vampires that feed on them. Across the desolate West, John Shepard (Mandylor) seeks the aging head vampire, hoping to destroy him and free mankind. But when Shepard and his posse of native sons and farmers’ daughters joins forces with a local militia, they learn that they’re closer to the Master than they think. From Lionsgate. Read more here.
“Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas” (2023)is a modern-day movie musical about the making of a network TV special, “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas.” It’s the frenetic backstage story and delightful on-camera results of Dolly’s desire to uplift an exhausted world’s spirits by sharing the unique “mountain magic” she has always found in and around Dollywood at Christmas. Throughout the movie’s production numbers and rehearsal chaos, Dolly finds herself taking a private journey into her past, guided by the mysterious appearances of her personal Three Wise Men. When it’s time for her big special to air live, a renewed and inspired Dolly goes rogue and shows the world that the real magic of Christmas lies in the hearts of the children we all once were, the realization that Christmas is about the people we share it with, and how her faith remains the common thread between Christmases past, present, and future. From Warners.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.