Sci-Fi Storm

Video/DVD

Ready Player One: Pure nostalgic entertainment

by on Jul.18, 2018, under Movies, Video/DVD

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One heads to Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday (available on streaming/digital services now), based on Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, and this is going to be a must-have for anyone who has grown up in the video game culture that started in the 70s with the original Atari Video Computer System (a.k.a. Atari 2600) – which, by the way, figures prominently in the movie…

Despite the era of nostalgia, the movie itself is set in the near future, after events have resulted in many locations becoming slums. To escape, almost everyone takes part in a massively multiplayer virtual reality environment called OASIS, co-created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) and Ogden Morrow (Simon Pegg). Many take the game VERY seriously – losing in the game results in losing their in-game characters, called being “zeroed out” and leads to suicides in some cases. People spend a lot of real money to enhance their in-game experience, such as full-body feedback outfits, 360-degree treadmills, etc.

When Halliday passes away (Morrow left the company), he wills control of OASIS to be given to the one who finds an in-game Easter Egg, which can only be obtained by completing three different game quests to obtain one of three different keys. Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan, X-Men: Apocalypse), a 17-year-old orphan living with his aunt in the “Stacks”, shoddily-built vertical trailer parks, known in OASIS as Parzival, teams up with his on-line friend Aech (Lena Waithe, Master of None) to take on the first quest, a race through a city with many obstacles, to find the key before other “gunters” – easter egg hunters – find it first, including an army of players from the Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a corporation who wants to take over the OASIS and use it to sell marketing to the players, and will stop at nothing to do so. He also befriends Art3mis (Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), a famous gunter, along with Sho (Philip Zhao) and Daito (Win Morisaki), to form the “High Five” and team up in the quests.

Also appearing (at least in voice) are T.J. Miller (Deadpool), who’s voice provides a nice counter to the apparent rugged bounty hunter person of i-R0k; Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom) as Nolan Sorrento, the CEO of IOI; and Hannah John-Kamen (Killjoys, Ant-Man and the Wasp) as F’Nale Zandor, a real-world IOI operative hunting down the High Five.

While the plot is somewhat basic and predictable, it’s the visuals and references that are really interesting. I at first thought that this was going to be too CGI-centric and a distraction, but after a bit it felt natural in a weird way. And there are some stunning recreations, like the parts from The Shining). But what really hooked me was all the little things, both overt and background, that referenced the things we grew up with. From the many characters that can be seen in the background to the appearance of the Iron Giant (although, as some point out, misused), to the various Atari games and more. There are so many it will take multiple viewings to spot many of them – finding easter eggs in a movie about finding easter eggs!!! I saw a Colecovision towards the end…and I want Halliday’s t-shirts!

If you are particularly interested in motion-capture acting as well, check out the special features to see how a lot of it was done – there is just as much live acting, if not more!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable movie with some laugh-out-loud moments and plenty of “did-you-see-that”s as well!


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Doctor Who: Tom Baker Season 1 on Blu-ray!

by on Apr.02, 2018, under Television, Video/DVD

For the first time, classic episodes from the Tom Baker years of Doctor Who will be released on Blu-ray in the U.S.!

Tom Baker’s entire first season, Season 12 of the classic series, will be released as a single unit as Tom Baker Season 1, consisting of 6 discs. All the episodes, plus all the extras that were on the individual DVDs will be included. In addition, all new extras will be added, including an all new candid interview with Tom Baker; “Behind the Sofa”, watching various clips with Tom Baker, Philip Hinchcliffe, Louise Jameson, Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Sadie Miller; new “making of” for “The Sontaran Experiment” and “Revenge of the Cybermen”, and more!

If this sells well, we can expect more such releases of the classic series!


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Wonder Woman dazzles on Blu-ray

by on Sep.17, 2017, under Movies, Video/DVD

Put simply, Wonder Woman is a spectacular movie. It is likely the best superhero movie DC and Warner Bros has yet put out. And now it heads to Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, Ultra 4K Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, September 19th! And the Blu-ray releases include a special bonus scene not seen in theaters!

Like any superhero action movie, Wonder Woman is laden with action scenes and visual effects, but they are done so well and don’t detract from the character story, which delves into the origin of Diana, Princess of Themyscira, who we all know as Wonder Woman, although it starts off where Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice had left with Bruce Wayne wondering about where she came from in a photo taken 100 years earlier.

The visual effects were simply amazing. To me, extensive use of “bullet time” effects can get annoying, but their use here was not only not distracting but incredible. Combine that with some of the spectacular location shots, and it makes for a beautiful movie. There were only a couple of visual issues I picked up on, and only on viewing the Blu-ray…the early wide shot of the Amazon training felt composited where it seems like some of the fighters were overlaid on the scene. And the glowing of the lasso rope felt too cartoonish…a light glow only to enhance the color would have been better.

The cast was excellent as well.

Gal Gadot was awesome. Aside from her appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which as a movie I didn’t care for), this was the first movie I actually saw her in. I think she was perfect in the part as a fish-out-of-water superhero, both fierce and beautiful simultaneously.

Chris Pine as Steve Trevor…Pine for some reason always makes me feel like he’s somehow going to charm his way out of every situation with his smile…and I still like him. His charm I think works for the spy character.
(continue reading…)


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Wonder Woman arrives on Digital HD 8/29, Blu-Ray 9/19

by on Aug.11, 2017, under Movies, Video/DVD

The summer blockbuster hit for DC and Warner Bros. starring Gal Gadot arrives before the summer is out…and it will include a bonus scene not shown in theaters!

It will be available first on Digital HD on August 29th, followed by the Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD discs on September 19th.

Additionally, all of the special features, including an all-new bonus scene, interviews with filmmakers, featurettes, and extended scenes, can be experienced in an entirely new, dynamic and immersive manner on tablets and mobile phones using the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App, available for both iOS and Android devices. When purchased digitally and redeemed on UltraViolet, the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App allows users to watch the movie and simultaneously experience synchronized content related to any scene, simply by rotating their device. Synchronized content is presented on the same screen while the movie is playing, thus enabling users to quickly learn more about any scene, such as actor biographies, scene locations, fun trivia, or image galleries. Also, users can share movie clips with friends on social media and experience other immersive content. The Movies All Access app is available for download on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

See the trailer again below!


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Marvel and James Gunn release 70s music video starring David Hasselhoff for release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

by on Aug.07, 2017, under Movies, Video/DVD

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 comes out on Digital HD tomorrow and Blu-ray on August 22nd, and to celebrate, they released a music video with a bunch of cameos…I have no more words to say… 🙂


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Arrival lands in 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD

by on Feb.09, 2017, under Movies, Video/DVD

Best Picture nominee Arrival arrives in Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and DVD next Tuesday, February 14th! The film was hailed by critics as “mesmerizing” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone), “amazing” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) and “the best film of the year” (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic).

Arrival was released in Digital HD online on January 31st.

Arrival, starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner, received eight Academy Award® nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. In addition, Arrival has been named one of the best films of the year by the American Film Institute, National Board of Review, New York Times, USA Today and many more.

Five-time Academy Award® nominee* Amy Adams “delivers one of her best performances” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) as expert translator Louise Banks. When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team races against time to decipher their intent. As tensions mount between fearful governments, Banks discovers the aliens’ true purpose and, to avert global war, takes a chance that could threaten her life, and quite possibly humanity. Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner and Academy Award® winner Forest Whitaker co-star in this epic film with “a mind-blowing ending” (Brian Truitt, USA Today) that “you will want to see again and again”(Brian Formo, Collider). The Arrival 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs include over an hour of engrossing special features, with in-depth explorations of the film’s subject matter, sound, score, editing and more.

Arrival Blu-ray Combo Pack
The Arrival Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following:

Blu-ray

  • Feature film in high definition
  • Bonus Content:
    • Xenolinguistics: Understanding Arrival
    • Acoustic Signatures: The Sound Design
    • Eternal Recurrence: The Score
    • Nonlinear Thinking: The Editorial Process
    • Principles of Time, Memory & Language

Arrival 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack
Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc with the film presented in 4K Ultra HD with English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, and Spanish subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.
The Blu-ray Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack available for purchase include a Digital HD Version of the film that can be accessed through UltraViolet™, a way to collect, access and enjoy movies. With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them—reliably and securely—to a variety of devices.

Arrival Single-Disc DVD
The single-disc DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.


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YouTube short: “The Black Hole”

by on Feb.01, 2017, under Video/DVD

Check out this great YouTube short film, “The Black Hole”, when a printer error results in a mysterious phenomenon, and a curious fate…


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Warehouse 13: The Complete Series on Blu-ray February 23rd

by on Dec.01, 2015, under Television, Video/DVD

Yay! Warehouse 13 will finally get a Blu-ray release! Right now it is only being offered as a Complete Series box set of 15 discs, but individual seasons may be released at a later time.

MSRP for the set is $199.98, and Amazon is currently offering it at that price but you can be sure that price will come down closer to its release. Pre-orders will automatically reduce to the lowest price before being shipped.


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Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds

by on Oct.30, 2015, under Fun Stuff, Video/DVD

In honor of the original radio broadcast of H.G. Wells’ The War Of The Worlds, here is the audio of my favorite rock opera, which is an impressive adaptation of the original story in music. And if you think the music is awesome, you need to see the concert…it is UNBELIEVABLE.

However, I do apologize in advance…some of these songs will stick in your head. But it’s a brave new world…


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Fear The Walking Dead web series kicks off when TV season ends

by on Sep.28, 2015, under Television, Video/DVD

If you like Fear The Walking Dead, you won’t have to fear the season finale coming up on October 4th – because a 16-part web series kicks off that day called Fear The Walking Dead: Flight 462.

The series will premiere on amc.com, with new one-minute episodes debuting every Sunday thereafter, both online and during commercial breaks of The Walking Dead.

The web series tells the story of a group of passengers aboard a commercial airplane during the earliest moments of the outbreak. Over the course of the series, the plane and the lives of its passengers are put in jeopardy once they discover an infected traveler. The series is written by L. Signorino and Mike Zunic and directed by Fear director of photography Michael McDonough. Producers are Fear showrunner Dave Erickson and co-exec producer David Wiener.


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