wonder woman blu-ray

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to what’s new on Blu-ray and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

Remember physical media? It still exists! I swear! And while streaming is great, there’s something to be said for a Blu-ray release, especially considering not everything is available via streaming. So we’re going to dust off our physical media release column and take it around the track. There’s still life in this one yet. Join me, won’t you?

This week on Blu-ray we have the best film in the DCEU, a charming rom-com, a Steven Spielberg classic, and a beautiful film where Kristen Stewart eats a sandwich.

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close encounters of the third kind 2

Before I became a father, one of the most common things that would annoy me when talking to other people who were also parents was some version of the following: “Well, you can’t really understand it unless you have kids.” I would roll my eyes behind their backs. I’d tell myself that having kids can make a major impact on your life, but you can still question a parent’s choices or wonder if you’d do things differently without having kids yourself. I am still not a huge fan of this phrase – we can all empathize with someone else, even if we don’t walk in their shoes. But it’s a phrase I kept thinking about when I sat down to watch the 4K restoration of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind this past weekend, as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

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Movies to Watch With Close Encounters of the Third Kind

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: the re-release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.)

Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, so it’s being re-released into select theaters this weekend. If you’re near one of the theaters, it offers a fantastic opportunity to see a movie worthy of the big screen as it was intended. If you’re not, you can still load it up on your own personal medium screen and fill your living room with blinking lights and familial angst.

That’s the brilliance of it, right? Like many Spielberg movies, Close Encounters delivers spectacle without relying on it. We get the big-think intrigue of the science fiction, and the thrill of making contact with aliens, but the heart of the story is the obsession that drives a wedge between Richard Dreyfuss’s Roy and his family.

Above all else, there’s a human cost to reaching for the stars.

So what should we watch with it?

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind In Theaters

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the first time Steven Spielberg tinkered with the idea of life from another planet coming to Earth. To celebrate, the sci-fi classic is coming back to theaters.

Following a cryptic teaser not too long ago, Columbia Pictures has officially announced the return of Close Encounters of the Third Kind in theaters in September, and they’ve debuted an ominous trailer to tease the film’s return.

Find out when you can catch Close Encounters of the Third Kind in theaters again below. Read More »

President Obama's Essential Sci-Fi Movies and TV Shows - Star Trek

With this year’s election just 25 days away, we’re reminded that President Barack Obama only has a few more months left in office. Regardless of how you feel about his politics, I think we can all agree that President Obama is one of the nerdiest Commanders in Chief that we’ve had, and that’s been rather refreshing.

In case you need any more proof of just how much of a geek President Obama really is, he took the time to act as guest editor for WIRED magazine, where he put together a little list of his essential sci-fi movies and television shows. Some of them he grew up with, while others are more recent and provide thought-provoking and inspirational stories. Check out the list of President Obama’s essential sci-fi movies and TV shows after the jump. Read More »

Jordan Buckner's "Visions of a Past, Present and Future"

The Los Angeles-based pop culture art gallery The Hero Complex Gallery has released a new 12 print set featuring artwork by Jordan Buckner. The 12 Print Sci-fi Landscape Set is titled “Visions of a Past, Present and Future,” featuring 36″ x 12″ landscape art that honors some of the best science fiction movies of all time, including: the original Star Wars trilogy, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Alien, Blade Runner, Moon, The Fly, Akira, Metropolis, La jet, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Hit the jump to see all of the beautiful Jordan Buckner sci-fi prints in close-up.

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Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland Interview

I talk with Jeff Jensen about how he went from a television writer at Entertainment Weekly to collaborating with Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird on the story for Tomorrowland.  I must admit, I planned to go in and talk to Jensen about how the 1952 box was fabricated and how the script influenced the box and how the box influenced the script, but I found myself kind of blindsided with Jensen’s reaction. Jeff continued to pretend that the 1952 box wasn’t a creation of the team behind the film, which threw most of my prepared questions out the window. We still discuss how the box was used to sell executives and early Disney fans on the ideas behind the backstory of the movie.

I talk to Jeff about the early development of the film which saw two dueling ideas, one being a more Harry Potter approach and another more inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We also talk about the amazing Plus Ultra backstory which didn’t fully make it into the film but can be discovered through the tie-in prequel novel Before Tomorrowland he also wrote. Read all this and more in my Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.

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Marko Manev - Arnold

Two of the most promising rising artists in the pop culture art world are teaming up for a massive show. It’s called Influences;Marko Manev and Matt Ferguson are the artists; and the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY is the venue.

The theme is basically just films that have influenced not only these two artists, but pop culture as a whole. That means we’re talking very big properties: Jurassic Park, E.T., Predator, Batman, Total Recall, Flash Gordon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many more. Below, check out a small preview of the show that opens Friday February 28. Read More »

The latest batch of posters from Mondo, the retail outfit associated with the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin TX, is all over the place. Mondo is doing posters for several films playing the SXSW Film Festival in Austin next week, and we’ve already seen images for Paul, Moon and Source Code. Now there are two new SXSW posters: Hobo With a Shotgun and The FP, the latter being a film that premieres at the fest.

And then there is a great image for Steven Spielberg’s early classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Check out info on all the designs after the break. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Over the weekend the American Cinema Editors (ACE) held their annual awards, where The Social Network, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 took honors for feature editing in the dramatic, comedy/musical and animated categories.

But the highlight of the night may have been the lifetime achievement award given to Michael Kahn, presented by Steven Spielberg. That award was accompanied by a reel highlighting the master editor’s many credits, and in the spirit of celebrating someone who has been an invaluable but often invisible contributor to many of the films we love, we present the highlight reel after the break. Read More »