New Blu-ray Releases Infinity War

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

This week’s Blu-ray column features the best movie of the year! And also Avengers: Infinity WarInfinity War is the big title here, so much so that there aren’t many other Blu releases to compete with it. That said, we’re also looking ahead, to next week’s release of First Reformed, the best film of 2018 (as of now). Also here: American Animals, an underrated movie that was poorly marketed.

Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week and beyond.

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All About Nina Trailer

Mary Elizabeth Winstead has enjoyed quite the eclectic career in film, ranging from indie roles in the likes of Smashed and Swiss Army Man to more mainstream flicks like Live Free or Die Hard, 10 Cloverfield Lane and Scott Pilgrim vs the World. More recently she’s been comfortable on television with a role in FX’s series adaptation of Fargo, but this fall, she returns to theaters as a stand-up comedian.

All About Nina follows Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a blunt, struggling stand-up comic who covers all the usual rough and tumble about life and relationships. And we get to see all the highs and lows of this life from a troublesome and abusive boyfriend (Chace Crawford) to a new love interest (Common) that she seems likely to screw up somehow. Read More »

Green Book Trailer

The idea of a road trip bringing about some kind of life-changing experience in characters is quite the cliché on the big screen. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done well. And that’s exactly what comedy director Peter Farrelly looks to be doing with his first foray into drama.

Green Book tells the true story of a working class Italian bouncer named Tony (Viggo Mortensen) who gets hired as the driver and security for black classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley (Oscar winner Mahershala Ali of Moonllight) as he takes a tour of venues on the South side of the Mason-Dixon line in 1962. The result is a friendship that gives each of these travelers a little perspective on the world around them. Watch the first trailer below to see what we’re talking about. Read More »

In 1971, a young director named George Lucas was coming off the commercial failure of his first feature-length motion picture, THX 1138. While that film has since gone on to achieve cult classic status as a preStar Wars curio, it was, at the time, a financial flop that earned mixed reviews. During the film’s production, producer Francis Ford Coppola — who was on the cusp of his own mainstream directorial breakthrough with The Godfather — had issued a challenge to Lucas. The challenge was to write a screenplay with more mainstream appeal, something audiences would enjoy, a crowd-pleaser.

The result was American Graffiti. Released on August 11, 1973, American Graffiti remains the most down-to-earth, human movie Lucas ever made. There are no space battles here, just a group of kids cruising around town on the last night before two of them are supposed to go off to college. That relatable, coming-of-age aspect gives the film a timeless quality. Yet being four and a half decades removed from its debut in theaters and several generations removed from the time period it evokes also means that its setting might look as alien as a Star Wars planet to some viewers. The movie presents a vision of an America long gone, one where carhops roller-skate through the parking lot of drive-in restaurants and teenagers drag race through the streets in hot rods.

Let’s take a look back at American Graffiti in honor of its 45th anniversary.

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Peter Weller RoboCop Sequel

In early July, we learned that District 9 and Chappie director Neill Blomkamp will be at the helm of a new RoboCop movie called RoboCop Returns. It’s both a reboot of the franchise and a direct sequel to Paul Verhoeven‘s 1987 sci-fi classic, and if Blomkamp has his way, he’s going to get original star Peter Weller to reprise the role once again. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

once upon a time in hollywood first look

Last week, we got our first look at Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The project has been steeped in controversy since its announcement, as it will pair the notoriously provocative director with a subject matter undeserving of glorification or gratuity: the Manson Murders.

At least, that was the initial concern. As we’ve learned in the meantime, and in Tarantino’s own words, the film is “not Charles Manson, it’s 1969.” Indeed, as more information comes out, we can see that the film is the story of a Hollywood – and an America – in a great metamorphosis. Not a Manson story, but a story where those famous murders are one facet of a grander tale, about the abrupt end of a free-loving, free-wheeling decade where every renaissance was tainted by inconceivable retractions.

To drive home the intended perception of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, let’s take a look back at all of the confirmed production and casting announcements, and use those confirmations to speculate what kind of movie Tarantino might have in store.

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Regardless of how you feel about the film overall, the critically-acclaimed BlacKkKlansman is one of the most of-the-moment films released in the past few years. Topical to both the past and present, combining comedy, drama, and yes, downright horror, it is hard to deny that it is one of Spike Lee’s greatest films in recent years. Some may even rank it among his all-time best films.

The film is a crime procedural drama, tinged with blaxploitation vibes, that tells a ‘70s-set story that is of supreme relevance today. BlacKkKlansman chronicles Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), a black detective who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan with the assistance of a white Jewish detective, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver).

During its Cannes Film Festival world premiere (where it won the Grand Prix award), the film received a lengthy standing ovation, specifically due to the chilling final moments of the film, which incorporates footage from the 2017 Charlottesville counter-protest to a white supremacist rally, where Heather Heyer was killed.

From easter eggs, real-life allusions, and a time-twisting blow-up, this final moment was strategically set-up throughout the film to achieve maximum power. Spoilers for BlacKkKlansman follow.

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Speed Kills - John Travolta

Someone stop John Travolta.

I thought Gotti would mark a low point for the Pulp Fiction star this year, but the two-time Oscar nominee isn’t ready to give up just yet. He’s starring in Speed Kills, a virtual reality crime series (!) set in 1980s Miami that’s based on a true story. Travolta plays a speedboat racing champion (!!) who gets caught up with the mob, cruises around in a boat with “007” painted on the side, and spits out defiant lines like “I’m not selling Blue Thunder to you!” with a totally straight face (!!!). You’ve gotta see this to believe it. Read More »

Jess and Keith Calder interview

Blindspotting has been a labor of love for over a decade. It shows in the end result. Director Carlos López Estrada‘s hard-hitting drama, which also has a lot of laughs, has been drawing strong reactions ever since it premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. “Sharp, stylish, and sincere, Blindspotting may hook you with its flashy wordplay and slick visuals, but this is a hilarious and vital movie of the moment that’s burning with empathy,” our own Ben Pearson wrote in his review from the fest.

The more than warmly received drama hails from producers Jess and Keith Calder, the two behind Snoot Entertainment. Snoot Entertainment has been making films with strong voices behind them since their inception. From Anomalisa to The Guest to Blindspotting, the Calders have been putting out the sort of creative and imaginative movies we’re always craving. The two producers recently took the time to take us behind the scenes of Blindspotting, including the project’s development, shooting in Oakland, and plenty more.

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McDonald's Monopoly - Martin Scorsese Kevin Hart

Last month, The Daily Beast published an article titled “How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald’s Monopoly Game and Stole Millions.” The piece instantly went viral, ultimately resulting in the film rights selling to Fox, where Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and the writers of the Deadpool franchise are going to bring it to the big screen.

But a new article from Vulture reveals that they weren’t the only big names to go after the story: Martin Scorsese, Kevin Hart, and several others were also interested in it. And not only that, the original article was planted specifically to generate enough interest for a movie deal. Read the newest details about the still-untitled McDonald’s Monopoly movie below. Read More »