New Blu-ray Releases Incredibles 2

(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.)

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

Incredibles 2
Now Available on Digital, Available on Blu-ray November 6

Fans waited 14 years for a sequel to Pixar’s The Incredibles, and they finally got it in the form of Incredibles 2. Was it worth the wait? Sort of! Incredibles 2 is bursting with jaw-dropping action beats – scenes where character zoom about the digital landscape at break-neck speed, sweeping us right along with them. These moments are what make the movie so special, and they’re also what director Brad Bird excels at. But Incredibles 2 is also bloated, and for a film that features so much action, it’s weirdly inert. That’s not to say the film is a wash. The cast – particularly Holly Hunter as Helen Parr / Elastigirl – shine. And I love the way new character Evelyn Deavor (Catherine Keener) is animated – always in a slouching or laid-back pose, head titled. Yet when Incredibles 2 ended, I was left feeling a little empty. It can’t hold a candle to the original film, and it’s probably best to let the series end here. Still, it’s fun to watch the family of superheroes gather together to deal with problems both domestic and fantastic.

Special Features to Note:

“Super Stuff” is a fun featurette in which the animators talk about how big the movie is, and all the elements involved in the movie’s complicated story: action, comedy, spy movies. “It’s all of those things in a big caramel candy corn” says Brad Bird. The animators also discuss how the first film was set up to look like it took place in the 1950s, while this sequel was supposed to be in the 60s. “Retro-futurism” is the term applied the most here. 

Beyond this, we get featurettes focused on each of the film’s main characters. Here, Brad Bird reveals that Mr. Incredible as a character is a blend of both his own father, and himself.

In addition to this (and more), there are a wealth of deleted scenes. Unlike deleted scenes from live-action films, these are cobbled together from storyboards and test animation. Brad Bird calls them “Scenes that seemed like a good idea at the time.” Among these we have an alternate opening, in which the family deals with the fall-out of the explosion of their home (something that happened in the first movie). There’s also another alternate opening where the Bob and Helen visit Kari, the babysitter from the first movie. Kari had her memory wiped after witnessing baby Jack-Jack’s powers, and she’s never been right in the head since. The best of the bunch is a deleted scene that finally reveals Frozone’s never-seen wife Honey. After witnessing a scenario that might need Frozone’s attention, she intentionally hides his super-suit to keep him from going out. Bird explains here that everyone thought it was better to have Frozone’s wife remain seen and not heard. 

Special Features Include: 

  • All-New “Auntie Edna” Mini-Movie – When Bob Parr visits super-suit designer Edna Mode looking for help with his high-energy toddler Jack-Jack, Edna pulls an all-nighter designing a suit to harness the baby’s seemingly limitless powers.
  • 10 Deleted Scenes With Introductions – Suburban Escape,  Kari Revisited, Return of the Supers, Chewed Out, Late Audition, Slow Day, Frozone and Honey, Restaurant Robbery, Fashion Show and Security Breakdown.
  • Super Stuff – From buildings and vehicles to costumes and props, every action movie requires a lot of really cool stuff. Meet the makers and learn what it takes to design and build such a uniquely incredible world.
  • Heroes & Villains – A collection of mini-docs about the backstory and major design ideas behind the “Incredibles 2” characters — featuring voice actors, director Brad Bird, and Pixar artists talking about the many elements that make these characters feel real.
  • Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer – This short piece explores the many ways a single production designer has influenced the look, feel and character of the Pixar universe, culminating in “Incredibles 2.”
  • Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird – Brad Bird’s passion for animation dates back to his childhood and mentorship under Disney’s Milt Kahl, and that enthusiasm and powerful insight emanates from every film he’s made. Take a deep dive into Brad’s early years at Disney Animation Studios and his time at Pixar.
  • Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes – At its heart, “Incredibles 2” is about family dynamics and the challenges of being a working parent. Meet the parents of Pixar as they discuss their personal connections to the film and their experience with stretching to balance work and family.
  • SuperBaby – A documentary/hip hop music video hybrid hosted by Frankie and Paige from Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark. This piece explores how Jack-Jack came to life onscreen — from design to special effects to animation — all set to a hot beat.
  • Commentary – Get inside commentary from animators Alan Barillaro (supervising animator), Tony Fucile (supervising animator, story artist and character designer), Dave Mullins (supervising animator) and Bret Parker (animation second unit and crowds supervisor).
  • Theatrical Short: “Bao” – An aging Chinese mom suffering from empty nest syndrome gets another chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings springs to life as a lively, giggly dumpling boy.
  • Making “Bao” – Director Domee Shi shares her secret recipe for making an animated short — discussing how her rich cultural heritage, unique relationship with her mom, and her love of food all informed the making of the food-fantasy “Bao.”
  • Outtakes & Stories – Raccoon Fight Story, Evelyn Animation Outtakes, Puppet Animator Interview, Outtakes Goofy Arms Story and SuperBaby Music Video.
  • Character Theme SongsVintage Toy Commercial TV Spots , Toolkit Montage and Global “Incredibles 2” Trailers

Creepshow

In 1982, George Romero and Stephen King teamed up for Creepshow, the ultimate horror anthology film. Goofy, gory and loaded with fantastic practical effects, Romero and King channelled the glory days of EC comics to tell several tales of terror. A rotting ghoul returns from the grave in search of a cake (yes, really). A dumb hick succumbs to an infection from outer space. A man having an affair with a married woman runs afoul of the woman’s husband. A crate containing a bloodthirsty monster might be the solution to an unhappy man’s problems. And roaches infest a clean-freak’s sterile apartment. Some of these stories are better than others, but all are told with just the right amount of zest and style. Creepshow is more amusing than scary, but that doesn’t diminish its power. More horror anthologies would follow this film, but none would live up to the ghoulish magic Romero and King created here.

Special Features to Note: 

Creepshow has never looked better than it does on this glorious new Blu-ray from Scream! Factory. In a new interview, Director of Photography Michael Gornick describes how he supervised this new 4K scan, and how he was able to extend in-camera effects in ways he wasn’t able to back in the ’80s. Gornick extended color affectations, and meticulously worked on color correction to make the film’s lighting effects – lots of reds and blues – pop. As Gornick puts it, this is a new version of the film, but also an accurate version. This is, without question, the only version of Creepshow you should own.

Special Features Include: 

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative – Color Correction Supervised And Approved By Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
  • Audio Commentary With Director George A. Romero And Special Make-Up Effects Creator Tom Savini
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Composer/First Assistant Director John Harrison And Construction Coordinator Ed Fountain
  • NEW Terror And The Three Rivers – A Round Table Discussion On The Making Of Creepshow With John Amplas, Tom Atkins, Tom Savini, And Marty Schiff
  • NEW The Comic Book Look – An Interview With Costume Designer Barbara Anderson
  • NEW Ripped From The Pages – An Interview With Animator Rick Catizone
  • NEW The Colors Of Creepshow – A Look At The Restoration of Creepshow With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick
  • NEW Into The Mix – An Interview With Sound Re-recordist Chris Jenkins
  • NEW Mondo Macabre – A Look At Mondo’s Various Creepshow Posters With Mondo Co-Founder Rob Jones And Mondo Gallery Events Planner Josh Curry
  • NEW Collecting Creepshow – A Look At Some Of The Original Props And Collectibles From The Film With Collector Dave Burian
  • Audio Interviews With Director Of Photography Michael Gornick, Actor John Amplas, Property Master Bruce Alan Miller, And Make-up Effects Assistant Darryl Ferrucci
  • Tom Savini’s Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A Look At The Original Film Locations Hosted By Sean Clark
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Radio Spots
  • Still Galleries – Posters, Lobby Cards, And Movie Stills
  • Still Galleries – Behind The Scenes Photos

The Spy Who Dumped Me

It’s becoming abundantly clear that Kate McKinnon is one of those actresses worth seeing in anything. Even if the film the SNL actress is appearing in isn’t great, she usually is. McKinnon’s natural charisma, and her talent for strange humor, make her incredibly compelling. I want to see her in everything. McKinnon is the highlight in The Spy Who Dumped MeSusanna Fogel‘s mostly funny, surprisingly violent action-comedy. McKinnon and Mila Kunis play best friends caught up in a case of national espionage – a scenario that is funny because neither character knows what they’re doing. The plot is so-so, but Kunis and McKinnon have a nice rapport with each other (although it’s often painfully clear Kunis is not nearly as funny as McKinnon). When all is said and done, The Spy Who Dumped Me is fun. It’s also action-packed, full of exciting action beats that put most full-fledged action movies to shame. I don’t think The Spy Who Dumped Me is going to end up on anyone’s top 10 of 2018 list, but it’s damn entertaining to watch.

Special Features to Note: 

In a making-of featurette, director Susanna Fogel discusses how she and her writing partner David Iserson approached the film with indie movie sensibilities thrust into a big blockbuster. The way Fogel and Iserson saw it, The Spy Who Dumped Me is an action movie with people who shouldn’t be in an action movie and action is the key ingredient here. Fogel very much wanted the film’s action to be worth cheering about, and so she recruited Gary Powell, the man responsible for fight choreography on films like Casino Royale. The results paid off – the action in The Spy Who Dumped Me is great. 

Special Features Include:

  • Covert Operations: The Making of The Spy Who Dumped Me” Featurette
  • Gary Powell: The King of Action” Featurette
  • “Makin’ Friends with Hasan Minhaj” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • “Off Script” Featurette

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