(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.)
Remember, kids: heroes live forever, but physical media never dies. This week’s Blu-ray round-up has Spike Lee‘s brilliant and infuriating BlacKkKlansman, the melancholy Disney film Christopher Robin, the cinematic firecracker that is Blindspotting, and Jason Statham fighting a big CGI shark in The Meg. Sure, streaming is great – but you just can’t beat the experience of physical media.
Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week and beyond.
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Writer Allison Schroeder sure knows how to write a real deal feel-good movie. The screenwriter behind last year’s monster hit, Hidden Figures, and the co-writer of this year’s delightful Disney reimagining, Christopher Robin, can seamlessly pull at the heart strings with big or small fireworks, whether in a major tearjerker scene or during a tender moment between two characters sitting on a log. There’s a refreshing earnestness to the Oscar nominee’s work, which rings especially true in her elegantly simple and heartfelt adaptation of A.A. Milne‘s classic stories.
When Schroeder’s name appears in the opening credits of Christopher Robin alongside Tom McCarthy (Spotlight) and Alex Ross Perry (Queen of Earth), you know right away the iconic characters are in good hands. Schroeder recently told us a bit about her work with the director, being inspired by Milne’s words and stories, the trick of writing Pooh-isms, and her first job in the business, working on Pineapple Express.
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(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises.)
What defines the difference between a theatrically released feature film and a feature that’s placed only on a streaming service? The fine line between the two is getting constantly redefined. Netflix constantly releases new films that, a decade ago, would have gotten a theatrical release instead. (Or, failing that, a direct-to-DVD release.) Hell, two of their 2018 releases are acquisitions they made from studios that originally intended to release the films in theaters.
Within the confines of this column, though, it’s worth looking to the future. Disney is just about a year away from unveiling its new streaming service. (You know, the one that they should call the Disney Vault. Ahem. I have no doubt that you’re reading this, Bob Iger.) It’s easy to get an idea of what kinds of movies they’ll keep on their streaming service and what will be released in theaters. All you have to do is consider the case of Christopher Robin.
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David, Devindra, Jeff, and Kristy discuss the fun of Teen Titans Go! To The Movies
, the enjoyability of HBO’s Succession
, and the riveting Netflix documentary, The Staircase
. Also, Jeff gets disappointed by modern Blu-ray special features.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, follow us on Twitter
or like us on Facebook.
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After debuting in the top spot last weekend with $61.2 million, two new wide releases couldn’t stop Tom Cruise and his Impossible Mission Force from taking the #1 spot again. Mission: Impossible – Fallout earned an estimated $35 million in its second weekend, enough to stop the family friendly Christopher Robin and even a couple of amateur secret agents in the form of Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon in The Spy Who Dumped Me. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, make-up artist John Caglione, Jr. recalls the process of bringing Heath Ledger‘s take on The Joker to life. Plus, take a tour of some of the costumes Weta Workshop brought to San Diego Comic-Con last month, and watch Ewan McGregor and Hayley Atwell answer some of the web’s most searched questions about them. Read More »
Marc Forster has one of the most varied resumes of any director in Hollywood. It’s not often you find someone who’s helmed a James Bond movie (Quantum of Solace), quiet dramas (Finding Neverland), an unconventional comedy (Stranger Than Fiction), a full-fledged zombie movie (World War Z), and a live-action/CG Disney hybrid.
Unlike many of Disney’s recent live-action fairy tale movies, Christopher Robin isn’t a remake or even a loose adaptation of an earlier animated project. This one is a new story that basically boils down to Hook, But With Winnie The Pooh: an adult Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), who spends too much time working and not enough time with his family, encounters his childhood pals Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger, and learns to shift his understanding of what’s truly important in life. I spoke with Forster on the phone earlier this week to ask him about stepping into the Disney machine, if the Paddington franchise impacted this film at all, a random Gladiator reference he snuck into this movie, and more. Read our full Marc Forster interview below. Read More »
Just when you thought 2018 couldn’t get any stranger, Winnie the Pooh has become a polarizing political figure…in China? And it’s not because of his lack of pants, nor his habit of stealing honey from bees (what’s up with that, Pooh!), but because he apparently has a striking resemblance to the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping. Because of that, a Christopher Robin China release has been denied by the country, as the Chinese government cracks down on all images of the silly old bear.
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Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 by Karen Han
When I first saw Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, I cried through almost the entire film. That said, the mixed reception it received didn’t surprise me. Its intended audience — to my mind, at least — didn’t dovetail with the market it was being sold to; despite being based on a children’s book, it wasn’t a movie meant for kids. It was a story about growing up told by someone who already had, and told to someone of the same age.
All of this to say: I thought about Where the Wild Things Are at a few points throughout Disney’s most recent outing to the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher Robin, directed by Marc Forster, which exists somewhere between being geared for kids and geared for adults. But Christopher Robin is a much stranger creature (in the best possible way as it is singularly lovely) – it features frankly devastating stretches of melancholy and refuses to make any easy prescription for the anxieties of adulthood, all of which is punctuated by comic moments that range from being deliriously funny to tonal misfires. That imbalance isn’t, however, something I’m inclined to hold against the film. Its messiness works for it.
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Christopher Robin, which looks incredibly charming, is likely to be another hit for Disney. Early Christopher Robin box office tracking indicates the Winnie the Pooh sequel is headed towards an opening weekend that’s not quite as big as other recent Disney live-action remakes, but still nothing to pooh-pooh (I’m so sorry).
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