Blu Ray Knives Out

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Knives Out (Blu-ray) Average Rating: (4.6) stars out of 5 stars 22 ratings, based on 22 reviews. E Nglish; Rian Johnson; Ana De Armas. He’s back with “Knives Out,” which plays like the clearing of creative pipes, moving away from Reylo and Green Milk to play a game of “Clue” with a cast of eager actors. As with every Johnson.

Rian Johnson’s Knives Out is a love letter and a refreshing contemporary take on the classic murder mystery genre. Taking inspiration from the great Agatha Christie and other fantastic whodunits, the film features the classic murder mystery tropes of a dysfunctional family caught up in a murder of the family patriarch, and the eccentric detective who is the only one who can solve the case. But Johnson takes that a step further by weaving in socio-economic and political themes into the film to make it feel more contemporary and aware.

Now the Oscar-nominated Knives Out comes home on 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital. The film stars Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jarden Martell, Christopher Plumber, and Noah Segan, all of whom play a collection of interesting characters who are all caught in Johnson’s contemporary vision of a whodunit that also plays reverence to the genre. But there is so much more to the Blu-ray than just the film. There are wonderful bonus features to look forward to, none of which feel generic and typical. They provide an in-depth look at all of the complementary parts that make Knives Out complete and thoroughly entertaining.

Knives Out revolve around the murder of Harlan Thrombey (Plummer) who is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday. Though local police believe that it was a mere suicide, the debonair and eccentric Detective Benoit Blanc (Craig) suspects that someone close to Harlan, from the immigrant caregiver Marta (De Armas) to everyone in the highly dysfunctional family may be the killer.

As Blanc begins to sift through all of the clues and untangle the web, he discovers that there is much more to Harlan’s death than what you see. As Knives Out progresses, it takes plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing. And if you’ve already seen the film, there are still things that you may have overlooked that makes the film so great and beautiful. There is just so much to discover my looking at the overlooked aesthetics and smaller details.

Knives Out may feel like it follows the traditional rules of a murder mystery, yet, it feels so new with its socio-economic and political undertones. Set around the Thrombey mansion – which looks more like a Clue board – the film is populated by caricatures of the 1%, who are genuinely out of touch with the other parts of the society. And yet, there is Marta, who acts as the one character we can all connect to as she is caring, generous, and humble. She’s always been there to take care of the Thrombey patriarch. It’s almost as if she were his daughter.

But strange circumstances would lead up to his death, which was made to look like suicide. However, Blanc, a southern detective with unusual charm, suspects foul play. His energy is infectious, and you can’t help being drawn in by his enunciation as he breaks down the case by looking in places where no one bothered to check or asking the questions that no one bothered to ask. However, the Thrombeys are annoyed by it, and Marta is unsure who she can trust.

Even without the murder mystery element, the film moves like a stage play, with much of the film confined to the extravagant Thrombay mansion, which is filled with all sorts of eclectic characters.

But Knives Out deserves so much more than just a simple rewatch. There are plenty of bonus features to look forward to that will surely add to the film’s enjoyment, show why it is one of the best, and prove it is deserving of all of its accolades.

Films like these come with the traditional audio commentary. But Knives Out comes with two of them. Yes, there are two. The first one has Johnson, with his frequent director of photography, Steve Yedlin; and his acting muse Noah Segan. The second one is the in-theater commentary that was released as a rare exclusive commentary that was recorded and released just for the film during its original theatrical run.

Of course, there’s also the deleted scenes that come with the director’s commentary, as well. Not to mention the trailers, and a “Meet The Thrombeys” viral ads that get you acquainted with the dysfunctional family members that find themselves tangled in this murder mystery web of lies and deceit.

While those bonus features are customary for any home entertainment release, the best bonus features for this film are “Making A Murder” and the “Director and Cast Q&A.” The former is a loose documentary that fully breaks down the film into its individual parts like pre-production, scriptwriting, casting, costume design, production and design, cinematography, editing, the score, and more.

Then there’s the Director and Cast Q&A, which is a 42-minute feature that sees the cast and Johnson together answering questions about the film. It’s a rare bonus feature – because seeing an entire cast and its together like this happens only during press events – as it sees the whole cast and Johnson together to talk about the film’s impact, their characters, and its production.

There is just so much to discover by watching these bonus features, which will only make the Knives Out an excellent addition to your Blu-ray collection.

Here’s a full list of the bonus features you can expect to see:

Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan
In-Theatre Commentary by Rian Johnson
Deleted Scene: “Bicycling Accident” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
Deleted Scene: “Don’t Do Anything Rash” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
“Making a Murder” Eight-Part Documentary
“Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” Featurette
Writer-Director and Cast Q&A
Marketing Gallery
“Meet the Thrombeys” Viral Ads

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Posted on Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 by Chris Evangelista

Welcome back, fans of physical media. There are several great Blu-ray releases hitting the shelves this week, and if you’re one of those weirdos like me who cherishes physical copies, you’re going to want to grab some (if not all) of these. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

Knives Out

One of the most entertaining movies of last year, Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out is both a send-up of and a loving tribute to whodunits – specifically locked room mysteries in which a gaggle of colorful characters are all treated as suspects. Daniel Craig‘s private detective Benoit Blanc gets top billing here, but he’s actually a secondary character. The film truly belongs to Ana de Armas, playing Marta, the immigrant nurse of a wealthy author (Christopher Plummer). After the author turns up dead by apparent suicide, things take a turn for the surreal as the dead man’s family jockey for his inheritance. Johnson has so many tricks up his sleeve here that it borders on the absurd – and that’s part of the fun. Just when you think you’ve got Knives Out figured out, a new twist arises and shows you how wrong you’ve been.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

You might assume that knowing the twist (or rather, twists) of Knives Out makes for a less-fun rewatch. But you’d be wrong! Knives Out is inherently rewatchable. In fact, rewatching it helps you pick up on the clues you missed the first time around. In addition to the film itself, you get two different commentary tracks – one with Rian Johnson, DOP Steve Yedlin, and frequent Johnson player Noah Segan; one Johnson recorded to be used in theaters. Johnson is a filmmaker who knows his stuff, making his commentary tracks must-listens. And if that isn’t enough for you, there’s a 2-hour making-of featurette.

Special Features Include:

  • Audio Commentary by Writer-Director Rian Johnson, Director of Photography Steve Yedlin, and Actor Noah Segan
  • In-Theatre Commentary by Rian Johnson
  • Deleted Scene: “Bicycling Accident” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
  • Deleted Scene: “Don’t Do Anything Rash” (with Optional Audio Commentary by Rian Johnson)
  • “Making a Murder” Eight-Part Documentary
  • “Rian Johnson: Planning the Perfect Murder” Featurette
  • Writer-Director and Cast Q&A
  • Marketing Gallery
  • “Meet the Thrombeys” Viral Ads

Frozen 2

There seem to be two camps regarding Frozen 2. On one side you have those who think this is a step-down from the original. And then on the other you have people like me, who think this is, in fact, the superior film. The original Frozen is good, don’t get me wrong. But it kind of runs out of energy midway through, and never really recovers. That doesn’t happen with Frozen 2, which keeps moving along at a steady clip. That said, the movie commits an almost unforgivable sin: It gives us answers to questions we never really asked. There’s a storyline here about how ice queen Elsa got her magical ice powers – and honestly, we didn’t need to know that. It was fine as a mystery. But here we are! Once you get over that, though, you’ll find another charming adventure with endearing characters, and some great tunes, too.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Don’t lie: You want that sing-along version. “Oh, it’s for my kids!” you say defensively. Nice try: You don’t have kids. You just want Frozen 2 in your house so you can turn it on whenever you want and start belting out “Into the Unknown.” I see you. And I’m not judging you.

Special Features Include:

  • Sing-Along Version of the Movie – Sing along with your favorite songs as you watch the movie.
  • Song Selection – Jump to your favorite musical moments, with on-screen lyrics. Songs include Oscar®-nominated “Into The Unknown,” “All Is Found,” “Some Things Never Change,” “When I Am Older,” “Lost in the Woods,” “Show Yourself,” and “The Next Right Thing”
  • Outtakes – Laugh along with the cast of “Frozen 2” as they record their lines, sing their songs and have fun in the recording booth.
  • Deleted Scenes – Check out a few scenes that never made the final cut.
    • Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck offer a glimpse into their filmmaking process with scenes that didn’t make the final cut.
    • Prologue – A battle rages between Arendelle and the Northuldra while a mysterious figure challenges King Agnarr.
    • Secret Room – A secret room reveals even more of Anna and Elsa’s past, including a shocking revelation about their mother.
    • Elsa’s Dream – Anna’s playful glimpse into Elsa’s dream takes a dark turn.
    • Hard Nokks – Kristoff reveals his true feelings about life in Arendelle when the Nokk won’t take no for an answer.
    • A Place of Our Own – Elsa uses her magic to relieve Anna’s lingering doubts about their parents’ faith in her.
  • Deleted Songs – When it comes to “Frozen 2,” there can never be too much music. Hear some of the songs that got cut from the final film.
    • Intro – Directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck revel in the chance to share a few songs that didn’t make it into the final film.
    • “Home” – Anna savors every moment as she wanders through this kingdom she calls home.
    • “I Wanna Get This Right” – Kristoff wants everything to be perfect before he proposes, leaving Anna to wonder, “Will it ever be just right?”
  • The Spirits of “Frozen 2” – Cast and crew explore the Scandinavian and Nordic mythology that inspired the spirits inhabiting the enchanted forest of “Frozen 2.”
  • Did You Know??? – Olaf asks us the question “Did You Know” as we discover “Frozen 2” fun facts, Easter eggs and tidbits about the making of the film.
  • Scoring a Sequel – Composer Christophe Beck combines a 91-piece orchestra with 30 choral voices to create the compelling score for “Frozen 2.”
  • Gale TestsThey say you can’t see the wind. Only its effects. Filmmakers give it a shot while creating the playful wind spirit, Gale.
    • Gale Test – A young girl and boy play tag in this fully animated effort to “give personality to something that’s invisible.”
    • Hand-Drawn Gale Test – A hand-drawn test to bring the precocious wind spirit to life.
  • Multi-Language Reel
    • “Into the Unknown” in 29 Languages – Hear Elsa’s soaring call to adventure in 29 different languages
  • Music VideosWeezer and Panic! at the Disco lend their voices to a few of the soaring melodies from “Frozen 2.”
    • “Into the Unkown” (Panic! at the Disco version) – Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie stars in their version of “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen 2.”
    • “Lost in the Woods” (Weezer version) – Weezer puts their spin on Kristoff’s epic ballad, “Lost In the Woods.”

Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit is not a film for everyone. In fact, many flat-out despise the film. But for me, it works. In fact, it works because it shouldn’t. There are a million ways a comedy about a boy and his imaginary friend, who is also Hitler, could’ve gone wrong. But writer-director-actor Taika Waititi does a fine job balancing the absurd with the serious. Jojo goes to dark places – how could it not? – but Waititi manages to make the humor work without seeming crass. Young actor Roman Griffin Davis is great as Jojo, a Hitler youth who idolizes the Nazis and then slowly begins to see how evil – and absurd – the regime really is. With this film, Waititi is saying that there’s hope for some people – people who have just started to go down the wrong path, but haven’t quite arrived at their destination yet. That may seem naive, but it’s a nice hope to hold onto.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Taika Waititi does a commentary track on this release that will be familiar to anyone who listened to his commentary on Thor: Ragnarok. It’s not even the least bit serious, and Waititi treats it as a total joke. Whether or not that works for you is up to you to find out. Some may get sick of Waititi’s constant jokes and droll comments, while others might find them endearing. But if you’re hoping for an informative track where Waititi talks about his process, and the making of the film itself, well…you won’t get that. But you will get that info via a making-of featurette, “Inside Jojo Rabbit.” At this point, you’ve likely made up your mind about Jojo. You either buy what Waititi is selling here, or you want a full refund.

Special Features Include:

Knives Out Blu Ray Easter Egg

  • Deleted Scenes:
    • “Imaginary Göring”
    • “Little Piggies”
    • “Adolf Dies Again”
  • Outtakes
  • Inside Jojo Rabbit
  • Audio Commentary by Taika Waititi
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Teaser Trailer

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is tailor-made to make you weep – and there’s nothing wrong with that. Marielle Heller‘s film isn’t a Mr. Rogers biopic, even though the marketing might have convinced you otherwise. Instead, Rogers, as played by Tom Hanks, is a supporting character. The real focus is fictional journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), a sour sod who has a terrible relationship with his estranged father (Chris Cooper). Will the saintly Mr. Rogers help Lloyd get over his anger and forgive? You can probably guess the answer to that – there are no plot twists here. Rhys is quite good as the surly journalist, but Hanks is the real draw. He doesn’t really look like Mr. Rogers, and he doesn’t exactly sound like the man, either. But he does nail Rogers’s soft-spoken cadence, which goes a long way towards convincing you that you really are watching the real Mr. Rogers.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

While I have a few issues (mostly script related) with A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, it’s absolutely worth owning for Tom Hanks’s performance. The ability to skip ahead to Hanks’s scenes is nice, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the rest of the movie. For all of its clunky elements, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is ultimately a kind, empathetic movie, and we certainly need more of that right now.

Special Features Include:

  • Over 15 Minutes of Additional Scenes
  • Blooper Reel
  • Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers
  • The People Who Make a Neighborhood: The Making Of
  • Dreaming Big, Building Small: The Puppets & Miniatures
  • Daniel Tiger Explains: Practice Makes Perfect
  • Filmmaker Commentary

Color Out of Space

How does one even begin to describe a film like Color Out of Space? This absolutely bonkers H.P. Lovecraft adaptation is a film at war with itself. It’s both a film that tries to capture the cosmic horrors of Lovecraft’s work while also letting Nicolas Cage go insane and yell about alpacas. That makes the film sound more fun than it ultimately is, but pacing – and some poor acting from supporting cast members – nearly sink things. And yet, this is a fascinating experiment. Director Richard Stanley is in a class of his own, and when he’s taking Color seriously, he delivers – there are several genuinely unnerving moments that feel as if they’ve sprung from an unwell mind. I only wish the rest of the movie, which is about alien light turning everyone insane and/or into mutated monsters, could live up to those moments.

Blu Ray Knives Out Release

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Boy oh boy, I wish this release had come with a Richard Stanely commentary track. I have the privilege of interviewing Stanley about this film (read it here!), and it was one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve ever conducted, simply because he’s so otherworldly and intelligent that it kind of throws you off-kilter. So I can only imagine what a commentary track from the filmmaker would sound like. Alas, we’ll all have to make do with a making-of featurette.

Special Features Include:

  • The Making of COLOR OUT OF SPACE
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Photo Gallery
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