Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Max’s Summer Movie Watch List


Max’s Summer Movie Watch List
Max is the one to watch this summer, and home to Warner Bros. Pictures films, classics and new favorites from A24, the Studio Ghibli library, and award-winning films spanning multiple genres. The platform is showcasing its vast film library with curated summer watch lists of blockbusters, horror, family friendly films, and more.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ Dune: Part Two, the groundbreaking sequel to Dune, is now available to stream on the platform along with recent hits like Wonka and Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, which also has an American Sign Language (ASL) version of the film available to stream. Viewers can also find summer favorites like Mamma Mia!Meg 2: The TrenchA Night at the Roxbury, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Horror fans can look to Max for their summer scaries and favorite films from franchises including Saw,Scream, Friday the 13th and Paranormal Activity. Viewers can also enjoy recent fan favorites like MalignantEvil Dead Rise, and The Nun II, as well as classic genre hits including The Blob, Night of the Living Dead, Carrie, The Amityville Horror, Pet Sematary, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and Signs, and so much more.

Max gets movies. See a curated list of films available to stream below:

A Ghost Story (2017)
Dicks: The Musical (2023)
Dream Scenario (2023)
Midsommar (2019)
Priscilla (2023)
Problemista (2024)
Stop Making Sense (2023)
The Disaster Artist (2017)
The Farewell (2019)
The Florida Project (2017)
The Green Knight (2021)
The Iron Claw (2023)
The Witch (2016)
The Zone of Interest (2023)
Uncut Gems (2019)
Aquaman (2018)
Avatar (2009)
Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
Barbie (2023)
Barbie (ASL version) (2023)
Barbie (Director’s commentary version) (2023)
Batman (1989)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Dawn of The Planet of the Apes (2014)
Deadpool (2016)
Furious 7 (2015)
Joker (2019)
Jurassic World (2015)
Suicide Squad (2016)
Superman Returns (2006)
Terminator Salvation (2009)
The Batman (2022)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Twister (1996)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Beach Reads (Based on a Book)
Butterfield 8 (1960)
Carrie (1976)
Dune (2021)
Dune: Part Two (2023)
Fahrenheit 451 (2018)
Giant (1956)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Great Expectations (1946)
Lord of the Flies (1963)
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)
Of Mice and Men (1939)
Oliver Twist (1948)
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Color Purple (2023)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Wizard of Oz (1939) 
Family Films 
Agent Cody Banks (2003)
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)
Babe (1995)
Craig Before the Creek (2024)
King Tweety (2022)
National Velvet (1944)
Peter & the Wolf (2023)
Scoob!  (2020)
Spy Kids (2001)
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (2002)
Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
Spy Kids: All The Time in The World (2011)
The Smurfs (Movie) (1981)
The Spongebob Squarepants Movie (2004)

Scary Summer!
Carrie (1976) 
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)
Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead Rise (2023)
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th (2009)
Friday the 13th: A New Beginning (1985)
Friday the 13th Part II (1981)
Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986)
Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (1984)
It Comes at Night (2017)
Malignant (2021)
Midsommar (2019)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Paranormal Activity (2009)
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)
Pet Sematary (1989)
Pet Sematary Two (1992)
Saw (2004)
Saw 3D: The Final Chapter (2010)
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Saw V (2008)
Saw VI (2009)
Signs (2002)
Scream (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 4 (2011)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
The Blob (1958)
The Nun II (2023)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
The Witch (2016) 
Studio Ghibli Collection
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Earwig and the Witch (2021)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
My Neighbor Totoro (1990)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (2000)
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Never-Ending Man: Hayao Miyazaki, 2016
Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru) (1993)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Pom Poko (1994)
Ponyo (2008)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Spirited Away (2002)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
The Cat Returns (2002)
The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (2013)
The Secret World of Arrietty (2010)
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
The Wind Rises (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Summer Romance
A Star is Born (2018)
An Officer and A Gentleman (1982)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Brooklyn (2015)
Casablanca (1942)
City Lights (1931)
Don Jon (2013)
Father of the Bride (2022)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Her (2014)
In the Mood for Love (2001)
Kate & Leopold (2001)
Legally Blonde (2001)
Mamma Mia! (2008)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
Sex and the City (Movie) (2008)
Shakespeare in Love (1999)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Summertime (1955)
The Time Traveler's Wife (2009)
Trainwreck (2015)
Up In The Air (2009)
West Side Story (1961)

Monday, July 15, 2024

True Detective: Night Country Blu-ray Disc Set Review


The fourth season of the HBO/MAX original anthology series, True Detective is a mixed bag, but still the best season of the show since the acclaimed first season. The original first series is widely considered to be one of the best television mystery dramas ever and has even been described as being perfect. I have to admit that the first season was for me anyway, perfect. It just hit all the right points like a kind of alchemy that sadly for the seasons that have followed have not equalled and I have come to believe that perhaps one should not compare it to anything else to it since each season is it’s own crime mystery drama with little to no links to the first series. This now addressed on it’s own, True Detective: Night Country is the best season to broadcast and stream since the original to the point that the subtle attempts to link it to the first one actually brings True Detective: Night Country down, when it could have stood better if it were simply it’s own thing. Taking over for Nic Pizzolatto is Writer and Showrunner and Director Issa Lopez and considering the amount of work, responsibility and location shooting in Iceland, I think she did a good job though there are a few elements that don’t work at all and unfortunately due to the spoiler factor there is one I cannot address here at all. Aside from one poor attempt to link the fourth and first seasons that for those unfamiliar with the cultural significance resulted in unintentional laughter, the problem I can address is the fact since it tries to link itself to the first season while being a largely unrelated story is that the series fails to balance the allusions to possible supernatural elements in such a way that can also be explained away by rational explanations like the original show. The series really hooks the viewer into the mystery too and I really do think if it dropped the references, True Detective: Night Country would not draw as much comparison to the original and one could be a little more forgiving if it simply remained it’s own thing. 

The other area I found questionable was the depiction of people with mental illness. Without giving away too much, the series irresponsibly equates psychological and emotional problems to inevitable suicide, which is terrible for anyone who is afflicted or has a friend or family member that is living with mental illness because it presents stereotype that for decades, people, who do live with this problem, have long struggled to not be stigmatized by it.

All of the episodes are presented their 1080p full HD aspect ratio of the original television exhibition with a clear, but somewhat underwhelming English DTS-HD MA Soundtrack. I think they should have gone with Dolby True HD. English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired are included along with Subtitles in German, Netherlands, Ceske, Dansk, Suomi, and Norwegian among others that are encoded onto both Blu-ray Discs as options. All of the extra value features can be found on the MAX streaming platform and in fact there are a couple I think that did not make the transition, should have been included such as the podcast because it gives great insight into the culture of the indigenous people of Alaska along with great conversations with the on screen and behind the scenes talent associated with the series.

What you get are short featurettes like Meet The Detectives (2:56) with Jodi Foster and Kali Reis. A short EPK style interview with Showrunner, Writer and Director Issa Lopez (2:59), the two leads discussing their interpretations of inkblots (3:13), the indigenous themes explored (4:43), the setting (2:17) and and the six episode recaps that run between 45 seconds and 59 seconds respectively. The interactive menu is a standard still picture design. True Detective: Night Country is available now on Blu-ray Disc and DVD, but sold separately courtesy of Warner Brothers Discovery Home Entertainment.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera

All Rights Reserved.


Thursday, July 11, 2024

Max Brings HBO Original, THE PENGUIN To San Diego, Turning The Gaslamp Quarter Into Gotham Takeover Includes Immersive Fan Experiences, A Cast Panel, Global Trailer Debut, Partnerships, And More.


Max will bring Gotham to life in San Diego to celebrate the highly anticipated upcoming HBO®Original series THE PENGUIN, starring Colin Farrell, debuting this September. Starting Thursday, July 25, THE PENGUIN will begin its takeover with an exclusive experience by recreating Gotham’s famed Iceberg Lounge, deploying a Gotham Ice truck in front of the San Diego Convention Center, and partnering with local businesses for bespoke giveaways. Additionally, Max will host a panel in Hall H featuring the cast and executive producers of THE PENGUIN, where the official trailer for the series will premiere.
“We are incredibly excited to tap into the rich and passionate fanbase in San Diego this year by introducing them to our new series, THE PENGUIN,” said Pia Barlow, Executive Vice President, Originals Marketing, HBO and Max. “With our in-world activations, fans will have the chance to engross themselves in the underground world of Oz Cobbs’s Gotham, picking up where we left off in Matt Reeves' 'The Batman,' as we look to generate excitement for the series premiering this September.”

Full details on THE PENGUIN takeover can be found below: 
  • On Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27, Max, in partnership with Giant Spoon, will transform the Bloom Nightclub into Gotham’s famed Iceberg Lounge. Upon arrival at “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience, guests will enter the “Iceberg Descent,” created in partnership with BUCK and VT Pro Design, an immersive experience filled with special effects, haptic technology, interactivity and exclusive content displayed on Samsung big screen TVs. This multi-sensorial, subterranean descent drops users into Gotham’s notorious Iceberg Lounge lobby to navigate through the wreckage left by The Riddler at the end of The Batman (2022) film to reach the party deeper within.
  • Fans will party with Oz’s crew by venturing through the dark corners of the club for a chance to be inducted into the Penguin’s inner circle… if they dare. This multi-room experience offers complimentary drinks, live DJ sets, exclusive giveaways including a Jefferson’s Bourbon tasting, and photo opportunities including Oz’s iconic purple Maserati — giving partygoers an unprecedented glimpse into Gotham’s criminal underworld. By exploring the main club, guests can discover a password that will give them access to the inner sanctum, 44 Below, the club within the club, diving deeper into the world of THE PENGUIN.
  • Max is providing 21+ adult fans with three ways to get a chance to receive an invitation to “The Iceberg Lounge” from today through Saturday, July 27:
  1. Fans can now register on 1iota.com for an exclusive invitation to Gotham’s hottest nightclub, available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  2. From Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, Max, in collaboration with Map 360 Collective, is partnering with select local establishments to offer specialty cocktails, bespoke swag and a chance to attend “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience through a limited number of scratch-off tickets. Below are the partners and their locations: 
  • Gaslamp Pizza | 505 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday10:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m.
    Friday – Saturday10:00 a.m. – 4:00 a.m.

  • The Butcher’s Cut 644 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Friday – Saturday4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

  • Osteria Panevino 722 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Sunday – Thursday4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
    Friday – Saturday4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

  • Prohibition 1920 548 Fifth Ave, San Diego, CA 92101
    Monday – Sunday8:00 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
  1. From Thursday, July 25 through Saturday, July 27, the Gotham Ice Truck located in Downtown San Diego (exact location to follow) will offer free Slush Puppies to beat the heat. The cups will feature a QR code, providing a chance to receive an invitation to “The Iceberg Lounge” Experience, revealing the truck’s true inspiration in the spirit of Oz Cobb’s dealings himself: guiding patrons to The Penguin’s exclusive nightclub.
  • On Saturday, July 27, Max will host “The Penguin Panel” at the San Diego Convention Center in Hall H from 4:45 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.Panelists will include Colin Farrell (Oz Cobb aka “The Penguin” and executive producer – virtually), Cristin Milioti (Sofia Falcone), Rhenzy Feliz (Victor Aguilar), Matt Reeves (executive producer), Lauren LeFranc (showrunner and executive producer), and Dylan Clark (executive producer). The highly anticipated official trailer for the series will be released during the panel, which will be moderated by Josh Horowitz, host of MTV and the “Happy Sad Confused” podcast.
  • From Sunday, July 21 through Saturday, July 27, THE PENGUIN will take over the @TheBatman social accounts. The “7 Days in Gotham” content series will chronicle Oz’s journey towards becoming Gotham's next kingpin and his impending takeover of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter.
  • Launching Thursday, July 25, Max and Snapchat are partnering to introduce a revolutionary augmented reality (AR) lens throughout San Diego. This exclusive AR lens transports Snapchat users into the dark, atmospheric underworld of Gotham City.
“The Iceberg Lounge” Experience Location:
Bloom Nightclub (Iceberg Lounge) 21+ only
919 Fourth Ave
San Diego, CA 92101

“The Iceberg Lounge” Experience Hours:
Friday, July 26: (Press Preview): 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday, July 26: General Admission 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
Saturday, July 27: General Admission 7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Gotham Ice Truck
Location: Downtown San Diego (location to follow)

Gotham Ice Truck Operating Hours:
Thursday, July 259:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, July 269:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 279:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

For more information about THE PENGUIN and to stay up to date, follow on social at @TheBatman @DC @StreamOnMax.

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

WETA Workshop’s Sauron Miniature Statue Review.


Click On The Photo Above To View The Review.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Sony HT-X8500 2.1 Soundbar Review.


Click on the photo icon above for my video review of Sony’s HT-X8500 2.1 Soundbar. Thank you.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera

All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Chinatown: Paramount Presents 2-Disc Set #45 Review

Chinatown is a classic Neo noir period piece starring Jack Nicholson as Jake Gittes, a private detective who specializes in cases regarding infidelity and fraud. Gittes becomes embroiled in an investigation that is over his head when he is hired by a recently widowed socialite (Faye Dunaway), who is related to the wealthy Noah Cross (John Huston), a man with seemingly unlimited resources at his disposal. 

Paramount Home Entertainment’s “Paramount Presents” series showcasing their celebrated classics has become kind of their own version of The Criterion Collection in that the releases are all numbered on the spine. They feature premium cardboard slips with gatefolds that show the original one-sheet artwork, actual pictures on the discs themselves that look much nicer than the laser burned images some other distributors employ on their Blu-ray and DVD releases as well as feature lots of extra value premium content that is exhaustive, but never exhausting. Chinatown is no different as it includes a new 4K Ultra High Definition 2160p widescreen presentation complete with an audio commentary and multiple language and subtitle options to boot. In addition there is an insert containing a limited time only code to add a free digital copy to stream anywhere on any device that offers the Fandango app or website  access to the streaming platform. While I prefer i’Tunes over other digital copy sellers, it is still nice to have a free digital copy included within the mix. In addition a bonus Blu-ray Disc containing a 1080p Full HD presentation of the 1990 sequel, The Two Jakes, which was directed by Jack Nicholson in collaboration with Chinatown scribe Robert Towne as was produced by Robert Evan’s, a producer who put auteurs first as can been in miniseries like The Offer, which chronicles the making of The Godfather. In short this is a dynamite combination with two films for the price of one, a brand new 4K presentation of Chinatown and bonus content to boot.

Yes it’s true, Chinatown looks amazing on 4K Blu-ray Disc and can be appreciated when comparing the 1080p High Defintion clips found in the documentaries and featurettes included on the BD. Chinatown also features an immersive English Dolby True HD 5.1 Soundtrack that is complimented by a choice between a restored English Mono Dolby Digital Soundtrack as well as Germain, Spanish, French, Italian Dolby Digital Mono Tracks too. There are even English Subtitles for the feature length audio commentary with Writer Robert Towne and Director David Fincher, who is an admirer of the film. Collectively you have English Captions and Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired along with Dansk, German, Spanish, French, Italian Japanese, Korean, Netherlands, Norwegian, Suomi, and Sevenska subtitles encoded onto the 4K Blu-ray Disc as options. 

The documentaries and featurettes include A State Of Mind: Sam Wassen on Chinatown (15:57), The Futility Of Good Intentions, Chinatown Memories (5:43) and The Trilogy That Never Was (2:07). It is interesting to note the elemental nature of what the trilogy would have been about with the first film dealing with water and power, the second focusing on oil and land and the unproduced final installment highlighting the air quality in 1960s’ Los Angeles. Each film following Gittes through the different stages of his life showcased from the 1930s, 50s and 60s. Unfortunately despite the best attempts to get the other films off the ground, Jack Nicholson ultimately had to step in himself to direct The Two Jakes, which was not a commercial success and is rather dull in comparison to Chinatown thus in of itself highlighting by the example “the futility of good intentions.”

Through individual portions or seen as a whole using the “Play All” feature (1:17:45) there is a documentary featuring Robert Towne visiting the places that inspired his screenplay, Chinatown. Filmmakers Steven Soderbergh, James Newton Howards, Kimberly Pierce and Roger Deakins discuss their appreciation of Chinatown in a featurette (26:23) while Roman Polanski Jack Nicholson, Robert Evans and Robert Towne share their retrospective insights in Chinatown: The Beginning of the End (19:26), Chinatown Filming (25:33) and Robert Evans: The Legacy (936). I found it interesting to note that of all the feature films Roman Polanski directed, only Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown were made in the USA. Both films are also Paramount releases on 4K Blu-ray. The theatrical trailer (3:17) wraps up the bonus content on the 4K Blu-ray Disc. The Two Jakes features a DTS HD Audio track with Caption and Subtitle options while both discs feature standard interactive still frame choices that are easy to navigate.

Chinatown: Paramount Presents 2-Disc Set #45 is available now at retailers on and offline and is a worthwhile addition to any Chinatown fans collection.

(C) Copyright 2024 By Mark A. Rivera

All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Succession: The Complete Series All 39 Episodes From The Emmy® Award Winning Series Will Be Available To Purchase On Blu-ray August 13, 2024


Succession: The Complete Series

All 39 Episodes From The Emmy® Award Winning Series Will Be Available To Purchase On Blu-ray August 13, 2024



BURBANK, CA (June 27, 2023) – Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment will be newly releasing Succession: The Complete Series on Blu-ray. Get ready to binge on all 39 episodes from HBO’s Emmy® award-winning original series, along with all the previously released special features. The brilliant high-stakes drama following the Roy Family and their quest for power will be available to purchase online on August 13. Pre-order your copy today. 


Succession stars Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun, J. Smith-Cameron, Peter Friedman, David Rasche, and Fisher Stevens.


The series was created by Jesse Armstrong; executive produced by Jesse Armstrong, Adam McKay, Frank Rich, Kevin Messick, Jane Tranter, Mark Mylod, Tony Roche, Scott Ferguson, Jon Brown, Lucy Prebble, Will Tracy, and Will Ferrell. Jesse Armstrong served as showrunner.


Succession earned an impressive 75 Emmy® nominations and 19 wins over its four-season run. The series achieved a remarkable streak, being nominated for Outstanding Drama Series throughout all four seasons and securing the Emmy® win three times (2020, 2022, 2023). In its fourth and final season, Succession dominated the Emmy® field with 27 nominations and secured six wins, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor, and Outstanding Lead Actress. The season also set a new record for Golden Globe TV award nominations with nine total and winning four, including Best Television Series (Drama) — its third win in that category. Further adding to its accolades, Succession was honored at the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.


Power, politics, money...it’s all in the family in this provocative, satirical series about a highly dysfunctional dynasty. When the aging patriarch of one of the world’s largest media conglomerates considers retirement, his family members position themselves for a takeover. But tensions rise as corporate battles threaten to turn into a family civil war in this sharp, scathing, binge-worthy series.

Pricing and series information:

Succession: The Complete Series

Includes all 39 episodes from all four seasons, plus over 20 bonus features including Inside the Episode featurettes, Character RecapsCast and Crew Interviews and more!




Audio: English SDH

Subtitles: English

Running Time: 2,340 minutes

Rated: TV-MA


About Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment (WBDHE) distributes the award-winning movies, television, animation, and digital content produced by Warner Bros. Discovery to the homes and screens of millions through physical Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD retail sales and digital transactions on major streaming, video-on-demand cable, satellite, digital, and mobile channels.  WBDHE is part of Warner Bros. Discovery Content Sales, one of the world’s largest distributors of entertainment programming.