Monday, January 17, 2022
The Eternals is a part of the live action Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brings a deeper understanding into the more cosmic areas of the popular franchise. If Doctor Strange opened an esoteric side to the MCU and Antman took us into the Quantum Realm, The Eternals challenged viewers with a deep story that called into question the nature of God like beings and their system of creation and destruction in order to create more. It is rather philosophically gnostic in nature because it does ask questions about why things are the way they are and whether or not the plans of beings more powerful and perhaps alien than we could possibly understand, have the best interests of their creations at heart and without getting into spoilers, I would say conflicting actions toward the end of the story left the jury still out on this one.
I liked The Eternals more than I expected and the story, though not without it’s problems, is not nearly as incomprehensible as some reviewers would have one think. The problems that arise the most is that the characters tend to be flat and there are some missed opportunities in the script that really prevent the film from at least being Marvel’s true thinking person’s superhero or graphic novel inspired property.
The characterizations are flat because they depend too much on the talent playing the roles, but not much else. So for example if I identify with the characters of Sersi, Ikaris, Thena, Ajax and Kingo, it is not because their characters truly shine as individuals, but because I recognize the faces. This creates a disservice since if I had not Kumail Nanjani from his appearances on shows like Conan or Angelina Jolie because of her natural presence and notoriety, then I am not really invested in the characters beyond the familiarity of who is playing them. I am interested in them because I recognize the Actors and those who I do not recognize do not foster enough interest in them because the characters are only engaging because of who is playing them or otherwise I could not tell you who is who by their character’s name and if anything I should be able to get lost in the characters rather than only care because I am familiar with the talent. Kit Harrington’s character is little more than an extended cameo and he could have been cut out of the film all together and it would not make much of a difference as far as the film’s plot is concerned.
Director Chloe Zhao, who also participates in a retrospective and at times scene specific feature length audio filmmakers’ commentary seems unable to give the film the balance it needs to make it fit in more cohesively with the rest of the MCU instead of being sort of the odd one out.
English Closed Captions for the deaf and hearing impaired along with Spanish Language Subtitles are available as options on the Movies Anywhere digital copy that otherwise presents The Eternals with an impressive Dolby Vision 4K UHD widescreen aspect ratio with a deep and losses Dolby ATMOS Soundtrack. Two featurettes covering the comic book origins (10:46) and the cast (5:01) are provided along with four deleted scenes (6:06) that can be viewed individually or as one reel, a gag reel (2:29) and the trailer (2:50), which wraps up the extra value content. The interactive menus through Apple TV 4K are well rendered and easy to navigate.
The Eternals is available for purchase as a 4K Digital Copy through Movies Anywhere or other streaming digital platforms online.
(C) Copyright 2022 By Mark A. Rivera
All Rights Reserved.
Thursday, January 13, 2022
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 and Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Are Coming In February, 2022 From Funimatuon.
“ATTACK ON TITAN FINAL SEASON PART 1” AND “JOSEE, THE TIGER AND THE FISH” ARRIVE ON BLU-RAY AND DVD FROM FUNIMATION THIS FEBRUARY 2022
Additional February 2022 Home Video Highlights From Funimation Dr. STONE, My Hero Academia, Berserk, By the Grace of the Gods, And More!
Culver City, California (January 13, 2022) – Anime fans will fall in love with Funimation’s upcoming home video selections as the critically acclaimed Josee, the Tiger and the Fish releases on Blu-ray™ for the first time on February 8, 2022, while Limited and Standard Edition Blu-ray box sets for Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 launch on February 22, 2022.
The Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Blu-ray combo pack will come exclusively paired with the CD soundtrack from the film along with in-depth behind-the-scenes featurettes. The Limited Edition Blu-ray box set for Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 is loaded with an exclusive 32-page art digibook, exclusive enamel pins, and art cards on top of all the incredible special features.
The Scout Regiment have just discovered the existence of Marley, the nation determined to eradicate their people. Now with the dark history of the Titans uncovered, they plan to set out for the world beyond their walls. Will Paradis finally know freedom?
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 Limited Edition Exclusives:
32-Page Art Digibook
3 Exclusive Enamel Pins
5 Art Cards
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 Limited Edition Special Features Includes:
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1: Voice Actor Panel
Attack on Titan Chibi Theater 1
Attack on Titan Chibi Theater 2
Behind the Scenes Footage from Production - 3DCG Animation
Behind the Scenes Footage from Production - Staff Discussion
Textless Opening Song
Textless Closing Song
With dreams of diving abroad, Tsuneo gets a job assisting Josee, whose art takes her far beyond her home. But when the tide turns against them, they push each other to places they never thought possible and inspire a love fit for a storybook.
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Exclusive:
1-Disc Original Japanese Soundtrack by Evan Call
Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Special Features Includes:
Special Interview with Director Tamura Kotaro
Scotland Loves Anime Interview with the Josee, the Tiger and the Fish Production Staff
Unrevealed Special Pilot Footage
Textless Closing Song
Dr. STONE Season 1, My Hero Academia Season 4, Berserk The Complete Series, By the Grace of the Gods Season 1, and more will also be released on Blu-ray in February 2022 as well.
Funimation Home Video Release Calendar February 2022:
February 1, 2022
Katana Maidens - Toji No Miko - Complete Series – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle - The Complete Season – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
Adachi and Shimamura - The Complete Season – Blu-ray / Funimation Digital
Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table - Season 3 – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
February 8, 2022
February 15, 2022
Dr. STONE - Season 1 – Blu-ray (Steelbook) and Funimation Digital
My Hero Academia - Season 4 – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
Berserk (2016) - The Complete Series – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
KING's RAID: Successors of the Will - Part 1 – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
By the Grace of the Gods - Season 1 (Standard Edition) – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
By the Grace of the Gods - Season 1 (Limited Edition) – Blu-ray, DVD, and Funimation Digital
February 22, 2022
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 (Standard Edition) – Blu-ray, DVD, and Funimation Digital
Attack on Titan Final Season Part 1 (Limited Edition) – Blu-ray, DVD, and Funimation Digital
Talentless Nana - The Complete Season – Blu-ray and Funimation Digital
All titles mentioned are now available for pre-order.
Comforting Like-Mindedness or Dangerous Groupthink? Former Cult Member Explains the Difference
Austin, TX, Jan. 13, 2022 — Radhia Gleis went on a quest for nirvana and instead found herself entangled in a destructive cult. For those tempted to judge cult followers as weak-minded and gullible, she has a new book that aims to shatter those assumptions.
“I’m neither stupid nor uneducated. So how is it that I could go for so long being manipulated like that? It has a lot to do with what you want and what you’re looking for,” Gleis shared in a recent interview.
A nutritionist, biochemical analyst and educator, Gleis spent 25 years under the influence of the charismatic leader of the Buddha-field cult. How followers can so easily disregard reality and fall for the seduction of narcissistic leaders forms the foundation of her powerful exposé, The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders: How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania.
“Narcissists have one goal, and that is to serve themselves and their insatiable appetite for self-aggrandizement, by whatever means possible, with no regard to ethics,” she writes in the book.
In The Followers, she masterfully draws parallels between cult dynamics and the characteristics of current political and cultural leaders; social media; and the press. Gleis says her post-traumatic stress, forever entombed in her psyche, is repeatedly triggered by events surrounding today’s political divide, prompting her to explore her past decisions through a much broader lens that sheds light on the blind spots — and dangers — of groupthink.
The Followers lays the groundwork by skimming Gleis’ upbringing in Hollywood and tracing the steps of her life when, at age 14, she began to crave a deeper sense of spirituality. She spent the next 12 years searching for nirvana, and at age 26, she found what she thought she had been searching for. Gleis draws strong parallels between her devotion to a cult leader — an authority — whose damaging behavior and influence she willfully ignored, and the followers of other narcissistic authorities. She goes into detail about the characteristics of narcissists and explains the “feedback loop” that sustains the disciple-narcissist dynamic.
Gleis weaves together her personal experiences with reflections on a number of thought-provoking topics, including the search for a higher truth, cults, groupthink and mind control, authoritarian leaders, malignant narcissistic personality disorder and sociopathy, the American schism, and how an intelligent, well-educated person may find herself under the control of a narcissistic sociopath.
Author Radhia Gleis won First Place in the Nonfiction – Autobiography genre in this year’s PenCraft Book Awards for The Followers. She has earned a 4:4 star rating on Good Reads.com. She was featured in the internationally viewed movie Holy Hell, which was broadcast on CNN and named one of Sundance Film Festival’s and Netflix’s top 10 documentaries. It can now be viewed on Amazon Prime.
The Followers: “Holy Hell” and the Disciples of Narcissistic Leaders: How My Years in a Notorious Cult Parallel Today’s Cultural Mania
Publisher: Sage Card Publishing
Available from Amazon.com, BN.com and Audible.com
Paramount Pictures Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of
Francis Ford Coppola’s Cinematic Masterpiece
Experience the Acclaimed Classic
in Theatres and on Home Entertainment Platforms
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – January 13, 2022 — In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s Academy Award®-winning* masterworkThe Godfather, Paramount Pictures announced today that the film will have a limited theatrical release in Dolby Vision beginning February 25, 2022 exclusively in Dolby Cinema at AMC Theatres in the U.S., as well as in international territories around the world. All three films in the epic trilogy have been meticulously restored under the direction of Coppola and will be made available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever on March 22, 2022.
“I am very proud of The Godfather, which certainly defined the first third of my creative life,” said Francis Ford Coppola. “With this 50th anniversary tribute, I’m especially proud Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone is included, as it captures Mario and my original vision in definitively concluding our epic trilogy. It’s also gratifying to celebrate this milestone with Paramount alongside the wonderful fans who’ve loved it for decades, younger generations who still find it relevant today, and those who will discover it for the first time.”
Coppola’s masterful film adaptation of Mario Puzo’s novel chronicles the rise and fall of the Corleone family and the film trilogy is rightfully viewed as one of the greatest in cinematic history. In preparation for the 50th anniversary of the first film’s original release on March 24, 1972, Paramount and Coppola’s production company American Zoetrope undertook a painstaking restoration of all three films over the course of three years.
Every effort was made to create the finest possible presentation for today’s audiences who can watch the films using technology that has advanced dramatically since 2007 when the last restoration was completed by eminent film historian and preservationist Robert Harris. Using that work as a blueprint, the team spent thousands of hours to ensure that every frame was evaluated to create the most pristine presentation while remaining true to the original look and feel of the films.
The monumental effort included the following:
- Over 300 cartons of film were scrutinized to find the best possible resolution for every frame of all three films.
- Over 4,000 hours were spent repairing film stains, tears, and other anomalies in the negatives.
- Over 1,000 hours were spent on rigorous color correction to ensure the high dynamic range tools were respectful of the original vision of Coppola and cinematographer Gordon Willis.
- In addition to the 5.1 audio approved by Walter Murch in 2007, the original mono tracks on The Godfather and The Godfather: Part II have been restored.
- All work was overseen by Coppola.
“We felt privileged to restore these films and a little in awe every day we worked on them,” said Andrea Kalas, senior vice president, Paramount Archives. “We were able to witness first-hand how the brilliant cinematography, score, production design, costume design, editing, performances, and, of course, screenwriting and direction became famously more than the sum of their parts. It was our commitment to honor all of the filmmakers’ exceptional work.”
Newly restored and remastered in Dolby Vision, all three films in the landmark trilogy will be released together with HDR-10 on 4K Ultra HD Digital and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray™ for the first time ever. The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set will include The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, and Coppola’s recently re-edited version of the final film, Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone. The disc set includes legacy commentaries by Coppola, as well as access to Digital copies of The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II and Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone.
In addition to the widely available 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray set, a 4K Ultra HD Limited Collector’s Edition will also be released in deluxe packaging and includes a hardcover coffee table book featuring stunning photographs, as well as portrait art prints on archival paper. Both 4K Ultra HD sets include new bonus content including an introduction to The Godfather by Coppola, a featurette about the preservation process, photos by acclaimed photographer Steve Schapiro, home movie footage, and comparisons of the new restoration to earlier versions of the films. A full list of new and legacy bonus content follows:
NEW BONUS CONTENT:
· Introduction to The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola
· Full Circle: Preserving The Godfather—Paramount Pictures archivists detail the incredible restoration process with archival footage showing the evolution of the film through various home entertainment incarnations as picture and audio technologies make quantum leaps over the decades.
· Capturing the Corleones: Through the Lens of Photographer Steve Schapiro— In this reflective and frank discussion, special photographer Steve Schapiro shares his unique perspective and cherished memories as a witness to the making of this seminal film. Commentary on curated archival images makes for a fascinating, never-before-seen addition to the production’s history.
· The Godfather: Home Movies— An assortment of 8mm home movie footage shot in 1971 offers a candid glimpse into the production of The Godfather. Shot on location at the Norton family estate on Staten Island’s Emerson Hill, this is the first time it’s been made available to the public.
· Restoration Comparisons— Before and after highlights showcase extensive picture quality improvements to The Godfather.
LEGACY BONUS CONTENT:
- The Masterpiece That Almost Wasn’t
- Godfather World
- Emulsional Rescue—Revealing The Godfather
- …when the shooting stopped
- The Godfather on the Red Carpet
- Four Short Films on The Godfather
o The Godfather vs. The Godfather: Part II
o Riffing on the Riffing
· The Family Tree
· Crime Organization Chart
· Connie and Carlo’s Wedding Album
· 2008 Credits
· Behind the Scenes
o A Look Inside
o On Location
o Francis Ford Coppola’s Notebook
o Music of The Godfather
§ Nino Rota
§ Carmine Coppola
o Coppola & Puzo on Screenwriting
o Gordon Willis on Cinematography
o Storyboards – The Godfather: Part II
o Storyboards – The Godfather: Part III
o The Godfather Behind the Scenes 1971
· Additional Scenes
· Acclaim & Response
· Additional Material
· The Filmmakers
· The Godfather: Part III—newly remastered and restored versions of the original theatrical cut and Coppola’s 1991 cut (note: these are exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD Collections)
Newly restored and remastered versions of The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, and Mario Puzo’s THE GODFATHER, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone will also be available together on Blu-ray™with access to Digital copies and the new and legacy bonus content detailed above.
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