Tag Archives: 4K Ultra HD

iReview | ALIEN 40th Anniversary in 4K Ultra HD

Ridley Scott’s original masterpiece gets a 4K overhaul in this special 40th Anniversary edition that is certain to please fans of the sci-fi franchise that proved in space…no one can hear you scream.

While the world’s fandom reeled from the advent success of George Lucas’ Star Wars space opera, director Ridley Scott was far more focused on taking us from a galaxy far, far away into the deeper and darker realms of the unexplored regions of the galaxy. In the newly minted Alien 40the Anniversary reissue, the sci-fi horror classic gets a proper redux now presented in 4K Ultra HD. With 4K resolution Alien appears more vibrant, sharper and more lifelike — which is as terrifying as you can imagine!

Ridley Scott promised that in space “no one can hear you scream” and undoubtedly Alien remains the most terrifying of the franchise. The film released in theaters in 1979 turned Sigourney Weaver into a star and would inspire a series of three follow-ups featuring her heroic character at the center of a dangerous mission to repel the alien xenomorph, whose origins were further explored Ridley’s two prequel chapters Prometheus and the more recent Alien: Covenant also available in 4K Ultra HD.

4K Up-Rez

With 4K presentation becoming the regular means by which home viewing is enjoyed, films like Alien which is four decades old appear to settle in nicely alongside their contemporary counterparts. Ridley Scott has directed two features in the last decade that serve as prequels to his 1979 feature, and even went back and released a 2003 Director’s Cut of the film, but the resolution in home video offerings has never been closer to the theatrical until now. The high-dynamic range offered from 4K Ultra HD takes Alien to an entirely new level.

The detail is astounding which reinforces the idea that Blu-ray HD presentation, although the most mainstream, is still somewhat lacking in capturing the cinematic experience that many home audiences are pushing to bring into their living rooms. The blacks are far more evident and apply a depth that has been lost even in the most recent Blu-ray releases of Alien. The disc includes both the Theatrical release and the 2003 Director’s Cut, both in 4K Ultra HD as well as several bonus features, most of which have been previously released.

Shorts

In celebration of the original theatrical release of Alien 20th Century Fox commissioned aspiring filmmakers to contribute to the mythology and selected to accompany this reissue are six of the best Short Films that take a fresh perspective on the franchise. The shorts were released as a series on IGN and were all set in the Alien universe. 20th Century selected from over 500 submissions and supported what they felt were the “biggest fans” able to deliver stories that best served the fan enthusiasm for the 40th Anniversary.

Alien 40th Anniversary directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver the reissue is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital HD from all major retailers. 

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iReview | BUMBLEBEE

Sent on a mission to find a safe planet that the Autobots can call their next home Bumblebee goes back a generation and presents the origin story of one of the most valiant Transformers of them all.

As a movie franchise the Transformers have outpaced any expectations in Hollywood. No one could have imagined that a feature-length film based on a popular line of action figures from the 80s that also inspired a companion animated television series would have box office bankability a decade after the first film hit the multiplex. Five installments later, Michael Bay’s epic has continued to ignite the imagination, and in the latest spin-off, Bumblebee establishes the origin story of one of the franchise favorites.

On a mission to find a safe haven, the Autobot B-127 finds his way to Earth.

After several attempts at elaborating on the Transformers mythology, an intergalactic race of intelligent robots that are engaged in a civil war over their world’s depleting resources, Bumblebee is the first at successfully recreating the familiar aesthetic of the “Generation 1” Transformers many of us grew up with. The film opens with a look at the warring factions on their home world of Cybertron. The heroic Autobots led by Optimus Prime sends his most valuable agent B-127 on a mission to secure on outpost on Earth away from the prying eyes of the evil Decepticons.

As the battle rages B-127, the eventual titular hero of our story, is blasted into space and crashes in a blaze of glory on the planet Earth in the midst of military war games — and its 1987! The military give chase to the alien robot in their midst, but B-127 has bigger problems when an enemy agent discovers his location and attacks, merciless ripping out B-127’s vocal chords and severely damaging his memory processor. B-127 deals his assailant a final blow, but in the end he’s rendered nearly inoperable and goes into hibernation.

Hiding in plain site as expected n the guise of a yellow classic VW Bug, the Autobot is discovered by a young woman, Charlie played by Hailee Steinfeld, and the pair immediately develop a bond. Charlie names the alien “Bumblebee” and proceeds to uncover his true mission, introducing Bumblebee to 80s music in an effort to help him to learn to communicate, especially with his audio vocalizer still damaged. It isn’t long before two Decepticon agents uncover the fugitive and proceed to converge on Bumblebee’s position.

Prequel vs Origin Story?

When it was first announced that a stand-alone feature focusing on Bumblebee would be spinning-off of the film franchises, many assumed it was in an answer to the growing mass-proliferation of the Star Wars universe after Disney had purchased the brand from George Lucas. With the exception of perhaps Optimus Prime himself, it made since that if any of the characters in the arsenal of the toy brand could be made to stand on its own Bumblebee would emerge the likely asset. It also helps that he is introduced the Transformers film franchise.

Michael Bay may have set a tone with his first five Transformers movies, but perhaps passing Bumblebee along to Travis Knight may have been the right call. Setting the film in the late 80s is fittingly meta, but it also gives the mythology of the Transformers room to breathe. As a lead character Bumblebee works really well, because similarly to other benevolent E.T.s, the hero is incredibly relatable, and not to mention very cute. That doesn’t mean the VW Bug can’t pack a punch, and proves a formidable soldier.

As a sidekick Hailee Steinfeld is wonderfully appealing and organically fits in to the time and place of this particular adventure. It’s also a welcome change from the highly charged testosterone of its predecessors. Steinfeld’s Charlie may not continue with the next installment of Bumblebee but that’s OK. The real hero has been established and the audience is already invested in his journey. Perhaps the next time around, the eager young scout will be joined by other Autobot favorites like Wheeljack or Ironhide, before the next major threat, in the meantime Bumblebee can handle it.

Bumblebee starring Hailee Steinfeld and John Sena, directed by Travis Knight is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. Rated PG-13

iReview | JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne Of Atlantis (Commemorative Edition)

The original animated DC Universe Movie is rereleased in 4K Ultra HD just in time to coincide with the blockbuster big screen adventure featuring the King of the Seven Seas! 

Soon the legend of Aquaman will be known the world over, when the feature length film starring Jason Momoa reprising his role as Arthur Curry, the water-breathing, tough brawling Aquaman that won all of our hearts in Justice League is internationally released. The action flick is the next in line marking the expansion of the “DC Cinematic Universe” — or is it? After the lukewarm reception the aforementioned JL received (though it made a modest box office dent) the future of the film franchises has appeared to hang in the balance.

Arthur Curry takes his place among the world’s greatest heroes as the Justice League defends the earth to save the seat of Atlantis from falling into the hands of a tyrant.

That hasn’t prevented the continuing growth of the animated films. With Aquaman’s star rising, it appeared a prime opportunity to reissue the DC Universe Movie JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne of Atlantis Commemorative Edition the feature-length animated feature is an adaptation of the ground-breaking graphic novel of the same name.

When DC radically altered its publishing line-up in 2011 with “The New 52”, Geoff Johns took it upon himself to reboot the origins of Aquaman and elevated him to a more formidable level worthy of the seat of Atlantis, after all three-fourth of the planet are covered in water. If that doesn’t make Arthur Curry perhaps the most powerful person on the planet — then you’re a man of steel. The feature places a despondent Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter) mourning the loss of his father, not understanding these strange super powers he is possessed with, or the secret of his royal blood.

Hidden in the darkest depths of the sea is a magical and fable city! A coup of Atlantis’ queen Atlanna is in the works, lead by Arthur’s treacherous half-brother Orm, the Ocean Master (voiced by Sam Witwer) and his henchman Black Manta. The pair are plotting to bring the full force of Atlantis’ army to the surface world! Unless the assembled might of the Justice League and their new allies Aquaman and Mera can stop them, the oceans will engulf the coastal cities! Will Arthur accept his rightful place as Atlantis’ rightful leader and bridge the two worlds?

Sibling rivalry! Aquaman battles the Ocean Master for control of the power of the Seven Seas themselves.

Leagues Under the Sea

The animated film ambitiously captures the heart of the multi-issue adventure that crossed over issues of the published Justice League and Aquaman comic books, and not only elevated Aquaman’s profile but brought the hero into his proper place among the greatest DC heroes as one of the more powerful among the pantheon. At the conclusion of the film, Arthur takes his place among the peacekeeping force and becomes a member of the Justice League, balancing his duties as a leaguer with ruling Atlantis.

The reissue features the 4K Ultra HD transfer of the film with a more high dynamic range for an incredible picture full of detail and amazing color. It also features a new bonus featurette spotlighting Aquaman: The New King which includes a histrionic look at the character from his first appearance in the Golden Age of comics, up to his current reinterpretation and appearance as portrayed by Momoa on the big screen. 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Throne of Atlantis Commemorative Edition an animated DC Universe Movie available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital (reissue; originally released in 2015 with all-new additionally produced bonus features).