Tag Archives: Blu-ray

ICYMI | BATMAN The Animated Series Goes Hi-Def for Blu-ray Release

In Case You Missed It (that’s what the acronym ICYMI standa for) Warner Bros Animation kicked off the fall with the proper release of its award-winning BATMAN The Animated Serieson Blu-ray bringing the classic series into the 21st Century proper! The entire series in its HD presentation had been introduced as part of the launch of the DC Universe subscription service (check out DCUniverse.com), before the Blu-ray release.

Included with the Special Edition box set was also an accompanying redemption number for the entire Digital Download of the series. To the surprise of many fans when you redeemed the collection from VUDU you only accessed SD versions of every episode available from each of the 4 seasons. Fortunately WB and VUDUrealized the error and worked to fix the issue. Now all episodes are running in HD as well as the 2 bonus full-length features that were included with the box set.For any fan of DC this is among one of the best releases and each of the uprezzed episodes has never looked better! The Limited Series box set was extended with 2000 more made available, although the standard full box set is now also on the market.
Batman: The Animated Series Complete Box Set is now available through most retailers just in time for the holidays and the entire series in available in HD on Digital Download platforms including iTunes and VUDU.
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iReview | STAR WARS The Last Jedi

The continuing adventures of a galaxy far, far away are finally coming to a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD – Star Wars: The Last Jedi proves the most complex chapter in the ongoing saga that is the Skywalker legacy.

With the Force now awakened, STAR WARS: The Last Jedi the next chapter in the new trilogy is perhaps the most controversial narrative in the continuing adventures. As the galaxy races against time a mounting Resistance emerges to prevent the tightening totalitarian grip of the evil First Order from suffocating all that is good and right! After Disney purchased the franchise from its creator George Lucas, filmmaker J. J. Abrams was given the daunting task of reigniting the continuing saga, and went to work immediately to expanded on the universe.

In The Force Awakens Abrams introduced a new generation of heroes, the original trilogy’s cast was there too, but as a new threat to the galaxy emerges, the First Order, the Rebellion that defeated the Empire and destroyed their tyranny with the destruction of the second Death Star, has been mounting a new Resistance to stop this evil from taking root. Lead by the legendary might of General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) her ragtag group strike from hidden bases, but the First Order is growing and use a new super-weapon to destroy the New Republic.

It becomes apparent to the Resistance that if they are to defeat The First Order they must seek out Jedi Master Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who must once again inspire them with renewed hope. The search for Skywalker is only the beginning for a lonely young woman on a journey of discovery, Rey (Daisy Ridley) who along with her companion, First Order defector Finn (John Boyega) and the astromech droid BB-8 begin an adventure that reunites them with the ill-fated Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and his trustee co-pilot Chewbacca.

Episode VII which sets in motion the events for this new trilogy, also introduced Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) who is the Force-wielding son of Leia and Han once known as Ben Solo. Luke Skywalker attempts to train his nephew, but loses him to the Dark Side. Rey is able to best Ren in combat as her own Force powers begin to surface, but she needs the self-exiled Luke Skywalker to help her. Once Kylo Ren mercilessly murders his own father, his path into the Dark Side becomes nearly complete, but Rey feels the conflict within him and is convinced she can save him.

After destroying Starkiller Base, The First Order’s weapon of mass destruction, the Resistance regroups, and Leia sends Rey to seek out Luke Skywalker with a map that will lead her right to him, but will Rey be able to bring the Jedi Master back into the fold, to rejoin the fight?

…in a galaxy far, far away.

Fans had waited nearly 40 years to see their favorite Rebel heroes back together! Although Abrams had sacrificed the rogue spacer Han Solo appropriately in the final act of his film; Harrison Ford had always expressed a desire to have his character meet a heroic end. Hoping to save the soul of his son, who is on the brink of complete corruption, Han exposes his vulnerability and pays the price. Abrams passed on directing the next installment and Kathleen Kennedy sought out Rian Johnson to both write and direct Star Wars: The Last Jedi the next chapter in the ongoing saga.

The filmmaker took a decidedly risky approach to expanding the universe, by elaborately deconstructing much of what Abrams had engineered to reestablish. The most obvious course for Johnson was to focus his attention on the new generation of characters specifically Rey and Kylo Ren whose fates appear intertwined. After Rey finds Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master doesn’t live up to her expectations. Instead of a Rebel hero, she finds a cynical isolationist, who has lost the will to fight and is instead resigned to let the Jedi Order end.

Sensing the conflict within Kylo Ren, Rey uncovers secrets about the relationship between student and apprentice and the incident that leads to both their downfalls. Fearing that he’s failed his nephew as the evil influence of The First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) Begins to take over the young Ben Solo, Luke feels he has no other alternative but to strike Ben down! The attempt delivers Ben Solo, now Kylo Ren right into the hands of Snoke, who sets his new apprentice on the path once traversed by his own grandfather Darth Vader.

For much of The Last Jedi the Resistance are at the relentless mercy of the seemingly unstoppable First Order and the advancing fleet that is slowly picking off each one of their vessels one by one. It seems foolhardy to say the least that the impressively powerful navy of the First Order doesn’t simply dispatch auxiliary ships to descend on the Resistance, giving the willful rebels an opportunity to strategize an action plan to make haste their escape. Dispatching Finn (Boyega) to the casino planet Canto Bight manufactures an opportunity to revisit a Star Wars trope indeed.

The film feels the most alien and not just because Johnson has created an entirely new world with Canto Bight, but introduced the idea of a corrupt capitalism and profiteering from war. The lines between who is good and who is bad are blurred, and even the question of whether the Jedi are necessary is questionable. These aren’t all-too new ideas within this universe, but it is the first time that they are so dynamically portrayed inside the narrative — and it is unexpected. As in The Empire Strikes Back, at the end of The Last Jedi there is a significant amount of loss.

The Resistance is decimated and ultimately make their escape aboard the Millennium Falcon; in effect all the remaining fighters fit within the smuggling ship’s seating area. Perhaps the most difficult pill to swallow is the uncharacteristic interpretation of Luke Skywalker; the actor himself, Mark Hamill had been very vocal about how disappointed he was with how the one-time Rebel hero and Jedi Knight was portrayed in what is obviously his last film. Johnson stood by his decision, even though Hamill protested. Whether it will ultimately serve the final act, has yet to be seen.

The most astounding aspect of the film is the complex relationship that is developing between Rey and Kylo Ren. How that is going to play out is still to be determined, and even now J. J. Abrams is figuring out what course to set with Episode IX, whether there is time to course correct will be determined by how much of Episode VIII, he intends to stick with; seeing as how much Johnson retconned to meet his own ends, will Star Wars Episode IX be something as obscure as The Last Jedi? Will The Force be with it?

The Blu-ray bonus features include several deleted scenes that fill out key action sequences, including pertinent dialogue that would have helped give Finn a little more bite not to mention a powerfully much more potent moment with First Order military Captain Phasma. The package also includes a specially produced documentary on the filmmaking process from Rian Johnson’s perspective that gives detailed insight to his process.

STAR WARS Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is directed by Rian Johnson and available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD.

On Blu-ray: Justice League Unlimited

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Coming home in full HD are the remaining episodes in the popular “Justice League Unlimited” series…and the league has never looked better!

When Batman: The Animated Series debuted in syndication it brought with it all the gravitas of the 1990 Tim Burton feature film, and it single-handedly elevated the animated series to a new level. The story arcs were darker, plenty more sophisticated and the artwork — though stylishly simple — set the tone perfectly. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini had created a phenomenon.

It wasn’t long before audiences wanted to explore more beyond the streets of Gotham and the production team introduced the proper spin-off Superman: The Animated Series which brought the Man of Steel into the animated continuity. After several Emmy® Winning seasons of both series, it was time for the roster to expand, and Justice League was introduced into primetime.

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Loosely basing its origins on the more contemporary team of heroes that included both Batman and Superman, as well as properly rounding out the pantheon with the inclusion of Wonder Woman, the “modern day” Flash (Wally West), the aliens Martian Manhunter and Hawkgirl who all operated out of an orbiting Watchtower. The series in this incarnation had a very healthy run.

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With the trinity in place all the heroes of the world rally behind the create the Justice League Unlimited available now on Blu-ray.

At the end of the series run, the writers decided to end things with a band and delivered the feature film length “Star-crossed” arc that raised the threat level for our heroes. With the earth on the brink of joining the universal community, the Justice League decide that the time has come to expand their reach.

From a newly designed Watchtower all of earth’s heroes gather and more effectively deploy to deal with any threat that comes their way. No longer dependent on their core group, not with an unlimited membership roster, the final season of the series, renamed Justice League Unlimited took on a more anthology tone with a revolving cast .

Able to incapsulate story arcs to two to three episodes, Unlimited spanned the entirety of the DC Universe and changed animated adventures for an entire generation. What followed were the full-length DC Animated Adventures that continue to adapt graphic novel series as well as present original stories featuring all our favorite characters.

The 3-disc Blu-ray set of Justice League Unlimited: The Complete Series is available now from the DC Comics Shop.