“Sing” is very much an uplifting story with wonderful music, great voice acting and fantastic animation. And the film will no doubt entertain people of all ages. Recommended!d!
Images courtesy of © 2016 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
YEAR OF FILM: 2016
DURATION: 1 hr., 48 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080P High Definition 1:85:1, 1080p High Definition, English ATMOS Dolby True HD/DVS 2.0, Espanol Dolby Digital Plus 7.1, Francais Dolby Digital, Engish Dobly Digital 7.1/2.0, Subtitles: English SDH, Espanol and Francais
COMPANY: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
RATED: PG (Some Rude Humor and Mild Peril)
RELEASE DATE: March 21, 2017
Directed by Garth Jennings
Co-Director: Christophe Lourdelet
Written by Garth Jennings
Producer: Janet Healy, Christopher Meledandri
Co-Producer: Igor Khait
Associate Producer: Brett Hoffman, Robert Taylor
Music by Joby Talbot
Edited by Gregory Perler
Casting by Allison Jones, Mickie McGowan
Production Design by Eric Guillon
Art Direction: Francois Moret
Featuring the Voices of:
Matthew McConaughey as Buster moon
Reese Witherspoon as Rosita
Seth MacFarlane as Mike
Scarlett Johansson as Ash
John C. Reilly as Eddie
Taron Egerton as Johnny
Tori Kelly as Meena
Jennifer Saunders as Nana
Jennifer Hudson as Young Nana
Garth Jennings as Miss Crawly
Peter Serafinowicz as Big Daddy
Nick Kroll as Gunter
Beck Bennett as Lance
Jay Pharoah as Meena’s Grandfather
Nick Offerman as Norman
Leslie Jones as Meena’s Mother
Rhea Perlman as Judith
From Illumination Entertainment, the studio that brought you The Secret Life of Pets comes an animated comedy about finding the music that lives inside all of us. Sing stars Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey as Buster Moon, an eternally optimistic koala who puts on the world’s greatest singing competition to save his crumbling theater; Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon as Rosita, an overworked and underappreciated mother of 25 piglets desperate to unleash her inner diva; Scarlett Johansson as Ash, a punk rock porcupine with a beautiful voice behind her prickly exterior; and Taron Egerton as Johnny, a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies. Sing is the musical comedy event of the year!
From writer/director Garth Jennings (director of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and “Son of Rambow”) and Christopher Lourdelet (storyboard artist of “Minions”, “The Lorax”, “A Monster in Paris”) comes the Illumination Entertainment animated film, “Sing”.
Featuring the voices from talents such as Matthew McConaugey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Jennifer Saunders, Jennifer Hudson, Garth Jennings, Peter Serafinowicz, Nick Kroll, Beck Bennett, Nick Offerman, Rhea Perlman and many more.
The animated film would feature more than 60 classic songs and originally budgeted at $75 million, would go on to make $578 million worldwide. Ensuring a single slated for 2020.
And now “Sing” will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD in March 2017.
The film begins with a young koala named Buster Moon (voiced by Matthew McConaughey) owning a theater and being congratulated by his father who took him to his first music show as a child. Fastforward and Buster’s theater has been losing a lot of money due to unsuccessful programs and now many workers are demanding pay.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to various characters:
- Rosita (voiced by Reese Witherspoon) – A pig who gave up her teenage music dreams to become a wife to Norman and her 25 piglets. She can sing and is very crafty.
- Mike (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) – An arrogant small mouse who loves to sing Sinatra classics as a street performer but also known to get into a lot of trouble.
- Ash (voiced by Scarlett Johansson) – A porcupine who is a punk rocker along with her boyfriend, Lance.
- Meena (voiced by Tori Kelly) – A teenage elephant with a great voice but is shy and has severe stage fright.
- Johnny (voiced by Taron Egerton) – A gorilla who wants to sing, but his father, Big Daddy (voiced by Peter Serafinowicz), a thief always wants him to be his lookout and follow his life into crime.
- Gunter (voiced by Nick Kroll) – A vibrant pig who loves to dance.
As the bank rep Judith is demanding payment or the theater will be closed within a month, Buster comes up with an idea to create a singing competition with a prize of $1,000 which he tells his buddy, Eddie Noodleman (voiced by John C. Reilly), the nephew of Miss Nana Noodleman (voiced by Jennifer Saundres), a popular singer that inspired Buster.
Buster’s assistant, Mrs. Crawley (voiced by Garth Jennings) accidentally puts two zeroes and makes the prize $100,000 and before he could see them, the wind blows the flyers out the window and they fly all over the city.
And everyone interested in singing auditions to be part of the singing competition.
Despite finding about Miss Crawley’s error, Buster, an optimist feels that his singing competition may be able to make the money back. But can he and his fellow singers pull off a successful production?
“Sing” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio) and features vibrant animation and wonderful detail. The hair effects and textures can be seen on the surface of the animals and also the clothing which are animated wonderfully.
Overall picture quality is fantastic and if you want the best version, an 4K Ultra HD version of the film is available.
“Sing” is presented in English ATMOS Dolby True HD/DVS plus a Espanol Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The film features crystal clear dialogue and musical score.
Because the film’s many songs featured, the music plays a big part of the soundtrack. But also the sound effects and overall ambiance can be heard through the surround channels.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH, Espanol and Francais.
“Sing” comes with the following special features:
- The Making of Sing – (4:40) Director/writer Garth Jennings discuss how the movie came to be and behind-the-scenes on the making of “Sing”.
- Finding the Rhythm: Editing Sing – (2:43) Editor Greg Perler discusses the challenge of editing “Sing”.
- Character Profiles – (12:25) Featuring the various talents/voice actors for each character discussing voice work and being in the studio to record their characters. And their thoughts about their character.
- Things You Didn’t Know About – (3:52) The directors, cast and crew are given rapid-fire questions.
- “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” Music Video – Featuring a music video from Tori Kelly.
- Making a Music Video with Tori Kelly – (2:52) The making of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing”.
- Faith Music Video – (2:43) Featuring a music video from Stevie Wonder.
- Faith Lyric Video
- Set It All Free Lyric Video
- “Sing & Dance – Faith” – (6:27) Learn the dance moves for “Faith”.
- The Sing Network – Featuring short featurettes showcasing “Gunter’s Dance Studio”, “The Moon Theater”, “Rosita’s Babysitting Gizmo”, “Miss Crawley’s Matchmaking Service” and “In the News”.
- The Best of Gunter – (1:03) Scenes featuring Gunter.
- Mini-Movies: Gunter Babysits – (3:40) Gunter has to babysit Rosita’s 25 piglets.
- Mini-Movies: Love at First Sight – (4:15) Johnny introduces Miss Crawley to online dating.
- Mini-Movies: Eddie’s Life Coach – (4:15) A featurette about Eddie watching an informercial.
- The Making of the Mini-Movies – (5:49) A featurette on the making of the short films.
“Gunter” comes with a slipcover, a DVD version of the film and an UltraViolet Digital HD code.
Films about an unsuccessful attraction or production have been featured in past films before, but not with anthropomorphic animals.
As Illumination Entertainment animated films such as the “Despicable Me”, “Minions”, “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” films and “The Secret Life of Pets” have done amazingly well in the box office, the company’s latest film focuses on singing animals.
And while singing animals are nothing new to animated films, what “Sing” does differently is incorporate today’s top 40 songs or classics and integrate that to a storyline of singing hopefuls that want a chance to make it in the spotlight.
In today’s world of singing reality TV shows it’s a concept that people know much to well, “Sing” takes those hopefuls, which happen to be animals, trying out for a chance of stardom. Not knowing that the intention of the singing competition is to save a fledgling theater and also for big money which is an error made by a lizard who’s eye ball pops out and bounces on the zero key on the keyboard twice.
The most important factor of the film is the character development. “Sing” is a film that makes you care for its characters.
Buster Moon is a koala with good intentions but so far, his business sense has led to failed productions and now he may lose his theater.
Rosita is a pig who can sing but chose to be a mother and wife and wonders if she pursued a career singing. Mike is an arrogant Sinatra-singing mouse who is a street performer that gets into a lot of trouble. Ash is a punk rock singer, always in the shadow of her boyfriend and has a troubled relationship. And Johnny is a gorilla who wants to be a singer but his father, a thief, wants his son to follow his life in crime.
We watch as these individuals go through their own personal struggles, self-doubt but together, they learn to unite and try to put on the greatest show they can.
And as far as its voice acting is concerned, the film features a star-filled talent showcase with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly and many more. Also, to hear the music from powerful voices of Tori Kelly and Jennifer Hudson was a major plus as well.
On Blu-ray, the film shows amazing detail, colors are vibrant and the lossless soundtrack whether it be dialogue or the large amount of music featured in the film are all crystal clear. And there are a good number of special features included as well.
And when you’re done, there are also three entertaining mini movies included featuring the characters from “Sing”!
Overall, “Sing” is very much an uplifting story with wonderful music, great voice acting and fantastic animation. And the film will no doubt entertain people of all ages.
“***** A deliriously entertaining ride.”
“Matthew McConaughey is exhilarating!”
– Rolling Stone
“Ranks among Matthew McConaughey’s best performances”
– The Hollywood Reporter
A Modern-Day Journey of the American Dream
Academy Award® Winner Matthew McConaughey Stars in the Epic Tale Arriving on Digital HD April 18
and on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack and DVD on May 2
SANTA MONICA, CA (March 13, 2017) – Strike it rich with Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey (Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club, 2013) in this fascinating story of dreams and greed when Gold arrives on Digital HD on April 18 and on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD, and On Demand May 2 from Anchor Bay Entertainment and Dimension Films. From director Stephen Gaghan (Syriana), and written by Patrick Massett & John Zinman, Gold follows the story of Kenny Wells, a gold prospector desperate to achieve success, no matter the cost. Nominated for a 2017 Golden Globe® for Best Original Song – Motion Picture (“Gold” by Iggy Pop and Danger Mouse), this jungle adventure features an incredibly talented cast, including Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone), Golden Globe® nominee Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Corey Stoll (“House of Cards”), with Golden Globe® winner Stacy Keach (American History X) and Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek).
Gold is the epic tale of one man’s pursuit of the American dream — to discover gold. Oscar® winner Matthew McConaughey stars as Kenny Wells, a prospector desperate for a lucky break, who teams up with a similarly eager geologist, and they set off on an amazing journey to find gold in the uncharted jungle of Indonesia. Getting the gold was hard, but keeping it would be even harder, sparking an adventure through the most powerful boardrooms of Wall Street. The film is inspired by a true story.
The home entertainment release is packed with must-see bonus features including: Feature commentary with director Stephen Gaghan, a dynamic deleted sequence of the film, an exploration of the movie’s origins, a journey through Gold’s locations, and a behind-the-scenes look at Matthew McConaughey’s unforgettable performance as Kenny Wells. Gold will be available on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and $29.95, respectively.
BLU-RAY/ DVD/ DIGITAL HD SPECIAL FEATURES
· Deleted Sequence
· Feature Commentary with Director Stephen Gaghan
· “The Origins of Gold” Featurette
· “The Locations of Gold” Featurette
· “Matthew McConaughey as Kenny Wells” Featurette
For Artwork: www.lionsgatepublicity.com/home-entertainment/gold/
Year of Production: 2016
Title Copyright: All Program Content © 2016 BBP GOLD, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Package Design © 2017 Starz Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, LLC, 2700 Colorado Avenue, Santa Monica, California 90404.
Type: Theatrical Release
Rating: R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller
Closed Captioned: N/A
Subtitles: Spanish, English SDH
Feature Run Time: 120 Minutes
BD Format: 1080p High Definition, 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
DVD Format: 16×9 Widescreen 2.40:1 Presentation
BD Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio™
DVD Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio
ABOUT ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
Anchor Bay Entertainment, a Starz Company, is a leading independent home entertainment company that acquires and releases a wide array of theatrical and home entertainment content, including STARZ Original series, children’s programming, fitness (Anchor Bay Fitness), sports and specialty films on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. The company has long-term distribution agreements in place for select programming with The Weinstein Company, AMC Networks and RADiUS, among others.
For further information:
Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” may not be one of his deepest or finest films in his oeuvre but the film does a great job of showcasing a man trying to survive and navigate through the forest, but also needing to do that with his life which is now in disarray. And hopefully finding some meaning to his life. I enjoyed the film no matter how implausible it may be and it’s a good diversion that may want audiences to think of how precious life truly is.
TITLE: The Sea of Trees
FILM RELEASE: 2014
DURATION: 110 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, (2:40:1), English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
COMPANY: Lions Gate
RATED: PG-13 (Mature Thematic Material, Some Disturbing Images and Brief Strong Language)
RELEASE DATE: November 1, 2016
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Written by Chris Sparling
Produced by F. Gary Gray, Kevin halloran, Ken Kao, Gil Netter, Chris Sparling
Co-Producer: Tammy Goldman, Pietro Scalia, Satch Watanabe
Associate Producer: Thomas Patrick Smith
Music by Mason Bates
Cinematography by Kasper Tuxen
Edited by Pietro Scalia
Casting by Sande Alessi, Francine Maisler
Production Design by Alex DiGerlando
Art Direction by Erik Polczwartek
Set Decoration by Jeanette Scott
Costume Design by Danny Glicker
Matthew McConaughey as Arthur Brennan
Naomi Watts as Joan Brennan
Ken Watanabe as Takumi Nakamura
A powerful story of love and redemption starring Matthew McConaughey as an American professor who travels to Japan for a spiritual and life-changing journey.
From award-winning filmmaker Gus Van Sant (“Good Will Hunting”, “Milk”, “Finding Forrester”, “Elephant”) comes his 2015 drama “The Sea of Trees”.
Featuring a screenplay by Chris Sparling (“Buried”, “The Atticus Institute”, “ATM”), the film stars Matthew McConaughey (“The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Interstellar”), Naomi Watts (“King Kong”, “Mulholland Drive”, “The Ring”) and Ken Watanabe (“Inception”, “The Last Samurai”, “Batman Begins”, “Letters from Iwo Jima”).
The film begins with an introduction to Arthur Brennan (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey) and his wife Joan (portrayed by Naomi Watts).
Their marriage is rocky as Arthur has chosen a job that makes him happy but yet doesn’t pay well, while Joan is the breadwinner, disappointed that Arthur is not taking a job that would pay more. And because she is left having to work in order to take care of both of them, she has become an alcoholic.
The film then shifts to Arthur taking a flight to Japan to go to Aokigahara Forest (know as “Suicide Forest” or “Jukai” which translates to “Sea of Trees”), a dense forest area near Mt. Fuji, to kill himself.
While preparing to kill himself, he sees a distressed man named Takumi Nakamura (portrayed by Ken Watanabe) who is also trying to kill himself.
As Arthur tries to help him find a trail, as Takumi has decided that he did not want to kill himself and wants to return back to his family, the two get lost in the forest and together, must survive while reflecting on their own personal lives and why both have decided to end their lives.
The story then shows us the story of Arthur and Joan as couple who’s marriage seems over but circumstances bring them closer together until something terrible happens.
But what happened between Arthur and Joan, that would lead Arthur of wanting to kill himself?
“The Sea of trees” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). With the film shot outdoors, the film looks very good in HD as closeups show great detail, skin tones look natural, while black levels are nice and deep. Outdoor scenes look lush, as it was shot in Foxborough, Massachusetts (not in Japan). I didn’t notice any banding issues, crush or artifacts during my viewing of the film. Picture quality is fantastic!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Sea of Trees” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and features crystal clear dialogue and musical score. Surround channels feature outdoor ambiance.
Subtitles are in English SDH and Spanish.
“The Sea of Trees” comes with the following special features:
- The Sea of Trees: A Story of Beauty and Tragedy – (8:17) The making of “Sea of Trees” and the director Gus Van Sant, producers, Matthew McConaughey and Naomi Watts thoughts of making the film.
“The Sea of Trees” comes with a slipcover and an UltraViolet code.
In 2015, I took a trip to the Mt. Fuji area and one of the things that caught my interest was Aokigahara.
While I traveled in March when it was overcast, still snowing and no doubt, felt creepy if I had to walk the forest alone, the location is known for being dense and shutting out all noise but the natural sounds of the forest.
I’ve read enough books and watched moves about the ghosts in the area but also the number of deaths in the area. As more suicide attempts were taking place and people were hanging themselves or dying of a drug overdose, local officials are doing what they can to decrease the number of suicide attempts in the area.
And because of the recognition the forest has received for being a “suicide forest”, for many, they find the forest to be a convenient area to die.
Which leads us to the Gus Van Sant film, written by Chris Sparling about an American man named Arthur, a professor who goes to Japan to kill himself in the forest.
His plan of killing himself is thwarted when he discovers a Japanese man named Takumi who also wanted to kill himself and is in distress and wanting to get back to his family. Arthur tries to find a trail for the man but instead, they both get lost and now the two are trying to find a way to get home.
Unfortunately, the area is known for its frigid temperatures, its mountainous cliff areas and not exactly safe for these two men who are looking to find a way out.
But while the two men try to find a way out of the forest and get help, their time together of trying to survive, leads them on a path of self-discovery.
The film is split into two stories, the primary story surrounds Arthur and Takumi trying to survive in the forest, while the other story shows us flashbacks of what led Arthur to decide on wanting to kill himself.
We learn that Arthur and Joan have a troubled marriage. For one, Arthur’s decision to take a low paying professor job that only pays $20,000 has made Joan becoming the primary breadwinner, always busy as a realtor and she has become bitter that it has led her to become an alcoholic. But there is more than meets to eye about this dysfunctional relationship.
For one, Arthur cheated on Joan and she has resentment towards him, even though she gives him chances to redeem himself, she feels that all he cares about is himself. He feels that Joan is trying to make him take a job that would make him unhappy. He is happy where he’s at and thus, it leads the two to have marital problems.
But throughout the film, we see how Arthur and Joan are able to grow closer after something bad happens. But what happens within this relationship between Arthur and Joan, that would lead him to wanting to kill himself?
The film is no doubt a life-changing journey for Arthur as he starts to discover many things about his relationship and himself.
I think that there are people who have problems with the film because certain aspects are implausible and for Gus Van Sant, for setting such a high bar of quality for his films, people expect nothing less than magnificent, deep and full of substance.
While the film does have a supernatural situation that is implausible, I was not disturbed by it as I have grown up reading stories of Japanese mythology to ghost stories and situations that have taken place in the mountain. I found the ending to be a nice touch to the questions that Arthur never knew about his wife. But how the forest was able to make him deal with loss, even though the forest is known for death.
The film’s premise may not make “The Sea of Trees” a commercial, box office hit but for those who ponder on the aspect of death, suicide and ghost stories, especially if knowledgeable about Japanese ghost stories, makes “The Sea of Trees” a film about loss and learning how one can take granted of the time spent with a love one until its too late.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic, lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and music composed by Mason Bates. And you get a single special feature on the making of the film.
Overall, Gus Van Sant’s “The Sea of Trees” may not be one of his deepest or finest films in his oeuvre but the film does a great job of showcasing a man trying to survive and navigate through the forest, but also needing to do that with his life which is now in disarray. And hopefully finding some meaning to his life. I enjoyed the film no matter how implausible it may be and it’s a good diversion that may want audiences to think of how precious life truly is.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is a fantastic film that features magnificent performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto and while short on special features, this Blu-ray is definitely recommended!
© 2014 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Dallas Buyers Club
FILM RELEASE DATE: 2013
DURATION: 117 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 2:40:1 Aspect Ratio, English DTS-HD MA 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0, Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
COMPANY: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
RATED: R (For pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use)
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Screenplay by Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
Produced by Robbie Brenner, Rachel Winter
Executive Producer: David L. Bushell, Nicolas Chartier, Cassian Elwes, Zev Foreman, Logan Levy, Joe Newcomb, Tony Notargiacomo, Nathan Ross, Holly Wiersma
Co-Producer: Parry Creedon, Michael Sledd
Post-Production Producer: Dominique Seguin
Cinematography by Yves Belanger
Edited by Martin Pensa, Jean-Marc Vallée
Production Design by John Paino
Casting by Kerry Barden, Rich Delia, Paul Schnee
Production Design by John Paino
Art Direction by Javiera Varas
Set Decoration by Robert Covelman
Costume Design by Kurt and Bart
Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof
Jennifer Garner as Eve
Jared Leto as Rayon
Denis O’Hare as Dr. Sevard
Steve Zahn as Tucker
Michael O’Neill as Richard Barkley
Dallas roberts as David Wayne
Griffin Dunne as Dr. Vass
Kevin Rankin as T.J.
Donna Duplantier as Nurse Frazin
Matthew McConaughey gives the performance of his career in this uplifting and powerful film inspired by true events. Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) sees his free-wheeling life overturned when he’s diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. Determined to survive, Woodroof decides to take matters in his own hands by tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. After finding an unlikely ally in Rayon (Jared Leto), he establishes a hugely successful “buyers’ club” and unites a band of outcasts in a struggle for dignity and acceptance that inspires in ways no one could have imagined. Co-starring Jennifer Garner, Dallas Buyers Club is “deeply moving. A livewire of a movie!” (Peter Travers, Rolling Stone)
“Dallas Buyers Club” has been receiving a lot of Academy Award buzz courtesy of the amazing performance by actors Matthew McConaughey (“The Wolf of Wall Street”, “Magic Mike”, “Mud”) and Jared Leto (“Requiem for a Dream”, “Lord of War”, “Mr. Nobody”).
But what is amazing about the film is that it’s an amazing film based on an HIV-positive man named Ron Woodroof, who took matters into his own hands by trying to find medication for those with AIDS in other countries but were not being sold in the US. Originally, given 30 days to live, by pursuing medication not sold in the U.S. (considered illegal), not only did he extend his life for several years but also tried to help many who were suffering from AIDS during the ’80s.
And the life of Ron Woodroof has been a story which has been in the making for a film adaptation for many years.
Back in Sept. 1992, screenwriter Craig Borten interviewed the real Ron Woodroof with hours of interviews and access to his personal journals. And by the ’90s, the film would lead to various names directing and also stars set to play Ron Woodroof. From Brad Pitt to Ryan Gosling, nearly 30 years after Borten’s screenplay (co-written with Melisa Wallack), Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée (“Cafe de Flore”, “The Young Victoria”) was set to direct and actor Matthew McConaughey was set to play Ron Woodroof.
While the film does feature characters that were not part of Ron Woodroof’s real life, the film is an biographical film that would star McConaughey alongside Jennifer Garner (“Alias”, “Juno”, “Elektra”), Jared Leto, Steve Zahn (“Joy Ride”, “Sahara”, “A Perfect Getaway”), Denis O’ Hare (“The Proposal”, “Michael Clayton”, “Milk”) and many more.
The film budgeted at $5 million would go on to make $18 million and receive critical acclaim worldwide and with the Academy Awards around the corner, “Dallas Buyers Club” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in Feb. 2014.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is set in 1985 and we are introduced to electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey). A man who loves having fun with the ladies, loves his alcohol and also homophobic.
He begins coughing a lot and even passing out but he still tries to have fun with the ladies, hanging out with his buddies but one day, after a man is injured at the worksite, Ron is gets shocked and is sent to the hospital. During tests, Dr. Sevard (portrayed by Denis O’Hare) and Dr. Eve Saks (portrayed by Jennifer Garner), break the news to Ron that they noticed his white cell count is down and that he is HIV positive and he has AIDS. Also, he has 30-days to live.
Ron doesn’t believe any of it and is very upset because he believes that gay people get AIDS and because he’s straight, there is no way he could get it. And he walks out and leaves.
But as Ron begins to research AIDS at the library, he then begins to remember when he had a threesome with a woman and also a guy was involved and then he realized, that is where he must of gotten it.
But when he tells one friend that he was diagnosed as HIV positive, it starts to spread and all his friends think he’s a homosexual and refuse to be around him. Afraid they may get the disease. So, Ron literally loses all his friends, he loses his job as no one wants to work with him and they try to prevent him from getting access to his home.
When he goes to meet with Dr. Eve Saks about what he can do to get better, she tries to explain to him that they are testing a drug called AZT, an antiviral to prolong the life of AIDS patients and it happens to be the only drug in the United States that is approved by the Food and Drug administration (FDA) for testing on humans.
The problem is that with clinical trials, half the patients receive the drug and the other half are given placebo.
Trying to find a way to get AZT, he tries to make a deal with a hospital employee to steal AZT for him. Meanwhile, he receives a tip about drugs being sold in Mexico for AIDS patients.
But Ron’s way of going about it is downing bottles of it with alcohol and sure enough, he gets sick and doctors want to know where he is getting access to AZT. Meanwhile, he meets a transgender woman named Rayon (portrayed by Jared Leto) who is HIV positive tries to comfort him but because Ron is homophobic, he doesn’t want to be around Rayon.
As Ron heads to Mexico, he meets Dr. Vass (portrayed by Griffin Dunne), a doctor who had his American medical license revoked and tells Ron that AZT is poisonous and it has killed every cell it came into contact with. So, he has been prescribing DDC and the protein Peptide T which is not approved in the United States.
After three months of taking the medicine that Dr. Vass has given him, he realizes that he can make this a profitable business by importing the drugs to the United States and selling them to HIV positive patients. Because the medication is not illegal, he pretends to be a priest and tries to bring them into the country, telling customs that it’s for his personal use, but is warned that if he is caught selling them in the U.S., he will be arrested.
Needing to know where he could sell the medication, he goes to the one person he met that may help him get into the circle in order to sell the medication and that is through Rayon.
Rayon agrees to help Ron, only if he gets a 25% cut and all of a sudden, they become successful by selling $400 memberships and the Dallas Buyers Club is born.
Meanwhile, noticing the negative effects of AZT, which her counterpart, Dr. Sevard continues to back and tells her it cannot be discontinued. And as “Buyers Clubs” start to pop up all over the United States, the FDA does all it can to prevent Ron and other clubs from selling the unapproved drugs.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 widescreen). Colors are warm and skin tones are natural. There is good detail when it comes to closeups but also really showcasing the various stages of the characters during their most difficult times. I didn’t notice any artifacts nor any banding during my viewing of the film.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Dallas Buyers Club” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0. For this film, the lossless soundtrack is primarily dialogue-driven and is a front and center-channel driven soundtrack. But there are scenes with crowds in which the surround channels are used for ambiance, but for the most part, dialogue is crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English, English SDH and Spanish.
“Ender’s Game” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted Scenes – (4:56) Featuring a few deleted scenes.
- A Look Inside Dallas Buyers Club – (3:57) A brief look at the making of “Dallas Buyers Club”.
“Dallas Buyers Club” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD version of the film plus an UltraViolet code for a digital version of the film. Plus a slipcover is included.
For anyone growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, the AIDS crisis was a terrifying time.
What was scene as a disease that infects homosexuals, it wasn’t long after celebrities and athletes coming out to inform people that people can become HIV-positive with sexual contact with someone who has it, blood transfusions and many who had a love one who died from AIDS, will remember how terrifying a time it was, because there was no cure.
During the mid-1980’s, many would hope that AZT would be the drug that would prolong the life of people, but for one man, Ron Woodroof, he was not getting better, the drug was making it worse.
And so, it was his personal crusade to visit doctor’s from all over the country and find unapproved drugs and import them to the US and make money by selling memberships to those who were HIV positive.
“Dallas Buyers Club” introduces us to Ron Woodroof (portrayed by Michael McConaughey), a man who was very sexually active. Having sex at one of the stalls during a rodeo, having sex wherever he can find it, but also trying to make money by swindling people through bad bets, but also a man who did a lot of drugs and drunk a lot of alcohol. Ron is also homophobic, making jokes about Rock Hudson, the popular movie actor who kept his homosexual life private and was diagnosed with AIDS.
But after feeling ill and a mishap from work, Ron learns that he is HIV positive and is dying of AIDS. He has been given around 30 days to live and he desperately tries to find ways to survive, knowing that AZT is only being tested in the U.S., his trip to Mexico leads him to drugs that have done a much better job than the AZT he was taking. And knowing this will help many others who are HIV positive, he creates a business of selling the drugs at first to the homosexual community, people he had despised.
The film’s efficacy lies in the performance of actor Matthew McConaughey. We see Ron as a big jerk, but it’s how he grew as a person after being diagnosed with AIDS but also tried to fight the FDA in trying to approve these drugs from other countries that were working for the people who took them. But the FDA was set on only focusing on AZT at the time. But McConaughey absolutely transforms himself and gives one of the best performances in his career. No doubt, a performance that may earn him an Academy Award.
The other actor that also gave an award winning performance was Jared Leto as the transgendered Rayon. Leto had lost a lot of weight for this role, to the point that friends and family thought he was sick. But Leto made this role as Rayon believable, emotional and brought a major emotional component to the film but also the film’s most humorous moments.
Jean-Marc Vallee did a magnificent job in directing the film and so far, since “Cafe de Flore”, he has not lost a beat. The pacing was well-done and he managed to get the best out of his actors.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is well-done. If anything, because of the major weightloss of both McConaughey and Leto, the film really brought out their tired faces, the suffering of their characters. Colors were warm and as for dialogue, the film is primarily a dialogue-driven film but does tend to utilize ambiance of crowds sparingly during scenes at meetings. But for the most part, this is a center and front channel driven soundtrack. As for special features, unfortunately, there are no audio commentary and you get about eight minutes worth of special features.
But as much as the Blu-ray does skimp on special features, I have no doubt that goal was to capitalize on the amazing press that this film has garnered in the past few months and the spectacular performances by McConaughey and Leto.
It took nearly 30-years to get the story of Ron Woodroof to film and the truth is that timing for this film was important but most of all, having the right story but also the right director and right cast members in order to pull this film off.
“Dallas Buyers Club” is a fantastic film that features magnificent performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto and while short on special features, this Blu-ray is definitely recommended!
Nichols’ Screenplay to be Produced by Everest Entertainment, Sarah Green & FilmNation
(Los Angeles, CA) August XX, 2011 – Matthew McConaughey (The Lincoln Lawyer, A Time to Kill), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), and Tye Sheridan (The Tree of Life, “One Tree Hill”) are in discussions to star in MUD, which is based on an original screenplay by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), who will also direct. Everest Entertainment is fully financing with Lisa Maria Falcone from Everest producing alongside Sarah Green (Untitled Terrence Malick Project, Take Shelter, The Tree of Life, Frida) and FilmNation Entertainment’s Aaron Ryder. Glen Basner from FilmNation is executive producing. FilmNation will be handling international sales, with CAA and FilmNation to handle U.S. sales.
FilmNation also handled international sales on Jeff Nichols’ acclaimed feature Take Shelter, which stars Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain. Take Shelter won Critic’s Week at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
MUD is the powerful, redemptive tale of a charismatic fugitive named Mud (Matthew McConaughey) and his unlikely friendship with fourteen year old Ellis (Tye Sheridan). Ellis is determined to help his new friend escape from both the law and some very serious bounty hunters, in order to reunite Mud with his soul mate, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon).
“Jeff Nichols has written a beautiful story with rich characters learning valuable lessons through life-changing circumstances. With Jeff’s vision, this will be a work of art,” says Lisa Maria Falcone, founder of Everest Entertainment. “It’s an incredible script which Jeff, along with Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Tye Sheridan, will bring to life. We’ve been privileged to work with incredible filmmakers like Danny Boyle, Tom McCarthy and Rodrigo Garcia and are thankful to add Jeff Nichols to that list.”
“I knew the moment I read MUD that I wanted to make this film. Jeff is a rare talent and this exciting, heartfelt story is impossible to resist,” said Producer Sarah Green. “It’s thrilling to me that actors of this caliber are drawn to the material; it’s a testament to the strength and appeal of MUD. I am also delighted to be joining forces once again with my friends at FilmNation, and with the amazing team at Everest.”
“Jeff wrote a visceral story full of compassion, innocence and memorable journeys,” said FilmNation’s head of production Aaron Ryder. “We are thrilled to partner once again with Jeff and add new talent to the FilmNation roster.”
Everest Entertainment’s credits include Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, nominated for six Academy Awards©, and the acclaimed Tom McCarthy film Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti. FilmNation recently completed House at the End of the Street starring Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men First Class) and The Raven starring John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe.
About Everest Entertainment
Everest Entertainment collaborates with independent filmmakers who create with passion and integrity to bring distinctive, moving, memorable windows on life into the public domain. The company is global in scope and in the identification, support and recognition of great talent. Everest’s credits include Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, which was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture. The company also produced the acclaimed Tom McCarthy film Win Win, starring Paul Giamatti, and Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child, starring Naomi Watts and Samuel L. Jackson. Founded in 2008 by Lisa Maria Falcone, Everest Entertainment is a New York City-based production company committed to developing high quality entertainment, with film and television divisions based on strong writing, complex characters and meaningful subjects, and a music division creating ground-breaking cross-genre records in collaboration with the most outstanding producers and artists of our time. The legacy of Everest Entertainment projects continues long after the release of a film or series or record through a substantial investment in ongoing philanthropic programs related to the theme of each work.
About FilmNation Entertainment
One of the leading independent international sales & distribution and production companies in the world, FilmNation Entertainment was founded in 2008 by veteran international sales executive Glen Basner.
FilmNation Entertainment’s international sales slate includes: Relativity Media’s untitled Snow White project starring Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer; Lola Versus starring Greta Gerwig; director Steve Soderbergh’s untitled film starring Alex Pettyfer and Channing Tatum; director Zhang Yimou’s Heroes of Nanking starring Christian Bale; Wettest County starring Shia LaBeouf; Gambit starring Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz; Seeking Justice starring Nicolas Cage; Looper starring Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Terrence Malick’s untitled love story starring Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, and Rachel McAdams; Under the Skin with Scarlett Johannson; The Oranges with Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, and Leighton Meester; and Midnight’s Children, based on Salman Rushdie’s award-winning international bestselling novel.
In addition, they handled international sales on Academy Award® Best Picture winner The King’s Speech and Pedro Almodóvar’s La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In).
FilmNation has delivered on its philosophy of providing an unrivaled level of “added value” for its clients across all aspects of its business and serves as the exclusive international sales agent for Relativity Media, Media Rights Capital (MRC), Samuels Media Group, Greenstreet Films and a non-exclusive multi-picture deal with Endgame Entertainment. For more information please go to: www.wearefilmnation.com.
“Hilariously fun! Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey have tremendous chemistry onscreen. For those looking for a romantic comedy on Blu-ray, definitely give ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days’ a chance.”
TITLE: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
DURATION: 115 minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD, French/Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese
COMPANY: Paramount Home Entertainment
RATED: PG-13 (For some sexual material)
Release Date: August 18, 2009
Directed by Donald Petrie
Based on a book by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long
Screenplay by Kristen Buckley, Brian Regan and Burr Steers
Executive Produced by Richard Vane
Produced by Robert Evans, Christine Forsyth-Peters, Lynda Obst
Associate Produced by Elizabeth Joan Hooper, Robin Guthrie Prybil, Brian Alexander
Music by David Newman
Director of Photography: John Bailey
Edited by Debra Neil-Fisher
Casting by Andrew S. Brown, Gail Levin
Production Design by Therese DePrez
Costume Design by Karen Patch
Kate Hudson by Andie
Matthew McConaughey as Ben
Kathryn Hahn as Michelle
Annie Parisse as JEannie
Adam Goldberg as Tony
Thomas Lennon as Thayer
Michael Michele as Spears
Shalom Harlow as Green
Robert Klein as Phillip Warren
Bebe Neuwirth as Lana Jong
As the “How to…” columnist for trendy Composure Magazine, Andie Anderson (Hudson) agrees to write a first hand account about what it takes to drive a man out of your life in exactly 10 days. At the same time, eligible and agency bachelor Benjamin Barry (McConaughey) accepts a high stakes bet that he can lure any woman into falling head over heels in love with him…also in 10 days. The resulting romantic head-on collision ignites a series of deliriously comic deception that prove when it comes to true love…your heart cannot tell a lite. From the director of MISS CONGENIALITY, it’s a wildly entertaining romantic romp.
In 2003, Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey would both highlight a romantic comedy that would be a film about the battle of the sexes.
The film was quite successful at the box office earning over a $171 million for domestic and international sales and also succeed with its DVD release. Now the film gets its first High Definition transfer.
“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” is based on a book written by Michele Alexander and Jeannie Long. The film is directed by Donald Petrie (“Miss Congeniality”, “Richie Rich” and “Grumpy Old Men”) and a screenplay by Kristen Buckley and Brian Regan (both wrote “102 Dalmatians”) and Burr Steers. The film would feature composer David Newman (“The Spirit”, “Norbit”, “Serenity”, etc.) and cinematography by John Bailey (“License to Wed”, “Mad Money” and “The Anniversary Party”).
The film stars Kate Hudson (“Almost Famous”, “Bride Wars” and “You, Me and Dupree”), Matthew McConaughey (“Sahara”, “We Are Marshall” and “Surfer Dude”), Kathryn Hahn (“Revolutionary Road” and “Crossing Jordan”), Annie Parisse (“Law & Order” and “National Treasure”), Adam Goldberg (“Zodiac”, “The Unusuals” and “Saving Private Ryan”), Bebe Neuwirth (“Frasier and “Law & Order: Trial By Jury”), Robert Klein (“Reign Over Me”, “The Sisters”, etc.) and Thomas Lennon (“Reno 911!”, “Hancock” and “I Love You, Man”).
The film revolves around Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson), a journalist at Composure Magazine who is growing tired of the types of articles she writes and wants to write deeper articles on politics and religion but is constantly reminded that the magazine she works for doesn’t feature those type of stories. That same day, her friend and co-worker Michelle (Kathryn Hahn) had a major breakup and doesn’t know how the relationship ended. With their boss Lana (Bebe Neuwirth) expecting a new article from them but Michelle is too distraught. Lana wants a journalist to write about Michelle’s breakup which Michelle is against. So, Andie quickly jumps in to save her friend and comes up with an idea to write about “How to Lose a Guy”. Lana figures that she wants the article soon, so she tells Andie that the title will be “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”.
Now, Andie with the help of her co-workers Michelle and Jeannie (Annie Parisse) try to find a guy for her to write an article about.
Meanwhile , advertising executive Benjamin Barry (Matthew McConaughey) wants to head a prestigious jewelry advertising account that his company wants but he has competition within the female ad execs who feel that jewelry should be an account headed by women. So, Benjamin makes a bet with the women that if he can find a woman to love him in 10 Days and bring her to an upcoming party, he can have that account. His boss Phillip (Robert Klein) is all for it. So, the two female ad execs select Andie as the woman he must go for and see if he can make her love him. But what Benjamin doesn’t know is that the two female ad execs were at the offices of Composure Magazine earlier and know that Andie is writing an article on “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”. So, therefore they expect him to fail.
Immediately, Andie and Benjamin start working on their plans to hook each other. Andie by using techniques of being needy, clingy, talking baby talk and doing and experimenting with many things that would easily drive men away. All this while Benjamin knowing he has to stay with her to win the bet and baring the brunt of things that Andie does that he doesn’t like.
But what both don’t expect is that all this time together, they start to somehow become attracted to each other. What will happen when they reach that tenth day?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” gets its first High Definition treatment. Presented in 1080p, the 2002 film is a film that shows off various areas of New York City and many colors. But I must admit that the colors seem quite soft at times and do not sport a full vibrancy that I was hoping to see.
The good news is that the Blu-ray looks much better than its DVD counterpart but for videophiles who were hoping to see color vibrancy, picture quality is a little bit soft. The film does retain its grain, blacks are nice and deep and no evidence of digital artifacting.
As for audio, the film is presented in English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD (also in French and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital). The film is primarily a dialogue and music driven film that sounds crisp and clear through the front and center channels. The film does utilize the surrounds during scenes with crowds, so during the New York Knicks scenes, you can expect to hear the crowds through the surrounds. But overall, the lossless soundtrack for “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” is satisfactory for this romantic comedy.
Subtitles are presented in English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” comes with the following special features. Some in Standard Definition and some in High Definition:
For some reason, Paramount did not include the two featurettes that were included on the 2003 DVD release. The two featurettes “Mapping Out the Perfect Movie” and “Mapping Out the Perfect Location” are not on this Blu-ray release.
Personally, I enjoy films that are “Battle of the Sexes” type of storylines. Especially when it comes to relationships.
Both Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey have a remarkable chemistry in the film and what they do to each other, seems quite believable. I have to admit that I was just laughing throughout the film and seeing the things that Andie puts him through. I just felt that there were many hilarious moments but also enjoyed the cinematography and parts of New York City that were captured. It definitely made for a romantic film.
And it’s quite interesting to see how the film paid some homage to romantic comedies such as “When Harry Met Sally” and “Sleepless in Seattle” and also how they were able to shoot a film during a real NBA game. And of course, finding out from the audio commentary of how many scenes were improvised and thus giving the film its feel of naturalness. I enjoyed that!
But the film does have its share of problems. I felt that the first half was quite solid by the second half, seemed a bit over-the-top especially how the two figure out that each other’s scheme. And of course, most people don’t get serious in a relationship during the first two weeks this quickly. But granted, this relationship between Andie and Benjamin was for the purpose of business but some may feel the concept of a heavy relationship within 10 days seems a bit too farfetched. And some people may find the entire concept a bit too sexist for them.
As for the Blu-ray release, for a film released in 2003, I was expecting vibrant picture quality especially during daylight scenes. Somehow it looks like many of the shots were during overcast and colors looked a bit muted and soft. Granted, its better than its DVD counterpart but for those who are wondering if it’s worth the double dip, the answer is yes. But I wouldn’t discard the original DVD since it contains two featurettes not included on the Blu-ray special features. And at the same time, the Blu-ray does include features in High Definition that were not on the original DVD.
Overall, I felt that “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” was quite hilarious and intriguing, especially for those who have had dates or relationships with a significant other that helps push the other away than bring them together. Personally, I found this film quite enjoyable, crazy and all-out fun!
If you’re looking for a romantic comedy on Blu-ray, definitely give “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” a try!
MOVIE COMPANY: Warner Bros.
CAST: Starring Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, James Woods, John Hurt, Tom Skerritt, Angela Bassett, Rob Lowe and more.
DIRECTED BY: Directed by Robert Zemeckis
PRODUCED BY: Robert Zemeckis and Steve Starkey
RATING: Rated PG
INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE URL: http://us.imdb.com/Title?0118884
TYPE OF MOVIE: Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance
The exciting adventure of the day we make contact with life beyond Earth comes to the screen with a profound sense of wonder and a dazzling visual sweep that extends to the outer reaches of space and the imagination.
Jodie Foster is astronomer Ellie Arroway, a woman of science. Matthew McConaughey is a religious scholar Palmer Joss, a man of faith. They’re opposite ends of the spectrum–and sudden players on the world stage as the countdown to humanity’s greatest journey begins. Powerfully, thrillingly and emotionally, Contact connects.
• Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
• Color, Dolby, Widescreen, Closed-captioned, HiFi Sound, Surround Sound, AC-3
• Commentary by (English) by actress Jodie Foster
• Commentary by (English) by director Robert Zemeckis and producer Steve Starkey
• Commentary by (English) by Ken Ralston and Steven Rosenbaum
• Production notes
• Theatrical trailer(s)
• Computer animation concepts and tests
• Special effects designs
• Widescreen anamorphic format
KNOWN DVD SECRET(S): None that I could find.
This film was very important for me to watch. I’m not so much of a Carl Sagan follower but I am an Art Bell fan and I have been interested in SETI and the pursuit to find out the truth of life outside our universe.
This movie focuses on several topics such as extra-terrestrial life and also the battle between science and religion. I for one am a person who thinks scientifically but at the same time a God believing person and for others they can’t compare the two, both are at opposite ends of the spectrum and this movie is really good at showing that.
Also, the involvement of the US government. Very interesting. Also, the movie uses a lot of major newscasters from CNN and President Bill Clinton. Also, very interesting.
This DVD is one of the best intelligent movies and the whole story including the special effects are wonderful. The video is nice and clear and the use of many colors in the film are brilliant. The sound on digital 5.1 is also very nice.
As for the DVD extras, I have to give Warner Bros. an applause for doing this movie justice by including three feature length commentaries by Jodie Foster, the director and producer Robert Zeickis and Steve Starkey and another group being Ken Ralston and Stephen Rosebaum. Also, it was nice to see the computer animation concepts and tests, special effects designs and more. I’m not sure if there were many deleted or cut scenes but I wish they included them but I can’t expect much, they did a great job and by including three commentaries, that’s really awesome!
I’m sure some people will love or hate this film due to the science vs. religion overtone but I know what my heart believes and I can only say that this DVD is highly recommended!
THE MOVIE: A+
THE DVD EXTRAS: A-
THE DVD OVERALL: A