The first of the Star Wars stand-alone films. In a time of conflict, a
group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans
to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This
key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people
who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of
something greater than themselves.
Vitals: Director: Gareth
Edwards. Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen,
Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Forest Whitaker.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 133 min., Science Fiction, Box
office gross: $529.020 million, Disney.Extras:
A Rogue Idea – Hear how ILM’s John Knoll came up with the movie’s concept – and why it’s the right film to launch the Star Wars stand-alone films.
Jyn: The Rebel – Get to know Rogue One’s defiant, resourceful survivor, and hear what it was like for Felicity Jones to bring her to life onscreen.
Cassian: The Spy – Diego Luna shares insights into his complex, driven character, who becomes a hero through selflessness, perseverance and passion.
K-2SO: The Droid – Explore the development of this reprogrammed Imperial droid, from initial pitch and character design through Alan Tudyk’s performance.
Baze & Chirrut: Guardians of the Whills – Go deeper into the relationship between these two very different characters, with Chinese superstars Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen.
Bodhi & Saw: The Pilot & The Revolutionary – Forest Whitaker and Riz Ahmed reflect on Saw Gerrera, the broken Rebel leader, and Bodhi Rook, the Imperial pilot who defects.
The Empire – Meet a dangerous new Imperial adversary…and cross paths once more with the most iconic villain of all time.
Visions of Hope: The Look of “Rogue One” – The filmmakers describe the challenges and thrills of developing a bold new look for the movie that can fit within the world of the original trilogy.
The Princess & The Governor – See what it took to bring the vibrant young princess of “Star Wars: A New Hope” – as well as one of her most memorable foes– – back to the screen.
Epilogue: The Story Continues – Filmmakers and cast celebrate Rogue One’s premiere and look forward into the future, to the Star Wars stories yet to be told.
Rogue Connections – Uncover Easter eggs and film facts hidden throughout the movie that connect “Rogue One” to the Star Wars universe.
Office Christmas Party
When an overbearing CEO (Jennifer Aniston) decides to close her hard-partying brother’s failing branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his fired up co-workers (Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Kate McKinnon) decide to throw an epic office party to land a big shot client and save everyone’s jobs. Fueled by booze and bad decisions, things quickly spiral out of control in one of the craziest nights of their lives.
Vitals: Director: Josh Gordon & Will Speck. Stars: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Jennifer Aniston, Kate McKinnon, Courtney B. Vance, Jillian Bell, Rob Corddry.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $82.329 million, Paramount.Blu-ray extras: Unrated version, commentary by directors Josh Gordon & Will Speck, "Throwing an Office Christmas Party," outtakes, deleted and extended scenes.
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey -- they share the name. Every day, he adheres to a simple routine of driving his daily route, where he observes the city as it drifts across his windshield, overhearing fragments of the conversations that swirl around him. He writes poetry into a notebook, walks his dog, and has exactly one beer at a local bar. By contrast, his loving wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani), is a dreamer who is constantly inspired by new ideas and ambitious projects, all the while championing Paterson's gift for poetry. The history and energy of the City of Paterson is a felt presence in the film and its simple structure unfolds over the course of a single week, and the quiet triumphs and defeats of daily life are observed, along with the poetry that's evident in its smallest details.
Vitals: Director: Jim Jarmusch. Stars: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani, Helen-Jean Arthur, Owen Asztalos, Kacey Cockett.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: R, 113 min., Comedy Drama. Box office gross: $.824
The film, based on a true story, follows five-year-old Indian boy Saroo (Sunny Pawar) who gets lost on a Calcutta train traveling away from his home and family. Frightened and bewildered, he ends up thousands of miles away, in chaotic Kolkata. Somehow he survives living on the streets, escaping all sorts of terrors and close calls in the process, before ending up in an orphanage that is itself not exactly a safe haven. Eventually Saroo is adopted by an Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham), and finds love and security as he grows up in Hobart. As an adult, not wanting to hurt his adoptive parents’ feelings, Saroo (Dev Patel) suppresses his past, his emotional need for reunification and his hope of ever finding his lost mother and brother. But a chance meeting with some fellow Indians reawakens his buried yearning. Armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, Saroo sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home.
Vitals: Director: Garth Davis. Stars: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, David Wenham, Nicole Kidman, Abhishek Bharate, Sunny Pawar.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Drama, Box office gross: $25.852 million, The Weinstein Co./Anchor Bay.Extras: Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes gallery, “Never Give Up” official lyric video performed by Sia.
In the early 1960s, as the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians that served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers," the film follows them as they quickly rise up the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating Glenn's trip into space, and guaranteeing his safe return. The visionary trio, Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), had to fight rampnat sexism and racism and to cross all gender, race, and professional lines to succeed. Their brilliance and desire to dream big, beyond anything ever accomplished before by the human race, firmly cemented them in U.S. history as true American heroes.
Vitals: Director: Theodore
Melfi. Stars: Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin
Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge, Glen
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 127 min., Drama, Box office gross: $153.291
million, Fox.Extras: TBA.
The Bye Bye Man
People commit unthinkable acts every day. Time and again, we grapple
to understand what drives a person to do such terrible things. But
what if all of the questions we’re asking are wrong? What if the
source of all evil is not a matter of what … but who? When three
college students move into an old house off campus, they unwittingly
unleash a supernatural entity known as The Bye Bye Man, who comes to
prey upon them once they discover his name. The friends must try to
save each other, all the while keeping The Bye Bye Man's existence a
secret to save others from the same deadly fate. But once the Bye Bye
Man gets inside your head, he takes control: it's a psychological force of evil who grows in power every time you think of his name or say it out loud. Unrated version.
Vitals: Director: Stacy
Title. Stars: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas,
Douglas Jones, Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 96 min., Horror Thriller, Box office
Winfried rarely sees his daughter Ines since she left for a high-powered corporate job. So when he drops by to visit, the two quickly find themselves at odds as his quirky antics clash with her slick lifestyle. Determined to be part of her world, Winfried reappears as alter ego “Toni Erdmann,” an outrageous life coach who turns his daughter’s career plans upside-down. In the course of all the madness, the two discover that maybe they have more in common than they imagined. Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film; Independent Spirit Award Winner, Best International Film and winner of five European Film Awards, including Best Picture. Vitals: Director: Maren Ade. Stars: Sandra Hüller, Peter Simonischek.
2016 -- Germany, CC, MPAA rating: R, 162 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $1.165 million, Sony.Extras: AFI Fest Q&A with actors Peter Simonischek, Sandra Hüller and Ingrid Bisu and producer Janine Jackowski; commentary with Simonischek, Hüller and Jackowski.
While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others. Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him -- as well as everyone around him -- as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.
Vitals: Director: M. Night Shyamalan. Stars: # ames McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, Kim Director, Jessica Sula, Brad William Henke, Betty Buckley.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 116 min., Horror, Box office gross: $131.089
million, Universal.Extras: Alternate ending, deleted scenes,
"The Making of Split" behind-the-scenes featurette, "The Many Faces of James McAvoy,"
"The Filmmaker’s Eye: M. Night Shyamalan" with producers, cast, and crew discussing how Night’s process gives them the freedom to execute their roles to the fullest.
The true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers' speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. He maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
Vitals: Director: John Lee Hancock. Stars: Michael Keaton, Linda Cardellini, Patrick Wilson, Nick Offerman, Laura Dern, John Carroll Lynch, B.J. Novak.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 115 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.205
million, The Weinstein Co./Anchor BayExtras: “The Story Behind the Story” featurette, “Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc” featurette, “The McDonald Brothers” featurette, "The Production Design” featurette, "Building McDonald’s: Time Lapse Video,” press conference with filmmakers and cast.
Undercover police officer Vincent Downs (Jamie Foxx) thrives in the high stakes web of corrupt cops and the mob-controlled casino underground of Las Vegas. But when a heist goes wrong and a crew of homicidal gangsters kidnaps Downs’ teenage son, he must evade an internal affairs investigation, rescue his son, and bring the kidnappers to justice all in one sleepless, pulse-pounding night.
Vitals: Director: Baran bo Odar. Stars: Jamie Foxx, Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Tip “T.I.” Harris, Gabrielle Union, Scoot McNairy.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $20.133 million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scenes, "One Long Night: The Making of Sleepless."
La La Land
Oscar Best Actress winner Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as Mia, an
aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, who are
struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and
breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical
about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams.
Winner of six Academy Awards and a record-breaking seven Golden
Vitals: Director: Damien
Chazelle. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie
DeWitt, J.K. Simmons.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 128 min., Musical, Box office gross: $148.644
million, Lionsgate.Extras: Audio Commentary
with writer-director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz;
“Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway” featurette; “La La
Land's Love Letter To Los Angeles” featurette; “Ryan and Emma: Third
Time’s the Charm” featurette; song selection. Blu-ray adds “La La Land's Great Party”
featurette; "Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” featurette; "Before
Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project” featurette; "The Music of
La La Land” featurette; “John Legend's Acting Debut” featurette; “The
Look of Love: Designing La La Land” featurette; “Epilogue: The Romance
of the Dream” featurette that explores the unusual ending to the film;
"Damien & Justin Sing: The Demo."
Underworld: Blood Wars
The next installment in the "Underworld" franchise (the fifth) follows Vampire death dealer Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Vitals: Director: Anna Foerster. Stars: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Charles Dance, Tobias Menzies.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 91 min., Horror Thriller, Box office gross: $30.317
million, Company.Extras: TBA.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.