God of Thunder’s third installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok -- the destruction of his home world and the end of Asgardian civilization -- at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela (Cate Blanchett). But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger -- the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) -- and grapple with his silver-tongued adopted brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the fierce warrior Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the eccentric Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum).
Vitals: Director: Taika Waititi. Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 130 min., Fantasy Action Adventure, Box office gross: $313.012 million, Disney.Blu-ray extras: Director’s introduction; deleted/extended scenes; gag reel; exclusive short: "Team Darryl": Fresh off being unseated as the ruler of Sakaar, the Grandmaster makes his way to Earth to start a new life. It’s been over a year since Thor left Australia and Darryl has been struggling to pay his rent. Now Darryl needs a new roommate to help make the monthly payments. Unfortunately for Darryl, the Grandmaster was the only one who answered Darryl’s “Roommate Needed” ad and with no viable options, the Grandmaster moves in; "Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years – The Evolution of Heroes”; "Getting in Touch with Your Inner Thor" featurette; "Unstoppable Women: Hela & Valkyrie"; "Finding Sakaar: On the Edge of the Known and Unknown"; "Journey into Mystery" deep dive story piece with the writers, director and producer Kevin Feige about the inspirations for “Thor: Ragnarok” within the comics; "8bit Scenes – Final Bridge Battle + Sakaar Spaceship Battle" climactic sequences presented in retro video-game format; directors commentary.
Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) fights against but is exactly like her wildly loving, deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom (Laurie Metcalf), a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father (Tracy Letts) loses his job. Set in Sacramento, California in 2002, amidst a rapidly shifting American economic landscape, "Lady Bird" is an affecting look at the relationships that shape us, the beliefs that define us, and the unmatched beauty of a place called home. Greta Gerwig’s own semi-autobiographical script and solo directorial debut.
Vitals: Director: Greta Gerwig. Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 94 min., Comedy-Drama, Box office gross: $48.321 million, Lionsgate.Extras: Audio commentary with writer-director Greta Gerwig and cinematographer Sam Levy, "Realizing Lady Bird" featurette.
The Man Who Invented Christmas
In 1843, the celebrated British novelist Charles Dickens s at a low point in his career, with three flops behind him and his family expenses piling up at home. Determined to recover, Dickens decides to write a Christmas story and self-publish it in less than two months. As Dickens labors writing on such short notice, his estranged father and mother come to bunk with him. Still haunted by painful memories of his father ruining his childhood by his financial irresponsibly, Dickens develops a writer's block that seems to have no solution. As such, Dickens must face his personal demons epitomized through his characters, especially in his imagined conversations with Ebenezer Scrooge. Now with a looming deadline, Dickens struggles for inspiration against his frustrations and his characters' opinions in a literary challenge creating a classic tale that would define the essential soul of modern Christmas.
Vitals: Director: Bharat Nalluri. Stars: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer, Jonathan Pryce, Miriam Margolyes, Simon Callow.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 104 min., Bio=Drama, Comedy, Box office gross: $5.653
million, Universal.Extras: TBA.
In the hustle and bustle of 1950s Coney Island, where the buzzing crowd comes and goes trudging slowly over the wooden boardwalks, silent stories of the everyday toilers who give life to the attraction unfold. Somewhere in a clam bar, there's the sad waitress Ginny (Kate Winslet), a one-time actress and now a suffering wife who's been given a second chance by the side of the well-intentioned but uncouth carousel operator, Humpty (Jim Belushi). On the other hand, there's Humpty's 26-year-old estranged daughter, Carolina (Juno Temple, who left the familial nest and a preordained future seeking adventure as a mobster's wife; only to return home with her wings broken, begging for forgiveness. And from the lifeguard's high tower, where all is in plain sight, the young and charming lifesaver and hopeful playwright, Mickey (Justin Timberlake), is the inadvertent but potent catalyst that binds everything together. Shattered dreams, reckless love and betrayal, all under the bright lights of Coney Island.
Vitals: Director: Woody Allen. Stars: Jim Belushi, Juno Temple. Justin Timberlake, Kate Winslet, Max Casella, Jack Gore, David Krumholtz.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 101 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.320 million, Company.Extras: "The Cast and Crew Discuss Making Wonder Wheel."
The Shape of Water
An otherworldly fairy tale set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1962. In the hidden, high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment: an amphibious man from the South American rain forests. A parable for our times and homage by director Guillermo del Toro to the "Creature From the Black Lagoon" and an anecdote to all the beauty and the beast fairy tales. Nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Musical Score and Best Production Design. Winner of two Golden Globes: Best Director and Best Original Score.
Vitals: Director: Guillermo del Toro. Stars: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer, David Hewlett, Nick Searcy, Stewart Arnott, Nigel Bennett.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 123 min., Drama, Box office gross: $45.176 million, Fox.Extras: "A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times," "Anatomy of a Scene: Prologue," "Anatomy of a Scene: The Dance," "Shaping the Waves: A Conversation With (poster designer) James Jean," "Guillermo del Toro’s Master Class," theatrical trailers.
Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, sacrificing himself in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy: the ancient Steppenwolf and his army of Parademons. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes --— Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash -- it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions. The fifth installment in the DC Extended Universe.
Vitals: Director: Zack Snyder. Stars: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, Jason Momoa, Ray Fisher, Jeremy Irons, Diane Lane, Connie Nielsen, J. K. Simmons.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 120 min., Action-Adventure, Box office gross: $227.561 million, Warner.Extras: "Road to Justice" journeys alongside DC comic creators as they explore over 50 years of the Justice League, from comic books to animated adventures to their cinematic debut; "Heart of Justice" in which the cast and filmmakers share their admiration for DC’s iconic Trinity: Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman; "Technology of the Justice League": From Batman’s arsenal to Cyborg’s alien tech, interface with the Justice League database to learn their most advanced secrets; "Justice League: The New Heroes"; "Steppenwolf the Conqueror"; "Scene Studies: Revisiting the Amazons"; "Scene Studies: Wonder Woman’s Rescue"; "Scene Studies: Heroes Park"; "Scene Studies: The Tunnel Battle"; "Suit Up: The Look of the League." Blu-ray adds "The Return of Superman" bonus scenes not seen in theaters.
The Disaster Artist
James Franco transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau -- an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable -- into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression, and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero's best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy's cult-classic disasterpiece "The Room" ("The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made"), "The Disaster Artist" is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend -- and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you're doing.
Vitals: Director: James Franco. Stars: James Franco, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch, Dylan Minnette, Alison Brie, Lizzy Caplan, Bryan Cranston, Kristen Bell, Sharon Stone, Dave Franco, Sugar Lyn Beard, Josh Hutcherson, Seth Rogen, Megan Mullally, Adam Scott.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Comedy/Drama, Box office gross: $21.117 million, Lionsgate.Extras: Gag reel; "Laugh-Out-Loud Audio Commentary" with director-actor James Franco, Dave Franco, Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, and more; "Oh, Hi Mark!: Making a Disaster" featurette; "Directing a Disaster" featurette; "Just a Guy Leaning on a Wall: Getting to Know Tommy" featurette; theatrical trailer.
Call Me By Your Name
A sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by Andre Aciman. It's the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timotheee Chalamet), a precocious 17- year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family's 17th century villa transcribing and playing classical music, reading, and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows wit h natural delights. While Elio's sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and named the #1 best-reviewed limited released movie on Rotten Tomatoes for 2017 with an adjusted 105.9% score,
Vitals: Director: Luca Guadagnino. Stars: Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Elena Bucci, Vanda Capriolo, Amira Casar, Victoire Du Bois, Esther Garrel, Antonio Rimoldi, Marco Sgrosso.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 131 min., Drama Romance, Box office gross: $11.355 million, Sony.Extras: Two featurettes: “Snapshots of Italy: The Making of Call Me By Your Name” and “In Conversation With Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg & Luca Guadagnino”; commentary with Timothée Chalamet & Michael Stuhlbarg; music video for “Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens.
Based on the unbelievable but true events, "I, Tonya" is a dark comedic tale of American figure skater Tonya Harding and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan. "I, Tonya" is an absurd, irreverent, and piercing portrayal of Harding's life and career in all of its unchecked -- and checkered-- glory. Janney won this year's Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Vitals: Director: Craig Gillespie. Stars: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Julianne Nicholson, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 120 min., Drama, Box office gross: $18.844
million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary with director Craig Gillespie.
Ferdinand is a giant bull with a big heart. After being mistaken for a dangerous beast and captured and torn from his home and family, he rallies a misfit team for the ultimate adventure to return to his family. Based on the classic children’s book, "Ferdinand." Set in Spain, "Ferdinand" proves you can't judge a bull by its cover.
Vitals: Director: Carlos Saldanha. Stars:. Voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale, Jack Gore, Jet Jurgensmeyer, Nile Diaz.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 108 min., Animated Family, Box office gross: $79.456
million, Fox.Extras: Ten featurettes, “Home” music video, gallery.
Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle
When four high-school kids discover an old video game console with a game they’ve never heard of -- Jumanji -- they're immediately drawn into the game’s jungle setting, literally becoming the avatars they chose: gamer Spencer becomes a brawny adventurer (Dwayne Johnson); football jock Fridge loses (in his words) "the top two feet of his body" and becomes an Einstein (Kevin Hart); popular girl Bethany becomes a middle-aged male professor (Jack Black); and wallflower Martha becomes a badass warrior (Karen Gillan). What they discover is that you don’t just play Jumanji -- you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they’ll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves -- or they’ll be stuck in the game forever. Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg.
Vitals: Director: Jake Kasdan. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Rhys Darby, Bobby Cannavale.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Action-Adventure, Box office gross: $369.076 million, Sony.Extras: Gag reel, “Jumanji, Jumanji” music video by Jack Black and Nick Jonas, three featurettes: “Journey Through the Jungle: The Making of Jumanji,” “Meet the Players: A Heroic Cast” and “Attack of the Rhinos!” Blu-ray adds Two extra featurettes: “Surviving the Jungle: Spectacular Stunts!” and “Book to Board Game to Big Screen & Beyond! Celebrating The Legacy of Jumanji.”
Pitch Perfect 3
Now graduated from college, realizing it takes more than a cappella to get by, all the Bellas return in the final chapter in the franchise. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there are no job prospects for making music with only your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for a European USO tour, the group of awesome nerds come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.
Vitals: Director: Trish Sie. Stars: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hana Mae Lee, Ester Dean , Alexis Knapp, Chrissie Fit, Kelley Jakle, Shelley Regner, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins, John Lithgow, Ruby Rose, DJ Khaled.
2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Musical Comedy, Box office gross: $101.195 million, Universal.Extras: Deleted scene; gag reel; new musical performances; "A Cappella Action" featurette; "The Women of Pitch Perfect 3" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Final Performance" wrap of the film and production; "Hollywood of the South" Atlanta featurette; extended musical performances. Blu-ray adds: "Competition Crescendo" featurette breaks down the riff-off scene, starting in pre-production in the recording studio and moving into production; "Don’t Mess With Rebel" Rebel Wilson stunts featurette; "The Headliner: DJ Khaled" featurette; "The Final Note: John and Gail": Everyone’s favorite Talk-a-pella podcasters are back, combining their resources to produce an exclusive d’aca’mentary following the beloved classic Bellas; "Just Because He’s a Bad Guy" John Lithgow featurette; "Freedom! ’90 x Cups" official music video.
When scientists find a way to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to ditch their stressed out lives in order to get small and live large in a luxurious downsized community. Filled with life-changing adventures and endless possibilities, Leisureland offers more than riches, as Paul discovers a whole new world and realizes that we are meant for something bigger. A social satire from the director of "Election," "Sideways" and "Nebraska."
Vitals: Director: Alexander Payne. Stars: Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Jason Sudeikis, Rolf Lassgård.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: R, 135 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $24.442 million, Paramount.Blu-ray extras: Six featurettes: "Working With Alexander," "The Cast," "A Visual Journey," "A Matter of Perspective," "That Smile" and "A Global Concern."
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force. Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead the First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and the Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy. The next action-packed chapter of the Star Wars saga welcomes the return of original characters, including Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Yoda, R2-D2 and C-3PO and further explores the deepening journey of the story's new members, Rey, Finn, Poe, and Kylo Ren
Vitals: Director: Rian Johnson. Stars: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Frank Oz, Benicio Del Toro.
2017, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 152 min., Sci-Fi Action, Box office gross: $619.194 million, Disney.Extras: "The Director and the Jedi" featurette, "Balance of the Force" featurette, three scene breakdowns, "Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)" featurette, deleted scenes, commentary with writer-director Rian Johnson.
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.