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US Blu-ray and DVD Releases: Scream VI, The Last of Us, Beau is Afraid, Love Again, Justice League: Warworld, Sisu, One False Movie, Robot Monster and more


It’s a rocking slate of titles this week, with a horror franchise smash hit, a genuine television sensation, a foreign movie surprise hit, a couple of animated movies, and much more! Read on to get the full breakdown!

Scream VI 

The Movie: Let me start by saying that I’m a die-hard fan of the Scream franchise. It’s my second favorite horror franchise of all time, after the Halloween movies. So you don’t have to work particularly hard to win me over. I absolutely loved the previous entry, Scream 5 — it’s probably my second favorite movie in the series — so I was really excited for Scream VI. And here’s what I’ll say about it: I really enjoyed it, however, it was the first film in the series where I easily figured out who the killer was early on in the movie. Usually, I’m kept guessing until the very end, but this time I got a hunch early on and it turned out to be right. That said, I still found the movie to be greatly enjoyable, with strong new characters and returning characters that we love. The scene with the masked killer and two of the lead characters in a convenience store is super intense, and the change of locales to the big city instead of a small town gives the film a different vibe as well. It’s still a really fun entry in the series, it’s just a bit more predictable than the others.
The Special Features: There’s over an hour of special features on the disc, in the form of over a half dozen featurettes breaking down different parts of making the movie.
The Wrap-Up: Scream VI isn’t my favorite film in the series but for a horror franchise that’s heading towards double digits, it’s still an incredibly strong outing. If you’re a fan of the Scream films on the whole, you’ll definitely want to check it out.

The Last of Us: The Complete First Season

The Show: It’s been a while since there was a tried and true television phenomenon, but The Last of Us wanted to show the world that great television can still be a driving force in pop culture. Based on a popular series of video games, the show takes place in a post-pandemic world in which people are overtaken by a fungus and become mushroom-headed zombies. Early on we meet Joel, a gruff man whose daughter died early on in the epidemic, and Ellie, a teenage girl who is immune to the plague. They team up on a cross-country journey to bring Ellie to people who may be able to craft a cure from her blood, and along the way, a relationship begins to form. Now, I’ll be honest, I loved the show, but I also feel like it was maybe a tad bit overrated. Like, it’s incredibly well written, the performances are all top-notch, and I watched every episode the minute it dropped on HBO Max; I’m definitely a fan. But some people make The Last of Us out to be the greatest show ever, and I feel like it’s not quite that. To be honest, a lot of the beats that make the show great are reminiscent of things that The Walking Dead did a decade before. I’m not saying TLOU is a rip-off of TWD, just that it’s hard not to see some of what they did on the show and think, “Well, The Walking Dead did that already.” That said, I really did love The Last of Us, and there are a couple of episodes – especially the Bill and Frank episode and the one with Henry and his deaf brother – that were truly beautiful moments of television.
The 4K Audio/Video: The Last of Us has been released on 4K Ultra HD (as well as Blu-ray and DVD), and if you have the capability, the 4K version is definitely the way to go. The show has a substantial budget and every episode looks like a movie; that quality comes through in 4K. Image resolution is impeccable and colors are deeply saturated. Even though the show sometimes feels a little monochromatic, there are bursts of color that seem to pop off the screen. The surround soundtrack really brings the world of THOU to life, using all of the channels regularly to either create atmosphere or bring pounding action scenes to life. It’s a terrific A/V presentation of each episode.
The Special Features: There are over two hours of bonus features included, most notably three making-of featurettes that haven’t been seen before: Controllers Down: Adapting The Last of UsFrom Levels to Live Action, and The Last of Us: Stranger Than Fiction. There are also an additional 17 shorter featurettes that aired on HBO and online when the show was first airing.
The Wrap-Up: The Last of Us may not be the greatest show ever, but it’s a pretty darn great series with excellent writing, performances, and production values. I highly recommend watching it, and you will be – like me – anxiously awaiting Season 2.

Beau is Afraid

The Movie: Oh, where to begin with Beau is Afraid. All right, full disclosure, I am NOT a fan of writer/director Ari Aster. His previous films, Hereditary and Midsommar were largely responsible for ushering in the “elevated horror” genre, and I hated both of them and that genre. But I always go into movies with an open mind, and with Beau is Afraid not being a horror film per se, I sat down to immerse myself in three hours of Aster’s worldview. Now, I can’t describe the plot to you because, A) there’s no point in trying to summarize the film in a sentence or two, and B) there really is no plot. What I can do, however, is share with you what was running through my head during EVERY. SINGLE. SCENE. of this movie. And it went like this: “What the actual f*** is happening here?” “What is the point of this?” “Why would the character do that?” “Why is he holding this shot for so long?” “Oh, for god’s sake, are you kidding me?” By the time the giant penis monster shows up in the third act – and no, I’m not making that up — I was just throwing my hands up in the air. Beau Is Afraid isn’t a movie; it’s a three-hour fever dream captured on film. Beau SHOULD be afraid, because every single person he interacts with is bats*** crazy. There isn’t one character worth rooting for in this film, and even if you could, it wouldn’t matter, because there isn’t a single scene rooted in anything even resembling reality. I generally try not to tear movies apart if I can help it, but I absolutely hated every minute of this movie.
The Special Features: There’s just one, a decent-enough 15 minute making-of feature.
The Wrap-Up: I don’t know about Beau, but I am afraid; afraid people are not only going to like this movie but then hold it up as an example of Aster’s “genius” filmmaking. It’s a nonsensical art project that’s too long by half and painful to sit through, and while I know some people will rave about it, I can’t express strongly enough how much I disliked it.

Love Again

The Movie: Priyanka Chopra-Jonas and Sam Heughan star in this romantic comedy about a woman who begins texting her dead boyfriend as a way to cope with her loss. When the new owner of the phone reads the texts, he begins to fall for this woman he’s never met. Oh yeah, and Celine Dion also shows up and plays herself, somehow ending up entangled in the relationship. Now, I really like Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, and Sam Heughan is so SO good on Outlander, so I was definitely interested in watching this movie. And ultimately, it falls into the category of being “cute.” But man, it could have been better. The script is just so lackluster and by the numbers that you never really get invested in the characters. It’s like, yeah, they’re pretty and likable, so I’ll root for them because I know I’m supposed to, but it’s like the screenwriter just went “Two strangers, check. Meet cute, check. Misunderstanding, check. Hurt feelings, check. Celebrity guest appearance, check. Resolution, check.” I feel like two very personable actors were wasted here. Ultimately, the film is enjoyable enough for a date night movie, but you’ll forget about it the minute it’s over.
The Special Features: There are two, a making-of featurette and a handful of deleted scenes.
The Wrap-Up: I really wanted to love Love Again, because I’m a sucker for a rom-com with stars I enjoy in it. The film is solidly okay, worth a watch, but nothing memorable, unfortunately.

Justice League: Warworld

The Movie: The latest DC Animated Universe feature film is an interesting new spin on the Justice League. The film starts off with three different adaptations of the familiar Justice League characters: a wild west adventure with Wonder Woman, a lost-world sword-and-sorcery adventure with Batman and Wonder Woman, and a black-and-white 1950s UFO mystery starring featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The mystery is how they all tie together, which is eventually explained. I watch and review every DC animated movie, and for the most part, I like them. Some are better than others, though, and I found Warworld to be one of the more pedestrian efforts. I mean, the concept is novel and different, so bonus points for that, but as far as pure enjoyment level goes, I never got all that invested in it. I appreciate DC working in lesser-known characters such as Jonah Hex and The Warlord, but I can’t say I ever got that excited by the film. It does seem like a lead up to a potential Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation, though, so it might be leading to something bigger and better.
The 4K Audio/VideoJustice League: Warworld comes to home video on 4K Ultra HD (as well as Blu-ray and DVD). The film looks and sounds great, if not quite as good as I was expecting on 4K. For example, blacks are deep and solid and image clarity is sharp, but colors don’t feel as vibrant as some of the other 4K animated features I’ve watched. The surround soundtrack does pick up some of the slack, with a generous spreading out of surround effects through each satellite speaker.
The Special Features: There’s a behind-the-scenes featurette and another feature on the origins and histories of the characters featured in Warworld.
The Wrap-Up: Justice League: Warworld is a perfectly fine film, especially if you’re already a fan of DC’s animated movies. It’s not my favorite entry, but with as many films as they’ve put out over the past 20 years, not every one can blow me away. I liked it instead of loving it, but your mileage may vary.


The Movie: Sisu got a lot of attention (for a foreign film) when it hit theaters a few months ago, largely on the strength of its intense trailer. The film’s title Sisu is a supposedly untranslatable Finnish word that effectively means insane levels of toughness and determination, and that’s what this film is about. During World War II, a Finnish man has left the war behind to prospect for gold. He strikes it rich, but then meets a group of nazis who try to steal his gold. Well, it turns out this man was a legendary soldier who isn’t going to give up his fortune easily, and what follows is an insane amount of violence and carnage. It’s effectively a film about a one-man army plowing through Nazis, and it’s hard not to get behind that. I actually really liked Sisu for the most part, although I do have a few issues with it. One, there’s a few moments of blood and guts that seem a little excessive. I get that that’s the aesthetic of the film, but I’m a “less is more” guy when it comes to gore in movies. Second, the film works hard to be plausible for the most part, if a bit over-the-top, but there are a couple of moments in the second half of the film that pushed my willing suspension of disbelief way past where I could get behind it it. I get that this character is an unstoppable killing machine, but there’s one or two points where I was just like, “Okay, THAT would have stopped him.” Those complaints aside, Sisu is a terrific action outing that feels fresh and unique, and I love that.
The Special Features: There’s just one, but it’s a pretty entertaining 25-minute making-of documentary.
The Wrap-UpSisu is a foreign film, but it’s actually mostly filmed in English (not dubbed, hallelujah), so don’t let the threat of subtitles scare you off. Sisu has “future cult classic” written all over it, so get in on the ground floor and discover it now.

Venture Bros. Radiant is the Blood of the Baboon Heart

The Movie: Just a month or two ago, Warner Bros. released a collection of the entire Venture Bros. series, something fans were thrilled to have. Now, there’s an entirely new Venture Bros. movie for fans to devour, and I say “for fans” specifically. The show was cancelled while in production on an eighth season, so this movie is less of a stand-alone film and more of a wrap-up to the entire series. So if you’ve never watched The Venture Bros. before and you try and jump into this movie, you’ll probably be very confused. But for die-hard fans of the show, the movie picks up right where the series left off and works hard to resolve several plotlines. There are tons of in-jokes and obscure references – many of which I didn’t even catch because I’m just a casual watcher of the show – that fans will eat up. This is definitely a fan-oriented release.
The Special Features: There’s a Q&A session with John Hodgman and creators Jackson Public and Eric “Doc” Hammer, two commentary tracks by Public and Hammer, and a “Jackson and Doc Answer Fan Questions” feature, which is exactly what it sounds like.
The Wrap-Up: I like The Venture Bros. Well enough but I don’t consider myself a fan per se; I know enough about the show to follow what was happening here but not enough that I picked up on every nuance. Fans of the first seven seasons will want to rush out and pick this movie up; everyone else may want to start with the series and work your way up to this movie.

One False Move

The Movie: This 1992 neo-noir stars Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton and was directed by Carl Franklin, who also helmed the excellent Devil in a Blue Dress starring Denzel Washington. The film sees a trio of murder suspects on the run to a small town in Arkansas, where Los Angeles detectives enlist the help of small-town sheriff Dale “Hurricane” Dixon to catch them. Now, I don’t usually question the Criterion Collection’s choices for inclusion in their hallowed halls, but I found One False Move an odd choice for Criterion to adopt. It’s just… not as good as Criterion films usually are. There are good things about it; Bill Paxton gives one of his best performances, and in a little-seen film it’s nice to discover a great new performance from the late actor. But the film (which was co-written by Thornton) is a bit of a slow burn, the dialogue ranges from sharp to meandering, and lead actress Cynda Williams’ performance left me underwhelmed. I suspect she was being positioned as a new “It Girl” at the time, but frankly, her performance is the worst part of the film for me. One False Move isn’t a bad movie per se, but I was just never that impressed by it personally.
The 4K Audio/Video: While Criterion releases most of their films on Blu-ray and/or DVD, they have started releasing a limited number of 4K Ultra HD discs as well, and One False Move is one of them (it does also include the film on Blu-ray.) Much like the film is an odd choice for the Criterion Collection, I feel like this is an odd film to release on 4K. It’s not a particularly visually dazzling film, nor did it have a high budget, so while the 4K presentation looks and sounds perfectly fine, I don’t really see a huge upgrade over a Blu-ray transfer. Imagery is sharp, film grain is present, and colors are solid, but never did I feel like I was watching a 4K disc.
The Special Features: This isn’t one of the more loaded Criterion discs, but you do get a 1999 audio commentary with director Carol Franklin, a new conversation/interview between Franklin and Billy Bob Thornton, and the film’s trailer, plus the usual in-depth essay/photo booklet that Criterion specializes in.
The Wrap-Up: Fans of Bill Paxton will do well to check One False Move out, as he really is the best part of the film. But on its own merits, I found the movie itself to be just okay.

Your Honor: Season Two

The Movie: Bryan Cranston returns to dramatic television with a second season of the acclaimed series Your Honor from Showtime. The show’s first season – which I incorrectly assumed was a miniseries — got no small amount of critical acclaim, and it’s easy to see why. Cranston plays a judge in New Orleans whose son is involved with a hit and run that gets him wrapped up with an organized crime family. From there, things rapidly descend into a murky gray area that will call into question the judge’s morals, choices, and instinct to protect his son. Now, in the second season, the show is branching out to larger dealings with the characters and supporting characters, and the show is veering into – sort of — The Sopranos territory. It’s a very different feeling show, but the growing cast of characters and the crime and criminals involved does evoke that other popular crime drama at times. It’s a tense, dramatic show, earmarked by a terrific performance from Cranston, so it’s not really a surprise that Showtime brought it back for a second season.
The Special Features: You get three making-of featurettes, a handful of “after the episode” features for certain episodes, and a collection of deleted scenes.
The Wrap-Up: Your Honor isn’t  cheerful show, and I find it’s the kind of thing I need to be in the right mood to watch. That said, if you’re looking for an intense, powerful drama to fill the hole left by Breaking Bad or The SopranosYour Honor will nicely fit the bill.

Robot Monster: The 70th Anniversary Restored Edition

The Movie: You may never have heard of Robot Monster, but in certain film aficionado circles it’s largely considered one of the worst movies ever made. However, like one of the other worst movies ever made – Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space – Robot Monster has amassed a decent cult following over the years. While the film is definitely of the prototypical ‘50s cheesy sci-fi mold, its very early use of 3-D has ensured that it has a segment of die-hard fans that keep it alive. Now, the film has been released on 3D Blu-ray as a 70th Anniversary Edition from Bayview Entertainment. This is an actual 3D Blu-ray, so if you have one of the 3D players from when they were all the rage a few years ago, you can watch the film in 3D that way, but there’s also an option to watch it with traditional 3D glasses, a pair of which is included with the disc. I’d never seen Robot Monster before, and watching it now, it’s hard not to laugh at times. The film sees a group of post-apocalypse humans trying to repopulate the earth while surviving the rule of the alien Ro-Man the Monster. It’s over-the-top, low-budget, and hammy, and you really have to watch it understanding what you’re getting into. But the 3D effects are pretty good and the film has an oddball charm to it, so I can see why people would want to revisit it.
The Special Features: There are over two hours of bonus features included. Some of it is directly related to the film, and some of it is more archival in nature, but there is an audio commentary, multiple featurettes, a documentary about the 3-D, and much, much more.
The Wrap-Up: Robot Monster won’t be for everyone, but I do always appreciate any time a company works to archive a movie from the past that could easily fall into obscurity or disappear completely. And as far as home video releases go, between the 3D, the restored video, and the copious extra features, this one is a loaded release for fans.

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