Blu-Ray Spotlight: ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Goes “Beyond The Battle” With In-Depth Extras

Avengers: Infinity War is a title many Blu-ray, DVD, and digital enthusiasts will scoop up. Aside from the title being one of Marvel’s best features, the disc is worth picking up on Blu-ray thanks to its in-depth look at the storyline’s epic battles on Wakanda and Titan.

“Beyond The Battle: Wakanda” and “Beyond The Battle Titan” offer up different looks at how the cast, filmmakers and special effects team worked in different environments to pull off these visually arresting sequences. The Titan confrontation between Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Thanos (Josh Brolin) is the centerpiece of the impressive Titan feature, as witness how the actors collaborate on their collaboration.

There are ten minutes worth of deleted scenes, one of which has Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) attempting to keep paparazzi way from Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow). There’s also a bit more banter among the Guardians as they try to find Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and it’s a sequence set to Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove.”

The commentary track, which features filmmakers Anthony and Joe Russo and the screenwriters (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley), features a deeper look into the story. One interesting fact discussed during the talk centered on Iron Man’s pivotal moment with Spider-Man (Tom Holland). Without giving away any spoilers, that moment was actually going to be much shorter, but the Russos decided to elongate the exchange for dramatic effect.

Avengers: Infinity War is an excellent movie and worth picking up just for the overall quality, but thankfully the Blu-ray has enough special features to make this a much more value added purchase.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

HBO Documentary ‘Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge’ Hits Blu-Ray In September

Though its bread and butter has been covering the music landscape, Rolling Stone has also been an iconic publication thanks to its dedication to hard hitting and culture defining journalism. HBO Documentary Films’ Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge, hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 11 via Shout! Factory.

Narrated by Jeff Daniels and directed by Alex Gibney (Zero Days, The Armstrong Lie), the six part documentary features performances from The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Janis Joplin, and The Clash. Chance the Rapper, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon are also spotlighted on the project. Co-founder Jann Wenner described the documentary as a “love letter to the magazine.”

Special features include deleted scenes with extended interviews with Cameron Crowe, Ice-T, Gus Wenner, Jane Wenner, Janet Reitman, Matt Taibbi, and Victor Juhasz.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

True Story Comedy ‘Tag’ Lands Blu-Ray Release In August

The ensemble comedy Tag hits Blu-ray and DVD on August 28 and arrives on digital platforms August 17.

Penned by Mark Steilen (Mozart in the Jungle) and Rob McKittrick (Waiting), Tag centers on several friends (Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Burress) who have been playing an ultra competitive game of tag. The storyline is based on the Wall Street Journal article “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It.” Leslie Bibb, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis, and Isla Fisher round out the cast. With an estimated budget of $28 million, the feature grossed $74 million worldwide.

Click on the media bar to hear Jeremy Renner discuss the stylized Tag sequences of the feature:

 

Special features on the disc include bloopers, deleted scenes and the featurette “Meet the Real Tag Brothers.”

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Sandra Bullock Led ‘Ocean’s 8’ Hits Blu-ray In September

Ocean’s 8, a Sandra Bullock produced box office hit which made over $269 million worldwide, hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 11. The feature hits digital platforms on August 21.

This time out, Danny Ocean (George Clooney) isn’t heading up an ambitious caper as his sister Debbie Ocean (Sandra Bullock) has organized her own crew to steal diamonds from actress Daphne Kluger (Anne Hathaway) at the Met Gala. Helping Debbie in her cause is her go-to partner Lou (Cate Blanchett), jeweler Amita (Mindy Kaling), a street con named Constance (Awkwafina), a top fence (Sarah Paulson) fashion designer Rose Weil (Helena Bonham Carter), and hacker Nine Ball (Rihanna). 

Click on the media bar to hear Bullock discuss what made director Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven franchise (as well as the original Frank Sinatra feature) a success:

Extras on the disc include deleted scenes and three featurettes (“A Heist in Heels,” “Ocean’s Team 3.0,” and “Remiagining the Met Gala”).

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Hits Blu-Ray And Digital In September

Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring Alden Ehrenreich as the galaxy’s biggest rebel, hits Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand September 25. The feature hits digital on September 14.

Special features on the disc include eight deleted scenes, a roundtable discussion with director Ron Howard and the cast, a featurette on the remaking of the Millennium Falcon, and a look into the film’s standout action sequences (including The Train Heist and The Kessel Run). Also of interest is the featurette “Kasdan on Kasdan,” which has Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jake Kasdan discussing their journey in penning Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Though the film didn’t reach the box office heights of previous Star Wars releases, the movie was definitely underrated. Thanks to an engaged performance by Ehrenreich and a solid ensemble (Donald Glover is particularly memorable as Lando Calrissian), the picture is definitely worth a look if you’re interested in Han Solo’s origin story.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Brian De Palma’s ‘Sisters’ Lands Criterion Collection Release In October

Director Brian De Palma is known as the one of the masters at the suspense thriller genre thanks to Dressed to Kill, Blow-Out and Body Double. His 1973 feature Sisters is just as scary as the aforementioned features, and it comes out as a Criterion Collection release on October 23 (on both Blu-ray and DVD versions). The feature also is a great showcase for Margot Kidder (Superman) who passed earlier this year.

Dominique (Margot Kidder) is a woman whose life is filled with trauma after being separated from her Siamese twin. This lack of a bond leads her on a darker path, and a reporter (Jennifer Salt) believes Dominique is actually a murderess. 

Sisters was previously released on Criterion years ago, but this version comes with a 4K restoration approved by De Palma and a new interview with Salt (who went on to carve out an acclaimed career as a writer and producer). Salt, whose credits include co-writing the script for Eat Pray Love and executive producing American Horror Story, is the daughter of late screenwriter Waldo Salt (Midnight Cowboy, Coming Home).

Previously released extras that are also featured in this edition include a 2004 interview with De Palma, producer Edward R. Pressman, and Sisters co-stars William Finley and Charles Durning (both have since passed) and a 1970 appearance by Margot Kidder on The Dick Cavett Show.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi