Coming to Bluray/DVD and Digital from director Jon Favreau and Disney is the 1994 iconic animated story now come to life with THE LION KING.
In case you come from another solar system I’ll give the story a run down. There is a young cub named Simba (Donald Glover) who is born a prince. Father King Mufasa (James Earl Jones) tries to teach his young son what it is to be a king. He is also learning side lessons from his jealous Uncle Scar (Chitwetel Ejiofor) that get him into a few scrapes.
Along with his best friend Nala, the two explore much to the fright of Mufasa, even if the royal bird Zazu (John Oliver) can’t keep up. Scar gets an idea enlisting the help of the hyenas and their leader Shenzi (Florence Kasumba) to take what he thinks is his.
Simba is caught up in a stampede that brings death and sadness to the pride and the young prince decides to run. He walks away and meets meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner) and faithful companion Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) who embrace Simba as one of their own.
In the meantime Scar is destroying the valley and Nala (Beyonce) knows it is time to get help. What she doesn’t plan on is running into Simba who is now fully grown. Explaining what has happened, Simba meets Rafiki (John Kani) who shows him why it is important to remember who he is and what it means to be a king.
Glover as Simba is the younger cub prince bringing a bit of playfulness making the little furry growler even cuter. Beyonce as Nala stayed in her lane so to speak meaning I had thought she would have song-wise taken over but instead they kept it easy and lovely.
Several characters that I enjoyed so much are Oliver as Zazu making me laugh several times with his antics, Kasumba as Shenzi with a tad less humor than her 1994 Goldberg counterpart but still very good and Ejiofor getting a chance to be the devious Uncle Scar.
Eichner and Rogen got all the silliness that made the animated version so much fun. I giggled so much as the antics of Simba’s smaller friends. It must be said that my four year old granddaughter couldn’t stop smiling when these two were on the screen.
Finally, James Earl Jones is the one and only Mufasa and having him once again accept the mantel of King was a wise choice. He is Mufasa and his presence at the beginning and at the most important point of the film’s emotion is something only his voice could capture. It also soothes the ruffled feathers of those who only see Jones as the powerful and loving father.
Other cast include Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, Eric Andre as Azizi, JD McCrary as Young Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi.
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment began distributing under its own label in 1980 and continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more. To see what is currently available to add to your own family library please visit. www.movies.disney.com for their At Home titles!
MOVIES ANYWHERE gives viewers the ability to download the Movies Anywhere App. With that you can view films by downloading or streaming to your favorite device using a Digital Code. For more information on Movies Anywhere please visit www.MoviesAnywhere.com.
The Bluray Bonus Extras include with The Journey To THE LION KING Documentary – Behind the Scenes Magic with the Filmmakers and Cast, More to be Scene – Peel Back the Layers of Iconic Musical Moments, “Spirit” Beyonce Music Video, Song Selection – Sing Along with the Movie, Audio Commentary with Director Jon Favreau and so much more!
I can’t fault THE LION KING at all. From the moment the screen is lit up with a beautiful sunrise and music that continues to be recognized with The Circle of Life and I Just Can’t Wait to be King, this is absolutely how it’s done folks! Favreau should be applauded on several fronts – first of all he stayed ever faithful keeping to the original 1994 animated story that has become so iconic and also allowed the songs to once again bring joy.
The cinematography in the live-action is colorful and lively to the point that it was easy to forget that these lions, hyenas, birds, and the rest weren’t actually real. From the look of joy in Rafiki’s eyes to the sadness in Simba’s eyes, everything that needed to be related emotionally is there. The humor is wonderful in the film and there is a moment between Timon and Pumbaa that gives a nod to a beast of another kind so listen for it.
In the end – the King has returned!
Currently in an amazing box set from Scream Factory is the return of the child terror brought on by THE OMEN.
In 1976, theatre goers were introduced to someone they had never seen brought to the screen before. A little boy named Damien Thorn (Harvey Stephens) and that name strikes terror in more than one film. Director Richard Donner brought the story to life as US Ambassador Robert Thorn (Gregory Peck) and his wife Katherine (Lee Remick) have a good life. Wanting a child after a tragedy while in Italy, a priest gives them a healthy baby boy who lost his mother.
Tragedy seems to follow the couple as their nanny suddenly dies and Mrs. Baylock (Billie Whitelaw) arrives to take care of young Damien. As more mysterious events occur, Thorn is approached by Father Brennan (Patrick Troughton) who tries to explain that Damien is something inhuman. By now Katherine has become suspicious of her son and discovering she is pregnant, fears for them all.
Photographer Keith Jennings (David Warner) also tells Thorn that something is amiss in their family. Going to Rome to discover the boy’s parentage, the mystery intensifies as the men discover that the records burned in a fire and hurt a priest. As the story becomes clearer and clearer, life at home is becoming more and more dangerous. It is when a man name Bugenhagen (Leo McKern) tells Thorn everything and how to make it stop, does a father decide what he is able to do to and for his son.
The Special Features of the Bluray include 4K Remaster of the Film from the Original Negative, New Interviews with Author David Seltzer and Actress Holly Palance and more, Audio Commentary with Director Richard Donner and Editor Stuart Baird, Audio Commentary with Richard Donner and Filmmaker Brian Helgeland, Audio Commentary with Film Historians Lem Dobbs, Nick Redman and Jeff Bond, Isolated Score, Introduction by Richard Donner, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot, Radio Spots, Still Gallery and more!
In DAMIEN OMEN II (1978) directed by Don Taylor and Mike Hodges, Damien (Jonathan Scott-Taylor) is now thirteen and living with his uncle Richard Thorn (William Holden), aunt Ann (Lee Grant) and cousin Mark (Lucas Donat). It is also a time that Damien begins to feel as if there is something he isn’t being told. At school Sgt. Neff (Lance Henriksen) starts to guide Damien and at Thorn Industries, Paul Buher (Robert Foxworth) leans towards the best interests of Damien.
Someone who is keeping an eye on the boy is Charles Warren (Nicholas Pryor). When he discovers information about Damien, he tries desperately to reach out to Richard to prove that Damien is behind all the mysterious things that continue to happen. Seeing for himself, Richard now knows that his own family is in danger. He also understands what really happened to his brother Robert all those years ago.
The problem is that Damien now understands who he is and how much power he has to wield and that means everyone is in danger!
The Special Features of this Bluray include New Interviews with Actors Lee Grant, Robert Foxworth and Elizabeth Shepherd, New Audio Commentary with Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco, Audio Commentary with Producer Harvey Bernhard, Theatrical Trailer, TV Spot, Radio Spot and Still Gallery.
THE OMEN III: The Final Conflict (1981) is the third film directed by Graham Baker and looks at Damien (Sam O’Neill) as an adult now running Thorn Industries. In this film, Damien has an agenda but so does a group of monks led by Father DeCarlo who know who he is and using the Seven Daggers of Megiddo to stop him. He also has learned that the Christ-child has been born again and he puts in motion a horrific plan to stop him from seeing adulthood.
Kate Reynolds (Lisa Harrow) is a Mom to son Peter (Barnaby Holm) and journalist who begins an affair with Damien. He is charming to both of them but there is something that isn’t quite right and she is determined to find out what it is not knowing the danger she is in. Peter has become enthralled with Damien and becomes his informant to make sure everyone is being loyal to him.
It all comes to a final confrontation but one is stronger than the other!
The Special Features of this Bluray include New Interviews with Director Graham Baker, Writer Andrew Birkin and Production Assistant Jeanne Ferber, New Audio Commentary with Special Project Consultant Scott Michael Bosco, THE OMEN Legacy Documentary, Audio Commentary with Graham Baker, Theatrical Trailer and Still Gallery.
OMEN IV: The Awakening (1991) directed by Jorge Montesi and Dominique Othenin-Girard if the final film of the series. Congressman Gene York (Michael Woods) and wife Karen (Faye Grant) go to an orphanage to adopt a child they so desperately want. Naming her Delia, one sister is particularly upset when the child leaves.
At home it is almost immediate that mysterious things begins to happen but the couple is trying not to let it interfere with their happiness at having a child. Years later a dog named Ryder befriends and becomes protective of young Delia (Asia Vieira) and the two become inseparable. It is also about the time that things begin to happen that Delia’s doctor blame on her going through puberty.
Karen isn’t exactly happy with Delia’s rude and rough behavior towards almost everyone. The school and other parents constantly come to the parents with problems and are met with Delia’s tearful explanation that the accusations aren’t true. Exhausted all the time, Karen hires Jo (Ann Hearn) and the young woman wants to be a friend to Delia but is met with resistance. Giving Delia a gift of healing stones, Jo is shocked to see that every one of them turns black!
As the happenings become darker and more dangerous, Karen discovers she is pregnant and something tells her that Delia isn’t going to let the child be born. Husband Gene doesn’t understand how she could ever believe that but puts it all on the stress of his wife’s pregnancy. Karen takes it a step further by hiring a private investigator to discover who Delia’s parents are. Detective Knight (Michael Lerner) finds the upset nun Sister Yvonne (Meghan Leicht) but horror breaks out leaving him to discover newspaper clippings that are shocking.
The birth of the York’s son Alexander brings more intensity for Karen but when she finally puts the pieces together, what she discovers is horrifying.
The Special Features of this Bluray include New Interview with Writer Brian Taggert, 666: The Omen Revealed Documentary and Still Gallery.
THE OMEN rebooted in 2006 directed by David Seltzer with Liv Schreiber as Robert Thorn, Julia Stiles as Katherine Thorn, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick as Damien and Mia Farrow as Mrs. Baylock. Although an updated cast, the story remains reminiscent of the original 1976 film but with political implications at the end of who is holding little Damien’s hand.
The Special Features of this Bluray include Audio Commentary with Director John Moore, Producer Glenn Williamson and Editor Dan Zimmerman, “Abbey Road Sessions” Featurette, “Revelations 666” Featurette, Unrated Extended Scenes and Extended Ending.
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. Also their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.
This is an awesome collection of films beginning with the original THE OMEN. The films brought about a healthy fear of a little kid and continued it all the way to adulthood and beyond. Damien Thorn begins as a child who has a look that scared everybody to a teenager who tests his abilities on anyone he wants to and an adult who seems to have no conscience. Changing things up with THE OMEN: Awakenings brings even more twists letting us all know that the fear didn’t die!
Each film picks up with the powers of Damien and those who try to get in his way. This is the ultimate good versus evil collection of films with each racing against forces they cannot see but still driving themselves forward to finish what Thorn started in 1976. THE OMEN was so well done that even when I saw them in the 70’s the question became ‘when will the next film come with answers?’ The funny thing about that is we didn’t get all the answers we wanted but sure went on the ride none the less.
Now, Scream Factory brings together all of THE OMEN films so that a late night, lights off, popcorn full and couches comfy kind of binging that is worth every minute. It was fun for me to revisit the films and I’m thinking it’s going to be a yearly spooky marathon. It is a box set worthy of its own place in anyone’s home entertainment library.
In the end – we have been warned time and time again!
Coming to Bluray and Digital from director Rowan Athale, CBS Films and Lionsgate is a family in mourning until a shock knocks on their door with a story that is STRANGE BUT TRUE.
It has been five years and Philip (Nick Robinson) is a young man deal with the death of his brother Ronnie (Connor Jessup) and how it has effect mom Charlene (Amy Ryan) and estranged dad Richard (Greg Kinnear). Making things more interesting is the knock on the door by Melissa (Margaret Qualley), Ronnie’s girlfriend at the time of his death.
The shock is that Melissa is very pregnant and tells Charlene and Philip that the father is Ronnie. Unable to explain why she believes it, Charlene immediately goes into freak out mode. Trying to understand why she would make up such a story, Charlene begins to research her thought process.
In the meantime, Melissa is living in a small house on the property of friends Gail (Blythe Danner) and husband Bill (Brian Cox). The couple see her as the daughter they never had and are mystified about her reason for keeping the identity of the baby’s father from them.
Philip begins to friend Melissa and wants to help, especially because she could be telling the truth about the baby’s paternity. Charlene reaches out to Richard trying to find answers since he is a doctor. They can’t help but snap at one another because of the hurt feelings and animosity that has grown over the years between the two.
That doesn’t stop Charlene from slowly ruling out scenarios but the secrets are starting to slowly unravel on their own. In the cross of it are Philip, Melissa and the truth about her baby!
Robinson as Philip is a young man dealing with the death of his brother but getting his own life twisted in the meantime. That’s why he reaches out to Melissa as a connection to Ronnie by someone who cared for him just as much as he did. Robinson has a scene where he finally speaks out about his feelings and it is full of all the emotions his character has been keeping hidden, this young actor nails it.
Ryan as Charlene is full of anger for both the death of her son and the death of her marriage. Ronnie’s girlfriend is the last person she wants to see let alone see her pregnant with a story about paternity. Ryan gives this character righteous anger and emotions of a mother who can’t find a place for her grief. Kinnear as Richard looks for solace from his grief far from home and with someone else. He has secrets of his own and the question is how much longer can he kept them hidden?
Qualley as Melissa believes what she believes and doesn’t concern herself with whether anyone trusts her word. She knows that her friendship with Gayle and Bill will give her time to have her baby and go from there. Danner as Gayle is a loving friend who never had children of her own. Friending Melissa makes her feel as if she has a chance to be motherly. Danner is always a force on the screen no matter if it’s big or small. Cox as Bill loves his wife dearly and lets her know it. His concern for Melissa is ever present and sees her child as something joyful for Gayle and that’s important for him. Cox is not front and center in the film but his presence is palpable.
Other cast include Janaya Stephens as Pilla, Mena Massoud as Chaz, Sarah Allen as Holly, Darryl Flatman as Vaughn and Allegra Fulton as Chantrel.
Lionsgate is a global leader in motion picture production and distribution for theatres, television, home entertainment and more. Theatre franchises include THE HUNGER GAMES, and DIVERGENT along with JOHN WICK. Now, adding this film to its 16,000 motion picture and television titles you can see everything coming soon as well as available now at http://www.lionsgate.com.
STRANGE BUT TRUE is a film that has so many twists and turns one could easily get whiplash. In the mixture of grief and anger are two stories that will merge together but not with an ending anyone would expect. This is an interesting cast that has been put together to tell the story because as each secret comes out, the reaction and next secret just muddies the waters again so well done.
So don’t blink or the connections will fly by and don’t make too much noise eating popcorn or you won’t hear what is shocking or you’ll forget you have a mouth full of popcorn because your jaw will be dropping. STRANGE BUT TRUE is reinforces what happens when a family has secrets, tells themselves lies and let anger control every move.
In the end – some things are impossible to conceive!