Category Archives: DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

Moonfall 4K Blu-ray Review

Moonfall 4K Blu-ray
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital
Lionsgate Films | 2022 | 124 min | Rated PG-13 | Apr 26, 2022

Okay, let’s face it, if you have seen a trailer or any of the webisode promos or even know the name, Roland Emmerich, then you know exactly what to expect and what you will get when you sit down to watch his latest world-ending disaster flick, Moonfall.  To be honest, Moonfall is rather light on the disaster elements, especially when compared to the alien carnage unleashed in Independence Day or natures attempt to cleanse the planet in 2012.  Roland was determined to make a sci-fi movie this time, and to that end most of the action, at least in the final act, is almost entirely set in outer space.

Simply summarized, the moon’s orbit is decaying; a startling fact discovered by K.C. Houseman (John Bradley), the unlikely prophet of doom that everyone dismisses as a crackpot until things get real.  When NASA confirms the data, they also notice a hole drilled into the moon’s mantle venting gas.  They immediately call in deputy director, Jocinda Fowler (Halle Berry) who immediate summons her friend and fellow astronaut, Brian Harper (Patrick Wilson).  These two served on a disastrous mission ten years prior that led to the death of a crew member and Brian’s termination from NASA.  It was this same mission that introduced us to the sinister alien swarm bent on destroying every last human in the galaxy; the same alien currently burrowed into the moon and causing its orbital decay.  Our unlikely heroes must figure out what is going on and how to stop it before the increasing gravity of the approaching moon tears the Earth apart.

The pacing for Moonfall is very fast; almost too fast despite the 124-minute runtime.  Roland even notes in his commentary they had to add in a scene near the beginning to establish some relationships for Brian, his wife, and son.  The film wastes no time in hastily getting through the setup so we can get to the action in the second and third acts, and at times the movie seems cut like a promotional trailer.  Roland wants us to be in space as much as possible in Moonfall, and even the quick cuts back to Earth during the third act serve as mere reminders of who our heroes are fighting for.  Brian and Jo both have kids at stake.  Jo’s husband just so happens to be the general in charge of launching nukes at the moon as a last ditch effort, while Brian’s wife has since divorced and remarried causing further strain with Brian’s relationship with his boy, Sonny (Charlie Plummer) who make the sweeping character arc of felon doing jail time to family savior all in a few days.  Most of the drama seems terribly manufactured, trying to make us care about a select few people when the entire human race is at stake.

Moonfall tries to maintain some roots in realism, at least when it comes to orbital decay and the natural events that would occur if the moon did shift its orbit.  Sadly, this all translates to some mediocre disaster scenes of swelling tides, a massive “gravity wave”, and fiery meteor showers as the mantle of the moon breaks apart and rains down on the planet.  Aside from the gravity wave there is nothing we haven’t seen before and often it’s been done better.  2012 set the bar pretty high and this doesn’t come close.   Where Moonfall does excel is in the imaginative origin story for both the moon, our planet and the people on it, but even this exposition seems a bit shoehorned into the final act, as we rapidly learn that we are descendants of humans from across the galaxy; a society so sophisticated they invented and then relied on AI, who anyone who has seen the Matrix knows, can finish the story.  The AI revolts and kills most all the humans, while survivors send out arks to keep humanity alive.  The moon is one such ark, the only ark to survive actually that finds its way to our solar system and creates the Earth then populates it with their/our DNA.  Interestingly enough, this origin of humanity along with the belief the moon is a hollow megastructure is more popular than you might think.  It’s certainly a premise that will send God-fearing creationists to social media to rage against the movie.

What Moonfall might lack in pacing and story engagement is more than made up for with its outstanding presentation, featuring one of the best 4K transfers of recent memory partly due to it being filmed with 8K cameras.  The level of detail and image quality is off the charts.  Combined with a flawless Dolby Vision/HDR treatment, the blackness of space maintains crisp details with every star and alien swarm particle avoiding any hint of crush.  Roland did his best to film as much practically as possible, and considering this was one of very few films made during the pandemic, everything was shot indoors on a soundstage.  What could have easily been a day shoot at the Griffith observatory ended up having to be constructed and recreated on a set, as were most all other location shots.  Even the film’s exciting car chase was done indoors with cars that floated on compressed air and moved around by stagehands then enhanced with CG.

The CG is really great, especially the stuff in space, while some of the disaster sequences were visually average.  The tidal wave early on was kind of lame and the meteor swarm raining down on NYC was equally as average.  The shuttle launch during the gravity wave was the one standout moment of everything happening on Earth, but once you get to space and inside the moon, the effects dial up to eleven.

Audiophiles will not be disappointed with the film’s Dolby Atmos mix that envelops you with the sounds of the apocalypse.  Meteor showers streak across the sky (and your ceiling speakers if you have them) only to impact the Earth with a powerful LFE rumble from your subwoofer.  All channels in the surround mix are used with precision and even the dialogue is balanced to the center channel so you can still hear the characters amidst the chaos.  This is some reference quality audio right here that you will likely use to show off your sound system.

Moonfall has some excellent bonus materials; at least when compared to the last dozen or so movies I’ve reviewed that had little to none.  First up is the Audio Commentary with Director/Writer Roland Emmerich and Writer/Producer/Composer Harald Kloser.  Both chime in periodically with useful and entertaining facts about the production of the film, but often they fall into the trap of merely narrating what is happening on the screen.  When you’re ready for the deep dive into how Moonfall was conceived and made you have Against Impossible Odds: Making Moonfall, an hour long multi-part documentary that covers nearly every element of production and the challenges shooting during a pandemic.   Exploring the Moon: Past, Present and Future might actually teach you something, with its detailed analysis of the moon using historians, scientists, and even some guys from NASA.  Last up are four short viral-style videos called Dr. K.C. Houseman Speaks the Truth! Where Houseman desperately tries to get you to believe his outlandish theories when not being distracted by his cat.

As I mentioned at the start, most people know exactly what to expect when they sit down to watch Moonfall.  What they might not expect is a pristine video presentation and one of the best sound mixes to rattle my home theater in nearly a year.  Moonfall’s story is as preposterous as the notion that the moon is hollow and we are descendants from ancestors across the cosmos, but if you are willing to hit Pause on your brain while hitting Play on the DVD remote you are certain to have a good time.  The quality of this 4K release is reason enough to earn an upgrade from streaming or standard Blu-ray.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City 4K Blu-ray Review

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City 4K Blu-ray
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD
Sony Pictures | 2021 | 107 min | Rated R | Feb 08, 2022

As they say in showbiz, the tenth time is the charm…or something like that.  After nine attempts at making an authentic Resident Evil movie (seven live action and two animated CG features) Johannes Roberts (writer/director) finally figured it out.  Don’t get me wrong; I thoroughly enjoyed the Mila Jovovich films…mostly, but those films were so loosely inspired by the games that is seemed more of a license exploitation than a genuine attempt at paying tribute to one of the biggest and best horror franchises in video game history.

In Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City we get back to the roots of the franchise by addressing the events and locations we all loved in the first two games.  Rather than simply recreate and present those events in a linear fashion this film mashes up both the Spencer Mansion scenarios from the original game as well as the events at the Raccoon City police station in Resident Evil 2; a game that was remastered with great success back in 2019.  While many signature moments have been recreated with a frame-by-frame accuracy from game cutscenes, there are plenty of creative diversions from the game script to keep movie viewers on their toes.

This film takes place in 1998; the same year Resident Evil 2 released and two years after the original game featuring the Spencer Mansion.  The film goes into much greater detail regarding Umbrella, their occupation of Raccoon City, and also takes greater care going into the background and origin stories of a few key characters.  It’s clear this is the first in a planned series of films that follows the games more closely.  We learn some interesting background on Claire Redfield (Kaya Scodelario) and her brother Chris (Robbie Amell) who grew up in the Raccoon City orphanage, barely escaping the evil experiments that have led up to the events now occurring.  Nearly the entire cast of the gaming franchise is dumped on your lap with hasty introductions to rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy (Avan Jogia) and STARS (Special Tactics And Rescue Service) team members Chris, Jill Valentine (Hannah John-Kamen), and Albert Wesker (Tom Hopper).  Even Ada Wong (Lily Gao) gets her intro in a mid-credit stinger.  Most of the characters are fairly shallow, existing only to engage with the ensemble cast, fire their weapons, spout their witty one-liner, and possibly die in some horrific fashion.  Admittedly, you have limited interest in anyone’s survival since you only spend 90 minutes with the cast instead of a dozen hours or more in the games.

One of the best things about setting the film in 1998 is the lack of modern technology such as cell phones and easy Internet access.  They make great use of this limited tech by having one of the team playing Snake on his first-gen cell phone while another is proudly using a Palm Pilot that displays a map of the mansion that mirrors the map found in the video game.  Other nods to the game include the green herb plants scattered about as well as the fixed camera views from the first game that had you walking around blind corners adding to the tension.  There are plenty of fun Easter eggs to discover while watching, or you can find them in the bonus features.

Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is one of those movies that truly benefits from physical media thanks to minimal compression and robust Dolby Vision that keeps things sharp and visible in a movie that is set entirely at night and often in low or no-light conditions.   Compared to the standard Blu-ray copy the UHD version offers inky blacks, better colors, and an overall boost in clarity you simply can’t get on a lesser format.  The UHD disc also offers up an incredible Dolby Atmos track that immerses you in some truly subtle moments of terror along with all the obvious moments of chaos, combat, death, and general mayhem.    Powerful LFE bolsters the explosions and gunfire, and you are continually surrounded by terrifying effects from all directions while the dialogue is always perfectly balanced.  Truly an awesome sound mix, especially when compared to the standard 5.1 lossless mix found on the Blu-ray.

There are a few bonus features; certainly nothing worth the purchase of the disc if these extras are the reason you are still buying physical media.  There is no commentary track, so you are left with three relatively short features, the first being Replicating the DNA, which spends 11 minutes talking about how they mirrored the first two games in look and content.  Cops, Corpses,, and Chaos spends 8 minutes discussing how they infused the film with all the horror elements found in the game, and Zombies, Lickers and the Horrors of Resident Evil spends your final five minutes in the bonus section talking about recreating the fan-favorite creatures from the  game and bringing them to life on film.  There are also a handful of Sony previews if you want to see what’s coming, and this particular bundle also includes a standard Blu-ray and digital copy of the film.

It’s interesting that there is more than 20 hours of cinematic Resident Evil content already out there and Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is the first to actually capture the essence (or DNA) of the games that inspired it.  Fans of the games and even fans of the Mila movies should have a great time with this dark and brooding film that is packed with plenty of action, scares, and some genuine surprises, and the UHD version of the film is easily the best looking and best sounding version to enjoy it.

F9: The Fast Saga 4K Blu-ray Review

F9: The Fast Saga 4K Blu-ray
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD
Universal Studios | 2021 | 143 min | Rated PG-13 | Sep 21, 2021

The Fast and the Furious franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary with their ninth installment in the series that, if director Justin Lin has anything to say about it, should see at least one more movie or perhaps even a spin-off franchise.  What started off as a fun story about underground street racing mixed with cool muscle cars and hot girls gyrating in parking lots has slowly evolved into this outrageous “save the world” series with supercars most of us would never know exist outside of this movie, along with more gadgets than a James Bond film, an impressive list of guest stars and cameo appearances, and yes, the occasional group of dancing girls.

For this ninth installment it seems the script was written to support the singular idea of somehow adding John Cena to the cast, perhaps in a desperate effort to replace Hobbs’, Dwayne Johnson who can no longer work with Vin Diesel.  At least Shaw (Jason Statham) gets a few minutes on screen in a post-credit stinger, so make sure to stick around for that.  So now we have Cena who plays Jakob, Dom’s younger brother who has somehow gone unmentioned for eight previous movies; so much for FAMILY.  F9 quickly becomes a convoluted mixing pot of new and old characters and crazy plot threads that slowly unravel until there is nothing left but an endless stream of insane action sequences that defy logic, physics, and common sense…and I LOVE IT!

This is a check-your-brain-at-the-door movie, and if you are here for any other reason than to see awesome cars doing impossible things then you are watching the wrong movie.  In order to shoehorn Jakob into the story we need to revisit Dom’s past as shown with a sepia-filtered opening stock car race that ends with Dom’s father’s death.  This sets up the rift between the brothers that last decades until Dom comes face-to-face with Jakob on a super-secret spy mission to retrieve a device that will end the world.  Let the sibling rivalry commence, and it does for more than two hours of car chases and fight scenes, and even a trip into space.

F9 looks amazing in 4K with Dolby Vision that accentuates the color and contrast of every frame in this film.  The resolution boost over the 1080p Blu-ray definitely adds greater detail and superior overall image quality to the movie; something I noticed almost immediately when rewatching the film on Blu-ray to listen to the commentary.  The Dolby Atmos audio mix is as impressive as it gets; perhaps the best I’ve heard this year, but you kind of expect that with an action movie like this that boasts a fantastic soundtrack with perfectly mixed and balanced dialogue and incredible sound effects for explosions, a crazy magnet gadget, and of course, all the wonderful engine noises spanning sports and muscle cars, trucks, and even a rocket-propelled Fiero.

F9 comes packed with extras; nearly two hours not including rewatching the movie for the commentary.  First, you get two versions of the movie, the theatrical release and a Director’s Cut adding seven more minutes to the experience.  There is a fantastic Audio Commentary from Producer/Co-Writer/Director Justin Lin on both versions of the film that is loaded with insightful narration on the making of the film.  Next up is a Gag Reel with about three minutes of flubs and goofs while making the movie.  Other bonus features go into great detail on the stunts in the film, how becoming a parent in real-life influenced Dom’s character in the movie, how an internet campaign brought a beloved character back from the dead, a complete day on the set with Justin Lin, and John Cena getting to look at some of the most exotic supercars in the world.

And then we have F9: All In, a nine-part series of supplements that go into exhaustive detail on every facet of the film and the franchise.  This series covers script writing and how the franchise evolved from street racing to saving the world before taking a look into one of the movie’s more demanding chase sequences through a mine field.  There is a feature dealing with the female cast and how their characters have developed over the course of the series along with a special feature exploring Vin’s infatuation with Helen Mirren and how she got put in the film.  We learn about new characters and how they fit into the franchise before taking a long look into the thrilling chase sequence filmed in Edinburgh, and then we explore the ties of this film with Tokyo Drift before concluding with a feature on how the cast really is just one big family.

Reviewing F9: The Fast Saga is almost pointless because if you have watched any or all of the previous eight movies it is highly likely you are going to watch this regardless of what I say.   Thankfully, I get to say that this movie is fantastic, in that dumb-fun kind of way.  This is a classic summer popcorn flick designed to make you laugh, gasp, and possibly cringe at some of the more unbelievable elements, and fans of the franchise are sure to come away satisfied.  The sheer amount of bonus material along with the commentary and a director’s cut option makes this physical release the preferred way to watch versus streaming, so pick up your 4K copy of F9: The Fast Saga today and buckle up for one wild ride.

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K Blu-ray Review

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete 4K Blu-ray
4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital
Sony Pictures | 2005 | 126 min | Unrated | Jun 08, 2021

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete on 4K/UHD is the fourth (and hopefully final) copy of this movie in my movie collection, which is a bit ironic because it’s not even one of my favorite movies by any stretch, but it has always served as a technical benchmark over the years.  Originally released to DVD in 2005 in Japan and coming to North America with an English dub seven months later, this was the perfect companion flick to the Final Fantasy VII video game on PlayStation.  Three years later we would see the extended edition released on Blu-ray, adding 26 minutes of new and expanded scenes to the 101-minute original.  And finally, my third copy, the UMD version for the Sony PSP, also released in 2005.

It should come as no surprise as to the timing of this new 4K edition or the fact that it even exists considering the massive positive response to the recently released Final Fantasy VII Remake game on PS4 and PS5.  With such renewed interested in the property now is the perfect time to strike with an updated version of the movie that will play nicely in one of those impossible-to-find PS5 systems…or any other 4K player.

Having never reviewed this movie in any previous formats I was anxious to see this latest remaster through a more critical eye.  Personally, the story, pacing, and extended fight scenes in Advent Children have always been a bit of a turn-off, but I have always enjoyed the spectacle of it all and appreciate all the work and detail that goes into making these feature-length CG films.  But even as the movie began I instantly saw signs of aging on this 15-year old film, stuff that likely couldn’t be fixed without re-rendering the entire film in 4K while other issues are just victim to the tools of the time.  So much has changed since this was made that almost any feature animated film is going to look better.   To sum it up in words that movie lovers and gamers can both relate; the cutscenes and even some of the gameplay in the latest PS5 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake look better than this movie.

The specs for the disc claim a 2160p and I’m sure that’s the output resolution, but I have to wonder what this film was originally rendered at as there seems to be copious amounts of aliasing issues with visible jagged edges that turn into shimmering across characters and landscapes.  Even the opening shot feels dated with these artifacts cropping up on the terrain combined with some awkward animation for the creature running toward camera and some horrible motion blur that continues throughout the film during any panning wide shot.  I fear the 4x boost in resolution only serves to accentuate these flaws.

To test my theory I immediately re-watched the movie a second time using the included Blu-ray disc, which is also home to all the bonus features for this box set – more on that in a moment.  In back-to-back comparisons I am surprised to say that the Blu-ray version offers the more pleasing viewing experience, although the UHD version does have a few things going for it.  The overall picture is a bit sharper but only in certain scenes under close scrutiny that most viewers won’t be using.  Keep in mind the Blu-ray version of this film was already pushing the visuals to the limits based on the source material.  There wasn’t much left for UHD to add with the exception of HDR.

Making the most of HDR10, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete sees a significant improvement for overall depth and tone despite the entire film having a depressing washed out look to it.  Everything is consistently flat giving the game a PS3 cutscene vibe.  HDR really shines in the scenes with shadows and especially in the dark forest with the glowing trees where everything comes alive, but overall this is not the prettiest CG movie by any standard and those looking for a more pleasing picture can stick with the Blu-ray.

One area that sets the UHD version apart is the newly remastered Dolby Atmos mix for both English and Japanese tracks.  The movie was animated for Japanese, so if you go with the English dub then expect some lip-synching issues that are almost as bad as the dirty looks you’ll get from your purist friends who would never even consider watching an English dub.  I was perfectly happy with the English performances that freed my eyes from reading text to actually watching the movie.  The soundtrack can only be described as “epic”, even as early as the opening shot as the camera rises over the mountain to overlook the sprawling landscape and city below.  The first occurrence of height sound comes with the flock of birds that fly in overhead, both on camera and my Atmos ceiling speakers.  It’s a robust audio mix that uses all the speakers to create an immersive 3D space, yet perfectly balanced so you never miss any of the dialogue.  For those without an Atmos setup you can still enjoy Dolby TrueHD 7.1 and DTS-HD MA 5.1 mixes as well as some new subtitle options previously not offered.

Bonus features are limited to the BD disc only and consist of the same material found on the 2009 edition.  You get On the Way to a Smile – Episode: Denzel Animated Film, Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII Origin Story Digest, Reminiscence of Final Fantasy VII Compilation Story Digest, Legacy of Final Fantasy VII Featurette, some trailers, and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

There is no denying the lucrative timing for this latest release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete on 4K/UHD, but that still doesn’t make it a worthy addition to your 4K library, especially if you favor technology over story.  Personally, Adventure Children is lacking in both with only a superior Atmos soundtrack boosting the experience to something above average.  If you already own the Blu-ray and don’t have an Atmos setup then stick with what you’ve got.   Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete on 4K is only for the most extreme fans of the franchise.

Jumanji: The Next Level Blu-ray Review

After the huge success of the previous Jumanji movie we all knew the gang would be back for the inevitable sequel and here we are. Jumanji: The Next Level is a by-the-numbers sequel that checks off all the boxes for a holiday blockbuster title; one that would dare compete with the Star Wars finale a week later. Somehow I never found the time to see this in theaters – probably because Star Wars kicked it out of my IMAX before I had the chance – so I was super-excited to check this out at home on my recently upgraded home theater setup. Sadly, I only got a Blu-ray copy for review which is what I will cover and score in this review, but I did get the IMAX-Enhanced UHD on my own just to make some comparisons.

Straight up, Jumanji: The Next Level isn’t as good as the original. The sequel seems more concerned with visual spectacle and wild special effects than quality storytelling. Admittedly, the creators try to mix things up by doing the old body-swap trick…multiple times…before realizing their folly and resetting the cast back to “normal”. Part of the travesty lies in adding two new characters, Milo (Danny Glover) and Eddie (Danny DeVito). I love these two actors and the parts they played in the real-world were just fine, but when everyone starts getting sucked back into the game (which is now all busted up and barely working) certain changes take place. Martha (Karen Gillan) is the only one who retains her original avatar of Ruby Roundhouse. Eddie is now Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson) while Milo becomes Mouse (Kevin Hart). Fridge is now Professor Oberon (Jack Black) and Spencer, who goes into the game ahead of everyone else, becomes a new cat burglar character, Ming (Awkwafina). Bethany gets left behind initially, but after seeking out Seaplane (Nick Jonas) manages to get sucked into the game as a horse. If that sounds confusing just wait until the group finds magical green waters that allow them to swap characters within the game.

My main complaint with the movie is the performances, mostly from Johnson and Hart. In the original movie everyone just played their natural selves but now we have Johnson doing an incredibly lame impersonation of DeVito and Hart doing a slightly better (but still bad) impersonation of Glover. There are minor moments of amusement but for most of the movie these characters are exaggerated caricatures of themselves that simply distract and annoy. At least Jack Black was able to pull off an angry young black man. Having two new people (old people) enter Jumanji then constantly explaining and re-explaining the concept of being “inside a game” was as annoying as putting VR goggles on your grandpa and trying to make them good at a game without crashing into the furniture.

The story didn’t flow nearly as well as the first film. Once again we have a stolen gem that needs to be rescued from the evil Jurgen the Brutal (Rory McCann) who is just as impressive as he was in Game of Thrones, towering over the Rock by at least two feet. The quest for the gem meanders across a self-revealing map of various climate changes and two action-packed set pieces; one with a herd of stampeding ostriches and another with our heroes getting chased across a massive array of rope bridges while being chased by vicious Mandrill monkeys. I got the distinct impression that the creators had these two epic scenes in mind from the beginning then just tried to fill in around them to create a movie and reach the big boss fight at the end.

Plot aside, I’m here mostly for the technical aspects of these home video reviews and unfortunately the Blu-ray edition did not impress me even before I re-watched the UHD version. I don’t want to come off as a UHD-snob but with the exception of my weekly network TV viewing nearly everything I watch is sourced at 4K/UHD whether on Netflix or Disney+ and when you throw HDR into the mix I instantly know when something is off. When HDR mode kicks in I have to shield my eyes from the glow coming off my 85” Sony, so when I fired up Jumanji: The Next Level on normal Blu-ray the picture was rather dull and lifeless. Sure, my Sony 4K player and my TV were doing an admirable job upconverting the 1080p image to 4K but scenes that should have been blinding, like in the desert, weren’t and there was just an overall softness to the live-action scenes that contrasted the ultra-sharp CG-only scenes. Colors were natural and black levels were decent during the nighttime scenes. Compared to the UHD version where the 2160p resolution means better detail in both characters and backgrounds as well as colors that leap off the screen and HDR that greatly enhances those same nighttime scenes without crushing the blacks…well, there is no comparison. The 4K version is clearly the better movie.

The audio mix is also lacking, and with no Atmos support we only get a DTS-HD 5.1 MA mix on the Blu-ray while the UHD version at least gets a DTS: X to capture the overhead effects. The sound mix is rather dull and lifeless compared to other action movies releasing at this time. There is good prioritization of the dialogue and some quality LFE moments (mostly the tribal drums), but you don’t realize how flat the mix is until you hear the DTS: X on the UHD version and things really open up. It’s like “shaking the water out of your ears” different.

Don’t be fooled by the surprising amount of extras on this disc; most are short and disposable. The 5-minute Gag Reel offers up a few chuckles and the 5-minute Body Swapping: Snapping into Character details the new characters and the old characters playing new characters. The 4-minute Back Together: Reuniting the Cast talks with the cast about how they knew all along there would be a sequel and their excitement to return to Jumanji. Level Up: Making Jumanji: The Next Level is the first substantial feature that covers numerous facets of making the sequel while Creating the Scene are two short features on the digital and physical creations of the Ostrich Chase and Mandrill Bridge. Rhys Darby Wants to Jingle is a disposable bit that ultimately ends with a lame music video. Awkwafina Cat Burglar gives the actress less than two minutes to discuss her new character in the film while NPC Confessions: Jurgen the Brutal gives the hulking actor three minutes to discuss his part as the new villain. Next up are three one-minute snippets; Grow Up, Telenovela, and Trick or Treat. Last up is more coverage on the Ostrich Chase and Mandrill Bridge scenes; this time using side-by-side comparison of CG previz and the final production; one of the better bonus features of the batch. There are some Sony previews and a digital Movies Anywhere code also tossed in to top things off.

Jumanji: The Next Level falls short of what I expected after such an amazing predecessor. In their attempt to change the formula enough to make it fresh they ultimately spoiled a lot of the charm and storytelling that captured us the first time. Watching Dwayne and Kevin’s lame impersonations of the two Danny’s was distractingly annoying, and I only truly enjoyed myself during the final act when everyone was back in their original avatars. Still, the flick is a fun ride although severally limited in its Blu-ray form. With good, but not good enough visuals and an uninspired sound mix you will certainly want to step up to the UHD version for the best home viewing experience.

Bombshell Blu-ray Review

I despise Fox News. They are the closest thing to state-run media since Pravda, so when I heard about the #metoo scandal over at Fox being turned into a movie I was admittedly excited and expecting a full-on Hollywood hit piece. Bombshell is anything but. Part bio and part docudrama, the film is a surprisingly blend of facts and creative license, focusing on two well-known Fox personalities, Gretchen Carlson (Nicole Kidman) and Megyn Kelly (Charlize Theron). The fictional third character, Kayla Pospisil (Margot Robbie) was created to represent a collage of all the other female staffers at Fox who share similar stories of harassment. The end result was something unexpectedly entertaining and totally captivating from start to finish with well-balanced storytelling sprinkled with dashes of humor, interesting fourth-wall breaks that turned the drama into a brief documentary, and some truly amazing performances by the entire cast – even the secondary characters were fun to watch.

Bombshell makes great use of actual events to tie their story into reality, either by showing actual news clips from the time or recreating specific events like the 2016 Presidential debate where Megyn called out Trump on his abusive disrespect of women on national TV. And while much of the runtime seems focused on Megyn Kelly there is a nice balance taking place between the three women and their stories. Gretchen Carlson is the host who first gets demoted and eventually fired, spurring her to seek out legal counsel and sue Roger Ailes (John Lithgow) for sexual harassment. Her assistant, Kayla, an innocent Florida weather girl, has just accepted a promotion with Bill O’Reilly’s staff and is about to discover how things really work at Fox News, especially after a disturbing encounter behind closed doors in Ailes’ office.

The film hits all the infamously documented facts while taking just enough creative license to keep things entertaining while not diminished the terrible indignities these women suffered for decades. We see lots of behind-the-scenes moments, both at work and home for these women and their families depicting the pressure of working for a major news outlet, let alone one that mistreats and objectifies their female staff through short skirts, hair extensions, and transparent desks, not to mention unsolicited sexual expectations to “prove your loyalty” to the boss.

The casting and performances are phenomenal and it’s not surprising this movie won an award for make-up and hair. Theron becomes Kelly and is totally believable throughout with only two moments (a certain laugh and a certain smile) where a recognizable “Charlize” broke through. Lithgow’s transformation into Roger Ailes was nothing short of magical and Kidman was a convincing Carlson. Background players like Geraldo, Hannity and especially Jeanine Pirro also looked and played the part, but the film made good use of title cards for each significant character introduction just in case.

Admittedly, I was hoping that Bombshell would stoke the fires of my disdain for Fox News but at the end of the day (and the film) I realized this is happening everywhere where rich powerful men (and I suppose some women) can use their position of power to pressure their subordinates into unspeakable indignities. Thankfully, these women rose up to take on one of the most powerful men in broadcasting and brought him down. You think you might know the story behind these events from the carefully curated news clippings and reports, but Bombshell tells a much bigger story and entertains while it does it.

Bombshell is available on Blu-ray and DVD with a rather striking 1080p image. Seeing as how the movie was mastered in 2K it makes sense that no 4K/UHD version is being marketed, and considering the style and source of the material the resulting film is quite pleasing with great colors, textures and detail. There are plenty of close-ups on characters wearing pounds of make-up and prosthetics, but you could never tell from the photography. Speaking of, I really enjoyed the documentary-style handheld feel to the camera work where the view would rapidly shift from character to character or unexpectedly zoom in on a face or object on a desk. It really helps put the viewer in the movie in a convincing and sometimes uncomfortable voyeuristic way.

I wasn’t terribly impressed with the audio presentation; not that this film offered any opportunities to shine. There was very little (if any) LFE, even in the soundtrack to drive my subwoofer and minimal use of the surround channels mostly to immerse you in the office scenes. The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mix just seems cheap and lazy when almost every other movie is outputting lossless audio.   The mix we do get manages to get the job done with clear and prioritized dialogue from the front and center. The soundtrack is catchy and there are a few instances of vocalization/chanting in the score that are quite haunting.

Bombshell has a single bonus feature, broken down into seven parts. No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell is a 94-minute documentary that is as long as the feature film and just as interesting for those who want to know more about the movie and how it was made. When it’s over you will know everything about the film from its origins, casting, makeup, hair, wardrobe, and more. The only thing missing would have been a feature commentary.

I had no interest in Bombshell when it arrived in theaters and even less interest for its inevitable home release, but when given the chance to review this now-award-winning film I decided to give it a shot and am totally glad I did. I quickly realized that what little I knew of these events was just a fraction of the story. Bombshell educates while it entertains and does so with some incredible performances from some talented actors and great production values from the director and everyone on his team. This is definitely a movie worth seeing.

Good Boys Blu-ray Review

Coming of age stories have been a popular genre for decades, even after they shifted into raunch-coms around the turn of the century with the American Pie saga. The concept keeps evolving as filmmakers push the limits of humor and good taste.   Superbad was immensely popular in 2007 and this year we get Good Boys; a film that lowers the bar as much as the ages of its stars. We started in college with films like Animal House then moved into high school with films like the ones just mentioned, but Good Boys takes us into middle school territory where much of the humor is based on the idea of “I can’t believe they just did/said that!” For some reason I guess it’s funnier when pre-teens swear like sailors and dabble with sex toys and porn, or at least it would have been if South Park hadn’t already cornered the market with 23 seasons of animated 8yr-olds do the same thing; perhaps even better.

Good Boys adds a few years to the South Park kids, with our trio of Beanbag Boys residing firmly in those awkward days of sixth grade where variable levels of maturity threaten to tear apart even the best of friends.   Max (Jacob Tremblay) has just got invited to a kissing party hosted by the cool kids; the perfect chance to proclaim his love for his first crush. Max and his friends, Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith Williams) all set out to help Max learn how to kiss. It’s a seemingly innocent setup for what turns out to be an apocalyptic series of events proving that raging hormones can easily overpower good decision making. Things go really bad when Max uses his dad’s new drone to spy on the girl next door kissing her boyfriend. The girls capture the drone and the boys end up stealing their bag, which has some Ecstasy inside. An exchange deal is setup but the drone gets destroyed and now the boys are forced to ride their bikes to the mall – well outside their permitted travel distance – to purchase a new one.   More hijinks ensue as the girls get there first, buy the last drone and use it to barter for their drugs, which the boys have already turned over to the cops.

The various comedic scenes are fairly by the numbers and even a bit boring at times. The one shining moment in the movie is when Max tries to buy more drugs at a nearby frat house and ends up shooting up the place with a paintball gun. There are some attempts at heartfelt moments that felt a bit awkward in the overall scheme of things, like when Max’s dad (Will Forte) catches his son about to masturbate to a character he just created on an online video game and proceeds to have “the talk” in a scene not unlike American Pie. Much of the humor relies solely on the kids dropping the f-bomb just as casually as adults, and some of the jokes are clearly based on visual gags like a sex doll, a satchel full of sex toys, and a fancy sex swing. Of course the hilarity in these moments is that the kids have no idea what these items are or their intended used, so when Max mistakes the sex doll for a CPR dummy and uses it for his first trial kiss the scene is almost adorable until he pulls back and removes a pubic hair from his mouth.  Gross! Just as funny is when they use a massive dildo to jam the doors of the convenience store to lock a cop inside.

I skipped this movie when it came out in theaters, secure in the knowledge that movies of this type always get an unrated version for home release, but Good Boys still retains its R rating, although there are some unrated extras like an alternate ending and some extended scenes, but even those pale against the accumulated works of South Park. I mean, this is an R-rated movie about adolescent sexual awakening with no nudity. Personally, I thought Sausage Party was edgier than this…and funnier.

The video quality on this Blu-ray release was fine, and nothing stood out as exceptional; just competent. After all, you probably aren’t watching this for its visual fidelity. There were no visible artifacts and contrast was sharp with great colors and lighting. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix was equally as proficient with some good use of spatial audio and a nice mix that prioritized dialogue front and center so you don’t miss a single naughty word.

Honestly, I enjoyed the extras for Good Boys more than the main feature; especially the feature commentary with director/co-writer, Gene Stupnitsky, and producer/co-writer, Lee Eisenberge. They had all sorts of humorous insights into the making of this movie, especially about keeping the kids in the dark about some of the more adult elements by telling them to “ask your parents”. It was also fun to learn that the kids were not allowed to swear once the director called “cut” – truly a separation of work and home life.

There is a nice assortment of features including nearly a dozen Unrated Deleted/Extended Scenes, a fun Gag Real and a look at the casting of the stars in Boys For Real. Welcome to Vancouver follows Jacob Tremblay around his home town as well as his actual school where they filmed. A Fine Line and Ask Your Parents talks about how the kids were able to deliver such colorful dialogue and play with adult toys while having no real knowledge of what they were saying or doing. Bad Girls introduces the female villains of the film, Molly Gordon and Midori Francis, and the challenges of being so mean to such adorable boys. Guest Stars showcases a few of the cameos you may have spotted during the movie. The bonus package wraps up with a DVD version of the film and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

Good Boys isn’t as much a bad movie as it is an unnecessary one. I hate to keep coming back to it but South Park has pretty much explored every facet of the tawdry tween genre and there is nothing left to shock or surprise us no matter how young or seemingly innocent you want to make the stars. Yes, you are likely to laugh almost constantly during the film but they are unearned laughs targeting your discomfort for what you are seeing and hearing, which is admittedly a bit more shocking when it’s coming from non-animated characters being voiced by adults. If you’re in the market for cheap laughs and Good Boys is on sale for $10 it might be worth a purchase, but honestly, this was meant for streaming and really isn’t worth a space on your video shelf. 

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Blu-ray Review

I’m not ashamed to admit that I did not like Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw when I saw it in the theater, but I always hold out that small bit of hope that movies I don’t like in theaters might be better when I watch them a few months later at home. Sadly, that was not the case with Hobbs & Shaw. Everything I disliked about the film the first time; tone, script, humor, was just as juvenile and distasteful at home; perhaps more so now that I didn’t have an audience telling me when I should be laughing.   To make matters worse, the commentary and much of the bonus footage kept focusing on the parts I didn’t like as “their favorite parts of the film”.

I realize humor is subjective and while I tolerated Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart adding their own styles of humor into this story I bounced hard off the incessant bickering and sophomoric exchanges between Statham and Johnson. Seeing two grown men going back and forth like 12-yr olds was exhausting, and not just once when they first met but even a second time onboard the plane where these exchanges go on for far too long. I expect better from stars of this caliber.   If you can manage to avoid, skip, or just tolerate these two problematic scenes the rest of Hobbs & Shaw is pretty enjoyable.

Reprising their roles from the past few Fast & Furious movies, Hobbs and Shaw must join forces and team up with Shaw’s sister, Hattie (Vanessa Kirby) who has injected herself with a super-virus capable of destroying the planet, or worse, getting programmed to destroy part of the planet if Black Superman, Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) gets his hands on the virus. We have the obligatory opening virus heist followed by a rather cool split-screen opening montage of Hobbs and Shaw waking up and starting their respective days, both leading up to spectacular fight scenes for each. Once our two heroes are united in London and finish up their first round of insults the real action starts as Brixton pursues Hobbs and Shaw while they try to protect Hattie and get the virus removed before it activates. It’s one major car chase, gun fight, enemy base infiltration, and Samoan family reunion all leading up to the big Fast & Furious finale that defies logic as much as your expectations.

Perhaps the best part of the movie is the villain, Brixton, a former associate of Shaw who was shot in the head and left for dead before his new employers enhanced him with all sorts of cool cybernetics and augmented reality, creating a villain powerful enough to face off against Hobbs and Shaw at the same time. The movie runs a bit long in places – removing those two extended arguments would make it just right – but otherwise the pacing is fairly nonstop with only minor moments of exposition before dropping you into the next spellbinding set piece. The chemistry is all over the place with non-stop hatred between Hobbs and Shaw until that scripted moment near the end where they become “best buds”. There are at least two moments of forced romantic tension between Hattie and Hobbs; once in a truck and once during a Samoan sunset and neither felt right.  I really enjoyed the final battle and the clever way they took guns out of the equation and made the fight more authentic to the Samoan people…at least until the movie spun off the rails for the finale with the helicopter and a string of specialty autos playing tug-of-war.

I typically don’t review non-4K movies but Blu-ray was what we got for this review and I have to say I was impressed with the quality. My 4K Sony player and 4K HDTV all worked to upgrade the image to 4K resolution even if I didn’t get any HDR enhancements. The picture was immaculate with razor-sharp details on both the wide shots and the extreme close-ups. Colors and skin tones were great and there were no artifacts, grain or noise. Contrast was sharp with solid blacks and some vibrant lighting for explosions and sunlit Samoan landscapes.

At least the Blu-ray edition comes with a Dolby Atmos track, so I was able to completely immerse myself in this powerful and explosive audio experience. Every speaker was working overtime with prioritized and positional audio, even from above, and the dialogue was perfectly balanced to the front and center channels and mixed so that you didn’t miss a word no matter how loud the sound effects and score got. This was truly a fantastic audio experience.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw comes loaded with extras kicking off with an Audio Commentary with Director David Leitch who covers every aspect of making this film in a comprehensive and entertaining track. Next up is an Alternate Opening that totally remixes the first ten minutes of the film to intercut Hobbs and Shaw’s opening montage with the virus heist. Both options were pretty cool but I could see how the more linear storytelling worked better for mass audiences. Then you have 34-minutes of Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes, before going into a breakdown of Johnson & Statham: Hobbs & Shaw detailing the actors’ relationship compared with their characters’. Progress of a Fight Scene with Director David Leitch takes a deep dive into physical and weapons-based combat while Practical Action explores fight choreography and how the actors prepared for the epic battles.

The Bad Guy gives us a brief look at the film’s super villain and how Idris Elba’s embodied the role. The Sister is a nice character profile on Hattie Shaw and how she relates to the story and other characters, and then we climb the Hobbs’ Family Tree where we learn the importance of family in the franchise. The Matriarch gives us a peek at Queenie’s cameo as Hobbs’s mamma while New Friends showcases Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Hart and their contributions to the film. Elevator Action goes into detail on one of the film’s major action set pieces then Stunt Show and Tell dives into a few of the film’s top action sequences and how they were made. Keeping it in the Family: A Conversation with Roman and Dwayne continues the theme of family when the actors discuss their relationship in and out of the WWE ring. Blind Fury is a nice tribute to Dwayne’s grandfather and finally, Dwayne and Hobbs: Love at First Bite is a short look at Dwayne’s actual dog that starred in the show and got to hang out on the set. There is also a DVD copy of the film as well as a Movies Anywhere digital code.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw is a bit hit and miss for me. Now that I have seen and reviewed it I can rewatch as often as a like and skip the parts I don’t like. I don’t mind arguing as long as the banter is witty, but the words coming out of these two major stars’ mouths were painful to hear. Thankfully the action, car chases, running down buildings, skydiving into a power plant, and epic Samoan battles saved the film from being a total loss. The presentation quality of this Blu-ray is astounding from the pristine picture to the immersive audio, and with plenty of extras to keep you entertained after the movie, this is definitely worth adding to your Fast & Furious collection.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle Blu-ray Review

I was a big fan of the original Charlies Angels TV series that aired from 1976-1981. I was the quintessential 12-17 year old hormonal teen at the time; their target audience and sucker for all the posters, fan mags, etc. and managed to stick with the show through the years as various Angels got replaced with new actresses, so it wasn’t a huge leap when Drew Barrymore teamed up with McG to reboot the franchise in 2000 and follow it up with a sequel in 2003. It is those two movies that have just been re-released; the original to a stunning 4K/UHD edition and the sequel to the Blu-ray I’m reviewing here.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is easily the superior movie between the two, which only begs the questions, “Where is the 4K release?” Clearly the only reason this edition even exists is to coincide with the 4K edition of the original film and to support the new reboot of Charlies Angels coming soon to theaters. There is even a 2-minute clip of the new movie in the bonus section, but they should have included some movie cash to get people into theaters because judging from this clip alone, Elizabeth Banks is about to destroy one of my favorite franchises.

McG is one of my favorite directors, and while I don’t go out actively searching for his stuff whenever I see his name pop-up on a TV show or movie it’s kind of like that seal of approval that you’re about to have a great time. McG got his start with commercials and music videos as you’ll clearly notice mere moments into this film. The entire movie is basically a montage of action, comedy, and a few dramatic moments, all about 10-15 minutes long, all with their own signature soundtrack, and all miraculously coming together to tell a cohesive story. One minute you’re in this Russian bar, the next you’re posing as CSI agents investigating a murder before heading to a California beach to go surfing, then you’re off to an underground motocross event or posing as nuns at the Playboy Mansion that’s posing as a convent/orphanage or maybe doing some surveillance as ship welders before slipping into something more comfortable to dance with the Pussycat Dolls. This is truly a compilation sketch movie for those with short or no attention spans and I love it.

Yes, there is an underlying backstory that shouldn’t need recapping after 16 years but basically somebody has stolen these two rings that when combined can unlock a list of everyone in witness protection. There are almost too many cameos and guest stars to count including an almost unrecognizable Bruce Willis, a stunning Demi Moore and perhaps an even more stunning Jaclyn Smith reprising her Kelly Garrett character. Bernie Mac tries to replace Bill Murray as Bosley and fails, and Crispin Glover returns as the still-creepy Thin Man who we learn much more about with some exposition from Carrie Fisher.   Of course the movie would be incomplete without our angelic trio; Natalie (Cameron Diaz), Alex (Lucy Liu), and Dylan (Drew Barrymore), all just as gorgeous and committed to their characters as before; perhaps more so, as they are clearly doing most of their own stunts to really sell the action.

Shot on 35mm, this would have been the perfect source material to scan into a 4K master. Just look at how awesome the original movie turned out on 4K. But even at a lowly 1080p Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle still shines with some super-sharp textures, minimal film grain, and some eye-popping colors. Colors are accurate, especially skin tones that are shown in extreme facial close-ups as well as gorgeous lighting for interior sets and outdoor environments. There are some fun camera shots including a cleverly edited “single-shot” at the beginning and plenty of McG’s famous whip-pans and flash-zooms. The film has never looked this good, which only had me thinking how much better it would be in UHD with HDR support.

There’s no Dolby Atmos or 7.1 mix here; just a fairly standard and competent DTS-HD MA 5.1 presentation that gets the job done, making the most with most of the speakers in my Atmos home theater. Without the side channels in play the surround transitions seemed rather abrupt going from front to back. The dialogue was perfectly mixed and balanced to front and center and was never overwhelmed by the sound effects or non-stop montage of licensed music. There were plenty of explosions and some thumping bass on the soundtrack to keep my subwoofer working overtime.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle goes crazy with the extras to the point where you will need to watch the movie at least three times to experience it all. Plus you get the theatrical cut and an unrated version, although I couldn’t see any differences. The first and likely biggest bonus feature as far as the studio is concerned is a two-minute clip from the new Charlie’s Angles movie coming to theaters November 15th. I was seriously not impressed with the cast or the overall theme and tone of the new film; at least from what I saw in the clip. Charlie’s Angles has always been about “girl power”, but this has “Get Woke Go Broke” written all over it.

There are four feature-length tracks tied to the theatrical cut; the first being McG’s Telestrator Commentary where you get to hear the director talk about the movie while marking up the screen like John Madden used to do during football games. If you don’t like the white markings you can simply opt for the standard McG’s Commentary – it’s the same audio track minus the markings. There is a lot of interesting information and stories in this track and McG manages to maintain a steady pace and flow to keep it entertaining. For something a bit more casual check out the Writers’ Commentary where John August, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley all discuss the movie, both as fans and as writers. The final feature track is Angel-Vision Trivia where all sorts of trivia pops-up on the screen while you watch the film.

There are a bunch of features that made it over from the original DVD release; nothing updated or enhanced and a lot of it not too pretty on a 4K display. Some pieces play in 4×3 like it was shot on VHS and most of it is interlaced so there are plenty of jagged edges and overall fuzziness to the image. Up first is Pussycat Dolls, a short look at the dance troupe and how the angels committed to their parts. Rolling with the Punches discusses the girls’ commitment to the action sequences and how their training for the first film carried over into the sequel. XXX-Treme Angels goes into detail on the Motocross sequence with several interviews with riders who appeared in the film, and Full Throttle: The Cars showcases McG’s love of cars and his commitment to including the classics as well as the very latest rides. Designing Angels: The Look goes into the nuances of cinematography and lighting to keep our girls looking angelic. There’s No Such Thing as a Short Shot, Only an Overworked Producer is a brief look at the challenges of scheduling and orchestrating a complex movie production. Angels Makeover: Hansen Dam shows how matte paintings were used to turn a flat dam in Northern LA into what we see in the movie’s opening. Angel Scouts looks into scouting out the perfect locations for the movie while Dream Duds showcases the movie’s wardrobe using sketches, photos, and film clips.

The list goes on with Cameo-Graphy that highlights the many cameos in the film. Included are Bruce Willis, Béla Károlyi, Robert Forster, Eric Bogosian, Andrew Wilson, Pink, Eve, Mary-Kate & Ashley Olson, Carrie Fisher, The Pussycat Dolls, Chris Pontius, Ed Robertson, Big Boy, and Jaclyn Smith. Full Throttle Jukebox has McG and Music Supervisor John Houlihan discussing the song selection for the movie along with clips from the scene in which they appear. Included are; “Sleep Now in the Fire” by Rage Against the Machine, “Surfer Girl” by The Beach Boys, “Feel Good Time” by Pink Featuring William Orbit, “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer, “Danger! High Voltage” by Electric Six, “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre, “The Pink Panther” by Hollywood Studio Orchestra, “A Girl Like You” by Edwin Collins, “Any Way You Want It” by Journey, “Firestarter” by Prodigy, and “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” by Nickleback Featuring Kid Rock. Angels Film School is one of my favorite extras with useful info for those looking to work in film.   You’ll get a great look at the inner-workings of how a movie is made. Included are #1 – First Assistant Director, #2 – Script Supervisor, #3 – Storyboard Artist, #4 – Creative Advertising, #5 – Special Effects Supervisor, #6 – Visual Effects Supervisor, #7 – Driver, and #8 – Stunts. Topping off this mountain of movie extras is a Music Video for “Feel Good Time” by Pink Featuring William Orbit and some Trailers including a Teaser Trailer and Theatrical Trailer.

Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle is a fun movie to watch with pretty girls, great action, awesome fights, cool cars, and a careless disregard for any type of serious story. The short sequences are practically standalone in their design yet manage to tell a complete, albeit thin, story with a satisfying ending. The audio and visual quality is about as good as you can expect for Blu-ray, and while I desperately wanted to see this in 4K I seriously doubt Full Throttle will ever get another release. For only $10, if you don’t already own a copy then now is your chance.