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Heading into the holidays, the studios are putting together plenty of Blu-rays of recent box office hits, along with special gift sets for purchase. This week, you can head back to college with 22 Jump Street or check out some wild tornadoes in Into The Storm. Check them out, below.
22 Jump Street Blu-ray22 Jump Street is not for the faint-hearted. It’s also not for people who haven’t caught the first film in the franchise, 21 Jump Street. The genius of the sequel relies on a basic familiarity with the buddy cop dynamic and the basic plot structure of the original. Its clever plot relentlessly pokes fun at both. Fortunately, it also finds time to tell a pretty good story, too.
22 Jump Street finds Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) back from the original movie, taking on college this time around rather than high school. The two are introduced to a new drug, a new crop of supporting characters and a deluge of new jokes. Not all of the laughs work, but when they do, they’re every bit as funny as the first round. The end credits and every scene involving Jillian Bell and Jonah Hill’s adversarial, weirdly sexual relationship is utterly brilliant.
None of it reinvents the wheel, but that's half the fun, and the final product is still more than worth your time. The chemistry between the main characters is still spot-on, and the returning players, including Nick Offerman, Ice Cube, Rob Riggle and Dave Franco, are all hysterical. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s set is not one to miss. You can order 22 Jump Street over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: In a somewhat surprising move, 22 Jump Street is loaded with bonus features. On the disc, you can tell how involved directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were with the extras, but the best are still the deleted scenes. In fact, I sat through like 20 deleted and extended scenes. These include an entire set of brand new opening credits that are pretty spectacular, along with a couple of scenes where Schmidt and Jenko ghost ride the whip. If ever an extended edition was warranted, it’s with this set, but the individual scenes still kept me in stiches.
Commentary with Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Jonah Hill And Channing Tatum
Deleted and Extended Scenes
"The Perfect Couple of Directors"
"Everything is Better in College"
"Janning and Chonah"
"The Perfect Line"
"Don’t Cut Yet"
Into The Storm Blu-rayMultiple tornadoes populate Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s new film Into The Storm. There are smaller funnels that touch down in the wrong moments, massive funnels that merge together and even a fire tornado that consumes one of the characters in a few quick seconds. Yes, a fire tornado. If Into The Storm had taken itself a teensy bit less seriously, it would be one of the most entertaining B-movies in a long time. As it stands, it’s visually appealing and fun-ish.
Into The Storm follows several storylines involving individuals both chasing and running from tornadoes. Early in the film, a high school is preparing for graduation, while a team of storm chasers are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of storms in the area. Then, a storm cell begins growing, spawning numerous tornadoes that wreak havoc in the area. As the tornadoes begin to destroy, Vice Principal Gary Fuller (Richard Armitage) and his two children Donnie (Max Deacon) and Trey (Nathan Kress) search for one another in the wreckage, while the storm team led by filmmaker Pete Moore (Matt Walsh) and meteorologist Allison Stone (Sarah Wayne Callies) try to get the best footage.
Mostly Into The Storm is just an excuse to look at cool high definition tornadoes, and provided you go in with no higher expectations, you should have a fine time watching the movie. You can order Into The Storm over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: There are only three featurettes and of the three, the one on the armored storm vehicle is probably the most interesting. The segment looks at the build of the vehicle in the movie, and also looks at real storm chasing team’s vehicle. Fun fact: It totally leaked the entire time the crew was on the set.
"Into the Storm: Tornado Files"
"Fake Storms: Real Conditions"
Legends of the Knight Blu-rayBefore San Francisco’s Batkid came around and melted everybody’s hearts, filmmaker Brett Culp poured a lot of his life and heart into creating Legends of the Knight, a documentary focused on the power and influence of Batman and his non-superpowered heroism. Don’t get this confused with a doc merely showcasing how popular the film franchise has been, as I don’t even think Tim Burton or Christopher Nolan get namechecked here. Legends of the Knight is about the virtues and ideals invested in putting faith in a masked good guy, regardless of whether or not he’s considered "real" by the world at large. Batman is definitely real to everyone in this movie.
Without injecting his own Batman-loving views into the feature, Culp takes audiences around the country (and briefly the world) and introduces them to citizens of all kinds that share his love for what the cowl and cape represent. On the more flashy side of things, we have Batman franchise producer Michael Uslan talking about the trouble that plagued his dream of making a Batman film, as well as comic book artist Denny O’Neil talking about killing off Robin. But it’s when Culp sets his focus smaller that Legends of the Knight really starts tugging at the heartstrings, bringing to light the college student local legend Petaluma Batman, the Batman university course professor, and young leukemia-sufferer Kye, who was given his own day of crimefighting by the city of Arlington, Texas in 2012.
Those are just a few of the many affirmative and inspirational stories told in Legends of the Knight, which featured behind the scenes work that was nearly as important as everything in the doc. Culp and his team have brought the film to theaters all over the country over the past year or so using the crowd-gathering website Tugg, and the filmmaking team has donated each screening's proceeds to local charities designated by those who hosted them. Everything about this doc is amazing to behold. And though the film was originally released on DVD and Blu-ray through the film’s website, Virgil Films and Entertainment has officially put forth a wide release for Legends of the Knight, which will hopefully get it in front of many viewers who may be incorrectly assuming that their Batman obsession is weird or nerdy. It isn’t.
You can order Legends of the Knight over at Amazon and through the film's official store.
Best Special Feature: The deleted scenes, which give Uslan and O’Neil more time to get into their humorous stories, including one about the Robin’s death comic having a phone-in campaign to see if fans wanted to see Robin die or not.
Other November 18 ReleasesGearing up for the holidays, there are a lot of re-releases this week, as well as a few first-timers to Blu-ray. Notably, a few of Director Hayao Miyazaki’s hits have hit Blu-ray for the first time. Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service and The Wind Rises are all filled with bright new packaging and plenty of extras like the original Japanese storyboards.
Some more of this week’s releases are listed, below. Unless otherwise noted, sets are available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For
If I Stay
The Wind Rises Blu-ray
Kiki’s Delivery Service Blu-ray
As The Light Goes Out Blu-ray
It Happened One Night Blu-ray
And So It Goes