UPDATE: We’ve been told this release actually isn’t anything more than an updated version of a 2014 high-definition release with a new Steelbook case. Still, for those who didn’t know this existed, this might be good news.
It’s no secret that the film adaptation of Super Mario Bros. is a complete disaster. The making of the total mess of a video game movie was documented in Blake J. Harris’ book Console Wars (you can read all about it right here). But somehow, there are enough fans of the movie to warrant a release of the movie in high-definition.
Believe it or not, Super Mario Bros. is getting a Blu-ray release next month, and it even has a collectible Steelbook case to keep it safe from anyone who would be crazy enough to steal it for their own collection.
Here’s the artwork for the Super Mario Bros Blu-ray coming next month:
The potentially bad news is that this Super Mario Bros. Blu-ray appears to only be getting a release in the United Kingdom by way of the retailer Zavvi (via Comic Book Resources). There’s no indication that this will be made available in the United States. You can still buy it for £15.99, or $ 19.75, and have it shipped to the US, but it’s a Region 2 disc, so unless you have a player that can handle those discs, you won’t be able to play it in the US.
But if you have the ability to watch it, you’ll get one cool special feature along with the movie. There will be a new 60-minute documentary with interviews from co-directors Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, producer Roland Joffe, writer Parker Bennett, production designer David Snyder, art director Walter Martishius, effects artists Paul Elliot, Vincent Guastini and Rob Burman, visual effects designer Chris Woods, editor Mark Goldblatt, creature designer Patrick Tatopoulos and actors John Leguizamo and Richard Edson. It will also include archived interviews with Bob Hoskins and Jake Eberts.
It’ll be interesting to see if all the filmmakers acknowledge the problems reported on the set of the film in this documentary or if they just gloss over those details. Considering there’s no denying the poor outcome of this movie in pretty much every regard, I hope they lean into it and discuss what went wrong instead of just being a typical making-of documentary.
Star Wars News: Carrie Fisher’s death, Episode VIII and more
The purpose of this roundup is to put all the Star Wars news from the last week in one location, including Carrie Fisher’s death, Rogue One, Episode VIII, the Han Solo movie, and more. If you read this each week, you should be able to converse fluently with any Star Wars fan on everything from the latest Star Wars developments to the latest toys. And maybe you’ll even share with them something that they might have missed.
Hot Toys teases Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 collectibles
The first of three Marvel Studios movies opens in theaters on May 5 and Hot Toys is already teasing their Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 collectibles. The company says:
“As we celebrate the new year and make resolutions, let’s join up with Star-Lord’s gang of unlikely superheroes and gear up for this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which promises an epic new adventure, an awesome new mixtape, and some exciting new collectibles from Hot Toys! Plus 2017 is set to be another big year for movie fans, with a slew of highly anticipated movies opening in the months ahead. We can’t wait to show you the new offerings we have planned for the year, so remember to stay tuned!”
You can get an early peek at the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 collectibles in the gallery below.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cast includes the return of Chris Pratt (Jurassic World, Parks and Recreation) as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana (Avatar, Star Trek) as Gamora, Dave Bautista (SPECTRE) as Drax, Vin Diesel (xXx, Furious 7) as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper (Joy, American Sniper) as the voice of Rocket, Michael Rooker (Slither, Jumper) as Yondu, Karen Gillan (Doctor Who, The Big Short) as Nebula, and Sean Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Gilmore Girls) as Kraglin. New cast members include Pom Klementieff (Oldboy), who plays Mantis, Elizabeth Debicki (The Great Gatsby, Everest), Chris Sullivan (The Knick, The Drop) and Kurt Russell (The Hateful Eight, Furious 7) as Ego, the Living Planet.
Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nik Korda and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2will be followed by Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7 and Thor: Ragnarok on November 3.
A frightful new promo has come online for the upcoming Netflix series, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, premiering on Friday, January 13 on the streaming service. You can also find new photos from the series in the gallery underneath!
Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny — whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death.
The eight-episode series is a Netflix original production, executive produced by Emmy Award winner Barry Sonnenfeld and Daniel Handler, and also stars Patrick Warburton (Lemony Snicket), Joan Cusack (Justice Strauss), Malina Weissman (Violet Baudelaire), Louis Hynes (Klaus Baudelaire), Presley Smith (Sunny) Alfre Woodard (Aunt Josephine), Catherine O’Hara (Dr. Orwell), K. Todd Freeman (Mr. Poe), Aasif Maandvi (Uncle Monty), Don Johnson (Sir) and more.
The series premieres around the world on January 13, 2017 only on Netflix.
’80s cult classic Nightmare Sisters now on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome
It’s said that legendary French New Wave film auteur Jean-Luc Godard once declared that all one needs to make a movie is a girl and a gun. When astonishingly-prolific director David De Couteau (Creepozoids, Puppet Master III, and a hundred other credits) put together shoestring genre anti-epics in the eighties, he occasionally brought the guns, but he always had the girls. Three of said starlets, De Couteau’s marketable muses and frequent collaborators to this day, were beloved ’80s Scream Queens Linnea Quigley (Return of the Living Dead), Michelle Bauer (Evil Toons), and Brinke Stevens (Slumber Party Massacre). The eighties was an era when the title of Scream Queen meant quasi-stardom through bringing ample nudity to brief victim roles in an endless array of direct-to-video horror features, and the title also came with blue collar connotations often forgotten today; genuine Scream Queens were less apt to be seen posing on red carpets in designer gowns, and more likely spotted driving themselves to set after sewing their own costumes and packing their own sack lunches. The three actresses mentioned above—their Scream Queen statuses cemented through frequent and adoring coverage in publications like CINEFANTASTIQUE-offshoot FEMME FATALES and Jim Steranko’s PREVUE—commanded the largest cult followings and thus bore the highest profile. The trio of T&A titans only worked all together onscreen twice, the first being DeCouteau’s lunatic horror comedy Sorority Babes in the Slimeball BowlaRama. The second occasion is the lesser-known feature Nightmare Sisters, recently tidied up and re-released on Blu-ray by the Vinegar Syndrome label.
Nightmare Sisters begins with a turban-wearing medium (punk rock frontman Dukey Flyswatter, the voice of the Imp in Bowlarama and here essaying a tone-deaf comedy Indian accent) awakening some sort of evil force in the middle of a séance. Cut to three sorority sisters (Quigley, Bauer, and Stevens), ostensibly done up to seem plain and unattractive. These unpopular ladies are anticipating a visit from three generic frat imbeciles later that the evening, and have scrounged up some party favors to amuse their upcoming guests. One of the items is the crystal ball used in the opening sequence, and it promptly possesses the dowdy sisters and transforms them into gorgeous, bloodthirsty sexual succubi. The frat guys have to rely on their wits and the services of a rumpled, elderly exorcist in order to rescue the girls’ souls, all while ensuring their own manhood remains attached and intact.
Nightmare Sisters was, as De Couteau admits on the commentary, shot over four days and with short ends of thirty-five millimeter film stock left over from his other shoots. Thus, viewers judging this tiny movie on conventional criteria are going to be sorely disappointed. The action takes place entirely in a couple of rooms, redressed for different scenes, and a darkened front lawn. The effects consist of cheap optical light flashes and one shaky skeleton puppet built by Sisters screenwriter Kenneth J. Hall and intended for another movie. De Couteau is no amateur, and thus the film is lit and blocked well (though one scene does go noticeably out of focus) considering the budget with which he was given to work—however, the amount and density of filler here in the form of static dialogue scenes is unconscionable (despite the Blu-ray back cover blurb assuring us of a “non-stop thrill ride” to come). The good news is that when Sisters does finally bestow its exploitative goodies upon the patient audience, it does so in spades: witness the prolonged bathtub scene during which the three sisters do little more than bathe each other and giggle. Sisters is also a gift for Scream Queen fans in that it allows Quigley, Bauer, and Stevens to flex their underused comedic muscles; this is done in a very broad, very endearing way as the ladies milk easy laughs through working awkward nerd characterizations to the hilt, complete with frumpy hair, buck teeth, and unconvincing fat suits. While the sell is overlong, it’s nice to see these actresses get their chance to try something akin to sketch comedy and to demonstrate a depth of talent other than their obvious physicality.
Boutique labels like Scream Factory and Arrow soak up the plaudits for resurrecting Hollywood and European trash obscurities, but Vinegar Syndrome deserve the real cheerleading for treating the utter gutter of cinema, those titles we all remember as having sat on the very bottom shelf of the video store, with respect (witness their remaster scan of 1982’s cult slasher Madman that restores the vaunted ‘blue glow’ tint lost in prior releases for a fine example of Vinegar’s care and diligence). Nightmare Sisters does benefit from having been shot on thirty-five, and this new Vinegar restoration has the modest production looking sharp and clear. Included is the aforementioned commentary track with De Couteau and Quigley swapping tales of permit-ducking and nailing pages of dialogue in record time (this “one take” mentality permeates into the commentary itself, as De Couteau up and answers his phone halfway through recording.) There’s a brief interview with screenwriter and effects man Hall, a video intro from De Couteau along with some crummy bloopers, but the real prize here is the television edit of Sisters. In order to sell the film to late-night T.V., De Couteau and his three stars reconvened a year later to shoot footage of the ladies cavorting around the bedroom in their underwear, and that mismatched footage was then edited in, poorly, to replace the scenes of actual nudity despite keeping those scenes’ original audio. The cut is a bizarre, disorienting curio and good for a laugh.
The Nightmare Sisters package is more comprehensive than the film probably deserves, but its admirers are definitely out there. Your average horror fan may find their patience tested during Sisters, though those of us with an appetite for high camp and soft core will find more than enough to pique our attention. For serious fans of Quigley, Bauer, and Stevens, Sisters is unmissable: the unpretentious lovelies are in their prime here, providing comedy and nudity in equal measure and enthusiasm. Really, your level of enjoyment in watching Nightmare Sisters will match your level of adoration in regard to the three Queens. If you’re not into them, you won’t be into this—but for their sizeable fanbase either experiencing Sisters for the first time or reminiscing on their heyday, these sisters are no nightmare at all.
Doctor Strange will be back on the big screen this November in Thor: Ragnarok
Although it’s not entirely a surprise given the end-credits sequence of his own recent solo film, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is now confirmed to play a part in Marvel Studios‘ upcoming Thor: Ragnarok. In a preview of what the company has to offer in 2017, Disney‘s official fan club D23 highlights the Taika Waititi film with the following description:
“Thor: Ragnarok in November brings together Thor, the Hulk, and Doctor Strange to face off against intergalactic baddies both familiar and new.”
As to how large a role Strange will play in the film, only time will tell. Hulk and Strange do have quite a comic book history together having teamed (alongside Namor) to form the original Defenders in 1971. A very different Defenders lineup is slated to hit Netflix later this year.
Thor: Ragnarok will feature the return of Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder himself, with Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Idris Elba as Heimdall and Sir Anthony Hopkins again portraying Odin. Cate Blanchett plays the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela, Jeff Goldblum stars as the eccentric Grandmaster, Tessa Thompson will bring the classic hero Valkyrie to life on the big screen, and Karl Urban will add his might to the fray as Skurge. Also among the cast is Sam Neill, reuniting with Waititi, who directed him in his previous film Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and his Jurassic Park co-star Jeff Goldblum.
Kevin Feige will produce the film, joined by executive producers Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Thomas M. Hammel and Stan Lee. The screenplay hails from Stephany Folsom, Craig Kyle, Eric Pearson and Christopher Yost.
Thor: Ragnarok will smash its way into theaters on November 3, 2017.
How big a role do you expect Doctor Strange will have in Thor: Ragnarok? Sound off in the comments below!
We all know that often times the actors we see in movies weren’t the only ones who were in consideration for the parts in question. In an alternate universe there are movies where Will Smith is Neo in The Matrix and David Bowie is Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And we almost got to see Matthew McConaughey in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but he chose another project instead.
This year we’ll see Matthew McConaughey in the villainous role of the Man in Black in the adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, and it was this role that he opted to take instead of one in Guardians of the Galaxy 2. But the question is why? Thankfully, the actor has explained his reasoning behind the decision.
Find out why Matthew McConaughey chose The Dark Tower instead of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 below.
In an interview with Playboy, the discussion turned to McConaughey’s choices in blockbuster movies in 2017, and the actor explained his reasoning in choosing one over the other:
“I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but what I saw was ‘It’s successful, and now we’ve got room to make a colorful part for another big-name actor.’ I’d feel like an amendment. The Dark Tower script was well written, I like the director [Nikolaj Arcel] and his take on it, and I can be the creator, the author of the Man in Black—a.k.a. the Devil—in my version of this Stephen King novel. We’ve done the first one. It’s a fantastic thriller that takes place in another realm, an alternate universe, but it’s very much grounded. For instance, the gunslinger’s weapon isn’t a lightsaber or something; it’s a pistol. I enjoyed approaching my character as if I were the Devil having a good time, getting turned on by exposing human hypocrisies wherever he finds them.”
Essentially, McConaughey wanted to feel like a core part of the creation of the big screen world that he was choosing to be part of. Honestly, you can’t blame him for wanting to be integral in the creation of something like that from the beginning rather than being an additional part of a machine that has already been proven to run smoothly. Funnily enough, his part in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 also would have been a villainous one, though we still don’t know for sure who that character would have been just yet.
More than likely, McConaughey probably has a little more creative freedom on The Dark Tower to establish the Man in Black character as his own than he would have by joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’re still waiting to see exactly what he did with that character since the first trailer for The Dark Tower hasn’t been released yet, but hopefully that will change soon.
The Dark Tower arrives on July 28, 2017 while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 debuts on May 5, 2017.