& Ted Face The Music (2020/Orion/MGM/Warner Blu-ray)/Hip
Hop: The Songs That Shook America (2020/RLJ Blu-rays)/Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004/LGF/IFC/Blu-ray*)/The Last Dance (2020/Michael Jordan/NBA/ESPN Blu-ray Set)/Le Choc Du Futur (2020/DVD/*both MVD)/Quiet Explosions (2019/Cinema Libre
Sound: B+/B+/B-/B/C+/C+ Extras: B/C/B-/B-/C/C Main Programs: B-/B+/B/B-/C+/B-
the early days of documentaries, music was rarely heard and the seriousness was
always accompanied by a quiet approach, but that changed over the decades. Music has entered other media in recent
years in ways many may not have expected.
This mix of new releases will show you how and then some…
First, a release on the
Reeves is no doubt one of the biggest movie stars in the world today thanks to
the many interesting franchises that he has been a part of over the years. One of his first franchises started with Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989),
which has become a cult classic and favorite for just about anyone that enjoys
movies. The sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991),
was a bit too dark for audiences at the time and wasn't really
the big hit the studio (Orion) was hoping, pushing them closer to folding
thanks to its big budget.
to 2018 and the Internet and fans the world over start heavily pressuring Keanu
and co-star Alex Winter to make a follow-up film. After the studio (MGM now owns Orion) realized
how many people were interested in seeing what William 'Bill' S. Preston Esq.
(Winter) and Theodore 'Ted' Logan (Reeves) have been up to now as older guys,
we get the overall flawed but fun Bill
and Ted Face The Music (2020).
travelers Bill and Ted wrote a song that saved the world... but then they failed
to ever live up to it again.
career has gone on a rapid decline, they have grown to be the exact same guys
they were in their teenage years and are now married to the Princesses they
saved from the past and have two daughters (brilliantly played by Samara
Weaving and Jayma Mays) that are carbon copies of teenage them. Yet, Bill and Ted still have yet to write
a song that brings the world together as history itself is starting to implode
within itself. When a visitor from
the future warns them that only their song can save life as we know it and
repair the history timeline. Along
the way, they are helped by their daughters and a new batch of historical
figures and music legends - to seek the song that will set their world right
and bring harmony in the universe before history implodes upon itself.
also features Kristen Schaal, Erinn Hayes, Anthony Carrigan, Kid Cudi, Jayma
Mays, and William Sadler returning as The Grim Reaper. There is also an appropriate nod to the
late George Carlin. The film is
directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest). At the end of the day, Bill and Ted Face the Music is a rehash
and modern update of the original film with plenty of nods that fans will pick
up on. Still, there seems to be
something missing at the core that made the original so endearing. One small gripe I have is that in the
sequels they didn't keep the Princesses consistent! Poor Diane Franklin and Kimberley Kates! Some of the music choices in the film
could have been a bit more '80s-centric as well, instead of some of the more modern tunes they
went with. The script and film overall feels pretty safe with it basically
being a remake of the original in terms of plot development. Overall, the film is worth a watch and is
still pretty enjoyable, but it's just those few nagging things that
save it from being really great.
Copy is also included.
Special Features also include The
Official Bill & Ted Face The Music Panel at Comic-Con@Home, Be
Excellent to Each Other, A Most Triumphant Duo Death's Crib Social Piece
I would not
necessarily hold out hope of there being another Bill and Ted film anytime
soon, although I would not consider this one a failure. My hope is that we will see a Wayne's World reunion
in this same vein in the future as I've always felt this kind of distant
relation between Wayne and Garth and Bill and Ted. That could have made for a funny cameo
What are the big Hip Hop
music songs that people remember? The
top Hip Hop artists are known usually for one song, but one song that changed
the world. Songs like 'Jesus
Walks' by Kanye West, 'Alright' by Kendrick Lamar. 'Rock Box'
by Run-DMC, 'Elevator' by OutKast, 'The Bridge' by Marle Marl and MC Shan and 'Ladies First' by Queen
Latifah. Each episode of Hip Hop: The Songs
That Shook America (2020) explores
the condition when those songs were made and why they became # 1.
Hip Hop music
was born from Rap music, but unlike rap which (usually in later years) is about
gangsters, guns, drugs and violence, hip hop was based on gospel music, black
movements and black pride. Like how
during slavery and the civil rights movement was represented by gospel music,
Hip Hop represented the modern black culture and their lives against racism,
police brutality and racial profiling. A lot of people think Rap and Hip-Hop
causes violence and racism, but what if Rap and Hip Hop was the result of
violence and racism? Hip Hop music
became the rallying cry to black people and to remind them what they have
endured and to have pride in themselves while the rest
of the world didn't.
Most Hip Hop
artists are trying to get out with a one hit wonder. Hip Hop music is about social/political
issues in American culture which people have been wronged, mistreated or under
represented and how people wanted to be treated. Extras include Barbershop, Rooftop Redemption, Sounds of the South and Basement Tapes.
Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) is
being issued at a time when recent bad history might have repeated itself, the
re-election of a President who did not care about anything but his political
life and control for profit and self-profit, albeit the first time also
included a more aggressive Vice President (to be covered elsewhere, as it has
before) and the film asks what we get when we do not have democracy.
film starts with the bizarre events of the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election when
it looked like Al Gore was going to win, then weeks followed where the results
in Florida were challenged and the less-popular (he did not have as many
outright popular votes) George W. Bush became president. The film spends its informative 122
minutes showing with dark humor how people were manipulated, fear-mongered and
pushed into an unpopular four years with horrid results. Would people make the same mistake
film was a hit and Some Republicans publicly stated and feared that the film
would hand John Kerry the Presidency, but Kerry made some tactical errors in
his campaign (too much to go into here) and Bush won again. The film shows how almost everyone in
power lied about 9/11, for oil at the time, it turned out and how the media
(now free of a Ted Turner-owned CNN) just capitulated and let a series of
unbelievable disasters happen.
these years later and we are STILL in other countries because of the events of
9/11, which you can be suspicious of without even having any conspiracy
theories, which this film achieves.
Some Right-wing critics said the footage of those criticized here was
used unfairly, but it was not altered, manipulated or twisted in any way. It is shown as is and that stands to
the end, Moore made one of his best films here, a permanent record of crimes
against the U.S. and the world, most of which will never be resolved because as
recent history has shown, some people would rather die of a pandemic disease
they deny than admit they are wrong and the ten of millions of them who exist
are as lost to time and the world as the lost truth shown here. Definitely see this film or see it again
because it has a whole new set of contexts to experience and it will get worse
before it gets better... if it can.
include Reversible Artwork, Extended footage of the people of Iraq before the
U.S. bombing, ''Release of Fahrenheit 9/11'' featurette, new scene:
Homeland Security: Miami Style, Outside Abu Ghraib Prison, eyewitness account
from Samara, Iraq, more of the Abdul Henderson interview, Lisa Lipscomb at the
Hollywood premiere of the film, Arab-American Comedians, Condoleezza Rice's
9/11 Commission Testimony, George W. Bush's Rose Garden press briefing after
that commission report and an Original Theatrical Trailer.
Hehir's The Last Dance (2020) is a
documentary mini-series about Michael Jordan's rise to fame and power, the
players and team that made that possible, the making of a stronger, richer NBA
and how the final season under coach Phil Jackson played out. For fans and historians, it is very
thorough and leaves little unturned in its quest to show it all. For others, it is a very long haul over 10 parts and a little might go a long way for
them. Still, it is journalistically
solid and about as complete as can be expected. Some might say it is being too nice to
some people, but only diehard fans know for sure.
can be said that it is one of the too-rare releases on video from either the
NBA or ESPN Network, so it is long overdue, especially versus the endless
stream of discs for hockey, baseball, football and soccer. Though not for everyone, it is archival
enough and recommended if you are really interested.
include a 28-page illustrated booklet and foldout history inside the foldable
DigiPak packaging, while the discs add Game 6: The Movie, SportsCenter
with Scott Van Pelt roundtables, never-before-seen uncut June 1998 Scott
Stewart & Michael Jordan Sunday Conversation, ''In-The-Moment''
archival materials, Jalen & Jacoby Aftershow with Jalen Hehir and a
few other surprises.
(Alma Jodorowsky) fighting in 1978 to have her music a sound heard in the
male-dominated world of Disco, Euro-Disco and other new sounds that will
eventually lead to Electronica in Marc Collin's Le Choc Du Futur (2020).
It is part of a cycle of such French films (plus a few other
productions, like Scorsese's cable TV series Vinyl) taking a look at a
vital era in music that has been sometimes thrown out for political reasons or
from music illiterates who want to forget Disco altogether.
music here is not bad and the actors are good too, but the script and directing
are uneven and I was a little disappointed, as not enough of this was memorable
and there are a few missed opportunities here and there. It has just enough for those interested
in it to give it a look, but the rest will not be as impressed. Some good ideas simply do not get
realized and that's a shame. This
had the potential to be at least a minor classic.
include Image Slideshow, Interview with Director Collin and an Original
Sher's Quiet Explosions (2019) is
our final entry, one about the awful and under-recognized medical condition
known as TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury, which comes from everything you can
imagine, including war, contact sports, physically dangerous jobs and other
extreme situations. Combined with
other awful things (from sexual assault to PTSD) and including whatever is in
ones past, it is a situation that the program estimated has affected 80 Million
People in the last four decades.
a rich, informative 99 minutes, some big names in the sports field, soldiers
who served their country the best they could and others, along with experts,
are interviewed throughout and we hear some truly awful and heartbreaking
stories. You will also get angry
that more people have not gone to jail or worse. Even some medical people themselves have
been affected. I hope this gets
seen and heard about because it has important things to say and share, much of
which is of an emergency nature.
Let's hope this is only the first of many such programs on the subject.
include extended Dr. Gordon and Andrew Marr interview, separate interview with
director Sher and third piece where Sher is joined by Dr. H. William Song and
Dr. Beatica Rubio.
for playback performance. Bill and Ted Face The Music is
presented in 1080p on Blu-ray disc with an MPEG-4 AVC codec and a widescreen
aspect ratio of 2.39:1 paired with a nice sounding audio mix in lossless English
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit). The film looks and sounds fine for the
format but as a fan I'm a bit disappointed there is not a 4K UHD version out the gate. Still, this version of the film looks
fine for now and better quality than streaming.
1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Hip Hop has
more analog video and low-def footage than expected,
but that is the period (almost all the early music videos were on tape too) and
it is what it is. The DTS-HD MA
(Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on each show is as
good as can be for a combination of interviews, older audio and the music at
its highest fidelity. The
combination is fine.
the 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image on 9/11 and the 1080p
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on Dance also have more
analog footage than you might like, but that is the quality of the historic
record, NTSC analog low definition video before digital and then HD and Ultra
HD followed, so know that these two programs can also be trying to watch in all
of its fuzziness. The new
interviews are recorded in better formats and it is what it is.
sound on both 9/11 and Dance are also both DTS-HD MA (Master
Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes, but they are also at the mercy of simple stereo
interviews, older audio that is stereo or even monophonic and has the
occasional hit song. Again, they
could not look or sound much better than they do here, though maybe 9/11
could be a bit clearer in parts.
for the two DVDs, the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Futur
and the anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Quiet can be soft at
times, with Quiet also having some rough footage, sometimes the only of
its kind. I expect they could both
look better in HD, but Quiet would run into the same issues as the
Blu-ray documentaries above. Both
also sport lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, though some of the sound on Quiet
is monophonic or just distorted under inescapable circumstances. Both are as good as they can be in the
- Nicholas Sheffo, Ricky Chiang (Hip
Hop) and James Lockhart (Bill & Ted)