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Film

New Trailer For Disney And Pixar’s Soul

Joe Gardner is a middle-school band teacher who gets the chance of a lifetime to play at the best jazz club in town. But one small misstep takes him from the streets of New York City to The Great Before – a fantastical place where new souls get their personalities, quirks and interests before they go to Earth. Determined to return to his life, Joe teams up with a precocious soul, 22, who has never understood the appeal of the human experience. As Joe desperately tries to show 22 what’s great about living, he may just discover the answers to some of life’s most important questions.

Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Phylicia Rashad, Angela Bassett, Ahmir Questlove Thompson, Daveed Diggs, “Soul” is directed by Academy Award® winner Pete Docter (“Inside Out,” “Up”), co-directed by Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”) and produced by Academy Award nominee Dana Murray (Pixar short “Lou”). Globally renowned musician Jon Batiste will be writing original jazz music for the film, and Oscar®-winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (“The Social Network”), from Nine Inch Nails, will compose an original score that will drift between the real and soul worlds.

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Film

Onward From Disney And Pixar – Special Advance Screening

SPECIAL ADVANCE SCREENINGS – FEBRUARY 29

On Leap Day (February 29, 2020), the all-new film hits cinemas nationwide for one day only in special advance screenings. In the movie, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get a magical opportunity to spend 24 hours with their late father. In honour of 2020’s extra 24 hours on Leap Day, Disney and Pixar are inviting moviegoers to get a first look at the new movie before its official opening.

Tickets for Advance Screenings are now open where tickets are sold.

GROWTH SPELL – When Ian and Barley run out of gas during their epic quest in “Onward,” Ian attempts a growth spell to magically create more fuel. But things don’t exactly go as planned. Featuring the voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” opens in U.S. theaters on March 6, 2020. © 2020 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Cinema Release Date: March 6, 2020

Voice Cast: Chris Pratt, Tom Holland, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Octavia Spencer, Mel Rodriguez, Lena Waithe, Ali Wong.

Director: Dan Scanlon

Producer: Kori Rae

When teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, they embark on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed. Directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, Disney and Pixar’s “Onward” opens in cinemas on March 6, 2020.

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dvd / blu-ray Review

Incredibles 2 (3D Blu-Ray) : Review

Film

It has been some time since the events of the The Incredibles, and superheroes are now listed as illegal. Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson – Gold) very much wants to get back into the game, but is left looking after the kids, Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), when Helen / Elastigirl (Holly Hunter – Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Jackie) is offered a chance to make the superhero name great again.

It is clear that animation has come a long way in the fourteen years since The Incredibles, but with Incredibles 2 this is not just a technical improvement. The story and characters feel more rounded, and fleshed out. The story is enjoyable and engrossing, with more than enough for both young and old viewers, which is sure to keep most riveted.

One would expect nothing less than a top film from Disney / Pixar, and they do not disappoint with this one. Certainly one to own, and most definitely one to see.

Rewatch Value

The rewatch value of Incredibles 2 is likely a little higher for the younger viewer, owing to the barrage of little idiosyncrasies that come out in the main characters, and of course the many funny antics and situations. For an older audience, it would be the laughter and overall story. Either way, this is one film that can be watched over and over.

Disc

The disc is of a good technical quality, with a fun main feature. It is evident that those involved put thought into creating an impressive disc.

There is both a 2D and 3D version of the film included, each on it’s own disc. The 2D disc contains all of the bonus features, while the 3D one has only one of the short films included.

Incredibles 2 is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate. There are no visible artefacts on-screen. Colours are vibrant, with no visible colour bleed. Details in darker or faster paced scenes are good too.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in a DTS-HD 7.1, DTS-HD 5.1, and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, with a descriptive audio track for those requiring that option. The two short films in the bonus features also include this selection of audio soundtracks.

Dialogue is clear via the centre speaker, with great use made of the surround channels, especially in 7.1 mode. The audio soundscape is large, expanding the on-screen world, and drawing the viewer into the action. The sound design of the film is superb, bringing the world to life.

With so many well mixed audio options, the only thing missing would be an Atmos soundtrack.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The disc has a motion background with drawings depicting the film’s characters. There is also accompanying music. Navigation is via a menu bar across the bottom of the screen, with options to play the main feature, bonus features, scene selection, set up, and sneak peeks.

The bonus features pop-up menu has a text listing of the various additional material included on the disc.

The scene selection pop-menu comprises of a series of medium sized, still, colour thumbnails, three on-screen at a time that allow the viewer to select a scene of their choosing. These are both numbered, and labelled. There is also a moving timeline below these, showing relative position in the overall film, as well as a time counter. This should all make things as easy as possible to find a particular chapter, from the total of thirty. The only way to navigate more precise, would be to use the bookmark function of one’s own hardware or software player.

The set up pop-up menu has three further text options, namely languages, subtitles, and Maximizer. The languages option branches to a list of audio languages (including English 7.1, 5.1, 2.0, and a descriptive audio track), as does the subtitles option. The Maximizer option gives the viewer a series of still screens with instructions on how to set up both screen and speakers, with test patterns and explanations, as well as audio tests. This is always something good to run when getting new home cinema gear, or any new hardware or software (including software drivers), to ensure one enjoys the film the best way possible on the given hardware.

The sneak peeks option plays a trailer for the upcoming Disney release of Mary Poppins Returns, and an advert for Disneyland Paris 25th anniversary.

Bonus Features

There are only a few bonus features on the disc. These few are all of a really top quality. It’s a pity there are so few, but these are fun additions. The included 3D disc only contains Bao, while the 2D disc contains all of the below.

Bao – A short film about a Chinese-Canadian woman suffering from empty nest syndrome. She gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings comes alive, and we get to follow her daily routine encountering some of the typical issues one has at every stage of having a child. Top quality, with a few laughs.

Auntie Edna – A funny short film showing the time Jack-Jack spent at Edna’s, something we do not get to see in the film, but now all is revealed. This is not just some extra insight to the main story, but a fun and amusing film. Sure to be enjoyed by viewers both young and old.

Strong Coffee: A Lesson In Animation With Brad Bird – The viewer is taken behind the scenes and gets a look at the whole animation creative process, with a peek at several stages of the workflow. Interviews with many of the filmmakers and animators provides lots of interesting insight for viewers and budding filmmakers alike. We also get to learn how Brad Bird got the label of Strong Coffee.

Feature Commentary – One of the audio soundtracks provides a commentary with writer / director Brad Bird (Tomorrowland: A World Beyond), supervising animator Dave Mullins (Cars 3, Inside Out), supervising animator Alan Barillaro (Monsters University), additional story artist / character designer Tony Fucile, and animation second unit & crowds supervisor Bret Parker.

The team give an in depth talk on each of their respective jobs, how the team worked together, and a lot of insight on the whole process of animation, and making an animated film. A great addition for any viewer, or budding animator or filmmaker.

Info – Not really a bonus feature, but the usual text disclaimer about interviews and peoples opinions, etc. Not really something we would want to constantly access, but it’s there for the lawyer types.

Packaging

Packaging is standard, with a poster on the front of the case. The back has a short synopsis, some stills from the film and bonus features, as well as the usual technical info and logos.

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Film Review

Cars 3 : Review

Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson – Zoolander 2, No Escape) is back, and this time he has to prove himself against the rookies, who are faster, modern, and train with technology, where numbers matter. A new rival emerges, in the form of Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer – The Lone Ranger).

Not wanting to retire, and fearing that he will no longer be number one, Lightning heads off to train at a new facility, helmed by by billionaire Mr. Sterling (Nathan Fillion – Guardians of the Galaxy, Monsters University), and with coach Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo – The Angry Birds Movie). It is these two, Lightning and Cruz, who drive the story, feeding off each other for strength, lessons, and with each others support to eventually find the paths they must take. Of course, it’s not always smooth sailing, and there are many obstacles, in many forms, thrown before them.

Cars 3 has returned somewhat to what worked with the first film, in this lucrative franchise, although this time with a lot less appeal for the older audience. So sorry parents, but it’s going to be a bit of a mission watching with the kids. While some of the message of the film might be a bit too deep for younger audiences, they’re sure to enjoy the very lively world created by Disney and the Pixar studio.

A heartwarming story, superb animation, but floundering in the middle when it comes to a target audience. Instead of aiming for both young and old, it seems to not be for either. Cars 3 is, however, of a very high production quality, so kids are sure to enjoy the few moments of humour, and all the flashy racing cars.

Cars 3 opens this Youth Day, 16 June 2017, in South African cinemas. A word of warning, to pick the cinema where you view the film. There are a few where framing is not correct, so vote with your feet, and see the film as it was meant to be viewed.