Better than Streaming: Casablanca 4K Blu-ray set for November 8, 2022 release

Welcome back fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! In this edition of the Better than Streaming series, we take a look at the upcoming 4K Blu-ray release of the 1942 classic film Casablanca (starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henreid) which is set for November 8, 2022. Take note that this year marks the 80th anniversary of Casablanca which itself is an iconic American film, won the Academy Award for Best Picture, became memorable for movie quotes, its theme song and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

As I am writing this, Casablanca 4K Blu-ray still has not been listed for pre-order at Amazon.com but you can bet that its November 8 release date is definitive. According to the Blu-ray.com announcement, Casablanca 4K Blu-ray comes with the expected 4K restoration described as having achieved “the richest, most dynamic image possible, rendering the most romantic movie of all time the most beautiful it’s ever been.” For the 4K Blu-ray purists reading this, this upcoming 4K Blu-ray release has native 4K visuals confirmed already!

The official 4K Blu-ray cover of Casablanca.

For the details of Casablanca 4K Blu-ray, posted below are technical stuff sourced from its Blu-ray.com page.

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.37:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono (48kHz, 24-bit)

French: Dolby Digital Mono

Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Italian: Dolby Digital Mono

Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono

Japanese: Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles – English SDH, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish.

Discs

4K Ultra HD

Blu-ray Disc

Two-disc set (1 BD-66, 1 BD-50)

Digital – Digital 4K, Movies Anywhere

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A

In the most recent update of Blu-ray.com, more details about Casablanca 4K Blu-ray were posted. Posted below is an excerpt. Some parts in boldface…

The new Casablanca 4K Blu-ray image was restored and remastered from a 2022 4K 16bit film scan of the best-surviving nitrate film elements. The 4K-scanned digital images went through an extensive digital restoration process to clean and repair the picture for an unprecedented and pristine ultra-high-resolution presentation. The restored images were then graded in High Dynamic Range for today’s premium 4K display experience, providing the highest fidelity in image contrast and detail retention. This work was meticulously handled by Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. The original theatrical mono audio has also been newly restored as well, providing a richer and broader frequency response than previously possible.

Special Features and Technical Specs:

  • BRAND NEW 4K 16-BIT RESTORATION OF THE FILM (2022)
  • NEWLY RESTORED ORIGINAL MONO TRACK (2022)
  • HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • Commentary by Roger Ebert
  • Commentary by Rudy Behlmer
  • Introduction by Lauren Bacall
  • Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988 PBS special)
  • Michael Curtiz: The Greatest Director You’ve Never Heard Of
  • Casablanca: An Unlikely Classic
  • You Must Remember This: A Tribute to Casablanca (1992 TEC documentary)
  • As Time Goes By: The Children Remember
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Who Holds Tomorrow? (1955 “Casablanca” TV episode)
  • Carrotblanca (1955 WB Cartoon)
  • Scoring Stage Sessions (audio only)
  • Lady Esther Screen Guild Theater Radio Broadcast – 4/26/43 (audio only)
  • Vox Pop Radio Broadcast – 11/19/47 (audio only)
  • Trailers
  • Warner Night at the Movies
    • Now, Voyager trailer
    • Newsreel
    • Vaudeville Days (1942 WB short)
    • The Bird Came C.O.D. (1942 WB cartoon)
    • The Squawkin’ Hawk (1942 WB cartoon)
    • The Dover Boys at Pimento University (1942 WB cartoon)
Overseas movie poster of Casablanca.

I personally am interested in this upcoming 4K Blu-ray release which is heavily loads with lots of features that will appeal to both Casablanca fans and other movie buffs. It has been a very long time since I last saw Casablanca during my college days. Sometimes, I accidentally saw parts of it played when I switched channels on cable TV. Casablanca 4K Blu-ray should deliver the promised improved visuals, sounds and immersion that streaming simply cannot achieve.

For the newcomers reading this, if you want the best home entertainment with Casablanca and if you are determined to discover its story, performances and memorable moments for the first time ever in your lives, I urge you all to avoid watching Casablanca reaction videos as well as spoileriffic video reviews of the movie on YouTube until you get Casablanca 4K Blu-ray. No offense to the YouTubers who make reaction videos and the spoileriffic video reviews but I say that Casablanca needs to be preserved for the movie-loving people who are about to see it for the first time ever.

Casablanca movie poster.

Watch out for Casablanca 4K Blu-ray on November 8, 2022.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Better than Streaming: Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray all set for November 1, 2022 release

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! Whether you are a fan of Tom Cruise, or a fan of the 1986 classic Top Gun or if you want something new and exciting to add to your collection of 4K Blu-ray movies, November 1, 2022 will be an important for you as Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray will be released on that very day. Here are some good news…Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray will come with native 4K visuals and if you are convinced to go for it, you can order it in advance right now!

Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray cover.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the 4K Blu-ray announcement at Blu-ray.com. Some parts in boldface…

Paramount Home Media Distribution has officially announced that it will release on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray Joseph Kosinski’s Top Gun: Maverick (2022), starring Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, and Bashir Salahuddin. The two releases will be available for purchase on November 1.

Studio synopsis: Tom Cruise stars in the global phenomenon Top Gun: Maverick, the #1 film of 2022 with over $1.3 billion in worldwide box office and the highest grossing film of the producer/actor’s acclaimed career. Top Gun: Maverick has been hailed as “spectacular” (Brian Truitt, USA Today), “breathtaking” (Don Kaye, Den of Geek) and “jaw-dropping” (Sean O’Connell, Cinemablend).

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. When he finds himself training a detachment of Top Gun graduates for a specialized mission the likes of which no living pilot has ever seen, Maverick encounters Lt. Bradley Bradshaw (Miles Teller), call sign: “Rooster,” the son of Maverick’s late friend and Radar Intercept Officer Lt. Nick Bradshaw, aka “Goose.”

Posted below are the specs of Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1, 1.90:1

Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH, French

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Single disc (1 BD-100)

Digital – Digital copy included

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free

As for the special features and technical specs, posted below are the details sourced from Blu-ray.com…

  • DOLBY VISION/HDR PRESENTATION OF THE FILM
  • DOLBY ATMOS AUDIO TRACK
  • Cleared For Take Off—Witness the most intense film training program as the cast prepare themselves for filming while pulling multiple G’s in a fighter plane.
  • Breaking New Ground – Filming Top Gun: Maverick—Prepare to take flight as you go behind-the-scenes with the cast and crew of Top Gun: Maverick on a journey to capture the most spectacular aerial sequences ever!
  • A Love Letter To Aviation – Tom Cruise shares his passion for aviation as he pilots his own aircraft, a vintage World War II P-51 Mustang, which would have been the Top Gun aircraft of its day.
  • Forging The Darkstar – Pushing the limits beyond Mach-10, the future of aviation is unveiled through an impressive experimental aircraft specially designed for the movie.
  • Masterclass with Tom Cruise – Cannes Film Festival—Tom Cruise discusses his incredible career at the flagship event of the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
  • “Hold My Hand” – Lady Gaga Music Video—Watch Lady Gaga’s music video for her standout lead single hit on the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack.
  • “I Ain’t Worried” – OneRepublic Music Video—Check out the music video to the original new song from OneRepublic.
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One Teaser Trailer – We all share the same fate. Watch the official teaser trailer for Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One starring Tom Cruise. Coming to theatres 2023.

Top Gun: Maverick was released more than thirty years after its predecessor first came out. The 1986 Top Gun itself did not just make a tremendous amount of money in terms of ticket sales as it also made its mark in American pop culture complete with a memorable soundtrack and having notable actors like Val Kilmer, Michael Ironside (note: check out my retro review of V: The Final Battle plus my article about its Blu-ray release), Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins as supporting cast members. To know more about the 1986 classic, watch Oliver Harper’s in-depth retrospective by clicking here.

More on Top Gun: Maverick, the movie’s success during this COVID-19 pandemic age is astounding as it grossed past $1 billion worldwide and literally it reinvigorated movie theaters around the world! For context, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Forbes.com article regarding the theatrical success. Some parts in boldface…

Top Gun: Maverick’s exceptional success supplied a giant lifeline to theaters and cover for studios willfully underdelivering regular theatrical products in an uncommonly sparse summer. Top Gun: Maverick accounted for 23% of the domestic summer movie line-up. That is partially because it earned around $500 million more than even the rosiest projections.

Top Gun: Maverick also came with the benefits of advanced cinematography technologies and methods which made its flight scenes very pleasing to watch. Practical effects and daring flying methods were used which added to the organic nature of the movie’s visuals which is something that computer-generate imaging (CGI) cannot do. The production team also used IMAX cameras and if the movie is still playing in the near IMAX cinema near you, I encourage you to go watch it while you still have time.

Another notable thing about Top Gun: Maverick is that it defied the wokeness of Commiewood (Communist Hollywood) and emphasized American patriotism. For the newcomers reading this, be aware that there are many millions of socialists, Marxists, Communists and unpatriotic people among young people in America who were brainwashed by the socialists who worked as so-called educators in colleges. Take note from the excerpt posted below sourced from The Daily Mail. Some parts in boldface…

Top Gun is a straightforward action movie that celebrates all that is good about our country and our military.

Add to that the handsome leading men, a romantic drama with Cruise’s love interest Jennifer Connelly, and a new generation of actors and ‘pilots,’ like Miles Teller, and you have darn sequel.

There is also a really moving scene between Maverick and Iceman (Cruise and Val Kilmer) and I am woman enough to admit I cried through it.

But above all else — the movie isn’t overly political, it isn’t depressing, it isn’t focusing on the flaws of the United States of America and why we suck and why our flag and national anthem aren’t worth honoring.

The filmmakers also took a stand against the sickening Hollywood trend of pandering to the demands of the totalitarian Chinese government.

In the 1986 original movie, there is a patch depicting the Taiwanese flag on Maverick’s flight jacket. But during 2019 previews, the patch had been removed to alleged appease Chinese censors.

Movie-goers were happy to see the flag had been restored in the film — a signal that neither the filmmakers nor Cruise are content with being lapdogs to the Chinese regime.

I absolutely loved the movie and I felt good leaving the theatre that evening.

Hollywood must wake up to the reality that ‘go woke, go broke’ is real.

Considering its major achievements that go beyond ticket sales, Top Gun: Maverick is the modern-day entertainment marvel just waiting to be discovered by a lot more people who still have not seen it. Expect Top Gun: Maverick to be among the most wanted titles on Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray formats this coming Christmas shopping season. Watching the Tom Cruise-led movie in the cinemas, on 4K Blu-ray and Blu-ray is simply better than streaming.

Watch out for Top Gun: Maverick 4K Blu-ray on November 1, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Top Gun: Maverick-related videos and a few Top Gun videos for your viewing pleasure.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. If you want to support my website, please consider making a donation. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco/.

A Look Back at What If #51 (1993)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit Marvel Comics’ What If monthly series through the 51st issue. Its subject matter was about the Punisher becoming Captain America.

For the newcomers reading this, the Punisher in comics started when Vietnam War veteran Frank Castle lost his family to a gang of criminals who attacked them. Being the only survivor, Castle became obsessed with punishing others by means of assassination and waging a personal war against criminals. Captain America, meanwhile, was serving his country along with his teammates in the Avengers. The story in this reviewed issue of What If diverges from the events told in Captain America #212.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at What If #51, published by Marvel Comics in 1993 with a story written by Simon Furman and drawn by Paris Cullins.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins inside a military hospital deep beneath the Pentagon. Steve Rogers/Captain America was still recovering from his previous mission (told in Captain America #212) when Nick Fury and Falcon arrive. Steve tells Fury that there must be a Captain America again with someone strong to wear the flag.

Shortly after, top secret discussions about replacing Steve Rogers commence with a select committee at work and some representatives present. Due to the lack of real access to the original super soldier serum that enhanced Steve Rogers into becoming Captain America, it was announced that decorated Vietnam War hero Frank Castle was their pick to replace Rogers. Nick Fury expresses his reservation.

At a military camp, Frank Castle refuses to become Captain America expressing that he has served his country already through military operations and he barely has any time left for his wife, son and daughter. As far as he is concerned, his war is over…

Quality

The Punisher as the new Captain America!

On face value, the concept about the Punisher becoming the new Captain America is intriguing and that alone could lead to different outcomes. The story written by Simon Furman clearly shows what kind of Captain America Frank Castle would be. While he does not have the super human abilities of Steve Rogers, Castle’s intense drive to punish others makes his Captain America an effective weapon against not only America’s enemies but also the opposition that the Avengers themselves face. Of course, Castle’s obsession on punishing the opposition is not limited to his role as America’s iconic instrument as he still has a personal desire on bringing down America’s criminals.

The story tackles some of the ethics behind the role and symbolism that comes with being Captain America, and it shows certain elements that Frank Castle lacks when it comes to living up to his higher role. This comic book also serves as a reminder about how valuable it is for Americans, whether fictional or factual, to serve their nation and love it. In today’s era of unrelenting socialism, Communism, Marxism, Critical Race Theory (CRT), unrestrained political correctness, widespread diversity delusions and Leftist activism damaging America which in turn has Joe Biden as a President prioritizing socialism and illegal immigrants over his fellow Americans, this comic book carries a lot of weight about what it means to be an American who is ready to serve and love America. Its meaning will easily offend the social justice warriors (SJWs) in America.

Without spoiling the plot, I can say that the final encounter and conclusion were powerful and sentimental in a good way.

Conclusion

Frank Castle the pick to replace Steve Rogers as Captain America.

What If #51 (1993) could have been another issue that ended disappointingly. It is actually an engaging read and provides readers deep insight about what a Frank Castle Captain America would be like within the Marvel Comics universe of the 1990s. It’s got a good amount of action, several moments of intrigue and it shows a different type of Punisher (note: check out my other retro reviews involving the Punisher by clicking here, here and here) while still retaining some of his classic character background elements. The visuals and art style in this comic book could have been better.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of What If #51 (1993) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $60 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $180.

Overall, What If #51 (1993) is recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at V #3 (1985)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book, watching the V mini-series (Original Miniseries and The Final Battle) and the 1984 TV series, and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, science fiction enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of the V entertainment franchise of the 1980s! Before I start this newest retro comic book review, let me ask you…if you were a resident of a small, rural town in America, would you be willing to accept offers from visitors who claim to come in peace?

The above question hits on theme that defined the first arrival of the Visitors (Reptiloids covered with fake flesh to look human on the outside) in the first episode of V: The Original Miniseries in 1983. I remember the scene in which the Visitors’ so-called leader John first appeared and he acted gentle and friendly. The events that followed was pop culture history.

Last time around, Mike Donovan, Julie Parrish and their companion got jailed in a small, rural town whose people (a lot of which were senior citizens) trusted the Visitors a whole lot. The three could find themselves in deeper trouble as a group of Visitors arrive in town for an activity. To find out what happens next, here is a look back at V #3, published by DC Comics in 1985 with a story written by Cary Bates and drawn by Carmine Infantino.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with the arrival of a large transport ship at the town of Sparkling Springs. The group of Visitors, led by Captain Devon (who replaced his predecessor), is warmly welcomed by the residents. In the town jail, Mike, Julie and Hart noticed from a distance that the arrival of the Visitors was six hours earlier than anticipated.

At another part of town, the young Billy (who promised to help Mike, Julie and Hart) is hiding behind plants with Willie (a good-natured Visitor who sided with the Resistance) and Boyce carefully observing the large transport ship. Being a Reptiloid himself, Willie found it logical that his fellow aliens want the rich abundance of minerals in natural spring water as it is beneficial for their physiology.

Willie then asks Billy to take them to the jail where their friends are locked up…

Quality

Mike and Willie take action!

As expected, the high-quality writing of Cary Bates really brought the continuing story to life and the engagement also remains strong.

While the previous showed how the town people became trusting of the Visitors, this one further emphasized that through the latest visit of the aliens. What I liked most about this comic book was the way Cary Bates portrayed the way the Visitors perceived their relationship with the town people and how they perceived a threat made by one of the locals could rattle the mutual give-and-take relationship of the two sides. There is even this chilling writing about how the life of one wasted youth compares the benefits that the two sides enjoy.

More on the writing, there is this very impassioned speech by Mike Donovan that makes clear the true intentions of the Visitors as the town people accepted the aliens so warmly while turning their backs on the human race. So far, this is the most socially relevant expression in this old comic book series and if you take into context the fact that certain people in the world today would give up on their established values (examples: patriotism, the nuclear family) in favor of destructive, radical values and concepts (examples: Marxism, Socialism, Communism, Fascism, critical race theory) and then deform society with them, Mike Donovan’s speech remains strongly relevant. In fact, I easily imagined the voice of Marc Singer speaking as I read the said speech.

When it comes to spectacle, there is a good amount of action to enjoy here.

Conclusion

With the help of local boy Billy, the Resistance make their moves against the Visitors.

I can say that V #3 (1985) succeeded in telling an engaging story (which concluded in a very satisfying way) and pushed the narrative forward. Having seen the original miniseries as well as V: The Final Battle a long time ago, I could easily relate with the portrayals of Mike Donovan, Julie Parrish and Willie in this story. I also love the fact that this story emphasized that peace and freedom are achieved not by mere reforms but with sacrifices (which was visualized with a very notable death scene that also showed the comic book creators took a huge risk as it is really sensitive in nature). Its social relevance will remind you not to give in to sinister forces.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of V #3 (1985), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $28 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $38.

Overall, V #3 (1985) is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com