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WARNER

MOVIE INFO

Created By:
Misha Green
Cast:
Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Courtney B. Vance
Writing Credits:
Various

Synopsis:
In the 1950s, a young man travels across the US in search of his missing father.

MPAA:
Rated TV-MA.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
German Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
German
Dutch
Danish
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
French
German
Dutch

Runtime: 590 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 2/16/2021

Bonus:
• “Orithyia Blue and the Imagination of Diane Freeman” Featurette
• “Compendium of Horrors” Featurette
• “Crafting Lovecraft Country” Featurette
• “Exploring Lovecraft Country” Featurettes
• “The Craft” Featurettes


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


RELATED REVIEWS


Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 7, 2021)

With HBO’s Lovecraft Country, we get a series that mixes period drama, horror and science-fiction. This three-disc set includes all 10 of Season One’s episodes. The plot synopses come from the show’s official website.

Sundown: “Atticus Freeman (Jonathan Majors) travels from the Jim Crow South to his hometown of Chicago in search of his missing father Montrose (Michael K. Williams) – recruiting his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) and childhood friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett) on a journey to find him.”

Much of “Sundown” plays like a spinoff from Green Book, as we follow the travails of road trips for Blacks in this era. After a big sci-fi opening, the episode settles into these more dramatic themes.

We don’t get to the fantastic elements until the final 15 minutes or so, and those moments add some life. Overall, “Sundown” seems like a competent introduction to the series, but it doesn’t launch matters in a tremendously engaging manner.

Whitey’s On the Moon: “While Leti and George luxuriate in their new surroundings, Atticus grows suspicious of their hosts at Ardham Lodge, where an ominous ceremony looms.”

Whereas the pilot mostly played like a civil rights drama, “Moon” more actively embraces the fantasy and horror promised in the series. Some potentially interesting plot threads arise, but much of the episode feels like a rehash of themes we’ve seen in genre efforts over the years, so “Moon” struggles to find much fresh to say.

Holy Ghost: “Leti’s plan to open a boarding house in a white neighborhood is challenged by a series of racist acts – and awakens dormant spirits in the house.”

Given that the story told in the opening pair of shows did little for me, I welcome the change of pace we find here. While I don’t think “Ghost” really excels, it becomes more compelling than its predecessors and makes me more optimistic the series will grow.

A History of Violence: “Leti, Tic, and Montrose head to Boston to search for missing pages to a crucial text. Ruby (Wunmi Mosaku) nurses her disappointment over a squandered job opportunity.”

Through much of “Ghost”, I thought Country would veer away from the themes of the first two episodes, but the show’s finale indicated this wouldn’t prove true. Those echoes become prominent in “Violence”, as we reconnect to the Sons of Adam and its characters more actively here.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for those initial pair of programs, “Violence” tends to move things along in a stronger manner. More of an adventure than prior shows, “Violence” explores some good threads and becomes reasonably exciting.

Strange Case: “Ruby experiences the perks of life as a white woman. Atticus lashes out at Montrose for his betrayal.”

A classic SNL sketch showed the wonderland that Eddie Murphy experienced when made up to look white. “Case” feels like a more dramatic version of that, and it becomes an intriguing tale, albeit one that follows some predictable paths.

Meet Me In Daegu: “In the throes of the Korean War, nursing student Ji-Ah (Jamie Chung) crosses paths with a wounded Atticus, who has no recollection of their violent first encounter.”

As we explore Tic’s past, we take a major change in setting and year, as we leap back to Korea in 1949. Mainly spoken in Korean, this offers a pretty big curveball, and it works. We get a good look at a semi-new character and this becomes one of S1’s better shows.

I Am,: “Hippolyta’s (Aunjanue Ellis) relentless search for answers takes her on a multidimensional journey of self-discovery as Atticus heads to St. Louis to consult an old family friend.”

After that detour to Korea, this episode brings us back where we left off, though we push down a trippier path as Hippolyta literally travels through time. The show starts a bit slowly, as much of the first half feels expository, but once Hippolyta goes on her journey, it becomes more dynamic.

Jig-A-Bobo: “A distraught Diana (Jada Harris) finds herself in Captain Lancaster’s (Mac Brandt) crosshairs. When a visitor from his past arrives at the boarding house, Atticus and Leti each take steps to protect their future.”

Unlike the trippy “I Am.”, this episode goes more reality-focused – well, more reality-focused for this series, as we still find plenty of fantasy and horror. Though not as involving as the last few shows, “Bobo” still moves along plot threads well.

Rewind 1921: “With Hippolyta at the helm, Leti, Tic, and Montrose travel to 1921 Tulsa in an effort to save Dee.”

With only a little time left in S1, “1921” ratchets up the action, and the return to the period of the notorious massacre adds to that tension. Given how prominently these Tulsa events featured in the Watchmen limited series, this setting threatens to feel a little trite, but there’s more than enough drama involved to allow the episode to work.

Full Circle: “After uncovering the origins of the Book of Names, the gang heads back to Ardham to cast the ultimate spell.”

S1 wraps with the expected big bang. Of course, like any good season-ender, it doesn’t completely tie up all the threads, but it nonetheless acts as a fairly positive conclusion to this year’s run of episodes.

While I can’t call Lovecraft Country a wholly satisfying series – mainly due to its sluggish start – it becomes a mostly compelling show. I look forward to Season Two.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C+

Lovecraft Country appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the shows offered solid visuals.

Sharpness worked well. A few interiors could be a smidgen soft, but those instances remained rare, so the majority of the episodes delivered tight, concise material. I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and the shows lacked edge haloes and source flaws.

Country went with a fairly amber and teal palette, though it broadened on many occasions as well, so expect plenty of reds and purples as well. The episodes displayed them in an appropriate manner and they boasted good vivacity as necessary.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, and shadows showed nice opacity. The episodes came across as appealing.

In addition, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio of Country also satisfied. With plenty of action on display, the soundscapes boasted a nice array of information from all five channels, and the information moved well.

This left us with broad, immersive soundfields. They used the different speakers to create a good sense of the fights and mayhem – the TV series’ budget meant the audio wasn’t quite feature film quality, but it still seemed very good.

Speech came across as natural and concise, while music showed rich, full tones. Effects appeared accurate and dynamic, with good low-end and impact. I felt pleased with the soundtracks found here.

A mix of extras appear on Disc Three, and Orithyia Blue and the Imagination of Diane Freeman runs 11 minutes, 20 seconds and brings comments from series creator Misha Green, comic book artist Afua Richardson, property master JP Jones, and actors Jada Harris and Aunjanue Ellis.

“Blue” looks at the source novel and its adaptation, the Dee character and her comics. It becomes a decent overview of the topics.

Compendium of Horrors lasts 12 minutes, 26 seconds and features Green, novelist Matt Ruff, creature designer Jerad Marantz, executive producer Bill Carraro, director of photography Robert McLachlan, movement choreographer Terry Notary, visual effects supervisor Kevin Blank, and actors Courtney B, Vance, Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett,

With “Horrors”, we discuss the source novel and its adaptation, story and characters, effects, creatures and photography.

Next comes Crafting Lovecraft Country, a 28-minute, 14-second show that offers notes from Vance, Smollett, Ellis, Majors, Green, Carraro, Ruff, McLachlan, Marantz, Notary, Blank, Jones, production designer Kalina Ivanov, costume designer Dayna Pink, supervising location manager Maria T. Bierniak, director of photography Michael Watson, set decorator Summer Eubanks, stunt coordinator Stephen Pope, and actors Michael K. Williams and Abbey Lee.

Here we cover the novel’s origins and adaptation, cast and performances, story/characters, period influences and various references, sets, locations and costumes, photography, creatures, props. “Crafting” repeats a little information from prior featurettes, but it gives us a stronger summary and becomes a tight view of different production domains.

Exploring Lovecraft Country offers eight featurettes that fill a total of eight minutes, 13 seconds. Each focuses on a different actor, and these involve Ellis, Majors, Vance, Smollett, Lee, Harris, Williams and Wunmi Mosaku.

The clips look at cast and characters. Each lasts barely a minute, and they exist for promotional purposes, so don’t expect substance.

Finally, The Craft brings four more featurettes that occupy a total of six minutes, 59 seconds. These bring info from Richardson, Jones, storyboard artist Eric Yamamoto and SPFX makeup supervisor Carey Jones.

We hear about these folks’ talents and their involvement in the project as well as other aspects of their careers. These offer a few useful thoughts but they tend to feel fairly superficial much of the time.

A mix of history, fantasy and horror, Season One of Lovecraft Country becomes a fairly involving experience. Not every show hits – and the year starts a bit slowly – but it seems ambitious and mostly compelling. The Blu-rays bring solid picture and audio along with a decent array of bonus materials. This becomes a good series that boasts potential to work even better in the future.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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