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  • Get Out

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 24th, 2017

    Sometimes…if there’s too many white people, I get nervous.”

    Some of the very best horror films/psychological thrillers succeed by taking a relatable source of anxiety and cranking it to 11. For example, The Exorcist can be viewed as the worst-case scenario for anyone suffering a crisis of faith, while The Shining taps into the madness of being cooped up with your family for too long. Get Out works because it uses the nerve-wracking experience of meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time as a jumping-off point to tell a subversive, insightful, and entertaining story that mashes together Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives.
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    Beavis & Butt-Head: The Complete Collection

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 23rd, 2017

    Before there was South Park, in 1993 MTV released the coolest cartoon that was out there when they began to air Beavis and Butt-Head.  When it came to animated shows, there really wasn’t much out there that appealed to the average teenage boy, but MTV understood their audience and took a chance on creator Mike Judge’s little series that was virtually an overnight sensation.  The blend of having a short animated series mixed in with music videos that the show’s characters would deliver their commentary from the torn up sofa was the perfect blend for what would be an unexpected pop-culture movement.  Looking back at the series with older eyes, I can understand why my parents rolled their eyes about my urgency to get home to watch the new episode of Beavis and Butt-Head
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    Exclusive Interview With Robert Matzen: Author Of Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on February 22nd, 2017

    He’s back. I’m talking about author Robert Matzen. I spoke to Robert at Christmas about his amazing book Mission: Jimmy Stewart And The Fight For Europe. You can catch up on that interview Here. Now he has released a new edition of his book Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 which tells the story of the fiery plane crash that took the life of Carole Lombard, her mother, and Otto Winkler, who was Clark Gable’s assistant and best friend, on January 16, 1942. The plane was also carrying American servicemen who were an important part of the World War II effort. This new edition contains brand new material and has been released for the 75th anniversary of the tragic crash. I can tell you that it’s a page-turner that you’ll find hard to put down. (Of course, that could have to do with the sticky stuff they put all over the cover. Just kidding.) All the while as I was reading the book I was looking forward to another conversation with the author. We finally got to talk again. Now you can hear every word. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Robert Matzen.

    The book is out now on GoodKnight Books.

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    Quarry: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 22nd, 2017

    I’m not as comfortable as you are with the notion of killing other human beings.”

    Remember that time about six months ago when NFL star Colin Kaepernick set off a firestorm of controversy by repeatedly kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest? A big part of the outrage was tied to the notion that Kaepernick’s actions were disrespectful to members of the U.S. military. One of the most striking things about Quarry — Cinemax’s compelling, well-rounded Vietnam War-era drama — is how it depicts a period not that long ago in our country’s history when veterans were openly treated with venom and vitriol that went way beyond someone taking a knee.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 21, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 21st, 2017

    Did somebody call a cab? Larry Shirt is a taxi driver who shuttles some of the most colorful characters in New Orleans throughout the city. Larry comes across an Ivy League student, and the two form a bond that is complicated by Hurricane Katrina. So please join us in offering a royal welcome to The King of New Orleans, courtesy of Candy Factory. Later this week, we’ll take a trip to a mysterious, upscale family estate…hopefully, we can Get Out in one piece!

    Here’s your customary reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    The Great Wall

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 20th, 2017

    It’s kind of a big deal when discussing the film The Great Wall to mention that it is the most expensive Chinese film made to date.  With an estimated budget of a $150 million, I can understand the stunt casting of putting Matt Damon in the film that takes place during the Great Wall’s construction.  It’s quite simple; Matt Damon is an international star, and he puts people in seats.  What’s more surprising is that at one time Edward Zwick was on board to direct, but eventually that position would be passed on to  Yimou Zhang. For those unfamiliar with Zhang, he’s responsible for such martial arts epics Hero and House of Flying Daggers, and for Zhang this would be his first Hollywood feature.
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    American Pastoral (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 20th, 2017

    Ewan McGregor has had an interesting career in front of the camera; he’s gone from playing a heroin addict (Trainspotting), to being a Jedi and several roles that just about make him impossible to typecast. With his new film, McGregor is doing double duty by also helming the film as director for the first time.  When I first heard about McGregor taking on American Pastoral, based on the book of the same name by Philip Roth, I was worried that perhaps he had bitten off a bit more than he could handle with his first time at bat.  What’s surprising is how relevant the film is at this point in time as the country is so divided, and because of this it adds a new perspective to the film.
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    Arrival (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 15th, 2017

    “There are days that define your story beyond your life. Like the day they arrived…”

    The problem is that this starts out with the kind of story we’ve seen a thousand times before. The alien invasion theme is nothing new. H.G. Wells was describing it back in the 19th Century with War of the Worlds. Unrelated Orson Welles scared the crap out of a depression-era radio audience with the same story. Independence Day gave us a brilliantly visual story that also begins the same way: alien ships begin to take strategic positions around the world. Here we go again, right? Wrong. We should have guessed from the beginning that when director Denis Villeneuve tackles a genre, he’s going to turn it on his head. We’d seen him do it before.
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    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 15th, 2017

    “It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives day by day, and we explore the galaxy trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here: not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to coexist and learn.” 

    No Star Trek series has divided Trek fans as much as the 1993 release of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
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    The Crooked Man

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 15th, 2017

    Have no fear, Michael Jai White is here, in a role that is outside the norm that has been established for him in recent years. You know the one, kicking ass and taking names, usually without a shirt on. However, in The Crooked Man, a horror film, he is doing quite the opposite, and also unlike him, he is not the focal point, as the story focuses on a young girl named Olivia, who finds herself not only framed for her friend’s death at the hands of the Crooked Man, but institutionalized when no one believes her story. An intriguing premise, but a bit long in the tooth, if you know what I mean. That said, it does earn the title of best television movie of 2017 for me, but we shall see how long its reign lasts, as we are only two months into the year.
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    Contest: Win Quarry: The Complete First Season On DVD From HBO

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on February 14th, 2017

    HBO is known for their quality original programs. The latest to join the elite list is Quarry. This is a 1970’s period-piece that reminds one of The Deer Hunter. It’s a high-octane drama and HBO is giving us a copy of the Complete First Season on DVD to pass on to one of our lucky readers. John will be telling you more in his upcoming review. You’ll want to get in on this series from the ground floor.

    To win a copy of this prize, follow these instructions.

    1. Fill out your name and email address in the comment form below – your email address will remain private and visible only to us.
    2. Do not post your address as an actual comment!  Instead tell us – What is your favorite HBO series of all time?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is open to residents of the U.S. & Canada only, and will conclude on Sunday, March 26th, 2017
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Black Dragon’s Revenge

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on February 14th, 2017

    Exploitation film has reached a point where there are just too many subgenres to count, or to care about for that matter. This film combines three of the subgenres into one incoherent amalgamation of boredom: Blaxploitation, Kung Fu flicks, and “Brucesploitation.” While the two former concepts should be familiar outside of the realm of cinephilia, Brucesploitation may be a little more difficult to grasp. Basically, after the death of Bruce Lee, filmmakers began to capitalize on Lee’s image posthumously, by using barely passable lookalikes such as Bruce Le or Bruce Li as lead martial artists.
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    Dead West

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 14th, 2017

    When it comes to having a serial killer being used as the main character or used as the anti-hero, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.  Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and of course Dexter are titles that first come to mind.  The difference between these two titles is that we understand their code, or see the lack of code, when it comes to whom they choose to kill.  It’s escapist entertainment, and I appreciate the morbidity of rooting for such deplorable characters, but that’s what cinema and television do; they take us along for a ride that reality cannot.  When it comes to Dead West, we’re on board for a cross-country trip with a serial killer, but sadly this is a trip that had me reaching for the door handle before arriving at our destination.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 14, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 14th, 2017

    Hello again movie lovers…and just lovers in general! It’s Valentine’s Day and I’m sure romance is in the air. It’s also Tuesday, which means it’s time for our weekly Round Up of reviews we’ve got coming your way. HBO rocks out with Quarry: Season 1, a drama about a Vietnam War veteran who gets a very unwelcome reception when he arrives back home. But wait, there’s more! (Heh-heh…I said “but.”) Paramount has made sure we’ll be planted on our couch watching Beavis and Butthead: The Complete Series. Finally, Paramount is also speaking our language with Arrival in 4K.

    Before you run off to get that last minute Valentine’s gift, here’s for your weekly reminder until till next time: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    John Wick: Chapter 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 13th, 2017

    “You wanted me back. I’m back.”

    Keanu Reeves has enjoyed somewhat of a career renaissance thanks in no small part to the success of John Wick in 2014. There he teamed up with some stunt friends of his going back to The Matrix, and together they brought a new action hero to the screen that was as much graphic novel as it was action film. It would become the directing debut of the stunt team of Stahelsky and David Leitch. Along with their action star, everyone stuck to what they knew and refused to overcomplicate the whole thing.
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    The Lego Batman Movie

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 11th, 2017

    Black…all important movies start with a black screen…”

    I completely understand if you’re Batman-ed out by now. The Caped Crusader barely had a chance to catch his breath since the end of Christopher Nolan’s landmark superhero trilogy in 2012 and being pressed back into duty to help kickstart Warner Bros.’ budding superhero universe last year. But between those two iterations, we got a glimpse at a fresh, knowingly funny version of a hero that takes himself entirely too seriously. Batman was a scene-stealing supporting player in 2014’s block-buster The Lego Movie, and now he once again takes center stage in a sharp, hilarious, irreverent adventure that celebrates practically every version of the beloved character.
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    Fifty Shades Darker

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 10th, 2017

    From the suggestion of the title, you would think that we would be diving deeper into the world of BDSM, but after watching, the only thing that I can say about Fifty Shades Darker is that it’s a love story. Yes, I know that it was always a love story, but the first film possessed an edge and intensity, which no longer exist in the sequel. Disappointing is too pale a word for the film. From its failure to properly capture the essence of the source material, less than engaging performance of the leads, and the vanilla nature of the sex scenes, the movie does not live up to the hype. If 50 Shades of Grey pushed the envelope with its sexuality, 50 Shades Darker embraces the commercialism of a sequel for profit rather than effect.
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    Vice Principals: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 10th, 2017

    Danny McBride managed to inhabit the role of Kenny Powers to such an extent that I do appear to have trouble keeping them separate. I thought that the arrival of a new series would finally put that issue to rest. I’m discovering there was a reason I had trouble telling them apart. They are indeed the same person. Add to the situation that Vice Principals uses the same writing and production team headed by McBride and Jody Hill, and there are moments when you will think that you’re still watching Eastbound And Out. The wild card that changes things up enough happens to be Walter Goggins. Goggins came to notice as the cold Shane in The Shield and the quirky Boyd Crowder in Justified.
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    Come What May (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 10th, 2017

    Don’t call it a comeback, but World War II movies are having a bit of a renaissance. (Seriously, don’t call it a comeback…they’ve been here for years.) There are seemingly endless ways to approach a WWII story — Hacksaw Ridge and Allied were in theatres recently, while the next few months will bring The Zookeeper’s Wife and Dunkirk — but the majority of movies that actually get made skew toward the American/British perspective. That’s the main reason Come What May — a somewhat sappy, intensely personal film from France — stands out from the pack.
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    From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 10th, 2017

    Season 1 of From Dusk Till Dawn gave us a ten-episode remake of the hit original movie while setting up a mythology to stretch its story over numerous seasons. Season 2 took us deeper into the culebra syndicate, and we got to see how they operate in their world as Carlos (Wilmer Valderrama) searched for an ancient blood source and sought to sit at the throne as the leader of all the culebras (a snake/vampire hybrid of sorts).  All while the baddest outlaws North and South of the border, the Gecko brothers Seth (D.J. Cotrona) and Richie (Zane Holtz) were forced to work out their differences ever since Richie was made a culebra.
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    John Wick (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on February 9th, 2017

    “John Wick isn’t the Boogeyman. He’s the guy you call to kill the Boogeyman”

    Taking a shot as a hitman in his latest film John Wick, Keanu Reeves delivers his character with authority in this explosive crime drama.  The film turns out to be an ideal fit for the star and his former stunt double turned director as they move to one perfectly choreographed fight scene after another. It’s a fast-action gauntlet that lasts nearly the whole 96 minutes.
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    Frankenstein: The Real Story/The Real Wolfman

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 8th, 2017

    “It killed 102 people, brutally mauling its human prey. Its victims are all women and children. The worst attack by an unknown beast in history, and the basis for the legend of the werewolf. Two investigators set out to solve the mystery. Applying modern day forensics, they hunt to uncover the real wolfman.”

    With the Universal remake of one of its classic monsters, you can expect to see a lot of related material come out of the woodwork to capitalize on the buzz.
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    Wax Mask

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on February 8th, 2017

    If you have any love for Italian horror films, then you know the names Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci are the ones that cause the most excitement. Both directors have made a name for themselves in horror cinema, each providing their own authorship within their own interests. Much like debate concerning The Beatles or The Stones, cinephiles typically side with one over the other. Yes, Argento has conjured dreamlike, character-driven horror that has haunted our minds over the decades (Suspiria, Phenomena), but the late Lucio Fulci has a seemingly innate ability to create landscapes of terror that consistently push the envelope of realistic gore (Zombi, The Beyond). While I do tend to favor Fulci, I am well aware of both of their contributions and influence to horror cinema as a whole. Even though they have notable differences, The Wax Mask offers a collaboration between the two greats prior to Fulci’s death in 1996.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 7, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 7th, 2017

    They stole his car and killed his dog…what more motivation does an impossibly deadly ex-hitman need to come out of retirement?! And now, John Wick is coming for us! Fortunately, it’s a friendly visit as Lionsgate releases John Wick in 4K ahead of this Friday’s release of John Wick: Chapter 2, which we will also be reviewing. On top of that, Lionsgate goes back in time with American Pastoral, gives us nightmare fuel with The Crooked Man, and offers a monster double feature with Frankenstein: The Real Story/The Real Wolfman. HBO misbehaves with Vice Principals: Season 1, while Sony stays up From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 3, and RLJ Entertainment gallops to the Dead West. (Be sure to check out our chat with Dead West star Jeffrey Arrington.) CBS/Paramount boldly goes to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine — The Complete Series, Cohen Media Group returns to the dawn of World War II with Come What May, and Warner Bros. saves the day thanks to Justice League Dark.

    And speaking of “dark”, we have a pair of Reel World reviews coming this weekend to keep Mr. Wick company. Be sure to check back for our take on Fifty Shades Darker and to read whether everything in The Lego Batman Movie is awesome. Now it’s time for your weekly reminder before signing off: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Justice League Dark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 7th, 2017

    To put things mildly, Warner Bros. still has a bit of a ways to go before its stable of DC Comics superheroes catches up to Disney’s dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Warner and DC have long had the upper hand on both the small screen (Smallville, Arrow, The Flash) and with their animated, direct-to-video offerings. The latest in that latter category is Justice League Dark, which mostly sidelines DC’s best-known heroes in favor of a team of mystical outcasts led by a charming, abrasive rogue.


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