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  • Finding Joy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 19th, 2014

    It is a deliberate mystery the how, when, and if of it all.”

    This quote perfectly characterized the entire story of Finding Joy. The reality is this movie has left me questioning: what would you do if you truly believed that your end is near? How would you spend what could be your final days? Would you do charity work as a way of buying your way into heaven?
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: ABC Television

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 19th, 2014

    ABC and Disney have some rather entertaining television sets for that hard-to-please television addict on your shopping list. In recent years more and more of us engage in something called binge-watching. With either a DVR or the season sets releases, we watch an entire season of a show in a matter of a few days. I’ll bet you have a binge-watcher on that list of yours. You might want to consider some of the ABC family of shows.
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    This Is Where I Leave You (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 18th, 2014

    Everybody’s sad or angry or lying or cheating.”

    That seems to be the state of the four adult Altman children even before they are thrust back together following the death of the family patriarch. This Is Where I Leave You has all the makings of a great dysfunctional dramedy. It has a terrific cast and is based on the very popular book by Jonathan Tropper, who wrote the screenplay. Yet the movie comes up well short of delivering on its promise. Despite some strong acting, a handful of funny beats, and a passing similarity to another ensemble movie where characters who were formerly close are brought back together by a funeral, this movie is less Big Chill and more “Big Shrill.”
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    The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 17th, 2014

    “Will you follow me, one last time?”

    It’s time to say goodbye to Middle Earth, at least from a cinematic perspective. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies marks the last time we shall see Peter Jackson’s version of Middle Earth. Sure, Ian McKellen has told us he wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of a return. I would.
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    Exclusive Interview: Jeremy Berg Director Of The Device

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on December 16th, 2014

    “What if the rumors and urban legends are real… that aliens walk among us, abducting people for unthinkable experiments? Sisters Abby and Rebecca are about to discover the horrifying truth when they find a harmless looking object in the woods near their family’s cabin. The small black sphere is the key to a shocking mystery that will change the course of human destiny. The Device has plans for us, and this world is no longer ours.”

    That’s the premise for The Device out now on DVD from RLJ/Image Entertainment. I had a short opportunity to talk to the film’s director: Jeremy Berg. Check out what he has to say and then check out the DVD. Bang it here to listen to my chat with Jeremy Berg.

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    The Skeleton Twins (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 16th, 2014

    “You know what the sad thing is? We’re a good team.”

    Up until they teamed up to star in The Skeleton Twins, there was nothing sad about the team of Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader. Regardless of how you feel about the quality of Saturday Night Live in recent years, Wiig (the only cast member to earn an Oscar nomination — for co-writing Bridesmaids — while still appearing on the show) and Hader (with “Stefon” and a laundry list of impressions that ranged from Alan Alda to Al Pacino) were clear standouts. So you’d expect their first post-SNL big-screen team up to be a laugh riot. That’s not exactly the case.
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    Drunk History Seasons 1 and 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on December 15th, 2014

    Drunk History was inspired by a conversation the creator of the show, Derek Waters, had with actor Jake Johnson (New Girl). Johnson was drunk and told Waters a crazy story about Otis Redding predicting the plane he was getting on was going to crash. Waters took that germ and refined it considerably with co-conspirator Jeremy Konner. They released some videos on Funny or Die (that are readily available on Youtube). They have since made shows for Comedy Central, which are the two seasons included here in this collection. 
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    Guardians of the Galaxy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 15th, 2014

    “Are you telling me that the fate of thirty million inhabitants is in the hands of these criminals?”

    Now that we are in the middle of phase two of Marvel’s movie universe, a new batch of characters have been given a movie of their own to help set the stage for what is to come in the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe.  The Guardians of the Galaxy announcement for many left fans scratching their heads; after all, just how would a talking raccoon, a lumbering tree and various other space aliens fit in with the established Avengers team comic and film fans have grown to love already?
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    Exodus: Gods and Kings

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 15th, 2014

    When it comes to the modern epic, director Ridley Scott is the go-to guy to pull off the sprawling and mega-budget storylines.  From Gladiator to Kingdom of Heaven, Scott has constantly proven himself behind the camera in executing tales with lavish sets and battles involving hundreds to even thousands of extras.  With the release of Exodus: Gods and Kings, a retelling of the Bible story where Moses frees the slaves of Egypt, Ridley Scott would seem the perfect choice for this film.  Unfortunately this is a Bible story that is sure to anger religious scholars and put some general audiences to sleep.
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    Speak No Evil

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 15th, 2014

    With the exception of killer clowns, I think the creepiest villains you can find in a horror film are possessed kids.  After all, they’re kids, so the knee-jerk reaction of letting them be overtaken by evil or letting them die is a bad thing in many circles.  Personally, if I’m being chased by some murderous kid who claims to have the devil in him, well, I’m not taking any chances, and they are going to end up on the unfriendly end of a handgun.  Thankfully I don’t believe the evil will be rising any time soon to kick off the ultimate war between good and evil.
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    Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 15th, 2014

    Screw you, it’s ‘Merry Christmas!’”

    A decent chunk of Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special is devoted to taking back the most wonderful time of the year from anyone who insists on saying “Happy Holidays” instead of daring to utter the C-word. The wildly successful comic certainly knows his audience, and the live crowd here eats up Dunham’s assault on rampant political correctness. My feelings on this particular DVD release, on the other hand, are closer to “Bah, humbug!
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Warner Brothers Television On Blu-ray

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 11th, 2014

    When it comes to getting the current shows out in high definition, no one does it better than Warner Brothers. I am impressed each year with the number of shows they release on Blu-ray every year. Readers to this site know what I’m talking about. If you have TV fans on your list who also are fans of sci-fi and horror, these are the best sets to get this holiday season. Below you’ll find some excerpts from our reviews. I’ve put it all in one place to make your shopping experience easier. I know how little time you’ve got with a lot of shopping to do. Don’t forget to use one of our links if you get them from Amazon. It’ll help keep us going another year. 
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    Perry Mason Double Features

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 11th, 2014

    Erle Stanley Gardner wrote crime fiction, and while many of his 100 or so works are unknown to most of us, he created a character who has become as identified with criminal lawyers as any other in fiction. It was in these crime novels that Perry Mason first faced a courtroom. He developed a style where he would investigate these terrible crimes his clients were on trial for. He would find the real killer, and in what has become a Hollywood cliché, reveal his findings in a crucial moment during the trial. While we may not remember the novels, we all remember the man in the persona of Raymond Burr.
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    Broad City: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 11th, 2014

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: single gal(s) looking for love — among other things — in the big city. On television, the trope dates back to the days of The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Laverne & Shirley and continues with more contemporary entries like Sex and the City and Girls. It’s an effective, well-worn story hook that has now gotten a funny, tremendously weird spin thanks to Comedy Central’s Broad City.
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Halloween: The Complete Collection Limited Deluxe Edition

    Posted in Uncategorized by Gino Sassani on December 10th, 2014

    So you have a horror fan on your shopping list this year. You’re not sure if they like classic or slasher. Do they appreciate the wonderful films of the past, or do they like to go for the jugular? You know there’s a ton of horror titles out there, but which ones are any good? You also want this gift to be something special. The guy at the store doesn’t know Frankenstein from Jason. You ask for his help, and he looks at you like something out of The Walking Dead. Shopping for a horror title scares you more than a walk at Camp Crystal Lake with a bullseye tattooed on your face. Don’t lose your head over this one. Anchor Bay and Shout Factory’s Scream Factory have that perfect special gift. It’s The Halloween Collection. You get the classic John Carpenter film and all of the slash-fest sequels as well. It’s 10 films in one high-definition splatter festival. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg… well maybe a foot.
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    Nymphomaniac: Extended Director’s Cut Volume 1 & 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on December 10th, 2014

    The story is simple. It chronicles a conversation between two people. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is found bloody and beaten in an alley by an older man, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). He takes her to his sparse flat to care for her and help her. What takes place is a long conversation full of intellectual digressions about Joe. It slowly reveals what led to her downfall. Seligman is a sheltered bookworm who has a detached curiosity about her story. 
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    Into the Woods: Original Broadway Production (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 9th, 2014

    I wish…”

    There’s no shortage of wishing (not to mention pining, longing, yearning, etc.) in some of our most beloved fairy tales. Into the Woods — the Tony-winning Broadway musical created by Stephen Sondheim and frequent collaborator James Lapine — illustrates what happens when certain characters get their storybook ending. Since there’s a big, shiny Disney adaptation on the way, it made sense for Image Entertainment to offer a performance of the stage show on Blu-ray. However, I wish…some more effort had been put into this release.
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: The Wonder Years: The Complete Series Set

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 8th, 2014

    “1968, I was twelve years old. A lot happened that year. Dennis McLain won 31 games, The Mod Squad hit the air, and I graduated from Hillcrest Elementary and entered junior high school…but we’ll get to that. There’s no pretty way to put this: I grew up in the suburbs. I guess most people think of the suburb as a place with all the disadvantages of the city, and none of the advantages of the country, and vice versa. But, in a way, those really were the wonder years for us there in the suburbs. It was kind of a golden age for kids.” 

    The show takes place in Anywhere, USA. The pilot begins in 1968 and is told from the point of view of a contemporary adult looking back on those early years of his life. Anyone who is a fan of A Christmas Story will appreciate the narrative style of The Wonder Years.
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    Signed Sealed Delivered Christmas

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 8th, 2014

    I don’t say this often, but I’m always happy when I get an opportunity to say it: this movie took me by surprise. I not usually one for the holiday film; don’t get me wrong, I’m no Grinch; however, I have found that magic of Christmas tends to wear off when the illusion of Santa is destroyed. (To all those who are still believers I recommend you stop reading now.) That being said, I have no shame in admitting that in case of Signed, Sealed, and Delivered, I felt the magic once again. Don’t call me a believer again; however, let’s just say it made me want to believe again.
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    Holiday Gift Guide: Spotlight: The Merv Griffin Show (1962-1986)

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 5th, 2014

    Johnny Carson might have been king of the late-night airwaves, but it was Merv Griffin who held court during the day. From 1962 until 1986 Merv Griffin brought you the most important, entertaining and fascinating personalities to your living rooms. He was also quite the producer. Here’s the question:  He created two of the longest-lasting game shows in television history. Who was Merv Griffin? That’s correct. He created both Wheel Of Fortune and Jeopardy.  But it will be The Merv Griffin Show that he’ll he’s most remembered for.
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Little House on the Prairie

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 4th, 2014

    It’s funny how some actors mean different things to different people. It often depends on your age and interests. Michael Landon is one such actor. I was a horror movie fan who watched late-night creature features with my dad. To me Landon was the titular character from I Was A Teenage Werewolf. To my Dad and his generation, Landon was Little Joe from Bonanza. To continue the comparison, Little Joe’s pop was always Commander Adama, with no offense intended toward Edward James Olmos. But there is another generation that doesn’t know werewolves from cowboys, and to them Michael Landon will always be the warm father Charles Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie.
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    A Royal Christmas

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 3rd, 2014

    Tis the season to be…overwhelmed with a crushing number of Christmas-themed movies on our television screens. In addition to holiday staples like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Die Hard (yeah, I said it), many networks roll out original, made-for-TV yuletide tales. The Hallmark Channel is certainly doing its part this year with its “Countdown to Christmas”, which includes 12 new movies. One of those films transports us to the fictional land of Cordinia for the painfully cliched romantic-comedy stylings of A Royal Christmas.
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    Contest: Win Field Of Lost Shoes From ARC Entertainment

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on December 1st, 2014

    Our friends at Arc Entertainment have another great giveaway for you faithful Upcomingdiscs readers. On Dec 2nd Field Of Lost Shoes hits the stores and we have 2 copies to give out. This one is based on a true American Civil War story. A group of teen cadets shows their courage under fire when they are sent into the heart of battle. The film stars David Arquette and Tom Skerritt.

    To win just 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 – If you could go back in time, where/when would you go?
    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, December 28th, 2014.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 28th, 2014

    “How the hell did this happen? I mean, I’m on the other side of the planet, and people know who I am and they’re laughing at my jokes.”

    Despite his status as one of the biggest draws in stand-up comedy, Jeff Dunham really does seem taken aback by his success. On one hand, you wouldn’t necessarily expect a ventriloquist to be one of the hottest names in comedy in 2014. Then again, the hard work and precision he has put into his act is evident every time he takes the stage. For his latest comedy special, Dunham packed up his puppets and took his show on the road like never before.
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    Holiday Gift Guide: Spartacus: Complete Series Limited Edition

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on November 28th, 2014

    “The gods finally bless us with a complete collection.”

    AnchorBay is going all out in delivering a couple of complete series collections. There is a limited edition with some cool stuff that we hope to talk to you about on Black Friday for your shopping edification. This set contains all of the show’s 39 episodes on 12 discs. There is a 13th disc with limited extra features that were not found on the original individual season releases. 
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