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  • Contest: Win Five Star On DVD From XLrator Media

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on September 3rd, 2015

    Our buds over at XLrator Media have given us 2 copies of their latest film Five Star to give away. It’s a rather unique mix of fiction and documentary style that delves into the culture of New York’s street gang world. Written and directed by Keith Miller the film stars James “Primo” Grant and John Diaz.

    To win a copy, just follow these simple 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 was the best street gang film ever made?
    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, Sept. 27th, 2015.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on September 3rd, 2015

    It is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and another subject in the category of “can Tom Hardy do no wrong?” Mad Max: Fury Road is the reimagining of the iconic film that helped launch Mel Gibson’s career decades earlier. This is not new territory in Hollywood by any stretch of the imagination; remakes have happened so often in recent years that they have practically become their own genre. However, I would like to point out something that will hopefully set this film apart in the eyes of the audience: how often do you see a remake that is overseen by the creator of the original film that you know and love?
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    Low Down

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on September 3rd, 2015

    Low Down has a fantastic cast for a low-budget film including John Hawkes, Elle Fanning, Glenn Close, Flea, Taryn Manning, Tim Daly, Billy Drago, Rain Pheonix, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, and Burn Gorman (the last three are alumni of Game of Thrones, which couldn’t be farther in tone and content from this movie). It is the true life story of jazz pianist Joe Albany from a book by his daughter, Amy-Jo. The only thing that clearly marks the time period that the film takes place is a brief excerpt of the Watergate hearings in 1974 but has the feel of a time maybe a decade before. That is part of the beauty of a film like this. It is so subtly clued into detail.
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    Bessie (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 2nd, 2015

    You got the St. Louis blues, the Chicago blues, the gin house blues, the “my man done left me” blues…they all the same song, ain’t they?”

    By now, anyone who’s seen a musical biopic realizes these films also whistle a pretty similar-sounding tune. The bad news here is that Bessie is no exception, rushing from one familiar Troubled Artist Beat (hardscrabble childhood, rise to stardom, substance abuse, troubled marriage, etc.) to the next. The really good news is that this HBO biopic of “Empress of Blues” Bessie Smith is elevated by some truly powerhouse performances.
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    Wes Craven (1939-2015)

    Posted in Tribute by Gino Sassani on September 1st, 2015

    “One … two… Freddy’s coming for you, three… four… better lock the door, five… six… grab your crucifix, seven… eight better stay up late, nine….ten … Never Sleep Again.”

    Our nightmares just got a little less vivid on Sunday. That’s because we’ve lost the man who has so expertly painted them for almost 40 years. Of course I’m talking about Wes Craven. For most of my life he was the Master of Horror.

    It didn’t start with Freddy Krueger. I guess you could say it began with 1972’s The Last House On The Left. But it was certainly Freddy Krueger and A Nightmare On Elm Street that made Wes Craven a household name, and one that more than a few folks likely cursed over the years for disturbing their dreams.
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    Walker Texas Ranger 4 Film Collection

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 1st, 2015

    There was a new cowboy in Dallas, and he wasn’t throwing touchdown passes. But Walker was almost gone before he could really get started. After just four episodes, the show’s production company suffered financial collapse, and the show was rescued at the last minute by CBS Productions, who would continue to run the show for its nearly decade-long run. For nine years Norris brought us the ultimate Texas Ranger in a formula cops-and-robbers show. The show often became a parody of itself but maintained a solid viewership throughout. Hell, Norris even sings the theme song.
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    True Detective: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on September 1st, 2015

    Popular opinion and so-called critical opinion often seem to careen off cliffs like lemmings in increasingly unpredictable ways guided by whims and subtle shifts in the proverbial winds. I find myself shocked by things praised and things condemned. Sometimes I feel like a little boy who sees a naked emperor while everyone else is shrieking how much they love the new elegant ensemble. In this case, I’m seeing a lovely presentation while there are many who are whining.
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    The Originals: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 1st, 2015

    “Once upon a time, there was a majestic king, who lived with his noble brother in a colorful kingdom where music and art were celebrated. The king did not foresee having a child, but he lived in an enchanted land where all things were possible. In time, he was blessed with a beautiful baby daughter for whom he wished only peace and happiness. Still, the king had demons who pursued him.”

    If you’re a fan of The Vampire Diaries, you need no introduction to Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires.
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    Tuesday Round Up: September 1, 2015

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on September 1st, 2015

    What a lovely day! The 3D Blu-ray for Mad Max: Fury Road leads a stacked pack of 23(!!) new releases that we’ll be reviewing here at UpcomingDiscs, breaking a record set way back in…ok, it was two weeks ago. Fortunately, we’ve gotten a pretty good head start: you can already read our takes on CBS/Paramount’s The Originals: Season 2 and Hawaii Five-O: Season 5, Anchor Bay’s Lost After Dark and Felt, Lionsgate’s Panic 5 Bravo, Image Entertainment’s Run Hide Die, Shout! Factory’s Out of the Vault: Halloween collection, and IndiePix’s Falling Star. CBS/Paramount will also hop on The D Train, sting us with Scorpion: Season 1, offer up a Good Kill, introduce us to Madame Secretary: Season 1, and (roundhouse)kick butt with a Walker: Texas Ranger 4-Film Collection.

    In addition to Mad Max, Warner Bros. presents a bloody good dose of The Vampire Diaries: Season 6. You won’t have to visit a website far, far away to read about Star Wars — Rebels: Season 1 from ABC/Disney, which is also turning over the keys to Castle: Season 7. Anchor Bay attempts to avoid The Curse of Downer’s Grove, HBO sings the blues with Bessie, A&E Home Video saddles up for Texas Rising, and Comedy Central Studios intimidates with I Am Dale Earnhardt. Last but not least, Entertainment One rises to The Surface while XLrator Media goes for a Five Star rating.

    Those last two titles will also be part of our ever-popular giveaways. (You can already enter to win The Surface.) Remember that once a month we’re going to give away a free DVD title from among the comments in our weekly Round-Up posts. All you have to do is comment on a Round-Up post — like this one! — and tell us which of these titles you’re most excited to watch or read about. The winners and their prizes will be announced the first week of every month right here in our Tuesday Round-Up post.

    And one last 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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    Hawaii Five-0: Season 5

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 1st, 2015

    “Book ’em Danno.”

    It’s been 30 years since we last heard that phrase. Still it persisted in the modern lexicon along with the term Five-0, which is still shouted in high-crime areas in cities all over the country whenever a police presence is felt closing in on the bad guys. Hawaii Five-0 ended in 1980. That’s when Tom Selleck took over the sets and production crew on Hawaii to work as Magnum P.I. until 1988 when it all closed down for good — or did it? Wouldn’t you know it, the show has been resurrected and become the hottest drama on television.
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    Nickelodeon Out of the Vault: Halloween

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on September 1st, 2015

    This DVD contains some of the scariest episodes of classic Nickelodeon animated TV shows. Hey Arnold! follows a young boy living in a city trying to deal with the day-to-day troubles an elementary-grade child would be dealing with. The Angry Beavers is about a sibling duo of beavers; the cool, sophisticated Norbert and his hyperactive brother Daggit. Ahhh! Real Monsters tells us the story of monsters going through “Scare School” (this series came way before Monsters University) under the strict thumb of The Grumble.
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    Felt

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on August 31st, 2015

    Sometimes films can move at a rather slow pace, but have a tremendous payoff. In many cases, this pacing pattern is identified by cinephiles as a “slow burn.” How slow the “burn” actually is depends solely on the director’s choice; some can be a little too slow for the amount of “burn” it provides at the film’s climax. Felt had no such problem with either of these concepts. The film is slow, yes, but its pacing fits so well with the devolving psyche (the “burn”) of the main character.
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    Contest: Win The Surface On DVD From Entertainment One

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on August 31st, 2015

    Our good friends over at Entertainment One are releasing The Surface on DVD this week. Lake Michigan is the setting for this tale of two men lost in the violent waters who will have to work together if they hope to survive. Sean Astin and Mimi Rogers star along with Chris Mulkey. We’ve got 2 copies to give away to a couple of lucky stiffs here at Upcomingdiscs.com.

    To win a copy, just follow these simple 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 had to fight to survive a great adventure, who would you like to have with you?
    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, Sept. 27th, 2015.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Lost After Dark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 31st, 2015

    And you thought the ’80s were dead.”

    The tongue-in-cheek tagline for this film is the first of many signs that this throwback slasher flick doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’ve always thought the best parodies are the ones that show genuine affection, rather than superiority, toward the genre they’re mocking. Lost After Dark sometimes wobbles as it walks the tricky tightrope between homage and legit horror movie, but there’s no doubt the filmmakers enjoyed their many sleepless nights with the likes of Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface, and more.
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    Big Game

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 31st, 2015

    What is the world coming to when the President is forced to rely on a preteen kid as his only means of protection? Or at least that is what I’d be wondering if I was Samuel L. Jackson in Big Game. In fact, if I was him, I’d probably fire my entire staff after this adventure. Crash-landed in Finland, the President finds himself alone and being hunted with his only ally being a young kid who is undertaking a traditional rite of passage. I have to say, despite the high stakes, the movie managed to keep things somewhat lighthearted, thereby allowing it to appeal to larger audience. Movie watchers are about to see SLJ in a completely different role as the President instead of his usual action-packed roles.
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    Run Hide Die

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on August 31st, 2015

    Honoring the memory of her husband, Addison Davenport sets off to a cabin in the woods with her four friends on the anniversary of his death. The friends go on their road trip, and once at their destination proceed to party. Little do these women know that they are not alone. A killer makes their presence known and starts torturing the girls. This could have been a great homage to classic eighties horror/slasher movies, but the creator couldn’t make a lot of the dialog coherent, nor could he make a meaningful plot. The dialog ranges from all the bad things we hated about the eighties horror scene, to all of the dialog I have grown to hate from newer horror films. It takes the “vulgarity for the sake of being vulgar” shtick from such classics as Friday the Thirteenth and Halloween.
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    Camilla Dickinson

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on August 31st, 2015

    Our story follows Camilla, a young girl living with her family and going to school in Manhattan during the year 1948. Her family is very wealthy and wants for little, but they are experiencing a difficult time in their life right now. Camilla’s mother is having an affair with a French man due to her husband being distant and supposedly uncaring. While going through this difficult time, Camilla is caught in the middle and unsure of what to do. Should she say something to her father or be faithful to her mother? Her friend Louisa tries to help her through this troubling time, but Louisa has troubles of her own.
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    Panic 5 Bravo

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Deborah Bostock-Kelley on August 31st, 2015

    I consider myself an optimist, so even when something looks bad, I try to look for the good. I searched for 84 long, painful minutes to look for good in Panic 5 Bravo. It’s a tale of four paramedics in an ambulance at the edge of the US/Mexican border that I, sadly, don’t ever give a dang about. There’s Richard, a curmudgeon days away from retiring; Josh, the rich-boy newbie; Bobby, the good-oops no bad- girl, and Alex, the eye-candy –a golden-retriever loving Mexican-American who is getting ready to propose to his girlfriend. Kuno Becker (Alex) also wrote, directed, and starred in the film.
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    John Ceballos Turns 500 And Doesn’t Look A Day Over 29

    Posted in Site News by Gino Sassani on August 28th, 2015

    Join me in my congratulations to John Ceballos on passing 500 reviews here at Upcomingdiscs. We’ve relied on John for some time now to deliver the goods and he’s always surpassed expectations. I know many of you look for his work daily. In recent months, John has been keeping everyone informed with our Tuesday Round Up. He’s also contributed some emotional tributes to actors we’ve lost along the way. We’re very lucky to have him here. Time to get back to work, John. We’ve got another 500 lined up and ready to go.

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    The Walking Dead: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 28th, 2015

    So what will you be doing when the zombie apocalypse finally hits? Will you be fighting endlessly to survive? Will you be hoarding food and supplies? Will you be seeking out other survivors and band together? Maybe you’ll just hole up somewhere and try and wait it out. Me? I’m going to find a solid generator, a high-definition television, an Oppo Blu-ray player, and all of The Walking Dead season sets I can get my hands on. You could consider it survival training, but I’m going to binge-watch one of the most unique shows in television history.
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    5 to 7

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 28th, 2015

    “Life is a collection of moments. The idea is to have as many good ones as you can.”

    Anton Yelchin’s reaction to the discovery of the existence of an actual block of time carved out for illicit affairs is probably one of the most comical moments of the film. To further explain, Yelchin’s character has a chance meeting with a beautiful older woman and after a few more scheduled meetings discovers that she is in fact married. The funny thing is the nonchalant way in which she reacts to the revelation, commenting that she told him that she was only available during the hours of 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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    Elementary: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on August 28th, 2015

    In 1887, readers of the popular periodical Beeton’s Christmas Annual were to receive quite a special treat. There wasn’t much fanfare or hype to the event. Inside the pages of the magazine was a story called A Study In Scarlet. It was a detective story, perhaps like many published before, except for the detective himself, a certain Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Together with his faithful companion and chronicler Dr. Watson, Holmes would win the hearts of those holiday readers. It might have been an ordinary day, but the world was about to change. Sherlock Holmes would become the most famous detective in the world.
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    Welcome to New York (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 27th, 2015

    “This film was inspired by a court case, the public stages of which have been filmed, broadcast, reported and commented on throughout the media worldwide. Nonetheless, the characters portrayed in the film and all sequences depicting their private lives remain entirely fictional.”

    The disclaimer that appears at the top of Welcome to New York is only the first indication that this flawed, unflinching drama — based on the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair — seeks to blur the line between fact and fiction.
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    Where Hope Grows (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 27th, 2015

    I guess I could use some of that magical happiness you always seem to have.”

    David DeSanctis, the novice performer with Down syndrome making his feature film debut here, is easily the best thing about Where Hope Grows. Both the actor and the character he plays radiate genuine warmth and irrepressible positivity. Those qualities help boost this well-meaning redemption drama, which suffers from one too many storylines and an unintentionally appalling ending.
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    Rookie Blue: Season 5

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 25th, 2015

    The premise itself is relatively simple and requires no real past knowledge to get on board. Unit 15 is the elite unit of an unnamed Canadian metropolitan police force. The unit is led by Staff Sergeant Oliver Shaw (Gordon). Each episode begins with his roll call. Apparently in Canada it’s called parade. He does the usual job of giving out riding partners and assignments and providing the general “hot” information for the shift turn-out. The show focuses on a group of rookie cops assigned here. This is where it gets tricky.
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