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  • End of The Tour

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

    I don’t think there has ever really been a great film about a great writer. We naturally compare their lives to works of great fiction. Great fiction tends to distill the tedium and awkwardness out of real life. Real life can be exhausting in the day-to-day disappointments that can sometimes be wrapped in small victories. David Foster Wallace was a great writer. This is almost universally acknowledged. David Foster Wallace no longer is because he hung himself in 2008 at age 46. Many people who were in his life are now very protective of him and his privacy. They are angry at the idea of a movie being made about his life.
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    Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation

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

    This may very well be our last mission, Ethan…make it count.”

    You wouldn’t know it from looking at him, but Tom Cruise is now 53 years old. So it’s only natural to wonder how many more Missions the indomitable superstar has left in him. Well if Rogue Nation is any indication, the above quote is meant to be more winking than prophetic. Just like its tireless star, the fifth installment of the 19-year-old Mission: Impossible film franchise is sprier, tighter, and more energetic than its age might suggest.
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    Ghost Town (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 30th, 2015

    Shout Factory has brought yet another 1980’s Empire Pictures horror film to high definition on Blu-ray. This is another one of those Schlock-O-Rama films that are best viewed with a group of friends. While it’s certainly a step ahead of some recent entries on this list, there’s plenty of fun to be had in a gathering. This release also has the advantage of just one film on the disc. Of course, I’m talking about Ghost Town, directed by Richard Governor, but did you know that Mac Ahlberg of Ghoulies and Re-Animator fame was an uncredited assistant director on the film? The man’s a pretty good cinematographer, and his eye lends itself to a better-looking shoot with more atmosphere than you might ordinarily find on these things.
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    10 Cent Pistol

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on July 30th, 2015

    In August Entertainment One will be releasing 10 Cent Pistol. The film is about two brothers who deal with the L.A. underworld. What better way to make that work than casting two actual brothers in the roles? It’s a great idea, and those two brothers are Damon and JT Alexander. I spent a few minutes on the phone with them both, and it was a great time. We talked about the movie, brothers, and folding your pizza. Want to know what that’s all about? There are only two ways to find out. Watch the film when it releases. You can also bang it here to listen to my chat with The Alexander Brothers

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    Helix: Season Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 29th, 2015

    It’s almost upon us. After many long years and two less-than-stellar films, the original X-Files is returning to its rightful place on television. In the years since it left the airwaves, there have been many attempts to recreate its style and place in the hearts of fans. Helix was an attempt to take something that would have been a great X-Files episodes and turn it into a complete series franchise of its own. You remember the scenario. Mulder and Scully would be locked in the arctic where an ancient disease or worm would contaminate the people there. It would be up to these guys to solve the mystery and rescue what was left of the base scientists.
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    Joan Rivers Box Set

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on July 28th, 2015

    Joan Rivers left behind an enormous legacy after leaving us in September of 2014. Known for her sharp wit and celebrity stings, the comedienne proved she was a force to be reckoned with. Most known for her television vehicle Fashion Police (started in 2002 and still running), she has had a major influence in the world of comedy, and her death really shook that world. Perhaps my favorite project she has worked on was the brilliantly-titled In Bed With Joan. While televised, it was also released as a podcast.
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 28, 2015

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by Gino Sassani on July 27th, 2015

    Howdy, Partners. Johnny’s working down at the bunkhouse today, so here I am to let you know what might be causing a stampede down at your local video store. It’s a slow week here on the ranch, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be bringing you a few things to look at. We already have the early review up for Magnolia’s White God out on Blu-ray. I’ll be telling you more about Sony’s release of the final season of Sy-Fy’s Helix. Shout offers up some more “Shlock-O-Rama” with the release of Ghost Town. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on that one later, as well.

    There are a few other titles of note this week. MPI circles back with Comet. Monarch declares She Loves Me Not. Section 23 delivers a 5-disc high-definition Anime collection on Blu-ray with No Game No Life. We’re looking forward to hearing what you’re planning to pick up this week.

    And, Partners, don’t forget. If you’ll be making that video withdrawal from Amazon, lasso yourself one of our many links to get there. It helps keep us going here on the Upcomingdiscs ranch. Until next week, share some light with someone this week… television light, that is.

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    White God (Blu-ray)

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

    At this risk of going all 30 for 30 on you, what if I told you one of the most layered, soulful performances I’ve seen all year comes courtesy of a canine? White God is a hypnotic, Hungarian parable about a girl and her dog. Sounds simple enough, but director Kornel Mundruczo places an unprecedented amount of storytelling responsibility on non-CGI, four-legged performers. The results are occasionally uneven, but frequently spellbinding.
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    Southpaw

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

    “Don’t get hit too much.”

    Come on, it’s the fight game. Warren Zevon said it best when he told us the name of the game was to be hit and hit back. If Southpaw highlights anything about the fight game, it’s that basic principle. Director Antoine Fuqua makes sure that we see the physical toll of a fight in all its slow motion and gory detail. Such painful detail can be tiresome if there isn’t something else to balance the experience. Southpaw certainly has that. But is it really enough?
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    Ex Machina (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 23rd, 2015

    “You wanna see something cool?”

    If you’re old enough to remember audio tape, you might be old enough to remember Memorex. If you remember Memorex, you should recall their popular slogan: “Is it live or is it Memorex?”. Of course, the idea was that the tape quality was so good you couldn’t distinguish it from the real thing. What if robotics and artificial intelligence reached that same plateau? The point where you could not tell the difference between an actual human being and an artificial one.
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    Amazing Space: An Audio/Visual Meditation on the Cosmos

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 23rd, 2015

    Amazing Space is a three-disc set (Blu-Ray, DVD and CD) that is essentially an ambient experience. There is actually a lot that I can say about the presentation, but it is not complicated on its surface. The cover picture shows a young woman in a silhouette sitting in a lotus position. That speaks volumes as well (as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words). The movie takes us on a musical journey from Earth to the farthest reaches of space and back again. The music can best be described as New Age and meditative. Again that is very important to the purpose of this presentation.
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    What We Do in the Shadows (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 23rd, 2015

    “When you get four vampires in a flat, obviously there’s going to be a lot of tension.”

    The set-up for What We Do in the Shadows makes it sound less like your typical vampire movie and more like some kind of twisted season of The Real World. (Well…slightly more twisted than usual.) But besides finding a funny way to skewer bratty roommates and the mundaneness of everyday life, the movie works as a cheeky celebration of the classical cinematic bloodsucker.
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    Ancient Aliens: Season 7 – Volume 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 22nd, 2015

    “Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true? Did ancient aliens really help to shape our history? And if so, what if there were clues left behind, something hiding in plain sight? What if we could find that evidence?”

    Ever since Eric von Daniken released his speculative book and its subsequent 1970 film Chariots of the Gods, there has been an entire field of study created around something commonly called Ancient Astronaut Theory, the idea is that extraterrestrials have visited many of our ancient civilizations.
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    72%

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on July 22nd, 2015

    This is a documentary on the growing concern for the rising number of African-American children being born into unwed households. The film’s title 72% is a statistic of how many African-American single mothers are currently living in America. The documentary asks scholars and television personalities for their take on the growing crisis among the community. I feel I must make this quick addendum: as a white male I can only take this movie for how I saw it and how it made me feel. I am aware that I am not necessarily the target audience intended for this documentary, but it was a good watch besides.
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    WKRP In Cincinnati: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 22nd, 2015

    “Baby, if you’ve ever wondered, wondered whatever became of me, I’m living on the air in Cincinnati,
    Cincinnati, WKRP. “

    It almost sounds like a take on Harry Chapin’s WOLD, and in many ways it is. The song was hot for a while on radio stations. It seems that DJ’s couldn’t resist songs about DJ’s. Who saw that coming? Of course, the song is the opening theme to WKRP In Cincinnati. The show is back on DVD thanks to the folks at Shout Factory.
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    The Jokesters

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 22nd, 2015

    Jokesters takes a long time to get to the point. The plot is extremely long-winded to the point that I questioned if the long awaited gruesome stuff would ever come. More time was spent on the setup, specifically the wedding reception sequence, than on the actual climatic events of the movie. Some of the setup was entertaining but it didn’t take long before I was considering hitting the fast-forward button just to get to the good stuff. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put the disc in, but it didn’t take long for me to put together all that was going to happen (well, maybe not all; don’t want to come off like a know-it-all).
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 21, 2015

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on July 21st, 2015

    An offbeat vampire comedy and a fresh batch of alien-related theories highlight the latest crop of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Keep an eye on the site this week to find out what we think of What We Do in the Shadows. You’ll also be able to unearth our take on Ancient Aliens: Season 7 – Volume 1. On top of that, we’ve got reviews scheduled for the documentary 72 %, and horror-comedy The Jokesters.

    Other titles coming out this week include the Robert Duvall Western Wild Horses, and the Donnie Yen martial arts thriller Kung Fu Killer, along with season 2 of Looking, and season 7 of Robot Chicken. As always, we’d love to hear from you: which of this week’s releases are you most excited about? And since we have stuff flying into UpcomingDiscs headquarters throughout the week — like the copy of Ex-Machina that arrived after last week’s Tuesday Round Up — be sure to keep an eye on this post for updates.

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    Contest: Win Mama’s Family: Mama’s Favorites – Season 6 On DVD

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on July 20th, 2015

    How long has it been since you’ve spent some time with Mama? It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 25 years. Our good friends at StarVista have decided that it’s just been too dang long. Of course, we’re talking about the television classic Mama’s Family staring Vicki Lawrence. We’re teaming up to give you a good deal of time to spend with Mama. It’s called Mama’s Favorites and it’s a DVD with 6 of Vicki Lawrence’s hand-picked favorite episodes from season 6.

    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 – Give a shout out to your own Mama. Tell us something about her.
    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, August 30th, 2015.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Legend of the Lone Ranger (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 20th, 2015

    Who is that masked man?”

    That’s actually a loaded question when it comes the famously troubled 1981 film The Legend of the Lone Ranger. It obviously refers to the masked former Texas Ranger who battles outlaws in the Old West, but it also applies to star Klinton Spilsbury, who never made a movie after this one. The question could also be a nod to the producers of this film suing actor Clayton Moore — who famously played the Lone Ranger on TV and film in the 1950s — to prevent him from appearing as his signature character in public. Unfortunately, none of that fascinating information is included (or even hinted at) on this bare bones Blu-ray.
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    Singularity Principle

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 19th, 2015

    The Singularity Principle has two recognizable character actors, John Diehl (Miami Vice, The Shield, Escape From New York, Stripes) and William B. Davis (the smoking man from The X-Files), but is a low-budget Canadian production. It was filmed at the Canadian light source Synchrotron in Saskatoon, which adds considerably to its production value. It is a believable technical and scientific workplace. The film is co-written and directed by physicist Dr. David Deranian and is very focused on the scientific aspects of the story, at least those are the most successful elements of the film. The story deals with experiments conducted involving the Einstein-Rosen Bridge, which involves what is on the other side of black holes and wormholes.
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    Mr. Holmes

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 19th, 2015

    “Different thing, entirely.” 

    I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I was a kid. Mixed amidst those Universal horror films I watched with my Pop on weekend chiller shows was an occasional Universal Holmes film with Basil Rathbone as the master of deduction. Soon followed the Doyle books, and a new world was opened for me forever. Since those days we have seen every kind of incarnation of the character possible, or so I thought. I’ve seen Holmes as a child in Spielberg’s Young Sherlock Holmes. There have been several comedies and even a musical or two. Robert Downey Jr. has turned him into an action hero, and Benedict Cumberbatch has brought him into the modern world.
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    Trainwreck

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on July 18th, 2015

    We follow Amy, a reporter for a men’s magazine, who does not want to be tied down by a relationship and hates intimacy. Her father has ingrained a knowledge of mistrust and flippancy into her, so she goes from guy to guy, having sex with whoever she likes at the moment and always following her “no spending the night rule.” When “the guy she is seeing” breaks up with her for sleeping with other men, she is assigned to interview Aaron, an up-and-coming doctor who cares for professional athletes. After she sleeps with him Aaron becomes attached, Amy finds herself unable to stay away from him. Amy must figure out if she can learn to be intimate without wrecking the relationship out of habit.
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    Ant-Man

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 17th, 2015

    Just imagine…a soldier the size of an insect.”

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe is now seven years into an unprecedented run of success. It’s a consistent, well-oiled machine that has engendered enough goodwill to allow the company to take chances on properties that were previously considered deep cuts. (Before last summer, most people’s reactions to Guardians of the Galaxy likely would’ve been, “Who?!”) Then again, if you believe in the idea of a “Marvel machine,” it could just as easily conjure something heavy or mechanical. As a result, the thing I enjoyed most about Ant-Man is that it felt refreshingly (and appropriately)…small.
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    Cellar Dweller / Catacombs (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 17th, 2015

    “The devil can touch you and leave his mark. Just so he doesn’t steal your soul.”

    You might say that the devil made them do it. Shout Factory utilizes their Scream Factory moniker to deliver another doubleheader horror-fest from the 1980’s. Many of us love to be touched by a little evil, so long as it’s some harmless fun from a horror movie. While I’m not a huge fan of having two or more films on one disc, this pretty much amounts to the same as the standard four episodes on a disc that you’ll find in many television releases in high definition.
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    Pretty Face is Going to Hell: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on July 17th, 2015

    Gary is a low-level demon trying to find different ways to make it up the corporate ladder in hell. He is also a slacker who doesn’t know the first thing about being a demon, despite his length of time in hell. Claude is a new demon who is sent to intern for Gary but ends up outshining him. As Claude rises to the top, Gary must attempt to gain some sort of recognition for his years of servitude to the dark lord, lest he be forced to shovel coal into hell for eternity. This show isn’t one of Adult Swim’s funniest creations, but it is still funny. This isn’t going to be an instant favorite of mine, like Metalocalypse or Too Many Cooks, but it was a nice watch nonetheless.
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