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  • Sing (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on March 23rd, 2017

    Probably the most silly of animated films this year, and that’s a good thing for Sing. Enjoyable, very funny, touching, and absolutely incredibly wacky. The family film targets children, but the adults will enjoy it a lot more than the average toon. I’m surprised the filmmakers waited so long to put the film in theaters, but with no children’s anime to stop it from becoming a blockbuster, it’s a very possible chance it will. Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey voiced), the grandson of a theatre owner, has the tough job of bringing the venue back to its glory after he inherited the entertainment palace.
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    Fences (Blu-ray)

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

    “Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”

    In its transition from stage to screen, Fences — the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the late August Wilson — doesn’t venture far beyond the Maxson household. And that’s precisely the point: director/star Denzel Washington isn’t overly concerned with masking the story’s stage origins. The existential claustrophobia that the characters in the play have been carrying their entire lives is right up there on the cramped screen.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 21, 2017

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

    Help! UpcomingDiscs HQ has been overrun by a koala, a couple of pigs, a gorilla, an elephant, a porcupine, and other adorable animals! Fortunately for us, these crooning critters happen to be the stars of Universal’s Sing, which we’ll be reviewing in 4K pretty soon. Meanwhile, Candy Factory leaves us torn with Split, while Magnolia Home Entertainment examines A Kind of Murder. Shout! Factory answers When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith, and HBO navigates the (often awkward) lives of two contemporary black women with Insecure: The Complete First Season. Finally, we’ll bring you a pair of theatrical reviews this weekend, including Woody Harrelson’s star turn in Wilson. We’ll also try to determine if there is Life on Mars (and in this sci-fi horror flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds).

    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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    Bloodrunners

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

    We’ve reached a point where I’m starting to wonder if there is anything new that can be brought to the vampire genre. They may not be my favorite horror creature, but vampire movies tend to be fun for the most part, and being fun is mostly what we look for when we decide to check out a horror film. Bloodrunners attempts to show us something new, taking us back to the prohibition era of the 1930’s, but is this a trip worth taking? Grab a bottle of hooch and a stake for the road, because it’s nightfall, and I’m about to dive into this vampire tale.
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    Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 17th, 2017

    “Who could ever learn to love a beast?”

    Although it’s not quite a tale as old as time, people around the world have been enchanted by the story of “Beauty and the Beast” for centuries. The French fairytale was first published in 1740 and has subsequently spawned everything from a classic 1946 big-screen romance to Ron Perlman. Still, the most popular iteration of this story is Disney’s beloved 1991 animated musical, which helped solidify the Mouse House’s cartoon revival and serves as the most direct inspiration for this dazzling live-action adaptation. Then again, the fact that this new version is essentially a pretty close copy of a copy takes some of the bloom off this particular rose.
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    Contest: Win Mama’s Family: Mama’s Favorites Collection From Time Life

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on March 16th, 2017

    How long has it been since you’ve spent some time with Mama? It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 25 years. Our good friends at Time Life 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 collection of 6 DVD’s. There’s one from each season featuring Vicki Lawrence’s hand-picked favorite episodes. You get 37 episodes in all. Guest stars include Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman and Alex Trebek.

    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 the funniest series on television this season?
    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, April 30th, 2017
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Moana (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 16th, 2017

    – “OK, first, I’m not a princess…”

    – “If you wear a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.”

    Disney Animation’s 1990s renaissance was followed by an early 21st century lull for its non-Pixar offerings. The princess-centric formula was played out, so Disney pivoted and started doing things like giving Rapunzel and Eugene Flynn Rider equal billing in 2010’s Tangled and making Frozen (which would’ve definitely been called “The Snow Queen” in the ’90s) a story about sisterly love as opposed to happily ever after. One of the things I love about the outstanding Moana is that it offers a refreshing, thoughtful and exhilarating new approach to the classical Disney princess formula.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 14, 2017

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

    Howdy, neighbors! I realize our readers come from all over the world, but I feel like I can be at least a little familiar with some of you after writing for this site a little more than five years. And since they say that “good fences make good neighbors”, it’s only fitting that this week we find out if the great, Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences” makes for a good movie. Paramount was generous enough to send along a copy of recent Best Picture nominee Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, so check back soon for our review. On the lighter side of the spectrum, Comedy Central serves up a drink (or 10) for Drunk History: Season 4. Finally, we revisit a tale as old as time later this week with the much-anticipated arrival of Beauty and the Beast.

    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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    100 Streets (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 13th, 2017

    Life’s pretty simple, you know. It’s long periods of waiting broken up by brief moments of change. That’s it…that’s all it is.”

    100 Streets tells three barely-connected stories set in the same one-square-mile area of present-day London. (The neighborhoods of Chelsea and Battersea to be exact.) The stories are each quite compelling in their own right, and they’re performed by a talented group of actors. Unfortunately, the movie is occasionally bogged down by distracting, pseudo-profound soliloquies like the one at the top of this review. I appreciate the stabs at thoughtfulness and depth, but they come off as forced here and are more likely to make you roll your eyes than inspire you.
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    Joe Bullet

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 12th, 2017

    When it comes to exploitation films you really are rolling the dice when you find a title you’ve never heard of and you decide to watch it. Through the 60’s and 70’s there were countless exploitation films that covered many genres, many of which were sold to audiences by a cool-looking poster and catchy title.  Sex and violence were the major exploits with these films, and at this time there was also the birth of black cinema, or simply blacksploitation films.  Many have heard of Foxy Brown, The Mack, and Truck Turner, but for all these hits there were many more misses, and it’s the lost gems of the era that film geeks get excited over.  Just because a film wasn’t a hit at the time didn’t mean the film was no good; many just fell between the cracks, and Joe Bullet just happens to be one of those titles.
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    Resistance

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 12th, 2017

    Resistance was first released in the UK in 2011, and it saw its first DVD release two years ago in Finland. Now in 2017, the US is finally getting DVD distribution. However, like most distribution marketing strategies, the cover, DVD home screen, and advertised star power are an inaccurate depiction of what the film actually offers. While the film has many strengths, all the imagery that you get prior to actually watching the film (the cover and home screen), prepare you for what you think is going to be an interesting WWII-themed thriller with possible action sequences. Instead, Resistance is an interesting, yet severely slow-paced character study that doesn’t necessarily follow its own plot description.
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    Kong: Skull Island

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

    Every year it seems the “summer” movie season starts sooner than the year before.  Here we are, the second Friday of March, and already we’ve seen the huge box office weekend for Logan, and now this weekend we have the release of Kong: Skull Island.  Ever since Kong first graced the big screen back in 1933, every film that followed was a mega-event. Personally it wasn’t till 2005 that theatergoers got to fully experience the massive beast in all his glory as he became worthy of the title “the 8th wonder of the world”.  Now we have Legendary Entertainment playing in the giant monster movie sandbox with plans to set up a series of monster films.  All this leads up to the inevitable clash of the kaiju monsters where we will finally see the showdown of Godzilla vs. King Kong.  Before we begin to get too excited, how does our current trip to Skull Island fare?
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    Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series

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

    Star Trek Voyager was the third spinoff from the original Star Trek, following the superior Next Generation and the inferior Deep Space Nine. While the idea was quite an original premise, the cast never seemed to gel. The obvious attempt at political correctness gives us the most diverse cast yet on Star Trek, including the first female captain. Kate Mulgrew is the weakest captain to date on Star Trek. (I know I’ll catch heat for this.) The reason is not her gender, but such a lack of strength. She never walks, but seems to glide across the bridge when she moves. The strongest characters come in Tom Paris, the Federation inmate, and Torres, the half-Klingon, half-human hybrid. There is real passion in those characters that keeps the cast interesting enough. The combination of Federation and Maquis (a rebel Federation group) members was a great setup that too quickly gets tossed aside in later years. There’s plenty of Star Trek eye candy and a whole new quadrant of aliens to meet here. It had been quite some time for me since I had seen Voyager
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    Slasher.com

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 9th, 2017

    Contemporary horror films are in a really strange position. Gone are the days of the formulaic slasher flick or creature feature. Today we have filmmakers who only seem interested in breaking genre conventions in order to try something new and be deemed “relevant.” As  a result, we are treated to an intellectually-driven horror renaissance with films such as It Follows or The Babadook, or we must sit through the onslaught of torture-porn-infused sequels to 70’s and 80’s classics such as Evil Dead (2013), I Spit on Your Grave (2010), or The Last House on the Left (2009). If the filmmaker is trying to break genre conventions, it is important to note that they do not always succeed, as is the case with Slasher.com.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 7, 2017

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

    Resistance to our weekly Tuesday Round Up is futile. Resistance, courtesy of Omnibus Entertainment, is also one of the titles we’ll be reviewing in the next week or so. Be sure to check back soon for our take on the World War II drama. Meanwhile, Speakeasy Pictures serves up Bloodrunners, a Prohibition-era vampire thriller starring Ice-T. Film Detective introduces us to Joe Bullet, while Cinedigm logs onto Slasher.com. Finally, our week is set to end with a visit from a certain iconic movie monster when Kong: Skull Island swings into theaters.

    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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    Logan

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 2nd, 2017

    “I always know who you are. It’s just that sometimes I don’t recognize you.”

    Logan is perhaps one of the most interesting, endearing and popular characters in the Marvel universe. Wolverine has the distinction of having been created by someone other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. While they invented the X-Men team from which the adamantium-clawed warrior was born, he was actually created by the team of Len Wein and John Romita, Sr. in the mid 1970’s. Since that time the character has taken on a life of his own, a life that is as much owed to actor Hugh Jackman as anyone else.
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    Allied (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 2nd, 2017

    Brad Pitt appears to be making this World War II thing a bit of a niche. In recent years he went from Inglourious Basterds to the superior Fury and now to Allied. I wish I could say that he’s getting better, but Allied marks a step backwards for the actor in more ways than just the performance. It’s an unfortunate aspect of Hollywood that sexy rumors and scandals sell more theater tickets than a good movie. Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have called it quits, and the scuttlebutt is that it was Pitt’s fling with Allied co-star Marion Cotillard that caused the split. I don’t know if any of that is true and honestly wouldn’t care a hill of beans if it were.
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    The King of New Orleans

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 2nd, 2017

    I don’t know what it is with this place. I don’t want to call it voodoo because that’s so cliché and you guys probably hate that down here…but there’s definitely a feel.”

    To say that a certain city is “almost like another character” in a movie has become somewhat commonplace. The phrase is usually applied to films where directors have placed an inordinate emphasis on the background and setting of their stories. By that standard, The King of New Orleans doesn’t simply cast The Big Easy as “almost like another character”…the city gets a starring role.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 28, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 28th, 2017

    How well do you really know the person you’re married to? That’s the provocative question at the center of Allied, the stylish World War II drama from Robert Zemeckis. (Of course, the question becomes even trickier to answer when both people in the marriage are well-trained spies.) Thanks to Paramount, you can find out for yourself by grabbing a copy of Allied in 4K…and we’ll have a review of the spiffy new disc very soon. And be sure to come back later this week to see if our claws come out when we review Logan.

    One last reminder before signing off for the week (and for February): 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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    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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