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  • Convergence (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 11th, 2016

    A detective appears to be trapped between heaven and hell in Convergence, which is not all that different from the way I felt watching this supernatural thriller. On one hand, I was impressed by some of the mood and unsettling imagery established by writer/director Drew Hall; the film is mostly set in an abandoned hospital, which inspires even more dread than spending time in a fully functional one. Then again, there are also a lot of nonsense characters and story elements here that don’t get a satisfying payoff, making Convergence an occasionally confounding and hellacious slog.
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    The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 9th, 2016

    Say Uncle. That’s U.N.C.L.E., otherwise known as the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. Starting in 1964, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was one of a flurry of shows to take advantage of the new James Bond craze. It featured many of the same elements as the super-spy films. You had sophisticated spies in tuxedos. There were plenty of gadgets. And there were constant threats of world domination, mostly from the evil counter organization, THRUSH. The two top spies for the good guys were Napoleon Solo (Vaughn) and Illya Kuryakin (McCallum). The Bond references were never subtle and always intentional. Ian Fleming himself consulted on the show and named Napoleon Solo after a Bond character. Together Solo and Kuryakin would travel around the globe, saving the world from almost certain doom.
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    Meadowland

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 9th, 2016

    Tragedy has a way of taking a toll on us in a way that is far more devastating than a physical injury.  Some tragedies occur, and they go on to haunt us till we have passed on from this mortal realm.  Meadowland is a small film that dares to take a peek at the dangerous repercussions that can follow depression when not properly treated.  Sure, we’ve seen films before that show the aftermath of a family who has tragically lost a child, but Meadowland is a film that isn’t afraid to show us the ugliness of depression and the things people are willing to do in an attempt to be who they were once again before the tragedy ever took hold.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 9, 2016

    Posted in Contests, Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 9th, 2016

    Round Up…Tuesday Round Up. By now, our friendly little weekly post should need no introduction, and neither does a certain super spy who highlights our latest slate of offerings. That would be Bond…James Bond, who returns to action in Fox’s Spectre. This week’s Round Up is also shaping up to be somewhat of a family affair. Lionsgate/CBS Films shows us how to Love the Coopers, which finds four generations of the titular family gathering for the holidays. Meanwhile, Sony pays a visit to Grandma, which stars Lily Tomlin as a scrappy senior. Lionsgate also spies MI-5 and tames Mountain Men: The Rules of the Wild Have Changed. Finally, Dark Sky Films moves heaven and earth with Convergence, while Cinema Epoch exhibits Sociopathic tendencies.

    Just so you know, the Denver Broncos aren’t necessarily the only big winners this week. Once a month we’re going to give away a surprise DVD title from our archives to a lucky winner who comments in our weekly Round-Up posts. All you have to do is comment in a Round-Up post — like this one! — and tell us which of the featured titles you’re most curious to read about. (Quick reminder: You’re not telling us which title you’d like to win; your free DVD will be a surprise.)

    The winners and their prizes will be announced the first week of every month right here in our Tuesday Round-Up post. You can’t win if you don’t comment. Contest is open to residents of the U.S and Canada.

    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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    From Dusk Till Dawn: Complete Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 9th, 2016

    Season one 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 two wastes no time in blazing its new path as it continues the blood-soaked adventure that departs from the famed Titty Twister and takes us deeper into the vampire syndicate.  How does season two fare?  After making it through the 10-episode season, I can say I survived this bloody, testosterone-laced thrill ride, but it does have a few missteps along the way.
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    Freeheld (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 9th, 2016

    The story is the star in Freeheld, which chronicles a same-sex couple’s fight for equality. The film is based on the Oscar-winning documentary short of the same name and follows Laurel Hester, a New Jersey cop with terminal lung cancer, as she attempts to pass her pension benefits to domestic partner Stacie Andree. Despite being a modest production, Freeheld was able to enlist some top-drawer acting talent. Unfortunately, it also attracted a risk-averse team of filmmakers who tell Laurel and Stacie’s story in a thoroughly rote and uninspired manner.
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    Last Witch Hunter (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 8th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will, but his stardom largely rests on Fast and Furious. Diesel bristles at being typecast, so he has always tried to find new vehicles that will demonstrate his range
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    Noah’s Ark

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on February 8th, 2016

    Any person who has attended Sunday school for a length of time is most likely familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark. This tale was recently brought to the mainstream with Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which took quite a few creative liberties in retelling the story (including strange rock monsters). Given my recollection of the actual Bible story, I want to say that there really isn’t enough content to create a feature film. God warns Noah that there will be a catastrophic flood and asks him to build an ark. Noah builds the ark and suffers ridicule from the people he tries to save, and in the end, the flood takes the world and Noah and the few people who believed him are spared.
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    Forever: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 8th, 2016

    “My name is Henry Morgan. My story is a long one. It might sound a bit implausible. In fact, you probably won’t believe it, but I’ll tell you anyway, because beyond all else I have lots, lots of time.”

    Unfortunately for the cast and crew of Forever and their fans, time was something this show wouldn’t have much of at all. Created by Matthew Miller, Forever combines the deductive crime solving of Sherlock Holmes with the genre twist of immortality.
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    Hail, Caesar!

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 7th, 2016

    Hail, Caesar is a typical example of a Coen brothers movie, which means it is completely atypical. The Coen brothers are revered for not only being different from everyone else but also making films that are different from each other. It would easy to say there is a Coen brothers style, but you would be reaching, because the two men are committed to exploring things differently each and every time they make a movie (or produce a television show like Fargo). The most characteristic identifying factor is quirkiness and individuality. They are among the few filmmakers working in Hollywood who do whatever the freaking heck they want. What I mean by that is that the movies they make would not be allowed if proposed or pitched by anyone else.
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    Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 5th, 2016

    Our final fight didn’t go as planned. But one thing was clear…this would be the bloodiest battle yet.”

    TNT’s post-apocalyptic, alien invasion war drama has never been short on casualties. So hearing that the last episodes in the show’s run would result in even more losses — human and otherwise — wasn’t exactly a shock. Following a fairly ludicrous cliffhanger, the final season starts off quite promisingly before falling back on some bad habits. Unfortunately, it all culminates with a semi-disastrous series finale.
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    Da Vinci’s Demons: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 4th, 2016

    “It all begins with seeing. So what do you see?” 

    The term “Renaissance man” is often used to describe a person who has a very wide range of interests in which they have become quite skilled. It’s taken from the traits of the many artists, innovators, and writers of the 15th century. And while the term might well apply to any number of such historical figures, there is none for whom it is more apt than Leonardo DaVinci.
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    Extraordinary Tales (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 4th, 2016

    Edgar Allen Poe is on a short list of writers that has long been deceased that just about everyone has heard of.  At some point in school we all had are chance to read about the taunting of The Raven or a number of Poe’s other famous works. With Extraordinary Tales we get an animated treat in the form of 5 animated tales written by the master of the macabre.  This is more than just a simple animated retelling of the stories as each tale is given its own unique narration and animated style. Is it worth the time to sit back and watch these classic tales or did they belong on the shelf to collect dust?  Come along with me and I’ll tell you about my journey if you dare.
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    Show Me a Hero (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 4th, 2016

    “Justice is not about popularity…”

    “…but politics is.”

    The title of Show Me a Hero is taken from an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.”  So it’s not a surprise that in the hands of David Simon — creator of an all-time great drama with The Wire — this HBO miniseries is short on conventional heroics and long on personal, political, and institutional tragedy.
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    The Lizzie Borden Chronicles

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 4th, 2016

    Following the Lifetime original movie Lizzie Borden Took an Axe, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles is a continuation of the tale about the young woman accused of killing her stepmother and father with an axe.  It’s tricky enough to do a feature length film about real people involved in real events; liberties seem to be taken for the sake of telling a good story.  It’s one of those things that when you see “Based on true events” or “Inspired by true events”; is there a difference, and does it even matter?  Well, if you are watching The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, accept the fact that though the character and her sister are very real, this is hardly biographical, but instead a fun game of “what if” that the creators have done with Lizzie Borden.  And it’s a wild eight-episode ride that they have set the viewers on.
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    Abe Vigoda 1921 – 2016

    Posted in Tribute by Gino Sassani on February 3rd, 2016

    “Can you get me off the hook? For old times’ sake?” 

    But it was we who were on Abe Vigoda’s hook. He might have been a character named Fish, but he had us hook, line, and sinker. Godfather fans knew him as the dangerous Sal Tessio. To the Barney Miller faithful he was Detective Fish, who eventually moved to his own spinoff. Certainly, he had many more memorable characters over his nearly 70-year career, but these will likely remain his legacy. He was a reliable character actor on shows like The Rockford Files, Mannix, Hawaii Five-0, Cannon, Dark Shadows, Kojak, MacGyver, Law & Order, and even the voice of a mobster in a Batman animated feature. Last week we lost Abe. He was 94 years old. Fortunately, we’ll never lose Tessio and Fish.
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    Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (Blu-ray) (Signature Collection)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 3rd, 2016

    “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”

    Years ago a news magazine, I don’t remember which, conducted a survey. They discovered that more adults knew the names of the Seven Dwarfs than could name seven figures in the federal government, including President, Vice-President, Senate, House of Representatives, and the Supreme Court. They say our educations begin very young. Well, since 1938 our youths have been entertained by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
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    For Better or For Worse

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on February 3rd, 2016

    I’ve never been too big a fan of romantic comedies. They are often too quirky for their own good, and they follow a typically cliché story arch. I do not even enjoy rom-coms from famed comedic directors such as David Wain. Although certain directors do attempt to break the mold, it’s as if the genre is nothing more than a memory foam mattress: you will always fall into place, because it is the most comfortable. That being said, when watching a made-for-TV rom-com such as For Better or for Worse, one can assume there will not be much breaking of the genre conventions.
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    Tuesday Round Up: February 2, 2016

    Posted in Contests, Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on February 2nd, 2016

    Happy, Grumpy, Sleepy, and Dopey…these are just a few of the words I would use to describe the last couple of months as I bought and moved into my first house. More importantly — and much more famously — those are, of course, a few of the iconic title characters in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which gets a shiny new “Signature Collection” Blu-ray from Disney this week. Cinedigm boards Noah’s Ark, regales us with Extraordinary Tales, and visits Meadowland. Hallmark accepts us For Better or For Worse, and hounds My Boyfriends’ Dogs. HBO comes to the rescue with Show Me a Hero, while Warner Bros. reintroduces us to The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: Season 2 and goes out of this world with Falling Skies: Season 5.

    Dreamworks crosses Bridge of Spies, and Entertainment One pulls an all-nighter with From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 2. Lionsgate charts the Rise of the Krays, battles in a Fight to the Finish, advocates in Freeheld, and breaks the curse of The Last Witch Hunter. Sony cuts to the chase with The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, while RLJ Entertainment celebrates All Hallows’ Eve 2, and lays eyes on The Sin Seer.

    As you can see, we have a busy week to kick off February. That reminds me: we have a new Tuesday Round Up winner to congratulate. That would be Peter S, who wins The Hee-Haw Collection: Kornfield Classics on DVD.

    You too can be winner like Peter. Once a month we’re going to give away a surprise DVD title from our archives to a lucky winner who comments in our weekly Round-Up posts. All you have to do is comment in a Round-Up post — like this one! — and tell us which of the featured titles you’re most curious to read about. (Quick reminder: You’re not telling us which title you’d like to win; your free DVD will be a surprise.)

    The winners and their prizes will be announced the first week of every month right here in our Tuesday Round-Up post. You can’t win if you don’t comment. Contest is open to residents of the U.S and Canada.

    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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    Bridge of Spies (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 1st, 2016

    Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks. The Coen Brothers. 1957. The Cold War. Mark Rylance. There are a lot of elements to the stew that is Bridge of Spies. Let’s start with the most important ingredient. Steven Spielberg has been a household name for decades now as the most reliable producer/director of movie entertainment we may have ever seen. His name is so synonymous with big-screen entertainment that he needs no introduction from me. But he has been trying to get away from pure entertainment for a long while now, often with great success.
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    Kung Fu Panda 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 1st, 2016

    “Never underestimate the impact of dramatic entrance!”

    It’s hard to maintain the attention of the 21st-century child. Animated movies have to combine enough elements of charm and action to keep their attention for a little under two hours. If you want to keep a franchise going, you have to rip out your sequels in reasonably tight schedules. It’s been over four years since Kung Fu Panda 2, and we waited nearly that long between the first and second entry. That’s a long time in a culture where we move from fad to fad almost by the hour.
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    The Sin Seer

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 1st, 2016

    With a few slight changes and additions, Sin Seer could have been quite something. As is, it is far from the worst film that I have ever seen, but there were a few areas that upon examination did not make much sense, such as in what world would we ever allow a convicted felon to carry a weapon? There are a few other things; however, I will let you marinate on that question, as it is one that plagued me for much of the movie’s duration. Our story opens up at a prison; convicted felon Grant Summit (Isaiah Washington) is released after serving an undetermined amount of time for the death of at least three people. OK, let’s just pause there.
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    Jack’s Back (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 1st, 2016

    The 100-year anniversary of the Jack the Ripper murders is quickly approaching, and a copycat serial killer is looking to make his mark in Los Angeles.  With only one murder left, the LAPD is in a rush to prevent this madman from completing his across-the-pond murder masterpiece, and the prostitutes of LA are shaking in their heels and miniskirts.  It’s a great way to start off a film, and I’ll admit I was hooked early on with this film, but if you were hoping for a true modern tale of Jack the Ripper, I’m sorry to say you’ll feel more than a little hoodwinked by this film.
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    All Hallows’ Eve 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 1st, 2016

    My first All Hallows’ Eve experience was an unexpected fright delight. The 2013 horror film featured a trio of stories tied together by a creepy clown and a familiar “babysitter-in-peril” plot line; it was a fun, unsettling, and grungy throwback to low-budget scares. So you can’t blame me for actually being pretty excited when I found out they’d made another one. Unfortunately, this sequel is a disappointing, thoroughly unsatisfying mish-mash that undoes practically everything that was good about its predecessor.
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    The Finest Hours

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 1st, 2016

    There are many films that depict the ferocity and cataclysmic power of the vast ocean. It is a fearsome display that cannot be imagined in any way that compares to the reality of the experience. The Perfect Storm, Life of Pi, The Guardian, and Titanic are just a few examples of disasters at sea. It is the United States Coast Guard’s job to rescue distressed people under severe emergencies at sea. The Finest Hours is a depiction of a true-life sea rescue under the most challenging and horrifying conditions. It is known as the most successful small boat rescue ever recorded. When I say small boat, it is the rescue boat I’m talking about, but the ship they were singlehandedly sent to rescue was a gigantic T2 tanker Pendleton, which had split in half on open seas.
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