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  • Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

    Posted in Tribute by Gino Sassani on February 28th, 2015

    “We are assembled here today to pay final respects to our honored dead. And yet it should be noted that in the midst of our sorrow, this death takes place in the shadow of new life, the sunrise of a new world; a world that our beloved comrade gave his life to protect and nourish. He did not feel this sacrifice a vain or empty one, and we will not debate his profound wisdom at these proceedings. Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most… human.”

    Many of the headlines read: “Spock is dead”. Of course, that’s not really true. Spock is a fictional character that will live on likely longer than any of us. But fans of science fiction in general and Star Trek fans in particularly have lost a friend today who was very human. Leonard Nimoy was 83. 
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    Focus

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

    “That’s what you get when you hire a con man.”

    As much fun as it is to watch clever, cagey characters try to outsmart one another on screen, the real appeal of movies about con artists is watching filmmakers try to pull the wool over the audience’s eye. It’s an especially tricky proposition when you consider that — thanks to the Internet — moviegoers might be more sophisticated than ever in terms of knowing how movies are supposed to work. (Or at least *thinking* they know how movies are supposed to work.)
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    Horrible Bosses 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 26th, 2015

    Despite being a fan of just about everyone involved with Horrible Bosses, I was more than a little disappointed by the first film.  It wasn’t awful or unwatchable by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt with a cast like Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, it just should have been better.  But the movie gods have spoken and decided that the first film performed well enough that it deserved a sequel.  What worked for the first film was the idea behind finally having enough of your bosses and being pushed to the point where murder seems like a viable option.
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    The Homesman (Blu-ray)

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

    “There’s been some trouble with the women hereabouts…it’s bad.” 

    What exactly is a Western? That’s the question that the cast and crew of The Homesman struggle with here. They appear to be divided on the subject, and the same sentiment will likely make this one a little harder to pigeonhole. That’s not necessarily important except when it comes to marketing a film. An audience wants some kind of an idea what they’re getting when they see it on the shelf of their local video store. Tommy Lee Jones wrote, directed and stared in this period piece, and he’d rather you not call it a Western. Others connected with the film are on board with the genre label.
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    Exclusive Interview With Director Jesse Baget & Producer Steven Barton Of Zombieworld

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on February 23rd, 2015

    Zombieworld is like no other zombie film you’ve ever seen. It’s a clever adaptation of independent zombie shorts. It’s out now on DVD from Image Entertainment. I got to talk briefly with director Jesse Baget and Producer Steven Barton. These guys were primed and ready for action. Bang it hear to listen to my chat with the guys behind Zombieworld.

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    Dying of the Light (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 23rd, 2015

    Sometimes in film the drama behind the scenes can be more interesting than the actual film we see up on the big screen. For writer/director Paul Schrader, having drama behind the scenes that effects the final project that we get to see is something he is more familiar with than he’d care to admit to.  The firestorm that occurred with the release of 2005’s Dominion: The Prequel to the Exorcist became so intense that the studio insisted upon a new director to come in and do extensive reshoots that subsequently led to the release of a separate film directed by Renny Harlin
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    Exclusive Interview With Fiona Dourif From Fear Clinic

    Posted in The Reel World by Gino Sassani on February 20th, 2015

    What do you do with your life when your Dad is Chucky? You star in your own films. Of course, some of those are going to be of the horror variety. That’s the story with Fiona Dourif who stars with Robert Englund and Thomas Dekker in Fear Clinic out from Anchor Bay. I got the chance to talk to her about her new film. Certainly, we had to touch on father Brad Dourif and her experiences in the Chucky franchise. Want to know what she had to say? Of course, you do. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Fiona Dourif.

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    McFarland, USA

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 20th, 2015

    The town of McFarland, California is North of Los Angeles and South of San Jose. More specifically, it is near Bakersfield and not too far south of Fresno. San Diego is practically spitting distance from Tijuana. I say this because much of California is alien to me. The movie McFarland, USA is about delving into the realities of California. Forget that this is a feel-good sports movie for a minute. This is a movie about the Latino experience from a true story about a coach from 1987, but the film updates some of the changes that have taken place since then.
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    Altar

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 20th, 2015

    When it comes to haunted house films, despite how often the plots seem to be retold time after time, it is still hard for me to say no to giving them a shot. After all, you never know when you may stumble upon a gem.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say Altar is a gem or a groundbreaking entry in the genre, but for some late-night thrills the film has all the ingredients to deliver a case of the late-night creepy crawlies. The Hamilton family arrives at a large country house in Yorkshire, where Meg (Olivia Williams) is tasked with restoring the home to its original condition.
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    Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 19th, 2015

    “All men must die.”

    The official tagline for Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones also doubles as a helpful reminder of author George R.R. Martin’s no-character-is-safe philosophy. But even plastering that quote all over posters, promos, and the cover of this exemplary-in-every-way Blu-ray set isn’t likely to prepare you for the most devastating and thrilling season of a show that specializes in “devastating and thrilling.”
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    The Chair

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 18th, 2015

    For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with film.  Growing up in the 80’s, getting to understand the process of how films were made wasn’t very accessible unless you were lucky to catch a behind-the-scenes special on HBO or Showtime for some big new release.  It wasn’t till laserdisc and eventually DVD where the fans would be able to look beyond the magical curtain of cinema and get to see the process of how a film was made.  I still get giddy with excitement watching some of my favorite directors getting to work their magic behind the scenes.
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    Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness

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

    “Three years ago brash billionaire daredevil Sly Baron vowed to make space tourism a reality. Today his lucky passengers are boldly going where none of them have been before. No, not Delaware…space.”

    It’s a new frontier for the Scooby gang, but not the final one to be sure. Scooby Doo has spanned generations and over 40 years. Since the 1960’s the name and conventions have become a part of the pop culture. The original cartoon series had a series of conventions.
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    Walker, Texas Ranger: War Zone

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 17th, 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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    RPG (Real Playing Game)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 16th, 2015

    Imagine if in the not too distant future you could have the opportunity to be young again, and for the right price you could possibly never have to worry about ever growing old ever again.  RPG looks into this possibility and the chances people are willing to take for this chance to indulge their youth once again.  But like with anything that seems too good to be true, there is a catch, and in this game there are actually two catches.  First you need to have the millions of dollars in your bank account to even play the game, and the second catch is that you have to be the lone survivor of the game to receive the award of lasting youth. 
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    Olive Kitteridge (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 16th, 2015

    Why are you so hateful, Olive?”

    Olive Kitteridge — Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel —has been adapted into a four-hour HBO miniseries. It’s probably the best possible outcome for Strout’s story, which deals with the legacy of depression, along with several other box office-unfriendly themes that would almost certainly prevent any proper Kitteridge adaptation from sniffing a multiplex. The miniseries is well-made, and the acting is top-notch. The problem for me was that, even with that four-hour running time, we don’t get a ton of insight into why the title character is so hateful.
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    Fifty Shades Of Grey

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 13th, 2015

    I hope you have your fuzzy cuffs ready. Not only is this weekend Valentine’s Day, but it is also the release of the highly anticipated film Fifty Shades of Grey.  It’s just about impossible to have not heard of the enormously successful book series that women across the globe have devoured and obsessed over since the books first hit the shelves.  It’s a phenomenon that has sparked interest in women to think of new and creative ways to spice things up in the bedroom.  On the other hand, since the announcement of the book being made for the big screen, men across the globe have dreaded the day that their wives and girlfriends would drag them to the theaters.
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    Kingsman: The Secret Service

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 13th, 2015

    “Did you see the movie Trading Places?”

    Well, this isn’t that movie. It can be as funny as Trading Places, though. There aren’t any shades of gray here either. It’s good old fashioned “good guys and evil genius” stuff all the way. It’s a thrill ride that we won’t have to wait in long lines to get on. This is like going to a summer movie and trudging through the snow to get there. Depending on where you live, of course. I’m talking about Kingsmen: The Secret Service
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    Frankenstein vs. The Mummy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 12th, 2015

    The days of Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff are long gone, but Hollywood refuses to give up on the classic monsters these men and others once brought to live on the big screen.  Despite how many years have passed since these monsters of the night first terrified audiences, filmgoers continue to fork over their cash to see these stories rehashed again and again. In the new release of Frankenstein vs The Mumny, we see the revival of two classic monsters and the opportunity to see them battle head to head.  Without the big budget to support this monster smackdown, is it still worth watching, or is this a battle that should have remained dead?
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    Poker Night (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 12th, 2015

    As far as I’m concerned, a filmmaker has to work pretty hard to screw up a poker game. (And for the record, I feel the same way about cinematic sniper fights and train heists.) It’s an inherently high-stakes situation that is both familiar and unpredictable, and in the hands of the right director a poker game can be either thrilling or funny. At various points, Poker Night manages to be both. But even though I certainly wouldn’t say writer/director Greg Francis screwed up this stylish horror-crime thriller, the movie is flush with flashbacks and subplots that distract from the really good stuff.
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    Nicolas Le Floch – Volume Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 12th, 2015

    This being the first foreign series that I’ve covered for the site, I couldn’t be happier with the results. Knowing nothing about Nicolas Le Floch, I naturally had a few reservations about the series.  It wasn’t in English, so how was I intended to comprehend what the characters were saying (knew I should have taken French in college)? Being that I’m ignorant of the laws and traditions of their government, how difficult would it be to follow the storyline? Of course these reservations were in vain as the series proved its worth with great ease, displaying all the great characteristics of the mysteries I love.
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    101 Dalmatians: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Athena on February 11th, 2015

    Athena here. That’s right, I’m the Siberian Husky that kind of runs things here at Gino’s house. Since I did such a great job doing the review on Snow Dogs, I decided to step in when I saw Gino watching yet another dog film. This time it was Walt Disney’s classic 101 Dalmatians. Naturally the film would have been better if it had been called 101 Siberian Huskies, but unfortunately the film was based on a popular children’s book by Dodie Smith who happened to have Dalmatians herself, so let’s not blame her; she didn’t know any better. Walt Disney himself discovered the story and took a personal interest in having it made into an animated film. 
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    Marie’s Mind for Murder

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 11th, 2015

    I see the crime a bit differently.”

    American television hasn’t quite cornered the worldwide market on unconventional, endearingly quirky investigators. MHz Networks has just released a hearty helping of German cop drama in the form of Marie’s Mind for Murder. Despite the violent crimes being investigated, the show would’ve fit snugly alongside lighthearted whodunnits like USA Network’s Monk or Psych. You get to sample plenty of Murder with this DVD set, considering there are 10 episodes that each clock in at a shade under 90 minutes.
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    Exclusive Interview With Thomas Dekker Of Fear Clinic

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on February 10th, 2015

    Anchor Bay is releasing Fear Clinic today. It stars Robert Englund and Thomas Dekker. While we didn’t get a chance to have an encounter with Freddy Kruger himself, we did catch up with Thomas Dekker. You might remember him as Picard’s young son in Star Trek: Generations. I loved him as the iconic John Connor in The Sarah Connor Chronicles television follow-up to the Terminator films. We had a great time talking about all of these cool projects. You won’t want to miss Fear Clinic on Blu-ray or DVD, and you sure won’t want to miss my conversation with Thomas Dekker. So, bang it here to listen to my chat with Thomas Dekker.

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    Crime Scene Cleaner

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 10th, 2015

    Consider that we are in a golden age of television, where it is just about impossible to keep up with all the good television shows, even with the luxury of DVR.  That being said, the notion of taking on watching a show that is broadcast overseas can seem a little daunting (yes, I know there are still legions of loyal Doctor Who and Sherlock fans, just to name a few).  When the offer came along to check out a comedy from Germany I was more than a little hesitant, but upon hearing the title Crime Scene Cleaner, well, my interest was piqued. 
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    Seventh Son

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 7th, 2015

    Riding on the coattails of the success of the The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit, studios have attempted to cash in on the revived interest in fantasy films.  There have been many flops along the way; Game of Thrones seems to be the only series that has managed to not only be a success but break out as a hit with a legion of loyal fans. Universal now has stepped up to the table to hopefully embark on what they could hope to be a new successful fantasy franchise with Seventh Son.
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