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  • Jason Bourne

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 29th, 2016

    Moviegoers tend to have better memories than amnesiac assassins, but I think it’s fair to say we’ve mostly put The Bourne Legacy out of our minds. Universal’s underwhelming, half-hearted attempt to spin off one of its more lucrative franchises all but guaranteed the eventual return of original star Matt Damon and two-time director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). The duo has re-teamed for the entertaining yet inessential Jason Bourne, which — for better and worse — will feel extremely familiar for fans of the trilogy.
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    The Invitation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 29th, 2016

    It seems there have been a lot of horror films involving dinner parties that have gone wrong.  You’re Next may be the best example to take on this idea, and I have to admit to being a fan of the film. It was a fun hipster horror film that kept the story moving forward and delivered more than a fair share of violence and gore.  Then there was last year’s creepy gem The Gift, a film that captured the horror of the past coming back to haunt you.  When it comes to The Invitation, it’s a film that seems like a hodgepodge of both You’re Next and The Gift, but also a handful of other films.  It’s a film that feels so familiar, but as you watch it manages to avoid many of the stereotypical film tropes viewers have grown used to over the years.
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    The 100: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 28th, 2016

    “We were born in space. They told us the ground was uninhabited, but they were wrong, and we’ve been fighting for our lives since the moment we landed. Some of us have been broken by it, but most of us are still here, trying to build something real and lasting out of the wilderness… a home.”

    You should know the setup by now. If not, you can check out our previous reviews: Season 1 & Season 2. The show is based on a new series of books from writer Kass Morgan. The crew here has a little bit more room to operate than do most shows based on book series.
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    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 28th, 2016

    “It’s time for the biggest gladiator match of all time. Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham.” 

    In a summer chock full of blockbusters that are expected to defy box office records, dare I say this may be the most anticipated one of them all? When news about this film was first released, opposition rang out on both sides of the spectrum. Some argued that films that feature two characters facing off rarely work, especially when it comes to two heroes. I have to admit that I found myself agreeing with this argument. In my defense, this appeared to me as a clear strategic ploy to fast-track the introduction of the much-anticipated Justice League franchise.
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    Hellhole

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on July 28th, 2016

    They really don’t make horror films like they used to. I understand that each decade graces us with new, unique genre mechanics, but there is just something to be said about the horror elements found in 1980’s cinema. While Hellhole does not have any supernatural or modern science fiction qualities, it does carry the classic “mad scientist” narrative quite well. The film also boasts one of the silliest, yet terrifying, villains I have seen to date. Hellhole is a film that gracefully slips below the radar, but for the cult cinema connoisseur, the strong writing is really what makes this film a great find.
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    Person of Interest: The Complete Fifth and Final Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 27th, 2016

    If there was a show I could recommend to someone who is looking for a smart thriller that doesn’t talk down to its audience, I couldn’t point to Person of Interest fast enough.  It’s a show that may be labeled sci-fi for some, yet its science and technology may not be so far off.  The idea of our government or private agencies using security cameras or our phones to monitor us is no longer just a rumor muttered around in circles of conspiracy theorists, but is quickly becoming a reality of day-to-day life. I kind of saw the show as a riff on the Batman story, subtract the cape and cowl and exchange it for a suit, then throw in a dash of George Orwell’s 1984, and you can see where the show got its start.
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 26, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on July 26th, 2016

    It’s been well over a year since we started this Tuesday Round Up, so I like to think we’re beyond certain formalities. For example, I hope you all know that you’re welcome to stop by our fair site anytime you want. No RSVP necessary. That being said, Drafthouse Films was still kind enough to drop off The Invitation this week. Shout! Factory tumbles down a Hellhole while offering a howling good time with The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. Finally, Lionsgate unleashes the John Travolta actioner I Am Wrath.

    One last reminder before signing off for the week (and for July): 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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    Exclusive Interview With Rob Hawk Writer/Director Of Fight Valley

    Posted in Uncategorized by Gino Sassani on July 25th, 2016

    The first rule of Fight Club is you never talk about Fight Club. So it’s a good thing we’re talking about Fight Valley instead. I got to hang out on the phone with Rob Hawk who both wrote and directed Fight Valley and the upcoming Fight Valley 2: Lockdown and we had a lot to talk about. The New Jersey native gives us an idea of what it was like to grow up on the tough streets of Jersey. Fight Valley  tells the story of one woman who enters the underground female fight game to find out how her sister died. It’s lady’s night at the fights. You talkin’ to me? Rob Hawk did and it’s all here. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Rob Hawk.
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    The Dark Horse

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 25th, 2016

    You talk dreams to those kids, you better follow through.”

    There’s a (not-so) grand cinematic tradition of white knights riding into rough neighborhoods and inspiring the disadvantaged kids who are seemingly stuck there. We’ve seen this plot applied in everything from Hardball and McFarland USA to Sister Act 2. (Hey…no one said the white knight *has* to be white). For the most part, these movies are as formulaic as they are enjoyable. So one of the many wonderful things about New Zealand chess drama The Dark Horse is that its white knight hero is a complex, damaged, well-meaning figure who’s actually in worse shape than the kids he’s trying to help.
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    Exclusive Interview With Tom McLaren Of All American Bikini Car Wash

    Posted in Uncategorized by Gino Sassani on July 25th, 2016

    That’s right. We’re heading back to The All American Bikini Car Wash once again. Seems my car keeps getting dirty these days. This time we’re talking to the guy who started it all (in the film). Tom McLaren plays Professor Dugan. He’s the one who offers the extra credit if Jack can turn a profit with his car wash. Obviously, the prof. wasn’t expecting this… I had the opportunity to spend some time talking with Tom. He was also involved in the marketing which has driven this little title into the top 15 in home video sales. He talks about that and his many other projects. He’s got a wonderful book out with classic continuity pictures from the Fox vaults. It’s co-written with Angela Cartwright. You’re going to want to hear this. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Tom McLaren

    Want to learn more about Tom?
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    Lights Out

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 24th, 2016

    Everyone is afraid of the dark…and that’s what she feeds on.”

    Despite rumors to the contrary, I am a full-grown adult. That means I can’t in good conscience admit to being afraid of the dark. The most I’ll concede is a sense of uneasiness if I’m in a dark space because I might bump into something. And if I hear a strange noise in the middle of the night, my mind might start creating sinister shapes out of shadows. (Hold on…am I afraid of the dark?!) Either way, that primal and unshakable fear of what could be hiding just out of sight is what powers Lights Out, one of the leaner, nimbler, and flat-out most enjoyable low-budget horror flicks in recent years.
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    Star Trek: Beyond

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 23rd, 2016

    “Space… The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    Every Star Trek fan knows the words by heart. For 50 years they’ve heralded the promise of something special. From the television show that couldn’t but did anyway to 12 feature films. Would #13 be the lucky one? The trailers left many of us worried that it would more than likely be unlucky. And we needed so much for this one to be great. Since the last film we lost Leonard Nimoy, who was most certainly the heart of the franchise on the screen.
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    Captain Fantastic

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 23rd, 2016

    Captain Fantastic has nothing to do with Elton John. (It turns out that’s not entirely true, because director/writer/actor Matt Ross (Big Love, Silicon Valley) found out his mother played Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy all the time, and it must have imbedded itself in his subconscious). The story in the movie starts in a very Lord of the Flies way, with camouflaged faces hidden amongst the leaves of the woods. They are children, and one of them leaps from the bush with a knife and cuts a deer’s neck. There are seven children and they all belong to Ben (Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings).
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    Café Society

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 23rd, 2016

    Café Society looks absolutely gorgeous. Every camera setup finds a new authentic location that suggests a time and place long ago. The lighting and cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Last Tango in Paris, Reds, Apocalypse Now) are sumptuous and delicious. The story is novelistic like an F. Scott Fitzgerald magnum opus. Woody Allen has had a long and very productive career. He is definitely at a stage when he should have slowed down, but he doesn’t. Café Society is not Woody’s magnum opus, but it certainly feels like he is reaching for it. It has depth and complexity. It is funny at times but is generally filled with ache and regret.
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    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 19th, 2016

    “It’s time for the biggest gladiator match of all time. Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham”

    In a summer chock full of blockbusters that are expected to defy box office records, dare I say this may be the most anticipated one of them all? When news about this film was first released, opposition rang out on both sides of the spectrum. Some argued that films that feature two characters facing off rarely work, especially when it comes to two heroes. I have to admit that I found myself agreeing with this argument.
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    My Golden Days

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 19th, 2016

    I remember…”

    On the surface, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about Paul Dedalus, the French anthropologist at the center of My Golden Days. As he prepares to return to France after an extended work stint in Tajikstan, Paul reflects on a trio of key moments from his childhood and young adulthood. Much of what Paul recalls — the death of a parent, his first love, and the aching of a long-distance relationship — is completely relatable. Yet filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin aims to present Paul’s life as the most romantic, tragic story ever told.
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    Joseph & Mary

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 19th, 2016

    For a film called Joseph and Mary, the titular characters are little more than a footnote in the overall film in my opinion. Jesus has an even smaller role, which is a notable first for film when it comes to films that reference the character. I give it points for it focusing on less notable people rather than the big three. However, that said, execution of the project was a failure to launch due to predictable storyline and lackluster performances.
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 19, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on July 19th, 2016

    Apparently, the multiplex wasn’t quite big enough to contain this year’s momentous clash between Batman and Superman. In fact, the battle between the iconic superheroes has spilled over onto this week’s Round Up. Warner Bros. was kind enough to send us Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice — Ultimate Edition, which includes about 30 minutes of extra footage and a bunch of bonus features. But wait…there’s more! We’re also going to bring you reviews for the movie’s 4K and 3D editions. On top of that, Warner also proved they can count to The 100: Season 3. Finally, Lionsgate arranges The Perfect Match, while Entertainment One sinks its teeth into Bitten: The Final Season.

    You probably know what I’m going to say in this space by now: 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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    Bitten: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 18th, 2016

    From the very beginning one can see there was great potential here. The show was based on a collection of books that appear to be quite popular. They’re called The Outworld series, written by Canadian author Kelley Armstrong. The show avoided most of the standard clichés. No full moon reference at all here. The werewolves “change” at will or when emotionally charged (“you won’t like me when I’m angry”). There are no silver bullets. These guys might be stronger and harder to kill than a human, but severe body trauma or blood loss kills them just like anyone else. No pentagrams or wolfbane to be found in the show. Such potential. After three years, the ride comes to an end with all of that potential unfulfilled. The werewolves might have been hard to kill. Alas, the show was not. 
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    The Bible Stories: Joseph

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 18th, 2016

    I have just reviewed The Bible Stories: Jacob in which I may have left people hanging, because I teased the end of the story. Of course that only applies to people who have never read the Bible. The Bible Stories: Joseph will give you some of those answers if you never got to the Good Book. Jacob indeed survives and thrives, so God was good on his word. Jacob had many sons, but in this film he is older and played by Martin Landau, not Matthew Modine. Jacob had 12 sons with two wives and two handmaids who were all involved with the births. Jacob (also known as Israel) entered into a covenant with God to create a new nation of plenty and prosperity.
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    The Infiltrator

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 15th, 2016

    Growing up one of coolest jobs I thought was out there was undercover work. Not to diminish all the threats to one’s well-being associated with that profession, but come on, who didn’t want the opportunity to reinvent themselves as someone else entirely. Undercover affords that opportunity. That said, it does not come without a cost, and that cost is explored thoroughly in The Infiltrator, a based on a true story tale about a U.S. Customs agent who infiltrates the most successful and equally dangerous drug cartel led by the one and only Pablo Escobar. An interesting little tidbit that I was unaware of before the opening credits was that this film was shot right here in the Tampa area, which provided recognizable environment and a chance to pick out familiar territory.  
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    Green Room (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 15th, 2016

    Ever since writer/director Jeremy Saulnier came out with his gripping revenge film Blue Ruin, fans have been patiently waiting to see what he’d do next.  If you have not had the chance to see Blue Ruin and you are a fan of the revenge genre, it’s a film that is certainly a must see and is one of the few films that lives up to the hype that surrounds it.  The problem with doing such a strong and powerful film so early in your career is that expectations seem to just skyrocket, and it seems there is just no way you can make everyone happy.  As a fan first and critic second, I know I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past, and it’s almost impossible to not get excited, and at the screening for this film, I know I was not the only one with high expectations.
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    Code of Honor (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 14th, 2016

    Are you a good guy or are you a bad guy?”

    I honestly try to be a good guy whenever I sit down to write a review because the fact is I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have a deep love for movies. Heck, I can usually even derive enjoyment and find the charm in films that obviously have limited resources. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay positive whenever Steven Seagal pops up on a Blu-ray cover, always with the same neutral expression and always brandishing a firearm. Code of Honor, Seagal’s latest offering, is no exception. If the question is, “Is this a good movie or a bad movie?”…I think you know the answer.
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    Everybody Wants Some (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 12th, 2016

    For the Gasparilla International Film Festival, to nab the latest film from writer/director Richard Linklater is kind of a big deal. GIFF was the second festival to show Everybody Wants Some after its debut at the acclaimed South by Southwest festival.  With the film being lauded as a spiritual sequel to Linklater’s cult hit Dazed and Confused, I had to admit I was a bit skeptical about this film and its ability to even match up to its predecessor, after all it was the indie darling that helped launched the careers of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and many others.  This ensemble of talented up-and-comers managed to capture this cinematic lightning in a bottle about high school
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    iZombie: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 12th, 2016

    For years I’ve been hearing about how “hot” vampires were on television and in the movies. It all appeared to start with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but it actually goes back a lot longer ago. Zombies, on the other hand, were the sole property of feature films, usually extreme low-budget affairs. AMC’s The Walking Dead has changed all of that. Suddenly zombies are very hot and populating one of the highest rated shows on television. Add a spin-off, and the domination continues. It wasn’t going to take long for someone else to join the field. Enter iZombie, and we’re off and running.
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