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    Dunkirk

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 22nd, 2017

    When Christopher Nolan has a new release, it’s an event to get excited about. There are few directors I can say this about. Sure, there are directors that I like, but still there are few who manage to capture what makes going to the cinema an experience. Dunkirk is his latest cinematic opus. Despite it being his shortest film, with the exception of The Following; this is the first time he has shot a film entirely in IMAX form. What’s the big deal? Well, aside from the picture being twice the size of the regular format, what he does with these cameras is deliver a beautifully striking picture of destruction and survival.  There’s a lot of buzz going around with this film, and already it’s being looked at as the first real Oscar contender of the year.  Is the film worth the hype?  Is it really Nolan’s best picture?
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    Kong: Skull Island (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 19th, 2017

    Every year it seems the “summer” movie season seems to start 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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    The Strain: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 11th, 2017

    From creator Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Blade 2) based off a book he co-wrote, The Strain has been a horror series that has continued to impress as it revs up to begin its fourth season on FX.  It’s a show that centers around a vampire outbreak that began at JFK airport when a plane arrived with all its passengers and crew “dead”, and then things quickly spiraled out of hand.  If your eyes rolled at the thought of simply another vampire story, let me take a moment to explain. What del Toro and Chuck Hogan created is a very unique take on the vampire lore, having their creature of the night more a victim of a wormlike parasite that creates a mutation in the body, and as we discover in Season Three, in the brain as well.
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    Absolutely Anything

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 11th, 2017

    The Monty Python comedy group has been a staple of British comedy for decades; personally my favorite film of theirs will always be Life of Brian.  For director Terry Jones, it’s been a while since he has stepped behind the camera to helm a picture, and it’s been even longer since he directed the 1983 classic The Meaning of Life. It’s not uncommon for directors to step away for years only to come back and return with some kind of passion project. Add into this mix Simon Pegg, whose comedic timing I would have figured would make him a perfect fit for a Monty Python film / revival; it just seemed that Absolutely Anything had everything in place to be a success.
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    The Belko Experiment (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 5th, 2017

    When a film like The Belko Experiment comes along there is a part of me that wonders, how far off is the film from reality? Films like Death Race 2000, The Running Man, The Purge, and Battle Royale have all flirted with the idea of the government using murder as a form of entertainment while also using it as a way to control the public. You look at the violence in the world and how numb we’ve all seemed to have gotten towards violence in the news and our favorite TV shows. I can’t help but wonder, would it be so crazy to see murder on our television screens?  Looking back at history and the gladiator times, there was murder for entertainment, where families would cheer on the bloodshed and carnage.
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    Baby Driver

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 2nd, 2017

    For the most part it seems the summer blockbusters tend to be sequels, superhero films, or CGI bonanzas that are simply eye candy to get us to films in the dark auditoriums to escape the heat. It’s rare that something comes along that is so clever and as fresh as Baby Driver.  Personally I’ve been a fan of Edgar Wright from the moment I first saw Shaun of the Dead, he was a writer and director that I felt knew how to make films fun. When he was set to direct his dream project Ant-Man, I was excited to see him finally get a chance to do a giant tent-pole studio film, but weeks before filming was set to begin he got pulled away and replaced. When it got announced he was working on an action-comedy named Baby Driver well I was excited but the film’s title had me scared, fears of him doing something along the lines of Baby’s Day Out ran through my mind
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    The Unholy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 30th, 2017

    From the vaults of Vestron Video has unleashed The Unholy for horror fans to indulge in for the first time on Blu-ray.  Growing up and going to a Catholic school, films like The Exorcist and The Unholy managed to be all the more terrifying to me because the prospect of demons coming from hell was thought to be a possibility.  Sure, Freddy and Jason could get the young me nervous at night, but what films like The Unholy presented were the kind of thoughts that had me afraid to keep the lights off at night. But does the film hold up decades later? That’s a tough call, but with the new digitally restored version of the film now hitting the shelves, it’s worth grabbing a little holy water and checking out.
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    Trespass

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 29th, 2017

    When it comes to Writer, Director, Producer, Walter Hill is simply one of the best at doing the traditional tough-guy movies.  Films like The Warriors and 48 Hours are simply staples of my childhood; he even was involved with Alien, which I believe is one of the best sci-fi/horror films ever made, yet his star has seemed to fade as the years have passed. His work on the underappreciated Bullet to the Head I felt was a nice throwback to the features he made back in his heyday and had me realize how much his voice is missed in today’s cinema. This week, Shout Factory rolls out a blast from the past with the 1992 film Trespass.
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    T2 Trainspotting (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 28th, 2017

    “First, there is an opportunity.  Then…there’s a betrayal.”

    It’s been 20 years since the release of Trainspotting, and it’s fair to say a lot has changed in the past two decades.  I remember going out to the United Artists Mission Bell Cinemas to see Trainspotting the weekend it came out.  I was with my best friend at the time, and neither of us was old enough to buy tickets for the film, so we ended up having to sneak into the film.  We’d seen the trailers, and in a time before the internet there just wasn’t much we could find out about it aside from reading articles in the entertainment magazines.
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    Workaholics: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 25th, 2017

    Since 2011, the trio of Blake, Adam, and Ders have been reporting to their telemarketing job and bringing the laughs to Comedy Central on Workaholics.  With the final season now released, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the trio that has shown us the joys of pranking, slacking, and pot in the work place. Does the show go out with a bang, or does it fizzle before reaching that last episode? I was a little concerned how things would end up because of the years I’ve gotten to really like the show and everyone involved. It’s time to punch in that time card and check out what this final season is all about.
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    Aaron’s Blood

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

    When it comes to vampire films, I’m not so much a fan of the romanticized fantasy depiction that we see in Ann Rice novels.  Personally, I like my monsters to be grounded in reality; films like Near Dark and Let Me In seem to have a more vicious bite to them. Why do I prefer these darker and more grim depictions? Well, I believe if vampires have had to kill to survive, whether it be for a month or generations, they should be handled as some scary bad guys, not pretty, sparkly, cuddle-bunnies.  When an indie film comes along like Aaron’s Blood and it decides to go the more ground with reality horror route, it gives me hope, and it’s something I’m actually looking forward to seeing. But does the film deliver the goods?
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    47 Meters Down

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 16th, 2017

    It’s summertime, and that means it is time for those bikini-clad bodies to start decorating the beaches and become bait for everyone’s favorite predator of the ocean. For those who don’t tan and manage to only burn in direct sunlight, there is a safer alternative to the beach, and that is your local theater with the new film 47 Meters Down.  Last year we had the surprise hit The Shallows that made a valiant attempt at making the beach terrifying once again. I love a fun, cheesy shark film; it’s one of those cinematic pleasantries I feel we just don’t get enough of. With the wait for Meg being another year off, it seems 47 Meters Down is going to have to tide me over till then. Is it worth taking a dip?
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    Kill ’em All (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 16th, 2017

    It used to be when you had a straight-to-DVD release, you knew better than to set the bar too high.  From time to time you would find that occasional gem that slipped through the cracks and turned out to be something awesome, but this was a rare occurrence. With the way films are released now, the talent you are seeing in straight-to-DVD releases has improved, as have the budgets, since getting a film on the big screen has become a greater financial challenge.  I mention this only because I look at a title like Kill’em All and wonder if they even cared. The actors are here and doing their job, but it’s the figures behind the scenes that I’m calling out here.
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    My Cousin Rachel

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

    I think we can all agree that at some point we’ve all managed to make a fool of ourselves in the name of love. It’s almost a rite of passage so to speak. As for that forbidden love, well, I’m not so sure how many people will be so eager to admit to this one. When it comes to the film My Cousin Rachel, it’s a love story, but far from what you’d find on the Hallmark channel. Instead this is a film about the nightmare of what love can be and what it can do to you. Back in the 90’s, Roger Michell directed one of the sweetest and optimistic romances of that decade when he did Notting Hill.Now it’s 2017 and his return to romance could not be any more bleak, but how beautifully bleak it all is.
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    Where the Buffalo Roam

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 9th, 2017

    When it comes to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I view the man as an American legend and the ambassador of the sixties and the seventies. He was the voice for those who were misfits to society, and he was a nightmare for the establishment. Many people watched Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas and formed their opinion of him, thinking he was just a drug-consuming madman who somehow managed to get a gig as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Though there are glimpses of truth in this character, it was more a fictional creation named Raul Duke that Thompson created to tell his narrative. Where the Buffalo Roam I had hoped would be a film much closer to the real-life Thompson
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    XX (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 25th, 2017

    While I’m not usually a fan of gimmicks involved in trying to get my attention to see a movie, I’ll happily take an anthology of a found-footage film, simply because the odds of me finding something I like in the anthology are greater. VHS 2 is personally my favorite anthology film out there; even though it suffers from having to be a found-footage anthology, it at least delivers several unique perspectives and stories. I find it hard to believe a horror fan out there can’t enjoy the film. With XX the anthology presents us with a unique proposition when it comes to horror, four tales that are all crafted and presented by women.  A rather unintentional taboo notion when you consider horror has been a boys’ club for many years, but we are in a new era, and with this anthology this is the business card that is here to show us what they got.
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    Ice – Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 23rd, 2017

    It’s not often that a show can come along that impresses me with its talent in front of and behind the camera; then when the show premieres, it is just bad for a couple of episodes and then manages to bounce back.  There are just so many options that if you don’t come out swinging, your show is going to be passed up for something else. I still feel like we’re in the Golden Age of television despite some of the best series in the past decade having already been retired from the airwaves (Breaking Bad is sorely missed despite Better Call Saul).  There is still so much out there that sometimes good stuff gets overlooked, and it’s not till DVD rolls around that you can discover a show, and that is the case for the new series Ice.
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    Wonder Woman: Commemorative Edition

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 18th, 2017

    With its original release in 2009, DC and Warner Bros have set up the release of Wonder Woman the animated film to help ramp up excitement for the live-action release of the new Wonder Woman film that is set to hit the big screen in a matter of weeks. For some of those readers who may think animated film means it’s just for kids, what WB and DC have done together with the animation department I wish managed to translate to their live-action releases. The DC/WB animated films in my opinion are phenomenal and honestly have set a high bar for me, because these translations have just been superior to the live-action films, and most come in short of the 90-minute mark
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    The Wall

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

    Director Doug Liman has been a director whose career I’ve enjoyed following since I was in high school and first saw Swingers. It was one of those cool independent films that appeared in the mid-90’s when independent films were all the rage.  A couple years later he did the film Go which I felt beautifully captured the rave culture that had taken the states by storm but the film was quickly overlooked.  Then he got his big break with The Bourne Identity and as his career expanded to Mr. and Mrs. Smith so did the budgets ie: Edge of Tomorrow. Now with the release of The Wall Liman seems to have gone back to his roots in a way in creating one of the most intimate and intense war films to hit the cinemas, despite its major release being set by Amazon Studios.
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    Saving Banksy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 9th, 2017

    When it comes to graffiti art there is only one name that comes to mind, and it’s Banksy. Before checking out this documentary I had no clue that graffiti art was actually something people took seriously, beyond gang tags and little kids marking up a wall for fun. Apparently there are numerous acclaimed graffiti artists around the world, artists who define themselves with their own unique style and message they’d like to share with the rest of the world, even if their message will most likely be painted over.  In 2010 Banksy came to San Francisco to vandalize some walls with a little paint, and it was enough to create a buzz across the city about what the artist would do, and out of that spawned this unique documentary that explores the value of graffiti art.
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    Rings (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 8th, 2017

    When The Ring (2002) first came out, if you looked hard enough you could still find movies on VHS, so the thought of a mysterious tape that kills you seven days after watching it wasn’t so entirely farfetched.  Now that we are in 2017, if someone were to find a mysterious VHS tape, well, they’d be out of luck for the most part, since I’d wager most of the US population no longer has a VCR.  But Hollywood won’t let this stop their successful franchise from moving forward, even though it’s been 12 years since The Ring Two, this weekend is the release of the third film in the series, and quite frankly, I have to wonder if anyone really wanted this.
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    Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 4th, 2017

    “Of course I have issues; that’s my father.” 

    When I walked out of the theater in 2014 after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy I knew I had just seen something special, and knowing a sequel was already guaranteed had me excited to see what was next for this band of misfits.  Since the release in 2014 the film hasn’t just become my favorite Marvel film; it is one of my favorite films, period.  So as photos and trailers began to trickle out, I began to wonder if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could actually hold up to the first.  For many the first film was a surprise hit that no one saw coming, something so toe-tapping fun between the soundtrack and action scenes, but most importantly it was the chemistry of the Guardians that had won over the audiences.
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    Chupacabra Territory

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 25th, 2017

    I have to admit I’m a sucker for cryptozoology, and stories about chupacabras and Bigfoot are fun to talk about. In the reality-TV-show world, there are many shows that have people travelling in the woods in search of evidence of these creatures. The proof is sketchy at best, but still it makes for entertaining television. Now we have the found-footage film Chupacabra Territory that dares to take us on an adventure into chupacabra territory where four hikers manage to get lost in the woods.  Is the found footage worth checking out? Well, that all depends how big a fan of the found-footage genre you happen to be.
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    The Lost City Of Z

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 21st, 2017

    The best way to describe this film is epic; they really don’t make films like this anymore, and leave it to Amazon Studios to present us with such an ambitious film.  At one time Brad Pitt was set to star in the film, and then the lead role was offered up to Benedict Cumberbatch. Due to his conflicting schedule with Doctor Strange, he too had to drop out. Eventually Charlie Hunnam (Crimson Peak, Sons of Anarchy) was given the role, and to be honest, I don’t think there is another actor who is more suited for the role. Percy Fawcett (Hunnam) was a loyal soldier in the British army who seemed to never get the recognition that he deserved, and frankly this is something I feel Hunnam can relate to. He’s been in some great roles over the years, but somehow he’s a guy who’s been overlooked and hasn’t quite gotten the spotlight that he deserves.
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    Split (Blu-ray)

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

    When it comes to writer/ director M. Night Shyamalan, it’s hard to find a more polarizing director between film critics and film geeks. I was a fan up until he did The Village. It’s not as though I “hated” the film; I just was getting sick of the gimmick plot twists that seemed to go hand in hand with his work.  As he continued to release films, I just would shrug at the trailers, and my enthusiasm for his films quickly declined.  For me Unbreakable has grown to be my favorite work of his, which is funny to me because the first time I saw it I had a hard time deciding how I felt about the film.  It was a comic/ superhero film that showed us perhaps what it would be like in the real world if some regular Joe realized he was perhaps meant for something greater.
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