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    Greenleaf Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 14th, 2016

    relatively out of the spotlight as she has worked on making her cable network channel, OWN, a success.  While I wouldn’t ever say I was a fan of Oprah’s work on the screen, I could appreciate what she did in The Color Purple and Beloved. This being said, I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to take a title that at first glance seemed to be a show that would be heavy-handed with its subject matter centered around the church.  Despite my concerns, I’m glad I picked up this title, because despite how it handles some very familiar topics, it’s presented in a manner that not only feels fresh but is truly an engrossing show that manages to suck the viewer in and kept me wanting to see what would happen next.
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    Return Of The Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray)

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

    Fresh out of the vaults comes another cult classic. Vestron Video has decided to unleash Return of the Living Dead 3 for horror fans to snatch up this holiday season.  Considering the titles that Vestron has already released, for some this might be a title that will leave fans scratching their heads about there being an urge to re-master this film, much less crank out a Blu-ray with so many features.  Well, the simple answer is that the person in charge of acquiring and releasing these titles knows that there are fanboys like me out there who will shell out the money for a product that’s given this kind of attention.  Return of the Living Dead is a cult classic and is mostly responsible for casual moviegoers making the connection with zombies and brain eating
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    I.T. (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 24th, 2016

    There is a way this film could have been great if not a little amusing. Imagine if James Bond was being stalked by Q; what would Bond do?  Sure, I’ll admit it’s a silly notion, but it’s all I could think about as I watched this film about a millionaire and his family being stalked by a disgruntled I.T. worker.  In general, it’s a story we see a couple of times a year, the seemingly charming figure that comes into a person’s life that turns out to be crazy and throws everyone’s life into chaos.  Films like Cape Fear and One Hour Photo are just a couple of examples of films that tackled the stalker sub-genre; even last year’s overlooked gem The Gift showed you can still be terrifying with a little creativity.
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    Army Of One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 23rd, 2016

    It’s been a while since Nicolas Cage has been in a big studio-released film.  It doesn’t mean he’s doing bad movies; it just means he’s not doing any tent-pole releases that flood the multiplex.  Seeing Nicolas Cage in a film like Army of One is simply a snapshot of how modern cinema has to evolve for better or for worse.  Really, I don’t mean to come off as though this is a bad film or inferior to any other films past or present, but ten years ago this is a film that would have had a much wider release and would easily have gotten more attention.  After all, who could resist Nicolas Cage in a film helmed by the director of Borat?
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    Hacksaw Ridge

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

    Just when you thought you’ve seen it all when it comes to films about World War II, Mel Gibson helms a film that hits you with such an emotional wallop that I’ll say it right now: just hand the man the Oscar for this film.  It’s only November; how can I be so sure of this? Well, of course there are some titles to keep an eye on as we enter award season, but I honestly can’t imagine a title coming out that can achieve what Gibson did.    I’m sure by now you’ve seen the ads for the film that draw comparisons to Saving Private Ryan.  It’s a bold statement, but I’m writing this to say that Hacksaw Ridge isn’t the best war film since Saving Private Ryan, it is a superior film to it as well.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Id (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 30th, 2016

    This is one of those titles that came along where I had no idea what to expect.  I knew it was a horror title, and really that is about it.  The problem with doing films in a single location, though it may save you money when it comes to the actual production, is that in return you put an added pressure on your performers and the story to not be boring and keeping the story moving.  It can be done; after all, 10 Cloverfield Lane is one of my favorite films of the year, and most of it takes place in a bunker.  When it comes to The Id, how did the film turn out? Well, I feel it was a victim of its own design.
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    Our Kind Of Traitor

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 28th, 2016

    When it comes to spy novelist John le Carre (Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, The Night Manager), his books seem to produce great films and mini-series but are far from being box-office darlings. Each production of one of his novels seems to be filled with talent in front of and behind the camera.  When it comes to the release of Our Kind of Traitor, despite the impressive cast it’s a film that managed to slip through the cracks and seems to have limped its way to a DVD/Blu-ray release when really it’s a film that deserves to be appreciated more on the big screen.  While it may not be filled with the spectacle of special effects and explosions, it’s a film that garners some impressive performances throughout and has a story that quickly pulls the viewer in.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Waxwork/Waxwork II (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 22nd, 2016

    The third release of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series that Lionsgate has decided to put out isn’t just one film but two, Waxwork and its sequel Waxwork 2: Lost in Time.  If you think just because it’s a two-for-one release that they may have taken the lazy route on handling the transfers and features, well, I can happily say that you’d be wrong.  If you like campy horror, especially the kind that existed during the late 80’s on into the early 90’s, then this is the kind of double-feature set you’ll have a blast with.  It doesn’t hurt, either, that it’s being released just in time to be enjoyed for those of you looking to put together some horror movie marathons during the Halloween season
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    Blood Father (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 19th, 2016

    I can’t be the only one who misses seeing Mel Gibson in a tent pole movie for the studio every year.  Sure, he said some rotten things, but does it matter what he does in his personal life?  The man still is a great actor and an even better director.  Hollywood has always been forgiving of its talent; it’s a system that seems to enjoy seeing talent make a comeback and do some amazing work.  What it seems is that sometimes we forget that these icons on the screen are human, and they make mistakes and do stupid things and they have to own these experiences for the rest of their lives in the spotlight.
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    The Legend of Tarzan (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 19th, 2016

    I’ve always been a fan of Tarzan; I loved the old series and the films basically because I just dug how he was this fearless character who lived in the jungles who fought the bad guys and a few wild animals as well.  As I got older that was when I discovered the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and I just had a blast with all these pulp tales about the civilized Wildman and the beautiful Jane.  I even remember how excited I was about seeing Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan as a kid; even though this screen adaption bored me to tears, it was still exciting to see the character up on the screen. Now it’s 2016, and the character is swinging into action on the big screen again, and with a large budget to back it up.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Caretaker

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 17th, 2016

    When it comes to director Jeff Prugh and his new film The Caretaker, he shows that you don’t need a big budget or grand effects to deliver a horror film.  In the case of The Caretaker, filming on a modest budget may have presented the director with the challenge to lean more towards atmosphere and technique rather than fall back on special effects and gore. This isn’t a film that is going to get a wide release in theaters across the US, so it’s going to have to rely on receiving word of mouth to be seen.  With there being so many options to choose from, what makes The Caretaker stand out from the pack? Well, if I’m being honest, it’s because I find the film charming in a way.  Not exactly what a horror film would want to have said about it, but this is one of those little films where you can actually feel the labor and passion put into this.
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    The Accountant

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 14th, 2016

    It would seem as though Ben Affleck is finally starting to shed the stigma of doing bad films.  He’s been on a roll since he took on the role of George Reeves in Hollywoodland and has also in the process become an accomplished director.  When the trailer first dropped for The Accountant, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as you look at the laundry list of talent that fills the cast, it quickly became a film I had my eye on.  What is surprising is despite their being franchises that seem to cover the same territory ie: Jack Reacher and the Jason Bourne films, is there room for another lone-wolf-killing-machine film?
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Satanic (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2016

    When you have a title like Satanic, it’s kind of hard to not start to build up expectations right out of the gate.  I like a horror film that isn’t afraid to go dark and play with the subject matter of the occult, because honestly it’s the only topic that can manage to get under my skin.  The Exorcist in my opinion is hands down the best horror film of all time and manages to haunt me after a viewing simply because the boy I once was who went to Catholic mass every Sunday knew that it could happen.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Masks (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 8th, 2016

    After the release of The Editor on Blu-ray last year and with the remake of Susperia in the works, it would seem that there is a slow revival of the Giallo film.  For those unaware of the term or style, it’s basically a horror/ mystery film that tended to have slasher elements that emerged out of Italy.  These were beautiful and stylish films that directors like Dario Argento, Mario Bava, and Lucio Fulci were the ambassadors of.  While The Editor was more of a spoof of the genre, though well done, it is Masks that has really gotten my attention.  Though it comes out of Germany, the love and attention to detail in adding so many of the familiar hallmarks of the Giallo film makes Masks more than just a simple homage, but it’s so well executed I could have believed this was a lost Dario Argento film.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Neon Demon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 6th, 2016

    “Are you food or are you sex?”

    When it comes to director Nicholas Winding Refn, he’s a director from whom I’m never all too sure what to expect.  For me Drive is one of my favorite films in the past ten years, while Only God Forgives simply bored me; despite the stunning imagery, it had nothing else going for it.. His films going even further back are just as much of a mixed bag, so coming into The Neon Demon I knew better than to get my hopes up, and that I should just go ahead and let the film stand on its own, as it should.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Chopping Mall (Blu-ray)

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

    “I guess I’m just not used to being chased around a mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.”

    It’s October, and that means it’s the start of 31 Nights of Terror, and this year we’re kicking things off with one of my guilty pleasures growing up, Chopping Mall.   This came out at a time when slashers were pretty much a dying genre, but there was still a demand to have horror films up on the big screen.  I never got to see this in theaters, but I remember the VHS box art from my local mom-and-pop video store.  The idea of the robotic hand clutching a shopping bag with a head on it was something that gripped the teenager in me.
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    Deepwater Horizon

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

    It really doesn’t seem so long ago that all the major news networks were showing footage of the destroyed oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that was pumping out gallons upon gallons of oil into the ocean.  The BP oil rig disaster was all we could talk about in April of 2010, and all of us at home were left wondering if they’d ever plug up that hole and stop the leakage of oil that would go on to destroy hundreds of miles of beach coast property as well as cause long-lasting effects on the fishing industry.  Everyone was looking for someone to blame, and plenty of it went to BP.  While this made for engaging news for a while, it never seemed like a story that Hollywood would want to invest in and make a film about.
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    The Magnificent Seven (2016)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 23rd, 2016

    Great, just what we need, another remake of a film that is not only a classic, but the film which it was inspired by is also a highly-praised classic.  I’ll admit I’ve grown tired of Hollywood going to the well and remaking films that simply don’t need to be messed with.  It’s one thing to see Seven Samurai (1954) translated for American audiences to go from a black & white martial arts spectacle to seeing a colorized star-studded western, The Magnificent Seven (1960).  When I first heard about the remake, I had hopes that the film would be modernized yet again, but unfortunately the studios decided to keep the setting in the Wild West, and even when Denzel Washington was hired on to head the film with Antoine Fuqua (Training Day & The Equalizer) in the director’s chair, I still wasn’t convinced.
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    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 22nd, 2016

    Growing up I was obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series; it was the Saturday morning cartoon I just couldn’t get enough of.  When I couldn’t watch the cartoon, I’d be playing with the toys and eventually the video game back in the original Nintendo console days.  So when the movies came out, my parents had no choice but to take me to see them.  Back in those days we had the turtles in rubber suits; as a kid the experience was fun but still just not as good as the cartoon.  As I got older, well, those original films seem to hold up less and less, and when the news came that an updated version of the film would be coming out I got a little excited, that is till I saw the trailer for the 2014 film.
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    Snowden

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 16th, 2016

    It’s been just about four years since Savages (2012) hit the big screen.  For me Savages was Oliver Stone simply having a blast, shooting an over-the-top action film fueled by sex, drugs, and violence.  Now it seems Stone has stepped back into the paranoid, government conspiracy form that he seems to be best known for with Snowden.  Whether you view him as a traitor to the United States or a self-sacrificing lamb to expose the government and its illegal wiretapping, it’s a choice that is up to you going into this film.  Personally, while I feel his intentions were good, still he did betray his government and committed treason.  What I had hoped with this film is that Oliver Stone would capture both sides of the coin, but as the title would suggest, Edward Snowden (Joesph Gordon-Levitt) is front and center on this ride, and that’s not my only problem here.
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    The Ones Below (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 14th, 2016

    When a movie that so clearly lifts its inspiration from the films of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock, I would have expected to simply embrace this film for the nail-biting thriller it is attempting to be.  Instead I found myself sitting back wondering why I just couldn’t get into this film.  Is it because the storyline seems uninspired?  Whatever it is when it comes to The Ones Below, it may hit all the right notes when it comes to what to expect with a thriller, but that’s the problem; it plays everything by the book and doesn’t dare to take unexpected twists.
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    Clown (Blu-ray)

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

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I have a fear of clowns, but more of the people beneath the paint. I’m not sure if anyone has recently seen in the news, but there are reports of people dressing up as clowns behind an apartment complex in South Carolina attempting to lure children into the woods.  First off I immediately think this is a prank, but also there is the side of me that is curious as to there being something more sinister at play; after all, it seems like a good start to a horror film. Going back through my childhood, I can’t think of any one moment that caused me to despise clowns, but I do remember a trip to Circus World that left me convinced all the clowns there were bad.
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    Lucifer: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 31st, 2016

    It seems there is no end in sight for comic book properties being bought and turned into movies or television series. Lucifer is one of the newest additions getting the television treatment, and personally this was a title I was looking forward to.  With Tom Kapinos (Californication and Dawson’s Creek) at the helm, this seemed like it would be a good fit, though one thing did nag at me.  When you have a show called Lucifer, and it is about the devil taking a vacation on Earth, is standard television really the proper outlet for broadcast?  As a fan of Californication, I was excited to see what Kapinos would do with the material, and for the most part the show doesn’t disappoint.
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    The Nice Guys (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 31st, 2016

    Writer/Director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) has a way of writing flawed characters who manage to leave more lasting impressions than the films they populate. But where he shines is when he can thrust these flawed individuals into the confines of a detective story.  Most people grew their fondness for Black and his quick-witted dialog when he first penned Lethal Weapon, but for me it goes back to The Monster Squad and The Last Boy Scout, where I found myself becoming a fan even in my early years of film watching.  So is the fanboy in me excited to see what Black brings to the table this time around?  You betcha. In a summer popcorn season filled with comic book movies, sequels, and other films targeting the teenage demographic, it’s nice to have an action film that harkens back to the good old days (the 80’s and early 90’s) for a fun comedy/action romp that has a foul-mouthed edge.
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    Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 24th, 2016

    For years (at this point we can say decades), fans have been holding out hope for a new installment in the Evil Dead franchise. Over the years there have been rumors of a fourth film, even talks of doing a crossover involving Ash (Bruce Campbell) taking on various horror icons.  In the end these talks seemed to be nothing more than pipe dreams, but then in 2013 something special happened.  A remake/sequel occurred for the series that actually was pretty awesome and gory while also being a financial success…but it was the stinger at the end of the credits that got people excited, the brief appearance of the man with the chainsaw hand himself.
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