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    Home on the Range (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 16th, 2012

    The “Patch of Heaven” farm is about to be seized by the bank, unless $750.00 can be raised, and raised quickly. By lucky coincidence, that is precisely the reward being offered for the capture of cattle rustler Alameda Slim. Three plucky cows (voiced by Roseanne Barr, Judi Dench and Jennifer Tilly) decide to capture Slim and win the reward, thus saving their home.
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    A Necessary Death

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 29th, 2012

    Gilbert (Gilbert John) is a film student with a radical idea: make a documentary about someone who is going to commit suicide. Get to know why, get to know the person, follow the whole process, right up to the very end. Collaborators Valerie (Valerie Hurt) and Michael (Michael Traynor) have deep misgivings about the project, but sign on when the apparently ideal subject is found. This is Matt (Matthew Tilley), who suffers from a brain tumour and simply wants to choose his moment to bow out with dignity before the pain becomes too severe.
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    The Adventures of Tintin (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 28th, 2012

    Steven Spielberg’s very-long-in-gestation adaptation of Hergé’s Tintin finally came into being over Christmas. The story, very much in keeping with the globe-trotting adventures of the comic books (drawing heavily, in fact, upon The Secret of the Unicorn), has Tintin (voiced by Jaime Bell) become embroiled in a treasure quest after buying a model ship that has one third of the secret concealed in its mast. Captured by nefarious evil-doers who will stop at nothing to find the treasure, he encounters Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), and a legendary friendship is formed.
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    Samantha Who? – The Complete First & Second Seasons

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on May 1st, 2012

     Samantha Newly (Christina Applegate) was hit by a car, fell into a coma, and woke up with retrograde amnesia. She discovers that prior to her coma, she was a mean piece of work, and the show revolves around her reactions to what she discovers about her past, as well as the relationships she now has with friends (Melissa McCarthy – the good one – and Jennifer Esposito – the bad one, basically channeling Kim Cattrall), family, and ex-boyfriend (a generic Barry Watson). Season Two picks up with Samantha returning to her apartment, discovering she used to be able to dance, getting herself a new guy (again), and so on.
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    Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 21st, 2012

    The fourth Mission: Impossible entry exchanges digits for a subtitle, and brings in Brad Bird to direct his first live-action feature. So the man whose The Incredibles made fun of the sort of thing that is the bread-and-butter of the M:I franchise is brought in to revitalize said franchise. Result? Job done.
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    Chinatown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 6th, 2012

    Roman Polanski’s seminal neo-noir finally makes it to Blu-ray. Gino has already handled the previous DVD release, so I’m going to turn the reins over to him for a while, then jump back in.

    “Jake Gittes is a Chandler style detective with all of the trappings. From the office to the secretary and the cop friend, Gittes is a cliché. He appears to specialize in tracking down extramarital affairs. When he’s hired to keep an eye on a rich millionaire, the subject turns up dead, and maybe it wasn’t his wife at all who hired him. Gittes now must investigate to save his own hide. His investigation leads him to a corrupt water department taking advantage of a manufactured drought. His client has a dark secret that only complicates Gittes’ efforts.
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    Hugo (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 17th, 2012

    In the 1930’s, the orphaned Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the access tunnels of the Gare Montparnasse in Paris, winding the clocks, making sure that no one knows his guardian uncle has long-since gone AWOL, and filching bits and pieces of mechanisms that will allow him, he hopes, to repair the automaton he keeps in his living quarters. This is his last connection to his deceased father, and his dream is that the repaired machine will grant him a message from the beyond.
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    Gurozuka

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 8th, 2012

    A group of high school girls heads off into the woods to make a movie for their film club. What only the two organizers know is that they are heading for the site of a previous film club’s massacre. Their shoot descended into madness, with a participant in a deigan mask killing all the others, and the whole thing was recorded on tape. It isn’t long after the girls arrive that things start to go wrong, and it seems that history might be repeating itself.
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    Puss In Boots (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 24th, 2012

    One of the more popular characters from the Shrek franchise steps into the starring spotlight here, in an adventure whose locale is rather different from the familiar swamp-forest-castle fairy-tale settings of the parent films. Seeking to steel magic beans from the husband-and-wife thugs Jack and Jill, Puss (Antonio Banderas) and rival Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) become caught up in a wild scheme masterminded by the duplicitous Humpty Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis).
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    Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D Limited Edition) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 15th, 2012

    Back when I reviewed the original Blu-ray/DVD combo release, I said that those wanting special features should wait for the inevitable double-dip. Well, here it is, and so loaded with features that they get a Blu-ray to themselves.
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    The Apartment (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 30th, 2012

    Jack Lemmon is a rather meek insurance company employee who is slowly working his way up the corporate ladder by lending his apartment to married executives looking for a place to take their girlfriends. Life is rather inconvenient, as he is locked out of his home at all hours, but things become even more complicated when the big boss (Fred McMurray) takes an interest. The good news is that Lemmon gets another promotion. The bad news is that McMurray’s affair is with Shirley MacLaine, the elevator girl for whom Lemmon is carrying a torch.
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    Paranormal Activity 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 20th, 2012

    The Paranormal Activity franchise steps back in time for this third entry, revealing how and why sisters Katie and Kristi come to suffer demonic assaults later in life. We are back in 1988. The blended family of mother Julie (Lauren Bittner), daughters Katie (Chloe Csengery) and Kristi (Jessica Tyler Brown) and stepfather Dennis (Christopher Nicholas Smith) are settling in to life together when the first odd things start happening.
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    Scrooge (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 22nd, 2011

    Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the pre-eminent holiday fare success story. Not only was it gigantically successful for Dickens himself, to the point that not only did he then follow it up with other Christmas books (The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Haunted Man), but he also took charge of one of its early adaptations, trimming it down for oral performances. It has also, of course, been the subject of numerous film versions, with everyone from the Muppets to Bill Murray having a go. This one, from 1970, turns the story into a musical.
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    Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scared to Death & Tormented

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 12th, 2011

    Two more episodes from Elvira’s Movie Macabre. The two films have little in common, but they do have odd little claims to fame. Scared to Death (1947) is Bela Lugosi’s only colour film. Tormented (1960), meanwhile, is actually pretty good for a Bert I. Gordon film, and features no back-projection-enlarged insects or people!
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    Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Lady Frankenstein & Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 12th, 2011

    This particular double-bill of offerings (in the form of rather muddy, scratched prints) from Elvira’s Movie Macabre makes a certain odd kind of sense: each film features one of Victor Frankenstein’s female descendants up to no good: his daughter in Lady Frankenstein, and his granddaughter in the inaccurately titled Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.
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    Elvira’s Haunted Hills

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 12th, 2011

    In the late-19th Century, we find Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) as much in love with the idea of being a showgirl as she was in the original Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988). But given that Las Vegas doesn’t exist yet, she is on her way to Paris to be a can-can dancer. Elvira and her maid, Zou Zou (Mary Jo Smith) take a detour through the Carpathians (naturally), where they wind up at the castle of Lord Vladimere Hellsubus (Richard O’Brien). It transpires that Elvira is the spitting image of Lord Hellsubus’s deceased first wife, and all kinds of scheming and counter-plotting begins on the part of the various factions in the spooky old castle.
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    Super 8 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 28th, 2011

    It is 1979. While filming a Super 8 horror movie, a group of young friends on the cusp of adolescence witness a spectacular train wreck. They later discover that they accidentally captured evidence that there was an alien creature on the train, and it is now loose in their small town. But if the mysterious disappearance of dogs, engines and (increasingly) people wasn’t trouble enough, the military descends upon the community with an agenda far more merciless and inhuman than that of the alien itself.
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    Cinema Salvation

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 8th, 2011

    Greg (Ryan Scott Self) lost his fiancée when he couldn’t match her religious faith. Now he’s written a script based on the relationship, and is going to direct the movie. But the path of indie filmmaking is paved with thorns, as he is plagued by demands from the backers for inappropriate casting, more sex, edgier language, and so on. His ex isn’t too happy about the movie being made in the first place, too.
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    Planet 51

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 8th, 2011

    This is the DVD release of the film whose Blu-ray incarnation was reviewed by Gino, so I’m going to let him take it away for the review of the film itself. I’ll check back in for the specs.

    “It’s back to the 1950?s with its telltale alien invasion science fiction matinees. There’s Doo Wop coming out of the radio. The cars have tail fins and plenty of color and chrome. That’s right. This is 1950?s Americana. Well … almost. You see, the alien invaders are humaniacs. They turn the helpless population into mind-controlled zombies, and they eat brains for breakfast.
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    Kennyville

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 8th, 2011

    Two private investigators (Dany Gehshan and Vanessa Broze) are hired to look into the disappearance of a young woman. There search leads them to the small town of Kennyville. They have barely arrived before Gehshan is beaten bloody and Broze is kidnapped. Gehshan’s only ally in his search is a local (Michael Scratch) who wants nothing more to do with the town-wide conspiracy of silence. It seems Kennyville is home to a brainwashing outfit that transforms attractive young women into lethal, programmed assassins, and that is exactly the process that Broze is undergoing.
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    The Warlords

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 1st, 2011

    His troops defeated and massacred, General Pang (Jet Li) staggers away from the battlefield, more dead than alive. After a brief by intense overnight encounter with a mysterious Lian (Xu Jinglei), he falls in with bandits headed up by Er Hu (Andy Lau) and Wu Yang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). He finds a renewed purpose in life with this group, and forges the band into a formidable fighting force, one that will play an ever greater role in shaping the conflicts that are dividing China. But the fellowship he forms with his blood brothers has a fatal flaw: as fate would have it, Lian is promised to Er Hu. Betrayal and tragedy lurk in the wings.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” The Last Exorcism

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 30th, 2011

    The Reverend Cotton Marcus (Patrick Fabian) has made a tidy living preaching the Gospel and working his specialty: exorcisms. But he has lost his faith and, along with it, his willingness to fleece the gullible. He does, however, acknowledge that an exorcism can prove psychologically beneficial if the recipient believes in the ceremony. All that said, Marcus wants out of the business, but he takes on One Last Case, and a film crew tags along with him to the backwoods (where else?), where the devout Louis Sweetzer (Louis Herthum) is convinced that his daughter Nell (Ashley Bell) is possessed. Marcus slips into his routine, but soon discovers that there is is much more afoot here than he could have imagined.
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    Meet the Browns

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 29th, 2011

    Season 2 of the Tyler Perry-created series continues misadventures of Leroy Brown (David Mann), who, last season, opened up a seniors’ residence. This season has all the characters firmly in place, and the stage is set for no end of misguided schemes and misunderstandings, all of which conclude with lessons learned and heartstrings tugged.
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    The Real L World: Season Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 21st, 2011

    It’s willing suspension of disbelief time, folks, as this reality show chronicles the soap-operatic lives of a group of young lesbians. Cari and Kacy want a baby – will they find the appropriate sperm donor? Romi and Kelsey are are having trouble with their sex life. Whitney is having all sorts of girl trouble, while Sajdah (whose name oddly does not end with “y” or “i”) is seeking her first relationship.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Friday the 13th – The Ultimate Collection (Limited Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 7th, 2011

    A few years back, Paramount released all eight of the studio’s Friday the 13th films in a so-called “Ultimate Edition.” With cut versions of the films and no 3D, it wasn’t really that ultimate. So here we are again, with another Ultimate Edition (also Limited!) and this time, the package is much more worthy of the name, bringing together all the deluxe versions of the series.
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