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    The Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Shows Vol. 1 & 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 18th, 2017

    “Just give us those good old songs.”

    Last year Eagle Vision released four discs that were collectively known as The Frank Sinatra Collection. But when a man’s been singing for nearly 70 years, you can’t hold a career like that on just four discs. There was always going to have to be more. The more arrived in the shape of three more DVD’s brimming with Sinatra vintage shows. But that still wasn’t going to be enough. Now there are two more discs that bring us the classic Frank Sinatra Timex specials. This was a series of four specials that aired in 1959/1960. Each had a theme that carried through the broadcast hour.
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    Contest: Win Chicago Cubs: 2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7 (Ultimate Edition) From Shout Factory

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on May 12th, 2017

    Baseball season is underway across the country and it won’t be long before we’re into another World Series. It will have to be some series to compete with last year’s Chicago win over the Indians in 7 games. What better way to get into the spirit than to revisit that famous 7th game of the 2016 World Series? Shout Factory has you covered and they’re playing along with us at Upcomingdiscs to throw out the first prize of the baseball season. They’ve given us a copy of The 2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7 Ultimate Edition on high definition Blu-ray. You get the complete game along with highlights of the Cubs’ play-off run to the final game.

    To win a copy of this prize, follow these instructions.

    1. Fill out your name and email address in the comment form below – your email address will remain private and visible only to us.
    2. Do not post your address as an actual comment!  Instead tell us – What is your favorite baseball team?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is open to residents of the U.S. & Canada only, and will conclude on Sunday, June 25th, 2017
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Expendables 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 11th, 2017

    “I got this…”

    When Sly Stallone delivered his homage to the 1980’s action film in The Expendables he hit a lot of the action film requisites. It was old-school fun with a new-school level of effects and production design. But with all of his efforts to bring back the 1980’s action star hero, there was one beat he couldn’t have connected with until a couple of years later. You see, action films are like potato chips. You can’t have just one. Films like First Blood, Die Hard, Terminator, and all of the others always had one final thing in common…the sequels. In case you thought that The Expendables was a one-off, the sequel was inevitable. And this is one case where the second film might be a little better than the first. Sure, it’s somewhat of a two-hour cliché, but who says there’s anything wrong with that?
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    The Godfather & The Godfather Part II: 45th Anniversary (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 9th, 2017

    It’s hard to believe that it has been 45 years since The Godfather first graced theater screens. The Godfather films changed storytelling forever. Films before that time, mobster or otherwise, had some very simple but unshakable rules. There was always a fairly clear distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys always win in the end, and the bad guys always succumb to justice before the final credits. For perhaps the very first time, we were given characters that we knew in our souls were evil men. They killed. They broke laws. They manipulated everyone around them through fear and terrorism to bend to their wills.
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    Streets of San Francisco: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 8th, 2017

    If you weren’t around in the 1970’s you might be surprised to find out that film superstar Michael Douglas was once in a television cop show. It was this influential crime drama that allowed Douglas to show off the acting chops that would earn him a spot in the Hollywood elite for decades to come. It didn’t hurt any that he was able to team up with Karl Malden, an undervalued talent in his own right. The two of them literally bring the show to life.  The series was run by Quinn Martin, himself no stranger to groundbreaking television. Martin was the same talent who created the crime drama with The Untouchables. His uncanny ability to come up with a clever premise was responsible for such milestones in television history as The Invaders and The Fugitive. Later he would continue to shape the look of television
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    The Expendables (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 2nd, 2017

    “Man, we’ll die with you. Just don’t ask us to do it twice.”

    Remember the old days of the action movie? Those films where someone like Stallone or Schwarzenegger would run around and take out armies of bad guys while barely breaking a sweat. You know the kind of movie I’m talking about. The ones where the hero goes up against a hail of bullets and explosions and manages to pick off the bad guys without catching a single slug himself. These were the days when a guy like Bruce Willis could fall thirty floors, get a spike impaled in his ribcage, have a ton of concrete wall fall on his head, and get run over by a truck, but still manage to take out the bad guy while muttering some witty little catchphrase that we would all be repeating, because if we could deliver the line just right that meant we were tough guys too
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    Vega$: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 1st, 2017

    By 1978 the television detective model had been nearly complete and possibly already a cliché. Dan Tanna might have well been the complete model as far as the formula goes. It was almost as if you could go down a checklist and, like Dr. Frankenstein creating a monster, you would check off the necessary elements. The scripts could then almost write themselves, and you let the show fly on autopilot for three seasons or so until someone decides to look behind the curtain.
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    OPPO Releases UDP-205 Audiophile Universal Player

    Posted in Uncategorized by Gino Sassani on April 28th, 2017

    This is an announcement. This is not a review. We will likely have one posted as the unit is made available to us soon.

    MENLO PARK, California – April 24, 2017 – OPPO Digital announced that its UDP-205 4K Ultra HD Audiophile Blu-ray Disc player is available for purchase. A step-up version of the recently released UDP-203, the UDP-205 brings top-of-the-line audio performance to a universal player that supports 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray and many other digital audio and video formats.

    The OPPO UDP-205 carries many of the same features as the UDP-203: playback of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, regular Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, Audio CD and many other formats; High Dynamic Range (HDR10) and firmware upgradable to Dolby Vision; dual HDMI outputs – HDMI 2.0 for UHD and HDMI 1.4 for audio; and an HDMI 2.0 input port for external streaming devices or set-top boxes.
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    Animal Kingdom: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 28th, 2017

    “Everyone outside the family is a mark. Family comes first.”

    Meet the most dysfunctional crime family since The Sopranos. Not quite at the same level either on-screen or in quality, but once again we’re drawn toward another dangerous clan with criminal intent. I guess we could call them The Baritones. Actually Animal Kingdom is an apt description for television’s latest baddies. They’re about to head into their second season of mayhem on TNT where the series was the network’s top ratings winner during its run. Now that first season is out on Blu-ray from Warner Brothers, and it’s one crazy ride, of that you can be certain.
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    Free Fire

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 22nd, 2017

    One of the hardest things to pull off in a movie is the minimalist “ship in a bottle” trick. Television shows do it often to try to save money on their seasons. Most of the time it doesn’t work. There are notable exceptions. The same is true for a movie. You have to limit your running time. You have to quickly set up a small group of characters, and you can’t waste any time getting to the point. Ben Wheatley hits all of the right buttons in Free Fire, and he’s promising to take you on a hell of a ride without ever changing locations. It looks so simple. You figure anybody can do it…and they can. But few can do it well. The entire action in the 85-minute film could have easily been a throwaway scene in another feature film.
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    Mars (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 21st, 2017

    I was eight years old when Armstrong first stepped on the moon in July of 1969. Like every kid my age, it filled me with a feeling that I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor of humanity’s grand exploration of space. By the time I was 15, we had landed the first probes on Mars. We were certainly on our way. The sky literally wasn’t the limit anymore. But then it all stopped. By the 80’s we had shifted our focus to low Earth orbit, and we haven’t explored the limits of space with a manned mission in nearly 50 years. Even the Space Shuttle is gone, and we don’t even have the capability to send Americans to the space station that we mostly paid for without hitching a ride with the Russians. And if you’ve been following world events at all, that ride isn’t a sure thing anymore. That 8-year-old with the mile-wide grin would never have believed we’d be so earthbound by the time he reached his mid-50’s.
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    The Circus Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 17th, 2017

    Ben Franklin once said that there are two things that no one should see made. He was talking about sausage and laws. In the 18th century most people had little exposure to the workings of their government. Campaigns were waged on the road in public squares, and seldom by the person running for office. Party nominations were held in halls attended only by the party faithful. It was here in the span of a few days that a nomination would be haggled out of the delegates who attended. Since the riots at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, the selection of nominees was handed to the registered voters, usually of the party in a series of primary elections that begin in January of each election year. The campaigning has become intense and now often begins nearly a year before that first nomination struggle.
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    Happy Easter

    Posted in News and Opinions by Gino Sassani on April 16th, 2017

    From all of us here at the Upcomingdiscs Family, I would like to wish you a very Happy Easter.

    May your gatherings be blessed. Enjoy some family, sun, and when it gets later, gather around the home theater for a nice family film or two.

    Take Care one and all,

    Gino, John, Brent, Jeremy, Dan & Ellen

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    Why Him? (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 6th, 2017

    Let me tell you a few things about movie reviewers. We’re the kind of people who love watching movies. We spend entirely too much time doing so, and we can find some entertainment even in a bad film. We’re the kind of folks who don’t ask what’s playing when asked if we want to go to the movies. The answer is always yes. When someone applies to write for Upcomingdiscs, one of the first things I tell them is that they have to watch a movie all the way through…no matter how bad it might be. I’ve always been the kind of person who could do that. I’ve watched some stinkers in my day, and I never once left a film until the ending. Sure, there have been a couple of times I was tempted. I’ve had a few painful experiences. No film has ever put me to the test as much as Why Him? Halfway through the movie I was asking Why me?
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    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 5th, 2017

    “You have to start somewhere.”

    I could sense a great disturbance in the Force. I could not quite put my finger on the reason, but there appeared to be much to worry about with the debut of the first ever Star Wars film that was not one of the driving episodes in the epic story of the Skywalker family and friends. There was worry that Disney might have been pushing their luck with these sidetrack stories. The Force Awakens was very good, but should the Mouse House really be tempting fate with such “filler” material? Then there were the disturbing reports that the film required so many rewrites that as much as $5 million had been spent on the services of Tony Gilroy to provide those touch-ups.
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    Contest: Enter To Win Why Him? On Blu-ray From 20th Century Fox

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on April 3rd, 2017

    20th Century Fox asks the question Why Him? And we have the answer. Thanks to our cool buddies at Fox we’ve got a copy of Why Him? on Blu-ray to give away to a lucky Upcomingdiscs follower. Bryan Cranston and James Franco battle wits in this confrontation between Dad and the Rich Boyfriend. We’re giving away the laughs. All you have to do is enter.

    To win a copy of this prize, follow these instructions.

    1. Fill out your name and email address in the comment form below – your email address will remain private and visible only to us.
    2. Do not post your address as an actual comment!  Instead tell us – What is the funniest movie you’ve seen recently?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is open to residents of the U.S. & Canada only, and will conclude on Sunday, May 28th, 2017
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Zookeeper’s Wife

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 3rd, 2017

    “What have you been up to in your little zoo?”

    It appears that we have been due for one of those untold stories amid the many tales of courage and bravery both fact and fiction, real and imagined, that have been told of the World War II era. There have been plenty of the battlefield hero films that include last year’s exceptional Hacksaw Ridge from Mel Gibson. Then there are the quiet and unlikely heroes. These are people who did incredible things that were often unknown during the war and often even after it was all over. Schindler’s List has become the gold standard for these kinds of emotional war movies. The Zookeeper’s Wife is set in the mold of that kind of a film, telling essentially that very kind of tale.
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    Life

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 1st, 2017

    “In space no one can hear you scream”

    Yes, Life is very much a knockoff on the basic premise of 1979’s Alien. That’s not so much of a problem for me. It’s become increasingly true that there are few truly original ideas remaining, at least in Hollywood. And while it’s trendy to complain that this is the unique state of affairs of our time, that isn’t really true either. Alien itself was pretty much a knockoff of the 1958 classic It The Terror From Beyond Space, where a vicious life-form is a stowaway on a ship sent to rescue the lone survivor of a Martian expedition. In all three films we are treated to a claustrophobic rendition of Agatha Christi’s Ten Little Indians as an alien creature picks off the confined astronauts one at a time.
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    Contest: Win Mama’s Family: Mama’s Favorites Collection From Time Life

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on March 16th, 2017

    How long has it been since you’ve spent some time with Mama? It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 25 years. Our good friends at Time Life have decided that it’s just been too dang long. Of course, we’re talking about the television classic Mama’s Family staring Vicki Lawrence. We’re teaming up to give you a good deal of time to spend with Mama. It’s called Mama’s Favorites and it’s a collection of 6 DVD’s. There’s one from each season featuring Vicki Lawrence’s hand-picked favorite episodes. You get 37 episodes in all. Guest stars include Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman and Alex Trebek.

    To win a copy of this prize, follow these instructions.

    1. Fill out your name and email address in the comment form below – your email address will remain private and visible only to us.
    2. Do not post your address as an actual comment!  Instead tell us – What is the funniest series on television this season?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is now closed Winner is Lisa Voyce 

    Winners are notified by E-mail. If you did not get a confirmation E-mail from us, check your Spam filter and contact us. Any prize not claimed in 2 weeks will be forfeit and be placed in the end of year contests next Holiday Season.

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    Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 10th, 2017

    Star Trek Voyager was the third spinoff from the original Star Trek, following the superior Next Generation and the inferior Deep Space Nine. While the idea was quite an original premise, the cast never seemed to gel. The obvious attempt at political correctness gives us the most diverse cast yet on Star Trek, including the first female captain. Kate Mulgrew is the weakest captain to date on Star Trek. (I know I’ll catch heat for this.) The reason is not her gender, but such a lack of strength. She never walks, but seems to glide across the bridge when she moves. The strongest characters come in Tom Paris, the Federation inmate, and Torres, the half-Klingon, half-human hybrid. There is real passion in those characters that keeps the cast interesting enough. The combination of Federation and Maquis (a rebel Federation group) members was a great setup that too quickly gets tossed aside in later years. There’s plenty of Star Trek eye candy and a whole new quadrant of aliens to meet here. It had been quite some time for me since I had seen Voyager
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    Logan

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 2nd, 2017

    “I always know who you are. It’s just that sometimes I don’t recognize you.”

    Logan is perhaps one of the most interesting, endearing and popular characters in the Marvel universe. Wolverine has the distinction of having been created by someone other than Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. While they invented the X-Men team from which the adamantium-clawed warrior was born, he was actually created by the team of Len Wein and John Romita, Sr. in the mid 1970’s. Since that time the character has taken on a life of his own, a life that is as much owed to actor Hugh Jackman as anyone else.
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    Allied (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 2nd, 2017

    Brad Pitt appears to be making this World War II thing a bit of a niche. In recent years he went from Inglourious Basterds to the superior Fury and now to Allied. I wish I could say that he’s getting better, but Allied marks a step backwards for the actor in more ways than just the performance. It’s an unfortunate aspect of Hollywood that sexy rumors and scandals sell more theater tickets than a good movie. Hollywood power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have called it quits, and the scuttlebutt is that it was Pitt’s fling with Allied co-star Marion Cotillard that caused the split. I don’t know if any of that is true and honestly wouldn’t care a hill of beans if it were.
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    Exclusive Interview With Robert Matzen: Author Of Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on February 22nd, 2017

    He’s back. I’m talking about author Robert Matzen. I spoke to Robert at Christmas about his amazing book Mission: Jimmy Stewart And The Fight For Europe. You can catch up on that interview Here. Now he has released a new edition of his book Fireball: Carole Lombard and the Mystery of Flight 3 which tells the story of the fiery plane crash that took the life of Carole Lombard, her mother, and Otto Winkler, who was Clark Gable’s assistant and best friend, on January 16, 1942. The plane was also carrying American servicemen who were an important part of the World War II effort. This new edition contains brand new material and has been released for the 75th anniversary of the tragic crash. I can tell you that it’s a page-turner that you’ll find hard to put down. (Of course, that could have to do with the sticky stuff they put all over the cover. Just kidding.) All the while as I was reading the book I was looking forward to another conversation with the author. We finally got to talk again. Now you can hear every word. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Robert Matzen.

    The book is out now on GoodKnight Books.

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    Arrival (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 15th, 2017

    “There are days that define your story beyond your life. Like the day they arrived…”

    The problem is that this starts out with the kind of story we’ve seen a thousand times before. The alien invasion theme is nothing new. H.G. Wells was describing it back in the 19th Century with War of the Worlds. Unrelated Orson Welles scared the crap out of a depression-era radio audience with the same story. Independence Day gave us a brilliantly visual story that also begins the same way: alien ships begin to take strategic positions around the world. Here we go again, right? Wrong. We should have guessed from the beginning that when director Denis Villeneuve tackles a genre, he’s going to turn it on his head. We’d seen him do it before.
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    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 15th, 2017

    “It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives day by day, and we explore the galaxy trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here: not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to coexist and learn.” 

    No Star Trek series has divided Trek fans as much as the 1993 release of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
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