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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, Expired 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 now closed Winner is Cyndi Butler

    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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    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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    Contest: Win Quarry: The Complete First Season On DVD From HBO

    Posted in Contests, Expired Contests by Gino Sassani on February 14th, 2017

    HBO is known for their quality original programs. The latest to join the elite list is Quarry. This is a 1970’s period-piece that reminds one of The Deer Hunter. It’s a high-octane drama and HBO is giving us a copy of the Complete First Season on DVD to pass on to one of our lucky readers. John will be telling you more in his upcoming review. You’ll want to get in on this series from the ground floor.

    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 HBO series of all time?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is now closed Winner is Gabby Phillip

    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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    John Wick: Chapter 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 13th, 2017

    “You wanted me back. I’m back.”

    Keanu Reeves has enjoyed somewhat of a career renaissance thanks in no small part to the success of John Wick in 2014. There he teamed up with some stunt friends of his going back to The Matrix, and together they brought a new action hero to the screen that was as much graphic novel as it was action film. It would become the directing debut of the stunt team of Stahelsky and David Leitch. Along with their action star, everyone stuck to what they knew and refused to overcomplicate the whole thing.
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    Vice Principals: The Complete First Season

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

    Danny McBride managed to inhabit the role of Kenny Powers to such an extent that I do appear to have trouble keeping them separate. I thought that the arrival of a new series would finally put that issue to rest. I’m discovering there was a reason I had trouble telling them apart. They are indeed the same person. Add to the situation that Vice Principals uses the same writing and production team headed by McBride and Jody Hill, and there are moments when you will think that you’re still watching Eastbound And Out. The wild card that changes things up enough happens to be Walter Goggins. Goggins came to notice as the cold Shane in The Shield and the quirky Boyd Crowder in Justified.
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    Frankenstein: The Real Story/The Real Wolfman

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

    “It killed 102 people, brutally mauling its human prey. Its victims are all women and children. The worst attack by an unknown beast in history, and the basis for the legend of the werewolf. Two investigators set out to solve the mystery. Applying modern day forensics, they hunt to uncover the real wolfman.”

    With the Universal remake of one of its classic monsters, you can expect to see a lot of related material come out of the woodwork to capitalize on the buzz.
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    Interview With Jeffrey Arrington Of Dead West

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on February 6th, 2017

    Dead West comes out on DVD from RLJ Entertainment on Tuesday the 7th. The film follows a serial killer who makes his way across the country leaving dead blonde women in his wake. Jeffrey Arrington plays Tony. Tony’s sister is the first victim of the Lady Killer. He sets out to inflict some frontier justice of his own. I had the chance to talk with him about the movie last week. He has some interesting insights into the character and the film. Now you can check out what he had to say. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Jeffrey Arrington.

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    Story Of God: Season 1

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

    Who or what is God? Does he perform miracles here on Earth? What happens to us when we die? Is there true evil on this earth? How was the universe created? How will it all end? These are the kinds of questions for which there are no concrete answers to be found in the world around us. These are the subjects that require us to turn to our faith or belief systems. The answers might be found in our culture. You might even have had experiences that have brought you closer to the answers. This is meaning-of-life stuff, and the answer might just be 42.
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    The Comedian

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

    Robert De Niro is arguably one of the most talented actors living today. There’s little doubt that he’ll long be remembered as a legendary force in motion picture history. But there has long been a downside to the iconic actor. He hasn’t had a good starring role in over a decade. It looks too often as if he’s been more interested in chasing a likely unneeded paycheck than adding to his already established legacy. For every Godfather Part 2 or Deer Hunter, there’s a Dirty Grandpa or Fockers sequel. For each Good Fellas or Raging Bull, there’s a Stone. And since the turn of the millennium, De Niro has gravitated more and more to comedy.
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    Pinocchio: Walt Disney Signature Collection (Blu-ray)

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

    “When you wish upon a star. Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires will come to you. If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme.When you wish upon a star, as dreamers do… Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through. When you wish upon a star, your dreams come true.”

    The song has become a standard. Every kid knows it. Walt Disney Studios has made it their theme song. You hear it each time you load up a Disney disc. If you have been fortunate enough to have visited Walt Disney World, you’ve heard it the entire day long.
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    Ballers: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

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

    American football has been making the news of late, and not just in the sports pages. For the last couple of years there has been an increasing concern for players’ safety. From our former president declaring he wouldn’t let his fictional son play the game to the hard-hitting Will Smith film Concussion, football has taken some heat over its violent nature. Players are retiring early, and the subject of life after football becomes more of a social question than ever before. That’s where HBO’s Ballers comes in. It’s a half-hour look at the NFL from the player perspective, both current and retired. It’s intended as a light bit of dramedy, and it certainly is that. Even so, the series doesn’t hide from some of the brutal realities of the sport, from the trappings of fame and fortune to the realities of its eventual end.
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    Tuesday Round Up: January 24th, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by Gino Sassani on January 24th, 2017

    Howdy, Partners. Johnny’s a bit out to sea at the moment. Actually, he’s taking a cruise with Katie on that long-overdue honeymoon. I sure hope Tom Hanks isn’t driving the boat. Guess you’ll find out next week. For now, you’re stuck with me for this week’s release/review round-up.

    Lionsgate is down for David Bowie’s cult classic The Man Who Fell To Earth in a collector’s edition Blu-ray. Baby will fill us in on A Dog’s Purpose in this week’s theatrical releases. National Geographic and Fox will scare up Sea Monsters on DVD. Maybe I should have passed that one on to John. It’s a slow week but there’s tons of stuff on the horizon.

    And, Partners, don’t forget. If you’ll be making that video withdrawal from Amazon, lasso yourself one of our many links to get there. It helps keep us going here on the Upcomingdiscs ranch. Until next week, share some light with someone this week… television light, that is.

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    The Founder

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 23rd, 2017

    “I know what you’re thinking: How the heck does a 52-year old milkshake machine salesman build a fast food empire with over 1600

    restaurants and an annual income over $700 million? One word:” The Founder.

    When I was very young, my mother dressed up as Ronald McDonald for a McDonalds block party for a charity benefit. In those days McDonalds helped organize these things, including the provision of said Ronald McDonald outfit. I was just a kid, but seeing my mother put on the costume kind of killed the last of the childhood fantasies. I guess we all thought Ronald was the guy who invented McDonalds. We thought he was the founder. I figured that was the big reveal. That was until I saw The Founder,
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    Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Seventh and Final Season

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

    The premise here was always dirt simple. They’ve taken the buddy cop idea and found a way to work in the forensics science fad and deliver a procedural with a few twists. The show is based on a series of mystery novels by Tess Gerritsen, who introduced us to Jane Rizzoli & Maura Isles in 2001. Tess makes a cameo appearance in this, the show’s final season. The season is shorter than the usual 18 shows. There are 13, and in all of them you can feel the weight of the characters and their situations counting down until the final episode of the series. You’ll be able to see where that’s going pretty much from the beginning. After seven years, you can look forward to a tearful goodbye as the show exits on its own terms.
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