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    Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Few musicians have enjoyed the career that Elton John has enjoyed. From the release of Your Song in 1969, he hasn’t seen many years without hit records. He’s had number one songs in every decade since that day, and the hits continue to roll in. When the music industry changed, Elton managed to change enough to keep up with the times, yet hold on to the poignant songwriting that has made his songs stand out. I’ve been a fan since the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days of 1973.
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    Contest: Win China Beach: Season 3 From Time-Life and Star Vista

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on July 4th, 2014

    Hit The Beach… China Beach!

    Here at Upcomingdiscs we’re getting in the spirit of Independence Day by watching China Beach on DVD.

    It’s a pretty solid way to remember the men and women who served this country in Vietnam. The series is very much a tribute, particularly to the women who volunteered not to take lives, but to try to save them. The series featured quite a few young actors who have gone on to pretty big things. They include Dana Delany from Desperate Housewives, Robert Picardo from Star Trek: Voyager, Marg Helgenberger from CSI, Michael Boatman from Arli$$/Spin City and Jeff Kober.

    Time Life finally releases the entire series in a wonderful collection of 21 DVD’s, loaded with tons of extras. You can win the complete 3rd season.

    To win just 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 just name one of America’s Founding Fathers.
    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, August 31st, 2014.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Bridge: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 3rd, 2014

    “We have some interesting times ahead of us.”

    This is really the tale of two cities; no, not those cities. But like the Dickens character, we are dealing with two different countries, and while neither is going through a revolution, they are two very real and disparate places indeed. Juarez is in Mexico (the state they named those annoying little yip-yip dogs after). Here there is poverty and crime on levels that would make most Americans shudder. There is corruption that runs through every aspect of government.
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    Earth To Echo

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 2nd, 2014

    Missed it by that much.” Never before was that Don Adams/Maxwell Smart catchphrase more appropriate to a movie. Sometimes there is a very thin line between instant classic and near miss. Earth To Echo is the best example in decades of a film that could have, should have, would have been so much more if not for just one bad decision. The film has all of those coming-of-age moments that exist in those 1980′s classics like Goonies, Explorers and, of course, ET. The film sports a wonderful cast with plenty of nuance in characters.
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    The Glades: The Complete Fourth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 30th, 2014

    Jim was a Chicago cop who had a disagreement with his boss. That little disagreement was his boss shooting him in the butt for sleeping with his wife. Jim Longworth (Passmore) made out okay. He got a huge settlement and a fresh start in a warm climate. Oh, and you and I got ourselves another one of those smart-aleck detective shows. Not a bad deal, when all is said and done. Much of this used to be covered in an opening credit monologue which has since disappeared. I guess they figure you should know all of this already.
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    Lucky Bastard

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 30th, 2014

    “Lucky Bastard was a pornographic website that invited fans to have sex with porn stars. The following footage is believed to be the last video shot for the site.”

    You know exactly what that kind of an intro means. You should. The found-footage genre has been around even long before it was turned into a modern trend by The Blair Witch Project. Since that time the genre has appeared in both large- and small-budget films. The shaky footage usually covers a variety of sins by the filmmakers. Rarely does the genre have anything clever or new to dispense. That’s not exactly true with Lucky Bastards.
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    Blood Ties (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 30th, 2014

    It’s a sad state of affairs. The road that Blood Ties has taken to get to this Blu-ray release is far more interesting than the film itself. It all starts with a French film Les liens du sang that was itself a reflection on the American cop drams genre. One of the original French screenwriters collaborated to bring the idea full circle to become an American cop drama. The film made the film festival circuit with mixed reviews and results. For some reason Director Guilaume Canet decided to go back to the editing room and remove nearly a half hour of the original film’s running time.
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    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 27th, 2014

    When I was a young boy I loved playing with my toys. We didn’t have Transformers in those days, but we did have Major Matt Mason, plastic dinosaurs, Hot Wheels and Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker sets. Yeah, in those days a toy could cause third degree burns, and no one really worried about getting sued. Kind of takes the fun out of being a kid today. You know who else, I bet, loved to play with his toys? Michael Bay. I bet he had the coolest toys in his neighborhood. He probably wasn’t the best guy to be friends with, however. He didn’t invite the kids over to play with his toys. He likely charged you a nickel to watch him play with them
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    13 Sins (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 23rd, 2014

    “Congratulations! You have been selected to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime game show. Of a long list of candidates in financial need, you have been chosen to compete for a fantastic cash prize.”

    Elliot Brindle (Webber) is having a tough patch in life. He wants to marry the woman who is about to have their baby, but his financial situation isn’t going to support a new family.
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    Teen Wolf: Season 3 Part 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 23rd, 2014

    “There’s a Tibetan word for it. It’s called Bardo. It literally means in-between state, the state between life and death.”

    If you’re a fan of the 1985 comedy staring Michael J. Fox, that statement is particularly appropriate. We all remember the cute high school romp where Michael J. Fox discovers that his family has been hiding a long dark secret: they are werewolves. Now the young teen finds himself having to deal with the usual growing pains of adolescence on top of dealing with the family curse.
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    Contest: Win In The Blood on Blu-ray From Anchor Bay

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on June 23rd, 2014

    Our good friends over at Anchor Bay have given us an exciting Blu-ray to pass on to a lucky Upcomingdiscs fan. It’s Gina Carano, Luis Guzman and Danny Trejo in the thriller In The Blood. It’s action and thrills from director John Stockwell and it could all be yours.

    To win just 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 – Who is your favorite female action star?
    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, August 31st, 2014.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Ernest & Celestine (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 22nd, 2014

    “A mouse can only be friends with a bear in a fairy tale.”

    And that’s exactly what we have here. Ernest And Celestine is a charming little tale told through a wonderful watercolor world of animation. It certainly looks very much like the storybooks I remember reading from as a small child. Indeed, the film is based on a series of book from Belgian artist Gabrielle Vincent. The first book appeared in 1981 and continued for 20 years, delighting children the world over. As an artist it makes some sense that the books had a very unique visual style
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    Klondike (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 19th, 2014

    “You’re either gettin’ or gettin’ got”.

    It’s very tricky to make an historical drama. Writers and directors have to carefully balance the needs of entertainment over facts and authenticity. There comes the inevitable moment when they will be in conflict, and a decision must be made as to which direction will have priority in the telling of the tale. It might have been an unfair expectation on my part, but when an historical drama mini-series comes to a place like The Discovery Channel I tend to look for any conflict to be resolved in the favor of historical accuracy
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    Rizzoli & Isles: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 17th, 2014

    It’s hard to start a series in its fourth season. That’s particularly true of today’s huge mythology-arc shows that require you to be up to date at all times. Such was the task I found myself facing when we got a copy of Rizzoli & Isles to review. Fortunately, this is one of those pleasant exceptions to the rule. While I’d suggest that newcomers pick up the first three seasons anyway it’s not an absolute necessity. So if, like me, you’re discovering this one a little late, fear not. They’ll be a little work to catch up, but the fun kind.
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    Major Crimes: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 16th, 2014

    “Uncooperative witnesses are becoming a specialty of mine.”

    That statement clearly describes Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson…except it doesn’t. Not anymore. The Closer was a stand-out hit for the folks at TNT. It’s no surprise that when the show’s star Kyra Sedgwick wanted to leave that the network would want to continue the show. That’s a little harder when the lead leaves. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case here.
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    Ray Donovan: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 13th, 2014

    “It’s a different world out there.”

    You can say that again. The television landscape is changing, at least on cable. Ray Donovan is the latest in the string of new shows that are attracting talent once thought out of reach for television. A show starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, this Showtime series looked to be something very special… and it almost is.
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    True Detective (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 12th, 2014

    “You got a chapter in one of those books on jumping to conclusions?”

    It’s easy to jump to conclusions with a name like True Detective. The moniker conjures up images of the true crime pulp magazines of the 40′s and 50′s. You might get a sense that this is one of those “based on a true story” type of shows. There was even a second when I expected we might have our first “found footage” television shows. Whatever ideas you have going in, expect your perceptions to change.
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    Contest: Win A Short History Of Decay On DVD From Arc Entertainment

    Posted in Contests, Expired Contests by Gino Sassani on June 11th, 2014

    Our crazy pals guys over at Arc Entertainment have sent over three copies of A Short History Of Decay on DVD for a few lucky Upcomingdiscs fans. It’s a dark comedy about a guy who wants to be a writer but life keeps getting in the way. It stars Linda Lavin (Alice) and Bryan Greenberg (One Tree Hill). This is one you won’t soon forget. It’s twisted. It’s funny. It’s out of control.

    To win just 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 – If you were writing the story of your life would it be a comedy or drama?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is now closed Winners are Lori P, Kevin Hobson and Anita

    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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    Graceland: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 9th, 2014

    Mike Warren (Tveit) has just graduated at the top of his class for the FBI. His family includes past directors, and he’s personal friends with the current director (Vance). He expects to write his own ticket to a fast-track gig in DC and into a director’s chair at a young age. It all gets sidetracked when he’s assigned to Southern California and a place called Graceland. It’s a beach house seized in a drug bust. Now it’s an inter-department Federal unit. There are FBI, DEA and Customs officers all sharing the house and coordinating both their domestic lives and their law enforcement lives
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    Perry Mason Movie Collection Volume 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 9th, 2014

    Perry Mason officially ended in May of 1966, but that wasn’t going to be the end. Twenty years later the surviving cast members reunited for Perry Mason Returns. It was Perry and Della back together again. Both Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale returned to their roles. William Hopper had died in 1970, so William Katt joined the reunion as Paul Drake, Jr. Katt might not have really been Drake’s son; he was Hale’s son. When Katt left the films he was replaced by William R. Moses as Ken Malansky
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    Original Gangster

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 9th, 2014

    “The meek shall inherit the Earth when the strong say so.”

    Director Manish Patel wants his now. He is mostly known as a British television documentary guy, and it’s only natural that he’d eventually want to try his hand at a feature film. If you can’t find the right project, there’s always writing your own. Patel ends up being one of those one-man bands with a low budget and a minimal crew. The result is Original Gangster, known as Full English Breakfast in his home territory of England.
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    Edge of Tomorrow

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 6th, 2014

    “What I am about to tell you sounds crazy. But you have to listen to me. Your very lives depend on it. You see, this isn’t the first time.”

    No, this isn’t the first time. Tom Cruise seems to be making a habit of these science fiction action movies of late. There was Oblivion and War Of The Worlds, and quite frankly Edge Of Tomorrow looked to be pretty much more of the same. But there’s a huge difference between this film and the previous two. Edge Of Tomorrow is actually good. What looks on the surface to be just Groundhog Day with futuristic toys turns out to be a redemption story that I actually never saw coming.
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    Cimarron Strip: Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 5th, 2014

    When something is successful, it doesn’t take long for everyone else to try to find out just what those secret spices are and attempt to cash in on the wave. In 1963 NBC started one of those waves with The Virginian. While it wasn’t exactly the start of the western television tsunami, it was one of the longer-lasting ratings winners after the big two (Gunsmoke and Bonanza). By 1968 CBS was looking for a way to copy that success. One of The Virginian’s unique qualities was its 90-minute running time. Many westerns ran just 30 minutes with plenty of hour-long shows.
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    Crocodile Dundee / Crocodile Dundee II (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 4th, 2014

    We first came to know Paul Hogan as the “Shrimp On The Barbie” guy. He was doing television and radio ads for Australian tourism. A smart fellow, he saw that the ad character was popular and rode an enormous wave of an Australian fad that hit America in the 1980′s.. Suddenly there were Australian bands like Men At Work teaching us about vegemite sandwiches on the top of the music charts. We got steak, not shrimp, on our barbie with a chain of Australian-themed steakhouses appropriately called Outback “no rules, just right” started up by a Florida group.
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    Pretty Little Liars: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 4th, 2014

    “Senior year is supposed to be the best year of your life. Did you know that? Yeah, if you survive it.”

    It’s a new season, and the girls face new dangers. You have to give the writers some credit here. While the whole A thing can get a little old, they do a good job of changing the dynamics between the Liars’ relationships both inside and outside their group. Foes can become friends, and friends often turn out to be foes. There is a lot more turmoil inside of the group as each of the Liars takes a turn being a bit of an outsider for a short while.
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