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    Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 22nd, 2017

    I don’t want to be just guys in a house.”

    Since its debut, Silicon Valley has brilliantly lampooned the tech industry by showing us both the proverbial “guys in a garage” and the self-important, aggressively eccentric billionaires obsessed with staying ahead of the curve. The show’s central tension (and cruel joke) is that the ultimate endgame for the scrappy underdogs is to become…self-important, aggressively eccentric billionaires obsessed with staying ahead of the curve. Season 4 pushes the limit of the immoral behavior our alleged  heroes will justify while continuing to deliver the best mix of brainy and bawdy laughs on television.
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    Wonder Woman (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 20th, 2017

    You have been my greatest love. Be careful, Diana…they do not deserve you.”

    Ever since Richard Donner made us believe that a man can fly with 1978’s Superman — considered by many to be the first modern superhero film — we’ve gotten three different Men of Steel, along with five different versions of Batman (if you don’t count Will Arnett’s voiceover work). Heck, in the last 15 years alone we’ve had three Spider-Men and (incredibly) gone through three Hulks! Yet in all that time, a movie starring Wonder Woman — a superhero just as iconic as all the ones I just mentioned — could never get off the ground…until now. I’m happy to report it was worth the wait.
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    Tuesday Round Up: September 12 and 19, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on September 19th, 2017

    You probably heard that we had a very unwelcome visitor blow through town last week. And while UpcomingDiscs HQ is still standing, we did experience some stressful moments and a power outage that caused us to go off the grid for about a week. Fortunately, things are starting to get back to normal and we appreciate you bearing with us as we play catch up.

    One of Irma’s casualties was last week’s Tuesday Round Up, which is why we are doubling up this week!
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    The Moderns (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 18th, 2017

    Seems like a new boatload of expatriates gets dumped here every day.”

    In The Moderns, “here” happens to be 1926 Paris, a time and place that immediately conjures joie de vivre images of lavish parties and complete artistic freedom. And while both of those things are technically on display in filmmaker Alan Rudolph’s 1988 drama, the movie turns down the volume on the Roaring Twenties to explore the tricky and transactional connection between art and commerce…and how it can extend to personal relationships.
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    The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 15th, 2017

    What can you tell me about African Americans and science?”

    Anyone who even halfway paid attention in their high school science class knows that a polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s. And if you were especially attentive, you even know the vaccine was developed by American researcher Jonas Salk. Unfortunately, the story that is far less commonly told in classrooms is that of Henrietta Lacks, the poor black woman whose “immortalized” HeLa cell line gave birth to the biomedical industry. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks takes a curious approach: instead of merely shining a light on its worthy subject, this powerful (and overstuffed) HBO film is about *the quest* to bring Henrietta back to life.
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    Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Three (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 7th, 2017

    Rebels have friends always rushing to the rescue.”

    The Star Wars universe is famously vast, and that’s before even going down the Expanded Universe rabbit hole. Though it’s been precisely 40 years since the fourth first Star Wars film premiered, the army of artists who have taken on George Lucas’ iconic creations haven’t even come close to running out of material to explore. Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels debuted three years ago as an engaging, thoroughly zippy, kid-friendly contribution that has blossomed into a thoughtful, vibrant, and vital part of Star Wars lore.
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    Tuesday Round Up: September 5, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on September 5th, 2017

    Despite the fact that quality TV offerings can be found year-round on practically every channel (and streaming service) these days, there’s still something to be said for tradition. With that in mind, the start of the network Fall TV season will be here in a flash. Warner Bros. revs us up for The Flash: Season 3 and battles inner (and outer) demons with Supernatural: Season 12. CBS hangs ten with Hawaii Five-O: Season 7 and profiles some Criminal Minds: Season 12. Elsewhere, Shout! Factory brings Just Shoot Me: The Complete Series back in style, while HBO relives The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

    But it’s not all TV all the time. Universal tells the true-life story of Megan Leavey, while Lionsgate is offering a trio of past hits on UHD: Cabin in the Woods (4K), Red (4K), and Red 2 (4K). This is the start of a new month, but I’m going to give you the same ol’ reminder: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Disneynature: Born in China (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 1st, 2017

    The sheer beauty of China manifests itself in so many different ways, in so many remote corners. It sometimes feels like another world.”

    To help celebrate Earth Day each year, Disneynature — the independent film unit at the Mouse House dedicated to making nature documentaries — has gotten in the habit of immersing us in a different corner of the animal kingdom. While it’s a bit surprising that it took nine movies to finally arrive in China, the wait was absolutely worth it for fans of cuddly critters and breathtaking landscapes. The country’s otherworldly beauty makes up for some off-kilter narration and less-than-thrilling (invented) storylines.
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    Batman and Harley Quinn: Limited-Edition Gift Set (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 30th, 2017

    We need Harley Quinn.”

    Warner Bros. still has a bit of a ways to go before its stable of DC Comics superheroes catches up to Disney’s dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Warner and DC have long had the upper hand on both the small screen (Smallville, Arrow, The Flash) and with their animated, direct-to-video offerings. Before Wonder Woman saved the day earlier this summer, one of DC’s recent big-screen highlights was the way Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn enlivened the supervillain mash-up Suicide Squad. And while I’m fully aware that Harley’s appeal lies in being a strong, sexy, wisecracking nutjob, I wish the makers of this well-deserved small-screen showcase had taken her a bit more seriously.
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    Tuesday Round Up: August 29, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on August 29th, 2017

    With school back in session and summer pretty much in the rearview mirror, this seems like an odd time to head back to the beach. Well thanks to Paramount, the beach is coming to us! This week, we’ll be analyzing the gleaming abs, heaving bosoms, and schlocky special effects of Paramount’s Baywatch (4K). Meanwhile, Universal has its sights set on the cheesy TV show’s original star with Killing Hasselhoff, and RLJ Entertainment confronts the Evil in Us. Warner Bros. vamps it up with The Originals: Season 4 and checks in with Charlie Brown and Co. thanks to Peanuts: School Days. Warner also brings us a double dose of everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader with Gotham: Season 3 and the animated flick Batman and Harley Quinn. Elsewhere, CBS is on the case with Elementary: Season 5 and NCIS: Season 14. Finally, Disney gets in touch with its wild side thanks to nature doc Born in China and transports us to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars Rebels: Season 3.

    Before signing off for the week (and for August), here’s the usual reminder: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Tuesday Round Up: August 22, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on August 22nd, 2017

    It was almost 40 years ago that director Ridley Scott brought the first film in the Alien franchise to theaters and taught us that in space no one can hear you scream. Then again, maybe all they need in space to hear us is the latest Oppo player and a sweet UHD home theater set-up. Fox delivers some out-of-this-world thrills with Alien: Covenant (4K). On top of that, Warner Bros. looks up in the sky for Supergirl: Season 2 and goes down below for a devilishly good time with Lucifer: Season 2. Finally, CBS is on the case with NCIS: Los Angeles — Season 8 and keeps it in the family with Blue Bloods: Season 7.

    Before you run off until next week, here’s for your customary reminder: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Congratulations to Brent Lorentson on 500 reviews

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 21st, 2017

    If you’ve visited our site at any point throughout the last five years, you know who Brent is. Besides being our resident gorehound and an invaluable contributor to this website, Brent is also the fifth member of the 500 club here at Upcomingdiscs! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out his past reviews…and keep an eye out for what he has to say about your favorite movie in the near future.

    Please join us in wishing congrats to Brent.

    Here’s to the next 500 reviews!

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    Chuck (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 21st, 2017

    My name is Chuck Wepner. You don’t know me…well, you do know me, but you don’t know you know me.”

    Unless you’re a hardcore boxing fan (or a Jersey boy/girl), chances are you don’t know the name Chuck Wepner. On the other hand, you don’t have to be a sports buff or a movie buff to know the name Rocky Balboa. Wepner is a former heavyweight boxer, and his 1975 title bout with Muhammad Ali served as the inspiration for Sylvester Stallone’s Oscar-winning classic. Originally titled The Bleeder (my two cents…they should’ve stuck with that title), Chuck is the story of “The Real Rocky.”
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    Snatched (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 18th, 2017

    It’s not that hard to understand why Hollywood icon Goldie Hawn came out of semi-retirement to star in Snatched alongside comedian Amy Schumer. The South American-set mother/daughter comedy filmed in picturesque Hawaii, and Schumer was a hot box office commodity coming off the successful Trainwreck. (Holy oxymoron!) I just wish Hawn’s first movie in 15 years — a co-headlining gig, no less! — wasn’t such a wildly uneven effort. Because even though Snatched doesn’t fully utilize the talents of its legend, it’s apparent that Goldie’s still got it.
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    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 18th, 2017

    Reboots are all the rage in Hollywood, in case you haven’t heard. Even a relatively low-key property like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cinematic Universe series isn’t immune. Based on the wildly popular books by author Jeff Kinney, the first three movies featured the same core group of likable actors and become rock solid hits made on modest budgets. So you can understand why Fox would want to keep the series going, even if original star Zachary Gordon became too old to play the perpetually put-upon (and middle school-aged) Greg Heffley. This latest offering features an all-new cast, but too much of the same cringeworthy and juvenile humor; it’ll make you wish someone had hidden the reset button from this franchise.
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    Tuesday Round Up: August 15, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on August 15th, 2017

    Everyone’s favorite rag-tag team of rollicking a-holes is back for another adventure. And no I’m not talking about myself and the rest of the UpcomingDiscs staff…Disney’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 arrives in 4K! But that’s not the only ultra-HD title we’re bringing you this week: Warner Bros. reboots one of the world’s most famous stories with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (4K). Meanwhile, Lionsgate hops in the backseat with The Lincoln Lawker (4K), while Cinedigm shoots straight with Hickok (4K). Paramount steps into the ring with Chuck, CBS visit the Big Easy with NCIS: New Orleans — Season 3, and Showtime goes for broke with Billions: Season 2. Meanwhile, Metropol Pictures turns up the heat with Union Furnace, while Fox pages through the Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and visits South America for the Amy Schumer/Goldie Hawn kidnapping caper Snatched.

    But wait…there’s more! Friday brings a pair of new theatrical releases for us to review: we’ll let you know if it’s safe to check out The Hitman’s Bodyguard and spend a day at the races with Logan Lucky, Steven Soderbergh’s new heist comedy. One last reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Big Little Lies (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 10th, 2017

    Big Little Lies — HBO’s star-studded and (deservedly) Emmy-nominated limited series — is structured like a typical murder mystery. We know someone has been killed, but we don’t know the perpetrator or even identity of the victim. On top of that, the limited series format promises that we’ll actually have an answer by time these episodes wrap up (**cough** The Killing). But the reason Big Little Lies shines— other than top-notch performances and stellar direction — is because beneath the murder-mystery veneer lies a darkly funny drama about all manner of adult relationships: husband/wife, ex-husband/ex-wife, mother/daughter, mother/fellow-mother, and so on.
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    Tuesday Round Up: August 8, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on August 8th, 2017

    The competition for TV viewers’ eyeballs has never been fiercer, so it’s hard for any network drama to make a lasting mark. The sexy and mysterious amnesiac at the center of Blindspot knows a little something about lasting marks…her entire body is covered in cryptic tattoos! Star Jaimie Alexander’s Jane Doe might not recall much, but we remember the hit NBC drama just fine and we’ll soon be taking a glance at Blindspot: Season 2, courtesy of Warner Bros. Meanwhile, IFC is at the head of the pack with Wolves, while Paramount puts up its Duke-s with a Rio Lobo/Big Jake John Wayne Double Feature on Blu-ray.

    Now it’s time for your weekly reminder before signing off: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Gifted (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 8th, 2017

    Extraordinary people come with singular issues and needs.”

    On the surface, being blessed with a genius-level intellect seems like good thing, right? So it’s interesting that movies about uncommonly smart people (Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind, and The Imitation Game to name a few) tend to focus on the extreme isolation and inevitable exploitation of these individuals. Gifted is about a potential “one-in-a-billion” math prodigy and her weary, protective uncle, who carries himself like someone who’s seen too many movies about exploited geniuses and knows full well that “nobody likes a smart-ass.”
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    Crashing: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 4th, 2017

    It’s not all it’s cut out to be…it’s not about being on stage all the time. It’s about the killing of time.”

    There certainly hasn’t been a shortage of sitcoms starring stand-up comedians. Many of them (Roseanne, Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond) have grafted the comic’s persona onto a family-friendly format. Even the shows that have depicted the life of a comic tend to take a surreal approach (Louie) or fast-forward to the part where the star is an established comedian (Seinfeld). HBO’s Crashing stands out because it honestly (and painfully) depicts the struggle of an aspiring stand-up…and makes it look very, very funny.
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    Girls: The Final Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 3rd, 2017

    My persona’s very, like, witty yet narcissistic.”

    These self-aware words are spoken by Hannah Horvath, the on-screen alter ego of Girls star/creator Lena Dunham during the premiere of the show’s final season. Of course, anyone who’s watched Girls knows the “witty yet narcissistic” label applies to practically every character in Dunham’s often flawed (and even-more-often brilliant) HBO dramedy. So while this final batch of episodes includes some superb moments, it’s not a total surprise that this polarizing series concludes its run with a frustrating finale that is more satisfying for the show’s creators than it is for its fans.
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    Tuesday Round Up: August 1, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on August 1st, 2017

    We’re ringing in a new month with our latest Tuesday Round Up, and Fox has decided to show everyone who’s Boss. Among the titles we’ll be reviewing this week is the animated hit The Boss Baby, which Fox has released in 4K. Meanwhile, HBO bends the truth with Big Little Lies, and spends some quality couch time with the comedy series Crashing: Season 1. Sony gets in on the action with SWAT: Under Siege, Candy Factory goes on a Bender, and Film Movement takes us back to 1944. Finally, Warner Bros. steals some laughs with the heist comedy Going in Style.

    Even though it’s a brand new month, the customary reminder still applies here: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Unforgettable (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 26th, 2017

    I’m done with crazy.”

    When it comes to movies about psychotically wronged women, the crazier things get, the better. Unfortunately, the makers of Unforgettable — a dull domestic drama/wannabe thriller — never got the memo. It’s a shame because the movie had some of the ingredients to be a deliciously pulpy thriller, including an amusingly unhinged turn from one of its stars. But in the end, this comes off as a Lifetime movie that slipped through the cracks, fell upwards, and was accidentally released in theaters.
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 25, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on July 25th, 2017

    Looks like the unofficial theme of this week’s Tuesday Round Up is girl power! Scarlett Johansson looks good in any situation, but Paramount was generous enough to present her in dazzling 4K with this week’s release of Ghost in the Shell, a live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga/anime classic. HBO says farewell to Girls: The Final Season, while Warner Bros. bids an honest goodbye to Pretty Little Liars: The Final Season. Warner also remembered to send along the Rosario Dawson/Katherine Heigl thriller Unforgettable. Meanwhile, Lionsgate/Vestron Series momentarily crashes this girls party with the Warlock Collection on Blu-ray.

    Luckily, the end of the week gets us back on brand with the release of the Charlize Theron action romp Atomic Blonde. Now it’s time for the customary reminder before signing off for the week (and for July): if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Alive and Kicking

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 20th, 2017

    We here at UpcomingDiscs strive to provide our beloved readers with the most informative and well-thought-out reviews, regardless of the movie or TV show genre that comes flying through the door. Collectively, our awesome little staff covers a wide range of interests. But when swing dancing documentary Alive and Kicking arrived at UpcomingDiscs HQ…there was only one man for the job. The toe-tapping doc is equal parts enlightening and entertaining, whether you’re a swing dancing novice (like my wife/occasional movie-watching partner) or — like me — a guy who’s been into this stuff for the last 15 years.
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