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    Tuesday Round Up: June 13, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on June 13th, 2017

    We are right in the thick of Summer Movie Season, which means there is the usual overabundance of superheroes at the cineplex. Fortunately, there’s more than enough action to be found on the small screen as well. Warner Bros. puts the pieces together this week with its release of The Lego Batman Movie in 4K. Warner also takes a bite out of The Vampire Diaries: The Final Season. Meanwhile, Candy Factory RSPVs to The Wedding Party, while Shout! Factory gets high and mighty (but mostly just “high”) with its Blu-ray release of Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie.

    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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    Beauty and the Beast (2017) (Blu-ray)

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

    “Who could ever learn to love a beast?”

    Although it’s not quite a tale as old as time, people around the world have been enchanted by the story of “Beauty and the Beast” for centuries. The French fairytale was first published in 1740 and has subsequently spawned everything from a classic 1946 big-screen romance to Ron Perlman. Still, the most popular iteration of this story is Disney’s beloved 1991 animated musical, which helped solidify the Mouse House’s cartoon revival and serves as the most direct inspiration for this dazzling live-action adaptation. Then again, the fact that this new version is essentially a pretty close copy of a copy takes some of the bloom off this particular rose.
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    Tuesday Round Up: June 6, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on June 6th, 2017

    For our first Round Up of June, we are inviting a certain beloved romance to be our guest here at UpcomingDiscs HQ. Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast is the highest-grossing movie of the year (so far), and the blockbuster arrives on Blu-ray this week! On top of that, CBS/Paramount has released Beauty and the Beast: The Complete Series, along with complete series DVD sets for CBS hits of yesteryear Numb3rs and Becker. Elsewhere, HBO anoints The Young Pope, RLJ Entertainment locks us in a room with Prisoner X, and Shout! Factory shows us Where The Buffalo Roam. Finally, Disney revisits another animated classic that is near and dear deer to fans’ hearts with a 75th anniversary edition of Bambi.

    The end of the week also brings a trio of theatrical releases: Bleeker Street introduces us to Megan Leavey, Fox Searchlight gets familial with My Cousin Rachel, and Universal unleashes monster mayhem with The Mummy. 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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    Wonder Woman

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 2nd, 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: May 30, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 30th, 2017

    I’m not sure what we did, but it must have been serious. We UpcomingDiscers are generally a law-abiding bunch, so I’m a little surprised that we’ve apparently landed in such hot water. How else to explain this week’s arrival of the Major Crimes division at our door? Naturally, I’m yanking your chain…no one here would hurt a fly. The good news is Warner Bros. was still nice enough to send us Major Crimes: Season 5, and we’ll have a review of the hit TNT cop drama soon. Elsewhere, Film Chest Media goes undercover with Decoy: The Complete Series. Finally, DC’s Wonder Woman hopes to lasso moviegoers into theaters very soon, so be sure to check back for our review later this week.

    Here’s your weekly reminder before signing off for the week (and for May): 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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    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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

    This may seem a peculiar request…but could someone explain why I’m here?”

    That question is posed slurred by Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp’s perpetually sloshed swashbuckler, during his very first appearance in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Given that this is the fifth film in a faded franchise — and that Depp probably needs the money — the answer for why any of this is happening appears to be painfully obvious. Which is why I was delighted (and frankly a little shocked) by how much fun I had watching this latest entry, which manages to entertain while openly plundering the original movie’s winning formula.
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    Get Out (Blu-ray)

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

    Sometimes…if there’s too many white people, I get nervous.”

    Some of the very best horror films/psychological thrillers succeed by taking a relatable source of anxiety and cranking it to 11. For example, The Exorcist can be viewed as the worst-case scenario for anyone suffering a crisis of faith, while The Shining taps into the madness of being cooped up with your family for too long. Get Out works because it uses the nerve-wracking experience of meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time as a jumping-off point to tell a subversive, insightful, and entertaining story that mashes together Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives.
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    Divorce: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 17th, 2017

    Look, as lousy as the marriage is, the divorce is going to be much, much worse.”

    The subject of divorce isn’t exactly a laugh riot in real life, so the makers of HBO’s comedy series tracking the dissolution of a decade-long marriage had their work cut out for them. Divorce (not surprisingly) takes a darkly comic approach to the hostile material; the problem is the show seemingly forgot about the part where we’re supposed to want to spend time with these people every week. The series also marks the HBO return of star/executive producer Sarah Jessica Parker…call this new show No Sex in the Suburbs.
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    Tuesday Round Up: May 16, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 16th, 2017

    The surprise box office smash of 2017 has arrived at UpcomingDiscs HQ! (You might not believe me, Elaine, but it’s true.) Universal was generous enough to send along a copy of Get Out, Jordan Peele’s socially-conscious thriller. We’ll have a review of the movie’s Blu-ray release later this week. Meanwhile, Eagle Rock Entertainment does it their way with The Frank Sinatra Collection: The Timex Shows Vol. 1 and 2, while Entertainment One keeps things cool with Ice: Season 1. Finally, Warner Bros. gets animated with Wonder Woman: The Commemorative Edition, which spotlights the Amazonian icon in cartoon form a few weeks before she is set to hit the big screen.

    But wait…there’s more! We’ll also have an out-of-this-world review for Alien: Covenant shortly after Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi opus hits theaters this Friday. Now it’s time for your customary 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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    Tuesday Round Up: May 9, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 9th, 2017

    The official start of summer is only a couple of weeks away, so it’s no surprise that things are starting to Heat up around UpcomingDiscs HQ! Michael Mann’s classic cops-and-robbers action drama — starring screen legends Robert De Niro and Al Pacino — gets a spiffy new release with Fox’s Heat: Director’s Definitive Edition. Meanwhile, Universal aims to make things a little steamier with 50 Shades Darker in 4K, while CBS prowls the Streets of San Francisco: The Complete Series. IndiePix Films introduces us to Millie and the Lords, while HBO squabbles and haggles throughout Divorce: Season 1. Finally, this weekend brings a new spin on a very familiar legend as Guy Ritchie’s take on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hits theaters, so be sure to check back for our review.

    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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    The Affair: Season Three

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

    I thought it was dull…unless it was supposed to be a satire.”

    Television has been trending toward shorter, more self-contained stories. Successful shows like American Horror Story, Fargo, American Crime, and others reboot themselves every year with new characters and storylines in an attempt to offer viewers something fresh each season. The Affair seemed ready-made for that formula: each season could’ve followed different adulterous encounters in a wide variety of settings. Instead, the perspective-shifting Showtime drama is determined to chronicle the far-reaching effects of a single Long Island dalliance. So while the show brushes up against some interesting relationship dynamics, it feels like it has stretched a thin concept beyond its breaking point.
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    Tuesday Round Up: May 2, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on May 2nd, 2017

    This week’s Round Up stars a group of muscle-bound action movie all-stars like we’ve never seen them before! Lionsgate was kind enough to spare copies of The Expendables and The Expendables 2 in 4K, so be sure to check back soon for our reviews. And speaking of icons of yesteryear, Paramount has taken (dance) steps to ensure that John Travolta’s big screen breakout stays alive thanks to Saturday Night Fever: 40th Anniversary Director’s Cut. (Our longtime friend Michael Durr came out of retirement to review this one.) Time Life goes to war with Bob Hope Salutes the Troops, while Passion River Films gets in touch with its artistic side in Saving Banksy. Finally, CBS/Paramount rolls the dice with Vega$: The Complete Series, while Universal spotlights some four-legged friends with A Dog’s Purpose.

    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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    Tuesday Round Up: April 25, 2017

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

    It’s a jungle out there, my friends. And judging by at least one noteworthy arrival this week, it also happens to be a jungle in here at UpcomingDiscs HQ! Warner Bros. was kind enough to send us a copy of Animal Kingdom: Season 1, which is based on the acclaimed Aussie crime drama. Meanwhile, Film Detective is out for blood with The Vampire Bat, and CBS/Paramount carries on The Affair: Season 3. Finally, you can already read our take on Sony’s action-packed The Marine 5: Battleground.

    Here’s your weekly reminder before signing off until May: 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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    Veep: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)

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

    As it turns out, there’s a virtually unprecedented tie in the Electoral College.”

    If you thought the latest U.S. presidential election cycle was a soul-crushing and unpredictable mess, you should take a peek at what’s happening on Veep. (At least we got a definitive real-life result…eventually.) The show’s outstanding fifth season begins with President Selina Meyer — who assumed the office after her predecessor resigned — locked in a frustrating Electoral College tie as she seeks to become the first woman to be *elected* to the highest office in the land. President Meyer sums up her predicament in a manner befitting HBO’s caustic, constantly-cussing comedy: “didn’t those Founding F—ers ever hear of an odd number?!”
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    Tuesday Round Up: April 18, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on April 18th, 2017

    Hello, my name is John and I am your regular Tuesday Round Up host. But back in my college days, I temporarily adopted an alter ego called “Bruce” when I was heavy into ballroom and swing dancing. (I wish I were kidding.) My two separate personas were absolutely peanuts compared to the 20-something distinct personalities that battle for supremacy inside the mind of Kevin, the main character in Split. M. Night Shyamalan’s latest psychological thriller was the director’s biggest hit in years…and today it arrives on Blu-ray. Be sure to keep an eye on the site for our take. Elsewhere, Candy Factory brings about the end of the world with Apocalypse Child. We’ll also have some Reel World reviews as a pair of new movies hit theaters: things are sure to heat up with the arrival of Free Fire, and we’ll venture to the ends of the Earth (and the ends of the alphabet) to find The Lost City of Z.

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

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 13th, 2017

    “Think inside the box.”

    One of the major through lines in season 3 of Silicon Valley is that our heroes at Pied Piper have created a product so ahead of its time that it is failing to connect with consumers, which puts the start-up company in peril. Fortunately, HBO’s brainy and bawdy tech comedy hasn’t had any problems connecting with its audience: the show’s confident and hilarious third season seamlessly mixes talk of “compression algorithms” with outrageous sight gags involving horses getting, um, familiar with each other.
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    Daughters of the Dust (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 12th, 2017

    “At the turn of the century, Sea Island Gullahs, descendants of African Captives, remained isolated from the mainland of South Carolina and Georgia. As a result of their isolation, the Gullah created and maintained a distinct, imaginative, and original African American culture.”

    Prior to watching Daughters of the Dust, I was completely unfamiliar with Sea Island Gullahs. To tell their story, the film (intentionally) deviates from the traditional narrative playbook, which doesn’t necessarily make for the most pleasurable movie-watching experience. However, the three key adjectives used in the opening text — “distinct,” “imaginative,” and “original” — absolutely apply here.
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    Tuesday Round Up: April 11, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on April 11th, 2017

    Election season is firmly in the rearview mirror, but I reckon this week’s weekly Round Up could easily be dubbed “Super Tuesday.” Veep is in its second term as the Emmy winner for Outstanding Comedy Series…that being said, I’m not sure anything in this fiercely funny and profane show can match the levels of ridiculata we’ve already witnessed in real life. You’ll get a chance to cast your vote this week as the brilliant HBO comedy’s fifth season arrives on Blu-ray. And speaking of brilliant HBO comedies arriving on Blu-ray this week, be sure to pay a visit to Silicon Valley: Season 3. Elsewhere, Universal says hello to The Bye Bye Man, Cohen Media Group releases a 25th anniversary edition of Daughters of the Dust, and Showtime opens up the big top for The Circus: Season 1.

    Oh and I almost forgot: later this week, a certain street racing franchise speeds into theatres with The Fate of the Furious, so be sure to check back for our review. 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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    Tuesday Round Up: April 4, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on April 4th, 2017

    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…the latest entry in a massively beloved sci-fi franchise hit theaters and became the highest-grossing movie of 2016. Ok, so it was more like 3 ½ months ago, which isn’t all that long. And it was playing practically everywhere, so chances are you didn’t have to drive very far, far away to go watch it. Nevertheless, the commute will be nonexistent now that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is out on Blu-ray! Disney was nice enough to send us a copy and we’ll have a review of this disc very soon. On top of that, Omnibus Entertainment introduces us to Heidi. Finally, we’ll be wrapping up the week with some panache thanks to the big-screen release of Going in Style.

    Even though it’s a brand new month, the same 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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    Silence (Blu-ray)

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

    “The price for your glory is their suffering!”

    For most of us, hearing the name “Martin Scorsese” leads to iconic wiseguys, rock and roll, and Robert De Niro/Leonardo DiCaprio movies dancing into our mind’s eye. Further down the list of Marty-related things — probably even below Scorsese’s real-life film preservation work — but no less crucial to appreciating the director’s filmography is the role that faith has played in his personal and professional lives. The most obvious manifestations are the three religious epics Scorsese has directed, including his latest film Silence.
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    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

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

    I’m writing a book about magical creatures.”

    The wizarding world J.K. Rowling conjured for her Harry Potter series captured the imaginations of children (and many, many adults) throughout the globe because it was precisely that…a fully realized, living and breathing world with its own lingo and lore. So while spinning off a corner of that universe might seem like a blatant cash grab, Rowling’s imagination has provided particularly fertile ground for new franchise opportunities. (OK, OK…the part where Warner Bros. agreed to make five of these before the first one even came out *does* feel like a cash grab.) For example, this latest crowd-pleasing stab at a billion-dollar series is based on…a fictional textbook mentioned in Rowling’s Potter saga.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 28, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 28th, 2017

    There’s more than a little magic in the air for this week’s Round Up. Warner Bros. casts an enchanting, ultra-HD spell with the blockbuster Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which we’ll be reviewing in 4K. And speaking of “fantastic beasts,” I hope you don’t mind if I spend a few words on Baby, the sweet and loyal German Shepherd/Chow mix who could usually be found welcoming guests to UpcomingDiscs HQ. Baby, who was also a part-time movie critic, passed yesterday and she’ll be greatly missed.

    In other Round Up news, Paramount holds a moment of Silence for Martin Scorsese’s latest religious epic, while Candy Factory tries to put the pieces of a murder together in Americana. Finally, we’ll also check in with The Zookeeper’s Wife later this week and offer our take on the World War II drama. One last reminder before signing off for the week (and for March): 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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    Insecure: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 24th, 2017

    “Black women aren’t bitter. We’re just tired of being expected to settle for less.”

    When people talk about racial and gender equality, they typically point to notions like everyone having the right to vote or the same opportunity to pursue their personal or professional passion without fear of discrimination. The premise of Insecure — HBO’s funny and insightful comedy series about modern relationships — is not quite that lofty, but no less worthy: black women reserve the right to be just as neurotic and lead love lives that are every bit as messy as their white counterparts.
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    Fences (Blu-ray)

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

    “Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”

    In its transition from stage to screen, Fences — the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the late August Wilson — doesn’t venture far beyond the Maxson household. And that’s precisely the point: director/star Denzel Washington isn’t overly concerned with masking the story’s stage origins. The existential claustrophobia that the characters in the play have been carrying their entire lives is right up there on the cramped screen.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 21, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 21st, 2017

    Help! UpcomingDiscs HQ has been overrun by a koala, a couple of pigs, a gorilla, an elephant, a porcupine, and other adorable animals! Fortunately for us, these crooning critters happen to be the stars of Universal’s Sing, which we’ll be reviewing in 4K pretty soon. Meanwhile, Candy Factory leaves us torn with Split, while Magnolia Home Entertainment examines A Kind of Murder. Shout! Factory answers When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith, and HBO navigates the (often awkward) lives of two contemporary black women with Insecure: The Complete First Season. Finally, we’ll bring you a pair of theatrical reviews this weekend, including Woody Harrelson’s star turn in Wilson. We’ll also try to determine if there is Life on Mars (and in this sci-fi horror flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds).

    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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