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    Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on February 1st, 2017

    Forbes magazine called Jack Reacher and author Lee Childs the strongest brand in publishing as much for his over $100,000,000 in sales and billion-dollar imprint as for the strong loyalty of fans and favorable ratings of the readers. The 21st Jack Reacher novel, Night School, is coming out in a couple of weeks (which I’m sure Simon & Shuster would thank me for mentioning, but they don’t need my help), and Reacher fans will be buying in droves. The second Reacher movie will be out on November 21. One of the first things I want to address is that Lee Childs had been actively involved in the picking of Tom Cruise to be Jack Reacher.
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    Rules Don’t Apply

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on November 18th, 2016

    Howard Hughes used to be a very big deal for a very long time. Warren Beatty was a big deal for a long time as well, and they have a lot in common. They were both renowned horndogs. Hughes was not only extremely rich, but enormously famous. The Hughes Tool Company, which was instrumental to the oil industry, was the original source of his wealth, but Howard Hughes became better known for his forays into the movie business and aviation industry. There has already been a movie about Hughes called The Aviator starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but Warren Beatty has been working on a Hughes movie since the 1970’s when he frequented the Beverly Hills Hotel where Hughes had multiple bungalows.
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    Jack Reacher Never Go Back

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on October 21st, 2016

    Forbes magazine called Jack Reacher and author Lee Childs as the strongest brand in publishing as much for his over 100,000,000 in sales and billion dollar imprint as for the strong loyalty of fans and favorable ratings of the readers. The 21st Jack Reacher novel, Night School, is coming out in a couple of weeks (which I’m sure Simon & Shuster would thank me for mentioning, but they don’t need my help), and Reacher fans will buying in droves. The second Reacher movie will be out on November 21.
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    Wild Oats

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on October 19th, 2016

    Shirley MacLaine and Jessica Lange are two great women of American film, and living legends. It is always a pleasure to see them work. They both have won shelves of awards including Best Actress Oscars. But they both have also been in bad movies. The process of being a creative artist is always a journey where you take a leap through a hoop with the hopes of doing good work. It also becomes difficult for actresses, even for living legends, to get good work as they grow older. But films about older people are important too. All movies can’t be about young attractive new faces being forced on you with little understanding of who they are.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Vampyres

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on October 18th, 2016

    Vampyres (2015) is a remake of Vampyres (1974). It is important to note that right here at the start. They have a strong similarity, and the latter film is clearly a homage and loving duplication. It should be stated that the new version is not better, but the two films have identical essential elements. That would be naked lesbian flesh-eating, blood-obsessed predators. The original was fairly groundbreaking in its almost fetishistic content. This version has more nudity and sex scenes. I would safely say that if you like naked blood-soaked sex scenes, you will enjoy it, but aficionados of horror classics will likely be pickier.
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    Denial

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on October 18th, 2016

    David Hare is an extremely prolific and ambitious playwright. He has written over 30 plays, but he has also done television and screenplays as well as directing in all three mediums. One of his first screenplays was an adaptation of his play, Plenty, which starred Meryl Streep, in 1985. He also wrote the screenplay for an adaptation Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Hours, which starred Meryl Streep as well. He also wrote the screenplay for The Reader, which was nominated for numerous awards and was about a woman guard in a German concentration camp and starred Kate Winslet.
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    Masterminds

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on October 1st, 2016

    In 1997, $17.3 million dollars (or $25.5 million adjusted for inflation) was stolen from Loomis, Fargo & Co in Charlotte, N.C. It was the second largest cash robbery on U.S. soil after a Loomis Fargo armored car robbery by the driver earlier in the same year for $18.8 million in Jacksonville, Florida. The facts of the robbery and subsequent events are pretty ridiculous, and now Hollywood has made an out-and-out silly farce out of something that in reality was a silly farce. After having seen the movie, I tried to compare actual events with the insane stupidity that happened in the movie. That was actually my biggest problem with the movie. If they had tried to adhere closely to reality, it might have played funnier.
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    Sully

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on September 11th, 2016

    Clint Eastwood is 86 years old. He is also one of the best film directors working today. His latest film shows no signs of a man winding down his life, let alone his career. I obviously hinted that most other actors (or directors) his age have long ago died or checked into a nursing home. Eastwood looks lean and mean and still directs that way. Eastwood is interesting, as well, because he tends to pick projects that are outside the Hollywood studio corporate thinking. In other words, Eastwood is his own man and does pretty much anything he wants. His films as an actor and director have courted controversy way back to the days of Dirty Harry and A Fistful of Dollars.
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    The First Monday in May

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on August 31st, 2016

    The First Monday in May is a documentary that traverses many worlds. It caters to mass culture but also explores the inner sanctums of high art. What is art? This is one of the questions the movie asks. In this case, it examines the ignored stepchild of high art, which is fashion and costume design. The Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art languished in the basement for many years, never truly respected. Something called the Met Gala has changed all that. It is one of the most important social events of the New York City social scene. The invitation list is ruthlessly trimmed every year to only include the most glamorous and relevant celebrities.
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    Hell or High Water

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on August 20th, 2016

    Taylor Sheridan is an actor. Let’s change that. Taylor Sheridan was an actor, and now he’s a writer. He’s a terrific writer. He’s the kind of writer that actors are going to be seeking out and critics are going to love. But he’s also made hard-boiled genre action pieces. He’s coming out of nowhere and getting everything right. He was a series regular on Sons of Anarchy and Veronica Mars, but he’s going to be in much greater demand as a screenwriter. His first film, Sicario, was one of the top ten films of last year, due in large part to his brilliant script (and also to everyone else involved with the movie, like director Dennis Villeneuve and cinematographer Roger Deakins).
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    Peter – The Redemption

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on August 11th, 2016

    When I think of the Bible, I don’t think of northern Ontario. But there is an appetite for Christian-themed movies, and Canada is one of the most cost-effective places to produce movies. They have studios and sets up there, so it isn’t the worst idea in the world to go there to make any movie, even movies that take place in a very arid, hot, and dusty place. I have reviewed a group of Biblical films that Ted Turner produced for the TNT Network in the 1990’s. They were fairly well made, and, yes, they were made pretty close to the original locations. This new group of Biblical films is not quite up to those standards. I am reviewing The Apostle Peter: Redemption, but the same company has also produced Joseph and Mary, so we can probably expect more.
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    Captain Fantastic

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 23rd, 2016

    Captain Fantastic has nothing to do with Elton John. (It turns out that’s not entirely true, because director/writer/actor Matt Ross (Big Love, Silicon Valley) found out his mother played Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy all the time, and it must have imbedded itself in his subconscious). The story in the movie starts in a very Lord of the Flies way, with camouflaged faces hidden amongst the leaves of the woods. They are children, and one of them leaps from the bush with a knife and cuts a deer’s neck. There are seven children and they all belong to Ben (Viggo Mortensen, Lord of the Rings).
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    Café Society

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 23rd, 2016

    Café Society looks absolutely gorgeous. Every camera setup finds a new authentic location that suggests a time and place long ago. The lighting and cinematography by Vittorio Storaro (Last Tango in Paris, Reds, Apocalypse Now) are sumptuous and delicious. The story is novelistic like an F. Scott Fitzgerald magnum opus. Woody Allen has had a long and very productive career. He is definitely at a stage when he should have slowed down, but he doesn’t. Café Society is not Woody’s magnum opus, but it certainly feels like he is reaching for it. It has depth and complexity. It is funny at times but is generally filled with ache and regret.
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    The Bible Stories: Joseph

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 18th, 2016

    I have just reviewed The Bible Stories: Jacob in which I may have left people hanging, because I teased the end of the story. Of course that only applies to people who have never read the Bible. The Bible Stories: Joseph will give you some of those answers if you never got to the Good Book. Jacob indeed survives and thrives, so God was good on his word. Jacob had many sons, but in this film he is older and played by Martin Landau, not Matthew Modine. Jacob had 12 sons with two wives and two handmaids who were all involved with the births. Jacob (also known as Israel) entered into a covenant with God to create a new nation of plenty and prosperity.
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    The Bible Stories: Jacob

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 12th, 2016

    I have previously reviewed movies from the Bible Stories collection including Samson and Delilah and David. I also reviewed Abraham, which was one of the earliest stories in the Bible but not as early as Noah or, of course, Adam and Eve. The Bible Stories: Jacob (or The Bible Collection: Jacob) follows up on the story of Abraham, since Jacob is his grandson. I have also just watched The Bible Stories: Joseph which I will review later, but I mention it because Joseph is Jacob’s son.
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    Free State Of Jones

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 11th, 2016

    I am somewhat angry right now. I am increasingly stunned at what is being praised in this culture. We are trapped in an era that is supposed to be enlightened but is ladled on top with layers of rotting organic material (which is a euphemism for a rather rude word). There seem to be no interest in certain things that are very important and increasingly relevant to us. There are subtleties and complexities about ourselves that we don’t understand and that is why the world is still enmeshed in violence and madness. I am talking about people who should know better. People who pontificate and tell us what we are supposed to think. Critics. Pundits.
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    The Dresser

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 9th, 2016

    In 1983, The Dresser was nominated for five Oscars for Best Actor for Tom Courtney and Albert Finney as well as Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture. In 1980, it was also nominated for Best Play in both Britain’s West End and on Broadway in New York. It is a showpiece for the best actors in the world. It revolves around two characters: a great Shakespearean actor who is struggling with the fear of oncoming mortality and his close personal servant who tries to hold his master together. It is a brilliant vehicle for any great actor. Since it first came to prominence, there have been talks about a new attempt to reinterpret the material
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    The Facts Of Life: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 7th, 2016

    I wrote about The Facts Of Life before (Season 7 in October 2015 and Season 8 in February of 2016). The final season (Season 9) made it one of the longest-running sitcoms up to that time. It was never a number one show, but was consistently popular over the years. There is no George Clooney (Clooney had moved on to Rosanne) in the final season, or Charlotte Rae (who was just tired and left in Season 7). The focus in Season 9 was on the four girls, Blair Warner (Lisa Welchel), Jo Polniaczek (Nancy Mckeon), Natalie Green (Mindy Cohen), and Dorothy ‘Tootie’ Ramsay (Kim Fields), because they were growing up and becoming adults.
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    Swiss Army Man

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on July 6th, 2016

    If a film is highly original, that is usually a good thing. If it completely defies logic, that might be good or bad, depending. If it defies common sense and intelligence, that would be a bad thing. Swiss Army Man does all of those things. It is tantalizing with possibilities that are explored, but frustrating in execution. It is rude and unpleasant, and not in a good way. Some people will respond to its ridiculous rudeness in a positive way, like the way that most children laugh when someone farts. That is not the real problem with this movie.
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    Sisters: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on June 15th, 2016

    I previously reviewed Season 3 of Sisters in May of this year, so Sisters lovers, you can go back and review. In dealing with this season, I am going to focus on character, because as much as any show can, this show focuses on the differences between people who are very close with ties of family and love. Sisters is well known to be a women’s show, and I wouldn’t disagree, nor would I intimate that it is a bad thing to be labeled as such. So many shows have been focused on an assumed male dominance in society, but Sisters was a show that brought the power of women to the forefront. It was also one of the first shows to show a female audience had an important demographical significance. But I don’t want to make this an ideological dissertation. I am simply going to look at the purity and relevance of the show, even today.
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    A Bigger Splash

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on June 6th, 2016

    A Bigger Splash is a remake of a 1969 French film called La Piscine (The Swimming Pool) starring Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, and Jane Birkin. It was popular in its time and was challenging and mysterious but will not register in the memory of modern moviegoers. A Bigger Splash retains the same sense of adventurous storytelling and compelling ambivalence. A Bigger Splash stars Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter series and the new “M” in James Bond movies Skyfall and Spectre), Tilda Swinton (a remarkable character actress who is different in every film), Dakota Johnson (Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Greys) and Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From The Madding Crowd, The Danish Girl). That cast is dynamic by itself, and they are used to maximum effect. Ralph Fiennes, especially, is absolutely outstanding. He has never played a part like this before. His character could be described in many ways, because his moods shift radically.
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    The Lobster

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on May 30th, 2016

    The Lobster could easily be in contention for one of the weirdest movies you’ll ever see. It’s certain to be the weirdest movie of this year. It isn’t weird in a pointless or flashy way. It isn’t weird just for the sake of being weird. It is low-key and tastefully filmed. It seems to fit comfortably in the tradition of absurdist or surrealistic comedy/drama. If you are familiar with the works of Kafka or Bunuel or Beckett or Pirandello or Ionesco or, more recently, Charlie Kaufman, you’ll understand the nature of absurdist cinema. Of course, Rhinoceros by Ionesco, Metamorphosis by Kafka, or Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs are examples of people who transform into animals or insects. The Lobster does not attempt to portray these transformations very literally, although we do see animals representing people throughout the movie.
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    Alice Through the Looking Glass

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on May 27th, 2016

    Alice Through The Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice In Wonderland. Alice In Wonderland is a proven blockbuster of all time. It is part of the billionaire club in total box office gross. It is number 23 on the all-time biggest films list with a total box office of $1,025,500,000. It is obvious then that a sequel would have to be made. Alice in Wonderland was a Tim Burton film, his biggest in fact. Needless to say, Lewis Carroll’s creation is a time-worn classic favorite, but neither movie is very faithful to the books. The fact that this isn’t a Tim Burton film is actually a big deal. There doesn’t seem to be anyone talking about why he didn’t include Burton. Burton is always very busy, and he is one of the producers of the film. The director this time is James Bobin. Nobody important. He directed some television and two Muppet movies.
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    The Finest Hours (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on May 26th, 2016

    There are many films that depict the ferocity and cataclysmic power of the vast ocean. It is a fearsome display that cannot be imagined in any way that compares to the reality of the experience. The Perfect Storm, Life of Pi, The Guardian, and Titanic are just a few examples of disasters at sea. It is the United States Coast Guard’s job to rescue distressed people under severe emergencies at sea. The Finest Hours is a depiction of a true-life sea rescue under the most challenging and horrifying conditions. It is known as the most successful small boat rescue ever recorded. When I say small boat, it is the rescue boat I’m talking about, but the ship they were singlehandedly sent to rescue was a gigantic T2 tanker Pendleton, which had split in half on open seas.
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    Sisters: Season Three

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on May 26th, 2016

    I have just binge-watched 34 ½ hours of television. That’s 47 episodes and two seasons’ worth. That’s a lot more episodes than most TV shows today. The binge was season three and season four of an acclaimed series from 1991 to 1996. It received eight Emmy nominations, and it is considered the first demographic hit because of its strong female viewership. It revels in all the glories of wonderful Winnetka, Illinois. The deceased father of the Reed sisters named them Alex, Teddy, Georgie, and Frankie. The father was obviously expecting boys and was severely disappointed. If you haven’t guessed yet, the show was Sisters.
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