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    The Winter (O heimonas)

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

    Konstantinos Koutsolitas is a visual effects supervisor for American films like Guardians of the Galaxy and 300: The Rise of an Empire. You might have guessed by his name that he is Greek, so it is natural that his first directing effort would be Greek. The Winter is about a struggling writer who tries to hide his failures that he left behind in London from his noisy and intrusive family. Dimitri Gounaras (Vangelis Mourikis) moves back to the deserted ancestral home of his father, which has been abandoned for some time. There is madness in the house, or perhaps just in members of his family, and there are ghosts lurking, real or imagined.
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    Deadpool (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

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

    “Some of the best love stories start with a murder.” 

    Deadpool may be one the most singular and unique characters in the history of comic book lore. His character has a very rabid fan base among the elite of Marvel comic nerddom, and they have been watching very carefully to see that he has been treated properly by the Hollywood people. He hasn’t been in the past, but more about that later. He may not be the biggest name in the Marvel universe, but he might be the most extreme. Just in case you live in a cave or under a rock, the Marvel universe is inexorably taking over the actual universe with films like The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hulk, Wolverine, Daredevil, and on and on.
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    Sing Street

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on May 8th, 2016

    Should you pursue your dreams at any cost? If your life seems bleak and hopeless, should you go for broke and bet everything on what you believe? These questions are even more relevant to people who are creative artists, because they will often be told that their dreams are hopeless and unattainable. The rewards can be great, but the odds of succeeding are easily a million to one. Sing Street takes place in 1985 and is about young kids writing songs and making music videos. The parents, Robert (Aiden Gillian, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish from Game of Thrones) and Penny (Maria Doyle Kennedy, Siobhan Sadler from Orphan Black) are struggling like almost everyone in Dublin in those days.
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    The Bible Stories: Samson and Delilah

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on April 28th, 2016

    “To all things, there is a purpose. It was the time of judges. The Lord had punished the children of Israel for their sins against him. He had delivered them into the hands of the Philistines.”

    The timeframe of Samson and Delilah is around 1075 B.C. Samson, like many characters in the Bible, is chosen by God but is far from perfect. The stories of many characters in the Bible are ones of sinners, and they must always try to overcome their flaws with God’s help and intervention.
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    The Bible Stories: David

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

    I am by no means an expert on the Bible. That is why I am always anxious to see filmed representations of the stories, since most of my knowledge comes from other people. It’s always an interesting topic, and so many people have their own interpretations. I think that is the point. I think discussion of the Bible allows people to express their own inner thoughts about their relationship to God. But I long ago gave up on the idea of ever getting a clear picture of the meanings of the stories. There will be plenty of people who will tell you they know all the answers, but I sincerely doubt anyone has any such thing. I previously reviewed Abraham from this series, which was an earlier story in the history of the Jewish and Christian faiths.
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    The Revenant (Blu-ray)

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

    America was once a primitive expanse where only very small groups of hardy hopefuls ever tried to venture across. It was a vast and endless wilderness that was mostly a mystery. This was the land of roving Indian tribes and undiscovered species of animals. This was a land of all kinds of danger. Life was one long hunt and endless battle against every kind of predator and natural enemy. There are so many remarkable moments in The Revenant that I will start with the bear attack. It is an unbelievably harrowing event that cannot be described in words that will in any way convey what you see on the screen. That one sequence alone is worth the price of admission
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    The Last Witch Hunter (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on April 13th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten, but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will
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    The Nanny: The Final Season

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

    When we last saw Miss Fine (or should I say Mrs. Sheffield), she fell off her husband’s yacht on her honeymoon. I have previously written about The Nanny: Season 5 in January and Season 4 in September of last year, so go back and look up all the previous shenanigans. The first episode of the final season has the newly married couple stranded on a deserted island, and Fran Drescher is up to her usual ridiculous antics as Fran Fine. You can expect a lot of silly and moderately racy sexual innuendo. As usual, there are lots of celebrity cameos. In one Hollywood Squares episode alone, there are nine celebrities interacting with Max Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) who is one of the squares.
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    Midnight Special

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on April 10th, 2016

    Comic book movies are the preeminent form of movie entertainment in this day and age. I use the term broadly to include all sorts of fantasy books and ancillary offshoots. There is the Marvel Universe and the DC Universe and other universes that include Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, The Hunger Games, and endless variations. As consumers we become fans of a particular fantasy world from which we gain great personal pleasure. Religion is also a source of orientation for most of the world. We believe in various versions of God in which to invest our emotions fervently and honestly. There is a clear difference between fantasy and religion, but then we have YouTube, which is becoming increasingly crammed with “information” that crosses the line between fantasy and reality.
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    Demolition

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

    Have you ever had a traumatic loss? Have you ever lost someone and felt numb? How did you feel about the person you lost, and was it different now that they were gone? Do you think you acted appropriately about the death? Did you care about what people thought of you, or were you in your own little world? Were you ever the same again? Demolition stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts, and Chris Cooper, and is directed by Jean Marc Vallee. Vallee has directed two outstanding and Oscar-nominated films in the last couple of years, Dallas Buyer’s Club (Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won Best Actor and Supporting Actor) and Wild (Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern nominated).
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    House of Lies: Season 4

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

    I don’t find House of Lies funny. In fairness, I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny, or it’s trying to be funny in the most cynical and unpalatable way possible. It’s a half-hour format airing on Showtime, which would normally suggest a sitcom. It’s not a sitcom, but a brash dramedy. Our main characters all have MBA’s but frequently act like teenagers on drugs. They are smart enough to analyze things brilliantly but are so corrupt that they will do the absolutely worst thing possible if it satisfies their personal interests. House of Lies should not be confused with House of Cards, which also features high-level leaders with horrendous morals. It seems to promote undiluted self-interest at all costs.
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    The Red House (The Film Detective Restored Version) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on March 29th, 2016

    “Did you ever run away from a scream? You can’t. It will follow you through the woods. It will follow you all of your life… courage is never enough.”

    How many films are lost and forgotten over the years? It would be interesting to know how many films have been made since the advent of the movie industry. It is probably in the millions, and yet most of us would probably have trouble thinking of a thousand.
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    Drunk History: Season 3

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

    In the last few years, I’ve begun to question the veracity of any of the history I’ve been taught. I’ve been finding big chunks of history that were never included in the textbooks, and it seemed to depend on the point of view of the teller what kind of history you got. The old saying is, “History belongs to the victors”. It’s that sort of thing. Now you can add Drunk History to the mix. This is where people talk about historical event, but only after they have become hopelessly debilitated by alcohol. It’s funny to watch, and, in this case, you already know for sure history is becoming garbled.
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    The Bible Stories: Abraham

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on March 17th, 2016

    In the book of Genesis from the Bible, the story of Abraham comes right after the stories of Adam and Eve and Noah. It is one of the foundation stories of the Bible and talks of Abraham being the father of the Jewish people. The Bible is the source book of Christianity as well. The stories of the Bible are well known among people of all faiths as well, so it is assumed that most people on the planet know the story of Abraham. Bible stories are done religiously (pun intended), and Richard Harris (Camelot, Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies) himself has done two other Bible stories (Cain in The Bible: In the Beginning and the apostle John in The Apocalypse).
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    Life

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

    Life was financed by Canada and Australia with a Dutch director, but the subject matter was strictly American. I’m burying the lead because I want to give the film’s subject a proper buildup. Life is about one of the most famous people who ever lived. He was a person who was loved all over the world and whose face is the preeminent icon of youth and rebellion. One could argue there are others who could vie for the crown, but for different reasons I would insist that James Dean is the man. James Dean is unique for many reasons, but the main one is that he died at 24 at the cusp of a very big wave of fame.
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    The Spoils of Babylon

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

    Eric Jonrosh has written many weighty tomes full of lust and passion and desire and wanton abandon. Perhaps the greatest of these heavy and important contributions to literature is The Spoils of Babylon. He directed a 22-hour film himself that he hoped would reveal the real heart and soul and dark insides of the book. No one was ready for such an intense and unbridled examination of the human experience, so Jonrosh allowed the footage to be bastardized and submitted to television as a miniseries. Jonrosh himself introduces the multi-episode presentation, which now clocks in at two hours and 18 minutes. Jonrosh drinks freely of wine at his favorite restaurant as he is filmed and erratically rambles about the origins of his work and his copious experiences creating masterpieces.
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    The Facts Of Life: Season 8

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

    Back in October I wrote about The Facts of Life: Season 7 in which I dealt with the general history and overall dynamics of the show. I suggest you go back and check that out so I don’t cover the same ground twice. The big addition that year was George Clooney. Not many series have as long and healthy a run as The Facts of Life, but as they age changes are forced on them. One of those changes that occurred in the opening episodes of Season 8 is Charlotte Rae’s (Mrs. Edna Garrett) decision to leave the show. The transition is handled gracefully with Edna’s marriage to a doctor who is leaving to help those in the third world by serving in the Peace Corps.
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    Risen

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

    A Pew Research Poll in 2012 said that 84 percent of the world’s population believes in God. A Harris poll in 2013 said that 74 percent of Americans believed in God. I’m making some simple statements up front, because the subject is extremely complicated and confusing the more you dip into the well to try to understand. There are 2.3 billion Christians and 1.7 billion Muslims out of the over 7 billion people on the planet. There are 15 million Jews. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism have overlapping tenets of faith, but you would never know it if you look at the history of the world. Religion has become a big disappointment to many.
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    The 33 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on February 16th, 2016

    The Martian, which is about an astronaut stranded on Mars, is one of the biggest hit movies of the summer. By the end of the movie, the entire world is united in their hope that the astronaut will be saved. The Martian is not a true story. The 33 is. It is the true story of 33 miners trapped underground for 69 days in a Chilean gold mine in 2010. The world really does come together in their hopes and prayers for the trapped miners. Even though it is a true story, it also functions as a good old-fashioned disaster flick in the tradition of The Poseidon Adventure or The Towering Inferno. It also showcases Latino actors primarily, but some other big-name actors round out the cast as well.
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    DeadPool

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on February 13th, 2016

    Deadpool may be one the most singular and unique characters in the history of comic book lore. His character has a very rabid fan base among the elite of Marvel comic nerddom, and they have been watching very carefully to see that he has been treated properly by the Hollywood people. He hasn’t been in the past, but more about that later. He may not be the biggest name in the Marvel universe, but he might be the most extreme. Just in case you live in a cave or under a rock, the Marvel universe is inexorably taking over the actual universe with films like The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hulk, Wolverine, Daredevil, and on and on. To get back to what happened to Deadpool in the past, we go to the movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
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    Last Witch Hunter (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on February 8th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will, but his stardom largely rests on Fast and Furious. Diesel bristles at being typecast, so he has always tried to find new vehicles that will demonstrate his range
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    Hail, Caesar!

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

    Hail, Caesar is a typical example of a Coen brothers movie, which means it is completely atypical. The Coen brothers are revered for not only being different from everyone else but also making films that are different from each other. It would easy to say there is a Coen brothers style, but you would be reaching, because the two men are committed to exploring things differently each and every time they make a movie (or produce a television show like Fargo). The most characteristic identifying factor is quirkiness and individuality. They are among the few filmmakers working in Hollywood who do whatever the freaking heck they want. What I mean by that is that the movies they make would not be allowed if proposed or pitched by anyone else.
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    Bridge of Spies (Blu-ray)

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

    Steven Spielberg. Tom Hanks. The Coen Brothers. 1957. The Cold War. Mark Rylance. There are a lot of elements to the stew that is Bridge of Spies. Let’s start with the most important ingredient. Steven Spielberg has been a household name for decades now as the most reliable producer/director of movie entertainment we may have ever seen. His name is so synonymous with big-screen entertainment that he needs no introduction from me. But he has been trying to get away from pure entertainment for a long while now, often with great success.
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    The Finest Hours

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on February 1st, 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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    Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on January 28th, 2016

    There have been nine Jesse Stone movies starring Tom Selleck. They come from a series of books written by Robert B. Parker. Parker is also famous for the Spencer For Hire series, which was a television show starring Robert Urich from 1985 to 1988. Parker also created a popular Sunny Randall series that was originally meant as a vehicle for Helen Hunt. Many modern writers such as Harlan Coben, Robert Crais and Dennis Lehane credit Parker for revitalizing and reinventing the detective genre. It has been a tried and true genre for over a hundred years. It is a beloved formula. The Hallmark Channel has been behind this series of movies with Selleck, who has had a career resurgence with the CBS series Blue Bloods.
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