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    Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 6 (Blu-ray)

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

    “Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    The sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation is arguable one of the best seasons in the history of the franchise. There are likely many reasons for this.
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    Need for Speed (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on August 11th, 2014

    Need for Speed is based on a video game. It caters to people who love the experience of speed. There is a huge audience for this sort of thing. To their credit, the writer and director makes every effort to create an actual story and real characters in this presentation. It is easy to compare it to Fast and Furious, but why bother. That gives these sorts of films too much credit. Fast and Furious and Need for Speed are designed to give people a thrill. If anything, Need for Speed takes things more seriously than the Fast and Furious series.
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    Muppets Most Wanted (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 11th, 2014

    The Muppets debuted in 1955, and the late great Jim Henson’s creations have been delighting audiences (and fellow entertainers) of all ages ever since. They’ve made their mark on the small screen — most notably with The Muppet Show (1976-81) — and at the movies, starring in eight feature films across four different decades. However, 2011’s The Muppets was their first big-screen outing in a dozen years, and the movie spent most of its time wondering if the Muppets’ old-fashioned, irreverent charm still had a place in a more jaded pop culture landscape.
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    Divergent (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 5th, 2014

    “You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent.”

    In the wake of Hunger Games and Twilight studios have been snatching up the rights to young adult fiction and gearing up for franchises, all in the name of capturing the hearts and wallets of the legions of fans of these book series.  Though there have been a few hits, the failures have been plentiful i.e.: City of Bones, The Host, and The Vampire Academy.  As a guy approaching his mid-thirties, it’s safe to say I’m nowhere near being the target audience for this film, but call me crazy, I actually dug it.
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    Noah (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 30th, 2014

    No matter how far removed you may be from Sunday school — or even if you never attended in the first place — chances are you know that God spoke to Noah. You also know He told him to build an ark in anticipation of a catastrophic flood meant to wipe out mankind. What you may not have realized (or remembered) is that, in the Bible, Noah himself doesn’t speak at all until well after that rain starts. So in adapting the famous Book of Genesis story to the screen, any filmmaker is going to have to take a certain amount of liberties. And when that filmmaker is Darren Aronofsky, the result is a strange, uncommonly thoughtful blockbuster that is as flawed as the hero it presents.
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    Rio 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 17th, 2014

    “Who cares about a bunch of birds?”

    Well, judging by the fact that the original Rio grossed $484 million worldwide, it seems more than a few people were invested. The avian adventure from Blue Sky Studios may not have soared as high as Disney/Pixar or DreamWorks Animation’s best efforts — or even Blue Sky’s own Ice Age juggernaut — but it proved to be a dazzling, lucrative diversion in the spring of 2011. This charming sequel, which arrived almost three years to the day later and grossed a near-identical $487 million worldwide, retains the disposable, toe-tapping charm of its predecessor.
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    300: Rise of an Empire (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 26th, 2014

    It begins as a whisper. A promise. The lightest of breezes dances above the death cries of 300 men…”

    It may have started as a whisper, but 300 quickly became synonymous with roaring, instant-classic declarations after it burst onto the scene in 2007. Zack Snyder’s muscular adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel was an outta-nowhere blockbuster. When a movie achieves that level of success, there’s usually a sequel in the works even as the opening-weekend grosses are still rolling in. Of course, that proved to be a bit trickier given what happens to the heroes at the end of 300.
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    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 11th, 2014

    “You’re not just an analyst anymore. You’re operational now.”

    Witness the birth of — actually make that rebirth of –one of the most popular action heroes in literature. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has been a character of many jobs and many faces over the years. Baldwin, Ford, and Affleck have all stepped into the role of the man who has been a soldier, an analyst, an operative, and a president. Now Chris Pine looks to fill the shoes left behind by some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters
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    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 21st, 2014

    “Have you done anything noteworthy or mentionable?”

    It’s the sort of question that can easily apply to either your workday or your life as a whole. It’s also the question actor/producer/director Ben Stiller chose as the basis of his inspirational adaptation of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The original short story by James Thurber is less than five pages long, so a filmmaker has the option of going to any number of fascinating places in bringing Thurber’s tale to the big screen. Stiller, in essence, decided to take the scenic route.
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    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 8th, 2014

    “There are dark spirits, old and full of hate…The world is in great danger.”

    A trilogy is a hard animal to pull off. Even when you have a popular franchise, it is extremely difficult. All of the pieces have to work just right, or you could have a disaster on your hands. It is even harder when you’ve already beaten the odds once and delivered a trilogy that is both loved and a huge box office success. You run into an almost insurmountable mountain of expectations. Your pieces must somehow fit together so that they can be viewed as one whole product.
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    Frozen (Blu-ray)

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

    “Beautiful. Powerful. Dangerous. Cold. Ice has a magic that can’t be controlled.”

    Like the very best that Disney has offered over the decades, Frozen has its roots in a very old classic fairy tale. Walt himself was interested in doing the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ice Queen immediately following Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. The film was given a production number along with some brief notes. Nothing else remains of the idea
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    The Jungle Book (Diamond Edition) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 11th, 2014

    There are two very distinctive schools of thought about Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book. There are the Kipling fanatics who have never forgiven Disney for taking a story considered sacred in literary circles and creating something that honestly bears (pardon the pun) little resemblance to the original work. These folks rightfully point out that the story contains almost nothing recognizable about the story and characters from Kipling’s beloved classic. I have often condemned projects that take names like The Night Stalker and Battlestar Galactica and create a vision incompatible with the traditions I associate with them.
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    Escape Plan (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 7th, 2014

    “A successful breakout depends on three things: Layout, Routine, and Outside Help.”

    You know, there was a time when the public could only dream of an Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone team-up. Now thanks to a little film called The Expendables, when it comes to the realm of action star team-ups, anything is possible. Case in point: Escape Plan. When this film was first announced, I figure it would be devoid of any real substance and just another attempt to capitalize on the success of  Expendables
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    Mary Poppins: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 9th, 2013

    “Wanted: a nanny for two adorable children. If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition, Rosy cheeks, no warts. Play games, all sorts. You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet, and fairly pretty. Take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets. Never be cross or cruel. Never give us castor oil or gruel. Love us as a son and daughter, and never smell of barley water. If you won’t scold and dominate us, we will never give you cause to hate us. We won’t hide your spectacles so you can’t see, put toads in your bed, or pepper in your tea. Hurry, nanny! Many thanks!”

    And so the call goes out for Mary Poppins
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    Pain & Gain: Special Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 5th, 2013

    People have used a lot of different words to describe Michael Bay and his films: “loud”, “blockbusters”, “mindless”, “soulless”, “Hitler” and, of course, “awesome.” One of the words you don’t normally associate with Bay’s undeniably successful output is “clever.” I daresay Pain & Gain is the most interesting movie the action auteur has ever made; the film is both seriously silly and surprisingly smart in how it presents its stupid characters
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 22nd, 2013

    “Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    Quality shows only get better with time, and by the time Star Trek: The Next Generation entered its 5th season it was already beating out most network shows in the ratings. First-run syndication was still quite new, and it was almost unheard of to expect to go up against the networks and survive…let alone win. The Next Generation went where no series had gone before, and it was just getting better all the time.
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation – Unification (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 20th, 2013

    “Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    What a difference a couple of years makes. Rick Berman was pretty stubborn about wanting The Next Generation to live on its own without connecting to the original show, perhaps as much as the fans would have liked.
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    Man of Steel (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 14th, 2013

    “What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?”

    It’s appropriate that exactly 75 years ago this very month Superman was born at the hands of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. He was born to be the patriotic hero symbol for a nation on the brink of a devastating world war. The war came and went as many others would since the hero’s inception. Styles would change. Technology would come and go. Superman would find himself invading each and every medium that has come along since.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Pacific Rim (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 16th, 2013

    “We always thought that alien life would come from the stars, but it came from deep beneath the Pacific.”

    The only thing we seem to love more than giant monster movies are movies about giant dudes going a few rounds with said giant monsters. It was huge television fare in the 1960′s and 1970′s. We had Ultraman, Space Giants, and Johnny Socko. All of them were Japanese imports that gave us daily or weekly monsters doing the old “Tokyo Stomp”, and just when things appeared at their darkest, the giant hero would arrive and give us a show more akin to the weekend wrestling shows than anything else
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    The Croods (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 9th, 2013

    For years it seems DreamWorks Animation has been living in the shadow of Pixar.  Sure, DreamWorks has had their success with Shrek and Ice Age, but when you stack the films next to Pixar’s library, you see Pixar just seems to be the best at what they do.  That is until The Croods came along; with the new DreamWorks release it would appear the animation studio has stepped up their game and released their best-looking 3D film to date.  My expectations were not too high with this release, but I was at least reliEepd I wouldn’t be watching Ice Age Ten: The Ice is Still Melting.  With a theater screening filled with what appeared to be thousands of little screaming children
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    Pain & Gain (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 28th, 2013

    People have used a lot of different words to describe Michael Bay and his films: “loud”, “blockbusters”, “mindless”, “soulless”, “Hitler” and, of course, “awesome.” One of the words you don’t normally associate with Bay’s undeniably successful output is “clever.” I daresay Pain & Gain is the most interesting movie the action auteur has ever made; the film is both seriously silly and surprisingly smart in how it presents its stupid characters.
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    Epic (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 26th, 2013

    Any story about a hidden world that exists just outside the view of human eyes is bound to fire up your imagination. It helps explain why the Toy Story movies and Monsters Inc. are some of the most beloved family films of the last 20 years. Epic — the latest offering from Blue Sky Studios — seeks to capture some of the inventive magic of those Pixar films, but too much of the movie winds up playing out like a generic hero’s journey. Thankfully, there are still plenty of things to like in this animated hit, which suggests there’s a big world of little people out there.
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation – Redemption (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 7th, 2013

    “Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    With the success of Best Of Both Worlds, Star Trek: The Next Generation would make frequent use of the season-ending cliffhanger. Believe it or not, that wasn’t so common in those days. The fourth season ended with part one of Redemption.
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    Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Four (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 31st, 2013

    “Space… the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”

    The fourth Season of Star Trek: The Next Generation erased any doubts that the show could stand on its own. The series had developed its own characters and situations that allowed the show to somewhat separate itself from the confines of the original series
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    G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 25th, 2013

    I was not looking forward to this sequel at all. Now, to those who saw the film in theaters and loved it, before you get bent out of shape, allow me to explain why. See, I don’t react to change very well, and after seeing the first film and liking it, let’s just say that I had certain reservations after learning that much of the original cast wouldn’t be returning (not to mention news of the worst kept secret about the demise of one of the characters). Needless to say when I sat down to watch Retaliation, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy. Happy to say that after watching it, I’m eating crow.
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