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    T2 Trainspotting (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 28th, 2017

    “First, there is an opportunity.  Then…there’s a betrayal.”

    It’s been 20 years since the release of Trainspotting, and it’s fair to say a lot has changed in the past two decades.  I remember going out to the United Artists Mission Bell Cinemas to see Trainspotting the weekend it came out.  I was with my best friend at the time, and neither of us was old enough to buy tickets for the film, so we ended up having to sneak into the film.  We’d seen the trailers, and in a time before the internet there just wasn’t much we could find out about it aside from reading articles in the entertainment magazines.
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    All Nighter

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 28th, 2017

    “Dad, this is my boyfriend Martin…”

    The tension generated by the first meeting between a young man and the father of the woman he loves has always been a reliable source of conflict. I mean, Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro managed to squeeze three(!) Focker movies out of that stressful dynamic. All-Nighter fits snugly into that familiar sub-genre while managing to carve out low-key moments of character development and male bonding in between all the noise that comes with this sort of whacky situation.
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    Workaholics: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 25th, 2017

    Since 2011, the trio of Blake, Adam, and Ders have been reporting to their telemarketing job and bringing the laughs to Comedy Central on Workaholics.  With the final season now released, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the trio that has shown us the joys of pranking, slacking, and pot in the work place. Does the show go out with a bang, or does it fizzle before reaching that last episode? I was a little concerned how things would end up because of the years I’ve gotten to really like the show and everyone involved. It’s time to punch in that time card and check out what this final season is all about.
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    Life of Significant Soil

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on June 25th, 2017

    The concept of eternal recurrence was (arguably) brought to the mainstream in 1993 with the release of Groundhog Day (1993). Certain films such as Run Lola Run (1998) and even an episode from The X-Files, “Monday” (1999), have managed to capture the strange, yet sad, philosophical nature behind repeating a single day. Since then, many variations of the concept began to meld with time travel, adding more distractions from the concept itself, only borrowing the basic premise: Just as space and time are infinite, so are our collective existences (in theory). Life of Significant Soil is closer in relation to the former films mentioned; however, it allows the raw emotion of experiencing a traumatic event to helm the ship.
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    The Andy Griffith Show: Return to Mayberry

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 23rd, 2017

    If there is a television series in the history of the industry as American or timeless as The Andy Griffith Show, I haven’t seen it. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with strong negative feelings about the series. It was one of those organic and comfortable productions that reached deep into the core of rural America. Even if we lived in a bustling city, there were aspects of the show that still rang true. It was populated with the kind of familiar faces so that it wasn’t hard for anyone in the audience to smile in remembrance of a character they’ve known in real life. And even after 50 years, the series still speaks to that certain aspect of the friendly small southern town. A lot of the credit for that peaceful easy feeling must be credited to the titular star Andy Griffith himself.
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    John Wick: Chapter 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 22nd, 2017

    “You wanted me back. I’m back.”

    Keanu Reeves has enjoyed somewhat of a career renaissance thanks in no small part to the success of John Wick in 2014. There he teamed up with some stunt friends of his going back to The Matrix, and together they brought a new action hero to the screen that was as much graphic novel as it was action film. It would become the directing debut of the stunt team of Stahelski and David Leitch. Along with their action star, everyone stuck to what they knew and refused to overcomplicate the whole thing.
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    A United Kingdom (Blu-ray)

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

    “We should not be fighting for segregation, we should be fighting for equality.”

    That’s the sort of rousing statement any random politician on the campaign trail might use to rile up a crowd of supporters at a pep rally. And even though those words are spoken here by a man in the midst of heavy political turmoil, the beauty of A United Kingdom — a straightforward but nevertheless impactful fact-based drama about forbidden love — is that they are actually born out of an intensely personal conflict.
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    South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 21st, 2017

    “Going on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine.”

    After 20 years or more, they really do feel like friends. I’ve known Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny longer than most real people in my life. Only the Simpsons have been around longer these days. Over those years, South Park has always been a series of stories that rarely connect with each other in any significant way. There have been multi-part episodes, and certain experiences have come back up over the years. Still, we’re talking about a universe where killing Kenny had become a running joke and happened pretty much in every episode.
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    Aaron’s Blood

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 20th, 2017

    When it comes to vampire films, I’m not so much a fan of the romanticized fantasy depiction that we see in Ann Rice novels.  Personally, I like my monsters to be grounded in reality; films like Near Dark and Let Me In seem to have a more vicious bite to them. Why do I prefer these darker and more grim depictions? Well, I believe if vampires have had to kill to survive, whether it be for a month or generations, they should be handled as some scary bad guys, not pretty, sparkly, cuddle-bunnies.  When an indie film comes along like Aaron’s Blood and it decides to go the more ground with reality horror route, it gives me hope, and it’s something I’m actually looking forward to seeing. But does the film deliver the goods?
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    Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 20th, 2017

    One of the reasons that I love reviewing movies is that it allows me the opportunity to see things that I wouldn’t normally watch. In most cases, it is a film that has been newly released, whether it be a theatrical release or a straight-to-DVD release. However, in other cases it is an older film that is being re-released. Such is the case for Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie. Though I have never seen any of the films, the names Cheech and Chong are synonymous with stoner comedy. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen the first film before diving into the middle of the franchise.
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    Kill ’em All (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 16th, 2017

    It used to be when you had a straight-to-DVD release, you knew better than to set the bar too high.  From time to time you would find that occasional gem that slipped through the cracks and turned out to be something awesome, but this was a rare occurrence. With the way films are released now, the talent you are seeing in straight-to-DVD releases has improved, as have the budgets, since getting a film on the big screen has become a greater financial challenge.  I mention this only because I look at a title like Kill’em All and wonder if they even cared. The actors are here and doing their job, but it’s the figures behind the scenes that I’m calling out here.
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    The Young Pope (Blu-ray)

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

    “Have you ever seen two priests wearing tracksuits?”

    The highest praise I can offer for The Young Pope — the staggeringly extravagant and deeply strange co-production between Sky Atlantic, Canal+, and HBO — is that I can guarantee you will see something you have never seen before. (A pair of priests in tracksuits is the least of it.) The show is bold in both its style and storytelling, although it only unequivocally succeeds in one of those two areas. Given all the Vatican-centric politics and power plays, it’s easy to see why this show was dubbed “House of Cardinals.”
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    The Wedding Party

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on June 14th, 2017

    Weddings: outside of the picture-perfect day that is typically presented in television and movies, most of us understand the untold anxiety placed upon a bride and groom when families and friends amalgamate. Granted, some films depict this phenomenon accurately, but never solely focused on said anxieties properly. The Wedding Party is an independent feature written and directed by Thane Economou, and it showcases these anxieties up front and films them brilliantly, as the entire film is shot in one continuous take.
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    The Lego Batman Movie (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 14th, 2017

    Black…all important movies start with a black screen…”

    I completely understand if you’re Batman-ed out by now. The Caped Crusader barely had a chance to catch his breath since the end of Christopher Nolan’s landmark superhero trilogy in 2012 and being pressed back into duty to help kickstart Warner Bros.’ budding superhero universe last year. But between those two iterations, we got a glimpse at a fresh, knowingly funny version of a hero that takes himself entirely too seriously. Batman was a scene-stealing supporting player in 2014’s blockbuster The Lego Movie, and now he once again takes center stage in a sharp, hilarious, irreverent adventure that celebrates practically every version of the beloved character.
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    Father Dowling Mysteries: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 11th, 2017

    Catholic priests are used to hearing confessions, but for one particular pastor in Chicago, the usual confessions about using the Lord’s name in vain or stealing a couple of paperclips from the office just weren’t exciting enough. Father Dowling loved reading mystery books, and it appears to have sharpened his own powers of observation and deduction. As luck would have it, crimes and mysteries would simply fall into his lap. With the help of Sister Stephanie, better known as Sister Steve, he would step away from his pastoral duties to track down clues that were elusive to the Chicago Police Department. You might just say he was the answer to their prayers. All the while he would attempt to keep the financially strapped Saint Michael’s parish on solid footing.
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    Where the Buffalo Roam

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 9th, 2017

    When it comes to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, I view the man as an American legend and the ambassador of the sixties and the seventies. He was the voice for those who were misfits to society, and he was a nightmare for the establishment. Many people watched Fear and Loathing and Las Vegas and formed their opinion of him, thinking he was just a drug-consuming madman who somehow managed to get a gig as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine. Though there are glimpses of truth in this character, it was more a fictional creation named Raul Duke that Thompson created to tell his narrative. Where the Buffalo Roam I had hoped would be a film much closer to the real-life Thompson
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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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    Live at The Isle of Wight Festival 2004 (Blu-ray) (2CD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    “Is it loud enough?”

    What young 1970’s pup, learning to play a guitar for the first time, didn’t, at one time or another, attempt to imitate Pete Townsend’s windmill power chord strum? I count myself in that group. While I was not a very dedicated Who fan, I had an appreciation for the musicianship. There were still songs like Pinball Wizard and Behind Blue Eyes that I would embrace as if they were my own anthems in those days. It would be hard to deny that The Who is one of the most successful rock bands in history. Part of the original British Invasion of the 1960’s, there are few such acts that are even still around, let alone able to fill the huge stadiums and halls of Rock’s yesteryears.
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    Prisoner X

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 7th, 2017

    “Time-traveling terrorist, what’s scary about that?”

    I’d say there is a lot scary about that. Fortunately, the character that said it was being sarcastic. Can you imagine, how do you battle an enemy that already knows what is going to happen? Prisoner X is a psychological thriller, which attempts to solve this question when a terrorist from the future and the Central Intelligence Agency’s top agent match wits to prevent a dystopian future.
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    Bambi: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    “Good morning, young prince.”

    The forest is alive with the news. It travels from tree to tree, from animal to animal. A new prince has been born, and the creatures of the woods gather to welcome the young fawn. His name is Bambi, and he soon wins the hearts of the entire population of the forest. From his first attempts to stand on his wobbly legs to his discovery of the things that surround him in this brand new world, Bambi takes us on an emotional journey through the circle of life.
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    Major Crimes: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    After five seasons I don’t really think of Major Crimes as a spin-off from The Closer. It has gone on to establish itself as a much better show than its former version ever was. We have become very comfortable with most of these characters, and the series isn’t really looking over its shoulder anymore, if it ever did. This is one of those shows that’s just easy to watch. There might not be anything groundbreaking going on here, but it feels like that old worn shirt that you love to wear because it just feels good having it on. That’s the kind of thing that can go on for many years, and Major Crimes doesn’t appear at all to be slowing down. It’s become an anchor for TNT, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
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    Becker: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    Who says no one likes a guy who’s negative all he time? Becker has got to be one of the most cynical, grumpy, and negative characters to grace our sit-com screens. He’s a guy you probably love to hate, and he’s also hilarious. Ted Danson spent over a decade behind the bar at Cheers and could have easily called it a career. You know, stop while you’re ahead. Instead he climbed right back into the television saddle and reemerged as Dr. Becker. This time he played a medical doctor who hates everything and everyone around him. Refusing to display that little bit of a heart we all know he has, Becker spends most of his life complaining about everything.
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    Numb3rs: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 7th, 2017

    Do you believe that a numbers wizard can predict the most random of human actions with mathematical equations so accurately as to know where and when such a person will be? If so, then I suggest you put down that letter you are writing to Santa, finish eating that egg a bunny left for you, go to your pillow and pull together all of the loot you got from the tooth fairy, and plunk it down on season three of Numb3rs. No, that’s not a typo; apparently they believe that letters aren’t good enough to stand on their own, so they inserted a 3 where the e should be. Aren’t they so clever? Not. In the fairy tale world of Numb3rs, all you need is an almost obsessive knowledge of math, and the crooks don’t stand a chance.
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    Beauty And The Beast (2012): The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 7th, 2017

    A New York city homicide detective is haunted by the night when her mother was murdered by two gunmen, who themselves were killed by a mysterious being. A decade after that night, she finds out that the mysterious being is still around. As this “Beauty” and her “Beast” finally meet, they start investigating the truth behind their secret ties to each other. The similarities between this adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and any others begins and ends at the title. Originally slated as a reboot of the 1987 series that starred Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton, this series trades the romance and battle of misfits for crime investigations and military conspiracies.
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    Voodoo Black Exorcist

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on June 5th, 2017

    Voodoo Black Exorcist (Vudú sangriento), is a bizarre choice to distribute once more in high definition. Some of the imagery in the film is most certainly impressive; however, it doesn’t quite make up for the poor dubbing, editing, and nonsensical story. The film is about ninety minutes long, and realistically, it only demanded my attention for about ten of those minutes before I sank into boredom. Perhaps my greatest disappointment was that it wasn’t really a movie I could have fun with: it was not laughably bad. So where I would normally put some effort into poking fun, I ended up remaining abnormally critical of this old horror film.
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