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    The Sacrament (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 21st, 2014

    Horror doesn’t necessarily need to be about the supernatural or have an axe-wielding maniac to be terrifying.  Jump scares and gore effects are also some nice devices directors rely on to scare their audiences.  But for me, what really gets beneath my skin is the possibility of what I see projected up on the screen can become a reality in my day to day life.  The Sacrament attempts to show how quickly faith and love can quickly be turned and used as a weapon that can lead to the demise of the fragile and the faithful.
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    Project Wild Thing

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 20th, 2014

    “The generational shift to an indoor existence has been strongly linked to a sharp decline in children’s well-being.”

    That’s just a fancier, more eloquent version of the familiar lament that (these darn) “kids today just don’t play outside anymore!” It’s also the jumping-off point for Project Wild Thing, an inventive and engaging documentary that explores the apparent disconnect between today’s youth and the natural world they seem intent on ignoring.
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    The Quiet Ones (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 20th, 2014

    Under the revamped Hammer production company, The Quiet Ones is the new release from the legendary UK company that was known throughout the 50-70’s for its Gothic horror.  In this new resurgence of Hammer, no longer do we have Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee to look forward to gracing the screen, but what we do seem to be getting is a respect for what horror can be.  Horror seems to have bottomed out as of late.  Where horror seems to be delving into cheaper budgets and going the direction of found footage, which isn’t so much a bad thing, but as we all know the market is just saturated with this style of filmmaking.
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    Rosemary’s Baby (2014) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 19th, 2014

    It’s kind of astounding that it took this long for somebody to revisit Rosemary’s Baby. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting Roman Polanski’s indelible 1968 adaptation of Ira Levin’s 1967 novel was crying out for a remake. It’s just that at this point you’d be hard pressed to find any horror classic — or any horror film, period — that hasn’t been re-done. (Stay strong, Exorcist!) And you probably wouldn’t expect said horror classic to be re-imagined as a bloody network TV miniseries.
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    The Blacklist: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 17th, 2014

    “He’s dangerous, amoral, he pathologically flaunts authority. He’s reckless to the point of suicidal. But all of this… everything we’ve done. None of it would have been possible if it weren’t for him.”

    Him, of course is James Spader as the enigmatic Raymond “Red” Reddington. The show is NBC’s break-out hit The Blacklist created by first-time show-runner Jon Bokenkamp. Bokenkamp is truly a newcomer to the business. He has literally only a couple of very minor writing credits to his name. Perhaps that’s why The Blacklist is able to contain quite a few of the cliché elements running through television today and still feel like one of the freshest shows in a long while.
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    Only Lovers Left Alive

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on August 17th, 2014

    Vampires have been popular since Bram Stoker and Sheridan Le Fanu started writing about them nearly 200 years ago, but vampires have been around much longer than that. That seems to be how the story goes. That’s part of the problem. In Only Lovers Left Alive, it’s difficult for a vampire to overcome his boredom and disappointment with “zombies”, as he calls the human mortals. These vampires try to subsist on blood banks. Not only is it more humane, but that way they know the blood is tested. They don’t like blood-borne pathogens.
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    Bitten: Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 14th, 2014

    The television landscape has been flooded with shows about the supernatural. Vampires have been particularly hot topics in recent years, but werewolves are starting to get their own sub-genre going. MTV’s Teen Wolf manages to pull the theme off quite well. It’s no surprise that pretty much every network out there wants to throw their own hats into the supernatural ring. It’s getting quite crowded, but the popularity appears to have no end. Of course, with such a crowded field you have to find a way to stand out from the rest.
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    Agency of Vengeance: Dark Rising

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 14th, 2014

    One look at the DVD cover art for this film and I somewhat had an idea of what to expect.  A science fiction B movie that would have made Roger Corman smile with delight, and surprise surprise, that is exactly what we get with Agency of Vengeance: Dark Rising.  This is actually the sequel to an earlier film Dark Rising: Bring Your Battle Axe. It isn’t necessary to watch the previous film to enjoy Agency of Vengeance. The film jumps into the action as we see a group of Rising Dark agents pursuing a large sandworm that is tearing up the streets of a suburban neighborhood.
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    Ja’mie: Private School Girl

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on August 14th, 2014

    When I first saw the title, Ja’mie: Private School Girl, I thought, “Cue the bow chicka wow wow music.” Did I have it wrong. What came to mind after looking at the DVD cover instead was more, “Dude Looks Like A Lady.”  To some Ja’mie may be the hottest, funniest chick to prance across the screen since Divine or Candy Darling. To others, she may be an unbearable, annoying train wreck to watch.  Ja’mie: Private School Girl is a spinoff show based on a character created by popular Australian comedian, Chris Lilley.
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    Rage (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 14th, 2014

    At this point in his alternately mocked and celebrated career, Nicolas Cage starring in a movie called Rage seems redundant. (Especially since “Rage” would be a much more eloquent title for this classic YouTube video.) Yet here he is starring in what looks like a Taken ripoff…until you realize he already starred in a Taken ripoff two years earlier. To its credit, Rage does appear to want to say some interesting things about the way secrets refuse to stay buried and the perils of resorting to violence. Unfortunately, the film often takes the most misguided and clichéd avenues to get there.
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    Perry Mason Movie Collection Volume 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 14th, 2014

    “I wonder if you could spare me a little of your time?”

    Erle Stanley Gardner wrote crime fiction, and while many of his 100 or so works are unknown to most of us, he created a character who has become as identified with criminal lawyers as any other in fiction. It was in these crime novels that Perry Mason first faced a courtroom. He developed a style where he would investigate these terrible crimes his clients were on trial for. He would find the real killer, and in what has become a Hollywood cliché, reveal his findings in a crucial moment during the trial
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    The Midnight Game

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 14th, 2014

    I’m a sucker for a good urban legend.  Growing up, friends and I would dare one another to lock ourselves in the bathroom with candles and perform the “Bloody Mary” chant, and other times we’d pull out the Ouija board and attempt to communicate with the otherworldly spirits that seem to only want to talk during the midnight hour.  Well, now there is a new game that you and your friends can get together and play into the late night hours, that is if you’re willing to risk losing your life in the process.
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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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    Locke (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on August 12th, 2014

    Experimental film can mean lots of different things. Usually it means chaos and disorientation as we are plunged into worlds we have never seen before, but experimental can merely mean doing something that has never really been done before. In this case, it is taking a simple idea and seeing if you can make it work. Can you make something interesting that seems too simple and too basic? Anything can work if you apply discipline and intelligence to a project.
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    Disneynature: Bears (Blu-ray)

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

    “Hi, little guys.”

    There was a time, decades ago when Walt Disney Studios was doing quality documentaries on a pretty regular schedule. Many of them appeared on the television show The Wonderful World Of Disney, and more than a few were released as feature films. And while that tradition has continued somewhat, it’s been a while since I was truly impressed by a Disney documentary. That all changes with the release of Bears.
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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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    Low Winter Sun

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 11th, 2014

    Many would agree that we are in the golden age of television, where the pedigree of the television drama has never been equaled in talent or scope of the stories we are seeing projected on our television sets night after night.  As these stories have gotten bigger and bigger with every following year and season, it would also seem that drama TV has also fallen into its grimmest time.  Not to mean that there is anything wrong with seeing these tales of survival like The Walking Dead or rooting for the ultimate anti-hero like Walter White.
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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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    Transformers Cybertron: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 11th, 2014

    I never knew just how many incarnations of Transformers actually existed; with this review of the Cybertron series, this will be my third take on the series, and for better or worse, they still manage to deliver a good time. Known originally in Japan as Transformers: Galaxy Force, this series had its run from 2005-2007.  Cybertron does appear to be a sequel in the line of the previous series Energon, though some of the changes that were made unfortunately left me a little disappointed.
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    Ironclad: Battle for Blood (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 7th, 2014

    In the wake of the success of Game of Thrones, many companies are trying to ride on that bandwagon and produce films that will hopefully capture the same audience. Unfortunately, it would seem so few come close to capturing the magic that the HBO series brings to the small screen. To be upfront, I haven’t seen the first Ironclad film, though upon looking it up on IMDB I see that it boasts a solid cast. (And after watching a trailer for the film, it is something I’d like to check out.) Fortunately in the case of Ironclad: Battle For Blood, it is a sequel that stands alone from its predecessor.
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    Cell 213

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on August 7th, 2014

    “In this prison your soul will do time.”

    What’s not to love about an arrogant defense attorney being sent off to prison, where good and evil are going to battle it out for possession of his soul? Eric Balfour (24, Saving Grace, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) plays the unlucky attorney, Michael Gray, who spends his time screwing the legal system in more ways then one. He’s not exactly a choir boy.
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    The Birthday Boys: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2014

    It seems to me, if your ultimate goal is to get on television, there’s never been a better time to be a sketch comedian. Thanks to sites like YouTube — which thrive on the sort of bite-size videos that line up nicely with the rhythms of sketch comedy — funny folks can hone their craft online while building a big enough fan base to maybe compel a network to offer them a show. Comedy Central is the most obvious basic cable landing spot, but IFC has emerged in recent years as a haven for offbeat humor. That includes The Birthday Boys, which is characteristically uneven, but boasts an impeccable TV sketch comedy pedigree.
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    Grace Kelly Collection

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 6th, 2014

    “Few screenwriters could’ve invented the story of Grace Kelly.”

    I don’t think it’s a stretch to say there’s never been a movie star quite like Grace Kelly. Within the space of just 11 films, the actress won an Oscar and starred in a handful of bona fide classics on her way to becoming Hollywood royalty. Of course, the reason Kelly made less than a dozen films and retired from acting at the ripe old age of 26 is because she became *actual* royalty after marrying Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
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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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    Legendary

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 4th, 2014

    When it comes to films with Dolph Lundgren, let’s face it: you know before it even starts there is no chance of this movie having what anyone would call an “inspiring performance.” Thankfully Lundgren seems to understand the limits of his abilities and tends to stick with the run-of-the-mill action/adventure films that seem to go direct to DVD.
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