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    All Cheerleaders Die

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 24th, 2014

    There are people who love horror films and only horror films. For these people, they can never get enough. They will look at anything and everything. There are the people who like movies about high school and sports. Then there are people who like to see hot chicks. All Cheerleaders Die wants to make everybody happy. It starts out with a girl making a student movie about the cheerleading squad. The girls on the squad show off what cool witches with a B they are since they look out for their dogs on the football team.
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    Aerial America: Southwest Collection (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 24th, 2014

    One of the miracles of modern technology is its ability to shrink the world down so you can practically (well, proverbially) hold it in the palm of your hand. The cheerily square Smithsonian Channel series Aerial America goes the other way. In fact, the best thing about the show is how it utilizes technology to fill every inch of your screen with some of the most famous — along with some of the more underappreciated — U.S. landmarks using a larger-than-life/bird’s-eye point of view most of us wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy.
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    Gangster

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 23rd, 2014

    When I first picked up this title to review it was a film I knew nothing about other than what the DVD cover revealed, which as it turns out was very little.  I like going into most films cold so there is no room for expectations to get in the way.  With such a generic title and a cast that had a few names that rang a bell and knowing nothing about the story, I figured the film had equal chances to be good or simply a stinker I’d forget by the weekend.  As it turns out, Gangster is a gritty little drama that not so much took me by surprise but instead left me wanting so much more.
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    Cesar Chavez (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 23rd, 2014

    The fact that we haven’t gotten a movie about Cesar Chavez until now is both surprising and not all that shocking. It’s surprising because the Mexican American labor leader was arguably as big of a civil rights icon to Latino workers as Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the country’s black community in the 1960s. On the other hand, the extended wait for a Chavez movie isn’t all that shocking when you consider his efforts took place in the largely un-cinematic realm of grape boycotts. The bland, well-meaning Cesar Chavez makes the case for his impactful deeds, even if it doesn’t totally present him as a vibrant, complex man worthy of the biopic treatment.
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    Open Grave (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 22nd, 2014

    It happens all the time. It’s just as common on large-budget films as it is on the small films. Someone comes up with a great hook. It’s a clever idea with all of the potential to be very good. It might even start off that way. Too many times the road traveled is a road to nowhere, and potential was lost somewhere along the path. That’s exactly the issue with Open Grave. The opening sequence is one of those scenes that really sticks with you. A guy wakes up in a huge pit filled with dead and rotting human beings.
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    Gridiron Gang (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 22nd, 2014

    “There are over 120,000 juveniles incarcerated in detection centers across the United States. Upon release 75% will either return to prison or die in the street. What follows is based on the true story of Camp Kilpatrick and the people there who tried to make a difference.”

    The Rock — sorry, Dwayne Johnson, sure has come a long way from his melodramatic days as a WWE superstar.
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    The Junior Spy Agency

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 22nd, 2014

    “Magnum, Rockford and Marlowe never had to rake leaves before a case.” 

    ~ Sam Steele Junior

    Whoever said homework can’t be fun never met Writer/Director Tom Whitus. Mr. Whitus has donned the fedora once more and penned another adventurous Sam Steele detective movie aimed at children. The Junior Spy Agency (2014) (aka: Sam Steele and the Crystal Chalice (2011)) follows in the gumshoes of Mr Whitus’ previous work, Sam Steele and the Junior Detective Agency (2009).
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    Sabotage (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 22nd, 2014

    - “Are you some kind of big deal?”

    - “Yeah, I’ve been around.”

    The box office has not been kind to Arnold Schwarzenegger ever since he stopped being “The Governator” and started headlining movies again. Not counting his Expendable glorified cameos, Ahnuld’s three movies — The Last Stand, Escape Plan, and Sabotage — are among the lowest domestic grossers of his career. It’s clear that not a lot of people are seeing these movies, which is kind of a shame.
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    Transcendence (Blu-ray)

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

    “Maybe it was all inevitable. An unavoidable collision between mankind and technology.”

    Just about any project that Christopher Nolan has any attachment to is going to get my attention.  And from the first glimpses of the film in the early teasers, Transcendence always felt like a film Nolan would seem right at home making.  Instead, taking the helm for the first time as director is Wally Pfister.  Though this may be his first time in the director’s chair, Pfister is no stranger to working on pictures of large scale; after all, he’s been Nolan’s director of photography since Memento back in 2000.
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    Donnie Brasco (Theatrical Cut) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 21st, 2014

    Pacino and Depp in a mob drama about an undercover fed and his unknowing Mafioso mentor? Fuggedaboudit. Donnie Brasco is based on the true story of F.B.I. agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp, Blow), who spent six successful years undercover in the New York Mafia, as one Donnie Brasco. The film opens with Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino, Heat), an aging made man, connecting with Donnie about a diamond ring. Donnie’s cover is he’s in the jewelry “business”, and Lefty wants to unload a ring some guy …gave him as payment for a debt.
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    Last Action Hero (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 20th, 2014

    “Let me know when the governor gets here.”

    Well, he’s in the house, and I’m going to get a lot of razzing for this review of Last Action Hero. The person who thought I should see a shrink for looking forward to the next Saw film is going to be calling for my outright commitment to an institution dedicated to covering walls with nice padding so we won’t hurt ourselves. I know this film is generally considered “bad” by critics and moviegoers alike.
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    Antboy

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

    Not to be mistaken for the much anticipated Ant-Man that should release next year from Marvel, Antboy is the latest import out of Denmark that shows that the worldwide box office is becoming a more level and diverse playing field.  For the longest time foreign films were a thing that belonged in art house cinema and found in a tiny section at the mom-and-pop video store.  Now in a generation of the internet and most notably Netflix, the wide range of foreign cinema is being made available, and in my opinion this is a great thing.
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    Anaconda (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 20th, 2014

    “Tales of monstrous, man-eating anacondas have been recounted for centuries by tribespeople of the Amazon Basin, some of whom are said to worship these giant snakes. Anacondas are among the most ferocious and enormous creatures on Earth.”

    Today Anaconda would have most certainly been made as a “found-footage” film. All of the makings of one of these trending movies are there.
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    Tosh.O – Collas plus Exposed Arms

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on July 19th, 2014

    Here comes Volume four of this clip commentary comedy show (CCC could catch on as a sub-genre title couldn’t it?). This time we get two seasons worth of episodes; the “Collas” and “Exposed Arms” entitled seasons, as it were. Very little is different as far as format or new segments are concerned since the last time I wrote about this show.
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    How It All Began: Origins of Master Mantak Chia

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 18th, 2014

    “We are that which we are really seeking.”

    Back in the early 80‘s, Grandmaster Mantak Chia stepped outside of traditional Chinese rule and shared a very guarded secret with the world. The Universal Healing Tao System. Where the body, soul and spirit learn to live in balance and harmony with the universe through an understanding of energy
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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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    How the West Was Won: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 16th, 2014

    The West — once a land of awesome but tranquil beauty — had become a battleground for a hundred diverse reasons.”

    The “second” season of How the West Was Won — and I’ll explain in a bit why the word “second” deserves to be in quotation marks — does a strong job dramatizing the myriad dangers of the Old West. This batch of episodes showcases vengeful gunfighters, greedy gold prospectors, a taxing cattle drive, and the tenuous relationship between frontiersmen and Native Americans. Of course, at the center of it all is one particularly intrepid clan.
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    Under the Skin (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 15th, 2014

    There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Jonathan Glazer controls all that you see and hear. That tiny speck of light you see is just the beginning. The beginning of an experience you will not soon forget. The light appears distant…cold… foreboding. It’s coming closer to us, or we are coming closer to it. The distant star grows while you are assaulted with some of the most bizarre sounds you have ever heard. It’s somewhat uncomfortable. You squirm in your seat.
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    Stage Fright (Blu-ray)

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

    “Isn’t it wrong to sing and dance when someone has just died?”

    When I first hear a film is going to attempt to be a horror musical, all I can do is simply shake my head at the thought of how bad this may be.  But that’s not to say that I couldn’t be very wrong.  Repo! The Genetic Opera was a rock opera that I had a blast with, and I’m not ashamed to admit I even purchased the soundtrack after the release.
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    Nymphomanic Vol 1 & Vol 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 14th, 2014

    Nymphomaniac I and II are 117 and 124 minutes, respectively. There is a longer cut that may be released next year closer to 5 and ½ hours. The story is simple. It chronicles a conversation between two people. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is found bloody and beaten in an alley by an older man, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). He takes her to his sparse flat to care for her and help her. What takes place is a long conversation full of intellectual digressions about Joe. It slowly reveals what led to her downfall. Seligman is a sheltered bookworm who has a detached curiosity about her story.
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    No Clue

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 9th, 2014

    “She’s the damsel. He’s in distress.”

    What happens when a stand-up comedian turned actor writes, stars in and produces his very first murder/mystery movie? Either a timeless classic or a case of wishing Colonel Mustard had greeted him in the Conservatory with a Candlestick before typing the title page.  Actor Brent Butt (Corner Gas/Hiccups) and director, Carl Bessai (Sisters and Brothers/Hiccups) have teamed up once again for, No Clue, a campy murder/mystery set in present day with a 1950’s feel.
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    Infliction

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 9th, 2014

    With all these found-footage films that seem to be coming out week after week, I wonder just how audiences will react when they finally get a scene that is shot on a tripod.  It will be hailed as a revelation, I’d imagine, and finally the world will be able to watch a film without pondering if they should have double-dosed on their motion sickness pills.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Infliction is yet another entry into the canon of found-footage films and is also another example of why it is a style that is not meant for everyone to try or to use as an excuse for a low budget.
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    Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Few musicians have enjoyed the career that Elton John has enjoyed. From the release of Your Song in 1969, he hasn’t seen many years without hit records. He’s had number one songs in every decade since that day, and the hits continue to roll in. When the music industry changed, Elton managed to change enough to keep up with the times, yet hold on to the poignant songwriting that has made his songs stand out. I’ve been a fan since the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days of 1973.
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    Watermark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 8th, 2014

    Anyone who ever sat through an elementary school science class knows that about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. We’ve all heard the spiel, but I don’t imagine most of us spend much time contemplating how truly staggering that figure really is. Watermark seeks to convey the many different ways humans and the planet’s water supply affect one another. The documentary is maddeningly scattered, but it also manages to capture and convey a small part of the world’s awe-inspiring bigness.
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    Once Upon a Time in Vietnam

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 8th, 2014

    Any time I see a film released with the words Once Upon a Time (insert location), I feel the film is already setting itself up for failure. There are numerous classics that boast that title; Once Upon a Time in the West as well as Once Upon a Time in America are two that come to mind that are classics in their genres.  But then you have Once Upon a Time in Mexico, which for me was a lackluster conclusion to the El Mariachi trilogy.  Now we have the release of Once Upon a Time in Vietnam and, well, despite its attempts to be a big sprawling epic, the film just doesn’t deliver.
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