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    The Huntsman: Winter’s War (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 24th, 2016

    There is another story. One that comes long before…happily ever after.”

    An unseen narrator — an uncredited Liam Neeson, wisely choosing not to show his face in this film — intones these words at the start of The Huntsman: Winter’s War. He’s talking about the saga involving a certain magic mirror and Ravenna (a still-captivating Charlize Theron), the wicked antagonist from 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman. But as this flat, uninspired prequel/sequel hybrid unfolds, it becomes clear that this “other story” is essentially an unimaginative mish-mash of Disney (shades of Frozen and Brave are added to the Snow White framework) and Tolkien.
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    Ash vs Evil Dead – The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 24th, 2016

    For years (at this point we can say decades), fans have been holding out hope for a new installment in the Evil Dead franchise. Over the years there have been rumors of a fourth film, even talks of doing a crossover involving Ash (Bruce Campbell) taking on various horror icons.  In the end these talks seemed to be nothing more than pipe dreams, but then in 2013 something special happened.  A remake/sequel occurred for the series that actually was pretty awesome and gory while also being a financial success…but it was the stinger at the end of the credits that got people excited, the brief appearance of the man with the chainsaw hand himself.
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    Bad Moon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 24th, 2016

    I think for the most part we can all agree that the 90’s were not so kind to horror fans.  Sure, you can find a few gems sprinkled throughout the decade, but as a whole the theater was not where you’d find the good stuff.  In the 90’s you’d end up having to go to your local video store to check out the straight-to-video titles and the independent films  that had just been released.  Unless you lived in LA or New York, there were so many titles you’d be missing out on, but the video store brought films like Carnosaur (1993) to your attention.  This was pretty much how I first stumbled upon Bad Moon, while cruising the titles in the horror section and this cool box art called out to me.
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    The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Seventh Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 22nd, 2016

    The Vampire Diaries is finally living up to its name. Elena is asleep until Bonnie dies, so the characters have promised to keep a record of all the goings on in Mystic Falls and with their lives. And there’s a lot to write about. Mystic Falls has been evacuated so that Lily and her family of heretics won’t kill everybody in town. They’re living in the Salvatore mansion, and Carolyn is carrying twins that don’t really belong to her. And Damon…he’s just being…Damon. All of them are either trying to steal or running away from something called The Phoenix Stone. Elena’s going to have a lot of catching up to do, and so do you if you haven’t been watching all along.
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    Once Upon A Time: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 22nd, 2016

    “We’ve been on the sidelines too long, missed too many adventures. Now it’s embarrassing. How do you think it feels when everyone asks you how the adventure was, and you gotta say that no one asked you to go along?”

    Well, you’re invited, now gather up your Disney Fastpass and get in line for more television adventures in Storybrooke. Ah, but before you get on the boat for this year’s ride you might want to be sure you’re all caught up on the adventures of these characters. This is not the place to start.
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    Jack Irish: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 19th, 2016

    He’s just got a knack for being in the wrong spot at exactly the right time.”

    Jack Irish, the disheveled former lawyer-turned-debt collector with a nose for trouble, is at it again. The character is the creation of novelist Peter Temple, but Australian TV audiences got to know Jack thanks to a trio of TV movies starring the great Guy Pearce. The movies were successful enough that Jack Irish returned as a six-episode series that brings the entire gang back together.
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    NCIS: New Orleans: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 17th, 2016

    “Put your game face on.”

    When you have the highest-rated drama on television, there is a temptation to milk it for all that you can. We’ve seen it happen with both the Law & Order and CSI franchises. The results tend to be mixed, with some capturing and even exceeding the popularity of the original. Others never quite seem to connect and are gone while their mother ship is still on the air. It’s too early to tell if NCIS: New Orleans will fall in the former or latter category. There’s certainly plenty of the tight writing and production value that the NCIS label is known for.
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    The Knick: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 16th, 2016

    There has been no shortage of medical dramas dating back to the infancy of television. Many have become classics. Most have dealt with the use of modern (at least for that time) advances and cutting-edge science. That’s exactly what you get with The Knick. You get cutting-edge medical advancement… for 1902. The Knick is the fictional Knickerbocker hotel in 1900’s New York. The hospital exists in a poverty-stricken neighborhood where few of the patients can pay for their care. This has been a problem the board has been trying to turn around. Now ground is being broken on a new location in a much more affluent part of New York City. It’ll be an opportunity to finally turn a profit and also one of corruption for the man handling the new construction. But what of Dr. Thackery, played by Clive Owens?
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    Jack Irish: The Movies (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 15th, 2016

    Who do you think I am? Miss Marple?”

    Despite his knack for becoming entangled in byzantine plots and conspiracies, no one would confuse Jack Irish for an Agatha Christie character. Instead, Jack is the creation of novelist Peter Temple, and the character’s rumpled charm and general aversion to violence means he has more in common with Jim Rockford than Hercule Poirot. The character has been adapted for Australian television and brought to life thanks to a winning performance by the great Guy Pearce. You can now get to know Jack yourself since Acorn Media was nice enough to put three Jack Irish TV movies on Blu-ray.
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    The Perfect Match

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 15th, 2016

    Charlie “Charlie Mac” McIntyre (Terrence “Terrence J” Jenkins) is a modern lothario (not much call for that world nowadays) with a seamless ability to remain romantically unattached to the many women that he meets and sleeps with. Now before you begin to hate him, let me clarify that he is not callous, and he does have scruples. He does not date anyone that shares a connection to any of his circle of friends in order to preserve their friendship. Despite him respecting that relationship, his friends wish for him to reform his ways and settle down, something he has no intention of ever doing. Believing his actions are emotionally unhealthy, his two best friends Rick and Victor (Donald Faison and Robert Christopher) take it upon themselves to propose a bet: he must commit to one person until Victor‘s wedding, in order to prove that a prolonged period of time with one woman will not fundamentally change his perspective on relationships.  Charlie accepts.
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    Supergirl: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 12th, 2016

    “When people see that red cape, they expect to see a certain someone. Someone they know. But this isn’t his story. It’s mine.” 

    Of course, that “someone” they know is Superman. This is the story of Supergirl. We’ve seen her story on both the big and small screen, as well. Helen Slater put on the tights and skirt in the Richard Donner film made during the Christopher Reeves Superman years and meant to tie into that filmactic universe. When television told the story of a young Clark Kent in Smallville, it was only natural that his famous cuz would show up there. This time it was Laura Vandervoort who played the Kryptonian.
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    The Blacklist: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 12th, 2016

    James Spader is Raymond “Red” Reddington. If you have not yet watched an episode of The Blacklist I will tell you from the beginning that you just can’t start here. Season 3 hits the ground running as the consequences of some major storylines from the previous year start to play out. I found myself having to take the time and catch up on Season 2 because we didn’t get that year to review. It was clear to me from the start that there was no way to truly enjoy this release if I wasn’t caught up. The trouble I go through to keep you guys informed. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. So, if you’re not up to speed this is your chance to pick up all three seasons and do some serious binge watching.
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    11.22.63 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 12th, 2016

    What if you were given the chance to step back in time; would you take this opportunity to change the world, even if it meant having to kill someone for the “greater good”?  This is the question that kicks off the story that is 11.22.63, from the novel written by Stephen King.  Sure, merely mention Stephen King and many automatically people think of the man as the master of contemporary horror.  Yet some of his prolific works that have made their way to the big screen and have gone on to be classic pieces of cinema are less about horror and more about friendship and the deepest bonds we can share with another
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    The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on August 12th, 2016

    The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973) is an interesting collection piece for fans of horror film. It marks the end of Universal’s long-standing tradition of double-billing B-horror films from the 1930’s onward. That being said, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf and its companion film Sssssss (1973) are the physical evidence of the end of an era. This particular release drops the double- billing tradition, which is rather confusing to me, simply because the Universal Studios distributing system’s historical relevance is worth more to me than the actual film. Outside of the context that I have provided, this film doesn’t have many interesting qualities.
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    Traded (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 11th, 2016

    “The story of the American Frontier is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the grit of the people.”

    And the story of the American Western is a tale of quick draw competitions, fights aboard speeding trains, and other assorted horseplay. Each of those elements can be found in Traded, which inelegantly grafts the plot of Taken onto an Old West setting. The problem is that nothing here is executed particularly well.
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    Peter – The Redemption

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on August 11th, 2016

    When I think of the Bible, I don’t think of northern Ontario. But there is an appetite for Christian-themed movies, and Canada is one of the most cost-effective places to produce movies. They have studios and sets up there, so it isn’t the worst idea in the world to go there to make any movie, even movies that take place in a very arid, hot, and dusty place. I have reviewed a group of Biblical films that Ted Turner produced for the TNT Network in the 1990’s. They were fairly well made, and, yes, they were made pretty close to the original locations. This new group of Biblical films is not quite up to those standards. I am reviewing The Apostle Peter: Redemption, but the same company has also produced Joseph and Mary, so we can probably expect more.
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    Meet The Blacks

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 11th, 2016

    I fear our acceptance of A Haunted House has opened a door that we may never be able to close, as it would cause the disaster that is Meet the Blacks to be born. Parody films have the potential to be extraordinarily funny or incredibly bad. Can you guess what side of the scale this film falls on? Whether it be through overacting or jokes that attempted to play on every stereotype known to man, Meet the Blacks never really manages to get off the ground and make me laugh, which is equally disappointing given the sheer talent pool of comedians in the film: Mike Epps, Charlie Murphy, DeRay Davis, Lavell Crawford, Michael Blackson, Lil Duval, Paul Mooney, and the list goes on. As I said, this was a clear waste of talent.
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    Blindspot: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 9th, 2016

    “Everything just feels so out of control. I don’t remember who I am. Who I was. Whatever life I had is gone. Shattered into a million tiny pieces. Sometimes it’s hard to breathe.”

    I have to credit Blindspot’s creator Martin Gero with providing one of the more memorable moments on television with the opening minutes of the series. Unfortunately, by the time we saw the pilot that image was already ruined by the countless spots used to promote the show’s premiere. We see a police officer in Times Square approach a bag with a sign on it that asks the FBI be alerted. The cop approaches the bag a bit frightened it might be a bomb and blow up on him at any time.
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    Keanu (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 8th, 2016

    When I first saw the trailer for Keanu I wasn’t sure if what I was watching was a real trailer or simply a sketch from the Key and Peele Show. Thankfully this turned out to their first starring foray in taking their talents to the big screen.  With one look at the trailer, I felt they were attempting to capture the over-the-top stylish action we got in most 90’s action films, Face/Off is the first that comes to mind, but really there are countless examples.  But the real star of the film is little Keanu himself, the ball of feline cuteness that will either have you embracing the film from the start or have you rolling your eyes (yeah, I’m talking about those cat haters out there).  Grab your Glock, and don’t forget the catnip, as we scratch a little deeper into Keanu.
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    Viral

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2016

    The setup for Viral is promising enough. Throughout the early part of the film, we get subtle yet effective hints at the escalating catastrophe that is about to infect the story. (We hear about someone’s mom coughing uncontrollably, plus a video of a bloody, unexplained elevator attack goes, well, “viral.”) So it’s a shame that this sci-fi/horror thriller is limited by both its micro-budget and (more importantly) a filmmaking team that only sporadically delivers the goods.
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    Humpback Whales (UHD Bluray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 3rd, 2016

    “Our planet holds a kind of parallel universe. A place of wonder where giants roam free. For thousands of years, we could only wonder about humpback whales. Now, by exploring their world, we’re getting surprising glimpses into their lives.”

    In 1986, Leonard Nimoy led Kirk, Spock and their mates back in time to collect a couple of humpback whales and bring them to the 23rd century where they are extinct. If the whales aren’t there to communicate with a deadly probe, Earth is in deep trouble.
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    I Am Wrath (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 1st, 2016

    Don’t let the artwork scare you off. Yes, the cover design for this disc may be the worst I’ve seen this year, but the movie actually isn’t half bad.  John Travolta has hit a bump in his career, and it seems the big blockbuster projects just don’t seem to want to reach out to him.  Sure, he has a habit of going over the top in roles, but for the most part he’s still one of the few personalities I still enjoy seeing on the screen who’s been around since before I was a kid.  Then you’ve got Chuck Russell (Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Warriors and The Blob remake) dusting off his director’s chair to helm a film again, and, well, I Am Wrath quickly starts to become a film I can be excited about.
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    The Invitation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 29th, 2016

    It seems there have been a lot of horror films involving dinner parties that have gone wrong.  You’re Next may be the best example to take on this idea, and I have to admit to being a fan of the film. It was a fun hipster horror film that kept the story moving forward and delivered more than a fair share of violence and gore.  Then there was last year’s creepy gem The Gift, a film that captured the horror of the past coming back to haunt you.  When it comes to The Invitation, it’s a film that seems like a hodgepodge of both You’re Next and The Gift, but also a handful of other films.  It’s a film that feels so familiar, but as you watch it manages to avoid many of the stereotypical film tropes viewers have grown used to over the years.
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    The 100: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 28th, 2016

    “We were born in space. They told us the ground was uninhabited, but they were wrong, and we’ve been fighting for our lives since the moment we landed. Some of us have been broken by it, but most of us are still here, trying to build something real and lasting out of the wilderness… a home.”

    You should know the setup by now. If not, you can check out our previous reviews: Season 1 & Season 2. The show is based on a new series of books from writer Kass Morgan. The crew here has a little bit more room to operate than do most shows based on book series.
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    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 28th, 2016

    “It’s time for the biggest gladiator match of all time. Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham.” 

    In a summer chock full of blockbusters that are expected to defy box office records, dare I say this may be the most anticipated one of them all? When news about this film was first released, opposition rang out on both sides of the spectrum. Some argued that films that feature two characters facing off rarely work, especially when it comes to two heroes. I have to admit that I found myself agreeing with this argument. In my defense, this appeared to me as a clear strategic ploy to fast-track the introduction of the much-anticipated Justice League franchise.
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