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    Outsiders: Season One

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 30th, 2016

    It seems every network has stepped up their game to compete for viewership with scripted television. WGN now has Outsiders. At first glance I wasn’t all that impressed with the trailers; after all, it seemed like a bad knockoff of Justified and Sons of Anarchy.  But the great thing about writing for Upcoming Discs is we get the opportunity to review titles we normally wouldn’t give a chance to.  Nothing against any show, but these days there is simply so much content out there it’s just about impossible to keep up with it all, and in the process there are some real gems that slip between the cracks.  As it would turn out, Outsiders is a show I’m happy to say it found its way into my hands, because it’s actually really entertaining.
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    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 30th, 2016

    “Welcome to Benghazi.”

    It shouldn’t matter what your politics might be. The events in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012 bring up some very important questions. Contrary to one 2016 presidential hopeful’s declaration, it does make a difference. It did to the people who were there. It does for the families of the four who lost their lives. And it should make a difference to you. With such a political hotbed issue, you’ll find that 13 Hours goes out of its way to avoid the political questions. Some might view this as an oversight, but I think it gives the film a greater sense of credibility and makes its impact on the audience to fill in their own political blanks.
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    The Finest Hours (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on May 26th, 2016

    There are many films that depict the ferocity and cataclysmic power of the vast ocean. It is a fearsome display that cannot be imagined in any way that compares to the reality of the experience. The Perfect Storm, Life of Pi, The Guardian, and Titanic are just a few examples of disasters at sea. It is the United States Coast Guard’s job to rescue distressed people under severe emergencies at sea. The Finest Hours is a depiction of a true-life sea rescue under the most challenging and horrifying conditions. It is known as the most successful small boat rescue ever recorded. When I say small boat, it is the rescue boat I’m talking about, but the ship they were singlehandedly sent to rescue was a gigantic T2 tanker Pendleton, which had split in half on open seas.
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    Major Crimes: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 26th, 2016

    “Everybody here knows what a spin-off is.”

    No doubt about it. Major Crimes has managed to do what few shows before it have been able to pull off. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case when The Closer lost its lead actress/character. The title was changed, and with just a few cast tweaks the series returned as Major Crimes, and I dare say it’s a much better show than its predecessor. Is it a spinoff? I might have to go to the replay booth to answer that one.
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    Synchronicity (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 25th, 2016

    Time travel films have been around for years, and with each film there are viewers who just enjoy it at face value and others who watch it to poke holes in the film’s theories.  I have to admit I fall somewhere in between.  With a film like Back to the Future, I don’t look at it as anything more than silly fun, but then a film like 12 Monkeys comes along, and I just go bananas over its theory and execution.  So when a title like Synchronicity came along, I went into it with an open mind.  I know you don’t need a giant budget to pull off a time travel film; what matters first and foremost is the story and the characters that lead the narrative tale for us.
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    Dirty Grandpa: Unrated (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 25th, 2016

    Robert De Niro and Zac Efron have a combined seven Academy Award nominations and a pair of Oscar wins to their names. So it was only a matter of time until these titans of cinema joined forces on the big screen. All joking aside, none of us were expecting Dirty Grandpa to pump up De Niro’s Oscar tally. What *is* a bit surprising — other than how truly bad this charmless, dimwitted, mean-spirited “comedy” turned out to be — is that Efron kind of outclasses his legendary counterpart.
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    The Jim Gaffigan Show: Season One

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 23rd, 2016

    In my experience there are three types of comedians: 1.) Ones that are good at standup but bad at a series 2.) Those that are good in a series but not so great at stand up. 3.) Those who can do both. Want to guess which one Jim Gaffigan is? The standup comedian, known for his clean brand of comedy, gets his own series loosely based on his life. He’s a bit of a slob, he’s occasionally lazy, and he is without a doubt addicted to junk food. Rounding out the season are a group of instantly recognizable stars like Chris Rock, Steve Buscemi, Hannibal Burress, and Macaulay Culkin…or is he Macaulay Culkin? (Inside joke, you’ll get it once you watch).
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    Deadpool (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on May 19th, 2016

    “Some of the best love stories start with a murder.” 

    Deadpool may be one the most singular and unique characters in the history of comic book lore. His character has a very rabid fan base among the elite of Marvel comic nerddom, and they have been watching very carefully to see that he has been treated properly by the Hollywood people. He hasn’t been in the past, but more about that later. He may not be the biggest name in the Marvel universe, but he might be the most extreme. Just in case you live in a cave or under a rock, the Marvel universe is inexorably taking over the actual universe with films like The Avengers, Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Ant-Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hulk, Wolverine, Daredevil, and on and on.
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    The Witch (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 19th, 2016

    After Robert Eggers received best director out of Sundance, The Witch became a film that went on my radar. Following the release of the trailer to the film I was hooked; its startling yet beautiful imagery was enough to get my attention.  As buzz built around the film as it continued to awe audiences in various festivals, my anticipation for this film was getting out of control.  Could a film really be this great? Is it possible to make a film that still shocks and terrifies audiences?  By the time I found myself getting to this screening, The Witch now was a film that unfairly had something to prove to me, I poked the bear and dared this film to blow me away. As the lights dimmed and the film played out, I came away with more than I asked for.
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    Manson’s Lost Girls

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 19th, 2016

    There seems to be so much information and films about Helter Skelter and the atrocities Charles Manson and his followers committed.  Though the notorious Sharon Tate murder took place decades ago, it continues to be a crime that fascinates people to this day.  As interest in the story continues to thrive in the media, whether it be in books or various films, it seems it’s getting harder to find a fresh spin on the story, or at least one that will garner more attention.  Manson’s Lost Girls is a new extension to the story about the events that led up to the fateful night that would forever leave its mark on America pop culture, but does it bring anything new to the table?  Well, it doesn’t present a new perspective on the crime spree, but sadly its execution is a well-polished mess that simply doesn’t add up.
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    Newhart: Season 5

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 19th, 2016

    Bob Newhart is one of the last in a dying breed of comedians, at least on television. He had a reserved, almost deadpan delivery that drew your attention not because of raunchy material or manic display of hijinx. He was obviously comfortable with being the brunt of all of the jokes. His half embarrassed and half sly-dog grin become a staple in our living rooms for four decades. Newhart was his second situation comedy following a respectable run as a stuttering stammering psychologist with a wacky set of patients and friends. The Bob Newhart Show ran from 1972 to 1978. Just four years later Bob was back on our television screens with Newhart, and it was as if he hadn’t missed a beat
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    Independence Day: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 18th, 2016

    “Hello boys…I’m baaaaaack!”

    You probably know that Independence Day — the spectacular, shameless sci-fi smash that introduced the world to “Will Smith, Global Superstar” — has a sequel coming out next month. What you may not know is that the original film has been granted a 20th Anniversary Blu-ray release. I was 13 when ID4 came out in the summer of 1996, which means the movie’s deluxe destruction and alien shoot-em-up antics were right in my wheelhouse. So I was curious as to how an older and wiser, um, taller version of me would feel watching it with a critical eye.
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    Have Gun Will Travel: The Complete Series

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

    “’Have gun, will travel’ reads the card of a man. A knight without armor in a savage land…”

    Those words ended every episode of Have Gun Will Travel, sung by Johnny Western in a time that such words could be sung without irony. Outside of Richard Boone’s black-clad, craggy, Rhett-Butler-gone-to-seed gunfighter, that song was all I could really recall about this venerable Western from television’s golden age. Would it, like so many revisited shows from my youth, ultimately disappoint? Or would it hold up fifty years after it was originally broadcast, viewed as it would be by the far more jaded, cynical man I’ve grown into?
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    Misconduct (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 12th, 2016

    There’s a grand, lurid tradition of cinematic saps who think with the wrong head and get themselves in a heap of trouble. Misconduct tries to tap into that spirit while also mimicking none other than Alfred Hitchcock and Brian De Palma (who was pretty much mimicking Hitchcock himself). Those are some lofty goals, but — at least on paper — Misconduct has some heavy hitters on hand to help achieve them. Unfortunately, this legal thriller is guilty of sloppy, nonsensical storytelling and largely wasting the talents of a pair of screen legends.
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    Crossing Point

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 12th, 2016

    What are you willing to do to save the life of someone you love? Would you sail across an ocean? Battle a cyclops or fire-breathing dragon? Or maybe smuggle a substantial amount of drugs across the United States-Mexican border. In Crossing Point, one man is pitted across immeasurable odds to accomplish such a task. Young lovers Michael and Olivia are enjoying a vacation in Baja with close friends. A clear romantic, Michael is ready to leave behind his club days and commit to the love of his life. Their happily ever after is derailed after Olivia is abducted by a drug cartel, and Michael is tasked with smuggling their product across the border into the United States in 12 hours.
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    The Untouchables: The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 11th, 2016

    I was entirely too young to remember even the syndicated run that my mother was watching in the late 1960’s. Under more normal circumstances that would not matter as I could introduce myself to this world with the DVD release. That was before 1987 and the release of Brian De Palma’s classic film. Honestly, I simply can’t watch these episodes without thinking of that movie. For an entire generation that film has defined these characters and that time. It’s unfortunate, really, because this 1960 series had a lot going for it, particularly when you look at what else was on television at that time. Never before had such brutal violence in such a starkly real world graced the black and white sets of America.
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    Remember (Bluray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 10th, 2016

    With every day that passes we lose those who survived the horrors of World War 2, and eventually there will no longer be those with memories to share from the past, and all that will be left are the films and newspapers from another era.  As these survivors grow older, their memories fade, and all that is left are fragments pieced together from what they can remember.  In the new film Remember from Atom Egoyan, he delivers an intimate tale about a man suffering from dementia who is seeking revenge for atrocities committed in the past.  Considering Egoyan’s last film left me a little underwhelmed I went into this film with caution, and the result is that I think this may be Egoyan’s best work.
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    Backtrack (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 4th, 2016

    Whatever happened to the days of telling a story without having some kind of gimmick or need to have to have a twist in the plot to show the viewer just how clever you are?  I blame The Sixth Sense for this, because ever since the film came out it seems a requirement to be considered a thriller is you have to have some kind of twist, whether it’s at the midpoint or towards the end, somehow you have to find a way to jam that twist in there.  I’m not saying let’s just throw the ban hammer down on all twists, but they should be used to only further the plot, because at this point it’s just gotten silly, and when you start piecing things together after the film you realize how little sense it all makes.
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    Dolemite (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 4th, 2016

    “I’m gonna let ’em know that Dolemite is back on the scene!” 

    Rudy Ray Moore can’t act to save his eternal soul. In fact, everything about Dolemite makes an Ed Wood film look like a Cecil DeMille epic masterpiece. So what is it about this cheap blaxsploitation film that gives it legs over 40 years after it was first released? If I could truly answer that, I would have the answer to Life, The Universe And Everything. What I can tell you is that when I found out that Dolemite was coming here to be reviewed, I couldn’t hide that big wide grin on my face for hours.
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    Hot in Cleveland: Season Six

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 4th, 2016

    Oh crap…I’m going back to Cleveland.”

    I had never seen a single episode of Hot in Cleveland before I sat down to review season 5. So why did it feel like I’d been watching this show my entire life? Turns out, it’s entirely by design. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like I’m the target audience for Hot in Cleveland: I’m under 50 years old, and I’m a man. But if you look beyond the plastic surgery jokes and geriatric humor, you’ll find a show that aggressively channels (and ultimately appeals to fans of) many of the classic, multi-camera sitcoms of the past. In other words, Hot in Cleveland — which wrapped up last year after six seasons and 128 episodes — feels like you’re watching re-runs of a show you’ve already seen…and still enjoy plenty.
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    American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 2nd, 2016

    I feel I should start this off with a little disclaimer; if you are the least bit squeamish and can’t handle the sight of blood and gore, click out of this review as fast as you can, because things are about to get a little bit messy as I delve into the American Guinea Pig series.  For those of you who hung around, I’m guessing you’re either a gore hound or simply have a morbid curiosity as to what this film is all about.  Some of you may already know about the Guinea Pig series, but for those who don’t, here is a little crash course for you.
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    Destroyer / Edge of Sanity

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on May 2nd, 2016

    Anthony Perkins is arguably most well known as Norman Bates, the hotel owner with mommy issues from Psycho. While Hitchcock’s film was groundbreaking for the horror genre (and Hollywood in general), I find it strange that Perkins’s career did not improve with such a commercial hit. He had certainly acted in other projects prior to Psycho, but his name is not one that I see very often. In other words, I have never “happened upon” an Anthony Perkins film, I seek out films in which he has acted. As a matter of fact, I can count those films on one hand: The Trial, and the three schlocky sequels to Psycho. This Blu ray double feature contains two films produced in the late 80s between Psycho III and Psycho IV, towards the end of his career.
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    The Bible Stories: Samson and Delilah

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on April 28th, 2016

    “To all things, there is a purpose. It was the time of judges. The Lord had punished the children of Israel for their sins against him. He had delivered them into the hands of the Philistines.”

    The timeframe of Samson and Delilah is around 1075 B.C. Samson, like many characters in the Bible, is chosen by God but is far from perfect. The stories of many characters in the Bible are ones of sinners, and they must always try to overcome their flaws with God’s help and intervention.
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    Haven: Complete Final Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 28th, 2016

    Based on the story “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King, the SyFy series Haven comes to its end with the last 13 episodes for the final season. When we were last in Haven a fog bank surrounded the small coastal Maine town and Duke (Eric Balfour) accidently unleashed all his “troubles” upon the town.  Things were not just looking bad for the town; in fact this may be the darkest days they’ve had to encounter.  Would 13 episodes be enough to wrap up all the loose ends and finally allow the town of Haven to be normal, or would this take a darker turn and dare to leave the town to suffer its doom to the mysterious Croatoan?  Well, I’m not about to spoil anything, so rest easy, fans, but I should say that not everyone is going to make it through this alive; in fact, I can say this season kept me on edge from start to finish.
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    Veep: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 25th, 2016

    We’re making history with the first woman president.”

    That statement may or may not become a reality in a matter of months, but HBO has real-life politics beat either way. Season 3 of Veep, the caustic, constantly-cussing comedy series, concluded with U.S. Vice President Selina Meyer ascending to the highest office in the land. But lest you think the show jumped the shark by having VP Meyer outgrow the show’s title, there’s more than enough sharp-tongued mayhem to go around once Selina and her staff — referred to as “an infection of mediocrity” in season 4 — have their finger on the button.
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