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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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    Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (Blu-ray)

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

    Besides the fact that The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun has one of the most excessive titles that I’ve seen since Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, the film just might be one of the most bonkers I’ve seen as well.  Not only was the film a remake from back in 1976, but it is also based off the novel from author Sebastien Japrisot.  I’ve never seen the first film, nor have I read the book, so when I came into viewing this film I came into it with few to no expectations.  Going by the trailer I had figured this would be just a simple straightforward thriller; I couldn’t have been any more mistaken.
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    Daniel Tosh: People Pleaser

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on April 21st, 2016

    Daniel Tosh is known for his no-holds-barred approach to stand-up comedy. His latest special, People Pleaser, is no exception: He even admits that he makes a living out of saying outrageous things in the middle of this act. Although he is often criticized for delivering racist and misogynistic humor to the young, white male demographic, Tosh gracefully disagrees through this persuasive performance. Having already seen two of his prior specials, I must admit he hit a beautiful stride in his fourth special that I really wasn’t expecting. There is an impressive retention of attitude and abrasiveness, but he added a large amount of metacognition to his act that forces the audience to really think about his performance.
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    Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 21st, 2016

    Due to the explicit sexual nature of the following National Lampoon Radio Hour, it’s featured as adult entertainment and not recommended for children’s ears without parental supervision.”

    Even if you had no idea it originated as a magazine, the name “National Lampoon” instantly conjures images of raunchy, subversive, anti-establishment humor. That’s how strongly the iconic comedy brand managed to embed itself into pop culture. (In addition to the magazine, there were stage and radio shows along with at least two classic movies.) This dynamic, uproarious, and aptly-titled documentary does a very good job of illustrating how that happened.
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    Pretty Little Liars: Season 6

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 20th, 2016

    “Two can keep a secret as long as one of them is dead.”

    When it comes to Pretty Little Liars, it seems making the fans crazy is what they do best. The fifth season of the show is out on DVD, and this is no place for beginners. If you don’t know who Aria, Spencer, Emily, Hannah, and Alison are, it’s time for you to head back to the beginning and catch up. You can find our reviews from those seasons here. For the rest of you, let’s talk Pretty Little Liars, shall we?
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    The Bible Stories: David

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on April 20th, 2016

    I am by no means an expert on the Bible. That is why I am always anxious to see filmed representations of the stories, since most of my knowledge comes from other people. It’s always an interesting topic, and so many people have their own interpretations. I think that is the point. I think discussion of the Bible allows people to express their own inner thoughts about their relationship to God. But I long ago gave up on the idea of ever getting a clear picture of the meanings of the stories. There will be plenty of people who will tell you they know all the answers, but I sincerely doubt anyone has any such thing. I previously reviewed Abraham from this series, which was an earlier story in the history of the Jewish and Christian faiths.
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    The Revenant (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on April 20th, 2016

    America was once a primitive expanse where only very small groups of hardy hopefuls ever tried to venture across. It was a vast and endless wilderness that was mostly a mystery. This was the land of roving Indian tribes and undiscovered species of animals. This was a land of all kinds of danger. Life was one long hunt and endless battle against every kind of predator and natural enemy. There are so many remarkable moments in The Revenant that I will start with the bear attack. It is an unbelievably harrowing event that cannot be described in words that will in any way convey what you see on the screen. That one sequence alone is worth the price of admission
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    Silicon Valley: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 20th, 2016

    Billionaires are people too.”

    HBO’s Silicon Valley, which takes merciless aim at the tech capital of the U.S., was impressive right out of the gate. The series struck comedy gold in its debut season by making fun of both self-important, aggressively eccentric billionaires and the bumbling “guys in a garage” who are trying to get to their level. Season 2 is both nerdier and more confident in its skewering of corporate soullessness and the scrappy underdogs who often can’t get out of their own way. (I’m not sure there’s another show on TV that would use a SWOT analysis to decide whether a douche-y stuntman lives or dies.) The result is a very funny sitcom that has gotten even better.
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    Episodes: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 15th, 2016

    David Crane struck television gold after creating not just one of the biggest comedies of the 90’s but one of the biggest shows of all time when he created Friends.  Love it or hate it, Friends was a series you just couldn’t escape while it dominated the ratings through its 10-season run.  Well over a decade since the show has gone off the air; it’s a show that continues to thrive in syndication.  And that is where Episodes picks up, the show from Friends creator David Crane and starring Matt LeBlanc, who plays himself in a show that parodies the life of a fading celebrity who is struggling to find his next big hit.
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    Grace and Frankie: Season One

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

    Am I irrelevant? I refuse to be irrelevant.”

    Outside of The Golden Girls, there haven’t been too many TV shows where the entire main cast is eligible for social security. Then again, chasing the 18-49 demo that advertisers covet isn’t much of a concern for a subscription-based service like Netflix, which debuted Grace and Frankie last year. Naturally, the series — whose four main actors are each 75 and older — has its share of geriatric humor. (Although the broken hip doesn’t occur till Ep. 5/“The Fall”.) More importantly, it also has some genuinely funny things to say about companionship and reinvention.
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    The Last Witch Hunter (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on April 13th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten, but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will
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    The Nanny: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on April 12th, 2016

    When we last saw Miss Fine (or should I say Mrs. Sheffield), she fell off her husband’s yacht on her honeymoon. I have previously written about The Nanny: Season 5 in January and Season 4 in September of last year, so go back and look up all the previous shenanigans. The first episode of the final season has the newly married couple stranded on a deserted island, and Fran Drescher is up to her usual ridiculous antics as Fran Fine. You can expect a lot of silly and moderately racy sexual innuendo. As usual, there are lots of celebrity cameos. In one Hollywood Squares episode alone, there are nine celebrities interacting with Max Sheffield (Charles Shaughnessy) who is one of the squares.
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    The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music

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

    Thanks to The Sound of Music, millions of people around the world are familiar with the von Trapp family saga. (They probably have the second most popular Austrian name among movie fans, behind some guy named Schwarzenegger.) Given that The Sound of Music is one of the most popular movies of all time, any filmmaker would be wise to offer a fresh perspective in telling a von Trapp story. Enter The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music, which puts eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl Agathe in the center of the action.
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    Stealing Cars

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

    It comes as no surprise that even in 2016 we continue to have issues with how we handle and discipline criminals while they are incarcerated.  We have a system that pulls in troubled youths that seem to come and go through the judicial system and seem to spend a majority of their lives behind bars.  Hollywood has seemed have an eye on this problem and has churned out many films about misunderstood inmates that are incarcerated and are unfairly treated by the system and those who are in control of the inmates.  Cool Hand Luke, Sleepers, and The Shawshank Redemption are a couple films that jump out at me, and today it’s Stealing Cars that dares to explore this problem.
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    Curveball

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on April 10th, 2016

    From the opening credits I knew this was movie intended to be a hard-hitting examination on how drugs could compromise a promising future. In most respects Curveball hits the mark; even the inclusion of the unorthodox methods which the lead character’s mother utilizes in order to help him is a welcome addition. However, there is a disconnect between the film’s introduction and conclusion that does some pretty considerable damage to the story overall.
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    Mojave (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 8th, 2016

    Look at where the world is because of solitary dudes going mental in the desert.”

    Depressed, deplorable artist Tom heads to the Mojave Desert, where he unexpectedly meets his match in crazed, charismatic drifter Jack. The fact that their tense encounter results in a death is one of the least surprising things about Mojave. What initially appears to be a cat-and-mouse game set in the desert turns out to be an interesting, uneven meditation on perception vs. reality that spills over into the vapid world of Hollywood.
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    Banshee: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 7th, 2016

    “There’s always room for improvement.”

    Banshee is one of those improbable plots that finds a way to pull us into the action all the while ignoring how unlikely any of this might really be. Of course, we do that all the time. It’s certainly unlikely we’re going to face a zombie apocalypse or run into a super-powered hero. That’s a different kind of unlikely. This kind of real-world fantastic is usually a bit harder to accept. Credit folks like Allan Ball for keeping us engaged with some of the most entertaining sleight of hand on television.
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    Pay Back

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on April 7th, 2016

    After screening Payback, I did a decent amount of research to find information about the director in an effort to better understand the film from a production standpoint. After searching on the web for a bit, I discovered that there is really not much information about the film outside the fact that it is a Hong Kong production, written and directed by first timer Fu Xi. This is a bit strange, considering the fame of the lead actors Francis Ng and Fan Siu-Wong. Anyone who has a mild interest in the action cinema of Hong Kong would recognize Fan Siu-Wong from Ip Man, Ip Man 2, or my personal favorite, the gore-filled Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky.
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