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    Wonder Woman (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 20th, 2017

    You have been my greatest love. Be careful, Diana…they do not deserve you.”

    Ever since Richard Donner made us believe that a man can fly with 1978’s Superman — considered by many to be the first modern superhero film — we’ve gotten three different Men of Steel, along with five different versions of Batman (if you don’t count Will Arnett’s voiceover work). Heck, in the last 15 years alone we’ve had three Spider-Men and (incredibly) gone through three Hulks! Yet in all that time, a movie starring Wonder Woman — a superhero just as iconic as all the ones I just mentioned — could never get off the ground…until now. I’m happy to report it was worth the wait.
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    Batman and Harley Quinn: Limited-Edition Gift Set (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 30th, 2017

    We need Harley Quinn.”

    Warner Bros. still has a bit of a ways to go before its stable of DC Comics superheroes catches up to Disney’s dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Warner and DC have long had the upper hand on both the small screen (Smallville, Arrow, The Flash) and with their animated, direct-to-video offerings. Before Wonder Woman saved the day earlier this summer, one of DC’s recent big-screen highlights was the way Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn enlivened the supervillain mash-up Suicide Squad. And while I’m fully aware that Harley’s appeal lies in being a strong, sexy, wisecracking nutjob, I wish the makers of this well-deserved small-screen showcase had taken her a bit more seriously.
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    S.W.A.T.: Under Siege (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 4th, 2017

    An action film with a running time of 89 minutes should mean that it’s going to be lean on the story and keep things moving at a fast pace.  S.W.A.T: Under Siege delivers just that, but unfortunately in the process delivers something that we’ve seen many times before.  The film is being branded as a sequel (by name only) to S.W.A.T (2003), the film with Colin Farrell which was an adaptation from the TV series from the 70’s.  S.W.A.T: Under Siege has nothing to do with any of the previous incarnations, and has relocated from sunny California to Seattle Washington. But is the film worth checking out?  Well I’m not a fan of sequels that go straight to DVD, but this film does dangle a wild card for the audience that convinced me to give this a shot, Michael Jai White (Spawn, Black Dynamite).
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    The Fate of the Furious (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 12th, 2017

    Family is everything to Dominic Toretto. He has said as much in Furious 7, “I don’t have friends, I have family.” Over the course of seven films, we have seen him undertake impossible tasks including driving a car off a plane or through a building in order to rescue or avenge a member of said family. So what would make him make him betray that very family? In The Fate of the Furious, the team will face the biggest challenge they have ever faced when they find themselves working against their very leader. The long-running film franchise continues to up the ante with the action, producing its most action-packed film to date. Every time I think that there is no way the series can top itself, they add a tank or drive off a plane. This time, they got a submarine, y’all.
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    John Wick: Chapter 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 22nd, 2017

    “You wanted me back. I’m back.”

    Keanu Reeves has enjoyed somewhat of a career renaissance thanks in no small part to the success of John Wick in 2014. There he teamed up with some stunt friends of his going back to The Matrix, and together they brought a new action hero to the screen that was as much graphic novel as it was action film. It would become the directing debut of the stunt team of Stahelski and David Leitch. Along with their action star, everyone stuck to what they knew and refused to overcomplicate the whole thing.
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    The Expendables 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 11th, 2017

    “I got this…”

    When Sly Stallone delivered his homage to the 1980’s action film in The Expendables he hit a lot of the action film requisites. It was old-school fun with a new-school level of effects and production design. But with all of his efforts to bring back the 1980’s action star hero, there was one beat he couldn’t have connected with until a couple of years later. You see, action films are like potato chips. You can’t have just one. Films like First Blood, Die Hard, Terminator, and all of the others always had one final thing in common…the sequels. In case you thought that The Expendables was a one-off, the sequel was inevitable. And this is one case where the second film might be a little better than the first. Sure, it’s somewhat of a two-hour cliché, but who says there’s anything wrong with that?
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    The Expendables (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 2nd, 2017

    “Man, we’ll die with you. Just don’t ask us to do it twice.”

    Remember the old days of the action movie? Those films where someone like Stallone or Schwarzenegger would run around and take out armies of bad guys while barely breaking a sweat. You know the kind of movie I’m talking about. The ones where the hero goes up against a hail of bullets and explosions and manages to pick off the bad guys without catching a single slug himself. These were the days when a guy like Bruce Willis could fall thirty floors, get a spike impaled in his ribcage, have a ton of concrete wall fall on his head, and get run over by a truck, but still manage to take out the bad guy while muttering some witty little catchphrase that we would all be repeating, because if we could deliver the line just right that meant we were tough guys too
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    The Marine 5: Battleground (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on April 24th, 2017

    The WWE is like a dog with a bone, refusing to let this franchise as well as its other one (12 rounds) go. I will give them this: they are maintaining some consistency with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin reprising his role of Jake Carter for the third time for The Marine 5: Battleground. This time around, however, the series won’t just star one WWE superstar, but six. That’s right you read correctly, six WWE superstars have come together for this action film. With the addition of The Mix come Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Naomi, and Maryse Ouellet Mizanin. Didn’t recognize any of those names? Don’t worry; me neither, as my days of watching wrestling ended with the end of the attitude era.
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    Quarry: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 22nd, 2017

    I’m not as comfortable as you are with the notion of killing other human beings.”

    Remember that time about six months ago when NFL star Colin Kaepernick set off a firestorm of controversy by repeatedly kneeling during the national anthem as a form of protest? A big part of the outrage was tied to the notion that Kaepernick’s actions were disrespectful to members of the U.S. military. One of the most striking things about Quarry — Cinemax’s compelling, well-rounded Vietnam War-era drama — is how it depicts a period not that long ago in our country’s history when veterans were openly treated with venom and vitriol that went way beyond someone taking a knee.
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    John Wick (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on February 9th, 2017

    “John Wick isn’t the Boogeyman. He’s the guy you call to kill the Boogeyman”

    Taking a shot as a hitman in his latest film John Wick, Keanu Reeves delivers his character with authority in this explosive crime drama.  The film turns out to be an ideal fit for the star and his former stunt double turned director as they move to one perfectly choreographed fight scene after another. It’s a fast-action gauntlet that lasts nearly the whole 96 minutes.
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    Justice League Dark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 7th, 2017

    To put things mildly, Warner Bros. still has a bit of a ways to go before its stable of DC Comics superheroes catches up to Disney’s dominant Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, Warner and DC have long had the upper hand on both the small screen (Smallville, Arrow, The Flash) and with their animated, direct-to-video offerings. The latest in that latter category is Justice League Dark, which mostly sidelines DC’s best-known heroes in favor of a team of mystical outcasts led by a charming, abrasive rogue.


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    Mechanic: Resurrection (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 29th, 2016

    1n 1972 Charles Bronson played The Mechanic, Arthur Bishop. He was a hitman with a high level of skill. When he tries to pass on that skill, he’s betrayed, and he has to get himself a heaping helping of revenge. In 2011 Bronson did indeed pass the character to Jason Statham when the film was remade. Unfortunately, Bronson had passed in 2003 and couldn’t actually pass the torch on the screen. Statham turned the character into more of an action anti-hero, and the film really didn’t perform at the box office. It never made back its budget in the domestic market and barely made money when the worldwide take was finally counted.
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    Kickboxer: Vengeance (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 10th, 2016

    No rules, no ref. Just your wit and skill to keep you alive.”

    Last year, Creed became a critical and audience favorite by reviving a beloved dormant franchise and re-casting its brawny original star in a supporting role as a mentor. I’m not going to pretend that 1989’s Kickboxer (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme) is anywhere near as beloved — or as good — as Rocky. But Kickboxer: Vengeance, a reboot/remake of Van Damme’s campy action favorite, hits some of the same notes as Creed…except for the part where it’s a critical and audience favorite.
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    Skiptrace (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 3rd, 2016

    You’re no spring chicken anymore.”

    It’s been more than four years since Jackie Chan — the legendary Hong Kong superstar who has been kicking butt and scoring scoring laughs on screen since the 1970s — announced he was retiring from action movies. Sure, Chan quickly backpedaled, but I don’t know that anyone would’ve held it against the actor (who is now 62) if he’d stuck to his word. After decades of grueling injuries, Chan has noticeably slowed down. That being said, the old man still has a few tricks up his sleeve in Skiptrace.
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    The Last King (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 14th, 2016

    Imagine if Three Men and a Baby was remade with just two guys, a baby, a battle axe, and a bunch of arrows. Despite its exceedingly generic Americanized title, The Last King has a little something different to offer action-weary movie watchers. The story is set in a time and place — 13th century Norway during the country’s civil war — that is probably unfamiliar to U.S. audiences. And while much of the hand-to-hand combat and royal treachery will prove cliched to some, they are presented with some fun tweaks and an occasionally sentimental tone that doesn’t always mesh with the hard-hitting action.
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    Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 30th, 2016

    A creature that gestates inside a living human host…and has concentrated acid for blood.”

    If you’re a fan of sci-fi, horror, or action films, chances are you’re also intimately familiar with the creature at the center of the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original is a masterpiece of space horror, so it would’ve been foolish for any follow-up to try and replicate the same formula. Instead, James Cameron’s classic sequel succeeds by transplanting an entirely new genre into the series (Aliens is basically a war movie) while maintaining the sense of terror that made its predecessor a classic. You can get a fresh look for yourself now that Fox has released a 30th Anniversary Edition.
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    Marauders (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 22nd, 2016

    Does doing things the legal way really make it better?”

    Since movies are at their core a form of escapism, they have a way of glamorizing anyone who violently slashes through the red tape of the criminal justice system. It helps explain the enduring appeal of vigilante/revenge movies and it’s probably why we’re meant to root for the charitable bank robbers in Marauders. While the movie contains some cool flashes of style and occasionally bumps up against some interesting ideas about justice, it ultimately gets way too bogged down in red herrings and pointless subplots.
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    Code of Honor (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 14th, 2016

    Are you a good guy or are you a bad guy?”

    I honestly try to be a good guy whenever I sit down to write a review because the fact is I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have a deep love for movies. Heck, I can usually even derive enjoyment and find the charm in films that obviously have limited resources. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay positive whenever Steven Seagal pops up on a Blu-ray cover, always with the same neutral expression and always brandishing a firearm. Code of Honor, Seagal’s latest offering, is no exception. If the question is, “Is this a good movie or a bad movie?”…I think you know the answer.
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    Gridlocked (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 16th, 2016

    “Ok, so hear me out…ever watch action movies?”

    It’s clear that Canadian filmmaker Allan Ungar and practically everyone involved with Gridlocked have seen their share of action flicks. More specifically, this crew is out to recapture the raucous, rowdy, R-rated spirit of late ‘80s and ‘90s franchises like Lethal Weapon and Die Hard. While Gridlocked doesn’t come close to matching the wit or winning formula of those action classics, this straight-to-DVD effort still manages to be a pretty fun throwback.
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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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    Expendables 3 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 6th, 2016

    Welcome to the 21st century!”

    Welcome to the world of 4K UHD Blu-ray. This is our first 4k review. It won’t be the last.

    Sylvester Stallone has dedicated the better part of the last decade to giving moviegoers what they wanted 20 years ago. It started with 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which closed out Stallone’s signature franchise in the satisfying manner fans have been craving since 1990’s Rocky V debacle. We’ve also gotten another Rambo sequel, as well as long-awaited team ups with icons both real (Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan) and cinematic (Grudge Match was “Rocky vs. Raging Bull”). But Stallone’s biggest recent success is the veritable fantasy team of action stars he’s assembled for the Expendables films.
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    Weaponized (Blu-ray)

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

    Weaponized can’t seem to make up its mind about what kind of action flick it wants to be. It appears to be the story of a grief-stricken military contractor who obsessively pursues a dangerous experimental program, but instead the film focuses on a brawny, brooding homicide detective. On top of that, the Blu-ray’s cover art prominently features an imposing robot that doesn’t even factor into the plot until about 10 minutes before the credits roll. Most importantly, the movie totally ignores the schlockiness of its botched, cliche-ridden plot and plays everything distressingly straight, which makes Weaponized a pretty joyless trip to the near future.
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    Extraction (Blu-ray)

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

    “Don’t ever threaten my family again.”

    In Extraction, a government analyst embarks on an unsanctioned rescue mission after his father — an over-the-hill CIA field operative — is kidnapped by a shadowy group of bad guys. In a related story, I think I got my dad a CD for Father’s Day last year. But while the hero of Extraction might edge me out in the Son of the Year race, the rest of this crummy actioner is basically a harmless debacle.
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    Falling Skies: The Complete Fifth Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 5th, 2016

    Our final fight didn’t go as planned. But one thing was clear…this would be the bloodiest battle yet.”

    TNT’s post-apocalyptic, alien invasion war drama has never been short on casualties. So hearing that the last episodes in the show’s run would result in even more losses — human and otherwise — wasn’t exactly a shock. Following a fairly ludicrous cliffhanger, the final season starts off quite promisingly before falling back on some bad habits. Unfortunately, it all culminates with a semi-disastrous series finale.
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    12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 25th, 2015

    With their impossibly beefy frames, larger-than-life personas, and familiarity with staged combat (sorry, buddy), pro wrestlers fit the old-school action star mold perfectly. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood isn’t nearly as interested in action flicks that don’t have superheroes, dinosaurs, or Liam Neeson. And while interconnected cinematic universes are all the rage at the moment, Lionsgate and World Wrestling Entertainment have a pretty interesting partnership themselves. Their latest offering is the dopey, compulsively watchable 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, which is considerably more entertaining than it has any right to be.
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