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    Lego Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 9th, 2015

    The Star Wars universe is famously vast, and that’s before the Force even Awakens this Christmas and kicks off a new series of feature films. (And let’s not even go down the Expanded Universe rabbit hole.) My point is that it’s been almost 40 years since Star Wars premiered, and the army of artists who have taken on George Lucas’ iconic creations haven’t even come close to running out of material to explore. It was actually 10 years ago that the first Lego Star Wars short premiered and applied the toy company’s irreverent, spoofy brand of humor to deconstructing Lucas’ “Empire” brick by brick.
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    Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 8th, 2015

    The Star Wars universe is famously vast, and that’s before the Force even Awakens this Christmas and kicks off a new series of feature films. (And let’s not even go down the Expanded Universe rabbit hole.) My point is that it’s been almost 40 years since Star Wars premiered, and the army of artists who have taken on George Lucas’ iconic creations haven’t even come close to running out of material to explore. Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels is an engaging, thoroughly zippy entry that is likely to entertain its intended young target audience along with those who have been obsessed with the Force since a long time ago.
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    Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on September 3rd, 2015

    It is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and another subject in the category of “can Tom Hardy do no wrong?” Mad Max: Fury Road is the reimagining of the iconic film that helped launch Mel Gibson’s career decades earlier. This is not new territory in Hollywood by any stretch of the imagination; remakes have happened so often in recent years that they have practically become their own genre. However, I would like to point out something that will hopefully set this film apart in the eyes of the audience: how often do you see a remake that is overseen by the creator of the original film that you know and love?
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    Once Upon a Time: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 25th, 2015

    “There have been many authors throughout time. It’s a job, not a person… Tasked with the great responsibility to record. To witness the greatest stories of all time and record them for posterity. The job has gone back eons from the man who watched the shadows dance across cave walls and developed an entire philosophy to playwrights who tell tales in poetry to a man named Walt.”

    OK, so you’ve tapped into almost every Disney classic story and quite a few that weren’t Disney. The television show is still going strong. What are you going to do next?
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    Person of Interest: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 17th, 2015

    “We are being watched. The government has a secret system. A machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people. The government considers these people irrelevant. We don’t. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You’ll never find us. But victim or perpetrator, if your number is up, we’ll find you.” 

    The premise of Person Of Interest was turned on its head in season 3. If you are new to the show, don’t even think about starting here.
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    Ex Machina (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 23rd, 2015

    “You wanna see something cool?”

    If you’re old enough to remember audio tape, you might be old enough to remember Memorex. If you remember Memorex, you should recall their popular slogan: “Is it live or is it Memorex?”. Of course, the idea was that the tape quality was so good you couldn’t distinguish it from the real thing. What if robotics and artificial intelligence reached that same plateau? The point where you could not tell the difference between an actual human being and an artificial one.
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    Last Knights (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 6th, 2015

    “During the long, dark period of the Great Wars, an elite class of soldier rose from battle. Their unbreakable code was simple: possess a noble heart of courage, right conduct, and absolute devotion to one’s master. From out of those years of bloodshed an empire would emerge. Its power would assimilate persons of every color, creed, and faith. This uncontested rule eroded the traditions of the great knights… but not for all.”

    Last Knights is an ambitious direct-to-video production. It sports a rather elite class of actors headed by Morgan Freeman, who adds a ton of gravitas to any role he plays.
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    Jupiter Ascending (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 5th, 2015

    To live is to consume.”

    Sometimes it feels like we’ve already consumed every conceivable type of Hollywood blockbuster. Besides movies adapted from comic books or, um, older movies, we’ve gotten mega-budget films based on board games and theme park rides. And that’s why I was so excited and intrigued by Jupiter Ascending, especially when The Wachowskis’ nutso space opera was slated to hit theaters during what seemed like a particularly sequel-heavy summer of 2014.
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    Voices (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 9th, 2015

    This is a movie that snuck up on me.  I had seen the trailers, and it looked like goofy fun, but I really wasn’t prepared for how this film would linger in my mind and follow me around.  First let me just say this film is not for everyone; this is one of the darkest comedies I’ve seen in quite some time, but on top of that this is one of the most tragic films as well.  At first glance the trailer for The Voices has you thinking this is going to be American Psycho meets Dr. Dolittle (only one character can hear the animals talking), and for the most part that is this film.  But as the final act kicked in, I realized this was really so much more.
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    Interstellar (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 31st, 2015

    Most movies are just not very good. Lots of money goes into turning out boring, repetitive garbage. You watch it and then dispose of it and make room for the next thing. There are some who do more, but the more you do, the greater the risk. Most filmmakers are not given the freedom to take really big risks, but someone who has been given the opportunity to take the big risk is Christopher Nolan. Interstellar is $165,000,000 gamble shooting for the moon.  Actually Nolan is shooting for something way past the moon. He wants to take us to another galaxy.
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    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 23rd, 2015

    “Will you follow me, one last time?”

    It’s time to say goodbye to Middle Earth, at least from a cinematic perspective. The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies marks the last time we shall see Peter Jackson’s version of Middle Earth. Sure, Ian McKellen has told us he wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of a return. I would. There is certainly enough work from Tolkien to support future adventures, but the rights to anything beyond these books belongs to the Tolkien estate.
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    Vice (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 18th, 2015

    What if there was a place where you can act out your wildest fantasy, whether it be murder, theft, or sex, and at the end of the day you could go home as though nothing happened?  That is the tease Vice offers its audience in a sci-fi action film that blends bits of Blade Runner, Stange Days and Westworld into one tight little package.  For fans of the sci-fi genre, the movies I reference are staples in the genre, but let me be clear; at no time does Vice measure up to these films. When we meet Kelly (newcomer Ambyr Childers), she is an android leading a life behind the walls of VICE where she is programmed to live the same day over day after day.
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    Halo: Nightfall

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 18th, 2015

    It’s been about a decade since Hollywood first tried to make a movie out of Halo, the blockbuster Xbox videogame series. The closest fans came to seeing Master Chief on the big screen was a 2006 adaptation with Peter Jackson serving as executive producer and his then-protégé Neill Blomkamp directing. Unfortunately, development costs started to skyrocket and the duo opted to make District 9 instead. Meanwhile, Halo remained a potentially-lucrative multimedia property. So Microsoft, which owns Xbox, finally decided that if they wanted a Halo movie done, they had to do it themselves.
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    Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 19th, 2015

    “All men must die.”

    The official tagline for Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones also doubles as a helpful reminder of author George R.R. Martin’s no-character-is-safe philosophy. But even plastering that quote all over posters, promos, and the cover of this exemplary-in-every-way Blu-ray set isn’t likely to prepare you for the most devastating and thrilling season of a show that specializes in “devastating and thrilling.”
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    Welcome to the Space Show (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 12th, 2014

    Welcome to the Space Show looks like what would happen if you combined Steven Spielberg’s E.T. — or the openly-Spielbergian Super 8 and Earth to Echo — with the boundless imagination and quirky charms of anime. The result here is intermittently dazzling, but this particular kid-friendly alien adventure is ultimately less than the sum of its parts.
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    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Extended Edition) (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 6th, 2014

    “There are dark spirits, old and full of hate…The world is in great danger.”

    A trilogy is a hard animal to pull off. Even when you have a popular franchise, it is extremely difficult. All of the pieces have to work just right, or you could have a disaster on your hands. It is even harder when you’ve already beaten the odds once and delivered a trilogy that is both loved and a huge box office success. You run into an almost insurmountable mountain of expectations.
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    Maleficent (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 4th, 2014

    “Let us tell an old story anew, and we will see how well you know it.”

    If Christopher Nolan’s take on The Joker isn’t the very best example of modern cinematic villainy, then it’s near the top of the list. Obviously, a tremendous amount of credit goes to Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance in The Dark Knight, but I’d argue the real thrill comes from the character’s arbitrary, inexplicable approach to evil.
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    Edge of Tomorrow (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 8th, 2014

    “What I am about to tell you sounds crazy. But you have to listen to me. Your very lives depend on it. You see, this isn’t the first time.”

    No, this isn’t the first time. Tom Cruise seems to be making a habit of these science fiction action movies of late. There was Oblivion and War Of The Worlds, and quite frankly Edge Of Tomorrow looked to be pretty much more of the same. But there’s a huge difference between this film and the previous two. Edge Of Tomorrow is actually good. What looks on the surface to be just Groundhog Day with futuristic toys turns out to be a redemption story that I actually never saw coming.
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    Transformers: Age of Extinction (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 8th, 2014

    When I was a young boy I loved playing with my toys. We didn’t have Transformers in those days, but we did have Major Matt Mason, plastic dinosaurs, Hot Wheels and Creepy Crawlers Thingmaker sets. Yeah, in those days a toy could cause third-degree burns and no one really worried about getting sued. Kind of takes the fun out of being a kid today. You know who else, I bet, loved to play with his toys? MichaelBay. I bet he had the coolest toys in his neighborhood. He probably wasn’t the best guy to be friends with, however. He didn’t invite the kids over to play with his toys. He likely charged you a nickel to watch him play with them.
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    The 100: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 29th, 2014

    “Prisoners of the ARC, hear me now. You’ve been given a second chance, and as your Chancellor, it is my hope that you see this as not just a chance for you, but a chance for all of us, indeed for mankind itself. We have no idea what is waiting for you down there. If the odds of survival were better, we would’ve sent others. Frankly, we’re sending you because your crimes have made you expendable.”

    It’s 97 years ago and nuclear holocaust has made life on Earth unlivable… at least that’s what most people believed.
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    Once Upon A Time: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 25th, 2014

    “There is a town in Maine where every storybook character you’ve ever known is trapped between two worlds, victims of a powerful curse. Only one knows the truth, and only one can break her spell.”

    ABC has had a very important asset going for it for years. It’s one that the network has seldom taken any advantage of. That asset is its parent company. You see, ABC is part of the Walt Disney family. With the rich history of stories the studio has in its arsenal going back to the 1920’s, it was only a matter of time before some clever people decided to find a way to use that rich history into a television series.
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    Arrow: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 18th, 2014

    “The city still needs saving. But not by the Hood. And not by some vigilante who’s just crossing names off a list. It needs… something more.”

    That someone, that something more …that something else is the DC Comics character Green Arrow. Not to be confused with the same-colored Hornet or Lantern. In season 2 Oliver Queen finally sheds the name and reputation of the Hood or Vigilante. He has vowed not to kill, and he no longer has the list to guide him. His job now is to go after any bad guys in Starling City.
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    Godzilla (2014) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 17th, 2014

    “It’s not the end of the world.”

    I still remember the night I walked out of the screening of the Roland Emmerich version of Godzilla.  I can’t remember a time I had ever been so angry at a film.  It was a film that was an insult to the monster that I had held in such high regard right alongside King Kong.  Sure, I had seen the trailers, but when I saw that first reveal of their “Godzilla” I cringed. I hated it. 
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    Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 4th, 2014

    The list of bad videogame movie adaptations is as ridiculously long as the titular weapon in this animated offering. In fact, the film that has best captured the spirit of gaming wasn’t even based on an actual videogame. The bottom line is it’s hard to translate the highly-interactive thrills of videogames into a satisfying, relatively passive moviegoing experience. So maybe the answer lies in targeting inherently cinematic games like Heavenly Sword.
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    Haven: Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 29th, 2014

    “You were always such a clever troublemaker.”

    When Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) entered the barn in the conclusion of season 3 of Haven, all “the Troubles” were supposed to come to an end for the small seaside town of Haven, Maine.  Sure everything seemed to go as planned, that is until Duke (Eric Balfour) took the plunge into the barn before it disappeared, leaving Sheriff Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) behind.
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