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    The Numbers Station (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on May 29th, 2013

    When someone tries to break in and take something from the building you’re in, what do you do? Well, according to “The Official Good Guy Handbook”, you must immediately lock down the building, retreat to a secure room, and try to get help from the outside. Of course, you must do all this while repelling the bad guys, ignoring their threats and bribes, and (of course) watching out for the double cross.
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    Dark Skies (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 24th, 2013

    “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

    Just in case the film’s title wasn’t a big enough clue, this opening quote from famed science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke makes it abundantly clear the domestic disturbance in Dark Skies won’t be caused by grumpy ghosts or a dastardly demon. This effective little sci-fi/horror movie follows the low-budget template established by recent hits like Insidious, Sinister and the Paranormal Activity franchise, but looks to the not-so-friendly skies for its source of terror.
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    True Blood: Season Five (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on May 20th, 2013

    Well, it is that time of the year when we must see what the blood suckers, shape shifters, wolves and the faeries are up to. No, I am not talking about the State of the Union address; I’m talking about the latest season of True Blood. Season Five to be exact. In these twelve episodes, we again travel to the land of Bon Temps, Louisiana and see exactly what delicious trouble and dastardly deeds our characters can get themselves tied up in.
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    A Common Man (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 20th, 2013

    The problem with casting Ben Kingsley in this film’s title role is that the Oscar-winning actor is anything but common. He’s been a commanding screen presence for four solid decades, starting with his award-winning work in 1982’s Gandhi and continuing through his surprising performance in Iron Man 3. When Kingsley first appears in A Common Man, he immediately stands out in the crowded streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka thanks to a sharp goatee and his signature shorn dome. Turns out Kingsley’s inherent star power is the least of this movie’s problems.
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    Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 16th, 2013

    “We are your Family. We come before anything, even your own family.”

    Everything about Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn — the setting, the storyline, the cast, the title — brings to mind vastly superior crime dramas. To be fair, it’s incredibly difficult to say something in this genre that hasn’t already been said brilliantly by the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese or David Chase. So instead of trying to carve out its own turf, this low-budget effort seems to almost revel in how derivative it is. At the very least, the people who made this movie seem to love gangster flicks as much as we do.
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    Escape (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 15th, 2013

    In 1363, the Black Plague had done its damage, leaving most infected areas uninhabitable. Escape — known in Norway as Flukt — is the story of a family that sets out into the countryside to get away from the plague and hopefully find a new place to rebuild their lives. But just as I’m thinking this is going to be a movie about sticking together and fighting to survive the elements, it shifts gears to something far darker but not all that original.
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    Tomorrow You’re Gone (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 13th, 2013

    We all know what it feels like to nod off in the middle of a film. It starts with micro-naps that last a few seconds. They’re so short, we don’t even realize we’ve fallen asleep. But when we wake up, we feel totally lost because we’ve missed a line of dialogue or scene transition. I mention this for two reasons: 1.) the confused protagonist of Tomorrow You’re Gone floats through his life in a dream-like state and 2.) watching this incomprehensible mess of a movie constantly made me feel like I’d fallen asleep and missed something. That’s a problem because I was wide awake.
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    Pawn (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 22nd, 2013

    “Whose move is it?”

    To be honest, I’m not much of a chess player. I know how all the pieces move and I enjoy the mental challenge, but I never really committed to becoming proficient at the game. (Now, if we’re talking Connect Four, you don’t want to run into me in a dark alley.) Pawn establishes its intriguing chess motif early on, before almost completely abandoning it in favor of becoming more of a generically twisty thriller.
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    Crush (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on April 16th, 2013

    “When I get a crush, it’s really bad.”

    Everyone has experienced it before: you meet that special someone, and a crush sidelines you. They fill your head when you’re not with them. When they’re near, you act like an idiot. The downside comes when your crush is not reciprocated; or worse, they don’t even know you exist. Most people can move past the disappointment and heartbreak to get over a crush. But for an unlucky few, their crush can turn into a dangerous obsession.
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    Border Run (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 13th, 2013

    “The border between the United States and Mexico spans 2,000 miles. It’s also the most frequently crossed land border in the entire world. And that just refers to legal crossings…”

    Hundreds of thousands of people — we’re told at the start of Border Run — try to cross that boundary every year, and each of them has a unique story. Unfortunately, the filmmakers botched a great opportunity to explore the thorny issue of illegal immigration in a thoughtful and stimulating way by choosing to tell the most ridiculous and off-putting story they could possibly think of.
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    Deadfall (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 22nd, 2013

    And you thought Thanksgiving dinner with your family was tense. For most of us, it doesn’t get much worse than critical parents, competitive siblings or that weird side dish no one really wants to try. (There always seems to be about a gallon of that stuff too.) Consider yourself lucky: unlike the poor souls in Deadfall, you’ve probably never been chained to the dinner table — not literally, at least — nor had a psychotic Eric Bana point a gun at your face.
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    The Factory

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 20th, 2013

    “We never found a single body. Now they’re just missing girls that nobody missed.”

    Fictional serial killers have to work extra hard these days if they want to stand out or shock us. Network shows like Criminal Minds bring us a different sicko every week, and a certain popular pay cable hit actually has viewers rooting for the killer. So the best thing I can say about The Factory is that it gives us an exceptionally sick premise. Unfortunately, the straight-to-DVD thriller is ultimately derailed by a sloppy screenplay and a truly preposterous final act.
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    Love Me (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on January 23rd, 2013

    When I first received Love Me, I thought it was going to be just another angsty teen drama. (Something along the lines of Dawson’s Creek.) That notion was quickly disabused, however, when a young girl is stalked and attacked in the opening scene. From there, the film jumps ahead three months, with the town still reeling from her disappearance. While discussing how eerie the case is with her friends, Sylvia Potter (Lindsay Shaw, TV’s Pretty Little Liars) quite literally bumps into rich pretty boy Lucas Green (Jamie Johnston, TV’s Degrassi: The Next Generation) and falls for him instantly.
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    House at the End of the Street (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 10th, 2013

    If it were possible to buy stock in any under-25 actress today, I’d pick Jennifer Lawrence first, Emma Stone would be a close second, and Kristen Stewart would be last. Lawrence has a pair of blockbuster movie franchises in her back pocket (The Hunger Games, X-Men) and is already a two-time Oscar nominee, thanks to her recent nod for Silver Linings Playbook. So if a studio were to have a Jennifer Lawrence film on its bench, September 2012 would probably look like some prime real estate.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Bedevilled (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 7th, 2012

    When I started to review this film, I thought I would come up with a hokey beginning to celebrate the 31 Nights of Terror. That might have worked if I had reviewed It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown or a Lindsey Lohan movie, but to be truthful there is not much humor in this movie to be had. So let us skip the theatrics for at least one review and go straight into reviewing Bedevilled.
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    Battleground

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 22nd, 2012

    I’ve said before that they just don’t make action movies like they used to. I’d like to slightly amend that statement: they still make action movies like they used to, it’s just a heck of a lot harder to find them. As production costs continue to rise, studios seem to be playing it safer than ever in terms of which movies get the widest releases. As a result, bloodless PG-13 flicks designed to hit as many quadrants as possible tend to grab the most screens. Put it this way: I haven’t seen the new Total Recall, but I’m fairly confident there’s no scene where Colin Farrell yells, “See you at the party, sweetheart!” while holding the bloody stumps of Kate Beckinsale’s arms.
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    Triple Feature: D.O.A. / Playing God / Color of Night

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 1st, 2012

    Like a lot of people in general, I strive to get more bang for my buck. Whether it is in grocery shopping, video games or a pizza buffet, I always want to pay the bare minimum and reap the maximum benefit. Another area this holds true is movies. In my collection, there are double packs, triple features and quadruple showings. Today, it just so happens that we have a triple feature from Mill Creek Entertainment that brings us three thrillers: D.O.A, Playing God and Color of Night. This might be a long night.
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    On the Inside (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on July 30th, 2012

    Most people who read my reviews can realize that me and prison films just do not mix. Far too many of them are incredibly hokey and if I hear one more cliché about dropping the soap, I swear I might just go watch about a 12 hour Golden Girls marathon. However, our film today deals with a psychiatric hospital for criminals. It sounds a lot like a prison to me, but perhaps today’s review will take on a much gentler tone and provide us with something just a little different.
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    The Aggression Scale

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on July 26th, 2012

    After a family moves into a new home, they are taken hostage by a group of hitmen who are searching for money that has been stolen from a crime-boss. The film’s title, “Aggression Scale,” refers to a psychological evaluation that measures the tendency for an individual to act in aggressive ways that may harm others. This applies to our hero Owen, the son of the family, whose violent/survivalist tendencies are worrisome and detrimental in all situations except this one, where he may be the savior of the family.
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    Seeking Justice (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 20th, 2012

    When I saw that Nicolas Cage and January Jones were headlining a little-seen/straight-to-DVD-caliber title, part of me was perversely excited. This had the potential to be a historic summit of bad acting! To be fair,  I generally enjoy the — shall we say — avant garde stylings of Cage’s performances, but I’m much less impressed by the relentless joylessness Jones bring to her work (even on the excellent Mad Men). In short, I was prepared to laugh and I was prepared to wince. However, I was not prepared to enjoy this entertaining, preposterous thriller as much as I did.
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    We Need to Talk About Kevin

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on June 4th, 2012

    People tend to place blame on the parents when their children do something wrong. Sometimes this practice is perfectly legit, especially when the behavior is a constant minor disruption or something that is obviously linked to bad parenting. But when the child creates a massive infraction which could include taking a life (or lives), it shouldn’t always fall back on the parents. But yet, the parent will almost always suffer as such the case here with We Need to Talk About Kevin.
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    True Blood: Season Four (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on May 29th, 2012

    Often in columns, writers are basically forced to do enough research on their own to qualify as experts. But that is not always enough. Sometimes, we are a lot better off if we just consult an expert from the get-go and ask them all of the pertinent questions we need answered. My wife happened to be that expert I needed for the latest season of True Blood, Season Four. Without her, Sookie Stackhouse might just be another girl from the Jersey Shore. Wait, which show am I reviewing again?
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    The Divide (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 15th, 2012

    I was flipping through the latest issue of Sad Trombone magazine the other day, and it contained an article revealing — through entirely unscientific research — that the general consensus appears to be, “People suck.” As a result, I was already in the proper mindset when I sat down to watch The Divide, probably the most pessimistic movie of the past year.
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    Chinatown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on April 6th, 2012

    Roman Polanski’s seminal neo-noir finally makes it to Blu-ray. Gino has already handled the previous DVD release, so I’m going to turn the reins over to him for a while, then jump back in.

    “Jake Gittes is a Chandler style detective with all of the trappings. From the office to the secretary and the cop friend, Gittes is a cliché. He appears to specialize in tracking down extramarital affairs. When he’s hired to keep an eye on a rich millionaire, the subject turns up dead, and maybe it wasn’t his wife at all who hired him. Gittes now must investigate to save his own hide. His investigation leads him to a corrupt water department taking advantage of a manufactured drought. His client has a dark secret that only complicates Gittes’ efforts.
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    A Lonely Place To Die (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 31st, 2012

    I think most of us can agree that being buried alive would be a horrible way to go. Several movies — Kill Bill: Vol. 2, The Vanishing (not the soft American remake) and, of course, Buried — have exploited that terror to varying degrees of success. Though the action in A Lonely Place to Die centers around a girl found buried in the Scottish Highlands, the camera frequently pulls way back to show us the desolate beauty (and danger) of the mountainous setting. I really wish director Julian Gilbey had kept the action on those mountains.
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