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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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    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Blu-ray)

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

    After watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, my mind wandered over to Inception of all places. Remember how Ellen Page’s character pretty much only existed so other people could explain to her — and, by extension, us in the audience — the rules of the movie’s universe and what the hell was happening? Well, watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for the first time felt a lot like what I imagine Inception would look like if Page’s novice architect hadn’t been in the script: words and items have dual meanings, characters have double (and triple) motivations, and good luck figuring out everything that’s going on in this complex world!
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    Insight

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 29th, 2012

    I am back! For now. Here to review Insight. Dun dun dun! A psychological thriller type that my husband thought I would like to take a look at. And then he bat his eyes and asked me to review it. Since I am a sucker for him and his gorgeous eyes, I agreed. Was this movie worth the look? Let’s take a look, shall we?
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    To Catch a Thief (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 29th, 2012

    To Catch A Thief is not typical Alfred Hitchcock territory, but then again, it really is. It’s not a terribly suspenseful film coming from the acclaimed “Master of Suspense”, nor is it at all a frightening film even though it was directed by one of horror’s genius minds. What really is scary, however, is how close to a different film this almost was. Cary Grant had exiled himself into retirement. If you can believe his statements at the time, he was concerned that the moviegoing public was pretty much sick of seeing him and preferred the younger actors just then coming of age.
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    The Dead (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 16th, 2012

    Despite their pop culture ubiquity these days, zombies are getting somewhat of a raw deal. To be clear, I’m talking about the old-school, George Romero-style creatures that slowly lumbered toward their victims and whose only ambition in life was to snack on human flesh. Nowadays, a lot of filmmakers seem to be more interested in making zombie movies that don’t technically have “zombies” in them (“infected” is a popular alternative term) and who are almost fast
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    Notorious (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 8th, 2012

    “Gentlemen, I assure you she’s the perfect type for the job. She’s good at making friends with gentlemen, and we want somebody inside his house who has his confidence.”

    Say what you will about Alfred Hitchcock, but one thing he never lacked was confidence. Today filmmakers and film fans alike still worship at his altar. His church was the darkened neighborhood cinema, and no one held court better than the man fans affectionately refer to as Hitch. The flicker didn’t come from candles as you might expect in such a place of worship. They emanated from the silver screen.
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    The Double

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on February 6th, 2012

    Evidence has revealed the possibility that a Soviet Assassin code-named “Cassius,” thought to be long dead, is still at large after a US Senator is murdered. A veteran CIA operative (played by Richard Gere) is teamed up with an enthusiastic young FBI agent (played by Topher Grace) who has studied and obsessed over Cassius’ actions since his days at Harvard.
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    Blood Simple (Blu Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on December 9th, 2011

    A bar owner hires a hitman to assassinate his wife and her lover upon discovering their affair. What proceeds is a neo-noir packed with ample murder, betrayal and suspicions throughout.

    This film is the directorial debut of Joel Cohen, thus making it the first in the line of “Coen Bros.” productions (Joel’s brother Ethan naturally contributing as co-writer and co-editor). As well, Barry Sonnenfield is the Director of Photography, which helps to explain the outstanding visual composition of this film.
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