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    The Squeeze

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Deborah Bostock-Kelley on June 11th, 2015

    As one who loathes sports, ESPECIALLY golf, I thought I’d rather put hot pokers in my eyes than watch the golf and gambling independent film, The Squeeze. However, to my surprise, it wasn’t bad – it wasn’t great- and although the ending teed me off for not providing an adequate resolution, I also didn’t fast forward. The golf scenes were realistically boring to me, so I guess golf fans would love this, but the script needs work. The Squeeze tells the allegedly “based on true story” of Augie (Jeremy Sumpter), a cute, small-town kid who comes from a family where the patriarch of the family is an alcoholic.
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    The DUFF (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 11th, 2015

    “That’s your job as The DUFF…Designated Ugly Fat Friend.”

    Let’s just get this out of the way right at the top. The idea that Mae Whitman — or any other actress cast as the lead in a mainstream Hollywood movie — is “Ugly” and “Fat” is absurd. (Not to mention entirely subjective.) So it’s tempting to dismiss The DUFF as the latest bit of evidence that there’s no truth in advertising. But then you’d be missing out on a charming teen comedy that grabs the snarky underdog baton previously held by the likes of Mean Girls and Easy A.
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    Rizzoli & Isles: Season 5

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 11th, 2015

    The premise here is dirt simple. They’ve taken the buddy cop idea and found a way to work in the forensics science fad and deliver a procedural with a few twists. Angie Harmon plays Detective Rizzoli. She’s wanted to be a cop all of her life and is living the dream working with a special unit out of Boston PD. Her best friend in life happens to be Dr. Maura Isles, who is the Chief Medical Examiner for the unit and is played by Sasha Alexander. These are the kind of friends who finish each other’s sentences and share a lot of history together. That’s not to say they are at all alike. 
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    Healing

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on June 11th, 2015

    At the end of a long sentence, a notorious inmate, Viktor Khadem, is sent to a minimum-security prison where he works until he can be rehabilitated to join society. His handler, Matt Perry, sees a certain skill for taking care of birds within Viktor, and decides to start a new program for rehabilitating inmates. He puts Viktor in charge of two other prisoners tasked with caring for the injured birds of prey until they are well enough to fly, and hunt on their own. The guards and warden of the jail believe the program is dangerous and will only invite more trouble.
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    The Wire: The Complete Series (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 9th, 2015

    “Some things stay the same. I mean the gamer is the game.”

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A newspaper reporter and a cop go into a bar… It sounds like a setup for a pretty lame joke. It’s actually the story of how one of the greatest television shows to ever air got started. It was the brainchild of two real-world players who hadn’t yet seen their worlds portrayed accurately in television of film. They set out on a mission to change all of that. And, changing all of that is exactly what they did.
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    Rectify: The Complete Second Season

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

    “You look at life like it’s a burden. Life is a gift.”

    The best thing about Rectify — SundanceTV’s excellent, thoughtful slow-burn of a Southern drama — is that it gives equal weight to each of those viewpoints. Daniel Holden has spent more time as death row inmate than he has as a free man. As an 18 year old, he was convicted of the rape and murder of a teenage girl and spent the next 19 years in prison awaiting his execution. Daniel was suddenly freed after DNA evidence vacated his sentence, and season 1 showed him struggling mightily to adapt to life on the outside. (It also showed the outside world struggling mightily to adapt to him.)
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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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    Cops: Wildest Chases

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 5th, 2015

    “Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?
    Bad boys, bad boys whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”

    There are some television series that just have a catchy theme song; COPS is one of those shows. I don’t know what it is, but every time I hear mention of the show, I automatically hear the theme song in my head. I know I can’t be alone in that category; come on, show of hands, how many people hear the theme song in their head or feel compelled to sing it out loud at the mere mention of the show?
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    Justified: The Complete Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 4th, 2015

    “Man, you are everything I’d hoped for…right down to the hat.”

    For six stellar seasons, Justified went about its business in a manner similar to that of its slyly laconic, incorruptible hero Raylan Givens. The key word in that last sentence is “hero.” Justified premiered in the midst of the supposed new Golden Age of Television, which was largely defined by antiheroes like Tony Soprano, Dexter Morgan, and Walter White. Another one of those antiheroes — Mad Men’s Don Draper — recently signed off with a lot more fanfare than Justified got for its excellent last hurrah.
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    Bonanza: Season 8

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 4th, 2015

    Three-time widower Ben Cartwright  (Greene) runs his famous Ponderosa Ranch with the aid of his three grown sons from three different mothers. There’s Little Joe (Landon), Adam (Roberts) and Hoss (Blocker). Set some time in the mid 1800’s, this long-running series followed the family’s many exploits. In the late 1950’s, westerns accounted for six of the top ten programs on TV. Only Gunsmoke had a longer run than Bonanza. From 1959 to 1973, Ben Cartwright and his boys rode across the small screen
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    Rogue: Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 2nd, 2015

    Until recently DirecTV’s Audience Network was a home for critically-acclaimed shows that somehow lost their feet on another network. It started with Friday Night Lights and more recently Damages. So DirecTV was no stranger to original series production. Now for the very first time the satellite carrier and network have developed their own television series. Rogue would be the first show on the network not to have played somewhere else first. The effort is a collaboration with eOne and Greenhouse Entertainment. From the first ten episodes of the first season, you can bet it’s a pretty wild ride and a relatively strong start.
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    Blindsided

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on June 2nd, 2015

    Our story follows Sara, a woman who was blinded due to an encounter with a suicide bomber during a tour with the army as a photo journalist. We meet her after she has been blind for three years, and she has met a rich man who has seemingly gained his wealth through investments. After going out for champagne, she comes home to find her boyfriend killed and a man waiting for her with a knife. When the man’s partner comes, it is revealed that her boyfriend made his wealth as a thief and has stolen something precious from the two men who are holding Sara hostage: diamonds.
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    Focus (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 2nd, 2015

    “That’s what you get when you hire a con man.”

    As much fun as it is to watch clever, cagey characters try to outsmart one another on screen, the real appeal of movies about con artists is watching filmmakers try to pull the wool over the audience’s eye. It’s an especially tricky proposition when you consider that — thanks to the Internet — moviegoers might be more sophisticated than ever in terms of knowing how movies are supposed to work. (Or at least *thinking* they know how movies are supposed to work.)
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    McFarland, USA (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on June 2nd, 2015

    The town of McFarland, California is North of Los Angeles and South of San Jose. More specifically, it is near Bakersfield and not too far south of Fresno. San Diego is practically spitting distance from Tijuana. I say this because much of California is alien to me. The movie McFarland, USA is about delving into the realities of California. Forget that this is a feel-good sports movie for a minute. This is a movie about the Latino experience from a true story about a coach from 1987, but the film updates some of the changes that have taken place since then.
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    Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 1st, 2015

    One thing one can be sure of is that there wasn’t before him an Orson, and there’ll never be a second.”

    This year (May 6, to be exact) marks what would’ve been Orson Welles’ 100th birthday. To celebrate, filmmaker Chuck Workman has made a charming documentary with a title as grandiose as its subject. Magician: The Astonishing Life & Work of Orson Welles is a thoroughly entertaining — if somewhat superficial — survey of one of the 20th century’s greatest showmen.
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    Asylum

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on June 1st, 2015

    I have never been more confused as to what constitutes a spoiler in a movie. I am going to attempt to give the best synopsis I can here, but just know, I was extremely confused throughout this entire movie. We follow two movie studio workers as they watch one of the movies their studio is set to release. The two add dialog (a la Mystery Science Theater 3000) to the film, and we follow their story as well. I was supremely disappointed when I started watching this movie. There was nothing that led me to believe that this movie was going to be a comedy; I would assume that this “surprise” was the intention of the makers, but it ultimately left me confused throughout the entire movie.
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    The Poltergeist of Borley Forest

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 28th, 2015

    This movie is not on my rewatch list for a number of reasons; however, it all stems from one central reason: the delivery. On the surface, I buy the premise for this movie; a girl attracts an evil spirit and starts to feel like she losing her mind. Her parents don’t believe her, her siblings don’t either, or her friends. The film even provided backstory hint alluding to the reason why the parents are overprotective due to a previous stalker situation that the family still hasn’t gotten over. Nicely done on that score; however, a lot of the allure is lost simply because of the way the information is provided.
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    Mobilize

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on May 28th, 2015

    The film Mobilize (previously titled Disconnect) is about the potential dangers of cell phones. People have joked about it for years. The AMC series Better Call Saul had a major plot device about a character’s aversion to any electronic radiation. The character wound up wearing thermal blankets, not going outside, deactivating electricity in the home, and having all electronic units being stored in an outside mailbox. The show never really explained the source of the character’s problem, but it seemed to imply that it was a mental phobia.
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    Ships (Ferahfeza)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on May 28th, 2015

    Most of us are used to seeing Hollywood movies. That often bleeds over to British and Australian films, but not everyone wants to see films with subtitles. Still, many foreign films have become popular from France, Spain, Japan, Italy, China, India, Denmark, South Africa and Mexico. Obviously almost every country in the world produces films, but most of us never see them. The sheer abundance of films produced in any given year is mind-boggling. Who sees them all? To some degree, films from one part of the world are mostly watched by people from the same place. Turkish films are mostly watched by Turks. 
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    Private Number

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on May 28th, 2015

    There are few things that are more bothersome than cheap marketing gimmicks. Private Number is no exception. While sites like IMDb have Tom Sizemore and Judd Nelson as the highest-billed actors in the film, the cover of this DVD is very misleading. Perhaps part of the deal for Nelson and Sizemore was to be featured primarily on the cover, but I really doubt that is the case. The relationship of the DVD’s cover to the film itself feels like producers that have little faith in their project. So instead of promoting the interesting concepts of the film on its cover, they plaster the familiar faces of Nelson and Sizemore onto it, in hopes of making a few extra bucks. So if you are going to watch this movie for those actors, save yourself the trouble: they have a total screen time of 8 minutes. 
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    See You in Valhalla

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on May 28th, 2015

    The death of the youngest brother in the Burwood family brings together all members in an attempt to see that their brother is laid to rest… OK, here’s the thing. I could tell you all the synopsis as a lead up to this movie review, but I am pretty sure that everyone reading this has seen a movie with a similar synopsis. This movie is basically Sweet Home Alabama, This is Where I Leave You, The Royal Tenenbaums, or many others. It’s been done dozens of times over, and I think what we all really want to know is if this movie differed from the other movies at all.
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    Where Was God? Stories of Hope After the Storm

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 28th, 2015

    “There are some rough spots in His plan.”

    I’m not the only person who’s reflexively rolled his eyes after an athlete or entertainer has thanked God for helping them win the Super Bowl or a Grammy. I personally don’t mean it as blasphemy; I just don’t believe God has a vested interest in the outcome of a football game. Following that logic, it seems silly to think He also roots *against* certain people. And if anybody has a right to feel like God is “against” them, it’s people like the real-life tornado survivors who appear in this admirable documentary, which illustrates how one can rise above anger and staggering loss.
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    Cut Bank (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 27th, 2015

    “Welcome to Cut Bank, MT. coldest spot in the nation.”

    When you make a darkly comic crime thriller that centers around a bunch of bumbling schemers and a single, righteous cop — and then you name that movie after a frigid, real-life city in the northern part of the U.S. — the comparisons to Fargo are simply impossible to ignore. Thankfully, Cut Bank is buoyed by its own dry, lively cast of characters who are brought to life by a nimble set of performers.
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    Major Crimes: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 27th, 2015

    “I have doubts about my sanity, the Kennedy assassination, the moon landing, but this…”

    No doubt about it. Major Crimes has managed to do what few shows before it have been able to pull off. Shows have survived the loss of their lead, but the remaining years were usually something lesser than it once was. That’s not the case when The Closer lost its lead actress/character. The title was changed, and with just a few cast tweaks the series returned as Major Crimes, and I dare say it’s a much better show than its predecessor. 
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    Bordering on Bad Behavior

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 26th, 2015

    How do you create world peace? Well, according to Bordering on Bad Behavior, you take representatives from three countries and lock them in a room together for six hours with unlimited booze and marijuana. I recognize half of you who see this as a ridiculous idea; however, I know that there are plenty of you who have likely considered this as an option (maybe not the booze and weed part, but the isolation for sure). Well, if you want to know if the idea has any real traction as an option, this movie is your opportunity to see, because despite being crude and possibly offensive in some areas, it speaks some real truth.
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