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    The Hoarder

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 7th, 2016

    Any time I would catch the show Storage Wars, I always would watch with this morbid curiosity with the hopes that one day they’d open a storage unit and discover something more than a few lost boxes.  With the millions of storage units that are spread throughout the country, you’d have to imagine that hidden away in a couple of these units are some pretty awful things that would turn the stomachs of most.  Is this simply a thought I have from watching too many horror films? Most likely, but I can’t be the only one out there; after all it would seem this line of thinking is what brought The Hoarder to the screen.  In the new horror release we get to discover there is more to fear than a few old dust bunnies when venturing out to the local storage unit; in fact it can possibly turn into a trip you may never return from.
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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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    NYPD Blue: Season 9

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 5th, 2016

    “NYPD BLUE wishes to dedicate its season to the memory of the New York City police and firefighters who sacrificed their lives on September 11th, 2001. Their heroism will never be forgotten, and we extend our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones.” 

    As NYPD Blue entered its ninth season, there were tragic circumstances both on the screen and in real life. On the show Andy’s former partner Danny Sorenson ends up dead, and in the real world New York City experiences the devastating events of 9/11. Both are addressed as the season opens.
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    Forsaken (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 4th, 2016

    When you see the name Kiefer Sutherland and Jon Cassar together, you might well expect that you’re going to get another helping of the popular television series 24. There Sutherland made a pretty big name for himself in the television landscape as the gritty and “get it done” cop Jack Bauer. In the director’s chair for a good many of those episodes was Jon Cassar, who also shared executive producer duties on the long-running show. But you won’t find the ticking-clock-modern world of Jack Bauer here. Instead you’ll find a thoughtful western that actually avoids a lot of the genre-typical violence and delivers one of the better westerns I’ve seen in many years.
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    Exposed (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 3rd, 2016

    Keanu Reeves is a guy who I don’t think anyone would be crazy enough to say is a “great actor”, but instead he’s a guy who has been in some pretty great films.  For me he’s an actor I grew up with from his days doing the Bill and Ted movies and Point Break. (Seriously, how dare they attempt to remake that gem?)  Between Speed and The Matrix, those are the two movies I’ve held onto for so long as his career took a more interesting turn; that is until John Wick came along and blew my mind with all the insane coolness that was up on the screen.  Finally it seemed I was on track to getting the Keanu Reeves that I grew up watching.  I know, so what’s the point of all this?  Well, until now, none of the Reeves films that I’ve liked could I really say it was because of his performance, and Exposed is finally the film he’s needed where he can show he’s more than just a brooding action star.
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    The Royals: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on April 3rd, 2016

    In season 1, The Royals showed us that depravity and royalty went hand in hand. This time around, it’s all about anarchy in the monarchy. When we last looked in on the ruling family of Britain, King Simon was assassinated, and within seconds of his death, his opportunistic brother literally pried the royal seal off his fingers. I mean, his body wasn’t even cold yet, and there is Cyrus grave-robbing.  Liam had the opportunity to walk away from the all the pressures of being the heir apparent and be with the girl of his dreams, but chose duty and familial obligations (yeah, because that always ends well). Helena’s reputation was in ruins; however, there was light at the end of the tunnel after a powerful interview. Finally, Eleanor discovered that her older brother, like her father, was assassinated. Needless to say, their entire world turned upside down. I was excited to see what came next.
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    The Hateful Eight (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 30th, 2016

    The name Quentin Tarantino carries the weight of legacy as such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, and more recently Christopher Nolan.  I’m not saying one is better than the other, but simply by name recognition alone Tarantino is in the company of directors that when you hear that his name is attached there will be a loyal fan base flocking to the theaters to see what they have to dazzle us with.  This time around Tarantino returns to the cinema in his biggest release to date; in glorious 70mm we have The Hateful Eight
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    Noma: My Perfect Storm (Blu-ray)

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

    It was as if all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place since what was being discussed here was a matter of creating something unique: a cuisine based exclusively on raw Nordic ingredients.”

    That pull quote, which appears at the start of Noma: My Perfect Storm, accidentally serves as a microcosm for the film as a whole. The excitement that builds at the prospect of witnessing something special quickly gives way to a chilly, undercooked experience.
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    House of Lies: Season 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 30th, 2016

    I don’t find House of Lies funny. In fairness, I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny, or it’s trying to be funny in the most cynical and unpalatable way possible. It’s a half-hour format airing on Showtime, which would normally suggest a sitcom. It’s not a sitcom, but a brash dramedy. Our main characters all have MBA’s but frequently act like teenagers on drugs. They are smart enough to analyze things brilliantly but are so corrupt that they will do the absolutely worst thing possible if it satisfies their personal interests. House of Lies should not be confused with House of Cards, which also features high-level leaders with horrendous morals. It seems to promote undiluted self-interest at all costs.
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    Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-ray)

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

    “A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…”

    It sure does seem like it was a long time ago since Star Wars was actually very good. It doesn’t matter if you thought Empire or Jedi was the last good film; few people that I’ve encountered mentioned the more recent trilogy in the same sacred breath as those original films. Star Wars gave us swashbuckler adventure in the spirit of the early serials. Then it was about a mythical epic story that swept a generation into its colorful universe. What George Lucas created in the late 1970’s will never die. But before long it became more about the creator and less about engaging the fans. The attitude turned into “this is my franchise and I’ll do whatever the heck I want to do with it.”
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    The Red House (The Film Detective Restored Version) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 29th, 2016

    “Did you ever run away from a scream? You can’t. It will follow you through the woods. It will follow you all of your life… courage is never enough.”

    How many films are lost and forgotten over the years? It would be interesting to know how many films have been made since the advent of the movie industry. It is probably in the millions, and yet most of us would probably have trouble thinking of a thousand.
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    Perry Mason Movie Collection: Volume Five

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

    Perry Mason officially ended in May of 1966, but that wasn’t going to be the end. Twenty years later the surviving cast members reunited for Perry Mason Returns. It was Perry and Della back together again. Both Raymond Burr and Barbara Hale returned to their roles. William Hopper had died in 1970, so William Katt joined the reunion as Paul Drake, Jr. Katt might not have really been Drake’s son; he was Hale’s son. When Katt left the films he was replaced by William R. Moses as Ken Malansky. Ken was a young law student helped by Perry once when he was framed in law school for a rival’s murder. He ends up being both a legal assistant and investigator for Perry in the reunion films. The films also often starred James McEachin as Lt. Brock, the cop on many of the cases.
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    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on March 23rd, 2016

    It’s the one that fans have been waiting for. The conclusion of the only adaptation series to rival the star power of Twilight in my opinion (Divergent comes close, but the popularity is clearly with this Jennifer Lawrence-led series). Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 is the culmination of all the action set up in the first film. It’s time to finally take the fight to President Snow, and this film delivers in every aspect. Action sequences are tier-one as well as being character-driven, all the while staying faithful to the source material. Accomplishing all these tasks is always difficult; however, this film appears to do it with ease. 
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    Sisters (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 23rd, 2016

    Between their stints on Saturday Night Live and their subsequent sitcom hits, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the most successful comedic voices of the new millennium. (I happen to think Fey’s 30 Rock and Poehler’s Parks and Recreation are both among the five best comedies to debut in the last 10 years.) The longtime friends — dating back to their Chicago improv days in the early ‘90s — have also proven to be funny together, most notably during their well-received gigs hosting the Golden Globes. I’m telling you all of that to tell you this…I can’t believe how bad their new movie is.
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    Turn: Washington’s Spies Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 22nd, 2016

    “These rebels, they have no fear, or they have so much they are numb to it. They feel as if they have nothing left to lose, and they hate us who do…”

    It’s all just a matter of perspective, isn’t it? As a history teacher I have taught aspects of that event we all recognize as the American Revolutionary War. Did you know that in a British history book I have it is referred to as the Colonial Rebellion? You see, one man’s revolution is another man’s rebellion. Everybody is talking about who will be the next James Bond. It seems we’ve been fascinated by the spy genre since the early 1960’s. AMC has added a new wrinkle to the spy game with Turn: Washington’s Spies. When we say Washington, we’re not talking about the city.
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    Maude: Season Four

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 22nd, 2016

    “And then there’s Maude.”

    In football, there’s always a lot of talk about coaching trees. You know the idea. Some great mastermind who saw his assistants go on to have success of their own and who passed that lucky charm down to others for, perhaps, generations. All In The Family would be the television equivalent to a coach with a long tree. There were an incredible number of spinoffs that led to other spinoffs. Archie’s neighbors The Jeffersons moved on up to the East Side and had their own several years of success.
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    Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 21st, 2016

    “How much of an a–hole do you have to be to be successful?”

    Over the last couple of years, a grand total of three movies — 2013’s Jobs, along with 2015’s Steve Jobs and now Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine — have applied that very question to Apple’s late co-founder. Each film has approached the issue from different angles, but this Alex Gibney documentary is easily the most comprehensive, even if it’s not the exactly the most entertaining or satisfying.
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    The Bible Stories: Moses

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 21st, 2016

    I recently reviewed a cinematic production of a different bible story, Noah’s Ark, and I commented on the fact that I have heard that particular story told time and time again since childhood. Now I have been given the opportunity to review another bible story adapted for screen: the story of Moses. I thought that I had heard the story of Noah a lot, but then I began thinking about how many times I have heard the story of Moses. Whether be it through different adaptations of films or the original tale in the Bible, I believe I have experienced a retelling of the tale of Moses more than any other tale from the good book.
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    Drunk History: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 21st, 2016

    In the last few years, I’ve begun to question the veracity of any of the history I’ve been taught. I’ve been finding big chunks of history that were never included in the textbooks, and it seemed to depend on the point of view of the teller what kind of history you got. The old saying is, “History belongs to the victors”. It’s that sort of thing. Now you can add Drunk History to the mix. This is where people talk about historical event, but only after they have become hopelessly debilitated by alcohol. It’s funny to watch, and, in this case, you already know for sure history is becoming garbled.
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    Room (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 17th, 2016

    “When I was small, I only knew small things. But now I’m five, I know everything!”

    Room opens on the day that Jack, the movie’s relentlessly curious young protagonist, turns five. Jack is our entry point and guide through this story, but there’s at least one important thing he doesn’t know. In Room, we see how a mother and her son cope with one of the most harrowing circumstances imaginable. It should make for a grim experience, but this wonderfully-crafted film winds up being a moving story about resilience and how parents and their children can draw strength from one another.
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    The Hatching

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 17th, 2016

    Here we go, yet another killer crocodile film to whet your appetites for fun, cheesy gore and perhaps a late-night scare or two.  Sure, the thought of another killer crocodile film may cause some (OK, many) to roll their eyes, but in the killer-animal genre, it’s the crocs and gators that still manage to get my attention.  Perhaps it’s because I’m a Florida boy, born and raised, and around these parts it’s not much of a surprise to hear about gators being found in the strangest places.  With The Hatching bringing us some cold-blooded horror out of the UK, I figure I’ll test the waters with this film from across the pond and see what it has to offer.
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    The Bible Stories: Abraham

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 17th, 2016

    In the book of Genesis from the Bible, the story of Abraham comes right after the stories of Adam and Eve and Noah. It is one of the foundation stories of the Bible and talks of Abraham being the father of the Jewish people. The Bible is the source book of Christianity as well. The stories of the Bible are well known among people of all faiths as well, so it is assumed that most people on the planet know the story of Abraham. Bible stories are done religiously (pun intended), and Richard Harris (Camelot, Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter movies) himself has done two other Bible stories (Cain in The Bible: In the Beginning and the apostle John in The Apocalypse).
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    Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray)

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

    “Perhaps we’ve grown so used to horror, we assume there’s no other way.”

    Given the quantity and quality of death and destruction we’ve witnessed over the previous four years, the most shocking thing Game of Thrones could do in its fifth season was offer a tiny glimmer of hope. After all, optimism in Westeros and Essos is an even rarer commodity than dragons. Yet this batch of episodes probably gives us the clearest glimpse at the endgame of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” saga. (Even as the author’s deliberate pace continues to drive book readers mad.) That being said, don’t think for a second the show has gone soft in its old middle age: Thrones still has the unmatched ability to dazzle and devastate in equal measure.
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    Manhattan: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 14th, 2016

    “There’s always some variable you didn’t account for.”

    Manhattan is one of those variables. It’s one of those dramatic stories where mankind is altered forever. If it weren’t absolutely true, someone would have had to make it up. Every child in schools around the world knows about the atomic bombs that ended World War II. We’ve all seen the terrible destruction that exceeded even the expectations of the scientists and engineers who designed and built these bombs. We all live in the aftermath of these events.
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    The Big Short (Blu-ray)

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

    I’m guessing most of you still don’t really know what happened.”

    There is absolutely nothing funny about the financial crisis of 2008. Besides the fact that the bursting of the U.S. housing bubble led to the failure of countless businesses and a disastrous decline in consumer wealth, the crisis involved key phrases like “credit default swap” and “collateralized debt obligation.” Those terms are much more likely to make your eyes glaze over in boredom or confusion than they are to inspire laughs. The Big Short cannily recognizes this challenge and crafts a farcical, incisive narrative about a small group of outcasts who saw the whole thing coming.
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