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    Houdini

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 8th, 2014

    By John Delia

    The History Channel’s biography of Houdini is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. The exciting drama delivers a fascinating story of the greatest magician and escape artist the world over.  The transfer from cable to home video is nearly flawless, and the extra 20 minutes of story in the extended version adds a nice touch to the famous entertainer’s prolific story. Special bonus features add credence with actual photos and video of the real Houdini doing some of his most dangerous stunts.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Werewolf Rising

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 8th, 2014

    The werewolf continues to be the one monster that just can’t seem to get the film that it deserves.  There has been The Howling and of course An American Werewolf in London, but in the past decade has there been a better werewolf film than Dog Soldiers?  It’s a monster than promises so much violence and can incite so much fear, but instead we are given terrible zombie and vampire films.  With one look at the cover I knew what I was getting into with Werewolf Rising, a low-budget attempt at the monster genre. Though it may not boast a large budget, I can’t help but appreciate this micro-budget attempt that avoids falling back on CGI effects.
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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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    Million Dollar Arm (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on October 7th, 2014

    Baseball is huge, and Bollywood is huge, so imagine if you put them together. In many ways, Million Dollar Arm is about Indian culture and what a separate world it is from ours. The film starts out in Los Angeles where J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm from Mad Men) is a sports agent who has broken off from a big agency to start his own firm. His partner, Aash (Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show), is very nervous about where their next client is coming from, since they lost a big one right at the start of the film.
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    Sons of Liberty

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 7th, 2014

    By the time the innovative opening credits for Sons of Liberty wrap up, the movie has outlined an expansive backstory that mixes historical fact (the real-life Sons of Liberty form in Boston in 1765) and fiction (Allister Salinger, the head of the mysterious Ordo Mundi, designs the first successful human clone in 1974). It’s surprisingly dense stuff, especially for a jumbled, straight-to-DVD action/thriller that mostly plays out like a particularly violent episode of NCIS.
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    Walker: Texas Ranger – Reunion

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 7th, 2014

    There was a new cowboy in Dallas, and he wasn’t throwing touchdown passes. But Walker was almost gone before he could really get started. After just four episodes the show’s production company suffered financial collapse, and the show was rescued at the last minute by CBS Productions, who would continue to run the show for its nearly decade-long run. For nine years Chuck Norris brought us the ultimate Texas Ranger in a formula cops and robbers show. The show often became a parody of itself but maintained a solid viewer ship throughout.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” The Dead and the Damned II

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 6th, 2014

    So you want to make a zombie flick, but you realize everyone and their (undead) brother seems to have beat you to the bite punch. The question becomes, “how am I going to make my monster movie standout?” Even if you mess around with time, place, and genre, it’s hard to stake out new territory. The micro-budgeted/straight-to-DVD Dead and the Damned — also released as Cowboys & Zombies in 2011 — tried to play with all three. This new sequel takes a more typical approach to zombie horror; in fact, the biggest departures are a curiously-armored hero, a disabled heroine, and an amusing undercurrent of horniness.
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    Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 6th, 2014

    My mom’s worn-out VHS tape was simply labeled “Motown 25.” I can very vividly remember it sitting in the entertainment center of our living room in Puerto Rico when I was little. It even migrated over to St. Petersburg with the rest of our family almost 20 years ago. As time passed and we adopted DVDs, a lot of our VHS tapes got pushed to the background (or the scrap heap). But not “Motown 25.” I suppose I never realized the historic, star-studded concert celebrating Motown’s 25th anniversary had never been available on DVD. Well thanks to StarVista Entertainment/Time Life Entertainment, that’s no longer the case.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” From Dusk Till Dawn: Complete Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 5th, 2014

    In 1996 it was a brave new world for  Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Tarantino was still riding the wave of Pulp Fiction’s fame, while Rodriguez was going strong with his follow up to El Mariachi, Desperado (which went on to be a bigger hit).  The two had crossed paths at various film festivals, and through the course of their meetings they discussed various projects they could possibly do together.  The project that brought these two together would be horror/ crime genre mixer, From Dusk Till Dawn.
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    Are You Here

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 5th, 2014

    by John Delia

    Taking on characters that are far from their norm, Zach Galifianakis, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler show their comedy with a serious edge in the romantic drama Are You Here.  Surprisingly, the three can hold their own and show their fans that they have an ability to take on other more serious roles. The movie, now on DVD for home viewing, is also available in Blu-ray.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 2nd, 2014

    Despite its found-footage conceit and similar-sounding title, The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is somewhat of a different demon animal than a certain recent horror franchise. Given that found-footage fatigue seems to be setting in among critics and audiences, any sort of deviation from the norm should be welcome. The problem is this film ultimately doesn’t deviate far enough and hedges its bets with a climax that seems transplanted in from a handful of other movies. More importantly, viewers will probably be too bored to even care by the time movie gets around to being scary.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Grave Halloween

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 1st, 2014

    It’s that time of year again, where spooky decorations are set up and pumpkins are carved.  Most importantly, though, is that October is the month where horror fans can celebrate their favorite month of the year with as many blood-soaked horror titles as they can handle.  Unfortunately, though, it seems companies enjoy taking advantage of this time of year and will attach the Halloween name to just about anything in hopes of getting people to buy their product.  I mention this because though the title may be Grave Halloween, it has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday but everything to do with the Suicide Forest in Japan.
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    The Midnight Special

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 30th, 2014

    If you were around in 1972, television was a very different place. By midnight most stations were shutting down to the tune of the national anthem. After that there was a test pattern and a high-pitched ring that would fill your screen until dawn when programming would resume. Of course, there were also only three networks, and, if you were lucky enough to live in a large market, a handful of local stations. All good people were expected to be safely tucked into their beds long before 1:00 AM.
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    Criminal Minds: Season 9

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 30th, 2014

    To the point, Criminal Minds is very compelling television. Ever since The Silence of the Lambs and perhaps long before, we have been fascinated by serial killers and the profilers who try to get inside their heads. To see evidence of the continuing trend, one needs only look toward the success of films like Zodiac and shows like Dexter. Of course, serial killers are not the only prey this FBI team pursues, but they are certainly the marquee item on the agenda. To be sure, there are equally disturbing subjects
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    Key & Peele: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 30th, 2014

    It’s been quite some time since The Chappelle Show went off the air, and it would appear Comedy Central has finally found its replacement.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say the show is on the same par, but what Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele bring to the small screen is something that has piqued my interest and shows some potential.  Both Key and Peele got their big break from working on the sketch comedy show MADtv, and it would seem they are taking their talents and what they learned to bring us something that is a little familiar but still fresh and keeps its audience laughing.
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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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    Reign: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 29th, 2014

    Politics, backstabbing, murder…just another day at French court.”

    The creators of Reign — the CW’s campy, compulsively-watchable adaptation of the Mary, Queen of Scots saga — seem to be perfectly aware of their audience. I don’t think I’m talking out of school when I say no one turns to the CW — home of DC heroes, vampires, and other Supernatural beings — for gritty realism or historical accuracy. So it really shouldn’t be a surprise to find the monarch’s life has been turned into a handsome, soapy, frequently ridiculous drama that will nevertheless make European History teachers around the world facepalm in unison.
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    Sleepy Hollow Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 26th, 2014

    “And I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, “Come and see.” Then, behold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him.”

    No, this is not a Johnny Cash song or a bible study post. Believe it or not, we’re talking Ichabod Crane from Washington Irving’s famous story The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Fans of the tale will recall that Ichabod came to encounter the headless horseman in one of the first American horror tales ever written.
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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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    Revenge: The Complete Third Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 25th, 2014

    - “Let’s never say the words ‘Carrion’ or ‘Initiative’ ever again.”

    - “Amen to that.”

    “Carrion” was a tedious MacGuffin of a computer program. “The Initiative” was the shadowy, faceless organization responsible for the terrorist attack pinned on the father of Revenge heroine Emily Thorne. Together, they combined to make the sophomore season of ABC’s formerly scorching-hot nighttime soap a tiresome chore.
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    NCIS: Season 11

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 24th, 2014

    Special Agent Gibbs (Harmon) heads up this group of criminal investigators. Harmon has always been good, but I dare you to find a character he’s played better. He just eats up the part. You won’t have any trouble believing that Gibbs is the seasoned veteran investigator leading this team. Special Agent DiNozzo (Weatherly) is a former Baltimore homicide detective who often lets his determination run his investigation into trouble. He’ll bend a rule or throw a punch, whatever it takes to bring down the bad guy. Pauley Perrette plays the goth chick/forensic specialist Abby Sciuto.
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    Rise Up Black Man

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 24th, 2014

    There’s certainly an interesting movie to be made about cultural assimilation and the ensuing racial conflicts within the black community. Those topics have been explored in everything from a classic, brilliantly profane Chris Rock routine to the just-premiered ABC sitcom Black-ish. They’re also ostensibly tackled in Rise Up Black Man, a total mess of a micro-budget drama that tries to do way too much and accomplishes little beyond leaving viewers scratching their heads.
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    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 24th, 2014

    “The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.”

    Marilyn Burns, Paul Partain, Allen Danziger, Teri McMinn, William Vail and Gunnar Hansen individually may not be that well known.
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    Grey’s Anatomy: Season 10

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 24th, 2014

    “The waiting will kill you.”

    For the fans of Grey’s Anatomy, the summer-long wait is finally over. You have the season premiere of season 11 upon you, and you get to relive all 24 episodes of season 9 with this DVD collection. Hopefully you’ll find it was worth the wait.
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