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    The Red Road: The Complete First Season

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

    Even though one of the main characters in The Red Road is a police officer, the show’s six-episode first season plays less like your typical cop drama and more like an extended profile of two strained communities. There’s the fictional town of Walpole, N.J. and the Lenape tribe that lives in the neighboring Ramapo Mountains. While the show certainly touches on the tension between the two communities, too much time here is devoted to multi-generational family drama that we’ve seen before. In other words, the show too often neglects the things that make it unique.
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    Longmire: Season 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 8th, 2015

    I’m going to come right out and say that before I got season 3 to review, all I had previously seen of Longmire was through advertisements I would catch every now and again.  It was a show that seemed to have a lot of promise, but with the amount of DVD watching that comes with writing for the site, you have to be a bit picky about what you want to watch in your “spare time”.  Thanks to the help of the internet I was able to watch some season 1 and 2 recaps and surprisingly when I started up season 3 there wasn’t much difficulty in catching up and getting into the groove of the show. 
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    Breaking Amish Los Angeles: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 6th, 2015

    When Stephen King wrote The Running Man back in 1982, he might very well have been looking through a crystal ball at the television landscape of the 21st century. While we haven’t started executing criminals in game-show fashion …yet … reality television has had a huge impact on our pop culture. From Big Brother to Survivor, Americans continue to get their kicks watching attention-needy “contestants” engage in silly little dramas and the occasional shoving match. Maybe we should blame it all on Jerry Springer.
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    Outlander: Season One, Volume One

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 5th, 2015

    “There’s no place on Earth with more magic and superstition mixed into its daily life than the Scottish Highlands.”

    To build its slate of original programming, Starz has largely decided to look to the past. In recent years, the premium cable network has produced shows like Da Vinci’s Demons, The White Queen, and Black Sails, each of them (loosely) historical dramas with varying amounts of nudity sprinkled in. But it took a trip to the Scottish Highlands — and to the 18th century — for the channel to find its biggest hit to date.
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    Sons of Anarchy: Season 7 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 3rd, 2015

    “Remember when our biggest problem was which Mayan to kill?”

    All good things come to an end, and all rides eventually reach their destination. It’s all come home for the gang at Sons of Anarchy, and you can believe that if anyone is left standing when it’s over, there will be scars. Kurt Sutter has taken the culture of the motorcycle club, don’t call them a gang, and made it accessible to a regular audience. He did that not by attempting to overwhelm us with the iconography of the genre.
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    Beyond the Lights (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 3rd, 2015

    The cop here thinks he’s The Bodyguard.”

    At first glance, Beyond the Lights could easily be dismissed as an updated, less starry version of the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston romantic blockbuster. Both feature a glamorous pop star falling in love with her strait-laced protector. But while The Bodyguard became a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, Beyond the Lights had a much less dazzling run in theaters, grossing just over $14 million. It’s a shame because the flawed newer film has some interesting ideas about celebrity, artistic integrity, and…black women’s hair.
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    Zombieworld

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

    “The world has indeed gone topsy turvy”.

    It’s as inevitable as death and taxes. When you review movies that come out on home video, you will see a lot of zombie films. Every wannabe filmmaker with a camcorder and 20 bucks thinks they can break into the business with a few staggering zombies, bare breasts and a screaming hero laying down profanities and head shots for 80 minutes.
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    Horrible Bosses 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 26th, 2015

    Despite being a fan of just about everyone involved with Horrible Bosses, I was more than a little disappointed by the first film.  It wasn’t awful or unwatchable by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt with a cast like Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis, it just should have been better.  But the movie gods have spoken and decided that the first film performed well enough that it deserved a sequel.  What worked for the first film was the idea behind finally having enough of your bosses and being pushed to the point where murder seems like a viable option.
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    The Homesman (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 25th, 2015

    “There’s been some trouble with the women hereabouts…it’s bad.” 

    What exactly is a Western? That’s the question that the cast and crew of The Homesman struggle with here. They appear to be divided on the subject, and the same sentiment will likely make this one a little harder to pigeonhole. That’s not necessarily important except when it comes to marketing a film. An audience wants some kind of an idea what they’re getting when they see it on the shelf of their local video store. Tommy Lee Jones wrote, directed and stared in this period piece, and he’d rather you not call it a Western. Others connected with the film are on board with the genre label.
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    Dying of the Light (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 23rd, 2015

    Sometimes in film the drama behind the scenes can be more interesting than the actual film we see up on the big screen. For writer/director Paul Schrader, having drama behind the scenes that effects the final project that we get to see is something he is more familiar with than he’d care to admit to.  The firestorm that occurred with the release of 2005’s Dominion: The Prequel to the Exorcist became so intense that the studio insisted upon a new director to come in and do extensive reshoots that subsequently led to the release of a separate film directed by Renny Harlin
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    Altar

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 20th, 2015

    When it comes to haunted house films, despite how often the plots seem to be retold time after time, it is still hard for me to say no to giving them a shot. After all, you never know when you may stumble upon a gem.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say Altar is a gem or a groundbreaking entry in the genre, but for some late-night thrills the film has all the ingredients to deliver a case of the late-night creepy crawlies. The Hamilton family arrives at a large country house in Yorkshire, where Meg (Olivia Williams) is tasked with restoring the home to its original condition.
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    Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 19th, 2015

    “All men must die.”

    The official tagline for Season 4 of HBO’s Game of Thrones also doubles as a helpful reminder of author George R.R. Martin’s no-character-is-safe philosophy. But even plastering that quote all over posters, promos, and the cover of this exemplary-in-every-way Blu-ray set isn’t likely to prepare you for the most devastating and thrilling season of a show that specializes in “devastating and thrilling.”
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    The Chair

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 18th, 2015

    For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with film.  Growing up in the 80’s, getting to understand the process of how films were made wasn’t very accessible unless you were lucky to catch a behind-the-scenes special on HBO or Showtime for some big new release.  It wasn’t till laserdisc and eventually DVD where the fans would be able to look beyond the magical curtain of cinema and get to see the process of how a film was made.  I still get giddy with excitement watching some of my favorite directors getting to work their magic behind the scenes.
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    Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 17th, 2015

    “Three years ago brash billionaire daredevil Sly Baron vowed to make space tourism a reality. Today his lucky passengers are boldly going where none of them have been before. No, not Delaware…space.”

    It’s a new frontier for the Scooby gang, but not the final one to be sure. Scooby Doo has spanned generations and over 40 years. Since the 1960’s the name and conventions have become a part of the pop culture. The original cartoon series had a series of conventions.
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    Walker, Texas Ranger: War Zone

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 17th, 2015

    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 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 viewership throughout. Hell, Norris even sings the theme song.
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    RPG (Real Playing Game)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 16th, 2015

    Imagine if in the not too distant future you could have the opportunity to be young again, and for the right price you could possibly never have to worry about ever growing old ever again.  RPG looks into this possibility and the chances people are willing to take for this chance to indulge their youth once again.  But like with anything that seems too good to be true, there is a catch, and in this game there are actually two catches.  First you need to have the millions of dollars in your bank account to even play the game, and the second catch is that you have to be the lone survivor of the game to receive the award of lasting youth. 
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    Olive Kitteridge (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 16th, 2015

    Why are you so hateful, Olive?”

    Olive Kitteridge — Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel —has been adapted into a four-hour HBO miniseries. It’s probably the best possible outcome for Strout’s story, which deals with the legacy of depression, along with several other box office-unfriendly themes that would almost certainly prevent any proper Kitteridge adaptation from sniffing a multiplex. The miniseries is well-made, and the acting is top-notch. The problem for me was that, even with that four-hour running time, we don’t get a ton of insight into why the title character is so hateful.
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    Frankenstein vs. The Mummy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 12th, 2015

    The days of Lon Chaney and Boris Karloff are long gone, but Hollywood refuses to give up on the classic monsters these men and others once brought to live on the big screen.  Despite how many years have passed since these monsters of the night first terrified audiences, filmgoers continue to fork over their cash to see these stories rehashed again and again. In the new release of Frankenstein vs The Mumny, we see the revival of two classic monsters and the opportunity to see them battle head to head.  Without the big budget to support this monster smackdown, is it still worth watching, or is this a battle that should have remained dead?
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    Poker Night (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 12th, 2015

    As far as I’m concerned, a filmmaker has to work pretty hard to screw up a poker game. (And for the record, I feel the same way about cinematic sniper fights and train heists.) It’s an inherently high-stakes situation that is both familiar and unpredictable, and in the hands of the right director a poker game can be either thrilling or funny. At various points, Poker Night manages to be both. But even though I certainly wouldn’t say writer/director Greg Francis screwed up this stylish horror-crime thriller, the movie is flush with flashbacks and subplots that distract from the really good stuff.
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    Nicolas Le Floch – Volume Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 12th, 2015

    This being the first foreign series that I’ve covered for the site, I couldn’t be happier with the results. Knowing nothing about Nicolas Le Floch, I naturally had a few reservations about the series.  It wasn’t in English, so how was I intended to comprehend what the characters were saying (knew I should have taken French in college)? Being that I’m ignorant of the laws and traditions of their government, how difficult would it be to follow the storyline? Of course these reservations were in vain as the series proved its worth with great ease, displaying all the great characteristics of the mysteries I love.
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    101 Dalmatians: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Athena on February 11th, 2015

    Athena here. That’s right, I’m the Siberian Husky that kind of runs things here at Gino’s house. Since I did such a great job doing the review on Snow Dogs, I decided to step in when I saw Gino watching yet another dog film. This time it was Walt Disney’s classic 101 Dalmatians. Naturally the film would have been better if it had been called 101 Siberian Huskies, but unfortunately the film was based on a popular children’s book by Dodie Smith who happened to have Dalmatians herself, so let’s not blame her; she didn’t know any better. Walt Disney himself discovered the story and took a personal interest in having it made into an animated film. 
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    Marie’s Mind for Murder

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

    I see the crime a bit differently.”

    American television hasn’t quite cornered the worldwide market on unconventional, endearingly quirky investigators. MHz Networks has just released a hearty helping of German cop drama in the form of Marie’s Mind for Murder. Despite the violent crimes being investigated, the show would’ve fit snugly alongside lighthearted whodunnits like USA Network’s Monk or Psych. You get to sample plenty of Murder with this DVD set, considering there are 10 episodes that each clock in at a shade under 90 minutes.
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    Crime Scene Cleaner

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 10th, 2015

    Consider that we are in a golden age of television, where it is just about impossible to keep up with all the good television shows, even with the luxury of DVR.  That being said, the notion of taking on watching a show that is broadcast overseas can seem a little daunting (yes, I know there are still legions of loyal Doctor Who and Sherlock fans, just to name a few).  When the offer came along to check out a comedy from Germany I was more than a little hesitant, but upon hearing the title Crime Scene Cleaner, well, my interest was piqued. 
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    Exists

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

    I definitely give the creators points for shying away from the usual cast of creatures that are associated with a cabin in the woods. However, the fact that scenario is a bit cliche does take away from some the points given: a cabin in the woods, seriously? It’s getting a bit old, don’t you think? Don’t get me wrong, it does provide an isolated area where controlling the chaos is easier, and I supposed there is something to be said for being cut off from the populace. I suppose when thinking about further, it does create a chill factor; however, my opinion remains the same.
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    The Best of Me: Tears of Joy Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 5th, 2015

    “You want me to fall back in love with you? How do I do that if I never stopped?”

    Or, in my case, how do I do that if I never started? Nicholas Sparks’ fans love the author as passionately and unabashedly as the lead characters in his best-selling books fawn over each other. But even though I think The Notebook is the ideal sappy romantic drama, I’ve never been part of that club. In fact, his stories — and the movie adaptations they spawn — seem to be getting worse. And yet I was somewhat intrigued by The Best of Me…at least until the movie’s monumentally dopey conclusion, which likely inspired the release of this “Tears of Joy” mea culpa Edition.
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