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    Plastic

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on October 30th, 2014

    Well-acted and directed, a surprisingly good action flick Plastic has hit the home video market on DVD.  The movie offers its own interpretation of a several million dollar diamond heist that actually took place by a group of men in 1997.  The original robbery spanned from Manchester, England to Los Angeles, CA and involving the prestigious Bejon Jewelers on Rodeo Drive.  This film’s story adds a little comedy with their creative crime caper and that’s a good thing because if not, it would have been just be another heist movie.
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    Behaving Badly

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 30th, 2014

    “Everyone in this story is guilty of something.”

    With the exception of bland do-gooder/ dream girl Nina Pennington (Selena Gomez), all of the characters in Behaving Badly seem desperate to live up to — or rather down to — the movie’s title. The plot revolves around strippers, nuns, dead Latin teachers, and Lithuanian mobsters, so it’s clear the filmmakers were going for mindless raunch. But instead of a gleefully debauched 97 minutes, we get “comedy” that lacks wit and laughs that feel totally uninspired.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” A Letter to Momo (Blu-ray)

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

    As the spookiest holiday of the year draws closer, we’re all probably a little more sensitive to anything that goes bump in the night. Almost every creature associated with Halloween is meant to terrify us, but what if some of those horrific-looking monsters were actually tasked with watching over us? In the Japanese animated drama A Letter to Momo, a young girl encounters a trio of mischievous spirits that only she can see and hear. The monster shenanigans, however, were merely one aspect in what turned out to be one of the more affecting family films I’ve seen this year.
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    Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 29th, 2014

    “It was the gang that ran amok. You have people who were being extorted, who talked of having a shotgun barrel stuck in their mouths or machine guns pointed at their groin. Body bags were shown by Bulger as he shakes them down. It was absolute terror.”

    It amazes me that I really had very little idea who James J. Bulger was before I watched this film by director Joe Berlinger. How could I have missed this guy? On the run for over 16 years, Bulger was once #2 on the FBI’s most wanted list. Who was #1? That was Osama Bin Laden. So who was this man that came in second only to the world’s most infamous terrorist?
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    Rick & Morty: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 29th, 2014

    For a while now it has been accepted that cartoons are no longer for kids, and it can be argued that most of the popular animated shows now are more geared towards adults rather than kids these days.  I’ve grown up with The Simpsons, and I’ve enjoyed the run that Family Guy has had, but really these have been the only animated shows I’d consider myself loyal to.  Upon seeing some ads promoting Rick and Morty as well as hearing my friends talk about the show, I couldn’t help but think perhaps this could possibly be a new animated series I could get excited about.
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    The Prince (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 28th, 2014

    “That man brings hell with him wherever he goes.”

    The “man” is supposed to be Paul Brennan (Jason Patric), a retired mob enforcer-turned-unassuming auto mechanic who reluctantly returns to his violent ways after his daughter goes missing. But the real culprit might be director Brian A. Miller. With The Prince and this year’s The Outsider, the director has made two consecutive sub-Taken crime dramas that lack the cohesion, refinement or energy to work even as satisfyingly junky action movies.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Deliver Us From Evil

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 26th, 2014

    Inspired by the actual accounts of an NYPD sergeant.”

    Deliver Us From Evil comes attached with what may be the most flowery variation yet of the “Based on a True Story” tag I’m always wary of. The deliberately-worded phrase is designed to lend an air of verisimilitude to the inherently supernatural demonic possession genre. (Not unlike what The Conjuring did with its real-life paranormal investigators on its way to becoming a smash.) While Deliver Us From Evil has a few decent jolts, it doesn’t come close to capitalizing on the promise of its unique source material.
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    The Mentalist: Season 6

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 25th, 2014

    The Mentalist was once the highest rated drama on television. There was a lot to like here, as I’ll discuss throughout this review. But I think most of us had gotten a little sick and tired of the Red John story. The show milked the single case for over five years, and the fan base had dissolved to the point that the once #1 show has been on the bubble for the last two seasons. Next year it will return, but only as a January mid-season replacement, a place many shows begin their lives. Fans’ patience has worn thin, but at long last the show’s producers discovered what we’ve known since the second season.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Scribbler

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 24th, 2014

    by John Delia

    Here’s a young adult targeted DVD that’s based on a graphic novel called The Scribbler. Perfect for those who want to cozy up on Halloween night, this science fiction thriller has a wicked tone and some ghoulish ghastly scenes. Actually, it’s very well acted for a low-budget indie, and the special effects are also a treat. The story gets kinda funky and way off the wall, but that’s what science fiction’s all about.


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    “31 Days Of Terror” Life After Beth (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 23rd, 2014

    Imagine if you had a second chance to tell that loved one you lost how much you loved them, or were able to do the things you wished you had done the first time, but you hesitated because you didn’t take into account the fragility of life.   Life After Beth shows us the joys that can come with when getting that second chance while at the same time revealing the dark consequences that may come with this new opportunity.  There are numerous zombie films and series out in the market, but Life After Beth may be the most unique take on the genre in some time.
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    Billy Crystal: 700 Sundays

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 22nd, 2014

    Billy Crystal has built a legendary career as one of the most multi-faceted entertainers in all of showbiz. He’s a successful actor, comedian, writer, producer and director. At various points, Crystal has been a major star on television, on stage, and at the movies. He’s entertained everyone from musicians to movie stars, thanks to his gigs as a three-time Grammy host and nine-time Academy Awards emcee. But what works best about his return to the stage in 700 Sundays — Crystal’s Tony-winning one-man show — is how it illustrates the idea that virtually every entertainer gets his or her first round of applause in the family living room.
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    The Last Supper (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 21st, 2014

    “Kings are made, not born.”

    It’s a provocative thesis for any story, especially since the same debate about kings has played out over centuries’ worth of world history. Unfortunately, filmmaker Lu Chuan largely decided to take a “tell, don’t show” approach with The Last Supper, which depicts the last gasp of China’s Qin dynasty and the rise of the Han dynasty and its commoner-turned-emperor.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Haunting at Preston Castle

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 20th, 2014

    For fans of many of the ghost-hunting shows, Preston Castle is a location many will already be familiar with.  Once a former reform school for boys that opened in 1894 and finally shut down in the 1960’s, it was a location rumored to hold many atrocities against its young occupants.  Whether you are a believer in the supernatural or not, Preston Castle is a location that upon appearance is beautiful as well as foreboding, and is the perfect location for a haunted house film.  Of course the film boasts that it is inspired by true events, but I don’t think anyone should exactly hold the filmmakers up to a fact-checking examination, but instead just simply sit back and enjoy the ride.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Chemical Peel

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 18th, 2014

    Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the Ebola scare that is headlining the airwaves.  The release of Chemical Peel couldn’t be timelier to effectively feed off the fears of the American public that is glued to their television screens, waiting for the announcement of the newly infected.  This is the kind of free marketing even the big-budget films wish they could get.  Unfortunately what is missing from the film are characters for us to care about and root for, and that is never a good sign.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Witching & Bitching

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 17th, 2014

    By John Delia

    If you are looking for a comedy with horror on DVD for a get-together with friends on Halloween, check out Witching & Bitching. It’s very raunchy, gross and gory, but if you like rude, crude and unglued, then this film’s perfect for an adult party.  The film plays out in Spanish with English subtitles, but don’t let that bother you.  The visuals are so funny and wacky, it’s worth a little reading while you watch.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Following: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 16th, 2014

    The creator of Dawson’s Creek and The Vampire Diaries, Kevin Williams, delivers a thriller that is a bold new entry in the crime drama for television.  Season one of The Following was 15 episodes of nail-biting bliss that kept the viewer guessing and riveted long after its gut-wrenching cliffhanger.  For a while I was beginning to wonder if Williamson had lost his touch with the Scream series, but what you’ll discover in the Fox series is that Williamson may just be the king of creating and penning one of the darkest serial killers on the small screen.
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    Nashville: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 15th, 2014

    If you’ve ever asked someone, “What kind of music do you listen to?”, chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “I like everything…except country.” By that logic, a significant portion of TV viewers automatically dismissed ABC’s Nashville when it premiered two years ago. The flawed, entertaining musical drama has deservedly made it to a third season, which kicked off a few weeks ago. However, I think it’s useful to revisit Nashville‘s sophomore season. This set of episodes significantly re-calibrated the series — not always for the better — and marked the start of a shift toward the version of the show that is currently on the air.
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    2 Broke Girls: The Complete Third Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 14th, 2014

    Everyone on TV has nicer clothes and a bigger home than you do. And I’m not just talking about fictional doctors or lawyers. Even small-screen characters with relatively modest incomes manage to live in palatial apartments. Need proof? The 2 Broke Girls in CBS’s hit sitcom have an apartment that is literally big enough to fit a horse. (Hi, Chestnut.) Season 3 brings a new pet (Ep. 3/“And the Kitty Kitty Spank Spank”) and briefly threatens to remove Max and Caroline from their home (Ep. 22/“And the New Lease on Life”). I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying things work out in the end. By now, the show’s crass predictability has become oddly comforting.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Ben 10 Omniverse – Galactic Monsters

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2014

    With the month of October in full swing, it comes as no surprise to see Halloween-themed episodes popping up.  With the new DVD of Ben 10: Galactic Monsters, sure, it’s a cash grab for the holiday season, but thankfully on this release we get a set of fun episodes that are a bit of a departure from the average episodes.  It’s not that I dislike Ben 10, but it’s a show I enjoy in small doses; after all, too much of anything can always be a bad thing.  But thankfully, with the average five-episode release we get on the DVD from Cartoon Network, it has just the right amount of episodes to please everyone.
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    Duck Dynasty: Season 6 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2014

    It’s that time of the year again to dust off the old hunting rifle and shake out the camouflage suits, because Duck Commander is back in action.  Duck Dynasty comes to Blu-ray on its sixth season, and I am just about certain it is time the quack pack has hung up their camo and walked away from their television careers.  The show has had a good run, but with this current season it is clear the show has run its course, and it is time the Robertson’s should make a graceful exit while their ratings are still strong.
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    Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 9th, 2014

    By John Delia

    Most every child knows the story of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty from early video, books and DVD.  Unless you went to see the movie at a theater back in the 1959, however, you probably saw a version that was not crisp and colorful. Finally, after what seems forever, the family animated fantasy has been Blu-ray remastered and digitally restored in super widescreen. The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD have new bonus features and include the DVD release’s special extras as well.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Sharknado 2: The Second One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 9th, 2014

    “You know what you just did, don’t you? You jumped the shark.”

    People have been mocking SyFy original films since the days when the network spelled its own name properly. But staying home on a Saturday night to “MST3K” your way through flicks with D-list actors and Z-grade visual effects has been replaced by Twitter, which practically blew up when the impossibly campy Sharknado premiered last year. SyFy recognized that social media has made it possible for anyone with Internet access to trade yuks and one-liners on a global scale; more importantly, it has allowed the network to be in on the joke in an unprecedented way.
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    Ancient Aliens: Season 6 – Vol 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 8th, 2014

    “Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true?

    Ever since Eric von Daniken released his speculative book and its subsequent 1970 film Chariots of the Gods, there has been an entire field of study created around something commonly called Ancient Astronaut Theory. The idea is that extraterrestrials have visited many of our ancient civilizations. The theory continues that these visitors had a hand in shaping our development, whether it be through technology or even manipulation of our very DNA.
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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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