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    Supernatural: Season 9 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 12th, 2014

    “There’s virtually nothing the Winchesters can’t do if they work together.”

    But that’s the rub, isn’t it? The tradition has been that each of the last several seasons end up beginning with the brothers separated for one reason or another. Often one of them is trying to escape Hell, purgatory or some fantasy mental land. There are at least two times a year they split up over an argument.
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    The World Wars (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 11th, 2014

    “One must regard the 30 years of strife, turmoil and suffering in Europe as part of one story. One story of a 30 years war.” – Winston Churchill

    He was exactly correct, and one of only a few people of the time who had the vision to understand that concept. Before the end of World War II the first world war was known as The Great War. The idea of two separate world wars came later.
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    Richard Lewis: Bundle of Nerves

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 11th, 2014

    Some of the most iconic stand-up comics of all time have famously wrestled with personal demons while simultaneously mining them for material on stage. Few have done so more successfully — and for a longer period of time — than Richard Lewis. His neurotic, self-flagellating act earned Lewis his “Prince of Pain” nickname, but his longevity is just as impressive. The fact is a lot of great comics don’t last as long as Lewis because they lose that battle with their demons too soon. So it’s great to see that, at age 67, Lewis finally gets his due with a DVD set that covers some of his most seminal work.
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    Vampire Diaries: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 10th, 2014

    “It’s been a long summer.”

    And my how things have changed in Mystic Falls. Elena is a vampire, and Katherine is now a human, and doing a pitiful job of that, to be sure. Bonnie is a ghost who only Jeremy can see, and they’re trying to keep it all a big secret from everyone so they all think Bonnie is out globe-hopping and having a great time. Stefan is at the bottom of a lake in a safe where everyone else thinks Silas is.
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    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 9th, 2014

    “It’s called compartmentalization. No one spills the secrets because no one knows them all.”

    I was lucky enough to grow up during Marvel’s wonderful rebirth of the 1960′s and 1970′s. Of all of the comics they produced during that time, I was always least impressed with Captain America. I don’t think I ever read an issue of any of his mags with the notable exception of The Avengers. So how can it be possible that after dozens of Marvel films, and I’m including the Fox and other-studio-produced stuff, that Captain America: The Winter Soldier can end up being my favorite?
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    Born to Race: Fast Track (Blu-ray)

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

    Drag racing is for fast cars. Road racing…that’s for fast drivers.”

    I imagine that distinction — along with one character scolding another for pulling a “Vin Diesel stunt” — is meant to set this straight-to-DVD racing drama apart from the Fast & Furious franchise. That separation is an interesting choice for a couple of reasons. On one hand, I assume it’s been easier to finance any car-centric flick ever since a certain high-octane film series proved there’s an audience for the genre. Then again, the increasingly staggering success of the Fast movies seems to be directly proportional to how ludicrous they’ve become.
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    The Forbidden Girl

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 9th, 2014

    Love can have a strange effect on people and cause them to do things that range from the spectacular to the deranged.  The loss of a loved one can not only break a person’s spirit but send them to the depths of depression and despair from which they will never be able to recover, though most people tend to avoid the melodrama and just wallow in their heartbreak with a couple of beers or a pint of their favorite ice cream.  But what is one supposed to do when the one that they love and cherish is taken from them and they become the number one suspect in the murder of the one they love?
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    Perry Mason Double Features

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 9th, 2014

    Erle Stanley Gardner wrote crime fiction, and while many of his 100 or so works are unknown to most of us, he created a character who has become as identified with criminal lawyers as any other in fiction. It was in these crime novels that Perry Mason first faced a courtroom. He developed a style where he would investigate these terrible crimes his clients were on trial for. He would find the real killer, and in what has become a Hollywood cliché, reveal his findings in a crucial moment during the trial.
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    Transformers Beast Machines: The Complete Series

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

    Shout Factory has yet another Transformers animated series to unleash upon the legions of fans who must not be able to get enough of their robots in disguise.  Beast Machines takes place on Cybertron after the Beast Wars.  Beast Wars is yet another series about the Transformers that somehow has gotten past me while reviewing the other series.  The fact that Beast Wars precedes the events in Beast Machines caused a brief moment of confusion.  Thankfully with the target audience being under the age of ten, catching up wasn’t all too difficult.
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    Person of Interest: Season 3

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

    What would you do if you had access to a computer that was capable of giving you information that could prevent a crime from happening?  One step further, what if this machine could locate any person with only a few keystrokes?  This “God” like machine is the basis for what Person of Interest revolves around.  For two seasons we’ve watched as Harold Finch (Michael Emerson) and ex-CIA agent John Reese (Jim Caviezel) used the machine to protect those whom the machine feels are in danger.
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    Night Moves

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 5th, 2014

    There are movies that can be described as slow burns, and then there’s Night Moves. Director Kelly Reichardt frames much of her 112-minute thriller in a way that invites you to pay an inordinate amount of attention to the lush greenery, winding trails, and tranquil water the film’s three protagonists go to dangerous lengths to preserve. The extended, quiet sequences and exceedingly simple plot also encourage viewers to fill in spaces in the story that seem to have been intentionally left blank. This deliberate approach will undoubtedly infuriate and bore some people, but I personally found it absorbing enough to recommend as an unconventionally tense drama.
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    Heavenly Sword (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 4th, 2014

    The list of bad videogame movie adaptations is as ridiculously long as the titular weapon in this animated offering. In fact, the film that has best captured the spirit of gaming wasn’t even based on an actual videogame. The bottom line is it’s hard to translate the highly-interactive thrills of videogames into a satisfying, relatively passive moviegoing experience. So maybe the answer lies in targeting inherently cinematic games like Heavenly Sword.
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    14 Blades (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 3rd, 2014

    Right now in the martial arts world I don’t believe there is a bigger star than Donnie Yen.  From his work in Iron Monkey to his modern classic Ip Man, Yen shows he is nearly an unstoppable force in the martial arts world, and when his name is involved with a project, you should be ready for a spectacle.  His fight choreography is stunning to say the least, and despite the genre of film, he’s able to keep his fight scenes grounded in reality.  Now teamed with director Daniel Lee who brought us Black Mask, 14 Blades is on first glance the kind of movie martial arts fans should get excited about.
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    Bonanza: Official Seventh Season – Vol One & Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 3rd, 2014

    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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    They Came Together (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 3rd, 2014

    “It’s kind of a corny, romantic comedy-type story.”

    Even those of us who actually enjoy a good romantic comedy have rolled our eyes or groaned about some overused cliche in the genre. Well David Wain and Michael Showalter — who last teamed up to satirize summer camp movies in 2001′s Wet Hot American Summer — have gathered many of their famous, funny friends to make They Came Together, an alternately hilarious and uneven spoof that lovingly skewers rom-com tropes.
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    The Originals: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 2nd, 2014

    “My siblings and I are the first vampires in all of history. The Original Family. Three centuries ago, we helped build a town called New Orleans. Now a plot by witches has lured me back, hoping that I will defeat a tyrant, a vampire I created. My brother hopes I will find redemption through the power of family, a miracle child, part werewolf, part vampire, a hybrid. My sister is doubtful; she thinks I am beyond redemption. Despite my brother’s best efforts, I have a plan of my own. I will take back my home and reclaim what was mine. I will be king.”

    If you’re a fan of The Vampire Diaries, you need no introduction to Klaus Mikaelson and his family of original vampires.
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    Cabin Fever: Patient Zero (Blu-ray)

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

    The backwoods flesh-eating disease film Cabin Fever was writer/ director Eli Roth’s first dip into horror and helped establish Roth as one of the “it” guys of the industry despite having a limited film catalog.  The film’s cringe-worthy deaths, not to mention the memorable bathtub sequence, made the film an overnight sensation, and when talk of a potential sequel came out, I was more than a little excited.  Picking up the reins for Roth would be another young rising star of the horror genre, Ti West.
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    The Stream

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on September 1st, 2014

    What happens when you mix the movies Stand By Me and Star Wars? You end up with a family-friendly flick called The Stream that benefits the Boys & Girls Club of America. In addition to watching a great movie, you are supporting a great cause too. I dig that. The Stream was created by Estlin Feigley and written by Colin Costello. It stars Mario Lopez (Saved By The Bell, Nip/Tuck), Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs, Ugly Betty), Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl, Melrose Place), Rainn Wilson (The Office, Six Feet Under) and a cast of upcoming child actors; Jacob M Williams, Michael Capperella, Noura Jost, CJ Diehl and Sabrina D. Carter.
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    75 Years of WWII

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 1st, 2014

    75 Years Of WWII is a collection of episodes from A&E/History’s various war programs that have aired on the networks and have already been released in full sets of their own. It’s intended to be somewhat of a greatest-hits DVD collection. If you’re not inclined to pick up any of the full sets, this might make a nice addition to your collection, but I believe the full sets are far more worth your time.
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    Portlandia – Season Four

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 1st, 2014

    Oregon may have been the 33rd state to join our union — and Portland may be its most populous city — but Portlandia is a (beet-eating, Bigot Parade-hosting, 3D printer-buying) state of mind. And four seasons into lovingly mocking upper middle class indulgence along with the denizens of the Pacific Northwest, the show — created by stars Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and director Jonathan Krisel — continues to feel more like a fully-realized destination than ever.
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    The Walking Dead: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

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

    The first thing you should know about The Walking Dead is that it’s unlike any television series you have ever seen before. The images here are intense, and the crew has been given a blank check to create this vision without the burden of censors looking over their shoulders. There are plenty of blood-and-gore effects that rival any of the Hollywood zombie films you’ve seen in the last few years. The makeup effects are handled by the very capable hands of KNB and supervised personally by Greg Nicotero (the N from KNB).
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    Haven: Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)

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

    “You were always such a clever troublemaker.”

    When Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) entered the barn in the conclusion of season 3 of Haven, all “the Troubles” were supposed to come to an end for the small seaside town of Haven, Maine.  Sure everything seemed to go as planned, that is until Duke (Eric Balfour) took the plunge into the barn before it disappeared, leaving Sheriff Nathan Wuornos (Lucas Bryant) behind.
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    Aftermath (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 28th, 2014

    Considering the state the world is in, I’m a little surprised there isn’t more talk about a possible World War 3 scenario being played out.  This isn’t something I want, but watching the news, it is certainly something that resonates in the back of my mind and gives a moment of reflection.  Aftermath is the film that preys upon that fear of what a possible World War 3 could be. The results are far from promising, and it succeeds in telling the inevitable fate of the world, despite how bleak the outcome may be.
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    High School Confidential! (Blu-ray)

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

    “You have just seen an authentic disclosure of conditions which unfortunately exist in some of our high schools today. The job of policemen will not be finished until this insidious menace to the schools of our country is exposed and destroyed.”

    “Authentic” is probably a stretch, but High School Confidential! is certainly fascinating for a variety of reasons. Every generation has an alleged scourge that invades high schools and threatens to rip apart the very fabric of society. (Cue masterpiece eye roll.) In 1958, that menace went by the name “Mary Jane.”
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    The Possession of Michael King (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 27th, 2014

    Here is a film that delves into a subject not many people care to openly discuss but poses a question that everyone who’s lost someone they love can relate to.  When prayer and faith don’t seem to deliver the answers you want for those that need closure that therapy can’t seem to provide, where does one turn?  It’s this hopeless feeling of loss that seems to be what attracts Michael King (Shane Johnson) to investigate the possibility of the supernatural.
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