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    Stonewall

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on January 20th, 2016

    1969 was a very eventful year for the United States of America. While I will not name all of the events that transpired over that year, I will remind you of two of the most recognized: In July, Apollo 11 lands on the moon, and in August, Woodstock takes place in upstate New York. However, the events that take place in Stonewall are not as publicized as the space race or the culminating concert of the hippie movement. In fact, I had never heard of the Stonewall riots until my final year of college. To those who are not familiar with the riots, allow me to set the scene: During the early hours of a Saturday morning in late June, an unexpected police raid befalls Stonewall Inn.
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    Broad City: Season 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 20th, 2016

    Broad City is about two 20-something ladies who don’t give a whoop whoop. They care so little that they don’t know they don’t care. On top of that, there is a motley collection of odd oddballs. That’s a problem, because these people have nothing but problems. Not that any of them care. And these ladies are like dudes so much that they say “dude” to each other. Our two ladies (I say ladies because I don’t want to say girls or women or other less complimentary appellations) are named Ilana Wexler and Abbi Abrams, played by Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Glazer and Jacobson are creators, co-writers, and performers, and their involvement goes back to a web series they created before it was picked up by Comedy Central.
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    The Saint: Seasons 3 & 4

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 20th, 2016

    “So that’s what it’s like to be Simonized.”

    Years before he became the iconic suave British secret agent with the license to kill, Roger Moore might just have put himself in the running through his six-year run on British television’s The Saint. The show was part of the British Invasion of spy shows that came close on the heels of the first James Bond film Dr. No. Moore played Simon Templar, known throughout the globe as The Saint. While Templar wasn’t really a spy, he acted like one most of the time, and the series managed to cover most of the conventions of the genre.
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    The Intern (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 19th, 2016

    The Intern tackles a pretty important issue. Age gaps are the elephant in the room that no one wants to acknowledge. The issue is confusing to address, because a lot of people don’t even know what age group they belong to or don’t care. But the differences are very real, and they cause enormous alienation and division. Baby Boomers and Millennials are two examples which are represented here by Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, who has a daughter starting the first grade, so another age group is represented. To be clearer, Baby Boomers are born between 1946 to 1964, Generation X 1965 to 1980, Generation Y/Millennial 1981 to 2000 and Generation Z/Boomlets after 2001.
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    Everest (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 18th, 2016

    Everest is an existential film. It could be one of the most beautiful travelogues you’ve ever seen, but it is far more than that. Its beauty and majesty are perfectly enhanced by 3D, but the true significance has to do with the mysteries of the soul. What drives men to do things that they have no business doing? What makes them climb a mountain whose summit is at the height that 747 jets fly? The old answer that is always used is, “Because it’s there”. Obviously, the reasons run much deeper. There is a void in many people that they can only fill by doing the impossible. They look for accomplishments and knowledge that will hopefully give life meaning
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    Painkillers

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 18th, 2016

    Have you ever had a dream that you wake up from and as your head spins from the snippets of the dream you can remember it takes you a few moments to clear your head and remember where you are?  Usually this is a result from a hard night of drinking, but for Major John Cafferty (Tahmoh Penikett) it is a battle he is waking up from, and it is not a dream.  With no memory of what happened, Major Cafferty wakes up in a special military hospital with several members from his platoon, only some of his soldiers are dead, and no one has a clue as to how they found themselves in the medical facility.
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    Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 18th, 2016

    In our experience, almost everything ends in death.”

    Given its morbid-sounding title, I suppose you can also say that in the case of Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, things *start* in death as well. The inevitability of death — a notion that is simultaneously profound and crushingly simple — is one of several big picture ideas explored by the small potatoes title characters. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, now making its Blu-ray debut, is equal parts brilliant and befuddling. But as thought-provoking and exhilarating (and funny!) as the exchanges are, I’m not entirely sure this material was meant to be presented as a movie.
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    Sinister 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 13th, 2016

    In 2012 Sinister had its release and horror fans seemed to be divided on the film.  For me, I dug the mythology of Bughuul, an evil spirit who appears in 8mm family films that seem to always end in some new gruesome way.  He’s a character the horror genre needs, as I see him as a silent hybrid of Jigsaw (from the Saw franchise) and Freddy Krueger (from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), where he’s a killer who gives us unique kills in some unsettling locations.  Now with the release of Sinister 2, do the filmmakers step up their game and deliver us more from the possible new icon of horror?  Sort of; just not how I would have expected it.
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    Little Dead Rotting Hood

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on January 13th, 2016

    The tale of Little Red Riding Hood, like many other children’s stories, is so well known and influential that it has been reimagined time and time again. In fact, one of my favorite short stories, The Company of Wolves, is a loose adaptation of the aforementioned tale. While I can’t call Little Dead Rotting Hood a favorite, I really appreciate how they were able to create a unique story while implicitly maintaining key elements of the original tale. More often than not the important visuals and motifs are present. Unfortunately, the pacing of the events is a little slow and really makes the film feel empty.
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    The House Where Evil Dwells / Ghost Warrior

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on January 13th, 2016

    Any time I get a double feature, the first thing that comes to mind is that these two movies don’t know it, but they are now in competition with one another in my eyes. It was that way for Grindhouse as well as originals subsequent sequels. This time was no different in my eyes, and after screening both features there is a clear victor. Which one, you ask? Well, I’m not telling at this moment. (Don’t worry, I will, but I can’t just give it up that easy, because if I do, what assurance do I have that you will watch both films?) However, I’m sure my preference will become quite clear once you start reading.
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    The Giant King

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 13th, 2016

    Yak: The Giant King is a 2012 animated offering from Thailand. It is based on Ramakien, the country’s version of a famous Hindu epic poem. Neither of those facts is readily apparent in the packaging and presentation of The Giant King, an American adaptation that was recently released on DVD. On the one hand, it helps explain why the dialogue here hardly ever matches the characters’ lip movements. But knowing that this crude, chintzy offering is actually based on something rather substantial makes it even more of a letdown.
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    Ancient Aliens: Season 8

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 12th, 2016

    “Millions of people around the world believe we have been visited in the past by extraterrestrial beings. What if it were true? Did ancient aliens really help to shape our history? And if so, what if there were clues left behind, something hiding in plain sight? What if we could find that evidence?”

    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.
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    True Detective: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 10th, 2016

    Popular opinion and so-called critical opinion often seem to careen off cliffs like lemmings in increasingly unpredictable ways guided by whims and subtle shifts in the proverbial winds. I find myself shocked by things praised and things condemned. Sometimes I feel like a little boy who sees a naked emperor while everyone else is shrieking how much they love the new elegant ensemble. In this case, I’m seeing a lovely presentation while there are many who are whining. Part of the problem is that Season 2 of True Detective is considerably distinct from Season 1.
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    Experimenter (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 8th, 2016

    “The techniques change, the victims change but it’s still a question, “How do these things happen? How are they institutionalized?” 

    “I was just following orders.” It was the plea heard by too many of the Nazi war criminals during their trials following World War II. It wasn’t enough to spare them the consequences of their actions, of course. Six million people were exterminated, experimented on, or tortured. The excuse just didn’t hold water. But was it at all valid? Could an otherwise “good” person be turned into something evil just because someone in authority told them to do it? Just how far would an average human being go toward hurting another person whom they have no provocation to hurt just because they are told to do so?
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    Battle for Skyark

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on January 8th, 2016

    Battle for Skyark is a hero’s journey tale without question, as the main character finds himself thrust into the said role of protecting a ragtag group of kids from perceived monsters. Sounds like a lot of responsibility for a kid, if you ask me. The type of thing that sends a person into a dark corner and makes them ball up in the fetal position. You don’t get that, exactly, but you get something similar. Rags witnesses the murders of his father and faces his exile from Skyark, the city created above the Earth following an invasion by an alien race. Upon his arrival on the abandoned planet, he finds himself thrown into the role of savior due to a prophecy which states that the boy who bears thirteen shadows (cuts on the arm sustained during the expulsion process) will lead a group of resistance fighters and take control of Skyark.
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    Kill Game

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 8th, 2016

    I just have this sick feeling that something awful is going to happen.”

    I pride myself on being able to keep a reasonably open mind when I pick up a new title to review. But sometimes I can’t help but judge a crappy movie book by its cover. That was actually the case with Kill Game, featuring an androgynous Michael Myers-lookalike brandishing a bloody knife on its cover. I was fully prepared to roll my eyes through this movie, which also nods to Saw, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and The Big Chill (a little). Much to my surprise, I found myself kinda-sorta getting into this twisty, nasty, low-budget slasher.
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    Captive

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 8th, 2016

    “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.” Romans 5:20

    The quote above imparts a spiritual message which I will get back to. First, I want to talk about one of the stars of this movie, David Oyelowo (pronounced “oh-yeh-lo-wo”). Oyelowo is best known for playing Martin Luther King in the film Selma. Oyelowo had previously racked up an impressive number of supporting roles in high-profile films like Jack Reacher, Interstellar, The Butler, The Paperboy, Lincoln, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Help, A Raisin in the Sun, and A Most Violent Year. In a short amount of time he has demonstrated that he is one of the most skilled actors working today.
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    Ray Donovan: Season 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 7th, 2016

    “A good family business is not the same as a good family.” 

    You can say that again. The television landscape is changing, at least on cable. Ray Donovan is the latest in the string of new shows that are attracting talent once thought out of reach for television. A show starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight: this Showtime series looked to be something very special… and it has gotten better… perhaps a lot better.
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    Flesh and Bone (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 7th, 2016

    “Ballet is the ultimate optical illusion. We make effort appear effortless.”

    If ballet dancers make the seemingly impossible look graceful and elegant, then Flesh and Bone similarly soars when it doesn’t try quite so hard to conjure drama. The best version of this provocative Starz miniseries explores the psychological toll that ambition, competition, and the (impossible?) quest for creative perfection can take. Unfortunately, the series also introduces way too many subplots and distractions during its 8-episode run.
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    Robo-Dog

    Posted in Disc Reviews by BABY on January 7th, 2016

    Baby here. I’m the German Shepherd/Chow who handles security here at Upcomingdiscs. You know what puts the scowl in my growl? I’ll bet you guys all had a lot of fun over the Christmas holidays. There were probably a lot of parties to go to. We had one here at Upcomingdiscs, but don’t ask me how it was. That’s because they locked me upstairs in a bedroom the whole time. That’s right, the chief of security was locked up. Apparently I can’t be trusted when people are walking around with a lot of food. They trust me to guard thousands of dollars worth of home video equipment. I keep those Fed Ex/UPS guys in check every day. But  a meatball or a potato chip?
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    The Nanny: Season 5

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on January 7th, 2016

    I previously reviewed season 4 of The Nanny, and now it’s time to review season 5. If you are interested in the overview on everything about The Nanny and season 4 in particular, then you will have to go back and look for that review. This all about season 5, which I might suggest is the climax of the 6-season series, for whatever that’s worth. The relationship between Fran Fine and Maxwell Sheffield had been on a slow burn for four seasons, but the time was coming for a reckoning. Will Fran’s persistence and patience pay off?  I don’t want to make this too dramatic, since The Nanny is probably one of the silliest sitcoms ever made, and that’s taking into consideration that there are hundreds and hundreds of silly sitcoms.
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    The Transporter Refueled (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 6th, 2016

    Between 2002 and 2008 Jason Statham made a name for himself playing Frank Miller in three Transporter films. Miller was a former special ops expert who became a high-end black market transportation expert. He used his skills to transport anyone or anything from point A to point B for a hefty fee. He had a few rules that governed his business: the deal never changes once it’s made, no names, and he doesn’t want to know what he is transporting. The business made for some nice action films that gave Statham a chance to show off that particular skill set. The films brought in a modest box office, averaging around $35 million each.
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    Mercury Plains

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on January 6th, 2016

    There is so much to enjoy when it comes to Mercury Plains. It is the first time I have seen Scott Eastwood in a starring role, Nick Chinlund provides a brilliant performance as the philosophical Captain, and each of the characters are engaging. To be clear, Scott Eastwood is the main character of the film, but his comrades have very interesting character arcs that make them unique. In fact, I think that is what I enjoyed the most from this film: the details that are not spoken directly to the audience. There are so many instances where the details in the character arcs (even Eastwood’s) are so minute, you could very well miss them.
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    Close Range

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 6th, 2016

    Scott Adkins is one of those actors that I’m surprised hasn’t quite hit the mainstream success he deserves.  In the late 80’s and 90’s this is a guy who would have been an action superstar who would have crushed such icons as Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren.  It seems that somehow Adkins has been lost amongst the glut of superhero films; he’s one of the true great tough guys who even does most of his own stunts, which is surprising, since some actors these days can’t function on set without their own personal chef and have stand-ins when their face is not on screen.  Close Range is the new release for Adkins that once again shows off his martial arts skills while leaving a high body count in his wake.
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    Original Christmas Classics Gift Set (Blu-ray)

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

    If you were a child in the 1960’s or 1970’s, you were around at the golden age of the Christmas television special. We just celebrated the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and there were a ton of holiday charms that came and went each year. But there were a handful that became classics and found their way to the airwaves every year in December. Of course, A Charlie Brown Christmas became one of these, and it is indeed among the best. It was not the only special to become beloved by generations of viewers. Now Dreamworks has brought together  seven of the most memorable of these classics.
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