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    Devious Maids: The Complete First Season

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

    “In my experience, people just aren’t that interested in what happens to the help.”

    Lifetime viewers and Devious Maids creator Marc Cherry beg to differ. After debuting to modest ratings last summer, the show steadily gained viewers and hit a series high in viewership with its finale. (Not surprisingly, it was promptly renewed for a second season.) Cherry previously struck eight seasons worth of gold with Desperate Housewives on ABC. As someone who enjoyed watched more Housewives episodes than I care to admit, I can appreciate both the positive and negative ways this show echoes Cherry’s previous smash success.
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    Dora the Explorer: Dora in Wonderland

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on March 23rd, 2014

    Last time I covered the multi-lingual adventures of Dora, she was reimagining Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol. This time around we see her take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Like that other special, this episode is twice the length of a normal episode. But unlike that other special, this one features a noteworthy lineup of guest voices such as Mel Brooks, Jewel, and Alan Cumming.
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    Kill Your Darlings (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on March 21st, 2014

    For some reason, I have themes that I keep reviewing time in and time again (regardless of whether I enjoy the subject matter or not). One of those themes or rather people is Allen Ginsberg, one of the most important poets of the 20th century and symbol of the Beat Generation. A few years ago, I reviewed Howl which was more about his 1957 obscenity trial. This film, Kill Your Darlings deals with the relationship between Allen Ginsberg and Lucien Carr. Let us see how well this one turns out.
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    Reasonable Doubt (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 21st, 2014

    “The problem is you don’t know my pain or emptiness. But now you’re going to know how it feels to be me.”

    Mitch Brockden (Cooper) is an ambitious up and comer in the Chicago prosecutor’s office. He has a reputation for being aggressive, and he doesn’t lose cases. He’s respected and liked by his colleagues. That’s the man we first meet. But after a night of some power drinking with his buds, we are introduced to another Mitch Brockden. This Mitch is selfish and a coward.
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    Kingdom of Conquerors

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 20th, 2014

    “So long as my enemies are alive, I will not die.”

    During his lifetime, Genghis Khan reigned over one of the biggest empires the world has ever seen. There are literally dozens of action-packed epics that could be made about his various battles as head of the Mongol Empire, which included portions of China, Russia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. But Kingdom of Conquerors curiously focuses on the one adversary Khan couldn’t vanquish: death.
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    Here Comes the Devil (Blu-ray)

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

    Remember the first film that kept you awake at night?  The film that had you keeping the light on, when every strange noise you heard was that of some monster you were all but certain was lurking in the darkness waiting for your eyes to finally close?  For me it was that thrill that got me excited about horror films, where every Saturday I’d watch Creature Feature, and in the evening I’d channel-surf till I found some horror film to keep me up into the late hours of the night
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    Frozen (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 19th, 2014

    “Beautiful. Powerful. Dangerous. Cold. Ice has a magic that can’t be controlled.”

    Like the very best that Disney has offered over the decades, Frozen has its roots in a very old classic fairy tale. Walt himself was interested in doing the Hans Christian Andersen story The Ice Queen immediately following Snow White And The Seven Dwarves. The film was given a production number along with some brief notes. Nothing else remains of the idea
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    Tom Holland’s Twisted Tales

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 19th, 2014

    Growing up, several of my favorite films were created by Tom Holland; in my eyes this guy is a legend.  He’s responsible for writing and directing Child’s Play and Fright Night, two 80’s classics that most know about, but he also penned Psycho 2, which I know I’m in the minority but I actually like more than Hitchcock’s. But Holland also wrote this other film Cloak and Dagger with Henry Thomas and Dabney Coleman that was released in 1984, and this was just one of several movies I would watch over and over again to the point I’m sure it drove my parents bonkers.
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    Commitment (Blu-ray)

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

    OK, in case you didn’t know this about me, I’m a sucker for South Korean action cinema.  Sure, the 90’s were ruled by Hong Kong, but for about a decade South Korea has been killing it by putting out some of the most visually stunning action films in years.  For a quick crash course in how simply bad-ass and epic their cinema is, I highly recommend checking out The Chaser and A Bittersweet Life.  With Commitment we get a new entry in the spy genre that hasn’t been explored stateside.
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    Rogue: Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 18th, 2014

    Until recently DirecTV’s Audience Network was a home for critically acclaimed shows that somehow lost their feet on another network. It started with Friday Night Lights and more recently with Damages. So DirecTV was no stranger to original series production. Now for the very first time the satellite carrier and network have developed their own television series. Rogue would be the first show on the network not to have played somewhere else first. The effort is a collaboration with eOne and Greenhouse Entertainment.
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    End Of The World

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

    SyFy Channel is at it again, a film about the near end of the world.  With the backlog of disaster films, you would imagine if there ever was an emergency and the world was on the cusp of massive destruction, thankfully there is a film out there to at least give us an outside-the-box theory of how to prevent the end.  After all it’s not as though NASA or the numerous geniuses working in labs in front of computers or telescopes would have any idea about what to do.  It’s always someone nestled in a small town no one has ever heard of, but this resident has the answers to everything.
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    Swerve (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 17th, 2014

    “If something was to come your way, I mean something so irresistible that you just had to have it, do you think you could sacrifice everything for it and not regret it?”

    When it comes to down-on-their-luck men in movies, that “something” could be any number of things. Oh, who am I kidding? It’s pretty much always a woman or a large sum of money. In Swerve — a twisty Australian thriller that goes down a number of familiar roads — our hero is tempted by both.
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    Jeff Dunham’s Achmed Saves America: The Animated Movie (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on March 16th, 2014

    Jeff Dunham has always had a talent for making people laugh. His style of ventriloquism has found its way into millions of homes and probably a billion YouTube views. Of course these standup specials have translated into tons of merchandising potential such as lunchboxes, t-shirts, and even the puppets turned into cute and sometimes furry stuffed dolls. Well, with one of the most beloved characters, Achmed, they decided to do an animated special. Let us see how well it turned out.
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    Flashpoint: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on March 16th, 2014

    It is true what they say, every time you think you are done, you get pulled back in. I had been working on cleaning up my house and trying by any means necessary to get it on the market (42 gallon trash bags are your friend). But the big boss of Upcomingdiscs.com asked if I would like to review the final season of Flashpoint. I looked at my movie spinner and saw nestled between the Flash (the short lived TV series) and Freakazoid Season 1(okay, I’m odd, I get it), the first 5 volumes of Flashpoint. At that point, it was pretty much a done deal.
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    The Book Thief (Blu-ray)

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

    “One small fact: you are going to die. Despite every effort, no one lives forever.”

    The Book Thief is narrated by Death, who opens the film with these sobering words. It is also set in Germany during the years leading up to World War II. On paper, the best-case scenario for this film appears to be “well-executed, watchable downer”, while the worst-case scenario is “do we really need *another* movie about WWII?!” But fans of Aussie author Markus Zusak’s 2005 best-seller know better. The Book Thief uses the silky specter of death to tell a beautifully affecting story that celebrates life.
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    The Horror at 37,000 Feet

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on March 14th, 2014

    On a flight from London to Los Angeles, an artifact taken from an ancient, Druidic ritual site is being transported in secret. During this flight a malevolent deity looks to exact revenge on the passengers for the desecration of the site that was used for sacrifices (this bit of information is pretty disposable. Sacrifices just sound better when vaguely referring to a pagan religion in a modern story). Now it’s up to a band of 1970s b-listers like Chuck Connors, Buddy Ebsen, Paul Winfield and (lord help us) William Shatner to fight off this killer spirit.


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    300 Spartans (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 13th, 2014

    “Greece, that hard and timeless land, where even the stones speak of man’s courage, of his endurance, of his glory. And none more eloquently than this lonely pillar in a desolate pass, some 200 miles north of modern Athens. Across the hush of 24 centuries, this is the story of a turning point in history, of a blazing day when 300 Greek warriors fought here to hold with their lives their freedom and ours.”

    From that introduction you might guess that this is a review of Zack Snyder’s 300 or the newly minted follow-up 300: Rise Of An Empire. That guess would be wrong.
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    Beyond Outrage (Blu-ray)

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

    Takeshi Kitano is to yakuza films as Robert DeNiro is to American gangster films.  Whether it is in front of or behind the camera, Beat (his stage name) Takeshi has had a long, fruitful career, with many of his successful films like Sonatine. Fireworks, Brother and Outrage delving into the Japanese criminal underworld.  His talents don’t only fall between acting and directing; he’s also worked as editor and writer for many of his films.  He’s an artist whose films have found their way onto US shores, and for those that are fans of yakuza cinema, when a new film by Beat Takeshi comes along, it’s something you simply have to check out.
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    Black Angel

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 13th, 2014

    Tinto Brass is a dirty old man, but I’ll get to that later. Tinto Brass directed the film Black Angel in 2002 (when it was called Senso 45), and it is now getting a DVD release. It is an adaptation of the novella Senso, written by Camillo Boito, which was previously filmed by Luchino Visconti. This version takes place in Fascist Italy in 1945. Fascism had been growing in Italy under Benito Mussolini since the early part of the 20th century. It influenced and eventually became intertwined with German Nazism until their mutual destruction in 1945 with the deaths of Hitler and Mussolini within days of each other at the end of April of 1945. Whatever their goals were at the start, they both devolved into depravity and insanity.
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    Dreamworld

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 13th, 2014

    Whit (Whitby) Hertford is short, around 5 foot 1. He is the writer and star of Dreamworld. I mention this because he is the little dynamo that drives dreams of greatness. He also plays the depressed and scared little mouse because it is a part he understands. Whitby Hertford was a child actor (Nightmare on Elm Street 5: Dream Child), and he has retained the giant puppy-dog eyes even though now he has five o’clock shadow and a puffy face. He has worked regularly through the years, because clearly he is bitten with the bug. He wants to be a star. If he is going to be a star, he will be an unlikely one. At least he hasn’t  gone the way of many child actors. He’s not a drug addict, prostitute or convicted felon. He has the look of someone who is dying, though. He has a sad and longing look.
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    The Outsider (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 12th, 2014

    British badass Craig Fairbrass looks more like the henchman in an action movie than the hero. (To be fair, Fairbrass looks like the lead henchman who always gives the hero a little more trouble than you’d expect, but he looks like a henchman nonetheless.) The actor has worked steadily in England and Hollywood, including a role in Cliffhanger where he played one of John Lithgow’s (you guessed it) henchmen. With The Outsider, Fairbrass earns a story credit and the right to play the hero in this junky, bruising, low-budget cross between Taken and The Limey.
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    Primeval New World: Complete Series

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

    It started 300 million years ago… OK, it really started in August of 2008 when the British television series Primeval arrived on the scene. It was a combination Stargate and Jurassic Park. Professor Nick Carter (Henshall) became obsessed with a natural phenomenon he coined anomalies. These sparkling electro-magnetic disturbances were doorways to eras of the past, and later discovered, the future. His wife had disappeared into one several years earlier, and he ended up heading a government team called A.R.C. (Anomaly Research Center) to deal with the beasts that get through to our side.
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    Congratulations To Brent Lorentson On 200 Reviews

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

    If Brent’s name looks familiar to you, that’s because he’s been a major contributor here at Upcomingdiscs for going on 2 years. If you don’t know Brent’s name, you aren’t coming here often enough. Brent’s been a great find and we’re looking forward to the next 200 reviews. Take the time to check out what he’s had to say.

    Please join me in wishing congrats to Brent!

    We’re all lucky to have him on board.

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    In Fear (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 11th, 2014

    When you are first getting into a relationship those first few weeks can be pretty awkward at times as the two of you get to know one another.  The decision to go on a road trip early on in a relationship is simply one of those gambles that can go either way, but if the trip goes well, then of course the future of this budding romance is all the more promising.  In Fear follows a couple that bravely decides to take a road trip together so they can see a concert; unfortunately for them, it’s the road trip from hell.
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    Inside Llewyn Davis

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 11th, 2014

    Joel and Ethan Coen have been churning out hits for decades.  From Raising Arizona to Fargo and No Country For Old Men as well as many cult hits in between, the Coen brothers have a unique voice that has led to their long success in the Hollywood system.  With their new release, the Coens delve into the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the winter of 1961.  It’s a time that most audiences (myself included) may not be very knowledgeable about. The Coens take on this niche genre of music and present an engaging tale about a struggling musician and his journey to find success in an industry that at the time had a deaf ear to Folk.
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