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    Pain & Gain: Special Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 5th, 2013

    People have used a lot of different words to describe Michael Bay and his films: “loud”, “blockbusters”, “mindless”, “soulless”, “Hitler” and, of course, “awesome.” One of the words you don’t normally associate with Bay’s undeniably successful output is “clever.” I daresay Pain & Gain is the most interesting movie the action auteur has ever made; the film is both seriously silly and surprisingly smart in how it presents its stupid characters
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    Band of Brothers / The Pacific (Special Edition Gift Set) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 8th, 2011

    “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force: You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces.”

    World War II was a turning point in American history unlike any other in the 20th century.
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    America the Story of Us (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 26th, 2011

    “We are pioneers and trailblazers. We fight for freedom. We transform our dreams into the truth. Our struggles will become a nation.”

    I was really looking forward to this release. From the moment I was made aware that it was going to be arriving here for review, I made a mental note to put it at the top of my viewing list. Fact is, I’m a history junkie, particularly American history. I taught the subject in AP and honors classes along with American Government and Law for over seven years. The History Channel is also one of my favorite places on the dial.
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    Anaheim Angels 2002 World Series Collector’s Edition, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 25th, 2011

    Even though I love the game, I have not watched too much baseball in the last few years. This goes double for games not involving the Philadelphia Phillies. I still keep up with it, still analyze the standings and box scores but for some reason I do not watch as many games as I wish too. The odd thing is when I get sets like the one I’m reviewing today, I am 100% excited. Perhaps it is because I have nothing vested in it. The games are already played, the result is already known, I can simply appreciate the game that way it is supposed to be. The magical game of baseball.
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    Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on June 5th, 2011

    Many times when you see a trailer over and over, one has to ask themselves: Do they really want to see the movie or is repetition to the point of acceptance playing its fatal card? In the case of Legend of the Fist: Return of Chen Zhen, I had seen the trailer several times in front of Ip Man and the sequel. I wasn’t sure if I was anxious for the movie, so much that I really wanted to see Donnie Yen go absolutely crazy with his kicks and amazing martial arts.


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    The Virginian – The Complete Season Two

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 9th, 2011

    “This is Fairfax County in the state of Virginia. I was born here. It’s peaceful, beautiful, and a long long way from Wyoming; beautiful, too, in its special way. Vast, proud and lonely; it’s my country now, Wyoming. But not exactly a peaceful one.”

    Of course, if it were all that peaceful it wouldn’t have made for very compelling television. But The Virginian did make for compelling western drama in a television landscape that was as populated as prairies in those plains with western dramas.
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    Rounders — Collector’s edition

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 23rd, 2009

    In the vein of The Cincinnati Kid (1965) and a sprinkle of The Sting (1972) John Dahl brings us Rounders. Card prodigy Mike McDermott (Matt Damon) quits the game after losing everything. Once Mike’s best friend Les “Worm” Murphy (Edward Norton), gets out of jail, Worm attempts to get Mike back into the poker world. As Worm’s behavior begins to implicate Mike, Mike decides to come out of poker retirement.
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    The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Three-Disc Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 10th, 2008

    The worst thing about The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is that it followed the most successful fantasy film trilogy of all time. Just two years after Return of the King blew us away in theatres and swept the Oscars, and only one year after the flagship Extended Edition release set a new standard for DVD excellence, ‘Wardrobe promised the return of high fantasy to theatres near us. Unfortunately, it proved to be nowhere near adequate for any Lord of the Rings comparison. It was sweet, non-threatening and even a little campy, where Peter Jackson’s films had been majestic, serious and polished – one fluffy, the other dramatic.

    When The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian hit theatres in late 2007, I hoped it would offer a more mature Narnia, but I wasn’t too optimistic (these are supposed to be child-friendly, after all). Imagine my pleasant surprise early on when Trumpkin uttered this to the four child heroes: ”You may find Narnia a more savage place than you remember.”


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    Halloween 3-Disc Unrated Collector’s Edition

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 9th, 2008

    Rob Zombie’s enthusiastic but terminally misguided remake scores yet another DVD release. This one is identical to the previous unrated edition, apart from the fact that there’s an extra disc. More on that later. But in the meantime, as everything else is the same, that will also be true for this review. What follows is what I said about the last version.
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    National Treasure 2 – Book of Secrets (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 21st, 2008

    The first National Treasure film took us on a historical journey through the locations that were the birthplaces of The United States. There might not have been a ton of historical accuracy, but there were enough things right that it was an entertaining adventure. For the sequel, the entire canvas was greatly expanded. While we’re once again deep in some arcane American history, the locations span the globe.
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    Jean-Luc Godard

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 14th, 2008

    Here are four films from renowned maverick Jean-Luc Godard. Insofar as these films have plots in the conventional sense of the word, Passion is about a filmmaker struggling to rediscover his love for his profession, First Name: Carmen plays with the tale of that same name to tell another story of filmmaking and bank robbery, Detective is an idiosyncratic tribute to films noirs, and Oh, Woe Is Me is about a man who may or may not be possessed by a god wanting to seduce his wife.
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    The Apartment

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 8th, 2008

    Jack Lemmon is a rather meek insurance company employee who is slowly working his way up the corporate ladder by lending his apartment to married executives looking for a place to take their girlfriends. Life is rather inconvenient, as he is locked out of his home at all hours, but things become even more complicated when the big boss (Fred McMurray) takes an interest. The good news is that Lemmon gets another promotion. The bad news is that McMurray’s affair is with Shirley MacLaine, the elevator girl for whom Lemmon is carrying a torch.
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    National Treasure (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 20th, 2007

    The United States is a young nation compared to most places on the Earth. Our history only recently broke the 200 year mark. Sure, there’s plenty of colonial history you can include, but taken all together you still can’t get more than about 500 years out of the deal. That means Indiana Jones or Laura Croft won’t be spending a lot of their time working their way through New Jersey any time soon. So leave it to the likes of director Jon Turteltaub, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, and star Nicholas Cage to bring us a romp through historical places, and yes, American tombs, in search of the ultimate treasure.
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    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 5th, 2007

    Avast ye mates, Jack’s back, and did ye ever doubt the return of Cap’n Jack Sparrow? Johnny Depp once again transforms himself like no other actor in Hollywood can. It doesn’t hurt that he wears the persona of Jack Sparrow with the ease of a well worn favorite hat. In this case it be the unmistakable chapeau of Disney’s favorite pirate. At World’s End is the third and final entry in the Pirates Of The Caribbean trilogy. If and when we’ll ever see Sparrow again is anybody’s guess, but I’d lean toward the likelihood that he will return, albeit not that soon and with an almost completely new supporting cast.
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    Live Free or Die Hard (Unrated Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 16th, 2007

    Despite its lame title, I’ve been excited about seeing Live Free or Die Hard since it was announced. The Bruce Willis franchise has been a favourite of mine for a long time, thanks to the original Die Hard which stands as one of the greatest action films of all time.

    Willis reveals in the commentary that he and director Len Wiseman (Underworld) set out to make a Die Hard movie that surpasses the middle two in the series and is as good as the first. While Willis apparently feels they succeeded, I beg to differ. Live Free or Die Hard is certainly a good action flick, but nothing can ever surpass Die Hard in my book. Opinions of the film aside, this DVD set is sure to satisfy John McClane fans of any stripe.


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    1408 (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 6th, 2007

    Stephen King must be solely responsible for an acre of deforestation a year in legal pads and typewriter pages alone. I have heard it said that he writes at least ten pages a day, including holidays. A quick check of IMDB shows that he is credited for writing 106 television or movie stories, at least in part, since “Carrie” in 1976. While no writer – as I well know – can hit a home run every time they put pen to paper, King’s “good to crap” ratio is far superior to that of the majority of the novelists working today.


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    Chinatown (Special Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 6th, 2007

    Jack Nicholson’s career has been decades of a man who is constantly redefining himself. Few actors have created as many memorable roles; among them has to be Jake Gittes. This Raymond Chandler styled character first appeared here in the Roman Polanski Film Noir Chinatown. The feel of Chinatown was far more effective in 1974 than it is today. Unfortunately the style has been done to death and often with disastrously horrid results. Still, in 1974, Polanski was able to create an effective atmosphere and use it not just for style but as a place to tell an engaging story. Chinatown takes you to a Los Angeles that simply no longer exists.
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    Red Dawn (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 10th, 2007

    For decades it was the doomsday scenario. Cold War Americans lived in almost constant fear that the Soviets might drop a nuke on us and begin Armageddon. It was unthinkable that a conventional invasion could reach our shores instead. Red Dawn stirred its own mushroom cloud of controversy when it reached theaters in August of 1984. While the Cold War was actually closer to its end than any of us might have suspected, Red Dawn entered our collective consciousness as a shock to a system that had for some time moved beyond the culture of fear those older than myself knew growing up. By the 1970’s the air raid sirens and classroom drills were no longer commonplace in American cities.
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    The Return of the Living Dead

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on September 20th, 2007

    It’s back, yet again, and looking for more brains. Dan O’Bannon’s lively zombie comedy tells the tale of a toxic spill reanimating corpses who, not content with wanting to eat your brains, are going to give you lip about it at the same time. Notable for its mix of horror, punk rock, gore, humour and nudity (this is the film that established Linnea Quigley as a horror starlet), the film has since been bested in terms of wit and gore by both Dead/Alive and Shaun of the Dead, but it was there first, and remains great fun. Never having caught the film in the theatres, I haven’t noticed anything amiss with the soundtrack, but the chatter out there among the film’s fans lets it be known that some of the songs have been truncated, so be warned on that front. Otherwise, have a blast.
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    The Streets of San Francisco – Season 1, Vol. 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 19th, 2007

    Detective “Iron” Mike Stone (Karl Malden) is a seasoned veteran of the San Francisco Police Department. He’s an old fashioned no nonsense detective whose life has taken some bitter turns of late. Much to his aggravation he gets partnered with Keller (Michael Douglas), a green detective who hasn’t lost his belief that he can make a difference. Together they just might be able to teach each other something. Before long the two develop a teacher/mentor relationship that works well enough to solve the cases and get the bad guys.
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    The Guns of Navarone (Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 19th, 2007

    Based on a popular 1957 novel by Alistair MacLean, The Guns of Navarone was a smash hit in 1961, and the highest grossing film of that year. It’s a World War II movie, and for its time was considered to be packed with excitement. While it definitely has some great action sequences, for modern standards the film has nowhere near the fast pace or high action-to-dialogue ratio we’ve come to expect from the genre.

    So many years later, can a slow, talky action movie still excite audiences? And is The Guns of Navarone – 2-disc Collector’s Edition a worthy upgrade over the 2000 special edition release? Read on to find out.


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    Babel (2-disc Collector’s Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 14th, 2007

    One of the handful of films deemed extra special in 2006, Babel had lofty intentions, a lot of hype and plenty of Oscar nominations. And yet, while the film was well directed and very well acted, it falls well short of its reputation. In fact, Babel fails to create a real impact, unless you count the utter depression one experiences while watching it.

    Still, the film has lots of fans willing to call it one of the best of 2006. Those folks will be happy to add Babel: 2-disc Collector’s Edition to their own collections. That is, unless they already picked up the single-disc version released back in February. Is this double-dip good enough to say, “out with the old, in with the new?” Read on to find out.


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    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 22nd, 2007

    Every so often, a remake comes along that does the original proud. David Cronenberg’s The Fly is one. Philip Kaufman’s reworking of Don Siegel’s 1955 classic is another. For the three people out there who aren’t familiar with the plot, pods from outer space are replacing people with soulless duplicates. Donald Sutherland is the health inspector whose friend (Brooke Adams) is one of the early people to believe that someone close to her is no longer who he appears to be. Before long, Sutherland, Adams, Jeff Goldblum and Veronica Cartwright are running for their lives.
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    Taxi Driver

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 9th, 2007

    There must be very few people out there who haven’t seen Taxi Driver or at the very least muttered the words, “you talking to me?” Regardless, this thirty year old film is easily a classic, and still on the top of many critics lists. It marked the blooming of an epic and ongoing relationship between Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese, the spawn of Jodie Foster’s career and arguably Harvey Keitel’s as well. At any rate Taxi Driver managed to receive four Academy award nominations as well as gaining a huge cult following. I don’t think it’s a surprise that I’ve already seen and love this movie, but how does the newly released DVD pan out?
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    John Grisham’s The Rainmaker

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 27th, 2007

    Some of you may know John Grisham as a politician or an attorney but that’s not very likely. Like me you probably know him as an author of some of the best legal/crime fiction novels. His works have made their way to the big screen several times including; The Firm, Runaway Jury, A Time To Kill, The Client, and of course The Rainmaker. Although it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen any of the aforementioned films I do remember them all being rather good, I just hope The Rainmaker can live up to what I remember.
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