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    The Birthday Boys: The Complete First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2014

    It seems to me, if your ultimate goal is to get on television, there’s never been a better time to be a sketch comedian. Thanks to sites like YouTube — which thrive on the sort of bite-size videos that line up nicely with the rhythms of sketch comedy — funny folks can hone their craft online while building a big enough fan base to maybe compel a network to offer them a show. Comedy Central is the most obvious basic cable landing spot, but IFC has emerged in recent years as a haven for offbeat humor. That includes The Birthday Boys, which is characteristically uneven, but boasts an impeccable TV sketch comedy pedigree.
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    Comedy Bang! Bang! The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 27th, 2014

    I like the fact that there’s no desk. I like the fact that he’s not wearing a suit and tie. And I like the fact that there’s not some over-hyped studio audience being prompted to laugh at topical jokes that we’re all gonna forget about in the next few days.”

    For its second season, IFC’s Comedy Bang! Bang! got bigger and bolder in the way it manically skewered decades of talk show and pop culture conventions. Not surprisingly, the show also got even weirder.
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    Almost Human (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 17th, 2014

    First I just have to say that the cover art design for this film is one of the best looking covers I’ve seen in a long time.  The fact that they actually took the effort to get an artist to design their cover is simply the first step in sucking the viewer into this 80’s sci-fi/ horror realm. Looking at this cover simply reminded me of the days working in a mom-and-pop video store when most of the horror titles were not just a collage of pictures thrown together in Photoshop, but  instead an artist would be assigned and create these beautiful and amazing covers.
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    Comedy Bang! Bang! The Complete First Season

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

    - “We at Comedy Bang! Bang! love random humor.”

    - “Next to ‘offbeat,’ it’s my favorite.”

    IFC’s irreverent talk show spoof has more than its share of bizarre moments involving robotic crows and imaginary dogs that stubbornly refuse to speak. But you shouldn’t be fooled by its anarchic tone; Comedy Bang! Bang! takes very specific aim at decades of inane talk show conventions and gleefully skewers them with a straight face. In other words, it’s not just a funny show; it’s a funny show made by comedy nerds for comedy nerds.
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    Portlandia – Season Two (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 30th, 2012

    Oregon may have been the 33rd state to join our union — and Portland may be its most populous city — but Portlandia is a state of mind. And according to the surreal IFC sketch series created by stars Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein and director Jonathan Krisel, that state of mind is happily stuck in the simpler time represented by the ’90s.
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    A Lonely Place To Die (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 31st, 2012

    I think most of us can agree that being buried alive would be a horrible way to go. Several movies — Kill Bill: Vol. 2, The Vanishing (not the soft American remake) and, of course, Buried — have exploited that terror to varying degrees of success. Though the action in A Lonely Place to Die centers around a girl found buried in the Scottish Highlands, the camera frequently pulls way back to show us the desolate beauty (and danger) of the mountainous setting. I really wish director Julian Gilbey had kept the action on those mountains.
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    Loosies

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 19th, 2012

    Oh, Peter Facinelli, how I hope that this movie that just landed in my lap does NOT feature you with glitter thrown all over your body. This movie is called Loosies, and no not as in loose like Kristen Stewart. I am hoping that the tag line, “Love is not a crime”, does not mean complete suckage, but from the description on the back… I am not hoping for much. I loathe chick flicks, and this reeks of one. But on we go with an open mind and an open beer (Okay, okay, so it’s a root beer! Geez!)!
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    We Are The Night

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 26th, 2011

    The Durr household often enjoys a good vampire flic to warm the candlelight around the old HDTV (hey, shouldn’t I be writing this for the 31 days of October delight?). The taste of blood, the price of your soul, nothing can prepare you for the demons that are right outside your door. Sure, they can promise you sexual pleasure and immortality but that blood is really hard to get out of your clothes. This evening we explore the title We Are the Night featuring four ghoulish women on the cover. Will they sate our palette for blood or perhaps share with us grooming tips? Let’s find out.
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    Love, Wedding, Marriage (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 26th, 2011

    Romantic comedies are the bane of most male’s movie watching lives. Imagine everything that turns your stomach into sour grapes. A handsome leading guy, a wining leading lady and more holes in the plot than that one pair of underwear that you just can’t get rid of. Well, despite the court restraining orders, despite the risk of self-mutilation, I review a harrowing title today named simply Love, Wedding, Marriage. May the gods help us through this one.
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    Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 14th, 2011

    This documentary tracks a year in the life of Joan Rivers. We begin at a relatively low ebb in her career, with her finding it difficult to land desirable gigs. She throws herself into the production of an autobiographical play that debuts in Edinburgh, and her hope is that the London reception will be glowing enough to provide enough momentum for a Stateside production. Meanwhile, she and daughter Melissa are contestants on Celebrity Apprentice. As the film follows the ups and downs of these efforts (concentrating particularly on the play), Rivers opens up about her life and career.
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    Exam

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on January 2nd, 2011

    8 corporate hopefuls gather at a mysterious location and are instructed to take one final exam as a final test to see which one will walk away with a prestigious job at a major company. The trouble is their exam papers are blank, and it would seem that there is not even a question to answer. For 80 minutes each must solve the puzzle without being disqualified by breaking one of the few rules, all of which double as a riddle/clue to solving the exam question and answer.
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    Vengeance

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 23rd, 2010

    In Macao, a trio of gunmen butcher a family. Only the mother survives (barely), and her father (aging French rocker Johnny Hallyday, looking as hardboiled and grotesque as Mickey Rourke), a restaurateur who knows altogether too much about how to get by in the violent underworld, comes to town and sets out on a mission of vengeance. He hires a trio of hit men, and works with them in tracking down his enemies. They have to do so quickly, though, because Hallyday has been shot before, and the bullet lodged in his brain is gradually stealing his memory away. He wants his revenge while he can still remember why it is necessary.
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    The Good, The Bad, The Weird (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on September 16th, 2010

    Manchuria, the 1930s. The Japanese army has just acquired a treasure map, and are transporting it across the desert wastes by train. But the man who sold the map wants it back, and engages a snappily dressed killer (Byung-hun Lee) to steal it back. He is, of course, the Bad. He stages a spectacular (and spectacularly violent) train robbery. As fate would have it, at precisely the same moment, the Weird (Kang-ho Song) is also robbing the train, and the Good, in the form of a bounty hunter (Woo-sung Jung) is on board, too. The Weird makes off with the map, and what follows is a series of chases as the various factions scramble to get that map.
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    California Dreamin’

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on June 12th, 2010

    In 1999, a troupe of US marines must transport some equipment across Romania. Leading them is Captain Doug Jones (Armand Assante), a man so committed to his duty that he does a pretty convincing job of appearing passionate and proud about what is, on the face of it, a rather dull, two-bit assignment. As matters develop, the mission is far from dull, though it is not interesting in the way Jones might have hoped. The train is waylaid in the small town of Capalnita by the corrupt stationmaster, and a comical clash of cultures ensues.
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    Dead Snow

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on March 11th, 2010

    In my lifetime, I’ve really only liked five zombie movies. There is Shaun of the Dead, the three Resident Evil movies, and Zombieland. Most of the other zombie type films either belong in the “Way too Gory” or “Nonsense” designation. So, naturally when I receive a zombie movie like Dead Snow, there is some apprehension. However, in this case I can say that this movie belongs in both of those designations and delightfully so.
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    I Hate Valentine’s Day

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on February 23rd, 2010

    Nia Vardalos casts herself across from her My Big Fat Greek Wedding love interest James Corbett, in an attempt to rekindle the magic that was the unlikely Big Fat phenomenon. As star, writer, and director, the weight of the film falls onto her shoulders and thankfully she has enough carry to drag a rather sparse plot from beginning to end with a some genuine laughs.
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    In the Loop

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 15th, 2010

    When the UK minister for International Development (Tom Hollander) has the nerve (not to mention lack of political acumen) to opine that war in the Middle-East is “unforeseeable,” all hell breaks loose. The pro- and anti-war bureaucrats in Washington see him as useful to their cause, and descend, talons outstretched. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Director of Communications (Peter Capaldi), a Scot who makes Don King look even-tempered and restrained, goes into apoplectic overdrive in his attempts to keep everything on-message.
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    Anamorph

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 18th, 2008

    <>An-a-mor-pho-sis n. pl. An image distorted so that it can only be viewed without distortion from a certain angle or using specific instrumentation. 

    In the case of this direct to video thriller, our serial killer is using the aforementioned technique in his murders. He dismembers bodies and reassembles them so that they appear differently depending on how you view them.
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    Drama/Mex

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on October 17th, 2008

    Very much in the tradition of such other overheated Mexican emotional dramas as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También, Drama/Mex gives us two intertwining plot strands, each dealing with relationships as tormented as they are sexual. In one, upper-class Fernanda’s bad boy ex-lover Chino resurfaces, takes her violently, but she doesn’t exactly hate it, and this has, as one might imagine, some awkward consequences for her relationship with current boyfriend Gonzalo. Meanwhile, a middle-aged man, guilt-ridden over what he has done to his daughter (take a guess), is contemplating suicide when he runs into a precocious teenage hustler. In other words, basically enough material to give Sarah Palin a fatal coronary.
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    You Kill Me

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 15th, 2007

    I only know Tea Leoni for a couple of things, the big thing being that she married David Duchovny (The X-Files) and grew a couple of demon seeds with him. But I guess she was bored and inexplicably took on the role of producer and actress in a film starring an Oscar winner, Sir Ben Kingsley (Gandhi), in a low budget independent film named You Kill Me, which was a script that had been kicked around Hollywood for a few years.


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    Day Night Day Night

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 12th, 2007

    The premise of Day Night Day Night is relatively simple; a young woman decides to be a suicide bomber in Times Square. The motivations for her doing this, as in the outside forces who convince her to do it, aren’t really explained at all, so what makes it unique is that it focuses on the preparation the girl makes. She is portrayed by Luisa Williams, who appears in the film in her first role.


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    After the Wedding

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 13th, 2007

    Mads Mikkelsen, whom we last saw taking a rope to James Bond’s family jewels, is here up to a far more praiseworthy activity: helping run a school for orphans in an impoverished region of India. The school is struggling to survive, and when a Danish businessman expresses an interest in providing stable funding, but only if Mikkelsen comes to Denmark for a meeting, the latter is reluctantly persuaded to leave India for the encounter. At said meeting, the tycoon (Rolf Lassgard) casually (it seems) invites Mikkelsen to his daughter’s wedding. Mikkelsen accepts, and at that wedding receives quite a shock. Lassgard, it turns out, has a very personal secret agenda at work.
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    Matthew Barney — No Restraint

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 17th, 2007

    Synopsis

    Famed for his obsessive love of petroleum jelly as a medium for sculpture, Matthew Barney uses 45 000 pounds of the stuff in the creation of Drawing Restraint 9. This film documents the making of that piece, which is both sculpture and film, done aboard a Japanese whaling vessel. Intimately involved in the production is Barney’s collaborator and partner Björk.

    For those, such as myself, for whom this is a first exposure to Barney, this film is both intriguing and frustrating…
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    ¡Yo Soy Boricua PA’Que Tu Lo Sepas!

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on June 1st, 2007

    Synopsis

    Most people don’t know where to place Puerto Ricans. Some would like to think they are Hispanic, some would like to think that they are African. To treat them as anything beside their own culture would be a mistake. They are Puerto Rican, proud and have been in the United States for almost a century. Puerto Ricans have been for the most part unfairly discriminated against and put into groups that they simply do not belong in. From Pedro Albizu Campos to Jennifer Lopez, there has …
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    Requiem

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on March 14th, 2007

    A young woman leaves her small town and intensely religious family to study at University. Even as she experiences the new freedom of campus life, her epileptic seizures become much worse, and she gradually comes to the conclusion that she is possessed. Her friends try to help her as her suffering becomes intolerable, but she eventually turns to a priest who wants to perform an exorcism.

    If the above synopsis sounds familiar, that’s because this film is based on the same case that inspired The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
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