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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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    Rage (Blu-ray)

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

    At this point in his alternately mocked and celebrated career, Nicolas Cage starring in a movie called Rage seems redundant. (Especially since “Rage” would be a much more eloquent title for this classic YouTube video.) Yet here he is starring in what looks like a Taken ripoff…until you realize he already starred in a Taken ripoff two years earlier. To its credit, Rage does appear to want to say some interesting things about the way secrets refuse to stay buried and the perils of resorting to violence. Unfortunately, the film often takes the most misguided and clichéd avenues to get there.
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    Wolf Creek 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 25th, 2014

    When the first Wolf Creek was released it was one of those films that had a lot of hype around it, and when I got around to watching it, I dug it.  It’s one of those films where the more I’ve watched it the more  I’ve gotten to appreciate it, not just for its gore, but the film has a solid story, and I appreciated that the film at no time allows you to get too comfortable. At any moment a character could be brutally murdered.  It’s the character of Mick Taylor (John Jarratt) who could equally make me smile with his crude outback charm or make me squirm with uneasiness the moment his hands took hold of a weapon.
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    Devil’s Knot (Blu-ray)

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

    For most who have heard about the West Memphis Three, it is because of the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.  It was a documentary that sparked the interest of many and fueled a movement to free Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley for the murder of three young boys in 1993.  It was a documentary that attempted to expose the trial as a witch hunt in which the only things the boys were guilty of were listening to heavy metal, wearing black and participating in Wiccan practices.
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    Way of the Wicked (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 26th, 2014

    Christian Slater has managed to make a decent career lately by simply appearing in numerous direct-to-DVD productions for several years now.  It seems as though every month the former 80s-90s heartthrob is slumming his way through productions as though he never once looked at the script and instead was just adding another lackluster credit to his IMDB profile.  As a longtime fan of the actor from the days of Heathers, True Romance, and Pump Up the Volume, I can’t help but hope the guy will make a resurgence (though appearing in Lars Von Triers Nymphomaniac is a good start to that career revival).
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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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    Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 28th, 2014

    “One … two… Freddy’s coming for you, three… four… better lock the door, five… six… grab your crucifix, seven… eight better stay up late, nine….ten … Never Sleep Again.”

    Freddy is one of the more memorable monsters from the slasher era that also brought us the Halloween and Jason films. Freddy might have been born in the mind of Wes Craven, but he grew and developed in the knife-wielding hands of Robert Englund. Granted, not all of these films are equal in quality. The first and third are the best story-wise, while the last might be the most unpredictable and original.
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    Voodoo Possession

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

    We all know looks can be deceiving, but Voodoo Possession takes that notion to the extreme. Almost nothing about the film’s DVD cover art correlates to what you’ll actually see on screen. Cult favorite Danny Trejo gets top billing despite playing a largely inconsequential role in the story. (You know a movie’s in trouble when it’s banking on Trejo’s star power; even the Machete movies relied mostly on stunt casting.) The cover is dominated by someone who looks like Samara from The Ring standing in front of Shutter Island. (Naturally, the girl has nothing to do with this movie.) At least there is, in fact, voodoo in this occasionally intriguing, ultimately lousy low-budget horror flick.
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    Last Love

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

    We’ve been conditioned to expect certain things when it comes to movies about love. The genre has become synonymous with chance encounters, kisses in the rain, and last-second declarations of love. (A tragic/downer ending is purely optional.) The most interesting thing about Last Love is how it explores the sort of deep connection between a man and a woman that isn’t necessarily tied to physicality or even romance. It’s such a refreshing change from the love story norm that it made the parts of the film that don’t quite work more palatable.
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    Galactic Adventures Double Feature: 3D Sun / Mars 3D (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 4th, 2013

    Galactic Adventures from Image Entertainment is a nifty little collection of two Solar System IMAX films both running just under a half hour. The two short documentaries off a 3D ride to both the Sun and Mars. The films were produced in 2007 with 3D Sun opening at The Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum. Both films have made the circuit of science museums throughout the country and come to you now through the modern milestone of home 3D for the first time ever
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    “31 Nights of Terror” All Hallows’ Eve

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 28th, 2013

    Those of us who love horror movies can remember the first great scare we ever got. (To be fair, those of you who hate horror movies probably remember the first scare you ever got too, since it’s probably why you stopped watching them.) Stephen King’s It wasn’t my first scary flick, but the image of Tim Curry’s Pennywise coaxing poor Georgie into the storm drain seared itself into my brain and became my original childhood freak-out. What I enjoyed most about All Hallows’ Eve is that it tapped into the unique impact a genuinely scary clown movie can have.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” The Colony (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 12th, 2013

    “When people are desperate, they’ll do horrible things to survive.”

    Sci-fi and horror have been exploring the dark side of human nature for as long as those genres have been around. Throw a group of people together in a high-stress situation — whether they’re running from The Walking Dead or hiding from whatever is in The Mist — and the base instinct to survive will eventually lead them to commit unspeakable atrocities. The Colony starts off as the sort of movie that explores the monstrous things people do to each other…and then the actual monsters show up.
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    Space Junk 3D (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 19th, 2013

    “After a half century of space exploration we’re now being faced with what’s long been a staple of science fiction: an orbiting junkyard of space debris.”

    There’s an old saying that what goes up must come down. For most of human history that has been a pretty steadfast axiom. Of course any kid who has ever had a kite or a football stuck in a tree knows there are exceptions to every rule. But in the 1950′s we began to place objects in orbit about the Earth. In recent decades the practice has almost become a frenzy. We have all of those cell phones, television networks and GPS devices that require more and more satellite support.
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    The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 14th, 2013

    When the show ended in 1966 it was still one of the most popular shows on television. Both Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore wanted to do something else. Both were made confident by the huge stardom the show provided them, but neither was ever able to reproduce the magic here. Of course, Mary Tyler Moore found great success with a different kind of show in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. That one would go on to become a classic in its own right.
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    The Dick Van Dyke Show: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2013

    When one thinks of The Dick Van Dyke Show it’s hard not to think of its star Dick Van Dyke. After all, it’s his name on the opening credits, and he does play the lead character in this groundbreaking television comedy. There’s little question that the show became a wonderful vehicle for his many comedic talents. But the genius behind the show wasn’t really Dick Van Dyke at all. It was Carl Reiner (yes, Meathead’s father) who is the true brains behind the show.
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    The Numbers Station (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on May 29th, 2013

    When someone tries to break in and take something from the building you’re in, what do you do? Well, according to “The Official Good Guy Handbook”, you must immediately lock down the building, retreat to a secure room, and try to get help from the outside. Of course, you must do all this while repelling the bad guys, ignoring their threats and bribes, and (of course) watching out for the double cross.
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    Tomorrow You’re Gone (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 13th, 2013

    We all know what it feels like to nod off in the middle of a film. It starts with micro-naps that last a few seconds. They’re so short, we don’t even realize we’ve fallen asleep. But when we wake up, we feel totally lost because we’ve missed a line of dialogue or scene transition. I mention this for two reasons: 1.) the confused protagonist of Tomorrow You’re Gone floats through his life in a dream-like state and 2.) watching this incomprehensible mess of a movie constantly made me feel like I’d fallen asleep and missed something. That’s a problem because I was wide awake.
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    Magic Journey to Africa (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 18th, 2013

    “I want to visit a country of dreams, imagination and magic.”

    Instead of “dreams, imagination and magic”, the Africa presented in this confounding, family-friendly offering from Spanish filmmaker Jordi Llompart is a place of trippy visuals, head-scratching dialogue and horrid CGI. Magic Journey to Africa — billed as a “giant screen spectacle” — is now available for home consumption, where the film’s dazzling 3D presentation is its only saving grace.
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    The Devil’s in the Details (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 3rd, 2013

    This is a review that I’ve been dreading.  It’s been a while since a movie has gotten me so worked up over its thoughtless execution that I struggle to find something redeeming out of it.  For those unfamiliar with non-linear storytelling, a simple definition would be a story told out of order, for instance Memento or Pulp Fiction.  Those two examples are of films that execute non-linear storytelling and use the structural device as a means to further their story.  As for the filmmakers involved with The Devil’s in the Details, they took a decent story and then tore it up into shreds, tossed it in the air, and pieced it together however they saw fit.
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    Day of the Falcon (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 21st, 2013

    Day of the Falcon is a photogenic, lavish reminder that violence and strife in the Middle East existed well before it could be broadcast on CNN. The film — set in the early part of the 20th century — also works as a throwback to the sort of rollicking, epic-scale adventure films David Lean was making at the height of his powers and that no one seems terribly interested in making anymore. Don’t get me wrong: Day of the Falcon is no Lawrence of Arabia or Bridge on the River Kwai, but it’s an accetable 21st century substitute.
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    All Superheroes Must Die (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on January 30th, 2013

    How exactly do you make a superhero movie without the powers? Answer: Have them wake up with their powers being stripped from them. All Superheroes Must Die is a superhero tale that from the title you can tell is fated not to end in the traditional way that superhero films end: with the righteous prospering and the wicked suffering. What the film title doesn’t let you know, however, is how underwhelming the film is. It does have an interesting startup, I’ll give it that.
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    Red Hook Summer (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 7th, 2013

    When it comes to writer/director Spike Lee, he seems to have a very polarizing effect on the people who watch his films.  I’d like to consider myself a fan of most of his work.  For me  Clockers, Summer of Sam, and The 25 Hour rank at the top of my list of favorites.  He’s a director with a very distinct style and voice that sets him apart from most filmmakers.  But it’s that voice of his that often times gets him in trouble, whether it is in the message of his films or oftentimes comments he makes (most notably his comments on Tarantino and Django Unchained).
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    The Love You Save

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 17th, 2012

    A wealthy mother of three has a secret revealed about her past when her well-meaning son brings a homeless man over for dinner. This production is a play that has been filmed (not adapted) with a laugh-track spliced in, making it resemble a television show. It’s meant to be inspirational but it’s really just a big mess.
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    Holliston: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 17th, 2012

    When I first learned that Adam Green (director of Hatchet and Frozen) would be creating a show to air on Fear Net, this seemed like a slice of heaven to me.  I love horror, and with the exception of The Walking Dead and American Horror Story there just hasn’t been much to watch from the genre.  So when I discovered that Green was going to be actually developing a sit-com instead, it would be fair to say I was more than a little disappointed by this news.  But then I was given a glimmer of hope when I heard it would be about a pair of struggling horror filmmakers. As a film graduate and a lover of horror, this instantly became something relatable to me.
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    The Holy Roller

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 1st, 2012

    Look, I don’t take pleasure in being the guy who slams a religious movie. It’s not that I’m afraid I’ll go to hell. (If someone can go to hell for writing a scathing movie review, then the system is broken.) I just don’t particularly enjoy tearing down any well-meaning movie with a positive message. However, when a film is as thoroughly inept as The Holy Roller, I’m afraid I have no choice.
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