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    Hellbenders 3D (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 25th, 2014

    “Don’t mess with a man of God.”

    It has been said that an old vaudevillian was on his deathbed and was asked how he was doing. He replied, “Dying is easy. Comedy is hard”. And no, it wasn’t Shia LaBeof. The fact is that comedy is easy. Horror comedy is hard…very hard. One needs only to look at the lame attempts each year to make us laugh at the carnage. For every Shaun Of The Dead there are 100 Vampire In Brooklyn‘s Let’s not even talk about the last Scream entry.
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    Escape Plan (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on February 7th, 2014

    “A successful breakout depends on three things: Layout, Routine, and Outside Help.”

    You know, there was a time when the public could only dream of an Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone team-up. Now thanks to a little film called The Expendables, when it comes to the realm of action star team-ups, anything is possible. Case in point: Escape Plan. When this film was first announced, I figure it would be devoid of any real substance and just another attempt to capitalize on the success of  Expendables
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    Collision (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 30th, 2014

    Collision is ostensibly about a honeymooning couple who gets stranded in the desert, and how the harsh, unforgiving terrain shines a light on their many secrets. But the coolest thing about this thriller — besides the spectacularly violent car crash that sets the plot in motion and gives the film its title — is how the story could’ve been told from any of the marooned characters’ perspectives. I just wish writer/director David Marconi hadn’t taken the most winding, contrived road possible to arrive at his destination.
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    Crossing Lines: Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 22nd, 2014

    Location, location, location! The notion that a desirable geographic spot can make a huge difference isn’t exclusive to the world of real estate. Take, for instance, Crossing Lines. At first glance, the show fits comfortably alongside any number of American police procedurals that feature curiously attractive cops and a fresh set of dead bodies each week. It’s a formula that’s worked for decades, so it’s hard to argue for a complete overhaul. The best fans can hope for are clever tweaks to help new shows stand out from the crowded cop show lineup. Crossing Lines accomplishes this by taking all the fake corpses you’ve seen on New York and L.A. streets and scattering them across Europe.
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    Duck Dynasty Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 7th, 2014

    In case you’ve managed to miss the tabloids lately, it would seem that Phil Robertson, the founder of Duck Commander, has found himself in some hot water over some comments he made in GQ magazine.  These comments managed to get him suspended from the show, but not long after, he was brought back.  I’m not here to point fingers or even add fuel to the fire. Instead I simply want to say these kinds of scandals are inevitable when a hit series is involved; this especially becomes the case when the show is reality-based.  The result that usually follows is the fans end up with the short end of the stick. 
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    Bonnie & Clyde: Justified

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 4th, 2013

    Although they were brutally gunned down almost 80 years ago, everyone knows the names “Bonnie & Clyde”, even if they’re only familiar with the bank-robbing basics. Don’t look now, but Arthur Penn’s landmark, definitive Bonnie & Clyde film — with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in the title roles — came out 46 years ago, so I imagine there’s a large segment of younger movie fans who haven’t seen the story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow play out on screen. The ultra low-budget Bonnie & Clyde: Justified arrives just in time to capitalize coincide with December’s star-studded, multi-network miniseries that will surely raise the notorious duo’s pop culture profile once again.
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    Texas Chainsaw ( Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 24th, 2013

    Forget about all of the sequels, remakes and copycats. At least that’s what original Texas Chainsaw Massacre writer/director Tobe Hooper wants you to do. As far as he’s concerned, Texas Chainsaw 3D is the official follow-up to the groundbreaking, flesh-tearing 1974 cult classic film. To bring the point home, Hooper has signed on as a producer and brought along the original Leatherface Gunnar Hansen and Marilyn Burns who played Sally, the girl who got away in the original film. Both have cameos here.
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    Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 16th, 2013

    “We are your Family. We come before anything, even your own family.”

    Everything about Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn — the setting, the storyline, the cast, the title — brings to mind vastly superior crime dramas. To be fair, it’s incredibly difficult to say something in this genre that hasn’t already been said brilliantly by the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese or David Chase. So instead of trying to carve out its own turf, this low-budget effort seems to almost revel in how derivative it is. At the very least, the people who made this movie seem to love gangster flicks as much as we do.
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    WWII From Space (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 6th, 2013

    “This is America’s war as never seen before…”

    When you consider the countless documentaries, miniseries and feature films dedicated to the Second World War, you’d think the defining conflict of the 20th century has been covered from every possible angle. And you’d be wrong! History has taken to the skies with WWII From Space, a two-hour special that originally aired on the cable network in December and promised to bring viewers an unprecedented, extraterrestrial perspective of the war.
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    House Arrest

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 20th, 2013

    Sometimes you really can judge a book terrible movie by its cover. Beyond the awful Photoshopped shot of the film’s stars, the cover art for House Arrest boasts that the movie comes “From a Producer of You Got Served.” That set off a bunch of questions in my curious mind. Why just one producer? Is this really something a person would brag about? Most importantly, where are all the hip hop dance battles?! Worse than all that, the film itself completely muddles a worthwhile message about faith and the importance of family with shoddy storytelling and a steady stream of substandard performances.
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    That Obscure Object of Desire (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 3rd, 2013

    “I’ve changed a lot. I’m not the same woman.”

    Early on in Luis Buñuel’s surrealist gem, a mild-mannered older gentleman named Mathieu douses a beautiful, battered woman with a bucket of water as she desperately attempts to board the train he’s riding. His fellow passengers are stunned, but also understandably intrigued. What possible sequence of events could’ve led Mathieu to this cold and cartoonish gesture? It’s an irresistible hook, and Mathieu proceeds to regale the other travelers —
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    The Possession (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 23rd, 2013

    Anytime a horror film is released with a religious element, I can’t help but be a little interested.  The film that first won me over for this sub-genre was, of course, The Exorcist, and ever since seeing that film I keep hoping that one day a film will hold up to it in quality, but it seems I’ll be waiting a while.  That’s not to say there haven’t been some good films to come out along the way.  The Possession is one of those valiant attempts that brings something fresh to the genre but never quite reaches its full potential.
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    Branded (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on January 17th, 2013

    Do you realize how much you’re affected by advertising? Branded attempts to answer this question while showing us where our world is headed if the trend continues. Mishka Galkin (Ed Stoppard, The Pianist) is Russia’s advertising whiz kid. When Mishka meets Abby (Leelee Sobieski, 88 Minutes, The Wicker Man), they immediately become friends, despite the fact that she is the niece of Bob Gibbons (Jeffrey Tambor, TVs Arrested Development, the Hellboy movies), Mishka’s boss.
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    Anger Management: Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 6th, 2013

    The following sentence is taken directly from the back of the Blu-ray case for Charlie Sheen’s latest small-screen vehicle: “Charlie thrives on the chaos in his life while still battling his own anger issues.” So it’s fair to say FX’s Anger Management isn’t afraid to blur the line between reality and fiction. It’s actually a good move because the latest TV show tailored specifically to Sheen’s talents doesn’t have much else going for it.
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    Arbitrage (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on January 3rd, 2013

    In the financial world, the term “arbitrage” refers to the possibility of risk-free profit at zero cost. This seems to be the goal for Robert Miller (Richard Gere), a hedge fund manager desperate to sell his business and retire. The reason for his desperation is that his business is completely broke due to a bad investment. This goal has completely consumed Robert, and it affects everything he does. Robert treats his employees like slaves, is nervous around his family, and regards his mistress as little more than a plaything. One night after the sale suffers yet another setback, he convinces his mistress to come with him to his country cabin.
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    Christmas in Compton

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 27th, 2012

    “‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the hood/Not a hater was stirring, cuz it was all good.”

    With Thanksgiving in our rearview mirror, ‘tis officially the season of packed shopping malls and cheesy Christmas movies. Most of these flicks will air on ABC Family or the Hallmark Channel over the next few weeks, but Santa got ahead of himself and recently delivered Christmas in Compton to my doorstep. Though the film has more on its mind than its dopey cover art suggests, I kinda wish Santa had also left me a gift receipt.
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    Hirokin

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on November 13th, 2012

    As a moviegoer, I love my share of epics. The bigger the storyline, the bigger the world, the more I probably enjoy it. Oh, it has to be sci fi/fantasy related too. Fantasy worlds in particular are often amazing since the creator is making it up from scratch. Today, we visit the world Aradius, a land where a very special mineral plays a very important part in the story. The story you ask? The story of Hirokin, the Last Samurai. Let’s explore, shall we?
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    Fire With Fire (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on November 12th, 2012

     “Every man’s got his dark side”

    This is the most fitting quote to describe the exploration of Fire with Fire. My intrigue began with the film’s title, I just love that title. Nowadays most film titles have been reduced to using the name of one of the characters or including “the” in the title; it’s refreshing to have a title that encompasses the overall plot of the film. TV director and reputable stunt coordinator David Barrett takes the director seat for his first feature film (a quick IMDB search would tell you that this step was long overdue)
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    Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 10th, 2012

    After watching Tyler Perry’s Awkward Attempt at Action Stardom less than a month ago, it was oddly comforting to see the multi-media superstar back in his wheelhouse. Don’t get me wrong: I like to see a performer expand his horizons. It’s just that Perry looks infinitely more comfortable in his signature character’s wig and muumuu than tracking down a serial killer and grimly saying things like “I will meet his soul at the gates of hell before I let him take a person that I love from me.”
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    Mad Men – Season Five (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 18th, 2012

    “When is everything gonna get back to normal?”

    Is a happy, well-adjusted Don Draper a good thing? That’s one of the biggest questions posed during Mad Men’s excellent fifth season, and it’s aimed at the other characters in the show as well as a passionate TV audience that has become seriously invested in Jon Hamm’s suave antihero.
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    Safe (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 9th, 2012

    One of my strongest assets is my ability to compute numbers. It has helped me to excel at my paying position in the workforce as well as stay ahead when it comes to my finances. However, to date I have never really been placed in a position where my mastery of numbers would determine life or death. However, our movie today, Safe does involve a girl named Mei whose very life indeed could end on the basis of whether or not she can properly remember her numbers.
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    For the Love of Money

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 7th, 2012

    James Caan and Paul Sorvino are prominently featured on the DVD cover of this true life gangster tale. (The cover also features a bloated Edward Furlong of Terminator 2 fame, but the trio only has a combined 20-25 minutes of screen time.) It’s almost as if the filmmakers figured that, by having supporting actors from The Godfather and Goodfellas, some of the greatness from two of the best crime films of all time would somehow rub off on their modest venture. As you can probably tell from the tone of this opening paragraph, it didn’t exactly work.
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    Freelancers (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 27th, 2012

    When you see a cast that includes names like Robert DeNiro and Forest Whitaker, you have justifiable high expectations for a solid experience. Add 50 Cent to the mix and past experience will tell you that not even a teaming of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino can save the picture. The rapper-turned-actor has certainly found himself cast with enough Academy Award power that the transition should have been more successful than it has been. The fact is that 50 Cent hasn’t appeared to have learned anything from rubbing elbows with so many Oscar statues.
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    Blue Like Jazz (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 7th, 2012

    “Life is like jazz, son; never resolves.”

    Small-scale Christian (or faith-based) films have found modest-yet-passionate audiences in recent years. They also have a reputation among mainstream moviegoers for being overly earnest. Blue Like Jazz — based on the popular 2003 crisis-of-faith best seller by Donald Miller — curiously circumvents that criticism by employing an overly stylish approach and, more importantly, by not billing itself as a “Christian movie.”
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    La Grande Illusion (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 4th, 2012

    - “It’s our duty, this is war.”
    - “Agreed, but even so let’s remember our manners.”

    You know how Citizen Kane is considered by some to be the greatest film of all time? Well, I’m the kind of curious movie nerd who subsequently wonders which film was atop Kane auteur Orson Welles’ personal list. Unfortunately, I can’t ask him, but there’s evidence suggesting the answer was Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion/Grand Illusion.
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