• Forum
  • Archive for the ‘Lionsgate / Maple Pictures’ Category

    The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 11th, 2016

    Thanks to The Sound of Music, millions of people around the world are familiar with the von Trapp family saga. (They probably have the second most popular Austrian name among movie fans, behind some guy named Schwarzenegger.) Given that The Sound of Music is one of the most popular movies of all time, any filmmaker would be wise to offer a fresh perspective in telling a von Trapp story. Enter The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music, which puts eldest von Trapp daughter Liesl Agathe in the center of the action.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Mojave (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 8th, 2016

    Look at where the world is because of solitary dudes going mental in the desert.”

    Depressed, deplorable artist Tom heads to the Mojave Desert, where he unexpectedly meets his match in crazed, charismatic drifter Jack. The fact that their tense encounter results in a death is one of the least surprising things about Mojave. What initially appears to be a cat-and-mouse game set in the desert turns out to be an interesting, uneven meditation on perception vs. reality that spills over into the vapid world of Hollywood.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Expendables 3 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 6th, 2016

    Welcome to the 21st century!”

    Welcome to the world of 4K UHD Blu-ray. This is our first 4k review. It won’t be the last.

    Sylvester Stallone has dedicated the better part of the last decade to giving moviegoers what they wanted 20 years ago. It started with 2006’s Rocky Balboa, which closed out Stallone’s signature franchise in the satisfying manner fans have been craving since 1990’s Rocky V debacle. We’ve also gotten another Rambo sequel, as well as long-awaited team ups with icons both real (Schwarzenegger in Escape Plan) and cinematic (Grudge Match was “Rocky vs. Raging Bull”). But Stallone’s biggest recent success is the veritable fantasy team of action stars he’s assembled for the Expendables films.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Exposed (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 3rd, 2016

    Keanu Reeves is a guy who I don’t think anyone would be crazy enough to say is a “great actor”, but instead he’s a guy who has been in some pretty great films.  For me he’s an actor I grew up with from his days doing the Bill and Ted movies and Point Break. (Seriously, how dare they attempt to remake that gem?)  Between Speed and The Matrix, those are the two movies I’ve held onto for so long as his career took a more interesting turn; that is until John Wick came along and blew my mind with all the insane coolness that was up on the screen.  Finally it seemed I was on track to getting the Keanu Reeves that I grew up watching.  I know, so what’s the point of all this?  Well, until now, none of the Reeves films that I’ve liked could I really say it was because of his performance, and Exposed is finally the film he’s needed where he can show he’s more than just a brooding action star.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on March 23rd, 2016

    It’s the one that fans have been waiting for. The conclusion of the only adaptation series to rival the star power of Twilight in my opinion (Divergent comes close, but the popularity is clearly with this Jennifer Lawrence-led series). Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 2 is the culmination of all the action set up in the first film. It’s time to finally take the fight to President Snow, and this film delivers in every aspect. Action sequences are tier-one as well as being character-driven, all the while staying faithful to the source material. Accomplishing all these tasks is always difficult; however, this film appears to do it with ease. 
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Room (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 17th, 2016

    “When I was small, I only knew small things. But now I’m five, I know everything!”

    Room opens on the day that Jack, the movie’s relentlessly curious young protagonist, turns five. Jack is our entry point and guide through this story, but there’s at least one important thing he doesn’t know. In Room, we see how a mother and her son cope with one of the most harrowing circumstances imaginable. It should make for a grim experience, but this wonderfully-crafted film winds up being a moving story about resilience and how parents and their children can draw strength from one another.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Manhattan: Season 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 14th, 2016

    “There’s always some variable you didn’t account for.”

    Manhattan is one of those variables. It’s one of those dramatic stories where mankind is altered forever. If it weren’t absolutely true, someone would have had to make it up. Every child in schools around the world knows about the atomic bombs that ended World War II. We’ve all seen the terrible destruction that exceeded even the expectations of the scientists and engineers who designed and built these bombs. We all live in the aftermath of these events.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Extraction (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 25th, 2016

    “Don’t ever threaten my family again.”

    In Extraction, a government analyst embarks on an unsanctioned rescue mission after his father — an over-the-hill CIA field operative — is kidnapped by a shadowy group of bad guys. In a related story, I think I got my dad a CD for Father’s Day last year. But while the hero of Extraction might edge me out in the Son of the Year race, the rest of this crummy actioner is basically a harmless debacle.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    MI – 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on February 17th, 2016

    On the surface MI-5 looks to be a mundane direct-to-video film attempting to cash in on a couple of things. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation is the fifth in the series and often referred to as MI:5. The new James Bond film has a plot involving the head of MI-5 attempting to take down the MI-6 department and our beloved 007. None of these would contribute to the fortuitous name. Rather it’s the difference in racial sensitivity between Britain and the United States. MI-5 is actually a feature-film version of the long-running British series Spooks. The film’s original title happens to be Spooks: The Greater Good.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Freeheld (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 9th, 2016

    The story is the star in Freeheld, which chronicles a same-sex couple’s fight for equality. The film is based on the Oscar-winning documentary short of the same name and follows Laurel Hester, a New Jersey cop with terminal lung cancer, as she attempts to pass her pension benefits to domestic partner Stacie Andree. Despite being a modest production, Freeheld was able to enlist some top-drawer acting talent. Unfortunately, it also attracted a risk-averse team of filmmakers who tell Laurel and Stacie’s story in a thoroughly rote and uninspired manner.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Last Witch Hunter (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 8th, 2016

    “Witches live among us. Their magic passed from an ancient race, diluted, half-forgotten but dangerously powerful. After centuries of conflict, a truce was forged. Witches would be allowed to live and govern themselves if they followed one strict rule: that magic never be used against humans. But a truce is a fragile thing…”

    Vin Diesel has made the Fast and Furious franchise into a massive global behemoth, but Diesel is not a global behemoth on his own. He has had successes and failures. He is someone who seems to be an unlikely star. He tried to make Riddick (Pitch Black, The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick) into a multi-film franchise and accomplished it through sheer force of will, but his stardom largely rests on Fast and Furious. Diesel bristles at being typecast, so he has always tried to find new vehicles that will demonstrate his range
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    The Condemned 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on January 21st, 2016

    Here comes another in the long line of movies featuring a WWE superstar. Boy, I tell you, the floodgates open after The Rock (although now he goes by Dwayne Johnson) proved it was possible to move from wrestling stardom to silver screen stardom. That said, none them have really made the leap successfully since him; however, that is not from a lack of trying. This time around, Randy “The Viper” Orton looks to try his luck in the sequel to a WWE sponsored film in The Condemned 2.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    The Giant King

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 13th, 2016

    Yak: The Giant King is a 2012 animated offering from Thailand. It is based on Ramakien, the country’s version of a famous Hindu epic poem. Neither of those facts is readily apparent in the packaging and presentation of The Giant King, an American adaptation that was recently released on DVD. On the one hand, it helps explain why the dialogue here hardly ever matches the characters’ lip movements. But knowing that this crude, chintzy offering is actually based on something rather substantial makes it even more of a letdown.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Heist (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 31st, 2015

    “Stealing from the Pope is suicide.” 

    We’re not talking about that pope. We’re talking about Robert DeNiro in his latest direct-to-video feature film Heist. It’s true that DeNiro hasn’t exactly been picky lately with his parts. He commands a big paycheck, often for just showing up on the credits. It’s common among actors particularly those like DeNiro who have made quite a name for themselves and find themselves in the back nine of their career.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    12 Rounds 3: Lockdown (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 25th, 2015

    With their impossibly beefy frames, larger-than-life personas, and familiarity with staged combat (sorry, buddy), pro wrestlers fit the old-school action star mold perfectly. Unfortunately for them, Hollywood isn’t nearly as interested in action flicks that don’t have superheroes, dinosaurs, or Liam Neeson. And while interconnected cinematic universes are all the rage at the moment, Lionsgate and World Wrestling Entertainment have a pretty interesting partnership themselves. Their latest offering is the dopey, compulsively watchable 12 Rounds 3: Lockdown, which is considerably more entertaining than it has any right to be.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Dragon Blade (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 25th, 2015

    Whenever I read the caption that says the story is inspired by true events, the first thing I wonder is how much of film is actually truth and how much is poetic license. Am I the only one who wonders that? I’m guessing I’m not. In the case of Dragon Blade, I’m thinking that the opening featuring Jackie Chan’s trademark clumsy marital arts style is likely the latter, a tale that falls short of war epic status due to sentimental tendency. Held my attention in the beginning; however, I felt my interest wane in the middle, and by the conclusion it had lost me completely. Sad, because I was excited for this film when I originally heard about it.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Knock Knock (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 23rd, 2015

    I have to admit that I’m not much of a Keanu Reeves fan. However, I’m a huge fan of Keanu Reeves movies. Let’s face it, Keanu can be quite wooden with as much screen presence as a test pattern. OK, I’m showing my age with that line. But one thing he knows how to do well is pick great films to star in. From The Matrix and the recent very hit John Wick to the underrated The Devil’s Advocate, Reeves can sure pick ’em. The worse case scenario here would be Keanu in an uninteresting movie. Well…Knock Knock. Who’s there? An uninteresting Keanu Reeves film.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Cooties (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 9th, 2015

    “I’m under some medication for a medical condition so I may not be seeing this correctly. But I’m pretty sure I might be seeing some of your students possibly eating Mr. Peterson. Again it could be the medication.” 

    Cooties starts out with the grossest sequence in the entire film. You might not want to start this film if you’re eating, particularly if you’re eating chicken nuggets. Ben Franklin once warned us that there were two things one should never see made: laws and sausages. He might just as well have been talking chicken nuggets.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Some Kind of Beautiful (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 9th, 2015

    “Why are the Romantics relevant today?”

    Some Kind of Beautiful shamelessly embraces every rom-com cliché in the book. The utterly nonsensical title, the main characters’ impossibly-posh digs, and the film’s exceedingly contrived and predictable plotting are probably enough to send jaded moviegoers running to the airport exit. So why am I not kicking this film to the curb? Well it helps that this particular group of attractive stars shares a relaxed, mature chemistry that carries the story through its more outlandish shenanigans.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Mississippi Grind (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 4th, 2015

    I don’t care about winning. I just like to play, I really do.”

    In Mississippi Grind, a pair of damaged gamblers hustle their way through the American South so they can buy into a high-stakes card game in New Orleans. That’s technically the “plot” of the movie, but it’s not really the point…nor is it where the film’s true charms lie. Instead, this well-made, low-key character dramedy feels like a welcome throwback to the sort of buddy/road films that have mostly been pushed out of multiplexes.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Amy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 2nd, 2015

    I don’t think I’m going to be at all famous. I don’t think I could handle it. I’d probably go mad.”

    Amy Winehouse — the troubled English soul singer who died of alcohol poisoning at age 27 — says these sadly prophetic words early on in Amy. Hearing them almost five years after her 2011 death only adds to the powerfully haunting quality of this documentary. At its core, Amy is like every Behind the Music episode you’ve ever seen…except it is also a masterfully told story with thrillingly original flourishes.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    American Ultra (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 30th, 2015

    Why are people trying to stab you?”

    People in action movies aren’t usually inclined to stop and ask that question out loud. In American Ultra, a small army of CIA operatives repeatedly try to stab, shoot, gas, and blow up an underachieving slacker and his girlfriend. Seems like a lot of trouble for a panic attack-prone convenience store clerk who sketches a goofy graphic novel about an adventurous ape on his downtime. American Ultra is funny, violent, and tonally-jarring at times. However, it’s also a fun subversion of the action genre and (more specifically) “supersoldier” movies.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    Mr. Holmes (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 11th, 2015

    “Different, entirely.” 

    I have been a fan of Sherlock Holmes since I was a kid. Mixed amidst those Universal horror films I watched with my Pop on weekend chiller shows was an occasional Universal Holmes film with Basil Rathbone as the master of deduction. Soon followed the Doyle books, and a new world was opened for me forever. Since those days we have seen every kind of incarnation of the character possible, or so I thought. I’ve seen Holmes as a child in Spielberg’s Young Sherlock Holmes. There have been several comedies and even a musical or two. Robert Downey Jr. has turned him into an action hero, and Benedict Cumberbatch has brought him into the modern world.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    The End of the Tour (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on November 11th, 2015

    I don’t think there has ever really been a great film about a great writer. We naturally compare their lives to works of great fiction. Great fiction tends to distill the tedium and awkwardness out of real life. Real life can be exhausting in the day-to-day disappointments that can sometimes be wrapped in small victories. David Foster Wallace was a great writer. This is almost universally acknowledged. David Foster Wallace no longer is because he hung himself in 2008 at age 46.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)

    “31 Nights Of Terror” The Vatican Tapes (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 28th, 2015

    “Dark forces are rising. The frequency of possession is increasing all over the world.”

    Must be Global Warming…check that ,Climate Change. It seems the whole warming thing wasn’t exactly working out for these guys. So like a business with a bad reputation you change the name and pretend that’s what it’s been like all along. There is an alarming increase in the frequency of movie possessions all over the world. But it’s not Global Warming or Climate Change that’s to blame. Hell, it isn’t even Bush’s fault. It’s got to do with the color green.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    CommentComments (0)
    CSS Template by RamblingSoul | Tomodachi theme by Theme Lab