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    Divergent (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 5th, 2014

    “You’re different. You don’t fit into a category. They can’t control you. They call it Divergent.”

    In the wake of Hunger Games and Twilight studios have been snatching up the rights to young adult fiction and gearing up for franchises, all in the name of capturing the hearts and wallets of the legions of fans of these book series.  Though there have been a few hits, the failures have been plentiful i.e.: City of Bones, The Host, and The Vampire Academy.  As a guy approaching his mid-thirties, it’s safe to say I’m nowhere near being the target audience for this film, but call me crazy, I actually dug it.
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    Angriest Man in Brooklyn (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 28th, 2014

    Robin Williams is one of those actors that I just wonder what happened to them.  Through the 80’s and 90’s Williams was simply box office gold with his comedic timing and great impressions, but I’ve always been more drawn to the more serious roles Williams delivered.  Awakenings, The Fisher King, Dead Poets Society, One Hour Photo, these are just a few of his roles that have stuck with me over the years that made it easy to look past his cinematic missteps.
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    Cesar Chavez (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 23rd, 2014

    The fact that we haven’t gotten a movie about Cesar Chavez until now is both surprising and not all that shocking. It’s surprising because the Mexican American labor leader was arguably as big of a civil rights icon to Latino workers as Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the country’s black community in the 1960s. On the other hand, the extended wait for a Chavez movie isn’t all that shocking when you consider his efforts took place in the largely un-cinematic realm of grape boycotts. The bland, well-meaning Cesar Chavez makes the case for his impactful deeds, even if it doesn’t totally present him as a vibrant, complex man worthy of the biopic treatment.
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    Under the Skin (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 15th, 2014

    There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Jonathan Glazer controls all that you see and hear. That tiny speck of light you see is just the beginning. The beginning of an experience you will not soon forget. The light appears distant…cold… foreboding. It’s coming closer to us, or we are coming closer to it. The distant star grows while you are assaulted with some of the most bizarre sounds you have ever heard. It’s somewhat uncomfortable. You squirm in your seat.
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    Blood Ties (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 30th, 2014

    It’s a sad state of affairs. The road that Blood Ties has taken to get to this Blu-ray release is far more interesting than the film itself. It all starts with a French film Les liens du sang that was itself a reflection on the American cop drams genre. One of the original French screenwriters collaborated to bring the idea full circle to become an American cop drama. The film made the film festival circuit with mixed reviews and results. For some reason Director Guilaume Canet decided to go back to the editing room and remove nearly a half hour of the original film’s running time.
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    Enemy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 23rd, 2014

    What would you do if you spotted your exact duplicate? Would you take a closer look so that your brain could try to confirm what your eyes were seeing? Check with your parents to make sure you didn’t have a long-lost twin they never told you about? And how long before you pinched yourself to ensure you weren’t dreaming? These were the sorts of questions that popped in my head as I watched Enemy, a stylish and mind-bending psychological drama.
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    Joe (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 16th, 2014

    I hope everyone had a fantastic Father’s Day! I’ve actually been lucky enough to have two strong paternal figures in my life (my dad and stepdad), which is much more than I can say for the young protagonist in Joe. The latest Southern Gothic drama from director David Gordon Green — adapted from the Larry Brown novel of the same name — features one of the very worst dads you’ll ever see. To balance things out, the title character is one of the unlikeliest father figures in recent memory.
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    Mischief Night

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 21st, 2014

    “You just never know who’s gonna be at the door.”

    A virginal babysitter with bad cell phone reception is terrorized by a masked killer in Mischief Night. You don’t have to be a gorehound to know this is basically the plot of every slasher movie ever made. So it’s natural for viewers to expect some sort of swerve to differentiate this horror flick from all those that came before it. With the flawed, micro-budgeted Mischief Night, that swerve comes courtesy of the film’s intriguing assertion that a “boogeyman” can come from anywhere.
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    I Frankenstein (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 14th, 2014

    “I was cast into being in the winter of 1795 a living corpse with a soul, stitched, jolted, bludgeoned back to life by a madman. Horrified by his creation, he tried to destroy me…”

    We all know the story told by the young teen wife of a poet: Mary Shelley. Told to entertain guests on a stormy night, it has become the stuff of legend. Brought to life by Colin Clive’s mad scientist in the shape of Boris Karloff in the Universal Golden Age of horror, the monster has had a face. Since that time studios from Hammer to Paramount have left their own marks and scars on the creature that often mistakenly bears the name of his mythic creator. The name of Frankenstein.
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    Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Neighbors From Hell

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

    Following the live performance of Madea’s Neighbors From Hell captured on this DVD, Tyler Perry joins his fellow cast members on stage after they’ve all taken their bows. Perry has ditched his Madea drag and takes to the microphone to thank his fervent, loyal fans for their support. You probably know Perry because of the phenomenal success he has enjoyed in TV and movies. (And because he puts his name on practically everything he does.) However, Perry is quick to remind his audience that it all started on the stage.
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    Mobius (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 17th, 2014

    “I’d have loved to be a spy, but it’s a dangerous game and it pays s—.”

    For a lot of moviegoers, the word “spy” evokes tuxedos, gadgets, and exotic accents. Möbius — a French/Russian production from French filmmaker Eric Rochant — only employs the last of those tropes while falling in line with more low-key espionage adventures like Three Days of the Condor and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. So I shouldn’t have been surprised that this film gets up to some subterfuge of its own; Möbius is a love story posing as a spy thriller.
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    Anger Management: Volume Three (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 16th, 2014

    “You show up late reeking of booze, handcuffed to a stripper, and you expect me to trust your judgment?”

    Even though we’re more than three years removed from his tiger blood heyday, it’s still impossible to separate Charlie Sheen’s bad off-screen behavior from the sitcom work he (somehow) cranks out every week. The latest example comes courtesy of Anger Management: Volume Three, which includes the departure of co-star Selma Blair after she reportedly complained that Sheen was a “menace” to work with. Not surprisingly, this batch of episodes also sees the “fictional” version of Charlie embrace his dark side.
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    Sheriff of Contention

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

    When it comes to the very worst movies I’ve ever seen, I admit that I grade on a curve. Filmmakers working with extremely limited resources get more of a pass from me. This certainly appears to be the case with Sheriff of Contention, a low-budget Western/serial killer mystery. Unfortunately, there’s only so much amateurish acting and technical mishaps I can overlook. Everyone knows that if you can’t say something nice, you’re not supposed to say anything at all. In a related story, this might end up being one of my shorter reviews.
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    Reasonable Doubt (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 21st, 2014

    “The problem is you don’t know my pain or emptiness. But now you’re going to know how it feels to be me.”

    Mitch Brockden (Cooper) is an ambitious up and comer in the Chicago prosecutor’s office. He has a reputation for being aggressive, and he doesn’t lose cases. He’s respected and liked by his colleagues. That’s the man we first meet. But after a night of some power drinking with his buds, we are introduced to another Mitch Brockden. This Mitch is selfish and a coward.
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    Kingdom of Conquerors

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

    “So long as my enemies are alive, I will not die.”

    During his lifetime, Genghis Khan reigned over one of the biggest empires the world has ever seen. There are literally dozens of action-packed epics that could be made about his various battles as head of the Mongol Empire, which included portions of China, Russia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. But Kingdom of Conquerors curiously focuses on the one adversary Khan couldn’t vanquish: death.
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    Hours

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

    Paul Walker built his career on playing tarnished golden boys (Varsity Blues, The Skulls) before breaking out with the Fast & Furious franchise. He wasn’t as decorated as fellow recently-departed colleagues like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Peter O’Toole, James Gandolfini and Harold Ramis, but Walker was unequivocally a Hollywood success. Hours is one of the last films the actor completed before his November death in a single-car accident. The film quickly loses its way after a promising start, but Walker is easily the best thing in it. His work here is a bittersweet glimpse at the sort of roles he might’ve taken on as he progressed through his 40’s.
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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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