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    In Order of Disappearance (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 21st, 2016

    Coming out of Norway we have In Order of Disappearance, a film I knew nothing about aside from the cover art. To be , it pretty much reminded me of any of the numerous revenge films we’ve seen Liam Neeson in.  Stellan Skarsgard instead stars in this revenge romp that I feel got lost in translation with me.  It’s not that I couldn’t understand the base of the film being a revenge tale; this is very much clear as day, but it is the film’s sense of humor that borders on being dry and black, to other points I feel it’s just a Norwegian thing.  Usually one of the first things I do with a foreign film is I make sure everything is set to the original language track and use the subtitles to follow along (never been a fan of dubbing).
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Satanic (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 13th, 2016

    When you have a title like Satanic, it’s kind of hard to not start to build up expectations right out of the gate.  I like a horror film that isn’t afraid to go dark and play with the subject matter of the occult, because honestly it’s the only topic that can manage to get under my skin.  The Exorcist in my opinion is hands down the best horror film of all time and manages to haunt me after a viewing simply because the boy I once was who went to Catholic mass every Sunday knew that it could happen.
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    The Wave (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 22nd, 2016

    Disaster films are something that for me screams American cinema of the 90’s.  I know there were films before that had come out, but a good portion of my teen years of the 90’s were of the mega-blockbuster variety like Twister, Dante’s Peak, The Perfect Storm, and so forth.  Now we have The Wave, the first disaster film to come out of Norway, and from the looks of the trailers they were going for something BIG.  This is a film that comes out with so much potential and is a film that could even possibly find an American audience that could look past the fact that subtitles may be involved.  With the way technology has come along over the years, smaller countries have been able to produce films as big as anything released in our cinemas here in the states.  Now here’s the question: is it any good, though?
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    Synchronicity (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 25th, 2016

    Time travel films have been around for years, and with each film there are viewers who just enjoy it at face value and others who watch it to poke holes in the film’s theories.  I have to admit I fall somewhere in between.  With a film like Back to the Future, I don’t look at it as anything more than silly fun, but then a film like 12 Monkeys comes along, and I just go bananas over its theory and execution.  So when a title like Synchronicity came along, I went into it with an open mind.  I know you don’t need a giant budget to pull off a time travel film; what matters first and foremost is the story and the characters that lead the narrative tale for us.
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    Kill Me Three Times (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 14th, 2015

    “What you’re talking about is a one-way street, you understand? Once you start there is no going back.”

    Ah, but there is going back if you’re watching Kill Me Three Times. I don’t necessarily mean that you’ll want to watch the film over again (you might). Kill Me Three Times is a bit of a collection of vignettes that continue to circle back upon each other. Each time you get a different perspective or a bit of new information is unveiled. For those of you who insist on a linear logic to your films, this one’s not for you. In fact, those of you who insist on logic at all might not quite get this one.
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    The Wrecking Crew (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 22nd, 2015

    What do Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, The Monkees, and Nat King Cole have in common? (Besides, of course, their undisputed status as musical icons and the adoration of millions of fans.) Well at various points in their illustrious careers, they were each backed by The Wrecking Crew, a tight-knit group of session musicians responsible for cranking out some of the most familiar hits of all time. This documentary is a lively love letter to that incredibly charismatic and cohesive group, whose contributions remained largely anonymous for decades.
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    Pioneer (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 23rd, 2015

    The Norwegian oil boom of the early 1980s isn’t the most obvious setting for a thriller, but director Erik Skjoldbjærg manages to squeeze plenty of intrigue out of what seems like a pretty dry subject. Of course, Pioneer could never be described as “dry” in the literal sense since the film follows a group of commercial divers in Norway as they try to establish the country’s first petroleum pipeline 500 meters underwater.
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    Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 29th, 2014

    “It was the gang that ran amok. You have people who were being extorted, who talked of having a shotgun barrel stuck in their mouths or machine guns pointed at their groin. Body bags were shown by Bulger as he shakes them down. It was absolute terror.”

    It amazes me that I really had very little idea who James J. Bulger was before I watched this film by director Joe Berlinger. How could I have missed this guy? On the run for over 16 years, Bulger was once #2 on the FBI’s most wanted list. Who was #1? That was Osama Bin Laden. So who was this man that came in second only to the world’s most infamous terrorist?
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    Alan Partridge (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 12th, 2014

    There have been more than a few films that have revolved around radio DJ’s. Good Morning Vietnam, Talk Radio, and Private Parts: these are just a few films that explore the world of the character behind the microphone, who speaks through our radios through the day-to-day grind.  Now, following in the success of the Oscar nominated film Philomena, Steve Coogan steps into the radio DJ world as Alan Partridge. Most of us are used to listening to our local DJ’s who come on between songs and blast us with their obnoxious personalities, silly games and pop culture news of the day on our morning drive to work
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    Journey to the West (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 2nd, 2014

    When Stephen Chow came out with Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle he delivered martial arts in a way like we never had seen before.  It’s not just that he blended humor with his action but it was that he was able to manage to make his characters function as you would imagine cartoon characters would in the real world.  The road runneresque chase scenes from Kung Fu Hustle are the first visuals that come to mind any time I think of the name Stephen Chow.  Now that he has Journey to the West making its way to Blu-ray, does he still have what it takes to make a hit or has he simply returned to the well already?
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    Here Comes the Devil (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 20th, 2014

    Remember the first film that kept you awake at night?  The film that had you keeping the light on, when every strange noise you heard was that of some monster you were all but certain was lurking in the darkness waiting for your eyes to finally close?  For me it was that thrill that got me excited about horror films, where every Saturday I’d watch Creature Feature, and in the evening I’d channel-surf till I found some horror film to keep me up into the late hours of the night
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    23:59

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 24th, 2013

    “Midnight is the most evil part of the night. If someone dies at 23:59 hours, his soul will not rest in peace and will return to the mortal world.”

    Every culture has its own set of ghost stories. They’re usually passed around very late at night by a group of very impressionable young people. That’s precisely where 23:59 — an atmospheric and thoroughly effective Malaysian/Singaporean horror flick — picks up, with a group of army recruits on an island training camp sitting around telling spooky tales. The only thing missing was the campfire.
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    This Girl Is Badass (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 11th, 2013

    When it comes to martial artists out of Thailand, the big go-to name people seem to know is Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak).  But Thailand has another martial arts star, and after finishing This Girl is Badass I’m convinced Jeeja Yanin is going to be the bigger star.  Most may recognize Jeeja from the 2008 film Chocolate; after the last thirty minutes of that film I was ready to see her in more action.  Though she’s had other titles released since Chocolate, This Girl is Badass gets to be the follow-up film since her 2008 release.
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    Deadfall (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 22nd, 2013

    And you thought Thanksgiving dinner with your family was tense. For most of us, it doesn’t get much worse than critical parents, competitive siblings or that weird side dish no one really wants to try. (There always seems to be about a gallon of that stuff too.) Consider yourself lucky: unlike the poor souls in Deadfall, you’ve probably never been chained to the dinner table — not literally, at least — nor had a psychotic Eric Bana point a gun at your face.
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    Compliance (Blu-ray)

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

    If Compliance weren’t based on true events, the film’s plot would immediately be dismissed as implausible and insulting of its audience’s intelligence. (Same with Argo.) As the story of an incredibly committed prank caller and his unwitting prey progresses, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll repeatedly roll your eyes. There’s an even better chance the eye rolling will be followed by a feeling of outrage — definitely toward the caller, but maybe even toward the gullible victims — when you remember this stuff actually happened.
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    Casino Jack and the United States of Money

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 26th, 2010

    Written by Diane Tillis

    Casino Jack and the United States of Money is a political documentary that takes a look into über lobbyist of the Republican Party, Jack Abramoff. The mind and voice behind this documentary is Alex Gibney, who also did documentaries Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room (2005), Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side (2008), and My Trip to Al-Qaeda (2010). Jack Abramoff is the center of attention in this documentary as Gibney gathers interviews and archival material to expose the D.C. lobbyist as corrupt and greedy.
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    Wonderful World (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 24th, 2010

    “If the glass is half empty, at least you can’t drown.”

    When I looked at the title and description of this film I couldn’t help but think of that Jimmy Stewart classic It’s A Wonderful Life. I’m not sure if it is the close title or the idea of a cynical man finding some kind of epiphany about his life and how he interacts with others. So, maybe it was that connection and inevitable comparison and expectation that caused me to dislike this film as much as I did. It’s not fair, you might say, but it is the filmmakers themselves who invite this comparison and apparently welcome it. I’m sure the idea was that it would bring in that particularly large audience of viewers.
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    World’s Greatest Dad

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 30th, 2009

    It seems to be commonly believed that Robin Williams’ acting career took an abrupt change from outlandish, eccentric comedic choices (Aladdin) to more dark, complex and satirical roles in the early ‘00s (Death to Smoochy). But Williams has always played both ends of the spectrum and roughly everything in between. He channeled a father willing to do whatever it takes to reconnect with his children in the 1993 classic Mrs. Doubtfire, a role that nabbed him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor
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    Two Lovers

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on November 27th, 2009

    James Gray’s Two Lovers revolves around the troubled Leonard Kraditor (Joaquin Phoenix).  Leonard has moved back into his childhood home to recover from his recent break up. In quick succession, two women enter Leonard’s life: Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), an entertaining and peculiar neighbor who transcends Leonard’s world and Sandra (Vinessa Shaw) a classy, traditional woman who is the daughter of a businessman attempting to purchase Leonard’s family business.  Leonard becomes confused between desire and love and the story unfolds from there.
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    Criminal Ways

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on November 4th, 2009

    Some would say that what I do is a “wannabe” writer. I write reviews of dvds & games and also write a weekly column. However, I’m sure there are many novelists and newspaper writers who consider me nothing more than an Internet geek with a keyboard. But the truth is we are something more. Many of us are just as good as the novelists out there and better than the liberal media. Criminal Ways was originally called the “Wannabes” because it was about a group of men who wanted to be a children’s entertainment group. But like myself, there is so much more to the story than meets the eye.

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    The Girlfriend Experience

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 23rd, 2009

    Written by Adrienne Ambush

    See it with someone you ****

    About a “$2,000-an hour Manhattan call girl who offers more than sex to her clients,” The Girlfriend Experience is the mainstream film debut of Adult Film Star Sasha Grey, who before this movie was known only for her other roles. Playing character Chelsea, Grey puts on what Esquire Magazine calls a “Totally Captivating” performance as a hired companion who spends most of her time throughout the movie juggling countless numbers of men and her steady boyfriend, who seems to have no problem at all that his girlfriend is a hired prostitute.
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    The Great Buck Howard

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 13th, 2009

    Unable to face life as a lawyer, having been pushed into law school by his father (Tom Hanks), Troy Gable (Colin Hanks, looking uncannily like his father) aspires to become a writer. In order to put food on the table, he becomes the road manager for Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a former big-name mentalist who now works half-empty theatres in towns Troy didn’t even know existed. By turns charming and tyrannical, Buck keeps hoping for the big comeback and return to his Tonight Show glory days, and drags Troy along for a bumpy ride down the back roads of show business.
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    Mutant Chronicles 2-Disc Collector’s Edition

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 12th, 2009

    “At the end of the Ice Age the machine came. It came from outside. It came from space. It came with one purpose, to change man into mutant.”

    Mutant Chronicles was based on an old style role playing game. This was the kind where someone actually had to get out some paper and keep track of the game. Real old school. So now the property has been turned basically into a video game. Yeah, I know this is a movie review, but I just spend about an hour and a half feeling like I just watched somebody else play a video game, and not a very good one at that.
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    Big Man Japan

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 6th, 2009

    Daisato (director/co-writer Hitosi Matumoto) is having his daily life filmed by a TV crew. This life is pretty depressing. He doesn’t make much money, his wife has left him, and his neighbours hate him. His job isn’t exactly low-stress, either: he is Big Man Japan, a hereditary job that involves defending Japan against monster attacks. So whenever he gets the call, he has to run to the nearest power plant, get himself zapped until he grows into a 50-foot giant, and do battle with various bizarre creatures (one looks like a plucked chicken with a huge eyeball/penis appendage). But though he does his best, his ratings are down, his show is broadcast in the dead hours of the morning, his agent appears to be taking advantage of him, and there’s a new monster in town that mops the floor with him on their first encounter.
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    Yonkers Joe

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 2nd, 2009

    Robert Calestino hasn’t had a lot of experience as either a writer or director, and it shows in Yonkers Joe. When he’s writing about the things he obviously knows and understands, the film is quite good and extremely engaging. Unfortunately, Calestino felt compelled to bring some heart into his picture in the person of Joe, Jr. While he thinks he’s adding a necessary emotional element to the story, he’s really delivering a distraction that makes the film somewhat less than it ought to be.
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