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    Get Out (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 18th, 2017

    Sometimes…if there’s too many white people, I get nervous.”

    Some of the very best horror films/psychological thrillers succeed by taking a relatable source of anxiety and cranking it to 11. For example, The Exorcist can be viewed as the worst-case scenario for anyone suffering a crisis of faith, while The Shining taps into the madness of being cooped up with your family for too long. Get Out works because it uses the nerve-wracking experience of meeting your significant other’s parents for the first time as a jumping-off point to tell a subversive, insightful, and entertaining story that mashes together Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and The Stepford Wives.
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    Fifty Shades Darker – Unrated Edition (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 11th, 2017

    From the suggestion of the title, you would think that we would be diving deeper into the world of BDSM, but after watching, the only thing that I can say about Fifty Shades Darker is that it’s a love story. Yes, I know that it was always a love story, but the first film possessed an edge and intensity which no longer exist in the sequel. Disappointing is too pale a word for the film. From its failure to properly capture the essence of the source material, less than engaging performance of the leads, and the vanilla nature of the sex scenes, the movie does not live up to the hype. If 50 Shades of Grey pushed the envelope with its sexuality, 50 Shades Darker embraces the commercialism of a sequel for profit rather than effect.
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    Rings (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on May 8th, 2017

    When The Ring (2002) first came out, if you looked hard enough you could still find movies on VHS, so the thought of a mysterious tape that kills you seven days after watching it wasn’t so entirely farfetched.  Now that we are in 2017, if someone were to find a mysterious VHS tape, well, they’d be out of luck for the most part, since I’d wager most of the US population no longer has a VCR.  But Hollywood won’t let this stop their successful franchise from moving forward, even though it’s been 12 years since The Ring Two, this weekend is the release of the third film in the series, and quite frankly, I have to wonder if anyone really wanted this.
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    A Dog’s Purpose (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on May 2nd, 2017

    When’s the last time you saw a good dog movie with love, devotion, and heroism?  Not the animated type, but one that stars dogs doing some awesome stunts, creating the love for animals and even inspiration.  Well, you can find all that and more in the movie A Dog’s Purpose, a fun, adventure of a dog’s life that runs full circle.  It’s fun for the whole family, but don’t be surprised when your youngster starts begging for a new furry friend. After escaping from a cage, a starving young pup gets saved by Elizabeth (Juliet Rylance).  Her son Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) wants to keep the dog, and after an intervention with his father, Elizabeth wins out.
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    Split (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 20th, 2017

    When it comes to writer/ director M. Night Shyamalan, it’s hard to find a more polarizing director between film critics and film geeks. I was a fan up until he did The Village. It’s not as though I “hated” the film; I just was getting sick of the gimmick plot twists that seemed to go hand in hand with his work.  As he continued to release films, I just would shrug at the trailers, and my enthusiasm for his films quickly declined.  For me Unbreakable has grown to be my favorite work of his, which is funny to me because the first time I saw it I had a hard time deciding how I felt about the film.  It was a comic/ superhero film that showed us perhaps what it would be like in the real world if some regular Joe realized he was perhaps meant for something greater.
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    The Bye Bye Man (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 14th, 2017

    Every year there are dozens upon dozens of horror films released, each with the intention to make an impact on the genre.  Horror is easily my favorite genre in film, but it’s a genre that easily allows itself to spill into other genres. It doesn’t matter to me what the budget is, or whether the special effects are on point; what matters most is if the story holds up.  I mention this because going into The Bye Bye Man I had heard some pretty bad things, but I don’t usually let that get in the way of my opinion of a film; after all, everyone has their own tastes.  For me the film’s tagline “Don’t think it. Don’t say it.” should have the added line, “Don’t remember it.”
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    Sing (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on March 23rd, 2017

    Probably the most silly of animated films this year, and that’s a good thing for Sing. Enjoyable, very funny, touching, and absolutely incredibly wacky. The family film targets children, but the adults will enjoy it a lot more than the average toon. I’m surprised the filmmakers waited so long to put the film in theaters, but with no children’s anime to stop it from becoming a blockbuster, it’s a very possible chance it will. Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey voiced), the grandson of a theatre owner, has the tough job of bringing the venue back to its glory after he inherited the entertainment palace.
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    The Girl on the Train (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 19th, 2017

    My husband used to tell me I have an overactive imagination…”

    The idea at the core of The Girl on the Train is equal parts provocative and relatable: a lonely commuter observes an attractive couple from a distance and imagines what their seemingly perfect lives must be like. Anyone who’s ever done any people-watching will recognize the appeal of inventing a backstory for a stranger, and the story is a healthy reminder that things are never quite what they seem from the outside. But despite a powerhouse lead performance, this Train is ultimately derailed by an unsatisfying mystery and a lack of flair that causes this potentially juicy story to lose steam as it chugs along
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    Snowden (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 30th, 2016

    It’s been just about four years since Savages (2012) hit the big screen.  For me Savages was Oliver Stone simply having a blast, shooting an over-the-top action film fueled by sex, drugs, and violence.  Now it seems Stone has stepped back into the paranoid, government-conspiracy form that he seems to be best known for with Snowden.  Whether you view him as a traitor to the United States or a self-sacrificing lamb to expose the government and its illegal wiretapping, it’s a choice that is up to you going into this film.  Personally, while I feel his intentions were good, still, he did betray his government and committed treason.  What I had hoped with this film is that Oliver Stone would capture both sides of the coin, but as the title would suggest, Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is front and center on this ride, and that’s not my only problem here.
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    Jason Bourne (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 7th, 2016

    Moviegoers tend to have better memories than amnesiac assassins, but I think it’s fair to say we’ve mostly put The Bourne Legacy out of our minds. Universal’s underwhelming, halfhearted attempt to spin off one of its more lucrative franchises all but guaranteed the eventual return of original star Matt Damon and two-time director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). The duo has re-teamed for the entertaining yet inessential Jason Bourne, which — for better and worse — will feel extremely familiar for fans of the trilogy
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    The Secret Life of Pets (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 24th, 2016

    “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.” 

    The first thing you need to know about The Secret Lives Of Pets is that it’s not terribly original. Fans of the Pixar Toy Story Franchise will find pretty much every element of this script has been lifted from one of the three Toy Story films. Of course, if you’re going to lift an idea, you might as well steal from the best. Of course, there are always formulaic ideas in films, particularly animated films geared mostly toward children. And while I really did enjoy almost everything about this film, I just can’t escape the fact that I’ve seen it all before.
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    Warcraft (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on September 26th, 2016

    When it comes to titles from Blizzard Entertainment, I was always more into the Starcraft and Diablo franchises. I played World of Warcraft (WoW) for a small period of time when it became a popular MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), but my interest in the game quickly died. The aesthetics were a little too cartoony for my liking, plus, you paid for a subscription. Regardless, I am just one fan of Blizzard: WoW caught on like wildfire. I still know people who are playing the game to this day.
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    The Huntsman: Winter’s War (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 24th, 2016

    There is another story. One that comes long before…happily ever after.”

    An unseen narrator — an uncredited Liam Neeson, wisely choosing not to show his face in this film — intones these words at the start of The Huntsman: Winter’s War. He’s talking about the saga involving a certain magic mirror and Ravenna (a still-captivating Charlize Theron), the wicked antagonist from 2012’s Snow White and The Huntsman. But as this flat, uninspired prequel/sequel hybrid unfolds, it becomes clear that this “other story” is essentially an unimaginative mish-mash of Disney (shades of Frozen and Brave are added to the Snow White framework) and Tolkien.
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    Sisters (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 23rd, 2016

    Between their stints on Saturday Night Live and their subsequent sitcom hits, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are two of the most successful comedic voices of the new millennium. (I happen to think Fey’s 30 Rock and Poehler’s Parks and Recreation are both among the five best comedies to debut in the last 10 years.) The longtime friends — dating back to their Chicago improv days in the early ‘90s — have also proven to be funny together, most notably during their well-received gigs hosting the Golden Globes. I’m telling you all of that to tell you this…I can’t believe how bad their new movie is.
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    Steve Jobs (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 15th, 2016

    It’s like five minutes before every launch, everyone goes to a bar, gets drunk, and tells me what they really think of me.”

    During the final act of Steve Jobs — which is less of a biopic and more of a three-act performance piece inspired by the visionary Apple co-founder — the movie winks at its own gimmicky premise. The cheeky reference to the film’s rigid, laser-focused structure is appropriate given that Jobs obsessively measured the design his own products down to the millimeter. The result is a movie that wonderfully mirrors its protagonist: Steve Jobs is enthralling, endlessly imaginative, and kind of exhausting.
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    Everest (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul on January 18th, 2016

    Everest is an existential film. It could be one of the most beautiful travelogues you’ve ever seen, but it is far more than that. Its beauty and majesty are perfectly enhanced by 3D, but the true significance has to do with the mysteries of the soul. What drives men to do things that they have no business doing? What makes them climb a mountain whose summit is at the height that 747 jets fly? The old answer that is always used is, “Because it’s there”. Obviously, the reasons run much deeper. There is a void in many people that they can only fill by doing the impossible. They look for accomplishments and knowledge that will hopefully give life meaning
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    Sinister 2 (Blu-ray)

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

    In 2012 Sinister had its release and horror fans seemed to be divided on the film.  For me, I dug the mythology of Bughuul, an evil spirit who appears in 8mm family films that seem to always end in some new gruesome way.  He’s a character the horror genre needs, as I see him as a silent hybrid of Jigsaw (from the Saw franchise) and Freddy Krueger (from the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise), where he’s a killer who gives us unique kills in some unsettling locations.  Now with the release of Sinister 2, do the filmmakers step up their game and deliver us more from the possible new icon of horror?  Sort of; just not how I would have expected it.
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    The Visit (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on January 4th, 2016

    At this point, the most shocking M. Night Shyamalan-related twist would be for the director to make a movie that people actually enjoyed. (The “M.” stands for “maligned,” right?) Hopes weren’t exactly high when it was announced Shyamalan — who was once fated to become either “the next Hitchcock” or “the next Spielberg” — would be dabbling in the fading found footage genre. So imagine my surprise to find that The Visit — a broad, nutty mix of comedy and horror — is the director’s loosest, most playful effort since Signs. It’s also his first (subjectively) non-terrible flick in about a decade.
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    The Green Inferno (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 4th, 2016

    It’s been a long wait for those of us wanting to see Eli Roth’s return behind the camera since Hostel 2 hit the screens. I’ve been more than a little excited since hearing about Roth’s plans to bring the cannibal genre to its jungle roots.  It’s been long enough since audiences have been shocked by the ferocity we haven’t seen from the genre since Cannibal Holocaust and Cannibal Ferox.  Sadly, the intentions were there, but the execution just fell short.  Instead of getting the shock and gore we’ve come to expect since Cabin Fever and Hostel 1&2, this time around we get a film that feels a little restrained.
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    Sabotage (Blu-ray)

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

    – “Are you some kind of big deal?”

    – “Yeah, I’ve been around.”

    The box office has not been kind to Arnold Schwarzenegger ever since he stopped being “The Governator” and started headlining movies again. Not counting his Expendable glorified cameos, Ahnuld’s three movies — The Last Stand, Escape Plan, and Sabotage — are among the lowest domestic grossers of his career. It’s clear that not a lot of people are seeing these movies, which is kind of a shame.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Curse of Chucky (Blu-ray)

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

    “Hi, I’m Chucky. You wanna play?”

    When an unexpected package arrives at the home of Nica (Dourif) and her rather crazy mother Sarah (Quesnelle), they have no idea what it is or who might have sent it. We already know what’s in the familiar-shaped package. That’s right. After nearly a decade absence, Chucky’s back
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    American Reunion: Unrated (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 11th, 2012

    Right before this movie hit theaters, I made a snarky joke about how I was already mentally preparing myself for American Funeral in about 20 years. (I imagined the gang reluctantly reuniting following the death of a 50-year-old Steve Stifler in a tragic, orgy-related accident involving high school girls…except it turns out Stifler faked his death to get the crew back together and shenanigans ensue.) It was an easy joke to make because I felt American Reunion came with a detectable whiff of desperation.
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    Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 20th, 2012

    After watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, my mind wandered over to Inception of all places. Remember how Ellen Page’s character pretty much only existed so other people could explain to her — and, by extension, us in the audience — the rules of the movie’s universe and what the hell was happening? Well, watching Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy for the first time felt a lot like what I imagine Inception would look like if Page’s novice architect hadn’t been in the script: words and items have dual meanings, characters have double (and triple) motivations, and good luck figuring out everything that’s going on in this complex world!
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    Immortals (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 16th, 2012

    “When this world was still young, long before man or beast roamed these lands, there was a war in the heavens. Immortals, once thought incapable of death, discovered they had the power to kill one another. Lost in the war was a weapon of unimaginable power: The Epirus Bow.”

    I know there are a lot of you out there who can’t wait for the huge 300 sequel: 300 The Battle Of Artemisia. You might even have your calendar circled for the Clash Of The Titans remake sequel Wrath Of The Titans, also on the horizon.
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    Senna

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 12th, 2012

    I like to think I know more than a little bit about sports. I wake up to Mike and Mike in the Morning, drive to work while listening to The Dan Patrick Show and rush home to catch Pardon the Interruption. I’ve played organized football, baseball, basketball and soccer throughout my life, and I always make the playoffs in my fantasy football leagues. (Let’s skip the part where I’ve never actually won.) Unfortunately, I have somewhat of a blind spot for sports that are more popular outside the United States. As a result, I know very little about Formula One racing and I knew absolutely nothing about Brazilian F1 champion Ayrton Senna until I watched the engrossing and spectacularly thrilling documentary about his life.
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