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    Wrecker

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

    This road is like a magnet for serial killers.”

    There’s a difference between paying tribute and ripping somebody off. Wrecker — a high-speed, low-budget actioner — bills itself as “an homage to road classics like Duel.” Unfortunately, that’s far from the only nod to Steven Spielberg’s 1971 thriller. Wrecker rehashes every significant story beat from Duel, except with a lot less filmmaking skill and a pair of infinitely more annoying protagonists.
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    Breaking Through

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 13th, 2015

    Their channels have millions of subscribers. Their videos have billions of views. They are the future of dance.”

    The definition of “making it” as a dancer has shifted over the years. Movies have dramatized this struggle by having its hoofing heroes struggle to earn street cred, gain admission into some prestigious dance academy, or make noise on Broadway. But thanks to social media and websites like YouTube, wannabe dance sensations can take a more DIY approach to stardom. The best parts of Breaking Through brush up against that notion, but too much of the film gets drowned out by groan-worthy dance flick cliches.
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    Poker Night (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 12th, 2015

    As far as I’m concerned, a filmmaker has to work pretty hard to screw up a poker game. (And for the record, I feel the same way about cinematic sniper fights and train heists.) It’s an inherently high-stakes situation that is both familiar and unpredictable, and in the hands of the right director a poker game can be either thrilling or funny. At various points, Poker Night manages to be both. But even though I certainly wouldn’t say writer/director Greg Francis screwed up this stylish horror-crime thriller, the movie is flush with flashbacks and subplots that distract from the really good stuff.
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    Housebound (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 19th, 2014

    Laughing out loud and getting startled out of your wits are two of the most visceral reactions you can have as a moviegoer. For a director to elicit either reaction is challenging enough, which is why I was so delighted to be feeling both during the thrilling, funny finale of Housebound. It’s an even more impressive feat when you consider it was accomplished by a first-time filmmaker working on a shoestring budget.
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    Ironclad: Battle for Blood (Blu-ray)

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

    In the wake of the success of Game of Thrones, many companies are trying to ride on that bandwagon and produce films that will hopefully capture the same audience. Unfortunately, it would seem so few come close to capturing the magic that the HBO series brings to the small screen. To be upfront, I haven’t seen the first Ironclad film, though upon looking it up on IMDB I see that it boasts a solid cast. (And after watching a trailer for the film, it is something I’d like to check out.) Fortunately in the case of Ironclad: Battle For Blood, it is a sequel that stands alone from its predecessor.
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    Allegiance (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on January 13th, 2013

    What do you do when you have to choose between the law and what is morally right? Lieutenant Danny Sefton (Seth Gabel, TV’s Dirty Sexy Money and Fringe) faces that very problem in Allegiance. Having lost the respect of the men in his command by transferring to a recruiting position right before they are to deploy to Iraq, Sefton faces a crisis of conscience when one of those men — Specialist Chris Reyes (Shad “Bow Wow” Moss, Like Mike, Roll Bounce) — has his non-deployment waiver revoked.
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