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    Bitten: Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

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

    The television landscape has been flooded with shows about the supernatural. Vampires have been particularly hot topics in recent years, but werewolves are starting to get their own sub-genre going. MTV’s Teen Wolf manages to pull the theme off quite well. It’s no surprise that pretty much every network out there wants to throw their own hats into the supernatural ring. It’s getting quite crowded, but the popularity appears to have no end. Of course, with such a crowded field you have to find a way to stand out from the rest.
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    Disneynature: Bears (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 11th, 2014

    “Hi, little guys.”

    There was a time, decades ago when Walt Disney Studios was doing quality documentaries on a pretty regular schedule. Many of them appeared on the television show The Wonderful World Of Disney, and more than a few were released as feature films. And while that tradition has continued somewhat, it’s been a while since I was truly impressed by a Disney documentary. That all changes with the release of Bears.
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    Muppets Most Wanted (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 11th, 2014

    The Muppets debuted in 1955, and the late great Jim Henson’s creations have been delighting audiences (and fellow entertainers) of all ages ever since. They’ve made their mark on the small screen — most notably with The Muppet Show (1976-81) — and at the movies, starring in eight feature films across four different decades. However, 2011’s The Muppets was their first big-screen outing in a dozen years, and the movie spent most of its time wondering if the Muppets’ old-fashioned, irreverent charm still had a place in a more jaded pop culture landscape.
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    The Legend of Billie Jean: Special “Fair is Fair” Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 29th, 2014

    Don’t you ever get tired of vanilla?”

    There’s a special breed of ’80s movie that appears hopelessly dated on the surface yet remains impulsively watchable. (Insert your own, “So you mean *every* ’80s movie?!” joke.) The Legend of Billie Jean — with its hilarious-in-hindsight fashion and Pat Benatar theme song — certainly fits the “trapped in the ’80s” bill. However, the 1985 film — now making its Blu-ray debut courtesy of Mill Creek Entertainment — still manages to entertain by tapping into the timeless spirit of teenage rebellion.
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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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    Aerial America: Southwest Collection (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 24th, 2014

    One of the miracles of modern technology is its ability to shrink the world down so you can practically (well, proverbially) hold it in the palm of your hand. The cheerily square Smithsonian Channel series Aerial America goes the other way. In fact, the best thing about the show is how it uses technology to fill every inch of your screen with some of the most famous — along with some of the more underappreciated — U.S. landmarks, employing a larger-than-life/bird’s-eye point of view most of us wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy.
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    Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Few musicians have enjoyed the career that Elton John has enjoyed. From the release of Your Song in 1969, he hasn’t seen many years without hit records. He’s had number one songs in every decade since that day, and the hits continue to roll in. When the music industry changed, Elton managed to change enough to keep up with the times, yet hold on to the poignant songwriting that has made his songs stand out. I’ve been a fan since the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days of 1973.
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    Joy Ride 3: Roadkill (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 24th, 2014

    It’s hard to believe it was way back in 2001 when Joy Ride was first released.  You can lump me in with the crowd that didn’t expect there to be a sequel, much less a third entry into this series.  The second Joy Ride I seemed to have missed altogether, so when I was given Joy Ride 3, I have to admit I was a little hesitant about checking this film out.  Now that I have checked out the Blu-ray and all its extras, all I can think is that I had a good time with this film.
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    Duck Dynasty: Season 5 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 24th, 2014

    It’s that time of the year again to dust off the old hunting rifle and shake out the camouflage suits, because Duck Commander is back in action.  Duck Dynasty comes to Blu-ray on its fifth season, and though I was a little underwhelmed with the previous season, this new release brings the show back to the backwoods charm that gained my appreciation from the start.  Yes, I still have a hard time calling this a reality series, since just about every episode and sequence seems more scripted than most hour-long dramas, but the characters are so likeable and goofy that a lot can be forgiven.
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    Klondike (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 19th, 2014

    “You’re either gettin’ or gettin’ got”.

    It’s very tricky to make an historical drama. Writers and directors have to carefully balance the needs of entertainment over facts and authenticity. There comes the inevitable moment when they will be in conflict, and a decision must be made as to which direction will have priority in the telling of the tale. It might have been an unfair expectation on my part, but when an historical drama mini-series comes to a place like The Discovery Channel I tend to look for any conflict to be resolved in the favor of historical accuracy
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    Ray Donovan: Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 13th, 2014

    “It’s a different world out there.”

    You can say that again. The television landscape is changing, at least on cable. Ray Donovan is the latest in the string of new shows that are attracting talent once thought out of reach for television. A show starring Liev Schreiber and Jon Voight, this Showtime series looked to be something very special… and it almost is.
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    True Detective (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 12th, 2014

    “You got a chapter in one of those books on jumping to conclusions?”

    It’s easy to jump to conclusions with a name like True Detective. The moniker conjures up images of the true crime pulp magazines of the 40′s and 50′s. You might get a sense that this is one of those “based on a true story” type of shows. There was even a second when I expected we might have our first “found footage” television shows. Whatever ideas you have going in, expect your perceptions to change.
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    Devil’s Knot (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 9th, 2014

    For most who have heard about the West Memphis Three, it is because of the HBO documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills.  It was a documentary that sparked the interest of many and fueled a movement to free Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley for the murder of three young boys in 1993.  It was a documentary that attempted to expose the trial as a witch hunt in which the only things the boys were guilty of were listening to heavy metal, wearing black and participating in Wiccan practices.
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    Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 5th, 2014

    “Our planet, our war.”

    Those four words neatly summarize the overriding theme for the third season of Falling Skies, TNT’s earnest alien invasion drama. While the show still takes its broad thematic cues from the American Revolutionary War, this batch of episodes directly references some of the uneasy alliances formed during World War II. So in between the numerous instances of human characters shooting at aliens — and at each other — the show explored the question of whether the enemy of my enemy really is my friend.
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    Workaholics: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 4th, 2014

    Before getting this season to review, my exposure to the show was fairly limited; I had seen a few episodes on Comedy Central, but that was about it.  Now that I’ve had a chance to kick back and take in the shenanigans of Blake (Blake Anderson), Adam (Adam DeVine) and Anders (Anders Holm) I can say it was a disservice to myself to hold out for so long.  For those that are unaware of the show, I see it as a bit of a hybrid between It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Office Space, as it follows three friends who live together and work together at a telemarketing company.
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    True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 3rd, 2014

    I don’t know why death still surprises me.”

    As someone who’s seen every single episode of True Blood, I suppose nothing should surprise me by now. HBO’s vampire drama has given us more than its share of head-turning sex scenes and a hearty helping of over-the-top violence. However, the further the series ventured from Bon Temps and its core group of characters, the more it seemed to lose its way, even as a satisfying guilty pleasure. This penultimate season still relied on an overly-crowded cast of supernaturals. But it was ultimately an encouraging sign that the show might get back to basics as it prepares to end its run this summer.
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    Sophia Grace & Rosie’s Royal Adventure (Blu-ray)

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

    If we act like we belong, they’ll think we belong.”

    You never know who could be watching when you post something online. Sophia Grace Brownlee is a perfect example of how to become a “star” in this decade. In 2011, the 8-year-old Brit starred in a video of herself singing Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” alongside her silent, hype man cousin Rosie McClelland. The clip went viral and caught the eye of Ellen DeGeneres, who has repeatedly featured the diminutive duo on her daytime talk show over the last few years. I suppose it was only a matter of time before Sophia Grace and Rosie jumped to the big screen; well, the straight-to-DVD screen anyway.
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    Eastbound & Down: Season 4 (Blu-ray)

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

    “This is the story of a man who won by choosing love over fame, fortune and countless adventures…”

    Danny McBride managed in inhabit the role of Kenny Powers to such an extent I do appear to have trouble keeping them separate. Now the countless adventures continue for McBride who is going to have to get us all to see him in a new light as he leaves troubled Powers behind and moves on to other things. For fans it’s a bittersweet goodbye to Eastbound & Down. The final episodes have aired and now they are available on this 2-disc Blu-ray swansong.
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    Son of Batman (Blu-ray)

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

    When it comes to the feud between Marvel and DC film adaptions, I think we can all agree Marvel at this point may be winning the battles on the big screen, but when it comes to the animated films DC has been delivering hit after hit. Perhaps it’s because the landscape in animation is virtually unlimited and comes with a significantly smaller price tag to deliver.
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    Jim Gaffigan: Obsessed (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 24th, 2014

    “I used to be thin when I was 6.”

    Jim Gaffigan has long been fixated on food. Need proof? The comedian’s 2013 memoir is called “Dad Is Fat”, and his most famous routine is about Hot Pockets. So it wasn’t exactly a shocker to find that Gaffigan spends most of Obsessed — his fourth Comedy Central stand-up special — talking about his dietary likes and dislikes. (Hint: kale is not on his list of favorites.) This is astoundingly straightforward and inoffensive material that nonetheless had me consistently laughing out loud.
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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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    Cocaine Cowboys: Reloaded (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 10th, 2014

    Today, Miami is considered one of the most glamorous cities in the world. But long before it became the place where some of the biggest stars in sports and entertainment took their talents, Miami was dubbed the drug, murder, and cash capital of the United States. (Resulting in a drastically different “Big 3” than what locals are accustomed to these days.) Cocaine Cowboys already chronicled this shockingly violent stretch of the city’s history and featured recollections from some of the people who helped Miami achieve its dubious status. Now an extended version of Billy Corben’s 2006 documentary arrives on Blu-ray.
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    War of the Worlds-Goliath (Blu-Ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on April 4th, 2014

    The H.G. Wells invasion story has been told numerous times from a radio show when it allegedly caused a panic when Orson Wells made his infamous broadcast to the more recent imaging brought to the screen by Steven Spielberg.  It’s the alien invasion story that has captured our imagination and will continue doing so for decades to come.  In the new 3D animated release of War of the Worlds: Goliath, the tale of science fiction is simply the jumping-off point to a new and bigger story about the war that was waged between man and those from outer space.
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    At Middleton (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 2nd, 2014

    “Sometimes a day can be an eternity.”

    It’s hard to tell a convincing love story, period. It’s even harder to tell a convincing love story when we’re supposed to believe the two characters fall for each other within the space of a single day. The good news is At Middleton somewhat manages to pull this off in a little over an hour. The bad news is the film is actually 1 hour and 40 minutes long.
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    Key & Peele: Seasons One & Two (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 30th, 2014

    It’s been quite some time since The Chappelle Show went off the air, and it would appear Comedy Central has finally found its replacement.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say the two shows are on the same par, but what Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele bring to the small screen is something that has piqued my interest and shows some potential.  Both Key and Peele got their big break from working on the sketch comedy show MADtv, and it would seem they are taking their talents and what they learned to bring us something that is a little familiar but still fresh and keeps its audience laughing
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