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    Cliff Richard: Still Reelin’ and A-Rockin’ (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 23rd, 2013

    Cliff Richard’s music stardom predates that of the Beatles. So the fact that I wasn’t at all familiar with the British pop singer’s music before sitting down to review this Blu-ray probably says more about me than it does about him. Lucky for me, this career-spanning concert — which includes music from his time with the Shadows, some solo hits, and even his duet from the movie that partly inspired the creation of the Razzies — also doubles as a lively, CliffsNotes glimpse into Richard’s incredibly prolific and successful career.
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    Ghost Team One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 22nd, 2013

    Unless it’s the Zucker brothers or Mel Brooks, I wouldn’t ever consider myself a fan of parodies.  But every once in a while, one will come along that can squeeze a few chuckles out of me.  The found footage and reality genre has saturated the market, and it was only a matter of time before a filmmaker decided to lampoon the genre.  Ghost Team One takes on the genre, and instead of taking the easy route and simply spoofing what’s already been done, the film makers actually made the effort to mold a decent story and film it in the style the Paranormal Activity films have made popular, only Ghost Team One does so with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek.
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    Touchy Feely (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 19th, 2013

    “Think of it as a hall pass, a permission slip to just let go of your fear and embrace the world…”

     These are the words of advice a reiki master, played by Allison Janney (The West Wing) says to her patient, Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) as she is handing her a bag filled with MDNA.  Touchy Feely is definitely an offbeat comedy from writer/director Lynn Shelton who may be best known for her indie hit Humpday. At first glance the film may come across to some as some New Age, hippy, nonsense journey about self-discovery, and to a point you’d be right
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    Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live (Blu-ray)

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

    When you’ve been playing gigs for fifty years and filling venues with crowds in excess of the 100,000 mark, it’s safe to say that not only are you a success in the music industry but an icon.  The Rolling Stones finished their 50th year together by ending their tour back where many would say their legendary status began, back in their hometown and performing at London’s Hyde Park. It was 44 years ago when The Stones first took the stage in the famous Hyde Park and performed for a crowd estimated between 250 thousand to half a million screaming fans who came to what was then a free show.  This time around they return with an enormous stage and a set list filled with hits spanning over the decades
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    Good Ol’ Freda (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 4th, 2013

    We’re about 50 years removed from the Beatles taking the entire world by storm, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that everything anyone could possibly say about the Fab Four has already been said. Fortunately, the success of Good Ol’ Freda — a Beatles documentary that doubles as a loving tribute to its subject and the famous band she adored — doesn’t hinge on any heretofore unknown/shocking revelations. In other words, the film’s charm doesn’t so much come from what Freda Kelly says; instead, it comes from the delighted, no-fuss way she recounts her time with, arguably, the most famous band of all time.
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    Galactic Adventures Double Feature: 3D Sun / Mars 3D (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 4th, 2013

    Galactic Adventures from Image Entertainment is a nifty little collection of two Solar System IMAX films both running just under a half hour. The two short documentaries off a 3D ride to both the Sun and Mars. The films were produced in 2007 with 3D Sun opening at The Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum. Both films have made the circuit of science museums throughout the country and come to you now through the modern milestone of home 3D for the first time ever
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    It’s a Spongebob Christmas!

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on November 21st, 2013

    It was inevitable. Spongebob Squarepants gets its own Christmas Special. Usually television shows take the lazy route and inject their own characters into a familiar Christmas story and make a parody or adaptation (how many times have we seen Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol redone?). Thankfully this special offers a unique tale of the malevolent Plankton creating a special fruitcake that turns any eater into a totally jerk. Will Spongebob’s demeanour make him immune? Of course…but what of the rest of Bikini Bottom?
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    Treme: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 21st, 2013

    Creator David Simon (The Wire and Generation Kill) has never been a show runner concerned about cliffhangers or plot twists; instead he thrusts his viewers into the day-to-day life of the everyday Joe and shows that real life generates more conflict than most fiction can ever deliver.  Ever since I first watched The Wire I’ve considered myself a fan of Simon’s work, and I feel it could be argued that what Simon did with The Wire is a large factor in why we have the quality of television that we do today.
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    Saga: Spin It Again! — Live in Munich (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 19th, 2013

    Five years ago, I stood on this stage and I said goodbye. Five years later, I’m standing on this stage and I say, ‘Hello.’”

    I’d honestly never even heard of Saga before popping in this Blu-ray, but it was impossible to miss the family reunion atmosphere of this show. The Canadian prog rockers released their self-titled debut album in 1978, but — like many successful, long-running bands — have undergone a number of lineup changes. (Including a non-lethal, Spinal Tap-esque run of drummers in the early part of this century.) Saga, in its various forms, has found some of its greatest success in Germany, so there was no better place to get the band back together for a concert movie.
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    Kenny Rogers: The Gambler (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on November 18th, 2013

    Kenny Rogers…chances are that is a name you have heard throughout your life regardless of whether you are a fan or not; regardless whether you have ever heard any of his music, which happens to be the case when it comes to me. His name just has a way of sticking with you, and that can be doubly said of his song “The Gambler.” See, even now I bet the mere mention of the song’s name has the chorus of “You got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em,” playing in your head. Well, here is the film version for Rogers’ most infamous song; however, I doubt that the movie will have the same effect on you as the song.
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    Parkland (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 18th, 2013

    On November 22, 1963, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, made a political trip to Dallas, Texas with his wife, Jacqueline, and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson.”

    Of course, you don’t have to be an American History buff to know what happened next. The circumstances surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination instantly seared themselves into the country’s collective consciousness. This month marks the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, which has brought along the expected number of tributes, TV specials and movies breaking down the crime and its corresponding conspiracy theories. Parkland, however, serves as a microcosm of how Kennedy’s assassination affected an entire nation.
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    Blackfish (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 12th, 2013

    To this day, there’s no record of an orca doing any harm to any human…in the wild.”

    Orcas are sometimes referred to as “blackfish,” but Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s thrilling, thought-provoking documentary examines why they’re most commonly known as “killer whales.” The movie’s obvious standout moments involve breathtaking footage of these massive animals violently turning on their trainers. Although some viewers will undoubtedly make the leap to wondering whether it’s ok to keep any animal in captivity, the thing that elevates this film is that it serves as an eloquent argument against keeping this particularly majestic, highly-social beast in a concrete pool.
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    Clear History (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 6th, 2013

    You think you had a bad day? This guy lost a billion dollars.”

    Clear History is ostensibly about hot-shot marketing exec Nathan Flomm, who misses out on a billion-dollar payday after a petty disagreement. But really, this HBO Films original comedy is basically a 100-minute, all-star episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm with prettier scenery. As such, it’s another opportunity for writer/star Larry David to profanely and incredulously sound off on a fresh set of social landmines, including insincere apologies and birthday e-card etiquette.
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    Magic City: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 6th, 2013

    Ike Evans (Morgan) owns the most swank hotel in Miami. It’s the Miramar Playa. He bought the land at a song from his deceased wife’s family, and he’s turned it into a luxury city where the likes of Frank Sinatra call home. He’s determined to make it without caving to the influence of his minority partner, who happens to go by the name of The Butcher. He’s Ben Diamond (Huston), and he wants the hotel to become a kingdom of gambling and other profitable vices. Sure, Ike allows a little prostitution and backroom bookie action, but he wants to keep the hotel pretty much legit. That’s hard with a bank nut that runs $65,000 a month.
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    Loberace: Live in Vegas (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 30th, 2013

    “I’m often asked, ‘What do I do for a living?’ And I answer: ‘I do what I want.”

    For the better part of the last 20 years, CeeLo Green has ferociously defied musical expectations by zigging when you expect him to zag. (If you thought the former frontman of hip-hop collective Goodie Mob would eventually become one of the judges on TV’s #1 singing competition, then go buy a lotto ticket immediately because you have a gift.) I happened to be in Las Vegas earlier this year when I saw a poster for CeeLo’s Sin City Loberace show. And for the first time I can remember in regards to CeeLoo’s career, I thought, “Hey that actually makes sense.”
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    Vikings: Season One (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 30th, 2013

    When Vikings Season 1 first arrived, I have to admit I was pretty excited. I was particularly eager to see footage from their very first game. Fran Tarkenton came off the bench, and the Vikings went on to become the first expansion team ever to win their very first game. OK, as Baby, our Shepherd/Chow mix dog film reviewer would say: I made that last part up. You’d have to have been living under a pretty isolated rock to have missed all of the buzz over The History Channel’s epic new drama series Vikings.
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    Monsters University (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 29th, 2013

    The boys are back, and I only have one question. What the heck took so long? I have a lot of respect for Pixar and the groundbreaking films they’ve created over the last couple of decades, but I have to question someone’s marketing good sense when they get a sequel to Cars out before anyone bothered to look towards what is arguably the studio’s best creation to date. For me it’s all about Monsters, Inc. I hadn’t fallen so hard for an animated film since The Lion King, and so I was thrilled when I got the invitation to graduate early from Monsters University.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Swamp Thing (Blu-Ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 26th, 2013

    Welcome kids to another 31 Nights of Terror spectacular. This time, the legendary (in his own mind) Michael Durr has descended from the rafters to bring you another cult classic blu-ray presentation. This time we explore 1982 Wes Craven adaption of Swamp Thing. Shout Factory has produced an excellent blu-ray for us to watch. As with most of the Scream Factory work that Shout does, this should be quite the treat. Let us continue and go forth with one wicked green monster.
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    Hugh Laurie: Live on the Queen Mary (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 25th, 2013

    Hugh Laurie is not the first — and he certainly won’t be the last — actor who decided he wanted a career in music too. The move might come as a surprise to people who primarily know Laurie from his sterling eight-year run as the misanthropic title character on House M.D. (Though not if you watched the show carefully.) In the past, Laurie has rocked out with some of his small-screen comrades for charity. But it turns out that after eight years of playing one of the crankiest characters in television history, Laurie was ready to sing the blues.
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    Shrek: The Musical (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 23rd, 2013

    Hollywood (rightfully) gets a lot of flack these days for being creatively bankrupt. But you can’t throw a rock down Broadway without hitting the marquee for a musical that’s based on an existing film. It’s not exactly a new phenomenon — and it doesn’t always work — but some of the most successful and beloved musicals feature stories you already know and fell in love with on the big screen. The trend seems to have really picked up at the turn of the century, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. So adapting a massive hit like Shrek for the stage must’ve been a no-brainer.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” American Horror Story: Asylum (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 18th, 2013

    “46,000 people died here. Do you think it’s haunted?”

    It would have been so much better for me if I had seen the first season of American Horror Story. Of course, it isn’t necessary. This has to be one of the most clever television ideas I’ve encountered. You don’t have to have seen the first season because, while the actors are pretty much the same, they play completely different parts in a completely different story in the second season.
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    Black Label Society: Unblackened (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on October 17th, 2013

    My knowledge of Heavy Metal and Heavy Metal bands can be counted on one hand with a couple fingers to spare. So as you can probably imagine, when this discs found its way to me, my enthusiasm or my confidence in it was not high. So when I say that Black Label Society: Unblackened was not what I expected, it is not an indictment; quite the opposite, in fact. The concert started right as I hit play, I expected to see the band come out, pick up their instruments, and possibly do a little introduction (that came towards the end of the concert)
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    Alpha and Omega 2 – A Howl-iday Adventure (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 16th, 2013

    Direct-to-video sequels of successful animated films are tricky at best. The video release is usually a sign that either the studio is trying to cash in quickly on the franchise or they are just not confident enough in the sequel to put it up on the big screen, usually with good reason. Smaller budgets mean less impressive animation and a lack of A-list voice actors. Every studio has been guilty of one or the other and more often both.
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Embrace of the Vampire (2013) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 15th, 2013

    Embrace of the Vampire is a remake of the 1995 erotic bloodsucker thriller of the same name. The original’s only greatest claim to fame is that it starred Who’s the Boss? cutie Alyssa Milano in her first, ahem, “grown up” role.  In other words, the bar wasn’t exactly sky high for the remake. (This is not Gus Van Sant doing a shot-for-shot remake of Psycho.) The well-made newer film certainly “embraces” the erotic thriller DNA of the original. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem overly concerned with the “vampire.”
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    Beauty & the Beast – The First Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on October 12th, 2013

    A New York city homicide detective is haunted by the night where her mother was murdered by two gunmen, who themselves were killed by a mysterious being. A decade after that night she finds out that the mysterious being is still around. As this “Beauty” and her “Beast” finally meet, they start investigating the truth behind their secret ties to each other.
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