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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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    Daughters of the Dust (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on April 12th, 2017

    “At the turn of the century, Sea Island Gullahs, descendants of African Captives, remained isolated from the mainland of South Carolina and Georgia. As a result of their isolation, the Gullah created and maintained a distinct, imaginative, and original African American culture.”

    Prior to watching Daughters of the Dust, I was completely unfamiliar with Sea Island Gullahs. To tell their story, the film (intentionally) deviates from the traditional narrative playbook, which doesn’t necessarily make for the most pleasurable movie-watching experience. However, the three key adjectives used in the opening text — “distinct,” “imaginative,” and “original” — absolutely apply here.
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    Why Him? (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 6th, 2017

    Let me tell you a few things about movie reviewers. We’re the kind of people who love watching movies. We spend entirely too much time doing so, and we can find some entertainment even in a bad film. We’re the kind of folks who don’t ask what’s playing when asked if we want to go to the movies. The answer is always yes. When someone applies to write for Upcomingdiscs, one of the first things I tell them is that they have to watch a movie all the way through…no matter how bad it might be. I’ve always been the kind of person who could do that. I’ve watched some stinkers in my day, and I never once left a film until the ending. Sure, there have been a couple of times I was tempted. I’ve had a few painful experiences. No film has ever put me to the test as much as Why Him? Halfway through the movie I was asking Why me?
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    A Kind of Murder (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on March 27th, 2017

    You ever hear that old adage about not putting your hands too close to the flame? Obviously Walter Stackhouse, Patrick Wilson’s character in A Kind of Murder, did not heed the warning as he finds himself embroiled in a murder conspiracy of his own while investigating a separate one. This film noir is based on a novel from the famous author of The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith. Murder mysteries in recent months have become a huge interest of mine, so when presented with this film, I was extremely excited with the opportunity. However, after watching, though I was intrigued by the whodunit aspect, I found the other areas lacking, specifically connecting with the lead character.
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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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    Blair Witch (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on January 10th, 2017

    In 1999 The Blair Witch Project was released, and it was a horror film that created a stir like I had never seen before.  I remember going to Tampa Theatre to see it opening week.  The line was wrapped around the building for the sold-out screening.  Discussions were going on in the line about the film actually being real, some even talking about how they heard the bodies of the three filmmakers were never found.  It’s this kind of mindset going into the film that made it such an impact as I walked out of that first showing.  At the time I knew I had seen something unique, but I never would have expected it to spawn an entire style of genre filmmaking that would be copied over and over again.
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    Return Of The Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 29th, 2016

    Fresh out of the vaults comes another cult classic. Vestron Video has decided to unleash Return of the Living Dead 3 for horror fans to snatch up this holiday season.  Considering the titles that Vestron has already released, for some this might be a title that will leave fans scratching their heads about there being an urge to re-master this film, much less crank out a Blu-ray with so many features.  Well, the simple answer is that the person in charge of acquiring and releasing these titles knows that there are fanboys like me out there who will shell out the money for a product that’s given this kind of attention.  Return of the Living Dead is a cult classic and is mostly responsible for casual moviegoers making the connection with zombies and brain eating
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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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    Mr. Church (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 28th, 2016

    There’s a black man in our kitchen cooking eggs!”

    The kitchen-bound black man in this case is Eddie Murphy in Mr. Church, which on the surface appears to be the latest in a sneakily long line of movies (Driving Miss Daisy, The Help, The Butler) where saintly, subservient African Americans enlighten their white counterparts. Those movies can be cloying at best and downright insulting at worst if placed in the wrong hands. But if done right, they can really resonate with audiences. (As evidenced by the fact that the movies I mentioned earlier were pretty big hits.) Mr. Church falls somewhere in between.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Waxwork/Waxwork II (Blu-ray)

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

    The third release of the Vestron Video Collector’s Series that Lionsgate has decided to put out isn’t just one film but two, Waxwork and its sequel Waxwork 2: Lost in Time.  If you think just because it’s a two-for-one release that they may have taken the lazy route on handling the transfers and features, well, I can happily say that you’d be wrong.  If you like campy horror, especially the kind that existed during the late 80’s on into the early 90’s, then this is the kind of double-feature set you’ll have a blast with.  It doesn’t hurt, either, that it’s being released just in time to be enjoyed for those of you looking to put together some horror movie marathons during the Halloween season
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    “31 Nights of Terror” Blood Diner (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on October 3rd, 2016

    Warning! The truly unusual motion picture you are about to see contains many scenes of graphic violence. It is not intended for the faint of heart, nor the young and impressionable.”

    Anyone who makes it all the way through 1987’s Blood Diner — a gleeful, inspired exercise in bad taste — can’t say they weren’t warned. That being said, the tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that precedes the film still may not be enough to prepare you for the utter silliness and depravity that follows.
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    “31 Nights Of Terror” Chopping Mall (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on October 1st, 2016

    “I guess I’m just not used to being chased around a mall in the middle of the night by killer robots.”

    It’s October, and that means it’s the start of 31 Nights of Terror, and this year we’re kicking things off with one of my guilty pleasures growing up, Chopping Mall.   This came out at a time when slashers were pretty much a dying genre, but there was still a demand to have horror films up on the big screen.  I never got to see this in theaters, but I remember the VHS box art from my local mom-and-pop video store.  The idea of the robotic hand clutching a shopping bag with a head on it was something that gripped the teenager in me.
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    Aliens: 30th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 30th, 2016

    A creature that gestates inside a living human host…and has concentrated acid for blood.”

    If you’re a fan of sci-fi, horror, or action films, chances are you’re also intimately familiar with the creature at the center of the Alien franchise. Ridley Scott’s 1979 original is a masterpiece of space horror, so it would’ve been foolish for any follow-up to try and replicate the same formula. Instead, James Cameron’s classic sequel succeeds by transplanting an entirely new genre into the series (Aliens is basically a war movie) while maintaining the sense of terror that made its predecessor a classic. You can get a fresh look for yourself now that Fox has released a 30th Anniversary Edition.
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    The Ones Below (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 14th, 2016

    When a movie that so clearly lifts its inspiration from the films of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock, I would have expected to simply embrace this film for the nail-biting thriller it is attempting to be.  Instead I found myself sitting back wondering why I just couldn’t get into this film.  Is it because the storyline seems uninspired?  Whatever it is when it comes to The Ones Below, it may hit all the right notes when it comes to what to expect with a thriller, but that’s the problem; it plays everything by the book and doesn’t dare to take unexpected twists.
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    The Jungle Book (2016) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on August 29th, 2016

    “This is the law of the jungle…”

    Disney appears to have a law that all of its classic cartoon features must now be made into live-action films. As I’ve mentioned in my review of the original classic The Jungle Book, the animated feature was the end of an important era at Walt Disney Studios. It was released about a year after Walt’s death and was the last film he supervised from beginning to end. In the wake of Walt’s death the studio experienced a sharp turnover and complete retooling of the animation department. With only the nine old men to carry the traditions of Walt into the future, The Jungle Book would forever mark a distinct milestone in the history of animated feature films.
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    Code of Honor (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 14th, 2016

    Are you a good guy or are you a bad guy?”

    I honestly try to be a good guy whenever I sit down to write a review because the fact is I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t have a deep love for movies. Heck, I can usually even derive enjoyment and find the charm in films that obviously have limited resources. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay positive whenever Steven Seagal pops up on a Blu-ray cover, always with the same neutral expression and always brandishing a firearm. Code of Honor, Seagal’s latest offering, is no exception. If the question is, “Is this a good movie or a bad movie?”…I think you know the answer.
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    Everybody Wants Some (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 12th, 2016

    For the Gasparilla International Film Festival, to nab the latest film from writer/director Richard Linklater is kind of a big deal. GIFF was the second festival to show Everybody Wants Some after its debut at the acclaimed South by Southwest festival.  With the film being lauded as a spiritual sequel to Linklater’s cult hit Dazed and Confused, I had to admit I was a bit skeptical about this film and its ability to even match up to its predecessor, after all it was the indie darling that helped launched the careers of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and many others.  This ensemble of talented up-and-comers managed to capture this cinematic lightning in a bottle about high school
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    Shrek: Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

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

    Oh…you were expecting Prince Charming?”

    Shrek really did pick the absolute perfect time to emerge from his swamp. The 2001 computer animated sensation from Dreamworks arrived just as rival studio Disney was winding down its decade-long hot streak of hand-drawn new classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. In other words, it was the ideal moment for someone to come along and take shots at cartoon musicals and fairy tales that end with “Happily Ever After.” (Shrek‘s biggest target, however, was probably the Mouse House itself.) But how does the movie play 15 years later? Fortunately, Fox and Dreamworks have released a new Anniversary Edition to help us figure out the answer.
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    Jeepers Creepers Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 6th, 2016

    “I don’t know if it’s a demon or a devil, or just some hungry thing from some dark place in time. I just know it’s not going to stop coming after you or anyone else it wants to. ‘Cos once it has the scent of something it likes, it can’t be stopped.” 

    Just days before the tragic events of 9/11 brought so much real-life horror into our lives, Victor Salva attempted to resurrect some old-school monster movie magic on the movie-going public. The low-budget thriller hit the box office with a bang. Its $13 million opening weekend was a record for Labor Day and is partly responsible for studios taking a closer look at the traditionally slow release weekend.
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    A War (Blu-ray)

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

    It’s ok to be upset. We’re all upset.”

    A War is about a Danish commander and his weary, overwhelmed young soldiers fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. But besides finding a fresh angle to explore a conflict that has essentially been going on for the entire 21st century — Denmark sent nearly 10,000 military personnel to Afghanistan between 2002 and 2013 — this morally complex movie succeeds because it fully explores the toll war takes on everyone involved. In this case, that also includes the unfortunate civilians caught in between the gunfire and at least one weary, overwhelmed wife/mother back home with three young children.
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    The Confirmation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 10th, 2016

    I don’t know what kind of trouble he can get into in a day.”

    At first glance, those words — spoken by a father in the midst of a particularly eventful weekend with his estranged son — sound like a filmmaker giving himself permission to put his characters in the most outrageous situations possible. But The Confirmation actually shines by keeping things simple. The movie is a low-key, thoroughly affecting story of a father and son forging an unexpected connection.
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    In The Heart of the Sea (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on March 9th, 2016

    “It will be a work of fiction, inspired by truth.”

    That one line best summarizes the entire movie, in my opinion. In In The Heart of the Sea, we are treated to the insight of how Herman Melville was inspired to write what may be considered one of American literature’s biggest epics, Moby Dick. As this is a film based on a true story, naturally we recognize that certain liberties were taken with the specific goal of maintaining the audience’s attention; however, as you watch, I am confident that you will find yourself wanting to believe in the legitimacy of the tale. I know I did.
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    Extraction (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 25th, 2016

    “Don’t ever threaten my family again.”

    In Extraction, a government analyst embarks on an unsanctioned rescue mission after his father — an over-the-hill CIA field operative — is kidnapped by a shadowy group of bad guys. In a related story, I think I got my dad a CD for Father’s Day last year. But while the hero of Extraction might edge me out in the Son of the Year race, the rest of this crummy actioner is basically a harmless debacle.
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    Grandma (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on February 18th, 2016

    I was a little hesitant with picking up this film.  I wasn’t sure if a film about a grandmother spending the day raising money to pay for her granddaughter’s abortion was a film I could find the humor in.  Well, I’m glad I took a chance on this film; not only does this film have so many layers beneath its overall plot, but it never once attempts to have an agenda towards its audience.  Considering the potentially heavy subject matter, the film instead keeps its attention on what matters most, the people who come in and out of our lives whether they are friends or family; in the end it’s how we treat them that make us who we are.
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