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    Wonder Woman (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on September 20th, 2017

    You have been my greatest love. Be careful, Diana…they do not deserve you.”

    Ever since Richard Donner made us believe that a man can fly with 1978’s Superman — considered by many to be the first modern superhero film — we’ve gotten three different Men of Steel, along with five different versions of Batman (if you don’t count Will Arnett’s voiceover work). Heck, in the last 15 years alone we’ve had three Spider-Men and (incredibly) gone through three Hulks! Yet in all that time, a movie starring Wonder Woman — a superhero just as iconic as all the ones I just mentioned — could never get off the ground…until now. I’m happy to report it was worth the wait.
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    The Mummy (2017) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 19th, 2017

    By John Delia, Jr.

    “Death is but a doorway to new life. We live today. We shall live again. In many forms shall we return.” – Egyptian Prayer Of Resurrection.

    In ancient Egypt there is a princess, Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), who will inherit the entire kingdom when her father dies. She has remarkable fighting skills, amazing beauty, and has the ability to lead the people. But her father remarries, and soon after their first son is born her legacy changes. What soon follows will seal Ahmanet’s fate that’s worse than death.
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    Red (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 7th, 2017

    “This used to be a gentleman’s game.”

    I must confess that I had not even heard of the comic book titles created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. I think that might have been one of the best things that could have happened to me as I sat down to watch the film Red. With a cast this strong, there was little doubt that they would provide a powerful stamp on these characters. No insult intended toward the graphic novels, but I can’t imagine these characters any other way now.
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    Red 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on September 6th, 2017

    “It’s important to enjoy life while you still can.” 

    My word, Bruce Willis must be exhausted, helming three movies this year so far and six last year alone; jeez, I know I’d be in need of a serious break. Luckily in RED 2, Willis doesn’t have to hold down the fort alone. Not when you have Malkovich, Mirren, and Parker available to help pick up the slack. That’s right, like Joe Matheson (Morgan Freeman’s character from RED) said in the original, The band is getting back together.”  And this time they are picking up some new members as Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins join the cast. RED was great, but RED 2 is epic.
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    The Cabin in the Woods (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jonathan Foster on September 5th, 2017

    “No, they have to make the choice of their own free will. Otherwise, the system doesn’t work. It’s like the Harbinger. It’s this creepy old f#$%, practically wears a sign, ‘You will die.’ Why do we put him there? The system. They have to choose to ignore him, and they have to choose what happens in the cellar. Yeah, we rig the game as much as we need to…”

    When I first heard about The Cabin in the Woods, I admit I was not impressed.  I thought it was just another run-of-the-mill slasher flick a la The Last House on the Left or Amityville Horror.  My mind quickly changed, though, as soon as I heard that Joss Whedon was the writer.
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    Megan Leavey (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 5th, 2017

    Armies have been using dogs in battle for thousands of years. The Romans would turn the dogs on their enemy as a signal of the approaching legions, hence the expression “let loose the dogs of war”. But in recent decades dogs have found a new, perhaps more noble calling during wartime. Dogs have been used to search for lost soldiers. They have been trained to assist wounded soldiers. They have also learned to sniff out explosives, helping to clear mines and saving the lives of their handlers and hundreds of soldiers and civilians. That’s the kind of dog Rex is. And you’ll fall in love with him just as the titular character Megan Leavey did. The movie Megan Leavey is a bit of a character study, and one of those characters is a German Shepherd.
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    Alien: Covenant (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 30th, 2017

    Alien Covenant is a perfect example of making a plan and sticking with it, because if you don’t you may be infected by an alien organism that will explode out of your chest. Graphic, I know, but informative, right? The latest installment in the Alien franchise picks up sometime after Prometheus and continues to pursue the critical question that was posed in the previous film: who created life? An intergalactic colonial expedition comes to face to face with their worst nightmare. It’s ironic how a mission to preserve life results in so much death.
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    Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Blu-ray)

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

    Reboots are all the rage in Hollywood, in case you haven’t heard. Even a relatively low-key property like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cinematic Universe series isn’t immune. Based on the wildly popular books by author Jeff Kinney, the first three movies featured the same core group of likable actors and become rock solid hits made on modest budgets. So you can understand why Fox would want to keep the series going, even if original star Zachary Gordon became too old to play the perpetually put-upon (and middle school-aged) Greg Heffley. This latest offering features an all-new cast, but too much of the same cringeworthy and juvenile humor; it’ll make you wish someone had hidden the reset button from this franchise.
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    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on August 17th, 2017

    “Of course I have issues; that’s my father.” 

    When I walked out of the theater in 2014 after seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, I knew I had just seen something special, and knowing a sequel was already guaranteed had me excited to see what was next for this band of misfits.  Since the release in 2014 the film hasn’t just become my favorite Marvel film; it is one of my favorite films, period.  So as photos and trailers began to trickle out, I began to wonder if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could actually hold up to the first.
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    King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on August 14th, 2017

    “For centuries man and mage lived side by side in peace until the rise of the mage sorcerer Mordred. Turning his dark ambition against man, he marches on the last remaining stronghold: Camelot.”

    So it finally happened: I found a Guy Ritchie film that I didn’t enjoy. I wasn’t expecting much from King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, but it is worth noting that I got even less than I expected. I know that sounds cruel, and I will admit that there were a few things that I did enjoy, but the number of things that went wrong versus what went right is not a close margin.
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    Going in Style 2017 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on August 9th, 2017

    Putting a twist on the original movie Going in Style, director Zach Braff does a good job of reviving the comedy for modern-day audiences.  He turns up the laughter with memorable situation comedy and actors who can deliver some of the best one-liners.  It’s a lot of fun for a date night or just a chance to get away from the humdrum to laugh a little. Retired and trying to scrape by on his retirement check, Joe Harding (Michael Caine) is about to hit an unexpected brick wall. With his mortgage in jeopardy from lack of timely payments and his granddaughter needing help with tuition, he’s in a very tight spot.  His best friends Albert Garner (Alan Arkin) and Willie Davis (Morgan Freeman), who have been living together for the past 25 years to curb expenses, are about to be in the same boat.
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    Gifted (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on August 8th, 2017

    Extraordinary people come with singular issues and needs.”

    On the surface, being blessed with a genius-level intellect seems like good thing, right? So it’s interesting that movies about uncommonly smart people (Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind, and The Imitation Game to name a few) tend to focus on the extreme isolation and inevitable exploitation of these individuals. Gifted is about a potential “one-in-a-billion” math prodigy and her weary, protective uncle, who carries himself like someone who’s seen too many movies about exploited geniuses and knows full well that “nobody likes a smart-ass.”
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    Kong: Skull Island (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 19th, 2017

    Every year it seems the “summer” movie season seems to start sooner than the year before.  Here we are, the second Friday of March, and already we’ve seen the huge box office weekend for Logan, and now this weekend we have the release of Kong: Skull Island.  Ever since Kong first graced the big screen back in 1933, every film that followed was a mega-event. Personally it wasn’t till 2005 that theatergoers got to fully experience the massive beast in all his glory as he became worthy of the title “the 8th wonder of the world”.  Now we have Legendary Entertainment playing in the giant monster movie sandbox with plans to set up a series of monster films.  All this leads up to the inevitable clash of the kaiju monsters where we will finally see the showdown of Godzilla vs. King Kong.  Before we begin to get too excited, how does our current trip to Skull Island fare?
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    The Fate of the Furious (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 12th, 2017

    Family is everything to Dominic Toretto. He has said as much in Furious 7, “I don’t have friends, I have family.” Over the course of seven films, we have seen him undertake impossible tasks including driving a car off a plane or through a building in order to rescue or avenge a member of said family. So what would make him make him betray that very family? In The Fate of the Furious, the team will face the biggest challenge they have ever faced when they find themselves working against their very leader. The long-running film franchise continues to up the ante with the action, producing its most action-packed film to date. Every time I think that there is no way the series can top itself, they add a tank or drive off a plane. This time, they got a submarine, y’all.
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    The Belko Experiment (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 5th, 2017

    When a film like The Belko Experiment comes along there is a part of me that wonders, how far off is the film from reality? Films like Death Race 2000, The Running Man, The Purge, and Battle Royale have all flirted with the idea of the government using murder as a form of entertainment while also using it as a way to control the public. You look at the violence in the world and how numb we’ve all seemed to have gotten towards violence in the news and our favorite TV shows. I can’t help but wonder, would it be so crazy to see murder on our television screens?  Looking back at history and the gladiator times, there was murder for entertainment, where families would cheer on the bloodshed and carnage.
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    The Zookeeper’s Wife (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 3rd, 2017

    “What have you been up to in your little zoo?”

    It appears that we have been due for one of those untold stories amid the many tales of courage and bravery both fact and fiction, real and imagined, that have been told of the World War II era. There have been plenty of the battlefield hero films that include last year’s exceptional Hacksaw Ridge from Mel Gibson. Then there are the quiet and unlikely heroes. These are people who did incredible things that were often unknown during the war and often even after it was all over. Schindler’s List has become the gold standard for these kinds of emotional war movies. The Zookeeper’s Wife is set in the mold of that kind of a film, telling essentially that very kind of tale.
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    John Wick: Chapter 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 22nd, 2017

    “You wanted me back. I’m back.”

    Keanu Reeves has enjoyed somewhat of a career renaissance thanks in no small part to the success of John Wick in 2014. There he teamed up with some stunt friends of his going back to The Matrix, and together they brought a new action hero to the screen that was as much graphic novel as it was action film. It would become the directing debut of the stunt team of Stahelski and David Leitch. Along with their action star, everyone stuck to what they knew and refused to overcomplicate the whole thing.
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    A United Kingdom (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 21st, 2017

    “We should not be fighting for segregation, we should be fighting for equality.”

    That’s the sort of rousing statement any random politician on the campaign trail might use to rile up a crowd of supporters at a pep rally. And even though those words are spoken here by a man in the midst of heavy political turmoil, the beauty of A United Kingdom — a straightforward but nevertheless impactful fact-based drama about forbidden love — is that they are actually born out of an intensely personal conflict.
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    Kill ’em All (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 16th, 2017

    It used to be when you had a straight-to-DVD release, you knew better than to set the bar too high.  From time to time you would find that occasional gem that slipped through the cracks and turned out to be something awesome, but this was a rare occurrence. With the way films are released now, the talent you are seeing in straight-to-DVD releases has improved, as have the budgets, since getting a film on the big screen has become a greater financial challenge.  I mention this only because I look at a title like Kill’em All and wonder if they even cared. The actors are here and doing their job, but it’s the figures behind the scenes that I’m calling out here.
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    The Lego Batman Movie (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 14th, 2017

    Black…all important movies start with a black screen…”

    I completely understand if you’re Batman-ed out by now. The Caped Crusader barely had a chance to catch his breath since the end of Christopher Nolan’s landmark superhero trilogy in 2012 and being pressed back into duty to help kickstart Warner Bros.’ budding superhero universe last year. But between those two iterations, we got a glimpse at a fresh, knowingly funny version of a hero that takes himself entirely too seriously. Batman was a scene-stealing supporting player in 2014’s blockbuster The Lego Movie, and now he once again takes center stage in a sharp, hilarious, irreverent adventure that celebrates practically every version of the beloved character.
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    Beauty and the Beast (2017) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 8th, 2017

    “Who could ever learn to love a beast?”

    Although it’s not quite a tale as old as time, people around the world have been enchanted by the story of “Beauty and the Beast” for centuries. The French fairytale was first published in 1740 and has subsequently spawned everything from a classic 1946 big-screen romance to Ron Perlman. Still, the most popular iteration of this story is Disney’s beloved 1991 animated musical, which helped solidify the Mouse House’s cartoon revival and serves as the most direct inspiration for this dazzling live-action adaptation. Then again, the fact that this new version is essentially a pretty close copy of a copy takes some of the bloom off this particular rose.
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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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    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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