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    Terminator: Genisys

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on July 3rd, 2015

    “A straight line…you just go, and you never…look…back.”

    Well, I hope you’re ready to have everything you know about the Terminator franchise turned on its head. As a franchise known for his alternative timelines where the things we come to know are often turned around, my previous statement may sound like the usual bread and butter to you. However, I must say that I feel like the latest incarnation of the franchise, Terminator Genisys, has really outdone itself this time. As far as reboots go, this may be one of the best that I have seen in quite some time as we are introduced to a completely new cast (well, almost completely new cast) portraying characters already near and dear to our hearts.
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    Me Earl and the Dying Girl

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 1st, 2015

    Me, Earl and the Dying Girl is not the perfect movie by any means, but it is pretty darn good. Sometime it is too clever for its own good, and sometimes its cleverness is what makes it good. It is a movie about a precocious high school teenager much in the tradition of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It has an offbeat and anarchic take on the high school experience, because the titular Me is giving his point of view. As with many narrators in the tradition of literature, his opinions can be unreliable. Me shall be known from now on as Greg (played by Thomas Mann) (no relation to the famous German novelist) (which I mention because German film maker Werner Herzog is all over this film).
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    A Little Chaos

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 27th, 2015

    Are you a believer in order?”

    The natural order of things during the summer movie season is to be pummeled by one would-be blockbuster after another, each aiming to be louder and more extravagant than the last. So debuting A Little Chaos — a 2014 British period drama about a seemingly esoteric chapter of French faux-history — amidst all this noise is a curious decision. While the film certainly nails the “extravagant” part and largely adheres to costume drama conventions, there’s just enough here to make it a thoroughly pleasing alternative to the typical multiplex fare.
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    Ted 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 26th, 2015

    The original Ted movie gave us the answer to what would happen if a beloved toy came to life. I know what you are thinking; Toy Story provided us with the same answer, except Ted went a step further and revealed what happens when the little boy and the beloved toy grow up. Ted was a hard-drinking and drug-taking movie that was beloved by many. When it came to that movie I was thoroughly satisfied, and I did not believe that it could be improved upon, so when I heard the announcement of the sequel, I had reservations. In my opinion, the sequel was clear money grab that was going to ruin all that the original accomplished. I told you that to tell you this: I stand corrected. As it turns out, there was more story to tell, and I am glad that I got to experience it.
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    Inside Out

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on June 25th, 2015

    I should say right up front, it seems like everyone loves this film but me. That is pretty much true of all Pixar films. They seem to be above reproach, regret and retribution. I love some Pixar films very much, but many I find to be overpraised. In the case of the new film Inside Out, it is not so much bad as disturbing. It is well made but suffers from two problems. It is not overwhelmingly profound while being somewhat bewildering. Some people might say it is a film for kids, so I should give it a pass, but I disagree.
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    Jurassic World

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 12th, 2015

    “We need more teeth.”

    That’s the problem with sequels, isn’t it? There’s always the belief that you have to go bigger and stronger than you did before. It’s an ideal that is also reflected quite literally in the story of Jurassic World. You know what kills worse than dinosaurs? Expectations. It is those expectations that will turn what is a pretty solid action movie into a disappointment for so many. No doubt, Jurassic World is a fun and entertaining movie. But it’s not Jurassic Park, and the truth is it never could be. If you go to this movie hoping to recapture what you felt the first time you heard the words “Welcome to Jurassic Park”
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    SPY

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on June 11th, 2015

    I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews. It’s a struggle when the film experience was joyless and then to have to go back and relive that. I also don’t enjoy reading reviews by other critics that get everything completely wrong. It’s even worse when almost all the critics get it wrong. Even worse than that is when I see critics dumping on a film that’s actually good, but that’s a story for a different day. How can I say Spy is so bad? Because I had to sit through the movie. I can get some enjoyment out of even the worst movies, and that’s true here, but I would not recommend it to unsuspecting viewers.
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    Insidious: Chapter 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 5th, 2015

    If you call out to one of the dead, all of them can hear you.”

    This lesson is very familiar to anyone who has seen either of the first two Insidious films, a pair of old-fashioned (no sex, no gore), highly-profitable chillers. Of course, a potential problem for this third installment was that the characters in these movies really should have learned that lesson by now too. The makers of Insidious: Chapter 3 smartly sidestep that issue by turning back the clock on the franchise. I just wish the rest of the film had more of that ingenuity and fewer blatant, unearned jump scares.
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    San Andreas

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on May 29th, 2015

    We’ll get hit again…and it’s going to be a bigger monster.”

    The character who utters these words in San Andreas is referring to an impending earthquake that could literally rip California apart. But he could just as easily be talking about the summer movie season, when audiences who have just been rocked by a catastrophic quake have to deal with something called “Indominus Rex” a mere two weeks later. San Andreas almost certainly won’t end up as the biggest bully on the Hollywood block, but it’s a big, dumb, fun disaster flick the whole family can enjoy.
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    Pitch Perfect 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on May 19th, 2015

    We all love underdogs. Even if we think we’re the greatest thing since chipped beef on toast, secretly we think we’re the underdog.  No matter how great our life is, we don’t think it’s good enough, and everyone’s out to get us. Pitch Perfect was a movie about underdogs, and it was an underdog itself. It was a movie about women, nerds and dorks. Just in case you think I’m being insulting, I actually think all three of those things are great, but they are not always given the respect they deserve. The first movie was thrown out in the marketplace with the expectation that it would starve and die.
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    Mad Max Fury Road

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on May 15th, 2015

    It is one of the most anticipated movies of the summer and another subject in the category of can Tom Hardy do no wrong? Mad Max: Fury Road is the reimagining of the iconic film that helped launch Mel Gibson’s career decades earlier. This is not new territory in Hollywood by any stretch of the imagination; remakes have happened so often in recent years that they have practically become their own genre. However, I would like to point out something that will hopefully set this film aside in the eyes of the audience: how often do you see a remake that is overseen by the creator of the original film that you know and love?
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    Unfriended

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dustin P. Anderson on May 12th, 2015

    The entirety of this movie is shot from the perspective of our main protagonist’s (Blaire) computer screen. Her friends start a video conference, and they are soon haunted by the memory of their friend who committed suicide due to cyber bullying (and I guess some regular bullying too). Her friends start dying from forced suicide (or suicide from being possessed by a spirit), and they must play this spirit’s game in order to survive. I was pretty excited to see if this movie could accomplish being scary from a bold new way of filmmaking.
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    Avengers : Age of Ultron

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on May 1st, 2015

    “It’s called The Ultron Program.”

    Remember when you were a kid and one of your friends would come over and ask if you could come out and play? You would head for the door with a grin from ear to ear, because you knew you were about to have a blast. You might not have had any idea what it was you were going to do. Often you made it up as you went along. It didn’t matter. You just knew fun times were on the other side of your front door. That’s exactly how I felt going to catch The Avengers: Age Of Ultron. It was as if Joss Whedon had come to my house and asked me to come out and play.
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    The Age Of Adaline

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on April 24th, 2015

    “All these years you’ve lived, but you’ve never had a life.”

    Every woman’s fantasy: to remain young and beautiful forever. That is the fantasy, if I am not mistaken, correct? Well, women will be treated to the cost of said fantasy in The Age of Adaline, which shows the other side of the coin of the coveted fantasy. In my experience there are two fantasies that are popular among young ladies. The one mentioned above, and the opportunity to love, marry, and grow old with someone who loves them unconditionally. The Age of Adaline shows the latter is not possible with the former.
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    Danny Collins

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on April 7th, 2015

    “The following is kind of based on a true story, a little bit.” 

    In 2005 British folk singer/songwriter Steve Tilston found out something amazing had happened to him but he never knew it. John Lennon had written a letter to him in 1971 providing him with some career encouragement and his home phone number. It was after an interview with the musician in ZigZag Magazine revealed that Lennon was one of Tilston’s idols that got the attention of the former Beatle
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    Woman in Gold

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 31st, 2015

    Most true life stories are remarkable in some way. If you can get to the truth of real-life history, it almost always unearths treasures of understanding. Art is the process of revealing hidden truth and beauty in real life. Woman In Gold is the story of a painting that was sold for $135,000,000 in 2006 to an heir of Estee Lauder. It was the highest price for a painting at the time. There is a remarkable story that takes place around the painting. It involves the Nazi theft of art in World War II. A previous film, Monuments Men, tackled the subject a couple of years ago.
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    Insurgent

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 21st, 2015

    When Divergent ended, it planted the seed for the sequels that would follow.  I really enjoyed the first installment and our introduction into the factions that supported this society.  What I enjoyed most after revisiting the film is how the film handles the budding relationship between Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James), never too sappy but being a couple we could root for since they were both outsiders to their community.  Now that the factions and the characters have all been set up, and with the rebellion beginning to take shape at the end of the first film, Insurgent wastes no time in jumping into the story and delivering one of the better sequels in some time.
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    Cinderella (2015)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 14th, 2015

    “Have courage and be kind.”

    Those words — repeated many times in this newest version of Cinderella — serve as both the title character’s mantra and the film’s unofficial tagline. The message is elegant in its simplicity in a way that mirrors this refreshingly old-fashioned adaptation, which resists the prevailing urge to modernize and/or revise a classic story.
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    Run All Night

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 12th, 2015

    “Tell everyone to get ready.  Jimmy is coming.” 

    If someone were to tell me while walking out of Schindler’s List that 20 years later Liam Neeson would be an action star, I would have thought they were out of their mind.  Between the trio of Taken films and numerous films that seem to be cut from the same ilk, Liam Neeson seems to be walking in the same footsteps as Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood as being the go-to everyman that just so happens to be a badass with or without a gun.
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    The Salvation

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 10th, 2015

    It’s hard to understand our relation to the past today, especially in America. Africa, Europe and Asia had ancient history, but the USA only really has the Old West. This country has no real history, and most of its people came from other parts of the world. The immigrants would funnel into New York City to get away from the Old World, looking to build a better life. The West was unpopulated and barely governed. Most small towns were ruled by the man who could hire the most guns. If we think things are bad today, we really don’t understand how it was when people could be gunned down with little consequence. Sheriffs were often scared, alone, and afraid that each day could be their last. Most people tried to stay to themselves and avoid getting shot. It was a dirty and bleak life.
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    Unfinished Business

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on March 7th, 2015

    Unfinished Business starring Vince Vaughn, Tom Wilkinson, Dave Franco, Sienna Miller, James Marsden and Nick Frost is a raunchy comedy. I say that because it is the most important thing I can say that would make people want to see this movie. It is raunchy, but it is mixed with so many other issues and tones that the raunchiness and comedy sometimes get lost in the mix. The film is really more about anxiety and failure. There are so many elements mixed in that this emotional rollercoaster of a movie is so full of strange turns that it is difficult to enjoy the ride.
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    Chappie

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 6th, 2015

    Despite the twinge of disappointment I felt as I exited the theater after seeing Elysium, I still believed writer/director Neill Blomkamp was more than a one-trick pony with District 9. Now two years after the release of Elysium, Blomkamp is set to release Chappie, a sentient-robot film that from the trailers evokes comparisons to Robocop and Short Circuit, which could mean either that could be a hit or another disappointment.  A disappointment could be trouble for Blomkamp. After all, his concept images and storyline for an Alien sequel has relit excitement for a franchise that many had felt died after the third entry.
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    Focus

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on February 27th, 2015

    “That’s what you get when you hire a con man.”

    As much fun as it is to watch clever, cagey characters try to outsmart one another on screen, the real appeal of movies about con artists is watching filmmakers try to pull the wool over the audience’s eye. It’s an especially tricky proposition when you consider that — thanks to the Internet — moviegoers might be more sophisticated than ever in terms of knowing how movies are supposed to work. (Or at least *thinking* they know how movies are supposed to work.)
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    Exclusive Interview With Fiona Dourif From Fear Clinic

    Posted in The Reel World by Gino Sassani on February 20th, 2015

    What do you do with your life when your Dad is Chucky? You star in your own films. Of course, some of those are going to be of the horror variety. That’s the story with Fiona Dourif who stars with Robert Englund and Thomas Dekker in Fear Clinic out from Anchor Bay. I got the chance to talk to her about her new film. Certainly, we had to touch on father Brad Dourif and her experiences in the Chucky franchise. Want to know what she had to say? Of course, you do. Bang it here to listen in on my chat with Fiona Dourif.

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    McFarland, USA

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on February 20th, 2015

    The town of McFarland, California is North of Los Angeles and South of San Jose. More specifically, it is near Bakersfield and not too far south of Fresno. San Diego is practically spitting distance from Tijuana. I say this because much of California is alien to me. The movie McFarland, USA is about delving into the realities of California. Forget that this is a feel-good sports movie for a minute. This is a movie about the Latino experience from a true story about a coach from 1987, but the film updates some of the changes that have taken place since then.
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