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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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    Baby Driver

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 2nd, 2017

    For the most part it seems the summer blockbusters tend to be sequels, superhero films, or CGI bonanzas that are simply eye candy to get us to films in the dark auditoriums to escape the heat. It’s rare that something comes along that is so clever and as fresh as Baby Driver.  Personally I’ve been a fan of Edgar Wright from the moment I first saw Shaun of the Dead, he was a writer and director that I felt knew how to make films fun. When he was set to direct his dream project Ant-Man, I was excited to see him finally get a chance to do a giant tent-pole studio film, but weeks before filming was set to begin he got pulled away and replaced. When it got announced he was working on an action-comedy named Baby Driver well I was excited but the film’s title had me scared, fears of him doing something along the lines of Baby’s Day Out ran through my mind
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    Despicable Me 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Delia on July 1st, 2017

    The Despicable Me series that includes Minions never seems to get tiring as they extend their comedy one more time with Despicable Me 3, opening this weekend. The key to the filmmaker’s success is the handling of the characters and inserting them into the animated movie with a plan in mind. That plan consists of starting with a little comedy involving the Minions, then working into some intense action that leads to a champion who either succeeds or fails. In the meantime there are multiple stories going on with each one targeting certain audience members.  Sounds complicated? Well, the best comedy adventure is intricate, and Illumination Studios does that very well.
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    The Unholy (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 30th, 2017

    From the vaults of Vestron Video has unleashed The Unholy for horror fans to indulge in for the first time on Blu-ray.  Growing up and going to a Catholic school, films like The Exorcist and The Unholy managed to be all the more terrifying to me because the prospect of demons coming from hell was thought to be a possibility.  Sure, Freddy and Jason could get the young me nervous at night, but what films like The Unholy presented were the kind of thoughts that had me afraid to keep the lights off at night. But does the film hold up decades later? That’s a tough call, but with the new digitally restored version of the film now hitting the shelves, it’s worth grabbing a little holy water and checking out.
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    Trespass

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 29th, 2017

    When it comes to Writer, Director, Producer, Walter Hill is simply one of the best at doing the traditional tough-guy movies.  Films like The Warriors and 48 Hours are simply staples of my childhood; he even was involved with Alien, which I believe is one of the best sci-fi/horror films ever made, yet his star has seemed to fade as the years have passed. His work on the underappreciated Bullet to the Head I felt was a nice throwback to the features he made back in his heyday and had me realize how much his voice is missed in today’s cinema. This week, Shout Factory rolls out a blast from the past with the 1992 film Trespass.
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    Bones Season 12

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 28th, 2017

    “I believe you. Trust me. Listen, you know what, we’re gonna help you. You understand? You’ve served your time.” 

    We’ve all served 12 years together. Bones has proven itself to be the little show that could. While it has never been exactly a ratings superstar, the show pulled in quite a loyal fanbase that kept it on the air for a surprising 12-year run. There were few years the show didn’t finish on the bubble, and they were starting to wrap up everything last year in what was going to be the last. The characters actually went different ways but were brought back together for a shortened Season 12 encore.
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    T2 Trainspotting (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 28th, 2017

    “First, there is an opportunity.  Then…there’s a betrayal.”

    It’s been 20 years since the release of Trainspotting, and it’s fair to say a lot has changed in the past two decades.  I remember going out to the United Artists Mission Bell Cinemas to see Trainspotting the weekend it came out.  I was with my best friend at the time, and neither of us was old enough to buy tickets for the film, so we ended up having to sneak into the film.  We’d seen the trailers, and in a time before the internet there just wasn’t much we could find out about it aside from reading articles in the entertainment magazines.
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    All Nighter

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 28th, 2017

    “Dad, this is my boyfriend Martin…”

    The tension generated by the first meeting between a young man and the father of the woman he loves has always been a reliable source of conflict. I mean, Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro managed to squeeze three(!) Focker movies out of that stressful dynamic. All-Nighter fits snugly into that familiar sub-genre while managing to carve out low-key moments of character development and male bonding in between all the noise that comes with this sort of whacky situation.
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    Tuesday Round Up: June 27, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on June 27th, 2017

    We don’t usually take too kindly to trespassers around these parts, but we are happy to make an exception this week. Trespass — a 1992 action-thriller starring the late, great Bill Paxton — makes its Blu-ray debut this week courtesy of Shout! Factory. Be sure to keep an eye on the site for our review. Meanwhile, Candy Factory brings us back down to earth with Life of Significant Soil, while Vestron unleashes The Unholy upon us. Finally, make sure to buckle up for our review of Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver a little later this week.

    Here’s your weekly reminder before signing off for the week (and for June): if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Car Wash

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

    Another shining example of an opportunity to watch a classic film that was before my time.  Before had, the only thing I knew about Car Wash was that it was a Richard Pryor movie; however, now I grasp that Pryor is just a pawn in a large ensemble cast. He is far from the most important character, although he is an interesting one as Daddy Rich, but his role pales in comparison of Bill Duke as Duane, or should I said Abdullah, as he prefers to be known now.  Car Wash as it turns out is of greater significance than I originally realized and worthy of the title of cult classic, and I do believe a huge portion of that is attributed to the song that was lived on for generation to follow. You all know it, “Working at the Car Wash.” Sing it with me now.
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    Workaholics: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 25th, 2017

    Since 2011, the trio of Blake, Adam, and Ders have been reporting to their telemarketing job and bringing the laughs to Comedy Central on Workaholics.  With the final season now released, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the trio that has shown us the joys of pranking, slacking, and pot in the work place. Does the show go out with a bang, or does it fizzle before reaching that last episode? I was a little concerned how things would end up because of the years I’ve gotten to really like the show and everyone involved. It’s time to punch in that time card and check out what this final season is all about.
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    Life of Significant Soil

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on June 25th, 2017

    The concept of eternal recurrence was (arguably) brought to the mainstream in 1993 with the release of Groundhog Day (1993). Certain films such as Run Lola Run (1998) and even an episode from The X-Files, “Monday” (1999), have managed to capture the strange, yet sad, philosophical nature behind repeating a single day. Since then, many variations of the concept began to meld with time travel, adding more distractions from the concept itself, only borrowing the basic premise: Just as space and time are infinite, so are our collective existences (in theory). Life of Significant Soil is closer in relation to the former films mentioned; however, it allows the raw emotion of experiencing a traumatic event to helm the ship.
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    The Andy Griffith Show: Return to Mayberry

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 23rd, 2017

    If there is a television series in the history of the industry as American or timeless as The Andy Griffith Show, I haven’t seen it. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone with strong negative feelings about the series. It was one of those organic and comfortable productions that reached deep into the core of rural America. Even if we lived in a bustling city, there were aspects of the show that still rang true. It was populated with the kind of familiar faces so that it wasn’t hard for anyone in the audience to smile in remembrance of a character they’ve known in real life. And even after 50 years, the series still speaks to that certain aspect of the friendly small southern town. A lot of the credit for that peaceful easy feeling must be credited to the titular star Andy Griffith himself.
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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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    Transformers: The Last Knight

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 22nd, 2017

    “These movies that I’ve done, they are massive movies. They take a lot out of you.”

    That’s director Michael Bay talking about his decade-long work on the Transformers franchise on the eve of the fifth(!) film’s arrival. The movie also doubles as Bay’s swan song in the director’s chair, so when he says, “They take a lot out of you,” the filmmaker is presumably talking about the massive amount of energy and manpower (and horsepower) these big-budget bonanzas require. The problem is “They take a lot out of you” has also applied more and more to each subsequent movie in this series. Transfomers: The Last Knight isn’t just a bad movie…it is painful and exhausting to watch.
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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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    South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 21st, 2017

    “Going on down to South Park and meet some friends of mine.”

    After 20 years or more, they really do feel like friends. I’ve known Cartman, Stan, Kyle, and Kenny longer than most real people in my life. Only the Simpsons have been around longer these days. Over those years, South Park has always been a series of stories that rarely connect with each other in any significant way. There have been multi-part episodes, and certain experiences have come back up over the years. Still, we’re talking about a universe where killing Kenny had become a running joke and happened pretty much in every episode.
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    Aaron’s Blood

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on June 20th, 2017

    When it comes to vampire films, I’m not so much a fan of the romanticized fantasy depiction that we see in Ann Rice novels.  Personally, I like my monsters to be grounded in reality; films like Near Dark and Let Me In seem to have a more vicious bite to them. Why do I prefer these darker and more grim depictions? Well, I believe if vampires have had to kill to survive, whether it be for a month or generations, they should be handled as some scary bad guys, not pretty, sparkly, cuddle-bunnies.  When an indie film comes along like Aaron’s Blood and it decides to go the more ground with reality horror route, it gives me hope, and it’s something I’m actually looking forward to seeing. But does the film deliver the goods?
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    Tuesday Round Up: June 20, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on June 20th, 2017

    The Boogeyman — or at least the man you send to kill the Boogeyman — has arrived at UpcomingDiscs HQ! (Honestly, how bad could he be? The man loves dogs almost as much as we do around these parts.) Lionsgate brings us John Wick: Chapter 2 in 4K, which finds the assassin-of-very-few-words in Rome and New York City as he dodges a worldwide network of killers. Elsewhere, Candy Factory visits Wichita, while Shout! Factory cleans up at the Car Wash. Meanwhile, Comedy Central clocks in with Workaholics: The Final Season. On top of those home video releases, we’ll have a review of the latest entry in everyone’s favorite robots-in-disguise franchise, Transformers: The Last Knight, later this week.

    Now it’s time for the customary reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon and you do it through one of our links, it’ll help keep the lights on here at UpcomingDiscs. See ya next week!

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    Cheech And Chong’s Next Movie

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on June 20th, 2017

    One of the reasons that I love reviewing movies is that it allows me the opportunity to see things that I wouldn’t normally watch. In most cases, it is a film that has been newly released, whether it be a theatrical release or a straight-to-DVD release. However, in other cases it is an older film that is being re-released. Such is the case for Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie. Though I have never seen any of the films, the names Cheech and Chong are synonymous with stoner comedy. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen the first film before diving into the middle of the franchise.
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    Cars 3

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 17th, 2017

    “I’m about to commit a moving violation.”

    When I go to a Pixar film, I always find myself in a situation where I’m predisposed to love the movie. There have been so many greats like Toy Story and Monsters Inc and so few horrible examples like Ratatouille. So, I never really expect a Pixar film to be bad, and Cars 3 certainly wasn’t bad. There are more than a few things to love about the latest collaboration between Disney and their Pixar division. The animation company also continues to push the boundaries of digital animation technology.
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    47 Meters Down

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

    It’s summertime, and that means it is time for those bikini-clad bodies to start decorating the beaches and become bait for everyone’s favorite predator of the ocean. For those who don’t tan and manage to only burn in direct sunlight, there is a safer alternative to the beach, and that is your local theater with the new film 47 Meters Down.  Last year we had the surprise hit The Shallows that made a valiant attempt at making the beach terrifying once again. I love a fun, cheesy shark film; it’s one of those cinematic pleasantries I feel we just don’t get enough of. With the wait for Meg being another year off, it seems 47 Meters Down is going to have to tide me over till then. Is it worth taking a dip?
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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 Young Pope (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on June 15th, 2017

    “Have you ever seen two priests wearing tracksuits?”

    The highest praise I can offer for The Young Pope — the staggeringly extravagant and deeply strange co-production between Sky Atlantic, Canal+, and HBO — is that I can guarantee you will see something you have never seen before. (A pair of priests in tracksuits is the least of it.) The show is bold in both its style and storytelling, although it only unequivocally succeeds in one of those two areas. Given all the Vatican-centric politics and power plays, it’s easy to see why this show was dubbed “House of Cardinals.”
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    The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Eighth and Final Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 14th, 2017

    “Weird, messy, complicated, sad, wonderful, amazing, and above all, epic.”

    It’s time to say goodbye to Mystic Falls. It’s time to say goodbye to Damon, Stefan, Bonnie, Caroline, and all of those fan-favorite “ships” that have passed in some rather bloody nights. After eight years The Vampire Diaries is getting the stake and fading off into the sunset. Eight years is pretty respectable when you consider that the series has been on the cancellation bubble since its fourth year. Somehow it managed to survive long enough to go out on its own terms and leave behind a strong enough legacy to assure its survival for years to come in syndication. While The Originals continues we are likely to see some of these characters, if only in guest spots along the way.
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