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  • Trainspotting 2

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 31st, 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.  To this day, I remember walking out of the auditorium simply floored by the film.
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    Silence (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 30th, 2017

    “The price for your glory is their suffering!”

    For most of us, hearing the name “Martin Scorsese” leads to iconic wiseguys, rock and roll, and Robert De Niro/Leonardo DiCaprio movies dancing into our mind’s eye. Further down the list of Marty-related things — probably even below Scorsese’s real-life film preservation work — but no less crucial to appreciating the director’s filmography is the role that faith has played in his personal and professional lives. The most obvious manifestations are the three religious epics Scorsese has directed, including his latest film Silence.
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    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 30th, 2017

    I’m writing a book about magical creatures.”

    The wizarding world J.K. Rowling conjured for her Harry Potter series captured the imaginations of children (and many, many adults) throughout the globe because it was precisely that…a fully realized, living and breathing world with its own lingo and lore. So while spinning off a corner of that universe might seem like a blatant cash grab, Rowling’s imagination has provided particularly fertile ground for new franchise opportunities. (OK, OK…the part where Warner Bros. agreed to make five of these before the first one even came out *does* feel like a cash grab.) For example, this latest crowd-pleasing stab at a billion-dollar series is based on…a fictional textbook mentioned in Rowling’s Potter saga.
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    Split

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 30th, 2017

    Let me preface this review by clarifying that this is not M. Night Shyamalan’s 2016 thriller about a dangerous man with different personalities. Instead, this review addresses Deborah Kampmeier’s Split (2016). It is an unfortunate circumstance for films to share the same name when released in the same year, especially if one of the directors has a considerable amount of fame under his belt. Thankfully, Kampmeier’s film came through the Upcoming Discs hub; otherwise, I might never have heard about it through my traditional consumption. Split is most certainly worth the watch, but the imagery is uncomfortably intense for the majority of the film. To the average film consumer, I offer a fair warning to stay away. However, Split delivers image after image of disturbing symbolism, nearing the caliber of Alejandro Jodorowski.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 28, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 28th, 2017

    There’s more than a little magic in the air for this week’s Round Up. Warner Bros. casts an enchanting, ultra-HD spell with the blockbuster Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which we’ll be reviewing in 4K. And speaking of “fantastic beasts,” I hope you don’t mind if I spend a few words on Baby, the sweet and loyal German Shepherd/Chow mix who could usually be found welcoming guests to UpcomingDiscs HQ. Baby, who was also a part-time movie critic, passed yesterday and she’ll be greatly missed.

    In other Round Up news, Paramount holds a moment of Silence for Martin Scorsese’s latest religious epic, while Candy Factory tries to put the pieces of a murder together in Americana. Finally, we’ll also check in with The Zookeeper’s Wife later this week and offer our take on the World War II drama. One last reminder before signing off for the week (and for March): 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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    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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    When Calls The Heart: The Heart Of Faith

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

    I am not the target audience for this Hallmark Channel series. Despite this fact, it was not hard to find something to like about When Calls the Heart: Heart of Faith. This Christmas special which takes place between the Season 3 finale and the impending Season 4 premiere tugs on the heartstrings and provides a festive feeling in the month of March. Odd, I know, but who says you can only have holiday cheer during the winter season? More than that, the special preaches the true meaning of Christmas as we watch a town come together to accomplish something not for themselves but for the betterment of the committee.
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    Wilson

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

    Daniel Clowes  is one of a handful of writers in the industry that when I see his name attached to a project I can’t help but be curious to see what he’s up to.  In 2001 he wrote Ghost World, which was based on the comic he created. It was an independent film smash, and I’d consider it a cult sensation.  Then he had Art School Confidential that had the same humor and a great cast, but it just didn’t seem to connect as well with audiences.  I love the odd little characters Clowes manages to bring to life, despite many being so over-the-top, he manages to somehow keep them grounded in reality.  So when the offer came along to review Wilson, the new film he’s written based off his graphic novel, it was an offer I couldn’t pass up.
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    Power Rangers

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on March 24th, 2017

    “Did you just slap me?”

    “Yeah….weird, right?”

    Well, to steal the most popular catch phrase of the television series: “It’s Morphin Time!” That’s right, folks; the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers are once again coming to the silver screen.  Personally, after experiencing several remakes as well as more television reboots than I can even count, I found myself highly skeptical about this undertaking. Childhood nostalgia is the only thing that motivated me to see this movie, and even then I went into the screening expecting a cheesy and cliché film that was going to tarnish the memory of the show that I once loved. I am proud to say that I have never been so wrong.  Not only was this action movie great, it is going into the top five of movies that I have seen this year.
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    Insecure: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 24th, 2017

    “Black women aren’t bitter. We’re just tired of being expected to settle for less.”

    When people talk about racial and gender equality, they typically point to notions like everyone having the right to vote or the same opportunity to pursue their personal or professional passion without fear of discrimination. The premise of Insecure — HBO’s funny and insightful comedy series about modern relationships — is not quite that lofty, but no less worthy: black women reserve the right to be just as neurotic and lead love lives that are every bit as messy as their white counterparts.
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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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    Fences (Blu-ray)

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

    “Some people build fences to keep people out, and other people build fences to keep people in.”

    In its transition from stage to screen, Fences — the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by the late August Wilson — doesn’t venture far beyond the Maxson household. And that’s precisely the point: director/star Denzel Washington isn’t overly concerned with masking the story’s stage origins. The existential claustrophobia that the characters in the play have been carrying their entire lives is right up there on the cramped screen.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 21, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 21st, 2017

    Help! UpcomingDiscs HQ has been overrun by a koala, a couple of pigs, a gorilla, an elephant, a porcupine, and other adorable animals! Fortunately for us, these crooning critters happen to be the stars of Universal’s Sing, which we’ll be reviewing in 4K pretty soon. Meanwhile, Candy Factory leaves us torn with Split, while Magnolia Home Entertainment examines A Kind of Murder. Shout! Factory answers When Calls the Heart: The Heart of Faith, and HBO navigates the (often awkward) lives of two contemporary black women with Insecure: The Complete First Season. Finally, we’ll bring you a pair of theatrical reviews this weekend, including Woody Harrelson’s star turn in Wilson. We’ll also try to determine if there is Life on Mars (and in this sci-fi horror flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds).

    Now it’s time for your weekly reminder before signing off: 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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    Bloodrunners

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

    We’ve reached a point where I’m starting to wonder if there is anything new that can be brought to the vampire genre. They may not be my favorite horror creature, but vampire movies tend to be fun for the most part, and being fun is mostly what we look for when we decide to check out a horror film. Bloodrunners attempts to show us something new, taking us back to the prohibition era of the 1930’s, but is this a trip worth taking? Grab a bottle of hooch and a stake for the road, because it’s nightfall, and I’m about to dive into this vampire tale.
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    Beauty and the Beast (2017)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 17th, 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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    Contest: Win Mama’s Family: Mama’s Favorites Collection From Time Life

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on March 16th, 2017

    How long has it been since you’ve spent some time with Mama? It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 25 years. Our good friends at Time Life have decided that it’s just been too dang long. Of course, we’re talking about the television classic Mama’s Family staring Vicki Lawrence. We’re teaming up to give you a good deal of time to spend with Mama. It’s called Mama’s Favorites and it’s a collection of 6 DVD’s. There’s one from each season featuring Vicki Lawrence’s hand-picked favorite episodes. You get 37 episodes in all. Guest stars include Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman and Alex Trebek.

    To win a copy of this prize, follow these instructions.

    1. Fill out your name and email address in the comment form below – your email address will remain private and visible only to us.
    2. Do not post your address as an actual comment!  Instead tell us – What is the funniest series on television this season?
    3. Only those comments that answer our question will be considered.

    Contest is open to residents of the U.S. & Canada only, and will conclude on Sunday, April 30th, 2017
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    Moana (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 16th, 2017

    – “OK, first, I’m not a princess…”

    – “If you wear a dress and you have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess.”

    Disney Animation’s 1990s renaissance was followed by an early 21st century lull for its non-Pixar offerings. The princess-centric formula was played out, so Disney pivoted and started doing things like giving Rapunzel and Eugene Flynn Rider equal billing in 2010’s Tangled and making Frozen (which would’ve definitely been called “The Snow Queen” in the ’90s) a story about sisterly love as opposed to happily ever after. One of the things I love about the outstanding Moana is that it offers a refreshing, thoughtful and exhilarating new approach to the classical Disney princess formula.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 14, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 14th, 2017

    Howdy, neighbors! I realize our readers come from all over the world, but I feel like I can be at least a little familiar with some of you after writing for this site a little more than five years. And since they say that “good fences make good neighbors”, it’s only fitting that this week we find out if the great, Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Fences” makes for a good movie. Paramount was generous enough to send along a copy of recent Best Picture nominee Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, so check back soon for our review. On the lighter side of the spectrum, Comedy Central serves up a drink (or 10) for Drunk History: Season 4. Finally, we revisit a tale as old as time later this week with the much-anticipated arrival of Beauty and the Beast.

    One last 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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    100 Streets (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on March 13th, 2017

    Life’s pretty simple, you know. It’s long periods of waiting broken up by brief moments of change. That’s it…that’s all it is.”

    100 Streets tells three barely-connected stories set in the same one-square-mile area of present-day London. (The neighborhoods of Chelsea and Battersea to be exact.) The stories are each quite compelling in their own right, and they’re performed by a talented group of actors. Unfortunately, the movie is occasionally bogged down by distracting, pseudo-profound soliloquies like the one at the top of this review. I appreciate the stabs at thoughtfulness and depth, but they come off as forced here and are more likely to make you roll your eyes than inspire you.
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    Joe Bullet

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on March 12th, 2017

    When it comes to exploitation films you really are rolling the dice when you find a title you’ve never heard of and you decide to watch it. Through the 60’s and 70’s there were countless exploitation films that covered many genres, many of which were sold to audiences by a cool-looking poster and catchy title.  Sex and violence were the major exploits with these films, and at this time there was also the birth of black cinema, or simply blacksploitation films.  Many have heard of Foxy Brown, The Mack, and Truck Turner, but for all these hits there were many more misses, and it’s the lost gems of the era that film geeks get excited over.  Just because a film wasn’t a hit at the time didn’t mean the film was no good; many just fell between the cracks, and Joe Bullet just happens to be one of those titles.
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    Resistance

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 12th, 2017

    Resistance was first released in the UK in 2011, and it saw its first DVD release two years ago in Finland. Now in 2017, the US is finally getting DVD distribution. However, like most distribution marketing strategies, the cover, DVD home screen, and advertised star power are an inaccurate depiction of what the film actually offers. While the film has many strengths, all the imagery that you get prior to actually watching the film (the cover and home screen), prepare you for what you think is going to be an interesting WWII-themed thriller with possible action sequences. Instead, Resistance is an interesting, yet severely slow-paced character study that doesn’t necessarily follow its own plot description.
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    Kong: Skull Island

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

    Every year it seems the “summer” movie season starts 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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    Star Trek: Voyager – The Complete Series

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 10th, 2017

    Star Trek Voyager was the third spinoff from the original Star Trek, following the superior Next Generation and the inferior Deep Space Nine. While the idea was quite an original premise, the cast never seemed to gel. The obvious attempt at political correctness gives us the most diverse cast yet on Star Trek, including the first female captain. Kate Mulgrew is the weakest captain to date on Star Trek. (I know I’ll catch heat for this.) The reason is not her gender, but such a lack of strength. She never walks, but seems to glide across the bridge when she moves. The strongest characters come in Tom Paris, the Federation inmate, and Torres, the half-Klingon, half-human hybrid. There is real passion in those characters that keeps the cast interesting enough. The combination of Federation and Maquis (a rebel Federation group) members was a great setup that too quickly gets tossed aside in later years. There’s plenty of Star Trek eye candy and a whole new quadrant of aliens to meet here. It had been quite some time for me since I had seen Voyager
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    Slasher.com

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on March 9th, 2017

    Contemporary horror films are in a really strange position. Gone are the days of the formulaic slasher flick or creature feature. Today we have filmmakers who only seem interested in breaking genre conventions in order to try something new and be deemed “relevant.” As  a result, we are treated to an intellectually-driven horror renaissance with films such as It Follows or The Babadook, or we must sit through the onslaught of torture-porn-infused sequels to 70’s and 80’s classics such as Evil Dead (2013), I Spit on Your Grave (2010), or The Last House on the Left (2009). If the filmmaker is trying to break genre conventions, it is important to note that they do not always succeed, as is the case with Slasher.com.
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    Tuesday Round Up: March 7, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on March 7th, 2017

    Resistance to our weekly Tuesday Round Up is futile. Resistance, courtesy of Omnibus Entertainment, is also one of the titles we’ll be reviewing in the next week or so. Be sure to check back soon for our take on the World War II drama. Meanwhile, Speakeasy Pictures serves up Bloodrunners, a Prohibition-era vampire thriller starring Ice-T. Film Detective introduces us to Joe Bullet, while Cinedigm logs onto Slasher.com. Finally, our week is set to end with a visit from a certain iconic movie monster when Kong: Skull Island swings into theaters.

    Now it’s time for your weekly reminder before signing off: 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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