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  • Absolutely Anything

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 11th, 2017

    The Monty Python comedy group has been a staple of British comedy for decades; personally my favorite film of theirs will always be Life of Brian.  For director Terry Jones, it’s been a while since he has stepped behind the camera to helm a picture, and it’s been even longer since he directed the 1983 classic The Meaning of Life. It’s not uncommon for directors to step away for years only to come back and return with some kind of passion project. Add into this mix Simon Pegg, whose comedic timing I would have figured would make him a perfect fit for a Monty Python film / revival; it just seemed that Absolutely Anything had everything in place to be a success.
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    Tuesday Round Up: July 11, 2017

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on July 11th, 2017

    The street racers-turned-international men (and women) of mystery from the Fast and Furious franchise famously live their lives a quarter mile at a time. In a related story, we tend to live our lives here at UpcomingDiscs one movie review at a time, and this week Universal puts the pedal to the metal with The Fate of the Furious in 4K. Elsewhere, Candy Factory explores the world of eSports with Game Changers, while Magnolia Home Entertainment jumps, jives, and wails with swing dancing documentary Alive and Kicking.

    Finally, you won’t quite be able to get your stinkin’ paws on a disc of War for the Planet of the Apes…but you can absolutely come back to check out our review of the summer blockbuster later this week. And while it’s a brand new month, the customary reminder still applies here: 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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    Spider-Man Homecoming

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

    “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”

    Email hacks have taken over a big part of our nation’s conversation in recent times. Lost in the election leaks is the fact that Sony executives were also hacked, with many embarrassing emails released on the internet. The result was that the Sony Spider-Man plans for an extended universe of their own fell victim to the reveals. Executives were out of jobs, and suddenly Marvel and Sony were at the negotiating table, and while Sony still retains certain film rights to the friendly neighborhood
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    Money

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 6th, 2017

    There are only two things wrong with money: too much or too little.”

    This devastatingly simple yet endlessly revealing quote by poet Charles Bukowski appears at the start of Money, a lean, mean, low-budget thriller filled with well-to-do characters who nevertheless feel the need to steal millions of dollars. To be clear, there are more than two things wrong with Money — particularly in the movie’s latter half, after the promising set-up starts to unravel — but the film still works as a brisk and entertaining game of cat-and-mouse mice.
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    Exclusive Interview With Matthew D. Ward and Justyn Ah Chong Of Wichita

    Posted in Podcasts by Gino Sassani on July 5th, 2017

    The Candy Factory has been churning out the sweets of late. You must have noticed the many reviews we’ve had for the studios recent output. One of those films is the horror movie Wichita by first-time filmmakers Matthew D. Ward and Justyn Ah Chong. It’s a claustrophobic thriller that combines a bit of cinema verite with serial killer character study. I had a chance to talk to the two filmmakers, and they were eager to share their experiences on the film. While the audio is a bit rough (cell phone conference call) it’s worth a listen, to be sure.

    Bang it here to listen in on my chat with The Boys

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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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    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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