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  • Last Action Hero (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 20th, 2014

    “Let me know when the governor gets here.”

    Well, he’s in the house, and I’m going to get a lot of razzing for this review of Last Action Hero. The person who thought I should see a shrink for looking forward to the next Saw film is going to be calling for my outright commitment to an institution dedicated to covering walls with nice padding so we won’t hurt ourselves. I know this film is generally considered “bad” by critics and moviegoers alike.
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    Antboy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 20th, 2014

    Not to be mistaken for the much anticipated Ant-Man that should release next year from Marvel, Antboy is the latest import out of Denmark that shows that the worldwide box office is becoming a more level and diverse playing field.  For the longest time foreign films were a thing that belonged in art house cinema and found in a tiny section at the mom-and-pop video store.  Now in a generation of the internet and most notably Netflix, the wide range of foreign cinema is being made available, and in my opinion this is a great thing.
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    Anaconda (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 20th, 2014

    “Tales of monstrous, man-eating anacondas have been recounted for centuries by tribespeople of the Amazon Basin, some of whom are said to worship these giant snakes. Anacondas are among the most ferocious and enormous creatures on Earth.”

    Today Anaconda would have most certainly been made as a “found-footage” film. All of the makings of one of these trending movies are there.
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    Tosh.O – Collas plus Exposed Arms

    Posted in Disc Reviews by William O'Donnell on July 19th, 2014

    Here comes Volume four of this clip commentary comedy show (CCC could catch on as a sub-genre title couldn’t it?). This time we get two seasons worth of episodes; the “Collas” and “Exposed Arms” entitled seasons, as it were. Very little is different as far as format or new segments are concerned since the last time I wrote about this show.
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    How It All Began: Origins of Master Mantak Chia

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 18th, 2014

    “We are that which we are really seeking.”

    Back in the early 80‘s, Grandmaster Mantak Chia stepped outside of traditional Chinese rule and shared a very guarded secret with the world. The Universal Healing Tao System. Where the body, soul and spirit learn to live in balance and harmony with the universe through an understanding of energy
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    The Purge: Anarchy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 18th, 2014

    What a difference a year makes. It was just last summer that The Purge came out of nowhere to become an unexpected smash. The film piqued my interest with a killer marketing campaign that smartly sold its outrageous concept: for one night out of the year, any and all crime is legal in the U.S. Unfortunately, the filmmakers squandered that novel idea by making the most cliched, claustrophobic thriller imaginable. A little more than a year later, this follow-up arrives under considerably different circumstances. Instead of canny summer counter-programming, The Purge: Anarchy is the latest sequel in a summer that seems particularly heavy on franchise films.
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    Rio 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 17th, 2014

    “Who cares about a bunch of birds?”

    Well, judging by the fact that the original Rio grossed $484 million worldwide, it seems more than a few people were invested. The avian adventure from Blue Sky Studios may not have soared as high as Disney/Pixar or DreamWorks Animation’s best efforts — or even Blue Sky’s own Ice Age juggernaut — but it proved to be a dazzling, lucrative diversion in the spring of 2011. This charming sequel, which arrived almost three years to the day later and grossed a near-identical $487 million worldwide, retains the disposable, toe-tapping charm of its predecessor.
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    How the West Was Won: The Complete Second Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 16th, 2014

    The West — once a land of awesome but tranquil beauty — had become a battleground for a hundred diverse reasons.”

    The “second” season of How the West Was Won — and I’ll explain in a bit why the word “second” deserves to be in quotation marks — does a strong job dramatizing the myriad dangers of the Old West. This batch of episodes showcases vengeful gunfighters, greedy gold prospectors, a taxing cattle drive, and the tenuous relationship between frontiersmen and Native Americans. Of course, at the center of it all is one particularly intrepid clan.
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    Under the Skin (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 15th, 2014

    There is nothing wrong with your monitor. Jonathan Glazer controls all that you see and hear. That tiny speck of light you see is just the beginning. The beginning of an experience you will not soon forget. The light appears distant…cold… foreboding. It’s coming closer to us, or we are coming closer to it. The distant star grows while you are assaulted with some of the most bizarre sounds you have ever heard. It’s somewhat uncomfortable. You squirm in your seat.
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    Stage Fright (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 14th, 2014

    “Isn’t it wrong to sing and dance when someone has just died?”

    When I first hear a film is going to attempt to be a horror musical, all I can do is simply shake my head at the thought of how bad this may be.  But that’s not to say that I couldn’t be very wrong.  Repo! The Genetic Opera was a rock opera that I had a blast with, and I’m not ashamed to admit I even purchased the soundtrack after the release.
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    Nymphomanic Vol 1 & Vol 2 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Paul O'Callaghan on July 14th, 2014

    Nymphomaniac I and II are 117 and 124 minutes, respectively. There is a longer cut that may be released next year closer to 5 and ½ hours. The story is simple. It chronicles a conversation between two people. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) is found bloody and beaten in an alley by an older man, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgard). He takes her to his sparse flat to care for her and help her. What takes place is a long conversation full of intellectual digressions about Joe. It slowly reveals what led to her downfall. Seligman is a sheltered bookworm who has a detached curiosity about her story.
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    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 11th, 2014

    “Apes together strong!”

    When French author Pierre Boulle first wrote his novel Monkey Planet, I’m sure he never imagined a film like Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. While I was enjoying the five films that made up the original franchise run, I couldn’t have imagined a movie like Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. When Tim Burton made his pitiful attempt to revive the franchise, it was downright impossible. In fact, the franchise appeared dead and gone by the time that film ran its destructive course
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    Welcome Normandy D. Piccolo To Upcomingdiscs!

    Posted in Site News by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Join me as we welcome Normandy D. Piccolo to the Upcomingdiscs family.

    Normandy’s an experienced writer, to be sure. She’s the author of Bullycide: To Whom It Concerns  as well as many magazine articles, ads for country music stars, children’s books and television cartoons. We’re excited to have her share her talents with us. We look forward to a lot of reviews in the future. Be sure to follow her work here. Let her know how she’s doing in the comments section. I know she’ll be happy to hear from you.

    Welcome aboard, Normandy.

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    No Clue

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 9th, 2014

    “She’s the damsel. He’s in distress.”

    What happens when a stand-up comedian turned actor writes, stars in and produces his very first murder/mystery movie? Either a timeless classic or a case of wishing Colonel Mustard had greeted him in the Conservatory with a Candlestick before typing the title page.  Actor Brent Butt (Corner Gas/Hiccups) and director, Carl Bessai (Sisters and Brothers/Hiccups) have teamed up once again for, No Clue, a campy murder/mystery set in present day with a 1950’s feel.
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    Infliction

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 9th, 2014

    With all these found-footage films that seem to be coming out week after week, I wonder just how audiences will react when they finally get a scene that is shot on a tripod.  It will be hailed as a revelation, I’d imagine, and finally the world will be able to watch a film without pondering if they should have double-dosed on their motion sickness pills.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Infliction is yet another entry into the canon of found-footage films and is also another example of why it is a style that is not meant for everyone to try or to use as an excuse for a low budget.
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    Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 9th, 2014

    Few musicians have enjoyed the career that Elton John has enjoyed. From the release of Your Song in 1969, he hasn’t seen many years without hit records. He’s had number one songs in every decade since that day, and the hits continue to roll in. When the music industry changed, Elton managed to change enough to keep up with the times, yet hold on to the poignant songwriting that has made his songs stand out. I’ve been a fan since the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road days of 1973.
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    Watermark (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 8th, 2014

    Anyone who ever sat through an elementary school science class knows that about 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. We’ve all heard the spiel, but I don’t imagine most of us spend much time contemplating how truly staggering that figure really is. Watermark seeks to convey the many different ways humans and the planet’s water supply affect one another. The documentary is maddeningly scattered, but it also manages to capture and convey a small part of the world’s awe-inspiring bigness.
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    Once Upon a Time in Vietnam

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 8th, 2014

    Any time I see a film released with the words Once Upon a Time (insert location), I feel the film is already setting itself up for failure. There are numerous classics that boast that title; Once Upon a Time in the West as well as Once Upon a Time in America are two that come to mind that are classics in their genres.  But then you have Once Upon a Time in Mexico, which for me was a lackluster conclusion to the El Mariachi trilogy.  Now we have the release of Once Upon a Time in Vietnam and, well, despite its attempts to be a big sprawling epic, the film just doesn’t deliver.
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    The Jungle

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Normandy D. Piccolo on July 6th, 2014

    In 2011, four men, Larry Black (big cat expert), Ben Black (cinematographer/Larry’s brother), Budi (a local) and Adi (a government tracker) ventured into the jungles of West Java, Indonesia in the hopes of finding and filming a documentary about the endangered Javan leopard. Unfortunately they crossed paths with something deadlier, and it was all caught on film.  The Jungle, a documentary/found footage film, was written/directed/produced by Andrew Traucki.
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    Contest: Win China Beach: Season 3 From Time-Life and Star Vista

    Posted in Contests by Gino Sassani on July 4th, 2014

    Hit The Beach… China Beach!

    Here at Upcomingdiscs we’re getting in the spirit of Independence Day by watching China Beach on DVD.

    It’s a pretty solid way to remember the men and women who served this country in Vietnam. The series is very much a tribute, particularly to the women who volunteered not to take lives, but to try to save them. The series featured quite a few young actors who have gone on to pretty big things. They include Dana Delany from Desperate Housewives, Robert Picardo from Star Trek: Voyager, Marg Helgenberger from CSI, Michael Boatman from Arli$$/Spin City and Jeff Kober.

    Time Life finally releases the entire series in a wonderful collection of 21 DVD’s, loaded with tons of extras. You can win the complete 3rd season.

    To win just 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 just name one of America’s Founding Fathers.
    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, August 31st, 2014.
    Please – only one contest entry per person!

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    The Bridge: Season 1

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 3rd, 2014

    “We have some interesting times ahead of us.”

    This is really the tale of two cities; no, not those cities. But like the Dickens character, we are dealing with two different countries, and while neither is going through a revolution, they are two very real and disparate places indeed. Juarez is in Mexico (the state they named those annoying little yip-yip dogs after). Here there is poverty and crime on levels that would make most Americans shudder. There is corruption that runs through every aspect of government.
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    No Vacancy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 3rd, 2014

    After the number of horror films I’ve seen, the prospect of going on a road trip and taking a back road seems like just about the worst idea anyone could ever have.  Whether it’s in the mountains where you have to fear backwoods cannibals (Wrong Turn) or it’s the open desert highway and fearing maniacs in semi-trucks (Joy Ride), really, is anywhere safe to travel?  Even the quaint little roadside motel is a place to fear, and I don’t mean the bedbugs either.
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    Sinbad: Make Me Wanna Holla

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on July 3rd, 2014

    He’s old! How he gonna relate to me?!”

    For a good portion of his latest stand-up special, Sinbad playfully berates a 15-year-old audience member named Cory. It’s mostly standard-issue, old man, “back in my day” ribbing. But the most incisive observation comes when Sinbad points out that Cory would probably much rather be in the audience for a Kevin Hart show. The feeling that Sinbad is no longer the hot comic of the moment — and hasn’t been for a while — informs much of this inoffensive, baby boomer-friendly set.
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    Earth To Echo

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 2nd, 2014

    Missed it by that much.” Never before was that Don Adams/Maxwell Smart catchphrase more appropriate to a movie. Sometimes there is a very thin line between instant classic and near miss. Earth To Echo is the best example in decades of a film that could have, should have, would have been so much more if not for just one bad decision. The film has all of those coming-of-age moments that exist in those 1980′s classics like Goonies, Explorers and, of course, ET. The film sports a wonderful cast with plenty of nuance in characters.
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    Begin Again

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on July 2nd, 2014

    In a summer that has been taken over by giant lizards and robots, it is a little odd to find a little sweet film like Begin Again playing on the screen and competing with the heavy hitters of summer. From the writer/director of indie smash Once we get a film that isn’t just about musicians trying to make their big break, but instead it’s about the heart and pain that goes into the creation we later hear and become fans of.  When we first meet Greta (Keira Knightly) she is nursing some heartbreak in a bar, and her friend drags her up on stage to perform her new song.
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