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  • Ben-Hur (2016) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 15th, 2016

    In 1959 when Ben-Hur came out, it was a massive undertaking that nearly closed the gates for MGM after nearly bankrupting the studio.  It was a huge risk in producing such a large-scale epic that fortunately paid off and became one of the studio’s cornerstone successes.  The story of Judah Ben-Hur and his fall from being a prince, to becoming a slave, to eventually becoming a hero to the people in the arena is such a familiar story that it’s hard to not feel you’ve seen this before without even entering the theater.  In some parts I look at Gladiator and see somewhat the same film, only being set in a separate time and place.  But really, the story of betrayal at the highest levels, and seeing great figures fall only to pull themselves up again is a theme Hollywood seems to relish, and it seems to attract many viewers in the process
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    Howards End: 25th Anniversary (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 15th, 2016

    Word of advice: don’t take up a sentimental attitude over the poor.”

    That bit of wisdom is offered by Henry Wilcox, the scheming, obliviously shameless wealthy capitalist in Howards End. The 1992 Merchant-Ivory film — which gets a spiffy, 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release courtesy of Cohen Media Group — is based on an E.M. Forster novel that was published in 1910. However, Henry’s philosophy towards the less fortunate members of society strikes a chord more than 100 years since the character made his debut. And that’s just one reason Howards End is worth another look as we prepare to turn the calendar to 2017.
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    Little Men

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on December 15th, 2016

    All too often do indie films fall under the category of “character study”. It’s almost as if that the entire “independent” genre has divided itself into these dramas focusing on painfully slow character development or budgetless, empty husks of action films riddled with terrible CGI. I have seen independent films that held my attention with captivating writing, but they seem to be few and far between. Little Men is no exception to the trend: it did have some interesting character development, but the story had great opportunities for intense conflict that just never followed through.
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    Greenleaf Season 1 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on December 14th, 2016

    relatively out of the spotlight as she has worked on making her cable network channel, OWN, a success.  While I wouldn’t ever say I was a fan of Oprah’s work on the screen, I could appreciate what she did in The Color Purple and Beloved. This being said, I have to admit I was a bit reluctant to take a title that at first glance seemed to be a show that would be heavy-handed with its subject matter centered around the church.  Despite my concerns, I’m glad I picked up this title, because despite how it handles some very familiar topics, it’s presented in a manner that not only feels fresh but is truly an engrossing show that manages to suck the viewer in and kept me wanting to see what would happen next.
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    C.H.U.D II: Bud The Chud

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Dan Holland on December 14th, 2016

    The first time I saw C.H.U.D., I was deathly afraid I was going to be watching yet another zombie movie. C.H.U.D. is an acronym for ‘Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers,’ so with only that description, my assumption wasn’t unreasonable. For the readers who have actually seen C.H.U.D., you probably know that I was pleasantly surprised: it was actually a very fun monster movie. Yes, they were humanoid, but they were rather creepy, with bright glowing eyes and scaly skin. C.H.U.D II apparently forgot how amazing the original creatures were, because they are absent from the entire film (even though they are proudly displayed on the front cover of the Blu-ray case). Instead, we are treated to a zombie film with glam metal transition music and only the worst brand of tongue-in-cheek silliness.
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Paramount TV On Blu-ray

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 14th, 2016

    I think I see your problem. You have this list. It’s a list of people you need/want to buy a Christmas gift for. The trouble is that they’re into home theatre, and you don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars. You couldn’t tell a Wolf Man from a Wolverine. And you always thought that Paranormal Activity was something too kinky to talk about. Fortunately, Upcomingdiscs has come to the rescue every Christmas with our Gift Guide Spotlights. Keep checking back to see more recommendations for your holiday shopping. These gift guides ARE NOT paid advertisements. We take no money to publish them. Let’s take a look at what Paramount has to offer in the television on Blu-ray department
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    Tuesday Round Up: December 13, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on December 13th, 2016

    We’re smack dab in the middle of Christmas frenzy, and I know of a certain group of boys and girls who’ve landed on Santa’s naughty list. Sure, the supervillains in Warner Bros. Suicide Squad might end up saving the world, but they also cause plenty of trouble along the way. We’ll soon have a review of the comic book blockbuster’s 4K edition, so be sure to keep an eye on our site. Elsewhere, Fox introduces us to Morgan, while Cinedigm boards Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story. Paramount reacquaints us with a new Ben-Hur, Magnolia Home Entertainment thinks small with Little Men, and Lionsgate quacks us up with Duck Dynasty: Season 10. And oh yeah…a scrappy little underdog tale called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters this Friday, which isn’t far, far away at all. Once the movie is out, our review will be up before you can say “Death Star.”

    Here’s your weekly reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon — maybe a Christmas present or two — 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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    Oppo Announces It’s UHD Blu-ray Player: Meet The UDP-203

    Posted in Release Announcements by Gino Sassani on December 12th, 2016

    We were one of the first sites to start reviewing UHD Blu-ray releases. I managed to get my hands on the Samsung player a bit early and started reporting on those first discs. What you don’t know is how much of a pain that Samsung player really is. From the remote down to the function it is a bit of a nightmare to operate. Of course, I’ve been spoiled by the Oppo players I usually use for my reviews here. Oppo took their time launching their unit. I suspect they wanted to make sure they got it right. You have been emailing me for months about an Oppo UHD player. I was sworn to secrecy…until now. Meet the Oppo UDP-203. I’ll be reviewing a unit as soon as I can get my hands on one. I’m told it will be soon. For now here’s the official press release from Oppo
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on December 12th, 2016

    I think I see your problem. You have this list. It’s a list of people you need/want to buy a Christmas gift for. The trouble is that they’re into home theatre, and you don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars. You couldn’t tell a Wolf Man from a Wolverine. And you always thought that Paranormal Activity was something too kinky to talk about. Fortunately, Upcomingdiscs has come to the rescue every Christmas with our Gift Guide Spotlights. Keep checking back to see more recommendations for your holiday shopping. These gift guides ARE NOT paid advertisements. We take no money to publish them. You should not just be considering home video for that special person on your shopping list. This time of the year Jimmy Stewart often comes to mind. Of course, there’s the annual classic showings of It’s A Wonderful Life. But Jimmy Stewart was more than an Academy Award-winning actor. He was a bomber pilot during World War II. Stewart didn’t like to talk about his service and so most of us know very little about those days.

    Now Robert Matzen has written Mission: Jimmy Stewart And The Fight For Europe. It’s a wonderful (pardon the pun) look at those days of heroic service. Matzen takes us inside of Stewart’s own thoughts and feelings thanks to interviews with surviving brothers in arms. He’s scoured Stewart’s own words and the histories that exist out there. This is a Jimmy Stewart so much like the man we remember from the movies, yet so much more complicated and courageous. This is a fascinating read. I’m going to be talking with the author next week and I can’t wait to share that chat with all of you here. In the meantime, you might want to check this book out to round out your Christmas shopping lists. I’m reading it now and it’s been hard to put down. Now you know why I’m falling behind on my work here. I’m going to be telling you more soon.

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    Mad Max: Fury Road Black & Chrome (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 8th, 2016

    It was rumored from the very beginning that George Miller was considering a black & white format for the film. There are box office risks associated with such a brave choice. We’re hearing some of the same thoughts coming out of the Logan shoot. The nice thing about the sophistication of home video today is that there is now an outlet for those kinds of artistic choices, and this is a pretty solid example of it. It’s hoped more of these kinds of alternate ideas can make it to home video giving filmmakers the chance to unleash things that might just be too risky at the box office. You still get the original film as part of of this combo so you’re not giving anything up.
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    Jason Bourne (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 7th, 2016

    Moviegoers tend to have better memories than amnesiac assassins, but I think it’s fair to say we’ve mostly put The Bourne Legacy out of our minds. Universal’s underwhelming, halfhearted attempt to spin off one of its more lucrative franchises all but guaranteed the eventual return of original star Matt Damon and two-time director Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum). The duo has re-teamed for the entertaining yet inessential Jason Bourne, which — for better and worse — will feel extremely familiar for fans of the trilogy
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    Tuesday Round Up: December 6, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on December 6th, 2016

    You know his name. Yes, this is officially the first Tuesday Round Up of December, but no…I’m not talking about Ol’ St. Nick. Instead, we’re welcoming everyone’s favorite amnesiac assassin back into the fold. Universal reacquaints us with Jason Bourne, which arrives in sparkling 4K. CBS recounts a tale as old as time with Beauty & the Beast: The Final Season and zones out with BrainDead: Season 1. Cohen Media Group tours the stately Howard’s End, Lionsgate keeps it all in the family with Greenleaf: Season 1, and Magnolia Home Entertainment seeks out In Order of Disappearance. Finally, Warner Bros. revs up Mad Max: Fury Road — Chrome Edition, which presents the action blockbuster in black and white.

    One last reminder before signing off for the week: if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon — maybe a Christmas present or two — 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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    Holiday Gift Guide: Star Vista

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by John Ceballos on December 6th, 2016

    I think I see your problem. You have this list. It’s a list of people you need/want to buy a Christmas gift for. The trouble is that they’re into home theatre, and you don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars. You couldn’t tell a Wolf Man from a Wolverine. And you always thought that Paranormal Activity was something too kinky to talk about. Fortunately, Upcomingdiscs has come to the rescue every Christmas with our Gift Guide Spotlights. Keep checking back to see more recommendations for your holiday shopping. These gift guides ARE NOT paid advertisements. We take no money to publish them.

    Let’s deal with that home video collector who is also into the toe-tappin’ sound of classic Motown music
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    Beauty & the Beast: The Final Season

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 6th, 2016

    When this series initially started, I was intrigued, although it merely seemed like a filler show. However, I find that I have to eat my words, since Beauty and the Beast survived four seasons before coming to a climax with this final season. The swan song for the show had already been sung before the first episode of this season even aired, but that didn’t stop the cast or the crew from providing a suspense-filled season as well as a proper conclusion to the story. 
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    Congratulations to John Ceballos And His New Bride Katie!

    Posted in Site News by Gino Sassani on December 1st, 2016

    Senior reviewer John Ceballos took some time away from watching movies Thursday. We have to forgive him for that because he used the time rather wisely. John got married today to Katie. The family also includes 3 corgis that I get to babysit sometimes. Please join me in wishing them all the best in their life together and in welcoming Katie (and the corgis) to the Upcomingdiscs family. If you’re worried John might get distracted it should be noted that he found the time to file a review even on his wedding day.

    johnkatie

    Congrats Guys!

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    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on December 1st, 2016

    “In penance for their uprising each district shall offer up a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 at a public reaping. These tributes shall be delivered to the custody of the Capitol and then transferred to a public arena where they will fight to the death, until a lone victor remains. Henceforth and forevermore this pageant shall be known as the Hunger Games.”

    Now that all four films are out on UHD Blu-ray in glorious 4K, we have the opportunity to view them all again from the very beginning. It’s easier to catch the subtle nuances that were planted in the earlier films that would pay off over the four-film run. It took us four years to do that originally. Now you can do it in a day. Jeremy Butler takes us on the final part of that journey with The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay Part 2 (2015).
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    Looking: The Complete Series and The Movie (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on December 1st, 2016

    The most remarkable thing about Looking might have been how thoroughly unremarkable it was. The HBO dramedy — which followed the love lives of three gay friends in San Francisco — sidestepped any sort of headline-grabbing sensationalism. However, Looking was often low-key to the point that it bypassed being funny or particularly entertaining. The latter point was a bigger issue early on since the show’s naturalistic tone made Looking more engrossing as the series progressed and deepened its roster of characters. You can see for yourself how the show got better as it went along now that HBO has released the entire Looking saga — two seasons and a movie — in one handy Blu-ray set.
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    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1(UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 1st, 2016

    “In penance for their uprising each district shall offer up a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 at a public reaping. These tributes shall be delivered to the custody of the Capitol and then transferred to a public arena where they will fight to the death, until a lone victor remains. Henceforth and forevermore this pageant shall be known as The Hunger Games.”

    Now that all four films are out on UHD Blu-ray in glorious 4K, we have the opportunity to view them all again from the very beginning. It’s easier to catch the subtle nuances that were planted in the earlier films that would pay off over the four-film run. It took us four years to do that originally. Now you can do it in a day. Gino Sassani takes us on the next part of that journey with The Hunger Games The Mockingjay Part 1 (2014).
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    Pete’s Dragon (2016) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on December 1st, 2016

    “Sometimes a dragon gets lost…and winds up far from his home.” 

    It appears to be the intention at Walt Disney Studios that each of its animated classics is to be remade as a live-action film. You can certainly understand the why that might be so. Computer-generated images have passed into the realm of photo-realistic presentations. Today there isn’t anything you can’t bring into the “real” world to interact with actual flesh and blood actors. The concept brought us the brilliant Jon Favreau version of The Jungle Book. Not all of these attempts have been or will be quite so successful. I count Pete’s Dragon among one of those lesser-than films.
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    The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 30th, 2016

    “In penance for their uprising each district shall offer up a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 at a public reaping. These tributes shall be delivered to the custody of the Capitol and then transferred to a public arena where they will fight to the death, until a lone victor remains. Henceforth and forevermore this pageant shall be known as The Hunger Games.”

    Now that all four films are out on UHD Blu-ray in glorious 4K, we have the opportunity to view them all again from the very beginning. It’s easier to catch the subtle nuances that were planted in the earlier films that would pay off over the four-film run. It took us four years to do that originally. Now you can do it in a day. John Ceballos takes us on the next part of that journey with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013).
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    Holiday Gift Guide Spotlight: Shout Factory

    Posted in Holiday Gift Guides by Gino Sassani on November 30th, 2016

    I think I see your problem. You have this list. It’s a list of people you need/want to buy a Christmas gift for. The trouble is that they’re into home theatre, and you don’t know Star Trek from Star Wars. You couldn’t tell a Wolf Man from a Wolverine. And you always thought that Paranormal Activity was something too kinky to talk about. Fortunately, Upcomingdiscs has come to the rescue every Christmas with our Gift Guide Spotlights. Keep checking back to see more recommendations for your holiday shopping. These gift guides ARE NOT paid advertisements. We take no money to publish them. This Christmas season is the time to give the gift of 4K. Shout Factory has found the perfect movies to allow your special someone to see the true potential of 4K.
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    Tuesday Round Up: November 29, 2016

    Posted in Tuesday Round Up by John Ceballos on November 29th, 2016

    Thanksgiving is in the rear view mirror, which means we are officially smack dab in the middle of the holidays. And what better way to kick off the most wonderful time of the year than with a little Disney magic? The Mouse House was generous enough to float us a copy of Pete’s Dragon, so be sure to check back later for our review. Meanwhile, Showtime keeps us honest with House of Lies: The Final Season.

    One last reminder before signing off for the week (and for November): if you’re shopping for anything on Amazon — maybe a Christmas present or two — 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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    The Hunger Games (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by John Ceballos on November 29th, 2016

    “In penance for their uprising each district shall offer up a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 at a public reaping. These tributes shall be delivered to the custody of the Capitol and then transferred to a public arena where they will fight to the death, until a lone victor remains. Henceforth and forevermore this pageant shall be known as The Hunger Games.”

    Now that all four films are out on UHD Blu-ray in glorious 4K, we have the opportunity to view them all again from the very beginning. It’s easier to catch the subtle nuances that were planted in the earlier films that would pay off over the four-film run. It took us four years to do that originally. Now you can do it in a day. John Ceballos takes us on the first part of that journey with The Hunger Games (2012).
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    Mechanic: Resurrection (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 29th, 2016

    1n 1972 Charles Bronson played The Mechanic, Arthur Bishop. He was a hitman with a high level of skill. When he tries to pass on that skill, he’s betrayed, and he has to get himself a heaping helping of revenge. In 2011 Bronson did indeed pass the character to Jason Statham when the film was remade. Unfortunately, Bronson had passed in 2003 and couldn’t actually pass the torch on the screen. Statham turned the character into more of an action anti-hero, and the film really didn’t perform at the box office. It never made back its budget in the domestic market and barely made money when the worldwide take was finally counted.
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    Return Of The Living Dead 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on November 29th, 2016

    Fresh out of the vaults comes another cult classic. Vestron Video has decided to unleash Return of the Living Dead 3 for horror fans to snatch up this holiday season.  Considering the titles that Vestron has already released, for some this might be a title that will leave fans scratching their heads about there being an urge to re-master this film, much less crank out a Blu-ray with so many features.  Well, the simple answer is that the person in charge of acquiring and releasing these titles knows that there are fanboys like me out there who will shell out the money for a product that’s given this kind of attention.  Return of the Living Dead is a cult classic and is mostly responsible for casual moviegoers making the connection with zombies and brain eating
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