“31 Nights Of Terror” The Exorcist 50th Anniversary Edition – Theatrical & Extended Director’s Cut (UHD Blu-ray) (4K)
Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on October 2nd, 2023
“Have you ever heard of exorcism? It’s a stylized ritual in which rabbis or priests try to drive out the so-called invading spirit. It’s pretty much discarded these days, except by the Catholics who keep it in the closet as a sort of embarrassment. It has worked, in fact, although not for the reason they think, of course. It was purely the force of suggestion. The victim’s belief in possession helped cause it. And just in the same way, this belief in the power of exorcism can make it disappear.”
By now we’ve all heard of The Exorcist. The film was based on a best-selling novel by William Peter Blatty. Blatty himself based the story on a real exorcism of a young boy many years earlier. And that’s where the true power of the film begins. The monsters of horror movies often allow us a sense of unreality that protects our inner selves from being truly terrified.
Posted in Site News by Gino Sassani on October 1st, 2023
Well … it’s October, the start of Horrorcane season, and for fright fans that means that all the ghouls and goblins will be coming out to play. Before long it will be All Hallow’s Eve, and many of you will be having a spooktacular time of it all.
Here at Upcomingdiscs, we’d like to help get you in the mood to boo. All month long we’ll be offering up our “31 Nights of Terror” to help unsettle those dreams just a bit. We’ve just been elected your Night Mayor, and now we’re going to officiate a mammoth month of monsters and mayhem. Nearly each and every night in October we will bring you at least one horror related post. These posts will include contests, articles, podcasts, and reviews (of course).
So check back every night before bedtime … but before you turn out the lights.
Posted in The Reel World by Michael Durr on September 30th, 2023
The first Paw Patrol movie opened up in August of 2021 during the pandemic era where barely anyone wanted to go anywhere that wasn’t a grocery store (because somehow that was safe). It still managed to pull in forty million domestic and another hundred million internationally. With the built in audience from the television series, a sequel was almost a no-brainer. I remember taking my family to go see the first Paw Patrol (the theater was quite bare) and actually enjoying it quite a bit. It certainly helped to bring all of the key elements from the television series and produce something that wasn’t nauseating and over the top. However, sequels of movies based on popular properties often go the wrong direction. Let’s see what the Mighty Pups have in store for us in their second outing.
Posted in The Reel World by Jeremy Butler on September 29th, 2023
“Then we have something in common. You aren’t going to heaven because you aren’t a good person, and I’m not going because I’m not a person.”
So, this film focuses on a interesting viewpoint: what if Skynet weren’t the bad guys? In this Gareth Edwards directed film, John David Washington plays a hardened ex-soldier, grieving the disappearance of his wife, who is recruited to hunt down and assassinate the Creator, an elusive architect responsible for creation of advanced artificial intelligence that humanity has been at war with since a nuclear attack years earlier. Sound familiar? As previously mentioned, while one can draw parallels between the early events of this film and the future that Sarah Connor tried to prevent for her son, in that story, artificial intelligence becoming sentient was the cause; in The Creator, AI appears to be on the losing side of the battle with humanity. Score one for humanity. As a result, they only have one refuge: Asia, or to be more precise, New Asia.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Brent Lorentson on September 28th, 2023
Coming up on its 40th anniversary, Staying Alive continues to be one of the most bizarre sequels to be made by a major studio, starring John Travolta and co-written and directed by Sylvester Stallone. The film was intended to be a sequel to the massively popular Saturday Night Fever, but when Staying Alive came out, disco was pretty much dead, and really there isn’t much that connects the films but for the character Tony Manero (John Travolta) and that there is dancing in the film. When the movie came out it was a financial success, but it was pretty well hated by critics of the time to the point that even one of the film’s stars, Finola Hughes, was awarded a Razzie for her performance. Apparently the film has a loyal cult following, but now after 40 years I’m here to give this film a fair shake and decide for myself: is it as bad as people say, or is it a gem from the 80s that will make us all nostalgic for when there were several movies with the cast in leotards, headbands, and over-the-top dance numbers?
Posted in No Huddle by Brent Lorentson on September 28th, 2023
In 1987 when Malone was being released, the peak of Burt Reynolds’ career was behind him. He was still successful and was doing films and TV shows after that, but there was a distinct change in the quality of the films he was putting out. At this time there was a bit of a shift with what an action hero looked like. Guys like Reynolds and Bronson were being nudged aside for Stallone and Schwarzenegger. This was the rise of the action hero who reigned well into the late 90’s. Thankfully the smaller studios understood there was still an audience that wanted to see Burt Reynolds on the big screen, and that’s where Malone fits in. It isn’t a film that is trying to be anything special, and I feel its ultimate fault is that it is so generic, so familiar, that it becomes so forgettable at the same time.
Posted in No Huddle by Gino Sassani on September 21st, 2023
“You mean to say you don’t miss this?”
Season 20 brings us to several milestones in the NCIS run. It has now become the longest running procedural in CBS history. It lags behind only the Law & Order franchise in sheer number of episodes. This season gets us to and beyond the 450th. This is also the first complete season that does not include the man who pretty much started it all. Yes, Mark Harmon has left the building, and Leroy Gibbs does not appear at all in this 20th season. Mark Harmon does indeed remain one of the show’s executive producers, but to what extent he is actually still involved I can’t speak to. I can tell you that he doesn’t show up on any of the production features, nor is he mentioned for any particular contribution or involvement. So this must have been a scary season for the cast and crew of NCIS. I’m not sure how they felt going into the year, but I suspect they were feeling pretty good for themselves and the show by the time it was over.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 20th, 2023
“Don’t expect too many mistakes from this man. After all, he does seem rather more interesting than just another reader researcher. For example; has he gone into business for himself? Was he turned around? Does someone operate him? Is he homosexual? Broke? Vulnerable? Could he be a soldier of fortune? Did he arrange the hit? Is that why he’s still in flight? Still, he may be innocent. But why didn’t he come in gently?”
Sydney Pollack might have been channeling the essence of Alfred Hitchcock when he directed 3 Days Of The Condor. It’s hard not to see the similarities to some of Hitch’s work. But he might also have been having a bit of precognition at the same time. The later novels and films about Jason Bourne bear a striking resemblance to this 1975 thriller.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 20th, 2023
“This is The Batman we’re talkin’ about here.”
In 1992 Batman: The Animated Series hit television sets all over the country. It was perhaps the biggest comeback for the Dark Knight since Adam West went camp with the cowl in the 1960’s. Yes, the Tim Burton film and its sequels went a long way to bringing the bat back into the popular culture, but the series is what took the fans by storm. Kevin Conroy became, for many, the definitive Batman when he was hired to voice the series, and Mark Hamill finally got out of the shadow of Luke Skywalker with his voice rendition of the Joker. The show was a hit, and around the early years it was decided to do a direct-to-video movie called Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm. Somewhere in the production Warner Brothers had a change of heart. They decided to roll the dice on a theatrical release of the animated feature, likely assuming the series fans would flock to their multiplexes in droves.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 19th, 2023
“Space … the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.”
Nearly 20 years after the original Star Trek left the network airwaves, Gene Roddenberry set out to discover whether he could catch lightning in a bottle once again. Some say he did an even better job with Star Trek: The Next Generation. There are times I tend to agree. The Star Trek sequel series had a lot more advantages from the moment it was conceived. Star Trek, a series that barely registered on the ratings during its three-year primetime voyage, became a huge sensation in syndication. By the time The Next Generation came on the scene, the original show had been syndicated in over 20 different languages all over the world. It had launched an animated series, and a fifth feature film was already in the early stages of consideration. So it isn’t quite fair to judge the success or quality of The Next Generation over the original series. One thing is inarguable. The second would never have existed if not for the first.
Posted in No Huddle by Jeremy Butler on September 16th, 2023
How does a Hallmark resolve a fallout with the actress who is the star of their most popular movie mystery series? Reboot the series the character’s early years and cast a younger actress, it would seem. Candace Cameron Bure’s departure from Hallmark and partnership with its competitor Great American Family was quite the shakeup for the network, and it seems that it was merely the beginning for an even bigger shakeup, as Hallmark witnessed a mass exodus of their talent pool and the cancellation of some of its popular mystery movie series. However, as the name of this would suggest, the network clearly suggests that they are ready for something new. The issue with that is that this reboot in my opinion I highly doubt is going to help them achieve that goal. I’ll give them points for wanting to break new ground. However, I question if rebooting the series is truly breaking new ground or praying that lightning strikes twice. Love her or hate her, the Candace Cameron Bure-led series was without a doubt the network’s biggest moneymaker, so I can understand the desire to keep a good thing going. That being said, I have doubts about Skylar Samuels filling those enormous shoes.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 14th, 2023
“Do you give people hope? Are you moving through your city like a guardian angel? Do you make a difference? That bolt of lightning chose you. Don’t ever forget it.”
There’s one thing about being the fastest man alive. You get to the end faster than anyone else … the finish line, if you will. But not so for Barry Allen, best known in the world of comic books as The Flash. When Arrow debuted back in 2012, no one could have foreseen where it was all going to lead. Greg Berlanti and a few others had created what we all thought was just another comic book hero television show. The Green Arrow wasn’t one of the better known heroes, but he was part of the Justice League for many years, and he had a rather interesting origin story that could be told over the longer form of a television series.
Posted in No Huddle by Jeremy Butler on September 12th, 2023
“You might have saved my life, but you ruined my career, buddy.”
If I’m being honest, it was really difficult not to view this as a parody of buddy cops movies. I know that wasn’t its intention, but if I could make a recommendation; rebranding it as such would bolster its credibility. Between the helicopter vs. airplane shootout, and the dogged, always-get-your-man main character sitting in his empty apartment eating raw steak, I’m not sure how I was supposed to take this film seriously as a buddy-cop film. That said, the film is not without its charms or entertaining moments. I’d even be willing to go as far as to suggest that it worthy of whatever cult status that it has managed to achieve. It may have even became a blueprint for future buddy cop films, or at least a rough outline for them, had it not for another, more popular and realistic buddy cop film that also came out that year. Robert Carradine’s Nick Barzack may have been unpredictable, but Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs was crazy! Carradine never stood a chance.
Posted in No Huddle by Michael Durr on September 11th, 2023
Korean horror has picked up in the last twenty years tenfold. From films like Bedevilled and Thirst, they took on the revenge and vampire themes that a lot of classic horror films are built upon. But honestly, I’ve been most impressed with films like The Wailing and Train to Busan. The latter bred new life into the very tired zombie genre and made a darn watchable film, while The Wailing knew exactly what buttons to push when it comes to religion but then used that to make an interesting and thought-provoking film. That’s why when I saw that we had a copy of Seire, I knew I had to review it, even though I probably would be too scared to write about it for a few days. I’m so glad I did.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Jeremy Butler on September 7th, 2023
“If we’re going to do this, there’s a lot I’m going to have to explain to you.”
Been waiting on this one for some time, ever since we were introduced to the character in the Justice League movie and it was announced that the film would cover the Flashpoint Paradox storyline, which is one of my favorite comic storylines. My enthusiasm was tempered a bit with the film being delayed and the actor’s subsequent troubles (for the purposes of staying on the topic at hand, that will be my only mention of that situation). However, it is finally here, and after viewing it I can say that it was well done and well received. It is also a bit bittersweet, as it signifies the conclusion of the DCEU as we know it.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on September 2nd, 2023
I probably could be called a lot of things, some kind and some not so kind. But the one thing that probably most people would say about me is that I’m loyal. Loyal to my job, loyal to my wife, loyal to my son. However, in my life, I have certainly felt the pain of disloyalty, even to the point of infidelity. Despite what people might say or think, you never quite expect it, and furthermore one can’t predict how you might feel or act given the situation. Today’s movie Three into Two Won’t Go explores the idea of what happens when a man cheats on his wife with another woman. However, this woman stays around long after the fact and continues to press into his everyday life until it becomes unbearable. Let’s take a look.
Posted in No Huddle by Brent Lorentson on September 2nd, 2023
Steve McQueen is one of those actors who will always be an icon of the silver screen and an actor who just personifies cool. The Getaway (1972) is easily my favorite film of McQueen’s. He has several other films one could argue that are “better”, but for me it will always be the Sam Peckinpah classic. Over his career he’s played a variety of roles from being a cowboy, a detective, a race car driver, to a professional thief and so forth, and for the most part I could believe him in all of these roles, but Nevada Smith is the first time I had to put up my hands and just go “are you kidding me?” For some reason they felt the audience would buy that a 35-year-old McQueen could play a 16-year-old half-Native-American character. Now if you can get past that kind of absurd casting and just go into the movie and accept as a western / revenge film, then Nevada Smith is a helluva good time with gunslinging action with beautiful locations and a terrific cast.
Posted in No Huddle by Brent Lorentson on September 2nd, 2023
When it comes to writing crime, I don’t think anyone has ever done it better than Elmore Leonard. When you look at his books and you see the number of quality films and TV series that have been adapted from his work, it is pretty impressive. 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown aka Rum Punch, Justified, Get Shorty … I could keep going, but that’s just a glimpse of what the man is responsible for. I discovered his books in high school, and I have been a fan ever since. When he passed away in 2013, it was a pretty sad day for me. He was an icon and one of my major influences on becoming a writer. So when the chance came along to review the release of the 1986 film 52 Pick-Up, I was more than eager to get my grubby paws on this one. This isn’t my first time watching the film. My first time was back in the 90s when I picked it up on VHS at the local mom & pop video store, but to be fair, I don’t think I’ve seen it again since.
Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 29th, 2023
Typically, I avoid World War II period films like the plague. I literally see the word Nazi or German occupation and usually find a reason not to see the movie. I have nothing against the pictures; the problem is that so many of these films are surrounded in clichés that it feels like an old hat with nothing new to offer. However, when I saw The Day and the Hour in my review pile, I was intrigued by the notion of it being in France with a female lead and something of a romance. Far different from the usual pow pow, war is heck, or a film that’s going to have buckets and buckets of tears and worrying about the human condition. Though from the looks of things, this one might have some waterworks too. Let’s take a look.
Posted in No Huddle by Brent Lorentson on August 25th, 2023
Fritz Lang is an iconic Hollywood director who was successful in the silent era and was able to transition and be successful into the “talkie” era. His work in Germany is what he is most known for, Metropolis (1927) and M (1931) but in 1934 he fled Nazi Germany, even after being offered to be the head of the German Cinema Institute and came to America where he signed a contract with MGM studios where his career flourished despite having a reputation for being difficult to work with. He’s a director that if you go to film school you will learn about, and you’ll either appreciate his films or find yourself falling asleep during them. Despite my appreciation for M and Metropolis, I have to admit I really never explored the filmmaker’s work beyond those films, so when the chance came to check out Human Desire, I was curious to see how it was.
Posted in No Huddle by Jeremy Butler on August 25th, 2023
Here is an interesting tidbit of information I uncovered while researching this film. When the film was initially released it was criticized for the lack of accomplished celebrities in its cast. This carries some serious irony given that the film features the likes of Willem Dafoe, William Petersen, John Pankow, Jane Leeves, and John Turturro, all of whom have gone on to become accomplished actors in their own right. All it took was time. Despite not being considered well known at the time, this was still a movie with great portrayals and snappy quips that made me laugh. In fact, the only thing to rival its story is the real-world implications it had afterwards, which we will get into in a bit. Petersen leads the film as Richard Chance, a Secret Service agent with a reputation for reckless, impulsive behavior, and, unbeknownst to his superiors in the Service, also corrupt. Petersen has his sights set on Dafoe’s Eric “Rick” Masters, a ruthless and skilled counterfeiter in Los Angeles.
Posted in No Huddle by Jeremy Butler on August 25th, 2023
Safe-cracker John “Duke” Anderson finds himself a relic of different time as he unwittingly enters a world of pervasive surveillance (cameras, bugs, and tracking devices) and attempts his latest caper. Based on the book of the same name, Sean Connery plays Anderson, a recently released convict who is no sooner out of prison than he is already planning his next job: burgling an upper-class apartment building in Manhattan in a single sweep. Now, I am a sucker for a heist movie. Give Ocean’s, give me Inside Man, give me Heat. Catch me in the right mood and I’ll even take Now You See Me or The Italian Job. Bearing that in mind, this film held some intrigue for me, as it featured a character using old-school methods in what was starting to become a digital age. I was curious to see if his old-school methods could overcome the technological advances. However, I will say that in order to be capable of beating the surveillance, you first need to know about it. Fun fact: The Anderson Tapes was the first major motion picture for Christopher Walken, as well as the last on-screen film appearance by Margaret Hamilton.
Posted in No Huddle by Gino Sassani on August 24th, 2023
Anna May Wong might be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars that most film fans have never heard of. Thanks to KL Studio Classics, you now have the opportunity to get to know the actress a little better and sample three of her films. For those of you who take the time to add this to your collection, you won’t be disappointed. She’s not the kind of name who appears in many conversations these days, but she left behind a body of work that is more impressive than many of the golden era names you do know. Her real name was Wong Liu Tsong, and she appeared in about 50 films from 1920 in the Silent Era until about 1950 when she made her way to television screens for another 16 years, appearing in such hit shows as Mike Hammer with Darren McGavin and I Spy with Robert Culp and Bill Cosby. In the Silent Era she was frustrated that she had been typecast in the typical, often stereotypical roles of Asian women and left Hollywood for Europe where she continued to be disappointed. Throughout her career she went back and forth between Europe and America and even toured China for several years. While she fought to get prominent parts, she was often thwarted by her heritage and ended up in mostly budget films throughout her career. But these budget films have found their way back to the surface, and you get to catch three of them here
Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 23rd, 2023
I’m a sucker for clever movie titles. The best example I can think off the top of my head is I’m Gonna Git You Sucka. Or perhaps you need something from yesteryear, like Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia or They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Along the lines of Sucka, we can’t also forget about Don’t Be A Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood or The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. So imagine my surprise when I saw the title of today’s movie and jumped at the chance to provide a review. Hopefully it is as good as the title suggests.
Posted in The Reel World by Gino Sassani on August 19th, 2023
“Batman’s a fascist!”
Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? Hello there, big guy. How ya doing? There now let’s continue. I have to tell you it was hard to get motivated to watch Blue Beetle. I didn’t want to like it, and I wanted to try to watch it without letting myself get too involved in the whole thing. This had nothing to do with the character. I know little about him and have only read a few comics featuring the character, mostly the Ted Kord character along with his buddy Booster Gold. But none of this had anything to do with my reluctance on the part of the film. It’s Warner Brothers/DC and James Gunn. All we’ve been hearing lately is how this new regime is going to change EVERYTHING. It all starts with the upcoming Superman film, and everything we see before then is merely filler, I guess. Yes, the Snyderverse had a ton of issues, and I’m frankly glad to see it go away. But the franchise had some solid moments and pretty strong characters and actors starting with Gal Gadot as a powerfully compelling Wonder Woman. Yeah, the second movie sucked, but that had nothing to do with the actress or the character.