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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Episode II: Attack Of The Groot (Movie Review)

It’s fitting that mixtapes play a pivotal role in these Guardians of the Galaxy films. Like the first movie, Vol. 2 continues to mix a variety of different styles into one enjoyable cinematic playlist that will easily entertain the huge audience ready to hop into Star-Lord’s Milano and go for a ride. Writer/director James Gunn delivered something special back in 2014, and he’s now returned to provide more for this group of a-holes to do. An added level of confidence, as well as a boost in ambition and budget, allows the film to deliver some wild space opera pyrotechnics while doubling down on the character interaction and sarcastic bent that helped separate the first from the rest of the MCU. It’s a shame the actual plot is not more compelling or propulsive, but when you have this much fun watching these characters, that only matters so much.

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Forgotten Friday Flick – “Teachers”

Feeling strangely movie academic this week leads us to a past picture selection that helps both educate and entertain…welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick!  Today we’re hitting the books and heading to class for a cinematic story about the ups, downs and student clowns that make up one ruckus high school.  It’s a dramatic yet comically caustic look at one wild inner city institution from both the scholar and pupil perspective.  Faculty fights over the copy machine (ink will fly!), student stab wounds, teachers getting bit by undergrads and hallway streaking all in the name of standing up for yourself – and the bell hasn’t even rung yet!  We learn it all from those marvelous mentors known as…Teachers!

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NBFF 2017 Review: The Exception

Closing out the 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is The Exception, a World War II drama that may as well be called The Good Nazi. Adapted from the novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by Alan Judd, the film tells the story of a German Nazi Captain who falls in love with a Jewish Dutch spy. The conceit is pulpy enough to fit right in with Paul Verhoeven’s great 2006 WWII thriller Black Book, but there is a major problem in the film’s attempt to be anything more than serviceable at best. Leave it to star Jai Courtney to make a film like this duller than it ought to be.

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Gold (Blu-ray Review)

Gold was a film that went through a bit of a lengthy journey to finally getting its way to production. Pitched as a more modern Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the film once had director Michael Mann attached to film it.  Mann eventually left it to film Blackhat.  Finally the film was made and released this past January to mixed reviews and a low box office (Though it had limited release to qualify for awards which in Oscar terms, it did nothing).  Most praised the continued excellence of Matthew McConaughey but didn’t find a lot else. Said performance was the one where he went horseshoe bald and gained 40 pounds for his role. You’ll be able to see for yourself when the movie comes to Blu-ray on May 2nd. You can pre-order using the Amazon link below if you so wish.  Continue reading ‘Gold (Blu-ray Review)’

Encapsulated Movie Reviews – Four New Indie Titles

Hitting local film fests and book reviews hard (that are all on the horizon!), there was only time for four little indie flick sneak peaks this week.  A sexy and sensual forbidden love story with serious heat, a harrowing kidnapping terror tale outing that has equal parts strange and sci-fi, a contained catastrophe where everyone in the room is packing and a fish out of water cop caper with a muscle bound man at the helm thrill the themes of the crop below.  Check out all four of the Encapsulated Movie Reviews that include Below Her Mouth, Rupture, Free Fire and Black Rose.

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Horror Icon Barbara Crampton Headline BEYOND THE GATES On Blu-ray May 2nd!

Welcome, curious viewers…have you the courage to go Beyond The Gates?  A creepy homage to ‘80s horror, Beyond The Gates makes its Blu-ray and DVD debut on May 2nd, 2017 from Scream Factory, in conjunction with IFC Midnight.  Filled with gory fun, this love letter to the VHS Golden Age of home video contains a number of bonus features, including audio commentaries with director Jackson Stewart, actress Barbara Crampton and the cast and crew, a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, the theatrical trailer, and a retro-style Beyond The Gates commercial. Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com

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OKLAHOMA Starring Hugh Jackman, KISS ME KATE & MAN OF LA MANCHA Available This Spring From Shout! Broadway!

This spring, bring home a trio of celebrated Broadway favorites on Blu-ray with new releases from home entertainment imprint Shout Broadway.  Featuring timeless American standards and some of the world’s biggest stars, titles being released include the award-winning 1999 Royal National Theatre production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical classic, Oklahoma!, starring Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables, The Prestige) and Maureen Lipman (The Pianist); the masterful 1999 London revival of the 1949 Tony® Award-winning Best Musical, Kiss Me, Kate, starring Rachel York and Brent Barrett; and the film adaptation of Tony award-winning Broadway smash Man of La Mancha, starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren.  Spotlighting musicals and performances that deserve a place on your shelf, Shout Broadway features some of the greatest stage and screen productions ever captured. From recent hits to all-time favorites and Hollywood gems, Shout Broadway celebrates the best in theater and beyond. Continue reading ‘OKLAHOMA Starring Hugh Jackman, KISS ME KATE & MAN OF LA MANCHA Available This Spring From Shout! Broadway!’

Oscar Nominee “LAND OF MINE” Debuts on Blu-ray June 6

LAND OF MINE, Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, will debut on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital on D-Day, June 6, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Written and directed by Martin Zandvliet (A Funny Man, Applause) and featuring Roland Møller (A Hijacking, A Second Chance), LAND OF MINE, set in post-World War II Denmark, explores the relationship between a hardened Danish sergeant and the young German prisoners of war who are conscripted to defuse thousands of land mines from the Danish coast. LAND OF MINE, which is based on true events, was awarded 3 European Film Awards, including Best Cinematographer, Best Costume Design and Best Hair and Makeup and was an official selection at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

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Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7 – Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Still vcan’t get enough of that 2016 Chicago Cubs World Series victory? That first one in over one hundred years or so? You bought the first Blu-ray release and enjoyed the heartfelt little documentary. You were hardcore and picked yourself up the Collector’s Edition with every game on it. Now, you’re going to be the super Cubby loyalist and grab yourself this Ultimate Edition of Game 7. Why not be happy with the one you have in the Collector’s Edition? Well, this comes with a disc that has a long montage of the victory parade as well as lengthy highlights of the other series leading up to the championship as well as the World Series itself. Who this might be the best for is someone who didn’t want the collector’s edition, but wouldn’t mind dabbling in just having this one complete game (the one that mattered). Well, whoever you are, you have your chance at this one on May 9th, so get your order in and have it on day of release. Continue reading ‘Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series: The Complete Game 7 – Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

Streets Of Fire – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Walter Hill’s cult classic rock n’ roll fable Streets of Fire is finally making its way to Blu-ray in the United States after previously only being available in the UK and Germany among other countries that seem to get the cool stuff way before us. But, for the patient (Or not region free), the waiting has paid off as Shout! Factory wound up being the people to introduce it to the format in the United States and slapped it with its still fresh Shout! Select label and a Collector’s Edition at that. With some serious sick new key art on its slip cover, the release comes loaded with two discs to rock out with plenty of classic bonus features as well as a brand new feature length documentary (Yes, that’s 2 feature length making of documentaries on here). You’ll be able to check it out for yourself on May 16th, with the pre-order below, but stay tuned for my review in the meantime. Continue reading ‘Streets Of Fire – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

Saturday Night Fever Director’s Cut (Blu-ray Review)

Saturday Night Fever Director's Cut (Blu-ray Review)Disco is defined as a genre of dance music containing elements of funk, soul, pop, and salsa.  I define it as a whole lot of fun.  Although being born in 1974 doesn’t constitute you to essentially remember living during the solid gold age of disco quite well, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a fan of it and still am.  Like Paul Stanley of KISS always said there’s just something about that disco bass shaking your rump to onstage or in the case of a nightclub like in Saturday Night Fever, the dance floor.   Speaking of Saturday Night Fever (do you like my segue into our topic here?) there’s no bigger fan of the 1977 movie than me.  It’s one of my Top 5 all-time favorites.  Why?  Well for starters Saturday Night Fever has something for everyone.  What more can you really ask for in a motion picture?  You have teenage angst, promiscuous sex, pregnancy, squabbling parents, drinking, racism, gangs, fashion, glitter, lights, hair, drama, romance, betrayal, dancing, disco balls and best of all that Bee Gees infused soundtrack.  Oh yeah!  I’m just getting started here too. Continue reading ‘Saturday Night Fever Director’s Cut (Blu-ray Review)’

Serial Mom – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Serial Mom is the John Waters film I’m most familiar with (Though admittedly he’s a director I just haven’t completely familiarized myself with that much). While not doing much at the box office, it became a video store staple in the 1990s and with that, a cult classic. At least, that for the teen/college generation of the 90s for the time.  It also seemed to be a movie that was on Cinemax all the time during the 90s as well. That’s how I first came to see the movie the first few times.  Now, its getting lots of that cult classic love that only a distributor like Scream Factory can give with their coveted Collector’s Edition label. And, its coming just in time for Mother’s Day. So, pre-order to have yourself a copy when it releases on May 9th! Continue reading ‘Serial Mom – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

The Darkly Comedic ‘Free Fire’ Shows You The Way Of The Gun (Movie Review)

I love seeing various action movies that show you two extremes. On the one side, you get a vintage John Woo flick like Hard Boiled, where Chow Yun-fat can equip himself with dual pistols and slide down a staircase banister while hitting plenty of bad guys. The other side leads something like one of my favorites, The Way of the Gun or the subject of this review, Free Fire, where people are terrible at shooting guns, regardless of distance and it’s a complicated process in order to actually put someone down for good. This action-comedy from director Ben Wheatley delivers on its simple premise, making for an incredibly entertaining ride through one sloppy shootout.

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NBFF 2017 Review: The Hero

One of the advantages of seeing smaller films touring around festivals is having a chance to see character actors in lead roles. The Hero provides the great Sam Elliot this chance and it’s a joy to watch. No stranger to cinema, Elliot has been a stable presence in many films and TV shows for over 40 years. Here’s a film that gets to play with his image, while also challenging the man to be more than just a mustachioed character actor with a deep and wonderful voice.

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NBFF 2017 Review: The Scent Of Rain And Lightning

There is a lot to get out of films surrounding family secrets. Ideally, you are gradually drawn into learning about who a family is, establishing various personas, only to have things turn around on you thanks to sudden reveals. It’s not a cheat to make these sort of twists, as you’ve been effectively coerced into feeling like a part of the family. The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a modern western with a mystery at its core. We are well aware that something bad happened early on, but the film wants us to continue questioning the validity of this fact throughout. Unfortunately, the results are not as effective as they could be, due to a disjointed narrative.

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The Expendables 2 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Sylvester Stallone’s all action heroes all the time series The Expendables will be complete now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Lionsgate’s releasing of the first two films come May 2nd.  Both are seeing just a picture and audio update on the films themselves as no new bonus features are being added to these new editions. As a matter of fact, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc contains no supplemental features. But, each release comes with the standard Blu-ray release of the theatrical version of the film and with that comes all of its bonus material (Including a full Comic Con panel and feature length documentary on making the film).  Be sure to pre-order yourself a copy today to ensure you have both of these muscle-heavy films on May 2nd. This review will be covering the 2012 sequel that brought in Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris to the world of Barney Ross. Continue reading ‘The Expendables 2 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (Blu-ray Review)

Troll Hunter made some noise and buzz back in 2010, the second feature from director Andre Ovredal.  It wouldn’t be for another six years before his next feature would be in front of us. The Autopsy of Jane Doe garnered acclaim when it showed at Fantastic Fest and continued to garner buzz from the horror world with subsequent screenings and the like. Its now making its way to Blu-ray courtesy of the modern horror pair up that has been thriving for years; Scream Factory and IFC Midnight.  Like a “We’ll air ’em and you stock em in stores” kind of relationship they have.  The Autopsy of Jane Doe is one of their latest distribution ventures and you’ll be able to have it to own when it drops on a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack May 2nd. Continue reading ‘The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (Blu-ray Review)’

The Expendables (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Sylvester Stallone’s all action heroes all the time series The Expendables will be complete now on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with Lionsgate’s releasing of the first two films come May 2nd.  Both are seeing just a picture and audio update on the films themselves as no new bonus features are being added to these new editions. As a matter of fact, the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc contains no supplemental features. But, each release comes with the standard Blu-ray release of the theatrical version of the film and with that comes all of its bonus material (Including a full Comic Con panel and feature length documentary on making the film).  Be sure to pre-order yourself a copy today to ensure you have both of these muscle-heavy films on May 2nd. This review will be covering the first film in the series that landed upon us back in 2010. Continue reading ‘The Expendables (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’