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Preacher: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray Review)

Sony Pictures Television and AMC are proud to present the second season of Preacher on Blu-ray. Adapted from the bizarre and wildly entertaining Preacher comic book series created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, the second season provides a lot more of what comic fans were looking for with a show based on this insane series. Showrunners Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin delivered a 13-episode second season full of familiar plotlines, characters, as well as several new elements to keep all the audiences guessing. Now the season has reached Blu-ray in this 4-disc set, with a few extras and an excellent technical presentation.

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Pixar’s ‘Coco’ Brings Spirited Joy (Movie Review)

Remaining on top is difficult. Pixar enjoyed a steady hold as one of the most prestigious studios for a good while, but various sequels outside of the Toy Story series and troubled productions have pushed them to be seemingly just one of the many animation studios out there. Coco is a fantastic return to form. While I haven’t outright disliked any film Pixar has had to offer, this latest effort reaches the sort of greatness you want from any movie. Inspired by Mexican culture and based on the holiday of Dia de los Muertos, Coco is a lively, colorful adventure that hits in all the right ways.

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Some Kind Of ‘Wonder’ (Movie Review)

Growing up is a challenge for a variety of reasons. Not being comfortable in your own skin is easily one of them. R.J. Palacio’s bestselling children’s novel Wonder examines this thought in a fairly literal fashion, as it deals with the plight of a young boy with a facial deformity. The book was a huge hit, and now it’s become a likable studio film with A-list actors filling in for the roles. It’s good enough to warrant the natural teary-eyed reactions that come with this sort of coming-of-age drama. That said, it also weaves around areas that could be played too sentimental in lesser films. All of that makes Wonder pretty wonderful.

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Night of the Living Dead, Silence of the Lambs & More Coming to The Criterion Collection February 2018

Next February, George Romero’s revolutionary horror classic Night of the Living Dead comes lurching from the grave, in a major new edition featuring an astonishing new 4K restoration of the film, never-before-seen footage from the production, and hordes of interviews and programs exploring the incredible story of the making of this trailblazing independent film. No less chilling is Jonathan Demme’s eerily intimate The Silence of the Lambs, starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in a serial-killer scenario like no other. This celebrated thriller will return to the Criterion Collection in a stunning new 4K restoration along with extensive supplements, including our long-out-of-print commentary featuring Demme, Hopkins, and Foster. There’s also Satyajit Ray’s richly observed character study The Hero, starring Bengali screen icon Uttam Kumar as a matinee idol reckoning with the pitfalls of fame, in a new 2K transfer. Another thespian takes the stage in An Actor’s Revenge, Kon Ichikawa’s kabuki-inspired spectacle about a female impersonator’s quest for vengeance, appearing in a new 4K restoration. And there’s more: Tony Richardson’s uproarious multi-Oscar-winning literary adaptation Tom Jones, starring Albert Finney, will make its Blu-ray debut in an edition featuring new 4K restorations of both the original theatrical version of the film and Richardson’s 1989 director’s cut, as well as extensive interviews on the film’s production and influence. And Louis Malle’s mesmerizing debut Elevator to the Gallows, a clockwork thriller with a legendary Miles Davis score, will arrive on Blu-ray in a new 2K restoration.

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‘Justice League’ Keeps The World And Itself Safe (Movie Review)

In a different part of the multiverse, I’m sure there’s a time where a Justice League movie would be the most anticipated movie event of the year. Not having dealt with bad reviews for previous films, internet backlash, and furious debates among comic book fans, this alternate timeline would see director Zack Snyder and co-writer (and substitute director) Joss Whedon coming together to make the ultimate superhero film. That’s not where we are, however, and while our universe’s Justice League does manage to deliver the goods, it feels more like another addition to a crowded marketplace than a new high-water mark for what this kind of blockbuster has to offer.

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‘The Shape of Water’ Is A Fantastical Masterwork (Movie Review)

Thinking about writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s work, it easy to see how much effort he puts into every aspect of his films. Del Toro’s best movies are ones that feel like a symphony of ideas all brought together brilliantly by his love for fantasy and horror. The Shape of Water is the latest example. This movie finds the director using the talents of himself and others to craft an unusual love story with no shortage of multi-layered characters, detailed sets and attention to the latest weird creatures del Toro and co-writer Vanessa Taylor have come up with. The results show off the magic of cinema.

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Suit Up for the Arrival of KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE on 4K and Blu-ray December 12

Rejoin the world’s most elite secret service when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment releases KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM and DVD December 12. Director Matthew Vaughn returns to helm the sequel in his signature kick-ass style, with stars Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Mark Strong reprising the roles that helped make Kingsman a global phenomenon. Kingsman: The Secret Service introduced the world to Kingsman. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, our heroes face a new challenge when their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage. Their journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US called Statesman, and in a new adventure, these two elite, secret organizations band together to defeat a ruthless common enemy in order to save the world, something that’s becoming a bit of a habit for Eggsy. Continue reading ‘Suit Up for the Arrival of KINGSMAN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE on 4K and Blu-ray December 12’

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‘Murder on the Orient Express’ Is A Breezy, Coach Class Ride (Movie Review)

In theory, it would seem like people should welcome another take on Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. A new adaptation means putting together a mix of veteran actors and rising stars in a presumably handsomely filmed production that focuses on the acting in a character-centric mystery. Director and star Kenneth Branagh accomplishes this goal, but it’s all done with the bare minimum of success. Some performers stand out in this ensemble, mustache-heavy, period melodrama, but it never does much to rise above the familiar material being presented.

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‘Last Flag Flying’ Has A Theatrical Mission (Movie Review)

After completing his epic (Boyhood) and reliving some glory years (Everybody Wants Some!!), director Richard Linklater has made a step into adult-themed prestige territory. Last Flag Flying is a sorta sequel to Hal Ashby’s 1973 comedy-drama The Last Detail starring Jack Nicholson. Both films are based on author Darryl Ponicsan’s novels, with Last Flag Flying serving as an actual sequel. For the film, which Ponicsan co-wrote with Linklater, characters are changed and the year is 2003, but the concept is familiar. It’s so familiar that it becomes hard to recognize the film as anything more as an entertaining watch involving talented actors doing a lot of talking in various locations. That sounds like a typical Linklater film, but the director seems like he’s more or less cooling off.

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The Endearing and Original Comedy BRIGSBY BEAR Debuts on Blu-ray This November

Dave McCary (writer and director at “Saturday Night Live”) makes his directorial debut with BRIGSBY BEAR, “a truly original and remarkably touching comedy” (Ben Barna, NYLON). Co-written by Kyle Mooney (“Saturday Night Live”, Zoolander 2) and Kevin Costello, Mooney stars as James, a young man whose world has just been turned upside down and as he transitions into his new life he relies on a children’s show he grew up with to get him through. BRIGSBY BEAR also stars Emmy and Golden Globe winner Claire Danes (Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, “Homeland”), Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Academy Award® nominee and Emmy Award-winning Greg Kinnear (Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series, “Modern Family”), Emmy nominated Matt Walsh (“Veep”) and Michaela Watkins (“Casual”, “Transparent”).  BRIGSBY BEAR debuts on Blu-ray, DVD and digital November 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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‘Suburbicon’ Is A Fascinating Disaster (Movie Review)

This year has provided ample opportunity for filmmakers to put together features tackling various social issues entertainingly or intriguingly, while also opening up further discussion. Suburbicon is not one of them. This George Clooney-directed misfire wastes ample opportunity to do more with its overt symbolism by embedding a predictable and mostly unfunny crime caper in the middle of a setting embroiled with racial tension. There’s evident desire to make a darkly humorous, suburban-set satire, but it ends up as yet another failed cinematic attempt at mimicking the Coen brothers.

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Personal Shopper – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Following a few trips to the past, The Criterion Collection has once again sent me a modern film that also happens to be one of the better films of the year. Personal Shopper competed at the Cannes Film Festival back in 2016. Writer/director Olivier Assayas won the best director award for this movie. The story focuses on a fashion assistant who is also a spiritual medium, making it a ghost story of sorts. It’s another example of how capable Kristen Stewart is as an actress outside the realm of blockbusters and finds Assayas continuing to explore modernism and heartbreak. The film made its way to theaters nearly a year later and is now a part of Criterion’s catalogue.

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One of the Most Riveting Films of the Year – DETROIT Arrives on Blu-ray This December

DETROIT is a film I had plenty of praise for, despite the issues others found and it’s eventual failure at the box office. From Kathryn Bigelow, the award-winning director of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, comes the gripping story of one of the most terrifying secrets in American history. John Boyega (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) plays a Detroit security guard caught in the crossfire after a late-night police raid sparks a wave of violence that spirals out of control.  Featuring masterful supporting performances by Will Poulter (The Revenant), Algee Smith (Earth to Echo), Jacob Latimore (The Maze Runner), John Krasinski (“The Office”) and Anthony Mackie (Captain America: Civil War), DETROIT is a “visceral thriller” (Rafer Guzman,Newsday) that “demands to be seen” (Matt Goldberg, Collider).

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War for the Planet of the Apes (Blu-ray Review)

2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a surprise hit. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a highly acclaimed follow-up in the summer of 2014. War for the Planet of the Apes hit theaters in the summer of 2017 and felt like it was received a bit more indifferently. Despite near universal acclaim from critics, the war-drama that happens to feature elaborate special effects may not have been what audiences were looking for. Regardless, this new trilogy of ‘Apes’ films may be one of the best series to come out of Hollywood in years and this final chapter now has a packed Blu-ray with a fantastic technical presentation. You can also read Brian White’s 4K UHD review.

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‘Geostorm’ Has Fallen (Movie Review)

Much like The Perfect Storm, sometimes a cog in the Hollywood moviemaking machine comes up with a decision to have two reasonably entertaining ideas collide. In the case of Geostorm, to freshen up the idea of a massive storm destroying cities, a convoluted plot to assonate the president by controlling the weather was developed. This was apparently tricker to pull than intended, but after millions spent on reshoots and the hands of several other filmmakers coming in to help shape this thing, the results are a film that is somewhat watchable.

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Girls Trip (Blu-ray Review)

Here’s something to remember: 2017’s most successful comedy was Girl Trip. Made from a relatively low-budget and crossing $100 million domestically, as well as garnering plenty of praise from critics, this was a film that hit big. People can talk about it being a surprise, but that’s nonsense. Make a good comedy with broad appeal (especially when it concerns people you don’t generally see as the leads in a film) and the response will be great. Thanks to this strong cast and a simple comedic premise that doesn’t let up in the laughs, Girls Trip got the acclaim it needed from all and the only question is how much will this success pay off for all involved in the years to come. For now, check out how this Blu-ray stacks up.

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‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ Has Dark Delights (Movie Review)

I find it fascinating when a filmmaker uses their very deliberate style and applies it to all of their films. Yorgos Lanthimos has found great acclaim in a few of his previous films (The Lobster, Dogtooth), which relies on a sense of detachment on the part of the actors to make the premise work. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is no different. This is a film that functions as a psychological horror film, but due to the nature of the characters and how Lanthimos and co-writer Efthymis Filippou scripts their dialogue, a strange sense of humor is also layered over the film. The results are a finely crafted thriller with plenty of idiosyncratic qualities.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (3D Blu-ray Review)

Hey there, look out for Spider-Man! Summer of 2017 gave audiences the unofficial “Save Spider-Man” project that has come from Sony teaming up with Marvel Studios to produce Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s one of the several superhero movies releases in 2017 that proved to be worthwhile in a variety of ways. Not hurting was the tremendous success the film enjoyed both at the box office and critically. Now the web head’s first MCU adventure has arrived on Blu-ray with a 3D release, along with a fun selection of extras.

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