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Bad Times At The El Royale (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Bad Times At The El Royale (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)Bad Times At The El Royale was one of those movies that evaded me during its theatrical run in 2018.  Try as I might there was never a good time to check it out.  I regret not doing so having seen the film on many Top 10 lists as of late, but like always in life I digress.  When it was initially announced for a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release I took solace in the fact knowing I was going to experience Bad Times At The El Royale for the first time in its finest presentation possible.  I mean what more can you ask for, right?  So here we are.  It’s the beginning of 2019 and with it we have on our first 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray releases, Bad Times At The El Royale on the format of choice here.  Let’s take a closer look below at not only how everything looks and sounds on this 4K disc, but also how it was the first time around for me.  Here’s to me for popping my Bad Times At The El Royale cherry!
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Brian’s Top 10 “Brian” Films of 2018!

Top 10 Brian FilmsEvery year this Top 10 movie list gets harder and harder to write.  As the years go by I get the chance to see fewer and fewer movies theatrically.  Because of work, life and other commitments I feel like I’m constantly trying to play catch up and/or seeing most films some 3-4 months after they left the theater in my home.  It just is what it is and I’m doing my best to accept it as the norm growing up becoming a responsible adult.  I’m not trying to make excuses for any poor selections below, but instead instead I’m level setting expectations here and now.  I’m telling you all of this so you’re not expecting the usual Top 10 list of films that most critical reviewers will pump out this year.  The list as it reads below is a very unorthodox view of theatrical features culled from my simple mind, which were all released in the U.S. within the calendar year of 2018. Continue reading ‘Brian’s Top 10 “Brian” Films of 2018!’

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Night School (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Night School 4K ReviewYou know that old saying don’t judge a book by its cover?  Well that’s exactly what I did here with 2018’s Kevin Hart comedy Night School.  I thought the trailer looked putrid and I honestly wanted nothing to do with ever seeing the film.  Evidently the rest of my team shares those sentiments as when I received this title no one was clamoring to do the needful with.  Therefore, I thought I was taking one for the team.  What shocked me though is what I really found was a good time.  The comedy I wanted nothing to do with won me over.  Now don’t get ahead of me.  It’s not going to win any movie of the year prizes or anything like that.  However, unlike the majority of critics out there I found Night School to not only be above average, but one that I’m stoked about adding to my personal home media collection for future viewings of. Continue reading ‘Night School (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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The Adventures of Aqua Shark Man and Lava Hair Girl (Movie Review)

Aquaman Movie ReviewIt was only a matter of time I suppose, but here we are winding down on 2018 and low and behold we unbelievably, finally have an Aquaman movie.  The masterful James Wan pulled off the what was almost deemed the impossible.  He defied the odds and marvelously brought to the big screen an absurd superhero project, which has been in development hell since 2004.  That’s right we finally get the Aquaman!  Now I have never been that big on the character like most hardcore DC Comics fans, but Wan has my full attention now.  The character of Aquaman for me amounted to very little in both Batman v. Superman and Justice League.  However, here he finally has a spotlight shining brightly upon him and actor Jason Momoa and his larger-than-life charisma seized the opportunity.  As a result I was made not only a fan of Aquaman, but ultimately a believer in this property. Continue reading ‘The Adventures of Aqua Shark Man and Lava Hair Girl (Movie Review)’

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Brian’s Top 10 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases of 2018!

Brian's Top 10 2018 4K ReleasesFor me the highlight of 2018 on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format were the great catalog releases we received.  We expect our 2018 theatrical releases to look pristine and sound great on 4K UHD Blu-ray (with some Disney ones being the exception to that rule).  However, it’s the catalog releases that always manage to surprise and delight the film “collecting” (that’s for you Brandon Peters) folks like me on the 4K format.  Sure it sucks having to double dip on titles you already own sometimes on multiple formats, but like my 4K collector peers J.G. Molina and Robert Jaros always say “I want to own the best version of the movie.”  Although I will debate forever with anyone that says Oblivion is better on the 4K format compared to Blu-ray, but I digress.  So yeah that ultimately means sucking it up and laying your hard earned money down on titles you probably own on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray already.  We all do it.  It feeds our passions!  That’s who we are. #NoExcuses Continue reading ‘Brian’s Top 10 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases of 2018!’

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Peppermint (Blu-ray Review)

Peppermint Blu-ray ReviewI’ve been a Jennifer Garner fan ever since her days on television’s ALIAS so many years ago.  Call me a glutton for punishment, but I’m here to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Peppermint didn’t get much love in its theatrical release from critics or the moviegoing Rotten Tomatoes crowd.  However, our own reviewer, Gregg Senko, praised the film as potential Top 10 material.  So I have taken it as my duty to either prove the world or Gregg wrong by tackling the Blu-ray review of Peppermint here.  If you know me well, then you’ll know the one thing this film has going for it with me is its R-rating.  So there’s always a possibility I walk away from this review unscathed and a fan of Peppermint.  Stranger things have happened, right? Continue reading ‘Peppermint (Blu-ray Review)’

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Christmas Comes Early! An Exclusive Interview w/ DIAMANTE!

Diamante Coming In HotIt was like any other day of my life.  I drove the usual route home after a hard day at the office and was flipping through my favorite Sirius XM channels trying to find a familiar tune to God speed the way home with.  I do all of this on autopilot, just pressing pre-programmed favorite buttons onscreen, not paying attention to the particular channel names or whatnot. Then it hit me like a wall would eventually if you ran blindfolded indoors.  I heard these raspy, authoritative, take-no-prisoners female vocals, which I have never heard before. Immediately this singer had my full undivided attention. I looked at my radio unit and saw I landed on XM’s Octane and the song playing was called “Haunted” by a rock star named Diamante.  Right then and there I wanted to know all I could about Diamante. Thank the maker for instant gratification. Before I knew it Diamante’s album, Coming in Hot, was downloaded on my phone and my car ride home was all the sudden NOT just another day of my life.  It was an elated experience! Continue reading ‘Christmas Comes Early! An Exclusive Interview w/ DIAMANTE!’

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Westworld Season 2: The Door (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Westworld Season 2: The Door (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)Yours truly originally covered the first season of Westworld, also known as The Maze, on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray over here.  Truth be told it’s a very boring, but also thrilling watch at times.  Admittedly so I fell hard asleep the first time I attempted to watch the first episode of the second season during its initial airing on HBO.  Try as I could I had a hard time remembering what happened in the first season and for the life of me I could not stay awake for the duration of the initial hour I tried to invest.  It was as yawn inducing as the Comic-Con panel for the show I suffered through here.  When this one got offered to us I initially asked my resident 4K reviewer peer on the site here, Brandon Peters, if he had any interest.  Smartly he declined.  Therefore, I’m back, made to suffer at times, and hoping for some gratuitous female physiques to at least capture my attention throughout this second season of Westworld.  Ha!  Sometimes you just need to be careful with what you wish for as you just might get…the OPPOSITE. Continue reading ‘Westworld Season 2: The Door (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Mission: Impossible Fallout (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Mission Impossible Fallout 4K ReviewHaving revisited the Mission: Impossible franchise this summer on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format (our reviews here, here, here, here and my favorite one here) I was pumped to theatrically take in the latest one dubbed Fallout.  My giddy excitement for this latest installment was further fueled by the early reports of reviewer peers of mine that hailed this as one of the best action films of all-time.  That says a lot when you can make a bold statement like that.  In the olden days we would have said you have big you know what to make such a declaration, but we’re so politically correct nowadays I just have to digress for the best and safest results.  So without further ado ladies and gentlemen I give to you Mission: Impossible Fallout, which is coming out on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format December 4th.
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‘Creed II’ Knocks You Out with Heart & Perseverance (Movie Review)

Creed II Movie ReviewWhere do I even begin here?  I don’t want to bore my readers talking about how much these Rocky franchise of movies adoringly mean to me.   They are absolutely everything to me!   They are my main sources of both perseverance and inspiration in life.  One could even them call them my soundtrack for success, but I digress.  If you’re interested in knowing the full story, you can catch up here and here on all that monkey business.  Instead I want to keenly focus on the continuing storyline of Adonis Creed (Jordan), which coincidentally also involves the legendary character of Rocky Balboa (Stallone).  However, the latter is just the icing on the cake.  Whereas the first film in the “Creed” series, also titled Creed, was very much an origin film of this character Creed II plays out as a throwback to an older Rocky sequel (we’ll get to that down below). Continue reading ‘‘Creed II’ Knocks You Out with Heart & Perseverance (Movie Review)’

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Meg (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Meg 4K UHD ReviewI know The Meg is based off a book, which we’ll cover in a moment, but one look at its insane trailer, crazy cast and cute name had me instantly at hello many months ago.  I didn’t even care if the movie was a turd or a shipwreck of events.  I had to go see it if for nothing else than to get my DC Batwoman err I mean Ruby Rose fix, but I digress.  I just like saying Ruby Rose for some reason.  It flows off your tongue effortlessly and it’s fun to say and count all her tattoos too.  Didn’t I say I digress a second ago?  Well this time I really do mean it.  More importantly The Meg is really just a movie about a big @$$ shark.  It was released in my favorite summer month of August.  It features something that I never see here in Austin, TX…beaches and water.  What was not to love about it already?  Am I right?  Damn right I am!
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First Blood (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

First Blood 4K ReviewWhenever I hear the name Sylvester Stallone my mind is instantly wired to think of both the fictional heroes of Rocky and Rambo.  Sure the guy has had many other great roles over his career, but in my opinion these two are absolutely iconic.  His face is the symbol of hope, motivation and obviously the hero of these two franchises.  Let’s table Rocky for a few weeks though as he’ll get enough coverage with the upcoming Creed 2 feature later this month.  Instead let’s focus all our attention on the war machine…err should I say character…of the hour, Mr. John J. Rambo.  First Blood back in good ole’ 1982 is where it all started for this iconic action hero and that’s exactly where we’re going to start down below.
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The Matrix Trilogy (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Matrix Trilogy 4K ReviewWarner Bros. Home Entertainment has gone and done it!  They officially hit the ball out of the proverbial ballpark by releasing one of the Holy Grail of sci-fi trilogies of theirs on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format the day before All Hallows Eve.  Of course I’m talking about The Matrix Trilogy, which features the Wachowski Brothers’ (Andy and Larry Wachowski) 1999 acclaimed sci-fi action classic The Matrix along with their two sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions (both from 2003).  Now they could have taken the easy route like Fox did with the Predator releases for example and stopped right there by not giving us a complete upgrade in the audio department.  But oh no!  They went above and beyond with both new video transfers and Dolby Atmos surround tracks to boot!   All three 4K Ultra HD presentations of the films featured here within this review are from a new scan of the original camera negative and is officially the first remaster of the films in nearly 15 years.  The 4K UHD remasters were supervised by director of photography Bill Pope (The Matrix Trilogy, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Baby Driver).  How’s that for upping the ante in this hotly anticipated release?  Let’s take a closer look down below at all three of the aforementioned titles housed in this 4K collection.

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Halloween II Receives A Fresh Facelift (Movie Review)

HalloweenGoing into this one I was iffy.  It’s not because I don’t love Halloween.  I’m a huge fan of Michael Myers.  He’s my favorite fictional slasher.  It’s because of the X-Men-like way, albeit without time travel or a flux capacitor, the filmmakers want us to shrug off the former Halloween sequels ever happened.  Now I can easily do that when talking parts 3-6, but I’m quite fond of the original sequel to Halloween not to mention H20.  I know I’m in the minority here, but I’d much prefer a glorified reboot with Carpenter’s assistance then be forced to forget some of these great horror moments never happened.  You see my conundrum?  I’m forcing myself to accept this latest chapter because of my undying devotion to The Shape.  Ladies and gentlemen…we’re breaking new ground here, onward and upward from here on out.  It’s a whole new playing field wiped clean and ready to smear. Continue reading ‘Halloween II Receives A Fresh Facelift (Movie Review)’

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‘First Man’ Is An Emotionally Satisfying Rocket Ride (Movie Review)

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think this was a movie about the first “caveman” given its title.  I know that’s a complete stretch, but for some reason First Man came as a surprise to me.  I knew nothing about it, but given the success and my adoration of 2016’s Hidden Figures I was instantly intrigued upon seeing the first trailer this year.  My love for space and interstellar voyages knows no boundaries, but my debunking of what’s true and what’s not gets the best of me every single time.  That’s why First Man kind of had me at hello.  Truth be told, the initial positive reviews of it also helped as well.  Let’s go on this voyage together and take a closer look down below at what First Man is all about. Continue reading ‘‘First Man’ Is An Emotionally Satisfying Rocket Ride (Movie Review)’

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The First Purge (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The First Purge 4K ReviewI wasn’t completely sold on Universal’s first Purge film back in 2013, but the acting of Frank Grillo in the second 2014 outing made me an instant fan.  The third installment, 2016’s Election Year, was pretty good, but nothing in my opinion can top that “you killed my son” moment in Anarchy.  However, I digress.  We’re not here to measure sequels, but instead to talk about the all new Purge prequel titled The First Purge.  It was officially released everywhere nationwide this year on our Nation’s Birthday, July 4th.  This one tells the story of how it all began with the New Founding Fathers of America testing our Nation’s first ever Purge out in one isolated community.  I think y’all knows what happens next, but the getting there part is what makes this sociological experiment at least worth a watch.
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Skyscraper (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Skyscraper 4K ReviewSkyscraper, which we are gathered here to discuss today, is NOT the rousing Demi Lovato song.  Instead, Skyscraper is the newest Dwayne Johnson action vehicle, which is now on home media.  I mean how much lull can we have without a new Rock movie packing retail shelves?  That was of course a very rhetorical question.  The answer to that is simply not much at all.  The Rock is back and this time he’s playing Die Hard in a very tall building occupied by terrorists with a slight “twist.”  He has a twist off lower left leg!  Now you cannot say this is the same old kind of movie The Rock is always in or they didn’t give his character a flaw.  If nothing else, Skyscraper is the film that puts The Rock at a slight physical disadvantage, but not too much where he can’t make huge, gaping horizontal/vertical leaps or use his artificial stump as an effective prop.  There are limits, people.  If nothing else, think San Andreas 2.0 with a happier marriage.
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American Psycho: Uncut Version (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

American Psycho 4K ReviewIs it wrong to admit that when I sat down to write my very first screenplay American Psycho was a huge influence?  It’s true.  To this day I’m so mystified by the character of Patrick Bateman.  I find his motives, thoughts and crazy action undeniably intriguing.   The one universal truth remains that you’ll never think of Huey Lewis’ song “Hip To Be Square” any other way after watching this zany, psychological horror film.  The movie like its choice in sound cuts turned out to be quite the controversial satire.  Many people watch this and they dismiss everything they saw and never have any desire to return.  However, there are enough folks like me who find the good in black comedies like these and that’s why whether its uncut version or R-rated one American Psycho is very much a bonafide living, breathing cult classic thriller.  Let’s talk more about this September 25th 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release by Lionsgate down below.
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