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A Ghost Story Haunts Blu-ray and DVD October 3rd

Written and directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), and boasting a top-notch cast including Academy Award® winner Casey Affleck (Best Actor, Manchester by the Sea, 2016) and two-time Academy Award®nominee Rooney Mara (Best Supporting Actress, Carol, 2015 and Best Actress, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2011), A Ghost Story arrives on Blu-ray™ (plus Digital HD) and DVD October 3 from Lionsgate. A Ghost Story debuted to critical acclaim at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and seems to have picked just the right month for its blu-ray release. See below for all the details.

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SDCC 2017: The Gifted Extended Sneak Peek

Comic-Con 201720th Century Fox began creating stories in the X-men universe for television last year with the outstanding and surreal “Legion” on FX. This year they jump to a more mainstream appeal type of show with “The Gifted,” which will debut on Fox this Fall. At Comic Con this year, they brought a sneak peek clip of the upcoming show that laid out the premise, introduced a few characters, and created a good amount of intrigue for what is to come. While it was immediately clear that this isn’t going to be as ambitious as “Legion”, “The Gifted” has the right elements to be a success.

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SDCC 2017: World Premiere of Batman and Harley Quinn

Comic-Con 2017Warner Brothers Animation brought the entirety of the new Batman animated film Batman and Harley Quinn to show in Ballroom 20 at San Diego Comic Con this year. This event included Q&A with a panel of voice actors returning from “Batman: The Animated Series” Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester, new voices, for this production, Paget Brewster (“Criminal Minds”) and Kevin Michael Richardson (Literally a man of hundreds of voice acting credits), as well as writers Bruce Timm (“Batman: The Animated Series”) and Jim Krieg (Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox), and Director Sam Liu (“Green Lantern: The Animated Series”). The film feels perfectly like a continuation of the Batman animated TV series with a little bit more PG-13 added in. A great addition to the DC animated oeuvre by any count and likely to be a must own for fans of the animated series when it releases in August.

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SDCC 2017: Psych Reunion and Movie Sneak Peek

Comic-Con 2017Get ready to spot some hidden pineapples! The “Psych” panel led by Jimmi Simpson and featuring stars James Roday, Dulé Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson, Corbin Bernsen, series creator Steve Franks, and executive producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak was a total blast with a sing-a-long of the show’s theme song, a Q&A with the panel, some reminiscing of memories from the show, and an excellent and much anticipated 8-minute clip from the upcoming Psych film, which comes to USA in December. The movie clip was clearly the main event as the ballroom packed to the gills with 4800 rabid “Psych-os” swelled with excitement over the first new scenes from the beloved characters in nearly 3 years. It looks awesome.

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SDCC 2017: Kevin Smith’s Comic Book Movie Trivia Mayhem

Comic-Con 2017Fans of comic book films, comedy, and trivia were treated to a highly entertaining comic book movie trivia panel hosted by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma). The format allowed for some very cunning improv moments by the Smith as well as participants, Marc Bernardin (“Fatman on Batman” Podcast), and Julie and Shawna Benson (writers for “The 100”), and the judges David Steinberger (CEO of ComiXology) and Col Needham (CEO of IMBd). Judged more on entertainment value rather than veracity of answers, this was a tremendously fun and funny event with plenty of irreverence and frivolity.

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SDCC 2017: Medinah World Premiere Sneak Peek

Comic-Con 2017“Battlestar Galactica” stars Michael Trucco and Tamoh Penikett were on hand along with Eric Roberts (The Dark Knight) and Natasha Henstridge (Species) to introduce the world to what was being dubbed “The First-Ever Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series from the Middle East,” “Medinah.” The series was filmed in Qatar and has a number of Qatari actors filling out the cast in addition to Roberts, Henstridge, and Penikett. Even with the aura of being groundbreaking for a TV series giving it strength, there are a few clear reasons why “Medinah” has not yet been picked up for major distribution as well as a few reasons that “World Premiere Sneak Peak” lose a little luster when attached to a show like this.

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Buster’s Mal Heart (Blu-ray Review)

Loaded with visually interesting and arresting shots as well as some muted, but solid performances from its leads, it is hard to say that Buster’s Mal Heart is bad, but it is very easy to come to the conclusion that it is simply not good. The sophomore effort from writer/director Sarah Adina Smith (The Midnight Swim) commits the fatal film crimes of being too boring and too overburdened with trying to seem deep at the expense of giving the audience something onto which to actually latch. Buster’s Mal Heart is a couple of beats away from being something worthwhile, but at the very least, audiences will want to talk about it after seeing it. Continue reading ‘Buster’s Mal Heart (Blu-ray Review)’

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Buster’s Mal Heart Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD July 18th

Emmy Award winner Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”) stars in Writer/Director Sarah Adina Smith’s (The Midnight Swim) psychological thriller BUSTER’S MAL HEART, available on digital now and on Blu-ray and DVD July 18 from Well Go USA Entertainment. Malek plays a troubled man on the run who recalls the mysterious events that brought him to his present fugitive state. Buster’s Mal Heart also stars DJ Qualls (“The Man in High Castle”), Kate Lyn Sheil (Equals) and Lin Shaye (Insidious). The film is said to be a complex, funny, and thoughtful science fiction. See below for more details on this release. Continue reading ‘Buster’s Mal Heart Arrives on Blu-ray and DVD July 18th’

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American Gods Episode 1 (SXSW Review)

Starz was on hand at the SXSW Conference to show off the first episode of their new series “American Gods” based on the book of the same name by Neil Gaiman. The series is set to start on April 30th of this year and follows a recently released prisoner named Shadow Moon, played by Ricky Whittle (“The 100”) as he interacts with a number of old and new god-like beings who inhabit human form in his service of the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, played by Ian McShane (“Deadwood”). The show is executive produced by Bryan Fuller (“Pushing Daisies,” “Hannibal”) and it shows, blossoming with Fulleresque flourishes throughout that create an eerie and visually stunning atmosphere for an intriguing, well-acted, and, so far, well-paced television series. Continue reading ‘American Gods Episode 1 (SXSW Review)’

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The Bye Bye Man (Blu-ray Review)

I imagine many people reacted the same way I did when I first saw the trailer for a film titled The Bye Bye Man – by laughing and mocking and questioning why someone thought that title was a good idea. Well, after having seen the film that bears that laughable title, I was able to extend that mockery to every other element of this film’s production. The Bye Bye Man is so immediately recognizable as a bad movie that within fifteen minutes one is forced to start considering if it is worth watching as something to enjoy with friends as a joke. But no, while it is incompetently made and has bad acting, it can’t quite even get being a good-bad movie right as it too often sways into boring territory. Let’s explore what makes The Bye Bye Man absolutely not worth watching. Don’t see it, don’t buy it! Continue reading ‘The Bye Bye Man (Blu-ray Review)’

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South Park Season 20 Releases on Blu-ray and DVD June 13th

‘Member “South Park”? Oh, I ‘member! The 20th Season of the Emmy Award-winning animated series about four boys from a small Colorado town arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on June 13th of this year. Along with some special features, this release will come in special vinyl-sized packaging available at Best Buy. Relive the moments of Cartman insisting that his girlfriend is both smart and funny or follow along as the Danish government does its best to figure out who the massive internet troll could be. Those and many other ridiculous episodes from Season 20 will be ready and waiting later this year! How about some further details about the release. Continue reading ‘South Park Season 20 Releases on Blu-ray and DVD June 13th’

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Meatball Machine Kodoku (SXSW Review)

This is just the kind of midnight movie I was waiting for at SXSW! Meatball Machine Kodoku has tons of ridiculous gore effects (actually 4 tons of fake blood were used on the film according to the director), an insane plot that doesn’t need to make any sense, and completely over-the-top action scenes. This is a direct sequel to 2005’s Meatball Machine from the same director, Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police), and by direct sequel I mean it shares almost the same exact plot as the original, but with better effects and a tighter plot (plot, in this case is a very loose interpretation of the term). This movie is a hilarious, blood-filled, wackily Japanese, complete crazefest of a blast! Continue reading ‘Meatball Machine Kodoku (SXSW Review)’

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The Good, The Meh, and The Messy Films of SXSW (SXSW Review)

When a person watches 23 films over 9 days, it can be difficult to find the time to write enough about all of them. Also, with over 150 different films to choose from, it is nearly impossible to pick all winners. I have tried to cover the bigger films of the festival this year and getting those reviews out has been a priority. However, I have seen a bunch that kinda fall into this middle ground that when I sit down to write about them, I can’t really find a lot to say… and then I have to rush out to catch another film back in downtown Austin. So, I have encapsulated (if I might borrow a term from my colleague on this site) some thoughts on the more average or somewhat bad films I have seen here in this post just to put the thoughts somewhere. Continue reading ‘The Good, The Meh, and The Messy Films of SXSW (SXSW Review)’

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The Big Sick (SXSW Review)

The Big Sick is an uproariously funny comedy that had to tread a very difficult line since a major portion of the film takes place in a hospital and has one of the major characters in a coma. A film written by and starring Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”), directed by Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer), and produced by Judd Apatow (Trainwreck) should, on those names alone, have enough buy-in to get lovers of comedy into the theater. Once in the theater, though, this movie will surprise audiences with its tenderness and heart and then leave them straining to hear lines as laughter fills the auditorium. A tone-perfect, Apatow-style rom-COM, The Big Sick will be the summer date movie that has everyone falling out of their seats.

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G-Funk (SXSW Review)

Where Straight Outta Compton showed the hard-edge, down and dirty, fighting-for-justice story of NWA, G-Funk, in a way that somewhat mirrors the musical sound itself, documents the smoother and sweeter turn that Warren G, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg brought to West Coast hip-hop music in the early 90s. First time director Karam Gill and producer Warren G assembled some big musical names from the era to tell a number of entertaining stories or drop memorable lines that make the film highly entertaining and a must watch for any fan of music from that time period. The music in the background of these interviews and clips should be enough to get someone in the door, but the overall story is well crafted, with an infectiously optimistic undercurrent that stands on its own. Continue reading ‘G-Funk (SXSW Review)’

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Becoming Bond (SXSW Review)

Becoming Bond is a funny and intriguing blend of documentary and reenactment based around the story of the one-time James Bond, George Lazenby. The story is told by Lazenby in interview and some parts are filled in with actors in the style of the television series “Drunk History” to add some visual comedy to these over-the-top tales. The film succeeds at both helping to clear up the rumors behind what led to Lazenby only playing the iconic role in a single film and being a kind of origin story of the man himself as he retells nearly his entire life in amazing detail and honesty. Being a Bond fan is not a prerequisite for having a blast with this film, which will be on Hulu later this year. Continue reading ‘Becoming Bond (SXSW Review)’

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Free Fire (SXSW Review)

Having only seen one of director Ben Wheatley’s (Kill List) films before, I had a distinct skepticism about the idea of waiting in line for his next release, Free Fire. The premise of a gun deal gone wrong didn’t really promise much in the way of depth and I knew from his previous work that he had a talent for veering off in completely unnecessary directions in his films, leaving them a disappointment. This film is not a disappointment. It is a tightly directed, charming, funny, and playful action comedy with a great cast and superb sound mixing that remains completely entertaining all the way up to the end. Continue reading ‘Free Fire (SXSW Review)’

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The Disaster Artist [Work-In-Progress] (SXSW Review)

The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and lovable tribute to the enigmatic and oddly admirable figure who is Tommy Wiseau, director of The Room. This film is really for those who love The Room for its off-the-wall absurdity and incomprehensibility, but there is enough setup and care given to establishing just what kind of person Tommy Wiseau, played by James Franco (127 Hours), is and what The Room means to him and Greg Sestero, played by Dave Franco (Now You See Me 2), that in context one could easily pick up what makes Tommy so worthy of a story. While this film, based on the book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made,” could have easily jumped into a parody of Wiseau and his eccentricities, Franco, who also directed the film, creates a respectful and heartfelt depiction of a man who really just wants to have a friend and follow his passion. Though, he did also fill the movie with all his funny friends and his brother and made a comedy out of a story about a very earnest but very weird man’s passion, so it is difficult to tell where parody and authenticity begin and end. Continue reading ‘The Disaster Artist [Work-In-Progress] (SXSW Review)’

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