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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Slither – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

James Gunn is forever going to be known as the man who brought us Guardians of the Galaxy.  Though, like Peter Jackson before he was the Lord of the Rings guy, he got his start in low rent horror. For Gunn, his roots trace back to none other than the schlockiest of schlock, Troma. And the best thing? The guy has neither forgotten, nor is he ashamed of his roots. He continually grows and keeps that badge of honor with him. In 2006, he got his shot at his feature film directorial debut in that of Slither, coming off being the writer of Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake.  Slither originally made it to the HD-DVD format, but never crossed over to Blu-ray in the US (A few other countries have edition from many years ago). Proving worth the wait, its become a Scream Factory Collector’s Edition that you can snag on August 1st, which you can pre-order using the link below. Continue reading ‘Slither – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Warlock Collection (Blu-ray Review)

First Vestron Video restored the entire Wishmaster series and put it on Blu-ray, now they’re doing such with the Warlock trilogy. A lot of horror fans were first introduced to actor Julian Sands this way. The 1989 film and its sequels always seemed to be a staple sitting on the ma and pa video store shelves. Personally, I had never seen any of them until now, but I can recall perfectly the boxes for them, seeing Julian Sands’ evil gaze daring you to rent the movie to see what kind of mystical horrors he could provide. I love when I get to rectify those rentals I never made in my youth via reviews for Vestron and other companies of similar ilk. You can pick yourself up the two disc collection or pre-order now to have it in time for its debut release on July 2th on Blu-ray.  Continue reading ‘Warlock Collection (Blu-ray Review)’

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Resident Evil: Vendetta (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Resident Evil is one of the biggest video game franchises of all time. Its popular in multiple entities and explorations, too. There were seven theatrical films based on the movies and don’t make me count the amount of games, sequels and spinoffs its seen. The original first 3 run of games are some of my most favorite ones of all time. They also make this little straight to video animated movies that sort of carry their own store too. Vendetta is the newest exercise in that kind of animated bloodshed and gun firing powerhouse. You can order the film, which is being released on July 18th, by clicking the Amazon link at the bottom of this review.  Continue reading ‘Resident Evil: Vendetta (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Teen Wolf Too – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Teen Wolf had a brief run in the 1980s where it was a very big deal, with plenty of stuff for it to market on. The first film was a big hit that had a superstar in Michael J. Fox. That film then spawned a cartoon series for Saturday mornings that ran for a couple years. On then came the sequel, Teen Wolf Too. Michael J. Fox wasn’t coming back, so another sitcom teen actor was brought on to howl at the moon, Jason Batman. Now, we all are familiar with adult Bateman, but back then he was from that damn sitcom that changed its name like three times. Well, he and this film, could not capture the magic from the first again, bombing and getting horrendous reviews, it pretty much dislodged whatever hold Teen Wolf had on popular culture. Now, thanks to Scream Factory, we can revisit the film in glorious Blu-ray and also hear an honest look at the story of making the film. You can pre-order now to have it ready and at your door when it releases August 8th. Continue reading ‘Teen Wolf Too – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Smurfs: The Lost Village (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Well, here we go again.  Another Smurfs movie put out on 4K Ultra-HD, and another task at hand for me. As you’ll recall, I thoroughly enjoyed my last experience just a couple months ago (Sarcasm font). The Lost Village is the third film in the ongoing Smurfs cinematic franchise. I didn’t see the second one, so there’s a gap in the middle for my watching, but something (and someone, Brian) tells me I’m going to be okay by having missed the sophomore outing.  At least if there is a fourth one, I have some time to have a break as all of them are on 4K Ultra-HD now and don’t have it coming on the horizon. You can find this one in stores now, as it was already released on July 11th. If you love your kids, this probably makes for a good treat. Continue reading ‘Smurfs: The Lost Village (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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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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Leon: The Professional (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Not too far back, Brian White covered the 20th anniversary release of director Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray.  Because he likes me/feels bad for me/wanted to be generous/something, we agreed to split the Besson 4K Ultra-HD Blu-rays coming out in July (In preparation for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets nonetheless). The other, his sorta underground classic 1990s hitman drama/action/thriller, Leon: The Professional. This one, like Fifth Element, you’ll remember was released on Blu-ray last year remastered in 4K. Well, now we TRULY get to see what that is all about. Unlike The Fifth Element, you’ll ONLY be able to purchase this one at Best Buy starting on July 11th for the time being. With this release you get both cuts of the film (Theatrical and Director’s Extended Cut). Here’s hoping the go the full mile and we see La Femme Nikita on 4K Ultra-HD soon! Continue reading ‘Leon: The Professional (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Free Fire (Blu-ray 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 Blu-ray review, Free Fire, where people are terrible at shooting guns, regardless of distance and it’s a complicated process 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. While it came and went in theaters, Free Fire is now available on Blu-ray for all to see.

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Song To Song (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Terrence Malick has been on a tear in this current decade (Do we call it “the tens” or whatever?). It once took the man thirty eight years to put out five films, now he’s put out five works in the last six or seven years (One of said films is a documentary). I actually still haven’t seen Knight of Cups, which this reminded me of that gap. His latest is a look on the Austin, Texas music scene called Song To Song. The main players in the film are quite an elite bunch, featuring three (each multiple) Academy Award nominees and one Oscar winner. That would be Natalie Portman, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender and Ryan Gosling. So, ideally you’re getting some of the finest voice over inner monologues you can get, right? Song To Song is coming to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray (Malick’s first film to land on the format) on July 4th. Continue reading ‘Song To Song (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Ghost in the Shell (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Ghost in the Shell (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)I have to get the following off my chest first before we move along.  I have never seen nor do I have any interest in ever seeing the classic anime film Ghost in the Shell.  It doesn’t even intrigue me in the slightest.  I was such a big fan of The Transformers: The Movie was I was kid, but when I recently revisited it on its 30th anniversary Blu-ray I was completely bored out of my mind (with the exception of that still killer soundtrack).  I guess we eventually do grow out of things unless you’re talking Star Wars or Indiana Jones, but I think that goes without saying.  However, we’re not here to talk about those two franchises.  We’re here to discuss all things Ghost in the Shell, hence my original rant up above.  Even though this one is based on the anime of the same name, it’s live action and as an added bonus stars the sexy starlet Scarlett Johansson.  Need I even say more?  I got you at Scarlett, right?  Ha ha.  Now let’s talk some Ghost in the Shell.
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Kong: Skull Island (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Kong: Skull Island (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)I’m sorry but try as I might I’m just not a fan at all of 2014’s Godzilla reboot.  That’s not a slam to director Gareth Edwards because I love his work in Rogue One, but rather a multitude of things I felt were wrong with the effort.  I gave it many chances too as I even reluctantly bought it on Blu-ray, but try as I might it will not let me in for some reason.  Oh well.  I felt the same way about Man of Steel initially too and Batman v. Superman went on to make me appreciate it so much more.  Oh yeah that’s right!  If you didn’t put two and two together Kong: Skull Island is very much in the same cinematic universe as 2014’s Godzilla.  I wasn’t aware of that going in, but leaving it’s made clear and while you think I would have problems with that I actually don’t.  Let’s face it too because anyone with half a brain knows that like BvS the inevitable 2020 Godzilla vs. Kong will see the two unite to fight a greater foe.  However, I digress.  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  I have had crap loads of fun with Kong: Skull Island and I want to tell you all why.
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Teen Wolf – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Teen Wolf today is not really at all what Teen Wolf was to the 1980s. The MTV relaunch of the show was the grimdark reinvention of the original hit movie from the 80s. It originated as a coming of age teen comedy of a guy in search of being elite in high school only to find that’s not really who he is. Michael J. Fox bounced from Family Ties to this to Back to the Future right here to catapult him into superstardom. In fact, he was shooting all three at the same time, believe it or not. Scream Factory is revisiting the film with a brand new 2K transfer and attached a near two and a half hour documentary on the making of this popular little horror-comedy (Sadly, Fox is not a participant for an interview). You can get your pre-order in now, Prime members, to ensure your copy is on the doorstep when it releases on Augusts 8th on Blu-ray. Continue reading ‘Teen Wolf – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Juice – 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Juice, one of the few notable “hood” movies to come out during a time when Spike Lee had made a name for himself and opened up a path for other directors to make films about black culture in LA and NY. Fittingly, Juice was written and directed by Lee’s frequent cinematographer at that point, Ernest R. Dickerson, who would go on to make many more features (Demon Knight) and become a regular mainstay on big television series, such as The Wire and The Walking Dead. While not as highly acclaimed, Juice joined films such as Boyz N the Hood and later on Menace II Society and also provided an early look at how charismatic and compelling Tupac Shakur was on the silver screen.

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Their Finest (Blu-ray Review)

Here’s a good little movie that many should check out. Despite plenty of praise coming out of a few film festivals and an eventual release that allowed the film to hold onto screens in arthouse theaters for a few months, Their Finest still only went so far at the box office. A bit of a shame, as the film is a solid period drama/romantic comedy that received strong reviews. That said, hopefully it will be found over time, especially since it has a connection to the Dunkirk evacuation, which is about to become much more of a known event to people outside of the U.K. With a film like this, which has a lighter touch, I could see a unique double feature coming out of it.

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Species – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Last year, Scream Factory completed the Species series’ Blu-ray representation by releasing all the sequels (Species II by itself and a double feature of the TV-movie ones). Now, they are just gonna cap off the hole in the series in their line by putting out a new edition of the original film.  Since its MGM we should have expected this was coming along, but it was still a nice little surprise. As for those who are word about the shoddy video transfer that haunted the previous Blu-ray releases, Scream Factory is replacing it with a brand new one. And, its got everything ever, plus a couple new bonus features, so its taking up 2-discs. You can pre-order it from the link below (Or order it on the Shout! Factory site to get a free poster of the new key artwork featured on the slip cover) to have it in time for release on July 11th.  Continue reading ‘Species – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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The Fate of the Furious (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Fate of the Furious (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)When I first sat down to work on this movie review prior to seeing the actual movie itself this spring I thought to myself what a wonderful world.  LOL.  I am kidding.  I pondered about what they can do in this outing that hasn’t been done in the previous seven ones.  I must admit I was a bit nervous.  However, the one thing I always manage to do is have fun with this franchise.  Therefore, I wasn’t expecting anything less than a good time with this eighth episode in the franchise.  Much like attending a Posion concert back in the late 80’s you can always count on the Fast & Furious franchise to deliver nothing but a good time.  You don’t even need to know about cars except the fact that they can fly in these movies.  All you need to do is come equipped with the ability to laugh, giggle and excite from the larger-than-life action pieces and humorous one-liners.  I think the majority of us can at least do that.  What say you?  Let’s tackle Universal’s newest 4K release.
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The Lost City of Z (Blu-ray Review)

Based on the look of this film, it would be no surprise to learn how difficult it was to make The Lost City of Z. I’m not speaking of just the shots of a wooden raft traveling down the Amazon River. No, it’s the look on the faces of these actors, which displays more than what makeup can accomplish. With echoes of David Lean and John Huston, writer/director James Gray (The Immigrant) certainly took on an ambitious project this time around, outshining his previous films in terms of scope. The result is a solid adventure story, divided into parts that explore just what it is that can drive someone to head into danger for the sake of possible discovery. Now the film is available on Blu-ray for all to see.

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The Fifth Element (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

The Fifth Element 4K UHD ReviewThe Fifth Element seems to be one of those films that is every sci-fi + A/V enthusiasts wet dream.  I’m not saying by any means it’s the greatest movie ever made, but you can definitely have fun with it if you allow it.  The film’s audio surround track has always been heralded as a favorite amongst home theater enthusiasts/fans.  This one practically screams 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment so much so that I’m really shocked Sony didn’t release it last year.  Maybe they were waiting for the the all-new bonus featurette to be completed.  It’s even presented in 4K here.  In “The Director’s Notes: Luc Besson Looks Back” extra the acclaimed director discusses the origins and impact of the celebrated film.  Whatever the reason of delay for this historic 4K UHD release the day is finally among us and the wait is practically over.  Join me below in celebrating everything The Fifth Element releasing in glorious, eye-popping 4K Ultra HD July 11th.  Read on baby!
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