The Other Side of Hope – Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

There is a slow, quiet magic to the films of Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Man Without a Past) that allows the viewer to be lulled into the idea that there is just a simple story going on with some dry humor and then it turns out one is watching a scathing indictment of society dressed up as a slow moving dramatic tale. With The Other Side of Hope, the director maintains that skill and applies it to a story about a Syrian refugee and a Finnish shirt salesperson separately attempting to change the courses of their respective lives. It is an odd film that requires attention, patience, and a likely a second viewing to fully soak it up.

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South Park Season 21 (Blu-ray Review)

It is still somewhat difficult to imagine that a cartoon series that was ostensibly about vulgar young boys making fart jokes made it to 21 seasons. However, people familiar with the series will know that it hates to rest on its laurels. The sheer nature of the 6-day episode creation schedule of South Park has made for all-time great episodes with a finger directly on the pulse of whatever was going on that week. This pinpoint satire has aided in South Park becoming the phenomenon that gets to go 21 seasons and more. This season, the 21st, unfortunately, either started with a plan that frankly didn’t quite work out, or flipped back and forth too frequently between serialized season and episode-of-the-week formats. It is still funny and often biting, but it was missing an element of what makes South Park the thing to talk about with your friends. Continue reading ‘South Park Season 21 (Blu-ray Review)’


Going Down to South Park Season 21 on Blu-ray and DVD This June

As a middle school student enjoying what I figured was just a raunchy cartoon on Comedy Central, I would have never expected South Park to be on the air for 21 years. I also would never have expected the level of growth and, I hesitate to say “maturity,” but let’s use relevance the show has maintained over its run. On June 5, 2018, Season 21 comes to Blu-ray and DVD and I am stoked to continue watching what will, strangely, end up being one of the longest running and persistently entertaining shows in the history of television. Read on for the details. Continue reading ‘Going Down to South Park Season 21 on Blu-ray and DVD This June’


Bron’s Top 10 Films of 2017

I had a fun time watching films this year. I got to go to South by Southwest again and that led to the viewing of 23 films over 9 days (22 new ones and a screening of Alien introduced by Ridley Scott). I got a Moviepass subscription and it allowed for the ability to watch a lot of stuff that I wouldn’t normally go and see. And my friends were super willing to watch weird stuff with me this year for some reason. So, while I didn’t see as many films in raw numbers as I did in 2016, I had a better overall movie-going experience. I hope that my top 10 list reflects the kind of year I had at the movies. And I hope the trend of fun continues into the new year. Have a great time with my list and I hope to have more discussions about film with everyone soon! Continue reading ‘Bron’s Top 10 Films of 2017′


The Piano Teacher – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

Director Michael Haneke (Funny Games, Amour) and his attention to storytelling are celebrated by this release of The Piano Teacher from the Criterion Collection in a way that honors the film’s unique quality and its director’s masterful use of the medium of film to tell a story. Watching the film itself is a transformative experience; one that concludes with some viewers wondering if they may have just seem the best movie ever made and some completely baffled by why a person would decide to make this into a film. Personally, I am in the former category. Let’s take a closer look at this blu-ray release to see why it is a necessity for any lover of sometimes-uncomfortable but endlessly watchable films.

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A Ghost Story (Blu-ray Review)

There is an infectiously sweet, sad solitude that runs through the very well shot, directed, acted, and scored A Ghost Story, which comes out today on blu-ray, that is guaranteed to captivate and transfix anyone who views it. Despite its title, A Ghost Story could never really be mistaken for a horror or thriller, as it is much more akin to a dramatic fantasy romance. Excellent, nuanced performances by Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) and Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) make this small film with a small cast and a small budget feel like a spectacle not to be missed. You can read further on for all the details about why, but if you are into strange, quiet, slow films just go pick this one up already.

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First 11 Seasons of South Park to be Released on Blu-ray this Fall

Coming this November and December, South Park will be releasing its first 11 full seasons in HD on blu-ray. Remember when children were abducted by aliens, killed by falling space stations and befriended by talking feces? Ah, the good old days.  Now you can relive every supernatural, extraordinary and downright insane adventure of Cartman, Kyle, Stan and Kenny when “South Park” Seasons 1-11 arrive for the first time ever on Blu-ray.

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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)’


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’


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)’


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)’


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’