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Sat
28
Nov

Hobbit / LOTR Get Simultaneous 4K Release

Hobbit LOTR 4K

With much of the world being risk-averse to crowds of shoppers this year, it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that online sales are going to be through the roof for Black Friday and beyond. And with shipping times factoring into the gift-buying (and sending) equation, the earlier you get started with your list the more likely it is you'll have everything wrapped and ready in time for Christmas.

Fri
20
Nov

Westworld Meanders Aimlessly Through Third Season on Blu-ray

Westworld Season 3 Bluray

WESTWORLD releases its third season on Blu-ray, and once again it's a season where I have no idea what is happening from episode to episode, nor do I know how it all tied together. The intelligence of the hosts -- robots built to look and think like human beings -- flit back and forth from the real world to the cyber-built world to the robot-populated theme-park worlds that you never know which reality you're in -- or, indeed, if anywhere at all is real. One of the character even states that it would be the ultimate mind trip if somehow an artificial reality was built with an artificial reality inside it, so they only thought they were in the real world.

Tue
17
Nov

Giant Starfish Bring Humanity a Warning From Space, Now on Blu-ray

Warning from Space

Four years before DC Comics founded the Justice League team to take on the interstellar horror of Starro the Conqueror, screenwriter Hideo Oguni teamed up with artist Taro Okamoto to bring us the strangest, not-quite-kaiju of them all: the Pairans. These alien beings were slightly larger than humans, and looked like giant starfish with a large, unblinking eye in the middle.

Sun
15
Nov

The Last Starfighter Still First-Rate Entertainment for Sci-Fi Fans

The Last Starfighter on Blu-ray from Arrow

Borrowing heavily from STAR WARS and the arcade game craze (and pre-dating BACK TO THE FUTURE when it comes to that cool DeLorean-inspired ride), THE LAST STARFIGHTER had all the elements of great 1980s science fiction. A teenaged protagonist seemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere and no chance of leaving; a call to be a hero that he rejects and then has thrust upon him; a victory won against insurmountable odds; a girlfriend, a mentor, a family...everything to deserve remembering as one of the great 1980s films.

Tue
10
Nov

Not Bogus, But Not Righteous: Bill and Ted Face the Music

Bill and Ted Face the Music on Blu-Ray

Thirty-one years ago, two righteous California teens with guitars and a dream had an excellent adventure in a time-traveling phone booth. It was so much fun, they had to do it again, but it ended up being a totally heinous bogus journey.

Along the way, Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) learned they had a destiny. Their band, Wild Stallynz, would create a song that would unite the world. But decades later, the band has fallen apart, but the boys still have the dream, even if they have fallen to playing wedding receptions. Their music skills are actually incredibly well-rounded, in every technique. But what they produce is the result of obviously trying too hard, seeking that special combination that will finally unite the world.

Tue
10
Nov

Black Adder Meets Caligula in Hulu's The Great

The Great Season 1

THE GREAT is a comedic farce that loosely follows the biography of Catherine the Great. Equal parts BLACK ADDER and CALIGULA, the series goes out of its way to make the profane mundane, with palace life centered completely around copulation and killing.

Elle Fanning plays Catherine, the naive German woman brought to Russia to be a wife to Emperor Peter II (Nicholas Hoult), an overgrown infant with an inferiority complex instilled by his mother and father that he compensates for by doing whatever he pleases. As he is the emperor, who exercises capriciously the right of life over death of any and all of his subjects, nobody dares cross him. Indeed, most of the palace court are too daft to put up anything like an argument. Hoult plays the emperor much like Hugh Laurie's Prince Regent from BLACK ADDER, only with no filter, a leporine libido, and the attention span of a ferret on sugar cubes.

Sat
07
Nov

Sasquatch Among Wildmen Takes Bigfoot Research Abroad

Sasquatch Among Wildmen

I've been fascinated with the paranormal almost since I knew how to read. Early influences on me were the television movie of the week that told the Betty and Barney Hill abduction story, and films like THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (not to mention the few appearances of Bigfoot on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN). I clipped articles from the World Weekly News like it was gospel.

I'm pretty sure Bat-Boy isn't still out there waiting to attack, but I remain fascinated with UFOs and cryptids. And while the media has become suffused of late with multiple Bigfoot hunting series, they skew strongly to "reality entertainment" than anything remotely investigatory. If you need to do a CGI recreation of your Bigfoot encounter, I really don't ned to see it.

That's what makes Darcy Weir's SASQUATCH AMONG WILDMEN stand apart from this crowd. It's a true documentary, eschewing any sensationalism or fakery. 

Sat
31
Oct

Fifty Years Later, Josie and the Pussycats Still Rock

Josie and the Pussycats

Fifty years ago, Saturday mornings were the place for young kids to rock out with their favorite animated characters. And in 1970, Hanna-Barbera, a giant in the animation industry, brought to life a spinoff out of Archie Comics: JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS. The teen trio of Josie McCoy, Valerie Brown, and Melody Valentine would travel the world from gig to gig, accompanied by their road crew of Alan M (veteran voice actor Jerry Dexter) and twin troublemakers Alexander Cabot III (radio legend Casey Kasem) and his sister Alexandra Cabot (Sherry Alberoni of FAMILY AFFAIR, who would later go on to provide the voice of Wendy on SUPER FRIENDS).

Fri
23
Oct

They Reach Brims with Retro Charm

They Reach BD

Ahhhh, sweet nostalgia. To yearn for those simple, bygone days of Camaros with cassette decks, high school science projects and hopeless crushes, of listening to Heart LP’s and praying a freshly-resurrected demonic entity doesn’t possess your best friend. Who could forget such blood-splattered innocence?

Sun
18
Oct

HBO's The Plot Against America Interesting Alt-History Despite Pretense at Prescience

The Plot Against America

HBO's six-part series THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA is an adaption of the Philip Roth novel of the same name, chronicling an alternate history of World War II in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt lost his third bid for the presidency to Republican candidate and aviation hero, Charles Lindbergh. In this reshuffling of events, the election of Lindbergh gave way to a populist upheaval in America, which led to a rise of antisemitism and fascism, particularly against Jewish citizens.

Mon
12
Oct

Jason Todd's "Death" Remains a "Choose Your Own Adventure" in DC's Batman: Death in the Family Interactive Movie

Batman Death in the Family Bluray

Dear DC Comics,

Please refund me the amount of US$1.10, which is the inflationary adjustment value of the US$0.50 I spent in 1988 when I voted for Robin II -- aka Jason Todd -- to die. Your resurrecting of this character represents a breach of the financial contract established at that time, conducted over telephone lines overseen by the Federal Communications Commission. Thank you.

Was it really 32 years ago since the unprecedented act of fan-voting on a character's fate sent Jason Todd to that great four-color press in the sky? I'd swear it was only yesterday. In the four-part BATMAN saga, the Joker had laid into Jason with a crowbar (which has been re-visited ad infinitum ever since) , and the resulting poll of fans who called in via a 1-900 number directed DC to steer the story toward Jason's death.

Mon
12
Oct

Space Ghost and Dino Boy: The Complete Series on Blu-ray

Space Ghost and Dino Boy Complete Collection

It's Saturday morning all over again with this collection of the classic SPACE GHOST animated series. Featuring all twenty of the 1966-1968 SPACE GHOST episodes, these cartoon shorts have lost none of their appeal, due in large part to the timeless designs of Alex Toth.

Wed
07
Oct

Marc Munden's The Secret Garden Can Stay Secret

Secret Garden 2020

THE SECRET GARDEN is one of those literary and film classics that, for whatever reason, has evaded my radar. Even the original version with Margaret O'Brien and Dean Stockwell has somehow gone unseen by me, despite may years of having watched such family classics on television, VHS, and DVD.

Would that I could have continued my streak -- or, perhaps, have seen it in one of it's prior versions.

Mon
05
Oct

Michael Sheen an Affable Serial Killer in PRODIGAL SON, Now on Blu-ray

Prodigal Son Season One

The premise behind PRODIGAL SON is intriguing: an professional profiler, Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), is released from the FBI for taking dangerous risks. Upon his release, he's offered a position as a consultant for the NYPD Major Crimes division, under Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips), a man whose been a father figure to him since Malcolm was ten years old. Gil took on that role after Gil arrested Malcolm's father -- Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), also known as the notorious serial killer, The Surgeon.

A serial killer hunter raised by a serial killer is just the kind of twisted base that could support a constant fount of intrigue and suspense. And to a large degree, it does. On top of the weekly serial killer of the week structure, PRODIGAL SON provides an ongoing mystery, a repressed memory of Malcolm's that could lead to the discovery of a yet-to-be-discovered victim of The Surgeon.

Tue
29
Sep

The Best Superhero TV Show Debuts Today on Blu-ray: DC's Stargirl, The Complete First Season

Stargirl Season 1 BD

The best thing to happen to CW superhero shows was obtaining the license to rebroadcast episodes of STARGIRL the day after premiering on the DC Universe streaming services. The show, shepherded by character creator Geoff Johns, became immediately recognized as one of the best translations of comic-to-tube in decades.

Sat
26
Sep

Legends of Tomorrow Fight Fate in Post-Crisis Fifth Season

Legends of Tomorrow Season 5 Bluray

While the CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS crossover event was a mid-season interruption for most of the CW superhero shows, it was the season opening episode for LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, the action sitcom of the Arrowverse. LEGENDS began as a team of superheroes assembled to go on a time-travel mission to stop Vandal Savage, and selected because they would not be missed by history if they were killed. Since then, it has evolved into a sort of "anything goes" time-travel fix-it series, with very little super-heroing happening -- with John Constantine (Matt Ryan) thrown into the mix.

Mon
21
Sep

Beckman Aims John Wick at Christian Audience

Beckman DVD

Aaron Beckman (David A.R. White) is an assassin for hire who wants out of the game. Injured during an encounter in Los Angeles, he takes refuge in a church, giving a satchel of money to the pastor, Philip (JUSTIFIED's Jeff Fahey). The pastor is at his own crossroads of faith over his failing health, and we quickly forward two years later to Philip's own death. Beckman takes over as the church's shepherd, until he comes to a crossroads of his own, preparing to leave everything behind when history repeats itself and another lost soul comes to the door needing sanctuary: a young woman named Tabitha (Brighton Sharbino, THE WALKING DEAD).

Thu
17
Sep

Supergirl's Greatest Battle is Fought in Cyberspace in Fifth Season (Now on Blu-ray)

Supergirl Season 5 Blu-ray

In the fifth season of the Maid of Might's adventures, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and her super friends find themselves going up against Leviathin, an organization bent on putting Earth through its next extinction event, ushered in at the hands of seemingly immortal gods like Rama Khan (Mitch Pileggi) and Gamemnae (Cara Buono).

But it's not as simple as that, as Supergirl's civilian life as Kara Danvers is complicated by new relationships. A new fellow reporter at CATCO, William Dey (Staz Nair), gets nosy about Kara's personal life, and has some pretty shady interactions that arouse Kara's suspicions. But his true motives become revealed later on, when Kara learns he's been undercover investigating a very bad person.

Sun
13
Sep

We Bare Bears Get Their Own CN Movie

We Bare Bears The Movie DVD

Grizz, Panda, and Ice Bear move beyond the cartoon short form that has been their norm to headline their first Cartoon Network movie.

The bears' rush to the grand opening of food truck selling poutine leaves a trail of chaos in their wake -- and a slew of angry townspeople. Determined to make amends, the bears attempt to become popular by making the greatest viral video ever, by combining elements of every popular meme of the last twenty years. But when this ends in disastrous results, it grabs the attention of the no-nonsense Agent Trout from Fish and Wildlife. He's determined to bring the bears in and relocate them to a bear sanctuary.

And so begins the greatest road trip of all time, as the bears go on the lam in a police van, intent on crossing the border into Canada for freedom, love, and universal health care.

Fri
11
Sep

A Double Dose of High-Definition Deduction: Ritchie's Sherlock Films on 4K

RDJ Sherlock Holmes

Slightly edging out Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in bringing the archetypal detective and his military doctor partner to a modern audience, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law -- under the direction of Guy Ritchie -- gave us a very action-oriented Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Not merely content with armchair deductions and lording his grasp of the obvious (to him) over Scotland Yard, This Holmes enjoyed getting into physical confrontation, and in both films -- SHERLOCK HOLMES and SHERLOCK HOLMES; A GAME OF SHADOWS -- much detail is given to Holmes's foresight and planning for where to land punches and predicting his opponents' moves.

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