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Thu
03
Jun

Flawed but Fun: Freddie Highmore, Astrid Berges-Frisbey Crack The Vault in Jaume Balagueró's Caper

The Vault

Freddie Highmore (The Good Doctor) plays Thom, a brilliant engineering student on the verge of graduation and already turning down job offers from mulitple oil companies after a patent of his saved them millions in oil spill cleanup. But when he's approached by Walter (Liam Cunningham, Game of Thrones), a salvage ship captain who has had his most recent salvage taken from him by the Spanish government, he gets drawn into an engineering puzzle that he can't ignore.

Mon
31
May

10th Anniversary of Super 8 Gets Blu-ray Release

Super 8 holds the distinction of being one of the best 80s films not actually made in the 80s. Pre-dating Stranger Things, Super 8 is a wonderful sort of mash-up of Stand By Me, It, Cloverfield, and E.T.

A launch vehicle for the career of Joel Courtney, who plays Joe Lamb, the son of Deputy Sheriff Lamb (Kyle Chandler), Super 8 also starred A.J. Michalka (of the Birds of Prey series and the AJ half of pop duo Aly & AJ), and (already a veteran actor) Elle Fanning as Alice Dainard, the daughter of town drunk Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard). There's bad blood between Deputy Lamb and Louis Dainard that they push onto their children, setting up a sort of Romeo & Juliet dynamic between the two coming-of-age teens.

Mon
31
May

Pixie No Fairy Tale

Pixie DVD

Pixie Hardy (Olivia Cooke, Ready Player One) is the daughter of a mob boss (Colm Meaney) who, with peace having existed between his rivals, spends his later years learning how to be the perfect homemaker and single father.. But Pixie wants more than "this provincial life," and concocts a plan to steal a large quantity of drug money from another mob, one led by Father McGrath (Alec Baldwin) and the gun-toting priests and nuns in his employ.

Wed
26
May

Thirteenth Season of Ancient Aliens Lands on DVD

Ancient Aliens SSN 13

When I was a kid, I gobbled up all my grandmother's discarded World Weekly News copies. The stories in them were so fantastic and inspiring, I was surprised they didn't make the nightly news. To be fair, this was around the time Close Encounters of the Third Kind was huge, and the Betty and Barney Hill story, and Project: Bluebook, glued me to my television set. I'd cut out all the articles and paste them in a scrapbook. I would later go get books by J. Allen Hynek and Erich von Däniken.

The aliens were here, and I was going to be prepared.

Sun
23
May

Justice Society: World War II Might Be DCAU Getting Back into the Multiverse Business

Justice Society: World War II

The latest offering from the DC Animated Universe is Justice Society: World War II. From everything I can discern, it is not adapted -- even loosely -- from any particular previously published story, although there are definitely elements lifted from other events and transplanted here.

Sat
22
May

Arrow Video Presents Nico Mastorakis First Film, Death Has Blue Eyes

Death Has Blue Eyes

With a career spanning over 60 years and 22 films, Greek Director Nico Mastorakis -- known for such films as Island of Death, The Zero Boys, and Bloodstone -- learned his craft on his own, starting in television work before graduating to music videos and feature films. His freshman feature, Death has Blue Eyes, is in no way his best work, but you can tell his television studies were paying off, and showing through this film that he did know how to shoot a scene like a seasoned director.

Death has Blue Eyes can only be summed up as a paranormal thriller, a buddy film, and a softcore porn that fails miserably at all three genres.  It starts as we follow a young con man and his friend into a few misadventures before they ultimately meet their match in the form of two women (one younger, one older) who have a secret themselves: they are psychics on the run from a group of men out to capture them.

Fri
21
May

25 Years Later, Mission: Impossible Still Makes Us Angry

Mission Impossible 25th Anniversary Bluray

In 1996, the cold war spy thriller series, Mission: Impossible, made the leap from fan-favorite television series to big budget theatrical production. The potential for a franchise out of this was great -- and realized, with several M:I films having been released since.

It was clear from the beginning that a torch was going to have to be passed from IMF leader Jim Phelps (with Jon Voight playing the role made iconic by Peter Graves) to the new guy, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Old time fans were prepared to accept that. But what they weren't prepared for was the absolutely disrespectful way Phelps was removed from duty. It's been 25 years, so I really shouldn't have to worry about a spoiler warning at this point, but if that sort of thing bothers you, this is the last paragraph you want to read of this review.

Thu
20
May

Tom and Jerry Asks the Question: What If the Whole World was Toontown?

Tom and Jerry the Movie

Tom and Jerry, the Hanna-Barbera cat-and-mouse frenemies, have had a fairly decent run of direct-to-DVD animated adventures, where our heroes get dropped into animated versions of classic movies like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or The Wizard of Oz. Perhaps this success emboldened the decision to make the jump to the big screen with Tom and Jerry: The Movie. If so, they might have stuck with the formula that was working, choosing to animate yet another classic movie with the titular characters running hijinks behind the plot.

Thu
06
May

Massacre Video's "The Underground" Will Leave You Wanting to Know More About Phil Schneider

The Underground

Massacre Video brings to you both the REMASTERED version and the original UNCUT version of The Underground: The True Story of Phil Schneider, along with a special BONUS disc of 4 of Phil’s 1995 lectures.

Believe him or not, Phil Schneider tells a fantastic tale that is truly out of this world.

Growing up the son of a U-boat captain for Hitler’s army, Phil's dad was captured by French military forces during World War 2 and then released to the United States, with his family, where he worked as a master machinist for the US Army.

Phil followed in his father’s footsteps, also working for the US military. He became a high ranking geologist and engineer, and his knowledge was put to great use during the 1970s when the demand for Deep Underground Military Bases -- or D.U.M.B.s -- were becoming more commonplace. In 1979, during one of his assignments for a geological dig on a site in Dulce, New Mexico, Phil’s life changed forever.

Sun
02
May

Arrow Films Lets You See The Invisible Man on Blu-ray

Invisible Man Appears / vs. The Human Fly

Arrow Films brings to Blu-ray Japan's adaptation of H.G. Wells' classic story, The Invisible Man in this wonderful double feature set that proves science is neither good nor evil, but can can be used for either purpose.

The first film in the set is The Invisible Man Appears. Shot exactly like the Universal Monsters movies of the 40's and 50's, it uses everything that those were known for -- a crime drama noir with suspense and a small dash of horror. Shot in 1949, The Invisible Man Appears was one of Eiji Tsuburaya's earliest special effects projects. Tsuburaya would become renowned for his work on Godzilla five years later.

Thu
29
Apr

Lords of Light! Thundarr the Barbarian Gets Blu-ray Release!

Thundarr Barbarian Blu-ray

In 1980, kids were being prepared for the apocalypse -- which was actually going to be pretty cool and happen in 1994, when a rogue planet would pass between the Earth and the moon, splitting Luna into pieces and leaving devastation in its wake. All we had to do was wait 2000 years for mankind to rise up from the ashes into a world filled with savage creatures, sorcery, and super-science!

Tue
20
Apr

Launch into Nostalgia with Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space

Josie Pussycats Outer Space Complete

Josie and the Pussycats were the quintessential teen rock band of animated cartoons. Spinning out of Archie Comics and travelling the globe to spread their music far and wide, the only way the animated series could top itself was for Dan DeCarlo's little girl to take the show to a whole new level.

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space didn't get an origin episode to launch this new endeavor. It didn't need one. The show's musical intro ingeniously did this in just a couple of beats, showing how a photo opportunity for a space launch went awry when Alexandra pushed her way to the front of the group, knocking them all into the rocket and accidentally pulling the launch lever. Now they careen throughout space, looking for a way to get back home to Earth.

Mon
05
Apr

The El Duce Tapes: Arrow's Time Portal into the Outrageous Band's History

The El Duce Tapes

Arrow Video presents the long lost footage of the creator of the SHOCK ROCK band "THE MENTORS" on Blu-ray.

Tue
30
Mar

Wonder Woman 1984 a Less Lustrous Sequel

Wonder Woman 1984 Blu-ray

I've had my misgivings about WONDER WOMAN 1984 ever since seeing the psychedelic poster with the golden angel armor. And while the armor fits nicely into the story, and with a decent reason attached to it (save for how Diana brought it to America, unless she's making back-and-forth trips to Themyscira), it's really there just to set up the nostalgic wink in the post-credits scene of the film.

In 1984, Diana (Gal Gadot) is working as an antiquities expert in a museum while also doing the whole Wonder Woman thing on the side. Apparently the directors almost forgot that Batman himself was unable to uncover any evidence of Diana after her photo taken in World War I, so we see one obligatory "take out the security cameras" scene, albeit surely too little too late. Still, the rest of the film beggars credulity that Diana could have kept herself so far out of the public eye while simultaneously appearing so publicly so often.

Sun
07
Mar

Shogun's Joy of Torture not for Weak Hearts

Shogun's Joy of Torture

Arrow Films brings to Blu-ray the horror anthology film Shogun's Joy of Torture by cult film director Teruo Ishii. Made in 1968 at the height of the Japanese "pinkie" films -- the equivalant of America's Grindhouse 42nd Street sleeze and exploitation films of the time. It was a stylized and shocking movie that Toei Films banked on bringing audiences away from their televison sets and back into the theaters to see the imagery that was "too hot" to be shown on any televison at the time (or today for that matter).

Some may summarize this as an historical violent portrayal of crime and punishment from the time period in which it was set. Others may say it is pure torture-porn trash cinema in the vein of directors such as Jess Franco who just throw sex and violence in your face for no reason other then shock value.

Sun
14
Feb

Snakes on a Train: Snowpiercer Collects Worst of Humanity as Planet's Last Survivors

Snowpiercer Season 1 Blu-ray

Snowpiercer is a television series based on the movie of the same name, starring Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, and an expanding cast of characters who, mostly, represent the less-than-respectable aspects of humanity.

The Snowpiercer itself is a train, 1000 cars long, that houses the last remaining humans on Earth. With the planet frozen over, one man's vision was to create a train that would keep traveling around the globe, generating heat and being a self-sustaining environment to support everyone until... well, until the world warmed up again, I suppose. As plans go, I'd have probably opted for a space station, or an underground bunker. But, hey, who doesn't love a train? And maybe we'll even get a toy line out of it.

Sun
14
Feb

JSA: Joint Security Area

JSA Joint Security Area Blu-ray

Arrow Films brings to Blu-ray Joint Security Area, a 2000 South Korean mystery thriller film starring Lee Young-ae, Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho. Directed by  Park Chan-wook, JSA is based on the novel DMZ by Park Sang-yeon, and was the highest-grossing film in Korean film history at the time. It won Best Film at the 2000 Blue Dragon Film Awards and the 2001 Grand Bell Awards.

In order to give a SPOILER FREE write-up of this film, I will first need to explain what a JSA is to those of you that may not know the history of the conflict between North and South Korea. The Joint Security Area is the only portion of the Korean Demilitarized Zone where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face. The JSA is used by the two Koreas for diplomatic engagements and, until March 1991, was also the site of military negotiations between North Korea and the United Nations Command.

Tue
26
Jan

Kaye's Classic Comedy on the Blu that is True: Paramount's Court Jester

The Court Jester

The comedic genius of Danny Kaye shines no brighter anywhere than it does in his medieval musical with more castle intrigue than any film that's ever swashed a buckle or buckled a swash. Kaye plays Humbert Hawkins, a former carnival worker who left his job to join up with The Black Fox (Edward Ashley), a Robin Hood figure who rallies folks to help him defend the country against the tyrannical King Roderick I (Cecil Parker), who assumed the throne after he had his men kill the entire royal family.

Sun
24
Jan

Evan Morgan's The Kid Detective a Darkly Comic Evolution of a Genre

The Kid Detective

As a kid, Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators (when they still were partnered with "Alfred Hitchcock and...") were a good chunk of my reading adventures. They were relateable to a young audience, and they caught the bad guys by being smart.

Evan Morgan's The Kid Detective evolves that concept by taking that innocence and charm and running it through the wringer of a few decades of reality. When Abe Applebaum was a kid (Jesse Noah Gruman), he ran a detective agency from his treehouse, solving little mysteries for a quarter with his best-friend assistant, the mayor's daughter Gracie Gulliver (Kaitlyn Chalmers-Rizzato). He even got to solve a few locally high-profile cases and became enough of a name that -- when someone spitefully chopped down his tree -- the town gave him his own office downtown from which to operate.

Tue
19
Jan

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? Remains Faithful to Source While Thoroughly Modern

Scooby Doo and Guess Who? Season 1

Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. have been an enduring franchise for several reasons, one being that the animation producers have been so open to innovation. One of these innovations early on came with The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a collection of adventures that revolved around Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby crossing paths with famous celebrities (who voiced themselves) or other popular cartoon characters.

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