The United States Post Office has had quite a challenging year. Leadership changes, cutbacks, setbacks, and financial woes are just a few of the things that this government agency has faced due to our current administration. But understanding how important timely mail delivery is, from letters and packages to medications and ballots, people from all across the United States showed their support for those whose work motto is "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." But what many Americans may not know is that since 1907,
How the USPS helps make Christmas happen every year.
A holistic picture of the complex poet and musician Shane MacGowan
Do you listen to the Pogues? If your answer is "no" or "I'm not sure", as the holidays are upon us, and Christmas music fills the air, you will more than likely hear "Fairytale of New York" by the Pogues and the late Kristy MacColl at some time during the month. The haunting and beautiful opening lyrics filling the air: It was Christmas Eve, babeIn the drunk tankAn old man said to me, "Won't see another one"And then he sang a song"The Rare Old Mountain Dew"I turned my face awayAnd dreamed about you But if your answer to "do you
This 4K limited edition of the anime film includes the film's soundtrack and a fascinating feature-length making-of documentary.
Whatever misgivings I had about 2019's Weathering With You when I reviewed it a couple of months ago in its initial Blu-ray release, it is a remarkably pretty film. While the character designs and animation are definitely within the typical anime style (big eyes, simplified facial designs) the backgrounds are nearly photorealistic, with just enough push in their colors and movement of the elements to keep them from looking like staid still images. The story, about a Tokyo drowning in rain, a runaway who needs to find his place, and the girl who can change the weather who becomes his
A perfect blend of comedy and action staring Eddie Murphy.
Once upon a time, in a century past, during a decade called the Eighties, there was a legendary man who was no mere mortal. He was loved by millions for his edgy comedic style. But not only was he known for his standup comedy, but he also starred in some of the most famous sketches on a television show called Saturday Night Live. As he blossomed into stardom a small television show could no longer contain his immense talents and the silver screen beckoned him away. In that magical place his celebrity intensified as he became the biggest box-office star
A slow-burn romance that's disappointingly too measured.
Similar to director Francis Lee’s feature debut God’s Own Country, Ammonite is an incredibly minimalist romance set against the backdrop of a luscious landscape. A similar reliance on the actors’ faces to convey the romance at hand as we hear winds and waves blowing instead of an ominous musical score. Even the story elements are pretty similar to God’s Own Country as it involves a working-class protagonist feeling cut off from the world around her only for a person from a different background, whether it’s a different country or social background, to enter her environment and reshape her life. The
This five-part miniseries depicts the 1986 nuclear disaster, and the cover ups and lies that made it worse.
Chernobyl is a horror story with two monsters. One is technological, the other is human. The human horror caused the technological, which wreaked its havoc upon an unsuspecting, completely unknowing populace. It's a story about the terror of an unseen monster wantonly destroying lives, and about a system of men desperate to avoid responsibility and accountability, letting more die rather than stepping in and doing what little they could to stop it. The historical facts are, of course, now well known: on April 24th of 1986, a reactor at a Soviet nuclear power plant at Chernobyl exploded, sending up swaths
Cronenberg's most provocative and sexually charged film headlines a new week of interesting releases.
When you think of legendary director David Cronenberg, you picture highly original works of twisted horror and scientific madness. Whether it's Shivers (his film debut), The Brood, Scanners, Videodrome, The Fly, among others, you're bound to experience content, themes, and characters you've never seen before. The kinky 1996 cult masterpiece, Crash, arguably his most explicit outing, is definitely no exception. Adapted from author J.G. Ballard's future-shock novel from the '70s, the film stars James Spader, Deborah Kara Unger, and Holly Hunter as an insubordinate commercial producer, his coolly nonchalant wife, and a mysterious doctor, who are brought together after a
It’s Happy Who Year once again as Doctor Who returns on New Year’s Day with Dalek-filled special.
Press release: The Thirteenth Doctor will kick-off 2021 with an action-packed episode entitled “Revolution of the Daleks,” set to air on BBC AMERICA on New Year’s Day - Friday, January 1st at 8pm ET/PT. The holiday special will see a host of exciting guest stars including previously announced John Barrowman MBE, who will be reprising his role as Captain Jack Harkness, alongside Chris Noth (Sex and the City), who will be back as the disgraced Jack Robertson. Dame Harriet Walter (Killing Eve, Succession) will also be making her Doctor Who debut for the special, alongside television star Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (The
Box set features a mostly strong curated selection of classic episodes featuring the original cast
This new box set cherry picks 33 complete episodes from the first five years of Saturday Night Live, acting as something of a sampler for the full-season sets that remain available. I’m not entirely sure who the target audience is here, as hardcore fans of the early years will undoubtedly opt for the full seasons, but this is a good abbreviated way to get the flavor of the show during the full run of the original cast. The video quality isn’t the greatest, especially around the discolored frame edges, entirely due to the original videotaped format that likely wasn’t preserved
A deeply submerged melancholia often surfaces in this film that celebrates persistence and the spirit of life.
Saul and Ruby’s Holocaust Survivor Band makes for an excellent companion piece to The Lady in Number 6, a documentary about the 108-year-old holocaust-surviving pianist Alice Herz-Sommer. In a way, Alice is the prime reason why this film exists. Early in the film, Saul Dreier, a holocaust-surviving drummer, tells that he came up with the idea of forming a band of Holocaust survivors after coming across an article on Alice, thus setting things in motion for the establishment of the orchestra. On his pursuit for fellow holocaust-surviving musicians, he discovers Ruby Sosnowicz, a keyboardist/accordionist and they start their musical journey.
This set showcases that Dolly Parton's musical talent, charisma, and spirit have remained a constant over the decades.
The first four volumes of Dolly: The Ultimate Collection from Time Life contains a massive amount of TV appearances across 19 discs and over six decades. This set showcases that Dolly Parton's musical talent, charisma, and spirit remained a constant while her appearance frequently changed. Volume 1 contains 6 discs. The first three discs contain eight episodes from her eponymous 1987 variety show that aired on ABC. The shows are packed with guest stars and hokey humor, but the songs are what's worth watching. Disc 3 focuses on Christmas with a Dolly episode paired with Bob Hope's Jolly Christmas Show
Encyclopedic in its scope and a must-have for fans of Star Trek and/or special effects in any visual medium.
In Star Trek: The Artistry of Dan Curry by Dan Curry and Ben Robinson, the reader is constantly reminded that all of Dan Curry’s work has been in collaboration with a dedicated and talented team; however, it is obvious very quickly that Curry has a singular, impressive vision that steers the ship. The effects and stories behind credits sequences, alien and alien weapons design, to complex set decorations, highlight Curry’s intelligence, wit, and laser-like focus on adding realism and wonder to every storyline. Curry’s genius shines from every page. Some of the most insightful moments come in the form of
The Irishman (2019) Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Welcome Addition to Martin Scorsese's Filmography
It's what it is: a fitting bookend to his gangster films.
Martin Scorsese's epic The Irishman makes a fitting bookend to his gangster films as one mobster tells his story while living out his twilight days at a retirement home, alone because of the life chosen and the decisions made. The film is also poignant because it's likely the last fans will get to see the trio of Scorsese and actors Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci together telling a story of such scale and scope, if not the last story they tell as Pesci had to be coaxed out of retirement. The titular character is Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a
Crip Camp, MLK/FBI, Time, and The Truffle Hunters receive multiple nominations.
Press release: The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced the 36th Annual IDA Documentary Awards Nominees. “The nominees present an inspiring and urgent range of stories from around the globe," said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA. “The broad range of subjects and approaches to storytelling underscores that documentary is our most exciting form of cultural expression, a vital art form and a crucial element of democratic dialogue.” The IDA also announced today that the 2020 Awards will take place in a virtual ceremony on Saturday, January 16, 2021. IDA members will have the opportunity to vote online for
Covering Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media, Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media, and Best Song Written For Visual Media
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States released their nominees for the 2021 Grammy Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The eligibility period was October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021 and broadcast live on CBS / CBS All Access. Honoring the "best" music in Visual Media are the following categories. Links go to our coverage of the films. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media Award to the artist(s) and/or ‘in studio’ producer(s) of a majority of the tracks on the album.
Gene Kelly and Judy Garland struggle to right this listing ship
On paper, this classic musical has everything going for it. Headlined by the top-tier star pairing of Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, with songs by Cole Porter and direction by Vincente Minnelli, it’s a dream team of talent that seems like a guaranteed hit. So why is it barely known today? Well, to the creators' credit, they tried to do something unique with the pirate theme, but to their detriment, it doesn’t really work out. Still, it’s a glorious, over-the-top mess stuffed with superb production numbers and a mercilessly mugging Kelly setting the standard for flamboyant screen pirates decades before
A massive 15-disc box set of one of the all-time greatest iconoclasts headlines a new week of interesting releases.
I don't have to tell you that Federico Fellini remains one of the greatest filmmakers in the history of film. He was an artist who crafted a cinematic spectacle all his own, creating an unique but sometimes bleak world full of dreamers, whose desires, fears, nightmares, and hopes all take center stage. Yes, you can say that he could be over-indulgent, especially when it came to color, eccentricity, so many set pieces, and larger-than-life characters, but that's what was so interesting and phenomenal about him. He made films the way he wanted to make them: full of life, humor, and
A suitable comedy for this particular holiday season that's both humorous and incredibly emotive.
One way to describe co-writer/director Clea DuVall's Happiest Season is that it serves as a heartfelt holiday gem as satisfying as a Christmas cookie served with bitter gingerbread coffee that has dabs of cream and sugar. Although audiences sadly won’t get the experience of watching it in a crowded theater, it’s still the kind of solid piece of escapism this holiday season needs with enough poignancy to strike a chord with viewers. Queer viewers, in particular, will be moved by it due to its handling of the “coming out” experience and how even life after coming out of the closet
IDW Previews Five Glorious Pages of Wild West Weirdness from 'Chained to the Grave' Comic Book Series
An original tale of intrigue, murder, and magic for mature audiences debuts in February.
Press release: From the creative team of co-writers Brian Level (Darth Vader, Thanos, Deadpool) and Andy Eschenbach (Heavy Metal Magazine, Red Shoes) and artist Kate Sherron (Invader Zim, The Amazing World of Gumball) comes Chained to the Grave, a five-issue comic book series of Old West action -- with a wholly unique visual style and supernatural weirdness aplenty! In anticipation of February’s #1 issue launch, IDW is proud to debut the opening scene of this mature-themed miniseries for all the world to enjoy. Outlaw Roy Mason has come back from the dead, chained to the headstone that marked his grave.
Beginning in February, IDW invites readers of all ages to experience original characters and new threats from a galaxy far, far away.
Press release: In its first contribution to Lucasfilm’s bold Star Wars: The High Republic publishing campaign spanning comics and prose, IDW announces today the February 3rd, 2021 launch of Star Wars: The High Republic Adventures, an ongoing comic book series set 200 years before the live action film continuity. Writer Daniel José Older, bestselling author of Star Wars: Last Shot, joins artist Harvey Tolibao and colorist Rebecca Nalty for a tale of the Republic’s glory days that -- while aimed at middle grade readers -- provides a unique perspective to pivotal moments in the Star Wars timeline that fans of
Serpentine feels like a lazy Sunday afternoon with close friends but is only for fans who are completionists.
Serpentine, by Philip Pullman, is the latest entry into the author’s much lauded His Dark Materials. Coming in at fewer than 5,000 words, this is not a story, it is a short story. However, it will stand up to multiple readings. Because this is such a short entry in the His Dark Materials universe, there is not much I can say about the plot without giving everything away; however, I can say that Serpentine focuses on teenager Lyra Silvertongue and her daemon Pantalaimon visiting the town of Trollesund with an important interlude involving Dr. Lanselius and his daemon snake. Lyra
The Dark Knight goes back to the 1970s for a supernatural-laden martial arts extravaganza.
Press release: Renowned animation producer Bruce Timm takes the Dark Knight back to the 1970s for a supernatural-laden martial arts extravaganza in Batman: Soul Of The Dragon, the next entry in the popular series of the DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film will be released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 12, 2021, and on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray on January 26, 2021. The film is rated R for some violence. Batman: Soul Of The Dragon will be available on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo
A Blu-ray collection of 35 newly restored films showcasing the burgeoning individual talents of the legendary comedy duo.
Press release: Proudly presented in a deluxe Blu-ray edition by Flicker Alley, the Library of Congress, and Blackhawk Films, Laurel or Hardy: Early Films of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy traces the roots of the legendary comedy duo by offering fans a two-disc set of 35 newly restored films starring either Stan Laurel or Oliver Hardy—all produced before the two genius talents ever joined forces. Laurel and Hardy became cinematic legends together, but before they were ever hauling pianos or throwing pies as a hilarious and unforgettable comedic duo, each had to develop as an individual artist and performer. Laurel
Celebrates 20th anniversary of "In the Mood for Love" with new restoration; includes U.S. premiere of newly restored "Chungking Express".
Press release: Films you'll love for 10,000 years, the cinema of Wong Kar Wai is steeped in sensual colors, groundbreaking editing, and heart-wrenching drama. Janus Films is proud to present a touring retrospective that includes brand-new restorations of seven of the master's most dazzling films, including the US premiere of Chungking Express and the world premiere of newly restored films As Tears Go By, Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels, Happy Together, a director's cut of The Hand, and on the occasion of it's twentieth anniversary, a newly restored In the Mood for Love. The retrospective will begin November 25
Jim Jarmusch's 1999 quirky action classic starts off a new week of interesting releases.
Legendary and celebrated indie director Jim Jarmusch is the type of filmmaker that you can't place in a certain box. Every film he makes has a style and craft that is pretty unique. Yes, they can be offbeat, slow, and low-brow, but that is what makes them striking and highly original. One of his best and most accessible films, the 1999 take on the modern hit-man Ghost Dog; The Way of the Samurai, definitely represents the eccentricity that Jarmusch is famous for. In one of his signature roles, the great Forest Whitaker plays a Zen, contract killer working for an
If you aren't already a fan, this documentary makes the case for what an immense talent he is.
Named after Canadian troubadour Gordon Lightfoot's 1970 breakout hit in the United States, Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni's biographical documentary makes mind reading unnecessary because what his songs don't tell you about the man, he and the other interviewees fill in the rest. Right from the start, it's clear that the man from Orilla, Ottawa remains a perfectionist about his work, as revealed by other musicians later in the film. “For Lovin' Me” was released on his debut album in 1966, but it had already been recorded by folk artists Peter, Paul, and Mary and Ian & Sylvia and would
Fans of Star Trek: Voyager will be pleased to receive added insight into favorite storylines from the series; unfortunately, such scenes are few and far between.
The Autobiography of Kathryn Janeway, by Una McCormack, is the third book in a series of planned Star Trek “autobiographies” following 2015’s The Autobiography of James. T. Kirk and 2017’s The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, both written by author David A. Goodman. The book spans the entirety of Janeway’s life from her idyllic childhood on a small farm outside Bloomington, Indiana, to her position as vice-admiral in Starfleet Command. In between, we learn of Janeway’s time at the Starfleet Academy, her first command, and insightful revelations concerning her time lost in the Delta Quadrant—an adventure first recounted in the seven
As Jungleland gets hit with convention, the three leading performers still serve as its strong emotional center.
The newest fighting drama Jungleland feels like a cross between The Fighter and Of Mice and Men. Like the former film, it emphasizes on the tempestuous nature of siblinghood to the point where there’s little high-octane fighting sequences. As for how Jungleland compares to the latter, it follows two men going across the country in pursuit of the American Dream, dealing with the complications of going on such a venture. Stanley Kaminski (Charlie Hunnam) serves as the “George Milton” of the brotherly duo as he’s quick-witted and uses his brother Lion (Jack O’Connell) as an opportunity to build a better
Ronix Flix pulls out all the stops for a still notorious 1978 cult classic with a collection that may be a must-have, depending on your tastes.
If you discuss some of the most controversial films ever made, Meir Zarchi's 1978 still-divisive, cult-classic I Spit on Your Grave (aka Day of the Woman) should always come up at some point. It's one of those definitive love-it-or-hate-it movies that refuses to lay down and die. Whatever your viewpoint is about its merits (which it actually has), it continues to have a life, even after 42 years. Because of its eventual resurgence, especially as a feminist statement, it has spawned a franchise, which includes a 2010 remake (that has its own sequels, from 2013 & 2015) and its own
A mysterious and sumptuously produced film about a newlywed woman finding monsters on her honeymoon, supernatural and otherwise.
On the first level, Daughters of Darkness is a film about a newly married couple who encounter an intriguing, if overly familiar and insistent, traveling royal on the Continent, who tries to seduce them into her strange and ultimately deadly web. The husband and wife are tempted, spied upon, and ultimately driven to desperation. But they might have already been desperate before the Countess Bathory crossed their path. Stefan and Valerie, played John Karlen and Danielle Ouimet, respectively, begin their story on a train, where they make passionate (and fairly graphic) love. Afterwards, she asks him if he loves her,
No matter what the groundhog sees, we get to see five new additions to the Collection.
The Criterion Collection will be presenting five new additions to their roster in February. The quintet are Alan J. Pakula's The Parallax View; Ousmane Sembène’s Mandabi; two by Ramin Bahrani: Man Push Cart and Chop Shop; and Joyce Chopra's Smooth Talk. Read on to learn more about them. The Parallax View (#1064) out Feb 9 Perhaps no director tapped into the pervasive sense of dread and mistrust that defined the 1970s more effectively than Alan J. Pakula, who, in the second installment of his celebrated Paranoia Trilogy, offers a chilling vision of America in the wake of the assassinations of
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully narrates the official World Series documentary that chronicles the first Dodgers championship since 1988.
Press release: Like so many events, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically reshaped how this MLB season looked and felt. After navigating unprecedented challenges, playing a restructured regular season, a new postseason format and the first neutral site World Series in modern history, the historic 2020 season culminated in an unforgettable Fall Classic and with the Los Angeles Dodgers being crowned champions for the first time in since 1988. Dodgers fans can rejoice and relive all the excitement, drama, and life-changing moments of the 2020 World Series against the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays, in the official 2020 World Series film
A queer coming-of-age story as jarring as it is nonchalant.
Dating Amber is easily the first coming-of-age queer story I’ve seen to give me such severe PTSD. Seeing the two central characters, Eddie (Fionn O’Shea) and Amber (Lola Petticrew), be subjected to such ridicule to the point where they pretend to be a couple despite being a gay and a lesbian, respectively, brought back painful memories of similar ridicule when I was in eighth grade. During a time where I was unsure of my own sexuality, I had to deal with classmates always badgering me about who I had a crush on and because I tried keeping mum about that
The Blu-ray from Warner Archive delivers satisfying high-definition video that will please long-time fans and should help attract new ones.
Originally running from September 18, 1964-March 11, 1965, Jonny Quest is an animated, science fiction/adventure series from Hanna-Barbera Productions. It was created by artist Douglas S. Wildey at the behest of the studio when they couldn't get the rights to create an adaptation of the popular radio drama, Jack Armstrong, the All-American Boy. The TV series presents 26 thrilling boys' adventures set around the world in the (then) near future. In the first episode, “The Mystery of the Lizard Men,” the main characters are introduced: the 11-year-old titular character (Tim Matheson); his widowed father, scientist Dr. Benton Quest (voiced by
Programming tribute airing on November 25 to include You Only Live Twice (1967) and Marnie (1964).
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will celebrate the life and career of seminal actor Sean Connery with a programming tribute on Wednesday, November 25. Connery, who passed away on October 31 at the age of 90, was iconic for originating the role of James Bond, starring in seven Bond films from 1962 to 1983. He also exhibited his range in films including Alfred Hitchcock’s last great work Marnie (1964) and later The Untouchables (1987), which earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The following is the complete schedule for TCM's on-air tribute to Sean Connery: TCM Remembers
A heartbreaking story about searching for the truth that lies between reunion and grief.
There is a point in the new documentary, Where She Lies, where one of the interviewees uses the phrase, “It was a different time.” This is a phrase that gets tacked onto horrendous stories from decades past. For many people, it serves as a way to excuse things like abuse, assault, and manipulation. But this flippant phrase does more than that, it also silences the stories and the humanity of the victims who experienced these horrendous things. While researching another project, filmmaker Zach Marion read a short article about a woman named Peggy Williams who was raised in these “different
A 1978 modern classic about female friendship and women in the big city tops a new week of interesting releases.
In popular culture, we've seen great movies and TV shows about female friendships and the ups and downs that obviously inhabit them. There was Sex and the City, Thelma and Louise, Gilmore Girls, Booksmart, Girls, and The Golden Girls, among others. But I think they all owe a great deal of gratitude to director Claudia Weill's landmark 1978 classic Girlfriends. It's an unfairly overlooked and incredibly underrated portrait of the often tense conflicts but deep bonds and communication between women. The film stars Melanie Mayron and Anita Skinner as Susan and Anne, very best friends living togerther in Manhattan on
Although there's been a glut of superhero TV shows the past few years, Stargirl feels fresh and is executed so well on all fronts.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Based on the comic book character created by writer Geoff Johns and artist Lee Moder, the Stargirl gang made their first appearance, briefly, in the Arrowverse crossover event, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," before the debut of their stellar 13-episode season, which aired on the DC Universe streaming service and the CW. The series opens with a flashback to ten years ago when the Justice Society lost a major defeat at the hands
The amusing special is paired with the very disappointing He's A Bully, Charlie Brown.
You’re Not Elected, Charlie Brown is the eighth Peanuts television special. It first aired in October 1972 before the U.S. Presidential election and is based on a strip that ran in October 1964. After seeing the announcement for the upcoming election for class president, Linus suggests Charlie Brown run. After self-appointed political strategist Lucy polls the student body, she learns he has no chance but discovers Linus has a 99% chance of winning, so he throws his hat into the ring to run against Russell Anderson. At the debate between the candidates, Linus makes a lot of promises that excite
An entertaining and thought-provoking series with a unique story and important themes.” - Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, TV Marketing.
Press release: Lovecraftian horror meets historical fiction in Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season, HBO’s suspenseful drama, which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on February 16, 2021. Featuring all 10 episodes from the series’ premiere season, Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season is priced to own at $29.98 SRP ($39.99 in Canada) for the DVD and $39.99 SRP ($44.98 in Canada) for the Blu-ray which includes Digital Copy (US only). Lovecraft Country: The Complete First Season is also available to own on Digital via purchase from digital retailers. Based on the 2016 novel