October 2014 Archives

Rifftrax Live: Anaconda Movie Review - A Slithering Halloween Treat

Come sail down the Amazon with the Rifftrax crew!
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Attending a Rifftrax Live show is fun, no matter the film being lampooned. The amount of like-minded individuals who love to attend and laugh creates an infectious atmosphere that can elevate the ridiculous to levels of sheer insanity. After the grandiose riffing of Godzilla a few months back - a film Rifftrax leader, Mike Nelson said presented a challenge in sustaining laughs due to length - audiences were hoping for a return to form, and boy did we get it! Anaconda is a throwback to the creature features of 1950s with a group of misfits riding a dilapidated boat

Cinema Eye Announces the 2015 Unforgettables

"The Unforgettables celebrates the fearlessness of this unique collaboration between filmmakers and subjects."
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As announced on their website, "Cinema Eye, the organization that celebrates artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking, have announced their annual list of “The Unforgettables” - this year’s most notable and significant nonfiction film subjects. “Filmmakers know that their relationships with their subjects are often the most important element of in the success of their films,” Cinema Eye Founding Director AJ Schnack said. “Many of the greatest documentaries ever made - from Grey Gardens to Crumb to American Movie - were built on compelling individuals who allowed a filmmaker to capture and observe their lives. With the Unforgettables we celebrate

A Handful of de Havilland: Three Obscure Olivias from the Warner Archive

Olivia de Havilland encounters the plights and perils of a gold rush, a wartime rush, and rushed productions in a trio of forgotten films.
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In the middle of October 2014, Olivia de Havilland found herself having outlived her frequent, iconic on-screen romantic interest from motion pictures of the '30s and '40s, one Mr. Errol Flynn, by five-and-a-half decades. Oddly enough, despite the fact that she retired from the film industry nearly thirty years after her famous leading hero passed away in 1959, Ms. de Havilland nevertheless managed to tally up the same amount of acting roles for film and television as he did. And yet, despite a relatively brief legacy in Hollywood - a career that waned in the '50s due to motherhood and

American Titan: Searching for John Wayne Book Giveaway

There will be 3 Godfathers--er, 3 winners.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Dey Street Books to award three lucky readers American Titan: Searching for John Wayne, which will be released on November 4. For those wanting to learn more about the book, the press release reads: In American Titan: Searching for John Wayne (Dey Street Books/an Imprint of HarperCollins; On sale November 4, 2014; $28.99), New York Times bestselling biographer Marc Eliot offers an in-depth reappraisal of the fascinating life and work of the great film star. As he has done in his acclaimed biographies of Clint Eastwood, Walt Disney, James Stewart, and other Hollywood legends,

Earth to Echo Blu-ray Review: Steven Spielberg's Lawyers Ought to Be Happy

A nostalgic family film that wants to remind you of classic '80s adventure movies, but instead made me chuck things at my TV.
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I recently wrote about how I’ve become obsessed with the idea of watching all the old movies I loved as a kid with my own child. There is something really wonderful about the sharing of films that meant a great deal to yourself as you grew up with your own offspring as they grow older. Along with this, I’ve began to wonder what new films my daughter will love. What films will she take with her to college and get all nostalgia-eyed with her suite mates and girlfriends? What will be her Karate Kid? Her Gremlins? At three, she’s really

Good People Blu-ray Review: Good People, So-So Movie

Not as good as its cast might imply.
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Good People treads the rather well worn theme of greed making good people turn bad, greed specifically in this case being money. The story starts out with a drug deal double-cross gone bad, and the double-crosser turns up dead of an overdose a couple days later in his London flat. When the landlords Tom (James Franco) and Anna (Kate Hudson) venture into their tenant's apartment to ask him to turn down his blaring television, they find the corpse as well as about 300,000 pounds in cash. Unlike the tiresome Come Morning, Good People is slightly more deserving of being compared

Snowpiercer Blu-ray Review: Off to See the Wizard

Intelligent, thought-provoking sci-fi drama with winning performances and production design.
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Chris Evans struck box-office gold with his latest Captain America film this year, but his other recent comic book film is equally entertaining. Based on an obscure French graphic novel, Snowpiercer imagines a post-apocalyptic world that has frozen over, trapping all human survivors on a huge train on a perpetual voyage around the world. Much like Speed, if their transport drops below a certain speed, they’ll all die, but in this case it’s due to the extreme cold outside rather than any explosives. The train has a rigid class system, with the poor huddled masses in the rear and the

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three Titles Revealed

I don't know about you, but Make Mine Marvel.
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This morning at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, Marvel Studios President/producer Kevin Feige announced the slate of films planned for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which sent shockwaves of joy through the Internet. Over the next five years, movie-goers will be able to see: Captain America: Civil War | May 6, 2016 The team behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier, directors Anthony and Joe Russo and screenwriters Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, return as Captain America and Iron Man face off. Doctor Strange | November 4, 2016 The Sorceror Supreme enters the MCU under the direction of

Looking For Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders DVD Review: Even in Death, He Still Slings Six-strings

Spanish filmmaker Danny Garcia unravels the mysterious sadness of a guitar god.
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The Murder City Devils, one of the great outsider rock bands of the past two decades, once sang “Took a city like New Orleans to kill a man like Johnny Thunders / A man who died with a guitar in his hands.” It’s the city as beast slaying Thunders, The New York Dolls' guitarist and former Heartbreakers' front man who even in death still slings six-strings. Named after its subject, the song’s as tough as Thunders whose music couldn’t be pried from his cold dead hands. Solidifying the man’s mythos as he drifts off into death they scream, “And the

Album Review: Gallagher: I Am Who I Pretend To Be: A Final Farewell from a Once Great Comedian

A reminder you of how great Gallagher once was.
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Comedian Leo Gallagher was the biggest comedian on the planet during the 1980s. He was selling out venues all over the world with his observational humor, prop comedy, and his infamous Sledge-O-Matic routine where he parodied a late-night infomercial while smashing watermelons all over his delighted audience. Now, having been out of the limelight for over 20 years, Gallagher has released a 55-minute comedy CD, his first album since 1978, recorded at the Ice House Comedy Club during his farewell tour. After 14 Showtime comedy specials where visual effects were so prominent, it’s a little difficult to let go of

Album Review: Dr. Katz Live: The Classic Animated Comedy Live and on Stage

There's no squigglevision, but the laughs are as strong as they ever were.
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For my first three years of college I didn’t have a TV. I had a radio but never listened to it, and I stopped subscribing to music magazines. I did watch a lot of movies but for the most part I was living in a pop-culture void. I didn’t really miss it and I can't say that I missed much. Although I still sometimes find myself wondering what the deal with Friends was. My senior year I moved into an apartment with three other guys and one of them had a TV. I started trying to catch up with all

My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks Blu-ray Review: Entertainment for the Entire Family

Equestria Girls proves that friendship and music really is magic.
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In fall of 2013, the world was introduced to My Little Pony Equestria Girls, an alternate reality in which the four-legged friends from Canterlot were re-imagined as teenage girls. At first glance, it seemed like little more than a cash grab - a way for the popular characters to horn in turf previously occupied by the likes of Barbie and Monster High. And maybe it was; after all, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is little more than a series of 22-minute commercials for a toy line, right? Except that it isn't. Any parent who watches the show with their

Deliver Us from Evil (2014) is the Pick of the Week

Surprisingly its a weak week for scary movies, but a good one for everything else.
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In case you’ve been stuck inside without any form of media (or a calendar) over the last month, Halloween is this Friday. I love this holiday more than just about any other day. I love the weather, the candy, the scary movies and dressing my kid up in some ridiculous costume. I just love every little bit of it. For years now, my wife and I have hosted a pumpkin-carving party. We invite all of our friends over, decorate the house, dress up the kids, fill every bowl with candy, put Thriller on the stereo, and carve little orange vegetables
Hollywood has been remaking movies for nearly as long as its been making them. It does seem that the last few years, going back as far as maybe a decade, that the movie machine has been churning out remakes at a faster and faster speed. As subset of the remakes are prequels and reimaginings, which I seem to be seeing more and more as the days roll on. More recently we’ve got the post-Wicked retellings of old stories from the villains point of view. This has been popular in fiction for awhile coming on fast ever since Wicked, Gregory Maguire’s

Album Review: The Blues Magoos: Psychedelic Resurrection

Psychedelic Resurrection is the first album from garage rock band the Blues Magoos in four decades.
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The psychedelic sound of the late 1960s produced many bands with colorful names and one mainstream hit. The Vanilla Fudge, Electric Prunes, Bubble Puppy, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Seeds (not a flashy name, but a major group in the genre), and the Blues Magoos. Hailing from the Bronx, the Blues Magoos formed in 1964 as the Trenchcoats, fusing garage rock with a hint of blues. Best known for their hit “(We Ain’t) Got Nothin’ Yet” and the electric suits they occasionally wore onstage, the band’s debut album Psychedelic Lollipop , released in November 1966, positioned the group as the East

Horns Movie Review: Daniel Radcliffe Can't Handle the Truth

Harry Potter trades his magic wand for a devil's pitchfork in a horror movie providing scares and chuckles before turning loony-cartoony
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Daniel Radcliffe just can’t seem to get away from the supernatural. Harry, er, Daniel’s latest dabble into the occult is the horror/mystery/comedy Horns. He’s quite good in it, and there’s a fair amount of suspense and dark, disturbing humor on display. Unfortunately, near its wind-up the movie takes a wrong turn into an effects-heavy, symbol-laden, comic-book-style battle between Good and Eeeeeeevil. Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, a young man accused of brutally murdering his wonderful, beautiful, pure-hearted girlfriend Merrin. Everyone in town believes he killed her, particularly since it happened the same night that she very publicly dumped him. (The seemingly

One Night at Susie's DVD Review: Makes a Hardened Man Humble

The Warner Archive presents vintage film enthusiasts with one of the few surviving films of actress Billie Dove.
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An early "all-talking" drama developed for audiences before the Hays Office sucked all the life out of the business, One Night at Susie's not only gives us a grand glimpse at an infant Hollywood taking its first steps, but is one of the few films starring Billie Dove to have survived over the years. A highly adored actress of both the stage and the screen, Dove made several dozen movies in the Silent Era, retiring from the business shortly after the Sound Era came to be. Sadly, most of her legacy was erased from history by a studio fire, so

Oh, Sailor Behave DVD Review: Olsen and Johnson Liven a Dud to Death

They don't make 'em like this anymore. And an entire nation - if not universe - can sleep soundly with that assurance.
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Considering the seemingly-infinite amount of musicals Hollywood once proudly cranked out once the members of the industry figured out how to add sound to motion pictures, it's somewhat difficult to imagine that there was a time wherein the very public such items were manufactured for rolled their eyes in discontent at the thought of seeing yet another film with singing and dancing. After all, they could just go see a Broadway play if they wanted to see that type of tripe. And yet the suits in Tinseltown insisted on making musicals; often shooting movie picture adaptations of the same Broadway

John Wick Movie Review: Keanu Reeves Gets His Wick Debt

A nice change of pace action/thriller that will hopefully inspire others to emulate instead of imitate.
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Once upon a time, many moons ago, the American western found itself in dire straits. Movies followed the same regular routine to the point where they began to resemble little more than copies of xeroxed duplicates of toner-based facsimiles reproduced solely to sell the goods. It wasn't until some fresh blood from our Italian brethren was added into the fray - or spilled into the dust, if you prefer - that things started to change; the key ingredient there being violence itself. Sadly, it was only a matter of time before competitors started to repeat the process - choosing to

Begin Again DVD Review: Sorry, Once Was Enough

Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley trapped in a sappy, predictable music industry backstager from the maker of Once.
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When a movie is as cliché-ridden and predictable as Begin Again, it’s often difficult to identify which is more to blame, the screenplay or the direction. In this case, John Carney, who also performed similar chores for the 2006 movie musical Once, has made it easy; he’s again responsible for both. This 2013 tale of middle-aged redemption, artistic striving and music industry backstage story stars two talented, likeable actors, Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley. He’s Dan, a down-and-out former record label exec, nearly broke, divorced and estranged from his teenage daughter Violet (Hailee Steinfeld). She’s Gretta, a talented but unheralded

The Lusty Men DVD Review: An RKO Rodeo Picture

Robert Mitchum and Arthur Kennedy are two wild studs that only Susan Hayward can handle.
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While a day at the rodeo is not typically considered to be the most interesting of settings for a motion picture outside of a weird short subject produced by folks in the midwest, there have been a few notable exceptions to shine across the silver screen from time to time. Some of you may cite Eight Seconds with former teen heartthrob Luke Perry to have been of interest. That said, the obscure '80s music lover in me will always assume you're talking about the short-lived Canadian new wave group of the same name whenever you mention said movie - for,

George Lucas Talks Fantasy Cinema in TCM's Latest A Night at the Movies Documentary

TCM will also be airing a 24-hour salute to films that transport viewers into a world of dreams.
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Press Release: As excitement continues to build over the new trilogy in the Star Wars franchise, the man who created it - George Lucas - is going to take Turner Classic Movies (TCM) viewers on a ride through some of the movies that have sparked his imagination and inspired his career. This November, Lucas will talk extensively about his fantasy favorites in the one-hour special TCM Presents A Night at the Movies: George Lucas & The World of Fantasy Cinema, the latest in the network's ongoing series of genre documentaries. Produced by Amblin Television and award-winning filmmaker and author Laurent

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend DVD Review: The Feel Good Flick of '57

OK, so Randolph Scott, Bret Maverick, and The Green Hornet walk into a bar dressed as Quakers...
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Towards the end of his prolific career as one of Hollywood's favorite cowboy stars, Randolph Scott was prone to signing on for the occasional odd outing in pictures. Just five years before changing his clean-cut good guy image in Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country, wherein the actor subsequently retired from the industry altogether, Scott found himself in a modest, somewhat offbeat Warner Bros. production entitled Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend. Though it would prove to be the final collaboration Warner Bros. had with Mr. Scott, it also highlighted several performers at the beginning of their own careers: James Garner and

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Teaser Trailer

"It's the end. The end of the path I started us on." - Tony Stark
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Thanks to some anonymous jerk who spoiled Marvel's plans (likely some entitled idiot fanboy, but how fun would it be if there was corporate espionage taking place), fans don't have to wait for next week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to see the new trailer for Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron. Scheduled for release on May 1, 2015, the heroes reunite to take on the evil robot Ultron (voiced by James Spader), although the great bit of the trailer is Iron Man in a specially designed suit to handle the Hulk. Give it a look and tell is what you think of

getTV Programming Highlights for November 2014

Are you thankful for the choices you have this month?
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getTV pays tribute to Oscar®-winning actress Judy Holliday with a special block, every Thursday in November at 7 p.m. ET. The career-spanning retrospective highlights six of Holliday’s most iconic roles in a lineup featuring BORN YESTERDAY, which earned Holliday her first and only Academy Award®, and FULL OF LIFE (November 6); a night of romantic comedies with THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC and IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU, starring Jack Lemmon (November 13); then, spouses try to get back on track in THE MARRYING KIND, and Holliday and Lemmon reunite in PHFFFT! (November 20). The month comes to a close with

Son of a Gunfighter DVD Review: Sundown of the American Gundown

The Warner Archive brings us the home video debut of an odd, early Euro western prototype.
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As the middle of the 1960s approached, American cinema bid two of its mightiest moneymakers a small, barely-audible adieu. First and foremost was the genre of classic western film, which had been done so many times since the motion picture industry had established its firm roots in Hollywood that studio executives eventually had to come up with box office ploys such as CinemaScope in order to keep audiences coming in instead of tuning in to watch Rawhide at home on the TV set. The second was that of CinemaScope itself; a procedure that every other studio had taken to copying

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 1 & Issue #3 by John Byrne

Byrne's work is like watching a long-lost episode play before our eyes.
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John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s, which allowed fans to revisit episodes before they could watch them on demand through home video and the Internet. Byrne maniuplates images of characters and backgrounds from the series to set the scene. He then uses word balloons to tell his stories. Volume 1 contains three previously released books and the collection will be available on Oct 21, 2014. Star Trek: Annual 2013

Book Review: Lit Up Inside: Selected Lyrics by Van Morrison: You've Heard the Songs, Now Read the Lyrics

Have I told you lately that I love Van Morrison?
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That Van Morrison is one of the greatest singer-songwriters in the whole of pop music there is no doubt. That he is also an old soul Irish poet few would argue against. He is a true legend. One of the most unique and brilliant voices of rock and roll the world has ever known. Don’t you know, he’s got soul? And heart. And pure genius. For over 50 years he’s been making some of the most remarkable music in just about any genre. From rock to jazz, blues to gospel, skiffle to Celtic - Van Morrison has played them all.

Lovejoy, Series 2 DVD Review: Ian McShane is Back for More Antiques, Crime and Fun

Ian McShane is charming and funny and even a little bit tough when necessary. He is wonderful as Lovejoy, and his show is as charming as its star.
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Acorn Media has recently released Lovejoy, Series 2, and it is just as much fun as the first series. Based on the books by Jonathan Gash, Lovejoy stars Ian McShane as an antiques dealer who has an eye for authenticity — in antiques and women. The British series was originally filmed and aired in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the A&E Network showing the series stateside in the 1990s. Fans of McShane and the series should be very happy that Lovejoy is finally available on DVD. Lovejoy is a British mystery series, but the accent is more on

Book Review: Percy Crosby's Skippy: Daily Comics 1931-1933: Long-forgotten Magic

With any luck this collection will bring Skippy back to the public consciousness - it certainly deserves it.
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Skippy was created by Percy Crosby and ran from 1923 to 1945. In its time it was hugely popular, highly acclaimed, and adapted into movies, novels, radio shows, and even got its very own postage stamp. Crosby got fabulously rich off of syndication rights and merchandise (though Skippy peanut butter never paid him a dime even though they completely ripped off the name and his art work). They say he made more money than the President of the United States in his prime, which was apparently a popular metric at the time. The comic is widely considered one of the

Under Fire (1983) Blu-ray Review: Nick Nolte Knows How to Shoot (a Camera)

Twilight Time's new Blu-ray release is most assuredly the best possible way to experience this underrated gem.
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With a story focusing on a journalist, a photographer, and a revolution, Twilight Time's release of Roger Spottiswoode's 1983 drama Under Fire sounds like a title that should have been released with their September 2014 line-up - as it would have made a great pairing with Oliver Stone's Salvador. But while both movies are based on actual events involving members of the news media becoming involved in a dangerous rebellion between indigenous oppressed folk and corrupt politicians, Spottiswoode's elegantly crafted 1983 film graciously succeeds in rising above just about everything Stone bombarded his viewers with three years later. Plus, not

The Fluffy Movie Blu-ray Giveaway

Taken from the sold-out "Unity Through Laughter" national tour with Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Open Road Films to award one lucky reader The Fluffy Movie on Blu-ray, which will be released on October 21. For those wanting to learn more the press release reads: Laugh out loud with one of the most entertaining stand-up comedians of all-time when the side-splitting comedy, The Fluffy Movie arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on October 21, 2014 and DIGITAL HD with UltraViolet on October 7, 2014 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. In addition, the Blu-ray, DVD and DIGITAL HD feature an exciting extended edition of the film providing exclusive never-before-seen

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: "No Sanctuary"

In which we start with blood and end with fire. In between Carol kicks ass.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to the best walker show ever. Shawn: Let's get down to this and not go on for 45 pages about this first episode. We've both kept up with the series as it has progressed. We anticipated this episode for months now. I will say that I've typically been underwhelmed with the first episodes of the past few seasons. We start slow and build through the season. This time - hell no. Simply, this might be one of the best episodes since the pilot for action from beginning to end. My

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Movie Review: An Amazing Documentary

The story of entertainment manager, Shep Gordon, who does business a little differently.
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Most stories you hear about managers in the entertainment business are tales of cutthroat men and women who only care about money. The people they represent are only a means to that money, and if it isn’t about money, they aren’t interested. But Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is not such a story. Director Mike Myers (yes, that Mike Myers) documents the life of this accidental Hollywood insider whose career as a manager was based on compassion and not greed. Through historical footage, interviews with Shep’s clients (who he considers family), and fun reenactments, Myers has put together an

The Two Faces of January Movie Review: Sex and Suspense from Three Strong Actors

Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac in an entertaining tangle of greed, lust, and guilt from Patricia Highsmith.
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Patricia Highsmith’s novels have been the basis for one of Hitchcock’s greatest movies, the 1951 Strangers on a Train, as well as the endearingly nasty thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999, directed by Anthony Minghella). While The Two Faces of January is nowhere near as compelling as those films, it’s still worth a look for anyone who values the pleasures of suspense and the vicarious lure of lust and larceny. It’s also an opportunity to see three somewhat underrated actors take on the kind of tough, nuanced roles that don’t win awards but that stick in your mind well after

Snowpiercer is the Pick of the Week

This week's releases include a highly acclaimed science fiction movie, several complete television collections, an HBO special, and more.
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My in-laws have been spending the week with us. Mostly this is just swell as they are wonderful people who have been very kind to me in the 14 years that I’ve been involved with their daughter. They make great sitters for my daughter as well. It really is nice to have them around, but it does wreak havoc on parts of my life. This is especially true of my entertainment consumption. There are lots of things I cannot watch when they are around. Part of this is simply that I’m in the middle of a series and they won’t

Silent Witness: The Complete Seasons One and Seventeen DVD Reviews: Ch-ch-ch-changes

BBC Video releases the earliest and latest seasons of the long-running crime drama series.
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In 1996, the BBC debuted a new contender into an arena of crime dramas that was already heavily populated by a venerable assortment of combatants both old and new. Silent Witness certainly wasn't the first series of its kind, but it has nevertheless managed to cope with the ever-changing world it is based upon - all the while making a number of substantial alterations within its own fictional settings. Though the elements of adult-themed story devices and the sight of a rotting cadaver is something television producers across The Pond have embraced ever since they determined they could get away

The Adventures of the Wilderness Family Triple Feature DVD Review: The Off Grid Trilogy

Those lovable stinkin' hippies return in a compressed, single-disc/three-feature release for those of you on the cheap.
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Two years ago, Lionsgate Home Entertainment unveiled the first of a popular cinematic trilogy from not only another time, but for an entirely different kind of viewer altogether. 1975's The Adventures of the Wilderness Family offered up a unique form of motion picture escapism for moviegoers who had helped to bring the increasingly-overpopulated and polluted world to where it currently was. The tale told of the Robinsons, a family of four - father Skip, mother Pat, sister Jenny, and brother Toby - who decided their final tweet to civilization was to be "#OverIt", and promptly set out to live in

Young Justice Blu-ray Review: A Super(hero) Show from Warner Archive

While using teenage main characters could have led to a series best suited for children, the realistic characters and smartly plotted stories make it accessible for all.
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Created by Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman, Young Justice is a DC Comics animated series that aired for two seasons on Cartoon Network from 2011 to 2013. Not based on the comic series of the same name, the show presented the adventures of a team of young heroes (Don't call them "sidekicks"!) set its own distinct universe separate from the other DC Comics TV series. While using teenage main characters could have led to a series best suited for children, the realistic characters and smartly plotted stories make Young Justice accessible for all. As the Justice League goes off on

Alabama & Friends at the Ryman Review: Celebrating 40 Years

Highly entertaining from beginning to end.
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Alabama was formed in 1969 by cousins Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry, and Jeff Cook. Over the course of their career, they became the greatest-selling country band of all time by selling over 75 million singles and albums. They peaked during the 1980s when they created 27 number-one hits. The band thought they were quitting for good and put on a farewell tour in 2003. They reunited in 2011 and have been going strong ever since. In celebration of their 40th anniversary, they recorded the tribute album Alabama & Friends and a concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium featuring Luke Bryan,

Book Review: Owsley and Me by Rhoney Gissen Stanley: An Insider's Guide to the '60s

Making music, love, and enough LSD to get the whole world high.
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Owsley Stanley is not a household name, but he probably should be. He was financier and soundman of the Grateful Dead in their early, transformative years. As a sound engineer he was revolutionary. In the primal days of rock 'n' roll, bands tended to plug into whatever crappy sound system the venue had and just made do. Usually, these places weren’t intended for rock concerts and the sound sucked. There weren’t even monitors on stage so the band could hear themselves play. Owsley changed all that. He invented systems that are still in use in concert venues all over the

Classic Shorts from the Dream Factory, Volume 3 DVD Review: The Lost Stooges

The Warner Archive brings us six rare pre-Code shorts featuring The Three Stooges, including a previously thought-to-be-lost short rediscovered in 2013.
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The early filmic legacy of The Three Stooges - or the comedy troupe of Howard, Fine, and Howard, as they were sometimes known - is quite the bittersweet affair when viewed and compared to the later output the iconic team has since gone down in history for. Beginning via several different incarnations as stooges for vaudevillian Ted Healy (wherein the word "stooge" was used to define someone who played an audience member until called up onto stage), the antics of the leader and his outrageous flunkies became prime moving picture material fodder when representatives of an infant film industry started

The Believers (1987) Blu-ray Review: That Old Black Magic Has Me in Its Spell

Martin Sheen is in trouble, for he does not practice Santería. Nor does he have a crystal ball, for that matter.
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Today's younger generation of photoplay viewers probably only recognizes actor Martin Sheen as the father of Charlie and/or "the guy who starred in that one Vietnam movie with the boat and the napalm". An even smaller demographic will be able to go a step further on that front and classify him as the brother of cult B movie actor Joe Estevez. (Emilio never gets mentioned, and rightfully so.) In fact, it's almost hard to believe now that there was once a time that Marty was something of a formidable name on a movie marquee before he started to appear in

Steven Spielberg Director's Collection Blu-ray Review: Finally, Duel in HD!

Universal unveils the HD debuts of four of the iconic director's works in this eight-film set.
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With the fourth quarter upon us and the holiday season that comes with it closing in at an ever-alarming speed, it's the perfect time once again for studios to assemble various collections for established home video collectors and newbies alike. But whereas some sets will shamelessly repackage the same movies that have been released individually over the years, enclosing them in a shiny new shell for those whose are easily distracted by such things, others actually make their new releases of older catalogue titles worthwhile by including an assortment of movies that are actually new to the format in question.

The Honorable Woman DVD Review: A Slow, Dense and Immensely Entertaining Thriller

A densely plotted drama that loses none of its depth while remaining thrilling to watch.
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Awhile back I made a pact with myself to not get involved in internet discussions of politics. There were many reasons for this but the main one was that nobody’s mind is ever changed via Facebook. A big part of the why this is comes from the lack of nuance one typically gets with an internet argument. We speak in gifs and memes and argue in soundbites. Big ideas, important topics, and certainly national politics are much too complicated to be settled in 140 characters. This is true not only in our social media, but in our TV, radio, and

Criterion Announces January 2015 Releases

Something to pick up with that money you get from returning unwanted Xmas gifts.
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Criterion starts 2015 with four new releases. Three are by directors who see an increase of their work added to the Collection. Those titles are Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, and Preston Sturges' The Palm Beach Story. Expanding the number of female directors, Lucrecia Martel makes her Criterion debut with her feature-film debut, La ciénaga. Also scheduled is the high-definition digital restoration of Kihachi Okamoto's The Sword of Doom. The Sword of Doom (#59) out Jan 6 in Blu-ray Editions Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a

The Vanishing (1993) Blu-ray Review: So Bad That It Actually Becomes Good

That smudged printing on Jeff Bridges and Kiefer Sutherland's résumés can be seen in a much clearer light now.
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Once upon a time, I received a copy of an Italian-made English-language movie that had been dubbed into Italian before somebody who obviously did not learn the King's language as their primary form of verbal communication next created English subtitles translated from the Italian translation. There was also an instance in photoplay history where an adaptation of Shakespeare was produced for German television; the Bard's original work transcribed into the local Germanic tongue, only to wind up dubbed back into English - from the German conversion, nonetheless - for a subsequent (and probably poorly-received) television airing in the United States

The Adventures of Marco Polo DVD Review: "The Princess Bride" of Its Day?

The Warner Archive re-releases a highly enjoyable epic of a box office bomb from 1938.
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As anyone who was taught in grade school about what a great benefactor Christopher Columbus was to the Natives on the New World has since gone on to discover, the telling of history is not always about the facts. And while a bit of whitewashing is absolutely unacceptable when it comes to one's education, taking such liberties generally makes a big screen motion picture more favorable to people whose only purpose is to be entertained. Ironically, the very same audience who drooled over Samuel Goldwyn's 1939 adaptation of Wuthering Heights - a film that stayed heavily from its own source

Are You Here Blu-ray Review: Never Fleshes Itself Out

Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakas blow smoke for emotional growth in Matthew Weiner's feature-film debut.
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Both charming and overwrought by a cadre of undeveloped plotlines and too many man-child clichés, Are You Here really is a genre all its own, habitual pot-smoking middle-aged men and the thoughtful women who love them. Just released on Blu-ray and DVD, it’s an endearing first feature-length film from writer-director Matthew Weiner, the creator and driving force behind Mad Men, which for seven seasons has been an emotional examination of mid-century soullessness, drawing its power from tense silences and character deceits. Are You Here runs eagerly in the other direction with women who demand living in the moment and the

Audrey Rose Blu-ray Review: An "Exorcist" for the Neil Simon Crowd

Twilight Time brings vintage horror movie lovers a misaligned tale of reincarnation and possession.
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The mark of a new decade brings with it much anticipation of something new. Something special. A particular type of renovation that will outdo the victories and faults of its predecessor, whether it be in the world of fashion, music, and film. And the '70s definitely ushered in a venerable revolution in all three of those departments, from incredible (and somewhat incorrigible) clothing, to that funky music a certain unknown audience member shouted for white boy Rob Parissi to play, and right down to an entirely new era of the moving pictures: creepy kids. Though the concept of a child

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the Pick of the Week

The film matched all of the promise of the concept.
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I like the idea of X-Men more than I usually like the execution. The mutant concept with all of the different and interesting powers coming from genetics is really neat. I also love that the ideas behind the mutants can be connected philosophically to our fights against racism and homophobia, but can also connect to anyone, individually, who doesn’t fit in. It's comic book heroes with an important message that’s also super cool. Unfortunately, the execution of this concept hasn’t always paid off for me. I’ve seen all the Hollywood movies and while I’ve enjoyed them as big blockbuster summer-type

The Blob (1988) Blu-ray Review: Everybody's in the Pink Now

Twilight Time delivers a dazzling HD re-release of the cult favorite '80s remake and it's swell, kids!
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Though many a motion picture updating replete with a bit of blood founds its way into theaters during the '60s and '70s, it truly wasn't until the 1980s rolled around when things really started to change in the field of horror remakes. Mainly, these reworkings occasionally boasted not only a vastly reimagined storyline, but usually included an impressive array of special effects ranging from optical to make-up. Sadly, these things have been replaced by CGI and - worse - an endless supply of dulled-down, MPAA-friendly lifelessness in the countless array of contemporary moving picture letdowns that befall us today. A

Father Brown Season One DVD Review: Uninspired Priest Detective Series

Catholic priest detective isn't particularly Catholic, nor much of a detective, in this BBC series.
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It is difficult to determine where Father Brown fails more completely: as an adaptation, or as a mystery show in its own right. Based on a character created by Catholic apologist G.K. Chesterton, the TV Father Brown's Catholic priest isn't particularly Catholic. The series is set in the '50s (all of Chesterton's stories were contemporary and written from 1910 to 1936) but though the look of the '50s is mostly right, the feel is not. This show is a series of mistakes, of strange and uneven characterization, and, the greatest sin of all, of outright boring mysteries. Set in a

Inspector Manara, Season 2 DVD Review: Crime and Amore

Luca's intuitive yet iconoclastic approach to crime-solving is a lot of fun to watch, but it is the romance of Luca and Lara that is sure to keep viewers interested and involved.
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MHz has recently released the second season of the Italian crime/comedy series Inspector Manara 2. Fans of the first season will be sure to enjoy the further adventures of the title character, Luca Manara, played by the charming and handsome Guido Caprino. In the first season, a reluctant Luca had been transferred to a sleepy little Tuscan seaside town, where he soon, unexpectedly, found himself busy chasing down clues to countless murders and other associated crimes. He was helped in his endeavors by the lovely Inspector Lara Rubino (Roberta Giarrusso), a former fellow student from their days at the police

Camp X-Ray Movie Review: Exploring the Gray in Guantanamo Bay

Kristen Stewart finally shows her talent in this thought-provoking drama.
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In the thirteen years since the events of September 11th, the "detainees" in Guantanamo and their rights have been hotly debated. Director Peter Sattler tells a story of individuals, where the soldiers are just as helpless to explain the events in the prison as those serving time, many without ever being given due process of the law, hoping to cast light on the gray area in-between with his debut feature film Camp X-Ray. Despite some cumbersome pacing issues, Camp X-Ray is a bittersweet, evocative tale of two people just as burdened and bound by the U.S. military, albeit for different

In the Flesh: The Complete Season Two DVD Review: The Undead Return. Again.

Because who doesn't long for a BBC drama that includes gay zombie love?
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As the curtain rang on the previous, initial season of the BBC's In the Flesh last year, its fate was entirely undetermined. Was the show that actually succeeded in making the overused element of the reanimated dead going to be given a second chance at life (pun possibly intended), or would it be permitted to simply pass on gracefully in its sleep? Well, as they say in the industry, "You can't keep a good corpse down", and it seemed only natural that In the Flesh return to right all of the many, many wrongs would-be filmmakers and the trendy hipster

Book Review: The Art of John Alvin by Andrea Alvin

You know his work. Now get to know the man.
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I consider myself a serious cinephile, so much so that I don't mind describing myself with the pretentious word "cinephile." I have been captivated by movies for as long as I can remember, and to such an extent that my interest goes beyond what plays on the screen. I am just as fascinated by the "business" of show business as I am the "show." In addition to actors and directors, I also appreciate and study the work of other artistic contributors to the medium, such as writers, cinematographers, and composers. Which is why I am disappointed I wasn't aware of

EPIX Hosts DreadFest Halloween Weekend

What scary movies will you be watching?
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When the sun goes down on Halloween things will get very dark as EPIX’s “DreadFest” Halloween Marathon presents a series of blood-curdling horror films from 8:00 pm ET Friday, October 31st until 8:00 pm ET Sunday, Nov. 2nd. The scares begin with the 1976 classic, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, followed by the World Television Premiere of the newest version of the film, from horrormeisters Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity). The flicks and treats continue with World War Z, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, I, Frankenstein, Carrie (2013), You’re Next, Texas Chainsaw, The Cabin in

Disney Previews Tomorrowland and Big Hero 6 at New York Comic Con

Check out the trailers for two upcoming Disney releases.
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At the New York Comic Con, attendees of the Disney panel got to see presentations for upcoming releases for Tomorrowland and Big Hero 6, and now they are available for all to see below. Tomorrowland Official Boilerplate: From Disney comes two-time Oscar-winner Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as

Chef Blu-ray Combo Pack Review: Not the Easiest to Digest

Many small scenes that work by themselves but when strung together they do not connect even though on paper they should.
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Food trucks are in right now. This craze started a few years ago when these mobile restaurants would tweet their location and followers would appear waiting to try the latest fusion creation. They still are in, but less of an ingenious idea as the movie Chef makes you think. Taking high-end cuisine to the streets, John Favreau’s newest film Chef is a feel-good family drama that fails to leave any lasting taste in your mouth. Coming off of directing big-budget films like the Iron Man franchise and acting in roles in Identity Thief and The Wolf of Wall Street, Favreau’s

Spenser: For Hire: The Complete First Season (1985-86) DVD Review: Great '80s Neo-Noir

The criminally neglected cult ABC TV series starring the late great Robert Urich returns courtesy of the Warner Archive.
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Anyone who has so much as flipped on a television set once for even only five minutes is probably quite well aware that detective shows are easier to find than one's own ass with the assistance of both hands and a flashlight. Now, when it comes down to finding a good detective series, however, things can become rather tricky. It certainly isn't easy in this day and age, what with their being seventeen kajillion different television channels full of tripe at our disposal. Believe it or not, it was even harder back when we only had three networks to choose

Thoughtful & Abstract: Sons of Anarchy: Season Three

SAMCRO travels to Ireland and gets a baby back, people get kidnapped and rescued and old vendettas are addressed.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) reminisce about Season Three of Sons of Anarchy. Shawn just started watching the show this Summer and Kim has been watching for years. As the Final Season rides into the heart of their last season, here are some thoughts about the show's episodes from the Fall of 2010. Shawn: Talk about not knowing where to start my comments. I need you to focus me here. We start with Gemma on the run and Abel in Ireland. By the time we get back with baby Abel, Tara has been kidnapped, and Jax has to

La Bamba (1987) Blu-ray Review: Lou Diamond Phillips Debuts As Ritchie Valens

The film that made you rue the day Los Lobos first started saturating radio airplay returns in High-Definition.
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For my money, biographical motion pictures are often comparable to those certain speciality stores in strip malls only a small reserve of individuals really go to. Cartridge World. Yankee Candle. The As Seen On TV Store. You know the type of retail outlet I refer to. You even drive past them on a regular basis, occasionally taking the liberty of briefly peeking through their windows to see if there's actually anything interesting in there, whether or not they truly do have customers or are just cleverly disguised another drug front, or if the employees of the outfit are having crazy

The Prosecution of An American President DVD Review: Former Manson Prosecutor Takes on George W. Bush

The Prosecution of An American President should make you angry, no matter what side of the political fence you are on.
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Vincent Bugliosi is best known as the prosecutor of Charles Manson, and for writing the book Helter Skelter (1974) about the trial. Unlike Marcia Clark’s efforts with O.J. Simpson, Bugliosi was successful, and his bestselling book led to an ongoing writing career. Considering his history, he is about the last person I would have expected to present a case against George W. Bush in the new DVD The Prosecution of An American President (2014). Bugliosi’s contention that President Bush waged an illegal war in Iraq is very old ground for the left. While Bush was in office, there was even

The Wonder Years: Season One DVD Review: A Great Combination of Comedic Moments and Poignant Drama

The quality may not be perfect but the content is very close to it.
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It was 1988. Those Happy Days had been over for a while when ABC decided to take another walk down memory lane to once again tap into the public’s love for nostalgia. Displaying confidence in their new product, ABC launched The Wonder Years on January 31, 1988, following Super Bowl XXII and made sure you knew it was coming by advertising it during the game. Perhaps not quite as well as the Redskins did against the Broncos in the big game, The Wonder Years did defeat its competition that night and continued to be a solid hit for ABC ranking

TV Review: The Flash (2014): "City of Heroes"

Recommend for superhero fans.
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After two appearances in the second season of Arrow, Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) has been spun off into his own CW television series set to make its network debut tonight. Since I had only ever seen the Arrow pilot previously, this was my first introduction to this iteration of the Flash. The episode, written by Arrow co-creators Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, Arrow pilot director David Nutter, and Geoff Johns, begins 14 years in the past, on the night at the Allen home when 11-year-old Barry's mother was killed. Although young Barry, and the audience, witness an inexplicable electrical

Thoughtful & Abstract: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Heavy Is The Head"

Touch it! Touch the Obelisk.
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In which Shawn (@genx13) and Kim (@kimfreakinb) have instant reactions to the intense Marvel show and the episode "Heavy Is the Head". Shawn: No miracle comeback for Lucy Lawless. It's a Marvel TV show, so I was hoping that we would start this episode and find out that dead isn't really dead. Instead, it feels like they wasted a really strong female character and gave us another generic bad boy in her place. Lance is our double-crosser of the moment. They appear to be starting a Skye and Lance relationship too. I know that some women can't help themselves around

The Great Race (1965) Blu-ray Review: Blake Edwards, How Great Thou Art

A failure upon its release, this epic adventure makes a beautiful HD comeback via the Warner Archive Collection.
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When Blake Edwards departed from this world in late 2010, he left behind a lasting and versatile legacy of contributions to cinema. From the hard-hitting drama of Days of Wine and Roses (a serious look at alcoholism made during the early '60s, when civilized man enjoyed a steak and martini for breakfast), to a couple of noted musicals with his wife Julie Andrews (Darling Lili and Victor/Victoria), and even the odd thriller like the underrated Experiment in Terror (which Twilight Time was kind enough to issue on Blu-ray in early 2013), Edwards tried his hand at many different types of

The Wonder Years: Season One DVD Giveaway

Wanna bring Kevin and Winnie home?
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with StarVista Entertainment/Time Life to award three lucky readers Season One of The Wonder Years on DVD, which be released on October 7. According to the press release, "This fall, StarVista Entertainment/Time Life cordially invites you to fall in love all over again with The Wonder Years, one of television's most fondly remembered and groundbreaking sitcoms. Before there was Modern Family, That '70s Show or Freaks and Geeks, there was The Wonder Years -- a nostalgia-inducing take on the traditional family sitcom -- and one of the most beloved series of the past thirty years.

Sleeping Beauty: Diamond Edition is the Pick of the Week

I can't wait for my little girl to grow up with me and movies.
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There is a fairly constant discussion in my home over the television. Or rather how much of it my child should be watching. There are lots of studies, blogs, and opinions on the matter with a great many who will tell you that she shouldn’t watch any. TV is the opiate of the masses, the boob-tube, a bad babysitter, etc. It rots the brain. My wife and I sometimes side with those thoughts and try to not let her watch any. Except when we do. Which is often. Sometimes you just have to. Like when you are trying to clean

Nosferatu in Venice (Prince of the Night) DVD Review: When Art Becomes Trash

A rarely-seen bad movie becomes even worse thanks to a marred English audio track.
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The essence of classic German expressionist cinema - particularly in the field of horror - is something many imitate, but which few can respectfully replicate in the long run. Indeed, director Werner Herzog created his own horror classic in 1979 with Nosferatu the Vampyre, his artistic take on F.W. Murnau's now-iconic silent 1922 masterpiece, Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens. With the legendary visionary helming and the legendary creepiness and craziness (both onscreen and off) of his certifiably-insane lead actor, the infamous Klaus Kinski - who superbly mimicked the mannerisms of Murnau's mysterious monster (offscreen as well as on), Max Schreck

The Desert Song ('43 and '53 Versions) DVD Reviews: Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things

The Warner Archive presents two tales where the heat is hot and the ground is dry, but the air is full of sound.
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In the mid 1920s, composer Sigmund Romberg collaborated with the lyricists at large Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, and Frank Mandel to create what would become a Broadway hit - The Desert Song. Inspired by the 1925 uprising of a group of Moroccan rebels, known as the Riffs, the musical play was later turned into a successful 1929 film rife with the kind of sexual innuendo and lewd humor (the kind you'd expect to find in a project that hailed from the decade we commonly refer to today as the Roaring Twenties) that was present in the original play. The
Todd Ford is a web developer by day and a film fanatic by night. He has been writing film reviews and articles for various publications since 1994 and is a curator for the Cinema 100 Film Society of Bismarck, North Dakota. See You in the Dark presents a selection of his reviews from the past two decades and reveals where his passion for film has taken him during that time. Can you give a little bio to introduce yourself to readers? I grew up in Southern California to parents who had little interest in the arts and were frankly terrified

Sleeping Beauty (1959) Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review: Same Great HD Presentation, but Less Features

A brilliant restoration of a now Disney classic.
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In terms of film classics, there is always a Disney film in that pantheon, but unfortunately Sleeping Beauty (1959) isn't the first title that you would choose when naming Disney's greatest films, but nonetheless, it is one of the last great, hand-drawn animated films, regardless of what you really think of it. It is hard to think of a film, especially for kids that has had such a huge effect on how they see fairy tales. Although the story is pretty common, and kind of a letdown in terms of the essence of the fairy-tale princess, it's still pretty impressive

These Are a Few of My Favorite Saturday Morning Shows

Return with us now to those thrilling Saturdays of yesteryear.
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September 27, 2014 was the last airing of the CW's Saturday morning cartoon line-up, known in its final iteration as "Vortexx." It featured a roster of animated adventure shows that included The Spectacular Spider-Man, Dragon Ball Z Kai, and Yu-Gi-Oh! They replaced it today with “One Magnificent Morning,” a collection of Educational/Information programs, such as Calling Dr. Pol, The Brady Barr Experience and Expedition Wild. This means there are no longer any national broadcast networks airing cartoons on Saturday mornings. Although cable, home video, and streaming services offer 24-hour access to numerous cartoons of past and present, a dream many

Grindhouse Trailer Classics, Volume 1 DVD Review: Seven Years Later...

Indie label Intervision presents American viewers with a collection of classic previews that has been out in the UK for over half of a decade now.
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Sometimes it just takes a while for things to cross The Pond. Seven years ago, the April 2007 release of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino flop Grindhouse - an homage to the exploitation double features of yesteryear (which was a great idea, but which its own target audience ironically failed to comprehend the meaning of) - caused a tidal wave of low-budget DVD labels, each of whom had their own assortment of classic exploitation movies at their disposal (sometimes even legally!), to issue forth their own double (and sometimes more) feature discs. The intent of which was to cash-in on the

Two New Clips from Kill The Messenger

The truth? Who can handle the truth?
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Focus Features has just debuted two riveting new clips from their upcoming film, Kill The Messenger. Based on based upon the books Dark Alliance by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, and Kill the Messenger by Nick Schou, the official synopsis of the new dramatic thriller set for release on October 10th, 2014 reads: Two-time Academy Award-nominee Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic

From Dusk Till Dawn: Season One (2014) Blu-ray Review: Why, God, Why?

Imagine a 108-minute film shamelessly and mercilessly expanded into an unwanted, unnecessary, uncalled-for ten-hour-long series.
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At some point in time, it seems rather inevitable that a filmmaker may return to a completed project from their early years. Sometimes, these visual poets do so solely with the intent of correcting a few things that have irked them since then (see: Ridley Scott, George Lucas). In other instances, they revisit their work to expand and completely alter the entire storyline - which, in-turn, changes the very universe the original item in question was set in (see: Ridley Scott, George Lucas). And while those viewers who predominantly consider themselves to be of the artistically inclined nature may see

The Killer Elite (1975) Blu-ray Review: The Wrath of Caan

Sam Peckinpah sets his bloody sights on a tale of covert government agents and stealthy ninja assassins. What’s not to love there?
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Sam Peckinpah's legacy on the world of film was something most people in the industry certainly never saw coming. Consistent undermined by studio executives who sought to correct what they perceived to be filmmaking flaws, the director of such now-legendary classics like Straw Dogs, Junior Bonner, and The Getaway usually wound up having his films re-cut without his permission. Combined with his own flawed human nature - alcoholism, substance abuse, and the ever-troublesome depression - eventually turned a promising talent into that washed-up talent no one would want to hire. (Also see: Bela Lugosi.) Yet, Peckinpah's films are widely regarded

TCM Sets March 26-29 for 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival

The theme this year will explore how cinema has shaped how we view - and remember - history.
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Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has set March 26-29 for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, the sixth annual gathering of legendary stars, award-winning filmmakers and classic movie fans from around the globe. TCM has also unveiled the theme for the four-day event, which in 2015 will explore History According to Hollywood. Passes for the latest edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival are set to go on sale this November. TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will once again serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM's Ben Mankiewicz introducing various events. Many of the

Salvador (1986) Blu-ray Review: Oliver Stone Finds His Calling

Twilight Time revives the controversial director's first (notable) film back for another haunting round.
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Prior to becoming a standout name with the international success of Platoon in 1987, Oliver Stone was only known for directing several films. Two of them were B-grade horror movies, the generally unseen Seizure from 1974, and the usually laughed-at fiasco The Hand from 1981. It was with his third directorial feature, however - the 1986 Hemdale Film release Salvador - that Stone, a man who has potentially passed one illegal drug too many through his system over the years, finally found something he was good at: a politically charged war drama that swerved in and out of reality, whilst

Lolly-Madonna XXX (1973) DVD Review: More Than a Name on a Postcard

A rare type of film that precariously teeters between sleazy exploitative trash and fine underrated art.
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Prior to her success as the best-selling writer of the "Alphabet" mysteries which have gone to be a vital part of practically every little old lady's library, author Sue Grafton penned a number of television scripts and published several novels that went largely unnoticed by the masses. Among those was a 1969 book entitled The Lolly-Madonna War: a tale of mistaken identity, Southern inhospitality, redneck wars, and the madness contained therein that, interestingly enough, was never published in America. Similarly, the 1973 MGM film adaptation of the story, Lolly-Madonna XXX was doomed to being mostly ignored, heavy criticized, and consistently

My Name is A by Anonymous DVD Review: A Horrifyingly Real and Daring Expose

A despairing, sickening, and all-too-real descent into lost youth
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Based on the horrifying true story of the murder of 10-year-old Elizabeth Olten in 2009, director Shane Ryan's very disturbing 2012 indie, isn't really about the murder itself, it is really about the bleak depiction of misplaced, disaffected youth. Ryan dares you to look away, as he centers his remarkable storytelling gifts on a group of lost girls who were not only responsible for the crime, but also on their own twisted lives of very dysfunctional, and often misunderstood emotional/mental discomfort. It evokes the "spirit" of such classics as Last House on the Left (1972), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974),

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection (1931-1956) DVD Review: Too Little, Too Late

Cinema's iconic creature features are re-released yet again in another SD-DVD set.
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When I was just a tiny little lad, I - like many other small children - had an intense fear of monsters, the sight of blood, and scary movies in general. People find that hard to believe these days, especially seeing as how I proudly own a copy of Cannibal Holocaust on Blu-ray in my collection, and have probably viewed just about every style of gory, scary, and horrible (in every way) monster movie imaginable at this point in time. In fact, it's safe to say that I've grown somewhat immune to that variety of film, despite my nearly lifelong

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