October 2015 Archives

David Letterman Greets Trick-or-treaters

Ding dong.
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As Halloween is celebrated around the globe this year, one of the best traditions associated with the holiday was unfortunately not practiced this year. With Late Show with David Letterman ending on May 20, 2015, and apparently no other show picking up the baton, viewers no longer had the opportunity to see the latest in kids' costumes. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube, we here at Cinema Sentries are keeping the tradition alive, so sit back and enjoy. It may even help with that last-minute costume decision. 2014: 2013: 2001:

Panels of Interest at Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo 2015

How do they sound to you?
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Stan Lee's Comikaze Expo returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center this Halloween weekend for the 2015 edition. The three-day event is jam-packed with programming. These are the panels that look to be the most interesting/entertaining with their synopses from the Expo website. Friday, 10/30 Star Trek Stories (Room: 518, 4:00pm) - Hear from the saviors of Star Trek TOS, John and Bjo Trimble, and classic Star Trek writer David Gerrold about Trek's early days. Mr. Gerrold became a fan of a show and began submitting stories to become scripts, eventually leading to "The Trouble with Tribbles" and many novelizations

Black Cats Blu-ray Review: Same Story, Massively Different Films

Two Italian horror masters tackle the Edgar Allan Poe tale.
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There have been well over 300 films based on the stories of Edgar Allan Poe - that’s more than three times the number of tales he actually penned. That means filmmakers and television producers have been dipping into the well of Poe over and over again. That’s not bad for a guy who died before moving pictures were even invented. Even more astounding is the fact that most of Poe’s stories are relatively short (he only published one novel in his life) and his style is more concerned with mood than plot. Which is perhaps why so many films based

The Indispensable Thursday Show Discusses The Changeling (1980)

Gordon S. Miller joins the hosts for "Hot Pastrami and Scary Movies."
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On The Indispensable Thursday Show's Halloween episode, ""Hot Pastrami and Scary Movies," hosts Sable and Dave share the mic with special guest Gordon S. Miller, publisher of Cinema Sentries. The conversation covers pastrami sandwiches from The Hat; growing up in Orange County, CA; the new Apple TV; and oh, yeah, their scary movie pick for this Halloween - The Changeling, a ghost story starring George C. Scott, which you can and should immediately stream for free on YouTube below. Sable also reveals the origin of his fear of scary movies. It's horrible. The podcast episode can be found here. The

Jeff Lynne's ELO: Live in Hyde Park Blu-ray Review: So Good You Won't Get It out of Your Head

Highly recommend for ELO fans and the greatest-hits setlist would make a good introduction to those new to the band.
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Founding member Jeff Lynne was such an essential component to the massive success of Electric Light Orchestra throughout the '70s and '80s as the band's sole writer, arranger, and producer after fellow founder Roy Wood left during the making of their second album, ELO 2, it seems a tad redundant for him to be leading a band called Jeff Lynne's ELO. But setting aside whatever legal and/or ego entanglements may have been involved in that decision, Jeff Lynne's ELO headlined BBC Radio 2’s Festival in a Day in Hyde Park on September 14, 2014. Joined by keyboardist Richard Tandy, an

The Intern Movie Review: Candy-Coated Faux Feminism at Its Worst

It seems to be a harmless, charming little trifle, but this Nancy Meyers movie's antiquated attitudes got my blood boiling.
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I realize that criticizing a Nancy Meyers movie for being unrealistic is rather like criticizing maple syrup for being sticky. But The Intern goes far beyond the pleasant fantasies propagated in the Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton romance Something’s Gotta Give and the Meryl Streep/Alec Baldwin/Steve Martin love triangle It’s Complicated. The new movie, starring Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway, is selling a version of “feminist” “empowerment” that would be laughable if it weren’t such a toxically attractive fantasy. First let me get out of the way the counter-argument: that I am being a politically correct curmudgeon, using a sledgehammer to whack

Wizard World Tulsa 2015: Too Legit (And Sick) To Quit

My second Con experience found me with wife in tow and sick as a dog.
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Last year, I attended my very first Con (Wizard World Tulsa, you can read all about it here). I had a great time then so I was quite excited when I learned they were coming back this year. The lineup wasn’t nearly as interesting as the last one, but this time did come with Bruce freakin’ Campbell, who I figured was worth the price of admission all by his own bad self. I even talked my wife into buying a ticket. I had hoped to actually dress up this year. I think I could make a pretty stellar Doctor (the

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'Thank You'

Thank you - no thank you.
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In which Kim and Shawn reflect as they deal with the loss of a major character. Kim: Psychologists will tell you that the first stage of loss and grief is denial. Let it be known that I am 100% in denial. I don’t believe that Glenn is gone. I will not acknowledge the probability that his guts became the end product of a horrific sausage factory. I don’t believe that Glenn is dead because Nicholas shot himself in the head. I don’t believe that Glenn is gone, I won’t admit I might be wrong. I do not like the way

Black Cats is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us two takes on an Edgar Allan Poe story, Jake Gyllenhall in the boxing ring, a fair lady, a Mulholland drive, an invasion by classic arcade games, and The Rolling Stones in Japan.
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Autumn is by far my favorite season. The dog days of summer slip into the cool, crisp nights of fall. The leaves turn from dull brown to bright oranges, reds, and yellows. The air smells of fire, of warmth, of cider and home. Jackets are put on, marshmallows are roasted, and all is well with the world. Even football can’t bring down this perfect of all seasons. Best of all is Halloween, a holiday that lets us dress up, turn into other people, eat loads of sugary sweets, and scare the dickens out of each other. I’ve written in these

Back to the Future 30th Anniversary Trilogy Blu-ray Review: Once More Around the Clock

As good as it gets. Unless you have a time-traveling DeLorean lying around and were planning on joining me at the theater back in 1985.
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The theory of time travel is a tricky one indeed ‒ especially within the confines of the filmmaking world. While some of the greatest minds on Earth may lose most (if not all) of their marbles attempting to figure out just how to achieve the much-used science fiction element of jumping from one point in time to another in real life, some of the the world's most active imaginations have figured out a way of doing it on-screen. But it can still be a very hazardous journey, as Robert Zemeckis and his writing partner Bob Gale ‒ affectionately known as

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride in U.S. Theaters on January 5 & 6, 2016

“For us, it's a giant leap backwards - into Victorian London. The mean streets of 1895 have never looked so good.” - co-writer Steven Moffat
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Press release: BBC Worldwide North America has partnered with Fathom Events for the first theatrical screening event of Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, marking the debut of Emmy Award-winners Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman on the big screen in their iconic roles as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. The feature-length cinema screening will premiere on Tuesday, January 5 with an encore Wednesday, January 6, 2016 both at 7:30 p.m. local time. Theater audiences will experience 20 minutes of exclusive, additional footage which will include a guided set tour of 221B Baker Street hosted by co-writer/executive producer Steven Moffat prior to

Mike Tyson Mysteries: Season One DVD Review: Silly, Outlandish, and Unpredictable

A ridiculous and bizarre spoof of Saturday morning mystery cartoons.
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For those who enjoy the ridiculous and the bizarre in their cartoons, look no further than Adult Swim's Mike Tyson Mysteries. The 10 episodes of Season One are now available on DVD and Digital HD. Spoofing Saturday morning shows of the past, such as Scooby Doo! Where Are You?, The Funky Phantom, and Mr. T, Mike Tyson Mysteries finds the former heavyweight champion of the world going on adventures, traveling around the globe and off it, assisted by Yung Hee (Rachel Ramras), his adopted Korean ("which is a kinda Chinese," according to Mike) daughter who was left on his doorstep

A Special Day Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Special Performances from Italian Screen Legends

Italian stars Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni play against type in this beguiling drama.
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The setup for this Italian film is deceptively simple, but belies the impact of the performances by its two stars, screen legends Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. Playing against type, their characters meet by chance in their otherwise vacant apartment building and spend the entirety of the film and their day getting to know each other. Loren is a resigned and harried housewife, tired of the grind of caring for her oaf of a husband and ungrateful brood of kids but unable to find any escape. Mastroianni plays a persecuted journalist about to be shipped off for both his liberal

STARZ Presents Evil Dead Movie Marathon on Friday, October 30

Includes a midnight sneak peek of Ash vs Evil Dead first episode.
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No plans for Halloween? Subscribe to Starz and invite your cool friends over. Here's why: Press release: Setting the stage for the premiere of the highly anticipated STARZ Original series Ash vs Evil Dead, Starz presents a marathon of the cult classic Evil Dead horror franchise on Friday, October 30 beginning at 8:00pm ET/PT hosted by Evil Dead star Bruce Campbell (Ash). The marathon will conclude with a sneak peek of the first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead at 12:15 a.m. ET/PT. The Evil Dead marathon kicks off with the original 1981 cult classic, The Evil Dead at 8:00pm

Aladdin: Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review: Disney Ain't Never Had A Film Like This Before

Fans that have wanted to see Aladdin in high definition will be happy to learn their wish has finally been granted.
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Aladdin is the fourth title released during the era known as the Disney Renaissance when the famed animation studio had an artistic and financial resurgence at the close of the Twentieth Century. It stands apart from the other titles on the slate because of star Robin Williams, whose manic performance as the Genie made the character seem better suited for a Looney Tunes cartoon. Based on the Arab fairy tale One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin tells the story of the Genie of the Lamp, sought after by the power-hungry Jafar (Jonathan Freeman), Grand Vizier to the Sultan (Douglas Seale)

Ballet Boys DVD Review: Transitioning Into Early Manhood—In Tights

This is the story of three boys whose destiny depends on their strength, grace, and determination.
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Yet another wonderful dance documentary from First Run Features, Ballet Boys (2014) takes balletomanes to Norway, where we meet young teenagers Lukas, Syvert and Torgeir. They’re a tightly knit trio because unlike other young guys their age, the majority of their days and evenings revolve around stretching, perfecting their double tours and performing. Pre-professionals in their respective dance careers, each has reached that proverbial fork in the road: carry on dancing for another several years only to be faced with the possibility of not securing a spot in a company—or hit the books in all earnestness to build the foundation

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'JSS'

Rave reviews for episode two except for the haircuts.
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In which Shawn and Kim reveal they each need more than five points to list their reactions Shawn: 1. The B&W Experiment is dead. Long live full, living color. This episode played on their strengths and didn't try to be all arty and shit. The more I thought about the previous episode the more disappointed I was that they couldn't tell a good story and give the viewer credit for keeping up with it. I hope we see that entire first episode in color at some point. This week we had some subtle points that went under the radar but

The 100: The Complete Second Season DVD Review: A Wild Adventure in a Post Apocalyptic World

It has a little bit of everything for anyone who watches.
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When we last saw Clarke (Eliza Taylor), she had just awoken in an all-white room that looked like a medical facility. The battle against the Grounders had gone badly. and as a last resort. her people had to retreat to their broken drop ship and ignite the thrusters in hopes that it might kill off enough of the enemy that they would think twice before attacking again. The thrusters had done an exceptional job, but before Clarke and her group had time to react they were assaulted by strange-looking men in hazmat equipment with tear-gas grenades rendering them unconscious. Season

CPO Sharkey: The Complete Season 2 DVD Review: The Bite of Archie Bunker and the Stories of Gomer Pyle

A pleasant distraction in doses that never really caught on.
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In a clear effort to counterprogram against CBS, who was having plenty of Good Times on Wednesday nights at 8:00 pm in 1976, NBC gave the world CPO Sharkey, starring Don Rickles as an overbearing, insensitive, and politically incorrect leader and shaper of young men. In the second season, CPO Sharkey would go up against the CBS superheroes, Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk, and the super smiles of Donnie and Marie Osmond on ABC. The shark got beat up and eaten which was too bad because the series really began to develop in Season 2. With the release of

Attack On Titan: The Movies: Part 1 & Part 2 Review: Anime-Inspired Cinematic Insanity

A two-part adaptation of the anime series, these movies deviate from the original, but keep the crazy spirit intact.
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Of the various pleasures of Japanese cinema, for me one of the greatest is to see stuff on screen that is absolutely 100 percent crazy. Not pseudo-Lynchian surrealism, necessarily, but images that are the logical endpoint of a plot that gets nuttier and nuttier as it goes along. To wit, in Attack On Titan: Part 1, there is a scene where the hero, Eren, after having held open the mouth of an enormous monster, and pulled his friend Armin out of it, gets chomped on (losing an arm), slides down the creature's throat, and ends up inside its stomach. There,

Vikings: Season Three DVD Review: Praise Odin or Jesus, Vikings March On

Ragnar raids in Season Three of History's Vikings.
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History’s Vikings takes to the shores of new lands with this DVD release of the third season of this Irish-Canadian co-production. Created by Michael Hirst, who many will recognize as the screenwriter of the 1998 film Elizabeth and the Emmy-winning TV series The Tudors, Vikings tells the hirsute tale of a squad of Norsemen in the Dark Ages. Hirst’s affection for antiquity is certainly apparent in the comprehensive and energetic production design, which is doubtlessly not without historical inaccuracies but nevertheless brimming with colour and excitement. The series is set after the Germanic Iron Age in the midst of various

Jurassic World is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us dinosaurs on the loose, British mysteries starring Doctor Who alum, Vincent Price and Christopher Lee in a crazy horror flick, Japanese ghosts, and much more.
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I was 17 when Jurassic Park came out in 1993. Even then, I knew it wasn’t a great film, artistically speaking. It was too silly to be taken seriously. But I didn’t care. Don’t care now. It was great fun. Terrifically entertaining and exciting. It's hard to remember now - when seemingly every effect, special or not is rendered in CGI - but Jurassic Park was revolutionary in its use of computer-generated effects mixed with real puppets and effects by Stan Winston. It was a technological marvel. The culmination of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster powers. It's fascinating to think that while

Book Review: Walt Disney's Donald Duck: The Complete Daily Newspaper Comics Volume 1 (1938-1940) by Al Taliaferro

Readers who get their hands on this may find themselves in the sweetest disposition.
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Starting out as a supporting character in the 1934 Walt Disney short “The Wise Little Hen,” Donald Duck went on to become renowned and beloved the world over thanks to the talents of many skilled writers and artists. In addition his numerous animated appearances, Donald’s vast popularity is due in part to the comic strips and comic books he was featured in over the years. Author and animation historian David Gerstein reveals in his introductory essay, that the character made the leap to newspapers thanks to Disney staff artist Al Taliaferro, who drew the strip for over 30 years, from

Eaten Alive Blu-ray Review: Not Nearly As Good As the Movies From Which It Draws Its Inspiration

Existing fans will love it, but newcomers may be disappointed.
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Back in 1975, the world was introduced to Spielberg's screen adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel Jaws. Mardi Rustam, Tobe Hooper, and a handful of others hoped to capitalize on its success by making a flick about a man-eating gator, fed prey by the mentally unstable innkeeper next door. It wanted to blend the creature monster aspect of Jaws with the "You check in but don't check out" vibe of Psycho, and the "Backwater folks is crazy and homicidal" flavor of Hooper's own Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Eaten Alive was the product of this gruesome threesome, though it stands as less

Trader Horn (1931) / Eskimo (1933) DVD Reviews: A Pair of Van Dykes

W.S. Van Dyke's early Pre-Code adventures shot in Africa and the Arctic make their digital media debuts thanks to the Warner Archive Collection.
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In today's Internet-obsessed society, wherein anything ‒ from photos of far-off exotic places to the torturing of helpless animals ‒ is just a scroll down your Facebook feed away, it is sometimes hard to imagine there existed a time when we had hardly any access to such sights. And while unpleasantries such as the latter are truly better left unseen by anyone with a sliver of a soul, there was a time when Hollywood filmmakers gladly included them in their filmed treks off to distant lands. Usually, these daring men were documentary crews, who recorded parts of the world that

[Updated] Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer, Theatrical Poster, and Exhibitor Exclusives

If you plan right, you can get some swag with your ticket.
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LucasFilm has released the official theatrical poster for The Force Awakens, a nice blend of new and familar characters (but no Luke Skywalker?!) and also delivered other news. The TFA official trailer made its debut during the halftime of ESPN's Monday Night Football [synergy] between the New York Giants and the Philadelpha Eagles. In conjuction with the debut of TFA, LucasFilm is screening a Marathon Event showing all seven films, and some theaters, along with Fandango, are offering exclusives if you buy your tickets from them. Who offers what is listed below. Star Wars Marathon Event The Star Wars Marathon

Tomorrowland Blu-ray Review: Although the Pacing is Uneven, the Film Entertains and Inspires

It's got enough heart and good intention to almost make you overlook its flaws.
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When an optimistic teen girl stumbles upon a doorway to a fantastic world of science and invention, she finds herself embarking on a journey toward a better tomorrow. Aided by a cynical, former boy genius and a mysterious young girl, Casey Newton sets forth to uncover the secrets of Tomorrowland and the explanation for its disappearance. If I was writing copy for the back of the Blu-ray, that’s what I’d say about Tomorrowland. It’s concise and accurate, without giving away anything about the film. But of course, a movie is so much more than a blurb on the back of

Criterion Announces January 2016 Releases

The future looks bright.
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Criterion rings in 2016 with five titles. They are The Complete Lady Snowblood boxset featuring Toshiya Fujita’s Lady Snowblood and Lady Snowblood: Love Song of Vengeance, Giuseppe De Santis' Bitter Rice, Wim Wenders' The American Friend, Charles Vidor's Gilda, and the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis. Read on to learn more about them. The Complete Lady Snowblood (#790 & #791) out Jan 5 A young woman (Meiko Kaji), trained from childhood as an assassin and hell-bent on revenge for her father’s murder and her mother’s rape, hacks and slashes her way to gory satisfaction. Rampant with inventive violence and spectacularly

FXX to Air The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror Marathon

You'll howl with laughter (at least during the early episodes).
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For those planning their Halloween-viewing schedules, make sure to include a visit to the Treehouse of Horror courtesy of The Simpsons gang and FXX. Press release: FXX will countdown to Halloween with a frightfully fun The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” programming event beginning October 25 and concluding Halloween night with a marathon featuring all 25 spooktacular “Treehouse of Horror” episodes airing in consecutive order from 12pm - 12:30am ET/PT. SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25 (4pm - 8pm) · “Treehouse of Horror XVII” (Season 18) · “Treehouse of Horror XVIII” (Season 19) · “Treehouse of Horror XIX” (Season 20) · “Treehouse of Horror

Album Review: The String Cheese Incident: Rhythm of the Road: Volume 2, Live in Las Vegas

Three hours of rock and roll jam for your listening pleasure.
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Arguably the first live rock and roll record was Got Live If You Want It! by The Rolling Stones. Released in England in 1965, it contained just six songs (interestingly all covers, no originals). Its sound is raw and ragged (it is said to have been recorded from a microphone hanging from the balcony though some overdubs were apparently added at some unknown point). Live music had been recorded before this of course, most famously by John Lomax in the 1930s who roamed the countryside recording local musicians. Fans were secretly recording rock concerts from pretty much the beginning and

PS Dance! DVD Review: Public Schools Going One Step Beyond for Education

This brief but insightful documentary reveals how dance education can transform students' public school experience one plié at a time.
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Now that stringent Common Core standards, piles of homework, and hyper-competitive college admission have become the academic norm in the United States, circumventing widespread bouts of anxiety and despair that result from such expectations has become an urgent mission for child advocates around the country. PS Dance!, which aired on PBS in May, demonstrates how integrating dance into a curriculum helps kids better internalize their studies, but even more importantly, creates an opportunity for them to find a center between body and mind. Hosted by journalist and news anchor Paula Zahn, this short documentary has a news special feel that

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'First Time Again'

Triumphant return of The Walking Dead.
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In which Kim and Shawn welcome back The Walking Dead for its sixth season. Kim: I don’t know what I can say about the season premier of The Walking Dead. I actually had several points I wanted to make about it, and then I got lost in my own thoughts and lost 90% of what I was going to say (not that it was useful anyway). My train of thought this morning went a little something like this: 1) I’m not sure what I thought of the black and white vs. color to denote what happened vs. what was currently

Nakatomi Plaza Die Hard Collection is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a bunch of double dipping special editions, complete sets of two excellent shows, early Cronenberg and more.
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Forgive me if I begin this Pick of the Week with a bit of a rant. In all forms of media, the companies who make media have a tendency to double, triple, and even quadruple dip. What I mean is a company will release a movie onto a new format - we’ll say Blu-ray since that’s what I tend to talk about - and it will either come pretty bare bones, just the movie and a minimal of extras, or maybe they’ll tack on some extras from some previous DVD edition. Then a few months later they’ll come out with

Dick Foran Western Collection DVD Review: The Singing Cowboy Who Could Actually Sing

The Warner Archive Collection wants you to know Dick. And what better way is there than this?
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If the all of the westerns from early 20th Century America were to be enshrined in a museum ‒ presented in such a way that each title had its own three foot wide partition exhibiting its original theatrical movie poster directly above a small 12-inch television set that presented the corresponding motion picture in a perpetual loop ‒ the black and white B westerns (usually referred to as "oaters" by anyone with a sliver of a passion for the subgenre) would fill up a building the size of the once wild west itself. And it would be there, down one

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies Present Dracula Double Feature in Select Cinemas on October 25 and 28

Listen to the children of the night and los niños de la noche.
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Press release: Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) continue their TCM Presents series with a double-feature of the English and Spanish language versions of Dracula on October 25 and 28. Along with the iconic Bela Lugosi version, vampire fans will have the opportunity to see the Spanish language version shot with a different cast and only at night, as well as hear insights on these 1931 vampire-horror classics from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. After a harrowing ride through the Carpathian Mountains in Eastern Europe, Renfield enters castle Dracula to finalize the transferal of Carfax Abbey in London to Count

Experimenter Movie Review: We're All Just Lab Rats in this Maze

The Milgram obedience experiments haunt this strange movie, overstuffed with interesting ideas and a compelling but cold performance by Peter Sarsgaard.
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The Inquisition. The Terror of the French Revolution. The Soviet gulags. The Nazi death camps. Murdered civil rights workers. Abu Ghraib. Guantanamo. ISIS. Cruelty, and the ability of presumably moral human beings to inflict pain and death on others, acknowledges no boundaries nor respects any pretensions to the advancement of “civilization.” And yet each time we hear about the latest outrage we are shocked, shocked, to find that torture is going on here. People’s ability to reject the possibility that any of us actually could, and would, inflict pain on another person were called into serious question by the (in)famous

The Don Rickles TV Specials: Volume 1 DVD Review: Nothing Special

We love you, Don, but this was not the format to truly display your talent.
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There is no question that Don Rickles is a national treasure. Not only due to the fact that he has been performing for more than 55 years, but more so because he has a talent unlike any other. A comedic talent that endures and allows him to say what the public is thinking, and not only get away with would be considered politically incorrect, but garners laughter from all. As a stand-up comedian, Rickles can still fill theatres, but he has always struggled to play against type. You want a fast-witted, razor-sharp tongue? Rickles is your guy. If you want

The Rocky Horror Picture Show 40th Anniversary Blu-ray Review: Don't Dream It, Buy It

Celebrating 40 years of absolute madness and mythic pleasure.
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What else can I say about The Rocky Horror Picture Show that hasn't already been said before. It is the greatest midnight movie ever made, the greatest cult film of all-time, and one of the most exhiliateringly strange cinematic experiences I've certainly ever had. However, this classic film does go much deeper than just its weirdness and uniqueness. It is a film that means a great deal to not just me, but the entire LGBT community. The film taught us that being different doesn't make us second-class citizens, it makes us stronger and more human. It was a statement on

All Hail the Trailer for the Coen Bros' Hail, Caesar!

It just made my "Most Anticipated Movies of 2016" list. How about you?
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Joel and Ethan Coen are following up Inside Llewyn Davis with this all-star comedy set behind the scenes of 1950s Hollywood. If the talent alone hadn't already sold you on the film, surely this trailer will. From the film's website: Four-time Oscar-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit, Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the

The Truth Is Still Out There with The X-Files: The Collector's Set for the First Time on Blu-ray

It features more than 23 hours of content across all nine seasons.
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Press release: The truth is out there…and now it can be found in its entirety when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment exposes the complete world of The X-Files on Blu-ray for the first time - just ahead of the event series premiere Sunday, January 24, 2016. The X-Files: The Collector's Set - featuring a slot for the upcoming six-episode event series - releases on December 8, giving fans the chance to own a piece of television history and one of the year’s must-have giftset collections. Fans can also purchase each season individually on Blu-ray on December 8. Since its inception

He's A Bully, Charlie Brown DVD Review: A Collection of Mixed Peanuts

While I applaud Warner Brothers contributing to the efforts in preventing bullying, this double-dip release is not the best way to go about it.
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Released in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, the He’s A Bully, Charlie Brown DVD presents the titular special (2006), It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969), both of which have been previously released, and an episode of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show from 1983. He's A Bully, Charlie Brown combines two stories that appeared in the strips. Joe Agate is from 1995, and Peppermint Patty chasing after Charlie Brown was in 1989. Charles Schulz had begun work on the special before his death in 2000 and producers Lee Mendelson and Bill Meléndez saw it to completion. Charlie

Tremors 5: Bloodlines Blu-ray Review: There's Nothing New Under the Ground

Michael Gross returns for another direct-to-video sequel about giant killer worms that, sadly, doesn't so much as scratch beneath the surface.
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I was but a mere fresh teenager when my curiosity was first piqued by Universal Studios' Tremors ‒ starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward ‒ back in 1990. As I recall it, I was wandering through the mall in Medford, Oregon, where a large cardboard display of the film's familiar Jaws-inspired artwork ‒ along with the memorable tagline "They say there's nothing new under the sun. But under the ground..." ‒ sat out in front of the in-house theater (this is back when there was a tiny cinema located inside the mall itself). Being a huge fan of horror and

The Inhabitants Movie Review: Intriguing Throwback Horror Frustrates with the Same Old

The Inhabitants thinks about venturing into new territory but too often falls into convention despite solid acting and storytelling.
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October is the month for horror! And once the calendar rolls from September 30th to October 1st VODs and On-Demand services are often awash in low-budget horror, but are any of them truly worth your time? The Inhabitants is one such film, and there is much to praise in a film that hearkens back to atmospheric films like Let's Scare Jessica to Death or, its closest influence, Ti West's House of the Devil or The Innkeepers. The air of foreboding is present, elevated by surprisingly well-done performances from its two leads, but I wanted the script to go big or

Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear the Walking Dead: 'The Good Man'

Includes the answer to the question, "was the ending enough to bring me back for another season?"
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In which questions are asked and answered by Shawn and Kim about the season finale of Fear the Walking Dead. Shawn: 1. Was sitting through five mediocre episodes worth that ending? In short, yes. I watch too many shows where the arc is just the opposite - the best episodes are at the beginning and there's a slow decline to the end of the season. This build felt like they pay off was worth it. We got to see actual walking dead doing their walking-dead thing. They are "new" walking dead and seemed to be much more aggressive going about

The Honeymoon Killers Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Striking Portrait of Isolation

A one-and-done feature from Leonard Kastle, The Honeymoon Killers subverts expectations of exploitation.
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The only film ever directed by opera composer Leonard Kastle, The Honeymoon Killers wears its influences on its sleeve, but never feels derivative or carbon-copied. The story, based on the real-life “lonely heart” killings by Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck, is pure exploitation fodder, and while Kastle’s film acknowledges the luridness, it also dabbles in kitchen-sink realism and rhythms of alienation that recall some of the French New Wave. Kastle doesn’t gawk at his twisted subjects, instead opting to make their social and romantic hopelessness deeply felt. The Honeymoon Killers also might have the best backstory of a “one-and-done” filmmaking

Tremors 5: Bloodlines is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a documentary about Tom Cruise's religion, another dying teenager, Gus Van Sant's best film, greased-up naked dudes, possibly the last Ghibli, a nostalgic sequel, and so much more.
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I was 14 when the original Tremors came out. I loved it. We all did, my family and me. It was the perfect mix of action, adventure, comedy, and horror. It had Kevin Bacon at the height of his powers, Michael Gross just off of his long run in Family Ties, Reba McEntire in her first acting role, and Finn Carter in her underwear (oh man, my 14-year-old self memorized every frame of the scene where she gets caught in barbed wire and has to take off her pants, but I digress.) I caught it again not too long ago

Immoral Tales and The Beast Blu-ray Reviews: 1970's French Erotica

In which our hero has to ask himself, how much fake semen can one person handle?
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In my review of La Grande Bouffe, I noted that Arrow Films is second only to Criterion in creating masterful productions of interesting and obscure films. With their release of Immoral Tales and The Beast, I could easily add "obscene" and "pornographic" to that description. Or perhaps, "erotic arthouse" would be more suiting. I’m being intentionally flippant here which isn’t fair to the films (especially Immoral Tales which has its moments of artistic flair and depth of meaning behind its sex and rampant nudity) but after seeing two films back to back featuring enormous fake ejaculating penises, I can't help

The Leftovers: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: Relishing the Remnants

HBO's newest series creates a complex and confusing web of intrigue worth watching and rewatching.
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Those who know me are aware of my regular refrain when the fall arrives: "I don't watch television." With so many movies out there, I find little worth devoting three months of my life to on a weekly basis. Life's too short to waste on bad television. The Leftovers was recommended to me constantly, so I decided to give the pilot a cursory glance....cut to a day and a half later and I'd successfully binged watched the entire series, a first for me. As if that's not already a rare occurence, I rarely ever watch the same season twice but

John Carpenter's Original Halloween Returns to Cinemas October 29

It includes an exclusive introduction by John Carpenter, providing insights on Halloween and how it has forever changed the horror genre in Hollywood.
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Press release: The horror classic “John Carpenter’s Original Halloween” (1978) is returning to the big screen for a special one-night event on Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. local time. Fathom Events, in partnership with SpectiCast, will present this fan favorite in its entirety with an exclusive introduction by John Carpenter, providing insights on Halloween and how it has forever changed the horror genre in Hollywood. Tickets for “John Carpenter’s Original Halloween” can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com, or at participating theater box offices. Fans throughout the U.S. will be able to enjoy the event in select movie theaters

Big House, U.S.A. Blu-ray Review: Lean, Tough '50s Crime

This surprisingly grim, unsentimental crime film with great character actor cast is a tough-minded winner.
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This was an unexpected treasure. Big House, U.S.A. (which is a completely undescriptive, absolutely terrible title for this grim thriller) is as close as movies came in the '50s to being like the crime-fiction novels of the era. It's a lumpy narrative that follows our antagonist from bad end to bad end, getting into one horrible scrape from which he can't escape to another, without ever making him sympathetic or likeable. Doesn't sound like a fun time at the movies, but Big House, U.S.A. is consistently engaging, taut, and interesting, and doesn't always go just where I expected it to.

Thoughtful & Abstract: Fear The Walking Dead: 'Cobalt'

"Hold on for another week, I think you'll love me someday." - Episode 5
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In which Kim has questions and Episode 5 (Shawn) has answers. Kim: Episode 5, I kind of liked you. You gave us palpable tension. We saw that the Army dudes weren’t just carting people away to kill them (yet). We got to see an actual zombie, named Kimberly. There are several little things and character developments that were introduced in this episode, and with the end of the mini-season next week, we’re obviously not going to get to them all. We’ve got the new guy in the detainment cell with Nick. We’ve got Alicia and Chris demonstrating teen angst and

White Shadow DVD Review: A Work of Unflinching Beauty and Harsh Reality

A stunning depiction of the human condition.
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When it comes to humanist dramas, most moviegoers don't usually take the time to see these films because of the lack of special effects, explosions, and dangerous stunts. They mostly stay away from films with challenging subject matter and character-driven narratives. These films tell stories about real people with real predicaments, sometimes with hopeful results, while others don't exactly end well. However, in director Noaz Deshe's 2013 harrowing White Shadow, narratives can be both tragic and hopeful. This is a really difficult film to watch, but with moments of extremely sublime beauty. This is a story of Alias, an albino

Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review: A Spine-chilling Drama with Comic Relief

If you are looking for a quirky show that offers chills, laughs, and revolutionary lore, watch this show!
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When I first heard about the premise behind Sleepy Hollow. I had no interest in watching it as it sounded ridiculous. A couple of friends who have similar tastes to mine when it comes to television told me that I would love it. They were right. and I am now a huge fan that is thrilled it has been renewed for a third season. Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison), while on a mission in the colonial army for General Washington, encounters a headless horseman. During their battle, they kill each other simultaneously. Crane's wife, Katrina (Katia Winter), a powerful witch, casts

We Are Still Here Blu-ray Review: A Modern Horror Masterpiece

An inventive and chilling breath of fresh air for the horror genre.
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The horror genre is kind of a dying genre, a literally tried-and-true category of cinema, where filmmakers are constantly trying to think up new ways of scaring moviegoers. The haunted-house group obviously qualifies as an attempt to revitalize horror cinema. There are films that have successfully taken us by surprise, including Ti West's The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, and James Wan's The Conjuring and Insidious; while others such as Courtney Solomon's An American Haunting, have almost destroyed the entire landscape with half-baked attempts at supernatural hauntings and possessed victims. Fortunately, Director Ted Geoghegan 2015's modern masterpiece We

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