February 2016 Archives

The Danish Girl Blu-ray Review: A Complex, Beautiful Tale of Love and Identity

The film explores the Wegeners' relationship from married heteronormative couple to loving best friends as Einar transitions into Lilli.
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The Danish Girl is a complex tale of love and identity. This film tells the story of landscape artist Einar Wegener, who after experiencing an “awakening” of gender identity while posing for a painting of his wife Gerda’s, gradually transforms into Lilli Elbe and becomes one of the first people to ever receive gender-correction surgery. This film explores the complex relationship between Einar, Gerda, and Lilli which occurred during an era when the idea of Transgender people did not exist and for Einar to become Lilli was a sure sign of mental illness to many. The film explores their complex

The Carol Burnett Show: Treasures from the Vault Review: Includes a Bonus Pizza Review

A look at new products from Carol Burnett and Pizza Hut.
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In today’s world where everyone is always busy, sometimes it nice to have an evening with nothing to do. Time to just hit the couch, order a pizza, and pop in a DVD for some binge-watching. I recently did just that, and the selections were Pizza Hut's Stuffed Garlic Knots Pizza and The Carol Burnett Show: Treasures from the Vault (Collector's Edition). Ah, the thoughts that race through one's head as they wait with hungry anticipation for their dinner to arrive. Exactly how big was this vault and who was in charge of it? How do you lose something from

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 02-29-16

TCM begins its Condemned series and the Star of the Month is Merle Oberon.
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This week sees TCM wrap up their 31 Days (and 360˚) of Oscar feature, which includes an airing of Sense and Sensibility, starring Emma Thompson, who has the distinction of being the only person to have won an Academty Award for both acting and writing. Only Angels Have Wings (1939) Monday, Feb. 29 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A team of flyers risks their lives to deliver the mail in a mountainous South American country. Sense and Sensibility (1995) Tuesday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) Jane Austen's classic tale of two sisters with different romantic notions. Guys and Dolls (1955)

The Martian Movie Review: Lost in Space

Director Ridley Scott and writer Drew Goddard show us a crowd pleasing blockbuster.
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Of all the nominees for Best Picture at the 2016 Academy Awards; The Martian is the only one that most everyone has seen. Yes, even more than Mad Max Fury Road. That one is indeed a movie lovers’ wet dream. But, most general audiences could care less about an apocalyptic road trip However, this one about an astronaut who gets left behind on Mars is the movie that everyone and their grandma has seen. From the trailers released you would just think that it was just like any other movie where someone gets stranded like Castaway or 127 hours. Either

The Mutilator Blu-ray Combo Pack Review: One of the '80s More Vicious Outings

Slasher film haven gets a deadly spin with this cheesy, but super gory little flick.
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When it comes to the 1980s, the slasher genre was one of the most popular of phenomenons, with major franchises such as the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street series dominating the box office. Although with sequel after sequel, video games, and merchandising, the slasher film was descending into self-parody, but with 1984's overlooked The Mutilator (aka Fall Break), the genre proved that it still had some nasty tricks up its sleeve, because it is one of the more vicious, and mean-spirited of all the decade's stalk-and-slash outings. As with most slasher films, there is a prior evil,

getTV's March Programming Lineup Focuses on Comedies

Featuring entertainment icons Lucille Ball in The Fuller Brush Girl & Jerry Lewis in Three on a Couch, Thursdays in primetime all month long.
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Press release: getTV springs into March with a star-studded lineup featuring raucous comedies, heart-stopping thrillers, Old West favorites, and celebrated dramas, airing in primetime all month long. The roster features a themed Comedy Month block, airing every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, starring Jack Lemmon, Dean Martin, and Lucille Ball, among others; as well as birthday blocks honoring Joan Crawford and Jerry Lewis; a pair of Westerns starring Randolph Scott; and a special Easter Sunday screening of the 1962 Bible epic BARABBAS, starring Anthony Quinn. Highlights of getTV’s March programming lineup are as follows: The Three Stooges—Thurs., Mar. 3 at

Evangelion 3.33: You Can (Not) Redo DVD Review: Giant Robots with Daddy Issues

The third in the remake/reboot movies series, Evangelion 3.33 takes the story in completely new directions.
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This will take some explaining. In the mid '90s, the anime TV series Neon Genesis Evangelion sparked something of a revolution in the medium. Designed as a kind of pastiche and critique of mecha shows its creator, Hideaki Anno, had enjoyed as a young men (mecha being giant robot shows), Evangelion was an alien-invasion story filtered through Anno's current mental state - which was of a very depressed man, who had given his life over to work in a medium and business that he could find no meaning in. Neon Genesis Evangelion as a story had many of the trappings

The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray Review: An Alternative Earth Offers a Universal Lesson

"Fear is the mind-killer." - The Litany Against Fear from Frank Herbert's "Dune"
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Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur presents an alternative history where the asteroid that led to mass extinction on Earth 66 million years ago missed the planet. The story picks up millions of years later with young Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) the Apatosaurus going on a journey, both external and internal, the latter being more important. Arlo lives on his parents' farm and is scared of the world around him, including their chickens. In an effort to join the rest of the family as a responsible contributor, his father Henry (Jeffrey Wright) gives him the task of catching and killing the creature that

The Indispensable Thursday Show Discusses the Oscars

Movies! The Oscars are coming this Sunday so what the hell else are we supposed to talk about?
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Need help filling out your Oscar ballot? Not sure you came to the right place, but Gordon S. Miller from CinemaSentries.com sits in with The Indispensable Thursday Show's hosts Sable and Dave to chat about the nominated movies, make some picks, and we do some trivia. The question arises: is the feature-film narrative giving way to long-form TV shows? Find out what we think about that! The podcast episode can be found here.

The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road by Abbie Bernstein: Pretty Pictures! Good Words!

An exciting glimpse into the making of one of the most exciting films of the year.
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Mad Max: Fury Road is a phenomenon. It is the summer blockbuster beloved by millions, revered by critics, and held dear by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There are so few films that are loved so universally throughout those three crucial audiences. Fury Road not only achieved that universal love, but transcended genre altogether to become something that it feels wrong to even label as a Blockbuster, or a critical darling, or an Oscars-sweetheart. There is something fundamentally urgent about how good it is, that makes an audience member want to watch it in theaters as many

2016 Oscar-nominated Documentary Short Films Review

The run down on the five nominees for the documentary short subject category.
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This year the Oscar-nominated short documentary films all address uncomfortable subject matter that most people don’t want to talk about. While each film tackles a different subject, themes of death, the forgotten, and the outsider are present in each one of these works. But these short subject documentaries are not all doom and gloom; hope, perseverance, and the triumph of the human will make their appearances as well. They nominees are: Body Team 12: . Directed by David Darg and produced by David Darg and Bryn Mooser, this film from Liberia is the shortest of all of the nominees in

Heaven Knows What Movie Review: Step into the Shoes of a Former Heroin Addict

Arielle Holmes gives a frightening and cathartic performance based on her personal memoirs.
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Remember the old saying, ”You can never truly know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes”? Well, I walked around for a few hours in this movie's lead character’s shoes and I still don’t have a better understanding now then when I first started. I did learn that drug users go through a lot of work just to get their fix. To be fair, I got the same idea from other movies such as, Requiem for a Dream, Trainspotting, and Panic in Needle Park. What makes Heaven Knows What stand out from all those is the realism

Pray For Death Blu-ray Review: Not Enough Ninja

Cheese-ball '80s flick is light on action until the last 20 minutes.
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When I was a kid, one of the local television stations used to run a show called Kung Fu Theater late at night on the weekends. My cousins and I loved it. I have many fond memories of staying over at my grandmother’s house with them and staying up late (well, late for a nine-year-old boy which probably means about 10:30-11) and watching all those old chopsocky films. Even then we knew the films weren’t particularly good and during the boring talking parts, we’d sit around doing whatever nine-year-old boys do when they are spending the night at their grandmothers

Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! Season 1 Part 1 DVD Review: Spooky Kooky Fun!

The newest adaptation is updated but not necessarily improved.
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A few years ago I reviewed the eleventh version of Scooby-Doo! - Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. That series was a pretty serious, back to the original concept series that concentrated on the story and actual mysteries. The Mr. E character made it feel like a children's version of Pretty Little Liars. It went for two seasons and was fun and entertaining. But it played itself out and we went almost three years without a Scooby-Doo! series on the Cartoon Network. In 2015, the twelfth version of the series was added to the Cartoon Network lineup. This week Warner Bros is releasing

Fargo: Season Two is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us another excellent season of a Coen Brothers spin-off, another Christmas for Doctor Who, fake moon landings, Catholic covers-ups, and much more.
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When they announced they were making a TV show out of the excellent Coen Brothers films, Fargo, I was skeptical. It is such a precise, idiosyncratic, self-contained film I couldn’t figure out how they could do anything else with it. Happily, I was very wrong. The first season was brilliant. It's not so much a sequel, a prequel. or any other kind of -quel you can think of as it is a tonally similar, barely existing in the same universe but just as wonderful kind of thing. With one minor exception, there aren’t any connections to the film other than

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'The Next World'

"I didn't hate the episode I just felt like I had tuned into a special-guest-written episode." - Shawn
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In which Shawn and Kim try to decipher how long it was between episodes and how you make a shopping list during the apocalypse. Kim: This was the strangest episode of The Walking Dead that I have ever seen. Let me start off by saying that I was pretty irritated by the incredible time-jump. How long has passed? A month or two? Why are people giving out grocery lists like, “Hey, if you think about it and can find me a bottle of wine and some jalapeno poppers, I’d be grateful”? How do you go from total chaos to everyone

A French Village: Season 2 DVD Review: A Series Full of Some Really Wonderful Stories

An enormous cast tells an interweaving tale of a German-occupied French city.
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A French Village is a French television drama set in the made-up town of Villeneuve in Eastern France that is occupied by the Germans during World War II. It ran for six seasons in France (with a seventh and final one set to air later this year) but has never had much presence in the U.S. Season Two has just been released by MHZ (Season One came out last year). It deals with a multitude of characters and for the most part humanizes them and allows us to understand where they are coming from. There are resistance fighters consisting of

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 02-22-16

TCM's 31 Days (and 360˚) of Oscar enters its final full week.
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During the last full week of February, TCM concludes its 31 Days (and 360˚) of Oscar programme with these notable films: High Society (1956) Monday, Feb. 22 at 6:00 p.m. (ET) In this musical version of The Philadelphia Story, tabloid reporters invade a society wedding. Cyrano de Bergerac (1951) Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 6:00 p.m. (ET) A swordsman and poet helps another man woo the woman he loves. M*A*S*H (1970) Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) The staff of a Korean War field hospital use humor to keep their sanity during wartime. (Read Gordon S. Miller's review.) The Longest

Joy Movie Review: When Real Life is Like a Fairy Tale

Enjoyable if somewhat slow-moving comedy-drama makes selling mops fun and sexy.
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David O. Russell’s Joy has gotten somewhat lost in the awards season shuffle, and that’s a shame. It nabbed only one nomination, for its always-wonderful star Jennifer Lawrence, in the title role as real-life Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. In a less competitive year it probably would have earned nods for its clever screenplay by the director and its story by Bridesmaids co-writer Annie Mumolo, as well as best supporting actor nods for either Bradley Cooper or Robert DeNiro and a scene-stealing Isabella Rossellini. Joy is a feature-length rebuke to the old chestnut that “If you build a better mousetrap,

Fatherland (1986) / Sense and Sensibility (1995) Blu-ray Reviews: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Two transitionary tales from the West make their HD debut from Twilight Time.
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Transitioning into a new environment is never an easy task, as is evident in two entirely different European motion pictures now available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time (and which were originally released as part of their November 2015 lineup). In fact, diving into each film proved just as intimidating for yours truly, who had spent so much time reviewing classic B westerns whilst reveling in the unartistic works of Z-grade hacks such as Jerry Warren in his spare time, that neither title seemed to "call out" to be viewed. But such are the perils and pitfalls of being an aging

An Evening with Neil Young Featuring Human Highway, Rust Never Sleeps, and Live Q&A Comes to Select U.S. Cinemas on February 29

Fathom Events, Warner Bros. Records and AARP bring the legendary musician’s 1978 concert tour and mind-bending musical comedy to the big screen for a special one-night event.
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Press release: On Monday, February 29, 2016, experience “An Evening With Neil Young” when Fathom Events, Warner Bros. Records and AARP present a special, one-night screening of the critically-acclaimed post-apocalyptic musical comedy, Human Highway, along with the iconic musician’s concert feature, Rust Never Sleeps, in select movie theaters nationwide live at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT / 6 p.m. MT and tape-delayed to 7:30 p.m. PT, HI and AK. The special cinematic event also features an exclusive live Q&A with Cameron Crowe interviewing Young and his eclectic cast, which includes Gerald V. Casale of Devo, Russ Tamblyn, and

Spotlight Blu-ray Review: A Great Film Documenting Terrible Things

A film so good I'll never watch it again.
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When I received my copy of Spotlight in the mail, I told my wife I’d be staying up late to watch it and that I recommended her going to bed early. She is a great fan of good dramas, and this one is garnering all sorts of awards, but I knew the very nature of this film with its deeply disturbing story would keep her up afterwards. And many nights after that. I like to think of myself as a hardened film veteran. I’ve watched all sorts of horror films where terrible things happen to its characters. I’ve watched real-life

Let There Be Light: John Huston's Wartime Documentaries Blu-ray Review: From Propaganda to Trauma

This collection of documentaries includes a sobering look at PTSD that was suppressed for 30 years after it was made.
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It's odd to feel nostalgia for a time one never lived in, and to envy men who are fighting in a war. But the Second World War holds an oddly nostalgic place in American culture, especially when uncritically examined. Some call it "The Last Good War" as if war were ever good, as if the times weren't fractious then as well as now. Part of what makes World War II seem, when looking back, as a time of complete cultural consensus is the propaganda that Hollywood produced at the time. The studios worked hand in hand with the government to

Spotlight DVD Review: One of the Greatest Depictions of Investigative Journalism Ever Made

It's not just an entertaining an amazing film, it's a definite call to action.
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Investigative journalism has become a dying art, mainly because people can get the news on the internet with their smartphones, laptops, and tablets. But the best type of journalism was when they did it the old-fashioned way, with immense dedication and breakneck focus to get the truth out there, no matter how tough and draining it really was. An obvious example of the way the process should be depicted on film was the 1976 classic, All the President's Men, which was made with extreme attention to detail, brilliantly acted and directed, and still relevant. Forty years later, last year's riveting

Cinefamily's Underground USA: Indie Cinema of the '80s Begins with John Sayles Retrospective

This is an opportunity to celebrate a filmmaker, his films and an important kind of American vision.
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If you love independent films and don't live near Los Angeles, CA, prepare to become very jealous as Cinefamily's massive two-month exhibition of classic American movies from the 1980s commences on Thursday, February 18 with a focus one of that decade's leading lights. Co-Presented by Cinespia and Production For Use,"A Weekend with John Sayles" presents four programs with the filmmaker that look at his early work, including Joe Dante's Piranha, which Sayles worked on as the screenwriter. Click on movie title to jump to event listing, click showtime to jump to Buy Tickets:—————————————-An Evening w/ John Sayles + Return of

Thoughtful & Abstract: The Walking Dead: 'No Way Out'

"I'd rank [this episode] in my top 3 of all time. Maybe even top 2." - Kim
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In which Shawn & Kim nibble on the return of The Walking Dead and Daryl's arms. Shawn: So we start off the second half of Season 6 with a bang (too soon?) and in some ways I have less to say about good episodes than I do about the crappy ones. All of these comments are preceded by the note that I love this show. 1. ) No lie, it was worth a "Hell yeah" and a loud "That's right!" when Daryl shot the smelly (my assumption) and unwashed biker gang with the rocket launcher. Welcome back, Daryl. It was

Criterion Announces May 2016 Releases

One Japanese film, two films about Hollywood, and three films by Wim Wenders.
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Next May, the Criterion Collection expands with six new entries. They are a pair of films about Hollywood, Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place and Robert Altman's The Player; Kaneto Shindo’s The Naked Island; and Wim Wender: The Road Trilogy, featuring Alice in the Cities, Wrong Move, and Kings of the Road. Also, Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider gets a standalone release from America Lost and Found: The BBS Story. Read on to learn more about them. Easy Rider (#545) out May 3 This is the definitive counterculture blockbuster. The down-and-dirty directorial debut of former clean-cut teen star Dennis Hopper, Easy

The Littlest Hobo (1958) DVD Review: The Dogs Must Be Crazy

The Warner Archive Collection unleashes one of B moviedom's greatest unsung canine performers in this weird critter noir.
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A stranger wanders into town and, amid the prejudices and fears of many locals, changes the lives of people before the unknown individual exits just as swiftly as they appeared. Such a scenario has been seen and heard countless times before (many of us have indeed encountered such characters in our life stories), but in the instance of 1958's The Littlest Hobo, the "stranger" factor is upped considerably by making its protagonist one cute, very talented German Shepherd. Yes, The Littlest Hobo is essentially another Lassie clone (also see: the Warner Archive's recent release of My Pal Wolf) manufactured to

Black Mass Is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us Johnny Depp as a ganster, 33 Chilean miners, the Hollywood Blacklist, Steve Jobs, Girls and more.
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For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to watch gangster movies. There is just something about the mafia that is - while completely and utterly deplorable - really quite fascinating. It's not that they are the best at what they do, or the smartest, or even the toughest; it's that they know what they want and they just take it. And you’d better give it to them or you’ll wind up with both your legs broken. If you are lucky. While most of us shirk from everyday confrontation, gangsters thrive on it. They are willing to risk

Spiral: Season 5 DVD Review: French Crime Drama Continues to Thrill

Go watch it. Now.
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Police Captain Laure Berthaud (Caroline Proust) is drinking alone in a bar. She eyes a handsome lad across the way and smiles. He smiles back. Cut to the two of them going at in Berthaud’s car. Hot and heavy are the words. Clothes are removed. Her pants are pulled down. There’s blood. Lots of it. On her panties and thighs. She freaks, he hasn’t noticed. She kicks him out of the car and speeds away. We cut to the next morning where Berthaud is called to the marina where a woman’s corpse has been found tied up and entangled in

TV Review: American Masters: Carole King: Natural Woman

PBS salutes the legendary singer/songwriter with a fond look back at her career.
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Over the last few years, singer/songwriter Carole King has enjoyed a career resurgence. Her bestselling memoir, A Natural Woman, bowed to positive reviews in 2012 Beautiful, the musical based on King’s life, debuted on Broadway in 2014 and is still going strong. Last year, she was feted at the Kennedy Center Honors, with Aretha Franklin bringing King to tears with her passionate rendition of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” The celebration continues with the American Masters salute borrowed from that song title, a program which airs this week on PBS stations. Through King’s words, rare photos, archival

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 02-15-16

It's hard to watch just one.
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At the halfway point of TCM's 31 Days (and 360˚) of Oscar include the following classic films: Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) Monday, Feb. 15 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) A musical portrait of composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan. On The Waterfront (1954) Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A young stevedore takes on the mobster who rules the docks. The Way We Were (1973) Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) A fiery liberal fights to make her marriage to a successful writer work. An American in Paris (1951) Thursday, Feb. 18 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An American artist finds love

The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review: Let the Mystery Be

"Miracle" boasts a "population of 9,261 - 0 Departures." It is this special spot that beckons Kevin Garvey and family to leave Mapleton, NY
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As we learned watching Season One of The Leftovers, showrunner Damon Lindelof has an apparent aversion to non-linear storytelling. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, this type of narrative causes some discomfort, as it forces the viewer to constantly examine and deconstruct what they’ve just seen. Good TV. The premise of Season Two focuses on a small town in Texas that was somehow not affected by the Sudden Departure. Jarden, TX, or otherwise known as “Miracle,” boasts a “population of 9,261 - 0 Departures.” It is this special spot that beckons Kevin Garvey and family to leave Mapleton,

Steve Jobs Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

"It’s a tremendous work, a wonderful blend of acting, writing, and directing." - Chris Morgan
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader the Steve Jobs Blu-ray combo pack, which is set for release on February 16 and also avalable on DVD and On Demand. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: From Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours), Steve Jobs is an up-close-and-personal look at the founder of Apple, a remarkable creative genius whose vow to put computers in the hands of ordinary people changed the world. Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds, 12 Years

The Art and Making of Hannibal: The Television Series Book Review: A Gleefully Grisly Souvenir

An authorized look at the first two terrific seasons of TV's handsomest (and most horrific) show.
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When I first heard about the Hannibal TV show, it seemed like a joke - the apotheosis of the modern reboot culture, where anything could be greenlit as long as someone, anyone had heard of it before. Hannibal the character himself had become very difficult to take seriously - from a figure of real menace in Silence of the Lambs to something more like a regular horror movie monster in the sequels (I haven't seen Hannibal Rising, but I understand it follows a rather familiar Sympathy for the Devil style storyline - Hannibal is Hannibal the Cannibal because he is

The Paley Center for Media Presents the 33rd Annual Paleyfest Los Angeles, March 11-20 at the Dolby Theatre

The week-long TV festival honors great television including: Empire, Better Call Saul, Supergirl, Scandal, and The Big Bang Theory
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Press release: The 33rd annual PaleyFest Los Angeles, Hollywood’s ultimate TV fan festival hosted by The Paley Center for Media, celebrates television’s most acclaimed series and grants fans access to special screenings, exclusive conversations, and behind-the-scenes scoops and breaking news from the stars and creative minds behind their favorite shows. Citi is the Official Card of PaleyFest LA, and Citi cardmembers have special presale access to tickets. The Paley App and the Paley website are portals to ticket sales and content including PaleyFest photos and video clips. Fans are invited to follow @paleycenter on Twitter for immediate news and for

TV Review: American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley

The documentary examines the blues legend's life and music.
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The latest installment of the PBS series, American Masters, documents the life and music of blues maestro Riley “B.B.” King. A sharecropper’s son who first played guitar in church, he also worked as a DJ before becoming the undisputed king of American blues (and an inspiration to countless rock musicians). This documentary features interviews with Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr, John Mayer, and other musicians. There are plenty of original and archival interviews with B.B., including one conducted on a trip back to his birthplace in Mississippi. It follows King’s story from his early life working in the cotton

The Art of Regular Show Book Giveaway

"One of the most imaginative and entertaining animated programs on television." Gordon S. Miller
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Titan Books to award two lucky readers Shannon O'Leary's The Art of Regular Show book. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: The Emmy Award-winning Regular Show, created by JG Quintel, is a jewel in the Cartoon Network crown with over 100 million viewers globally. The series follows the hilarious and surreal adventures of blue jay Mordecai and his best friend, Rigby the raccoon, as they make their days working at a local park anything but regular. Mordecai and Rigby are joined by their boss Benson, an explosively angry gumball machine,

Trumbo Blu-ray Review: Bryan Cranston's Tour de Force

Its a shame a film about one of the greatest screenwriters is written so poorly.
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The only thing Hollywood likes more than making movies portraying themselves as heroes is making movies portraying themselves as martyrs fighting against oppressive forces. I’ve lost count at how many movies have been made about the Hollywood Blacklist. If all you knew of history was what came from Hollywood, you’d think Joseph McCarthy was worse than Stalin and Hitler combined. You’d never know that the House Un-American Activities Committee ruined the lives of thousands of people from all stripes of life across the country rather than just the artists in and around Hollywood. Trumbo is yet another Hollywood movie portraying

Book Review: The Art of Regular Show by Shannon O'Leary

"An inside peek into how [they] go about creating the characters and crazy situations [viewers] see on TV every week." - creator JG Quintel
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Created by JG Quintel, Regular Show regales viewers with the zany exploits of Mordecai the blue jay and Rigby the raccoon, two twenty-something slackers who find themselves in the caught up in very wild and very funny adventures. It is one of the most imaginative and entertaining animated programs on television, currently in its seventh season on Cartoon Network. Author Shannon O’Leary assists Quintel, who in his foreword states that with this book he and the staff wanted to “offer an inside peek into how [they] go about creating the characters and crazy situations [viewers] see on TV every week.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Blu-ray Combo Pack Review: The Special Features Are the Best Part

The Walt Disney Company begins The Signature Collection with the studio's first feature-length film.
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On December 21, 1937 Walt Disney released "Disney's Folly," a reckless endeavor that was mocked by critics and seen as the worst mistake that he could ever make, would completely bankrupt him, and destroy his career. The thought of making a full-length animated film was completely absurd and nobody would want to watch it. Imagine their shock when they discovered that they were completely wrong. Not only did the film have a good storyline, but it made people laugh and cry and everyone loved it. The film was an immediate success the mocking by critics stopped and now we all

About The Young Idea DVD Review: A Revealing, Reminiscent Look Back at The Jam's Rise

This thoughtful history of the evolution of The Jam is heavy on band anecdotes, fan praise and a chipper Paul Weller enjoying the stroll down Stanley Road.
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The late John Weller, Paul Weller’s father and perhaps The Jam’s biggest fan, would ring in shows by shouting, “Put your hands together for the greatest band in the f@%king world!” And to legions of fans in the late ’70s and early ’80s, they absolutely were. The band not only echoed youth’s frustrations with politically poetic lyrics and riffs drawing from earlier periods of unrest, but they also taught their peers on the floor a thing or two about literature, autonomy—being someone intelligent enough to form and express an opinion boldly. With a heavy emphasis on fan lore, About The

Howard the Duck Movie Review: It's Not as Bad as You Think

A look back at one of Marvel Comics' first big-screen adaptations.
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As I’m sure most of you already know. Movies have and will always be one of those forms of entertainment that we will have different opinions on. What you think is the best movie ever, will have someone out there disagreeing. That may not be the case with today’s selection. Howard The Duck has a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for seven Golden Raspberry Awards. It’s been regarded as one of the worst movies ever made, but is it that bad? 2001: A Space Odyssey also got bad reviews when it first opened and that movie is

Spectre is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us some Bond, a haunted house, a grandma, Leftovers, and much more.
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I have many fond memories of watching James Bond. I remember my dad taking me to see him in the theatre. I remember catching Octopussy as a pubescent teen on cable in the back bedroom of my grandparents' house. Then they started releasing the films on VHS, and I watched them all over again. I remember being so mad at Timothy Dalton when he got the gig as Bond as I’d heard rumors Pierce Brosnan was going to get the role and I’d loved him on Remington Steele. Then I remember being disappointed when Brosnan did get the role as

Spectre Blu-ray Review: Ghosts of Bond's Past

Craig and Mendes re-team for an effort that falls short of Skyfall’s heights, but not by much.
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After the nearly universal acclaim and gigantic box office for the previous Bond outing, Skyfall, any follow-up was likely to suffer in comparison, even with the same creative team largely intact. Sure enough, the general consensus upon Spectre’s release seemed to be a resounding “meh” and lower ticket sales, but what all of that apathy masked was that judged on its own merits it’s still one of the strongest Bond films ever. Does the story make complete sense? Nope, but that’s never really been a drawback in this series. Sam Mendes returns to direct an ambitious tale that features the

TCM Programming Alert for the Week of 02-08-16

I'm shocked, shocked to find that classic movies are being shown there!
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TCM's 31 Days (and 360˚) of Oscar puts the emphasis on "classic" this week as February marches on. Flying Down to Rio (1933) Monday, Feb. 08 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) A dance-band leader finds love and success in Brazil. Cabaret (1972) Tuesday, Feb. 09 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A young writer gets mixed up with a pleasure-loving singer in a decadent world of 1930's Berlin. The Great Escape (1963) Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) Thrown together by the Germans, a group of captive Allied troublemakers plot a daring escape. Imitation of Life (1934) Thursday, Feb. 11 at 8:00

Book Review The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road by Abbie Bernstein

Every bit as vivid, eye-popping, and gut-punching as the film, but slowed down enough that it can sit on your coffee table.
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Having spent the better part of the year revisiting a familiar galaxy far, far away and allowing it to consume our hearts and minds as well as nearly every waking moment of our lives, it’s easy to forget that it was just last summer we paid a trip to another landscape quite reminiscent of one we had spent a great deal of time in during our youth. Of course, the trips we took to the post-apocalyptic wasteland George Miller created weren’t nearly as idyllic as our jaunts to Hoth or the Death Star; if the Star Wars universe which sprung

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2 DVD Review: Open Channel C for Color

Recommended for any man, girl, or those not falling under those classifications who enjoy the '60s spy genre.
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Six months after The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 1 was released in conjunction with Guy Ritchie's feature-film prequel, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment has released The Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Complete Season 2, another 10-disc set featuring international exploits of espionage. This season contained 28 affairs, including two two-parters, which aired on NBC during the 1965/66 television season, and for the first time in color. For those new to the series, it features agents Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn), an American, and Illya Kuryakin (David McCallum), a Russian, traveling the globe on behalf of the international organization known as United

My Pal Wolf DVD Review: Dog Gone Girl

Child actress Sharyn Moffett has to learn how to cut one's wolf loose in this forgotten RKO ditty, now available from the Warner Archive Collection.
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Sometimes, you never know what the true premise of a motion picture may turn out to be. This can be particularly relevant when it comes to old B movies ‒ wherein even a man taking a leisurely stroll down to the corner market for a pack of cigarettes can end with an overzealous example of religious superiority, all but demanding viewers go to church that Sunday. Why, even a simple family movie about a little girl and her pet dog can begin as one kind of tale before it ultimately transforms into something wholly other. And wouldn't you just know

The Emigrants / The New Land Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Profound Cinematic Experience Like No Other

Jan Troell's masterful epic saga receives the deluxe Blu-ray treatment.
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There have been many films about the dangerous journey of immigrants to America, the land of prosperity and new beginnings, such as El Norte (1983) and Sin Nombre (2009). However, I think none of them really possess the devastating and stark power as Director Jan Troell's epic masterpieces, The Emigrants (1971) / The New Land (1972), which were praised unanimously by critics and worldwide. It isn't difficult to see why; the entire saga is beautiful, authetic, and a profound cinematic experience like no other. Adapted from a novel by Vilhelm Moberg, it stars film legends Max von Sydow and Liv

Steve Jobs DVD Review: A Good Choice For Best Picture

It’s a wonderful blend of acting, writing, and directing.
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Steve Jobs is one of the more integral folks in this modern technological era of ours. Thus, a biopic was inevitable. While a couple of films were able to beat Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs to the punch, this was the Jobs movie people were waiting for. The one with the legitimately talented cast, the one that didn’t have Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs, and the one written by Aaron Sorkin. Of course, pedigree does not guarantee success. Fortunately, this particular film was knocked out of the park. As you may have heard by now, this is not a traditional biopic.

Bridge of Spies Blu-ray Review: Spielberg's History Tour Reaches the Cold War

In Steven Spielberg's latest history lesson, our professor/director tackles the Cold War.
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For the last decade, Steven Spielberg has been stuck in the past as a director, churning out one historical film after another. Even his only fictional films, Indiana Jones and Tintin, tread retro themes and times, making it clear that at this stage of his storied career he’s looking back rather than forward. That gaze to the past has now landed on the Cold War, and finds him reteamed with frequent collaborator Tom Hanks. When a suspected Soviet spy is captured in New York, the authorities realize that he must be offered legal representation and call in esteemed attorney James

It Follows Movie Review: A Horror Movie to Think About

Our own mortality is the most scariest creature of all.
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It Follows has the most terrifying premise when you stop to really think about it. Many people will mock and laugh at the concept of a girl who is slowly being hunted by an ominous being after having sex. Yet, this is the same concept used in countless other horror movies. What happens to most kids when they have sex in these kinds of films? They end up getting killed by some guy in a mask swinging a machete. Now what if you take this same concept of being stalked by a thing whose sole purpose is to kill you,

Bridge of Spies is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us three period dramas, a witch hunter and some zombies playing Tyler Durden.
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We’re less than a month away from the Oscars and I’ve seen exactly three of the nominated films - four if you count the animated feature nominees (and five more if you add in the animated shorts). This isn’t unusual for me as I rarely get to watch more than a couple of the nominees before the ceremony airs. I’ve noted many times before how difficult it is for me to get to the theatre to see new films and I won’t rehash that here. I do appreciate that many of the films now get released to home video just

Thoughtful & Abstract: DC TV

"For every Human Target that comes and goes without notice, there will be a Constantine that leaves far too early." - Shawn
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In which Shawn and Kim discuss the weekly DC Comics-based shows and shirtless heroes. Shawn: I've caught up on most of my comic-based shows recently. One of the newest ones elicited quite a few opinions, so I thought we should touch base on where we're at with these. For every Human Target that comes and goes without notice, there will be a Constantine that comes into our world and leaves far too early. DC'S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (CW) The latest addition to the Arrowverse is a breath of fresh air. I am not going to deny I love this series

getTV Salutes the Oscars with Columbia Pictures Award Winners

Highlights include two weeks of Frank Capra Classics, a Night of King Henry Epics, and a Romantic Two-Pack.
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Press release: getTV celebrates awards season with a roster of Oscar-winning Columbia Pictures features, airing every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The month-long lineup puts the spotlight on some of cinema’s finest films with themed blocks featuring two weeks of Frank Capra classics starring James Stewart, Gary Cooper, and Jean Arthur, as well as a pair of King Henry period pieces starring Peter O’Toole and Robert Shaw, and a night of romance and whimsy starring Robert Montgomery and Evelyn Keyes, among others. Frank Capra, Part 1—Thurs., Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. ET The month of Oscar kicks off with a

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