February 2018 Archives

Black Panther Movie Review: Marvel's Most Game-Changing Film Yet

Black Panther brings the traditional offerings of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film with its action and humor while still being a story-driven masterpiece.
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When Captain America: Civil War came out in 2016, one of its major highlights was scene stealer Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther. Now, Black Panther has not only gotten his own solo movie but it is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe movie to date. It offers everything that fans want with its crowd-pleasing humor and action. Yet, it also manages to demonstrate powerful, thought-provoking storytelling. After breathing new life into the Rocky franchise with Creed and wowing critics and audiences with his powerful debut Fruitvale Station, director Ryan Coogler has done it again and gone 3 for 3. The story

The Trip to Spain (2017) Blu-ray Review: Moore (or Les) of the Same

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are at it again in this feature film version of the popular UK TV series.
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The third film adaptation to spawn from Michael Winterbottom's television series The Trip, The Trip to Spain reunites British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for yet another bizarre road trip. This time, our pair of middle-aged delinquents embark off to good ol' España to indulge in the finest Spanish cuisine (and wine for the Welshman, as Steve is on the wagon here). But food and drink are the least of the viewer's concern, as our hosts' seemingly erratic behavior is the thing that keeps us coming back for more. Or "Moore," as is the case in The Trip to

The Girl Without Hands Blu-ray Review: A Mesmerizing Fairy Tale

Distinctive animation elevates a simple story into the sublime.
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Based upon an old German fairy tale as collected by the Brothers Grimm, The Girl Without Hands is a French animated film with a lot of heart and a unique sense of style. The devil (Phillippe Laudenbach) appears to a poor miller (Olivier Broche) and makes him a deal. For the small price of what’s behind his mill, the devil will make him rich. Knowing that only an old tree lies behind his mill, the miller agrees. Soon liquid gold begins flowing through his mill, making him richer than his wildest dreams. When the devil comes to collect, the miller

The Taking of Beverly Hills (1991) Blu-ray Review: Try Hard

The ridiculously fun 'Die Hard' knock-off with a mulleted Ken Wahl finds its way to BD thanks to Kino Lorber.
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Any time you depict a filthy rich jock as someone the average moviegoer should be able to sympathize with, you're bound to run into some trouble. In the instance of Sidney J. Furie's 1991 non-hit The Taking of Beverly Hills, we get just that ‒ played to the hilt by former Hollywood heartthrob and Wiseguy star Ken Wahl. Sporting a perfect urban mullet (which perfectly compliments this thick bushy eyebrows) throughout, Wahl plays a football hero nicknamed Boomer. While Boomer's career may have recently ended due to a leg injury (an eerie omen to our lead actor's fate: Wahl effectively

Mr. Mom Blu-ray Review: Role Reversal Comedy Has Few Laughs

The John Hughes-penned comedy starring Michael Keaton and Teri Garr gets a new, albeit lackluster, Blu-ray update from Shout Select.
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Stan Dragoti’s Mr. Mom is what happens when someone decides that a sitcom with its premise might not have much shelf life on television networks and is probably better suited for the big screen with a 90-minute runtime. Its theme music even has that feel like we’re watching the opening credits for something that would air during the Thursday night comedy lineup on one of the big networks. In reality, it doesn’t even really work as a feature film. Granted, this John Hughes-penned comedy is essentially what launched Michael Keaton into stardom and proved that he is both quick on

Five Cool Things and The Girl Without Hands

This weeks cool things include some (not so) Classic Doctor Who, a Stephen King sequel, a Neil Gaiman book, and more.
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Sickness has come to house Brewster again. My wife caught a nasty cold late last week and it's stayed with her even unto today. My daughter caught something nastier but shorter a couple of nights ago, which left her dazed and confused (and puking her poor little guts out) for about 24 hours. I've managed to mostly stay healthy (although my back is about to give out due to sleeping on the couch trying to avoid my wife's bug). As such, there has been a lot of stayng in and watching TV. Here's five things we enjoyed. The Trial of

Not as a Stranger (1955) Blu-ray Review: Robert Mitchum, Sociopathic Surgeon

Kino Lorber brings us Stanley Kramer's first directorial effort starring Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum, and Frank Sinatra.
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Any movie which conjures up the mental image of a motorcycle bound Lon Chaney Jr. going out in a drunken blaze of glory certainly deserves a special place in history. However, when that same movie also happens to star Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum, and Frank Sinatra ‒ along with a first-rate supporting cast including Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Lee Marvin, Harry Morgan, and the aforementioned Mr. Chaney ‒ its significance in the world of film increases substantially. Now toss in the superb production values and social commentary filmmaker Stanley Kramer was (and still is) so well known for, and

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) Blu-ray Review: Too Sweet for Me

Perfect for fans of Hope or those wishing to find out more about the energetic showman.
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There are three types of people in the world: those who like Bob Hope, those who don’t like Bob Hope, and those who have stopped reading this review already because they don’t know who Bob Hope is. I must admit that I was not always a fan of Bob Hope. As a comedian, he always seemed to be reading jokes that had been written for him. As an actor, he always seemed like he was playing the same character who constantly winked at the audience to let them know that he was smarter than everyone else. After reading and reviewing

Victor Crowley Blu-ray Review: Why, Oh Why, Do They Keep Going into That Swamp?

If you love '80s horror or any of the previous Hatchet movies, you owe it to yourself to give Victor Crowley a shot.
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If it's been said once, it's been said a thousand times -- don't go into Honey Island Swamp in Louisiana unless you want to die horribly. Victor Crowley will either take you apart or make you wish he had. He will. It's simply gonna happen. A group of misled tourists didn't stand a chance against him in Hatchet. A hunting party and voodoo priest couldn't stop him in Hatchet II. A S.W.A.T. team hardly phased him in Hatchet III. He's been scouring the area around his home for over 50 years now, despite being shot, impaled, blown up, chainsawed in

The Witches Arrow Academy Blu-ray Review: Someone Get These Witches a Spell

Anthology collection starring Silvana Mangano as a variety of witches fails to bewitch.
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The concept of an anthology film in which you make one long movie consisting of several short films seems like a good one. Presumably, it is easier to wrangle big name directors and stars as the time commitment will be shorter than a full-length feature. You can have a variety of different genres and styles and if one film is a dud, then you’ve got several others that can compensate. And yet it is rare thing in which I’ve ever enjoyed an anthology film. It's a bit like short-story collections to me. It's difficult to tell an engaging story in

Criterion Announces May 2018 Releases

May is for film lovers.
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In May, Criterion plans on releasing seven titles, including two high-definition upgrades. New to the collection are Frank Borzage's Moonrise, Aki Kaurismäki's The Other Side of Hope, John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, two by Cristian Mungiu. Beyond the Hills and Graduation. Getting an upgrade are Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and Robert Bresson's Au hasard Balthazar. Read on to learn more about them. Moonrise (#921) out May 8 A small-town fable about violence and redemption, Moonrise is the final triumph of Frank Borzage, one of Hollywood’s most neglected masters. Stigmatized from infancy by the fate of his criminal

GKIDS and Fathom Events Present a New Studio Ghibli Series of Animated Masterpieces in U.S. Cinemas Throughout 2018

Nine of Studio Ghibli’s most treasured films, including several milestone anniversary titles, will be presented at over 700 movie theater locations.
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Press release: After a successful series in 2017, GKIDS and Fathom Events continue their collaboration to bring a new line-up of treasured films to U.S. cinemas throughout 2018. STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2018 gives fans an opportunity to see nine of Studio Ghibli’s revered animated masterpieces on cinema screens nationwide, along with some very special surprises for Fathom Events attendees only. The 2018 series kicks off with the 10th anniversary of the heartwarming family adventure “Ponyo,” from Academy Award-winning Hayao Miyazaki, for three days only on March 25, 26 and 28. STUDIO GHIBLI FEST 2018 then continues with “The Cat Returns,”

Charley Chase at Hal Roach: The Talkies, Volume One: 1930-31 DVD Review: In One Word, 'Yes!'

The Sprocket Vault releases a two-disc set celebrating the lost talent of one very gifted comic.
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While history may not regard him as highly as many of the other on-screen comics who predated or succeeded him, the world of comedy nevertheless owes a substantial debt of gratitude to Charley Chase. Born Charles Joseph Parrott in 1893, the immeasurably gifted individual worked with just about every great comedy act in the business during his tragically short lifetime. During the Silent Era, a young Chase worked at Keystone Studios for Mack Sennett, appearing in several Charlie Chaplin shorts. In later years, after sound had come to moving pictures to stay, Chase worked on the other side of the

Doctor Who: Twice upon a Time & The Complete Peter Capaldi Years Now Available

Say farewell to the Twelfth Doctor with new releases from BBC Home Entertainment featuring exclusive bonus content.
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Press release: Celebrate the end of an era as BBC Home Entertainment releases Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time, the highly anticipated 2017 Christmas special, on Blu-ray and DVD, and Doctor Who: The Complete Peter Capaldi Years on Blu-ray, featuring never-before-seen bonus content. DOCTOR WHO: TWICE UPON A TIME Street Date: February 13, 2017 Suggested Retail Price: DVD $19.98 (U.S.), $24.98 (Canada) BD $24.98 (U.S.), $30.98 (Canada) Length: Approx. 60 mins + bonus content / single disc Twice Upon A Time - the final episode of Peter Capaldi’s tenure as the Time Lord, which found record-setting success with its Christmas

Blade of the Immortal Blu-ray Review: The Immortal Takashi Miike

Veteran director Takashi Miike reaches the unimaginable milestone of his 100th film with this spellbinding supernatural samurai tale.
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Takashi Miike has directed some of the most well-known Japanese genre films to ever reach our shores, including his turn-of-the-century gems such as Ichi the Killer, Audition, and the Dead or Alive trilogy, as well as his more recent samurai hit, 13 Assassins. For his 100th film, he has helmed the film adaptation of the classic manga series, Blade of the Immortal. Manji (Takuya Kimura) is an adept samurai who suffers mortal injuries and the murder of his sister in a massive battle against 100 enemies. Just as he’s about to bleed out, an ancient witch appears and dumps “sacred

The Toronto True Crime Film Festival to Have Inaugural Event June 8 and 9, 2018

The unique and specialized film festival is now accepting short and feature submissions.
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Press release: The Toronto True Crime Film Festival will have its first annual edition this June 8th - 9th, 2018 at The Royal Cinema in Toronto. Over the course of its two-night, five-screening run, the festival will showcase short and feature-length films surrounding the topic of true crime. TTCFF will spotlight both documentaries and fictionalized films based on true crimes, as well as include a retro screening, multimedia presentations, and panel discussions. Toronto True Crime Film Festival was born from one simple statement verbalized by Lisa Gallagher—an avid cinephile and lifelong true crime fanatic—during the course of a five hour

Freebie and the Bean Blu-ray Review: A Film That Should Have Stayed Buried in the Past

While the drawn-out car chases through the streets of San Francisco are entertaining and interesting to watch, the rest of the film is rather unwatchable.
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In San Francisco, two cops Freebie (James Caan) and Bean (Alan Arkin) have spent more than a year trying to find some evidence on Red Meyers (Jack Kruschen), the biggest syndicate boss in the city. Having been reduced to digging through the man’s trash in hopes of finding some clues, they stumble upon some incriminating documents that weren’t shredded. Rushing to get a warrant so they can search his home and business, they find that they can’t get one right away and will have to wait through the weekend. Normally, that wouldn’t be a huge inconvenience, but they discover that

The Deuce: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: The Gritty, Grimy, Mean Streets of New York

David Simon's new series is about the sex trade in '70s New York, it is as difficult to watch as it is good.
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These days, New York City's Times Square is clean, shiny, and safe. It's a Mecca for tourists and families and a fun stop for anyone looking to see the sites of The Big Apple. It wasn’t always like that. In the 1970s and '80s, it was a hot bed of sex, drugs, and crime. HBO’s new series The Deuce tells the story of that Times Square. Created by David Simon and George Pelecanos, The Duece has a lot in common with another of their shows, The Wire. That series, arguably the greatest show ever, used various institutions (the drug trade,

The Deuce: The Complete First Season Is the Pick of the Week

This week's new releases include some great and not-so-great horror films, Dan Gilroy's follow-up to Nightcrawler, Julia Roberts trying to make a comeback, and more.
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David Simon started out as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun where he worked the crime beat. In 1991, he took a year off to follow the Baltimore Homicide squad around and wrote the excellent Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about it. A few years later he took another year-long sabbatical with former cop Ed Burns to spend time on an inner-city street corner and wrote about the lives of the junkies, dealers, and helpers who live, work, and play there in the book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Homicide was turned

2018 Oscar-nominated Documentary Short Films Review

And the nominees are...
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ShortsTV, the World’s Only Short Film Channel (www.shorts.tv), working with Magnolia Pictures, is currently showing “THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS” on more than 500 screens across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia. THE 2018 OSCARS NOMINATED SHORT FILMS will showcase the Live Action, Animation, and Documentary short-film nominees’ compilation as three separate theatrical events. This marks the 13th consecutive year of the Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical experience. It is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the short film nominees in theaters before the Academy Awards ceremony on March 4, 2018. The Oscars

TV Review: The Alienist: 'These Bloody Thoughts'

There's a possibility that the killer's identity may have been revealed in this latest episode of the TNT miniseries.
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When it comes to these whodunit type of mysteries, the killer ends up being someone whom the audience already knows, and then all of the clues found by other characters that lead them to the person who kept their other identity a secret for the duration of the story. I’m not sure if The Alienist is going to go that route. Granted, we’re already four episodes into the TNT miniseries, but we may have just met the person who is responsible for the killings based on some clues that have been given to the characters - and the viewers -

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Remastered) Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

While the video upgrade and single extra aren't worth a double-dip, this three-disc set is a must-own for fans of classic rock and the '60s.
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Previously released from Criterion in 2009, The Complete Monterey Pop Festival collects three D.A. Pennebaker film's: Monterey Pop, Jimi Plays Monterey, and Shake! Otis at Monterey. That version was previously reviewed at this site. On the weekend of June 16-18, the Monterey International Pop Music Festival helped usher in the "Summer of Love". Filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker and his team captured the event, which was edited down to 79 minutes. The participants included The Mamas and the Papas (John Phillips was one of the co-founders), Canned Heat, Simon & Garfunkel, Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Eric

The Aftermath (1982) Blu-ray Review: A Little Movie with a Long Wake

VCI Entertainment re-releases Steve Barkett's wild, low-budget post-apocalyptic cult classic co-starring the one and only Sid Haig.
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Were you to whisper the name "Steve Barkett" to the average moviegoer, a lengthy pause with near-audible chirping crickets in the background may follow. Say Barkett's name to an aficionado of low-budget sci-fi and horror movies from the days when people still shot independent movies on film, however, and you're entirely likely to get a different reaction. From a much more personal perspective, I actually met a former colleague of his at a coffee shop; an encounter which would later result in me inheriting several reels of film from two of Mr. Barkett's films. Well, let me rephrase that slightly

Five Cool Things and Venom

This week's cool things are trailers, trailers, and more trailers.
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The Super Bowl aired this last Sunday. I didn’t watch a single second of it. Not even for the commercials or Justin Timberlake’s halftime show (though I did watch some of both a few days later on YouTube). The only exciting part for me was that Super Bowl Sunday is now apparently the official start of Hollywood trying to get us pumped for their summer roll out. There were several cool trailers that dropped during the game (and several more have come out in the week since). Call this week’s post "Five Cool Trailers." Solo: A Star Wars Story This

2018 Oscar-nominated Live Action Short Films Review

And the nominees are...
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ShortsTV, the World’s Only Short Film Channel (www.shorts.tv), working with Magnolia Pictures, will open “THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS” on more than 500 screens across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia on Feb. 9, 2018. THE 2018 OSCARS NOMINATED SHORT FILMS will showcase the Live Action, Animation, and Documentary short-film nominees’ compilation as three separate theatrical events. This marks the 13th consecutive year of the Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical experience. It is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the short film nominees in theaters before the Academy Awards ceremony on March 4,

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1 (1964-1966) Blu-ray Review

The Pink Panther was one of the biggest cartoon characters to spring from the swinging '60s, and this set of 20 cartoons shows why.
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Anyone who who grew up watching Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes, surely remembers the unusual name “Friz Freleng” in the opening credits. He was the most prolific cartoon director for Warner Bros. and is credited with developing and creating iconic characters such as Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, and Speedy Gonzales. He left seven months before the studio shut down its cartoon department and once it had, he formed DePatie-Freleng Enterprises with his former boss, producer David H. DePatie. Their first great success was the Pink Panther. Intended solely as a character for the

2018 Oscar-nominated Animated Short Films Review

And the nominees are...
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ShortsTV, the World’s Only Short Film Channel (www.shorts.tv), working with Magnolia Pictures, will open “THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS” on more than 500 screens across the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, South Africa, and Australia on Feb. 9, 2018. THE 2018 OSCARS NOMINATED SHORT FILMS will showcase the Live Action, Animation, and Documentary short-film nominees’ compilation as three separate theatrical events. This marks the 13th consecutive year of the Oscar Nominated Short Films theatrical experience. It is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the short film nominees in theaters before the Academy Awards ceremony on March 4,

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight Blu-ray Review: The Steampunk World's Greatest Detective

While it’s an above average DCU animated film, it’s best for viewers with no knowledge of its superior comic book source.
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Nearly 30 years ago, DC Comics launched an ongoing series of standalone stories set outside their normal comics continuity, eventually labelling the effort Elseworlds. The stories feature their stars in alternate universes, starting with this tale of a steampunk Batman chasing Jack the Ripper in the Victorian era. While the original Gotham by Gaslight comic was only around 50 pages long, the story has been reworked and extended into this new animated feature-length film, essentially making this an Elseworlds retelling of an already Elseworlds comic. The creative changes succeed in extending the story length, but fail in improving upon the

Chris Claremont's X-Men Movie Review: A Look at the Man Who Single-handedly Reinvented the X-Men Franchise

Chris Claremont looks back at his remarkable career writing the X-Men.
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The X-Men have been one of Marvel’s most successful franchises for some time, both in the comic pages and on the silver screen, but that was not always the case. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the famed team of mutants was a second-tier book at best and saw cancellation after just 66 issues, with the last new story published in 1970. In 1975, a young writer was given the opportunity to have carte blanche on the X-Men, publishing the team’s first new stories in five years. His name is Chris Claremont and he jumped at the

The Cloverfield Paradox Movie Review: A Surprise Sequel That Gets Lost In Orbit

Despite its unique release strategy and its committed cast that is rich in diversity, The Cloverfield Paradox is unable to escape the story's tired machinations.
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The Cloverfield Paradox built a lot of hype by announcing that it would be available to stream on Netflix right after the Super Bowl. But unfortunately, the hype surrounding the super secretive and constantly delayed film turned out to be more interesting than the actual film itself. If you’ve seen Alien, Life, or even Gravity, it’s likely that you’ve seen The Cloverfield Paradox which is frustrating since it had potential to be better and a worthy addition to the Cloverfield franchise. Despite the efforts of its terrific cast, The Cloverfield Paradox ends up being an episodic imitation that gets lost

The Violent Years (1956) Blu-ray Review: Ed Wood's Teenage Girl Gang Terrorists

With everything from original production materials to a bonus feature Ed allegedly worked on, this AGFA/SWV BD is packin' a lot of Wood.
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The list of filmmakers best known for helming the worst movies ever made is a long and varied one. In fact, it grows more and more with each passing year. But even as contemporary contenders and waning wannabes vie for some sort of misplaced honor (or misattributed attention) in the awkward world of unintentionally terrible motion pictures, one name still manages to frequently take the lead: that of amateur auteur Edward D. Wood, Jr. Since Wood's untimely passing in December 1978, his delightfully delirious titles ‒ including the early (if totally bizarre) LGBT drama Glen or Glenda? and the sci-fi/horror

Permission Movie Review: A Romantic Drama That Doesn't Have All the Answers

Brian Crano's film takes the romantic drama in a new direction with some unique characters, but often feels unbalanced in its approach.
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When it comes to relationships, does the quality of one transcend the experience of being with multiple people? Does knowing oneself only come through trying different things, or is it enough to realize what you have now is good enough? These questions of identity and how their fluidity comes at any age is at the heart of Brian Crano's romantic drama Permission. Though open relationships aren't particularly taboo in the era of Tindr, Permission positions them within a relationship brimming with trust. Can a relationship involving multiple partners ever work if the couple at the center actively share everything with

Director Brian Crano Talks Fantasy, Romance, and His New Film 'Permission'

"I wanted to reflect the lives and social problems that I'm seeing, both personally and in my community." - Brian Crano
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With the sheer number of romance driven films it's always refreshing to find one unique in its approach. Director Brian Crano has risen to the occasion with his latest film, Permission, the story of a couple together since childhood who decide to have individual flings in their relationship. Can their love survive? Ordinarily the immediate answer would be no, but the beauty of Crano's film is found in genuine discussions that leave things unpredictable. Crano sat down with Kristen Lopez of Cinema Sentries to discuss his film and how he attempted to avoid copying other movies. The obvious question is

Suburbicon is the Pick of the Week

George Clooney's take on a Coen Brothers' script leads this week's new releases.
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The Coen Brothers have been some of my favorite filmmakers for a long time. I first saw their work with Raising Arizona but it wasn’t until Fargo that I actually knew who they were. That film blew me away. It remains a favorite. I love the Coens' directorial style and their quirky, dark sense of humor. George Clooney is one of my favorite actors. He is incredibly handsome and utterly charming. He’s a movie star in the old Hollywood sense. He isn’t the greatest of actors, in fact he has a pretty limited range, but he seems to understand this

TV Review: The Alienist: 'Silver Smile'

It seems more formulaic in the third episode, but there is enough to keep me invested in the show as a whole.
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In this third episode of TNT’s The Alienist, the opening credits sequence switches from being just a quick glimpse at the series’ title with a still image of a silhouette in a foggy evening in New York City to fully introducing all of the actors involved in the series with a slideshow of different images playing in the background. The new introduction is very reminiscent of HBO’s True Detective in terms of style and tone. It’s fitting, since it is a grim miniseries so far, but it almost seems like TNT wants to continue it beyond this one season, and

Mission: Impossible - Fallout | Official Trailer and Big Game Spot Available Now!

New M:I videos for your viewing pleasure should you choose to watch them.
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For the sixth installment in the action franchise, which has earned nearly $3 billion worldwide, the best intentions often come back to haunt you. Mission: Impossible - Fallout finds Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team (Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) along with some familiar allies (Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Monaghan) in a race against time after a mission gone wrong. Henry Cavill, Angela Bassett, and Vanessa Kirby also join the dynamic cast with filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie returns to the helm. Official Trailer Big Game Spot

100 Years of Horror DVD Review: A Look Back at the Genre

Not the best of horror documentaries, but Christopher Lee more than makes up for its shortcomings.
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When it comes to the history of horror, there have been many documentaries tracing the beginning of this rather infamous of film genres, such as Nightmares in Red, White & Blue; Syfy's Masters of Horror, and Bravo's Scariest Movie Moments series. However, 100 Years of Horror, hosted by the late, great Christopher Lee, somehow gets overlooked. This may be a good and bad thing. Considering that the entire series consists of 26 half-hour episodes, narrowing in quality (VHS, mind you), but there is enough information to slighly satifsy the most jaded of horror fanatics. As the back of the DVD

Five Cool Things and Duncan Jones' Mute

This week's cool things include lots of award winners and some that should have been.
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I’m always late to the party when it comes to awards season. I simply don’t make it to the theaters enough to see all the big movies let alone the small ones. I eventually catch most of the buzzy, acclaimed films but not usually until long after all the golden statues have been handed out. This time I’ve managed to see 28 films released in 2017 many of which have been nominated for big awards. That’s still a long ways from all of them (and miles away from the 12,000 films released last year (according to Letterboxd anyways) but for

Deathdream (1974) Blu-ray Review: We Are the Dead of Night, We're in the Zombie Room

Blue Underground brings the creepy Bob Clark/Alan Ormsby cult classic back to life with a gorgeous new 2K scan.
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While W.W. Jacobs may have never been much of a household name either before or after his death in 1943 at the age of 79, the late English author nevertheless left a lasting mark on the world of horror thanks to his 1902 horror story The Monkey's Paw. The quintessential tale carrying the classic "be careful what you wish for" analogy, Jacobs' "immortal" tale would go on to be transformed into a variety of many mediums over the years, beginning with a stage adaptation just one year after the story was first published. But it was the world of film

The Pirates of Blood River (1962) Blu-ray Review: A Dish, Out of Water

Twilight Time unsheathes an enjoyable Hammer Films outing with ex-Sinbad Kerwin Mathews and a smoothly sinister Christopher Lee.
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Your friends might argue a pirate movie won't float without water. Or an actual pirate ship. Heck, even an award-winning 2005 pornographic cash-in of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean had a boat, for porn's sake! But then again, so did Renny Harlin's Cutthroat Island and Roman Polanski's Pirates ‒ a pair of box office failures regularly cited as two of the worst pirate films ever made today. And, while forcing your friends to watch those two flicks may provide an easy win to such a foreseeable argument. Ultimately, however, the best way to succeed in winning a disagreement over whether

Jabberwocky Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Frabjous Film! Callooh! Callay!

It's an amusing adventure filled with Terry Gilliam's humor and sensibilities that showcases his directorial aesthetic.
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After co-directing Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Terry Gilliam returned to the Dark Ages for his first solo outing, Jabberwocky, a fantasy tale inspired by Lewis Carroll's poem of the same name. It's an amusing adventure filled with Gilliam's humor and sensibilities that showcases his directorial aesthetic. Those expecting a sequel to the Python's madcap comedy classic will be disappointed, like many of the characters who live in the world of Jabberwocky. A deadly monster roams the forest as the audience and a fox hunter (Terry Jones) find out in the opening scene. Dennis (Michael Palin), not Holy Grail's

Book Review: Superman: The Atomic Age Sundays, Volume 3 (1956-1959): A Wonderful Time Capsule for Fans of the Man of Steel

Thirteen classic Superman tales, all collected in one volume.
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When it comes to comic book heroes, Superman remains one of, if not the biggest pillars in the industry. With a remarkable history going back 80 years and with a graded copy of Action Comics #1 selling for $3 million plus, Superman is arguably the gold standard by which all other heroes are measured. Like many heroes, Superman has appeared in comic books, but also in Sunday newspaper strips. While this may not be as common now, it was very common in the 1950s. With comic values for older hero books becoming more and more out of reach and original

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