July 2018 Archives

Tully is the Pick of the Week

Here's all that's interesting coming to Blu-ray this week.
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Last week, I complained that there wasn’t much of interest coming out. At least it had a big Steven Spielberg movie hitting the shelves. This week doesn’t even have that. It's the sort of week that I’d skip if I were just a regular schlub looking for something to buy at my local Blu-ray store. Instead, I’m just a schlub who writes a weekly column about new home-video releases so I’d better say something. Tully is a dramatic comedy from Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. It stars Charlize Theron as a soon-to-be mother of three struggling with the craziness that

Nico, 1988 Movie Review: Both Simplistic and Unsentimental

A sublime biopic carried by Trine Dyrholm who excels as the late famed musician.
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During the opening montage of Nico, 1988, the song “These Days” starts playing over it. A song that may be familiar to anyone who’s seen The Royal Tenenbaums and which might be the titular singer’s best-known song because of that movie. Even though Nico might not be familiar to modern audiences, the film Nico, 1988 makes a strong case as to why more people should know her story. It is a simplistic yet unsentimental depiction of an artist who had a passion for music even when it became difficult to hold onto it. Nico, 1988 follows the last three years

Book Review: Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales, Volume Three

It's wonderful to experience the strips as readers did over 50 years ago and see the artistry on display.
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As mentioned in reviews of the previous volumes in the series, Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales was a Sunday strip that featured 129 stories, running from July 13, 1952 until February 15, 1987. The Library of American Comics is republishing them and the 14 stories in Volume Three, which are collected in a book for the first time, include adaptations of films, both live-action and animated. Written by Frank A. Reilly and drawn by Jesse March, except where noted, they are: Darby O'Gill and the Little People (May 3, 1959-August 30, 1959) Third Man on the Mountain (September 6,

The Big Lebowski Returns to U.S. Cinemas August 5 & 8

20 years later, the Dude still abides.
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Press release: The world has changed in 20 years, but for movie lovers there has been one constant: The Dude abides. On Sunday, August 5, and Wednesday, August 8, the yearlong TCM Big Screen Classics series from Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) marks the 20th anniversary of The Big Lebowski by presenting the film in cinemas across the country. In addition to the feature content, TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz will provide brand-new commentary before and after the film. Part noir crime drama, part absurdist comedy and utterly, uniquely Coen, The Big Lebowski is almost impossible to define

Mission: Impossible - Fallout Movie Review: Best Action Movie of the Summer

It is both the best action film of the summer and the franchise's best film.
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The Mission: Impossible franchise manages to live up to its title because it attains a feat that franchises rarely accomplish. It does the unthinkable by getting better with each installment and Fallout, the latest entry, is the best one yet. It features satisfying action and humor while also being a deep character study. Not to mention, it is extremely well-acted across the board. Mission Impossible - Fallout basically has everything one could want in a blockbuster which makes it a perfect summer movie going experience. Because it’s a sequel, that also means greater stakes are involved. The Syndicate, the crime

Five Cool Things and 16 Years

It's more like five kind of okay, not really great things this week, but there's plenty to talk about.
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As a reviewer, I find that it's much easier to talk about things that I either love or really dislike. When I love something, I can go on and on about all the things I found interesting about it, and when I hate something, it's fun to diss all the terrible things it has going on. What’s difficult to do is review something that was just kind of meh. When something isn’t audaciously terrible or really fantastic, when I just kind of enjoyed a film, show, or what have you, it is really difficult to find something to say about

A Strange Adventure (1956) Blu-ray Review: An Unremarkable Thriller

Young Nick Adams highlights this entertainingly cheapo Republic Pictures crime flick, now available from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
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While the cliffhanger serial formula Republic Pictures would be so well remembered for had already been extinct by the time they cranked out the aptly-titled ‒ and noticeably cheap ‒ A Strange Adventure in 1956, I think it's safe to say the spirit of the ol' chapterplay was still alive and kickin' in this production. Helmed by ace serial director William Witney (The Adventures of Captain Marvel), this lukewarm hard-boiled thriller from writer Houston Branch (Mr. Wong, Detective) opens with Ben Cooper (as one very grown-up teenager) getting hooked on Marla English (The She-Creature). Alas, Marla is one of them

I Walk Alone (1947) Blu-ray Review: A Fine, Slow-Burning Film Noir

Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas go toe-to-toe for the very first time in this classic crime drama from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
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The first of what would ultimately tally up to be seven feature films starring the talents of Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas ‒ a collaboration that would span nearly four decades, concluding with Tough Guys in 1986 ‒ I Walk Alone takes us back to when the two iconic performers were still essentially strangers to one another. In the case of this fine, slow-burning film noir from first-time (solo) director Byron Haskin (Robinson Crusoe on Mars, September Storm), the separation between the two leads only helps to add fuel to the fire. Here, Mr. Lancaster plays Frankie Madison, a one-time

San Diego Comic-Con International 2018 Review: Go for the Comics, Stay for the Stories

Another year of Con but this time it's the Big Picture
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Is it as easy as copy and paste? If you have followed my writings even tangentially over the past eight years, you know I thrive on two things - consistency and nostalgia. I attend many of the same panels each year, like reuniting with old friends or watching an old familiar film for comfort. The annual gathering of misfits known as the San Diego Comic-Con International brings together tribes from all over the world. If you're there - badge or not, costume or not, Captain America shield, Batman mask, or Stormtrooper helmet - you are among your brethren. Usually this

Ready Player One Blu-ray Review: A Grand Spectacle Lacking Substance

The movie's story has lessons to pass onto viewers, yet somehow they are overlooked by the filmmakers.
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Based on Ernest Cline's book of the same name, Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One is a fantastic adventure in the vein of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Upon his death, video-game maker James Halliday set forth a way to pass on his ownership of the OASIS, the virtual-reality universe that has captivated the world, to whomever can solve the three puzzles he has hidden within it. The movie's story has lessons to pass onto viewers, yet somehow they are overlooked by the filmmakers. RP1 opens in in Columbus, Ohio, 2045, in an area called The Stacks, which is a

The Day After Blu-ray Review: Still Has a Probing Effect on Society Today

A slightly crude, but still chillingly effective TV classic about nuclear horror.
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When it comes to nuclear annihilation, there have been many successful cinematic attempts to truly justify the horrifying reality of doomsday, such as Fail-Safe, Threads, The War Game, and On The Beach. However, in my opinion, director Nicholas Meyer's 1983 landmark, The Day After, is the outing that most people remember. It may have been a TV movie, but that didn't stop it from traumatizing an entire generation, telling a story of nuclear catastrophe experienced by everyday people. Set mostly in Kansas and Missouri, the film takes place before, during, and after the U.S. and Russia go to war with

Super Troopers 2 Blu-ray Review: Stick with the First One

Although there are some laughs to be had, most of it feels recycled.
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One of my main concerns about a sequel to a film being released more than a decade later is the amount of callbacks that are going to be littered throughout. I remember watching one of the trailers for Jurassic World and - while listening to the slow, piano version of the original theme song - thinking that it was going to be filled with key moments that make the viewer remember how much they love the first one and also try to trick them in thinking the sequel is a good movie. In reality, it’s a terrible movie, filled with

Ready Player One is the Pick of the Week

The long, hot summer may never end, but at least there are still a few movies to watch.
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We are officially into the Dog Days of Summer. Actually, that may not be true. Is there an official start to the Dog Days of Summer? Do they put that on calendars? Maybe it's in August, I don’t know. What I do know is that it feels like summer has been here forever and it feels like it will never end. I’ve grown really tired of having nothing but blockbusters at the movie theater. I’m ready for cooler weather, leaves changing colors, the end of mowing my yard, and some new Oscar contenders to watch. There is no relief coming

Batman: The Animated Series Coming to Blu-ray on October 16

The most acclaimed animated superhero television series in history, arrives in an all-encompassing package befitting its revered place in the annals of fan-favorite entertainment.
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Press release: Batman: The Animated Series, the most acclaimed animated super hero television series in history, arrives this fall in an all-encompassing package befitting its revered place in the annals of fan-favorite entertainment. Remastered for the first time since its broadcast airing from 1992-1995, Batman: The Complete Animated Series Deluxe Limited Edition will be available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital and in a stunning Blu-ray box set ($112.99 SRP) on October 16, 2018. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, the Emmy Award-winning series captured the imaginations of generations, setting the standard for super hero storytelling for the past quarter-century

Arrow Video Presents Director Vincent Ward's First Two Features

'Vigil' shows much of the talent and promise that would be delivered in 'The Navigator: A Medieval Odyssey.'
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There's a funny thing about favorite movies. You can easily find people to share a love for anything Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. You can go a little further and find friends who enjoy 2001, On The Waterfront, or The Philadelphia Story. Then there's another level where you might mention a movie you love that not everyone has heard of but mostly they are aware of like Eraserhead, Freaks, or 8 1/2. Those are part of the popular-culture vernacular and you don't get weird looks when bringing them up in discussion. Then there's that final

Five Cool Things and Glass

Not even a bad case of poison ivy can stop me from finding cool things for you.
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For the first time in several years, I've managed to get poison ivy. I’m really quite allergic to it and I remember getting it numerous times as a kid. When I was maybe 10 or 11, I can remember waking up one morning barely able to open my eyes because they had become so swollen, my face covered in the stuff. Luckily as an adult, I generally stay indoors and away from wooded areas in which the stuff grows. Not so lucky this week. We built a house out in a very rural, wooded area. I’ve been watering the new

The Third Murder Movie Review: All Justice, No Truth

Hirokazu Kore-eda's keen observation of human interaction is brought to a courtroom drama, winner of six Japanese Academy awards.
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There shouldn't be much to the murder trial. After all, the murderer has already confessed. The prosecution is pushing for the death penalty, though, after as much as guaranteeing the defendant Misumi they wouldn't if he just says he did it. His current attorney in over his head, new counsel is pressed in to do what can be done to make sure Misumi only spends the rest of his life in prison. The new attorney Shigemori is barely interested. He resents being brought in to the case when it's already set to go to trial. Misumi was only two years

You Were Never Really Here Blu-ray Review: A Dark, Masterful Thriller

Joaquin Phoenix gives one of the best performances of his career.
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Prior to watching Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, I came across one short comment on Letterboxd in which the person noted that it was like an artistic version of Pierre Morel’s Taken. To an extent, that is true. Yes, Joaquin Phoenix’s character, Joe, has a particular set of skills, and, yes, his character tries to rescue young girls from sex traffickers. But as I was watching You Were Never Really Here, I came to the realization that it is more of a hybrid between Taken and Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. It’s a slow-burning thriller that intrigues its audience

Tiger by the Tail (1970) Blu-ray Review: The Lyons' Tiger's a Bear, Oh My

Christopher George, Tippi Hedren, Charo, and a lot of wood paneling star in this odd little thriller from Kino Lorber Studio Classics.
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Outwardly, there isn't much for the average contemporary moviegoer to get excited about over R.G. Springsteen's Tiger by the Tail. But before you go wandering off in search of something else to view, consider what this fairly tepid, tiny thriller has to offer internally. Shot in the late '60s, this, the final film from one of the most prolific B-western directors ever, centers on a slightly disgraced Vietnam veteran who gets caught up in a thoroughly predictable web of conspiracy after his racetrack-owner brother is murdered during a hold-up coordinated by one (or more) of his corrupt colleagues amid the

Marvel and IDW to Create New Comic Books For the Next Generation of Readers

The new comic book line featuring Spider-Man, The Avengers, and Black Panther will be available starting this November
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Press release: Marvel Entertainment and IDW Publishing announced today that the two companies will develop middle-grade comic books designed for younger readers. Featuring some of Marvel’s most popular characters, the monthly issues and trade paperback collections, published by IDW, will be available for sale at local comic book shops and book retailers across the country, expanding opportunities for the next generation of Super Heroes to experience the Marvel Universe. “From Iron Man to Captain Marvel, from the Hulk to Shuri — the Marvel pantheon has something for everyone,” says John Barber, editor-in-chief of IDW. “With this team-up, Marvel and IDW

Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973) Blu-ray Review: Please, Don't Act So Sheepish

The American Genre Film Archive and Something Weird Video present something so delightfully awful, it'll leave you ecstatically screaming "Ewe!"
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Even established connoisseurs of strange little motion pictures generally regarded as "bad" can occasionally step into something they are wholly unprepared for. And that can certainly apply to anyone who decides to leap off the beaten path only to set foot into the sulphuric pile of sheep dip that is Godmonster of Indian Flats. The fourth and final feature film from recently departed artist/filmmaker (and Cornell graduate also, I might add) Fredric C. Hobbs, this bizarre 1973 offering is truly difficult to categorize, as it appears to be an environmentally-conscious retrograde science fiction/horror hybrid about an eight-foot-tall mutant sheep housed

Sorry to Bother You Movie Review: Completely Zany yet Brilliant

A completely bonkers and bizarre yet thrilling directorial debut from Boots Riley.
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“Uhh…...what?” That was the best possible way to describe my reaction to Sorry to Bother You. It is completely bizarre, original, and balls to the wall. Yet, it’s still super brilliant. Sorry to Bother You is brilliant because it manages to be both scathing and sharply hilarious. This is a masterpiece that I’ll be thinking about for quite some time. Sorry to Bother You follows the story of Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield), a broke individual who lands a job at a telemarketing agency. Looking to get ahead in the industry, he discovers a secret to finding success: By speaking in

Rampage Blu-ray Review: A Beloved Arcade Game Brought to Life on the Big Screen

If you’re looking for a total popcorn flick with lots of destruction, then it fits the bill perfectly.
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Energyne is a company run by brother and sister Brett (Jake Lacy) and Claire Wyden (Malin Akerman). They are experimenting with genetic editing and doing tests that are outlawed and being done in space to keep them secret. But that all changes when one of the experiments breaks free from its cage and destroys the station, sending canisters of the genetic formula crashing to the Earth. Some of the containers remain intact but three of them have opened and released their gene-altering gas onto animals that have wandered into the area. One is a wolf, another an alligator, and the

Fox Home Entertainment Brings Deadpool, Super Troopers, and More to San Diego Comic-Con

There will be Limited Edition exclusives from Die Hard, Planet of the Apes, Archer, Family Guy, and more.
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YOUR GUIDE TO FINDING THE “D” AT SDCC Deadpool 2 in Hall H When: Saturday, July 21 5:15pm - 6:15pm Where: San Diego Convention Center, Hall H What: Prepare for the ultimate superhero landing as Deadpool and pals drop into Hall H for an hour of maximum effort. Panel will feature Ryan Reynolds, director David Leitch, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Stefan Kapičić and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, moderated by the true MVP of the Deadpool franchise—Dopinder himself, Karan Soni. Expect dirty jokes, broken fourth walls, maybe some spandex and real, live unicorns! (Panel may not actually include mythical

1/1 Movie Review: Solidly Acted yet Overly Ambitious

Aside from its narrative flaws, 1/1 still manages to thrive thanks to its quietly commanding, leading performance by Lindsey Shaw.
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Plenty of us know Lindsey Shaw as Jennifer “Moze” Mosely from the Nickelodeon television series Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. We remember her as the sweet and brainy best friend of the titular main character. Well, in the latest heavyweight drama 1/1, she gets to take a much darker turn. As a young woman coming to grips with her troubled small town life, Shaw is quite brilliant but manages to be the film’s saving grace. She does carry the picture on her shoulders well enough. However, the film surrounding her is unfortunately, a bit of a mess. There are moments

Isle of Dogs is the Pick of the Week

It's a big week for new releases. Come inside to see the best of the bunch.
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One of the hardest things to do with Wes Anderson films is waiting for the eventual Criterion release. Every film of his up to The Grand Budapest Hotel has gotten one (and Anderson has promised it will get a Criterion release eventually). Too impatient to wait on that one, I already have a Blu-ray copy sitting on my shelf. This will no doubt get replaced once the Criterion comes out. There has been no announcement that Anderson’s latest film, Isle of Dogs will get a Criterion release, but safe money is that it will. Eventually. The difficulty will be waiting

Criterion Announces October 2018 Releases

A lot of good titles might put a scare in your wallet.
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In October, Criterion is releasing five titles in high-definition. They are Rainer Werner Fassbinder Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day, Hal Ashby's Shampoo, and Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride. Getting HD upgrades are Brian De Palma's Sisters and Cornel Wilde's The Naked Prey. Read on to learn more about them. The Naked Prey (#415) out Oct 2 Glamorous leading man turned idiosyncratic auteur Cornel Wilde created in the 1960s and ’70s a handful of gritty, violent explorations of the nature of man, none more memorable than The Naked Prey. In the early nineteenth century, after an ivory-hunting safari offends a

The Case of the Scorpion's Tail Blu-ray Review: Stereotypical Giallo

Sergio Martino's horror film ticks off all the giallo boxes but never rises above them.
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When Lisa Baumer’s (Ida Galli) husband dies in a plane explosion (via a very obvious model getting blown to bits in a special effect that will make Classic Doctor Who fans proud), she must rush to Athens in order to collect on the $1,000,000 insurance money. That she was dallying with a man who was decidedly not her husband when the plane exploded and that despite the insurance’s protests she takes her money in cash creates an all-too-familiar suspicion amongst fans of Italian horror. The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail follows the stereotypical hallmarks of the Italian giallo to near

Ingmar Bergman's Cinema in Honor of His 100th Birthday

A 30-disc Collector's Edition box set contains 39 films and a 248-page book available on Blu-ray November 20, 2018.
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Press release: Ingmar Bergman, the visionary storyteller who startled generations of art-house moviegoers with his stark intensity and naked pursuit of the most profound metaphysical questions, was born on July 14, 1918. In honor of the legendary Swedish filmmaker's one hundredth birthday, the Criterion Collection is launching an array of releases and programming to celebrate this incomparable body of work. At the heart of this centennial celebration is Ingmar Bergman's Cinema, a thirty-Blu-ray collector's edition box set, the most comprehensive collection of Bergman's work ever released on home video. Organized as a film festival-with opening and closing nights bookending double

Doom Asylum Blu-ray Review: Terribly Charming

Arrow Video has done their usual magnificent job releasing this ridiculously bad, yet somehow entertaining horror film.
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When a hotshot palimony attorney (Michael Rogen) wins a big case, he takes his girlfriend (Patty Mullen) for a ride in his convertible. He pays a little too much attention to the girl and too little on the road and winds up wrapping the car around a tree, killing the girl, and maiming himself. In the next scene, he finds himself on the autopsy table of a nearby asylum where a medical examiner (Harvey Keith) and his assistant (Steve Menkin) prepare to cut him open (why he’s taken to the asylum and not a morgue is never explained). Ah! But

Woman Is the Future of Man/Tale of Cinema Blu-ray Review: Best Left in the Arthouse

Double feature from filmmaker Hong Sangsoo presents two equally bewildering tales.
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South Korean arthouse cinema doesn’t often receive U.S. Blu-ray release, so kudos to Arrow Academy for making these films available, especially in this dual-movie format. Unfortunately, the projects selected for this release are so bewildering and ultimately unrewarding that they’re difficult to recommend to any but the most fervent admirers of niche dramatic films. Martin Scorcese happens to count himself among that crowd, declaring his admiration for the director and Woman Is the Future of Man as a bonus feature introduction to that film, but I beg to differ with his fawning praise. As discussed by the actors during their

Eighth Grade Movie Review: Pitch-Perfect Portrait of Adolescence

A flawless portrayal of adolescence that features both uplifting and heart wrenching authenticity.
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Eighth Grade was a rather confusing and painful experience. The movie Eighth Grade, however, is a portrait of an adolescent coming to terms with her growing pains that is simultaneously humorous and heartbreaking. It also perfectly captures how going through middle school feels like the end of everything when it’s really the end of an era. Middle school is a time of confusion and uncertainty over what lies ahead and watching Eighth Grade felt like I was taking a trip back in time. The film-watching experience was hard for me because it was a difficult time in my life and

Five Cool Things and Ant-Man and the Wasp

Kick back and enjoy the thins I enjoyed this week.
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It has been another crazy hot week here in Oklahoma. This week I’ve not been able to just stay inside and watch movie; I’ve had to be out in it. My family has a couple of houses that we just built and are trying to sell. They are right next to each other and sit on about 2.5 acres each. Their lawns just got seeded, which in Oklahoma in July means they have to be watered every day. We have these cool little watering devices that look like mini tractors and spray water a great distance. They also propel themselves

Shout! Factory Unveils San Diego Comic Con 2018 Lineup

Highlights from pop-culture purveyor include cast signings, convention exclusives, and breaking news from Shout! Factory and Scream Factory.
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Press release: Celebrating its 15th year at the convention, pop-culture purveyor Shout! Factory returns to San Diego Comic-Con International in 2018 with a dynamic lineup, featuring signings with cast and creators of popular television shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Gravity Falls, captivating panel events, a showcase of new and upcoming theatrical and home entertainment releases, new official Mystery Science Theater 3000 merchandise, Comic-Con exclusive items and engaging booth activities. Fans and convention attendees are invited to join in on the excitement at the Shout! Factory booth (#4118) on the main convention floor. Genre and horror film buffs, collectors, and

Saturday Program Highlights for San Diego Comic Con 2018

Three Sentries will be having three different Saturdays.
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Here are a few highlights where you might find three Sentries who will be attending. Shawn Bourdo: Happy Birthday, Frankenstein (10:00am) (Room7AB) There's a heavy reliance on panels to do with movies and television shows. There's still even a fair amount of panels celebrating actual printed comic books. I love to go to the ones that acknowledge the influence of other media. This panel talks about the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein. An intelligent talk on the novel is exactly the type of thing that excites me at this convention. This Is Your Life, Jonny Quest (11:30am) (Room5AB) In the history

Skyscraper (2018) Movie Review: 'Die Hard' in a Building

The stunt team and visual-effects artists are deserving of the most praise.
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Ten years ago, Will Sawyer (Dwayne Johnson) was an FBI agent injured on the job by an explosion that leaves him wearing a prosthetic lower leg. While recovering in a naval hospital, he met Sarah (Neve Campbell), a doctor, and ten years, later they are married and parents to twins, a boy and a girl. Johnson is now running his own security firm, which was hired to approve the security and maintenance systems of The Pearl, a 220-story building in Hong Kong, China that has such an intense infrastructure the operations center is a mile away. Other than Zhao Long

Path of Blood Movie Review: Harrowing and Uncomfortable

A harrowing look into the heart of war that is bound to make some viewers uncomfortable.
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When Path of Blood first opens, there is a video of a group of young jihadists laughing before they are about to carry on a planned mission. Then, there is a freeze-frame shot of one of the jihadists before the film’s title card is revealed. That one shot illustrates the documentary’s main theme. The main objective of Path of Blood is to show that war is a winless battle and it shows how easily youths can get swept into the battle. The film is mainly made up of archival footage shot by Al-Qaeda terrorists and shows their plot to overthrow

Friday Program Highlights for San Diego Comic Con 2018

See you in San Diego at the following panels.
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Here are a few panels where you might find three Sentries who will be attending. Todd Karella: As I’ve learned over the years you need to have a plan and figure out what panels you want to see ahead of time. And once you have a plan carefully thought out you need to have backup plans because chances are with all the crowds and waiting in lines you are only going to be able to attend a fraction of the panels that you wanted to. I am more of a Television and movie fan and usually shoot for those panels

Detective Bureau 2-3: Go to Hell Bastards! Blu-ray Review: Undercover Yakuza Hijinks

Released in 1963, director Seijun Suzuki was on the brink of his artistic breakthrough with this comic gangland picture.
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Seijun Suzuki, one of the stable of directors at Nikkatsu in the '50s and '60s, Japan's oldest film studio, was fired in 1967 after his imaginative and visually inventive Branded to Kill completely confused the studio head. It was the culmination of an increasingly prickly relationship between Suzuki and the studio, as he worked very hard to put a personal touch and visual flair on what were standard studio genre scripts. He would happily undermine the generic beats and tone of the violent gangster movies he was tasked with making, if it would allow him to get something interesting on

The Good Place: Season Two DVD Review: A Great Show

A huge twist made big changes in Season Two, but The Good Place remains one of the best comedies on TV.
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The Season One finale of The Good Place ended with a massive twist, one that is impossible to avoid while talking about Season Two. So if you have not seen all of Season One and do not want to be spoiled, now is the time to go away (and watch the darn thing). But be sure to come back after. You have been warned. So, The Good Place is really The Bad Place. Michael (Ted Danson) the Architect created an entire Good Place neighborhood, populated it with demons pretending to be good people, all so that he could torture our

Thursday Program Highlights for San Diego Comic Con 2018

These are the panels we are most interested in attending.
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The modern-day equivalent of getting the new Sears catalog before Christmas is the debut of the Comic-Con programs. On paper, there are no lines in the heat and plenty of open seats. Here are a few highlights where you might find three Sentries who will be attending. Shawn Bourdo: When Earthlings Become Martians: National Geographic's Mars, Season 2 (11:00am) (Room7AB) I was a fan of the presentation of this show a couple years ago. It's a hybrid fictional series that breaks for "fact checks" as to the science behind the story. I'm mostly attending this sequel because I love Andy

Mosaic is the Pick of the Week

Stephen Soderbergh getting experimental with television leads off a pretty cool week in new releases.
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I’m on record as being a recovering Steven Soderbergh fan. Or maybe I was a recovering fan who has fallen off the wagon. This metaphor has already gotten out of hand and I just started. I loved Soderbergh early in his career then drifted away for awhile but I’m now very much back into finding him to be a very interesting director. He briefly quit filmmaking a few years back and kept himself busy with TV work on shows like The Knick, then came back to film with Logan Lucky, and now he seems to be splitting his time between

Nostalgic Dragon Ball Z Titles Come to U.S. Movie Theaters This Fall with Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan and Saiyan Double Feature

Fathom Events and Toei Animation Inc. present three Dragon Ball Z theatrical debuts including Bardock and Fusion Reborn as limited releases this September and November.
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Press release: Three throwback Dragon Ball Z titles are set for theatrical debuts as Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Z Saiyan Double Feature hit movie theaters this fall. Anime fans are in for a treat with both Dragon Ball Z: Broly - The Legendary Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Z Saiyan Double Feature, which contains Dragon Ball Z: Bardock - The Father of Goku and Dragon Ball Z: Fusion Reborn. In addition to the fully remastered with English dub anime features, audiences will view exclusive content and receive an exclusive Dragon Ball Super

Ancient Aliens: 10th Anniversary Gift Set DVD Review: A Lot Like Pro Wrestling

I still want to believe, despite the bad haircuts and lack of anything even remotely resembling the scientific process.
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It’s hard to believe that a full decade has passed since the first episode of Ancient Aliens aired on the History Channel. I consulted Google to determine the traditional gift for a 10th anniversary and what do you know - it turned out to be tin or aluminum. This seems like the perfect opportunity to make a tin-foil-hat joke, but perhaps a more appropriate, albeit more expensive gift choice would be the newly released Ancient Aliens 10th Anniversary Edition DVD Gift Set from Lionsgate and the History Channel. This set consists of 36 discs featuring over 120 hours of thought-provoking

Book Review: Alien: The Cold Forge by Alex White

A compelling alien tale that fits the established mold while keeping you guessing to the very end.
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How much you come away from a story loving or loathing a character is a testament to how well they are written or portrayed. In just about any Alien story that involves Weyland-Yutani corporate sleaze, the disdain felt for those people is usually stronger than we feel toward the aliens themselves. The horrific violence and dehumanization by the banana-headed, sci-fi monsters manages to consistently pale in comparison to what human beings do to one another in the interest of personal greed or glory. Such is the case in Alex White's Alien: The Cold Forge, a story set shortly after the

Ant-Man and the Wasp Movie Review: A Pint-Sized Superhero Film with Big Heart

Ant-Man and the Wasp is an improvement of its predecessor that is flawed yet still entertaining.
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Earlier this year, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War showed us how bold and innovative Marvel Cinematic Universe films can be. However, as Marvel movies dramatically evolve, Ant-Man and the Wasp proves that the MCU can still provide light popcorn fare. Admittedly, Ant-Man and the Wasp does possess heavy dramatic stakes but for the most part, it’s escapist fun that manages to outdo its predecessor. The story takes place two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is under house arrest and has avoided contact with Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and his daughter

Five Cool Things and Paul McCartney's Carpool Karaoke

Here's five cool things to take you into the weekend.
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Another week, another five cool things. Conversations with Scorsese Film critic and historian Richard Schickel sat down with Martin Scorsese over the course of several weeks and spoke with him at length. Those conversations were turned into this book and what a treasure it is. They discuss the director’s films from his first one, Who’s That Knocking At My Door up until Shutter Island (which was the last film he had made when the book was written). If you’ve ever seen an interview with Scorsese, you know he has an encyclopedic knowledge of film, and Schickel is able to keep

A Quiet Place Blu-ray Review: Shhhhhh

Surprisingly effect horror film from that goofy guy in The Office.
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To make a film filled with long silences and almost entirely free of audible dialogue is a bold choice. To then make it a genre picture - a horror film no less - is pretty close to insane. To then have it become one of the most critically and commercially successful films of the year is about as close to a miracle as Hollywood gets. A Quiet Place is a horror movie filled with monsters that quickly devour you the moment you make any sound. It focuses on one family (the credits list them as the Abbotts, but I don’t

Black Lightning: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: A Realistic Feel to a Show About Superheroes

Being a fan of all the CW superhero shows, I quickly found Black Lightning stood out as my favorite.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is Garfield High’s principal and one of the most upstanding and respected members of the Freeland community. Little would anyone know that nine years ago he was running around as a costumed vigilante known as Black Lightning. But his days wearing a mask and fighting criminals are over. His wife, Lynn (Christine Adams), had grown tired of his nightly escapades that frequently brought him home bloodied, injured, or

Lean on Pete Blu-ray Review: A Boy and His Horse

This is not just another saccharine horse drama.
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I can’t begin to tell you how many times I expected Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete to fall in the same league as Seabiscuit, Hidalgo, Secretariat, and so many other films about horses and horse racing. Sure, I knew this was going to be more for adults, since it is rated R, and it is an A24 release. The latter usually means we’re in for something different, and that certainly is the case here. Charley (Charlie Plummer) is a 16-year-old boy living with his out-of-control father, Ray (Travis Fimmel), who struggles to make ends meet, but is always up for

Shark Week: 30th Anniversary Collection Review: More Bark than Bite

Other than the public's deep fascination with sharks, it's hard to understand how these oddly produced shows have been luring in viewers all these years.
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Available exclusively at Walmart until September, Shark Week: 30th Anniversary Collection celebrates the long-running cultural phenomenon that is Discovery Channel's Shark Week by presenting 10 programs, although the set skips over the first decade of the series. Other than the public's deep fascination with sharks, it's hard to understand how these oddly produced shows have been luring in viewers all these years. While technically it is correct to identify itself as a "3-disc collection," that is slightly misleading as the Blu-ray and one of the DVDs both contain the same “5 Fan-Favorite Episodes”: Monster Mako (2015), Monster Hammerhead (2014), Great

Arrow Video's The Last House on the Left is the Pick of the Week

This week is packed full of interesting releases I've never heard of.
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I write a weekly column discussing all the cool things I’ve discovered in a given week. I typically spend time on IMDB in preparation for that column watching new trailers, looking at new posters, and generally trying to stay abreast of what new movies are coming out. Even so, nearly every week I am surprised when writing this column over various new Blu-ray releases that I’ve never heard of, especially ones with big names attached to them. This week includes several releases star people like Shia LaBeouf, Rosamund Pike, Ellen Page, Jon Hamm, and others that somehow slipped right past

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Giveaway

There will be three winners. You could be one.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Time Life to award three lucky readers Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: The Complete Fifth Season seven-DVD set, which is available on July 10. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: Political correctness met its match with Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, NBC-TV's groundbreaking variety series that became a cultural touchstone and part of the fabric of '60s-'70s era America. Every Monday night at 8pm from 1968-1973, straight man Dan Rowan and wisecracking co-host Dick Martin led a supremely talented comic ensemble through a gut-busting assault of one-liners, skits, bits and non sequiturs

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 2 (1966-1968) Blu-ray Review

This is recommend for fans of the character and for these type of comedic shorts.
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As mentioned in my review of Volume 1, Friz Freleng was an instrumental figure in animation history because of his work on Warner Brothers' Merrie Melodies and Looney Tunes. He and producer David H. DePatie went on to form DePatie-Freleng Enterprises. Kino Lorber Animation has been releasing that company's work on Blu-ray. The latest title is The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection Volume 2, continuing with the character's next 20 theatrical shorts. Depending on the cartoon, the Pink Panther continues to find himself either a chaotic force or on the receiving end of one, both resulting in a lot of laughs.

Our Favorite Movies of 2018 So Far

Did yours get mentioned?
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While there's still half of the summer roster to go and a slew of films that are going to be competing for awards once Fall begins, a few Sentries have gathered to reveal what their favorites are at the year's halfway point. How many choices will remain the same when we regroup next January? Shawn Bourdo - A Quiet Place In an era of sequels and big-budget tent poles, why was this my favorite movie of the year so far? I think I just answered it based on how I phrased that question. Although a sequel in the works for

The Last House on the Left Blu-ray Review: A Video Nasty Gets Its Day

Wes Craven's first film gets an excellent new set from Arrow Video.
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A few weeks ago I called a dirt-bike drama from Paul Verhoeven a vile piece of work. It was sexist, homophobic, and all around brutish in his depiction of teenagers in Holland. Yet here I am about to give a much more positive review to Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left, a film that depicts brutal violence, torture, rape, and murder. The natural question is why do I find one film’s depiction of deplorable things vile and the other’s depiction of the same and worse somewhat entertaining? The answer lies both in genre and directorial intent. Spetters is

Interview with Jerry G. Angelo, Scott Engrotti, and Christine Maag about Warfighter

Three people involved with the new military drama speak about how it's more than just a movie, it's a movement.
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During the inaugural Fandemic Tour Sacramento weekend, I found myself coming across a variety of things. At nearly every vendor, there was something I was interested in purchasing or picking up, or there was something at which I just wanted to stop and take a look. While I wandered the main floor, I came across a booth for a movie called Warfighter. I had never heard of the movie prior to Fandemic, but, having a love for military-related history and cinema, my interest was immediately piqued. I had briefly chatted with Jerry G. Angelo - the film’s star, producer, writer,

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