October 2018 Archives

Dragnet (1987) Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: A Lackluster Satire

The sporadically funny spoof of the classic TV show gets released to Blu-ray for the first time.
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There’s this feeling that lingers throughout Tom Mankiewicz’s satirical approach to the hit television series, Dragnet. The feeling is that there should be more laughs. With Dan Aykroyd playing a straight-edged police officer unable to fit into the modern society, and Tom Hanks as his hip, loose-living partner, this has the capability to be comedic dynamite. But the end result comes up way short of being great. There are some laughs, but they are few and far between. The bright spot of this rather dull comedy is Aykroyd’s performance as Sergeant Joe Friday, the nephew of the original show’s character.

Beautiful Boy Movie Review: Timothee Chalamet Elevates Muddled Family Drama

Timothee Chalamet easily makes this cluttered drama worth watching.
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Right off the bat, I’ll just say that my biggest gripe with Beautiful Boy is that it focuses less on its title character. The film may be based on a memoir by David Sheff, the father who tried helping his son battle meth addiction. However, the film would have benefitted from focusing almost entirely on the son himself. It is partially because of the commanding performance from Timothee Chalamet and also because of poor characterization. As Nic Sheff, David’s son who fought addiction, Timothee Chalamet is easily best in show. Even if it doesn’t top his brilliant, Oscar-nominated performance as

See a Special Advance Screening of The Front Runner in Hollywood, CA

The screening will take place at Arclight Hollywood on Monday, November 5 with a start time at 7 PM.
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The Front Runner tells the story of Gary Hart, former senator of Colorado, who becomes the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1987. Hart's intelligence, charisma, and idealism makes him popular with young voters, leaving him with a seemingly clear path to the White House. All that comes crashing down when allegations of an extramarital affair surface in the media, forcing the candidate to address a scandal that threatens to derail his campaign and personal life. The Front Runner is directed by Jason Reitman, based on the 2014 book All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid,

John Carpenter's The Fog Movie Review: A Thrilling Ghost Story

Even though the story has room for improvement, The Fog is an entertaining horror movie that does a lot of things right.
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Currently in limited release across the country thanks to a new 4K restoration by Studiocanal, John Carpenter's The Fog is a thrilling ghost story. It opens with an old boat captain (John Houseman) telling a story to a group of kids about a clipper ship, Elizabeth Dane, having crashed in a fog 100 years ago because they were drawn into rocks by a campfire. The sailors drowned but are supposed to rise again when the fog returns. And return it does as the town of Antonio Bay celebrates its centennial. Father Malone (Hal Holbrook) is nearly clobbered by a chunk

Dragnet: Collector's Edition Blu-ray Giveaway

Though the names have been changed to protect the innocent, Shout! Factory is guilty as charged for creating a criminally good line-up of bonus features
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award three readers Dragnet: Collector's Edition on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release below: This is the city ... and only Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks can save it in Dragnet, a hilarious box-office blockbuster paying homage to the famed original police dramas of the '50s and '60s. A contemporary and uproarious update of one of the best-known police procedurals of all time, Dragnet: Collector's Edition from Shout! Factory delivers a criminally funny viewing experience on a special edition Blu-ray loaded with arresting bonus features -

Sorry to Bother You Blu-ray Review: Better Bother to Watch This Film

Writer/director Boots Riley crafts a thoroughly engrossing debut feature film.
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Writer/director Boots Riley has pulled off an amazing feat with his fresh, fearless debut feature film. Arriving in the film world seemingly out of nowhere, he has managed to craft a film that matters, that thoroughly entertains, and that is utterly unforgettable. His darkly humorous project skewers capitalism, class, and race injustice, and even throws in some dystopian sci-fi without feeling preachy or pretentious, shining a light on an alternate universe version of Oakland that is frighteningly close to reality. The film’s racially charged, surreal subject matter draws some obvious comparisons to last year’s Get Out, especially due to the

Criterion's Release of The Princess Bride is the Pick of the Week

It's a week full of great interesting releases, so let's have fun storming the castle of upcoming Blu-ray releases.
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Hello. My name is Mat Brewster. I’ve picked The Princess Bride this week. Prepare to enjoy. It is a C.C.O.U.A (Criterion Collection of Usual Awesomeness) with a brand new 4K scan and loads of new and old extras. Including audio commentaries, an in-depth making-of documentary, interviews, features on the making of the film, and more. Let me explain the plot. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. The Princess Bride is Rob Reiner’s adaptation of William Goldman’s beloved novel that lovingly satirizes princess stories while remaining a wonderful comedic adventure with plenty of romance and enough great lines

Get Shorty: Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: One of the Great '90s Mobster Comedies

Barry Sonnenfeld's satire on Hollywood and the mob gets the 4K treatment from Shout! Factory.
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Back in 1977, Saturday Night Fever became a box-office sensation, garnering $237 million worldwide and putting its star, John Travolta, on the map. This role led to an Oscar nomination for Travolta, who then would continue showing off his dancing skills and musical talent in 1978’s Grease. With back-to-back hits, Travolta became one of the most talked about actors of that decade, and with those two films, he was, in addition, also recognized for his talented dancing skills and singing voice. After a decline in the '80s, Travolta found himself with another Oscar nomination for 1994’s Pulp Fiction, in which

Twilight (2008) Blu-ray Review: Young Love Can Be Scary

Twilight delivers what one expects from a young-adult romance, but that's a low bar for some.
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For the tenth anniversary of the first film in the franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's young adult book series, Twilight has been released on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital) and all five of The Twilight Saga films have been released on Blu-ray Combo Pack (2 Blu-rays, 1 DVD, plus Digital) and Digital 4K Ultra HD. The Blu-ray in the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack contains the theatrical version. The extended cut, which is five minutes longer, is available digitally. As the movie opens, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a 17-year-old girl, leaves her mother's home in sunny

Book Review: Ray Harryhausen: The Movie Posters by Richard Holliss

A trip through time, celebrating not only the work of a brilliant creator, but the history of cinema promotion.
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Words like “genius” or “literally” are tossed around a lot these days, to the point that they’ve lost most of their meaning and impact. Fans and critics are quick to label anyone with talent a genius and judging by comments on social media, the words “literally” and “figuratively” share the same definition. So while I’m a bit hesitant to use those words to describe a legend like Ray Harryhausen, I literally have no other options. And while I’m at it, I’ll throw in the term “one of a kind” as well, because he literally was - most of his work

Blood and Black Lace Blu-ray Review: The Origins of Giallo

Mario Bava's horror masterpiece is a feast for the eyes and the begining of a whole new genre.
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Having put Italian horror on the map with Black Sunday, Mario Bava continued to redefine the genre and essentially invented giallo which became the de facto horror genre in Italy for most of the '70s and '80s and ultimately inspired the slasher genre that was so popular in the United States in that same era. Bava’s 1963 film The Girl Who Knew Too Much is often credited as the first ever giallo film, but it was filmed in black and white not in the garish colors the genre is so recognized for. A year later he made Blood and Black

BlacKkKlansman Blu-ray Giveaway

From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader BlacKkKlansman on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release is below: Follow the incredible true story of Ron Stallwortth, an African-American police officer who infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan in the unbelievably bold, BlacKkKlansman, now available on Digital and the all-new digital move app MOVIES ANYWHERE on October 23, 2018 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on November 6, 2018 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Hailed by critics as “hugely entertaining” (Stephanie Zacharek, Time) and “electric” (Eric

Five Cool Things and Vox Lux

This week it's more like five cool things and a really crappy one.
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My in-laws were in town for part of last week and a chunk of this one which put a bit of a dent in my nightly horror marathon. They have zero interest in modern horror, but can be temped by the older stuff, especially when tempered with some comedy. When they left I managed to see a couple of giallo classics and here we go. Arsenic and Old Lace Nobody in their right mind would consider this Frank Capra comedy a horror film, but it does star a Boris Karloff look-alike (to which much humor is derived) and a couple

Distant Voices, Still Lives Blu-ray Review: Accurately Captures the Battle of the Sexes

A minimalist, but masterful portrait of harrowing family dynamics.
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Stories about troubled families doesn't hit cinema too often, but when they're done well, such as in Rachel Getting Married, Ordinary People, Hannah and Her Sisters, and A Family Thing, they can hit hard. Such a case is director Terrence Davies' 1988 breaktrough masterpiece, Distant Voices, Still Lives, which brilliantly tells an all-too-real harrowing story, but with music, humor, and unsentimental truth. Loosely based on Davies's own upbringing, the film is told in two parts of the lives of a family in 1940s/'50s Liverpool, where siblings Tony (Dean Williams) and Maisie (Lorriane Ashbourne), along with their mother (Freida Dowie), gather

See a Special Advance Screening of The Romanoffs: Episode 5 in Hollywood, CA

The screening will take place at Arclight Hollywood on Thursday, November 1 with a start time at 7 PM.
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From the creator of Mad Men, The Romanoffs is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Amanda Peet, Jack Huston, Kathryn Hahn, Noah Wyle, Paul Reiser, Andrew Rannells, and more. The Romanoffs premiered on Amazon Prime Video October 12 with new episodes released weekly, on Fridays. The Romanoffs presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode, so attendees do not need to see the previous episode

Schlock Blu-ray Review: Could Have Also Been Called Shoddy, Shabby, or Sucky

A movie so bad we reviewed it three times.
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Made in 1971 on a minuscule budget, John Landis’ first film as a director, Schlock, is broad comedic satire of sorts about a prehistoric ape wreaking havoc in a Los Angeles suburb. It is a bad movie. I cannot recommend a single thing about it. Everything, from the writing, directing, and acting to the music and even the comedy, is bad, poorly executed, and difficult to watch. Its only distinction is that it was directed by Landis who later went on to make such comedy classics as Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Amazon Women on the Moon and features

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Review: Rami Malek Electrifies As Freddie Mercury

Despite the film's formulaic storytelling, Rami Malek's commanding performance helps the film come alive.
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The band Queen is iconic because of not just their singles but their bold, genre-flipping style. Yet, the biopic on their life feels more like the kind of safe, accessible tunes that their former record label wanted to give more airplay to rather than the risky poetic tune that the film gets its title from. It attempts to check all the right biopic boxes when it could’ve been as unconventional as the band it depicts. That being said, Bohemian Rhapsody is still a moderately made film and it is done with slight filmmaking flare. It also serves as a celebration

1985 Movie Review: A Powerfully Meditative, Multi-Layered Gem

1985 is an understated yet powerhouse gem about small-town life and the AIDS crisis.
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Even though I’ve never really left the area I grew up in, in my opinion, the film 1985 still perfectly captures the struggle of being able to come back home. The feeling of going back to the small town you lived in your whole life that you desperately left behind, to escape either its mundanity or to bury family troubles, can be a conflicting one. Yet, that is just one layer to the story of 1985. It also captures the feeling of being closeted and demonstrates the AIDS crisis to fit the time period in which the film takes place.

City Slickers (1991) Blu-ray Review: Yee-haw, It's a Blast

The comedy classic gets a 4K upgrade from Shout! Factory.
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During my youth, City Slickers had been a film that I watched with my parents only a few times. It was never something we watched annually or every few years. In fact, it had been so long since I last watched it that, during the recent re-watching, I couldn’t remember a single line or moment in it. Oddly enough, I remember one particular scene in its sequel, The Legend of Curly’s Gold, more than I did almost anything in the original. Save for the cartoonish opening credits, which I did remember, watching the original City Slickers recently felt like I

Valley Girl: Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: True Love Finds a Common Ground

Thirty-five years later, this teen comedy still totally hits the spot.
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For the 35th Anniversary of Valley Girl, Shout! Factory has released a totally tubular version of a film on Blu-ray. Now that I've written my contractually required Valley-speak joke, you'll be spared the rest of this article. The film was released originally in 1983 and quickly got lumped in with the other "teen films" of the era. The film, fairly or unfairly part of that group, has tended to disappear from popular culture from that era. It's a footnote to a much larger career by Nicolas Cage and stars the never-became-bigger stars like Elizabeth Daily and Deborah Foreman. The film

Sorry to Bother You Is the Pick of the Week

Not sorry to tell you this is a great week for new Blu-ray releases.
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Sorry To Bother You stars Lakeith Stanfield as a telemarketer who adopts a white person’s voice at his job in order to increase his sales. His numbers do go through the roof, causing him to move up in the company and get swept up into a strange conspiracy. It was written and directed by Boots Riley of the musical group The Coup and also stars Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Terry Crews, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, and Armie Hammer. It garnered a lot of critical buzz and has been praised for its originality. In a world full

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Blu-ray Review: Sing-A-Long with the Oldies (and New Cast, Too)

Set ten years after the events of the first film, viewers get to catch up with Sophie and see where she and the other characters are now.
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Available this Tuesday, October 23, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reunites the cast from the original 2008 film starring Meryl Streep. Mamma Mia is a jukebox musical. It originally premiered on the stage in 1999 and featured the songs of ABBA (written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus). The new film can be viewed on its own, but it helps to know the basic plot of the original: On a small Greek isle Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), about to be married to Sky (Dominic Cooper), wants to learn who is her biological father. She has narrowed the possiblity down to

Harryhausen: The Movie Posters Book Giveaway

A comprehensive guide to Ray Harryhausen’s legacy that will delight film buffs everywhere.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Titan Books to award two lucky readers Harryhausen: The Movie Posters by Richard Holliss. For those wanting to learn more, read Chad Derdowski's review and the press release below: Cinema visionary Ray Harryhausen’s special effects creations have long been recognised as some of the Hollywood’s most celebrated cult moments. From the Cyclops of The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad to the famous skeleton fight in Jason and the Argonauts, Harryhausen’s visuals redefined modern cinema. Harryhausen: The Movie Posters offers a celebration of his unique vision in a truly international collection from all of Ray Harryhausen’s

The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 3 (1968-1969) Blu-ray Review

The laughs provided by these cartoons will leave you in the pink.
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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 The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection is Volume 3, continuing with the character's next 23 theatrical shorts before the The Pink Panther Show premiered on September 6, 1969 on NBC. The cartoons generate laughs as the Panther continues to be either a chaotic force or on the

Five Cool Things and The Curse of La Llorona

This week is should be titled "Five Spooky Things..."
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My horror marathon continued this week. I made it through all the classic Universal Frankenstein films and moved on to Dracula. But first I took a pit stop to an early '80s werewolf picture and a couple of Mario Bava films I’d never seen before. Let’s get to it. The Ghost of Frankenstein / House of Frankenstein By 1942, some 11 years after James Whale’s original adaptation of Frankenstein, the wind was beginning to slip out of the monster’s sails. But like all franchises, if there is still money to be made, there will still be people willing to make

20th Century Fox's and Regency Enterprises' Bohemian Rhapsody to be Released on ScreenX

Queen's greatest hits and legendary concerts rock off the big screen in the multi-projection immersive cinema technology.
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Press Release: CJ 4DPLEX, 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises announced today that the epic rock and roll bio-pic Bohemian Rhapsody is coming to theaters in the ScreenX format. The film, a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, portrayed by Rami Malek, will be released worldwide beginning on October 24, 2018 in the UK. Bohemian Rhapsody is the second 20th Century Fox film to be released in panoramic, 270-degree premium cinema format. The first, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, was a global success, leading to a continuing partnership between 20th Century Fox and ScreenX.

Book Review: The Teenage Slasher Movie Book by J.A. Kerswell

A comprehensive, lavishly illustrated overview of the reviled, but ever popular, slasher-movie genre.
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Before the late '90s-early 2000s revival of horror as a mainstream money maker (thanks largely to Scream and the new slasher boom which followed), there were four big modern boogeymen of horror: Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, and, to a lesser extent, Leatherface. Sure, other monsters came and went, and had whole series playing out on direct to video, but those four guys all got theatrical releases. They had mainstream patina: hell, two of them got TV shows. It's one of the oddities of the horror genre that it's the villains, not the heroes, who make the series. Halloween is not

See a Special Advance Screening of The Romanoffs: Episode 4 in Hollywood, CA

The screening will take place at Arclight Hollywood on Thursday, October 25 with a start time at 7 PM.
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From the creator of Mad Men, The Romanoffs is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Amanda Peet, Jack Huston, Kathryn Hahn, Noah Wyle, Paul Reiser, Andrew Rannells, and more. The Romanoffs premiered on Amazon Prime Video October 12 with new episodes released weekly, on Fridays. The Romanoffs presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode, so attendees do not need to see the previous episode

This November, Fathom Events Brings DC's Superman and Batman Back to the Big Screen

Superman: The Movie celebrates 40 years and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm marks its 25-year anniversary.
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Press release: Two of the most iconic DC Super Heroes in pop-culture history are coming back to the big screen this November as each celebrates a milestone cinematic anniversary with special presentations by Fathom Events, Warner Bros. and DC. Richard Donner’s legendary 1978 Superman will play on Sunday, November 25, and Tuesday, November 27, at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (local time). The revolutionary Batman animated adventure Batman: Mask of the Phantasm returns to movie theaters for only one night on Monday, November 12, playing at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (local times). Tickets for both of these special presentations

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot Blu-ray Review: Don't Worry, You Didn't Miss Anything

Gus Van Sant assembles an impressive cast for a lackluster biopic.
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Gus Van Sant’s latest project barely made a ripple at the box office during its brief theatrical release this summer, and that trend isn’t likely to change now that the film is available for home viewing. While arthouse dramas have fallen on hard times in our blockbuster-obsessed theatrical climate, there’s little chance this particular film would have made an impact even if Gus Van Sant had made it in the 1990s with his original choice for star, Robin Williams. That’s because the source material simply isn’t all that special or particularly moving. Although Van Sant’s film is made with impeccable

Ant-Man and the Wasp Blu-ray Review: A Delightful Addition to the MCU

After the serious, universe-altering Avengers: Infinity War, this light-hearted comedy is a welcome follow-up.
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Ant-Man and the Wasp is the second Ant-Man movie and 20th installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After the serious, universe-altering Avengers: Infinity War, this light-hearted comedy is a welcome follow-up, although the stakes for some of the characters are just as dire. Years ago while on an assignment with Ant-Man/Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), the Wasp/Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfieffer) shrank so small she ended up trapped in what is known as the Quantum Realm, In the previous film, Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) went there and returned, inspiring Hank to try and retrieve his wife. Two years following the events

Criterion Announces January 2019 Releases

Which of these will you add to your video library in 2019?
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Criterion rings in the new year with few titles that would look good in your collection. They are Abbas Kiarostami 24 Frames, Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky, Cristian Mungiu's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and Norman Jewison's In the Heat of the Night. Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious is getting a Blu-ray upgrade. Read on to learn more about them. 24 Frames (#956) out Jan 8 For what would prove to be his final film, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami gave himself a challenge: to create a dialogue between his work as a filmmaker and his work as a photographer, bridging

Ant-Man and the Wasp is the Pick of the Week

It's a big week full of releases but Marvel wins again.
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I hate to continually be a Marvel fanboy but here I am picking a movie from the MCU once again. I really do like most of the films they’ve put out over the last decade or so but I also have to admit consideration is paid to the fact that millions of people watch Marvel movies and picking them over and over isn’t going to hurt the old Cinema Sentries hit counter. Ant-Man and the Wasp was something of a palette cleanser after Avengers: Infinity War. That film was an enormous, expensive, expansive, high-stakes event in which literally the universe

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Both a prequel and a sequel, the film tells two stories: present day as Sophie Sheridan prepares for the grand reopening of her mother Donna’s hotel and 1979 when young Donna first arrives on the island.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader a Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Blu-ray Combo Pack. For those wanting to learn more, read Elizabeth Periale's review and the press release below: Bring family and friends together and have the time of your life with Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again Sing-Along Edition, the all-new smash-hit romantic comedy based on the songs of ABBA, for a one-of-a-kind at home experience. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again arrives on Digital and the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on October 9, 2018, as well

Book Review: Star Trek: New Visions Volume 7 by John Byrne

It's fun to see further adventures of the Original crew, particularly because Byrne understands the characters.
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As stated in my previous reviews of this book series, John Byrne and IDW Publishing are presenting the lost missions of the Original Series Enterprise crew in the form of photonovels. That format uses photographs instead of drawings like the Star Trek Fotonovels of the late '70s. Byrne manipulates images of characters and backgrounds from the TV show combined with new material such as dialogue in word balloons, narration, and photos of actors playing new characters and bodies of old ones. Volume 7 collects issues #18-20. During a routine resupply in the Polymax system in "What Pain It Is to

Get Shorty: Collector's Edition Blu-ray Giveaway

This October, home audiences looking for a big score will thrill to the loaded Blu-ray edition of Barry Sonnenfeld's star-filled crime caper.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award one three readers a Get Shorty: Collector's Edition on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read David Wangberg's review and the press release reads: Drug-smuggling. Racketeering. Loan sharking. Welcome to Hollywood! Get Shorty, based on Elmore Leonards' 1990 crime novel of the same name, suggests it doesn't take much to make it in the movies ... when you've got a background with the mob. The Barry Sonnenfed-directed adaptation, called "crackingly energized" by Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman, arrives as a special Blu-ray release on October 23 from Shout Select. Sporting

Bad Times at the El Royale Movie Review: A Thrilling Genre Bender

Bad Times at the El Royale is wonderfully chaotic and boasts a killer ensemble cast.
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If there was an Oscar given for Most Well-Marketed Movie Of The Year, Bad Times at the El Royale would easily be a frontrunner. The film's marketing is so in sync with the shroud of mystery that surrounds it up until the final climax. Even while you're watching the movie, it’s difficult to determine what kind of movie you're watching. Is this a black comedy? Is it some kind of horror movie? Are we watching an Agatha Christie-style thriller? What kind of movie is this? Well, I can tell you one thing: This movie is a total blast. Its genre

Five Cool Things and a New Pet Sematary

It's all horror all the time for this week's five things.
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Another week in October, another week of horror. I never quite manage a full 31 days of Horror, but this year, I’m not doing to shabby. The plan this year is to watch several batches of horror films and their many sequels. I typically only watch the first one or two films in a franchise before backing out before they turn bad. But this time I figured it might be fun to dig deep into a few series. Initially, I had planned to hit up some '80s movies like Nightmare on Elm Street or the Halloween films, but after watching

LAFF 2018 Review: Stuntman

A story about pursuing dreams and redemption, and the highs and lows that can come with it.
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One of the biggest stars of the 1970s was daredevil Evel Knievel, who made a living risking life and limb performing crazy stunts. His biggest career failure occurred in 1974 when was his attempt at jumping Snake River Canyon was cut short when the rocket's parachute deployed shortly after take-off. Unbeknownst to me, which seems hard to believe in this information-overload age, another team attempted to redeem Knievel and his crew. Although the title doesn't make that clear, Stuntman tells that story. Like many Gen-X kids, Eddie Braun looked up to Knievel, but he took that inspiration and became a

Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge Blu-ray Review: The Magazine of Record and Records

An entertaining trip down memory lane even if it can't help but mythologize.
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Originally a two-part documentary on HBO, broken down into six episodes across two Blu-ray discs for this Shout Factory! release, Alex Gibney and Blair Foster's Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge tells the story of the famed magazine, and that of the United States during its run, by highlighting its major articles. The documentary opens with the early days of the magazine when Jann Wenner, his wife Jane, and Ralph Gleason founded the magazine in San Francisco in 1967. It wasn't just about the music that young people were into but a look at the culture also, both of which

New York Film Festival 2018 Review: Roma Is Flawlessly Transcendent

Alfonso Cuaron's latest film Roma is heart wrenching, awe inspiring, and vital all at once.
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The best word that can be used to describe Roma is that it is transcendent. It is a transcendent piece of cinematic art that captures your heart and is also a theatrical experience that manages to rupture the senses. After director Alfonso Cuaron made Gravity, the cinematic event of 2013 and one of the most monumental cinematic experiences of the decade, some of us probably wondered how he would follow that up. Well, he has made a film with a story that is smaller in scale yet is still quite simplistic. It seems like a straightforward story involving the life

See The Romanoffs: Special Advance Screening of Episode 3 in Hollywood, CA

The screening will take place at Arclight Hollywood on Thursday, October 18 with a start time at 7 PM.
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From the creator of Mad Men, The Romanoffs is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Amanda Peet, Jack Huston, Kathryn Hahn, Noah Wyle, Paul Reiser, Andrew Rannells, and more. The Romanoffs is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video October 12 with new episodes released weekly, on Fridays. The Romanoffs presents a different story and a different set of characters in each episode, so attendees do not need to see

Ant-Man & The Wasp Blu-ray Giveaway

"A satisfying, profound crowd-pleaser." - Matt St. Clair
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Marvel Studios to award one lucky reader Ant-Man & The Wasp on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read Matt St. Clair's review and the press release below: Moviegoers are still buzzing about Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man and The Wasp, the follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man and the 20th consecutive Marvel Cinematic Universe film to debut at No. 1 opening weekend and ranked in the box office top 10 for six consecutive weeks this summer. Fans can instantly watch the laugh-out-loud super hero adventure Digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD, and on Movies Anywhere;

Hotel Artemis is the Pick of the Week

Some pretty cool Blu-rays are coming out this week, I've got your scoop.
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In riot-torn Los Angeles in the year 2028, criminals of a discerning nature get their wounds patched up at the Hotel Artemis, a fortified hospital that will fix up whatever ails ya and not ask any questions about how you got hurt. It is run by Jodie Foster with muscle provided by Dave Bautista. There are lots of rules, including no killing on the premises all of which makes it sound like an extended version of that scene in John Wick in which Keanu Reeves shows up at a similar hospital. If you saw that scene and thought that concept

The Public Image Is Rotten Movie Review: A Fine Introduction to John Lydon's post-Sex Pistols Career

Not surprisingly, the documentary spends a lot of time focusing on this original period of the band when it produced its most influential and challenging work.
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In the aftermath of the Sex Pistols’ demise, the press, particularly in England, probably felt they had heard the last of Johnny “Rotten” Lydon. Instead, the controversial singer returned, as confrontational and dangerous as ever, with an exciting new group, Public Image Ltd. (PiL), that arguably pushed musical boundaries further than the Pistols ever did. Four decades later, The Public Image Is Rotten takes a look back at this original punk’s wild journey. The film, which was directed by Tabbert Fiiller, mixes killer concert footage with current and archival interviews from Lydon and band members past and present. Lydon’s differences

A Star Is Born (2018) Movie Review: A Perfectly Adequate Remake

Bradley Cooper offers an effective glimpse at his potential greatness as a director with his decent remake.
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After getting two remakes of the famed 1937 classic, do we really need another version of A Star Is Born? Well, while the old story remains the same, director/actor/co-writer Bradley Cooper still manages to make his rendition both modern and timely. Also, Bradley Cooper may be one of the best actors of his generation but with A Star Is Born, he proves that as an actor, he can be an even better director. It goes without saying that his performance as fading country star Jackson Maine is terrific. However, what makes his direction even better is how he puts such

The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Special DVD Review: A Few Too Many Guests

The Carol Burnett Show looks good at fifty.
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With reruns of The Carol Burnett Show on almost every night, it’s hard to believe that we could be celebrating the 50th anniversary, but celebrate they did, and we got to watch. In December 2017, CBS aired Carol and friends return to Stage 33 at Television City and on September 18, 2018, Time Life released the special on DVD. The special is everything that you would expect and more. The “more” is not always good, but different. There have been numerous specials over the years celebrating and reminiscing about the wonderful comedy created by Carol, Vicki Lawrence, Harvey Korman, Lyle

Five Cool Things and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

It might not feel like October but these cool things will get you in the mood for Halloween.
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Though the temperatures in Oklahoma have remained in the 90s all week, it is technically Autumn and it is technically October, traditionally two of my favorite times of the year. I love the cool, crisp air. I adore the changing colors, and the potpourri of smells. I always enjoy October when we throw our traditional pumpkin carving party, dress the daughter in a silly costume and I get to watch lots and lots of horror movies. This week has been hot and humid, the leaves haven’t changed, and I’ve not had a single bit of anything that tastes like pumpkin,

LAFF 2018 Review: The Great Buster: A Celebration

The film is an absolute delight in large part to the many entertaining clips taken from Keaton's filmography.
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Director Peter Bogdanovich pays tribute to the life and work of Buster Keaton in this biographical documentary about one of cinema's greatest filmmakers. Opening with his appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, Bogdanovich starts the “celebration” singing the praises of Keaton. He then presents the story of Keaton in a near-linear manner. Joseph Frank Keaton was born into a vaudeville family in 1895 and at three years old joined his parents' act, thanks to his ability to take a fall without getting hurt. Legend has it, Harry Houdini was responsible for giving young Keaton the name “Buster” after seeing him

Announcing AFI FEST New Auteurs and American Independents Lineups

Sections feature 28 films, including 17 films directed by women.
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Press release: Highlighting rising feature film directors, New Auteurs is the festival's platform for upcoming filmmakers from all over the world to showcase their new films. This year, the section is comprised of 18 films, with 12 helmed by female filmmakers. The American Independents section represents the best of independent filmmaking this year. Pushing boundaries of form and content across narrative and documentary cinema, this section includes 10 films — half of which are directed by women — from both new voices and filmmakers returning to AFI FEST. "The New Auteurs and American Independents sections are where you will find

Cabin Boy (1994) Blu-ray Review: Still Floating After All These Years

Kino Lorber bravely launches a Special Edition release for one of the most hated films of the mid '90s.
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Though I never saw the film in its entirety until much later in life, I was nevertheless present when Adam Resnick's Cabin Boy briefly flickered onto silver screens near and far in 1994. I was also there when word began to spread (and quickly, at that) regarding just how popular of a title it was at the time. But my personal favorite Cabin Boy story hailed from a secondhand account, wherein a former acquaintance of mine enjoyed the movie's many, many flaws so much, that he exited the cineplex in tears, resulting in one very confused usher walking up to

A Star Is Born (1954) Blu-ray Book Review: Judy Garland is at the Top of Her Game

An absolute treasure for fans of the film and is well worth checking out for fans of Hollywood musicals.
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After being unceremoniously dismissed from MGM in 1950 due to erratic behavior as a result of psychological problems and addiction, Judy Garland made a triumphant return to the silver screen in a musical remake of A Star Is Born, one of many films that counter the argument against Hollywood remakes. Garland plays Esther Blodgett, a young singer whose talent is noticed by Norman Maine (James Mason), an actor whose career is collapsing due to his alcoholism. He strongly believes in her and suggests she give up singing with the band she's with to take a screen test. She becomes a

Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection Blu-ray Giveaway

Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, the press release reads: Thirty of the most iconic cinematic masterpieces starring the most famous monsters of horror movie history come together on Blu-ray for the first time ever in the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring unforgettable make-up, ground-breaking special effects and outstanding performances, the Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection includes all Universal Pictures’ legendary monsters from the studio that pioneered the

Gotti (2018) Blu-ray Review: Sleeping with the Fishes

It rightfully deserved the whacking it received from critics.
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Despite the colossal amount of negative press it received during its theatrical run, I half-expected Gotti to at least have some entertainment value in how terrible it is. At certain parts of the movie, there is this feeling of glee when something so outrageously, horribly executed appears on the screen. It starts right at the beginning of the film when an establishing shot shows John Gotti (John Travolta) looking up to the stars and then turns to the camera and breaks the fourth wall as he begins to explain his story. He starts off by spouting generic, gangster lines such

Skyscraper Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

Fueled with adrenaline and high impact verticality, Skyscraper is led by superstar Dwayne Johnson.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader Skyscraper Blu-ray Combo Pack. For those wanting to learn more, read Gordon S. Miller's review, and the press release is below: Courage has no limits in the heroic action-packed film Skyscraper, currently available on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayT, DVD and On Demand on October 9, 2018. The global blockbuster from Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures is a non-stop, emotionally visceral thrill ride following Dwayne Johnson’s (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Fate of the Furious,“Ballers”)

Three Identical Strangers is the Pick of the Week

The first week in October starts us off with a bang.
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Three Identical Strangers tells the real life story of David, Bobby, and Eddy, three identical triplets who were separated at birth not knowing of each other's existence. One day, when they were 19, they randomly discovered each other and became instant friends. They became a media sensation in the '80s, being interviewed by everyone from Tom Brokaw and Phil Donahue. But there was a dark side. The reasons why they were separated bordered on the nefarious. The media used them for ratings then tossed them aside. There were physical and mental issues. I don’t know all the details as I’ve

Book Review: The Complete Dick Tracy, Volume 24: 1967-1969 by Chester Gould

Throughout Volume 24, Gould continues to deliver adventures filled with thrills, laughs, and action.
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As the Library of American Comics and IDW Publishing continue to collect The Complete Dick Tracy by Chester Gould, Volume 24 presents the dailies and Sunday strips from July 3, 1967 through to April 2, 1969. The book has an introductory essay by consulting editor Max Allan Collins, "Is All This Moon Stuff Worth It?" about the state of the strip at the time. It concludes with contributing editor Jeff Kersten's "Hard as Hell - Act Two" about Gould and provides interesting annotations. The book opens with Dick Tracy and Diet Smith hot on the trail of the bearded duo

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