December 2018 Archives

Bad Times at the El Royale is the Pick of the Week

The new year starts with some new titles.
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Those of you who pay attention to these things might be wondering what happened to this article over the last two weeks. Never fear, faithful reader. I have answers. Two weeks ago, I was at the beginning of a week-long bout with a virus that kept me bed-bound and mostly comatose. This last week, I was on the mend but there really was nothing worth talking about. Last Tuesday, otherwise known as New Release Day was also known as Christmas. The people who make decisions, such as what new Blu-rays to release and when had spent the previous four weeks

Screwball Comedy Classics Double Feature Volume 2: His Girl Friday & The Front Page DVD Review

Two great movies at a great value, but if the audio-visual aspects are important, I can't recommend it.
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VCI Entertainment presents Screwball Comedy Classics Double Feature Volume 2: His Girl Friday & The Front Page, two films based on the Broadway play The Front Page written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. Directed by Lewis Milestone, The Front Page (1931) stars Adolphe Menjou as Chicago newspaper editor Walter Burns and Pat O'Brien as his put-upon reporter Hildebrand "Hildy" Johnson. Hildy plans to quit his job, get married, and head to New York while Walter wants Hildy to cover an upcoming hanging of Earl Williams, a man and possible Communist convicted of murdering an African-American cop, and all the

Five Cool Things and Holiday Guests

I’m bringing in some help this week.
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After a week of fighting off a nasty viral infection I’m now out of town visiting the in-laws. I’m still hacking and coughing but im on the mend. Time at my in-laws is always nice but a little dull. We will watch a movie or two and I do a lot of reading but mostly it’s a lot of sitting around and talking. Which is good for the soul but not so good for Five Cool Things. Which is why I’m bringing in some help this week. But first here are the cool things I consumed this week. Miracle on

Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review: Unnecessary but Delightful

Emily Blunt steals the show in Rob Marshall's sequel to the 1964 classic.
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It’s not like the world needed a sequel to Mary Poppins, but we got one anyway. And you know what? It’s actually quite fun. Mary Poppins Returns doesn’t deviate itself too much from its 1964 predecessor, but director Rob Marshall is able to convey something that is magical and cheerful and the perfect movie to take the family to see over the busy holiday season. This time, it’s Emily Blunt taking over the iconic role made famous by Julie Andrews (she won her only Oscar so far for the performance). Really, if there was an actress who is the practically

Robin Williams: Comic Genius 22-DVD Set Review: Makes the Case on Why Fans Think So Highly of Him

To make clear how popular a figure he was, this collection also makes for a good overview of the past 40 years in television.
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Robin Williams: Comic Genius scours the video vaults of Hollywood and beyond to present a comprehensive look at Williams's television work, over 52 hours across 22 discs. Volume 1 (six DVDs) has a primary focus on his HBO stand-up comedy specials. Covering more than 30 years, they are HBO On Location: Robin Williams - Off the Wall (1978); An Evening with Robin Williams (1983); Robin Williams: An Evening at the Met (1986); Robin Williams: Live on Broadway (2002), the audio of which earned him a Grammy; and Robin Williams: Weapons of Self Destruction (2009). Disc 6 covers Williams's USO tours

Blindspotting Blu-ray Review: Not Throwing Away Their Shot

Hamilton alum Daveed Diggs and his best friend team up to write and star in this thought-provoking film.
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Daveed Diggs rose to fame as a prominent Tony-winning actor in the original Broadway cast of musical phenomenon Hamilton, so it’s no surprise that his lead turn in this film incorporates some hip-hop flow. The real revelation is the acting talent of his largely unknown long-time friend and co-star here, Rafael Casal. Their close friendship provides them natural chemistry that is successfully utilized by debut feature-film director Carlos Lopez Estrada in a tale about race relations in rapidly gentrifying Oakland. While the finished product occasionally feels like a collection of calling-card scenes for demo reels instead of an actual feature

Streets of Fire Blu-ray Review: Rock and Roll Dreams Come True

Willem Dafoe in vinyl overalls. Need I say more?
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I first heard of 1984's Streets of Fire sometime in the last few years, which surprised me given I spent the bulk of the '80s and '90s with my head buried in theaters, HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, The Movie Channel, and my local Blockbuster. I vaguely recall a comment on Reddit leading me to IMDB, and then dug it up for a viewing shortly after hearing about what an experience it is. It did not disappoint. The soundtrack as a whole is just as compelling as the set designs, editing, and cinematography, but what caught my ear first were probably Jim

Fathom Events Launches Celebration for the Legendary Diana Ross's 75th Birthday in Cinemas Worldwide

The event features a remastered version of Diana Ross: Live in Central Park
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Press release: The magic of Diana Ross has touched millions of hearts around the world. Her magnificent life and unparalleled career have influenced music, film, fashion and stage with her spirit forever woven in the fabric of humanity. 2019 will be remembered as a milestone in history with a year-long Diamond Diana Celebration, marking the 75th birthday of one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Fathom Events will launch the festivities on her birthday, March 26, with an exclusive two-day, global theatrical release of Diana Ross: Her Life, Love and Legacy featuring Diana Ross: Live in Central Park. The

Mandy (2018) Blu-ray Review: Destined to be a Cult Classic

Nicolas Cage gives his most bonkers performance to date in Panos Cosmatos’ psychedelic revenge thriller.
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For every disposable, straight-to-VOD picture that Nicolas Cage does, he’ll usually come up with something that surprises and shocks even his most stern critics. Oddly enough, Mandy ended up falling into the same category as Rage, 211, and so many other features starring the Oscar-winning actor in that they run in an extremely limited amount of theaters while also being available to purchase or rent on streaming services. But, unlike those aforementioned titles, Mandy doesn’t come across as yet another throwaway effort from Cage and whomever he happens to bring along with him. Sure, the revenge plot is formulaic, but

De Niro & De Palma: The Early Years Blu-ray Review: For Fans Only

Arrow Video brings together a collection of three early collaborations between two titans of the cinema with mixed results.
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That Robert De Niro is one of the greatest film actors of all time there is no doubt. He has starred in some of the greatest films ever made, won nearly every acting award in existence including two Oscars, an AFI Life Achievement Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His work in the 1970s and '80s on films like The Godfather, Part II, The Deer Hunter, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and Once Upon A Time in America is nearly unparalleled. That his filmography over the last couple of decades doesn’t really hold up does not in any way take

Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1 Blu-ray Review: Impressive Visuals but Disappointing Audio

After 10 years, completists will certainly be glad Warner Archive is continuing the release of Popeye cartoons.
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From July 2007 through November 2008, Warner Brothers released three volumes of Popeye the Sailor cartoons on DVD, which contained the first 123 cartoons from Popeye the Sailor (1933) through to Cartoons Ain't Human (1943). Aside from three Popeye Color Specials, two-reelers shot in Technicolor, those cartoons were in black and white. Now 10 years later, Warner Archive is continuing the run with Popeye The Sailor: The 1940s Volume 1, featuring the next 14 theatrical cartoons made by Famous Studios, all in Technicolor, from Her Honor the Mare (1943) through to Mess Production (1945). For those new to the Popeye

Five Cool Things and 'The Revelator'

A horrible virus will not keep me from finding cool things for you, dear reader.
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I have been battling a nasty viral infection all week. My head has felt like its been hit with a sledge hammer, my throat has felt like I’m swallowing rocks and if I stood up for too long I’d get really woozy. I mostly stayed in bed and slept. When I wasn’t sleeping I watched television programs and movies. But mostly I just laid there and moaned. In fact I haven’t laid in bed moaning so much since my honeymoon. <rimshot> I think I’m finally on the mend, but it is slow going. I managed to do a little work

They Shall Not Grow Old Movie Review: World War I Captured in Breathtaking New Way

Peter Jackson's groundbreaking WWI documentary is required viewing for history and cinema buffs alike.
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Taking old black and white footage and adding color to it is nothing particularly new. Some documentaries have already done so to footage from World War II and other historical events, making it appear as it was mostly seen through the eyes of those that experienced it. Peter Jackson’s latest effort, They Shall Not Grow Old, does the same thing for World War I but to a much different, more gut-wrenching effect than any other documentary on the subject. The war footage used is 100 years old, meaning that the frame rate makes it look like each individual person is

Vice Movie Review: Christian Bale Saves a Self-Righteous Biopic

Adam McKay's tonally haphazard biopic is saved by a great Christian Bale performance.
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After hitting it big with The Big Short, winning an Adapted Screenplay Oscar in the process, director Adam McKay attempts to tackle the Bush administration with the Dick Cheney biopic Vice. He even uses the same seriocomic filmmaking approach that he demonstrated with The Big Short. However, Vice neither possesses any sharp wit nor does it pack an emotional punch. It does try to have it both ways by acting as a satire and a heavy drama but it doesn’t know what it wants to be. As a result, Vice ends up being the most tonally haphazard film I’ve seen

Snowflake Blu-ray Review: A Blood-Soaked, Twisted Delight

Tarantino knock-off from Germany is a lot of fun.
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Two men, Javid (Reza Brojerdi) and Tan (Erkan Acar), sit in a kebab shop arguing over the quality of the food. They seem to have made a bet on whether or not the meat could be made to taste better by a different style of cooking. Their language is graphic and saucy. The argument causes them to lose their appetetite so they get up to leave, grabbing a gun and a chainsaw from the table. The camera pans up revealing the restaurant floor littered with bodies. Outside, they steal a car and head into the night. The narrator explains this

This Valentine's Day, Fall in Love with Dirty Dancing All over Again

Playing Sunday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at select theaters nationwide.
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Press release: Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the timeless, music-filled love story Dirty Dancing will be back in movie theaters nationwide. For two days only, on Sunday, February 10 and Wednesday, February 13, 2019 - 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (local time), Baby and Johnny will return and give movie lovers (or any kind of lovers) the chance to experience this perennially popular audience favorite on the big screen. Set in the summer of 1963 and featuring a soundtrack filled with songs that helped define the 1980s, Dirty Dancing is filled with both romance and nostalgia. Directed by Emile

Memories of Me Blu-ray Review: A Wonderful Little Film

How about some adult angst from the '80s for a change?
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I recall two films from the '80s that dealt with the relationship between an aging father and an adult son. Both featured hot comedic actors of the day as the sons and comedy legends as the dads. Nothing in Common starring Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason, in what would be his final film, hit screens in the summer of '86. A little more than two years later, Billy Crystal and Alan King shared Memories of Me, which has much in common with Nothing in Common and is out on Blu-ray in time for Christmas. I enjoyed both these films when

The Jerk: 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review: A Movie Star Is Born

Be somebody and add this to your collection.
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The Jerk came out in 1978 when Steve Martin was a king of comedy. He had moved on from small clubs and was now selling out arenas like a rock star. He appeared so often and was so good on Saturday Night Live he was considered an unofficial cast member by some viewers. “King Tut” was a hit single off his Grammy-winning comedy album, A Wild and Crazy Guy. He even had a best-selling book, The Cruel Shoes. He was the King of All Media before Howard Stern. The Jerk was his first-starring feature role. He had previously had tiny

A Dry White Season Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Truly Gripping Cinema

An unflinching and sadly relevant drama of violence and ongoing oppression.
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Racism is one those things that just doesn't seem to go away. Every day you turn on the news to find more unarmed black men being shot by white cops; white people calling the police on innocent black people, and the underestimation of Black Lives Matter. Unfortunately, it has gotten much worse, especially ever since an orange someone was elected President. The violent consequences of prejudice is mostly directed to the wrong groups, and director Euzhan Palcy's 1989 film, A Dry White Season, shows how that hate is definitely universal, meaning that it doesn't just happen in the movies. Based

The Doctor from India DVD Review: An Incredible Story

A film about Dr. Vasant Lad, the man who brought Ayurvedic medicine to the United States.
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Kino Lorber presents The Doctor from India, a documentary film by Jeremy Frindel that explores the life and career of Dr. Vasant Lad, the doctor who first brought Ayurveda and Ayurvedic medicine to the United States. The film combines interviews, animation, playful stock footage, and archival footage to tell Dr. Lad's story. The Doctor from India also includes interviews with Usha Lad, Deepak Chopra, Robert Svoboda, Dr. David Frawley, Claudia Welch, and Len Blank. Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine from India that is said to have been created when Dhanvantari, the Hindu god of Ayurveda, decided to incarnate

The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition Blu-ray Review

It's wonderful to have them on hand, complete and able to watch at one's leisure.
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Rankin/Bass Productions, named after co-founders Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass, will forever be remembered in the annals of television history for creating some of the most beloved Christmas-related animated specials, many of which continue to air on TV over 50 years later. Universal Studios is making five of those programs available in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition. They are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), Frosty the Snowman (1969), Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (1970), The Little Drummer Boy (1968), Cricket on the Hearth (1967). Additionally the first three are also available in individual new Deluxe Editions

Bloody Birthday Blu-ray Review: Bloody Awful

Kids behaving badly in a really bad movie.
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What is is about kids behaving badly that makes for such delightfully creepy cinema? The genre has been around since at least Patty McCormack’s turn as a demented killer in 1956’s The Bad Seed and has turned out such classics as Children of the Corn and Village of the Damned. There is just something about children doing horrible things that is both really disturbing and really fun to watch. In 1981, cult director Ed Hunt took the killer-kids genre and spliced it onto the burgeoning slasher genre and made Bloody Birthday an ultimately silly flick that generally fails to do

Vox Lux Movie Review: A Brilliantly Jarring Pop Epic

The anti-A Star Is Born in the best possible ways.
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Normally, I don’t like to compare one film to another when doing a film review. But Vox Lux is very much what people are labeling it as: The anti-A Star Is Born. It’s much more cynical and also quite violent. Yet, I still found it to be pretty brilliant. Understandably, not everyone is completely on board with it but it still had some interesting things to say about the nature of celebrity and how artistry can be used as a way to heal. After Celeste (Raffey Cassidy) survives a school shooting, both she and her sister Eleanor (Stacy Martin) perform

Five Cool Things and Brightburn

I may have given up on Christmas movies but I still found some cool things this week.
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I’ve pretty much given up on my whole Christmas theme for this month. I’ll probably watch another movie or two and maybe a couple of Christmas-themed episodes of something or other, but for the most part Christmas in media just isn’t going to happen. That doesn’t mean I won’t be consuming good, interesting or even cool things, but they likely aren’t going to involve the December holidays. As this week will prove out. First Reformed Ethan Hawke gives an intense, outstanding performance as a troubled minister at a historic, but declining upstate church in what is being hailed as director

Criterion Announces March 2019 Releases

Start saving now.
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It's movie madness next March from Criterion with the release of six titles. They are Ted Wilde's The Kid Brother, Edgar G. Ulmer's Detour, Barbara Loden's Wanda, Robert Zemeckis's I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and Carlos Reygadas's Japón. Ingmar Bergman’s The Magic Flute is getting a Blu-ray upgrade. Read on to learn more about them. The Magic Flute (#71) out Mar 12 This scintillating screen version of Mozart’s beloved opera showcases Ingmar Bergman’s deep knowledge of music and gift for expressing it cinematically. Casting some of Europe’s finest soloists—Josef Köstlinger, Ulrik Cold, Håkan Hagegård, and Birgit Nordin among them—the director

Little Annie Rooney Blu-ray Review: Charming Silent Comedy and Melodrama

One of Mary Pickford's most successful films pulls on the heartstrings with admittedly shameless melodrama.
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Mary Pickford was 32 when she made Little Annie Rooney, where she plays a girl barely into her teens who spends all of her time picking fights with boys and getting into child gang warfare, when she isn't doting on her cop dad. It's a testament to Pickford's particular talents that she often easily passes for someone that young, even when surrounded by other child actors: she's tiny, her face is ageless, and she knows how to hold herself in a way that belies physical maturity. That she becomes the love interest for an apparently much older man (played by

Westworld Season Two: The Door Blu-ray Review: Flawed Mechanisms

The robots are out for revenge, but it's hard to care for most of the season.
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Warner Bros.Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in the Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. I was a bit lukewarm on the first season of HBO’s Westworld. I didn’t feel that it really brought about anything new in regards to the theory of artificial intelligence rebelling against its creator(s), but there was plenty in which I got invested. It was mainly the star power - most notably Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, and Thandie Newton - that kept me tuning in, and I was interested in seeing where it was

The Serpent's Egg Blu-ray Review: Bergman's Worst Is Still Worth Watching

Ingmar Bergman's only Hollywood production is wildly uneven, rather strange, but still worthwhile.
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In January of 1976, famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman was arrested on charges of tax evasion. The charges were later dropped, it all being a mix-up over a large transaction between two companies Bergman owned, but the damage was severe and long lasting. Bergman suffered a nervous breakdown and fled the country. He first travelled to Germany and then to California where he met famed producer Dino De Laurentis who agreed to finance his next film. The Serpent’s Egg bombed - critics hated it and it did horrible business. It is generally considered one of Bergman’s worst films. When your

Once Upon A Deadpool Movie Review: An Adequate Gimmick

A censored Deadpool 2. Nothing more, nothing less.
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Once Upon A Deadpool is exactly as it is advertised. It’s a fun, censored re-release of Deadpool 2 made to be a light holiday event. It features the exact same story just with added scenes of Deadpool reading to an adult Fred Savage in a replica of the bedroom from The Princess Bride. However, the opening credits scene with Celine Dion singing “Ashes” is nowhere to be found. The fact that this is the PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 allows it to be even more self-referential since that’s the nature of the character and is what makes him so distinctive.

Operation Finale Blu-ray Review: Emotionally Flat but Subjectively Intriguing

Although there aren't too many characters to grow attached to, the subject material of the film is what keeps it going.
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I’m a sucker for films based on historical events, especially those that don’t get told often or have yet to be told at all. And if it revolves around World War II or afterward, you can guarantee I’ll be watching it sometime soon. Operation Finale is exactly the type of movie that piques my interest. After having so many movies focus on Adolf Hitler and other stories that we were told countless times in history classes, director Chris Weitz gives us one that isn’t as well known but is as important to learn about. The funny thing is, this is

TV Review: Supergirl: 'Elseworlds, Part 3'

"So this is kinda becoming an annual thing, huh?" - Supergirl
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of Part 1 and Part 2. Gordon S. Miller In a fun twist, the episode begins not with Kara's usual introduction to viewers, but that of John Deegan who reveals he is now Superman. Why he has a black and white uniform over the traditional colors is never expalined but was probably to identify between the two SuperDeegan (Tyler Hoechlin) confronts the powerless Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephen Amell), but they escape him. Members of Team Arrow and Flash

De Niro & De Palma: The Early Years From Arrow is The Pick of the Week

Here's a few new releases to add to your Christmas stocking.
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Over the years, I’ve become a pretty big Brian De Palma fan. It has been a slow process. I first came to him through the Oscar-winning, Al Capone-drama The Untouchables in 1987, then it was likely another decade before I caught him again in Mission:Impossible. I’d then catch a film here, a film there. Then the last couple of years, I’ve really started to pay attention. I’ve caught up on a lot of his older films - The Fury, Blow Out, Dressed to Kill - and while his stories are often a gloriously mess, I really dig his visual style.

TV Review: Arrow: 'Elseworlds, Part 2'

If this is an audition for a Batwoman series, then I'd say, "bring it on". - Shawn Bourdo
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. See their coverage of "Part 1." Todd Karella In tonight’s second episode of the "Elseworlds" crossover event, we find our three main heroes, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), the Flash (Grant Gustin), and the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) heading to Gotham City chasing after some unknown individuals that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had Vibed an image of and Oliver Queen had drawn a sketch of. But before they head over there, they stop by A.R.G.U.S. to get Team Arrow involved in trying in the whole body-switching

A Simple Favor Blu-ray Review: A Sorta Simple Mystery, With All Its Twists and Turns

There is just enough black humor and movie-star style to make watching it fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better.
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Director Paul Feig's (Bridesmaids, Ghostbusters) A Simple Favor doesn't know what it wants to be. Murder mystery? Psychological thriller? Black comedy? Twisted romance? All of the above? Unfortunately it doesn't tip in any one direction long enough to embrace any genre, so it falls short in all of them. But there is just enough black humor and movie star style to make watching A Simple Favor fun, even if you walk away at the end long having figured out the multiple twists and wishing it had been better. Anna Kendrick is Stephanie, an overachieving single Mommy-vlogger who is swept up

The Atomic Cafe Blu-ray Review: How I Learned to Keep Worrying, Laugh Uneasily, and Continue to Fear the Bomb

One of the most essential films, documentary or otherwise, in the history of Cinema.
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When converseing of satire about our deepest, troubling fear about potential nuclear catastrophe, Stanley Kubrick's 1964 masterpiece, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, seemed for its time the only cinematic representation of very bleak humor of nuclear proportions. However, if there's one film that matches it for extremely black comedy, or ever betters it, it is the 1982 cult-classic documentary, The Atomic Cafe, which does the derision in such an absurd way that it actually remains as alarmingly vital as it obviously was almost 40 years ago. Mixed with Cold War blasphemy (or

Book Review: Star Wars: The Complete Classic Newspaper Comics, Vol. 3

The stories are enjoyable adventures with an arc that sees the Rebellion setting up on the ice planet Hoth where they are located when The Empire Strikes Back opens.
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IDW/The Library of American Comics' presentation of the Star Wars newspaper comics concludes with Volume 3, which presents nine stories written by Archie Goodwin and drawn by Al Williamson and others that ran from July 26, 1982 until March 11, 1984. Return of the Jedi had been released in May 1983, but none of the movie's events had any impact because these stories are set between Star Wars and The Empire Stikes Back. The book opens with “A Matter of Character,” an essay by Rich Handley about those who joined the ranks of the Expanded Universe, rebranded “Star Wars Legends”

TV Review: The Flash: 'Elseworlds, Part 1'

While the large overarching plot was only touched upon at the beginning and end of the episode, it came across as a self-contained story that just loosely connected the shows over the next three nights. - Todd Karella
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A trio of Sentries are teaming back up to take on DC TV's three-part "Elseworlds" crossover event. Shawn Bourdo The idea of an Elseworld story in the DC Comic Universe is that you don't have to be aware of current continuity as much as you only need to know the basic constructs of the characters. That is not necessarily the case with this fifth annual Arrowverse crossover. While not all of the shows are represented in this mashup, let's review where they stand. Arrow - Tired of telling Team Arrow stories with flashback side stories, the show is trying to

NANCY Movie Review: An Uncomfortably Subtle and Hauntingly Grim Portrait

The acting, direction, and writing represent a uniqueness rarely found in cinema.
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In a year of dysfunctional families, alien horror, and more superhero nonsense, it was refreshing to finally find a film that doesn't cater to the usual tropes of what a film is supposed to be. You know, a depressing tale of a very emotionless woman who seems to be lost to everyone and everything around her, and director Christina Choe's troubling orchestration of the bizarre premise is arguably, for me, the true discovery of 2018. The film is NANCY. The story centers on a very lonely young woman, Nancy Freeman, who craves connection with others by creating distinctive indentities and

River Runs Red Blu-ray Giveaway

Taye Diggs, George Lopez and John Cusack star in this action-packed battle for revenge at any price.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Cinedigm to award one lucky reader River Runs Red on Blu-ray. Currently available on Digital now and on 4k Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD on December 11 For those wanting to learn more, read the press release is below: Taye Diggs, George Lopez and John Cusack star in this action-packed battle for revenge at any price. Respected Judge Charles Coleman (Taye Diggs) and his wife have devoted their lives to law enforcement. The two are thrilled when their son is accepted into the police academy, but everything changes when he is shot by two

Five Cool Things and Avengers: Endgame

This week wasn't as Christmas-y as I had hoped but I caught some cool things anyway.
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It turns out I’m not really a fan of Christmas movies. In October, I watched a bunch of horror movies, but I like horror movies so that was easy. November became Noirvember, and I caught up on a bunch of film noir I’d not seen before but always meant to (plus a few I had never heard of). December is supposed to be Christmas movies but unlike horror and noir films, I’m not really drawn to holiday films. Maybe that’s because most of them are dreadful. Maybe it's because they aren’t as easy to find on streaming services. Or maybe

The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition Blu-ray Giveaway

Five of some of the most timeless holiday films come together.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read Gordon S. Miller's review. The press release is below: Five of some of the most timeless holiday films come together on Blu-ray and DVD in The Original Christmas Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition available now from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Featuring all-new bonus features and unforgettable characters, experience these five classic holiday specials with your whole family. ‘Tis the season to enjoy the timeless holiday classics in The Original Christmas

61st Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees in Visual Media

The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019.
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The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States released their nominees for the 2019 Grammy Awards, which recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. The eligibility period was October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8-11:30 pm ET/5-8:30 pm PT. Honoring the "best" music in Visual Media are the following categories. Links go to our coverage of the films. Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media (Award to the artist(s) and/or ‘in

Boy Erased Movie Review: Well-Intended yet Sufficiently Executed

Boy Erased has its heart in the right place but doesn't have a proper voice.
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Boy Erased is one of those movies that has its heart is in the right place but almost falters due to its slightly hampered execution. It does have its high qualities and it does its part by keeping the message alive about conversion therapy which is sadly legal in some states. However, it still doesn’t quite come together despite its admirable efforts. The film is based on a true story about the life of Garrard Conley who was sent to conversion therapy by his parents after being outed as gay. But Jared Eamons, who is the main character played by

[Updated] 2019 Golden Globes Winners Announced

Did your favorites get nominated?
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The Hollywood Foreign Press has selected their nominations in film and television for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, the Golden Globe Awards will air live coast-to-coast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Winners in Bold. Best Motion Picture-Drama: BlacKkKlansman | Review Black Panther | Review Bohemian Rhapsody | Review If Beale Street Could Talk A Star Is Born | Review Best Motion Picture-Musical Or Comedy: Crazy Rich Asians | Review The Favourite | Review Green Book | Review Mary Poppins Returns

Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies Reveal 14 Movie Masterpieces Returning to Cinemas in 2019

Movie lovers can journey from Oz to outer space as films play in hundreds of movie theaters nationwide for 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series.
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Press release: Film fans can take a yearlong journey through Hollywood history in 2019 when Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) come together for the fourth annual TCM Big Screen Classics, presenting 14 film favorites throughout the year, spanning seven decades. From the Golden Age of Hollywood to groundbreaking movies from the seventies, eighties and nineties, the TCM Big Screen Classics series combines each film with little-known facts and insight provided by TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. In addition, every film is presented in its original aspect ratio, offering audiences the chance to see these movies on the big

Zombie: 40th Anniversary Limited Edition (1979) Blu-ray Review: A Real Eye-Opener

Blue Underground gives Lucio Fulci's groundbreaking "massacre-piece" a gorgeous new 4K restoration, and the results are even more shocking than ever.
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It's hard to keep a good zombie down, and the regular re-emergence of Lucio Fulci's seminal Dawn of the Dead rip-off onto home video is quite the indication it will never go out of style. One of the most quintessential Italian splatter flicks ever made, this epic bastard sequel to George A. Romero's masterpiece launched the horror movie career for director Fulci, whilst simultaneously leaving a noticeable boot print on the map for Italy itself. Known around the world by an oft-bizarre assortment of alternate titles ‒ including Zombi 2 (its original title, as christened to cash-in on the release

A Story from Chikamatsu Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: A Tale Worth Watching

Criterion continues their welcome attention to the works of director Kenji Mizoguchi with this superb new Blu-ray release.
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When an adulterous nobleman learns that his wife is rumored to be carrying on an affair with a member of his staff, he seeks to punish both of them. Sure, it’s fine for the man to brazenly step out on his wife, but when the smallest hint of initially untrue impropriety is leveled against her, his righteous indignation speaks volumes about the vast gender morality imbalance. There’s also the matter of his continued noble status, as his failure to punish his perceived transgressors carries the risk of loss of his esteemed title. With that setup in place, director Kenji Mizoguchi

Fathom Events Presents Sleepless in Seattle

The second of the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan-starring films is a delightful and witty romantic comedy.
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A few weeks ago, my girlfriend and I were watching a movie when a trailer for Fathom Events’ presentation of Sleepless in Seattle came on. She smiled and stated how much she loved the movie. I ashamedly admitted that I had never seen it. To be honest, when I was growing up, I didn’t find myself getting attached to romantic comedies that much - or even romantic dramas. I think I had watched some here and there, but I always dismissed them as cheesy, sentimental goo. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to appreciate a lot of them more

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood DVD Review: Sheds a Light on Hollywood's Golden Era

The documentary gives us an interesting glimpse Hollywood’s gay “underground” during the 1940s and '50s.
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Movie studios kept a close watch on their actors’ private lives in the 1940s to the 1970s. It was important at that time for stars to have a wholesome image. That wholesomeness meant gay actors and actresses had to stay in the closest. Even heterosexual thespians had to project a squeaky-clean image, even if it was contrary to their real, off-screen lives. Scott Tyrnauer’s Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood explores the wild life of Scotty Bowers, a 95-year-old author and former Hollywood pimp to the stars.(Tyrnauer’s previous documentaries include Valentino: The Last Emperor and Studio 54). Bowers wrote

Mission:Impossible - Fallout is the Pick of the Week

This pick of the week will self destruct in seven days.
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I have pretty much completely given up on action movies over the last decade or so. I long ago grew tired of more car chases, more explosions, more bigger and bigger guns. I still do watch superhero movies which I suppose are kind of like action flicks, but with capes, but whatever. Straight up action is pretty much gone from my movie queues. The exceptions being the Bond films (which I can call spy films and still get away with my "no action movies" mantra) and the Mission:Impossible films (also technically spy films, but who are we trying to kid?).

King Cohen Blu-ray + CD Review: An Inspiring Story

Documentarian Steve Mitchell pays respect to Larry Cohen and his interesting filmography.
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While many argue about the subjective success of a movie, there is one indisputable objective marker of a movie's success and that is whether it has recovered its cost. Regardless of the former, those who have repeatedly accomplished the latter make careers for themselves in the business and deserve respect. Documentarian Steve Mitchell pays that respect to Larry Cohen and his interesting filmography with King Cohen, which La-La Land Entertainment is releasing in a Limited Edition set of 5,000 that includes the film on Blu-ray accompanied by its soundtrack by Joe Kraemer on CD. Mitchell tells Cohen's story through an

Longmire: The Complete Sixth and Final Season DVD Review: They Saved the Best for Last

I am happy that it ended on such a high note but will always feel the wanting for more.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions share are her own. I am so grateful to Netflix for giving us three more seasons of Longmire after it was cancelled by A&E. While I was still not ready for it to end, at least we got a final season to leave these characters in a thoughtful and fulfilled way. Our beloved Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming, Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) continues to face intense personal and professional challenges. His best friend Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Philips)

MDMA Giveaway

As Angie’s increasingly reckless ways spin her life and the lives of those around her out of control, she must learn to transcend the hardships of her past and step into the light.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Shout Factory! to award one reader MDMA on Blu-ray. For those wanting to learn more, read the press release below: Step into the drug-fueled 1980s with this provocative and powerful drama based on the true-life experiences of writer/director Angie Wang. A period crime drama that offers the unique perspective of a working-class, Asian-American woman scrambling for status in a world of white, west-coast privilege, MDMA is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Studios. This release includes a number of bonus features, including audio commentary with filmmaker Angie Wang, an interview with Francesca Eastwood,

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