December 2018 Archives

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. Part 1 was covered here. 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 confusion

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 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 Specials Collection: Deluxe Edition

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

2019 Golden Globes Nominees 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. 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 Vice Best Director:

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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