July 2019 Archives

Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collection Limited Edition Available October 1, 2019

Four-disc collection includes nine television specials packaged in a limited edition collectible Snoopy doghouse giftset.
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Press release: Good grief! The legendary Peanuts comic strip turns 70 and to celebrate the occasion, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release a gorgeous, collectible Blu-ray giftset comprised of three iconic animated holiday specials packaged in a limited edition Snoopy doghouse giftset! Titled Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collection Limited Edition, this collection will be released on October 1, 2019 and will include It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas, as well as six additional Peanuts specials that are re-mastered/restored, plus brand-new special features. All nine specials will be released on Blu-ray with

Doctor Who: The Animation Collection DVD Review: Four Doctors Are Better Than One

The 2-disc set gathers five previously released stories featuring Doctors, classic and modern.
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Doctor Who: The Animation Collection is a 2-disc set that gathers five previously released stories starring four Doctors. On Disc One, The Infinite Quest and Dreamland feature the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Shada the Fourth (Tom Baker). Disc Two presents two debuts: The Power of the Daleks with the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), and Scream of the Shalka with a non canon Ninth (Richard E. Grant) before the Modern Series was set. The Infinite Quest (2007) was first broadcast on the children's show Totally Doctor Who in 13 installments. Set somewhere during Series 3 as well as the 40th

The Leopard Man (1943) Blu-ray Review: Subtle, Underrated '40s Chiller

A disappointment to its creators on release, The Leopard Man is one of Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur's hidden gems.
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Based on Cornell Woolrich's dark novel, Black Alibi, The Leopard Man was the first property Val Lewton wanted to develop when he became the head of a B-film unit at RKO in 1942. The studio, stinging from very public, very expensive commercial fizzling of wunderkind's Orson Welles' Magnificent Ambersons, wanted to pump out cheap horror pictures in the vein of Universal's famous monster movies. Val Lewton, a protégé of David O. Selznick who acted as, among other duties, an uncredited writer for some scenes of Gone With the Wind, was a literate and intelligent man who understood that without money

Glory is the Pick of the Week

A 1989 masterpiece tops a new week of interesting releases.
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The year 1989 was pretty great for film, although not for the Oscars. The overall winner was Driving Miss Daisy, which was a rather safe choice by the Academy. However, there were two other films that were more accurate, less syrupy representations of racial tension and prejudice: Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing, and director Edward Zwick's Glory, which remains an emotionally charged and important picture about not only the bloodiest event in American history, but also the bonds between those not defined by the color of one's skin, but the moral code in which they live by. This is

Attack of the Robots (1966) Blu-ray Review: Eddie Constantine Lays His Cards on the Table

Redemption Films brings Jess Franco's campy cult Eurospy spoof to Blu-ray, including an uncredited aural contribution by yours truly.
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Crafted in the wake of Jean-Luc Godard's immortal Alphaville ‒ a deadpan French New Wave satire of contemporary espionage and sci-fi films ‒ Jess Franco's Cartes sur table ‒ better known to English-speaking audiences as Attack of the Robots ‒ is a campy tale of tricks and traps. In fact, Franco's French/Spanish co-production even casts the same lead from Godard's cult classic: the one and only Eddie Constantine (a personal favorite film idol of mine), who sets out to discover just who is turning people with the rare "Rhesus Zero" (presumably a variation of the extremely rare Rhnull blood type)

Iconic Peanuts Gang to Hit Theaters for 50th Anniversary

The first Peanuts movies return for a whole new generation.
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Press release: Fans of all ages will enjoy the 50th Anniversary event cinema release of the two full-length digitally re-mastered Peanuts movies - A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Come Home when the animated features appear in cinema for the first time since 1969 and 1972. See the original Peanuts characters like you’ve never seen them before. Humorous and heart-tugging, both features bring back the joys of childhood and teach kids today’s important life lessons during their most impressionable years. Filled with laughter, courage, loyalty and the lovable friends we all relate to, the original Peanuts movies will win

Universal Horror Collection, Volume 2 Blu-ray Review: Atwill Employment, Mostly

Scream Factory brings us four classics from the vault starring the legendary talents of Lionel Atwill and George Zucco.
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The phrase "classic Universal horror" is most likely to get a vintage monster movie enthusiast to talk nerd shop about the timeless charm and chills of the iconic studio's best-loved creations. Dracula. The Frankenstein monster. The Mummy. The Invisible Man. The Wolf Man. You know, those guys. But there were many more ghoulish productions filmed on the proverbial backlot than some people may realize. In fact, Universal Studios made nearly twice as many non-canon horror movies compared to their major franchise entries. But it wasn't until Scream Factory unleashed the first volume of the much-needed Universal Horror Collection ‒ a

Missing Link Blu-ray Review: Missing Story, Finding Artistry

Laika's latest project is a masterful triumph of artistry hampered by a mediocre story
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Missing Link is the latest film from the animation wizards at Laika, the tiny U.S. studio responsible for gems including Kubo and the Two Strings and Coraline. Remarkably, this film blows all of their previous output away from a tech standpoint, with stop-motion animation so buttery smooth it's completely indiscernible from computer animation, as well as highly detailed and exceptionally lit sets and character models. Where their prior works The Boxtrolls and ParaNorman suffered from muted color palettes and lighting that made even dark scenes look washed out, Missing Link is an HDR-friendly melange of glorious, vibrant colors brought to

Wild Rose Movie Review: A Star is Born in Jessie Buckley

Jessie Buckley electrifies in this heartfelt musical drama about the road to fame.
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Anyone who’s had a dream might often be told they can achieve it if they set their mind to it. The musical drama Wild Rose expertly demonstrates that message and reminds dreamers that it doesn’t matter where they try to accomplish it. It’s more important that they just try to make it happen. At the same time, it illustrates both the sacrifices and sense of home that comes with pursuing a dream. When Rose-Lynn (Jessie Buckley) gets freed from prison, she’s ready to fulfill her aspirations of moving to Nashville to be a famous country singer. However, she’s financially strapped

The Doors: The Final Cut 4K Ultra HD Review: Break On Through

Nearly 30 years after its original theatrical release, The Doors has been re-released in a stunning new 4K restoration that makes the film more immersive than ever.
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Although the movie is named after the band, it’s really all about the rise and fall of Jim Morrison. The rest of the actors playing band members have barely any lines, and are resigned to glumly standing around pretending to play their instruments for most of their screen time. The film loosely tracks the band’s formation in the ‘60s to their dissolution in the ‘70s, but director/co-writer Oliver Stone is mostly interested in charting Morrison’s emergence as a rock god. I hadn’t seen the film since its theatrical release, but the concert scenes in particular are clearly superior to their

Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood Movie Review: Middle-Ground Tarantino

A well-acted yet frivolous tribute to old Tinseltown.
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Quentin Tarantino’s previous feature The Hateful Eight was a demonstration of both his strongest and weakest qualities as a filmmaker. His follow-up, the highly anticipated Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood is mainly a showcase for one of his strongest qualities: His love for classic cinema. While there is something to be said about how controversial his filmography is along with his personality, his passion for classic genres always shines through in his work and here, it’s no different. That being said, the nostalgic '60s setting is the only thing that makes this film an ode to old cinema. Because the

The Mountain (2019) Movie Review: Worth Exploring

Jeff Goldblum and Tye Sheridan excel in Rick Alverson's intriguing period piece.
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I’m not familiar with any of Rick Alverson’s previous efforts, such as The Comedy and Entertainment. But if there’s something to be learned from The Mountain, in regards to Alverson’s directorial prowess, it’s that he’s polarizing and has a lot to say about a particular subject. He’s also unconventional and allows for interpretation on whatever he has crafted. Again, this is all coming from his latest film, and the only one of his I’ve seen. The Mountain is certainly not going to be for everyone, but there is something about it that makes it feel like it’s going to be

Godzilla: The Showa Era Films (1954-1975), Criterion Edition #1000 Collects All 15 Films Together for the First Time

This monster of a set will be available October 29, 2019.
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Press release: This October, Criterion celebrates the arrival of spine number 1000, a Blu-ray collector’s set fit for the granddaddy of all movie monsters. This landmark edition gathers for the first time all the Godzilla films from Japan’s Showa era: fifteen kaiju rampages, presented in high-definition digital transfers and accompanied by a slew of supplemental material, including a giant deluxe hardcover book with notes on each film and new illustrations from sixteen artists, new and archival interviews with cast and crew members, and much, much more! It’s a colossal set, and Criterion would have it no other way for their

Doctor Who: The Krotons DVD Review: Better Than Its Reputation

A solid story and great performance by the core three are hindered by some really terribly designed monsters.
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The Krotons, the fourth serial from the sixth season of Classic Doctor Who has a lot going for it. It is one of the few completely intact serials from the Second Doctor portrayed by Patrick Troughton (a great many of them were copied over or completely destroyed by the BBC before they gave a thought about preserving these things for posterity); it was the first serial written by the legendary Robert Holmes (who wrote such classics as Spearhead From Space, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and The Caves of Androzani); and it was directed by David Maloney who helmed his fair

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review: Purrs Rather Than Roars

It's the 1994 animated classic but with CGI and Beyonce.
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Given the iconic status of the 1994 animated classic The Lion King, there may be some panic over whether the new CGI remake will pale in comparison. Well, to that, I say “Hakuna Matata” because it’s not badly underwhelming. However, that’s only because it’s the exact same movie. It’s a complete replication of the original, beat for beat and shot for shot, but with photorealistic animals. While the remake does result in being an admirable visual-effects experiment, it still plays things too safe in terms of story structure. Anyone who’s seen the original knows the story. A lion named Simba

Fathom Events Presents Glory (1989): An Intense Civil War Film

Edward Zwick’s Civil War epic is still a masterful achievement.
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In recent years, the war genre has mostly shown viewers the events of what happened during World War II or modern-day conflicts; Hacksaw Ridge and Dunkirk are two recent examples of terrific films in the genre. But I’m always amazed by the fact that there are so few films about the Civil War. Like World War II, it’s such an intriguing part of history and one that has countless stories that are worthy of a big-screen telling. Granted, some of the more recent releases haven’t been that great, such as Free State of Jones and Field of Lost Shoes. But,

The Milky Way (1969) Blu-ray Review: Surrealistic Satire

A Pilgrim's Progress through Catholic History as seen through the satiric lens of Luis Bunuel.
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About an hour into Luis Bunuel’s surrealistic drama The Milky Way, two men, a Jesuit and a Jansenist, argue over the Christian doctrine of irresistible grace. It becomes so heated that a duel is challenged and the two draw swords for a fight to the death. After a time, the camera moves onto two vagrants who are having a similar debate but in a much gentler manner. While we watch them, we see the first two men, having put down their swords, walking away as friends. One could interpret this moment as if to say that the first two men

Do The Right Thing is the Pick of the Week

Spike Lee's 1989 masterpiece tops a week of great releases.
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When taking about some of the greatest films ever made, you have to include iconic director Spike Lee's equally iconic 1989 masterwork, Do The Right Thing, which still reverberates even after thirty years. It was a funny, evocative, and dangerous look at a never-ending, hot-button topic that refuses to lay down and die: racism. Honestly, some of us may think that the film seems shaky and a little dated, but that's besides the point. It's a slow burn, sweaty fever-dream that boils to a puzzling, controversial conclusion that reminds us that some things may have changed, but others still stay

Outfest 2019: 'Sell By' is Directly Accessible and Rather Progressive

Sell By thrives thanks to its acting ensemble and graduated depiction of queer love.
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Sell By may be queer themed since it centers around a homosexual couple coming to grips with their turbulent relationship. Yet, it attempts to tap into the universal romantic experience by also focusing on the couple’s straight friends and their love troubles. On the one hand, the film ends up being an exceptional ensemble piece, but on the other, the multiple narrative becomes rather disjointed. The chief storyline involving the relationship between Adam (Scott Evans) and Marklin (Augustus Prew) still is quite focused. Both men try to analyze the ongoing distance between them while dealing with the concept of marriage

San Diego Comic Con 2019: The Star Trek Universe Expands on CBS All Access

See what's in store from the streaming service.
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During the "Enter the Star Trek Universe" panel at the San Diego Comic Con on Saturday, it was announced that Star Trek: Discovery’s season three had just began principal photography in Iceland earlier this month. Actor David Ajala joins the cast as a brand new character, Cleveland Booker, a.k.a. Book, who has a natural charisma and devil-may-care attitude that tends to get him into trouble as often as it gets him out. Star Trek: Discovery season two favorites Ethan Peck (Spock) and Rebecca Romijn (Number One) came on stage to announce that they, along with Captain Christopher Pike, played by

Death in the Garden Blu-ray Review: Well Worth Watching

A decisive critique of capitalism, fascism, and the Catholic Church.
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After befriending Salvador Dali and finding success in the surrealist movement with films like Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’Or, Luis Buñuel was set on the path of greatness. But the Spanish Civil War threw that off and when Franco’s fascists won, he fled to the U.S. where he worked briefly for the Museum of Modern Art in New York and as a translator for Hollywood studios. Unsatisfied, he relocated to Mexico where he was once again able to make movies. He made an astonishing 21 movies during his 18 years as a Mexican filmmaker. Most of these films were

Hellboy (2019) Blu-ray Review: Will Certainly Find Its Audience over Time

It's cool; it's just not for everybody.
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I was tempted to start this review by talking about how the filmmakers had an uphill climb when rebooting Hellboy, as it would inevitably be compared to the previous films and Guillermo del Toro’s singular vision. In fact, I was four paragraphs deep into an explanation of how this interpretation of the world Mike Mignola created was as unique and separate from its predecesors as the two men who portrayed the title character. I even made a comparison to Hamlet, as David Harbour does in the behind-the-scenes features included in the extras on the Blu-ray release. After all, there have

A Faithful Man Movie Review: Rom-Com Written with Impressive Finesse

At just 75 minutes, A Faithful Man packs plenty of mystery, romance, and profundity.
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Louis Garrel’s sophomore directorial effort A Faithful Man is certainly loyal to particular romantic-comedy traditions. It’s both traditional and a slight deconstruction of the nature of love triangles. Initially, it seems like we’re in for a standard love story about a man and a woman attempting to reconcile their feelings for one another. That is until it starts to toy with “stalker film” machinations. A Faithful Man may have a short running time of 75 minutes, yet it successfully does more with less. When Marianne (Laetitia Casta) leaves her boyfriend Abel (Louis Garrel), she reveals that she’s pregnant with the

Criterion Announces October 2019 Releases

Something old, something new.
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It's going to be one more month before Spine #1000 is announced, but here's what will be available from Criterion in October. New to the collection will be Leon Gast's When We Were Kings and John Sayles's Matewan. Getting Blu-ray upgrades are 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg and Benjamin Christensen’s Häxan. Read on to learn more about them. 3 Silent Classics by Josef von Sternberg (#528) out Oct 8 Vienna-born, New York-raised Josef von Sternberg directed some of the most influential and stylish dramas ever to come out of Hollywood. Though best known for his later star-making collaborations

Book Review: Superman: The Golden Age Dailies 1947-1949 by Alvin Schwartz, Wayne Boring, et al.

A fine collection of post-war Superman dailies where the Man of Steel finds a series of problems more domestic in nature.
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Superman remains one of the most beloved and collected superhero characters of all time. Some of the rarest Superman collectibles are the newspaper strips that ran from 1939 to 1966. Many of these were thrown away as “yesterday’s news,” with few saved for posterity. The fantastic partnership between DC Comics, IDW Publishing and the Library of American Comics has been aiming to correct that, lovingly reprinting these strips in hardcover form. The latest, Superman: The Golden Age Dailies 1947-1949, is a lavish collection of 15 post-war episodes of the Man of Steel. The strips, written by Alvin Schwartz and drawn

Space: 1999: The Complete Series Blu-ray Review: Ahead of Its Time in More Ways Than One

Watching the episodes now, I appreciate the science fiction and find that the series does hold up.
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It was September 13th, 1999, when an explosion of nuclear waste blew the moon out of orbit and sent the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha on an incredible journey through space. As we approach the 20-year anniversary of the explosion, it seems fitting that Shout Factory would release all 48 episodes of the television series on Blu-ray with new interviews and features. Though, as I revisit this series, I can’t help but wonder why Shout Factory didn’t wait two months (It was released on July 16) and tie it into the fictional anniversary. In reality, the science fiction series, which was

Doctor Who: The Three Doctors Special Edition DVD Review: Three Times The Fun

For its tenth anniversary, Doctor Who brought all the Doctors in for a rather mishandled story, but their interactions make the whole thing worth it.
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It has been said before, but having The Doctor regenerate was a stroke of genius. In the beginning of the fourth season of Doctor Who, it was clear that William Hartnell, who played the First Doctor, would not be able to continue. His declining health and inability to remember his lines was proving too much for the actor and for the series as a whole. The show was still quite popular, had become a cultural phenomenon in fact, and so the producers had a choice: discontinue the series, or put another actor into the role of the Doctor. Replacing an

Book Review: The Art of Godzilla: King of the Monsters by Abbie Bernstein

A fantastic and informative book for those who enjoy and are interested in the process of making movies.
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Abbie Bernstein takes readers behind the scenes with pre-production concept artwork and on-set photography from director/co-writer Michael Dougherty's Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which takes its name (minus the exclamation point) from the re-edited American version of Godzilla (1954). This isn't the first time the life-long fan tackled the character as he made “a Godzilla short...when [he] was ten or eleven with [his] old family Beta camcorder.” Hinted at during the post-credit sequence of Kong: Skull Island, this third installment in Legendary's MonsterVerse sees quite a few creatures unleashed upon the world, which Dougherty says was the only suggestion Legendary

2019 Dragon Ball World Tour Kicks Off at San Diego Comic-Con

The ultimate celebration of Dragon Ball to include must-have collectible event exclusives, the latest Dragon Ball video games, and more.
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Press release: Toei Animation Inc. Funimation, a Sony Pictures Television company, and Bluefin, a Bandai Namco group company, revealed today the complete details for the launch of the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con including a history-making Guinness World Records attempt on Opening Day of the tour. Co-sponsored and presented jointly by Bandai and Toei Animation, the 2019 Dragon Ball World Adventure opens on Wednesday July 17 at an expansive installation on the Marriott Marina Terrace at the Marriot Marquis San Diego. The tour will continue throughout San Diego Comic-Con 2019 from July 18 -

Shazam! (2019) Blu-ray Review: DC Makes a Marvelous Movie

Currently my favorite of the DCEU, it is an absolute treat and a refreshing take on the genre.
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Although it's the seventh movie in Warner Brothers' DC Extended Universe series, David F. Sandberg's Shazam! comes across like it is from a parallel universe. Amidst the origin story of a hero whose name is never decided upon, this lighthearted coming-of-age comedy is a lot different in terms of tone and production design than its grim predecessors. Shazam! opens in 1974 when a young boy named Thad is tested by Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), the last member of the Council of Wizards, who is seeking a champion to inherit his magic and take over his role. The champion must be pure

The Old Man and the Sea (1990) DVD Review: Anthony Quinn Gives an Excellent Performance

Translating the 127-page novel into a film turns out to be a tough proposition, no matter who helms it.
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Anthony Quinn gives a riveting performance as the elderly fisherman Santiago, who has gone 84 days without catching a fish, in this 1990 made-for-TV movie based on Ernest Hemingway’s novel. Once a great fisherman, Santiago is now reduced to struggling and worrying about losing his skills and his luck. Manolin (Alexis Cruz), his young, self-appointed apprentice, visits him at night to give him pep talks and help him prepare for the next day’s fishing expedition. They talk about how Santiago’s favorite baseball team, the Yankees, is playing, to break the monotony of their daily routine. Translating the 127-page novel into

Klute is the Pick of the Week

A gritty '70s masterwork leads a week of interesting releases.
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The 1970s was a hugely groundbreaking decade for film. During this decade, Cinema reflected on the aftermath of Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, women's rights, and the uncertainty of more political unrest. Director Alan J. Pakula reflected this with his unofficial 'paranoid trilogy', which included 1974's The Parallax View and 1976's All The President's Men. However, his 1971 neo-noir thriller, Klute, started it all. It's a film about menace, uncertainty, but also a woman's place in the world. That woman is Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a self-liberated call girl who's given one trick too many, and finds herself on the wrong

Marvel Studios Celebrates the In-Home Release of Avengers: Endgame with the We Love You 3000 Tour

Special guests from Marvel Studios and the MCU will visit nine U.S. cities greeting and treating fans at each tour stop.
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Press release: In celebration of the in-home release of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios and directors Anthony and Joe Russo have teamed up to launch the “We Love You 3000” Tour as a way to thank the fans who have invested so deeply in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), making it the single most successful franchise in film history. Special guests from Marvel Studios and the MCU will visit nine U.S. cities — beginning in San Diego at Comic-Con International on July 20 and ending in Anaheim at D23 Expo 2019 the weekend of Aug. 23-25— greeting and treating fans at

IDW Announces Signing Schedule, Panels, and Exclusives for San Diego Comic-Con International 2019

George Takei's 'They Called Us Enemy', all-new 'Locke & Key', the Wynonna Earp cast, and many more comic and entertainment icons appear at Booth #2729.
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Press release: Next week, IDW Publishing will celebrate its 20th anniversary at San Diego Comic-Con with sensational booth appearances by such fan-favorite talents as George Takei, Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Kim Dwinell, Magdalene Visaggio, B. Dave Walters, Stan Sakai, Walter Simonson, Delilah S. Dawson, Kevin Eastman, Sam Maggs, Rod Fergusson, the cast of Wynonna Earp, and so many, many more! Our complete list of booth guests, panels, and show exclusives can be found below. Be sure to visit Booth #2729 for IDW’s coolest Comic-Con signings and swag! Of particular note, IDW is now taking Comic-Con preorders on two They Called

High Life (2019) Blu-ray Review: Out of This World

Claire Denis's newest film is an absorbing, incredible sci-fi feature.
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If 2001: A Space Odyssey had more of a horror aspect and were to get slapped with an R rating, it might look something like Claire Denis’s High Life, one of the most puzzling and intriguing films to be released in 2019. From the opening shot, the viewer is left astonished by Yorick Le Saux’s beautiful cinematography. A shot of nature in an intergalactic atmosphere has never looked so stunning, and Le Saux doesn’t let up once the story focuses on the people within the ship in which the film takes place. It’s a beautiful and terrifying exploration of how

Pretenders: With Friends Blu-ray Review: A Hits-Heavy, Star-Studded Concert

It is highly recommend for fans of the band and also makes a great introduction for those new to them.
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Decades Rock Live! was a VH1 Classic television series that gathered bands and guests to play a concert at Trump Taj Mahal’s in Atlantic City. Pretenders with Friends is an episode taken from that series recorded on August 11, 2006, and thankfully, the folks at Cleopatra Records and Rock Fuel Media have released the performance on a three-disc set (Blu-ray, DVD, CD). The 16-song set runs about 65 minutes. Led by Chrissie Hynde, the Pretenders at this time were original drummer Martin Chambers, guitarist Adam Seymour, and bassist Nick Wilkinson. They deliver a set mainly comprised of their greatest hits

Resurrecting the Champ Blu-ray Review: The Story of the Fight Many of Us Face for Acceptance

I jumped at the chance to get the Blu-ray and so should you.
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I love those evenings when you come home late, plop down in front of the TV, start clicking around, and stumble upon a movie you’ve never heard of. Sometimes, you find hidden treasure. Sometimes, you find immediate explanation as to the anonymity of the film. On one night, I not only found gold, but gold which led me down a path of irony. Unfolding on my screen this night is the story of Erik Kernan Jr. (Josh Hartnett), a struggling Denver sports reporter living in the shadow of his deceased legendary sports broadcasting father. While striving to forge a career,

The Dick Cavett Show: Inside the Minds of... Volume 2 DVD Review

Episodes included find Dick Cavett joined by George Carlin, Steve Martin, and Martin Mull.
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The Dick Cavett Show was a talk show that aired on different TV channels, broadcast and cable, from 1968 to 1996. S'More Entertainment is releasing The Dick Cavett Show on DVD, gathering episodes together under themes. Inside the Minds of... showcases comedians. Released on January 22, 2019, Volume 2 presents a previous generation of comedians: George Carlin from June 5, 1990 and December 1, 1992; Steve Martin from December 17, 1992; and Martin Mull from June 4, 1995. All of them aired on CNBC. The Carlin '90 interview finds him promoting an HBO special. Subjects covered include the “Seven Words

Earthquake (1974) Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

The crew members creating the special effects are the real stars who make the movie worth viewing.
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Producer/director Mark Robson's Earthquake was a star-studded disaster movie that the '70s was known for. Unfortunately, the famous folks go to waste because the screenplay by George Fox and Mario Puzo is a bit of a disaster too. The crew members creating the special effects are the real stars who make the movie worth viewing. One morning, a minor 3.1 earthquake hits Los Angeles. City workers investigate if any damage has been done to the Hollywood reservoir dam, leading to a man drowning at the bottom of an elevator shaft. A graduate assistant interning at the California Seismological Institute has

The BRD Trilogy is the Pick of the Week

Fassbinder's classic trilogy stands out during a week of notable releases.
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Legendary director Rainer Werner Fassbinder was one of the most uncompromising observers of human nature that cinema had ever known. He was also a rebel with a devil-may-care attitude, but not unsympathetically towards his characters; characters who were outsiders rejected by society and forced to live their lives the only way they knew how. The three films available in the new Blu-ray upgrade for his famous BRD Trilogy: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979), Veronkia Voss (1982), and Lola (1981), showcase strong women who sacrifice their beauty for the things they want in postwar Germany, but not for the most

Warner Archive Collection Announces Three Stellar SDCC 2019 Panels

Weekend highlights include Blu-ray release of V: The Original Mini-series, Popeye's 90th Birthday Bash, and Primetime Hanna-Barbera Series
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Press release: Warner Archive Collection covers the past, present and future at 2019 Comic-Con International with a trio of entertaining panels slated for the weekend - a Thursday celebration of Popeye’s 90th Birthday; a Friday revisit to the landmark V: The Original Mini-Series, currently being remastered for Blu-ray; and a spotlight on The Jetsons (for its upcoming newly-remastered-for-Blu-ray release) and the terrific primetime history of Hanna-Barbera. Talent featured on the Warner Archive Collection panels will include V: The Original Mini-Series star Marc Singer and the franchise’s renowned creator, Kenneth Johnson; respected animation writer Tony Benedict, who scripted every episode of

Shout! Factory Unveils San Diego Comic-Con 2019 Lineup

Highlights include Star Trek: Deep Space Nine doc, Home Movies, and more.
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Press release: Pop-culture purveyor Shout! Factory returns to San Diego Comic-Con International in 2019 with a dynamic lineup, featuring captivating panel events for the beloved Adult Swim series Home Movies, the acclaimed documentary What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Shout! Factory/Scream Factory; new official Mystery Science Theater 3000 merchandise; Comic-Con exclusive items; and engaging booth activities including a BoJack Horseman AR experience. Convention attendees are invited to join in the excitement at the Shout! Factory booth (#4118) on the main convention floor. Get your favorite McGuirkisms ready! On Thursday, the classic Adult Swim

Warner Bros Home Entertainment Announces SDCC 2019 Premieres, Panels, and More

An unparalleled ensemble of stellar offerings, including six World Premieres, a pair of monumental anniversary celebrations, two helpings of horror fun, and fan activations spotlighting two 2019 hit films over the July 17-21 weekend.
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Press release: Among the 13 slated events from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are world premieres of Batman: Hush, Teen Titans Go! Vs. Teen Titans, LEGO DC: Batman - Family Matters, Scooby-Doo! Return to Zombie Island, The Banana Splits Movie and an in-depth Shazam! documentary. The weekend also spotlights grand celebrations for Batman Beyond’s 20th Anniversary and the 50th anniversary of Scooby-Doo, as well as an inside look at two horror-centric upcoming releases: Critters Attack! & The Banana Splits Movie. Immersive experiences adjacent to the Omni Hotel (across the tracks from the Convention Center) will offer fans a more personal experience

Midsommar Movie Review: A Luminous Hellscape

Beautifully nightmarish and insidious with a tremendous Florence Pugh performance.
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When Ari Aster made his feature film debut with Hereditary, it was a demented portrait of grief and anxiety covered in near darkness. His follow-up film, Midsommar, is an equally demented demonstration of mental illness that is drenched in sunlight instead of darkness. As a result of its sunny disposition, it ends up being more unsettling than Hereditary and is proof that Aster is a potential horror master. The film’s opening sequence is one of the few points where our main characters are in the shadows. Dani (Florence Pugh), the main protagonist, is having a meltdown over her bipolar sister

The Illusionist (2006) Blu-ray Review: Full of Tricks and Treats

Neil Burger's 2006 film gets a new Blu-ray release that, unfortunately, lacks any new features.
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There was a time in which both Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige and Neil Burger’s The Illusionist played at the theater at which I worked. They were only released within a month of each other, but, as I recall, Nolan’s film seemed to have attracted more of a crowd based on cast and the fact that he made Batman great again. Burger’s film started off small and then slowly found its audience based more on word of mouth than pre-release buzz. And while both are centered on magicians, they are both very different in terms of plot and direction. They both

Matinee (1993) Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: Joe Dante's Love Letter to B-movies

Dante's Matinee is a sweet tribute to the monster movies of his youth and the men behind them.
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Matinee opens with Lawrence Woolsey (John Goodman), a William Castle-type producer in a trailer for Mant, a movie about a man and an ant “exposed to radiation simultaneously” as the title suggests. It's an outstanding homage to films/trailers of the time. Set in 1962, Woolsey and actress/girlfriend Ruth (Cathy Moriarty) come to Key West, Florida to screen Mant, which is augmented for audiences through Atomovision and Rumblerama, his technical creation that maximize the screening for audiences. Two protesters (Dick Miller and John Sayles) make it known they aren't happy with the movie being shown. Gene (Simon Fenton) and his younger

Shout! Factory Unveils Its Anime Expo 2019 Lineup

Featuring world renowned anime brands, popular home entertainment products, and interactive fan activities.
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Press release: Now a mainstay at Anime Expo, pop-culture studio Shout! Factory returns to AX 2019 with a dynamic lineup, featuring a showcase of the latest collectible anime home entertainment offerings, fan-engaging booth activities, exclusive gift-with-purchase items, photo ops, promotional giveaways, sweepstakes, and much more! Fans and convention attendees are invited to join in on the excitement at the Shout! Factory booth (#2022) on the main convention floor. Anime Expo is the largest anime convention in North America and takes place July 4 - July 7, 2019 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Tickets and full details are available at

Spider-Man: Far From Home Movie Review: Living in a Post-Endgame World

Our friendly neighborhood webslinger goes international in this slick, smart sequel.
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Serving as an epilogue to Avengers: Endgame, and also the final installment of Marvel’s Phase Three set of feature films, Spider-Man: Far From Home is successful in both wrapping things up and setting forth a new direction for the young Peter Parker (Tom Holland). Far From Home is nowhere near the dark territory of Endgame. It takes a lighter, more fun approach, but also deals with some deep, thematic elements impressively well. Thanos is gone, and “The Blip,” as Far From Home calls it, has been reversed. Those who vanished five years ago have returned the same they were then,

Dances with Wolves Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review: An Enjoyable, Albeit Unsurprising, Western

Fans and Oscar completists can now add the version of Dances with Wolves that won Best Picture to their library thanks to Shout Factory.
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Thanks to Shout Factory, the theatrical cut of Dances with Wolves finally made its debut on Blu-ray as part of a three-disc Steelbook Collector’s Edition that also offered previosuly available Extended Cut and extras. Winner of seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Kevin Costner, the film is a three-hour Western epic that tells the story of John Dunbar (Costner), a Union soldier in the Civil War who forsakes the life he knows and becomes an honorary member of the Sioux tribe. Based on the novel by James Blake, who won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, Dances

Book Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita by Tipton, Tipton, Shasteen, Hernandez, Nieto

Terra Incognita was well written by the Tiptons and had the feeling of a television season.
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In the Star Trek franchise, there is a parallel universe dubbed the "Mirror Universe" where the evil Terran Empire, which rules through terror, stands in place of the United Federation of Planets. Its first appearance was in the Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror," when a transporter malfunction during an ion storm causes the landing party of Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy, Scotty, and Uhura to switch places with their counterparts. It was a very compelling episode and the Mirror Universe has been revisited in different TV series and assorted non-canonical Trek media. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita collects issues

Leon Morin, Priest is the Pick of the Week

Legendary director Jean-Pierre Melville's 1961 non-gangster classic leads a rather slow week of releases.
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When talking about the great Jean-Pierre Melville, you're automatically drawn to his gangster oeurve, which he definitely excelled in. This is apparent because of iconic films such as Le Samourai, Le Cercle Rouge, and Le Deuxieme Souffle, among others. However, he was a filmmaker of many talents, reveling in dramas as well, such as Army Of Shadows, Le Silence De La Mer, and his spirtual 1961 effort Leon Morin, Priest, which is my Pick of the Week. It stars film legend Jean-Paul Belmondo as Leon Morin, a man of the cloth who becomes the object of desire of all the

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