July 2019 Archives

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

UglyDolls Blu-ray Combo Pack Giveaway

UglyDolls is filled with colorful and adorable characters and packed with powerful messages of inclusion and empowerment.
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award one lucky reader an UglyDolls Blu-ray Combo Pack. UglyDolls is available on Digital currently, and it will be available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand July 30. For those wanting to learn more, the press release is below: Unconventionality rules in UglyDolls, the fun and quirky animated musical debuting on Digital and on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on July 30, 2019 from STXfilms and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Centered around the adorably unique town of Uglyville, the film follows Moxy and her

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

Glory Ticket Giveaway

Denzel Washington won his first Oscar for director Edward Zwick's sweeping Civil War epic Glory, which film critic Leonard Maltin has called "one of the finest historical dramas ever made."
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Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Fathom Events and TCM to award one lucky reader a pair of tickets to see TCM Big Screen Classics presentaton of Glory, which is playing in hundreds of select movie theaters nationwide on July 21 and July 24. To find a theater near you, check www.FathomEvents.com. For those wanting to learn more, the press release below: Denzel Washington won his first Oscar for director Edward Zwick's sweeping Civil War epic Glory, which film critic Leonard Maltin has called "one of the finest historical dramas ever made." This July, for the first time since its

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