August 2019 Archives

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Movie Review: A Quiet Passion for Life, for Knowledge, and for Words

The documentary examines the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author's life through interviews and archival footage.
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The Pieces I Am, Timothy Greenfield-Sander’s straightforward documentary about the late Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison, consists (mostly) of Morrison talking directly to the camera as she discusses her work and her life. Other interviewees include Angela Davis, Oprah Winfrey, Fran Lebowitz, screenwriter Russell Banks, and poet Sonia Sanchez. The documentary also shows clips from interviews Morrison did with Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers, and oters. There’s footage of the author receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012, and other archival clips. Morrison passed away at the age of 88 in early August, leaving behind a body of

Wizard World Chicago 2019 Review: It's a Family Affair

Like the phoenix from the ashes, a robot that turns into a truck, or Wilfred Brimley emerging from a cocoon, Wizard World continues to transform.
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Another year has come and gone and as summer threatens to fade into the distance, and a new school year comes into view, so too does Wizard World return to the Windy City. And, as it has happened so many times before, sandwiches were prepared and bottled water was packed into a Jansport backpack slung about my back. And once again, the Derdowski Family, on behalf of Cinema Sentries, traversed the highways and byways of Illinois to attend. It’s actually only about an hour drive into the city, and traffic wasn’t too bad. My kids weren’t too bad either, no

Five Cool Things and Terminator: Dark Fate

School might be back but I'm still discovering cool things to talk about.
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School is back in full swing, which always messes with my media consumption. The lazy summer, full of long days watching interesting TV shows and fascinating movies and reading great books, has now turned into evenings that become a blur making sure homework is completed, papers are signed, and baths are taken. Soon enough, the girl will be back doing Girl Scouts, art class, and gymnastics, and we'll hardly get an evening to ourselves. Not that I'm complaining. I enjoy that my daughter is involved in so many activities and living a full life. Well, maybe I'm complaining a little

Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) Blu-ray Review: Long Live the King

Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah join the Monsterverse franchise in a global battle royale that is heavy on CGI fighting and destruction.
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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) is the third installment in Legendary's MonsterVerse. With their existence hinted at during the post-credit sequence of Kong: Skull Island, Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah join the new franchise in a global battle royale that is heavy on CGI fighting and destruction. Set five years after the events of Godzilla (2014), quite a few monsters, dubbed “Titans,” are unleashed upon the world and battle for supremacy. On a smaller scale, a fractured family is dealing with

The Banana Splits Movie Blu-ray Review: The Bananas 'Dole' out Some Death

Take a live-action kids show from the '60s and throw in some creative murders with lots of gore, and it’s a win-win! Right?
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Ron Ruhman with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour premiered on NBC as part of their Saturday morning line-up in September of 1968 and featured the fictional rock group The Banana Splits. The group was comprised of four costumed characters: Fleegle, a dog; Bingo, an ape; Drooper, a lion; and Snorky, an elephant. Not a banana in the bunch. They had a clubhouse where they held meetings and rocked out, while introducing animated segments such as The Arabian Knights

'Memory: The Origins of Alien' Coming to Theaters Oct. 4

Alexandre O. Philippe takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of ALIEN.
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Press release: In-step with the 40th anniversary of ALIEN, Legion M and Screen Media are bringing Alexandre O. Philippe's MEMORY: THE ORIGINS OF ALIEN to select nationwide theaters and On Demand on October 4. Philippe (78/52, The People vs. George Lucas, Doc of the Dead) takes fans on an exploration of the mythical underpinnings of ALIEN, supported by exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, unearthing the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott's cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the archives of ALIEN creators Dan O'Bannon and H.R. Giger - including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards,

Turner Classic Movies Returns to Hollywood for the 11th Annual TCM Classic Film Festival on April 16 - 19

Festival theme Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film will take movie lovers on an enchanted journey of storytelling
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Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced that the TCM Classic Film Festival will return for its 11th consecutive year and is set to take place Thursday, April 16 - Sunday, April 19, 2020 in Hollywood, CA. Thousands of movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood Boulevard for movies set within the theme Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on Film. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events and more. Grand Illusions: Fantastic Worlds on

Ready or Not Movie Review: A Brilliantly Scathing Horror Satire

A killer game of hide-and-seek with more going on underneath.
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Getting married can be absolutely terrifying. It’s not just scary because of the nuptials or the uncertainty of what lies ahead after the ceremony. It’s dealing with in-laws that can be frightening. Especially in-laws that force you to take part in a fight for survival. Thankfully, not many people can say they’ve had those types of run-ins after they’ve gotten married. However, Ready or Not still serves as an absurd yet thrilling allegory for how discomforting in-laws can be. When Grace (Samara Weaving) marries Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), she thinks she’s found a great catch. Someone who’s a decent

The Flash: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review: Slow It Down, Flash!

Five seasons in, "The Flash" is starting to run out of ideas, but it is still my favorite show in the Arrowverse.
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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Mat Brewster with a free copy of the Blu-ray reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are his own. The Flash has consistently received better ratings than all the other shows in the Arrowverse since it first came on the scene in 2014. It is easy to see why as it easily blends superhero action, real emotional stakes, and comedy while fully embracing the more ridiculous aspects inherent to a comic-book series. It is my favorite show in the Multiverse though it is beginning to slip. When watching this type of series, I tend to

The Koker Trilogy is the Pick of the Week

The late master Kiarostami's influential trilogy rounds out a week of stellar new releases.
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When master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami passed away in 2016, that really shook the film world, because his extraordinary body of work really elevated the endless possibilites of how bold and innovative Cinema can be. His blending of reality and fiction became a touchstone for the depiction of the human condition. From his short films of the early '70s to his final masterpiece, 24 Frames (2017), Kiarostami really changed the face of contemporary Iranian film forever. He never made a bad film, and it's no wonder why critics and film buffs (besides myself) still sing his praises today, and discuss how

Book Review: For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library, Volume Three (1986-1989) by Lynn Johnston

A comic strip about life from someone who has obviously lived it.
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From 1979 to 2008, Lynn Johnston showcased the joy and strife of family life in her award-winning newspaper strip, For Better or For Worse. At its peak, the comic was featured in more than 2,000 newspapers in 23 countries, and was translated into eight languages for a readership of more than 220 million fans. Johnston retired from the strip in 2008, but today, For Better or For Worse: The Complete Library can be enjoyed by old and new fans alike in a series of elegant hardcovers thanks to the Library of American Comics. Having already reviewed Volume One (1979-82) and

This September, Time Life Delivers the Ultimate Collection of Legendary Live Concerts in One Hard Rockin' Set

Across 11 jam-packed discs, music fans will thrill to nearly 30 hours of live performances from epic Hall of Fame ceremonies from 2010-2017.
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Press release: Each year, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors rock music's pioneering figures during a prestigious, black-tie ceremony. As the Hall of Fame enters its third decade, it's these extraordinary induction ceremonies -- featuring the biggest names in classic rock from the '60s, '70s and '80s - that have become nearly as epic as the artists they celebrate. On September 6, Time Life and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame give home audiences front row seats to the unforgettable ceremonies from 2010-2017 with the 11-disc collector's set Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert. An

Five Cool Things and The Mandalorian

I'm ready to talk cool things once again.
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Welcome back to Five Cool Things, the weekly article where I discuss all the interesting, really good, and very cool things that I’ve discovered over the past week. I took the long, hot summer off but I’m done with all my vacationing, school is starting back, and I’m ready to talk cool things once again. I watched and read a lot of interesting stuff over the summer and I don’t have time to talk about it all, but here are some of the coolest things I consumed over the break. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown The Criterion

Warner Bros. Announces The Wizard of Oz Arrives on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital 10/29

Acclaimed as one of the greatest family films of all time, The Wizard of Oz will be available for the first time in 4k resolution with High Dynamic Range (HDR).
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Press release: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced today that 1939’s acclaimed and beloved classic The Wizard of Oz will be released on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Digital on October 29th. Directed by Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) and starring Judy Garland as Dorothy Gayle, The Wizard of Oz is widely considered to be one of the most influential films in cinematic history. Adapted from L. Frank Baum 's tale about a Kansas girl’s journey over the rainbow, The Wizard of Oz officially premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on August 15, 1939. The film was directed by Victor

The Dick Cavett Show: Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers DVD Review

It's wonderful to see these interviews, which allow the viewers to see the men behind the ball players.
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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. Baseball's Greatest Hits: Pitchers showcases some of the sport's great hurlers of the 20th Century. Released on June 25, 2019, Pitchers Disc 1 presents New York Yankee Whitey Ford and his teammate Mickey Mantle from May 9, 1970; and Dizzy Dean, whose greatest success was with the St. Louis Cardinals, appeared 10 days later. Disc 2 presents Denny McLain, who had only been a

Toy Story 4 Coming to Homes Digitally Oct. 1 and on Blu-ray and 4K UHD on Oct. 8

Fans who bring home Toy Story 4 will be treated to over an hour of bonus features celebrating the film's iconic characters, Pixar's filmmaking team and the legacy of Toy Story.
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Press release: This summer, Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story 4 took audiences on a hilarious and heartwarming road trip with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the whole gang, earning a 98 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and more than $1 billion at the global box office. Packed with old friends and new faces, the fourth film in the beloved Toy Story series, which leads Woody to an unexpected fork in the road, arrives home on Digital in 4K Ultra HD, HD, and Movies Anywhere Oct. 1, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD Oct. 8. Fans who bring home Toy

Vita & Virginia Movie Review: Disappointingly Dry with Committed Lead Performances

Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki wonderfully elevate a biopic hampered by contrivances.
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When Vita and Virginia first opens, Vita Sackville-West (Gemma Arterton) explains the gender roles expected within her time period. Despite being a novelist, women like her are supposed to be viewed as subordinate and cherish their titles as "wife" and "mother." However, Vita has a rebellious spirit that is reflective of the film itself. Vita and Virginia attempts to break free from biopic standards even as it nearly becomes handicapped by them. The story follows Vita and her forbidden romance with famed author Virginia Woolf (Elizabeth Debicki). During their blissful period, Vita became the eventual inspiration for Orlando, Woolf’s most

Tigers Are Not Afraid Movie Review: A Phantasmagoric Fairy Tale

An expedient look at crime-ridden Mexico with harrowing fantasy.
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Guillermo del Toro’s singular vision remains so significant that it feels present in films produced by him or in this case, influenced by him. Tigers Are Not Afraid is not a del Toro production yet writer/director Issa Lopez demonstrates the mix of fantasy and pragmatism present in his work while offering her own creative vision. As opposed to the typical historical settings in a del Toro film, Tigers Are Not Afraid takes place in modern-day Mexico. It follows a group of orphaned children caught in the middle of a drug war. One of them, Estrella (Paola Lara), is given three

Poms Blu-ray Review: Rah, Rah, Sis Boom Bah

Despite its familiarity, Zara Hayes's feature-film debut is a surprisingly delightful comedy.
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Based on the trailers alone, Zara Hayes’ Poms could easily be dismissed as something that we’ve seen numerous times and won’t try to break any new ground. And you wouldn’t be wrong with that criticism. Nearly every single moment of the movie is a rehash of others in the genre and not done better either. But, surprisingly enough, the movie comes with a great amount of charm and heart to make it a light, entertaining comedy. It starts off with Martha (Diane Keaton) hosting an estate sale. Through some rather unnecessary voice-over narration, she tells the viewers how she’s lived

RUSH: Cinema Strangiato 2019 Movie Review: They Will Choose Farewell

One wouldn't know from how well they played music from all eras of their career that this would be their swan song, but they went out delivering a top-notch performance.
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In 2014, Rush (guitarist Alex Lifeson, vocalist/bassist Geddy Lee, and druumer Neil Peart) released R40, a collector’s box set that packed together recent concert videos, Rush In Rio, R30, Snakes & Arrows Live, Time Machine 2011: Live In Cleveland, and Clockwork Angels Tour, and according to their website, “a bonus disc of previously unseen and unreleased live material stretching from 1974 to 2013.” In the summer of 2015, the band hit the road for the R40 Live Tour, which was hinted at as, but never confirmed until it was over, their farewell tour. R40 Live is the title for both

The Heiresses Movie Review: Three Central Performances Carry This Distant Drama

Flawlessly acted while still being too reserved in terms of its storytelling.
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The Heiresses is a small indie that breaks slight new ground for lesbian cinema. In a queer subgenre filled with pictures about couples with age gaps and young couples within the same age range, this film creates a space for a lesbian couple over 40. In addition, it acknowledges their queerness without it becoming politicized or essential to the plot. Even if The Heiresses succumbs to having too much filmmaking restraint, writer/director Marcelo Martinessi shows a fair amount of promise with his feature-film debut. Martinessi relies heavily on the camera and the lead actress’ face to guide the story rather

Roxanne (1987) Blu-ray Review: Big Nose, Bigger Laughs

One of Steve Martin's most hilarious and heartwarming films gets a new Blu-ray release from Mill Creek Entertainment.
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Fred Schepisi’s Roxanne is a film that, at first glance, may seem too contrived and too formulaic to differentiate itself from the standard rom-com genre. But it gives the viewer something that a lot of comedies seem to lack nowadays, and that is a strong heart. While it derives its story loosely from Edmond Rostand’s play, Cyrano de Bergerac, Roxanne is still able to carve its own path and leaves the viewer with a warm, happy feeling all over. It’s a great reminder that comedies don’t need to be crude to be funny, and romance films don’t need to crank

Magnificent Obsession is the Pick of the Week

A 1954 Douglas Sirk weepfest rounds out a new week of releases.
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When it comes to classic melodrama, director Douglas Sirk can't be beat. In his films, which usually include themes of class, social status, wealth, and human frailty, these stories play out in rich, elegant Technicolor that you can overlook the sometimes overwrought weepiness. His 1954 effort, Magnificent Obsession, is often his most unconvincing film, but with the talents of Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman on display, you just go with it. The plot of a reckless, loaded playboy running over a distraught widow seems saccharin today, but back then it was an actual story. Again, you just have to go

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache DVD Review: Returning a Chapter to Cinema History

The story of the most important woman in film you have never heard of.
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As someone who spent time studying film in college, I was taught about the early pioneers of film like the Lumiere Brothers and Thomas Edison. But until watching Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache, I had never heard of Guy-Blanche or her contributions to the film industry. But I am far from the only one who has never heard of this revolutionary woman and her contributions to the art form as they have been forgotten, overshadowed, and credited to other people. But this documentary is hoping to help change that. Be Natural is written, directed, edited, and produced

Alice, Sweet Alice Blu-ray Review: Has Surprisingly Aged Very Well

Alfred Sole's underrated shocker gets a new, superb upgrade courtesy of Arrow.
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When it comes to horror cinema, I think 1970s horror stands at the top for me. Everyone, even those who don't particularly care for the genre, has to have at least five or six favorites from that decade. There was something for everyone, meaning that every film, even the not-so-good ones had at least some type of theme to them. The '70s was a decade of hopelessness and uncertainty, and its horror flicks reflected that. Even more so, there were a lot of often overlooked gems that flew under the radar, including Black Christmas (1974), The Crazies (1973), Martin (1977).

Doctor Who: The Time Meddler DVD Review

The great fun of this episode is watching the Doctor and Monk outwit each other.
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Doctor Who is a long-running British science-fiction television series featuring the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey whose adventures see him travel through time and space. Over the years, different actors have starred in the role, and to compensate for the realities of the television business Time Lords were given the ingenious ability to regenerate their bodies when they die. The Time Meddler is the 17th story of the Doctor and closed the second season. It debuted in four weekly parts beginning July 3, 1965 on BBC 1. This story is notable for being the first without companions

Blinded by the Light Movie Review: An Immensely Triumphant Coming-of-Age Tale

A bonafide crowd pleaser that bursts with emotion.
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Bruce Springsteen’s music may be culturally specific with songs like “Born in the U.S.A.” describing the American experience. However, Blinded by the Light shows the universal power of his artistry. It shows that anyone, even a working class Pakistani teenager from 1980's Britain, can find something in his songs to identify with. Once Javed (Viveik Kalra) listens to a few Springsteen cassettes given to him by his friend Roops (Aaron Phagura), he immediately becomes transfixed by the urgency in his voice. Also, the lyrics in his songs illustrate Javed’s state of mind during the exact moments where he listens to

Experience the King Like Never Before with 'Elvis Unleashed' in Movie Theaters Worldwide on October 7 & 10 Only

The event features never-before-seen outtakes and performances from the iconic '68 Elvis Comeback Special.
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Press release: Elvis Presley returns to big screens across the globe this fall with the new music special, “Elvis Unleashed,” featuring previously unseen footage on movie theater screens of Elvis as he filmed the iconic “68 Comeback Special.” The two-day cinema event, which includes outtakes and performances that reveal a new side of the King, will air in cinemas on October 7, with an encore screening on October 10. Each screening will include a new 30-minute segment with Los Angeles Times lead music writer Randy Lewis in conversation with actor Dennis Quaid, rising pop/country artist Jade Jackson and the esteemed

Criterion Announces November 2019 Releases

All about the Criterion titles out this month.
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Criterion will leave shoppers thankful this Novermber with five new titles to the collection. They are Greg Mottola's The Daytrippers, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s Betty Blue, Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve, and Irving Rapper's Now, Voyager. Read on to learn more about them. The Daytrippers (#1001) out Nov 12 With its droll humor and bittersweet emotional heft, the feature debut of writer-director Greg Mottola announced the arrival of an unassumingly sharp-witted new talent on the 1990s indie scene. When she discovers a love letter written to her husband (Stanley Tucci) by an unknown paramour, the distraught Eliza

Avengers: Endgame Blu-ray Review: 'Part of the Journey Is the End'

The film's strength is the connection fans have to the characters/actors.
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The Marvel Cinematic Universe, which currently stands at 23 movies (now known as “The Infinity Saga”) is the biggest film franchise of all time in terms of worldwide box office. Yet, the interconnectedness of the characters and stories, an element brought over from the Marvel comic books, has made the endeavor seem more like a TV series. While Spider-Man: Far From Home is the final chapter, it feels more like an epilogue in comparison to the scale, scope, and consequences of Avengers: Endgame. It opens with a brief reminder that Avengers: Infinity War concluded with the heroes having failed to

Widescreen Marvel 'Lawrence of Arabia' Returns to Movie Theaters

The monumental cinematic achievement continues the TCM Big Screen Classics series on September 1 and 4.
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Press release: One of cinema’s most magnificent and visually stunning achievements, Lawrence of Arabia will return to movie theaters nationwide for two days only - a film made to be seen on the big screen will be presented by Fathom Events as part of the TCM Big Screen Classics series. Lawrence of Arabia will be presented digitally in 4K from a meticulous restoration that utilized 8K scans of the original 65mm negative; the picture was painstakingly restored to remove the damage, deterioration and fading the negative had experienced over 50 years. Movie lovers can experience Lawrence of Arabia in its

Murdoch Mysteries: Season 12 Review: A True Delight

A terrifically fun murder mystery from Canada.
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I am an unabashed detective story/crime drama/mystery fan. Whether these tales are being told via novels, comics, movies, or television series, I’m usually all aboard. I love that as a genre the basic story - a crime is committed and somebody, whether a detective, a journalist, or even a dotty old priest, sets about solving it - remains more or less the same whilst allowing for more creativity to occur within the characters and the way the story is told. There is comfort in how the skeletons of these stories are similar while still allowing for interesting things to happen

The Inland Sea is the Pick of the Week

A rather unknown 1991 travelogue with one of film culture's greatest scholars headlines a week of new releases.
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As much I adore legendary film critic Donald Ritchie, I never knew he made a personal travelogue of his trip to Japan. Reading the premise, I actually found The Inland Sea promising, meaning that an individual allows the viewer to take a journey with them to faraway places. You're able to get a life-changing, or at least a spiritual experience that you wouldn't obviously get otherwise. I wish I had more to say, but I have never really heard of this small film until Criterion announced it for this month. It isn't packed with supplements, but the ones on this

Wally Gator: The Complete Series DVD Review: Delightfully Silly, Don't Y'know

Best in small doses because of the similarity of the plots.
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As part of the Hanna Barbera Classic Collection, the Warner Archive Collection has released Wally Gator: The Complete Series. The two-disc release presents the 52 cartoons the character starred in, which first appeared as part of The Hanna-Barbera New Cartoon Series on ABC from September 3, 1962 - August 30, 1963. Wally Gator was one of a trio of cartoons the series aired. The other two were Lippy the Lion & Hardy Har Har and Touché Turtle and Dum Dum. The series is similar to Hanna Barbera's hit cartoon Yogi Bear (1961-1962). Wally Gator is a hat-collar-and-cuff wearing anthropomorphic alligator

The Reflecting Skin Blu-ray Review: A Brutally Surreal Coming-of-Age Gem

A beguilingly weird swan dive into twisted childhood as if made by David Lynch and Terrence Malick.
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When it comes to youth, the rites of passage are always paved with dark uncertainty and a celebral outlook on life. The imagination of children seems to come from bouts of incoming trauma and fear of growing up in a world that often doesn't share the same viewpoint. In a shocking way, The Reflecting Skin, director Philip Ridley's 1990 nightmarish portrait of American Gothic seen through the eyes of a child, definitely does just that while reaching levels of boldness that most directors wouldn't dare tread. Set in 1950s rural Idaho, mischevious eight-year-old Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) lives with his

Book Review: Treasures Retold: The Lost Art of Alex Toth

A collection of rarely seen gems that are not to be missed!
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Not too long ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Alex Toth's Bravo For Adventure as well as Genius, Animated: The Cartoon Art of Alex Toth, a gigantic tome that served as the third chapter of the Library of American Comics’ overview of the life and career of comic legend Alex Toth, which accompanied 2011’s Genius, Isolated and 2013’s Genius, Illustrated. Together, those three massive (seriously, they’re 9.5” x 13”) volumes provided an astonishing and impossibly in-depth look at one of history’s most accomplished and influential cartoonists. And now, IDW and LOAC once again combine forces like some sort of

Trafalgar Releasing to Bring Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² to Cinemas Worldwide on October 9

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the 1999 performance and Grammy-winning S&M album, Metallica & San Francisco Symphony reunite.
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Press release: After the announcement of the forthcoming Metallica and San Francisco Symphony: S&M² film last week, Trafalgar Releasing is excited to reveal the official trailer for the film. Metallica and San Francisco Symphony reunite to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their original S&M (Symphony & Metallica) show with S&M², filmed at San Francisco’s new Chase Center. The film will be released on October 9th. Tickets on sale now from The original S&M concerts were performed by Metallica and San Francisco Symphony and conducted by the late Michael Kamen in spring of 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. 2019’s

Batman: Hush 4K Ultra HD Review: The Bat, the Cat, and Villains Aplenty

One of the stronger DCU animated films, in spite of some changes to the original story.
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DC’s animated films tend to be adaptations of their classic comic-book works, with this story in particular being one of their remaining crown jewels. As originally written by current Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb and drawn by DC co-publisher Jim Lee, the Hush storyline first appeared across 12 issues of the Batman comic book in 2002-03. That’s a lot of story to compress into one 82-minute film, so it’s understandable that some changes have been made in this adaptation, although most of the principal beats are still intact. Batman is faced with a new challenge in the form of unknown

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Movie Review: Terrifyingly Serviceable

Hardly any scary stories to tell.
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark may be a Guillermo del Toro production, yet his singular directorial vision still feels present. Along with director Andre Ovredal, he incorporates his traditional mix of historical context and supernatural horror found in films such as The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth. In this feature, the 1968 Presidential election and the Vietnam War attempt to act as an analog for the titular haunted tales. While the significance of the historical analog remains unclear, Scary Stories still works as a straightforward ghost story. In addition, it has the traditional machinations of a slasher film,

The Best of The Carol Burnett Show: 50th Anniversary Edition 21-DVD Set Review

Fans should be quite pleased owning a quarter of the entire series.
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Two years later and Time Life is still celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Carol Burnett Show, which debuted on September 11, 1967 and ran for 279 episodes until March 29, 1978. The latest release is a 21-disc set that collects 60 episodes from previously released material. The Carol Burnett Show was a variety show filled with comedy and musical numbers, although the latter were cut when the show aired in syndication, which repackaged sketches from seasons six through ten into a half hour. Just a few months ago, MeTV got the rights to the early seasons and began airing

Eagle Vision Proudly Presents The Cure: 40 Live - Curætion-25 + Anniversary

Deluxe box, Hardbook DVD, Hardbook Blu-ray, and digital formats available October 18th.
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Press release: Less than a year before their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Cure celebrated their 40th anniversary. On October 18th 2019, Eagle Vision will present two special performances in which they commemorated this milestone, when 40 LIVE - CURÆTION-25 + ANNIVERSARY is released in a Limited Edition Deluxe Box (2Blu-ray+4CD, or 2DVD+4CD, each with 40-page book), on Limited Edition Hardbook 2Blu-ray or 2DVD (each with 16 page book), and standalone digital formats. The first film -- CURÆTION-25: From There To Here | From Here To There - was captured on the tenth and final

Trafalgar Releasing Debuts Trailer for 'Roger Waters Us + Them' Film in Theaters Worldwide Oct. 2 & 6

Featuring songs from his legendary Pink Floyd albums and from his last album, Is This The Life We Really Want?
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Press release:Trafalgar Releasing are excited to unveil the official film trailer for Roger Waters Us + Them, filmed in Amsterdam on the European leg of his highly successful and critically acclaimed 2017/2018 world tour, US + THEM. The film will be screened in 2500+ cinemas across 60+ countries around the world on October 2 and 6 only. Tickets to see the film are on sale now from Roger Waters, co-founder and creative force behind Pink Floyd, with visionary director, Sean Evans, brings to the screen the live story of Us + Them to inspire you with its powerful music

UglyDolls Sing-Along Edition Blu-ray Review: A Kids Movie, Through and Through

Simple and fun, but doesn't demand repeat viewing.
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There are two kinds of movies for children, as I see it. First, there are ones with subtlety and nuance in their messaging and with material thrown in to offer something for the grown-ups along for the ride. In this category, I think of the Muppets and Pixar, and to a slightly lesser degree, Disney (there really is nothing for anyone by the third or fourth chapter of an existing franchise being milked for all it's worth). Then we have the movies that are purely for kids in the simplest sense -- the music is less complex and easier to

What We Left Behind: Looking Back at Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Blu-ray Review

DS9 fans should be pleased with this love letter.
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What We Left Behind, a riff on the title of the series finale "What You Leave Behind," finds Deep Space Nine showrunner Ira Steven Behr hosting this look back at the fourth Star Trek TV series, the “middle child” of the franchise in terms of respect. And that opinion doesn't just come from some Trek fans whose angry reactions are read by cast members, but seemingly the executives at CBS Television Studios as well considering it took thousands of folks listed in the end credits to help finance the project through Indiegogo. Over about two hours, cast, crew members, and

The BRD Trilogy Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: Fassbinder at His Best

With these three films, Rainer Werner Fassbinder tells the history of post-war Germany through the eyes of its women.
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When World War II ended, Germany was due a reckoning. As a nation, they had to come to terms not only with the atrocities of the Holocaust and Nazism but also rebuilding a country wrecked from war. They had to reconstruct the country's infrastructure and economy but its own soul. This new Germany had to decide who it was and what it would become. Of course, they were not alone in asking this question as immediately following their surrender, Germany was split into four districts each ruled by a separate country (Russia, the United States, England, and France). Within a

Alice, Sweet Alice is the Pick of the Week

A highly overlooked 1976 slasher headlines a week of interesting releases.
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When discussing the slasher genre, the obvious classics: Halloween (1978), A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), Scream (1996), and most notably the granddaddy of them all: Hitchcock's Psycho (1960), always comes to mind. However, Alice, Sweet Alice, director Alfred Sole's 1976 chiller, is not usually on most horror fans' lips. It should be, because it is an unusual blend of terror and religious iconography that will creep you out. It's certainly not for everyone, but that's beside the point. It's also a slow burn filled with eerie uncertainty that brings to mind Don't Look Now (1973), which I think Sole

The Good Place: The Complete Third Season DVD Review: A Great Show

While Season Three wasn't as great as the previous two seasons, I'm still excited to see what happens next.
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While watching Season One of The Good Place - a series in which four not-so-good humans find themselves in the heaven-like Good Place knowing full well they don't belong - I both thoroughly enjoyed myself but kept wondering how long they would be able to keep up that concept. It is a great idea for a series, but one that didn't seem sustainable. The writers seemed to agree as they created a twist at the season finale. Our four heroes learn that they are not in the Good Place, but rather the Bad Place which has been constructed to look

The Dick Cavett Show: Inside the Minds of... Volume 3 DVD Review

Episodes included find Dick Cavett joined by Redd Foxx, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Dick Gregory.
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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 April 9, 2019, Volume 3 presents African American comedians on a two-disc set. Although both discs are labeled with all four comics, Disc 1 presents Redd Foxx from July 14, 1969 on ABC; and Dick Gregory from June 17, 1972 on ABC and August 16, 1990 on CNBC. Disc 2 presents Eddie Murphy from November 4,

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw Movie Review: Keeping It in the Family

The spin-off film retains the over-the-top action the franchise is known for.
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Considering the Fast & Furious franchise has generated over $5 billion at the worldwide box office, it's not a surprise producers wanted to expand it. Plus, separating their feuding stars (Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel) was a bonus. Taking two of their most bankable actors, Johnson and Jason Statham, to lead the spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw follows the series' successful formula: over-the-top action scenes set around the world, and a focus on family. A nefarious organization known as Eteon wants to improve mankind through the use of technology. They plan to use a programmable virus dubbed "Snowflake," which is supposed

Celebrating Its 40th Anniversary, Star Trek: The Motion Picture Returns to the Big Screen for Two Days Only

Experience the adventure in movie theaters nationwide on September 15 and 18.
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Press release: In 1979, the Starship Enterprise flew its very first big-screen mission in Star Trek—The Motion Picture, and to mark the film’s 40th anniversary, Fathom Events and Paramount Pictures will bring this awe-inspiring adventure back to movie theaters for two days only, on September 15 and 18. Tickets to Star Trek—The Motion Picture are available beginning Friday, August 2, at or participating theater box offices. In its first nationwide cinema release since the film premiered in December 1979, the original theatrical cut of Star Trek—The Motion Picture will include the film’s soaring overture by famed composer Jerry Goldsmith.

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