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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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