Recently by Mary K. Williams

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Seventh and Final Season DVD Review

A show with countless plot holes, farfetched storylines, and unrealistic wardrobes - PLL worked, and worked well.
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Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. This seventh and final season begins after the girls spent Season Six slowly healing from the Dollhouse imprisonment and attempting to finish their senior year in peace. At Prom, they finally found out the identity of A, who was CeCe Drake. Not only was that a surprise, but it was revealed that CeCe was really Charles DiLaurentis, Alison’s unknown and secret brother. Conveniently, the show jumped five years ahead after that reveal,

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Sixth Season DVD Review: Still the Same After Five Years Forward?

Allison asked the Liars to come home and give statements that would attest to the okay-ness of Charlotte being released. Yeah, right.
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At the end of Season Five, we left the Liars plus Mona still captured inside Big A’s lair. The girls were forced to create a creepy Prom, but kudos to them, they managed to escape the lair - only to find themselves outside, but still held within the perimeter of an electric fence. And it starts to rain. Not good. Season Six begins as the girls have been let back inside the “Dollhouse” and tortured. Season Six has a unique feature -- a five-year time jump. Before the jump, the girls of course need to be shown dealing with various

The Leftovers: The Complete Second Season Blu-ray Review: Let the Mystery Be

"Miracle" boasts a "population of 9,261 - 0 Departures." It is this special spot that beckons Kevin Garvey and family to leave Mapleton, NY
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As we learned watching Season One of The Leftovers, showrunner Damon Lindelof has an apparent aversion to non-linear storytelling. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, this type of narrative causes some discomfort, as it forces the viewer to constantly examine and deconstruct what they’ve just seen. Good TV. The premise of Season Two focuses on a small town in Texas that was somehow not affected by the Sudden Departure. Jarden, TX, or otherwise known as “Miracle,” boasts a “population of 9,261 - 0 Departures.” It is this special spot that beckons Kevin Garvey and family to leave Mapleton,

Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Fifth Season DVD Review: The Show Does Several Things Very Well

The dialogue is snappy and clever, and those improbable story lines are fun.
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Coinciding with last night’s anticipated premiere of the Sixth Season of the crazy, compelling goodness of Pretty Little Liars, was yesterday’s release of the PLL: The Complete Fifth Season DVD set. This six-disk collection contains all 25 episodes, a handful of deleted scenes, and five special features. Season Five follows the story of Alison DiLaurentis’ return to Rosewood and brings the girls more tension as they still need to keep difficult secrets. “A”, the long-time unknown nemesis for our group of Liars is of course, still a key player in the story. [SPOILERS] Season Four had ended with a cliffhanger.

Book Review: Quentin Tarantino FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Original Reservoir Dog by Dale Sherman

Covering Tarantino's body of work and his rai·son d'ê·tre for each film.
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Author Dale Sherman’s newest FAQ book, he previously wrote Armageddon Films FAQ and KISS FAQ, was published this month, and it’s a work dense with trivia, factoids, and much more. But does it answer the big question? (At least my big question?) What is Tarantino’s fascination with an out-of-sequence narrative? We will get to that. Sherman’s writing comes off as a bit awkward at times, but mostly it’s fine, although quite familiar, as the book was intended to be a series of blog posts. But the overall voice throughout the work has the feel of someone who is jazzed to

Paranoia (2013) Blu-ray Review: Not Paranoid Enough

The plot is interesting enough, but it lacks the tension that the title suggests.
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If you were expecting the Robert Luketic-directed film Paranoia to be anything like Joseph Finder’s best-selling novel, you will be disappointed. If you expect to watch a “maddening race against time” in an “electrifying film,” you might be quite out of luck there too. Overall, there hasn’t been a great history of film adaptations. For every Shawshank Redemption and Lord of the Rings, there have been too many like The Scarlet Letter and I am Legend. In these cases “adaptation” should be swapped out for something like “was supposed to be inspired by” or “possibly has a minor resemblance to.”

True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review: Very Real and Drastic Changes Occur

The stories that unfold this season are all about some very real and drastic changes for many main characters.
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Out this week, the True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray set includes DVD and digital copies. Let’s take a look. [Some spoilers to follow.] Season Four ended with death. On a show like True Blood, death is not a great shocker but the last few episodes had quite a few losses. A crazed, V-tweaked Debbie Pelt came to confront Sookie, aiming a shotgun at her, but Tara pushed Sookie aside and was fatally shot instead. Sookie quickly overpowered Debbie, shot and killed her. Also on the death list was Authority and AVL representative Nan Flanagan. She was staked by

Special Forces (2011) DVD Review: Worth a Look if You Listen in French

Not the best of the recent crop of Desert Storm-related flicks, but not the worst either.
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Set in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Special Forces is the story of Elsa (Diane Kruger, Inglorious Basterds, National Treasure), a French journalist who stirs the ire of warlord Ahmed Zaief. She's writing a story about his abuses against women and because she pushes too far, she and her guide Amin are kidnapped by Zaief's men and brought to their camp in Pakistan. The French government gives the green light to send a unit of naval commandos who specialize in difficult extraction tasks, to save Amin and Elsa. Led by Kovax (Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond, Gladiator) this team of specialists parachutes into enemy

Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2: An Artful Bloodbath

A perfect mix of dialogue and action.
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Back during the filming of Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman cooked up a story about a Bride who goes on revenge spree against her former co-workers. The result of that doodling and daydreaming became a four hour long flick called Kill Bill. Played by Uma Thurman, The Bride (whose name is later revealed as Beatrix Kiddo), used to be an assassin, and worked with a group called the Deadly Viper Assassin Squad. Their boss, Bill (David Carradine), was her former lover. But at the beginning of the story, Beatrix is shown, bloodied and beaten, laying in her

Surviving Progress Movie Review: A Wake-Up Call About the Progress Trap

Could be aptly re-titled Surviving Greed.
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“We tend to delude ourselves that these changes always result in improvements from the human point of view” - Ronald Wright. Surviving Progress is an examination of the impact of the constant advances made by humans since we first started rubbing sticks together to create fire. Executive produced by Martin Scorsese and Mark Achbar, this documentary is based on the bestseller A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright. It is co-directed and co-written by Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks. The bulk of the film is narrated by Wright. His words are pitted against images of crowded cities, robotically-aided surgery,
One might think that the average sci-fi fan would have equal love for the beloved classics of Star Wars and Star Trek. But as it turns out, there has been...tension. The internets have a good share of comparison essays and speculation columns and even a documentary DVD was made in 2001. Now - all the comparisons are laid out in a 241-page book by science fiction author and game designer Matt Forbeck. The book begins with plenty of food for thought - two forewords - one by Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett of Star Wars) and the other by Tim Russ

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Movie Review: Darker Times for the Boy Wizard

The intensity of the storylines correspond with the maturation of the Hogwarts students.
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The movie opens on a late summer day with Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) hanging aimlessly around a neighborhood playground. Soon he is approached by cousin Dudley (Harry Melling) with his posse and some bitter taunts are exchanged. Harry loses his temper and draws his wand. But before he can actually use it, the skies darken and the wind whirls about. Naturally, Dudley thinks that Harry is the cause of the sudden weather disturbance. Harry denies it but the point becomes moot as the storm intensifies and the two run for home. And the story continues at a gallop. Dementors attack Harry

The Boondock Saints Truth and Justice Edition Blu-Ray Review: It Will Have You Seeing Red

A few nice touches, but was this Blu-Ray necessary?
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"...But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men." With the words of their parish priest following them out to the Boston streets on a crisp Saint Patrick's Day morning, Connor (Sean Patrick Flannery) and Murphy (Norman Reedus) MacManus begin their day. These lads, who enter the story as butchers in a meat packing plant, become accidental vigilantes, and ultimately - (questionable) heroes. The Boondock Saints, originally released in 1999, has been given a new look in a Blu-ray format. But was the do-over necessary? When one thinks of

I'm Dangerous with Love DVD Review: Michel Negroponte Examines an Unorthodox Cure for Addiction

"We should start listening to the people who wear feathers."
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This 2009 documentary is about addiction and redemption. But in this case, redemption is not achieved through talk therapy, prayer, or methadone. Directed by Michel Negroponte, I'm Dangerous with Love is the story about Dimitri Mugianis, a former drug addict and front man of the band Leisure Class, who found a cure to opiate addiction without the horrors of dope sickness and withdrawal. And what is this cure? Ibogaine. It's an alkaloid that is found in the root bark of the iboga (tabernanthe iboga) plant. This shrub is common to the jungles of central Africa, and is an integral part

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