Mark Buckingham

Cinema Sentries

Book Review: Alien 3 by Pat Cadigan, based on the Unproduced First-Draft Screenplay by William Gibson

Alien 3 has been saddled with challenges since it was first announced. Multiple directors and screenplay efforts came forward, and ...
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Book Review: Alien: Into Charybdis by Alex White

There's a tendency in the Alien universe for humans to try to tame/control the chitinous ebony extraterrestrial monsters, and it ...
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SXSW 2021 Movie Review: Alien On Stage: Unlikely Heroes Played by Even Unlikelier Heroes

The movie Alien is defined by a number of characteristics -- high tension, elaborate special effects, a grim tone, and ...
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Pretending I’m a Superman: The Tony Hawk Video Game Story Movie Review: A Retrospective Lead-in to an Anticipated Remake

With the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 remake dropping in a couple weeks (September 4, 2020 to be exact), what ...
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Book Review: Alien: 40 Years 40 Artists by Various

I took the opportunity to review Alien: 40 Years 40 Artists because I'm an Alien nut, then realized I don't really know anything about ...
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Book Review: Aliens: Phalanx by Scott Sigler

I've been riding the Alien train for the better part of 40 years now, and through the franchises high points ...
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Memory: The Origins of Alien Movie Review: From Whence a Legend Came

I've seen many making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes for movies before, especially ones with elaborate special effects. I've seen documentaries about ...
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UglyDolls Sing-Along Edition Blu-ray Review: A Kids Movie, Through and Through

There are two kinds of movies for children, as I see it. First, there are ones with subtlety and nuance ...
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The Transformers: The Movie Review: Still Got the Touch

On August 8, 1986, the original Transformers lit up the silver screen for the first time in The Transformers: The ...
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Book Review: Aliens: Bug Hunt, Edited by Jonathan Maberry

Each film in the original Alien trilogy represents a unique approach to science fiction. Alien took sci-fi and suspense and ...
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Book Review: Aliens: The Set Photography by Simon Ward

The movie Aliens turned 30 recently, and there are rumblings of another movie in the Alien universe in the works, ...
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Book Review: Alien Next Door by Joey Spiotto

In a most unexpected crossover, Joey Spiotto combines murderous monsters with children's books in Alien Next Door: In Space, No ...
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James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge 3D Blu-ray Review: What Goes Down Goes Waaay Down

I watched Deepsea Challenge 3D a few nights ago (though decidedly in 2D as I lack the necessary equipment for ...
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RiffTrax Live!: Godzilla (1998) Review: Catastrophic Laughs

The RiffTrax boys are at it again. This time, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, and Mike Nelson have chosen to skewer ...
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Underwater Dreams Movie Review: Good in Spite of Its Marketing

The synopses for the documentary Underwater Dreams talk about undocumented Mexican high school students building an underwater robot for a ...
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RiffTrax Live!: Sharknado Review: Wisecracks That Cut Deeper Than Shark Bites

RiffTrax was borne out of the '90s cult hit show Mystery Science Theater 3000 where three smart-alecks would snipe witty, ...
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RoboCop (2014) Blu-ray Review: Let’s Hope They Don’t Remake RoboCop 2

The original RoboCop had an interesting mix of satirical social commentary, snarky jabs at the bigger-is-better consumerism of its era, ...
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13 Sins Blu-ray Review: Borrowing from the Best

The Game. A Simple Plan. Fight Club. Eagle Eye. Saw. If you liked any or all of these movies, there's ...
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Death Spa Blu-ray Review: Light on Creativity, Heavy on Cringe-Worthy Acting

Some horror movies take themselves seriously and deliver the goods in dramatic and spectacular fashion, whether that be something like ...
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3 Days to Kill (2014) Blu-ray Review: Not As Advertised

The first hurdle I had to clear when spinning up 3 Days to Kill was reminding myself that it has ...
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Trust Me (2014) Movie Review: Jerry Maguire with an Unfortunate Ending

To review the story of Trust Me without addressing the ending is to overlook perhaps the most glaring issue in ...
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An Unreal Dream: The Michael Morton Story DVD Review: Justice Prevails

An Unreal Dream recounts the story of Michael Morton, a man who kissed his wife and son goodbye before heading ...
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Knights of Badassdom Blu-ray Review: Verily Indeed

Knights of Badassdom is a horror comedy in the vein of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil or ThanksKilling. It never ...
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Monsters: The Complete Series DVD Review: Another Great Horror Anthology

I've always been a fan of horror, suspense, thrills, and clever plot twists, but have always found it more satisfying ...
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After the Dark Movie Review: This is What “Trying Too Hard” Looks Like

I feel like I was just lied to. The pitch for After the Dark started with, "Faced with an impending ...
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Book Review: Alien: Out of the Shadows by Tim Lebbon

Tim Lebbon's Alien: Out of the Shadows kicks off a trilogy of books set around the events of the Alien ...
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Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Blu-ray Review: A Must-Own for Any Nightmare Fan

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy was originally released on DVD back in 2010. It's received a proper HD ...
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Runner Runner Blu-ray Review: I Fold

Runner Runner isn't a poker movie. You'll think it's a poker movie from the trailers and the synopsis and the ...
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Maidentrip Movie Review: A Journey of Both Personal and Historical Significance

Maidentrip is director Jillian Schlesinger's documentary/compilation of the story of Laura Dekker, the teenage adventurer who sought to become the ...
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La Notte Criterion Collection DVD Review: They Don’t Make ‘Em Like This Anymore

La Notte is definitely a film from a different era where plots were not entirely clear until the third act, ...
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Murder University DVD Review: Cyanide Capsule Sold Separately, Unfortunately

Murder University wasn't satisfied with just being bad. Oh no. It strove to be so horrendous that I'm still a ...
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The Fly (1958) Blu-ray Review: A Classic Reborn in HD

Between The Fly (1958) and The Fly (1986), you couldn't have two films that take more different approaches to the ...
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Frankenstein’s Army DVD Review: Things That Go Bump, Boom, Chop, Slice, Ratatatat, and Stab in the Night

After reviewing the nigh unwatchable War of the Dead, you'd think me a fool to want to watch another World ...
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Hatchet III Blu-ray Review: The Proper End to a Trilogy

Back in 2006, Adam Green set out with Hatchet to recapture the 1980's campy gory horror vibe established by iconic ...
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From the Head Movie Review: What Happens in the Bathroom, Stays in the Bathroom

If you want to see truly raw, unadulterated portrait of humanity, you don't go to a church or a library. ...
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The Life After Death Project DVD Review: An Academic Approach to the Afterlife

Paul Davids' Life After Death Project has had an interesting stay in my house. Hearing it was a SyFy project ...
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Hitchcock (2012) Blu-ray Review: A Legend Plays a Legend

Make no mistake: Anthony Hopkins has some acting chops. He's brought to life some of the most memorable, likeable, and ...
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Pawn (2013) Blu-ray Review: Intensity That Just Won’t Quit

Few movies can tie up an ending as neatly and shockingly as Se7en did, with everything coming to a head, ...
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Tai Chi Hero Movie Review: A Worthy Successor

I almost made a big mistake going into watching Stephen Fung's Tai Chi Hero -- I nearly disregarded the prequel, ...
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Great Barrier Reef Blu-ray Review: Keeping the Streak Alive

BBC Earth has been on a roll lately. Among others, they've hit us with Africa, One Life, and The Blue ...
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Broken City DHD Review: Taut Noir Thriller Debuts in a New Format

Broken City became available for purchase last week, even though the Blu-ray and DVD aren't due out until closer to ...
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Woochi: The Demon Slayer Blu-ray Review: Rebranding Gone Awry

The 2009 Korean-folklore-inspired box office hit Jeon Woochi: The Taoist Wizard has been retitled Woochi: The Demon Slayer and landed ...
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Stitches Blu-ray Review: An Irish Horror Spoof That Needs Some Polish

After the titular Stitches the Clown (Ross Noble) shows up late for a routine kids' birthday party, he ends up ...
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This Is 40 Blu-ray Review: An Endearing Look at Middle Age

Some have lambasted This Is 40 for not having a strong central storyline. Guess what? Neither does real life. Some ...
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Spiders (2013) DVD Review: It’s Only Bad If You Watch It

I realize the irony (and possibly the hypocrisy) in bashing a sci-fi horror movie for being unrealistic or inconsistent, but ...
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The Blob (1958) Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review: An Oldie but Goodie Returns in High Def

Watching The Blob (1958) and then watching The Blob (1988) reveals much about how American culture changed over three decades. ...
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Africa (2012) Blu-ray Review: Remarkable, Vast, Deadly Wilderness, Now in High Definition

Sir David Attenborough and the BBC Earth team are at it again, capturing some unbelievable footage in high definition and ...
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Deadfall (2012) Blu-ray Review: Nothing New Here, and Not Especially Well Recycled

Deadfall reminded me of a few other movies: The Ref (1994) for its hostage situation over the holidays, A Simple ...
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Bath Salt Zombies DVD Review: This Is Not the Dustin Mills Flick You’re Looking For

As you might remember, I found much to like about Dustin Mills' Zombie A-Hole, so I went into his flick ...
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Cinema Sentries

Sushi Girl Blu-ray Review: Reservoir Dogs’ and The Usual Suspects’ Slightly Underdeveloped Lovechild

How's this for a pitch: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Candyman (Tony Todd), Atreyu (Noah Hathaway), Donnie Darko's Frank the Demonic ...
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Compliance DVD Review: It’d Be Awful If It Weren’t True

Compliance chronicles a day in the life of Becky (Dreama Walker), who went to work at her fast-food job like ...
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End of Watch Blu-ray Review: Or, Training Day 2

At its core, End of Watch is a gritty buddy cop movie. Lots of buzzwords leap out of the packaging ...
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House at the End of the Street Blu-ray Review: Not Befitting of the Talent It Attracted

House at the End of the Street starts out strong. You witness the murder of two parents by their deranged ...
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War of the Dead Blu-ray Review: It Forgot to Make Me Care

When a marketer finds it necessary to promote a movie based on the fact that it is “the most expensive ...
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Osombie DVD Review: Good Dumb Fun

Remember that time a dumb action movie got a great metascore on Metacritic or average review on IMDB? Yeah, me ...
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The Good Doctor Blu-ray Review: I Cannot Understate How Unexciting This Is

The Good Doctor tells the story of Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) who seeks to be the titular good doctor, but ...
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The Night of the Devils (1972) Blu-ray Review: Still Good, 40 Years Later

If there's one thing that scary movies have taught us, it's that if someone's car breaks down in the middle ...
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The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985) Collector’s Edition DVD Review: Still Good for Fans; An Intro to Twain for Newbies

I'm pretty sure that at some point growing up, I saw 1985's The Adventures of Mark Twain, but I don't ...
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Rudyard Kipling’s Mark of the Beast (2012) DVD Review: It’ll Make a Nice Coaster

There are two kinds of good horror movies. The first is the one that offers genuine scares, relying on excellent ...
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The Ice House (1997) DVD Review: A Twisty Mystery Sporting a Young James Bond

In the U.S., it wouldn't surprise me to hear that people only know Daniel Craig as James Bond and possibly ...
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G.I. JOE: Renegades: The Complete First Season Blu-ray Review: It Seems You Can, In Fact, Go Home Again 

Reviving 1980s cartoon franchises continues to be all the rage.  Transformers managed to garner interest and ticket sales at the ...
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Tight DVD Review: Can Porn Stars Become Rock Stars?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to give instruments to four girls who bang on camera for ...
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The Babymakers Blu-ray Review: Finally, A Lifetime Movie Made for Men

The guys behind the comedy team Broken Lizard (Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan, Paul Soter) have a ...
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Surviving Progress DVD Review: How to Temper a Double-Edged Sword

Surviving Progress takes a look at the advancements human beings have made over the last few thousand years, what our ...
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Snow White and the Huntsman Blu-ray Review: A Visual Spectacle, But Not Quite a Classic Reborn

It’s been many years since I saw the Disney incarnation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so the first ...
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Total Recall (2012) Movie Review: Get Your Ass To, Well, Britain, I Guess

There are a few iconic things that come to mind when someone mentions Total Recall (1990) — Mars, over-the-top effects, ...
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Zombie A-Hole DVD Review: A Worthwhile Throwback to Less-Than-Serious Horror Movies of Yore

Having recently reviewed Richard Griffin’s The Disco Exorcist, I initially mistook Dustin Mills’ Zombie A-Hole as having been a creation ...
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Jay and Silent Bob Get Old: Tea Bagging in the UK DVD Review: Adding Sights to the Clerks’ Podcast’s Sounds

What happens when Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith take their podcast on the road to the United Kingdom?  You hear ...
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Scalene Movie Review: Crazy Women Desperately Seeking Justification

When the credits rolled on Scalene, groans could be heard throughout my living room. Why? Because it took us on ...
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The Disco Exorcist Movie Review: A Strangely Entertaining Highlight Reel of ’70s Cliches

Fade in on lava lamp and reel to reel, plenty of dust and lines tarnishing the film print, scratchy audio ...
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A Necessary Death DVD Review: How Do You Film Someone Who Wants to Kill Themselves?

”Recovered Footage” movies — ones shot with consumer-grade cameras made to look like home movies, films like The Blair Witch ...
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