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Thu
31
Mar

Hateful Eight Not Great But Will Satiate

Hateful Eight Blu-ray Dennis Russo Critical Blast

THE HATEFUL EIGHT on Blu Ray/DVD and Digital copy is Quentin Tarantino’s Eighth movie. It takes place in Wyoming 6 or 8 or 12 years after the civil war. It tells the story of 8 people…8 hateful, untrusting, uncouth, belligerent individuals thrown together by fate into a one room haberdashery in the middle of a blizzard. Somehow these 8 individuals have more in common than we are first led to believe, and as they all antagonize each other and “stir the pot,” we find out just how hateful these individuals are.

Tue
29
Mar

The Original Queens of Comedy in a Never Before Seen TV Special

Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball delighted audiences for years; Burnett by way of her variety show and Ball with her sitcom. Now, for the first time ever, audiences will enjoy their talents simultaneously in the never before seen CAROL+2: THE ORIGINAL QUEENS OF COMEDY!

Before Carol Burnett could begin her career as a prime time star, the last major step occurred in 1966. CBS promised Burnett her own special if she could deliver a big star. As the story goes, she hesitantly phoned one of her biggest influences: Lucille Ball. Her reply?

"When do you need me there?"

From the press release:

Wed
16
Mar

The Big Short Long on Fourth-Wall Breaking Information

Big Short Blu-ray Oscar Christian Bale Steve Carell

When the banking crisis was happening, I was -- perhaps ironically -- working at a bank as an acquisitions analyst. (Not that I'm taking the blame for the collapse or anything.) But even then, hip-deep as I was in the business, the whole "housing bubble" was something I just couldn't wrap my head around. And if I couldn't understand it then, as a part of the industry, how could any average person figure out just how badly they were being screwed over?

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay do a bang-up job of making this elusive concept somewhat manageable in THE BIG SHORT. Adapting the book by Michael Lewis, Randolph and McKay break down a cerebral and dry subject and turn it into something informative and entertaining through fourth-wall breaks, cutaways to explanatory skits starring celebrities, and a focus on the quirkiness of the main players. This goes a long way to explaining why they won the Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Tue
15
Mar

Fey and Poehler Define Arrested Development in SISTERS

Sisters Unrated Poehler Fey Blu-ray review Critical Blast

Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is a divorcee who has put all her efforts into helping other people at the expense of her own happiness. Kate Ellis (Tina Fey) is a wild-child single mother who can't keep a job. When they return to their childhood home to reconnect, they learn that their parents (James Brolin, Dianne Wiest) have just sold the place. So how do the titular SISTERS deal with this latest -- and seemingly heaviest -- blow to their self-esteem?

By reliving their high school days and throwing a wild party, inviting all their high school friends (and excluding all their high school rivals). But age has taken its toll on their old crew: parenthood, middle-life maladies, and the dreaded monster, Responsibility, have overtaken them. But this is nothing that a boat-load of booze and a buffet of illegal drugs won't conquer, courtesy of Dave (John Leguizamo) and his frighteningly built connection, Pazuzu (John Cena).

Sun
06
Mar

The Good Dinosaur: Little House on the Pleistocene

Good Dinosaur BD

THE GOOD DINOSAUR asks the question: What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well, apparently the answer is that the dinosaurs would have learned how to talk, build houses, plow fields, and raise giant chickens, all without the benefit of any evolutionary advances like opposable thumbs.

Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the titular dinosaur, the runt of his nest. But his family loves him nonetheless, despite his overwhelming fear of the giant chickens. (I know they're something else, but I'm not a paleontologist, and they are treated like giant chickens so I'm calling them giant chickens.) But until Arlo can pull his weight on the farm, he can't make his mark on the grain silo his father built. So his Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) gives Arlo a special mission -- put an end to the "critter" who is stealing corn from their silo.

Wed
24
Feb

The Legend of the Lion King Lives on in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Lion Guard Return Roar Disney Junior

Turning the characters and setting of THE LION KING into a series is something that's far past due for Disney. In THE LION GUARD, viewers once again meet Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and Zazu -- however, they are minor players in the story, as the focus shifts to the next generation.

In this introductory pilot, THE LION GUARD: RETURN OF THE ROAR, we meet Simba's son, Kion, who's happy that he's not in training to take over as ruler of the Pride Lands (that honor going to his older sister, Kiara) so that he can play with his friend Bunga, the honey badger. But their games take them to where they shouldn't be, putting Bunga in danger of attack by the hyenas -- and when Kion tries to warn them off with a roar, it's more than anyone anticipated.

Thu
11
Feb

Jake Makes Rank in The Great Never Sea Conquest

Captain Jake Never Sea Conquest Disney Junior Pirates

Disney Junior Buccaneer Jake and his crew of Neverland Pirates are in for another adventure when Captain Hook looks for the treasure of the shipwrecked Colossus when, at the same time, the mer-wizard Lorth Fathom (Malcolm McDowell) escapes his imprisonment and looks to take over the Never Sea. In fact, it may be more than Jake and his crew can handle -- so they get help from Captain Flynn (Josh Duhamel), Captain Frost (Harland Williams) and Captain Beatrice Le Beak (Teri Hatcher).

Tue
09
Feb

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: SEASON TWO may be inferior to the first but, it still scares up some thrills!

From Dusk Till Dawn Season 2

The film FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was such a cool event for me.  Think about it, this was the team up of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.  At the time, it seemed otherworldly and more akin to a comic book than a movie theater.  As a film, it was wasn't perfect, but it was funny, featured great performances, and was a hybrid of action and horror.  If nothing else, it was unforgettable.

Mon
01
Feb

Batman: Bad Blood, Great Adventure

Batman Bad Blood Justice League Blu-ray DC Comics Animated

When a crew of masked criminals set to work, they're attacked by a bat-like caped figure. But it's not Batman who's making the scene but a new player: Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski). And she's a far less merciful fighter than he is! However, when Batman (Jason O'Mara) does show up, it's just in time for Batwoman to see him blown to bits, making her the last person to have possibly seen Batman alive as the days turn into weeks with no appearance from the Dark Knight in Gotham.

Batwoman -- aka Katherine Kane -- has no one to turn to but her father, Colonel Kane (Geoff Pierson), to tell her story. But when the Batmobile rumbles down the street, she pursues it and quickly deduces that the Batman role is being filled by the former Nightwing (Sean Maher), accompanied by Robin (Stuart Allan) who also returns to Gotham after hearing about Batman's disappearance.

Tue
26
Jan

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Pop Star Minnie DVD Contest

Disney Junior Pop Star Minnie Mouse

This contest has ended.

The randomly selected winning entry is: JANAN C. from RIVERWOODS, IL.

Is there anything that amazing Minnie Mouse cannot do? In this DVD from Disney Junior, Minnie's dream of singing onstage is about to come true -- until her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse backup band pals discover that their musical instruments are gone! Now the race is on to track them down and reach Melody Mountain by sunset. But even if they find the missing instruments in time, should Minnie sing the blues, croon a country tune, or boogie to a disco beat? It's going to take help from YOU -- plus a few Mouseketools -- to get Minnie in the right groove to totally rock out!

Bursting with fun, surprises, additional episodes and two delightful "Bow-Toons," Pop Star Minnie is simply song-sational!

 

Sat
23
Jan

The Ritchie Blackmore Story: The Greatest Guitarist You Know the Least About

Ritchie Blackmore Story Bluray Dennis Russo Critical Blast Eagle Rock

"The Ritchie Blackmore Story" on DVD from Eagle Rock Entertainment chronicles the long and storied career of one of the greatest rock guitarist of all time. With a career spanning over 50 years and running the gamut from Hard Rock to Heavy Metal, from “commercial hit” Rock to Medieval Renaissance music, and considered by many to be one of the most spectacular visual guitar players, Ritchie Blackmore is also the one guitarist most people probably know the least about.

Sat
02
Jan

DEATHGASM: Proof You Can Be a Headbanger and Still Have a Sense of Humor

Deathgasm Blu-ray New Zealand

DEATHGASM on Blu-ray disc from Metal Heads / Dark Sky Films is a Heavy Metal gore fest horror/comedy that is as serious as its name implies. What I mean is that when you read the title of this movie, the first thing that comes to mind is not “This is going to be scary, and terrifying.” No, the first thing that is going to come to mind is probably what came to mine: ”I bet this is a hoot!” And, my friends, it is.

Filmed in New Zealand with mostly local actors, DEATHGASM tells the story of a would-be headbanger, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), who is sent to live with his straight-laced uncle and his family after his mother get arrested. He is immediately disliked by his jock cousin and his friends at school because he’s a headbanger and listens to what they call "devil-worshiping, heavy metal music."

Tue
29
Dec

Honey, I Shrunk the Avenger: Ant-Man Debuts on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital

Ant-Man Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd, PARKS AND RECREATION) is just getting out of prison for burglary -- but of the social justice kind, so that makes it okay. The particulars of his case -- as well as his character and skills -- bring him to the attention of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who wants him to break into a vault to steal back technology Pym invented that is being prepped for military use and sold to the baddest bad guys in the Marvel Universe, Hydra.

Thu
17
Dec

Like a Fine Wine, Clapton Just Gets Better with Age

Eric Claption Slowhand at 70 Live Albert Hall

Should someone 70 years old be able to play the guitar like this? Should Vladimir Horowitz have been able to play the piano the way he did in his 80s? While you may have to sacrifice a little finesse, when you’re the master of your instrument age really does become nothing more than a number.

What can be said about Eric Clapton that hasn’t already been said before? Even that line has been said before! I have often found it very interesting that, when guitarists talk about Jimi Hendrix, they say he was the best ever, and they invariably follow up with "I can play him perfectly." Oddly enough, though, I have not heard such banter spoken about Eric Clapton. Yes, there are many that will say, and perhaps justifiably so, that he is the best ever, but I have never heard anyone say they could play him perfectly. Why is that?

Mon
14
Dec

Light the Fuse for Adventure with Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Tom Cruise Critical Blast

The hunt is on for Ethan Hunt in the latest installment of the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE franchise. With recent events in the IMF history, the CIA, headed up by Director Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), is keen to have the force defunded and folded into CIA operations. But Hunt (Tom Cruise) is now personally involved in unmasking the existence of an anti-IMF team calling itself The Syndicate. No one believes that this Syndicate exists, and when Hunt is callled in, he goes to ground, becoming the CIA's most wanted.

When Hunt is finally ready to make a move against the Syndicate leader (Sean Harris), he needs to call in favors from his friends, Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg), Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner) -- all of whom live under constant and intense scrutiny by the CIA for any chance that they might betray Hunt's location.

Tue
08
Dec

So, Frosty The Snowman, Santa Claus, and Rudolph all walk into a box set. Have you heard this one?

Christmas Classics Rudolph Frosty Santa

Growing up, the holiday season was a time to look forward to for all of the obvious reasons.  Receiving gifts was a huge part of childhood, all the decorations, visiting Santa, and spending time with extended family was something to look forward to.  Another big thing were all of the holiday specials on television.  When I grew up, especially in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, you didn’t get but one chance to see these shows each year.  It might seem impossible to people even a little younger than me, but there was no DVR, and I didn’t have a VCR until 1983, so I had to check my TV GUIDE and get my arse in front of the television at the appropriate time.  If you missed your favorite there simply wasn’t a second chance!

Tue
01
Dec

Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas Adaptation of Adaptation -- But Winner with Kids

Elf Buddy Musical Christmas Jim Parsons Ed Asner Santa

If you've already seen Will Ferrell's ELF, then you will notice very quickly that ELF: BUDDY'S CHRISTMAS MUSICAL is the condensed version of the same story, squeezed into a lesser running time by eliminating extraneous characters like Bob Newhart's Papa Elf and merging other characters into single ones, as is the case with Mr. Greenway, who is the publisher but with the characteristics of Peter Dinklage's author character.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does make the grown-up viewer walking away feeling as though they were given less than expected.

Sun
22
Nov

HBO's The Leftovers Takes Time to Warm Up

HBO Leftovers Season One Critical Blast Dennis Russo

THE LEFTOVERS, an HBO series, is a complex story that takes place three years after an “event” happens where 120 million people -- 2% of the world’s population -- disappeared in an instant. It centers on the town of Mapleton, New York where 100 people disappeared and the local sheriff, Kevin Garvey (Justin Theroux), is trying to hold his family together while simultaneously trying to keep the peace and help people get on with their lives.

Some people said, and still say, that the event was the Rapture, while some say it isn’t that because not everyone was a good person that disappeared. Others still look to some sort of scientific physics-based explanation to the phenomenon.

Thu
12
Nov

Disney Pixar Delivers Understanding of Personality from the INSIDE OUT

Inside Out Disney Pixar Amy Poehler Critical Blast RJ Carter

I was going to say that INSIDE OUT is not your average cartoon. But then, what Disney*Pixar film ever is? Rather, then, INSIDE OUT is not your average movie, period. It's subject matter is funny, easy to relate to, and completely captivating from beginning to end. However, on an even deeper level, INSIDE OUT is a film worthy of study for a college psychology course.

The majority of the film takes place in the mind of a prepubescent girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), where we meet our main characters: Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling). These are the core emotions Riley has, and their interactions form her young personality. However, there's an imbalance; Riley believes that she must be happy all the time for the sake of her parents, therefore Joy takes charge, and pushes Sadness to the fringe. After all, what good does Sadness bring? Who wants to feel that emotion?

Tue
03
Nov

You'll Be Glad You Had This Time Together with Carol Burnett's Lost Episodes

Carol Burnett Lost Episodes Classic Television

One of the staples of my childhood television schedule was THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW. I was often too young to get some of the humor, and I'd sometimes watch the dance numbers and wonder what was supposed to be funny about them (because I expected the entire thing was meant to be comedy, not variety). But even so, it was something I watched as often as I could catch it.

Now grown (and with a greater appreciation of the arts), I can catch it whenever I wish, thanks to the sorcery of digital video discs. And while the entire series has yet to see any sort of collection, TIME LIFE has put together quite a few mini-collections, including this one: THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES -- so called because they come from the first five seasons, and are episodes that had very few -- if any -- reruns.

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