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Tue
19
Jan

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who? Remains Faithful to Source While Thoroughly Modern

Scooby Doo and Guess Who? Season 1

Scooby-Doo and Mystery Inc. have been an enduring franchise for several reasons, one being that the animation producers have been so open to innovation. One of these innovations early on came with The New Scooby-Doo Movies, a collection of adventures that revolved around Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, and Scooby crossing paths with famous celebrities (who voiced themselves) or other popular cartoon characters.

Mon
18
Jan

Doom Patrol Second Season Overdoses on Bizarre

With the second season of Doom Patrol, I was hoping to see the team come together in... well, in any fashion. We learned who they were as individuals in the first season, so now it was time to start actually using these abilities and getting the independent members to work as part of a team.

Sun
17
Jan

Fatman Displaces Die Hard as Best Action Christmas Movie

Fatman Blu-ray

DIE HARD has just been dethroned as the ultimate men's adventure and action Christmas movie. FATMAN is a violent tale filled with dark comedy in which Mel Gibson plays Chris Cringle, a grumpy toymaker who lives in the far north. This is no allusory setup. The filmmaker's play it straight that this really is Santa Claus, existing and operating in a world that, for all other intents and purposes, is completely realistic.

Chris's problem is that he's producing fewer toys each year -- not due to any lack of production capabilities, but for the lack of deserving children. Unfortunately, the subsidy contract he has with the U.S. government pays him based on his production levels, and now he's not pulling in enough to survive.The solution comes to Chris in the form of another government contract -- one for the military. It's not an ideal situation for Chris, but as a temporary stop-gap, he's willing to take it.

Fri
15
Jan

Batman: Soul of the Dragon Casts Dark Knight into Grindhouse Kung-Fu Epic

Batman: Soul of the Dragon

A great deal of the Batman animated movies (and the live action ones, for that matter) have focused on the technological advantages Batman has and how he uses them to fight crime: the car, the armor, the gadgetry. "Where does he get those wonderful toy," indeed.

With BATMAN: SOUL OF THE DRAGON, the producers take Batman and make him a character -- and not even the central character -- of an animated grindhouse kung-fu flick.

Fri
15
Jan

You, Too: Penn Badgley Returns For Second Season as Hopeless Romantic Serial Killer

You Season 2

Things just can't go smoothly for poor Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), the earnest young man who just wants to fall in love with the right person -- someone he can protect from all the evil influences that would do them harm, even if it means killing them.

Tue
22
Dec

Yellowstone Achieves What Dallas Reboot Failed as Cowboys and Corporations Battle for Land

Yellowstone Season 3

When I sat to watch this third season of Yellowstone, it was without the benefit of having seen what had come before. I duly brought up the pilot on my Spectrum on-demand screen, and my initial impression was that this was going to be a show to fill the void for those few fans of Dallas that were left, wanting to see business men in cowboy hats and pretend it was a western.

Boy, howdy, was I ever wrong. While it may take a bit for this third season to warm up, the heat keeps getting turned up by degrees until you are simply riveted to this story of feuds, infighting, intrigue, and the pride that comes with land ownership. Especially the ownership of lots and lots of land, such as the Yellowstone Ranch owned by John Dutton (Kevin Costner) and his family -- Kayce (Luke Grimes), Jamie (Wes Bentley) and Beth (Kelly Reilly), scions of an empire that may be seeing its last hurrah.

Mon
21
Dec

Love and Monsters a Fulfilling, Exciting Hero's Journey

Love and Monsters

We've seen movies like LOVE AND MONSTERS before. At least, that's the first impression one gets when first meeting Joel, played by Joel: Dylan O'Brien (Teen Wolf, Bumblebee). He's a bit of a lovable loser living in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by giant monsters created by a bizarre radiation fallout. He lives with a small underground colony of hunters and gatherers, where he serves as the cook because he freezes up when danger threatens. Right then, you know that this is going to be Joel's personality throughout the show, and he's going to luck his way into some kind of victory using his one unique skill that only he could pull off. And you couldn't be more wrong. First off, despite his lack of skill as a fighter, the colony loves him. They all want to protect him and watch out for him.

Thu
17
Dec

Nolan's Reach Exceeds His Grasp with Ambitious, Inconsistent TENET

Tenet on Blu-ray

Christopher Nolan's TENET is nothing if not ambitious in its attempt to reconcile conflicting flows of causality. The concept of two physical objects existing in the same space but inverted in time, such that bullets fly out of walls and into guns, makes for some challenging camera work and a few "ooh" and "ah" moments with the audience.

But after going out of your way to explain how everything operates in the "Looking Glass Land" of the film, we start to pay attention and see that it really only operates that way whenever the director wants to pull off an effect. "Wear a full body SCUBA suit with your own oxygen because your inverted lungs won't be able to process the air -- but put on swimming attire and impersonate yourself on the deck of a boat when necessary." The conflicts simply become too numerous and too blatant, and eventually the audience is pulled from the idea of this being an effect-driven movie and begins to pay attention to the plot -- and finding none.

Tue
15
Dec

Contract Killer, Cautious Cabbie Clash in Collateral (Now on 4K Ultra HD)

Collateral 4K Blu-ray

The last thing Max wants in his life is excitement. The laid back cabbie enjoys his night shifts, telling himself it's only temporary as he saves up to start his own limo service, a dream he's been telling himself for the past twelve years. The last thing he expects is to be hired out as the driver for a high-profile hit man named Vincent.

Jamie Foxx is excellent as the easy-going Max whose Zen-like pattern is interrupted when a body lands on his windshield, courtesy of his current fare, Vincent (Tom Cruise). Suddenly what seemed like easy money from the generous rider who needed him to make several stops throughout the night has turned into a life-or-death mission, with Vincent calling all the shots -- literally.

Sun
13
Dec

The Godfather, Coda an Offer Best Refused

The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone

THE GODFATHER: PART III was one of the earliest examples of when it's time to walk away from a franchise rather than sully it with lesser sequels. Rebranding and re-releasing it the film under a new name (albeit the original name submitted by Francis Ford Coppola) of THE GODFATHER, CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE doesn't make the story any less soporific and plodding -- never mind that the title character, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), does not die in the film (spoiler alert). 

Wed
09
Dec

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne Disjointed, Difficult to Follow Anime

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne

Anime shows have always played a huge role in Japanese culture. They are unique in terms of depiction of reality, through allegory, which is especially attractive for viewers.

The culture of anime has significantly grown during the past years. A lot of people from European countries are actively watching anime. Some may think that anime is only for children, but they can have a very deep meaning that is often incomprehensible even for adults.

Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is an anime that has gained in popularity, especially in Nordic countries. It is difficult to compare it with other anime in this particular genre, but Mnemosyne it has a rightful place and in this article, we will review it thoroughly.

Tue
08
Dec

Curse of Hobbes House Revels in Dramatic Tension

Curse of Hobbes House

Whether it’s severing limbs with a shovel or depicting shotgun blasts to the head, there’s something about an English accent that lends an air of sophistication to even the most intense displays of cinematic splatter. Indeed, that most revered of all British storytellers was renown for crafting gruesome set pieces, and like Shakespeare’s finest, 4Digital Media’s newest release, The Curse of Hobbes House, revels in the dramatic tension provided by supernatural underpinnings, treachery, murder and deliciously malicious mayhem.

Sun
06
Dec

Marvel's First Black Movie Superhero Gets 4K Blu-ray Release

Blade 4K

Before Marvel had a "cinematic universe" into which it could debut Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), Wesley Snipes was staking out his claim as a Marvel hero -- literally -- as the half-human, half-vampire Blade. He would go on to portray the character three times before the MCU even took its first baby steps with IRON MAN.

Blade's origin is succintly told. His mother was attacked by a vampire while she was pregnant with him. While being treated for the attack at a hospital, her son was born, possessing the traits of vampirism -- but the ability to walk in the daylight like a human. Found as a teenager by Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), Blade was taught how to curb his preternatural thirst and seek out the ones who murdered his mother -- the many (many!) vampires living among us.

Sat
28
Nov

Hobbit / LOTR Get Simultaneous 4K Release

Hobbit LOTR 4K

With much of the world being risk-averse to crowds of shoppers this year, it doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that online sales are going to be through the roof for Black Friday and beyond. And with shipping times factoring into the gift-buying (and sending) equation, the earlier you get started with your list the more likely it is you'll have everything wrapped and ready in time for Christmas.

Fri
20
Nov

Westworld Meanders Aimlessly Through Third Season on Blu-ray

Westworld Season 3 Bluray

WESTWORLD releases its third season on Blu-ray, and once again it's a season where I have no idea what is happening from episode to episode, nor do I know how it all tied together. The intelligence of the hosts -- robots built to look and think like human beings -- flit back and forth from the real world to the cyber-built world to the robot-populated theme-park worlds that you never know which reality you're in -- or, indeed, if anywhere at all is real. One of the character even states that it would be the ultimate mind trip if somehow an artificial reality was built with an artificial reality inside it, so they only thought they were in the real world.

Tue
17
Nov

Giant Starfish Bring Humanity a Warning From Space, Now on Blu-ray

Warning from Space

Four years before DC Comics founded the Justice League team to take on the interstellar horror of Starro the Conqueror, screenwriter Hideo Oguni teamed up with artist Taro Okamoto to bring us the strangest, not-quite-kaiju of them all: the Pairans. These alien beings were slightly larger than humans, and looked like giant starfish with a large, unblinking eye in the middle.

Sun
15
Nov

The Last Starfighter Still First-Rate Entertainment for Sci-Fi Fans

The Last Starfighter on Blu-ray from Arrow

Borrowing heavily from STAR WARS and the arcade game craze (and pre-dating BACK TO THE FUTURE when it comes to that cool DeLorean-inspired ride), THE LAST STARFIGHTER had all the elements of great 1980s science fiction. A teenaged protagonist seemingly stuck in the middle of nowhere and no chance of leaving; a call to be a hero that he rejects and then has thrust upon him; a victory won against insurmountable odds; a girlfriend, a mentor, a family...everything to deserve remembering as one of the great 1980s films.

Tue
10
Nov

Not Bogus, But Not Righteous: Bill and Ted Face the Music

Bill and Ted Face the Music on Blu-Ray

Thirty-one years ago, two righteous California teens with guitars and a dream had an excellent adventure in a time-traveling phone booth. It was so much fun, they had to do it again, but it ended up being a totally heinous bogus journey.

Along the way, Bill S. Preston, Esquire (Alex Winter) and Ted "Theodore" Logan (Keanu Reeves) learned they had a destiny. Their band, Wild Stallynz, would create a song that would unite the world. But decades later, the band has fallen apart, but the boys still have the dream, even if they have fallen to playing wedding receptions. Their music skills are actually incredibly well-rounded, in every technique. But what they produce is the result of obviously trying too hard, seeking that special combination that will finally unite the world.

Tue
10
Nov

Black Adder Meets Caligula in Hulu's The Great

The Great Season 1

THE GREAT is a comedic farce that loosely follows the biography of Catherine the Great. Equal parts BLACK ADDER and CALIGULA, the series goes out of its way to make the profane mundane, with palace life centered completely around copulation and killing.

Elle Fanning plays Catherine, the naive German woman brought to Russia to be a wife to Emperor Peter II (Nicholas Hoult), an overgrown infant with an inferiority complex instilled by his mother and father that he compensates for by doing whatever he pleases. As he is the emperor, who exercises capriciously the right of life over death of any and all of his subjects, nobody dares cross him. Indeed, most of the palace court are too daft to put up anything like an argument. Hoult plays the emperor much like Hugh Laurie's Prince Regent from BLACK ADDER, only with no filter, a leporine libido, and the attention span of a ferret on sugar cubes.

Sat
07
Nov

Sasquatch Among Wildmen Takes Bigfoot Research Abroad

Sasquatch Among Wildmen

I've been fascinated with the paranormal almost since I knew how to read. Early influences on me were the television movie of the week that told the Betty and Barney Hill abduction story, and films like THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK (not to mention the few appearances of Bigfoot on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN). I clipped articles from the World Weekly News like it was gospel.

I'm pretty sure Bat-Boy isn't still out there waiting to attack, but I remain fascinated with UFOs and cryptids. And while the media has become suffused of late with multiple Bigfoot hunting series, they skew strongly to "reality entertainment" than anything remotely investigatory. If you need to do a CGI recreation of your Bigfoot encounter, I really don't ned to see it.

That's what makes Darcy Weir's SASQUATCH AMONG WILDMEN stand apart from this crowd. It's a true documentary, eschewing any sensationalism or fakery. 

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