Home Video

Home Video

Wed
18
Jul

Spielberg Delivers Retro-Hit with Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Remember that feeling you had when you walked out of the theater after BACK TO THE FUTURE? I don't mean watching it at home on DVD (or VHS), I mean in the theater, because it means you were there, in that moment, in that era, when the 80s were in full swing and pop culture was expanding into new, uncharted waters. It was the time of the arcade games, parachute pants, and a rich variety of music that launched a renaissance.

When I sat down to watch READY PLAYER ONE, I had not seen the theatrical version. I had not read the book. And when I saw the opening scene, with its cinematically ominous Blade Hunter date and the post-apocalyptic landscape, I groaned. I didn't want another one of these.

That lasted for all of about three seconds, after which I was in sheer fanboy ecstasy for over two hours.

Mon
16
Jul

A Quiet Place a Disquieting Scene of Horror

A Quiet Place

I am ever leery of films that are directed by their lead actor; they tend to be showcase films, and having an actor direct himself is rather like having a writer be his own editor -- you're often too close to the situation to see the flaws.

JOHN KRASINSKI (JACK RYAN) does better than most, however, in overcoming the obstacles inherent in that dynamic with his work on A QUIET PLACE. Krasinski plays Lee Abbott, the patriarch of a family surviving a little over a year into an apocalypse that has devastated most of the population. The audience isn't privy to how the apocalypse happened -- whether the creatures came from outer space, from deep beneath the ground, or from a genetic experiment gone wrong. What we do know is that there is a new species on the planet that cannot see or smell, but can hear and is drawn to noise as its method of locating food.

Thu
12
Jul

Rampage Translates Video Game into Fun Action-Comedy

Rampage Blu-ray

It's difficult to translate a videogame into a film. It's tempting, sure, and the good games provide a lot of inspiration. But ultimately, what happens in the game is brief, and hard to extrapolate into a 2-hour film without throwing in a lot of supposition and side plots.

So that's what directors do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

And sometimes even if it doesn't "work" it's still a whole lot of fun!

RAMPAGE is the latest collaboration between Director BRAD PEYTON and actor DWAYNE JOHNSON. The two have worked together on JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and, more recently, SAN ANDREAS. Johnson portrays Davis Okoye, a primatologist at the San Diego Zoo with a military background. His pet project is George, an albino gorilla whom he saved from poachers and taught to sign.

Thu
05
Jul

Godmonster of Indian Flats 'Mutton' to Make Fun Of

You know, sometimes you can actually tell a book by its cover--or, in this case, a DVD by its jacket.

The GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS is one of those movies that, if you pick it up to look at it, you’re already classified as one of those who likes weird and strange things...which kind of classifies you as weird and strange yourself. I freely admit I am one such person, drawn to this DVD by the sheer strangeness, nay goofiness, of its title, and upon reading the jacket I was compelled to to take it home to watch.

Believe me, I make no assumptions that I’m going to see something other than what I expect when I choose one of these movies, so I am rarely disappointed; and I’m not here. This movie was everything I thought it would be. Its everything you would think it would be. This movie, by great movie standards, is bad--but by bad movie standards, it's great!

Tue
26
Jun

Jack Reacher on 4K Still Exciting, Still Puzzling

Jack Reacher on 4K

When a former soldier is set up for a heinous crime so well that even he thinks he committed it, the district attorney (RICHARD JENKINS) is assured he has an open-and-shut death penalty case. But when the case makes national news, it comes to the attention of Jack Reacher (TOM CRUISE), an off-the-grid veteran who makes his way across the country to see that justice is done -- and the man is buried. Reacher knew the man in the service, and knows he got away with a horrific crime there.

So it's something of a mystery that the accused killer would ask for Reacher in the first place. Alas, that's the elephant in the room that nobody asks about -- sort of like, if Charles Foster Kane died alone, then who heard him utter the word "Rosebud?" But I digress...

Tue
26
Jun

Black Lightning Premiere Season Now on Blu-ray

Black Lightning Season 1

BLACK LIGHTNING is a CW show that differs from the rest of the DC Comics' based Arrowverse, and not just because it's completely separate from it. CRESS WILLIAMS plays the titular superhero, Black Lightning, aka high school principal Jefferson Pierce. As Pierce, he's a legend in the city of Freeland for his record with getting students into college. But he's legendary for another reason as well -- several years ago he cleaned up the community as the electrically-charged vigilante, Black Lightning. But he went into retirement, and the city of Freeland has gone steadily downhill ever since.

Sat
23
Jun

RWBY Volume 5 Showcases Teamwork and Friendship

RWBY 5

RWBY has many lovable characters that share their experiences with each other, and demonstrates what teamwork and friendship can really accomplish.

The show is an animated series focusing on four young women whose stories intertwine, even though their intentions lead them down different pathways. After an unintentional meeting at Beacon Academy, the four become Team RWBY, and together overcome things that they thought were impossible before, providing support to each other both in battle and at school.

Fri
15
Jun

Sherlock Gnomes a Generic Sequel to More Clever Forerunner

Sherlock Gnomes

SHERLOCK GNOMES -- the sequel nobody asked for after GNOMEO & JULIET -- finds the Capulet and Montague gnomes being transported from Stratford on Avon to London, just in time to become the victims of an unnoticed crime spree of kidnapped garden gnomes. Unnoticed by all except one gnome, that is -- Sherlock Gnomes, sworn defender of all the garden gnomes of London.

Oh, and Watson.

Sherlock (JOHNNY DEPP) is in a slump in the days following the defeat of his arch-enemy, Moriarty (JAMIE DEMETRIOU) -- the mascot of Moriarty's Pies. As in "Moriarty's (s)Pies are everywhere." But when whole gardens of gnomes begin to go missing, Sherlock believes his enemy has returned, and sets out with his beleaguered and mistreated partner, Watson (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) to solve the clues, left at each scene with Moriarty's traditional playing card motif.

Mon
11
Jun

Tomb Raider: Strong Female Still Needing Rescued by Men

Tomb Raider

Movie fans looking for something fronted by a strong, kick-ass female character will no doubt go into the reboot of TOMB RAIDER with high hopes. The video game character, Lara Croft, is resourceful, smart, cunning, and capable, so why would the movie version be any different?

Wed
06
Jun

Unsettling Suspense Carries The Strangers: Prey at Night

The Strangers Prey at Night

BAILEE MADISON (ONCE UPON A TIME) headlines this unsettling slasher flick, alongside CATCH-22's LEWIS PULLMAN, GREY'S ANATOMY's MARTIN HENDERSON, and GOOD GIRLS' CHRISTINA HENDRICKS.

The film focuses on a nuclear family -- mother, father, brother, daughter -- who have been experiencing difficulties with the behavior of their daughter (MADISON) -- so much so that they've elected to send her to a boarding school for girls. The planned road trip will see them spending the night in a trailer park owned and operated by their uncle, who runs the place for vacationers.

The family arrives late at night to find the place entirely abandoned -- not unusual for the time of year, they think. They get the key from under the mat and begin to settle in for the night, only to find out there's a reason why the place is abandoned, beginning with finding their uncle slaughtered in his trailer.

Sun
03
Jun

15:17 to Paris a Slow Train but Interesting Angle for a True Story

Have you ever played the game where you try to figure out who would play you in the movie of your life? If you're Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, or Spencer Stone, then you don't have to think about it any longer. The three were selected by Director Clint Eastwood to play themselves in the biographical picture 15:17 TO PARIS.

The film details the thwarted terrorist attack on a passenger train which was stopped by Skarlatos, Sadler and Stone. However, the film tries to do much more than that, as it reaches back into their childhoods to show how they became friends, became separated, and followed different life paths until meeting up again for a backpack tour of Europe that placed them in the right place at the right time.

Sun
03
Jun

Disney's A Wrinkle in Time Could Have Been Smoother

A Wrinkle in Time Blu-ray

Madeleine L'Engle's novel A WRINKLE IN TIME is a benchmark in science fiction and fantasy. Ava DuVernay's version...not so much.

While the film boasts an all-star cast, including three young leads who are already accomplished, the film suffers from immersing itself too deeply in its presentation, with the angelic characters of Mrs. Which (OPRAH WINFREY), Mrs. Who (MINDY KALING) and Mrs. Whatsit (REESE WITHERSPOON) done up so intensely gaudy in both costuming and makeup that it comes across the screen as simply bad cosplay.

Wed
30
May

Did Warner Bros Just Drop a Huge Hint for Lucifer Season Four?

Lucifer SSN 3

Tis the season for announcing the summer slate of DVD boxed sets for all our favorite fall shows that wrapped up a few weeks back. Chief among those is LUCIFER, starring Tom Ellis as the Prince of Darkness teamed up with an LAPD Detective, Chloe Decker (Lauren German).

The promo material for the release reads as follows:

Tue
29
May

Annihilation Soporific Cinema with Psychedelics

Annihilation Blu-ray

Today I find myself tasked with trying to relate to you, dear reader, the plot and feelings involved in ALEX GARLAND's cinematic soporific, ANNIHILATION.

Slowly paced, quietly executed, chronologically splintered, ANNIHILATION addresses the self-destructive tendencies in people and magnifies that to an unexplainable alien event. I began to identify with the premise, as I started to wish I were dead myself as we plodded through quicksand toward the finish line, much like Lena (NATALIE PORTMAN) toward that iconic lighthouse where it all begins and ends.

Thu
24
May

Jinkies! It's Daphne & Velma in a Pre-Scooby Girl Power Adventure

Daphne & Velma

Before Mystery, Inc, there was Ridgely High -- where two students, Daphne Blake (SARAH JEFFERY, WAYWARD PINES) and Velma Dinkley (SARAH GILMAN, LAST MAN STANDING), first meet in real life after having been online BFFs.

Daphne has just transferred to Ridgely, a high-tech school that would make a Jetson's jaw drop. She's led a charmed life where everything has always worked out and good things come easily to her. She also believes in ghosts and aliens. But there's a secret behind Daphne's good luck that gets stripped away, leaving her to her own devices for the first time in her life.

Mon
21
May

Game Night Comes Up a Winner

Game Night on Blu-ray

JASON BATEMAN and RACHEL MCADAMS are a perfect pair in the Warner Brothers adventure-comedy, GAME NIGHT.

Max (Bateman) and Annie (McAdams) met over bar games. Both are sharp-minded, quick-witted, and competitive, and they continue their game night tradition with their friends into their marriage. But lately they've begun to exclude their neighbor, Gary (JESSE PLEMONS), following his divorce, which has left the police officer seeming a bit on the creepy side, so the friends have to do their game nights with less fanfare.

Complicating matters for Max is the arrival of his older, better-looking, and more successful brother, Brooks (KYLE CHANDLER), who opts to host the next game night at a house he's renting while in town. The game is a murder mystery, so when the house gets broken into and Brooks is kidnapped before their very eyes, the players all believe this is the beginning of the game. Except it's very real, and Brooks is in deadly danger.

Mon
07
May

Plenty of Reasons to Avoid Batman Ninja

Batman Ninja Blu-ray and DVD

So there it is: the worst BATMAN animated story I've seen (and I've seen BATMAN UNLIMITED: MECHS VS MUTANTS, so that's saying something).

There's so many things wrong with this movie, but let me start out on the high note: the animation isn't one of them. The imagery -- inconsistent in style as it is -- is gorgeous. Watch it with the sound off, and only glance at it now and then, and you'll always see something awesome.

But if you actually expose yourself to the story, your fascination will quickly dwindle away.

Fri
04
May

Wacky Races Returns, Less Perfect (and Less Dastardly)

Wacky Races S1 V1

Every once in a while, the Ghosts of Saturday Mornings Past rears its sentimental head (and that's two Christmas Carol references in the same day for those keeping count; no there's no real reason behind it), and reminds me just how much better things were when they were not so over-produced.

Today's case in point: The Wacky Races. The original Hanna-Barbera series had a motley cast of characters who were more than two-dimensional players. They had depth to them, and some even had their own series, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop and Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Having such a large cast afforded the opportunity for more (and more interesting) interactions, even if each racing team had its one-note to hit (Peter Perfect was always "perfect," the Gruesome Twosome were always monstrous, the Slag Brothers were always clubbing each other on the head).

Thu
03
May

After 9-11: 12 Strong

12 Strong on BD

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR's CHRIS HEMSWORTH headlines this film as Captain Mitch Nelson, a military team leader who has never seen real combat and who has just disbanded his team to take a desk job. It was a good plan, and a good career.

But 9-11 got in the way.

Following the attacks on the World Trace Center in 2001, Nelson fights to get his Special Forces team back together and sent to the Middle East. Over objections, he is successful, and his team join up with one of the Afghan warlords, General Dostum (NAVID NEGAHBAN), to take on the Taliban. Their specific mission is to advance and capture the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which is a stronghold of the Taliban.

Mon
23
Apr

Pop-Up Books, Polite Prisoners, and Paddington, Too!

Paddington 2

BEN WHISHAW returns to lend his voice to the delightfully courteous and thoughtful-to-a-fault Paddington Brown, a talking bear who lives in London with the Brown family -- Henry (HUGE BONNEVILLE), Mary (SALLY HAWKINS), Judy (MADELAINE HARRIS) and Jonathan (SAMUEL JOSLIN).

Paddington's Aunty Lucy (IMELDA STAUNTON) is having an important birthday coming up, and Paddington wants to get her the perfect present. He finds it in an antique shop -- a pop-up book of all the London landmarks, created by a very famous carnival owner. Alas, the book is very expensive, and Paddington sets out to earn the money to buy the book.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Home Video