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Thu
21
Mar

Mary Poppins Returns is a Spoonful of Sugar and More

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray

ROB MARSHALL has accomplished the rare privilege of getting to direct a classic of the Disney variety. MARY POPPINS RETURNS pops off the screen, with a color palette right out of a fantasy and a soundtrack firmly in tune with the songs from the original 1964 film that gave us such unforgettable songs as "Chim Chim Cher-ee" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

EMILY BLUNT steps into the impeccable shoes of the unflappable Mary Poppins, arriving at a time when the two Banks children, Michael (BEN WHISHAW) and Jane (EMILY MORTIMER) have grown up. Jane, like her mother, works to promote women's suffrage, while Michael is a struggling artist who has taken a job at the bank to make ends meet after the loss of his wife. Michael's three children, John, Annabel, and Georgie, do their best to help out, but can accomplish very little when the family learns they have until the end of the week to come up with the money to save their family home before the bank forecloses on it.

Tue
12
Mar

Mary Poppins Returns Blu-ray Combo Pack and Compact Mirror

Mary Poppins Returns

Finally, a giveaway that's practically perfect in every  way!

Up for grabs this time, Critical Blast is proud to offer the Blu-ray combo pack of Walt Disney's MARY POPPINS RETURNS, starring EMILY BLUNT as the iconic magical nanny, and LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA as her streetwise friend, Jack. Returning to the Banks' home during a time of crisis, Mary Poppins arrives just in time to save the Banks children -- and their children -- as well as their family home.

Replete with all the 2D animation mixed with live action footage, and filled from beginning to end with song and enchantment, MARY POPPINS RETURNS is a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious addition to any family's video library.

And to sweeten the deal, this package comes with a compact mirror with digital messaging! Let's see Mary Poppins top that!

Thu
07
Mar

What are the Crimes of Grindelwald? Perhaps This Latest Fantastic Beasts Film is One of Them?

Fantastic Beasts Crimes of Grindwald Blu-ray Harry Potter Wizarding World

EDDIE REDMAYNE returns as the gawky and awkward (gawkward?) Newt Scamander in this second installment of the Pre-Potter series, FANTASTIC BEASTS. The unlikely hero is saddled with a quest from no less a personage than Albus Dumbledore, making his appearance in this series thanks to JUDE LAW, to track down and... I don't know, stop, protect, capture, talk to a person named Credence Barebone (EZRA MILLER, JUSTICE LEAGUE). We don't really know why until the end of the movie, which is too long in coming.

Tue
05
Mar

Is This DVD Set Fun to Watch? Ancient Astronaut Theorists Say, "Yes."

Ancient Aliens Season 11 V 2

It is within reason that one could make a series all about the mysterious places and events on the planet that feed into and support the notion that we've been visited by alien intelligence in the distant past.

It beggars comprehension that there would be enough of this to support eleven whole seasons of television. And yet that's exactly what the History Channel has accomplished. (We can argue the merits of the discordant marriage of ANCIENT ALIENS and the concept of "history" another time.) It's become such a popular series that series regular Giorgio Tsoukalos has become a popular meme.

Sun
03
Mar

Make The Little Mermaid Part of Your World

Little Mermaid 30th Anniversary

With the ubiquity of the Disney Princesses these days, one can almost forget what a turning point in Disney animation it was when THE LITTLE MERMAID made her debut. After having gone through a long, dry spell of failures and near-successes, the House of Mouse had fallen upon hard times.

Enter Alan Menken and Jodi Benson, and suddenly Ariel was part of our world -- a persisting part of it, opening the door to a revolution in Disney animation that went on to give us BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN, THE LION KING, and many more. Suddenly, the world was aware of Disney as a movie-making entity again, and began hotly anticipating each new release.

Sun
03
Mar

Instant Family an Instant Favorite

Instant Family Blu-ray

Yes, it's true. INSTANT FAMILY is, in fact, an instant classic. But don't let that lead you to believe it's an instant family classic. The film is rated PG-13 for a reason, and that's because the film is, above all else, brutally honest in its depiction of fostering and adoption, including the troubles of the children involved and the temporary recriminations of the parents who step up to the challenge.

When Pete and Ellie (MARK WAHLBERG, ROSE BYRNE), a pair of house-flippers, decide that they've waited too long to have biological children, they decide to go the adoption route. Surprisingly, and perhaps shockingly, the process is very much like shopping, complete with online browsing of available children and a visit to a fair-like event where potential parents can interact with the kids until they find one they click with.

Sun
24
Feb

Takashi Miike's Audition a Solid Blu-ray Release from Arrow

Audition - Arrow Video - Blu-ray release

After seven years a widower, Shigeharu Aoyaama decides he will take his son's advice and look for a new wife. A colleague decides to help by setting up a situation -- an audition -- to allow Shigeharu to screen and judge potential candidates, and that is when Shigeharu notices Asami.

Everything about Asami seems intriguing, and Asami seems responsive to Shigeharu's advances. But the fairytale soon turns nightmarish, and keeps going off-course.

Click the video below to get our full review on this Takashi Miike film, from Arrow on Blu-ray.

Sun
17
Feb

Ralph Breaks the Internet Astutely Skewers Online Culture

Ralph Breaks the Internet

When we met Wreck-It Ralph (JOHN C. REILLY), we entered a world of boomer nostalgia. The videogame culture of the 80s came back to all of us who had lived through it, and introduced it to a new generation who now enjoy playing the retro, 16-bit arcade classics as much as the modern high-definition games. Our personal game collection here has added a classic wood-grain Atari 2600 console as well as a Nintendo 64, and are getting regular play.

Sun
10
Feb

Keys to the Kingdom Poor Sequel to Norm of the North

Norm (ANDREW TOTH) is a polar bear who, out of all the bears at the North Pole, has the ability to speak human. This is convenient, as he finds himself having to interact with them a lot in this film, and is apparently a novelty. A point is made that none of the other bears (or other animals, for that matter) speak human -- except for Norm's son, Quinn. It's nothing that's taught, it just happens.

Thu
07
Feb

Doctor Who Season 11 Not as Bad -- or as Good -- as Previously Reported

Doctor Who Season 11

Much ado was made about the iconic British sci-fi show, DOCTOR WHO, when the Doctor regenerated once more, this time into female form and played by JODIE WHITTAKER. More than that, the former showrunner, STEVEN MOFFAT, was leaving as well, putting the new direction of the show up in the air. Some fans were prepared to love the series, no matter what; others seemed determined to hate the series, no matter what.

The true measure of this eleventh season fell somewhere in between--not as bad as the naysayers put it, but nowhere near as good as the positive numbers indicated.

Sat
02
Feb

Cloverfield Producers Need to Look up Definition of Paradox

Cloverfield Paradox

The Earth is having a critical energy crisis. It's only hope lies with the experiments on an orbiting space station, where an international group of astronauts tries to fire up a super collider. If they are successful, they will provide a limitless source of free energy.

Of course, they may also rip a whole in space time, interact with parallel realities, and unleash demons on the world -- but those are just the ravings of Internet conspiracist Mark Stambler (GOTHAM's DONAL LOGUE), a theory he calls "The Paradox."

After some unsuccessful attempts, the collider works -- and then overloads. And the Earth is gone, and common knowledge has gone with it.

Fri
01
Feb

Scooby-Doo Resolves Old Series with Curse of the 13th Ghost

Scooby Doo Curse of the 13th Ghost

Among the many series that have been a setting for Scooby-Doo and the gang, there was the 1985 show, THE 13 GHOSTS OF SCOOBY-DOO, an adventure series starring Shaggy, Scooby, and Daphne, accompanied by Scrappy and a young con-artist named Flim-Flam. In this series, Shaggy had opened a chest of demons, releasing the 13 ghosts inside. Due to the wording of the curse, only the person who released the ghosts could put them back in -- so a globe-spanning series began, with their mystic mentor, Vincent Van Ghoul (voiced by VINCENT PRICE), leading them from one caper to the next.

This series was unlike previous incarnations of the show, because the ghosts were not people in rubber masks using hidden rope-and-pulley systems, but actual spirits. However, during the course of the show's run, they only captured twelve of the ghosts.

Mon
28
Jan

Reign of the Supermen Weaker Follow-Up to Death of Superman

Reign of the Supermen Blu Ray DVD

With THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, the DC Animated Universe gave us a story that was emotionally impacting, as it developed the budding romance between Superman (JERRY O'CONNELL) and Lois Lane (REBECCA ROMIJN), with the Man of Steel having recently revealed to her his secret identity of Clark Kent. And then, Doomsday came, the battle was joined, and Superman was dead.

Or was he? Because the cliffhanger ending left us with a stolen body and an empty tomb.

Sun
27
Jan

Everywhere You Look, Things Get Awkward in Third Season of Fuller House

Fuller House Season 3

FULLER HOUSE continues to recapture the feelings of 1990s sitcoms -- or at least our sappy sentimental memories of them. Sometimes it seems like the show is a bit too huggy, a tad heavy on recalling tropes. For instance: the front door. Anyone can walk in, to the point that the response to the doorbell is someone calling, "It's always open!" How has this family never been robbed? Because it's FULLER HOUSE, where everything from broken legs to ruined weddings are all part of the puzzle to a happy ending every thirty minutes.

Wed
23
Jan

Goosebumps 2 Fun, Family-Friendly Goof-fest

Goosebumps 2

GOOSEBUMPS 2: HAUNTED HALLOWEEN is a film that's quite obviously going to be enjoyed more by kids than by grown-ups. The horror comedy is based not on any single book of R.L. Stine's, but rather on the series as a whole, presenting them as actualities that Stine chronicles or, in this case, inadvertently creates.

The adventure begins when two friends, Sonny (JEREMY RAY TAYLOR) and Sam (CALEEL HARRIS) are hired to clean the junk out of an old abandoned house, and find a locked book in a trunk, as well as a familiar-looking ventriloquist dummy. Yes, it's Slappy, and he's looking to bond with the boys and become a brother to them. But he shows his true colors when he gets overprotective of Sonny's older sister, Sarah (MADISON ISEMAN), sending her jerk boyfriend tumbling from a tall ladder.

Mon
14
Jan

The Dark Offers Little Illumination of Plot

The Dark DVD

THE DARK is where Director Justin P. Lange keeps his audience as this urban legend style horror plays out on the screen. We open with a very nervous, somewhat religious man, Josef Hofer (KARL MARKOVICS) making his presence known as a dangerous individual looking to get directions to a place called Devil's Den, where the locals know not to go. Josef is wanted for a kidnapping, and his name and face are still being broadcast on the news, making this kidnapping a relatively recent event.

In the woods of Devil's Den, he finds an empty house, which is quite clearly still occupied. The occupant is the sallow-skinned, deformed Mina (NADIA ALEXANDER), who is something of a flesh-eating teenaged axe murderer. She's also, apparently, undead to some degree, as her skin is cold, she's impervious to pain, and has trouble digesting food made for normal humans, all of which are plot points clearly established in Lange's story.

Fri
11
Jan

Smallfoot Teaches Audiences to Question Everything

Smallfoot

Migo (CHANNING TATUM) is a yeti, who lives in an advanced society of yetis on the top of a mountain. And Migo knows the laws: that the mountaintop was pooped out of a giant bird, that it rests on the back of giant animals, that the gong must be rung every morning to wake up the giant burning snail so it crawls across the sky.

These laws are written in stone -- literally -- and taught to all by the Stonekeeper (COMMON). And among those stones is the law: There is no such thing as a Smallfoot.

But as Migo trains with his father, Dorgle (DANNY DEVITO), to be the next ringer of the gong, he overshoots his target (the only way to ring the gong is to be slingshotted into it, head first) and ends up outside the city. There he spies a small aircraft crashing, and inside of it -- a Smallfoot! Or, as we would say, a human.

When nobody believes Migo saw what he saw, Migo is exiled from the city to think about what he's saying, and ends up falling off the mountain.

Sat
29
Dec

Westworld Season Two Takes a Disjointed, Non-Linear Approach to Storytelling

Westworld Season 2

One of the frequently repeated questions during WESTWORLD is, "Is this now?" It's a question the viewer struggles with as well, as we are never quite sure where we are in the narrative. How many times do we have to see Bernard (JEFFREY WRIGHT) found on that beach after the massacre that occurred at the end of first season? How can we tell what's truly happening if he's with Elsie (SHANNON WOODWARD) one moment, and then with corporate goons in the next scene with no transition?

Fri
14
Dec

A Beautiful Planet (4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital)

Beautiful Planet BD

With ardent narration, Jennifer Lawrence pleads with listeners with patronizing charm to stop destroying planet Earth with your stupid antics. Okay, that was harsh and unwarranted, but such sentiments are subtly sprinkled like glitter from a Christmas card throughout this IMAX documentary, “A Beautiful Planet.” In this follow-up to her “Hubble 3D” (which featured voiceover work by Leonardo DiCaprio), Toni Myers writes, directs, produces and edits another 45-minute spectacle of large-scale natural beauty and innocuous propaganda.

Sun
09
Dec

Await Further Instructions Awaiting Cohesive Ending

Await Further Instructions

The Milgram family is full of tensions, both open and repressed. Son Nick (SAM GITTINS) hasn't been home for years, and gives no explanation as to why. He returns for Christmas, unannounced, and brings with him his girfriend, Annji (NEERJA NAIK), into an environment that's openly racist. His sister, Kate (HOLLY WESTON) is a stereotypical airheadh and two weeks out from delivering a baby, and her husband Scott (KRIS SADDLER) is a clueless sheep with muscles. Mom and Dad are poles apart from each other, with Bet (ABIGAIL CRUTTENDEN) trying to put on a cheery holiday face and ignore the stress, while Tony (GRANT MASTERS) is a follower of rules because they are laid down by those who know better.

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