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Fri
18
Aug

The Hits Keep Coming on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Guardians of the Galaxy 4K

They may be heroes to the galaxy, but some of them are still little sneak thieves. That's the spark that gets the ball rolling in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 as the Guardians have been hired by a race of golden skinned elites called The Sovereign to protect a battery from a monstrous creature that wants to eat it. But when Rocket pockets a few for himself on the way out, the Sovereign doesn't take kindly to it, and sends about a bajillion ships after them (flown remotely from what looks like a high-tech arcade).

Their escape leads the team into a meeting with a being who calls himself Ego (KURT RUSSELL), and he's got a secret or three: he's a Celestial, he's actually a planet, and -- oh -- he's Peter Quill's (CHRIS PRATT) father! That's right, Peter isn't just egocentric, he's also Ego-decentric. (Okay, I'm making that word up. Sue me. That's how terms are born, people make them up.)

Wed
16
Aug

No Magic in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

So there's this movie about a guy named Arthur. He's the rightful son of a guy named Uther, who was the King. But Uther got dethroned, and nobody knew where Arthur was. There was a sword in a stone that nobody could pull out, and some stuff about fights with Merlin and Modred.

And if you squinted at it, you might think you were watching a remake of the story of King Arthur. But Guy Ritchie's KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD has pretty much an "in name only" acquaintance with the works of Thomas Mallory or T.H. White.

Mon
14
Aug

Warner Bros Animation Announces Adam West, William Shatner Co-Star in New Animated Batman

In news that may very well break the Internet, if not classic television itself, Warner Bros. Animation has announced that the late ADAM WEST can be heard one last time voicing the Caped Crusader in BATMAN VS. TWO-FACE, with none other that STAR TREK's WILLIAM SHATNER voicing the duplicitous double-profiled double-dealer, Harvey Dent!

Here's the news released earlier today:

Thu
03
Aug

Phoenix Forgotten: Unforgettable

Phoenix Forgotten

Here's why I hate "found footage" films: because when they're done well, they accomplish their objective and convince you what you are seeing actually happened; and when you mentally correct course in the middle of the film, you have a very disconcerting sense of cognitive dissonance as your brain argues against itself as to what is real and what is not.

Enter PHOENIX FORGOTTEN, a slow-starting documentary that picks up the pace about fifteen minutes in. It begins with a birthday party of a six year old girl, with her teenaged brother, Josh, controlling the camera. It is during the party that the so-called Phoenix Lights appear in the sky--beginning an obsession with Josh that potentially leads to his disappearance.

But Josh didn't disappear alone. He took two other teenagers with him, and they were never found.

Tue
01
Aug

McKenna Grace Exhibits Great Range in GIFTED

Gifted on Blu-ray

Young Mary Adler (FULLER HOUSE's MCKENNA GRACE) is about to start first grade, and is resisting it every step of the way, preferring to continue being home-schooled by her uncle, Frank (CHRIS EVANS, MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS). It's not just that she is scared to go to school -- it's that the lessons involve 1+1=2, and Mary is already well past solving quadratic equations.

Fri
28
Jul

Zoinks! Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc Gang Battle LEGO Ghost Pirates in Blowout Beach Bash!

The Mystery Inc gang is back in another hair-raising (or hair-popping-off) adventure. Set in the wonderfully self-referential world of LEGO, SCOOBY-DOO: BLOWOUT BEACH BASH finds the gang trying to take a break from mystery solving, with Fred and Velma trying to overcome their square personas after Daphne and Shaggy have teased them about being unable to have fun. Their quest leads them to a beach celebration, where the two coolest teens are crowned "Captains of the Bash" for having led the other teens in having the most fun. It's a musical adventure straight out of a Frankie Avalon / Annette Funicello flick.

Unfortunately, the boardwalk is finding itself under attack by a pair of ghost pirates from the past, which isn't good for business for either the greedy land developer who's buying up the boardwalk, or for Mr. and Mrs. Holdout who run the Holdout Inn and refuse to sell it. Think you know who the mystery bad guy is already? You'll have to think again.

Mon
24
Jul

Ghost in the Shell: Entertaining in a Nutshell

Ghost in the Shell -- Blu-ray

GHOST IN THE SHELL (available July 25 on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD) tells the story of a special anti-cybercrime unit identified as Section 9 whose job it is protect the citizens of the world in the future of 2029, where the gap between human and cyborg has blurred to the point that almost every human has some form of cyber enhancement. Section 9’s leader, “Major” (Scarlet Johansson), is the ultimate expression of human/cyborg integration, where the only part of her that is still human is her brain. After being told she was rescued from a near death experience, her mind was put in a totally cyber body--the first of her kind, she is told. As she and her team are investigating a dangerous criminal who is killing top executives of a major cyber technology company, Major discovers a shocking truth about her identity and past life, and seeks to exact revenge against the company that created and tried to control her.

Mon
17
Jul

We Go Ape Over Kong: Skull Island, on Blu-ray and DVD Today!

KONG: SKULL ISLAND is not exactly a film that gave me high hopes in the beginning. Let's face it, the last two remakes of the feature (the 1976 John Guillermin version and even the 2005 Peter Jackson one) both left me very unfulfilled.

But Jordan Vogt-Roberts hits all the right notes, with a period piece set on the tail of the Vietnam War, and with a cast seemingly mostly borrowed from AVENGERS: INFINITY WARS. Vogt-Roberts wastes no time introducing the audience to the special-effects extravaganza that is Kong by starting in World War II, where an American pilot and his Japanese adversary both crash on the mysterious Skull Island, before fast-forwarding to 1973 and Nixon's "peace with honor" speech.

Fri
14
Jul

Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Sails Into Homes September 19 on Digital and October 3 on Blu-Ray Combo

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales DVD
BURBANK, Calif. (July 14, 2017) — From Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Films, it was announced today at D23 Expo, that “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”—the fifth film in the now-iconic “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise—will sail home on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ on September 19, and on 4K Ultra HD™/Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On-Demand on October 3.
 
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” is a rollicking new tale of the high seas, infused with all the elements of fantasy, humor and action that have resulted in an international phenomenon for the past 13 years. Johnny Depp returns to his Academy Award®-nominated role as the outrageous, swashbuckling scoundrel Captain Jack Sparrow, and is joined by Oscar® winners Javier Bardem (Best Supporting Actor, “No Country for Old Men”) and Geoffrey Rush (Best Actor, “Shine”).
 
Tue
11
Jul

Still Funny After 50 Years? You Bet Your Sweet Bippy!

Laugh In Complete Series Review

Editor's Note: TIME-LIFE is releasing LAUGH IN: The Complete Series on DVD. This review is for the unreleased version of Season One only.

Say lines like “Sock it to me,” “You bet your sweet bippy,” “Here come da’ judge,” “One ringy dingy,” “Veeeery interesting,” or “And that the truth” to someone over 50, and you’re likely to garner a smile and a laugh from them as you see them look back into their minds remembering where they heard those lines.

Rowan and Martin’s LAUGH IN began in 1968 and ran for six seasons through some of the most turbulent years in our country’s history. It was both groundbreaking and, by today’s standards, rule-breaking--and that is why it is still so much fun to watch today as it was almost 50 years ago.

The 4 DVD set in review here from Time Life--Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In: The Complete First Season--captures the first season complete in all its glory.

Mon
10
Jul

Heart Plays With A Lot of Heart in Eagle Rock's Reissue of HEART: ALIVE IN SEATTLE

Heart - Alive in Seattle

HEART: ALIVE IN SEATTLE on DVD from Eagle Rock captures the band Heart at the culmination of their 2002 tour in their home town of Seattle, Washington.

When I was growing up, there were not many female rockers who could play with the best all-guy rock bands of the day. Sure there were some who could rock, but few who could rock-out like the Wilson sisters. In fact, how many bands played covers of Zeppelin songs while Zeppelin was still playing music themselves, and got away with not being thought of as a cover band? (It didn’t hurt that Robert Plant had a girlie high voice in those days, which Ann could match and actually carry a tune better.) Heart proved they could play others’ rock as well as their own with equal aplomb.

They were the real deal then, and they are the real deal here.

Fri
30
Jun

Simon Pegg Can Do "Absolutely Anything" with Kate Beckinsale

Absolutely Anything on DVD

ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING finds its tagline in riffing on the moral of Spider-Man, setting it on its ear: Great Power. Total Irresponsibility.

That's not entirely true, however, in this comedy farce starring SIMON PEGG as Neil, a man selected totally at random by a group of all-powerful aliens to receive genie-like powers over reality as a test of humankind's worth to survive. Of course, he doesn't know why he has these powers, or where they came from, but suddenly with a simple statement and a wave of his hand, Neil finds himself with absolute power over absolutely anything.

Tue
27
Jun

Tom and Jerry join Willy Wonka in Latest Warner Bros Home Video Original Release

Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory DVD

Warner Bros. turned in a musical delight when they released TOM AND JERRY: BACK TO OZ, a tale that inserted the cat and mouse duo into a Warner classic story.

So I was particularly keen to see how well an animated version of WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY would pan out with Tom and Jerry thrown into the mix.

The result: Good in some places, but otherwise closer to what you might expect when mixing a cat and a mouse with your chocolate.

Fri
23
Jun

Animated Bunnicula Strays from Source Material in a Wonderful Way

Bunnicula Season 1, Part 1

If you've ever read Deborah and James Howe's children's classic series of books featuring BUNNICULA, then you'll almost instantly notice that this cartoon series is several steps away from the story you know. The characters -- the animal characters -- are the same: Chester (SEAN ASTIN) the cat, Harold (BRIAN KIMMET) the dog, and of course Bunnicula the vampire rabbit (CHRIS KATTAN) are here. Their young master, Toby has been replaced with a manic young girl, Mina (KARI WAHLGREN) -- no doubt as an homage to Mina Harker from Bram Stoker's DRACULA. But even the familiar characters are a little different. Chester is excessively paranoid rather than curious and leaping to conclusions, while Harold has gone from easy-going and sensible to an ADHD afflicted canine like UP's Doug. Oh, and there's no doubt at all that Bunnicula is indeed a vampire bunny who sucks the juice out of vegetables.

Thu
22
Jun

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Hanna-Barbera Animation Studio with Release of The Diamond Collection on DVD and Digital This Summer

Hanna Barbera Diamond Logo

BURBANK, CA (June 22, 2017) – Jinkies! Yabba dabba doo! Heavens to Murgatroyd! To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera’s animation studio on July 7, 1957, Hanna-Barbera, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (WBHE) is releasing a comprehensive catalog of classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons to date. The 60th anniversary catalog collection is a celebration of the lovable gang of animated characters that children and adults alike remember and continue to influence pop culture around the world.  The Diamond Collection will include over 70 seasons of the most popular animated titles of the 50s, 60s and 70s, many of which have not been released on DVD or Digital until now. The Diamond Collection will feature brand-new packaging, new digital content, discount pricing and select free episodes throughout the summer surrounding the milestone anniversary.

Thu
15
Jun

Sock It To Me! Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Gets 50th Anniversary Series Release on DVD

Laugh In Complete Series

FAIRFAX, VA (May 9, 2017) -- Named by TV Guide as one of the “50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time,” “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In,” was also one of the most groundbreaking.  A fast moving barrage of rapid-fire one-liners, on-going sketches, musical numbers and hilarious social and political satire, it was an instant hit following its NBC prime-time debut in 1968.  Hosted by Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, the unique variety series – a psychedelic take-off of a ‘60s-style happening – perfectly captured the spirit of an era, launched the careers of many a comic actor and writer and fed a new generation’s conversations with hip catchphrases like “Sock it to me!,” “You bet your sweet bippy!,” and “Here come da judge!”  “Laugh In” would go on to become one of the most popular shows in the history of television.

Tue
13
Jun

LEGO Batman Movie Hilarious Sendup of Dark Knight

LEGO Batman Movie Blu-ray and DVD

When watching THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, one must keep in mind that there are two Batmans. Batmen. Two characters of the same name that are both LEGO. There.

The Batman in THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE, voiced by WILL ARNETT, occupies the universe of THE LEGO MOVIE. The other occupies the LEGO DC SUPER HEROES universe. Both are silly, kid-friendly adventures, but the former really takes advantage of the wider universe of all things LEGO, and isn't afraid to be self-referential.

Mon
12
Jun

Tale as Old as Time, Now on DVD

Beauty and the Beast Live DVD

EMMA WATSON and DAN STEVENS eat up the screen in Disney's live-action adaptation of the hit Disney Princess musical, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

Watson portrays Belle, an educated girl forced to live in a small village of people who seem to revel proudly in their ignorance. She is shunned by them, with the exception of the brutish Gaston (LUKE EVANS), a military captain without a war, who has set his sights on Belle as his new conquest. When Belle's father, Maurice (KEVIN KLINE), takes a wrong turn, he ends up at the Beast's castle, running afoul of the master of the place when he plucks a rose to take home to his daughter.

Wed
07
Jun

DC Super Hero Girls Score Big in Intergalactic Games

DC Super Hero Girls return in their latest direct-to-video movie for a friendly competition that aims to bring peace throughout the galaxy.

Brought to you by Warner Bros. Animation, INTERGALACTIC GAMES features a ton of characters who come from all across the DC Universe. Coming together for a friendly competition, the three schools (Super Hero High, Korugar Academy and the Apocalypse School) participate in a variety of olympic-style games to win a coveted trophy.

Tue
06
Jun

Canine Soldier Returns to Duty in Family Adventure MAX 2: WHITE HOUSE HERO

Max 2 - White House Hero

When we first met Max, he was washing out of the military with PTSD after having saved several lives in the Middle East. But with the help of the family of his former master, he pulled through and became a hero.

In MAX 2: WHITE HOUSE HERO, Max is called into duty with the Secret Service when the current canine member is on maternity leave. He quickly befriends TJ (ZANE AUSTIN), first son of President Bennett (RIVERDALE's LOCHLYN MUNRO). TJ has been feeling alienated by his status as a protected child, and Max is the only friend he has, much to the chagrin of his Secret Service detail handler, who would rather Max be focused on security.

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