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Wed
22
Sep

F9. F'd Up.

F9: The Fast Saga

There's a part of me that thinks it simply isn't fair to write a critical review of F9: The Fast Saga. While it's little more than a bunch of action scenes, stitched together loosely with the threads of something resembling a plot, there's also the fact that it never pretends to be anything more than that, that the audience isn't intended to have their minds engaged in solving a mystery but merely to have their adrenal glands engaged through the harrowing automotive special effects.

But I'm going to do it anyway, because I need more word count than just that first paragraph.

Wed
22
Sep

The Forever Purge Proof Nothing Lasts Forever

The Forever Purge

In the world of The Purge franchise, the U.S. government has been supplanted -- through elections -- with a new breed of "founding fathers" who have pushed through laws allowing the population to participate in bloody mayhem in order to "purge" the hate from their systems so that the rest of the year might be peaceful. Beginning at sundown and ending at sunup, Purge Night gives people the right to kill anyone with impunity, with no intervention from law enforcement or other emergency services.

As a standalone, the concept made for an interesting home-invasion horror. But I suppose it was inevitable that a series would grow out of that first film so that the message could reach it's ultimate conclusion, seen here in The Forever Purge.

Tue
21
Sep

Blunt Lyrics: 609 Films Releases Bob Marley and the Wailers Capital Session on CD/DVD

Bob Marley Capital Session

A musical high.

Mon
20
Sep

Slaxx Proves Skinny Jeans Can Be Murder

Slaxx

SLAXX is the Canadian horror comedy film about the dark side of killer fashion. Produced in 2020, the film made its debut on Shudder and DVD last month to audiences worldwide.

Directed by Elza Kephart, SLAXX is the story of a young woman named Libby (Romane Denis) who takes a position at a trendy clothing store only to have her dreams of working in the fashion industry turn into her worst nightmare. The night before the big launch of the company's newest jeans, called Super Shapers, one of Libby’s co-workers steal a pair of the new jeans from the backroom and puts them on. Little does she know this particular batch of the new jeans have been possessed by the spirit of a young Hindi child laborer who died while threshing the cotton she picked to make them. Out for revenge and thirsting for blood, the jeans kill the worker and proceed to run amok through the store feeding off the blood of all its inhabitants.

Wed
15
Sep

Arrow Video Brings Japanese Exploitation Film BLIND BEAST to American Audiences on Blu-ray

Blind Beast

Director Yasuzo Masumura brings to you his adaptation of Edogawa Rampo’s classic short story, Blind Beast, in all the horrific imagery that will leave some in shock at the grotesque portrayal of a blind sculptor and his next masterpiece.

A young model named Aki (Mako Midori) is abducted and finds herself held captive in a literal house of horrors, surrounded by severed body parts of women and giant statues of disembodied limbs (and other, shall we say ‘questionable’ body parts). Her abductor Michio (Eiji Funakoshi) introduces himself to her and lets it be known that she will be his next work of art.

Aki recognizes Michio from a previous encounter with the blind sculptor. She is, at first, defiant and fights to be set free; but she later succumbs to his advances and submits herself to his sightless world, allowing herself to be taken in to his lifelong ambition to perfect the female form thru his art.

Fri
10
Sep

Paramount Boldly Goes Halfway with Star Trek 4K Blu-ray Set of First Four Films

Star Trek 4 Movie Collection

When Star Trek: The Motion Picture debuted in theaters, it had been ten years since the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise had come together on television. For the fans, it was a huge event that made largely forgivable the opportunity taken by the SFX department to show how cool computer generated fractal graphics could look. It was the launchpoint for five more movies to come, sometimes calling back to the television show but mostly introducing new concepts and new aliens.

Mon
06
Sep

Zoinks! Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog in this Canine Clue-Chasing Caper

Scooby-Doo Meets Courage the Cowardly Dog

Dogs and mysteries have been the peanut butter and jelly of children's cartoons for decades, featuring such sniffing sleuths as Woofer and Wimper, Dynomutt, Hong Kong Phooey, and the whole gang from Disney's 101 Dalmations. But, of course, the king of them all has always been Scooby-Doo, the Great Dane mascot of Mystery Inc. For years, Scooby and the gang have been busting mysteries and proving that the things that go bump in the night are nevery more than a greedy person in a rubber mask.

On the other hand, however, there's Courage, a little pink mutt from Nowhere who defends his family from true weirdness, monsters, alients, and the like, often without them realizing it and always without reward. But never has the weirdness been anything explainable as a prosaic prank.

Thu
02
Sep

Arrow Video Presents The Brotherhood of Satan on Blu-ray

Brotherhood of Satan

Arrow Video brings to Blu-ray the long-awaited special edition version of Bernard McEveety’s 1971 film, The Brotherhood of Satan.

The film follows the recently widowed Ben, his girlfriend Nicky, and his daughter K.T. on a road trip across the Southwest. During the trip they are witnesses to a horrific accident and head to the nearby isolated desert town of Hillsboro to report it to the Sheriff (played by L.Q. Jones). While there, they are met with a not-too-welcoming reaction from the locals, who are gripped by paranoia and fear due to a series of gruesome deaths and the mysterious disappearance of eleven of the community’s children. As more disappearances and deaths continue during their visit, Ben and his family find themselves joining the sheriff, a local priest and the town’s doctor, Doc Duncan (Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke), but all clues lead to an evil satanic cult that is slowly gripping the town and its inhabitants.

Mon
30
Aug

Second Season Prodigal Son Losing It's Allure -- But Prodigal Daughter Holds Promise

Prodigal Son SSN 2 BD

Warner Brothers police drama with a twist, Prodigal Son, gets the Blu-ray release for its second season. Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne) continues in his role of consulting profiler for the police department, bringing his unique perspective to the solving of unique homicides. That perspective comes from the fact that his father, Dr. Martin Whitly (Michael Sheen), is the infamous serial killer known as The Surgeon. From his special accommodations at the Claremont Psychiatric Hospital, Martin stands ready and eager to "help" his son get into the minds of the various psycopathies he must unravel, all while getting further into Malcom's head as he struggles with repressed memories.

Thu
19
Aug

Profile Follows an ISIS Recruitment as it Plays Out

Profile Blu-ray

More relevant than ever, Profile is a story told in the daring cinematic method of screen grabs and video Skype calls. It' a slow burn of a film that ignites in supernova intensity in the third act.

Valene Kane plays Amy, a freelance journalist looking to break into a full time job with a huge story. Using Facebook, she establishes a profile that falls in line with those of other young girls in the U.K. who had been recruited by ISIS as brides. Once she makes contact with Bilel (Shazad Latif), private messages evolve toward video calls with each other, as Amy tries to make herself the perfect victim to be recruited.

But the longer Amy pursues her relationship with Bilel, the more she finds herself sympathizing with him, his motivations, and his causes, to the extent that she begins to isolate those around her -- who in turn act toward her in ways that mirror the rejections that seemingly forged Bilel into the man he is.

Tue
10
Aug

Batman: The Long Halloween Concludes with Second Part Blu-ray Release

Batman Long Halloween pt 2

The second part of Batman: The Long Halloween didn't take long to release, thankfully overcoming the expiration of expectations that can hamper a story cut into two pieces like this. And it doesn't waste any time rushing through a number of holiday murders during which time Batman... does nothing. Why? Because Bruce Wayne (Jenson Ackles) has been mind-controlled by Poison Ivy (Katee Sackhoff), and has been regularly signing over assets at her bidding to her boss, Carmine Falcone (Titus Welliver). Fortunately for Bruce, Catwoman (Naya Rivera) not only notices his absence but also knows his secret identity, mounting a rescue mission that brings Batman back into the thick of things after nearly four months of stupor.

Mon
09
Aug

A Quiet Place II Crashes onto Blu-ray

A Quiet Place I & II

A Quiet Place I & II is one of those rare set of films where you can actually watch them back-to-back and get the feeling of having absorbed a single epic film. That's because AQP2 actually picks up right where the first leaves off (with a bit of a flashback that shows the arrival of the "totally not Gormogon" aliens and how quickly they begin to wreak havoc.

The aforementioned aliens have not so much invaded Earth as they have crashed into it. They're giant bugs -- blind, but attracted to the slightest noise to hunt their prey. The key to survival is to learn to remain as quiet as possible -- a difficult proposition for the Abbott family, who rig up a special oxygen-tank enclosed carrier for their infant son in order to keep him quiet. Mom Evelyn (Emily Blunt) does her best to protect the children while father Lee (Director John Krasinski) works on finding other survivors by monitoring radio equipment.

Sat
07
Aug

Flight to Mars Lands on Blu-Ray Thanks to Film Detective

Flight to Mars on Blu-ray

Flight to Mars is one of the earliest Atomic Era science fiction films that capitalized on the dream of interstellar flight. Being a product of its era, the story has an inherent charm in its simpllicity, and yet still delivers a story with political intrigue and raw action and romance.

Dr. Jim Barker (Arthur Franz) heads up a team of scientist who will be making the first manned mission to the Red Planet. Also accompanying him will be his scientifically capable assistant, Carol (Virginia Huston), who carries a torch for him that he's too blind to see. But Steve (Cameron Mitchell) sees it, and he works to get Carol to see that he's the right guy for her, even though he's just an embedded journalist there to document the flight and not a brainy rocket scientist.

Fri
06
Aug

The Herculoids Assemble on Blu-ray

The Herculoids Complete Series on Blu-ray

Somehere in space live The Herculoids. That somewhere happens to be the planet Quasar, a quaint little rock inhabited by civilized cavemen and bizarre creatures. It's not much of a tourist attraction, but it must have immeasurable resources because the only visitors it ever gets either want to conquer the planet, take its resources, bury treasure on it, or enslave the inhabitants.

No wonder The Herculoids are such separatists. You land on Quasar, you get one warning and then you're done.

Thu
29
Jul

Almost Famous Gets Paramount Presents Blu-ray Release

Paramount Presents Almost Famous

Almost Famous tells the story of William Millier (Patrick Fugit), a high school music journalist whose work gets noticed by Rolling Stone magazine, who then assign him his first story: a profile piece on an up-and-coming band, Stillwater. What the magazine doesn't realize, however, is that William is only 15 years old, having been promoted through school early due to some odd machinations by his mother (Frances McDormand) to obscure his age.

Touring with the band, William's experiences are both everything you would expect from living a rock-and-roll lifestyle, but also everything you would not expect, as the stereotypical band members and groupies are humanized through their personal struggles and foibles. Yes, there's the drugs and sex, but director Cameron Crowe shows this in a near tragic light, with all the consequences that come along with a life of excess.

Wed
28
Jul

Pennyworth Season 2 Not Worth a Dime

Pennyworth SSN2

When I first heard that Gotham was going to be followed up by a series called

Pennyworth, I thought, "Okay, Gotham was a wee bit of a stretch, going back to a pre-Batman version of the setting, but going back to Alfred's younger days is probably beyond a capable grasp."

I believe I was correct in this assumption. Even with Bruno Heller attached, Pennyworth seems to very little connection to the Fox series.

In this second season, Alfred (Jack Bannon) is something of a war profiteer. He runs a night club catering to both sides of the war, and puts his former military skills to the test by taking on the odd mercenary job here and there. Some of these jobs are at the behest of CIA field agent Thomas Wayne (Ben Aldridge), who enjoys a tenuous romantic relationship with resistance fighter, Martha Kane (Emma Paetz).

Tue
27
Jul

Arrow Video Presents Daimajin Trilogy: Part Samurai, Part Kaiju, All Fun

Damaijin

Arrow Video finally brings to Blu-ray the DAIMAJIN films. All shot in 1966 and produced by Daiei’s Kyoto studios, these films brought together two of Japan’s most popular film genres at the time: the samurai films in the vein of Zatoichi, and the giant monster kaiju films ala Godzilla and Gamera.

All three Daimajin movies are presented in this single boxed set (that has been long overdue for a Blu-ray release in America) and this will be the first time ever this short-lived series will be available to be viewed in the UK.

Fri
16
Jul

Chris Rock Heads SAW Spin-off, SPIRAL

Spiral DVD

Darren Lynn Bousman's torture machine continues to crank out product, this time branching out of the SAW franchise into an inspired copycat storyline: SPIRAL. And with this iteration, Bousman brings in some of Hollywood's big guns to lend their faces to the project.

Detective Zeke Banks (Chris Rock) is a pariah on the force, seen as disloyal to the blue because he turned on a dirty cop and had him put away, when his father, Marcus Banks (Samuel L. Jackson)  was in charge of the precinct. It's made him angry, and it's made him take risks, something which is difficult for his new partner, Detective William Schenk (Max Minghella), to accept.

Sun
04
Jul

His Dark Materials Season 2 More Watchable Yet More Wandering Than Season 1

His Dark Materials Season 2

His Dark Materials is a series of books by Sir Philip Pullman which plays on the subject of parallel worlds that blend fantasy and reality, magic and technology, and quantum physics and religion. It's like a recipe card where all the ingredients sound delicious, but which have to be mixed just so in order for the final product to measure up to expectations.

While I am familiar with the books, I am not someone who has read them. Therefore, I cannot comment as to how closely HBO adheres to the story in their serial adaptation of the adventure, which finds Dafne Keen playing Lyra Silvertongue, the young heroine of the story. I can say that, having watched the first two seasons now, the live action version has done little to motivate me into reading the source material.

Mon
28
Jun

A Ghost Waits Like What if Kevin Smith Made a Haunted House Movie

A Ghost Waits

Arrow Video brings to you on Blu-ray the 2020 indie film by first time director Adam Stovall. Bringing together many genre's of film from Humor to Horror, from Drama to Romance, A GHOST WAITS has it all.

The story begins with Jack traveling to his next job as a handyman and caretaker for his company's properties. Desperately phoning his friends along the way to find a place he can crash for the next few nights due to his own place being fumigated, he arrives at the house he is to be inspecting and notices all the previous tenants belongings are still there. Confused by this, he phones his boss and discovers the home has a history of renters breaking their leases suddenly and without warning -- and it is now Jack's job to inspect the house from top to bottom to find any issues with this property so it can be rented out once more.

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