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Wed
10
Jan

Stephen King's IT Creeps Onto Blu-ray

It on Blu-ray

In the town of Derry, Maine, children disappear. And nobody cares. Well, except for the kids, of course. And only some of them.

From the looks of things, Derry is a small town. Small enough to get just about everywhere in it via bicycle. Plus, we get to see a map of it later in the film, confirming its size. So one would think that if a couple of kids disappeared there, it would be a thing. But the only ones who pay all that much attention to it are a small band of misfit kids who are on persistent defense against a truly sociopathic bully who doesn't just give them wedgies and take their lunch money, but also carves his initials into them with a knife -- and receives no legal punishment for it.

Fri
05
Jan

The Caped Crusader and those Meddling Kids Unmask a Mystery Together in Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Scooby-Doo and Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Back when I was just a little boy, I'd get up on a Saturday morning, trudge across the ice sheets to milk the dinosaur for my cereal bowl, and tune into one of the three available television networks to watch cartoons, because this was the only day they would air. Times were hard.

Among those cartoons were SCOOBY-DOO, and once in a blue moon the Mystery, Inc. gang would have someone from the real world show up -- like Batman and Robin. This happened twice, and now as an adult I'm glad to have both of those episodes on DVD.

Now I have them again, because they're the bonus features on this new release, SCOOBY-DOO & BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.

Wed
27
Dec

LEGO Ninjago Movie Longer But More Shallow than Ninjago Episodes

Ninjago movie

What do you do if you're a teenager whose father is an evil villain intent on conquering the ciy, and everybody knows it? And what if you also lived a secret life as a masked ninja, looked up to by everyone because you're constantly thwarting your father's plans?

That's the life of Lloyd Garmadon, aka the Green Ninja. He's one member of an elite teenage fighting force that uses their giant mechs to ward off Garmadon's invasions (that usually have some sort of shark-theme to them). With his friends Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya, and Zane (a robot who, for some reason, hides the fact that he's a robot), he fights the daily invasions that come across Ninjago bay from Garmadon's easily-visible volcanic island where he fires his failing generals -- literally.

Tue
19
Dec

Fuller House Brings Smiles and Memories Everywhere You Look

Fuller House Season 2

Thomas Wolfe once famously said, "You can't go home again."

To which John Stamos has replied, "Hold my beer."

The Tanner family is (mostly) back in the Netflix comedy series, FULLER HOUSE, the continuation of the popular 90s series that was part of the TGIF lineup. (Maybe Jaleel White can get a gig for "More Family Matters" down the road?) In the new series, DJ Tanner-Fuller (CANDACE CAMERON BURE) is a widow with three children, Jackson (MICHAEL CAMPION), Max (ELIAS HARGER) and baby Tommy (DASHIELL & FOX MESSITT). Family patriarch Danny Tanner (BOB SAGET) has moved out to host his television show with Aunt Becky (LORI LOUGHLIN) in San Francisco, and has left the house to DJ.

Mon
11
Dec

When Comedy was King, Red Skelton was Sovereign

Red Skelton

They are many young people out there today who have never heard of Red Skelton or the mirth he brought upon this Earth. And that is a shame. Fortunately, though, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer, thanks to Time Life who brings us the definitive set of Red Skelton.

Sat
02
Dec

Jonah: The Musical on DVD

The old, old story comes to life on DVD, as Virgil Films presents JONAH: THE MUSICAL.

Filmed at the Sight & Sound Theatres in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this presentation blends screen animation with actors on stage to deliver a captivating, comical, and Christian experience.

The tale begins in animation, with Jonah as a boy. He's presented as someone who wasn't very social with other children, not very physical, and afraid of the water. He prays a lot, and one day hears God tell him a prophesy. This makes him famous among his people, but he doesn't hear from God for another seventeen years, well after the Philistines killed his father.

Shifting to live stage, Jonah's latest prophecy is to go to Ninevah. Jonah would rather see them destroyed than saved, so he goes into hiding. His countrymen, knowing he has a prophecy they need to hear, hunt him down high and low, until his mother, sister and grandparents find him and see him off on a ship to Tarshish.

Mon
27
Nov

A Hit 14,000 Years in the Making: Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth

Jerome Bixby's The Man from Earth Blu-ray

A cabin. A handful of characters. An engaging conversation.

A pretty good way to spend an evening -- but would you believe that such a simple, prosaic and unchanging scene could make for a compelling film? That's the case with Director Richard Schenkman's vision of Jerome Bixby's THE MAN FROM EARTH.

CSI: MIAMI's DAVID LEE SMITH plays Dr. John Oldman, a college professor who is giving up tenure after ten years teaching to move on. He's ditched the goodbye party thrown by his friends, so they bring it to him, at his remote cabin, and press him for the reasons why he is leaving. And that's when these academics--leaders in their field--are given a story and a hypothesis that challenges everything they believe in: that John Oldman is a Cro-Magnon man who, for reasons he himself doesn't understand, has never died.

Sat
18
Nov

Black Sabbath: The End A Farewell Spectacular From Originators of Real Heavy Metal

Black Sabbath The End

BLACK SABBATH: THE END is a multi-format send-off from Eagle Rock Entertainment of Black Sabbath’s final concert, held in their hometown of Birmingham, England on February 4th, 2017, available in combinations of DVD+CD, /BluRay+CD, Double CD, Triple 180gram Vinyl and a Limited Edition Deluxe collector’s set.

Reviewed here is the 2-disc DVD+CD set, containing the DVD of the live concert and studio Angelic Sessions, and the single CD of the studio Angelic Sessions.

Wed
08
Nov

Warner Brothers Home Video Gift Guide

WB Christmas

The Halloween candy bucket is about half-empty now, and the freezer is getting stocked with the groceries we'll need for the upcoming Thanksgiving feast. That means it's time to think about getting that advanced shopping done for everyone on your Christmas list (or at the very least, dropping heavy hints to everyone else for the things you want Saint Nick to put under your tree).

For media buffs like us, Blu-rays and DVDs will always be a welcome thing to unwrap, especially when they're completely binge-worthy. Fortunately, Warner Brothers Home Video has a plethora of items being released now that will more than satisfy any good pop-culture geek's tastes! Here's a sample of what we suggest you might want to look at for your shopping/registration lists!

Tue
07
Nov

Westworld Will Have You Questioning Nature of Reality

Westworld Season 1 on BD

HBO's WESTWORLD is a first-class, grade-A mindf*ck of epic proportions.

The future is populated by people who have reached the pinnacle. And now they're bored. To that end, they have created a diversion -- WestWorld, a theme park populated by automatons designed and programmed so realistically that they begin to achieve consciousness. To prevent this from happening, the hosts are gathered every night for analysis. Those who have been killed are reset and their memories wiped, while others have their programming altered so that they follow their storylines, with allowable variations based on logarithms for improvisation.

Mon
06
Nov

Cars 3 Overhauls the Franchise for the Better

Cars 3 Blu-ray

The original CARS hit theaters in 2006, eleven years prior to this latest entry to the franchise. I suppose eleven years is old for a car. I'm still driving my 2004 Chevy Malibu, and I know I wouldn't want to push it too fast.

Tue
24
Oct

Richard Simmons Celebrates 30 Years of Sweatin'

Sweatin' 30th

In 1987, Richard Simmons was a phenomenon. The health guru made a splash by going from fat to thin, then turning his exuberant personality loose on America to inspire millions of others to join him. And it worked! Everyone found a way to follow Richard's advice.

One of the more famous methods Simmons employed to get people up and moving was his video excercise course, SWEATIN' TO THE OLDIES, which was a group excercise method of dancing to classic rock songs. With Richard at the lead, and a group representative of a variety of body types (unlike so many excercise videos where it's you and the perfectly scuplted instructors), fans across the country were getting up off the couch and onto their feet, getting their heart rates up and their weights down.

It was so successful that it expanded four more times, so that there were ultimately five collections of excercise dance routines.

Mon
23
Oct

Good Grief, Charlie Brown! The Holidays are Here!

Peanuts Holiday 4K

When the weather starts to turn crisp and the leaves start to fall, you know you're in for three months in a row of...Charlie Brown?

If you had the right kind of upbringing, then that's how you think. There's a whole generation of us out there who had their childhood holidays shaped by the television specials that came with them. (This is back in the day when they only came on once a year, did not repeat, were not recorded on any medium, and could not be purchased. Prehistoric, I know.) Chief amont those specials were the jazz-filled comforting animated cartoons of Charle's M. Schulz's PEANUTS characters.

Starting with October, it was IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN. A month later, it was popcorn and jellybeans for A CHARLIE BROWN THANKSGIVING, all leading up to the big kahuna of the trilogy, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.

Mon
23
Oct

LEGO Ninjago Battle The Hands of Time in Season 7

LEGO Ninjago Season 7

Jump up, kick back, whip around and spin in another exciting season of LEGO NINJAGO. Yes, it's a LEGO animated series, and, yes, that means it comes with all the requisite silliness inherent in the LEGO universe of stories. And yet, the NINJAGO episodes somehow also carry a certain soap opera element to them that draws you in. Kids and adults alike will get sucked into the plot, actually caring about the characters and being surprised at plot twists.

The story begins 40 years in the past, when a younger Master Wu (Paul Dobson) and his elemental ninja friends batted two of their own: twin brothers Krux (MICHAEL DAINGERFIELD) and Acronix (IAN HANLIN), who were the masters of the element of time and felt they should control everything. The nina defeated the twins -- or so they thought. Krux disappeared, and Acronix was sucked into a time portal.

Tue
17
Oct

Mickey Mouse: Merry & Scary an Old School Treat

Mickey Mouse: Merry and Scary

Everything old is new again at the House of Mouse. Gone are the 3D-CGI renderings of Mickey and the gang, and in their place we get 2D animation that looks like lost animation cels were found under some Oswald the Lucky Rabbit notes.

This particular collection, MICKEY MOUSE: MERRY & SCARY -- aside from five wonderful short cartoons -- give us some new Disney holiday traditionals that should get some repeat airtime.

Mon
16
Oct

Justice League Action Delivers on Title's Premise in Fun-Sized Shorts

Justice League Action Season 1 Part 1

JUSTICE LEAGUE ACTION lives up to its name! When I first heard the concept, I was more than a bit skeptical. After all, the bar was set pretty high by the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED series, and I didn't see how this new idea was going to top it.

And, to be honest, it doesn't. But it also doesn't have to. Yes, it has its heavy dose of comedic moments: Cyborg's obsession with video gaming distracting him from monitor duty; Booster Gold's daily attempts to last longer in the ring with Batman; Superman missing out on a kiss with Wonder Woman because of garlic risotto; and Plastic Man's...well, his very existence.

Mon
16
Oct

Vampirina Utilizes Extremes to Explore Issues of Immigration and Cultures

Vampirina

She was a ghoul in her village, doing all right. Then she became American overnight.

The latest little lady to take over the Disney Junior programming  is new to American culture. In fact, she's new to human culture. She's Vampirina Hauntley (ISABELLA CROVETTI), and she's just immigrated from Transylvania to Pennsylvania, along with her father Boris (JAMES VAN DER BEEK, DAWSON'S CREEK) and mother Oxana (LAUREN GRAHAM, GILMORE GIRLS), and a few household friends like the ghostly Demi (MITCHELL WHITFIELD, TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE) and stony gargoyle Gregoria (WANDA SYKES).

Wed
11
Oct

ARROW Season 5 on Blu-Ray Hits the Mark

As season six of Arrow quickly approaches I think it is always good to recap the previous season and what better way than with the Blu-Ray that collects the entire 5th season, and more!

With so much that goes on between spring and when our show restarts, in the fall, it is easy to forget some of the story lines and plots that follow our favorite vigilante.

Tue
10
Oct

Justice League: The New Frontier Blu-ray Commemorative Edition

New Frontier Commemorative Edition

There were several comics titles out there that showcased the unique retro style of Darwyn Cooke, but JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE NEW FRONTIER was definitely his crowning achievement. His signature look was tailor-made for the late-50s, early-60s era of comics, and worked perfectly for his graphic novel. The DC Animated Universe has had some misses in its history, but adapting the graphic novel to the animated movie, while absolutely nailing Cooke's style, was a Grade-A bonafide hit!

The setting for JL:TNF is just after the disbanding of the Justice Society due to McCarthy era paranoia over masked men. The government simply did not trust them, and not without good reason. The only ones left operating openly are Superman (KYLE MCLACHLAN) and Wonder Woman (LUCY LAWLESS), while Batman (JEREMY SISTO) is more of an outcast than ever.

Mon
09
Oct

Jeff Beck Live at the Hollywood Bowl: You've Gotta See and Hear It to Believe It!

During the Summer of ’16, something monumental happened…

Jeff Beck, one of the greatest guitar players rock has ever known, celebrated his 50th anniversary in the business by having a concert at the celebrated Hollywood Bowl amphitheater, along with some very special guests he’s worked with over the years.

At 72 years of age at the time of the concert, you would think it more of just a tribute concert. Not so at all. This was no going-through-the-motions event. Jeff was in perfect form, and played as astonishingly as he ever had. Think about what I just said: one of the greatest (in anyone’s list of greatest guitar players ever) played as good as I have ever heard and seen him--at 72 years old!

Now, if (like me) you didn’t know about this, or couldn’t even go if you did, the music lovers at Eagle Rock Entertainment wove their magic and were smart enough to capture it for all of us to see and hear.

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