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Tue
31
May

Seventies Horror Served Up with Death Walks Twice: Two Films by Luciano Ercoli Blu-ray Release

Death Walks Twice Giallo Blu-ray

DEATH WALKS TWICE is a 2-film, 4-DVD Limited Edition set on BluRay and DVD from Luciano Ercoli comprising his classic GIALLO Italian Horror classics: 1971’s DEATH WALKS ON HIGH HEELS and 1972’s DEATH WALKS AT MIDNIGHT.

Both of these movies are considered two of the finest examples of the Giallo genre (think crime, mystery, blood and horror all in one, done in 70’s Italian style) and both star Nieves Navarro (billed in the movies under her adopted stage name of Susan Scott).

Wed
25
May

The Winding Stream Traces Roots of Country Music

Carter Family Winding Stream

Beth Harrington directs and co-produces this important and informative documentary that follows the modern river of country music back to the winding stream that is it's source -- The Carter Family.

Before there was country music, before there was a Grand Ole Opry, there was A.P, Sara and Maybelle Carter. THE WINDING STREAM follows in great detail how these three family members became the foundation cornerstone of American country music, without glossing over the family tragedies and heartaches, including A.P.'s singular focus on collecting songs from the mountains and Sara's eventual divorce. The documentary is never dry, and is wholly engrossing, telling the story without the benefit of any dramatic re-enactments, relying instead on actual footage, photography and, of course, recordings of the songs and interviews.

Tue
24
May

Disney Gets Athletic with Mickey's Sport-Y-Thon

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Sport-Y-Thon DVD Critical Blast Disney

The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and it's time to get outside and get active. Everyone's getting into the athletics -- even Mickey Mouse and the Clubhouse gang as they assemble or the first ever Sport-Y-Thon! There are all kinds of games to play -- even Martian Mickey, Martian Minnie and Pluto from Pluto have showed up to participate. And there lies the mechanism for the episode's lesson: Mars doesn't have sports, so the visitors have no idea about what it means to show good sportsmanship and put in extra effort. Not that they're mean whiny cheaters, they just don't know better. So Martian Minnie has to learn that using a jetpack in a basketball game isn't fair, Pluto from Pluto has to learn he has to let other players participate in Volley-Bop, and Martian Mickey has to learn not to give up in a relay race just because it's hard work. In the end, everyone wins -- including color commentary provider, Donald Duck.

Wed
27
Apr

Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors a Warm, Comfy Fit

Dolly Parton Coat Many Colors DVD Television Broadcast

When I first saw Dolly Parton's COAT OF MANY COLORS in its broadcast debut, I only heard one thing: "When this comes to DVD, you're getting it for me." I imagine this was something many husbands heard from their wives. And, unlike almost every other time I hear this statment, this was a time I didn't mind at all.

This heartwarming -- and heartbreaking -- biopic features Olyvia Alyn Lind as a young Dolly, playing the roll with all the spitfire energy and feisty verve the real Dolly has exuded all her life.

Through her eyes we see how it was for a large family growing up in the mountains of Tennessee. Ricky Schroder plays Dolly's father, Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer struggling against drought. Jennifer Nettles is matriarch Avie, a preacher's daughter holding everything together with faith and song. But when she miscarries, the impact on the entire threatens to shatter that faith, and serves to drive a wedge between her and Robert.

Sat
16
Apr

DC Animated Universe Expands with JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS

Justice League vs Teen Titans Blu-ray Warner Brothers DC Entertainment

JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. TEEN TITANS continues the DCAU continuity that includes such titles as JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR and BATMAN VS. ROBIN, retaining Jason O'Mara and Stuart Allan as the voices of Batman and Robin.

The story opens with the Justice League in open battle with the Legion of Doom -- Luthor, Solomon Grundy, Cheetah, Weather Wizard and Toymaster -- at the grand opening of the new Justice League headquarters, which the public has deemed the "Hall of Justice." During the aftermath of the battle, Weather Wizard attempts to run, and is suddenly possessed by a shadow demon that longtime fans will recognize as being the influence of Trigon. Weather Wizard is released from the demon's control, but it takes over Superman and goes silent.

Thu
14
Apr

BARBIE: STAR LIGHT ADVENTURE Features a Rising Star

Jordyn Kane is a talented young artist who wrote and performed the theme for DC's Super Hero Girls. Last week on twitter she announced the next project she'll be involved in...

Barbie: Star Light Adventure!

With DC's Super Hero Girls, Ms. Kane's work was focused on creating the girl-powered anthem 'Get Your Cape On'. This time around, not only was she involved with the music, but she'll lend her voice to the one-and-only Barbie! Having voiced the character 'Courtney', in BARBIE: ROCK 'N' ROYALS, this won't be her first time performing as a voice actor.

Wed
06
Apr

Mockingjay Part 2 Expects Up to Speed Audience

Mockingjay Part 2 BD

I count myself among those who discovered Suzanne Collins' THE HUNGER GAME series organically. I was there from the first printing, and I was immediately drawn into the first novel. When the second novel came out, I was just as drawn into that, surprised that I could be as solidly hooked again into this world.

And, like many readers, I found the third novel, MOCKINGJAY, to be less-than-thrilling, and was rather cynical that the movie makers (not to be confused with the game makers -- although...) planned on splitting the least of the series into two parts. To me, that plan could only have made the screen adaptation twice as boring.

Thu
31
Mar

Hateful Eight Not Great But Will Satiate

Hateful Eight Blu-ray Dennis Russo Critical Blast

THE HATEFUL EIGHT on Blu Ray/DVD and Digital copy is Quentin Tarantino’s Eighth movie. It takes place in Wyoming 6 or 8 or 12 years after the civil war. It tells the story of 8 people…8 hateful, untrusting, uncouth, belligerent individuals thrown together by fate into a one room haberdashery in the middle of a blizzard. Somehow these 8 individuals have more in common than we are first led to believe, and as they all antagonize each other and “stir the pot,” we find out just how hateful these individuals are.

Tue
29
Mar

The Original Queens of Comedy in a Never Before Seen TV Special

Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball delighted audiences for years; Burnett by way of her variety show and Ball with her sitcom. Now, for the first time ever, audiences will enjoy their talents simultaneously in the never before seen CAROL+2: THE ORIGINAL QUEENS OF COMEDY!

Before Carol Burnett could begin her career as a prime time star, the last major step occurred in 1966. CBS promised Burnett her own special if she could deliver a big star. As the story goes, she hesitantly phoned one of her biggest influences: Lucille Ball. Her reply?

"When do you need me there?"

From the press release:

Wed
16
Mar

The Big Short Long on Fourth-Wall Breaking Information

Big Short Blu-ray Oscar Christian Bale Steve Carell

When the banking crisis was happening, I was -- perhaps ironically -- working at a bank as an acquisitions analyst. (Not that I'm taking the blame for the collapse or anything.) But even then, hip-deep as I was in the business, the whole "housing bubble" was something I just couldn't wrap my head around. And if I couldn't understand it then, as a part of the industry, how could any average person figure out just how badly they were being screwed over?

Charles Randolph and Adam McKay do a bang-up job of making this elusive concept somewhat manageable in THE BIG SHORT. Adapting the book by Michael Lewis, Randolph and McKay break down a cerebral and dry subject and turn it into something informative and entertaining through fourth-wall breaks, cutaways to explanatory skits starring celebrities, and a focus on the quirkiness of the main players. This goes a long way to explaining why they won the Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Tue
15
Mar

Fey and Poehler Define Arrested Development in SISTERS

Sisters Unrated Poehler Fey Blu-ray review Critical Blast

Maura Ellis (Amy Poehler) is a divorcee who has put all her efforts into helping other people at the expense of her own happiness. Kate Ellis (Tina Fey) is a wild-child single mother who can't keep a job. When they return to their childhood home to reconnect, they learn that their parents (James Brolin, Dianne Wiest) have just sold the place. So how do the titular SISTERS deal with this latest -- and seemingly heaviest -- blow to their self-esteem?

By reliving their high school days and throwing a wild party, inviting all their high school friends (and excluding all their high school rivals). But age has taken its toll on their old crew: parenthood, middle-life maladies, and the dreaded monster, Responsibility, have overtaken them. But this is nothing that a boat-load of booze and a buffet of illegal drugs won't conquer, courtesy of Dave (John Leguizamo) and his frighteningly built connection, Pazuzu (John Cena).

Sun
06
Mar

The Good Dinosaur: Little House on the Pleistocene

Good Dinosaur BD

THE GOOD DINOSAUR asks the question: What if the asteroid that destroyed the dinosaurs missed? Well, apparently the answer is that the dinosaurs would have learned how to talk, build houses, plow fields, and raise giant chickens, all without the benefit of any evolutionary advances like opposable thumbs.

Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the titular dinosaur, the runt of his nest. But his family loves him nonetheless, despite his overwhelming fear of the giant chickens. (I know they're something else, but I'm not a paleontologist, and they are treated like giant chickens so I'm calling them giant chickens.) But until Arlo can pull his weight on the farm, he can't make his mark on the grain silo his father built. So his Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) gives Arlo a special mission -- put an end to the "critter" who is stealing corn from their silo.

Wed
24
Feb

The Legend of the Lion King Lives on in The Lion Guard: Return of the Roar

Lion Guard Return Roar Disney Junior

Turning the characters and setting of THE LION KING into a series is something that's far past due for Disney. In THE LION GUARD, viewers once again meet Simba, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and Zazu -- however, they are minor players in the story, as the focus shifts to the next generation.

In this introductory pilot, THE LION GUARD: RETURN OF THE ROAR, we meet Simba's son, Kion, who's happy that he's not in training to take over as ruler of the Pride Lands (that honor going to his older sister, Kiara) so that he can play with his friend Bunga, the honey badger. But their games take them to where they shouldn't be, putting Bunga in danger of attack by the hyenas -- and when Kion tries to warn them off with a roar, it's more than anyone anticipated.

Thu
11
Feb

Jake Makes Rank in The Great Never Sea Conquest

Captain Jake Never Sea Conquest Disney Junior Pirates

Disney Junior Buccaneer Jake and his crew of Neverland Pirates are in for another adventure when Captain Hook looks for the treasure of the shipwrecked Colossus when, at the same time, the mer-wizard Lorth Fathom (Malcolm McDowell) escapes his imprisonment and looks to take over the Never Sea. In fact, it may be more than Jake and his crew can handle -- so they get help from Captain Flynn (Josh Duhamel), Captain Frost (Harland Williams) and Captain Beatrice Le Beak (Teri Hatcher).

Tue
09
Feb

FROM DUSK TILL DAWN: SEASON TWO may be inferior to the first but, it still scares up some thrills!

From Dusk Till Dawn Season 2

The film FROM DUSK TILL DAWN was such a cool event for me.  Think about it, this was the team up of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez.  At the time, it seemed otherworldly and more akin to a comic book than a movie theater.  As a film, it was wasn't perfect, but it was funny, featured great performances, and was a hybrid of action and horror.  If nothing else, it was unforgettable.

Mon
01
Feb

Batman: Bad Blood, Great Adventure

Batman Bad Blood Justice League Blu-ray DC Comics Animated

When a crew of masked criminals set to work, they're attacked by a bat-like caped figure. But it's not Batman who's making the scene but a new player: Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski). And she's a far less merciful fighter than he is! However, when Batman (Jason O'Mara) does show up, it's just in time for Batwoman to see him blown to bits, making her the last person to have possibly seen Batman alive as the days turn into weeks with no appearance from the Dark Knight in Gotham.

Batwoman -- aka Katherine Kane -- has no one to turn to but her father, Colonel Kane (Geoff Pierson), to tell her story. But when the Batmobile rumbles down the street, she pursues it and quickly deduces that the Batman role is being filled by the former Nightwing (Sean Maher), accompanied by Robin (Stuart Allan) who also returns to Gotham after hearing about Batman's disappearance.

Tue
26
Jan

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse: Pop Star Minnie DVD Contest

Disney Junior Pop Star Minnie Mouse

This contest has ended.

The randomly selected winning entry is: JANAN C. from RIVERWOODS, IL.

Is there anything that amazing Minnie Mouse cannot do? In this DVD from Disney Junior, Minnie's dream of singing onstage is about to come true -- until her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse backup band pals discover that their musical instruments are gone! Now the race is on to track them down and reach Melody Mountain by sunset. But even if they find the missing instruments in time, should Minnie sing the blues, croon a country tune, or boogie to a disco beat? It's going to take help from YOU -- plus a few Mouseketools -- to get Minnie in the right groove to totally rock out!

Bursting with fun, surprises, additional episodes and two delightful "Bow-Toons," Pop Star Minnie is simply song-sational!

 

Sat
23
Jan

The Ritchie Blackmore Story: The Greatest Guitarist You Know the Least About

Ritchie Blackmore Story Bluray Dennis Russo Critical Blast Eagle Rock

"The Ritchie Blackmore Story" on DVD from Eagle Rock Entertainment chronicles the long and storied career of one of the greatest rock guitarist of all time. With a career spanning over 50 years and running the gamut from Hard Rock to Heavy Metal, from “commercial hit” Rock to Medieval Renaissance music, and considered by many to be one of the most spectacular visual guitar players, Ritchie Blackmore is also the one guitarist most people probably know the least about.

Sat
02
Jan

DEATHGASM: Proof You Can Be a Headbanger and Still Have a Sense of Humor

Deathgasm Blu-ray New Zealand

DEATHGASM on Blu-ray disc from Metal Heads / Dark Sky Films is a Heavy Metal gore fest horror/comedy that is as serious as its name implies. What I mean is that when you read the title of this movie, the first thing that comes to mind is not “This is going to be scary, and terrifying.” No, the first thing that is going to come to mind is probably what came to mine: ”I bet this is a hoot!” And, my friends, it is.

Filmed in New Zealand with mostly local actors, DEATHGASM tells the story of a would-be headbanger, Brodie (Milo Cawthorne), who is sent to live with his straight-laced uncle and his family after his mother get arrested. He is immediately disliked by his jock cousin and his friends at school because he’s a headbanger and listens to what they call "devil-worshiping, heavy metal music."

Tue
29
Dec

Honey, I Shrunk the Avenger: Ant-Man Debuts on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital

Ant-Man Marvel Cinematic Universe

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd, PARKS AND RECREATION) is just getting out of prison for burglary -- but of the social justice kind, so that makes it okay. The particulars of his case -- as well as his character and skills -- bring him to the attention of Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), who wants him to break into a vault to steal back technology Pym invented that is being prepped for military use and sold to the baddest bad guys in the Marvel Universe, Hydra.

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