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Thu
13
Sep

Improvisation is the Plan in Second Season of MACGYVER on DVD

MacGyver Season 2

MACGYVER was one of those classic 80s shows that are often imitated but never duplicated. Attempts to make movies of THE A-TEAM never took off, and remakes of KNIGHT RIDER just didn't have staying power.

Thu
13
Sep

Hide the Scooby-Snacks! Mystery Inc. Meets Food Network Icons Bobby Flay and Giada DiiLaurentis!

In one of the many iterations of SCOOBY-DOO, way back in the days of Saturday Morning cartoons, Scooby and the gang used to meet celebrities. Granted, they were celebrities who had enough free time to show up and do some voice acting for Hanna-Barbera, but they were still celebrities. Don Knotts, Mama Cass, a handful of others.

I was reminded of that series with this new release, SCOOBY-DOO AND THE GOURMET GHOST. The story finds the gang going to stay with Fred’s Uncle Bobby — Bobby Flay, whom Fred apparently didn’t know was a famous chef, much to Shaggy and Scooby’s disbelief. Flay is opening up a cooking resort with tons of “only in the cartoons” mechanical helpers that make cooking a breeze for anybody. He’s assisted in this by other celebrity chefs, including Giada DiiLaurentis, who is presented here as a sort of Wonder Woman in training as far as her surprising capabilities go.

Tue
28
Aug

Lady Street Fighter: Exploitation That Wouldn't Turn On a Lightbulb

Lady Street Fighter

Okay, I freely admit I’m an exploitation/sexploitation, sleazy/cheesy 1970’s movie junkie, and when I saw this DVD from AGFA I thought, "Oh yeah, this will be a dandy!"

Well…

Let me start this way: this movie was made in 1977 and directed by James Bryan and was written and produced by Renee Harmon, so the credentials were there for what should have been a prime example of the genre. It ain’t, even by low standards. I give credit to AGFA for releasing it, though, as it is something to be seen…once…and then locked away somewhere.

The DVD features the movie in a new 2k scan from the only surviving 35mm theatrical trailer (one can only surmise the others were burned) and tells the story of a woman named Linda Allen (Renee Harmon) a cop hot on the trails of the thugs who killed her twin sister.

Mon
27
Aug

The Thinker Debuts Nefarious Plans in The Flash Season 4 Now on Blu-ray

The Flash Season 4 Blu-ray

For all it's many (many, many) plot faults, the fourth season of THE FLASH is one of my personal favorites. It's not just because the big bad of the season finally wasn't another speedster who was faster than the titular "fastest man alive," or because the villain was (at least at first) one scary AF adversary. No, the real joy of this season of THE FLASH comes from the introduction of HARTLEY SAWYER as Ralph Dibny, aka The Elongated Man. In the Silver Age of comics, Barry Allen and Ralph Dibny were best friends, and teamed up often on cases, so it was nice to see that relationship begin to develop in the television series, even if it did begin on strained terms. The special effects for Ralph's powers were also better than anticipated, and will hopefully be even better and more creative going into the fifth season.

Tue
07
Aug

Suspenseful, Frustrating Sixth Season of Arrow Debuts on Blu-ray

Arrow Season 6

The biggest problem with CW's series, ARROW, is that it has to keep ratcheting up the action to top its previous season. The natural end result was that the writers have painted themselves into quite a corner with the way the sixth season has wrapped up. The good part of that, however, is that we get the fun of watching them try to write their way out of it.

This season sees Green Arrow, aka Oliver Queen (STEPHEN AMELL), take on several different challenges, not the least of which comes from a federal agent, who is convinced that Oliver is the Green Arrow and is looking to put him behind bars for his vigilante actions. The irony of all that is that the case is largely built on a digitally manipulated image of Green Arrow unmasking to reveal Oliver Queen's face -- a fake that tells the truth.

Tue
07
Aug

Breaking In Mixes Primal Protective Instincts with High Stakes Heist

Breaking In

If you've ever been locked out of your house, you know what a pain it is trying to break back in. Turn the house is an electronic fortress, and add three armed robbers inside holding your kids hostage, and you've got BREAKING IN, a home invasion / heist drama fraught with tension and desparate players on both sides of the conflict.

Shaun Russell (GABRIELLE UNION) is a mother of two, and has arrived at her late father's estate to prepare it for sale. Her father was a crime boss, about to be face trial before he was run down in the street. But before he could go to trial, he liquidated all his assets and put them in a safe in his country home, a secluded manse on several acres and modified with the best security and surveillance systems money could buy.

Fri
03
Aug

Life of the Party Lifeless Comedy

Life of the Party Blu-ray

Deanna and Dan just dropped off their daughter Maddie for her senior year of college. But before they have even left the campus, Dan drops a bomb on Deanna: He wants a divorce.

Shocked, Deanna makes the decision to complete her own senior year of college, which she dropped out of on the advice of her husband when she was pregnant. Thus begins Deanna's re-introduction to frat parties, ravers, keggers, concerts -- oh yes, and occasionally studying.

Thu
02
Aug

Death of Superman Surprisingly Fresh, Emotionally Deep

Death of Superman

When I first heard that the next DC Universe animated movie was going to be THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN, I was not thrilled. I was already feeling a downward trend in the storytelling as the animated films tried to form a more cohesive universe, and the stand-alones like BATMAN: GOTHAM BY GASLIGHT weren't all that super of late, either. Seeing this story retold, so soon after having it already retold on the big screen in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, was underscored by the fact that the story was also the very first DCU animated film, under the name SUPERMAN: DOOMSDAY.

To say the least, my expectations were low.

Wed
01
Aug

LEGO DC Super Heroes add Jessica Cruz to Minifigure Line with Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis

With an AQUAMAN movie soon to hit theaters, it makes perfect sense that Warner Brothers and LEGO would want to capitalize on the interest with an Aquaman LEGO adventure. AQUAMAN: RAGE OF ATLANTIS finds the sea king (voiced by DEE BRADLEY BAKER) giving up his crown after his half-brother Orm (TREVOR DEVALL) reveals the fine print of the Atlantean constitution declaring only a full-blooded Atlantean can hold the throne. This comes on the heels of Aquaman's humiliating defeat at the hands of Lobo (FRED TATASCIORE) at a dry lake bed known as Area 52, a military installation designed for the simplification of processing alien weaponry, now gone defunct because the simplification process proved overly complicated causing the entire operation to relocate to Rebirth, New Jersey.

Wed
01
Aug

J K Simmons Delivers Emmy-Worthy Performances in Starz Series, Counterpart

Counterpart Season 1

There's a wall in Berlin that separates it from Berlin. It's not the wall you're thinking of, but it's still symbolic of the cold war that sets the stage for the fascinating science fiction series, COUNTERPART.

Several years ago, an experiment went wrong, and suddenly where there was once one dimension there were now two, each of them identical up to that point in time, and now able to diverge in minute ways, each change cascading into more, like the flap of butterfly wings contributing to the hurricane. The bridge between these two Earths is below the building that is now a United Nations outpost, run by an organization that exists to keep the other dimension a secret, while controlling immigration between the sides, carrying out diplomatic gestures, and engaging in espionage.

Mon
30
Jul

Riverdale - The Complete Second Season (DVD)

The second season of CW's RIVERDALE was a dark and tumultuous ride, as the town found itself under siege by the Black Hood, a masked killer who sought out those he had deemed sinners. And as Archie seeks revenge for the shooting of his father, he gets in deeper and deeper with the dangerous Hiram Lodge, with all debts coming due in the jaw-dropping season finale!

With the third season getting ready to drop, now is the best time to binge the entire second season so that you're all up to date on the action with Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, Cheryl, and the rest of the Riverdale Bulldogs and Vixens to find out what happens next! And Critical Blast wants to help you in that endeavor by putting up for grabs this entire second season on DVD! All you have to do is use the following form below to enter. Notice that there are multiple options -- you can take all of them to multiply your chances of winning!

Wed
18
Jul

Spielberg Delivers Retro-Hit with Ready Player One

Ready Player One

Remember that feeling you had when you walked out of the theater after BACK TO THE FUTURE? I don't mean watching it at home on DVD (or VHS), I mean in the theater, because it means you were there, in that moment, in that era, when the 80s were in full swing and pop culture was expanding into new, uncharted waters. It was the time of the arcade games, parachute pants, and a rich variety of music that launched a renaissance.

When I sat down to watch READY PLAYER ONE, I had not seen the theatrical version. I had not read the book. And when I saw the opening scene, with its cinematically ominous Blade Hunter date and the post-apocalyptic landscape, I groaned. I didn't want another one of these.

That lasted for all of about three seconds, after which I was in sheer fanboy ecstasy for over two hours.

Mon
16
Jul

A Quiet Place a Disquieting Scene of Horror

A Quiet Place

I am ever leery of films that are directed by their lead actor; they tend to be showcase films, and having an actor direct himself is rather like having a writer be his own editor -- you're often too close to the situation to see the flaws.

JOHN KRASINSKI (JACK RYAN) does better than most, however, in overcoming the obstacles inherent in that dynamic with his work on A QUIET PLACE. Krasinski plays Lee Abbott, the patriarch of a family surviving a little over a year into an apocalypse that has devastated most of the population. The audience isn't privy to how the apocalypse happened -- whether the creatures came from outer space, from deep beneath the ground, or from a genetic experiment gone wrong. What we do know is that there is a new species on the planet that cannot see or smell, but can hear and is drawn to noise as its method of locating food.

Thu
12
Jul

Rampage Translates Video Game into Fun Action-Comedy

Rampage Blu-ray

It's difficult to translate a videogame into a film. It's tempting, sure, and the good games provide a lot of inspiration. But ultimately, what happens in the game is brief, and hard to extrapolate into a 2-hour film without throwing in a lot of supposition and side plots.

So that's what directors do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

And sometimes even if it doesn't "work" it's still a whole lot of fun!

RAMPAGE is the latest collaboration between Director BRAD PEYTON and actor DWAYNE JOHNSON. The two have worked together on JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND and, more recently, SAN ANDREAS. Johnson portrays Davis Okoye, a primatologist at the San Diego Zoo with a military background. His pet project is George, an albino gorilla whom he saved from poachers and taught to sign.

Thu
05
Jul

Godmonster of Indian Flats 'Mutton' to Make Fun Of

You know, sometimes you can actually tell a book by its cover--or, in this case, a DVD by its jacket.

The GODMONSTER OF INDIAN FLATS is one of those movies that, if you pick it up to look at it, you’re already classified as one of those who likes weird and strange things...which kind of classifies you as weird and strange yourself. I freely admit I am one such person, drawn to this DVD by the sheer strangeness, nay goofiness, of its title, and upon reading the jacket I was compelled to to take it home to watch.

Believe me, I make no assumptions that I’m going to see something other than what I expect when I choose one of these movies, so I am rarely disappointed; and I’m not here. This movie was everything I thought it would be. Its everything you would think it would be. This movie, by great movie standards, is bad--but by bad movie standards, it's great!

Tue
26
Jun

Jack Reacher on 4K Still Exciting, Still Puzzling

Jack Reacher on 4K

When a former soldier is set up for a heinous crime so well that even he thinks he committed it, the district attorney (RICHARD JENKINS) is assured he has an open-and-shut death penalty case. But when the case makes national news, it comes to the attention of Jack Reacher (TOM CRUISE), an off-the-grid veteran who makes his way across the country to see that justice is done -- and the man is buried. Reacher knew the man in the service, and knows he got away with a horrific crime there.

So it's something of a mystery that the accused killer would ask for Reacher in the first place. Alas, that's the elephant in the room that nobody asks about -- sort of like, if Charles Foster Kane died alone, then who heard him utter the word "Rosebud?" But I digress...

Tue
26
Jun

Black Lightning Premiere Season Now on Blu-ray

Black Lightning Season 1

BLACK LIGHTNING is a CW show that differs from the rest of the DC Comics' based Arrowverse, and not just because it's completely separate from it. CRESS WILLIAMS plays the titular superhero, Black Lightning, aka high school principal Jefferson Pierce. As Pierce, he's a legend in the city of Freeland for his record with getting students into college. But he's legendary for another reason as well -- several years ago he cleaned up the community as the electrically-charged vigilante, Black Lightning. But he went into retirement, and the city of Freeland has gone steadily downhill ever since.

Sat
23
Jun

RWBY Volume 5 Showcases Teamwork and Friendship

RWBY 5

RWBY has many lovable characters that share their experiences with each other, and demonstrates what teamwork and friendship can really accomplish.

The show is an animated series focusing on four young women whose stories intertwine, even though their intentions lead them down different pathways. After an unintentional meeting at Beacon Academy, the four become Team RWBY, and together overcome things that they thought were impossible before, providing support to each other both in battle and at school.

Fri
15
Jun

Sherlock Gnomes a Generic Sequel to More Clever Forerunner

Sherlock Gnomes

SHERLOCK GNOMES -- the sequel nobody asked for after GNOMEO & JULIET -- finds the Capulet and Montague gnomes being transported from Stratford on Avon to London, just in time to become the victims of an unnoticed crime spree of kidnapped garden gnomes. Unnoticed by all except one gnome, that is -- Sherlock Gnomes, sworn defender of all the garden gnomes of London.

Oh, and Watson.

Sherlock (JOHNNY DEPP) is in a slump in the days following the defeat of his arch-enemy, Moriarty (JAMIE DEMETRIOU) -- the mascot of Moriarty's Pies. As in "Moriarty's (s)Pies are everywhere." But when whole gardens of gnomes begin to go missing, Sherlock believes his enemy has returned, and sets out with his beleaguered and mistreated partner, Watson (CHIWETEL EJIOFOR) to solve the clues, left at each scene with Moriarty's traditional playing card motif.

Mon
11
Jun

Tomb Raider: Strong Female Still Needing Rescued by Men

Tomb Raider

Movie fans looking for something fronted by a strong, kick-ass female character will no doubt go into the reboot of TOMB RAIDER with high hopes. The video game character, Lara Croft, is resourceful, smart, cunning, and capable, so why would the movie version be any different?

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