Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Mike Mettler  |  Jun 26, 2020  |  0 comments
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ZZ Top ain't been nicknamed That Little Ol' Band From Texas for nothing, you know. But just in case you don't, please bear witness to this highly informative 2019 Banger Films documentary, which delves Rio Grande-deep into the true origins of this tight-knit blues 'n' boogie trio. (Incidentally, said trio also happens to comprise the longest-running unchanged lineup in rock history—51 years and counting, as of presstime.)
Roger Kanno  |  Jun 19, 2020  |  0 comments
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Jumanji: The Next Level is an adventure-comedy with a winning cast featuring Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan. The plot is a bit formulaic and doesn't quite take this episode in the Jumanji franchise to the next level as stated, but the action is plentiful and there's enough humorous and family-friendly dialogue to keeps things moving apace. As far as Hollywood blockbusters go, Jumanji: The Next Level is a pretty good offering, with plenty of exciting stunts and special effects and high production values.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 12, 2020  |  8 comments
It's around this time of year that a few disparate "guy" movies new to the format or re-released usually pop up on Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray. That's because, as I've said since the early DVD days, discs make fantastic gifts, and not just for Father's Day. But Sony chose a different path for 2020, opening the door of its vast and prestigious Columbia Pictures vault to debut six titles on 4K Blu-ray as the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection: Volume 1.
David Vaughn  |  May 29, 2020  |  0 comments
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Def Leppard got its start back in 1977 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England when Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis formed a band called Atomic Mass. Joe Elliott joined the band a short time later and became the lead singer and proposed a new name for the band, "Deaf Leopard," which was ultimately adopted with some modified spelling. Kenning ended up leaving the shortly before their first recording session and was replaced by a fifteen-year-old drummer by the name of Rick Allen.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 22, 2020  |  1 comments
Enthralling in every way a movie can be, George Lucas' Star Wars (retconned as Episode IV: A New Hopein 1981) is simply one of the greatest achievements to ever hit the screen. A wildly imaginative yet classically inspired adventure, it has been entertaining audiences—and spawning prequels, sequels and spinoffs—since 1977.
Mike Mettler  |  May 21, 2020  |  20 comments
One thing our ongoing pandemic lockdown continues to remind many of us music lovers of on a daily basis is just how much we all miss attending live concert events.
Mike Mettler  |  May 15, 2020  |  1 comments
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It would be easy to characterize Chuck Berry, who passed away at age 90 in 2017, as one cantankerously acrimonious fellow, but after revisiting Taylor Hackford's astute 1987 documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll, now available on Blu-ray for the first time via Shout Select, I'm reminded of how captivating, creative, and downright business-savvy the pioneering, guitar-playing singer/ songwriter actually was.
Josef Krebs  |  May 08, 2020  |  1 comments
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Around 1890, two lighthouse keepers—isolated on a remote New England island with just gulls, each other, and a large supply of liquor for company—begin to gradually lose their sense of reality, civility, and eventually their sanity in an atmospheric concoction not conveyed this intensely since The Shining. It all makes for a great (if grueling) two-handed drama.
Josef Krebs  |  May 01, 2020  |  0 comments
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Uncut Gems, like its lead character, Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), is challenging. A brash, lying, motor-mouthed, but charming hustler trading in precious gems and jewelry from a store he owns in Manhattan's Diamond District, Howard's real talent is upsetting people—along with other self-destructive behavior like pissing off the loan sharks he's heavily in debt to.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 10, 2020  |  3 comments
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Linda Hamilton is back as pistol-packin' mama Sarah Connor and badass as ever, her days dedicated to a familiar mission: ridding the world of killer robots. Dark Fate is James Cameron's first active role in the franchise he created—here as a producer and co-writer—since 1996's T2:3D theme park ride, which surely accounts for much of the movie's old-shoe feel.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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The date noted in 1917's title (April 6, to be precise) puts us well into World War I, when young Lance Corporal Blake along with his mate Schofield are dispatched from the Allied trenches with an urgent message. Some 1,600 soldiers, Blake's own brother among them, are heading into certain slaughter if new orders are not delivered to the commanding officer. And so, facing impossible odds, the brave duo embarks on a mission that could change the course of the conflict.
Roger Kanno  |  Mar 27, 2020  |  0 comments
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Zombieland: Double Tap revisits the characters of Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita, and Little Rock (played by Woody Harrelson, Jessie Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin, respectively) 10 years after the original Zombieland takes place. There is plenty of clever dialogue and zombie kills to keep the film moving at an entertaining pace, even though it lacks some of the freshness of the original. This latest version of the zombie apocalypse also benefits from an excellent supporting cast that includes Rosario Dawson, Thomas Middleditch, Luke Wilson, Avan Jogia, and Zoey Deutch in an especially humorous performance.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 20, 2020  |  3 comments
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The true story of sports car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles' partnership with the Ford Motor Company to challenge legendary Ferrari and perhaps win racing's ultimate test of endurance, the 24 hours of Le Mans, is can't-miss Hollywood gold. While not quite a David v Goliath tale—we learn that cash-strapped Ferrari was something of an underdog—the results here are a heartfelt ode to cars, speed, second chances and next chapters, and good old American ingenuity.
Josef Krebs  |  Mar 13, 2020  |  0 comments
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Is it the search for assorted MacGuffii—bank-heist loot, giant opal, camera that records brainwave images the blind can see—that sends self-destructive Claire, her writer ex, and a bounty hunter after thief Sam Farber? Or is it love? Threatening in the wings is a nuclear satellite plunging to Earth that, if shot down, could create a chain-reaction atomic pulse that wipes all electronic circuit boards, including the file of the novel the film is being based upon.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 28, 2020  |  3 comments
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Subtitle it The Ballad of Never-Easy Rider. Produced by Cameron Crowe, David Crosby: Remember My Name is a self-actualized love letter to one of rock's most significant rollercoaster-ride careers. Croz's admitted goal for the film's wished-for postscript is some level of interactive redemption with his chief collaborators of years past—i.e., Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young—all of whom he doesn't speak with to this day. (Why? As he readily admits, the combination of anger and adrenaline always turn him into "instant asshole.")

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