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Monday Mixer: It's Shark Week

Posted June 27, 2016, 3:06 PM

I really don't understand our society's obsession with sharks. I mean, I get it. Ever since Jaws debuted (41 years ago last week), the once benign ocean-dwelling beasts were raised to mythic proportions.

Now, thanks to Steven Spielberg, sharks were sworn enemies of humanity intent on fulfilling their blood lust through any means at their disposal. And for those us that have suffered through Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge can attest, every conceivable mean (and several that shall never be talked about again) has been tried.

But, do we really need an entire week of television devoted to them? I mean really, are we truly learning so much about them year-to-year that we need to spend an entire week each June on sharks? Apparently so, because Shark Week is a cultural phenomenon and I blame it for the never-ending barrage of...

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Review: 'The Martian' Extended Edition 4K UHD is other worldly

Posted June 23, 2016, 5:06 PM

When a new format for home entertainment is released, there is always that one title that becomes the iconic standard by which all other future released are judged. For DVD, that title was Twister and for Blu-ray, the first iconic release was most likely The Fifth Element.

With the onset of the brand new Ultra HD Blu-ray format, we already have an early leader for the format-defining release in The Martian. The film debuted on home entertainment on January 12 of this year and we have already seen not one, but two Ultra HD Blu-ray releases within six months.

The Martian Ultra HD Blu-ray was a part of the first wave of releases in the format from Fox in mid-May and on June 7, the Extended Edition Ultra HD Blu-ray debuted. That's right, the format is less than six months old and...

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Nothing 'Peculiar' about 'Miss Peregine's' new trailer

Posted June 21, 2016, 2:06 PM

I've had Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children on my to-read book list for years, but I've never gotten around to picking it up. Something about having two children under the age of five and the loss of anything even resembling free time, but the film adaptation is definitely not something that I'm going to sleep on.

In fact, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is one of my breakthrough sleepers of the Fall. It is a film that I strongly believe may be the biggest surprise hit of 2016. Of course, it doesn't hurt when you have someone with Tim Burton's track record calling the shots.

The real kicker for this film though is that the story upon which Tim Burton is able to paint his masterpiece is as equally strong as any of the awe-inspiring visual oddities that the director...

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Monday Mixer: Another young actor leaves us way too soon

Posted June 20, 2016, 3:06 PM

This year has not been kind with news of untimely death. We all know that our own mortality is inevitable and yet, we somehow believe that we will live forever. The reality is that everyone dies, but it seems that far too many in Hollywood are dying tragically young.

This weekend saw the tragic, freak car accident that ended the life of talented actor Anton Yelchin. He was most recently and probably best known for playing Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek films, the latest of which is due out next month. But, being the huge Stephen King fan that I am, I first saw him steal the screen in Hearts in Atlantis and knew that he was going to be special.

Alpha Dog is the performance that will most likely be his crowning achievement and yet, I always thought that his...

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'Storks' trailer fails to deliver

Posted June 16, 2016, 4:06 PM

If you want to see the worst trailer released so far in 2016, simply scroll down and watch the official first trailer for Storks. This is especially disappointing after the success of The Lego Movie seemed to elevate Warner Bros. to the upper echelon of animation heavyweights.

I realize that I'm not the target audience of this film and after seeing The Angry Birds this week with my kids, I realize more than ever that they can enjoy a film on a level that I'm no longer able to. Either that or their innate lack of experience in watching good films is skewing their appreciation level.

Yeah, let's go with that because The Angry Birds wasn't a particularly great film, it was just OK. The one random homage to The Shining was interesting, if not a bit out of place, but that...

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Monday Mixer: Summer heats up at the box office

Posted June 13, 2016, 11:06 AM

It's hot.

Both outside and at the box office this weekend, the heat was turned up and there's no question that we are deep in the throes of Summer. As most of you know, I live in Nashville and there's no better indication that it's Summertime than the annual weekend of death, aka Fan Fair and Bonnaroo.

Yes, someone made a conscious decision that it would be fun to have hundreds of thousands of people to descend upon the greater Nashville area during the peak of the Summer heat. Normally, I avoid both traps like the plague, but with family in town I was talked into heading downtown.

Sometimes, we take our liberties for granted. Never once this weekend did I consciously feel as though my personal safety was at risk, but it only takes a moment to realize that we are not...

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Review: 'Zootopia' highlights Disney's human side

Posted June 8, 2016, 4:06 PM

Disney has crafted a long history of talking animals. In fact, you could say that they've built their entire kingdom on the foundation of a talking mouse. And yet, it is still very difficult to get audiences to empathize with anthropomorphic animals.

For children, connecting with these films is a no-brainer as their developing sense of identity is more open to the impossible. As we get older, we find it more difficult to relate with such childish whimsy, and yet, we are a captive audience at the behest of our children who must see this film, or else they will die.

At least that's what they tell me.

So, over the last decade or so, studios have been experimenting, even if subtly, on trying to satisfy both their young audiences and those that have to chaperone them. This is no simple feat and...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

  • Traders
  • Marguerite & Julien
  • The First Monday in May
  • Newcomer
  • 13 Cameras