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Review: There can be only one definitive 'Highlander'

Posted September 27, 2016, 4:09 PM

I have a confession to make. Up until this past week, I had never seen a single frame of any of the Highlander films. So, when the opportunity to review the 30th Anniversary Edition, I figured I was either the most (or least) qualified person to pen an unbiased review.

Of course, by not having grown up with lore of Highlander in my DNA, would I be able to appreciate a film that has a cult following and has come to surpass the constraints of conventional analysis. For instance, it would be as unfair to compare the special effects by today's standards as it would be to criticize the lack of color in It Happened One Night.

And yet, I have seen enough good (and bad) films to be able to look beyond the technological constraints of the 1980s and see the...

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Review: Despite promise, 'Cell' loses its signal

Posted September 27, 2016, 2:09 PM

It's no secret that I'm a huge Stephen King fan. I've read most of his novels and many of his short stories, but when it comes to film adaptations of his works, it's very much hit or miss.

For instance, I think The Shawshank Redemption is not only one of the best Stephen King adaptations, but perhaps in the top ten films ever made. On the other hand, for every Shawshank, there are five or six Riding the Bullets. Unfortunately, Cell falls squarely in the latter category.

I loved the novel upon which the film is based and when word came out that King himself would be writing the screenplay, I figured we were going to be treated to a classic thriller. At the very least, King's involvement would ensure that the project remained on the right track after Eli Roth bailed...

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Review: 'The Catch' is truly a guilty pleasure

Posted September 26, 2016, 4:09 PM

Over the years, it has become much more difficult for the wife and me to find suitable television watching that is both enticing for both of us, yet also kid-appropriate enough that we aren't left diving for the remote if they get up and stumble into the family room. When we learned that Castle was coming to an end last Spring, we started to feverishly search for a replacement.

We decided to give the latest series from Shonda Rhimes, The Catch, a shot as it seemed to capture the sexual tension from the early seasons of Castle and Bones, but with fewer dead bodies. After all, con artists sort of avoid killing at all costs since a dead body tends to draw unwanted attention for the con artists.

Sure, like other Shondaland shows, a certain level of intimacy was expected, but we...

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Monday Mixer: A most 'Magnificent' opening weekend

Posted September 26, 2016, 11:09 AM

Last week signalled the official start of Autumn, but temperatures have been anything but tepid since the calendar changed. In fact, the weather has been more akin to the raging heat of Summer and the box office seemed to be cooperating.

But yet again, a hot start on Thursday night from previews fizzled as the weekend unfolded. Both newcomers were tracking about $10-15 million more than their estimates. So, will the box office continue to cool off as the weather finally starts to move closer to seasonal norms?

Time will tell naturally, but it looks like that box office won't fully rebound until late October. November and December will take care of itself thanks to a new film based on the Harry Potter books and another new Star Wars film, but the next few weeks will be most telling as to how...

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Review: 25 years later, 'Beauty and the Beast' still shines

Posted September 22, 2016, 11:09 AM

A quarter of a century. Think about that for a minute. What has changed in the last 25 years?

The world of 1991 that saw the debut of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is so foreign from the world we live in now, that it boggles the mind that anything from 1991 can still resonate today. This was a world where the nascent Internet was still getting its legs and practically no one had an email address.

Heck, "long-distance" phone calls were still a thing in 1991 and we were a decade away from the events of 9/11 that would forever alter our view of the world. So, in this context, does a simple Disney film such as Beauty and the Beast still hold up in today's world?

I just happen to be uniquely qualified to put that question to the test. My...

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Monday Mixer: 'Blair Witch' gets lost in the woods

Posted September 19, 2016, 11:09 AM

At what point will studios abandon the sequel/reboot strategy? Not a day goes by that we don't hear about another doomed-for-failure sequel or remake that we don't need.

I mean, I get the attraction for Hollywood. These old franchises already have a built-in audience and they can bank on name recognition from the general public. They also tend to be cheaper to produce for a variety of reasons, but the fact of the matter is that we may have finally reached our saturation point.

Not one, but two sequels bombed this weekend. And yet, I'm sure there will be news this week of at least three new sequels getting their green light.


But, enough with the pleasantries, let's get to the Mixer.

Box Office 411

So, most people thought that Sully would crash and burn this weekend thanks to Blair Witch, but once again, Tom...

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Review: 'Quantico' reinvents Must See TV

Posted September 13, 2016, 1:09 PM

One thing that I've learned now that I'm still a relatively new father is that you no longer own your TV. You see, before kids, my wife and I used to watch a lot of TV shows, but after the kids came, we quickly learned that they ruled the TV, among other things.

So, these last five years or so, we have become very picky when it comes to taking on new shows. Often, we will watch one or two episodes and decide whether the new show warrants further watching or not. Of course, we have been burned once or twice when we get hooked on a new show and the network cans it.

Last Fall, one of the shows that we were most looking forward to checking out was Quantico, but like many new shows, we were skeptical about its long-term...

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Undiscovered Picks

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

  • The Wailing
  • The Last Film Festival
  • My Many Sons
  • A Beautiful Now
  • Lace Crater