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Review: 'Burn Country' is the culture clash film we all need right now

Posted February 7, 2017, 5:02 PM

It's safe to say that there is a certain level of xenophobia sweeping our country right now. And no, this review will not get political, I promise.

I only mention it to mark this film's place in the world when it arrived on DVD this week. Burn Country is a film that is buoyed by strong performances from some of the best actors in Hollywood, but it takes on another level of meaning given the current landscape in this country.

Dominic Rains is a real surprise as an Afghan exile journalist who comes to a small Northern California town after covering his fair share of war violence in Afghanistan. Beyond simply being a fish out of water film, Burn Country tries to stay above the political sniping to focus on the fears of a small town and its perceived invasion from outside...

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Review: History shares the 'Real' story behind two classic villains

Posted February 7, 2017, 4:02 PM

I'm beginning to think that I'm either the best father or the worst. My son has a very eclectic taste in TV watching. He loves The Curse of Oak Island and, like me, he still can't understand why they haven't found Hitler.

He's a chip off the old block.

He's also three years old.

So, imagine my surprise (there really wasn't any) when he was excited to see my review copy of Frankenstein: The Real Story / The Real Wolfman. He has a fascination for the classic monsters that is almost certainly not healthy for a toddler, but what can you do?

Naturally, I encourage it.

Frankenstein: The Real Story is a collection of three documentaries (IN SEARCH OF THE REAL FRANKENSTEIN, FRANKENSTEIN and IT'S ALIVE! THE TRUE STORY OF FRANKENSTEIN) that takes a deep dive into both the origins of the character and the...

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Review: 'John Wick' reaches new heights in 4K UHD

Posted February 7, 2017, 4:02 PM

For Blu-ray, the baseline title upon which to compare every other film that was released in this new format was The Fifth Element. This film was included in the first wave of titles released by Sony and with its rich color palette and heavy special effects, the film truly came alive on Blu-ray.

For years, I would throw in that original Blu-ray of The Fifth Element whenever I had friends and family members over to preach to them of the benefits of Blu-ray. When I do that for 4K UHD Blu-ray, my go-to title will forever now be John Wick.

I'll be honest, I was late to the game on John Wick. I did not rush out to watch it in theaters. I ignored the generally positive reviews on the film and did not seek it out when it first came out...

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Review: 'Shaun the Sheep' collection provides plenty of laughs

Posted February 7, 2017, 2:02 PM

It's funny how quickly that kids can change their taste. Sometimes, their infatuations can last for years, but other times, they can fall in and out of love with something over a matter of hours. Oh, to be young and fickle.

In many ways, I envy this trait that we all seemingly grow out of. By the time you reach your twenties, you know what you like and what you don't. In fact, as we tend to migrate to others with similar tastes, we tend to surround ourselves with an echo chamber that just reinforces our life's decisions and tastes.

I wasn't an early adopter when it came to Wallace & Gromit, but I've truly developed an appreciation for their work over the years. Shaun the Sheep is a spinoff that I've rather enjoyed even more than the original series. So, I...

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Monday Mixer: All of the Super Bowl movie ads here

Posted February 6, 2017, 11:02 AM


Fills up coffee mug for the second, no third time.

I'm going on the record now. My vote can be bought for 2020. I will literally vote for any candidate that supports making the Monday following the Super Bowl a national holiday.

I jest, I think, but it is hard to get up this morning and focus on things of consequence, so please apologize all of the typos and split infinitives. I'm a suffering Lions fan, so I had no dog in the fight, but I do like the underdogs and as such I joined the plurality of people in this country by throwing my casual support behind the Falcons.

I don't have anything against the Patriots per se and Tom Brady is a good Michigan man, but there's just something inherently enjoyable about a team winning that hasn't ever won before...

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February the 4th: 'The Last Jedi'

Posted February 4, 2017, 11:02 PM

Will I make it? I mean, I had good intentions to have this news story queued up on Friday waiting for the 4th, but Murphy's law and all that.

So, here I sit with about 40 minutes until the 5th, typing away to make this deadline. The question remains, will I make it? I'm not sure, let's see, shall we?

The biggest story of the last 30 days has to be the reveal of the title for Episode VIII. The next installment in the Skywalker franchise will be called Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The first teaser poster was also released and you can see it to the right.

The title is certainly open to interpretation. We all know that the Jedi is both the singular and plural version of the word, so does the title refer to Luke alone or Luke and...

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Review: Madea is back in a big 'Boo' way

Posted January 31, 2017, 4:01 PM

It's funny. Some films are universally beloved, while others seem to play better to a certain audience. Whether it's young or old, male or female, some films just tend to find their water with certain audiences.

I have tried time and again to watch Madea films, but each time I came away frustrated. It seemed that everyone was in on some sort of inside joke but me. It would be easy to simply say that I'm not the intended demographic and move on, but that would be like cheating.

I can appreciate humor, but I just never found any of the previous Madea films all that funny. That's not to say that I didn't appreciate Tyler Perry's genius because he is certainly that and by taking on the writing and directing along with the lead role, he is most definitely the spirit...

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Undiscovered Picks

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

  • Wheeler
  • The Watcher
  • Bad Kids of Crestview Academy
  • 10 Days in a Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story
  • 100 Streets