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Today:  04/10/2021

Review: 'The Undoing' is unraveled by its format

Posted March 23,2021 - 05:19 PM

Undoing

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

HBO is making a killing in the turn-a-book-into-a-limited-series business. See Big Little Lies. See The Outsider.

Sometimes stretching a book into a mini-series works. Sometimes it doesn't.

There are so many wonderful parts of The Undoing and it's definitely worth a watch, but ultimately I can't help but wonder if the book wouldn't have been better served as a more compact movie in lieu of its six-episode run.

A couple is living a seemingly perfect life until a violent death and a chain of terrible revelations opens a chasm in their lives. In the wake of these events, a strong woman must forge ahead and create a new life for her child and her...

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Review: 'Cicada 3301' is a tangled web worth getting caught in

Posted March 16,2021 - 05:17 PM

Cicada

I love puzzles. I love mysteries. I love treasure hunts.

Dark Web: Cicada 3301 checks all of those boxes and then some.

Last year, I was utterly captivated by Jason Segel's imagination on full display in Dispatches from Nowhere. Better yet, the central mystery of this limited TV series was based on a real-life mysterious game that seemingly dissipated as quickly as it appeared.

Enter Dark Web: Cicada 3301.

The film is likewise based on a real-life online treasure hunt that captivated the online community in 2012 and is still potentially ongoing. Cicada 3301 has been described as everything from a hoax to a recruiting tool by the CIA or some other three-letter organization.

Every day, whether it's Pronunciation Guide or The Markovian Parallax Denigrate, the Internet is ripe with...

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Review: Tell everyone about 'Don't Tell a Soul'

Posted March 16,2021 - 03:13 PM

Soul

Not since Timmy and Lassie has a well ever generated as much entertainment value as it does in Don't Tell a Soul. Sure, Baby Jessica got her two-plus days in the limelight thanks to her well excursion in 1987, but it doesn't quite live up to the drama that unfolds over the course of 83 tightly wrought minutes in Don't Tell a Soul.

That's not to trivialize the trauma suffered by Baby Jessica or the wackiness that Lassie could so succinctly convey Timmy's location, but there's something about this film that captures both the real-life trauma and craziness of the well-involved incidents that preceded it.

Teen brothers concoct a plan to steal money from a house that is being fumigated to help their sick mother. When they are caught by Hamby, a security guard, a chase ensues and...

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Review: Jackie Chan passes the baton in 'Vanguard'

Posted March 09,2021 - 05:00 PM

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Jackie Chan is 66 years old and shows no sign of slowing down. The life-long martial arts actor trained with Bruce Lee and his unique style of comedy and action has come to define a certain brand of martial arts film that can quite simply be summed up as a Jackie Chan.

Chan has prided himself on doing all of his own stunts and refusing to "pull a punch" so as to create a sense of realism that is quite literally unmatched in the genre. But, Jackie Chan is no spring chicken anymore.

While he isn't getting any younger, that doesn't mean that he's slowing down anytime soon. We really haven't seen a rise to an heir apparent for his special brand of performance, but perhaps we start to see a passing of the baton in his latest film Vanguard.

Jackie Chan stars as the CEO of a covert security...

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Review: 'Wrong Turn' reboot adds new blood into the franchise

Posted March 03,2021 - 04:41 PM

Wrong

Pop quiz, hotshot: how many films are in the Wrong Turn franchise?

Even if you're a bonafide horror junkie like me, this question will most likely cause you to pause. After the debut of the wildly successful Wrong Turn in 2003, Hollywood did what Hollywood does best: take a good thing and drive it into the ground.

The correct answer, by the way, is seven.

The recent release of the reboot Wrong Turn is technically the seventh film in the last 18 years, but you might be hard-pressed to consider it canon. But then again, it's lightyears better than say the last three or four Wrong Turn films, so what is it?

Wrong Turn follows a group of friends who set out on the Appalachian Trail, but soon veer off the trail despite repeated warnings to stay on the trail. Once they take their "wrong...

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Review: 'Rick and Morty' is the best pandemic binge available

Posted March 02,2021 - 04:59 PM

Morty

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

If there's one good thing that has come out of this pandemic, it's given me plenty of time to catch up on shows that I missed the first time around. One show that I finally got around to watching is Rick and Morty. It's not only a fun show, but I maintain that it is easily the best pandemic binge available right now.

At just over 900 minutes, you can watch the entire series in a little over 15 hours. For the record, I do recommend copious amounts of bathroom and hydration breaks during that time. But honestly, the time simply flies by. I had caught up on the show last year, but I enjoyed revisiting the entire series over the last couple of weeks...

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Review: 'Cheer! Rally! Kill!' delivers made-for-TV horror

Posted March 02,2021 - 04:38 PM

Cheer kill

As you know I am a self-proclaimed horror aficionado. I've been watching blood and guts disembowel themselves from their unlucky victims since I was way too young, so I consider myself a bit of an expert when it comes to horror.

The genre is shy to jump on trends and exploit them until they run their course. Whether it's sororities, Santa Claus, or cheerleaders, horror films know that their bread and butter is the young, vulnerable female. Whether they are victims or killers, the horror genre seemingly never misses an opportunity to exploit young women and their blood and guts.

This "trend" continues with Lifetime's made-for-TV collection of horror films Cheer! Rally! Kill!. The five-film collection features "horror" films about cheerleaders that debuted on the Lifetime Network in...

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Review: 'Victor and Valentino' fills a beautiful animated niche

Posted March 02,2021 - 03:02 PM

Victor

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this news story. The opinions I share are my own.

There is just not enough time in the day.

I know that this is a common refrain spoken by many people in many vocations, but it especially rings true in the entertainment world. In the age of the cord-cutter, all of these fledgling streaming services must create or find original programming to add value to their service.

Meanwhile, network TV continues to churn out gobs of reality TV shows and a countless number of crime procedurals. The market has suddenly become extremely crowded with no relief in sight.

At some point, the streaming bubble will burst like all good things tend to do and contraction will occur. Until then, we have to navigate...

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Review: Nic Cage pops the weasel in 'Willy's Wonderland'

Posted February 12,2021 - 05:07 PM

233696 oereqs

It's not often that we review theatrical releases on our site. Given our focus on home entertainment, we usually wait until the inevitable release on Blu-ray and/or DVD to share our thoughts.

But the times, they are a-changin'!

At least for this week. Our good friends over Screen Media hooked us up with a screening link of their newest film Willy's Wonderland starring Nic Cage and I couldn't resist. Don't worry, I'll be sure and re-publish this review when it lands on Blu-ray later this year.

I have never played the videogame "Five Nights at Freddy's," but I hear it would be right up my alley. The game centers on animatronic characters from a Chuck E. Cheese type establishment who come alive and go on a bloody rampage at night.

It's a very popular franchise and it seems that its...

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Review: 'Love, Weddings & Other Disasters' goes heavy on the disaster

Posted February 09,2021 - 05:00 PM

Love wedding

Do you fondly remember simpler times? Like the early 2010s when seemingly disparate plots would culminate in romantic bliss ala Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve?

You know, the time when there was a new mega cast holiday-themed RomCom coming out just about every year. Well, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters is the end result that would have naturally evolved had this series gotten to say, Arbor Day or Flag Day.

To be fair, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters packs a lot of star power and just enough filming competency to stand in for a veritable Hollywood blockbuster. There's just something missing that ultimately sinks this out of place relic yearning for a far less discerning audience.

With a couple's impending nuptials as the backdrop, Love, Weddings & Other...

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