Today:  08/20/2018

Review: 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties' is out of this world

Posted August 14,2018 - 04:21 PM

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It's a story as old as time itself. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. The girl turns out to be a cannibalistic alien. And Nicole Kidman shows up for some reason.

OK, perhaps this story is a bit different than the ones that you grew up watching, but that's precisely the point. Based on a short story by Neil Gaiman, How to Talk to Girls at Parties is visual awakening congruent with its late 1970s setting in London. The visual fireworks are provided by director John Cameron Mitchell, whom you may remember for his transformative work in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Mitchell adapted, directed and starred in Hedwig and a cult classic was born. With How to Talk to Girls at Parties, you can almost feel at times that Mitchell is trying too hard to recreate the spontaneous process of...

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Review: 'Ninja Steel' continues the Power Rangers legacy

Posted August 14,2018 - 03:05 PM


I don't know what it is, but there's just something about the Power Rangers. Kids love the show for its cheezy action and adults tolerate it since it usually means that the kids will be enthralled for at least half an hour.

But not all Power Rangers seasons are created equal and some are noticeably better than others. Unfortunately for Ninja Steel, it is not on the better side of this equation. Quite the opposite actually as I found that this season was, at times, unbearable and that's saying something.

The underlying Power Rangers action that they lift from the Japanese Super Sentai series is fine, but it's the interstitial stories and characters that don't work for me. The basic premise of the season is much the same as other Power Rangers shows, monsters are intent on destroying...

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Review: Politics oozes off the screen in 'Affairs of State'

Posted August 14,2018 - 11:52 AM


I don't know about you, but when I sit down to watch a movie, I want to escape. The real world spinning around us each day is filled with enough drama and intrigue that when I watch a movie, I just want to escape it all.

Affairs of State is not a film that aims to promote escapism. No, it takes the sizzling current political landscape and turns it up to 11 with enough backstabbing and sexual roulette to make Omarosa blush.

The movie promotes itself as a gripping thriller in which rising political newcomer Michael Lawson isn't shy about getting dirty in his rise to glory. Along the way, he's willing to sleep with a Presidential candidate's wife and daughter to further his political ambitions. With such a busted moral compass, what wouldn't he do to get what he wants?

The film...

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Review: 'The Yellow Birds' treads familiar war themes

Posted August 14,2018 - 10:38 AM


"War is hell."
- William Tecumseh Sherman

We have known the evils of war ever since General Sherman famously quipped his comparison during the American Civil War. And yet, it's probably safe to say that similar indictments of conflict have been shared since the dawn of time.

Given that, it's hardly surprising that the latest in a long list of films dealing with the ongoing Iraq War would rely heavily on the familiar battlegrounds of those that preceded it. The Yellow Birds doesn't shed any new evidence on the evils of war, nor does it reinvent the genre, but it does remind us that we are still ensnarled in a conflict halfway across the world, no matter what former President Bush said about the mission being over.

The premise behind this latest film is simple. Two young soldiers go...

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Review: Ten years of Marvel films pays off nicely with 'Infinity War'

Posted August 13,2018 - 04:41 PM

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It has all been leading up to this. Ten years and 20 films later, Avengers: Infinity War is the payoff that every comic fan has been waiting for since Marvel entered the cinematic universe with Iron Man.

Have they all been perfect? No, there have been films that have been less entertaining than others, but for every Thor: The Dark World, there's an Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy that unexpectedly blows our expectations out of the world.

But through it all, Marvel had a plan for its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and that plan pays off in a big bad way with Avengers: Infinity War. From the very first film, there were hints and easter eggs teasing of a larger picture and a massive fight to come. With each successive film, Marvel added new faces and dropped in old ones to further...

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Review: 'Van Wilder' brings vulgarity to 4K

Posted August 13,2018 - 03:24 PM

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Let's face it. Ryan Reynolds is living his best possible life. Let's forget for a moment that he's married to the lovely Blake Lively. Let's also forget that he's a veritable box office monster with his Deadpool franchise.

Even the once laughing stock film on Ryan's resumà Green Lantern shines brighter today than ever. Not only was it retconned out of existence in Deadpool 2, but it served as a nice one-off joke in Teen Titans Go! To The Movies. Although my co-worker recently confirmed that after all of the years, the film still doesn't hold up.

Good. Life is just too good for Ryan Reynolds right now, so he deserves at least one failure. Right? Well, as if he needed more residuals, Lionsgate is releasing Van Wilder on 4K UHD Blu-ray this week.

Yes, they recently brought Van Wilder...

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Review: 'Muppet Babies' relaunches for a younger generation

Posted August 13,2018 - 12:25 PM

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It's weird, when the original Muppet Babies came out, I was nine and a bit too old for it. When Disney launched a Muppet Babies reboot this Summer, my kids were 4 and 6, right at the upper crust of their demographic.

The original series was a hit for the generation Y kids that ran for an entire eight seasons. Disney is hoping that this new series will pop in much the same way for the young millennials.

The concept behind the series remains the same. The Muppets are babies and have adventures both in their nursery and beyond. Along the way, fan favorites such as Kermit and Miss Piggy learn valuable lessons that, hopefully, will translate onto their young audience as a whole.

The episodes air in pairs over the course of 30 minutes with commercials, so they are quick-hitters...

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Review: Olivia Munn takes center stage in 'Six: Season 2'

Posted August 07,2018 - 03:42 PM


If there's one thing that I know, it's that Olivia Munn makes everything better. Don't like a TV series, just add Munn. OK, that might be stretching it a bit, but I was absolutely floored by her performance in Newsroom and now, I just can't get enough of her.

Needless to say, I was excited when it was announced that Olivia Munn would be joining Six in the second season as a series regular. While I was pretty sure that she wouldn't be joining as a member of SEAL Team Six, I was hoping that she wouldn't be relegated as a wife or girlfriend role either.

When Six: Season 2 debuted, we were treated with a complete badass Olivia Munn as CIA agent Gina Cline. She joins forces with SEAL Team Six as they hunt down the terror group responsible for the attack on their former team leader Rip.


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Review: 'Elena of Avalor' continues to expand its rule

Posted August 07,2018 - 02:31 PM


This is the third DVD review that we have done with Elena of Avalor and the one constant is that the show continues to get better with each passing episode. With this week's Elena of Avalor: Realm of the Jaquins, the main content on the DVD is the movie special of the same name and a couple of other Jaquin episodes from Season Two.

So, yes, that's three DVD offerings from season one and there are still episodes from that season that haven't seen the light of day on DVD. You might remember that I have been grumbling lately about this new direction that Disney is going in with the kid-oriented original content. Instead of releasing complete seasons at a higher price point, they are grouping episodes together for less money.

Of course, if you add up what you spent on three DVDs, you're...

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Review: 'Transporter 3' delivers on 4K UHD

Posted August 07,2018 - 11:46 AM


So, Jason Statham has a new movie coming out (The Meg - think Jaws but with a bigger shark) and that means that Lionsgate is going to leverage the film's theatrical coattails to release a 4K UHD catalog film from the Statham library.

This is a strategy that Lionsgate has been employing as of late and I applaud them for it, but it just seems odd to release Transporter 3 all by itself. I mean, why not release all three of them and really go for it? Oh yeah, that's right, the first two films belong to Fox before the series shifted over to Lionsgate for the third installment. Awkward.

Still, Transporter 3 seems like an odd choice here. Lionsgate could have gone with Safe or the Crank films and avoided this whole lack of symmetry, but what do I know? Actually, there is a bit of precedent...

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