News

Today:  12/09/2019

Review: 'Angel Has Fallen' is a familiar story

Posted November 25,2019 - 11:58 AM

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I must admit that I was a late-comer to the "Has Fallen" franchise, having fallen ano pun intended) on Olympus Has Fallen many times before finally finishing it. Once I did, I found that I actually enjoyed the hyper-violence of Secret Service agent Mike Banning.

After finally making it through the first film, I quickly sought out London Has Fallen and enjoyed that installment very much. Of course, the heightened expectations combined with having to wait for the next movie for the first time surely set Angel Has Fallen up for failure.

Either that or it's just not that good of a movie. I'm still not sure. What I do know is that this film is tracking very highly with fans of the franchise and the producers are working with Lionsgate to ready not one, not two, but three more films in the...

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Review: 'Ancient Aliens' season 12 continues the cultural phenomenon

Posted November 19,2019 - 04:06 PM

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There are fewer shows recently that have transcended popular culture as successfully as Ancient Aliens. I'm not sure if it's our obsession with the unknown and the possibility of life on other planets, or this guy.


Yeah, it's probably mostly Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, aka the "Aliens guy."

Is there anyone living a better life these days than Giorgio? I mean the only way it could get better is if aliens showed up outside his home and asked him to fly across the galaxy with him. Whatever drugs he's on, I want some.

But Giorgio is mostly harmless and who doesn't appreciate his passion and joviality? And sadly, he's not the reason behind one of History Channel's most successful shows. The fact of the matter is that Ancient Aliens combines mankind's innate curiosity of little green men...

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Review: 'The Peanut Butter Falcon' is a clear winner

Posted November 12,2019 - 04:42 PM

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If you took all of the parts of The Peanut Butter Falcon separately and tried to convince someone to watch it, you would fail miserably. Let's be honest, very few people would get past the funny title and the fact that it stars Shia LaBeouf.

Let's face it, for, well, numerous reasons, LaBeouf isn't what you'd call a bankable Hollywood talent these days. After such a promising start, he was a victim of the child actor curse and served many demons these past few years. And yet, the 33-year-old actor (yes, he's only 33) still has a long life of potential Hollywood hits ahead of him and The Peanut Butter Falcon is certainly a step in the right direction. Whether it will become his Pulp Fiction only time will tell.

The Peanut Butter Falcon is the story of Zak, a young man with Down...

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Review: 'The Farewell' will say hello to awards season

Posted November 12,2019 - 03:31 PM

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Independent film distributor A24 is the best in the business currently. It is now what Miramax was in its heyday. In other words, it specializes in selecting special films for distribution that more than likely will be a force to be reckoned with come awards season, but regardless, their films will move their audience and leave them changed forever.

A24 doesn't produce their own films, rather they prefer to hand-select their movies from the vast ocean of selections at film festivals that are fully produced, simply waiting for distribution. The competition at these highest echelons is fierce, but without a doubt, A24 has the highest batting average of any indie out there these days and that is incredibly impressive.

Of course, I have been effusive with my praise for A24 over the years,...

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Review: Did '47 Meters Down: Uncaged' jump the shark?

Posted November 12,2019 - 12:17 PM

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Thanks to Happy Days, the term "jumping the shark" has been in the popular culture lexicon for over 42 years. Basically, it means taking something so far beyond the realm of belief that it becomes a signal that the end is nigh.

Whether it's Fonzie ski jumping over a shark or four nubile teens scuba diving with great whites, the sentiment remains true today as it was in 1977. As much as we all love a good shark movie, it might be time to let this fad go belly up.

Around the same time as Arthur Fonzarelli was jumping his shark, another great white had just terrified the silver screen in the form of Jaws and the great oeuvre or shark movies was born. From classics to the forgettable such as Sharknado, I think it's time to admit that we have a shark problem and it's probably best to...

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Review: 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' is a hit for the tween set

Posted November 05,2019 - 04:45 PM

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As you know by now, I was a massive fan of horror films from an early age. It probably stemmed from their surge in popularity during the 1980s when I was in that tween space where I was too old for Disney movies, but probably too young for the horror films that I craved.

Of course, this was also the rise of the VCR and our family was an early adopter and we were blessed with a video store on the corner. During the long summer months, it wouldn't be unusual to make multiple trips to the video store each day looking for more ways to scare me senseless.

I was also an avid reader and when the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books came out, I was hitting my stride in their targeted demographic. I absorbed those books usually in a single day and constantly re-read my favorite stories. I...

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Review: New Story, Same Magic in 'Cinderella and the Secret Prince'

Posted November 05,2019 - 02:57 PM

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While it might seem like Disney has a stranglehold on classic fairy tales or anything written by the Brothers Grimm, the reality is that these stories are very much in the public domain and open to interpretation by anyone willing to take a shot. This week, Shout! Factory Kids brings us a delightfully alternative take on the Cinderella story with Cinderella and the Secret Prince.

Of course, there's a reason why Disney is seen as the gold standard of fairy tales and that's mainly because they have established a certain high level of entertainment that audiences have come to expect from all of their properties. To say that the quality varies with these other studios is an understatement. Sometimes a studio will put in the effort and truly create something magical, mostly though, their...

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Review: 'A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish' injects new life into the franchise

Posted October 29,2019 - 04:51 PM

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

I am generally a sucker for a well-made Christmas movie. Not stalk the Hallmark channel in July for every single holiday romp possible sucker, but if you make a solid Christmas movie, I'm going to watch it.

When the opportunity to review A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish presented itself, I was torn. On one hand, I do like holiday fare, but I have long suspected that the magic has worn off the Cinderella Story franchise. I mean do we really need a fifth installment?

Apparently, we do.

The film is a basic mash up of the familiar Cinderella Story and several holiday tropes, but with a fresh take that will certainly resonate with younger viewers. Kat...

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Review: Schwarzenegger brings the heat to 'Red Heat' on 4K

Posted October 29,2019 - 04:00 PM

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Was there a bigger movie star on the planet in the late 1980s and early '90s than Arnold Schwarzenegger? The answer is no. No, there was no one even close. If you were born around this time, it would be hard to find a contemporary comparison, but if you combined Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Cooper and The Rock, you'd get close.

This was the period between the first two Terminator films and movie studios were crawling all over themselves to figure out how to Arnie into their films. He was familiar to action and science fiction audiences, but why pigeon-hole a bonafide star? So, thus began his odd comedy film career. One of the first films of this period was Red Heat which was a pretty much a by-the-numbers buddy cop movie with a big fish-out-of-water feel to it.

Released in 1988, Red Heat...

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Review: 'Them That Follow' is a haunting dive into the deep South

Posted October 29,2019 - 12:21 PM

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I have lived in Nashville, Tennessee for the last 20 years and while I will never truly be acclimated to all of the little nuances of the deep South, I have witnessed quite a bit. So much so, that I'm willing to believe the plot of Them That Follow, even if it sounds a bit far-fetched to most people from other parts of the country.

Just this last weekend, I was returning from Indianapolis and I decided to pull off of the interstate highway and take advantage of the winding backroads to showcase the beautiful turning foliage. While the drive was pleasant and offered many wonderful vistas, I was reminded just how little you have to travel off the beaten path to discover a world that is wholly unknown to most suburbanites.

If you stop in a backwoods restaurant or convenience store, you...

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