Today:  05/28/2023

Review: Shyamalan keeps you guessing with 'Knock at the Cabin'

Posted May 09,2023 - 02:25 PM

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A few years ago, as the pandemic was just rearing its ugly head, I listened to an interesting audiobook "The Cabin at the End of the World" by Paul G. Tremblay. Given the uncertain times ahead with the onset of COVID 19, this book was a tough slog as it seemed like the book was a bit ahead of its time describing a pathogen with a high mortality rate running amok around the world.

While the plague in the book was little more than a single plot point in a far bigger story with real (or not) consequences, it always stuck with me as COVID 19 took off that maybe the end of the world was, indeed, at hand. Thankfully, COVID 19 has finally cooled off to a point where the WHO has declared an end to the emergency phase of COVID 19.

And yet, much like Tremblay's book, it lingers and pokes at my...

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Review: Gerard Butler continues to deliver with 'Plane'

Posted March 28,2023 - 04:31 PM

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I have a guilty pleasure. When I want to check out and watch a mindless action film, I usually find something starring Gerard Butler. I can never turn off any of the three Fallen films.

So, I was rather tickled to be given the opportunity to review yet another Gerard Butler action film. If anyone can give Liam Neeson a run for his money as King of the Old Dude Action genre, it's Gerard Butler.

Perhaps setting up a whole slew of one-word action vehicle hits Plane takes place on an airplane, but that's only the beginning. An emergency landing is just the start though as survival proves to be tougher than one might imagine after you survive a plane crash. Think of it, "Bus" which could be a remake of Speed or "Boat" which would totally be a take on Speed 2. Hmm, it's too bad they didn't...

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Review: 'TMNT' proves its staying power with complete 2012 series collection

Posted March 28,2023 - 01:50 PM


As a kid born in the 1970s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were my proverbial jam as we used to say. These days, my son says that they are fire. Whatever that means.

One thing is certain, whether you're an old-school original fan or a newer generation discovering TMNT these days, there is plenty of cowabungas and pizza to go around. The anthropomorphic turtles have always counted on a legion of fans of all ages and there is no reason to believe that they are going to fade away into obscurity anytime soon. At least not if Paramount/Nickelodeon has anything to do with it.

Back in December, Paramount made the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Series available on DVD for the first time and it was yet another milestone in the Turtles' journey to legendary status. The series,...

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Review: 'Twixt' finally gets its due in 'The Authentic Cut'

Posted February 28,2023 - 04:57 PM


While re-visiting Twixt for this new "Authentic Cut," cheekily retitled 'B'Twixt Now and Sunrise,' I was unexpectedly overcome with emotion. I was in the minority when this film was first released in 2013 as I thoroughly enjoyed Francis Ford Coppola's work here and was excited to see if it holds up a decade later.

I daresay that it more than holds up. The Authentic Cut is actually about 10 minutes shorter than the theatrical release, but Coppola has only made the movie more intense with its new brevity. While there are a few additional scenes and a slight change to the ending, the film pretty much survives intact from its original release and I couldn't be happier.

When struggling supernatural fiction writer Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) arrives in an isolated small town as part of...

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Review: You can teach Nic Cage new tricks in 'The Old Way'

Posted February 22,2023 - 02:57 PM

Old way

Nic Cage. Western.

Those are two words that seem incongruous together, but I'm here to tell you that after watching The Old Way, I'm sort of sad that it took Hollywood this long to get Nic Cage in a Western film. To be fair, the genre has been in a bit of a slump since its mini-resurgence around the release of Unforgiven in the early 1990s.

With the onset of Covid, the Western has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance as they tend to be easier to shoot with fewer special effects. Also, there are plenty of scenes set outside in a Western, so they tend to not be super spreader events. And yet, we had to wait until 2023 to get Nic Cage in one.

That is a shame.

Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage (1995, Actor in a Leading Role, LEAVING LAS VEGAS) stars in his first-ever Western as Colton Briggs,...

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Review: 'Mindcage' is an ambitious albeit flawed thriller

Posted January 31,2023 - 04:34 PM


If Mindcage were made in the mid-1990s, it's possible that it would have been right up there with Seven in terms of culturally-relevant filmmaking, but alas it's 2023. While viewing Mindcage is sort of a trip to a simpler time when serial killers were all the rage, it didn't pack in all the conveniences of the intervening 30 years and we are left with a bit of a nostalgic fluff piece where the parts are definitely more than its sum.

And yet, there is just something mesmerizing about John Malkovich and his performance alone is worth a watch. That said, I'm not surprised that critics are mostly panning this movie while audiences seem to be connecting with it in a much more positive way.

We constantly talk about the disconnect between critics and "real audiences," but this void is the...

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Review: 'Paradise City' slightly squanders a golden opportunity

Posted December 20,2022 - 03:33 PM


The last (and only) time we saw Bruce Willis onscreen with John Travolta, Bruce was filling John with lead as Pulp Fiction was reaching its crescendo. Ever since that moment, movie fans have been clamoring to get the two titans of action films together once more.

Enter Pardise City.

What should have been a slam dunk, home run, and whatever other sports metaphor you want to toss around is another wasted opportunity in the waning moments of Willis' career. Since his Aphasia diagnosis, as fans, we have been counting down to the end of Willis' acting resume with one disappointing movie after another.

Thanks to Bruce Willis' consummate chase for that elusive payday, he has no shortage of films in the can. Of course, no one knew about his condition when he was filming these movies and the...

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Review: 'Smile' is a bit familiar, but still a good scare

Posted December 13,2022 - 04:48 PM

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As most of you know by now, my daughter and I record a horror podcast, so any chance to review a horror film allows us to watch it together. This was the case when the opportunity to review Smile came up.

I'm a huge horror nerd and I had been hearing so many good things about Smile, I was sure that my review would be glowing. Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it glowing, but there were a few derivative moments that made me wonder what all the fuss was about.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I would adjust your expectations if you're expecting something as revolutionary as Nope or Pearl. Still, Smile was a decent watch and a worthy addition to the annals of horror.

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts...

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Review: Vestron gets into the holiday spirit with 'Silent Night' collection

Posted December 13,2022 - 04:03 PM

Silent night

It's no secret that I absolutely adore the Vestron Video Collector's Series from Lionsgate. It doesn't hurt that I watched most of these films when they came out repeatedly.

But as we've detailed here numerous times, this Vestron series is taking these cult movies and giving them the red-carpet treatment they deserve. With the spate of streaming services popping up, there's a real void for films from smaller studios or boutique labels that no longer exist.

Many times, these films get lost in litigation (Dogma anyone?) and never see the light of day again. Sometimes, however, these movies get a boost thanks to the fine people at Lionsgate. The result is the Vestron series where not only are the films being made available again but they are loaded with bonus features that would make any...

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Review: 'Clerks III' is a heartfelt declaration to living life to the fullest

Posted December 06,2022 - 04:53 PM

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Look, I make no apologies. I absolutely adore Kevin Smith. I have been fortunate to meet him on several occasions and even introduce him during the Red State stop at my alma mater, Butler University back in 2011.

Heck, my daughter was conceived that very night, and no, prima nocta was not invoked by Smith. So, if you're expecting anything less than a glowing review, then I'd recommend you keep searching.

And yet, not two minutes into Clerks III, I was full-on cursing Kevin Smith for one particular event that occurred in the interval between Clerks II and the latest movie. I will try to avoid as many spoilers as possible, but no guarantees. Somehow, I was able to navigate the minefield before watching it and I truly hope that you go into it as pristine as possible.

Clock back into the...

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