News

Today:  12/07/2021

Review: Marvel gets mystical with 'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'

Posted November 30,2021 - 05:00 PM

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been carefully plotted over the course of the last dozen years or so. With the release of Avengers: Endgame and Black Widow, Marvel closed the book on the third phase of the MCU and we were intrigued what the future might hold.

The direction of the MCU was revealed in a big bad way on the small screen through the release of Marvel TV series on Disney+ such as Wandavision and Loki, but there's no mistaking what lies in store for Marvel after the release of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

It's about to get mystical up in here.

Up to this point, the MCU has largely been grounded in the real world and science - even if that science was mostly theoretical or entirely made up. But now that the band-aid has been ripped off and audiences...

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Review: Kevin Smith lays bare his mended heart in emotional 'Clerk.'

Posted November 23,2021 - 07:20 PM

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I have certainly lived a charmed life. I am grateful that my job has allowed me to exist on the periphery of the Hollywood that I grew up watching, first on the big screen and then in the comfort of our own home.

Kevin Smith is a couple of years older than I am, but I would certainly consider us to both be in the same generation. We were among the first kids to grow up with video cameras in close enough reach that the glare from Hollywood suddenly seemed a lot more attainable.

As I was starting high school, Smith was enrolling at the Vancouver Film School with visions of black and white denouement dancing in his head. During my freshman year in college, I was working projector booth during an on-campus screening of Clerks and in much the same way Slacker inspired Smith, Clerks was my...

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Review: 'Snowpiercer' finds its groove in Season Two

Posted November 10,2021 - 03:32 PM

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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.

I would say there are only a few films that I've seen in the last decade that continue to occupy daily space in my mind. Most movies these days are akin to the disposable friends that Tyler Durden waxes intellectually about in Fight Club, you see them, enjoy them, and forget them.

One movie that continues to stand the test of time for me is Snowpiercer.

A bleak and dystopian look at our future survival during an ice age on a train, Snowpiercer was directed by Academy Award-winning director Bong Joon-ho and stars Captain America himself Chris Evans and remains a cinematic highlight of the last decade. That said, the film was based on a graphic...

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Review: 'L.A. Story' arrives on Blu-ray with a terrific flourish

Posted November 09,2021 - 04:42 PM

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If there's one actor who epitomized a father figure during my formative years, it was Steve Martin. From the Father of the Bride films to Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Steve Martin was the go-to Dad of the early '90s.

At the same time though, he was also developing a career as a loveable everyman who has trouble finding love ala Billy Crystal in every movie he's been in. While my interests tended to be aligned with the more family-friendly fare from Martin, 1991 was a big year for the actor.

Not only did the first Father of the Bride come out that year, but he also showed his more dramatic chops in Grand Canyon and L.A. Story which were also both released in 1991. Believe it or not, this marks the 30th Anniversary of the release of all three of those films and Lionsgate has outdone...

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Review: Aliens take center stage in 'Legends of Tomorrow' Season 6

Posted November 09,2021 - 01:32 PM

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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.

It's funny, for every misstep that DC makes on the big screen, they continually deliver satisfying entertainment on the small screen. A lot of that success certainly falls in the hands of uber producer Greg Berlanti and his Arrowverse stable of TV shows on The CW, but it's like he has the Midas touch and it doesn't appear to be dissipating anytime soon.

One show that has certainly found its fanbase is DC's Legends of Tomorrow. An ensemble superhero show that tries to be DC's answer to Guardians of the Galaxy on the small screen, Legends of Tomorrow takes the best of several shows before it to create a little bit of escapism that we all need...

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Review: Chemistry is on point in 'Best Sellers'

Posted November 03,2021 - 04:24 PM

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There was a rumor last month that veteran actor Michael Caine was retiring. After a near heart attack by Christopher Nolan, the actor put the kibosh on the report and he's not quite done with the silver screen yet.

While we, as film buffs, are certainly relieved to hear the news, the real winners will be the people who may still discover Caine in one of these late films. Michael Caine has two Oscars and nearly 200 credits over the last 70 years, but there are still people out there who first discovered him in Nolan's Batman trilogy.

Likewise, there will be someone out there who will discover him in this week's Best Sellers. For that person, they are in for a treat because it's abundantly clear that the thespian is still in top form and he instantly elevates any project that he's in.

...

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Review: 'The Christmas Specials Collection' Steelbook is the perfect holiday gift

Posted November 02,2021 - 01:24 PM

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As soon as the calendar switches over from October to November, it's time to cue the holiday music and egg nog. No really, Mariah Carey literally comes out of hiding like some sort of Christmas version of the groundhog and kicks off the two-month holiday period.

So much for Thanksgiving, if you've been in any store lately, you'll see that the battle between Halloween and Christmas is in full effect. This year, you throw in the still-simmering pandemic and supply chain issues, and it's a perfect storm that may end up with more stories of coal for Christmas than ever before.

But, it's not too late to get started on your holiday shopping. One area that continues to be evergreen great gifts is physical, collectible versions of your gift recipients' favorite movies. Or, if you're buying...

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Review: 'Warning' is an ambitious cautionary tale

Posted October 26,2021 - 01:34 PM

Warning

Usually, filmmakers don't hammer you over the head with their message. But with Warning, it's all there in the title.

Writer-director Agata Alexander makes her feature-length debut with Warning and she certainly didn't waste frames with navel-gazing. Instead, she's packed everything and the kitchen sink into the film's tight 86 minute run time. It's like she's taken a whole season's worth of Black Mirror and scaled it down to serving-size samples.

I make the Black Mirror reference because surely every review will mention it as the vignettes that make up the larger story really do feel like rejected concepts for the Netflix series. It's not that they fall short of merit, but it seems that they could have expanded and explored individually with more time for introspection.

As it...

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Review: 'The Colony' explores beyond the 'happily ever after'

Posted October 21,2021 - 03:06 PM

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Hollywood has a fascination for all things "happily ever after." Many of their offerings focus on the struggle and pathos that lead up to the clichà ending above, but for some people, that's not enough.

I am one of those people.

As it relates to the film The Colony, a traditional Hollywood film would focus on the lead-up to the catastrophic event and the heroic and heartbreaking decisions that have to be made to ensure humanity's survival. See Greenland. Deep Impact. The Day After Tomorrow.

You get my point.

Far less celluloid is spent on what comes after that proverbial ending, but that's the part that I'm always fascinated about. Humans have a way of adapting and finding a way to survive. If our planet is decimated to the point of needing to find another home, will those left...

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Review: 'Smallville' has never looked better than on Blu-ray

Posted October 20,2021 - 03:57 PM

Smallville

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.

The first superhero movie that I ever recall watching as a child was Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman. At five years old, this film introduced me to the world of comics as Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman thoroughly entertained me.

It wasn't perfect, but it was darn near as close to perfection that we will see for many, many years. But even as I watched this thrilling film, I was left with a bit of longing in my young heart for the "lost years" in Superman's journey.

Decades later, enter Smallville.

I get it. I quickly learned that film's old trick of the montage is a valuable tool to communicate large chunks of plot and...

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