Today:  03/20/2018

Review: 'Monsters at Large' is a big hit with the younger set

Posted March 13,2018 - 05:19 PM


When you have kids it is inevitable that you will get a healthy dose of children's programming whether you want it or not. Thankfully, I had my kids at an age where I was able to avoid both Barney and the Teletubbies. But don't even get me started on Paw Patrol.

While most of their entertainment options are background noise while I bury my nose in my phone, every now and then there will be something that catches my attention. Monsters at Large is one such worthy option.

My kids are really in Ghostbusters these days, so when I quickly read the synopsis of Monsters at Large, I figured they would be hooked. I was prepared to heartily roll my eyes as the film trounced upon the classics from my younger days. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised that Monsters at Large truly does earn the...

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Review: Disney hits a home run with 'The Freemaker Adventures Season Two'

Posted March 13,2018 - 04:14 PM


When Disney shelled out $4 billion for LucasFilm, we were shocked and awed. A mere six years later (Really? Has it only been six years?), those of us who grew up on Star Wars are fortunate to live in a world that was beyond our imaginations even as kids.

Disney has taken the Star Wars franchise and grown it to a level that it rivals its other big franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the biggest and best entertainment franchise in existence. What was simply six films (and a treasure trove of peripherals and expanded universe offerings) has grown into a multi-platform franchise with targeted offerings based on any myriad of factors.

Until Disney took over the reins, it was relatively simple to be a die-hard Star Wars, but since the acquisition, I posit that it is nearly...

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Review: 'Children of the Corn: Runaway' deserves a timeout

Posted March 13,2018 - 03:03 PM

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Fifty pages. That is the general length of Stephen King's original short story that served as the inspiration for Children of the Corn. Actual page count varies depending on publication, but the story that originated in the pages of Penthouse (true story) has been much more prolific on the big and little screen.

While only the first two films were released theatrically, Children of the Corn: Runaway is the ninth film in the franchise. Generally speaking, all of the sequels pale in comparison to the original film and there's not much in Children of the Corn: Runaway to reverse that thought process.

The original story featured a bickering couple lost in middle America who strike a child with their car and unwittingly find themselves trapped by a cult of children who worships "He Who...

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Review: 'Fear the Walking Dead' finds its pulse in Season Three

Posted March 13,2018 - 11:08 AM


It's interesting that as the original Walking Dead seems to have finally worn out its welcome, its spinoff Fear the Walking Dead might just be hitting its stride. Ideally, AMC would love to have two bonafide hits on its hands, but the writing may be on the wall for the original series.

Of course, The Walking Dead continues to be one of the most watched shows on TV, but the anecdotal evidence seems to be mounting that it might be time to let the zombies overrun Rick and his merry band of survivalists. Paradoxically, Fear the Walking Dead has seen its viewership number fall through the first three seasons, but there are signs that the show may have finally gotten over the hump.

The show's creators have hinted that there will be a crossover character from The Walking Dead during the...

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Review: Forget the Oscars, 'Lady Bird' soars on its own path

Posted March 07,2018 - 12:02 PM

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Lady Bird is one of those films that sticks with you. Unlike other Oscar-nominated films that fade from your memory once they lose, Lady Bird is going to be the film from 2017 that I feel most people will remember five years or a decade from now.

Actor Greta Gerwig transcends into writer and director Greta Gerwig and the result is a poignant coming of age film that really scratches the facade of reality - acne and all. The film is set during 2002-03 or at the time when Gerwig would have been a senior in high school and the location of Sacramento is likewise the same in the film and Gerwig's life. So, to say that this is a highly personal story for Greta Gerwig would be an understatement.

Lady Bird follows a teen over the course of her senior year in high school who butts heads with...

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Review: 'Thor: Ragnarok' is pure joy on 4K UHD

Posted March 06,2018 - 04:38 PM

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Out of all of the Marvel films that have been released in the last decade, I always felt that the Thor films were among the least enjoyable. Now, that is completely relative, because I would contend that even Thor: Dark World is better than the best offering in the latest round of DC films, but I digress.

Ironically, I felt that the Thor character was one of the most enjoyable in the Avengers films, but they just couldn't get the tone right in his stand-alone movies. That is until I finally watched Thor: Ragnarok. As the old say goes, the third time is the charm and this is certainly the case here as Ragnarok provides a well-balanced mix of laughs and action to create a near-perfect comic book movie.

The first two Thor films seemed to be darker and more pessimistic than their brethren...

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Review: 'The Sandman' fizzles out before it gets good

Posted March 06,2018 - 02:56 PM


If you told me that there's a film with Stan Lee's involvement about a young girl with supernatural powers, I would have said, "Excelsior!" Well, there is a film that fits those guidelines, but it clearly falls short of the quality that we have come to expect from the longtime Marvel collaborator.

To be fair, Stan Lee only serves as an executive producer of The Sandman, but it's a role that Lionsgate clearly wants you to know as his name is larger than any of the cast and almost the title on the box art. And no, before you ask The Sandman does not concern the Marvel comics villain nor is it even loosely based on the Neil Gaiman comic book of the same name.

No, The Sandman is an original story that basically takes the old boogeyman storyline and recasts the lead as a man made of sand....

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Review: 'Coco' is an uplifting spiritual journey

Posted February 27,2018 - 05:25 PM

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There are few things more absolute in life than Pixar delivering an amazing film. Their films resonate not only with children but they are also enjoyed by people at any age. Over the years, their success has gotten to be so expected, that if they were to make a bad film, I worry that it would tear a hole in the very fabric of space and time.

Thankfully, no one has to worry about such things as Coco continues Pixar's dominance of the animated film world. Of course, Pixar isn't one to rest on its laurels and they truly push the envelope by moving far from their comfort zone with Coco and the result is another fabulous film that will delight audiences.

Coco follows a young boy who is born into a family of shoemakers but he dreams of following his heart and making music. The problem is...

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Review: Share another spaghetti kiss with 'Lady and the Tramp'

Posted February 27,2018 - 04:30 PM


Is there a more iconic Disney scene than the one of Lady and the Tramp sharing a surprise kiss via spaghetti noodle? Nope, I can't think of one.

This week, Disney returns with its Signature Collection edition of Lady and the Tramp and love is in the air once again. Not only is Disney allowing new parents (like me) the ability to share their beloved classics with their children without resorting to the clanky old VCR, but they are providing a definitive version that should last for generations.

The real issue becomes if you already own the Diamond Edition of Lady and the Tramp on Blu-ray, is this version worth the double dip? I will answer that question in a moment. First, let's take a deeper dive into this new Signature Collection.

You have three different ways to watch the...

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Review: 'Hangman' is a game that should not be played

Posted February 27,2018 - 03:26 PM


The suspense/serial killer oeuvre is one that is very lucrative and, when done right, is very satisfying for the audience. I mean, who doesn't love a well-thought-out whodunnit?

Sadly, Hangman is not very well thought out and fails to keep the audience entertained enough for the entire 98-minute journey. Despite having an amazing cast and cribbing from some of the masters of the genre including Seven and Kiss the Girls or any other Morgan Freeman suspense film, the film's plot is decidedly paper thin and almost insults the audience's I.Q.

When you start with Al Pacino and Karl Urban, you have the makings of an interesting film. Both actors are phenomenal in their own right, but when you combine them in Hangman, they go together like oil and water. I certainly wouldn't say...

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