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DVD Reviews
Dec 12, 2017

From the Land of the Moon

It's not as hard for Brits to make the figurative journey to American cinema as it is for foreign language-speaking actors, which makes complete sense, given their literal nearness, cultural ties, and common speech. Many from other countries do grace our screens, but English speakers have the advantage, be they Australian, Irish, from anywhere in the UK, or from around the globe. So for a French native like Cotillard to have such a strong impact on Hollywood is no small feat. I first saw her in an American picture in 2003 in Big Fish, a stunning film. A few years later she'd make her move: A Good Year, Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Dec 12, 2017

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Final Chapters
Nickelodeon's recent adaptation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (usually known as 'TMNT 2012') has finally come to a close after five seasons; ratings declined slowly with each passing year, but stayed consistent in the home stretch. That goes for the series' overall quality as well: it's certainly not without its highs and Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Dec 07, 2017

Atheist America
Ralf Buecheler's Atheist America (2015) is a feature-length documentary that promises 'an intimate, concentrated, and entertaining insight into the culture war' between two competitors: Austin, Texas' long-running call-in TV series The Atheist Experience and its home state's dominant religious community. Guess which camp the film sides with?For newcomers, The Atheist Experience---or AXP, as it's commonly known---fields callers from religious and non-r...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 28, 2017

Family Guy Ssn 15
Family Guy was a welcome addition to the FOX family back in 1999, but nearly 20 years on it's as divisive as television programming gets. The hardcore fans that have stuck around are fairly loyal, while others endlessly criticize its reliance on cutaway gags. But the reality is that much like modern seasons of South Park and The Simpsons, Family Guy delivers consistency in waves. Sometimes it's on point and others it's not. That's just the nature of the beast. Still, some insist on applying an all or nothing' mentality to this program, but it does have its moments, and to rob it of that is disingenuous. It's still entertaining in its 15th season, but does that alone warrant a purchase?

Once again the Griffins and friends are dealing with modern fads and lampooning pop culture at every turn. I'm all for skewering celebs and whatnot, but the writers rarely reached higher than the lowest hanging f...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 22, 2017

John Bunny - Film's First King of Comedy

When people think of silent comedians, Charlie Chaplin, or possiblyBuster Keaton, leap to mind. Before either of those star becamefamous however, John Bunny was drawing in audiences with theone-reelers he was making at Vitagraph. Now largely forgotten, evenamong silent film fans, this important actor from the early days ofcinema gets some attention in John Bunny: Film's First King ofComedy. This short (41 minutes) documentary looks at thecomedian who was billed as 'the man who makes more than thepresident' and made over 150 films during his five-year career.

John Bunny came from a sea-faring family. His father and grandfatherwere both mariners and his mother advised him not to go to sea...until he was 21 years old. But breaking with tradition Bunny went tothe theater. Based in New York, John played the circuit as part of aminstrel show and took smaller roles in pl...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 19, 2017

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXXIX

It's a bitter sweet day for Mystery Science Theater fans...Shout! Factory has released the last (probably) collection ofepisodes from the original run of the show. While it's great thatthree new episodes (and a disc of bonus material... more on thatlater) are out on DVD, it's sad that there are eleven installmentsthat have never been released, and probably never will be, becauseof copyright issues. Still, these three shows from the Mike yearsare solid, and the set, rather aptly, includes the very lastepisode.

The shows included in this set are:

Experiment 601 - Girls Town:

(referring to Mel Torme): He's like a youthful Jabbathe Hut!

This first episode from season six features the installation of theUmbilicus, a tube that runs from the Satellite of Love to Deep 13,and allows items to be sent between the Mads and the SoL. It'...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 16, 2017

Welcome to Happiness

A junior-varsity Magnolia
Nick Offerman, Keegan Michael Key, Paget Brewster
Josh Brener, quirky films
Style without substance
Old accepted corporate sexism

If you make a movie with Nick Offerman, Keegan Michael Key and Paget Brewster, there's a very good chance I will watch it. That's why you cast great, high-profile actors like this trio, even if they are filling small roles. You know what you are getting with them and what you're getting are quality performances that will raise the overall quality of the film they are in. That's the case when it comes to Oliver Thompson's feature debut, Welcome to Happiness. Bu...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 15, 2017


The understated French drama of the year is Moka, a revenge tale without the revenge. This is a style that we see every season, the quiet, heavy, high-character, low-action, French film that critics are supposed to eat up and convince audiences that they should like too. And sometimes it works, sometimes we relate to you that a foreign film of this genre is exactly that, weighty but wonderful. Moka, I'm afraid, doesn't fall into that category. It is dramatic, yes, it is familiar, which isn't always unwelcome, but it lacks the punch needed to make up for the slow speed of its story. Basically, this film is an average ...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 13, 2017

Glory (2016) aka Slava
Tzanko Petrov (Stefan Denolyubov) lives quietly and simply. He has a rabbit, which he is devoted to caring for. He lives in a small one-room apartment, rarely seems to eat, and sets his watch, a gift from his father to him, by calling the operator for the time. During the day, he walks the train tracks looking for loose bolts, and tries to overlook his fellow employees siphoning gas out of train cars, to be sold illegally. One day, Tzanko finds something wholly unexpected on his route along the tracks: a bag of money, lying on the tracks. Tzanko, a man of honor, turns the money into the transit authority, which provides an opportunity for Julia Staykova (Margita Gosheva), the transit PR director, to generate not just some good special interest press for the railway company, but also political points for the local minister.There is no reason for Julia to treat Tzanko disrespectfully, nor for Tzanko's...Read the entire review

DVD Reviews
Nov 08, 2017

PAW Patrol: The Great Snow Rescue
PAW Patrol continues to be one of Nick Jr.'s most popular franchises; now four seasons deep, a fifth has been ordered and merchandise is still selling like hotcakes. The Great Snow Rescue is the tenth themed collection of PAW Patrol episodes on disc; it doesn't really change anything about the show's formula or characters, and doesn't have to. Most episodes go like this: the six PAW Patrol canines (klutzy firefighter Marshall, aquatic expert Zuma, cons...Read the entire review

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