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DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Squirm Blu-ray Review
Yesterday, 10:50 AM
There haven’t been many movies made about killer worms, yet Jeff Lierberman’s directorial debut, Squirm, may have been the first. Made on an ultra low budget... Read More
Nightbreed: The Director’s Cut Limited Edition Blu-ray Review
Oct 29 2014 04:28 PM
Filmmakers don’t often get the opportunity to restore their original vision to an earlier piece of work, especially when that film was a financial disappoint... Read More
The Vanishing (1988) Blu-ray Review
Oct 29 2014 01:42 PM
George Sluizer’s original 1988 version of The Vanishing is a thinking man’s suspense picture. It has the kind of creeping-up-behind-you dread that keeps you... Read More
Planes: Fire & Rescue Blu-ray Review
Oct 28 2014 02:09 PM
Disney’s 2013 toon Planes did enough business to justify this 2014 sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue, but the two features, both animated by Disney’s second-t... Read More
Oct 30 2014 10:41 AM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
There haven’t been many movies made about killer worms, yet Jeff Lierberman’s directorial debut, Squirm, may have been the first. Made on an ultra low budget in 28 days on location in Port Wentworth, Georgia, the film is better than it deserves to be, thanks to its quirky and off-beat sense of humor and never taking itself seriously.
Oct 29 2014 04:17 PM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Filmmakers don’t often get the opportunity to restore their original vision to an earlier piece of work, especially when that film was a financial disappointment, likely due to studio tinkering. Such is the case with Nightbreed, a film written and directed by Clive Barker in 1990 (and based on his 1988 novella, Cabal) that he eventually lost control of when he and Morgan Creek had creative differences over what the finished product should (or could) be. Shout! Factory now brings Barker’s director’s cut to Blu-ray (through their Scream Factory label) in two editions, likely pleasing fans of the film.
Oct 29 2014 01:29 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
George Sluizer’s original 1988 version of The Vanishing is a thinking man’s suspense picture. It has the kind of creeping-up-behind-you dread that keeps you watching even when things on the screen are rather mundane (on the surface; this is a movie with tons of subtext), and its moments of tension are prolonged very satisfactorily. If the director’s own English language remake in 1993 took this golden source material and cheapened it somewhat, the original is still the real deal: a masterful examination of cunning evil masked by innocuousness.
Oct 28 2014 01:53 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Disney’s 2013 toon Planes did enough business to justify this 2014 sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue, but the two features, both animated by Disney’s second-tier cartoon unit used mostly for television animation, have the kind of sparseness and lack of drive that easily differentiate them from the studio’s more mainstream efforts like Frozen and Tangled. The stories aren’t nearly as compelling, the characterizations are much less complex, and there’s a feeling of ho-hum about them once they’re over. The family’s younger folk will certainly be drawn in, but these efforts do not offer for an adult audience the charm, wit, and complexity that the best of Disney and Pixar can manage.
Oct 26 2014 06:50 PM | Cameron Yee in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
To clarify, Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell manga is celebrating the 25 years, not director Mamoru Oshii’s film adaptation, which came out in 1995. And Anchor Bay didn’t really need that kind of excuse to remaster the theatrical cut for Blu-ray, considering the DVD came out way back in 1998.
Oct 26 2014 06:39 PM | Neil Middlemiss in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
F for Fake, Orson Welles’ enigmatic experiment in film, takes the audience on a curious journey into enough truth to be believable as a documentary, and enough lies about those truths to be an unexpected delight. Presented by Orson Welles, the film posits an examination of forgery and fakery, and the illusion of truth it creates. As a subject, that’s a potent idea, but trust Welles’ to take an imposturous approach, with an impromptu feel and reporter’s tenor, and create something wholly new.
Oct 26 2014 12:48 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
For over a quarter of a century, actor David Suchet has been essaying his most iconic role, that of Agatha Christie’s gloriously eccentric Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. With the five productions contained in Series 13 of this release, the Poirot adventures have now come to an end after seventy productions (both hour long and TV-movie length) and that many or more criminals exposed and, if not always brought to justice, at least identified with their secrets brought out into the open. One would like to say that they’ve saved the best for the last, but, alas, a couple of these final adventures have been culled from among Mrs. Christie’s weakest efforts and a couple are from short story collections which have been plumbed to ferret out the best bits to fashion into a TV-movie length mystery. All are worth seeing, certainly, for Suchet’s brilliant interpretation of Poirot in his final years as a detective, but viewers will have to revisit previous years of the series to find the sleuth at his undoubted best.
Oct 24 2014 01:55 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
An alternative point of view retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent might not quite have the enchantment and delicate magic of the classic 1959 Disney animated feature, but it certainly scores points for its emotional storytelling for its title character and for fleshing out characters who were certainly one-dimensional creations in the original work. Running a very comfortable ninety-plus minutes and paced cleanly to hit the familiar story’s high points with some neat twists along the way, Maleficent is definitely a crowd pleaser and well worth seeing.
Oct 24 2014 11:16 AM | Richard Gallagher in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Just in time for Halloween, Scream Factory follows up its excellent and entertaining box set The Vincent Price Collection with a box set of seven more films starring the horror film icon, appropriately titled The Vincent Price Collection II. As the second such collection it is fitting that two of the films included in this set are themselves sequels, and this highly entertaining collection is good enough that fans of Price will be left eagerly clamoring for a release of The Vincent Price Collection III.
Oct 23 2014 03:10 PM | Dave Upton in Equipment Reviews
PC Gaming in the Home Theater – ASUS STRIX GTX 780 OC Review
Some of us have reluctantly admitted that gaming in the home theater is something best done on consoles, and despite the best efforts of Sony and Microsoft to bring state of the art visuals to the new generation PS4 and Xbox One respectively, the quality and native resolution of games leaves much to be desired in the home theater. For a price, PC gamers have always been able to enjoy an advantage in visual quality over consoles, but until now gaming in the home theater has been difficult if not impossible to achieve.
Oct 23 2014 01:42 PM | Matt Hough in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
After scoring a hit recreating his Tony-winning Broadway role in the movie version of The Seven-Year Itch (though its popularity was probably more ascribed to its top-billed star Marilyn Monroe), Tom Ewell next went into another even more deliberate domestic farce, this time with one of Fox’s Marilyn Monroe substitutes Sheree North The Lieutenant Wore Skirts. Broadly written and directed and with gender roles and character behaviors based on the times that seem obnoxiously dated and insulting now, The Lieutenant Wore Skirts doesn’t show anyone in his or her best light though there are admittedly a few amusing moments.