TV Review: DOCTOR WHO – Series 8 – “Into the Dalek”

Peter Capaldi as The Doctor vs. the Dalek in DOCTOR WHO - Series 8 | ©2014 BBC/BBC Worldwide/Ray Burmiston

Stars: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Zawe Ashton, Michael Smiley, Samuel Anderson, Nicholas Briggs Writer: Steven Moffat & Phil Ford Director: Ben Wheatley  Original Telecast: August 30, 2014 Network: BBC America The first episode of DOCTOR WHO where a new regeneration of The Doctor is introduced is always a bit of a dicey phase. The Doctor is never really who is he is going to be with his new face, and you kind of have to get around all of the more unstable parts of his personality post regeneration. The second episode following a regeneration is typically where we really get …Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE Collector’s Edition

PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE Collector's Edition Blu-ray | ©2014 Shout! Factory

Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Harold Oblong, George Memmoli, Archie Hahn, Jeffrey Comanor, Gerrit Graham, Jessica Harper Writer-Director: Brian De Palma Suggested Retail Price: $29.93 Distributor: Shout! Factory The 1970s, we sure do miss you. That era of experimentation and filmmaking ownership is sadly a thing of the past, but the movies still remain and every now and again a reissue reminds you of how crazy brilliant that era was. PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE was writer-director Brian De Palma’s comedic musical take on the PHANTOM OF THE OPERA legend. Very quirky, stylish and campy, it’s very different from the suspense …Read On »

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Movie Review: AS ABOVE, SO BELOW

AS ABOVE SO BELOW movie poster | ©2014 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge, Francois Civil, Marion Lambert, Ali Marhyar, Cosme Castro Writers: John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle Director: John Erick Dowdle Distributor: Universal Release Date: August 29, 2014 One has to hand it to AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. Not only is it the first horror movie to make such extensive use of the real catacombs below the city of Paris, but it’s not often that you hear a character in a stressful situation – in any genre – ask, “Is this before or after Copernicus?” Scarlett (Perdita Weeks), the protagonist in AS ABOVE, …Read On »

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Movie Review: THE NOVEMBER MAN

THE NOVEMBER MAN poster | ©2014 Relativity

Rating: R Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich, Amila Terzimehic, Lazar Ristovski, Caterina Scorsone, Will Patton Writers: Michael Finch & Karl Gajdusek, based on the book THERE ARE NO SPIES by Bill Granger Director: Roger Donaldson Distributor: Relativity Release Date: August 27, 2014 If a film centers on a former secret agent who was the best ever and is famed among his peers for knowing every trick in the book, casting Pierce Brosnan pretty much guarantees that the audience will immediately give credence to this part of the set-up. In THE NOVEMBER MAN, Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, …Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: MOTEL HELL Collector’s Edition

MOTEL HELL Blu-ray | ©2014 Shout! Factory

Stars: Rory Calhoun, Paul Linke, Nancy Parsons, Nina Axelrod, Wolfman Jack Writer: Robert Jaffe, Steven-Charles Jaffe Director: Kevin Connor Suggested Retail Price: $29.93 Distributor: Shout! Factory Of all the now cult 1980s movies, MOTEL HELL stands out as one of the craziest, strangest, funniest and most inventive. This 1980 horror flick which owes greatly to THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE has not been treated well on home video – its last incarnation on DVD it was paired up as a Midnite Movies no frills double feature with DERANGED. Once again Shout! Factory outdoes themselves with their re-release of cult gems and …Read On »

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TV Review: DOCTOR WHO Series 8 Premiere Cinema Experience – “Deep Breath”

Peter Capaldi in DOCTOR WHO - Series 8 - "Deep Breath" | ©2014 BBC/BBC Worldwide/Ray Burmiston

Stars: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Neve McIntosh, Catrin Stewart, Dan Starkey Writer: Steven Moffat Director: Ben Wheatley Original Telecast: August 23, 2014 Network: BBC America & in select cinemas At Christmas time Whovians were given their first look at the 12th (or, erm, maybe 13th or 14th?) Doctor, Peter Capaldi. As the newly regenerated Timelord stumbled around the control room of his TARDIS and asked his companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) if she had any idea how to fly the time and space ship. That was it. That was all. There were a handful of photographs released, and yes there was …Read On »

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CD Review: LE PROFESSIONNEL and LE MARGINAL soundtracks

LE PROFESSIONEL soundtrack | ©2014 Music Box Records

Somehow, unlike the latter Jean Reno who’d play the Eric Serra scored PROFESSIONAL the original, ultimate French tough guy named Jean-Paul Belmondo never quite caught on as an English language star, despite his savoir faire with guns, girls and cigarettes – qualities he’d practice in abundance with 1981s LE PROFESSIONNEL and 1983s LE MARGINAL. But beyond their Gallic leading man, what would truly connect the first movie’s revenge-seeking agent and the second’s drug-busting commissioner were two uniformly superb scores by Italian composer Ennio Morricone, now remastered and given complete releases by France’s Music Box Records. Adept at every conceivable genre …Read On »

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CD Review: THE CASE AGAINST 8 and THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtracks

THE WEDDING DATE: THE RECEPTION EDITION soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

Now best known for putting propulsive arrows in the Green ARROW‘s quiver, Blake Neely seeks musical justice in a far more subdued, but equally powerful manner when it comes to overturning America’s legal prejudice against gay marriage. Marking another dramatically effective documentary score after chronicling The Challenger’s MISSION OF HOPE, Neely once again conveys a poignant, human face on landmark events. His CASE AGAINST 8 takes on an ethereal, subtly Americana tone as heard for rhythmic beds of guitars, piano, strings and poignantly sampled atmospheres. This score isn’t about winning the fight against voter and government-mandated prejudice with fist-waving, but …Read On »

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CD Review: IN YOUR EYES soundtrack

IN YOUR EYES soundtrack | ©2014 Lakeshore Records

A guitarist and arranger for such composers as Brian Tyler and Harry Gregson-Williams, Tony Morales has been impressing with his suspenseful, action-heavy scores for THE BAG MAN and ENEMIES CLOSER, while also netting an Emmy nomination for co-scoring the hellbilly hootenany of the HATFIELDS & McCOYS along with John Debney. Perhaps that’s why Morales’ romantic score for IN YOUR EYES  sounds like it could be taking place during a Van Damme face-off, as well as a mesmerizing mind-eye bridge where boy meets girl via psychic connection. Morales’ programming chops, not to mention melodic talent, add much musical atmosphere to this …Read On »

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CD Review: GOLDEN NEEDLES and THE FOURTH PROTOCOL soundtracks

THE FOURTH PROTOCOL soundtrack | ©2014 Buysoundtrax

From spies to a certain magnum-blasting cop, Lalo Schifrin can be certified as one of Hollywood’s most versatile men of musical action – though it’s likely to be his lightning fists of Chopsocky jazz-Fu which will go down as his most popular score (along with Bruce Lee’s most popular film) for 1973s ENTER THE DRAGON. But perhaps an even cooler contender would be the soundtrack for director Robert Clouse’s 1974 follow up GOLDEN NEEDLES, which had seven treasure hunters of various moral shadings pursuing an idol whose “seven forbidden acupuncture points” all kick ass with Schifrin’s distinctive take on exotic …Read On »

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