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Blu-ray Review: MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE

MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE Blu-ray | ©2019 Vinegar Syndrome

Rated: R Stars: Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell Writer: Jim McCullough Jr. Director: Jim McCullough Sr. Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome Suggested Retail Price: $24.99 While not as well known as most slasher movies from the 1980s, MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE is a curious relic from the era that has actually aged quite gracefully. Directed by Jim McCullough Sr. and written by Jim McCullough Jr. , the film mixes PSYCHO with standard slasher fare for an occasionally spooky and atmospheric ride accompanied by a creepy score by Rob Dilulio. The film begins with the introduction of Mountaintop Motel proprietor Evelyn (Anna Chappell), […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TOY STORY 4

TOY STORY 4 movie poster | ©2019 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: G Stars (voices): Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Madeleine McGraw, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Ally Maki Writers: Andrew Stanton & Stephanie Folsom, story by John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton & Josh Cooley and Rashida Jones & Will McCormack & Martin Hynes & Stephanie Folsom Director: Josh Cooley Distributor: Walt Disney Release Date: June 21, 2019 It’s not fair to judge most movies by the lofty standards of 2010’s TOY STORY 3, which was wildly entertaining, yet so emotionally potent that grown-ups were sobbing in their seats. Reportedly, some […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CHILD’S PLAY (2019)

CHILD'S PLAY 2019 movie poster | ©2019 Orion Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, Mark Hamill (voice), Carlease Burke Writer: Tyler Burton Smith, based on the 1988 CHILD’S PLAY screenplay by Don Mancini and John Lafia and Tom Holland, story by Don Mancini Director: Lars Klevberg Distributor: Orion Pictures Release Date: June 21, 2019 While it doesn’t feel like the 1988 CHILD’S PLAY was crying out for a remake, what with the existence of 1990’s CHILD’S PLAY 2, 1991’s CHILD’S PLAY 3, and a whole slew of CHUCKY offshoots, the new CHILD’S PLAY is okay. Granted, this edition gets off to a […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: SAVAGE HARBOR

SAVAGE HARBOR aka DEATH FEUD Blu-ray | ©2019 Vinegar Syndrome

Stars: Frank Stallone, Christopher Mitchum, Karen Mayo-Chandler Writer/Director: Steven Monson Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome Suggested Retail Price: $24.99 We’re currently in a renaissance right now on Blu-ray where the studios have given up on digging into their archives for extensive and consistent Blu-ray reissues and remasters, while companies like Severin Films, Shout! Factory, Synapse, Arrow Films and Vinegar Syndrome are giving known, unknown and forgotten exploitation from the 1970s, 1980s  and 1990s their due long-awaited due. Vinegar Syndrome in particular has led the way with a eclectic mix of releases in the last year including the long awaited Blu-ray release of […]Read On »

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POSE: Co-creator Steven Canals and co-executive producer Janet Mock chat Season 2 – Exclusive Interview

Indya Moore as Angel in POSE - Season 2 | ©2019 FX/Pari Dukovic

In its second season (it’s already been renewed for a third), FX’s Networks’ POSE, on Tuesday nights, moves into the ‘90s. We are still in the New York ballroom scene, where gay and trans people, mostly of color, gather in found family groupings and compete at balls. AIDS activism is now on many people’s minds; two main characters, House of Evangelista mother Blanca (Mj Rodriguez) and ball emcee Pray Tell (Billy Porter), have been diagnosed with HIV. Additionally, the mainstream is starting to co-opt ballroom style and culture without attribution, which makes for a lot of mixed emotions. Executive producer […]Read On »

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GRAND HOTEL: Demián Bichir chats about the American remake of the hit Spanish series – Exclusive Interview

Demián Bichir is Santiago Mendoza in GRAND HOTEL - Season 1 | ©2019 ABC/Ed Herrera

ABC’s new drama GRAND HOTEL, debuting Monday, June 17, is based on the Spanish series GRAN HOTEL. The original has been remade in a number of other countries around the globe, including Italy, Mexico, and Egypt. The American iteration, which has Eva Longoria as one of its executive producers, is set in Miami, Florida. Demián Bichir stars as patriarch Santiago Mendoza, owner of the Riviera Grand, billed as “the last family-owned hotel in Miami.” Santiago has his hands full with his family – his two grown children by his deceased first wife (played by Longoria in flashbacks), his current wife […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE DEAD DON’T DIE

THE DEAD DON'T DIE movie poster | ©2019 Focus Features

Rating: R Stars: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Caleb Landry Jones Writer: Jim Jarmusch Director: Jim Jarmusch Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: June 14, 2019 If you are familiar with the works filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, describing THE DEAD DON’T DIE as a Jim Jarmusch movie with zombies should tell you pretty much all you need to know about it. If you’re not familiar with Jarmusch’s oeuvre, perhaps the best way to attempt to convey the experience by noting this is a review, written by someone who’s aware that it’s a review, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHAFT (2019)

SHAFT movie poster from the 2019 reboot | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse T. Usher, Regina Hall, Richard Roundtree, Alexandra Shipp, Isaach De Bankole, Titus Welliver Writers: Kenya Barris & Alex Barnow, based on the novel by Ernest Tidyman Director: Tim Story Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: June 14, 2019 The 2019 film SHAFT is technically a direct sequel to the 2000 film also entitled SHAFT, which also starred Samuel L. Jackson as the title character. That SHAFT was in turn a quasi-sequel to the trilogy of SHAFT films (the 1971 original, which won an Oscar for Isaac Hayes’s indelible theme song, 1972’s SHAFT’S BIG SCORE, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SAY MY NAME

SAY MY NAME movie poster | ©2019 Electric Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Lisa Brenner, Nick Blood, Celyn Jones, Mark Bonnar, Alan Cox, Peter Davison Writer: Deborah Frances-White Director: Jay Stern Distributor: Electric Entertainment Release Date: July 14, 2019 Poor Statton Taylor (Nick Blood). A piano tuner on a small island of the coast of Wales, he has a very tamped-down existence. Statton decides to cut loose one night with pretty American Mary (Lisa Brenner), who he meets in a pub. He promptly forgets her name when they’re in bed together (his mnemonic trick produces the wrong moniker). She is offended. Then their already-interrupted one-night stand in a hotel room […]Read On »

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SAY MY NAME: Director Jay Stern talks about his quirky romantic comedy – Exclusive Interview

Director Jay Stern on the set of SAY MY NAME | ©2019 Electric Entertainment/Huw John, Cardiff

The quirky, dark-ish rom-com SAY MY NAME (opening Friday nationwide) takes place on a small island off the coast of Wales. Here, a visiting American woman, played by Lisa Brenner (also one of the film’s producers), gets together with a depressed local man, played by Nick Blood, for what both will imagine will be a one-night stand. Things take a turn – and then many more turns – when their hotel room is invaded by a couple of thieves. Jay Stern directed the Electric Entertainment production from a script by Deborah Frances-White. Stern’s previous work includes the features THE CHANGELING, […]Read On »

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