Reviews

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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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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Movie Review: DARK PHOENIX

DARK PHOENIX poster | ©2019 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Nicholas Hoult, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee Writer: Simon Kinberg Director: Simon Kinberg Distributor: 20th Century Fox Release Date: June 7, 2019 DARK PHOENIX is okay. If that sounds like less than a ringing endorsement, this is because the movie doesn’t hum with the invention and joy of the best X-MEN movies. On the other hand, it’s clear and coherent, takes on a few issues previously unmentioned in the film series, and has some action sequences that work very well. Apart from THE WOLVERINE […]Read On »

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THE HANDMAID’S TALE: Series creator Bruce Miller talks about the hit Hulu series – Exclusive Interview

THE HANDMAID'S TALE - Season 3 poster| ©2019 Hulu

THE HANDMAID’S TALE, which just premiered its third season on Hulu, has been a phenomenon. Adapted from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel, THE HANDMAID’S TALE in its first became the first series on a streaming service to win Emmys for Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Lead Actress (Elisabeth Moss as June/Offred), Outstanding Supporting Actress (Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia), Outstanding Direction (Reed Morano), Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Guest Actress (Alexis Bledel as Emily/Ofglen), and Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program. The second season brought two more Emmy wins (Guest Actress for Samira Wiley, Outstanding Editing, and a second win for […]Read On »

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WHEDONCON 2019 convention preview plus tales from the 2018 WhedonCon

WHEDONCON 2019 | ©2019 WhedonCon 2019

WhedonCon 2019, celebrating all of the works of Joss Whedon while raising funds for charity, is coming up this weekend, June 7-9, at the LAX Hilton Hotel. Guests include Julie Benz (Darla on BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and ANGEL, as well as Rita on DEXTER), Summer Glau (River Tam on FIREFLY and SERENITY, the ballerina in ANGEL, Bennet Halverson in DOLLHOUSE), comic book artist Georges Jeanty, Dagney Kerr (Kathy on BUFFY), Juliet Landau (Drusilla on BUFFY and ANGEL), Miracle Laurie (Mellie on DOLLHOUSE), James C. Leary (Clem on BUFFY), Julia Lee (Sister Sunshine/Chantarelle/Anne on BUFFY and ANGEL), James Marsters (Spike […]Read On »

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