LOGAN | Final Trailer Released!


 In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hideout on the Mexican border. But Logan's attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces. Check out the brand new trailer below.



            LOGAN hits theaters everywhere on March 3, 2017!
 

The Girl on the Train 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux
  • Director: Tate Taylor
  • Disc Format: 4K
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Portuguese (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: Portuguese, French, Spanish, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2018
  • Run Time: 112 minutes




        Considering the Paula Hawkins’ book that inspired this film was such a success, debuting at the top of the New York Times best sellers list and remaining there for fifteen weeks, I must assume that a great deal was lost in translation with this film adaptation. Much of the film feels entirely too derivative to inspire any real suspense, borrowing liberally from Gone Girl narratively while copying a number of cinematic elements from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic films. And even with a series of red herrings and a convoluted timeline, jumping back and forth while switching character perspective more than necessary, the final answer to the mystery is fairly obvious. Worse yet, the characters are never sympathetic enough for the audience to truly care about the resolution, regardless of how clever the film tries to be.

xXx: 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Samuel Jackson, Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Marton Csokas
  • Director: Rob Cohen
  • Film Format: AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Czech, Croatian, Polish, Arabic, Italian, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Dutch, Slovene, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, Icelandic, Thai, English, Spanish, Turkish, Greek, Serbian
  • Dubbed: Russian, Portuguese, Czech, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Thai, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2019
  • Run Time: 124 minutes




            When I first reviewed xXx upon its theatrical release just under fifteen years ago, I viewed the film as a cheap attempt to cash in on Vin Diesel’s limited fame from The Fast and the Furious. I pointed out that the extreme sports spy film was “the perfect example of a summer film: it's got tons of non-stop action, bad one-liners, and about as much sex and violence as can be crammed into a PG-13 film.” I also remarked that it was the kind of film that made me glad summer was almost over. At the time this subversive James Bond rip-off felt mindless and derivative, which is a feeling that has only been enhanced by numerous other entries into this field since its release, including the sophomoric Kingsman: The Secret Service and an even worse xXx sequel starring Ice Cube as Diesel’s replacement.

The Free World DVD Review

  • Actors: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer
  • Director: Jason Lew
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 102 minutes




        It would be easy to dismiss the faults in The Free World as a result of it being Jason Lew’s directorial debut, but this is his sophomore film as a screenwriter and that is also where the largest problems are in the film. And to blame the direction would mean ignoring the strongest element of the film, which is the acting. Certainly much of the credit goes to the lead performers, though Lew must have done something right, even if that was simply getting out of the way to let these veteran actors thrive. Unfortunately, these strengths are overshadowed by the fact that The Free World is embarrassingly similar to another performance-based crime film from only a couple years ago.

Death Race 2050 Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Manu Bennett, Malcolm McDowell, Marci Miller
  • Director: G.J. Echternkamp
  • Writers: G.J. Echternkamp, Max Yamashita
  • Producer: Roger Corman
  • Film Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2018




        Despite being made in 2008, Paul W.S. Anderson’s reboot of Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000 was more prequel than remake or sequel, setting the vulgar racing action inside the world of a prison. In Death Race and its two straight-to-video sequels, the racing was a way for convicts to earn a pardon and release from their prison sentence, but the latest entry into the franchise jumps forward in time, while simultaneously returning back to the original premise of Corman’s Death Race 2000. In Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050, the drivers are no longer made up of convicts, and once again there is an emphasis on the murdering of pedestrians rather than winning the race or killing each other.

Dancer DVD Review

  • Actors: Sergei Polunin
  • Director: Steven Cantor
  • Film Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 85 minutes




        Some documentaries are driven by a message at the center of the narrative, meant to convince the audience of a certain view. Other documentaries are more biographically focused, concerned with information rather than opinion. Watching Dancer, up to the very end of the documentary about Ukrainian ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, I was unclear what the purpose of the film was. At times it seems to be a straightforward biographical documentary, albeit one without much resolution beyond the release of a popular YouTube video, and then there are moments when the film seems to investigating the sacrifice a dancer must make in order to succeed, but filmmaker Steve Cantor’s message ultimately feels noncommittal. Those who enjoy the dancer’s work already may find the film enjoyable for the onstage footage alone, but the documentary offers little for those not already a fan.

The Whole Truth Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Renée Zellweger, Keanu Reeves, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Kenneth Choi, Sean Bridgers
  • Director: Courtney Hunt
  • Film Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 93 minutes




        The Whole Truth is the sophomore feature for director Courtney Hunt, whose first film (Frozen River) was made eight years ago, as well as featuring Renée Zellweger’s first screen performance in six years. Despite the long break for both director and co-star, The Whole Truth feels like a minor entry into a courtroom procedural television show with new stories every week. No amount of star power can save the film from a lackluster screenplay whose revelations don’t feel worth the time commitment of the film’s running time.

Train to Busan Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Gong Yoo, Jeong Yu-mi, Choi Woo-sik
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Film Format: Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: January 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 118 minutes





        There is nothing particularly groundbreaking or innovative about Train to Busan, though this is primarily due to over-saturation of zombie narratives in film and television. And yet, despite the content being fairly derivative, Train to Busan manages to stand above many zombie films that have come before merely by keeping the narrative focused with a simple premise and a consistent thematic through line. The use of zombies as monsters may seem blasé, but the message developed through the behavior of the humans in the face of tragedy has sharp relevance in modern society.

The People vs. Fritz Bauer Review

  • Actors: Rudiger Klink, Burghart Klaussner, Andrej Kaminsky
  • Director: Lars Kraume
  • Film Format: Color, Widescreen
  • Language: German
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • Run Time: 105 minutes





        The first generations in Germany following World War II were mostly unwilling face the atrocities that were carried out by the authority figures in their country. It wasn’t that they all agreed with what had taken place in the concentration camps, but many just preferred the blissfulness of ignorance and repression. This made it extremely difficult for the figures attempting to hold those in charge responsible for their crimes, especially when there were even some who supported the former Nazi war criminals in their efforts to hide. The People vs. Fritz Bauer traces the efforts of one man that was unwilling to let this lie, and the film itself comes out on the heels of several movies about this period, which seems to suggest that the latest generation has come to the point where they not only face the atrocities of the Holocaust, they also celebrate those who fought for justice against the crimes.

Deepwater Horizon Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Kurt Russell, Mark Wahlberg, James DuMont, Douglas M. Griffin, Joe Chrest
  • Director: Peter Berg
  • Film Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    PG-13
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • Run Time: 97 minutes




        Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg seem to be on a true-story tour, with their last three films being collaborations on films about American tragedies and the heroics that follow. 2013’s Lone Survivor was about a disastrous Navy Seal mission in Afghanistan, with the title giving away the end result. Berg and Wahlberg also collaborated on the making of Patriots Day in 2016, a film about the tragic 2013 Boston marathon bombing and the quick response by law enforcement to find the terrorist responsible. Deepwater Horizon fits perfectly into this trilogy of modern American tragedy, dramatizing the 2010 offshore oil rig disaster which created the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Along with Patriots Day and Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon proves that Berg is adept at handling real-world disasters in a way that is visceral and exciting, even if this film seems to have less to say beyond the tension of the tragedy.

Swamp People: Season 7 DVD Review

  • Disc Format: Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2017
  • Run Time: 598 minutes




        Whether it is dedication or compulsively obsessive behavior, I don’t ever like to join a series anywhere but the beginning. Even when reviewing a title such as “Swamp People,” a reality TV show with little continuous narrative from one season to the next, I prefer to have that contextual background before forming an opinion. I am spoiled with the wealth of options when it comes to finding old seasons of a show online through streaming services, but I was forced to enter the seventh season of “Swamp People” completely blind. By the end of the first episode, it was quite clear that all I was likely to have missed was six seasons of the same material, just as one episode is indistinguishable from another in season seven. 

Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Third Season DVD Review

  • Actors: Nicole Beharie, Tom Mison
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2017




        I was already weary of the “Sleepy Hollow” after the first season, but the second season lost me completely. What began as a creative fish-out-of-water narrative quickly turned into a show more interested in witchcraft and magic than historical or literary connections. Gone are the mysterious four horsemen of the apocalypse by season three, in favor of endless demonic resurrections and familial connections. In essence, this show went from being a modern adaptation of Washington Irving’s short story to yet another mindless supernatural freak-of-the-week soap opera, much like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Supernatural,” and “The Vampire Diaries.” Each week is yet another creature, this time arriving through the silly integration of the Greek myth of Pandora’s box, which is used as a vessel for each new evil.

Jerry Maguire: 20th Anniversary Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Cuba Gooding Jr., Renée Zellweger
  • Director: Cameron Crowe
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, German, Greek, Hebrew, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Swedish
  • Dubbed: French, German
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: SONY PICTURES HOME ENT.




        I still remember the marketing campaign for Jerry Maguire. Or perhaps more accurately, I remember several different approaches to sell the film. Some trailers/commercials focused on the sports elements in the film, others in the buddy comedy storyline, and of course many zeroed in on the romance. This may have just appeared to be a marketing ploy to get as many seats filled as possible, but the truth is that all elements promoted actually do have equal importance in the narrative. That’s what made Cameron Crowe’s film so great, beyond the charming performances and a killer soundtrack; watching Jerry Maguire is like getting three movies for the price of one.

Jackie Chan Presents: Amnesia DVD Review

  • Actors: Ken Lo, Xingtong Yao, Rongguang Yu, Lanxin Zhang
  • Director: Yinxi Song
  • Disc Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2017
  • Run Time: 102 minutes




        Jackie Chan Presents: Amnesia is a film for anyone who ever wondered what would happen if you combined the narratives of Premium Rush with Memento and set it in the comedic martial arts world of a Jackie Chan film. If this sounds convoluted and strange (as well as being a comparison that only someone who watches too many movies would make), my description was fitting. Despite the originality of this blended premise, there is a familiarity in the tone and many of the action sequences in the narrative that manage to make this feel like just another mediocre martial arts movie. Part of the problem is that this Jackie Chan-produced movie has a lead actor without even a fraction of the producer’s charisma. It doesn’t exactly help that we (meaning myself and others that watch too many movies) have also already seen Chan in a similar memory-loss action film, Who Am I? (1998).

Operation Avalanche DVD Review

  • Actors: Owen Williams, Matt Johnson, Josh Boles, Jared Raab, Andrew Appelle
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2017
  • Run Time: 94 minutes




        Found footage narratives have become increasingly prevalent in film, not only because of the ease with which these often unpolished films can be made, but also due to the increasing prevalence of recording devices in our everyday existence. Now that digital cameras cheap and easily accessible, to the point that nearly every cell phone now comes equipped with one, these narratives are increasingly easy to believe. On the other hand, this is what makes a period found-footage film like Operation Avalanche more difficult to swallow.

Phantasm: Ravager Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Angus Scrimm, A. Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister
  • Director: Don Coscarelli
  • Disc Format: Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: December 6, 2016
  • Run Time: 88 minutes




        It has been 18 years since the last installment in the Phantasm franchise, and nearly 40 since the original film, but Phantasm: Ravager is clearly a film for the fan-base already familiar with the narrative. Even with working knowledge of the franchise, Phantasm: Ravager has the potential to confuse and disorient, which was the hallmark of the original. Even the low-budget filmmaking of this final installment is on target with the efforts needed to make the first film, though digital effects are a sad replacement for the creative practical tricks used in 1979.

American Honey Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Shia LeBeouf, Sasha Lane
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • Release Date: December 27, 2016
  • Run Time: 162 minutes




        I’m struggling with an analysis of American Honey, because the very things that make individual moments endlessly captivating throughout the lengthy 162 run-time are also the largest weakness of the overall film. Nearly everything about the American road trip made by a British filmmaker is fittingly contradictory, including the fact that the main function of the film is to expose an unseen side of middle-America, despite being made by an outsider. This also gives this film a sense of contrived realism, a depiction of America imagined by someone with limited experience and a propensity for focusing on the bleak and the transient.

Underworld 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Shane Brolly
  • Director: Len Wiseman
  • Producers: Tom Rosenberg, Gary Lucchesi, Richard Wright
  • Disc Format: Dubbed, Subtitled, 4K
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Italian, English
  • Dubbed: French, Italian
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 27, 2016
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2019




        Underworld a classic tale of forbidden love borrowing heavily from Romeo and Juliet, adapted to the age-old folklore about vampire and werewolf. The mythology of these films has vampires and werewolves coming from the same human family originally, before being bitten by a bat and wolf. The history beyond this is a mystery even to the creatures, who only know that they have a deep blood feud against each other. They fight within the city and beneath it, hidden to the humans. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is a hunter of the Lycans, killing werewolves skillfully under the belief that they killed her family. When she notices them following a human named Michael (Scott Speedman), Selene discovers a secret about the man that could either bond the two feuding creatures or cause a brutal war.

Department Q Trilogy DVD Review

  • Actors: Nikolaj Lie Kaas,
    Fares Fares
  • Directors:  Mikkel Nørgaard, Hans Petter Moland
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Danish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs:3
  • Rated:
    Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: December 20, 2016




        Are you a fan of the HBO series “True Detective,” the serial killer films of David Fincher (Seven, Zodiac, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), or the Swedish trilogy that the latter was based on? Stop whatever you are currently binging and seek out the Department Q films, immediately. It shouldn’t be that difficult, as each of the individual films have been available on Netflix for some time, and now the entire trilogy is available in a single affordable package.

Disorder DVD Review

  • Actors: Matthias Schoenaerts, Diane Kruger
  • Director: Alice Winocour
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • Release Date: December 13, 2016
  • Run Time: 98 minutes




        It could be seen as a flaw that Disorder bounces back and forth between a realism and typical action spectacle, but the innovation of the film is its ability to inspire doubt about which will dominate the narrative from one moment to the next. The protagonist is clearly suffering from PTSD, though it is a mistake to immediately dismiss all of his paranoia as completely unfounded. At the same time, despite the existence of very real dangers, this does not make the reaction to them normal by any means. Director Alice Winocour is very clearly addressing the idea that traumatic experiences have a dramatic effect on how the world is viewed, though it is unclear what message she is attempting to make about this phenomenon once the action takes over the narrative.