Wolf Warrior 2 Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Wu Jing, Frank Grillo, Celina Jade
  • Director: Wu Jing
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: December 12, 2017
  • Run Time: 124 minutes


        Wolf Warrior 2 brings back more of the same elements that made up the original film, for better or for worse. Our protagonist returns to fight a new battle, one which calls for a number of explosive action sequences a message so patriotic that it often borders on being propaganda. All of the thrills from the first film are recreated with somewhat diminishing returns, but action fans are likely to be satisfied with an increased emphasis on spectacle.

Better Watch Out Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Patrick Warburton, Levi Miller, Olivia DeJonge, Virginia Madsen
  • Director: Chris Peckover
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: December 5, 2017
  • Run Time: 89 minutes




        Better Watch Out is a near impossible film to write about without ruining at least some of the effect. Even by merely describing it as a cross between Home Alone and The Strangers doesn’t quite convey the tone of this wholly unique home invasion thriller. At times the film’s twists and turns can play against the expectations audiences may have for a typical home invasion film, but the revision to the recently popularized sub-genre is a welcome adjustment. With the added ironic contrast of setting the film amidst the joyful holiday season, Better Watch Out is a brutal little treat for horror fans this Christmas.

Woodshock Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Kirsten Dunst, Pilou Asbaek, Joe Cole, Jack Kilmer
  • Directors: Kate Mulleavy, Laura Mulleavy
  • Disc Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: November 28, 2017
  • Run Time: 100 minutes



        Art films often take a special type of viewer, one willing analyze and dissect what they are watching. These films can take effort and thoughtfulness to understand, whereas most mainstream films are treated as entertainment that merely needs to be consumed. If someone unfamiliar with art films tried to watch one, they might find themselves confused and frustrated. But in the case of Woodshock, it feels like a film that was made by filmmakers attempting to imitate and art film without understanding the intent behind any choices. In other words, it is a shell of pretentiousness visuals that is completely empty on the inside. Thinking about this film is an act of fruitless futility.

Despicable Me 3 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan
  • Directors: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda
  • Writers: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio
  • Producers: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy
  • Format: 4K, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Rated: PG
  • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: December 5, 2017
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2018
  • Run Time: 90 minutes




        As the Minions have become something of an unofficial mascots for Illumination Entertainment, it should come as no surprise that their original franchise has returned for a third outing. Their inclusion in Despicable Me 3 also feels somewhat forced, providing a sub-plot that has little to no connection with the main storyline. This disjointed portion of the narrative may seem out of place, kind of like a Minion sequel blended with the Despicable Me storyline, but it provides a welcome relief from multiple super-villain schemes, including a double dose of Steve Carell.

Rememory Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Anton Yelchin, Peter Dinklage, Julia Ormond, Henry Ian Cusick, Andrew Herr
  • Director: Mark Palansky
  • Disc Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: November 28, 2017
  • Run Time: 93 minutes



        Rememory may have passed as mildly clever before the days of “Black Mirror,” but somehow now feels like a watered down episode of the popular British science fiction anthology series which has been unwillingly stretched to feature-length. Regardless of the clever premise (albeit one that is extremely similar to existing “Black Mirror” episodes) and a dedicated cast of talented actors giving convincing performances, Rememory never really takes off. The mystery, while compelling, is rarely enough to make up for the disappointment some may feel towards the watered down science fiction elements. Ultimately, the film is a heavy-handed drama with a slight sci-fi twist and an almost inconsequential mystery at the center, only elevated due to the talented cast involved.

High School Lover DVD Review

  • Actors: James Franco, Paulina Singer, François Arnaud, Lana Condor, Tyler Alvarez
  • Director: Jerell Rosales
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: November 21, 2017
  • Run Time: 86 minutes




        Considering the early praise and awards that James Franco has already received for his performance in The Disaster Artist, it may seem unusual that the movie actor also chose to star in a Lifetime Channel TV movie called High School Lover. It may seem unusual, but only if you haven’t been following Franco’s career over the last decade. This is the same actor that decided to go back to school for a graduate degree in literature while at the peak of success. This is also the actor that decided to take a reoccurring role on a soap opera shortly after receiving an Oscar nomination. Unfortunately, while Franco’s involvement may garner the project more attention, it does little to improve the typical Lifetime melodrama.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek, Elodie Yung
  • Director: Patrick Hughes
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE 
  • Release Date: November 21, 2017
  • Run Time: 118 minutes




        The Hitman’s Bodyguard is the McDonald’s of buddy action comedies. Nearly every entry into the genre is likely to be considered ‘junk food’ entertainment, but this is about as cheap as it gets while still remaining popular. It is lazy, lacks and substance, and feels derivative of something that was once innovative, but millions will continue to consume it without thought. And maybe that is the point, but I found myself craving for dialogue that wasn’t funny merely for the choice of expletives sprinkled around like a sophomoric game of ad libs. Not only a decent dose of action in the third act was enough to save this film from leaving me feeling unsatisfied.

The Villainess Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Kim Ok-Vin, Shin Ha-Kyun, Bang Sung-Jun
  • Director: Jung Byoung-Gil
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Korean (Dolby Digital 5.1), Korean (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: November 21, 2017
  • Run Time: 124 minutes



        The Villainess is a South Korean film that takes place partially in China, with action scenes shot with the hyperkinetic movement of many modern cult Japanese films. Although these various elements often give the style of the film a bit of cultural ambiguity, the revenge-laden plot is distinctly South Korean. The story about a trained female assassin out for revenge against those who made her also often resembles the Kill Bill films, but the non-chronological storytelling in this film is often a chore and it lacks a crucial element that made Quentin Tarantino’s films fun. Even with an impressive number of action sequences, The Villainess is often more torturously bleak than feels necessary.  

Wind River Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Jon Bernthal, Martin Sensmeier, Julia Jones
  • Director: Taylor Sheridan
  • Disc Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: November 14, 2017
  • Run Time: 107 minutes




        After his success as screenwriter with hits the last two years in a row (Sicario, Hell or High Water), Taylor Sheridan has once again blended a crime narrative with the modern western genre, this time as the director. Sicario dealt with drug trafficking, Hell or High Water was about small town bank robberies, and Wind River about a murder investigation on a remote Native American reservation. The terrain may have switched from the hot deserts of southern states to the freezing mountains of Wyoming, but it is the plot’s connection with the setting that aligns it with the classic westerns of the past. At the same time, there is a painful intimacy to the tragedy in Wind River which was missing from his previous films, making this a somber affair despite an action-packed climactic resolution.

Preacher: Season Two Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Tom Brooke, Dominic Cooper, Ian Colletti, W. Brown
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Box set, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, German, Polish, Arabic, English, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 14, 2017
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2019




        As much as I enjoyed the brutal mix of dark humor, horror violence, and stylistic action found in the first season of “Preacher,” it also often felt aimless. There were great scenes within various episodes, but they rarely seemed to be working together in any discernible way. As a result, the first season felt somewhat inconsequential, almost as if it was killing time before finding direction for the story. Season two starts off with much more focus to its thrills, including a storyline about the hunt for God that remains constant for the full season, and two impressive episodes co-directed by frequent collaborators and series creators, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express, This is the End).

Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait Blu-ray Review

  • Starring: Julian Schnabel, Al Pacino, Willem Dafoe, Bono, Emmanuelle Seigner
  • Director: Pappi Corsicato
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 7, 2017
  • Run Time: 85 minutes




        Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait is fittingly named, diving into the personal life of the subject before defining his significance in the art world. Filled with intimate interviews with family members and friends, the documentary is far more concerned with the personality and approach to life that Schnabel takes than it is his actual work. Eventually the movie shows us his work, but rather than contextualize the significance of his paintings and films, it chooses to focus on the creative process at work.

The Glass Castle Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Max Greenfield, Sarah Snook, Naomi Watts
  • Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: November 7, 2017
  • Run Time: 127 minutes



        The Glass Castle has a messy narrative, mostly because the film is based on a true story and real life is rarely as neat and tidy as we expect our entertainment to be. This makes the countless loose ends in the story understandable, even if it does not make the film any more satisfying in its shortcomings. In adapting Jeanette Walls’ memoir, director Destin Daniel Cretton and co-screenwriter Andrew Lanham introduce a number of interesting ideas and relationships, but only one really becomes fully developed in the limited run-time. One can’t help but wonder what a more balanced film would have looked like, and how the dedication of the supporting players would have been even more effective had there been more time for proper character development.

Atomic Blonde 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: John Goodman, James McAvoy, Bill Skarsgard
  • Disc Format: 4K, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: Universal
  • Release Date: November 14, 2017
  • Run Time: 115 minutes



        There is nothing more upsetting than being misled by a film’s marketing campaign, and coming to this realization in the middle of a disappointing film experience. From the action-packed trailers of Atomic Blonde, one might have expected that the film would be the female equivalent to the John Wick franchise, but in actuality it is far less an action movie than it is a spy film that just happens to have a few action sequences. But since the trailer shows all of these action sequences and little else, audiences may be disappointed by how much of the movie is missing this intensity and by how many of the key sequences were already seen in the advertisements. There is still a decent film in Atomic Blonde, but it doesn’t feel like the same one that was promised by the high-octane marketing campaign.

The Old Dark House Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Boris Karloff, Melvyn Douglas, Charles Laughton
  • Director: James Whale
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: October 24, 2017
  • Run Time: 72 minutes



        A year after finding monumental success at Universal Studios with Frankenstein (1931), James Whale reunited with Boris Karloff to make The Old Dark House. What first appears to be one of the first haunted house films actually sets up the template for another horror genre that would primarily become popular in the 1970s with movies like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. There are no real supernatural events in The Old Dark House, and the only monsters are the disturbed humans that occupy the gothic estate. When a group of normal men and women find themselves stranded by a storm, they must survive the night and their abnormal and potentially dangerous hosts.

Broken Sword Hero Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Buakaw Banchamek
  • Director: Bin Bunluerit
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: October 31, 2017
  • Run Time: 122 minutes




        What it lacks in narrative depth, Broken Sword Hero makes up for in visual spectacle. Easily one of the best shot Thai films I have ever seen, it also features nearly non-stop martial arts action throughout the film. Although the story is often repetitive and almost inconsequential, varying styles of fighting and interesting cinematography to capture it keep the film engaging for much of the lengthy run-time.

The Good Catholic Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Danny Glover, Zachary Spicer, John McGinley, Wrenn Schmidt
  • Director: Paul Shoulberg
  • Disc Format: Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: Broad Green Pictures
  • Release Date: October 24, 2017
  • Run Time: 96 minutes



        Straddling the line between a faith-based film and a romantic comedy, The Good Catholic sets up a conflict in its premise that is destined to disappoint one of the two target demographics. This is not to say that it isn’t done in a thoughtful way, but by forcing the main character into a situation where he must choose between love and faith inevitably creates a rivalry between spirituality and worldly pleasures. On the other hand, this is a film unafraid to integrate issues of religion into its storyline in a way that is refreshing, even if the more pious viewer may take issue with the casualness of the depiction.

War for the Planet of the Apes Blu-ray Review

  •  Cast: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson
  • Director: Matt Reeves
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: October 24, 2017
  • Run Time: 130 minutes




        Even though War for the Planet of the Apes fit in with nearly every tent-pole franchise release that came out in theaters this summer, it may have been the only one that didn’t leave me under-whelmed and disappointed.  Yes, it was a prequel/sequel, filled with flashy special effects and a large budget, but it is also one of the most thoughtful films of the year, elevated by its themes and performances to be far more than just a summer blockbuster. And if special effects and studio genre films are your thing, this is not only among the best of the year, and it also concludes the most consistent trilogy to come out of Hollywood in a long while.

Warrior 4K Ultra HD Review

  • Actors: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Nick Nolte
  • Director: Gavin O'Connor
  • Disc Format: 4K, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: October 24, 2017
  • Run Time: 140 minutes




        Sports movies have become somewhat generic in their support of underdog narratives and the hopeful resolution that is nearly always presented by the final frame, especially those centered around boxing or other styles of fighting. Warrior is no exception, in some ways, but it also remembers what made Rocky one of the greatest films of its kind, before the franchise’s sequels swallowed up the elements that made it stick out. Not only did Rocky have an ending that was more interested in the journey taken by the fighter than the outcome of the battle within the ring, but it was also a film more interested in the gritty realism than flashy spectacle. Warrior sets up a scenario where we can have the best of both worlds, and does so by providing us with two protagonists.

Lady Macbeth DVD Review

  • Actors: Florence Pugh, Cosmo Jarvis, Paul Hilton, Naomi Ackie, Christopher Fairbank
  • Director: William Oldroyd
  • Disc Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: October 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 90 minutes




        Having no previous knowledge of the source material (Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk) that served as inspiration for the film, Lady Macbeth provides a protagonist whose compulsive need for control and power above all else very gradually turns her into an anti-hero. The end result isn’t what makes the film interesting, but instead it is the process the narrative takes to change our opinion about the central character, especially since her ultimate goal is to keep things the way that they are. It isn’t an exciting film, but somehow manages to remain gripping even when it is mundane, thanks in part to taut direction by William Oldroyd and an electric breakout performance by Florence Pugh.

God of War Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Vincent Zhao, Sammo Hung, Regina Wan
  • Director: Gordon Chan
  • Disc Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Mandarin Chinese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: October 17, 2017
  • Run Time: 129 minutes



        Characteristically biased in its depiction of Chinese heroism when faced by outsider invaders and heavy use of martial arts action, God of War still manages to provide enough originality in its narrative to stand apart from the dozens of other historical Chinese epics that are released each year. Although the latest addition to this popular national genre is inconsistent throughout the 129-minute run time, there are enough successful elements in God of War to make it one of the better releases in recent years.