The Wonder Years DVD Review

  • Complete Set: This 22-DVD set contains all 115 episodes from the six seasons of this landmark series.
  • Booklet: Also get complete show notes with episode synopses, cast member reflections, “Current Events,” and more.
  • Bonus Content:
    • Highlights from the first cast reunion in 16 years
    • Roundtable discussions with Danica McKellar, Fred Savage, and Josh Saviano
    • 6 newly produced featurettes
    • Farewell set tour
    • One-hour ABC broadcast of the series finale
    • Exclusive interviews with the show’s creators and cast including Fred Savage, Danica McKellar, Josh Saviano, Alley Mills, Dan Lauria, Olivia d’Abo, Jason Hervey




            “The Wonder Years” was one of those shows I thought would never make it to DVD, mostly because of how much great music from the show had copyright issues. Not only is it now available on DVD, it comes with the originally broadcast music, including Joe Cocker’s memorable rendition of The Beatles’ With a Little Help from My Friends and over 300 other classic songs. This is a show that is much more than the fantastic soundtrack, but it is also just as much of a classic as the hits that took so long to get copyrighting for. The full series was first released in a massive 26-disc box set a little less than a year ago, but this revised 22-disc set is pared down for those more interested in owning all of the episodes than how many hours of special features are included.

11 Minutes DVD Review

  • Actors: Richard Dormer, Paulina Chapko
  • Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2016
  • Run Time: 83 minutes




        Approaching 11 Minutes with the goal of deciphering the intended meaning will likely to lead to frustration, as Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski has created a narrative with intentional ambiguity. Meaning is subjective, and 11 Minutes is to be approached an analyzed in the same way one might try and understand a poem. Not everything seen must be taken literally, and not all of the images will have the same meaning inferred by every viewer. It isn’t the plot points or the characters which are indiscernible, so much as the themes and the larger messages. Two people can watch this film and come to completely different conclusions on what is being said by the film’s message, even if the characters and events are themselves fairly straightforward.

Sky DVD Review

  • Actors: Diane Kruger, Norman Reedus
  • Director: Fabienne Berthaud
  • Disc Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2016
  • Run Time: 106 minutes




        Sky begins as a thriller, drifts into a road trip romance, and ultimately ends as an unrealistic Midwestern melodrama. The only consistency throughout all of it is Diane Kruger’s performance, despite the fact that the screenplay doesn’t provide much depth to the film’s protagonist, or any of the supporting characters she meets along the way. This is a film which is more dedicated to the melancholy of each moment rather than the details which have made each character so depressing. Life is hard, seems to be the message, and it doesn’t particularly matter why.

A Hologram for the King Blu-ray Review

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Tom Skerritt, Sarita Choudhury, Ben Whishaw
  • Director: Tom Tykwer
  • Format: NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • Release Date: August 9, 2016
  • Run Time: 104 minutes




        A Hologram for the King utilizes several common story structures and genre styles, and though they blend together into an inoffensive 98-minute piece of entertainment, no element within the film stands out. The fish-out-of-water narrative fails to provide enough humor to stand as a comedy alone, but the romance elements are even more ineffectually blasé. By the end of the film, it feels as though we have meandered past the heart of Dave Eggers source material. The narrative structure may be there, but filmmaker Tom Tykwer lacks the ability to unify all of the elements into a cohesive vision.

Narcos: Season One Blu-ray Review





        Netflix’s original programming has quickly surpassed all networks, including HBO. Not only does their content seem to be released much faster than the cable network, Netflix shows also have far greater variety in the tone and style of their shows, as well as their target audiences. Although the format for “Narcos” has surely existed previously, at least in film form, I am most impressed by the series’ ability to convince American audiences to read subtitles. Bilingual shows have also been done before, but in “Narcos,” Netflix has found a genre that audiences are willing to endure it for.

Last Days in the Desert DVD Review

  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan, Ciaran Hindis, Ayelet Zurer
  • Director: Rodrigo Garcia
  • Disc Format: Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
  • Studio: Broadgreen
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 98 minutes




        As a meditation on the delicate relationship between father and son, Last Days in the Desert is an obvious addition to filmmaker Rodrigo Garcia’s body of work. Having made a TV film about this dynamic, a feature focusing on the similarly significant connection between mother and daughter, and several other narratives which investigate relationships rather than plot development, there is far more than religious consideration to make this a fitting addition to Garcia’s filmography. Fans of this skillfully poetic filmmaker are likely to be pleased with the way that Garcia utilizes the biblical narrative to construct a fictional film containing his signature style and familiar themes. Those who enjoy the typical transparency and clumsy evangelism of most faith-based filmmaking, however, may be disappointed by the liberties taken with the adaptation of a brief biblical passage and a certain level of ambiguity which forces audiences to ruminate on meaning for themselves.

Sundown DVD Review

  • Actors: Camilla Belle, Sara Paxton, Teri Hatcher, Devon Werkheiser, Sean Marquette
  • Director: Fernando Lebrija
  • Disc Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: August 16, 2016
  • Run Time: 102 minutes


        Sundown has all of the expected elements of a teen sex comedy without any of the creativity or good will that may have been its saving grace. Instead, all we are left with are a series of cliché situations, derivative plot twists, and atrocious stereotyping for nearly every character involved. Women exist in the narrative primarily to be ogled and/or saved, and nearly every ethnic character in the Puerto Vallarta setting seems to fall into one of Trump’s categorizations of Mexicans. All of this may have been slightly more excusable if there were anything remotely sexy or funny about this sex comedy.

The Last Diamond DVD Review

  • Actors: Bérénice Bejo, Yvan Attal
  • Director: Eric Barbier
  • Format: Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2016
  • Run Time: 108 minutes




        The Last Diamond is a thoroughly enjoyable heist film, despite an uneven tone and questionable story structure. There are many ridiculous elements to the second half of the film, despite the relative realism in the first half, and the lighthearted humor of the beginning is also dismissed by the film’s conclusion. Uneven as it may be, The Last Diamond is never anything less than watchable, providing the type of popcorn entertainment expected of Hollywood in the form of a French film.

Summer Camp DVD Review

  • Actors: Diego Boneta, Maiara Walsh, Jocelin Donahue, Andrés Velencoso
  • Director: Alberto Marini
  • Disc Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 84 minutes




        Summer Camp is a mostly unoriginal infection/zombie film, with a title that sounds like a slasher from the 1980s. What little within Summer Camp that is original ends up mostly just confused rather than effective, making this film equal parts derivative and illogical. The result is either frustrating or hilarious, depending on your patience level and viewing state of mind. Either way, even the mildest of entertainment offered by Summer Camp is likely to wear off long before the brief 84-minute run-time begins to feel like an eternity.

Chosen DVD Review

  • Actors: Harvey Keitel, Luke Mably, Ana Ularu
  • Director: Jasmin Dizdar
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: August 2, 2016
  • Run Time: 93 minutes


        Despite a familiarity to the narrative, many plot-holes, and a cliché bookend sequences with an elderly man telling the WWII war story, Chosen features enough competent filmmaking to forgive the many screenplay problems. We have seen many war movies like this in the past, and Chosen doesn’t attempt to re-invent the wheel, but it does provide more of the same for fans of these movies. The scale may not be as massive as many studio war films, but this just makes the accomplishments of this lower budget movie that much more impressive.