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Creation of the Gods: Kingdom of Storms Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Wuershan
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Kris Phillips, Li Xuejian, Huang Bo, Yu Shi
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English, French Canadian
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Mandarin Chinese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (Stereo), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (Stereo)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ China
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 28 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 28, 2024



        It is difficult to convey the significance of the classic Chinese fantasy novel Fengshenyanyi to Western Civilization. Not only is it among the most popular fantasy novels, it is also the only mythical epic in Chinese literature history to have originated from real historical events, while also including rich fantasy that includes gods and monsters. Because of this, the novel has been adapted numerous times, but the Creation of the Gods trilogy is the first time the novel has been filmed consecutively.

 

Coup de Chance Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Woody Allen
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Lou de Laâge, Niels Schneider
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ MPI Home Video
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray, Subtitled
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 93 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 21, 2024


 

        Woody Allen has had a long and complicated career as a filmmaker. There was a time when he was considered one of the most prolific and significant American filmmakers, known and recognized for his romance-heavy comedies, nearly always set in the city of New York. But along with controversies in his personal life in recent decades, Allen also changed his career path by leaving the United States to make movies in Europe. This led to an initial resurgence in his career, though it has been a decade since the filmmaker has received the level of critical praise and attention his films were once afforded. While Coup de Chance won’t do much to change the trajectory of Allen’s career, it will make a nice footnote in his filmography.

 

The American Society of Magical Negroes Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kobi Libii
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Justice Smith, David Alan-Grier, An-Li Bogan, Rupert Friend
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ Spanish
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English, French, Spanish
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Studio Distribution Services
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray, Subtitled
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 14, 2024


 

        When The American Society of Magical Negroes released its theatrical trailer featuring a scene in which scared white people are purported to be more dangerous than any other animal on the planet, it was met with a lot of backlash. Some were offended by the prejudicial response to a historically racist society, and while it is true that two wrongs don’t make a right, they do make for mildly amusing satire. But it’s all handled lightheartedly, and I was never offended, even without the use of magic to placate me. Unfortunately, the ending loses sight of what makes the film enjoyable and halts the plot for a speech as preachy as the one given in Barbie.

 

One from the Heart: Reprise Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director: Francis Ford Coppola
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Lionsgate Home Entertainment
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ 4K, Digital_copy, Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 47 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 7, 2024



 

        While it is difficult to imagine a movie like Moulin Rouge ever existing without the experimentation of Francis Ford Coppola’s One from the Heart first occurring, that does not make his unique musical vision a success. While boldly creative and undeniably unique, One from the Heart is also a messy movie that doesn’t work any better after forty years, even with new footage and an alternate edit approved by Coppola. The characters are still unsympathetic and the plot overly simplistic, though it now seems clearer that the real star of the film was the production design, all constructed on the stages of the historic Zoetrope studios in Hollywood.

 

Noryang: Deadly Sea Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kim Han-min
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Kim Yun-seok, Baek Yoon-sik, Jung Jae-young, Huh Joon-ho
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Korean (DTS 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 32 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ May 14, 2024



        As the third and final film in the trilogy about the nautical battles of Korean admiral and military general Yi Sun-sin (Kim Yoon-seok), Noryang: Deadly Sea has the likely benefit of audience familiarity. Not only are most audience members likely familiar with the historical figure following the first two films, but they also understand the approach to these narratives taken by director Kim Han-min. Along with a meticulous dedication to historical accuracy, Noryang: Deadly Sea follows the structure first established by The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014) and the follow-up film, Hansan: Rising Dragon (2022), dedicating the first half to character development and setting up the plot before shifting to battles at sea.

 

Monolith Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Matt Vesely
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Lily Sullivan
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ R (Restricted)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Australia
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 34 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 23, 2024

        Independent genre films often face the difficult task of competing with the large budgets afforded similar films produced with studio money. Because of this, independent filmmakers have to get even more creative with their narratives and the execution of genre expectations. While Monolith creates an effective chamber piece out of common science-fiction narrative tropes, with only slight variation, the execution is about as exciting as one might expect from a film set entirely in a single location.

 

Monster Blu-ray Review

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Hirokazu Kore-eda
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama, Soya Kurokawa, Hinata Hiiragi, Yuko Tanaka
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 6 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 9, 2024


        Continuing the tradition of filmmakers like Yasujirô Ozu, acclaimed Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu has a subtle and understated approach to storytelling, even with narratives that could easily slip into melodrama. At the heart of every Hirokazu film is an empathetic presentation of the human experience, regardless of whether the story is focused on a universally relatable situation or something extraordinary, like the premise of Like Father, Like Son (2013). Even when the narrative stretches what is believable, somehow Hirokazu manages to make it feel like a slice of life with the realism captured by his execution.

 

Lisa Frankenstein Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Zelda Williams
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Kathryn Newton, Cole Sprouse, Liza Soberano, Henry Eikenberry
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ Spanish, French
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Studio Distribution Services
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 42 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 9, 2024


 

        I can imagine how Lisa Frankenstein may have been praised for its creativity and originality had it been made at the height of screenwriter Diablo Cody’s initial fame. Following the rags-to-riches (or stripper-to-screenwriter) storyline that resulted in Juno winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Cody wrote the feminist horror film Jennifer’s Body, and a decade and a half later is claiming that Lisa Frankenstein exists in the same cinematic universe. However, there are several problems with this claim and the film directed by Zelda Williams.

 

Baby Assassins 2 Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Hugo Sakamoto
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Akari Takaishi, Saori Izawa, Joey, Tatsuomi Hamada
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Japanese (Stereo)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Japan
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 42 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ April 2, 2024


        While I wasn’t entirely sold on the first Baby Assassins movie, the impressive fight choreography and execution in the final sequence was more than enough for me to forgive the narrative meandering that preceded it. Baby Assassins 2 seems to have learned some good lessons from what didn’t work in the first film, with more action spread throughout the narrative rather than reserved primarily for the climax. Unfortunately, the film also never reaches the same heights as achieved by the jaw-dropping final battle in the first installment. The resulting film sequel may be more consistently enjoyable, but also doesn’t come close to being as unforgettable as the original.

 

Driving Madeleine Blu-ray Review

 


  • Director ‏ : ‎ Christian Carion
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Line Renaud, Dany Boon, Alice Isaaz
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Cohen Media Group
  • Aspect Ratio ‏ : ‎ 2.35:1
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ France
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ March 19, 2024


 

        There is something distinctly European about movies where two strangers cross paths and form a deep connection over a brief period of time. These narratives exist in other cultures as well, but the French are particularly adept at these slice-of-life narratives. Or perhaps it is less about the nationality of the filmmakers and more about the approach to life, because American filmmaker Richard Linklater built Before Sunrise (1995) and each of its sequels upon this premise, setting each installment in a different European city. Driving Madeleine is a distinctly French film about the bond formed between an elderly woman and her taxi driver on cross-town journey to a nursing home, warmheartedly depicting the ways in which strangers can have a deep impact on our lives however brief the encounter.

 

Polar Rescue Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Lo Chi Leung
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Donnie Yen, Cecilia Han, Jia Bing, Tang Xu
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Mandarin Chinese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (Stereo)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ China
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 43 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ March 26, 2024


        There seems to be a consistent pattern with martial arts action stars in Hong Kong and China, where they inevitably reach an age where their physicality is in decline and choose that time to make a purely dramatic film. Jackie Chan had the historical drama, 1911 (2011). Jet Li made Ocean Heaven (2010). And Donnie Yen has followed suit with Polar Rescue (previously titled Come Back Home), a film steeped in melodrama surrounding a child gone missing in a mountain snowstorm. Melodrama often works best when paired with other elements like action and suspense, but even these sequences are not enough to distract from the contrived and emotionally manipulative plot points of Polar Rescue.

 

Born to Fly Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Liu Xiaoshi
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Wang Yibo, Hu Jun, Yu Shi, Zhou Dong Yu
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Mandarin Chinese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), Mandarin Chinese (Stereo)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ China
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 8 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ March 26, 2024

        The impact of a successful blockbuster can be felt around the world, especially when they come from Hollywood. Because of this, these successes also often end up affecting films released in foreign film markets. Given the timing of the Chinese aircraft action drama, Born to Fly, it seems highly unlikely that the success of Top Gun: Maverick did not play a large role in the film’s development. Unfortunately, the filmmakers seem to have learned the wrong lessons from the Tom Cruise film, imitating similar story elements while completely dismissing the approach to filmmaking. The awe-inspiring practical effects of Top Gun are traded in for CGI that is often less than believable, making this feel more like a cash-grab imitation than a sincere effort to tell a good story.

 

Migration 4K Ultra HD Review

 


  • Directors: Benjamin Renner, Guylo Homsy
  • Actors ‏ : ‎Kumail Nanjiani, Elizabeth Banks, Dannhy DeVito
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Studio Distribution Services
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 2
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ 4K
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 23 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ February 27, 2024



 

        Given the number of highly acclaimed, allegorically significant, and creatively imagined animated films there were released in 2023, Migration may seem underwhelming by comparison. At the same time, sometimes it is enough to have a colorful (in more than one way) and heartwarming tale with universally relatable themes. While Migration may not have broken the mold, it does provide spectacle and humor more than fitting for an enjoyable viewing experience for all ages.

 

One-Percent Warrior Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Yudai Yamaguchi
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Tak Sakaguchi, Kohei Fukuyama, Kanon Narumi, Rumika Fukuda
  • Dubbed: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Subtitles: ‏ : ‎ English
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Japanese (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1), English (Stereo)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ Japan
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Blu-ray
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 25 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ March 12, 2024

        I love action movies. It’s my guilty pleasure and the genre I would likely choose above all others when in need of escapist entertainment, but that doesn’t mean I watch them with an uncritical eye. The biggest misconception I come across when proclaiming my unadulterated love of the genre is the films I am referring to, with many automatically lumping the fantasy narratives of the superhero films in the genre merely because they contain sequences of action spectacle. The reason this false assumption bothers me so much is because superhero films often rely heavily on CGI in place of practical stunt work and fight choreography. This is mostly due to the fact that the casting priority of these blockbusters is movie stars rather than skilled martial artists, but the opposite is true of the impressively ambitious One-Percent Warrior.

 

Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kim Seong-Sik
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Gang Dong-Won, Huh Joon-Ho, Esom, Lee Dong-Hwi, Kim Jong-Soo
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Korean (DTS 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 1 hour and 38 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ February 27, 2024

        Although the plot of Dr. Cheon and the Lost Talisman borrows heavily from the horror genre, dealing with an exorcist who is cynical about the existence of evil spirits until finally encountering something that can’t be explained, the execution feels more influenced by the superhero genre. The spectacle is absurd and leans heavily on computer generated effects, while the horror elements all take the backseat to action and humor. While some of the MCU films like Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness have leaned into horror elements, this horror film has adopted the tone of most superhero films, with equally disappointing results.

 

The Moon Blu-ray Review

 

  • Director ‏ : ‎ Kim Yong Hwa
  • Actors ‏ : ‎ Sul Kyung-gu, Doh Kyung-soo, Kim Hee-ae, Park Byung Eun, Cho Han Cheul
  • Language ‏ : ‎ Korean (DTS 5.1)
  • Studio ‏ : ‎ Well Go Usa
  • MPAA rating ‏ : ‎ NR (Not Rated)
  • Country of Origin ‏ : ‎ USA
  • Number of discs ‏ : ‎ 1
  • Media Format ‏ : ‎ Widescreen
  • Run time ‏ : ‎ 2 hours and 9 minutes
  • Release date ‏ : ‎ February 27, 2024



        The plot of the South Korean space drama, The Moon, sounds like something created in response to the success of Hollywood blockbusters like The Martian or Gravity, grounding the spectacle in relatively realistic scenarios and the human responses to them. While this sounds great on paper, the execution of the narrative falls short due to sloppy filmmaking and sub-par visual effects. Little about The Moon feels complete, from the rudimentary effects to the underdeveloped plot that leans too heavily on a few melodramatic twists.