Goodnight Mommy Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Susanna Wuest, Elias Schwarz, Lukas Schwarz
  • Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Frank
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • Release Date: December 1, 2015
  • Run Time: 99 minutes


            It is clear about halfway through Goodnight Mommy that the Austrian horror film will make a perfect companion film to either Michael Haneke’s Funny Games or Under the Skin, though the obviousness of which would be more fitting depends on the effectiveness of the film’s red herring on each viewer. Filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala lay out clues to figure out the reality of the film’s narrative early on, but often pairs them with enough evidence to counter with an alternate possibility. This makes the film far less about a final twist and much more about the uncertainty and doubt following the most likely answer to the central question.


    Santa’s Little Helper DVD Review

         Actors: Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, AnnaLynne McCord, Eric Keenleyside
  • Directors: Gil Junger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20TH CENTURY FOX
  • DVD Release Date: November 17, 2015
  • Run Time: 91 minutes


            WWE Studios continues their awkward transition from scripted wrestling melodrama to scripted cinematic melodrama with the latest of their family productions. Santa’s Little Helper stars their regular performer, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (Can I take a moment to point out the redundancy of including someone’s nickname when it is already an abbreviation of the last name; it ends up just sounding like an echo), along with Paige’s film debut. Despite having two wrestlers in the cast, the film refrains from blatant WWE promoting, and the storyline requires a surprisingly minimal amount of fighting between them.


    Ricki and the Flash Blu-ray Review

         Actors: Ben Platt, Rick Springfield, Sebastian Stan, Audra McDonald, Kevin Kline
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Marc Platt, Gary Goetzman, Diablo Cody, Mason Novick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, AC-3, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Indonesian, Cantonese, Thai, Spanish, English
  • Dubbed: French, Portuguese, Thai, Spanish
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Rated: PG-13 
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: November 24, 2015
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: December 31, 2018
  • Run Time: 101 minutes


            It is truly a sad state of affairs when the most impressive acting in a film featuring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline is a performance from former rock icon, Rick Springfield. Not since Will Smith and his obnoxious pseudo-celebrity child collaborated with M. Night Shyamalan to make the post-apocalyptic disaster of a film, After Earth, has an actor been so horribly blinded by the urge to work with their own undeserving offspring. This is the kind of performance that would kill most careers, though the lack of famous actresses her age allows Streep the freedom to make a Mamma Mia every few years, without repercussion. As much as Streep’s growling and guttural performance as an aging wannabe rock star may be like nails on a chalkboard to anyone who has ever actually held a guitar, it is nowhere near as obnoxious as the obviously nepotistic casting of her real-life daughter, Mamie Gummer. And all of this is sloppily held together by a lazy and reductive screenplay from Hollywood’s favorite stripper.