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:
  • 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:
  • 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.