Monday, April 14, 2014

DVD Review: Gangster Squad

By Antonio Dileo
 

An overlooked potboiler mob story that promises good old-fashioned cinema action and entertainment.

Of all the movies deemed underrated in 2013, Gangster Squad is one of the top ones that most likely suffered from poor marketing and promotion (also given a poor release date in January 2013, after the end of the holiday box office releases). This action crime drama has an Untouchables-esque feel to it (but not on the level of that film), as well as a noir theme similar to the mob films of the 1940s. The action, the twists, and pace of the film make it feel like an old Saturday matinee, where the good guys shoot up and stop the bad guys.

Monday, April 7, 2014

DVD Review: F*ck (2005)

By Antonio Dileo  

A Documentary That Breaks Down and Examines the Big Daddy of All Curse Word's Impact (and You Will Never Look at Pat Boone the Same Way Again)!

WARNING: This review contains references to the F-word. The video links contain adult language.
 

F*ck is a documentary that in some ways acknowledges the big elephant in the room. In this case, the pachyderm is the ing of all swear words (after which the film is blatantly named). Director Steve Anderson breaks down the word's permeation throughout history and the sociocultural impression it has had. From Hollywood, your playlist, the street corner, the sports stadium, to even the solemn halls of the White House and U.S. Capitol, no place has immunity from this word is immune from. Anderson does such a fine job of showing this in the documentary. A who's who of people from music, film, religion, politics, journalism, and academia gather to give their truthful (and sometimes hilarious) insight on this (for better or worse) impactful word, looking at both sides of its use.

Some of those who are interviewed include rapper Ice-T, Alanis Morrisette, porn legend Ron Jeremy, Bill Maher, former ABC News anchor Sam Donaldson (who says that the word is "one of those all-purpose words,” proclaiming "I've used the F-word in my life before, of course! I'm proud to say so."), former presidential candidate and conservative firebrand Alan Keyes, and Judith Martin, aka Miss Manners.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Movie Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

By Chaz Lipp
 

Perhaps the most underrated of the first phase of Avengers movies, 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger was an expertly-crafted origin story that packed a ton of heart into its decidedly old-school framework (it’s retro stylings, largely motivated by the WWII setting, evoked director Joe Johnston’s previously underrated The Rocketeer). Arriving late in a typically superhero-packed summer movie season, it performed well but didn’t seem to generate much excitement.

All that changed with the gargantuan success of The Avengers the following year. Though few would argue that Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) stole the lion’s share of scenes in that all-star teaming, he helped anchor the story with his unwavering integrity in the face of perceiving shady doings by S.H.I.E.L.D. (Rodgers takes a memorably direct route to uncovering secrets held by Nick Fury). So, following Thor’s successful post-Avengers outing in The Dark World, we have Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Giveaway: The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Fully Roasted Six-Disc DVD – Enter by 4/21/2014

Friends, we’ve partnered with StarVista Entertainment and Time Life to offer you the chance to win one of three The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Fully Roasted six-disc DVD sets! This 16.5 hour set is packed to the gills with laughs and is now available (as of April 1) for purchase, including Amazon (clink link to order). We’re offering three sets, so enter now!

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below by April 21, 2014 for your chance. Giveaway is open to participants 18 years of age and older who reside in the U.S. only (no P.O. Boxes).

Official Synopsis: “This special 6-disc collection includes 17 complete and unedited Celebrity Roasts featuring a who's who roster of roastees, including Betty White, (then) Gov. Ronald Reagan, Bette Davis, Muhammad Ali, George Burns, Angie Dickinson, Telly Savalas, Dan Rowan & Dick Martin, Sen. Barry Goldwater, Suzanne Somers, George Washington (portrayed by Jan Leighton), Dennis Weaver, Ralph Nader, Gabe Kaplan, Redd Foxx, Hugh Hefner and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

And, the list of roasters throwing zingers at the men and women of the hour is every bit as impressive: Milton Berle, Red Buttons, Phyllis Diller, Bonnie Franklin, Rich Little, Abe Vigoda, Jimmie Walker, Orson Welles, Jack Benny, Dom DeLuise,Henry Fonda, Ruth Buzzi, Wilt Chamberlain, Howard Cosell, Billy Crystal, Gene Kelly, LaWanda Page,Jackie Mason, Jimmy Stewart, Shelley Winters, Bob Newhart, Carroll O'Connor, Jack Klugman, Johnny Bench, and many others. Adding to the mirth and merriment of this set are more than specially-produced bonus comedy sketches, featurettes and interviews!”


Three lucky winners will be drawn at random and notified via email. Each winner will have 48 hours to respond to our notification with their complete name and mailing address. Failure to respond within 48 hours will result in forfeiture and another winner will be selected. For complete giveaway rules, click here.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Thor: The Dark World

By Chaz Lipp
 

In anticipation of this week’s release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the timing was perfect to revisit last fall’s Thor: The Dark World on Blu-ray. Though I pretty much covered my feelings on the movie in my theatrical review, I have to say: the Capt. America sequel has its work cut out for it. The Dark World was the first non-Iron Man sequel in the Avengers cycle and it handily outdoes both of those Tony Stark solo outings. Perhaps 2010’s Iron Man 2 was a bit rushed following the unexpectedly phenomenal response to the 2008 original Iron Man. It didn’t have too many dots to connect within the franchise, seeing as The Incredible Hulk (2008) – somewhat of a ‘black sheep’ in the Avengers series – was the only related film at the time. It huffed and puffed, but couldn’t escape a general air of pointlessness.

There was no excuse, however, for the mediocrity of 2013’s Iron Man 3, which followed the previous year’s stratospherically successful The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon. That vague, ‘shaggy dog story’ feeling was back. Iron Man 3 seemed only tangentially connected to the overall Marvel Universe – a disappointment given the explosion of possibilities that followed in the wake of Whedon’s epic. The Dark World, on the other hand, not only delivers on just about every level, it expands the intergalactic elements introduced in The Avengers. Though we don’t hear from Nick Fury or anyone S.H.I.E.L.D. related, the invaluable presence of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and his on-going love/hate relationship with brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) makes the film a viable sequel to both The Avengers and the first Thor (2011).

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Giveaway: Knights of Badassdom Blu-ray – Enter by 4/16/2014


CLOSED - winners to be announced soon.

Folks, this is a great giveaway – sponsored by Entertainment One – for the brand new “role-playing, genre-bending comedy with a dark (ages) twist: Knights of Badassdom. Three lucky winners will receive the Blu-ray – which stars Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Steve Zahn, Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Summer Glau (Firefly), and Danny Pudi (Community). Knights of Badassdom is currently available for purchase, visit Amazon.

Enter via the Rafflecopter form below by April 16, 2014 for your chance. Giveaway is open to participants 18 years of age and older who reside in the U.S. or Canada (no P.O. Boxes).


Official synopsis: “KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM follows three best friends (Dinklage, Zahn and Kwanten) and dedicated LARPers (Live Action Role Players) as they take to the woods to reenact a dungeons and dragons-like scenario fresh out of the Middle Ages. Trouble arises after they unwittingly conjure up some serious evil in the form of a blood-lusting Succubus from the pits of hell.

And as fantasy and reality collide on the Fields of Evermore in an all-out epic battle of make-believe wizards, demons and assorted mythical creatures, their courage and friendship is put to the test as they attempt to vanquish the evil they have summoned. Will the group prove to simply be foam sword-wielding LARPers or true "Knights of Badassdom?" Art thou ready to find out?”

 

Packed with extras, including interviews with Peter Dinklage, Steve Zahn and director Joe Lynch, a Behind -the-Scenes featurette, a “Summer Glau: Hottie Montage” and the San Diego Comic Con Panel.

Three lucky winners will be drawn at random and notified via email. Each winner will have 48 hours to respond to our notification with their complete name and mailing address. Failure to respond within 48 hours will result in forfeiture and another winner will be selected. For complete giveaway rules, click here.


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TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale "A"

by Sherry Lipp

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

We all know sanctuary is not an easy find in the world of The Walking Dead. As we’ve seen
everyone slowly make their way along the railroad tracks toward Terminus it seemed pretty clear it wouldn’t be everything they wanted it to be. That being said – it’s even worse. It’s worse than Woodbury and the Governor, worse than the murderous little Lizzie, worse than the people Rick was hiding from in the house (more on them later though!), and worse than the walkers themselves. We don’t even really know how bad it is, or what’s even going on there, but we know it’s bad. Very bad. The season four finale is the best season ender yet and despite the ups and down it reminds me why I love The Walking Dead.

Throughout this episode, as Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) make their way toward Terminus, we’re treated to flashbacks of when life was, comparatively, not all that bad at the prison. Hershel (Scott Wilson) tells Rick that they can make a life for themselves there, raising kids and growing their own food. All along we know none of it works out. The pigs they are raising are sacrificed to the walkers, Hershel is killed, and the prison is destroyed. Nothing works out for them - ever. The episode where Carol (Melissa McBride) is forced to kill Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) is just another reminder that sanctuary is not possible. Weren’t Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Beth (Emily Kinney) discussing settling down in the funeral home before all hell broke loose? Didn’t Rick, Carl and Michonne find a nice neighborhood for a while?