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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Old 11-21-18, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Highly Recommended
Community - The Complete Series - Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Show:

Community had such a unique place within the pop culture landscape in the early portion of the 2010s that I'm not completely sure it could be summed up. It included the emergence of the showrunner like few other peers of the time, resulting in a nationwide tour for and focus on its subject (Dan Harmon). Either jokingly or with an air of pomposity it included things that drove storylines or served as a backdrop that few others did on network television; who was doing shows around Dungeons and Dragons or paintball on network television, and making them fun and kind of poignant at the same time? But it was showing people who were perhaps marginalized or stigmatized in society and giving them a chance to shine within a group dynamic sometimes, which could be toxic like some others could. Normalizing them in a weird way.

The show's premise is for lack of a better word, k...Read the entire review »

The Princess Bride (Blu-ray)
by Ryan Keefer

The Movie:

We can generally agree that when it comes to movies that you will stop other things to do, The Princess Bride has to be up there, right? It's been out for a couple of decades now, there are a ton of lines and moments in it that millions quote to this day, and the story is such that everyone suspends their belief. It has romance, it has humor, it has action, it's got everything, told rather comfortably and compelling. What more could you ask?

William Goldman (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) adapted his novel into a screenplay which Rob Reiner (The Bucket List) directed. A young boy (Fred Savage, The Wonder Years) is sick in bed, and his grand...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
The Wizard Of Gore (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

"An Astounding Walk Down the Bloody Corridors of the Occult!"

In The Wizard Of Gore, the second last of H.G. Lewis' original gore films, Ray Sagar plays a magician named Montag The Magnificent, a self-proclaimed 'master of illusion' who has a knack for strange soliloquies and who, when we meet him, pulls a lovely female member of the audience up on stage to assist in a trick he'll perform for the crowd. The audience then sees the volunteer brutally murdered right there on the stage, but amazingly enough once the trick is over, she then appears completely unharmed and returns to her seat as happy as can be.

There's more to this, however, when the volunteers start turning up dead shortly after the trick has been completely. Bodies start piling up around town as a TV reporter, Sherry Carson (Judy Cler), who sat in on one of his shows tries to learn more about ...Read the entire review »

The Big Lebowski 20th Anniversary Gift Set (Blu-ray)
by Francis Rizzo III

In 10 Words or Less

A gloriously off-kilter Coen brothers fable

Note: Images are taken from the Blu-ray disc, not the UltraHD disc.

Reviewer's Bias*

Loves: Jeff Bridges, Julianne ...Read the entire review »

Sword of Sherwood Forest (Blu-ray)
by Stuart Galbraith IV

As part of their multi-picture deal with Hollywood's Columbia Pictures, Britain's Hammer Films cannily co-produced Sword of Sherwood Forest (1960), with actor Richard Greene (also a producer here) reprising the career-defining starring in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1955-59), the British TV series popular in the U.S. and Canada as well as in Britain. By all accounts, the film was a minor success.

Hammer had already made one Robin Hood movie, Val Guest's The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954), in color but otherwise cheaply done; actor and later director Don Taylor starred in that. Hammer also had a long history of adapting television properties to film: the Nigel Kneale "Quatermass" shows, for instance, and in the 1970s their most successful releases were actually film versions of popular British sitcoms. This was a no-brainer.

Sword of Sherwood Forest is mild, pleasant en...Read the entire review »

Death Race: Beyond Anarchy (Blu-ray)
by Jesse Skeen

Universal continues its updated Death Race series, based on the 1975 movie, with this latest entry Beyond Anarchy and the title certainly describes it well. While the second and third movies took place before the first, this one takes place afterwards and moves the action to a huge walled-in prison city called "The Sprawl" where convicts live and rule with little interference from the outside. The tradition of the masked star racer "Frankenstein" continues even with his identity still unknown (the previous movies showed that different people have assumed his persona)- here he's basically the king of the whole colony and it's best to stay on his good side. The Death Races are still held within the prison walls (covering about 130 square mil...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
Windtalkers: Two-Disc Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray)
by Randy Miller III

John Woo's critical and commercial failure Windtalkers (2002) isn't quite as bad as you remember, but it's by no means a good movie. This WWII drama stars Nicholas Cage as Sergeant Joe Enders, whose most recent assignment is to protect Private Ben Yahzee (Adam Beach) from Japanese forces. Ben's importance? He's part of a select few Marines serving as Navajo code talkers, who are uniquely able to confuse the enemy by sending and receiving messages in their native tongue. Not surprisingly, it turns out that the code is more important that Ben's life: if he's in danger of being captured, Sergeant Joe has bee...Read the entire review »

Who is America
by Francis Rizzo III

In 10 Words or Less

Sacha Baron Cohen returns to embarrass semi-celebs and politicians

Reviewer's Bias*

Loves: Seeing the pompous degraded
Likes: Da Ali G Show
Dislikes: Reality "stars"
Hates: false equivalen...Read the entire review »

 

Skip It
Spontaneous Combustion (Blu-ray)
by Kurt Dahlke

Spontaneous Combustion:

From Tobe Hooper, the director of Poltergeist, comes Spontaneous Combustion, a weird bit of burn injury pornography (so to speak) that otherwise comes off as an oddball Cable TV drama with a touch of mystery and romance thrown in for good measure. In other words, it's a movie few could truly love, and this bare-bones Cheezy Movies release is one destined for the dollar store racks. The bigger mystery is the late Hooper himself.

Hooper is a mystery we can no longer solve, in the same way we can't solve or save Spontaneous Combustion, which takes the entire first third of the movie merely setting up the premise. So there's strike one against it; odd pacing. We find a spunky Atomic Age couple willing to field test a nuclear bunker. The bomb goes off, and the shelter survives, but not ...Read the entire review »

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