Blu-ray Review: Adventure Time Season 3 (2012)

Adventure Time Season 3 Blu-ray

Cartoons have matured quite a bit over the past few couple of decades. I’m not talking just about shows like The Simpsons or South Park, but more so shows for children that can be appreciated by adults too. The shows that we as adults talk about from our childhood are the cartoons that offered something more than what we would classify as content for children. The best of them stuck out for being obscure and bizarre. Shows like Rocko’s Modern Life and Hey Arnold are often reminisced by fellow 20-somethings as being the best shows of our childhood. Adventure Time is doing today for children what those great shows did for children of the ‘90s, and you can now own season 3 of the show on Blu-ray.

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Movie Review: Grabbers (2012, Dir. Jon Wright)

Grabbers DVD Review

Who doesn’t love a good monster movie?

I bet if H.P. Lovecraft were living in this era today he’d probably get a kick out of Grabbers. I know I certainly did. Monsters aside, the setup has a little bit in common with Hot Fuzz (2007). Lisa Nolan (Ruth Bradley), a cop from the city, is coming in to quiet and peaceful Erin Island for two weeks to replace a vacationing sheriff. Lisa feels like the female counterpart to Fuzz’s Nicolas Angel, but in this movie she knows the countryside is the place where the really “mad shit” happens. On the other hand, Ciaran O’Shea (Richard Coyle), the alcoholic officer who’s been ordered to show her the ropes, scoffs at her countryside outlook.

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Movie Review: Medora (2013, Dir. Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn)

Medora 2013 Documentary Review

Medora, directed by Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn is a documentary portrait of a small town going through big changes, told in a meaningful way from the perspective of the local high school basketball team. The Medora Hornets are technically the worst team in Indiana. Their goal is to try to win just one game during the 2012 school year. The kids don’t like their reputation and the fact that they haven’t won a game in several years, but ironically feel helpless to change it. Meanwhile, the town of Medora itself is a shadow of the promising stone-factory-fed community that once was. One local, upon being asked how she would describe Medora to someone unfamiliar with it, simply responds, “closed.”

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Movie Review: Curse Of Chucky (2013, Dir. Don Mancini)

Curse of Chucky Review

“Jones. An Obsession. A Burning Desire. The Undeniable Passion.”
                                                  – Barry White, ‘Basketball Jones’

Let me be rather up front: theoretically speaking, I am inclined to be a Chucky fan. First off, I just fucking hate children. When I see children fall down or get scared by animals in real life, I’m overcome with joy. So for someone who targets children specifically, it’s euphoric to see a doll with Bradley Dorff’s voice show up and get wicked.

Second off, Child’s Play is the best ‘80s horror movie, and that’s a straight up fact. I don’t find pedophiles or retards scary, so that eliminates Sweaterman and Masky Down Syndrome. In fact, I think most retards should wear hockey masks since that would make them less scary when you see them in public. Personally, I think John Landis single-handedly provided the lowest point in ‘80s horror, as he actually filmed people dying and didn’t have the common courtesy to leave it in the final cut. So of course, by process of elimination, Child’s Play is the best.

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Movie Review: The Conjuring (2013, Dir. James Wan)

The Conjuring Movie Review 2013

I’ve been ghost-hunting from an armchair since my grade school years. That’s when I first encountered a book called, The Demonologist: The True Story Of Ed And Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle. I came across it in a grocery store while grocery shopping with my mother. The book has been reprinted many, many times, and it has just gotten yet another reprint this September due to The Conjuring’s success at the box office this past summer. The 2013 cover isn’t as impressive or as eye-catching as the cover used in its initial printing back in 1980; a red cover with a black border and this crooked, black cross in the middle.

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Movie Review: Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013, Dir. Eduardo Rodriguez)

Fright Night 2: New Blood

On August 2nd 1985 a movie called, Fright Night, opened nation-wide in movie theaters. It was about a high-schooler named Charley Brewster (William Ragsdale) who learns his new next-door neighbor is undead. Writer/Director, Tom Holland, breathed new life into the vampire mythology with this film. I was sixteen and a junior in high school when it came out; I recall seeing the many commercials for it and having no idea what it was about, watching Sarandon saunter slowly down the stairs and utter the now iconic line, “Welcome to Fright Night . . . . for real.” It wasn’t until I was in school one day, that this kid who sat behind me whom I talked to on occasion told me he had seen it, and I remember saying to him, “Oh, it’s a vampire movie?!”

I was thrown by the fact that Holland’s vampires looked demonic and that Dandridge only looked that way when he got angry. Seeing that huge, weird, flying creature was stupefying as well. Before this flick, vampires in movies typically changed into normal looking bats. Dandridge did no such thing; his bat form was hairless, huge and looked more like something that had flown straight out of hell.

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Blu-ray Review: The Fly (1958, Dir. Kurt Neumann)

The Fly (1958)

When I was a kid, my first exposure to The Fly (1958) came from its two sequels. Return Of The Fly (1959) got the most airtime during those informative years. I knew of the first movie from the various monster movie books I used to read, in which every photo of The Fly was black and white, so you can imagine my surprise when I finally did see it and found it was a color film.

I was fascinated with insects and spiders when I was a kid, and began to look at the common fly in a whole new light after seeing the first sequel one Sunday morning. I even went outside afterwards to try to catch one. When I was a kid, I was somewhat disappointed when I finally did see the first film. I always thought the huge fly head in Return of The Fly was cooler than the smaller human sized one used in the David Hedison color film. I got over that disappointment a long time ago, though, and think both fly heads are pretty damn cool now.

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Movie Review: Saturday Morning Mystery (2012, Dir. Spencer Parsons)

Saturday Morning Mystery

Have you ever watched an episode of Scooby-Doo and wondered what a “real world” adaptation of might look like? Not a “live action” one like the films from a few years back, but a version in which the characters fit perfectly into our “reality”, as opposed to adapting it into live action representation of the cartoon universe, with a computer generated Scoob, ghosts, and monsters.

Well, wonder no more, for it has finally been accomplished. Saturday Morning Mystery (also known as Saturday Morning Massacre) is basically an unofficial adaptation of the Scooby-Doo toon, done “real world” style. Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby are now Chad (aka Fred, Adam Tate), Gwen (aka Daphne, Josephine Decker), Nancy (aka Velma, Ashley Rae Spillers), Floyd (aka Shaggy, Jonny Mars) and Hamlet (aka Scooby, now a real dog).

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Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4

Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 4

Back in 1987, I was eighteen and I remember hearing that Gene Roddenberry was going to resurrect Star Trek in a new series. At the time, there was a TV movie based on Bonanza in the works titled, Bonanza: The Next Generation. That Next Generation subtitle was also getting slapped onto Roddenberry’s new Trek series, and based on that alone I felt—no, wait, I knew—this was going to be an utter disaster. It was basically the lamest idea I had ever heard come out of Hollywood. The tide changed when I eventually saw a commercial. I remember thinking, ‘I may have to tape this’ and I have never had any desire to record any live action TV show in my life.

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Movie Review: Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013, Dir. Wayne Kramer)

Pawn Shop Chronicles 2013 Dir. Wayne Kramer

As a resident of the surrounding area of NYC with a strange unstructured existence, I often find myself wandering through the city with hours to kill. I am blessed in that the compact and crowded island of Manhattan is a movie buff’s dream, filled with cinemas showing one of the best selections in the country. Textured underground indie theaters and massive vertical multiplexes are blocks from each other. The combination of all that is me frequently picking films based only on their titles and their starting times, then stumbling blindly into theaters with little idea of what to expect. It’s an activity I encourage you to try as well.

When I purchased a ticket for the virtually un-marketed and limitedly released Pawn Shop Chronicles, I had no clue what was about to happen. Oh boy. Talk about an excellent surprise of absurdism and depravity.

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