All posts filed under: DVD/Blu-ray Review

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DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEW: “Minions”

From their first appearance in 2010’s Despicable Me, the little banana-colored henchmen known as the Minions have instantly become favorites – of children and adults alike (present company included).  Their presence in the two movies (including the 2013 sequel) made the movie even funnier and added a certain innocence and sweetness.  These are simply entertaining and lovable characters. This past summer, the Minions’ story was told from the beginning in the box-office runaway smash hit, Minions.  As the synopsis tells you:  “evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a continual series of unsuccessful masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. Without a master to grovel for, the Minions fall into a deep depression. But one minion, Kevin, has a plan; accompanied by his pals Stuart and Bob, Kevin sets forth to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. Their search leads them to Scarlet Overkill, the world’s first-ever super-villainess.” (played hilariously by the always-delightful Sandra Bullock).  Amongst the voice talents that …

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DVD & CD REVIEW: THE BEATLES, “1+”

Objectivity be damned; this is The Beatles we’re talking about.  The single, most important cultural entity to happen in my lifetime; merely a rock and roll band who re-shaped traditions – musically and on a grander, far deeper social scale.  But not to quickly digress, they also made the most memorable and beloved music in modern history.  Two of them are now dead and they continue to live on as new, younger generations are finding them/finding out about them and how crucial they were and are, most importantly, musically. So here’s another repacking with a neat addition.  The stripped down and wildly successful 1 collection (originally released in 2000) has now been remastered and reissued with a restored DVD/Bluray set of the band’s promo films – some actually shot when the Fabs were a going entity – to create 1+.  The pictures are sharper than before; the sound is dynamic and, of course, the music is just as thrilling now as it was then. From the CD edition, you get all the singles that reached …

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DVD REVIEW: Elvis Presley, “Elvis – That’s The Way It Is” (special collector’s set)

What can you say about The King that hasn’t been said, ad infinitum, over the years – especially since his passing 37 years ago?  Nothing new, but there’s always something to marvel at as Elvis Presley was truly one of the most electrifying performers to ever appear in history.  You cannot argue nor deny it.  He was, is and will forever be the one and ONLY King Of Rock & Roll. Warner Bros. has seen fit to restore and remaster the 1970 documentary, Elvis – That’s The Way It Is in a beautiful 2 disc format.  Housed in a hardcover book package, you get the extended Blu-ray edition and the original DVD; if you’ve never seen it, is a fascinating piece of the Elvis Presley story/puzzle.  It’s (possibly) the only time you get to see the King behind the scenes – his creative process and his perspectives – aside from some of his most outstanding performances.  This film sees Elvis at the beginning of his Las Vegas career – before the descent – while his …

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DVD Review: “Steve Martin: The Television Stuff”

The target audience for the new Steve Martin box set will remember a time when “on-demand” meant tuning into a television program at the scheduled time, or buying tickets to go see a particular event. As the internet talking heads love to tell you, there was no Youtube and there weren’t convenient portable iPod-like devices that could store hours of video or thousands of albums in a format that you could carry around in your pocket. Life was indeed hard, looking at the above amenities that we were forced to live without, so thank goodness we had a guy like Steve Martin around to make everything all better. In a world so jaded by a box set and super deluxe edition for nearly everything you could possibly think of, Steve Martin: The Television Stuff is still pretty unbelievable. Like a lot of things that Shout! Factory releases, this box set feels a little bit too good to be true. The contents collected within the three DVD set bring together a treasure trove of Martin’s classic …

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A Cold, Academic Review of “The Scorpion King 3”

Why does a movie like The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption exist? Film criticism as a pursuit, even a career, can become skewed by years of focusing only on A-list theater releases, so much so that critics stop asking the essential questions about the films they review. We take it for granted that a movie has been made to contribute to the art of cinema, to try to tell a compelling story or, in the worst cases, to make a quick buck by pandering to one demographic or another. Not all films achieve any of these three things, but many more don’t even really try. SK3 is one such movie. It’s not, by the standards of anything playing at the multiplex, a good movie. Hell, it’s barely a competent movie, but expecting anything from it but the weakest sauce a major studio like Universal can muster is ridiculous. It’s the straight-to-video second sequel to the cheesy spin-off of an already relentlessly cheesy theme park ride masquerading as a movie franchise. So, why then does The Scorpion …