Star Trek Beyond: A Weak Story Makes for a Disappointing Sequel (Blu-ray)

The Film: In a similar fashion to the new “X-Men” franchise, it was rather miraculous when J.J. Abrams was able to take over the “Star Trek” film series and return it to the glorious heights it once enjoyed in the past. Along with screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the 2009 reboot took the franchise in a bold new direction, which continued in the excellent 2013 follow-up “Star Trek Into Darkness” (co-written by Damon Lindelof). As we come to the third entry in the series, “Star Trek Beyond,” a rather large question mark hangs in the air due to the fact that it is now under the command of a different director (Justin Lin) and different writers (Simon Pegg and Doug Jung). Could a ne

Lights Out: A Satisfying Treat for Horror Fans (Blu-ray)

The Film: At this point, it’s well-known that the horror genre is one of the hardest genres to have an original thought in. Chances are, if you think of an idea that you believe is creative and new, it’s probably already been done 100 different times and in many different ways. This has led to filmmakers taking ideas that aren’t exactly original and trying to retool them in one way or another in an attempt to make them feel fresh for an audience who are familiar with standard horror tropes. A recent example would be something like the brilliant “The Cabin in the Woods.” Would you really want to see another film that’s simply about a group of teenagers who go to a cabin and get killed off? No

Independence Day: Resurgence: An Instantly-Forgettable Sequel (Blu-ray)

The Film: 1996’s “Independence Day” was a film that never truly necessitated a sequel. It was a very self-contained film that accomplished exactly what it set out to do, mainly acting as a fun and exciting spectacle that viewers could get engaged in thanks to some interesting characters and a good splash of humor. Revisiting it recently for its 20th anniversary, it still held up quite well as a charming and nostalgic blockbuster that contained some rather amazing effects for the time. 20 years later, a sequel just seems a little late, but the upside was that the filmmakers would have had quite a long time to come up with a great story to continue where the first film left off. With two decad

Wolverine Returns in the First Trailer for Logan

Another big project that fans have been eager to get a glimpse of is James Mangold's "Logan," the third entry in the solo Wolverine films that spun off from the "X-Men" franchise. Well, the long wait is finally over as the first trailer finally dropped today, giving us our first look at what will hopefully be a strong conclusion for the series (reportedly it's the final outing for our adamantium-clawed hero). The Wolverine series hasn't exactly been what one would call "good," starting with the disappointing "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" in 2009 and continuing with the curiously dull "The Wolverine" in 2013. With the titular mutant being such a popular character and the plethora of storylines a

The Whole Gang is Back in the First Teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Fans have been waiting very patiently for their first look at footage from the upcoming sequel to the extremely popular "Guardians of the Galaxy," and while a full trailer is still being put together, director James Gunn has decided to drop us a little sneak peak today in the form of a 90-second teaser trailer. As expected, it doesn't show us very much or tell us anything about the plot, but we do get some great looks at our heroes, including Chris Pratt's Star-Lord, Dave Bautista's Drax, Rocket, and the adorably smaller Groot. The original "Guardians of the Galaxy" still stands tall as the best Marvel film to date, featuring an excellent blend of action, an exciting storyline, and one of th

Preacher: Season One: Colorful Characters Bring a Bizarre Comic Book to Life (Blu-ray)

The Show: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s “Preacher” was yet another comic book series that I had never heard of prior to seeing its adaptation, but it was apparently quite popular back when it was published between 1995 and 2000, totaling 66 issues (plus additional specials). The intriguing-sounding story made it seem like something that would make for a pretty good film or TV show, and while Ennis did attempt to get “Preacher” on the big screen for several years, it would eventually find a home on television at AMC, a channel that is rather open-minded when it comes to shows that might come across as a little strong (i.e. “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” etc.). However, a red flag was so

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Ang Lee's Beautiful Martial Arts Classic (Blu-ray)

The Film: It’s hard to believe that Ang Lee’s martial arts classic “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” is already 16 years old. Back when it was released, it was a very memorable experience, not only because it was a great film, but also because it was the first time I had gone to see a foreign language film in a theater. I wasn’t even a particular fan of martial arts films growing up, but it looked like it would be an interesting experience, and that it was, to say the least. The film would go on to be nominated for a whopping ten Academy Awards, winning four that included Best Foreign Language Film, and marking one of those somewhat rare times when a foreign language film nabbed a Best Pictur

Swiss Army Man: A Bizarre and Unique Experience (Blu-ray)

The Film: Every once in a while, you come across a movie that leaves you almost completely speechless at the end. There are several reasons as to why this would happen, including films that are so good (or so bad) that you just can’t put it into words right away, but then there are films where you simply have no idea what you just witnessed and are left a little bewildered by. One such film is Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan’s “Swiss Army Man,” a film that almost defies description based solely on its incredibly bizarre premise. It’s the kind of film that has you wondering what was going on in the minds of its writers for them to come up with something so surreal and unique, but even from i

Pete's Dragon Comes to Digital HD and Blu-ray/DVD on November 29th

Walt Disney Home Entertainment has just announced the home release of "Pete's Dragon," which will be coming to Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, On-Demand, and Blu-ray/DVD on November 29th. Continuing the success of live-action adaptations of Disney classics, "Pete's Dragon" scored very well with audiences and critics alike, with many praising its emotional story and calling it one of the best films of the year. While I've yet to see it, if the recent "The Jungle Book" is any indication of the treatment these films are getting, then it's sure to be the pleasant surprise that many are making it out to be. As far as the special features go, the following will be included on the film's differ

The Final Trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is Here

With only two months left until the film's release, Disney has dropped the final trailer for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," and just like with the previous full-length trailers, there's plenty to see. These two and a half minutes give us a great look at the film's action, in addition to the major players, including Felicity Jones' Jy Erso, Mads Mikkelsen's Galen Erso, Forest Whitaker's Saw Gerrera, and Ben Mendelsohn's Director Orson Krennic. The film, which deals with the Rebels' plans to steal the plans for the Empire's top secret weapon, the death star, is the first in a planned series of spin-offs from the main series of films that is to continue with the upcoming "Young Han Solo" adven

Ghostbusters (2016): Charming and Nostalgic, but Ultimately Unremarkable (Blu-ray)

The Film: For the past couple of decades, there was always a high demand for another “Ghostbusters” sequel. The original is considered a comedy classic, and while the second film didn’t quite live up to the first, the fans couldn’t wait to see our heroes reunite to take on more ghosts. However, even though the demand was high, another sequel was never made after the 1989 follow up. Instead, what we would end up with over 25 years later is a reboot that no one really asked for. After all, the original characters were beloved by a generation of film-goers, so how would they react to having everyone replaced for a new origin story? It seemed like a very risky move, but director/co-write Paul Fe

The Legend of Tarzan: A Forgettable Take on Burroughs’ Classic Tale (Blu-ray)

The Film: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan” is another one of those tales that’s been adapted numerous times for screens big and small, including such takes on the material as the multitude of Johnny Weissmuller films from the 30s and 40s and the Disney film from 1999. Given that it’s been an entire two years since the last big-screen iteration (the very poorly received film with Kellan Lutz in the title role), I suppose someone else felt like they wanted to try to do Burroughs’ classic character justice. This leads us to David Yates’ big budget adaptation, “The Legend of Tarzan,” in which he takes a fairly likeable cast and $180 million and tries to make something new out of a story that’s pro

The Thing (Collector's Edition): Outstanding Special Effects Dominate Carpenter's Horror Cla

The Film: There was a time when writer/director John Carpenter was on top of the world. After releasing his masterpiece “Halloween” (still the greatest horror film ever made) in 1978, he followed it up with others that many consider to be classics in his filmography, including “The Fog,” “Escape from New York,” and “The Thing.” This is not to say that he didn’t make any good films after this, for he did churn out a couple more beloved cult classics in the late 80’s with “Big Trouble in Little China” and “They Live,” but usually when most people talk about Carpenter, it’s in reference to his classic period of the late 70’s and early 80’s. One of his films from this time that remains one of hi

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town: Another Capra Classic That Hasn't Quite Stood the Test of Time (Blu-ray)

The Film: As we continue our exploration of the work of beloved filmmaker Frank Capra, which began with the outstanding “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” and continued with the somewhat overrated Best Picture winner “You Can’t Take It with You,” we come to a second entry in his filmography that many probably aren’t as familiar with. “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” was something of a hit in 1936, at least with the Academy, for it was nominated for a slew of Oscars that included Best Picture, Best Director (which Capra won), Best Actor, and Best Screenplay, but was it actually worthy of all this recognition, or is it simply another case of one of Capra’s films not standing up to the test of time? As the

X-Men: Apocalypse: The Rebooted Franchise Hits Its First Major Stumble (Blu-ray)

The Film: It was something of a cinematic miracle when Matthew Vaughn was able to resurrect the “X-Men” franchise back in 2011 with “X-Men: First Class,” a film that took us back to the beginning and gave everything a fresh start. It was bold, ambitious, and thoroughly entertaining not only because of its exciting action scenes, but also because of its excellent narrative that played with history in a few different ways. It was a daring move to try and make a sequel that could even come close to what was accomplished, but Bryan Singer took that dare and delivered “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” another great entry in the franchise that once again used history in a fascinating context. It’s alm

Suicide Squad Comes to Digital HD on November 15th and Blu-ray/DVD on December 13th

*UPDATE* Warner Bros. has finally announced the special features to be invluded with the Blu-ray/DVD releases: Task Force X: One Team, One Mission Chasing the Real Joker & Harley: “It” Couple of The Underworld Squad Strength and Speed Armed to the Teeth This is Gonna Get Loud: The Epic Battles of Suicide Squad The Squad Declassified Gag Reel At long last, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has finally announced "Suicide Squad" for its home release, declaring that it will first be coming to Digital HD on November15th, followed by the Blu-ray/DVD release on December 13th. While the film may have been critically maligned by most, resulting in a measly 26% (4.7/10) on Rotten Tomatoes, that didn't s

The Wailing: A Fascinating Mystery Gets Smothered by Excessive Length (Blu-ray)

The Film: On our search for the next great horror film, we next travel overseas. It’s understandable that most would immediately assume that this means to Japan, what with them having given us a plethora of popular films in the genre that include “Ringu,” “Ju-On: The Grudge,” “Dark Water,” and “Audition.” However, in this case, it actually means a stopover in South Korea, the country that gave us such horror flicks as “A Tale of Two Sisters,” “Death Bell,” “and “Whispering Corridors.” Filmmaker Na Hong-jin has already given us two well-received films with the crime dramas “The Chaser” and “The Yellow Sea,” but now he turns to the realm of horror for his latest project, entitled “The Wailing.

First Trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Sets Sail

At long last, Disney has finally unleashed out first look at the upcoming fifth entry in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, subtitled "Dead Men Tell No Tales," which is set to mark the return of everyone's favorite pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). The teaser gives us just a brief glimpse of the film, as expected, but at least we do get a good look at Academy Award winner Javier Bardem as the villainous Captain Salazar, and he certainly looks creepy to say the least. Besides three-time Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp, also expected to return are Orlando Bloom as Will Turner (last seen captaining the Flying Dutchman), Geoffrey Rush as Captain Barbossa, and Kevin McNally as

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