La La Land: A Stunning Musical Masterpiece (Blu-ray)

The Film: Without a doubt, there was no film throughout all of 2016 that was more beloved and lauded than Damien Chazelle’s musical masterpiece “La La Land.” On top of its praise from audiences, it earned Best Picture awards from the majority of critics groups (including the Critics’ Choice), as well as top honors from The Producers Guild of America, the Golden Globes, and BAFTA. It may have been robbed of the Best Picture Oscar in a rather embarrassing gaffe by the Academy, but it hardly needed it to cement itself as the best film of the year (it still won the most Oscars with six and had a record-tying 14 nominations). But what is it about Chazelle’s musical that has made it earn this dist

The Girl with All the Gifts: A Zombie Outing with Squandered Potential (Blu-ray)

The Film: Once again we find ourselves in that oh-so-popular subgenre of the horror realm: zombies, where as I’ve noted before, it seems like there’s very little that could possibly be done that’s new, original, or diverting in any way from what’s already been done. Yet, the recent “Train to Busan” had somehow managed to break out on its own (at least a little bit) by confining the action to a rather unlikely location for such a film, thereby opening up some intriguing possibilities and delivering a mostly-satisfying experience. Now screenwriter/author Mike Carey and director Colm McCarthy have decided to try their hand at the well-worn subgenre with a zombie film of their own entitled “The

The Founder: The Fascinating Rise of a Fast-Food Empire (Blu-ray)

The Film: There has always been something so utterly compelling about a story that tells of a rise to power. Whether it tells of royalty, mythological heroes, or titans of business, that quest to the top always holds fascination in how the individual gets there. It’s not always via the most noble of roads, a trait that we see a lot of the time in the latter of these three categories, but perhaps that’s what makes it the most intriguing. You may recall the infamous Charles Foster Kane taking a questionable path to success in “Citizen Kane,” or much more recently, the true story of how a young Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook on somewhat shaky ground in “The Social Network,” but have you ever

The Saga Continues as The First Trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi Finally Arrives

It seems like we've been waiting an eternity for it to finally happen, but at last the first trailer for the hotly-anticipated "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has finally been unleashed, giving us a good look at what to expect from the next entry of the long-running franchise. While plot details are obviously still being kept under wraps, we know that most of the characters from "The Force Awakens" will be returning, including Daisy Ridley as Rey, Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, and the late Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia Organa. As to what we can guess about the storyline (at least those of us who haven't tried to dig up every spoiler available) is th

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: An Epic Spinoff That Overshadows Its Characters (Blu-ray)

The Film: It’s something that always seemed inevitable as soon as we heard about Disney acquiring Lucasfilm. Besides just continuing the original saga, there remained a whole galaxy worth of stories to tell in the “Star Wars” universe, so why not make a few spinoffs to cover territory that could be equally thrilling to fans of the franchise? It certainly seemed like a good idea at the time. After all, what “Star Wars” fan wouldn’t want a film about how the Rebels were able to steal the plans for the Death Star from the Empire, a plot point that is merely mentioned in passing in the opening credit crawl of “A New Hope?” Taking this fascinating idea, director Gareth Edwards and his team have d

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