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Monday, Nov 30, 2015

Blood, Violence and Babes

A B-Movie Holy Grail by John Allman

If you’ve surfed the DVR pay-per-view options and seen a bunch of movies that you’ve never heard of, chances are John has watched them. Why? He loves movies. All kinds of movies. Good, bad, so-bad-they’re good, even the truly unwatchable ones. He mostly loves horror and science-fiction and drive-in exploitation movies that most upstanding model citizens wouldn’t dare watch. Then he writes up his thoughts so you can decide - watch, don’t watch or avoid at all costs. Sometimes he even gets to talk to the cool folks who make some of your favorite films.

A Conversation With: Ronen Rubinstein

Published:   |   Updated: November 20, 2015 at 11:01 AM
BY John W. Allman

Ronen Rubinstein is the young star of “Some Kind of Hate,” and the upcoming “Condemned,” two gritty horror movies being released by RLJ Entertainment.

Though his resume isn’t extensive, yet, Rubinstein has a presence that definitely stands out. He more than holds his own in “Some Kind of Hate” when paired with more experienced actors such as genre veteran Noah Segan.

For those not familiar, “Some Kind of Hate” tells the story of Lincoln Taggert, a high school student who has been the victim of relentless bullying. When he finally snaps and defends himself, Lincoln is remanded by court order to an isolated spiritual youth camp in the desert called Mind’s Eye to learn how to manage his anger, confront his issues and attempt to heal. The only problem is Moira, the vengeful spirit of a former resident of Mind’s Eye who took her own life under mysterious circumstances. When Moira’s energy is unleashed, all hell literally breaks loose.

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New Releases for Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: November 18, 2015 at 11:58 AM
By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Genre: Action

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New Releases for Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: November 12, 2015 at 03:18 PM
BY John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

Bound to Vengeance

Genre: Thriller

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New Releases for Tuesday, November 3, 2015

By John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

The Final Girls

Genre: Horror

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New Releases - October 2015 Roundup

Published:   |   Updated: November 6, 2015 at 02:38 PM
By John W. Allman

Here’s what you might have missed recently in stores and on video shelves:

Oct. 13, 2015

San Andreas
Genre: Action
Directed by: Brad Peyton
Run time: 114 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Format: Blu-Ray

The Lowdown: It’s the end of California as we know it, but you’ll feel fine.

The latest big-budget disaster flick arrives not from destruction-maestro Roland Emmerich, but instead from the guy who directed “Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore.” Er, Brad Peyton. If you just said, ‘Who?’ out loud, I understand.

Thankfully, as California crumbles, audiences have Dwayne Johnson flying overhead in a rescue helicopter making daring feats of near-death-defying awesomeness seem second-hat.

Is it ridiculous? You betcha.
What’s even more ridiculous is the clichéd subplot involving Johnson’s ex-wife (Carla Gugino, hubba hubba) and their daughter and the billionaire high-rise developer now dating Gugino (poor Ioan Gruffudd) who abandons his would-be step-daughter as soon as buildings start crumbling. He suffers a pretty deserved fate, but it’s all too perfunctory. He has to die so Johnson and Gugino can get back together, but not before all hell literally breaks loose.

“San Andreas” is no more silly than “2012,” in fact, it’s probably a little more believable, minus a few air rescue efforts that literally defy the laws of gravity, physics and common sense. But it’s still a paint by numbers picture that hits on the right heartstrings as far as its core family-centric storyline without delivering any actual edge-of-your-seat chills.

It’s good for a rainy afternoon on the couch, but not much more.

The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes! Carla Gugino, still smoking hot!
Nudity – No.
Gore – Disaster violence.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – Mother Nature.
Buy/Rent – Rent it.

Also Available:

The 100: The Complete Second Season
The Return of Count Yorga
The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour: Christmas Specials
When Calls the Heart: Year Two
When Calls the Heart: Follow Your Heart
Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition
Manos: The Hands of Fate
James Bond Gadgets
Ascension: A Miniseries Event
Dexter: The Complete Series
Sodoma – The Dark Side of Gomorrah
Bates Motel: Season Three
The Gallows
The Little Death
Mad Men: The Final Season Part 2
The Following: The Third and Final Season
Skin Traffik
Wayward Pines: The Complete First Season
Theatre of the Deranged II
Class of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid
Pro-Wrestlers vs Zombies
Indiepix Mix 10
Red vs. Blue: Season 13
Billy Elliott: The Musical Live
Baseball Legends
Call Me Lucky
Day 6

October 20, 2015

I Spit on Your Grave III: Vengeance is Mine
Genre: Exploitation/Sequel
Directed by: R.D. Braunstein
Run time: 92 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Format: Blu-Ray

The Lowdown: This is the fourth “I Spit on Your Gave” movie, counting the controversial 1978 cult exploitation classic, so by now, longtime fans know what to expect.

There will be skeezy guys who threaten the heroine. There will be graphic sexual assault. And there will be equally graphic retribution once she recovers after being left for dead.

I actually enjoyed the 2010 remake, which also starred Sarah Butler, who reprises her role here after sitting out 2013’s “I Spit on Your Gave 2.” I thought the remake did a good job of making you care for Butler’s character before the inevitable violence began, which made her surprisingly creative forms of payback all the more horrifying.

“Vengeance is Mine” finds Butler’s character still dealing with the fallout from the 2010 film. The movie plays with continuity, keeping viewers off-balance as to the actual timeline of events that’s unfolding, but it doesn’t take long for some stupid, sleazy guy to get aggressive.

The problem with this third chapter in the new trilogy is that there’s no defining perspective. It’s no longer just “bad” guys who are the problem. It’s all men, period. Instead of exacting revenge where it’s due, which does happen, Butler’s character becomes a one-woman, man-killing dispenser of vigilante justice, and it’s just brutal. Seriously. There are two scenes that are literally almost too much to watch, and neither scene depicts graphic sexual assault on the heroine. The revenge fetish is just dialed up that high to the point any man viewing the movie will feel a sourness develop in his gut at the atrocities on display.

There’s no sympathy to be found any longer for the heroine, which essentially undermines the entire proceeding.

As a gritty, dirty exploitation flick, there are thrills to be found, sure. But at what point does watching extreme violence just for extreme violence’s sake become too much?

The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Sarah Butler is scary hot.
Nudity – Yes.
Gore – Considerable.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – It’s difficult to say – the rapists or the woman lopping off genitalia.
Buy/Rent – Rent it.

Jurassic World 3D (Universal, 124 minutes, PG-13, 3D Blu-Ray): Way back in 1993, Steven Spielberg made this amazing movie that featured state-of-the-art computer-generated effects, which literally made you believe that dinosaurs were real and you could reach out and touch one if you dared.

In case you never saw “Jurassic Park,” you can still experience it through “Jurassic World,” the record-breaking, money-gobbling fourth film in the franchise, which is essentially “Jurassic Park: The Same Movie” with bigger dinosaurs and less character development.

Director Colin Trevorrow has the unenviable job of kick-starting the franchise anew, but he does a truly competent job of repackaging the magic and wonder that young adults (people like me) felt 20-plus years ago when we got our first clear look at a massive T-Rex. The opening scenes showing a fully-functioning dinosaur theme park stoke the fires and make you optimistic that “Jurassic World” might have a few new tricks yet to reveal.

Unfortunately, the only true reveal to be had is the new dinosaur, a hybrid of the velociraptor and T-Rex and a few other spliced genes that, while impressive, isn’t enough to make you forget that “World” and “Park” are basically the same movie without the stellar cast of “Park.”

Chris Pratt, so good in “Guardians of the Galaxy,” doesn’t come off as humble or likable as you want. Bryce Dallas Howard gets stuck in her Park Avenue heels. And none of the supporting characters are really fleshed out enough to elicit an emotional connection.

Don’t get me wrong, “Jurassic World” is a perfectly serviceable popcorn movie that looks great and delivers plenty of whiz-bang action to keep you interested. But it’s no “Jurassic Park.”

Also Available:

Nurse Jackie: Season Seven
Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight – Collector’s Edition
Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood – Collector’s Edition
Olympus: Season One
The Larry Fessenden Collection
Z for Zachariah
The Vatican Tapes
The Wolfpack
Bloody Knuckles
The Making of the Mob: New York
Testament of Youth
The Curse of Oak Island: Season 2
Dumb It Down
My Favorite Martian: The Complete Collection
Hungry Hearts
The Exorcism of Molly Hartley
Paper Towns
Back to the Future: 30th Anniversary Trilogy
The Benoit Jacquot Collection

October 27, 2015

The Gift
Genre: Thriller
Directed by: Joel Edgerton
Run time: 108 minutes
Rating: R
Format: Blu-Ray

The Lowdown: Hands down, one of the best genre thrillers in years, “The Gift” is exactly that – a present to film fanatics who have grown tired of conventional, clichéd fare and want something that truly keeps them guessing throughout.

Joel Edgerton, who penned the fantastic Aussie thriller “The Box,” makes his directing debut with another superb script that he wrote.

With the most basic of premises, two grade school friends happen to reconnect in a chance meeting, “The Gift” just takes off and doesn’t hold back. It’s nasty, vicious and decidedly dark.

The three lead performances are top-notch, with Edgerton keeping his menace in check for much of the run time and Jason Bateman convincingly shifting from victim to smarmy guy who deserves his comeuppance.

Do yourself a favor, and go buy “The Gift” right now.

The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Rebecca Hall, naively hot.
Nudity – No.
Gore – No.
Drug use – No.
Bad Guys/Killers – That kid you picked on in school? He still remembers.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.

Also Available:

Get Mean
Army of Darkness: Collector’s Edition
The Horror Network
My Fair Lady: 50th Anniversary Edition
The Fifth Element: Supreme Cinema Series
Leon – The Professional: Supreme Cinema Series
The Human Centipede: The Complete Sequence
Best of Enemies
Marry Me For Christmas

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A conversation with: Ted Geoghegan

Published:   |   Updated: October 30, 2015 at 11:21 AM

Every now and then, you get the chance to speak with a kindred spirit, someone who “gets” what makes horror movies so good and so special.

Ted Geoghegan is that kind of person.

His debut feature, “We Are Still Here,” is an exceptional exercise in character development, pacing, plot construction and practical special effects. It’s the kind of film that seasoned directors wish they could make.

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Florida dealership displays Deloreans on sales floor for Back to the Future Day

By Christopher Spata

If your dream of owning a DeLorean has been rejuvenated by today being Back to the Future Day — because Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveled to Oct. 21, 2015 in “Back to the Future II” — that dream might not be that far out of reach, at least geographically.

Gulf Coast Motors, a dealership in Bonita Springs that specializes in used sports cars and rare vehicles, has placed nine DeLoreans on its showroom floor today to mark the occasion.

The vehicles, which are part of the dealership’s regular inventory, are listed on Autotrader.com for prices ranging from from $24,000 to $49,995.

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New Releases for Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: October 21, 2015 at 01:08 PM
John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

We Are Still Here

Genre: Horror

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New Releases for Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Published:   |   Updated: October 5, 2015 at 09:32 AM
John W. Allman

What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

Cop Car

Genre: Thriller

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New Releases for Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015


What’s new in stores and on video shelves this week:

“The Sentinel”

Genre: Horror

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