DVD Reviews 

Brewster’s Millions

by Alan Rapp on May 23, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Brewster’s Millions
  • IMDb: link

Brewster's Millions Blu-ray reviewThe 1985 comedy stars Richard Pryor as a struggling minor league baseball player who comes into a small fortune. However, there is one catch. To earn the entire estate Montgomery Brewster (Pryor) must spend $30 million within 30 days to inherit $300 million. He must not accumulate any assets, and he is also barred from telling anyone the truth about his increasingly odd behavior.

While director Walter Hill‘s film may never be quite as funny as it should be, Brewster’s Millions does deliver some wacky hijinx with Monty’s spending sprees, his interactions with his teammates and best friend (an underutilized John Candy), and the various forces working against him. Lonette McKee also stars as his accountant/love interest.

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Split

by Alan Rapp on May 19, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Split
  • IMDb: link

Split Blu-ray reviewWhen all is said and done I’m less interested in Split than the movie it may eventually lead to (a true sequel to the writer/director’s best film). That said, M. Night Shyamalan‘s film is easily the best thing he’s created in more than a decade (although given the level of crap he’s put out over that time period that’s hardly a high bar to clear).

Set in an universe Shyamalan once said he had no interest in returning to, James McAvoy stars as a schizophrenic with at least 24 distinct personalities who kidnaps three teenage girls (Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson, and Jessica Sula) to feed the darkest of his personalities referred to only as “The Beast.” For at least three-fourths of its running time the movie lacks the tension it should, partially because we’re unsure how seriously to take McAvoy’s character, partially because Shyamalan wants to hide aspects of the man for as long as possible, and partially because the script jumps around a bit too much rather than staying focused on the girls’ dilemma.

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Vixen: The Movie

by Alan Rapp on May 9, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Vixen
  • wiki: link

Vixen: The Movie Blu-ray reviewVixen: The Movie collects all the episodes from the two-season run of the animated web series and puts them together in a single film. As each season has an ongoing arc where one short leads directly into the next, the flow works fairly well cut together as a single film. The story stars Megalyn Echikunwoke as Mari McCabe who discovers the animal totem left to her by a family she never knew has the power to grant her strength and abilities of an animal for a short period of time.

Over the course of the two seasons Vixen uses her newfound powers to learn the truth about her past, and fight off others who would use the totems powers for their own ends including her sister (Anika Noni Rose) and an old family enemy (Hakeem Kae-Kazim). Several regulars make cameos voicing their animated selves including Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), the Flash (Grant Gustin), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). While it’s a nice bit of fan service and continuity, the lack of voice acting experience by the group is certainly noticeable.

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The Great Films – 12 Angry Men

by Alan Rapp on April 13, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: 12 Angry Men
  • IMDb: link

12 Angry Men movie reviewOur Throwback Thursday post this week takes us back six decades. On this date 60 years ago writer Reginald Rose‘s adaptation of his own teleplay opened in theaters. Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film was nominated for three Oscars yet took home none. However, over time both the National Film Registry and the American Film Institute have named it a film of great significance.

Set entirely in a courthouse, the film follows the deliberations of 12 jurors concerning a case of an 18 year-old accused of stabbing his father with a switchblade. When the film opens only one lone juror (Henry Fonda) has some doubt to the boy’s guilt. While going over the case with the reluctant other jurors, the man will slowly bring others to his side, to the great frustration of one juror (Lee J. Cobb) spearheading the other argument.

No names are used, with each of the jurors identified only by number, and others identified solely as “the boy,” “the judge,” and so on. Focusing on facts and deliberation, the film is tense throughout (although there’s only a single instance where any physical threat is made by one juror to another).

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The Bourne Ultimate Collection

by Alan Rapp on April 12, 2017

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, Jason Bourne, The Bourne Legacy
  • IMDb: link
  • IMDb: link
  • IMDb: link
  • IMDb: link
  • IMDb: link

The Bourne Ultimate Collection Blu-ray reviewThis six-disc set collects all four of the Jason Bourne movies (The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, and Jason Bourne) along with the single spinoff starring Jason Renner (The Bourne Legacy) as another member of the same secret government program. While the first film, the closest to Robert Ludlum’s source material where an amnesiac Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) left for dead discovers he’s an assassin, remains my favorite, all of the films hold up well (even Renner’s single film).

The series features strong supporting characters throughout Bourne’s attempt to learn the truth about his past including Joan Allen, Franka Potente, Clive Owen, Edgar Ramírez, and Alicia Vikander. Collected in one set, available on both Blu-ray and DVD, the movies include several of the short featurettes and audio commentaries from the previous releases along with a sixth bonus disc.

[Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Blu-ray $69.98 / DVD $38.89]

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