DVD Reviews 

The Jungle Book

by Alan Rapp on April 13, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Jungle Book
  • IMDb: link

The Jungle BookOriginally released in 1967 The Jungle Book may not have aged as well as some of the older Disney films, but the spirit and legacy of the film has lived on through countless films from Disney (and other animation houses) over the years. Several current filmmakers, including Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), credit the movie for getting them interested in animated filmmaking.

Re-released in 1978, I fond have memories of seeing the film in theaters, especially the musical sequence of “The Bare Necessities” sung by Mowgli (Bruce Reitherman) and Baloo (Phil Harris). It’s hard not to see the film’s influence in movies such as Robin Hood (which reused multiple character designs) and others years later particularly in The Lion King with its own animal jungle sidekicks singing a very similar philosophy about life.

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Forever – The Complete Series

by Alan Rapp on April 6, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Forever
  • wiki: link

Forever - The Complete SeriesForever struggled to find its stride over its first, and only, season on television. Casting Ioan Gruffudd as immortal police examiner and Alana De La Garza as Police Detective Jo Martinez, the show fit into the police procedural mold of shows like Bones while also introducing fantasy elements about Henry’s past and his immortality.

Balancing the murder-of-the-week against Henry’s past and hiding his condition (of returning from the dead every time he met his end in the nearest body of water) from his partner proved to be a challenge for the show. Along the way we also got to know Henry’s elderly son Abe (Judd Hirsch), Henry’s missing wife Abigail (Mackenzie Mauzy), Henry’s lab assistant Lucas (Joel David Moore), and an evil immortal (Burn Gorman) fascinated by finally finding someone else like him after centuries.

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Macbeth

by Alan Rapp on April 1, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Macbeth
  • IMDb: link

MacbethDirector Justin Kurzel‘s take on Macbeth received a modest theatrical release in December and January despite strong performance from Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in two of William Shakespeare‘s most famous roles and the memorable cinematography from Adam Arkapaw who makes striking use of the movie’s limited budget through the use of bright colors and location shooting in both Scotland and England.

Macbeth is one of those stories that seems to work as well today as when it was written (just look at House of Cards). Kurzel’s film moves at a bisque pace while highlight Macbeth’s ambition, initially fueled by his wife, and the guilt and paranoia which follow. It may not add much new to the story, but cast and crew do the play justice, and it is certainly worth seeking out for fans of the Bard.

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Our Brand is Crisis

by Alan Rapp on March 23, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Our Brand is Crisis
  • IMDb: link

Our Brand is CrisisLoosely adapted from the documentary of the same name, Our Brand is Crisis is the fictionalized account of American political operatives getting involved in the 2002 Bolivian Presidential election. Sandra Bullock stars as a burnt-out political operative brought in to save the failing campaign of President Pedro Castillo (Joaquim de Almeida) whose opponent has hired Jane’s old nemesis (Billy Bob Thornton) to win him the election.

Our Brand is Crisis is a by-the-numbers tale with few surprises (there are no good people in politics, lies and manipulation win the day, etc.). The script is also sadly saddled with a sappy last-minute change of heart from our heartless political operative which simply doesn’t work.

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Rookie Blue – The Final Season

by Alan Rapp on March 17, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Rookie Blue – Season Six
  • wiki: link

Rookie Blue - The Final SeasonThe last 11 episodes of the Canadian crime drama (originally intended to be the second-half of the show’s shortened Fifth Season) are collected on DVD. The final season of Rookie Blue comes to a close with the wedding of Andy (Missy Peregrym) and Sam (Ben Bass). Much of the season deals with Marlo‘s (Rachael Ancheril) pregnancy threatening to throw a wrench into Andy and Sam’s relationship and the fallout of the bombing of 15 Division which will ultimately reveal Steve Peck (Adam MacDonald) is the dirty cop responsible for the bombing in the station (which he will attempt to frame a beloved member of the team for).

The three-disc set includes all 11 episodes of the show’s sixth, and final, season. Highlights of the solid (if unspectacular) season include an investigation into the disappearance of a 16 year-old girl (Zoé De Grand Maison), Oliver (Matt Gordon) under suspicion for the bombing, the hunt for a serial rapist, a prison riot, and hard choices involving family.

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