DVD Reviews 

The Hateful Eight

by Alan Rapp on April 19, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The Hateful Eight
  • wiki: link

The Hateful EightThe Hateful Eight is neither the best nor least of writer/director Quentin Tarantino‘s oeuvre. Like most of his work, the film is highlighted by the mix of snappy dialogue and gruesome violence. And, sadly like much of his work, the film is hampered the filmmaker’s indulgences (such as shooting a film shot almost entirely in close-ups on a sound stage in 70mm simply because he felt like doing so) which don’t always serve the final product. The result is a film with terrific sequences, hampered by dark humor that doesn’t always find the right note, which eventually overstays it’s welcome.

The film begins with the chance encounter of a pair of bounty hunters (Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson) both fighting to get ahead of the oncoming blizzard. Before all is said and done the two men, along with one man’s bounty (Jennifer Jason Leigh), the carriage driver, and a host of other strangers, will all attempt to seek shelter from the storm in Minnie’s Haberdashery.

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Justice League: Cosmic Clash

by Alan Rapp on April 16, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Cosmic Clash
  • wiki: link

Justice League: Cosmic ClashThe weakest of the LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes straight-to-video movies to date, LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash nevertheless provides its share of fun when Brainiac (Phil LaMarr) arrives on Earth with plans to shrink the planet and add it to his collection. When the ensuing battle gets Superman (Nolan North), Wonder Woman (Grey Griffin), and Green Lantern (Josh Keaton) all trapped in the past, Batman (Troy Baker) will journey back to three different time periods, with the help of the Flash (James Arnold Taylor) and his Cosmic Treadmill, and remind his friends why they need to return to the present and help save their planet.

Batman’s entire time-jumping adventures are an inside joke to the events of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne mini-series which saw the Caped Crusader reborn in various forms such as a caveman and pirate.

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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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