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Movie Review: M. Night Shyamalan’s Split
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Movie Review: M. Night Shyamalan's Split

Split
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Screenwriter: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley, Jessica Sula, Haley Lu Richardson
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 117 Minutes
Release Date: January 20, 2017

In Split, the latest film by M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs), James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse) stars as Kevin, a troubled young man who kidnaps three teenage girls: Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Marcia (Jessica Sula), and Claire (The Edge of Seventeen‘s Haley Lu Richardson).

As Casey and her friends try to escape the underground lair in which they are trapped, they discover that Kevin has dissociative identity disorder, a psychological condition characterized by the presence of two or more distinct personality states. According to his psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley, Carrie), Kevin embodies 23 separate personalities of all ages and genders, manifesting unique physical attributes for each.

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Movie Review: Martin Scorsese’s Silence
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Movie Review: Martin Scorsese's Silence

Silence
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Yosuke Kubozuka, Shin’ya Tsukamoto, Liam Neeson, Ciarán Hinds
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated R | 161 Minutes
Release Date: December 23, 2016 (Limited)

“Lord, why are you silent? Why are you always silent?”

In 1988, at a screening for religious leaders of his new film The Last Temptation of Christ, Martin Scorsese was approached by Archbishop Paul Moore, the Episcopal Bishop of New York, who presented the filmmaker with a copy of Shūsaku Endō’s acclaimed novel Silence.

Published in 1966, the novel is the story of Jesuit missionaries sent to 17th century Japan, where they endure persecution in the time of Kakure Kirishitan (“Hidden Christians”) that followed the defeat of the Shimabara Rebellion, an uprising of Catholic Christian peasants during the Tokugawa shogunate’s rule.

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Adam Frazier’s Top 10 Movies Of 2016
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Adam Frazier’s Top 10 Movies Of 2016, including La La Land, A Monster Calls, Arrival, and more!

The annual ritual of narrowing down hundreds of titles to a definitive “Top 10” Movies of 2016 is a cruel but necessary discipline as a film critic. Over the past 12 months, I’ve seen more than 100 new releases. That’s over eight days spent watching new movies, and I’m happy to report that 2016 has been a great year for cinema, despite reports that “film is dead.”

This year, we saw new work by visionary filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, Park Chan-wook, J.A. Bayona, and Joel and Ethan Coen. We witnessed noteworthy performances by Casey Affleck, Viola Davis, Natalie Portman, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. And we were entertained by emotionally engaging, visually impressive blockbusters like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Captain America: Civil War, and Doctor Strange.

Below are my 10 favorite films of 2016, accompanied by a list of 20 honorable mentions, making for a list of 30 must-see movies that kept my cynicism and negativity buried beneath hope and joy. I hope these films will move, inspire, and reinvigorate you in the same way!

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‘The Twilight Zone’: The Complete Series Arrives On Blu-ray Today
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series On Blu-ray December 13

Travel to another dimension of sight and sound this fall with The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series. Featuring new packaging, this 24-disc Blu-ray set includes all 156 episodes from five seasons (over 74 hours of content), and arrives on December 13, just in time for the holidays.

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Blu-ray Review: Black Christmas (Collector’s Edition)
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Blu-ray Review: Black Christmas (Collector’s Edition)

Black Christmas
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Bob Clark
Screenwriter: A. Roy Moore
Cast: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 98 Minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2016

“Oh, why don’t you go find a wall socket and stick your tongue in it, that’ll give you a charge!”

Considered to be one of the first “slasher” films, 1974’s Black Christmas served as an influence for John Carpenter’s Halloween and has since become a cult classic. Directed by Bob Clark (Porky’s, A Christmas Story), the movie was inspired by a series of murders that took place in Montreal, and the urban legend “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs.”

At a Christmas party at the Pi Kappa Sigma house, Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey) receives an obscene phone call from “The Moaner,” a disturbed individual who has been calling the house. Jess and her sorority sisters Barb (Margot Kidder), Phyllis (Andrea Martin), and Clare (Lynne Griffin) listen in on the call. The feisty Barb provokes the caller, who responds by telling the girls that he is going to kill them.

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Blu-ray Review: Dreamscape (Collector’s Edition)
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Blu-ray Review: Dreamscape (Collector's Edition)

Dreamscape
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Joseph Ruben
Screenwriter: David Loughery, Chuck Russell, Joseph Ruben
Cast: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated PG-13 | 99 Minutes
Release Date: December 13, 2016

“So, Jane, what you do here, in effect, is count boners?”

Directed by Joseph Ruben (The Pom Pom Girls), 1984’s Dreamscape has the unique distinction of being the second film released to theaters that was rated PG-13 under then new MPAA ratings guidelines, following Red Dawn, which come out five days earlier. And interestingly enough, the film stars Kate Capeshaw, who starred in a violent PG-rated blockbuster that would help create the PG-13 rating: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Co-written by Ruben, David Loughery (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier), and Chuck Russell (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, 1988’s The Blob), Dreamscape stars Dennis Quaid as Alex Gardner, a man with psychic abilities who is recruited by his old mentor, Dr. Novotny (Max von Sydow), to join the dreamscape project, a government-funded program to diagnose and treat sleep disorders.

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Movie Review: Office Christmas Party
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Movie Review: Office Christmas Party

Office Christmas Party
Directed by: Will Speck, Josh Gordon
Written by: Justin Malen, Laura Solon, Dan Mazer
Cast: Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, T.J. Miller, Courtney B. Vance, Kate McKinnon, Jennifer Aniston, Vanessa Bayer, Rob Corddry, Jamie Chung, Jillian Bell
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated R | 105 Minutes
Release Date: December 9, 2016

“Party like your job depends on it.”

Directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory, The Switch), Office Christmas Party is like its star, T.J. Miller: loud, obnoxious, occasionally funny, and best when loaded on drugs and alcohol.

When Zenotek CEO Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch in Chicago, he (Clay Vanstone, played by Miller) and Chief Technical Officer Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic non-denominational holiday mixer Christmas party to woo potential client Walter Davis (The People v. O.J. Simpson‘s Courtney B. Vance) and close a sale that will save their jobs.

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‘Parents’ and ‘Lair Of The White Worm’ Coming To Blu-ray From Vestron Video Collector’s Series!
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Parents and Lair of the White Worm

The Vestron Video Collector’s Series is bringing the family back together with Parents, coming to limited-edition Blu-ray on January 31 from Lionsgate. In this horror-comedy cult classic, a young boy (Bryan Madorsky) in 1950s suburbia suspects his parents are cannibalistic murderers.

In addition to Parents, Vestron is bringing the British horror classic The Lair of the White Worm to Blu-ray on January 31 as well. In a remote corner of England’s Peak District, a mysterious skull is unearthed, then quickly stolen for use in worshipping a pagan god, the White Worm.

Full details including special features, trailers, and cover art for both releases can be found below.

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DVD Review: MST3K: Volume XXXVII
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

DVD Review: MST3K: Volume XXXVII

MST3K: Volume XXXVII
DVD
Cast: Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Trace Beaulieu
Distributor: Shout! Factory
Not Rated | 480 Minutes
Release Date: November 22, 2016

“Dad’s being smothered by a huge loaf of pepperoni-studded brown bread!”

In the 37th collection of episodes from the cult comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000, Joel Hodgson, Michael J. Nelson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot endure unspeakable cinematic horrors. This volume includes android doppelgängers, post-apocalyptic biker gangs, Japanese superheroes, and a horrific beach party.

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Shout! Factory is serving up four cinematic turkeys: The Human Duplicators, Escape 2000, Invasion of the Neptune, and The Horror of Party Beach. MST3K: Volume XXXVII features two episodes from the Comedy Central era and two from the Sci-Fi Channel run, one with Joel Hodgson as host and three with Mike Nelson. It’s a fun, eclectic mix of episodes spanning seasons four, seven, and eight. Continue reading for detailed synopses of each episode!

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Blu-Ray Review: C.H.U.D II: Bud The Chud (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)
Adam Frazier   |  @   |  

Blu-Ray Review: C.H.U.D. II: Bud The Chud (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)

C.H.U.D II: Bud The Chud
Blu-ray (Vestron Video Collector’s Series)
Director: David K. Irving
Screenwriter: Ed Naha (as M. Kane Jeeves)
Cast: Brian Robbins, Tricia Leigh Fisher, Bianca Jagger, Gerrit Graham, Robert Vaughn, Priscilla Pointer
Distributor: Lionsgate
Rated | 84 Minutes
Release Date: November 22, 2016

Written by Ed Naha (Troll, Dolls) and directed by David K. Irving (Good-bye Cruel World), C.H.U.D II: Bud The Chud is a sequel to 1984’s C.H.U.D., Douglas Cheek’s cult flick about “Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.”

If you’re worried you won’t be able to follow the complex storyline of C.H.U.D II: Bud The Chud without watching the original first, rest easy – the 1989 direct-to-VHS sequel has little to do with its predecessor. Doctor Berlin (Priscilla Pointer, of Carrie and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) and Colonel Masters (Robert Vaughn) are experimenting with enzymes taken from the sewer-dwelling creatures from C.H.U.D. to turn flesh-and-blood soldiers into unstoppable killing machines.

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