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Blu-ray Review: Superman: The Movie (1978) (4K Ultra HD)
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Superman The Movie (1978) Blu-ray review

Superman: The Movie
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Mario Puzo, David Newman, Leslie Newman, Robert Benton
Starring Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Marlon Brando, Gene Hackman, Valerie Perrine, Ned Beatty, Jackie Cooper, Glenn Ford, Phyllis Thaxter, Marc McClure
Warner Brothers
PG | 143 minutes
Release Date: November 5, 2018

This year celebrated the 80th anniversary of the creation of maybe the iconic comic character in American history, Superman. It’s also the 40th anniversary of the seminal film by Richard Donner that for many still holds up as the one true film version of Superman. Played by the late great Christopher Reeve, the film details the demise of alien planet Krypton as Jor-El, Oscar winner Marlon Brando sends his child off to planet Earth. Kal-El (Reeve) grows up to become mild mannered reporter Clark Kent of the Daily Planet, who must balance his time between wooing his colleague Lois Lane (Margot Kidder), and saving the world from the plans of corrupt tycoon Lex Luthor, (Gene Hackman). Now you can take the Man of Steel home with you on a brand new 4k Ultra Blu-Ray combo pack.

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Movie Review: The Nutcracker and The Four Realms
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THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Director: Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston
Writers: Ashleigh Powell, Tom McCarthy
Cast: Mackenzie Foy, Jayden Fowora-Knight, Keira Knightley, Eugenio Derbez, Matthew Macfadyen, Richard E. Grant, Misty Copeland, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman
Studio: Walt Disney Studios
Rated PG | 99 Minutes
Release Date: November 2, 2018

The story of the Nutcracker may be a celebrated piece of a holiday tradition, but it is one that remains unknown to me. I only know it from the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Waltz of the Flowers,” the ballerina dancing, nutcracker soldiers, and a mouse king. However, plot-wise and its storied history is something that I am very unfamiliar with. So rather than have a very conventional adaptation of the short story and dance production, Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston took a very different approach to The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, Disney’s take on the classic Christmas story.

They managed to modernize the classic Christmas story by embedding female empowerment and diversity into the story. While changing things to be more of a reflection of the current times isn’t anything new nowadays, we have to consider the storied history behind something like The Nutcracker, where there weren’t ballerina sequences or roles for ballerina dancers like Misty Copeland. Now we can see a film with a more diverse cast that will hopefully pave the way for more stories to be told like this. Check out my full review below.

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Movie Review: Bohemian Rhapsody
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Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody
Director: Bryan Singer
Writers: Anthony McCarten
Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joseph Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Tom Hollander, Allen Leech, Mike Myers
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 134 Minutes
Release Date: November 2, 2018

Bohemian Rhapsody buzzes with electricity from the moment Freddie Mercury and the rest of Queen step foot on stage. Watching these musical sequences is like witnessing a legendary act that deserves to be seen live. And although the film did have its production problems, it holds together well thanks to Rami Malek’s performance as the iconic Freddie Mercury.

Still, no film is without its faults. While the supporting cast is great as they are doing the best with what they are given, the minor issues are not nearly enough to overshadow Malek, who is the beating heart of this film, and the musical performances that will surely have you stomp your foot and clap repeatedly. Check out my review of Bohemian Rhapsody below.

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Movie Review: Blessed Are The Children
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Blessed Are The Children Header

Blessed are the Children
Directed by Chris Moore
Written by Chris Moore and Chris Wesley
Starring Kaley Ball, Keni Bounds, Arian Thigpen, Jordan Boyd, Michael Kinslow, David Moncrief
Not Rated
98 Minutes
Macabre Films
Released October 23, 2018

Blessed are the Children is the kind of horror film that can and likely will offend someone in 2018. Despite that… or maybe in spite of that, it feels right at home amongst the popular 70s and 80s slashers it gleefully pays homage to. Co-writer and director Chris Moore stretches the film’s low budget to its extremes and ends up with a film with shockingly good gore effects, that tackles a taboo subject in a way only a horror film could.

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Movie Review: Prospect
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Prospect review

Prospect
Written & Directed by Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl
Starring Pedro Pascal, Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Andre Royo, Sheila Vand, Anwan Glove
100 minutes
Distributor: Gunpowder & Sky’s DUST
Release date: November 2, 2018

Prospect debuted at SXSW in March and has a theatrical run coming up this Fall. Written and directed by Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl, the film is a feature-length version of their 2014 short, and it also serves as the first feature-length film distributed by Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label DUST.

Taking place in the future where fortunes can be made and lives can be lost in a sort of intergalactic version of wild west prospecting, a father (Duplass) and daughter Thatcher head to a toxic alien moon in an effort for one big score. The film stars Sophie Thatcher as Cee, Jay Duplass as her father Damon, and Game of Thrones star Pedro Pascal as Ezra. Prospect is an excellent film, that has the nerve to challenge its audience.

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Movie Review: Halloween (2018)
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Halloween 2018 Jamie Lee Curtis

Halloween (2018)
Directed by David Gordon Green
Written by Jeff Fradley, Danny McBride, David Gordon Green
Starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Virginia Gardner, Nick Castle, Rhian Rees, Jefferson Hall, Haluk Bilginer
Universal Pictures
Release date: October 19, 2018

HalloweenOr, two senior citizens magically find their way back to each other after 40 long years apart

They did it! They made Michael Myers scary again! In 1978, John Carpenter created Michael Myers, a boogeyman who killed babysitters before disappearing into the night after taking 6 bullets fired by his doctor. The franchise has since given us nine sequels, a reboot, and four convoluted timelines. All the mythos and fear from one of the faces on the Mount Rushmore of horror were essentially gone. And then came the guys from Pineapple Express! David Gordon Green and Danny McBride led the charge and with Jason Blum of Blumhouse on board producing, they crafted a Halloween film that pays loving homage to the original, winks at all the fans, and creates a new and worthy sequel that is, again above everything else, scary.

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Movie Review: First Man
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FIRST MAN

First Man
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writers: Josh Singer
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Corey Stoll, Ciarán Hinds, Christopher Abbott, Patrick Fugit, Lukas Haas
Studio: Universal Studios
Rated PG-13 | 141 Minutes
Release Date: October 12, 2018

First Man covers man’s epic journey to the moon at the peak of the space race of the 1960s. It’s a bit of a step away for Damien Chazelle, who is better known for music-based films like Whiplash and La La Land, but one that plays to his strengths. A film about characters making great sacrifices.

Not only that, but it also succeeds on a technical level. Close-up shots and the shaky cam brings audiences closer to the story and allows them to see physical and emotional toll these NASA missions have on the crew. Additionally, the cinematography, especially in the IMAX sequences, displays the grandeur of the collective effort to not only get man on the moon but also its successful landing. The problem is, the film suffers from a by-the-numbers story that does very little to engage with its audience. Check out my full review of the film below.

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Movie Review: A Star Is Born
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A Star Is Born Review Header

A Star Is Born
Director: Bradley Cooper
Writer: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, and Sam Elliott,
Distributor: Warner Bros
Rated R | Minutes: 135
Release Date: October 5, 2018

A Star Is Born is the tragic love story that could be told in a number of different ways. Which is probably why there are different variations since the story was first told in 1937. While the underlying message has been constant, every generation has gotten to see this story be told. But with Bradley Cooper‘s directorial debut, this version, starring him and Lady Gaga, could be the most profound retelling, yet. The film could have easily fallen into the trap of simply just telling the story of a narcissistic musician falling for a nightclub singer whose talents not only bring out the best in him but also overshadows him when the entertainment world chooses her over him, but it doesn’t.

Here we have something truly special as we hang on every word, note, and lyric that comes out of Cooper and Lady Gaga. At the same time, the film shows how their internal demons can be a dangerous and destructive force. My full review of A Star Is Born is below.

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Movie Review: The Old Man and The Gun
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The Old Man and the Gun Movie Review

The Old Man and the Gun
Director: David Lowery
Writer: David Lowery
Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Danny Glover, Tika Sumpter, Tom Waits and Sissy Spacek
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Rated PG-13 | Minutes: 93
Release Date: September 28, 2018

Effective storytelling is something that is hard to come by, but David Lowery‘s The Old Man and the Gun does it so well, making the characters in the film storytellers who tell a mostly true story about wild and romantic tales of charming bank robberies and fascinating jailbreaks. It is not only a love letter to Robert Redford‘s career, it is also a terrific capper for the legendary actor who will be leaving the acting game on a very high note.

The Old Man and the Gun brings out the very best in Redford by letting him be himself: a charismatic, charming, warm, gentleman who loves what he does and does what he loves. Surrounded by a terrific supporting cast that consists of Sissy Spacek, Casey Affleck, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, and Danny Glover, Lowery’s latest effort is a nostalgic reminder of what makes character-driven stories so captivating and why we go to the movies. Check out my full review below.

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Movie Review: Best F(r)iends Volume 1
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Best F(r)iends Volume 1 Tommy Wiseau

Best F(r)iends
Written by Greg Sestero
Directed by Justin MacGregor
Starring Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Kristen StephensonPino, Vince Jolivette, Paul Scheer, Rick Edwards
Lionsgate | Rated R
Release date (Digital & OnDemand): September 25, 2018

Fifteen years ago, a cult classic of epic proportions was born. Tommy Wiseau wrote, directed, produced, and starred in The Room, a film that would earn the moniker of Best Bad Movie of all time. Thanks to his co-star and friend Greg Sestero’s 2013 memoir The Disaster Artist and the James Franco Oscar-nominated film of the same name, Wiseau and Sestero have enjoyed a career resurgence. Their on-screen reunion takes place in the new film saga Best F(r)iends, written by Sestero and directed by Justin MacGregor.

Best F(r)iends will inevitably be compared to The Room due to Sestero and Wiseau’s involvement. However, as a film it is much better, with a cohesive plot, well-defined characters, and genuinely engaging interactions. It does feature some truly bizarre and original moments, and thanks to Wiseau’s off-beat acting style, there is a lot of humor, both intended and not. While I don’t think Best F(r)iends will garner the reputation and midnight-movie following of The Room, fans of the actors and that film will not be disappointed.

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