Marvel Presents: CAPTAIN MARVEL 4K UHD Blu-ray

The most useful lesson I learned when my undergrad in creative writing is "show don’t tell." In the opening of Captain Marvel, our eponymous superhero falls from space into a Blockbuster Video. This shows the audience that Captain Marvel is set in the mid-90s and they don’t need to literally spell out on the screen,, “Earth — 1995.” You immediately know the time period as soon as you see the Blockbuster (as well as her picking up VHS types, one specifically a homage to her character.) Showing not telling is the best way to tell a story because you get to paint a pretty picture for the viewers. What’s more engaging, her falling into a Blockbuster Video, looking at VHS tapes, or the movie opening with a title card of the date? Show don’t tell method of storytelling is just one reason (of many) why directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (the duo who made the excellent Half Nelson) are two of my favorite filmmakers.

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Mill Creek Presents: I ❤️ the 90s Retro Blu-ray Slipcovers with JURY DUTY, EXCESS BAGGAGE, DOUBLE TEAM, and OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS, Plus More

Mill Creek Entertainment is on to something. Blockbuster Video is dead so the days of window shopping for movies are over, but we’ve bit a major boom where collectors buy a movie from one competing company over the other bedside of the cover art. mill Creek is releasing so many older titles with a retro slipcover that resembles a VHS cover (and even has a VHS tape sliding out) that makes you want to watch any title they have based on this alone. Some are bad, most are fun, but for the price and cool cover art, they are fun to collect and watch.

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Warner Bros. Presents: Batman 4K Quadrilogy Collection

if you consider this a quadrilogy, do what I did when you get these 4Ks: watched them in reverse so Batman goes from a goofball with with a goon sidekick, to a serious, gritty and dark Batman who faces off with his greatest nemesis: The Joker (played by the incomparable Jack Nicholson). I saw Batman in theaters when I was six, and saw the subsequent sequels when they released in theaters as well. Something I did notice, the 4K transfers for better with each film I watched. This means they get worst if you watch in order, which isn’t a bad thing since the first two are the ones people love and cherish. I’m not sure if the transfers to 4K were bad for Batman Forever and Batman and Robin, but they look as good as a first generation Blu-ray. Batman and Batman Returns look quite incredible in 4K, so watching in reverse had more than one perk.

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Kino Lorber Presents: BLACK MOON RISING Blu-Ray 2K Restoration

All I knew before watching Black Moon Rising for the first time is that it stars Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton (in between Terminators and before she did her chin-ups), Kino is releasing it, and the director might be a Creedence Clearwater Revival Fan and perhaps got the title of the song he wanted to use as the title of this movie slightly wrong. (There’s no other reason I can explain the title of this movie.)

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MVD Releases a Retro-Covered Collector's Edition of DOUBLE IMPACT on Blu-ray, Makes You Feel the Impact and Love It!

When I was 10, my friend Anna and I mowed my front and back lawn, as well as raked the leaves to get a VHS if Double Impact. I still remember that day like it was yesterday because we worked hard for that VHS. It was mine, and I watched it religiously. Twice the Van Dammage? Sign me up. JCVD was my cinematic superhero as a kid, and I’ve never looked back.

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Criterion Collection Presents: BLUE VELVET 4K Restoration

“It’s a strange world, Sandy.”

You never forget the opening shot of David Lynch’s seminal Neo-noir, Blue Velvet. The camera pans up to a white picket fence with bright red roses saying hello to earth while Angelo Badalamenti’s rendition of “Blue Velvet” plays overhead. To an average moviegoer unaware of Lynch’s work, it may allude this is going to be a peaceful movie. But this is Lynch’s world, so buckle up because shit is about to get weird.

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BRIGHTBURN Capsule Review: An Illuminating Look at a World Where Superman is Evil

What if Superman came to earth and was evil? If you are familiar with his universe, what if Zod was sent to earth instead of Superman as a baby? The outcome is David Yarovesky’s clever, thrilling, and very gory BRIGHTBURN.

BRIGHTBURN is a clear homage to Superman. I has the backdropping of his origins — lands on a small town farm and a married couple take him in as their own. The problem here is their child, Brandon Breyer (Jackson A. Dunn, sporting a superhero iterated alter ego name like Peter Parker or Wade Wilson), is one evil son of a bitch.

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Warner Bros. Presents: ISN'T IT ROMANTIC Blu-ray

Director Todd Strauss-Schulson is the king of movie within a movie. His second feature film, The Final Girls, blew audiences away at its SXSW world premiere. That movie is about a bunch of teens stuck in a 1980s slasher film that’s filled with 1980s slasher cliches. His third outing, Isn’t it Romantic, is anti-rom-com rom-com. It stars Rebel Wilson as Natalie, someone who grew to hate rom-coms. She bops her head and winds up being stuck in real life rom-com and must figure out the key to getting out, even if that means doing what she doesn’t care for: falling in love. Isn’t It Romantic is a super cute and astute date movie. It has the laughs guys will love, and all the rom-com cliches purposely inserted as a wink to the audience while also being a rom-com as whole.

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Criterion Collection Review: Jackie Chan's Police Story Duology

Before Tom Cruise was breaking his ankle doing his own stunt, and other A-list actors were given high-fives for doing “some of their own” as well, international martial arts star Jackie Chan was pulling off body-shattering, slack-jawing stunts nobody will touch today, back in the 80s. Thrown off buildings, through glass, escaping exploding buildings — he pushed his limits as far as humanly possible with well choreographed fight scenes — albeit with the notion of, “let’s hope this works” practical thinking (often the stunt didn’t, which you can always see in his outtakes during the end-credits). Chan is unmatched when it comes to death-defying stunts.

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DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE Review: Dragged Across Two Hours and Forty Minutes of Nothing

In 2015, S. Craig Zahler first wowed audiences with his ultra-violent feature debut, the excellent western horror BONE TOMAHAWK. This movie pulses Sam Peckinpah. Then in 2017, he again blew his now fanbase away with a modern grindhouse movie with a beefed up Vince Vaughn called BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. Both films follow a similar method — slowburn with a hyperviolent payoff worth your time. So it’s excepted that he would do it once again with his latest, DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE, which only has a cool title going for it.

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Creed II 4K Blu Review: A Knockout 4K Release

Creed II is a good sequel, and that’s all it needs to be. It doesn’t try to be better than the first film because director Steven Caple Jr. – an odd choice to follow the great Ryan Coogler, but this rookie held his own – as well as Sylvester Stallone (who co-wrote the screenplay), knew that trying to top a masterpiece – Creed – would be next to impossible. Creed is the second best in the Rocky Balboa franchise, and I will fight anyone who disagrees (note: must be shorter than 5’5’’ and weight less than 100 pounds)

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A STAR IS BORN 4K Blu-ray Review: A Star is Reborn

A STAR IS BORN has been remade three times, and I think there is a reason for this: this is a movie that every generation can relate to — love, loss, tragedy, successful and the pitfalls that come with it — dealing with all of these at once in today’s fast-paced society.

A STAR IS BORN looks great in 4K — there’s not many films that don’t. A STAR IS BORN gives you the option to watch in Dolby Vision or HDR10, and my recommendation is HDR10. More contrast and brighter colors. (I hate Dolby Vision — it’s dim and makes everything look washed out.)

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JUDGMENT NIGHT Blu-ray Review: EMILIOOOOOO!

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Back in the 90s, acclaimed actor-turned-multihyphenate Emilio Estevez was everywhere: YOUNG GUNS II (a personal favorite), MEN AT WORK (another personal favorite), FREEJACK, LOADED WEAPON 1 (I love this films and will fight you if you do not), the beloved THE MIGHTY DUCKS, and now it brings us to the 1993 classic, JUDGMENT NIGHT, starring Estevez, a young Stephen Dorff (BLADE), Cuba Gooding, Jr., that guy from House of Pain, and actor-turned-vicious-villain, Denis Leary. (Oh, and Jeremy Piven is in this, too, with a decaying hairline, 90s-style pants nobody would be caught dead in, and his same ole cocky attitude.) The film was directed by Stephen Hopkins who directed PREDATOR 2 and BLOWN AWAY, so this film has "irresistible 90s movie" written all over it.

Let me get this out of the way — I’m one of Emilio’s biggest fans. Like many, I grew up watching his films: BREAKFAST CLUB, REPO MAN, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, STAKEOUT (and its subsequent sequel), YOUNG GUNS, and those mentioned above in the previous paragraph. I remember the first time I watched JUDGEMENT NIGHT — it was at my dad’s, very late at night, I was 10, and it felt like I was in the movie. The atmosphere of the movie’s dark, brooding night sucked me in. I still get that feeling when I watch it.

JUDGEMENT NIGHT has never been on Blu-ray before, so if you have a giant TV like me, the DVD version wasn’t so great. Thanks to the great folks over at Warner Archive, you can now watch this film in glorious 1080p.

If you are an Emilio enthusiast like me, don’t move, don’t whisper, don’t even breathe — but the movie now right here.

HALLOWEEN Review: The New HALLOWEEN is Thrilling, Chilling, Savage, and the Most Fierce Entry in the Franchise Since the Original

“Are you afraid of the Boogeyman? You should be.” — Laurie Strode, sole Michael Myers survivor

If you’re reading this, you know who the Boogeyman is: Michael Myers. (If you don’t, stop reading, call your parents, and berate them for not giving you a good childhood.)

The original Halloween made its debut in 1978, cementing itself as one of the greatest horror films of all time. It opened the floodgates to countless slasher knockoffs and blessed us with horror icons such as Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger. It also spawned now 11 sequels, reboots, and reimaginings, with only a few being worth a watch, either for nostalgia or because they’re so bad they’re fun. (Rob Zombie’s “reimagining” diptych can burn in hell.) After countless duds, David Gordon Green’s Halloween is finally a worthy sequel that John Carpenter’s slasher needed. It’s scary as hell and gives the Laurie-Michael feud a finale that fans deserve.

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