dvd and blu-ray

star-wars-rebels-season-four-blu-rayThe final season of Star Wars Rebels begins with the Rebels helping the Mandalorians rescue Sabine‘s (Tiya Sircar) father and ends with a final battle between the Rebellion and the Empire for Lothal. In-between, the season offers several highlights including the loss of a member of the Ghost, a large victory for Grand Admiral Thrawn (Lars Mikkelsen), the return of Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), and episodes exploring how Lothal’s creatures are tied to Rebel’s fate against the Empire. I know there are those that prefer The Clone Wars (and I’m happy to see it return in limited form), but I’d much prefer more episodes featuring these characters.

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Bikini Chain Gang

by Cap'n Carrot on July 30, 2018 · 0 comments

in Film

bikini-chain-gang2004’s Bikini Chain Gang was a made-for-TV erotic thriller. It’s the kind of low-rent, poorly written and poorly acted, and highly sexualized movie you might find late night on Showtime or Cinemax. It appears this was made $12.50 on a lazy summer day by those with only a loose understanding of what a movie is.

We begin with a waitress (Beverly Lynne) unwilling to put out for her sleazy boss being framed as an accomplice to a robbery and sent to a Maximum Security Prison where she finds herself at the mercy of a sadistic prison guard (Nicole Sheridan).

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Game Night

by Cap'n Carrot on July 17, 2018 · 0 comments

in Film

game-night-blu-rayJason Bateman and Rachel McAdams star in this forgettable comedy as competitive couple Max and Annie who host a weekly game night for their friends Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), and Gary (Jesse Plemons) and his girl of the moment. When Max’s more successful brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) hijacks game night with an elaborate murder mystery trouble ensues as “coincidentally” Brooks just happens to be kidnapped for real on the same night he hired actors to kidnap him as part of the game. And no one realizes it isn’t a game.

The script by Mark Perez (Accepted, Herbie Fully Loaded) offers some cheap laughs and chuckles, if you can swallow the absurd pretense. Lots of time is given to the relationships of the various couples, but it’s really only when all are involved and the crazy is turned up to 11 (such as throwing a priceless piece of art around a gangster’s mansion) that things get interesting.

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The Death of Stalin

by Cap'n Carrot on July 9, 2018 · 0 comments

in Film

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Very often, comedy comes from tragedy. The Death of Stalin is an unusual film. The political satire set during the days immediately before and after Joseph Stalin‘s (Adrian McLoughlin) death in Russia, the film follows the infighting and backstabbing among Stalin’s most loyal subordinates who maneuver to control Russia following the party leader’s death.

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Based on The Little Broomstick by Mary Stewart, the Japanese anime Mary and the Witch’s Flower begins in fire prior to settling down and introducing us to the precocious Mary (Hana Sugisaki/Ruby Barnhill) living in the lonely countryside with her Great-Aunt Charlotte (Shinobu Otake/Lynda Baron). Despite her best efforts and sunny attitude, Mary struggles with the lack of other children to play with and still not quite fitting in with the adults.

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Obviously inspired by the “Unhinged” story arc from Gail Simone‘s Secret Six, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay offers us the Suicide Squad after a mystical artifact in a grunge house style animated straight-to-video movie. Lacking the broader personalities of the Secret Six, the film does offer appearances of half their number with Deadshot (Christian Slater) working for the Suicide Squad and both Scandal Savage (Dania Ramirez) and Knockout (Cissy Jones) working for a competing interest that wants a mystical Get Out of Hell Free Card which will offer one lucky villain a trip to Heaven.

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rick-and-morty-third-season-dvdThe Third Season of Rick and Morty picks up with Rick‘s (Justin Roiland) war against the Galactic Government in an episode that features body switching, Rick’s loss of the ability to improv, and lots of dead government officials. Rick’s victory and return to Earth sets things back to normal (or as normal as things get for a show where one character turns himself into a pickle to get out of family therapy).

Highlights from the season include Rick and Morty‘s humorous take on a clip show, the return of the Vindicators, the Mad Max episode complete with Morty’s (Roiland) murderous arm, Rick’s adventure with a depressed Jerry (Chris Parnell), Rick and Morty getting into a growing confrontation with the President of the United States (Keith David), and Beth (Sarah Chalke) discovering a troubling truth about her childhood.

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In the Fade

by Cap'n Carrot on May 2, 2018 · 0 comments

in Film

in-the-fadePunctuated by a terrific performance by Diane Kruger, In the Fade is an unflinching and powerful film delving into the themes of love, loss, hatred, bigotry, and revenge. Kruger stars as Katja, a former drug addict who has put her past behind her and has a stable life in Hamburg with her husband and son… at least until a bombing at the shop kills Katja’s family. While the police look for motives tied to Katja or her husband’s murky past, it soon becomes clear that her Kurdish husband was targeted by Neo-Nazis for no other reason than the color of his skin.

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legion-season-one-blu-rayDan Stevens stars as mutant and former mental patient David Haller. Over the course of the season’s eight episodes we’ll see David leave the institution, be pursued by one mysterious group and be recruited by another all while questioning his own sanity. Adapted by show creator Noah Hawley, the highly-stylized show takes the X-Men character in unusual directions for a super-hero TV-show.

Highlights of the short First Season include the malevolent identity within him (played by Aubrey Plaza) taking action against his new friends, David questioning the premise that he isn’t crazy, David getting lost in his own mind, and David’s battle against the Shadow King.

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The Ballad of Lefty Brown

by Cap'n Carrot on February 26, 2018 · 0 comments

in Film

ballad-of-lefty-brown-blu-rayWriter/director Jared Moshe‘s The Ballad of Lefty Brown is a passable, if forgettable, western starring Bill Pullman as Lefty Brown, a screw-up who vows to avenge the death of his closest friend (Peter Fonda). Meanwhile others, including the man’s widow (Kathy Baker) are more than willing to believe the crime was committed by Brown himself despite the scarcity of evidence (or credible motive). The performances are solid, and the western vistas are pleasant to watch, so even if the journey doesn’t lead anywhere all that interesting it at least makes for a modest diversion.

The film follows the cowboy’s misadventures, eventually leading to him discovering the real reason his friend was murdered and seeking vengeance against one of the most powerful men in the territory. The idea of turning the dimwitted sidekick into the central character goes against the western template, but that’s really the only place The Ballad of Lefty Brown strays from the expected in a rather straightforward revenge tale.

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