Saturday, February 27, 2016

Legendary Chills Abound with Vincent Price Collection 3


Scream Factory continues to do what they do best by releasing Vincent Price Collection 3. Four films and what I would consider a television episode of Edgar Allan Poe's works are presented to us in high definition glory for the first time. What we have here is the iconic actor putting his best foot forward working with legendary talents like Directors Roger Corman and Gordon Hessler and fellow actors Charles Bronson, Nancy Kovack, and Henry Hull.

‌In Master of the World, Mad inventor Capt. Robur (Vincent Price) kidnaps a team on a government expedition to investigate a mysterious crater in Pennsylvania. The team is taken aboard Robur's spectacularly engineered airship, the "Albatross," which Robur plans to fly around the world to various military installations in his desperate desire to eradicate weapons of mass destruction, thereby bringing about world peace. The kidnapped team's leader, John Strock (Charles Bronson), responds by planning an uprising.

Richard III (Vincent Price) desperately wants the throne in 15th-century England. His ailing brother, King Edward IV (Justice Watson), instead bestows it upon his other sibling, Clarence (Richard McCauly). This sends Richard into a homicidal rage, resulting in Clarence's murder and the deaths and torture of many others who could keep the crown from the crazed man. But as the mayhem continues, Richard's sanity slips, and the ghosts of the murdered men begin to haunt the beleaguered royal in Tower of London.

When Judge Simon Cordier (Vincent Price) goes to see Louis Girot (Harvey Stephens), a prisoner he sentenced to death, the criminal insists he is not guilty and that he is inhabited by an evil spirit. Cordier dismisses Girot's claims, but he becomes unnerved when Girot lights himself on fire to supposedly end the demonic possession. After the visit, Cordier, beset by insomnia, begins to have odd visions and starts to wonder if Girot might have been telling the truth after all in Diary of a Madman.

In Cry of the Banshee, monomaniacal witch hunter Lord Edward Whitman (Vincent Price) cruelly persecutes the peasants in his corner of Elizabethan England. He manufactures charges and mets out punishment without regard to justice. While trying to wipe out a coven of witches, he fails to take into account the possibility that real witches might have real power. He is unprepared when Oona (Elisabeth Bergner), the head of the coven, transforms a trusted member of Whitman's household into a vehicle of demonic vengeance.

Vincent Price narrates four classics by the master of the macabre include "The Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" in An Evening of Edgar Allan Poe.

Each movie featured on Vincent Price Collection 3 comes with its own set of bonus material. Audio commentary and interviews with the cast and crew are provided. Posters, lobby cards, and photo galleries are found as well. The Tower of London disc includes two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre starring Price. Cry of the Banshee contains both the theatrical and director’s cut of the movie.

Each film holds its own rating from G to R. All of them feature different levels of violence and frightening and intense scenes. Others are gorier and Cry of the Banshee contains some language, nudity, and scenes of women being sexually assaulted by men. Nothing graphic, but still unsettling nonetheless.

Vincent Price Collection 3 shows is a shining example of Scream Factory's unfaltering dedication to preserving and celebrating the true classics of the horror genre. Price is one of the figureheads of a bygone era who rightfully deserves the spotlight and place in history he has achieved. This new set is a must have volume filled with four important films and one short full of Edgar Allan Poe gothic goodness. It is an essential part of any home entertainment library.

Vincent Price Collection 3 is available now on Blu-ray.

Legendary Chills Abound with Vincent Price Collection 3


Scream Factory continues to do what they do best by releasing Vincent Price Collection 3. Four films and what I would consider a television episode of Edgar Allan Poe's works are presented to us in high definition glory for the first time. What we have here is the iconic actor putting his best foot forward working with legendary talents like Directors Roger Corman and Gordon Hessler and fellow actors Charles Bronson, Nancy Kovack, and Henry Hull.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Batman Searches for Super Help in Dark Knight III Book Three


DC Comics unleashes the slow-burning fury of Dark Knight III: The Master Race Book Three onto anticipating fans. Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello continue their epic tale with Artist Andy Kubert providing illustrations and Klaus Janson enhancing his work. The bonus mini-comic Dark Knight Universe: Green Lantern #1 features a story by by Miller and Azzarello with John Romita Jr. breaking down Frank Miller’s finishes.

In Dark Knight III: The Master Race Book Three, the hardest thing for Batman is to admit his greatest strength: He’s just one man. Sometimes he needs help. With so much at stake, will he turn to help of the Super variety?

I’m coming around to the idea of Superman’s villains being the main antagonist in a “Batman” book. However, I do wish Dark Knight III: The Master Race felt more like a story concentrated on the Caped Crusader than an extension of the Justice League-centric The Dark Knight Strikes Again. All that aside, I find myself getting more engaged in Miller and Azzarello’s well-paced drama.

The art for Dark Knight Universe Presents: Green Lantern #1 resembles what we came to expect from Frank Miller stylistically in The Dark Knight Strikes Again. It’s not quite as refined as Andy Kubert’s work. The unique look gives the book a more raw and organic feeling. The story serves as a warning that beauty and seduction paired with flattery can easily be the greatest weapon an enemy can use.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race Book Three and Dark Knight Universe Presents: Green Lantern #1 should be rated T for Teen. It contains violence and gore, profanity, adult situations, and frightening and intense scenes. I would compare it to the content we saw in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.

I commend Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello for not rushing into action each issue just to get readers’ blood pumping. Instead, Dark Knight III: The Master Race uses Book Three to establish the storyline and take time to build on its foundations. Artist Andy Kubert and Inker Klaus Janson continue to successfully match the look of both The Dark Knight Returns and Strikes Again. The mini-comic Dark Knight Universe Presents: Green Lantern #1 is a nice spotlight on what is happening with our emerald hero during this era in Miller’s timeline.

Dark Knight III: The Master Race Book Three is available now in print and Kindle editions.

Batman Searches for Super Help in Dark Knight III Book Three


DC Comics unleashes the slow-burning fury of Dark Knight III: The Master Race Book Three onto anticipating fans. Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello continue their epic tale with Artist Andy Kubert providing illustrations and Klaus Janson enhancing his work. The bonus mini-comic Dark Knight Universe: Green Lantern #1 features a story by by Miller and Azzarello with John Romita Jr. breaking down Frank Miller’s finishes.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"The Good Dinosaur" Journeys Home on Blu-ray


Pixar and Walt Disney Home Entertainment bring "The Good Dinosaur" into the 21st Century and the hearts of millions. The animated adventure is directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) from a script written by Bob Peterson (“Finding Nemo”), Peter Sohn, Erik Benson (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation”), Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”), and Kelsey Mann. Voice actors include Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, and Jack Bright.

Luckily for young Arlo, his parents (Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand) and his two siblings (Maleah Nipay-Padilla, Marcus Scribner), the mighty dinosaurs were not wiped out 65 million years ago. When a rainstorm washes poor Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) downriver, he ends up bruised, battered and miles away from home. Good fortune shines on the frightened dino when he meets Spot (Jack Bright), a Neanderthal boy who offers his help and friendship. Together, the unlikely duo embark on an epic adventure to reunite Arlo with his beloved family in “The Good Dinosaur.”

Imagine if the giant asteroid that hit the Earth millions of years ago somehow missed its mark and dinosaurs were never wiped out. I’m a creationist, so I don’t believe in the theory anyway. But just for the sake of story here, let’s say humans were never given the chance to “evolve” from the cavemen era.

What starts out with an interesting, albeit flawed (hey, if evolution can be crammed down my throat, don’t give me trouble for voicing my opinion here), concept quickly devolves into the typical formulaic movie about a hero’s journey to find his family and home. All the usual things happen to our heroes Arlo and Spot. One or more of their parents die and they somehow find themselves lost with only each other to rely on.

“The Good Dinosaur” is rated PG for peril, action and thematic elements. Parents die, but most children are used to this by now after watching any number of Pixar and Disney films. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the plot device, I just think it’s humorous to point out. Unlike “The Wizard of Oz,” most of the characters we meet along the way are creepy and rather menacing. I guess that’s to prepare youngsters for what to expect in real life.

The Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD edition of “The Good Dinosaur” contains quite a bit of bonus material for those who like to dig deep into the making of a movie. Featurettes like “The Filmmaker’s Journey,” “True Lies about Dinosaurs,” “Recyclosaurus,” “Every Part of the Dinosaur,” and “Following the T-Rex Trail” all provide a look behind the scenes of the production. A short animated promotional clip entitled “Hide and Seek” is found. We also get deleted scenes with intros for previous versions of the film.

As much as it tries, “The Good Dinosaur” just can’t reach the level of charisma and quality so many other Pixar films have attained over the years. I think many children will find it a bit slow to start and possibly lose interest before it even gets moving. I also felt a pattern of repetition when it came to the mostly mean-spirited characters we were introduced to on Arlo and Spot’s journey. In the end, the movie feels disappointing when compared to Pixar classics like “Toy Story,” “Wall-E,” and even “Cars.”

“The Good Dinosaur” is available now on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.

"The Good Dinosaur" Journeys Home on Blu-ray


Pixar and Walt Disney Home Entertainment bring "The Good Dinosaur" into the 21st Century and the hearts of millions. The animated adventure is directed by Peter Sohn (“Partly Cloudy”) from a script written by Bob Peterson (“Finding Nemo”), Peter Sohn, Erik Benson (“Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation”), Meg LeFauve (“Inside Out”), and Kelsey Mann. Voice actors include Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Raymond Ochoa, and Jack Bright.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Ingalls Family Back for Little House on the Prairie Season 8


Lionsgate Home Entertainment takes us back to Walnut Grove for Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition. All 22 episodes are included with a few special features. Michael Landon continues to lead his family through the trials and tribulations of life on the plains of Minnesota in the lates 1800s. Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson, Richard Bull, Katherine MacGregor, and the rest of the cast return.

In Season 8 of Little House on the Prairie, a new Nellie comes to town when the Olesons’ adopt Nancy. Charles and Mr. Edwards search for answers after the death of Mr. Edwards’s son. The Wilders and Ingalls get snowed in at Christmas. Almanzo has a stroke and baby Rose is born. Charles’s faith is shown as he pleads for his adopted son’s life.

Michael Landon brings Charles Ingalls back for one last season of Little House on the Prairie before stepping out from in front of the camera and concentrating on his duties as executive producer and director of a few episodes. There's plenty of drama and adventure as the Ingalls family strive to make ends meet and help out there fellow townsfolk and visitors as they face the hardships and tragedies of early America. However, there's always good mixed in with the bad providing an entertaining emotional rollercoaster for viewers.

Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition comes with two movie specials. “Look Back to Yesterday” and “The Last Farewell” are from the post-series movie specials produced between 1983 and 1984. “Look Back to Yesterday” has Charles Ingalls stopping in Walnut Grove to see the Wilders with his dying son, Albert. “The Last Farewell” deals with the destruction of the town of Walnut Grove and how the citizens deal with the loss of their town and lifestyles.

You'll never have to worry about the content while watching Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition. Every episode is packed with family-friendly stories and lessons to be learned by all ages. Gather everyone around and spend some time together enjoying every moment of these uncut and digitally remastered slices of pioneer life.

Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

Ingalls Family Back for Little House on the Prairie Season 8


Lionsgate Home Entertainment takes us back to Walnut Grove for Little House on the Prairie: Season 8 Deluxe Remastered Edition. All 22 episodes are included with a few special features. Michael Landon continues to lead his family through the trials and tribulations of life on the plains of Minnesota in the lates 1800s. Karen Grassle, Melissa Gilbert, Melissa Sue Anderson, Richard Bull, Katherine MacGregor, and the rest of the cast return.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hugh Jackman Attends Eddie the Eagle Dallas Premiere


Hugh Jackman made his way to Dallas, TX to attend the Red Carpet premiere of his latest film, Eddie the Eagle. The event took place on February 18th at Cinemark West Plano and XD. Director Dexter Fletcher and Actor Taron Egerton also made appearances. Egerton is known for playing Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Fletcher has starred in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Kick-Ass.

Read more about the event and see pictures after the jump.

The three greeted waiting fans outside the theater before heading inside to field questions from TV, radio, and online news outlets. All three of the celebrities were very polite and took time to answer as many questions as they could as they were pushed through the line to the auditorium. Once inside, they introduced the movie to an audience of hundreds.

Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael "Eddie" Edwards travels to Germany to test his skills at ski jumping. Fate leads him to Bronson Peary, a former ski jumper who now works as a snowplow driver. Impressed by Edwards' spirit and determination, Peary agrees to train the young underdog. Despite an entire nation counting him out, Eddie's never-say-die attitude takes him all the way to a historic and improbable showing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

Eddie the Eagle hits theaters on February 26.

You can get more information about the movie at its official website.

Dexter Fletcher, Taron Egerton, and Hugh Jackman.


One happy attendee's Hugh Jackman autograph.

Hugh Jackman Attends Eddie the Eagle Dallas Premiere


Hugh Jackman made his way to Dallas, TX to attend the Red Carpet premiere of his latest film, Eddie the Eagle. The event took place on February 18th at Cinemark West Plano and XD. Director Dexter Fletcher and Actor Taron Egerton also made appearances. Egerton is known for playing Gary 'Eggsy' Unwin in Kingsman: The Secret Service. Fletcher has starred in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Kick-Ass.

Read more about the event and see pictures after the jump.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bruce Wayne Dies to Himself in Batman #49


Batman #49 moves us closer to the inevitable return of Bruce Wayne as the Caped Crusader. Scott Snyder continues to carry us through this journey with the assistance of James Tynion IV. The narrative gets a bit heavy-handed within the pages of issue #49. Yanick Paquette gives readers something to gawk at even if the story here leaves us asking what the point is amongst all the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

It is time in Batman #49. Bruce Wayne has reclaimed his true past as Batman. Now he must descend into the cave and face what he once was. Can he truly leave behind a life free from the pain and anguish of the Bat? Can he plunge once more into the madness and purpose that once consumed him? The fate of Bruce Wayne, and Batman, is decided once and for all.

Part Nine of this story-arc takes readers on an emotionally charged journey in the last few pages of Batman #49. I still can’t shake the feeling that we could’ve got to the point a whole lot quicker. I should be more excited about the return of Bruce Wayne as the Batman, but I’m not. Jim Gordon’s Batcop is what I’m wanting to see more of!

Issue #49 of Batman is rated T for Teen. It contains violence, profanity, and frightening and intense scenes. Younger readers might be frightened by some of Bruce’s visions and the finale of the book.

Batman #49 feels like a filler issue simply put together to pad the time before the climax and finale of “Super Heavy.” Nothing of any substance really happens in its 20-plus pages. Yanick Paquette’s art is stunning to look at and the contrast between what is really happening and what is unfolding in Bruce’s head is wonderfully captured by a shift in different color palettes and imagery. However, it still all comes down to Bruce getting into the Batcave and ultimately becoming the Dark Knight again.

Batman #49 is abvailable now in print and digital editions.

Bruce Wayne Dies to Himself in Batman #49


Batman #49 moves us closer to the inevitable return of Bruce Wayne as the Caped Crusader. Scott Snyder continues to carry us through this journey with the assistance of James Tynion IV. The narrative gets a bit heavy-handed within the pages of issue #49. Yanick Paquette gives readers something to gawk at even if the story here leaves us asking what the point is amongst all the metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

New Family Arrives in Batman: Bad Blood


Warner Home Video and DC continue to expand their animated universe with the pulse-pounding Batman: Bad Blood. The movie is directed by Jay Oliva and written by J.M. DeMatteis. Voice actors who lend their talents include Jason O’Mara, Yvonne Strahovski, Stuart Allan, and Morena Baccarin.

When Batman (Jason O’Mara) goes missing, it will take the entire Bat “family” - including new additions Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) and Batwing (Gaius Charles) - to keep the peace in Gotham City and unravel the mystery behind the Dark Knight’s disappearance. During their investigation into Bruce Wayne’s disappearance, even Alfred (James Garrett) goes undercover to assist, and soon they all become involved with the mysterious Batwoman, who may have been the last to see Batman alive. But as the “Bat Family” continues to track him down, they come to the inescapable conclusion that the Dark Knight has gone over to the dark side, becoming Gotham’s newest and most deadly crime boss.

Director Jay Oliva and Writer J.M. Dematteis keep the action and drama at a fever pitch in Batman: Bad Blood. There’s barely any downtime as we move from one explosive moment to the next. The story proceeds at such a high speed that repeated viewings are a necessity.

It’s an absolute pleasure to see Batwoman and Batwing introduced into the animated world of Batman. Their comic books are some of my favorites and to see them come to life onscreen is exhilarating. I look forward to seeing them develop and grow in future installments.

A couple of the characters in Batman: Bad Blood were underused and killed off a little too quickly and easily. I won’t go into detail as to who they are, but let’s just say one of them is a longstanding member of the Dark Knight’s world. The other one didn’t really get to “shine” as much they did in their comic book incarnation.

Another complaint with Batman: Bad Blood is the fact that they jumped straight to Luke Fox being Batwing. The original Batwing was a Congolese police officer named David Zavimbe. He used the armor and tech the Dark Knight gave him to battle evil in Africa as a member of Batman Incorporated. David’s backstory was so rich, compelling, and tragic that it’s a shame we don’t get to see it here. Honestly, I completely understand why Writer J.M. DeMatteis went with Luke as it would have been difficult to tie Zavimbe into a story that takes place in and around Gotham City.

Batman: Bad Blood is rated PG-13 for violence throughout and some suggestive content. I get what DC and Warner are trying to do with their adult-oriented animated films. At the same time, I think that by cutting out a few needless scenes of adult situations and profanity, older audiences would still watch and parents would be a little more open to letting their children watch these movies. This would mean a larger audience which garners more sales of the Blu-rays and DVDs.

The Blu-ray edition of Batman: Bad Blood contains some great bonus material. Two featurettes entitled “Putting the Fight in Gotham” and “Expanding the Batman Family” explore the making of the movie. Two bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault take you on more adventures with your favorite superheroes. We also get a sneak preview of DC Universe’s next animated film, Justice League vs. Teen Titans.

DC and Warner are doing an excellent job creating an animated film universe with a sense of continuity that leaves the viewer craving more. The stories being told continue to take cues from the comic books and successfully combine them together into a narrative that works within the confines of a 70 to 80 minute feature. There will be those who complain of the “corners” cut in character and plot development in order to condense everything into a tale capable of being told on screen. However, the filmmakers’ efforts and tinkering are justified by the quality of the outcome.

Batman: Bad Blood is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.

New Family Arrives in Batman: Bad Blood


Warner Home Video and DC continue to expand their animated universe with the pulse-pounding Batman: Bad Blood. The movie is directed by Jay Oliva and written by J.M. DeMatteis. Voice actors who lend their talents include Jason O’Mara, Yvonne Strahovski, Stuart Allan, and Morena Baccarin.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jedi Down in Obi-Wan and Anakin #2


The thrilling Obi-Wan and Anakin #2 comes to us from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by the moving hand of Charles Soule and masterfully penciled by artist Marco Checchetto. The second part of the story takes us deeper into a tale of narrow escapes, battling tribes, and mysterious excursions into the dark recesses of the capitol world of the Republic.

In Obi-Wan and Anakin #2, Master and Padawan find themselves stranded on an unfamiliar world. It’s a world of strange, primitive technology and dangerous natives. But even if they can save themselves...why were they called to this world?

Writer Charles Soule does a wonderful job taking us on two different narrative journeys with Obi-Wan and Anakin #2. The first is a perilous one which finds our heroes trying to mend relationships between warring clans to get everyone out of harm’s way. The second is that of Anakin’s dangerous descent into the lower levels of Coruscant with the always scheming Chancellor Palpatine.

Marco Checchetto gives Star Wars fans renditions of the characters which keep us mentally tied to their live-action counterparts. Sometimes I get the feeling that the new characters don't seem to fit within the Star Wars Universe. However, I think it's the fact that they're new and unfamiliar. It'll just take time to get used to them within the context of a Galaxy Far, Far Away. At the same time, there are plenty of other familiar aliens to keep us company on Anakin and Palpatine's adventures through Lower Coruscant.

Issue #2 of Obi-Wan and Anakin is rated T for Teen. There’s nothing here to be found that we haven’t seen in any of the seven movies or animated shows. it contains violence and some frightening and intense scenes. Some of the creatures might be frightening to smaller children.

Obi-Wan and Anakin #2 gives us great insight into the relationship between the two Jedi at this point in their lives. It’s interesting to see how young Anakin holds Ob-Wan up on a pedestal, especially when reflecting on how the two will come to be at odds with each other. I find myself wondering what Master Kenobi does to push the Padawan Skywalker towards the path to destruction he chooses.

Obi-Wan and Anakin #2 is available now in print and digital editions.

Jedi Down in Obi-Wan and Anakin #2


The thrilling Obi-Wan and Anakin #2 comes to us from Marvel Comics. The issue is written by the moving hand of Charles Soule and masterfully penciled by artist Marco Checchetto. The second part of the story takes us deeper into a tale of narrow escapes, battling tribes, and mysterious excursions into the dark recesses of the capitol world of the Republic.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Batman Protects the Salt of the Earth in Detective Comics #49


James Gordon continues his reign as Gotham's Dark Knight in Detective Comics #49. Peter J. Tomasi provides the script for Fernando Pasarin’s illustrations. The two give us a tale that takes us back to the golden age adventures of the Caped Crusader when he not only dished out a good beating but solved a mystery along the way.

In Detective Comics #49, James Gordon is caught up in an cold case from his days on the force. He grapples with the new freedom he has as Batman to investigate the crimes of Gotham City…and the slippery slope that this freedom can be. Does the system he’s believed in all this time still work? Or is it the only thing he has left to hold on to?

Since the story arc we’re still focused on in issue #49 is the same as #48, I don’t feel like I’m giving away in spoilers telling you what I love about it. We’re given a real mystery man here who continues to blow holes in Batman and the police investigators’ theories. It’s a wholly original character that changes everything just when you think you have him figured out.

Fernando Pasarin’s artwork is an interesting departure from that of Marcio Takara and Steve Pugh. His penciling has a unique look to it that varies from the precision we get from Jim Lee and others of that kind. It adds a nice touch of variety to a medium that sometimes gets static.

Issue #49 of Detective Comics is rated T for Teen. It contains violence, profanity, and frightening and intense scenes. There are some perilous moments which could be stressful for younger readers.

Detective Comics #49 continues to live up to its title. Over the course of the past two issues, we've seen the story play out like an episode of Sherlock or Perry Mason (if anyone reading remembers him). The antagonist and the mystery behind his motivation is both captivating and refreshing. I look forward to seeing the crimes solved by Jim Gordon's Batcop through the use of his brains and brawn.

Detective Comics #49 is available now in print and digital editions.

Batman Protects the Salt of the Earth in Detective Comics #49


James Gordon continues his reign as Gotham's Dark Knight in Detective Comics #49. Peter J. Tomasi provides the script for Fernando Pasarin’s illustrations. The two give us a tale that takes us back to the golden age adventures of the Caped Crusader when he not only dished out a good beating but solved a mystery along the way.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Last Witch Hunter Misses His Mark


The Last Witch Hunter arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a digital download courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The movie is directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies, Sahara) from a screenplay by Cory Goodman (Priest), Matt Sazama (Dracula Untold), and Burk Sharpless (Gods of Egypt). A surprising cast of talented actors like Michael Caine and Elijah Wood support Vin Diesel in his battle against the dark forces.

The modern world holds many secrets, the most astounding being that witches still live among us. Centuries ago, Kaulder (Vin Diesel) managed to slay the all-powerful Witch Queen (Julie Engelbrecht), decimating her followers in the process. Before her death, she cursed the valiant warrior with her own immortality, separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Her resurrection now threatens the survival of the human race as Kaulder, the only one of his kind remaining, faces her vengeful wrath in The Last Witch Hunter.

The biggest problem with The Last Witch Hunter is that it isn’t a bad movie or a good movie. It just sort of flounders around between those two extreme spectrums. Let’s just say you probably won’t remember much of what you saw within minutes of seeing the film. The worst part is you won’t care or have a desire to view it again.

The CGI and special effects for The Last Witch Hunter are impressive, though. I didn't feel pulled out of the viewing experience or distracted by any of the animated characters or their artificial environments. You really can’t say that about many science fiction or horror movies anymore.

The big reveal at the end of The Last Witch Hunter was rather obvious from the beginning as well. It was all too typical and worn out. I was only surprised that they actually took the obvious direction they did and didn't try harder to change things up.

The Last Witch Hunter is rated PG-13 for for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images. The Witch Queen could be disturbing to look at for younger viewers. There’s also a little profanity heard in the film. Characters also get stabbed and disintegrate throughout the movie. Many religious people might have a problem with what comes across as magical incantations or chanting.

The Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD edition of The Last Witch Hunter provides some interesting bonus material for consumers. Director Breck Eisner provides commentary for the movie. The 30-minute featurette entitled “Crafting the Magic: The Last Witch Hunter” includes interviews with Vin Diesel and other cast and crew. A sizzle reel of moments from the film is set to the Rolling Stones’ Paint It, Black. A series of four animated short films narrated by Michael Caine give us insight into the world we’re thrown into.

I wish I could fully explain why I didn't care for The Last Witch Hunter. It was just missing a particular element or charisma that kept me from being excited for the film at all. You feel like you're watching Riddick battle witches instead of an Earthbound immortal. Vin is just being Vin, but without the contacts or cool goggles. The movie isn't a complete waste, but you definitely don't feel a sense of satisfaction when the credits roll.

The Last Witch Hunter is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and as a digital download.

The Last Witch Hunter Misses His Mark


The Last Witch Hunter arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a digital download courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The movie is directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies, Sahara) from a screenplay by Cory Goodman (Priest), Matt Sazama (Dracula Untold), and Burk Sharpless (Gods of Egypt). A surprising cast of talented actors like Michael Caine and Elijah Wood support Vin Diesel in his battle against the dark forces.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow White Joins the Signature Collection


Walt Disney Home Entertainment pulls Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs out of the vault once again. The Mouse House gives us a new Walt Disney Signature Collection high-definition version of the animated film that started it all. Although the movie has been released on Blu-ray before, it’s never been available via Digital HD or for download.

In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the wicked queen orders the murder of her innocent stepdaughter because of jealousy over her beauty. She later discovers that the girl is still alive and hiding in a cottage with seven friendly little miners. Disguising herself as a hag, the queen brings a poisoned apple to Snow White, who falls into a death-like sleep that can be broken only by a kiss from the prince.

Based on Grimm’s fairy tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the first animated feature for Disney. Quite honestly, it’s a fine example of the beauty and technical skill of hand-drawn animation. It set the precedent for every movie made after it and established a level of expectation in quality that was near impossible for other studios to match.

I absolutely adore the dark tone of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Disney wasn’t afraid to incorporate the Grimmer aspects of the tale into the animated film. My favorite parts are when Snow is running through the forest and it’s coming to terrifying life. For little children, the scene no doubt causes serious distress. A couple of my other favorite parts are the metamorphosis of the witch into the old hag and when the dwarfs are chasing her up the mountain.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is rated G for General Audiences. However, there are some parts of the film that will no doubt scare younger viewers. Some of the slightly frightening and intense scenes include the witch poisoning Snow White and her transformation. Even though it’s off-screen, her change is a bit fierce.

Plenty of exciting bonus material is found on the Signature Collection edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Several featurettes explore the making of the film. They include “In Walt’s Words: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Iconography,” “@DisneyAnimation: Designing Disney’s First Princess,” and “The Fairest Facts of Them All” hosted by Disney Star Sofia Carson. We also get an alternate sequence and more peeks behind-the-scenes of the movie.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has never looked as good as it does for the Walt Disney Signature Collection. The color is vibrant and every wonderful song flows out in perfect clarity. A flawless high-definition update is paired with essential bonus material to give Disney fanatics the ultimate experience “The Greatest Animated Film of All Time” merits.

Walt Disney's Signature Collection edition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is available now on Blu-ray and as a digital download.

Snow White Joins the Signature Collection


Walt Disney Home Entertainment pulls Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs out of the vault once again. The Mouse House gives us a new Walt Disney Signature Collection high-definition version of the animated film that started it all. Although the movie has been released on Blu-ray before, it’s never been available via Digital HD or for download.