Blu-ray Review: PARANORMAN

2012 was a strong year for animated films. While computer animation rules the roost, it’s good to know that older forms like stop-motion are still being kept alive. Disney released Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Universal produced ParaNorman from Laika Studios, the same animators that brought us Coraline. Despite being stronger pictures, neither of those pictures…

Movie Review: FRANKENWEENIE

Before he was Tim Burton, the director of Batman and Ed Wood, he was simply Tim Burton, a young animator trying to make a name for himself at Disney. He first gained notice in 1982 with a stop-motion animated short called Vincent. His follow-up was a half-hour live-action piece, Frankenweenie, about a boy who brings his beloved dog back to…

Movie Review: JONAH HEX

Comic book movies are now a staple of the summer blockbuster season. This modern age of the comic book film can be traced back to an unlikely source in Blade. For decades, Marvel had attempted to turn their characters into successful feature films. Yet, all they had to show for it are a pair of awful…

Movie Review: MALEFICENT

“Let us tell an old story anew and we will see how well you know it.” So begins Disney’s latest attempt to mine their rich archives and re-imagine a classic fairy tale, both of which have become big business. Alice in Wonderland scored over a billion dollars at the box office to get the ball…

Blu-ray Review: SUPERMAN/SHAZAM! – THE RETURN OF BLACK ADAM

Warner Premiere has been steadily releasing a series of direct-to-video animated films based off the popular superheroes of DC Comics. It began in 2007 with Superman: Doomsday, but it wasn’t until last year that they began producing shorts under the “DC Showcase” brand. These short films would star an assortment of lesser known DC characters…

Movie Review: HAYWIRE

Steven Soderbergh has to be considered one of the most versatile filmmakers working today. He can effortlessly switch from slick blockbusters like Erin Brockovich and the Ocean’s series to iconoclastic indie projects like Bubble and Full Frontal. Soderbergh’s latest film, Haywire, is a melding of both worlds and his first foray into the action genre.…

DVD Review: BONES – SEASON 12

Police procedurals are an easy sell to the networks, especially if they have a gimmicky twist. There was Ioan Gruffuld as an immortal medical examiner in Forever and the devil himself assisting the LAPD in Lucifer. At one point, producers were developing a drama with King Arthur reimagined as a crime-solving graffiti artist. It’s surprising…

Blu-ray Review: THE THING

Until recently, John Carpenter had been persona non grata since the abysmal Ghosts of Mars, a sci-fi version of his earlier action flick, Assault on Precinct 13. For a while, he seemed content with collecting royalty checks as Hollywood studios churned out big-budget remakes of his beloved cult classics. Assault was remade along with The…

Movie Review: OZ – THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

Walt Disney had always wanted to make an animated film based on Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz. However, MGM beat him to the punch, acquiring the rights and producing their classic musical starring Judy Garland. The closest Disney ever came was a television special featuring the Mouseketeers as various characters and the disturbing…

Movie Review: CONTAGION

Steven Soderbergh is one of the few filmmakers working today who rarely repeats himself. He is as comfortable at making big Hollywood spectacles like the Ocean’s series as he is with idiosyncratic low-budget projects like Bubble and The Girlfriend Experience. He’s also delved into film noir in The Good German (one of my favorite films…

Blu-ray Review: LARRY CROWNE

Tom Hanks has earned his reputation as an all-around nice guy and one of the most likeable actors in Hollywood. Hanks brings every ounce of that likeability for Larry Crowne, which marks his second film as a director following his debut behind the camera with 1996’s That Thing You Do! Hanks stars as the titular…

Blu-ray Review: KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE

Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and his brother Jerry Zucker were once the holy trinity of parody films. Together, they were responsible for Airplane!, Top Secret, and The Naked Gun. Long before those successes, ZAZ (as they were affectionately nicknamed) were three struggling kids from Wisconsin who formed a theater group called Kentucky Fried Theater. While trying…

Movie Review: SOMEWHERE

Sofia Coppola made a strong debut as a filmmaker with 1999’s The Virgin Suicides, but it was Lost in Translation that made her a critical darling. Her second film did exceptional box office (especially for a film that only cost $4 million) and received numerous awards. After finding such success, many independent filmmakers choose to…

Blu-ray Review: RECOIL

The most recognizable name in profession wrestling is arguably Hulk Hogan. He was the largest attraction of the 1980’s during the height of the rock ‘n’ wrestling era when Vince McMahon’s WWF enjoyed unheralded mainstream attention. No one ever came close to capturing that same popularity until the late-90’s with Steve Austin. Once known as…

Movie Review: RED 2

Still retired, still extremely dangerous. DC Comics may be owned by Warner Brothers, but a few properties sometime slip through their fingers. Red was a 3-issue mini-series by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner and published by DC imprint Wildstorm. The source material was about a retired CIA agent seeking revenge after his former employers order…