“Emelie”, the Sinister Sitter

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Cunning and sinister the film Emelie comes to home video on DVD and Blu-ray. The film increases the level of emotion, fear, and chills as the haunting plot moves from one unconscionable scene to another. Totally beyond the scope of anything so despicable, the acting, cinematography and direction bring it all together as a very scary situation that’s a family’s worst nightmare. That said, I am bothered by the way they chose to end the film, but that’s something horror fans can deal with on their own. Read more

“The Haunting of Alice D”, a Chance to Gasp, Cringe and Shriek

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There’s been a rash of horror flicks this past two years as the followers of the genre have risen in numbers as indicated by the box-office. Opening today on DVD is the low budget thriller The Haunting of Alice D. Nothing remarkable, but yet a reasonable chance to gasp, gulp, cringe and shriek in the privacy of your own home. Not at the top of my list for good horror, the film lacks talented acting, a surefire scary plot and top notch direction that can bring a thrilling script to the screen. Read more

The Best of It, Making the Right Bet

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Making the right bet on a college basketball team can get you a lot of money. The other side of the coin however, can put you in debt. In the documentary film The Best of It we find that there are smart gamblers and not so smart ones. Director Scott Pearson Eberly puts together a cross section of betters and adds a few odds makers in this enlightening film that reveals the stress and elation of winning. Oh and some dire consequences of losing as well. Read more

Interview with Radha Mitchell on Sacrifice

A versatile talent with a broad body of work, Radha Mitchell began her career in Australia. She quickly took center stage in the critically acclaimed indies, High Art and Love and Other Catastrophes. Her major film work includes starring roles in Pitch Black, Man on Fire, Finding Neverland and the action blockbuster London Has Fallen. Read more

Papa Hemingway in Cuba, Intimate and Daring

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A bold time capsule of Ernest Hemingway’s life in Cuba gets revealed through the eyes of a reporter who lived it in the film Papa Hemingway in Cuba. Richly shot in the estranged county, the movie delves into the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning writer’s intimate lifestyle on the island in the 1950’s. Taught, daring and an eye opener the fine cast does a terrific job of character portrayal under the able direction of Bob Yari from an autobiographical script written by Denne Bart Petitclerc.

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The American Side, a Snappy Mystery Filled with Intrigue

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This mystery sets out as a routine blackmail, but turns into a thriller involving the government and those that want to get rich quick. And then there’s a suicide at Niagara Falls that all leads to The American Side. Much like the gumshoe J.J. Gittes in Chinatown with the same kind of pace and impression, The American Side becomes compelling and intriguing. Read more

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty and the 5-Million Mile Drop

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This is not your mother’s Sleeping Beauty … The Curse of Sleeping Beauty has a perfect mix of magical beauty and scary thrills. I promise, you’ll never look at a mannequin quite the same again. Read more

Jane Got a Gun, Revenge So Sour

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Slow to develop and lack of energy shoots down Jane Got a Gun, a wannabe action western with a stellar cast. The film has a few attributes including some very nice cinematography and a decent performance by Joel Edgerton who offers a nice character with shades of Clint Eastwood. But, it’s not enough to save the predictable storyline and copycat scripted scenes that have been overused even as recent as the 2014 movie Salvation. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Read more

The Huntsman: Winter’s War, An Icy Tale of Two Kingdoms

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While the special effects are very good in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the story, direction and the acting leave a lot to be desired. CGI plays a big part in the film and for the most part it carries its own weight, so much so that it gets wasted. The romantic plot gets a lot of the screen time and tends to make the film drag with its repetitive drivel. And most of the film can be described as The Hobbit meets Frozen. That said, let’s take one objection at a time. Read more

The Lady in the Van, a Heartwarming True Story

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Being a fan of good acting, plot and direction, especially connected to an indie, it’s enjoyable to watch a heartfelt film like The Lady in the Van. For those who admire Maggie Smith they’ll have double delight with this true story. Originally a play on a London stage starring the consummate actress and now on Blu-ray and DVD, the comedy drama’s wonderful to watch even your home video screen. Read more

The Jungle Book, A Cool Bolder Version of a Classic Story

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I’m not sure if this is exactly what Rudyard Kipling would have wanted his children’s book to be like on the big screen, but Director/producer Jon Favreau turns family viewing up a notch with a darker version of the 1997 animated The Jungle Book. Using live action with a copious amounts of computer generated images, Favreau takes the classic into the 21st century with realism beyond belief. Adding a lot of scary to his film, the movie becomes more of a jungle battle than an innocent romp in the trees and vegetation while coming in contact with some comical characters. Read more