The Spoils of Babylon, a Cool Satire on Soap Operas

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A one-hit mini-season wonder, The Spoils of Babylon a spoof on soap operas, has been released on DVD. The campy six episodes were shown on the Independent Film Channel in 2014 and are a satire to the movie making industry with cardboard cut-out sets, green screen epic views, one camera cinematography, simplified special effects and other cheaply devised movie tricks. Whew! That was a mouthful. That said, the 6 part miniseries homage strikes the silly heart strings resonating to those who have worked in the industry and love the life. For all you other folks this comedy’s just a flat out mash up of plots from Gone with the Wind, Giant, “Rich Man, Poor Man” and even a little bit of “Dynasty” to name a few. Read more

Zootopia, the Land of Fur and Funny

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Last year’s Disney film Cinderella came out around the same time as this Friday’s release of Disney’s Zootopia. While Cinderella’s March release went on to make a massive amount of money for the mouse house, time will tell if an animated film directed to families will do the same. Certainly Zootopia has a good storyline with a message that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can make your dreams come true, “as long as you work hard to accomplish them”. With that in mind and an excellent voice cast too boot, the family film should start good out of the gate. Read more

Lego Star Wars: Droid Tales, Tames the Saga for Youngsters

Youngsters have a chance to see what the movie series Star Wars were all about at their own level. The just released Lego edition of Star Wars: Droid Tales follows the saga from start to finish cutting out most of the violence and character buildup that gets boring to the young folks. It’s a fun 115 minutes of adventure and comedy that should keep your 7 to 12 year olds excited and happy.

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The North Star, Escape to Freedom

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Although the true story of The North Star has wide reaching meaning and intentions behind it, the acting, direction and cinematic expertise fails miserably. Because of the very pedestrian production, instead of a compelling drama we get a historical vignette that has been used in films way beyond the scope of the script that gets presented here. That said, for an after school special directed at older teens, The North Star gets an average grade. Informational, yes, but captivating, marginal. Read more

Eddie the Eagle, Delivers High Flying Courage

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A fun little film called  Eddie the Eagle opens today in theaters across the country and it’s a true story. Steeped with energy, determination and a will to succeed, the movie features very good performances, fine direction and wow cinematography. Touching and heartwarming, the audience will find themselves inspired by this dynamo of man who is determined to participate in the Olympics. The film gets comical showing the ambitious man becoming a dare devil even in the face of the impossible odds. The movie gives the feel much like the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings that competed the same year in Calgary. Read more

The Good Dinosaur, Growing Up in the Wild

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Relive the fun and journey of The Good Dinosaur, Disney/PIXAR’s kid friendly and graphically stunning animated adventure. Now on Blu-ray and DVD, it’s a fun family film that features good values about growing up, facing your fears and friendship. The story may be a little familiar for the teens if they have seen most of the animated films in the past 6 years or so, but the youngsters should love the dinosaurs, Arlo and young Spot.

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Frankenstein, Modernizing the Monster

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As if Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” needs another adapted storyline, then the release of the movie Frankenstein pops up. This past year even saw Victor Frankenstein with a story that shows the monster from the point of view of Igor. But, I guess it’s never to late to modernize the creature that has had a good run at the box office for many years. Well in this new edition we are treated to a present day view. Now on Blu-ray/DVD the film shows promise throughout the first two acts, but unfortunately has a lackluster ending. Read more

Rolling Papers, A “Puff” Piece on Marijuana

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Taking a gander at law abiding citizens smoking pot in Denver, the film Rolling Papers transports you into the heart of the Rockies for an in depth tour of Amendment 64. The documentary features the growing, harvesting, production and sales of weed and oh, the smoking of the mind expanding recreational drug as well. Yes I did say recreational. While most states are clamoring for the medical value of smoking marijuana, Colorado has determined it’s as safe as alcohol. And it makes the State very rich from the sales tax. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves because there’s as much documentary as comedy in the wacky film. Read more

Touched With Fire, Coping with the Flames

“Bipolar Disorder: any of several psychological disorders of mood characterized usually by alternating episodes of depression and mania —called also manic depression, manic-depressive illness” Merriam-Webster Dictionary

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It’s an odd way to start out a film review with a dictionary definition, but apropos with the movie Touched With Fire, a drama dealing with the psychological problem that alters the life of two poets.  Written and director by Paul Dalio and taken from true experiences, gives this production a keener perspective of the lives he portrays on the screen.  Heartfelt and heartbreaking the movie provides the audience with the realism of the troubles that go with bipolar disorder.
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Criminal Activities, a Twisted Tale of High Stakes

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A twisty twisted tale of crime and punishment Criminal Activities will keep you guessing till the final turn of events. The film has a very good up-and-coming cast with a balance of A-list actors Jackie Early Haley and John Travolta. If you like your entertainment gutsy and gritty, then this film has the right elements for you. The movie enters the DVD/Blu-ray market today. Read more

Dough, a Half-Baked Film About Kneading Bread

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The fun film Dough opens in the United States wide and it’s far fetched about being half baked. But, Dough is also about dealing with prejudice and finding value within yourself. If you can overlook the fact that using marijuana in London does have consequences no matter what the screenplay shows you, then everyone should accept a little fantasy when it comes to filmmaking. The acting and directing in Dough is very good with fine cinematography and sets. Read more

The Club, a Serious Look at Immoral Practices

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Presenting a look at the negative aspect of Catholic Church leaders and their wrongdoings, The Club delves into a fictional story of a sanctuary where Catholic priests are commanded to stay in isolation from public contact. The film exemplifies and denigrates the men who were found at fault involving sexual issues in their parishes. The Club paints a negative picture of the priests and also shows the severity for what they are responsible. Read more

Deadpool, a Devilish Delight

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Straight from the pages of Marvel Comics comes Deadpool one of the most devilish characters in the family. But it’s not the first time you were introduced to the character. Although a quick one, we first see the cool “cynical superhero” in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but not like audiences will see this vengeance filled man in the film Deadpool. Here he wants to get even no matter who stands in his way. Filled with action from start to finish, this super “hero” gets so intense the film conjures up an R rating. Read more

Hangman, a Seriously Disturbing Movie

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Very disturbing, unsettling and terrifying, the movie Hangman has come to home video on Blu-ray and DVD. The actors play out their roles as we see them on video tape much like films The Blair Witch Project and the hidden cams in Paranormal Activity. This one however brings with it a good measure of believability and possibility surrounding a mass murderer. The film claims to be based on a true story. Read more

Hail, Caesar!, a Cheeky Spoof on the Golden Age of Film

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Taking some script ideas from the forties and fifties flicks, Joel and Ethan Coen pen the wacky Hail, Caesar! The movie has a nice feel to it especially scenes with the flashy dance numbers, spectacular extravaganzas and of course the epic “Ben Hur” type historical production. Weaving its way through this film however is a dastardly story about movie stars and their everyday problems on the set. Oh, and an untimely kidnapping. Read more