It would be a challenge to give this film a pass especially for the terrific special visual effects, designs of the many creatures and for the many hours the two main characters must have labored in their roles, but Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets drags and drones through nearly 2 and a half hours. Even as I write this review, I am tempted to alter my opinion, but it wouldn’t help the awful music moaning in the background in nearly every “exciting” scene, plot holes that are beyond fantasy, and negative attempts at virtual reality. Adults looking for adventure will be hard pressed to find it to their liking, much like John Carter fell on its face with the over 25-year-olds. Read more
Review by Gino Sassani
“All of human history has led to this moment. The irony is we created you. And nature has been punishing us ever since. This is our last stand. And if we lose… it will be a Planet of Apes.”
I was always a fan of the original Planet of the Apes series of films. While they often flirted with a camp style, I was impressed with John Chambers’ makeup effects and the performances of Roddy McDowall as both Cornelius and Caesar. Then came the television show and I remained just as enchanted because of McDowall’s appearance as a third ape, Galen. The show didn’t last a season however, and before long the Apes franchise was left in some kind of limbo. Read more
The 6 part miniseries “Mars” has arrived on Blu-ray and DVD and it’s so realistic you would think we have already settled a new world on another planet. The TV series ran on National Geographic in 2016 and the home video includes 8 bonus features including the prequel “Before Mars”. Your imagination will take over within 10 minutes of the first episode as it opens a new world to space exploration. Read more
Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blasts onto your home entertainment center in a Blu-ray/DVD box set. You are in control of all the action and a long list of Bonus Extras that continue to delight sci-fi space fans. The movie sets-up a new series for Disney/Lucas Films that brings exciting adventures in between continuing episodes of the Star Wars franchise. It’s quite a challenge for the team at the Mouse House and I’m very glad they came up with the idea. Read more
Collectors of Manga graphic novels and lovers of Japanese anime, the Mondo Steelbook blu-ray of Ghost in the Shell has been released for home video in a special steel case with a sheath. Awesome looking and perfect sized to fit easily on your shelf, the film itself features 1080p widescreen with a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. Those of you who know how special the title is will probably have already seen the film. But those who are just getting into it, Ghost in the Shell started a wave of futuristic films with high intense action and memorable characters back in 1995. Read more
Review by John M. Delia, Jr.
Take a wild ride on Kong: Skull Island a slick new film about the ferocious Gorilla that never fails to amaze. However the campy story and the chaotic acting, one thing still remains, it’s the violent, creepy and mysterious creatures that will get you every time. What lies on the surface is terrifying enough, but what lies below, unstoppable. As for the real rollercoaster ride, read my comment below. Read more
Filling in with a prequel to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the first in a series by Lucas Films that started the Star Wars franchise, comes Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The set-up starts a new series for Star Wars that brings new adventures in between continuing episodes that follow Star Wars the Force Awakens. It’s quite a challenge for the team at Disney/Lucas and I’m very glad they came up with the idea. Read more
The sci-fi horror thriller Morgan turns brutal when a scientific experiment goes awry turning a lab into a blood fest. Now on Blu-ray and DVD in a combo pack that includes an HD download, the film has all the trappings for a nighttime couple’s shocker. You will not want to see this one alone, especially if you want to get the best out of your video choice. So turn the lights down, get the popcorn ready, maybe your favorite beverage and expect the unexpected. Read more
If you are looking to see an exciting film with a lot of creativity and adventure, then you may want to look elsewhere than Arrival. More of a mystery that spools out like Jodi Foster’s Contact that moves at a slow pace trying to fill in the blanks to the very end. With Arrival however, the film does take some twists that at least give the audience a measure of fun. Read more
A very impressive, dramatic and exciting Star Trek Beyond opens this weekend and for trekkies, sci-fi enthusiasts and action film lovers it’s a perfect getaway. Overflowing with superb CGI effects, “fast and furious” explosiveness and settings beyond the beyond, the film should do very well in attendance at the box office. Best seen in the IMAX 3D format, the film jumps off the screen and drives you into the story as it gets played out in a galaxy of the future. Read more
The highly stylized Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens this weekend loosely packed with energy and adventure, the film will have a tough time getting accolades from its fans. Trying to fit the mold of predecessors like The Avengers series with a lengthy story that includes Batman Begins and casting mistakes hurt the film a bit, but that overlooked, it’s a good intro to a possible Justice League movie franchise. Will the special effects and CGI save the costly film from losing a bundle? Probably.
Movie review: by John Delia, Jr.
Third in the series of Veronica Roth’s novels, Divergent: Allegiant Part 1 hits the screen this weekend taking the battle outside the walls of Chicago. Using some exciting CGI, the film continues to impress as the rebels find themselves at bay with the government. Directed at the mid-teen to mid-twenties, the film should hit home even though it leaves a lot to be explained for the next chapter. If you have seen the prequels then it will make a lot of sense, but I recommend either you read the books or rent the first two films Divergent and Insurgent before you attempt to see this chapter. Read more
Finally coming to an end, the movie The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2 brings the trilogy to a close. The continuation of the battle to take down President Snow adds depth to the characters, ties up loose ends and shows the future in a surprising finale. Well-acted as usual, the cast has their roles down pat as they begin the final battle for Penem and stake their claim on the Capitol. Ardent followers, mostly female, will be lining up in droves to see this final episode. So if you want to be the first, seek out tickets early. Read more
The movie Terminator Genisys, now on Blu-ray/DVD, surprises with top quality special effects, continuous action scenes and a welcome return of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The storyline may be a little complicated if you are trying to piece together the previous four outings, but take a deep breath and just go with it to enjoy the shape shifting time traveling bots that deliver chaos wherever they appear. If you are an action junkie and want an adrenaline rush, get the newest edition on home video of John Connor’s attempt to take down the spy in the sky that led to annihilation of billions of people on the planet. Read more
Weird, wild and whimsical the musical drama Bang Bang Baby has a fine cast, good direction and a story too inconceivable to be nothing but science fiction. Played out and filmed like it could be taking place on a stage with many sets, the film’s presentation reminds me a lot of the madcap Little Shop of Horrors. The 60’s rock music also adds some nostalgia as part of the enjoyment. Now available on all major VOD platforms. Read more