"Ladies and gentlemen, players and ladies, high-lifes and low-lifes, all you trash with cash, allow me to announce the Doctor is IN!"
Shout Select always surprises me with the titles that they release. And I can tell you I was not only shocked to see them release one of my favorite 80's comedies, but they loaded it up with extras ever. I'm talking about the classic Dan Aykroyd masterpiece that is Doctor Detroit.
Aykroyd plays Clifford Skridlow, a Literary Professor at Monroe College. He's a pretty big nerd and while hes out power walking (to Devo may I add) he's spotted by Smooth Walker (Howard Hesseman, in way to small of a role)a small time pimp who is picking up his girls. It turns out Smooth owes a woman named Mom 80K. She's a rival pimp, or some type of crime lord, its never fully explained. Anyway he cant afford to pay it so he tells he he's being shaken down by a rival pimp whos really connected in the underworld known as Doctor Detroit. As Doctor Detroit is not real he needs to find a patsy so he can skip town and dump his debt on someone else.
Enter Clifford, who smooth meets at a restaurant. He introduces him to his women. Monica (Donna Dixon), Jasmine (Lydia Lei) Thelma (Lynn Whitfield), and Karen (Fran Drescher). They take him out and party all night long. The next morning Clifford gets a call from Diavolo (T.K. Carter) who is Smooths limo driver. He explains that Thelma has been arrested and Clifford needs to get her out. In doing this, in great Aykroyd fashion as he impersonates a southern lawyer, he realizes these girls are prostitutes. He also gets a visit from Mom who demands to see Doctor Detroit. Clifford tells her he is Doctor Detroit's assistant but will set up a meeting.
What followed is one of the funniest films of the 80's as Aykroyd get to shine as not only Clifford Skridlow, but his alter ego of Doctor Detroit as well. See in a subplot of the film it turns out that the college Clifford works at is in financial trouble so they are meeting with a wealthy investor. Clifford has to entertain him, protect the girls from Mom, and also attend the "Players Ball" where he is being awarded Pimp of the Year.
This film is hysterical and as you can see its got a loaded cast of comedy geniuses. This film was not a huge hit at the box office, but became a cult hit after playing on cable and in the video store rental area. I think its Aykroyd's best film and he shines in pulling of both parts.
Shout has outdone themselves with the transfer on this as is usual with them. They really have a system down as they just keep doing fantastic work in both the visual and audio transfers. It was great having James Brown and Devo blasting through my speakers. They also have it loaded up with Special Features
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Michael Pressman And Pop Culture Historian Russell Dyball
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars
Cyborg featuring a young JCVD is one of the most popular Cult Films in this age and time. A Cyberpunk action thriller featuring martial arts mayhem, and characters named after guitar manufactures is a crowd pleasing hit. Directed by Albert Pyun this is a film that gets talked about more and more every passing year. Well finally Scream Factory has stepped in and done the release the justice it deserves.
Cyborg takes place after "The Living Death!" a plague that has left the planet barren and crippled. A group of scientists think they have a cure for it and send a cyborg named Pearl out to New York to get the remaining intel they need.. She is sent along with Marshall Strat, but he is quickly killed by the evil Fender Tremolo and his gang. Fender wants the cure to sell it. Before Strat dies Pearl runs off and finds a "Slinger" who can take her to NY. This of course is Gibson Rickenbacker, played by Jean Claude Van Damme.
He agrees to escort and protect her because he has a score to settle with Fender and his gang. Years prior Gibson was living a simple life with his family until Fender came along and murdered them.. Thus begins a road trip to hell paved by way of graphic violence.
Cyborg was and still is an amazing film. Wall to wall action set in a post apocalyptic world to the backdrop of a polarizing score, this film hits on all levels. From knife fights, to hand to hand combat, to crucifixions, this film has everything an action, as well as a science fiction fan dreams of. Capped off with a Steller performance of a very young JCVD this film fires on every cylinder.
A:bert Pyun had done an amazing job with this film, that even spawned multiple sequels. Its been loved an admired for years and now Scream Factory is presenting it here on Blu-ray, loaded with special features for the first time ever.
This print is a thing of beauty. it cleaner than not only an dvd out there, but better looking then when I first experienced this in the theater as a teenager. The film takes place for the most part entirely outside, and every sun shot and smoke shot looks stunning on this disc. The audio bellows out of your speakers especially during the sewer fight scene where you can actually hear everyone on screen around you. As its Scream Factory its loaded with special features
NEW 4K Scan From The Original Film Elements
If your a fan you can already see this is a must own disc. If you have never experienced the true awesomeness that is Cyborg you have to pick this up and watch it. I promise you will love it.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!
The Following 4K Disc was provided to me by Warner Brothers for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.
Oh DC you make animated films that Marvel could only dream of making. I so wish you would get the respect you deserve. With that out of the way I suppose its no secret that I am a fan of Suicide Squad Hell To Pay. Also, and I'm not ashamed to admit it, I am a fan of the Suicide Squad film as well. Granted the film has essentially no similarities with the comics, but this animated film, Hell To Pay sure does.
Suicide Squad Hell To Pay features DeadShot, as he is correctly portrayed in the books. No offence Will Smith but Deadshot is a small White Dude. Killer Frost, Copperhead, Bronze Tiger, Captain Boomerang, and of course everyone's favorite Harley Quinn.. The premise is like the films, as it always is in the books. The Suicide Squad are prisoners that the head of ARGUS, Amanda Waller has implanted bombs in there heads and they are assigned suicide missions. If they complete them they get a certain amount of years taken off their sentence. If they fail, they die, if they turn on the mission the bombs go off and they die. Pretty basic stuff.
This time Deadshot must lead the team must go after a "Get out of Hell Free Card" that the last Dr Fate had stolen from him. Amanda Needs this card as she is dying. So she sends the Suicide Squad After it. Problem being, Vandal Savage wants it, as does Professor Zoom who is trying to be reborn after the events of the Flashpoint Paradox.
Filled with tons of action, and humor, which is mostly in part of Harley Quinn this is an amazing DC Animated Cartoon. Now let me warn you, this is an R rated cartoon, so parents be warned. I let my son watch it and he was fine, but this does contain a tad bit of bad language and a really hefty amount of animated blood and violence.
With that said its a sure fire audience pleaser, especially for fans of the comics, as it stays true to the original platform, where as the film had many detours along the way.
This 4K transfer is absolutely beautiful, to the point of immaculate really. Its the best looking animated film I have ever seen. WB and DC have really upped their game with this one. And I cant say enough good things about the audio and the video transfer.
Its even got special features which include
Outback Rogue: Captain Boomerang
Nice Shot Floyd! The Greatest Marksmen in the DCU
The Power of Plot Devices, MacGuffins and Red Herrings
Sneak Peek at The Death of Superman
This is one of the best DC Animated Films to date, and I cant stress enough how amazing this looks, and how fun it really is. Do yourself a favor and pic it up on April 10th.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars
Horror comedies are unfortunately few and far between. You have the well known ones like Scary Movie and Student Body's, to the lesser talked about Wacko, and Saturday The 14th. Then you have the ones that are seldom mentioned like Full Moon High. I've never been able to figure out why Full Moon High is not given more attention. Its a funny film, and its also directed by Larry Cohen.
Full Moon High tells the tale of Tony Walker. He's a star Football player at Full Moon High, and he is all geared up for the big game against their arch rivals at Simpson High. Unfortunately for Tony he needs to accompany his dad on a quick spy mission (his dad is CIA) to Romania. He's going to be his dad's cover story, as his dad has to pick up some microfilm, yes microfilm, I forgot to mention this is taking place in 1958.
Once there Tony decides to talk a walk around the town and meets up with a woman who reads his palms. She tells him he will live forever, roman the earth, and never age until he decides to return home and fulfill his destiny. Tony doesn't think much of it and leaves. He gets lost on his way home and is attacked by a werewolf, thus causing I'm to become one as well.
This complicates things for Tony as being a werewolf takes up time so he ends up getting kicked off the team, losing his girlfriend, and of course terrorizing the town during the full moon. By terrorize I mean he basically bites cute girls on the asses when he turns. The local paper even has headlines of "Jack The Nipper Strikes Again" and Werewolf Annoys Community" Well one night his dad sees him transform and runs for cover into his bomb shelter. He even attempts to shoot Tony through the door, but as the room is reinforced in concrete the bullet keeps ricocheting off the walls until it kill him. Tony becomes so distraught he leaves town.
After wandering around for 25 years Tony suddenly realizes what he needs to do to break his curse. He has to return home to fulfill his destiny like the woman told him. That destiny is going back to school and helping Full Moon High beat Simpson High in the big game. So Tony poses as his own father to re-enroll himself back in school.
Things get interesting from there but I cant give away the whole film. I will say this movie is very funny. Slapstick to say the least as lots of jokes and sight gags fly at a fast pace. For the most part all of the jokes do hit.
Scream Factory has done a marvelous job as always with the transfer. I remember watching this on VHS back in the day, and this print looks like it was just filmed with a digital camera. I can only imagine how long this transfer must have taken to complete as it is spot on. The audio is great as well with no clipping or mono sounds coming out at all. Everything sounds crisp and clear. Scream Factory also has special features included as well
NEW Audio Commentary With Writer/Producer/Director Larry Cohen, Moderated By King Cohen Filmmaker Steve Mitchell
I recommend this film if your in the mood for a good laugh. Its still funny all these years later and sophomoric enough for kids to enjoy, but light enough as to not offend or scare them. Its a PG film. As Horror comedies go I put this up with Student Body's and the first Scary Movie. Go pick it up, its worth it.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Severin Films continues putting out Jess Franco films and has now released, fully uncut and uncensored Sinfonia Erotic. You can purchase this alone, or in a double pack offer with Sadist of Notre Dame (reviewed below)
Sinfonia is a hard film to say the least. Its considered one of Franco's best Its about a woman named Martine who returns home after a brief stay in the insane asylum. For some reason she's surprised to find her husband has basically forgotten about her. He even has another guy living there now who has taken the place of her as his new love interest. He mentally abuses her and ignores her sexual cries.
One day the pair find a young woman who had been injured. The bring her home and decide to make a "play thing" out of her. Martine, obsessed with sex and unable to have it with her husband decides to sexually assault the young woman. After that they fall in love. That's a plot hole I cannot explain. This drives her husband, even though he doesn't care about her to rage and murder.
Set in a creepy old villa this film, although trashy has some of the most lavish cinematography I had seen. Don't get me wrong that makes it no easier to watch as its filled with violence, sexual situates, and a bit of gore. It is really well made though, and the acting is fantastic.
Severin once again did an astounding job with this transfer. Everything looks fantastic. Its one of the best transfers they have done to be honest. The audio and video both come alive in your Blu-ray player.
In typical fashion they have included a nice crop of special features
Jess Franco On First Wife Nicole Guettard – Interview With Director Jess Franco
Fans will no doubt want to pick this one up for the collection. If you have never seen a Franco film before this is one of his rougher ones, but also one of his most well made. Recommended but not for kids.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Severin Films has really been doing an amazing job with their Blu-ray releases over the last year. And if their new titles are any indication 2018 is going to be a Steller year for film collectors courtesy of Severin Films. The latest entry in their collection is The Sadist of Notre Dame, directed by Jess Franco. With that part said, this is not a film for the kids. And its presented here fully uncut.
Sadist of Notre Dame is the story of a priest named Mathis Vogel (played by Jess Franco himself) who breaks out of the looney bin and decides to go on a murdering rampage. But not just a standard murdering rampage, no Mathis kills for God. He takes it upon himself to stalk and kill sinful women in the name of God.
He writes about this as well, well not the killing part otherwise he would probably go to jail. He send them to a local porno magazine where he meets a girl who works there named Annie. She digs is writing and takes him to an old castle that houses orgies and sex shows. As this is sinful behavior Mathis simply has to kill everyone there.
Surprisingly very low on blood and gore the film does lay on the nudity and sexual situations to give it a full exploitation euro trash feel. Sure there are a few grizzly kills but not a ton to keep an average horror fan happy. Fans of Franco's other works however will enjoy this.
Franco, to his credit does a fantastic job portraying Mathis as a sleazy pervert yet still a religious zealot. Its a shame he didn't spend a little more time delving into the characters past as the film feels rushed running only a lean 99min. Don't get me wrong its a good 99min, jus could have been more. I know a lot was taken and re-edited from his Exorcism film but I hoped he would have added more character backstory.
Severin has done a fantastic job with this transfer Nothing looks faded or washed out as the colors all pop out at you. The audio is cleaned up to perfection as well, and the haunting score bellows from your speakers. They even loaded this release up with Special Features
The Gory Days Of Le Brady – Documentary Short On The Legendary Parisian Horror Cinema
These Franco films, like I said are not for kids, and they definitely are not for everyone. If your a fan of his work however the transfer alone on this Blu-ray is enough to make you want it. As films like this go its actually well made, and very good
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Children of the Corn is one of the most hit or miss (mostly miss) horror franchises out there. Sure it has the whole Stephen King thing going for it to attract attention, but lets be honest, the only one that really is a Stephen King film is part one, and that truthfully is simply based on one of his short stories. But over the years it has developed a large cult following, which is ironic when you consider its subject matter but most of the time there is no real continuity between the films. Runaway however attempts to change that.
Harkening back to the first film Runaway follows Ruth the last survivor of the original Cult from Gatlin that we met in the first film. When she gets pregnant she decides enough is enough with this corn cult and decides to set her house on fire while everyone was praying and making a sacrifice to "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" She flees town, and gives birth to a young son she names Aaron.
We cut to 13 years later and Ruth and Aaron are still moving from town to town as she obviously had no real end game plan. Actually he plan really stinks as in all this time se only made it to Luther Oklahoma, which is about a 2 day drive from Gatlin Nebraska. Side note, I live in Nebraska, it really would only take a few days. She gets stranded in this town and even gets a job as a mechanic. Only problem is she keeps having flashbacks and visions of the local kids murdering the adults.
Is He Who Walks Behind The Rows following Ruth (Who now goes by the name Sandy in this town) or is she just a basket case. As its a horror film it really could be either, you'll just have to watch and see for yourself.
The acting in the film is actually very good. All the characters have great chemistry. The scenes between Ruth and her son Aaron are very well done, as you can sense the feelings of a mother trying to protect her son from evil at all costs. Lots of blood is thrown in, or CGI in for that matter during the massacre scenes leaving gore fans satisfied, and to its credit the film has a real creepy score to it.
Sadly that's not enough to help a film that doesn't have any real terror or suspense building in it. It had the potential as it harkened back to the first film, but it lacked the campy charm that made part 3 rather enjoyable. It was a good effort but in the end its truly only for die hard fans of the series.
Overall 2 out of 5 Stars!
I really dig these small town murder movies. I'm not sure as to why, I think because they show a simpler side of life, yet violent at the same time. SHOUT Factory has picked up Sweet Virginia, a film that stars John Bernthal, who after his recent turn in The Punisher is becoming a very bankable star.
Sweet Virginia opens hot. We see Christopher Abbott murder three people during a card game. Turns out he's looking for the wife of one of the guys he murdered. As he his obviously tired from a triple murder he heads into town and checks into The Sweet Virginia Hotel. Its owned by Sam (John Bernthal). Sam is a former rodeo star who is now all banged up and walks with the help of a cane. Abbot's character Elwood takes a liking to him and they strike up a friendship over dinner. Sam, keep in mind does not know he is hanging out with a murderer at this time. Unbeknownst to Elwood Sam is having an affair with one of the women whos husband was killed in said murder.
The two of course will eventually cross paths on a different end as Sam is a washed up hero of sorts yet he has a dark and violent side that is brought out by his friendship with Elwood. Elwood is a contract killer, just waiting in this little town to hit his target. He obviously is not a quiet hitman as he doesn't have a problem with killing anyone not associated with his target.
What sets this a part from a lot of films of this style is the performances. Bernthal gives another outstanding performance as Sam. A guy who you just want to root for. And Abbott is simply menacing as a cold blooded killer who doesn't mind killing anyone wo gets in his way. Throw in the beautiful backdrop of this town and you have a winner on all fronts.
Shout Factory has done their typical great job on this transfer but sadly its a bare bones release. I would have loved to have heard a commentary or at least a few interviews with the stars, but regardless its still a fine transfer.
Its part of the IFC partner line. The audio is superb as usual, and the colors are amazing on this Blu-ray, thanks in part to the setting of the town. Fans of thrillers will no doubt enjoy watching this one. I give it a high recommendation.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 stars
Is their anyone greater than Burton Leon Reynolds Jr? No, there is not. Football superstar, turned actor Burt has done it all. From Deliverance, To Smokey and the Bandit, to Boogie Nights, and everything in between Burt is in my opinion the go to guy. Sadly he doesn't act as much anymore, and his carrier seems to be winding down, so its more than fitting that he's the star of The Last Movie Star
Burt plays Vic Edwards a former stuntman turned Hollywood superstar. He's retired now and essentially living out his life in an almost recluse state. He has no wife, he sure doesn't talk to any of his ex wives, no children, he just lives a quiet life away from the public eye, and actually seems to enjoy it that way. He does have one close friend named Sonny (played by Chevy Chase, in a surprisingly great turn)who he meets for lunch one day. Turns out that a small film festival in Nashville is going to honor Vic with a lifetime achievement award and Sonny convinces him to go and accept the award in person.
Sadly this is not the big Nashville Film Festival Vic thought he was going to. This is something fans have put together and are hosting it in a local bar. As if things could not get any worse VIc meets the woman who has been hired to take care of him that weekend, Lil, a pierced and tattooed woman played marvelously by Ariel Winter that Vic does not like. Unable to handle his surroundings Vic get drunk, throws a huge fit and demands that Lil take him to the airport.
But Vic ends up not going to the airport. He decides instead to take a road trip with Lil to Knoxville, the town he grew up in where he wants to see some of the people from his life he has unfinished business with.
Obviously this film was written with Burt in mind. The whole backstory of Vic is almost identical to Burt's real life in Hollywood. Lots of in jokes for fans are a pure treat. The Last Movie Star is not only touching, but a hilarious comedy as well. Burt does a great job, and its a shame he didn't get more to do, as the film clocks in at a lean 94min.
I had a great time watching this as it sadly does mirror real life in the fact that Burt Reynolds will probably not make many films anymore. He is such an amazing actor it was hard for myself as a fan to watch him fade from the limelight. His chemistry in this with Ariel Winter gives us a type of Road Movie that you just don't see anymore
The Blu-ray includes a few special features
The Best Is Yet To Come: Adam Rifkin on The Last Movie Star
Audio Commentary with Director Adam Rifkin
If your a Burt Reynolds fan, or just want to watch a good dramedy then The Last Movie Star is a film for you.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Now this is a cast. As you can tell by the box art we have John Hawkes, Anthony Anderson, Octavia Spencer, Clifton Collins Jr., and The man himself Robert Forester. How do you go wrong with a cast like that? The answer is simple, you don't.
Small Town Crime Stars Hawkes as Mike Kendall. He's the town drunk, he has been for a few years now. He was a cop, but his alcohol addictions got him fired from the job. Disgraced he only got worse. He's behind on his bills and has no one in his life except his sister, and brother in law (played by Octavia Spencer and Anthony Anderson). But even they are getting tired of helping hi out at every turn in life.
One day Mike wakes up in a field after another day of drinking and he's surrounded by garbage and a woman who has been beaten beyond recognition. e takes her to the hospital, but she later dies from the injury's sustained. Its at that moment Mike decides it is his mission to find out who did this to the poor girl.
His journey to find the answers takes him into a small town underbelly of sex trafficking. He knows in his heart this was a good girl who fell into a bad life. Surrounded by tricks and pimps. The main pimp, Mood is played to perfection by Clifton Collins Jr. He also needs to question her Grandfather, a sniper wielding Robert Forester, who yes steals every scene he's in.
Mike struggles with not only the crime, but with his personal redemption as well as he tries to regain some of his past life, and what made him a good cop.
Part Tarantino, part Cohen Brothers, this film just screams not only cool, but quality filmmaking as well. From the pacing, to the score, to the lighting, and everything else in between this is a film that really needs to be seen. I cannot stress enough how well this amazing cast of characters comes together to tell this dark story of redemption.
Lionsgate put this out so we already know it looks and sounds great. And to make it even better they have included several special features
Crime and Character Feature
Devising a Small Town Crime Feature
Actor, Producer, and Directors Commentary
With fine acting, a great story, and a setting you don't see in films like this Small Town Crime is a film that should be seen by all fans of cinema
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars!