20 items from 2015
This week sees quite a few releases hitting shelves/stores, with everything from giant snakes fighting giant crocs to post-apocalyptic survival and hey, there’s even some killer bears and cannibals thrown in for good measure. We thought we’d shine the spotlight on a few of the standout genre (and a couple of non-genre) films that are available to pick up today, and while we’ve tackled some of them already (Inner Demons, Burying The Ex and Wyrmwood: Road Of The Dead), we’ve got the rundown on the rest for you fright fanatics!
A feature film based on the popular (and creepy) Marble Hornets series, Always Watching brings the series and the eerie Slender Man into your DVD players, with a found footage-like tale revolving around a trio of reporters that get caught up in something way over their heads. »
- Jerry Smith
The month of August is off to a great start in terms of DVD and Blu-ray releases as fans have an interesting variety of horror and sci-fi titles to look forward to on Tuesday, August 4th. One of my personal favorite zombie movies as of late, Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, will be making its home entertainment bow and we’ve also got a handful of other notable titles, including The Last Survivors, Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda, Into the Grizzly Maze, Joe Dante’s Burying the Ex and the fest-favorite documentary, The Nightmare.
Lake Placid Vs. Anaconda (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD)
Anacondas large enough to crush an SUV. Crocodiles strong enough to leap onto speedboats. When they're not hunting for human prey, »
- Heather Wixson
There are a lot of great movies arriving on VOD for the month of August, which should undoubtedly please all you genre fans who love to catch on some of the best indie horror and sci-fi titles from the comfort of your own homes. We kick things off with The Last Survivors from Dark Sky Films and the very same day, Uncork’d Entertainment is unleashing their werewolf flick Dark Moon Rising which stars Eric Roberts.
On August 7th, A24 is planning on taking viewers to some Dark Places, and we’ve got a handful of movies arriving in mid-month including the thriller Cop Car starring Kevin Bacon and the stylized revenge tale Final Girl featuring the always great Abigail Breslin. A few days later, SpectreVision’s The Boy arrives on VOD and one of my personal favorite films of 2015, the spunky post-apocalyptic action adventure tale Turbo Kid, will be released on August 28th. »
- Heather Wixson
This review contains spoilers.
2.1 Bk, NY
I’ve taken a few days cool down before writing this review, mostly because I’m trying as best I can to let the things I dislike about The Strain not cloud those limited aspects I like. That said, it’s still hard work being a fan of it, because of the odd compunction those making this show have for being sloppy and careless.
After a nice diversion written by Guillermo del Toro himself to give Abraham and the Master a backstory that was needed last season, it jumps right back into the action from the season 1 finale. With Abraham pursuing The Master down the hole he went.
Or rather that’s how it’s cut together, but soon it becomes obvious that this is in fact poor editing, »
R.L. Stine's Goosebumps novels have been terrifying children since 1992, and inspired Cavity Colors to create apparel based on the 11th book in the series, The Haunted Mask. Also: Ejecta Blu-ray details, The Last Survivors trailer, and Clowntown photos.
The Killer Mask collection of apparel was designed by artists Coki Greenway and Aaron Crawford. With a retail price of $24.00 apiece, The Killer Mask T-Shirt and Tank Top are black in color and 100% Cotton. The limited edition print is priced at $40.00, and the stickers / buttons are priced at $10.00 for a pack of two.
For more information on this apparel, visit the Cavity Colors online shop.
- Tamika Jones
Last year, The Strain TV show was one of FX's top performers in the ratings. Will the ratings get better or worse in season two? Will this series be cancelled or renewed for a third season? Stay tuned.
On The Strain, New York City is rapidly falling to an evil epidemic, and no one is coming to its rescue. Its citizens must fight for survival while a diverse team tries to find a way to stop the Master and his creatures. The large cast includes Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mía Maestro, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Kevin Durand, Ruta Gedmintas, Miguel Gomez, Richard Sammel, Jack Kesy, and Max Charles.
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Three episodes were provided for review purposes.
From day one, The Strain always felt like a bit of an oddly mixed cocktail. A pandemic thriller that attempted to balance ancient monsters with modern medicine, its first season was torn between Midnight Madness craziness and jargon-heavy, scientific rationality, which more often than not left the show feeling bloated, so weighed down by its desire to combine two disparate tones that it didn’t fully succeed in capturing either. The series improved over the course of its freshman run, particularly around the time a strigoi Swat team showed up circa episode 7 – once sharp-toothed vamps start forming military squadrons, there’s really no salvaging your show’s believability, no matter how many grave voice-overs are employed.
- Isaac Feldberg
Toronto, Ontario. It's a mild spring day in Toronto, but unknowably dark things are happening at the Royal York Hotel. A group of journalists has descended on the filming location for Season 2 of FX's "The Strain," but we can't see what's actually being filmed. Yes, the late-season episode is heavy on spoilers, not that it's really a spoiler to tease that one-or-more of our intrepid heroes have run afoul of the vampire hordes and one-or-more of our intrepid heroes is staging a rescue mission of some sort. That's standard operating procedure on the FX adaptation of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan's thriller trilogy. The real reason we can't observe filming is one of simple logistics: A pursuit is taking place in the stairwells of the Royal York. Stairwells are tight. The number of reporters isn't tiny. For that reason, we're sitting in a medium-sized ballroom at the Royal York, »
- Daniel Fienberg
Shout! Factory TV is spreading fear all summer long with a plethora of classic films including John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper's Body Bags. Also: a Cthulhu Vinyl Bank from Diamond Select Toys and Blu-ray and DVD release details for The Last Survivors.
Shout! Factory TV's Summer of Fear: Press Release: "This July, summer hats up with a plethora of new programming on Shout! Factory TV that is sure to beat those binge cravings. Shout! Factory TV is unveiling Summer of Fear, a fright fest sure to please! A collection of classic horror films debut this month, featuring Body Bags, Day of the Dead, Night of the Demons, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Final Terror and many more.
Shout! Factory TV grants an insider’s insight into these films with the premiere of audio commentaries on the streaming service. This month, directors John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Kevin Tenney, »
- Tamika Jones
FX has announced that the Season 2 premiere for "The Strain" will be almost exactly one year after the series premiere. Previously set for a nebulous "July" premiere date, the premiere for Season 2 of the FX vampire drama has been set for Sunday, July 12. "The Strain" launched its first season on July 13 last year. And "The Strain" will continue in its regular Sunday 10 p.m. slot. Vaunted as the most-watched new cable drama of 2014, "The Strain" continues to be based on the series of novels from Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, with Carlton Cuse as showrunner. With Live+7 data, the first season of "The Strain" averaged 6.28 million viewers, including 3.49 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. I was on the Toronto set of "The Strain" last month and while Season 1 stuck fairly closely to del Toro and Hogan's first book, it seems that Season 2 will be branching out in potentially dramatic ways, »
- Daniel Fienberg
FX’s The Strain was one of the more enjoyable shows of last summer, a knowingly ridiculous but still deliciously creepy thriller about the spread of a vampire epidemic through modern New York City. After a crazy cliffhanger of a season finale in which the ancient Master escaped the clutches of vampire hunters including Abraham Setrakian (David Bradley) and Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the series will finally be returning at some point this summer, and FX has allowed the first footage from season 2 to escape quarantine (via EW).
Though the first season mostly saw the vampire epidemic spread quietly underground, that’s definitely no longer the case. “We’re going to take back this island one block at a time,” a city councilwoman (fresh face Samantaha Mathis) declares to the human survivors. The Master and his army of strigoi aren’t going to make that easy, but at least she »
- Isaac Feldberg
From director Clint Eastwood comes American Sniper, arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD on May 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, A Mad Chance Production, A 22nd & Indiana Production. American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, whose skills as a sniper made him a hero on the battlefield. But there was much more to him than his skill as a sharpshooter.
A two-time Oscar nominee for his work in Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, Cooper stars alongside Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, Jake McDorman, Cory Hardrict, Kevin Lacz, Navid Negahban and Keir O'Donnell. Oscar-winning filmmaker Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Unforgiven) directed American Sniper from a screenplay written by Jason Hall, based on the book by Chris Kyle, with Scott McEwen and James Defelice. The autobiography was a runaway bestseller, spending 18 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, 13 of those at number one. »
'The Lazarus Effect' box office: Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass horror movie arrives comatose (photo: Olivia Wilde in 'The Lazarus Effect') (See previous post: "'Focus': Will Smith Has One of Worst Opening Weekends of His Career.") Despite recent news that human head transplants are a mere two years away, the Mark Duplass-Olivia Wilde horror movie The Lazarus Effect – about bringing the dead back to life (as if world overpopulation weren't already a problem) – grossed $10.6 million from 2,666 U.S. and Canada venues on opening weekend, Feb. 27-March 1, 2015, according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. The Relativity Studios-distributed low-budget horror flick had earned an estimated $3.8 million on opening-day Friday, including $350,000 from Thursday night screenings. Last week, box-office prognosticators had been expecting an opening between $12-$14 million. That was adjusted downward to $10 million or whereabouts after the film's disappointing Friday debut. Some, in fact, »
- Zac Gille
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
If you enjoyed this Michael Keaton meta fest, the fantastic work of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki is worth the price of admission. Or, keep re-watching it until you have come to a final conclusion about the ending and What It All Means.
Tommy Lee Jones directed this grim Western about a headstrong pioneer woman (Hilary Swank) who volunteers to transport three women who have broken under the pressure of living on the wild frontier. On the way to Iowa, Mary Bee (Swank) picks up a drifter named George (Jones) to help keep things in order. Gruesome, disturbing, and great.
"The Tale of Princess Kaguya"
This gorgeous Studio Ghibli film is based on a folktale about a young girl found growing »
- Jenni Miller
FX’s The Strain was one of the summer’s guiltiest pleasures, an immeasurably silly but still compelling thriller about a group of Cdc scientists attempting to stem the flow of a centuries-old vampire epidemic purposely brought to New York by an ancient evil. And though we’ll have to wait until the summer to see where it goes in season 2, FX is ensuring that we keep The Strain in mind by unveiling a new teaser for the series.
It seems early for the network to be promoting The Strain again, but it did market the first season for many months before its summer premiere as well. There’s not much context to the teaser, though if the show can follow through on the promise of depicting a full-on, bloodsuckers-versus-humans battle in the streets of New York, that will already be a step up on season 1, which only mounted a few truly impressive action sequences. »
- Isaac Feldberg
American Sniper continues to break records following its historic first weekend in wide release at the box office, taking in over $105 million over the four-day Mlk holiday. The film has received a largely positive response, with a 73% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although there are plenty of vocal detractors as well. Months before Clint Eastwood signed on to helm, Steven Spielberg was attached to direct, just three months after the film's subject Chris Kyle was murdered by a troubled veteran. Screenwriter Jason Hall, who first met Chris Kyle back in 2010, revealed new details about Steven Spielberg's take on the project to The Hollywood Reporter, which would have shifted the film's main focus drastically.
According to Jason Hall, who received an Oscar nomination last week for Best Adapted Screenplay, Steven Spielberg wanted to focus more on the "enemy sniper" Chris Kyle is trying to track down throughout the film, known »
Surpassing all targets, Warner Bros. Pictures' and Village Roadshow Pictures' multiple Oscar-nominated drama American Sniper smashed virtually every available record as it opened nationwide on the heels of its already record-breaking limited release. Easily topping the box office, the film took in an estimated $105.3 million for the four-day holiday weekend and has grossed $108.7 million to date and counting. The announcement was made today by Dan Fellman, President of Domestic Distribution, Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, and Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The film's spectacular opening marks an all-time high over the course of director Clint Eastwood's illustrious career. Among its many other milestones, American Sniper also broke records for a January weekend opening, including both three- and four-day weekends; the highest single day ever in January; the best four-day weekend for an R-rated film; and the biggest opening »
While some critics have been quite harsh on Clint Eastwood's latest endeavor American Sniper, a biopic that follows the rise of Navy Seal Chris Kyle, America's deadliest sharpshooter, audiences have a different opinion. The film has broken January's biggest box office opening record, pulling in an estimated $30.5 million on Friday, (a number that includes Thursday previews). This is also a new record for Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend, and it could be the biggest January weekend opening of all time.
American Sniper debuted Christmas Day in just four theaters, taking in a very impressive $633,456. Yesterday, it expanded into 3,555 theaters, kicking off a great start to the New Year. With it's $30.1 million, it's not only the biggest January opening, beating Cloverfield's $17 million back in 2008, it is also the biggest single day in January, besting the record held by James Cameron's Avatar, which pulled in $25.8 million on January 2, 2010.
Those aren't »
American Sniper (2014) Film Review, a movie directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Sam Jaeger, Brando Eaton, Keir O’Donnell, Brian Hallisay, Eric Close, Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Jake McDorman, Kyle Gallner, Luke Grimes, Owain Yeoman, Max Charles, Billy Miller, Eric Ladin, and Navid Negahban. There is an [...]
Continue reading: Film Review: American Sniper (2014): Both Worlds of War Are Explored »
- Tyler Morgan
There is much to admire about American Sniper, including a stalwart performance by Bradley Cooper and the measured, steady approach of Clint Eastwood behind the camera, but a question mark hangs over whether real-life Navy Seal Chris Kyle – on whose memoir the film is based – should be set so high on a pedestal.
Kyle is described as "America's deadliest sniper" and although the point is never clarified in the film, it is Kyle who made this proclamation of himself. That kind of brash gesture feels at odds with the humble family man Cooper portrays, but it's easy to see why his story appealed to Eastwood because, early on, Kyle fancies himself as a cowboy, working the Texas rodeo circuit, and he takes that straight-as-an-arrow 'man's gotta do' philosophy out onto the battlefield in Iraq, »
20 items from 2015
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