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Law Not War: Ben Ferencz’s Fight for Justice (2015)

In the realm of jurisprudence, Benjamin Ferencz is truly an icon. He is the last surviving Chief Prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials and a primary force in the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC). And at 95, he shows no signs of slowing down – at least, not in Ullabritt Horn’s documentary on his remarkable life and career.

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I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

I Am Not a Serial KillerJohn Wayne Cleaver is a teen in a small Midwestern town who’s been diagnosed as a sociopath by his therapist whom he sees at his mortician mom’s prodding.,  As the struggles with his own tendencies, self-imposing rules to be “normal”, a supernatural being is killing the townspeople and it’s down to him to stop it.

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Limbo (2016)

LimboAfter breaking down on the side of the road and tossing his phone, a man finds a dying dog.  Giving the dog some water grants him a wish. Director Will Blank co-wrote with Richard Kapones and they adapted the story from a comic strip by Marian Churchland to create a story that resonates on many levels.  The story they build here seems simple at first, but as it advances and the lead thinks of what he wants to wish for, it makes the viewer think about what they would wish for and why. The film may be short but it doesn’t lose any of its story’s effectiveness.

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The Invitation (2016)

The-InvitationA man and his new girlfriend receive a very official invitation to a fancy dinner party at his previous home and given by his ex and her new man.  There he gets to see friends he’s not seen in a long time and meet a new duo.  As he suspects something is not quite right, events unfold strengthening his suspicions.

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“Injustice for All” and Other Joker Themed Shorts

InjusticeForAllWith the release of “Suicide Squad” in theaters and its Joker making movie headlines, now is the perfect time to look at a few shorts and fan films starring or about The Joker; or “Mr. J,” if you’re nasty.

Injustice for All (USA) (2016)
Lex Luthor visits Harleen Quinzel who is kept in solitary at Arkham Asylum to find out as much as he can about her beloved Mr. J.  Through her storytelling and expanded scenes of The Joker’s activities, we see a bit of his past and his visits with other DC characters including Catwoman. This short film written by Donavan Darius and Joseph Bryce Hart and directed by Danny Mooney is a look at The Joker taken from a different angle compared to most of his feature film appearances.

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Double Impact (1991)

double-impactIn the long line of Van Damme action films, “Double Impact” has always been my favorite. Maybe it’s because of the fun premise, or the way the movie balances the green screen to almost be a convincing action movie about twins. I think it’s perhaps because Van Damme proves he can play vastly different characters.

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Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (2016) [Blu-ray/DVD/Digital]

Raiders-cover“Raiders!” is easily one of the best films of 2016. It’s a compelling and incredibly emotional tale of how one movie influenced a trio of young boys, and how that piece of art not only paved the road for their future, but also save them in many ways. What becomes incredibly evident throughout the duration of “Raiders!” that makes what unfolds before our eyes a truly gut wrenching journey is that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were men influenced by movies. Thanks to their love for serials and Westerns, they were motivated to make “Raiders of the Lost Ark” as a means of confronting their love for classic serial adventurers. After seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in theaters, young Eric Zala sought out to remake of “Raiders” but with teenagers in place of the adult actors.

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Basket Case 3: The Progeny (1992) [Blu-Ray]

BasketCase3So Duane cracks after “Basket Case 2” which is kind of expected. Your mutated brother is finally getting laid by someone he connects with someone he was literally connected to, and the only girl you ever love dies after revealing she has a mutant living within her stomach—or something. The dam is bound to break. In either case, the gang is all back here and on full fledged crazy mode. Even Granny Ruth returns once more to lead the charge and fight for her mutant brothers and sisters to be accepted in to society. I mean… there are people with deformities that live perfectly normal lives, but okay. Everyone has to have a cause, I guess. Now that Belial has fallen in love with fellow mutant Eve, and has somewhat caused her to spring forth other deformed monsters, Duane is reserved as a sidekick of a sorts.

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Basket Case 2 (1990) [Blu-Ray]

BasketCase2Since the first “Basket Case” was screaming for a sequel (?), Frank Henenlotter graces us with a follow up to the first cult classic. This time around we follow up with the exploits of those wacky homicidal conjoined freaks known as Dave and Belial. Henenlotter is in on the joke, even recasting original star Kevin Van Hentenryck, who shockingly hasn’t aged since the first film. His acting skills haven’t improved, either, but that seems to be part of what makes these “Basket Case” movies so loony and deranged. In either case, after being torn apart, Duane begins to feel a little stir crazy, especially now that he and Belial have discovered a massive home filled with deformed and grotesque humans run by the eccentric Granny Ruth.

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Bloodsport (1988)

bloodsport88It’s nice to know that childhood favorite, 1988’s “Bloodsport” hasn’t aged too much since its initial release. As an artifact of the beginning of Belgium martial arts star Jean Claude Van Damme’s box office reign in the nineties, it’s a fun bit of nostalgia. As an action movie in its own right, it’s a fun thriller and martial arts film that takes a bit from “Enter the Dragon” and feels like what should have been the template for a “Street Fighter” movie. Van Damme plays US Soldier Frank Dux (just go with it), an officer who goes AWOL in order to travel to Hong Kong. After training extensively, he enters a top secret martial arts tournament known as Kumite. Kept hush hush by most of the fighters that enter it, Kumite is a very violent sport that can occasionally end in death.

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