Booksmart (2019)

I feel every generation should have a movie or two that defines them and how hard it is to grow up during that period. We’ve had movies like “Dazed and Confused,” “Mean Girls,” and “Breakfast Club,” and we’re very fortunate to have had two very good movies (“Eighth Grade”) about the modern youth culture in the last five years. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is one of the finest drama comedies of the year. It’s an honest and entertaining look at two girls trying to find out who they are before they graduate high school and enter in to college–possibly without one another.

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Double Impact (1991): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

A mix of nostalgia value and genuine entertainment value, “Double Impact” is the Van Damme movie I’ve come to value over all of his other work. As someone who was a big Van Damme geek in the nineties, he’s had a better shelf life than people like Steven Segal, and films like “Double Impact” have held up big time. Even with the camp value and goofy comedy in the first half hour, “Double Impact” still amounts to a great action flick with Van Damme being given a test of how far he can stretch his acting chops.

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TNT’s “Claws” is as Bizarre and Fun as Ever in Season Three

Its season three for one of the most bizarre but very entertaining crime thrillers TNT has ever brought to the small screen. After season two falling in with the Russian mafia, and surviving a deadly marriage, the season closed with an assassination attempt on Desna’s life. Virginia sadly suffered the bullet meant for her sister in law. “Claws” returns taking off immediately from the last scene from season two and it takes off like a rocket. It’s the same lunacy as always for “Claws” with bizarre fantasy sequences, some genuinely darkly funny comedy, and a brand new pair of villains that might just be the undoing of Desna and her crew if she isn’t careful.

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How the Failure of “The Phantom Menace” fed my “Star Wars” Obsession

My “Star Wars” obsession began in 1997 when George Lucas unleashed the new editions of his trilogy in theaters. For me it was something of a passing fad that I admired through the fun commercials and the heavy connection to Doritos. I wanted those pogs even if I didn’t know who Luke Skywalker or Lando Calrissian was. A year later, I borrowed the original trilogy from a friend on VHS and consumed the whole series in one sitting over the course of a weekend. I never came back from that obsession, and to this day it’s a hard habit to break. “Star Wars” is a series that kept me hooked for a very long time and I was always looking for anything I could find to read about it, or consume in some form as entertainment.

In 1999 when Lucas aired the first ever trailer for “The Phantom Menace” on primetime television, I rushed home to watch the trailer on video tape, and I must have seen it at least ten times. It looked amazing.

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Brightburn (2019)

As a hardcore Superman fan I was very intrigued and a bit excited for “Brightburn.” I think we’ve reached the point in pop culture where, what with the glut of superhero movies being released, we can finally start to deconstruct and or satirize the classic mythology. With “Brightburn” the premise amounts to a spooky, chaotic, violent, but very entertaining horror tale that re-thinks one of the most recognizable superhero origin stories in pop culture history.

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John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)

The entire “John Wick” series is something of a surprise seemingly out of nowhere. What might have been a weak vehicle from Keanu Reeves turned in to a pretty groundbreaking and exciting action series where Reeves is able to re-invent himself once again for a new generation. You wouldn’t figure Reeves would be believable as one of the deadliest assassins in the world, but he handles the role of John Wick so proficiently. Wick has become something much more than the titular anti-hero of his film series. He’s become the key in to a very unique cinematic universe.

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The Marcel Perez Collection: Volume 2 (DVD)

It’s estimated by Deutsche Kinemathek that 80–90% films, and 75% of all silent films are now lost. Many made even before the 1900’s are gone, with over 3500 lost films having been recorded by archivists and historians. So it’s an invaluable service that Undercrank Productions is giving its movie loving audience by delivering previously unseen and rare short films by many movie stars audiences have never even heard of. While the shorts aren’t always pristine, the fact that they get a new life on DVD is a wonderful gift to film enthusiasts that want to learn more about the film stars of yesteryear and how they helped shape the genres.

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Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2019)

Every once in a while, I’m glad to break out of the doom and gloom of DC Batman movies and watch something that is just fun and exciting. I admit that I missed all the waves of comic books in the last few years where Batman crossed paths with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so this movie was completely new to me. Suffice to say being a fan of both properties I was anxious to see how they would handle it, and thankfully DC/Warner and Nickelodeon delivers something for the fans and the general audience looking for a good pop culture crossover.

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