Creed II (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Ryan Coogler came storming out of the gate with “Creed,” a spiritual sequel to “Rocky” that was so good, it stood side by side comfortably with the original “Rocky.” As all things in Hollywood, despite Stallone’s attempted justification for re-visiting old story lines, “Creed” made money, so we have “Creed II.” I mean, there is room here for the writers to explore the whole dynamic between Adonis confronting the man who murdered his father, but much of that is sidestepped in favor of usual “Rocky” movie tropes, boiling down to a sequel that’s pretty damn—erm, okay. It’s not a bad movie, but it’s not “Creed.”

It’s not even “Rocky II.”

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Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (2019)

After 2007’s failed reboot “Nancy Drew” starring Emma Roberts, I was surprised anyone bothered to take the property in to theaters again. Roberts was very good in the role of Nancy Drew, but her take on the character was more self-aware and an homage, rather than a new, more modern approach for a new generation of girls. Thankfully Katt Shea approaches “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” with the definite desire to restart the series, and Sophia Lillis is now playing the iconic teenage sleuth, and manages to help deliver (co-Produced by Ellen DeGeneres) a satisfying mystery and a very good reboot.

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Captain Marvel (2019)

After the downbeat ending of “The Avengers: Infinity War,” there stood some beacon of hope in the post credits scene where Nick Fury pressed a pager, signaling someone from outside Earth. That someone was Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics’ most dynamic and entertaining super heroine who is finally brought to the big screen. Not only does “Captain Marvel” stand on its own as a great, fun movie about empowerment and learning how to conjure up your inner strength, it sets the platform for Captain Marvel charging in to “Endgame,” and it also sets up the foundation for phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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The Bootleg Files: Nimbus Libéré

BOOTLEG FILES 676: “Nimbus Libéré” (1944 propaganda animated short).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: It was included in the 1993 Claude Chabrol documentary “The Eye of Vichy.”

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS:
Unauthorized use of copyright-protected animated characters.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: It is in “The Eye of Vichy,” but it is also posted online without authorization.

By early 1944, Nazi Germany saw its control over Europe weaken dramatically due to Soviet advances from the East and the arrival of Allied forces into Italy. An invasion of France was expected, and the Germans were not eager to see their brutal control over the French removed.

In one of the weirdest attempts to convince an occupied nation that they should not welcome liberation, the German authorities commissioned an animated short designed to show the stupidity and recklessness of the liberating Allied forces.

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Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Hammer always approached their version of Dracula with a serialized attitude, making every chapter of his emergence as something unique and entertaining. After 1958’s “Dracula” which shown his battle with Peter Cushing, he is defeated and left to basically stay as ash in his old castle in England. Of course, as we learn with all of Dracula’s Hammer exploits, he eventually is revived by some human error or devotion to his powers that amount to his re-emerging in “Prince of Darkness.”

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The Return of the Vampire (1943) [Blu-Ray]

Although Universal eventually did follow up Tod Browning’s “Dracula” from 1931 with their own “Dracula’s Daughter” and “Son of Dracula,” the unofficial sequel has always been 1943’s “The Return of the Vampire.” When Columbia Pictures sough to revive Dracula for the big screener, Universal halted their efforts, prompting Columbia to basically deliver the follow up to Dracula but under a variety of different names and different circumstances. With “The Return of the Vampire” we have a great spiritual sequel that stars Lugosi returning as Dracula, but–not Dracula.

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TV On DVD: Krypton: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray/Digital], Astroboy: the Complete Series (DVD)

As a Superman fanatic it’s been a tough road as I’m still getting over the stinks of “Smallville” and “Batman v Superman,” so when Syfy proposed its own Superman series that side stepped Superman altogether, I was very skeptical. Suffice to say, “Krypton: The Complete First Season” isn’t always a great show, but appreciated as its own attempt to ambitiously tackle the back drop of the Kryptonian Lore, it’s not a bad time spent. At ten episodes total for the first season, there are a lot worse things you can do as a Superman fan. Watching “Superman IV,” for instance. I digress.

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Kiss Kiss (2019)

I knew I was in trouble with “Kiss Kiss” when twenty minutes in, the film had shifted to its third musical montage involving our female characters. “Kiss Kiss” is not only incredibly silly, but insanely boring to the point where I shut it down once the credits showed. I didn’t even want to soak in what was basically just an excuse to show women bouncing around and inflicting pain on one another for ninety excruciating minutes.

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