The Furies (2019)

Tony D’Aquino’s “The Furies” is teeming with potential but is a movie that seems to be hell bent on pissing away any and all entertainment value at every turn. Everything in “The Furies” could have used another draft, from the motives of the mysterious villains, the motivation of the protagonists, and of course the final scene that ends on the presumption that a sequel is coming up the pipe line or something.

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Remembering Sozin’s Comet: The Avatar’s End

“Avatar” was and is one of the most interesting animated epics on television in years. With an industry looking to bring nothing but disposable cartoons and lame comedy even years after its end, it’s rare that we were able to sit and watch animated epics. “Avatar” was engaging, beautiful, and often very emotional. As a person who fancies himself an animation aficionado, it’s rare to find excellent storytelling in the medium anymore beyond movies, and “Avatar” proved me wrong in many instances as a simple children’s fantasy series.

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Shaft (2019) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

In 2000, the late great John Singleton’s mediocre reboot of “Shaft” seemed like a great vehicle franchise for Samuel L. Jackson to bring to life one of the most popular anti-heroes of the seventies. Then suddenly nothing. And there was nothing for a long time, no sequels, or follow ups, or even a TV show. Twenty years later, the fans finally get a follow up, but nothing more than a cheap, lazy, and ridiculous legacy sequel/soft reboot by Tim Story that completely undoes a lot of what we saw in the 2000 Singleton version, right down to the gritty crime atmosphere.

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Blood Machines (2019) [Fantastic Fest 2019]

A sequel to Carpenter Brut’s video for their track “Turbo Killer,” the sequel titled “Blood Machines” is a wonderful and beautiful feature. Written and Directed by Raphaël Hernandez, and Savitri Joly-Gonfard, “Turbo Killer” is a memorable amalgam of cyber punk, science fiction, fantasy, erotica, and so much more. The movie, at fifty minutes, is very hard to peg down and that’ll be a benefit for Carpenter Brut fans that want to see a follow up to “Turbo Killer.”

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Iron Fists and Kung Fu Kicks (2019) [Fantastic Fest 2019]

So many times whenever a production company or director has chosen to explore the history and influence of kung fu movies, they choose the more obvious routes. They go about exploring how kung fu movies influenced Hollywood and Western cinema. What director Serge Ou does is explore the influence on Western cinema, and how kung fu movies influenced the entirety of pop culture as a whole. Everything from action cinema, modern movie stars, and even hip hop is explored here and how they took from the genre and it amounts to a very unique and creative take on the outstanding legacy of kung fu films and martial arts cinema.

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TV on DVD: Manifest: The Complete First Season (DVD)/ Teen Titans Go! Lookin’ for a Fight (DVD)

It’s shocking that “Manifest” lives on to see a second season, as the series is thick in mystery and mythos and it might drive fans nuts if it ends without some answers. I’m not usually a fan of series like “Manifest” that practice the tradition of an ensemble of characters uncovering a mystery that connects them a la “Lost,” but “Manifest” is a pretty good science fiction drama all things considered. I don’t know if the show is going to dip in to science fiction or religious realms soon, but the series digs in to some unique material with a prologue that is pretty damn compelling.

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You Have to See This! Monster Camp (2007)

What do you do when the world you’re in is too boring, too stressful, or too miserable to endure? You retreat into your own imaginary world, of course. “Monster Camp” is one of the many documentaries taking off from the ilk of “Trekkies” and “Ringers,” in which we spend a time in the lives of folks who just love their hobby. They don’t just love their hobby, but it’s something of a way of life that manages to have a positive influence on them and everyone around them.

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Remembering “RoboCop: The Animated Series”

It’s surprising how much “RoboCop” has managed to stay relevant in this day and age. Despite being a science fiction classic with excellent biblical overtones, Hollywood has sought out to re-invent the series time and time again. After the passable remake years ago, RoboCop proved he still had some pop culture momentum with his baffling appearance in a KFC commercial (even with original star Peter Weller in the costume). After the ballyhoo with the reboot failing to gain steam yet again a few weeks ago, I felt like re-visiting “RoboCop: The Animated Series.” The 80s was a time where pretty much nothing was off limits and studios spent an odd amount of resources trying to tailor adult properties to kids.

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