Jumanji – The Complete Animated Series (DVD)

In 1995, “Jumanji” was the big blockbuster that managed to take America by storm for just a little while. Like everything in the nineties, that meant it deserved an animated series, prompting an unusual but pretty okay series in 1996. Originally premiering on the American channel UPN, I really don’t recall ever seeing this series. I never cared for “Jumanji” honestly (I prefer “Zathura,” personally), but the animated series does a good job capturing the spirit of the movie and even garners some unique animation style.

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Sheena: Queen of the Jungle Collection – The Original Movie and Complete Series (DVD)

Sheena fans are in for a treat when Mill Creek releases a collection of Sheena entertainment on DVD. Are there Sheena fans? Are there enough to warrant a big crowd surrounding the TV hoping for Sheena? In either case, for fans of pulp comics and just all around good old fashioned camp, the “Sheena: Queen of the Jungle Collection” packs a ton of content in to a small package, and spans a pretty hefty time period where Sheena was portrayed in various mediums beyond the comics. The 1984 movie “Sheena: Queen of the Jungle” is a camp and cult classic that’s managed to re-emerge over the years mainly for being such a weird and awful movie.

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Blade of the Immortal (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A talented samurai is cursed by a witch to live forever following a battle for the ages.  Haunted by the past, he accepts to assist a young girl with her quest for revenge.  As he goes through with his mission, he discovers a few things about the world and himself.

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The Bye Bye Man (2017)

It’s “The Bye Bye Man,” or as I call it “Honey, We Ripped Off Slenderman.” In all honesty, “The Bye Bye Man” actually looks like a weak Senator Palpatine cosplayer who died from toxic poisoning from his face make up and became a demon who likes to rip off his shtick from The Babadook, Freddy Krueger, and your every day mime. I’ve experienced scarier stories in young adult sections at public libraries, and could come up with a monster ten times more imposing, and with a name that doesn’t automatically inspire me to chortle under my breath. A movie this bad could only inspire me to gather my thoughts of bewilderment in an itemized list.

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Le Serpent aux mille coupures (Thousand Cuts) (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A man on the run hides in a farm house, taking the family living there hostage.  As the search for him intensifies, dead bodies start to pile up.  Who is he and what has he done, who is killing these other people and why.

Based on the books by DOA and adapted for this film by DOA and director Eric Valette, Le Serpent aux mille coupures is a tense French polar, a sort of Thriller the French way.  The film takes its premise, adds extra bad guys, and pushes the limits a bit while still keeping a fairly simple way of going at things.  This creates a tension and suspense while the police and others are looking for a killer who tortures horribly his victims before killing them, while the man in hiding may or may not be this killer.  All the tension comes from how the story unfolds even after the audience knows who is doing what, something that is a sign of strong writing and directing.

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Atomic Blonde (2017) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A beautiful but deadly MI6 agent is sent to Berlin in 1989, right at the time the wall is about to be taken down, so that she can navigate her way through the cities and the web of spies and double agents there to get her hands on a list of them with powerful information.

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Death Line (Raw Meat) (1972) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2017]

A precursor to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” Gary Sherman’s European based cannibal thriller is a ghoulish and often eerie bit of horror about a monster lurking within the tubes of London. Set amidst a busy and unsuspecting city, director Gary Sherman makes amazing use of the abandoned tunnels and corridors of London’s underground between Russell Square and Holborn. Sherman concocts a veritable lair for a clan of Victorian cannibals, the last of which is struggling to keep his pregnant wife alive. Sherman is great about setting the tone for his grisly little tale, constantly showing the radical worlds that lurk above and beneath local London subways.

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