Hercules and the Captive Women (1961): Special Edition [Blu-Ray]

Also known as “Hercules and the Conquest of Atlantis,” and “Hercules Conquers Atlantis,” Vittorio Cottafavi’s is not a total disaster of a Hercules installment. Surely, it’s a weird, bizarre, and occasionally dull picture, but if the sword and sandal films (or “Peplum”) are your bag, this might whet you’re appetite. With its American title, The Film Detective releases Reg Parks’ Hercules debut from Italy in its full form, restored from the original 35mm negative and in crystal 4K clarity.

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Top Five Christian Slater Movies (From a Slater Fanboy)

When I was a wee movie loving lad, I was big fan of Christian Slater. I thought he was such a cool character and everything he was in I would seek out. Everything from “Hard Rain” and “Broken Arrow,” to “The Wizard” and—yes—even “Mobsters.” Remember “Mobsters”? Imagine “St. Elmo’s Fire” but with violent Italian mobsters. In either case, many of Slater’s films have stayed a favorite of mine, including “Pump Up the Volume.” The film just garnered a deserved release on Blu-Ray and in celebration, I just had to compile my top five Christian Slater movies.

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Godzilla (2014) [4K/Blu-Ray/Digital HD]

After the travesty that was the 1998 Roland Emmerich reboot of “Godzilla,” the king of the monsters went in to hiding from the states for a long time. It was until Legendary came along to hop on the expanded universe band wagon to finally give Gojira and his merry band of monsters and allies a chance to win a new generation of fans. Despite some bumps and tumbles, Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” is a giant step up from the 1998 embarrassment and still manages to travel well, with or without the impending “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

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Robert Kirkman’s “Invincible” is a Stellar, if Flawed, Superhero Epic

Full Disclosure: Amazon Studios gave us access to the first three episodes of “Invincible.” Please read with discretion.

I missed the boat when Invincible had its run in Image Comics, and I regret it, especially as a fan of “The Walking Dead.” Robert Kirkman is one of the group of Image comics heavyweights who manages to offer up his own superhero tale, but it’s given a massive twist that’s both bold and insanely violent. Taking the animated route this time out, producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg help realize Kirkman’s epic “Invincible” for the small screen, sticking true to many of the comics original storylines, and unfolding what is a unique, exciting, albeit imperfect at times, saga.

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Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)

After relentless caterwauling from fans for four years, director Zack Snyder is allowed to return to the DCEU once again to offer his original vision (or a very close facsimile) of what he had planned for the “Justice League” and the DCEU. While I don’t miss Snyder and his involvement with the DC movies (the man loves his slow motion), his “Justice League” is, shocking enough, an infinitely superior adaptation than the 2017 Joss Whedon lemon. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, but if pushed in to a corner, I’d happily rewatch the “Snyder Cut” again, with warts and all.

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Tom and Jerry (2021)

Warner Animation props up the long rotted corpse of “Tom and Jerry” long enough to produce what I’m sure they hoped would be a blockbuster big screen adaptation. For a series that’s been languishing on video store shelves with cheaply made, watered down animated movies for years, it’s not a surprise that “Tom and Jerry” is about as bland as ever. It’s also not at all surprising that Tim Story is the man called on to deliver such an inoffensive, forgettable, mishmash of weird ideas and concepts.

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She’s the Man (2006)

Yet another take on “Twelfth Night” (in the current onslaught of Hollywood remaking every movie), it’s not a far off idea that “She’s the Man” sneakily tends to borrow so much more from the 1985 gender switching comedy “Just One of the Guys.” While you could easily make the argument that they’re adapted from the same material thus bound to be similar, it’s undeniable during the big “reveal” in the climax.

It’s something that the aforementioned eighties movie is known for.

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Fences (2016)

That’s the peculiar aspect about adapting a minimalist period piece for film. If you decide to stretch it to a bigger scope, you can ruin its integrity. But if you keep it small scale, its intended purpose seems redundant. For all things considered, Director Denzel Washington’s drama, adapted from the August Wilson stage play, is a great display of powerhouse performances from an ensemble cast. But it’s mainly that, and really not much else when all is said and done..

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