Good Boys (2019)

It’s not many directors or studios willing to display what twelve years olds do when adults aren’t looking, and “Good Boys” thankfully doesn’t waste the opportunity. “Good Boys” has every chance to be just a crude one note gag that involves just a bunch of foul mouthed tweens, but “Good Boys” is a fun and very funny peek I to a new generation of young adults, all of whom have different problems than we did, but also surprisingly face the same hurdles including growing up, moving on without our childhood friends, and learning to accept what we are.

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Hustlers (2019)

Eleven years later, and the great recession is still echoing throughout most of America, especially with fear of a new one. Based on the article “The Hustlers at Scores” by writer Jesssica Pressler, “The Hustlers” is a surprisingly tight and engrossing crime drama. It’s one that takes the still very relevant concept of economic ruin and the ever widening class gap, and injects it in to what’s often a tense and engaging tale of people exploiting people, exploiting people.

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One Cut of the Dead (Kamera o tomeru na!) (2017)

It’s really tough to discuss Shin’ichirô Ueda’s excellent horror comedy “One Cut of the Dead” without completely deflating its sheer brilliance for someone that’s never seen it. The less you know about the premise going in to “One Cut of the Dead,” the more you’ll likely be very entertained by what unfolds. I knew almost nothing but the bare essentials and by the time the credits rolled, I was ready to put it in my top ten of 2019. Spoilers ahead.

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The Bootleg Files: Bedlam of Beards

BOOTLEG FILES 700: “Bedlam of Beards” (1934 short starring Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: None.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There is no great commercial interest in restoring the Clark and McCullough films.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not likely.

This column marks the 700th entry in The Bootleg Files series, which ran from 2003 to 2015 on Film Threat and came over to Cinema Crazed in 2017. I would like to take this moment to thank Cinema Crazed’s publisher and editor Felix Vasquez Jr. for having this column here on the site and to thank the longtime readers of The Bootleg Files who have offered invaluable comments, recommendations and support for my work.
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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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Aladdin (2019): Ultimate Collector’s Edition [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Disney remaking their loose adaptations of classic fairy tales and folklore is their newest confusing trend, and as a behemoth of a corporation they’ll keep churning them out. Because they know audiences will go see them. “Aladdin” banks heavily on the nostalgia of the nineties much like previous Disney efforts. And like previous Disney remakes, “Aladdin” is fine. It’s just fine. I’ve yet to see a Disney live action remake that has completely outshone their original effort; compared to “The Lion King,” Guy Ritchie’s remake is mediocre, time filling fodder and that’s about the best compliment I can give it.

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Aladdin (1992): Ultimate Collector’s Edition [4K UHD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

Over twenty five years later, “Aladdin” is still one of the best animated films of the Disney golden age of the late eighties and nineties. Whether it’s on the big screen or the small screen, Jon Musker and Ron Clements’ adaptation of the original series of fantasy tales is engaging, and fun, but also excels in its simplicity and accessibility. Aladdin is also one of the most underrated Disney heroes in their staple, it’s a shame he doesn’t get mentioned too often.

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Stellar Short Films Roundup

The Shipment (2018)
A man who has turned his life around must make hard decision in his quest to become a better man and to protect his daughter at the same time. This short film is one of the most expensive ones we’ve seen in the last few years and the budget shows. The special effects are on point, the score sounds expensive, if a little familiar, and the film as a whole comes off looking and feeling like something that is part of a much bigger universe. The acting in The Shipment is good overall, with a few scenes here and there that feel a bit off. The visuals are fantastic and show how much of a passion project this was for writer/director Bobby Bala. It’s a fun watch with some deeper issues being approached in a way that is perfect to make some think without even knowing it. The issues at hand are very real and timely.

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