Sing (2016)

“Sing” is a lot like many of the other movies from Illumination Studios. It’s basically a moving greeting card. It’s cute for a few minutes, and then you’ll eventually find yourself tucking it away and looking for something more stimulating. As per most of the films from Illumination, “Sing” is just a middle of the road film that barely gets by because of the neat animation. “Sing” is cute. And that’s about it. It’s cute. And it packs a humongous soundtrack filled with pop songs both old and new that are meant to basically distract from the fact that it’s a very barebones animated movie with a paper thin narrative, that does little to convey to its audience something more meaningful.

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Undatement Center (2017)

The younger generation has a lot to say about the modern atmosphere of dating and the digital age. “Undatement Center” is the newest short from writer and director Chris Esper, who concocts an interesting concept about a company that treats dating like job training and interviews. After a long dry spell, Jack decides to visit the Undatement Center and try his hand was looking for a new girlfriend.

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House: Two Stories [Blu-ray] (2-Disc Limited Edition)

Arrow Video is easily one of the best movie distributors around, and if you ask certain movie buffs collectors, they’d argue that they’re the best, period. I can’t decide as Arrow Video has been on a mission for the last few years to deliver fans some of the most unique movie titles on blu-ray and DVD, and offer them in deluxe collector’s packages that would make most cineastes hyperventilate out of sheer excitement. Arrow Video has taken it upon themselves to offer fans the two tales of “House,” two films that were big movie rental fodder in their heydays and are now brought together for what is a heavily suggested anthology. Arrow Video combines two of the true “House” movies that are—ironically—about as different from each other as the last two “House” movies.

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Wonder Woman (2009): Commemorative Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

My only hope is that when DC’s live action debut of “Wonder Woman” finally arrives, that they’ve taken notes from Bruce Timm and Lauren Montgomery’s animated depictions, because they remain some of the best iterations to date. DC and Warner have yet to churn out a cinematic masterpiece in the last five years, but they’ve done remarkably well in the animated department in the past. “Wonder Woman” is one of their crowning achievements as an exciting, action packed, and engaging look at the Amazonian warrior’s battle against her uncle, the god of war Ares.

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Spaceballs (1987)

It makes me laugh quite a lot that modern Hollywood are planning to spoof “Star Wars” when Mel Brooks pretty much supplied the definitive “Star Wars” spoof thirty years ago. You can argue maybe there’s more to offer, but no, Mel Brooks did it first and best. He mocked the characters, he mocked the plot holes, and he even mocked the rampant consumerism that George Lucas partook in when “Star Wars” became a cash cow. “Spaceballs” involves the evil President Skroob kidnaps Vespa during an arranged marriage, in an effort to steal planet Druidia’s fresh air. The evil Lord Dark Helmet is assigned to complete the task of sucking Druidia’s air, and hires Lonestarr and his pal “Barft” (The mog, a half man and half dog) to find Princess Vespa when she escapes the arranged marriage.

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Star Wars: Hoshino (2016)

This is the story of Ko Hoshino, a skilled blind Jedi Master who learned the hard way that patience and wisdom can mean life or death when you’re training to battle the dark side. Stephen Vitale’s fan film “Hoshino” is a visually fantastic tale about the coming of age of a brilliant Jedi warrior, and writer Eric Carrasco delivers a tale that’s steeped in simplicity like classic “Star Wars.” Jedi master Ho Koshino is learning to build her own light saber and thinks back to her tragic origins. Continue reading

Star Wars: The Force and the Fury (2017)

Despite what Disney and Lucasfilm have been doing lately with the “Star Wars” cinematic universe and promising “Star Wars” films until the foreseeable future, that doesn’t stop fans from contributing their own stories. “The Force and the Fury” is a great and simple short fan film that is beautifully directed and works on the fundamentals of “Star Wars”: The narrative is simple, straight to the point, and about family and how the Sith and Jedi affect those within its realm.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Much like a classic mix tape, “Vol. 2” of “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a movie that’s similar in theme to its predecessor but feels fresh and original. Director James Gunn delivered a truly remarkable adaptation in 2014, and now he offers up a sequel that’s just as good, with a hefty narrative that thankfully has so much going on, but never loses sight of its central themes of family, love, and how music is the soundtrack of our lives. With “Guardians” the group of Starlord, Gamorra, Groot, Rocket, and Drax are back committing to a difficult job for a race of aliens called the Sovereign. They’re tasked with killing a vicious monster called the Abilisk and protecting priceless batteries. In exchange, they give Gamorra her sister Nebula back, who has been held prisoner.

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