Black and Blue (2019)

If anything, Deon Taylor’s crime thriller is a perfectly fine if somewhat overlong and derivative thriller that skates by mainly because of its charismatic cast including Mike Colter, Tyrese Gibson and Frank Grillo, respectively. It’s a shame because in a world where we’re discussing body cams, police corruption, and inner city crime, “Black and Blue” has the golden opportunity to tackle the issue head on. Instead it hits it briefly and doesn’t do much with the topic, instead building a thriller that feels oddly derivative of Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day.”

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TV on DVD: Toys That Made Us Season 1 and 2 [Blu-Ray]/Veronica Mars: The Complete First Season [Blu-Ray]

Linger on Youtube for a little while and you’ll likely find at least fifty toy collectors and or pop culture buffs that have a slew of videos looking back at classic toy lines and franchises. What makes Toys That Made Us: Seasons 1 & 2 such a unique series is that it attempts to offer up much more than memories. Creator Brian Volk-Weiss’s series could very well have fallen back on pure nostalgia, but instead opens up the scope of these world changing toy lines. There’s deeper insight, stark truths about how and why these toys were created, and a look in to the business of it all.

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Batman Beyond: The Complete Animated Series – Deluxe Limited Edition [Blu-Ray/Digital]

It’s the perfect storm of fandom this year, as Batman is celebrating eighty years in pop culture, while “Batman Beyond” is celebrating its twenty year anniversary. For 2019, Warner finally unleashes their fantastic follow up “Batman Beyond” on Blu-Ray in a stellar Limited Edition box set that is also conveniently in time for Halloween and the impending holiday season. With the Limited Edition featuring an exclusive Batman Beyond Funko Pop, and the inevitably regular set coming down line, Warner will cash in for sure. “Batman Beyond” is still the juggernaut follow up to the classic Bruce Timm “Batman” series that hasn’t aged a bit, despite being conceived during a period where everything had to be futuristic, and darker.

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Botched (2007)

“In and out, what could go wrong?” has been the famous last words of every man in existence, and it’s basically the last words of our hapless hostages and their inept captors in “Botched.” While the premise is creaky with much of the narrative reminiscent of “From Dusk Til Dawn,” Kit Parker’s “Botched” is a horror comedy up there in lunacy with fare like “Severance” and “The Cottage.” While “Botched” begins clumsily with a poorly edited rushed sequence of events extrapolating Ritchie’s predicament, it’s a movie you’ll want to stick with. Once the blood begins to pour, the raucous comedy and gruesome horror ensure a worthy experience deserving of an audience.

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3 From Hell (2019)

I don’t know what you can chalk it up to. Maybe it was the unfortunate illness of the late great Sid Haig that caused Rob Zombie to re-write a lot of “3 From Hell.” Or maybe he just didn’t know where to take his characters next. For a movie that takes great pains to explaining in detail how and why the Firefly Clan survived, it’s disappointing when “3 From Hell” does absolutely nothing new with them. Rob Zombie has a lot of windows to basically re-invent his characters and present some kind of social commentary, but in the end it’s just Zombie treading water with middling results.

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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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3 From Hell (2019)

The third installment in the Devil’s Reject trilogy (or the House of 1000 Corpses trilogy?), 3 From Hell picks up from where The Devil’s Rejects left off and makes sense of connecting that ending with making a third film. Here the Rejects escape jail and go on the run until bad people catch up with them. Who’s the worst bad guy and best killer? It’s up the audience to decide.

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Batman: Hush (2019) [4K Ultra HD/Blu-Ray/Digital]

It’s not often I sit down to watch a DCAU movie and want to immediately desire the original source material instead. I’ve never read “Batman Hush” but from what I originally gathered it was an iconic storyline that made waves in the aughts. The movie however is a disappointing, half baked and painfully boring Batman adventure that never really goes anywhere. Rather than treading new ground or giving us something completely different, “Batman Hush” just feels forced and never quite rises above the anemic energy.

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