Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

So far we’re about ten alternate time lines deep in to the “Terminator” series, a movie franchise that continues to chug on thanks to the good word from James Cameron. Methinks without Cameron, “Terminator” would and should be put to sleep as a limp IP that loses more and more fans every single year. The convoluted timeline doesn’t even want to try to explain its own concept and logic (and lack thereof) anymore. It’s now basically rebooted itself (once again), and takes off limping to the finish line. From a confusing (bold?) retcon, to an over arching theme with heavy social commentary, “Terminator: Dark Fate” incidentally makes an argument against its existence.

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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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Critters Attack! (2019) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

It’s been slim pickings for fans of “Critters” and it’s a shame that even after this film, there’s still not a lot of options for us. We’re either stuck with “The New Binge” which was nigh unwatchable, or “Critters Attack!” which is quite boring and defeats the whole idea of a sequel by dodging everything that makes these movies so fun. It even wastes the idea of a friendly Crite named Bianca by making the monster some aimless prop. Let’s just say Gizmo is in no threat of being dethroned as cutest monster ever.

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Critters Attack! (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2019]

Critters fans have had slim pickings for a very long time, with lack of real printings of the original film on home media and new films coming together. Now in 2019 we finally got two new installments, but together they don’t really amount to much of a great “Critters” movie sadly. While “Critters Attack!” is waves better than “Critters: A New Binge” it’s still never as good as “Critters” parts one or two. It’s only an okay offering that’s right there beside “Critters 3.” That’s about as glowing as a recommendation that I can give it when all was said and done.

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Men in Black: International (2019)

“Men in Black International” should have worked. On paper it’s a great idea for a reboot, one that doesn’t bring with it the marquee name of Will Smith and the class of Tommy Lee Jones. I respect Sony for wanting to revive the “Men in Black” franchise after so many years, and I respect them even more for side stepping the whole “21 Jump Street meets Men in Black” movie they were planning. But in the end, this new attempts to jump start “Men in Black” for a new audience is a swing and a colossal miss. Worse, it’s absolutely boring.

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The Five Best Episodes of 2019’s “The Twilight Zone” Season 1

Jordan Peele’s ambitious reboot of Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” has managed to become one of the most polarizing series of the year, but it’s definitely inspired people to talk and that’s a good thing. Peele is not settling on merely a tribute, but has managed to retrofit a lot of classic episodes to modern sensibilities. While some episodes were clunkers, most episodes this season have been fantastic. With the season finale airing now on CBS All Access, I thought I’d list the five best episodes of the first season.

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Hellboy (2019)

Like a lot of previous efforts to reboot a property, Neil Marshall’s handling of “Hellboy” was the apparent product of studio interference and clashing ideas that resulted in a hectic shoot for just about everyone. That’s a shame since when Neil Marshall is allowed to unfold his own ideas and monsters, he gives us “The Descent,” and “Dog Soldiers.” It’s not to say that “Hellboy” is a bad movie, it’s just one half of a very good reboot that’s fun, and action packed, and one half of a sloppy studio film that’s boring, over explained, and sloppily tailored for sequels, prequels, and spin offs.

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Leprechaun Returns (2018)

Seven movies later, and the “Leprechaun” movie series is still alive and kicking. I fondly remember watching the original movie on a VHS rental back in 1995, and studios have found it a necessity to keep the saga of our demonic little person going. After the horrendous re-imagining of the series from 2014 that tried to turn the Leprechaun in to a faceless beast, “Leprechaun Returns” gets back to what made the original movie series so entertaining and deliciously silly. Sans Warwick Davis, the original Leprechaun, of course (he declined to star in horror films for a little while).

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