Elephants (2018)

There’s no better statement on romance than the idea that sometimes the ones that we love the most aren’t always the best thing for us. With “Elephants” director-writer Alexander Hanno constructs a truly good romance dramedy based around how nostalgia can often leave us stagnant and stuck in one place. “Elephants” is a very sad movie about two people so in love that they automatically hurt each other’s prospects at success in life, but also about getting stuck in remembering the past, and not accepting that we have to move forward and look ahead.

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Cobra (1986): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.

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A Star is Born (2018) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

Director/Star Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” will likely go down in history as one of the greatest remakes of all time. Cooper doesn’t try so much to remake a story that’s been already remade, but rethink it for a modern culture. In the end “A Star is Born” excels because it doesn’t lose sight of what it wants to convey as an epic romance, and a tale about identity, and stardom. It’s a beautiful and often soul shattering drama that Cooper directs with immense humility and is able to derive wonderful performances all around.

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Starman (1984): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

You have to give it to John Carpenter. Even when he stumbles, he’s still one of the finest directors around who manages to set himself apart from his contemporaries stylistically. While “Star Man” is an obvious attempt to cash in on the good Spielberg “ET” dough, “Star Man” manages to be a pretty okay movie, either way. Carpenter sets aside his usual nihilism in favor of a more measured alien love story where it retains much of its appeal thanks to the wonderful turns by Karen Allen and Jeff Bridges. This is especially a movie where Allen shines, as she delivers a performance filled with layers and emotion to the very end.

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My Monster (2018) (Final Girls Berlin Film Festival)

“Tainted Love” Shorts Block

I love the whole plot twist that ensues in the middle of “My Monster,” a short film basically about finding the right mate, and them showing up when they least suspect it. Brea Grant is always a pleasure to see pop up in these genre pictures, and she’s great in Izzy Lee’s holiday set fractured love tale.

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Reign of the Supermen (2019) [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

One of most controversial and divisive story arcs of the nineties is brought to the small screen in an epic fashion, and DC and Warner manage to adapt the final half of the “Death of Superman” storyline for a broader audience. While nineties kids will love to see the whole mystery of the Four Supermen once again, DC works within the limitations of the characters they’re allowed to use, and re-imagines most of the storyline of the Reign of the Supermen, right down the primary antagonist working behind the scenes.

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Into the Dark: Down

For Blumhouse’s polarizing anthology series in February, the writers of “Into the Dark” tackle Valentine’s Day. One of the nasty aspects of having to write the review for “Down” is it’s nearly impossible to write about it without spoiling the episode’s big hook. And the primary motivation for watching “Down” is the way the premise devolves in to a huge twist mid-way. Like all of the episodes of “Into the Dark” so far, the episode is fifteen minutes too long, but once it completely reaches fever pitch, it’s quite an exhilarating horror thriller based around the holiday.

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Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

One of the best movies of 2018, “Anna and the Apocalypse” is a movie that’s destined to catch on with midnight audiences, as it begs for sing alongs from an enthusiastic audience. John McPhail’s zombie horror musical is a pastiche of the best from the genres it puts on the big screen, delivering what is one of the pleasing and creepiest zombie movies of the years. “Anna and the Apocalypse” manages to be both life affirming and a spectacularly vicious zombie movie at the same time, with some of the more entertaining musical numbers and sequences filmed in a long time.

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