Recent Reviews

Push (Ultra HD Blu-ray)
Push's Field Guide to Psychic Supersoldiers

  • Pushers: No, not the "hey kid, you wanna fly? I got somethin' that'll really make you fly" kind; they can inject thoughts directly into a victim's brain. Whatever they push – now you get it! – into someone's cerebral cortex effectively becomes the truth
  • Sniffs: Psychic bloodhounds, and, yeah, they actually do sniff
  • Stitches: They can heal you, but it hurts like a mother&*^%er. Be nice 'cause they can un-heal you too
  • Shifters: Can temporarily create the illusion of transforming one object into another. Handy for psychic grifting
  • Bleeders: Their bug-eyed sonic screaming has been documented to make fish explode
  • Watchers: They could've just called 'em "precogs" instead, but that doesn't really fit with the naming convention
  • Movers: Telekinetics. Y'know, they can move things with their minds, hence "movers". Sure, sure, they can push things with their minds too, but that name was already taken
  • Wipers: The skilled ones, anyway, can delete individual memories from someone like so many files on a hard drive
  • Shadows: Watchers psychic-see no Shadows. Sniffs psychic-smell no Shadows. They can disrupt the abilities of clairvoyants within a limited radius

There was no doubt a time when the existence of psychic abilities astonished governments the world over. Those days are gone. Seemingly every world power has established its own covert group to capture, classify, and study those who wield such gifts. In the United States, what few know of this cabal call it The Division, and to them, psychics are disposable. Their scientists have concocted a steroid to significantly enhance a seemingly endless variety of mental powers, and untold hundreds of test subjects from failed experiments lay dead. There are so many out there that The Division sees little point in tailoring this psychic steroid to their captives; they'd instead prefer to inject one victim after another until someone actually survives.

At long last, someone has: Kira (Camilla Belle). As one search comes to an end for The Division, another begins, as she escapes their clutches with a steroid sample that competing governments would wage war to get their hands on. As a pusher, Kira's superhuman gifts empower her to implant suggestions and false memories into others' minds, so she has little trouble making her way to the other end of the world. The feds have a small army of clairvoyants attempting to track her every move, but that's practically a formality; Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou) doesn't need psychics to predict where Kira is headed.

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Nick (Chris Evans) has been laying low in Hong Kong for a while now. The Division designates him as a mover – a telekinetic – although a near-total lack of training means that the guy struggles to so much as turn a back alley dice game his way. It used to be that Nick was only on the radar of the gangsters in Hong Kong's underground gambling scene to whom he's deep in the hole, but that was before Cassie's plane touched down. Only being 13 years old...[read the entire Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Push]

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Blu-ray)
"What we mean to say, Mr. Dickens, is that there's not much of a market for Christmas books, wot?"

"It is a Christmas book because Christmas is – or ought to be – the one time of year when men and women open their shut-up hearts and think of the people below them as if they were fellow passengers to the grave and not another race of creatures altogether."

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Oliver Twist proved to be such a staggering success that Charles Dickens (Dan Stevens) enjoyed wealth beyond his imagining and was celebrated the world over. It's not as if Dickens coasted in the years that followed, remaining wildly prolific. It's just that he inherited his father's unfortunate habit of wild overspending. With that sort of lavish lifestyle, a chronic inability to say "no" to any beggar or charitable cause, and a palatial home practically overflowing with children to care for, Dickens can scarcely afford as many consecutive flops as he's suffered since. His ego and ever-dwindling bank account desperately ache for another taste of success.

Inspiration soon strikes: Christmas! Dickens may only have the sketch of a story bubbling around in his inventive mind, but he sees the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Plummer) as a way of honoring the values that Christmas ought to represent: family, generosity, good will towards one's fellow man, and all that. If such a novel were to turn around the famed author's lagging fortunes, all the better. Alas, not much of anyone else shares Dickens' enthusiasm. His publishers aren't altogether certain about the association with Christmas, puzzled that a story woven around such a minor holiday could hold any widespread appeal or staying power. Nevermind the fact that December 25th is all of a month and a half off on the horizon, and Dickens has...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Man Who Invented Christmas]

Camp Nowhere (Blu-ray)
C'mon, you know how the song goes. No more pencils! No more books! No more teacher's dirty loooooookay, slugger, off to summer camp! Like it or (let's be honest here) not, this is how you're gonna be stuck spending the next six weeks of what's supposed to be summer vacation. Mud (Jonathan Jackson) is thinking something a little different this year. As far as his folks know, it's still another stint at computer camp, of course:

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His allegedly tubby best pal Gaby (Melody Kay) is pretending to brace herself for another month and a half at diet camp:

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Believe it or not, Mud is actually pretty tight with a couple of the cool kids. Chief among 'em is Trish (Marnette Patterson), who gets to squander another summer living out her parents' dashed dreams in theatre camp:

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...and that leaves us with not-nearly-as-bad-as-he-lets-on boy Zack (Andrew Keegan), who's about to be exiled yet again to boot camp:

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Hook. Line. Sinker. As scams go, it's pretty ingenious! The kids wanna do their own thing this summer for a change. Their parents are eager to throw a few grand at each of 'em to get them out of the house for a couple of months. All together, that's plenty of scratch to rent a decaying old campground to do whatever they want with zero parental supervision. Former drama teacher Dennis Van Welker (Christopher Lloyd) could use a little extra pocket money as well as a place to lay low for a while. So, after a bit of blackmail, he's onboard to help dupe the kids' folks before retiring for the summer in a cozy cabin on the other side of the lake. Hey, what could go wrong?

It's just that this is such a cacklingly brilliant scheme that word can't help but get out. Before Mud knows...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Camp Nowhere]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 4/18: Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle (Uhd)
  • 4/11: It (Uhd)
  • 4/6: Push (Uhd)
  • 4/5: Pacific Rim (Uhd)
  • 4/2: The Man Who Invented Christmas (Blu-ray)
  • 3/30: Coco (Uhd)
  • 3/28: Camp Nowhere (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 3/27: Camp Nowhere (Blu-ray)
  • 3/25: Arsenic and Old Lace (DVD)
  • 3/18: Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Uhd)
  • 3/11: Black Panther (Theatrical)
  • 3/5: Thor: Ragnarok (Uhd)
  • 2/16: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (Hdtv)
  • 2/14: Night of the Living Dead The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)
  • 2/3: Le samoura├» (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 4/11: Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay (Uhd)
  • 4/8: It (Uhd)
  • 4/4: Push (Uhd)
  • 4/3: Jumanji: Welcome to The Jungle (Uhd)
  • 3/28: Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (Uhd)
  • 3/27: The Man Who Invented Christmas (Blu-ray)
  • 3/27: Camp Nowhere (Blu-ray)
  • 3/18: Pacific Rim (Uhd)
  • 3/18: Blade Runner: The Final Cut (Uhd)
  • 3/18: Blade Runner 2049 (Uhd)
  • 3/1: Thor: Ragnarok (Uhd)
  • 2/28: Coco (Uhd)
  • 2/3: Night of the Living Dead The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)
  • 1/23: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (Blu-ray)
  • 12/25: Stalker (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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