Recent Reviews

The Man Who Cheated Himself (Blu-ray)
Ed Cullen (Lee J. Cobb) knows a thing or two about disposing of a bullet-riddled corpse.

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He is, after all, a lieutenant with San Francisco Homicide. The body has scarcely hit the floor before he's concocted a plan. There's little point in telling the truth, no matter how dead certain millionaire Lois Frazier (Jane Wyatt) is that her estranged husband would've gunned her down first, if given the opportunity. The prick had the foresight to torch any evidence beforehand tying the revolver to him, and a jury won't buy self-defense. Illicit affairs don't make for sympathetic defendants, and Ed's eyewitness testimony would only go so far seeing as how he's the other man. Still, as long as no one knows about him and Lois, Ed's above suspicion. Make a menacing phone call, dump the body at the airport, toss the gun into the Bay – wait it out, and this'll quickly be a cold case no one thinks or cares about.

Besides, Ed's the one who'll wind up leading this investigation. Who'll be the wiser? His green kid brother Andy (John Dall)?! The kid's been on the homicide beat for all of a day when word breaks of the murder, and he's about to ship off for his honeymoon. He'll be a pushover, especially since Ed can do no wrong in Andy's adoring eyes. Unfortunately for Ed and Lois, Andy proves to be more of a natural at the detective game than they give him credit for.

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The Man Who Cheated Himself has somewhat of an uneven reputation, much of which is owed to its less-than-conventional casting. I'm more accustomed to thinking of Dall's characters as being on the other side of the law, as in Gun Crazy and Rope. The film marks a rare leading role for character actor Cobb, whose hard appearance doesn't exactly scream brother alongside the...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Man Who Cheated Himself]

Punisher: War Zone (Ultra HD Blu-ray)
The first time we really see The Punisher in action in this kinda-sequel-maybe-reboot-I-dunno-whatever, he lops the head off a wheelchair-bound, septuagenarian mafioso in a single, majestic swipe.


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Its sinister master villain is ground up with thousands of glass bottles in a recycling plant and stitched back together with chunks of horsehide. One of Jigsaw's flunkies is way too into parkour – hey, it was 2008; we as a nation didn't know any better – and this more-Irish-than-Jamaican-accented thug is in the middle of leaping from rooftop to rooftop when The Punisher aims a missile launcher his way and 'splodes him into a Fourth of July fireworks display of blood and viscera. The Punisher doesn't just slug a coked-up mobster in the face; his fist tears clear through the guy's head, sending gallons of crimson goodness spewing out. We're talking Frank spinning around upside down from a chandelier and gunning down an entire dinner party, knives stabbing through heads as if they were a half-rotten pumpkin on Halloween, twenty story impalings, pan-seared wiseguy, point-blank shotgun blasts, jabbing a grenade launcher through the middle of a closed door and blowing up a room full of gangbangers, a psychopath who rips out and devours a hospital orderly's kidneys, grenade-in-a-bucket, rebar head-ka-bob, and the drive-in totals just keep on racking up from there.


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War Zone generally shrugs off the two prior stabs at bringing The Punisher to the big screen, and it doesn't bother with the sort of glossy, PG-13 superheroics that the early years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe had to offer. No, this is a movie that earns its R-rating and then some, just as you'd expect with a world-champion kickboxer at the helm. Between...[read the entire Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Punisher: War Zone]

The Pyjama Girl Case (Blu-ray)
For those who marvel at the poetic and evocative titles so typical of gialli, something as succint and straightforward as "The Pyjama Girl Case" may catch some off-guard. Then again, The Pyjama Girl Case is no ordinary giallo. There are neither black leather gloves nor a straight razor to be found. The killer does not stalk his prey or stage the expected sorts of artfully grotesque attacks. Its body count is among the genre's lowest. Set entirely in Australia – the only giallo that can make that claim – The Pyjama Girl Case transplants an all-too-real murder investigation into what was then the present day. It's as much the story of immigrants perpetually treated as something it is the search for a brutal murderer.

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An idyllic day on the beach is cut short by the discovery of a young woman's remains. Bludgeoned, shot, and set aflame, her corpse is far past recognition. Her killer must be brought to justice, but that's all but impossible until the victim herself can be identified beyond the yellow pajamas she wore. The Australian authorities feel they have this well in hand, availing themselves of the latest forensic technologies and investigatory techniques. When retired Inspector Timpson (Ray Milland; Dial M for Murder) gets wind of the murder, he follows what few breadcrumbs remain as only he knows how, no matter how the young upstarts who've taken his place sneer at such outmoded methods. The closer he gets to unveiling the killer, the closer Timpson comes to winding up a victim himself...

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Meanwhile, Dutch immigrant Glenda (Phenomena's Dalila Di Lazzaro) has already spoken to the police about her friend Evelyn, an amorous young woman who's been known to wear the same generic pair of yellow...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Pyjama Girl Case]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 9/23: The Man Who Cheated Himself (Blu-ray)
  • 9/22: Predator (Uhd)
  • 9/21: Punisher: War Zone (Uhd)
  • 9/19: Cargo (Hdtv)
  • 9/16: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Uhd)
  • 9/13: The Pyjama Girl Case (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 9/13: The Pyjama Girl Case (Blu-ray)
  • 9/12: Queen of Outer Space (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 9/11: Queen of Outer Space (Blu-ray)
  • 9/9: Murder Party (Hdtv)
  • 9/2: The Horror of Party Beach (Blu-ray)
  • 9/2: Mayhem (Uhd)
  • 8/29: The In-Betweeners Movie (Blu-ray)
  • 8/22: Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut (Uhd)
  • 8/21: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Hdtv)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 9/20: The Cyclops (Blu-ray)
  • 9/20: The Swarm (Blu-ray)
  • 9/17: X-Men Trilogy (X-Men / X2: X-Men United / X-Men: The Last Stand) (Uhd)
  • 9/16: Predator (Uhd)
  • 9/12: The Man Who Cheated Himself (Blu-ray)
  • 9/10: Punisher: War Zone (Uhd)
  • 9/6: Queen of Outer Space (Blu-ray)
  • 9/6: The Pyjama Girl Case (Blu-ray)
  • 8/28: A Quiet Place (Uhd)
  • 8/28: Mayhem (Uhd)
  • 8/23: The Horror of Party Beach (Blu-ray)
  • 8/17: Powder Room (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: Supergirl: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)
  • 8/12: The Flash: The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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