Recent Reviews

Ant-Man and the Wasp (Ultra HD Blu-ray)

"Do you guys just put the word 'quantum' in front of everything?"

Let's see here.

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::peers down at clipboard, then looks up at this screenshot again:: Ant-Man. The Wasp. Yup, the title checks out.

Ant-Man and the Wasp is, of course, a followup to 2015's Ant-Man, but just as importantly, it also serves as a sequel to Captain America: Civil War. After that whole thing with Ant-ManGiant-Man squaring off against half of the Avengers in Berlin, in defiance of the Sokovian Accords, pretty much everyone's peeved with Scott Lang (Paul Rudd). Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is miffed with him because Scott swiped his suit, put him and his daughter on the FBI's radar, and have left 'em on the run. Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) is miffed with Scott because he didn't ask her to march with him into battle. C'mon, she and her dad have been working on a fancy new Wasp suit and everything! And the Feds are miffed because...y'know, international incident. Despite trashing Leipzig/Halle Airport, Scott somehow managed to walk away with a slap on the wrist. Two years house arrest, five years probation, gotta swear off Pym particles and avoid contact with any unsavory characters...namely, Hank or Hope. Violation of any of the above gets Scott locked in the clink for twenty years.

It's been a drag not being able to so much as step outside for the past couple of years, but hey, Scott's managed to set up a security consulting company – X-Con! – with Luis (Michael Pe a) and his pals. He's able to stay closer to his beloved daughter, Cassie (Abby Ryder Fortson). And hey, only a couple more days until he's a free(ish) man!

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And then he has that vision.

Scott somehow sees through the eyes of Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer), the...[read the entire Ultra HD Blu-ray review of Ant-Man and the Wasp]

The Evil Dead (Ultra HD Blu-ray)

"I believe I have made a significant find in the Candarian ruins: a volume of ancient Sumerian burial practices and funerary incantations. It is entitled 'Naturom Demonto'. Roughly translated – 'Book of the Dead'. The book is bound in human flesh and inked in human blood. It deals with demons, demon resurrection, and those forces which roam the forest and dark bowers of man's domain. The first few pages warn that these enduring creatures may lie dormant but are never truly dead. They may be recalled to active life through the incantations presented in this book. It is through recitation of these passages that the demons are given license to possess the living."

Five friends. Hopelessly remote cabin in the woods. Book of the Dead. One by one, the living are claimed.

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With as propulsive and brutally efficient as The Evil Dead is, there's little need for a plot synopsis more detailed than those few words. There are no rambling backstories for Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his pals, who, aside from a couple of yokels they pass briefly on the road, are the only characters appearing on-screen. Most all of its lore associated with the Necronomicon is excerpted above. Writer/director Sam Raimi never cuts away from the havoc in and around the cabin. No whodunnit element is to be found. No romances blossom. No new friendships are forged. Neither escape nor salvation can be hoped for. All that exists is the certainty that those you love will be possessed by this demonic force – torturing, tormenting, and reveling in your suffering until it decides to seize hold of you as well.

It's lean, it's savage, it's unrelenting, and it works. Once the gates of hell are flung open, The Evil Dead never really stops to catch its breath. Whereas its sequels would slosh...[read the entire Ultra HD Blu-ray review of The Evil Dead]

The Swarm (Blu-ray)

"Billions of dollars have been spent to make these nuclear plants The odds against anything going wrong are astronomical, doctor."
"I appreciate that, doctor, but let me ask you: in all your fail-safe techniques, is there any provision against an attack by killer bees?"


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I'm going to put that down as a "no".

"We've been fighting a losing battle against the insects for 15 years, but I never thought I'd see the final face-off in my lifetime. And I never dreamed that it would turn out to be the bees. They've always been our friends!"

Houston, we have a problem. No, really; a swarm of mutant Africanized honey bees are making a ::ahem:: beeline for H-Town. The buggers shrug off poison pellets, are immune to pesticides, can send helicopters crashing down to the earth below, and slaughter an entire missile base without leaving so much a single dead bee behind*. Even as few as two or three stings can prove fatal.

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Thankfully, famed entomologist Brad Crane (Michael Caine) is already on the scene, and he's assembled a dream team to wipe out this swarm without endangering other necessary insect life. Immunologist Dr. Walter Krim (Henry Fonda)! Toxicologist Dr. They-Never-Say-His-First-Name Hubbard (Richard Chamberlain with an ill-advised beard)! And, I dunno, we're talking about a turgid, hopelessly bloated, needlessly complicated Irwin Allen disaster flick, so there are around 35,000 other characters serving little-to-no purpose, many of which are ag d legends from Hollywood's Golden Era for Allen to...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Swarm]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 11/15: Here Comes Mr. Jordan (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 11/11: Jack Reacher (Uhd)
  • 11/10: The Greatest Showman (Uhd)
  • 11/9: The Trouble with Harry (Blu-ray)
  • 11/7: The Night Comes for Us (Hdtv)
  • 11/3: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Uhd)
  • 11/2: Rope (Blu-ray)
  • 10/29: The Cat O' Nine Tails (Arrow) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/28: Ride the Pink Horse (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/28: The Happiness of the Katakuris (Blu-ray)
  • 10/27: A Quiet Place (Uhd)
  • 10/26: Heaven Can Wait (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/24: The Return of Ringo (Blu-ray)
  • 10/22: A Pistol for Ringo (Blu-ray)
  • 10/20: Slice (Hdtv)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 11/13: Here Comes Mr. Jordan (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 11/13: Shampoo (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 11/13: Moonrise (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 11/10: Torso (Arrow) (Blu-ray)
  • 11/2: Jack Reacher (Uhd)
  • 10/31: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Uhd)
  • 10/16: Andrei Rublev (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/16: My Man Godfrey (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/16: Heaven Can Wait (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/16: Ride the Pink Horse (Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/10: The Cat O' Nine Tails (Arrow) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/10: The Happiness of the Katakuris (Blu-ray)
  • 10/10: A Pistol for Ringo & The Return of Ringo (Blu-ray)
  • 10/8: Ant-Man and the Wasp (Uhd)
  • 10/8: The Evil Dead (Uhd)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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