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Rock-a-Doodle (Blu-ray)
Rock 'n roll makes the world go 'round.

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No, wait; the sun rises (and maybe sets?; I dunno) with rock 'n roll. Look, it has some kind of effect on celestial bodies. That's what the anthropomorphic critters on the farm believe, anyway. Hunka hunka burnin' rooster Chanticleer (voiced by Glen Campbell) doesn't just crow; nope, the sun doesn't rear its head until this cock rocks out every morning. The Grand Duke of Owls (Christopher Plummer) isn't much for rock 'n roll, and he's even less fond of that big, gleaming, yellow ball in the sky. So, the scheming Duke sends one of his flunkies to...errr, duke it out against Chanticleer, with a knockdown dragout battle royale that lasts through the night and into the morning. Yup, you heard that right: morning, with the sun rising even though Chanticleer never had a chance to crow. Turns out we've all been living a lie. If the guy can't further solar cycles with his music, what good is he anyway? As his disillusioned pals on the farm turn their backs on him, a dejected Chanticleer slumps off towards parts unknown.

The end.

Well, it's as much of the story as Edmond (Toby Scott Ganger) has had a chance to get to, anyway. His mom has to put down the oversized storybook and tend to more pressing matters. This is real life, after all, and this torrential downpour is threatening to flood the family farm. Edmond is too little and wee to help out himself, but he knows someone who can. "Chanticleer!", he cries out. Wouldn't you know it...? It works! Kind of. Edmond's cry for reinforcements doesn't wrangle in a rooster who can call out the sun, but it does bring in everybody else. The Duke of Owls swoops into the bedroom, with his dark magicks transforming Edmond into a fwuffy wittle animated kitten. At least he's not in it...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Rock-a-Doodle]


The Valley of Gwangi (Blu-ray)
Cowboys.

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Dinosaurs.

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It's a combination that can't help but leave my inner eight-year-old awestruck, especially when realized by the unparalleled imagination and artistry of Ray Harryhausen. In what would be Harryhausen's last time bringing dinosaurs roaring back to life on-screen, The Valley of Gwangi opens not in...well, the valley of Gwangi but in a sleepy, nameless town somewhere south of the border. Tuck Kirby (James Franciscus) hasn't returned in the hopes of joining up with his struggling old rodeo or his former flame T.J. Breckenridge (Gila Golan) who remains its star attraction, at least for whatever handful of people can be bothered to buy a ticket. Now on the payroll of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, Tuck's moved up in the world, and he's looking to buy T.J.'s "wonder horse" Omar for his new employer. As repulsed as T.J. is by the sight of the man who left her high and dry, it's not all that long before she agrees. No, not because of Tuck's sleazy charms or business acumen but because Omar is yesterday's news. She's about to unveil the attraction destined to turn her rodeo's fortunes around: El Diablo. Nevermind that ominous name; this precious, dancing horse is the size of a puppy.

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In the dead of night, Tuck confirms with paleontologist Professor Bromley (Laurence Naismith) what he'd already suspected. This isn't a miniature horse but an Eohippus: a prehistoric creature thought to have been extinct for tens of millions of years. Desperate for funding and aching for recognition,...[read the entire Blu-ray review of The Valley of Gwangi]


Deadtime Stories (Blu-ray)
"Uncle Miiiiiiiiike...!"

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Look, kid, your Uncle Mike (Michael Mesmer) ain't so much the babysitting type. It's late, and the guy just wants to kick back with a cold one and gawk at some titties on premium cable. Oh, you want him to tell you a story? Okay, uh...Little Red Riding Hood: a nubile teenager (Nicole Picard) strips down to her skivvies and feels herself up, gets her cherry popped by her asshole boyfriend in the deliberately least sexy way this side of Fast Times, and squares off against a werewolf (Matt Mitler). See, Willie usually dopes himself into a stupor when he's about to wolf out, but his pills got switched with Rachel's grandma's prescription, so he tries to track her down an'...it's a whole thing. What, you're still scared of a monster in your room and are crying for another story? Fine, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, only these BearsBaers are a family of psychotic bank robbers on the lam (including Melissa Leo in her first film role!), Goldi Lox (Cathryn de Prume) is a foxy blonde serial murderess squatting in their old house, and -- why not? -- she's got Carrie-style telekinetic powers. Oh, you want Uncle Mike to make up a story of his very own? Sure, this one has a couple of witchy old hags, the fisherman's kindly son (Scott Valentine) they've enslaved, a sacrificial virgin (Kathy Fleig) torn straight off a St. Pauli Girl label, and a lecherous vicar (Casper Roos) whose left hand violently tears itself from his forearm. So, yeah, uncle or no, I don't know why his parents left little Billy (Brian DePersia) alone with this nutjob either.

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For better or worse, Deadtime Stories is hardly just another horror anthology. Picture a kid with a copy of Grimm's Fairy Tales on his nightstand, atop a stack of whatever...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Deadtime Stories]


More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 11/21: Wolf Guy (Blu-ray)
  • 11/19: Sid and Nancy (Blu-ray)
  • 11/17: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Blu-ray)
  • 11/17: The Lure (Blu-ray)
  • 11/16: The Green Slime (Blu-ray)
  • 11/12: Fox and His Friends (Blu-ray)
  • 11/11: The Philadelphia Story (Blu-ray)
  • 11/8: Rock a Doodle (Blu-ray)
  • 11/4: A Boy Named Charlie Brown (DVD)
  • 10/28: Spider-Man: Homecoming (Uhd)
  • 10/17: Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (DVD)
  • 10/16: Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown (DVD)
  • 10/10: Baby Driver (Uhd)
  • 10/8: The Bridge on the River Kwai (Uhd)
  • 10/7: Don't Torture A Duckling (2-Disc Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
 
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 11/23: Woman of the Year (Blu-ray)
  • 11/23: Justice League: Dark (Blu-ray)
  • 11/23: Teen Titans: The Judas Contract (Blu-ray)
  • 11/23: Cult of Chucky (Blu-ray)
  • 11/20: Batman and Harley Quinn (Uhd)
  • 11/20: Kong: Skull Island (Uhd)
  • 11/20: War for the Planet of the Apes (Uhd)
  • 11/20: Transformers: The Last Knight (Uhd)
  • 11/20: Moana (Blu-ray)
  • 11/20: The Big Sick (Blu-ray)
  • 11/18: Wolf Guy (Blu-ray)
  • 11/18: Ash Vs. Evil Dead Season 2 (Blu-ray)
  • 11/17: Mildred Pierce (Blu-ray)
  • 11/12: Westworld: The Complete First Season (Uhd)
  • 11/10: One-Eyed Jacks (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...


 
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