Recent Reviews

Valentine (Blu-ray)

"Roses are red / Violets are blue
They'll need dental records to identify you!"

- J.M., Valentine
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Adding insult to injury...? Eh, for sixth grader Jeremy Melton, it's the other way around. He's systematically humiliated by pretty much all of the girls he asks to dance with him at the Valentine's shindig at school, and once things finally do start to go Jeremy's way underneath the bleachers, the poor kid winds up drenched in red punch, stripped down, and beaten mercilessly.

None of those girls have paid Jeremy Melton much mind in these many years since. Why would they? Still close friends, the five of 'em are drop dead gorgeous bombshells in the big city pursuing fabulous careers and...well, far less fabulous romances, but what are you gonna do? Adam (David Boreanaz) is an alcoholic, Max (Johnny Whitworth) is a pretentious, untalented, sleaze of a fingerquotes-artist, would-be dot-com millionaire Campbell (Daniel Cosgrove) is less interested in Dorothy (Jessica Capshaw) and more smitten with her trust fund, and speed dating winds up being about as terrifying as anything in Scream Factory's release slate.

Things in that department are looking up, though! They're each treated to lovingly handcrafted Valentine's Day cards from a secret admirer. Sure, they're all signed J.M., are more threatening than romantic, and at least once involve maggot-riddled chocolates. Hmmmm, plus Shelley (Katherine Heigl) was just savagely murdered, and no one's seen Lily (Jessica Cauffiel) in a good, long while. Does "J.M." stand for what they think it does? Is one of the men in their lives that they think they know secretly the awkward little boy whose life they made a living hell back in junior high? Whose heart is gonna be skewered by Cupid's bow next?

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There...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Valentine]

So Dark the Night (Blu-ray)
Legendary Parisian detective Henri Cassin (Steven Geray) has at long last met his match: overwork. His superiors mandate a holiday – Cassin's first in over a decade – and he relishes the opportunity to recharge in the French countryside. Cassin has barely stepped foot in this tiny village before finding himself smitten by Nanette (Micheline Cheirel), the young daughter of the innkeepers hosting him, and the feeling is very much mutual. She stands in awe of this famed detective, seeing him as an escape from the provincial life to which she fears herself tethered. The middle-aged Cassin, long unable to seek romance due to the crushing obligations of his career, is as taken by Nanette's beauty and youth as he is by the relaxed, pastoral splendor surrounding her. Despite having known her but a short time, Cassin is almost immediately prepared to ask Nanette for her hand in marriage, a request she (and her mother) would be all too willing to grant.

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Less enthusiastic about this blossoming romance is Léon (Paul Marion), Nanette's childhood friend and...well, fiancé. Nanette can't help but look at the industrious but hardly well-off Léon as an anchor, given his devotion to his farm and the certainty that she'll never taste Parisian cuisine or indulge in high fashion as his wife. Léon snarls that he'd rather see Nanette dead than hanging off the arm of another man. After she goes missing and Léon too is nowhere to be found, Cassin can't help but suspect the worst. He came to St. Margot as a break from his hectic career as a detective, and instead he's finding himself investigating the loss of his one great love.

The central challenge in reviewing So Dark the Night is resisting the urge to reveal the course the investigation takes from there. It's a twist that, while...[read the entire Blu-ray review of So Dark the Night]

Howling III: The Marsupials (Blu-ray)
A sentient werewolf skeleton going for the jugular. A superfluity of lycanthropic nuns hunting down a runaway. A Russian ballerina transforming mid-pirouette into a hairy behemoth. A soldier who just happens to be clutching a bazooka when a Tasmanian wolf-god storms into his tent. A mouse in a werewolf costume fumbling its way towards his mother's pouch...because, y'know, Australian werewolves are marsupials. Dame Edna.

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So, yeah, don't let that Roman numeral in the title lull you into a false sense of security; Howling III: The Marsupials is anything but more of the same.

For starters, its werewolves aren't monsters, exactly. Hunted to near-extinction, what few of these creatures remain in Australia have been living in seclusion. They don't look at the rest of us like Happy Meals on legs; they just want us to leave 'em the hell alone. Still, there's living off the grid, and then there's this. It's all a little too The Hills Have Eyes for Jerboa (Imogen Annesley) – not that she's seen that film nor any movie at all, come to think of it. Farewell, whatever weird, primitive, rape-y ritual she was in the middle of being subjected to. Hello, Sydney!

Forget the usual fish-out-of-water routine; Jerboa finds her footing in the big city just about immediately. Romance! Gainful employment (in a werewolf-movie-within-a-werewolf-movie, natch)! Alas, her past is catching up with her, as a few of Jerboa's kinfolk are hot on her trail, aiming to protect their clan's long-guarded secret. Little do they know that their past is threatening to catch up with them as well, with obsessed anthropologist Harry Beckmeyer (Barry Otto) setting out to prove his theory – based on an 80 year old reel of film – that werewolves are real. It's probably worth...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Howling III: The Marsupials]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 2/22: Moonrise (The Criterion Collection) (Blu-ray)
  • 2/16: The 40 Year Old Virgin (Hdtv)
  • 2/14: Bohemian Rhapsody (Uhd)
  • 2/12: Halloween (2018) (Uhd)
  • 2/11: Valentine (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 2/11: Valentine (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 2/10: Valentine (Blu-ray)
  • 2/10: Hell Fest (Uhd)
  • 2/8: So Dark The Night (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 2/6: So Dark The Night (Blu-ray)
  • 2/4: That Guy Dick Miller (Hdtv)
  • 1/30: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Uhd)
  • 1/30: Mission: Impossible – Fallout (Uhd)
  • 1/29: Rage of the Mummy (Hdtv)
  • 1/28: While We're Young (Hdtv)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 2/18: Venom (Uhd)
  • 2/11: Bohemian Rhapsody (Uhd)
  • 2/5: Valentine (Blu-ray)
  • 2/4: So Dark The Night (Blu-ray)
  • 1/29: Hell Fest (Uhd)
  • 1/21: First Man (Uhd)
  • 1/21: Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (Uhd)
  • 1/17: Howling III (Blu-ray)
  • 1/17: Snowflake (Blu-ray)
  • 1/14: Halloween (2018) (Uhd)
  • 12/25: Isle of Dogs (Blu-ray)
  • 12/25: Ingrid Goes West (Blu-ray)
  • 12/25: Christopher Robin (Blu-ray)
  • 12/25: Game Night (Blu-ray)
  • 12/25: Father of the Bride (1950) (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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