Recent Reviews

We, The Marines (Ultra HD Blu-ray)
They aren't the few and the proud because it's easy, and We, The Marines honors that arduous path.

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We see new recruits arriving at Parris Island in the wee hours of the morning, with the drill instructors tearing into them before they've so much as stepped foot off the bus. They're crammed into a small concrete room that's flooded with a noxious gas. The most challenging 12 weeks of their lives culminate in The Crucible: a 54 hour ordeal spanning 48 miles, 45 lbs. of gear to lug around, and with 6 hours of sleep and rations for 2 meals all the while. We're also shown that the Quigley obstacle course to which officers in Quantico are subjected isn't all that much more pleasant. Much as the forging of a sword demands sweltering temperatures, strength, patience, focus, and a hell of a lot of hammering, so too is the forging of a Marine grueling by necessity. That's deeply felt in an emotional graduation ceremony. Even with months of basic training condensed to a few short minutes on-screen, it's impossible not to feel a tremendous sense of pride in what these newly-inducted Marines have accomplished.

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A fixture at the National Museum of the Marine Corps' Medal of Honor Theater since its inception last year, the 38 minute documentary We, The Marines explores the USMC by weaving together its storied history with present-day challenges and training exercises across the country. Archival footage in Korea, for instance, leads into the training for cold weather operations in Bridgeport. The role of four-legged Marines in Vietnam transitions into an explanation of the key role that dogs continue to play in the Corps, ferreting out explosive devices more effectively than the most bleeding-edge technology.

All The Creatures Were Stirring

"In tone, we wanted it to feel like an episode of The Office, almost, except if Jim got his head blown off three minutes into the episode."
- All the Creatures Were Stirring's audio commentary on "The Stockings Were Hung"
Yuletide horror. Horror anthologies. Two great tastes that should taste great together, but how many Christmas horror anthologies have Santa's elves ever bothered to put together? One?! Ugh. Writers/directors David Ian McKendry and Rebekah McKendry couldn't let this stand. If you're cursed with my same fascination with both Christmas-themed chills and genre anthologies, then brace yourself, 'cause All the Creatures Were Stirring is about to be your new holiday tradition.

Framed around an awkward let's-be-alone-together-on-Christmas-Eve date (wait, is it a date?!) at an avant-garde theatre, All the Creatures Were Stirring unwraps five different vignettes, beginning with "The Stockings Were Hung".

Take the Yankee Swap episode of The Office, sprinkle in a little Saw and...I dunno, some Mayhem for good measure (available now from your friends at RLJE Films!), and you're somewhere in the neighborhood. Pretty much everyone in this joyless corporate office is desperate to high-tail it out of there, but a holiday gift exchange has been mandated, so they just have to suffer through it if they wanna stay gainfully employed. At first, it seems like the worst fate awaiting them is getting stuck with a bottle of homemade balsamic vinegar. And then...well, there's a reason a voice on the phone maniacally cackles "I can't wait to watch you all die!" Whoever this sadistic bastard is, he can see every move they make. He's pumping the room full of some noxious gas. The conference room table is covered in gifts: some offering a glimmer of salvation when unwrapped; others leading to...[read the entire DVD review of All The Creatures Were Stirring]

Lucio Fulci's Zombie (2018 4K Remaster) (Blu-ray)

"...but my father's father said that when the dead rise from the grave, the living will give them their blood."
- Lucas, Zombi 2
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A sailboat bobs around aimlessly in New York Harbor, stumbling into the path of seemingly every ship and ferry that tries to make its way across. One attempt after another to raise the crew fails. A helicopter circling overhead is unable to spot any signs of life. Harbor Patrol is dispatched to take a look, not expecting to find much more than a drunken skipper passed out in the cabin. As one of the cops skulks around below, a bloated corpse – swollen like a tick from having devoured the ship's crew – breaks down a door to feast again. A couple shots from a pistol later, this...thing tumbles off the sailboat and sinks into the bay. The chaos unfolds too quickly for the surviving officer to make any sense of it. That he'd stared down a zombie never occurs to him. It's not immediately understood that the fallen officer met his end courtesy of a bite to the jugular. No one's sure what the hell has just happened.

Newspaper reporter Peter West (Ian McCulloch) and the daughter of the sailboat's missing owner (Tisa Farrow) are hellbent on uncovering the truth. It's a search that takes them thousands of miles away to the Caribbean island of Matool. Whether it's some sort of previously unidentified disease or a voodoo curse, no one knows for certain, but something is making the dead on Matool rise from their graves to feed upon the living. The infection has consumed nearly everyone on this remote speck of an island. Only a few straggling survivors remain, and the ravenous legions...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Lucio Fulci's Zombie (2018 4K Remaster)]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 1/21: Ingrid Goes West (Blu-ray)
  • 1/20: Dumplin’ (Hdtv)
  • 1/20: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Uhd)
  • 1/18: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (Uhd)
  • 1/17: Mission: Impossible III (Uhd)
  • 1/14: Truth or Dare (Hdtv)
  • 1/13: Isle of Dogs (Blu-ray)
  • 1/12: Murder On The Orient Express (Uhd)
  • 1/11: Superman: The Movie (Uhd)
  • 1/9: Hell or High Water (Uhd)
  • 1/7: The Big Lebowski (Uhd)
  • 1/7: Demon Wind (Blu-ray)
  • 1/7: Mission: Impossible II (Uhd)
  • 1/5: Mission: Impossible (Uhd)
  • 12/31: Christopher Robin (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 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)
  • 12/25: Kingsman: The Secret Services / The Golden Circle (Uhd)
  • 12/25: Murder On The Orient Express (Uhd)
  • 12/25: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Uhd)
  • 12/25: How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) (Uhd)
  • 12/25: Mandy (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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