Michael Showalter’s effort pulls too many punches to leave a lasting impression

As Brit, I remember well the first time on these shores that I witnessed the tawdry spectacle of Televangelism. An unusual sight, a far cry from my own experience of a church raising money from collection plates and bake sales to do simple things like repair the church roof. Here there was something more slick at play. A grander operation and approach to drive viewers to open their wallets, and funnel money into an entity not just to support it, not just to further spread the word of God, and because in some way this support will reflect their faith…


Frank Darabont's cherished feature gets a fitting restoration

Upon initial release, The Shawshank Redemption had a somewhat lukewarm reception at the box office. Critical acclaim and awards nominations followed, including seven Academy award nominations and a win for writer/director Frank Darabont for best adapted screenplay. IMDB’s #1 ranked film for over a decade, and as of 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry. Clearly not just your dad’s favorite movie, it continues to resonate at home and overseas, meaning this all-new 4K restoration of the film is sure to be warmly received.

Shawshank tells of Andy Dufresne (Tim…


The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and The Voyage Home look stellar in UltraHD

You know that moment in Star Trek the Motion Picture, where the shuttle approaches space-dock, and we see Kirk . That warmth and sense of wonder, well that’s what you’ll have on your face as you glimpse these new 4K editions of Star Trek. Having reviewed the just 5 years ago, these 55th Anniversary releases may seem to some like a bit of a cash grab, the the truth is, even with the odd strategy of only releasing I-IV in the series, this is a hell of a treat.

Extra features…


Ennio Morricone’s haunting score to Dario Argento’s debut feature, and landmark of giallo cinema

Photo courtesy of Mondo

Giallo is a revered horror sub-genre. Inspired by a series of Italian detective novels, distinct with their yellow covers (hence ‘giallo’). The Bird with the Crystal Plumage is a prime examples of the genre, one all the more impressive considering it marked the directorial debut of Dario Argento (, , ). Late one evening, an American writer on sabbatical in Rome witnesses an attempted murder in an art gallery. Becoming the only person to have seen this suspected serial killer preying on the city, he is drawn into matters by police, and eventually starts his own investigation: an act…


David Lynch’s flawed but fascinating adaptation has never been more resplendent than this new UltraHD release

Arrow Heads — UK-based Arrow Films has quickly become one of the most exciting and dependable names in home video curation and distribution, creating gorgeous Blu-ray releases with high quality artwork and packaging, and bursting with supplemental content, often of their own creation. From cult and genre fare to artful cinema, this column is devoted to their weird and wonderful output.

Dune (1984)has always struck me as the Marmite of movies, you either . A constrained adaptation of a revered (and often considered unfilmable) text. Certainly flawed in its script and construct, hampered by a…


Dance magic dance. Jump magic jump. 4K magic 4K

We all have our formative films. Those that take us back to our childhood, those that comfort us, even if age and experience allow us to find more flaws over time. Labyrinth is one of those films that genuinely hold ups up. Imaginative and iconic, adventurous and dark. Telling of a 16-year-old girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), tired of the cries of her newborn brother, and wishing him away. She finds that Jareth, the Goblin King (David Bowie), is all too glad to acquiesce to her wish. …


Scream Factory molds a packed release and visual update for this cult horror

Synopsis:

When their car breaks down on a road trip, six college friends are sidetracked into an eerie backwoods town. Curiosity gets the better of them when they are intrigued by its macabre House of Wax. They soon find out that the town is not what it seems, and that they must find their way out before they fall victim to its ghoulishly inventive killers.


Dario Argento’s landmark giallo gets a UltraHD treatment

Arrow Heads — UK-based Arrow Films has quickly become one of the most exciting and dependable names in home video curation and distribution, creating gorgeous Blu-ray releases with high quality artwork and packaging, and bursting with supplemental content, often of their own creation. From cult and genre fare to artful cinema, this column is devoted to their weird and wonderful output.

Dario Argento (Suspiria, , Tenebrae) didn’t create giallo, but he is one of the most important figures in terms of contributing to, and shaping this horror sub-genre. Inspired by a series of Italian detective novels, distinct with their…


The series boldly goes where no series has gone before…the 32nd Century

When a franchise has been on the air for over 55 years, spanned multiple incarnations, and a slew of feature films, some story lines might become familiar or seem to be recycled now and then. Playing in the Trek sandbox and mining its mythology is part of the appeal, but for Star Trek Discovery, after spending two seasons in an era just preceding Kirk’s original voyages, a third season brings a first for the show, hurtling 900 years into the future, beyond any depiction of the galaxy seen yet in the franchise’s history.

Season 2 saw the crew of the…


A moody and stylish neo-noir, anchored by a breakout lead performance from Laurence Fishburne

Synopsis:

Film noir hits the mean streets of 1990s Los Angeles in this stylish and subversive underworld odyssey from veteran actor-director Bill Duke. Laurence Fishburne stars as Russell Stevens, a police officer who goes undercover as “John Hull,” the partner of a dangerously ambitious cocaine trafficker (Jeff Goldblum), in order to infiltrate and bring down a powerful Latin American drug ring operating in LA. But the further Stevens descends into this ruthless world of money, violence, and power, the more disillusioned he becomes — and the harder it is to make out the line between right and wrong, crime and justice…

Jon Partridge

Brit in Texas. Cinapse staff writer. VP of @ATXFilmCritics and member of @OFCS

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