Sunday, April 5, 2020

Deal: Disney 4K Steelbooks at Best Buy from $9.99

Everyone is staying home more now, so movies at home are the new normal.  Get some gorgeous Disney steelbooks from Best Buy from $9.99.  Although most of these are on Disney+, many prefer the steelbooks for the beautiful art and the higher quality you get from a 4K disc.  Plus, they come with the digital codes and are Movies Anywhere compatible, so they will port to your linked accounts so you can watch them on the go.

Check out the entire collection here.

Some of the highlights include:

Saturday, April 4, 2020

News: Focus Features Free "Movie Mondays" To Offer Facebook Live Streams of Classic Movies


Focus Features announced that it will start having “Focus Movie Mondays,” hoping to bring moviegoers back to the movies from the comfort of their own homes. Beginning on Monday April 6th, Focus Features will be livestreaming a film exclusively on their Facebook page (here) every Monday in April for free. Each livestream will include a link to donate to the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s COVID 19 Response Fund.

Focus Movie Mondays’ planned programming includes a screening watch party of Gosford Park,written by Julian Fellowes who received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the film, another screening watch party of Mallrats with Kevin Smith, one of Moonrise Kingdom where Wes Anderson will take questions from viewers prior to the livestream, and more. Full screening schedule below. Each livestream will begin at 5PM PST / 8PM EST starting April 6 on the Focus Features Facebook page.

Focus Movie Mondays Current Schedule
  • April 6 at 5pm PST/8pm EST: Gosford Park­– more information on the livestream is here
    • Questions will be collected this Thursday, April 2 for Julian Fellowes and his answers will be revealed during the livestream.
  • April 13 at 5pm PST/8pm EST: Moonrise Kingdom– more information on the livestream is here
    • Questions will be collected Tuesday, April 7 for Wes Anderson and his answers will be revealed during the livestream.
  • April 20 at 5pm PST/8pm ESTMallrats including live Watch Party with Kevin Smith – more information on the livestream is here
  • April 27 at 5pm PST/8pm ESTMy Summer of Love– more information on the livestream is here

Friday, April 3, 2020

What to Watch This Weekend: April 3, 2020

Redbox: The Current War
The Current War takes an interesting struggle and powers it with an all-star cast; it tells an entertaining story that sheds some light on the race to illuminate the United States.  For more information, check out our review!

Streaming (Netflix): Coffee & Kareem
This unconventional buddy cop film leans on its ridiculous moments, adult dialogue, insult after insult, to serve and protect your funny bone.  For more information, check out our review!

Streaming (Disney+): Onward
Disney delivered a magical early gift to parents at home with newly home schooled kids by sending Pixar's Onward to digital and Disney+ early!  This film will cast a charm spell on you with it's wonderful cast, beautiful animation, and story that has all of the heart and magic that we have come to expect from this studio.  For more information, check out our review!

Streaming (HBO): The Kitchen
The Kitchen turns up the heat with a strong cast, plenty of twists and turns, and a soundtrack that sets the mood.  If you can’t handle the heat, get out of these ladies way!  For more information, check out our review!

Streaming (HBO): Won't You Be My Neighbor
Everyone could use a pick me up so stream the documentary on everyone's neighbor.  This documentary got a lot of positive press for its look into the iconic man's life.  Stream it on HBO soon as it leaves HBO after this month!

Streaming (Hulu): Into the Dark: Pooka Lives
Into the Dark: Pooka Lives has a fun, diverse cast of characters in a campy horror episode that forgoes CG and extra gore for plenty of fun, a few scares, and lots of enjoyment.  For more information, check out our review!

Review: Coffee & Kareem

Release date: April  3, 2020
Running time: 88 minutes
Starring: Betty Gilpin, Taraji P. Henson, Ed Helms 

Netflix's new original comedy Coffee & Kareem is the story of Detroit Metro Officer James Coffee (Helms) who is in the midst of a growing relationship with Vanessa Manning (Henson). And while things are becoming more serious for the two, Vanessa makes it clear that she and her 12 year old son Kareem are a package deal. And although the two want to make an effort for Coffee to have a relationship with Kareem, Kareem has other plans. In an elaborate scheme to break the two up and scare Coffee away forever, Kareem decides to hire an ex convict to scare his mom's boyfriend away.  However, this scheme backfires and puts Kareem, Coffee, and his mother at risk.  Now, Kareem and Coffee must begrudgingly work together to stay safe.  

Brought to you by director Michael Dowse, who brought us movies like Stuber and Goon, and actor Ed Helms, of The Office and The Hangover fame, you have a feeling that this movie will be funny.  In fact, this movie was nuts, with one crazy scenario after the other.  Terrence Little Gardenhigh, who plays 12 year old Kareem, is 12 going on 21 in this film.  He has plenty of vulgar dialogue and raunchy jokes that belie his age.  This young star hangs with the adults on all levels, although I didn't love his delivery at times.  It got better as the movie progressed but it felt very unnatural at the start.  However, Taraji P. Henson was the perfect compliment for the two leads.  With everyone else being completely off the rails her character finds her own style of humor that is more subtle and comes about through her own muted dialogue and actions.  And she is far and away the best actor in this film.  Unfortunately, her role is limited and you don't get to see her as much as Helm and Gardenhigh. 

However, the story of this film is just ridiculous.  That is good and bad in this case.  It goes from one crazy scenario to the next, with the pair getting into more and more trouble as the story progresses.  But although the film tries to one up itself over and over, and ends with a climactic, hectic ending, the story is kind of all over the map.  And for a movie that is a comedy, there were definitely some funny jokes, but a lot of humor that fell flat.  Especially at the start of the movie, the jokes were very hit or miss.  Luckily, the film does warm up after this rough start, and towards the end has some genuinely funny scenes.  But for a film that is only an hour and a half with some very funny people, it shouldn't need this warm up time to really hit its stride.  However, unlike regular coffee, the longer you sit with it the hotter and more intense it gets.  

This unconventional buddy cop film leans on its ridiculous moments, adult dialogue, insult after insult, to serve and protect your funny bone.  

Watch it

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Review: Into the Dark: Pooka Lives (S2E7)

Release date: April 3, 2020
Running time: 80 minutes
Starring: Malcolm Barrett, Felicia Day, Rachel Bloom, Wil Wheaton

Into the Dark is a Hulu collaboration with Blumhouse to make a monthly movie-length horror feature from Jason Blum’s independent TV studio. Each feature-length installment is inspired by a holiday and features Blumhouse’s signature genre/thriller spin on the story.  In season 2, episode 7, Pooka Lives, a character from season 1 episode 3 returns to terrorize a small town. 

After an incident that caused a famous internet influencer to despise him and ruin his career, New York writer Derrick (Barrett) returns to his hometown to lay low with some old friends he hasn't kept up with since he left.  Derrick has to start over, taking a low ranking writing job at a local toy company, in order to try to make a fresh start.  However, the company he is working at created a popular children's doll named Pooka, and when Derrick and his friends decide to have a little fun and create a creepypasta, they realize that maybe they bit off more than they could chew.  Pooka Lives is first and foremost, fun.  It gathers a fun group of characters to make this campy horror film entertaining.  The group of characters are a pretty diverse group with good chemistry between them.  They each have different backgrounds and strengths and their interactions seem natural and fun to watch.  They also have good chemistry between them to make their general social interactions fun.  They are supposed to be old friends and reminisce about memories and past acquaintances throughout the experience. 

This also translates to the overall feel of the episode: it feels very campy and doesn't take itself too seriously.  The whole Pooka story is silly to begin with, and it helps immensely that the film itself recognizes the silliness and embraces it.  The episode also has some really great cameos, most notably from Rachel Bloom and Wil Wheaton, who start the episode off right.  You can tell that this film was meant to be in the Happy Death Day vein of Blumhouse.  Altogether, this feels like a throwback to my childhood horror shows, when I would stay up watching Are You Afraid of the Dark?  It has a similar feel and as long as you don't take it too seriously, you'll find find plenty of enjoyment in this campy horror episode.The effects aren't great, but that is part of the charm.  The Pooka dolls aren't too complicated, but also don't overuse CG to break the fourth wall.  The Pooka characters are all costumes so although it is silly, it doesn't look like the characters are running from an imaginary monster.  

Into the Dark: Pooka Lives has a fun, diverse cast of characters in a campy horror episode that forgoes CG and extra gore for plenty of fun, a few scares, and lots of enjoyment.

Watch it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Deal: Get 50% Off Dreamworks Movies When Preordering Trolls World Tour for Rental at FandangoNOW

Deal Alert! Right now, if you preorder the rental of Trolls World Tour at FandangoNOW, you will get a promotional code for 50% off Dreamworks movies. There is a banner on the rental page with more details, although the text is hard to see. It looks like you can choose from this list of movies, and you will receive it after you preorder Trolls. Trolls World Tour releases on April 10 direct to digital, so you can watch it in the comfort of your home during quarantine!

Review: Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons

Release date: April 5, 2020
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Cindy Casey, Steven R. Feldman, Harry Quinn Schone

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons is a documentary about several people with a rare skin condition / disease called Morgellons.  The problem is that it is not a disease that is officially recognized by the CDC. Because of this and the general lack of research on this disease, many patients are misdiagnosed or ignored as this life affected disease causes very real, very painful issues.  

This movie does a really good job of framing the problem and building from it.  Morgellons disease has a few characteristic symptoms, but many patients have differing severity of symptoms or some but not all of them.  And, many of these patients have had to fight against doctors or go to doctor after doctor before finally finding a sympathetic one.  The documentary does a great job of putting on a compelling case.  At least with the way that it is presented, these individuals do seem to have a common, life-altering disease that has some characteristic signs including skin lesions and strange fibers within their skin.  It is a very surreal experience to see these in the film and it is something that is so unique to this disease that it seems surprising that it has never been looked at.  This is part of the overall theme of this film, that individuals sometimes have to fight against the medical establishment to be heard and to have their very real conditions taken seriously.  And it also highlights the flaws in the medical system through these patient's experiences.  

And on top of presenting a compelling case, the film does highlight several individuals with the disease and explores their journey.  It does a great job of framing their backstory and how this disease has affected their lives.  It also highlights some Morgellons-friendly medical individuals, and some not so friendly ones.  It jumps around to various locales as it follows these people, and in doing so has some really beautiful camera work.  Seeing Austin or San Francisco before going into the actual lives of these people was a nice treat.  And the documentary also does a good job of building the story; it has followed these individuals for a while and provides some exciting moments where new aspects of the disease are found or new proof is established.  And, most importantly, this documentary is informative and entertaining.  By showing so many individuals and locales, it keeps the documentary interesting and the viewer engaged, while also presenting a lot of medical information in an easily digestible format.  

Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons presents a compelling case about this unrecognized condition and informs its viewers while highlighting the very real impact this has had on the lives of those suffering from it.

Watch it.