Recent Reviews

Poltergeist (2015) (Blu-ray)
If there has to be a remake of a movie as revered as Poltergeist, this one -- on paper, anyway -- sure looks like a best case scenario. In much the same way that Steven Spielberg shepherded the original film, this modernized version was developed and produced by genre legend Sam Raimi. Director Gil Kenan is no stranger to suburban spookhouses, having previously helmed Monster House to a good bit of acclaim. Such towering talents as Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Jared Harris score top-billing. However promising this remake may look to be at first glance, though, the most terrifying thing about it is how forgettable it all is.

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It makes sense that this remake of Poltergeist changes up the names of its central characters; as it turns out, the Bowens are a profoundly different family. The Freelings in the original movie were a happy lot with a great deal to celebrate, moving into a newly-constructed home as part of Steve's career as a real estate developer. The Bowens, meanwhile, look wistfully at those heights they once enjoyed. Eric (Sam Rockwell) had his executive paychecks and corner office snatched from him during a round of layoffs, while housewife Amy (Rosemarie DeWitt) calls herself a writer but never seems to find the time to live up to that. They're retreating from their formerly lavish digs into a hopelessly remote ghost town of a neighborhood. It's not the house anyone wants, but they grudgingly sign on the bottom line anyway.

Eric can't stomach the unfamiliar stench of failure, of the mind that a man provides for his family. Amy's efforts to try to rebuild are shot down by her husband's patriarchal mindset, his irresponsible spending, and growing exasperation with their children. Eldest daughter Kendra (Saxon Sharbino) can barely be bothered to...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Poltergeist (2015)]

Antitrust (Blu-ray)
Milo goes to college. Milo graduates from college. Milo gets a start-up going with several of his closest friends and collaborators, freely sharing the source code of their media delivery platform with the world and making a modest living by charging for tech support.

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That was the plan, anyway. Milo (Ryan Phillippe) just can't resist the siren call of billionaire-who-knows-how-many-times-over Gary Winston (Tim Robbins). While his estranged friends at Skullbocks are hoping to one day give their software away for free, Milo is feverishly trying to meet the overly ambitious launch date of Synapse and add billions more to NURV's corporate coffers. No matter how massive a warchest NURV may have, a failed launch for the mega-hyped Synapse -- a platform to beam any media to any device -- could break the company. As Winston is so keen on saying in his keynote addresses, a couple of geeks in a garage could dethrone them at any moment. But hey, why sweat it? Whenever Milo hits a snag, Winston always shows up to hand his protégé a CD-R teeming with new source code holding the answer. Ssssshhh! Don't ask Winston where he got it, though! It's a sore subject, and I'm sure it doesn't have anything to do with the rash of murdered computer programmers lighting up the 6 o'clock news. When one of those corpses turns out to be his best friend (Yee Jee Tso), Milo starts to open his eyes. NURV is always watching. NURV is always listening. Everyone that Milo thinks he can trust is secretly on their payroll. Hell, he can't even leak it to the press; NURV has its corporate tentacles wrapped around every media conglomerate the world over. Milo does have two things, though: (1) the help of a misunderstood UX designer (Rachael Leigh Cook), and (2) a hell of a plan to sever NURV once and...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Antitrust]

Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
The opening shot is of a spaceship soaring through the heavens. You get a dead alien and a mosquito the size of a Great Dane before the counter has even ticked to the three minute mark. Ron Asheton from The Stooges scores second billing. Gunnar Hansen -- the one, true Leatherface! -- picks up a chainsaw for the first time in decades to carve his way through a legion of rubber skeeters. These monstrous bloodsuckers are brought to life through puppetry, stop-motion animation, a little 2D animation, and...well, pretty much every pre-CGI technique you can rattle off. It's co-written and directed by a guy whose special effects credits include Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, and that Renaissance Pictures DNA is felt in all the whip pans and the mosquito's-eye-view camerawork tearing through the woods. Mosquito is a goopy, gruesome, Ultraslime-slathered love letter to giant bug movies on late night TV, and if you need more of a review that that, I don't really know what to tell you.

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Ray and Megan (Tim Lovelace and Rachel Loiselle) stumble onto the first of these oversized bloodsuckers. This guy doesn't just splatter across their windshield, though, with his proboscis piercing their radiator and stranding 'em in the middle of nowhere. How is Megan gonna make it to her first day of work as a park ranger in time? A meteor chasing scientist type (Steve Dixon) is more than willing to give 'em a ride, but when they arrive at the state park, they're greeted by dozens of dessicated corpses. Whatever that creature was they plowed into on the road, it sure wasn't the only one. The survivors' numbers soon swell like a skeeter's gut -- a cowardly park ranger (Ron Asheton) here, a pair of murderous brothers (Gunnar Hansen and Mike Hard) scheming to steal...[read the entire Blu-ray review of Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition]

More reviews...

Stuff I've Watched Recently

  • 10/7: Poltergeist (2015) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/5: Antitrust (Blu-ray)
  • 10/5: Antitrust (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/4: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Blu-ray)
  • 10/4: Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron 2-Disc BD Combo Pack (3D BD+BD+Digital HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/3: Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (Blu-ray)
  • 10/3: Bugging Out!: The Making of Mosquito (Blu-ray)
  • 10/3: Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 10/2: Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
  • 9/23: Burnt Offerings (1976) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 9/23: Burnt Offerings (1976) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 9/22: Burnt Offerings (1976) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/20: Eaten Alive (2-Disc Special Edition) (Blu-ray; Commentary)
  • 9/19: Love & Mercy - Blu-ray + Digital HD (Blu-ray)
  • 9/19: Eaten Alive (2-Disc Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
More of my boring video log...
Movies I've Acquired Recently

  • 10/8: Manos: The Hands of Fate (Blu-ray)
  • 10/8: Aladdin: Diamond Edition (Blu-ray)
  • 10/8: Spartacus - Restored Edition (Blu-ray + DIGITAL HD) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/2: Poltergeist (2015) (Blu-ray)
  • 10/2: Mosquito: 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)
  • 10/2: Antitrust (Blu-ray)
  • 9/19: Burnt Offerings (1976) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/19: Love & Mercy - Blu-ray + Digital HD (Blu-ray)
  • 9/19: Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers - Blu-ray (Blu-ray)
  • 9/11: Dr. Who: Last Christmas (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/10: Eaten Alive (2-Disc Special Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/1: Christmas Evil (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
  • 9/1: Don't Go In The Woods (Blu-ray + DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/29: Mad Max: Fury Road (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet) (Blu-ray)
  • 8/29: Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Blu-ray)
More stuff I've bought or been sent to review...

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I could pretend that everything is ©2015 Adam Tyner, but it's probably not.