Film/Home Video

Title: WWE Superstar Collection: Sheamus

Format: DVD

Studio: WWE Home Video

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review by: Matt Peters

Limiting the number of matches to only six, the WWE Superstars series of releases are more akin to a “best of” rather than the time capsule the usual multi-disc sets usually are. For instance, the 2011 John Cena 3-disc set did a great job of catching fans up on his recent activities while completely ignoring the Superstar’s Basic Thuganomics and Chain Gang eras. Sheamus makes a fantastic heel, and this release serves as a great reminder of those qualities before diving into his current run as a good guy. Besides, what better way to begin than by showing Sheamus beat the living hell out of the current WWE poster child, John Cena? (more…)

Title: Get the Gringo

MPAA Rating: R

Directed by: Adrian Grunberg

Written by: Mel Gibson, Adrian Grunberg

Starring: Mel Gibson, Kevin Hernandez, Daniel Giménez Cacho, Dolores Heredia

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review by: Matt Peters

A fair warning to those with phobias, the opening scene of this film features clowns. It’s not just a quick look at clowns, no. This is a prolonged chase featuring Mel Gibson wearing a full on clown mask. Some may take this as a sign that he’s got a sense of humor about his recent behavior. Others may view this as a clear sign that it’s all downhill from here.

As the title and cast list would lead you to believe, the film does in fact take place in Mexico. Gibson’s character, who is never specifically named, hops the border to escape US law enforcement after stealing from a crime lord. (more…)

Title: Chronicle

Format: DVD


Directed by: Josh Trank

Written by: Max Landis

Starring: Dan DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan

Studio: Fox Home Entertainment

Film Rating: ★★★½☆

DVD Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

The Film

Yes, Chronicle is a “found footage” film. Yes, it is another entry in the ever-crowded superpowers genre of films. And yes, it features a bunch of actors who will come previously unknown to many viewers.

And yet the film finds a way to buck the trends and provide an engaging experience that will leave many viewers satisfied beyond their expectations, but the same things that work to make it interesting also work to undermine what it is trying to accomplish at points. (more…)

The Disco Exorcist spoofs nostalgia, horror clichés

Review by Jon DePaolis

All cards on the table, I usually don’t like nostalgic movies. This is mostly because I wasn’t alive in the 1970s and I don’t get what the big deal was. So that generation had disco clubs, cocaine and a promiscuous attitude toward sex, but so what? OK … that sounds great. All the same, I didn’t live through it and, to be honest, Sega Genesis and Puff Daddy’s No Way Out suited me just fine.

Where was I? Right, The Disco Exorcist. I’m pretty sure Wild Eye produced this movie just so that it could do a retro horror movie. If that is the case, they succeeded, and I loved it.

The film is shot similar to Grindhouse, with its grainy, old film strip picture. The gore is mostly contained to red corn syrup and old-school sound effects. The plot is even cheesy, with main character Rex (Michael Reed) – a notorious ladies man – sleeping around on a witch who subsequently tries to kill him. Disco Exorcist is basically softcore porn with a horror movie attached to it, but if we are really getting down to brass tax, what horror movie isn’t these days? (more…)

Title: John Carter

Format: Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Directed by: Andrew Stanton

Written by: Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews, Michael Chabon

Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Willem Dafoe

Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

Film Rating: ★★½☆☆

Blu-ray 3D Rating: ★★★☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

The Film

John Carter may be best known in retrospect as a bad business decision. One that saw a lot of money spent and not nearly as much made. And that comes, I think, primarily from its source material.

John Carter is the kind of fiction that has attained a certain cult status – an incredibly loyal contingent of followers staunchly stand by the Edgar Rice Burroughs sci-fi adventure – but may be entirely unfamiliar to general audiences. And ultimately what happened is a group of those loyal followers pushed to get this made, and the mass audiences just weren’t there.

But that doesn’t necessarily speak to the quality of the film. Financial success doesn’t always speak to quality, of course, but in this case there does seem to be a connection. What John Carter struggles with most is finding, or creating, an identity for itself. By the end of 132 minutes, we’ve all seen a lot of fantastic things but are left caring about very little of it. (more…)

Title: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Format: Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet Digital Copy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Directed by: Stephen Daldry

Written by: Eric Roth

Starring: Tom Hanks, Thomas Horn, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright, Max von Sydow

Studio:Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Sarah Jones

The Film

Almost everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they found out about the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. Some were directly affected, knowing someone who was killed in the attacks or in the rescue efforts.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close portrays such a story, but it is also a story about trying to move on after losing a loved one and trying to find meaning in the pieces they leave behind. (more…)

Title: Baseball’s Greatest Games: 2011 World Series, Games 6

Format: Blu-ray

Studio: A+E Networks

Game Rating: ★★★★☆

Blu-ray Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Jon DePaolis

The Game

All cards on the table, I absolutely hate it when people deem something an instant classic. I hate it when ESPN pushes product by calling a first-round playoff basketball game an instant classic just because it goes to overtime. No, a classic gets its status because it changes the way someone views a sport or is so superior to anything anyone has seen in recent memory.

So take heed when I write, as much as it pains this Cubs fan’s heart to write, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series is an instant classic. And the fine folks at Major League Baseball Productions agree, as they have already packaged Game 6 as an addition to its “Baseball’s Greatest Games” series with A+E Networks. (more…)

Title: The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions

Format: Three-Disc DVD Set

Studio: WWE Home Video

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

WWE is digging into WCW’s archives once again, this time to release the three-disc DVD set, The Best of WCW Clash of the Champions. But while the show’s history seems like something deserving of such attention, the DVD set here seems to indicate otherwise.

Dusty Rhodes narrates the three discs, outlining the story of a show that abrasively debuted as a free program rivaling WWE’s top pay-per-view event of the year, WrestleMania. It wound up continuing over the years, but if the matches contained on this set are the best the show had to offer, it’s probably a good sign why WrestleMania continued mostly unfazed, and why WCW ultimately went out of business. (more…)

Comedy Central Round-Up No. 2
Hannibal Buress, Reggie Watts, Paul F. Tompkins

Reviews by: Bill Jones

When it comes to stand-up comedy on television, Comedy Central more or less has the market cornered. And the network’s DVD and CD departments have been pushing out plenty of the television specials in the uncensored and uncut format (really, the right way to watch a comedian’s set) for home consumption. Pads & Panels decided to help its readers wade through some of Comedy Central’s latest offerings.

The Comedian: Hannibal Buress

The DVD: Animal Furnace (Also on CD)

Rating: ★★★★½

The latest stand-up special from Hannibal Buress, Animal Furnace may be Comedy Central’s best release of the year to date. The Chicago native has been a writer on Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock, which speaks to his background in comedy. But for once the quotes on the back of the box actually go a long way in letting people know why he’s worth checking out, or at least the list of names that provided those quotes — Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, Demetri Martin and Mike Birbiglia. Toss in dash of Kyle Kinane (not on the box), too, and it’s easy to get an idea of both the quality and style that comes with his performance. With an infectious smile, Buress appears to have a great time on stage as he launches into stories about the TSA, stolen credit cards, Canada, college newspapers and even food. The CD doesn’t deviate from the DVD, but it’s better in my opinion to have the visual in his case. The DVD also includes and awesome bonus feature chronicling the week before recording his special. (more…)

Title: Astonishing X-Men: Dangerous

Format: DVD

Produced by: Brian Ward

Written by: Joss Whedon

Illustration by: John Cassaday

Studio: Marvel Knights Animation, Shout Factory

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Bill Jones

The motion comic formula is still a baffling one. Marvel Knights doesn’t quite commit to really animating something, but offers a way for people to watch, rather than read, their comics. The effect is cool but still altogether unnecessary, and the latest offering from Astonishing X-Men isn’t going to change many minds on it. (more…)

Next Page »