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: Wayne of Gotham

Author: Tracy Hickman

Publisher: It Books, HarperCollins Publishers

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Jon DePaolis

How much do we really know about our past?

The very set of memories that are supposed to define and determine our present and future selves tend to be the set of memories that are least reliable. How much can we truly remember about our lives after years have gone by — distancing us from those memories to the point where it is as if those memories were actually scenes from a movie instead of vignettes of reality?

Tracy Hickman’s Wayne of Gotham attempts to answer the question of how fragile and disconnected our own memories are. In order to achieve that end, Hickman crafts two stories. The first has a son trying to piece together shattered memories of his parents after a villain puts in motion a complicated maze of crime. The second, set approximately 50 years earlier, sees a young adult rebelling against his abusive father, in turn making questionable decisions in the name of morality. (more…)


Product: Nintendo Skyward Sword Cap

Company: ThinkGeek

Review by: Archie Easter

As far as gaming series go, Zelda is a fairly cherished and storied franchise, so when Nintendo decides to release merchandise for the series, it’s usually pretty good.

This cap released by the company for the series’ newest game, Skyward Sword, is no exception. This fitted cap is all black with a golden Skyward Sword and Triforce logo emblazoned in reflective paint across the front. The effect works fairly well, as the logo practically glows when worn in direct sunlight. (more…)


Product: Electric Paper Airplane Conversion Kit

Company: ThinkGeek

Price: $19.99

Review by: Archie Easter

The  electric paper airplane conversion kit from PowerUp promises to add a working motor to paper plane creations. And what person wouldn’t want to turn a boring paper glider into a genuine ruler of the skies? (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: War Horse

Format: 4-Disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Written by: Lee Hall, Richard Curtis

Starring: Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Jeremy Irvine

Studio: Touchstone Home Entertainment, Dreamworks Pictures

Film Rating: ★★★☆☆

Blu-ray Rating: ★★½☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

The Film

War Horse is unique in that it essentially tells the story of a war from the perspective of an animal used in war. It features a number of human characters, the most prominent of which is Albert (Jeremy Irvine), the son of the owner of the horse Joey sold off to the cavalry, but ultimately the story is about the horse and what it endures in the midst of this human war.

But despite the promising premise and the acclaim it has received, War Horse is a disjointed, overly long film that lacks direction and more so focus in its execution, leaving viewers with a film that puts forth a lot of effort but fails to hit its mark. It boils down to a lot of action and moments, but the only lasting impression I had was one particularly amusing grammar joke made in the midst of some self-awareness that the Germans in this film speak English, but with accents. (more…)


Band: Anti-Flag

Album: The General Strike

Label: SideOneDummy

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Anti-Flag is a band with a message, but that message has always been marred by a simplistically straightforward approach that annoys more than educates. It’s not the message but the way that Anti-Flag has delivered it that annoys. It never comes across as an examination of ideas or a different look at what we already know; it is rather a simplistic form of preaching. And regularly appearing on stages like those of Warped Tour, Anti-Flag is usually preaching to the choir.

The point being, full disclosure, I’ve always felt that there are a lot of bands trying to get out the same type of messages as Anti-Flag, but with more tact, actual creativity and better musicianship. And none of that changes on the band’s eighth full-length, The General Strike. (more…)