It’s an interesting time to be a movie buff. Even with new HD formats battling for supremacy, the studios continue putting out amazing stuff on DVD. With all of the older library titles and more obscure, rarer films making their way to disc lately, there’s a lot to choose from out there. Titles that have never been previously available on home video and television series that you never imagined you’d actually be able to own, as well as intriguing oddities you’ve never heard of before.
And I love it!
You’ve noticed, no doubt, that I’m still struggling to balance the demands of my various commitments and carve out a regular niche for this column. Still, I’m hopeful that I’ll soon be on track. For now, though, I’ve got a bunch of new reviews for your DVD purchasing/renting guidance…
He claims it’s his last “martial arts” movie, and if that turns out to be true, then JET LI’S FEARLESS (HUO YUAN JIA, 2006) certainly allows the titular martial arts master to go out on a high note, with one of the finest films in the genre.
Directed by Ronny Yu (FREDDY VS. JASON), FEARLESS is based on the true story of Martial arts legend Huo Yuanjia (Li) founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation. When an ill-advised fight destroys the reputation of the arrogant martial arts champion and his family, he must set out on a spiritual quest for redemption. Ultimately, this quest brings him to an exhibition match with the most accomplished fighters in the world – a British boxer, a Spanish swordsman, a Belgian soldier, and a Japanese martial artist – a match intended to crush the spirit of the Chinese people.
Li’s performance is flawless, and the martial arts choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (THE MATRIX, KILL BILL) is astounding. The story is engrossing, and the cinematography is gorgeous. This is arguably one of the greatest martial arts films ever made.
Universal’s DVD includes both the theatrical cut of the film as well as an unrated director’s cut, both presented in sparkling 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. The disc is light on extra features, but there is a deleted scene and a short featurette in which Li talks about the project, and what he means when he says it’s last martial arts movie.
Universal’s JET LI’S FEARLESS is a great movie with a disappointingly average presentation.
Blue Underground has recently re-visited a project originally intended as a vehicle for a young Bruce Lee (ENTER THE DRAGON) and his pal James Coburn (OUR MAN FLINT, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN), but ultimately realized years after Lee’s death by other filmmakers, with the CIRCLE OF IRON – 2-DISC SPECIAL EDITION (1978).
A young martial artist known as Cord the Seeker (Jeff Cooper), competes for and loses the right to go on a quest for the Book of All Knowlege held by a wizard named Zetan (Christopher Lee, LORD OF THE RINGS), but he stubbornly sets out to find Zetan anyway. Along the way, he meets a stranger with a flute (David Carradine, KILL BILL, DEATH RACE 2000) and faces a series of tests and challenges by several warriors (also played by Carradine) before he can achieve his goal.
Based on a screenplay called “The Silent Flute,” by Lee and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Stirling Silliphant (IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT), the script was eventually purchased and produced by exploitation specialist Sandy Frank. It was filmed in Israel by cinematographer Richard Moore (his only directing credit) with Carradine and TV actor Cooper in the lead roles.
The film is beautifully shot, but pretty horridly acted, with the exception of a handful of well-known character actors, (Roddy McDowell, Eli Wallach and the aforementioned Lee) in supporting roles. Carradine isn’t terrible, either, obviously relishing his multiple roles, but Jeff Cooper is awful; unconvincing as a martial artist or as an emoting human being.
The Blue Underground DVD is virtually identical to their previous release, with more bonus features and split across two discs. The first disc contains a gorgeous, 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and both DTS and Dolby 5.1 Surround sound. Also on Disc One is a audio commentary track by director Richard Moore, theatrical trailers and TV spots. Disc Two features on-screen interview segments with Carradine, producer Paul Maslansky, martial artist Joe Lewis (FORCE FIVE, JAGUAR LIVES) and a vintage audio interview with screenwriter Silliphant. There’s also a text history of the project, poster and still galleries, and the original screenplay on DVD-ROM.
A cult film more famous for what it isn’t than for what it is, CIRCLE OF IRON is a deeply flawed but still entertaining martial arts film that takes a more philosophical approach to the genre. Other movies have better martial arts scenes and acting, but CIRCLE OF IRON still remains a tantalizing glimpse at the thoughts and philosophies of the late Bruce Lee, and tour de force for Carradine.
For fans of the film, this new edition is a worthy upgrade.
Athletic Laurene Landon (I THE JURY, MANIAC COP) portrays female barbarian warrior HUNDRA in the 1983 sword & sorcery flick of the same name, now available as a special edition DVD from Subversive Cinema.
When an all-female Amazon tribe is wiped out by marauders (in a scene similar to and nearly as well executed as the opening of the first CONAN picture), man-hating tribal huntress Hundra is the sole survivor. To ensure that her tribe does not completely die out, she sets out (with her faithful horse and dog) into the savage world beyond her forest home in search of a worthy man to impregnate her with a daughter.
Pretty much a feminist-slanted remake of the first CONAN film, Matt Cimber’s HUNDRA boasts some fine cinematography, great Spanish locations, a brisk pace, a nice Ennio Morricone score, impressive stunts (many performed by Landon herself) and plenty of bizarre bits, including Hundra’s battle with a blue-painted midget. But there’s also bizarrely twisted sexual politics, some bad swordfighting, terrible dubbing and a lead actress who cannot act.
Subversive’s DVD presentation is really excellent, with a surprisingly sharp 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, that’s a little grainy in places, but otherwise more than acceptable. There’s also a full-length audio commentary track by director Cimber and star Landon, An interesting behind-the-scenes featurette with on-screen Cimber and Landon interviews, cast & crew text bios, and an original HUNDRA comic book. (It’s pretty crappy, though.) The first 5,000 copies also include a bonus soundtrack CD of Morricone’s (A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, THE UNTOUCHABLES, RED SONJA) rousing film score.
A sword & sorcery movie that’s decidedly short on sorcery, HUNDRA is, nonetheless, one of the better entries in the early 80’s fantasy cycle, and is worth checking out for fans of the genre.
A sorta sci-fi take on the immortal film noir classic, LAURA, Touchstone’s DÉJÀ VU (2006) is a satisfyingly slick little time travel thriller, one of the best treatments of the subject since Terry Gilliam’s 12 MONKEYS.
Denzel Washington (TRAINING DAY) is a federal agent called to New Orleans after a terrorist bomb attack on a ferry. Soon, a new weapon on the war on terror is revealed to him: a time-shifting surveillance device that can see exactly four and a half days into the past. The investigation is soon complicated by his growing emotional attachment to a woman he observes with the device – a woman who is apparently a victim of the bomb blast.
DÉJÀ VU is a big-budget, A-list studio thriller with the heart of a B-movie. It’s relatively smart and involving, trotting out the usual paradoxes and twists inherent in the time travel genre. Washington and the supporting the cast – including Val Kilmer, Bruce Greenwood and Jim Caviezel – are fine; each turning in exactly the performances you’d expect, with no notable flourishes or individual style. Veteran Tony Scott (TOP GUN, CRIMSON TIDE) turns in his usual, souless, slick directorial job, although the editing on this one’s a bit more coherent than usual.
The Touchstone DVD is solid, with a pristine 2.35: anamorphic widescreen transfer, a thundering Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound track, and a handful of slick behind-the-scenes featurettes and the usual deleted and extended scenes. There are also trailers for other current Touchstone/Disney releases.
A decent sci-fi thriller, worth a rental.
I’ve only seen a couple of Spanish genre filmmaker Paul Naschy’s (real name: Jacinto Molina) horror films, and frankly, those didn’t exactly make me a fan. Of course, I respected that he wrote and directed many of his films as well as starring in them (often in multiple roles), and I liked that he stuck to tried-and-true gothic formulas right out of the old Universal and Hammer monster flicks. In fact, his most famous role is that of tortured werewolf Waldemar Daninsky – a fur-faced wolfman who appeared in at least thirteen films – including 1980’s NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF (EL RETORNO DEL HOMBRE-LOBO).
Also distributed under the inexplicable but very 80’s title of THE CRAVING, RETURN OF THE WEREWOLF is a great little gothic Euro-horror, with all the classic elements of the genre, executed with style and some sly humor.
The film is a pseudo-remake of Naschy’s earlier WEREWOLF SHADOW, pitting the immortal wolfman against the equally immortal vampire Countess Elizabeth Bathory, in a sanguinary battle of fangs and claws. The film is loaded with great sets and medieval locations, hot babes – both good and evil – some decent old-school werewolf attacks, and even a zombie!
This is the best performance I’ve seen from the often-wooden auteur, who, in this film, is surprisingly charismatic with lots of star quality. The perfectly-cast Julia Saly’s Countess Bathory is disturbingly otherworldly and still oddly sexy – a perfect vampire queen.
Deimos/BCI’s excellent new DVD edition offers the complete, uncut version of the film with a very nice and nearly-flawless 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. It looks gorgeous, with only a few small instances of wear or grain. Audio is provided in both Spanish and a lousy English dub, and there are optional English subtitles. Extra features include some classy and creepy menu screens, a deleted scene, a charming, on-screen introduction from Naschy himself, the original Spanish credits sequence and international trailer, and, finally, an extensive still gallery. The disc also includes informative liner notes by Naschy expert Mirek Lipinski.
For Naschy fans and fans of traditional gothic monster bashes, NIGHT OF THE WEREWOLF is highly recommended.
The Elizabeth Bathory legend also makes an appearance in the second and latest of Starz Media’s direct-to-DVD series, HELLBOY ANIMATED: BLOOD & IRON (2007).
Once again, the feature film cast of Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones – this time joined by John Hurt – recreate their live action roles in a cartoon thriller that draws its inspiration from Mike Mignola’s acclaimed graphic novel series.
In this one, the B.P.R.D. (Bureau of paranormal Research and Defense) team of good-guy demon Hellboy (Perlman), pyrokinetic Liz (Blair), and fish guy Abe (Jones) are joined by their mentor Professor Broom (Hurt) in investigating a haunted New England mansion that entrepreneurs intend to make into a tourist attraction. Soon the B.P.R.D. team is up to their necks in witches, ghosts and vampires – including one the Professor has battled before.
While I enjoyed BLOOD & IRON, it seemed to be a bit of step down from the first Hellboy Animated feature, SWORD OF STORMS. In fact, it felt rather like one of the better SCOOBY DOO direct-to-vid movies – not bad, but not all that great, either.
The animation is solid and decently designed, and the voice performances are dead-on, but the script seems a little too predictable and formulaic for a Hellboy adventure. With all of the great horror menaces and stories in the graphic novels, we get another New England haunted house and retelling of the Bathory legend?
Starz Media (formerly Anchor Bay) gives HELLBOY ANIMATED: BLOOD & IRON a very nice DVD presentation with a beautiful, perfect 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and robust Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo tracks. There’s the usual ton of behind-the-scenes featurettes, an extra cartoon short, an E-Comic, and a commentary track by Mike Mignola, and directors Tad Stones and Vic Cook.
BLOOD & IRON is good, but not great. Hopefully, this is just a sophomore slump, and the next entry will have a stronger and more original story. And since it appears that it will feature one of Mignola’s more imaginative creations – the hero known as Lobster Johnson – I’m very hopeful.
From Classic Media/Genius Products comes another excellent Toho kaiju classic, GHIDORAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER (1964).
In this exciting entry in the long-running Godzilla series, the Big G, Rodan and larval Mothra must team up to protect Earth from the invading golden space dragon known as Ghidorah. It’s with this film that Godzilla first becomes a good guy (albeit reluctantly), and it’s the first of Toho’s giant monster flicks to feature more than two monsters in the main action.
The DVD is another fantastic package from the Classic Media folks, containing both the original Japanese cut of the film, and the somewhat altered and shorter U.S. version (GHIDRAH). Both transfers are very nice: sharp, clean and colorful, with only minor print damage. Both versions are presented in their correct anamorphic 2.40:1 widescreen aspect ratio. Bonus features include an audio commentary by author and G-fan David Kalat, a movie poster slide show, the original theatrical trailer, and a text biography of effects maestro Eiji Tsuburaya.
Universal’s PIRATES OF THE GOLDEN AGE collects four Fifties swashbucklers in one low-priced, 2-disc collection. All four films are presented in crisp, colorful, full-frame transfers, with clear mono sound. There are no extras aside from a couple of trailers.
AGAINST ALL FLAGS (1952) is the best film in this set, with an aging Errol Flynn returning to the genre that made him a star as a British naval officer who goes undercover to infiltrate a pirate enclave on Madagascar. There he meets and woos buccaneer beauty Maureen O’Hara (hotter than ever) and incurs the wrath of sly Anthony Quinn. Despite the low budget, heavyset hero and stage-bound action, FLAGS is a great little b-movie swashbuckler and alone worth the price of the set.
BUCCANEER’S GIRL (1950) is more of a bodice-ripping period romance than a pirate film, with a young and sexy Yvonne De Carlo (THE MUNSTERS) as a feisty New Orleans saloon entertainer who falls for a legendary pirate captain. It’s a decent little B-film, if you’re in the right mood.
YANKEE BUCCANEER (1952) re-uses most of the FLAGS sets and sea footage in an overly talky tale about the crew of an American naval vessel pretending to be pirates of the Caribbean. A good, likeable cast, led by Jeff Chandler, can’t quite make up for the lack of thrills, but they try.
DOUBLE CROSSBONES (1950) is the other gem of the GOLDEN AGE set, a kid-friendly spoof of pirate flicks with Donald O’Connor (the FRANCIS THE TALKING MULE series, SINGING IN THE RAIN) as a bumbling shopkeeper’s assistant who inadvertently becomes a pirate captain. It’s fun and funny, and a cheerfully silly diversion.
Thanks to Johnny Depp and his friends, Universal has unearthed this affordable chest of minor treasures, and as a fan of the genre, I’m grateful. I’m especially pleased to finally have AGAINST ALL FLAGS on DVD – it’s long overdue.
Sort of a big-budget, smarter version of those made-for-SciFi Channel “giant reptile” flicks, Michael Katleman’s PRIMEVAL (2006) has just a little bit more going for it than your average formula creature feature. For one thing, it’s true.
The film, which is “inspired by” true events, follows a news team as it sets out for a war-torn African nation in search of a giant man-eating crocodile called “Gustave” by the natives. (Do a Google search and be stunned.) The beastie’s grown gigantic on the war-created carcasses dumped into its river and has developed a taste for human flesh. But catching the croc isn’t going to be easy, and there are plenty of other dangers – of the human variety – around.
In PRIMEVAL, a talented cast led by Dominic Purcell (BLADE: TRINITY), sexy Brooke Langton (MELROSE PLACE) and Orlando Jones (EVOLUTION) end up playing second fiddle to an expertly-rendered CGI crocodile. Katleman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and even though the terrible “Gustave” doesn’t make his first appearance until well into the picture, the characters and set-up are intriguing enough to hold the viewer’s interest.
The Buena Vista DVD features a rock-solid 2.35:1 enhanced widescreen transfer that maintains its integrity even during the numerous dark scenes. There’s an excellent 5.1 Dolby Surround track and an audio commentary with the director and effects supervisor. The disc also includes the obligatory “Behind-the-scenes” featurette showing the always-exciting sight of computer geeks sitting at their monitors while the humming machines slowly render the animation, and brief interviews with the cast and crew. There are a few deleted scenes and trailers/promos for other Disney empire releases.
An exciting, well-made monster flick with a sheen of verisimilitude, PRIMEVAL is worth an evening’s rental.
DVD LATE SHOW CAPSULE REVIEWS!
In another attempt to catch up with the mountain of notable discs that piled up during the last few months, I’m once again providing a handful of “Capsule Reviews” –short, sweet and to the point! Here’s a few more DVDs that are long overdue for some Late Show attention:
PETER PAN – 2-DISC PLATINUM EDITION (1953). The latest video incarnation of the Disney cartoon classic is a marvelous package, with an absolutely stunning, restored presentation of the film. Die-hard animation buffs may debate the accuracy of the colors or the sharpness of the picture, but to these fannish eyes, the movie has never looked better. Disney has provided, along with the new transfer, a new Dolby 5.1 sound mix, as well as the original mono track. Loaded with bonus features – games and stuff for the kiddies, along with archival and behind-the-scenes materials for the adult animation buffs (and an absolutely pointless music video) – this “Platinum Edition” really delivers.
LAURE. (1976) A beautifully-shot (in the Phillipines) bit of otherwise dreary erotica, LAURE’s claim to fame is that it was written, directed and stars the original Emmanuelle -– Emmanuelle Arsan. Actually, it’s written & directed by her husband (the real author of the Emmanuelle novel), Louis Jacques, and Arsan plays only a supporting role to Euro-cutie Annie Belle, who stars as the titular character. The dialogue is ridiculous, the sex scenes mostly unmemorable, and aside from the gorgeous location photography, the only redeeming feature of the film is Miss Belle’s near-constant nudity. Severin Films nonetheless gives the flaccid flick a beautiful 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a couple of interesting extras (more interesting than the feature in fact): interviews with producer Ovidio Assonitis and stars Annie Belle and Al Cliver.
PHANTASM. (1978) The second classic re-issue in “The Anchor Bay Collection,” is this new, and greatly improved edition of the nightmarish Don Coscarelli (BUBBA-HO-TEP, BEASTMASTER) horror classic about macabre alien shenanigans in a mortuary. With a new widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer that’s vastly superior to the previous MGM disc, and a hearse-load of supplemental features, including a new 30-minute documentary, and a bunch of material (interviews, commentaries, rare TV clips) ported over from the old Image laserdisc, this edition is a must-have for PHANTASM and classic horror fans. Highly recommended.
RAPTOR ISLAND (2004) is another Sci-Fi Channel “classic,” starring Lorenzo Lamas (SNAKEATER) as the leader of a Navy SEALS unit pursuing a terrorist leader in the South China Sea. Through a series of contrived incidents, the SEALS, the terrorist, and a female CIA agent, all end up on an uncharted island inexplicably inhabited by a horde of bloodthirsty velociraptors. So, what’s wrong with this film? Nearly everything – from the shoddy CGI dinos to the Canadian forest unconvincingly standing in for a tropical jungle isle. Yet, the pace is brisk, the raptor attacks fairly violent, and I didn’t feel like clawing my eyes out before the climax. Could be worse, I guess. Anchor Bay gives this dino dropping a sharp, 1.85 anamorphic transfer and that’s it.
BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP – Vol. 2. (1976) The second half of the first season of this WWII adventure series has finally made it to DVD, several years after Volume 1, and still a bit overpriced. This 3-disc set includes 12 exciting and entertaining episodes of the Robert Conrad (THE WILD WILD WEST)-starring series, filled with familiar TV faces (John Larroquette, Larry Manetti, Dirk Blocker, Simon Oakland, Robert Ginty), some thrilling aerial combat footage (both stock and staged), and manly tales of camaraderie under fire. Occasionally hokey, but fun, BAA BAA is given an adequate, no-frills presentation, with clean, full-frame transfers and clear mono sound. Commercials for other Universal TV-on-DVD releases are included. BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP is one vintage television show that would be perfect for a modern feature film treatment.
REFINEMENTS IN LOVE (1971). Director Carlos Tobalina’s incoherent sexploitation film disguised as a meaningful documentary on changing sexual mores in America liberally mixes faux documentary footage and staged interviews with fake experts with scenes of hardcore Triple-X sex. As a movie, it’s impossible to follow – it almost seems as if the reels are mixed up (although Impulse Pictures insists that it’s correct on the DVD). Narrated by cult actress Liz Renay (THE THRILL-KILLERS) and featuring an early, uncredited appearance by porn starlet Rene Bond, REFINEMENTS IN LOVE is recommended only for die-hard fans of “mondo” and sexploitation flicks of the era.
DVD LATE SHOW GUEST REVIEW: ALTERED
James Chambers is a good pal, an occasional collaborator, a contributor to the DVD Late Show website, and a talented writer of horror fiction. He recently sent along this review of the Universal DVD release, ALTERED and I thought I’d share it with you. Jim’s website is James Chambers Online.
The fact that ALTERED (2007) did not get a theatrical release is a sad glimpse into the state of horror cinema these days. But then I guess this flick had a few things going against it: a lack of big stars, a modest use of CGI (at least as far as I could tell), a distinctive style and vision, and a healthy respect for its audience and genre. ALTERED is a monster movie, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long, long time, and while it’s not perfect, it does deliver a tight, atmospheric, creepy, and fast-paced horror story. Considering today’s Hollywood brain trust seems to think that “horror” equals star-powered crap like GODSEND or HIDE AND SEEK or unjustifiable remakes like BLACK CHRISTMAS, THE FOG, and THE WICKER MAN, it’s no surprise that the mainstream movie industry might not get something like ALTERED. But then, really, the best horror movies have almost universally come from independent filmmakers for going on close to four decades now.
What surprises me most, though, is that the word-of-mouth I’d heard about ALTERED was all negative. Maybe Sanchez’s pedigree as one of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT creators drove expectations sky high and people simply couldn’t be satisfied no matter what he delivered. In my case the opposite held true. I never thought much of BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, beyond being impressed with the massive hype that manufactured its status as a horror icon. For my money both the CURSE OF THE BLAIR WITCH and BLAIR WITCH 2: BOOK OF SHADOWS hands down beat the original, which I’ve only ever found to be entertaining at best.
So to some extent I watched ALTERED in search of proof that Sanchez had the chops to tell an actual horror story sans gimmicks and marketing madness. And, yes, he does.
The premise of ALTERED is simple: Years ago a group of friends were abducted by aliens. Most of them were soon released, but two were kept for several days, and one of them died. Three of the abductees have been staking out the woods where they were taken ever since, and now they have actually captured one of the aliens. With revenge on their minds, they bring the creature to the compound of the other surviving abductee, where they’ll determine the fate of their prisoner. But the alien is not going down without a fight.
The extraterrestrials in ALTERED are no knobby-limbed puppets who come in peace; they’re vaguely reptilian, mean as hell, and downright scary. Their motives are inhuman and thus unclear, but they’re unmistakably malicious. The movie makes no bones about the fact they’ve been screwing with these guys for years, leaving them little choice but to hit back even though the battle may ultimately be hopeless.
ALTERED quickly revs up to a suspense-charged, claustrophobic night terror seasoned with the kind of surreality that characterizes so many real-world reports of alien encounters and abduction experiences. It draws effectively on alien/UFO lore as it plays out its “turning-the-tables” twist that makes the otherworldly visitor the prisoner this time. And, as in so many alien accounts, there is a fair amount left unexplained here.
And that perhaps marks both the movie’s greatest weaknesses and one of its greatest strengths.
Audiences looking for a neat explanation for everything they see on-screen will be disappointed. ALTERED is very much a slice out of a larger story that is mainly alluded to; it is one night in the lives of people involved in a phenomenon that has been going on for years and will clearly continue even after the credits roll. Unaccountable strangeness occurs. Answers and explanations are ambiguous. Characters learn only fragments of the truth, and maybe, if they live long enough, they’ll someday come to know the whole picture.
Therein lays the horror of ALTERED —to be isolated and caught in the grip of an unending nightmare, only vaguely aware of the part you are meant to play, and unable to every fully escape it. That’s not to say that there is no logic to the story. There is, but the filmmakers have wisely chosen not to make us privy to it all—all the better to preserve the mystery. They also avoid the pitfall so many other movies stumble into of offering step-by-step explanations of things the audience can better deduce on their own. There are, however, some minor plot holes, which I’ll refrain from describing for fear of giving too much away, but they didn’t spoil things.
Suffice it to say that ALTERED is a genuine horror flick, rich in mood and unflinching without being gratuitously gore-drenched. Among its many virtues is the fact that the alien is played by an actor decked out in practical SFX rather than a glorified, motion capture, CGI video game character. And what a wonderful difference that makes.
Given its direct-to-DVD release it’s unlikely ALTERED will immediately find the audience it deserves, but I hold out hope that, with time, it will come to be recognized as the important genre entry that it is. I also hope Sanchez doesn’t take another eight years to deliver his next feature.
That’s it for this time. More reviews coming soon.
For older Late Show columns (adding up to well over 200 reviews!), visit the newly updated-and-revamped DVD Late Show website and archive. For additional pop culture musings, occasional DVD previews and lots of shameless self-promotion, you might try checking out my blog.
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