Randall Unger

Staff Writer

A product of the 1980s, his first cinematic experience was seeing Ghostbusters II with his parents at the tender age of 4. His favorite movies include the Back to the Future TrilogyJurassic Park, Batman and Glengarry Glen Ross. Tom Hanks is his idol and his second home is Comic Con.



The Raspberry Brothers Cause a (Laugh) Riot at the "Road House"

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“Pain don’t hurt.” Really? That “brilliant” quote is the philosophy of Dalton, Patrick Swayze’s character in the ridiculously bad 80s action film, Road House. The extraordinarily laughable movie was screened this past weekend at Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s indy theater the Nitehawk Cinema under the talented mockery of the Raspberry Brothers. Like Mystery Science Theater 3000, they're a group of three whose sole mission at the Nitehawk is to provide comedic and often insulting audio commentary on the week's specially chosen movie.

Jun
29
2012
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A Bittersweet Finale For The Boys of "Entourage" Review

They conquered Hollywood for eight glorious seasons. The boys from Queens made money, courted numerous beautiful women and left an indelible impression on American pop culture. Entourage is a show that not only defines a generation, but it gives hope for people worldwide that they too can achieve success. Everyone dreams of wealth and/or fame. It’s something all people wish for and some actually do achieve. The cast of HBO’s immensely popular show proves through their characters that if you are ambitious or lucky enough or both, you too can make your dreams a reality.

Jun
28
2012
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Minions of Gozer: Live Ghostbusters Shadowcast - Gender Bender Edition

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Well, they’re back. The Minions of Gozer have returned for another fun-filled weekend of Ghostbuster-shadowcasting. The venue is the same and so are the performers. Taking place once again at the popular downtown theater, the IFC Center. The Minions of Gozer are a talented group of actors who regularly perform the legendary 1984 sci-fi comedy Ghostbusters simultaneously as it plays on the screen. Think Rocky Horror Picture Show and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what’s in store. This time the Minions are mixing it up a bit for Pride Weekend by calling this show their Gender Bender Edition. The male roles will be played by women and the female roles will be played by men. It promises to be a very interesting weekend, to say the least.

Jun
21
2012
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"It's About You" Pays an Aurally Wonderful Tribute to John Mellencamp Review

Music is one of Earth’s oldest and most respected forms of art. For centuries, people have been entertained by soothing sounds which often contain meaning for audiences to enjoy. John Mellencamp is one such artist who has delighted many with his old school heartland rock. Amateur filmmakers Kurt Markus and his son Ian followed Mellencamp on one of his concert tours in 2009. The documentary they shot, John Mellencamp: It’s About You is a beautiful account of a musician’s journey, from artistic creation to connecting with audiences and fellow artists.

Jun
21
2012
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The Raspberry Brothers Head to the "Road House"

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Whenever one watches a terrible movie, one is tempted to make sarcastic comments and insult whatever ridiculousness is being shown onscreen. It’s pretty much a natural reaction or instinct people have when they see something so ludicrous. This is the basis for the comedy team that is The Raspberry Brothers, three men who know what bad cinema is and how to make said bad cinema tolerable to watch. Think of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and you’ll have better idea of what these jokesters do. Their latest conquest is Road House, a Patrick Swayze action spectacle that certainly deserves the Raspberry touch.

Jun
21
2012
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The Swedish Invasion of American Culture Continues With "Arn: The Knight Templar" Review

Sweden is known worldwide for its fantastic film industry. The Swedes know how to entertain and this is extremely evident in their high-budget film-to-TV program, Arn: The Knight Templar - The Complete Series, a series which follows Arn, a young boy who grows into a noble knight. Arn is the most expensive production in Swedish cinema with a total budget of US $30 million. The complete series is now out on Blu-ray and it is a truly wonderful piece of Medieval entertainment.

Based on Jan Guillou’s epic bestselling trilogy, Arn is a riveting tale of a young man and his quest to overcome evil and find his true love. Arn Magnusson (Joakim Natterqvist) is a skilled swordsman who, as a penance for his sins, is sent off to war as a Knight Templar. The program shows him do battle with unsavory individuals, navigate hellish scenes so that he may eventually restore peace and prosperity to the land and find his sweetheart.

Jun
20
2012
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More of the Same Lazy Comedy from Adam Sandler and Company in "That's My Boy" Review

Over the years, Adam Sandler has established himself as a strong comedic talent. From his early days at Saturday Night Live to his numerous drug/sex films, the man is basically Hollywood royalty. His latest film, That's My Boy follows the standard Sandler formula, containing gross-out humor, nudity, substance abuse and over-the-top goofball characters. Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison has been cranking out this type of lowbrow tripe since 1999. Sometimes they get lucky and manage to squeeze out a watchable film but unfortunately, That’s My Boy isn’t one of them.

The film begins in 1984 and follows lamebrain teenager Donny Berger, absentminded and obsessed with sex. He lands himself in detention one day and manages to have intercourse with his hot teacher. The teacher gets pregnant, goes to prison and Donny becomes a teenage celebrity. Flash forward to today where Donny (Adam Sandler) is now a washed up lamebrain, owing the IRS $43,000. If he doesn’t come up with the money, he will go to jail for three years. Donny then comes up with a plan to go see his son, Todd (Andy Samberg) and try and get the money he owes from him.

Jun
15
2012
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Two Musical Masters Get the PBS Profile Treatment in "Two Gentleman of Cremona" Review

Classical music is one of the earliest forms of entertainment. Before electricity, talented people would perform in front of others and generate beautiful music with their musical instruments. The instruments were extensions of the players’ very beings and the violin is one type of this extension and a truly marvelous one at that. PBS has just released a very interesting documentary on DVD called Violin Masters: Two Gentlemen of Cremona and if you are a violin connoisseur or just curious about the subject, then this DVD is definitely worth checking out.

Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2) narrates Violin Masters and his highly elegant English accent is perfect for this very classy program. The documentary focuses on two legendary violinmakers, Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù and the impact their craftsmanship had, not only on the Italian town of Cremona but on the entire world in general.

Jun
07
2012
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Bright Career of Star of the Stage Carol Channing Shines in the Spotlight Review

Entertainment legends come and grace audiences with their mesmerizing looks as well as with their incredible talent. It takes a lot to achieve this status but when these special performers do reach that mark, it is up to the audience to accept this truly wonderful gift. One such gift is wrapped in the timeless package that is Carol Channing. She is a musical theater icon and a true Broadway legend. A new documentary is out chronicling her career called Carol Channing: Larger Than Life and it is definitely worth checking out.

Known for her star-making roles as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly!, these two roles skyrocketed Channing into superstardom. Her unique look and style made her stand out among many other lovely actresses of her time. Tall, thin, with a big smile, a raspy yet charming voice and a quirky yet attractive way about her, Channing was and at 91 years-old is still in a league of her own.

May
30
2012
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The Short-Lived "The River" is Worth Wading For Review

In recent years, the found footage genre has established itself as a very lucrative and interesting form of entertainment. Horror and action tales seem to benefit the most from the genre. Films are often shot in this voyeuristic and exciting style. Television doesn’t follow in this trend too often and that is why ABC’s recently failed action/thriller series The River is a curious thing. The show aired and ended in the blink of an eye but that blink was actually not that bad. With a colorful cast of characters, an engaging and suspenseful story and the producing talents of Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity films) and the legendary Steven Spielberg, it's pretty unfortunate that this gripping short-lived series simply came and went. Or should we say drowned?

May
29
2012
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Whale Wars: Viking Shores After Show Debate

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The slaughtering of whales is a huge issue for Whale Wars activist and animal protector Paul Watson. He is a Sea Shepherd who takes his job very seriously and wants nothing more than to stop the unnecessary killing of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands of the North Atlantic. The new season of Whale Wars: Viking Shores is now airing on Animal Planet and a special after-show debate has aired as well.

The debate was a very interesting and eye-opening one as it featured Watson and a Faroese native, musician Heri Joensen. The two men squared off as they each defended their beliefs and feelings regarding the pilot whales. Watson, a staunch supporter of protecting the lives and preservation of whales and Joensen, a man who feels that whale meat should be enjoyed and that they are simply animals to be utilized for their natural resources.

May
14
2012
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Sebastian Maniscalco: What’s Wrong With People? Review

Sebastian Maniscalco is definiltey one of the better comedians out there working today. His daily observations and reactions to why people are the way that they are and why they do the things that they do are hilarious. His facial expressions are priceless and his material is gold. He has a 75-minute special out now on DVD entitled Sebastian Maniscalco: What’s Wrong With People? and it is a work of pure comic genius.

Like an Italian-American version of Jerry Seinfeld, Maniscalco certainly knows how to squeeze buckets of humor out of everyday observations. His energy on stage is amazing as he expresses his disdain for people who have annoyed and continue to annoy him on a daily basis. From ordering sandwiches at Subway to having people over at his house to dating, Maniscalco jumps from situation to situation effortlessly and hysterically.

May
13
2012
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J.B. Smoove: That’s How I Dooz It Review

For those of you who aren’t familiar with J.B. Smoove, you are missing a pretty interesting piece of information concerning modern American comedy. Smoove is a stand-up comedian who has really made a name for himself as Larry David’s dopey houseguest Leon Black in the HBO series Curb Your Enthusiasm. Smoove’s unique voice and off-the-wall comedic style eventually landed him a feature-length stand-up set entitled J.B. Smoove: That’s How I Dooz It and it is now out on DVD.

Though Smoove has a kooky on stage presence, his material is somewhat lacking. It seems as though he relies too much on playing his oddball character from Curb but sadly that seems to be his actual persona. On the show, he is used in small doses and this is tolerable and often downright hilarious. Unfortunately, his shtick on stage can get a bit tiresome and irritating over the course

May
13
2012
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Cinema Verite Review

Reality television is one of today’s most consumed forms of entertainment. One of the first forays into this genre was by PBS in 1973 with a show called An American Family. A small camera crew followed and documented the Loud family, a suburban middle-class family which seemed like the perfect average American family. PBS was hopeful audiences would tune in to see this revolutionary show and the rest is history. HBO Films released a TV movie called Cinema Verite, shedding light on the inner workings of the reality show’s production as well as its impact on pop culture.

Craig Gilbert (James Gandolfini) is a TV producer who selects the Loud family as the first American family to be filmed and documented for mass audiences to see. The family consists of the patriarch Bill (Tim Robbins), matriarch Pat (Diane Lane) and five children. The film shows the progression of the reality show’s filming and its later effects and impact on the family.

May
12
2012
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Bobby's World: Season 1 Review

To a kid growing up in the 90s, there was really nothing better than Saturday morning TV. Cartoons and child-friendly programs were the norm and in abundance every weekend as kids slurped their cereal and enjoyed the awesome variety of shows that were on. One of those memorable shows was Bobby’s World, an animated series which featured the voice and live action acting talents of germaphobe comedian and TV personality Howie Mandel. He also created Bobby’s World and all the characters that inhabit it. Season one of this 90s gem is now available on DVD and for kids who grew up during that time, it is definitely a trip down memory lane.

Bobby’s World revolves around oddly enough, a 4 year-old boy named Bobby Generic. He is a wildly imaginative kid who comes up with strange daydreams and fantasies which are usually very literal when he is told something that he doesn’t really understand. He lives in the suburbs with his upbeat dad Howard (modeled after Mandel), his Sarah Palinesque mom Martha, his Valley girlish sister Kelly and his precocious brother Derek. He also has an awesome Uncle Ted who usually accompanies Bobby on his random adventures, saves him from boredom around his other family members and supplies an ample amount of noogies.

May
08
2012
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Discovery Wages "Whale Wars" on "Viking Shores"

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In a time where environmentalists and animal rights activists fight to save the Earth and its creatures from harm and potential annihilation, great results come arise from their heroic efforts. Of course, another benefit that stems from it is that it makes for great TV. Animal Planet’s hit series Whale Wars has seen many a challenge when it comes to protecting whales of the world from old-fashioned, sometimes heartless fishermen. In an attempt to further educate viewers about the cruelty of killing whales, the cable channel will broadcast Whale Wars: Viking Shores, a five-part series which starts tonight, April 27th, continuing the adventures of Paul Watson, his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and their mission to stop whaling and promote the cause of animal conservation, this time in the Norwegian Sea’s Faroe Islands.

Apr
27
2012
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Secrets of the Manor House Review

Britain during the early 1900s was a time of refinement, luxury and status. The houses and estates which graced the English countryside during this time were impressive, massive and expensive. These homes were for Britain’s richest and social elite. Like small lavish hotels, these homes housed aristocrats and royalty, people who enjoyed the high life because of their money and their titles. Secrets of the Manor House is a fascinating PBS documentary which gives audiences an inside look into some of these amazing homes and the people who inhabited them.

The early twentieth century was the most peaceful time for Europe. There were no wars and people were enjoying a life of absolute prosperity, especially the rich. The houses and estates which sheltered these privileged individuals contained numerous rooms (over 100 in some cases), the finest silver, gorgeous works of art and staffs of butlers, housekeepers, maids, cooks, valets, etc. Everything in these homes were cleaned, checked and made perfect for the tenants who occupied these luxurious homes.

Apr
27
2012
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The Devil's Carnival - Live Film Event

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The horror genre has gone through an interesting evolution over the decades. There have been watered down PG-13 horror movies, satires, parodies and found footage, but a truly unique form of horror storytelling appears every so often and it is a fusion of horror and musical (like Repo! The Genetic Opera). The newest incarnation of such a monster is The Devil’s Carnival, a horror concert event currently on a cross country tour in true Rocky Horror fashion, tickets are on sale now.

Apr
25
2012
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The Divide Review

Movies about the end of the world usually feature everyday citizens rising above challenges and protecting others. The Divide doesn’t follow this standard cinematic formula. In this bleak and extremely disturbing film, the characters fall deep into dark psychotic places. The Divide is psychological thriller that explores the human mind and how far people will go when rules and ideas of normalcy no longer apply.

The film begins with a nuclear attack on New York City. In the absolute chaos created by the falling bombs, a small group of people make it into the basement of an apartment building. The basement actually serves as a fallout shelter and the building’s superintendent Mickey (Michael Biehn) is obviously in charge. The other survivors are a random bunch of people all with different personalities and backgrounds forced into this unfortunate situation. They are basically locked in this dark, gloomy shelter, an enclosed depressing chamber with no natural light.

Apr
24
2012
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Goodbye First Love Review

Love stories can go either one of two ways: the long, sweet and syrupy route or the honest, gritty and realistic route. Goodbye First Love takes the latter road and the results are absolutely charming. Spoken in French and subtitled in English, expect to pay close attention to the film’s dialogue. The actors give lovely performances and the lighting and photography are truly gorgeous. Goodbye First Love is a bittersweet tale of romance that sheds light on a very tender subject: young love.

The film begins in Paris 1999 and follows young, sweet Camille (Lola Créton), a 15 year-old girl who has a lustful relationship with a boy named Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky). Their romance is very physical but with sincere moments of tenderness. All of this captured in the first few minutes of the film quite well. They appear naked and chase one another throughout a house. They galavant in the French countryside and seem like they don’t have a care in world, living in the moment and enjoying one another’s company.

Apr
21
2012
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