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.



Jo Koy: Lights Out Review

Comedian Jo Koy has an interesting style. He is very energetic and talks a lot about family. He’s like a Filipino mix of Louis C.K. and Dane Cook. This is an odd combo but it actually works. Koy is a man who makes fun but in a harmless way. He discusses family and goes far but never really being inappropriate. His show Jo Koy: Lights Out is out on DVD and if you’re curious about the comic or are already familiar with his work, then this is a good item to pick up.

Filmed at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California, Jo Koy: Lights Out is an amusing 60 minutes of high energy and smart jokes. The beginning of Koy’s set focuses on his Filipino heritage and the other members of the race who are present in the audience. He talks about his mother and eventually sequeways by talking about his own son, a topic that is obviously very near and dear to the man.

Apr
19
2012
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La Terra Trema Review

In 1948, Italian director Luchino Visconti gave audiences a lovely nugget of neorealist cinema. That film is La Terra Trema and it is a black and white subtitled docufiction about fishermen who are exploited and the steps they take to rid themselves of these poor work conditions. Using non-professional actors and filmed in a unique style, La Terra Trema is a very interesting film that is both beautiful and realistic.

The film takes place in Aci Trezza, a tiny fishing village on the coast of Sicily. The Valastro family is one of many fishing families that are being exploited. They then try to go into business for themselves but are met with disaster and opposition bringing further hardship to the family.

Apr
07
2012
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The Three Musketeers Review

“All for one and one for all!” This famous catchphrase has been a staple of Alexandre Dumas’s classic tale The Three Musketeers since 1844. Numerous versions of the story have been made over the years from theater, games, television, comics and for purposes of this review, film. The most recent adaptation of Dumas’ classic work was released last year in 3D and features both newcomer actors and more seasoned thespians. The Three Musketeers is now out on Blu-ray 3D so get ready for a delightfully swashbuckling piece of home entertainment.

Apr
01
2012
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Minions of Gozer Live Shadowcast of "Ghostbusters"

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“He slimed me.” That was a bit of an understatement this past weekend as shadowcasters Minions of Gozer paid tribute to one the 80s most iconic films, Ghostbusters. These talented individuals performed the legendary film live as it was being screened simultaneously substituting silly string for proton streams not to mention over-the-top action and silly props. The awesome event took place on both Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th at the IFC Center in Manhattan and it was definitely a Ghosthead’s (Ghostbusters fan) dream come true.

Mar
28
2012
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54 Review

In the late 1970s, entrepreneur Steve Rubell opened the super hip discotheque Studio 54, a club which attracted New York’s creme de la creme. This included celebrities, rich folk and just downright attractive people. A feature-length film was made chronicling the club’s success and the people who worked there including Rubell. 54 features an ensemble cast and documents a time in American culture that was flashy, sensual and just plain fun.

54 tells the story of Shane O’Shea (Ryan Phillippe), a handsome young man from New Jersey who goes to Studio 54 one night only to be discovered by Steve Rubell (Mike Myers). Once inside, Shane is introduced to sexual adventures and eventually, a bartending job. We the audience then get a behind-the-scenes looks at one of America’s hottest clubs.

Mar
10
2012
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Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete First Season Review

Todd and the Book of Pure Evil is a curious thing. It’s a Canadian horror-comedy television series about a small band of high-schoolers battling evil caused by a cursed book (a la The Evil Dead). Each episode follows a hapless teenager whom the book finds and then puts a curse upon. This of course is followed by paranormal activity and eventual bloodshed. It is then up to stoner Todd and his friends to find the book and conquer the evil it unleashes. Season one is now out on DVD and you might want to check this cool show out.

Mar
05
2012
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The Catechism Cataclysm Review

Every now and then, a movie comes along that blurs genres, contains truly bizarre scenes and may manage to offend certain religious and ethnic groups. The movie I’m referring to is entitled The Catechism Cataclysm and it is a very odd indie/road/horror/comedy that is certain to offend if not entertain audiences. This strange little film is now out on DVD and if you want to absorb 81 minutes of absolute insanity, then I recommend giving this peculiar flick a whirl.

Meet Father Billy Smoorster (Steve Little), an immature and socially awkward priest who seems unsure of which path to take in life. He tells funny stories at Bible study which have little to do with the Bible and he surfs YouTube for funny videos. Billy’s superior sees that he needs to find his way so he makes Billy take a short vacation. Not wanting to go alone, Billy contacts an old acquaintance from high school Robbie Shoemaker (Robert Longstreet), a guy Billy was obsessed with during and after high school. To Billy, Robbie was the personification of cool simply because he was in a band. Billy then invites his idol on a canoe trip and after a bit of resistance, Robbie eventually agrees.

Mar
03
2012
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J. Edgar Review

The United States during the 20th century was full of many notable historical figures. One of, if not the most notable figures is J. Edgar Hoover, a man known both for his dedication and loyalty to his job as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as a sneaky little man with basically everyone’s secrets willing to air their dirty laundry at the drop of a hat. Director Clint Eastwood and star Leonardo DiCaprio have teamed up to bring this highly controversial man’s life to audiences with expert detail and dramatic intensity. J. Edgar is now out in a special Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy combo pack and if you are curious about this mysterious man’s infamous life, then now is your chance to learn about him in crystal-clear high definition, no less.

Mar
03
2012
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Slavery by Another Name Review

In the over 200-year history of the United States, many monumental events have rocked the nation. One of which was an unfortunate one called slavery and it existed well after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued. After Lincoln’s executive order was passed, slavery was hit hard but it wasn’t completely gone. PBS’ documentary Slavery by Another Name explores slavery and its existence after the Civil War.

Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, Slavery by Another Name is a powerful and gripping documentary which sheds light on one of America’s darkest chapters in history. The film is based upon Douglas A. Blackmon’s book of the same name and it is a riveting program. Mostly innocent African-American men usually in the South would be arrested and forced into involuntary servitude. The legal practices of United States were seriously flawed and this documentary chronicles this terrible time.

Feb
22
2012
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Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition Review

Walt Disney was a true visionary. His story ideas helped shape a generation and entertained millions upon millions of people. Through his films and theme parks, he has captured the spirit of youth in not just children but in adults as well. His legacy continues to live on with his production company and the films he is responsible for. One of those legendary films is 1955’s Lady and the Tramp, a sweet tale (pun intended) about love and acceptance. It is now out on Blu-ray/DVD yet again, this time in Disney’s Diamond Series. The film is lovely and so is the packaging so if you want to revisit this classic film, then picking it up might not be such a bad idea.

Feb
20
2012
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Nude Nuns with Big Guns Review

“Hell hath no fury like a nude nun scorned.” All kidding aside, Nude Nuns with Big Guns is quite simply a bad movie. It's an action film that tries so hard to follow in the footsteps of Quentin Tarantino but fails miserably. Not only is the film violent but it's highly offensive, featuring priests and clergymen as corrupt, evil murderers and drug-pushers. This train wreck is now out on Blu-ray, but we strongly advise against purchasing it.

The story follows Sister Sarah (Asun Ortega), a nun who is treated badly by the clergy. One night, she is drugged and left for dead by the same people. She then gets word from God to seek revenge on those who wronged her. The rest of the movie has her arming herself to the teeth like she’s Rambo, and then Sister Sarah blasts her way to justice putting bullet holes in everyone and anyone she feels is acting wrongful. She's a one-woman army and will not rest until everyone who mistreated her is dead.

Feb
16
2012
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Beavis and Butt-Head: Volume 4 Review

Uh huh huh, uh huh huh, cue music. It’s been 14 years but those lovable idiots Beavis and Butt-Head are back! The show was pop culture phenomenon and a ‘90s hit featuring two unintelligent teenagers bashing music videos and creating general mayhem in their neighborhood. Creator and voice of the titular characters Mike Judge is also back and it seems as though he never left. This new revived season continues Judge’s unique and disturbing brand of humor. This time in addition to providing commentary behind music videos, they are also insulting reality shows such as Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant. Thanks to MTV for bringing this funny and irreverent show back to television; fans will certainly rejoice, especially now that this brand new season is out on Blu-ray.

Feb
15
2012
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Rampart Review

Woody Harrelson has had and continues to have a very interesting and eclectic career. Ever since the mid-‘90s (Natural Born Killers, The People vs. Larry Flynt), the actor has picked roles which are sometimes dark, controversial and not the norm for a Hollywood leading man. His latest film Rampart is further proof of the unique thespian’s tendency to choose unorthodox roles. Filmmaker Oren Moverman reunites with Harrelson who worked together in 2009 with The Messenger. Rampart is another cinematic experience that showcases flawed characters faced with moral and ethical dilemmas.

The film takes place in Los Angeles back in 1999. Police officer Dave Brown (Harrelson) is a tough and volatile Vietnam veteran. He treats his police work like he’s still in the military. He is depressed, angry and intimating. He has a shadowy past and his even darker present includes being investigated for racial police brutality. Once the investigation starts, Brown’s life begins to go down an unfortunate crazy path which is full of sex, drugs, violence and most importantly, self-loathing.

Feb
14
2012
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Peep and the Big Wide World - Star Light, Star Bright, etc. Review

PBS certainly knows how to educate as well as entertain its viewers. Five separate DVDs have been released catering to children and the results are just delightful. Each program contains easy-to-digest stories designed to teach basic morals to youngsters helping them on their path of life and learning. The first DVD is Star Light, Star Bright and it is a fun one. It contains The Sounds of Silence, Parts 1 & 2, The Tooth, the Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth, The Winter of Quack’s Discontent, In a Bind, Star Light, Star Bright, Bedtime Story and finally, The Deep Duck Woods. The second DVD is Seasons of Adventure and it is also rather amusing. It contains The Mystery of the Thing That Went and Came Back, Peep’s Color Quest, Snow Daze, Flower Shower, Who Stole the Big Wide World, M-U-D Spells Trouble, Quack Quack and lastly, One Duck Too Many.

Feb
07
2012
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The Piano Review

In 1993, film audiences were given a truly moving gift. That gift was The Piano, a romantic drama about love, secrets, family and passion. The film starred Holly Hunter in an Academy Award-winning role, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill and True Blood’s Anna Paquin also in an Academy Award-winning role at the tender age of 11. The Piano is now out on Blu-ray and if you are in the mood for an erotic tale full of beauty and suspense, then I highly recommend checking out this unique film.

Feb
03
2012
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Texas Killing Fields Review

Crime-thrillers are a common form of cinematic entertainment. Stories of missing people and/or murder seem to attract many an audience. Texas Killing Fields is no exception. It has all the bells and whistles of a predictable, melodramatic whodunnit. It features a rather solid cast led by Avatar’s Sam Worthington. The action and mystery elements make Texas Killing Fields a somewhat riveting and suspenseful yarn and it is now out on Blu-ray so you can now experience the film for yourself.

Jan
31
2012
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Division III: Football's Finest Review

When a movie is released onto DVD/Blu-ray, a person usually hears about it from a friend or sees the marketing on television. Division III: Football’s Finest, heard of it? Well, you have now! Division III takes the viewer on a ride with the Pulham Blue Cocks, their new head coach Rick Vice (Andy Dick) and their second string quarterback Mitch (Marshall Cook). The football team has been ordered by the dean (Mo Collins) to have a winning record or else the football program will be abolished. The story is the usual underdog story. While it doesn’t quite match the storyline or intensity of other football stories such as The Replacements or Necessary Roughness, it does have the makings of an entertaining movie.

Jan
28
2012
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Good Morning, Vietnam: 25th Anniversary Edition Review

For over three decades, funny man Robin Williams has enjoyed a very lucrative career. His reputation as a wild and erratic comedian has pushed him into superstardom and his talents even occasionally transfer over to dramatic roles. His first shift into drama was a smooth and almost seamless one. It occurred in 1987 with director Barry Levinson’s bittersweet wartime dramedy Good Morning, Vietnam. In it, Williams earned his first Academy Award nomination playing real-life military disc jockey Adrian Cronauer. This terrific film is now out on Blu-ray for its 25th anniversary and if you are a fan of Robin Williams or just good movies in general, then I highly recommend checking this one out.

Jan
27
2012
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Vampires Review

For some odd reason in recent times, vampires and the culture they make up have been extraordinarily popular. Franchises like Twilight and HBO’s hit series True Blood have featured bloodsucking beings as rich and interesting characters. These undead individuals seem to make up the bulk of supernatural fiction these days. A clever mockumentary was actually filmed surrounding these sexy and unusual “people”. The mockumentary is aptly called Vampires and it is now out on DVD so you can sink your teeth into it.

Jan
21
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.

Jan
13
2012
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