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.



Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time Review

Art is subjective. You can either love or hate a piece of work. It’s all about opinion. Andy Goldsworthy is an artist and like all artists, he has a vision. That vision is to take the elements of nature, the Earth and use them to create beautiful works of art. His creative process is carefully documented in the new Blu-ray release of Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time.

May
12
2011
Read more

We Go Way Back Review

In a time where sequels, remakes, reboots and special effect-driven popcorn fantasies dominate film screens across the world, it is refreshing to sometimes see a movie that does not fit this tired description. The film I am referring to is We Go Way Back and it is an honest, endearing and well-crafted picture. It isn’t about superheroes, animated critters or regurgitated ideas. It is about people, flesh and blood people and the problems that come along with life and growing up.

Meet Kate (Amber Hubert), a 23-year-old actress. She, like most twentysomethings, works a menial job to pay the bills while pursuing her passion on the side. That passion shines through when she performs in her local theater group. She is young, talented and full of lots of potential. Her social life is decent as well. She goes out, drinks, smokes and occasionally has casual sex. She is alive however she isn’t really living.

May
08
2011
Read more

Honeymoon with Mom Review

The Lifetime cable channel’s programming is catered primarily to women. They produce TV shows and made-for-TV movies that often deal with women and the problems they face in everyday life. Sometimes their programs are of great substance and other times, well, not so much. Honeymoon with Mom is a perfect example of this type of estrogen-filled fluff.

Shelley Long stars as Marla, a career-driven magazine publisher who has a somewhat fractured relationship with her daughter, Shannon (Virginia Williams). When Shannon is left at the altar at her “dream” wedding by her confused fiancé, she is left heartbroken. Having no one in her life to comfort her except her mother, the two decide to go on Shannon’s honeymoon together. However, Marla has an ulterior motive: getting a cover story interview with the hotel’s owner Nick (Jack Scalia) but along the way, Marla realizes that the trip isn’t about career advancement. It’s about the bond a mother and daughter must establish and value.

May
04
2011
Read more

Student Services Review

Student Services is a French independent film that deals with a very taboo subject: teenage prostitution. The beautiful Deborah Francois (Unmade Beds) gives a solid performance in this gritty tale of desperation and falling on hard times. IFC Films presents this movie on DVD and those who enjoy dark sexy dramas may want to check it out.

May
01
2011
Read more

Blood Out Review

Sometimes a movie comes along that rises above others. It hits all the right notes and earns itself a very special place in the film world. Unfortunately, Blood Out is not one of these movies. This action/thriller is of very poor quality. The acting, direction and writing are all subpar. It’s almost embarrassing how bad this movie is.

Meet Michael Savion (Luke Goss), a tough small town sheriff whose methods, while harsh, get the job done. He has a younger brother, David (Ryan Donowho) who is a member of a gang. When David gets his girlfriend pregnant, he decides to quit his life of banging. This choice however results in him getting executed by his fellow gang members. Savion then tries to investigate David’s murder but doesn’t get the cooperation he needs from big-city detectives. He then takes off his badge and becomes a vigilante infiltrating the gang world to bring David’s killers to justice.

Apr
29
2011
Read more

Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd Review

[Editor's note: This edition of Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd is available exclusively through the WB Shop, whereas the Amazon link will take you to resellers.]

Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello entertained the masses. They were successful on stage, radio, film and television. Their legendary “Who’s on First?” routine is considered the crowning jewel of their comic collaboration. They have appeared in many movies including 1952’s musical comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd. The film also features renowned thespian Charles Laughton who reprises his role of Captain Kidd from the 1945 film of the same name.

Apr
22
2011
Read more

Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series Review

Antarctic Mission: The Complete Series is a riveting documentary that chronicles the adventures of a group of daring scientists who are on a quest to explore climate change in one of the roughest and coldest areas of the world, Antarctica. Now out on Blu-ray, you can own this fascinating program and enjoy it in crystal clear high definition.

Narrated by environmental activist David Suzuki, this three-episode venture documents the effects of climate change on the arctic landscape and the animal habitats that exist in the area. Each episode contains extraordinary footage of the frozen world brought to you by the crack filmmaking and scientific team members. Led by Mission Chief Jean Lemire, this breathtaking odyssey takes viewers to absolutely beautiful locales while at the same time dissecting crucial scientific issues.

Apr
20
2011
Read more

The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The Complete Sixth Season Review

“Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down,” yadda, yadda, yadda, you know the rest. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air ran for six seasons on NBC putting then-young rapper Will Smith on the map. This family sitcom was the perfect vehicle for Smith to make a name for himself and now the sixth and final season is out on DVD thus bringing closure to fans and collectors of the popular show.

Apr
20
2011
Read more

The Incredibles Review

In 2004, Pixar released its sixth feature-length film The Incredibles. Well received by both fans and critics, the film was a huge success winning the Academy Award that year for Best Animated Feature. Combining elements of the superhero genre, action/adventure and comedy The Incredibles is a marvel to look at and is soon to be released on stunning Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy.

The Incredibles is a computer-animated gem that tells the story of superheroes and the trouble they have in hiding their secret identities. Starting 15 years prior, the film shows Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and other “supers” fighting crime in the “glory days.” Eventually however, multiple law suits are filed against the supers for accidentally injuring the very people they saved. The supers are forced to hang up their capes and assume normal civilian lives. Flash-forward to today, Mr. Incredible, now Bob Parr, leads a very mundane life working at an insurance company and living in the suburbs with his wife Helen (Elastigirl) and his three kids, daughter Violet who has the power of invisibility and creating force fields, son Dash who can run and superhuman speeds and baby Jack-Jack whose powers are yet to be determined.

Apr
12
2011
Read more

Daniel Tosh: Happy Thoughts Review

In the past few years Daniel Tosh has established himself as a very talented comedian. From his various stand up sets to his acclaimed Comedy Central program Tosh.0, he definitely knows how to tickle one’s funny bone. Fans of the cynical comic are certainly in for a treat with his latest performance Happy Thoughts now out on DVD. This marks the sarcastic humorist’s third special.

Filmed in San Francisco, Happy Thoughts is a more than adequate platform for Tosh to dump on pretty much everyone and everything. He is politically incorrect and knows how offensive he is. He starts things off appropriately by insulting his host city. He then informs the audience that he’s not good performing live hinting that he fares better on Tosh.0. He then dispenses jokes about random subjects starting with illegal immigration, jury duty, stereotypes and the law.

Mar
29
2011
Read more

My Girlfriend's Back Review

My Girlfriend’s Back is a cheesy romantic comedy through and trough. It has all the makings of a bad straight-to-DVD movie and takes it self a little too seriously. Inspired by the works of Tyler Perry, this mediocre story brings nothing new to the table and is actually kind of a drag to watch.

The film revolves around Dereck Scott (Malik Yoba), an up and coming lawyer whose life is going in a very positive direction. He is engaged to a very materialistic woman who comes from a wealthy family. It seems as though Dereck has everything mapped out. That is until his ex-girlfriend Nicki (Tangi Miller) shows up out of the blue. As the two rekindle their romance, Dereck must reexamine his life and choose between financial security and true love.

Mar
23
2011
Read more

Unmade Beds Review

Independent films are often gritty and realistic. They tell stories that are relatable to many people. Unmade Beds is no exception. Directed by Argentinian director Alexis Dos Santos, this romantic drama tells the story of two random young people and their quest for love and truth. Originally released in 2009, this film was entered in the Sundance Film Festival and the Montreal Festival of New Cinema where it won the Quebec Film Critic’s Award.

Mar
13
2011
Read more

Raging Bull: 30th Anniversary Edition Review

Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro have enjoyed an extraordinary working relationship for over four decades. Their collaborations have resulted in some of cinema history’s greatest works. Raging Bull is among them and the 30th anniversary edition of the landmark film is now out on Blu-ray and DVD. Released in 1980, this compelling true story of middleweight boxing champ Jake LaMotta chronicles the fighter’s rise and fall from grace, his troubled personal relationships and his dark inner demons. Robert De Niro won his second Oscar for portraying this fascinating individual.

Mar
02
2011
Read more

Dungeons & Dragons: 2-Movie Collection Review

There are a lot of bad movies out there. Some are bad and some are just plain awful. Dungeons & Dragons and its made-for-DVD sequel D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God fall under this category. Both films based on the popular fantasy role-playing game of the same name have now been released in a Blu-ray 2-movie pack. Joy.

The first movie D&D takes place in the mythical Empire of Izmer, a place where two classes of people inhabit the land, Mages and commoners. The Mages possess special magical powers and the commoners live in poverty and often resort to crime. An over the top Jeremy Irons stars as an evil Mage named Profion who plans to dethrone the ruler of the land Empress Savina played by a wooden Thora Birch. Aware of Profion’s sinister plot, Savina must obtain the Rod of Savrille, a powerful scepter which controls dragons. Meanwhile common thieves Ridley (Justin Whalin) and Snails (Marlon Wayans) accidentally become involved in Savina’s quest when they break into a magic school and agree to locate the scepter so that they won’t get into trouble. Eventually Profion and his army, led by Damodar (Bruce Payne) try to hunt down Ridley and his friends so that he may one day rule Izmer.

The acting in D&D is absolutely terrible. Jeremy Irons shouts his lines like a maniac, Thora Birch has almost no emotion and Marlon Wayans runs around spitting out unfunny one-liners. The direction is also weak, the special effects are lame and the dialogue is a joke.

The second movie D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God was released straight to DVD because its predecessor didn’t perform too well at the box office. Why it was even made in the first place is beyond me. Wrath of the Dragon God continues the story a couple of hundred years after the first film and even brings back the villainous character of Damodar who is once again played by Bruce Payne. Damodar obtains a black orb which has power over a dragon god. The rulers of Izmer soon learn of Damodar’s evil power and enlist the help of Berek (Mark Dymond), a warrior and former captain of the king’s guard. Berek then assembles a group of four individuals each with unique talents and skills necessary to battle Damodar’s evil. These heroes include Lux, a strong female fighter, Dorian, a wise cleric with divine magical powers, Ormaline, a female elf wizard and Nim a sneaky rogue who shows intelligence and cleverness. It is then up to Berek and these four champions to save Izmer from certain doom.

Like the first D&D, Wrath of the Dragon God is also pretty bad. The acting is ridiculous, the special effects are atrocious, the direction is poor and the writing is below par. There really isn’t anything good about this sequel.

It really is a shame that such a popular game such as D&D was adapted for film so miserably. Believe me, buying the D&D: 2-Movie Collection is a total waste of money. If you want to watch a fantasy film that isn’t total garbage then I suggest you get one of the Harry Potter’s, Lord of the Rings, or Willow because they are of much higher quality. D&D is a major disappointment.

Blu-ray Bonus Features

The bonus features for D&D include a behind the story menu which includes two feature-length audio commentaries, one with director-producer Courtney Solomon, actor Justin Whalin and game co-creator Dave Arneson and the other with Solomon, director of photography Doug Milsome and Arneson. There are two documentaries. The first one is called Let the Games Begin – A Profile and History of Adventure Gaming and the second one is called The Making of Dungeons & Dragons. There are special effects deconstructions of four different scenes. There are eleven deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer for the film.

The bonus features for D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God include a feature-length audio commentary by Edward Stark (Wizards of the Coast D&D Special Projects Manager) and actors Dawn Akemi and John Frank Rosenblum. There are two documentaries. The first one is called Rolling the Dice – Adapting the Game to the Screen and the second one is called The Arc – A Conversation with Gary Gygax (co-creator of D&D).

 

Feb
24
2011

Tyler Perry’s House of Payne: Volume Six Review

Tyler Perry has entertained audiences for years now with many film and television programs one of which is House of Payne and Volume Six of the popular show is now out on DVD. The series airs on the cable channel TBS and is sort of a cross between The Honeymooners and Family Matters. The show is the brainchild of Perry and has been on TV since 2007. It is currently in its seventh season.

House of Payne revolves around a middle-class African-American family that lives in a suburban part of Atlanta, Georgia. The family consists of many multi-generational members. They include patriarch Curtis Payne (LaVan Davis), a grumpy overweight fire chief who mirrors Ralph Kramden. The matriarch Ella (Cassi Davis) is more down to earth and caring and is the perfect yin to Curtis’ yang.

Feb
22
2011
Read more

I Do (But I Don’t) Review

Lifetime’s made-for-TV romantic comedy I Do (But I Don’t) is now on DVD which may cause many women across the globe to celebrate. This chick flick stars the beautiful Denise Richards and the hunky Dean Cain, a match made in television heaven. Originally broadcast in 2004, you can now add this syrupy love story to your movie collection at home.

Feb
10
2011
Read more

Paranormal Activity 2 Review

Paranormal Activity 2 is being released on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy in a nifty new combo pack guaranteed to scare your pants off. This is great news because the horror genre has been on a bit of a decline in recent years. The only real entries in this genre have been the numerous Saw films. Paranormal Activity and its follow-up Paranormal Activity 2 are fresh and original stories offering audiences genuine scares proving to the world that the horror genre is not just limited to gory torture porn.

Feb
10
2011
Read more

Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan Review

There are very few female comedians in the world today but funny lady Kathleen Madigan has proven herself to be one of the best and her new stand-up act Kathleen Madigan: Gone Madigan has just been released on Blu-ray.

Madigan is honest and to the point. Although she is a woman, she displays serious proof of having “balls.” Like many great comedians, she is fearless and doesn’t give a crap who she offends. Shot at the Gramercy Theater in New York City, this 64-minute stand-up set is truly, truly funny. The topics Madigan discusses are current and her comedic timing is impeccable.

Feb
04
2011
Read more

The Narnia Code Review

The Narnia Code is an interesting study, and theoretical discussion of C.S. Lewis’s most famous work, The Chronicles of Narnia. Author Michael Ward takes the viewer on a journey to unlock the secrets, and solve the mystery behind one of the 20th century’s most beloved works of literature.

Feb
03
2011
Read more

Louis C.K.: Hilarious Review

Louis C.K. is one of America’s most talented and most honest comedians. Over the past few years, he has given audiences the skinny on many of society’s most important issues and lucky for us, his latest comedy concert, Hilarious is being released on DVD to start 2011 off right.

Feb
03
2011
Read more


Popular