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 "Storage Wars" Expand Into Texas Review

For some reason, shows which involve auctions and appraising seem to be very popular. Antiques Roadshow started things off in England in 1979 and since then, the United States has taken a hint and started a similar program: Storage Wars on A&E. A spin-off called Storage Wars: Texas premiered in 2011 and the show is highly entertaining because of its reality television nature. Audiences gobble this type of programming up and season one of Storage Wars: Texas is now out on DVD.

Nov
19
2012
Read more

Save Some Space for "Rescue 3D" on Your Shelf Review

In recent times, heroes have shone very brightly. With the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, brave men and women have stepped up to save those you need saving and to help those who need helping. The fascinating documentary Rescue 3D takes viewers on a harrowing journey via plane, helicopter and ship to assist those in danger and also, to give hope.

Rescue 3D follows first responders from all over the world who rendevous in Haiti when a 7.0 earthquake cripples the nation. Military and medical officials save the day with state-of-the-art transportation and technology. The sheer bravery and selflessness is what this film is all about. The beauty of people helping people is what Rescue 3D brings to the table and the results are simply breathtaking.

Nov
15
2012
Read more

Spider-man's Exciting Reboot is Nothing Short of "Amazing" Review

In 2012, Marvel cemented its name as the leader of superhero film franchises. Sure, Batman has done well on film but DC doesn’t hold a candle to Marvel when it comes to consistent quality and a variety of characters and storylines. Fifty years ago Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created one of pop culture’s most recognizable characters: Spider-Man, a nerdy kid from Queens who gets bitten by a genetically-engineered arachnid. He then transforms into web-swinging crime-fighter, the subject of the latest reboot by Director Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man (with Andrew Garfield as the webslinger). This is the fourth time Spidey has graced the screen with his presence in a major film series all his own, with the first three starting back in 2002 with Sam Raimi’s vivid and somewhat campy trilogy (with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst) which ended in 2007.

Nov
08
2012
Read more

PBS' "Love and Valor" Has Plenty of Heart Review

The American Civil War was a time of social and political unrest. Hundreds of thousands of lives were lost and untold amounts of property was damaged. The war between the states was a nasty time for many including those in love. Married couples were torn apart when husbands were sent to the front lines to risk their lives for the unfortunate purpose that is war. The PBS documentary Love and Valor details the relationship between a Union captain and his wife through the written letters they would send one another.

Written, produced and directed by Charles F. Larimer, great-great-grandson of the documentary’s subjects, Love and Valor follows Union soldier Jacob Ritner and his wife Emeline and their correspondence during the Civil War. It’s fascinating to see how their lives were changed and affected by the war. The love and devotion they had for one another was strong and poignant. The documentary style really gives the viewer a great sense of realism and the wonderful narration by actor Brian Dennehy adds to the program’s classy feel.

Nov
05
2012
Read more

"The Campaign" Gets A Vote Of No Confidence Review

The Frat Pack used to be an entertainment entity of hugely talented proportions. Its members were comedy legends, actors who could do no wrong when it came to tickling audiences’ funny bones. Will Ferrell is probably the unofficial leader of this once highly coveted group of funnymen. The Frat Pack got a lot of mileage in the early to mid 2000‘s. Old School, Anchorman and Wedding Crashers were just a few of the Frat Pack’s successful entries in cinema. Unfortunately, Will Ferrell’s humor started to get stale as he tried recreating his previous success. This sad way of trying to relive the glory days was ever present in his latest cinematic bomb The Campaign. Filmmaker Adam McKay (Anchorman) is also partly to blame for this comedic misfire. 

Oct
31
2012
Read more

Don't Go Through These "Rites Of Passage" Review

Bad movies are a very common thing these days. Particularly, movies released direct to DVD fall into this sad category. One such cinematic disaster, Rites of Passage is the subject of this review and the flaws contained in this flop are almost too many to count. The film is a thriller with a relatively good cast but has an unfortunate combination of a laughably bad script and weak direction. These two negative factors basically destroy the movie and make Rites of Passage one of the year’s worst films.

Nathan (Ryan Donowho) is an anthropology student who is learning about his own people, the Native American Chumash. He then comes up with the brilliant idea of inviting his classmates and professor (Stephen Dorff) to his house which is the site of an ancient Chumash burial ground. There, they encounter Nathan’s psychotic brother Benny (Wes Bentley) and his meth-head buddy Delgado (Christian Slater). Drug abuse, sex and murder are then on the itinerary as the rules of quality filmmaking are thrown out the window.

Oct
29
2012
Read more

New York Comic Con Round-Up: Bruce Timm, A Legendary Afterparty, and a Very Spidey Sunday

timm_leg_spidey_banner

Saturday started out as a party, well sort of. I interviewed two notable members of the DC animated universe. The first was producer/animator Bruce Timm, a legend in the animation game. His work on Batman: The Animated Series is the stuff of legends and during a roundtable interview, I sat with other journalists, soaking in all the awesomeness that is Bruce Timm. He talked about his career, his current projects and where he wants to go from there. Much of the same occurred with my interview of Andrea Romano, casting director for much of the DC animated universe. I also interviewed Briana Evigan about Grimm Fairy Tales and got to learn about the talented actress’ current projects.

Oct
29
2012
Read more

New York Comic Con 2012 in Review: Day 2

nycc_12_banner

After easing into Day 1 of the New York Comic Con and re-familiarizing myself with the terrain of the Jacob Javitz Center, I was ready to tackle Day 2. Friday, October 12 was a day which saw an increased number in Con attendance. Nearing the work-free weekend, people flocked to the Con in an attempt to soak up all the geeky awesomeness which included celebrity appearances by Christopher Lloyd, Briana Evigan, and more, panels and whatnot. With many panels, the ones I attended on day 2 were very film and TV-oriented.

Oct
24
2012
Read more

"Alex Cross": Because America Requested, Nay, Demanded, A Serious Role From Tyler Perry Review

When one hears the name Tyler Perry, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Madea, of course. Perry has had a successful career in comedy, drama and sitcoms. He usually dons a lady’s wig and dress to transform into the annoyingly unfunny Madea. This character has been seen many a time in Perry’s productions but on October 19, audiences will see a new side of Perry in Alex Cross, an action-drama about a revenge-seeking cop hunting a psychopathic assassin. The film is filled to the brim with cliches and results are rather average, if not below so.

The titular character Cross is a respectable family man and detective. He is the perfect person. The only flaws he has are probably a few pounds can he can lose. His partner Tommy (Edward Burns) has been his best friend since childhood and together they are investigating a brilliant killer known as Picasso played by a baldheaded Matthew Fox. The film focuses on the cat and mouse relationship between Cross and Picasso and the conflict that entangles Cross and the people close to him.

Oct
18
2012
Read more

New York Comic Con 2012 in Review: Day 1

nycc_12_banner

The Jacob Javitz Convention Center, a modern marvel. This gargantuan facility is a few blocks wide and filled with huge chambers and many, many rooms. There is a ton of space for whatever you want. For the purposes of New York Comic Con, that space holds geeks, geeks and the paraphernalia they so adore. This is the seventh year of NYCC and it seems that with every year, the crowd grows bigger. Thousands of pop culture enthusiasts congregate here for what is one of the biggest entertainment events of the year.

Day 1 was rather tame as it started at 3pm. I entered and recieved my badge, a card granting my access to a temple of awesomeness. Once inside, I walked around to familiarize myself with the massive Javitz Center. The showroom floor was like a comic book/toy store exploded and all the fun goodies blanketed the area. There were video game booths and comic book displays. I made my way to toy store booth, that of Jordan Hembrough, star of The Travel Channel’s Toy Hunters. I had the privilege of interviewing the Indiana Jones of toy-collecting and found out some rather fascinating things about the wonderful world of action figures.

Oct
16
2012
Read more

Take a Trip with the Visually Beautiful "Holy Motors" Review

French cinema has a tendency to be a little strange from time to time. The classy European country releases films that are visually striking, thought-provoking and downright good. Holy Motors is one such film and the results from writer/director Leos Carax’s (Boy Meets Girl, The Lovers on the Bridge) bizarre work of art are very captivating. One must go into the film with an open mind because the story is rather surreal and the characters, truly unique. It is a French film that doesn’t really address any important issues. It is like true art. It simply exists to be marveled at.

The story of Holy Motors revolves around a man by the name of Monsieur Oscar played to perfection by Denis Lavant (Boy Meets Girl, The Lovers on the Bridge). He is a family man whose profession is one of pure weirdness. He rides around in a limo, driven by his assistant Celine (Edith Scob) and carries out random, bizarre assignments. These assignments involve make-up, costumes and in some cases, violence. Each assignment gets weirder and weirder as the film progresses and the point of it all is extremely vague.

Oct
15
2012
Read more

Rediscover "Wake in Fright" and Then Watch It Get Lost All Over Again Review

The Australian Outback is known to be tough, rugged and inhospitable. This is a harsh reality made very clear in Director Ted Kotcheff's gritty 1971 drama Wake in Fright, a strange film recently restored in a new 35mm print. The film takes an average Joe and puts him through a crazy ordeal of alcoholism, violence and mild homoeroticism. The story follows young and dashing schoolteacher John Grant (Gary Bond) who has taken a post in the Australian Outback. He plans to go to Sydney to visit his girlfriend but in order to do that, he must catch a flight from the middle-of-nowhere mining town Bundanyabba or known by the locals simply as “The Yabba”. Once there, John encounters a slew of colorful characters, most of whom find a passion for drinking copious amounts of beer, gambling and brawling.

Oct
07
2012
Read more

Everyone Wins in the Hilarious "Do-Deca-Pentathlon" Review

Sibling rivalry is very common in families. Brothers and sisters play, fight or both to try and best one another to declare absolute superiority. This age-old phenomenon of kids competing to eventually be declared “better” is a truly fascinating thing and in Jay and Mark Duplass' independent dramedy The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, actors Mark Kelly and Steve Zissis battle 20 years after they finished competing which ended in a tie. On September 27, The Museum of the Moving Image held a very special screening of the film followed by a Q&A session with Kelly, Zissis and one of the writers/directors Jay Duplass.

Oct
05
2012
Read more

Tim Burton's Talent Remains Hidden Behind "Dark Shadows" Review

In the last decade, renowned auteur Tim Burton has sort of dropped the ball creatively. After 2003’s Big Fish, the goth filmmaker sadly stopped making quality films. It seems he has sold his soul to Disney and now only makes kid-friendly dark comedies with the exception of Sweeney Todd. He puts Johnny Depp in everything because the Burton/Depp collaboration is one which warrants great commercial success but offers nothing new in terms of artistic innovation. Dark Shadows is the eighth collaboration between Burton and Depp and unlike a fine wine, their team-ups don’t get better with age.

Based on the gothic 60s soap opera of the same name, Dark Shadows starts off in 1760 and focuses on the wealthy Collins family. They’ve moved to Maine from England to expand their lucrative fishing empire. Barnabas Collins (Depp) is the prince of the family and he is rather busy when it comes to succumbing to lustful desires. He gets involved with a maid named Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) and soon breaks her heart only to be with another young beauty, Josette du Pres (Bella Heathcote). Overcome with feelings of betrayal, Angelique resorts to witchcraft to annihilate and curse the Collins family especially Barnabas. Angelique turns Barnabas into a vampire and locks him up in a coffin, burying him only to be accidentally dug out nearly two centuries later in 1972. Barnabas then returns to his home which is now overrun with wacky family members and characters strange to him since he is from a different era.

Oct
02
2012
Read more

"Touched By an Angel" Still Packs a Spiritual but Dated Wallop Review

In 1994, CBS premiered the spiritually-themed drama Touched by an Angel, a show about troubled souls guided by three angels on Earth. Roma Downey, Della Reese and John Dye are the angels and in each episode they help someone in need. The sixth season is now out on DVD and it is jam-packed with Godly goodness.

The sixth season has 26 48-minute episodes, with each focusing on a random person faced with a problem and one, two or all of the main characters coming in and helping them. Monica (Downey), Tess (Reese) and Andrew (Dye) are the messengers sent from God and they do a fine job every episode.

Sep
29
2012
Read more

"The Tall Man" Comes Up Short on Everything That Matters Review

Jessica Biel is one of today’s hottest young actresses. She started out on the soap opera 7th Heaven and eventually transitioned to feature films. Her latest film The Tall Man is a little-known thriller which sadly doesn’t really show her true talent and range as an actress. She showed lots of promise in the horror/thriller genre with the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but unfortunately, The Tall Man is just a scattered and confusing mess.

Cold Rock, Washington is a poor mining town in the middle of nowhere. Nothing really happens there until a series a child disappearances plagues the area. The town has nicknamed the possible kidnapper “The Tall Man”, a supernatural baddie who abducts young children. The film follows Julia Denning (Biel), a nurse, whose daughter gets taken by the Tall Man and her subsequent search for her daughter and the truth.

Sep
28
2012
Read more

Blu-ray Revitalizes One of Horror's Most Under-Appreciated Killers in "Jeepers Creepers" Review

“Jeepers creepers, where’d you get those peepers?” This song was originally cute and playful once but when it was used in the 2001 horror film Jeepers Creepers, all that changed. The film came out in a time between the Scream franchise and the Saw franchise. Masked serial killers and torture porn were the pieces of bread holding the Jeepers Creepers sandwich together, and with this interesting and entertaining entry in the horror film genre came a unique and terrifying creature, one which audiences both feared and enjoyed.

The film follows Darry (Justin Long) and Trish (Gina Phillips), two siblings coming home from college for spring break. They are run off the road by a crazed driver in a mysterious truck. They then see the same truck parked near an old church and see a creepy figure dumping what appears to be a body wrapped in a bloody sheet down a pipe in the ground. The two siblings then take it upon themselves to investigate the foul play and once they do, the “person” responsible for the foul play goes after them.

Sep
25
2012
Read more

"Doctored" Diagnoses the Priorities of our Healthcare System Review

The medical profession is something of a mystery. Its goal and continuing mission is to help people but unfortunately at times, it may cause more harm than good. The absorbing documentary Doctored focuses on the United States healthcare system and the many flaws it has. People who get sick and seek treatment are often faced with obstacles and frankly, lots of B.S. Doctored acknowledges the plight of many healthcare consumers and sheds light on the troubles they face.

Doctored starts off focusing on the chiropractic profession and how the American Medical Association (AMA) is against it. The legal case of Wilk vs. AMA is examined where the AMA was found guilty of an illegal conspiracy. That conspiracy targeted the chiropractic profession to “contain and eliminate” said profession. The AMA lost that battle and the chiropractic community celebrated but people were still being hurt. Attacks on these neck-crackers continued and the benefits of a good adjustment were disregarded and considered the work of quacks and cultists.

Sep
21
2012
Read more

The History Channel Unveils Some of America's "Secrets" Review

Throughout the history of the United States, there have been many secrets hidden from the public, secrets which contain information on the nation’s most sensitive issues, people and buildings. These secrets have been explored in The History Channel’s fascinating documentary America’s Book of Secrets. The program consists of 10 engaging episodes spread out over three discs.

The episodes are The White House, Freemasons, Fort Knox, Area 51, The Playboy Mansion, Presidential Transports, The FBI, West Point, Black Ops and The Pentagon and each delves deep and sheds light on top secret information which is usually regarded as taboo or inappropriate for the public’s eye. People interested in learning about the secrets of America will definitely find this documentary worthwhile.

Sep
18
2012
Read more

"Private Practice" Keeps its Operatic Soap Bubbles Floating Along Review

Medical dramas are a hot commodity on television these days. Private Practice is one example and a rather good one at that as a spinoff of the even more wildly popular medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. These two shows feature attractive actors who deal with each other romantically, professionally, etc. Grey’s Anatomy is a soap opera through and through and Practice Practice is unquestionably an extension of that soapiness. 

As stated, the cast of Private Practice is a good-looking one; it includes talented actors ranging from 30 years-old to their mid 50s. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) runs the practice and it includes doctors ranging from general surgery to pediatrics to neurosurgery to psychiatry. Each doctor is highly skilled in their field but that doesn’t mean that they are without their flaws. The main characters know exactly what they are doing in the O.R. but once they take their scrubs off, drama erupts and the soapy operatic elements occur.

Sep
16
2012
Read more


Popular