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.



Too Bad It's Not The "Garfield Minus Garfield: Holiday Extravaganza" Review

Remember back in the day when Garfield and his friends went on zany and fun-filled adventures? It was a simpler time when cartoons offered something back then few cartoons today provide, entertainment. Jim Davis’ quirky orange lasagna-loving feline was the star of a celebrated comic strip and a cool animated series. Unfortunately, Garfield’s awesomeness ended in the early 2000s when a CG/live-action film ruined the famous cat’s name and even further damage to the character was done by a computer-animated series called The Garfield Show. A special holiday-themed DVD is now out of this disaster of a show and aren’t we lucky.

Sep
12
2012
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Titanic: Limited 3D Edition Review

On the night of April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg. It is a disaster which still lingers in the minds of people 100 years later. James Cameron made a film which captured the human drama and raw intensity of Titanic’s awe and horror. After its release in 1997, it eventually became the highest grossing film of all time only to be beaten by Cameron’s own Avatar 12 years later. Titanic is a moving love story set against a thrilling action film. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the actual disaster, Paramount Pictures has released the film in a special Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray 2D/Digital Copy combo pack so audiences can weep all over again.

Sep
10
2012
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There's No Point In Resisting "Guilty Pleasures" Review

Everyone wants true love. It’s a fact of life. Romance novels published by Harlequin, Mills & Boon entice readers and make them think that they, like the characters in the books will find their soul mates. PBS and filmmaker Julie Moggan have explored the relationship everyday people have with fiction and how real life can either be tragic or romantic. Now on DVD, Guilty Pleasures is yours to view. Just make sure you have plenty of chocolates and/or tissues.

Guilty Pleasures focuses on five different groups of people. These people include a woman in India who is an avid romantic novel reader, a woman in Japan who hopes to win a ballroom dancing contest, a couple in England who are looking to add something new to their love life, a model for Mills & Boon who wants nothing more than to meet his twin flame or other half. Lastly, there is a man in the North of England writes romance novels and is quite happy churning out the steamy tales that so many people love to read.

Sep
06
2012
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School of Rock Review

Jack Black is a man of many talents. He is an actor and a comedian but his real start came as a musician where he made up half of the two-man rock band Tenacious D. His skills as a musician would also serve him well later on in 2003 when he starred in the charming comedy School of Rock. It is now out on Blu-ray and it is really a quality film. It’s rated PG-13 so it is perfect for most age groups. Not violent nor vulgar, it has all the ingredients of movie suitable for most audiences.

Dewey Finn (Black) is a struggling rock musician who lives with his childhood friend Ned Schneebly played by writer of the film Mike White and his annoyed girlfriend Patty played by Sarah Silverman. Dewey falls on hard times when he gets kicked out of this band and can’t afford to pay his share of the rent. A phone call then comes in for Ned regarding a substitute teacher job and Dewey takes it pretending to be Ned.

Sep
05
2012
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If There's Something Strange In Your B.B. King Blues, Who You Gonna Call? Minions of Gozer Shadowcasting "Ghostbusters" Tonight in NYC

Well, they’re back! The Minions of Gozer are returning this weekend for what should be, a paranormally awesome performance at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill tonight, September 1st. The Minions are a group of performers who go around to different venues shadowcasting the classic 80s sci-fi comedy Ghostbusters. Now, if you don’t know what a shadowcast is, it’s a live performance given by actors who perform a movie simultaneously as it plays on the screen. Notable shadowcasts have been done for The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Sep
01
2012
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"The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate" Make a Rough Landing Review

The martial arts are a time honored sport which turns ferocious fighting into a thing of grace and beauty. The deadly moves which are depicted in Chinese motion pictures are especially lovely. One such motion picture is the epic The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate, a wuxia film which showcases many interesting fight scenes, cool moves and fun action. The term “wuxia” means “martial hero” and it is a popular form of Chinese fiction. Popular martial artist/actor Jet Li stars in The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate and the results are somewhat mixed.

Aug
30
2012
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Disney's "The Aristocats" Gets a Purr-fect Blu-ray Release (Sorry) Review

Disney films have a long standing place in both American and international culture. For decades, audiences consisting of both children and adults have been entertained and taken on many delightful adventures. Walt Disney was responsible for many of these trips to fantasyland. The Aristocats is one such trip and it was actually the last film Mr. Disney approved of before his death/cryogenic hibernation in 1966. Released in 1970, the film is a charming tale that is now out in dazzling high definition Blu-ray.

The film follows a family of cats who reside with a wealthy woman in Paris, France circa 1910. The woman writes up a living will which details that in the event that something happens to her, her cats will inherit her fortune. 

Aug
28
2012
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Animated Classic "Heidi's Song" Is Still Catchy Decades Later Review

Animated feature films have been around for a very long time. Snow White and the Seven Dwarves started the genre in 1937 and more than seven decades later, the animated film business is still going strong. Heidi’s Song is one such animated feature. Released in 1982 and produced by Hanna-Barbera, it is a charming musical tale of a young orphaned girl who struggles to find a family and friendship. Warner Bros. has re-released the film on DVD through its special Archive Collection.

The film follows adorable orphan Heidi who is temporarily united with her gruff woodsman grandfather who resides in the Swiss mountains. At first, the two have a hard time living with one another but after a leg injury and Heidi’s companionship, the grandfather starts to enjoy having Heidi around. Things however get complicated when a foster family for Heidi is found and she must leave her grandfather. The rest of film deals with Heidi’s adventures with her new “family” and the pain of leaving her grandfather.

Aug
24
2012
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Get Sloshed on Nostalgia at Nitehawk Cinema's "Spoons, Toons & Booze"

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As a kid, Saturday mornings were like Christmas Day. Cartoons, cereal and a weekend full of having fun and not worrying. The only worry might be that two of your favorite cartoons were on at the same time but that’s what the VCR was for. Nevertheless, the fun was always there and entertainment company Secret Formula and the Nitehawk Cinema are having their very own cereal, cartoon and alcohol brunch event Spoons, Toons & Booze Gone Wild, a celebration of the wonderful combination of classic animated series and delicious cereal.

Aug
24
2012
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"Virginia" Fails to Fulfill its Dramatic Promise Review

What is it about Oscar-winning actors who after they win the coveted award, they decide to star in mediocre films? Someone should have asked Jennifer Connelly this very question when she made the disappointing human drama Virginia, a film with two big stars but not a lot else.

Virginia revolves around a psychologically disturbed woman of the title’s name played by Connelly. She is a single mother struggling to make ends meet and provide a good life for her son. She is involved with the town sheriff played by a wooden Ed Harris. Their relationship is the main focus of the film and the negative repercussions it causes.

Aug
23
2012
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"Biography" Offers A Superb Recounting of President Barack Obama's Life Review

On November 4, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama made history by becoming the first African-American to be elected President of the United States. It was a truly wonderful night for not only African-Americans but people all over the world. Obama’s win was proof that all individuals can achieve great things no matter what their ethnicity or social status. Biography's profile on Barack Obama is an informative documentary which chronicles the extraordinary life of our current President in vivid detail.

Obama’s journey is a truly amazing one, born in Honolulu to a black father and a white mother, he struggled in his high school years. He dabbled in drugs until he smartened up for college. After graduation from college, then law school, he started his political career in Chicago. From lawyering to securing a seat in the Senate, he gained not only professional experience but won the hearts of the everyman and woman which helped him gain momentum to guarantee his spot in the Oval Office.

Aug
22
2012
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Mel Brooks's Classic "Star Wars" Spoof Celebrates Its 25th Birthday Review

“May the Schwartz be with you.” Mel Brooks has had a successful career satirizing and spoofing popular film genres. For decades, the legendary filmmaker has tickled audiences’ funny bones and at the same time, made cinematic history. One of his popular forays in spoofing came in 1987 with Spaceballs a film which not only lampoons Star Wars but a host of other science fiction films and franchises. This hysterical comedy is now out in a special 25th anniversary Blu-ray edition and Brooks fans and comedy fans in general now have something else to add to their Blu-ray collection.

Aug
20
2012
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The Raspberry Brothers Fly Into the Danger Zone

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In 1986, heartthrob Tom Cruise took to the sky in the blockbuster action-drama Top Gun, an okay film which is pretty much responsible for making the then young Scientologist a star. There are cliches, bad acting and a lame romantic subplot. These are all aspects that make Top Gun a truly ridiculous piece of cinematic cheese. Having said that, it is now up to the comic team of The Raspberry Brothers to rip it to shreds with their Mystery Science Theater 3000-like comedic style.

Aug
16
2012
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Fathom Events Hosts RiffTrax's Live Roast of "Manos: The Hands of Fate"

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 or MST3K was one of Comedy Central’s first hit shows. From 1988 to 1999, the cult series would take terrible B-movies and offer humorous audio commentary or “riffing” as the film would play simultaneously. Three comedians who were involved with the show (Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett) have gone on to form RiffTrax, a comedy website which features downloadable audio commentaries in true MS3K form. The trio also does live shows, one of which, RiffTrax Live: ‘Manos’ The Hands of Fate will be played in movie theaters nationwide on August 16 courtesy of NCM Fathom Events.

Aug
13
2012
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Are Microbes the Key to Solving the "Autism Enigma" Review

Autism is a common neurological disorder found in many people. It affects social interaction, communication and behavior, and as early as the age of three, children can start to experience the disorder’s effects. Research into finding treatment and hopefully, a cure is an ongoing mission. In the fascinating documentary The Autism Enigma, scientists and families work together to help battle autism for the many people who are affected by it.

The Autism Enigma focuses primarily on two families and highlights their struggles and progress with autism. Each of these families contain children who  have the disorder and the documentary sheds some light on their day to day life, their behavior and their development. The parents who care for their autistic kids are strong and hopeful that modern science will improve their lives. The major point The Autism Enigma makes is that that there are microbes in a person’s gut that may actually be the cause of autism. With this scientific data, families worldwide can benefit. Hope comes in the form of science and this proves to be a truly wonderful thing. 

Aug
06
2012
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"Queen & Country" An Insightful Look At The Throne Review

All hail the Queen, the good people of England and the equally good people at PBS who have presented audiences with Queen & Country, a very detailed and insightful look into the history and traditions of the British monarchy. This four-hour documentary is now on DVD and if you are curious about the inner workings of England’s royal practices, then this is the perfect program for you.

Hosted by veteran newsman Sir Trevor McDonald, Queen & Country is a four-part look into how things exactly work in the British monarchy. The first part "London: Royal City" showcases England’s capital and provides a little history about Queen Elizabeth II and the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The second part "Royal Visit" follows the Queen around on her various trips to ceremonies and events.

Aug
03
2012
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"Total Recall" is an 80s Sci-Fi Worth Remembering Review

Three-breasted women are hard to come by these days. The same can’t be said in 1990’s sci-fi action film Total Recall, a movie which is regarded by some as a true Arnold Schwarzenegger classic. With colorful characters, intense action sequences and special effects that will leave you speechless, Total Recall is a truly genius piece of action filmmaking. Having said that, a special Blu-ray edition of the film is being released to coincide with the 2012 remake.

Taking place in 2084, the film focuses on a mild-mannered construction worker by the name of Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger). Quaid is married to the beautiful Lori played by Sharon Stone and their life seems perfect. That is until Quaid has dreams about Mars and decides to go on a brain trip courtesy of “Rekall”, a company that specializes in implanting memories for the sake of vacationing. Quaid decides to go on a mental trip to Mars as a secret agent and that’s when all hell breaks loose.

Aug
03
2012
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There's a Silver Lining to the "Last Day on Earth" Review

The end of the world is an interesting subject to tackle on film. It can be looked at one of three ways. There is the bleak, miserable outlook that sees the end as just nothingness after a global disaster. There is the upbeat, hopeful outlook that something better is waiting on the other side when the world ends and then there is the gray in between that relies on the notion that “it is what it is”. There is nothing to worry about, just remain calm, stay close to your loved ones and all will be fine. This viewpoint is what the main characters of 4:44 Last Day on Earth possess and they pull it off rather beautifully.

Jul
28
2012
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Cliches Lead the Dance in the Original "Step Up" Review

Dance movies have been around a while, and I’m not talking about musicals. I’m talking about cheesy romantic fluff featuring attractive lead actors strutting their stuff to the popular dance music of the era. Some examples are 1984’s Footloose and 1987’s Dirty Dancing, although the latter film focuses very heavily on the sizzling love story element between the two main characters. The same formula exists in 2006’s Step Up, a hip dance romance film which relies a little too much on cliches and poor acting.

Step Up follows Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), a street tough guy who gets arrested for vandalizing a local performing arts school. The judge then rules that Tyler perform community service at the very school he vandalized, and once there, he runs into a gorgeous yet somewhat snooty dancer by the name of Nora Clark (Jenna Dewan). Nora’s dance partner gets injured and it just so happens Tyler has some moves of his own. You can guess what happens next.

Jul
21
2012
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Don't Expect A 'Phenomenon' Review

John Travolta is definitely something of a phenomenon. In the 70s, he was a dance-happy heartthrob who won audiences over with his slick dance moves and handsome mug. He unfortunately ran out of steam in the 80s, landing roles in Looking Who’s Talking and its sequels. Things seemed to be going nowhere but then came 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Travolta’s career was suddenly revived and he began starring in a string of big budget and popular films. One such film is the 1996 fantasy/drama Phenomenon, a movie that wasn’t that popular when it came out but was a more than adequate vehicle for Travolta’s everyman character style.

Jul
17
2012
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