eOne’s “Cell 213″ Is An Interesting Theological Thriller

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Paramount.  Disney.  MGM.  20th Century Fox.  Warner Brothers.  For the longest time, these studios were what made Hollywood and the movie industry great.  But somewhere along the way, something changed.  Something very bad happened.  Somewhere in the late 1990s and early 2000s, these five major studios went from churning out some of the greatest titles that audiences have ever seen to churning out nothing but prequels, sequels, and remakes.  Now in 2014, there seems to be no end in sight for this trend from Hollywood’s own “Power 5″ (only sports fans will get that reference).  Thankfully, independent studios such as IFC Films, Level 33 Entertainment, Anchor Bay Entertainment, and eOne Entertainment have picked up the slack, releasing some of the most original and entertaining movies that audiences have seen in years.  One example of that originality lies in eOne’s recently released thriller Cell 213.  The movie’s box art and description leads one to believe that it is a horror movie of sorts.  The reality is that it is in fact a rather deep and surprisingly original story.  The story behind Cell 213 is by itself more than enough reason for audiences to watch it at least once.  Veteran actor Michael Rooker’s (Guardians of the Galaxy, Days of Thunder, Cliffhanger) acting as the vile prison guard Ray Clement is another positive to the movie.  While the movie centers on Michael Grey (Eric Balfour), Rooker is the real star of this story.  And last but not least of all worth noting here is the movie’s run time versus its pacing.  At a time when it seems like Hollywood’s major studios are continuing to battle one another to see who can cram the most material into their movies within a given time span (more often than not that time span is about 2 1/2 hours or a little more), this roughly hour and forty-nine minute movie does plenty without even reaching the two-hour mark.    Each of these aspects by themselves play their own important role in the overall success of this interesting indie thriller.  Collectively, they make Cell 213 worth at least one watch and prove once more why indie movies are just as worth the watch as all of the prequels, sequels, and remakes being currently churned out by Hollywood’s “Power 5″ if not more so.

At first glance, eOne and Alliance Films’ recently released thriller Cell 213 looks like another run-of-the-mill horror flick.  But as the old adage states, never judge a book (or in this case a DVD) by its cover.  The movie is in fact far more than just another one of the overly gory and violence laden flicks that Hollywood’s “Power 5″ call a horror.  Rather, it proves to be more a thriller than a horror.  What’s more, it’s not just another thriller, either.  The movie’s script, which was crafted by Maninda Chana, combines traditional thriller elements with some rather deep theological discussions for a movie that will ultimately leave open-minded audiences really thinking.  As audiences learn, young up-and-coming lawyer Michael Grey himself ends up in jail after one of his clients kills himself, essentially framing Michael for his murder.  It is at this point that the movie’s biggest plot hole emerges.  The plot hole is big enough to drive a handful of semis through it.  Thankfully though, the theological discussions that make up the remainder of the movie more than make up for that glaring issue.  The discussions in question center on the battle between good and evil and on making the right choices in life before we die.  A close look at the story reveals these discussions and really makes the movie a lot more interesting than one might have originally thought at first glance.  The end result is a script that makes this indie thriller worth at least one watch.

The theologically based story behind Cell 213 is a big surprise.  By itself, the discussion raised on judgment of one’s soul, etc. is more than reason enough for audiences to check out this movie.  Another reason that Cell 213 is worth at least one watch is the acting on the part of Michael Rooker.  Rooker is most well-known for his work on the NASCAR-based drama Days of Thunder.  He has also worked on Marvel Studios’ latest hit blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy, too.  So this movie is obviously not the first time that he has played the role of a villain. And he shows his experience as a villain quite well. Between showing no mercy to the inmates at the prison to putting a chokehold on another officer (a female no less) to showing something of a troubling, almost Norman Bates sort of personality at another point, Rooker makes Ray Clement an absolutely disturbed character that will disturb audiences and make them love to hate him at the same time. If for no other reason, audiences should watch this movie at least once to see just how diabolical and disturbed Rooker makes Clement. That portrayal together with the movie’s deep, theological themes, makes for even more reason for audiences to give it at least one watch.

The theological themes that make up most of Cell 213’s story and the work of veteran actor Michael Rooker are both key to making this movie worth at least one watch. That still leaves one more aspect worth noting—the movie’s run time. Anyone that has been to the theater in the past couple years or so has noticed that Hollywood’s major studios have been seemingly caught up in a competition to see who can shove the most amount of material into a roughly two and a half-hour movie without making it too mediocre. The problem is that movies like The Dark Knight Rises, Pirates of the Caribbean 3, and even the recent Spiderman and Superman movies have been mostly mediocre. That’s because the people behind the cameras and the scripts have in fact crammed so much into each one of those movies that they have overpowered audiences. That’s hardly the case with Cell 213. The movie clocks in at just under the two-hour mark. Within the confines of that roughly hour and forty-nine minutes, writer Maninder Chana and director Stephen Kay waste no time ruminating on personal drama or any such related topics. The entire time is well-spent, focusing on the battle being waged for Michael’s soul and how he was essentially being tested, thus tying back in to the story’s theological themes. What’s more, at no point do those themes ever get so deep as to lose audiences. Viewers are kept engaged from start to finish thanks to that well-balanced mix of the movie’s run time and its overall content. That, coupled with Michael Rooker’s acting and the themes incorporated into the story, makes this movie complete. They collectively make Cell 213 a story well worth at least one watch whether one is a fan of the horror genre or has any interest in Christian theology. It all makes for a movie that is actually quite surprisingly interesting.

Cell 213 is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct online from Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Cell-213-Michael-Rooker/dp/B00K2OBSI2/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1416580052&sr=1-2&keywords=cell+213. More information on this and other titles from Alliance and eOne is available online at:

 

Website: http://ca.eonefilms.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eOneFilms

 

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PBS Announces Release Date For “Finding Your Roots Season 2″

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release the second season of its hit celebrity-based historical series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. this fall.

Officials with PBS announced this week that Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 will be released on Tuesday, December 16th.  Gates meets some of the country’s biggest names in the series and examines their ancestry in each hour-long episode.  In the series’ second season, Gates studies the ancestry of big names such as: Derek Jeter, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Sting, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Stephen King, Nas, and many others.  In all, twenty-nine celebrities are featured throughout the course of Season Two.

Gates goes into even more depth with his guests in Season Two than was possible in the show’s premiere season. He studies his guests’ specific ethnic roots, cultural traditions, and the inner works of his guests’ families. New advancements in DNA testing even allows for study of genetic genealogy. The advancements allowed for revelations linked to questions of paternity, geographic origins of his guests’ ancestors, and even tribal Native America ancestry in other cases. It is all revealed over ten episodes spread across three discs.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season Two will be available only on DVD Tuesday, December 16th. It will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46207086&cp=&sr=1&kw=finding+your+roots&origkw=Finding+your+roots&parentPage=search#Details. Audiences can access more information on the series, and watch videos from the show online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FindingYourRootsPBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/henrylouisgates

 

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The Secret’s Out: Nikki Yanofsky Proves She’s Ready To Break Out On Her Latest LP

Courtesy:  Caroline Records

Courtesy: Caroline Records

At only 19 years old, Canadian-born singer Nikki Yanofsky has already recorded and released three full length albums and gained a fan base from around the world.  So it goes without saying that by and large Yanofsky, who has worked with big names including: will.i.am, Herbie Hancock, Phil Ramone, and Elton John just to name a few, is anything but a secret to audiences.   This summer, Yanofsky released her aptly titled fourth full-length studio effort Little Secret.  The little secret revealed in this record is that Yanofsky isn’t just a jazz singer.  Just as Norah Jones eventually branched out, so has Yanofsky.  And just as Jones’ fans became divided when she started branching out, so have Yanofsky’s, too.  Fans have either gotten totally on board with this record or they have completely disavowed it.  Those fans that disavowed Little Secret have obviously failed to see…er…hear that she has not abandoned her jazz roots on this record.  Rather, she has taken those roots and shown her ability to grow as an artist while maintaining them.  That is evident more than once throughout the course of this album’s dozen tracks.  One of the songs that proves this is her take on David Houston’s 1967 hit single ‘You Mean The World To Me.’   There is also a retooled version of the jazz standard ‘Jeepers Creepers’ simply titled ‘Jeepers Creepers 2.0′ that audiences should take into account.  Whether for the re-tooled take on ‘Jeepers Creepers’ or her take of ‘You Mean The World To Me,’ audiences that give this record a chance will hear and agree that Yanofsky hasn’t lost her jazz roots.  At the same time, they will also agree that she has grown and branched out.  That is evidenced both in the album’s fittingly titled opener ‘Something New’ and its closer ‘Kaboom Pow.’  These songs by themselves prove that Yanofsky has not forgotten her roots but rather taken them and grown with them.  And together with the album’s remaining songs not noted here, audiences new and old alike will agree that Little Secret is deserving of far more credit than some have given it.

Little Secret has proven to be quite the divisive record among Nikki Yanofsky’s fan base.  There has been no gray area with this record.  Audiences have either hated it, claiming that Yanofsky has essentially sold out and forgotten her jazz roots or they have loved it noting her growth.  This critic chooses to take the side of those noting her positive growth.  Yanofsky shows on this record that she hasn’t forgotten her jazz roots.  She has merely taken them and grown with them.  One example of that display comes in her rendition of the jazz classic ‘You Mean The World To Me.’  This song is a  wonderful and beautiful break from the album’s more pop-centered songs.  It is a slow, gentle song perfect for a romantic moment with yanofsky singing, “I think about you all the time/I think about how you’re all mine/How only I can hold your hand/And you’re the one I call my man/And you mean the world to me/Everytime I feel your touch/Boy it gives me such a rush/And every time you stroke my hair/It sends shivers everywhere/I think about you and your smile/I think about the longest smile/Then I would run to get to you/I know that you would do that, too/Cause you mean the world to me.”  The gentle strains of the piano and laid back beats make the song even more enjoyable.  Regardless of the occasion, this is a great song for that special, romantic moment.  And it is one piece of evidence in the argument that Yanofsky hasn’t lost her jazz roots on this album.

Yanofsky’s take one ‘You Mean The World To Me’ is solid evidence that she has not lost her jazz roots on this, her latest full-length studio effort.  Those perhaps not yet convinced need look no farther than her updated take on the jazz standard ‘Jeepers Creepers’ for even more proof that she has not lost her roots, but used them to grow as a performer.  ‘Jeepers Creepers 2.0′ takes the jazz standard and brings it into the 21st century with her take of the song here.  She sings alongside jazz legend Louis Armstrong who popularized the original Harry Warren/Johnny Mercer tune in this rendition.  The pairing of the old and new is enhanced even more with the placement of some decidedly poppy beats over the whole thing.  The end result is one more song proving how much Nikki Yanofsky has grown on this record.  It’s also one more of the album’s songs that proves why Little Secret is a great candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new pop albums.

Despite what so many would like to believe, Nikki Yanofsky proves more than once on her latest full-length studio release that she has not lost her jazz roots. Rather she has shown how much she has grown on this album.  That is evident in both of the already noted songs.  While she proves that she has not forgotten her jazz roots, she also proves just how much she has grown as an artist and branched out as she has gotten older and more experienced with her craft.  She proves this just as much as she proves her continued connection to her jazz roots.  One of the best examples of that growth comes in the form of the album’s aptly titled opener ‘Something New.’  This song is right up there with songs from so many of Yanofsky’s bigger name counterparts that currently run on the nation’s biggest radio stations.  Audiences that give this song a chance will recognize a very familiar sample used as the song’s backbone.  It is the same sample used as a music bed in actor Mike Meyers’ hit Austin Powers movies.  The album’s closer ‘Kaboom Pow’ is just as aptly titled.  That’s because it closes out this surprisingly impressive album with a bang.  As with the album’s opener, it is catchy enough that it could easily hold its own against any major song playing across America’s major Top 40 station’s today.  Yanofsky’s vocal abilities are incredible to say the least, especially when she hits the high notes in this song.  It is truly something that must be heard to be fully appreciated.  Those talents, the talent exhibited in the album’s opener, and that of her jazz renditions show collectively a solid balance of Yanofsky’s past, present and future.  They prove together that she has not lost her roots nor has she forgotten them.  She has simply taken those roots and grown with them and released an album that is far more worthy of praise than some would seem to believe.

Nikki Yanofsky proves with Little Secret that she is more than just a jazz singer.  She is a multi-talented vocalist that could go any direction that she wants in her future releases. Regardless of the direction that she chooses or the support (or lack thereof) that she gets from America’s Top 40 stations, this record has proven that the secret is out.  Nikki Yanofsky is one of the best young vocalists in American music today.  Audiences that give Little Secret a chance will agree with that sentiment, too.  Yanofsky is currently touring in support of Little Secret.  Audiences can check out her latest tour schedule online now and keep up with her latest news updates online at:

Website: http://www.NikkiYanofsky.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/nikkiyanofsky

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NikkiYanofsky

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Step Up: All In Will Have Dance Fans All In

Courtesy:  Lionsgate/Summit Pictures

Courtesy: Lionsgate/Summit Pictures

Lionsgate and Summit Pictures releases the latest installment of the popular Step Up franchise tomorrow in stores and online.  This latest installment, the series’ sixth, is another fun little romp for anyone that is a fan of all things dance.  Those that are fans of the Step Up franchise will enjoy primarily the movie’s script.  The script is simple enough and doesn’t really require much thought.  It also lifts somewhat liberally from certain other flicks that have come before.  The movie’s overly abundant number of dance numbers will impress fans of the franchise, too.  On a completely separate note, there is the movie’s rating.  Yes, the movie’s rating.  This must be noted as part of the movie’s whole.  The movie received a PG-13 rating.  But in its defense, it really was not deserving of that rating.  That will be discussed later.  The undeserved rating aside, the combination of the story and the dance numbers together will impress any fan of the Step Up franchise and prove it to be a fitting finale for the series should it be the series’ last installment.

“Every step has led to this.”  That is the line used on the front of the box for Step Up: All In.  It hints that perhaps this installment is the finale for the hugely popular dance-centric franchise.  If it is the last of the series’ movies, then the series has gone out on a positive note….er….step.  Yes, that bad pun was fully intended.  The movie, which will be released in stores and online tomorrow, November 4th, is an interesting work.  The central reason for its interest is its script.  The movie’s script focuses on Sean (Ryan Guzman) in his attempts to break out of his work-a-day world and put his talents as a dancer to use in a huge dance competition in Las Vegas called “The Vortex.”  The ultimate reveal as to his intentions is what makes the story interesting.  Unlike so many cookie cutter movies of its ilk, this story’s central character isn’t out to become a major celebrity.  Rather, as he explains to his new crew late in the movie, he just wants to make something of himself.  He wants something better for himself and the rest of his crew.  He tells them he doesn’t care about being a TV star or anything like that.  He just wants to dance and use dance for a living.  It’s a nice change of pace from the movies that fill out this movie’s genre.  Speaking of those movies, audiences can easily see hints of movies such as Universal’s Pitch Perfect and Blues Brothers 2000 and Disney’s High School Musical franchise.  That is thanks to the story’s execution.  That includes the numerous dance sequences, which will be discussed later.

The surprise twist added to the story by the writing team of John Swetnam and Duane Adler makes the movie an interesting watch in itself.  Of course, the requisite romance subplot is there.  Swetnam and Adler have also included the mandatory inner conflict for Sean as he is forced to face off against an old friend when his new dance crew has to take on his old crew.  That crew just happens to be headed up by Sean’s old friend.  Luckily that latter element is kept to an extreme minimum so as to not overpower this movie’s central plot.  Had that happened, it would have made the movie unbearable even for those that are familiar with its predecessors and who enjoyed said movies.  Even the mandatory romance subplot is kept to a minimum.  It’s good to see that Swetnam and Adler balanced the story’s various elements as well as they did.  The end result is a story that actually allows audiences to suspend their disbelief, turn off their brains for about an hour and a half (actually just over that) and enjoy some talented dancing and its associated beats.

John Swetnam and Duane Adler’s script for Step Up: All In is the core of the movie’s ability to keep audiences engaged throughout the course of the movie’s almost two hour run time.  While Adler and Swetnam are to be commended for their script, the story itself is only part of the whole that makes the movie work.  It goes without saying that the Step Up franchise in whole is very much a niche franchise.  It won’t reach everybody.  But those that are into the dance arts will enjoy the dance sequences that are included throughout the movie.  There aren’t just a couple dance sequences, either.  This critic specifically stopped counting at five sequences.  There is no denying the talents of the dancers, either.  Even if one is not exactly a fan of dance, one must admit that the dancers themselves are quite talented.  The choreography of the sequences in whole is just as impressive.  It had to have taken endless hours for the choreographers and dancers to perfect each of the movie’s multitudes of sequences.  Taking that into account the dance sequences, which are essentially the collective core of the movie, prove to be another key part of why audiences will want to give Step Up: All In at least once.

The dance sequences and the script that make up Step Up: All In are collectively more than enough reason for any fan of the long-running franchise to check out its latest installment.  This is the case regardless of whether or not is proves to be the series’ finale.  Getting on a different path for a moment, the movie’s rating is perhaps a bit undeserved.  The movie received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA.  The reason given was “some language and suggestive material.”  There are perhaps only two instances throughout the course of the movie in which any foul language is used.  There is no nudity anywhere throughout any scene.  Given the outfits on both the side of the men and women are a bit skimpy.  But they are not to the level of being overly revealing.  The dancing is dancing.  Sure some of it may be a little bit risqué.  But compared to numbers in the likes of Cabaret and other works, it can hardly be considered suggestive at every point.  The only time that a PG-13 rating might be considered worthy is a dance sequence in “The Vortex” competition.  The sequence in question involves members of Sean’s crew simulating urinating on their opponent.  That would be the only time that a PG-13 rating would truly be justified.  Other than that one moment, very little of the material in this question would be considered overly questionable by today’s standards.  It’s one more reason that Step Up: All In proves in the end to be worth at least one watch. This is regardless of one’s own familiarity with the moves that came before this one.

The script behind Lionsgate’s new addition to the Step Up franchise and the movie’s multitude of dance sequences are both important factors to consider in the movie’s success. Audiences will find enjoyment out of both factors. Considering the fact that perhaps at only one point is there anything truly questionable (besides occasionally the dancers’ outfits), it all makes the movie’s PG-13 rating hold even less water. Could that one questionable dance move have been removed? Yes. It could have. But it really proves to be the only truly questionable moment in the entire movie. That being the case, it takes away very little from the rest of the movie and keeps it still worth at least one watch. It will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, November 4th on DVD +Digital HD combo pack and Blu-ray+Digital HD combo pack. More information on this and other releases from Lionsgate is available online at:

Lionsgate’s Latest Family Friendly CG Centerpiece Will Entertain The Whole Family

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s latest CG animated feature Jungle Master is one of the year’s more welcome family features to come along so far in 2014.  Unlike so many of the movies released in recent years by Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar, Jungle Master actually takes the road less travelled.  The movie’s animation is the most obvious way in which it takes that road less travelled.  Despite being a CG presentation, it doesn’t bare that cookie cutter appearance of the movies released by Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar.  Another reason that it stands out is its run time.  The movie’s run time comes in at just under the ninety-minute mark.  That’s a very good thing and will be discussed later.  Last but not least of all that makes this movie stand out is its script.  The story lifts lightly from The Wizard of Oz believe it or not and adds in a touch of Avatar for good measure as well as other sci-fi flicks.  The end result is a story that the while it may never be as big as anything from Dreamworks or Disney/Pixar, is still enjoyable in its own right.  It proves to be a movie that the whole family should watch together and will enjoy together when they do watch it together.

Jungle Master is not one of the most well-known family flicks to be released by any of Hollywood’s major studios this year.  That aside, it still proves in the long run to be one of the year’s more welcome family friendly flicks.  One reason for that is the movie’s “animation.”  Lionsgate’s CG features are completely unlike those of Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar in the realm of animation.  It’s almost impossible to tell Dreamworks’ CG movies from Disney/Pixar’s because they all look alike.  The only way to really differentiate the two studios’ works is by the studio names.  That speaks volumes.  Lionsgate on the other hand has strived to keep itself separate from the mold used by those studios in terms of its animation.  The look of Lionsgate’s CG movies is rawer for lack of better wording.  But it isn’t raw to the point of looking like some pieces from perhaps independent studio Engine 15 Media Group and others.  There is actually some attention paid to detail with Lionsgate’s CG movies, including this one.  That attention to detail helps Jungle Master maintain its own identity separate from its bigger name counterparts from Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar.  It even helps the movie to maintain its own identity from Lionsgate’s previously released CG features.  That mostly original look is just one of a number of positives that surround Jungle Master and make it stand out among this year’s crop of CG movies.

The largely original look of Jungle Master plays a key role in the movie’s ability to keep audiences engaged through its entire eighty-two minute run time.  That run time is another reason that families will enjoy this movie.  It doesn’t even reach the ninety-minute mark.  That relatively short run time drastically increases the chances of keeping audiences engaged from start to finish.  This is especially the case with the movie’s target younger audiences.  Most of the CG movies released since 1995—which is when Pixar broke the mold and released Toy Story—have averaged about ninety minutes.  There have been a small number of movies that have come in just under that time.  But most either reach the ninety-minute mark or go well over it as was the case with Toy Story 3.  That movie came in at almost forty-five minutes.  Luckily its story worked well enough that it still succeeded and quite well at that.  Speaking of story Jungle Master’s story works wonderfully with its run time.  Its story combines elements of a number of other movies to make a story that somehow actually works.  It’s one more way in which Jungle Master works and makes itself one of this year’s more welcome family films.

Both the look of Jungle Master and its run time are important to the movie’s overall success.  They each play their own important role to the overall presentation as they both have an impact on whether or not audiences are kept engaged.  Luckily, both factors succeed by themselves and together.  As much as they succeeded, the look of Jungle Master and its run time are not all that made this direct-to-DVD feature work.  One would be remiss to ignore the movie’s script as an equally important part of the whole.  The movie’s script centers on a twelve year-old girl named Rainie (pronounced rainy) who runs away from home ater her mother forgot about her birthday.  It is assumed by the fact that Rainie was upset enough to run away that her mother (who remains nameless throughout the movie) has probably left Rainie alone more than once.  Her decision to run away ends up taking her to al alien planet  and a much biger adventure that is directly linked to the company for which her mother works.  It’s thanks to her adventure that Rainie realizes her mom hasn’t intentionally ignored her, obviously leading to an eventual reconciliation between mother and daughter.  The central story of the parent/child relationship is obviously anything but new.  It’s been done more times than a person can count on his or her own two hands.  However, the story’s execution is what makes this plot work.  Screen writer Steve Kramer lifted liberally from the likes of The Wizard of Oz and Avatar to make this story.  While he obviously lifted from the noted movies, Kramer didn’t try to just remake them and mix them together.  He used them more as influences for his story about family.  What’s more he balanced said elements quite well; well enough in fact that audiences will be moved to overlook the references to said movies and enjoy the presented story.

Kramer’s re-telling of original writer/director Xu Kerr’s story is one of the most important of this movie’s aspects in considering its level of success.  He obviously used at least a couple of rather well-known movies that have come before as both influences and elements of this movie.  But he also didn’t try to just rip off either work.  He balanced them together to make a largely original story that centers on family.  That creativity and homage still is not all that makes this movie work.  One should also take into account the movie’s cast and even its bonus shorts.  Victoria Justice (Victorious, Victoria Justice, iCarly), Jane Lynch (Glee, Hollywood Game Night, Wreck-It-Ralph), David Spade (Just Shoot Me, The Benchwarmers, Tommy Boy), Josh Peck (Drake & Josh, Ultimate Spiderman, Ice Age: Continental Drift), Christopher Lloyd (Cyberchase, Back to the Future 1 - 3), and John Lovitz (Saturday Night Live, The Critic, Gorwn-Ups 1 & 2) make up the movie’s cast.  Lovitz proves to be the real star of the story with his comical antics voicing Mulla.  The fact that so many well-known names overall would feel confident enough about such a movie makes it even more worth the watch.  And the bonus shorts included with the movie will entertain children for a little while after the movie ends.  These extra positives combined with the positivews already noted make Jungle Master a movie well worth at least one watch together by any family.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other releases from Lionsgate is available online at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lionsgatemovies

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Shout! Factory Gets “Weird” This Fall

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

A little more than twenty-five years ago, a little comedy by the name of UHF took the world by storm. The movie starred famed quirky comedian and satirist Weird Al Yankovic and a then unknown Michael Richards (Seinfeld). Just over a quarter of a century later, that cult hit flick will see the light of day again when Shout! Factory re-issues the movie on Blu-ray next month.

Shout! Factory will re-issue UHF on Tuesday, November 11th. As bizarre as the movie is, its premise is actually a relatively solid sticking point. It centers on a small time TV station facing off against a corporate giant in its attempts to keep from being bought out and shut down. In his attempt keep the station from being shut down, George Newman (Weird Al) enlists the help of his friends to put on a giant fundraiser that involves some of the wildest programming that anyone has ever seen. Among those friends is Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards).

UHF will be available on DVD Tuesday, November 11th. It can be pre-ordered online now via Shout! Factory’s website at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-comedy/uhf-25th-anniversary-edition. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

MST3K Vol. XXXI Is An Early Thanksgiving Treat For Classic Film Fans

Courtesy:  Shout! Factory

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is bringing audiences quite a tasty treat of a classic series next month.

Shout! Factory will release Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection on Tuesday, November 25th. The box set’s release is a doubly good thing since it won’t interfere with the annual traditions of watching football and eating lots of food. Though, it could start its own tradition of taking in some of the movie industry’s biggest turkeys each year around Thanksgiving. Speaking of those cinematic turkeys, the movies included in this year’s Thanksgiving special are: Jungle Goddess, The Painted Hills, The Screaming Skull, and Squirm.

Just as with every previous MST3K, the movies included in the box are just part of the whole that audiences will appreciate. It also includes a number of bonus features. Those features include all-new Turkey Day episode introductions by star Joel Hodges, and an interview with Squirm star Don Scardino. There are also featurettes and bonus “movie posters” crafted by artist Steve Vance. The bonus featurettes included in this box set are: “Undercooked & Overstuffed: Inside the Turkey Day Marathon,” “Bumper To Bumper: Turkey Day Through The Years,” “This Film May Kill You: Making ‘The Screaming Skull’” and “Gumby & Clokey.”

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIThe Turkey Day Collection will be available Tuesday, November 25th on DVD. It will retail for MSRP of $64.99. It can be pre-ordered online direct via Shout! Factory’s online store at https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/action-adventure/mst3k-volume-xxxi-the-turkey-day-collection-collector-s-edition-tin. More information on this and other releases from Shout! Factory is available online at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

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