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Twilight Time: The Doll of Satan (1969) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 836 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of Rewind FilmIn the annals of Italian giallo thriller fare dominating movie theaters throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ferruccio Casapinta’s one-and-done gothic horror as giallo hybrid The Doll of Satan remains among the most overlooked chillers of its kind.  Though many will consider this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink hodgepodge a bit of a giallo themed mess, The Doll of Satan is a rare crossbreed that comes off as a bit overstuff with elements of The Devil’s Rain, old fashioned haunted-house ghost stories and even a touch of Scooby Doo thrown in for good measure.  Staunch giallo consumers will be somewhat bewildered by this exercise but as a genre fan it had a few tricks up its sleeve to make it worth your while.Courtesy of Rewind Film After a young couple ventu

Cinematic Releases: Nine Days (2020) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 837 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics In one of the strangest yet most fascinatingly visionary films of an already bizarre year for movies shuttered on and off by the COVID-19 pandemic comes the long delayed and eagerly anticipated debut of commercial Japanese-Brazilian writer-director Edson Oda, Nine Days.  Initially premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2020 before being pushed all the way back to July 2021, this surreal paranormal yet quiet and painterly drama offers a new look on the afterlife, reincarnation and what it means to live in general.  Think of it as a live-action Soul of sorts aimed at adults keen on peculiar, idiosyncratic imaginings of what a soul might experience before the moment of conception. Within the midst of a vast desert landscape

New To Blu: Profile (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 837 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Social media finds its way to the screen with this week's release of Profile on blu-ray. Initially screened in 2018, the movie was pushed to a 2021 cinematic release but struggled due to the coronavirus pandemic and was moved to the streaming market. This week it finally hits blu-ray after 3 years. Much like 2018's Searching, viewers are taken down the rabbit hole of the evils of Facebook and Skype as a journalist is sucked into a world of terrorism and possible human trafficking. Director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted) switches the scope of his typical action fare to one of modern commentary that shows how Islamic terrorists use the web to scour for new recruits and female victims. Reportedly based on a true story, Profile is a tension laced dose of reality that gives us an

Criterion Corner: The Ascent (1977) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 838 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of Mosfilm By now you’ve probably heard of Russian director Elem Klimov’s legendary WWII cinematic and hallucinatory waking nightmare Come and See thanks to the Criterion Collection’s recently re-released blu-ray edition, cementing the film’s status as an indefatigable film monument of formidable size and unspeakable horrors contained therein.  But what you may not be aware of is that before embarking on his unforgettable 1985 Mosfilm modern classic is that Klimov was married to the equally towering presence of a film director named Larisa Shepitko and that she beat her husband to the finish line with her savage and bleak 1977 WWII drama The Ascent.   Also recently re-released by Criterion in a new 4K restored special edition, the Golden Bear winner would turn

Blu-Ray News: Criterion Collection Announces 4K UHD!

Posted By themoviesleuth 839 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  Courtesy of The Criterion CollectionThe Criterion Collection has been at the forefront of boutique home video releasing labels for the past forty years, beginning with their laserdisc heyday in the 1980s through the late 1990s before their foray into the DVD and Blu-Ray disc market where they more or less represented the pinnacle of elite film curation, restoration and distribution.  Always known for their eclectic choices of film projects to pursue, their comprehensive extras and their strive to delivery the very best in terms of technical quality from sound to picture, The Criterion Collection has been the zenith of home video film collectors for as long as the formats have existed. But over the last few years or so after the introduction of a new Blu-Ray format of highe

A Powerpuff No More!!!: Actress Chloe Bennet Exits Live Action Powerpuff Girls at The CW

Posted By themoviesleuth 840 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  We could have told you from the start that a live action iteration of the Powerpuff Girls was a bad idea. From a troubled beginning to a scrapped pilot to filming a brand new pilot, this idea for The CW has seen its fair share of drama. And now it looks as though one of its lead stars has finally called it quits on the project altogether. Actress and former Agents of SHIELD star Chloe Bennet has officially left the series due to what they're calling scheduling conflicts. WB is apparently looking for a new actress to replace her as they try to get the show back off the ground and running. Dove Cameron and Yana Perrault are still attached to star as the other members of the team. The original Powerpuff Girls appeared in 1988 as an animated series and was a major hit. The new live

Cinematic Releases: The Stairs (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 840 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of Wandering Dragon Productions You probably haven’t heard the name of first-time writer-director Peter ‘Drago’ Tiemann or his production company Wandering Dragon Productions.  With a limited one-night-only Fathom Event screening as the only viewing option amid the ever-unfolding COVID-19 pandemic your chances of seeing his first movie, the supernatural woodsy low-budget practical effects driven creature-feature The Stairs, are next to nil for the moment.  That’s a shame because as it turns out, Mr. Drago is a twenty-year plus industry veteran working on-set as a stunt-coordinator and second-unit director before mounting his first picture which echoes the drive-in homegrown old-school horror qualities of the recently released Pierce Brothers monster movie The Wretc

Unearthed Films: The Late Show After Hours: Evil Dead Trap (1988) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 841 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Evil Dead Trap (1988) is an alluring mixture of Japanese and Italian style horror taking the best elements from both and combining them into a unique blend. The Japanese title Shiryō no wana or Trap of The Dead Spirits is more accurate to the theme of the film than the world salad localized title, though there are a few high-speed POV tracking shots that do call to mind Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (1981).The film starts out on a gruesome note as we follow late night cable TV host Nami (Miyuki Ono) as she reviews mailed in entries for the show. She pops in an unmarked VHS tape and is treated to a terrifying snuff film and watches helplessly as the featured woman gets her eye impaled graphically by a knife. The tape shows the outside of a derelict factory nearby, and Nami rounds up a group of

Violence is Blind: Don’t Breathe 2 (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 842 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - The highly trained, physically intimidating blind man returns for another grimy version of a dimly lit, burnt out Detroit in this week’s release of Don’t Breathe 2, a sequel lacking the directorial vision of one Fede Alvarez. Trading tension for a plot lined in ineptitude, this part two should be the franchise ending. Picking up shortly after the events of the original film, we move to another dust covered home somewhere on the outskirts of a city overrun by grungy ex-military miscreants hell bent on violence and pain. Starting off strong, we’re instantly reminded of Stephen Lang’s performance in the first film where he fights back against an invading band of thieves in his home. This time around he’s protecting a young girl from a gang of would be kidnappers that don’t quite know hi

Documentary Battles: Electric Boogaloo or The Go-Go Boys? (2014) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 843 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of MVD VisualBy now you’ve probably heard of the two Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus who became the CEOs of the prolific (and controversial) film production company Cannon Films or The Cannon Group.  Whether it be through the series of films themselves including some of the wildest, best (and worst) films of the 1980s, their track record of serving up low-budget sleazy exploitation trash and their history of cutting corners, Golan-Globus have achieved cinematic history as well as infamy with their tenure in the film business.   With renewed interest in the Cannon Group’s library of films with companies like Shout Factory serving up newly restored editions of some of their harder-to-find titles, it was only a matter of time before the self-proclaimed

Get On The Boat: Disney's Jungle Cruise Coming to Digital HD Early

Posted By themoviesleuth 843 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - image courtesy DisneyStudios are definitely struggling it with the continued effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Although theaters have seen relatively strong box office receipts for many of the bigger budgeted summer releases, it seems that a lot of folks are still not returning to the cineplexes. This is making release windows much harder to forecast and box office projections have been falling short of what would typically be expected during the summer months. Case in point, Disney has decided to release their Jungle Cruise movie on Digital HD streaming way faster than initially planned. The feature will be available on August 31st, just one month after its release in theaters. The movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt would normally be a major hit, however its only made

Coming Soon: The Awakening of Lilith (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 844 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  Steven Adam Renkovish's feature debut is a landmark dissertation on the nature of bereavement and the private, unknowable terrors of mental illness.  Working with virtually no budget, Renkovish and his rogue's gallery of cast and crew have managed to create a singular work of art that blends the sensitivities of Bergman, the nihilism of Von Trier, and the subtle wrongness of Roeg.  The result is a cinematic dirge that explores grief as a character more than a concept and how its existence affects those who remain in the wake of a tragedy.  Featuring an unforgettable central performance, an ambiance of dread, and immaculate visual compositions, The Awakening of Lilith is one of the most sobering viewing experiences of the year. Lilith loses a loved one unexpe

The Studio Series Presents More 1986 Classic Transformers!

Posted By themoviesleuth 845 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - all images courtesy of HasbroNot only is this the 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie hitting theaters, but Beast Wars has its 25th anniversary as well! Both have representation on toy shelves this year due to Transformers War for Cybertron: Kingdom premiering on Netflix as well as the Studio Series line turning its eye towards the 1986 movie cast.  Starting with Deluxe, we’re getting a brand-new update to everyone’s long-winded scientist, Perceptor! Transforming from a microscope to robot, this Deluxe Class figure gets a clean and movie accurate rendering with the option for his mobile cannon third mode. Coming with a blaster rifle and a removable backdrop of the Battle of Autobot City, this Percy will fit right in with his movie compatriots. Moving to the Voyager

Galactic News: Taika Waititi Begins Work on Star Wars Film

Posted By themoviesleuth 846 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  Creator and director Taika Waititi shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. With his Flash Gordon transitioning from the animated realm to live action, he is now beginning work on his next film that will take place in space. Ever since the announcement of his Star Wars movie, we've not heard much else from the galaxy far, far away. Well, it looks like he's finally working on the project. In fact, he says they've got a story and are moving on to the next phase of the movie. With his work on Thor: Love and Thunder nearly under wraps, he says his focus is shifting to Star Wars. He has previously worked as a director on The Mandalorian:"It's still in the 'EXT. SPACE' stage." referring to the script, "But we've got a story. I'm really excited by it because it feels very me", he said wh

New Releases: Val (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 846 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Val follows the early life, mid-life, and present life of one of the most enigmatic public figures of the 21st century: Val Kilmer. In this intimate portrait of his life through home videos he’s recorded throughout decades of his career and the more quieter moments in his personal life, you get to see a deeper sense of the man than an interview ever could.Memorable sections of his life are stitched together with videos filmed on the set of his films with well-known stars making appearances every now and then. A scene early in the film shows the boxes filled with reels of footage that Val has held onto until now. It’s trippy seeing fresh-faced luminaries like Kevin Bacon can be seen sitting in a dressing room waiting to go on stage for a play. Despite all the big names featured in this, it

New Releases: The Return (2021) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 847 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - The Return has a premise that makes it seem like a straightforward psychological thriller/ horror movie: a college student returns home after the death of his father and begins investigating his family’s mysterious past, while also dealing with a possible haunting. The first half plays mostly as expected, but the second supplies a few twists on the basic concept. It kept my interest even if it never got me excited. The direction it goes in for its payoff is interesting, despite the conclusion feeling somewhat unsatisfying. However, there are some issues in the character relationships and the way The Return tries to maintain suspense that really drag this down.The setup is fairly obvious, initially. The house Rodger is coming back to is full of traumatic memories. It is where his father di

MVD Marquee Collection: Mr. Jealousy (1997) - Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 848 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - Courtesy of Lions Gate Films By now you’ve probably heard of or seen-without-realizing-it the works of writer-director-actor Noah Baumbach.  From his frequent collaborations with writer-director Wes Anderson whose own plots and characterizations echo the works of Baumbach to his recent Best Picture Academy Award nominee Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach has all but established himself as a distinctly acerbic New York based filmmaker often focused on unbending characters who can’t get out of their own way building up to a confrontation and shaky denouement.  While the director is currently filming the long-awaited big screen adaptation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise, the good folks at the MVD Marquee Collection have turned their attention to Baumbach’s second feature film, th

Oh Please, Mother! Make It Stop: The Exorcist Reboot Trilogy's First Film Will Release in 2023

Posted By themoviesleuth 849 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  It's becoming more apparent that no beloved film or franchise is ever safe from studios milking them for everything they're worth. This is the case with The Exorcist as well. The original film is a long running horror classic and one of the scariest movies ever released to cinemas. For decades now, the property has been made into sequels, prequels and even a television series. Weeks ago it was announced that it would be getting a new set of movies that are being called a reboot but will most be a continuation of sorts considering Ellen Burstyn is returning to her role from the original movie with David Gordon Green (Halloween 2018) helming the project. The new Exorcist will be a direct sequel to the 1973 film and will follow a new continuity, leaving behind the former Exorcist

Galactic News: Disney+ Renews Star Wars: The Bad Batch For A Second Season

Posted By themoviesleuth 849 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com - image courtesy Disney/Lucasfilm Disney's Star Wars successes continue forward with the official announcement that The Bad Batch will be getting a second season on the streaming outlet. With The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and numerous other series currently in the works, Disney+ has reinvigorated the Star Wars universe with Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau's guidance. The first season of The Bad Batch appeared last May 4th and ended up being another great run for the outlet. The second batch of episodes is now scheduled to appear in 2022.Michael Paull, president of Disney+ and ESPN+ had this to say about the second season renewal:"Fans have enthusiastically embraced the action and drama of Star Wars: The Bad Batch and we are excited to see the Star Wars animated universe continue

The Softest of Lights in the Darkest Abyss: Annette (2021) Reviewed

Posted By themoviesleuth 850 days ago on Entertainment

http://www.spoilerfreemoviesleuth.com -  There is a lot to unpack in the allegory of Annette, a collaborative effort between director Leos Carax and the band Sparks, whose music breathes through the film as a living entity and whose screenplay infuses the narrative with metatextual, Nietzschean philosophical concepts and emotional metaphors. Framed as a voyeuristic fantasy, Annette tells the story of the forces of both internal and external angst, driving egotistical male rage as it stuffs the already-overflowing celebrity skin with hubris and empty cruelties. As its characters descend into a madness that chains them to the blackest depths of the abyss – an abyss that stares back into them, as much from the real-world theatre as it does their own metaphysical realities – we are witness to the deterioration of personhood as