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  1. #721
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    Best Buy - October 20th, 2020


    Back To The Future: 35th Anniversary Trilogy
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD combo $64.99

  2. #722
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    Past Tense - Bugs, Big Bomb And Zealots Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on January 3rd, 2013 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    You can hear them moving in the walls within the ventilation system, foot by foot closer to the well paid and rendered pointless - panic room. If this was a movie there would be a long lingering shot of the bed frame outside of the hidden room with focus on muted sounds.

    There was a pause, eyes closed and a fade to slumber then a slight adrenaline rush as you remember what is going on. At this point you are afraid to move from your spot on the floor. Last year those devil dogs had actually pounced on your former home's roof. There is a quick thought of what you will do if that happens here, not much is the answer. Harsh, but honest. So screwed.

    Even from this attic spot you can hear muffled howls. They had found the room, unknown if they tumbled in and were - trapped? Or at this point were mauling the vent grate to enter. Then another big idea popped, man - you are slowing. This should've happened before you went up here.

    All those areas you had concealed peanut butter and spent paper towel rolls. You could give them reasons, reasons to search elsewhere for you should they get out. Open the jars now and plop the empty rolls inside and fling them on various walls across the home - make them confused. Giving you more time for morning, at least hoping that morning will bring about a new, better day.

    You take out the golf club and rush downstairs with the bow clenched; ready to fire arrows as needed. No sign of them as you increase your pace - you have this momentary advantage, don't loose it. Various hidden closets are opened and jars pulled, not daring to open until you're ready to drop them like scented ruses. More slower blinks, "Scented Ruses" sounds like a bathroom odor spray, might be a strong potpourri with some wooded smells - cedar maybe. You shake that thought away.

    Not now dude.

    Each of the room were baptized with peanut butter and the jar left behind, sealed but not before placing a tiny bit on the lid. None of the peanut butter made contact with your skin or on clothes. That would defeat the defense. Each was hidden away behind a large furniture or inside a room you could lock. Let them fight to get inside.

    Five rooms were done before anguished howls were heard. They're inside. And know they've been hoodwinked. No more time for more rooms - what to do with the other sealed jars? You put them inside a nearby cabinet. You rush back to your former spot. And another thought popped.

    What if other chupacabras critters heard that wail and come to their aid? While maybe - and that's a big maybe, the panic room will seal them in. What about others who join in? You're back to zero once they finished with the mired chunky paste and hunt you down.

    Can't think about this - can't; like a middle age ninja, you race up and return to your attic sanctuary. Locked with the club once more. This time around having your bow and arrows far closer to you. The room is so dark, the outside street lights are still working in the haze and giving just the outline of objects in the refuge from the dusty windows.

    Another sound is heard, can't quite make it out. Like banging on metal, kinda chaotic. Then a head shake to keep awake, you're hurting now for sleep. Those adrenaline burst are not lasting when your body is at rest. What was that noise? More dogs? MORE DOGS.

    More demon dogs are inside the house and now that sound is registering - they too are inside the vents. But are having trouble navigating, those peanut butter decoys are making them confused - probably like the scent was coming from everywhere.

    More than likely they found that open vent from smelling their own - the blood around the grate they chewed and pulled open. How many new ones? Right now that's trivial. The point is to survive the night. Oh man, in the rush you forgot to take your watch or even look at a clock. What time is it now? Whatever - you're not moving from this place, no more Hail Marys to have.

    Another long yawn, this one way longer than all the others. Scared. Please don't sleep. Please don't sleep.

    "Limited Edition Horror" 2020 continues with week four; hope you have enough cans of Raid for this insect infused interstellar malediction - "Starship Troopers 3"...



    "Starship Troopers 3: Marauder" was released on home video on August 5th, 2008. It was a direct-to-video title.

    It streeted against "Rogue: Unrated", "Star Trek: Enterprise - The Complete Second Season" and "Lonesome Dove: 2 Disc Collector's Edition".

    The basic edition originally came with a cardboard foil slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. The only insert was the instructions for the digital copy.

    - - -

    There were several exclusives. Lets address this alphabetically...



    FYE/Suncoast offered an exclusive steelbook case for the film. This is fuzzy, but it appears that it sold for $26.99.

    I'm not 100% certain if that was the release day price. It's the best I could do.

    Target had two exclusives mixed into one...



    First they gave their DVD a lenticular slipcover - different from the wraparound. Inside was the second exclusive; "Mobile Infantry Field Manual", a three page fold-out booklet. This set sold for $16.99. I remember not knowing about it until days later; went to my local store, hoping they would still have one in stock.

    Yes, they did; sold my extra copy on eBay (minus the booklet and slipcover).



    Wal-Mart had an exclusive disc (in its own case), side packed the regular DVD. This set sold for $19.98. Sorry, no menu screen - single featurette, "On The Bounce: The Making Of Starship Troopers" just plays. A run time of 24:11 minutes. This is where I first bought my copy, sway.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    There was another exclusive, but not solely for "Marauder". It was for the three movie compendium, released on the same street.



    Best Buy had a eight inch limited edition Marauder figurine (unit #04) with "Starship Troopers Trilogy" DVD; entitled "The Ultimate Starship Troopers Collector's Set". This sold for $39.99 (if you just wanted the three disc set, only - $29.99). Didn't have the money at the time, otherwise I would've gotten this too. Don't have much regrets; where would I put this? The box was huge.

  3. #723
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    Past Tense - Bugs, Big Bomb And Zealots Part II


    Rant.



    I really like this flick. This installment was the closest to the tone of the first movie. I've been reading reviews from folks who were bothered by the ideas this chapter gave.

    * The framing of anti-war protesters on conspiracy charges (capital crime) - to be hanged.
    * The co-opt of religion by the Federation.

    Lethal pout.

    I am puzzled by some who didn't get the first movie. We were NOT the good guys. In fact the world government was deceiving us into going to war. Keep the masses frightened and angry, give them a common enemy; this runs the wheels of power.

    The bugs are ruthless, true, but we started the war with them. This one world government is an empire. And as all empires do - they expand. We expanded to bug territory and thought we could kill these primitives and take their resources. They fought back.

    In the first film we had a major disaster with a meteor which impacted Buenos Aires, it nearly totaled the metropolis. This act was the tipping point, a declaration of war was announced. The thing is how?

    How could the bugs have sent that rock to Earth? They have no FTL (Faster Than Light) carriers. In fact they spread by sending their seeds into space. They might land on a moon or a planet - new colony. Yes some could fly into space, but no faster than a jet engine. If they had sent that rock to us, it would've taken thousands of years to arrive - long before we ever had the ability of basic flight, before we first ventured into space itself.

    Lets be perfectly clear - that rock could not go faster than they can throw/spew out.

    The government told us the bugs sent it, they lied. This future world has an over population problem. The conflict was a way to kill two birds with one stone; help them to eliminate a threat to their expansion and thin the herd at the same time.

    Why is this concept hard to understand?

    You are a second class person without Citizenship; very little rights. By serving in the military, if you survive, you have rights. It's a militaristic state depicted here, not a happy world.

    The other would be a power play. This war could be used to justify taking away/reducing civil liberties; more fuel to keep the empire running. It's never about the individual rights, just the "collective". That being the nice word for The Elite.

    Lets get this clear - the film series is satire.

    I remember when the first movie came out, reading how some didn't see it any further than a sci-fi action piece. Really? Dude, that's disturbing. The military leaders were dressed like Nazis. Filmmakers made a parody of war and politics. C'mon, one of protesters in "Marauder" was going to be hanged in his wheelchair... they actually built a ramp for his chair just to kill him.

    Reminds me of "Team America: World Police" (2004). There were viewers who didn't see anything wrong with what happened on screen (minus the puppet sex and puppet vomit). Did they not understand it was satire? It wasn't a patriotic motion picture - at all. WTF? *sigh*

    Across the federation, federation experts agree that: A: God exists, B: He's on our side, C: He wants us to win.
    I like how the film (number three) ended with a public announcement that we have a new weapon against the bugs. It left it rather open ended as to what they meant; the Marauders mechs or government sanctioned religion. As for the folks who are saying its anti-Christian, they never said what religion they followed.

    Would You Like To Know More?

    At one point, you could find "Starship Troopers 3: Marauder" with its slipcover at Big Lots! for three bucks.

    - - -

    How many in the franchise?



    Five films in total - four of them direct-to-video sequels and the last two were CGI features.

    "Starship Troopers" (1997) - 129 minutes

    "Starship Troopers 2: Hero Of The Federation" (2004) - 92 minutes

    "Starship Troopers 3: Marauder" (2008) - 105 minutes

    "Starship Troopers [4]: Invasion" (2012) - 89 minutes

    "Starship Troopers [5]: Traitor Of Mars" (2017) - 88 minutes

    The first film is now twenty-three years old and still looks great. And better than a lot of CGI laden motion pictures today. This is what happens when you create CGI that is designed to exist in real world daylight, not for muted and altered hues.

    Actor Casper Van Dien reprised his role of Juan "Johnny" Rico in the last three movies. And Dina Meyer reprised Isabelle "Dizzy" Flores from the first film for "Traitor Of Mars". Pardon? Yes, she died in movie one - but is a hallucination here, Johnny's torment and inspiration.

    By the way, the last one is good. It's a sci-fi, political thriller. Rico is demoted (from general to colonel; aftermath of "Invasion") and dropped on Mars to train the local enlisters. The planet has been terraformed. It's a nothing job, no bugs. There is however a hidden infestation.

    An up and coming Sky Marshal is keeping that a secret - planning to perpetrate a false flag against her rival when the arachnids attack. Then making the claim she had no choice but to detonate the planet killing bomb (all evidence of her wrong doings incinerated). She rises up the ranks at the expense of Mars, everyone on the surface and in orbit in the space station. It's up to Johnny and his newbies to expose the fraud and expose her.

    Man, I would love to have a sixth film. There is strong continuity and story themes. Have no problem with that being CGI as well. That's cool, just have a good plot and voice actors, plus Van Dien. Maybe even have Denise Richards come back for a voice role. It's not like she's doin' anything.

    - - -

    Wave IV of tantalizing Halloween costumes.



    This outing is a hit and miss kind of thing.

    Wasn't ever a fan of "The Jetsons" (cartoon felt weak and pandered in the most obvious way), but I do like the effort made for "Judy Jetson Space Futuristic" costume. The $39.99 tag comes with bustier, skirt and wig. You provide the fishnet stockings and knee high boots. That outfit works, on the right woman quite the head turner.

    The other - what is it?

    Sexy Kenny from "South Park". Yeah, that's something nobody asked for. It's for someone who wants to be an attention getter, but fails because it's not that kind of thing. That's like dressing up as Sexy JonBenét Ramsey. No. Nobody wants this. Why even do?

    Don't bother looking at the specs, 'Sexy Kenny' shouldn't be a thing.

  4. #724
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    Past Tense - Bugs, Big Bomb And Zealots Part III


    Recommendations.

    Five more tingles for your dark desires this holiday, next week is Halloween.

    "BrainDead" (2016)
    Not a movie, but a short run political horror TV series, sometimes dark comedy and sometimes gory which ran for thirteen weeks on CBS, but fizzled in the ratings, not well known. Lauren Healy is a documentary filmmaker who has fallen on hard times; she lost vital fundings. With much reluctance she agrees to work for her brother in Washington, D.C., Luke is a U.S. Senator. After a few days she witnesses various erratic behavior at the capital - too much to be random, plus a man who's head exploded. Quietly she investigates and is caught up in paranoia. Lauren uncovers a discrete alien invasion... ants. The non-terrestrial insects came to Earth within a meteorite. Earth was never their goal, just dumb luck the rock ended up here. The ants burrow into brains through ears, taking out some brain matter and situating themselves inside, filling in the missing neurons - using the overtaken bodies as their vehicles. The secret invasion now includes members of Congress and staff. Her main ally is a conspiracy theorist, Gustav Triplett who is mistrustful of people already. The intent was for a four season run - the bugs were going to take over Silicon Valley, Wall Street and Hollywood, but it wasn't going to happen so the show runners made the season finale, the series finale with just enough wiggle room should two happen. It didn't. A different take on the "Invasion Of The Body Snatchers" theme.
    Paramount - 2016 - NR

    "eXistenZ" (1999)
    The near-future; video game designer Allegra Geller is showcasing her brand new virtual reality game - "eXistenZ". Her platform is Antenna Research. Rival game company, Cortical Systematics has been trying to acquire her software for their corporation. But a third party has entered the picture, an insurgent group, the "Realist" who are anti-VR, the deforming of reality. Geller is shot and her only copy of her work is potentially damaged. She is pulled out of the building by a marketing trainee, Ted Pikul. Unable to know unless she jacks in and him too since safety protocols could be disabled. Die in the game - die in real life. She needs a bodyguard in VR. The two get caught up in a conspiracy in and out of reality as they attempt to learn what's going on - who put a bounty on her? This is a David Cronenberg film, expect body horror; the tech here is bio-mechanical. Surreal at time and just crazy at other. It should be noted that the U.S. DVD is bare bone, the U.S. Blu-Ray has minor extras. The 1999 Canadian DVD has three commentaries, documentary and trailer, studio below.
    Alliance Films - 1999 - R

    "John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars" (2001)
    The year is 2025; Mars has been terraformed and colonized. Police officer, Lt. Melanie Ballard and cops are sent to a remote mining outpost, "Shining Canyon". After years of crimes and murders, felon James "Desolation" Williams has been caught, locked up in the local jail. The job is to pick up and transport him by train for arraignment. When they arrive, they find a dead town - massacred. At first believing it to be the work of Desolation - only to find him and what remains of the locales locked up behind the bars, done to protect themselves... from the rest of the outpost's infected population. Days earlier, miners had found a door to a lost Martian civilization - a tomb. Not so dead, existing in spectral form, taking possession of humans. Now RAGING over these invaders. A siege at the jail; left with few resources, Ballard has no choice but allow Desolation to do his thing. An uphill battle, kill one of the infected, 'it' jump to the next nearby body and continues on. It's pretty much a sci-fi remake of Carpenter's 1976 film, "Assault On Precinct 13".
    Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment - 2001 - R

    "Savageland" (2015)
    A horror mockumentary. The largest mass murder in American history occurred on the night of June 2nd, 2011 at Sangre de Cristo (known as 'Savageland' by locals), Arizona. The boarder town sits a few miles north of Mexico. The entire population of fifty-seven were massacred; some only existing as body fragments. The police arrest an illegal, Francisco Salazar who was found at the scene covered in blood. His trial and sentence was fast tracked to appease paranoia and hysteria around the US/Mexico border. He was scapegoated. This is a documentary after the fact; going over the evidence collected and discovering omissions - Salazar to his death said he didn't do it. On his possession was one 35mm camera. He used all thirty-six images on that roll. There's where the problem begins. There are things in those photos that should not be - things the prosecution left out. An unknown force swept over Sangre de Cristo, killing all those in its path. There is no resolution, just the knowledge, that 'evil' does exist... and WILL happen again. It's a slow burn to the reveal which was right in front of you the whole time.
    MVD Visual - 2018 - NR

    "VWF" (2019)
    An homage to John Carpenter's "Assault On Precinct 13" (1976) complete with a synthwave driven score; feels like watching an ultra-violent comic book movie, hues in neon reds and blues. A new narcotic has taken over the American drug scene, 'Hype' - highly addictive, zapping users of their identity. Local drug lord, "Boz" has his inventory stolen by a young woman "Lizard" - retaliation for the death of her sister. Unknown to her, Boz is suppose to bring his goods for sale - a deal that comes together at dawn. Lizard flees the drug den to the nearest location open... the VWF (Veterans of Foreign Wars) bar across the street. The men are celebrating the birthday of the bar owner, Fred Parras. What follows is a slice of Hell, the tavern is relentlessly attacked by the addicts as well as Boz's enforcers and his henchwoman "Gutter". The movie is memorable for its practical effects and 1980s action actors, kicking ass. Outstanding chemistry and horror as each attack wave gets more intense. Boz WANTS his stash back, badly. On DVD and BD.
    RLJE Entertainment, Inc. - 2020 - NR

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Is it just me or does Jolene Blalock has a Raquel Welch vibe going on here? The image feels like an homage to "One Million Years B.C." (1966). I don't think I'm imagining it. Right?

    One more corner to be turned as you flee from blood thirsty brute. One more ordeal before the dawn. Have it in you to come back next Thursday?

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