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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?

  5. #725
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    Best Buy - October 27th, 2020


    My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising
    Exclusive steelbook; BD/DVD/DC combo $27.99

    Rambo: The Complete Steelbook Collection
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD combo $94.99

  6. #726
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    Past Tense - Things Which Do Not Mix - Exotic Dancers And The Undead Part I


    A brand new entry!

    The darkness was quite zen, there was no telling how much time had actually elapsed. You had fallen asleep where you laid on the attic floor. Your old girlfriends pretty much said the same things. 1) You were a hard sleeper. You had in fact had slept through a minor earthquake some years back. 2) You are a quiet one, no snoring which was a benefit they enjoyed on sleep overs. You smiled at that thought.

    The only reason you were roused was the crashing of something damn heavy, like a huge cabinet BELOW you. That gave you the jolted you needed to become lucid once more. But had enough fortitude to remain silent and unmoved. You had the Conan sword replica resting on your chest, like this was some kind of Viking funeral. The arrows and bow to your side. Heart now racing as you can hear the chupacabras sniffing out the last of the peanut butter decoys.

    Turns out they were systematically taking them out by 'marking their territory' on the area which nulled the odor with their own. Like a soldier marking which enemy homes had been searched - scratched off their list. They had gone through the house; room by room and marking it as empty of you. Not sleepy now, you are terrified - they're not dumb beasts. They are operating on a plan; seek and destroy. You lay silent and think about the devil dogs in the panic room. Did they get out or still there, like flys caught in one of those fly jar traps?

    That's when you hear one of the dogs growling what appeared to be orders. This was different, slower like it was walking with a limp. Was it THAT beast? Did it get out? BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! They're finished with the rooms. No more decoys - only one spot left unexplored. They were jumping up, attempting to crack the door open. You remain silent as each crash bounces off the attic door. Scared but not foolish. If you moved - at this range they will hear you and intensify their bombardments, breaking in swiftly.

    This is how I die? You thought to yourself; not as an elderly man married for decades to some hot piece and grew old together. Get mauled into bloody bit by trans-dimensional canines? This sucks! So much preparations for nothing. More crashes, not sure how long that golf club will hold or how long the wooden frame will stay in one piece. Blinks and tears as you can hear a new sound... a crack. The wood is failing. Yeah. You're still alive. You're still alive because of all the preparations taken. Probably the only person in miles still alive this long. Thinking for a moment, all this crap DID buy you time - maybe hours.

    Before you took your lay, you had enough smarts to have feet first towards the door - so you could have some tactical advantage, though minor. All you had to do is sit up and shoot those arrows like there's no tomorrow... aim be true. But not sitting up now. Has to be to your convenience, let this spot be an unknown to them even for a few more seconds or else they'll go ravenous and multi-dogs crashing into the attic. You ever so quitely pulled the arrows and bow onto your chest. Letting the sword ever so slightly fall down, you legs together so the metal does not hit the floor.

    The first arrow on the bow; ready to be pulled and released. You close your eyes, doing your best to control your breathing. "The tragedy of this severed notion, looming red tonight. The clawed infatuation, this tattered nowhere man" - that was random; lyrics from the song "There Will Be Blood" came out of ether.

    In the din of getting ready to meet your fate you had not seen the attic vents, some light was starting to shine through. Part of the sunlight hit the the top part of the bow - that's when you took notice. It's morning! It's MORNING. In a few moments that infernal horn should be blowing, calling these monsters back. Please hold on, door. Only maybe a minute more. A minute more.

    No such luck.

    The door burst open, but no dogs. It had come back down, biting on the steps, pulling the assembly down. How did they know how to do that? In the crashing noise, you sit up using the clamor to mask any sounds you could have made. Pulling your legs inward, the metal sword now touching the floor. Sounds you made which went unnoticed. You can hear creaks as one of the mutts is rising up.

    Bow pulled, holding. The second its head popped up over the edge - you released. It didn't have time to register you. No yelp. It just went limp, arrow right in the eye. It slumped for a second and fell down the stairs. A second later the next arrow was ready. There was quiet, like the eye of a hurricane, that brief calm... then the sound that came was terrifying. A bark and growl combined as two of them had rushed upwards.

    You had shot the next arrow into the noise, killing the chupacabra creature instantly. Dumb luck the two dogs were trying to enter at the same time. The next quiver sent a moment later killed the other devil dog. You blinked as you saw two dead beast at the door - plugging up the entry. Did you just bottleneck the attic? You can hear the other dogs actually biting and attempting to pull the dead dogs apart, the stench of disembodiment was strong. They really wanted in, badly.

    More jumps and bites. You can see the corpses shifting left and right, but still were firm in place for an instant further, then both fell down with a profound splatter, probably hitting upon the rest of their pulled innards.

    You heard another coming up, not quick, labored - it was barking at the other dogs. As if to say 'this is mine'. Can this work again? The sword was on the floor pointing at the entry. The creature's head surfaced, mouth drooling and bit your leg, no time to react. The beast was motivated - it missed your flesh by centimeters. But knocked you off your balance, it was trying to pull you down by your pants. Making you toss your bow a distance from you.

    You give it some solid kicks, screaming at it. But its glowing eyes had only one intent and an ever so slight grin as it tried to pull you down once more. You can hear the other dogs downstares yapping and howling. One of them was jumping up and hitting where you making your final stand, trying to make it more nightmarish. BOOM! BOOM! You can hear the wood below you starting to buckle. More kicks and shouts. Then came the horn.

    The long beat, air raid siren boom.

    Dawn is here.

    The dog's eyes had widened; time to go. You took the mega sound as your opportunity to kick with great emphasis, the hilt of that replica - sending the sword into the dog's head. Crunch! It hit into the face and out the back of it's monstrous head. The dogs below had all stopped their efforts and fled your home back to whatever Hell they came from. You could literally see the light fade in its eyes. No breaking contact... 'I beat you'.

    There was no cinema style death scene; bioluminescence turned off like an old fashioned TV set. You sat there for a moment staring at your deed, your pants still in its clenched jaw. Now what?

    As if right on cue, the dog was moving which startled you. Then you saw real action. It was turning into dust, the proceedings happening quicker with each passing second till the head could no longer be held in place by the sword. It broke into two and both fell down. And just like that it was over.

    You were nervous and crawled on all fours towards the opening. Looking down, you saw what ever so remained of the shape fade into oblivion. Then gone. Even the smell of those open intestine were gone as was their physical presence, though you could see the stain on the carpet. You moved the sword to the side and sat on the edge for a long time.

    Your foe was taken down. But will this crisis happen each and every year? This the new normal? Then it hits you. How much damage was done? You had taken out a large premium in home insurance - which since last year included a rider for 'Devil Dogs'. Yeah, that was a thing in more hefty packages. As you walk into your shattered kitchen you can hear a helicopter in the distance. Something - movement!

    No sword nor bow?!? Then it was seen. One of the cats you had heard when this thing had begun was inside. You and the feline looking at each other, probably thinking the same thing.

    'Rough night?' Meow.

    "Limited Edition Horror" 2020 comes to a contagious end with a mash-up of strippers and ghouls in "Zombies Zombies Zombies".



    "Zombies Zombies Zombies" was released on home video on September 9th, 2008. It was a direct-to-video title from PassionRiver.

    It streeted against "How The West Was Won", "Cool Hand Luke: Deluxe Edition", "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia: Season 3", "Kill Bill: Volume One" and the re-release of "Tim Burton's Sleep Hollow" (now with lenticular slipcover).

    The basic edition originally came with a cardboard matted slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. No insert was issued.

    - - -

    There was one exclusive and was web based; only available if you bought it from them online. I'm sorry, the details are sparse. I didn't keep good notes then.

  7. #727
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    Past Tense - Things Which Do Not Mix - Exotic Dancers And The Undead Part II




    Bought from them online, you got the slipcover along with five exclusive postcards. I have mine under the slipcover since they're too big and would get injured inside the case, squeezed.

    Can tell you that it sold for $16.99 on pre-order. Can't find nor recall the shipping or if this was with OR without tax.

    These are matted, no glossy post cards.



    Above is the slipcover image.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I can pretty much guess, most folks have never heard of this indie title. So here's the set-up...

    A scientist is trying to find a cure for cancer at a hidden laboratory in the industrial part of town - away from curious eyes. There is a mix up as the doctor is funding his private enterprise by making drugs; research and narcotics are blundered and taken by several prostitutes; killing them and resurrecting into the undead.

    Because of zoning laws - "The Grindhouse", exotic dancer club is situated away from town in the same industrial park. The gentlemen's club is getting ready to close shop for the night. Most of the girls have left, some have been killed and some are across the street at an eatery. The undead hookers murder, consume and infect; more join the ranks of the living dead. Restaurant patrons are shocked to see the impossible happening and realize quick this place can't save them from their ravenous attackers.

    The various dancers, customers and a pimp with his girls flee to the club where they could make a stand just before the doors are closed. Limited resources get used up quick as the ghoul horde attack the business. It's a bloody siege. Soon some of the dancers are bitten and turning. But there is hope, slight since their situation - there is a cure. Part of the research that was done, not the intended purpose, but it works.

    Now it's about escaping the club - running to the lab and finding that sample and stopping this... outbreak from turning to an epidemic and shortly thereafter, pandemic. This place is isolated and all the zombies are trying to get inside the Grindhouse. They're in one spot, can be contained and snuffed out. But it has to be done BEFORE dawn - when the work day begins and all those people will get infected, that's it - end of the world.

    Director Jason M. Murphy made this movie the Kevin Smith way - on maxed out credit cards, a $40,000.00 budget. Done with heart and passion; the movie was in post-production for over a year. Murphy had to work two jobs to save enough to pay for the visual (digital) effects to be added to complete. Don't expect too much and you'll have a good time.

    There is such an oddity - the lead dancer is Dallas played by Lyanna Tumaneng. In a movie about strippers, she doesn't have any nude scenes. Didn't notice that until the end of the movie. Hey! She's quite hot.

    The pimp, Johnny "Backhand" Vegas, played by Anthony Headen as some of the best one-liners. And horror actress Tiffany Shepis as a tiny role, almost a bit part. But her name is used as big billing.

    - - -

    The final wave of 2020, titillating Halloween costumes.



    Yup, it's an undead theme - make sense. Both are professional completed jobs with add-ons and make-up. And by the way, you should all ready have your costume picked and ready to go.

    On the left is "Zombie Snow Fright". It has a $54.99 price tag. You get the dress with open latex chest and the headband. The rest is yours to add. It works. Adding the contacts does sell it. Her dress has an eaten apple patch on it that reads, "Bite Me". On the right is sexy zombie, Dorthy Gale. Sorry don't have costume name. You can pretty much it's the same deal; dress with open latex chest and ties for the pigtails. You add the rest. And that include the basket with props.

    And yes, I did notice both ladies are wearing the same ruby shoes. It works better on Dorthy. *nods*

    This wasn't the first time the idea was played with - novel adaptation by Ryan C. Thomas.



    "The Undead World Of Oz" was published on September 21st, 2009 from Coscom Entertainment. Think of it in the same vein as "Pride And Prejudge And Zombies" (2009) adapted by Seth Grahame-Smith.

    One day, on a peaceful farm in Kansas, a tornado appeared. The storm raged and ripped the house from the ground. Inside sat a little girl named Dorothy and her dog Toto. The house spun. The winds roared. The tornado showed no mercy, until... the house landed in a strange and magical land called Oz. But that's where the fairytale ends and the nightmare begins. The Wicked Witch of the West has cast a spell on the Land of Oz, a spell that brings the dead back to life. Only the Great Wizard in the Emerald City can stop this curse, but he has never been seen. It's up to Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Woodman to journey through this dangerous land of hungry undead and savage monsters and find him in the hopes of bringing life back to Oz. Come join hands with them as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and see if you can make it to the Emerald City... alive.
    - book synopsis

    And yes - nightmares are intensified, zombie flying monkeys. So damn sway.

    Sure.



    An original take on the zombie infection is "Deck Z: The Titanic - Unsinkable Undead" (2012) by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon. The 'real' reason why the Titanic sank; done deliberately to save the world from an undead plague. How? A German scientist, Dr. Weiss is on the run. He was commissioned by the Kaiser to create a bio-weapon for a future war with Russia.

    The doctor created a hell and knew it will be used on the battlefield; there is no stopping it, no cure.

    He opts to flee with the sample; the only way off the continent is a certain, brand new luxury liner. He wants to go to America and spend his life trying to find a remedy to the mess he created. He burned down his isolated lab with all his notes, but fears his research could be replicated. German spies are sent to locate the doctor and find him and the specimen... opening it. To test on one rat, if it was real. One rat died and resurrected. You can guess the rest.

    The book is short, two hundred and twenty-two pages long, a softback. The book goes on to explain why there were different sightings of Captain Edward Smith as the ship went down.

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    Past Tense - Things Which Do Not Mix - Exotic Dancers And The Undead Part III


    Footnotes.

    This wasn't the last time the concept of strippers fighting the undead was used - though Z3 did it far better than this example.



    On May 17th, 2011 was released "Stripperland" for $19.95; an unfunny and cheap looking parody of "Zombieland" (2009). Trust me on this - just avoid. It's crap on a cracker. Poor effect, poor acting and weak acting - mixed with poor casting. It's garbage.

    I have not seen "Zombie Strippers" (2008), pretty much noted for starring former adult video starlet Jenna Jameson. It is on DVD twice over with an unrated version. The concept sounds asinine - dystopia future, strippers want to be turned into zombies because being undead got them more money.

    If they're undead why do they want money?

    No desire to see it.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.



    Feels like the right time to chat about this. A different kind of undead and a lost opportunity.

    I'm talking about "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein" (1994).

    This is about Victor's mentor, Professor Waldman played by John Cleese. I did not recognize the actor comedian. He should've done more serious parts.



    There is an undisclosed history about the man. He made something amazing and truly regretted it - only hinted and teased in the movie.

    Pulled out my DVD and transcribed a few scenes (not simply typing the subtitles, often they don't match). A slight step back; Kenneth Branagh was Victor Frankenstein and Tom Hulce played his school mate, Henry Clerval.

    The first scene; friends walk from medical class.

    Victor Frankenstein: Who what that? He was at the lecture.

    Henry Clerval: That's Waldman.

    Victor Frankenstein: Ahhh, that's Waldman.

    Henry Clerval: Yes, interesting case. They say in his youth he could break into heaven and lecture God on science. Ran into trouble with the authorities a few years back. Something to do with illegal experiments.

    Victor Frankenstein: What kind of experiments, I wonder.

    - - -

    Later Victor and Henry dine at Waldman's home and discuss creating life.

    Victor: How close did you get Professor?

    Waldman: Too close.

    Victor: Professor, I beg you, let me see these notes.

    Waldman: No. My work and it's applications lies exclusively in the preservation of life. I abandoned my other researches many years ago.

    Victor: Why???

    Waldman: Because they resulted in abomination.

    - - -

    And lastly, Victor sneaks into Waldman's home (after the Professor was murdered; giving ad at the hospital) and reads from elder seeker's papers.

    Victor: My God, you were so close. Of course, the power! The materials were wrong. You needed auxiliary sources. Yes, the experiment. A failure? "Resulting reanimant... malformed and hideous to behold. This factor dependent on the appropriate raw materials." ...raw materials.



    The scene has Victor findings a sketch of the earlier "abomination" (above). It looks like perhaps two people were stitched together. I say that since the cranium is open, perhaps Waldman used someone else's brain inside. Was it skinless?

    This would make a great feature, the earlier tale - beta creature. Waldman may have stumbled on the method of creating life; his reanimant like Frankenstein's got out (perhaps it took lives and was decomposing); he tracked it down - killing it. But unlike the later student, he was wise enough to stop; not be overpowered by obsession.

    I never saw Victor as mad. I believed him to be dangerously sane and focused - and that's what is so terrifying about him. He's ruthless and applied more than insane, in the same way I would imagine Hitler was.
    - Kenneth Branagh



    The thing that continues to bugs me to this day is the bride. Victor is underway to reanimated his dead wife (Helena Bonham Carter), we see Henry screaming "NOOOO!!!" on the stairs of Frankenstein's home. That's it.

    It's a cool looking shot, but what happened to him? Did he run off and survive subsequent fire? No clue, from that point on he's out of the movie. And no mention of his fate later. There really should be a director's cut. But probably won't happen, ever.

    The film was directed and acted by Branagh with Francis Ford Coppola producing (directed "Bram Stoker's Dracula" [1992]). So bad was the experience, Coppola didn't do any more gothic horror.

    Man, they head-butt frequently and hated working with each other.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendation.

    Halloween is two days away. It's probably too late to get this flick, a physical copy. Could be at a video rental shop if it hasn't been rented out. You have the previous suggestions to consider. Me? I'm doing what has become a Halloween tradition for the past few years. Will be watching "Dawn Of The Dead: Extended Mall Hours" bootleg (mixes all the cuts into one), a past LEH recommendation. Have one more title.

    "Ready Or Not" (2019)
    Grace did it for genuine love - her fiancé, Alex Le Domas. She gets married into a wealthy family. The ceremony is all she dreamt of, memories to be had. But her new in-laws have a tradition, a game for each new bride or groom. A random selection by Grace from a family heirloom box, generations old. Sounds innocent enough, but the stakes are high - their life. The family gained their long standing fortune from a supernatural source, blood sacrifices. This is unknown to her; Grace pulls out a 'hide and seek' card. From midnight to dawn the game must be played, don't get found or be killed. Not a joke. The family minus Alex will spend those hours trying to find the bride to murder her. Should she survive, she will be welcome to the clan, riches and all. Grace can use anything in the mansion as weapons. But her in-laws are fully armed and want her snuffed; partly because of their ritual and partly because they think she's a gold digger. The results are disastrous for all. Actress Samara Weaving is quickly rising to be a 21st century Scream Queen. Available on both DVD and BD.
    20th Century Fox Home Entertainment - 2019 - R

    And there you have it. The final "Limited Edition Horror", could be quite accurate. I only have so many horror theme exclusives, don't know if I can do it again next October. But that could change. *shrugs* I think I said that last year too. And here we are.



    By the way in Japan and Germany this entry was known as "Strippers Vs. Zombies". Sorry about the poor res, but that was the best I could find. Gets the job done, but could be so much better. Oh well.

    Come back here on November 12th for a super hero who is faster than a speeding locomotive. Who could that be?

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    Past Tense - What Was Once Old Is Slashing Anew Once More Part I


    An additional, brand new L.E. Horror bonus offering! A two parter. The direct sequel to an iconic horror classic, "Halloween"...



    The motion picture opened on October 19th, 2018. It was made with a budget of $10,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over $159 million during its U.S. theatrical run. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it remained at number one.

    The DVD and BD both had embossed slipcovers which mirrored the wraparound. Both came with a single insert, instructions for the Digital Copy from Movies Anywhere. Sorry don't know the expiration. Didn't buy this.

    - - -

    There were two exclusives - separated by years; lets do this chronologically.



    The movie streeted on both formats on home video on January 15th, 2019. Best Buy had an exclusive steelbook, 4k BD/BD combo for $29.99.

    I didn't buy the movie then. The hope was waiting for the DVD to become ten bucks or less with slipcover. That didn't happen. Something else happened.

    The movie was later re-released on DVD as another exclusive.



    On September 6th, 2020 for their 2020 Halloween movie selection, Wal-Mart offered the feature with an exclusive green glow-in-the-dark slipcover. It sold for $9.96. Well... there was another exclusive. Sure. The same title has a new Digital Copy from Vudu; expires on February 1st, 2021.

    Not an insert, but rather printed on the store receipt - link and code; sorry don't know when that code expired.

    There was another, but I'll get into that in a few.

    Didn't know about this until mid October and all the stores near me had nearly empty holiday shelves. The easy answer is many folks like myself bought their offerings. But that's not the truth. I've spoken to a few in the media areas. Corporate dropped the ball hard. They had the rack ready to go with tags - but no inventory. So September and October had vacant spots, this happened.

    Which means the exclusive is rare. How many actually reached stores?

    I have no answer other than to say, not many. In the end, bought my copy off eBay for fifteen bucks (free shipping). Excellent and mint. I'm satisfied. By the way, Wal-Mart had the same problem last year, but '20 is a whole new level of incompetence. You have dedicated space with no merchandise, it's not like they're having money issues. They're not. So what gives?

    Let me give you examples.



    The above, far left is the 2016 exclusive selections. The middle is 2017. And the far right is 2020. What happened? The difference is drastic and weak; "The Ghost And Mr. Chicken" (1966), really? The Don Knotts flick, that's what you're offering?

    Last Tuesday (10/20), one of the stores near me had the paper index, taped on the rack - to indicate which titles go where. Two weeks from Halloween, that's when you put out the inventory??? I did bother going back so I can't say if they actually followed through and stocked them.



    You may have noticed that movie is titled, "Halloween" (above), but the Wal-Mart exclusive has it as "Halloween: 40 Years Later", probably done to avoid confusion. One more bit, I could find the 2018 movie easy, but nobody had the slip where I live.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    This movie wipes the slate clean, ignoring all the sequels - as written above, this is a direct sequels to the original 1978 feature. Not the first time that has happened.



    "Halloween H20: 20 Years Later" (1998) treated itself as the sequel to the second film (Halloween II [1981]), discarding the four other movies; "Halloween III: Season Of The Witch" (1982), "Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers" (1988), "Halloween 5: The Revenge Of Michael Myers" (1989) and "Halloween: The Curse Of Michael Myers" (1995). The last being the final performance of actor Donald Pleasence as Dr. Samuel Loomis. He died after the movie came out. That soft reboot spawned one sequel, "Halloween: Resurrection" (2002). A movie with a craptacular story incorporating the internet, live cams. It was stupid and not in a good way.

    This what bugs me, "Halloween II" happens less than an hour (cinema time; Laurie Strode is taken to the hospital because of her various injuries) after the events of the last film. Both films could be edited together into a single movie. And tells a good story that is grim and an excellent thriller with just enough opening for a possible sequel. So why the hell did the filmmakers of '18 jettison "II"? Even "H20" kept the first two movies. This makes no sense.

    How can I say this?

    The making-of featurette has an interview with one of the screenwriters Danny McBride, flat out says - it's a direct sequel to the '78 movie. Joy.

    The second soft reboot? I liked it. It felt quite true to the original, slow and deliberate in places to emphasize dread. Sh!t is about to hit the fan.



    Plus the evolution of Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis reprising her role). She's so messed up by what she experienced. And knows Michael will be coming back one day for her and her family. Like Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) has to rise up or get snuffed out. Become the push back not the victim in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). The same here. Laurie has spent the decades preparing for a single night. Her obsession causing a rift between her and her now estranged daughter, Karen (Judy Greer).

    Her only family contact is with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak) - who entertains the idea of Myers, but doesn't consider him a threat. It's been thirty years, three decades that 'The Shape' has been behind bars at a sanitarium. That masked killer is sixty-one years old. We get a treat with a Pleasence impersonator, Colin Mahan who gave an archive recording of Dr. Loomis urging the court NEVER to release the killer. 'There is no person, no soul - just darkness waiting to kill once more'.

    I'm glad this was rated R and not PG-13. AND no one is safe from his hands. Not even a kid whom he murdered by snapping his neck. That's brutal as well as the kill in the gas station restroom. No mercy, like Myers is a force of nature. The film rating notes 'brief nudity'. But not current. That was a genuine surprise; the topless scene was from 1978 - where little Mike murdered his sister who was changing her clothes.

    The saddest death was Allyson's friend Vicky (Virginia Gardner), it will linger afterwards. The good kind.

    John Carpenter was an executive producer here and also did the soundtrack with family. John did the score with his son Cody and godson Daniel Davies. That's the stuff that makes tight memories. Working with your dad on something that is iconic, no joke. Carpenter wanted to do a slasher movie, he made a classic. The same unintentional doings as George A. Romero received with "Night Of The Living Dead" (1968).

    Before you asked since you saw the stats above. Yes, it's been green lit for a sequel. Two of them to be filmed back to back with the cast coming back to reprise their characters. But because of the current situation, it hasn't been lensed. Will it still happen? Don't know.

    Didn't Michael die in the end? Did he? There's an easter egg at the very end of the end credits, not a scene, but audio. You can hear a familiar heavy breathing... through a mask. I welcome another film by the same filmmakers.

    Currently "Halloween Kills" has a 2021 release; written by David Gordon Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems who did the '18 feature and Green directing it. Same deal for the next.

    - - -

    Update...

    "Corporate dropped the ball hard." Can now confirm. Yesterday (November 8th) was watching one of the WM staff stocking their movie area. Saw this exclusive and asked. Just yesterday did the Halloween titles reach the store - after the holiday.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 11-08-2020 at 04:36 AM.

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    Past Tense - What Was Once Old Is Slashing Anew Once More Part II


    The new Dr. Loomis; Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) was serviceable, but kinda felt his motivation was too... Captain Ahab if you catch my drift. Loomis was less about being obsessed than he was scared of what this monster might do. He saw himself as last line. The last obstacle keeping a fiend from harming the world.



    I liked having P.J. Soles in a cameo part as Allyson's high school English teacher. Soles played Lynda van der Klok in the original, she was Laurie's best friend - the previous 'Vicky'. During the trick or treat scene, you can see the cursed halloween masks (from Silver Shamrock) from the second film on two kids. The masks for Jack O'Lantern, Witch and Skeleton.

    Actresses Emma Roberts and Lucy Hale wanted the Allyson role. Glad the studio went with an unknown. This and '18 was the very first in the franchise to be filmed digitally, not on film.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangents.

    One final sexy Halloween costume before closing Limited Edition Horror.



    "Nicest Neighbor Costume" - better regarded as 'Sexy Mr. Rogers'. Yup. It comes with red V-neckline, white detachable collar, long fitted sleeves, black neck tie and high waisted gray shorts (with belt loops). You provide the belt, socks, shoes and... this is where the costume fails, hard.

    It does not come with the puppets, those hand puppets make it clear who this is suppose to be. Tag? $49.95 for the set. On the right woman, it would be hot.

    - - -

    For years after the last installment, "The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor" (2008) I wanted another to clear the bad taste of that turkey, a proper third sequel. So bad even actress Rachel Weisz turned it down. What was left open from Dragon Emperor was 'an in' - that film makes mention that during WWII the O'Connells had a flavor for adventure and volunteered as spies for The Allies. They had untold tales.

    Have a film set during the war with them dealing with something supernatural. Think of how it could've been - the O'Connells dropped in the World War II horror movie, "Overlord" (2018). But didn't happen. And today?

    This will never happen, probably. Actor Brendan Fraser has fallen on hard times and it shows. The rest of the cast got older. The first reboot came out in 1999 so it's twenty-one years later and twelve years since the last feature.

    The only one who hasn't aged much is Rachel Weisz, gracefully. Well, not 100% true - there could be a CGI movie with the actors reprising their roles. I would want to see that. Like what they have done with the "Starship Troopers" franchise.

    By the way, that later reboot, "The Mummy" (2017); it was only a vehicle for Tom Cruise and lame as hell. It's Tom Cruise in a mummy movie. Look! It's Cruise running about here and there. And Sofia Boutella was so-so as the undead danger, Ahmanet.

    Man, it was a mistake to have it set in the present. Early 20th century and earlier were the age of discovery. When the world was still new with so many unknowns. Set in the past, characters had to earn their reveals, not Google the data. That was - WAS suppose to start a new Universal monster franchise, their "Dark Universe" where these new movies are all related. Yeah, it failed with good reasons. It sucked.

    Sucked - bringing in $80 million domestically on a $125 million budget (not including millions spent on the ad campaign).

    Last year, Fraser said he would like to do another Mummy film; kinda - sort of curious. He could loose the weight and surprise us all. Anyhow.

    Why bring this up?



    Last Saturday (10/24) I pulled out my DVD of "The Mummy" ('99), haven't watched in years - to watch in October. The movie has not aged, still fun and exciting. You know, I have that '17 movie on DVD and have still yet to watch it. Bought on Black Friday 2018 for a few bucks. Meh. One of these days.

    The point?

    There's a few lines of dialog that didn't register until now. Good movies will do that, catch something you didn't see earlier. There are two moments that should be worked on.

    The first happens at the Museum Of Antiquities in Cairo (Egypt). The dialog occurs after Evie causes the library cases to come crashing down like domino. The curator comes in shocked. Evie does her best to point out why she's valuable, not to get fired.

    Curator: I put up with you because your father and mother were our finest patrons. That's why! Allah rest their souls.

    The second happens at their first night in Hamunaptra after the night attack by the Madjai. And after the prison warden who accompanied them dies of an unknown cause.

    Evelyn is drunk on a bottle of Glenlivet found in the warden's satchel. Rick asks her, why she's there? Her brother is easy enough, he's looking for quick fortune.

    Evie: Egypt is in my blood. You see, my father was a very, very famous explorer and he loved Egypt so much he married my mother, who was an Egyptian and quite an adventurer herself.

    Pardon?

    So Carnahans were a major contributor to the museum where she works at. Thinking what I'm thinking?

    This is how you do it, a reboot and still have it set in the the same universe as the 1999 films. The adventures of Evelyn's dad and mom. More than likely had their own undead mummy tale and other supernatural escapades; set in the early 20th century or the late 1800s... when the world was new.

    And it could very well be that their adventures made the Carnahans rich, hidden treasures. Sway! This is how you do it. Something to think on.

    Now - my greatest complaint from "The Mummy Returns" (2001) is the absence of composer Jerry Goldsmith. We got Alan Silvestri who decided to create his own score, not related to the last film. The result was a soundtrack that could be slapped on any action movie without anyone knowing better.

    I get it; Goldsmith was not available at the time. It happens. But there should've been a composer who tired to mimic the last score for continuity, expanding and adding new bits. Nope. Silvestri gave us a generic motion picture soundtrack. The sequel was a solid flick, too bad the music was crap.

    Let me tell you, so good was Goldsmith's score, bit of it were used in Universal trailers for YEARS. It was that damn good. *nods*

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.



    There was a second exclusive which was "Halloween" related. Same street and price as the glow-in-the-dark slipcover for the 2018 movie. The same deal, but for the double feature on "Halloween II" and "Halloween III" DVD. Nope. Just keep walking.

    This is Wal-Mart being Wal-Mart, slapping a new slipcover on an older release to trick folks into buying old stock. This being the double feature, bare bone release from 2007. *nods*

    You can buy each movie as deluxe special editions; "Halloween II" and "Halloween III" both from Shout! Factory released in 2012. And can be found reasonably priced at eBay and Amazon. Don't bother with this weak presentation.

    I have Anchor Bay's "Halloween: 25th Anniversary Edition" DVD set from 2003 and "Halloween: Limited Edition" from 1999 with different extras. Bought a few months before the 2007 Rob Zombie remake. The "25th Anniversary" has both cuts of the '78 movie, theatrical and television which added twelve minutes of additional footage.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Recommendations.

    Okay. I'll give you, two more.

    "Better Watch Out" (2016)
    Christmas season; Ashley wasn't expecting much from her baby sitting job. A gig she's done before - caring for Luke Lerner while his parents are away. But this sitting is different; someone is playing a violent game; "U leave and U die". Efforts to get out become dire with a death. Things are not as they appear. The reason for the siege is a twisted one.
    [B]Well Go US Entertainment[B] - 2017 - R

    "The 13th Warrior" (1999)
    The early 10th century; Ahmad ibn Fadlan is a court poet in Baghdad for the Caliph. He's caught having an affair with a noble man's wife. Rather than death, he is exiled - made an ambassador to a bunch of savages in a far away land where he is expected to die or get killed - Tossuk Ulad. The Norsemen take him into their group, more like a pet. But bit by bit Ahmad learns their language and customs. His ingenuity and horsemanship rises him to one of the men. Ahmad is resigned to his fate - an ambassador, never to return home. But self-loathing takes a back seat to a beast that can slay the bravest of warriors. A kingdom is under attack. The men change course and bring Ahmad with them, believing thirteen warriors are needed; one of which must not be of them - an outsider. What they find is something ancient... and not singular. This movie bombed when released, audiences had expectations from a Michael Crichton film - was different. Based on his novel, "Eaters Of The Dead" (1976). A re-imagining of the Beowulf tale.
    Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc. - 2000 - R



    Had a good time with this. Myers is a menace once more. And there it is - done. Indeed. As said in the last entry, November 12th is when the next one drops. Have a safe and entertaining Halloween. Good times and memories. See you later.

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    Best Buy - November 3rd, 2020


    Kick-Ass
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $19.99

    Grease
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $27.99

    Forrest Gump
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $27.99

    V For Vendetta
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $29.99

    Game Of Thrones: The Complete Series
    Exclusive season steelbooks collection; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $239.99

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    Target - November 10th, 2020


    Mulan (live action)
    Exclusive photo book packaging; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $34.99

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    Past Tense


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on June 18th, 2015 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    The savior? Father sends off his supernatural son to live with primitive people whom he might rescue...



    "Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story Of Superman" was released on home video on June 20th, 2006.

    It streeted against "News Radio: The Complete Fourth Season", "The Trouble With Harry", "Charlie Chan Collection: Vol. 1", San Francisco", "Syriana" and "Lois & Clark: The Complete Third Season".

    There was no slipcover nor insert issued for the regular edition which was bare bones minus some studio trailers.

    Something that took my attention; no image of "Superboy" (TV series) on the DVD cover above (regular edition). Yeah, it was kinda awful, somehow lasted four seasons (1988 - 1992) in syndication.

    - - -

    Best Buy had two unadvertised exclusives for the documentary on street.



    There were actually three exclusives, one of them is not shown in their weekly ad. They offered a different cover art which came with a non-embossed, non-foiled slipcover, above right (wraparound mirrors it). As you can see, no cover image from "Superboy" here too.

    As you can see, they had other exclusives related to the then upcoming Bryan Singer motion picture, "Superman Returns" (2006). An exclusive comic book.

    There was a minimum of twenty comic sets per store for ALL the titles part of this exclusive, not for each particular release.



    The comic was sealed on the back of their title. All and all, there were seven different comics. I can't say which comic went with which release. The comic was the size of the DVD case and was about twenty-four pages each.

    Granted, this isn't the most complete data, but you get the idea.

    The first main exclusive for "Look, Up In The Sky" was a complete movie poster postcard set. My card set is still connected, haven't ripped them apart (perforated).



    The postcards are sized 7 x 5 inches each. The back of the cards read...

    Available on DVD and look for it this Fall in The Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition. yearofsuperman.com. For promotional use only. Not intended for individual sale. © 2006 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
    And above that, the film card's name. Black text on white. Though "Superman Returns" Reads: "Look for it on DVD this fall."

    The cards fit under the slipcover which is where mine are.



    The last exclusive part was a bonus disc; came in a two disc case. It has twelve weblogs for "Superman Returns". These are presented in widescreen and has a run time of 28:48 minutes total. None of these are particularly exclusive in later months.

    "Superman Returns: Two - Disc Special Edition" (regular edition $34.98), streeted on November 28th, 2006 has all of them present. Making this a limited time exclusive, production diaries-wise. But at the time was the only way to own it officially on DVD.

    The Best Buy exclusive set/collection sold for $19.99 on street. The regular version had a retail price of $14.99.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    An edited form of the documentary aired on cable, A&E on June 12, 2006; sixteen days before the "Superman Return" debuted on the big screen.

    The doc is presented in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital (5.1) surround sound. This is a Kevin Burns production. *nods* There is a good balance of information shown. And lets be honest, this could've been nothing more than a promo for Warner Brothers. But it's a rather decent balance between real info and fluff...

    Until it hits "Superman Return" production - then the documentary goes into studio hype. It is, what it is. My only real gripe is that while it is 110 minutes long, it feels rushed towards the end. Maybe another fifteen minutes more would've fixed that. Cover the materials that were glanced at.

    The bottom line - was it entertaining? Yes. Yes it was. So there. Sway.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just Because.



    Memorable Supergirls; left to right. Helen Slater as the benevolent alien in "Supergirl" (1984); Alanah Rae as the heroine in "Supergirl XXX" (2011), yes a porno and lastly the current superhero Melissa Benoist in the WB TV series "Supergirl" (2015).

    That adult parody is a two disc special edition DVD from Exquisite Multimedia. A run time of one hundred and sixty-three minutes; seven sex scenes.

    Earth's sexiest super xxx hero is a young co-ed from another planet. Supergirl (Alanah Rae) barely escapes the destruction of her home planet, but her greatest challenge lied ahead - sorority life! With the help of her cousin, Superman (Dale Dabone) and her BFF, Barbara Gordon (Sunny Lane), Supergirl tries to pass off as human. The only thing standing in her way from a life of text books, keg parties and casual sex, is Natasha Luthor (Andy San Dimas), the Queen Bitch of the Tri-Pi Sorority. In Luthor's plan for world domination, Supergirl is the last piece of the puzzle.
    - back cover description

    Co-stars Jenna Presley, India Summer, Chastity Lynn, Nina Hartley, Brandy Aniston, Carolyn Reese, Rylie Richman, Leslie Sierra and Kayme Ka. Along with Xander, Barry Scott, Anthony Rosano, Johnny Castle, Buck Fuddy and Tom Byron.



    There is commentary by cast and crew as well as three making-of documentaries (sixty-three minutes, hundred-two minutes and seventy-seven minutes long). A photo gallery and trailer. The flick is presented in anamorphic widescreen with Dolby Digital stereo. No condoms. Retails for $49.95.

    A lot of work went into this. There are only two girls in the vid I have interest. I would get this - mostly for the special features. Yeah, blasphemy. Not shilling here, I'm genuinely curious.

    And there you have it. Not one of mine bigger posts. Oh well, come back next time for a brand new entry! A return to the days of the Old West with a family cut off from their relatives in the wilderness.

  14. #734
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    Best Buy - November 17th, 2020


    The New Mutants
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $34.99

  15. #735
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    Past Tense


    Another brand new entry!

    This time out we follow five siblings trying to uphold their parents wishes; homesteading in 1870s in Wyoming...



    "The Monroes: The Complete Series" was released on home video on September 6th, 2016.

    It streeted against "Now You See Me 2", "Money Monster" and "Tale of Tales".

    This came in a transparent case with the wraparound printed on both sides. The inner has the episode listing, but no synopsis nor air dates. This had no insert or slipcase issued.

    - - -



    This was a limited time exclusive from Wal-Mart. And not announced as an exclusive, no sticker on the wrapper to indicate; sold for $13.98. Was only available for a few weeks, meaning in terms of a store item - blink and miss it.

    Complete series had their national release on December 6th, 2016; retailed for $19.99. ??? Cover reads - "Collector's Edition" but there are no bonus features. *shrugs*

    A blind buy for me. Saw it on the rack - got curious. My tastes have shifted over the years. When I was younger had no zero interest in Westerns. Today - I have many series which continue to grow such as "Custer", "Bearcats!", "Adventures Of Brisco County, Jr.", "Alias Smith And Jones", "Little House On The Praire", "The Wild Wild West", "The Rebel: Johnny Yuma", "The Loner", "Wanted: Dead Or Alive" and "Riverboat" to name just a few - "The Monroes" added.

    - - -

    Lets address it first - this was NOT taken from remastered sources. These were the best available prints. It's watchable, but night time scenes is quite dark. It is what it is and can't be helped. All the episodes are here.

    The above mentioned "Riverboat" DVD is the same way. Some of those episodes were 'shifting' as in the picture is moving, getting distorted - first time I ever saw such a thing on an official release.

    Can imagine most folks here have no idea; only one season with twenty-six episodes, so it doesn't qualify for syndication. Many today may never seen it and fewer know it.

    Man, the pilot was hard to watch; bland and trope filled. Bought this September '16 and tried watching, but couldn't - so I put it away. It wasn't unil late October of this year (2020) I gave it a second try. Episode two got so much better and kept up the quality, it's a solid show.



    The series takes place in 1876; we were originally following the Monroes, a family of farmers traveling from Illinois to Wyoming (Grand Teton) to homestead for a better future; farm land the dad had claimed ten years earlier.

    The family is Albert Monroe (Russ Conway), his wife Mary (Marilyn Stader) and their five kids. Their eldest is Clayt (Michael Anderson, Jr.) who is eighteen, Kathy "Kat" (Barbara Hershey) who is sixteen, twin boys - Jefferson "Big Twin" (Keith Schultz) with Fenimore "Little Twin" (Kevin Schultz) and their youngest member, little sister, Amy (Tammy Locke) who is six.

    Clayt wants to see the world - to be a sailor. Albert agrees to untether him, but only after he helps his family moves and set up their home. Knowing that they may never see Clayt again - somewhere out there in world. This it all comes crashing in...

    Disaster strikes while crossing the rapids of Snake River. Their mom was the first to die, fell into the river - Albert dove in to save her... he drowned too. Clayt jumped in - failed to save both and barely made it to the other side. And just like that, all his futures were snuffed out. They have no other family back home which is why they left.

    Series follows this family of teens and child trying to make a home in the wilderness of a huge valley next to a stream. Along the way make frienemies with a large rancher above the valley with Major Mapoy (Liam Sullivan) who is the American presence of a British consortium in the cattle business. And his upper management men, "Sleeve" (Ben Johnson) an older man who lost the use of his left arm during a cattle drive, but still command authority and Mapoy's second right hand man, Ruel Jaxon (James Westmoreland).

    When the Monroes first arrived, Jaxon tries bullying them out, beating the crap out of Clayt; valley and resources were the property of the Major. But as it turns out Albert had gone the legal route and his son could make a legitimate claim. Left with no recourse, Mapoy stops... thinking this family of kids can't handle the location; hard to farm and rough winters. They will leave after a few years - then Mapoy can take this area over once more.

    Family gains a member with an Indian whom they found was trying to rob them for food while traveling alone to their valley. The kids nicknamed him "Jim" (Ron Soble). Clayt was merciful and fed him, letting him loose. Jim ends up helping this group since, they're a bunch of kids alone.

    Early episodes had them trying to build a house and failing - won't last the harsh winter. But Clayt intervenes saving Mapoy serious losses of cattle - doing the right thing, not the smart thing. Under the advice from Sleeve, agrees to build them a long lasting home, a wood cabin. NOT out of generosity. They won't last long here and having a solid cabin next to a water supply will be advantageous to Mapoy when he reclaims the valley. Clayt accepts the offer regardless.

    What follows is their adventures staying put and... surviving. The eldest kid rising up, becoming the father figure. Kat sees something in Ruel and starting a relationship with him. It's a slow change since Clayt is bitter at Jaxon for trying to force them out and the beating.

    They add a new member in a wild white big dog the kids named "Snow". What I like about the show is the continuity, things have consequences AND events can have no happy ending. That was a surprise, you won and lost at the same time; life can be quite unfair.

    Since it was a large ensemble cast; they made it clear that Jim and Snow were free spirits who came and went was they wished. Which means there are episodes where the two are absent... Clayt has no backup in many situations; think on the fly or die.

    Then they had repeated problems with another rancher on the other side of the valley from Barney Wales (Robert Middleton), who is a horse breeder. A bastard who made life miserable for both the Monroes and Mapoy. He was there long before either of them and that entire area was his. But never made it legal.

    He had two sons, one of which was played by a pre-famous James Brolin as Dalton Wales.

    - - -

    Didn't know until researching. When Wal-Mart had their exclusive - that street was ONE DAY shy of the show's 50th anniversary - premiered September 7th, 1966.

    The ABC series had an original title of "Wild Country". When I think of that, I think of the PBS nature series, "Wild America" (those old enough, remember that show). The other is actor Ben Johnson who had a long Hollywood career doing Westerns, movies and TV; pretty much became a character actor. I'm sure you've seen him in something, he was prolific during his life.

    The show's lead-in was the cult campy series, "Batman", but couldn't rise much of an audience. It's competition was "Lost In Space" and "The Beverly Hillbillies" on CBS and "The Virginian" on NBC.



    Though canceled, actors Hershey and Anderson, Jr. both won "American Heritage Awards" because of their roles. Well over a half a century later, their modest Western is still remembered and like myself - introduced to a new generation. That's damn sway.

    The last episode was about having a birthday party for Clayt, he turned eighteen.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    While re-watching the pilot something popped in my head - their trek.



    Feels like an adaptation of the true story, known as 'Sager Orphans'. It was made into a movie in 1974, "Seven Alone" - no official DVD, bootlegs. Yeah that poster has six kids, it's missing a baby which made them seven.

    An incredible story that feels like a Hollywood tale. In April of 1844, the Sager family took the Oregon Trail, but didn't get far - both parents died in August of that year. The father, Henry from typhus and their mother, Naomi from childbirth and greif of losing her husband; leaving seven orphans.

    Kids were adopted by missionaries, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, but were orphaned again when their new parents were killed by Cayuse indians. This time around the kids decided to do what their biological parents wanted - head West to Wyoming on their own. They made it. The eldest daughter kept a journal of their travels - her words is the best record of folks who went on the Oregon Trail. Nobody else wrote their trip down in such details.

    Needs to be remade with a proper budget, the '74 feature felt like a budget TV movie.



    Ron Soble in the background holding a cougar. If you enjoyed "Little House On The Prairie" you will enjoy this too. Won me over, but the pilot is crap. There you have it. Hope you have/had a great Thanksgiving. Come back here on December 10th, 2020 for a movie based on a video game. No classic, but was entertaining for its eye candy and action scenes.

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