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N. Durham "Big Evil" RSS Feed (Philadelphia, PA)
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The Road [Blu-ray]
The Road [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Viggo Mortensen
Price: $13.96
74 used & new from $3.90

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happens after the end of the world, May 25, 2010
This review is from: The Road [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
"You must think I'm from another world" the Father (Viggo Mortensen) tells his young Son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they traverse a post-apocalyptic landscape as they attempt to fend off starvation and cannibal marauders alike. Adapted from Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning book by director John Hillcoat (The Proposition), The Road is by all means bleak, depressing, and incredibly compelling. What appears to be a relatively "simple" story of the journey of a father and son is anything but, however it is their relationship and their journey that is what makes The Road as impressive as it is, regardless of its "end of the world" backdrop. Mortensen in particular is nothing less than spectacular in the lead role, giving a performance that ranks in his recent chain of spectacular performances as being the very best. Make no mistake that while The Road offers a quite vivid picture of a post-apocalyptic world and the degredation of humanity that follows, there is a small glimmer of hope at the end of this road, even if it seems to dim the longer the film goes on for. That in itself is the one flaw with The Road, is that as a film it does more often than not tend to feel a bit drawn out. That aside, for its close to two-hour running time, The Road and Mortensen both manage to impress. The Road may not be a film that just anyone can easily swallow, but for fans of McCarthy's book or Mortensen, this is wholeheartedly worth your time. Also featuring small, but memorable, roles from Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Garret Dillahunt, and The Wire vet Michael Kenneth Williams.


The Descent: Part 2
The Descent: Part 2
DVD ~ Michael J. Reynolds
Offered by Media Wholesaler
Price: $7.62
56 used & new from $2.82

3.0 out of 5 stars Not terrible like I had expected it to be, May 20, 2010
This review is from: The Descent: Part 2 (DVD)
Did we really need a sequel to The Descent? The 2005 horror opus from Neil Marshall (who serves as an executive producer here instead of writer/director) remains one of the absolute best and most terrifying horror films to be released in the past decade, which is one reason why a sequel not helmed by Marshall rang all sorts of alarms in me upon first hearing about it. However, The Descent: Part 2 winds up not being terrible in the least, and in its own right is a frequently scary and compelling film, but it just can't live up to the surprisingly lofty heights that the first film grasped. Shauna Macdonald returns as Sarah, as the film picks up right where the first one left off. Upon her discovery, she is forced to accompany a group of rescuers into the caves that she escaped, with some grisly and bloody results. While there is a good amount of gore, shocks, and solid scares, what The Descent: Part 2 lacks is the kind of character and overall story development that helped make the first film so compelling. Not to mention the fact that there is a good degree of events that happen here that betray what happened in the first film, and an ending that manages to be both shocking and a bit confusing. Still though, for what it's worth, The Descent: Part 2 is a solid horror flick, just don't go in expecting anything as great as the first film was.


Hidden (After Dark Horrorfest 4)
Hidden (After Dark Horrorfest 4)
DVD ~ Kristoffer Joner
Price: $8.96
45 used & new from $1.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy and chilling to the bone, May 17, 2010
More often than not, the hidden jewel in many of these sets of horror films to be released on DVD (After Dark, Ghost House Underground, Dimension Extreme etc.) usually winds up being the foreign entry, and this year's lineup of After Dark Horrorfest films is no different with Hidden. Hidden (Skjult) is a Norwegian horror film that boasts plenty of creepy, chilling atmosphere and some gorgeous cinematography to boot, and surprisingly winds up staying with the viewer even after the credits have rolled. Kristoffer Joner stars as Kai Koss, a man who returns to his childhood home after leaving nearly 20 years before to escape his uber-abusive mother. Inheriting the home he grew up in, painful memories begin to rear their ugly head, and upon the disappearance of two campers in the woods surrounding the house, it becomes quite apparent that there is something quite sinister stirring in the shadows. Those expecting something chock-full of blood and gore will be disappointed here with Hidden, as a majority of the horror is purely of the psychological kind. Though it does feature its share of violence and disturbing material, Hidden's subtleties are what really make it memorable. Its plot is a bit underdeveloped and as such can be somewhat hard to follow, but all things considered Hidden is an ultra creepy and chilling horror import that deserves your attention regardless.


Captain America: Reborn
Captain America: Reborn
by Ed Brubaker
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.49
76 used & new from $5.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Born again for the last time, May 14, 2010
You didn't really think Steve Rogers would stay dead did you? With Captain America: Reborn, Steve Rogers makes his return to the realm of the living as the current Cap, Steve's old partner Bucky Barnes, along with Steve's ex Sharon Carter and the rest of the supporting cast, learn the truth behind the Red Skull's nefarious plot. As we witness Steve's trek through time, writer Ed Brubaker takes the typical brand of ludicrous sci-fi notions and manages to make them somewhat believable, which in itself is quite a feat to accomplish. That being said however, Reborn is nowhere near as good as a majority of Brubaker's run on Captain America has been since he took the title over. I haven't always been his biggest fan since he took the reins on the title, but it grew on me and I truly enjoyed the direction he was taking when Bucky became the new Cap, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't happy to see Steve Rogers back. Bryan Hitch, famed his prolific run drawing The Ultimates for Mark Millar, provides some solid work here, although it doesn't have that same sort of impact that his Ultimates work had. All in all however, Captain America: Reborn is a more than solid read that brings us back the original Cap, and that in itself makes it worth checking out.


Avatar (Two-Disc Original Theatrical Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Avatar (Two-Disc Original Theatrical Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
DVD ~ Sam Worthington
135 used & new from $2.91

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprising film, disappointing home video release, May 14, 2010
James Cameron has meant quite a bit to me since the time I was a child. Growing up with sci-fi epics like The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and Terminator 2 had a profound effect on my love for the science fiction genre, and seeing Cameron make not only a return to the genre, but to film making as a whole in his first true foray since Titanic, makes Avatar a worthwhile trip on its own merits. Sadly I didn't get to give it a shot when it was released to theaters, missing out on drinking the Cameron kool-aid as it became the highest grossing film of all time, but now that I have finally managed to give it a look, my initial reactions are that this is nigh-epic sci-fi storytelling at its near best. Effects-wise, Cameron has crafted something truly special. Not just the characters and creatures, but the planet of Pandora as a whole is a living, breathing thing that must be experienced to be believed. However, said experience would be best suited had this home video release been in 3-D like the film was and always has been intended to be viewed. Fox is infamous for DVD double-dips, and this Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack is no different. While both versions of Avatar are gorgeous looking, all that is featured here on this set are both home video versions of the film. No special features, nor any 3-D capable version of the film, which in itself is a slap in the face to consumers. There will no doubt be a super special edition of Avatar in the near future, which fans and collectors should definitely hold out and wait for instead of picking this bare-bones version up. As for the film itself, as technically spectacular as it is, it isn't without its share of flaws, most notable being the predictable brand of storytelling, stilted dialogue, and the fact that Sam Worthington's Australian accent more often than not cracks in his speech. Still, Worthington is a star in the making (he was one of the few highlights of Terminator: Salvation), and Stephen Lang is surprisingly perfectly cast as the wicked Colonel Quaritch. All in all, Avatar is an epic sci-fi/action tale, but don't even bother adding this bare bones release to your collection, and bide your time before the inevitable special edition is released.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2010 4:40 PM PST


The Walking Dead Book 5
The Walking Dead Book 5
by Robert Kirkman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.76
76 used & new from $15.99

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the massacre..., May 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you've been keeping up with The Walking Dead up until the point where this fifth collected hardcover edition picks up, then you've probably been wondering just what Robert Kirkman has up his sleeve now. In the wake of the massacre at their prison-based safe haven, Rick and his young son Carl continue their trek through the zombie-populated world, only to have Rick fall ill and Carl fend for himself for a time. After that, we are introduced to some new faces, re-introduced to some old ones, reunions are had, and that sense of dread that hangs over every panel and page continues to permeate more and more the longer the series goes on for. If there's any indication from the events that take place in the two storyarcs collected here, "Here We Remain" and "What We Become", it only re-affirms the fact that the worst thing to come out of the zombie apocalypse is not that the dead are returning to life and feasting on the living, but the mental effect that it is having on the survivors and denziens of this new wasteland, which has been Kirkman's intention since the beginning. Charlie Adlard continues to deliver the goods in terms of his pencil work, while Cliff Rathburn's underrated work on the gray tones of Adlard's pencils and inks adds subtle degrees of equal parts emotion and horror that has helped make The Walking Dead so good for so long now. All in all, if you've missed out on the series since its inception, it is way past time to check out The Walking Dead, and this fifth collected hardcover is proof positive of that.


Daybreakers [Blu-ray]
Daybreakers [Blu-ray]
DVD ~ Willem Dafoe
Price: $7.88
127 used & new from $1.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, May 12, 2010
This review is from: Daybreakers [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Directed by The Spierig Brothers, who also helmed 2003's dreadfully underrated zombie mash Undead, Daybreakers doesn't break a whole mess of new ground, but it is a breath of fresh air into the stale vampire genre. This breath of fresh air may consist of ultra-violent acts of blood-letting and some horrifying-looking vampires (as opposed to the teen emo kind found in Twilight), so in that regard, there really isn't much room to complain with what you get here. With that out of the way, Daybreakers takes place in the not too-distant future where nearly every human on the planet has been transformed into a vampire, and the race as a whole is faced with the imminent reality that their blood supply is dwindling, along with the small human population as well. Vampire hematologist Edward (Ethan Hawke) works for evil vamp head honcho Bromley Marks (Sam Neill) and is trying to find a solution for an alternate feeding source, until he comes into contact with a human named Elvis (Willem Dafoe) who has somehow been cured of his vampirism. As said before, Daybreakers doesn't break any new ground, nor does it try to either. What it does do is feature some interesting ideas, a surprisingly great cast, and some just plain awesome effects work as well. All in all, Daybreakers isn't a perfect vampire film, but it is a more than fine alternative to the vampire-laden drivel that seems to be clogging theaters these days.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 15, 2010 8:34 PM PDT


Iron Man 2 - Xbox 360
Iron Man 2 - Xbox 360
Offered by Big Game Vendor
Price: $27.26
43 used & new from $8.20

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars About what you'd expect, May 11, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Iron Man 2 - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
The video game tie-in to Iron Man 2 is pretty much everything you'd expect it to be: a rushed piece of shovelware that, while providing a couple sparks of entertainment, doesn't add up to being anything too enjoyable in the least. Choosing to play as either Iron Man or War Machine, Iron Man 2 pretty much follows the same formula as the first game; which is taking on baddies, flying around, and blowing stuff up. That pretty much sums up Iron Man 2 as a whole, along with a plethora of sloppy controls, sub-par graphics, and almost zero replayability. There is barely enough entertainment value for fans of the comic and/or film to garner from playing, but like most licensed video games, there isn't nearly enough here to hold your interest.


Iron Man 2 - Playstation 3
Iron Man 2 - Playstation 3
Offered by Chachi Toys
Price: $29.25
76 used & new from $8.48

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars About what you'd expect, May 11, 2010
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
The video game tie-in to Iron Man 2 is pretty much everything you'd expect it to be: a rushed piece of shovelware that, while providing a couple sparks of entertainment, doesn't add up to being anything too enjoyable in the least. Choosing to play as either Iron Man or War Machine, Iron Man 2 pretty much follows the same formula as the first game; which is taking on baddies, flying around, and blowing stuff up. That pretty much sums up Iron Man 2 as a whole, along with a plethora of sloppy controls, sub-par graphics, and almost zero replayability. There is barely enough entertainment value for fans of the comic and/or film to garner from playing, but like most licensed video games, there isn't nearly enough here to hold your interest.


Iron Man 2 (CD/DVD)
Iron Man 2 (CD/DVD)
Price: $15.88
88 used & new from $4.28

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for newbies, practically worthless for everyone else, May 10, 2010
This review is from: Iron Man 2 (CD/DVD) (Audio CD)
I've never been a huge fan of AC/DC, and seeing a selection of some of the band's most well-known songs re-packaged as a soundtrack to Iron Man 2 may come off as being little more than a quick cash-in for all parties involved, but for newbie listeners to the band, the Iron Man 2 soundtrack is a worthwhile enough endeavor. The Iron Man 2 soundtrack features such AC/DC staples as "T.N.T.", "Back in Black", "Shoot to Thrill", "Highway to Hell", and more besides, along with a bonus DVD and booklet featuring band pics and stills from the Iron Man 2 movie. All things considered, there is nothing here that any fan of AC/DC hasn't seen plenty of times before, and won't see plenty more further on down the road. Still, for new or young listeners to the band wondering just what is this long-lasting thing called AC/DC, the Iron Man 2 soundtrack is a worthwhile enough endeavor as a compilation piece to set them in the right direction of discovering the rest of the band's catalogue. For everyone else who has enjoyed these tracks time and time again though, the Iron Man 2 soundtrack is practically worthless.


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