Call of the Wolf


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 102 Minutes
From: Gravitas Pictures
Available:  February 7, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Call of the WolfLet me start with this: Some of the publicity is comparing “Call of the Wolf” to the horror classic “Saw,” and I wish they wouldn’t. Why? My wife likes a decent, psychological thriller as much as the next person, but when it comes to gore my wife hates it. She was immediately out of my living room screening of “Call of the Wolf” based on the preliminary “Revenant meets Saw” indication. Part of me, also, was waiting for the gore, but it never really came. The movie is a psychological thriller, true, and with that comes some violence, but none of it is the sadistic insanity that was “Saw.”

Okay, enough initial ranting, let’s get to the story…

Lester (Aleksander Ristic) wakes up in a cabin in the woods, confused. His supplies are limited, basically a rifle, some bullets, a Marine survival manual, a lantern, a walkie talkie, and whatever might be in a locked safe. It is through the walkie talkie that Lester is introduced to Wolf (Matthew Oliva), the dude who kidnapped Lester and left him in the cabin.

And the psychological messing with Lester begins, starting with Wolf telling Lester he was kidnapped because he has wasted his life.

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Inferno


Rated: PG-13 | Running Time: 122 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD:  January 24, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

InfernoThere are a lot of “Why?”’s in “Inferno.” Sure, you could ask: Why can’t the people with a whole lot of technology, including a drone, catch two people running on foot? Or you could ask: Why are the dudes with the guns in this cavern no where near the action? However, there are no more important wonderings than “Why are there so many chases?” and “Why did they have such a convoluted ending?”

The movie is “Inferno,” the third following “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” and for me the movie folks seemed to forget that the clues were the fun to this franchise, not the chases.

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Lost & Found


Rated: PG | Running Time: 92 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on DVD and Digital:  January 10, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Lost & Found DVD ReviewAhh, nothing better than a family-friendly movie about the quest to discover a buried treasure. Okay, there might be better, but while your young girls might be enjoying “Apple of My Eye,” this one, “Lost & Found,” is for the boys, or adventurous girls.

Let’s get to the story…

To start we find out that there was this dude who developed an island oasis. Hooray. He disappears one day at sea. Boo. He supposedly left a treasure on the island. Hooray. No one has been able to find it, and people have even died looking for it. Boo. Now a rich developer has bought the island and is ruining its tiny, island charm. Double-boo.

Enter Andy.

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Apple of My Eye


Rated: PG | Running Time: 85 Minutes
From: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Available on DVD and Digital:  January 10, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Apple of My EyeI can guarantee that I am not the target audience for “Apple of My Eye,” most likely it being a tween girl and her mom watching kind of movie, and in no way can I ever relate to either as I don’t have kids, nor am I a mother, but I will say that “Apple of My Eye” is a cute movie with many flaws that I doubt any tween girl would care about.

Here are the basics of the story…

Bailey (Avery Arendes) is an equestrian, training for national competition, and she falls off her horse. She appears okay, but her sight starts to get worse. She tries to hide it, but eventually, thanks to not seeing some sprinkles on some ice cream, the truth starts to come out.

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Brad Paisley – Life Amplified World Tour: Live at WVU


Rated: Not Rated
From: City Drive Films
Available on DVD, CD:  December 23, 2016 | Airing on PBS: January 27, 2017
Get it via : Amazon

Brad PaisleyIn the world of musicians I’d like to see in concert, but just haven’t made the time when they came through the Chicago area, Brad Paisley is one of those guys. I love a great guitarist, I love a guy who writes great songs, and I like seeing country girls at concerts. Brad Paisley has them all, and so does his latest live concert DVD/CD combo, “Life Amplified World Tour: Live at WVU.”

Filmed at, well, West Virginia University, in front of 15,000 folks, Brad Paisley does what he does best, entertain. It’s a DVD/CD filled with performances of his greatest hits, as well as a great rendition of the John Denver classic “Take Me Home Country Roads,” sort of the West Virginia anthem.

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The Dressmaker


Rated: R | Running Time: 119 Minutes
From: Broad Green Pictures
Available on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  December 27, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

The DressmakerIn terms of some extra weirdness, “The Dressmaker” is right up there with the best of them, especially in the dark comedy genre. I mean, eventually most of the townsfolk women are walking around dressed in “designer” dresses, which wouldn’t seem that odd except it’s the 1950’s in a dirt-road, little town in Australia. Then there is the town Sergeant (Hugo Weaving), traipsing around in all of the flashiness of a matador at a bull fight. Clothes, however, aren’t really what brings Tilly (Kate Winslet in all of her sassiness) back to her hometown. Nope, she has to find out the truth about her past, a past that tarnished her reputation and left her as the town pariah.

As it is Tilly returns to town with a flash, at the rugby game, dressed to the nines which thoroughly distracts the rugby dudes. Enter Teddy (Liam Hemsworth), one of the team members, who tells Tilly she is distracting everyone causing Tilly to change outfits to something even more distracting.

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Greater


Rated: PG | Running Time: 130 Minutes
From: Well Go USA Entertainment
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Platforms:  December 20, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Greater on DVDI will not lie – at the end of “Greater” i got a little weepy. The thing is it wasn’t really “sad” weepy, it was more of “what a great life, even if it seemed too short” weepy.

Yes, I will come right out of the gate and let you know Brandon Burlsworth died.

It’s not really a spoiler, I mean, if you do any quick Google search about him it’s right out there, but I had no idea. The press release didn’t mention it, the DVD case didn’t mention it, but instantly, as the movie opens with a stone slab for a tombstone my first thought, followed by Google confirmation was “Crap, he dies? So much for an uplifting movie.” But it is, even with his death.

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Chicken People


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 83 Minutes
From:Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn Films and CMT
Available on DVD and Digital Platforms:  November 22, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Chicken PeopleThis is what I call a “Who knew?” documentary? Who knew there were so many kinds of chickens? Who knew there was a National Poultry Show? Who knew there was a Standard of Perfection, a book that details the perfect chicken? Who knew you could be an engineer and systematically breed chickens to try to produce a champion? And yes, who knew there was an Ohio National Poultry Show, the chicken equivalent of the Westminster Dog Show?

The chicken people do.

“Chicken People” is a documentary following the lives of three people over the course of about a year, and their quest to raise a perfect chicken, at least as rated by the Standard of Perfection, and win the National Poultry Show. Yes, that means that they have the best of 9,700 birds entered in the competition. And yes, that’s right, 9,700 birds are entered, one will win.

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Uncle Nick


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 81 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Online:  November 1, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Uncle NickI guess I was at that age when I was old enough to like baseball, but too young for my parents to explain to me what happened at the Ten Cent Beer game, a legendary debacle of fan sportsmanship resulting in a bunch of drunk, unruly fans ruining a lovely day at the ballpark for those who just wanted to see a ballgame.

Who knew you could build a Christmas movie around the progression of events at the Ten Cent Beer Game, but the folks of “Uncle Nick” did a pretty good job.

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The Dark Horse


Rated: R | Running Time: 124 Minutes
From: Broadgreen Pictures
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  July 12, 2016
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Sometimes all you need to find is that purpose in life to overcome your personal challenges. Genesis Potini did just that. “The Dark Horse” tells that story.

Based on the true story, “The Dark Horse” weaves the history of Genesis Potini (in the movie played wonderfully by Cliff Curtis), a chess champion in New Zealand battling with mental illness who discovers his passion in teaching others the glory of chess, and in doing so is able to calm many of the demons in his head.

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