Viceroy’s House


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 106 Minutes
From: IFC Films
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  December 12, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Viceroy's House on DVDWell, crap. I guess I should have paid more attention in my world history classes because I don’t remember anything about India getting independence from the United Kingdom. I guess it happened way back when, in 1947 to be exact, some 70 years ago. And double-crap, I also had no idea that the creation of Pakistan was part of the deal.

Who knew “Viceroy’s House” would turn into a history lesson for me, at least in the movie kind of way.

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Zombies


Rated: R | Running Time: 84 Minutes
From: Broadgreen Pictures
In theaters and VOD:  September 29, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Zombies - A movie reviewIf zombies are in a movie it is usually because it’s time for a zombie apocalypse. There are also, usually, two kinds of zombie apocalypse movies, the serious, “Let’s try to pretend this could be real” kind, and the campy, horror-ish, fun kind, complete with enough blood splatter to wonder how the human body can hold so much blood.

“Zombies” is the campy, fun kind, until the ending scene. So much for fun.

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It Stains the Sands Red


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 92 Minutes
From: Dark Sky Films
Available on Blu-ray, Digital HD, and in select theaters:  July 28, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Brittany Allen is Molly in It Stains the Sand RedPoor Molly. She can’t catch a break. There she is, trying to escape the zombie apocalypse with her boyfriend, Nick (Merwin Mondesir), and she needs to vomit. In the middle of the desert you would think they would be safe from the zombies, but wouldn’t you know it, now with their fancy car stuck in the sand, here he comes, a zombie, over the horizon, and we quickly learn how stupid Molly and Nick really are. Welcome to “It Stains the Sands Red.”

Okay, first some backstory on Molly.

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Facing Darkness


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 98 Minutes
From: Virgil Films | Samaritan’s Purse
Available on DVD, and Digital:  July 25, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Remember Ebola back in the spring of 2014?

Facing Darkness - DocumentaryOf course you don’t. You think you do, but it wasn’t the spring. Back in the spring of 2014 the Ebola pandemic was news in mostly one place, Western Africa, with the rest of the world oblivious. For almost everyone else it was “Oh, there’s a crisis in Africa? What else is new? It’s not affecting me. What do I care, it’s not in my back yard?”

There were, however, people who cared. Many them were with the group Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian missionary group. Its members already in Africa helping anyone who needed it.

Remember Ebola back in the late summer of 2014?

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American Fable


Rated: Not Rated (It’s got some violence) | Running Time: 96 Minutes
From: IFC Films
Available on DVD:  July 11, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

American Fable on DVD - A Movie ReviewI hate to set the tone of my rating right at the beginning. I mean, why would you want to read the rest of the review if I let you know the movie was a let-down? The thing is that I was really enjoying “American Fable,” up until about the last fifteen minutes. The movie wasn’t really realistic, but then it does have “fable” in the title, it’s just that the ending took such dark turns, and didn’t really live up to the fableness in my book because, at the end of it all, I’m not sure what the moral actually was.

Sure, there might have supposed to have been a correlation to Aesop’s “The Lion and The Mouse,” at least the real version and not the version told in the movie where the lion eats the mouse, but things were left so wide open, without explanation, that it’s almost left up to your own interpretation. Who wants that after an hour and a half?

Alright, let’s at least get to the story.

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Rick Springfield

To the Review….

It was supposed to just be a Rick Springfield evening. I would go to his concert on Friday night, write the review, maybe listen to “Karma” (his latest CD) again, and be done with it. But the whole weekend I couldn’t get away from him. Saturday comes, I’m at Bed, Bath & Beyond, (hey, no jokes, I needed some supplies for the dude-pad) when over the speakers I hear “Prayer,” one of the songs from “Karma,” as part of the piped-in music. “Hmm, that’s a little coincidental, don’t you think?” I thought to myself. But I let it go. Then, that evening, I’m channel surfing and stumble across “Martial Law.” That’s not special, but I rarely channel surf to the local stations on a Saturday night because there’s usually nothing I like on. Then I notice something and mumble to myself “That’s Rick Springfield. He’s getting hand-cuffed to a tree!” I was beginning to have Rick Springfield overload. He was everywhere. Thank goodness Saturday was over. No more Rick Springfield! But then Sunday came. I’m watching VH-1, it’s “The List,” they’re listing best bands of the 70’s, and there he was, again, Rick Springfield. I was beginning to go out of my mind and figured I had better write this review soon because if I didn’t I might have pages and pages of Rick Springfield experiences instead of just a concert review. So let’s get to it before somehow Rick Springfield ends up on “King of the Hill.”

When I told Stu I was going to see Rick Springfield he asked where Rick was playing. I told him “Some bar called ‘Joe’s,” to which Stu replied “Oh, how the mighty have fallen.” I told him that Rick sold out three shows and little did I know about Joe’s. After getting there I realized Rick hadn’t fallen at all.

Driving to Joe’s I recalled seeing Meat Loaf in a bar. It was small, cramped, I think Meat sweat on me, and as cool as it was to see him so up close and personal it was a little sad that he was stuck playing such a small place. I was getting close to Joe’s and those same feelings came back – it would be cool to see Rick Springfield in a bar, but he should really be playing larger venues. I walked into Joe’s, it seemed kinda small, more a restaurant than a bar, but no stage. Then I noticed people walking to another room. I followed. So much for a small bar as the place opened up into a large room with people already packed around a real stage. There was no photo pit, I was stuck on a stairway near the back, and my dreams of Rick sweating on me all but disappeared. Alright, the place is no United Center, but a bouncer-dude told me they sold around 1200 tickets per night, bodies, mostly of the dudette persuasion, were packed from front to back, and Rick put on an hour and a half show that had the dudettes screaming while their boyfriend dudes tried to be too cool for Rick Springfield even though I could see them singing along.

It’s 11:30 PM, an hour and a half later than the concert was listed, Rick came out, screams reminiscent of a Backstreet Boys concert filled the air, and suddenly I’m remembering things that I figured were long forgotten, things like the words to “I’ve Done Everything for You,” like the words to “Human Touch,” like the words to “Kristina,” and, well, you get the idea. And you know what, Rick rocked. Yea, that’s right, I said “Rick rocked.” I never knew.

Opening with “His Last Words” and “It’salwayssomething” from “Karma (with one of my new favoritist lyric lines in “Down one, home run, your dog steals the ball”), Rick, dressed in leather pants that looked like they were painted on, led the crowd through sing-a-longs, destroyed dozens of roses as he used them as guitar picks, hiked a guitar to a member of his crew, used cameras as guitar slides, and played lots of songs most people knew and a few songs from his new CD that some people knew. It was all good.

Highlights, there were many, and none of them for me revolved around “Jessie’s Girl.” Even though I like the song, it’s not my favorite (“Inside Sylvia” actually tops that list), but Rick showed that he can play with the best of them doing a great surf riff into, happily for me, “Inside Sylvia,” could turn forgetting lyrics into crowd pleasing, worked a stage like a master, and even tried to fill audience requests. He did it all and looked like he was having so much fun. That’s what it’s all about.

What else can I say about Rick Springfield except that the man puts on one hell of a show. The old songs sounded as fresh as when they were new, and the new songs show that Rick still has it, although you can tell he has grown a little in their messages. He led the crowd through “Free,” his latest single (which sounds to me like it belongs in a movie, in the scene where the dude and dudette realize they love each other and wind up in bed – it’s way romantic), had dudettes screaming at him like they were teenagers and he was 25, and showed that you don’t have to get any slower with age.

Some people seemed a little grumpy that Rick started late, and I was a little grumpy too, but that grumpiness went away once he hit the stage. He impressed me with his guitar work, had dudettes screaming at him, made me remember songs I had long forgotten, and showed to me that he is still mighty, has not fallen, and just plain knows how to rock. It’s TWO “STILL MIGHTY AND NOT FALLEN” THUMBS UP for Rick Springfield.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!



Manhattan Undying


Rated: Not rated, but it’s got vampire gore. | Running Time: 87 Minutes
From: Momentum Pictures
Available on DVD, Digital HD, and VOD:  June 6, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

Manhattan Undying out June 6, 2017. So we have Max. Max is an artist, and a mess. Lately he hasn’t had any inspiration, and most of the time he can be found partying or sleeping, then waking up in his loft trying to get through another day. His life is lost. Meanwhile his friend and manager keeps trying to get him showings, but Max has nothing to show. The challenge is that Max does have a cult following of folks who love his art, and want more.

It’s bad enough Max has his demons that he is trying to get through, now he is told he has lung cancer with only a few months to live.

Wow, it sucks to be Max.

You know what he needs right now? Cancer treatment? Nope, turns out Max needs a vampire.

Such is “Manhattan Undying.”

Okay, it’s not that simple, let’s get to more.

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I Am Heath Ledger


Rated: Not Rated | Running Time: 94 Minutes
From: Virgil Films
Available on DVD and Digital HD:  May 23, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

I Am Heath Ledger reviewAt the end of the documentary “I Am Heath Ledger” I wasn’t sure if I should be unbelievably sad that Heath died nearly ten years ago, or unbelievably sad that I never got the chance to hang out with a force of nature bringing out the creativity in those around him. What I did know was that I forgot how varied his film roles were, how I forgot his level of talent, and didn’t know how his talents stretched to his own love of video and directing.

Skipping most of the tabloid news, “I Am Heath Ledger” gives a look at the life of Heath that most people didn’t know about while also highlighting his film career trajectory.

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A Street Cat Named Bob


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 103 Minutes
From: Cleopatra Entertainment
Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and VOD:  May 9, 2017
Get it via : Amazon | iTunes

A Street Cat Named Bob out on Blu-rayThere are times that movies based on a true story, or on the life of someone, are actually portrayed best by someone else. I’m not saying that Ray Charles couldn’t have done a fabulous job as Ray Charles had he been able to play himself in “Ray,” but damn, Jamie Foxx was fabulous. And what about Joaquin Phoenix in “Walk the Line” as Johnny Cash?

Other times the character is probably best as the actual person. Yup, I don’t think there is anyone else who could have properly portrayed Howard Stern except for Howard Stern himself in “Private Parts.”

So, following in the footsteps of some of the greatest actors and personalities, I give you Bob the Cat, and in “A Street Cat Named Bob,” I don’t think any other cat could have portrayed the tenacity, the love, and the joy that the actual Bob was able to give to James (in the movie portrayed by Luke Treadaway), other than the real Bob the Cat.

Who knew a cat could be that good of an actor?

Let’s get to the story.

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The Survivalist


Rated: Unrated | Running Time: 104 Minutes
From: IFC Midnight
Available in Theaters and VOD:  May 19, 2017
Get it via : Amazon

Damn, it’s gonna suck when we don’t have any more oil.

The movie is “The Survivalist,” and if this is what the world will be like without our industrial machines I’m screwed.

As the movie goes we’ve got this dude (Martin McCann), and for the movie he is just given the name “Survivalist.” Now how am I supposed to nicely reference him during this review? I’m going to call him Survy. Anyway, Survy lives deep in the woods, all alone, because the rest of the world is starving and killing each other for food. He has his little farm, traps animals, and plays with his willy to a picture of the woman he used to love. Sounds like a fairly decent life except the loneliness is starting to play tricks on his mind.

Enter Kathryn (Olwen Fouéré) and Milja (Mia Goth).

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