The Witch [Blu-ray + Digital HD]

  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: 
  • Studio: LIONSGATE
  • DVD Release Date: May 17, 2016
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • SynopsisNew England, 1630: William and Katherine lead a devout Christian life with their five children, homesteading on the edge of an impassible wilderness. When their newborn son mysteriously vanishes and their crops fail, the family begins to turn on one another. The Witch is a chilling portrait of a family unraveling within their own fears and anxieties, leaving them prey to an inescapable evil.
Review: This film has been buzzing around our camp ever since a few people saw it at Fantastic Fest. The bottom line is that this is by far the scariest film to come out in years. I had to actually psyche myself up to watch it. Still as creepy and skin crawling on the little screen as I image it was on the big one. 

The cast nail the performances which is a must to keep you riveted to the story. The slightest miscue can take you completely out of the moment. They seem to be living each line of dialogue and unsettling second. . 

The imagery and cinematography only add to the spine tingling sensations. Certainly not for the novice horror film viewer nor those who like a bit of witty humor mixed in. This is text book genre film making and a must own for the devout collector. 

·      Audio Commentary with Director Robert Eggers
·      The Witch: A Primal Folklore” Featurette
·      Salem Panel Q&A

·      Design Gallery

X-Men: Apocalypse - Review

PG-13  |  144 min  |  Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Review - Matt Mungle

*In theaters May 27th*

SynopsisWith the emergence of the world's first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

Review: Did we need another X-MEN movie? If so then we clearly needed an elevated and ground breaking X-MEN movie, not another cookie cutter version of the past two. I hope you have a tall glass of milk handy because X-Men: Apocalypse is a huge second class plate of cookie cut from everything else we have seen in the days of future past. 

I should start off by saying that I am not a super fan of the X-MEN franchise. We have seen several films so far and none of them seem to leave the comfortable nest of the one before it. There seems to be the need to reintroduce all the characters - and there are a lot of them - and show us how they are angst filled mutants trying to come to terms with their abilities. Ok, we get it. We know. Now how about letting them do something for a change. In this one we are introduced to a very solid and formidable foe in Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). That should be the spring board for a superb action packed experience. But alas most of the 2-Hours and 20-Minutes is again spent regurgitating all the same dialogue and character interaction as the past two films. 

Perhaps we need this one to have the older versions of X-MEN instead of journeying into the earlier years. The studio may feel that this ensemble cast has more box office appeal to teens (a fair argument) but even they seem bored with the script and disconnected from anything happening on screen. Thank the maker for Michael Fassbender who returns as Magneto. His performance is the only thing close to meaningful or engaging. If this had been thought out better it could easily have been a powerful story of his journey. 

Again, the Apocalypse character is creative and powerful. It is hard to find any fault in him or Oscar Isaac's performance. When he is on screen the tension increases and the viewer immediately perks up. Also Quicksilver (Evan Peters) offers us a nice dose of quick wit. But these too get lost in the myriad of other stuff. And in a move that is this long you need more than glimpses of greatness. 

If you want nothing more than to see your favorite characters hanging out then by all means enjoy. They are all here and ready to walk around and talk about things. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), The Professor (James McAvoy), Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Havok (Lucas Till), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), NIghtcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee); it is like a Wrestle-mania for super heroes. Except no one is willing to risk a leap off the top rope.

The graphics are fine but you will have seen better. I walked out of the movie liking it more than I thought I would but for a film of this magnitude that is not enough. It should blow you away and not lull you to sleep. Bryan Singer is a competent director but there is only so much you can do with the script and story. But since Bryan co-wrote the story he can't be held unaccountable. Nor can screenplay writer Simon Kinberg.

X-Men: Apocalypse is rated PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief strong language and some suggestive images. It is on par with all the other Marvel/SuperHero movies and the content is expected but not shocking. I give it 2.5 out of 5 cheap sunglasses. This franchise totally needs a reboot and to step up to the Marvel name. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass - Review

PG  |  113 min  |  Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Review - Matt Mungle

*In theaters May 27th*

SynopsisAlice returns to the whimsical world of Wonderland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.

Review: The vibrant colors and exaggerated characters instantly attract you to Alice Through the Looking Glass. Fans of the 2010 Tim Burton directed, Alice in Wonderland will be happy to hear that this one seamlessly transitions into a wonderful new story.  It is almost as if the past six years were just the blink of an eye.

Time has past though and we find Alice (Mia Wasikowska) captaining her own sea vessel and carrying on the family business. Back on land things are a bit more turbulent. She is in danger of being overran by the male dominated board of directors headed up by her ex-fiance Hamish Ascot (Leo Bill). It takes the visit of an old friend and the dire situation of an even dearer friend to pull her through the looking glass and into the world that needs her most. 

This tale is mainly about The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) but runs parallel with the relationship between Iracebeth The Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) and her sister Mirana The White Queen (Anne Hathaway). This is perfect since these characters are the strongest and most vibrant on screen. The more we get of them the better. The use of time travel and the need to redo the past allows us to get an origin story of why and how things ended up as they did. 

James Bobin replaced Tim Burton as director and that could have been disastrous. Not to slight Bobin but Burton has the ability to capture the whimsical like no other. James might have channeled his inner Tim though because this feels every bit as magical as the first. No doubt having Burton on board as Producer helped immensely. Linda Woolverton returned to write the screenplay which helps add to the continuity of the characters. They are all back in this one including the addition of Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) who fits very well into the landscape.

To see this film in 3-D IMAX is to experience every nuance of color and sound. No other movie uses bright styles and exploding graphics like the Alice franchise. There is so much to take in that the mind can barely grab it all. Danny Elfman's musical score carries you through each scene on a roller coaster of swells. 

Alas it is not a perfect film and does have its share of plot holes and dead end sentences. It is hard to write time travel stories and have everything button up completely. Some can argue that the ends justify the journey as we get a strong dose of what it means to be family.There is a lot here about trust, forgiveness, and the power of words. Those messages are not preachy or heavy handed but organically transpire within each character. 

Alice Through the Looking Glass is rated PG for fantasy action/peril and some language. Another smart move to make this totally family friendly. That will allow another option for parents looking to take their younger tots to something fun and huge without all the super hero carnage. It is safe for those 8 and older with lots to offer the older adults as well. I give it 3.75 out of 5 tick tocks. There is always the fear of the sequel curse but this one proves you can make a follow up film that is just as fabulous as the first.