Guide Murder Before the Bell (Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio Book 1)

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Sand was part of the League for Spiritual Discovery at the Millbrook estate in New York, has been credited as the "first underground chemist on record to have synthesized DMT" and is known for manufacturing large amounts of LSD. Robert "Tim" Scully is best known in the psychedelic underground for his work in the production of LSD from to , for which he was indicted in and convicted in His best known product, dubbed "Orange Sunshine", was considered the standard for quality LSD in Scully was a shy science prodigy from Berkeley, California who immersed himself in the freewheeling Haight-Ashbury scene and used his technical prowess to create the purest form of the psychedelic drug yet invented.

The two men were eventually introduced and started an underground laboratory with the financial backing of a rich young heir named Billy Hitchcock, who was also a patron of Timothy Leary. One of the best line to come out of this documentary is: The two men were arrested, with Hitchcock cutting a deal and testifying against them. They had the bad luck to have their case tried before a judge whose nickname was "Hangin' Sam," who declared in court that he wished he had access to the death penalty. Sentenced to 20 and 15 years in prison respectively, Scully and Sand amazingly found themselves cellmates at Washington's McNeil Island Penitentiary.

Sand's girlfriend smuggled drugs to him, and at one point he dosed the food supply, rendering the entire prison population high! Trust me, this film is well worth your time, whether or not you're into drugs in any way, shape or form! This DVD feature surround sound, English subtitles for the deaf and hearing-impaired along with the official 'The Sunshine Makers' trailer. The film depicts the extreme jealousy of a hotelier, Marcel Serge Reggiani, then 42 years old , towards his wife, Odette Romy Schneider, then 26 years old. Set in a beautiful lake side resort in the Auvergne region of France, L'Enfer 'Inferno' was to be a sun scorched elucidation on the dark depths of jealousy starring Romy Schneider as the harassed wife of a controlling hotel manager Serge Reggiani.

However, despite huge expectations, major studio backing and an unlimited budget, after three weeks the production collapsed under the weight of arguments, technical complications and illness. The story goes that in , Henri-Georges Clouzot, the acclaimed director of thriller masterpieces Les Diaboliques and Wages of Fear, began work on his most ambitious film yet.

That film would, obviously turn out to be 'Inferno. So, as aforementioned, after just three weeks, the film was abandoned. But, and importantly, before that and in prep, Clouzot cast year-old Romy Schneider; who, though Austrian, was then one of France's leading film stars. French cinema was a-tremble with expectation: On L'Enfer, he sought to revolutionise cinema by meticulously creating a film using the experimental sounds of Pierre Boulez's Ircam in Paris, and the then-voguish images of kinetic art to express his hero's increasingly wild fantasy life.

These lurid colour sequences would be juxtaposed with black-and-white footage shot on location. And then one day, while he was filming Romy Schneider and Dany Carel having a lesbian tryst on a boat on the lake, he had a heart attack. He was taken to hospital and was compelled to abandon the film. Most notably in the psychedelic climax of the film, rotating lighting rigs were placed in-front of the camera and actors. The final effect created the illusion of the actors faces transitioning between emotions, and personalities.

They would also slowly change their emotions intensifying the effect when synced to each rotation. This is a Widescreen 1. High Definition Blu-ray p presentation Original 5. Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Ginette Vincendeau www. Robert Lansing plays a crazed, arrogant plastic surgeon whose young adult daughter has run away after he lets her mother drown and brutally murders her boyfriend. When his wealthy father-in-law dies and leaves his entire estate to the missing girl, he hits on the idea of using plastic surgery to re-make the face of a disfigured go-go dancer Margaret Chapman into the spitting image of his runaway daughter.

Complications arise, however, when he is unable to sexually resist his new "daughter", and when his real daughter suddenly returns. This is pretty interesting movie, kind of Southern Gothic giallo thriller. By the standards of American thrillers, it's patently absurd, but this kind of perverse absurdity always worked well in the Italian-made giallo genre, so if you're a fan of those type of films, you'll probably enjoy this low-budget, Southern-fried American version. Lansing is good as the mad plastic surgeon. He's very good at laughing evilly. Although she was mainly a TV actress, Margaret Chapman does well in a dual role, creating two identical but very different characters and she had to do so without the benefit of split-screen or expensive special effects.

She's also pretty appealing kind of a red-haired version of Jessica Harper of "Phantom of Paradise" and "Suspiria" fame. What I found most amazing about this was that it was originally rated PG back in the 's! Besides the quasi-incest or actual incest? In closing, this film has got to rank up there with 'Blood and Lace' as the most violent and perverse movie ever to garner a permissive PG rating. I personally wouldn't recommend showing it to your children, but it is a pretty entertaining movie.

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Simply put, and photographed by celebrated cinematographer Edward Lachman, who would go on to serve as DP on the likes of Erin Brockovich and The Virgin Suicides, 'Scalpel' is an exemplary slice of Southern-fried gothic, filled finally rescued from VHS obscurity in this revelatory new Blu-ray edition from Arrow Video. Collector's booklet with new writing on the film by Bill Ackerman www.

An orchestra assmbles for a rehearsal in an ancient chapel under the inquisive eyes of a TV documentary crew, but an uprising breaks out. Made in for Italian television, 'Orchestra Rehearsal' is possibly Fellini s most satirical and overtly political film. In truth, this is also likely the finest make-believe documentary that I have ever seen! The setting is a rundown Medieval Roman chapel, now an oratorio where an orchestra gathers. A television crew is making a documentary about this orchestra while the orchestra is dealing with a union dispute. The bulk of the film's first half focuses on individual musicians, many of whom reminisce about their first encounter with the instrument they play.

When the musicians talk about their instrument, they often share thoughtful and stimulating metaphors about the meaning and the function of their instrument. There are a few times during the film where the action is interrupted by a large rumble in the building. We don't know what this is exactly until the end of the film. The film transforms from poetic, to pure comical delight, to complete chaos, to lyrical beauty when the musicians play the music. Composer Nino Rota's contribution was an immense one.

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  • He composed all of the pieces the musicians play in the film, and I believe they the music is absolutely wonderful my personal favorite of Rota's compositions for "Orchestra Rehearsal" being the final piece the orchestra performs. This was the last time Rota scored a Fellini film, he died the next year. I also must comment on the top-notch cinematography, which is quintessentially Felliniesque ex. Anybody who loves orchestral music will like this film to some degree.

    I happen to immensely love Fellini, Rota, AND orchestral music, so for me, this film is nothing short of absolutely marvelous entertainment! Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements, produced by Arrow Films exclusively for this release High Definition Blu-ray p presentation Original 1.

    Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Adrian Martin www. A demented, elderly woman has her mentally retarded son kill and scalp various young women to use their hair for her wig shop while a persistent coed tries to link various killings on a local Florida college campus to them. The young women of a small-town American college have more than just split-ends to worry about!

    Down at the Little Wig Shop, the batty Mrs. Pringle and her socially-inept son Rodney are procuring only the finest heads of hair by scalping the local co-eds! Can they be stopped before they clear the entire campus of luxuriant-haired ladies? In truth, 'The Gruesome Twosome' has a simple plot. Old Mrs Pringle Elizabeth Davies lives in a lovely little house just outside a Miami University Campus and runs a high quality wig shop from within it.

    Her son, Rodney Chris Martell , who's a little simple in the head, helps her out. His speciality is procuring the real human hair that goes into making these wonderful wigs. Unfortunately for the local students, this involves the brutal killing and scalping of every beautiful young girl who is lured into the house under the pretense of finding a room to rent.

    But hey, don't blame Rodney, it's not his fault - he's a child trapped in a man's body and his domineering Mother dearest accompanied at all times by her stuffed bobcat, Napoleon continually threatens him with the prospect of being sent to "the place where bad boys go" if he doesn't carry out her murderous desires. Sounds from that like it could be one of a million naff exploitation movies churned out by the late 60's but this one has the distinction of being directed by the undisputed king of the genre, Herschell Gordon Lewis.

    As a result the film is loaded with the same kind of screwball, absurdist humour as found in his 'She Devils On Wheels' opus shot virtually back to back with this one , mixed in with the trademarked ultraviolence of his earlier splatterfests. Hilarious throughout, to my mind, the film opens with a camp seven minute conversation between two wig blocks painted to look like garish pink Mr Potato Heads!

    But the unintentional comedy resulting from the timing mix-ups is as good as the scripted stuff too, believe me! Indeed, Lewis still manages to cram in plenty of deliberate gags from his cast of kooky, colourful characters. We have a creepy caretaker on campus who happens to be a bone smuggler! We have extended scenes of pseudo-go-go dancing from the female students including one where they all bop around waving legs of Kentucky Fried Chicken; as part of a product placement agreement Lewis scored with the fast food chain who, in turn, fed the entire cast and crew! Oh yeah, and to cap it all off, we're even treated to a bikini beach party scene and a stock car demolition derby!

    It should also be noted that gore fiends will delight in the extended sequences of scalpings, decapitations, disembowellings and eyeball gouging!

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    All shot in squishy, sickening close-up and rich with Lewis' beloved "red glop", 'The Gruesome Twosome' is as stomach-wrenching today as it was in High Definition Blu-ray p presentation English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing Bonus Feature! After finishing his film Weekend in , Jean-Luc Godard shifted gears to embark on engaging more directly with the radical political movements of the era, and thus create a new kind of film, or, as he eventually put it: This new method in part involved collaborating with the precocious young critic and journalist, Jean-Pierre Gorin.

    Both as a two-person unit, and as part of the loose collective known as the Groupe Dziga Vertov named after the early 20th-century Russian filmmaker and theoretician , Godard and Gorin would realize some political possibilities for the practice of cinema and craft new frameworks for investigating the relationships between image and sound, spectator and subject, cinema and society. To bring you a little more into this directorial mix, Jean-Luc Godard is a French-Swiss film director, screenwriter and film critic. He rose to prominence as a pioneer of the s French New Wave film movement.

    Like his New Wave contemporaries, Godard criticized mainstream French cinema's "Tradition of Quality", which "emphasized craft over innovation, privileged established directors over new directors, and preferred the great works of the past to experimentation. Many of Godard's films challenge the conventions of traditional Hollywood in addition to French cinema. Jean-Pierre Gorin is a French filmmaker and professor, best known for his work with Nouvelle Vague luminary Jean-Luc Godard, during what is often referred to as Godard's "radical" period.

    He was a radical leftist well before meeting Godard in Godard relied on some of his discussions with Gorin while writing the script of 's La Chinoise. Five Films, ' are, as can be guessed, five films, all originally shot in 16mm celluloid, that serve as examples of Godard and Gorin s revolutionary project. First up is 'Un film comme les autres' [A Film Like Any Other] which is an analysis of the social upheaval of May made in the immediate wake of the workers and students protests. The picture consists of two parts, each with with identical image tracks, and differing narration.

    Interestingly, and as history now informs us, when the film was sent to New York City's Lincoln Center for its premiere, Jean-Luc Godard included a note in the film canisters instructing the projectionist to "flip a coin" to determine in which order the film's two reels would be shown! Then comes 'British Sounds' , aka: An hour-long film shot in February for television, written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Henri Roger, and produced by Irving Teitelbaum and Kenith Trodd, funnily enough LWT London Weekend Television refused to screen it owing to its controversial content; but it was subsequently shown with success in cinemas.

    Godard credited the film as being made by 'Comrades of the Dziga-Vertov group'. Then comes 'Vent d'est' [Wind from the East]. A loosely conceived leftist-western that moves through a series of practical and analytical passages an organization of shots, Godard called it into a finale based around the process of manufacturing homemade weapons.

    Filmed in , 'Vent d'est' is a radical filmmaking cooperative that, at its core, and like most films from this period in Godard's career, directing credit was given to the collective and not himself or other individual filmmakers. Not necessarily a film about the struggles in Italy largely shot, in fact, in Godard and Anne Wiazemsky s home at the time this is a discursive reflection on a young Italian woman s shift from political theory to political practice and, at the same time, a self-questioning of its own practice and theories.

    In 'Lotte in Italia', it's not the conceit of being revolutionary from a safe distance that is analyzed but the problem of it, the conundrum of how the two can be combined in one social position. In the first part of the film we see the girl trying to formulate or conform to the political rhetoric expected from a communist as capitalist society around her provides for her.

    In the second part the problem is outlined, then Godard offers solutions, thinking for example not in terms of food or clothes but the production of them, not in terms of money but labour. Lastly we get to experience 'Vladimir et Rosa' [Vladimir and Rosa], a searing and satirical comic-reportage on the trial of the Chicago Eight, featuring Juliet Berto and Godard and Gorin themselves.

    The film could be thought of as both a political satire and a court-room thriller; with the Godard and Gorin using the background of the Chicago Eight trial and the sidelines into the plight of Bobby Seale and his connection to the Black Panther Party eventually leading to the Chicago Seven to create a work of highly provocative agitprop. The film dramatises certain elements leading up the arrest, including the background of the Democratic National Convention and the implication of police violence and intimidation leading to riots and angry protests. From here, the trial is documented in a way that is somewhat reminiscent of the visual approach of Le Gai Savoir, right down to the use of minimal production design with the barren black background of theatrical artificiality and the way that the characters speak directly to the camera in a completely deconstructive approach.

    These films, long out-of-circulation except in film dupes and bootleg video, here make their Blu-ray debut, providing a crucial glimpse of Godard s radicalization, and of the aesthetic dialogue between him and Gorin that, in essence, served to invent a modern militant cinema. As Godard told an English journalist of the era, film is not a gun but a light which helps you check your gun. The original Ringo films introduced another iconic hero to the spaghetti western; a clean-cut sharp shooter who was markedly different to Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name.

    The anti-hero Gemma and villain Sancho are both very charismatic, and each has a good sense of humor. The basic plot situation is interesting: Fleeing from a bank hold-up in which their leader was wounded, a gang of bandits takes refuge at a farm. Although the farm is surrounded, the posse cannot attack because of the hostages. The anti-hero is highly paid to infiltrate and destroy the gang, and recover the money. The film has some unusual twists; for example, the bandits are executing two hostages per day, even after the anti-hero joins the gang, and he makes no effort to halt the executions.

    There is also an interesting contrast between the behavior of the anti-hero Gemma and the sheriff Martin who behaves like a traditional Western hero. Overall, the film still holds up today in the genre that it was created for, and there is also a very nice music score by Ennio Morricone. Now, and as for the follow-up, 'The Return of Ringo,' well, look out folks as it is definitely not a sequel! Sure, all of the main actors return for this story, but they play completely different characters, and while Giuliano Gemma portrays another character called Ringo, this protagonist has nothing in common with the first Ringo!!

    It may seem unusual to those who haven't watched a lot of these movies, but that kind of thing is quite common in the spaghetti western genre. This Ringo is not an outlaw like the one in the previous movie, yet he is much more serious and deadly, because he has been wronged on a very personal level, and is seeking justice and revenge. This gives the movie a much more sombre tone than the previous film.

    It's a gripping story without a single boring moment. All of the main actors are at the top of their game in this one. Antonio Casas is especially good as the dysfunctional sheriff who pulls himself together with the help of Ringo. Giuliano Gemma is even better in this movie than in the previous film, and I can't say enough about Nieves Navarro. Not only does she do a wonderful job portraying "Rosita," she looks even more incredible in this film than in the last one, which is a feat I would not have thought possible.

    She is quite possibly the most amazingly beautiful woman to ever appear in a western. Also, Morricone's music score is also an improvement over the one he wrote for the first Ringo movie. There is more music in this film, and the tunes are more memorable. I especially like the theme song and if you're a fan of this genre of movie, I know you will too. A young man carrying a big basket that contains his extremely deformed Siamese-twin brother seeks vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.

    The feature debut of director Frank Henenlotter Brain Damage, Frankenhooker , 's 'Basket Case' is perhaps his most revered - a riotous and blood-spattered midnight movie experience, now immortalized in a lavish new 4K restoration by the Museum of Modern Art MoMA. It involves two brothers and their plot to get revenge. Belial, the deformed twin, is an oddly sympathetic character. Yes, the film contains some scenes that many will find sick and depraved, but it also contains some truly haunting images.

    There is a certain warmth beneath all that goo! Along the way, we are treated to many scenes of mutilation and depravity, as only Frank Henenlotter can deliver. This movie does supply emotion, and is very touching at the end. Gus Russo supplies the soundtrack for this movie. When you see the end of 'Basket Case', Gus Russo's music blends in beautifully with the scene and makes this scene very sad. Oh, and the setting is worth the watch as well when NYC was gritty and infested with drugs and prostitutes. However, it is an interesting idea. There were moments in this movie that were so funny that I don't think were meant to be.

    Some of the characters are over the top. There were some scenes particularly the really bad stop-animation scenes that made me wince in their low quality. One thing is for certain though - this is a one-of-a-kind horror experience. I would say that any horror fan should have this in their collection, if you don't already.

    Collector's booklet with new writing on the film by Michael Gingold www. In the city of Dakota, a teenage boy with electricity based powers, with the help of his inventive friend, fights crime as a superhero! But a Batman and Alfred assist is waiting in the wings. And with that in mind, one of the best things about this show is how real life topics such as school shootings and gangs are easily worked into the plot without feeling fake.

    The stories feel relatable. Other topics include racism, judging by appearance, the loss of a family member, and more. Virgil and Richie make the best friends duo work without coming across as cheesy or unreal, and they both deal with the problems they face maturely. As with this 13 episode third season of the DC animated series and the two that have gone before it, what I absolutely love the most about this show is the crossover episodes they have with other DC characters like Batman, Robin, the Justice League, and even Batman Beyond.

    Simply put, 'Static Shock' is good stuff and as much as I know the series only ran for one more season, I had hoped that one day he crosses over into other media forms; outside the comics or the animated series. But, he never did, of course. In closing, 'Static Shock - Season Three' as an animated series has all kind of cool Meta-humans that us comic fans can't get enough of, and Phil Lamar's voice work is genius! These are all Widescreen Presentations 1.

    A spaceship returns from deep space to find the Earth in The Aftermath of a nuclear and biological war.

    Murder Before the Bell (Rick Podowski and The Hefty Trio

    The streets are filled with mutated survivors feeding off the weak and a Manson-like figure called Cutter, Sid Haig, The Devil's Rejects , House of Corpses , Jackie Brown is reigning terror down on all others. Cutter and his gang of mercenary thugs are systematically murdering all the male survivors and enslaving women and children.

    What follows is a cat and mouse game of violent and spectacular proportions with no less than Earth's survival in the balance. I don't care about budget and technical limitations. I'd rather focus on the feel and the honesty of the work. And in this field, 'The Aftermath' really shines. The history and characters easily overlook the obvious low budget restrictions and put to shame many higher budget counterparts. The premise is that there are three astronauts come back to Earth after a long space mission, just to find it destroyed by nuclear war.

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    One of them dies on the spaceship forced landing, and the other two must find their way through the new and haunting reality of a nuked world; facing radiation, mutants, marauders and the lack of hope for the future. The dialog, acting and the action scenes are somewhat laughable, but no one can deny the fact that there's an obvious labor of love beneath each take.

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    OTOH, inventive altough simplistic visual effects, a huge and loud soundtrack and the voice-over only adds to the bleak atmosphere. There are effective sequences like the radioactive rain, the dead city landscapes and the corpses on the beach, but overall you get exactly what you paid your money for, trust me.

    Highly recommended, if not only for a young er Sid Haig, 'The Aftermath' is one of those movies that sat and watched today makes you smile and know that the world will be ok In my humble opinion, Robert Altman's engrossing drama 'Images' stands alone in his vast collection of directorial achievements. Though he directed other intense dramas, this opus of unsettling psychological intrigue is about as far as one can get from his more familiar fare of offbeat comedies populated by equally offbeat characters.

    In a landmark performance that garnered her a best actress award at Cannes, Susannah York portrays Catherine, a troubled soul who desperately tries to escape her innate demons and memories of past relationships. Increasingly, reality and fantasy start to blur as Catherine develops a coping mechanism she thinks will solve her mental dilemmas. Unfortunately, there's an inherent danger in her method's madness.

    Also, 'Images' was beautifully filmed in Ireland by master cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, and veteran composer John Williams provided the score. In closing, many have referred to 'Images' as a portrait, even Altman himself, and I can think of no more accurate description. In many ways, it is a series of portraits; shards of a broken mirror that are haphazardly put back together.

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    Fot it's one of the most haunting and obscure films of the '70s, brimming with atmosphere, lush cinematography, and truly effective recreations of the schizophrenic mind. Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Carmen Gray and an extract from Altman on Altman www. One of the US Air Force's most modern tactical aircraft, an F Aardvark with a new laser guidance system, crashes into the sea near Malta - a region where the Soviet forces are highly present, too. The CIA immediately sends out their best secret agent, Ken Tami, to salvage the system before it falls into enemy hands.

    Sure, yes, 'Black Eagle' sounds like an excellent name for an excellent action film! This movie has it all - aviation, fighting, being a spy, etc. Now those are the essential parts to an awesome action film, am I wrong. Anyhoo, this was the rage back in the day when it came out, and although this movie has lost this power today, it's still worth watching.

    Jean Claude Van Damme had barely begun making a name for himself. He was less well-known than Sho Kosugi, with whom he had to share top billing. What is of interest is Van Damme's interpreation of a Red bad guy. This was not his first appearance as a Russian fighter. When Van Damme plays the heavy, he is somehow more threatening, more lethal than when he is the punching bag good guy. One of his best moments in this or any of his other actioners occurs when he is not fighting at all. He is seen as merely talking to his wife who is genuinely concerned for his safety.

    Their verbal interaction marks him as distinctly human as they ponder his looming fate. Further his aggressive fight scenes with Kosugi are first rate. Martial Arts Legend HD, Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.

    Image crispness and clarity receive an obvious boost, and the picture enjoys the fruits of the added resolution in terms of bringing out extremely fine facial and clothing textures, which in comparison leaves the Blu-ray looking almost smooth and flat. Importantly especially in a movie like this with so many young singer close ups, the skin tones enjoy heightened depth and accuracy with nuanced diversity of both natural tones and applied makeup. Indeed, it truly is masterful what they have done to this movie as it is now presented in a vivid man is it vivid!

    The audio department get a standing ovation and this is the strongest DTS: X sound mix I've heard thus far on these new formats. As for the movie itself, well, in truth, and as one might well expect, 'Pitch Perfect 3' is your typical musical for teenage girls. Not a particularly good film, but a most definitely enjoyable one filled with silly but humorous jokes, and witty dialogue.

    In fact, the plot of 'Pitch Perfect 3' is so ridiculous and boring, but the comedy factor manages to make up for it. Supplying the audience with constant laughs, particularly from Fat Amy played hilariously by Rebel Wilson; who can be irritating at some points, which is truthfully where the film suffers, most scenes involving her are usually the best moments.

    The lead character Beca, played wonderfully by the excellent Anna Kendrick, is also a high point in the film.

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    Kendrick manages to carry the rest of the cast and stand above them all due to the sassy, smart, but adorably innocent character she plays. She's someone the audience can root for, and is easily likeable. However, a lot of the supporting characters aren't quite as pleasant or loveable! Kay Cannon's script is of average quality, but entertainingly witty. Some lines of dialogue are more cringe worthy than Anakin and Padme's romance in 'Attack of the Clones' and that's saying something! The direction is, again, average but the pacing is surprisingly flawless. There isn't one point that feels dragged or rushed, and the flow stays very consistent throughout.

    With a minimal runtime of just 93 minutes, there isn't much time for slow story building and development like, say, 'Blade Runner ', but you couldn't expect much more from a film like this. Like I said, the performances from the supporting cast are mediocre at best, but, once again, you wouldn't expect Oscar worthy portrayals in a teen musical like this one anyway. The cast work well with what they've got, but you can tell they have great chemistry and obviously enjoy working together.

    The cinematography is unnoticeable, which would make it average, and just blends in. No IMAX mind-blowing wide shots or expert special effects, but maybe that's a good thing. There aren't any mind-numbing distractions, so you can just enjoy the bare bones simplistic structure, and there's nothing wrong with that at all. Because it's a musical, it's going to contain music and dance. Well I'm no singing expert, but it seemed alright to me. Some of the songs were embarrassing and plain cringe worthy, but you can't bash the effort the actors put into the routine, which displays their dedication, and just proves they want to make sure the audience have an exciting time.

    There really was no reason for him to be there, and literally doesn't develop the plot in any way, and only has some relevance in the last fifteen minutes. This is one of those movies that would be considered a guilty pleasure. You know it's not a great film, or the best of the year, nor does it try to be. However, there is so much fun to be had with 'Pitch Perfect 3', a film chock full to the brim with light-hearted humor galore. As for a closer look at some of the Special Features, the first one I delved into was 'Gag Reel', which is, as expected, chock full of the young ladies fluffing lines and breaking down into fits of high pitched giggles!

    That said, the whole 20 seconds of John Lithgow "dancing" is well worth its weight in cinematic gold! The batch of both 'New and Extended Musical Performances' garnered from the show and the cutting room floor enhance the tale of the movie, for sure, but don't do more than bring us a massive old school MTV moment. However, 'The Women of Pitch Perfect 3' featurette is definitely empowering and showcases each principal member of the just perfectly.

    They all get their time to shine, their individual spotlight's well deserved, one and all. Finally in this round up is 'Don't Mess with Rebel,' where for nearly five minutes we get to meet the lady herself - along with all her hidden personalities! A joy from start to finish, it's infectious watching and listening to this gal explain in her own way some of the film's action scenes, etc. Additional music not seen in the film.

    Aubrey at Amy's Hotel Door. A discussion of the movie's "Riff-Off" and how the competition is different in this film as well as a closer look at the new bands that appear in the film. A discussion of the "campy" Bond-inspired music piece titled "Toxic. A look at how the series empowers women and the female talent that makes the movies happen.

    A humorous piece that looks at the film's action scenes and Rebel Wilson's work therein. DJ Khaled p, 3: A look at the real-world superstar's appearance in the film. John and Gail p, 2: A short peek at the film's silly documentarian characters. John Lithgow's character and work in the film are explored. Making the movie's final musical number. Director Trish Sie delivers a fine track that covers the film's structure and tone, technical tidbits and filmmaking anecdotes, character arcs, plot details, performances, shooting locations, music, and much more.

    Fans will find this an agreeable audio companion to the film. Producers Paul Brooks and Max Handelman offer a fine supporting commentary that's a little less fluid and engaging than the previous but one still filled with an nice array of basic insight.

    Mauricio Ochmann and Aislinn Derbez star in this hilarious comedy about a man whose world is turned upside down after his best friend, and future brother-in-law, announces he's gay. Straight from the off, and before you even proceed to watch this film, you should know that both Aislinn Derbez and Mauricio Ochmann play the roles of brother and sister when, in real life, they are actually married to each other! Trust me, it makes all the difference knowing that and seeing the performance put on by Mauricio thereafter!

    He does a stellar job at being the gay man here and as much as his friends may well start off as annoying and one-minded, they too meld into his way of thinking nicely. A dark comedy is what I would like to term it, chock full of sexual humor throughout. Some of it, being that it's inner core is about a gay man, might be too much for some, but at the end of the day, the movie is cute, funny, dark, and yet enjoyable from start to finish. Everyone knows of William Tell: Few know the heroic circumstances surrounding the event. Now, the legendary tale of William Tell s struggle for freedom is captured in Crossbow.

    Robert Forester, Harry Carey Jr. Fourteenth Century Europe is the majestic backdrop as William Tell and his son Matthew are imprisoned by the tyrannical Gessler. As governor of Austria, Gessler plans to stop the Swiss uprising against him by capturing Tell, the leader of the resistance. But there is no stopping William Tell s legendary strength and skill. His struggle for freedom and revenge lead him to dashing battles, amazing escapes, heroic rescues and finally, a climactic confrontation with the evil Gessler. Now out for the very first time ever in its series entirety on DVD, all 72 episodes are spread across all 3 seasons and brought forth over 6 discs!

    The only trouble it had was that being produced back in , it was considered just too similar to the highly successful 'Robin of Sherwood' TV series that had just finished its run in June of that very same year. Thus, 'William Tell,' as it was called in the UK, was shown at primetime in Summer and just didn't get the viewing figures. Which is a shame as, in truth, it's actually a rather sumptuously filmed, and quality production that comes complete with a stunning soundtrack. Filmed in France and Europe, the similarities with its British cousin 'RoS' were obviously just too much, but that said, the actors were perfect for the roles!

    Again, for my money, the soundtrack - composed by Stanislas Syrewicz - is as good as they come for this era of filming, and the story lines were all as good as each other. There was always a lot of action, some great stunts, but never too much real OTT violence - which I think was very important at the time, given the fact that children and young teens were starting to watch the show. In Volume 3 of this wonderful series from Hammer Films we get 'Maniac' An American painter has an affair with a bar owner in a French village and agrees to help her murderer husband escape from a prison for the criminally insane and 'Die!

    Four years earlier, the teen-aged Annette was raped on her way home from school and her father, Georges, institutionalized for taking an acetylene torch to her assailant. Eve soon convinces Geoff to help her husband, now a local hero, escape from the insane asylum but, once free, a frightening series of events makes it look like Georges was a homicidal maniac after all.

    In the wake of 'Psycho', England's Hammer Studios made a few black and white "mini-Hitchcock" thrillers that tried to emulate the Master of Suspense. Indeed, 'Paranoiac', 'Maniac' and 'Hysteria' all featured real or imagined madness, murder, sex, and deception - along with numerous plot twists - to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with varying degrees of success. There's a stark, creepy, noir-like quality to 'Maniac' and the unseen rape, torture and murder in the beginning is quite disturbing.

    The location shooting in the isolated region of the French Camargue is a decided asset and the compelling story, written by Jimmy Sangster, includes a number of suspenseful sequences before a surprise revelation that is near impossible to see coming. That's right, Tallulah Bankhead, in her last screen performance, shows us one more time that she was a consummate actress when given the opportunity to perform. Every moment of hers is precious as she plays a woman that has driven her son from home by her excessive religious fanaticism and is now coping with his death.

    She is visited by a woman, played by Stephanie Powers, that was engaged to her son. The dialogue and interaction between Miss Bankhead and Miss Powers is wonderful as Bankhead cuts her speech off and hams it up almost in a sedate yet effective manner. Powers soon becomes a forced guest as Tallulah tries and "cleanse" her soul. Watching Tallulah read Biblical passages, sermonize on the evils of the flesh, and gently yet forcefully decay into a state of histrionics is delightful to watch. My God, that woman could act! The rest of the cast is effective with Donald Sutherland in a satisfactory yet forgettable role as a dim-witted servant.

    Solid direction, claustrophobic settings, and good production values all add up to some good old-fashioned fun! In Volume 4 of this wonderful series from Hammer Films we get 'Never Take Candy From a Stranger' A serious and horrifying chiller about a small town terrorized by an elderly child molester luring young girls into his mansion with sweets, but no official will stop the perverse man because of his powerful family until it's too late. And 'Scream of Fear' A young wheelchair-bound woman returns to her father's estate to find he's away on business, but she keeps seeing his dead body in various places.

    Her stepmother and other house guests employ a plan to drive her insane and take her inheritance. Hammer made all kinds of films. This film is especially terrifying if you are the parent of a child under A new family moves into town, the father taking up post as the new schoolmaster. Their young daughter makes friends with a local girl and all seems well. But this town hides a decades old secret.

    As with many small towns there is one family that is the town patriarch.

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    The family that has their hands in every pie in town. And this patriarchal family wields their power like a hammer. They also have a family member with problems that they expect the town to turn a deaf ear to. Felix Aylmer, a wonderful British character actor gives a sit on the edge of your seat performance as the creepy Clarence Elderberry, Sr. Without being explicit, gory, or using foul language, Hammer presents a gut wrenchingly terrifying film that also serves as a timely public service announcement!

    Another great one to watch on a cold, dark, stormy afternoon. This movie will stick with you and make you ever aware of your children's whereabouts. Crippled Susan Strasberg goes to France to visit her father who she hasn't seen in 9 years and her new stepmother Ann Todd. When she gets there she's told her father is away on business.

    Suddenly, she starts seeing her father's dead body all over the house--but no one else does. Is she going mad or is her stepmother trying to drive her crazy and swindle her out of her inheritance? Handsome chauffeur Ronald Lewis tries to help her find out. The plot is old and some of the twists have become predictable since , but this is still a very good suspense film.

    It's well-acted, there are some very scary moments I jumped three times and it's imaginatively directed in eerie black and white by Seth Holt. A scene done in a pool is downright horrifying. An early Hammer horror film that's been unfairly neglected. Also, there's an interesting scene with Lewis in a very skimpy bathing suit--surprising for its time and especially for Hammer-- they usually pushed female sexuality, not male. In truth, it benefits from being shot in black and white, the acting is very good from all the cast, and there are some scary moments; the aforementioned swimming pool being an obvious one.

    But when their hobby becomes a business, the success shreds their friendship. The Z-Boys were a group of Venice Beach teenagers who, in the 's, pioneered a whole new style of skateboarding that is still popular today and which earned the boys status as instant international celebrities at least within the tightly circumscribed world of skating. In , one of the original members of the group, Steve Peralta, wrote and directed a documentary on the boys entitled "Dogtown and Z-Boys," which featured interviews with many of the original members of the group. Then, in , a "fictionalized" version of the story came along, 'Lords of Dogtown,' also written by Peralta, but this time directed by Catherine Hardwicke.

    It's understandable that in her approach to the material Hardwicke would want to preserve as much as possible the roughhewn, documentary flavor of the original. Thus, virtually the entire movie has been shot on grainy film stock using a hand-held camera, which creates a sense of immediacy and spontaneity, and nicely approximates the look of the time period in which the story is set.

    The best scenes involve the boys performing harrowing, death-defying stunts, as they glide through and around pedestrians and vehicles along the traffic-clogged streets of their Southern California neighborhood. However, this impressionistic style also means that the narrative is often diffuse and unfocused, making it hard for us to distinguish one character from another and to know just who we should be concentrating on at any given moment. The ostensible protagonist seems to be Peralta himself, although it is roughly 45 minutes into the film's running time before even that simple fact becomes apparent.

    However, about halfway through the film, the dramatic elements finally begin to come together, we get to know some of the boys as individuals, and the movie ends on a genuinely touching note. In the rare moments when the camera actually manages to settle down and an individual scene is allowed to play itself out, we begin to sense that some of the boys playing the skaters may actually have some real talent as actors we can certainly see that they are damn fine skaters , and a few of them I suspect we will be hearing from again in the not too distant future.

    In a non-skating role, Heath Ledger plays a sort of mentor to the boys and the owner of the surf shop which served as the launching pad for the movement. Who could have foretold from his work here that he had THAT up his sleeve? In closing, and here on this brand new Blu-ray release of it via Mill Creek Entertainment, 'Lords of Dogtown' is moderately informative to those who know next to nothing about the history of skateboarding, but I imagine it is the true aficionado of the sport who will get the most enjoyment out of the movie.

    If anyone can claim the essence of the true warrior spirit, the one who sacrifices and fights for the greater good of his comrades, and the greater good of his country, it is the American sniper. The sniper, first and foremost, is a hunter. None have embraced this world better than the American sniper. For my money, 'Legend of the American Sniper' is an extremely well done documentary of how snipers are trained for both the military and police departments.

    It gets straight up into the physical and mental capabilities and how they deal with their first kills. That said, the mainstay of the documentary can be a wee bit overwhelming, chock full of the same things being said, just in different way and from different people, but it's all a matter of perspective. There are primarily six ex-snipers who are interviewed here and, as mentioned, they all kinda sorta same the same stuff.

    Sure, this might be a film that is of little interest to some, but to others that want to know the type of individual that completes this training and serves their county how they should be honored will find it very interesting. A terrorist is apprehended in an airport, but before he is caught, he throws away a handgun that was previously used in an assassination. After he is released, he obsessively seeks out the gun, which has by now been found and sold to Walter James Gandolfini , a security guard who takes it home to his wife Rosanna Arquette to protect herself when he is on the night shift.

    After various events which I will refrain from spoiling , the gun ends up in a pawnshop. From there, it finds its way to the next vignette. It next belongs to the president of a country club in the Deep South. When he is bitten by a rattlesnake while on the golf course and dies, the gun is lost in the tall grass. His wife Daryl Hannah seems oblivious to all this and contents herself by cooking the favorite recipes of dead presidents.

    Suddenly, pieces of the gun are being received in packages addressed to all the president's lovers leading to his wife's discovery of his indiscretions. The first story is a well-crafted drama that draws the viewer in with two storylines, one following the terrorist and the other following Walter's wife Lily. The second vignette is a short story by Robert Altman, which is an imbecilic farce. It is not clear how these two short films were pasted together. I can only guess that the first story was not commercially viable due to its short length. The acting in the first vignette was excellent.

    Gandolfini does his NYC working class shtick to perfection, strutting his corpulent Italian stuff around the set like a bloated stallion. Rosanna Arquette is equally good, playing the bored NYC housewife to the hilt and delivering a surprisingly accurate performance including an excellent New York accent. The second vignette had a good deal of recognizable talent, but nothing even remotely intelligent for them to say or do. The dialogue and story were so bad that it is hard to understand why these veteran actors would want to be associated with the project.

    Maybe Altman had some kind of damaging evidence against them. To their credit, Randy Quaid and Jennifer Tilly made the best of a bad situation and delivered a couple of comical moments amid the mindlessness. Murray Abraham, Samuel L. Nine action-packed features in adrenaline pumping high definition. The plot concerns this kid Daniel Madigan. He leads a pretty poor life and the only good thing that happens in it is that he gets to go to the movies to watch his favourite movie s , Jack Slater with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He finds a golden ticket and travels into one such movie: He also witness a whole array of unrealistic characters, including an animated cat and Robert Patrick AKA Liquid Terminator from Terminator 2 , as well as the stereotypical screaming boss.

    Let's not forget the big explosions and loud noises that always take centerstage in action movies. Then I also liked 'S. Thrown into a desk job when his partner Gamble disobeys orders and shoots a hostage, Jim Street bides his time waited beside being demeaned on a daily basis. When the commissioner brings in old school SWAT leader hondo to put together a young outfit, Street is offered to chance to retrain with the select team and is soon back on duty. Meanwhile a man is pulled over by a black and white for a broken rear light, but is found to be a drug baron.

    SWAT soon have much to content with and must ensure that Montel does not escape. So if you are prepared for lots of running with guns, noise and macho posturing, then this should be enough to satisfy you here, trust me. Three pilots taking part in a secret military program are assigned to train a jet plane piloted by artificial intelligence in various air manoeuvres, but the program hits a snag when the plane develops its own warped consciousness, and it starts causing mayhem.

    Unfortunately, the film isn't very entertaining. That said, I know films like 'Stealth' are supposed to be mindless fun and aren't supposed to be Oscar winners. So on that level alone this is a winner all ends up! In this high-octane action film, three climbers make stupid decisions at 26, feet, en route to the summit of K2, the world's second highest mountain. The climber's peril thus necessitates a rescue, which puts additional people on the mountain and at risk of dying.

    The story is thus fairly thin, but the filmmakers insert all kinds of natural and human obstacles, conflict, and difficulties to rev up the action and excitement. The film's CGI creates compelling tension. We have the illusion of vertical scale, or perspective, which translates into a needed sense of vertigo.

    So this month we are going to revisit Erin's recipes for two Irish pies. Bake the pies in advance and serve them with The restaurant building has housed eating est The dishes are from the Italian, Polish, Irish and Mexican heritages of the group. Below are four food and wine pairings from Murder Before The Bel This week we are going to revisit three easy to make fish dishes that are great to take to a potluck.

    Lick on the title to see the recipe and the wine pairing. Consider a Merlot or a Meritage for this dish. Serves 6 5 pounds lamb shoulder chops 20 baby red