First Look at the ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99’ Poster

The brand new poster and upcoming release date for Brawl in Cell Block 99 was announced. The film stars Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter and Don Johnson. Here is the synopsis and look at the poster.

Synopsis: A former boxer named Bradley loses his job as an auto mechanic, and his troubled marriage is about to expire.  At this crossroads in his life, he feels that he has no better option than to work for an old buddy as a drug courier.  This vocation improves his situation until the terrible day that he finds himself in a gunfight between a group of police officers and his own ruthless allies.  When the smoke clears, Bradley is badly hurt and thrown in prison, where his enemies force him to commit acts of violence that turn the place into a savage battleground.

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Brawl in Cell Block 99 will release in theaters on October 6 and On Demand & Digital HD on October 13, 2017

For more, you can follow me on Twitter @TheJimAlexander

Planes, Trains and Automobiles 30th Anniversary

The Steve Martin and John Candy comedy classic Planes, Trains and Automobiles is coming to Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD for its 30th Anniversary release on October 10. This is a true classic and a personal Thanksgiving Holiday classic. I’m excited for the special features.

Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Retrospective on John Hughes’ career that includes interviews with those who worked with him and explores his indelible impact as a writer and filmmaker
  • “Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains And Automobiles
  • “John Hughes For Adults”
  •  A tribute to John Candy
  •  Deleted scene

Planes, Trains and Automobiles 30th Anniversary releases on October 10 on Blu-ray Combo Pack & DVD

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Blu-ray Release Date Announcement

So the one big movie of the summer I missed seeing is Transformers: The Last Knight. I won’t have to wait much longer as it was just announced that the film will be coming to 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on September 26. If you want to catch it earlier, you can see it on Digital HD on September 12.

I’m looking forward to seeing those special features on the Blu-ray:

Special Features:

  • Merging Mythologies – Explore the secret TRANSFORMERS history
  • Climbing the Ranks – Military training
  • The Royal Treatment: Transformers in the UK
  • Motors and Magic
  • Alien Landscape: Cybertron
  • One More Giant Effin’ Movie

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival Recap

Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival took place at the Music box Theater in Chicago, Illinois from August 3-11. I was able to attend this festival for the first time this year (it’s been running for 8 years). On my night of attendance there was a special Independent Filmmaker Achievement Award presentation to Rory Uphold.

The night featured three shorts and a documentary feature film.

Wintry Spring (short): From director Mohamed Kamel, this 15 min short from Egypt tells the story of a schoolgirl who lives with her father and experiences puberty for the first time. It explores the father-daughter relationship and the tension that arises due to her circumstance. Good subtle acting performances. An interesting exploration of a father-daughter dynamic.

Lunch Time (short): From director Alireza Ghasemi, this 15 min short from Islamic Republic of Iran tells the story of a 16-year-old girl arriving at a hospital to identify the body of her mother. This was an interesting movie, but also bizarre at the same time. There was a cringe worthy moment that changed the perspective of the film and the main character.

Fish (short): From director Saman Hosseinpuor, this 4 minute short tells the story of a woman who must find a creative way to save her fish after she drops her fish bowl. It’s a quick story of an older couple that sure will make you chuckle at the ending moment.

Two Worlds (feature doc): The highlight of the night was director Maciej Adamek’s feature documentary film. It depicts the story of a 12-year-old Polish girl Laura who is a guide through the life of her deaf parents. This is a phenomenal story and film. More on that coming in my review of the film.

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the other nights of the festival, but from what I experienced it was very well put together. Founder Michael P. Noens and Community Relations Coordinator Ashley Alysa Schiavone have organized this event in a fantastic way. The showcase of quality foreign films that you might not be able to see otherwise unless you’re in the country of origin. I appreciated the access and opportunity. Every night had a filmmaker there in attendance introducing their film and providing a Q&A.

This was the first year this festival was presented in a premiere city location, as well as the first time at the Music Box Theater. I’m expecting this festival to grow and gain following in the coming years. I can say that I was already exposed to a unique film that I view as a gem.

Check out the following links more information on the Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival 

Twitter: @BlueWhiskeyFF

Baywatch Home Release & Lifeguard Appreciation Day

August 10 was national Lifeguard Appreciation Day.

This weekend the United States Lifesaving Association’s 2017 National Lifeguard Championships are taking place in Daytona Beach August 9-12, 2017.

More than 1,000 of the nation’s finest lifeguards will take part in the 2017 USLA National Lifeguard Championships in Daytona Beach.  This three-day event celebrates the incredible fitness, endurance and dedication of the country’s lifeguards.

The movie Baywatch starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron and featuring a special cameo by David Hasselhoff will release on an extended version on Digital HD August 15 and on Blu-ray/DVD August 29.

Must-See July Home Movie Releases

July marks the middle of summer and for movie lovers this marks the strongest month of the theatrical summer movie season. As far as the home entertainment movie releases this year has proved to be a strong July. Below is a list of the Blu-ray/DVD, VOD and limited theatrical releases you should see.

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS:

This franchise isn’t slowing down. The eight installment is action packed and fun. The stunts are bigger than ever and the stakes are higher. Fan favorite Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) goes rogue and it leaves the rest of the team to go up against him and the villainous Charlize Theron. Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson electrify (no pun intended, Rock). Sadly Paul Walker is gone, but the franchise is still in good hands with more big name stars coming aboard. There are a couple big reveals also. The franchise fans should love it and any fan of action also. There are a ton of special features on the Blu-ray

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‘The Fate of the Furious’ is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, Digital HD and VOD

Stardust TV/Movie App Is A Must Get

Last week I was introduced to to this new app called Stardust (iPhone & Android). I had never heard of this app and wasn’t sure what it was all about, besides the fact that it was used to record movie reactions. If Instagram and Snapchat merged and had a movie theme to it then this would be the app. So I checked the site out and here are my positives and negatives:

PROS:

Ease of use 

There is no denying that one of the best features about this app is the ease of use and quickness. It’s very basic in usage (good thing). You don’t need any tutorial, soon as you log in you’re a few buttons away from posting your videos.

Once you download the app (21.5 MB) on your iPhone or Android device (mine was iPhone) you are prompted with signing in with Facebook or manually filling out your name, email, date of birth. Next you are asked to pick a username. Then you just turn on notifications for the use of camera and sound. Once that step is complete, you’re good to go. Simple, easy and takes up less than 5 minutes to set up.

You can search for and invite your friends to join the app, that way you can keeps tabs on when or if they post their reactions.

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Options

The app has a limited, yet effective amount of options. Aside from recording your video reaction to a movie there are other options on the app:

  • Trending Movies & Shows: List of recent and most trendy movies and shows that are being talked about. If you log on now it’s definitely titles such as: Dunkirk, Spider-Man, Planet of the Apes, Game of Thrones, etc. This is what a casual fan would like to see and it’s available to you on the top of the home screen.
  • Trending Reactions: These are the reaction videos from fans and critics to the films that are currently trending.
  • Now in Theaters: Instead of heading over to Fandango, Flixster, Imdb, etc., you can just check out all and get the info on all current movies in theaters.
  • New Trailers: Instead of searching the web or going to YouTube for new movie trailers, you can view them on the app. There is a section for it and easy swipe scroll to view a new trailer of your choosing.
  • Coming Soon: Once again you don’t have to search the web for upcoming movie releases, Stardust lists the upcoming theatrical releases by date and week of the release. Convenient and easy swipe will show you all the options.
  • Season Premieres: For all you TV show lovers this option lists all the recent, current and upcoming TV show season premieres.
  • New Episodes: A list for the most recent television show episode releases.

With all the above options, you just click on the section and check out the info, details and can post a reaction video to the show episode or film.

Bookmark

Once you select a particular show or movie you are able to post a reaction or add it to your watchlist. You can also see the trailer of the show/film and see the rating for it from your fellow Stardusters (that’s what they call them). I really like the option it gives you to view the film by showing you all the streaming services you can purchase to view it on and directly linking you to them.

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CONS:

Video Timing:

So depends on what way you look at it, as far as the amount of time you have to record your reaction video, it’s fairly short. You are given the option of recording a video between 3-30 seconds. Yes, 3 seconds! I can barely say the title of the show or movie in that span, unless you just wanna say “It sucks!”. While 30 seconds isn’t bad, having the option of one minute would be ideal. You don’t want quick reactions to linger so a time limit of 10-60 seconds would be the way to go.

VERDICT:

I believe that Stardust is an outstanding app for movie lovers. It gives you an opportunity to share your reaction with fellow movie lovers. I also loved the fact that aside from movies and shows, there was an option to react to the most recent WWE PPV. As a fan of WWE that’s awesome to incorporate the sports entertainment aspect alongside movies and shows. The search toolbar allows you to search for something specific, which is quick and to the point.

The ease of use of this app can’t go unnoticed. Personally I get turned off or discouraged with apps that are hard to navigate and figure out. I had this issue with Snapchat. This app is so user friendly that it’s a huge part of its appeal.

You don’t have to turn to critic such as myself (although I encourage you still do) with an app like this. You can get a variety of thoughts from actual people. You see their reaction without just having to rely on words and comments. If they are excited, you’ll know. If they are disappointed, you’ll know and see.

I highly encourage you to download this app. It takes up little space on your phone and it’s a quick, easy and effective way to share your immediate thoughts on a movie the minute you get out of the theater. Next time you don’t have to wait hours to hear and share your reaction to your favorite show, you just open up Stardust and let it fly. I believe this app will become a big deal, so hop on and enjoy it right now so you can say you were there from the start.

Stardust Rating: 9/10

You can follow me on Twitter @JimRko and @thereeltalker