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Upgrade ups the ante on low-budget thrills

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Rating: ««« out of ««««

Running Time: 95 minutes

It’s tough competing with the big studios, who have far more money and production services at their disposal. So, it’s great anytime that a small film tires to compete against the majors and comes out on top. Such is the case with Upgrade, a small, independent...

DVD/Blu-ray Roundup for June 1, 2018

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Time for another look at highlights arriving on Blu-ray and DVD. There are some interesting features arriving that are both new and old. So, if you can’t make it out to the movies this week, be sure to give one of these titles a try!

BIG NEW RELEASES!

Annihilation - Based on the first book in the Southern Reach Trilogy, this science-fiction tale involves the sudden appearance of a hidden portal that sends travelers into a land where the laws of nature don’t apply. When her husband disappears into the zone and returns home changed, a biologist decides to venture in with a team and investigate the phenomena for themselves. Reaction towards this eccentric tale was...

Solo: A Star Wars Story succeeds courtesy of its distinctive characters

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Rating: ««« out of ««««

Running Time: 135 minutes

Much like the Marvel comic universe, it has gotten to the point where we can now expect a new Star Wars movie every year or so. Coming from the minority perspective of a person who enjoyed but has not been overly enthralled by the re-launch of the series, this reviewer felt some trepidation about yet another feature arriving in cinemas. Surprisingly, Solo: A Star Wars Story actually stands as something of an anomaly. While it’s too long for its own good and does run out of gas by the close, this episode worked for this reviewer more effectively than all of the recent features in the series.

This tale details the back story of...

Deadpool 2 lampoons the Marvel formula

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Rating: ««« out of ««««

Running Time: 119 minutes

Two years ago, the R-rated superhero flick Deadpool stormed the box office and surprised many movie analysts with a comical, adult-themed (and somewhat crass) take on the Marvel formula. However, it’s always difficult to recapture the same kind of magic with an immediate follow-up. Thankfully, Deadpool 2 is pretty decent as far as sequels go. Yes, it brings more of the same and takes some time to get moving, but it does find its rhythm and incorporates a few new elements that make it distinctive in its own right.

The story begins with Wade Wilson/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) describing a series of terrible events that have led...

Life of the Party squeezes out some chuckles

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Rating: «« out of ««««

Running Time: 105 min.

Actress Melissa McCarthy and husband/director Ben Falcone have teamed up a couple of times in the past with the comedies Tammy and The Boss. Personally, neither of them worked for me, but they did well enough at the box office to inspire another feature. Life of the Party is the team’s latest collaboration. It isn’t particularly strong either, but is a slight improvement over their previous films. There are plenty of quiet stretches, but it does eke out a couple of big laughs over its running time thanks to a talented cast.

Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) is proud but slightly saddened to be saying goodbye to daughter Maddie (Molly...

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