GRINDHOUSE CHANNEL by Developer Xaphan Entertainment LLC- Supposedly a free Roku Channel, when you actually try to watch something what it really does is flood you with ads prior to giving you an unremovable option to install their paid channel. So the free programming never comes up.
Just a horrendous excuse for a channel. First the ads should come up a good 20 minutes into the film you have seolected, not prior to it, and the forced prompt to their paid channel and delays is inexcusable. Avoid this channel at all costs.
They have a website, but their site is as unhelpful and difficult as their channel. Grade:Worthless, and a waste of time.
Let Us Prey
2014 NR 92m
Director: Brian O’Malley
Cast: Liam Cunningham, Pollyanna McIntosh
Well made, well photographed, with an infectious score and an insidious, and dire look at evil and more than evil. Reminds me a bit of the wonderful Jeff Goldblum thriller MR. FROST.
Watch this instead of mediocre films such as XMOOR, THE BLOOD LANDS, DEAD WITHIN, FROM THE DARK, MOCKINGBIRD, THE BABADOOK. And other recommended films to try are: LATE PHASES, AN AMERICAN GHOST STORY, PONTYPOOL, FRANKENSTEIN’s ARMY, BLOOD GLACIER, BYZANTUM, THE SUICIDE THEORY.
Grade: Worth Buying
Director: Brian O’Malley
Lot’s of places on the web are catching my attention this weekend, among them…
FERGUSON THEATER- By Pulp Writer Derrick Ferguson features reviews of the films that are catching his attention these days, and helps introduce me to things to try. I like that he covers films that I may have missed or not put on my radar; and further he gives these eloquent dissertations on why the covered material works or fails to.
Some recent highlights for me his thumbs down on Tarsem Singh’s SELF/LESS (I think Tarsem Singh is a visually stunning and experimental director, but is unable to add to those visuals a coherent or compelling story).
I also quite like Ferguson Theater’s take on why Josh Trank’s FANTASTIC FOUR failed. I haven’t seen the movie, and have no real rush to see it; the trailers and posters alone just did not add up to good. I do find funny, for all the hoopla about casting, that Michael B. Jordan as the HUMAN TORCH, across the board it seems, is the only bit of casting that did work.
Also, it is so interesting to hear Josh Trank and Kevin Smith on Smith’s podcast FATMAN ON BATMAN for three weeks pontificate, and really have a little love fest, on the upcoming FANTASTIC FOUR movie, then when the movie comes out Josh Trank does not return to do the fourth planned episode. Go listen to those episodes, it is an interesting insight into how someone can feel themselves on the right track, and ultimately end up so far off the mark.
And FT also puts on my “must see” radar, the films SOMETIMES SALVATION and MACKED, HAMMERED, SLAUGHTERED AND SHAFTED. As a huge fan of David Walker’s defunct magazine BADASS MOFO (and congrats on David Walker’s recent success in the comic book scene) I’ll be buying the DVD of MHSS as soon as it is available.
But yeah, Derrick Ferguson’s FERGUSON’S THEATER is filled with such captivating observations on films old, new, and overlooked. Check it out for yourself at the link below.
This week’s best and worst Roku VOD Streaming Channels!
The two pay channels of NETFLIX and AMAZON PRIME, without any surprise I think, come highly recommended, and were I to guess, they probably make up most of Roku’s streaming traffic.
Netflix for its growing empire of original programming (including DAREDEVIL, HOUSE OF CARDS) and selection of hotter in demand movies is a must-have channel for anyone.
AMAZON PRIME for its wealth of movie content, and a good number of older shows that are not available on NETFLIX, comes in a close second in terms of must have streaming channels.
Those are the only paid streaming channels I have or recommend.
The rest are no-cost, ad-supported, channels. Some of these are worth your time, many of them are not.
The one’s that are hits this week are:
Why? Well, good selection of older films and eclectic shows, mostly solid quality(screen pixelates occasionally) and ad interruptions kept to a minimum. this week’s recommended movies and shows are PHANTOM PUNCH (a Sonny Liston bio-pic directed by Robert Townsend), THE ASSAULT, IN HELL, TUNNEL RATS, SHUFFLE, BIG BAD WOLF, WYVERN, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, FREE MEN, BADCITY, GODKILLER and CHILLERS – A short lived horror series hosted by Anthony Perkins
I tend not to watch regular TV, so this is a good channel for keeping abreast of the current pop culture and entertainment news. Some highlights are ESCAPE TO THESE BEAUTIFUL CARIBBEAN BEACHES THIS SUMMER, MODEL STARTS MOVEMENT TO ELIMINATE PLUS SIZE, 5 WAYS TO FINANCE YOUR HOME IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS.
THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT, THE WASP WOMAN, THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS(short film, 15minutes), FUSE, a slew of Buster Keaton comedies, CARNIES, THE MILLENNIUM BUG, EVEL KNIEVEL, LUCKY DAY (Fun 3 min Animated film), BLACK BOOK (1949), LETTERS FROM THE BIG MAN, STAN (2009 Laurel and Hardy biopic), SICKO (A 6 minute short film that put a smile on my face. Enjoyable), POOR PRETTY EDDIE, M.R. JAMES COLLECTION, CRAZY STREETS, ANTE, THE BET, HUNTING BUDDIES, THE GERBER SYNDROME, RIDDLE, BIGFOOT: THE LOST COAST TAPES, THE PURITANS (24 min Short Film), BLOOD MOON (18 min Short Film), LONDON VOODOO, DARK ARC
THE MILL AND THE CROSS, DOGTOOTH, THE OTHER SIDE, STREET FIGHTER Series
HANCOCK, 21, RETREAT, THE CAVE, BROTHERS IN ARMS,
A couple LOST IN TRANSLATION episodes, about a dozen PAWN STARS episodes, 10 AMERICAN DAREDEVILS episodes, H2 Special Presentations, 3 HUMAN WEAPON episodes
The Channels that are losers this week and will just waste your time (rather than providing you great content) are:
WATCH FREE FLIX- The sound of the too plentiful commercials is fine, but the sound of the actual content, the shows and movies, is turned down and corrupted. Pathetic and a waste of time. Especially disappointing considering this channel has some interesting content if you could hear it. Fix your sound issue or close your channel.
VANGUARD- Limited movie selections and has not been updated in months. Website appears to no longer exist.
MIDNIGHT PULP – Roku channel no longer being updated. The website shows additional content (not just the PULP ones) not available on the Roku channel. Watch THE SCARLET WORM and ZOMBIE A-HOLE then lose the channel.
ASIAN CRUSH – not being updated and content that is readily available elsewhere
CRUNCHYROLL – With the exception of ATTACK ON TITAN, I’m not a fan on Anime. And that’s mostly what this channel has.
PARANORMAL REALITY TV – more interesting content can be found elsewhere.
FILM MOVEMENT – Small selection of indie, foreign films (that can be found elsewhere) and never updated
DORADO FILMS – Small selection of mostly obsure 70s d-grade euro films, however unfortunately has not been updated seemingly since it launched. Which is a shame because the website is quite striking, and gave the promise of a great streaming channel.
FILM RISE– This was going to make it on the recommended list for one movie, the brilliant SUDOESTE (SOUTHWEST), it is one of the few channels to have this beautiful film available. Unfortunately attempting to stream from this channel was a study in dissatisfaction. Spent more time buffering than playing the movie initially. And when it did play it was interrupted by an ad every 8 minutes, as opposed to the respectable 28 minutes an ad-supported streaming channel should allow you, before hitting you with another ad. On top of that, with the exception of SOUTHWEST its content could be found on multiple other channels. FILMRISE failed to rise to the occasion.
THE MOVIE TRAILER CHANNEL – Do not make an ad the first thing I see, before even browsing content. Absolutely worthless.
INDIE CRUSH – A severe absence of content. Only about 30+ titles, and just about all of them are available at other, better stocked streaming channels. Not worth the time to add
Well I hope the above helps you find new channels to try and avoid the channels that can’t be bothered to provide updated, quality programming. Hopefully some channels that stumbled this week will improve next week.
You can add and remove channels here.
Three years in the making, since the box office shattering and acclaimed first AVENGERS film, Joss Whedon’s hungrily awaited follow-up AVENGERS:AGE OF ULTRON has arrived.
So being a fan of the first film, I was happy to make it down to one of the better and newest theaters to see this film in RealD 3D. I’m not typically an advocate for 3D films, but 3D post processing on the Marvel Studio films has been very good.
So I plunked down the requisite coin and entered the theatrical showing of the AGE OF ULTRON, and quick thoughts? I quite enjoyed it. It wasn’t the masterwork that the first film was, but that was lightning in a bottle and very hard to recapture. This is a solid follow-up, with characters you’ve come to like, played ably by actors that have become household names, and a solid and inventive and witty script that hits all the requisite points.
World ending threats? Check. Cool Villains? Check. Astounding set pieces and fight scenes? Check. Witty repartee and good natured bickering? Check. Budding romance and Scarlett Johanson in skin-tight and fetching uniforms? Check and Check! :) And moments of pathos and heroism? Check. And fun immersive 3D? Check.
All together Joss Whedon weaves together a 2+ hour blockbuster, a spectacle that is worthy of the big-screen, theatrical experience. That said it is not perfect. It lacks the immediate watchability and crowd pleasing nature of the first, oh it has its moments to be sure, but you’re not going to leave this AVENGERS movie immediately ready to see it again like its predecessor.
This film after one viewing you’re more than content to wait for it to hit Blu-Ray before watching it again. And I think on Blu-Ray it is a perfect format for really appreciating the immense work that goes into the battle scenes.
So all in all a worthy film to get you in the theaters. Grade: B+.
DAREDEVIL – Finally finishing this 13 part series, that everyone (quite rightly I think) is raving about, and it is a sea change of a series. Phenomenally good and had me captivated to the end, as those of you who have followed my previous posts can attest. It is and should be, justifiably lauded. That said, having finished the series, it is not perfect.
I think sticking the landing is the hardest thing for any series to do, and after 12 fantastic episodes, I don’t think this series quite stuck the landing with the 13th episode. [Spoilers Follow]I think the series had such smart writing throughout but the ending felt a bit disappointing and by the numbers and a bit stereotypical.
I found the character of Karen Page, while stunning, the weakest and most annoying and unlikeable character, part of this is in the writing, and part in the portrayal. And she gets progressively more annoying till the final episode. And the fact that great characters (both in terms of writing and acting) get killed (directly and indirectly) because of her, leaves an extremely bad taste.
The loss of Vondie Curtis-Hall’s character of Ben Urich feels particularly egregious and formulaic and a bit stereotypical. “Oh a strong Black male character in a genre series, of course he needs to die in the noble savage role, sacrificing himself for the non-colored” :). Like I said for a series that was so bold and smart throughout, it felt like dumbed down, lowest common denominator choices toward the end, which made the Karen Page character all the more unlikeable.
The only person nearly as unlikeable as Karen’s character is the character of Matt Murdock. But that works because there are enough other facets to Charlie Cox’s great performance, and enough time spent away from him with more interesting characters, to assuage the more psychopathic parts to the character’s nature.
But it does leave you with a final episode where it is not with Matt Murdock your sympathies lie, but with Vincent D’Onofrio’s brilliant Kingpin. It doesn’t help that the final Daredevil suit is pretty solidly a disappointment, and has one wishing for the return of the man in black.
I’m still looking forward to more Daredevil, but I do think the lack of Vondie Curtis-Hall, the ludicrous costume, the too brutal Daredevil, and the grating, and annoying character of Karen Page has me less interested than I should be for a second season.
Still and all kudos to fight coordinator Philip J Silvera, who makes this series one of the most adrenalin fueled of all time. All the more impressive since this appears to be his first long term Fight Coordinator gig. And of course kudos to Show Runners Drew Goddard and Steven S. Knight who spearheaded the birth of this first season. And of course to the writers and directors and actors.
A second season has been green-lit but without Steven S. Knight of SPARTACUS fame, instead it will have show-runners Douglas Petrie (He wrote one of the best episodes of Season 1, STICK)and Marco Ramirez (who also wrote 2 solid episodes of season 1, RABBIT IN A SNOWSTORM and CONDEMNED)so they have the chops to make the 2nd season their own. Here’s hoping they do.
If you like the fight scenes in DAREDEVIL another series to try for some solid fisticuffs is season 1 of HUMAN TARGET. While not as brutal it is quite well done. Get the series here: