November 30, 2018

Featuring Jonathan Baker, John Badham, Jodie Foster, Taylor Hackford, Adrian Lyne. Faye Dunaway. Directed by Neal Thilbedeau. (2018/85 min). 


Review by Fluffy the Fearless😼

One will understandably view the subject of Becoming Iconic - Jonathan Baker with a bit of skepticism. He'd been kicking around Hollywood for a few years, mostly performing on reality TV shows, before being given the opportunity to direct his first feature, Inconceivable, which was released in 2017 to little fanfare.

Baker also co-produced this documentary about himself, which optimistically suggests he's a legend in the making. Aligning what he's doing with directors who've had decades-long careers, Becoming Iconic chronicles his efforts to get Inconceivable made, with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, along with Baker's own insights on the filmmaking process and his efforts to make-good on the opportunity.

In addition to directing, producing and performing, Jonathan Baker was apparently the film's hairstylist.
Interspersed throughout are separate interviews with the likes of Jodie Foster, John Badham, Adrian Lyne and Taylor Hackford (despite being predominantly billed, Warren Beatty doesn't really figure into this). It is suggested that Baker is chummy with these folks, but none of them mention him at all and their own directorial anecdotes are the best part of the film.

Which is not to say the rest isn't without merits. Baker sometimes comes across as pretentious and arrogant, but his sincerity can't be disputed and the enthusiasm he displays on-set is sometimes infectious. Despite playing more like a reality show than an true documentary, watching Baker work behind the scenes with his cast & crew (which includes Nicholas Cage and Faye Dunaway) is pretty interesting.

I never saw Inconceivable (hardly anyone else did, either), so I couldn't tell you if Jonathan Baker is the budding wunderkind the film paints him as. The final shot of stills placing him among the icons he emulates may or may not be hopelessly optimistic, but hey, you never know.


November 27, 2018

ZOMBIE (1979) 3-DISC LIMITED EDITION: Blink, Dammit!
Starring Tisa Farrow, Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver, Auretta Gay, Olga Karlatos. Directed by Lucio Fulci. (1979/91 min). 


Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

I remember when Zombie oozed into our local suburban tri-plex for a few weeks back in 1979. Armed with an ingeniously simple tagline - We are going to eat you! - along with a "warning" about its extreme violence, the film's ad campaign felt more like a dare than an invitation. Since Dawn of the Dead thrilled and horrified us just a few months earlier, my friends and I were certainly up for another gory go 'round. Challenge accepted!

And indeed, Zombie's Italian brand of graphic gut-munching was, at times, even more extreme than anything George A. Romero threw at us, with gratuitous boobage and a killer shark thrown in for good measure. Zombie wasn't better or anything, but certainly ballsy.

The film's most notorious scene, in which a large splinter punctures the eye of a female victim, has gone down in cult movie lore as one of the most spectacularly nauseating, butt-puckering scenes in horror history. Zombie is filled with such moments...skulls spilled open, tracheas ripped out, worms writhing in eye sockets, entrails devoured...all in loving, lingering close-up. And every time, the entire theater reacted just as expected: gasps, screams and assorted omigods. I was suitably impressed, too, until nagging logistical questions swam to the surface:

Olga gets the point.
Hey, how come she never blinks? In fact, why didn't she just bat the splinter out of her way with one of her two free hands? Who the hell lets an eight inch stick puncture her eye and impale her brain? And speaking of logic, why does another woman simply stare in dumbstruck fear while a zombie takes its sweet time rising from the grave before ripping her throat out? In fact, why the hell doesn't everyone simply run away? There's a goddamn boat on the island and these ghouls make Romero's zombies look like Jesse Owens!

But you know what? Logic may have been lacking, the story forgettable, the performances uniformly bland and the pacing schizophrenic, but over the decades, I have never forgotten its dread-inducing atmosphere, hideously-impressive make-up effects and director Lucio Fulci gleeful willingness to go too far. When it comes to horror, isn't being memorable more important than challenging the intellect?

The greatest thing about this grotesquely gorgeous 3-disc set from Blue Underground is that it fully embraces Zombie for what it narratively erratic movie full of unforgettable moments. In addition to a truly phenomenal 4K transfer - the film looks and sounds brand new - the plethora of bonus features definitely puts its legacy in honest perspective. No one involved make any claims of greatness or originality. Some even concede that Zombie is sometimes clunky and highly derivative. Fulci himself is also discussed by various cast and crew members, and not always positively; it's clearly obvious actor Ian McCulloch had no love for the director or the movie. The myriad tales of the film's production are collectively fascinating and well worth checking out.

"In my professional opinion...gross."
Most of the extras are carried over from Blue Underground's previous 2011 release, but a new interview with Fulci biographer Stephen Thrower is a fantastic look back at the director's career and Zombie's influence on Italian horror. Thrower also contributes an entertaining essay that looks back at the film's initial release. In addition to vintage trailers and galleries, a CD of Fabio Frizzi's original soundtrack is included (heard out of context, it doesn't sound nearly as foreboding). In the end, I ended up with a much greater appreciation for the film than I had when picking it apart at the tri-plex all those years ago.

Director Lucio Fulci was never a great storyteller, maybe not even all that great of a director. But he was audacious as hell and had an indisputable knack for creating malevolently memorable moments horror lovers still talk about years after his death. As such, Zombie is Fulci at his most brash and brutal. Relatively speaking, it's also his most narratively coherent horror film. It's admittedly well-made and delivers exactly what it promises, gleefully pushing the audience tolerance envelope for on-screen violence. In the process, despite beginning life as a Dawn of the Dead knock-off, Zombie became a cult classic in its own right. Logic be damned.

It goes without saying that this new limited edition Blu-ray is a must-own for any fan of the film, even if they already own a previous release. With a great restoration, creative packaging and a slew of new & vintage extras, this is as definitive as they come.

EXTRA KIBBLES (deep breath, here...)
NEW: "WHEN THE EARTH SPITS OUT THE DEAD" - A terrific interview with author Stephen Thrower, who discusses the Zombie, Fulci and the importance & impact of both on the genre.
NEW: AUDIO COMMENTARY - By Fulci biographer Troy Howarth.
NEW: CD SOUNDTRACK - 8 tracks from Fabio Frizzi's music score, along with a disco song, "There's No Matter." Even now, I don't recall hearing this song in the film, though Frizzi did compose the music.
NEW: LENTICULAR COVER (3 different ones are available).
NEW: SUPPLEMENTARY BOOKLET - Contains photos, credits and a terrific retrospective essay by Stephen Thrower, "We Are Going to Eat You: Zombie vs. the Critics."
VINTAGE INTERVIEWS - "Zombie Wasteland" (with actors Ian McCulloch, Richard Johnson, Al Cliver & Ottaviano Ddell'Acqua); "Flesh Eaters on Film" (interview with producer Fabrizio De Angelis); "Deadtime Stories" (with writers Elisa Briganti & Dardano Sacchetti); "World of the Dead" (with cinematographer Sergio Savatti and production designer Walter Patriarca); "Zombi Italiano" (with FX artists Gianetto De Rossi, Maurizio Trani & Gino De Rossi); "Notes on a Headstone" (with composer Fabio Frizzi); "All in the Family" (with Antonella Fulci, the director's daughter)
ZOMBIE LOVER - Guillermo del Toro gushes about his favorite film.

Rest in Peace, Stephen Hillenburg

November 25, 2018

Starring Jim Hill, Stu 'Large' Riley, Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Andre Walker. Directed by Paul DeSilva. (1990/92 min).


Review by Fluffy the Fearless😾

Though completed in 1990, this grassroots crime drama is only-now seeing the light of day. A lot has changed since then, such as the inner-city crack epidemic the entire story centers around. Hence, what was timely 28 years ago has more-or-less rendered Crackdown Big City Blues a period piece.

Writer-director-producer Paul DeSilva has since passed away, so he never got to see this obvious labor of love get a proper release. A shame, really, because DeSilva's heart was in the right place when he made this, drawing from personal experience of seeing the effects of crack on his own community.

But while DeSilva's message and sincerity are admirable, the movie itself is a disjointed, heavy-handed mess. Home-movie production values and amateurish performances are the least of its problems. Much of the time, Crackdown Big City Blues wavers uncomfortably back and forth between social commentary and gratuitous action, often with little or no transition.

"You traded our cow for "magic" beans?"
We may admire the film's "crack is wack" mantra, but it's repeatedly delivered with the subtlety of a hammer, shouted by a variety of angry non-actors, as if sheer volume makes the message stronger. The rival drug kingpins are little more than clichéd composites full of chest-thumping bluster. In fact, we learn little about any character beyond their names and which side they're on.

Worst of all, the pacing is terrible. Most scenes seem to go on forever, long after we've gotten the point. The final act descends into an unintentionally funny showdown - with martial arts suddenly thrown in! - exacerbated by glaring budget limitations and an auteur whose ambition exceeded his abilities.

Because of DeSilva's admirable intentions, I really wanted Crackdown Big City Blues to be one of those overlooked gems from a director who never got his due. Instead, it's plodding, preachy, poorly executed and not nearly as relevant as it would have been three decades ago.

INTERVIEW with Co-Producer Frazier Prince


November 23, 2018

THE MARINE 6 Takes Care of Mizness
Starring Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Shawn Michaels, Rebecca Quin, Louisa Connolly-Buhham, Terence Maynard, Martyn Ford. Directed by James Nunn. (2918/85 min).


Review by Tiger the Terrible😼

I'll say this much: The Marine 6: Close Quarters is better than The Marine 5. I might even go as far as to say it's the best film in the franchise since The Miz took over the title role. That's still faint praise, since all those sequels have been low-wattage knock-offs of better action pictures. But prepared as I was to give it a critical beating, I gotta admit I kind of enjoyed this one.

I dunno...maybe my expectations were already low. After all, the plot of The Marine 6 is very similar to the last film. This time, everyone's favorite pummeling paramedic, Jake Carter (The Miz), teams up with old Marine buddy Luke Trapper (Shawn Michaels) to take on Maddy Hayes (Becky Lynch), who's kidnapped a juror's daughter. Naturally, Jake & Luke are up for the challenge, trading wisecracks along the way. And naturally, Maddy and her endless supply of cannon fodder henchmen are supremely cocky throughout the film, despite repeatedly getting their asses handed to them.

Miz stocks the shelves like a boss.
But The Marine 6 has a few things going for it that previous sequels didn't. There's the welcome addition of Shawn Michaels to the cast. With all due respect to his WWE accomplishments, The Miz has the on-screen personality of a vanilla cone. Michaels' grizzled charm gives this film a charismatic boost the series has been sorely lacking since John Cena had the good sense to quit. And along with the usual quota of budget-conscious battle royals is a narrative curve-ball I wouldn't dream of giving away here, but will likely surprise the hell out of fans of this franchise.

Elsewhere, it's business as usual...a recycled plot filled with bloody beat-downs and gory gunplay, all handled with workmanlike skill. Aside from the aforementioned story surprise, The Marine 6 may not be all that memorable, but it moves along briskly with a minimum of fuss. And if there is a Marine 7 on the horizon (like there's any doubt), they may have passed the torch to the right guy.

FEATURETTES - "Making Maddy & the Marines"; "The Breakdown: Epic Fights"

November 21, 2018

1,000,000 VISITS!

FREE KITTENS MOVIE GUIDE has now accumulated over ONE MILLION visits! Naturally, we're purring and making biscuits right now. Whether you're a frequent or  first time visitor, thanks to everyone who has stopped by (tell your litter-mates!). We'd also like to express our appreciation to the studios, PR groups and friends we've worked with over the years to bring you reviews, news, contests and insights on the movies. ONWARD..!

November 20, 2018


The Poop Scoop features news and press releases related to upcoming movies, Blu-rays & DVDs and anything else film-related that makes us purr. For more information, feel free to e-mail us at
Jamie Lee Curtis Stars in Halloween, Available Digital 12/28 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD 1/15 from Universal.

The infamous killer Michael Myers strikes again in Halloween, arriving on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on December 28, 2018, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and On Demand on January 15, 2019. Hailed by critics as “a near perfect blend of craft, character growth and nostalgia” (Perri Nemiroff, Collider), Halloween takes place four decades after Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween Franchise, “Scream Queens”) narrowly escaped the masked Michael Myers’ brutal killing spree. Packed with bonus features including chilling deleted and extended scenes as well as special featurettes showing behind the scenes looks at creating the film, Halloween delivers spine-chilling, hair-raising intensity and thrills to both new and repeat viewers.
Bad Times at the El Royale Arrives on Digital 12/18 and on 4K, Blu-ray & DVD 1/1 from 20th Century Fox.

Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and Chris Hemsworth lead an all-star cast in this powerful thriller filled with gripping suspense and startling revelations. Seven strangers, each with a secret to bury, meet at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale, a rundown hotel with a dark past. Over the course of one fateful night, everyone will have a last shot at redemption…before everything goes to hell.

November 19, 2018

THE POOP SCOOP (Nov. 19): Noteworthy Upcoming Blu-ray Releases

The Poop Scoop features news and press releases related to upcoming movies, Blu-rays & DVDs and anything else film-related that makes us purr. For more information, feel free to e-mail us at
Maniac Limited Edition - New 4K Restoration Coming 12/11 from Blue Underground.
Exclusive Limited Collector's Edition includes 2 Blu-rays, Soundtrack CD, collectible booklet, and a ton of extras. Directed by William Lustig (MANIAC COP 2, VIGILANTE) and featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini (DAWN OF THE DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13TH), this relentlessly shocking and disturbing film was originally banned or censored all over the world due to its graphic violence. Now Blue Underground is thrilled to present MANIAC in a brand-new 4K Restoration from its recently discovered 16mm original camera negative, overflowing with hours of new and archival extras!
The House With a Clock in Its Walls Arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD 12/18 from Universal Pictures.
Enjoy the delightfully thrilling tale of a mysterious house where things, including the inhabitants, are not what they seem to be. The House With a Clock in its Walls arrives on Digital and via the digital movie app MOVIES ANYWHERE on November 27, 2018, as well as on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-rayTM, DVD and On Demand on December 18, 2018. Based on the classic children’s book and praised as “creaky, freaky haunted-mansion fun” (LA Times), The House With a Clock in its Walls features over 60 minutes of bonus content including an alternate beginning and ending, stunning featurettes, deleted scenes, a hilarious gag reel, and feature commentary. Enchanting from start to finish, it’s the perfect adventure for families during the holidays.
THE EQUALIZER 2 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray & DVD 12/11 from Sony Pictures
The digital & Blu-ray releases of THE EQUALIZER 2 are loaded with over an hour of action-packed bonus features, including “Retribution Mode,” deleted and extended scenes, The Equalizer 2 pop up trivia track and a behind-the-scenes featurette. “Retribution Mode,” the follow-up to The Equalizer’s “Vengeance Mode,” allows fans to watch the film with Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua as they take fans through the making of their favorite adrenaline-filled action scenes with exclusive in-depth and personal conversations.  In the featurette “Denzel as McCall: Round Two,” Denzel Washington describes his return as Robert McCall and why this continued story was so important for him to tell.

Red vs Blue: The Shisno Paradox on DVD & Blu-Ray January 1, 2019.
Sixteen seasons in, the series has continued to reinvent itself and find ways to appeal to old and new fans alike, and The Shisno Paradox marks yet another fantastic addition to the Red vs. Blue canon. The home release of Red vs. Blue: The Shisno Paradox is a must-own piece of pop culture for fanboys and fangirls everywhere, and the perfect gift for them this holiday season.

November 18, 2018


Starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, George Dzundza. Directed by Michael Cimino. (1978/183 min). 

Essay by D.M. ANDERSON

The first time I saw The Deer Hunter, my only takeaway was that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences must have lost their collective minds. This was the worst excuse for an Oscar winning movie I'd ever seen. Excruciatingly long and oppressively ponderous, it was hardly worth the effort just to catch the notorious Russian Roulette scene. Of course, I was much younger back then, naively expecting another Apocalypse Now, which epitomized the modern war film for me (or anti-war film, since only an asshole would ever dream of glorifying Vietnam).
Recently revisiting The Deer Hunter for the first time in at least three decades, it's hard to believe I once hated it. Sure, it's no Apocalypse Now or Full Metal Jacket, which I still think are more entertaining (though my appreciation for both has diminished over the years). But The Deer Hunter isn't nearly as cynical, and now that I'm older and wiser, I also realize it isn't really a war movie at all. 
It’s equally hard to believe the film once stirred so much controversy for its alleged racist underpinnings, mostly leveled by those who accused the movie of stereotyping the North Vietnamese. Of course, Vietnam was still a hot-button issue at the time, but when you look at The Deer Hunter now, even the biggest soundbite junkie who ever walked the Earth might need to concede it was never about Vietnam. The backdrop could have been any war, a mere clothesline on which to hang themes of loyalty, friendship and promises kept under extreme duress.

I'm also reminded it’s possible for a director to shoot his entire creative wad with a single movie. Director Michael Cimino never came close to making another good film after this. Sure, Heaven's Gate has enjoyed some critical reassessment over the years, but I still think it's a pretentious dumpster fire. This raises the question of whether the success of The Deer Hunter is due to his directorial skill or the cast & crew he managed to assemble around him (sort of making him a cinematic Ozzy Osbourne). That’s a much more compelling topic of continuing debate than the so-called political agenda that raged all those years ago.

Christopher Walken...available for parties.
We all know about the infamous Russian Roulette scene (still unnerving after all these years) and I’ll try not to dwell on it since that horse has been beaten to death. The fact that very little of the film actually takes place in ‘Nam is evidence enough that The Deer Hunter has more to say about the human condition and the nature of friendship than the war itself. We spend over an hour getting to know the main characters (Robert DeNiro, John Savage, Christopher Walken & John Cazale) living their deceptively mundane, blue-collar lives before any of them are put in harm’s way, not so their fates have more dramatic impact, but because the movie is about their relationships to each other. We quickly identify with the bond between Mike (DeNiro) & Nick (Walken) - the crux of the film - and the promise Mike makes not to leave Nick behind should things turn out for the worst in Vietnam. 

Of course, things do turn out for the worst, but not in the way anyone (including the audience) expects. The movie is also deceptively (intentionally?) boring at times in its depiction of the everyday lives of these guys, laying the groundwork for a third act that is emotionally devastating. We see these guys' perception of the world ripped away, replaced by an unparalleled exposure to apathy and violence that soon becomes as routine as putting your shoes on in the morning, followed by the unreasonable expectation that you can simply return to your previous life when it’s all over. Yet loyalty & friendship overcomes that. These characters are flawed, occasionally unlikable & selfish. In the end, however, they display qualities we typically cherish most. Despite its somber tone and superficial cynicism, The Deer Hunter might be one of the more optimistic movies ever made about war's effect on the human psyche.  

"Ahh! Something touched my leg!"
The story is presented unconventionally, a major reason I originally found it off-putting. This is the first time I noticed how much of the story is told without exposition or ‘thoughtful’ dialogue...most of the script consists of seemingly meaningless banter and small talk, or in the case of the Russian Roulette scene, adrenaline-fueled desperation. In fact, the theme of the entire film can effectively be summed up in two lines of drunken dialogue between Mike and Nick, when one makes a off-handed promise to another. The relatively serene hunting sequence speaks more about these guys than pages of words could.

The Deer Hunter is also a technical marvel, and this is where one may question the presumed ‘genius’ which briefly earned Cimino carte blanche in Hollywood. Yes, he deserved to be at-least nominated for Best Director Oscar that year, but could he have done it without the cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond, whose camera is practically another character, or Peter Zinner’s editing? Then there’s the stellar cast, whose characters would have drowned in a sea of cliches in lesser hands. Cimino would never have this level of collective talent at his disposal in his later pictures. The Deer Hunter is the working definition of an ensemble film on both sides of the camera. 

Most importantly - what a lot of detractors fail to notice - the movie is not a statement. It has no agenda, no politics and makes no claims of historical accuracy. The Vietcong are simply a plot device to effect change in the main characters (they are evil, but not because they are Vietnamese). In fact, The Deer Hunter may be the only major Hollywood film ever made about Vietnam that never questions whether or not America should have gotten involved. Ultimately, the movie doesn’t give a damn about the war. 

The Deer Hunter is an epic character portrait - though still way too long - about how people emerge from traumatic events forever changed. With hindsight, it probably did deserve to win the Best Picture Oscar in 1978, one of the few times I’ve ever changed my mind over the Academy’s decision.

November 17, 2018

LUCIFERINA: Bumpin' Uglies with Ol' Scratch
Starring Sofia Del Tuffo, Pedro Merlo, Malena Sanchez, Francisco Donovan, Stefania Koessl, Marta Lubos. Directed by Gonzalo Calzada. (2018/114 min).


Review by Josey, the Sudden Cat🙀

"Seek the devil, and he will come," reads the tagline of this Argentine horror film. After seeing Luciferina, those words could be considered a double entendre.

One thing is certain: the climax - no pun intended - gets points for audacity. Thank God Father Merrin never attempted to vanquish demons through sexual healing, because...yecch. Without giving too much away, the gonzo final act of Luciferina is definitely memorable, though not necessarily for the reasons writer-director Gonzalo Calzada intended.

Until then, the film struggles to find consistent narrative footing. Natalia (Sofia Del Tuffo) is a young nun who returns home after her mother dies. Dad is severely injured and bedridden, while semi-estranged sister Angela (Malena Sanchez) is about to venture into the jungle with abusive boyfriend Mauro (Francisco Sanchez) and some college buddies, where they plan on cleansing their souls with a local shaman. The rite involves drinking a hallucinogen taken from a mysterious plant, and Natalia reluctantly tags along.

Lucifer's llama.
Instead, one of the kids, Abel (Pedro Merlo) becomes possessed by Satan and violently kills everyone but Natalia, who's no ordinary nun. She is sort-of clairvoyant at times and can occasionally see a glowing aura around certain people. But aside from providing some surreal sequences, her gifts don't really figure into the plot, which is part of the problem. Luciferia is filled with some wonderfully dreamlike moments, but seem to exist for their own sake. The story is all over the place and often perplexing, at least until it's made clear how the evil must be defeated.

"Can't we just play some Twister?"
It's at this point that we're pretty sure the film exists solely for its sexually-charged climax, which is explicit, lengthy and, I have to say, often unintentionally funny. Still, it's lively and certainly something you don't see in a typical possession film. One only wishes the film had enough tricks up its sleeve to make the proceeding 90 minutes more than run-of-the-mill horror. As it is, our interest in the convoluted story ebbs and flows. There's a flashback birth scene that's pretty disturbing and a few fairly graphic deaths. On the other hand, there's a lot exposition that doesn't always make much sense and, aside from Natalia, we've seen most of these characters in countless other horror films. Exactly what is it about college students stuck in the middle of nowhere that filmmakers continue to find so fascinating?

While well made and certainly watchable, Luciferina is ultimately less than the sum of its parts. There are some effectively chilling moments and haunting imagery leading up to its bonkers climax, but from a narrative standpoint, the dots aren't connected as well as they should be.


November 16, 2018


Starring Mark Pickford, William Haines, Walter James, Gordon Griffith, Carlo Shipa, Spec O'Donnall, Vota Vale. Directed by William Beaudine. (1925/94 min).
Starring Mary Pickford, Jack Standing, Lottie Pickford, Gertrude Norman, Russell Bassett, Jack Pickford, Milton Berle (supposedly). Directed by James Kirkwood. (1915/94 min).


Review by Mr. Paws😸

According to the press release, these two films are the first of several restored Mary Pickford films Flicker Alley plans to bring home on Blu-Ray. One is far more entertaining than the other, but from a historical standpoint, both are worth checking out and the transfers are outstanding.

Of the two, Little Annie Rooney is definitely the keeper. Pickford plays the titular character, a scrappy 12-year-old (though she was in her 30s at the time) who frequently brawls with the other boys in the Irish slums of New York. The film is, by turns, funny, silly, charming, tragic and ultimately poignant. Having never actually seen a Mary Pickford film until now, I was thoroughly impressed with her emotionally complex performance, especially considering the narrative limitations of silent films. The same can be said for the rest of the cast. Though we seldom know what most characters are saying, the story is consistently engaging, helped immensely by a newly-commissioned music score by Andy Gladbach

"...and I'll kill you last."
Fanchon the Cricket is far less engaging. While visually impressive, there's little characterization and the story itself is too slight to justify a feature length film. There are long stretches with characters dancing, frolicking, chasing and bickering. Since this one has even fewer title cards than Little Annie Rooney, we seldom know specifically what everyone is squabbling about. In fact, it's a long time before anything resembling a plot reveals itself: Pickford plays a local young outcast who lives with her grandmother, whom everyone in the nearby village thinks is a witch. Things get complicated when she falls for a local boy who's already engaged. During the duller stretches - and there's a lot of 'em - I found myself trying keep a sharp eye out for Milton Berle, who was seven at the time and supposedly appeared in the film. I never spotted him, though.

It goes without saying every self-respecting cinephile should check out at least one Mary Pickford film before they die. After all, she was the era's biggest movie star. Of these two initial Blu-ray releases, Little Annie Rooney best showcases her talent, while Fanchon the Cricket is too shapeless to leave any kind of impression.

DVD COPY (Both Films)
23 PAGE BOOKLET (Both Films)
LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY also includes a brief featurette in which musician Andy Gladbach (who looks about 12) discusses the challenge of creating new music for a century old film.

Rest in Peace, William Goldman

November 13, 2018

THE POOP SCOOP: Noteworthy Upcoming Blu-ray Releases

The Poop Scoop features news and press releases related to upcoming movies, Blu-rays & DVDs and anything else film-related that makes us purr. For more information, feel free to e-mail us at

A group of friends are bound for a horror-themed Halloween event at a local amusement park — a sprawling labyrinth of rides, games, and mazes that travels the country and happens to be in town. But for one visitor, the ghoulish carnival of nightmares is not the attraction — it is a hunting ground. On the night the friends attend, a masked serial killer turns the amusement park into his own playground, terrorizing attendees while the rest of the patrons believe that it is all part of the show. As the body count and frenzied excitement of the crowd continues to rise, who will fight to survive the night?

Successful salesman Teddy Walker’s (Kevin Hart, Jumanji, Ride Along 1 & 2) life turns around after getting fired for accidentally destroying his workplace. Forced to attend night school so he can finally get his GED and find another job, Teddy soon finds himself amongst a group of misfit students, a teacher with no patience for grown up class clowns named Carrie (Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip, Uncle Drew) and his high school nemesis-turned-principal Stewart (Taran Killam, Killing Gunther, Ted 2) who will strive to make sure he fails the course. With every rule in the book about to be broken, Teddy and his new friends find themselves in a battle of pranks and wit that you can’t simply learn in the classroom.

Enter the corrupt world of 1980s Detroit at the height of the War on Drugs in the compelling father-son story, WHITE BOY RICK, debuting on Digital and available via the Movies Anywhere App. on December 11 and on Blu-ray and DVD December 25 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on true events, WHITE BOY RICK tells the moving story of a blue-collar father, played by Academy Award® winner Matthew McConaughey (2013, Best Actor, Dallas Buyers Club,) and his teenage son, played by newcomer Richie Merritt. Fifteen-year-old Rick Wershe Jr., dubbed “White Boy Rick”, becomes the youngest FBI informant in history, and later a drug dealer, manipulated by the very system meant to protect him, abandoned by his FBI handlers, and sentenced to life in prison.


The hunt has evolved – and so has the explosive action – in the next chapter of the Predator series, from director Shane Black (Iron Man 3). Now, the most lethal hunters in the universe are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before….and only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.
With the special edition Predator 4-Movie Collection, fans can experience four times the terror with a killer collection of action-packed Predator movies, plus four collector cards of the original film poster re-issue with some of the franchises most iconic quotes on the back. In Predator, Arnold Schwarzenegger wages an all-out war against an extraterrestrial that hunts humans for sport. Then in Predator 2, Danny Glover battles the fearsome creature in the urban jungle of Los Angeles. In Predators Adrien Brody leads a group of elite warriors on an alien planet targeted by a new Predator breed. Finally, in The Predator, Boyd Holbrook discovers that the most lethal hunters in the universe are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever.