Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Hot on Home Video: 'Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire,' 'La Femme Nikita,' 'Welcome Back, Kotter'

 GODZILLA X KONG: THE NEW EMPIRE

As big, loud and brainless as its CGI-generated monster stars, the mash-up film leaves its dull human characters off to the wayside as it focuses on a chain of action that rarely hits the pause button. The plot may be laughable and the effects are lackluster, but the film works well enough as a goofy trifle. Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry and Dan Stevens headline the cast.

Extras include a ton of featurettes, including "Into the Hollow Earth," "The Battles Royale" and 'The Intrepid Director." Filmmaker commentary" and a breakdown of the battle scenes.

LA FEMME NIKITA

Director Luc Besson is in top form in this 1990 thriller, which stars Anne Parillaud, Jeanne Moreau Jean Reno. In a plot with a hint of "The Suicide Squad," a killer and drug addict played by Parillaud goes on a vendetta for redemption, taking on deadly missions as a secret agent. Exquisite action scenes and powerful lead performances pepper the cult classic.

Extras in the steelbook edition, but it's nice to see the oft-forgotten film available in a dazzling 4K restoration.

WELCOME BACK, KOTTER: THE COMPLETE SERIES

The seminal 1975-79 high school comedy launched the career of John Travolta. Gabe Kaplan stars as a middle-aged man who heads back to his Brooklyn alma mater to teach a group of goofballs who remind him of himself as a teen. While many of the jokes have dated, Travolta's charisma as Vinnie Barbarino is undeniable. The show packs a heavy nostalgia factor and manages to retain much of its comedic value and pathos.

Friday, June 07, 2024

T-Mobile Offers Deals for Dads, Grads

With graduations aplenty this time of year, as well as Father's Day fast approaching, T-Mobile is offering some intriguing deals on a range of devices. 

Here's the breakdown:

T-Mobile exclusive deals:

Free iPhone 15 Pro (up to $1000 off) when you trade in a device on Go5G Next.

Free iPhone 15 (up to $830 off) when you trade in an eligible device and add a line on a Go5G plan.

Free Samsung Galaxy S24 (up to $800 off) when you trade in an eligible device on Go5G Plus or Go5G Next.

Free Samsung Galaxy S24/S23 or Google Pixel 8 (up to $800 off) when you add a new line on Go5G Plus or Go5G Next.

Free iPhone 15 or iPhone 14 (up to $700) when you purchase the same device and add a line on any plan. 

Free Apple Watch (up to $250 off) when you purchase the same watch and add a qualifying watch line.

Free Samsung Galaxy Watch6 (up to $380 off) when you add a qualifying watch line.

Metro exclusive deals:

Free iPhone 11 or Samsung A35 when (up to $499) when you sign up for Metro Flex Plus and bring your number to Metro.

Free Samsung A15 or REVVL 7 Pro (up to $249) when you sign up for Metro Flex Up and bring your number to Metro.

$300 off the Onyx Studio 8 speaker.

$40 off the JBL Charge 5 starting June 13.

FreeTCL TAB 8 LE (up to $159) when you add a new tablet line.

Tuesday, June 04, 2024

Game Review: 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade: Wrath of the Mutants'

Building on the momentum of last year's spectacular animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
film, as well as the two 2022 release of "Shredder's Revenge" and "The Cowabunga Collection" retro anthology "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Wrath of the Mutants" attacks the beat-em-up genre it once ruled with style and panache.

Adapting an animation style that echoes the modern look of the Nickelodeon series, the game puts you in control of the four heroes in a half shell as they battle the Foot Clan and its diabolical string of jump kick-sponge bosses.

As with most games of its ilk, "Wrath of the Mutants" shines brightest in multiplayer, which is geared to have you help and grief buddies at intervals. While the gameplay is samey and button-mashing heavy, there is sublime satisfaction in mastering its combos and boss attack patterns to fabricate dream runs through replayed levels.

While "Shredder's Revenge" is still the better of the two modern TMNT games, the new entry provides plenty of heft and replayability to fans of both old and new-school adaptations of the fabled heroes. 

The writing smacks with a smarmy glee, and there is a genuine throughline of exuberance that shows the developers' love of all things TMNT that shines through.

Publisher provided review code.

Hot on Home Video: 'The American Society of Magical Negroes,' 'Glory,' 'Kung Fu Panda 4'

 THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MAGICAL NEGROES

The often jarring, brutally irreverent satire of the Hollywood trope epitomized by the Will Smith character in "The Legend of Bagger Vance," the film takes a scalpel to embedded pop culture racism. Writer/director Kobi Libu's daring message film is uneven, but worth a look for its moments that hit. The cast includes Justice Smith, David Alan Grier and Michaela Watkins.

Libii's feature film commentary headlines the extras, which also boast a cast conversation, making-of featurette and a look at the film's social mission. 

GLORY

The revered 1989 historical drama focuses on the 54th Regiment, which was made up of freed former slaves who fought Confederate forces during the Civil War. The film took home five Oscars, led by Denzel Washington in a career-defining turn as best supporting actor. Cary Elwes, Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman round out the stellar cast of the film, which has only grown in its social impact over the three and a half decades after release.

Extras include filmmaker commentary, deleted scenes with commentary, a documentary entitled "The True Story Continues" and a pair of making-of featurettes.

KUNG FU PANDA 4

Released March 8 in theaters, the continuation of the riotous DreamWorks franchise continues. Jack Black reprises his role as the ursine martial arts stud who leads an array of warriors to defend the Valley of Peace against a new threat. The usual parade of wild antics and clever dialogue are there, but there's a general sense that the series has run its course. If so, this is a specatcular send-off.

Extras include filmmaker commentary, deleted scenes, a cast roundup, drawing lessons, a shadow puppet tutorial and a featurette on Black making dumplings.

 Studios provided screeners for review.