Category Archives: Movies

News and information related to the moving picture.

Superbowl 50 gives us new “Captain America: Civil War” trailer – Whose side are you on?

“United we stand. Divided we Stand. United we fall. Divided we fall.”

During Superbowl 50, the latest 30-second trailer dropped for the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War”. In case you missed it, here is the video:

Despite being short, there are still plenty of tidbits to pick up. Aside from some new costumes for the main cast, here are a few important things to note in the trailer:

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Ant-Man has a new outfit! Makes perfect sense when you consider the suit was old to begin with, so it seems now he has been upgraded with a sleeker helmet and overall design, along with modern materials and fabrics.

civil war - iron man wrist watch armor

Tony Stark has a new toy in this trailer to deal with unexpected threats. In this case, when Winter Soldier pulls a gun on him, Tony’s wristwatch goes into action, covering his hand in an iron man gauntlet to fend off the attack. Expect this to be on every kids holiday wish list this year, or at least us big kids.

In case you were keeping track, here is each team’s members:

team cap

Team Cap includes Falcon, Ant-Man, Hawkeye (in a dark purple or dark blue outfit that seems a more militaristic version of what we saw him wear in Avengers: Age of Ultron), Scarlet Witch and her shoulder pads, and Bucky.

team stark

Team Iron Man includes War Machine, Vision, a reluctant Black Widow, and The Black Panther. What will happen when these two teams collide? Other than the sound of millions of fans screaming in joy, I have no idea, but I look forward to find out.

“Captain America: Civil War” is expected to be released in theaters on May 6, 2016.

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“Power Rangers” movie casts Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa

The upcoming “Power Rangers” reboot movie has just cast their first villain, and it makes perfect sense that it will be Rita Repulsa. Who is playing her? None other than Elizabeth Banks.

Over on her Twitter account today, Banks broke the news with this image:

liz banks instagram rita repulsa

Banks is the most notable star of the film so far, with her credentials including playing Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games” series, along with her roles in “The Lego Movie”, “Pitch Perfect”, and “The Uninvited”. She joins the previously announced cast of rangers which includes – Dacre Montgomery, as the Red Ranger, Naomi Scott, who will play the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as the Black Ranger, R.J. Cyler as the Blue Ranger, and Becky G, as the Yellow Ranger.

Dean Israelite, who made his directorial debut in 2015 with “Project Almanac”, will helm the film, which is currently scheduled to release in theaters on March 24, 2017.

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“Star Trek: Mission” Convention Coming To NYC This Fall

CBS Consumer Products and ReedPOP, the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, are teaming up to launch an all-new original Star Trek fan experience in the birthplace of the Star Trek convention with Star Trek: Mission New York in 2016.

This three-day event will be the ultimate destination for Star Trek fans, filled with interactive exhibits, exclusive merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, screenings and much more. Its creation adds to a year filled with Star Trek events and experiences celebrating the franchise’s milestone 50th anniversary.

Star Trek: Mission New York will take place September 2-4 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. Additional details about the event including ticket sales, hotel information, guests and exhibitors will be revealed in the coming weeks. For more information, please visit www.StarTrekMissions.com and the Star Trek: Mission New York social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

The arrival of Star Trek: Mission New York marks the return of the Star Trek fan fest to the Big Apple. The first Star Trek convention, which helped spark the fast-growing experiential fan event industry, took place January 21-23, 1972 at the Statler Hotel – now the Hotel Pennsylvania. Originally planned for 500 guests, the event became an instant blockbuster with more than 3,000 in attendance. ReedPOP, global experts at producing and curating the world’s best fan experiences, will develop a unique program that will entertain and engage thousands of Star Trek fans for a new and different stand-alone experience.

“Star Trek fans set the gold standard of what these type of experiential events are all about, truly establishing this industry that we’ve been so proud to be a part of,” said Lance Fensterman, Global Senior Vice President of ReedPOP. “Star Trek: Mission New York will be a completely unique fan event unlike anything seen before, giving them the chance to go beyond panels and autograph signings, and immerse themselves in the Star Trek universe.”

Liz Kalodner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of CBS Consumer Products, added, “There has never been a better time to be a Star Trek fan than right now with the 50th anniversary celebration on tap. Star Trek: Mission New York will celebrate everything going on in the Star Trek universe, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring it back to the birthplace of the original Star Trek convention and do so with a partner like ReedPOP.”

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New photos & info for Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” reboot revealed

Paul Feig has been taking all kinds of flak for his Ghostbusters reboot, but on this site, we can’t wait to have more GB things!

The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon,
and Leslie Jones as the all-female Ghostbusters team, and for quite some time, we have been left in the dusty about what this movie will be about. Finally, we have some answers.

Entertainment Weekly gave us the following piece of info, which says a lot while still remaining pretty darn vague:

Dead criminals from all eras of New York’s under­belly past have returned to roost among the living in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Pilgrims, old-­timey sailors, Revolutionary War spirits, and even a couple of zoot­-suited gangsters are ready to take on four formidable female busters looking to rid the city of its phantasmic filth.

While this is far from a detailed plot synopsis, we at least have a slightly better idea of what viewers will be getting themselves into. Sounds like the movie will feature more realistic ghosts as opposed to the types we saw in the originals.

We also have this brand new photo of the team in action, dealing with a flipped-over fire truck. Must be a nasty poltergeist on the prowl!

ghostbusters-2016-iamges-firetruck

The film is due in theaters on July 15. Once again, they’re coming this summer to save the world.

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“STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS” Review With Spoilers

Out of the four Star Wars movies that I have been alive for, I have now seen two of them on opening day. Episode II was my first, and today I saw Episode VII. If this movie can keep up the momentum, than I think I will be seeing VIII and IX on opening day as well.

If you have not seen the movie and want to read the spoiler-free review, head to this link here instead. I won’t be talking about too many plot points in this article since I want to keep this short (by my standards), just giving a verbose overview of my thoughts about the film, and guess what? They are all pretty darn positive.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Does Episode VII make up for the prequels? Absolutely. Everything that was wrong with them is gone, and in their place is something that feels much more like Star Wars. The lackluster elements of the prequels will be a discussion for another day, but the big thing that I can say about those movies versus the newest one is that it feels like it is in the same timeline as the original trilogy was. The prequels feel out of date when you watch them and did not age well for a number of reasons. Watching “The Force Awakens” is like you picked up right where you left off and is a much more natural fit.

If the prequels were a sign of the times of when they were made, Episode VII is a throwback in all of the right ways to make a timeless sci-fi epic. From the physical effects married perfectly with the CGI, to the dialogue and characters acting the way they should that makes sense to them, and the worlds feeling believable and real, this is the true return of the franchise that should not disappoint fans.

The story is a good mix of classic Star Wars with an Abrams twist. It was hard not to draw parallels to what he did with “Star Trek” while watching Episode VII, but I mean that in a positive way. Abrams understands a team dynamic and how to balance multiple actors and stories on screen at once, something that the original trilogy did very well. He gives segments time to breathe and live alongside each other, but they never lose their tension and only gain it in the interim when we visit a different part of the story. Everyone gets their screen time and an equal share of the drama, the heroism, or the sadness.

I loved that, much like the original trilogy, most of the actors were not too well known, but they will certainly be after this. John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey are great together, and play off each other very well. On the same sentiment as the paragraph above, they each have their stories that we are able to understand in a few sentences, and are seeking things that they are able to get from each other. They are the Luke and Leia of the story, and not the Han and Leia as far as I am concerned (more on that later). Really, the characters are very independent from sci-fi tropes and even what many may have expected from a franchise that set up a lot of the clichés used in this genre, and that is a very positive thing to accomplish.

Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a very complex character that I want to a call a villain but was humanized so well that it is difficult to label him a generic bad guy. For you “Avatar: The Last Airbender” fans, Kylo might be our Prince Zuko (#HONOR). Whereas Darth Maul or Count Dooku was absolutely evil, Kylo Ren is immediately given a backstory that no other villains in the series have had the pleasure of having that makes you invested in him, and the thoughts of a possible character arc or redemption story. While Vader was an enigma, we know within the first hour who Kylo is, even to the point of unmasking himself with the greatest of ease instead of drawing it out for another movie. He is a character with a heavy heart and a lot of anger, and in many ways is perhaps how Anakin should have been portrayed in episode 2 and 3 rather than the way he is. For the record, my theory of Kylo was that he was a clone of Anakin, and the big reveal in Episode IX would be when he takes off the mask to reveal Hayden Christenson underneath it. Tell me that would not have been awesome?

BB-8 is obnoxiously adorable to the point that I wanted to pick it up and put tiny cat ears and a tail on it and make it my pet. That’s what merchandise is for! The droid is the most expressive we have seen in a Star Wars film, and more emotive than R2-D2 was, which is impressive on its own.

I wish we had more of Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and definitely more of Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), but I suppose that is what the sequels are for. As of now, Phasma is presumed dead after being thrown into a trash compactor, but there is no way a character that awesome (and who is on all of the merchandise) could be tossed away like rubbish that easily. As for Poe, is anyone else shipping him and Finn together?

Seeing some of the originals again was great, and they were integrated not for the sake of nostalgia but as crucial parts of the story. This is certainly not the last time we will see them (except for Han, of course, but I bet he comes back as a spirit eventually), especially with Luke showing up at the conclusion. I am hoping that Lando Calrissian will make his triumphant comeback in the next one too, along with some more familiar alien species.

Episode VII is not without its flaws, and one of those is certainly the predictability of things. When Han confronted Kylo, everyone in the theater knew he was going to die except for the little kids (most of whom probably did not even know who Han was since no TV channels showed any of the SW films leading up to the release of this, shame on Disney). There are really not too many surprises here, the biggest one being the true identity of Kylo Ren. Everything else was foreshadowed very strongly, almost pandering to make sure that you did not miss the info that would be important later.

Abrams camerawork is always something that can be troublesome. The best comparison to draw from is once again Star Trek, which had a lot of fast pans and quick camera movements, along with an overdose of lens flare. While there is practically none of that, the signature camera shaking syndrome is still there, and it visually feels like an Abrams movie. I would have loved more steady shots and less reliance on a camera in constant motion. The blurs are too quick and I left the theatre with a vicious headache. It’s not nearly as shaky as most other action movies are these days, so don’t get me wrong, but I believe Star Wars is known for wide shots that suck you into the world. None of the locations were too awe-inspiring or made my imagination start running, and that may have been because of how self-contained everything felt and how small things were because of the constant motion. It was useful as a storytelling device, especially in the dogfights with the TIE fighters and X-Wings, but too much of it makes it hard to get invested and looks too much like a video game.

On that note, here is my nerdy complaint. Only X-Wings and TIE Fighters? What happened to the Y-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing, TIE Bomber, TIE Interceptor, and damn near every other type of ship. Most importantly, my biggest qualm with the plot itself – WHY DID THEY NEED TO KILL THE NEW DEATH STAR ALREADY!!! Seriously, this thing was eight times bigger than the original and able to destroy multiple planets at once, and it gets taken out like a chump in the exact same way the original two Death Stars went down. Did the First Order not learn from the other two huge blunders? It would have been much cooler to save this big Death Star as a tease in this movie and make it into something really big and grand, rather than something that really did not get a lot of screen time or get hyped in a way that made it truly threatening (again, predictability of the movie).

Also, can we start a drinking game for whenever a character says “This map will tell us the location of Luke Skywalker”?

Like all of the Star Wars films, there are a few plot holes here and there, but they are nothing that stopped me in my tracks. That might be attributed to how fast-paced JJ Abrams works so that you don’t have time to nitpick at first glance, but with a few more viewings even the most unobservant person should pick up on them. Do they ruin the film? Not at all, just little minor annoyances that are quickly forgiven.

The big issue I have seen many people debate is how much of a rehash this film is to “Episode IV: A New Hope”. Once again, we have a desert planet, a death star, a reluctant hero with family issues and a reason to stay in their sandy home, another Death Star, and plenty of other similarities. Are they copying the original, or following a pattern? Too early to tell, but my belief is that while there were certainly elements that are undeniably familiar, the story is far enough removed and goes to vastly different places that it is its own movie.

Is Episode VII a complete story, meaning that it does not need a sequel and can stand on its own? Yes and no. Being a Star Wars film means that it will obviously have a sequel attached to, especially since this is the start of the trilogy. Does this movie have its own definitive end-point. Yes, with the destruction of the new super-duper Death Star. However, with all of the characters going their own way, and with the big reveal at the end, it is sequel fodder. We met everyone, we shot some stuff, blew some things up, and everyone is off adventuring until we see them again in the next film. What they are doing is not even hinted at with the exception of Rey, and that is a pretty big tease.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had too much on the line to be bad. It had to be good, and it was. It’s a step in the right direction, and is a movie filled with optimism, intrigue, and wonder. It lacks the whimsy of the original, but feels like a natural continuation and captures the essence of what the series is about. The series is in good hands, but I can see it being derailed by the dark side if they do not make some improvements from this one to make it more mysterious and give it the uniqueness that it deserves to have.

Welcome back, Star Wars. It’s good to have you again, and I look forward to seeing more.

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“STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS” Spoiler-Free Review

Out of the four Star Wars movies that I have been alive for, I have now seen two of them on opening day. Episode II was my first, and today I saw Episode VII. If this movie can keep up the momentum, than I think I will be seeing VIII and IX on opening day as well.

If you have already seen the movie and want to read the spoiler-filled review, head to this link here instead. If you have not, and are trying very hard to live under a rock until the storm of spoilers passes over you, this is the review fo ryou.

Let’s get this out of the way immediately. Does Episode VII make up for the prequels? Absolutely. Everything that was wrong with them is gone, and in their place is something that feels much more like Star Wars. The lackluster elements of the prequels will be a discussion for another day, but the big thing that I can say about those movies versus the newest one is that it feels like it is in the same timeline as the original trilogy was. The prequels feel out of date when you watch them and did not age well for a number of reasons. Watching “The Force Awakens” is like you picked up right where you left off and is a much more natural fit.

If the prequels were a sign of the times of when they were made, Episode VII is a throwback in all of the right ways to make a timeless sci-fi epic. From the physical effects married perfectly with the CGI, to the dialogue and characters acting the way they should that makes sense to them, and the worlds feeling believable and real, this is the true return of the franchise that should not disappoint fans.

The story is a good mix of classic Star Wars with an Abrams twist. It was hard not to draw parallels to what he did with “Star Trek” while watching Episode VII, but I mean that in a positive way. Abrams understands a team dynamic and how to balance multiple actors and stories on screen at once, something that the original trilogy did very well. He gives segments time to breathe and live alongside each other, but they never lose their tension and only gain it in the interim when we visit a different part of the story. Everyone gets their screen time and an equal share of the drama, the heroism, or the sadness.

I loved that, much like the original trilogy, most of the actors were not too well known, but they will certainly be after this. John Boyega as Finn and Daisy Ridley as Rey are great together, and play off each other very well. On the same sentiment as the paragraph above, they each have their stories that we are able to understand in a few sentences, and are seeking things that they are able to get from each other. Really, the characters are very independent from sci-fi tropes and even what many may have expected from a franchise that set up a lot of the clichés used in this genre, and that is a very positive thing to accomplish.

The supporting cast is all great, and while I can not say too much without spoiling things, the characters are almost all very well-developed and interesting. While certain characters do not get as much screen time as I would have wanted, there is still plenty of info to whet your appetites and prepare for more of them in the next movie.

Episode VII is not without its flaws, and one of those is certainly the predictability of things. There are really not too many surprises here. Everything important was foreshadowed very strongly, almost pandering to make sure that you did not miss the info that would be important later.

Abrams camerawork is always something that can be troublesome. The best comparison to draw from is once again Star Trek, which had a lot of fast pans and quick camera movements, along with an overdose of lens flare. While there is practically none of that, the signature camera shaking syndrome is still there, and it visually feels like an Abrams movie. I would have loved more steady shots and less reliance on a camera in constant motion. The blurs are too quick and I left the theatre with a vicious headache. It’s not nearly as shaky as most other action movies are these days, so don’t get me wrong, but I believe Star Wars is known for wide shots that suck you into the world. None of the locations were too awe-inspiring or made my imagination start running, and that may have been because of how self-contained everything felt and how small things were because of the constant motion. It was useful as a storytelling device, especially in the dogfights with the TIE fighters and X-Wings, but too much of it makes it hard to get invested and looks too much like a video game.

Like all of the Star Wars films, there are a few plot holes here and there, but they are nothing that stopped me in my tracks. That might be attributed to how fast-paced JJ Abrams works so that you don’t have time to nitpick at first glance, but with a few more viewings even the most unobservant person should pick up on them. Do they ruin the film? Not at all, just little minor annoyances that are quickly forgiven.

SEMI-SPOILER about plot elements, read at your own danger: The big issue I have seen many people debate is how much of a rehash this film is to “Episode IV: A New Hope”. There are plenty of similarities. Are they copying the original, or following a pattern? Too early to tell, but my belief is that while there were certainly elements that are undeniably familiar, the story is far enough removed and goes to vastly different places that it is its own movie.

Is Episode VII a complete story, meaning that it does not need a sequel and can stand on its own? Yes and no. Being a Star Wars film means that it will obviously have a sequel attached to, especially since this is the start of the trilogy. Does this movie have its own definitive end-point. Yes, however, plenty happens and doesn’t happen that leave it for sequel fodder. Star Wars movies have typically ended on their own, even though you know there is something else coming. With this one, it was too much of a “To Be Continued” moment and felt more like a TV show season-finale instead of a movie ending.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had too much on the line to be bad. It had to be good, and it was. It’s a step in the right direction, and is a movie filled with optimism, intrigue, and wonder. It lacks the whimsy of the original, but feels like a natural continuation and captures the essence of what the series is about. The series is in good hands, but I can see it being derailed by the dark side if they do not make some improvements from this one to make it more mysterious and give it the uniqueness that it deserves to have.

Welcome back, Star Wars. It’s good to have you again, and I look forward to seeing more.

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“Star Trek Beyond” Trailer Released

Paramount Pictures has finally released the official trailer for the third film in their Trek reboot series, “Star Trek Beyond.”

A leaked version of the trailer was unofficially released not that long ago, but forget about that – this is the real thing!

Check out the new trailer below:

Not only has the original cast returned, but if the trailer is any indication, this film will have even more explosions, one-liners, and motorcycles than ever seen before in a Trek film. Yes, motorcycles. Not sure how I feel about that just yet, but I will wait to see the movie before I make too many more judgments about that.

“Star Trek Beyond” is set to hit theaters on July 22 in the US, and will star Idris Elba, Chris Pine, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, John Cho, Anton Yelchin and Karl Urban.

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ANOVOS explains plans for “Ghostbusters” replica props

Master replica prop maker, ANOVOS, answered an FAQ about their plans with the Ghostbusters line, and it makes 2016 a very good year to be a Ghosthead.

The company, who also makes prop replicas from Star Wars, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica, revealed that they are licensed to create the following items from the first two Ghostbusters films (and nothing from the cartoon shows or the upcoming movie):

Screen accurate full-size props in kit form (end user assembled and painted).
Screen accurate full-size complete prop replicas, ready to wear/display.
Screen accurate wearable uniforms/jumpsuits.
Scaled prop replicas and collectibles for desktop/tabletop display.

Props will offer some fully-built props with lights and sound if things go according to plan, and kit versions with options for electronics will also be available. They also revealed that they are licensed to make “derived jackets”, meaning they have some freedom in design elements when it comes to particular types of apparel.

It is still way too early for them to reveal more details, as well as expectations for pricing since each item will be very unique. Pre-orders will be up around third-quarter of 2016, but we should know more info before then as well.

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Leaked toy images show one more bad guy in “Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice”

As if there were not enough villains in the upcoming “Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice” movie, it looks like we have another contender throwing their hat in the ring.

One twitter user happened to find an image of an upcoming action figure three-pack that featured an armored Batman with removable helmet, Superman, and one other neat thing that was probably meant to be a surprise.

And just in case the tweet every goes bye-bye, here is the image for safe-keeping:

CUm4BAqWUAA_rrR.jpg-large

It looks like we are getting one more big baddie in the film at some point when Lex Luthor shows up in his awesome green mech suit. This should be taken with a grain of salt, since often times toys just add random things to their line, but this one hits way too close to the plot of the movie and very well might be a real thing. One thing is for sure, this flick is getting pretty crowded. It’s turning into the Royal Rumble of comic movies – who will enter the ring next?

“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” will arrive in theaters on March 25, 2016. The film stars Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Superman), Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne/Batman), Gal Gadot (Diana Prince/Wonder Woman) and Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor).

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The untold story of “Back to the Future” – “Back In Time” Movie Review

This year marked the anniversary of “Back to the Future Day”, with the future being the present, when October 21, 2015 was no longer something to look ahead to, but was reality. That was the day that Marty Mcfly landed in the future to save his kids in “Back to the Future II”, but 2015 also marked the 30th anniversary of the original film starring Michael J. Fox and Christophyer Lloyd. Many people would consider this the greatest time travel movie ever made, but plenty of others would just plain call this the greatest movie ever. In the documentary, “Back in Time”, we get to learn why this movie is so beloved to this day, and get the inside scoop on creating this classic piece of cinema gold.

Directed by Jason Aron, this project was originally funded thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that gave the filmmakers enough capitol to get some high-profile interviews and some amazing footage, as well as the ability to afford licenses to show much of the movie footage used in this.

The first third of this film is the original story of how the film was created, and how it almost did not get produced at all. Viewers will learn about the behind-the-scenes story including how Michael J. Fox was not originally going to play the lead character as Marty was played (for six weeks) by Eric Stoltz, the reasons for using a Delorean as the time machine, and which studios foolishly passed on picking this script up. Interviews with the cast and crew add all sorts of insights and stories about their time on set, but that is only the beginning of this doc.

As the story continues, the film transforms into a narrative about the fandom behind the series, showing how the legacy of the movies continued long after the end of the trilogy hit theaters. We meet people who customize Deloreans and collect the cars from the movies, run the fan sites, and even re-create the entire town from the original movie to give viewers an immersive experience that they will never forget. From America to the UK, fans of “Back to the Future” are everywhere and doing all sorts of wild things to keep this franchise alive and fresh for new generations.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen more info on the sequels since they get glossed over in this documentary to make room for the fans. The fans are indeed an important part of this, but there is so little discussed about the second and third movies, it left me wanting to hear a lot more about the inception of those instead of learning about the fandom. No offense to the fandom since the stories presented were good, but I came into this expecting a little more background story on the entire series. To be fair, the fans break up the monotony of the talking head interviews that are so prevalent in the beginning, but overall I had hoped for equal parts information as there were tributes to the community that love the movie. If it was just a doc about the making-of, it would probably feel more like a series of special features on a DVD then a fully-fledged documentary, so I suggest going into this film knowing what to expect to get a better time from it.

You can order “Back in Time” from Amazon.com on Blu-Ray for around $28, or on DVD for a few dollars less. If you are a serious fan of the film series, then this is a love-letter for you. I enjoyed hearing all of the stories, from both the creators and the fans, and if you were a fan of these movies growing up (or still are now) then there is no reason not to check this doc out.

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