Thursday, January 4, 2018


Regular readers of Digital Views it’s time for a contest! Acorn Media has provided a copy of their latest release THE FALL: THE COMPLETE SERIES to be given as a prize to a lucky winner who reads the column!

If you’re not familiar with the series read the review here. It tells the story of a serial killer in Ireland being tracked down by a team led by Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson of X-FILES fame). The three seasons have been collected in one great package and now one lucky reader will have the chance to enjoy it free.

To enter do one of two things. Online send an email to State your name and phone number and simply say “I want THE FALL”. If you don’t have access to email then send or drop off a letter to The Decatur Daily Democrat addressed to Digital Views at 141 S 2nd St, Decatur, IN 46733, including the same information. A winner will be drawn at random from all entries. Emails and letters must arrive by January 13th. Winners must be able to pick up their prize at The Decatur Daily Democrat offices. No information will be given to anyone else and is needed just to get in touch with you should you win.

It’s free, easy and you could be a winner. Enter today!


I’d forgotten just how much fun TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY was. Perhaps that’s because Arnold Schwarzenegger went on to become Governor of California. Or maybe because Edward Furlong went on to become a bad actor. Or maybe because star Linda Hamilton seemed to disappear from any major release after this film came out. It certainly isn’t for lack of a copy to resurface time and time again with numerous repackaging items to stir up interest. But this time around it’s worth the extra effort.

If you’re not aware of the story the first film told of a killer robot, a terminator, sent back in time after robots have tried to take over the world. His mission is to prevent the birth of John Connor who will go on to lead the resistance and take down the robots. The film ended with the robot crushed and Sarah Connor (Hamilton) pregnant with her son John and on the road.

The second film opens in the future where John is sending back a message. This time the terminator (Schwarzenegger) returns the same as last time, unclothed and in need of transportation. Another person from the future arrives as well (Robert Patrick). While the two of them go in search of clothing and transport we get a glimpse of Sarah and John.

John is a punk kid, living in a foster home where he’s hit those ripe teen years where he’s rebellious and uncooperative. He rides a motorcycle and hangs out at the mall. Sarah, on the other hand, is in a mental ward. Her claims of an apocalyptic future are thought to be the ravings of a lunatic and she’s medicated most of the time.

As we watch and witness both Patrick and Schwarzenegger track down John, we wonder how on earth he can survive. When Schwarzenegger shows up, gun in hand, and begins shooting at Patrick we suddenly realize that he has been sent back to save not kill John. The two escape in one of the most action packed sequences ever filmed filled with plenty of skilled driving and high end special effects.

Surviving the pair rescue Sarah and head out. When Schwarzenegger provides them the information they need as to how the entire robotic world came to be, they set out to prevent that from happening. The action sequences that follow combine the worlds of stunt men and effects to maximum effort as we watch the final battle follow.

Director James Cameron is one of the most technically gifted directors you will find. In watching the film again I marveled at the ease with which the effects were planted here and there and noticed that a number of them would be used again in his future films like THE ABYSS. But it’s not just his use of effects. He is a grand story teller as well, providing the information needed to follow along and involve the viewer. He adds touches of humor to the action going on which rounds out the film nicely.

So why bother investing in this version being released now when we’ve had so many variations available to us in the past? For one thing those fortunate enough to have invested in a 4k screen and player will now be able to watch the movie in the cleanest most high definition image possible. The movie was amazing before but imagine a picture to high on the quality scale that you can be amazed by a film made 26 years ago. The quality here is such that it looks more like it was made recently rather than all those years ago.

Extras here include a number of things including three different versions of the film, 2 different commentary tracks, deleted scenes with commentary, a 30 minute making of featurette, trailers and a 55 minute documentary called T2: REPROGRAMMING THE TERMINATOR. All of these make this the ultimate version of the film.

One more thing about this new edition. Not only does it come with the 4k restoration versions of the film but it includes the blu-ray edition as well as a digital edition. And it’s being released at an affordable price as well. So if you want to watch this film in the best way possible, make sure you pick up a copy today.

Click here to order.


Some movies you hear about more than recognize the title of. These are those lost films, movies that don’t do dynamic box office numbers but that people who have witnessed it can’t stop talking about. They are movies that make their money after appearing in theaters, more often on disc now. They are the movies that appear on pay cable and suddenly everyone is saying they can’t wait for the next movie the director brings out. BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 is one of those movies.

Vince Vaughan stars as Bradley Thomas, a hard working tow truck driver who loses his job and finds out his wife Lauren (Jennifer Carpenter) is having an affair on the same day. After he demolishes her car, the pair sit, talk and plan to set things right. In order to survive he agrees to work for his friend Gil delivering drugs but only until they’re financially secure.

18 months later Lauren is pregnant and Bradley is still delivering drugs Gil. His latest assignment is to pick up a shipment with two thugs that work for a new partner of Gil’s. Untrusting of either he establishes that should things to wrong they listen to his instructions. Of course when they pick up the drugs at a local marina and the cops show up they ignore him, don’t dump the drugs and begin a shootout with the police. Shooting one and knocking out the other, Bradley is arrested and convicted.

Sent to a minimum security jail Bradley is visited by a man (Udo Kier) who says he works for the drug runner Gil partnered up with. Offering proof that they’ve kidnapped Lauren and are holding her hostage, he informs Bradley that unless he kills another inmate named Christopher Bridge they will begin by killing his unborn child and then his wife.

His initial problem is that the man they want killed isn’t in the prison he’s incarcerated in. Instead he’s in a much worse prison, one that has the harshest of rules and worst prisoners around, Redleaf prison. Ruled over by Warden Tuggs (Don Johnson) Bradley must first find out how things work at Redleaf. Then he must find the prisoner he’s been ordered to kill. But things are not always what they seem to be on the surface.

BRAWL is one of the most brutal films made in recent years. The beat downs and fight sequences in the film are played on a realistic level and not the standard movie styled fights. People here are maimed, scarred and killed in the most vicious manner possible. But while the actions of Bradley are harsh by any standard he actually remains the most sympathetic character in the film. His actions are not directed by an inhuman nature but in an effort to survive and to insure that his family is left untouched. His is a noble cause even though he is performing an un-noble act.

There is a combination of work going on here that makes this film stand out above what could have played as a simple grindhouse styled film. First and foremost is Vaughan in what is a game changing performance for him. Vaughan has become associated with mostly comedic roles in the past with a few dramatic ones in the mix. This performance cements him among the better actors in his class. Due to the subject matter my guess is few will recognize that come Oscar time but his performance here is award worthy.

The second is the work of director S. Craig Zahler. In 2015 he broke out with a little seen western called BONE TOMAHAWK, another of those films that once seen isn’t easily forgotten and talked about non-stop by fans. These two films should garner enough interest in him that his future projects are not only noticed but given a green light by major studios. His star is in an upward motion.

Everyone involved in this film does a standout job though so they shouldn’t be forgotten. Every actor, makeup artists, costumer, set designer and more that worked on the film deserves recognition. It looks unlike any movie you’ve seen and in a good way.

The movie may upset you, it may disturb you and it may make some people flinch while watching. But watch it you should. This is one of those movies that doesn’t fall into any pat category and is more original than most out there. In a world of sequels and franchises that’s a good thing.

Click here to order.