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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Step into Liquid is one of those films that can just blow you away with the things that people can do. To me surfing is one of those sports that is full of breathtaking beauty and awe. The film is basically a documentary on what surfing is and the way it is done by those around the world. You see big wave surfing (and I mean BIG waves), pipeline surfing and creative surfing (take the Great Lakes for example). But the underlying theme is that the experience is really the same no matter where you're from or how you do it.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 2.75/5
Farrell plays a M.I.T. graduate who is recruited by the CIA to become one of their spies. Pacino is brilliant as the recruiter as well as the school's lead instructor. This is the first film that the CIA has actually consulted on with regards to their training program and according to their liaison it's pretty accurate. Farrell's character shows promise throughout the entire school but also finds himself emotionally involved with one of the students. This becomes his Achilles heel and eventual undoing. Or so he thinks. After being kicked out of the school he finds that his dismissal was a front to place him as a deep undercover operative. But the target ends up being the same girl he was falling for in school who is actually a mole that the CIA is onto.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3.75/5
I can't count how many times Men In Black was released on DVD in one form or the other, but based on this presentation we shouldn't see it released on Blu-ray again. Sony has brought their popular sci-fi catalog favorite to the new format but surprisingly they didn't opt for the sequel as well. I'm not going to get into a big descriptor of the plot since I don't think there are many out there that have missed this one but I will say this film is just as much fun now as it was when it was first released.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3/5
There were quite a few films last year that really resonated with me and by year's end it was a tough call on which was my favorite. P.T. Anderson's newest film was one of them and probably his strongest offering to date (and that's saying something). There Will Be Blood is a haunting look at the early oil industry and namely one oil prospector who is at odds with society around him. Daniel Day Lewis delivers one of the best acting performances of recent memory and continues to solidify his reputation as one of the best in the business. His work here is truly haunting and never lets up throughout the film, despite its long run time. While this film didn't win Best Picture last year it had to have been one of the toughest years for the Academy voters considering the strength of the titles.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3/5
There has been a dearth of romance or "chic flicks" on Blu-ray. I know that new formats usually cater to big special effects and loud soundtracks but I also think film lovers like breadth of catalog and this is a genre with some solid offerings. P.S. I Love You is definitely not a classic for this genre but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I am not a fan of Hilary Swank and she doesn't win me over at all in this performance but the story and the supporting cast make up for it. Instead of your typical love story here you follow a woman on her journey of recovering from the loss of a loved one. Her deceased husband has decided to send her random notes after his death to try and bring her back into the world and get on with her life.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.25/5
Audio: 4.75/5
Extras: 3.5/5
I had high hopes for Jumper going in. I'm a big fan of the director's past work and the premise and cast displayed in the trailers certainly got my attention. Unfortunately the end result just doesn't pay off as much as I hoped for. The main character is mainly the problem. The film centers around a young man who learns he can essentially "jump" from one place to another instantly. With this power he journeys around the world. During his journeys he robs banks by jumping into their vault undetected and jumping out with the cash. What he doesn't know is there is a war that has been going on for centuries between a religious group and these "jumpers". Sound good huh? Well the problem is they focus too much on setting up the main character and he isn't that likeable. We spend a good majority of the film getting shots of him in various places around the world but it gets a bit boring, which is not what I'm looking for from an action film. Things get better toward the end but it was hard to wash away the damage that had already been done.
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Mark Fleischmann Posted: Jun 09, 2008 0 comments
Will Blu-ray’s state-of-the-art audio codecs become the format’s killer apps?

High-resolution audio is like a drowning man who, just when all seems lost, suddenly bobs back up to the surface for a convulsive gulp of air. CD replaces vinyl—he’s down. CD mastering improves—he’s up. Bad CD mastering squashes dynamic range—he’s down. SACD and DVD-Audio make their debuts with new 5.1-channel recordings and/or mixes—he’s up. The high-rez audio formats tank—he’s down. Vinyl makes a comeback—he’s up. Low-quality lossy downloads gut CD sales—he’s down. Oh Lord, he’s been down there a long time now. Will we ever see his head above water again?

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 07, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/060608butch.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The president of the Union Pacific Railroad hires the Pinkertons to hunt down and kill Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid for repeatedly robbing his trains. With a lucky escape still fresh in their minds, Butch decides it's time to retire to Bolivia, and who is Sundance to argue?

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 07, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/060608vendetta.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Remember, remember the 5th of November. The significance of this date in England goes back to 1605, when a Catholic terrorist by the name of Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in protest over how Catholics were treated. Fast forward to the near future and meet V (Hugo Weaving), our tragic hero, who struts around town wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and is a terrorist in his own right&mdash;or at least the totalitarian government has labeled him as such.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 07, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/060608next.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Nicolas Cage stars as Cris "Frank Cadillac" Johnson, a small-time magician in Las Vegas. Cris isn’t your ordinary slight-of-hand magician&mdash;he has the ability to see two minutes into the future. Is it a gift or a curse? FBI agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore) discovers his ability and will stop at nothing to get him into custody in order to stop a planned nuclear attack on Los Angeles.

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Marc Horowitz Posted: Jun 05, 2008 0 comments
Review
Warner

Dirty Harry, Magnum Force, The Enforcer, Sudden Impact, The Dead Pool

(See review for ratings)

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 04, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.25/5
Audio: 4.75/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Just in time for the upcoming theatrical release of Shyamalan's The Happening comes one of his best films on Blu-ray, Signs. I honestly loved just about everything with this movie. This film excels at keeping the audience on edge and balancing all aspects of the production. This is a solid thriller that delivers great chills but does so with respect to the intimacy of each character. Few films have kept me on the edge as well as this one does and I love the character development and themes on faith. This still stands as probably my favorite film from director M. Night Shyamalan and is a welcome addition to the HD library.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 04, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 2.75/5
Extras: 3.25/5
Short Circuit has always been a fun family film and I can't help but think Image jumped on the opportunity to get this one out right before Disney rolls out a robot that looks very similar to Johnny 5, Wall-E. It's been years since I've seen this film and it is still a lot of fun even if it does feel really dated. The heart is still there and Johnny 5 is still great for laughs. For those not familiar with the plot line Johnny 5 is a government funded military project that goes haywire after an exercise and escapes into the population. Once on his own he befriends a pet sitter and becomes more and more aware of his own existence. The themes are somewhat similar to what I, Robot touched upon in regard to artificial intelligence and when it reaches the point of self awareness.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 04, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 3/5
I had the discomfort of sitting through Cloverfield during its theatrical run and I was actually a bit intimidated by the idea of seeing it again in my own theater room. My discomfort had nothing to do with the story itself, but rather the experience that the camera style offers. My wife and I both suffered from extreme headaches for several hours after the theatrical viewing and my wife thought she would be sick at any moment for quite sometime after. I found myself closing my eyes a lot just to help things during the movie. The film is merely stock footage of the events that happened in New York after a large monster of some sort attacks the city. The footage is taken with a handicam and follows a few young residents as they first try to escape the city and then turn around to try and rescue a friend. The camera work is all over the place and really only provides snippets of the monster and reminded me a bit of The Blair Witch Project at times. While I thought the execution and premise of this film were both excellent, they didn't justify the physical effects watching the film induced. I thought watching this on a smaller screen (120" diagonal in my case) would help, but that just wasn't the case. I would recommend anyone going into this film the first time be prepared.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 04, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.25/5
Extras: 3.5/5
Lionsgate presents yet another Japanese horror remake, this time The Pang Brother's hit or miss The Eye. This wasn't one of my favorite Japanese horror films but it certainly wasn't at the bottom of my list. The remake is close to the original with some scenes almost playing out shot for shot, but it lacks the overlaying tension of the original. This one relies more on quick scares that usually have more to do with the score than satisfying thrills. Alba is better than normal though and does a fairly good job in the role of the blind patient who is given the gift of sight again after having a cornea transplant. The supporting cast is barely used despite the talent and the ending is a bit too Hollywood happy for me. Overall I found this one to be rental material with only a few moments worth checking out.

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