BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 23, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3/5
Studios are taking advantage of the success of the Harry Potter franchise and jumping in with both feet on any young adult adventure they can find that may or may not be the next big thing. Nickelodeon has gone a different route with Spiderwick though. For those unfamiliar with the books they are actually a collection of novellas for the most part. Instead of doing each episode individually the film encompasses the entire series in one film. Sure they glaze over some side stories and details but overall it has worked really well. The production values of this piece are exceptional, especially the effects work from ILM. The film moves at a brisk pace and the storyline doesn't tone down so much that adults won’t have a good time with it. All things considered I thought it was one of the better family adventure films of late.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 23, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 4.25/5
Extras: 2.75/5
I've been a huge fan of Michel Gondry's direction in both music videos and motion pictures for sometime now. The trailers for Be Kind Rewind made this film out as a bit more inventive than it turned out to be but it still showcases Gondry's knack for storytelling and imagination. After a struggling video stores inventory of VHS tapes are erased by a magnetized Jack Black, Black and Mos Def recreate famous films by request using a home video camera. The local community gets behind the duo when the Hollywood big wigs cry foul due to copyright laws. The film does a great job of capturing the spirit of films and how a great story goes beyond a production budget.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 23, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 3.25/5
Extras: 3.75/5
The Dirty Harry films solidified Clint Eastwood as a mainstream Hollywood tough guy and created an icon in gritty police drama. "Go Ahead, Make my Day" is a line everyone knows and I must say this Blu-ray box set did just that. It had been awhile since I'd seen any of the Dirty Harry films and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed them back in the day. The box set includes all five films in the series or you can purchase the original Dirty Harry in a coffee book edition on its own. While these films do show their age a bit in pacing and production they are still some of my favorite crime thrillers of yesteryear.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308mib.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Agent "K" (Tommy Lee Jones) and Agent "J" (Will Smith) are members of a top-secret government agency charged with monitoring and policing alien activity on Earth. Clothed in their sharp black suits, the men must stop a deadly plot by a bug-like terrorist (Vincent D'Onofrio), who intends to start an intergalactic war by assassinating two ambassadors from opposing galaxies who are currently in New York.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308master.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Captain “Lucky Jack” Aubrey (Russell Crowe) of the HMS <I>Surprise</I> receives orders to sink or capture the French privateer <I>Acheron</I> off the east coast of South America. In his first encounter with the enemy vessel, the more powerfully built French warship gets the better of his crew and nearly sinks the <I>Surprise</I>. Dr. Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany), Aubrey's best friend and ship's surgeon, tries to convince him there is no shame in returning home given the conditions they face. Torn between duty and friendship, the fate of his crew weighs on his mind.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308boleyn.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, <i>The Other Boleyn Girl</i> is the story of Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary as they rival for the bed and heart of Henry VIII. Discovering that the king's wife, Katherine of Aragon, is unable to provide him with a male heir, the girls' ambitious father and uncle devise a bold plan to advance the family's power and status by courting the affections of the king.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308short.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Struck by lightning, a Defense Department robot malfunctions and, as a result, develops its own consciousness. Escaping the military, it finds refuge with a young woman (Ally Sheedy) who helps hide "Number 5" from its inventor, Newton Crosby (Steve Guttenberg), and the government who wants its weapon back.

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 3.5/5
While he may not have been the most popular General of World War II there is no denying his effectiveness and contribution to the campaign. Patton has become one of the benchmarks for character biographies and George C. Scott's Oscar winning performance is nearly one of legend. The film does a great job showing both sides of Patton's personality and leaves it to the viewer to decide his own opinions on the man's methods and ideas.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.75/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 2/5
Last time we saw this couple together they were trying their best to lose each other while falling in love at the same time. This time isn't too different except the couple is already married and in the process of a divorce. I guess treasure hunting doesn't keep the thrills alive like it used to. Fool's Gold is a fun ride that is good brainless fun with a little bit of action flare. The film is set in the beautiful Caribbean and balances a good mix of adventure, flirting and romance. While I wouldn't put in the same category of adventure as National Treasure or the Indy films, it is still good popcorn fun with a good cast and gorgeous scenery.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.25/5
Audio: 3.25/5
Extras: 2.75/5
This film didn't seem to get much buzz at the box office despite the popularity of the leads. I didn't have high hopes going in because of this but really ended up enjoying this one. The chemistry between Freeman and Nicholson was great and this one had my wife and I laughing out loud quite a bit. The first half of the film is great and sets up the characters perfectly but I didn't think some of the journeys they took were as involving. But the director brings it back together by the end and tugs on the heart strings. Overall this is a heartwarming film ended up being a really fun ride.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 2/5
Gus Van Sant has been working on some great independent titles and forgoing the usual mainstream route. Paranoid Park reminded me a bit of his earlier film, Elephant, and takes the same route of hiring non-actors and using a low budget. Despite this approach Van Sant still delivers a very strong story with good character development. The film follows a high school skater who's involved in an unfortunate accident that costs a security guard his life. The film focuses on how this affects the boy's life and trying to figure out what to do. The narrative is weaved from different timelines allowing you to get a feel for the character before plunging you right into the events. I'm glad to see notable filmmakers start to go against the mainstream Hollywood feel with their films. Films like this show you don't need big names or high budgets to make an effective film.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 11, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3/5
Audio: 3.75/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Independent thrillers and horror films have become the leaders in innovation and original concepts these days. While Hollywood looks to mass produce and remake everything that already been done, independents are fueling the fires with new ways to provide chills. The Signal reminds me a bit of the zombie genre in the way 28 Days Later did but with a new twist. Instead of an infectious disease we have a signal being broadcast through TV and phones that causes mass hysteria and unexplainable rage. The film focuses on a small group of people caught in the horror and is divided into three main acts all written and directed by different people but using the same characters and time line. I must say I really enjoyed the first and last act but found the second act to be a bit disappointing. This writer/director took the tone of the movie in a different direction and added a lot of dark humor that just didn't work for me. Thankfully the third act is strong enough to erase most of the issues and I finished the film with a positive outlook on the work as a whole.
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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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