Although Martin Scorsese has drawn some compelling performances out of his cast - particularly Mark Wahlberg, who rises to the challenge as never before - The Departed lacks the visual flair of the director's other works.
Black Hawk Down (Sony). Finally, it all comes together on one high-def disc: incredibly detailed 1080p images and stunningly clear, uncompressed PCM 5.1-channel surround sound. A sea of fine lines in Sam Shepard's face adds authenticity to his portrayal of the commander of the mission, and his skin tones look utterly natural.
Extras: 4 V for Vendetta is the heartwarming tale of a near future where the government has taken an Orwellian turn for the oppressive extreme. Ironically, this time, John Hurt plays the oppressor instead of the oppressed. His government subdues all, except for the “terrorist” V, who decides he’s mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, V is decent, but it’s disappointing in that it could have been a lot better.
Extras: 4 M:i:III is the first film to be released simultaneously on HD DVD, Blu-ray, and standard DVD. Underachieving at the box office, this is nonetheless a lavish and worthy entry in the franchise. Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the show as a vile weapons dealer, but there are plenty of action sequences, stunts, and disguises to support Cruise. So what if it feels like we’ve seen it all before? Director J.J. Abrams adds a few fresh twists, and it’s still good fun the third time around.
Unashamedly, this is my favorite movie of all time. From the dialogue, to the acting, to the story, everything about this movie is awesome. If you never have, you owe it to yourself to see it. The story centers around hardened bar owner Rick, a lost love, and sticking it to some Nazis, which always make for good entertainment. As usual with a superior movie like this one, it’s about all that and more.
It was with some trepidation that I watched this movie. After all, Joel Schumacher and Akiva Goldsman did their incompetent best to ruin the franchise for anyone who can sound out the word h-a-c-k-s. I shouldn’t have worried. Christopher Nolan knows his stuff and made a movie that is the equal to if not (dare I say it) better than Tim Burton’s classic. Unlike Brian Singer’s passable rebirth/continuation of the Superman franchise, Nolan starts fresh and does as the title says, showing the beginnings of Batman.
Tim Burton spins a tale of love and marriage in the worlds of the barely living and the hardly dead. Using stop-motion animation, Burton creates a world that is visually stunning and unlike anything else out there (except for his other creations). The voice acting, from the likes of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tracey Ullman, is excellent.
In an effort to outperform the original, sequels invariably spend more money, have more explosions, more action, more stunts and more special effects. In this spirit I suppose it's inevitable that Kevin Smith's <I>Clerks II</I> would turn to bestiality (er, "interspecies erotica") in an effort to go where even the original <I>Clerks</I> hadn't gone before. The original did feature necrophilia as a set piece after all. And there's also a hilariously wrong homage to <I>Silence of the Lambs</I> here that anyone who sees this film will never forgive Kevin Smith or Jason Mewes for.
OK, <I>AVP's</I> concept, such as it is, of pitting two of cinema's most known monsters against each other in mortal combat (not <I>Mortal Kombat</I>) began back in the day as a graphic novel. A graphic novel is a comic book of allegedly higher aesthetic and narrative value not necessarily aimed at little kids. However, even a comic book would be embarrassed at the setup here in which these two cinematic make-up and effects legends duke it out. Any teenager who reads Fangoria magazine could have dreamed this one up. And hell, who cares what he excuses are, we just want to see the Aliens and Predators run amok, which they do.