BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Apr 08, 2016 0 comments
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Older anime fans in North America will likely remember Gatchaman, the classic 1972 series created by Tatsuo Yoshida, as Battle of the Planets (1978). Battle of the Planets was a tamed-down version of Gatchaman that removed elements of graphic violence and profanity and changed plot points related to the transgenderisim of the villain in order to avoid controversy with parents. It also rode the wave of Star Wars’ success by adding in scenes reminiscent of the space opera to mask deficiencies introduced by the changes and eliminations (only 85 of 105 episodes were used). Slightly younger audiences may be even more familiar with a subsequent mid-’80s adaptation, G-Force: Guardians of Space, which more closely followed the original series.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Apr 08, 2016 1 comments
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Ted, the foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear, has married his longtime human girlfriend, Tami-Lynn, and a beautiful wedding it was. But as with most marriages between stuffed animals and human beings, the honeymoon ends all too soon, and after only a year, the newlyweds are already fighting. Naturally, the best remedy to soothe a decaying marriage and revitalize the spark is to bring a baby into the equation. But since Ted is lacking in the genitalia department, their choices are reduced to either adoption or artificial insemination.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Apr 01, 2016 0 comments
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Mulholland Drive is a wild and woolly movie, rife with swooning mysteries, esoteric clues, red herrings, black swans, and, even if the whole mélange remains a puzzle to you, it tosses up some of the most haunting and sensual images and sounds ever to come out of Hollywood. It begins with heavy breathing and soft focus on a red sheet, your first signal that what you’re about to see is someone’s dream, though how much, and at what point things flit back and forth from nightmare to reality (or, simply, to random jetsam from writer-director David Lynch’s own weird dreams and fantasies) is up for grabs.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 01, 2016 0 comments
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Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy and self-centered businessman (is there any other kind in the movies?), is in his late sixties and dying of cancer. But he’s found an escape in a secretive company that has developed a way to transfer the contents of someone’s brain into a younger, healthy human body. They call the process shedding. It succeeds on Damian, but with complications he didn’t anticipate.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 25, 2016 10 comments
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Truman Capote’s career-defining “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood recounted with fastidious nuance a violent crime that shocked America. Absent Capote’s masterful prose, the movie adaptation gives us a precise chronicle of the events with laudable authenticity. But under the inspired guidance of director/screenwriter Richard Brooks, the film goes beyond rote police procedural, introducing us to killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock as a couple of troubled, down-on-their-luck ex-cons.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Mar 25, 2016 3 comments
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Remember that kid from high school that nobody liked and you and your friends mercilessly tormented him just because he was different? No? Well, he sure remembers you. Now imagine that all these years later, that person still bears a grudge against you and wants a little payback.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2016 1 comments
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The End of the Tour is like My Dinner with Andre but without the dinner or Andre. Yes, it does consist of one long conversation, but unlike Wallace Shaun and Andre Gregory’s fine feast of fascinating, erudite, intellectual spouting, with ideas crashing one upon another, the characters here are remarkable in their compelling ordinariness and awkwardness. It tells of a five-day interview of celebrated novelist David Foster Wallace by rookie Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky on a road book tour following the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking novel, Infinite Jest, which wowed a generation with its brilliant virtuosity.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 18, 2016 0 comments
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We first met the Minions in the Despicable Me films. They were the henchmen of Gru, desperate to be seen as The Greatest Villain of All Time. But the Minions movie begins at the dawn of time when these funny, goggle-wearing creatures, babbling in their unique humina-humina-humina language, emerge from the primordial sea. They’re immediately driven to seek out the greatest villain they can find. But no sooner do they find one than they bumble into eliminating him.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2016 0 comments
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“Human nature was a mystery that logic alone could not illuminate.” In this tale of memory, fiction, and flashbacked facts, Sir Ian McKellen completely transforms into an aging Sherlock Holmes, a real-life person who’s been misrepresented in Dr. Watson’s books and turned into a romanticized creation. Living in retirement for 33 years following a failure that still haunts him, Holmes, who is rapidly losing his memory, is trying to recall the details of the case that derailed him in the hope of writing an account to correct the “myriad misconceptions created by the imaginative license” Watson had embellished his recounting of the investigations with.
Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 16, 2016 0 comments
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As iconic as it remains a full half-century later, when Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back was being shot by director D.A. Pennebaker during the Bard’s whirlwind acoustic tour of England in May 1965, there were literally no rules to follow. “It’s the idea of the home movie, the kind of movie that was always made by one person,” says Pennebaker, still as sharp as ever at age 90. “I had gotten the notion in my head not to make a pure music film. I decided to make it about him, right at the time he was trying to figure out who he was.”
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
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Aladdin was released theatrically in 1992, during a renaissance in Disney’s hand-drawn animation that also gave us Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. But its release on DVD didn’t happen until 2004, and this is its first time on Blu-ray. It’s been too long a wait.

You know the story. Street rat Aladdin finds a magic lamp, he rubs it, and a genie appears to grant his new master three wishes. It’s a tale of redemption, growth, love, treachery, and—oh, forget all that. Its Boy meets Genie, Boy loses Genie, Boy gets Genie.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 11, 2016 1 comments
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Korben Dallas, a New York cab driver, is just trying to get through another day when a fare drops into his cab unexpectedly, and before he knows it, he’s responsible for saving the galaxy from an intergalactic feud that happens every 5,000 years. The fare is the Fifth Element, who, when combined with earth, wind, fire, and water, becomes the perfect weapon to save the human race from destruction—if Korben can keep her safe until she fulfills her destiny.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 04, 2016 1 comments
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As directed by Russell Crowe from the book of the same name by Andrew Anastasios and Dr. Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios, The Water Diviner is part (anti-) war story, part romance, part history lesson, and part travelogue. Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli in which he lost his three sons, Joshua Connor (Crowe) is driven by the suicide of his wife to leave his Outback farm to go to the battlefield in search of their remains.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 04, 2016 3 comments
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Like Hitler, Guy Ritchie has a certain style. Which doesn’t make either of them an artist. However, Ritchie has finally learned how to make a kick-ass action movie, and in adapting a somewhat silly and camp British 1960s TV series, the director has found something that fits his talents and temperament like a tight, flash suit. By far superior to his laughably bad Sherlock Holmes films, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a slick adventure that moves along at a clip from one set piece to the next, connected by banter—not witty, but efficient in setting up each character.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2016 0 comments
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A year before The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, Brian Wilson had completed “Good Vibrations,” the first pop song with orchestral backing and the most expensive single ever produced. By then, its genius composer had begun his descent into madness, which, by the 1970s, would find him bedridden for several years before being placed under the care of Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). Astonishingly accurate to its finest detail, Love & Mercy, which flashes between Wilson, “Rock Star” prodigy of the mid-’60s (Paul Dano) and “Rock Bottom” burnout of the late ’80s (John Cusak), is compelling on historical, musical, and emotional levels.

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