BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 29, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fastfurious.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When tragedy brings fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) back to Los Angeles, his long-dormant feud with FBI agent Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) threatens to reignite&#151;until they discover a common enemy. Unfortunately, this film is about six years too late&#151;Vin Diesel should have been in the first sequel rather than skipping to the third&#151;but it's quite the demo showpiece. The video encode has excellent shadow detail with bright colors, and the first-rate DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track exhibits outstanding surround imaging and impressive frequency response.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 07, 2011 0 comments
Former cop Brian O'Copnner (Paul Walker) and his girlfriend Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) hookup with her fugitive brother Dom (Vin Diesel) and head to South America to elude the authorities. Tired of running, they assemble an elite team of top racers to help pull off one last job in order to secure enough cash for retirement, but when a hard-nosed federal agent (Dwayne Johnson) shows up in Rio de Janeiro, their job goes from hard to nearly impossible to complete.

Generally speaking, sequels tend to pale in comparison to the original, but here's a case where the fifth film in the series is actually the best. It all boils down to the screenplay, which has more of an Ocean's 11 tone than a racing-centric plot found in the previous films. Regardless, it's a lot of fun to watch and the spectacular audio and video help keep you on the edge of your seat.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 25, 2011 0 comments
Revenge is a dish best served cold, and for Driver (Dwayne Johnson), he's been waiting 10 years behind bars to avenge the murder of his brother. Now a free man, he can have his revenge but the hunter is also the hunted with two men trailing him. The first is a cop (Billy Bob Thornton) who's just days from retirement and the other is a young hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who's happy to come across such a worthy adversary.

Maybe I'm getting too old, but I'm really getting tired of gratuitous violence that's so prevalent in today's films. I like an action movie just as much as the next guy, but does the violence need to come along for the ride? That aside, the action is pretty intense and well choreographed, but Johnson and Thornton's characters are hard to root for and I couldn't wait for this one to end.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 05, 2010 Published: Feb 06, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fearloathing.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the book by Hunter S. Thompson about a journalist (Johnny Depp) and his lawyer (Benicio Del Toro) in search of the American dream while gallivanting around Las Vegas for 48 hours high on drugs. Along the way they meet a cast of real life characters including Tobey Maguire, Ellen Barkin, Gary Busey,, Christina Ricci, Mark Harmon, Carmon Diaz, and Lyle Lovett.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 15, 2008 Published: Dec 16, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fearless.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When an ill-advised fight destroys the reputation of renowned martial-arts champion Huo Yuanjia (Jet Li), his family pays the ultimate price. Shamed and disgraced, Huo must look within himself to find inner peace and discover what his mission in life should be.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 05, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/ferris.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Ferris Bueller (Mathew Broderick), his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck), and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) ditch school for the day and frolic around Chicago in a Ferrari. Although Ferris's parents think he's the ideal child, his sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) and principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) know better and would like nothing more than to catch Ferris in his shenanigans.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 04, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fod.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Iowa corn farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) questions his own sanity when he hears a voice whispering, "If you build it, he will come." Eventually, a vision of a baseball field appears in the distance, planting the seed of a most unusual idea. With the help of his supportive wife Annie (Amy Madigan), Ray tears up a portion of his crop and constructs a baseball diamond, leading to the appearance of Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta) and seven other White Sox players from the disgraced 1919 team. Play ball!

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Kris Deering Posted: Nov 30, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fightclub.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until a sensuous eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of control spiral toward oblivion.</I>

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 01, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fighting.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>This is a gritty story of a small town boy, Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum), who becomes a street-fighting star in New York City's underground circuit thanks to the help of scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard). The first act showed some promise, but ultimately, continuity issues and poor plot choices knock out what could have been an interesting story. What kept me intrigued was the excellent VC-1 encode, with deep blacks, amazing dimensionality, and revealing shadow detail.

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Tom Norton Posted: Sep 20, 2007 Published: Sep 21, 2007 0 comments

<I>Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within</I> is a cross-genre blend of sci-fi and computer animation, more Japanese anime than cuddly Disney. Check out the flood of Japanese names in the end-credits. Released in 2001, it was one of the first attempts at photo-realistic animation, and in that respect, at least, was startlingly successful. While you'll never confuse the images here with those of real people, they're as close to it as anyone has come, either before or since. Unlike the more recent <I>Polar Express</I>, the characters here don't have creepy, zombie-like eyes.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 22, 2013 0 comments
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Little Nemo and his dad, Marlin, are the only survivors of a barracuda attack that took his mom and not-yet-hatched siblings. On Nemo’s first day of school (fish in a school—who knew?), he swims out beyond safety and is scooped up by a scuba diver. The distraught Marlin sets out on a journey to find him. In his quest, he meets up with a memory-challenged fish, Dory; a trio of sharks in a fish-anonymous rehab group; a convoy of surfer-dude turtles; a great blue whale; and more.
Michael Berk Posted: Jun 08, 2012 0 comments

Last night we dropped by the 7.1-equipped 3D theater in Dolby's midtown offices for a sneak peek at Francois and Pierre Lamoureux's Pat Metheny: The Orchestrion Project, the forthcoming theatrical 3D film of jazz legened Pat Metheny's latest "solo" outing with his mechanical orchestra.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
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In many ways, Norman Babcock is a typical kid trying to find his way in the world. He enjoys watching TV with his grandma, gets bullied at school, and what he wants more than anything is acceptance. Unfortunately, Norman has a certain ability that seems to turn people off—he can see and speak with the dead. In fact, his grandma has been dead for a while, and whenever he mentions to his family that he enjoys spending time with her, Mom and Dad kind of freak out. Poor Norman is considered the town freak of Blithe Hollow because of his ability, but little do the townspeople know that the young man is about to save them from a witch who was executed more than 300 years earlier and is seeking her pound of flesh.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Jun 19, 2013 1 comments
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Director Robert Zemeckis makes his dramatic return to live-action feature films with Flight after a decade-long foray into performance-capture animated films like The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol. His last live-action film before this was Cast Away with Tom Hanks in 2000, which either coincidentally or ironically also featured a crashing jetliner.
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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 0 comments

This 2004 remake of an early 1960s B-picture was underappreciated when it first came out, and with good reason. The original starred Jimmy Stewart. A remake of any film starring an icon from Hollywood's golden age has a very steep hill to climb.

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