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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 11, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/galaxyquest.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Sixteen years after the cancelation of the TV show <I>Galaxy Quest</I>, the ensemble cast ekes out a living signing autographs at fan conventions and making appearances at store openings. Lucky for them, the gig of a lifetime comes along when they're recruited by an alien race&#151;which has been watching the show as the TV signal races through space, believing it to depict real life on Earth&#151;to rescue them from a band of outer-space warriors.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 26, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/gangs.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>After years of incarceration, Irish immigrant Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) returns to lower Manhattan's lawless, corrupt Five Points neighborhood seeking revenge against Bill "The Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis) for killing his father. Vallon's personal vendetta becomes the catalyst for all-out gang warfare in 1862 New York.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/genkill.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>From the creator of <i>The Wire</i> comes an in-depth look at the Iraq War from the perspective of the 1st Recon Marines&#151;and it isn't pretty. <i>Rolling Stone</i> correspondent Evan Wright rode along with the platoon for 40 days in 2003 before writing a series of articles that ran in the magazine, which led to a book, then the mini-series.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 22, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/genkill.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The seven-part series opens with a platoon of Marines on a training mission in Kuwait shortly before the start of the Iraq War doing what Marines do best&#151;kicking ass and taking names&#151;preparing for the most important event of their young lives. This is Bravo Company of the First Recon Marines, led by the bright but nave Lt. Fick (Stark Sands). Like most kids, these guys are a little unsure of themselves and act a lot tougher than they actually are. I had to remind myself that these young men aren't our best and brightest, but they do a job that most of us aren't willing to do. Is some of their dialog reprehensible? Yes. But given their circumstances, I'm willing to cut them some slack.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 27, 2010 0 comments
Aspiring record company exec Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) has the brilliant idea of rejuvenating the career of fading British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) with a comeback concert at the world-renowned Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Dispatched by his boss (Sean Combs) to transport the notoriously dissolute Snow from London to L.A., Aaron has just 72 hours to get the out-of-control rocker across the Atlantic.

Here we go again, another popular Judd Apatow production that I didn't find the least bit funny. Brand's character is annoying as hell and I was checking my watch after the first fifteen minutes—never a good sign. I did find Combs' role amusing, but maybe I'm getting too old to appreciate this brand of comedy.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 10, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/getsmart.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When the headquarters of CONTROL are attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to promote his best analyst, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell), who has always wanted to work in the field. Partnered with veteran Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), he must rely on a few spy-tech gadgets and his enthusiasm for his promotion to defeat the evil crime syndicate, KAOS, if he wants to save the day and&#151;better yet&#151;get the girl.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 30, 2011 0 comments
History comes alive with intense and spirited battles during the bloodiest three days on American soil that were the beginning of the end of the South's battle to secede from the Union. Ronald F. Maxwell takes viewers into the strategy sessions of both forces and shows the minor skirmishes that lead General Lee (Martin Sheen) to order a full-scale frontal assault and how the battle impacted the outcome of the war.

My biggest complaint with this film has always been its length, so I'm not exactly thrilled with the additional 17 minutes in the director's cut. Frankly, Maxwell would have been better served by cutting the run time down at least an hour. It's nearly impossible to get through the entire 271 minutes in one sitting, but having watched it over two nights, I have to admit the history lesson was an enlightening experience.

Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 17, 2012 1 comments
As Marvel’s comic characters go, Ghost Rider is hellishly hard to categorize. From what I can gather from the character’s two films, 2007’s Ghost Rider and this sequel (I’m not a fan of the comics), Johnny Blaze is a motorcycle stunt rider who sells his soul to the devil to save his father’s life. In exchange, he periodically turns into an ancient, fiery demon that searches out evil to suck out its soul. A bummer for sure, but everybody needs a hobby. His motorcycle has apparently sold its carburetor and tires to Beelzebub as well, since whenever Johnny goes all flames and stuff, he’s also treated to one hell of a ride. Talk about sitting on the hot seat.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 06, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/ghosttown.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Bertram Pincas (Ricky Gervais), a socially- challenged New York City dentist, emerges from a routine colonoscopy with the uncanny ability to see and speak to the dead. When word of his ability gets out in the spirit community of his ability, he becomes the go-to- guy for every ghost with unfinished bisinessbusiness. One such ghost is Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), who is determined to stop a relationship involving his widow, Gwen (Tea Leoni), and so he seeks Bertram’'s help in the matter.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/ghostbusters.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When ghosts and demons run amuck in New York City, it's up to a team of ex-college professors turned ghost exterminators to capture the unwanted apparitions. The team of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) must save the beautiful Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her nerdy neighbor Louis (Rick Moranis) when they inadvertently open the gates of hell.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 07, 2011 0 comments

Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction are both out this week in brand-new Blu-ray releases, approved by the director, and we've gotten some copies to give away, courtesy of Lionsgate/Miramax.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 07, 2011 0 comments

We've been following the progress of 7.1 audio pretty closely, and this week saw the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon on Blu-ray, complete with a new, home theater-specific Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Jun 12, 2001 0 comments

More Ben-Hur than Spartacus, director Ridley Scott's Gladiator is painted with broad strokes of sentimentality, gory violence, and New Age spirituality.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 05, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/gladiator.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>One of the most eagerly awaited titles makes its debut on Blu-ray with Paramount's new brand&#151;Sapphire Series&#151;promising the pinnacle in both picture and sound. Unfortunately, <i>Gladiator</i> only fulfills half the promise&#151;the audio is outstanding, but the video is a shameful example of using an older master not fit for HD release.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 30, 2010 0 comments
Last October, I was disappointed with one of the debut titles of Paramount's new Sapphire Series Blu-rays, Gladiator. While the audio track was outstanding, the video encode left a lot to be desired due to some excessive digital manipulation and rampant edge enhancement. At the time, I asked Paramount to recall the disc and offer a replacement program as Sony did with the original release of The Fifth Element.

Ask and ye shall receive! The studio has implemented a limited exchange program with a new video encode that drastically improves the disc. If you own the original release, call Paramount at (888) 889-9456 to exchange it. For consumers wishing to buy the new version, it will be available in stores with a yellow barcode versus white on the original release.


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