BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 31, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/eventhorizon.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the year 2040, the pioneering research vessel Event Horizon vanishes without a trace. Seven years later, it suddenly appears in orbit around Neptune, and the United States Aerospace Command sends out a rescue crew headed by Captain Miller (Lawrence Fishburne) to salvage the vessel. Where has the ship been all this time and what happened to its crew?

Avi Greengart Posted: May 27, 2016 3 comments
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The opening titles of Everest promise that this movie is based on a true story, but then we are led through what appears to be a standard Hollywood man-versus-nature tale, complete with distinct one-note characters to root for. There’s the super-climber who built a business around adventure tourism, complete with a pregnant wife at home. A former protégé,
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 02, 2015 2 comments
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Computer programmer Caleb Smith wins an inter-company competition to spend a week at the remote estate of the company’s brilliant, yet quirky CEO and founder, Nathan Bateman. He soon learns that the vacation will be anything but when he’s coerced into signing a nondisclosure release in order to administer a Turing Test on a new AI program that could revolutionize the world. It turns out that the AI has been placed in a fully functional—and human-looking—robot named Ava, who has been locked in a glass enclosure and can’t be freed unless she proves to Smith and Bateman that she’s achieved full consciousness and is not just copying human behavior.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jun 05, 2013 0 comments
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In spring of 1999, while the masses were jacking into The Matrix, braver souls were leaping into the alternate gaming universe of David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ. Ostensibly, über game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is on a promotional tour with her newest game and game pod, which is an electrical organism that creates its virtual reality by plugging directly into the gamer’s nervous system via spinal cord bioport. She and her marketing man, Ted Pikul (Jude Law), come under attack and flee from realists who object to extreme gaming’s impact on humanity and its reliance on endangered mutant amphibians for gaming pods (!).
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 23, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/extract.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) is sitting pretty with a beautiful wife, a comfortable home, and the almost finalized acquisition by General Mills of the culinary extracts business he has built with his loyal lieutenant Brian (J.K. Simmons). Joel seems to have it all, but his wife isn't interested in him, his employees want a big payoff, and the new office hottie (Mila Kunis) is really a con artist with ulterior motives.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 30, 2012 0 comments

September 11, 2001, is a day that I doubt anyone in the world will ever forget. For young Oskar, it was the day he lost his best friend—his dad. Based on the bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an emotional rollercoaster about a preteen trying to cope with the loss of his father in his own unique way. I enjoyed the film a lot and was especially impressed with the AVC video encode with its outstanding level of detail and rich color saturation. The enveloping DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is no slouch either and features crisp dialog and pinpoint imaging.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Nov 04, 2016 0 comments
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A godlike eye in the sky that can send down hellfire; fake-fly-on-the-wall drones capable of entering anyone’s home to observe their most intimate moments; militia and religious police who, in the name of God, watch, search, and regulate every aspect of a person’s existence or end it with guns and explosive. In a place with no privacy, your life is not your own.
SV Staff Posted: May 12, 2016 2 comments
No format launch would be complete without movies to play, and UHD Blu-ray Disc boosters got more than they could have hoped for, with more than two-dozen titles from Sony, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Lionsgate available concurrent with the debut of the Samsung UBD-K8500 player and all mastered with HDR10 high dynamic range. We asked our movie reviewers Tom Norton and David Vaughn for their top-line observations on 14 titles in the first batch to help you separate the demo-worthy from the duds.
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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fallingdown.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>D-FENS (Michael Douglas) is a recently laid-off defense worker who's having a bad day. Stuck in the mother of all traffic jams, he abandons his car and sets out on foot to his daughter's birthday party. When a Korean store owner charges an insane price for a can of Coke, he snaps and trashes the store with a newly confiscated baseball bat. Now armed and dangerous, he sets out toward Venice, California with a severe case of road rage and leaves a trail of destruction in his wake.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 27, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/fame.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The High School of Performing Arts in New York City was created in 1947 by Franklin J. Keller offering music and speech programs along with traditional trade skills. Promising seven classes a day and a hot lunch, the school trains teenage musicians, actors, and dancers who have dreams of making it big except some dreams will be shattered along the way.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/famguy.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>May the laughs be with you as (Chris) Skywalker joins forces with (Peter) Solo and Princess (Lois) Leia to battle (Stewie) Vader and his Imperial minions. A host of new characters come along for the wild ride, including Mort Goldman as Lando Calrissian, Chris' boss Carl as Yoda, and the Giant Chicken as the nefarious Boba Fett.</i>

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 23, 2010 0 comments
The Family Guy alliance is in for one last outer-space adventure, as Han Solo (Peter), Chewbacca (Brian), and Princess Leia (Lois) battle against the Evil Empire. Meanwhile, Darth Vader (Stewie) and the Emperor (Carter) try to recruit Luke (Chris) to the dark side of the Force with free tacos and T-shirts.

Just like its two predecessors, this parody is crude and obnoxious and occasionally funny. I would have preferred to have seen the TV version to eliminate the "F" word, which I don't particularly care for in this context.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 26, 2010 0 comments
Four estranged buddies embark on a road trip across the country in a last ditch effort to reclaim their friendship. Star Wars fans since childhood, their goal is to break into George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in an attempt to see a rough cut of Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace before its worldwide theatrical release in 1999.

My name is David Vaughn and I have been a Star Wars fanboy since 1977. Yes, I stood in line for more hours than I would like to admit to see The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when I was an adolescent. Furthermore, I did the same in 1999 at the ripe young age of 30 in order to be one of the first to see The Phantom Menace.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 01, 2010 0 comments
Initially released by Walt Disney in 1940 as a "road show" release, Fantasia has gone on to become one of the most popular movies of all time. Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski, the film has eight musical pieces set to wonderful animation and is narrated by Deems Taylor. (Interestingly, while the music was recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the on-screen musicians seen in silhouette between the musical selections were members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and UAV editor Scott Wilkinson's grandfather was one of them.)

Fulfilling Walt Disney's original vision of continuing to create unique fusions of animation and classical music, Fantasia 2000 picks up where the first one left off with seven completely new segments and the return of the popular "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Roy E. Disney orchestrated a collaboration of more than 1200 artists and technicians to present this tour de force.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 29, 2014 0 comments
In 2009, one of the kings of quirky dramedy, Wes Anderson, managed to surprise us again with a star-studded, fully stop-motion-animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s deliciously absurd Fantastic Mr. Fox. This laid-back bad boy has settled down with his wife and pup, but can a fox ever really change his nature?

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