BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Feb 13, 2013 2 comments
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Oliver Stone practically had to sell his soul to get Platoon made at a time when no movie studio wanted to revisit the Vietnam War. After that film won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1986, however, it kicked open the floodgates, and suddenly movie theaters everywhere were inundated with Vietnam War films like Hamburger Hill, Casualties of War, and Full Metal Jacket, and all paled in comparison with Platoon. With Full Metal Jacket, legendary filmmaker Stanley Kubrick examines the ritualistic dehumanization of the American Marine through rigorous boot camp training and transformation into a remorseless killing machine.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 20, 2015 1 comments
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After their last adventure in London, the team headed by Dominic Toretto has made a new enemy in ex–black ops assassin Deckard Shaw, the brother of Owen Shaw, the mercenary they just took down. With revenge on his mind, Shaw systematically targets every one of the crew for death, and they must band together in order to survive—which isn’t a guarantee. Help comes from Mr. Nobody, a secret U.S. government agent who is willing to trade support for the gang as long as they can capture Ramsey, a hacker who has created a technology that will make finding Shaw a piece of cake.
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David Vaughn Posted: May 21, 2015 0 comments
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As World War II is nearing an end in Europe, a Sherman tank is dispatched to a crucial crossroads in order to cut off a battalion of German soldiers trying to regroup with their comrades for one last push against the Allies. In command of the American force is a battle-hardened army sergeant nicknamed Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), who has promised his crew he’ll get them home alive, but when the taskforce is attacked on the way to the rally point, he has a difficult decision to make—press on and defend the position or go back for reinforcements?
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 07, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/gforce.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A top-secret, highly trained trio of guinea pig super spies is assigned to stop a dastardly plot to take over the world. Squad leader Darwin (voiced by Sam Rockwell) will do what it takes to guarantee the success of his team, which also includes Blaster (Tracy Morgan), a weapons expert with an attitude, and Juarez (Penelope Cruz), a sexy martial arts pro.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 08, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/gijoe.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>While protecting a top-secret warhead, two NATO soldiers code-named Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are saved from certain doom by agents of G.I. Joe, an secret military organization armed with the latest in military technology. After the attack, the two are recruited into G.I. Joe's ranks, and their mission is to stop a terrorist who uses nanotechnology for nefarious purposes.

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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: Jan 29, 2016 1 comments
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Adapted from George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series of books, Game of Thrones debuted on HBO in 2011 and became an instant small-screen classic. The fifth season was recently honored with the “Outstanding Drama Series” Emmy, and the sixth (of rumored eight) will debut this year.

This is my second attempt at watching after the first failed miserably due to complaints from Mrs. Reviewer. While she loved the medieval period sets and costumes, she was extremely turned off by the gore and the seemingly never-ending display of bare breasts along with “pointless sex scenes.” I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with the incestuous scene in the first episode, but I found that the rampant depictions of prostitution showcased the low morality prevalent in this society, and it became an integral part of the storytelling, especially the aforementioned incest.

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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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Guido Henkel Posted: Apr 29, 2015 0 comments
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By their very nature, biopics are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they tell the story of a person in the limelight with achievements viewers are familiar with, while on the other, they explore sides of the person that have typically escaped the public eye. Striking the right balance between the two is the key. Get on Up takes a look at the life of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, a man whose musical legacy can be heard and felt in almost every bit of popular music today. The film jumps liberally between different periods of Brown’s life in anecdotal form, covering his childhood, his meteoric rise to stardom, the fall, the comeback, and everything in between. While it feels a bit disjointed at times, the film nonetheless manages to draw a portrait of Brown and what drove him to become one of the most recognizable names in music.
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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.

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Jan 22, 2015 1 comments
When American radio announcer Herbert Morrison stood watching the Hindenburg disaster unfold before his eyes, he tearfully exclaimed, “Oh, the humanity!” I coincidentally had the exact same thought while watching Ghost in the Shell again for the first time in 20 years—but for a much different reason. I saw this film when it first came out, and I remember having a difficult time identifying with it. I finally figured out why: There’s no humanity in it.

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