BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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: 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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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2011 0 comments
Recounting the fierce allegiances and combat of the early Civil War, Gods and Generals recreates the two years prior to the historic battle of Gettysburg and delves into the lives of Stonewall Jackson (Stephen Lang), Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels), and Robert E. Lee (Robert Duvall).

I love history (especially American history), so I really wanted to like this film. Unfortunately, the script is all over the place and the pacing is downright awful. It doesn't help that it's been expanded with an additional hour of footage and clocks in at 280 minutes in order to lengthen certain scenes and adds a subplot of John Wilkes Booth (Chris Conner). On the plus side, the battle scenes are well done and Duvall's depiction of Lee is marvelous.

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Marc Horowitz Posted: Jul 20, 2008 0 comments
Miramax
Movie •••• Picture •••• Sound •••½ Extras •••

Based on the book by Dennis Lehane (whose imagina

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 16, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/gwtw.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Set in the South against the backdrop of the Civil War, this is the story of headstrong and manipulative Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh), who lusts after a married man while neglecting her true love and third husband Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 08, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/goodfellas20.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the novel "Wiseguy, Life in a Mafia Family" by Nicholas Pileggi, <i>GoodFellas</i> follows the life of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who started as a gofer for the Mob and advanced through the ranks (although he could never become a "made man" based upon his heritage).

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Kris Deering Posted: Jun 03, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/grantor.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>Korean War vet and retired auto worker Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) doesn't much like how his life or his neighborhood has turned out. He especially doesn't like the people next door&#151;Hmong immigrants from Southeast Asia. But events force him to defend those neighbors against a local gang that feeds on violence and fear. </i>

Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 28, 2014 1 comments
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Gravity doesn’t waste a single second: After a brief text reminds us of how utterly dangerous space is, disaster strikes a shuttle crew in the midst of a Hubble telescope upgrade. With the help of veteran spaceman Matt Kowalski (the ever-affable George Clooney), scientist Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock, ditching her blatant sass in favor of genuine emotion) must find a way to survive her first mission and return home alive somehow. But with one unfortunate twist after another, her ordeal is relentless.
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David Vaughn Posted: May 05, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/grease.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>After a wonderful summer romance, Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) must end their relationship when she has to return to her native Australia. When her trip is extended and she attends Rydell High, she discovers that Danny isn't the boy she fell in love with; he's the leader of the T-Birds, a leather-clad greaser gang.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 22, 2010 0 comments
Roy Miller (Matt Damon) is a U.S. Army officer deployed in Iraq in the early stages of the war who's searching for WMD (weapons of mass destruction). When every search turns-up empty, he begins to questions the veracity of the "solid" intelligence provided by his superiors and goes off the reservation with the help of a CIA operative.

Damon reteams with director Paul Greengrass in this disappointing retelling of the Iraq war. The film is well shot, acted, and edited, but the screenplay is so heavy-handed in its political message it was hard to take seriously.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 15, 2010 0 comments
After suffering a nervous breakdown, Roger Greenberg (Ben Stiller) house sits for his brother in Los Angeles and tries to reconnect with some old friends. Along the way he falls for his brother's personal assistant, Florence (Greta Gerwig), whose screwed-up life seems normal compared to Roger's.

This has to be one of the dullest movies I've seen in years. I give director Noah Baumbach props for creating a strikingly realistic world and coaxing strong performances out of Stiller and Gerwig, but the glacial pacing, meandering script, and constant whining by the characters tried my patience.

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Kris Deering Posted: Jul 09, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/grumpy.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>Two elderly, eccentric, next-door neighbors sustain a rancorous relationship that only a wise observer could recognize as a very special friendship. When a lonely, flamboyant, middle-aged widow moves in across the street from them, the male rivalry begins. One of the great screen duos of all time - Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau - reunite in this romantic comedy that examines the decades-old love-hate relationship between two neighbors and the way their lives are thrown into total upheaval when a lovely, free-spirited widow moves in across the street. </I>

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 10, 2013 0 comments
When an older and quite esteemed film expert asked me not long ago what my favorite genre was, I was honestly flummoxed. Pixar isn’t a genre, and I’ve just seen too many lame science-fiction flicks. Looking back over a life of film fandom and the past decade in particular, I finally came up with an eyebrow-raising response: comic book movies.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 20, 2011 0 comments
Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) have both been married for a long time and even though they love their wives, they just can't help checking out every hot woman in their view. Fed up with their rubber-necking, their wives take a different approach to revitalize their marriages by giving them a "hall pass": one week of freedom to do whatever they want with no questions asked. Be careful what you wish for guys.

While I was never a huge fan of Something About Mary, at least I found its humor to be somewhat amusing and I can see why it was a hit. Unfortunately, Farrelly brother's formula hasn't worked as well since then. I thought the premise had potential but unfortunately it's another stinker filled with sophomoric humor by middle-aged men who think they're still in high school.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 05, 2014 0 comments
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Widely credited as the first “slasher” movie, 1978’s Halloween is a horror trailblazer and a modern classic. It was a highly successful independent film prior to people knowing the term; and before Jason and Freddy could turn horror schlock into movie franchises (or vice versa), the genre’s way was paved by writer/director John Carpenter’s boogeyman, Michael Myers. The story is deceptively simple with fictional Haddonfield, Illinois, terrorized on two Halloween nights 15 years apart.

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