BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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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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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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.

David Vaughn Posted: Dec 22, 2014 1 comments
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In the 1940s and ’50s, the South Pacific was the testing ground for nuclear weapons as the Cold War was beginning to heat up. But were there actually tests, or was there another reason? Could the super powers actually have been waging battle with some creature of unknown origin? What would Nature’s reaction be to all of the nuclear fallout in the region?
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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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