BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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 6 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
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Based on the book by Dennis Lehane (whose imagina

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 28, 2015 0 comments
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Here’s a truth-pill for all of you single folk out there: Sometimes marriage can really suck. Don’t take my word for it, though; instead, spend some time with the Dunnes, Nick and Amy (Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike). After a nigh-fairytale meeting and courtship, their seemingly idyllic life together develops cracks. The deterioration is expedited over the years by family troubles that lead to money troubles, and contempt and infidelity follow. For Amy, marriage is a daily humiliation. For Nick, it’s a trap, one from which he yearns to escape.
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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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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 24, 2015 0 comments
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If not the first movie to expose the true inner workings of organized crime—in contrast to Coppola’s seminal, romanticized The Godfather—GoodFellas is arguably the most influential, and the most enduring. It is also one of Martin Scorsese’s most popular films, a near-perfect intersection of source material and cinematic execution. Nicholas Pileggi’s book Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family recounted bona-fide gangster Henry Hill’s rise from two-bit mob gopher to prolific felon, as well as his ultimate downfall, and the many escapades in between. Adapted with ample violence and profanity, GoodFellas (renamed to avoid confusion with contemporary TV series Wiseguy) is also incredibly funny, often darkly so, for a more deeply entertaining tale.
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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: Jun 18, 2015 0 comments
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During a routine spacewalk from the Space Shuttle, disaster strikes, leaving the Shuttle destroyed and two astronauts stranded in the darkness with death lurking just over the horizon. With their oxygen running low, the two decide to make a desperate play to reach the International Space Station and secure a ride back to Earth, but the journey won’t be easy or uneventful.
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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: Apr 08, 2015 0 comments
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Exploring the adventures of a lesser-known team from the Marvel Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy was something of a surprise hit. The plot is well worn, almost clichéd, as a group of disparate beings learn to work together, and we can spot the few twists light-years away. Perhaps the filmmakers are acknowledging all that has come before but have chosen to enliven this tale by infusing a vast quantity of smart-ass humor. And that decision pays off remarkably well, yielding one of the most entertaining space operas since Star Wars.

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