BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 19, 2010 0 comments
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's popular Victorian-era super sleuth gets a reboot in the 21st Century. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the go to detective consultant for Detective Inspector Lesrade (Rupert Graves) of the London police department. Ex-soldier/doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) joins Holmes as his trusty sidekick in order to solve the most bizarre cases London has ever seen.

Thanks to the BBC this fabulous show has made its way across the pond via PBS and now Blu-ray. Although the 2-disc set has only three 90 minute episodes, each is so well-crafted that I'll gladly take quality over quantity. The two leads breathe new life into the characters and from the first moment they share the screen you know it’s a match made in heaven.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308short.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Struck by lightning, a Defense Department robot malfunctions and, as a result, develops its own consciousness. Escaping the military, it finds refuge with a young woman (Ally Sheedy) who helps hide "Number 5" from its inventor, Newton Crosby (Steve Guttenberg), and the government who wants its weapon back.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 15, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/shrekthethird.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When Shrek's father-in-law (John Cleese)&#151;or shall I say, frog-in-law&#151;passes away, Shrek (Mike Myers) is the next in line to the throne. But Shrek has a different set of priorities&#151;a return to his beloved swamp. Along with his two sidekicks, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), he embarks on an adventure to find the rightful heir to the throne&#151;Arthur (Justin Timberlake).

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 10, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/shutter.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When two U.S. marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) investigate a mysterious disappearance of an inmate from a hospital for the criminally insane, the pair uncover an intricate web of deception where nothing may be as it seems. As the mystery unravels, Teddy (DiCaprio) uncovers some shocking truths about the island that will change his life forever.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Dec 04, 2013 0 comments
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Director Steven Soderbergh’s latest firecracker of a movie, Side Effects, is really two distinct movies. As good as it is, it would have been even better if it had stuck with the first one. Side Effects begins as a harrowing look at a woman’s descent into a crushing clinical depression and finally full-blown psychosis.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Nov 21, 2013 0 comments
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Silver Linings Playbook is the most oddly enticing rom-com in a long time. Think Billy Wilder filtered through Martin Scorsese, which isn’t a bad way to describe the flip sensibility and kinetic style of writer-director David O. Russell at his best (Three Kings and Flirting with Disaster, not I Heart Huckabees). It’s a movie about crazy people: self-destructive and socially oblivious in various ways to varying degrees, all of them finding a place in the sun through love, family, community, music, and sports.
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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 18, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sincity.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on Frank Miller's popular series of graphic novels, <i>Sin City</i> is a tale of killers, cops, hookers, and hit men, all inhabiting one very dangerous, very sexy city. The three interwoven stories star Bruce Willis as a cop who'll do anything to protect the girl (Jessica Alba); Mickey Rourke, hell-bent on revenge; and Benicio del Toro as a human Pez dispenser.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2015 0 comments
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Sin City: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. In A Dame to Kill For, the second big-screen adaptation of the works of writer/artist/director Frank Miller, we find that stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) has been driven cuckoo-bananas by the events surrounding the death of her hero and one true love a few years ago. She now finds herself shadowed by the ghost of Bruce Willis (where have I seen that before?)
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Shane Buettner Posted: Jan 31, 2013 0 comments
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Everything worth knowing about teenagers in the 1980s is found in John Hughes’ 1984 directorial debut, Sixteen Candles. This is a perfect movie, capturing it all in just two days in the life of 16-year-old Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald). Sam’s 16th birthday is the day before her older sister’s wedding, and it starts out anything but sweet. Her entire family is so consumed with the wedding details, they forget. Sam heads to the back-to-school dance saddled with her grandparents’ Asian exchange student Long Duk Dong, in love with impossibly sweet campus hunk Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), and chased by relentless freshman geek, Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Hilarity, revelations, and romance ensue.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 11, 2013 1 comments
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Half a century after the release of Dr. No, director Sam Mendes and a gifted team of screenwriters have managed to give audiences a James Bond film unlike any other. Skyfall is Daniel Craig’s third outing as 007, and yet the star is unafraid to show his advancing age, as we are reminded that the job of international secret agent apparently takes a heavy toll on all who dare to sign up for it.
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 25, 2011 2 comments
A birthday weekend in Southern California goes off the tracks when sunrise arrives two hours early while a mysterious light source draws unsuspecting humans outdoors and are swept into massive alien ships that have appeared over the Los Angeles skyline.

There are a lot of bad movies that come out of Hollywood, but Skyline may be the worst I've seen in years. Character development is non-existent, the dialog is cringe-inducing, and the ridiculous twist ending is the cherry on top of a steaming pile—yes, it's that bad.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 17, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sleepingbeauty.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Straight from the Disney vault comes <i>Sleeping Beauty</i>, a spectacular 50th Anniversary edition of the beloved classic story about Princess Aurora, whose birth is celebrated by the entire kingdom. She falls under the curse of the evil Maleficent, which can only be broken by true love's first kiss.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 30, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/slumdog.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is an 18-year-old Muslim tea boy from the slums of Mumbai, India, who's just one answer away from winning a fortune on India's version of <I>Who Wants To Be A Millionaire</I>. How does an uneducated "slumdog" know all the answers? Did he cheat or was it meant to be?

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 11, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/smartpeople.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid), a once-idealistic and ambitious academic, lost all zest for teaching when his wife passed away. His coworkers avoid any interaction, and his students abhor the boredom of his classes. Then, a freak accident lands him in the emergency room under the care of a former student, Janet Hartigan (Sarah Jessica Parker), whose student-teacher crush is rekindled despite Lawrence's intolerable behavior.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 01, 2012 0 comments
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The second-highest-grossing movie of 1977 (behind only a certain science-fantasy film of some renown) and one of the biggest hits in the esteemed history of Universal Studios, Smokey and the Bandit combined frequent car chases, vast amounts of beer, and copious nose-thumbing at The Man to create a wildly popular piece of entertainment. Like most movies of the era, it lacks the slickness of modern fare and relies more heavily on the charm of its star, Burt Reynolds, as legendary trucker Bo “Bandit” Darville. He takes a big bet to deliver 400 cases of Coors beer across five states in only 28 hours, an extremely difficult and highly illegal challenge.

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