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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 20, 2014 0 comments
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It’s the summer of 1964 and Guy Patterson is back from the Army and working in his parents’ appliance store in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania. When the shop closes down for the night, Guy puts on his favorite jazz album and plays the drums to his heart’s content. Some old friends have started a band, and when their regular drummer breaks his arm, they come looking to Guy to fill in for a college talent show—which they win thanks to Guy’s decision to pick up the tempo in their breakout song. They end up getting a gig at a local pizza parlor and eventually catch the eye of a roving talent scout. Before they know it, their song is on the radio, they’re signed by Play-Tone records, and they’re off to California.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 29, 2008 Published: Sep 30, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/40yearoldvirgin.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Forty-year-old Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) works at a big-box electronics retailer, lives in a nice apartment with an extensive action-figure collection, and rides his bike to work every day. No wonder he's a virgin. His friends take his virginity personally and vow to do whatever it takes to get him laid.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 17, 2010 0 comments
Convicted by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, a daring team of former Special Forces soldiers must utilize their unique talents to break out of prison and tackle their toughest mission yet—clearing their name.

Oh the 1980s and its wonderful TV shows. The A-Team was one of the more popular of the decade and I have to admit I was a fan and watched it weekly as a teenager. The story in this modern remake explores how the men got together and how they ended up before a military court for the crime they didn't commit. The acting is passable and there's tons of action, but the story is weak with cringe-inducing dialog.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 20, 2011 0 comments
Philip K. Dick struggled to make a living as a science fiction writer through the majority of his life. It wasn’t until shortly before his death that Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was adapted to the screen and became the classic Blade Runner. After his death in 1982, nine additional Dick stories have turned into feature films, including box-office successes Total Recall and Minority Report. His latest adaptation is from his short story The Adjustment Team, in which humanoid creatures can influence people’s lives without them knowing in order to ensure that they comply with a mysterious Plan orchestrated by the Chairman.

Matt Damon stars as David Norris, a popular New York congressman who’s a shoo-in to win a U.S. Senate seat in 2006 until a political scandal derails his campaign. Before he gives his concession speech, he ventures into a hotel bathroom and is interrupted when Elise (Emily Blunt) emerges from a stall and encourages him to be more honest. Her advice inspires David to drop the political speech and instead ad-lib from the heart. Thanks to this honesty, he becomes the front runner for the 2010 election. According to the Plan, David and Elise are never to meet again, but when a worker at the Adjustment Bureau screws up, the two run into each other on a city bus, and the Bureau will do whatever it takes to ensure that the Plan gets back on track.

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 29, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/robinhood.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Hollywood legend Errol Flynn stars as Robin of Locksley, better known as Robin Hood. He and his band of Merry Men rob from the rich and give to the poor to offset the heavy taxation imposed by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Melville Cooper). He also woos and wins the heart of the lovely Lady Marion (Olivia de Havilland), who in turn spies for Robin on the goings on of Price John (Claude Rains), usurper of the throne.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 24, 2010 0 comments
While on a romantic retreat in Sweden, master assassin and gunsmith Jack (George Clooney) barely escapes with this life but his lover isn't so fortunate. Emotionally scarred from the experience, he retreats to the Italian countryside and accepts one last assignment from his handler to construct a deadly weapon for a mysterious contact. The slow-paced country lifestyle starts to grow on him as he becomes friends with a local priest and falls in love with a beautiful woman, but can he escape his past and forge a better future?

My wife and I are both George Clooney fans and I was really looking forward to watching this. While it isn't a bad film, per se, its measured pacing tried my patience and I couldn't form an emotional connection to the main characters, especially Clooney.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 10, 2012 2 comments
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Last year’s Best Picture, The Artist, embodies a simple enough idea: a silent movie about silent movies, told in the classic style. Set in the waning days of the era, the story introduces us to aging matinee idol George Valentin (Oscar winner Jean Dujardin) who meets the wide-eyed ingénue Peppy Miller (nominee Bérénice Bejo) outside one of his premieres. Seldom does the screen see such an intoxicatingly attractive couple, and yet their relationship is a complicated smolder of admiration and respect that has its share of ups and downs across years of drastic change.
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Marc Horowitz Posted: Jul 16, 2008 0 comments
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 05, 2013 2 comments
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When Marvel Comics’ gang of superheroes—Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, The Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye—get together after the first four of them starred in their own movies, you know something big is up. And it’s no surprise that Loki, Thor’s adopted brother, who teamed up with an army of nasty aliens, is behind it.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 18, 2012 0 comments
What better gift than a Blu-ray box set? We cherry pick the best of the best so you don't have to hunt to find that perfect gift for a family member, special friend or... yourself.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Apr 17, 2014 1 comments
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The Best Years of Our Lives is the best film ever made about war veterans. That’s not exactly an alluring endorsement, so let me add that it’s a nearly three-hour film without a moment of mind-drift. It’s funny, moving, wrenching—a total tear-jerker that earns its emotional wallop.
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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 11, 2011 1 comments
The Dude (Jeff Bridges) gets involved in a case of mistaken identity when some thugs show up at his place to collect a debt owed by another man who shares his last name—Lebowski. To add insult to injury, the goons pee on his favorite rug and he seeks out compensation from the other Lebowski, a well-healed wheelchair-bound millionaire who's willing to help The Due as long as he does one little favor.

The Coen Brother's have a unique perspective on the world and they definitely don't "go with the flow." While I don't consider this to be one of their best films, it does contain their most interesting character—The Dude. At the time of its release in 1998, it wasn't as critically acclaimed as Fargo or O Brother, Where Art Thou? but over the years it has obtained cult-like status with its fans and Bridge's portrayal of the iconic character set his career on an upward path.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 29, 2010 0 comments
Teenager Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is living on his own when he is spotted on the street by the Tuohy family. Learning that the young man is one of her daughter's classmates, Leigh Ann (Sandra Bullock) invites him to stay at their home for the night. What starts out as a gesture of kindness turns into something more as Michael becomes part of the family despite the differences in their backgrounds.

In the 2009 NFL draft, Michael Oher's rags-to-riches story reached new heights when he was drafted in the first round by the Baltimore Ravens. I love inspirational sports stories, and this is one of the best I've seen in years. The performances are outstanding, especially by Sandra Bullock, who won her first Oscar for the role, and by young Jae Head, who provides a lot of comic relief in an otherwise dramatic subtext.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 10, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/eli.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Eli (Denzel Washington) walks alone in post-apocalyptic America. He heads west on a mission he doesn't fully understand but knows he must complete. In his backpack is the last copy of a book that could become the wellspring of a revived society or in the wrong hands, the hammer of a despot.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 05, 2013 0 comments
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I knew Jason Bourne. Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), you’re no Jason Bourne.

The first Bourne movie not based on an actual Robert Ludlum novel, Legacy gets quite a lot wrong, frankly. The story brings us back to the era of 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, when extreme measures were being taken to maintain the secrecy of the covert, overly ambitious super-soldier program that created Jason. A whole new crop of men has become the subject of some risky new behavior/performance-enhancing experiments, and as one of these lethal lab rats, Aaron is desperate for answers—and the necessary meds to keep his edge—despite the nasty opponents pursuing him at every turn.

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