BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 21, 2014 0 comments
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Fasten your seat belts for the fastest thrill ride of 2013! Ron Howard’s best film since A Beautiful Mind chronicles Formula One during the mid-’70s—the deadliest era for one of the world’s deadliest sports—and dramatizes the true story of champions James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), whose rivalry mirrored Frazier/Ali and Borg/McEnroe. Peter Morgan’s screenplay evenhandedly illuminates the destructive and empowering aspects of their competition. Hemsworth and Brühl channel two genius drivers with divergent personalities: Hunt, the cavalier, reckless playboy versus serious, disciplined Lauda, whose obsession with besting Hunt culminates in a crescendo of flames that nearly kills him.
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 13, 2010 0 comments
LAPD Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) likes to work alone and vows to never have a partner but he must join forces with Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong police department when the daughter of a visiting Hong Kong official is kidnapped in the United States.

Chan became a household name in America when this film debuted in 1998, although he was already a star in China. His amazing stunts wowed audiences and showed impressive comedic timing when paired with Tucker. The action-comedy spawned two additional sequels but this is the best of the three.

Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 05, 2011 0 comments

“It’s a timeless record with so much detail,” says surround-sound remix guru Richard Chycki about Rush’s 1981 masterpiece, Moving Pictures. “I’m glad you’ve clued into all of the nuances.” Chycki is referring to what I said to him last week about the PCM 5.1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes he did for MP’s 30th anniversary reissue. Today marks the release of the CD+DVD version, something certainly worth getting if you’re not equipped for Blu-ray — but the much preferred Holy Grail CD+BD version won’t be out until May 3.

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Jamie Sorcher Posted: Jul 12, 2004 0 comments

It all began with a film projector on the hood of a car showing images on a bed sheet hung between two trees. Richard Hollingshead went on to perfect this apparatus, and the world's first drive-in cinema under the stars opened to the public in Camden, New Jersey, on June 6, 1933. By the late 1950s, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins - and why not?

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 04, 2011 0 comments
LAPD officer Paul Cutler (Gabriel Macht) leaves the sun and fun of California when he's ordered by Homeland Security to relocate to Detroit in order to train its S.W.A.T. team on the latest rescue techniques. Things are going great until a botched domestic dispute turns ugly and the surviving spouse (Robert Patrick) wants revenge.

I had low expectations considering this is a direct-to-video release, which allowed me to moderately enjoy the flick. The script, acting, and production value all have a low-budget "made for TV" feel, but director Benny Boom does his best to keep a brisk pace to keep it interesting.

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Nov 04, 2014 0 comments
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Legendary DEA agent John “Breacher” Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his task force infiltrate a drug cartel and confiscate $10 million, which immediately disappears. Caught between suspicious Feds and vengeful drug lords, members of Arnold’s team start turning up dead…but who’s killing them? Schwarzenegger excels as both hero and anti-hero in one of the most complex and demanding roles of his career. David Ayer’s directorial style—war correspondent realism with a Michael Mann vibe—is highly flattering to both stars and subject matter.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Sep 25, 2012 0 comments
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The old adage “trust no one” is dramatically reinforced in the adrenaline-pumping thriller Safe House. Government-run safe houses are supposedly secure areas where people of interest can be kept in quarantine for purposes of questioning or until safe transport can be arranged. Ryan Reynolds is a “housekeeper” stationed at a CIA safe house in Capetown, South Africa. His daily regimen consists of total isolation and staring at the walls. One night, however, covert operatives arrive with a high-profile renegade agent to be interrogated. Shortly after his arrival, all hell breaks loose and pretty much stays on the loose until the end of the movie. Denzel Washington stars as the rogue agent carrying some extremely volatile and valuable information.
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 21, 2010 0 comments
CIA operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is implicated as a sleeper agent by a Russian defector when he tells the agency she's going to assassinate the current Russian premier on his visit to the United States. Despite her protests, she's held for questioning and orchestrates the first of many implausible—yet wildly entertaining—escapes in order to clear her name. Let the chase begin!

Sony consistently puts out great looking Blu-rays, and this is no exception. The nearly flawless AVC encode has some jaw-dropping scenes, especially in the concrete jungles of Washington D.C. and New York. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is just as impressive, with pinpoint placement of discrete effects, impressive dynamic range, and first-rate frequency response.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 05, 2016 2 comments
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A massive earthquake hits an unknown fault line in southern Nevada, causing a chain reaction along the San Andreas in California that will have disastrous effects on the nation’s most populous state. Fortunately for L.A. Fire and Rescue helicopter pilot Ray Gaines, he’s good in a crisis, and he’s put in position to single-handedly save his loved ones while the world is literally crumbling around him.
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 09, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sanbud.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When Puppy Paws (voiced by Zachary Gordon), the fun-loving son of Santa Paws (Tom Bosley) gets tired of the North Pole, he checks out Santa's naughty list and finds Budderballs's (John Flitter) name right on top. Puppy Paws heads south to meet the Buddies and find out how ordinary pups spend their days. But when the world begins to forget the true meaning of the holidays and the magic of the season begins to literally melt away, it's up to Puppy Paws and his newfound Buddies to save the day.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 03, 2013 0 comments
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Three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone has made some interesting choices in his career, from instant classics (such as 1987’s Wall Street) to real head-scratchers (2010’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). Leaning more into the latter camp is Savages, a beautifully photographed romantic crime drama about equally beautiful people who just so happen to be drug dealers by trade.
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David Vaughn Posted: May 10, 2010 0 comments
Over the years, Hollywood has portrayed war in different ways. John Wayne appealed to our patriotism, and Oliver Stone exposed its seedier aspects, but Steven Spielberg recreated it with every horrific detail intact. The Oscar-winning director places you in the middle of the action as our young men storm Omaha beach.

This is the fourth movie to receive Paramount's Sapphire Series treatment, and the results are spectacular. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is essentially a 169-minute demo, and the cinematography has never looked better.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 08, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sayanything.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Lloyd (John Cusack) is the eternal optimist and tries to capture the heart of Diane (Ione Skye), valedictorian of his high school class. When she accepts his invitation to attend an end-of-the-year party, his fellow students are surprised to see the two together, and it's the beginning of a beautiful relationship. Unfortunately for Lloyd, the summer romance of his dreams has its share of emotional pitfalls.

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Posted: Dec 07, 2006 0 comments

Batman Begins (Warner; Movie ••••, HD DVD Picture •••½, Sound ••••, Original Extras •••, New Extras •½). Batman Begins is the first disc I've heard with a Dolby TrueHD lossless soundtrack, and it does approach what you hear in a theater.

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