BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: May 29, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/seabiscuit.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The little horse that could debuts on Blu-ray with a fantastic VC-1 encode and an encompassing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. It was difficult to pick only three scenes to highlight here, since virtually the entire film is filled with worthy scenes. For example, any of the racing sequences will give you the illusion of riding a horse in the middle of a high-stakes race with the animals' labored breathing and pounding hooves. The same can be said of the video and its impeccable attention to detail. Each of the three scenes below will give you a general idea of why this disc deserves the title of "Ultimate Demo."

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David Vaughn Posted: May 29, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/seabiscuit.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, <i>Seabiscuit</i> tells the true story of the horse that could and the three men who made him a winner&#151;owner Charles Howard (Jeff Bridges), trainer Tom Smith (Chris Cooper), and jockey Red Pollard (Tobey Maguire). With the nation suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, the undersized racehorse gives America something to cheer for.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 24, 2011 0 comments
Behind every legend lies and impossible dream. Witness the spectacular journey of an incredible horse named Secretariat and the moving story of his unlikely owner (Diane Lane), a housewife who risked everything to make him a champion.

Disney is never one to shy away from an inspirational sports story and while this doesn't live up to the magic of Miracle, it has a lot of heart and explains the struggles Penny Chenery had to endure to be a woman in a male dominate world. I'm sure there were some liberties taken with some of the facts to liven-up the story, but that's not uncommon in Hollywood. Regardless, the performances are very good, especially by Lane and John Malkovich, who plays the eccentric Canadian horse trainer.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Apr 01, 2016 0 comments
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Damian Hale, an extremely wealthy and self-centered businessman (is there any other kind in the movies?), is in his late sixties and dying of cancer. But he’s found an escape in a secretive company that has developed a way to transfer the contents of someone’s brain into a younger, healthy human body. They call the process shedding. It succeeds on Damian, but with complications he didn’t anticipate.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Jul 31, 2015 0 comments
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Among the most anticipated and admired films of 2014, Selma depicts the epochal series of marches by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) in Selma, Alabama, which led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Brought to the screen with power and sensitivity by director Ava DuVernay, this Oscar-nominated docudrama features a host of inspired and often intimate acting and noteworthy musical selections, which include the Oscar-winning song “Glory.”
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 26, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sevenpounds.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Ben Thomas (Will Smith) is an unremarkable IRS agent who has the power to change seven strangers' lives. But when he meets Emily Posa (Rosario Dawson), everything changes as he realizes he's in love with the beautiful woman. Should he alter his plan and seek personal happiness or continue the quest for his own redemption?

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Joel Brinkley Posted: Jun 12, 2007 0 comments

Who can forget <I>Seven Years in Tibet</I>? In the early days of DVD, almost ten years ago, it was one of the first great releases. It offered stunning picture quality with video imagery that took full advantage of the top-of-the-line production values. The move is "panoramic." It shows vast Tibetan vistas, as well as exotic and colorful religious dress of the era – the late 1930s and early 1940s. Eventually, Sony even put out a "SuperBit" version, which was said to have even better picture quality.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 29, 2010 0 comments
What happens after you say "I do"? With three of the quartet married, how do they get out on the town and have a good time? They don't. Instead, the girls get together for a trip to Abu Dhabi when a wealthy sheik asks Samantha (Kim Cattrall) to visit his luxury hotel, hoping she will promote it in America. With her three best pals in tow, they jet off on a first-class trip to paradise away from the stresses of marriage, kids, and careers.

As a fan of the TV show and the first movie I thought I would enjoy spending more time with the characters I'd gotten to know over the years. Boy was I wrong. The script is pathetically weak and bloated and characters have lost their appeal as they've aged. Not their sex appeal, which is perfectly fine—it's their vomit-inducing narcissistic behavior that wears you out over the 146 minutes and the far-fetched storytelling doesn't help matters.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 29, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/sexandthecity.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Four years after the end of the hit TV series <I>Sex and the City</I>, life continues for Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York (Kristen Davis), and Miranda Hobbs (Cynthia Nixon). Carrie and Mr. Big (Chris Noth) are taking their relationship to the next level; Samantha has moved from New York to Hollywood with her boyfriend of five years, Smith Jarrod (Jason Lewis); Charlotte is happily married to Harry (Evan Handler) with their three-year-old daughter; and Miranda is struggling through a less-than-happy marriage to Steve (David Eigenberg) in hell (aka Brooklyn).

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 04, 2015 0 comments
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Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) have lost the spark. The couple’s college sexcapades are a distant memory, as marriage and children have snuffed their sex drive… until, fueled by tequila shots, they decide to make a three-hour porno wherein they attempt every position in the classic handbook, The Joy of Sex. When Jay saves their video to his iPad, however, he mistakenly sends it to friends and family, then spends the remainder of the film trying to reverse his mistake. Jake Kasdan, who directed Diaz and Segel in Bad Teacher, completes the Power Trio here.
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David Vaughn Posted: May 23, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/052308shallwedance.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>John Clark (Richard Gere) is in the midst of a midlife crisis. He has a devoted wife and family but feels he needs more. Each night on his way home, he sees an attractive woman staring out the window of a dance studio. On impulse, he decides to drop in to sign up for dance lessons. What will his wife say when she finds out?

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 22, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/shaun.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a lovable loser spending his days working as a clerk in an electronics store and looking forward to a few after-hours pints at the local pub with his best friend and roommate Ed (Nick Frost). Life takes a turn for the worse when his girlfriend (Kate Ashfield) dumps him, his stepfather (Bill Nighy) berates him for ignoring his mother (Penelope Wilton), and&#151;oh yeah&#151;the dead return to stake their claim to the Earth. Instead of running scared, Shaun uses the opportunity to prove his manhood, and not even the undead can stand in his way.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 22, 2010 0 comments
Kirk (Jay Baruches) is a dorky underachiever who through a stroke of fate winds up dating the beautiful and successful Molly (Alice Eve). Now that he's got the girl he has to contend with his own insecurities as his friends and family barrage him negative feedback about his love life.

What a major disappointment and missed opportunity by screenwriters Sean Anders and John Morris. The two leads have genuine chemistry and are so likeable although the supporting roles are so sophomoric and crude any connection to the love story is thrown out the window with a constant barrage of F-bombs. Kirk's friends are a group of losers who don't deserve his friendship and even worse, Molly's best friend Patty (Kristen Ritter) is so crude she could make a sailor blush.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 14, 2010 0 comments
With the aid of his trusted ally Dr. John Watson (Jude Law), Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) is unequaled in his pursuit of criminals. After a string of ritualistic murders, the pair arrives just in time to save the latest victim and uncover the killer: Lord Blackwood (Mark Strong). He is sentenced to death but warns Holmes that death has no power over him, and he will rise again. It turns out he wasn't lying.

I'm not sure Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would approve of the modernized Sherlock Holmes, but it turns out he's one hell of an action hero. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack features some great demo-worthy scenes, although the dialog is not entirely intelligible in a couple of scenes. The VC-1 encode is just as impressive, with exquisite detail, inky blacks, and well-resolved shadows.

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Barry Willis Posted: Mar 21, 2004 Published: Mar 22, 2004 0 comments

<I><B>Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon</B> (68 minutes, 1942); <B>Sherlock Holmes Faces Death</B> (68 minutes, 1943); <B>Sherlock Holmes in Washington</B> (71 minutes, 1943). Directed by Roy William Neill. <B>Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror</B> (66 minutes, 1942). Directed by John Rawlings. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Monophonic. B&W MPI Home Video DVD7545, DVD7549, DVD7540, DVD7550. NR. $27.88 each.</I>

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