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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Posted: May 17, 2009 0 comments
The Criterion Collection
Movie ••••½ Disc ••••½
The increased visual resolution of the Blu-ray Disc format isn't only there to bo
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 14, 2013 0 comments
The small screen serves up some big drama in these three TV-on-Blu-ray releases, from Liberace to slave revolt to big-city vigilante justice.
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Brent Butterworth Posted: Nov 11, 2008 0 comments
Universal
Movie •••• Picture •••• Sound ••••• Extras ••
At home, U-571 has always suffered a reputation as a
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 23, 2011 6 comments
If you have a home theater, you probably enjoy showing it off to your family and friends. But which Blu-ray titles are best for demonstrating the audio and video capabilities of your system? That's easy—they're listed in HT's exclusive blog called Ultimate Demos, which identifies Blu-rays of superior technical quality and calls out specific scenes, right down to the chapter and time-code second, that let your theater really shine.

And now, Ultimate Demos are new and improved, with icons that let you instantly see which titles have exemplary video, audio, or both. If the stylized eye is red, you know that disc provides exceptional visual imagery, while a red ear icon indicates outstanding sound. If either icon is orange, the corresponding content is very good, but not quite up to reference quality, while a gray icon means there's nothing special about that part of the presentation.

Keep in mind that Ultimate Demos are not movie reviews—they will always provide top-quality audio and/or video, even if the movie itself doesn't measure up to the disc's technical merits. So if you've been looking for Blu-rays that kick some serious home-theater butt, look no farther than HT's Ultimate Demos.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 03, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403unbreakable.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Bruce Willis stars as David Dunn, the sole survivor of a horrific train accident who escaped not only with his life, but without any injuries to speak of. Dunn's survival prompts a visit from Elijah Prince (Samuel L. Jackson), a crazed man who believes that David possesses superhuman strength and is a comic-book hero come to life.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 17, 2011 0 comments
Arriving in Berlin for a technology conference, Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) must make a mad dash back to the airport in order to find his left-behind briefcase that contains some valuable information and his passport. In his haste, he leaves his wife (January Jones) at the hotel check-in and doesn't tell her where he's headed. After a horrific accident, he awakens in a hospital four days later and is troubled to learn that no one has come looking for him. He tracks down his wife at the conference and discovers that she doesn't recognize him, and another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Is he going mad?

With his starring role in Taken, Neeson showed he had the chops to handle the action genre and he delivers another solid performance here. The pacing is fantastic and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat until the tidy and disappointing ending.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 23, 2011 0 comments
Director/producer Tony Scott is no stranger to action movies. His resume includes hits like Top Gun, Deja Vu, and Man on Fire, the last two starring Denzel Washington. The two team up again here in one of the better action movies to come out of Hollywood in 2010.

Based very loosely on a 2001 story of a runaway train in Ohio, writer Mark Bomback jazzes it up for the sake of entertainment and action. As in real life, the adventure begins when an idiotic engineer jumps from the slowly moving train in order to reposition a switch before the train can damage it. Successful in this task, he then tries to reboard the moving train as it gains speed, but to no avail.

From this point on, the facts go out the window as the fictional train loaded with toxic chemicals hurtles toward Scranton, PA, where an elevated curve in the track will cause the train to derail, creating an environmental catastrophe and costing many lives. Despite its best attempts, the rail company can't slow the train down, and two unlikely heroes emerge to hopefully save the day. Along the way, we witness a few narrow escapes, corporate incompetence, and one hell of a thrill ride.

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Thomas J. Norton Posted: May 29, 2013 0 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Interactivity
Threatened with eviction from his lifelong home, Carl Fredrickson cuts loose in an unexpected way and sets off on a journey to the South American wilderness he and his late wife had long yearned to visit. Along the way, he picks up a few unwelcome (at first) fellow travelers: Russell, an 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer; Kevin, a rare bird and a key plot McGuffin; and Dug, a talking dog. Carl also runs into his boyhood idol, explorer Charles Muntz, who turns out to be less of a hero than he had long imagined.
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 30, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/up.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Carl Fredricksen (voiced by Ed Asner) fulfills his lifelong dream of adventure and exploration when he ties thousands of helium balloons to his house and escapes the construction hell surrounding his Oakland, California, home for the beautiful surroundings of South America. But shortly after takeoff, there's a disturbing knock at the front door&#151;a local Wilderness Explorer named Russell (Jordan Nagai) looking to earn his "assisting the elderly" badge has stowed away for the trip.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 17, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/upair.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Ryan (George Clooney) doesn't have the easiest job in the world. He's a corporate grim reaper who constantly travels around the country breaking the news to unsuspecting employees that their services are no longer required by their company. His company is there to aid them in the transition and make it as painless as possible. When a young Cornell graduate (Anna Kendrick) wants to transition the job onto the Internet, it's up to Ryan to show her how the process <i>really</i> works in order to preserve his livelihood and jet setting lifestyle.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 07, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/060608vendetta.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Remember, remember the 5th of November. The significance of this date in England goes back to 1605, when a Catholic terrorist by the name of Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in protest over how Catholics were treated. Fast forward to the near future and meet V (Hugo Weaving), our tragic hero, who struts around town wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and is a terrorist in his own right&mdash;or at least the totalitarian government has labeled him as such.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 10, 2010 0 comments
Massive mother ships arrive over 29 major cities throughout the world carrying the Visitors, human-like beings who know our languages and promise to provide gifts of technology and healing. Some consider them saviors but others aren't so trusting and form a resistance movement determined to find the true meaning of their appearance.

I was a fan of the 1980s miniseries and eagerly anticipated the release of this show on Blu-ray. The first four episodes are quite intriguing introducing the various characters although the show loses steam over the last eight as the narrative becomes rushed to get to the full-scale invasion that's on the horizon. The second season has been picked up by ABC due to good ratings among Adults 18-49, but if the writers don't get their act together I can see a Heroes-like loss of its audience.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 18, 2010 1 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/valentine.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A day in the life of a diverse group of Los Angelenos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine's Day. Couples and singles live through the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping, or ending relationships in a day in the life of love.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2009 Published: May 28, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/valkyrie.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>After filming <i>Superman Returns</i> with HD cameras, director Bryan Singer used 35mm film in the loosely based true story <i>Valkyrie</i>, in which Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) attempts to assassinate Adolf Hitler. The film opens in North Africa with a rich golden hue; when Stauffenberg ventures back to the fatherland, the color palette opens up with bold reds and lush greens. Although the film is a middling affair, the audio and video presentation is stupendous and a demo showpiece.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/valkyrie.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) is one of many men who want to see the end of the Third Reich. He gets his opportunity when he's maimed in an attack in Africa and transferred back to the fatherland, earning a place in Hitler's inner circle. With the crazed leader's blessing, he changes an emergency plan, Operation Valkyrie, in order to gain control of Berlin once the F&#252;hrer meets his maker.

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