BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Josef Krebs Posted: Jun 11, 2015 0 comments
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1963, Cambridge University. Defying medical wisdom which gave him, at age 21, only two years to live after being diagnosed with the Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Stephen Hawking stretches his lifetime out to take on two other great challenges: to write a brief history of time and, with a single eloquent equation, to produce a theory of everything.
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 23, 2012 0 comments

Director Paul W.S. Anderson isn't what you would call an A-list talent and he stoops to an all-time low with The Three Musketeers. The classic novel from Alexandre Dumas is butchered beyond believe with horrendous dialog, wooden acting, and some of the most mind-numbing suspension of belief ever witnessed in cinema (a 17th century airship battle—really?). While the 3D is a serviceable effort, the 2D encode is so good you'll want to put the glasses away and relish some of the most amazing detail you've ever seen from a Blu-ray. Not to be outshined is the outstanding DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack that features pinpoint discrete effects and jaw-dropping imaging. If you're looking for some eye and ear candy to demo your system then this would be a great addition to your library.
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 09, 2011 0 comments
A mysterious woman (Angelina Jolie) and a vacationing math teacher (Johnny Depp) from America become involved in an international manhunt after meeting on a train traveling from Paris to Venice. A case of mistaken identity puts poor Frank (Depp) in the crosshairs of a British gangster looking to reclaim his lost fortune from a former associate.

Depp is one of the hottest stars in Hollywood and I had high hopes for this international spy thriller. Sadly, the star power of Depp and Jolie couldn’t overcome the meandering and predictable script from the trio of writers which includes the director (Florian Heckel von Donnersmarck - The Lives of Others). Character development is nonexistent and there’s no real drama or suspense throughout the film and anyone with half a brain can see the ending coming from a mile away.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 20, 2010 4 comments
Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is the leader of a Boston bank robber gang but is not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. When Doug falls in love with the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) briefly taken hostage in one of their heists, he wants to leave his criminal past behind and start a new life. As the Feds close in, his best friend (Jeremy Renner) questions his loyalty he's left with two choices—betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.

I've never been particularly impressed with Affleck as an actor, but he certainly has talent as a director. He gets the most out of the cast—including himself—orchestrates some realistic bank heists, and delivers one of the most intense films I've seen in a long time.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 07, 2012 0 comments

When The Town came out on Blu-ray in December 2010, I was blown away by the presentation. It was one of my favorite films of the year due to the non-stop action, believable characters, and some of the most realistic bank heists ever to hit the silver screen. In this Ultimate Collector's Edition, the reference-quality audio and video from the original release are still present with fabulous detail, surround envelopment, and dynamics, plus the alternate ending gives better closure to the story.
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 12, 2010 3 comments
Two hard-luck drifters (Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt) team up with an experienced gold prospector (Walter Huston) and venture into the Mexican wilderness in search of gold. As their pile starts to grow so does their greed and paranoia, especially for Dobbs (Bogart), who thinks everyone's out to steal his stash.

With his breakout performance in The Maltese Falcon, Bogart became one of Hollywood's good guys, which makes his performance here even more impressive. At the time, audiences were shocked and disturbed that Bogart would be cast as the bad guy, but it was Walter Huston's Oscar-winning role as the grizzled prospector that stole the show.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 16, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/uglytruth.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Abby Ricter (Katherine Heigl) is the romantically challenged producer of a Sacramento morning television show who squares off against a chauvinistic new correspondent, Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), whose views on dating and relationships clash with her feminine sensibilities. Are guys just looking for one thing, or is her idea of Mr. Right out there somewhere?

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 17, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/thematrixcollection.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world?"</i>

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David Vaughn Posted: May 20, 2011 1 comments
A $91 million cocaine heist...a devastating boat explosion...two survivors. U.S.Customs agent David Kujan (Chazz Palminterir) is determined to find out who and what's behind the melee. As he pieces the clues together with the help of a half-charred Hungarian gangster and an outspoken, crippled con man from New York (Kevin Spacy), Kujan soon finds out this story actually begins with five criminal minds and one infamous mastermind.

Second-time director Bryan Singer showed he had the chops to direct feature films with this classic hit from 1995. The ensemble cast includes Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Pollack, and Benicio Del Toro, but it's Spacey who steals the show as the con man Verbal Kint. Like The Sixth Sense, this is a movie that actually gets better the second time around because you start to notice the subtle hints that point towards the surprising resolution at the end of the film.

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Rad Bennett Posted: Jul 16, 2008 0 comments
Sony
Movie •••• Picture ••••½ Sound ••• Extras ••½

When I was a kid, I always wished there w

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 31, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/weddingcrashers.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn) are best friends who look forward to that special time of year where people gather to be with their families. No, not the holiday season&#151;wedding season! Guided by the closely guarded set of "wedding crashing rules," the pair descend on as many Washington D.C. weddings they can during the season to romance unsuspecting bridesmaids.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 29, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/woz.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Adapted from L. Frank Baum's timeless children's tale, Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto are caught in a tornado and end up in the Land of Oz. In order to return home to Kansas, she must follow the yellow brick road to visit the Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan). Along the way she meets the Scarecrow (Ray Bolger) who wishes for a brain, the Tinman (Jack Haley) who's longing for a heart, and the Cowardly Lion (Bert Lahr) in search of some courage.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 06, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/woz.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The American Film Institute's #10 film of all time makes its glorious debut on Blu-ray. Warner has done a marvelous restoration job, as <I>UAV</I> Editor Scott Wilkinson explains in <A href="http://blog.ultimateavmag.com/ultimate-gear/behind_the_curtain/">this report</A>. Here, I'll highlight a couple of jaw-dropping scenes that illustrate how this work translates to the finished project. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track won't shake the foundation, but given its age, it sounds remarkably good, especially when Judy Garland belts out a tune.

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Jul 01, 2014 0 comments
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Perhaps America’s greatest working filmmaker, Martin Scorsese continues to refine his stream-of-consciousness directorial style, a motif that reached its zenith in 1990’s Goodfellas. His latest film, which chronicles the rise and fall of stock shark Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), might lack the depth and poignancy of Scorsese’s gangster classic, but it takes his staccato storytelling techniques to an even higher level of commercial appeal. Starring in his fifth Scorsese film, DiCaprio interprets the larger-than-life Belfort with essential hubris, though his portrayal sometimes strays into heavy-handedness. Not so Jonah Hill, who, as DiCaprio’s lieutenant, delivers the best performance of his meteoric career, not to mention this movie. (Both DiCaprio and Hill were nominated for Oscars.) Matthew McConaughey and Rob Reiner conjure delightful caricatures in their supporting roles, endowing Wolf with the dimensionality that has become a Scorsese trademark.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 01, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/wolfman.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is an aristocratic Englishman who returns to his family estate after the mysterious death of his brother (Simon Merrells). Once home he is attacked by a werewolf under the light of a full moon and is cursed with a fate worse than death.

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