BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 05, 2014 0 comments
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Magnifying the crisis in midlife crisis, arrested adolescent Gary King (Simon Pegg) coaxes his better-adjusted childhood chums to revisit their hometown and reattempt the feat that conquered them 20 years earlier: drinking their way through all 12 pubs of Newton Haven’s Golden Mile. Last stop: The World’s End. The five friends soon realize that most of the citizenry—including two of their own—have been replaced by alien automatons (“blanks”) and that sleepy Newton Haven is the beachhead for world conquest.
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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/wrestler.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Randy "The Ram" Robinson (Mickey Rourke) is an aging professional wrestler who's desperately trying to hang on to the fame and glory that once surrounded him. Bruised and battered both inside and outside the ring, Randy tries to piece together his life by attempting to reconnect with his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) and pursue a relationship with Cassidy (Marisa Tomei), an exotic dancer who's facing her own challenges.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 03, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/youngv.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A young and fiery queen (Emily Blunt) inherits the throne from her uncle in the early 19th century. Spurning the advice of her mother and advisor, she befriends Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany), a self-serving politician who doesn't have the Queen's best interest at heart. Things turn around for the young monarch when she follows her heart and marries Price Albert (Rupert Friend).

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Ken Korman Posted: May 31, 2008 0 comments
Paramount
Movie ••••½ Picture ••••½ Sound •••• Extras ••••

"Epic" is a word tossed

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 23, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/blood.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a spellbinding performance as Daniel Plainview, a turn-of-the-century independent oil baron prospecting in California. He is a ruthless man who hates all men, including himself. Plainview manipulates the locals into selling their land to him, and in the process, he makes an enemy of a resident preacher.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: May 30, 2014 0 comments
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Michael Mann’s feature film directing debut, this rough-hewn caper drama fairly throbs with energy, thanks in large part to the inspired use of a Tangerine Dream musical score. Criminal or not, Frank (James Caan) is pretty difficult to like, but he’s a total professional, so naturally the Chicago mob wants to own him. They underestimated Frank, however, and his rage erupts stylishly in this unrated director’s cut.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 15, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/thischristmas.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>For the first time in years, all the Whitfield kids have come home to spend the holiday with their mother Ma'Dere (Loretta Devine) and her boyfriend Joe (Delroy Lindo). Each has brought their own issues with them, and as the family prepares for the holiday festivities, the ties that bind them together are tested. Isn't family wonderful?

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HT Staff Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments

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You know that old saying, “Life begins after 40”? Well, it’s true. That’s because it’s the exact moment when you become aware of your own mortality. In your twenties and thirties, you’re still technically invincible as far as you’re concerned and blissfully naive, but when 40 hits, it’s “Holy crap, I’m gonna die!” Suddenly you’re on numerous prescription medications and seeing far more of your doctor than you’d like; proctology exams, mammograms, prostate checks, pap smears, the works.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 29, 2010 0 comments
At the age of 50, after a decade's absence from the stage, Michael Jackson was in the process of crafting an entirely new concert experience. His only audience was a small group of technicians and dancers who watched him create a show that would have marked his return to the stage. Fortunately, Jackson had a team of videographers on hand recording the proceedings for his personal archive and as original film content for the show. Sadly, on June 25th—eight days before the first dress rehearsal—he passed away due to an overdose of Propofol administered by his physician.

This Is It gives us a glimpse of what would have been an astounding concert experience, and the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack exhibits clarity that I've never heard from his masterful music. Here are a few scenes to check out, but virtually every song is demo-worthy.

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