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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 02, 2010 1 comments
Ray Ferrier (Tom Cruise) races to keep his family safe from an invading army of aliens who have come to conquer the Earth. Based on the classic novel by H.G. Wells, superstar director Steven Spielberg takes the 19th-century story and contemporizes it with some success.

While the special effects are well done, the over-the-top action gets a bit tiresome after nearly two hours. The video encode is serviceable with adequate depth and detail, but it's the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack that is the star of the show. It features very intense bass, a plethora of discrete effects, and reference-quality dynamics.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2014 1 comments
An eclectic batch of classics—old and new—is the basis of four very different Ultimate Collector’s Editions from Warner. Festooning eminently rewatchable favorites with a thoughtful array of mementos, the 91-year-old studio is fueling our passions with individually numbered limited-edition sets perfect for the most devout film fanatic in your life—even if it’s you.
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Kris Deering Posted: Jul 21, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/watchmen.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>Someone's killing our super heroes. The year is 1985 and super heroes have banded together to respond to the murder of one of their own. They soon uncover a sinister plot that puts all of humanity in grave danger. The super heroes fight to stop the impending doom only to find themselves a target for annihilation. But, if our super heroes are gone, who will save us? </i>

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 20, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/waterworld.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When the polar ice caps melt, the Earth is covered in water, and the human race struggles to survive by meandering around the globe in makeshift boats, jet skis, and floating cities. Our hero, Mariner (Kevin Costner), is a loner mutant with webbed feet and gills behind his ears so he can breathe underwater&#151;how convenient considering the state of the planet. Anyway, Mariner gets caught up in a war with The Smokers when he rescues a little girl (Tina Majorino) who carries the secret of the only dry land left on Earth.

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 20, 2012 0 comments
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Losing your spouse has to be one of the most heart-wrenching experiences anyone could ever face. Throw in a couple of young kids who must also cope with the loss, and the surviving parent is in store for a very rough ride. When we meet Benjamin Mee, it’s been six months since his wife passed. His two kids, 14-year-old Dylan and 7-year-old Rosie, are trying to adjust but aren’t faring well. The widowed dad is reminded of his wife wherever he goes in town, and Dylan gets expelled from school due to his unique art and a theft problem. It’s definitely time for a change of scenery.
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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 28, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/whatdoesnt.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Brian (Mark Ruffalo) and Paulie (Ethan Hawke) grew up like brothers on the gritty streets of South Boston as thugs. They graduate from petty crimes to more serious offenses and eventually fall under the influence of organized-crime boss Pat Kelly (Brian Goodman), at which point their lives begin to spiral out of control.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 06, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/vegas.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>New Yorkers Jack (Ashton Kutcher) and Joy (Cameron Diaz) independently decide to head to Vegas for a weekend to drown their sorrows for different reasons&#151; he was fired from his job, and she was recently dumped by her fianc. After a wild night of partying, the two strangers wake up and discover that, in their drunken bliss, they got married. Neither of them is too happy about their impaired decision, and they agree on an annulment&#151; that is, until Jack wins a $3 million dollar jackpot with Joy's quarter, prompting an all-out war for the money.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 15, 2010 0 comments

When in Rome (Blu-ray)

Your typical presentation of a romantic comedy.

By David Vaughn

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/whenrome.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Beth (Kristen Bell) takes a whirlwind trip to Italy for her sister's wedding and finds herself pursued by the most unlikely group of men who have fallen madly in love with her. When she returns the love with one of them she questions whether it's real or if he's under the same mystical spell that has infected the others.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 03, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/wildbd.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Max (Max Records) is a rambunctious and sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are. He lands on an island and meets a group of strange creatures whose emotions are as wild and unpredictable as their actions. When Max is crowned king of their land he promises to create a place where everyone will be happy but this proves to be more complicated than he originally thought.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 01, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/whipit.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Small-town teenager Bliss Cavendar (Ellen Page) is searching for her way in the world. Her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) dreams of her being a beauty queen but one look at Bliss in a fancy gown and it's easy to see it's a pipedream. When she discovers the sport of roller derby her life takes a new direction, but how will her mother deal with her newfound hobby?

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 05, 2010 3 comments
A pair of army buddies (Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye) join forces with a sister act (Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen) in order to save a Vermont inn run by their former commanding officer.

The simplistic plot doesn't inspire but the plethora of Irving Berlin classics are mostly enjoyable. The song "White Christmas" was made popular by Crosby in the 1942 film "Holiday Inn," and within the first few minutes he's belting out the tune. My wife enjoys the film much more than I do—I find it somewhat boring—but the HD presentation kept my attention.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 26, 2010 0 comments
Neal Caffrey (Matt Bomer) is a charming criminal mastermind who is finally caught by his nemesis, FBI Agent Peter Burke (Tim DeKay) and in lieu of being sent back to prison, the two form a unique partnership. Caffrey lends his criminal expertise to the FBI in exchange for limited freedom to help the Feds capture other elusive criminals.

I don't have much time to watch TV and I find watching the shows on Blu-ray is much more convenient to my schedule. The buddy-cop angle is far from new and I was a bit apprehensive when I popped the first disc in my player, but surprisingly I've enjoyed every one of the 14 season one episodes. The tandem of Bomer and DeKay has great chemistry and the supporting cast that includes Tiffany Thiessen and Willie Garson is very strong.

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Fred Kaplan Posted: Nov 08, 2013 0 comments
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White Heat is one of the greatest gangster movies ever made. It’s a true film noir, a Freudian character study, and a pioneering police procedural, with slick suspense, a dry wit, and a deep-cutting (but not bloody) cruelty that’s still jarring today. The script is by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, who later wrote a few seasons of the Charlie’s Angels TV show, which at its best pulled off a warmed-over, softly satirical simulacrum of those traits.
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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 15, 2011 0 comments
Rose (Emily Blunt) is a free-spirited kleptomaniac looking to pull off the ultimate scam with some forged artwork. When things go haywire, she finds herself the target of a world-class assassin (Bill Nighy) who becomes enamored with the young woman and can't fulfill his contract. This sets off a bizarre series of events that will change their lives forever.

It's rare to find an intelligent comedy since Judge Apatow transformed the genre with The 40 Year Old Virgin and its sophomoric humor. While there are definitely sexual undertones in this story, they are subtle and aren't the central focus. On the other hand, Blunt is one of the most beautiful women in film, and seeing her in 1080p is reason enough to check out this spectacular encode.

Brent Butterworth Posted: May 11, 2011 0 comments

Technologies that distribute audio and video around a home are incredibly cool-if you can afford them, if you can tolerate complicated installation, and if you can figure out how to use them once they're in. I've long assumed a big consumer electronics company like Samsung or Sony would invent a more practical multiroom A/V solution, but it seems the technology that finally gets us past the old paradigms may be Apple's AirPlay.

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