BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Peter Pachal Posted: May 15, 2002 0 comments

Given that Spider-Man has been spinning his webs in comic books for almost 40 years, it's about time the wall-crawler made the leap to the big screen. Besides starring in his own flick this spring, Spidey has his sticky fingers into - appropriately enough - the World Wide Web.

Corey Gunnestad Posted: Aug 28, 2015 0 comments
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Spongebob Squarepants is a fry cook at a popular fast-food diner called The Krusty Krab in the undersea city of Bikini Bottom. The Krusty Krab is famous for a particular burger-type delicacy called The Krabby Patty. They’re insanely popular, and the secret formula is kept under lock and key. Unbeknownst to Spongebob and his compatriots, an enterprising surface-dweller pirate named Burger Beard, played with delightful relish and gusto by Antonio Banderas, has found an ancient text that essentially tells the story of the movie you’re currently watching. This gives Burger Beard the ability to rewrite the story as it progresses.
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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 24, 2010 0 comments
Escaping the monotony of a loveless marriage, Raymond Yale (David Roberts) becomes entangled in an affair with Carla (Claire van der Bloom). His moral limits are tested when she presents him with the proceeds of her husband's latest crime and the two hatch a plan to start a new life. What could go wrong?

The first act sets the story on the right path but Raymond's actions become more absurd and unbelievable as the film progresses. Furthermore, what does Carla see in the middle-aged man in the first place? Granted, her boyfriend is no looker but a girl with her assets could land a respectable guy closer to her own age.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Aug 05, 2014 0 comments
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Embellished from John Cheever’s most famous short story, The Swimmeris a rather artful drama that is ultimately open to individual interpretation. Determined to swim his way home from pool to pool across the county, middle-aged Ned also spends this unusual day wrestling with the very truth of his life, reality coming at him in increasingly hostile waves as he encounters more of his friends. Clad only in bathing trunks—except for one scene in which he removes them altogether—the legendary Burt Lancaster imbues this misguided soul with his bigger-than-life screen presence, carrying the entire narrative on his broad, buff shoulders.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 16, 2011 0 comments
With her biological clock running out, Kassie (Jennifer Aniston) decides to take matters into her own hands and have a baby via artificial insemination. Her neurotic best friend, Wally (Jason Bateman), tries to talk her out of it but she ignores him and enlists the help of a sperm donor (Patrick Wilson) to complete the process. On the night of the "event," Wally has one too many drinks and may have tampered with the donation and when he meets Kassie's son seven years later his suspicions start to grow when the two have way too many similarities.

Jennifer Aniston's venture into feature films hasn't been a resounding success thus far, but this may be her best project. The chemistry she and Bateman share is outstanding and there are some serious laugh-out-loud moments starting with the crazy homeless man in the first scene of the movie. When the kid (Thomas Robinson) enters the picture it can get a tad sappy, but that's OK because he's adorable and the relationship he develops with Bateman's character is very touching.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 09, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/despereaux.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>This animated tale is based on Kate DiCamilla's award-winning 2004 book about an unordinary mouse born with big ears and even bigger dreams. Banished from home because of his desire to be a knight, Despereaux (voiced by Matthew Broderick) sets off with Roscuro (Dustin Hoffman) on a quest to rescue a princess (Emma Watson).

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 30, 2011 0 comments
In this beloved Biblical epic, Moses (Charlton Heston), once favored in the household of the Pharaoh (Yul Brynner), turns his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom with the help of God and his Ten Commandments.

Few motion pictures in the history of Hollywood reach the heights of this masterpiece. Cecil B. DeMille's last picture made Charlton Heston a superstar and holds up extremely well 55 years later. Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed, the special effects seem rudimentary today, but they look fabulous when put into the proper historical context.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 18, 2011 0 comments
A ruthless killing machine (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent back in time by Skynet in order to kill Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton), the woman who will soon give birth to the leader of the resistance movement in the future. But her future son isn't going to let his mother be exterminated and sends Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) back in time in order to save her from certain destruction and give the human race a chance to survive.

This is about the umpteenth time this classic sci-fi/horror/action film has been released on home video, but I'm sure the fans will pick it up agian in order to have the digibook packaging. Regardless, this is one of the best movies of the late 20th Century and launched the careers of both Schwarzenegger and writer/director James Cameron.

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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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