BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Filed under
Chris Chiarella Posted: Apr 08, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Exploring the adventures of a lesser-known team from the Marvel Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy was something of a surprise hit. The plot is well worn, almost clichéd, as a group of disparate beings learn to work together, and we can spot the few twists light-years away. Perhaps the filmmakers are acknowledging all that has come before but have chosen to enliven this tale by infusing a vast quantity of smart-ass humor. And that decision pays off remarkably well, yielding one of the most entertaining space operas since Star Wars.
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Mar 24, 2015 1 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Way back in the mid to late 1980s, I was an avid comic book collector, and one of my favorite discoveries around that time was a brand-new and independently produced comic called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It lacked the polish and grandeur of the Marvel and DC titles, but it was raw, edgy, and totally original. There was no shortage of blood on the katana, if you get my drift. Not long after that, however, mainstream pop culture bastardized it into a puke-inducing kiddie cartoon and toy franchise. The once-hardcore vigilante turtles suddenly became pizza-eating wisecrackers who over-frequently used words like dude and cowabunga. It also spawned three diaper-filling live-action films, and I abandoned all hope after that.
Filed under
David Vaughn Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Wallace has not been lucky in love. He dumped his last girlfriend when he caught her cheating on him and was so dejected he ended up dropping out of medical school and moving in with his sister and her young son. Shut away from the world for almost a year, he decides to attend his ex-college roommate’s party where he meets the perfect girl and gets her phone number right before she drops the bombshell that her boyfriend is waiting for her at home—some guys can’t catch a break. After Wallace’s previous relationship, he doesn’t want to be “that kind of guy” and discards her number. As luck would have it, he runs into her a few weeks later at the movies and the pair decide to just be friends—but what if something more develops?
Filed under
Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
A modernist masterpiece as revolutionary as Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon made in a time when film was important, L’Avventura tells the story—or anti-story—of a wealthy young woman on a boating trip who disappears off an island. After a search of the barren rock, her fiancé and best friend set off to find her, investigating sites where she’s supposedly been seen. Over the course of their travels, they become involved and gradually forget about what they’re searching for. L’Avventura is a whodunit without a who, a mystery without a solution, a dislocation of the already dislocated. In the process, director Michelangelo Antonioni peels away the skin of society as characters play at love without enthusiasm, sincerity, or context in ennui of unaware existential numbness. As in Blow Up and other Antonionis, L’Avventura is about absence—feelings are forgotten, meaning and purpose are misplaced, and “words are more and more pointless.”
Filed under
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Mar 11, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In the utopian community of The Giver, citizens have been relieved of the burden of having memories beyond their own lives. Human history has been erased. The logic being that if you have no memory of the past, you won’t be doomed to repeat it. Daily mandatory injections chemically stifle personal ambition, curiosity, and primordial urges, and Big Brother is ever watchful. The established rules are these: Use assigned language, wear the approved clothing, take your daily medication, obey the curfew, and never lie.
Filed under
Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 11, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Surely Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig are two of the more interesting people working in Hollywood right now. With his diverse mile-long résumé and her Oscar nomination (for co-writing Bridesmaids) and indie cred, plus their shared Saturday Night Live pedigree, we never know quite what we’ll get next from them. The Skeleton Twins is not their first big-screen pairing, but it’s their most significant, as they play same-age sibs Maggie and Milo, estranged for the past 10 years and now suddenly reunited as they grapple with their own issues.
Filed under
Anthony Chiarella Posted: Mar 04, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In 1999, Sports Illustrated voted Muhammad Ali its “Sportsman of the Century.” Ali unquestionably deserves this honor, but it doesn’t begin to convey his importance. Political martyr, civil rights activist, religious zealot, and all-around hero, Ali was one of the 20th century’s greatest figures and, during the ’70s, the most recognizable person on earth. Ali has been the subject of countless films including the brilliant When We Were Kings, 1997 Oscar-winner for Best Documentary.
Filed under
Fred Kaplan Posted: Mar 04, 2015 1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
A charmer of a film, deeper, even grittier than its Capra-corn romantic populism might suggest, It Happened One Night swept the 1934 Oscars—winning Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay, and Director—and if it hadn’t edged out The Thin Man in doing so, I’d say, Bravo, well deserved. The story is a classic class-crossing fable: A spoiled rich girl runs away from her father to join the king she wants to marry; a hardscrabble newspaperman finds her, blackmails her into letting him come along to write a story; they take to the road, by bus, foot, thumb, and jalopy, squabbling, scolding, and, of course, falling in love with each other.
Filed under
Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Post-war Belleville, New Jersey—an impoverished suburb of the impoverished city of Newark—offered few opportunities for upward mobility. The hottest tickets to the middle class were joining the army or joining the mob—either of which could get one killed—or becoming an entertainer. Francis Castelluccio (John Lloyd Young) and his friends were fortunate and talented enough to choose the latter. Adapted from the wildly successful Broadway play, Jersey Boys is the mildly embellished story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the most popular rock group until The Beatles, who thrived despite the personal tragedies, prison sentences, and personal excesses that attended stardom. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t translate well to the big screen. The carefully calculated dramatic scale that works so well as a stage play is disproportionate here, as both dialogue (especially the jokes) and acting seem bloated and forced.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2015 0 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Sin City: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. In A Dame to Kill For, the second big-screen adaptation of the works of writer/artist/director Frank Miller, we find that stripper Nancy (Jessica Alba) has been driven cuckoo-bananas by the events surrounding the death of her hero and one true love a few years ago. She now finds herself shadowed by the ghost of Bruce Willis (where have I seen that before?)
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Feb 19, 2015 0 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Life isn’t easy when you’re the bastard child of Zeus, father of all Gods, and your name happens to be Hercules. In ancient Greece, it was commonplace for the Gods to descend from Mount Olympus to fornicate with humans and leave mortal offspring in their wake. But Zeus’ infidelity incurred the vengeful wrath of his wife, Hera, who wanted to destroy his illegitimate progeny. When killing Hercules proved problematic, she instead did the next best thing and drove him to madness and the murder of his own wife and children. Remorse then prompted him to undertake his twelve impossible labors to purge himself of his crime.
Filed under
Josef Krebs Posted: Feb 09, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In this family affair—both in subject and moviemaking— Zach Braff directs and stars while co-writing and co-producing with his brother Adam. Together they’ve created a gently comic, small, oddball drama that, like Braff’s Garden State, often feels lightweight and silly but somehow manages to deal profoundly with the biggest questions and challenges of people’s lives in a resonating and moving manner. The family is that of Aidan Bloom, an immature, 35-year-old, out-of-work L.A. actor trying to live his passionate dream while holding his family together. The crisis comes to a head when he must remove his two children from their school because Aidan’s unforgivingly judgmental, sarcastically (and funnily) scathing father Gabe (Mandy Patinkin)—who was staking the kids’ education so long as it was in a Yeshiva school—needs the money for experimental cancer treatment, forcing Aidan to half-assedly home-teach his kids.
Filed under
Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 09, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Son of a corrupt Russian general, suspected Chechen terrorist Issa Karpov (Grigoriy Dobrygin) illegally sneaks into Hamburg and, with the help of his lawyer (Rachel McAdams), seeks to recover his father’s ill-gotten fortune from banker Tommy Brue (Willem Dafoe). American counterterrorism spies led by Martha Sullivan (Robin Wright) plan to seize him, but German intelligence agent Günther Bachmann (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his team have other ideas, hoping to use Karpov’s inheritance to help catch a prominent Muslim who, Bachmann believes, is secretly funneling money to terrorists. Inspired acting and insightful direction flatter John le Carré’s espionage thriller.
Filed under
Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 04, 2015 0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Jay (Jason Segel) and Annie (Cameron Diaz) have lost the spark. The couple’s college sexcapades are a distant memory, as marriage and children have snuffed their sex drive… until, fueled by tequila shots, they decide to make a three-hour porno wherein they attempt every position in the classic handbook, The Joy of Sex. When Jay saves their video to his iPad, however, he mistakenly sends it to friends and family, then spends the remainder of the film trying to reverse his mistake. Jake Kasdan, who directed Diaz and Segel in Bad Teacher, completes the Power Trio here.
David Vaughn Posted: Feb 04, 2015 5 comments
Picture
3D-ness
Sound
Extras
Although he’s never seen combat, Major William Cage crosses the wrong general and finds himself on the front lines of a D-Day-like battle in France where he stands no chance of survival against an onslaught of ridiculously superior alien invaders. Within minutes of landing on the beach, he’s killed by one of those aliens, but instead of heading toward a white light, he instantly wakes up the day before the attack, and now he is destined to live that day over and over. In lieu of becoming alien fodder again, he hooks up with a heroic Special Forces warrior, and they hatch a plan to get Cage trained for battle and embark on a journey to rid the planet of the aliens for good.

Pages

X
Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading