BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Feb 10, 2017 0 comments
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The world of the battle-bred Orcs is dying. They must find a new domain to inhabit, which requires brutal conquest. Their chief sorcerer, Gul’dan, has devised a way to open a mystic portal into the human world of Azeroth and… oh, who cares? We’ve seen all this before. Warcraft follows the paint-by-numbers formula for wizards, warriors, and witchcraft, taken from the sacred scrolls of the Dungeons & Dragons playbook; shamelessly lifting countless elements from the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings sagas, and vainly trying to replicate the dramatic scope and gravitas of Game of Thrones. And all while trying to carve its own niche in the genre.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 10, 2017 0 comments
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Bigger-than-life John Wayne stars as Sean Thornton, a mild-mannered American returning to his native Ireland, seeking nothing more than a peaceful life in a charming village. But his homecoming is soon complicated by the sight of a tempestuous redhead (Maureen O’Hara) and by the aggressions of a blustery local bully... who just so happens to be her brother. Sean does his best to blend into the colorful community, occasionally led into an inadvertent clash of cultures, and ultimately forced to confront a dark secret from his past, all culminating in one of the most satisfying two-fisted finales in movie history. Much of the story might seem a bit quaint or even politically incorrect to modern audiences, but The Quiet Man endures as a sweetly irresistible bit of entertainment, quite possibly inspiring an urge to visit The Emerald Isle or at least throw back a pint.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 03, 2017 0 comments
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When a child’s father leaves his home in a small village to seek work in the city, his young son, not understanding why his father has left, sets out on a mission to find him.

That’s the plot of Brazilian director Alê Abreu’s dramatically obscure but stunningly animated film. We’re encouraged to experience the world through the boy’s eyes. If his world doesn’t always make sense to us, that may be the point. The world is a jumble to a young boy, and the result is a brilliant and visually compelling adventure. The film was nominated for a Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2015 (Inside Out won, however).

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 03, 2017 0 comments
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Having recently lost her mother to cancer, Nancy decides to drop out of medical school in order to go surfing at a remote Mexican beach where her mother used to surf. Unfortunately, Nancy’s “plus one” decides she’d rather hang out with the guy she met at the hotel bar, so Nancy makes the stupid decision to go by herself. What could go wrong?
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jan 27, 2017 0 comments
Perhaps by coincidence, many of independent label Shout! Factory’s recent releases hail from the era of big hair and synthesized music, ranging from the little-seen Metalstorm (in 3D!) to the gritty urban thriller, Night Hawks. We donned our day-glo parachute pants and spun four of their most interesting.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 20, 2017 0 comments
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The 1980s get a bad rap for big hair, shoulder pads, and synthesized music. But for those of us who are middle-aged, we remember it fondly for those reasons and more. Director John Carney takes us back with his coming-of-age story set in Dublin, circa 1984, where 14-year-old Conor is sent to a more affordable school as his parents are struggling financially. With no friends to speak of, things start out rough, but he eventually finds his place when he decides to form a band in order to get the girl that’s caught his eye. His older brother tutors him on various music genres, and as the band evolves, his life takes a turn for the better.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jan 20, 2017 0 comments
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When Prince passed away from an accidental overdose of fentanyl this past April, multiple generations bonded over their mutual appreciation of his one-man empire of sonic creativity, quirky yet influential style, and overall mystique. In the wake of all this new and renewed interest in the Purple One, Warner has remastered his only three starring roles for high-def Blu-ray release via the simply titled Prince Movie Collection.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 13, 2017 0 comments
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Charlize Theron is back as the evil Queen Ravenna, who betrays her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) with an unthinkable act of cruelty leading to her path down the dark side of magic; like Elsa from Frozen, she possesses an icy power. She heads north to train an army in order to conquer the realm, with one caveat: They are forbidden to fall in love, which is exactly what happens to Eric and Sara, leading to Freya going postal on her most treasured Huntsmen.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Jan 13, 2017 0 comments
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The year is 1977 in Los Angeles, California. Disco reigns supreme, the porn industry is flourishing, killer bees are emigrating from South America, and smog has reached epidemic levels. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a hard-hitting thug for hire, taking work wherever he can find it. Most times, it involves beating the crap out of some guy who’s bothering a young lady and breaking numerous bones in the process. Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a burnt-out ex-cop now private detective who’s not above deceiving a client to maintain a steady paycheck. And these are the Nice Guys.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Dec 23, 2016 1 comments
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When a CIA operative is killed by a team of anarchists, invaluable information is lost—or is it? Not now that a scientist has developed an experimental procedure for transferring memories from a dead man into another man’s brain. The scientist’s name, of course, is Doctor Franks. Not Frankenstein or Frahnkensteeen, but close. The concept’s made all the more unlikely by the choice of recipient—an imprisoned psychopathic murderer called Jericho.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Dec 23, 2016 0 comments
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I’d heard of Angry Birds but completely missed their first flight of fame in an immensely popular game for smartphones. Subsequently, they went bird-flu viral with follow-up games, an animated TV series, and more. A movie launch was inevitable. It features hotheaded Red and other (non-flighted!) feathered citizens of Bird Island. Sentenced to take an anger management course, Red meets a few similarly explosive (sometimes literally!) souls.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Dec 16, 2016 1 comments
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Stark, disturbing, disorienting, director Hiroshi Teshigahara’s Woman in the Dunes (1964) is a masterpiece of macabre metaphor. An entomologist searching for specimens of insects in a desert at the edge of a seaside misses his bus back to Tokyo and is offered to spend the night in the hut of a young widow at the bottom of a sand dune surrounding it on all sides. He discovers the next morning that the ladder has been pulled up by the local villagers trapping him with the woman for years to come.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Dec 16, 2016 0 comments
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Henry is part of a radical military experiment that merges cybernetic machinery with biological tissue to create the ultimate super soldier. When Henry wakes up in a high-tech laboratory missing two of his limbs, he is unable to speak. He also has no memory of who he was beforehand. A fetching lab technician named Estelle attaches his new cybernetic limbs to his body, and very shortly thereafter, the door to the lab explodes open and all hell breaks loose… and pretty much stays on the loose for the next 90 minutes.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 09, 2016 0 comments
It’s time once again to separate the digital wheat from the chaff to find movies, TV shows, and music that make great gifts. Venerable Blu-ray is joined by upstart 4K Ultra HD this year, and even a bit of vinyl for good measure. Whichever holiday you call your own, make it a little brighter with one or more of these.

David Vaughn Posted: Dec 02, 2016 0 comments
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By the mid-1960s, it was estimated that 90 percent of the humpback whales were gone from the Earth when a moratorium was put in place throughout most of the world. Fortunately, the population started to grow again, and there’s now an estimated 80,000 throughout the world. I’m old enough to remember the “Save the Whales” campaign in the mid-1970s as well as George and Gracie from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986 where it took the songs of the humpbacks to save Earth from sure destruction by an alien vessel.

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