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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Posted: Mar 15, 2008 0 comments
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 15, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403legend.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the year 2012, virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) is the last human survivor in New York City. An outbreak of a lethal virus in 2009 wipes out 99% of the human population, leaving most of the remaining 1% as mutants, with the exception of Neville, who is immune to the virus. Along with his loyal canine, Samantha, Neville hunts for other survivors by day, and in his spare time&mdash;which he has lots of&mdash;he works on an antidote for the virus utilizing his own blood as the source.

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 12, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3.5/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 3/5
Awhile back I was caught by surprise with the last installment in the Fast and the Furious franchise, Tokyo Drift. I thought the second film was the end of the line for great entertainment but the third installment ended up being quite good. Well you can tell they borrowed a lot from this film. Initial D is a live action imagining of the Manga by the same name and brought to the big screen by the creators of the popular Infernal Affairs series. The film centers on some street racers and the ever popular "drifting" so prevalent in street racing culture today. Two racers stumble upon a local Tofu delivery guy who just happens to be the master of a local downhill track and bring him into their world. The film is a bit corny at times, mainly do to the rather crude dubbing and comic-like acting, but it was also a lot of fun and the racing sequences are very well done. Anyone looking for a racing fix should definitely give this one a look.
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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 12, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 3/5
Bandai Visual delivers the next episode in the Freedom series. For those not familiar with this series it was created as a marketing series for "Cup-O-Noodles" though it really has no tie in to the product except some of the characters eating it in the show. Each segment is thirty minutes long and each segment has been released on HD DVD individually, making this is a bit of a steep investment considering the length of each release. This fourth episode finds our main characters on Earth's soil and on the way to Florida to meet the girl in the pictures. This episode wasn't quite as engaging as the ones before it, but it's an essential part of the story. The animation was also a bit disappointing in comparison to the previous episodes with most of the longer shots not coming off quite as detailed, but this was obviously an artistic choice of the creators. I'm still looking forward to seeing where it all goes and I have word that the rest of the series will be released on HD DVD despite its recent demise.
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Posted: Mar 12, 2008 0 comments

When high-school baseball coach Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) was looking for a way to inspire his perennially losing team to win, he decided to issue a challenge they couldn't refuse. If they made it to the district playoffs, he would try out for a major-league baseball team. Fortunately for Morris, his team fulfilled their part of the bargain, and he went to the tryout in which his fast ball was clocked at 98 mph! It wasn't long before Jim found himself pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a 35-year-old rookie. The best part of the story is that it actually happened in 1999.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 12, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403rookie.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When high-school baseball coach Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid) was looking for a way to inspire his perennially losing team to win, he decided to issue a challenge they couldn't refuse. If they made it to the district playoffs, he would try out for a major-league baseball team. Fortunately for Morris, his team fulfilled their part of the bargain, and he went to the tryout in which his fast ball was clocked at 98 mph! It wasn't long before Jim found himself pitching for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a 35-year-old rookie. The best part of the story is that it actually happened in 1999.

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 12, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 3.5/5
This is one of those films that completely took me by surprise. I remember seeing one trailer for it in theaters and not thinking much of it but when I saw it available for import on HD DVD, I took the plunge. It had a good cast and I generally enjoy British comedies so I thought why not. Turns out this one is great. The comedy in this had my wife and me laughing nearly the entire film with some scenes bringing us to near tears. The whole film centers around a funeral and everything that can happen will. The cast is great here and every character brings something more to the already hilarious happenings. If you love a great comedy, this is not to be missed.
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Posted: Mar 10, 2008 0 comments

Unlikely heroes Manfred, Sid, Diego, and Scrat join together to return an infant boy to his father before the coming ice age dooms them all. These brave souls, however, are not human. Manny is a wooly mammoth, Sid is a sloth, Diego is a saber-toothed tiger, and Scrat&mdash;one of the funniest creatures ever created&mdash;is a tiny saber-toothed squirrel who just wants to protect his precious acorn.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 10, 2008 5 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403iceage.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Unlikely heroes Manfred, Sid, Diego, and Scrat join together to return an infant boy to his father before the coming ice age dooms them all. These brave souls, however, are not human. Manny is a wooly mammoth, Sid is a sloth, Diego is a saber-toothed tiger, and Scrat&mdash;one of the funniest creatures ever created&mdash;is a tiny saber-toothed squirrel who just wants to protect his precious acorn.

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3/5
Atonement was easily one of my favorite movies of 2007 and I was actually surprised it didn't walk away with the Best Picture statue at the Oscar's this year. While this was an extremely strong year for great films and there was some great nominees I felt this film had the strongest overall arc in terms of production, story, acting and direction. It is rare that a film just nails every aspect as well as this one does, making it a must-see in my opinion.
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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 5/5
Audio: 5/5
Extras: 3.5/5
Will Smith is getting the high definition treatment these next few weeks. We are seeing a couple releases from Fox and last year's blockbuster from Warner here soon. Good thing his movies are fun. i, Robot was the first big budget film for director Alex Proyas (Dark City) and an above average summer blockbuster for Smith. The creators did a bang up job with the special effects, but at times I thought they were a bit heavy handed with the environments. I'm still glad this one has finally made its way to Blu-ray as it was one of my favorite demonstration titles on the short lived D-Theater format.
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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 4/5
Movies based on video games generally don't make for great cinema. There have been a few exceptions, but they are VERY few and far between. I wasn't expecting much going into this one but it didn't turn out too bad. I am not that familiar with the video game series (which may have helped) but I couldn't help but notice the parallels between other games I've played. The scenarios and characters were a bit one dimensional, like most games. The nice thing is, this film has enough plot to keep the action going, which is all one can demand from a popcorn film. The action choreography and stylish cinematography also keep things pretty cool. My only real complaint is the lead actor. While I like Olyphant as an actor, he didn't have the weight for this type of role in my opinion. I guess I've just seen too many films about professional killers that gave the killer a more impending tone.
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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 09, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 0/5
When this film was released I noticed a lot of comparisons to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I am not sure why, the films have little to do with each other. Both are VERY colorful and full of imagination, but this film deals more with finding the magic within you. Hoffman does a good job in the lead, but the film is stolen by Natalie Portman. She is reminding me more and more of Audrey Hepburn as she's gotten older and her charm and vulnerability go a long way in this one. It isn't very often that we see a solid live action family film like this.
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 04, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403dan.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Newspaper columnist Dan Burns (Steve Carell) dispenses advice to families in his column, but his own personal life is in shambles. The widowed father of three girls is afraid of letting go and letting his kids grow up. He's so consumed with their lives that he has no time to live his own.

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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 02, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Sleuth didn't create much buzz at the box office. In fact, I think most people never even noticed it was there. The film is based on a famous play and pretty much recreates it for the screen. The film takes place all in one setting, is VERY character driven but in turn creates a riveting environment and cat and mouse game. Bad thing is, it's a bit predictable at times. Sure there are some good twists, but I can see a few people being disappointed with the dialogue driven nature and subtle mind play. I thought it was great seeing Caine and Law together on screen though. Both are great character actors and played to each other brilliantly.

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