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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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 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—one of the funniest creatures ever created—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: 4.5/5
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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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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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: 3.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 2/5
Kudos to Sony for being one of the best studios for foreign releases so far. I don't understand why so many studios have been neglecting their better known foreign titles. Run Lola Run has been a favorite of mine for quite some time. The film is a kinetic ride lasting really only 20 minutes but repeating itself for different outcomes as Lola tries to save her boyfriend after losing drug money. The film combines several different filming styles including animation and personal camera work giving it a rather frantic pace and look.
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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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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 02, 2008 0 comments
Video: 5/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 3/5
I was a bit reluctant going into this one. The Rock has impressed me with his choices acting wise, but the trailers for this did nothing for me. The first act of the film didn't do me any favors. There are a lot of gag bits that weren’t that funny and honestly I felt like I'd seen this too many times before. The second act brought it back though and I started to feel like I wasn't wasting my time. The film started developing some honest emotion points and laid off on the prank jokes. By the time the film was over I thought it was pretty good. I don't really know who this film was aimed at though. Younger kids may get a kick out of some of the laughs, but it didn't really play to the kid audience. On the other hand it didn't play to the adults either. While this is wholesome family entertainment, there are a lot of other films almost just like it.
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Kris Deering Posted: Mar 02, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 3.5/5
Extras: 2.5/5
Luc Besson has long been known for his larger action feature films such as The Fifth Element and The Professional but most people don't know that he wrote a series of children's books in France. Besson also directed a feature film based on the books and has a follow up coming out later this year. The film was released stateside as Arthur and the Invisibles to a rather lukewarm reception. I’m a huge fan of Besson's live action films but this one was a bit hit or miss. The film is a mix of live action and animation and generally the animation is excellent. The character design reminded me a lot of the Oddworld characters from the video game series of the same name. The problem is the rather hurried script. The story is great, but there is little to no character development, and the dialogue is really tone down for the younger audience. I think this could have been fleshed out significantly and brought a far more satisfying film to the screen.
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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 28, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403nocountry.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>West Texas local boy Llewelyn Moss (Josh Bolin) stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad while out hunting and discovers a suitcase filled with $2 million in cash. By claiming the money as his own, he becomes the target of Anton Chigur (Javier Bardem), a sociopathic killer with no sense of humor who will kill anyone who gets in the way of reclaiming the money. As Moss flees for his life, local Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) does all he can to interrupt the killing spree that Chigur leaves in his wake.

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Posted: Feb 28, 2008 0 comments

West Texas local boy Llewelyn Moss (Josh Bolin) stumbles upon a drug deal gone bad while out hunting and discovers a suitcase filled with $2 million in cash. By claiming the money as his own, he becomes the target of Anton Chigur (Javier Bardem), a sociopathic killer with no sense of humor who will kill anyone who gets in the way of reclaiming the money. As Moss flees for his life, local Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) does all he can to interrupt the killing spree that Chigur leaves in his wake.

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Kris Deering Posted: Feb 27, 2008 0 comments
Video: 3/5
Audio: 4/5
Extras: 2.5/5
In 2004 Appleseed was released as a groundbreaking CG animation feature. The CG animation style was cutting edge and the action of the film was a lot of fun. While I enjoyed that film I thought the overall story was a bit lacking. This follow up is a step up in almost every department. The new story is a lot better in my opinion, but the film does remind me of a video game at times. The scope is larger, but the way the action progresses and some of the dialogue make me feel like I'm watching cut scenes from a game more than a full length feature every once in awhile. The animation has been supercharged since the first release. The characters and animation in general is far more dimensional and the attention to detail is incredible. Fans of anime in general will definitely want to check this one out.

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