BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Kris Deering Posted: Feb 27, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4/5
Audio: 3/5
Extras: 2/5
I really wanted to see this one during its theatrical run but missed the opportunity. After it was nominated for a bunch of awards this year, my interest peaked even more. I actually sat down to watch it while the Academy Awards was airing. I must say I'm surprised that this one was up for Best Picture. I thought it was a very good film, with really strong performances, but not quite Best Picture material. The film follows Michael Clayton, a big law firm bagman who does crisis management. This time around one of their top lawyers goes crazy during a meeting and jeopardizes a case involving a major agriculture company. The film never lost my interest and I was impressed with the level of suspense a legal thriller could sustain. While I might not agree with the Academy completely about the film, it is definitely worth a look for fans of the genre.
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Kris Deering Posted: Feb 27, 2008 0 comments
Video: 5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 3.5/5
Check your brain at the door for this non-stop action ride. And I mean that literally. This is one of those films that almost makes spoofs look tame when it comes to unbelievable action. They've employed just about every "you've got to be kidding me" trick in the book and then some. The plot is paper thin and serves only to get you to the next shoot out. The film does have some style to it and I couldn't help but be entertained from time to time despite the udder ridiculousness of it. If you are looking for anything remotely resembling an intelligent action movie though, stay FAR away from this one!
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Kris Deering Posted: Feb 24, 2008 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 4.5/5
Last year director Guillermo Del Toro scored a huge hit with the international release of Pan's Labyrinth. The film went on to win acclaim at most of the film festivals and even got a few Oscar nominations including Best Foreign Film. This adult fairy tale is a dark and twisted ride that shows the more horrific side of war painted alongside a child's imagination. The film takes place during the later part of World War II in Spain where a pregnant mother and young child move in with a vicious Spanish captain who is trying to track down and kill the last of the resistance in the area. The young girl is lured by a fairy into a labyrinth near the headquarters and meets a Fawn who has the key to a kingdom long forgot. The young girl faces challenges to enter the kingdom while also dealing with the horrors around her.

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