BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 0 comments

Another sports flick about a new coach, a team down on its luck, and a player struggling to succeed. But the variations on that theme are seemingly endless. In the Hollywood vernacular, this one was "inspired by the true story" of a 30-year old substitute teacher/bartender who never played college football but won a shot at a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles roster thanks to an open tryout held by the NFL team's new coach. The tryout was little more than a publicity stunt, but for the player, die-hard Eagles fan Vince Papale, it was a chance to prove himself.

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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 0 comments

The critical and box office verdicts on <I>Flyboys</I> weren't exactly glowing. Full of clichs with the usual assortment of standard characters…the dull subplot about the lonely American pilot falling for a beautiful young French girl…wooden dialog...a decidedly old-fashioned tone. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 0 comments

Thanks to two remarkable films, I've learned more about penguins in the past few weeks than I ever thought I needed to know. The first, <I>March of the Penguins</I> was a surprising hit when it played theatrically in 2005, winning an Oscar that year as the best documentary feature. The second, <I>Happy Feet</I> (review following), won an Oscar as the best animated feature of 2006.

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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 1 comments

<I>A Scanner Darkly</I> may be animated, but take that R rating seriously. This is not a film for the kids. There isn't a furry animal in sight, and certainly no talking penguins.

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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 0 comments

All the clichs are in place. New coach with a checkered past and something to prove. Down-on-its-luck team. Hostile, meddling townsfolk. The big game. You've seen it all before.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 01, 2007 Published: Apr 01, 2007 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 4
Extras: 4
They made a Miami Vice movie with no pastel colors or Jan Hammer? I’m sorry, you lost me. At least there is a Ferrari (a gray one). Michael Mann fashioned this movie like his “gritty” past few movies, such as Heat and Collateral, enough so that it has very little in common with the TV show (at least the good years). Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell do passable jobs as Rico and Sonny, but they can’t save this movie. After 20 minutes, I had no idea what was going on, and not in the way that would make me want to watch more.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: May 01, 2007 Published: Apr 01, 2007 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 3
Extras: 1
Before Sam Raimi made his trillions on the Spider-Man franchise, he made a different trilogy of films, starting with The Evil Dead and ending with this classic here. The story follows Bruce Campbell as Ash, who is sucked through time and space to 13th-century England. In order to get back, he needs to acquire the Necronomicon ex Mortis. He botches the job and unleashes an army of undead. If it sounds ridiculous, it is. It’s also hysterically funny. You don’t need to have seen The Evil Dead or Evil Dead II to get this movie, but it sure doesn’t hurt.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Apr 13, 2007 Published: Mar 13, 2007 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 4
Extras: 3
Oddly enough, I’ve seen this movie a bunch of times, at least in its original form. Kneel before Zod! Most of this movie was shot concurrently with the original Superman, but the producers took it away from director Richard Donner and made it more comic-bookish by putting it into the hands of a new and mostly disliked director, Richard Lester. The punished trio from the beginning of the first movie break free and decide to take over Earth. Superman does what he does and makes Terrence Stamp cry.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 09, 2007 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 4
Extras: 3
Amazingly, the first time I saw this movie was just a few months ago. What can I say? I’m a Batman kind of guy. Superman is campier than many of the more serious comic-book adaptations of late, but, compared with other comic-book movies of the time (and for many years after), it’s downright somber. It holds up well and is still the quintessential Superman movie. Covering the last days of Krypton to the time when Superman saves Earth from a toupeed Gene Hackman, it’s quite a film. It’s not least recognizable for its excellent score, which earned John Williams one of his 4,383 Oscar nominations.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

Wow. I'm generally more into Will Ferrell than Colin Farrell, and still haven't forgiven Joel Schumacher for <I>Batman and Robin</I>, so <I>Phone Booth</I> wasn't even close to being on my radar until it showed up on Blu-ray. Happy to say, this was a surpirse as both a movie and BD transfer.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

Ben Affleck drunk, and wearing tights- threat or menace? Actually <I>Hollywoodland</I> reminded me that we once knew Ben Affleck's name because of his acting talent and not the sheer tonnage of projects he was involved with or who he was engaged to. This well crafted movie tells the story of the death and then life of George Reeves, the Superman of 1950s camp TV. Coming in I knew nothing of Reeves' mysterious death let alone his life beyond the tights. <I>Hollywoodland</I> weaves through Reeves' life by way of a private investigator's look into his death, a character the film's creators acknowledge is an amalgam of several people and not a real person. The other chracters names have apparently not been changed to protect the innocent (or guilty).

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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

<I>The Matador</I> is an off kilter comedy that works by expertly playing on the audience's expectations without being overly manipulative. Erstwhile 007 Pierce Brosnan plays the the low down and dirty version of JB, a hit man for hire with very bad people skills. He's coming to the end of his run at the top, and has enough money to retire, but nothing or no one to retire to, not a single friend or any other human connection. While on a job in Mexico he runs into Danny, played by Greg Kinnear, who's also in town on a business trip, albeit ina different line of work! The two strike up as mcuh of a friendship as Brosnan's Julian allows, and inevitably when Julian's bosses decide he's more of a lliability than an asset Kinnear's Danny is the only friend he can turn to for help.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

What do you say about a Best Picture Winner? For one, I can say I didn't think it was the best movie I saw in 2006, even though I only saw a handful of movies. I can also say unequivocally that I don't agree at all that this is Martin Scorsese's best movie since the seminal <I>Goodfellas</I> in 1990. <I>Kundun</I> and <I>The Aviator</I> were as good or better. But Oscar had some catching up to do, and did so with a vengeance.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

Got your blanket with you? I have barely a passing familiarity with Douglas Adams' <I>Hitchhiker's</I> series of books. So passing that I actually thought it was a single book, and only found out that it was first a radio creation and then a series of books, TV shows, and other media creations when I read the Wikipdia entry before writing this.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 14, 2007 0 comments

It would take a much better film writer than I to do justice to this film, so I'll limit the damage by being brief. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's <I>Babel</I> brilliantly intertleaves the lives of four families across three continents, and links them in way that are mostly believeable and emotionally captivating and compelling from beginning to end. Almost like Jim Jarmusch meeting Robert Altman in the Int'l terminal.

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