BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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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: 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: Feb 14, 2007 0 comments

It's a big credit to this film that its subject matter is something that has not only been done, but been done very well many, many times. In fact, the film it reminded me the most of, in many ways, is the excellent if not great <I>Truman Show</I>. Yes, like that movie this one highlights the dramatic skills of a genius-level sketch comedy actor, only this time around it's Ricky Bubb-eee himself Will Ferrell. Instead of the being the unwitting subject of a reality TV show, Ferrell's Harold Crick finds that he's the subject of a novel being written by a self-and death-obsessed writer played wonderfully and obsessively by Emmma Thompson.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 14, 2007 1 comments

In one sense this film is an unexpected gift. I would never have imagined such intense, mesmerizing human drama could be culled from the story of two rival magicians trying to destroy each other personally and professionally around the turn of the century. Of course, in another sense the success of a film made from such a talented pool of people on both sides of the camera shouldn't seem surprising at all.

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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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Gary Frisch Posted: Feb 05, 2007 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 4
Extras: 4
M:i:III is the first film to be released simultaneously on HD DVD, Blu-ray, and standard DVD. Underachieving at the box office, this is nonetheless a lavish and worthy entry in the franchise. Philip Seymour Hoffman steals the show as a vile weapons dealer, but there are plenty of action sequences, stunts, and disguises to support Cruise. So what if it feels like we’ve seen it all before? Director J.J. Abrams adds a few fresh twists, and it’s still good fun the third time around.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 05, 2007 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 5
Extras: 4
V for Vendetta is the heartwarming tale of a near future where the government has taken an Orwellian turn for the oppressive extreme. Ironically, this time, John Hurt plays the oppressor instead of the oppressed. His government subdues all, except for the “terrorist” V, who decides he’s mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore. Adapted from the graphic novel of the same name, V is decent, but it’s disappointing in that it could have been a lot better.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 05, 2007 0 comments
Video: 3
Audio: 3
Extras: 5
Unashamedly, this is my favorite movie of all time. From the dialogue, to the acting, to the story, everything about this movie is awesome. If you never have, you owe it to yourself to see it. The story centers around hardened bar owner Rick, a lost love, and sticking it to some Nazis, which always make for good entertainment. As usual with a superior movie like this one, it’s about all that and more.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 03, 2007 0 comments

OK, <I>AVP's</I> concept, such as it is, of pitting two of cinema's most known monsters against each other in mortal combat (not <I>Mortal Kombat</I>) began back in the day as a graphic novel. A graphic novel is a comic book of allegedly higher aesthetic and narrative value not necessarily aimed at little kids. However, even a comic book would be embarrassed at the setup here in which these two cinematic make-up and effects legends duke it out. Any teenager who reads Fangoria magazine could have dreamed this one up. And hell, who cares what he excuses are, we just want to see the Aliens and Predators run amok, which they do.

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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 03, 2007 5 comments

In an effort to outperform the original, sequels invariably spend more money, have more explosions, more action, more stunts and more special effects. In this spirit I suppose it's inevitable that Kevin Smith's <I>Clerks II</I> would turn to bestiality (er, "interspecies erotica") in an effort to go where even the original <I>Clerks</I> hadn't gone before. The original did feature necrophilia as a set piece after all. And there's also a hilariously wrong homage to <I>Silence of the Lambs</I> here that anyone who sees this film will never forgive Kevin Smith or Jason Mewes for.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 05, 2007 Published: Jan 05, 2007 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 5
Extras: 3
Tim Burton spins a tale of love and marriage in the worlds of the barely living and the hardly dead. Using stop-motion animation, Burton creates a world that is visually stunning and unlike anything else out there (except for his other creations). The voice acting, from the likes of Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tracey Ullman, is excellent.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 05, 2007 Published: Jan 05, 2007 0 comments
Video: 5
Audio: 5
Extras: 5
It was with some trepidation that I watched this movie. After all, Joel Schumacher and Akiva Goldsman did their incompetent best to ruin the franchise for anyone who can sound out the word h-a-c-k-s. I shouldn’t have worried. Christopher Nolan knows his stuff and made a movie that is the equal to if not (dare I say it) better than Tim Burton’s classic. Unlike Brian Singer’s passable rebirth/continuation of the Superman franchise, Nolan starts fresh and does as the title says, showing the beginnings of Batman.
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Posted: Dec 28, 2006 Published: Dec 29, 2006 0 comments

With all due respect to director Ridley Scott's other efforts, including Black Hawk Down, this medieval crusade drama may well be his finest work to date. The theatrical cut was seriously compromised when it was cut down from the director's preferred length, but this version is far more coherent.

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John Higgins Posted: Apr 24, 2007 Published: Oct 24, 2006 0 comments
Video: 4
Audio: 5
Extras: 2
Lethal Weapon has been the paradigm of cop movies ever since its release in 1987. This is mainly because the film is more about the relationship between Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) than the plot. That’s not to say that the plot doesn’t hold up. Far from it. Lethal Weapon grabs you from the beginning and never lets go. With a supporting criminal cast of Gary Busey and character actor Mitchell Ryan, the performances all around are incredible.

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