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BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 08, 2013 0 comments
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You take on some baggage when your movie stars Tom Cruise. He’s been a box office titan for decades, so you’re improving your chances of a hit. On the other hand, ever since the couch-jumping incident, he tends to bring a certain off-screen persona that rubs a lot of folks the wrong way. Plus, a leading man of his magnitude tends to be Tom first, character second.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Nov 08, 2013 0 comments
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White Heat is one of the greatest gangster movies ever made. It’s a true film noir, a Freudian character study, and a pioneering police procedural, with slick suspense, a dry wit, and a deep-cutting (but not bloody) cruelty that’s still jarring today. The script is by Ivan Goff and Ben Roberts, who later wrote a few seasons of the Charlie’s Angels TV show, which at its best pulled off a warmed-over, softly satirical simulacrum of those traits.
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Oct 31, 2013 0 comments
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Good witches, bad witches, good witches who become bad witches; it’s all in a day’s work for the Wizard of Oz. The story of how the Wizard of Oz first arrived in Oz and became the great and powerful Wizard of Oz is chronicled in Oz the Great and Powerful. This prequel to The Wizard of Oz pays reverent homage to the original classic film in many ways but most noticeably by mimicking its famous prologue. Just like when Dorothy leaves Kansas and her monochromatic world magically morphs to glorious, exhilarating Technicolor, so it goes for the Wizard as well. After a 20-minute black-and-white prologue cropped in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, Oz’s balloon arrives somewhere over the rainbow, the image bursts into vibrant color, and the aspect ratio expands to a full 2.40:1.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 31, 2013 2 comments
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Cloud Atlas is something of a cinematic curiosity. It is incredibly ambitious and deftly executed, weaving together six disparate tales with similar themes of oppression and rebellion, each told with the same handful of actors playing the key roles in each scenario. Set in different locations and in eras ranging from 1849 up through 2321, the movie serves up everything from a single slave earning his freedom on a sailing ship to a genetically engineered hostess inspiring a full-on societal revolt. But even when the all-star filmmaking team of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer has three hours to play with, not one of the half-dozen narratives can be particularly deep or overwhelmingly original. They have, however, fashioned an enormous event movie that pushes technique—dramatic as well as purely technical—into bold new territory.
Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 31, 2013 0 comments
Deadwood: The Complete Series, La Notte, Monster Cars: Monsters University 3D & Cars 3D, and Agatha Christie’s Poirot, Series 9.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Oct 24, 2013 0 comments
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In the opening scene of Identity Thief, financial analyst Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) receives a phone call from the Fraud Protection Department at Indenti-Vault Credit Monitoring Service. A woman named Janine informs him that someone has tried to steal his identity. Fortunately, they prevented it in time, but to circumvent future problems, she offers him a free total protection plan that will safeguard his credit against theft or fraud.
Corey Gunnestad Posted: Oct 24, 2013 0 comments
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In the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel, the titular children are lost in the woods and find a house made of candy. Starving, they devour the architecture with little regard for the occupant inside. The wicked witch who lives there lures them in and tries to eat them for supper. Any homeowner would sympathize. But they overpower the old crone and throw her into her own oven and burn her to death.
Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 23, 2013 0 comments
Three super collections on Blu-ray—John Cassavetes: Five Films, The Vincent Price Collection, Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection
Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 16, 2013 0 comments
Reviewed on Blu-ray: Pacific Rim, The Haunting, High Plains Drifter, Eyes Without a Face, Notting Hill & Love Actually, The Stranger.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 10, 2013 0 comments
Much Ado About Nothing, After Earth, The Hangover Part III, Fear Eats the Soul 3 – The Night After the Nightmare: The Exorcist, Curse of Chucky, Chucky: The Complete Collection, I Married a Witch, Zombie Hunter, American Horror Story: Asylum, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea & Fantastic Voyage, Stalag 17.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 08, 2013 0 comments
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When boogeyman Pitch Black schemes to plant fearsome nightmares into the minds and hearts of children throughout the world, it falls on the Guardians to derail his plans. When they attempt to convince Jack Frost, a free-spirit prankster, to join them, he agrees only when things turn truly grim.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Oct 02, 2013 0 comments
The Wizard of Oz 75th anniversary Collector’s Edition, This is the End, Poirot: Series 7 & 8, Jack Irish, The Big Parade, and From Here to Eternity.
Josef Krebs Posted: Sep 24, 2013 0 comments
Iron Man 3, The Big Combo, Foyle’s War: Set 7, 3 Films By Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid Bergman, Fear Eats the Soul 2 — The Nightmare Continues: Prince of Darkness, Halloween, Psycho II, Psycho III, V/H/S/2, Hannibal: Season 1.
Ken Richardson Posted: Sep 24, 2013 0 comments
Also reviewed: Kings of Leon, Sting, and Icona Pop. Plus: a thematic list of all the other prominent new releases and reissues, including The Complete Waitresses and a big box of Nirvana’s In Utero.

Corey Gunnestad Posted: Sep 20, 2013 0 comments
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The grand experiment of converting iconic films to 3D for theatrical release and home video market resolutely continues in the hopes of attracting wide audience appeal—recent examples include Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Titanic, and Top Gun. And now we have Jurassic Park. Titanic was the only one that managed to coax me back into a theater, but settling in to watch Jurassic Park at home with my 3D glasses on, I had a peculiar sensation I hadn’t felt in ages—the electric thrill of seeing it for the first time. Having seen it so many times in so many different formats, the experience has almost become passé. But this time, it was suddenly 1993 again and I was actually excited to see this film.

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