BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Mar 25, 2016 1 comments
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Remember that kid from high school that nobody liked and you and your friends mercilessly tormented him just because he was different? No? Well, he sure remembers you. Now imagine that all these years later, that person still bears a grudge against you and wants a little payback.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Mar 25, 2016 11 comments
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Truman Capote’s career-defining “nonfiction novel” In Cold Blood recounted with fastidious nuance a violent crime that shocked America. Absent Capote’s masterful prose, the movie adaptation gives us a precise chronicle of the events with laudable authenticity. But under the inspired guidance of director/screenwriter Richard Brooks, the film goes beyond rote police procedural, introducing us to killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock as a couple of troubled, down-on-their-luck ex-cons.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2016 0 comments
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“Human nature was a mystery that logic alone could not illuminate.” In this tale of memory, fiction, and flashbacked facts, Sir Ian McKellen completely transforms into an aging Sherlock Holmes, a real-life person who’s been misrepresented in Dr. Watson’s books and turned into a romanticized creation. Living in retirement for 33 years following a failure that still haunts him, Holmes, who is rapidly losing his memory, is trying to recall the details of the case that derailed him in the hope of writing an account to correct the “myriad misconceptions created by the imaginative license” Watson had embellished his recounting of the investigations with.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 18, 2016 0 comments
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We first met the Minions in the Despicable Me films. They were the henchmen of Gru, desperate to be seen as The Greatest Villain of All Time. But the Minions movie begins at the dawn of time when these funny, goggle-wearing creatures, babbling in their unique humina-humina-humina language, emerge from the primordial sea. They’re immediately driven to seek out the greatest villain they can find. But no sooner do they find one than they bumble into eliminating him.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 18, 2016 0 comments
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The End of the Tour is like My Dinner with Andre but without the dinner or Andre. Yes, it does consist of one long conversation, but unlike Wallace Shaun and Andre Gregory’s fine feast of fascinating, erudite, intellectual spouting, with ideas crashing one upon another, the characters here are remarkable in their compelling ordinariness and awkwardness. It tells of a five-day interview of celebrated novelist David Foster Wallace by rookie Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky on a road book tour following the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking novel, Infinite Jest, which wowed a generation with its brilliant virtuosity.
Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 16, 2016 1 comments
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As iconic as it remains a full half-century later, when Bob Dylan: Dont Look Back was being shot by director D.A. Pennebaker during the Bard’s whirlwind acoustic tour of England in May 1965, there were literally no rules to follow. “It’s the idea of the home movie, the kind of movie that was always made by one person,” says Pennebaker, still as sharp as ever at age 90. “I had gotten the notion in my head not to make a pure music film. I decided to make it about him, right at the time he was trying to figure out who he was.”
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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
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Korben Dallas, a New York cab driver, is just trying to get through another day when a fare drops into his cab unexpectedly, and before he knows it, he’s responsible for saving the galaxy from an intergalactic feud that happens every 5,000 years. The fare is the Fifth Element, who, when combined with earth, wind, fire, and water, becomes the perfect weapon to save the human race from destruction—if Korben can keep her safe until she fulfills her destiny.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
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Aladdin was released theatrically in 1992, during a renaissance in Disney’s hand-drawn animation that also gave us Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. But its release on DVD didn’t happen until 2004, and this is its first time on Blu-ray. It’s been too long a wait.

You know the story. Street rat Aladdin finds a magic lamp, he rubs it, and a genie appears to grant his new master three wishes. It’s a tale of redemption, growth, love, treachery, and—oh, forget all that. Its Boy meets Genie, Boy loses Genie, Boy gets Genie.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 04, 2016 3 comments
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Like Hitler, Guy Ritchie has a certain style. Which doesn’t make either of them an artist. However, Ritchie has finally learned how to make a kick-ass action movie, and in adapting a somewhat silly and camp British 1960s TV series, the director has found something that fits his talents and temperament like a tight, flash suit. By far superior to his laughably bad Sherlock Holmes films, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is a slick adventure that moves along at a clip from one set piece to the next, connected by banter—not witty, but efficient in setting up each character.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Mar 04, 2016 0 comments
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As directed by Russell Crowe from the book of the same name by Andrew Anastasios and Dr. Meaghan Wilson-Anastasios, The Water Diviner is part (anti-) war story, part romance, part history lesson, and part travelogue. Four years after the Battle of Gallipoli in which he lost his three sons, Joshua Connor (Crowe) is driven by the suicide of his wife to leave his Outback farm to go to the battlefield in search of their remains.
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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Feb 26, 2016 0 comments
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A year before The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper, Brian Wilson had completed “Good Vibrations,” the first pop song with orchestral backing and the most expensive single ever produced. By then, its genius composer had begun his descent into madness, which, by the 1970s, would find him bedridden for several years before being placed under the care of Dr. Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). Astonishingly accurate to its finest detail, Love & Mercy, which flashes between Wilson, “Rock Star” prodigy of the mid-’60s (Paul Dano) and “Rock Bottom” burnout of the late ’80s (John Cusak), is compelling on historical, musical, and emotional levels.
Guido Henkel Posted: Feb 26, 2016 0 comments
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Traditionally, I avoid Adam Sandler films, for the simple reason that I just don’t think he’s funny. In the case of Pixels, however, I made an exception because the theme of retro arcade machines definitely appeals.

As aliens invade Earth, disguised as digitized characters from old-school arcade favorites, the military is stumped. Nothing could prepare them for an assault of video-game nemeses, and neither their tactics nor their weapons are a match for these attackers. That’s when the president calls upon old pals from his nerdy teenage days spent at the arcade, and with their lightning-fast reflexes and ingrained strategies, they set out to stop the onslaught of deadly avatars.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Feb 19, 2016 0 comments
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Growing up is tough enough for any eleven-year-old, but when Riley finds out that her family is moving, her idyllic life is turned upside down. She must now contend with a new house, a new school, and a host of new feelings. Fortunately, the five main emotions that share control of her mind—Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, and Anger—are at the ready. But when partners Joy and Sadness find themselves cut off from headquarters, confused little Riley’s situation quickly goes from bad to worse.

Once again, writer/director Pete Docter has crafted a tale that entertains the youngest viewers while also challenging even the smartest adults in the room. The underlying psychology is brilliantly laid out, allowing us to explore the relationship between emotions, memories, and personality. Dialogue is deliciously witty (star Amy Poehler is comedy gold in any medium), and in revealing the delicate balance between happiness and sorrow, the story achieves its greatest poignancy.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Feb 19, 2016 1 comments
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Similar to phonetics expert Professor Higgins’ struggles to save a dirty, guttural-sounding Cockney girl by improving her language and appearance, other experts have tried to save and transform a Lady, too. In 1964, My Fair Lady won eight Oscars, including ones for best film, director, cinematography, sound, music, and for Cecil Beaton’s costumes and set designs. But, 50 years later, does the Lady still look and sound good enough to pass as a dazzling duchess?
Tut
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Feb 16, 2016 2 comments
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Egyptian history is astonishingly long by modern standards. The pharaoh Tutankhamun lived roughly 13 centuries after the pyramids were built, and another 13 centuries would pass before Cleopatra friended an asp.

The plot of this two-disc, 4.5-hour miniseries is centered on the limited facts we know about Tut. He was the son of Akhenaten, whose worship of the sun god Aton and rejection of Egypt’s traditional deities nearly tore the country apart. Tut became pharaoh around age nine and eventually restored the old gods and stabilized the kingdom. But by the time of his death at a young 19, he had failed to produce an heir by his wife and half-sister Ankhesenamun.

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