BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 02, 2016 0 comments
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By the mid-1960s, it was estimated that 90 percent of the humpback whales were gone from the Earth when a moratorium was put in place throughout most of the world. Fortunately, the population started to grow again, and there’s now an estimated 80,000 throughout the world. I’m old enough to remember the “Save the Whales” campaign in the mid-1970s as well as George and Gracie from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986 where it took the songs of the humpbacks to save Earth from sure destruction by an alien vessel.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 02, 2016 0 comments
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So I guess revisiting in live action the catalog of Disney animated classics is officially a thing now. And that’s fine, if they can all manage to be as good as director Jon Favreau’s astutely conceived, beautifully realized take on The Jungle Book. The story here is different enough from the popular 1967 version to make the tale of man-cub Mowgli (endearing newcomer Neel Sethi) fresh and worth watching all over again. He’s been raised by wolves and lives happily among the animals until a ferocious tiger sets his sights on the boy, sending brave Mowgli on a dangerous journey back to the world of man. Yes, there are a couple of familiar songs along the way, but plenty of surprises as well, in addition to some rough beast-on-beast combat that might frighten the little ones.
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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 22, 2016 6 comments
I had an idea. In hindsight, a really bad idea. I thought it would be cool to rewatch all 13 Star Trek movies, in order, and rank them...
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Nov 18, 2016 0 comments
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In cinema, would-be cautionary tales of our current environmental crisis tend to be heavy-handed, and they frequently fall flat as a result. Maybe the secret to an effective global wakeup call is to tuck it neatly into a slapstick romantic comedy about modern-day merpeople.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Nov 11, 2016 0 comments
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The successful sketch comedy duo of Key and Peele has made the transition from their Comedy Central series to motion pictures with their comic adventure Keanu. The Shakespearian plot unfolds thusly: Rell (Peele) is depressed and hasn’t left his couch or his bong in days because his girlfriend has just dumped him. His straight-laced cousin Clarence (Key) sympathizes but is of little consolation. A timely miracle shows up on Rell’s doorstep in the form of a lost kitten that meows plaintively and is adorable beyond all reason.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Nov 04, 2016 0 comments
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Following up the release of the standard HD Blu-ray by only two months, Warner Bros. has reissued Point Break in the 4K Ultra HD format. Not to be confused with the original 1991 Point Break starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, this new version stars two relatively unknown actors, Edgar Ramirez and Luke Bracey, in the central roles; and while it generally follows the same basic plot of the original, it also departs substantially from the pre-established formula.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Nov 04, 2016 0 comments
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A godlike eye in the sky that can send down hellfire; fake-fly-on-the-wall drones capable of entering anyone’s home to observe their most intimate moments; militia and religious police who, in the name of God, watch, search, and regulate every aspect of a person’s existence or end it with guns and explosive. In a place with no privacy, your life is not your own.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 21, 2016 0 comments
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Dawn of Justice brings together the entire trinity of DC Universe heroes, arguably the most enduring characters of 20th-century popular culture. So where’s the thrill? The awe? The “wow,” dammit? Let’s focus on the expanded three-hour Ultimate Edition featured in this set, also available separately on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, along with director Zack Snyder’s other two DC forays, Man of Steel and Watchmen.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Oct 21, 2016 0 comments
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In Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (military code for, umm, WTF), Tina Fey plays real-life reporter Kim Baker who, tired of her stagnant career, accepts a three-month assignment embedded with the U.S. Marines covering the war in Afghanistan, much to the dismay of her boyfriend. As three months turns into four years, Baker meets a collection of colorful war correspondents, marines, and corrupt government officials, including a Scottish playboy (Martin Freeman) who becomes her love interest and a gorgeous rival reporter (Margot Robbie). But as she endures the almost surreal dangers and day-to-day activities of Afghanistan, she begins to realize that the place is having a negative effect on her perception of reality.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Oct 14, 2016 2 comments
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Dr. Strangelove is one of the great American films: not just a savage anti-war satire but a jeremiad against the mechanization (and resulting dehumanization) that spawned the nuclear-war machine and might turn a burst of insanity into the death of all life on the planet. (The film’s subtitle: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”) It was an amazingly daring movie for its time: early 1964, the peak of Cold War tensions, barely a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, on the eve of escalation in Vietnam—and here’s Stanley Kubrick, joined by Terry Southern, author of Candy, The Magic Christian, and other naughty novels, portraying the top brass as mentally off, our political leaders as feckless, and the holy of military holies, the nuclear deterrent, as a Doomsday Machine. And it’s funny as hell!
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 14, 2016 0 comments
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With Erudite’s leader overthrown, Four’s mother is now in control of Chicago, and instead of getting on with their lives, it’s payback time for those who oppressed the people under the previous leadership. Tris wants no part of this, and she and Four lead a team of rebels on a daring escape beyond the wall where they face an even larger threat. Tris is then befriended by the mysterious leader, but Four’s spidey sense tells him to be on guard—and for good reason.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 07, 2016 0 comments
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It’s been 50 years now, and poor Mr. Spock still doesn’t have a captaincy. But fans of the Neverending Franchise like him just the way he is.

Or was. Or will be. Star Trek Into Darkness is the second installment of the “new” Trek saga. In the first, director J.J. Abrams cleverly (or alarmingly) rebooted the whole thing through some sort of time-warp, high-tech thingy. The Enterprise is now far more advanced, and some of the relationships are very different, particularly between Spock and Uhura.

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Avi Greengart Posted: Oct 07, 2016 0 comments
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The story of 10 Cloverfield Lane is revealed to the viewer slowly from the point of view of the protagonist, and the less you know upfront, the more effective this technique will be. The filmmakers agree: The trailers show little more than basic framing of the movie’s first act. Even the Blu-ray Disc menu doesn’t reveal anything, making this the rare disc that doesn’t ruin the movie’s climactic scenes before you even press Play. Describing the video and audio necessitates describing some plot elements, so before we get to that, what follows is a completely spoiler-free summary.
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Guido Henkel Posted: Sep 30, 2016 0 comments
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Dirty-cop movies are nothing new, and for any film in the genre, it would be easy to simply reach for established tropes to tell the story. When you have an entire gang of cops that serves the Russian mob, however, things are almost certain to spiral out of control, and in Universal’s gritty action fest, Triple 9, they do so hard and fast.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Sep 30, 2016 0 comments
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It’s difficult to fathom that Alex Proyas, the director who gave us Dark City and The Crow, is the same director responsible for I, Robot and Gods of Egypt, but sure enough, he is. If the first two films were dark and foreboding, and I, Robot was a perfect visual effects popcorn movie, then Gods of Egypt is…what, exactly? Well, let’s say it’s a big special-effects movie, and that’s it. It certainly has Proyas’s style all over it, but it’s hollow inside.

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