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David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/coraline.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>From the director of <i>The Nightmare Before Christmas</i> comes another visually stunning, stop-motion animated feature&#151;the first to be shot using stereoscopic 3D. Although the 3D experience doesn't translate well to Blu-ray, the 2D feature is amazingly clear with inky blacks and phenomenal contrast. The detail on the miniature sets looks surprisingly lifelike, from the fabric used for curtains to the textures of the characters' clothing and even their expressions. The audio track doesn't take a back seat to the video, either, featuring demo-worthy surround imaging.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 15, 2011 2 comments
Eleven-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) to a new home in Oregon. With her parents distracted by work and no one to play with except an annoying boy, Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.), she spends her time visiting her older neighbors. When she convinces herself that her new home is the most boring place on earth, she uncovers a secret door that leads to a parallel world much like her own—but much better. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it all an illusion?

Pixar has changed the way animated films are made, but the days of stop-motion are far from over as director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) proves with this visually stunning and wildly entertaining tale of a young girl in search of attention. One caveat—this isn't really a kid's movie. There are some intense sequences in the "other world" that may frighten younger viewers, so a prescreening is recommended for parents with young children.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/coraline.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Eleven-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) to a new home in Oregon. With her parents distracted by work and no one to play with except an annoying boy, Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.), she spends her time visiting her older neighbors. When she convinces herself that her new home is the most boring place on earth, she uncovers a secret door that leads to a parallel world much like her own&#151;but much better. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it all an illusion?

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 20, 2011 0 comments
Country music superstar Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) enters alcohol rehab after tumbling during a concert and meets Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund), an aspiring small town country singer. Once out of rehab, she wants to give Beau a shot at the big time by having him open her comeback concert, but her husband/manager James (Tim McGraw) has chosen a beauty queen (Leighton Meester) instead.

I'm not a big fan of melodramatic stories, and this has over-the-top sappiness seeping over the edges. Writer/Director Shana Feste can't keep seem to make up her mind on what direction she wants to take the film; is it a story about a pair of up-and-coming singers or about the superstar trying to regain her footing? Overall, it's a tiring two hour experience with mediocre music and horrendous dialog.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 08, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/couplesretreat.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Eight friends group-rate vacation comes at a price when they discover that participation in the resort's unconventional couples therapy is anything but optional.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 05, 2011 0 comments

This Blu-ray boasts a solid video transfer with rich colors, revealing skintones, and reference-quality contrast, but it's the audio track that steals the show. The enveloping DTS-HD 5.1 mix features chest-pounding LFE when aliens attack, horses gallop, or when a mysterious wrist-mounted energy weapon is unleashed. Unfortunately, the movie itself is a real stinker.
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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 03, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403coyote.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Aspiring songwriter Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo) moves to New York to pursue her dreams. Desperate and broke, the shy and innocent Violet is hired as a barmaid in one of the hottest nightclubs in the city&mdash;Coyote Ugly. The small-town girl is in for a wild adventure as she chases her dream in the Big Apple.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 31, 2011 0 comments
Straight-laced Cal Weaver (Steve Carell) is living the dream with a good job, nice house, and a seemingly happy marriage to his high school sweetheart. But when his wife drops the bomb that she's been having an affair and wants a divorce, he becomes a fish out of water when he enters the dating game again. Enter young Jacob (Ryan Goling), a guy Cal meets at a local bar who takes the older man under his wing in order to teach him how to be a ladies' man and to forget his ex-wife.

As far as romantic comedies go, they rarely break from the script, but that isn't the case here. In many ways, this film pokes fun at the clichéd moments found in the genre and the stars do a good job portraying their characters. I especially liked the young actor, Jonah Bobo, as he swoons over his babysitter (Jessica Tipton).

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 04, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403dan.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Newspaper columnist Dan Burns (Steve Carell) dispenses advice to families in his column, but his own personal life is in shambles. The widowed father of three girls is afraid of letting go and letting his kids grow up. He's so consumed with their lives that he has no time to live his own.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 15, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/darkman.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>While working one night to perfect his invention of artificial skin, scientist Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson) is horribly disfigured when an explosion engulfs his lab. Barely alive, he takes some experimental medication leaving him with super-strong strength and immunity to pain, although he's prone to fits of uncontrollable rage. He proceeds to rebuild his lab in an underground hideout and seek revenge against the men responsible for his disfigurement.

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