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David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 26, 2011 0 comments
Bored with his perennial role as Halloween Town's frightening Pumpkin King, Jack Skellington discovers the cheerful village of Christmas Town. Determined to shake things up in Halloween Town, he schemes to kidnap Santa Clause and takes over the job of delivering gifts to the children himself. When his plan goes awry, Jack attempts to restore Santa to his rightful place, but he must first rescue him from the evil clutches of Oogie Boogie.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is an unusual film that improves with multiple viewings. Burton cleverly mixes Halloween and Christmas with fabulous set designs and stop-motion photography, creating a whimsical world in which to tell his story. The film was rereleased to theaters in 2008 with a 3D conversion utilizing the talents of Don Hahn and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic). As explained on Mouseclubhouse.com, they used the original film for the left eye and they projected it onto a featureless piece of geometry that looks like a coffee cup. Then the camera was moved to the right three inches and re-photographed. Any gaps are then filled in via Photoshop and the resulting image is outstanding. I loved the original 2D release of the film for its fine visuals and enveloping soundtrack, but this 3D version takes it to a whole new level.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 14, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/office5.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the fifth season of this workplace comedy, the employees of Dunder Mifflin are enmeshed in surprise office hook-ups, break-ups, romantic triangles, and new business ventures. Insensitive regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) still thinks he's the best boss ever&#151;despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. As he leaves the security of Dunder Mifflin, Andy (Ed Helms) and Dwight (Rainn Wilson) do battle for the affections of Angela (Angela Kinsey), and Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) finally plan their long-awaited nuptials.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 22, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/422orphanage.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Returning to her childhood home—a creepy, seaside orphanage—Laura (Belen Rueda) unknowingly unleashes a long-forgotten, evil spirit. When her son, Sim&#243;n (Roger Pr&#237;ncep), mysteriously disappears, she is thrust into a chilling nightmare in which she must confront the memories of her past before the ghosts of the orphanage destroy her.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/061308boleyn.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the novel by Philippa Gregory, <i>The Other Boleyn Girl</i> is the story of Anne Boleyn and her sister Mary as they rival for the bed and heart of Henry VIII. Discovering that the king's wife, Katherine of Aragon, is unable to provide him with a male heir, the girls' ambitious father and uncle devise a bold plan to advance the family's power and status by courting the affections of the king.

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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 25, 2010 1 comments
Executive producers Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman, who brought us Band of Brothers, deliver another WWII masterpiece about the battles in the Pacific. The 10-part miniseries follows the true-life stories of Robert Leckie (James Badge Dale), John Basilone (Joe Mazello), and Eugene Sledge (Jon Seda) as they fight their way across the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945. It all starts with the horrific conflict of Guadalcanal, continues to Cape Gloucester and Peleliu, then to the famous combat at Iwo Jima, the terror of Okinawa, and finally their return home after V-J Day and how the mental scars of battle aren't easily forgotten.

Given its massive budget (estimated to be $195 million), I expected the battle scenes to rival those in Saving Private Ryan—which they do in their scope and visceral impact—but it's the psychological struggles of our three heroes that kept me riveted. Not only do they have to fight a relentless enemy in the Japanese, but they must cope with the elements—suffocating heat, malaria, tropical rainstorms—and somehow keep a grasp on their own humanity. If they're fortunate enough to survive and return home, how will they acclimate to the civilized world after spending four years in hell?

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 19, 2010 0 comments
When ten atomic warheads disappear in the former Soviet Union, a newly promoted U. S. nuclear specialist (Nicole Kidman) teams with Colonel Thomas Devoe (George Clooney) to track down the missing weapons before they fall into the wrong hands.

For some odd reason, I missed this in theaters and on DVD last century. The story grabs you in the very first scene and doesn't let go until the end. My one criticism of it is the third act is a little far-fetched with Clooney and Kidman running around New York bossing everyone around and taking matters into their own hands, but hey, it's Hollywood.

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 20, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/Perfectstorm.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Based on the book by Sebastian Junger, <i>The Perfect Storm</i> centers around one of the deadliest storms in recorded history. In 1991, three weather fronts collided in the North Atlantic&#151;one of them being Hurricane Grace&#151;which caused swells 100 feet tall and winds that reached 160MPH.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 05, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/polarexpress3d.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>A boy (Daryl Sabara) has lost the Christmas spirit and doesn't believe in Santa Claus. He awakes on Christmas Eve to the sound of a train arriving in his front yard. Invited to join the Polar Express on its journey to the North Pole by the train conductor (Tom Hanks), a magical world opens his eyes to the spirit of Christmas.

David Vaughn Posted: Jan 21, 2011 0 comments
A boy (Daryl Sabara) has lost the Christmas spirit and doesn't believe in Santa Claus. He awakes on Christmas Eve to the sound of a train arriving in his front yard. Invited to join the Polar Express on its journey to the North Pole by the train conductor (Tom Hanks), a magical world opens his eyes to the spirit of Christmas.

I'm the only one in my family that isn't in love with this picture and I can't say the 3D experience improved it for me that much, if at all. The story is somewhat tedious and forced, so I was paying more attention to the technical details of the presentation and while the audio is outstanding, the Blu-ray 3D presentation wasn't as good as other titles I've watched the past couple of weeks.

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 19, 2010 0 comments
Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) is a beautiful and driven young woman determined to open her own New Orleans restaurant, but her plans take a detour when Prince Naveen (Bruno Compos) struts into town and is turned into a frog by the evil Dr. Facilier (Keith David). A kiss from Tiana should restore him, but the plan backfires and turns her into a frog. The two must then travel into the bayou in search of a priestess who can hopefully remove the curse.

This is the first 2D hand-drawn animated title from Disney since 2004's Home on the Range. After the mainstream birth of computer animation with 1995's Toy Story, many studios, including Disney, got the impression that families are tired of "classic" animation and only interested in computer-animated titles. Surprisingly, Disney seemed to forget that not only does a film need to look pretty, it needs to have a good story. However, the studio has redeemed itself here, even though the trailers weren't that impressive.

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