David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Mar 02, 2011 0 comments
A morning light breaks across the meadow; a young deer named Bambi is born and hailed as "Prince of the Forest." Soon Bambi emerges from the thicket on wobbly legs, much to the delight of his new friends, Thumper, the playful rabbit, and Flower, the bashful skunk. Exploring his new world, Bambi learns valuable life lessons with every adventure.

Bambi was Walt Disney's fifth full-length animated classic and was released in 1942. With disposable income in short supply due to the war, the masses didn't flock to the film as Walt had expected and it took many re-releases in order for the movie to turn a profit. It currently resides at No. 3 on the American Film Institute's Top 10 Animated Films of All Time and is certainly worthy of its place.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 28, 2011 1 comments
It's a case of nature versus nurture when super villain Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) finally defeats his arch nemesis Metro Man (Brad Pitt) and gains control of Metro City. With the hero out of the way, the villain grows bored of tormenting the humans and creates a new hero, Tighten (Johah Hill), in order to put a little fun back in his life. But when the hero turns out to be evil, will Megamind do the right thing and save the city and people he's grown fond of?

While not as good as How to Train Your Dragon or Toy Story 3, this is a lot of fun to watch, and you could tell the voice actors were having a blast in the recording studio. Sadly, the video presentation is not up to par with other animated titles and exhibits some banding and rampant aliasing that degrades the otherwise visually stunning disc. The audio suffers no such faults, and the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 soundtrack is definitely demo-worthy.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 25, 2011 0 comments
Revenge is a dish best served cold, and for Driver (Dwayne Johnson), he's been waiting 10 years behind bars to avenge the murder of his brother. Now a free man, he can have his revenge but the hunter is also the hunted with two men trailing him. The first is a cop (Billy Bob Thornton) who's just days from retirement and the other is a young hitman (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) who's happy to come across such a worthy adversary.

Maybe I'm getting too old, but I'm really getting tired of gratuitous violence that's so prevalent in today's films. I like an action movie just as much as the next guy, but does the violence need to come along for the ride? That aside, the action is pretty intense and well choreographed, but Johnson and Thornton's characters are hard to root for and I couldn't wait for this one to end.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 23, 2011 0 comments
Director/producer Tony Scott is no stranger to action movies. His resume includes hits like Top Gun, Deja Vu, and Man on Fire, the last two starring Denzel Washington. The two team up again here in one of the better action movies to come out of Hollywood in 2010.

Based very loosely on a 2001 story of a runaway train in Ohio, writer Mark Bomback jazzes it up for the sake of entertainment and action. As in real life, the adventure begins when an idiotic engineer jumps from the slowly moving train in order to reposition a switch before the train can damage it. Successful in this task, he then tries to reboard the moving train as it gains speed, but to no avail.

From this point on, the facts go out the window as the fictional train loaded with toxic chemicals hurtles toward Scranton, PA, where an elevated curve in the track will cause the train to derail, creating an environmental catastrophe and costing many lives. Despite its best attempts, the rail company can't slow the train down, and two unlikely heroes emerge to hopefully save the day. Along the way, we witness a few narrow escapes, corporate incompetence, and one hell of a thrill ride.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 21, 2011 0 comments
A grizzled veteran cop (Nick Nolte) is determined to hunt down a couple of cop killers and needs the help of a smooth-talking convict (Eddie Murphy) who's behind bars for robbery. Cates (Nolte) pulls a few strings and gets Reggie (Murphy) a 48-hour furlough to help track down the murderers, but will this odd couple be able to tolerate each other long enough to catch the bad guys?

It's hard to believe it's been nearly 30 years since Eddie Murphy launched his feature film career with this classic buddy flick. He and Nolte have great chemistry and returned to the screen eight years later with Murphy at the top of his career after Beverly Hills Cop I and II and Coming to America. Like most films from this era, it can get a tad campy, but it holds up pretty well due to the two stars.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 18, 2011 0 comments
Expectant father Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) is flying home from Atlanta in order to bear witness to the birth of his first child. When he encounters Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis), a socially retarded wannabe actor at the airport, things get off on the wrong foot when they inadvertently exchange bags and Peter gets stopped in security for carrying drug paraphernalia. Sadly, that's the highlight of his trip because he's soon kicked off the plane, put on the no-fly list, and is forced to take a cross-country car trip with the man responsible for his troubles.

My expectations were pretty low going into this, and for good reason. The trailers made it look like a complete rip-off of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and unfortunately it isn't as funny as the classic John Candy/Steve Martin movie. The first act sets up the scenario pretty well, but then it quickly falls apart when the two protagonists hit the road.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 15, 2011 0 comments
Rose (Emily Blunt) is a free-spirited kleptomaniac looking to pull off the ultimate scam with some forged artwork. When things go haywire, she finds herself the target of a world-class assassin (Bill Nighy) who becomes enamored with the young woman and can't fulfill his contract. This sets off a bizarre series of events that will change their lives forever.

It's rare to find an intelligent comedy since Judge Apatow transformed the genre with The 40 Year Old Virgin and its sophomoric humor. While there are definitely sexual undertones in this story, they are subtle and aren't the central focus. On the other hand, Blunt is one of the most beautiful women in film, and seeing her in 1080p is reason enough to check out this spectacular encode.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 14, 2011 0 comments
Looking to find a calmer environment for his pregnant wife, constable Shane Cooper (Ryan Kwanten) transfers to the small town of Red Hill to work at the police department. On his first day, a convicted murderer escapes from prison and heads back to Red Hill to hunt down the men who put him there.

After a terrific buildup in the first act, this film quickly falls apart once the villain finally makes an appearance. I felt like I was watching Friday the 13th or Halloween instead of what was dubbed as a modern western from Australia. Most of the characters are unbelievably stupid, especially when the escaped prisoner is hunting them down, and the entire premise falls apart with the less than shocking twist at the end.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 13, 2011 0 comments
Director Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) takes a close look at the public-education system in the United States by following five students as they apply to charter schools. The film depicts the moving and poignant struggles of real-life students and their families and the efforts of educators and reformers who are working to find viable solutions within a dysfunctional system.

Growing up, I had the benefit of attending both public and private schools and was fortunate enough to receive a decent education. But without parental support at home, I doubt I would have gotten good grades and been pushed to go to college. I'm sure most teachers will agree that it all starts at home, and they can only do so much during the time they spend with our kids.

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David Vaughn Posted: Feb 11, 2011 4 comments
When a young couple bring a newborn baby home, someone or something begins terrorizing the family. In order to gain some piece of mind, the father (Brian Boland) installs some security cameras in and around the house in order to catch the hooligans in the act but the "real life" footage shows there's much more going on than meets the eye.

This isn't a genre of film that I particularly enjoy, so I never caught the first Paranormal Activity but I knew the general premise due to its popularity. My expectations weren't high and while I've seen far worse, I felt the screenplay took too long to introduce the characters and build up the tension (or lack thereof).

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