David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 15, 2011 1 comments
At the end of the Goblet of Fire, Harry witnessed the return of Lord Voldemort and barely escaped with his life. The Ministry of Magic doesn’t believe Harry's tale and is doing everything within their power to keep the wizarding world from knowing the truth by orchestrating a smear campaign against the boy who lived and Professor Dumbledore. Furthermore, the ministry is taking an active role in educating of the students at Hogwarts by appointing Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense against the Dark Arts teacher. When she refuses to teach practical defensive magic, Hermoine convinces Harry to form Dumbledore’s Army with a select group of students in order to give them a fighting chance.

Director David Yates takes over the helm inheriting the legacy of Chris Columbus, Mike Newell, and Alphonso Cuaron. From a pure directorial aspect, I think he did an excellent job, but my biggest complaint with this movie lies in the writer, Michael Goldenberg, who replaced Steven Kloves who penned the first four movies.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 14, 2011 5 comments
Streaming video has gone mainstream. Are you ready?

Once upon a time, outside factors controlled when and where you could watch a TV show or feature film. Over the past 35 years, that’s evolved dramatically. The revolution began with the introduction of the VCR in 1976. Its ability to record and archive broadcast TV shows and movies on magnetic tape burst open the floodgates for entertainment in the home. Other formats followed, all the way up to our present-day high-density Blu-ray Discs. One thing they’ve all had in common, though, is their physical nature. That’s all changing now. Like it or not, we’re entering a transition phase from physical media to streaming and the cloud. Looks like a revolution all over again.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 13, 2011 0 comments
Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck) is one of the best salesmen for an East coast-based multinational corporation who's climbing the corporate ladder. When tough times rock the company, he finds himself one of the casualties of the layoffs and must make adjustments to his lifestyle in order to make ends meet.

Writer/Director John Wells wanted to make this film after the dot-com bust earlier this century but couldn't get the project underway. After the recent downturn in the economy he was able to adjust the script and delivers a fantastic drama about how a layoff can ruin your life. The all-star cast includes Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner, although my favorite character in the film is Tommy Lee Jones who plays the executive with a conscience.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 10, 2011 0 comments
After telling his new girlfriend that he's married as a means of avoiding real commitment, a plastic surgeon (Adam Sandler) must recruit a fake family to prove his honesty. His loyal assistant (Jennifer Aniston) agrees to play the soon to be ex-wife in order to score a free trip to Hawaii, but things don't go according to the plan when the two discover there's more to their friendship than meets the eye.

After Friends, many people wondered which of the ensemble cast would be the most successful and Aniston has been the most visible with movie projects. Here she plays the same character we've seen hundreds of times before in the romantic comedy genre as the loyal friend who discovers she's fallen in love and must overcome long odds in order to fulfill her dreams. Yawn!

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 08, 2011 0 comments
Shot entirely on location in England's castles and countryside, this modernization of the classic Robin Hood tale combines elements of history, myth, and magic with plenty of action thrown into the mix. The ensemble cast includes Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley, Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet, and Nickolas Grace as the conniving Sheriff of Nottingham.

Broadcast on PBS and Showtime in the 1980s, this British series certainly shows its age with the outdated music, 1.33:1 framed image, and campy production value. The series has a cult-like following and I don't mean to insult the fans, but I don't get it. My wife and I did our best to get through all 13 episodes, but couldn't make it to the end.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 07, 2011 0 comments
Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) wants justice when her father is killed by Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin). Headstrong to the nth-degree, the teenager hires U.S. Marshall "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and insists she's part of the posse. Cogburn grudgingly approves but Matty isn't happy when he allows a Texas Ranger (Matt Damon) into the group who's in search of the same man for a murder in Texas.

Filling the shoes of John Wayne is an impossible task, but Bridges did the best he could do and still doesn't measure up to Wayne's Oscar-winning portrayal of the gruff Cogburn. Having watched the original less than six months ago I couldn't help compare each of the respective roles and other than Bridges impossible undertaking, the other two main characters (Damon and Steinfeld) more than make up the difference.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 06, 2011 0 comments
When a failed hockey player (Adam Sandler) discovers he can hit a golf ball 400 yards, he must check his pride at the door and play the "sissy" sport in order to save his grandmother's home from the IRS. With the help of a retired golfer (Carl Weathers) and a new love interest (Julie Bowen), he must adapt to life on tour in order to win enough prize money to save the day.

I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of Sandler, but I have to admit his juvenile humor makes me laugh. His star was brightest in the 1990s and this is probably his biggest hit. The pacing is excellent at 92 minutes and there's enough of a story to keep it interesting.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 03, 2011 0 comments
A coming-of-age story set against the 1960s backdrop of hot rods, drive-ins, and rock 'n' roll follows two young men as they spend their last night in town before heading off to college. Crusing the streets to the howling sounds of Wolfman Jack, Terry (Charles Martin Smith) is on the prowl for a hot blonde (Suzanne Somers), while Steve (Ron Howard) tries to make up with his girlfriend after suggesting they see other people while he's away at college.

George Lucas is known for his Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, but this film was his first commercial success, and it earned five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Not only is it wildly entertaining, it's a blast to see future stars Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Somers before they became household names.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 01, 2011 0 comments
Season three finds Bill (Stephan Moyer) kidnapped and Sookie Anna Paquin) heading to Mississippi to find him. There she becomes entangled in a world ruled by a powerful Vampire King and the werewolves who do his bidding. Meanwhile, back in Bon Temps, new threats emerge that make previous problems seem tame by comparison.

Am I the only guy that's sick of vampires? I've never been a huge fan of this series but have stuck with it for the sake of our readers, but I'm not sure I can handle another season of it. Sure, through its 12 episodes there is the occasional winner, but overall it's an up-and-down affair and isn't one of HBO's greatest hits.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 30, 2011 0 comments
History comes alive with intense and spirited battles during the bloodiest three days on American soil that were the beginning of the end of the South's battle to secede from the Union. Ronald F. Maxwell takes viewers into the strategy sessions of both forces and shows the minor skirmishes that lead General Lee (Martin Sheen) to order a full-scale frontal assault and how the battle impacted the outcome of the war.

My biggest complaint with this film has always been its length, so I'm not exactly thrilled with the additional 17 minutes in the director's cut. Frankly, Maxwell would have been better served by cutting the run time down at least an hour. It's nearly impossible to get through the entire 271 minutes in one sitting, but having watched it over two nights, I have to admit the history lesson was an enlightening experience.

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