David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 29, 2010 2 comments
Matty Ross (Kim Darby) is the apple of her father's eye and when he's murdered by Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) she wants justice. Headstrong to the nth-degree, the teenager hires U.S. Marshall "Rooster" Cogburn (John Wayne) and insists she's part of the posse. Cogburn grudgingly approves but Matty isn't happy when he allows an inexperienced Texas Ranger (Glan Cambell) into the group who's in search of the same man for a murder in Texas.

John Wayne was one of Hollywood's most beloved stars and appeared in over 150 films between 1926 and 1976 and won his only Academy award for his portrayal of the cantankerous "Rooster." While his performance is quite good, I think he was better in The Searchers and Sands of Iwo Jima, but I'm glad he won it. The film is very entertaining and the chemistry between Wayne and Darby is outstanding and it was fun to see Dennis Hopper and Robert Duvall as the bad guys.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 27, 2010 0 comments
Tim (Paul Rudd) is a rising executive who can fast-track his career by participating in his boss's exclusive dinner party, at which the winning executive brings the biggest buffoon. Enter Barry (Steve Carell), an IRS agent with a unique hobby of creating dioramas with dead mice.

What passes for a successful comedy these days make me question my sense of humor, but I actually enjoyed this one. Rudd and Carell have great chemistry, and thankfully the elaborate dinner party is a very small part of the story with the screenplay concentrating on the budding relationship between the two leads.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 24, 2010 0 comments
While on a romantic retreat in Sweden, master assassin and gunsmith Jack (George Clooney) barely escapes with this life but his lover isn't so fortunate. Emotionally scarred from the experience, he retreats to the Italian countryside and accepts one last assignment from his handler to construct a deadly weapon for a mysterious contact. The slow-paced country lifestyle starts to grow on him as he becomes friends with a local priest and falls in love with a beautiful woman, but can he escape his past and forge a better future?

My wife and I are both George Clooney fans and I was really looking forward to watching this. While it isn't a bad film, per se, its measured pacing tried my patience and I couldn't form an emotional connection to the main characters, especially Clooney.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 24, 2010 3 comments
Young owl Soren (voiced by Jim Sturgess) marvels at tales of the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, mythic winged warriors who battled to save all owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. When he and brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten) fall into the talons of the Pure Ones, it's up to Soren to make a daring escape with the help of other brave owls and seek out the Great Tree, home of the Guardians.

The marketing for this film wasn't very enticing, but the story has a lot of heart and is very entertaining. Director Zach Snyder (300, Watchmen) makes his animation debut with this fantasy adventure based on the beloved books by Kathryn Lasky.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 23, 2010 0 comments
The Family Guy alliance is in for one last outer-space adventure, as Han Solo (Peter), Chewbacca (Brian), and Princess Leia (Lois) battle against the Evil Empire. Meanwhile, Darth Vader (Stewie) and the Emperor (Carter) try to recruit Luke (Chris) to the dark side of the Force with free tacos and T-shirts.

Just like its two predecessors, this parody is crude and obnoxious and occasionally funny. I would have preferred to have seen the TV version to eliminate the "F" word, which I don't particularly care for in this context.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 22, 2010 0 comments
Battlestar Galactica is one of my favorite shows from the last decade. Razor tells the untold story of the battlestar Pegasus and provides chilling clues to the fate of humanity as the two-hour episode reaches its conclusion.

In present day, Lee Adama (Jamie Bamber) assumes command of the Pegasus and through a series of flashbacks we see what happened to the ship during and after the initial Cylon attack on the Twelve Colonies.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 21, 2010 0 comments
CIA operative Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is implicated as a sleeper agent by a Russian defector when he tells the agency she's going to assassinate the current Russian premier on his visit to the United States. Despite her protests, she's held for questioning and orchestrates the first of many implausible—yet wildly entertaining—escapes in order to clear her name. Let the chase begin!

Sony consistently puts out great looking Blu-rays, and this is no exception. The nearly flawless AVC encode has some jaw-dropping scenes, especially in the concrete jungles of Washington D.C. and New York. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is just as impressive, with pinpoint placement of discrete effects, impressive dynamic range, and first-rate frequency response.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 20, 2010 4 comments
Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck) is the leader of a Boston bank robber gang but is not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. When Doug falls in love with the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) briefly taken hostage in one of their heists, he wants to leave his criminal past behind and start a new life. As the Feds close in, his best friend (Jeremy Renner) questions his loyalty he's left with two choices—betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.

I've never been particularly impressed with Affleck as an actor, but he certainly has talent as a director. He gets the most out of the cast—including himself—orchestrates some realistic bank heists, and delivers one of the most intense films I've seen in a long time.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 17, 2010 0 comments
Convicted by a military court for a crime they didn't commit, a daring team of former Special Forces soldiers must utilize their unique talents to break out of prison and tackle their toughest mission yet—clearing their name.

Oh the 1980s and its wonderful TV shows. The A-Team was one of the more popular of the decade and I have to admit I was a fan and watched it weekly as a teenager. The story in this modern remake explores how the men got together and how they ended up before a military court for the crime they didn't commit. The acting is passable and there's tons of action, but the story is weak with cringe-inducing dialog.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 15, 2010 1 comments
A group of five strangers are stranded in an elevator high above Philadelphia. When the lights go out, something bad is bound to happen and in one particular case, someone dies. The building's security guards call the police and Detective Bowden (Chris Messina) comes to investigate the murder but is the Devil the culprit?

This is the first in a series of thrillers dubbed "The Night Chronicles" produced by M. Night Shyamalen based upon his stories. Overall, this is a middling affair that feels more like a TV episode than a feature film and I didn't find the story scary or very thrilling. Then again, I've said the same thing about most of Shyamalen's films since The Sixth Sense.

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