David Vaughn

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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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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 13, 2010 0 comments
LAPD Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) likes to work alone and vows to never have a partner but he must join forces with Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) of the Hong Kong police department when the daughter of a visiting Hong Kong official is kidnapped in the United States.

Chan became a household name in America when this film debuted in 1998, although he was already a star in China. His amazing stunts wowed audiences and showed impressive comedic timing when paired with Tucker. The action-comedy spawned two additional sequels but this is the best of the three.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 12, 2010 Published: Dec 13, 2010 2 comments
Looking to gain the title of "World's Greatest Villain," Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) adopts three orphans in order to steal a shrinking machine from his nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel). What he didn't count on was the three girls changing his outlook on the world and he'll stop at nothing to protect them.

The marketing campaign for this film stunk and I had no desire to see it in the theaters (and neither did my kids) but was willing to give it a try on Blu-ray. Surprisingly there's a touching story behind the fantastic animation as the villain becomes the hero and discovers he does have a heart buried beneath his evil exterior.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 10, 2010 0 comments
Eleven WWII veterans reunite for New Years Eve to rob five Las Vegas casinos. Everything goes as planned until one of the men dies of a heart attack and Duke Santos (Cesar Romero) figures out their scheme and wants a cut of the action.

Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Angie Dickinson, and Cesar Romero—what a cast! Unfortunately the entertainment value pales in comparison to the 2001 Steven Soderbergh remake. Sure, it's fun to see the rat pack strut around and witnessing the state of the Las Vegas strip 50 years ago, but the pacing is a tad slow (like most 1960s films) and the acting is laughable from some of the stars.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 06, 2010 3 comments
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief and coveted player when it comes to extraction: the stealing of valuable secrets from deep within the mind during a subject's dream state. His skill has turned him into an international fugitive and he is now being offered a chance at redemption. But only if he can pull off the impossible—inception—not stealing an idea but planting one.

It's very rare that I'm blown-away by a movie, but that's certainly the case here. Christopher Nolan has solidified himself as one of the best writers/directors in Hollywood with his work over the last 10 years includes Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, and reshaping the Batman franchise, but this is his best work yet.

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