David Vaughn

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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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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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