David Vaughn

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 01, 2010 0 comments
Initially released by Walt Disney in 1940 as a "road show" release, Fantasia has gone on to become one of the most popular movies of all time. Featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski, the film has eight musical pieces set to wonderful animation and is narrated by Deems Taylor. (Interestingly, while the music was recorded by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the on-screen musicians seen in silhouette between the musical selections were members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and UAV editor Scott Wilkinson's grandfather was one of them.)

Fulfilling Walt Disney's original vision of continuing to create unique fusions of animation and classical music, Fantasia 2000 picks up where the first one left off with seven completely new segments and the return of the popular "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." Roy E. Disney orchestrated a collaboration of more than 1200 artists and technicians to present this tour de force.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 29, 2010 0 comments
Dave (Jay Baruchel) is not your average NYU student; he's the heir to Merlin's powerful magic. Recruited by the sorcerer Balthazar Blake (Nicholas Cage) to help him battle the forces of darkness in modern-day Manhattan, he's forced into a crash course in the art and science of magic. Can he fulfill his destiny?

Loosely based on Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) reunite to deliver an over-the-top thrill ride. Cage and Baruchel are awesome as master and apprentice who persevere through an overcomplicated script. The action scenes are extremely well shot and the CGI is quite good, especially when Dave coerces the mop into cleaning duty.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 26, 2010 0 comments
Video: 4.5/5
Audio: 4.5/5
Extras: 2/5
When Santa and his new best friend, Paws, discover that the boys and girls of the world have lost the spirit of the season, they take a trip to New York City. But after Santa loses his memory, it's up to Paws, a faithful orphan named Quinn, her new friend Will and a wonderful group of magical talking dogs to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is really about.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 26, 2010 0 comments
The HMS Bounty sails its way to Tahiti with the tyrannical Captain Bligh (Charles Laughton) leading the way with first mate Fletcher Christian (Clark Gable) and midshipman Roger Byam (Ranchot Tone) on board. After witnessing the captain's brutal treatment of the crew, Christian leads a mutiny on the homeward voyage and returns to the tropical paradise of Tahiti. Although Byam takes no part in the mutiny, he's forced to defend himself against the charges when the captain makes a surprising return.

Based upon the true story of the HMS Bounty, the film went on to win Best Picture in 1935 and solidified Clark Gable as Hollywood's #1 male star. The performances are outstanding and the Academy agreed; for the only time in movie history were three stars from the same film were nominated for Best Actor!

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 24, 2010 0 comments
When Bryce (Callan McAuliffe) moved in across the street in the second grade, July (Madeline Carroll) knew he would be her first kiss. Over the next six years her infatuation grows but he doesn't seem to notice her. One day something changes and Bryce takes notice of the young lady, but did he wait too long?

Based on the book by Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped is a charming picture of two kids discovering that beauty is more than skin deep. Rob Reiner coaxes great performances out of the young leads and this is one of the best live-action family films I've seen in years.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 22, 2010 0 comments
In the late 19th Century, Deadwood, South Dakota, was a boom town where prospectors came to strike it rich. It was illegally established on Indian land and attracted a wide variety of people from all different backgrounds. The town sheriff, Seth Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), came to Deadwood to open a business and ends up wearing a badge in order to keep law and order. Opposite him is Al Swearengen (Ian McShane), a local business man whose moral compass veers in the opposite direction as a local pimp and crime boss.

This show isn't for those easily offended by foul language or violence, both of which are quite prevalent. In fact, my wife left the room 15 minutes into the first episode because the "F-word" was said over 20 times—literally. She complained the writing was lazy but in fact it was completely intentional according to creator David Milch. He wanted to recreate the rough and tumble atmosphere of the real town and by my wife's reaction; he succeeded a little too well.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 21, 2010 Published: Nov 22, 2010 0 comments
When a former elite agent goes rogue with plans to unleash a device that will bring down her canine enemies, cats and dogs must join forces for the first time to prevent a global catastrophe.

My kids simply loved the original Cats and Dogs, especially my daughter, but no one in the family was particularly interested in watching this sequel due to bad word of mouth and uninteresting trailers. So when our expectations were extremely low and although it's flawed in numerous ways, there was enough laughter to keep us interested. My wife and I especially loved the references to other movies (any Bond film and Silence of the Lambs). The first act is horrible but if you resist the urge to eject the disc it get better as you get to know the characters.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 19, 2010 0 comments
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's popular Victorian-era super sleuth gets a reboot in the 21st Century. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the go to detective consultant for Detective Inspector Lesrade (Rupert Graves) of the London police department. Ex-soldier/doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) joins Holmes as his trusty sidekick in order to solve the most bizarre cases London has ever seen.

Thanks to the BBC this fabulous show has made its way across the pond via PBS and now Blu-ray. Although the 2-disc set has only three 90 minute episodes, each is so well-crafted that I'll gladly take quality over quantity. The two leads breathe new life into the characters and from the first moment they share the screen you know it’s a match made in heaven.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 17, 2010 1 comments
Destined to spend his life in a wheel chair, paraplegic war veteran Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is brought to Pandora to gather intelligence on the Na'vi, assuming his deceased brothers "avatar" identity. While spending time with the natives, Jake begins to bond with the tribe and falls in loDestined to spend his life in a wheel chair, paraplegic war veteran Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is brought to Pandora to gather intelligence on the Na'vi, assuming his deceased brothers "avatar" identity. While spending time with the natives, Jake begins to bond with the tribe and falls in love with Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and soon the ex-soldier must choose which side he's on.

Writer/producer/director James Cameron has quite a resume with plenty of box office successes, including the megahit Titanic. The idea for Avatar came to Cameron sometime in the mid-1990s, but the technology at the time couldn't realize his vision. Over a decade later, it became technologically feasible to make the film, although it almost broke the bank with a production coast of $237 million.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 15, 2010 6 comments
A high-tech retelling of Charles Dickens' beloved tale about a penny-pinching Scrooge (Jim Carey) and his encounter with three ghosts who take him on an eye-opening journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

It's a story that's been told countless times throughout cinematic history but Robert Zemeckis puts his own spin it and delivers a technological marvel that bored the hell out of my family. The story can easily be told in under an hour but the 95 minutes felt like nine hours, especially when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I'm surprised the film received a PG rating due to some scary images of the ghost's visits. Regardless, the beautiful animation couldn't make up for the shortcomings of the screenplay.


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