BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 18, 2017  |  0 comments
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Chief among Lego Batman’s extraordinary feats is its ability to remain true to the dark essence of its enduring hero while weaving a family-friendly and wildly funny animated adventure. The backgrounds are littered with inside jokes and subtle bits of Batmania culled from the past eight decades.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Aug 18, 2017  |  0 comments
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For centuries, the Order of the Knights Templar has searched for the mythical Apple of Eden. They believe it contains not only the seeds of man’s first disobedience, but the key to free will itself. If they find the relic and decode its secrets, they will have the power to control freedom of thought. Only the brotherhood of the Assassins stands in their way…
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  1 comments
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In a city of human-like animals (think Zootopia), Buster Moon, an ambitious koala theater owner, has fallen on hard times. He hasn’t had a hit in ages, when he suddenly has an inspiration: We’ll pack ’em in with a singing contest! When his loopy lizard assistant mislabels the announcement flyers to offer a $100,000 prize, hundreds of hopefuls show up for the auditions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  0 comments
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Return to a time when “computers” were exceptionally intelligent, hardworking human beings who crunched the daunting numbers needed to advance the space program. Sadly, this was also an era of rampant sexism in this country, as well as deeply rooted racism, especially in the South where the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was headquartered. In 1961, Russian dominance in outer space put NASA at the heart of the Cold War.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 04, 2017  |  0 comments
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The year is 1942, and Max (Brad Pitt) is a Canadian working with British Intelligence deep undercover in French Morocco, teamed for the first time with Marianne (Marion Cotillard), a cunning operative for the French Resistance. Together they face incredible danger and the sad realities of the life they’ve chosen, only to fall in love. Back in England, they find themselves married with a child while the war still rages, but Marianne is suddenly the target of suspicion: Could this woman who has so dutifully risked her life in service to the Allies possibly be a spy for the Germans? With his entire family at stake, Max sets out to uncover the truth, a perilous journey with some unexpected, unwelcome twists.
David Vaughn  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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It was about ten years ago that BBC debuted their original Planet Earth on both Blu-ray and HD DVD here in the United States to much critical acclaim. Not resting on their laurels, the Planet Earth team went to work on their next project, appropriately named Planet Earth II. While 1080p was cutting-edge a decade ago, simple HD wouldn’t cut the mustard any longer since we are living in a 4K world that expects wide color gamut (WCG) and high dynamic range (HDR)—or at least readers of Sound & Vision do.
Avi Greengart  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  1 comments
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The opening scroll of the original Star Wars states, “Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.” If you ever thought, “Hey, I’d like to see a movie version of those 17 words,” Rogue One is for you. There’s plenty of plot-driven action, minimal character development, and ample fan service. It’s certainly entertaining. Wisecracking droid K-2SO in particular is terrific. However, the movie is anchored by the serious theme of sacrifice. If you’re looking for a jaunty kiddie flick, try a different Disney movie.
Josef Krebs  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  0 comments
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Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea is a story of ordinary folk who are sideswiped by life. Lee is a stiff working as a janitor-handyman in Boston, his inexpressive, glum detachment occasionally interrupted by outbursts of anger or self-punishing bar fighting. After his brother, Joe, dies due to a heart condition, Lee travels back to his hometown of Manchester to break the news to Joe’s teenage son, Patrick. While awaiting the funeral—which cannot take place until the ground thaws in the spring enough to allow the grave to be dug—Lee discovers that Joe has named him as Patrick’s legal guardian.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  1 comments
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Onboard the starship Avalon, thousands of passengers and crew are bound for a new colony on a distant planet. They’re in suspended animation for the 120-year journey. But passengers Jim Preston and, later, Aurora Lane are awakened 90 years too soon—and the pods can’t be reconfigured to put them back to sleep.
Josef Krebs  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  0 comments
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In screenwriter-director Tom Ford’s (A Single Man) adaptation of Austin Wright’s multi-reality novel, we discover Susan’s emotionally drained existence, disillusioned with marriage and her career in blue-chip art curating. It’s an expensive life of high-end fashion and cutting-edge contemporary paintings, antiseptic interiors in fancy galleries and elegant homes.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  0 comments
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There are many definitions of a troll, but as they appear here, in a form first conceived by a Danish woodcarver in 1959 (and subsequently as popular toys), they’re tiny, cute creatures with spiky, multicolored hair who do little besides sing, dance, hug, and party. The miserable Bergens, their enemies, believe that by eating a Troll they can be happy—at least for a day.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  0 comments
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Right or wrong, writer/director Damien Chazelle knew what he wanted. From the cinematographic techniques to the costumes and sets to the staging of the elaborate song-and-dance numbers, he employed every tool at his disposal to bring this uniquely Hollywood tale to life.
Avi Greengart  |  Jul 07, 2017  |  0 comments
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In the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a school textbook. The movie of the same name provides the back story of its author. I hope there is no test, because I found the movie long and overstuffed.
David Vaughn  |  Jul 07, 2017  |  0 comments
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One of the bloodiest battles in World War II happened on Okinawa in 1945, and it definitely wasn’t the place you wanted to be if you didn’t carry a weapon. But for conscientious objector Desmond Doss, this wasn’t an option. While he believed the war was justified—which is why he volunteered—his personal belief was that killing was wrong and he wasn’t going to be a party to it. He was in the war as a medic, and he was there to save lives, not take them. And save lives he did—75 of them over the course of one night when he was stuck behind enemy lines.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  1 comments
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Marvel explores its mystical side is in this mind-bending, psychedelic entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by Scott Derrickson. Benedict Cumberbatch plays brilliant but egotistical neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, who loses the use of his hands, and subsequently his career, when he crashes his supercar. Strange travels to Kathmandu seeking a supernatural cure for his injuries. There, an immortal sorceress, the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), accepts him as her pupil, trains him in the mystic arts, and turns him into a powerful sorcerer.

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