Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 06, 2023  |  2 comments
In my experience, we home entertainment enthusiasts and physical media collectors enjoy sharing, bringing the gift of movies and music to like-minded loved ones and maybe even (if we’ve been nicer than naughty) building out our own personal libraries. To help y’all get a handle on some of the best offerings this year, we’ve taken the liberty of grouping our recommendations into a few tempting categories.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 09, 2023  |  4 comments
A funny thing happened on the way to the multiplex.

See, when studios invest hundreds of millions of dollars in their intended tentpole movies, they’re betting that sufficient tens of millions of people will be buying seats and popcorn to offset these exorbitant costs.

One of the ways they hedge these bets is to feature familiar characters in sequels, remakes, reboots and other sorts of “franchises'' with (they assume) a certain built-in audience. Of course, the movies need to be of a certain level of watchability and even rewatchability to reach that goal, and therein lies the challenge.

Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 01, 2023  |  2 comments
As students on their warm weather break wend their way through their summer reading lists, we tender to SoundandVision.com’s visitors our first-ever Summer Watching List, a menagerie of 4K discs, HD Blu-rays and DVDs selected to entertain us and perhaps even distract from the worldwide heat records that have been broken thus far.

From debut seasons of hot TV shows to complete series, from kid-friendly to adults-only animation, from magnificent restorations of genre classics to reissues of popular film franchises that are returning to the multiplex this season, you’ll find plenty of reasons to hole up in the home theater with the air conditioner blasting and your ice cubes clinking.

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jul 24, 2023  |  1 comments
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After several Hollywood adaptations for both the big and small screens, Edward Berger is now the first German director to adapt his countryman Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front. Here, Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) is a young German man who finds himself caught up in the patriotic fervor of World War I Germany and, along with his friends, enlists in the military to fight. Upon arriving at the Western Front against France, Paul and his friends are confronted with the reality of trench warfare, which is vastly different from the glory they imagined.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  1 comments
Generations, 118 mins.
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First Contact, 111 mins.
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Insurrection, 103 mins.
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Nemisis, 116 mins.
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Like The Original Series before it, Star Trek: The Next Generation was a product of its time. Whereas Kirk & Co. embraced broad drama and the two-fisted clichés of ‘60s television on their space-faring adventures, Next Gen was more refined, drawing upon our greater understanding of science fact and taking lots and lots of time to discuss the characters’ feelings, too.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 13, 2023  |  1 comments
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As editor Mark Henninger and I discuss on the regular, physical media has become not only about entertainment but collectability, and so we have seen the arrival of new editions that look snazzy on the shelf and that we can flaunt to our friends. Quite a few of the discs I've reviewed recently for S&V have arrived in step-up steelbook cases adorned with exclusive, genuinely inspired artwork. (Take that, streaming!)

Ralph Potts  |  Jun 02, 2023  |  0 comments
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In Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean captured the nation’s attention with a performance that still electrifies the screen decades after his untimely death. Its archetypal coming-of-age drama involves three high school students whose seemingly idyllic suburban lives crack under the weight of teenage angst and rebellion in post-war America.

Ralph Potts  |  May 27, 2023  |  0 comments
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In sixth-century England, an ill-tempered, fire-breathing creature—ominously known as Vermithrax Pejorative—terrorizes the inhabitants of a small kingdom. In response, their king institutes a lottery whereby each year, a virgin maiden is sacrificed to him.

Josef Krebs  |  May 19, 2023  |  6 comments
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In this darkly satiric thriller about conceptual dining, mockery is made both of foodies and society’s growing obsession with the dramatically experiential. A group of wealthy culinary enthusiasts, snobby gastronomes, and famous experts are whisked by yacht to a private island where an unforgettable meal awaits them at a highly exclusive gourmet restaurant.

Chris Chiarella  |  May 06, 2023  |  0 comments
When the big studios have big anniversaries, they tend to make a big splash. Warner Bros. is celebrating their centennial this year and their Home Entertainment unit is commemorating the occasion with—among other retail offerings—four themed film compilations on high-definition Blu-ray, 25 titles each for an appropriate total of 100. Staring down a list price of $150 per collection, I needed to be selective with my disposable income and after some research I ultimately settled on the 100 Years of Warner Bros. Volume Four: Thrillers, Sci-Fi & Horror 25-Film Blu-ray + Digital Collection...
Chris Chiarella  |  May 05, 2023  |  2 comments
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Endless kudos to Kubo’s studio, Laika, for doing more than anyone to keep the waning art of stop-motion animation feature films alive. Shout! Factory has been celebrating their most popular titles in recent 4K upgrades (available in standard or steelbook); among them The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline; and now Kubo and the Two Strings. An original story with classic underpinnings, Kubo takes us along on a boy’s quest to acquire some mystical armor in anticipation of a showdown with a powerfully malevolent foe.

Josef Krebs  |  May 01, 2023  |  2 comments
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Made by British film and stage director, producer, and screenwriter Sir Sam Mendes, Empire of Light is set in the English seaside town of Margate of 1980-81 (where I grew up) in a two-screen cinema. Regular life for duty manager Hilary (Olivia Colman), the box-office and concession staff, and the projectionist is gradually changed after handsome, young black man, Stephen (Micheal Ward), is hired by the manager (Colin Firth) to be a ticket taker.
Ralph C. Potts  |  Apr 21, 2023  |  0 comments
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From the pages of DC Comics, Black Adam begins in the ancient land of Kahndaq, where a young slave is bestowed with the almighty powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance and freeing Kahndaq from its oppressive king, he was seen as a menace and imprisoned. In the present day, Kahndaq is under the control of the “Intergang,” a mercenary organization, that is opposed by a small group of resistance fighters

Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 14, 2023  |  0 comments
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We haven't reviewed a title from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a while, so let's check in with the residents of the fictional African kingdom, Wakanda. In a deeply emotional opening scene, leader T'Challa dies, echoing the too-soon loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.

Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 07, 2023  |  3 comments
Rocky II, 120 mins.
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Rocky IV, 119 mins.
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Rocky, 100 mins.
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Rocky III, 92/94 mins.
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