Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Mar 31, 2023  |  2 comments
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When Douglas Trumbull, the wizard behind the visual effects on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, finally took to the director’s chair, the result was 1972’s Silent Running. The environmentally themed adventure set in the distant future stars Bruce Dern in a gripping early career performance as botanist Freeman Lowell.

Mike Mettler  |  Mar 24, 2023  |  39 comments
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The Velvet Underground is not for everyone—nor were they ever intended to be. The critically regarded avant-garde darlings of Andy Warhol's Factory scene of late-1960s New York, the VU forged a truly groundbreaking style of music that saw the doo-wop/pop songwriting and seedy poetry predisposition of guitarist/vocalist Lou Reed embed with the hypnotic, drone-centric playing style of violist/pianist/composer John Cale.

Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 17, 2023  |  1 comments
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Does anyone else miss the glory days of Pixar, when they were cranking out hit after hit, putting story and character above all? This was the era of WALL·E, a film of overwhelming visual and emotional beauty about the last working waste allocation load lifter assigned to Earth cleanup in the distant future. His endearing combination of kindness, a yearning for companionship and an eagerness to find value in all things set the stage for a memorable, nigh-wordless first act wherein he falls for the newly arrived EVE, a very different robot with a very different directive…

Ralph Potts  |  Mar 11, 2023  |  0 comments
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In 2023, it would be fair to say that Steven Spielberg is a household name. His body of work as a filmmaker transcends generations and has been entertaining moviegoers for decades. I am certainly a fan, and as such, I was very interested in his latest, The Fabelmans. The semi-autobiographical film revolves around young Sammy Fabelman, Spielberg’s onscreen doppelganger. Most of the story takes place in post-World War II Arizona where Sammy and his family live before relocating to Los Angeles after his father, Burt, accepts a job offer.

Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 03, 2023  |  2 comments
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The problem with writer/director David O. Russell’s most recent outing, Amsterdam, might be summed up as “too many”: too many famous faces cast as too many characters possessing too many quirks to the point that it feels like a great big party for them but rather a chore for us, especially considering the two-hour-plus runtime. Much like his overwrought American Hustle, it combines a fictitious storyline intertwined with historical events, and this time at least it sheds light on some forgotten but worth-remembering chapters from our past.

Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 24, 2023  |  0 comments
In Bruges, 107 mins.
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The Score, 124 mins.
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Tropic Thunder, 107/121 mins.
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The Usual Suspects, 106 mins.
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Boutique label Kino Lorber Studio Classics has been coming on strong the past couple of years, and their recent Ultra HD 4K output has been second to none. With the freedom to work with a variety of studios, they’re amassing an enviable catalog of time-honored films in uncompromising video quality. We spun four of their newest, all utilizing Dolby Vision HDR and proffered on roomy triple-layer 100GB discs. All of them use pre-existing DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtracks, maintain key legacy bonus features, and also include the movie on freshly minted 1080p Blu-rays.

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Feb 13, 2023  |  0 comments
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The cover art and title for filmmaker Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling is rather misleading. We could be excused for thinking that we are about to sit down to watch some sort of romantic drama, but on the contrary, the film is a psychological thriller in the vein of The Stepford Wives, if not an indirect remake of that film.

Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 03, 2023  |  1 comments
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Rather than spoon-feed moviegoers, writer/director Jordan Peele opts to challenge us with his stories, so much so that upon first viewing, I didn't quite grasp what Nope was really about. Yes, a softspoken horse wrangler's father dies suddenly and mysteriously, leaving the future of the struggling generations-old family business—supplying four-hooved stars to show business—in doubt.

Ralph Potts  |  Jan 30, 2023  |  0 comments
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The Woman King is inspired by true events and centers around General Nanisca (Viola Davis), the seasoned leader of the Agojie, an all-female group of warriors that protects the African kingdom of Dahomey. After Gen. Nansica suggests to the king that the slave trade, an essential part of their economy, has put their future at risk, she urges him to seek other means of commerce through their foreign partners...

Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 22, 2023  |  1 comments
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My fondness for Bob's Burgers extends all the way back to the first episode in 2011. The writing and performances are on par with the very best sitcoms, the animation has a style all its own, and they've kept us hooked on the lovably losery Belcher clan through week after week of uproarious antics.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 14, 2023  |  0 comments
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Michael Mann's preeminent crime thriller somehow eluded wide audiences in 1995 but has since become an absolute classic of the genre. As he did with Thief several years prior, the writer/director goes deep into the world of career crooks, imparting specific tricks of the trade while revealing the perpetrators as utterly no-nonsense individuals. We can't dismiss them as heartless—their attempts to establish or maintain relationships yield much of the film's fascinating character drama—yet they are incredibly dangerous, willing to kill without hesitation as needed.

Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 31, 2022  |  0 comments
Reservoir Dogs, 99 mins.
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Pulp Fiction, 155 mins.
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When an immensely talented young screenwriter with something to prove fights to make his movie his way—and wins—every once in a while, we get a Reservoir Dogs. Quentin Tarantino's auspicious directorial debut is rough and raw and all the better for it, the story of a heist gone wrong and the rat in the criminals' midst, with copious amounts of blood spilling and bodies piling up as plans spin wildly out of control.
Ralph Potts  |  Dec 16, 2022  |  0 comments
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As a film enthusiast and writer, I often find myself involved in discussions revolving around what are my favorite films, and what I consider to be The Best Film of All Time. Neither question can be simply answered, however there is no doubt that Casablanca will always be a part of the conversation.
Roger Kanno  |  Dec 02, 2022  |  0 comments
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It may not be the equal of his holiday classic masterpiece, It's a Wonderful Life, but Frank Capra's black comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the great comedies of American cinema. Adapted from Joseph Kesselring's play of the same name, it stars Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, a recently married writer whose honeymoon plans with his wife (Priscilla Lane) are sidetracked by a series of macabre incidents when he visits his doting aunts and eccentric brother.
Tom Norton  |  Nov 25, 2022  |  1 comments
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The War of the Worlds was a huge movie hit in 1953, based loosely on H.G. Wells 1898 classic novel of an invasion from Mars. We're at the center of the action during our military's initial encounter with the Martians' unstoppable machines (the latter very different from Wells' tripod conception). Later we're trapped in a trashed farmhouse and get a frightening glimpse of a live Martian. In a gripping conclusion, the Martians appear on the verge of total victory.

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