Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Mike Mettler  |  Feb 28, 2020  |  3 comments
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Subtitle it The Ballad of Never-Easy Rider. Produced by Cameron Crowe, David Crosby: Remember My Name is a self-actualized love letter to one of rock's most significant rollercoaster-ride careers. Croz's admitted goal for the film's wished-for postscript is some level of interactive redemption with his chief collaborators of years past—i.e., Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young—all of whom he doesn't speak with to this day. (Why? As he readily admits, the combination of anger and adrenaline always turn him into "instant asshole.")
Josef Krebs  |  Feb 14, 2020  |  0 comments
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Winner of the Cannes Palme d'Or and Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and International Feature, director, co-producer, and co-writer Bong Joon Ho's classist farce, Parasite, focuses on the Kims, a family of poor but proud con artists. Presently scrabbling to get by on lowest-paid jobs in a bug-infested basement apartment in Seoul, South Korea, they dream of climbing up to a better life by tricking the rich using flattery, charm, and well-rehearsed scripts.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 07, 2020  |  1 comments
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To the annals of unique interpretations and iconic performances of The Clown Prince of Crime we must now add Joaquin Phoenix and his exquisitely tragic turn as Joker. The film's Arthur Fleck is a new creation fully outside any established cinematic or literary continuity, a man barely able to function on the mean streets of Gotham City circa 1981. We can feel him barely hanging on as he goes about his daily grind: caring for an ailing mother, toiling as a professional clown, and dreaming of a career as a standup comedian.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jan 31, 2020  |  0 comments
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It Chapter Two picks up 27 years after the kids from The Losers Club in the first film have grown up and moved on with their lives. The killer clown Pennywise has returned, and a phone call from an old friend brings them all back to the town of Derry where they must face their fears and confront a past that has damaged them in more ways than they know.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  1 comments
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In Ad Astra (Latin for "to the stars"), a curious mashup of 2001 and Apocalypse Now, new facts have recently come to light about the disappearance of a deep, deep space probe launched to find intelligent life in the cosmos. The commander was Cliff McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), the most decorated man in the history of the space program, and now his son Roy (Brad Pitt) is tasked with his own top-secret mission...
Roger Kanno  |  Jan 17, 2020  |  0 comments
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The titular characters in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw were introduced in earlier Fast & Furious films, but you don't have to know much about their backstories to enjoy this film, an extremely serviceable action-comedy that leans heavily on the charm and chemistry of its stars, Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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Aging TV actor Rick Dalton (movie actor Leonardo DiCaprio) suspects that his career as he knew it might be over, and grapples with the vanity and insecurity that comes with such an uncertain future. He makes his living pretending to be a cowboy, in contrast with his best bud and stunt double/driver, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, embracing his recent grizzle), who actually embodies the no-nonsense, two-fisted demeanor of a good old-fashioned horseman. Together, they navigate the show business landscape of 1969 in this nostalgic journey through the boulevards, backlots, and bars of La La Land.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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With its childlike innocence and a universal charm that's born of its exquisite characters, The Wizard of Oz is likely the greatest family film of all time, the sort we may never see again. The adventure of a willful Kansas farmgirl transported to a strange, wondrous land is a heart-tugging journey of music and laughter that should continue to enthrall generations to come. There are 80 years' worth of observations for me to draw upon here, but I'll just go with this: Not enough can ever be said of Margaret Hamilton's turn as the gleefully, irresistibly, deliciously wicked villain.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 20, 2019  |  0 comments
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On her first day at pre-school, Bonnie, the kid who received Andy's toys at the end of Toy Story 3, makes (literally) a new friend out of a discarded spork. She calls him Forky and he soon becomes her favorite toy. But that's just the first act. On a road-trip with Bonnie's family, cowboy-toy Woody reunites with his old flame Bo Peep. Bo, now a "lost toy," has acquired the skills of an action hero—a sort of RamBoPeep.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 03, 2019  |  0 comments
The time has come to not only celebrate the holidays, but also our favorite movies and TV shows, in high- or ultra high-definition, with Atmos sound (where available), and with extras galore. Once again, we invite you to sit back and peruse our picks of the year's most exciting boxed sets to give and to receive.
Al Griffin  |  Nov 29, 2019  |  0 comments
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Ari Aster's second feature—the first was 2018's thoroughly unnerving Hereditary—continues the director's preoccupation with family as a wellspring of horror. This time around, horrific familial events occur in the film's first fifteen minutes, and the main protagonist, college student Dani, ends up trailing her ambivalent, unsupportive boyfriend to a rural community in Sweden that's in the midst of celebrating Midsommar, a festival occurring only once every ninety years.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 22, 2019  |  0 comments
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Few biopics could get away with recurring nonlinear narrative beats the way Rocketman does, but given the larger-than-life nature of its titular subject, Sir Elton John, the movie's storytelling trajectory makes perfect sense. Director Dexter Fletcher's unabashed commitment to occasionally mirroring those classic MGM musical moments of yore—with Elton's full blessing, of course—succeeds with much audio/visual aplomb.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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The true superpower on display in the current Spider-Man franchise might be its irresistible charm. Marvel's beloved signature character has certainly had some Hollywood ups and downs, but in his most recent iteration he seems content to exist in the shadow of Tony Stark/Iron Man rather than stand truly alone. Add to that irksome choice an abundance of high school drama and perhaps an over-reliance upon comedy and big-screen Spidey is at risk of alienating longtime fans. Still, Spider-Man: Far from Home somehow manages to engage us from start to finish.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Nov 08, 2019  |  0 comments
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Keanu Reeves is back as the super-assassin with his faithful pooch still by his side in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Wick has a $14 million bounty on his head for killing top-ranking members of the High Table, the governing body of this underground legion of assassins. The entire population of super-killers is out to get him, and their bylaws allow no one to provide him sanctuary.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  0 comments
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In some dialect, perhaps the language of cinema itself, the name Kubrick must mean "atmosphere." That's abundantly evident in his chilling film adaptation of Stephen King's haunted hotel opus, The Shining. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring novelist with a dark past, takes the challenging job of caretaker for a remote luxury resort during the off-season, meaning that his incredibly indulgent wife (Shelly Duvall) and young son with a mysterious gift will be the only living souls for miles around until the spring thaw. Life there is pleasant enough at first, if a bit dull, until curious events begin to unfold.

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