Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 03, 2018  |  1 comments
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In the 30 years since its debut, Die Hard has been riffed on and ripped off beyond count, and been sequelized no less than four times. This crown jewel of the Fox catalog, unleashed upon audiences with a ferocity, personality, and originality that we never saw coming, will likely never be topped. A very 1980s interpretation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it finds grouchy New York City police detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) stuck in an under-construction Los Angeles skyscraper on December 24th.
Dennis Burger  |  Jul 27, 2018  |  4 comments
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Is Star Wars art or entertainment? The simplest answer to that question is, “It’s both, of course.” But Episode VIII: The Last Jedi proves the question to be less simple than it first appears. Because of all its silly creatures, swashbuckling adventure sequences, million-dollar-a-minute special effects, and cheeky humor, The Last Jedi is at its heart a deeply personal, deeply thematic, deeply deconstructive, big-budget indie film that forces longtime fans to contend with questions about what Star Wars even is and why its unique blend of mythology, arthouse pastiche, and B-movie kitsch works as well as it does.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jul 13, 2018  |  0 comments
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Kenneth Branagh has spent his career as an actor and director tackling the classics, from Shakespeare to Mary Shelley, and this time out he dives into Agatha Christie’s famous mystery Murder on the Orient Express, playing the author’s beloved Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
David Vaughn  |  Jul 08, 2018  |  0 comments
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A group of kids discover an old video game console in the basement of their school with an unknown game called Jumanji. After choosing their avatars, the foursome is transported into the game’s jungle setting and assume their roles. They soon discover that not only have they taken on the look of the characters, but have inherited their strengths and weaknesses. To survive the game and get back home, all must work together to pass the obstacles placed in front of them, but the stakes are higher than they could have ever imagined.
David Vaughn  |  Jul 01, 2018  |  0 comments
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A secret from her father’s past leads adventure-seeker Lara Croft on one of her greatest challenges. What she seeks to find is the Triangle of Light, a legendary artifact whose power to alter space and time happens only once every 5,000 years. Also in hot pursuit: the Illuminati, a secret society bent on world domination. Lara and her trusty tech-geek sidekick, Bryce, must do everything in their power to stop them.
Tom Norton  |  Jun 15, 2018  |  0 comments
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Darkest Hour shows the other side of the 1940 events depicted in 2017’s equally superb Dunkirk. The latter showed the evacuations that enabled the British army to survive, the former depicted how Churchill, taking the office of Prime Minister almost by default, navigated around the pacifists in his cabinet who wanted to negotiate a settlement with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. In doing so he cemented his status as arguably the most important national leader of the 20th century.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 08, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 2014 wuxia film Brotherhood of Blades established the story of three members of an elite palace guard unit during the Ming Dynasty who must abandon their brotherhood and apprehend one of their own after he goes rogue, only to find themselves caught up in an even larger conspiracy. The Infernal Battlefield continues the story of these best-of-the-best guardsmen. It brings back much of the cast, but this is a standalone film that doesn’t require viewing the first to be understood.
Josef Krebs  |  May 25, 2018  |  0 comments
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The Foreigner, a superior action-thriller from Martin Campbell, the director of two of the best Bond outings ever—Casino Royale and GoldenEye—not only delivers both excitement and dramatic complexity but offers a surprisingly moving performance from its star, Jackie Chan. Presented in a Blu-ray of impressive picture and sound quality, it makes for memorable home theater.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  May 22, 2018  |  0 comments
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2010’s Saw 3D was ostensibly the final film in the popular horror saga. And then, lo and behold, a mere seven years later, the franchise was rebooted with Jigsaw. Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, the story finds the elaborate, gruesome Jigsaw killings mysteriously starting up all over again. As before, law enforcement is at a loss as to how the legendary serial killer Jigsaw—dead and buried!—could possibly be committing these nasty new murders. Meanwhile, as is the tradition with Jigsaw, a fresh group of victims has been ensnared in his intricate traps and forced to confess their own crimes or risk death.
Josef Krebs  |  May 18, 2018  |  4 comments
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Facing their own complete extinction due to extreme storms that are destroying whole cities, the world finally comes together, sending 17 teams of scientists and engineers to create a system, a series of satellites all controlled by a giant space station that can use an assortment of devices—super lasers, thermal missiles, freezing beams, etc.—to stabilize the weather. Naturally, someone’s gonna try to seize control of Dutchboy, as the system is known, and weaponize it to make himself president of an all-powerful country that will destroy its enemies and rule the planet.
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David Vaughn  |  May 11, 2018  |  0 comments
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In the late 1980s in the town of Derry, Maine, a young boy goes out to test a paper boat during a torrential rainstorm. Braving the elements, he places the boat in the gutter and runs alongside to watch its progress. Unfortunately, he’s too slow and watches it descend into the storm drain. He bends down to see if it’s lost forever and is surprised to see a clown staring back at him. Startled, he quickly jumps back.
Corey Gunnestad  |  May 04, 2018  |  0 comments
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The Mountain Between Us is part survival adventure and part love story within a compelling premise. Ben and Alex meet by chance at the airport; their flight has been cancelled due to inclement weather, and both have urgent need of reaching their destinations. Ben (Idris Elba) is a prominent neurosurgeon who is needed in surgery the following day, and Alex (Kate Winslet) is a photojournalist who's getting married in 24 hours.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  0 comments
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Remember those A Day in the Life of… coffee table books that gave us glimpses of Hollywood and the Soviet Union and the like over a single 24-hour span? Imagine that same dynamic applied to some carefully selected, human-free locales across the globe, and you start to get the idea behind Earth: One Amazing Day. This sequel to the 2007 nature documentary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, revealing visions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen before. (Giraffe smack-down!)
David Vaughn  |  Apr 20, 2018  |  0 comments
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Phil Connors, a TV weatherman from Pittsburgh, is dispatched to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities where he’s teamed up with a young and annoyingly cheerful producer and a smart-aleck cameraman. With impending offers from other stations, Connors has short-timer’s disease and isn’t what you’d call a pleasant guy to be around. In fact, he’s a first-rate pain in the rear whom his coworkers want to spend as little time with as possible.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 13, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 1982 science-fiction opus Blade Runner remains an undeniable visual spectacle that fired the imaginations of many a viewer. While neither a bona fide critical or commercial success upon debut, it visualized a Los Angeles of the future beyond anything we’d seen before and set the stage for endless fan speculation that has led to five different studio-sanctioned cuts thus far. The sequel, 2049, was released to much of that same indifference. Thirty-five years coming, it still failed to generate a response befitting a cult franchise of this magnitude.

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