Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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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.
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.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 25, 2019  |  0 comments
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"The avant-garde art of the past becomes the wallpaper of the future." This statement, from a new introduction by Francis Ford Coppola contained on the Apocalypse Now Final Cut Ultra HD Blu-ray release, ultimately explains the acclaimed director's motivation to revisit his Vietnam War epic, ranked number 30 on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films, and create yet another cut after already having done so in 2001 for Apocalypse Now: Redux.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 04, 2019  |  0 comments
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Marvel has undeniably defined the modern comic book movie universe. As a consequence, much of Shazam!, the latest effort from rival DC, feels clichéd, and not just by superhero standards. Good young protagonists facing adversity, otherworldly forces granting extraordinary abilities, bullies who ultimately get theirs— it's all here. Shazam! even borders on outright theft with an end credit sequence straight out of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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Glory is the 1989 Oscar-winning film (Best Supporting Actor, Denzel Washington) from director Edward Zwick that follows the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment—the Union Army's second African-American regiment in the American Civil War—led by white Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick).
Josef Krebs  |  Sep 20, 2019  |  0 comments
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Tensions, rivalries, banter, squabbling, self-aggrandizement, and, above all, putdowns add to the hot air on this day in the life of Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as the 98 percent Black (down to 70 percent in the last census) community and small mix of Hispanics, Whites, and Asians try to get along during a sweltering summer.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 13, 2019  |  0 comments
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Oliver stone first heard The Doors while serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in the late-1960s, and the impact of their music never left him. Amid much controversy, the Oscar-winning director brought his singular vision for The Doors biopic to middling box-office success in 1991. Though some disagreement lingers regarding particular story beats and extrapolated mythologizing, there's no denying Stone conveyed much of the perpetual mystique surrounding Doors frontman Jim Morrison with an altruistic eye.
Roger Kanno  |  Sep 06, 2019  |  0 comments
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Expectations for the release of Alita: Battle Angel, the long-awaited film adaptation of the Japanese cyberpunk manga series, Battle Angel Alita, ran extremely high, no doubt due to the high-profile names involved in its production. Co-written and co-produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, it stars Rosa Salazar as cyborg-warrior Alita, with supporting performances by past Academy Award recipients Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, and Christoph Waltz.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 30, 2019  |  0 comments
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Set in third century A.D. China, Shadow tells the story of the uneasy truce held by the Pei and Yang kingdoms. Years earlier, the Pei kingdom lost possession of the city of Jing following a duel between Pei army commander Zi Yu and the formidable warrior Yang Kang. As the kingdom's debauched monarch aims to maintain power by acquiescing to Yang Kang, Zi Yu plots to retake the lost city, an objective carried out with the help of a lookalike his family has been grooming since childhood. Directed by Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), a filmmaker known for his elegant visuals and bold use of color, Shadow's palette is mostly restricted to black-and-white and skin tones.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 16, 2019  |  1 comments
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There is simply no precedent for a cinematic event of this magnitude. Avengers: Endgame is not merely the latest installment in the Marvel canon, but one that builds upon all that has come before to complete story arcs begun as far back as 2008's crucial Iron Man. It also concludes the most recent dramatic "phase" in the 22-film series, and of course drops the other shoe from the 2018 Avengers set-up, Infinity War. And it does all of this with a deft touch, despite its plethora of fantasy characters and an absurdly brisk three-hour running time.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 09, 2019  |  0 comments
An unprecedented fusion of science fiction and horror, Alien burst upon the scene some 40 years ago in a spray of blood to the screams of audiences everywhere. Envisioned by artist H.R. Giger, realized by craftsman Carlo Rambaldi, and brought to life by performer Bolaji Badejo, the intruder of the title has remarkably little screen time, which only enhances his terror, Jaws-style, as he stalks the hapless crew of the spaceship Nostromo.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 12, 2019  |  0 comments
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The village of Berk is now the overcrowded home not only of our favorite Viking clan, now led by a grown-up Hiccup, but also a huge and motley assortment of friendly dragons. After they encounter a revived gang of dragon-hunters led by the ruthless Grimmel, Hiccup decides that their only solution is to evacuate Berk, where they're an obvious target, and search for a new home where they'll be safe.

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