Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Roger Kanno  |  Nov 26, 2021  |  0 comments
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The Fast & Furious franchise is going on two decades and showing no signs of slowing down with the 2021 release of F9: The Fast Saga and several sequels and spin-offs in the works.

Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 05, 2021  |  0 comments
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After making Return of the Jedi, Executive producer George Lucas was looking for fresh creative frontiers, and he would embark upon new cinematic collabs with previous and first-time cohorts. One such experiment was his team-up with mastermind Jim Henson for the family-friendly fantasy, Labyrinth. With a playful script by Monty Python alum Terry Jones, the story follows an angry teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) with a fondness for fairy tales.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 29, 2021  |  0 comments
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An attempt to revive the popular Saw franchise, Spiral (full title "Spiral: From the Book of Saw," whatever that means) continues the legacy of creative torture-horror under the direction of Darren Lynn Bousman who long ago helmed Saws II-IV. The sadistic madman-with-an-axe-to-grind known as Jigsaw is long dead and now a new serial killer is on the loose, an apparent copycat except this time the murderer is specifically targeting dirty cops with his elaborate, painful deathtraps. Once again, the victims must make the brutal choice to do something horrible to themselves to escape or die in gruesome fashion.

Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 22, 2021  |  0 comments
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Serial killers. Cannibalism. A disturbing journey into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. The Silence of the Lambs has more than its share of horrors, yet, through it all, the movie tells the very personal story of FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, nabbing a second Best Actress Oscar here). Haunted by loss and her guilt over a childhood failure, she seeks redemption in a high-profile missing persons case that requires her to work closely with notorious murderer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, who netted a Best Actor Oscar). An outstanding piece of filmmaking in every way, Silence of the Lambs has transcended the thriller genre to become a genuine classic.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 15, 2021  |  0 comments
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As someone nicknamed "Almost Famous" by the road crew of a band I've been embedded with on scores of their North American tours over the past two decades, I can attest firsthand to the accuracy of every backstage moment seen on unadulterated display in director/screenwriter Cameron Crowe's film of the same name. Indeed, Almost Famous is Crowe's love-letter depiction of his early/ mid-1970s zeitgeist years spent as a geeky teenage scribe desperately trying to act cool while seeking to chronicle the true essence of rock & roll and life on the road.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 08, 2021  |  0 comments
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Anyone seeking to make a horror sequel would do well to study writer/ director John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II. A magnificent expansion of the established characters and story, this film wastes nary a second, framing the narrative with a bit of new backstory before picking up immediately after the events of the 2018 original and taking us in bold, terrifying new directions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 24, 2021  |  1 comments
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In what will surely go down in history as a textbook example of a successful online campaign to release a much-wanted movie, the #releasethesnydercut movement ultimately convinced Warner Bros. to complete and distribute director Zack Snyder's original vision for his DC Comics Extended Universe ("DCEU") team-up flick, Justice League. Snyder's departure from the project during production led to the hiring of Joss Whedon to oversee final work on the movie for its November 2017 theatrical debut, writing and directing new scenes on the way to a two-hour cut. That version largely left audiences cold, particularly fans of Snyder's previous DCEU films, despite co-star Gal Gadot's wave of popularity from her Wonder Woman solo film a few months earlier.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Aug 20, 2021  |  0 comments
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It's the end of the world and Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) doesn't feel fine. He's unhinged and uneasy. He's been sleep- walking, waking up in the middle of golf courses, and experiencing waking daydreams. A jet engine has fallen from the sky and crashed into his bedroom and a giant rabbit named Frank is telling him the world will end soon unless he stops it. But how?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  0 comments
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George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion premiered in London back in 1913. Loosely based on an ancient Greek myth, its plot involves a linguistics professor, Henry Higgins, teaching a bedraggled flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to speak proper English—not only well enough to pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball, but to "get her a job as a lady's maid or a shop assistant, which requires better English!"
Chris Chiarella  |  Jul 30, 2021  |  0 comments
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Universal Studios needn't have advertised on Nobody's disc cover that it sprang from the mind of Derek Kolstad, writer of John Wick, since it's at its core the same movie. And that's not such a bad thing, since the erstwhile-enforcer-makes-a-violent-comeback formula is a winning one. This time the story lives or dies on the substantial charm of star Bob Odenkirk, who for the most part keeps his renowned comedic chops under wraps, instead allowing the humor to grow from the incongruity of suburban schlemiel Hutch's explosive and deadly skills.
Roger Kanno  |  Jun 25, 2021  |  0 comments
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Gattaca tells the story of a future where genetically engineered humans are provided all the benefits of an advanced civilization while those that are genetically inferior are relegated to more menial jobs and not afforded the same opportunities as society's elite. Ethan Hawke plays Vincent, an "in-valid" who takes on the identity of one of the genetically elite, Jerome (Jude Law), to realize his dream of becoming a navigator at Gattaca, a prestigious space exploration corporation. The film moves slowly, but with stylish cinematography and excellent performances, it holds up well nearly 25 years after its initial release.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  0 comments
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As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 11, 2021  |  2 comments
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Legend has it that director Zack Snyder was streaming his Dawn of Justice one day and was unhappy with the color, specifically red, a shade relevant to much more than a certain Last Son of Krypton. And so, the studio took the unusual step of remastering the movie from the existing 4K video transfer and rereleasing it, with the new version addressing Snyder's crimson concerns as well as showcasing the de rigueur IMAX scenes in their full and correct 1.43:1 aspect ratio.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 28, 2021  |  1 comments
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It can be taken for granted that if Tom Hanks is starring in a movie, we will become acquainted with a compelling lead character. Also, if Paul Greengrass is directing, it will be an exciting ride. Following the South's loss in the Civil War, Texas circa 1870 was a complicated place and time in the United States. World-weary Captain Kidd (not Phillips) ekes out a humble existence traveling from town to town, reading the news of the day to small groups of dime-paying customers who might otherwise remain oblivious.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 14, 2021  |  1 comments
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Pixar O.G. and now Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter touched our hearts with Up, then plumbed the intricacies of the human mind in Inside Out. It would follow, then, that his next movie would be Soul.

Together, these are arguably the most grown-up entries in the Pixar canon, not for any sort of overly mature content, but rather for their sophisticated themes and storytelling. And Soul might be the most adult-skewing: It's the longest of the three, exploring The Great Hereafter and even "The Great Before," namely where souls originate prior to their arrival on Earth. This concept requires quite a bit of exposition, and it's executed masterfully by Docter, co-writer/co-director Kemp Powers, and co-writer Mike Jones, through bold visuals and pithy gags.

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