Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Ralph C. Potts  |  Aug 21, 2023  |  5 comments
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John Wick: Chapter 4 is the latest installment in the popular action film series starring Keanu Reeves in the titular role. This story picks up with John on his way to uncovering a path to finally defeat The High Table, to whom he is beholden for his past choices. But before he can earn his freedom, he must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe, turning old friends into foes.

Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 14, 2023  |  3 comments
Avatar (2009)
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Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
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Are we officially in the post-originality era of film? Is everything now based on, inspired by or an homage to something else? When Avatar premiered in 2009, critics sussed it as a sci-fi riff on Dances with Wolves, an observation writer/director James Cameron apparently accepted, compliment or not. Here’s the thing, though: Does the story even matter here? The script — while certainly clever in places — served its purpose to set up a new generation of visuals effects that utterly dazzled audiences, making Avatar the highest-grossing film in history, for a time.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 01, 2023  |  2 comments
As students on their warm weather break wend their way through their summer reading lists, we tender to SoundandVision.com’s visitors our first-ever Summer Watching List, a menagerie of 4K discs, HD Blu-rays and DVDs selected to entertain us and perhaps even distract from the worldwide heat records that have been broken thus far.

From debut seasons of hot TV shows to complete series, from kid-friendly to adults-only animation, from magnificent restorations of genre classics to reissues of popular film franchises that are returning to the multiplex this season, you’ll find plenty of reasons to hole up in the home theater with the air conditioner blasting and your ice cubes clinking.

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jul 24, 2023  |  1 comments
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After several Hollywood adaptations for both the big and small screens, Edward Berger is now the first German director to adapt his countryman Erich Maria Remarque’s anti-war novel All Quiet on the Western Front. Here, Paul Bäumer (Felix Kammerer) is a young German man who finds himself caught up in the patriotic fervor of World War I Germany and, along with his friends, enlists in the military to fight. Upon arriving at the Western Front against France, Paul and his friends are confronted with the reality of trench warfare, which is vastly different from the glory they imagined.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jul 12, 2023  |  0 comments
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My long-suffering dad is probably still haunted by our trip to the cinema those many years ago, with me a wee lad and my sister — a naïve young fan of the musician David Bowie — eager to see what we thought would be perhaps a slightly offbeat sci-fi movie, The Man Who Fell to Earth. Two hours of nudity and jaw-dropping weirdness later, we were proven wrong as we were introduced to mysterious interplanetary traveler Thomas Newton (Bowie), an entrepreneurial genius who strikes it rich quick with a host of advanced technologies. He’s also quite thirsty, a clue to his secret intentions which become more difficult to bring to fruition as he is increasingly sidetracked by the new vice and excess of his wealthy American lifestyle.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  3 comments
Generations, 118 mins.
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First Contact, 111 mins.
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Insurrection, 103 mins.
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Nemisis, 116 mins.
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Like The Original Series before it, Star Trek: The Next Generation was a product of its time. Whereas Kirk & Co. embraced broad drama and the two-fisted clichés of ‘60s television on their space-faring adventures, Next Gen was more refined, drawing upon our greater understanding of science fact and taking lots and lots of time to discuss the characters’ feelings, too.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 13, 2023  |  1 comments
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As editor Mark Henninger and I discuss on the regular, physical media has become not only about entertainment but collectability, and so we have seen the arrival of new editions that look snazzy on the shelf and that we can flaunt to our friends. Quite a few of the discs I've reviewed recently for S&V have arrived in step-up steelbook cases adorned with exclusive, genuinely inspired artwork. (Take that, streaming!)

Ralph Potts  |  Jun 02, 2023  |  0 comments
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In Rebel Without a Cause, James Dean captured the nation’s attention with a performance that still electrifies the screen decades after his untimely death. Its archetypal coming-of-age drama involves three high school students whose seemingly idyllic suburban lives crack under the weight of teenage angst and rebellion in post-war America.

Ralph Potts  |  May 27, 2023  |  0 comments
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In sixth-century England, an ill-tempered, fire-breathing creature—ominously known as Vermithrax Pejorative—terrorizes the inhabitants of a small kingdom. In response, their king institutes a lottery whereby each year, a virgin maiden is sacrificed to him.

Chris Chiarella  |  May 05, 2023  |  2 comments
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Endless kudos to Kubo’s studio, Laika, for doing more than anyone to keep the waning art of stop-motion animation feature films alive. Shout! Factory has been celebrating their most popular titles in recent 4K upgrades (available in standard or steelbook); among them The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline; and now Kubo and the Two Strings. An original story with classic underpinnings, Kubo takes us along on a boy’s quest to acquire some mystical armor in anticipation of a showdown with a powerfully malevolent foe.

Ralph C. Potts  |  Apr 21, 2023  |  0 comments
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From the pages of DC Comics, Black Adam begins in the ancient land of Kahndaq, where a young slave is bestowed with the almighty powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance and freeing Kahndaq from its oppressive king, he was seen as a menace and imprisoned. In the present day, Kahndaq is under the control of the “Intergang,” a mercenary organization, that is opposed by a small group of resistance fighters

Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 14, 2023  |  0 comments
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We haven't reviewed a title from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a while, so let's check in with the residents of the fictional African kingdom, Wakanda. In a deeply emotional opening scene, leader T'Challa dies, echoing the too-soon loss of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman.

Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 07, 2023  |  3 comments
Rocky II, 120 mins.
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Rocky IV, 119 mins.
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Rocky, 100 mins.
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Rocky III, 92/94 mins.
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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.

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…

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