Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 11, 2022  |  1 comments
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Daniel Craig's fifth and final outing as the world's most famous secret agent (umm...) is a fitting farewell to an era that saw old-school spy James Bond struggling to find his place in the contemporary world. That's no small task when his reputation as a gun-toting, martini-swilling, two-fisted womanizer precedes him, and so the plots often revolve around his apparent unsuitability for the job of protecting England and the rest of the planet—before he proves the haters wrong, of course.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Once the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc format showed that it had legs, one question I found myself regularly being asked was, "When is The Criterion Collection going 4K?" The esteemed boutique label certainly didn't rush in, but by the end of 2021, fans and collectors were offered four premiere releases: Citizen Kane, Menace II Society, Mulholland Dr., and Uncut Gems.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 21, 2022  |  0 comments
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Blurring the line between sequel, reboot and remake, The Suicide Squad fairly leaps off the screen with something too often conspicuously absent from the DC Cinematic Universe: a sense of fun. Written and directed by James Gunn after his famous firing from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy series (and before he was rehired), The Suicide Squad gleefully embraces excess in every way imaginable. It's rated R for its gore, language, and nudity, yet seldom misses an opportunity to pause and appreciate the absurdity of it all—a drastic tonal shift from its joyless 2016 predecessor, simply titled "Suicide Squad."

Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 31, 2021  |  0 comments
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Guy is an NPC (non-player character) in the hit video game, Free City. He "lives" a happy but chaotic life as the game's active player characters, identifiable by their sunglasses, ravage the city. The NPCs simply go about their business as best they can in the only world they know.
Al Griffin  |  Dec 10, 2021  |  0 comments
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The Green Knight, director David Lowery's film adaptation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an anonymous 14th century poem, is a fantastical, visually intoxicating take on Arthurian legend. Following a night of drinking and carousing at the local brothel, carefree young Gawain of Camelot (Dev Patel) is summoned on Christmas morning to the Round Table, where he is invited to sit beside his uncle, the king. Gawain's feeling of unworthiness is only deepened by Arthur's graciousness, and by his request for the young man to share a story of himself so they may know each other better.
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.

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