BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Tom Norton  |  Sep 20, 2007  |  First Published: Sep 21, 2007  |  0 comments

When it was released in 1998, <I>Elizabeth</I> (HD DVD) was nominated for a bushel of awards, but most of them went to a competing Elizabethan drama, <I>Shakespeare in Love</I>. The latter was more accessible, crowd-pleasing, and fun. <I>Elizabeth</I> on the other hand, was a dark take on the early years of Elizabeth I, with the emphasis on the international intrigue and court politics that both preceded and followed her accession to the throne.

Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 19, 2014  |  1 comments
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Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to his justly acclaimed District 9 is Elysium, another social commentary set in a strangely relatable future. This time he contrasts the lives of the wealthy against those of the downtrodden, with all of Earth having become a decrepit, overcrowded hellhole. A former criminal (Matt Damon) is trying to stay on the straight and narrow, but when he becomes collateral damage of the rich getting richer, his only hope for survival is to infiltrate that utopian space station of the title.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 26, 2013  |  0 comments
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It’s 1941. Eleven-year-old Jamie Graham is living a privileged life in Shanghai’s International Settlement with his English parents. Japanese troops have occupied much of mainland China over the previous four years but remain outside of some of the country’s major population centers, including Shanghai. Following Pearl Harbor, however, the Japanese move into the city. Panic erupts and Jamie becomes separated from his parents and ends up in a Japanese prison camp for Allied civilians.
David Vaughn  |  Mar 18, 2008  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/403enchanted.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the animated fairytale land of Andalasia lives Giselle (Amy Adams), a charming young lady who dreams of meeting her own Prince Charming. One day, he finally arrives in the form of Prince Edward (James Marsden), and they expect to live happily ever after until Edward's evil mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), transports Giselle to the worst place she can imagine&mdash;New York City! Transformed into flesh and blood, Giselle must make her way in an unfamiliar world where dreams don't always come true. Or do they?

 |  Mar 18, 2008  |  0 comments

In the animated fairytale land of Andalasia lives Giselle (Amy Adams), a charming young lady who dreams of meeting her own Prince Charming. One day, he finally arrives in the form of Prince Edward (James Marsden), and they expect to live happily ever after until Edward's evil mother, Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon), transports Giselle to the worst place she can imagine&mdash;New York City! Transformed into flesh and blood, Giselle must make her way in an unfamiliar world where dreams don't always come true. Or do they?

Kris Deering  |  Jun 03, 2009  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/enemyatgates.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>The year is 1942, and the Nazis are cutting a deadly swath through Russia. Under the leadership of Khrushchev, the citizens of Stalingrad are mounting a brave resistance, spurred by the exploits of their local hero, Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law). An expert sniper, Zaitsev's deeds have become legendary thanks to propaganda produced by his best friend, a political officer named Danilov (Joseph Fiennes). To stop Zaitsev, the Germans dispatch their best sniper, Major Konig (Ed Harris), to Stalingrad. When Zaitsev and Danilov both fall in love with a beautiful soldier, Danilov deserts his friend, leaving him to face his German counterpart alone. As the city burns, Zaitsev and Konig begin a cunning game of cat and mouse, waging a private war for courage, honor, and country.</i>

Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 13, 2013  |  0 comments
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By 1973, the marital arts genre was nothing new, but Bruce Lee took it to new heights with what would be his final completed film, Enter the Dragon. The movie gave a worldwide theatrical audience a glimpse of his genius as a true star and as an action hero second to none, performing feats that boggle the mind even in today’s jaded milieu of wire-enhanced stunts and computer-generated effects. Lee starred as, well, “Lee,” a gifted Shaolin martial artist recruited by British intelligence to compete in an exclusive tournament staged by the suspected opium lord, Mr. Han.
Guido Henkel  |  Aug 11, 2015  |  0 comments
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When it comes to dystopian movies of the 1980s, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York clearly stands out as one of the hallmarks of the period and genre, creating a futuristic vision of a society that has deteriorated to the point where the prison system has become a world entirely of its own. In fact, crime in America has gotten so out of hand the entire island of Manhattan is converted into a maximum-security prison from which there is no parole, and where the inmates—a merciless yet colorful lot—are left to govern themselves. But after terrorists strike Air Force One, tough-as-nails convicted bank robber Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) cuts a deal to rescue the president, who has survived a crash-landing within the walls of New York City only to be held hostage on the eve of a critical global summit.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 05, 2014  |  0 comments
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Gary Supernova is an ace coordinator at Mission Control on the planet BAAB. His specialty is keeping his lunkheaded brother Scorch, the planet’s superhero-astronaut, from getting himself killed on dangerous missions. But when the most hazardous mission of all comes up—to the Dark Planet from which no one has ever returned—Gary doesn’t want his brother to risk it. Scorch takes the assignment anyway, and Gary refuses to help. But when Scorch gets captured on the Dark Planet and imprisoned in Area 51 along with other alien life forms, Gary comes to the rescue.
David Vaughn  |  Dec 31, 2008  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/eventhorizon.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the year 2040, the pioneering research vessel Event Horizon vanishes without a trace. Seven years later, it suddenly appears in orbit around Neptune, and the United States Aerospace Command sends out a rescue crew headed by Captain Miller (Lawrence Fishburne) to salvage the vessel. Where has the ship been all this time and what happened to its crew?

Avi Greengart  |  May 27, 2016  |  3 comments
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The opening titles of Everest promise that this movie is based on a true story, but then we are led through what appears to be a standard Hollywood man-versus-nature tale, complete with distinct one-note characters to root for. There’s the super-climber who built a business around adventure tourism, complete with a pregnant wife at home. A former protégé,
David Vaughn  |  Oct 02, 2015  |  2 comments
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Computer programmer Caleb Smith wins an inter-company competition to spend a week at the remote estate of the company’s brilliant, yet quirky CEO and founder, Nathan Bateman. He soon learns that the vacation will be anything but when he’s coerced into signing a nondisclosure release in order to administer a Turing Test on a new AI program that could revolutionize the world. It turns out that the AI has been placed in a fully functional—and human-looking—robot named Ava, who has been locked in a glass enclosure and can’t be freed unless she proves to Smith and Bateman that she’s achieved full consciousness and is not just copying human behavior.
Shane Buettner  |  Jun 05, 2013  |  0 comments
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In spring of 1999, while the masses were jacking into The Matrix, braver souls were leaping into the alternate gaming universe of David Cronenberg’s eXistenZ. Ostensibly, über game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is on a promotional tour with her newest game and game pod, which is an electrical organism that creates its virtual reality by plugging directly into the gamer’s nervous system via spinal cord bioport. She and her marketing man, Ted Pikul (Jude Law), come under attack and flee from realists who object to extreme gaming’s impact on humanity and its reliance on endangered mutant amphibians for gaming pods (!).
David Vaughn  |  Dec 23, 2009  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/extract.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) is sitting pretty with a beautiful wife, a comfortable home, and the almost finalized acquisition by General Mills of the culinary extracts business he has built with his loyal lieutenant Brian (J.K. Simmons). Joel seems to have it all, but his wife isn't interested in him, his employees want a big payoff, and the new office hottie (Mila Kunis) is really a con artist with ulterior motives.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 30, 2012  |  0 comments

September 11, 2001, is a day that I doubt anyone in the world will ever forget. For young Oskar, it was the day he lost his best friend—his dad. Based on the bestseller by Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is an emotional rollercoaster about a preteen trying to cope with the loss of his father in his own unique way. I enjoyed the film a lot and was especially impressed with the AVC video encode with its outstanding level of detail and rich color saturation. The enveloping DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack is no slouch either and features crisp dialog and pinpoint imaging.

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