BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/genkill.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>From the creator of <i>The Wire</i> comes an in-depth look at the Iraq War from the perspective of the 1st Recon Marines&#151;and it isn't pretty. <i>Rolling Stone</i> correspondent Evan Wright rode along with the platoon for 40 days in 2003 before writing a series of articles that ran in the magazine, which led to a book, then the mini-series.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 22, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/genkill.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>The seven-part series opens with a platoon of Marines on a training mission in Kuwait shortly before the start of the Iraq War doing what Marines do best&#151;kicking ass and taking names&#151;preparing for the most important event of their young lives. This is Bravo Company of the First Recon Marines, led by the bright but nave Lt. Fick (Stark Sands). Like most kids, these guys are a little unsure of themselves and act a lot tougher than they actually are. I had to remind myself that these young men aren't our best and brightest, but they do a job that most of us aren't willing to do. Is some of their dialog reprehensible? Yes. But given their circumstances, I'm willing to cut them some slack.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 27, 2010 0 comments
Aspiring record company exec Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) has the brilliant idea of rejuvenating the career of fading British rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) with a comeback concert at the world-renowned Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Dispatched by his boss (Sean Combs) to transport the notoriously dissolute Snow from London to L.A., Aaron has just 72 hours to get the out-of-control rocker across the Atlantic.

Here we go again, another popular Judd Apatow production that I didn't find the least bit funny. Brand's character is annoying as hell and I was checking my watch after the first fifteen minutes—never a good sign. I did find Combs' role amusing, but maybe I'm getting too old to appreciate this brand of comedy.

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Guido Henkel Posted: Apr 29, 2015 0 comments
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By their very nature, biopics are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they tell the story of a person in the limelight with achievements viewers are familiar with, while on the other, they explore sides of the person that have typically escaped the public eye. Striking the right balance between the two is the key. Get on Up takes a look at the life of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, a man whose musical legacy can be heard and felt in almost every bit of popular music today. The film jumps liberally between different periods of Brown’s life in anecdotal form, covering his childhood, his meteoric rise to stardom, the fall, the comeback, and everything in between. While it feels a bit disjointed at times, the film nonetheless manages to draw a portrait of Brown and what drove him to become one of the most recognizable names in music.
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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 10, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/getsmart.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When the headquarters of CONTROL are attacked and the identities of its agents compromised, the Chief (Alan Arkin) has no choice but to promote his best analyst, Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell), who has always wanted to work in the field. Partnered with veteran Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), he must rely on a few spy-tech gadgets and his enthusiasm for his promotion to defeat the evil crime syndicate, KAOS, if he wants to save the day and&#151;better yet&#151;get the girl.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 30, 2011 0 comments
History comes alive with intense and spirited battles during the bloodiest three days on American soil that were the beginning of the end of the South's battle to secede from the Union. Ronald F. Maxwell takes viewers into the strategy sessions of both forces and shows the minor skirmishes that lead General Lee (Martin Sheen) to order a full-scale frontal assault and how the battle impacted the outcome of the war.

My biggest complaint with this film has always been its length, so I'm not exactly thrilled with the additional 17 minutes in the director's cut. Frankly, Maxwell would have been better served by cutting the run time down at least an hour. It's nearly impossible to get through the entire 271 minutes in one sitting, but having watched it over two nights, I have to admit the history lesson was an enlightening experience.

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Jan 22, 2015 1 comments
When American radio announcer Herbert Morrison stood watching the Hindenburg disaster unfold before his eyes, he tearfully exclaimed, “Oh, the humanity!” I coincidentally had the exact same thought while watching Ghost in the Shell again for the first time in 20 years—but for a much different reason. I saw this film when it first came out, and I remember having a difficult time identifying with it. I finally figured out why: There’s no humanity in it.
Thomas J. Norton Posted: Sep 17, 2012 1 comments
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As Marvel’s comic characters go, Ghost Rider is hellishly hard to categorize. From what I can gather from the character’s two films, 2007’s Ghost Rider and this sequel (I’m not a fan of the comics), Johnny Blaze is a motorcycle stunt rider who sells his soul to the devil to save his father’s life. In exchange, he periodically turns into an ancient, fiery demon that searches out evil to suck out its soul. A bummer for sure, but everybody needs a hobby. His motorcycle has apparently sold its carburetor and tires to Beelzebub as well, since whenever Johnny goes all flames and stuff, he’s also treated to one hell of a ride. Talk about sitting on the hot seat.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jan 06, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/ghosttown.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Bertram Pincas (Ricky Gervais), a socially- challenged New York City dentist, emerges from a routine colonoscopy with the uncanny ability to see and speak to the dead. When word of his ability gets out in the spirit community of his ability, he becomes the go-to- guy for every ghost with unfinished bisinessbusiness. One such ghost is Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear), who is determined to stop a relationship involving his widow, Gwen (Tea Leoni), and so he seeks Bertram’'s help in the matter.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Dec 22, 2014 0 comments
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Yes, it’s been 30 years since the original Ghostbusters, the first movie to strike upon that irresistible balance of big laughs and big scares. The story is built around the ridiculously fun idea of professional trackers/capturers of wayward spirits, brought to life by the undeniable comedic talents of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis. The Oscar-nominated special effects also helped Ghostbusters become the biggest box-office hit in a year full of blockbusters. Although young Mr. Murray’s effusive wiseassery dates the movie somewhat (much like the remarkable amount of smoking on display), watching it anew reminds us of his consummate ability to find often subtle ways to make every moment his own—and so many of his lines worth quoting.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Mar 17, 2017 0 comments
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Forget all the hyperbole about an all-female cast and man-hating: Is this Ghostbusters reboot any good simply based on merit? Yes and no. The movie retreads familiar ground and tries too hard to emulate its predecessor but has fantastic special effects. Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones are a group of paranormal hunters. McCarthy and Wiig play longtime pals once estranged from each other, reunited when Wiig is fired from her position at Columbia University due to McCarthy’s publishing of a book they wrote years earlier expounding on the existence of ghosts.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/ghostbusters.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>When ghosts and demons run amuck in New York City, it's up to a team of ex-college professors turned ghost exterminators to capture the unwanted apparitions. The team of Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) must save the beautiful Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) and her nerdy neighbor Louis (Rick Moranis) when they inadvertently open the gates of hell.

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Josef Krebs Posted: May 06, 2016 0 comments
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Two dice roll into close-up. Thus, down-and-out dockside gambler Johnny Farrell is introduced, along with the theme of characters that make their own luck by cheating with chance, love, and big business. Whereas Johnny just plays his way into a job at an exotic Buenos Aires casino through his cardsharp skills, snappy spiel, and fast fisticuffs, his boss, Ballin, has greater ambitions in creating an international monopoly and is willing to use intimidation, illegal business practices, and murder to attain his goal. Johnny becomes as faithful and obedient to his mentor as Ballin’s phallic walking stick, until Ballin breaks their agreement of no women around, returning from a business trip with a wife—Gilda. Especially as she’s the woman who’d ripped Johnny’s heart out.
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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 07, 2011 0 comments

Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction are both out this week in brand-new Blu-ray releases, approved by the director, and we've gotten some copies to give away, courtesy of Lionsgate/Miramax.

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Michael Berk Posted: Oct 07, 2011 0 comments

We've been following the progress of 7.1 audio pretty closely, and this week saw the release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon on Blu-ray, complete with a new, home theater-specific Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix.

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