BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 10, 2008 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/starwarsclonewars.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter) and his Padawan apprentice, Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), find themselves on a mission that bring them face to face with crime lord Jabba the Hutt (Kevin Michael Richardson). Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) and his sinister agents will stop at nothing to ensure that they fail in their quest. Meanwhile, Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) and Master Yoda (Tom Kane) lead the massive clone army in a valiant effort to resist the forces of the dark side.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 02, 2009 Published: Nov 03, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/clone1.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>George Lucas did his best to alienate me and other fans from the <i>Star Wars</i> universe with the critically panned feature film <i>The Clone Wars</i>, which felt more like an overlong pilot—as it turned out to be—than a worthy contender for our cinematic dollar. Fortunately for us <i>Star Wars</i> fans, the weekly TV series is much better as we follow Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter), his new padawan Ashoka Tano (Ashley Eckstein), and his former master Obi-Wan Kenobi (James Arnold Taylor) on their trials and tribulations during the Clone Wars. With the help of the countless clone troopers (Dee Bradley Baker) and the Jedi council, they fight against the evil separatists led by Count Dooku (Corey Burton) and General Grievous (Matthew Wood).

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 01, 2010 1 comments
Much like The Empire Strikes Back, season two of The Clone Wars sets a darker tone as the war between the Republic and the Separatists continues. The Jedi Knights are still a central part of the story but they face a myriad of enemies including the ruthless bounty hunter Cad Bain (voiced by Corey Burton), space pirates, a Zillow Beast, mind-controlling worms, and Boba Fett (Daniel Logan) who's seeking to avenge his father's death.

My family fell in love with the series after watching season one on Blu-ray and we watched all of season two on Cartoon Network. As much as we enjoyed the episodes, the experience on cable pales in comparison to the Blu-ray. The video quality is vastly improved with no compression issues and I prefer the look of the 2.35:1 aspect ratio to the 1.78:1 HD cable feed. I'm disappointed the audio is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track versus Dolby TrueHD, but it's certainly an improvement over the stereo feed through cable.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 21, 2011 21 comments
George Lucas had a dream of becoming a professional race car driver, but thankfully for the millions of Star Wars fans, he didn't perish in a horrific car accident after his high school graduation. Looking for a new passion, Lucas attended the film school at USC, won a scholarship to observe the making Francis Ford Coppola's Finian's Rainbow, and the pair eventually formed their own studio, American Zoetrope. Their first film was a feature-length version of Lucas's student film THX 1138, but Lucas eventually formed his own studio, Lucasfilm Ltd., and made American Graffiti, which went on to win one Golden Globe and garner five Oscar nominations.

Shortly thereafter, he began working on his next project that turned the small independent filmmaker from Northern California into a Hollywood legend. By luck (or fate) Lucas traded his guaranteed director's salary for a 40% share of the box office and all the merchandising rights (t-shirts, toys, etc.) in order to get Star Wars produced. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 15, 2016 2 comments
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I’ve seen some bad Star Wars movies and, well, The Force Awakens sure ain’t one of them. Yes, the plot is full of wild coincidences, implausible developments, and groan-inducing character moments. Worst of all, the events and even specific locations sometimes follow well-worn aspects of the classic canon a bit too closely. But these sins perhaps we can and should forgive. Filmmaker J.J. Abrams is a professed Star Wars fanatic, and his love and respect for the material have clearly guided this first new film since creator George Lucas divested himself of the fabled fantasy franchise.
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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 18, 2011 2 comments
Yoda takes a group of Jedi younglings on a field trip to the Galactic Senate chambers when he suddenly feels a disturbance in the force and must leave the children. C-3PO and R2-D2 take over and find themselves in over their heads with the rambunctious force-sensitive group. As the Sith prepare to wreak havoc, it's up to Yoda and a young stowaway to save the day before the children are torn to bricks.

LEGO and Lucasfilm have collaborated on multiple projects including other mini-films, over 200 LEGO models, 275 minifigures, and Saga-inspired video games (which are extremely well done). Featuring situations, characters, and locations from throughout the entire Star Wars Saga, writer Michael Price captures the spirit of the franchise with a story is filled humor, adventure, and a surprise guest or two.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 03, 2010 2 comments
In the English countryside resides a small village bordering a mystical land which can only be reached by climbing through a wall. Young Tristan (Charlie Cox) crosses through in order to capture a falling star as a gift for a local hottie (Sienna Miller). Unbeknownst to him, in the parallel world the star is a corporeal being (Claire Danes) who's also smokin' hot. Soon thereafter Tristan learns his true destiny that will forever alter his life.

While the first act takes a little while to pick up steam this is a very entertaining movie. It reminds me of The Princess Bride because of the cute romance, adventure, and humor and in many ways is a superior film to the cult classic. The all star cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, and Peter O'Toole in important supporting roles. Surprisingly the film didn't receive a lot of press when it hit theaters in 2007 but holds up well on repeat viewings.

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Josef Krebs Posted: Sep 28, 2008 0 comments
Paramount
Movie •••• Picture •••• Sound •••• Extras ••••½

Apart from nailing the tone and look of the c

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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 24, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/state.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Washington, D.C., reporter Cal McCaffrey (Russell Crowe) stumbles into a cover-up that threatens to shake the nation's power structure when a congressman's aide dies in an apparent suicide and buried secrets come out in the investigation.

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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Jul 08, 2016 2 comments
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It’s been said that true genius is never appreciated in its own time. Some of the most brilliant minds in human history have challenged the status quo, pioneered their field, and changed the world with their groundbreaking ideas and their seemingly limitless creativity. But the flip side of that coin almost always meant that their personal eccentricities left a gaping void in their capacity for being likable human beings. The film Steve Jobs explores that theme at great length and begs the question: Just how much leeway should geniuses be allowed before we dismiss them as the douchebags they are?
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Ken Korman Posted: Oct 02, 2008 0 comments
Paramount
Movie ••• Picture •••½ Sound •••• Extras •••
Is America still not ready for a movie that address
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David Vaughn Posted: May 27, 2016 0 comments
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This is the true story of the rise of N.W.A., a Compton, California rap group who changed the musical landscape in the late 1980s with their blend of dope beats and hard-hitting lyrics about life in South Central L.A. Collaboration between Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Easy-E led to the hit release of Boyz in the Hood, which caught the ear of music manager Jerry Heller, who helped the group sign with Priority Records. Their first studio album, Straight Outta Compton, featured their controversial song “F*** the Police,” describing the reality of being a black man in L.A. in the 1980s.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Feb 14, 2007 0 comments

It's a big credit to this film that its subject matter is something that has not only been done, but been done very well many, many times. In fact, the film it reminded me the most of, in many ways, is the excellent if not great <I>Truman Show</I>. Yes, like that movie this one highlights the dramatic skills of a genius-level sketch comedy actor, only this time around it's Ricky Bubb-eee himself Will Ferrell. Instead of the being the unwitting subject of a reality TV show, Ferrell's Harold Crick finds that he's the subject of a novel being written by a self-and death-obsessed writer played wonderfully and obsessively by Emmma Thompson.

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David Vaughn Posted: Apr 21, 2017 0 comments
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What if Superman hadn’t been a good guy? Could the government do anything about it? After the events in Batman v Superman, members of the U.S. government are nervous that aliens and metahumans could wreak havoc upon the Earth at their whim and there would be nothing the human race could do about it. With this in mind, a covert government agent named Amanda Waller hatches a plan to use incarcerated supervillains to form her “Task Force X” in order to combat evil forces in the world. To control them, she has explosive devices implanted in their necks that will detonate if they decide to not follow orders. As circumstances have it, her team is needed shortly after it’s formed to battle an ancient villain named Incubus who has invaded Midway City.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Jul 16, 2015 3 comments
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Written and directed by silly-but-serious cynical genius Preston Sturges, Sullivan’s Travels starts out with a dark and gloomy film-within-a-film showing two figures battling on a train crossing a bridge, symbolizing labor grappling with management to their mutual destruction. But as soon as we get out of the screening room, things lighten up both visually and in mood, the movie becoming a bright, witty slapstick satire on Hollywood and a pretentious, self-important director, Sullivan (Joel McCrea). This auteur wants to make a sociologically and artistically meritorious picture with messages about grim death, war, and the suffering of the unemployed during The Great Depression but, coming from a privileged background, he knows nothing about trouble. So he decides to go looking for it by dressing as a hobo and drifting across America.

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