BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Jul 01, 2016 0 comments
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Ever wonder what would happen if the meteorite that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth instead, enabling our prehistoric pals to evolve into the dominant animals on the planet, rather than man? Regardless of your answer, here’s The Good Dinosaur, a rare misfire from the esteemed Pixar gang. While we on the sofa are still wrestling with the ramifications of this bizarre setup, we’re introduced to a family of dino farmers: no, seriously, a pack of apatosauruses that harvests corn and plows the field with their blunt heads.
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Tom Norton Posted: Apr 09, 2007 1 comments

I'm not sure how you write a screenplay designed to show the origins if the CIA and its operations up to and including the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. But I'm reasonably certain that no one in Hollywood has an inside track to the straight story, despite research into volumes full of speculation and unverifiable leaks. The true history of the CIA and the details of its operation are not exactly found in the public library or on the Internet, and for good reasons.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 08, 2010 0 comments
Looking for a way to save their home from a group of developers, two brothers and their gang of "Goonies" embark on an adventure in search of One-Eyed Willy's hidden treasure. They get more than they bargained for when they cross paths with the Fratelli family, who are looking for a big score themselves.

1985 was quite a year for teen-centric movies—The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Back to the Future and of course, The Goonies. Four of the five are now available on Blu-ray and those of us who want to relive some of the classics from our youth get to do so with the best picture and sound quality available. This is a fun movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, and director Richard Donner gets the most out of the teenage cast.

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Fred Kaplan Posted: May 20, 2016 0 comments
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The Graduate is one of the great American films. It captured a spirit of the 1960s at its cusp, marked the screen debut of Dustin Hoffman (clearing the way for a new, more inclusive type of movie star), altered the nature and function of a movie-music soundtrack—and it’s just damn fine filmmaking. It’s the shrewd mixing of dissonant elements that made the movie so head-spinning in its day and so appealing still—a fairly conventional formula, sly angles on modern themes (empty materialism, alienated youth, sexual license), and raucous comedy done up in a stark, surreal mise-en-scène: Antonioni channeled through Second City, but deeply funny, not just satirical, and oddly moving, too.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Jun 12, 2014 0 comments
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After watching The Great Beauty in a theater, I wanted to watch it again, not to catch details I’d missed (there weren’t many) but to relive the experience. I can’t remember a film that so raptly captures the flow of life, the “fleeting and sporadic flashes of beauty” beneath the “blah-blah-blah” of existence, as our protagonist, Jep Gambardella, reflects in his epiphany. Jep (played by the marvelous Toni Servillo) is the king of Rome’s high society, the author of a celebrated novel who hasn’t written one since because he can’t find “the great beauty.” But, at the end, he realizes that life is full of great beauty when mediated through art, and so begins his new novel, which, we realize, is the film we’ve just seen.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 01, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/greatest.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Filled with drama and gripping rounds of golf, <i>The Greatest Game Ever Played</i> showcases a fabulous AVC encode and an immersive surround-sound experience. The video includes fantastic attention to detail in flesh tones, textures in clothing, and the many different green hues found on the Massachusetts golf course. The audio is just as impressive, especially with the crystal-clear dialog and superior ambience.

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 17, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/greatest.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Amateur golfer Francis Ouimet (Shia La Beouf) has a dream&#151;he wants to compete against the world's greatest player and his hero, Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane). With his poor background, this doesn't seem likely until a member of the prestigious country club where he caddies notices his talent and gives him the opportunity to play. When he qualifies for the 1913 US Open, his dream comes true as he battles his hero in one of the most defining moments in US golf history.

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Anthony Chiarella Posted: Oct 29, 2015 0 comments
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After assassinating Congo’s Minister of Mining in 2006, Jim Terrier (Sean Penn) must flee the country, leaving the woman he loves (Jasmine Trinca) to his friend Felix (Javier Bardem). Eight years later, Terrier returns, only to discover that he has become a target. Searching for answers as he struggles to stay alive, Terrier manages to either murder or precipitate the death of everyone he meets, including his closest friends. In the end, with the help of a clever Interpol agent (Idris Elba), Terrier learns that his former employer is trying to eradicate all evidence of the crime—including him.
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 17, 2009 0 comments
Two days before his wedding, Doug (Justin Bartha) drives to Las Vegas with his best buddies for a blow-out bachelor party they vow they'll never forget—only they did. When the three groomsmen wake up the next morning, their hotel suite is trashed, a couple of live animals have taken up residence, and the groom is lost. With little time to spare, they try to piece together the previous night and discover what happened to Doug and attempt get him back to L.A. in time for his wedding.
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Josef Krebs Posted: Aug 05, 2016 1 comments
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Two bounty hunters, a sheriff, and a prisoner walk into a haberdashery store… Such is the rambling setup of this old-dark-house-in-a-storm whodunit shaggy-dog story that writer-director Quentin Tarantino has turned into his meta-Western, The Hateful Eight. The colorful, gabby characters have been thrown together on a stagecoach heading for Red Rock, Wyoming, but are forced to take refuge from a raging blizzard in a log-cabin abode, stuck waiting it out with a rogue’s gallery of grizzled ragamuffins trustworthy as far as you can spit.
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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 21, 2011 0 comments

Dramas typically aren't demo-worthy showpieces, but this fabulous film features some stunning scenes with vivid color saturation and exceptional detail. The DTS-HD 5.1 audio track is no slouch, either, with spot-on dialog reproduction, but it certainly won't make your subwoofer break a sweat. The movie is set in the early 1960s at the height of the civil-rights movement in the South, and the costume and set design captures the era perfectly. Dreamworks/Touchstone delivers another demo-quality presentation.
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Shane Buettner Posted: Mar 03, 2007 0 comments

Got your blanket with you? I have barely a passing familiarity with Douglas Adams' <I>Hitchhiker's</I> series of books. So passing that I actually thought it was a single book, and only found out that it was first a radio creation and then a series of books, TV shows, and other media creations when I read the Wikipdia entry before writing this.

Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 05, 2013 1 comments
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Peter Jackson gave the world a beloved, wildly successful film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, culminating in a record-breaking Oscar sweep, so of course, he was the obvious choice to helm the Hobbit prequels. But whereas the Rings trilogy made a newbie like me love it with its epic thrills and fascinating characters, An Unexpected Journey seems to be in love with its own familiar world and everyone in it. We meet a younger Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit happily minding his own business when the wizard Gandalf drafts him for a dangerous quest.
Chris Chiarella Posted: Jun 13, 2014 0 comments
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Thorin, heir to the dwarf throne, is on a quest to reclaim his homeland and unite his people. But to do so, he’ll need to survive an onslaught of murderous Orcs, steal a vital stone back from an insanely powerful talking dragon, and overcome all manner of treachery along the way. Fortunately, he makes new allies in his travels, but while there’s certainly no shortage of characters in this middle chapter of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth epic, it dawned on me that none of them are especially compelling. With their numbers growing, we don’t really have the chance to get to know any of them.
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Corey Gunnestad Posted: Dec 04, 2013 0 comments
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In the not-too-distant future, life on planet earth is perfect. World peace has finally been achieved. There is no more war, hunger, disease, or environmental disaster, and humans live in contented harmony with each other. Sounds pretty cool, no? So what’s the problem?

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