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David Vaughn  |  Jun 03, 2014  |  0 comments
After securing victory in the Hunger Games the previous year by sticking the finger to President Snow by threatening suicide, Katniss and Peta must leave their homes and loved ones behind in order to embark on the Victory Tour through the districts. As they travel around the various locales, Katniss begins to sense a rebellion is afoot and believes she’s the unlikely inspiration for the movement. Still, Snow gets the last laugh by announcing a special 75th Hunger Games that will pit previous winners against each other in a winner-take-all showdown in a made-for-TV event that will be a winner in the ratings—take that, Everdeen!
Avi Greengart  |  Jul 29, 2016  |  0 comments
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2 is actually the fourth installment in the Hunger Games trilogy. Splitting the last book of a series into two movies can allow for complexity (i.e., Harry Potter), but here it should have been avoided. Part 1 is mostly filler, and even Part 2 has some pacing issues. If you’re new to The Hunger Games, start at the beginning. Of all the teenage dystopian movie series, this one is the best conceived: Underlying the action and drama, it’s a believable look at PTSD and the personal cost of brutal dictatorships. It also has, by far, the best acting.
David Vaughn  |  Jul 09, 2015  |  0 comments
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ended with Katniss being rescued from the Hunger Games arena, leaving Peeta behind. Wracked with survivor’s guilt, she finds herself in the mythical District 13, reuniting with her little sister, mother, and best friend, who somehow escaped District 12 after the Capitol and its nefarious President Snow bombed it into oblivion following Katniss’ escape. District 13 is ready to go on the offensive against Snow and his cronies, but they need Katniss’ rebellious and inspiring message to unite the other districts in the uprising, and it’s up to Plutarch Heavensbee to enhance our heroine’s image for the masses.
David Vaughn  |  Jan 13, 2017  |  0 comments
Charlize Theron is back as the evil Queen Ravenna, who betrays her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) with an unthinkable act of cruelty leading to her path down the dark side of magic; like Elsa from Frozen, she possesses an icy power. She heads north to train an army in order to conquer the realm, with one caveat: They are forbidden to fall in love, which is exactly what happens to Eric and Sara, leading to Freya going postal on her most treasured Huntsmen.
Sol Louis Siegel  |  Jul 30, 2008  |  0 comments
Movie •••½ Picture •••• Sound •••• Extras ••••
David Vaughn  |  Apr 22, 2010  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/imaginarium.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In exchange for extraordinary powers, Doctor Parnassus (Chrstopher Plummer) makes a deal with the Devil to turn over any child he fathers when they turn sixteen. But as his daughter Valentina's (Lily Cole) birthday approaches, a mysterious stranger (Heath Ledger) arrives with the power to change everything. Does the good Doctor risk everything and make another deal with the Devil?

Anthony Chiarella  |  Jul 02, 2015  |  0 comments
Arguably, no single individual did more to win World War II than Alan Turing. By cracking the Nazi Enigma code, it is estimated that the genius mathematician shortened the war by two years and saved 14 million lives. So, why isn’t he a household name? Father of the computer, Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) worked in Britain’s top-secret Bletchley Park, and his achievements were classified for over 50 years. The Imitation Game tells the story of Turing and his fellow code-breakers fighting the clock—and each other—in a race to win the war. Cumberbatch is transcendent as the antisocial, self-absorbed Turing, while Keira Knightley gives her best performance to date as his collaborator and confidante, Joan Clarke. (Both were nominated for Oscars.)
David Vaughn  |  Oct 24, 2008  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/incrediblehulk.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) scours the Earth for an antidote to the unbridled force of rage within him: The Hulk. But military mastermind General Ross (William Hurt) wants to control this power and will stop at nothing to capture Bruce to obtain the secret contained in his blood. In desperation, the general unleashes a nightmarish beast of aggression whose powers match the Hulk's own: the Abomination (Tim Roth).

David Vaughn  |  Apr 11, 2011  |  0 comments
Once one of the world's top crime fighters, Bob Parr (a.k.a. Mr. Incredible) fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But 15 years later, he and his wife Helen (the former Elastigirl) have been forced to take on civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs. Itching for action, Mr. Incredible gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment.

Pixar has quite a track record with its films, and this is one of their best. I love how they take something from our society (rampant personal injury lawsuits) and weave it into a story about superheroes that can no longer practice their craft because someone gets a sore neck when being saved from certain death! The cast is brilliant here with Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter as the husband and wife crime fighting team along with Samuel L. Jackson as Lucius Best/Frozone.

David Vaughn  |  Mar 01, 2010  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/inform.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In 1992, Archer Daniels Midland (AMD) divisional president Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) became the highest ranking whistleblower in US history when he accused his company of price-fixing schemes with its worldwide competitors. Instead of leaving the company, Whitacre stays on the inside and helps the FBI gather evidence by wearing a wire and videotaping secret meetings in order to build the government's case against the greedy executives. Unfortunately for Mark, he wasn't as smart as he thought.

David Vaughn  |  Jun 19, 2009  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/theint.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>With an intelligent script but sour ending, <i>The International</i> is another outstanding video encode from Sony. Using a mixture of 35mm and 65mm film, it showcases how great Blu-ray can look with meticulous attention to detail. The audio isn't as good as the video, but one scene in particular stands out in this regard and features one of the best gun battles I've viewed in the past couple of years.

David Vaughn  |  Jun 17, 2009  |  First Published: Jun 18, 2009  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/theint.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT><i>Interpol agent Louis Salinger (Clive Owen) is determined to expose an arms-dealing ring responsible for facilitating acts of terrorism around the globe. But as his investigation leads Salinger and his partner, Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Eleanor Whitman (Naomi Watts), deeper into the secret world of greed, corruption, and murder, they become targets of a deadly conspiracy so vast, they soon find the only people left to trust are each other.</i>

Joel Brinkley  |  Apr 09, 2007  |  0 comments

The Interpreter is a "diplomatic thriller," if such a thing is possible. And, having been a diplomatic correspondent for several years, I can tell you, the thrills, on the rare occasions they can be found, are wholly intellectual. And so it is with this movie. It offers a long, long windup to a fairly tame denouement.

David Vaughn  |  Jan 13, 2010  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/invention.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In an alternate reality in which lying doesn't exist and everyone speaks the truth and nothing but the truth with no worry of hurt feelings. When one man (Ricky Gervais) suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds it has its rewards. A new world of fame and fortune opens up but he steadfastly refuses to fib his way into the heart of the woman he loves. Can he get the girl on his own merits?

David Vaughn  |  Aug 03, 2008  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/redoctober.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Jack Ryan is the central character in 12 of Tom Clancy's novels about the CIA analyst. When the debut book, <i>The Hunt for Red October</i>, hit the silver screen in 1990, a relatively unknown actor, Alec Baldwin, starred as Ryan in what was to become the first of many adaptations from the successful literary series. But a combination of factors&#151;a new studio head at Paramount, some bad press about Baldwin and Kim Basinger on the set of <i>Marrying Man</i>, and the availability of superstar Harrison Ford, led to the replacement of Baldwin in <i>Patriot Games</i> and <i>Clear and Present Danger</i> with Ford in the lead role.