3D Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 15, 2016  |  0 comments
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Ant-Man begins in 1989 as genius inventor and industrialist Hank Pym achieves a major success in a revolutionary shrinking technology that can reduce a man to the size of an ant while increasing his strength a hundredfold or more. But he hides his accomplishment and resigns from his company to keep the development from falling into the wrong hands. As we jump to the present, his protégé, Darren Cross, is now the head of the company and close to the success that Pym secretly achieved in 1989.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 18, 2015  |  0 comments
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Sequels can be a tough nut. Age of Ultron is of course the follow-up to 2012’s The Avengers, but along the way, there were four other Marvel Universe movies that apparently need to be acknowledged here, coupled with the laborious task of tying in TV series and setting up movies yet to come. Throw in too many characters and some extraneous subplots, and the result is a sequel more exhausting than entertaining.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  0 comments
The monthly announcements of upcoming Criterion releases often list films I can’t pronounce, let alone recognize. But in truth, the esteemed specialty label splits its attention between lesser- known cinema and popular movies, and this recent Blu-ray menagerie holds a pair of Oscar-winners, an enduring 1985 hit, and a singular genre classic.
David Vaughn  |  Jun 23, 2017  |  0 comments
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Director Ang Lee’s middling story really isn’t the reason to force your way through this film; it’s the innovative photography that’s worth your time. Lee shot the film at 120 frames per second, which is a perfect multiplier of the UHD Blu-ray’s 60 fps and Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D’s 24 fps, so it made it easy on Sony to release the film on multiple formats and into theaters.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 25, 2013  |  0 comments
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Young Merida may be a princess in the misty highlands of Scotland, but she isn’t happy with her lot. She wants only to practice her horsemanship, archery, and all other manner of un-princess-like behavior. Her father is delighted, but her mother is beside herself and arranges for the neighboring clans to vie for Merida’s hand in marriage. Our heroine, however, isn’t all that thrilled by the idea—and even less by the suitors. Fleeing into the woods, Merida stumbles upon a witch and has her cast a spell to make her mother change. Her mother does change, but unfortunately not exactly as Merida intended.
David Vaughn  |  Jan 26, 2011  |  1 comments
As a war rages between men and kings and kings and god, the battle amongst the gods is the one that could ultimately destroy the world. Hope rests with Perseus (Sam Worthington), son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), who was raised as a man and sets off on a hazardous journey deep into forbidden worlds to avenge the death of his family and defeat Hades before he can seize power from Zeus and unleash hell on earth.

With only a 29% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I had extremely low expectations. I wouldn't consider the movie a classic, but it's a hell of a lot of fun and features adequate acting, a compelling story (revenge is a dish best served cold), and tons of action, especially compared to the slow-paced original from 1981. There's an occasional line of cringe-inducing dialog, but the positives far outweigh any negatives and even with a second watching I found myself drawn into the story.

Thomas J. Norton  |  May 23, 2014  |  1 comments
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In 2009’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, ace boy inventor Flint Lockwood had clearly bitten off more than he could chew with his latest invention, a device that produced food from water vapor. Dubbed the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator (or FLDSMDFR—pronounced “fldsmdefer”), it inundated his island home of Swallow Falls with a tsunami of edibles. Now the town has been evacuated, and Flint, his dad, his pals, and the rest of his fellow townsfolk have been moved to San Franjose, California, where Flint takes a job as a fledgling inventor at Live Corp.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  0 comments
1010sdsoft.cloudymeat.jpgFlint Lockwood has been obsessed with science and inventing since grade school. He lives on an isolated island that has long since lost its vitality when the sardine trade, its major industry, went under. But Flint has a plan that could change all that, with the Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator, or, as Flint puts it, FLD SM DFR (flid sim difur) for short. It turns water into food.

The invention accidentally rockets into the stratosphere, where it remains fixed over the island, soaking up the plentiful water from passing clouds. Soon hamburgers begin to fall from the sky, complete with all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun. And that’s just the beginning. At first it’s manna—or at least Big Macs—from heaven, but things quickly spiral out of hand. The town’s ambitious mayor starts living large in more ways than one and turns the town into an all-you-can-eat cruise ship buffet.

David Vaughn  |  Jan 15, 2011  |  2 comments
Eleven-year-old Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning) has just moved with her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) to a new home in Oregon. With her parents distracted by work and no one to play with except an annoying boy, Wybie Lovat (Robert Bailey Jr.), she spends her time visiting her older neighbors. When she convinces herself that her new home is the most boring place on earth, she uncovers a secret door that leads to a parallel world much like her own—but much better. Is the grass greener on the other side or is it all an illusion?

Pixar has changed the way animated films are made, but the days of stop-motion are far from over as director Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas) proves with this visually stunning and wildly entertaining tale of a young girl in search of attention. One caveat—this isn't really a kid's movie. There are some intense sequences in the "other world" that may frighten younger viewers, so a prescreening is recommended for parents with young children.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 26, 2010  |  0 comments
1010sdsoft.coraline.jpgCoraline Jones is a lonely little girl. She has just moved into a creepy old house, has no real friends, and her parents are so preoccupied with their work on a gardening catalog that they have no time for her. But she soon discovers a small, papered-over doorway in the living room. It leads to another universe—similar to her own but different in important ways. Her “other” parents in that universe are devoted to satisfying her every whim. Her only new friend there doesn’t talk much (actually, not at all), the neighbors who share the old, subdivided house are fascinating rather than merely eccentric, and everything is colorful and fun.

All is not what it seems. Coraline is, at its core, a bloodless horror story. Much like the recent computer-animated film 9 (the first post-apocalyptic sock-puppet movie, and another dynamite audio/video transfer), it gets under your skin in ways that animated fare rarely does and could seriously frighten young children. It also uses stop-motion animation as refined by stop-motion expert Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas, Monkeybone, James and the Giant Peach).

David Vaughn  |  Jan 19, 2011  |  0 comments
Looking to gain the title of "World's Greatest Villain," Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) adopts three orphans in order to steal a shrinking machine from his nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel). What he didn't count on was the three girls changing his outlook on the world and he'll stop at nothing to protect them.

The marketing campaign for this film stunk and I had no desire to see it in the theaters (and neither did my kids) but was willing to give it a try on Blu-ray. Surprisingly there's a touching story behind the fantastic animation as the villain becomes the hero and discovers he does have a heart buried beneath his evil exterior.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 12, 2014  |  0 comments
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When we last saw Gru, our slightly dorky but lovable and (in his own mind) super-villain, he had softened up thanks to the trio of meet-cute orphans. Gru is now happily domesticated, has renounced his bad-guy role, and has converted his villain’s lair into a production facility for a range of delicious jams and jellies.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Mar 20, 2013  |  0 comments
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Alfred Hitchcock was a supremely gifted and innovative filmmaker and master of suspense…and a bit of a psycho in his own right, according to recent biographies on him. His films are the benchmark standard that nearly every suspense thriller since has taken its cues from. And in 1954, Hitchcock shot Dial M for Murder in the 3D format at a time when the novelty of 3D films was waning.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 30, 2017  |  1 comments
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Marvel explores its mystical side is in this mind-bending, psychedelic entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by Scott Derrickson. Benedict Cumberbatch plays brilliant but egotistical neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, who loses the use of his hands, and subsequently his career, when he crashes his supercar. Strange travels to Kathmandu seeking a supernatural cure for his injuries. There, an immortal sorceress, the Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), accepts him as her pupil, trains him in the mystic arts, and turns him into a powerful sorcerer.
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.

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