Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 28, 2017  |  0 comments
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Max is living a great dog’s life. But one day his owner brings home Duke, a huge, stray shaggy-dog from the pound. Duke makes himself at home, much to Max’s chagrin. But one day, when the apartment house’s loopy dog walker is distracted, both Max and Duke get into a tussle, break free, and end up lost in New York.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  0 comments
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In some dialect, perhaps the language of cinema itself, the name Kubrick must mean "atmosphere." That's abundantly evident in his chilling film adaptation of Stephen King's haunted hotel opus, The Shining. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring novelist with a dark past, takes the challenging job of caretaker for a remote luxury resort during the off-season, meaning that his incredibly indulgent wife (Shelly Duvall) and young son with a mysterious gift will be the only living souls for miles around until the spring thaw. Life there is pleasant enough at first, if a bit dull, until curious events begin to unfold.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 22, 2021  |  0 comments
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Serial killers. Cannibalism. A disturbing journey into the darkest recesses of the human psyche. The Silence of the Lambs has more than its share of horrors, yet, through it all, the movie tells the very personal story of FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster, nabbing a second Best Actress Oscar here). Haunted by loss and her guilt over a childhood failure, she seeks redemption in a high-profile missing persons case that requires her to work closely with notorious murderer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins, who netted a Best Actor Oscar). An outstanding piece of filmmaking in every way, Silence of the Lambs has transcended the thriller genre to become a genuine classic.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 21, 2022  |  0 comments
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Blurring the line between sequel, reboot and remake, The Suicide Squad fairly leaps off the screen with something too often conspicuously absent from the DC Cinematic Universe: a sense of fun. Written and directed by James Gunn after his famous firing from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy series (and before he was rehired), The Suicide Squad gleefully embraces excess in every way imaginable. It's rated R for its gore, language, and nudity, yet seldom misses an opportunity to pause and appreciate the absurdity of it all—a drastic tonal shift from its joyless 2016 predecessor, simply titled "Suicide Squad."

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 02, 2022  |  0 comments
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In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, co-written and directed by Tom Gormican, Nicolas Cage plays "Nick Cage," a fictionalized version of himself. Facing mounting expenses, dried-up roles, and struggling to take care of his daughter and estranged wife, the aging actor is forced to take a million-dollar gig in Mallorca, Spain to attend a birthday party for superfan Javi (Pedro Pascal). Javi turns out to be a dangerous mobster also trying to sell his screenplay and wanting to collaborate with Cage. All of which leads to the Oscar winner being enlisted by a CIA agent (Tiffany Haddish) to go undercover and spy on Javi to help the government bring down his criminal enterprise.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  0 comments
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Those seeking an accurate account of notorious gangster Al Capone's downfall should continue their search elsewhere. But anyone wanting two thrilling hours of fact-influenced entertainment need look no further. Director Brian De Palma's artful take on Eliot Ness and his squad of incorruptible treasury agents on a quest to clean up Prohibition-era Chicago blends hard-hitting dialogue and career-best performances in an almost operatic tale of good versus evil.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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With its childlike innocence and a universal charm that's born of its exquisite characters, The Wizard of Oz is likely the greatest family film of all time, the sort we may never see again. The adventure of a willful Kansas farmgirl transported to a strange, wondrous land is a heart-tugging journey of music and laughter that should continue to enthrall generations to come. There are 80 years' worth of observations for me to draw upon here, but I'll just go with this: Not enough can ever be said of Margaret Hamilton's turn as the gleefully, irresistibly, deliciously wicked villain.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 30, 2021  |  0 comments
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They are living amongst us, manipulating the entire human race, dominating us using hidden messages of obedience and rampant commercialism. Who they are and why they're doing it are less important than how we will expose them—and who will be brave enough to fight back. A down-and-out working-class hero and all-around good egg (Roddy Piper) stumbles across special sunglasses that block the oppressors' shenanigans and gives him a clear look at them…and he doesn't like what he sees.
Fred Kaplan  |  Aug 17, 2018  |  0 comments
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Forget the misguided moral and political complaints:Three Billboards is a masterpiece, a dark tale about grief, anger, and the inadequate cushions of community. It’s also funny as hell. Writer-director Martin McDonagh, an Irish playwright (two words that say much), has long explored Biblical themes through vernacular-profane language and deeply flawed characters (his best film until now,In Bruges, was basically about sin).
David Vaughn  |  Jun 05, 2020  |  6 comments
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One of my favorite movies from the 1980s, Top Gun stars Tom Cruise as Lt. Peter Mitchell, call sign "Maverick," a young hot-shot pilot picked to attend the prestigious "Top Gun" flight school and hone his air-to-air combat skills. Also appearing are Val Kilmer as "Iceman," Anthony Edwards as Maverick's RIO (radar intercept officer) "Goose," and Tim Robbins as "Merlin." Rounding out the cast is Kelly McGillis as Charlotte "Charlie" Blackwood, a civilian instructor who is an expert on Russian aviation.
Roger Kanno  |  Feb 05, 2021  |  0 comments
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Total Recall is a near-perfect mix of sci-fi action, plot twists, and the kind of warped tongue-in-cheek humor we expect from director Paul Verhoeven, delivered here with gusto by Arnold Schwarzenegger playing Douglas Quaid, a construction worker. More correctly, Schwarzenegger is Carl Hauser, a secret operative for the "Agency" who believes he is Quaid due to a memory implant. After being attacked by agents from the "Agency," Quaid escapes to Mars to aid the rebel independence movement and discover his true identity.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 20, 2019  |  0 comments
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On her first day at pre-school, Bonnie, the kid who received Andy's toys at the end of Toy Story 3, makes (literally) a new friend out of a discarded spork. She calls him Forky and he soon becomes her favorite toy. But that's just the first act. On a road-trip with Bonnie's family, cowboy-toy Woody reunites with his old flame Bo Peep. Bo, now a "lost toy," has acquired the skills of an action hero—a sort of RamBoPeep.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 14, 2017  |  0 comments
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There are many definitions of a troll, but as they appear here, in a form first conceived by a Danish woodcarver in 1959 (and subsequently as popular toys), they’re tiny, cute creatures with spiky, multicolored hair who do little besides sing, dance, hug, and party. The miserable Bergens, their enemies, believe that by eating a Troll they can be happy—at least for a day.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 26, 2022  |  1 comments
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These days you're not likely to see a Quentin Tarantino script directed by someone else, but there was a time when the young filmmaker-cum-video-store-clerk was raising funds to make his directorial debut (Reservoir Dogs) and sold True Romance, which was ultimately helmed by Top Gun's Tony Scott. The movie took a few years to find its audience—and current cult status—but is now hard to see it as anything but inspired and uniquely entertaining.
David Vaughn  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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It was about ten years ago that BBC debuted their original Planet Earth on both Blu-ray and HD DVD here in the United States to much critical acclaim. Not resting on their laurels, the Planet Earth team went to work on their next project, appropriately named Planet Earth II. While 1080p was cutting-edge a decade ago, simple HD wouldn’t cut the mustard any longer since we are living in a 4K world that expects wide color gamut (WCG) and high dynamic range (HDR)—or at least readers of Sound & Vision do.

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