Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 20, 2020  |  2 comments
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The true story of sports car designer Carroll Shelby and driver Ken Miles' partnership with the Ford Motor Company to challenge legendary Ferrari and perhaps win racing's ultimate test of endurance, the 24 hours of Le Mans, is can't-miss Hollywood gold. While not quite a David v Goliath tale—we learn that cash-strapped Ferrari was something of an underdog—the results here are a heartfelt ode to cars, speed, second chances and next chapters, and good old American ingenuity.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 31, 2021  |  0 comments
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Guy is an NPC (non-player character) in the hit video game, Free City. He "lives" a happy but chaotic life as the game's active player characters, identifiable by their sunglasses, ravage the city. The NPCs simply go about their business as best they can in the only world they know.
Al Griffin  |  Jul 20, 2018  |  0 comments
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Rewatching Game of Thrones, this time on Ultra HD Blu-ray, so many years after first entering Westeros, that fictional realm conjured up by fantasy writer George R.R. Martin, is an experience akin to visiting an old friend—and a crime scene. As the series unfolds, and its extensive cast of characters get introduced, there’s an uncomfortable pang that comes from knowing what hellish circumstances these men, women, and children are about to endure. The first episode marks the first time you hear “winter is coming” uttered. The statement is tossed off casually and doesn’t land with much impact. But it does leave a certain chill in its wake. These poor folks don’t know the half of it.
Roger Kanno  |  Jun 25, 2021  |  0 comments
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Gattaca tells the story of a future where genetically engineered humans are provided all the benefits of an advanced civilization while those that are genetically inferior are relegated to more menial jobs and not afforded the same opportunities as society's elite. Ethan Hawke plays Vincent, an "in-valid" who takes on the identity of one of the genetically elite, Jerome (Jude Law), to realize his dream of becoming a navigator at Gattaca, a prestigious space exploration corporation. The film moves slowly, but with stylish cinematography and excellent performances, it holds up well nearly 25 years after its initial release.
Roger Kanno  |  Dec 24, 2020  |  0 comments
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Mamoro Oshii's beautiful and unsettling anime film, Ghost in the Shell, has been released on Ultra HD Blu-ray to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Based on Masamune Shirow's cyberpunk manga, the film explores themes of existence, and humanity in a technologically advanced world where people are cybernetically enhanced or have their bodies entirely replaced by cybernetics. One such cyborg is the film's protagonist, Major Motoko Kusanagi, who questions her own reality as she battles with the mysterious Puppet Master who hacks not only computers, but also humans.
David Vaughn  |  Dec 15, 2017  |  2 comments
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In a world where people are enhanced with technology, Major (Johansson) is rescued from near death, or so she believes. Her cybernetic implants make her the first of her kind as she fights criminals with an upper hand, but things are not always what they seem to be. She begins to have visions of her past and starts to believe that the corporation that “saved” her is actually trying to control her. She makes it her personal mission to unravel her mysterious past and find out what truly happened.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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Glory is the 1989 Oscar-winning film (Best Supporting Actor, Denzel Washington) from director Edward Zwick that follows the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment—the Union Army's second African-American regiment in the American Civil War—led by white Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick).
Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  1 comments
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As the first film to launch the MonsterVerse, a "cinematic universe" featuring enduring monster movie icons, this 2014 reboot of the Godzilla franchise set the template for several movies to come, including Kong: Skull Island and the late-pandemic sensation, Godzilla vs. Kong. Here's the deal: After escaping a nuclear weapons assault (cloaked by authorities as a "nuclear test") in the 1950s, Godzilla went deep underground.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 17, 2019  |  0 comments
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If your crystal ball predicted that someday the writer/director of There's Something About Mary would take home an Academy Award for Best Picture, let's hope you bet big and didn't smash the thing. Peter Farrelly's Green Book is an emotional smorgasbord, one that would no doubt be appreciated by its ever-famished "hero," Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen). He's a gleefully ignorant yet strangely lovable tough guy (what my people would call a cavone), albeit one who needs to learn a thing or two about race relations. Tony gets his chance when, on a hiatus from his job as a bouncer at The Copacabana, he's hired to chauffeur piano virtuoso Dr. Don Shirley (two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali)—a black man—on a concert tour of the Deep South in 1962.
David Vaughn  |  Apr 20, 2018  |  0 comments
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Phil Connors, a TV weatherman from Pittsburgh, is dispatched to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities where he’s teamed up with a young and annoyingly cheerful producer and a smart-aleck cameraman. With impending offers from other stations, Connors has short-timer’s disease and isn’t what you’d call a pleasant guy to be around. In fact, he’s a first-rate pain in the rear whom his coworkers want to spend as little time with as possible.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  0 comments
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In a world of seemingly infinite crappy sequels, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is worthy of special praise for getting so much right. While delivering another dose of the irreverent humor and hybrid-fantasy action that made the first film so popular, it also cultivates the themes and plot lines so that the two volumes fit seamlessly, telling an epic story.
David Vaughn  |  Jul 07, 2017  |  0 comments
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One of the bloodiest battles in World War II happened on Okinawa in 1945, and it definitely wasn’t the place you wanted to be if you didn’t carry a weapon. But for conscientious objector Desmond Doss, this wasn’t an option. While he believed the war was justified—which is why he volunteered—his personal belief was that killing was wrong and he wasn’t going to be a party to it. He was in the war as a medic, and he was there to save lives, not take them. And save lives he did—75 of them over the course of one night when he was stuck behind enemy lines.
Roger Kanno  |  Apr 08, 2022  |  0 comments
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Halloween Kills, the twelfth film in the Halloween franchise, picks up immediately following the events in the 2018 reboot of the original film of the same name. These latest entries were directed by David Gordon Green with a third installment, Halloween Ends, also to be directed by Green, planned for release later in 2022.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 20, 2022  |  0 comments
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Adult-skewing animation wasn't a new genre by 1981 (thank you, Ralph Bakshi), but was the world at that time ready for Heavy Metal? Inspired by the illustrated fantasy publication of the same name, this R-rated feature film served up a disparate series of sex-and-violence-filled short stories, loosely held together by the presence of a deadly mystical sphere called the Loc-Nar. Since each issue was an anthology, with assorted tales from a variety of creators, the range of dramatic tones and visual styles here perfectly captures the spirit of the magazine.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 26, 2018  |  0 comments
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Like its sci-fi counterpart, the horror film genre is packed with “cult classics.” But there are only a few horror titles that can lay claim to “classic” film status. Universal Monsters films from the 1920s through the 1950s notwithstanding (see Boxes of Joy on page 28), my list is limited to The Shining, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, Halloween, and Carrie.

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