Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  1 comments
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Onboard the starship Avalon, thousands of passengers and crew are bound for a new colony on a distant planet. They’re in suspended animation for the 120-year journey. But passengers Jim Preston and, later, Aurora Lane are awakened 90 years too soon—and the pods can’t be reconfigured to put them back to sleep.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Jan 05, 2018  |  0 comments
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I typically tend to bash films that rely on hackneyed plot devices and laughably implausible action sequences, and Disney’s latest escapade in their beleaguered Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is guilty on all charges. The entire series has anchored its plot lines to a host of supernatural elements like cursed pirates, leviathan sea monsters, and homicidal mermaids.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 29, 2017  |  0 comments
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The long-running Japanese franchise Power Rangers is rebooted in this 2017 film from director Dean Israelite and writer John Gatins. The somewhat camp story follows a group of teen misfits who uncover a collection of ancient artifacts and a buried alien ship; endowed with superpowers, the teens must muster their new powers and learn to work together to save the world. Power Rangers is hardly high art, and it never has been. The American version of the series was culled from stock Japanese footage edited together with new English-speaking scenes.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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Wreck It Ralph and his new BFF Vanellope have settled into a familiar routine—starring in their arcade games by day, playing other games after work, and hanging out later at Tapper's (root) beer joint. But Vanellope's Sugar Rush game breaks, and to find the part needed to fix it they sneak into a new WIFI portal at Game Central Station. It takes them to the totally unfamiliar world of the Internet, where chaos is inevitable given Ralph's natural talent for wrecking things.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  0 comments
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How many more movies and TV shows will simulate virtual reality to tell a “thought-provoking” story about the fate of society? I gave up on Netflix’s Black Mirror because I could not bear another tale of VR gone awry, but Ready Player One brings the pedigree of Steven Spielberg, plus Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel. How could it miss?
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 09, 2019  |  0 comments
An unprecedented fusion of science fiction and horror, Alien burst upon the scene some 40 years ago in a spray of blood to the screams of audiences everywhere. Envisioned by artist H.R. Giger, realized by craftsman Carlo Rambaldi, and brought to life by performer Bolaji Badejo, the intruder of the title has remarkably little screen time, which only enhances his terror, Jaws-style, as he stalks the hapless crew of the spaceship Nostromo.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 22, 2020  |  2 comments
Enthralling in every way a movie can be, George Lucas' Star Wars (retconned as Episode IV: A New Hopein 1981) is simply one of the greatest achievements to ever hit the screen. A wildly imaginative yet classically inspired adventure, it has been entertaining audiences—and spawning prequels, sequels and spinoffs—since 1977.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 07, 2019  |  1 comments
In part because it has now endured for 40 years, but also because it is the sort of thrilling cinematic entertainment we never seem to tire of, Superman has appeared on just about every home entertainment format, and deservedly so. The first comic book blockbuster, director Richard Donner's visually stunning epic stars Christopher Reeve as the only survivor of a brilliant but arrogant alien culture who finds his place in our world as a god-like protector.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Sep 15, 2017  |  0 comments
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In 2002, Sony Entertainment kicked off the Resident Evil film series based on the popular zombie apocalypse video game of the same name. Fifteen years and five sequels later, the beleaguered franchise comes to a close… sort of. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is technically the last installment in the long-running series, but plans are already afoot to reboot the entire franchise and start over again from square one. The expression “beating a dead horse” springs to mind, but I digress.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Nov 10, 2017  |  3 comments
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Resident Evil: Vendetta picks up the mantle yet again for the Capcom strain of this popular video-game franchise. Sticking to the animé-oriented roots and offering some visceral action without the frenzied camera panning and ADD editing of the live-action The Final Chapter, the film brings together favorites from the franchise. Game characters Leon S. Kennedy (voiced my Matthew Mercer), Chris Redfield (Kevin Dorman), and Rebecca Chambers (Erin Cahill) battle wanted bioterrorist Glenn Arias (John DeMita), who plans to release a deadly virus in New York City as revenge for the government killing his wife.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 22, 2019  |  0 comments
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Few biopics could get away with recurring nonlinear narrative beats the way Rocketman does, but given the larger-than-life nature of its titular subject, Sir Elton John, the movie's storytelling trajectory makes perfect sense. Director Dexter Fletcher's unabashed commitment to occasionally mirroring those classic MGM musical moments of yore—with Elton's full blessing, of course—succeeds with much audio/visual aplomb.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 30, 2019  |  0 comments
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Set in third century A.D. China, Shadow tells the story of the uneasy truce held by the Pei and Yang kingdoms. Years earlier, the Pei kingdom lost possession of the city of Jing following a duel between Pei army commander Zi Yu and the formidable warrior Yang Kang. As the kingdom's debauched monarch aims to maintain power by acquiescing to Yang Kang, Zi Yu plots to retake the lost city, an objective carried out with the help of a lookalike his family has been grooming since childhood. Directed by Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), a filmmaker known for his elegant visuals and bold use of color, Shadow's palette is mostly restricted to black-and-white and skin tones.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 04, 2019  |  0 comments
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Marvel has undeniably defined the modern comic book movie universe. As a consequence, much of Shazam!, the latest effort from rival DC, feels clichéd, and not just by superhero standards. Good young protagonists facing adversity, otherworldly forces granting extraordinary abilities, bullies who ultimately get theirs— it's all here. Shazam! even borders on outright theft with an end credit sequence straight out of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  1 comments
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In a city of human-like animals (think Zootopia), Buster Moon, an ambitious koala theater owner, has fallen on hard times. He hasn’t had a hit in ages, when he suddenly has an inspiration: We’ll pack ’em in with a singing contest! When his loopy lizard assistant mislabels the announcement flyers to offer a $100,000 prize, hundreds of hopefuls show up for the auditions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 02, 2018  |  1 comments
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Solo: A Star Wars Story is simply a terrific movie. Fans of Harrison Ford's timeless take on the flawed-but-gallant smuggler should rightly rejoice as Han has been handily rejuvenated by newcomer Alden Ehrenreich in this well-conceived “origin” story. We learn all of the things we never knew we wanted to know about him, like where he got his name, his furry co-pilot, and of course the keys to the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy back when it was shiny and new.

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