Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 22, 2023  |  0 comments
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My fondness for Bob's Burgers extends all the way back to the first episode in 2011. The writing and performances are on par with the very best sitcoms, the animation has a style all its own, and they've kept us hooked on the lovably losery Belcher clan through week after week of uproarious antics.

Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 14, 2023  |  0 comments
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Michael Mann's preeminent crime thriller somehow eluded wide audiences in 1995 but has since become an absolute classic of the genre. As he did with Thief several years prior, the writer/director goes deep into the world of career crooks, imparting specific tricks of the trade while revealing the perpetrators as utterly no-nonsense individuals. We can't dismiss them as heartless—their attempts to establish or maintain relationships yield much of the film's fascinating character drama—yet they are incredibly dangerous, willing to kill without hesitation as needed.

Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 31, 2022  |  0 comments
Reservoir Dogs, 99 mins.
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Pulp Fiction, 155 mins.
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When an immensely talented young screenwriter with something to prove fights to make his movie his way—and wins—every once in a while, we get a Reservoir Dogs. Quentin Tarantino's auspicious directorial debut is rough and raw and all the better for it, the story of a heist gone wrong and the rat in the criminals' midst, with copious amounts of blood spilling and bodies piling up as plans spin wildly out of control.
Ralph Potts  |  Dec 16, 2022  |  0 comments
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As a film enthusiast and writer, I often find myself involved in discussions revolving around what are my favorite films, and what I consider to be The Best Film of All Time. Neither question can be simply answered, however there is no doubt that Casablanca will always be a part of the conversation.
Roger Kanno  |  Dec 02, 2022  |  0 comments
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It may not be the equal of his holiday classic masterpiece, It's a Wonderful Life, but Frank Capra's black comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the great comedies of American cinema. Adapted from Joseph Kesselring's play of the same name, it stars Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, a recently married writer whose honeymoon plans with his wife (Priscilla Lane) are sidetracked by a series of macabre incidents when he visits his doting aunts and eccentric brother.
Tom Norton  |  Nov 25, 2022  |  0 comments
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The War of the Worlds was a huge movie hit in 1953, based loosely on H.G. Wells 1898 classic novel of an invasion from Mars. We're at the center of the action during our military's initial encounter with the Martians' unstoppable machines (the latter very different from Wells' tripod conception). Later we're trapped in a trashed farmhouse and get a frightening glimpse of a live Martian. In a gripping conclusion, the Martians appear on the verge of total victory.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  0 comments
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Technically not a "non-stop thrill ride" (it's a classy commuter vehicle so passengers need to board and disembark periodically), Bullet Train is nonetheless a rousing, violent and quite funny adventure. The story moves as fast as the locomotive itself, indulging themes of fate, luck and revenge as an errand boy (Brad Pitt) dealing with a midlife crisis runs afoul of assassins and international crime syndicates, all of them circling a high-value briefcase while the clock counts down to their ultimate destination.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  1 comments
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Someone once posited that the way to gauge the quality of a sequel is to plot the delta—better or worse—from the movie that spawned it. Employing that metric, Top Gun: Maverick might be the best damned sequel that I've ever seen.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 04, 2022  |  0 comments
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What becomes an iconoclast the most? Some pop culture icons stand the test of time (The Beatles, The Godfather), while others only capture the zeitgeist of the era/movement they oh-so perfectly served (Strawberry Alarm Clock, we hardly knew ye!).

And then there are those larger-than-lifers who ride the sine wave of the popularity index, depending on which way the cultural-acceptance winds are a-blowing at any given moment.

Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 28, 2022  |  0 comments
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Chucky, the possessed plaything who would go on to become one of the premier icons of late 20th-Century horror, got his start right here in this 1988 outing. When a dying serial killer with a fondness for the occult transfers his soul into the only vessel available—the hot new talking doll on display at a toy store—little Chuck winds up going home with a single mom and is soon in the hands of a cherubic six-year-old boy.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Oct 21, 2022  |  0 comments
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Writer-director duo Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, known for their work on Awkwafina Is Nora from Queens and Swiss Army Man, collaborate on this mind-bending and surreal actioner. Michelle Yeoh plays middle-aged Chinese immigrant Evelyn Wang whose family owns a coin-operated laundromat.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 14, 2022  |  0 comments
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Before comic book adaptations became their own industry, this earnest action-comedy take on Lowell Cunningham's lesser-known creation became a runaway hit, spawning a popular movie, TV and merch franchise. These supremely discrete "MIB" government agents monitor the comings and goings of Earth's rather frequent alien visitors, maintaining peace through secrecy. Their newest recruit, Jay (Will Smith), needs to step up when a particularly nasty creature lands with ill intent for the galaxy, and Jay's winning chemistry with his world-wearier partner, Kay (Tommy Lee Jones), combined with many highly imaginative sight gags, yields plenty of laughs. At a brisk 98 minutes--the plot was cleverly streamlined after negative test audience feedback--Men in Black is definitely a fun re-watch.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 26, 2022  |  1 comments
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Subtitle it, Let It Breathe. When The Beatles: Get Back initially aired across three consecutive nights on November 25, 26, and 27, 2021 on the Disney+ streaming platform, it was, to say the least, a cultural phenomenon. Not only did Get Back grant a new generation access to many of the sights and sounds required to understand the full scope of the ongoing impact of The Fab Four to this day, but director Peter Jackson's almost-8-hour docudrama also served as a redemption of sorts for the lingering, decidedly mixed reactions to the 1970 band documentary directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Let It Be.
Roger Kanno  |  Sep 16, 2022  |  2 comments
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Paul W.S. Anderson's Event Horizon was neither a critical nor commercial success upon its theatrical release in 1997 but found popularity and new life, first on DVD and then on Blu-ray with multiple releases over the years. The film is now enjoying a 25th anniversary Steelbook release on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray. Set in 2047, the story follows a crew of astronauts sent on a mission to rescue a spaceship, the Event Horizon, seven years after it goes missing while on a top-secret mission to test a gravity drive that would give it the ability to travel faster than the speed of light.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 09, 2022  |  0 comments
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On the way to cooking up the all-time great spaghetti western, Sergio Leone began here with Rawhide star Clint Eastwood, eager to break out of his "white hat" TV persona and take his craft and career to the next level. Together they birthed an anti-hero who would become known as The Man with No Name, indelible and ultimately at the center of For a Few Dollars More (also new to 4K) and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (released last year).

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