Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 07, 2021  |  0 comments
It's been a strange year for the entertainment industry, with controversial showdowns involving streaming versus the in-theater experience calling the future of both into question. We continued to hear news of physical media's demise as well, yet here we are again looking at ten gift-worthy new regular and Ultra HD Blu-ray options.
Roger Kanno  |  Nov 26, 2021  |  0 comments
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The Fast & Furious franchise is going on two decades and showing no signs of slowing down with the 2021 release of F9: The Fast Saga and several sequels and spin-offs in the works.

Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 05, 2021  |  0 comments
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After making Return of the Jedi, Executive producer George Lucas was looking for fresh creative frontiers, and he would embark upon new cinematic collabs with previous and first-time cohorts. One such experiment was his team-up with mastermind Jim Henson for the family-friendly fantasy, Labyrinth. With a playful script by Monty Python alum Terry Jones, the story follows an angry teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) with a fondness for fairy tales.
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.
Mike Mettler  |  Oct 15, 2021  |  0 comments
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As someone nicknamed "Almost Famous" by the road crew of a band I've been embedded with on scores of their North American tours over the past two decades, I can attest firsthand to the accuracy of every backstage moment seen on unadulterated display in director/screenwriter Cameron Crowe's film of the same name. Indeed, Almost Famous is Crowe's love-letter depiction of his early/ mid-1970s zeitgeist years spent as a geeky teenage scribe desperately trying to act cool while seeking to chronicle the true essence of rock & roll and life on the road.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 08, 2021  |  0 comments
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Anyone seeking to make a horror sequel would do well to study writer/ director John Krasinski's A Quiet Place Part II. A magnificent expansion of the established characters and story, this film wastes nary a second, framing the narrative with a bit of new backstory before picking up immediately after the events of the 2018 original and taking us in bold, terrifying new directions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 24, 2021  |  1 comments
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In what will surely go down in history as a textbook example of a successful online campaign to release a much-wanted movie, the #releasethesnydercut movement ultimately convinced Warner Bros. to complete and distribute director Zack Snyder's original vision for his DC Comics Extended Universe ("DCEU") team-up flick, Justice League. Snyder's departure from the project during production led to the hiring of Joss Whedon to oversee final work on the movie for its November 2017 theatrical debut, writing and directing new scenes on the way to a two-hour cut. That version largely left audiences cold, particularly fans of Snyder's previous DCEU films, despite co-star Gal Gadot's wave of popularity from her Wonder Woman solo film a few months earlier.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 10, 2021  |  0 comments
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Movies can reveal a world mainstream audiences might not have been aware of, and in doing so they go beyond mere entertaining to offering actual enlightenment. Such is the case with Nomadland. Winner of 2020 Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Actress, the film depicts a culture of folks with little in the way of material possessions—really just a vehicle and a few incidentals—who relish their freedom and mobility as they roam this great land.
Josef Krebs  |  Sep 03, 2021  |  0 comments
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The messiah here is Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), preaching and gathering disciples to join him in his efforts to help feed and free the people. Judas is Bill O'Neal, the follower who's secretly working for the oppressive force—the Chicago PD and the FBI circa 1968, who see the BPP as more of a threat than the Russians or the Chinese.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Aug 20, 2021  |  0 comments
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It's the end of the world and Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) doesn't feel fine. He's unhinged and uneasy. He's been sleep- walking, waking up in the middle of golf courses, and experiencing waking daydreams. A jet engine has fallen from the sky and crashed into his bedroom and a giant rabbit named Frank is telling him the world will end soon unless he stops it. But how?
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  0 comments
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George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion premiered in London back in 1913. Loosely based on an ancient Greek myth, its plot involves a linguistics professor, Henry Higgins, teaching a bedraggled flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to speak proper English—not only well enough to pass her off as a duchess at an embassy ball, but to "get her a job as a lady's maid or a shop assistant, which requires better English!"
Chris Chiarella  |  Jul 30, 2021  |  0 comments
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Universal Studios needn't have advertised on Nobody's disc cover that it sprang from the mind of Derek Kolstad, writer of John Wick, since it's at its core the same movie. And that's not such a bad thing, since the erstwhile-enforcer-makes-a-violent-comeback formula is a winning one. This time the story lives or dies on the substantial charm of star Bob Odenkirk, who for the most part keeps his renowned comedic chops under wraps, instead allowing the humor to grow from the incongruity of suburban schlemiel Hutch's explosive and deadly skills.
Josef Krebs  |  Jul 16, 2021  |  0 comments
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As a kid in England in the late 1970s, I loathed director Mike Leigh's BBC TV dramas about what seemed like the drab lives of dull, ordinary people because they lacked the glamour and drive of Hollywood classics. Years later, I became enthralled with the pathos of universal pain and struggle shown in Leigh's Secrets & Lies, a microcosm of real relationships and feelings that is as moving and massively encompassing as any film I've seen.
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.
Al Griffin  |  Jun 18, 2021  |  0 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.

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