BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella Posted: Oct 21, 2016 0 comments
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Dawn of Justice brings together the entire trinity of DC Universe heroes, arguably the most enduring characters of 20th-century popular culture. So where’s the thrill? The awe? The “wow,” dammit? Let’s focus on the expanded three-hour Ultimate Edition featured in this set, also available separately on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, along with director Zack Snyder’s other two DC forays, Man of Steel and Watchmen.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Oct 21, 2016 0 comments
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In Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (military code for, umm, WTF), Tina Fey plays real-life reporter Kim Baker who, tired of her stagnant career, accepts a three-month assignment embedded with the U.S. Marines covering the war in Afghanistan, much to the dismay of her boyfriend. As three months turns into four years, Baker meets a collection of colorful war correspondents, marines, and corrupt government officials, including a Scottish playboy (Martin Freeman) who becomes her love interest and a gorgeous rival reporter (Margot Robbie). But as she endures the almost surreal dangers and day-to-day activities of Afghanistan, she begins to realize that the place is having a negative effect on her perception of reality.
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David Vaughn Posted: Oct 14, 2016 0 comments
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With Erudite’s leader overthrown, Four’s mother is now in control of Chicago, and instead of getting on with their lives, it’s payback time for those who oppressed the people under the previous leadership. Tris wants no part of this, and she and Four lead a team of rebels on a daring escape beyond the wall where they face an even larger threat. Tris is then befriended by the mysterious leader, but Four’s spidey sense tells him to be on guard—and for good reason.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Oct 14, 2016 2 comments
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Dr. Strangelove is one of the great American films: not just a savage anti-war satire but a jeremiad against the mechanization (and resulting dehumanization) that spawned the nuclear-war machine and might turn a burst of insanity into the death of all life on the planet. (The film’s subtitle: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”) It was an amazingly daring movie for its time: early 1964, the peak of Cold War tensions, barely a year after the Cuban Missile Crisis, on the eve of escalation in Vietnam—and here’s Stanley Kubrick, joined by Terry Southern, author of Candy, The Magic Christian, and other naughty novels, portraying the top brass as mentally off, our political leaders as feckless, and the holy of military holies, the nuclear deterrent, as a Doomsday Machine. And it’s funny as hell!
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Avi Greengart Posted: Oct 07, 2016 0 comments
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The story of 10 Cloverfield Lane is revealed to the viewer slowly from the point of view of the protagonist, and the less you know upfront, the more effective this technique will be. The filmmakers agree: The trailers show little more than basic framing of the movie’s first act. Even the Blu-ray Disc menu doesn’t reveal anything, making this the rare disc that doesn’t ruin the movie’s climactic scenes before you even press Play. Describing the video and audio necessitates describing some plot elements, so before we get to that, what follows is a completely spoiler-free summary.
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Oct 07, 2016 0 comments
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It’s been 50 years now, and poor Mr. Spock still doesn’t have a captaincy. But fans of the Neverending Franchise like him just the way he is.

Or was. Or will be. Star Trek Into Darkness is the second installment of the “new” Trek saga. In the first, director J.J. Abrams cleverly (or alarmingly) rebooted the whole thing through some sort of time-warp, high-tech thingy. The Enterprise is now far more advanced, and some of the relationships are very different, particularly between Spock and Uhura.

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Guido Henkel Posted: Sep 30, 2016 0 comments
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Dirty-cop movies are nothing new, and for any film in the genre, it would be easy to simply reach for established tropes to tell the story. When you have an entire gang of cops that serves the Russian mob, however, things are almost certain to spiral out of control, and in Universal’s gritty action fest, Triple 9, they do so hard and fast.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Sep 30, 2016 0 comments
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It’s difficult to fathom that Alex Proyas, the director who gave us Dark City and The Crow, is the same director responsible for I, Robot and Gods of Egypt, but sure enough, he is. If the first two films were dark and foreboding, and I, Robot was a perfect visual effects popcorn movie, then Gods of Egypt is…what, exactly? Well, let’s say it’s a big special-effects movie, and that’s it. It certainly has Proyas’s style all over it, but it’s hollow inside.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 23, 2016 1 comments
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Following a dubious big-screen debut three years prior, the fate of the entire Star Trek franchise was at risk when The Wrath of Khan opened to somewhat skeptical audiences. They needn’t have worried: Khan essentially saved Star Trek from potential doom and has gone on to become probably the most beloved of the Enterprise’s cinematic adventures. This time out, a ship full of trainees—under a familiar command crew—get more than they bargained for when they embark upon one of the most dangerous missions any of them will ever face. Admiral Kirk (William Shatner) returns to active duty only to face Khan (Ricardo Montalban), a figure from his past now consumed by unreasoning hatred. Having recently acquired a dreadful weapon, Khan is a menace not only to his old adversary but to the galaxy at large.
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Chris Chiarella Posted: Sep 09, 2016 1 comments
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Truly, right from the opening credits, Deadpool lets the audience know that it is like no other comic book movie that has come before it. First-time director Tim Miller’s visual style is undeniably bold, while the humor tackles head-on virtually every cliché of the genre… then sets it on fire and pees it out. After the title character’s big-screen debut in the misfire X-Men Origins: Wolverine seven years ago, a complete overhaul was in order. The cinematic Deadpool is now a vastly more accurate embodiment of his persona from the page: irreverent, ruthless, yet possessing at least a little gold in that self-repairing heart.
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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 02, 2016 0 comments
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The film begins with the words, “This is a true story,” not based on one. The screenplay by Chuck Hogan (based on the book from Mitchell Zuckoff) steers mostly clear of the politics surrounding the attack and tells the story from the perspective of the people who were on the ground on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi. Regardless of the politics, four Americans lost their lives that night; Ambassador Chris Stevens, information officer Sean Smith, and two CIA operatives, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, both former Navy SEALs who were civilian contractors working out of a secret CIA annex near the U.S. diplomatic compound.
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David Vaughn Posted: Aug 26, 2016 0 comments
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Earth is being reshaped by mysterious alien invaders. Their first wave took out electricity, the second caused earthquakes and tsunamis, the third was a virus leading to mass death, the fourth is the invasion of the planet, and the fifth…you’ll have to see the movie—no spoilers from me!
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Thomas J. Norton Posted: Aug 19, 2016 0 comments
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Judy Hopps is an ambitious little bunny. Stuck in a zillion-rabbit town, she longs to join the police force. Topping her class at the police academy, and despite the misgivings of her conventional, veggie-farmer parents, she heads off to Zootopia, the Big Carrot in the film’s all-animal universe, to forge a career in the ZPD.
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Fred Kaplan Posted: Aug 12, 2016 0 comments
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Phoenix was one of the best films of 2015 (the U.S. release date): taut, nerve-racking, gorgeous in a lurid way. It has a Vertigo vibe, leaning heavily on Hitchcock’s German Expressionist influences, but marked with Angst of a more sociopolitical nature, as if the likes of F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang had shot films just after WWII instead of the two decades before. It begins with a woman, an Auschwitz survivor (played by Nina Hoss), entering a hospital for facial surgery to repair the damage done by brutal guards. She wants to look the way she did before, so her husband can recognize her. After the operation, she finds him waiting tables at a nightclub called Phoenix.
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Brandon A. DuHamel Posted: Aug 12, 2016 0 comments
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Director Wilson Yip returns to helm the third and ostensibly final installment in the Ip Man saga with Ip Man 3. As with the previous films, international star Donnie Yen returns to the role as wing chun legend Ip Man, and the film also, questionably, brings Mike Tyson on board as a ruthless and violent American real estate developer.

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