Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jun 24, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Based on the Broadway musical from Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents, West Side Story involves two teenage gangs, one Anglo (the Jets) and the other Puerto Rican (the Sharks), that fight constantly over turf and ethnicity in the mean city streets of 1950s New York. When Jets-member Tony falls head-over-heels for Maria, the sister of a Shark, you don't need a roadmap to see where this will end up. Hint: Think Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 17, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
In The Matrix: Resurrections, Neo (Keanu Reeves) is a developer responsible for the most popular game trilogy, one that ponders what would happen if AI took over the world and we didn't realize it. In his everyday life, listless and disconnected, Neo is seeing a therapist called the Analyst (Neil Patrick Harris) who has been prescribing him blue pills so he can get his head right. Turns out that Neo is back in the Matrix and he doesn't know it, but he can feel it. Thankfully, people are trying to rescue him. They also stumble across something new in the Matrix, called "modals," where incidents from Neo's past are being replayed over and over, but the outcomes are slightly different each time.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 27, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The title of Le cercle rouge is derived from a Buddhist proverb about people coming together in fateful encounters—a theme pertinent to recently released convict Corey (Alain Delon) who crosses paths with escaped suspect Vogel (Gian-Maria Volonte). Along with alcoholic ex-cop Jansen (Yves Montand), they team up for a big-franc jewel heist—sophisticated for its time—unaware that determined detective Mattei (André Bourvil) and his snitches are on their trail. While similarities inevitably exist, anyone expecting the visceral intensity of a more recent Heat or a Reservoir Dogs will be in for a surprise.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 20, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
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.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 06, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Nostalgia--that "twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone" as Don Draper famously explained it--can be a potent ally to the modern filmmaker. With its risky and highly publicized meta-twist (which I won't spoil here, just in case), Spider-Man: No Way Home managed to complete director Jon Watts' arachno-trilogy on an epic scale, capping not only this story arc but one far grander, much as Avengers: Endgame did for the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 29, 2022  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Let's get right to the point: This new RoboCop boxed set gets my highest recommendation. For starters, director Paul Verhoeven's cheeky tale of a crimefighting cyborg is still thrilling, still funny, and still uniquely satisfying.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 22, 2022  |  0 comments
The Godfather, 175 mins.
Picture
Sound
Extras
The Godfather: Part II, 201 mins.
Picture
Sound
Extras
The Godfather: Coda, 158 mins.
Picture
Sound
Extras

The Godfather still kills. At a recent theatrical re-release marking the 50th anniversary of the first film in the series adapted from Mario Puzo's bestseller, I witnessed the audience hanging on every emotional nuance set forth by director Francis Ford Coppola. Once the highest-grossing film of all time, this operatic tale of the Corleone crime family boasts bigger-than-life characters doing despicable things, spouting irresistible dialogue, and backing it up with copious violence. Part II is both prequel and sequel, with characters new and old seen through a fresh lens in another grand story: the "origin" of Don Vito Corleone, interwoven with son Michael's attempted business expansion into pre-Castro Cuba. Part III was reimagined and recut as Mario Puzo's The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone in 2020. While improved over past versions, it's by far the weakest of the lot, an outlier and a vain attempt to recapture past glory.

Roger Kanno  |  Apr 08, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
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.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Apr 01, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
As young Alma and Pedro Madrigal flee from war in their native Colombia, Pedro is killed. Alma clutches their children as a magic candle appears, smiting Pedro's killers and promising endless magical gifts for the Madrigal family—as long as the candle burns. Alma and her children settle in a small village where the candle creates an enchanted Casita (home) for them.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
One of the most sensual movies I have ever seen, The Piano owes much to Holly Hunter's central depiction of the voluntarily mute Ada, who communicates through her music (she tickled her own ivories for the role), through sign language, and through her remarkably expressive face. A single mother dispatched with her daughter from Scotland to New Zealand for an arranged marriage, Ada soon finds herself the unwitting target of the affections of an unexpected admirer, igniting love, lust, and no small measure of understandable jealous rage.
Roger Kanno  |  Mar 11, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho starts off a little slowly, but like many of the director's previous films (Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Baby Driver), it oozes style. The story centers around Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie), a talented fashion design student who is transported back to the 1960s in her dreams where she witnesses scenes from the life of an aspiring young singer, Sandie (Anya Taylor-Joy). Along with her dreams, Eloise has increasingly frightening visions where Sandie's life is beginning to spiral downward. Through her dreams and visions, Eloise ultimately learns the fate of Sandie and those around her in London's Soho District during the 1960s.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 04, 2022  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
When you're all-in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you take the good with the bad, and Jack Kirby's lesser-known 1970s comic book has yielded the latter. With Eternals, we are introduced to a diverse team of never-aging otherworldly protectors, each with a different superpower, who are tasked with defending humanity from some nasty creatures.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Feb 18, 2022  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Frank Herbert's Dune had turned into a sort of creative graveyard for filmmakers over the years, causing the beloved sci-fi novel to be labeled unadaptable. The first attempt was made by Alejandro Jodorowsky, who started his adaptation in 1974, working with artists including H. R. Giger, Chris Foss, and Jean "Moebius" Giraud for set and character designs, resulting in over 3,000 storyboard sketches.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 11, 2022  |  1 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
Daniel Craig's fifth and final outing as the world's most famous secret agent (umm...) is a fitting farewell to an era that saw old-school spy James Bond struggling to find his place in the contemporary world. That's no small task when his reputation as a gun-toting, martini-swilling, two-fisted womanizer precedes him, and so the plots often revolve around his apparent unsuitability for the job of protecting England and the rest of the planet—before he proves the haters wrong, of course.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 28, 2022  |  0 comments
Once the Ultra HD Blu-ray disc format showed that it had legs, one question I found myself regularly being asked was, "When is The Criterion Collection going 4K?" The esteemed boutique label certainly didn't rush in, but by the end of 2021, fans and collectors were offered four premiere releases: Citizen Kane, Menace II Society, Mulholland Dr., and Uncut Gems.

Pages

X