Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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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.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 07, 2022  |  2 comments
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With the theatrical re-release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture earlier this year, a new generation of fans has discovered its charms, thanks in large part to an extensive upgrade to the creator-approved Director’s Edition released on DVD in 2001 — the version personally overseen by director Robert Wise to better represent the movie the way he wanted to debut it back in 1979. But, now, a stunning new version of the film has emerged in the 2022 Director’s Edition, which presents this classic movie in 4K/HDR and Dolby Atmos for the first time.
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).
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 02, 2022  |  0 comments
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In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, co-written and directed by Tom Gormican, Nicolas Cage plays "Nick Cage," a fictionalized version of himself. Facing mounting expenses, dried-up roles, and struggling to take care of his daughter and estranged wife, the aging actor is forced to take a million-dollar gig in Mallorca, Spain to attend a birthday party for superfan Javi (Pedro Pascal). Javi turns out to be a dangerous mobster also trying to sell his screenplay and wanting to collaborate with Cage. All of which leads to the Oscar winner being enlisted by a CIA agent (Tiffany Haddish) to go undercover and spy on Javi to help the government bring down his criminal enterprise.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 26, 2022  |  1 comments
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These days you're not likely to see a Quentin Tarantino script directed by someone else, but there was a time when the young filmmaker-cum-video-store-clerk was raising funds to make his directorial debut (Reservoir Dogs) and sold True Romance, which was ultimately helmed by Top Gun's Tony Scott. The movie took a few years to find its audience—and current cult status—but is now hard to see it as anything but inspired and uniquely entertaining.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 12, 2022  |  1 comments
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Long before Lin-Manuel Miranda set the American Revolution to music, playwright Peter Stone and composer/lyricist Sherman Edwards gave us an entertaining history lesson of their own, set in 1776. An unpopular John Adams, poetic Thomas Jefferson, and impish Ben Franklin are focused on a future free of British oppression, despite the danger of such a declaration, but when the decision is made that such a vote must be unanimous, the challenge becomes much more difficult. While a far cry from the hip-hop beats of Hamilton, the songs here do a remarkable job of conveying facts and weaving a compelling story worth telling again and again.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 05, 2022  |  0 comments
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Those seeking an accurate account of notorious gangster Al Capone's downfall should continue their search elsewhere. But anyone wanting two thrilling hours of fact-influenced entertainment need look no further. Director Brian De Palma's artful take on Eliot Ness and his squad of incorruptible treasury agents on a quest to clean up Prohibition-era Chicago blends hard-hitting dialogue and career-best performances in an almost operatic tale of good versus evil.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jul 29, 2022  |  2 comments
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Along with Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's Baadassss Song, Shaft helped launch the Seventies era of so-called "blaxploitation" films that would dominate the world of Black entertainment for nearly a decade. Directed by prominent Black photographer Gordon Parks with Richard Roundtree in the title role and featuring a sizzling soundtrack by Isaac Hayes, Shaft didn't quite fit the mold of its subsequent ilk.
Roger Kanno  |  Jul 22, 2022  |  0 comments
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The Northman is a stylish, brutal, and satisfyingly well-made film about a Viking prince named Amleth whose uncle murders his father and kidnaps his mother. He swears vengeance against his uncle and after locating him years later, devises a plan to exact his revenge, even though all is not as it seems. Writer-director Robert Eggers' is also the man behind the critically acclaimed The Lighthouse, a psychological thriller that can be challenging to watch at times. This film, while a little less disturbing and more accessible to squeamish viewers, still has its fair share of gory violence and frightening imagery.

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