BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Mike Mettler  |  Sep 15, 2017  |  1 comments
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Much as 1955’s Rebel Without a Cause and 1969’s Easy Rider defined the youth-culture zeitgeist of their respective decades, 1977’s Saturday Night Fever deftly captured the me-decade essence of the 1970s, instantly catapulting John Travolta to the A-list in the process.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Sep 15, 2017  |  0 comments
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In 2002, Sony Entertainment kicked off the Resident Evil film series based on the popular zombie apocalypse video game of the same name. Fifteen years and five sequels later, the beleaguered franchise comes to a close… sort of. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is technically the last installment in the long-running series, but plans are already afoot to reboot the entire franchise and start over again from square one. The expression “beating a dead horse” springs to mind, but I digress.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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There have certainly been terrific comic book movies, but Logan is a terrific movie that just so happens to be inspired by comic books. The proper balance of story, character, and juicy action set pieces is an elusive one. (Think back to the disappointing first two solo Wolverine flicks.) But in his ninth and reportedly final portrayal of Logan, charismatic star Hugh Jackman— in the role that will surely define his career—is at the center of a remarkably original, powerful film.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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Director Bill Condon brings his experience adapting the Broadway smash Dreamgirls to this lavish, live-action reimagining of Disney’s 1991 Golden Globe–winning (Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical) animated film Beauty and the Beast. The CGI-laden visual spectacle stars the lovely Emma Watson as the titular beauty Belle who is imprisoned in a castle by an irascible prince cursed by a witch for his failure to aid her on a stormy night and forced to live life out as the Beast (Dan Stevens).
David Vaughn  |  Aug 25, 2017  |  0 comments
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When we last saw John Wick, he’d come out of retirement to take out the Russian mobsters who were responsible for stealing his prized muscle car and killing his puppy. In this well-made sequel, we are greeted by an angry Wick who’s still on the hunt for his Mustang Mach 1, which he finds in a local chop shop. Needless to say, Wick dispenses some brutal street justice on the thugs—and he does recover his car.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Aug 25, 2017  |  0 comments
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Unforgiven marked another turning point for Clint Eastwood and the Western genre. The deconstructed Western stars Eastwood as aged outlaw Bill Munny, who, after years of living a reformed life, is dragged back into his old ways. His wife has passed, and his pig farm is struggling, so an offer to avenge a brutalized prostitute is too much to pass up. He enlists his old running mate, Ned (Morgan Freeman), and they set off with the young “Schofield Kid” to collect the bounty.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 18, 2017  |  0 comments
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Chief among Lego Batman’s extraordinary feats is its ability to remain true to the dark essence of its enduring hero while weaving a family-friendly and wildly funny animated adventure. The backgrounds are littered with inside jokes and subtle bits of Batmania culled from the past eight decades.
Corey Gunnestad  |  Aug 18, 2017  |  0 comments
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For centuries, the Order of the Knights Templar has searched for the mythical Apple of Eden. They believe it contains not only the seeds of man’s first disobedience, but the key to free will itself. If they find the relic and decode its secrets, they will have the power to control freedom of thought. Only the brotherhood of the Assassins stands in their way…
Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  1 comments
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In a city of human-like animals (think Zootopia), Buster Moon, an ambitious koala theater owner, has fallen on hard times. He hasn’t had a hit in ages, when he suddenly has an inspiration: We’ll pack ’em in with a singing contest! When his loopy lizard assistant mislabels the announcement flyers to offer a $100,000 prize, hundreds of hopefuls show up for the auditions.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 11, 2017  |  0 comments
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Return to a time when “computers” were exceptionally intelligent, hardworking human beings who crunched the daunting numbers needed to advance the space program. Sadly, this was also an era of rampant sexism in this country, as well as deeply rooted racism, especially in the South where the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was headquartered. In 1961, Russian dominance in outer space put NASA at the heart of the Cold War.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 04, 2017  |  0 comments
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The year is 1942, and Max (Brad Pitt) is a Canadian working with British Intelligence deep undercover in French Morocco, teamed for the first time with Marianne (Marion Cotillard), a cunning operative for the French Resistance. Together they face incredible danger and the sad realities of the life they’ve chosen, only to fall in love. Back in England, they find themselves married with a child while the war still rages, but Marianne is suddenly the target of suspicion: Could this woman who has so dutifully risked her life in service to the Allies possibly be a spy for the Germans? With his entire family at stake, Max sets out to uncover the truth, a perilous journey with some unexpected, unwelcome twists.
David Vaughn  |  Aug 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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It was about ten years ago that BBC debuted their original Planet Earth on both Blu-ray and HD DVD here in the United States to much critical acclaim. Not resting on their laurels, the Planet Earth team went to work on their next project, appropriately named Planet Earth II. While 1080p was cutting-edge a decade ago, simple HD wouldn’t cut the mustard any longer since we are living in a 4K world that expects wide color gamut (WCG) and high dynamic range (HDR)—or at least readers of Sound & Vision do.
Avi Greengart  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  1 comments
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The opening scroll of the original Star Wars states, “Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.” If you ever thought, “Hey, I’d like to see a movie version of those 17 words,” Rogue One is for you. There’s plenty of plot-driven action, minimal character development, and ample fan service. It’s certainly entertaining. Wisecracking droid K-2SO in particular is terrific. However, the movie is anchored by the serious theme of sacrifice. If you’re looking for a jaunty kiddie flick, try a different Disney movie.
Josef Krebs  |  Jul 28, 2017  |  0 comments
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Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea is a story of ordinary folk who are sideswiped by life. Lee is a stiff working as a janitor-handyman in Boston, his inexpressive, glum detachment occasionally interrupted by outbursts of anger or self-punishing bar fighting. After his brother, Joe, dies due to a heart condition, Lee travels back to his hometown of Manchester to break the news to Joe’s teenage son, Patrick. While awaiting the funeral—which cannot take place until the ground thaws in the spring enough to allow the grave to be dug—Lee discovers that Joe has named him as Patrick’s legal guardian.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 21, 2017  |  1 comments
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Onboard the starship Avalon, thousands of passengers and crew are bound for a new colony on a distant planet. They’re in suspended animation for the 120-year journey. But passengers Jim Preston and, later, Aurora Lane are awakened 90 years too soon—and the pods can’t be reconfigured to put them back to sleep.

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