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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 12, 2010 Published: Dec 13, 2010 2 comments
Looking to gain the title of "World's Greatest Villain," Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) adopts three orphans in order to steal a shrinking machine from his nemesis, Vector (Jason Segel). What he didn't count on was the three girls changing his outlook on the world and he'll stop at nothing to protect them.

The marketing campaign for this film stunk and I had no desire to see it in the theaters (and neither did my kids) but was willing to give it a try on Blu-ray. Surprisingly there's a touching story behind the fantastic animation as the villain becomes the hero and discovers he does have a heart buried beneath his evil exterior.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 15, 2010 1 comments
A group of five strangers are stranded in an elevator high above Philadelphia. When the lights go out, something bad is bound to happen and in one particular case, someone dies. The building's security guards call the police and Detective Bowden (Chris Messina) comes to investigate the murder but is the Devil the culprit?

This is the first in a series of thrillers dubbed "The Night Chronicles" produced by M. Night Shyamalen based upon his stories. Overall, this is a middling affair that feels more like a TV episode than a feature film and I didn't find the story scary or very thrilling. Then again, I've said the same thing about most of Shyamalen's films since The Sixth Sense.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 27, 2010 0 comments
Tim (Paul Rudd) is a rising executive who can fast-track his career by participating in his boss's exclusive dinner party, at which the winning executive brings the biggest buffoon. Enter Barry (Steve Carell), an IRS agent with a unique hobby of creating dioramas with dead mice.

What passes for a successful comedy these days make me question my sense of humor, but I actually enjoyed this one. Rudd and Carell have great chemistry, and thankfully the elaborate dinner party is a very small part of the story with the screenplay concentrating on the budding relationship between the two leads.

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David Vaughn Posted: May 03, 2010 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/dirty.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>While vacationing in the summer of 1963 with her family, 17-year-old Baby (Jennifer Grey) is drawn to the staff quarters by stirring music and meets rebellious Jonny (Patrick Swayze), the hotel dance instructor, who is as experienced as Baby is na&#239;ve. Oh the possibilities.

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 15, 2010 6 comments
A high-tech retelling of Charles Dickens' beloved tale about a penny-pinching Scrooge (Jim Carey) and his encounter with three ghosts who take him on an eye-opening journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

It's a story that's been told countless times throughout cinematic history but Robert Zemeckis puts his own spin it and delivers a technological marvel that bored the hell out of my family. The story can easily be told in under an hour but the 95 minutes felt like nine hours, especially when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I'm surprised the film received a PG rating due to some scary images of the ghost's visits. Regardless, the beautiful animation couldn't make up for the shortcomings of the screenplay.

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David Vaughn Posted: Sep 14, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/earth.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>This is the story of three animal families on a journey across our planet&#151;polar bears, elephants, and humpback whales. Follow a mother bear and her two cubs as they search for food, a herd of elephants as they trek to water-rich lands, and a whale and her calf as they journey to the Antarctic.

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David Vaughn Posted: Dec 23, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/d9.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>In the early 1980s, an alien spaceship hovers over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, and shows no signs of life. After waiting six months for contact, the government decides to cut into the vessel to see what's inside, and it finds the alien crew starving and malnourished. The local authorities set up a refugee camp for the aliens, and over the span of nearly 30 years, their numbers grow to over 1.8 million. Now what?

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David Vaughn Posted: Nov 12, 2014 0 comments
Set sometime in the future in a world devastated by war, a group of human survivors has fortified the city of Chicago as their home base, and in order to keep the peace, they have separated the populace into five distinct groups based upon their personality traits. Candor is for those who seek the truth, Erudite is the intellectuals, Amity is for peace, Abnegation is for the selfless, and Dauntless is filled with thrill seekers who also serve as the security for the community. When Tris comes of age and must choose her “career,” her aptitude test shows her not fitting into one group. She is a Divergent (think square peg going into the round hole), and in the supposed utopian society, this causes problems—and all hell is going to break loose.
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David Vaughn Posted: Jul 03, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/dothing.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>Spike Lee's 20-year-old masterpiece depicts the racial tensions in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, but the film has aged well. While not as polished as a day-and-date release, this catalog title features outstanding color saturation, excellent detail, clear dialog, and a great surround-sound demo scene in the third act right before all hell breaks loose. Sure, the subject matter is heavy and thought provoking, but it looks and sounds fantastic too!

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David Vaughn Posted: Jun 30, 2009 0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/dothing.jpg" WIDTH=200 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>It's the hottest day of the year in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. As the thermometer rises, so do tempers in the racially charged atmosphere. Local Italian pizza man Sal (Danny Aiello), proprietor of Sal's Famous, runs the restaurant with his two sons and employs Mookie (Spike Lee) as their delivery boy. When local radical Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito) takes umbrage with the restaurant's lack of "brothers" on its "wall of fame," all hell breaks loose when the businessmen are pushed too far and the police must intercede.