Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  0 comments
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In Ad Astra (Latin for "to the stars"), a curious mashup of 2001 and Apocalypse Now, new facts have recently come to light about the disappearance of a deep, deep space probe launched to find intelligent life in the cosmos. The commander was Cliff McBride (Tommy Lee Jones), the most decorated man in the history of the space program, and now his son Roy (Brad Pitt) is tasked with his own top-secret mission...
Roger Kanno  |  Jan 17, 2020  |  0 comments
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The titular characters in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw were introduced in earlier Fast & Furious films, but you don't have to know much about their backstories to enjoy this film, an extremely serviceable action-comedy that leans heavily on the charm and chemistry of its stars, Dwayne Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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Aging TV actor Rick Dalton (movie actor Leonardo DiCaprio) suspects that his career as he knew it might be over, and grapples with the vanity and insecurity that comes with such an uncertain future. He makes his living pretending to be a cowboy, in contrast with his best bud and stunt double/driver, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt, embracing his recent grizzle), who actually embodies the no-nonsense, two-fisted demeanor of a good old-fashioned horseman. Together, they navigate the show business landscape of 1969 in this nostalgic journey through the boulevards, backlots, and bars of La La Land.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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With its childlike innocence and a universal charm that's born of its exquisite characters, The Wizard of Oz is likely the greatest family film of all time, the sort we may never see again. The adventure of a willful Kansas farmgirl transported to a strange, wondrous land is a heart-tugging journey of music and laughter that should continue to enthrall generations to come. There are 80 years' worth of observations for me to draw upon here, but I'll just go with this: Not enough can ever be said of Margaret Hamilton's turn as the gleefully, irresistibly, deliciously wicked villain.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 20, 2019  |  0 comments
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On her first day at pre-school, Bonnie, the kid who received Andy's toys at the end of Toy Story 3, makes (literally) a new friend out of a discarded spork. She calls him Forky and he soon becomes her favorite toy. But that's just the first act. On a road-trip with Bonnie's family, cowboy-toy Woody reunites with his old flame Bo Peep. Bo, now a "lost toy," has acquired the skills of an action hero—a sort of RamBoPeep.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 03, 2019  |  0 comments
The time has come to not only celebrate the holidays, but also our favorite movies and TV shows, in high- or ultra high-definition, with Atmos sound (where available), and with extras galore. Once again, we invite you to sit back and peruse our picks of the year's most exciting boxed sets to give and to receive.
Al Griffin  |  Nov 29, 2019  |  0 comments
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Ari Aster's second feature—the first was 2018's thoroughly unnerving Hereditary—continues the director's preoccupation with family as a wellspring of horror. This time around, horrific familial events occur in the film's first fifteen minutes, and the main protagonist, college student Dani, ends up trailing her ambivalent, unsupportive boyfriend to a rural community in Sweden that's in the midst of celebrating Midsommar, a festival occurring only once every ninety years.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 22, 2019  |  0 comments
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Few biopics could get away with recurring nonlinear narrative beats the way Rocketman does, but given the larger-than-life nature of its titular subject, Sir Elton John, the movie's storytelling trajectory makes perfect sense. Director Dexter Fletcher's unabashed commitment to occasionally mirroring those classic MGM musical moments of yore—with Elton's full blessing, of course—succeeds with much audio/visual aplomb.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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The true superpower on display in the current Spider-Man franchise might be its irresistible charm. Marvel's beloved signature character has certainly had some Hollywood ups and downs, but in his most recent iteration he seems content to exist in the shadow of Tony Stark/Iron Man rather than stand truly alone. Add to that irksome choice an abundance of high school drama and perhaps an over-reliance upon comedy and big-screen Spidey is at risk of alienating longtime fans. Still, Spider-Man: Far from Home somehow manages to engage us from start to finish.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Nov 08, 2019  |  0 comments
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Keanu Reeves is back as the super-assassin with his faithful pooch still by his side in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum. Wick has a $14 million bounty on his head for killing top-ranking members of the High Table, the governing body of this underground legion of assassins. The entire population of super-killers is out to get him, and their bylaws allow no one to provide him sanctuary.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  0 comments
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In some dialect, perhaps the language of cinema itself, the name Kubrick must mean "atmosphere." That's abundantly evident in his chilling film adaptation of Stephen King's haunted hotel opus, The Shining. Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), an aspiring novelist with a dark past, takes the challenging job of caretaker for a remote luxury resort during the off-season, meaning that his incredibly indulgent wife (Shelly Duvall) and young son with a mysterious gift will be the only living souls for miles around until the spring thaw. Life there is pleasant enough at first, if a bit dull, until curious events begin to unfold.
Al Griffin  |  Oct 25, 2019  |  0 comments
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"The avant-garde art of the past becomes the wallpaper of the future." This statement, from a new introduction by Francis Ford Coppola contained on the Apocalypse Now Final Cut Ultra HD Blu-ray release, ultimately explains the acclaimed director's motivation to revisit his Vietnam War epic, ranked number 30 on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the 100 Greatest American Films, and create yet another cut after already having done so in 2001 for Apocalypse Now: Redux.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 04, 2019  |  0 comments
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Marvel has undeniably defined the modern comic book movie universe. As a consequence, much of Shazam!, the latest effort from rival DC, feels clichéd, and not just by superhero standards. Good young protagonists facing adversity, otherworldly forces granting extraordinary abilities, bullies who ultimately get theirs— it's all here. Shazam! even borders on outright theft with an end credit sequence straight out of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Sep 27, 2019  |  0 comments
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Glory is the 1989 Oscar-winning film (Best Supporting Actor, Denzel Washington) from director Edward Zwick that follows the true story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment—the Union Army's second African-American regiment in the American Civil War—led by white Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick).
Josef Krebs  |  Sep 20, 2019  |  0 comments
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Tensions, rivalries, banter, squabbling, self-aggrandizement, and, above all, putdowns add to the hot air on this day in the life of Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn as the 98 percent Black (down to 70 percent in the last census) community and small mix of Hispanics, Whites, and Asians try to get along during a sweltering summer.

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