BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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David Vaughn  |  Jul 01, 2018  |  0 comments
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A secret from her father’s past leads adventure-seeker Lara Croft on one of her greatest challenges. What she seeks to find is the Triangle of Light, a legendary artifact whose power to alter space and time happens only once every 5,000 years. Also in hot pursuit: the Illuminati, a secret society bent on world domination. Lara and her trusty tech-geek sidekick, Bryce, must do everything in their power to stop them.
Tom Norton  |  Jun 15, 2018  |  0 comments
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Darkest Hour shows the other side of the 1940 events depicted in 2017’s equally superb Dunkirk. The latter showed the evacuations that enabled the British army to survive, the former depicted how Churchill, taking the office of Prime Minister almost by default, navigated around the pacifists in his cabinet who wanted to negotiate a settlement with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. In doing so he cemented his status as arguably the most important national leader of the 20th century.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Jun 08, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 2014 wuxia film Brotherhood of Blades established the story of three members of an elite palace guard unit during the Ming Dynasty who must abandon their brotherhood and apprehend one of their own after he goes rogue, only to find themselves caught up in an even larger conspiracy. The Infernal Battlefield continues the story of these best-of-the-best guardsmen. It brings back much of the cast, but this is a standalone film that doesn’t require viewing the first to be understood.
Josef Krebs  |  May 25, 2018  |  0 comments
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The Foreigner, a superior action-thriller from Martin Campbell, the director of two of the best Bond outings ever—Casino Royale and GoldenEye—not only delivers both excitement and dramatic complexity but offers a surprisingly moving performance from its star, Jackie Chan. Presented in a Blu-ray of impressive picture and sound quality, it makes for memorable home theater.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  May 22, 2018  |  0 comments
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2010’s Saw 3D was ostensibly the final film in the popular horror saga. And then, lo and behold, a mere seven years later, the franchise was rebooted with Jigsaw. Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, the story finds the elaborate, gruesome Jigsaw killings mysteriously starting up all over again. As before, law enforcement is at a loss as to how the legendary serial killer Jigsaw—dead and buried!—could possibly be committing these nasty new murders. Meanwhile, as is the tradition with Jigsaw, a fresh group of victims has been ensnared in his intricate traps and forced to confess their own crimes or risk death.
Josef Krebs  |  May 18, 2018  |  4 comments
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Facing their own complete extinction due to extreme storms that are destroying whole cities, the world finally comes together, sending 17 teams of scientists and engineers to create a system, a series of satellites all controlled by a giant space station that can use an assortment of devices—super lasers, thermal missiles, freezing beams, etc.—to stabilize the weather. Naturally, someone’s gonna try to seize control of Dutchboy, as the system is known, and weaponize it to make himself president of an all-powerful country that will destroy its enemies and rule the planet.
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David Vaughn  |  May 11, 2018  |  0 comments
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In the late 1980s in the town of Derry, Maine, a young boy goes out to test a paper boat during a torrential rainstorm. Braving the elements, he places the boat in the gutter and runs alongside to watch its progress. Unfortunately, he’s too slow and watches it descend into the storm drain. He bends down to see if it’s lost forever and is surprised to see a clown staring back at him. Startled, he quickly jumps back.
Corey Gunnestad  |  May 04, 2018  |  0 comments
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The Mountain Between Us is part survival adventure and part love story within a compelling premise. Ben and Alex meet by chance at the airport; their flight has been cancelled due to inclement weather, and both have urgent need of reaching their destinations. Ben (Idris Elba) is a prominent neurosurgeon who is needed in surgery the following day, and Alex (Kate Winslet) is a photojournalist who's getting married in 24 hours.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  0 comments
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Remember those A Day in the Life of… coffee table books that gave us glimpses of Hollywood and the Soviet Union and the like over a single 24-hour span? Imagine that same dynamic applied to some carefully selected, human-free locales across the globe, and you start to get the idea behind Earth: One Amazing Day. This sequel to the 2007 nature documentary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, revealing visions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen before. (Giraffe smack-down!)
David Vaughn  |  Apr 20, 2018  |  0 comments
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Phil Connors, a TV weatherman from Pittsburgh, is dispatched to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover the annual Groundhog Day festivities where he’s teamed up with a young and annoyingly cheerful producer and a smart-aleck cameraman. With impending offers from other stations, Connors has short-timer’s disease and isn’t what you’d call a pleasant guy to be around. In fact, he’s a first-rate pain in the rear whom his coworkers want to spend as little time with as possible.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 13, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 1982 science-fiction opus Blade Runner remains an undeniable visual spectacle that fired the imaginations of many a viewer. While neither a bona fide critical or commercial success upon debut, it visualized a Los Angeles of the future beyond anything we’d seen before and set the stage for endless fan speculation that has led to five different studio-sanctioned cuts thus far. The sequel, 2049, was released to much of that same indifference. Thirty-five years coming, it still failed to generate a response befitting a cult franchise of this magnitude.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 06, 2018  |  1 comments
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England’s super-secret civilian intelligence agency, Kingsman, is dealt a devastating blow by a mysterious new enemy. It’s been one year since ballsy-yetcompassionate Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and his crew saved the world from an eccentric criminal mastermind, but with their resources and personnel all but eliminated, they must now seek the help of Statesman, their American counterpart. Together, this unlikely team travels the globe to uncover the truth behind the recent attack, as well as the details of another ruthless plot that could soon kill millions.
Josef Krebs  |  Apr 06, 2018  |  0 comments
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Young Mr. Lincoln is a biography that avoids dramatizing any major achievements or historical events that make up a person’s destiny. Instead, they are alluded to by visual metaphor, audio clues, or pieces of Civil War music. At a local fair, we see Lincoln judging a pie contest, having to choose between a Georgia peach and an American apple pie, winning a logsplitting competition by dividing the body in two, and helping a tugof-war team succeed by hitching their end of the rope to a wagon; all subtly stand in for Lincoln’s moral struggles with slavery, justice and rule of law, and the coming Civil War.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 02, 2018  |  3 comments
Haters be damned, Justice League is actually pretty good. I just wish it was great.

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The theoretically-can't-miss combination of DC's legendary "trinity" of heroes — Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman — has a far greater chance of failure when two-thirds of that crew is already on difficult footing. In the rightly reviled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, an irrational, homicidal Dark Knight (Ben Affleck) sets his sights on a mopey, defeatist Man of Steel (Henry Cavill), resulting in tedium and the sudden death of the Man of Steel. It did however introduce audiences to the new Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who has since captivated audiences with her own solo movie and who now elevates this team tale.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  2 comments
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In a not too distant future, the wealthy plunk down big bucks to enter Westworld, a Disneyland for adults populated by “hosts”—human-like A.I. androids capable of fulfilling their every desire. With a cast of A-list names such as Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris, this psychological, character-driven drama series goes beyond the gimmickry of its 1973 original to offer up a well-crafted exploration of what it means to be human as well as the blurred lines between good and evil and past and present. Could it be a replacement for Game of Thrones? Only time will tell.

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