BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 29, 2018  |  0 comments
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Following his introduction to Marvel’s well-established “Cinematic Universe” in Captain America: Civil War, the beloved Spider-Man has been fully rebooted (again) in the wildly enjoyable Homecoming. Decked out in a new high-tech costume, he’s eager for big adventures, but until then, he occupies himself as a local do-gooder in his Queens neighborhood—when not attending high school. Young star Tom Holland is a perfect fit for Peter Parker and his alter ego, an agile dancer/athlete with an irresistible wide-eyed enthusiasm.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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It’s time to remind everyone what a big deal Terminator 2: Judgment Day still is. The action/adventure genre underwent a serious evolution in the ’80s, and by 1991, to be taken seriously, T2 had to be bigger and better than anything that had come before.

And it was.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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Less than three weeks after the Germans invaded France in May 1940, the British Expeditionary Force found themselves backed up against the English Channel. The evacuation that followed sought to rescue over 300,000 British and French troops using a combination of British warships and hundreds of “little boats.”
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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Director/Producer Steven Soderbergh is an admirably free thinker, a true creative with an eye on the future of filmmaking. He’s very particular about the projects he chooses, emerging from pseudo-retirement to direct his latest, Logan Lucky. Made largely outside the Hollywood system he walked away from, it still managed to score some A-list talent on a modest budget, with James Bond and Kylo Ren likely welcoming the opportunity to play against type, as a down-on-his-luck explosives expert and a goodhearted sad-sack, respectively.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Mar 16, 2018  |  1 comments
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The dramedy action film American Made from director Doug Liman (Swingers, Edge of Tomorrow) is based on the true story of airline pilot Barry Seal (played here by Tom Cruise), who in the late 1970s was recruited by the CIA to become a drug runner for the Medellin cartel in Central America. Seal eventually became a key figure in what would turn out to be one of the biggest political scandals in the following decade, the Iran-Contra “gate.” While this might sound like heavy material, American Made is far from a heavy film.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 09, 2018  |  1 comments
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War for the Planet of the Apes concludes a trilogy that began with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011. It tells the story of Caesar, from a nascent, intelligent ape to the leader of a band of smart simians. Humankind here has been nearly wiped out, with the survivors fighting to retain their freedom and humanity. In a twist from the classic 1968 original, however, the humans here are the villains, and the apes, fleeing the remnants of an army led by an obsessed, Ahab-like colonel, are the heroes. We’re driven to root for the Apes, from the story’s beginning to its near-biblical conclusion.
John Sciacca  |  Mar 09, 2018  |  0 comments
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Bringing Stephen King novels to the big screen is always fraught with conundrums, the expansive detail not often translating well to film. Condensing the eight Dark Tower novels into a single sub-100 minute movie seemed especially ambitious. The Dark Tower screenwriters plucked bits and pieces from the series, beginning in the middle and crafting a tale from there.

Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  1 comments
David Leitch is known mostly as a stunt coordinator on big action films like Tron: Legacy, but for Atomic Blonde he steps behind the camera as the big man in charge to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel series The Coldest City by Antony Johnson and Sam Hart. The movie is fairly dripping in neon and ’80s nostalgia. Charlize Theron stars as sexy Cold War MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, tasked to go into East Berlin and work with embedded station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) in order to find a sensitive dossier.
Avi Greengart  |  Mar 02, 2018  |  1 comments
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Valerian is director Luc Besson’s passion project: He wrote and directed it based on a French comic book he loved as a child. It’s also the most expensive independent film ever, with a budget of around $180 million. It’s quite the spectacle, and the plot—involving displaced aliens amidst a multi-species space station—could be a reasonable foundation for a sci-fi adventure or sci-noir procedural. Unfortunately, the acting, character development, and dialogue are simply terrible. Ironically, the only believable character is a shape-shifting burlesque dancer played by Rihanna.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Feb 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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In the original Cars, from 2006, hotshot racecar Lightning McQueen learned to be a gracious winner but a winner nonetheless. In Cars 2, Pixar learned that they could produce a less than sparkling sequel. Now, in Cars 3, the second Disney-Pixar property to produce a threequel (after Toy Story 3), McQueen is getting older, losing his edge, and suffering both losses and trash talk from newer, sleeker, faster racers. But he goes back into training, gets up to speed (so to speak), and is on the verge of motoring back to the top when….OK, you don’t expect spoilers, do you?
David Vaughn  |  Feb 23, 2018  |  0 comments
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Being a bodyguard is a tough business, but Michael Bryce was at one time considered the best, earning him the distinction of being a triple-A executive protection agent. Unfortunately, if you lose a client, your life will take a turn for the worse, which is exactly what happened to Bryce when he wasn’t able to successfully protect a distinguished Japanese client. Two years have gone by, and in order to make a living, he’s resorted to protecting second-class clients—like lawyers.
David Vaughn  |  Feb 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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This is the classic story of boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl wakes up one day and realizes she loves boy and can’t live without him. Will daddy approve? Not likely since the boy comes from the group that daddy is trying to wipe off the face of the Earth, so the young couple must overcome long odds to live happily ever after. Although there’s a twist here that you don’t often see—the boy is a zombie who can’t even remember his name other than it begins with an R.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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Sometimes even Batman can’t go it alone. When Poison Ivy teams with an evil alien plant-man for a scheme that could doom every human being on the planet, he first turns to Nightwing (sidekick Robin, now all grown up), but even that’s not enough. Their best hope of stopping these baddies in time is to team with Ivy’s lone confidante, Harley Quinn.
David Vaughn  |  Feb 09, 2018  |  0 comments
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A dangerous crime wave hits the beach as legendary Lt. Mitch Buchannon leads his squad of lifeguards on a mission to prove you don’t have to wear a badge to save the day—despite being told to keep away from the trouble by both the police and his boss. Along for the ride are a trio of new recruits including former Olympian Matt Brody, who made the cut because of the positive PR he will bring to the team. To find the mastermind, the team must break some rules, go undercover, and put their careers in jeopardy to keep the beach safe from nefarious business interests.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Feb 09, 2018  |  2 comments
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Forget about the Mummy movies starring Brendan Fraser, which kicked off in 1999 and launched their own spinoffs. This version of The Mummy is in fact a reboot of Universal’s vaunted Classic Monsters franchises of the 1930s onward. Although it is meant to be a horror flick, this Tom Cruise vehicle directed by Alex Kurtzman—known more for his writing on TV series like Hawaii Five-0 than for directing—is less about horror than it is about big action set pieces.

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