Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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Roger Kanno  |  Jun 14, 2019  |  0 comments
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Black Hawk Down concerns an ill-fated U.S. Army Ranger and Delta Force mission on the streets of Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993. The story can be difficult to follow at times with its large cast of characters, but it's still effectively told. Made in collaboration with über-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Ridley Scott, Black Hawk Down definitely does not want for production values and is a well-crafted, straight-ahead drama.
Chris Chiarella  |  May 17, 2019  |  0 comments
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If your crystal ball predicted that someday the writer/director of There's Something About Mary would take home an Academy Award for Best Picture, let's hope you bet big and didn't smash the thing. Peter Farrelly's Green Book is an emotional smorgasbord, one that would no doubt be appreciated by its ever-famished "hero," Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen). He's a gleefully ignorant yet strangely lovable tough guy (what my people would call a cavone), albeit one who needs to learn a thing or two about race relations. Tony gets his chance when, on a hiatus from his job as a bouncer at The Copacabana, he's hired to chauffeur piano virtuoso Dr. Don Shirley (two-time Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali)—a black man—on a concert tour of the Deep South in 1962.
Roger Kanno  |  May 03, 2019  |  1 comments
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Bumblebee is the sixth entry in the live-action Transformers franchise, but for much of this film, the title character is the only robot that appears onscreen. Directed by Travis Knight, who previously directed Kubo and the Two Strings, it has its share of action scenes, but also makes an effort to be character-driven by exploring the relationship between Bumblebee and the teenage girl who discovers him, Charlie. Set on Earth in the 1980s, Bumblebee can be a little predictable and even a bit corny at times, but nonetheless remains thoroughly enjoyable throughout.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 19, 2019  |  1 comments
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An animated Spider-Man movie? In the midst of the character's latest live-action reboot? Using six different iterations of the character, all but one of which are only known to die-hard comic book fans? A direct-to-video tie-in, right? Wrong: Not only was Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a big-screen box-office success, it also snagged an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of 2018.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 12, 2019  |  1 comments
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Set mostly after the events in 2017's Justice League, Aquaman takes us back to the origin of reluctant amphibian hero Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa), and then to the present for a grand new adventure. We are introduced to men who would be king (including an angry challenger to the throne) and a hidden realm far beyond our own evolution. To keep things interesting, there's a high-tech pirate on our hero's tail, and a fellow Atlantean (Amber Heard) at his side who sports a shock of crimson hair worthy of The Little Mermaid.
Roger Kanno  |  Mar 22, 2019  |  1 comments
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Widows is a taught crime thriller directed by Oscar-winner Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), who co-wrote the script with author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl). Based on a British television series, it follows the lives of several women brought together by their husbands' criminal pasts and features an outstanding cast led by an intense performance from Viola Davis, with support from Daniel Kaluuya, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, and others. Told in a stylish and well-paced manner, Widows holds plenty of twists and surprises for the viewer. I found the movie to be thoroughly engrossing.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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Wreck It Ralph and his new BFF Vanellope have settled into a familiar routine—starring in their arcade games by day, playing other games after work, and hanging out later at Tapper's (root) beer joint. But Vanellope's Sugar Rush game breaks, and to find the part needed to fix it they sneak into a new WIFI portal at Game Central Station. It takes them to the totally unfamiliar world of the Internet, where chaos is inevitable given Ralph's natural talent for wrecking things.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 08, 2019  |  0 comments
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With his most recent film, First Man, Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle has managed to do something remarkable: take one of the greatest achievements in all humankind and render it as cold as space itself. Astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) sacrifices much and faces incredible challenges on his way to leaving those first-ever footprints on the moon.
Chris Chiarella  |  Mar 01, 2019  |  0 comments
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A Star Is Born manages to rise above the nigh-unavoidable clichés of the music drama genre through the sheer, undeniable force of Bradley Cooper's love of his craft. Were this not already the third remake of the 1937 film, the potential cinematic pitfalls of this tale of frustrated singer/songwriter Ally (Lady Gaga), who struggles amid the boozy, druggy stumblings of entrenched headliner Jack (Cooper) would still be many.
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 22, 2019  |  0 comments
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The indisputable success of Bohemian Rhapsody confirms what many of us have known for decades: Queen was one of the biggest rock bands in the world, and their late frontman Freddie Mercury was one of the singularly most polarizing and mesmerizing popular-music performers of the 20th century.
David Vaughn  |  Feb 08, 2019  |  3 comments
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Westworld: Season One ended in a cliffhanger with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) taking charge of the adult amusement park. Westworld: Season Two picks up shortly after this event with the puppet show now over and the liberated “hosts” coming after the humans for their own pound of flesh.
Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 07, 2019  |  1 comments
In part because it has now endured for 40 years, but also because it is the sort of thrilling cinematic entertainment we never seem to tire of, Superman has appeared on just about every home entertainment format, and deservedly so. The first comic book blockbuster, director Richard Donner's visually stunning epic stars Christopher Reeve as the only survivor of a brilliant but arrogant alien culture who finds his place in our world as a god-like protector.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 25, 2019  |  0 comments
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In a story so jaw-dropping it has to be true, rookie African-American cop Ron Stallworth (John David Washington), the only officer of color on the Colorado Springs police force, initiates an undercover investigation into the Ku Klux Klan amid tense race relations in the 1970s. His part is played over the telephone, and to perpetuate his ruse he is partnered with white officer Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Flip attends meetings in the guise of “Ron,” requiring the two men to coordinate their words and actions in order to present a unified front as they pretend to be a single hardcore bigot.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 18, 2019  |  0 comments
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Say what you will about controversial superstar Tom Cruise, his dedication to the big-screen Mission: Impossible franchise he launched in 1996 is nothing short of inspiring. Performing stunts that would give a professional thrill-seeker pause, he literally throws himself into his work with unparalleled zeal. For this sixth go-round, secret agent Ethan Hunt (Cruise) is in hot pursuit of terrorists out to tear down our world order, bad guys armed with an apocalyptic manifesto, and some nuclear weapons. Expect betrayals and frame-ups that force Ethan to go rogue...again.
Al Griffin  |  Dec 28, 2018  |  0 comments
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Director Stanley Kubrick's seminal sci-fi epic, co-written with author Arthur C. Clarke, takes the whole of human history as its subject—from the initial flicker of intelligent thought in hominids, to the present day where humans live with the assistance of computer-generated artificial intelligence. The film literally works as a space opera: long stretches pass dialogue-free with just classical music serving to enhance the hyper-realistic images of ships and passengers aloft in the cosmos. (2001: A Space Odyssey won an Oscar for best visual effects, the only one it managed to take home from the 1969 ceremony.)

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