Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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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.
Mike Mettler  |  Sep 13, 2019  |  0 comments
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Oliver stone first heard The Doors while serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam in the late-1960s, and the impact of their music never left him. Amid much controversy, the Oscar-winning director brought his singular vision for The Doors biopic to middling box-office success in 1991. Though some disagreement lingers regarding particular story beats and extrapolated mythologizing, there's no denying Stone conveyed much of the perpetual mystique surrounding Doors frontman Jim Morrison with an altruistic eye.
Roger Kanno  |  Sep 06, 2019  |  0 comments
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Expectations for the release of Alita: Battle Angel, the long-awaited film adaptation of the Japanese cyberpunk manga series, Battle Angel Alita, ran extremely high, no doubt due to the high-profile names involved in its production. Co-written and co-produced by James Cameron and directed by Robert Rodriguez, it stars Rosa Salazar as cyborg-warrior Alita, with supporting performances by past Academy Award recipients Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, and Christoph Waltz.
Al Griffin  |  Aug 30, 2019  |  0 comments
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Set in third century A.D. China, Shadow tells the story of the uneasy truce held by the Pei and Yang kingdoms. Years earlier, the Pei kingdom lost possession of the city of Jing following a duel between Pei army commander Zi Yu and the formidable warrior Yang Kang. As the kingdom's debauched monarch aims to maintain power by acquiescing to Yang Kang, Zi Yu plots to retake the lost city, an objective carried out with the help of a lookalike his family has been grooming since childhood. Directed by Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers), a filmmaker known for his elegant visuals and bold use of color, Shadow's palette is mostly restricted to black-and-white and skin tones.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 16, 2019  |  1 comments
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There is simply no precedent for a cinematic event of this magnitude. Avengers: Endgame is not merely the latest installment in the Marvel canon, but one that builds upon all that has come before to complete story arcs begun as far back as 2008's crucial Iron Man. It also concludes the most recent dramatic "phase" in the 22-film series, and of course drops the other shoe from the 2018 Avengers set-up, Infinity War. And it does all of this with a deft touch, despite its plethora of fantasy characters and an absurdly brisk three-hour running time.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 09, 2019  |  0 comments
An unprecedented fusion of science fiction and horror, Alien burst upon the scene some 40 years ago in a spray of blood to the screams of audiences everywhere. Envisioned by artist H.R. Giger, realized by craftsman Carlo Rambaldi, and brought to life by performer Bolaji Badejo, the intruder of the title has remarkably little screen time, which only enhances his terror, Jaws-style, as he stalks the hapless crew of the spaceship Nostromo.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jul 12, 2019  |  0 comments
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The village of Berk is now the overcrowded home not only of our favorite Viking clan, now led by a grown-up Hiccup, but also a huge and motley assortment of friendly dragons. After they encounter a revived gang of dragon-hunters led by the ruthless Grimmel, Hiccup decides that their only solution is to evacuate Berk, where they're an obvious target, and search for a new home where they'll be safe.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 28, 2019  |  0 comments
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Intergalactic Kree warrior Vers (Brie Larson) is a total badass. And that might be the problem with the latest MCU solo outing, Captain Marvel. If the cryptic flashbacks of her former life are to be believed, she's always been tough as nails, even as a kid, so there's no real character arc—an essential component for Marvel superheroes.
Us
Chris Chiarella  |  Jun 21, 2019  |  0 comments
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With Get Out, his first film as writer/director, Jordan Peele introduced us to a refined new form of horror. He was the only filmmaker who could do justice to his Oscar-bound script, finding just the right tone and wringing that last bit of mood from every line, every shot, every performance. Now, with Us, he has raised the stakes, telling a deeper story on a much grander scale.
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.

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