Ultra HD Blu-ray Movie Reviews

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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.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 03, 2020  |  0 comments
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The date noted in 1917's title (April 6, to be precise) puts us well into World War I, when young Lance Corporal Blake along with his mate Schofield are dispatched from the Allied trenches with an urgent message. Some 1,600 soldiers, Blake's own brother among them, are heading into certain slaughter if new orders are not delivered to the commanding officer. And so, facing impossible odds, the brave duo embarks on a mission that could change the course of the conflict.
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.)
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  |  Aug 31, 2018  |  1 comments
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Directed by John Krasinksi (star of TV’s “The Office”) and produced by action film director Michael Bay, A Quiet Place is a curious mashup of sci-fi/horror and family drama. The world is under siege by alien creatures who are blind but have powerful hearing capability, which they use to locate human prey. To survive, a family at the story’s center of needs to remain completely silent at all times— not something that’s easy to do when the clan includes young children.
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.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 24, 2020  |  1 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...
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 08, 2017  |  2 comments
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Remember how excited we were when we heard that George Lucas—the man who started it all—was going back to directing Star Wars movies? And a lot of us went to see Episode I and said, “Oh.” And then, a few years older and wiser, we sat through Episode II and said, “Oh. Well.”

Ridley Scott is putting us through much the same ringer with the Alien franchise he began, famously returning for 2012’s technically accomplished but overly complicated Prometheus (also newly available on 4K). And now he’s back again with Alien: Covenant, which might just be the nadir for the series.

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.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 04, 2017  |  0 comments
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The year is 1942, and Max (Brad Pitt) is a Canadian working with British Intelligence deep undercover in French Morocco, teamed for the first time with Marianne (Marion Cotillard), a cunning operative for the French Resistance. Together they face incredible danger and the sad realities of the life they’ve chosen, only to fall in love. Back in England, they find themselves married with a child while the war still rages, but Marianne is suddenly the target of suspicion: Could this woman who has so dutifully risked her life in service to the Allies possibly be a spy for the Germans? With his entire family at stake, Max sets out to uncover the truth, a perilous journey with some unexpected, unwelcome twists.
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.
Brandon A. DuHamel  |  Nov 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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The controversial 2000 film American Psycho from co-screenwriter/director Mary Harron (Alias Grace) was based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis. Set in the fast-paced 1980s, it follows the privileged, handsome, and narcissistic Wall Street executive Patrick Bateman (Oscar winner Christian Bale) who is all about greed and self-aggrandizement. By day he builds on the fortune and material things he has already accumulated, but at night the eviler demons inside him slip out to experiment with a dizzying array of sex and violence.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  0 comments
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The most fun thread in the Earth-bound tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe owes much to the presence of star/co-writer Paul Rudd, whose comedic charms and dramatic sensibilities embiggen an otherwise diminutive hero. Two years after the fallout from Captain America: Civil War, when ex-con Scott Lang (Rudd) illegally fought as Ant-Man, he’s nearing the completion of his house arrest and ready to get his life back on track.
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  |  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.

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