BLU-RAY MOVIE REVIEWS

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Josef Krebs  |  Feb 15, 2019  |  0 comments
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Albert (Åke Grönberg), the aging owner and ringmaster of an impoverished travelling circus, takes the troupe to his home town in order to visit his estranged wife and sons with the hope of returning to the safe, bourgeois family nest. In reaction, his jealous young lover (the gorgeous Harriet Andersson), a horseback rider, allows a charismatic actor to seduce her.
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.
Roger Kanno  |  Jan 04, 2019  |  0 comments
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Fresh off the success of his band's appearance in Jonathan Demme's seminal concert film, Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads front man David Byrne tried his hand at making his own feature film in 1986. A comedy styled as a documentary about the fictional town of Virgil, Texas, True Stories centers on the town's quirky residents, whose lives are reminiscent of tabloid newspaper stories. Written by Byrne, Beth Henley, and Stephen Tobolowsky (whom you might remember from memorable roles in Groundhog Day, Thelma and Louise, Californication and Glee), it is also directed by and stars Byrne as the narrator and main character. This enjoyable, offbeat film offers clever and sometimes even brilliant takes on Americana.
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.)
Thomas J. Norton  |  Dec 21, 2018  |  0 comments
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When we last left our intrepid superheroes (in 2004's The Incredibles) they had defeated the nasty villain Syndrome. The new film opens with the Incredibles battling the Underminer, the same villain they had encountered at the end of the previous film. They win the day with the help of their superhero buddy Frozone, but the resulting chaos puts the Incredibles back in the doghouse with the law and the public.
Josef Krebs  |  Dec 14, 2018  |  0 comments
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Set in the early 1400s, Russian writer-director Andrei Tarkovsky’s greatest masterpiece depicts the life of the famous icon painter, Andrei Rublev. But it also keeps everyday village existence, extraordinary events, and medieval Russian history moving from background to foreground in an episodic narrative tapestry. Princes and religion rule every aspect of Russian life, with motivation for actions stemming from belief in God (or the retribution of the church), subservience, and fear of the merciless Tartar invaders. Faith and art are put to the test in this overflowing epic as the painter travels through the decades of his time.
David Vaughn  |  Dec 07, 2018  |  2 comments
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Both a prequel and a sequel, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again tells two stories: the first set in the present day as Sophie Sheridan (Amanda Seyfried) prepares for the grand reopening of her mother Donna’s (Meryl Streep) hotel, and the second when the young Donna (Lily James) first arrives on the island in 1979. Sophie learns about her mother’s fun-filled adventures with the young Dynamos, Tanya and Rosie, and how she first met her three possible dads, Harry, Bill, and Sam, all those years ago.
Josef Krebs  |  Nov 30, 2018  |  0 comments
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Writer-director Terrence Malick’s remarkable, poetic The Tree of Life tells the story of a family in 1950s Texas and the impact that losing a son has on them. Using a stream-of-consciousness flow of images and sounds, the film authentically captures a childhood remembered by centering on the lyrical day-to-day, moment-by-moment experiences of the two surviving young brothers. The film examines, from many angles, the questioning of God and the meaning to life in an evolutionary sense. Relationships with Him are expressed in whispered voiceovers and through a long sequence that visualizes the creation of the world.
Mike Mettler  |  Nov 30, 2018  |  0 comments
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“Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try.” That profound statement set the table for the visceral round of revelations John Lennon had in store for us on his second proper solo album following his departure from The Beatles, September 1971’s Imagine. Whereas “God,” the critical denouement on Lennon’s galvanizing December 1970 solo debut Plastic Ono Band, served as a gasp-inducing, barrier-breaking declarative manifesto, “Imagine” proffered more of a “what if” scenario that embodied an inclusively universal yet concurrently subversive scope.
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 14, 2018  |  0 comments
As a year packed with wonderful new high-definition and 4K discs comes to a close, we’ve selected ten standout box sets that are certain to bring a smile to the home theater buff in your life. Each box is special in its own way: some are hefty with gravitas, others have actual heft. All are sure to deliver ample audio/video pleasure plus a bounty of bonus features to enjoy through the new year and beyond.
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.

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