Chris Chiarella

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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.
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 02, 2018  |  1 comments
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Solo: A Star Wars Story is simply a terrific movie. Fans of Harrison Ford's timeless take on the flawed-but-gallant smuggler should rightly rejoice as Han has been handily rejuvenated by newcomer Alden Ehrenreich in this well-conceived “origin” story. We learn all of the things we never knew we wanted to know about him, like where he got his name, his furry co-pilot, and of course the keys to the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy back when it was shiny and new.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 19, 2018  |  1 comments
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The first decade of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has all been leading to this, an adventure so utterly spectacular that...well, it’s going to need a whole other movie to wrap the story up. Jam-packed with a who’s-who of familiar faces (and masks), Infinity War is a remarkably complex tale of conflict and loss highlighted by thrilling, high-stakes action. No time is wasted in thrusting us into the battle against the malevolent Thanos (Josh Brolin from Deadpool 2).
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 05, 2018  |  1 comments
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Although never quite as disturbingly dark nor as overtly sexual as the original, Deadpool 2 is nonetheless a more-than-worthy sequel, recapturing that sublime balance between raunchy comedy and edgy action. The story has surprising heart, as super-powered contract killer Wade/Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) struggles to cope with a sudden loss while reluctantly coming to the aid of Firefist, a powerful teenage mutant in crisis.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  0 comments
The monthly announcements of upcoming Criterion releases often list films I can’t pronounce, let alone recognize. But in truth, the esteemed specialty label splits its attention between lesser- known cinema and popular movies, and this recent Blu-ray menagerie holds a pair of Oscar-winners, an enduring 1985 hit, and a singular genre classic.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 14, 2018  |  0 comments
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How many more movies and TV shows will simulate virtual reality to tell a “thought-provoking” story about the fate of society? I gave up on Netflix’s Black Mirror because I could not bear another tale of VR gone awry, but Ready Player One brings the pedigree of Steven Spielberg, plus Ernest Cline’s bestselling novel. How could it miss?
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 03, 2018  |  1 comments
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In the 30 years since its debut, Die Hard has been riffed on and ripped off beyond count, and been sequelized no less than four times. This crown jewel of the Fox catalog, unleashed upon audiences with a ferocity, personality, and originality that we never saw coming, will likely never be topped. A very 1980s interpretation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it finds grouchy New York City police detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) stuck in an under-construction Los Angeles skyscraper on December 24th.
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 27, 2018  |  0 comments
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Remember those A Day in the Life of… coffee table books that gave us glimpses of Hollywood and the Soviet Union and the like over a single 24-hour span? Imagine that same dynamic applied to some carefully selected, human-free locales across the globe, and you start to get the idea behind Earth: One Amazing Day. This sequel to the 2007 nature documentary Earth takes us from the pre-dawn hours well into the night, revealing visions of flora and fauna we’ve likely never seen before. (Giraffe smack-down!)
Chris Chiarella  |  Apr 13, 2018  |  0 comments
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The 1982 science-fiction opus Blade Runner remains an undeniable visual spectacle that fired the imaginations of many a viewer. While neither a bona fide critical or commercial success upon debut, it visualized a Los Angeles of the future beyond anything we’d seen before and set the stage for endless fan speculation that has led to five different studio-sanctioned cuts thus far. The sequel, 2049, was released to much of that same indifference. Thirty-five years coming, it still failed to generate a response befitting a cult franchise of this magnitude.

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