Chris Chiarella

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Chris Chiarella  |  Feb 16, 2018  |  0 comments
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Sometimes even Batman can’t go it alone. When Poison Ivy teams with an evil alien plant-man for a scheme that could doom every human being on the planet, he first turns to Nightwing (sidekick Robin, now all grown up), but even that’s not enough. Their best hope of stopping these baddies in time is to team with Ivy’s lone confidante, Harley Quinn.
Chris Chiarella  |  Jan 19, 2018  |  2 comments
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Many filmmakers would surely crack under the challenges of finally bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen. But the remarkably gifted Patty Jenkins (writer/director of 2004’s Monster, her last feature) tackles the ambitious production—an action-heavy World War I– era period piece—with educated gusto, thoughtfully honoring and expanding upon the beloved heroine’s legacy. Of course, none of that matters without the right star, and Gal Gadot’s Princess Diana combines strength, brains, and innocence to give this movie an irresistible heart.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 22, 2017  |  0 comments
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Can the dangerous business of getaway driving be elevated to an art form? Propelled by the constant soundtrack of his life, Baby (Ansel Elgort) combines speed, daring, and creativity in a thrilling and highly profitable display of skill. He doesn’t want to be a part of this prolonged crime spree, but he needs to repay a debt to a local kingpin (Kevin Spacey). In fact, he believes he has an exit strategy all figured out, once they’re square, and that he and his new lady friend (Lily James) can drive off into the sunset.
Chris Chiarella  |  Dec 15, 2017  |  0 comments
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Although Martin Scorsese is listed as one of the executive producers, Free Fire actually seems to exude more of the DNA from Reservoir Dogs. This impressively tight hour-and-a-half plays out as essentially one long scene—an arms deal gone bad—with a diverse group of tough guys (and gal) brought to life by a well-chosen international cast.
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.

Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 29, 2017  |  0 comments
So, apparently putting a bow on a fancy new TV and cramming it under the tree (or wherever your holiday customs dictate) is a thing now, which means you (or some lucky recipient) will need something extra-good to watch on it. We’ve got you covered. Each of the Blu-ray titles on our 2017 holiday list have been hand-picked to bring the merriest of AV enjoyment — half of this year’s crop even elevates the holiday cheer to 4K status. Sort of makes me think that poor VHS has become the modern equivalent of a lump of coal….
Chris Chiarella  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  0 comments
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In a world of seemingly infinite crappy sequels, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is worthy of special praise for getting so much right. While delivering another dose of the irreverent humor and hybrid-fantasy action that made the first film so popular, it also cultivates the themes and plot lines so that the two volumes fit seamlessly, telling an epic story.
Chris Chiarella  |  Oct 20, 2017  |  0 comments
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If you’re going to steal, the saying goes, steal from the best. Like many a filmmaker, Dario Argento was strongly influenced by the works of a certain British director, so much so that he earned the nickname “The Italian Hitchcock.” His debut film, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, embraces many a cliché of the thriller genre while also forging its own path. Shot and scored with genuine inspiration, the film boasts a clever plot, with twists that are not easy to predict, as well as a distinctive sense of humor.
Chris Chiarella  |  Sep 01, 2017  |  0 comments
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There have certainly been terrific comic book movies, but Logan is a terrific movie that just so happens to be inspired by comic books. The proper balance of story, character, and juicy action set pieces is an elusive one. (Think back to the disappointing first two solo Wolverine flicks.) But in his ninth and reportedly final portrayal of Logan, charismatic star Hugh Jackman— in the role that will surely define his career—is at the center of a remarkably original, powerful film.
Chris Chiarella  |  Aug 18, 2017  |  0 comments
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Chief among Lego Batman’s extraordinary feats is its ability to remain true to the dark essence of its enduring hero while weaving a family-friendly and wildly funny animated adventure. The backgrounds are littered with inside jokes and subtle bits of Batmania culled from the past eight decades.

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