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    Titanic (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on September 14th, 2012

    It was an excellent experience in 1997, when I reviewed Titanic as it opened in America’s theaters. A sweeping disaster epic wrapped around a passionate romantic drama, the film quickly dispelled early rumors that it would sink faster than the actual boat did 100 years ago. Yes, I liked the movie a bunch. I admired its scope, its detail, its amazing effects and its superb cast. Director James Cameron’s extensive, expensive production schedule was vindicated by critics and box-office alike. Yet, somehow I never really wanted to see it again. Too intense, too tragic, too overwrought. Maybe it was just that horrid Celine Dion song.
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    Piranha 3DD (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on September 7th, 2012

    What’s the latest home video gimmick? 3D, of course. And what’s the leading genre for cheap thrills on a low budget? The goofball horror movie, right? So it makes sense – sort of – for an enterprising filmmaker to throw together a low-comedy fright flick with cheesy gross-outs and bouncing breasts. See, in 3D, those babies can bounce big-time. And if that’s not enough boost for the boys in the audience, you also get severed heads, detached limbs, barf jokes and the dopiest plot this side of Lake Placid the Final Chapter. OK, you caught me. I never saw that one, it just sounds ridiculous.
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    Titanic: 100 Years In 3D (Blu-ray 3D)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on August 31st, 2012

    I never really meant to have 3D TV in my home theater. But our Sony Blu-ray player was 3D-ready, and the receiver and monitor both needed warranty replacement about the same time. Bingo: All I needed were a couple pairs of glasses ($40 each at Amazon) and some 3D programming. Having seen almost every 3D big-screen release already, I was pretty sure the TV version would be an inferior format. I was wrong. The electronic-shutter glasses beat the heck out of those old red-and-green gimmicky glasses. They work as well as the polarized lenses at the multiplex.
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    B52’s: With The Wild Crowd! Live In Athens, GA (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on March 25th, 2012

    The strangely compelling pop-rockers first played publicly in February 1977. Almost exactly 34 years later, the B-52s soared again into their hometown, delivering an exuberant, hit-filled set at the Classic Center in Athens, Ga. Fortunately for concert-party aficionados, the show was captured in high-def, widescreen glory for the Blu-ray winner, The B-52s With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA. If you’re already a fan of “the world’s greatest party band” (it says so right on the dust jacket),
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    Manhattan (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on February 12th, 2012

    It followed Annie Hall by two years, once again reshaping the mass market’s notion of serio-comic romance. With its bittersweet plotting and cynical one-liners, Woody Allen’s Manhattan was an even bigger commercial success than its Oscar-winning predecessor. Its current incarnation on Blu-Ray offers the best chance yet to revisit its eccentric brilliance.
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    Annie Hall (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on February 10th, 2012

    This April will mark 35 years since Woody Allen emerged as a world-class comic filmmaker. Although Annie Hall was his seventh feature (if you include the voice-over spy-spoof What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, which you certainly should), and although Allen already had a sizable group of admirers (including this longtime fan), his 1977 mainstream smash gave him commercial clout and a little something called the Best Picture Academy Award.
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    The Big Bang (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on May 31st, 2011

    Imagine that ‘40s tough-guy detective Philip Marlowe tangled with a billionaire mad scientist, along with the usual quota of thugs, strippers and sarcastic cops. Now suppose that writer Erik Jendresen and director Tony Krantz decided – perhaps over a meal of magic mushrooms and moonshine – to hire a fancy-pants cinematographer, rewrite author Raymond Chandler, and offer up what they obviously hoped would make them film-noir Fellinis for the new century.
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    Daydream Nation (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on May 19th, 2011

    Precocious teenage girls are movie mainstays for a few reasons. They tend to be cute, for starters. They give young audiences someone to identify with and perhaps envy, because the movie girls get to say and do things that would get their real-life admirers grounded at best, imprisoned at worst. We have our favorites, of course, going all the back to The Bad Seed, The Children’s Hour and the original Lolita. More recently, we’ve been perversely charmed by sexually manipulative antiheroines
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    The Way Back (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on April 23rd, 2011

    By the early part of World War II, the Soviet Union’s ultra-harsh prison system was already an established key to Josef Stalin’s paranoid dictatorship. Hundreds of concentration camps, called gulags, kept criminals and innocents alike trapped behind barbed wire, without edible food or minimal medical care. The most miserable gulags were the notorious Siberian compounds, stuck in such hostile sub-arctic territory that an attempt to escape was considered just another form of suicide.
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    Still Waiting… (Unrated) (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on April 14th, 2011

    Urine jokes. Fart jokes. Breast and penis jokes. What could be more tasteless? How about telling them all in a place where people are trying to eat? That’s the unappetizing summary of Still Waiting …, one of those unnecessary, straight-to-video sequels designed to make a quick payoff before the first film’s fans catch on.
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    The Cove (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on April 9th, 2011

    Everybody loves dolphins. We marvel at their graceful rolls among the waves. We enjoy watching trained ones do tricks for Sea World audiences, and some of us even pay big bucks to swim with them at specially built facilities.  But behind these glimpses of intelligent marine life, there’s a deadly, disgraceful hypocrisy. There are mega-millions being made at the expense of innocent creatures, and the people behind the conspiracy will stop at nothing – including murder – to preserve their lucrative, dirty business.
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    Fair Game (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on March 30th, 2011

    A newspaper article infuriates the White House, which retaliates with all its political might to discredit the story, crush its author and cover up its own internal corruption. Sound familiar, like maybe All the President’s Men? If that’s among your favorite docudramas, then make room on the shelf for Fair Game, a real-life paranoid trip that unfolds across continents but finds its emotional center in a quiet suburban home.
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    The Man from Nowhere (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on March 17th, 2011

    Connections between Eastern and Western cinema aren’t new, but they do seem to be proliferating. Back in 1964, Italian maestro Sergio Leone borrowed from Japanese genius Akira Kurosawa, turning Yojimbo into A Fistful of Dollars. Just last year, Korean writer-director Lee Jeong-Beom looked to the West for multiple influences, and the result is The Man From Nowhere, a psychological action-thriller that alternately engages, confuses and kicks major butt.
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    Jackass 3 (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on March 10th, 2011

    If you don’t already know and love the format, you will be inclined – and well advised – to stay far away from Jackass 3. For some oversensitive souls, the sight of adult males getting smacked, slugged, stomped, shocked, slimed, kicked, catapulted and covered with excrement is simply unappealing. I know, sissies, right? But if you relish the notion of seeing men take abuse that makes them moan, bleed and barf, then the third and final (please, Lord) pseudo-documentary in the series is a guaranteed gross-out of a maximum degree. Heck, if you’re lucky, you might even toss your cookies
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    Due Date (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Bob Ross on March 5th, 2011

    There are two ways to address a familiar film plot. The easy route, of course, is to dismiss it as recycled fluff, reciting the similarities to its predecessors. The more discerning course is to give the newcomer a chance to prove itself as a creative variation on the theme. That’s how you can give Due Date its due. In the first few minutes, you’ll notice the script verges on carbon-copying Trains, Planes and Automobiles, the 1987 John Hughes hit
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