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    No Reservations (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 19th, 2008

    It seems like foodies are everywhere these days. Maybe Emeril is to blame, maybe it’s Paula Dean, maybe it’s the Food Network as a whole.I have even been sucked in my Anthony Bourdain myself (whose show is ironically also named No Reservations). Wherever there is a trend, there is guaranteed to be a romantic comedy to follow. Enter Aaron Eckhart and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Eckhart has been doing some fantastic work lately, from his work in Thank You for Smoking to lesser known films such as Conversations With Other Women, he is quickly becoming one of the best actors on the scene today.


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    The Invasion (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 4th, 2008

    “The Invasion” is a remake of the classic “The Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. This time around, Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig are the heroes that uncover the diabolical truth behind a secret plot to take over the world. This is a film that has been re-made several times before, in various forms. Each time, the film is turned into a heavy-handed metaphor for the current political climate. That is most certainly the case this time around as well, as the oblivious citizens are expected to accept everything their leaders tell them, no matter how implausible that information might be. I’ll spare you the pop politics, but the parallels between the Bush administration and the story are rampant.


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    Patch Adams (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 28th, 2008

    I’m going to be honest with you, I can’t stand the stand up comedy of Robin Williams. Growing up, I used to like it and thought it was pretty hilarious, but two things have changed since then. First off, my voice changed and I grew hair in strange places, but secondly, Williams stopped doing cocaine, which as any artist will tell you, seems to neuter them creatively (Eddie Van Halen, I’m looking at you). But hey, at least in his later years he seems to have mellowed out and Patch Adams seems to be a progression of that.


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    Knocked Up (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 25th, 2008

    Well, since HD DVD has pretty much collapsed now, it only makes sense that we here at Upcomingdiscs clear off what’s left on the mantle, get the cobwebs out, and do our level best to take a look at this lame duck format if you will. I mean, there are movies on them after all, and Knocked Up was arguably a favorite of many in 2007, to the tune of over $150 million and helping to entrench Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, those who were behind Superbad, as significant contributors to the world of motion picture comedy.


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    Pride and Prejudice (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 25th, 2008

    Written by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice has been made into a film several times, with varying results. The novel itself is a classic, written by one of the most pioneering woman in literature history. This 2005 film version stars Keira Knightley (Atonement) as Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bennett, one in a family of five sisters, living in Hartfordshire, a small English country town. Lizzie is the second-oldest sister and should already be married, according to her overbearing mother (Brenda Blethyn, Beyond the Sea). However, much like Jane Austen herself, Lizzie wants to marry for love, and not just to please her parents (although her father (Donald Sutherland, JFK) just wants her to be happy). To add to her parents concern, once they die, the girls will have nowhere to live, as back in those days, property and money passed only to males, and in their case it goes to the girls’ cousin, Mr. Collins (Tom Hollander, A Good Year).


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    Carlito’s Way – Rise To Power (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on January 17th, 2008

    Honestly, is adding a cinematic volume onto a series when one film seemed to have addressed it is beyond me. You’ve got Carlito’s Way, a film whose main character (played by Al Pacino) died at the end, yet in Carlito’s Way – Rise to Power, we’re getting a prequel? I think that all that could have been answered was done so in the Pacino film, but we’re seeing a film about how Carlito, pardon the word choice, has “rose to power”? What’s the point? Needless to say, I’m still popping the hood and looking what’s underneath.


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    Anchorman – The Legend of Ron Burgundy (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 10th, 2007

    Will Ferrell, arguably the last funny member of Saturday Night Live has picked some strange movies to be in since leaving the sketch comedy show. Appearing first as a co-star in Old School and then later in the kid-friendly (but cute) Elf, Ferrell took his time in getting to what fans wanted, a good PG-13 or better comedy for him to stretch his comedic talent.


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    What Dreams May Come (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 30th, 2007

    1998 marked an interesting time for the career of Robin Williams. The previous year he stared in his Oscar Winning Role via Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting, which was a somewhat rare role for Williams as it showcased his dramatic side. Obviously hoping for similar success, Williams followed that excellent role with another role that, at some points, finds itself just as good as his performance in Hunting.


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    Are We Done Yet?

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 17th, 2007

    Are We Done Yet? That’s not just the title of this film, it’s a form of the question you’ll be asking repeatedly during the film’s runtime, until you eventually reach a climax of desperation and cry out for all to hear, “For the love all that is good and pure in this world, when will it end?” Not soon enough, my friend. Not soon enough.

    Should you find yourself watching this torturously stupid sequel to 2005′s Are We There Yet?, all I can say is, you should have known better. While opinions about movies are subjective, this one’s a special case that allows me to say with 100% confidence: if you liked Are We Done Yet? you deserve a big ol’ smack upside the head.


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    Meet the Fockers (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 16th, 2007

    In the day and age of sequels being thrown at us like lies from the media, the idea of a sequel surpassing its predecessor rarely occurs. I can only think of a few films that have achieved such a title. Titles like Aliens, The Bourne Supremacy and the recent comedy sequel Meet the Fockers are perfect examples, the latter which is actually funny and charming instead of being cruel and rather mean like the first.


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    Erin Brockovich (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 12th, 2007

    Erin Brockovich tells a story based on a true series of event. Erin (Julie Roberts in her Oscar winning role) has a tough life. She’s a single mother of three kids, her two ex-husbands left her not supporting her or her children, she can’t seem to find any work due to her lack of education, and she has $16 in her bank account. Life seems to be continuing on a downward spiral for Erin. Things start looking up when she is practically handed a job by her defense lawyer Ed Marsy (Albert Finney). It’s here that Erin stumbles upon a case involving PG&E, a $28 billion company that had been disposing a chemical into the local water supply of a nearby town called Hinkley, California.


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    IMAX: Blue Planet (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 9th, 2007

    Sometime after 1990 when Blue Planet was released, I remember really wanting to see it. Unfortunately I was young and with time my interest in the worlds around our own dwindled. Recently with the advancements in technology my interest in space has sparked up again, making for just the right time for Blue Planet to land in my hands. After nearly 20 years I’ll be able to set my eyes on this for the first time, and in hi-definition. Then of course there’s the additional documentary The Dream Is Alive of which I’ve never previously heard of. The footage on this one is over 20 years old, so my expectations aren’t extremely high.
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    Being John Malkovich (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 4th, 2007

    (Non-format specific portions of this review are culled from my review of said film, so enjoy or read elsewhere.)

    In watching Being John Malkovich again recently, for the first time in awhile, the thing I was struck by is how unique it is (duh!). It doesn’t try too hard at being different, to the point that it’s going to suck, everything is matter of fact, and it’s hilarious. Its characters are flawed, but we feel for some of them a great deal. It’s funny, it’s touching, it’s dramatic, it works on many levels.


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    The War (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on August 2nd, 2007

    The War tells the story of newly returned Vietnam soldier Stephen Simmons (Kevin Costner). Steve is the father of Stu (Elijah Woods) and Lidia (Lexi Randall) and wants nothing more than to show them the meaning of life and what it (really what HE) can provide them. The only problem is that Steve isn’t getting the adequate funds a soldier should receive. Bouncing from job to job because of his mental history (he’s had numerous flashbacks to the war), the family struggles daily to survive. The children seem to be mixed on their father with Stu loving him, but Lidia calling him a loser.


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    Shaun of the Dead (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 30th, 2007

    Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) are best of buddies who share a flat with another roomie. Shaun works hard at a local electronics store, while Ed doesn’t really accomplish much besides playing games. Shaun has recently become despondent after breaking it off with his girlfriend Lizzie and fails to notice that London is slowing being taken over by zombies. When Shaun realizes what’s occurring, he and Ed must work together to fight these creatures off as well as now travel to save Shaun’s mum and his ex/girlfriend from these zombies.


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    Meet Joe Black (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 29th, 2007

    I’ve been in this run lately where I’ve seen quite a bit of Brad Pitt’s dramatic work from his earlier days, before he decided to funk himself up (and earn the respect of young males everywhere with Fight Club), and in the sprawling film Meet Joe Black, he tackles a different take on a character with a respected cast and crew behind him.
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    Hot Fuzz (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 28th, 2007

    What is it about British comedy that is so damn funny? I suppose the humor behind it is their use of language and pronunciation (similar to how us in the Boston area add ‘r’ to everything like idea). When I heard about the creators of Shaun of the Dead (a film I still have yet to see but have heard a plethora of positives about), I became interested. When I heard that the film was going to be based on the police force in London, I knew this one would be a classic. Luckily, I was completely correct.


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    Shooter (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 23rd, 2007

    Shooter is based upon the Stephen Hunter novel Point of Impact, and although there are multiple similarities, readers of the book can look forward to a modern rehash of the Hunter story. Since the release of the trailer I have been looking forward to this one, especially now that its being released on HD DVD, how does it turn out?

    Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg, The Italian Job) is an elite Marine sniper and patriot. But that all changes when his commanding officer abandons him behind en…
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    Watcher, The (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 15th, 2007

    Synopsis

    The Watcher is a groundbreaking piece of cinema. It takes the crime thriller film genre, employs a few recognizable stars, and proceeds to waste them by boring the absolute beejeezus out of me with performances and a story that is so holistically unoriginal that I didn’t feel good about myself after watching the film.

    For the sake of plot synopsis, the movie’s concept is pretty simple. Based on a screenplay by Clay Ayers and David Elliott (Four Brothers) and directed by Joe …
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    Music and Lyrics (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 10th, 2007

    Although romantic comedies aren’t my forte, I have admitted to liking a few in the past, and surprisingly a good number of the ones I have found tolerable or even likeable star Hugh Grant. So I go into watching this film with an open mind and hopefully we’ll see some results out of Music and Lyrics.

    Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant, Nine Months) is a founding member of the hit 80’s pop group appropriately named PoP! And although he surmounted to a considerable amount of fame during his prime, he is no…
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    Bulletproof (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 5th, 2007

    Adam Sandler plays Archie Moses, a man who works for drug lord Frank Colton (James Caan). Rock Keats (Damon Wayans) is Archie’s best friend and, secretly I might add, an undercover cop who’s trying to infiltrate Colton’s business. Archie, as per the typical earlier Sandler role, is completely oblivious to anything going on around him and doesn’t suspect Rock. Keats is ready to infiltrate Colton, but is mistakenly shot in the head by Archie. Keats, after learning to walk again, realizes Archie must testify against Col…
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    Big Lebowski, The (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 2nd, 2007

    I wrote a few weeks back that it’s an odd feeling when you finally see that film that everyone and their brother has been exclaiming about for years. That is the exact feeling I felt after seeing The Big Lebowski. I knew for years that this film would be great, especially after seeing Fargo before. Boy was I right as The Big Lebowski was a huge humor trip.

    Jeffrey Lebowski a.k.a. “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges) is your run of the mill slacker. He doesn’t really do much with his life besides …
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    Happy Feet (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 25th, 2007

    Previous to receiving this copy of Happy Feet for review, I have wanted to check it out but never got the chance; the animation appears to look spectacular and the cast of voice actors seems really impressive. The list includes one of my favorite actors Hugh Jackman, Elijah Wood, Brittany Murphy, Robin Williams, Hugo Weaving, Nicole Kidman, and more. So on paper Happy Feet sounds like a winner, how does it turn out?

    Happy Feet revolves around the lives of a colony of emperor penguins on…
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    Black Snake Moan (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 25th, 2007

    Yet another Samuel L. Jackson movie containing the word snake in it, but unlike Snakes on a Plane, Black Snake Moan is a dramatic picture delving into dark issues like abuse. I’ll come out by saying that I though this movie was going to be a good laugh, seeing the trailer I though it would be a bearded Sam Jackson shouting out profanities at an unwilling captive in his home. Although this does happen it is a small portion of the movie, and not as comedic as I had supposed.

    Black Snake Moan…
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    Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 14th, 2007

    Recently released on HD DVD, this film is the last of the films from the famous British comedy band Monty Python. Originally released in 1983, this is by far Python’s darkest film, filled with violence and dark humor, seemingly tailored to offend everyone. I did not care for the part in the restaurant with the extremely obese man, so there we are.

    The film consists of a series of short sketches about various aspects of the “Meaning of Life” or at least an observation of the quirky aspects of life, such as …
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