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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 Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 13th, 2008

    I am a sucker for a good biopic. Walk the Line, Ray, Man on the Moon, Cinderella Man… all these films and many more like them feature prominently in my DVD collection. With this release, I am now excited to be able to add this fine film to my collection. Brad Pitt’s James is not the one of fables and adventure books, but one grounded in reality. While charismatic criminals are frequently glorified in these types of films, it is often times hard to remember that in real life these are often times people with severe social problems. The result is a film that is more open and honest than the vast majority of the biopics that have come along in the past decade.


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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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    Face/Off (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 27th, 2008

    I am a huge John Woo fan, especially his earlier classics like Hard Boiled. I’ll admit it’s been several years since I last seen Face/Off, but I don’t have a reason why, as I remember really liking this movie then. At either rate now I have a copy of the movie to call my own, and a special two disc release at that. Let’s just hope that it is what I remember, but as a big fan of Nick Cage I don’t think I’ll be let down.

    In order to catch him, he must become him. I couldn’t put it any better myself, Face/Off tells quite the eccentric story of revenge, devotion, and of course crime.
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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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    Transformers (HD DVD)

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

    I must be one of the few people who despite hearing positive things, did not see Transformers in the theatre this past summer. The main reason being I’m just not interested in transformers, but then again so were most of the people I know who loved the movie. Regardless, here I find myself holding a copy of this summer blockbuster on HD DVD, I’m sure it’s going to blow me away, but only time will tell.
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    Top Gun (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 31st, 2007

    Back around the time I was born, and Tom Cruise had an ounce of sanity, a little movie called Top Gun swept across the globe raking in over $350,000,000 worldwide, as well as sparking an interest in the US Navy and everything Tomcat, Skyhawk, and MiG related. Ever since its original release Top Gun has kept a hold on its audience, being played almost weekly, and now it makes its way into the world of high definition with its release on HD DVD.
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    A Clockwork Orange (HD DVD)

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

    Very few of us know A Clockwork Orange as the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess, instead we know it as the 1971 Stanley Kubrick film adaptation. Not only did Kubrick direct this cult classic, he also wrote the adapted screenplay and produced it. There’s no doubt that Kubrick put a lot into this movie, and by now we all know the results. A Clockwork Orange is a perfect example of Kubrick’s career, highly controversial. After the cult hit 2001: A Space Odyssey, it was crucial for Kubrick to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, and what better way to do that than adapt A Clockwork Orange. There are those who would call this movie trash, and of course there are those who absolutely love it, then of course there’s everyone in between. Well A Clockwork Orange isn’t new news to me, it’s release on HD DVD already looks to impress.
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    Smallville – The Complete Sixth Season (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 24th, 2007

    Smallville, although well shot and portrayed has never been a favorite series of mine. Growing up I was a Marvel comics fan, I hardly ever crossed into the DC market and if I did, it was for Batman, never Superman. Of course, for those of you that don’t know Smallville follows the life of a young Clark Kent in the years prior to him becoming Superman. Of course it started out in season 1 with Kent in high school, very unsure of his potential but six seasons later he’s very Superman esque.
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    Harsh Times (HD DVD)

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

    Usually a top young name combined with a recognizable name (or more accurately a recognizable body), brings a film that is somewhat underwhelming or even forgettable for all involved. In the case of Harsh Times, you’ve got Christian Bale, the latest Batman, and Eva Longoria, who stars in Desperate Housewives, appearing in a film about, well I’m not exactly sure.


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    Black Christmas (2006) (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 13th, 2007

    What is it with horror films today? They just seemingly lack all original wit and style. And let’s not even mention the remakes that Hollywood forces on us. Having just finally watched John Carpenter’s Halloween (yes I know!!), forcing myself to watch the drab Black Christmas almost made me cringe.


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    Darkman (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 22nd, 2007

    It’s hard for me to believe that Darkman comes from a time when Sam Raimi was fresh off directing Evil Dead 2 and Liam Neeson was a little known Irish actor. A lot has changed since then, but a true classic can stand the test of time, and although I was very young when I first saw this movie, I remember it being very unique. Of course my perspective on films has blossomed since the time I was watching Rugrats, and it has literally been that long since I’ve seen Darkman. Nonetheless I’m pleased to finally get the chance to watch this Liam Neeson classic, and in HD to boot.
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    Notting Hill

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on September 18th, 2007

    Notting Hill is a bit of a spin on a Cinderella type story, only Cinderella is William Thacker (Hugh Grant, About A Boy) the owner of a break even book store. Nothing seems to be going his way until fate would have it that Anna Scott (Julia Roberts, Oceans Eleven) the worlds most respected and loved actress enters his store. William having a hard time coping with his recent divorce can’t believe the glimmer of hope placed before him.
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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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    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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    Disturbia (HD DVD)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 31st, 2007

    Disturbia looks to potentially be a classic thriller; it has the elements of a classic Hitchcock film, and a noteworthy cast. Although I’m not and never will be a fan of Shia LaBeouf I will admit he has sold me with his performances several times before, but does he have the talent to carry this movie? Regardless there are some other semi-reputable names cast in Disturbia including Carrie-Anne Moss and David Morse, so here’s to hoping that this flick isn’t a waste of time.
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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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