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    Yentl

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on March 28th, 2009

    Barbra Streisand’s 1983 Historical Epic/Fable/Musical/Vanity Project comes to DVD for the first time ever in this deluxe release. Exciting news for a large chunk of our population, though in this instance it’s a case of “good news/bad news” for rabid Barbra fans. With Yentl, Streisand is in full-on quadruple threat mode, as director, producer, co-writer, and Star (yes, the capital ‘s’ is necessary), and her Herculean labours in getting this film made are probably as well known as the film itself. Her obvious passion for the project and the fact that she had a hand in it at every level gives access to a wealth of incredibly detailed information in the special features, including “Materials from Barbra’s Archive”. However, there are some technical shortcomings in this volume that will lessen the experience, even for fans.
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    Tropic Thunder

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 21st, 2008

    There have been many films about the Vietnam War. Some have been epic. Some have been emotional. Some have even been very bad, but now comes one that is absolutely funny. Are we ready for this kind of a send up? That might be the overriding question, but I think that we are. Tropic Thunder took the chance that the public was ready to accept such a film and be able to enjoy it. To soften the blow, it was likely a good idea that the film doesn’t address the war in itself. The film takes aim at movies about the war, and in an extension of that theme it pokes a lot of fun at Hollywood.
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    The Jungle Book 2 (Special Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 17th, 2008

    The voices aren’t the same. The animation has lost that classic charm. The story is completely contrived. What remains is a dim reflection of a few beloved characters from a bygone year of vintage Disney magic. This sequel of the classic Disney telling of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book looks more like a direct to video knockoff. I was actually quite amazed to note the film did have a box office run.
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    Catacombs

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 16th, 2008

    The neurotic Shannyn Sossamon goes to Paris to visit sister Alecia Moore (aka Pink). The outgoing Moore cajoles her mopey sister to attend a party in the city’s catacombs, where the bones of some six million people are stacked. It doesn’t take long before Sossamon becomes separated from her friends, and is pursued by a maniac through the maze of tunnels.
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    Saw IV

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 27th, 2008

    Despite being very thoroughly dead, Jigsaw is up to his old games again. This time, SWAT commander Rigg must race against time to rescue to kidnapped fellow officers. Jigsaw’s messages send him all over town, to one gruesome event after another. Meanwhile, the FBI is also on the case, interrogating the killer’s ex-wife, which means the audience finds out quite a bit more about Jigsaw’s backstory.
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    Halloween (2007)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on January 12th, 2008

    The trailer trash Myers family (inexplicably living in a pretty big house) is a powder keg waiting to go off, what with the rampaging abuse and a young Michael (the admittedly creepy Daeg Faerch) butchering small animals and looking like he’s mad as hell and soon not going to take it anymore. Snap he does, going on a killing spree, before he is captured and locked up for years, while eccetric shrink Dr. Loomis (a shameless Malcolm McDowell) making a career out of trying to learn what makes him tick. Growing to Godzilla proportions, Michael makes his escape, and proceeds to pick up his spree where he left off in his home town of Haddonfield.
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    Troy – Director’s Cut (Special Edition)

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

    2004 brought moviegoers two big-budget historical epics in Oliver Stone’s Alexander and Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy. One bombed. The other performed well, but was by no means heralded as a critical success. No, Troy was praised for slick production values and exciting battles, but derided for a lack of emotional depth.

    Can it all be blamed on running-time constraints and compromises made for the ratings board? The answer is here, with the unrated Troy: Director’s Cut, Petersen’s second shot at eternal glory, this time with more than 30 minutes of additional footage.


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    Commando (Director’s Cut)

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

    “Remember when I promised I’d kill you last? I lied.”

    Time to relieve the glory days. Arguably the finest of Schwarzenegger’s over-the-top, muscle-bound 80s action flicks, Commando is finally getting the respect it deserves. This is the perfect example of a movie so bad it’s good. Really bad, and really good. Commando has it all: copious one-liners, a ridiculously huge Ah-nold physique, and a body count so high you’ll run out of fingers and toes in no time flat.

    Yes, Commando is the quintessential 80s action extravaganza, and proof positive that the governator used to be a one-man Ah-my.


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    Frighteners, The (HD DVD)

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

    Peter Jackson’s the Frighteners is a 1996 comedy/horror film starring Michael J. Fox. It follows the story of a physic investigator/ deactivate who is in league with the very sprits he is supposed to be exorcising. For the first half hour, the film is mostly comedy, with good work by Chi McBride as Cyrus, the ghost of a black man from the 70’s, complete with a huge afro. The other ghosts are less noteworthy and merely amusing, such as R. Lee Ermey as a ghostly version of his character from Full Metal Jacket. T…
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    Payback: Straight Up (HD DVD)

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

    Since I have recently reviewed the Blu-ray version of Payback, some non-format specific aspects of this review will be ported over from that review.

    I remember eight years back when Payback was first released. I eagerly anticipated the opportunity to watch it, and when I got the chance to check it out, I instantly enjoyed it. Upon finding out about the release of the new director’s cut, I found myself eagerly anticipating it once again, as it promised to be a completely different film.


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    Natural, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on April 14th, 2007

    Synopsis

    Baseball films always hold a place near and dear to me. I would go see them with my dad when I was a kid and enjoy the plight of a team or an individual with a desire to win and overcome the odds. Sometimes it would be funny (Bull Durham), sometimes it would be sad (Eight Men Out), sometimes it would be uplifting (Field of Dreams). However, all of the above movies would have never been as successful without one movie in particular. That movie is The Natural . The Natura…
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    Payback – Straight Up

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

    The first question I ask about any new version of a film is the obvious – is it better than the original? Same goes for Payback – Straight Up: The Director’s Cut. Sometimes, the difference between versions is so minor that the answer is straightforward. In the case of this Special Collector’s Edition DVD, however, we’re talking about a very different film.
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    BloodRayne

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 7th, 2006

    Synopsis

    Rayne (Kristanna Loken) is a dhamphyr – a human/vampire hybrid. Escaping from the carnival where she is imprisoned as a freak, she sets out on a crusade against vampires, her ultimate target being the lord vampire Kagin (Ben Kingsley, an actor showing Michael Caine’s former penchant to whore himself out without shame), who also happens to be her father. Along the way, she forms an initially uneasy alliance with Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez, and Will Sanderson – members of Brimstone, a …
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    Kingdom of Heaven (Four Disc)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on May 13th, 2006

    When Ridley Scott’s latest epic Kingdom of Heaven was released for common viewing in May 2005 at 145 minutes, critics either really liked the film, or where really dissatisfied with the film. Audiences, it seemed, tended to agree with the latter critics as the film only grossed $47 Million Dollars, which was a dissapointment considering the film had a budget well over $100 Million. Rumors started to fly, as with any big epic, that Scott was forced to slash the film’s running time to not only make audiences ha…
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    Windtalkers

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on April 21st, 2006

    Hollywood can sometimes be so enthused to cash in on a certain type of film many decent projects looking to explore a worthwhile subject topple under the weight of the cash-grabbing, money-hungry throng. Such is the case with Director John Woo’s Windtalkers, coming to DVD a third time on April 25 in this director’s cut. Though it’s sometimes overly melodramatic, this Nicolas Cage vehicle makes good use of its characters to forge an intriguing story about Navajo code talkers, and the presumed military practice …
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    Frighteners, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 17th, 2005

    Peter Jackson is a true visionary. In most circles, such a statement is agreed upon if the subject is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, or his brand new King Kong remake. There are also those who’d rather remember him for his schlocky, disgusting, and dangerously enjoyable efforts Braindead and Bad Taste. Of course, either camp will love his work. It’s just a matter of preference as to which type of film they love more. I’d say most find his latest efforts to be superior to those low budget e…
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    Land of the Dead

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 19th, 2005

    Synopsis and Comments

    Apparently “Land of the Dead” was created for an audience that the producers of the movie (and writer Romero) consider to be no more intelligent than the zombies that populate Romero’s world. We shuffle into the theatre, clutching out-sized drinks like totems from the outside world, moaning piteously that they cost us five bucks to get. Unnnghhhhhh. Mooooovie. RRRrrrrgghhh.

    Well, if you managed to avoid it when it infected theatres, save your coin and dodge this DVD. I…
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    Warriors, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on October 14th, 2005

    Synopsis

    At a gathering of all the gangs of New York City, the messianic leader proposing a unification of all the organizations is gunned down, and the Warriors are unjustly accused. They must make their way from the Bronx to Coney Island with every gang in the city out for their blood.

    Set in a vaguely defined near future, this is a cracker of an action flick, one that has lost none of its pace and excitement over the years. The different gangs are all wonderfully realized and bizarre, an…
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    Cry-Baby

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on August 1st, 2005

    Synopsis

    Think of this as the John Waters version of Grease, with everything that that entails. The setting is the fifties, and kids are divided between the Squares (so clean-cut and conformist they make Ward Cleaver look like Marlon Brando) and the black-leather-clad Drapes. The leader of the Drapes is Cry-Baby Walker (Johnny Depp), and his posse includes the likes of Ricki Lake (BEFORE she became a talk-show host) and Traci Lords (AFTER… well, after). Square Amy Locane is drawn to Depp an…
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    Gone in 60 Seconds

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 27th, 2005

    Gone in 60 Seconds is a guilty pleasure – its vacuous and superficial, full of typical Hollywood produced “guy-movie” cues. Cars, guns, explosions, anti-heros, and Angelina Jolie abound, as well as comically evil villains, comically thin plot devices, and comically honourable car thieves. All that being said, though, the movie is great for what it is – a typical Bruckheimer celebration of over-the-top action. Its fun to get lost in the action, and director Dominic Sena imparts a great sense of …
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    xXx

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on April 28th, 2005

    Sony once again hits us with not only a double dip, but a triple dip release of xXx. What started out as a Special Edition, evolved into a Superbit release, and has now ultimately become the Uncensored Unrated Director’s Cut of the film. What is different this time around you ask… well, you get 8 more minutes of action and skin.

    Let me guess… you want more specifics don’t you? Well here is what has been added… The scene with the girl “dancing” in Xander’s room has been extended. The…
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    Donnie Darko

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on February 20th, 2005

    

    Synopsis

    Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a resentful teen under therapy, and supposed to be takingmedication for his borderline schizophrenia. When a giant demonic bunny (Jimmy Stewart neverhad to deal with the like in Harvey) takes him out of the house just before a plane enginesmashes into his bedroom, life becomes even more strange. Reality becomes rubbery, and thefact that Donnie survived has more and more significant effects on the world around him.

    David Lynch…
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    King Arthur

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 21st, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    After fifteen years in the service of the Roman army in Britain, Lancelot (Ioan Gruffudd) andother knights of the round table look forward to being released and returning to their homelandof Samartia. Their leader, Arthur (Clive Owen), pines for Rome. But one last rescue missionturns into a nightmare, and then the Saxons invade. Gradually, our heroes discover that they lovetheir adopted country, and Arthur has his illusions about Rome destroyed one by one.

    The look …
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    Betty Blue

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on December 3rd, 2004

    Synopsis

    Jean-Hugues Anglade plays Zorg (yup, that’s his name), a handyman living in a beach-front house, scribbling away quietly in his spare time. Not so quiet is his tempestuous affair with Betty (Beatrice Dalle), whose passions overwhelm both of them. First she moves in on him with no warning. Then, when she discovers his writing, she decides that they must move to Paris so he can have a career as a writer. To make sure Zorg complies, she burns his house to the ground. Once in Paris, her plans fo…
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    Hellboy

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on November 15th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    In 1944, supernaturally inclined Nazis open up a other-dimensional portal, through whichcomes a demon infant. Rescued from such evil foster-parents, the baby grows up, under the wingof John Hurt, into Hellboy (a perfectly cast Ron Perlman), who now fights monsters undercoverfor the US government. Said government isn’t ecstatic about the clandestine work of Hellboyand other creatures (these guys get none of the respect of the Men in Black). But the need for thissupernatural …
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