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    The Peacemaker (Blu-ray)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on September 22nd, 2010

    In 1993, three of the most influential executives in the entertainment industry decided to pool their talent, resources, and connections into the power company called Dreamworks. It was Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and music mogul David Geffen who formed the studio, at first to contribute to other films in production by other studios. It’s no surprise that the studio’s first impact was in contributing special effects. In 1997, the studio decided to begin creating their own brand of films. The first of those efforts was the Nicole Kidman/George Clooney post-Cold-War thriller, The Peacemaker.
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    The New World

    Posted in Disc Reviews by David Annandale on July 6th, 2009

    When Terence Malick’s latest effort hit the theatres, he had trimmed it down to 135 minutes. Early critics had seen a version running 150 minutes. This version is longer yet, clocking it at 172 minutes. Most of what I said about the previous DVD release holds, and so I’m reproducing it here, with additional comments as necessary.
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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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    You Don’t Mess with the Zohan (Extended & Unrated Version)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on December 18th, 2008

    Comedy movies can often bring together two or more separate groups of people. This can be groups among the races, culture, and even nations that have been feuding for years. It brings these groups a chance to laugh together, a chance to perhaps look over stereotypes and realize that people aren’t so different at all. You Don’t Mess With the Zohan while not meant to be taken seriously does bring together Israelis and Arabs into one picture. A picture where they can have a good time and hopefully everybody regardless of their race or creed can laugh right along with them.
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    Punisher, The (Extended Cut)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on October 16th, 2008

    Most people who know me know that Daredevil is my #1 Superhero of all time. Number #2 is Batman. Third is somewhat of a surprise for a lot of people. It’s the Punisher. It’s surprising because the Punisher is portrayed as a nemesis of Daredevil quite often in the comic books. However, like Batman and Daredevil, Punisher is a classic flawed hero. In the comics, his family was gunned down gangland style and he seeks out to “punish” those responsible. In the proceedings, he finds that the greatest enemy is not those who executed his family but himself. Drinking, suicidal thoughts, and endless pursuit to extract justice at any cost chip away at this very core. Enter 2004, and director Jonathan Hensleigh decides to bring the story of the Punisher to the big screen.
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    Superhero Movie (Extended Edition)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Michael Durr on August 21st, 2008

    In recent years, there has been only one group of parody movies that were considered really good. The Scary Movies. Started off by the Wayans Brothers, the first two movies were very mature but also very funny. The third & fourth films were taken over by David Zucker who did a fine job of making it more family friendly while keeping the zany humor. In September of 07, production started on a spoof movie that went after Superhero movies. David Zucker took on the producer role while Craig Mazin stepped into the writer/director chair. Craig had also worked in the third & fourth installments of Scary Movie and was obviously talented. The question remained. Was this act tired or did it still have some life to produce a quality spoof film?
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    Grindhouse Presents: Planet Terror – Extended and Unrated

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

    Quentin Tarantino’s Deathproof need no longer be sad and alone on your DVD shelf. Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror – Extended and Unrated (Two-Disc Special Edition) streets October 18, completing the one-two-punch release of the directors’ Grindhouse double feature.

    Separating these two schlock-fests begs the question, which one’s better? Don’t ask me. I didn’t catch Grindhouse in theatres, and haven’t gotten around to Deathproof on DVD. All I can tell you is Planet Terror throws down 105 minutes of mindless, campy and gory fun. So pop your lid, take out your brain and enjoy. But don’t leave that brain unattended, ’cause there be zombies about.


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    Ghost Rider

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on June 19th, 2007

    Marvel Comics has certainly enjoyed a renaissance of late. There can be no question that this entire run of comic heroes on screen began with Spider-Man. Even the recent DC reimaginings might not have gotten this second chance without everyone’s favorite web slinger, or at least the gobs of money that franchise has pulled in. While none of these recent comic films have come close to the success of Spider-Man, the studios are determined to keep the trend alive and well. That translates to great news for us. The most…
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    Donnie Brasco

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 7th, 2007

    Pacino and Depp in a mob drama about an undercover fed and his unknowing Mafioso mentor? Fuggedaboudit.

    Donnie Brasco is based on the true story of F.B.I. agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp, Blow), who spent six successful years undercover in the New York Mafia, as one Donnie Brasco. The film opens with Lefty Ruggiero (Al Pacino, Heat), an aging made man, connecting with Donnie about a diamond ring. Donnie’s cover is he’s in the jewelry “business”, and Lefty wants to unload a ring some guy …
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    Fantastic 4

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

    With the release of Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer just around the corner, it’s no surprise to see the studio rolling out a double-dip of the first film. Fantastic 4 – Extended Edition revisits the film with an extra 20 minutes of footage, and a second disc full of special features. But is it a worthy acquisition for your collection?

    First, a bit about the film for the uninitiated. This is the Fantastic Four’s origin story, including how they came to have their super powers, and who Dr…
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    That Thing You Do!

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

    Following the success of back-to-back hits Forest Gump and Apollo 13, Tom Hanks wanted to shake things up. His project of choice? Writing and directing his first feature film.

    The result was That Thing You Do!, a light, enjoyable comedy about a 60’s pop band that makes it big on the strength of one hit song. Barely together a few weeks, The Oneders (pronounced “Wonders”) win a small-town talent contest, which lands them their first gig, playing at a local bar. Before they can adjust to …
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    King Kong (2005)

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on November 24th, 2006

    No monster movie is bigger than King Kong. AFI members recently considered King Kong to be the most influential film ever. The original King Kong has inspired more filmmakers, actors, and technicians than any film in Hollywood’s history. The score is considered the first modern film score. For the first time the music is timed to accent certain aspects of the action. Willis O’Brien practically invented movie special f/x with his revolutionary stop motion technique seen earlier on The Lost World. One of those filmma…
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    Black Hawk Down

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 27th, 2006

    Not being a big fan of Black Hawk Down, I can’t really tell you how many releases of the feature this makes from Sony. I know it’s a title, which has seen at least two prior offerings. There is nothing new here to recommend the extended cut over the previous three-disc monster edition; however, it may be the way to go if you’ve yet to add this Ridley Scott war film to your collection. I’ll be the first to admit that Scott does some of his finest work as director in this gritty combat picture; but his style is …
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    Thinking XXX

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on June 8th, 2006

    Synopsis

    Photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders decided to do a series of portraits of some 30 porn stars. Two pictures of each, one clothed, one not, the same pose in both pictures. This is his documentary of that shoot. Scenes of the studio process are intercut with interviews with the various stars and talking-head moments from the likes of Karen Finley, Gore Vidal, John Waters and Whitley Streiber (!). We are at the other end of the porn spectrum from Dag Yngvesson’s Rated X – these are t…
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    Patriot

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on April 19th, 2006

    Mel Gibson stars as reluctant guerilla fighter Benjamin Martin in this story of courage, passion, and war, which dramatizes elements from the American Revolution into a gripping fictional narrative that will manipulate every emotion you have until its rousing finale. Martin endures great personal tragedies at the hands of the British – in particular, the despicable Colonel William Tavington (played with the vile gusto of a demon from Hell by Jason Isaacs). Tavington has already killed one of Martin’s sons, and it is …
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    Dune

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

    David Lynch’s Dune has an extremely odd past, which some might say is just how David Lynch likes it. This cult classic came out in 1984 to the joy of sci-fi fans everywhere. Some time after the film’s release, the studio tried to get Lynch to take all of the extra footage that he had shot for the film, and re-cut the product into an extended TV-appropriate film. Lynch refused, but since the studio already owned the footage, they went ahead and cut it together themselves. The result is an “Alan Smithee” directe…
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    Stargate

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on December 11th, 2005

    Stargate is something of a cult phenomenon among sci-fi buffs. It is so popular, in fact, that it produced not one, but three spin-off TV shows. It is amazing that the big business of the Stargate franchise started with a quirky little film. Now there are some big fans of this movie that will surely have strong words of disagreement for me, but this is really not a very good film. The premise alone is enough to make most moviegoers roll their eyes.
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    Major Dundee

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

    Synopsis

    Charlton Heston is the title character, a Union officer who determines on his own hook to track down a group of Apache raiders. He gathers together a ragtag group of raw recruits, criminals and Confederate prisoners, and heads off to Mexico. His second-in-command is Confederate officer Richard Harris, and the two men have a long history of mutual hatred and respect. Heston forges ahead despite all obstacles, and despite the costs both to his men and to the civilians they encounter.

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    Bourne Identity, The

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on July 27th, 2004

    

    Synopsis

    An wounded amnesiac (Matt Damon) is fished from the Mediterranean. He travels acrossEurope searching for his identity, only to discover that he has several, one of which is “JasonBourne.” He is, in fact, a CIA super-assassin who has slipped his leash, and the Agency isdetermined to take him down. Dodging killers, he travels to Paris in the company of Marie(Franka Potente), still searching for the key to his memory and a way to escape the implacablepursuit.

    Easily …
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    American Wedding

    Posted in Disc Reviews by Archive Authors on February 22nd, 2004

    The third and hopefully final entry in the American Pie series, American Wedding keeps with the sweet charms and gross out comedy of the first two movies, but can’t live up to the humor of the original or its sequel. Average Joe Jim, (Jason Biggs) and former band geek Michelle, (Alyson Hannigan) are now engaged to be wed and must decide whether raucous Stifler (Seann William Scott) should be invited to the wedding. Shenanigans ensue involving a night out at a gay club, a bachelor party, pleasing the in-laws, and pubi…
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