Mar 192015
 

This Two-Disc “Diamond Luxe Edition” of Gravity is a quality release though this should’ve been what was released originally. What you get over the original version are a couple new features including a 42-minute historical featurette and the new Dolby Atmos audio track which is a fine upgrade, though the original DTS-HD MA 5.1 track was pretty darn good on its own and Atmos takes it to the next level.

 

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Mar 172015
 

As with Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones and WWE: Stone Age Smackdown is another way for the WWE to reach a new generation which is smart business but the end game for casual viewers is pretty weak, though again, not a fan of the original show anyway…

 

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Mar 162015
 

Halo: Nightfall isn’t a half-bad series with decent performances, though the visual effects, some anyway, look to be a step below something you’d seen in a SyFy Original Movie. I’m not big into games so I can’t compare this to any of the “Halo” games but on its own, it’s at least enjoyable if not throwaway entertainment.

 

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Mar 152015
 

The Divine Move isn’t a great foreign crime-drama but it is well made and at least entertaining especially in the revenge sub-genre. I will say, the English dubbing is laughable so make sure you select the original Korean language. In any case, the Blu-ray release offered by CJ Entertainment has decent video, average audio and a fluff featurette along with the trailer.

 

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Mar 112015
 

Birdman might not quite be the home-run of a film some make it out to be, but no doubt Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s character-driven opus, with commentary on modern-day blockbusters, is anything if not original and features a fantastic performance by Michael Keaton who was deserving of the Best Actor award.

 

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Mar 102015
 

The Humbling is a quiet and oft dull drama but Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig both give solid performances so for fans of either, with a couple good scenes, it might be worth a rental but nothing more. The Blu-ray released by Millennium Entertainment provides for good video and audio transfers but a throwaway making-of featurette.

 

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Mar 102015
 

Vice might’ve had an interesting premise but it was all thrown away from cheap action and clichés galore that borrows often from better movies. The acting, save maybe for Ambyr Childers, was so average (at best) and the direction merely went through the motions with a lot of ho-hum, even boring, action sequences.

 

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Mar 102015
 

Innocence isn’t awful and is passable entertainment but it’s the latest in the ‘tween vampire trend that began with Twilight. The acting is OK headlined by Kelly Reilly as the main villain and Sophie Curtis for her part wasn’t half bad the lead actress. Fans of this genre (or subgenre) might get something out of it, for others it’s destined for the Wal-Mart dump bin.

 

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Mar 082015
 

Tinker Bell and the Legend of the NeverBeast is another solid entry into the series though both of these movies are more centered on Fawn than Tinkerbell herself. The story this go around is darker and could be scary for kids of a certain age and it’s not the most heartwarming finale yet with that I actually appreciate the movie even more for not taking the easy route. The Blu-ray released by Disney might not have great bonus material but the audio and video transfers are both solid.

 

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Mar 072015
 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 had a lot of potential especially comig after the well received, and all around well made, Catching Fire. What we got instead is what felt like the middle installment of a trilogy that had a thin story and characters who really didn’t develop that much (though at least Lawrence’s Katniss does make a bit of progress) and is merely there to bridge one movie to another. This is a case where splitting two movies was a mistake and I think it would’ve made for a solid final entry.

 

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Mar 012015
 

The Musicals: 4-Movie Collection is an economical way for fans of these films to own with the low SRP. The set itself is well done contained in a nice box but I’m not a fan of the digibook style and wish the studio would’ve just released this in a standard Blu-ray case. And although the features aren’t great, it’s good enough with the two commentaries and well made documentary for Singin’ in the Rain (though that has been available for a couple of years).

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Mar 012015
 

Beyond the Lights is one of the better surprises to come out of 2014 with a compelling, if not formulaic melodramatic, story that is highlighted by a breakout performance by Gugu Mbatha-Raw who hopefully finds more lead roles beyond television. The Blu-ray released by Fox includes a decent amount of bonus material and fantastic video/audio transfers.

 

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Feb 272015
 

Horrible Bosses 2 like its comedy sequels that have come before (see The Hangover 2 & 3), is the definition of unnecessary and kind of lazy in its jokes. On the plus side Chris Pine was a hoot to watch in a completely comedic role (vs. the balance of snark and drama in the Star Trek movies) and the three stooges at least looked like they were having a good time which helped pass the time.

 

 

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Feb 252015
 

This 10th Anniversary release of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is merely a repackaging of the old disc with commemorative packaging so if you already own this, or even the HD-DVD, there’s no need to pick this up. Outside of that, my opinion of the film hasn’t changed: I didn’t like it then and I still don’t like it today.

 

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