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Blu-ray Review: ‘Argo’

"Argo" arrives in home video format via a two-disc combo pack that houses the film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies, as well as a good number of extras. This critically acclaimed 2012 dramatic thriller follows the true-to-life tale of a federal agent assigned to get six Americans out of Iran during a 1979 hostage crisis in the U.S. embassy. His plan brings him to Hollywood where he sets up a near-impossible mission. The scheme involves the people waiting for rescue to act as film crew looking for international locations for a science-fiction movie project. Adapted from the novel "The Master of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Day of the Falcon’

Coming out on a single-disc Blu-ray package, the action-adventure drama "Day of the Falcon," originally titled “Black Gold” for the international market, features a soaring epic that centers on two rival kingdoms' bloody war during the dawn of the oil boom in the Middle East. Exploring the themes of love, honor, greed, family pride, betrayal, and traditions, it follows the story of star-crossed lovers whose families get caught up in a reignited conflict after the discovery of oil between their territories. This film by award-winning director Jean-Jacques Annaud, also the helmer of "Enemy at the Gates" and "Seven Years in

Blu-ray Review: ‘Empire of the Sun’ 25th Anniversary Edition

The 1987 World War II epic "Empire of the Sun" releases on a DigiBook package consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. This two-disc set serves as the film's 25th Anniversary Edition offering. A powerful portrait of lost innocence in a foreign land, this tale becomes a compelling adaptation of J.G. Ballard's best-selling, semi-autobiographical novel of the same title. The narrative reflects his own coming-of-age story about living as a prisoner in an internment camp at a young age. This cinematic opus helmed by Steven Spielberg features a very young Christian Bale on the lead role. It also stars a

‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’ Film Review: Dark, adolescent Potter film

Darker, a little more mature, and a little less magical, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” primarily deals with rejection and hormones as Harry and his friends struggle through transition from childhood to young adulthood. This motion picture focuses on the Hogwarts students in the seemingly awkward stage of their youth. The film’s look is less ostentatious than the previous installments. This time, things are more intimate and real. With the exceptions of a Quidditch stadium and some dragons and mermaids, it tones down on special effects. Yet, it enchants and satisfies its followers and its now grown-up fans. Some familiarity with

‘Bikini Open’ Film Review: On spoofs and bikinis

"Bikini Open" puts a number of serious issues into the limelight by twisting them into comic fun -- the murky side of pageantry, TV, advertising, and media as a whole, in between the struggle for ratings, mileage, and fame. Using HD camera blown up to 35mm film, this tightly budgeted cinematic offering turns out as a good watch. As a commercial fare, “Bikini Open” works with a satirical vibe. Its premise remains culturally correct and aptly representing the larger scale of realism the story needs. The film’s non-linear format provides a fitting treatment and motivation for the characters. The narrative flow makes a valuable distinction in presenting

‘King Kong’ (2005) Film Review: A Beastly Adventure

"King Kong" proves to be an enduring part of cinema history and legacy. The franchise, even after more than eight decades, still continues to inspire and live up to the legacy of high-end escapist cinema. For this Peter Jackson screen adaptation of the monstrous adventure flick, it exemplifies a sort of personal expressiveness and cinematic mysticism in its storytelling. It maintains itself among the ranks of the world’s charming adventure fantasy and monster films. Although the story's logic is ludicrous, this motion picture classic creates a reality of its own with the director’s treatment. This time, the new Kong, along with the ferocious dinosaurs and other monstrous creatures

‘In Her Shoes’ Film Review: More than just a chick flick

"In Her Shoes" features a decently textured narrative about the reconnection of two estranged sisters who have nothing in common but their shoe sizes. Offering enough depth, the story is not just about a simple issue on sibling rivalry made into a rushed script. It becomes more than a show-off of Hollywood stars ramping fashion clothes and blobbing about some insensible girl talks. This chick flick, based on Jennifer Weiner's best-selling work, is a tale about how the past complexities of ruined family relationships try to seek closure on what’s been left hanging for the longest time. With sincerity, wits, and humor,

‘Brothers Grimm’ Film Review: A Grim for Brothers Grimm

"Brothers Grimm" is shallow, bland, and disappointing. It is a fractured fairy tale that is unable to live up to its classic sources. There have been a few sparks of promise, but the muddled plot messes up its supposed intensity. Weaving throughout the film are a number of Grimm tales including: "The Little Red Riding Hood," "Hansel and Gretel," "The Frog Prince," "Rapunzel," "Sleeping Beauty," "Cinderella," "The Gingerbread Man," among others. But unfortunately, the outcome turns out as nothing more than a topsy-turvy showdown of folklorish adventure lacking good plot structure. Utilizing the enchantment and whimsical tone of a fairy tale movie

‘Into the Blue’ Film Review: Soaking deep into the blue

"Into the Blue" runs out of air with its contrived plot and its mere interest on showcasing sexy bodies on screen. This Hollywood flick sinks aimlessly into the deep waters of the Bahamas. The treasure isn't priced well. It’s long soaked and buried deep into the blue. Director John Stockwell seems primarily concerned with the superficial side: showcasing the major characters in a bikini fashion show and making a high-end audio-visual presentation illustrating the beauty of nature like what can normally be seen in travelogues and travel channels. On the one hand, it is commendable for its stunning aerial and underwater cinematography. It

‘The Island’ Film Review: Harvesting humans in The Island

Set in the year 2019 in a hermetic complex where everyone wears white suits and their health and food intake monitored up to the tiniest details, “The Island” follows the everyday life of Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) living in a sterile environment after a world contamination. This derivative science-fiction thriller puts the spotlight on human clones used as spare parts to replace defective body organs, adopt newborn babies without any biological parent running after the kid (and they can even have kids by using specific clones), and insure lost or malfunctioning body parts of their sponsors

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