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Blu-ray Review: ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

The highly controversial 2012 picture "Zero Dark Thirty" comes out on a Blu-ray and DVD combo pack hosting its Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. Helmed by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow as a follow-up to her acclaimed war thriller "The Hurt Locker," this intense and thrilling piece of cinema chronicles the decade-long hunt for Al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks until his death at the hands of the Navy SEALs. The story focuses on the life of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

"Rise of the Guardians" arrives on a two-disc set containing this 2012 animated film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital copies. This package brings together some of the world's most famous childhood heroes and mythical creatures in an inventive story about the power of belief, faith, and the values of the universe. These legendary characters collectively known as the Guardians have powers that come from the children believing in them. A muscular and tattooed Santa leads the team that also includes the Easter

‘District 9’ Film Review: Thinking man’s sci-fi

"District 9" is a hybrid of a film: a Hollywood material that looks like a successful anti-Hollywood venture and a brilliant social commentary. Produced by the people behind the “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR) franchise including its helmer Peter Jackson, this motion picture delivers its universal message about ethnic tolerance through the tale of a doomed extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth, mainly in a South African ghetto, until these beings suddenly find a kindred spirit in a

‘Watchmen’ Film Review: Watching a heroic deconstruction

"Watchmen" is visually stunning but flawed in certain ways. An eye-popping, faithful adaptation crafted as a lavish cult movie, it spins a comic deemed "unfilmable" into a blockbuster epic for the specific admirers of the superhero genre and the fan base of the groundbreaking book from writer Alan Moore and illustrator Dave Gibbons. Grappling with the graphic novel's multi-layered storyline, this dystopian film utilizes a deeply dark heart unmasking the world's harsh realities. "Watchmen" is no doubt a love letter to those

‘The Legend of Zorro’ Film Review: The Dela Vega heroes

"The Legend of Zorro" tones down a bit by fronting the more human issues about family relationships in its storytelling, as compared to the visually purist, action-filled premise driving the storyline for such an action genre offering. Yet, this follow-up to “The Mask of Zorro” doesn't lose its own touch of valuable action and playful camera work. The pompous stunts, grand production design, and outstanding cinematography often keep the spectators' eyes nailed to what happens next. The film captures the audience right from

‘Sky High’ Film Review: Soaring HS heroes and sidekicks

This is a Disney hybrid superhero movie: "The Incredibles" meets "X-men" via "Harry Potter." If you think Hogwarts is the only secret school for extraordinary kids, well there's also the heroic children's world of "Sky High." This film is a hybrid superhero flick: "The Incredibles" meets the "X-Men" via "Harry Potter." It may be a Disney flick with a big celebration of superhero cliches; but it is entertaining enough for its target market. As a derivative, it never claims to be genuinely superior to its more successful blockbuster sources. Despite having a

‘Transporter 2’ Film Review: Escapist ride

Jason Statham's Frank Martin offers that monosyllabic intensity for the usual understated hero. "Transporter 2" maintains the typical formula: the good guy chasing the bad guys. Its B-movie plot twists are like an assemblage of action-sequel clichés carefully endorsing the car brand Audi. Frank Martin's (Jason Statham) monosyllabic intensity as the usual understated hero effectively moves around in fierce car chases and impossible martial arts sequences. This doesn't stop the movie from being absurdly pleasurable. It suspends disbelief for a one-and-a-half hour

‘Domino’ Movie Review: Acid trip with a Bounty Hunter

Keira Knightley is the socialite-turned-bounty hunter Domino Harvey in this Tony Scott movie. The life experiences of Domino Harvey taught her not to invest too much emotion on any certain thing — but she couldn't get away with it. Similarly, director Tony Scott seems to have invested too much in creating visual flair for “Domino,” making it too loud and exaggerated beyond measure. Oozing with tomboy spunkiness, Keira Knightley plays the character of the late Domino Harvey, the daughter of British actor Laurence Harvey.

‘Ocean’s Thirteen’ Film Review: The odds of guilty pleasure

For "Ocean's Thirteen," watching the inventive and spontaneous bunch of professional men pulling off an impossible heist for the third time is a guilty pleasure to watch. The usual suspects known for delivering their witty lines in effective, nonchalant ways, as well as doing impossible tasks in various capacities, are back with sophisticated humor, peppered ironies, comedic suspense, and contagious energy that has marked the franchise since "Ocean's Eleven." Centering the saga on male camaraderie, team loyalty, and cool professionalism, this follow-up offering has

‘Beowulf’ (2007) Film Review: Motion-capture statement

"Beowulf" ambitiously blends CGI, motion-capture, and 3D technologies to bring a new level of hyperreality for the viewers to enjoy. Everybody knows, or at least, has already heard about the epic poem "Beowulf" in school, or perhaps, with the prior 2005 live-action offering "Beowulf and Grendel" starring Gerard Butler as Beowulf. This time, the Robert Zemeckis-helmed "Beowulf" utilizes the latest motion-control technology available to tell a tale approximately 1,400 years old in an astonishingly new way -- a sensory animation experience

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