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‘Pacific Rim’ Film Review: Monstrously nostalgic metallic mayhem

"Pacific Rim" is epic action art for those who love robots and monsters. This monsterfest is a hybrid of just about every major cinematic genre. It showcases the grandest traditions in war, sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, alien, monster, and robot movies. Full of mechanized mayhem, it taps into that primal fondness of seeing two big things tearing each other apart. It may be a generic, familiar, and cliché-ridden piece with cardboard characters, but it still wins its target audience over through the visceral

Blu-ray Review: ‘Parental Guidance’

"Parental Guidance" debuts on a two-disc combo pack consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. The package houses the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV digital, and iTunes digital copies, as well as a couple of extras. This 2012 picture directed by Andy Fickman stars Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, and Tom Everett Scott. This comedic tale covers the familiar and expected territory that features the different views on parenting. This average, by-the-numbers fare follows the antics of a pair of

Blu-ray Review: ‘Gangster Squad’

"Gangster Squad" debuts in home video format via a two-disc set housing the film's Blu-ray, DVD, UV digital, and iTunes digital copies. This 2013 picture's theatrical release was infamously delayed for a few months in the wake of the tragic Aurora theater shooting in 2012. The production decided to reshoot its mid-movie shootout in order to remove the sequence involving a massacre in a movie theater. Ruben Fleischer helms this period actioner that stars Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma

‘Rio 2’ Film Review: Perfectly fine, perfectly forgettable

"Rio 2" is a delightfully bright and breezy bit of computer-generated entertainment. As an acceptable family fare, this sequel maintains that blockbuster flavor that is expected of such an animated flick. It mostly hits the sweet spot when it comes to eye-popping visuals and feisty song-and-dance sequences. However, its predictable narrative plays too safe that it simply crafts nothing more than a fine commercial blend of heart-warming and toe-tapping moments for its target demographic. For this second installment in the "Rio"

‘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

‘Corpse Bride’ Film Review: A charming grave fairy tale

This Tim Burton offering presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling of the living and the colorful underground world of the dead. Behind its eerie theme, Tim Burton's "Corpse Bride" presents a morbid and romantic trip between the cold dwelling place of the living and the colorful underground realm of the dead. Fun, genial, expressive, and charming, this semi-musical stop-motion piece is set at death's door, saluting the liberating power of true love and sacrifice. The story revolves around

‘Shrek the Third’ Film Review: The slapstick third

While it offers nothing new on the table, this third movie of the "Shrek" franchise compensates with its laid-back familiarity and comedy. The Shrek Franchise The best thing about the "Shrek" movies is that you are offered a patented comic blend of fairy tale tradition and pop-culture references. These recreate a comic flavor and moral implications for its wide commercial range of movie viewers. The franchise's main charm is its organic ability to mix fairy tale sweetness and pop-culture tradition with a

‘Shrek Forever After’ Film Review: Happily ogre after?

While it occasionally provides good laughs, this fourth "Shrek," like its main ogre, is confused and way beyond its prime. For its long-time followers, "Shrek Forever After" is passable entertainment. It is for those who grew up with the franchise and not the type that could easily add new toddler fans. In any case, the "Shrek" brand still works for the DVD and Blu-ray market with a potentially good spot for top home video sales charts. "Shrek Forever After" begins so mediocre.

Filmmaking Guide: Understanding and making a storyboard

Storyboards are used in professional filmmaking work. It visually tells the movie's story shot per shot using drawings. For amateur filmmakers or for someone making his or her first movie, a storyboard offers the same purpose. It helps the production in discussing how to mount each shot practically and creatively before and during the actual shoot. Visualizing Your Shots A director uses the storyboard to visually say what's in his or her mind -- particularly how the camera shots should look

Blu-ray Review: ‘Rio’

The "Rio" Blu-ray release features a two-disc set consisting of a Blu-ray disc and DVD, along with some digital download materials. Aptly set in Rio de Janeiro, this 96-minute 3D animation is helmed by Brazilian director Carlos Saldanha, also the man behind "Robots" and the "Ice Age" films. The filmmaker shows love for his hometown with this movie project that showcases the fun and festive culture of the Brazilian city. Filled with dazzling imagery and contagiously fun music, "Rio" tells the

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