Too complicated for the average viewer and bad name, but excellent mov
This movie is like Haywire from Lionsgate. You expect action and you get a cerebral thriller. Hence, people either like it (if they understand it) or hate (if they don't). The name is also bad like John Carter, another great movie that did not sell well. Who the hell is Jack Reacher? I just saw the movie and I am still not sure. I think he is a former military guy, kind of like a Steve Seagal who ends up getting into something you wouldn't expect. I must say this, I was really surprised by the fighting scenes in this movie. Cruise was really good. On a par with Jason Statham, yes really. The plot of this movie is really deep and you have to be patience, hence the review that says Boring. Like a professor once said to his students when they said that something was boring, he said well that's because you are boring and unable to appreciate the story line. This movie involves a long draw out investigation involving Rosamund Pike who I really liked when she was in a Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan. She is really beautiful and really intelligent. Her chemistry with Cruise is great, but they never get it on. Overall, I must say that I really like a movie with a good story and good replay value. This movie has that ans so I will buy it just like Broken City, another movie that is too complicated for the average viewer. Surprising, given all the storyless 3D crap that has come out lately. So please, pay attention to this review: if you want straight action and a simple story, this is not for you. If you want a deep story, with a serious overtone, some plot twists, and some outstanding fighting when it comes (I mean really Steve Seagal like bone breaking action) then this is great. But, like Haywire it is not what you might expect. I would say I overrated the movie because some people underrated it. It s probably a 4.5 as the site reviewer gave it.
Three young people, Odile, Arthur and Frantz meet up at an English language class and become instant friends. They share an interest in literature and crime fiction. When Odile reveals that the house she is staying is loaded...
Three lost souls band together on a perfect Blu-ray.
Band of Outsiders is one of the most accessible Jean-Luc Godard films, and, although I have revisited it several times, I am always surprised at the lightning-fast pacing of the story. This movie wears its American pulp crime influences on its sleeve, but it also includes enough Godard stylistic winks, by way of nonchalant voiceover narration and character interaction with the audience, to remind us that we are in his trademark world of forlorn, but energetic, souls who travel along their path in life through a combination of emotional detachment and offbeat timing when connections are made with other such souls.
I grew up listening to the music of The Cure, and Anna Karina's Odile reminds me of one of the many females in The Cure's lyrics, with her irresistible beauty and sparkling eyes that belie a unique blankness of someone lost in her own strange world. Arthur, with his dismissive abruptness, lends credence to the popular assumption that women are attracted to jerks, but the viewer relates to him just the same as the desperation of his personal home life is eventually made apparent during the film. Franz is quieter and less forward than Arthur, but his daydreams and unique musings nonetheless lead him down the same dangerous road as he and Arthur emulate American outlaws with fast cars and fast guns.
These three characters alternately repel and attract one another with bright electricity, and the viewer cannot help but smile at how they bump one another aside at a cafe table during a pivotal scene as they simultaneously lean in closer to one another in confidence. These three souls do seem to gel together in harmony during a lively dance sequence that provides one of the most iconic images of French New Wave, and during a rushed tour of the Louvre, but Godard's narration intercuts even these moments to illuminate individual thoughts of people who will never truly understand one another.
The video transfer of this Blu-ray shines with detail, especially during the scenes that sweep across the Bastille areas of Paris. This is important in a film that familiarizes us with a handful of landmarks so that we know them as we know our own backyards. Dirt-covered lots that provide joyful obstacles for car rides, pathways leading to and from a boat tied to both ends of a short water crossing, and large homes on the outskirts of Paris are all brought to life in this high definition presentation.
Universal Studios | 1992 | 126 min | Rated BBFC: 15 | Region free
| May 06, 2013
Martin Bishop is the head of a group of experts who specialise in testing security systems. When he is blackmailed by Government agents into stealing a top secret black box, the team find themselves embroiled in a game of danger...
I love this film, the cast is great (can't beat Dan Aykroyd) The story keeps twisting, I thought the picture was very clear when you think the film is over 20 years old and even at that age it doesn't look dated, the sound is crisp and has good base when it counts. No extras with this, but I've been waiting so long for this film I don't care. At £10 well worth the purchase.
An ex-cop finds himself in over his head when he agrees to help out the mayor of New York City in this tense political thriller from director Allen Hughes. Having had to sacrifice a promising career when he was involved in a...
Seven years after being cleared of murdering the unconvicted rapist murderer of his girlfriend's
sister, Marky Mark is now a Private Investigator strapped for cash. The Mayor, played by Russell
Crowe, whom is in the middle of a land development deal, hires him to uncover whom his wife
(Catherine Zeta Jones) is having an affair with. It doesn't take a lit major to figure out where each
strand will lead to, in fact, I was surprised how ridiculously cliched and obvious these twists were.
Sure, the writing is not as moronic as Gangster Squad, but at times it gets close. A character with
the name Jack Valiant is only the tip of the iceberg.
If there's a redeeming factor it's the performance given by Wahlberg's pretty assistant. She delivers
her lines with a quick witted, playful punchiness. She's such a winning presence that it's a shame
the surrounding movie is so lackluster. The script is so predictable and self serious that it was a
sigh of relief each time she graced the screen. There are moments of comedy to be sure, but most
of them unintentional. A crude and hammy plot point leads to an absolutely hilarious night out for
Wahlberg: a montage in which he...picks up the bottle.
Seriously, this is bargain bin shlock that even the talented Allen Hughes couldn't elevate. Everybody
is exactly who you think they'll be and I couldn't imagine a more lunkheaded, ham-fisted way to
wrap up the various plot-lines. The most cringeworthy elements of his last film, The Book of Eli,
would seem restrained and thoughtful if placed in this cliche pile up.
An absolutely un-engaging, cliched, hackneyed, ill judged piece of work. Ruben Fleischer totally loses all good will he earned for his work on Zombieland. The fine grip on the tonal reigns in the aforementioned film is nowhere to be found here. The film goes for a glossy high camp, graphic novel approach and falls flat on it's face.
I'm sure nobody in Hollywood wanted to touch the script until Fleischer came along and decided to give it the 'Sin City' treatment. Although there are some interesting visual ideas in the film such as fractured time, highly dense steadicam shots in raid sequences and clever rhythmic parallel editing, they are too few and far between. The bulk of the running time is devoted into wrangling in as many cliched, god awful, telegraphed story lines as it could. The absolutely brain dead script engulfs these just as Sean Penn does the scenery.
If theres another saving grace it's Sean Penn, he seems to be the only one that embraces the innate campiness of the endeavor. He provides energy that is desperately missing in this dull affair. I was so detached from this film that I managed to trace a trail of perfume to its owner each time an overproduced, lifeless action sequence commenced. As the cops prepare to off Gangster Mickey, someone uttered "Let's get this over with," pangs of joy and relief jetted through my body as no other atrocious line of dialogue had.
Joe Wright, best known for his adaptations of Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, returns with his most Brechtian and divisive film yet. As opposed to setting the film amongst natural settings, the decision was made to punctuate the innate theatricality with several scenes on a stage. These scenes are actually fascinating and wondrously shot, more than earning it's multiple Oscar nominations. The production design is first rate and floods one's retina with memorable compositions.
It's obvious that technique takes center stage, maybe it always has for Joe Wright. Virtuosic camera movement and Meticulous choreography anchor each one of his films. The single most impressive shot (albeit superfluous to the narrative) of 2011 belonged to Hanna: the intricately staged Eric Bana subway fight. However, I wouldn't dismiss Wright as a Burtonesque, non-wholistic type filmmaker. A fair sense of narrative and cogency is still at work. Each ravishing movement builds to the inevitable railway climax.
Kiera Knightley delivers her finest performance as the titular Anna. She aptly conveys a woman consumed by hubris and the quandary that arises from pursuing an affair with Count Vronsky. Aaron Johnson plays the aforementioned Count with varied success. Someone like a younger Jude Law (whom plays Anna's Husband) would have nailed the role ten years ago. But instead we are left with a non-charismatic romantic interest. Initially this works in tandem with the *staginess, but as the narrative progresses he's not charming, enigmatic, or engaging enough to warrant our interest. It's a fair performance, but brings down the film in a similar way that the male lead did in My Week With Marilyn.
Viagra, Mortgage Payments, struggling entrepreneurs, electronics obsessed children, parental cyber-snooping: This is 40 addresses a gamut of mid-life issues with wavering success. Judd Apatow revolutionized comedy with The 40 Year Old Virgin and each subsequent film has had a notable drop in quality. I wouldn't categorize the film as an outright failure, but it sure is a large, at times welcoming, more frequently frustratingly lumbering dramedy. Although it features typically excellent performances and nice character moments, one has to lumber through countless lame gags to get there.
The lovely Leslie Mann and Paul Rudd play an over the hill couple with respective struggling businesses. In addition, they have two kids and a myriad of familial conflicts to navigate through including issues with their parents and a nondescript love life. However un-involving each narrative strand is, the cast conveys warmth and comfort remarkably. The two children are excellent, regardless of what the lackadaisical script requires them to do. What*we learn along the long winding road, though well intentioned and earnest, requires plot devices and contrivances. Which wouldn't be so bad if the film didn't feel like a collection of outtakes from a better film.
In short, Judd Apatow isn't as funny anymore. I smiled or silently chuckled numerous times out of sympathy for the characters and care for their plight. More often than jokes would falter on arrival. Amidst all the problems, I still want continue to see his films because of the firm grasp he with performers and in writing somewhat layered characters. Much like the central couple, this very well may be the turning point in his career. He's lost his edge, but that's not entirely a bad thing. The best of This is 40 proves this.
The Impossible details the journey to survival and resolution of a family torn apart by the 2004
Thailand tsunami. J.A. Bayona chronicles the events through his wondrous emotionally potent eye:
Detailed, remarkably strong mis en scene with astonishing depth of field, clarity and succinct
narrative cogency. In what most directors would achieve in multiple shots and setups, Bayona
condenses to one thrilling mastershot, not unlike his Mexican peers Guillermo del Toro and Alfonso
The film is a triumph of technical proficiency over thoughtful discourse. Where 2011's Contagion
detailed a large scale catastrophe in a researched intelligent manner, showing us the actions the
C.D.C. and the W.H.O.; The Impossible aims to manipulate, engulf and devour the audience into it's
web of sentimentality. Many will successfully navigate away from such currents, but this viewer
Sweeping, melodramatic ride laden with artifice such as actors shot in a sun-kissed glow and
incessant twinkly piano and thunderous orchestral scoring. Nonetheless, the production is such a
rich, lively and fully realized one that's more Spielberg than Rossellini. However, the grime and dirt
on everyones faces is pronounced, each blow and puncture enacted on the characters is felt to an
almost metaphysical extent. The chronicling of the horrors of such a tsunami are so vivid, that I
can't remember the last PG-13 (or even R rated) film that had such a visceral impact that I nearly
lost my breath. I yearned for the reunion of this family through the rubble and innumerable
hospitals and transport operations.
One would be remiss to not mention the whitewashing of the story. The true story, in fact,
happened to a Hispanic family. I can understand this has nothing to do with racism, but rather
marketing. There are quite frankly few Hispanic actors that could gather the crowds for a mid-
Blue Underground | 1975 | 127 min | Not rated | Region free
| May 17, 2011
A musician witnesses the murder of a famous psychic, and then teams up with a fiesty reporter to find the killer while evading attempts on their lives by the unseen killer bent on keeping a dark secret buried.
i watch the english language the picture is amazing the sound is very good too but sometime the music is too loud
there are french subtitles and it is shorter 20 mn than the italian version
but the italian version have only english subtitles i looked what is different than the english version and i found the beginning not important we can see david hemmings play some jazz music on the street and after only some scenes of dialoguing with daria nicolodi not important too and too long for nothing
so the english version is the best for sure
In an alternate reality, it's 1985, costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday
society, and the "Doomsday Clock" - which charts the USA's tension with the Soviet Union - is
permanently set at five minutes to...
The mundane existence of a product liability evaluator and insomniac, who is addicted to self-
help groups, is turned upside down when he meets a sado-masochistic anarchist who is
secretly plotting to overthrow civilization....
When I first heard of Fight Club it didn't pique my interest. I simply thought of it as another Bloodsport kind of movie but I was dead wrong. It was 2010 when I saw this movie at around #11 and I began to wonder what made it so good. I thought maybe it was a high quality fighting movie but again I was wrong I read about it and a lot of people were saying Fight Club was not what it seemed on the surface. I finally bought the DVD and I was blown away with how good this movie was. Pity I've spoiled myself before seeing the whole movie. It instantly became a favorite of mine and when I had the chance I grabbed a copy of the blu-ray.
I can finally compare how good the blu ray looks compared to the DVD version. The blu-ray no longer has the scratches and loses the greenish tint that the DVD has. The audio is a huge leap from the DVD and blew me away. The special effects in Fight Club utilized the HD and the enhanced sound really well and I have to say the purchase is worth it even without extras. But alas, it would kind of suck without the features. The special features in the blu-ray were carried over from the DVD and there is an additional feature about the sound design which I still can't get around to. If you like this movie this is the best way to own it. It comes a cool looking slipcase and the design is also pretty cool though I've read some negative remarks about this, I'm completely fine with it. I actually dig it. If you haven't seen the movie watch it on blu-ray.
This is probably how Leone intended the movie to be seen. Nearly every frame is rich and looks like a painting. I will forgive the far fetched and slightly ridiculous plot because of the visuals, the background score and the spectacular performances. De Niro and James Woods are at the top of their game.
The film is full of pleasant surprises. There is quite a bit of slapsticky stuff and gallows humor. The melancholic scenes especially towards the end dont reasonate completely. But despite all its flaws this film is a masterpiece. It is rich like a bittersweet Italian ice cream. It makes you wish Leone did not die so early. And you wonder why the wise men in Hollywood do not use James Woods more regularly.
A coming of age comedy movie that follows an aimless college grad who pursues his dream girl at a wild Labor Day weekend party. He, his twin sister and their best friend struggle with their burgeoning adulthood over the course of...
Completely underrated and forgotten.
Releasing only two years ago - but being film (now) six years ago, this movie has gone under the radar. It was a box office flop and didn't really 'wow' critics, it was considered unoriginal due to the fact that multiple films about the '80s was already made when it released (Hot Tub Time Machine and Adventureland), if this was released back when it was filmed, it would probably would of been praised for being a great flick, but the film came too late. When I first saw the film in theaters, I highly enjoyed it - it was a great ride. I personally love one-night movies, it's a fun flick. It has lots of laughs and just a really good movie.
PQ: Very good, looks like an 80s movie with grain.
AQ: Also very good and clear.
Extras: Nothing major. It's great to have the deleted scenes.
Warner Music | 2009 | 125 min | Not rated | Region free
| Apr 06, 2010
The Sticky & Sweet show was filmed in Buenos Aires over four days to a crowd exceeding 256,000 screaming fans. The concert includes a memorable show stopping moment when Madonna performs a historic "Don’t Cry For Me Argentina" to...
HBO | 2009 | 315 min | Rated TV-MA | Region A (B, C untested) | Jun 22, 2010
Desperate times call for desperate measures and Ray Drecker's situation couldn't be much tougher. The former high school sports legend turned middle-aged high school basketball coach is divorced and struggling to provide for his...
Paramount's Mishandling of Star Trek's Underdog Continues
Watching and being absolutely flabbergasted by Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness has given me an all new appreciation for Enterprise and what it's creators largely succeeded in achieving, much more so than during it's original run, and I've been leaning heavily on it this week to remind me why I love the franchise so much.
PQ is disappointing in comparison with the lovely work done on Next Gen. It should be noted however that by playing around with color and contrast it's possible to improve the picture more than the screen caps in the main review might suggest. Also, having done several side by side comparisons it's certainly a purchase worthy step up from the DVDs. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the standard def FX.
SQ is nice and immersive. Dialogue crisp, music is full and rich - and can we lay off about the song? It actually expresses the essence of Trek quite well, and it ain't that bad.
I'm going through the features disc by disc, a nice mix of archival and new material. The 1 hour interview with Rick Berman and Brannon Braga is an absolute highlight, providing surprisingly revealing insight into the way Paramount handled, or in most cases mishandled the series, and gave me a new admiration and respect for the much maligned duo.
Set in the near future, a time when mind-control technology has taken society by storm. Humans control other humans in a mass-scale, multiplayer online game. Reclusive billionaire Ken Castle has created the controversial form of...
Universal Studios | 2009 | 101 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| Oct 13, 2009
Comedic genius Will Ferrell stars as has-been scientist Dr. Rick Marshall, who gets more than he bargained for when his expedition takes a wrong turn into the Land of the Lost. Now, Marshall, his crack-smart research assistant...
I wasn't sure whether I wanted to see this release but decided to give it a shot when I was able to get it for a good price recently. I'm glad I did. I found the plot interesting, laughed several times, and was really impressed by the costumes, sets, and CGI. It felt like a lot of work had been put into the film. There are a few issues with the plot (some things not seeming realistic mainly) but this is a comedy after all. You can't take it too seriously.
The video and audio are top notch. There were several points during the film when I thought to myself: "Wow, that looks great." The dialogue was clear throughout the film even at a moderate volume level.
Extra wise, this one is pretty packed. Most notable is the nearly hour and a half long 'This is Not a Routine Expedition' featurette which I found to be well done and really interesting. Also worth mentioning are the 20 minutes of deleted scenes and the informative interview with the creators of the "Land of the Lost" TV show. I don't think you can ask for much more than this release provides.
Recommended. I'll definitely be revisiting this one down the line.
A former high school history teacher gets out of a mental hospital and is placed in the care of his mother. His goal is to win back his ex wife. But he winds up in a romance with a kooky neighbor who also has mental problems.
Before I get into it I was just want to say that I am not expert review when it comes to analyzing video and audio quality or judging the exact wealth of included supplements. So when I get the scores of 4's and 5's for those things don't take it too seriously. I can say that for my setup I absolutely enjoyed the video and audio and can say that I didn't notice any issues. I mean if you want detailed breakdowns on those things go read the official review on here for this movie.
Anyways onto the movie itself. It easily deserves the 5 out of 5 that I gave it. I remember when it first came out I didn't think much of it. I was like, "oh, Jennifer Lawrence is in this movie? Hmm she played Katiness in the Hunger Games. I liked the Hunger Games. Even though they are different movies entirely, maybe I could enjoy this one too. Even though this movie is still playing in my local theater I never actually saw it in theaters. In fact it wasn't until I saw Jennifer Lawrence win Best Actress for this movie that I even considered owning. However, when she did win that award, which she absolutely deserved by the way, I knew then and there I wanted this movie when it came out.
Thanks to Best Buy's upgrade & save promotions that they do I was able to score a great deal on this movie recently and as of the day I am writing this review I finally watched it. WOW, even though I am a guy and can easily enjoy the latest Die Hard of Fast & Furious movies, I actually really enjoyed this movie. Jennifer Lawrence DID give a great performance. Really, the role she played was just incredible. I shan't forget Bradley Cooper or Robert Di Nero either, they did great jobs. True, they didn't win any awards for their roles but they still did a great job.
Sure, this movie ain't no Les Miserables, but its definitely one of my favorites of 2012 and if you haven't seen it yet or you are having reservations, then I say "Unless you are super sensitive to F bombs, what are you waiting for? Go see this movie and thank me later!"
First of all the quality of the movies are excellent. Mill Creek did a pretty great job on these two movies, but I would've liked to see more extras then just the trailers. The quality of the video provides clear and sharp picture with clear sound! Both movies are in Widescreen, color and runs for about 100mins each. Overall this is a great Blu-ray of Westerns and I would recommend this.
REFERENCE TRANSFER ON BLU-RAY DISC- FOR THIS ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE !!!!
...Finally, seen last night !
...Miracles, they have really done with the Restoration of this Splendid Film of Petri !!!
...The Transfer on This BD it's Really Majestic, grain typical of 4K Scans in very fine detail are Extraordinary, as well as the Three-
dimensionality of the picture, almost all the Close-Up's are by Fainting (and do not think I exaggerate !!!) ... 50GB
BD-encoded in AVC to Perfection, with a very high bitrate and constant from 30- to 35 Mbps, Excellent the rendering of colors,
which shows in all its Extraordinary Beauty the Photography of Kuveiller !!!…
...Audio track ... in DTS-HD-MA 2.0 is also Extremely Good, with dialogues rendered in Impeccable manner as well as the yield of
the superb soundtrack by Morricone !!!
... As for me, Absolute Reference !!!!
...And I would want well to see !!!
...Marvelous Work Of Art !!!...Extraordinarily Actual, then as now (also because the things here in Italy, have exactly been
Identical...) with a Gian Maria Volontè....S T R A T O S P H E R I C !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
...Genial the Superb Screen-play of Petri and Pirro, Crystalline and Millimetric the DIRECTION !!!
...AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE !!!
...The Maximum one of the Votes !!!
TRANSFER = 10
IMAGE - PICTURE = 10
AUDIO = 10
MOVIE = 10 + 10 !!!
A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks
havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine
biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster...
The picture has been superbly restored here, considering its age.
Although theres excellent use of surround sound, the audio for me is a touch tinny and echoey. That aside its a great watch and definitely recommended.
Like one of the other reviews said, the show is on a lot on E4. I caught an odd episode there and thought it was really funny. When this boxset came along, I thought 'great! I can watch it all now and love it so very much!'.
Well, maybe not.
I like it, don't get me wrong, but after spending a week watching the first episode of Season 1 to the last episode of Season 5, it all just seems a bit... superficial. Nothing really happens during the whole 5 seasons. There's a reason sitcoms like Friends and Will & Grace stand the test of time, and that's because there's substance. You don't just laugh at these shows, you feel. And it just doesn't happen with The Big Bang Theory. I loved Sheldon when I caught the odd episode, but now he just gets so incredibly annoying to the point where I want to throw sharp objects at him. When Amy was first introduced to the show, I loved her. But as the show progressed, she got less and less funny, and more and more clingy.
The show needs something more, I just don't feel it's going to get it.
Blind buy for me...PQ/AQ was excellent..Reminded me a lot of Woman in Black..Couple being haunted because of her lost child....Yea ok...And it relied to much on audio scare than video scare...All in all worth a rental..I don't see much replay value,,
Universal Studios | 1991 | 116 min | Rated BBFC: 15 | Region free
| Jul 02, 2012
Barton Fink is a scriptwriter who has become a Hollywood hit. However, he has writer's block, in desperation he turns to his neighbours for help. Fink finds the real-life inspiration he needs from the most sinister of sources!
Magnolia Pictures | 2009 | 77 min | Rated R | Region free
| Sep 29, 2009
In the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election, Chelsea is an ultra high-end
Manhattan call girl who offers more than sex to her clients: companionship and conversation --
"the girlfriend experience." Chelsea...
"I would see a shrink, but it's more fun to see you."
Steven Soderbergh's millennial output has ordered around the "one for them, one for me" rule. For every commercial project he would release an independent, low-budget one. On one end of the spectrum lie the Oceans Trilogy, Erin Brockovich, Contagion, Magic Mike, Haywire, and most recently, Side Effects (which may be the most genre-bending of the lot), whereas Full Frontal, Bubble, And Everything is Going Fine lie on the other end. It is safe to categorize The Girlfriend Experience as one of his "experiments." It's very playful in regards to film form: structure, editing, camera placement, lighting & performance. In the audio commentary for the home video release, Soderbergh described the production phase as a "process of structured improvisation." The lead actress, Sasha Gray became well acquainted with her co-stars (many of them non-professional actors) to facilitate the fly on the wall improvisation. The sound mixers were always recording conversations on set (a wealth of material only enhanced editorial ease), so often, Soderbergh would a quick set-up to record his actors from afar incognito. Masking the fact by pretending to be conferencing with his DP. This on-the-fly methodology (80 to 90% of the film is comprised of first takes) is not groundbreaking per-say, the Cinéma vérité of Robert Flaherty, Jean Rouch, Fred Wiseman and D.A. Pennebaker can attest to that, but in tandem with a two-camera, Red-One digital cinematography, a familiar environment is molded into a foreign and sterile recess of slick surfaces, advertising and disconnect. Soderbergh states he was doing nothing that Alain Resnais and the masters of the French and British New Waves didn't already do in the 1960's. however, he states that he is curious of unlocking a new cinematic language and is adamantly opposed to repetition: "I'm interested in trying to push it."
The barriers to getting on the same wavelength as this film are two fold: having the patience to savor the act of re-constructing the free-form narrative and to sync with Soderbergh's distanced gaze. Christine (Sasha Gray) is an escort that caters to wealthy New York clientele, all in the economic sector. The impending financial downturn looms over their dates. The libido of her clientele is as curiously nonexistent as the spotless glass and metal surfaces. They confide in Christine worries over the state of the economy and their waning financial prospects (yet, they advise her to invest in gold). The few sources of extemporary relief in her banausic life are a single female friend whom she meets at a cafe and her boyfriend whom also has similar upwardly mobile wily intentions in selling bulk sessions and pursuing a managerial role at the gym (although he refuses to wear the uniform). She also discusses with several consultants how to gain prominence on search engines, and the benefits of obtaining a professional review. The complications of this prospect and that of taking off with a client constitute what little there is in the way of traditional drama. The proceedings are underplayed by Soderbergh as he directs us to look askance at a venomous pre-Bailout Wall Street. The underpinnings of her clients' materialistic world are starting to loosen. Similar to Michael Mann's Miami Vice (2006), through images and sounds alone, Soderbergh paints a modern American tragedy.
Whereas Michael Mann's trademark was a widescreen, high contrast close up, Soderbergh's is an antiseptic tableaux that often chooses to isolate elements in the foreground such as chairs, couches, apartment barriers, wine glasses and mirrors. His camera is most often fixed in a place that accentuates the sodden metropolitan materialism. It's only suiting that these multi-fold melodramas play out obscured by logos and chic, IKEA bric-a-brack. Soderbergh's eye here is closer to the mathematical precision of Hollis Frampton than the angry expressionism of Oliver Stone.
The focal dexterity of the film cements this film as Soderbergh's most sophisticated visual work as he He has eluded to the impact the work of Michelangelo Antonioni had on the film in interviews. Detailing environments through contrast and a busy, teeming sound sound design not only nods to Antonioni, but galvanizes his innovations in a way integral to the core of the film. Consider the scene where Christine and her jealous boyfriend drink at a crowded pub. Their faces are half dimmed and out of focus, whereas the bar, probably 15-20 feet away is swathed in light and in full focus. Our attention is directed away from the human drama which is the the point. It details the anonymity of metropolitan existence like a small scale rendition of the mastershots in King Vidor's The Crowd. This isn't the sole instance, later when the boyfriend considers breaking up over Christine's tentative weekend getaway (he is accepting of her line of work, just as long as she doesn't take off with any of her clients), the camera is, again, fixed low in the apartment, behind two gray couches- and is more interested in highlighting the details of their apartment: leather couches, a curved overhanging fluorescent light, a framed square print in the hallway to the right, and the modern kitchen. This time, the boyfriend is only half in view, whereas the line of sight to Christine is impeded by the left couch (in a stroke of fate, Sasha Gray studied the mis-en-scen the morning of the shoot and decided to place herself out of view). These images are pure Soderbergh and work in tandem with an elliptical narrative that provide a glimpse behind the curtain of Wall Street. They also serve as an ironic counterpoint to the outbursts of melodrama and tear-shed in the final act. The characters are deliberately alien & unsympathetic: a mirror only reflects the truth.
The Girlfriend Experience is one of the key cinematic texts of the Twenty First century not only because of it's timeliness, released in the Spring of President Obama's inaugural year (it actually premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the same day the President was sworn into office), but also it's formal dexterity. It's unique visual sensibilities transform interaction to commodity. There are no relationships in the film, only detailed transactions- Christine's narration is candid in revealing each detail of her dates, from the brand of lingerie, jeans, to the pre-coital conversations and preferences if her clients. Each deal is self serving, and is squarely fixed for their own upward mobility (much alike the sub-prime loans sold in the period of extreme deregulation). To Soderbergh it all looks the same. His eye focuses on the "wrong things" because (to utilize yet another cliché) there's no "right thing" he treats the corroded environment much like Antonioni did in Red Desert: it's grip is suffocating and inescapable.
The films Soderbergh made afterwards shared his fascination with finance, but he seemed to find a silver lining: the protagonists are complacent in having to play the game for their upward mobility - stock manipulation and double crosses in Side Effects, commercial entrepreneurship in Magic Mike. This is not unlike the role he accepted in the Hollywood Studio system from 2011 to 2013. The four wide releases of this period are genre films: a disaster film, an action thriller, an exploitation film and a psychological thriller. All these films certainly draw from the core set of values of The Girlfriend Experience and are all highly enjoyable in their own right, but none of them provoke the same level of visual and aural fascination.
I really don't understand why this movie have received the attention it has. The acting is acceptable, within the limits of the screenplay but the characters are all caricatures and either painfully unrealistic or relatively wooden. The story had potential but the implementation was simply cartoonish. In this case, the fault appears to fall on the writer and director. What a pitiful waste of talents like Samuel Jackson (with a role that defies explanation) and Jamie Fox (who was barely given anything to work with). The cinematography was certainly excellent and the film editing was as good as it could be given what appears to have been in the can. I love movies with interesting dialogue, character development and subtlety developed tension and am quite happy to have these delivered over 2 hours but while I noticed the attempts at these qualities, in the end they just contributed to a much over length feature that frankly dragged between its all to frequent lapses into to over stylized and excessively bloody action. The action scenes offer few, if any surprises, comic book realism and no real tension. This movie is sadly another example of the current trend toward excess in film making; e.g., some blood is good so more blood must be better. If this movie had been about any character but a released slave, I doubt it would have gotten any attention what so ever. As it is, it does no justice to that sad period of our country’s history; this is certainly not Roots. Decent B entertainment for a rainy day, sure; masterpiece, hardly.
Paramount Pictures | 2002 | 116 min | Rated PG-13 | Region A (B, C untested) | Apr 30, 2013
Captain Picard and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise-E face off against a clone of Picard named Shinzon who rules the planet Remus. The dying Shinzon needs Picard's genetic material to survive but his attempt to kidnap Picard...
Understandably the last film in the series until the reboot
This movie could quite possibly have been done as a made for TV movie as it has the feel and look of the Next Generation series rather than a theatrical version. In comparison to previous TNG films such as Generations or First Contact, the film lacks character development & the storyline is a bit weak attempted to be saved through action scenes via starship battles. If you are a Star Trek fan, you will like the film because of your previous knowledge of the franchise however if you are not so familiar the story does little to draw you in or cause you to become emotionally invested. Tom Hardy is the villain playing a Romulan created unstable clone of Captain Picard. If you've seen Star Trek An Undiscovered Country you could easily compare Hardy's acting as a poor attempt to mimic Christopher Plummer's portrayal of General Chang. The storyline itself draws greatly on the second half of Star Trek The Wrath of Khan as the similarities are hard to miss. I expected more from the film however having heard other reviews I went in not expecting much and with that mindset it was best just to enjoy the film as an extra long TNG episode. Picture & audio quality is very good but can't elevate the lackluster quality of the film. Worth seeing if you're a fan of the franchise.
...but for me , at least, the last two hours dragged. Full disclosure - I am not a Tarantino superfan, as INglorious Basterds is probably his only movie I really liked. So for those of you who are not fanboys, maybe you can hear my perspective.
The opening sequences draw you deep into the story. The scene with the klan raid left me in stitches. But once Leo arrived it slowed down to the point of me checking the clock a few times. About 15-20 minutes could have daily been cited from the film. Just my opinion.
The picture looks great, the sound is also good. Very disappointed in the extras.
The classic fantasy/comedy based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play starring James Stewart in one of his finest performances as the good-natured Elwood P. Dowd, whose constant companion is Harvey, a six-foot tall rabbit that only...
An exceptional transfer -this is what Blu-ray is all about!
Harvey comes to Blu-ray with a truly impressive and deeply pleasing transfer. Fine detail, projected on my 100 inch screen, in faces, clothing, sets and outdoor scenes is wonderful, and the image boasts a depth which at times has a striking 3D quality to it. You could almost walk into the screen.
I saw no evidence of excessive DNR. Not a single waxy moment. I saw maybe two or three extremely minor moments of print damage (a fine vertical line and a few tiny specs) and only one brief scene with what may have been a bit of edge enhancement.
The English DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track supported the visuals competently. Dialogue was extremely clear at all times and the score was clear and strong. There may have been one or two minor audio pops and hisses but I never really noticed them because they were extremely rare.
In the extras department I was very happy to see that the 8 minute Jimmy Stewart introduction from all the previous home video releases was carried over. It is a really wonderful piece, and the BD would not have been the same without it. It adds a real charm to the disk. We also get the Theatrical Trailer. Both are presented in standard definition.
Sadly the only other extras were not film specific. Running at approx 8 minutes each and presented in HD,
we get "100 Years of Universal: The Carl Laemmle Era," and "The Lew Wasserman Era." Both featurettes were
created as part of the Universal 100th Anniversary celebration, and for film history buffs, they are actually
fairly interesting little gems.
While it is disappointing that Universal did not create some new film specific extras, "Harvey" is nonetheless now one of the most prized films in my BD collection, and I can't recommend it highly enough.
I was happily surprised by this movie as i was expecting a drama movie about the sick and dead because of the plague, but was treated by English director Christopher Smith ("Triangle" !!!) with an compelling adventure. A journey to an evil village where the dead are believed to be brought back to life...
A young monk Osmund (Eddie Redmayne, "Pillars of the Earth") lead a delegation of brutal soldiers on their mission out of name of the church thru the swamp to reach the unholy village to capture the Necromancer. He volunteers for the journey to be able to meet with his secret girlfriend, the lovely Averill (Kimberley Nixon).
Among the soldiers are Ulrich (Sean Bean), Swire (Emun Elliot, "Lip Service, season 1 & 2") and Ivo (dutch actor Tygo Gernandt , "Oorlogswinter", "Dolfje Weerwolfje", "Van God Los", "Süskind").
In the anti-Christian village we meet in the 2nd half of the movie the mysterious Langiva (Dutch actress Carice van Houten, "Game of Thrones, season 2 & 3").
So in short... a great cast !
A huge pity is though... ZERO extras on the Dutch released disc, Just Bridge Entertainment should
shame itself !
I ordered the UK release now as that one is packed with extras incl. audio commentary !!!
Warner Music | 2009 | 125 min | Not rated | Region free
| Apr 06, 2010
The Sticky & Sweet show was filmed in Buenos Aires over four days to a crowd exceeding 256,000 screaming fans. The concert includes a memorable show stopping moment when Madonna performs a historic "Don’t Cry For Me Argentina" to...
The movie started off slow in telling the story but kept getting better and better. I loved the movie but was a little disappointed in the ending. What I didn't realize that a few years down the road another Hobbit movie is coming out to expand the story. I guess they do what ever they can to make easy money. The movie went straight to the menu which is good and starts off where you left off at if you don't finish it. The picture and audio quality is top notch as you would expect. Disc one is just the movie. Disc two has 2 1/2 hours of extra content. You get a DVD copy and instead of the good digital copy on a disc a Ultraviolet copy which forces you to be somewhere with a free high speed connection to watch it.
Starz / Anchor Bay | 1981 | 85 min | Not rated | Region A (locked) | Aug 31, 2010
Five twentysomething friends are holed up in a remote cabin where they discover a Book Of The Dead. An
archaeologist's tape recording reveals that the ancient text was discovered among the Khandarian ruins of a
There's no denying the cult status of this 1981 horror gem. The Evil Dead is super low budget and almost humorous and the spectacle that it is. However I didn't find myself as engrossed into it as so many are. Sam Raimi proved his nack for slasher/gore and throwaway characters. Ash of course would become the hero (if you will) in the two sequels that followed thus making actor Bruce Campbell a cult icon. Needless to say Evil Dead is decent for what it is and a classic in the sense that made it so loved by many, It fits well along side Halloween, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Anchor Bay's disc features a grainy PQ presentation along with an average truehd 5.1 track. No extra's even though the back of my copy says there is a director/star commentary. Well onto Evil Dead 2.
Not much to really add here that hasn't already been said. The film looks great in HD, remarkably good for a film from its time period. The 5.1 DTS Master Audio track quite good, but it certainly won't tax anyone's sound system.
Some of the jokes may be a bit dated, but the bulk of the film never fails to amuse me. For such a great price, and high quality sound and visual presentation, there's no need to hesitate to on adding it to you collection.
2 Movie Collection
Disney / Buena Vista | 2000-2003 | 2 Movies | 224 min | Rated PG-13 | Region free
| May 07, 2013
East meets West in two comedies starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Experience Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights for the first time on Blu-ray, featuring new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Chinese...
There’s few genres that are nearly as cool as the Western genre, and the Martial Arts genre. Both have been mainstays in cinema for quite some time, for good reason, because they both house some of the greatest films of all time. So it’s no surprise that combining the genres offered something fun and exciting. Mixed with a fish out of water comedy tale, ‘Shanghai Noon’, as well as it’s sequel, ‘Shanghai Knights’, come together as two of the most entertaining films of the early 2000′s. These two films were in constant rotation back when they were on DVD, but ever since blu-ray took off, I’ve been hoping that these two would eventually get a release. They seem like prime candidates for the format, with their fun action scenes in all the films, as well as some beautiful shots of the American frontier, the victorian London setting, and awesome costumes. While it was a long wait, Walt Disney Pictures has finally released the two films in a double feature pack, much to my delight, and probably to the joys of many Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson fans as well.
Disney has put together a pretty strong package here. Both films are one blu-ray disc, but quality really isn’t compromised because of it. The only downside to the combined disc is the fact that the film doesn’t feature lossless audio, which Disney is famously known for. Many of their films feature incredible lossless sound, but here, we have a much more toned down 5.1 Dolby mix. It’s not a bad mix, far from it, the movie sounds great, but it could sound a bit better with a lossless track. This isn’t a deal breaker though, as the both films look nothing short of spectacular. Once again, Disney shows why they’re one of the best in the business when it comes to blu-ray releases with this high definition transfer. Even with both films being on one disc, it doesn’t create any sort of compression issues, and both movies look absolutely fantastic. These are easily the best these two films have looked on home video.
The first film in the series, ‘Shanghai Noon’, follows Chon Wang (Chan), a man who comes to America to save a princess. In the process, he ends up with outlaw Roy O’Bannon, for better or for worse. But while the two may not get along, they realize that they need each other to stand against a man who is a traitor to China. The first of the two films is appropriately zany and fun, mixing the buddy cop genre well with a western and martial arts style, which is something we hadn’t quite seen before. The film is directed by Tom Dey, and proves to be a very fun film. Chan and Wilson are excellent together, and they really play off each other well. It’s a really fantastic pairing, and they really help elevate the film to great heights. Lucy Liu co-stars as Princess Pei Pei, and she is very good in the role. She seems like she’s having a ton of fun here. It’s one of her best performances, and one of my personal favorites. Disney has portered over many of the special features from the DVD version, which is a nice surprise. To begin with, the features include a handful of deleted scenes, nothing that really changes the film, but they’re definitely worth a watch. Also included are ‘Behind the Scenes’ look at the making of the film, ‘Action Overlord, which takes a look specifically at the film’s many action scenes, and a fantastic audio commentary with Jackie Chan, Owen, Wilson, and director Tom Dey. It’s a very entertaining commentary and is absolutely worth a listen. The first film looks and sounds great and really boasts some very nice special features, so it’s good to see the film has been treated so well. Thankfully, this is only the first of two films on the set.
In the sequel, ‘Shanghai Knights’, finds Chon and Roy on a mission to England to find the man who find the man who killed Chon’s father. But what the duo don’t know is there’s more to this murder than it seems, and a conspiracy unfolds that threatens to bring down the Royal Family. Once again, Wilson and Chan absolutely shine together, and I actually think they may be even better together this time around. Having both of them as “fish out of water” type characters makes them so much fun to watch together, and it really changes the dynamic. But it’s Donnie Yen, who really steals the show as Wu Yen. He’s a great villain, and his final fight with Jackie Chan in the film is really incredible. While the second film may not be quite as good as the first, it’s still very fun, and absolutely worth a watch. The film is accompanied by a nice selection of special features, much like the first. Once again, we’re given a selection of deleted scenes from the film, and once again, none of them really feel they should have been in the film. They’re very fun to watch, but they don’t add much to the movie. Then there’s ‘Fight Manual’, which is a documentary with Jackie Chan and director David Dobkin, which is very well done. It’s a very insightful look into the film that talks about the action in the film. Finally, we have two commentaries, one featuring David Dobkin, which is very informative about much of the behind the scenes of the film, and the other features Owen Wilson, and writers Alfred Gough and Miles Miller, which is a bit more entertaining and fun to listen to. Both commentaries give some great new perspective on the making of the film, and they’re both very worth to listen to.
‘Shanghai Noon’ and ‘Shanghai Knights’ may not be classic cinema, but they’re at least very fun and entertaining films. Featuring some great action scenes, a great pairing between Chan and Wilson, and one of the most entertaining genre mashups in recent memory, the films are definitely worth a look. Disney has put together a rather solid blu-ray release, featuring excellent video transfers, a pretty good audio mix, and plenty of special features to make fans of the movie happy. Fans of martial arts films, westerns, or Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson should definitely give this release a look, because it’s definitely earned a place on your shelf. This release earns my full recommendation.
I have been watching SP since the 8th or 9th season and this is by the worst season for me. I wish there was at the very least one episode that is "SCREAMINGLY funny" as the other reviewer puts, but in my opinion there was not any. If I were you I would definetely pass this season. Regarding video, there were subtler details on the garments, walls etc compared to previous season. Regarding audio, likewise the previous seasons, the show rarely makes use of surround channels, which is natural because the show is primarily dialogue driven.