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Editor's rating: 
 4.0
 
Sunday, 14 September 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren, Darren Gross, Noah Fleming  | 
Pirates of the Caribbean (Trilogy Boxset) NOTE: The above rating is an average for the entire boxset.  See the bottom of each review for individual ratings. At hand is “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the first movie. No one expected a great deal more than a fun movie based on the Disneyland ride, but it unexpectedly turned out to be a treasure trove of eccentric performances, gorgeous location work, superb production design—all adding up to a surprisingly entertaining and intelligent movie. This Blu-ray has almost too many extras. The second disc includes about 12 hours of them in two primary sections: “An Epic at Sea” consists of a long roster of relatively brief documentaries which feature virtually all of the main cast and principal behind-the-scenes workers. “Becoming Captain Jack” is a clear demonstration of Depp’s strange—and Oscar-nominated—performance as Captain Jack Sparrow. In “Becoming ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.4
 
Sunday, 14 September 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Felon Prison movies are a Hollywood staple, and have been since the early talkie era.  Over the years, they’ve gradually become more realistic, although that isn’t always a virtue; the reality of prison is that most of the time it’s extremely boring—one of the main elements of this form of punishment—which means that even the best prison movies, from the early 30s to the present, have to dip a toe into sheer melodrama.  “Felon” manages to stay realistic most of the time, but the style director Ric Roman Waugh has adopted is itself rather hammy—he heavily overuses intense closeups—and the climax involves that hoariest of cinema clichés (and this one dates back to, oh, say 1905), the Race Against Time.  This undercuts what had been until then an interesting, though not involving, prison drama focusing on what happens when a regular ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.7
 
Wednesday, 03 September 2008 |  Written by Bill Warren  | 
Batman: The Movie (1966) This is the movie based on the TV series, which was released while the show was still on the air.  The story is simple: Gotham City’s four most notorious bad guys (and the four who turned up most often on the series), The Penguin (Burgess Meredith), The Joker (Cesar Romero), Catwoman (Lee Meriwether) and The Riddler (Frank Gorshin), kidnap a scientist to get their hands on his dehydration device.  It turns living things into neat little piles of colorful sand, and can restore them again later.  Somehow this is part of their plan to conquer the world, but it’s never entirely clear just how this was to be accomplished.  Police Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton) turns to Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) for help.  They have secret identities—millionaire Bruce Wayne and his ward Dick Grayson.  Only Wayne’s loyal and ...
Editor's rating: 
 3.6
 
Wednesday, 20 August 2008 |  Written by Noah Fleming  | 
Scorpion King, The After the success of "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns", producers launched the spin-off, "The Scorpion King".  But, in all fairness, the movie really does not have much to do with the Mummy movies.  "The Mummy Returns" ends with a battle involving the Scorpion King, but in a different incarnation than in this new film.  Nevertheless, the overall film fits in nicely with the Mummy series. Stephen Sommers returns as a writer for the film.  However, he turns the directing reigns to Chuck Russell.  Previous to "The Scorpion King", Russell directed films such as, "Eraser" with Arnold Schwarzenegger and "The Mask" with Jim Carrey, so Chuck is no stranger to summer blockbusters and massive amount of special and visual effects. "The Scorpion King", set in 5000 B.C., or about 2000 years prior to the Mummy films, brings full-blown action to the large ...
Monday, 04 August 2008 |  Written by Noah Fleming  | 
Mummy Returns, The In 1999, “The Mummy” became a box-office success, grossing $155 million domestically and $415 million worldwide.  Naturally, Universal agreed to a sequel, “The Mummy Returns”.  The sequel was released in 2001 and was an even bigger hit than the first, ending up at about $433 million worldwide.  While doing well at the box-office, the film was panned by many of the industry’s top critics.  While not a masterpiece, the film does have many great qualities and thus I cannot agree with the negative critics out there.  The film is good fun with great tie-ins to the original plot and characters, which apparently is not the case with the new “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.” Stephen Sommers, who wrote and directed the first film, returns to write and direct the sequel.  Bob Ducsay also returns as chief editor of the ...
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