This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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HD DVD Movie Disc Reviews
Categories in section: HD DVD Movie Disc Reviews
Sunday, 01 July 2007 |
Set at a cleverly indeterminate “7 years in the future,” “A Scanner
Darkly” relates a somewhat loose, but intriguing tale of a drug called
“Substance D” and its hallucinatory destructive effects on a group of
people in a California suburb. Bob Arctor (Keanu Reeves) is an
undercover policeman, working within a small circle of “Substance D”
users to find the key supplier of this particularly destructive drug.
Continued use of “Substance D” causes increasing paranoia,
hallucinations and irrational behavior. The twitchy, unsettled Freck
(Rory Cochrane) is the most extremely effected of the bunch, obsessed
with the feeling that he’s covered with tiny crawling aphids. Arctor’s
undercover identity is unknown, even to those in charge within the
police, as undercover officers and their liaisons are cloaked in a
“scramble suit” whenever they enter the police station, which makes
their physical and voice details impossible to discern. While at the
station, Arctor is told to closely ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
In the original movie, “Poseidon” is struck by a tsunami and
overturned. At the time, as pointed out in the History Channel episode
on the disc, no one thought that was possible. Since that time, the
world has learned how frightening that force of nature can be. In the
NBC remake, the destruction was caused by a terrorist bomb to exploit
the paranoia heightened by 9/11.
In Petersen’s version of the movie, the destructive force was changed
to a rogue wave, unlike tsunamis, which resemble extremely fast, very
high tides, and which cause destruction along shorelines; they’re not
necessarily very hazardous to ships at sea. Rogue waves have been
documented over a hundred feet in height and have totally destroyed
ships as big as the “Poseidon” in the movie.
The plot is simple. A huge luxury ocean liner is overturned at sea and
a handful of people that survived the initial destruction struggle ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
Many people around the world sighed with relief when not only did
Martin Scorsese finally, FINALLY, win a best director Oscar for “The
Departed,” but the film itself was named Best Picture of the Year. It
seemed about bleedin’ time that Scorsese won this most prestigious
movie award; too bad it couldn’t have been for one of his more
personal, distinctive movies, but “The Departed” is terrific, grand
entertainment with a good cast, excellent production values and enough
violence to equip three or four standard horror movies. But this is a
Martin Scorsese gangster movie; he always emphasizes the blood and gore
attendant upon the gangster lifestyle, and he’s right to do so. His
movies aren’t for those disturbed by realistic depiction of violence,
but they’re also not exploitative—Scorsese is nothing if not honest.
And this time he was playful, too. “The Departed” is the first Scorsese
movie to have an intricate, surprise-packed ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
“Bullitt” was a medium-budget studio movie, basically a standard police
thriller—but what it was about is not as important as its style, and
that amazing car chase, still one of the best in movie history. It set
precedents that many producers and directors have tried to top—and
though many have succeeded (from “The French Connection” to “The Bourne
Supremacy”), this blistering, beautifully-edited sequence in “Bullitt”
is still the one everything else is compared to.
Furthermore, McQueen cut such a stylish figure as the San Francisco
police detective with the ludicrous name of Frank Bullitt that he
established a new style for cops and their behavior. There wouldn’t
have been a “Dirty Harry” or any Lethal Weapons without Frank
Bullitt—or without Steve McQueen. He sometimes isn’t given his due as
an actor, but he burned a hole in the screen—his sheer presence was
electrifying and memorable. But like most such figures in movie
Tuesday, 01 May 2007 |
Based on a 1973 British film starring Edward Woodward and Christopher
Lee that’s a cult favorite, “The Wicker Man” starring Nicholas Cage
just misses all the way around. Like the original, this “Wicker Man”
poses as a thriller, mystery, and horror movie. It’s more successful in
the beginning segments that introduce Cage as California Highway
Patrolman Edward Malus.
The movie opens at a sedate pace in a small town where Malus is just
one of the people in a diner; he seems to be focusing on dealing with
problems in his life. That’s why he’s buying the self-help tapes to
listen to while he’s patrolling on his motorcycle. This set up is
quietly contained and quite different from the tragedy that happens
While on the highway, Malus finds a doll. He stops and picks it up,
then drives on ahead and spots a station wagon that has the likely
culprit. When he ...