Blu-ray Review: THE LION KING

The circle of life works very differently in the jungles of Hollywood than it does in the plains of Africa. Movie studios have a lot in common with the proverbial snake that eats its own tail. This time, the tail is made of intellectual property. It’s inevitable that everything you loved growing up will be…

Movie Review: SHERLOCK HOLMES – A GAME OF SHADOWS

In some ways, Warner Brothers’ revisionist take on Sherlock Holmes is more faithful to the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Gone are the great detective’s stoic manner and meticulous behavior along with the Meerschaum pipe and deerstalker cap that became pervasive from earlier adaptations. However, it’s doubtful Doyle ever dreamed of his most…

Movie Review: SHERLOCK HOLMES

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective, Sherlock Holmes, gets a new coat of paint for the 21st century in this latest interpretation. Just like the current visage of Santa Claus was largely a creation of Coca-Cola, the image of Holmes in a deerstalker hat, tweed cape with a calabash pipe was honed through various film…

Movie Review: THE A-TEAM

”…if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them…maybe you can hire…THE A-TEAM!” The record for adapting old TV shows into successful feature films has been less than stellar. The Fugitive is the only true standout. Several rungs down the ladder are middling efforts like Starsky and Hutch and Miami Vice. Dwelling…

Blu-ray Review: MAMMA MIA – HERE WE GO AGAIN

I wouldn’t count myself as an ABBA fan, but I wouldn’t change the radio station if one of their songs played. It’s hard to deny they’re one of the premiere earworm bands. Their brand of catchy pop tunes have a way of sticking in your head. When, Mamma MiaI, a musical based on ABBA’s music…

Blu-ray Review: PLEASE STAND BY

Please Stand By gets points for its sensitive portrayal of Star Trek fans and people with autism. Trekkies are generally depicted as annoying geeks with a tenuous grasp on reality ala The Big Bang Theory. Meanwhile, Rain Man is the first thing that likely pops into people’s heads when they hear the word autism. The…

Movie Review: TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

Gran Torino was supposed to be Clint Eastwood’s last hurrah as an actor. Something must have lured him back for Trouble with the Curve. It certainly wasn’t the chance to play a radically different character than he usually portrays. Once again Eastwood slips into the role of the dusty old timer searching for that one last glory.…

Movie Review: TRUE GRIT

From the Duke to the Dude, the Coen Brothers put their own indelible stamp on the Western in this latest adaptation of the 1968 novel, True Grit, by Charles Portis. Portis’s book was previously brought to the screen a year after publication in a film directed by Henry Hathaway with John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, a…

Movie Review: 21 JUMP STREET

21 Jump Street is an early contender for surprise hit of the year. Movies based on old television shows haven’t had a winning percentage and 21 Jump Street had the potential to be another Starsky & Hutch or, worse yet, Car 54, Where Are You? Instead, it’s a clever and uproarious spoof of action films and high school comedies. Jonah Hill steps…

Movie Review: THE MECHANIC

CBS Films quickly carved themselves a little niche for old school action movies. One of the first films they released was the 70’s revenge throwback, Faster, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It was a marked departure from their first two productions, the medical drama Extraordinary Measures and the Jennifer Lopez rom-com, The Back-Up Plan. CBS follows up Faster with The Mechanic, a…

Blu-ray Review: ATOMIC BLONDE

When it seemed like Daniel Craig would walk away from the role of James Bond, fans pondered what it would be like to re-imagine 007 as a female agent played by Charlize Theron. Evidently, somebody drove a dump truck full of money to Craig’s home, but that female Bond franchise has arrived in the form…

Movie Review: UNSTOPPABLE

“This is Will Coulson, your conductor, we’re gonna run this bitch down.” Unstoppable marks the fifth collaboration between Tony Scott and Denzel Washington as well as the second time in a row the pair get to play with trains. Their working relationship has yielded some good (Man on Fire) and some bad (Déjà Vu). You can…

Blu-ray Review: PARANORMAN

2012 was a strong year for animated films. While computer animation rules the roost, it’s good to know that older forms like stop-motion are still being kept alive. Disney released Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and Universal produced ParaNorman from Laika Studios, the same animators that brought us Coraline. Despite being stronger pictures, neither of those pictures…

Movie Review: FRANKENWEENIE

Before he was Tim Burton, the director of Batman and Ed Wood, he was simply Tim Burton, a young animator trying to make a name for himself at Disney. He first gained notice in 1982 with a stop-motion animated short called Vincent. His follow-up was a half-hour live-action piece, Frankenweenie, about a boy who brings his beloved dog back to…

Movie Review: JONAH HEX

Comic book movies are now a staple of the summer blockbuster season. This modern age of the comic book film can be traced back to an unlikely source in Blade. For decades, Marvel had attempted to turn their characters into successful feature films. Yet, all they had to show for it are a pair of awful…