Category Archives: DVD Review

Blu-Ray Review – LoTR The Motion Picture Trilogy (Limited Extended Edition)

With so many (deserved) critical accolades heaped on this franchise the question is not “is this set any good?” it’s “is it worth it?”  The answer is, unequivocally, YES.  I could rave about the new transfer along with everyone else (it’s great) but, in practical terms, the films look much better.  Upconverting was never a friend to the DVD releases, seeming to bring out the flaws as much as the detail.  The Blu-Rays resolve that problem and (for the most part) make these films look like the visual masterpieces they were in the theatre. Continue reading

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Blu-Ray Review: The Incredible Hulk

As every other review points out, this movie is nothing like Ang Lee’s ill-conceived Hulk movie.  This one is most certainly about “Hulk Smash”, and not “Hulk Brood,” containing the finest action sequences of any Marvel movie.  The final fight sequence, in which Hulk and Abomination tear through Harlem, is worth the cost of the disc alone.  It’s one of those scenes action fans will skip to when they’re looking for a quick-fix.  That isn’t to say that this is just a big dumb action flick.  Edward Norton does an excellent job as Bruce Banner, peaceful scientist and William Hurt and Tim Roth are only a few steps behind as the aging warmongers looking to exploit him. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Iron Man 2

This film suffers unfairly in comparison to its predecessor.  Iron Man’s second outing is certainly not as good as his first but the action scenes are still first rate and Tony’s desire to go out in a blaze of self-destructive glory is an interesting starting point for the character.  It’s his journey back that leaves a bit to be desired.  Efforts to tie Vanko’s hatred of the Stark family into Tony’s arc never really succeed and Mickey Rourke feels wasted in the role.  Justin Hammer is also a big misstep as the secondary villain as he’s just too ineffectual to seem threatening. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Iron Man

“Fun” is the best word to describe Marvel Studios’ first outing, although it’s actually inadequate for a film of this quality.  “Iron Man” delivers all the slick action and wit you’d expect from a summer blockbuster, but it also features a tight plot, well-rounded characters and an outstanding performance by Robert Downey Jr.  This is a movie that delivers entertainment first and foremost but never sacrifices storytelling in the name of spectacle. Continue reading

Blu Ray Review: Ong Bak 2

The plot is simplistic drivel, has a twist that’s rather nonsensical, and is in no way related to the first film… but that’s not really why any of us watch this, is it?  We watch it to see Tony Jaa doing things we didn’t think were humanly possible.  Anyone familiar with his work will appreciate this film as his most visceral, polished, epic, and astonishing to date.  Anyone not familiar should consider whether they’re interested in seeing the heir-apparent to Jet Li. Continue reading

Blu Ray Review: Pan’s Labrynth

Far from the swords and sorcery that typify modern fantasy movies, Guillermo Del Toro’s best work presents a fairy tale for modern audiences, complete with the darkness, mystery, and wonder that once typified that genre. The mystical realm is connected to the Spanish Civil War through the eyes of Ofelia (Ivana Baquero), a curious and willful young girl grappling with a monstrous stepfather. Themes of identity and obedience tie the two worlds together while the strong characters will keep you engaged throughout.  Continue reading

DVD Review: Office Space

Just how funny you find the drudgery of cubicle living really depends on whether or not you’ve experienced it.  Mike Judge does a superb job capturing the banality of the everyday in an office and mining it for some unexpected and delightful humour.  Whether it’s the slavish devotion to process, the passive-aggressive bosses, or the jammed printer, it’s the fact that these things are so familiar that makes them funny. Continue reading

DVD Review: Taken

As has been pointed out in nearly every review, Liam Neeson’s performance is what elevates this otherwise average action flick into something truly thrilling.  Enraged, ruthless, and superhumanly competent, Bryan Mills could easily have been portrayed Vam Dam back in the day, but Neeson’s able to keep all that intensity relatable.  The action’s all very well executed here, but it’s far more enjoyable with a character we actually care about. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Lethal Weapon

Every cliché has to start somewhere, and few have a better beginning than Lethal Weapon.  The Buddy-Cop genre has been done to death, but Gibson and Glover’s chemistry as Riggs and Murtaugh still keeps this one feeling fresh and energetic.  By far the grittiest film the franchise, the first Lethal Weapon smartly relies more on good story-telling and engaging characters rather than elaborate set-pieces.  That’s not to say that this is high-drama, just that it (wisely) puts the story ahead of the eye candy. Continue reading

Blu-Ray Review: Casino Royale

“Reboot” has become a dirty word for film fans but damned if this one doesn’t get it right.  The original Bond movies ranged from awesome to awful action flicks, but Casino Royale manages to get so much more from the franchise that they all pale in comparison.  Action has certainly come a long way since Connery’s time, and this film is superb in that regard, but where it truly shines is the deep characters and air-tight plotting. Continue reading