September 20, 2014

One Blu-ray Review to Beam Up: Star Trek: The Compendium


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To boldy go where no reboot has gone before...

Rebooting a movie franchise with an all-new cast has become commonplace in Hollywood. But having that cast inherit a set of iconic roles that have not only been heavily ingrained in the public consciousness but have also become synonymous with the names and faces of the original actors — well, that's a dicier proposition. Yet that's exactly the kind of calculated risk J.J. Abrams took when he brought a new crew aboard his version of the Enterprise in 2009's Star Trek and 2013's Star Trek Into Darkness, and the results of his gambit are both on display in Star Trek: The Compendium.

September 18, 2014

King of the Blu-ray Reviews: Godzilla


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Let them fight...

Godzilla's grand North American debut in 1998 should have signaled the start of something special. Instead, lackluster critical reception sent the Big G reeling back to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, where he would lay dormant for another sixteen years — that is, until the day when he would be awakened by director Gareth Edwards. After the acclaim received by his breakout feature, Monsters, it was only logical that Edwards take the reins of cinema's biggest monster movie franchise. So... is this the Godzilla film we've been waiting for?

September 17, 2014

A Blu-ray Review to Destroy All Blu-ray Reviews: Godzilla 2000


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Putting the 'Kaiju' in 'Y2K'...

Nobody does Godzilla like Toho. And in 1999 — amid the wake of the critical derision levelled at director Roland Emmerich's interpretation of the legendary Kaiju — that's exactly what the iconic Japanese film studio set out to remind us of. But unlike Godzilla's North American debut, Toho's twenty-third Godzilla film, Godzilla 2000 (or, as it's known in Japan, Godzilla 2000: Millenium), doesn't set out to reinvent the Big G. Rather, its aim is simply to do as Toho has always done: deliver on all of the epic, man-in-a-rubber-suit Kaiju action that we've come to know and love.

September 16, 2014

Red, White and Blu-ray Review: Captain America: The Winter Soldier


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This time, it's personal...

Fighting megalomaniacal supervillains hellbent on world domination is one thing, but it's something else entirely to have a little skin in the game. It's a staple of comic book writing: at some point, every superhero — whether it's Spider-Man, Batman, Wolverine or Superman — has to face their worst fear or confront the demons from their past. That's usually when the stakes really become interesting. And that's exactly where Chris Evans' Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) finds himself in the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

September 14, 2014

TIFF Capsule Review: The Guest


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When a stranger calls...

If You're Next made you nostalgic for '80s slasher flicks, then writer Simon Barrett and director Adam Wingard's deliriously off-the-wall followup, The Guest, will surely make you yearn for the action-thrillers of the '80s and '90s. But unlike the current crop of shoot-em-up throwbacks — most notably, The Expendables series — this sly, subversive homage doesn't deal in bombastic set-pieces and marquee names. Rather, it's a darkly humorous and bloody romp through genre territory — one that finds its lead in Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens.