Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Blu-Ray Review: Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider 4K Blu-ray

Synopsis:
Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.

Review:
Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft – who was fantastic as an aimless young woman who becomes an archaeologist action hero. The research that her father was involved in is not very engaging – and pretty forgettable. This film was more of Lara’s journey and kind of a coming-of-age story. The actual archaeological spot and clues are fairly disappointing – there just isn’t much to it. But the suspense and thrills are spot on – as well as Vikander’s performance. Now that we have her backstory, I look forward to more interesting stories and actual tomb raiding. I certainly hope we get to see more of these films.

Own Tomb Raider on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on June 12, or Own It Now on Digital!

Blu-Ray Review: Geostorm

Geostorm

Synopsis:
After an unprecedented series of natural disasters threatened the planet, the world’s leaders came together to create an intricate network of satellites to control the global climate and keep everyone safe. But now, something has gone wrong—the system built to protect the Earth is attacking it, and it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything…and everyone along with it.

Review:
Gerard Butler stars as scientist Jake, who helped build the satellite (referred to as “Dutch Boy”) that controls the global weather. So when Dutch Boy begins attacking select cities across the world, Jake is tasked with fixing his device.

Geostorm has the feel of a natural disaster film, but there’s nothing natural about the cause or results. The CGI is great. And there are a lot of exciting scenes. But the story felt done before (even though I was surprised that the satellite wasn’t just a rouge AI), and a little drawn-out. The characters were all a bit one-dimensional, as the story focused solely on the weather and the killer satellite. I did enjoy the scenes set in space, as those were the most interesting to me. And there is a fun ending with a couple of mostly predictable twists.

Geostorm Blu-ray Combo Pack special features:
• “Wreaking Havoc: Cutting edge visual effects, research and technology create the world of Geostorm.
• Search for Answers: Inspired by his daughter’s question of why can’t global warming be stopped, Director Dean Devlin retraces the creative journey that led to Geostorm.
• An International Event: A global cast opens up about the secrets behind Geostorm.

Geostorm Standard Definition DVD special features:
• Search for Answers: Inspired by his daughter’s question of why can’t global warming be stopped, Director Dean Devlin retraces the creative journey that led to Geostorm.

Blu-Ray Review: Blade Runner 2049

Blade Runner 2049

Synopsis:
Three decades after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K, unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard, a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

Review:
Ryan Gosling is “K” – a Blade Runner who is a Replicant himself. But when he hunts down this latest rogue Replicant, he makes a shocking discovery that the LAPD quickly tries to cover up. But the Wallace Corporation knows the truth as well, and will stop at nothing to uncover the truth.

It has been more than 35 since original Blade Runner premiered. The tone is very similar, though the story is very different. The visuals landscapes are stunning. And though it’s extremely slow-paced compared to other science fiction films, there is still a great amount of intensity and suspense. And there are several exciting action scenes. However, this is more of a psychological drama, rather than the usual action film. While there is a bittersweet ending, there several annoying questions left unanswered. But then again, the original had some too.

BLU-RAY AND DVD INCLUDES:
“Blade Runner 2049” 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack, 3D Blu-ray and Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special features:
• Designing The World of Blade Runner 2049
• To Be Human: Casting Blade Runner 2049
• Prologues: 2036: Nexus Dawn
• Prologues: 2048: Nowhere to Run
• Prologues: 2022: Black Out
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

“Blade Runner 2049” Standard Definition DVD contains the following special features:
• Blade Runner 101: Blade Runners
• Blade Runner 101: The Replicant Evolution
• Blade Runner 101: The Rise of Wallace Corp
• Blade Runner 101: Welcome to 2049
• Blade Runner 101: Joi
• Blade Runner 101: Within the Skies

Blu-Ray Review: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman 3D Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Combo Pack

SYNOPSIS:
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

REVIEW:
Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman in this origin story that leads in to the upcoming Justice League movie. We were introduced to her in Batman v Superman, which I would mostly like to forget. Although, she was definitely the highlight of the film. This story takes us back to WWI, when Themyscira becomes involved in man’s war. And Diana decides to join the world of man, convinced that Ares is behind the war.

With fantastic action and stylized fight scenes, this adventure is visually stunning and well-paced. Wonder Woman didn’t disappoint despite being one of my all-time favorite super heroes. I appreciated her naiveté and altruism having lived in such seclusion. Chris Pine plays a suave Steve Trevor, a good choice for the man to win Diana’s heart. And Lucy Davis as Etta Candy made for unforgettable comedy relief. I thoroughly enjoyed her character. The story was fun and exciting. And though a bit predictable, it was no less enjoyable and emotional during the climactic scene. Thankfully, despite the terrible BvS, this film gives me hope for the Justice League.

Special Features Include:
– Epilogue: Etta’s Mission
– Crafting the Wonder
– A Director’s Vision: Themyscira: The Hidden Island
– A Director’s Vision: Beach Battle
– A Director’s Vision: A Photograph Through Time
– A Director’s Vision: Diana in the Modern World
– A Director’s Vision: Wonder Woman at War
– Warriors of Wonder Woman
– The Trinity
– The Wonder Behind the Camera
– Finding the Wonder Woman
– Extended Scenes
– Blooper Reel

Own Wonder Woman on Ultra HD Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on September 19 or Own It Now on Digital HD!

Blu-Ray Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 [Blu-ray]

Synopsis:
Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and characters from the classic comics come to their aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Review:
The rag tag team of misfits returns for another action-packed adventure in space. When Peter’s father shows up, he seems too good to be true. Meanwhile, a new enemy wants revenge against Guardians. Plus, baby Groot!

After the immense success of the first film, that blew us all away, expectations were high for this sequel. One of my favorite things about the last movie was the unique inclusion of 70s music – a great selection. Unfortunately, this sequel didn’t have nearly as good music, in my opinion. There were just as many laughs though – if not more. Though the humor got a little raunchier. The plot was fantastic – full of action, drama, suspense, and several surprises. Even the heartbreaking ending was really well-done. I really enjoyed the spectacular special effects and the cast of characters. I can’t get enough of the Guardians. And it’s obvious that it’s a labor of love for director James Gunn.

Blu-Ray Review Copy: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Synopsis:
When the child Arthur’s father is murdered, Vortigern (Jude Law), Arthur’s uncle, seizes the crown. Robbed of his birthright and with no idea who he truly is, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, his life is turned upside down and he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy…whether he likes it or not.

Review:
The film opens to an exciting battle where Mordred is attacking Camelot with giant elephants the size of a small mountain. But Uther (Arthur’s father – played by Eric Bana) defends his kingdom with the legendary Excalibur. But when Uther’s own brother betrays him, Arthur must flee.

There are some humorous montages of Arthur growing up and battles along the way to retake Camelot that director Guy Ritchie is known for – rock music paired with scenes on fast-forward. It’s a bit too cheesy for a film set in the middle ages. I really wanted to like this film. But the story has just been done so many times. The story was nothing new and wasn’t memorable at all. It’s too bad because the cast was fantastic. But nothing can save an uninspired script with a story we have heard in many, MANY different ways.

Special Features Include:
– Arthur with Swagger
– Sword from the Stone
– Parry and Bleed
– Building on the Past
– Inside the Cut: The Action of King Arthur
– Camelot in 93 Days
– Legend of Exalibur
– Scenic Scotland

Blu-Ray Review: The Circle



The Circle Blu-Ray Edition

Synopsis:
When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech and social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime. As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics, and ultimately, her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family, and all of humanity.

Review:
Imagine a Big Brother tv show out in the real world, and that’s what Mae subjects herself to. Zero privacy and interacting with her viewers every waking moment. I can’t imagine it being entertaining with no scripting, but it re-iterates the point of the movie of losing privacy for security. When tragedy strikes, Mae is forced to reevaluate her view on total transparency.

I didn’t have any expectations before watching The Circle. I hadn’t seen any positive reviews, but the cast was great and it seemed like something I’d enjoy. The acting was fantastic. It was bittersweet to see Bill Paxton in his last role. When Mae first goes to work at the Circle, it’s very reminiscent of what working at Google mixed with Apple must be. However, it suddenly takes a weird turn when she realizes she’s expected to interact with her colleagues to the point of not having a life outside of work. The mood is creepy and tense throughout. There is a predictable climactic scene, followed by Mae’s epiphany. But the ending falls flat with the push back against “total transparency.” A lot of build up with little resolution. I really wanted to like this one, but it feels like something I’ve already seen before. It’s not a bad film, just a little disappointing.

BLU-RAY / DVD SPECIAL FEATURES:
• “No More Secrets: Completing The Circle — A Four-Part Series” Featurette
• “The Future Won’t Wait: Design and Technology” Featurette
• “A True Original: Remembering Bill Paxton” Featurette

Blu-Ray Review: Ghost in the Shell

Ghost in the Shell

Synopsis:
In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.

Review:
I had low expectations of this film before watching, as I have seen all the negative reviews and anger at the “white-washing” of characters. Scarlett Johansson stars as Major, who’s brain has been installed in a completely cybernetic body. Her memories are spotty, but she makes for a perfect soldier. Though, her new enemy reveals the truth of her existence, and everything she knows she now has to question.

Ghost in the Shell is an action-packed, scifi thriller. While it’s not a bad movie, there isn’t much more than good acting and impressive CGI that stood out to me. The story has been done (Robocop had more of an impact), and nothing was surprising. And the futuristic world needed more backstory – it wasn’t confusing, but felt choppy. I’m not familiar with the source material, as I’m not a fan of Manga – so I can’t speak to that. But it was a fun, suspense-filled adventure.