Scotch: A Golden Dream

Scotch: A Golden Dream is an hour-and-a-half documentary about the making of Scotch whisky and its many traditions. With views of green pastures, amber liquid, and Scottish activities and outfits, it opens in a relaxing mood and continues in the same style, building layers of knowledge revolving around one particular master of the drink. Finished a couple of years ago, the movie will be available on demand on May 7. (Since I previously watched Neat: The Story of Bourbon, I’m […]

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Captain Marvel: More Boring Than Expected

I went to see the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe movie release, Captain Marvel, this morning. While there was a lot about the movie I intellectually appreciated — such as its focus on female friendship — emotionally, I was left cold. And quite often, bored, waiting to get to the next set piece. Typical of current blockbusters, there’s too much focus on action scenes that can be hard to follow, since they’re set in dark spaces. I’m rarely interested in Marvel’s […]

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Aquaman

I saw Aquaman last night, and as expected, it was big dumb action fun. The best thing about the movie, I thought, was the immersive visuals of the seascapes, from immense glowing underwater cities to abandoned gathering places with giant decaying statues. That’s why I was glad I saw it in the theater, even if it is too long (2 1/2 hours, almost) and could have been more tightly edited. Putting in both Ocean Master (Orm, Arthur’s half-brother, played by […]

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Incredibles 2

As with many recent Pixar movies, Incredibles 2 isn’t a great, ground-breaking animated work with new emotional insight. They don’t do that as much any more, instead focusing on revisiting familiar characters and spending more time with them. It’s comfortable instead of challenging, but the result is still a good cartoon movie. (The studio provided a review copy.) I love the old-style staging of the film. Cars and clothes are retro, but the city has a monorail. Apparently, the setting […]

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Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3

Now that the feature-length Pixar movies are more focused on sequels and known quantities, the short films are where the most exciting concepts and animation techniques are found, in my opinion. Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 3 has a mix of original ideas and cartoon shorts with Pixar favorite characters. It contains the following, each of which can be played with or without a filmmaker introduction and/or commentary. Bao – by Domee Shi, 2018, shown with Incredibles 2, about a […]

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Superman: The Movie 4K Re-Release

The movie that’s the grandfather of our current era, with the domination of superhero films at the box office, has been released on the newest video format, 4K Ultra HD. The 1978 Superman, starring Christopher Reeve, showed that you could do superpowers believably on film. This year is the 40th anniversary of the movie and the 80th anniversary of the character. Unfortunately, there is no new content on this package to mark that milestone. It would have been great to […]

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World of Darkness: The Documentary

I’ve never played a role-playing game (RPG), but I’ve always been interested in how people respond to vampires in popular culture, so I was curious to view World of Darkness: The Documentary when offered a screening copy. It’s an hour-and-a-half documentary about Vampire: The Masquerade and White Wolf Publishing, the role-playing game company that released it. World of Darkness: The Documentary will be available in the US for streaming purchase or rental on Amazon, iTunes, and Steam on September 18. […]

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Daphne & Velma

Thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, who gave me a copy of this Scooby-Doo live-action prequel, I was able to check out Daphne & Velma. This G-rated original movie runs an hour and fifteen minutes, and we found it too long at that. The plot is predictable, and the visual quality is that of a Disney kids’ sitcom. That’s the audience they’re going for, but while some kids’ movies are widely enjoyable, this unfortunately falls into the category of “dumbing […]

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