Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (68 minutes, 1942); Sherlock Holmes Faces Death (68 minutes, 1943); Sherlock Holmes in Washington (71 minutes, 1943). Directed by Roy William Neill. Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (66 minutes, 1942). Directed by John Rawlings. Aspect ratio: 4:3. Monophonic. B&W MPI Home Video DVD7545, DVD7549, DVD7540, DVD7550. NR. $27.88 each.
Long before Batman had the Joker, the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes, had an evil nemesis who was every bit his equal in intelligence and powers of perception; the yin to his yang, so to speak. Professor James Moriarty was a precursor to the Bond villain and a blueprint for every criminal mastermind to come. In the previous Sherlock Holmes film, he was a mysterious and sinister presence concealed in darkness. For A Game of Shadows, he comes to the forefront to challenge the master detective to a game to the death and is played with relish by Jared Harris.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's popular Victorian-era super sleuth gets a reboot in the 21st Century. Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the go to detective consultant for Detective Inspector Lesrade (Rupert Graves) of the London police department. Ex-soldier/doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) joins Holmes as his trusty sidekick in order to solve the most bizarre cases London has ever seen.
Thanks to the BBC this fabulous show has made its way across the pond via PBS and now Blu-ray. Although the 2-disc set has only three 90 minute episodes, each is so well-crafted that I'll gladly take quality over quantity. The two leads breathe new life into the characters and from the first moment they share the screen you know it’s a match made in heaven.
Struck by lightning, a Defense Department robot malfunctions and, as a result, develops its own consciousness. Escaping the military, it finds refuge with a young woman (Ally Sheedy) who helps hide "Number 5" from its inventor, Newton Crosby (Steve Guttenberg), and the government who wants its weapon back.
When Shrek's father-in-law (John Cleese)or shall I say, frog-in-lawpasses away, Shrek (Mike Myers) is the next in line to the throne. But Shrek has a different set of prioritiesa return to his beloved swamp. Along with his two sidekicks, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), he embarks on an adventure to find the rightful heir to the throneArthur (Justin Timberlake).
When two U.S. marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) investigate a mysterious disappearance of an inmate from a hospital for the criminally insane, the pair uncover an intricate web of deception where nothing may be as it seems. As the mystery unravels, Teddy (DiCaprio) uncovers some shocking truths about the island that will change his life forever.
Based on Frank Miller's popular series of graphic novels, Sin City is a tale of killers, cops, hookers, and hit men, all inhabiting one very dangerous, very sexy city. The three interwoven stories star Bruce Willis as a cop who'll do anything to protect the girl (Jessica Alba); Mickey Rourke, hell-bent on revenge; and Benicio del Toro as a human Pez dispenser.
Everything worth knowing about teenagers in the 1980s is found in John Hughes’ 1984 directorial debut, Sixteen Candles. This is a perfect movie, capturing it all in just two days in the life of 16-year-old Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald). Sam’s 16th birthday is the day before her older sister’s wedding, and it starts out anything but sweet. Her entire family is so consumed with the wedding details, they forget. Sam heads to the back-to-school dance saddled with her grandparents’ Asian exchange student Long Duk Dong, in love with impossibly sweet campus hunk Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), and chased by relentless freshman geek, Farmer Ted (Anthony Michael Hall). Hilarity, revelations, and romance ensue.
A birthday weekend in Southern California goes off the tracks when sunrise arrives two hours early while a mysterious light source draws unsuspecting humans outdoors and are swept into massive alien ships that have appeared over the Los Angeles skyline.
There are a lot of bad movies that come out of Hollywood, but Skyline may be the worst I've seen in years. Character development is non-existent, the dialog is cringe-inducing, and the ridiculous twist ending is the cherry on top of a steaming pileyes, it's that bad.
Straight from the Disney vault comes Sleeping Beauty, a spectacular 50th Anniversary edition of the beloved classic story about Princess Aurora, whose birth is celebrated by the entire kingdom. She falls under the curse of the evil Maleficent, which can only be broken by true love's first kiss.
Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) is an 18-year-old Muslim tea boy from the slums of Mumbai, India, who's just one answer away from winning a fortune on India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. How does an uneducated "slumdog" know all the answers? Did he cheat or was it meant to be?
Lawrence Wetherhold (Dennis Quaid), a once-idealistic and ambitious academic, lost all zest for teaching when his wife passed away. His coworkers avoid any interaction, and his students abhor the boredom of his classes. Then, a freak accident lands him in the emergency room under the care of a former student, Janet Hartigan (Sarah Jessica Parker), whose student-teacher crush is rekindled despite Lawrence's intolerable behavior.
The second-highest-grossing movie of 1977 (behind only a certain science-fantasy film of some renown) and one of the biggest hits in the esteemed history of Universal Studios, Smokey and the Bandit combined frequent car chases, vast amounts of beer, and copious nose-thumbing at The Man to create a wildly popular piece of entertainment. Like most movies of the era, it lacks the slickness of modern fare and relies more heavily on the charm of its star, Burt Reynolds, as legendary trucker Bo “Bandit” Darville. He takes a big bet to deliver 400 cases of Coors beer across five states in only 28 hours, an extremely difficult and highly illegal challenge.
Smokin' Aces is a thriller-action film full of suspense and quite satisfying. I liked it, and I had not seen it before the HD DVD arrived. The studio calls it an action "comedy." But don't look to this movie for laughs.
Magician turned gangster Buddy “Aces” Israel (Jeremy Piven) is in a load of trouble by turning states evidence against the mob. When the jilted mob boss finds out he’s holding-up in Lake Tahoe, he offers a $1 million bounty on his head and every lowlife thug is out to earn a quick buck and it’s up to a couple of FBI agents to try and protect their key witness before one of the fortune seekers hits pay dirt.