Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Magic in the Moonlight

Comedy and romance are in the cards...

By Ben Mk (

With each passing year comes the promise of a new Woody Allen movie, and 2014 was no different. Arriving on the heels of 2013's surprisingly somber Blue Jasmine, Allen's 47th film, Magic in the Moonlight, marks the prolific writer/director's return to the more lighthearted fare he's come to be known for. And the results are as enchanting as ever, transporting moviegoers — as well as stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone — back to the roaring twenties, for a comedy that's brimming not only with magic, but also with mystery and romance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Born to raise shell...

By Ben Mk (

Kermit the Frog may find it hard being green, but the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles don't seem to be phased by it one bit. It's been thirty years since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird first introduced the Turtles to comic readers, and these heroes in a half shell are still going strong, with several television series and feature films under their belts. Their latest big screen adventure arrives courtesy of producer Michael Bay and director Jonathan Liebesman, and though it marks a return-of-sorts to their comic book roots, there's also no shortage of the humor Turtles fans have come to know and love.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Film Review: The Imitation Game

Confessions of a beautiful mind...

By Ben Mk (

Considered to be the father of modern computing, Alan Turing has had the details of his life and work find their way into the pages of many a textbook over the years. As it turns out, however, academic scholars were only familiar with half the story. For in 1983, a secret chapter of Turing's life came to light, as revealed in author Andrew Hodges' "Alan Turing: The Enigma". It's a story that's explored in director Mort Tyldum's The Imitation Game, which chronicles Turing's exploits as a World War II codebreaker for MI6, as well as the persecution he faced due to his sexual orientation.

Blu-ray Review: Dolphin Tale 2

A tale of two fishies...

By Ben Mk (

It doesn't get much more family-friendly than Dolphin Tale 2. Director Charles Martin Smith's follow-up to his 2011 film, Dolphin Tale, reunites audiences with Winter, the bottlenose dolphin who won the hearts of moviegoers with her inspiring true story of survival. Overcoming incredible odds after losing her tail to some fishing lines, she was outfitted with a prosthetic one. Now, Winter and her rescuers from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium are back for a brand new adventure, and they're bringing a new friend or two along for the ride.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Boldly going where no Marvel movie has gone before...

By Ben Mk (

What a bunch of A-holes... That may seem like an odd way to begin a review, but then again, the Guardians of the Galaxy aren't your ordinary superhero team-up — in fact, they're about as unorthodox as you're likely to get. With a roster that includes a green-skinned assassin, a musclebound marauder, a smart-mouthed, gun-toting raccoon and a walking tree, Marvel's latest batch of big screen protagonists evokes a distinct antihero vibe. Which is perfectly fine, considering that the man behind the movie is none other than Slither and Super director James Gunn.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Blu-ray Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

The spice of life...

By Ben Mk (

Even though they're two of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, it's been nearly three decades since Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg last worked together. Their first collaboration was in 1985, and the film was Spielberg's adaptation of Alice Walker's celebrated novel, "The Color Purple". Since then, you could say the pair have been biding their time, waiting for the right project to come along — and they couldn't have chosen better than author Richard C. Morais' "The Hundred-Foot Journey", a heartfelt story about people from different cultures finding the courage to overcome prejudice and expand their horizons.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Star Trek: The Next Generation - All Good Things

Time and time... and time again

By Ben Mk (

They say all good things must come to an end, which is true in most cases - that is, unless you're the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. For though their seven-year television journey was ending, their eight-year voyage on the big screen was just beginning. Still, that doesn't preclude the series' final storyline, "All Good Things...", from being the fitting send-off it deserved to be. Twenty years after it originally aired, it still resonates as one of Star Trek's most memorable episodes. And now the bittersweet two-parter has landed on Blu-ray.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Princess Mononoke

Dances with wolves...

By Ben Mk (

A recurring theme among Hayao Miyazaki's movies is the topic of environmentalism, and nowhere is that more evident than in 1997's Princess Mononoke. Considered by some to be a spiritual successor to his 1984 classic, NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, the legendary writer/director's seventh animated feature is also atypically violent in its imagery, with its fair share of scenes depicting death and dismemberment, which ultimately makes it not only one of Miyazaki's more thematically resonant films, but also one of his most daring.