Rafe Telsch
Former Contributor

WRITTEN BY Rafe Telsch

12 Rounds

A lot of the action involves car chases and crashes, as Fisher attempts to quickly get from one location to another or stop a reckless car, trolly car, and helicopter. As a result, at one point in the movie I realized I was finally watching the perfect video game movie. With the short term missions Fisher is given, and the amount of vehicular carnage the movie unleashes, this might as well have been called Grand Theft Auto: the Movie

Dragonball Evolution

While Dragonball isn’t anywhere close to being as painful as other similar type adaptations, the movie is pretty much nothing but eye candy, a live action anime that will appeal to fans of the original, but offers nothing of substance or interest to anyone not already familiar with Goku’s story.

Wonder Woman (2-disc Special Edition)

As someone who had really only encountered the character in the old live-action television show, I was probably poised to not like this new animated movie very much, especially when the previous offerings from Warner Premiere haven’t exactly been that strong. Wonder Woman surprised me by delivering an enjoyable story that made me interested enough in the characters to wish there was more when the movie ended.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A Galaxy Divided

We get more than enough of Ahsoka, Anakin’s annoying padawan, however, including all of her disrespectful and unbelievable dialog, like silly nicknames, immature comments that are given far too much weight, and the like. Master Yoda told both Luke and Anakin they were too old to train as Jedi. With Ahsoka, perhaps we’ve finally found someone that should have been considered too young.

Alien Raiders

The problem with Alien Raiders is that nothing really stands out about the movie. The concept is so similar to other movies that it immediately begs comparison, and it doesn’t stand up well against some of those classics. Because the movie makes good use of its resources, it doesn’t stand out for campy bad reasons either.

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter / Under the Hood [Blu-ray]

Neither of these are truly stand-alone features, since they both kind of require knowledge of the Watchmen graphic novel in order to get what is being done here. That said, both of them serve the source material a lot better than Snyder’s feature film does, and make for some excellent viewing that brings the world of Watchmen alive without dominating much of the viewer’s time.

Strays

Look, life is not a matador. Life may be a bull, life may be a red cape, or life may even be the sword the matador uses to stab the bull, but life isn’t a matador. It’s a metaphor that makes absolutely no sense and reeks of a desperate attempt to create a catchphrase that clueless teens will think sounds cool and repeat ad nauseam.

The Rocker [Blu-ray]

Rainn Wilson has risen to fame by playing the uptight, uber-geeky Dwight Schrute on the American version of The Office. For his first headlining gig, Wilson attempts to leave behind the constipated world of the business office behind and show what it’s really like to rock. Unfortunately, what Wilson shows is there’s a lot more of Dwight Schrute to the actor than any trace of a rock star.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

Now we get a prequel that shows us the back story that Underworld told the audience in its dramatic climax. Despite being material we’ve heard before, with no real twists to speak of, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans is probably the best movie in the series, although that’s still not saying too much.

Repo! The Genetic Opera [Blu-ray]

Every once in a while you have a movie that challenges the expectations of a genre and raises the bar for future expectations. Repo! The Genetic Opera may not be that movie, but not for a lack of trying. The rock opera take on a science-fiction/horror story is incredibly ambitious and well executed. So well executed, in fact, that it might have limited its own potential.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0

Battlestar Galactica is a series that isn’t afraid to change. While I’m not about to go into spoiler territory and openly admit how this half of the season ends, it’s sufficient enough to say that it’s a paradigm shift that overshadows the revelation of the hidden Cylons, the brewing civil war, and all other dynamic changes the series has undergone.

Not Easily Broken

Not Easily Broken is a pleasant surprise for this early in the year - a touching, at times overwhelming story that transcends both race and creed with its message. We’ve gotten the theme that marriage is not a perfect science before from movies like Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?, but Bill Duke achieves a much stronger result with this picture.

Burn After Reading

The Coens definitely take a step back from what they accomplished with No Country For Old Men with this movie, and Burn After Reading is nowhere near the pinnacle of their accomplishments in quirky comedy. It’s no Hudsucker Proxy or Big Lebowski. It is, however, a much more satisfying ride than The Ladykillers.

The Dark Knight [Blu-ray]

It’s not fair to lump The Dark Knight into the “comic book movie” category. The movie transcends that genre immeasurably. The Dark Knight is a cinematic masterpiece, assembled on the shoulders of giants of every aspect of filmmaking.

Delgo

If you haven’t heard much about Delgo, the premiere feature length film from animation studio Fathom Studios, you’re not alone. I hadn’t heard much about the movie either until I found myself sitting in the theater getting ready to take in the film. From the look of the theater - empty, except for me, during prime time on the movie’s opening night - not many others have heard of Delgo either.

For Your Eyes Only [Blu-ray]

Much like the Connery movies before, one has to wonder what criteria was used for selecting the Roger Moore movies to appear in the first wave of Blu-ray movies. For Your Eyes Only feels like a rather random selection, with far more memorable and enjoyable adventures bypassed to bump a pretty mundane picture to the top of the list.

Die Another Day [Blu-ray]

In an odd move they didn’t use Brosnan’s first Bond picture, like they did with Connery and Moore. Instead we leap to Brosnan’s last adventure, Die Another Day. It’s an odd choice to include, since it was probably one of the worst received of the actor’s stint as the spy, but in retrospect it’s not as bad a movie as we remember it.

Thunderball [Blu-ray]

Blu-ray may have been made for Bond, but we’ll have to wait before we get some of his best adventures. The first wave of releases offers fans three Connery movies out of the six movies, but leaps over Goldfinger to include Thunderball, one of the weaker films in the franchise.

Live and Let Die [Blu-ray]

The first wave of Blu-ray Bond movies leaves behind Sean Connery and moves into the Roger Moore era with his first film, Live and Let Die. For his first trick as 007, Moore avoids a lot of globe trotting and exotic locales and heads for a place no Bond has gone before: blaxploitation.

From Russia With Love [Blu-ray]

It didn’t take long for James Bond to take off, and a year after his first adventure, Dr. No, the super spy was traipsing around the globe, off to rescue a beautiful woman and, less importantly, a secret decoder device from the hands of the enemy. Hey, if you were Bond, which would you make a higher priority?

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