Bryant Frazer

Bryant Frazer

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Blu-ray reviews at FilmFreakCentral.net | Movie tech and craft news at StudioDaily.com | Occasional writing at deep-focus.com

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  • Ghost in the Shell

    Ghost in the Shell

    ★★★★

    Nobody's more surprised than me that this is a four-starrer. I watched this on VHS in the 1990s and found it annoying, partly because the image quality was so very muddy and partly, I think, because the English-language dialogue and performances left a lot to be desired. On the new UHD BD disc, with a dramatically more accurate picture transfer, a robust surround soundtrack, and access to the original Japanese voice performances (and translated subtitles), it's a different movie. Sure,…

  • Host

    Host

    ★★★½

    Kind of clunky* and predictable, but that's unavoidable to some degree. (It's a COVID-dependent horror movie set inside a Zoom meeting, which limits the options.) But also genuinely spooky and scary, which is a feat, and it made me laugh out loud, hard, in at least two places. Good performances, clever execution, smooth editing. The worst thing I can say is that it's never more than it is, if you know what I mean. But co-writer and director Rob Savage…

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  • Neighbors

    Neighbors

    ★★★

    At 44, I sometimes feel like I've been growing up for decades while popular culture has been standing still. Radio stations I hear in grocery stores and coffee shops play the same songs that were popular when I was in high school. The comic books and fantasy novels that I read in the 1970s and 1980s (or their derivatives) have become the blockbuster TV and film franchises of the 2010s. Saturday Night Live has been on the air, in sickness…

  • Side Effects

    Side Effects

    ★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Soderbergh is as Soderbergh does, and his putative farewell performance at the helm of a studio feature film is the usual tasteful Soderbergh fare, finely directed, with a slightly jazzy achronology to it and its almost pastel color schemes smelling lightly of perfume. For all that, the Manhattan doctor-and-patient tale that unspools here feels overly familiar, but Side Effects makes a case for its existence early on by slyly painting itself as a satire on pharmacological culture. Emily (Rooney Mara),…