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Simply scrumptious, and down right excellent!
Just a quick word on this show - it's simply marvelous, with an exceptional cast. Thank you Netflix!
Anne with an E, where I make people call me "Annie," to make sure they get it right.
Affleck perfect! Best Movie of recent Batman & Superman franchise!!!
This movie is excellent, wonderful, fantastically awesome, cool, and even beautiful towards the end. Please watch Man of Steel again or first, and you will enjoy it even more. Jesse Eisenberg is scrumptious as Lex Luther, Ben Affleck is a wonderful if not a perfect dark and brooding Batman - more like the original comic - and is quickly becoming my favorite Batman. That's after Adam West of course. Henry Cavil is definitely holding up to Christopher Reeve's Superman and may well be on his way to becoming an iconic Superman himself, while Amy Adams nails it once again as Lois Lane and takes the character much farther than before with heroic efforts. Diane Lane is exquisite in this role and brings out the story quite humbly. A lovely surprise along with some long awaited introductions in this one. I may go back a second time it's so good. We saw it in 3D.
Crimson Peak (2015)
Has the scariest VFX ghosts I've ever seen in my life!
Guillermo del Torro's Gothic "Crimson Peak" is not what I thought, but a million times better!!! This movie has the scariest and best VFX ghosts I've ever seen in my life! The Victorian sets will make a Designer giggle with delight and make you wonder how on earth they accomplished such magnificence - I couldn't tell where a practical set ended and where the VFX began, it's that seamless. I cannot see this film not get an Oscar nomination with a possible win for its luscious sets and maybe even an Oscar nod to its Costumes, because really, the sets are exquisitely gorgeous and the Costumes are superb.
The performances and settings do give you the feel of old black & white movies, such as "Wuthering Heights" with Merle Oberon and Lawrence Olivier, "Jane Eyre" with Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine, "Rebecca" with Lawrence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, and "The Innocents" with Deborah Kerr and Peter Wyngarde, and if you like the aforementioned, then you will be thrilled with this movie.
Keep in mind it will make you scream and cover your eyes and it does have some gory and gruesome as hell visual effects that will no doubt make you sleep with the light on the night after you see it. The sex scenes are a tiny bit risqué, but for the most part, the R rating is because of the gore. I'm not gonna mention any story bits, because this one is fun to figure out for yourself. Enjoy :)
Steve Jobs (2015)
A brilliant film about an amazing man, but...
Yes. Steve Jobs the movie is absolutely brilliant with uncanny performances that capture the real people, but likely totally boring to the technically uninclined. The movie lacks any mention at all of Adobe - which revolutionized personal desktop publishing and editing - or Pixar, but it's only a three act slice of unlikely accurate memoirs - albeit conjecture - just moments beforehand three pivotal product launches during a 15 year span after the Macintosh personal computer was introduced.
The film within itself is perhaps an excellent metaphor to the persona of Steve Jobs, and it somewhat builds a classic character that changes - particularly with Job's relationship with his daughter. Yet from a history of Pixar point of view, the movie lacks Jobs true childlike fantasy of emotion to propel mankind into the future - much like the euphoric society in Star Trek. Yes, my understanding from being a Jobs fan over the years, Jobs was a Star Trek fan and the iPhone is just the tip of the iceberg in making the communicator and the view-screen come to life.
If you like good acting - Seth Rogen was a pleasant surprise as Wozniak - and you want some reasonably accurate history of Apple, then you won't be disappointed. Personally, I feel that altering the chronology of events and actual meetings between people that didn't happen is perhaps a disservice to Jobs, his family, and friends. But Jobs has changed my life - as I write this on my beloved iPad - as well as many others. The film as a piece of art representing the man - Steve Jobs - is well done, but some day I would like to see a biopic that shows more of his happy emotions, emotions that we the beneficiaries of the fruits of his labors often feel.
Mr. Holmes (2015)
Mr. Holmes is delightful with superb performances
This picture is so good, the following nominations should occur; Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor - Laura Linney, Best Actor - Ian McKellen, Best Director - Bill Condon, and just maybe Best Supporting Actor - Milo Parker? Mr. Holmes is really that good.
I expected this movie to be decent, but not as perfect as it was. Seemingly slow, the movie is astutely methodical, just as any Sherlock Holmes movie should be. The performances are superb. I mean perfect. So much so that Laura Linney and Ian McKellen don't even have to utter a word to each other, but their emotive gestures speak volumes. The young man Milo Parker is just delightful and he comes off as a long time veteran with his incredible acting abilities as Mr. Holmes - played by McKellen - new protégé. The directing and editing are perfect as well.
Whether you are a Sherlock Holmes fan or not and if you enjoy really good acting and like artistically beautiful period movies, then see this movie!
Burn Notice (2007)
Burn Notice is one of the best written TV series ever!
Burn Notice is one of the best written television series I've ever seen. If you want to learn how to build a character and how to string a main story arc through out a television series, then watch and study it.
The entire series is on NetFlix and it is worth your effort to start at the very beginning. This series has carefully crafted out story lines as if all the episodes were written before they ever shot the pilot. The characters are so defined, that I'm still mourning the loss of one as if the character was a real person. That's how good this show is.
While formulaic as most series are, the predictability is based upon tiny little breadcrumbs that are sprinkled over a few seasons, rather than in the previous episode. This series just gets better and better after each episode, and I love how the women are all empowered and strong without losing any femininity.
The show has a conscious that other similar shows lack, which is likely why Burn Notice was so successful when it ran on the USA network. Lots of action, adventure, and things that go boom!
The Last Ship (2014)
The Last Ship is perfect in every way! It's even Micahel Bay!
This show is perfect! A post apocalyptic action thriller that is patriotic, action packed, and wonderfully touching - and it's a Michael Bay project! Sometimes the acting is so over the top that it's melodramatic, and I LOVE IT!
Eric Dane is now Commander McSteamy, and anyone under his command would follow him to the gates of hell. Rhona Mitra as Dr. Scott who makes the cure to save the world is perfectly convincing and is the McLovely to Dane's McSteamy giving a new meaning to power couple. All of the actors are wonderful and they give it their all.
The inner workings of the Navy Battleship Destroyer fictionally dubbed the USS Nathan James is actually portrayed by the real active Navy Destroyers the Dewey and Halsey, making the show superbly authentic. Even real navy sailors act as extras, and the real life US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, plays himself.
To make he show even more perfect, Adam Baldwin - Jayne from Firefly - plays the Navy XO Slattery with a touch of brilliant insanity that he portrays in Firefly, making some of his actions delightfully unpredictable, such as when he threatens to "Keel Haul" one of the doctors who has gone to the dark side after his wife and daughter were kidnapped by a Russian Admiral - Ravil Isyanov - who is the Napoleon incarnate.
You want action and a thrill to go with it? This is your show!
A beautiful and graphic derivation from classic genres that make it a masterpiece
If you are a filmmaker or you appreciate a film that is derivative of classic literature, history, and the class system, watch Snowpiercer!
The concept for Snowpiercer originated in a french graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" created in the early 80's - a time in history when the Cold War was beginning to thaw, liberty was taking over the world, and the concept of pollution was turning into a global cause.
Korean Director Bong Joon-ho (my new director hero) stumbled on to an illegal Korean translation of Le_Transperceneige in a book store and he read it in its entirety once he cracked it open.
I've been extremely fortunate in my life to study films from around the world since my mother taught literature and film, and wrote a book on world cinema. Many of today's filmmakers will acknowledge influence by contemporary or modern greats such as the likes of Scorsese, Spielberg, Hitchcock, and Kurosawa, when they don't know any of the films that inspired these greats.
Within Snowpiercer, first and foremost, I see 1925's USSR film "Battleship Potemkin," then Germany's 1927 incredible expressionistic film "Metropolis," and then France's "Germinal," first put to screen in 1913, with numerous remakes, including my favorite version from 1993 starring Gérard Depardieu who's performance was brilliant. There are other influences, particularly some German films from UFA in the 30's and 40's, and topping off with an ending that's typical of the French New Wave.
Snowpiercer presents poverty at its worst, a class system that is evil, and a time and place where industry has destroyed the world. This movie is amazing and brilliant. Not allowing this movie to have a wide release in the USA was a huge mistake, and the release company just had absolutely no idea or clue as to what they actually had. This film will slowly circulate and people will see it, and its brilliance will be eventually be known.
If you ever have a chance, see the old films I mentioned. You will be shocked as to how the themes and concepts of these films have survived in filmmaking today.
Tammy is a decent little black comedy.
TAMMY is a decent little movie and is NOT anything like BRIDESMAIDS! Critics are panning the film, because the critics want that absurdity and comedy of Hangover & Bridesmaids. This film was written by Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone, and directed by Ben Falcone. It's a simple little black comedy with some really good actors! There are some extremely funny moments, but most importantly there is a story to follow that pretty much keeps on track. It's like Thelma & Louise, but it's later when Louise is now an elderly alcoholic living with her daughter, and she decides to hit the road again with her grand daughter - played by McCarthy. What's different about Tammy is how alcohol can really effect a family. So I applaud McCarthy and Falcone for a wonderful first endeavor, and I encourage any Mellissa McCarthy fan to see it. You won't be disappointed if you understand that its NOT BRIDESMAIDS!
Incident at Loch Ness (2004)
A realistic view of location filming making Hollywood style
This is a well crafted documentary within a documentary that truly touches on the conceit, egos, and ridiculousness of how Hollywood Film Producers can act.
Zak Penn has obviously been there, done that, and he chooses some of the best film makers to help him bring the ridiculousness to life.
I've been in this business since the 80's, and quite frankly, it wasn't until the "sonar gal" jumped into the water that I realized that this was a carefully thought out mocumentary. The "real" film makers were totally convincing. There's a good reason for that. They have all been put in dangerous situations because some Hollywood Producer or Director put them there.
Since the beginning of film making, good people have lost their lives because some producer thought with his ego instead of good sense.
Good job Penn and Herzog! What a catharsis for great film makers who'd rather get a hairball then deal with a Hollywood type Producer that just got out of primary school...
Clever and absolute fun to watch!
The first episode was a delight and so much fun to watch. They have managed to pick a fantastic buddy team that has perfect timing. Plenty of hearty laughs with this one.
It's unusual for a pilot to have well developed characters, but Psych does dispose of this stereotype.
The series does give us (the audience) a chance to think for ourselves and allows us to figure out "who dun it?" before Sean does. There are even little kinks here and there to throw us off. I like that.
I can't wait to see more episodes, and I'm setting up a season pass on the DVR.
Good job USA!
Superman Returns (2006)
Most young people today have no idea what a real movie is. They know nothing about narrative, antagonists, or what a hero actually is. Audience's want action and adventure without a plot. Audiences have lost the art of enjoying a movie.
The original Superman as played by Christopher Reeve was more than just a movie when it came out. It utilized the blue screen in a way that would create a revolution in movie making style. Audience's actually thought Superman could really fly. Christopher Reeve became the modern day iconic physical representation of the comic character. None of the sequels ever captured what the first movie did. Even the original score became an anthem for fans.
Superman Returns, once again captures the child in us all and makes us think that a man can actually fly. A hero that represents "truth and justice." Someone with great power that transcends racial and cultural barriers.
Brandon Routh reminds us of Christopher Reeve and then adds to Superman with a bit of his own style. What more can any Superman movie fan ask for? Kevin Spacey reminds us of Gene Hackman. Both actors of substantial caliber, with Spacey's Luther equitable, and just as wonderful.
Iconic and Christ similarities? Sure. Similar to the first movie? You bet. A stale score? Heck no. They even make it more appealing. Makes you believe in Superman? Yes! The movie makes you want to click your hills together and repeatedly say "I believe, I believe..." Forget the critics. You can't not like something about this movie!
Modern day Shakespeare that's meticulously perfect!
At Home with the Braithwaites would make Shakespeare stand up and cheer! Every story line truly intertwines with the other. The best example of how the subplot should support the main plot. Braithwaites has it all comedy, murder-?, passion, and love of the family. Often, you will find characters delightfully twisted with an ethos that you actually end up identifying with and you realize that you have friends and family that are just like them - or just like you. Perhaps that is why the show is so successful.
Series one begins with Alison Braithwait winning the lottery at 38 million pounds due to the fact that her youngest daughter Charlotte bought her a ticket as a birthday present. Realizing that husband David, who is having an affair, daughter Virginia, who fixes cars and loves women, daughter Sarah, who's sleeping with the neighbors kid "Phil", and Charlotte, who's always plotting revenge, can be as greedy as they get, she hides her winnings and creates the Jane Crowther Trust.
Deception and mistrust lead to fantastic tails that will have you on pins and needles waiting for the next episode!
Saving Jessica Lynch (2003)
Amidst politics and criticism, it's a good story
Saving Jessica Lynch is a TV docudrama that was literally thrown together within months following the dramatic rescue of Private Jessica Lynch in the first weeks of `Iraqi Freedom.' There was much skepticism for many who even considered working on the project do to the quick timing. To this day, rumor and innuendo still surround the facts.
NBC claims that this particular version of events are the story rights of Mohammed Al Rehaief, the Iraqi lawyer who risked his life and family by telling American Soldiers of Lynch's where abouts. Yet, the movie starts long before Al Rehaief's participation, and the circumstances surrounding events without Al Rehaief are apparent matter of fiction, creative conjecture, and public record, that the creators have handled well. But there will always be this question, that I hope critics will answer, who does this story really belong to?
With all politics aside, and much to my surprise, this movie was particularly enthralling with its suspense, action, and heart felt drama.
The movie starts with the military convoy of the 507th maintenance support vehicles in the dark desert, headlights bouncing light and shadows between vehicles and blowing sand, quickly setting a desolate and soon to be lost mood. With a lack of communication and an aberrant GPS device, choosing the right turn is negligible. The chosen road takes the convoy to the small town of Nasiriya, where all types of Iraqi fighters are seemingly eager to shoot their first American. The tempo methodically builds as the Iraqi fighters push a school bus out into the street causing the convoy to abruptly come to a halt. A long pause for thought and what to do adds to the tension. A plan for escape ensues, but it quickly unravels as the Iraqi's open fire, bullets ricocheting and penetrating all the vehicles at once. Trying to see through the barrage of gunfire as if driving through a pounding rain storm, Lynch's vehicle driven by her close friend Lori Piestewa, crashes into a supply truck.
The passengers of the supply truck, which include soldiers Shoshona Johnson and Patrick Miller, attempt to lend aid to Lynch's vehicle. While dodging bullets, they realize and assume that all are lost, including Lynch.
The devastating battle continues. Patrick Miller and the unknown `blonde' soldier's heroics go practically unnoticed, but that does not stop the drama of the moment or performances from painting a descriptive picture of what essentially happened. We even see Shoshana Johnson take a shot in the ankle. A significant and identifiable moment for woman in the military.
The Iraqi fighters take the surviving soldiers Edgar Hernandez, Joseph Hudson, Shoshona Johnson, Patrick Miller, and James Riley as Prisoners of War. Jessica Lynch is then pulled from the bullet ridden vehicle by the Iraqi's, her seemingly lifeless body, dropped to the ground.
An Iraqi soldier dressed in black, presumably Fedayin, notices that Jessica is still alive, and he orders his men to take the remaining bodies and Jessica away.
Lynch is taken to a warn out hospital where the Fedayin impose their headquarters amongst doctors and patients. With trepidation, a woman doctor makes several clandestine attempts to comfort Jessica. While visiting his wife, who is also a doctor at the hospital, Mohammed Al Rehaief discovers that Lynch is being held. Al Rahaief begins to wrestle with his own conscious and how his family has been affected by Hussein's regime. We even see his neighbor, a woman, being dragged down the street behind a truck because she merely waved at an American helicopter. With years of watching his people tortured, and fearing for the future life of his own little girl, it appears that his selfless decision to contact the US military didn't even take a second thought.
Al Rehaief walks out into the desert at night after the Fedayin imposed curfew, and finds a military regiment to share his news. In a horrifying moment, Al Rehaief is secured at gun point, and shrouded with a bag over his head before being brought to the commander. At one point, Al Rehaief even asks if he will be tortured.
The discovery of the location of a missing soldier, let alone a 19 year old young woman who wants to be a kindergarten teacher, creates great concern and interest to the white house. `We leave no soldier behind' rings true in this story. Without much hesitation, the military takes a leap of faith in believing Al Rehaief's story, and organizes one of the most carefully calculated and meticulous rescues that even the best writers in Hollywood gulped and stuttered at.
Although we as an audience know the outcome, watching the rescue events unfold in this docudrama brings out an emotion of recent memory of watching the specifics on CNN in green. Even though the creators have mixed fact with fiction, the fact that this young woman was rescued in the condition she was in with the help and aid of Iraqi citizens is truly a miracle. The story of the 507th and downed pilots David S. Williams and Ronald Young Jr. is one that needs to be told. Someday it would be nice if there was a narrative that is a compilation of each of their stories, and that it be made into a feature film with all of their blessings.
`Saving Jessica Lynch' is unauthorized by Lynch, and I think it was made and released too quickly and without proper consent. But this story was put together well, and did not particularly exploit the soldiers as feared by critics. It was most certainly worth seeing.