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The World Wars (2014)
War is Hell, this is too.
I was flipping channels and came across this dreck a little less than 1/2 way through. I started to watch and within seconds found myself saying, "How did that...?" " When did....?" "That's not right." "I'm not genius or expert, but WHAT THE....?" and so forth.
VERY few of the actors looked much like their characters as if the casting director simply said, "If they're white and male, feh, it works. Oh, but put a pair of glasses on that guy."
As other reviews have mentioned, poetic license is to be expected to some degree and honestly, with that much of a timespan to cover and all that material, one has to be realistic enough to know that you can't include every detail or you'd end up with a movie almost as long as the war itself. It's just not going to happen. But with that in mind, isn't it in everyone's best interest to get what you ARE covering more than a LITTLE right?
The History Channel has become a joke. What was once one of the most fascinating and informative channels for us history buffs has become a hodgepodge of reality crap shows. It's heartbreaking, but my anti-TV executive rants are common in my reviews, so, here's more evidence to back up my beliefs. When they DO an actual history show, I guess we shouldn't expect much more from them than this.
And this stinker is now 4 years old. Sheesh, now I'm starting to cry.
LA to Vegas (2018)
Just Funny, and that's all you need.
This show is funny. I don't give a hoot what the pretentious snobs out there think, not all GOOD comedy has to be brainy, British farce. With it's head in the clouds and it's feet on the ground, this program nicely straddles outrageous insanity and good old fashioned basic humor about the 'normal' weekend round trip flights from, well, LA to Vegas.
* Capt. Dave is a howl as self absorbed Capt. Dave. (best episode, "Two and a Half Pilots" where he and equally self absorbed Capt. Steve, masterfully played Dermot Mulroney, NOT Dylan McDermott-Capt. Dave) get into a pissing contest about piloting.)
* Ronnie, the disgruntled and rather mysterious female flight attendant.
* Bernard, the disgruntled, yet more accepting of his position (and why not, that's no easy job and not everyone could ever do it.) who is equally mysterious.
* Alan-Co-pilot who is a bit naïve, inexperienced and in slight awe of Capt. Dave.
And the passengers, anchored by:
* Nichole-a Las Vegas stripper who commutes to work weekends and is a lot smarter than she appears
* Artem-the crafty gambler who also seems to have a rather bizarre past growing up SOMEWHERE in probably Eastern Europe. (at three he dug a hole for a swimming pool. at 4 he discovered it was a mass grave!)
* Colin-a recently divorced father of one who's ex lives in Vegas. He's like some of the reviewers on this site, a bit pretentious and over the top in self absorption, but he gets to know others before he truly condemns them.
It's a terrific show so far and, as another reviewer pointed out, and many have for many shows, the absolute gold standard of TV comedy, "Seinfeld" got off to a slow start and was threatened with cancellation. I don't know if that's been kicked around, I certainly hope not, but I've seen far too many great shows knocked down in their infancy by small minded TV execs. I've read the External Reviews and all are behind it. I know if weed out the naysayers here and just watch the show, odds are probably good you'll get hooked. It's just funny, and as my 'headline' stated, that's all you need.
Me, Myself and I (2017)
Outstanding first impression
Bobby Moynihan has been one of the consistently terrific cast members of SNL for years. He's proved himself at light drama as well as comedy and I very much enjoyed his performance. Jack Dylan Grazer did a wonderful job as the young Alex and John Larroquette, the man never fails to entertain. Comedy pros of various ages.
The program, as you all know by now, follows our hero, Alex through life at 3 various stages with an interconnected story line. OK, I was totally thrown at first with the Ambulance. I must have missed something and I plead ignorance as to what it was. OTHERWISE, this show was down to earth, honest, funny (without being broad or sidesplitting) and real.
I won't say how it ended, but I will admit, this macho he-man cried a little. It was a very sweet ending.
Good to see Jaleel White back in action as GROWN Alex's friend and colleague; and Brian Ungar showed a terrific side as Alex's step Dad, and a real, GOOD Dad at that.
I hope the show is given a good run. I'm always in doubt that when a good show comes along, it's given a real shot. I have no faith in TV Execs, but my fingers are crossed here.
Other three time period shows have come and gone, some could have worked, (The Bakery-VERY old cop show that didn't make it beyond the pilot) some were dead in the water. I hope this is given a real chance. The pilot was just too good.
So, I've discovered that after only 6 episodes, this show has been dumped. I had a feeling this would happen and the losers who run TV did NOT let me down. FIRE THESE MORONS!
The Orville (2017)
I may have just condemned this show. Shows I love often get scrapped. Fate, I guess.
This show is not perfe....is it? It's shot and edited just like every "Star Trek" franchise and has the feel of a "Star Trek" franchise, but it's funnier. There was great humor in each one, from time to time, but this is a comedy that has the feel and look of a drama and it's pulled off masterfully.
I recently heard that the ratings have not been great. Lets us not forget that "Seinfeld"'s ratings were not great at first and the empty suits at NBC were ready to pull the plug, but someone with an ounce of courage and intelligence pushed to let it ride, even with the schedule hopping it endured. We now look back on one of the most classic sitcoms EVER to grace the television screen.
If the ratings are not great for "The Orville", I can only hope that someone actually THINKS things through before the plug is pulled. This show has amazing potential if only some smart people will let it gather a following. I know SMART is a rare commodity at the network level, but it does exist and we can all only HOPE it prevails.
The cast is terrific and works well together. The second episode where Capt. Ed Mercer's parents communicate with him in front of the crew is priceless and I doubt there are many adults who can't relate to some degree with that. You have to see it to truly appreciate it.
It's the little things like that that make this show terrific. The deadpan humor is outstanding as well. I swear, it's "Star Trek" with a tongue firmly planted in it's cheek.
PLEASE, let's give this show a chance. Those who may not like it should simply not watch. If the show fails, it fails, but allow it to have a decent shot and who knows, in 10 years, there could be as many Orville spin offs as "Star Trek" ones!
SCTV Network 90 (1981)
WHY????? Why did the do this?????
With that said, I loved SCTV and everything about it. With THAT said, why on earth did NBC, when they took it from the Canadians, have to add a laugh track. SCTV when syndicated was absolutely brilliant and needed no crutches. For some bizarre reason, the morons running NBC felt a need to add a laugh track. It's on the DVD. WHY? It didn't NEED one. Even idiots could understand when it was funny and didn't need prompting.
OK, I understand, TV execs are a special kind of idiot who need to be show how to use a urinal every time they have to use one, I get that. But the viewing public, as a rule, got the humor and didn't need prompting. I found the prompting insulting. But I digress.
John Candy, Joe Flaherty and, well, the whole bunch were brilliantly off beat. As the station boss, Joe Flaherty played Guy Caballero, the station boss who always used a wheelchair. He didn't need it, he just used one. He HATED PBS and in an episode where the networks were at war, he ordered a hit on PBS. When told they had already hit them, he replied, "Well, hit 'em again. I hate that egghead network!" This is just ONE of the out of this world, insane characters who populated SCTV and there were so many.
It translated well into a 'network' show in the US, but you could see there was a slight lack of edge, and of course the damn laugh track.
If you've never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch an episode or two. It'll never hurt. It can't do justice to watch only a few, but you'll be glad you did...even with that damn laugh track. PLEASE, try to find one without it.
On a side note, to the editors at IMDb, capitalization is not always yelling. Since it's impossible to emphasize things with underlining or bold type, caps is all that's left.
END...sorry $end$ repression and censorship!
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cringe
Here's a movie that, though released in theatres when it was made in 1973, had 'made for TV' written all over it. Cheap sets, cast that were 'stars' but never BIG stars, but it's all worth it. I just watched it on YouTube after not having seen it in decades, maybe not since in the theatre when it was released.
The best parts of this movie are Bernard Fox as Constable Hooke, who's descriptions of the murders is an absolute hoot, Jamie Farr (almost unrecognizable as an Indian servant) who says nothing, but who's presence is always good, and Victor Buono who may be in it briefly, but as the officiate of the wedding, is outstanding. He plays 'uncomfortable and awkward' extremely well, without going over the top.
The rest of the cast holds their own nicely but those three take the movie from being an amusing 5 to a very amusing 8. No, this isn't a laugh out loud comedic classic, but it's fun to watch in spite of the cheesiness.
And the end is definitely a bit of a surprise. 'nuff said.
Tierra: Infierno (2003)
First off, the guy with the lamp needed a bigger part. I really hope there is a sequel.
The artistry was magnificent and I will be searching for the soundtrack album. I'm guessing it wasn't John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, this is way above their league.
If you want something that makes perfect sense, flows like a river and has snappy dialogue, this is for you.
Now, once the drugs wear off, I just might watch it again. Wait, I don't take drugs....WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?!?
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I just rewatched this classic film. I have to say, I think I get it now. It's all about a boy who seems to think ancient Egyptians were...
what was that doctor? No, give me a minute more, please. PLEASE? OK, thank you.
So, anyway, he sees how life REALLY is and it's all about drinking milk and wine and exposing your penis and.......
dammit doctor, you said I could....WHAT? No, no, I did NOT take my meds today. It's too early. Let me FINISH THIS!
Anyway, the woman with lots of tits and penises on her back is the one who......
DAMMIT, OK, OK, LEAVE ME ALONE, I'll take my medications and........
It's an incredible movie. The acting alone is worth the price of admission. It's on YouTube...FREE!!!!!!
Buy the Soundtrack on Polymer Records and Tapes and....is that thorazine you just gave me? Oh............................................
My Honor Was Loyalty (2016)
Not your big budget blockbuster, but for what it's worth....
This is a movie that, somewhat similar in idea to "Cross of Iron" or "Stalingrad" (the German one) what it was like from the side of the losers. Hundreds and hundreds of movies are made from the Allied standpoint but not all that many seem to come from the other side, even if the guy making it may not have been German.
What I liked: An effort to show soldiers (even the dreaded Waffen SS) as human beings. An effort on an obvious budget to put together a decent war movie with decent battle scenes. Unknowns (to me) who at no time seemed to want to outshine their cast mates.
What I did NOT like: A philosophical quote, FROM THE GUY MAKING THE MOVIE! Tacky. The kind of cheap feel at times. The over emphasis at the end that, "hey, the 'good guys' were just as bad, they just happen to win." Well, let's be honest, I've been blessed to never been at war, but to deny that even the good guys do some bad things is naïve. People are people and in certain situations may do terrible things, but to try and compare the Allies with the Nazis is ludicrous. I bet even the most ardent Nazi sympathizer would agree that man for man, the SS (in all forms) killed more innocent people in one week than the entire Allied armies in a month. As a student of history, I'm making an educated guess, not stating a fact.
To the movie itself, it's not bad. It's pretty good actually. You get the feel of desperation from the cast. The small skirmishes they face are somewhat believable. It's NOT a big budget movie and that's clear, but you don't need a big budget to make a good movie.
I enjoyed it. You may not, but for what it's worth, I think it's a decent story with a good, though distorted message. War is Hell; you fight for the man next to you and because it's your duty, period.
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Amazing movie with a message
First off, just to get it off my chest, every small town head law enforcement person is not a sheriff. I don't understand nor will I ever understand why so many people cannot make this very simple and straight forward distinction. Heck, even the television show based on the movie just HAD to put Stetsons on the Police because they figured, "Police and CHIEF have already been established, we HAVE to do SOMETHING to show they're actually all sheriffs!" Stupid, plain and simple. An easy concept for intelligent people to grasp, they are NOT all sheriffs.
Whew. Sorry. It's always eaten at me and even though I know my tirade won't wake up the lethargic, I feel better venting....again.
But enough of my bellyaching.
This movie stands out as one of the all time classic films on a few levels. For one, it's and examination about race relations, not just in the south, but in general and how, even if you're not trying, you just might see that the bottom line is, we're all just people. There are good, there are bad, there are misunderstood and what color your skin happens to be, is totally irrelevant. Of course, all of the bad people in this happen to be white, but it's the circumstances under which the film takes. We see the transformation of some folks once they see Virgil Tibbs for who he is, not what he is. It's always good to watch when someone is enlightened, even a little.
This movie is also a decent murder mystery. I grant you, not really the focus, but the compelling main plot IS the mystery of who the killer is and why he/she did it. The racial stuff is a dynamic sub-plot. Or is it the other way around? Hmmmm.
It's also a very interesting character study. CHIEF Gillespie is shown to be clearly a complicated man who, though he wants to do the right thing, feels the need to prove himself even more so. He has a difficult time with being wrong or second guessed and yet, you see him occasionally second guessing himself and questioning his, or should I say the values of all around him.
Tibbs is shown to be a good and righteous man who, as Gillespie points out, is deep down, "...just like the rest of us." in that he seems fixated on 'taking that fat cat off this hill.' Tibbs has convicted Endicott prior to even proving that Endicott actually did it. Just has Gillespie has done with others. The exchange outside of Endicott's house between Gillespie and Tibbs is priceless and the look on Tibbs' face when reality is thrown at him is extremely telling. And this exchange is one of the highlights of the film, and there are plenty others.
The acting is outstanding. Each and every character is pretty much flawless, the weakest acting link (for me, anyway) was Quentin Dean as Delores. She didn't get LOTS of acting jobs after this, so I'm guessing I'm correct in my belief she was not great actress. It's unfortunate that she passed on at 58 years of age. She wasn't that bad. And of course, it's simply sad she passed at a relatively young age.
But Rod Steiger and Sydney Poitier are two of the best, hands down. Warren Oates, never seemed to be acting, just actually being that person he was portraying, who always seemed to be like Warren Oates! The entire cast carries this without effort. I won't name them all, too many great performances to try.
The dialogue is well written as well, VERY well written.
Now for a little more nitpicking, sorry, it's in my blood. Though they may nor may not be spoilers, I feel better saying they are.
First off, as much an expert as Tibbs is, it's amazing he knows everything about everything. Fern root? He knows all there is to know about Fern Root? Whew, there was a stroke of luck. No doubt fern root is a major factor in many of the cases he worked in Philadelphia! LMAO.
I was amazed that the FBI could get the package, examine it and get it back to Mississippi within 24 hours, especially in 1967. REALLY? Why did Federal Express even need to be established? I'll close here. This movie is timeless, not 'dated'. It takes place when it takes place and when it takes place was a tough time for America for so many reasons, not that today is a walk in the park. But we see people for who they were then, and how some are now. Not all good people are white or black; nor are all bad people. (I'm not ignoring any other group, but this movie doesn't address any other groups, please hold off on any complaints about my lack of inclusiveness. Thank you.)
What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
Cripes, it's so damn funny
I was sitting here reading some reviews and just reading the reviews had me laughing like hell. This movie is the type of thing anyone with a sense of humor wants to do at least once. You take a movie that was probably not bad, may have been funny (some facial expressions and scenarios suggest it) and make it one hell of a farce. Woody Allen's early work was brilliant, off kilter and a bit bizarre. All that is what made it so bloody funny. (Interiors was heartbreaking. BLECH!) He showed comedic genius not just for the 60s, but for all time.
Phil Moskowitz is a howl. The villains are a howl. The whole premise is a howl. It has elements that his other movies don't have, or they have and it doesn't. WHAT? Never mind, it's not like his other movies. This is an established movie, DE-established and rebuilt into his own insane image.
Not every gag works, but the non-working gags are few, very few. Just watch and LISTEN and you'll laugh, unless you've got no sense of humor.
The Siege of Jadotville (2016)
Picture "Zulu" with modern weapons and an untested army. If this were not a true story, no sane person would believe it.
Irish soldiers on a UN peacekeeping mission are besieged by mercenaries in Africa. They h.....SPOILER ALERT...they hold out and though they lose, they win. Sadly it took DECADES to show this.
An outstanding film with an outstanding cast. Each and everyone was magnificent, there's no need to pick individuals though Jamie Dornan and Jason O'Mara are the leads and DO dominate the screen time as does Mark Stong, but overall, this is a magnificent cast doing a magnificent job. I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning because, frankly, from the moment they became enthralled with the African beauty and the exotic animals, there was no way in hell, title alone, I didn't expect the worst. How it came about was done wonderfully.
I could go on for paragraphs. Why bother. I'll leave where I started, "Zulu" with modern weapons. (and leadership-Guillaume Canet , also does one HELL of a job as the villain who is simply doing his job.*)If you enjoy war movies, THIS IS FOR YOU! *It's tough when you root for the main bad guy to get killed all the while respecting him. Man, that must suck for actual soldiers, all of whom I truly respect. God Bless the good guys, each and every one, no matter what country they fight for and God, never let us forget who the GOOD guys are.
Scott is ANGRY, and rightfully so.
Let's get a few things out of the way first. For one thing, it has all the feel of a TV movie even a TV movie cast other than George C. Scott (one of the FINEST actors ever-NOT sarcasm) and Martin Sheen in his early career. Otherwise, this has made for TV all over it, even the credits have that second rate feel.
Many things happen that are very believable but there are plenty of things that make you go, "Hmmm?" Just a quick example that could be considered a spoiler, when Scott leaves the hospital, WHERE DID HE GET THE CLOTHES? And if they wanted to keep him there, I have a hard time believing his wallet would be left for him.
And why did he have to kill so many folks (a guard, two cops, at least one soldier) who were as responsible for what was going on as much as HE was? They had families but eh, screw that, "I HAVE A GRUDGE!" A righteous grudge or not, these folks didn't kill anyone, but now their families grieve. It took the hero out of it and made him a douchebag.
OK, that's off my chest. Whew.
I saw this movie when it came out in 1972 and I liked it. After I had seen "Patton" I couldn't think of a GCS movie I wouldn't like, and I don't recall seeing one either. This movie has its flaws but it makes a statement and makes it clear. If you must experiment with stuff, don't do it anywhere near innocent people and if you screw up, rush up to the nearest podium and scream, "We are VERY sorry. This was a MAJOR screw up and we are doing everything we can to rectify it!" Some would say don't do these experiments, but hey, this is the real world and this stuff, sometimes has to happen. Yeah, the REAL world where there are folks who hate us, want to kill us and will do whatever it takes, maybe like flying planes into buildings or potentially releasing gas that we really should now how to deal with.
Politics aside, GCS's character, Dan Logan was angry, and very rightfully so. He was being screwed, figured it out, and went for revenge. He apparently knew he was dying so, why not REALLY get back at those who wronged him. I understand and almost applaud his actions. I stress, ALMOST (see above). No time for a law suit when you're about to check out, right? The photography was good, the script was actually quite good but lots of clichés. Scott, that guy couldn't turn in a bad performance if it was required of him. The supporting cast did a fine job as well, even his kid who for a good portion of the movie just had to convulse and bleed. He bled well and his convulsions were to die for.
Bad joke, but I'm not deleting it.
Overall, the scariness of the potential real life stuff is there and this movie really makes you think. I caught it for the first time in YEARS on YouTube last night and I was so glad I did. Now if I could only find some more of his classics that for some reason just don't get shown. "Oklahoma Crude"? Where ARE YOU?
The Finest Hours (2016)
Amazing True Story
Yup, Amazing, but I gave it an 8. I ONLY gave it an 8 because so much of it seemed a bit too Hollywood-ish. But hey, I'm not a film maker and a history buff, not a historian. But as I watched and thought now and then, "Oh, REALLY?" I still enjoyed the intensity. The slow start was a nice way to introduce a couple of the main characters, just a couple and funny enough they ARE a couple. Bernie and Miriam. But even they don't get too much in-depth coverage. But that's OK, it's not really about them, but it's enough to give you a bit of a reason to feel for someone besides everyone who risks their lives in this scenario.
If you're reading this (and few will, I know) you already know the story, so we'll skip that. This is kind of an opinion forum/review. Here's mine.
GOOD MOVIE. Like I mentioned, I saw some clichés, some 'Hollywood' moments that don't happen in real life and some silliness. I also saw a true story and as often happens with me, the full impact truly hits when photos of the actual folks are shown at the end. Holy Moly, that's the way to make a jaw drop. Then, I looked up the whole story and even by way of the United States Coast Guard's own website, the movie is far more accurate than I imagined. Little exaggeration here. We're talking life threatening, edge of your seat, nails chewed to the knuckle stuff and portrayed far better than I believed. OK, so Bernie and Miriam were actually married already, not engaged like in the movie, big deal. I'll cope.
Chris Pine has truly impressed me. I liked him as Capt. Kirk more (smarmy, snarky and lovable) but here he takes on a real life person and does him justice. Miriam, played by Holliday (add an 'l' and it's now a name! Hippies. Sheesh) Grainger was sympathetic and believable, not fake. Casey Affleck gave a voice to a character that in real life seems to have been forgotten; a man who did as much to save the remaining crew of the Pendleton as anyone and did it wonderfully.
The supporting cast, most especially Ben Foster and Kyle Gallner came through like champs. Everyone always remembers the MAIN guy, but hey, if the other guys weren't there, the main guy could NEVER accomplish what was done and these guys throw that in your face, but respectfully.
I have always had enormous respect for the USCG and feel they are truly the overlooked heroes of our armed forces, especially in peacetime. This movie (as well as "The Guardian") is finally shining a much deserved spot light on them and in a respectful, professional and entertaining way.
The Night Of (2016)
Enjoyable, Hey SOUND guy.....
This series is typical of HBO. It's well written, well filmed and brilliantly acted. But hey, the SOUND is annoying. I find I'm often straining to hear what's being said as the background noise is almost overwhelming. It's annoying as hell. I can't stress the word ANNOYING enough. The sound guy is the one who should spend some REAL time at Rikers Island.
With that said, I saw the other choices for the part of John Stone. I can say I can see either one playing him, but John Turturro is brilliant. Here's a guy who has done insane comedy and tough drama seamlessly. He does so here. I'm glad he got the part in the long run, no slight to anyone. He's sympathetic and OK, he can pull off looking like a shlub better than almost anyone when we know he's NO shlub.
Riz Ahmed is scary good. He almost has me believing he's becoming a real thug while in prison. Of course he's sabotaging his defense, but he's surviving.
Peyman Moaadi and Poorna Jagannathan (I believe I've seen Peyman before)are magnificent as his parents, they are proud and determined and yet, real. This means, vulnerable and scared and desperate.
Bill Camp as Sgt. Box is admirable. He's doing what he sees is right and with a case as seemingly airtight as this, he'd be a damn fool to do otherwise. He's not on a crusade, he simply wants justice done.
Every other supporting cast member does a fine job. To acknowledge each and everyone would be not only lengthy, but would get a bit pretentious.
Finish this up with a simple endorsement, FAN-DAMN-TASTIC! The photography is wonderful and every cast member does a splendid job. If only I could be 100% sure of what they were saying. What was that again? My rewind button is wearing out.
The Intern (2015)
Nice Story that's a bit predictable.
OK, first and foremost, I'm sick of the pretentious a-holes who rush like sharks to a seal feeding area to condemn this type of movie. You blow hards go and make a few movies and THEN spout off your know it all garbage. GAWDALMIGHTY! OK, with that out of my system, this movie is a fairly predictable and pedestrian film. I have to be brutally honest however, a couple of small curve balls did surprise me, but overall, eh. Not a great movie but hey, a nice story. I use that word a lot, 'nice' and I've acknowledged that before. For some films, it's the best description. It's not exciting, it's not thought provoking and it's not intended to be. It's entertaining and at times, a bit uplifting. In a word, it's NICE! What the hell is wrong with nice? Not a damn thing. The whiney folks who feel every movie must have impact or teach a lesson or...what-have-you, are jerks, morons and probably failed film students who were rejected by EVERY movie studio, even the Troma Team. Let's be honest you egomaniacs, shall we? I'm just a guy who loves movies and in this movie I see a pleasant story that allowed me to sit for an hour and 1/2 and just enjoy a nice story. Is that so wrong? No, dammit, it isn't. Am I angry, yeah, I guess I am. Do I care if I offend a few douche bags? Hell no.
Sorry, I'm really ranting here.
Bottom line, Robert De Niro can do ANYTHING (and sure, it seems like lately he WILL DO ANYTHING!) and he pulled off this role very nicely. If you don't like this word, stop reading....NOW! He's a mild mannered good guy who wants to not be bored. Anne Hathaway has shown she can handle acting very well. I keep wanting to see more depth in her characters, but this movie didn't require much and that's fine. She's a good actor, not a shlub who gets by solely on looks.
Rene Russo. 'Nuff said.
The supporting cast do a magnificent job doing exactly what they are supposed to do, SUPPORT.
Sure, I found some things that I scratched my head at. Where did HE go? Why did SHE do this? What ever happened to....? But it's not a documentary, it's a nice (YEAH, NICE-IN YOUR FACE!) story that shouldn't have to explain everything. People don't go to the movies to have every detail correct and every single moment or event fit perfectly into reality. Take it from me, I can be a stickler with some types of movies, but I'm also a realist and even when I'M the one whining, I try to keep my whining in perspective. Some here do not. They think they're some important critic who's word will make or break a movie. NONE OF US HERE ARE VERY IMPORTANT! GET OVER YOURSELVES! So, bottom line, it's a nice (yeah, nice) movie that entertains. If you like simple movies that simply make you smile, this is one for you. If you demand perfection, make your own damned movies.
Yeonpyeong haejeon (2015)
This Movie Is Special
We start by getting to know the men of the 357 Patrol ship of the South Korean Navy. A good bunch of men who, being human, kid around, have fun and generally work very hard and then let off tension as any normal person does, be it sneaking a feast on the bow or cheering on their hometown soccer team. We get to meet their families as well and see just how much those people back home mean to them.
We also see what a bunch of punks the North Koreans are. OK, sure, they're not about to be shown as sympathetic characters, but why should they be? They started this entire incident, as they often do. Punks. And when you compare the ships, you see the difference between a modern free society and a backwards one being run by some little runt with something to prove. But I digress.
This movie was filmed magnificently and very believably. We (in the Western Hemisphere)often see movies made in other nations and feel they look a little cheesy compared to our slick productions. That's a bit condescending, but I'm sure many who may read this know what I mean. We get to know these guys and like them. They're good people and the ships new Commander starts out a bit of a hard nose, but even he sees that, this likable bunch will do anything for someone they both respect and like and mutual admiration and affection between officers and crew truly brings them all together.
Then disaster, and for what? Muscle flexing of the worst kind and this entire sequence, the battle sequence is both exciting and heartbreaking as we see those we've gotten to know being shot up by...well, the bad guys. It's very well done and riveting.
I was not fully aware until the end that this was indeed a true story and yup, I teared up. I teared up for the men of 357, I teared up for their families and the horror they all faced in their different ways. I also teared up for the world that we must tolerate nations like North Korea who seem to simply exist only to provoke, incite and threaten. They have no meaning otherwise and this movie, should I say, this story is proof.
It's a wonderful movie on a number of levels. I've reviewed this movie from a soapbox, but this movie tells truth in a very dramatic fashion and tells it well. For a history lesson and for a lesson in national terrorism and current events, this movie is a must see.
All the Way (2016)
I have a whole new outlook on LBJ
Bryan Cranston has come so far since Malcom in the Middle, where he truly showed his comedic abilities. Here, he shows himself not only a great actor, but an amazing impersonator. Is that good grammar? Ah, who cares. There were times that I honestly saw LBJ on the screen, not Bryan Cranston PLAYING him. He was that convincing as was Melissa Leo.
I grant you, I was just a very young kid during the Johnson years but even as a young kid, when the TV is on, you watch, even news. Over the years I've been given impressions of Johnson that didn't have much impact. He was the president between Kennedy (whom the whole world loved) and Nixon (who wasn't so loved) and he made some people mad and made some people happy and blah blah blah. That first year in office and his devotion to getting the Civil Rights Act passed, and his brilliance in the political sphere just blew my mind. Yeah, I'm not a moron, I know there was some creative license taken with some things, but I've seen that when HBO does something like this, they do their research so I'm confident there's a hell of a lot of truthfulness in this. And they don't pull punches. Johnson can be crude, can be a bully and can be a bit thin skinned. He can be tough and even a bit lovable. Anyone who loves Beagles in my opinion gets extra points.
I so very much enjoyed this movie and sat with my wife saying, "We LIVED through this!" As for the rest of the cast, WOW! I almost swore Bradley Whitford was simply lip syncing Hubert Humphrey's actual voice. And watching J. Edgar Hoover played by the always entertaining Stephen Root was terrific. If you do watch this, watch his face closely when LBJ asks how you can spot someone who is gay. Amazing.
I also loved the fact that the story pressed home one unmistakable fact, if you want change in politics, you can't do it without playing the game. To demand change to happen, HERE AND NOW, you're going to be very disappointed and may find yourself slipping backwards in stead of striding forward. Sad, but true.
I don't want this to turn into a novel. I didn't summarize the plot because there's no need, you know it. I'll finish this with the recommendation that, if you enjoy anything related to politics and/or history, this is a VERY entertaining and informative history lesson.
It's "OK", that's about it.
"Every morning when I get up, I thank God for drugs and murder and subversion." That is the best line in the entire movie and I thank Steve Skafte of Nova Scotia for including it in his review. Kurtwood Smith is, for me the highlight of this otherwise, "OK" movie.
But first, a couple of the review titles are kind of give-a-ways to the story's end. I'm glad I didn't look at this page or the review until AFTER seeing the movie.
With that said, I wasn't overly impressed. I've never thought Kris Kristofferson was a great actor, nor a great singer, but he's a better actor than a singer. Not a popular opinion on either count, but that's where I stand. He's "OK" in this movie, so is Treat Williams. Slightly better than "OK", he's actually GOOD. I'll end it there as for the acting. No wait, Kevin Conway was a little too stereotypical of the tough boss. Terrific actor, but come on, had he toned it down just a bit, it would have been a very nice job, not just...."OK".
One of my biggest gripes however is how all these Border Patrol Agents can be listening to the radio and yet still miss that two of their own are dead. Sorry, but if the Sheriff and the creepy secret police guys got wind, it HAD to go over the radio at some point. Pre-Cell Phone era, right? Real life would have seen every agent in the area swarm down on the barn, even if told not to. And yet, no matter what, people seem to hear selectively and no one is phased by all the insanity going on around them. No one seems to notice ANYTHING unusual except our heroes.
I know, I know, it's just a movie, calm down. But a movie is supposed to pull you in, make you want to believe what you're seeing is real, even if only for the length of the movie. This didn't for me. It was just a bit borderline DUMB, slight pun intended.
And lastly, though I have no association with the Border Patrol, I felt insulted on their behalf by a few lines here and there that essentially made the Border Patrol seem like a meaningless, nothing agency full of malcontents and people with no where else to go. That is a fine agency that deserves a bit more respect than the movie gave it, no a LOT more respect.
"The Border" with Jack Nicholson really only made a few of the Agents look bad, and since bad people can end up on ANY job, that was fine (even though Nicholson's character was essentially a good guy doing a bad thing)but "Flashpoint" insulted the agency a bit. At least I felt it did.
But that's not why I find the movie only "OK". I just wasn't impressed on the whole and yet, I watched it from start to finish and walked away satisfied....that it was on HBO and I didn't pay any extra money to watch it. That's the best way to see an a movie that just, "OK"!
Let Us Prey (2014)
Plenty of Blood, but not a slice and dice.
I've never been a fan of slice and dice movies where you see the maniac and he kills everyone. OK, the original "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" is a classic, I give you that and "Motel Hell" is a hoot, but the whole idea of some scary thing walking around terrorizing teenagers and killing them, well, blah.
This film is more what I go for. Scary but most of the horror is in the heads of the characters. Sure, there's plenty of blood, but it's there due to people losing control, not because they're simply lunatic killer. Some of these folks are BAD people, but that's what's great, on the surface, they seem like everybody and anybody else, it's the darkness inside of them that is drawn out by the mysterious stranger.
"Below" and "Session 9" are this type of movie. They make you think. Sometimes it's fun to just shut down your brain and be entertained, but when the movie makes you actually THINK, I believe you tend to enjoy it more. "Let Us Prey", I felt, made me think.
A Long Way Down (2014)
Not disappointed at all.
I expected a comedy. I love English movies and am rarely disappointed. It had some funny moments, but a comedy, it's not. And I was STILL not disappointed. It was a very good story, a NICE story. I use that word a lot but sometimes, I can't think of a more appropriate one.
As you know, 4 people who are planning suicide end up not doing it on New Year's Eve making a pact to do it Valentine's Day. It shows how they bond over the coming weeks and as has been mentioned, they form a sort of surrogate co-dependent family. It's a chance for them to talk out their issues and have someone with issues just as tough for them (in different unique ways), to listen. Misery loves company. What starts as mutual annoyance slips into reluctant friendship and you eventually see it become a loving family of sorts.
Nice. Photography, done well. Acting, hey, it's a cast of real pros, so you can expect that was good. But honestly, unless the photography and acting is really wretched, WHO CARES? When I read the reviews of others, I want only to know if it was a good story executed well, not if it's academy award material.
I don't know if this could win an Oscar and don't care. It was very nice movie with a upbeat story. Isn't that really all that matters in the long run?
Childrens Hospital (2008)
There are 17 (hopefully this will make 18) reviews of this show and only FIVE are negative, and they sure are negative. This one is NOT.
Here you have a show that is sarcastic, snide, tongue in cheek and hilariously twisted. The premise, a Children's Hospital staff that are this self absorbed that the patient care is questionable at best would make one cringe. The one thing that truly affects human sentimentality and can bring about amazing sympathy (well, from CIVILIZED people) is children in distress, be it sickness, injury, horrible circumstances surrounding their young lives, etc. Civilized people feel that tug at the heartstrings when a child is at risk.
Every kid who checks into this hospital is at risk, but thank God, it's NOT REAL. This show is done with SUCH disregard for emotional distress, it's like reverse psychology. We know what is happening is terrible, but it's done so well, it's amazingly funny. Thankfully, patient care IS not a focal point of the show so we do manage to hang onto the reality of...heck, lets just say badness. No, this show only has patient care on the edges so there's not too much. Even too much of a good thing can be bad.
This show focuses on the nurses, doctors, administrators and staff as well as surrounding characters and their flawed existence, and flawed it is.
The one character I will address simply because he's used on the advertising picture is Dr. Blake Downs played by one of the show's creators, Rob Corddry. He's a GLARINGLY obvious parody of Patch Adams. I avoid real medical dramas so I'm sure there are other obvious parodies, but I'm not seeing them. I don't have to, I just tune in, tune out and laugh.
Dr. Ken (2015)
Ken Jeong can be one of the funniest people out there and since he's involved in making the show, not just staring in it, I'm hopeful. I'm not going to suggest it be dumped, I cannot stand when a show with promise is given no chance to hit it's stride. I can only hope there's a stride to hit with this. It wasn't funny to me. Two maybe three times the show gave me a chuckle, but that was about it. Maybe I expected too much but all I got was a formulaic sitcom, not a thing was special about it, not even Ken Jeong and if HE can't be special, just a bit of a jerk, is there hope? Another irritant was Tisha Campbell-Martin as Demona. As my wife and I watched the entire episode we both agreed, she was irritating. Jonathan Slavin proved his comedic genius on the murdered "Better Off Ted" so I KNOW he's got the chops to help this show survive. Dave Foley, always good.
But, please, tone down the animation and improve the writing before we all see the shark jump and eventual sinking into the abyss of cancellation. There are too many GOOD people in this cast to give up just yet, but it could be painful to watch future episodes.
Still Game (2002)
Brilliant, simply...hold on...catch me breath, BRILLIANT!
I found this on Netflix. I've always loved the humor of Ireland and Scotland and figured, eh, I'll watch an episode or two. 13 were available (seasons 4 and 5) and I watched every one and laughed like hell. OK, I admit there were times I wasn't sure just what was being said, but even when I missed a joke (accent or local reference) I still laughed. It's that good.
If you want to have a summary of what this show is about, there are loads of places for that, but this is a review, not a summary so, no summary.
The lead actors are just amazing and can do deadpan so well, it seems like they're really just engaging each other, we're looking in on real people in their normal every day lives and, like every day life can be, we laugh.
There are occasionally poignant moments, but they seem almost like a tease, the humor is right there to push you back and say, "Oh come now, this IS a comedy after all." One side note, in the episode where the boys take the tour of the distillery, I could identify. My son and I took a tour of a brewery and were actually more interested in getting to the tasting room than how it's made. These guys took the idea of 'revisiting' to a whole new, hysterically funny level.
Worth every second, even if some of the dialogue slips by, sometimes if you just take what was said, figure in the goings on, you still get the joke, and it's still funny.
C'mon Netflix, bring on all those earlier seasons and let me enjoy every moment.
I had to amend my review and THANK Netflix for putting the first three season into the mix. I'm dancing through the heather with joy. Plus I have to add something that I neglected to put in the first time around, the supporting cast is as wonderful as the leads (though they have the edge of being the stars) and each one's little quirk and eccentricity makes them all the more fun to watch. Enjoy, ya bastards! hee hee hee.
John Wick (2014)
This will be brief.
One never tends to expect much from a movie staring Keanu Reeves. Why? I'm not sure, I think he does just fine and I'm usually entertained, but that's just me. This movie is, well, if you abhor violence, this movie is NOT for you. I don't like violence for no reason, but the violence in this movie IS the reason for the movie. It's fast, it's justified (bear with me) and it's amazing.
Others have given plot summaries but it seems almost required so; Former Hit man goes for revenge on the scumbag gangsters who wronged him and as it happens, he has a connection with them. OK. That's over with.
Not since "Shoot 'Em Up" has a movie been solely about the violence and not since "Shoot 'Em Up" has it been done so well. Even the faint of heart could enjoy this movie and trust me, I know people who cringe at violence in movies, my wife is THE prime example, and yet, you get lost in the action. It's non-stop. The few breaks between fights and shootings are seemingly filler, but necessary filler.
I had heard great things, but once I watched it today, I was VERY impressed. How do you root for a bad guy? Well, when he's killing WORSE guys, how can you not root for him? And yeah, he kills a LOT of them.
John Wick also displays a certain charm, not a 007 type of charm, but an all business charm. He will never mess with you if you're not a part of his business. Is that ETHICS? Sure, why not. He's not flamboyant, he's not over the top, he's all business, yet very civil, very refined and decent...unless you ARE his business.
I was far more impressed than I expected and I DID expect to be impressed. If you don't like violence, don't see this. If you don't mind violence so long as it has a purpose and moves the story, you'll LOVE this. If you LOVE violence, seek help and soon. You're potentially dangerous.
Synopsis is lacking and misleading.
First off, without a doubt, the star and really, ONLY actor, David Oyelowo is terrific. He carries this film. Well, I guess he's HAVE to being he's really the only one in it, but his downward spiral into total madness is done amazingly well.
What I did not like was the misleading (in my opinion) storyline synopsis. The dialogue touches on Peter (the main character) being in the Army which is the reason and the means in which he met the man coming to visit. Nothing is implied he was ever in combat or even left the States. I was expecting a compelling drama about a man coping with the scars left on him from the horrors of war and his need to overcome them.
Here's the potential spoiler: He is obviously gay, met a man in the army and fell in love. They are blocked from seeing each other and that, coupled with the absolute control his mother has over him causes him to unravel. I didn't say EVERYTHING, but I think I summed up the movie far better than what we're handed, which is a half truth and THAT bothers the hell out of me.
Mr. Oyelowo does a magnificent job and the photography has just enough of a claustrophobic feel that the movie is fascinating. Why lie about the subject matter, or tell only a fraction of the truth. I'm not sure I get it, but then again, maybe I'm not supposed to.
It's a good movie and I may have felt it was a GREAT movie if I didn't walk into it on a false premise. Then again, maybe I still wouldn't think it was THAT great, but I would have appreciated it more.