Reviews written by registered user

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786 reviews in total 
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High-powered acting talent in this neo-noir offering, 19 July 2017

Some high-powered acting talent in this neo-noir offering. I was unfamiliar with it, so I suppose it was not a financial success. Too bad, but it IS sort of a niche film, not necessarily one with mass appeal. Adrien Brody was typically excellent, as was Jennifer Beals in a small part. Yvonne Strahovski was great, even aside from from her eye-candy looks.

There was at least one large coincidence that drove the ending. I realize that if no unusual things happen, then there is nothing to have a movie about, but even so it seems almost like cheating. But overall I liked this film a lot. Check it out.

Amusing, 12 July 2017

I watched this one again a few days ago. I was going to say that it hadn't aged well. But on reflection, I realized the sad fact that it is me who hasn't aged well. Teenage movies can be funny, or poignant, or dramatic, but one thing they can't be for me anymore is relevant. I recall thinking that this film was awesome back in the day. Now, it is amusing, but that's really all. Maybe a younger person can deliver a better comment.

Arrival (2016/II)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A lot left unanswered, 6 July 2017

It is a little hard to comment much on this film without making it a spoiler. The three principal actors, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and Forest Whittaker all turned in good performances. The film is not invested too heavily in special effects, but they are done well, as is the rest of the cinematography. I feel like they had to work too hard on the central conceit, and the scenes of Adams' character with her daughter dragged down the pace. A lot was left unanswered, even as she became a sort of Billy Pilgrim. I thought it was OK.

Passengers (2016/I)
Pretty good space opera, 3 July 2017

OK, full disclosure first. I love science fiction stuff. I grew up reading Heinlein and Asimov, among others. And now that CGI means that filmmakers don't have to put up with super-cheesy special effects, I love the spectacle that sci-fi movies can offer. The effects in "Passengers" were magnificent. Yes, there will always be quibbles about accuracy when it comes gravity, micro- and otherwise. There were some other plot holes, but what movie doesn't have those?

Chris Pratt has come a long way from playing the doofus on "Parks and Recreation". He is adequate, but his story is a cautionary tale to any actor who considers giving up. Apparently anyone can get lucky and end up with a career as an action-film hero. Jennifer Lawrence was fine (and VERY fetching) and I do not understand all of the criticism of her acting on this film. I think she got the most out the material. The crux of the middle third of the movie is the ethical dilemma faced (and failed) by one of the characters, and this was proper for such an enormous decision.

Overall, this film was enjoyable, but not destined to be a classic. Well worth a look, especially if you are a sci-fi movie fan.

Largely a propaganda film, 23 June 2017

I did not think that this was a very good movie. It bored me. It was largely a propaganda film, with John Wayne spouting clichés and inspirational fluff, presumably to uplift the morale of the nation as war rages in Europe and Asia. It also carried an anti-Nazi propaganda portion, (which is fine by me) but I sort of thought that Hollywood was OK with Germany in 1940, since they were allied with the Soviet Union at that time. Wayne, of course was a noted conservative and anti-communist, but I'm not sure how much power he wielded at the studio in 1940. The whole film just came across as preachy and fake. I don't really recommend it to anyone, not even John Wayne fans.

A fairly enjoyable W. C. Fields film, 27 May 2017

This was a fairly enjoyable W. C. Fields film. While the plot, such as it is, meanders aimlessly, that wasn't really the point of films like this in those days. Back then, famous comedians played their persona, with plotting as a distant afterthought. The same holds largely true of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, The Marx Brothers, etc. Previous commenter "The_Film_Cricket" hit the nail on the head about the current popularity, or lack thereof, of Fields. His dipsomania, and his misanthropy are now totally politically incorrect. Erelong, he will likely be put down the memory hole, along with Amos & Andy, and "The Song of the South". But for now, we have his good, old-fashioned comedy.

A middling John Wayne movie, 8 May 2017

For any other star of the era, this would be one of their better or best films, but this is John Wayne, who went on to star in dozens of masterpieces. So, it is a middling John Wayne movie. His performance hit all of the right notes, and Gabby Hayes was there, doing what he did best. Both Ella Raines and Audrey Long looked lovely as they played opposite types of frontier women. I realize the times, and audiences were much more willing to suspend disbelief, but the effects, such as they were, could have been better. For instance, the stagecoach traveling through the Arizona desert was going about 35 mph with not nearly the bumpiness of frontier tracks. The plot fit the formula of the times very well, but was a tiny bit fresh, as well. Worth checking out.

An OK film, no more, 8 May 2017

Not really what you'd consider a "John Wayne movie" inasmuch as his character is important, but not dominant. This film is set in, I suppose, the Ozarks, in a not completely specified time. There is mention of telephones in the cities, but no sighting or mention of automobiles and no electricity out there in the boonies. I suppose it could be anywhere from 1885 to 1910. Wayne plays a character other than "himself" which he is often accused of doing nothing but. Bettie Field plays a love interest for him. Her character is never seen wearing shoes. Harry Carey steals the show, as the stranger from the city. Every one used what they thought were hillbilly accents and verbiage, but notably without seeming very condescending about it. Overall, it is an OK film, no more.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Quality film, especially for its time, 5 April 2017

I don't know how I've lived so long without ever having seen "Citizen Kane". So, I have now rectified that situation. I won't disparage it, I enjoyed the film. It was fairly astonishing for a twenty-five year old first-time director to put out this quality of a movie. and Welles was able to do all these things in the direction without them becoming annoying, or looking like showing off. I'm not enough of a film geek to know about "deep focus" or when it was first used, or by whom. While still a good movie, I don't get the greatest-of-all-time meme about CK. It may have been at the time, but then again 1941 saw some of the all-time classics come out. But every cinephile should certainly see Citizen Kane. Rosebud.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Through and through boring, 3 March 2017

This film, which I had never heard of, stars Edward G. Robinson as a crime boss. I suppose that the syndicates of those days were not the ethnic affairs that they became later. Or maybe the filmmakers just skirted around that. He retires, giving control to Humphrey Bogart's character. When he loses all of his money in Europe, he returns to New York assuming that he will re-take command immediately. He is mistaken, and various gangland style events ensue. Ann Sothern plays a classic moll, beautiful, but with a horrible new Jersey accent, and dumber than a box of rocks. This is all in the first act. I had already lost interest before all of the Brother Orchid stuff began. This film is through and through boring. Don't waste your time.

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