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86 reviews in total 
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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Best movie find of 2015, 9 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For me, this was the best Netflix film find of the year.

This is a French movie, with subtitles in English.

Marie's Story is the biography of Marie Heurtin. Not unlike Helen Keller, Marie is deaf and blind. The story unfolds very similarly to that of The "Miracle Worker." But unlike The Miracle Worker, this film explores fully aspects of life, that "The Miracle Worker" never dared to cross.

In the space of 95 minutes, this movie explored the full range of human emotion. There very little need for spoken dialogue. Instead what was communicated through the actions of the characters, needed no audible communication to comprehend.

The acting was truly exceptional. The music was perfect. Not overpowering. Not distracting. Marie's signing at the end weren't words. They were poetry from the heart.


11 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Inconsistent Character Development and no Plot Cohesion, 15 October 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have let the story unfold over 5 episodes before writing this review.

The character development is inconsistent, and the plot lacks any cohesion.

The first season of Heroes, fully developed the character, before they were integrated into the plot line.

This story line and plot, seem to be written by the same writers that went on strike in Season 2, and ruined a great show.

Anyone familiar with the back story of Season 1 of Heroes, will find the characters actually annoying. Katana Girl and Ren (Hey let's call them what they really are: Ren and Stimpy) MUST die.

They add nothing new to the story. It has been 5 episodes and I am just as confused now, as I was during the opening scene of Heroes Reborn.

I tried to like this, but I can't. The characters are too plastic for anyone who knows the back story.

What could have been a great viewing choice for a change, is just the same garbage recycled.

As for me...I am waiting for the series finale of Downton Abby in 2016.

There is absolutely nothing worth watching in the 2015 prime time TV season. Netflix to the rescue, once again.


4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Applaud or Laud, 24 April 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This review contains spoilers.

As a programmer of nearly half a century, I have more then a passing interest in what is considered the worst game of all time.

The Atari 2600 was the only gaming console I ever bought. I loved many of the games, but I have never played E.T.

In programming you have choices: good, fast, cheap (pick any 2). If a programme is good and fast, it is NOT cheap.

If a programme is cheap, it's not good.

As a programmer, I have felt these constraints many times. Have I written crappy programmes? Of course, all programmers do. Sometimes you only have a few hours, before the online system comes up, and so you resort to what is expedient, not what is quality code.

I have been in Howard Warshaw's predicament many times. As I viewed this biopic, I know very intently the precarious environment he was in, when he had to produce a product in 5 weeks.

In the end is was not Warshaw who derailed Atari, nor the entire video game industry. Atari (Japanese for "to hit the target") went for the jugular and committed hara-kiri with their own sword.

The end of the programme vindicates Warshaw.


0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Funny not horrifying, 1 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rifftrax/Anaconda This definitely contains spoilers.

The only thing I could find that Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Owen Wilson, and Ice Cube have in common, is this quality challenged piece known as Anaconda.

There isn't much that's right with this picture, so I'll list some of the visual and aural assaults (in no order): This was originally a made-for-TV movie, which never lit up any television sets on network television. That might tell you something about the production quality.

There was no chemistry between the actors. This tried to be an action movie....but it is quite comical.

Jon Voight's accent is fake. Unfortunately this also carries through with his acting, or should I say lack lustre performance. That might be overly generous.

The only thing that Owen Wilson added to the movie is that he was a good looking blonde dude. Acting is not his strong suite, and my advice to him would be NOT to quit his day job.

Jennifer Lopez. Every actor/actress has to pay dues on their way up the acting ladder. She paid her dues, and then some.

The English patient. Is just there so you know that they have switched plots. Since he can't breathe, Voight ends up doing a tracheotomy. Even that failed to breathe any fresh air into this movie.

Cheesy props, dynamite, sub-standard musical fare, and Ice Cube. Really? This guy can act...well he attempts to act with the fact of the rap. Yes, it was that bad folks. What did you expect? Someone who can sing and act? Try Gene Kelly.

The plot. Oh Lord....the plot. There certainly was NO lack of slowness. Occasionally this not-so-realistic snake shows up, and eats people. He even tried to digest Jon Voight. In the end, the snake had no stomach for Voight's acting, and re-gurgitates. Wink. Wink. (Don't miss it.) Probably the best scene in the movie was the waterfall near the end of the film. I'll leave that spoiler out, so you'll have to watch it for yourself.

The Rifftrax crew deserves applause for making this utterly un-watchable piece of cinema, into a palatable comedy.

Bully (2011/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Misses the Elephant in the room, 21 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

May contain spoilers.

This was a movie/documentary/running commentary on bullying. Many issues were NEVER addressed.

I was bullied as a kid, so I can totally identify with these kids. This "movie" (for lack of a better term) was made by autism speaks.

I am on the Autism Spectrum. First let me say, that autism speaks DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME! I have several issues with the organisation, not the least is the fact that there is NO one with Autism/Aspergers on the board of directors for this organisation.

While autismspeaks is "responsible" for the movie, it completely misses the elephant in the room. Autism/Aspergers. If you purport to make a movie about being Autistic and the subsequent bullying, then it only seems reasonable that at some juncture, the issue(s) of the Autism is discussed. Wrong! A lot of the playground bullying I experienced as a child, WAS indeed related to Aspergers. I still struggle with relationships in my 6th decade on this rotating ball of boredom. Yet, they never discuss that.

You cannot in good conscious, remove the causation factour in the bullying. Being Autistic sucks at times. But it also is responsible for my excellent computer programming skills.

If you are autismspeaks, and you are making a film about bullying, then you need to address the cause. Autism. Once again the organisation fails to properly represent those of us on the spectrum.

Yes -- this film deserves an F-.


Willard (1971)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Ah Rats!, 12 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Ah rats! No wait. That is the whole plot in 2 words.

From "Marty" to Martin. My how Ernest Borgnine, fell from grace.

How many of you knew, that Willard is the first name of Republican Presidential nominee, Willard Mitt Romney? Okay whoever named this kid is thankfully out of the gene pool. Who the hell names their kid after a baseball glove? What's next? A boy named shuffleboard?

Okay anyway - the famous tag-line: "Where dreams end...Willard begins." That may apply to our poor baseball glove.

No I could not begin to tell you how devastatingly challenged the contact lens acting, plot, dialogue, and scenery are. Nor could I tell you how dreadful the music is. While this is NOT as bad as Manos: The Hands of Fate, I am not too sure I'd ever watch this quality challenged cinematic blunder again. It is NOT even good fodder for Mystery Science Theatre.

I think Alan Alda's quote: "There certainly is NO lack of slowness" sums it perfectly.

Hugo (2011)
5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Okay one time Red Box Rental, 22 March 2012


Was a decent one time rental from red box.

I'd give it a 1 - 1.5

If I had known it was a Scorsese film, I wouldn't have bothered. It Ended poorly -- did a lot of character development, expected a terrific ending, only to once again be disappointed.

Did NOT respect the audience, in my humble opinion.

Plot points went un-resolved at the end of the film, I was left wondering why it was in there in the first place.

Ben Kingsley did a good job, with a poor script and odd English language usage.


3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
How one life, affects many, 3 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

May contain spoilers.

It is amazing how one life affects the other. How a homeless person transforms the lives of people he encounters in everyday life. Not by doing great things, but through a series of small seemingly insignificant random acts of kindness.

This short, contains no words. It doesn't need them. The powerful message of infusing hope into the lives of others, needs actions, not words.

This short challenges those who view it, to affect their world in small ways. Be on the lookout on ways to help you fellow man.

We may NOT do big, great important things. But those we intermingle with, our affected greatly by our actions or in-actions. Are we infusing hope into the life of others, to do we casually walk by?

"Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in our soul.

and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all." -- Emily Dickenson

Temple Grandin (2010) (TV)
9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Finally a movie that accurately portrays Autisim, 19 September 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Temple Grandin (2010) Spoilers Ahead! Rarely do performances such as this, suspend disbelief. Not since watching Judy Davis in Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001), have I been so enamoured with the level of acting, found here.

Having Asperger Syndrome myself, I have read many of Dr. Grandin's books, and I am quite familiar with her biography. Claire Danes absolutely nailed this performance. It's clear she did her homework, and spent a lot of time preparing for this role.

I found this film comfortably familiar. The struggles faced as a child. The bullying. The misunderstandings. The literal interpretations. They were all present. They are part of our past, that has transformed us into the people that we are today. I didn't just watch this. I participated. This was my own life unfolding, as I watched this biopic. Claire Danes took on the life of Temple Grandin, and made it her own.

It is a unique perspective, into the life of Autism. Finally someone has captured what it is really like, living on the Autistic Spectrum. The over sensitivity to light and sounds. The misunderstanding of body language. The unique perspective and creative problem solving abilities we share.

No. This wasn't a just another video. It was life. While I don't have the eidetic (photographic) memory that Dr. Grandin has, nor am I able to visualise, my route to learning and understanding the world around me, is in the sounds. I have an acute auditory (hearing) memory. Like the blind person in the film, I remember sounds. It is my gateway into the world.

Claire Danes herself, said it best:  I think people confuse fame with validation or love. But fame is not the reward. The reward is getting fulfilment out of doing the thing you love.

Inception (2010)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Loosely based on "The Matrix", 24 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***



Loosely based on the plot of "The Matrix," "Inception" goes further down the "rabbit hole" with a significantly better plot line, and much better acting, by Di Caprio. (Rest of cast, except for Michael Caine, Tom Berringer, and Lukas Haas were veritable unknowns.) If anyone has seen the re-make of "The Day the Earth Stood Still," then you know what I am talking about.

The concept is simple. Plant an idea in someone's mind, without them knowing about it.

While the story does NOT suspend your disbelief, it does have a few plot twists (predictable), that do keep you on the edge of your seat.

The story line does get complicated at times. You don't exactly know which level of reality they are on. For thinkers like myself, that leaves you trying to figure out where they are, instead of just enjoying the movie for what it is: entertainment.

The special effects aren't stellar. They are in-fact "incredibly mediocre" by today's standards. The acting wasn't off the charts either. But Action/Adventure movies really don't have time to develop "Depth of Character." The ambiguous ending, does respect the audience in this case, and it finished well.

Rated 4 stars out of 5 Wayno Tucson, Az

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