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370 reviews in total 
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Left Behind (2014/I)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The possibility of being entertained by this was LEFT BEHIND, 7 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This thing is unwatchable. The first five minutes with the cheesy music, you're wondering if you're watching a Lifetime movie. Bad acting, which is almost excusable with the terrible script and direction, abound. Worse is Cage, who as everyone else in the world is wondering, what the heck was he thinking? Was it a massive paycheck he couldn't turn down? Besides the really annoying toupee, some of the worst acting of his career can be found here. When he finds out on the phone his wife and child are gone, his "holding the face and attempting to cry" scene is beyond cringe worthy - almost a parody.

I admit, I couldn't sit through this POS and was fast forwarding through most of it after a while. If this movie was trying to convert me to Christianity, it basically did the opposite. I'm more of an atheist now than I ever was.

Get on Up (2014)
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Great performances - terrible direction and script, 5 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The actors all were superb in this - every one. Just great. It's the bad direction and script and editing that killed it. The movie is all over the place. We get flashbacks to flashbacks. Scenes are started, then finished later in the movie - for what reason is unclear. There is no structure. It's not really told in three acts. It's okay to tell the story out of order if it makes sense (Pulp Fiction is a perfect example). But this movie is all over the place.

To make things worse, there is periodic breaking of the fourth wall - James Brown talks to the audience. Nothing could be more annoying. When you finally get over the jumping all over the time-line and forget your watching a movie and get into the thing, he starts talking to the audience. It's almost like they wanted to just throw everything in the movie and just hope some of it went over well.

There's a lot of stuff that makes no sense: Brown is chased by the police and when he finally stops, it's his 10 year old self that gets out of the truck. Huh? What does this mean? He's an innocent boy? He's a child at heart? He's immature? He's being chased by the police and as the police car drives next to him, he sees the younger version of his mom and dad in the car. Huh? Why? What does that mean? There are periodic scenes like this that make zero sense. There are lots of quick flashes throughout his life embedded in scene that are more "look what we did there" than to make actual sense.

The sad thing is James Brown is worthy of a great biography. Unfortunately he's not Elvis and won't get 10 different bios made about him. This is it. And it's not good.

1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Contrived and clichéd, 15 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

They took a lot of football clichés and threw them into a blender. I'm sure the book this was based on was much better. This movie didn't even really follow a three act structure. The first part was about the streak. We get the usual football scenes we see in every movie: a kid hours before he's about to head off to college on his scholarship is killed; a kid's dad is mad about his play and embarrasses him in the parking lot after the game; one guy is selfish and doesn't understand the "team" concept; the last play isn't run to show a display of "unity" and "showmanship" in honor of their coach.

There were no likable characters (certainly not the coach). I couldn't care less about any of these people. This was not a movie where you walk out uplifted. I'm not really sure what the movie was about to tell you the truth, other than the coach gets mad when anyone talks about another streak, although this is never really discussed.

On the plus side the football scenes are all top notch and done very well. Would have liked to see a better story go along with this.

I used to live a block away from this school a while back and would walk my dogs sometimes right through the parking lot (sometimes I'd just run these neighborhoods and would again run through the parking lot the school) and sometimes the players would be in the parking lot either after or before practice and they were all nice guys. They'd wave or say "hello sir" to me, which the school around the corner, Ygnancio valley's players would not do (more likely they'd like to rob

or beat me up it seemed).

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A thrown together doc - it's all over the place, 5 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think there is a good documentary to be made about George Takei. This isn't it. It's all over the place. It appears to be just thrown together. There's no format or flow. We get some of his childhood in an internment camp (and a lot of the history of the internment camps which is another documentary). We get some of his acting history. We get a lot of him and his husband walking or driving and talking nonsense which is probably interesting for die hard Takei fans but for the casual viewer is as boring as can possibly be. We get his hatred for Shatner - something that is covered but never explained. Why does he hate Shatner so much? The roast was just mean, not funny at all. We get more internment stuff. More of the husband. More acting. More activist stuff. Then more internment. More acting. More activist. It's all over the place.

Takei comes across as the great guy you probably think he is. This guy is a great spokesperson for gay rights (which I, a non-gay person support wholly) and is a representative of keeping the memory of the internment camps alive which is a good thing too. He's a funny guy and seems like a guy if you met you'd have a couple laughs with.

I just would have liked to see a documentary about him, not a mishmash of stuff thrown together that has no format. If you're a die-hard Takei fan, you'll probably enjoy this. If you're a fan of documentaries, you probably won't.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Pretentious and boring, 25 November 2014

I really liked the first film. This film has the same look and that's where the good comparisons stop. It's got a bunch of pseudo-noir-speak that is all over-the-top and really pretentious. Every character talks exactly the same and they're all annoying. A bunch of characters are essentially thrown into a blender as the movie goes from one to the next to the next without a whole lot of story. I assume there was some story well into the movie but I made it 30 minutes in before I just couldn't take it anymore.

I've never read the comics but you should have to read the source material to enjoy a movie. I enjoyed the first one. This one was a mess.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Who knows how much is true?, 7 November 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is directed by Joe Berlinger, who directed the Paradise Lost films - three films where he sides with the convicted and leaves out TONS of stuff that might have viewers question if the jury may have actually convicted the right people. He lies in those documentaries so how can we trust anything else he presents in any other documentaries.

In this one, the gist of the doc is that Bulger wasn't really an informant, like the FBI claims (which really had zero to do with his trials). Now some things are presented that may indeed show Bulger was not an informant but we don't' know - Berlinger clearly sides with murderers so who knows how much he's leaving out? On the plus side, Bulger is a despicable individual. He doesn't care he's known as a murderer or anything else - he just does not want to be known as a rat. Despite what this documentary tries to present, he is. And that's good. The guy went to his grave knowing the public thought of his as an FBI informant and that hurt him bad. So that's a good thing.

I take any Berlinger documentary with a grain of salt. I'd like to see an honest filmmaker do a documentary on Bulger at some point.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Rehash of the first but done better, 18 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is basically a remake of the first film, this time set in India, rather than Africa. But it's two people who must cross a large desert area filled with the walking dead to find someone. The actors are better in this version and there is a lot more shock value and gore. There are a couple WTF scenes in this one (the mom and daughter stuck in the car, just be prepared for that one and the dad who takes the bike to find his kids - yeah, he finds them all right).

The zombies in these films venture more into Fulci territory than Romero, however the gore in this one is straight out of Dawn of the Dead (the original). Be warned, anytime a door is opened, there will be zombies. Any time they attempt to start a vehicle, it won't start up right away (we get these clichés throughout, but they're still effective). And the lead has a gun that apparently has an unlimited amount of bullets.

Overall a good addition to the genre. I foresee Dead 3 in either China or Russia where a displaced American travels across a desert with a local to find (a. his daughter b. his mom c. his dad d. his dog).

Draft Day (2014/I)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Okay - but not great like everyone says, 5 September 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a very predictable movie. It's all laid out for you within the first 15 minutes. You pretty much know what's going to happen. And it's terribly cast. Jennifer Garner should be playing Kevin Costner's daughter, not his girlfriend. At no point in this or any other dimension do you buy Denis Leary as an NFL head coach. NFL coaches are all former players of some sort - whether it's just in college or the pros, they all have a very detailed background. You don't buy pipsqueak Leary played ping pong, let alone football. And Costner, who is always likable but a supremely average actor, delivers some lines pretty poorly here - but overall is cast well in the part.

It's just a predictable movie. We're introduced to the guys who want and should be playing for the Browns and you know somehow they will be. I just find it hard to believe someone would not want the best quarterback in football because he has no friends. "I have a hunch about him" says Costner. Pretty lame.

Now Costner has done baseball, football and golf. Let's see him do a basketball movie.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Great documentary that will make you smile, 26 May 2014

I'm not the biggest Whoopie Goldberg fan but she did a fine job here and nice tribute to a comic not a lot of America has heard of. Moms Mabley was an elderly lady who had been working the "Chitlin circuit" since the 1920s. Finally in the 60s with the popularity of television, was seen by mainstream America. An innovator, she was one of the first women comics and first great black comics. This was a very respectful and well done tribute to Moms - I have no doubt had she been able to see it, would have beamed with pride. Folks like Areseno Hall, Eddie Murphy and Bill Cosby all talk about listening to her albums and what an influence she was.

I would love for more people to see this and recognize Mom's place in American comedy history. Good job, Whoopie. There's a great film in there, I hope someone recognizes it.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A classic, 26 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This isn't an 8 episode television show - it's an 8 hour movie. It's firing on all cylinders; a perfect storm of superb acting, directing, writing and editing. The concept is great and the two leads are excellent.

As it shifts back and forth in time, what they say and what really happened are different things a lot of the time which gives this show its charm. These are two complex characters who you pull for.

I think this is the best written TV show since the Wire and my only complaint was that it ended. I loved every episode. I find the show reminiscent of the movie Seven in a lot of ways. This one will be known as a classic in years to come.

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