Reviews written by registered user
RNMorton

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479 reviews in total 
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Dunkirk (2017)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Great action sequences, 27 July 2017
8/10

Sometimes historical stories are best described by telling the tale from the perspective of a few individuals instead of trying to give the big picture. The Longest Day and any Michener work is an example. I think that approach works, with some slight reservations, in this one. The focus is on Rylance as the stoic (as it were) small boat captain pitching in; a couple of ordinary soldiers trying just to get out of the trap; and a Hurricane pilot protecting the retreat with developing petrol issues. As you might expect, some of their paths criss cross, which in some ways makes this a little pat, like some Spielberg concoction. It also seemed a little played out and long on time although it wasn't. But the cinematography and the action, particularly the fighter action, is just stupendous and trumps those concerns. Worth a look.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The Best Yet, 23 July 2017
8/10

So Toby Maguire did a nice job but always looked a little too old for the title character. And there were other problems with the early Spiderman, too much slow romantic entanglement and unentanglements, plus derivative plots. E.g., Spiderman III has some great fight scenes a lot of dreary moments and a plot derivative even from its own earlier movies. I didn't like the second Spiderman, skipped II on that. This Spiderman feels quite right, the movie gets extra juice having Tony Stark involved but that's somewhat of a mixed blessing, I might have liked to see a little less Stark in the plot. Michael Keaton has always been a favorite for me, the best movie Batman, and he plays a finely textured villain in this one. Enjoyable movie, they could have cut 10-15 minutes running time without losing anything.

4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Bravo, 16 July 2017
9/10

So DC finally got it right, very much a Marvel-type production, actually one or two up on some recent Marvel works. Gal Gadot is one of the most strikingly beautiful actresses ever, when she's giving that head tilted down look to Pine in the hotel it's lights out. Maybe in part because of that (but only in part) she has chunks of what is known as screen presence, and she has it real big time. I wouldn't have guessed they would pick the end days of WWI for Wonder Woman's solo premier but it was all done right. Good pacing to the movie, maybe had 10 minutes more than they needed and a few of the things that happened didn't entirely make sense, but as an up close intro movie to the brunette Amazon she and it were a knockout.

Troy (2004)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Awesome, 21 May 2017
10/10

As far a I recall, having read the Iliad twice in the past, this is a faithful rendition of the basic story, and it rocks and never lets up from beginning to end. Casting is great, Kruger is breathtaking as Helen (and Byrne equally captivating), Bloom is spot on as pretty boy Paris with some vestige of courage, Pitt and particularly Bana are rock solid as the key antagonists. This is a great story and the movie gives it all of the spectacle it deserves, it's a shame they never ran with Bean as Odysseus in the obvious follow up movie. Greek historical buff and all, it took me literally a decade to watch any portion of this and until this year to watch it from beginning to end. I figured it was just Hollywood trash but I was wrong. Just a great historical movie.

Whiplash (2014)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
So how much is too much?, 19 February 2017
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I put on a spoiler alert even though I'm not telling you how things go. There is no doubting the intensity of this film and the mano a mano between Teller and Simmons (who is flipping great). It raises the celluloid question of how much motivation for a student is too much? Simmons and Teller certainly explore the limits, as each gives up everything else in the grind towards perfection. I almost gave up several times myself because the intensity was more than I wanted to watch, but I did come back in the end. And it was a good thing I did because the ending literally makes the movie. Dare I say, the end is the only finale they could rightfully have. So hang in there because it's worth the trip.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A second chance for last words, 18 February 2017
8/10

Van Scott plays coroner who comes into possession of secret government formula that gives recent corpses another few minutes of life. Into his simple mind comes several money-making scenarios and off we go. The production values are how should we say it helped by blue screen and other footage, nonetheless the basic concept of the movie and the plot twists are quite engaging. Fran Rafferty steals the show as the television evangelist who comes to a profitable arrangement with the coroner and his lovely scheming wife, played by Noel. This is fascinating stuff and with better production values could go somewhere.

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
The Devil in the Details, 10 February 2017
8/10

First I want to say nice movie. But with Biblical movies I am often upset when they deviate from the Bible, I mean what's the point? Why not just use the Bible story? To a lesser extent I feel the same way here. I felt right from the get go that this story about three really smart black women working for NASA in the days of the segregated South was being overplayed Hollywood-style. If you're going to show me discrimination, show me discrimination to these persons like it really happened, not the way it presents most effectively in a Hollywood production with an anti-discrimination agenda. The way this played was so obvious and almost cartoon style that I felt suspicious about the whole deal even where much of the story was absolutely true. So take out the manufactured racial and sexual misinformation because I'd like the real scoop on these wonderful, talented and courageous folks.

As I understand it, Katherine Johnson was accepted as a peer by the other persons she worked with - so please tell me THAT story (which to me is much more interesting than the movie contrivances)? Show Katherine being a true educational and workplace genius accepted by her white male co-workers when outside the KKK has meetings and blacks are directed to the back of the bus. All you do by distorting the facts for the subjects of this movie is to give the detractors something to work with. I would have preferred, and appreciated more, a straight movie about what these women achieved along the lines of Race, which didn't seem contrived in the least. For me, dishonestly presenting the details (on which the movie focuses way too much) just denigrates the amazing true story.

Excellent Star trek entry, 8 February 2017
9/10

So interestingly enough as I go along through life the episodes of Star Trek I enjoy the most are not the ones I treasured during my watching, rewatching, and re-rewatching of the first series. This one now seems quite fine. Moss plays a traveling Shakespearean actor who might or might not be Kodos the Executioner, a planetary governor who eliminated half a colony to stave off mass starvation 20 years before, and now thought dead. Kirk becomes enmeshed in the mystery and despite concerns by Spock as to his priorities seems determined to learn the truth. There are a few problems - like how was a young Kirk on Tarsus IV and how come only nine living people can identify Kodos, but if you can put those sorts of things aside this is fun stuff. In retrospect they could have done better with a few more of these personal dramas than with some of the later half-baked plots. Kirk, Spock and McCoy agonize and quibble back and forth to a satisfying conclusion, good stuff.

Insomnia (2002)
Nothing like Al Pacino on no sleep, 8 February 2017
8/10

I was having trouble getting to sleep the other night and this came up on cable, I may have missed the first couple of minutes but I think I got the gist as it went along. Al and his homicide squad partner come up from LA (where their unit is under investigation) and assist Alaskan police on a murder case in mid-summer. Al never quite adjusts to the 24 hour sunlight but that's only one of his many issues. Swank does really well as the local smart, hard-working and appreciative help. Al gives a nice textured performance, everyone sort of has shades of this or that in this movie, as things progress we learn a little more about the characters and what led to the murder. At points Al's eccentric behavior may test credibility but the story moved along well, this is a serviceable cop drama.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Incredibly Outstanding, 4 February 2017
10/10

There never was and never will be a Star Trek episode or movie that approaches this. It is the creative peak of the Star Trek saga, in fact this should fit very nicely into a list of the top ten sci-fi movies of all time even if you're not a Star Trek fan. Everything is right, from the special effects, the epic characters, the majestic musical score, through the dialogue and plot. And add to all that we get Kirstie Alley as a strangely alluring Vulcan officer. If one could complain, Ricardo's wonderful portrayal of Khan gets a tad shrill at the end, but whatever. Above all these other things is Nimoy's portrayal of Spock, a wonderful actor in a truly classic role, never done better or more effectively than here. This movie set a standard none of the sequels could match, it is one hell of a great movie from beginning to end.


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