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|480 reviews in total|
This is good stuff even if you're not a big sci-fi fan. Crazed patriot blows up New Orleans ferry killing hundreds of people. Denzel is a federal officer investigating the explosion. In the process he identifies Patton as being intimately, if unwittingly, a piece of the crime puzzle. A little further along he stumbles upon Goldberg and his crew, who seem magically able to watch events happening four days in the past. Add some sci-fi spice and garnish and Denzel is trying to rewrite history. Patton is enchanting as the unwitting victim and Denzel is on his A game in a role made for him, as is Goldberg. I dare say this is as good as any Denzel movie out there. Lot's of good excitement with a satisfying if very unexpected wrap.
Walking in I was assuming this was Star Wars 8. It is not. It is
actually an independent story based upon one off-handed line delivered
a long time ago in a movie theater far far away. I'm so daft that it
wasn't until my 11 year old enlightened me going out of the theater
that it all fell into place. The Rebel Alliance is afraid to oppose the
Empire with its new rumored planet killer. In to the mix steps Jyn
Erso, daughter of the unwilling weapons designer for the Empire. The
Alliance receives information about a potential weakness in the planet
killer, and Erso and Cassian on their own initiative set out to obtain
its structural plans. They are assisted by, among others, a blind
fighter and his friend, ably played by Yen and Jiang. Their primary foe
is Director Krennic, the latest in a line of weasel Empire leaders. As
it was I was sort of wondering throughout how this all fit in with the
series, I kept seeing strangely familiar faces unexpectedly.
Jones and Luna are the real deal in their starring roles, the CGI is quite fine and not herky-jerky, the running time was good and the story just kept moving. There are a lot of worlds presented, all in their visual glory. For those who like hanging at the beach the last world is the best of all, although there isn't a lot of sun-bathing going on when we see it. Highly recommended, I might have given it a 10 if I had known exactly what this was about in the big picture, but I think the uncertainty of that was supposed to be part of the fun.
And I'm really not that much of a George Lucas fan. But I had this on recently during one of the Turner station's celebrations in light of the new release, and I thought you know this was the best AND most enjoyable movie that was made during my lifetime. There was so much about this movie that was innovative and different and exciting, and the special effects for the times were just grand. I can remember being in the theater even after this was out for awhile and rising with the entire audience and applauding wildly at the end. Not to mention that this movie probably had a bigger impact on the industry than any I can remember. In some ways, although Phantom Menace had its moments, this was the real achievement that Lucas rode on through the first and second set of movies, I really wasn't that hot on some of the plot twists (such as the relation between Vader and Luke) that showed up down the line. But this one clearly stands on its own as great cinema.
Having said that I will note several good things about the movie. Krakow is really nice as the restrained lead, she has a sort of comfortable Sigourney Weaver look to her. Her mom dies and she heads to a Vermont town at Christmas time trying to learn more about an old picture she finds in her mom's stuff. Krakow appears good to absolute go for future Hallmark Christmas pictures. Matter was okay as the romantic interest, the obviousness of the potential hookup I can't blame on him any more than the writers. The rest of the crew was fine, Malick is good as the local wondering why Krakow's in town. I think my problem is all the developments seemed sort of destined from the beginning and it is always better if there is at least a little question as to where things are going. The wrap Is a little talky and complicated but nice.
But if Lacey Chabert's in it and it's Hallmark I'll usually give it a solid look. Lacey has become the Queen of Hallmark Christmas movies, she's quietly attractive, distinctive, and with a little edge to her. I really liked her last few Hallmark Christmas entries, this one seemed a little forced or something. Lacey is a marketing wiz who won't stand up for herself, at the company Christmas party she gets courage from Santa, and then gets thrown into a challenging marketing pitch with company CEO Greene. I know Greene is also a Hallmark staple (who I hadn't seen before), he was okay but something about this just didn't feel right (as opposed to, say, Once Upon a Holiday where things seemed to effortlessly flow). So I would recommend it to the Hallmark hard core but not necessarily others.
I dabble in the Hallmark Christmas movies, but they do have to meet certain strict criteria: appealing and not too affected female lead, male lead who's not a total doofus, not too complicated a story line, or too overly contrived or unpleasant. This hit the spot very nicely, Evigan is a particularly attractive lead and Campbell does quite well as the humble, honest worker who happens upon Evigan on the run from her position of European princess. Okay, so this owes a lot to Roman Holiday and other runaway royalty movies, but you might notice originality isn't on my criteria list. Both Evigan and Campbell seem very into their roles and very natural, this sort of fits the Hallmark romantic comedy format to a "t". Even Briana's dad gets a role as royal retainer. Enjoy.
I saw the trailer for this in the theater and wanted to check it out
but my 11 year old regular movie companion passed, he was probably
right at least for him. Cruise is an army officer with no taste for
combat who gets railroaded into active duty against, well, one really
tough bunch of alien invaders. Just by chance he happens to come into
contact with a strange alien substance in his first battle and finds,
after being exterminated, that he wakes up one day earlier being
rousted (again) for duty. When this happens several times he is a much
more capable fighter and begins to enlist the aid of Blunt, the "Angel
of Verdun" who had the same thing happen to her some time before.
Cruise continues his trial by error, getting further along against the
aliens each day with the help of Blunt.
There is a grim humor to this, along with some pretty scary scenes. Whether you like Cruise or not there are certain movies just made for him, see War of the Worlds, and this one is right in his wheelhouse. Blunt is equally fine as the no-nonsense warrior. I thought the script was very intelligent and very involving and I highly recommend this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a Marvel reader from the 60's, my youngest son is also into the Marvel movies. We had been talking for a good 4 years or so about when they could crank out a Dr. Strange, one of my favorite titles from the 60s. So they finally did it and it wasn't a total disappointment even for a perfectionist like me. Marvel is always spot on in casting, no exception whatsoever with Cumberbatch as the charming but arrogant Dr. Strange. I wasn't as hot on their choice for the Ancient One (male in the comics), but it played okay. What made Dr. Strange so great was 1) Ditko's drawing of the spells and counterspells, and 2) the strange devices and spells the sorcerers used. So to my list of issues: the first and biggest is the fighting, in the comics it was spells/counterspells, they do a little of that here but it is more ninja stuff. That was my biggest disappointment. Beyond that, my concerns were - Dormammu was one of the scariest villains in comics (flaming head), here they trotted out just another scary face; they played too many plot cards, they could have saved some stuff for the next movie (like Dormammu); and it doesn't always have to be the end of the world. Marvel seems to be gravitating towards putting the entire world at risk, that gets old when it's too often and it isn't needed. If they cleaned this up and worked on the spells more the sequel to this could be a great movie, they've set the table okay. But it could just as easily flop, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
For some reason for the last two years this is my later-night go-to rewatch movie. I missed this the first (or second or third) time around and it just came on my radar screen a few years back. I was never really a big fan of any of the leads, I guess Andie McDowell was closest from Groundhog Day. But I really like Hugh Grant as the introspective victim (or so he feels) of several misfired romances who always has trouble making weddings on time. Andie is the first girl who causes lightning, but is it just him or does she feel it too? The ensemble work by Hugh's friends is top notch, particularly Callow as the true life of the party, but the whole crew works great together. This has a realistic feel to it and I highly recommend it.
Winkler and Keaton are buddies working the night shift at the city morgue when they realize they could increase their earnings by operating a call girl business on the side. The usual shenanigans ensue. This was Keaton's breakout role that sent him on a solid ten year run as an A star, it also modestly brought Fonzie to the big screen. Shelley Long is at her Shelley Longest in the role of sweet hooker, later she sort of got stuck in vacant pleasantries but in this one she has a little depth to her character and carries the lead female role well. I don't know if this helped inspire Risky Business but the plot lines have more than a few similarities. Worth a watch.
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