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Michael O'Keefe

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3445 reviews in total 
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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Katniss is persuaded to be the "Mockingjay" figurehead., 24 December 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

To some harsh critical remarks, the Hunger Games franchise is milking its finale by splitting the third novel into two movies. This installment hasn't grabbed me like the previous two films. But, Jennifer Lawrence is enough to put me in the theater. The Hunger Games trying to avoid a decline in power at the box office moves forward with Katniss Everdeen(Lawrence)being persuaded to become the figurehead of a "Mockingjay" movement per say. The black-robed ninja with bodice-like breastplate and quiver of arrows will lead the downtrodden districts in a not-too-late war against tyrannical President Snow(Donald Sutherland), who has captured Peeta(Josh Hutcherson)forcing him to take part in propaganda interviews intended to appease his comrades ready to rebel. Katniss is sure that Peeta is being brainwashed and uses this as energy to allow herself to appear in a campaign series of anti-Snow vignettes to interrupt government TV broadcasts. Katniss will galvanize a rebellious attack against Snow at the same time attempting to rescue Peeta.

A cast overview: Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Jeffery Wright, Sam Claflin, Elizabeth Banks and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Hoot (2006)
A little adventure to pacify youngsters., 27 November 2014
3/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on a book by Carl Hiaasen, three middle-schoolers pit wits with corrupt politicians, money hungry real estate developers and some local not-too sharp cops. Roy(Logan Lerman)is the new kid in school, moving from Montana to Florida. Roy meets Beatrice(Brie Larson), kind of a tough girl, but really worth knowing. She is trying to help a boy that is going shoeless. Upon following this barefoot boy, they find he may be involved with vandalism at a construction site. When the small group, now friends, discover a burrow of hoot owls being threatened by the new construction crew, it is time to declare war against the people who should know better.

The cast includes: Luke Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson, Neil Flynn, Jimmy Buffett, Jessica Cauffel and Robert Wagner.

Soundtrack includes: "Floridays" and "Good Guys Win" by Buffett. Along with "Barefootin'" by Alan Jackson with Buffett.

Jim Bowie arrives at the Alamo., 27 November 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This Republic picture can stand tall in the shadow of the other Alamo movies from major studios. Director Frank Lloyd presents a film that is similar to another Republic flick...Man of Conquest released in 1939. This movie actually has that feel of major studio about it. Terrific camera angles. There are heroes and there are heroes. This time Jim Bowie(Sterling Hayden)takes the lead. Patriot Sam Houston has stirred up his share of faithful Texicans and closed minded men become anxious and unsure of the future. Texas is threatened by the armies of Mexican general Santa Ana(J. Carrol Naish)and a coexistence policy of Bowie's is not sitting well. The arrival of Davy Crockett (Arthur Hunnicutt)is like a ray of hope for courageous defenders assembled in the Alamo. A confrontation with Santa Ana seems nearing and any thoughts of reinforcements for the Texicans is dashed.

Factual history is sidestepped for the sake of the movie. William Travis(Richard Carlson)agrees to share leadership with Bowie. It is a last-ditch stand with the overly outnumbered defenders of Texas and the Alamo dig in for one hell-of-a battle. A last man standing affair. Santa Ana can gloat, but not for long. Brilliant hand-to-hand combat sequences. The battle is realistic enough to almost smell the gunpowder. Actuality aside, this movie is well worth seeing.

Other players featured: Ernest Borgnine, Jim Davis, Otto Kruger, Ben Cooper, Virginia Grey, John Russell, Slim Pickens and the beautiful Anna Maria Alberghetti.

Inspirational sports drama., 27 November 2014
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This true to life drama begins in 2006, when Luke Abbate(Stefan Guy)accepts a ride home from football practice and ends up the victim of his friend's reckless driving. The out of control vehicle spins off a narrow rode at 90 miles an hour. Devastated parents,(Aidan Quinn and Andie MacDowell)watch their son die of brain damage in the hospital...only four days before his sixteenth birthday. The Abatte's donate Luke's organs to five people. Big brother Jon(Ryan Merriman), a junior at Wake Forest, begins to honor his brother by holding up five fingers before the fourth quarter of each game. When the news spreads, opposing players and fans begin doing the same. Was this the inspiration that guided Wake Forest to win a school record 11 games and a trip to the Orange Bowl? It doesn't take long to realize this was not meant to be an award winner. Albeit poignant, sad and uplifting. Dialogue not enough to brag about. Musical score at times irritating. Acting is pedestrian and MacDowell, as usual, overacts. This a very good movie for church groups. Inspiration can be found in tragic loss.

Other players: Michael Harding, Jon Stafford, Andrea Powell, Anessa Ramsey and John Newberg.

A true chance of a lifetime., 27 November 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Based on true events; a baseball drama with limited sports action. J.B. Berstein(Jon Hamm)is a struggling sports agent in fear of his business hitting rock bottom. There has to be something untapped, something to generate attention and become his career's salvation. Bernstein by happenstance views an Indian cricket game on TV and realizes that major league baseball has no players from India. J.B. launches a reality show to find India's best cricket players, with the goal of turning them into professional baseball players. Thus signing them to contracts and saving his business. The reality show in India would be called Million Dollar Arm and would generate throngs of tryouts of various ages.

The tedious search will provide two prospects, and neither are cricket players. J.B., as advertised, will take Rinku Singh(Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh Patel(Madhur Mittal)to Los Angeles, where former major league pitcher Tom House(Bill Paxton)will try to cultivate the two and present them to tryouts in front of pro team scouts.

A true chance of a lifetime for two poor young men from India. There is the cultural and language barriers to overcome. And being scrutinized by strangers. It is all not for the love of the game, but what the money will do for their futures and families. Bernstein must find a way to keep the promises he has made and make a few dreams come true. It takes time for J.B. to realize the humanity aspect of what he is doing is worth more than the dollar sign.

Also in the cast: Pitobash, Aasif Mandvi, Lake Bell, Alan Arkin and Tzi Ma.

Bullitt (1968)
Looking for vengeance on the streets of San Francisco., 25 November 2014
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lt. Frank Bullitt(Steve McQueen)is assigned to protect an organized crime informant Johnny Ross(Pat Renella). Bullitt is not known for conducting his business with kid gloves; let alone going by-the-book. Ross is scheduled to testify against his mob cronies before a Senate subcommittee in San Francisco. A high profile politician Walter Chalmers(Robert Vaughn)has his own devious self-serving reasons why Ross must testify. A pair of Chicago hit men find the supposed safe location and snuff out the witness. Chalmers, with all his influence, tries to come down hard on Bullitt, who won't be hindered in his quest for vengeance.

Violence is par for the times. Plenty of suspenseful cat-and-mouse and a legendary car chase sequence. Supporting cast is full of stars; some have yet met the peak of their stardom: Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Duvall, Simon Oakland, Norman Fell, Don Gordon, Vic Tayack and Georg Stanford Brown.

Mine Games (2012)
Typical young friends " take a trip" flick., 24 November 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Richard Gray is director, co-writer and co-producer of this cabin in the woods film. A group of friends set out on a little trip to a mutual friend's cabin in the woods. While stopping to gas up the van, they see a newspaper announcing "a missing unidentified girl is found dead in the woods". Oops, great way to get people thinking. A little later, Michael(Joseph Cross)has to swerve off the road to avoid hitting a waving figure(that can't be found). Now lost in the dark, Lyla, Claire, Lex, Rose, TJ and Guy on foot reaches their destination...a nicely furnished cabin deep in the woods. Morning comes and exploring the grounds an old abandon mine is found. And what is found turns this movie a little creepy, well...a lot creepy. Now comes paranoia and psychotic reactions to some time travel.

What started out as ho-hum turns into entertaining. Filmed in Seattle, Washington with minor special effects and acting. Also in the cast: Briana Evigan, Julianna Guill, Rafi Garvon, Lindsay Lamb, Alex Meraz, Ethan Peck and Rebecca Da Costa.

Get out of crime and go into the movie biz., 22 November 2014
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A classic tale of crime and show business? When Dan(James Cagney) loses his job as movie theater usher, others help him realize he has talent...maybe a true talent as a crook. When the police start to close in on Dan and his cronies in crime, it is not exactly lay low; but head to some kind of new start in California. He just stumbles into the motion picture business. Time for Dan to go straight as his tough guy attitude lands him in the movies. It doesn't take long to become cream of the crop and Dan likes it on top. But is he going to stick to the straight and narrow when his former criminal friends discover that truly it is him on the silver screen. Will blackmail bring the matinée idol down? A talented supporting cast features: Mae Clarke, Douglass Dumbrillel, Leslie Fenton, Margaret Lindsay, Henry O'Neil and Douglas Cosgrove.

Two teenagers need to find a new home., 22 November 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

MAD ROOM is based on the 1941 classic LADIES IN RETIREMENT. Ellen Hardy(Stella Stevens)is an assistant and companion to a wealthy, but a bit psychotic old widow Gladys Armstrong(Shelley Winters), who just so happens to be Ellen's future mother-in-law. Ellen is deeply in love with her fiancé Sam(Skip Ward), but there are secrets yet to be told. Ellen's teenage brother and sister are released from a mental institution where they were put after being suspected of slaughtering their parents. Miss Hardy believes she is the only witness, but her memory is very confusing. The teens need a place to go, and Ellen has to conger a reason to have them come to Mrs. Armstrong's ever expanding home. Ellen will have to be devious in convincing the old widow that sharing her home will not interfere with anyone's lifestyle.

Suspense will thicken. The two teens still believe that the other committed the gory murders. Lies upon lies will be amplified when a horrid event takes place. Now suspicion and a cover-up will have to be crafted. This psychological drama also features: Michael Burns, Carol Cole, Barbara Sammeth, Severn Darden and Beverly Garland.

A doctor must decide where his dedication is., 22 November 2014
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This ho-hum drama directed by Irving Rapper has a young doctor torn between money and deep down dedication. Dr. Tom Owen(Charlton Heston)is a Korean War veteran that returns to his hometown, a Pennsylvania coal mining community. After meeting a spoiled, rich daddy's girl, Helen Curtis(Lizabeth Scott), Owen will have to decide between treating wealthy women with imaginary ailments; or remain being a small down doc tending the poor and indigent. To make Owen's situation more complex is a pretty, idealistic nurse, Dianne Foster(Joan Lasher). It doesn't take very long to figure where this story leads. Other players include: Ray Collins, Rhys Williams, Arthur Franz, Lester Matthews and Mildred Dunnock.


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