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Michael O'Keefe

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3459 reviews in total 
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Joe (2013/I)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Hard to keep a good man down., 30 January 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nicolas Cage is back and true to himself; gritty, witty and a man's man. Cage is Joe, a functioning alcoholic, who works as a supervisor for a lumber company. And as a true man from the deep south, he wakes up downing a slug of whiskey and saying goodbye to his dog named Dog. Joe picks up his crew each morning(that doesn't rain)at a small general store, buying his mostly black crew breakfast of coffee and Slim Jims. His job is deeply slicing unwanted trees before injecting them with poison. This makes it easier to cut down the trees, so young saplings of stronger trees, wanted by the company, can be planted.

Joe of course is a man with his demons. When his despair and anger begins to boil, his rage makes him a man you want to stay away from. He carries a reputation around of assaulting several cops while drunk. But still there is the practical and compassionate Joe that gives a job to a 14 year old boy(Tye Sheridan), who is suffering abuse from his drunken father(Gary Poulter). The community townsfolk are proud to know him without ever knowing his surname. Joe is just plain Joe.

This cast is rounded out by: Aj Wilson McPhaul, Sue Rock, Elbert Hill III, Bryan Mays and Andriene Mishler.

Would you stand up for your belief in God?, 30 January 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a Christian movie, a bit better than some in the same genre. The story line is important to the movie, well it is the movie; but just not enough for some expecting a real "lift me up". Josh Wheaton(Shane Harper)is a college student in the process of majoring in Law; he is required to take a philosophy class and it will challenge his morals and belief in God. Professor Radisson(Kevin Sorbo)is an atheist that insists his students sign a paper admitting that God is dead in order to pass the class. Josh balks and is challenged by Radisson to debate him and convince the members of the class that God is not dead! The arguments at first are pretty convincing that God is alive, but Radisson has his own agenda and proves to be very narrow minded and is so sure of himself that he doubts Wheaton can change his classmate's minds about the paper they signed.

The acting is a bit lacking and pedestrian. The gospel group Newsboys are featured at a concert as they sing "God's Not Dead" and "The King Is Coming". Willie and Korie Robertson of Duck Dynasty make brief cameos. Also in the cast: Dean Cain, Cassidy Gilford, David A.R. White, Trisha LaFache and Paul Kwo.

Truth or Die (2012/II)
Truth or dare...just a way to get revenge., 29 January 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a low budget independent British film that you best not pass over. Doubtful you'll find a character you'll like or even have sympathy for; but if you like your horror a little rough...you will feel good about watching this one. College students are enjoying themselves drinking and drugging at a big party. Feeling unwelcome, a nervous Felix(Tom Kane)is forced into a game of spin the bottle...truth or dare. When the bottle picks him, he is asked what female or MALE he'd choose to sleep with. This party game ends with Felix being humiliated and punched in the face.

A year later five of those college party goers are invited to a sprawling country estate for the birthday party of Felix. Yes, Felix. The five friends arrive and are told the party is not at the grand estate, but almost a mile down a muddy road to a cottage in back. Who knew that Felix came from money? Nevertheless the party guests are met by Justin(David Oakes), the brother of Felix, who is said to be in Chile. Justin convinces the group to stay for a little party anyway. What starts off innocent rapidly becomes dark and fatal. Spin the bottle...truth or dare will let Justin get revenge for his brother's humiliation. Payback will become most violent and gruesome.

Other players making up the cast: Jack Gordon, Florence Hall, Jennie Jacques, Jason Maza, Liam Boyle and David Sterne.

The Final (2010/I)
The school bullies get bullied!, 29 January 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An After Dark Horrorfest film worth watching. Hope you like them gruesome. THE FINAL has an unpopular high school teen Dane(Marc Donato)fed up with the years of being pushed and shoved around. He convinces Emily(Lindsay Seidel)and a group of other students that have reached that point to finally seek revenge on the so-called "cool" kids that have spent years humiliating them. A wild party is created for invitees only. It ends up with all the bullies ready to "party down" with no limitations. Thanks for the memories guys and gals. The group of outcasts are in disguise as the others, but they are not the ones in chains; and they are wielding weapons. The meek have summoned courage and are ready to carry out their plan of maiming and torture to make up for the years of torment. The bullies are now getting bullied. The gruesome means of torture have been learned in history class and watching horror flicks. See who is crying now! Not for the faint of heart. This is a bunch of sadistic teens getting their revenge. Even I had to turn my head a couple of times...its just that horribly good! The cast also features: Justin Arnold, Jascha Washinton, Travis Tedford, Laura Ashley Samuels, Eric Isenhower and Ravi Silochan.

In Fear (2013/I)
An excursion that will rattle your nerves., 27 January 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A couple of friends, Tom(Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy(Alice Englert)are planning to meet friends at a music festival. They have yet to make it official that they are a couple and Tom decides to surprise Lucy by making reservations at a remote hotel to spend the night before the festival. This British road trip flick soon becomes pure torment. The young couple end up driving through a maze of country roads to get to the hotel. A relaxing getaway soon becomes a nightmare as Tom and Lucy realize they are lost. It is getter closer and closer to nightfall and the car is riding near empty.

There is really no decent scenery. A one lane muddy road that keeps twisting and turning. Signs giving directions have somehow been changed thus the couple, that is hard to like, are trapped. Nothing actually scary, but an atmosphere that will fray your nerve endings.

Old time western., 26 January 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Early western hero Kermit Maynard plays Bob Wilson, who finds himself in jail on a trumped up charge of cattle rustling. Spud Hayes(Jack Ingram), actually a Wilson sidekick, figures he can help Wilson out of jail by forming a lynch mob. Wilson manages a getaway and leads the lynch mob on wild chase. Meanwhile back in town, a slick talking villain, Mark Flemming(John Merton) is trying to cheat the lovely Mary Scott(Haley Wood)out of her ranch. She takes Fleming's money and tries to leave town, with the bad guy holding worthless paper. Wilson tries to figure why there is all this new found interest in the lady's land...its not coal, gold or oil. But there is something of value to be had by the property's owner.

Rip roaring old time western full of chase scenes and flying lead. Plenty of action, enough to keep the smallest of buckaroos wanting to help the hero, Kermit Maynard. A lot of those that have deep interest in this genre feel that this may just be Maynard's best.

Old Sheriff Judson is played by Hank Bell; while Dick Curtis and Frank McCarroll play bad guys working for Mr. Fleming. Also in the cast: Roger Williams, Jack Casey and Blackie Whiteford. 59 minutes of rusty, dusty cowboy action.

A brother for a brother., 22 January 2015
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tiller Russell writes and directs this strange, but somewhat interesting western. Ransom Pride(Scott Speedman)in many ways is a man's man, in spite of being a criminal and gunfighter. This realistic and rather raw drama finds Ransom gunned down in Mexico and his partner Juliette Flowers(Lizzy Caplan)vows to keep the promise to her lover and take him back home to Glory, Texas to be buried next to his mother. One major problem is that Ransom's body is being held ransom by a mysterious woman, Bruja(Cote de Pablo); she wants Flowers dead. The Reverend Early Pride(Dwight Yoakam)wants his son's body brought back from Mexico as much as he too wants Miss Flowers dead. Flowers, not shy to stab, slice or shoot, decides to deceive Ransom's little brother, Champ(Jon Foster), in helping her bring back his brother's body. All along Flowers knows that she is actually trading Champ for Ransom; a live brother for a very dead one. Between Glory and Mexico there will be hell to pay.

How in the world they got Calgary, Alberta, Canada to look like Texas and Mexico is one of those magical things we go to the movies for...I guess. This flick does not go easy on the bloodshed and brutal violence. My main reason for viewing this movie is Miss Cote de Pablo, who you really have to look twice to recognize. Her character looks nothing like the beautiful NCIS agent she played on TV.

Others in the cast: Kris Kristofferson, W. Earl Brown, Jason Priestley, Peter Dinklage and Blu Mankuma.

"Apes...do not want war!", 21 January 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It has been ten years since their escape; a massive group of super-intelligent apes, led by Caesar(Andy Serkis), live deep in the woods and thrive in a hunting/gathering culture. A group of civilians not killed by the Simian Flu pandemic are gathered in San Francisco and have been degraded by civil unrest, economic collapse and a shortage of power. A small group of humans led by Malcolm(Jason Clarke)have found an abandon hydroelectric dam in the woods and being able to repair it and get it running again could provide much needed power to summon other survivors for help. But something has gone very wrong; an ape has discovered the group. An iffy peace agreement is reached between the humans and apes, but goes awry when a human gun is found that breaks the treaty. An all-out war is unable to avoid, with the conflict determining which species will dominate the planet.

This installment of the franchise seems to be written better and there is noticeable character development with the humans as well as the apes. Filmed in and around San Francisco, New Orleans and Canada...cinematography is outstanding. The CGI is awesome. There are intense sequences and images of violence which is understandable during brutal battle to the death.

The cast also includes: Gary Oldman, Terry Kebbell, Keri Russell, Nick Thurston, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Karin Konoval, Larramie Doc Shaw, Judy Greer and Kirk Acevedo.

Outstanding war epic! A masterpiece!, 16 January 2015
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is an instant American war epic. Directed by Steven Spielberg and deserving of its critical acclaim. The opening 27 minutes is a graphic and realistic depiction of the assault at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. An intensive and prolonged sequence featuring the brutality of combat. Captain John Miller(Tom Hanks)leads a Ranger Battalion ashore with intent of securing a beachhead. Graphic and intense images not for the faint of heart. Army Chief of Staff, George C. Marshall assigns Cpt. Miller and a select squad of six plus an interpretor to search for a paratrooper, Private James Francis Ryan(Matt Damon),the last surviving brother of four that have entered the war. At times Miller's squad wants to balk on the search, but pull together not in respect for Ryan, but Miller.

This movie was written by Robert Rodat and features a musical score by the acclaimed John Williams. Cinematography is more than outstanding and features amazing camera positioning. There is an all-star cast that also features: Tom Sizemore, Barry Pepper, Giovanni Ribisi, Edward Burns, Vin Diesel, Paul Giamatti, Adam Goldberg, Jeremy Davies, Ted Danson and Dennis Farina.

Street light harmony to the top., 3 January 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Adapted from a very big hit on Broadway; Clint Eastwood directs this stroll down memory lane and gives a nostalgic peak in the makings of the group the Four Seasons. Four guys from the bad side of town make terrific harmony singing below street lights to cover for misdeeds going on. Not to say putting some criminal activity on the back burner, these running buddies could sing and sing they did. The Four Seasons, with Frankie Valli(John Lloyd Young)leading the act, became a powerhouse group of the 1960s and even fared well after the British Invasion fronted by The Beatles. Inside among the usual ups and downs of recording acts, member Tommy DeVito(Vincent Piazza)left when some of his shady deals came into the open and a tie to the Mob surfaced. Songwriter Bob Gaudio(Erich Bergen)teaming with Frankie were a guiding force. Producer Bob Crewe(Mike Doyle)was very influential to the sound that permeated concert venues and jukeboxes. Hits like "Rag Doll", "Walk Like A Man", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Dawn(Go Away)", "Sherry" and "Candy Girl" would cement the group in the history of Rock 'N' Roll. After bad times finally put a halt to the better times, Frankie Valli, full of his own personal heartbreak, would have to prove to himself he could continue making a living singing solo. A song called "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" showed the world he could.

This movie may never have the staying power the hit Broadway Musical had; but for people who dig this movie genre...JERSEY BOYS is a must see! Along side the great music, the cast also features: Michael Lomenda, Steve Schirripa, Christopher Walken, Lacey Hannah, Michael Patrick McGill, Johnny Cannizzaro and Kathrine Narducci.


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