Reviews

46 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
8/10
Wonderful Film Superb Performance By Mortensen
11 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I had been wanting to see this film for years. I heard so many things about it. Well I just saw it and it's wonderful. Mortensen hit all the right notes with this performance. The other cast members were good as well.

The story was not that original but that didn't matter. I've seen this movie before many times, as it had elements from many organized crime movies. The brutal father, the sniveling unworthy son and the son's best friend who knows all to well what the son is. I saw what Nikolai was early on in the film and not so subtle clues pointed to the fact that he was an undercover agent. His displeasure at the father for calling the current FSB the KGB pretty much gave it away right there.

The fight scene in the shower was one of the most realistic fights I've seen on film. Fights in the movies are usually very macho and pretty. This fight in the sauna was ugly, sloppy and gory. The hero barely escaped with his life and wound up in the hospital. This is usually the case when knives are involved. In many movies the hero gets cut and just keeps on going like he didn't lose any blood.

I was a bit disappointed with the ending. While it tied everything up nicely, it didn't have the payoff I was expecting.

I would recommend this film to anyone who likes gangster movies.
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Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
6/10
OK Movie, Should Have Stuck To The Comic Book
9 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
First let me say the first Kick-Ass movie was, well, kickass! But this movie, while pretty good, fell a bit short. This movie picks up with Katie being a teenage girl in high school. She's a freshman trying to fit in at school. That's part of the problem. In the comic books Katie is ten-years-old to eleven-years-old. Much of the entertainment value is derived from her being so young and being able to take out grown men and women who are gangsters. Kick-Ass is the same age and basically the same person.

The main problem is they should have stuck to the comic book. For one Mother Russia was more of a character and how Katie dealt with her was much better than what she did in the movie. Kick-Ass seems to be the same incompetent hero he was despite training by Wendy.

Another problem is with the ending, it totally departs from the comic book. The book ending shows Wendy heading off to jail and the movie ending shows her riding off on a motorcycle. In the comic book she utters a pretty funny line at the end.

If you have a choice, read the comic book first, then watch the movie.
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Red State (2011)
2/10
I did see RED after watching this movie! Spoilers!
16 February 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Red State, from director Kevin Smith starts off with good intentions. It starts out with political overtones. The buddies are driving and they stumble upon a funeral of a gay man being protested by a crazy anti-gay preacher and his followers. Then you have the obligatory classroom scene where he protest is discussed. The classroom scene also helps to establish the main characters as the goof off, the sex maniac and the semi-rational guy.

Of course a movie with teenage males in it means one thing for sure, they want to get some sex and that is at the heart of the story. The three guys are looking for sex online but all the women on the site they visit are either in LA or New York except for one. One woman is in a nearby small town. So the men set up a meeting to have sex with this woman. They meet a middle aged woman outside her mobile home. She invites them in to have beers and that's where the movie goes tragically wrong. The woman has drugged them and she's one of the anti-gay preacher's followers. They wind up in the church where they see a gay man bound to a cross with plastic food wrap. The preacher has already begun what has to be the most boring, incoherent sermon in movie history. The gay man is then executed with a pistol through the top of the head.

After seeing the execution and the crazy followers tie their friend to the giant cross. Two of the teens escape. This is where the movie loses itself. It turns into a Waco style standoff between the ATF and the crazy preacher and his insane followers. It totally abandons the anti-gay story and the teens wanting sex story. It turns into a pointless shootout, a government cover-up by murder and a silly dog story at the end that has absolutely nothing to do with the story. Nothing is really resolved after many things were set up to be big revelations later in the film. It was like Kevin Smith started making a movie about anti-gay preachers and teens wanting to get sex and then ran out of money, quit and told his assistant to finish the movie and use your "imagination".

This movie has to be one of the worst, most depressing films I've seen in my life. I think they should show this movie to film students to show now NOT to make a movie. I also feel like filing a lawsuit against Kevin Smith for stealing 90 minutes of my life that I will never have back and filling that time with memories of a horrible movie. Avoid this movie if you can!
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Christmas in Canaan (2009 TV Movie)
8/10
Surprisingly good Christmas movie
1 January 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit I was not expecting much from this film. I had seen Billy Ray Cyrus' acting in Hanna Montana an didn't think too much of it, well at least in the couple of episodes I saw of the show. So I was pleasantly surprised to see him give a good performance here. I was surprised that I actually go into this movie and was moved by it. The story of racism was not overplayed though it did make up a good part of the story. I'm also glad they didn't show the black kids grandmother as some sniveling scared black person that is often seen in movies about race.

I will definitely make this one of the Christmas movies I'll watch again.

Rayvyn
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Appaloosa (2008)
8/10
One Of The Best Westerns Of All Time
7 February 2009
Appaloosa is a truly great western. It is not overly violent and the scenes of them sitting around talking are far more entertaining than the gunfights that only last a few seconds. Viggo Mortensen puts in an excellent performance as Virgil Cole's 8-guage shotgun toting deputy Everett Hicks. Hicks is conflicted and complex and turns out to be more of a hero in this movie than anyone, including Cole. Ed Harris is also excellent as the brooding Virgil Cole, a lawman who's been doing his job for a very long time. Ed Harris gives the wide range of emotions that is Virgil Cole. At times Cole is steady as a rock and calm. Other times he departs from being cool and turns into a bar room brawler. Rene Zelwiger is good as Ms. French. But it's not her best performance. All the characters are complex and that makes this western one of the best. Nothing is cut and dry except the loyalty Everett Hicks shows to Cole and the love Cole has for Ms. French. The end credits is a real treat as we hear a comical song sung by Ed Harris about Ms. French.

Rayvyn
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3/10
Two For Two!
18 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Yep the Fantastic Four series is two for two. The first film was bad and this film is bad. Both are unwatchable a second time, hell I almost didn't make through the first time on this one. The movie is about as deep as a kitchen sink. The acting was average at best and the plot was dumb. It is sad to see such a great comic book series get made into such a bad movie. The special effects were the only thing that was good about it. They showed the Silver Surfer but they didn't show much of Galactus, just his equipment falling out of the sky. Maybe a slight glimpse of the man or being himself. Why can't Stan Lee sell the movies to the same guys who made Spiderman 1 & 2, Iron Man, Hulk and The Incredible Hulk? I'm tired of the garbage we're getting.
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6/10
Not As Bad As I Thought
18 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
When I first heard Starship Troopers 3 was a direct-to-DVD title, I thought it would be horrible. I was surprised.

First of all the movie's special effects were not good. In most cases they just got the job done in some cases they just plain sucked. The only thing that held this movie together was the plot and the plot twists. It had pretty good action sequences, some done really well. The plot twists helped to keep me interested. I wanted to see what the big bug at the end looked like, they did a good job of building the suspense. Those were the good parts. The ending was bad, really silly and bad. It was almost unbelievable it was so corny and fake. The religious symbolism went way over the top. You'll see what I mean. It's worth a DVD rental but not purchase.

The producers really screwed up in not making big budget sequels given the first film's success. They surely could have made money if they were made well. But when they decided to take the series to low budget, they screwed up the series. So we have one great film, one bad film and one mediocre film.
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Hairspray (2007)
7/10
WOW! Blew me away!
10 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw the DVD and am sorry I didn't go see it in the theater. First of all, I'm a guy, a macho guy who usually likes action movies. However I was a fan of the original Hairspray movie mainly because of the desegregation issue. But to compare this to the original would do a great disservice to both films. Both are great in their own ways.

What blew me away was that it's a musical first and foremost. I was not expecting that. The opening song, "Good Morning Baltimore", was just great. Nikki Blonsky is perfectly cast and extremely talented. She really played this roll well and should be at least nominated for a Golden Globe and possibly an Oscar. Then there was John Travolta, he played his part very well too. I heard about how Travolta really pulled off an authentic Baltimore accent. Well I didn't know what it was but he must have done a god job because it was funny. The rest of the cast were great too. Queen Latiffa was good as Motor Mouth Mabel. Her singing was excellent. Elijah Kelly puts in a grossly underrated performance as Seaweed, the black high school student and son of Motor Mouth Mabel. His songs are great and there is real chemistry between him and Penny Pingleton payed well by Amanda Bynes.

They pulled off something that the vast majority of high school movies can't. They high school students acted like actual high school kids rather than adults in their 30s. In real life, those kids are rare. When I was going to school we were hardly ever grown up and serious about anything except having fun. So props to this film for that bit of insight.

Hairspray is socially conscience and very entertaining. If it can entertain a macho guy like me, then it must be something special.

Rayvyn
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7/10
Pleasantly Surprised
13 July 2007
I have to admit I was not expecting much out of General Hospital: Night Shift but I was pleasantly surprised. The acting was mostly good and it was a pleasure to see Billy Dee Williams in something. I'm a fan of many of his movies. Bingo Long and the Traveling All-Stars, Star Wars movies, and of course Lady Sings the Blues. I also like the new nurses, they are hot hot hot!

I like the pace of the show. Glad it doesn't have too many stories that drag on for weeks or months like GH stories used to. The show also has a good sense of humor like Maxie dumping bedpans as punishment. That Spinelli guy is annoying thought. I hope one of the future story lines is that Spenelli is diagnosed with ADHD and gets some Ritalin and starts to talk more normal.

The first show was good but there is room for improvement.

Rayvyn
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Convicts (1991)
9/10
Unappreciated movie. Great acting, great story!
30 July 2006
When I first saw this film on cable, it instantly became one of my favorite movies. I'm a big fan of James Earl Jones and Robert Duvall. The movie paints an accurate picture of the South and the racist attitudes. Most of the attitudes came from Soll, an old plantation owner who uses convicts for labor. Soll is what makes the move, his funny ramblings give us insights in to the way The South was back then. I suppose that if Soll lived today he would be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. None the less his attitudes towards a little boy who comes to work for him and the convicts is complex. While he has racist views, he's grown to trust some of the convicts who are all black. The two convicts he trusts most are Jackson(Mel Winkler) and Ben(James Earl Jones). The conversations between Ben and Soll are the best in the movie, they have real chemistry. James Earl Jones and Mel Winkler both but in great performances as well as Hass.

This movie should have gotten more notoriety. However it's on DVD and worth the money.

Rayvyn
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