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902 reviews in total 
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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Thank God for Chastain!, 29 April 2015

"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her" appeared to be an engaging movie about a woman whose life is turned upside down after a family tragedy and a spousal separation. What actually appeared in Writer-Director Ned Benson's film was a wishy-washy take on a confused woman who seeks family shelter after personal problems. The originality of this movie disappeared throughout its showing time; oh wait, on second thought, there was no appearance to begin with. I found the movie dreadfully boring. However, there is something here that salvaged this movie; and that comes in the form of the steady Jessica Chastain with her marvel performance as the title character. Chastain is one of, if not the best, actress working today. She always disappears into her character, and that is proved once again with her work here as Eleanor Rigby. However, I do not have the same sentiments for the supporting performances of this movie; which included (believe it or not) Viola Davis, James McAvoy, and William Hurt. Back to Jessie: It is too bad Chastain had to wrestle with the film's mundane storyline & screenplay. Benson actually filmed three versions of "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby";one from the "her" perspective (meaning Eleanor), one from the "him" perspective (being Rigby's estranged husband Conor), and one from the "them" perspective (which I guess is the rest of the Rigby party). I experienced the "her" one. But something tells me that him or them is not much better than her; which pretty much sums up human gender interaction; whatever that means. Time for me to disappear. Goodbye! *** Average

Tammy (2014)
Why?, 21 April 2015

The comedy "Tammy" is a tumultuous disappointment, and is not a hammy to sit through. Melissa McCarthy stars as the title character. Tammy is an uproarious clown of a woman who gets fired from her job and finds out her husband is having an affair all on the same day. Did I feel sorry for her? No way Jose. Tammy decides to go on a road trip with her alcoholic grandmother to.... I actually forgot the reason they went on the road trip, I think I was in a bored Tammytrans by then. Ben Falcone directs "Tammy" with lots of over-the-top shenanigans that were very disturbing. Now, I do credit Falcone and McCarthy (who both scribed the film) for including some funny zingers here and there in the screenplay, but there were far and few between. McCarthy overacted at her best, I mean worst as Tammy; and Susan Sarandon as the lushy grandma looked more like a Dead Grandma Walking with her stale performance. "Tammy" should be left alone, by all means. ** Needs Improvement

No need to get the skeletons out of your closet watching this picture!, 20 April 2015

Make no bones about it, the indie comedy-drama "The Skeleton Twins" is a nice little picture about two depressed siblings who reunite after not seeing each other for 10 years, and let's just say that the skeletons soon start coming out of their closets as they reveal much about themselves. The film stars SNL alumnus Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as Milo and Maggie. Milo is a struggling actor in Los Angeles who unsuccessfully attempts suicide in the film's opening scene. That near death experience brings him to reunite with his estranged sister Maggie who takes Milo to her hometown New York, so he could be in a New York state of mind. Anyways, Maggie is no bright chip of the old block either. She is unhappy in her marriage with a caring, devoted husband. She cheats on her husband and is taking birth control pills behind her husband's back. Maggie is one skeleton twin that is bad to the bone. The performances from Hader and Wiig were outstanding, and it was what brought the film to life. I also thought Luke Wilson was brilliant as Maggie's husband Lance. However, I was not too enamored with Craig Johnson's direction and screenplay of the movie. Too me it was a bit uneven and it might have needed some bare bones exuberance to the filmmaking of "The Skeleton Twins". But I am still recommending this movie as a solid viewing, and no joints are even required to get a semi-cinematic high watching "The Skeleton Twins". *** Average

Spilt Decision, but give it a marginal win, 15 April 2015

"Grudge Match" stars Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro as two former rival boxers who decide to duke it up in their geriatric time in a grudge match. Speaking of which, I have held a grudge against many Stallone movies not including "Rocky", "Rocky 2", "Cop Land" and "Cliffhanger". As far as DeNiro goes, I am not going to put up a fight here because a good 80% of his movies have been worthy, but even Bobby D. has been knocked down by a flew clunkers himself. I would not call "Grudge Match" a surefire winner but it still fell marginally into my ring of worthy comedies for 2013. Stallone stars as Henry "Razor" Sharp, the mild-mannered but off-putting of the two who unexpectedly retired before the initial scheduled grudge match 30 years ago. DeNiro co-stars as Billy "The Kid" McDonnen, the womanizing alcoholic who discovers he has as adult son from a previous affair; who by the way, the woman happened to be in love with Razor thirty years ago. Director Peter Segal added some fun to the piece by satirizing the Stallone & DeNiro infamous 70's boxer characters; Rocky Balboa and Jake LaMotta, respectively; but then again, he did not knock me out with his orchestration of the picture also. Stallone and DeNiro were adequate with their performances, but it looked more like an easy-peazy fun time for them. Kevin Hart was not exactly a formidable acting supporting sparring partner for Stallone & DeNiro with his over-the-top performance as an eager promoter. In the other ring, Alan Arkin looked lackadaisical with his performance as Razor's longtime trainer. Kim Basinger shows up here also as the woman that had a split decision as Sally, yes that girl, who romanced Razor but fooled around and fathered The Kid's kid three decades ago. Please don't have a grudge against me if "Grudge Match" is not your cup of tea; as I said, it's not a champion of a movie, but it had its moments; as most boxers do. *** Average

Wild (2014)
2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Good film with plenty of Reese's pieces, 6 April 2015

Get your motor running, head out on the Pacific Crest Trail Highway, looking for adventure, in whatever comes her way, Reese to be Wild!!! Anyways, what I am referring to with that intro is Director Jean-Marc Vallee's "Wild" based on Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail". Strayed did hike the Pacific Crest Trail Highway for more than 1,000 miles to help her in grieving the loss of her mother. Reese Witherspoon walked the walk in marvelous fashion with her excellent performance as Cheryl; it's no wonder she was not strayed away from a well-deserved Best Actress Oscar nomination. Vallee did a solid job in exhibiting Strayed's journey and all the people she meets along the way. The only not so happy valley I mean Vallee is when he showed one too many flashback scenes of Strayed's past even though it was integral to the narrative, but a yet overdone. Laura Dern was steady as Strayed's mother Bobbi, but all respect to Ms. Dern, was not dernerving I mean deserving of the Best Supporting Actress nomination it garnered. The "Wild" cinematography was all natuuuural, and was snubbed of an Oscar nomination. I did not get too wild about "Wild" but I still found it to be a very good movie that deserves a path to your movie screens. **** Good

Not that great of a beauty!, 20 March 2015

Sorry, but I did not find great beauty in the Oscar-winning Foreign Language Italian flick "The Great Beauty". Call me not cultured enough, but I did not find enough intriguing qualities in this movie to hail at as a deserving Oscar-winning foreign language movie; but what do I know, as long as I inject great beauty in my corny movie puns, that is all I need. Anyways, Writer-Director Paolo Sorrentino's movie stars Toni Servillo as Jep Gambardella, a 65-year-old Italian socialite who wrote a classic Italian novel decades ago but never wrote another book again. Gambardella preferred to gamble his lifestyle instead in the world of lavish parties, beautiful women, and daring adventures. Let's just say that Gambardella is no geriatric Cinderella. This premise of him living the aforementioned lifestyle instead of focusing on his writing artistry is beated on by a dead horse so much by Sorrentino, that it made me transcend to a great boredom mode. Now, I must say that the film's cinematography is tops. it is a love letter to Rome. But that is all I really found beauty in "The Great Beauty:, but what a beauty it was. Servillo's performance was fair but not great. So "The Great Beauty" is not a totally ugly movie, but I have done, I mean, seen better. *** Average

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not faulty at all!, 11 March 2015

There are not too many faults in the emotional "The Fault in Our Stars". The movie is centered around Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers with cancer who form an exceptional friendship and romance. It is based on John Green's best-selling book which made plenty of green in the literary world. The ascending Shailene Woodley marvels again with another solid performance, here as Hazel; Shailene fortunately has not diverted herself into the poisons of Hollywood demise. Newcomer Anton Elgort is an unfaulty star-in-the-making with his work here as Augustus. And I also thought Willem Dafoe was stellar as novelist Van Houten; but a Dafoe performance is usually outstanding just at default. Josh Boone's direction of the film was authentic as he did not convert "The Fault in Our Stars" into a weepy Lifetime movie by incorporating a myriad of themes in the picture. I loved how love for a novel became a potent point in the movie; yes, I even read into that. Sure, this type of film will bring the handkerchiefs and kleenexes out, but I refuse to call "The Fault in Our Stars" a tearjerker. I rather describe it as a strong movie about the power of love; and maybe I am reaching for the stars, but last I checked, there is no fault in that. ***** Excellent

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good movie, AAAAA I am dead! Pretty good movie, AAAAA I am dead! Pretty good movie, AAAAA I am dead! ......, 7 March 2015

Director Doug Liman's "Edge of Tomorrow" is "Groundhog Day" on steroids with some mean looking aliens. The movie stars Tom Cruise as Lt. Colonel Cage, who is sent into battle against mimic aliens who have destroyed much of the world. Cage is not really programmed for battle, probably because he was caged too much in military offices instead of the battlefield. Cage is scared out of wits, but then something miraculous happens; he dies in battle, and then relives the same day repeatedly. Why that happens? Let me not spoil if for you, but let's say that he became a blood brother of the Omega alien mimic fraternity; they have that? The stunning Emily Blunt co-stars as Rita, a fierce warrior who was pivotal in destroying many of these mimic aliens in a past war. Cage groundhogs into Rita's world and the two team to destroy the Omega mimic plan to destroy mankind. The first two acts of "Edge of Tomorrow" kept me on the edge of my seat with its inventiveness in a futuristic action movie. However, the third act of "mimic aliens vs. human soldiers" action unfortunately mimicked many other formulaic battle-oriented action flicks. I did like Cruise and Blunt in their performances; and to be blunt with you it was refreshing to see Cruise as a coward character and not cruising with the same old "machoman saving the world" typecast character he has played many times before, while Blunt cruised with another bravado performance. So let me finish this review before it ends on the edge of tomorrow. But if you got nothing going on tomorrow, it's not a bad idea to live & relive the "Edge of Tomorrow". **** Good

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
My viewing contract expired early in this one!, 2 March 2015

Sorry, but I am going to whip, I mean rip this film apart with my review! Oh you poor servants who have been dominated by a novel to go see the film adaptation of "Fifty Shades of Grey". Director Sam Taylor-Johnson constructs an uneven, unbridged, and unexciting film in "Fifty Shades of Grey". With all due apologies, Taylor-Johnson is the grey goose here. I think she should have spiced it up with an 80's soundtrack consisting of "Back on the Chain Gang", "Whip It", and of course "Sex (I'm A....). As most of you know, this film is about a literary student named Anastasia Steele who meets a young billionaire named Christian Grey. Grey is soft spoken and sly, but he has a fetish for bondage, S&M, whipping, etc. Grey romances Anastasia and tries to persuade her to sign a "dominant-submissive" to-be-my-lover contract. It was about this time that I felt that the filmmakers of this garbage needed was a good spanking from their studio heads; even though that is far from happening since the movie has brought in chains of box office gold. Jamie Dornan plays Grey and Dakota Johnson is Steele; Dornan was dormant with his performance and Johnson did not provide any scene-steeling work in my book. "Fifty Shades of Grey" was as shady as they come; and I mean that literally. * Failure

1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
What the hell happened here, Sir Master Anderson!, 18 February 2015

My favorite writer-director is Paul Thomas Anderson! He has created such cinematic gems as "Boogie Nights", "Magnolia", and "There Will Be Blood". His films are extremely cerebral, captivating, and powerful. But then came along "Inherent Vice"! One of the most major disappointments I have witnessed created from a genius auteur. "Inherent Vice" is Anderson's latest, and it should be retitled "Incoherent and Not Nice". What a disaster!!!! Where is Dirk Diggler, T.J. Mackey, and Daniel Plainview when you need them! "Inherent Vice" stars Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-fueled hippie Private Investigator named Larry "Doc" Sportello. He gets a surprise visit from sexy ex-girlfriend Shasta who contracts Doc to investigate a scheme by her lover's wife & her lover to frame him; or something like that; who cares? I lost "Inherent Vice" interest quickly with this convoluted & dull narrative. The film is set in 1970 in Gordita Beach, California. It's probably called Gordita Beach because of all the stoners there that have the munchies. Anyways- during Doc's investigation, he gets involved with a crazy cast of characters and a wide array of issues from politics, cults, prostitution, the drug trade and dentistry, much of it surrounding the mysterious "Golden Fang". But most of the time I was saying "What's up Doc?" or more like "What's up PTA?" with this unnecessary complex storytelling. Now, I do have to give Anderson a little credit since his movie was adapted from a Thomas Pynchon novel that seemed impossible to adapt to screen; and it's still impossible. If Anderson can't do it, nobody can. Phoenix is solid as Doc, but his weed-loving P.I. act runs its course. Josh Brolin delivered a worthy performance as the hippie-hater Lt. Detective Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen. My favorite performance, which was criminally underutilized in this Vice, was Benecio Del Toro as Doc's lawyer Sauncho Smilax who specializes in marine law. Nevertheless, I utterly despised "Inherent Vice" and it is not worthy of a cinematic viewing investigation. * Failure

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