Reviews written by registered user

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1000 reviews in total 
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Beary good, but not great!, 26 March 2017

Novice Writer-Director Maya Forbes has made a touching film based on her family growing up; which features her bipolar-disorder diagnosed father. Forbes' "Infinitely Polar Bear" stars Mark Ruffalo as Cam Stuart, a bipolar man from Boston who has two young daughters and is currently semi-separated from his wife Maggie played by Zoe Saldana. When Maggie decides to flee to New York to pursue her Masters' Degree, Cam is left with the grandiose responsibility of taking care of his two daughters Amelia & Faith. Forbes hardly includes any huge dramatic scenes of the ill effects of bipolar disease in the picture. What she does include is the daily eccentricities of a man with a mental disease carrying task after task of caring for his daughters and all the challenges behind it. The only hiccup I have of this is that subtly Forbes does not incorporate much how horrific it is to live with a mental disease as bipolar disease, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc. Nevertheless, this film is really the vehicle of Mark Ruffalo, as he once again shines infinitely in a character. Mark has made his mark as one of the best actors working today. Zoe Saldana was very solid as Maggie. And Imogene Wolodarksy and Ashley Aufderheide were outstanding as respectively Amelia and Faith. So get on the Polar Express, and go infinitely to "Infinitely Polar Bear". **** Good

Loving (2016)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not loving it!, 20 March 2017

Writer-Director Jeff Nichols' film "Loving" is a lovely true story about Richard & Mildred Loving; an interracial married couple in Virginia in the late 50's who were ostracized and condemned by Virginia legislation for their interracial matrimony. A Virginia Judge judicially ordered them to leave the state for 25 years,if not they would be imprisoned for one year. Their case was presidential, because with the assistance of a couple of young civil rights lawyers, they were able to take the case to the Supreme Court; which ruled that all interracial marriages would be legalized nationwide. An important movie, but there was not just enough cinematic loving in "Loving" for me to love it. Nichols, who is usually brilliant, develops a lackadaisical and dreary approach in directing & scribing the film; which in turn, creates a very boring tone to an important subject. Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga star as Richard & Mildred; their performances were mediocre at best; I just did not believe they were in love with each other within their work; needed to see more loving in The Lovings. Michael Shannon does bring some life to the movie as a Life Magazine photojournalist; but his brief performance was too short lived. Nick Kroll was kruelly miscast as Bernie Cohen, one of the lawyers who assisted the Lovings to bring the case to the Supreme Court. Maybe, some of you will love "Loving"; unfortunately, it does not have my supreme support. ** Needs Improvement

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I do feel this movie is great in this world!, 13 March 2017

I don't feel at home when I don't pun anymore, so get ready for some cheezy puns in my review of the black comedy "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore". First time Writer-Director Macon Blair almost pulled a comedic Exorcist Blair here with this bizarre flick. It stars an excellent Melanie Lynskey as a depressed nursing assistant named Ruth. She must have had bad luck throughout her life starting when she was a Baby Ruth. However, Ruth has a vengeance side in her. And that is displayed when her house is burglarized, as she not only goes full bravado to get her stolen items back but also to teach moral lessons to those who stole from her. In that quest, she enlists the help of an eccentric rocker neighbor named Tony played marvelously by Elijah Wood; lordy, lordy, Wood rocked it here in what is sure to be his best performance of his career. Blair presents the film in a very unpredictable fashion with some outlandish scenes that I don't wanna reveal too much about them, because that would rob of you of your entertainment. Besides excellent performances from Lynskey & Wood, the supporting cast of "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore" was more of a treat. I say Wow! to David Yow's villainous performance as Marshall, the grand Marshall scheme artist of the macabre in the movie. Christine Wood's scene-stealing performance as a wealthy bored housewife was another great wood in this picture. And Myron Natwick as the geriatric pawner Killer Sills was masterfully silly. Therefore, I do feel that you make yourself at home in your cinematic world and catch a viewing of "I Don't Feel at Home in this World Anymore". ***** Excellent

Central Comedic Perks in this one pairing Johnson & Hart, 6 March 2017

I did not think that the comedy "Central Intelligence" was going to be under the covers of a surprise enjoyable flick, but it sure was. Dwayne Johnson stars as Bob Stone, a former paunchy punching bag target of high school bullies; who years later becomes a musclebound CIA Agent. Kevin Hart co-stars as Calvin Joyner, a former high school athletic phenom who years later is displeased in just being a straight laced accountant, which in reality it calculates to a decent living. Joyner and Bob (in high school, Bob was known as Robbie Weirdicht) were not the best of friends in high school, but Joyner did help that Weirdicht in an embarrassing "all dicht out" left-in-the-nude prank on Robbie that was orchestrated by nasty high school bullies. Weirdicht, now a Rolling Bob Stone, never forgot Calvin's graciousness and reaches out to him to help Bob in a CIA case where he is being semi-framed. The plot is not the central intelligent point of "Central Intelligence"; its rather the clicked chemistry between Johnson and Hart; and most notably Johnson's uproarious comedic performance that simply (what's the word?)... rocked!!!! Director Rawson Marshall Thurber did not manufacture a complex narrative, and that was not his intent. Thurber's direction of the Joyner & Stone interactions is what made him a Thurber King in helming the picture. So I rest my "Central Intelligence" case, and I suggest you should investigate it for yourself, you will be pleased. **** Good

45 Years (2015)
I give it a 45 out of 100! Kidding, more like 70 out of 100!, 26 February 2017

Hey, I have a Haigh movie to write about. That would be Writer- Director Andrew Haigh's drama "45 Years". It stars the fabulous Charlotte Rampling as Kate Mercer. Kate is retired and lives in the England countryside with her husband Geoff. She is in the process of planning her 45th Wedding Anniversary party when a letter comes in the mail detailing the death of Geoff's former girlfriend. To say that puts a damper in the festivity planning, is an understatement. There is a silent tension that builds in "45 Years" that is very well directed. Haigh directs the movie in a very simplistic tone that is semi-effective but does leave room with some boredom. Nevertheless, Rampling ramps it up with a mild mannered but outstanding performance as Kate. Veteran British actor Tom Courtenay held the thespian court quite swiftly in his performance as Geoff. "45 Years" is not a movie that you should see in the next 45 minutes or hours for that matter, but worth a look for you in the next 45 days. *** Average

Arrival (2016/II)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Arrrighty Arrival!, 20 February 2017

Here comes a puntapod arriving to your viewing eyes, as I review the sci-fi flick "Arrival". Please don't run away, I pun in peace. Acclaimed Director Denis Villeneuve's "Arrival" stars the astounding Amy Adams as Dr. Louise Banks, an expert linguist professor who is called in by the U.S. Government when semi-oval saucers arrive in several locations throughout the globe, including Montana in the U.S. Her duty is to try to decipher communication from the arriving heptapods, not an easy task. They should have just called Trump to deport the illegal alien heptapods, problem solved. Anyyyways, off the politics. Dr. Banks is paired up in this mission with Dr. Ian Donnelly, an expert physicist, played well by Jeremy Renner. This is not your simple alien story, there is a twist thrown in by the brainy humanoid movie director Villeneuve that will throw you for a loop. You can take it to the bank that Adams was robbed of a Best Actress Oscar nomination in her performance as Banks. Eric Heisserer's screenplay of "Arrival" was earthly sound, even though it had a tad too much of the scientific jargon; but I guess that comes with the sci-fi territory. If you still have not arrived to the viewing landscape of "Arrival", I suggest you do so now. **** Good

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Glad I saw the Hacksaw!, 11 February 2017

Mel Gibson is not a Mad Phone-to-the-Max anymore; he is back; returning to passion with his harrowing true-story war drama "Hacksaw Ridge". The film stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss, who was the first American soldier who served in a war without firing a gun. I will try to be the first corny puns critic to write up a review without firing a pun; mmm don't see that happening. Anyways, Doss fought during World War II as a medic during the Battle of Okinawa. His religious beliefs in not killing was the prominent reason why he chose not to be armed, even though he fought hard with the Army for that right, and even almost got court martialed for it. I'm not going to fire away spoilers here, but what Doss did unarmed to save numerous soldiers was an unfathomable act of courage. Gibson's direction of the film was spectacularly vivid. Garfield was a tour- de-force as Doss; and there were also some sure fire supporting performances from Vince Vaughn as Doss' semi- sympathetic Sergeant and Sam Worthington as his defiant Captain. The battle scenes were mesmeric, but it was the more humane scenes of Doss' refusal to carry a firearm that triggered the best part of the film for me. The movie did run a tad too long, but that did not defeat the matter that I am a believer of "Hacksaw Ridge". **** Good

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Mission Accomplished, I guess, 31 January 2017

I am ready to set off some not-so hidden puns in my review of the space drama "Hidden Figures". The movie has received major figures at the box office, and is nominated for several Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Motion Picture. "Hidden Figures" is based on the true story of three African- American women who provided some major mathematical data needed for NASA to help launch off America's first successful space missions in the early 60's. However, the main figure of this flick is the math wiz Katherine Johnson, admirably played by Taraji P. Henson. Octavia Spencer does provide some help here as Dorothy Vaughn, who was very instrumental in NASA's IBM management. Uprising star Janelle Monae plays Mary Jackson, the lively NASA engineer-to-be who fights the court in order to be enrolled in a all-white school. These were the 60's so Director Theodore Melfi does incorporate the themes of civil rights, segregation, and gender differences within his filmmaking mission of "Hidden Figures". Kevin Costner dazzles as the NASA Supervisor Al Harrison. Did not get much of a thespian big bang from Jim Parson's performance as the bullyish NASA engineer Paul Stafford. And "Moonlight" star Mahershala Ali moonlights here also as Johnson's beau Colonel Jim Johnson; but was not in "Moonlight" fantastic mode. Spencer did receive a Best Supporting Actress performance for a character that was not much of a blast in this space movie; so yea, I thought it was a fine performance but don't think it warranted a nomination. Don't get me wrong, "Hidden Figures" does have feel-good qualities and plays a well-deserved homage to these ladies who were such an addition to NASA's progress. "Hidden Figures" does rock it at times, but its not a perfect cinematic mission. **** Good

Lion (2016)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not a Lion King of a picture but close..., 29 January 2017

There has been a vast amount of roar about the touching drama "Lion", and now I know why it roared with critics. "Lion" features the true story of Saroo Brierly, a five-year old Indian boy who gets lost in the streets of an Indian city very far from home. Via events that followed, Saroo gets adopted by an Australian couple John and Sue Brierly. Twenty years later, Saroo decides to come down to Google Earth to help locate his original mother and brother in India. Director Garth Davis provides an authentic emotional landscape that viably transports you into Saroo's incredible story. Luke Davies' screenplay also feeds the "Lion" with a genuine verbal touch. Dev Patel was no thespian slumdog with his credible performance as the adult Saroo; Sunny Pawar also provided a little sunshine with his loving performance as the child Saroo. Nicole Kidman's work as Sue Brierly was solid, but not of Oscar caliber; but who am I to believe, I'm just a corny pun kidman. Rooney Mara did not add anything relevant to the picture as Saroo's girlfriend Lucy; so yea, I did not Love the Lucy character here. Nevertheless, I am not lying when I say to feed this cinematic "Lion". **** Good

Moonlight (2016/I)
9 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Shines bright!, 21 January 2017

The Moonlight in Miami shines brightly cinematically in Writer- Director Barry Jenkins' outstanding movie "Moonlight". It revolves around an African-American boy named Chiron, nicknamed Little by his peers. Little lives in the poverty project of Liberty City in Miami, Florida. While running away from the bullies who torment him, Little escapes into a presumed crackhouse. There he meets the gentle drug dealer named Juan, who cares for him as a surrogate-type father. Little has big problems at home because his mother Paula is a crack addict and also bullies Little. "Moonlight" then moves in two other chapters in Chiron's life; next as a insecure teen wrestling with his sexuality, and then as a brawny young adult. Jenkins marvels in presenting Chiron throughout his young life. And all the three young actors that play Chiron sure are on; Alex R. Hibbert as the young Little, a stunning Ashton Sanders as the teen Chiron, and Trevante Rhodes as the young adult Chiron. Mahershala Ali's work as Juan was a powerful Ali thespian punch; even though it would have been nice to see Ali in a few more rounds in the picture. Naomie Harris was a force to be reckoned with her stunning performance as the verbally abusive mother Paula. Andre Holland was a revelation as Chiron's longtime friend Kevin. James Laxton's cinematography was a work of Miami art. Jenkins' "Moonlight" is very subtle but very effective. "Moonlight" is more than just one small step for a man, it is one large movie that must be seen by man & woman kind. ***** Excellent

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