Reviews written by registered user

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29 reviews in total 
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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Take the Edge off, 22 December 2011

I was home sick for a few days in a row, and on a friend's recommendation watched "The Walking Dead." The first episode of Season 1 blew me away – it sucked me straight into the Zombie Apocalypse and the lives of a small collection of survivors. Not particularly being a horror or zombie movie fan, this surprised me. So I watched the second, then the third . . . and several hours later had watched the entire first season. Wow. Fantastic show. Best TV I've ever seen. This morning I watched the first episode again on a friends 1080HD screen, and the experience was markedly different: the picture was "too clear!" I first watched it on my laptop, and the lower resolution gave it more of a film quality, whereas the 1080HD picture looked far too much like video camera. This is the first movie/series I've ever preferred in lower resolution. The soundtrack is understated and very well done: crickets, wind, shuffling rifles and other firearms, and breathing are all aurally rendered so well that my ear's imagination took it from there. I highly recommend that you watch it in less than stellar HD.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Timely, 2 July 2011

George Clooney directs a film for our age in "Good Night, and Good Luck." David Strathairn delivers Murrow's Kent cigarette shrouded brilliance with his own. Around him are a cast of pro's, well cast. Clooney as Fred Friendly does yeoman's work here, supplying essential,understated, grounding appropriate for this tale. Filmed in blank and white, the film captures perhaps the apex of television journalism when, in the early 1950's, Murrow stood up to the anti-communist, disingenuous, and hypocritical Joseph McCarthy. We have no Murrow's now, and if we did he would broadcast on the internet; no corporate media outlet would touch him. Thinking people will savor this movie. It is worth repeat viewing. But in the age of Infotainment, more will check out within the first half hour, which is a shame: Murrow was a great American and role model for all who strive to be.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Shakespearian, Epic, 6 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wow, that Ben Stiller is one more smart f*kn guy. "Tropic Thunder" is a riot when viewed either as an action movie, comedy, mocumentary, or metaphorical hard core spiritual initiation tale. As an Action/Comedy, "Tropic Thunder" is brilliant. Bold strokes paint a fictional world within the fictional world of movies, then has this tag team Fantasy lock braces with Reality (which is only the fictional reality of a movie. . .) The story moves fast: Tugg has the map, mothafkas!; "I'm the dude playin the dude who's disguised as another dude." Robert Downey Jr. is at his greatest, playing multiple Oscar winner and Australian, Russell Crowe er Kirk Lazarus. So Downey is actually ". . .the dude who's playing the dude, who's playing the dude who's disguised as another dude." That, Ladies and Gentlement, takes talent. This is some seriously amazing satire. Moliere would laugh his a$$ off. Gandhi might too, until he cries over the agonies we choose for ourselves on our journey of becoming awakened. Look at the little heroin kingpin's T-shirt when he rips open his over shirt: the image is of a female dancing monster, swinging a dead baby in one arm and somebody's head in the other. Meet Kali, Goddess of Destruction (of illusion.) Having done some serious Shakespeare study, I do not say this lightly: As Shakespeare's brilliance allowed him to write on several different levels at once (from banal to exalted), so does Ben Stiller.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness . . ., 10 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Martin Luther King

This story is universal; it has been told countless times over the course of human history. Like most universal passages, it needs to be retold in different times and places in order to remind us that what was true when Homer wrote is just as true when Shakespeare wrote and remains as true today in this film. James Nesbitt does impressive work as Joe, who as a ten-year old witnesses his brother gunned down by an IRA gang. He is contacted by a local television program who wants to interview him and his brother's killer thirty years later. Nesbitt manages to walk an excruciatingly thin line between sanity and madness as he decides whether or not to do the interview. His scene descending the stairs is a case study in brilliant physical acting. Liam Neeson turns in a predictably powerful performance. He unveils the ravages of guilt which have stripped his life of any richness. Guy Hibbert has written a beautiful screenplay, allowing the actors to plumb the frightening abyss of pain, rage, revenge, and resolution. Highly recommended.

Out Cold (2001)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Genius, 17 February 2008

Hands down, finis, no contestare: this is the funniest movie ever made. I thought I was going to break ribs laughing so hard last night. This movie is a quantum leap funnier than anything like "Animal House" or "Dodge Ball."

"Out Cold" sends up every exhausted cliché' in the movie making biz, smartly, dead on, and funnier than I thought possible. The actors who are the most talented (Galifianakis, London, Garson, Koechner, and almost Lee Majors) nail gag after gag with straight and august virtuosity. Galifianakis especially kicks every scene he's in in the n@ts of funny. John Belushi could only wish he had a vehicle like "Out Cold" to show his stuff in. . .

Never seen a movie like it. If you thought "Dodge Ball" or "Animal House" was funny, adjust your viewing settings appropriately and prepare to get assaulted by comedic genius.

Deja Vu (2006)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Unbelievable, 9 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


"Deja Vu" has of course the tremendous promise of Denzel Washington in the lead role, and an impressive supporting cast. Alas, the plot and storyline are laughably absurd. When an actor as compelling as Washington can't get me to watch more than 30 min. of a story, then that story has to be really, really bad.

So: a few surveillance satellites are able to render 3-D views of anything, anywhere? Cool! What a dynamite was of diagnosing heart disease, or here's a really good one: scan to WTC towers in the months preceding September 11, 2001 and finger the soulless f@cks who set the explosives that blew it to powder in mid frickin air.

What a moronic premise, and an entire waste of time and $1 at Red Box.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Oh Baby, Then it fell apart . . ., 11 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fantastic storytelling here, and dammit, now I've got a man crush on Matt Damon. All three chapters of the Bourne Trilogy hold up exceptionally well to multiple viewings, in fact are enhanced by doing so. As much as I hated to see Franka Potente exit downstream in "Supremacy", Julia Stiles is excellent as a forgotten paramour. She communicates volumes with her eyes. As in any terrific movie, the supporting cast is exceptional. The soundtrack absolutely rocks: you definitely want to hear these movies with headphones on. Greengrass keeps the action moving, with moments of close-up silence, deftly brushed with Damon's soft dialog, sweetly enhancing the tension. Thanks Bourne team.

Zodiac (2007)
1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Hmmmm . . ., 4 March 2007

"Fight Club" is one of my favorite movies ever: visceral, contradictory, smart, well-paced, ingenious. I can't apply any of these adjectives to "Zodiac." The local newspaper reviewer gave it a rave review, so I decided to give it a whirl. While I don't think it's by any means a crappy movie, I don't see what those who rated it a "10" did.

There's something about Gyllendal (sp?): he's a good actor, but he never got me to really *care* about his obsession. Same with Ruffalo: good actor; why don't I feel *along with* him?

Then again, maybe I saw it on a night that any movie would have left me mostly high and dry.

Robert Downey Jr. does terrific work, as usual. Period detail of the 60's and 70's is fantastic. I LOVE the casting choice for Leigh!

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
I'm So Confused!, 21 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alright, I admit that I'm not a huge Star Wars fan. The original premiered on May 25, 1977, which I know only because it was my 15th birthday. I loved the first two. What I enjoy about a good movie is being transported into a fictional world. If I'm watching a movie and thinking about the storyboard, or the clunky dialog, or the utter lack of chemistry between romantic leads, and of the repeated 'wtf??" illogical factors; if I laugh more at places the audience isn't supposed to laugh than at the places we ARE. . .

I know I've just seen a pretty lousy movie.

I'm sure Hadyn Christiansen is a fine actor, but for the life of me it looked like he was directed in the early scenes to "scowl just a little", and then told to "scowl a little more" for each successive scene. His performance was profoundly 2-D, though I think that is probably more the fault of Lucas/writers. Samuel L. Jackson can bring down the house as an actor. ANYBODY could have played Mace Windu. What a waste. Ewan McGregor comes out better than the rest, but he looks pretty bad too much of the time. This is just a badly written and directed mega Pop money maker. I'm sorry to see that G.Lucas has fallen to the Dark Side of NO TALENT.

Collateral (2004)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Acting Tour de Forces, 5 April 2005

Jamie Foxx; holy sh*t, Never knew this dude could act like that. Totally convincing; and the interplay between him and Tom Cruise (who I knew could be knockout) was superb. Tightly written, edge of your seat thriller, with strong supporting work by Mark Ruffolo and Bruce McGill. Jada Pinkett Smith is strong as well; her best work I've seen. Just watched it a second time, and it's still suspenseful. Michael Mann has crafted a suspense thriller that builds like a massive wave. Cruise is super bad @ss and good at it. I believed him, and I'm a tough viewer. Outstanding make-up and photography, and the score is terrific throughout. May buy the soundtrack. Guy who played the trumpet player was superb too. Really, really good, not great movie.

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