Reviews written by registered user
Sandcastling Guy

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11 reviews in total 
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Glory Road (2006)
2 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A very well done movie, 14 January 2006
10/10

There were moments while watching the trailer that I wondered if the director/producer was going to generate a carbon copy of the superbly done "Remember The Titans". I'm happy to report that even though there are similar tensions (between blacks and whites) the story stands very well on it's own.

I found the characterizations to be fresh and believable. The many exciting basketball scenes are always easy to follow... and easily draw the viewer in almost to the point of cheering aloud. (Ok, so maybe there were some of us doing that.) Not often does a packed theater applaud the end of a movie, but last night's showing achieved that distinction. A well told story, with all the right elements.

10/10

BTW - don't be to hasty in leaving when you see the credits begin to roll... Those who remain behind will be rewarded.

12 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Watch it without distractions!, 1 April 2004
10/10

I watched this for the first time last night with a house full of 15 teenagers (half of them had already read the book). Between the spooky sounds, some good acting from most, and that creepy, unsettling feeling that kept building thoughout the movie... I rather enjoyed it.

With the 5.1 surround cranked way up and the lights turned down low, my skin did get goose bumps from time to time. (especially helping in this department is having a teen familiar with the book get up and run from the room saying, "I can't watch this part! I can't watch...")

I also rather enjoyed the "mystery" of the movie, which kept me guessing. And it's always great to find a movie that doesn't have to resort to trash talk in it's dialog.

I'm ready for the Veritas gang to take on another incident. Bring it on!

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
When the credits rolled, I looked over at the family and..., 24 March 2003
10/10

... and everyone responded with a cheerful (maybe a little tearful) thumbs up.

Sure, we know that main character, Evan, isn't "really" playing the violin, but once you get past that, you can get into the story... and a great story it is. One that works on many levels. I wasn't prepared for some of the "surprises" -- especially the emotional ones.

The relationships that build are never forced, almost as though the three main stars (Evan Rachel Wood, Michael Anarano and David Gallagher) are good "off screen" friends. The three make great use of facial expressions and body language, even when they don't have a speaking part. And speaking of speaking, it's great to see (or, rather, *hear*) a movie that doesn't have to resort to trashy talk in order to develop its characters. (Why, I can't recall my TV Guardian blanking out a single bad word -- way to go Blair Treu!)

For a good Family Movie -- Little Secrets is highly recommended.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful addition to my collection, 26 December 2002
10/10

Received the DVD as a Christmas present, and only have one complaint (and it's not even the movie's fault) -- I wish the aspect ratio were widescreen. A movie as inspirational as this deserves that "big screen" look, especially for the numerous (and well shot) football sequences. Funny that the trailer appears to be widescreen. Hmmm.

Well acted, and believable, there were several touching moments in the various character's journeys. Lacey Chabert and Nick Cornish have a good on screen chemistry, while Terry O'Quinn is perfect as the perfectionist coach. I thought I could predict how everything would turn out. I was wrong -- and I love that in a movie!

Also nicely done: the background score. (Wish the audio was 5.1, but the Dolby Pro Logic was quite adequate). Dan Haseltine and Joe Hogue are to be congratulated on creating a nice "high school" feel during the many action sequences. The quiet scenes are are rendered nicely, reminding me of the excellent score from "Remember the Titans".

For it's sound focus on quality drama, moving moments, great sport shots and without trashy language, I highly recommend this film.

Epic, Grand... makes your head reel..., 19 December 2002
10/10

Wow. As one who has never read the books, I initially had a little bit of hard time digesting the new characters in TTT. But, just like in the "first" installment, Fellowship of the Ring, the movie's story grows on you... even after leaving the theatre. Questions begin to arise about this character's motivation, or what are "they" going to do next.

I think it's attributable to depth. Depth of story, depth of character... your mind stays working, trying to figure it all out. I love it!

The battle scenes -- particularly Helms Deep -- is just Epic, with a capital E. At the next viewing I believe I'll pick a seat further from the screen just to try and take it all in. (If that's possible).

The complexity, the scale, the cinematography... what a movie! Easily the best 10 score this year.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly patriotic...., 17 April 2002
8/10

When I first heard the premise of this movie, I thought it would be hard to "cheer" for the bad guys taking over a prison and escaping. But after viewing, I realized this wasn't the end goal. They never intended to escape, or to kill the prison officials. This changed the whole mood of the film.

And even though I did somewhat guess the ending, it was still a moving moment that left me laying awake in bed that night thinking of the implications, and motivations of the main characters, especially the part played by Redford. (Boy, that guy can act.)

Patriotic? Absolutely. Whether bound or free, it's great to be an American.

8/10 *'s

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
It was about an hour into the movie...., 23 January 2002
10/10

I believe it was about an hour into the movie when the thought struck me: "This movie is ramping up to knock one of my top five favorite movies from their place." (current faves are held by: Braveheart, Remember the Titans, Deep Impact, The Natural, Titanic, Field of Dreams, The Karate Kid... ok, was that five?)

Now granted, this is from someone who's never read anything from Tolkien (only surrounded by crazed co-workers who are). Even so, I found the movie to be engaging at every turn, and was willing to forego some of the initial character development (Why? Because I know there's two more movies still to come!). I was able later to bounce questions off of my co-worker Tolkienites, and that has helped me enjoy the movie even more. The fact that Rings wasn't digestable in one sitting makes it all the more appealing to me. This only added to the movie's richness. How often does that happen with a film?

The music? Wow. Howard Shore's score perfectly matched the timbre of the on screen moments... choking me up on several sections. (there's just something about that Hobbit theme that gets me every time.) The haunting "May it Be" perfectly wrapped up the 3-hour adventure, leaving this 30-something guy quite stunned by the film's overall majesty and scope.

Action, Courage, Friendship, Devotion, Self-Sacrifice, (no profanity)... wonderful qualities to find in *any* film.

When it comes to rating this film... you won't find me giving it a low mark (as some seem to have done) because *their* favorite movie was "de-throned" from IMDBs #1 spot for a while. (can you say "The Godfather"?) Judge the movie on it's own merits alone.

My conclusion? The Fellowship of the Rings, is worth the highest mark it could receive. Bring on the "Two Towers"!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Way too many "F" words...., 14 December 2001
4/10

It's hard to believe that screenwriters can't create intelligent dialog between characters without having to use the F word 100's of times. (If you think I'm kidding, then pop in the movie and start counting)

It took me two nights to wade through this movie's dialog. I did enjoy Robin William's character interaction with Will... but had I watched the "edited for TV" version I would probably be writing a much nicer review.

A good story... but it's impact is heavily damaged with the extreme profanity.

I'll take "Finding Forrester" over this one.

Such a Classic! -- in need of a Widescreen DVD Presentation, 6 July 2001
9/10

I've heard it said that psychologists have found that certain films can promote certain emotional healings. When I think back on this gem of a film, it certainly brings back a barrage of emotions. It always reminds me of those times when bullies made my school days miserable, and I felt like a weakling, unable to steer my own destiny. In "The Karate Kid" I found a comrade in spirit with Daniel. He fought back only when pressed from all sides, and no other avenue of escape existed. Even when faced with the "no mercy" and "unfair" methods, Daniel San still presses on -- courageous --determined and encouraged by his mentor to do the honorable thing. The most disappointing aspect of the movie? Only having the pan-and-scan version on the DVD. I'd think that the studios would clamor at the chance to give this film a first-class presentation. Widescreen and Dolby 5.1 would restore the quality of this wonderful film and build on the emotional crush that the film delivers... So that when Daniel faces his adversaries, and the crowd cheers him on, I can FEEL his fear and anxiety. An experience like this is only heightened by the visual and audio impact of Daniel's victory. And in that moment, as I sit immersed in that feeling.. those memories from my own life replay.... and from that comes the reminder, that like Daniel, I've ended up victorious! Man, what a movie. Can't wait to see this film with a decent treatment!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Just bought the DVD..., 10 May 2000
9/10

For those of you wondering about the DVD... let me put it this way -- you can't go wrong! If you're a fan of the movie, then you just can't miss enjoying the hour and 45 minute "Scrapbook" that is included on the DVD. Why, the price of the DVD was worth it for this alone.

For those music fans of James Horner (like me), there's a 12 minute one-on-one with the composer. It's a neat glimpse into the creative process that went into the 'score', and how James came up with each of the sections.

Toward the end I found myself laughing out loud when the "how do we do the end shot"? question came up. Expecting the usual special-effects-approach, I got something totally different. I was stunned at how the residents of Dyersville, Iowa pitched in to help for this important scene. Think you know how they did it? Bet you guess wrong! :)

All this just adds to an already great movie. One of my all time favorites. A must get DVD for any fan.


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