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64 reviews in total 
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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Insulting to Italians and Catholics, 11 March 2015

This film tried to piggy-back off the success of "Analyze This" with the fish out of water (Hugh Grant) become part of the James Caan's family. The problem is--it just didn't work. The paintings in the film were blasphemous and Italian-Americans are portrayed as morons. I would love to see the same treatment applied to Jews or African-Americans. The fact is no one would have the nerve to do that but Italians are always fair game in Hollywood.

The attempt at replicating the success of "Analyze This" failed. Despite the good cast of Caan and Grant, this is one of the worst films I had ever seen.

Prometheus (2012/I)
11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Another Scott Masterpiece, 21 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember going to the theaters to see "Alien" when I was a kid. I was scared witless at this xenomorph from another planet.

Thirty-three years later, Ridley Scott has created another fascinating world in his prequel "Prometheus". I have read many hateful messages and reviews directed at this film because "it doesn't answer questions". Why can't people just enjoy this film on its own merits, of which there are many?

The cast is stellar. I frankly never heard of Noomi Rapace before this film, but her performance was spot on. Michael Fassbender steals the show as the android David. I can't believe this is the same actor who was in "Inglorious Basterds". David knows all about his shipmates for while they were all in cryosleep during the arduous voyage, he was watching their dreams. He is especially infatuated with Dr. Shaw's (Rapace) dreams and with her unshakable belief in God. Later in the film he cons her into taking off the cross. Does David have religious prejudices too? Is he able to be insulted as when Logan Marshall-Green calls him "boy"? David exacts revenge later in the film on Green, but was it David's idea or someone else's? Without going into too much detail, the part that will have everyone on the edge of his seat is the machine performed emergency operation on Dr. Shaw. This is one of the most squirm-inducing scenes I have ever seen in recent years.

The rest of the cast are wonderful: Idris Elba, Guy Pearce and Charlize Theron. Theron does a great job as the leader of the expedition. She slinks around the ship in such an eerie way you might think she was another android.

This is the most visually stunning film in recent memory, especially in HD. This reminds me of the original "Star Wars" in that the special effects were used to underscore the action, not replace the actors with a bunch of CGI which is what happened in the "Star Wars" prequels. I think this is one of the best science fiction films of all time, right up there with "2001", "Star Wars" and "Alien". Another great job from Ridley Scott!

0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Good film, but the first was better, 4 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't believe the hype. I heard one reviewer declare that this is the best Marvel film. "The Avengers" was the best Marvel film--I felt that before and after I left the theater.

Captain America is a bit too serious and on the verge of being cranky in this film. Scarlett Johansen looked a bit too gaunt. She--along with Morgan Freeman and Sam Jackson--has suffered from overexposure in films. I'm frankly tired of seeing her. I also couldn't watch Robert Redford without wondering how horribly he has aged. Stan Lee's cameo was funny.

This film had little of the first film's charm--and patriotism for that matter. The best scene was in the elevator when Captain America beat up a bunch of would-be assassins.

In summary, this was good but nowhere as good as the first film and certainly this was not the best Marvel film. I noticed that the newer generation of Marvel films (IM3, Thor 2, CA2) were distinctly inferior compared to their respective predecessors. I shudder to think with such a trend what the second installment of "The Avengers" holds.

7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Comprehensive but predictable, 2 February 2014

There were some things I learned from this documentary which aired last light on TCM. For the first 15 years or so, the winners were announced prior to the event, which would make the ceremony anticlimactic. I suppose the attendance overall must have been lower; I mean, if I knew I wasn't chosen, then why go?

It was nice to see an older Hollywood that had more class: i.e. when Clark Gable accepted his award for "It Happened One Night" he was gracious to his co-star and his director (calling him "Mr. Capra").

The low point to me was the over-exposure of Jane Fonda and Cher, the latter sounded impaired when she couldn't pronounce Marvin Hamlisch's name. Fonda is--to be kind--one of the most polarizing figures and unapologetic for her radical past. It was extremely difficult to watch her.

Of course, there was the predictable rant about "blacklisting" of Communist-leaning celebrities. They showed Lillian Hellman's speech during which she excoriated Senator McCarthy for the Hollywood blacklist. Miss Hellman doth protest too much. For those of you who have not been completely indoctrinated, Senator McCarthy had nothing to do with the Hollywood blacklist--this was done by the House Un-American Activities Committee. Both Senator McCarthy and Richard Nixon were used as the focal point by the left for years, probably because they were onto something about the infiltration in our government by Communists (see Alger Hiss). Do you want to know about true blacklisting? I read an article about the late Ron Silver who, after he spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention in defense of George Bush and the War on Terrorism, stated that his phone stopped ringing about potential film roles. Blacklist indeed.

Just your typical feel-good film about student radicals, 31 January 2014

I remember when this film was re-released for it's 15 year anniversary! I remember I was waiting with bated breath for 14 years and then...

This is a somewhat interesting talk piece about college leftists who have grown up and have re-assembled to honor their fallen friend years later as matured leftists with money. I mean, is there a more repugnant thing in this world than people who rail against capitalism and use that same system to get rich (see Bill Ayres, Yoko Ono and The Eagles)?

I believe that this was a hit because of the soundtrack not because of the protagonists' underlying beliefs. Case in point, early in the film the defense lawyer played by Mark Kay Place was complaining about her clients, as she expected to defend "Bobby and Huey". That would be Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, 2 members of the Black Panthers, which was a domestic terror organization. Charming.

There are some funny parts in the film, which is not completely awful. I just don't care for a film about cuddly Marxists who really haven't renounced their radical pasts.

Becket (1964)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Overrated, 18 December 2013

I had heard of this film for years and finally got around to watching it. I can't believe this film has an 8.0 score. It drags incessantly and it wastes the talents of Burton and O'Toole. As others have stated, the pacing is horrid. This film could have been shorter by 30 minutes.

Mind you, I love old films especially "A Man for All Seasons" which is my favorite of all time. The plot of "Becket" resembles that of AMFAS, but the latter does it much better. "Becket" is a drama that aspires to be an epic, whereas AMFAS is comfortable in itself.

O'Toole gave his usual sublime performance as Henry II. He was as good as he was in "The Lion in Winter". Burton was good although his character took himself too seriously. Save yourself some time and watch "A Man for All Seasons" instead.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Would have been better with a different cast, 9 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved "Wall Street". Michael Douglas' portrayal of Gordon Gekko was legendary and his performance deserved the Academy Award.

I had mixed feelings for a sequel: I was initially excited but then thought about the state of Hollywood films in the 21st century. While there are many exceptions, in my opinion, the films today are inferior compared to when the original was released: if the script stinks--just add a lot of CGI! Then I saw the cast: I knew I would wait for the film on TV when I saw Shia Labeouf cast as Gordon's to be son-in-law. I also groaned when I saw Susan Sarandon and Eli Wallach cast as well. One can see that when a director is out of it for a while or off his game--like Stone and George Lucas--their casting magic is lost. The original film had such realistic and charismatic casting (ok--except Daryl Hannah). Eli Wallach's hammy acting partially ruined "The Godfather III" and this film as well. Labeouf looked like a high school sophomore and didn't even physically look the part. It was a joke when he confronted Josh Brolin late in the film. Oooooh! I'm sure Brolin was shaking in his boots. Speaking of Brolin, he was one of the few reasons for watching. Carey Mulligan looked like Heidi trapped in New York.

The reason we all saw the film was to see Douglas' Gekko adapt to life in the 21st century. He looked eerily like Bernie Madoff with his unkempt hair flaring at the ears, until the last 30 minutes when we see him with his hair slicked back as we all remember him.

This is definitely inferior to its predecessor--mainly for the casting reasons--but it wasn't horrible.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer, 18 September 2012

This famous quote from "The Godfather Part II" occurred to me when watching this outstanding episode from Season 4, which is arguably the finest season of the "Columbo" series.

Robert Vaughn makes an excellent, albeit novice, villain. His plan to murder his lover was pedestrian, but he didn't expect Lt. Columbo to be on board the boat--I mean ship.

I think the script was sublime in placing Columbo in an environment to solve a crime via primitive methods. As is usually the case, Columbo's first instinct about the identity of the murderer was correct. Vaughn's character was a bit naive to see through Columbo's feigned innocence as Columbo confided in Vaughn the problems he encountered to solve the murder. The ending is great. The supporting cast was also first-rate. This is for me the peak season for the series ("Negative Reaction", "An Exercise in Fatality", "A Deadly State of Mind").

31 out of 69 people found the following review useful:
A film for all the Kool-Ade drinkers who voted for B.O., 12 September 2012

I didn't think I would learn many new things going into this film and I was right, but it was still important to see. It was stomach-turning at the end when they showed a clip from a grammar school where the children were indoctrinated into singing a pro-Obama song "Yes we can!" I don't remember any songs for George W. Bush, or George Washington for that matter. The Left has fallaciously declared for years that Rush Limbaugh fans were "mind-numbed robots". Well if anyone is mind-numbed it's the Left and their indoctrinated followers which is well-demonstrated in the aforementioned clip.

I am glad that D'Souza mentioned the radicals who influenced Obama--most notably Bill Ayres. Ayres and Obama have a long relationship. Please Google the picture of him standing on an American flag that was released in an article on--of all dates!--September 11, 2001 (I wish the producers included this picture in the film since a picture is worth a thousand words). I find it interesting that in 2009 Ayres was prevented from entering Canada due to his radical past yet American universities let this clown (and others like Angela Davis) have high positions of authority. D'Souza also gave ample time to Frank Marshall Davis, a mentor of the young Obama and a member of the Communist Party USA.

I think, in closing, that the obsession with "diversity" and race left us with the most leftist president ever who was not vetted properly. As D'Souza brilliantly demonstrates, Obama is hell-bent on making us a 2nd-rate nation.

God help this nation if he gets another term.

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Impressive, most impressive, 4 May 2012

I was waiting for this film and was not disappointed. My 10 rating does not place it in the same class as "The Godfather", "Citizen Kane" et al. This is the "Citizen Kane" of superhero movies.

When I was a kid, my friend and I used to argue about which was better: Marvel or D.C. I used to complain that the Avengers fought amongst each other too much, instead of the "Justice League of America" who fought their foes more harmoniously. I think the former is probably more realistic, since all these egos on one team cannot work in complete harmony. There is a good scene where they are all bickering and challenging each other.

This film is not only action-packed, but there are some very funny scenes--more funny than any of today's supposed "comedies". The Hulk has many comic moments which is ironic since the two "Hulk" films were somewhat disappointing.

Robert Downey Jr. also has many good lines, better than in "Iron Man 2".

This is a wonderfully entertaining film, which is a rarity these days. I highly recommend seeing this film. Also, while there are some violent scenes, it is more viewable for the kids than "The Dark Knight".

My friend was right all along, the Marvel characters are much more exciting as a team than their D.C. counterparts, although I would love to see a live-action "Justice League of America".

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