Reviews written by registered user
george.schmidt

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2756 reviews in total 
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Stone and Carell shine, 15 October 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BATTLE OF THE SEXES (2017) *** Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Pill Bullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Jessica McNamee. Stone and Carell shine as 1970s tennis aces Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs who took on the world of tennis (and the world at large) in an iconic tennis match with the closeted lesbian fighting for women's rights and the comical male chauvinistic pig attempting a comeback after a series of setbacks. Filmmaking couple Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris give a well-balanced effort in allowing their protagonists to be well-rounded largely thanks to a smart screenplay by Simon Beaufoy.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Chan and Brosanan excel, 15 October 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE FOREIGNER (2017) *** Jackie Chan, Pierce Brosnan, Charlie Muphy, Orla Brady, Lia Williams, Michael McElhatton, Katie Leung, David Pearse, Rufus Jones, Mark Tandy, John Cronin, Caolan Byrne, Aaron Monaghan, Niall McNamee, Tao Liu, Dermot Crowley, Ray Fearon. Chan excels in providing some gravitas and solemnity as a former special ops soldier whose last remaining living daughter is killed in a terrorist bombing who finds himself seeking justice but instead bargains for vengeance when he is constantly stonewalled by an Irish government agent with IRA ties from his own past (Brosnan equally gritty and glowering). Veteran action director Martin Campbell keeps things at a lively clip with a well-done screenplay adaptation by David Marconi based on Stephen Leather's novel "The Chinaman".

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Cruise control vehicle full throttle, 15 October 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

American MADE (2017) *** Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Lola Kirke, Jayma Mays. Cruise control vehicle full throttle as Barry Seal, a pilot who goes from TWA to the CIA as a spy involving drug and ammo running to South America and Latin America which ultimately became the Iran/Contra scandal of the early '80s has a Scorsese-light take a la "Casino" or "Goodfellas" with a wide-scope and incidental characters (more marginalized here) with this mix of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction biopic. Director Doug Liman does his best and a well-conceived screenplay by Gary Spinelli crafts an anti-hero that is truly unsympathetic yet keeps you riveted to the chances he takes.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
"Groundhog Day" meets "Scream", 15 October 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017) *** Jessica Rothe, Isareal Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello, Rachel Matthews, Phi Vu, Cariella Smith, Caleb Spillyards. "Groundhog Day" meets "Scream" easily could have been the pitch for this better-than-anticipated slasher flick with college co-ed Rothe (remarkably resourceful and a fresh presence welcomed) who finds herself re-living her birthday in which a masked man kills her with the only way to break the loop of time repeating is to solve her own murder in the process. Fun, funny and even thrilling thanks to a game screenplay by Scott Lobdell and some inventive direction by Christopher Landon.

78/52 (2017)
Cuts like a knife - epic film about an iconic scene, 15 October 2017
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

78/52 (2017) **** In depth and informative doc on the making of the infamous/notorious shower sequence of Alfred Hitchcock's classic horror film "Psycho" (the title refers to the 78 camera set ups and 52 edit/cuts for the scene) and its forever influence on filmmaking and pop culture. Talking heads include filmmakers Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Mick Garris and actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Oz Perkins (her mom Janet Leigh and his dad Anthony were the stars of the film), Elijah Wood and composer Danny Elfman (who forever was in debt to the film's composer Bernard Herrmann's indelible and iconic shrieking score). For film hounds a valentine to an epic film and to the newbies and scholars quintessential viewing of how to create a true cinematic moment forever. (Dir: Alexandre O. Philippe)

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly dull survival story, 7 October 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

THE MOUNTAIN BETWEEN US (2017) ** Idris Elba, Kate Winslet, Beau Bridges, Dermot Mulroney. Surprisingly dull survival story about two strangers forced to take a shuttle air flight and wind up crashing into the snowy environs of a mountainous no man's land with the insurmountable odds against them. What transpires instead of a courageous and well-developed relationship scenario is instead a disappointing and pedestrian paint-by-numbers pallid retread of an unlikely duo facing a nightmare with barely a hint of chemistry between the two extraordinary actors or the least amount of tension mustered no thanks to a lackluster script by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe - based on a Charles Martin novel - and the hamstrung direction by Hany Abu-Assad seems as out of his element as his characters.

2 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Come for the meta existential crises; stay for the holographic giantesses! One of the year's best films., 7 October 2017
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BLADE RUNNER 2049 (2017) **** Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, And a de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Syliva Hoeks, Hiam Abbass, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, Dave Bautista, Edward James Olmos, Sean Young, Barkhad Abdi, Wood Harris, David Dastmalchian. Superior and epic sequel to the sci-fi noir classic Blade Runner set 30 years after the original with rookie future cop Gosling (well-played in stoic low-key turn) who is tasked to find the hybrid offspring of a replicant and a human in the fear of a new spawn of mankind being overtaken in the process in the ever-raining post-apocalyptic dystopia of Los Angeles and discovering that things are not as they appear to be. Ford reprises his ever-disgruntled Rick Deckard providing some insight to the journey into fear with a still-waters-run-deep performance of genuine pathos and poignancy. A superlative screenplay by Michael Green and original scribe Hampton Fancher interweave a tapestry of genuine dread and ultimate redemption while gleaning touchstones from the source of Ridley Scott's (who executive produced) masterpiece and a largely female ensemble cast to keep things lively including avatar Joie (ethereal de Armas); linchpin memory scientist Juri and icily scary android with a touch of homicidal loyalty Hoeks. Director Denis Villeneuve's Herculean task to appease the purists and evoke a new audience dovetails splendidly with some truly stunning visuals (a must to see in IMAX), a Vengelisean score by veteran composer/genius Hans Zimmer and Banjamin Wallfisch and gorgeous cinematography by ace dp Roger Deakins. Come for the meta existential crises; stay for the holographic giantesses! One of the year's best films.

21st Century take on CARRIE?, 1 October 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FRIEND REQUEST (2017) ** Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham, Sean Marquette, Liesl Ahlers. 21st Century take on CARRIE? Super popular Debnam-Carey finds herself in more than she bargained for when she accepts a Facebook friend request from new college student Ahlers whose stalker-like behavior spooks her to the point of the aftermath of her suicide has her demonic spirit hell-bent on offing all her real-life buddies in the process. Rookie filmmaker Simon Verhoeven manages to elicit enough creeps in the otherwise better-than-anticipated-supernatural thriller and his script collaborated with Philip Koch and Matthew Ballen has more than a passing resemblance to the FINAL DESTINATION franchise (hey if you're gonna steal, steal from the best)

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Stiller excels in a return-to-form role tailor made for his mid-life crises cottage industry of neurotic Everymen., 1 October 2017
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

BRAD'S STATUS (2017) *** 1/2 Ben Stiller, Austin Abrams, Jenna Fischer, Michael Sheen, Jemaine Clement, Luke Wilson, Shazi Raja, Luisa Lee, Mike White. Stiller excels in a return-to-form role tailor made for his mid-life crises cottage industry of neurotic Everymen. As a non-profit organization runner facing the mid-way point of his life he chaperones his son to a college tour and reflecting on his friends' seeming successes and wonderful lives while he continues to be mediocre and simmering in his own juices of jaundice and anomie. Filmmaker Mike White (who plays one of Stiller's buds) shrewdly allows his main character to see the light (i.e. you don't have it that bad, dude!) while allowing life's injustices (being dissed for a restaurant table spot) to underscore just how lame life can be if you allow the small things to fester.

Flatliners (2017)
1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Hit the snooze button., 1 October 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

FLATLINERS (2017) ** Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Kiefer Sutherland. Yet another remake no one was clamoring for - to wit - this witless and wan re-boot of the 1990's sci-fi thriller (which was lackluster to begin with) has another quintet of medical students attempting to discover the boundless answers in near-death experiences with little or no consequence. While the state of the art technology is nothing but eye-candy the insipid screenplay by Peter Filardi (um, why the hell bring back Sutherland's character from the original and give him Nothing To Do?!?) and listless direction by Niels Arden Oplev will have you in REM mode (if not for the vapid 'actors' outside of Page and Luna to the mix). Hit the snooze button.


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