Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Dark Horse (2015)
A Decent Horse Documentary
With a great sound track, this documentary style drama about a Welsh horse bred by commoners doesn't quite have then flash and sizzle of a Secretariat (2010) feature length drama. The documentary style format using extensive personal interviews while insightful and sometimes quite humorous seemed to slow the pacing of the movie at times. The movie succeeds mostly because of the story which had an unnecessary voice-over at the beginning which almost gave away the ending. The movie picks up about two-thirds through the movie offering a fascinating personal experience of anticipation and dread. There was some effort to offer some insight into the high and low class of society, but it didn't have the classic feel of snobbery and reaction from the upper class. And some of the footage used in the movie also seemed choppy at times and edited too much when the races were going on or there were a lot of skipping over such exciting outcomes.
The Giver (2014)
A Solid Sci Fi Young Adult Movie
The Giver offers up a simple but focused and thrilling sci fi experience including two A-Listed Actors: Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. The script appears to take elements from the vicarious you are there experience of Natalie Wood's Brainstorm (1983) sci fi thriller, the black and white motif of the fantasy comedy of Jeff Daniel's Pleasantville (1998), and the out of place youth in the more recent sci fi move of George Clooney's Tomorrowland (2015). The Giver also include concepts from Charlize Theron's sci fi thriller Aeon Flux (2005) of seemingly contented world with a dark underbelly or the different boy in a seemingly rational futuristic world in Harrison Ford's sci fi action adventure Ender's Game (2013).
What's unusual about The Giver is that the plot is concentrated on a boy who is offered to become a special person in a world where nobody is supposed to special. The really doesn't depend overly on exciting action so much as the more fascinating mental challenge of opposing cultural norms and experiencing an entirely different worldview. The movie's theme is consistently on display and the emotional ties in this more of less uplifting movie is pleasant and thrilling on the senses. An enjoyable, worthwhile movie about the willingness to go beyond and believe in something more.
Brilliant Psychological Thriller
Adam Alecca, writer and first time director, has put together a brilliant psychological thriller of difficult proportions. Using mostly a house for the primary set, Carter, a former military sergeant, played by Thomas Jane and Bird, a girl who witnesses an assassination, played by Ella Ballentine must try to stave off a murderous assassin played by Laurence Fishburne. The director sustains the psychological tension and edge throughout the movie using the most difficult of movie techniques in a psychological thriller dialogue instead of primary action scenes. There is something both compelling in the movie's simplicity and avoidance of the typical special effects, stunt work, and unbelievable action sequences. Instead the audience is riveted more by the unknown outcome, the various sarcastic witticisms, the manly game playing, and the emotive humanity that is on display during this movie. Even the ending has a human temperament surprising in the typical kill and burn action movie.
Standoff resonates with echoes even more so than Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart in Panic Room (2002). It is also suggestive of an intense thriller version of Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay of Room (2015) and rivals John Cusack and Malin Ackerman in The Numbers Station (2013) and its creepiness or the classic psychological thriller of Audrey Hepburn in Wait Until Dark (1967).
A Bold Attempt To Go Beyond
The particular difficulty of time travel movies is how such movies address the time travel paradox. Oftentimes, the paradox is either just brushed over so the action part of the movie can be on full display like The Terminator (1984) or Timeline (2003) or there is a simple effort to explain it away or to simply demonstrate its odd effects like in Time Cop (1994) or The Philadelphia Experiment (1984).
What Synchronicity brings to the big screen is a brilliant use of quality looking visual set design and a sound track that readily borrows from Ridley Scott's Blade Runner (1982). In addition the script has attempted to delve more deeply into the twisting confusing nature of time displacement and eerie time contradictions resulting of moving back in time than movie time travel movies even more so than the elegantly presented The Thirteenth Floor (1999). The Thirteenth Floor had a more focused and coherent script outline of distinctive time periods thus less challenging than more confusing, shorter contemporary loopy time jumps like found in Synchronicity.
The weak part of the movie that likely prevented this movie from becoming a classic is the like of chemistry between the two leads and the various endings which seemed to come off a little too confusing. But overall this sci fi thriller results in a bold effort to delve into the possible convolutions of time travel with amazing low-budget sights and sounds along with an interesting and possibly haunting ending.
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
A Raw and Stark Look At War
Before Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and its vicarious and explosive war during World War II opening, there was Full Metal Jacket that revealed a glaring look into boot camp and the prolonged isolating and deadly experience of patrol in Vietnam. Stanley Kubrick brings his classic stark look to the war film genre not with action but with storyline and the use of real time to expose the audience to a vicarious experience of war through the eyes of Marines. At times documentary in feel and at other times an artistic expose into the harsh realities of basic training and the frailty of life in real field of battle. As opposed to Saving Private Ryan's big canvass, Kubrick focuses on the more narrow but intimate smaller scope of the personal experience of small battles that are likely to have been more prominent in every soldier's experience.
Full Metal Jacket ranks among the war classics of Platoon (1986), more authentic than Apocalypse Now (1979), less use of exciting action and less personalized presentation of Black Hawk Down (2001), less political satire of that Kubrick directed in his own Dr. Strangelove (1964), Full Metal Jacket introduces a more raw and realistic look at war that an earlier film Sidney Lumet's Fail-Safe (1964) or the later films such as We Were Soldiers (2002) or Jarhead (2005).
A Visual Feast that Carries On The Wonderful Alice
The visual delight of sharp colors bombards the eyes with amazing, creative, feast for hungry film goers. This palette of rainbows and geometric magical forest of sites brings Alice-like wonder to the optic nerves. This sequel bursts with vibrant life developing its primary characters further in a strong female led role. This fantasy come to life offers a script filled with a meandering thread of life and death, of space and time, and weaves it magic in tender and sometimes action-filled circles. Predictable for the most part with a not completely developed tie up between sisters, this film is entertaining to the visual senses and a matured bed-time story for the imagination. The close-ups of Johnny Depp's character are sometimes the highlight of the movie.
A Techno-Sci Fi A.I. Success
Johnny Depp stars in a techno, psychological, sci fi thriller that eschews the loud big blockbuster action summer movie phenomenon. Instead Depp finds himself in a more subdued cerebral movie that envelopes its audience through the pure terror of the tantalizing possibility of its actually coming true. Conceptually the idea of "transcendence" is ominously feasible and just as John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) which raised the possibility of anything living, even your best friend or lover, could be a monster, Transcendences reverberates with the innate psychological fear that one day artificial intelligence might easily come to fundamentally change the very fabric of our existence.
Transcendence is among a number of contemporary artificial intelligence movies that have begun to dissolve the barrier between humans and computers. Instead of the earlier safe and clear boundaries between human minds and computer intelligence of such movies as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Westworld (1973), Wargames (1983), Cherry 2000 (1987), or Stepford Wives (2004), Transcendence and other contemporary movies have proposed a different fusion of sorts. This morally ambiguous transformation looms large in Transcendence and Is well exploited in a way that the classic Bladerunner (1982), Robocop (1987), or Bicentennial Man (1999) only suggest.
This movie captivates and haunts the audience by involving the audience in a looming hypothetical proposition that directly threatens each one of us individually instead of keeping its distance in such movies as Soldier (1998), Splice (2009) or Ex-Machina (2015). In the vein of The Machine (2013) and Lucy (2014), in Transcendence, the audience is bombarded with an array of technology that could result in a paradigm shift in what it means to be human and the movie succeeds in maintaining the ambiguous balance of ethical uncertainty until the very end. Transcendence succeeds to raising important questions about science and humanity in a very intimate and meaningful way and raises the bar on the psycho, sci-fi thriller genre much like Interstellar (2014) and winner of the best Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror films award did for space exploration and the future of
An Amazing Breakthrough In Television Series History
This international television series collaboration between China, South Korea, and the USA is an unique formula for peace in the world and drama/comedy entertainment of a new kind. This fantasy light drama has all the trappings of an American Soap Opera and the sparkling cultural fusion of Asian-American trappings that make this mini-television series a brilliant extended piece of fun, consternation, and fairy-tale that is delightful. Shot in short 15 minute episode segments, the total two and a half hour story arch brings story characters to life as Liv Hewson finds herself literally in another world.
Delirious (1991), Soap Dish (1991), Last Action Hero (1993), and Nurse Betty, offer some resemblance to a fictional world, but Dramaworld creates an almost magical alternative universe that might be more attuned to a more fantastical Cinderella version of the sci fi television series Fringe (2008-2013). This enjoyable fantasy series has all the promise of a huge hit internationally.
Big Budget Action, Adventure Blockbuster
Weathering the release of Deep Impact two months earlier, Armageddon relies on its bigger budget, bigger explosions, and bigger intense build-up of non-stop crises, and larger than life predictable entertainment to overcome a slow start to outperform Deep Impact. This big action adventure relies on a scripted pattern of hanging by your seat mini-episodes loaded with exaggerated humor, superhero outcomes, and light-hearted banter, especially from wacked out Steve Buscemi. This action fantasy is almost pure entertainment with the requisite love interest, the human sacrifices, and the frantic mission controller. This movie pushes all the audience buttons, moves at a whithering fast pace, and glorifies the Russian stereotypes to an almost embarrassing degree.
Deep Impact (1998)
The High Minded End of the World Movie
Deep Impact premiered two months before the summer end of the world blockbuster Armageddon (1998) that was released for Independence Day holiday. Even though Deep Impact had a bigger opening weekend, Armageddon started slower but then caught fire. What Deep Impact presented to the audience as a more family oriented, high-minded action adventure focused not so much on the special effects but on the smaller but intimate stories and Morgan Freeman's riveting performance as the President of the United States. For those people interested in the more somber and realistic presentation of catastrophe, Deep Impact has the dialogue and a few gigantic big moments whereas Armageddon relies heavily on repeated instances of high adventure drama like a roller coaster almost out of control.