Reviews written by registered user

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87 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Life of Muhammad (2011) now available at shop PBS dot-org (both DVD and blu-ray), 23 August 2013

Our regional PBS station used a single night to show the entire 180-minute run of "The Life of Muhammad" (2011). The experts have a cumulative effect of being a bit uncertain of what can and can't be known about that era of history. I found the use of black and white photography to be a bit confusing however. There are NO ancient pictures of the Kaaba and to have such "stock footage" inserted would be confusing for the viewers who should be watching this PBS - BBC Production with those who have some perspective on what is knowable and to be agreed upon as far as figures of civilization and world culture.

I do rate the 3-part series (PBS and BBC) to be a 9 * rating.

Unforgiven (1992)
Is this a story about Avenging a Wrong or about Murder as an Addictive Behavior?, 27 July 2013

I agree that this is a great Western movie of the 20th Century -- it is certainly not typical with the reason for the Action and Conflict being the aggrieved women themselves. The cast of characters as developed by David Webb Peoples and director/producer Clint Eastwood are a sordid bunch. We see the earthy and grim parts of a lot of the "Wild West" and learn that Gun Control is not just a measure of the contemporary U.S. political groupings. I don't quite think that the main character is an anti-hero but he does seem a bit like a reformed addict pushed to the breaking point. It is not for the young and over-sensitive. UNFORGIVEN (1992) is a good example of a two-hour feature that doesn't need the big tech-effects to keep us thrilled and on the edges of our seats. It does reflect a kind of critique of gun violence while showing that guns can provide a kind of means of revenge where the "bad" people get their comeuppance. I rate it an "8" *

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
This movie presupposes too much back-story, 25 June 2013

I agree with the positive reviewers that this is a very good film but what keeps it from the 10-star "Excellent" rating for me is that it requires that those viewing it are already in on the format and back story. The originator of the graphic novel may be the one who needs to provide a little more of his original conception in some sort of DVD featurette. Also, the version of the DVD I watched lacked a Director - Producer Commentary track. It is also a bit distracting how Evey seems to be the same age entirely throughout. Did some time elapse or not? I do rate this film-project a 9 -- it is well worth viewing and thinking about!

7 out of 22 people found the following review useful:
Unlikely point-counterpoint, 15 February 2013

The show "Zero Hour" (2012) from ABC offers its pilot - premiere episode viewers a kind of Flash Back to Nazi Germany and Flash Return to post 2001 U.S.A. where the "fate of the world" hangs in the balance. It was quite ironic that during the early Feburary 2013 week of media hype over a Bavarian Pope (Benedict XVI also Joseph Ratzinger) and his early resignation from a "life" appointment to the Chair of the Roman Catholic highest priestly office that this ABC Fantasy - Thriller also focuses on Germany and its 75 year ago crises and power struggles with the "Free World." The inhabitants in the Nazi universe of 75 years ago all speak flawless English and those who have survived to the year 2013 -- are quite aware of what is the Treasure and "Holy Grail" of the week that will determine the fate of the future. The appeal of this show is to fans of the TV series "Lost" as well as the Movie franchise "The da Vinci Code" and "Angels and Demons" -- I will watch through the first weeks of set-up but was a bit wary when I sort of wondered if a sniper was to have been part of the plot line and was relieved that it was instead just a surveillance camera on the Ransom Drop for the Kidnapped Wife of the primary Lead Character. Give this eclectic series a chance but we must insist that the inherent problems (are there really "12" corners of the world?) be at least given some sort of internal logic due to a viable Sci-Fi mechanism. My Rating is just an "8" for this pilot - series kick-off 43 minute episode.

Quarantine (2008)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
In contrast to recent Times Square Car Bomb plot (May 2010) - this movie is paltry faked fright scene, 5 May 2010

The Movie QUARANTINE has a gimmick -- that of a local news team going on a kind of "embed" (fully approved following around and miking the firemen/EMTs) for a rescue intervention to a multi-floor apartment that has a cross-section of the sick and dying and infected. Once the people who have been given a case of the "rage" (see the much better 28_DAYS_LATER) emerge from the shadows and begin to attack/bite and kill the hapless victims in their paths, the film is on its quite predictable if horrifying path of gross-out effects that are not at all given any kind of framework for viewers to see and to care even a little bit. In this first week of May 2010, there was a much more gripping actual event that could have been an urban event of gigantic mayhem and destruction/killing. That car bomb that was luckily spotted and kept harmless however was still a chilling example of the kind of real-world scenario that makes us all glad of the first responders and the law enforcement who do have people's lives, liberties, and pursuit of happiness in mind.

Do not - repeat Don't - borrow this film nor buy it; spend your time with learning about Field Emergency First Aid and keeping one's neighbor safe from infection and the spread of real-world plagues like MRSA and other non-antibiotic-responding infections. It will be a greater use that may help/educate you with aiding your fellow human beings -- unlike this Zombie-exploitation "B" movie

15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A worthy effort to give "New Directions" to High School depiction (21st century), 20 May 2009

This is a cleverly written and well-cast show that seems to exist in a kind of "private school"/money-is-no-object kind of universe. The High Schoolers and the Faculty / Administration live in Midwestern USA but have a kind of search for meaning that takes a long, long time to realize. The high school seems to be underpopulated with hall monitors and deans/assistant principals who will enforce rules and nab the offenders who are hazing other students mercilessly. The pilot gave a kind of funny behind-the-scenes look into how teachers in the late 2000s remain under-paid and co-opted as far as how they do work to make the teens people who are seeking to succeed in "the real world". I really enjoyed the off-beat choices as far as the Glee Club / Swing Choir rock and R/B covered music. Kudos to writers and director!

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
NY Locations are conveying meaning as do the stellar acting ensemble, 9 February 2008

I saw this movie in its original theatrical run and am still impressed some 32 years later with the director's choices and the grit these consummate actors undertook and executed in such vivid manner. I was terrified with the scene I had forgotten when the "Babe" character is trying to fall asleep in the bathtub and it makes the sense of being cornered by the burglars so visceral. Kudos to the screenwriter and director who have made other classics! I hadn't put it together until watching the DVD featurette-movie's impact by its 25th anniversary that Dustin Hoffman was during the film so late in his 30s, age-wise. He is an American treasure and Laurence Olivier truly was an actor for the entire century! Watch this film for certain film locations and the New York City (places and people) of the mid-1970s will jump out at you as well. I know that other films have achieved some of the "tricks" of this movie better but I still rank it uttermost from the vivid ways it works on the audience member who is willing to suspend disbelief about the ways that regular people could combat evil personified.

Election (1999)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
How post-modern can you get?, 1 December 2007

I didn't care for this film at all but did laugh out loud at just a few moments of black humor and insightful satire on the American High School. The director/writer is a little too cynical and loves to rub it in to his audience that he is "smarter" than the average American. Post-modern devices like giving the transgressors the rewards while punishing some of the "bad guys" by chewing them up in a kind of museum of horrors is not what I choose to view in feature films. If I were you (IMDb comment browser) I'd rent RUSHMORE that is ten times funnier and realizes that adultery/sex with students is not up for joking around with ! Very odd choices for soundtrack and background music I must admit - - they actually advance the plot, such as it is.

7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Twenty year flash forward & backward problematical, 2 September 2007

I enjoyed this book by Stephen King and would have been pleased if it had never been made into a movie - - now that I have seen the Goldman (screenwriter) & Kasdan (director - co-writer) adaptation on DVD this Labor Day Weekend 2007 I'm quite sure that a major studio mega-budget can't fix what your imagination can. My advice is read the book and then pick a title that's not related to a prior media project (e.g. PAN'S_LABYRINTH of last year). The set-up for DREAMCATCHER (novel and movie) is classic Stephen King as far as defeating evil that has possessed and contaminated the community. The song that is vintage early Baby Boomer ("Blue Bayou" / Roy Orbison) that somehow is a "stuck in the mind" common denominator DOESN'T quite work as far as its origin and various covers fitting the 20 years prior to 2003 or whatever the year of the film's time setting. What goes extremely haywire in this action film replete with gross-out sh*t-weasels (King's way of scaring the readers way out of our comfort zones) is the not-very convincing military scenes that reminded me way, way too much of MEN_IN_BLACK as far as super-villain aliens who can be wiped out with only a barely detectable sense of "shoot first, ask questions later" and no unintended consequences to follow. The book is much more frightening as far as the way that Jonesy is held prisoner in his Warehouse of Memories and he figures out ways to entice Mr. Gray to overplay "his hand" and plan for world domination. The DVD extra of having Stephen King make a kind of cameo amongst the Special Feature choices was great for fans like me but I still have trouble rating this horror-action film more than a 7 in IMDb's rating system. I would rate it a R-16 and not just a PG-13 if I was running the MPAA system. Kids might inadvertently learn not to drive fast through snowy roads (even if you are seat-belted) as some of the characters learn, crashing with surprisingly minor injuries.

Disturbia (2007)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I would give this a PG-16 and the musical ONCE a PG-14, 25 August 2007

Although there is much to enjoy as far as shocking and jolting Narrative twists and turns that the director of DISTURBIA takes us on, it is ultimately a bit trivial in a bigger scheme of things. I understand that it was a project that got shelved and put into production after a long wait. The edginess of it all does OK with its updating of REAR WINDOW (the Hitchcock thriller about a crippled voyeuristic photographer in a stuffy NYC apartment.) DISTURBIA (2007) came out this spring around Easter/Spring Vacation in the close vicinity of a real-life drama that received publicity in the St. Louis area where a stalker-pedophile was trying to "warehouse" teenage boys and the seemingly "normal neighbor" was foiled in his last kidnap only by an observant fellow student on a school bus who reported to police the relevant clue about the make and color of car that was being driven to crate the victim to his "lair". There are comedic moments but also some gross-out ones that apparently enthralled a wide teen audience this spring ahead of the crowds awaiting SPIDER-MAN 3 in May. Due to the viciousness of certain actions of this film's villain I would rank it not as a PG limiting it to 13-year-olds but to 16-year-olds and older. That might also prove a bit of a severe lesson about driving while distracted by cell phone well above the speed limit. A much better film for those of the plus-14 age ranges is the UK musical-reality based feature film taking place in Dublin streets, a music store, a recording studio, and low-rent quarters titled ONCE (currently in theatres Summer 2007). After its R-rated language of the first moments, viewers must admire ONCE for its long-enduring and hummable soundtrack - display of musical virtuoso on the pop music end of things. I evaluate DISTURBIA at the level of 7 while I highly regard the suspense classic REAR WINDOW (1954) as a 10 here at Internet Movie Database.

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