Reviews written by registered user

8 reviews in total 
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Moving film about love and forgiveness, 25 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can't believe I didn't see this sooner. The only thing I could remember about Monster's Ball was the fact that Billy Bob Thornton was married to Angelina Jolie at the time and they were constantly in the tabloids. When it came on TV the other day, I was moved by the quality acting and story telling.

The movie is about a corrections officer named Hank who comes from a long line of hate- his father is a racist, who constantly tells him "your just like me." This passes down to his son, who is subtlety abused. When Hank's son commits suicide shortly after a faulty execution, he begins to feel more empathy for people. Particularly an African American waitress named Leticia whose son is unexpectedly hit by a car one night. The two become fast friends and lovers, and try to heal each other's wounds through kindness- Leticia sells her wedding band to buy Hank an expensive hat. Hank gives Leticia his son's old car to now drive safely to work.

The movie in a way is about love and forgiveness overcoming hate. Even when it's deeply embedded. Hank's father makes little jabs at him throughout the movie, no matter the situation. This leads Hank to becoming bitter and unfeeling. Billy Bob did a great job in this role. His transition from hate to love for Leticia comes across so genuine, and like someone who needs to atone for past mistakes. Similarly, Halle Berry owned the role of Leticia. She perfectly embodied someone struggling to stay strong and afloat. I didn't feel like I was watching two actors, but actual people struggling in terrible circumstances and finding strength within each other.

For anyone who missed out on Monster's Ball the first time, I highly recommend checking it out now. I found it to be a great movie with a beautiful message of forgiveness. Never to late for that.

Brilliant twist on the afterlife, 21 January 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Good Place is about a woman sent to a religious-neutral version of heaven after a number good deeds on Earth. Twist is she's actually a fraud- a bad person sent to the good place by mistake. A great idea brilliantly brought to life by Bell, Danson and a perfect ensemble cast.

Bell plays Eleanor, someone who watches wedding disasters, bullies people at supermarkets and ostracizes everyone she meets. Her accidental soulmate (Harper) discovers she's a fraud and tries to save her from the theoretical "bad place." They form a sort of friendship as they face challenges in morality and ethics. The Good Place does a great job at balancing the humor with actual theological discussions. It took me a few episodes to get fully invested (it's quirky at first) but I love the show, and was blown away by the big reveal. The show is written very thoughtfully and explores human error, selfishness and the ability to improve yourself. I highly recommend.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable but go in open-minded, 28 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I started watching Gilmore Girls as a kid. I remember my mom bought the box set on DVD and we watched the first season together... 21 episodes later, we were hooked! Needless to say we were both super excited to revisit our favorite fictional town in Connecticut. And man, does it look good- like something out of a fever dream. In one scene, everything is coated in twinkle lights. Time has been good to Stars Hollow.

About 98 percent of the cast returns or cameos, besides Edward Hermann who is sincerely honored and missed. When the girls return, we see them dealing heavily with the loss of the family patriarch. Throughout the four-part miniseries, Emily learns what it means to be alone for the first time in fifty years. Her journey takes her from former corporate wife to someone independent and perhaps for the first time, serene. Lorelei finds herself quickly drawing parallels to her parent's life. After a disastrous first marriage to Christopher, she decides not to discuss the topic with Luke. What ensues is Lorelei heading out on a story arc of self discovery. As she puts it, she starts feeling her "mortality" and can't decide what's next.

Rory's story is possibly the most controversial. Interestingly enough, she's now the same age as Lorelei in the pilot. Except jobless, traveling back and forth from Stars Hollow, and trying to reignite her writing career. After a few quick blips of success, her field evaporated. Writing jobs became harder to find, and we start to see Rory become very disillusioned. Going to job interviews unprepared and finding herself running to Logan for validation. Some fans say this isn't Rory, but Amy's way of course correcting the show. I disagree, and think this perfectly illustrates some of Rory's less flattering, but always present flaws. She's always been a perfectionist and when her goals aren't met, flounders a little. She's a people pleaser and clearly these aspects of her character haven't changed, and lead her down a very different path.

Amy doesn't leave out the guys too. Dean, Jess, Logan and even Digger make an appearance. She writes Logan as Christopher 2.0, had everything worked out. It's assumed either California never happened, or his father intervened. Either way, it's clear the Huntzbergers are still pulling the strings. He spends the majority of the revival in complete autopilot, balancing Rory with his new life and obligations. Jess is perhaps the only person besides Lorelei to inspire real growth. Just like Logan, he's meant to be a rough parallel of Luke- steady, caring, but still the same snarky character. His story is both fulfilling and heartbreaking. Just as Lorelei ran to Luke seeking guidance, we see Rory do the same with Jess. And just as Luke pined for many years, we unfortunately see this too.

The show is not perfect. It isn't as well paced in its new, longer format. Some scenes drag, while others feel sporadic. There's a musical in one episode that goes on way too long and feels like a wasted opportunity to spend time on character development. However, the show is still enjoyable and at its core, pure Gilmore. I can't dispute the fact that I was surprised and disappointed by the finale, but I respect Amy's vision. This has been her plan from the beginning and I was thrilled to share in the experience. And who knows, maybe more episodes are currently in the works. Or at least in negotiations.

12 out of 38 people found the following review useful:
Decent enough, 17 July 2016

I honestly don't get the hate. I understand that some may feel nostalgia for the 1984 original, but I was shocked when I read early reviews claiming Ghostbusters to be horrible... Why? Even the original cast gave it their blessing, with a smattering of fun cameos. And their support was well deserved, IMO- there's really nothing about this movie that tarnishes or hurts the original. It's an entirely new interpretation with a new cast, new personalities and quirks.

This is also very much a Paul Feig film. If you've been a fan of his previous work, you'll enjoy this one too. The only difference in this movie verses his others is it's rating. Ghostbusters is more family friendly, meaning the dialogue has been toned down. But my audience enjoyed it quite a bit. My theater was over half full, and a large majority laughed the entire time. Nobody stormed out, like I was expecting from the "horrible" reviews trashing the film. It was a pretty decent movie that's there to (at times) make you laugh, make you scared and occasionally wink at the 1984 classic.

67 out of 117 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful visuals & CGI bring legend to life, 30 June 2016

I wasn't sure what to expect with Tarzan. I thought it might be cheesy or the special effects would look ridiculous, but surprisingly a majority of the time, it looked really good! Do you have to suspend disbelief sometimes? Absolutely. But it's a story about a man who controls jungle animals and swings from vines, so its going to look unbelievable at points. However, I found a good chunk (about 85% IMO) relied on realistic scenery, makeup and special effects. I mean... they're not going to use real gorillas or lions with the actors, but the CGI ones looked really good and will have you mesmerized by the detail. Personally found the movie very enjoyable, action packed and beautiful to watch. The director and actors did a phenomenal job. I found myself glued to the screen for a majority of the film.

"The Soup" (2004)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Lighthearted look at TV, 7 January 2016

The Soup picks clips from popular TV shows and pokes fun at their absurdity. Mostly from reality shows that are already so absurd, I'm thankful for shows like The Soup to sit through them for me and pick out the best parts. Joel is seriously perfect for this- his dry humor and lighthearted distaste for snobby reality kids, home shopping disasters and poorly written dramas is so spot on. He makes fun of them, but doesn't neglect to add in some self-deprecating humor. So much so, that many of the people he lambasted the week before show up to get in on the joke. Great show and will be missed- thank goodness for episodes on iTunes.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Very enjoyable- good stepping stone for sequels, 8 December 2012

Like many fans, I read the books first so I was prepared to be a harsh critic. However, even before stepping foot into a movie theater, I thought the casting was spot on. Jennifer Lawrence, a relative unknown outside Winters Bone, looks the part. She has an intensity and maturity about her that carries the character well and makes her struggles believable. Much praise is deserved to Gary Ross and Suzanne Collins for helping to cast an academy award winning actress, and not just a pretty face who can't act.

The movie is not without its faults. Some fans will be disappointed over cut scenes or weak CGI. Hopefully these kinks can be worked out in future DVD releases. However, a majority of the film is well written, well paced and a good stepping stone for sequels. Are there things I would change? Yeah, probably. But overall, this is an enjoyable film with an ace cast who are clearly enjoying themselves. Donald Sutherland for example has praised the film and been very active in promoting this story and the idea that people can make a difference, no matter there circumstance. The movie maybe listed as young adult due to the books, but sends a very inspiring, thought provoking message.

9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful cinematography only adds to the adaptation, 18 March 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I know when the announcement came that they were making an English version, groans began over the disregard for the Swedish originals. I can't say I blame them, how many times have I liked a series only to hear that they're completely rebooting the films. The cycle seems never-ending and it only gets worse when you see the remakes and they're just not as good, plain and simple. Thankfully with this new version, it isn't the case.

I've been a fan of David Fincher's since Fight Club but more recently with The Social Network. He just has this way of capturing moments that not only look beautiful, they feel really raw and emotional. This film is the perfect example of that as it follows Lisbeth Salander through her investigation of a multi- decade mystery. Not only is the film perfectly cast, with relative newcomer Rooney Mara, it's a pretty faithful adaptation to the literary version as well, with only a few minor changes and one major alteration fans may not expect.

Mara knocks it out of the park for me in this one. I know praise is deserved for original Noomi Rapace but I can't help feeling Mara really embodied Salander. Someone who wasn't a goth but a lost soul who can't connect to others. Daniel Craig plays off this perfectly as the charismatic reporter leading the aforementioned investigation. Unlike the Swedish version which stared Michael Nyqvist, I could really see Craig as the ladies man he often portrays on screen, but it's a hard contest for anyone, so no disrespect toward Nyqvist fans.

In short, the movie from start to finish is the perfect combination of great directing, story telling and acting. Is it hard to watch at times? Yes, but Fincher wouldn't be doing the book justice if he didn't include the good, bad and at times, the very ugly that made up the series. The story after all is in some ways more about Lisbeth's journey then the mystery itself. The journey from the powerless to the unknowingly powerful. My advice for any viewer would be to give the movie a chance, even if you're a devoted fan of the originals.

This one might just surprise you.