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Minority Report (2015)
Too Cutey Phartsy
Phillip Dick liked the adaptation of Blade Runner (1982) because it depicted a dark apocalyptic universe, and Minority Report (2003) carried this through with world washed out (by an iodide film process used in other movies, like Pitch Black (2000))when futures were depicted.
There's s some of that here, but the world is far too bright to be meaningful. And the plots? How much "just in time" can we stand week after week, it will be the same old story unless they can figure some defining arc that gathers interest.
Otherwise, this series will last about three episodes before biting the dust. Which would be a shame.
How Come these movies don't get wider theatrical release?
I guess the demise of Saturday morning B fare from movie screens since the sixties, has done all of these films in. It's really a shame, this was a great flick.
I don't understand how a film can get a go ahead and not have predistribution rights all over it.
It just seems dumb unless it was destined from the start to hit the streamers and $5 video bin from get go.
I am just glad I caught it on NETFLIX.
That and Hulu seem to be the elephant graveyard.
It's like data mining for movies.
What were they thinking? I mean, everybody. SPOILERS!
The actor's portrayal is fairly decent, Lawrence brings it, though Brad just wings it, but this isn't the story you yell up to your 93 year old Mom "Say Mom!!do you remember Brad and Jenn from Silver Linings? WOW!! Let's go watch them again but THIS TIME--they rape the environment, abuse and kill workers, abuse and finally kill "each other", one by proxy via panther (Selena's animal counterpart), the other as a result of suicide --- It's a real laugh riot!!!". Nope. Wrong flick. Sorry Ma.
This is not a movie for the robots and graphic comic crowd, which is why the reviews, every one here so far, lean for the most part, towards literacy, whether intrigued or disappointed. But that doesn't mean the film couldn't have been written better for those with artistic sensibilities. And edited with something other than Serena's borrowed hatchet. If scenes were left on the cutting room floor because of airplane noise, there are sound editors that can fix a lot of that. Where the (*&)(& were they?
And as Lawrence reviewed and thought this film worth making, she was overtaken in her enthusiasm by rewrites leaving out some key points that should have overshadowed the lush photography, and treacly but sometimes fetching musical score she never got to hear till post production. She got ripped off by further and further rewrites that watered down the effects of her character's eventual madness.
Kyle's original treatment had Selena murdering Pemberton for daring to support his bastard child. And the original screenplay has Serena dying at 70 at the hand of Pemberton's bastard son--in the jungle--where she has lived alone for forty years, "imprisoned" as a voluntary exile, longing for the man she murdered.
If you were a film school instructor, and you brought this version of the film to show to class, the teach would say something positive like "I'm glad you tried this."
It reminds me of just the kind of films that got screenwriters blackballed for being Commies in the late forties and fifties, it's "anti-capitalism" in the forties and fifties tradition that anything against business labeled you red. And what is Pemberton's fatal flaw besides raping the environment?--he was balling his help and producing bastards kind of speaks for itself.
And Lawrence's post partum insanity, the frustration behind her failed expectations, IS motivation to turn into a nut-case, it is the SECOND TIME with the loss of her child, that she has lost relatives, first her siblings in a fire calling out for her help, then her child, whose fragility she didn't "listen" for. That is motivation for madness that many missed and the reason she "joins them" so graphically, finally, in the film's final moments. Now all you have to add is the discovery of Pemberton's support, all along, of his bastard kid, and the motivation for insane jealousy and retaliation is underscored.
The only thing missing was, if Serena was such a strong character, I would have preferred she chase down the mother of Pemberton's child and fight her with the same level of strength she showed doing "man's work" in the lumber camp. It's a cheap shot to send a henchman immediately, even though she tags along.
I'd rather a fight ensues in which Serena leaves Pemberton's mistress strangled, left for dead, only to revive. THEN Serena, discovering she's still alive, is now justified in sending a more skillful killer. As it is, it is Pemberton that wrings Serena's neck maddened by her attempt to annihilate his son and his former mistress.
Hey if doing rewrites, I have a right to give it a shot too.
So if the film is strictly 1940's noir, prepare yourself by reviewing films like "The Strange Loves of Martha Ivers" (1946) before you watch this film. It helps.
I'm surprised nobody thought to film this movie in black and white. It becomes a different movie. Not better, but more understandable in context. No wonder Lawrence is compared to Barbara Stanwyck, who died the year she was born. There's a plot for you, reincarnation. But Lawrence's A game is much higher imho. She's got an Oscar to prove it.
Some sex scenes with Lawrence in the classic black widow position came through loud and clear, but really with just a bit of imagination I actually know what sex looks like. In one of the scenes however, and I'll leave it to you to figure which one, if Pemberton is actually correctly "aligned", somebody is anatomically impossibly configured. i only mention it because, it takes you out of the movie. That's a no no. That's about as rated G as I can get on that one, 'nuff said.
BUT--can anyone tell me why the other 5 scenes propel the story, besides pillow talk without the talk? If you're saying the love changes when the sex stops, is that a necessary clue to the plot, given all the rest?
So. Do you think this movie is going to go on to make back its money on DVD and on demand sales? Possible, but unless you're a Lawrence fan trying to complete a collection, what part of "don't think so" is not understood, however worth one viewing.
And the film itself?
"I'm glad you tried this."
Mara + Audrey = Mudrey
The end of Mara? Mommie's wrong. More the combo of the two, with Audrey dominant. It's still Mud, hence, Mudrey.
And the lazy writing? Duke gets to make out with Mara so those who thought Duke should have as much chance as Nathan, are assuaged? Cheap shot.
And what is with the posting of new episodes with No 14 No 16 and No's 20-25 missing, with premature show dates for the rest? I don't think we'll see another episode until Sept 2015, like always. This scheduling nutsiness continues from Hulu to IMDb.
It's getting weirder, than the plots, and the weird plots, that's a good thing.
The Hideous Sun Demon (1959)
Everybody Misses the Alcohol Morality Issue
Besides a shoe string budget, there are the terrific performances of amateurs, the blending of studio stock music, the numerous setups and excellent use of close ups and dolly shots--this is a morality play of what can happen when you do dangerous work crippled by a hangover--and we see the doc doesn't mind a drink now and then. The reptilian brain connection is not worked into the exposition effectively enough, you get the impression that the characters are more worried about appearance, and viewers don't get it that the reptilian brain is survival oriented, in a maniacal way.
Also the man into lizard issue was neatly grafted into folklore by the Alligator people, a 1959 follow up to this movie, which was originally made in 1958, and MARVEL's own universe Dr. Kurt Conners, aka the LIZARD. Clarke shoulda sued, but he was too nice a guy even to mention it.
Great grade Z flick, worthy of a re-look, especially the remastered version on youtube.
Blue Bloods (2010)
Mindless, 70's era pap
I don't care about the characters. I don't believe the family setting. The plots are banal and have all been done before. The only suspense around finding the perpetrator is about two minutes before the reveal. The series makes Colombo in the 1960's look like Shakespeare. The acting is wooden and insincere but only a shade less than that presented in Plan 9 From Outer Space (1956) with Bela Lugosi and a similar cast of unknowns, or should be unknowns. The family values appear to be cobbled together from the ABC/NBC/CBS history of '50's families as portrayed by the Cleaver family from "Leave It To Beaver". The last time the show played anything for a laugh was the last time I thought of the writers of this series hysterically getting drunk and making fun of anyone would watch it, let alone support by viewership five seasons to date of this mindless drivel.
The theme music is a cliché outclassed by background music from Dick Tracey (1951), one of the first TV detective shows made with a shoestring budget.
I can see the other people on this show grateful for the work, but what is Selleck doing in this mess? I'd trade the entire five seasons for a couple of Jesse Stone's, and the ones he wrote weren't that splorific either, except they had plot substance, and genuine interest.
But I'm prejudiced. You know, I'm rather fond of you Jessie.
Ending on a high note: clown face and potatoes
The show started as post Apocalypse and reminded me of fiction built around that series of specials, what would happen if man ended his reign on earth, and the world deteriorated decade by decade. Instead of more intrigue around that dissolution, it ends on boring political wars with artificial intelligence thrown in, but not a zombie in sight, the original premise of no electricity, as gone as Laura's real killer mid season Twin Peaks, same problem, same lame meaningless drift, almost twenty five years ago.
And we're left with the "cliffhanger" -- stuck in Idaho with a clown faced neon sign and a bunch of robotic people roaming around. NEVER have I felt more disinterested in how this all works out.
The actors and cinematography was without peer, music great, original premise intriguing, and the writers just ran out of ideas and it was painful to watch episode by episode.
Maybe NFLX or scy fy channel might be interested in resurrecting this mess, but my first recommendation would be, get some new writers and a real plot line that involves some more science fiction. This started fairly well and ended up lamer than four day old sushi.
24: Live Another Day (2014)
Jack's "Break" for 4 Years Ends With Another Cruddy Day
we get to enjoy, though I must say, I could not watch the original series for a decade, and wound up binge streaming it from NFLX about a year ago, 2013.
Even though I have some familiarity with young members of various real US agencies, even though I know the active services from Homeland to DoD are filled with competent young people, I never quite worked myself into that universe in this series--To me, Jack had to be older, grislier, seen too much, too over the top and over the hill, to be credible back in the day, and the first season has Jack showing up bleach blond like a surfer dude--it just turned me off.
But I find myself with time on my hands, and watched the entire series in about a week. To my prejudicial mind, Jack started to "look the part" about season V, and sure enough, folks seem to think that was a series high point.
I tell you what, I saw the first three episodes of Day 9, I got to tell you, the vista is grander, the international setting is a great expansion of this universe on a global scale, and the shows seem even more like mini movies. I don't think we need a movie here, I think we're going to get about a 12 hour movie anyway. And again, Jack's got all the lines and wrinkles I think he needs to be credible in my incredibly limited view.
I am glad they got a lot of the old crew back, but I am mostly glad Jack seems more fitting to his demeanor and this universe at 48 than 35 for this role. It just makes the whole thing more credible to me. I hope the series is renewed. And if the network can't handle it, I hope it transitions to cable or becomes a NFLX series.
In any event, I think Sutherland can wind up with another seven seasons, and I can get my age prejudice settled as a matter of time.
After all, there are millions of people's "lives" out there with a stake in its success, and it would be nice if Jack got the girl this time, without her being shot up right after they hook up.
That's a rough date I wouldn't wish on anyone, bleach blond or grizzled vet.
Dammit Jack! GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
See why they didn't give critics are preview?
Burt Lancaster was fearless breaking the mold on characterization every movie. He never talked box office, only if the plot was interesting. He was dark and gritty, swashbuckled and acrobatic, self absorbed and moody, lost in suburbia, blah blah blah.
Arnold's been a one note samba forever. The world nearly exploded when he tried successfully, comedy. This guy isn't Bogart or Lancaster, he's self taught and limited and every foray into something a bit different seems like the invasion of Normandy.
So. Even a sidebar into tough and gritty from superhero and muscle bound cartoon character is fraught with peril, especially now that he is 68 years old. So they released the movie without fanfare and a chance for vulture critics to mangle what might be an decent flick, without prejudice.
It's not a disappointment, and I agree, too many F bombs just takes you out of the action, but all in all, fairly courageous and well executed, even if the climax has you wondering, can Arnold at 68 still pull off lone wolf "gets the bad guy" endings all by himself?
I'm reminded of a gentlemanly C I got on a paper I wrote for Freshman English back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. The professor wrote "I am glad you tried this."
Arnold, I am glad you tried this.
"Frozen" Left Me, uh, Cold
This is a seven minute cartoon stretched into a full length movie, mindless pap. About the only revelation worth mentioning, Kristen Bell, can sing and the Disney studios can make a lush looking cartoon. Any parent with a kid under 8 will understandably be grateful for a full length babysitter that isn't some slasher flick, but I had the misfortune to go with three other adults thinking, there may be some tunes worth humming, and it would be nice to see what the Disney studio can do with plot and music. We found ourselves stabbing ourselves in the thigh trying to stay awake and commenting, white noise would have a better plot.
Every song is overplayed Broadway pap. This thing was built to bring to the stage to showcase the music, which is cloying and pretentious. The moral of the story, accept who you are for what you are, is a sledgehammer looking for a brain to bludgeon.
There are ways to appeal to everyone in a cartoon world, but not everything is as intelligent, or as ancient, as Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Which brings me to Sherman and Peabody, which has me foreboding and in trepidation,--but that, as they say, is another story.