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29 reviews in total 
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Godzilla (2014)
5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Godzilla doesn't work....on any level., 23 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I just saw this movie with a friend. I wasn't expecting too much, since I rarely like CGI-extravaganza type films. Even having said that, I left this movie disappointed and angry. It was really bad, and if I was alone I would have walked out long before it was over.

I do not understand the art of cinema sufficiently to explain exactly why the movie was so bad. If I was tasked to make a "spectacle" film about two large monsters fighting, I don't think I could do any better. But then again I am not in the business...

To summarize, the film was a disjointed mess. Characters are introduced, then fade in and out of the action without any development or real purpose. I could point out dozens of plot holes and logic flaws in the way the film progressed, but that would be giving the movie too much credit. It would imply that if some disbelief was suspended the movie would have been "OK", and it wouldn't. Even the CGI was hokey in many places. The Godzilla creature was shaped and proportioned exactly like a man in a Godzilla suit. This fact was actually sort of humorous. Back when these movies were first made, when Godzilla WAS a man in a suit, I can see that as a necessary concession to budget and production. But since I know the 2014 Godzilla was 100% CGI, why not abandon that compromise? To put it bluntly, I thought even for those few moments that Godzilla appeared, he looked silly.

The movie is completely without any suspense, and it is plainly obvious early on how it is going to end...not conclude...just end...stop.

Enough said I guess. Ignore the 7+ IMDb rating (how?) and skip this one. An honest rating would be 2 or 3. I don't believe it merits a "1"...just because I think it is a difficult story to make a decent film out of. Maybe they simply should have skipped re-making "Godzilla" altogether and instead come up with something original? Another "Spiderman" remake perhaps?

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Who are these "300" movies aimed at?, 14 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I mean, seriously. Who is the intended audience? I have seen both of these films, I admit it. But I spent most of the time during the films laughing...and I don't think they are intended to be comedies...

You have grim faced manly men, of only perfect physique, doing battle wearing "Speedos", capes, and lots of leather "straps". The battle scenes are really just very carefully choreographed and sophisticated dance moves. Am I so obtuse that it is only now dawning on me....are the "300" films really just soft core gay pornography? That would explain a lot....if indeed that is the answer.

Why does the sun never shine in Sparta? Why does the slightest knife wound splash a gallon of "blood" in every direction? Don't these people ever smile, have fun, or do anything besides strut around in their thongs and try to be more "manly" than the next guy? I understand that these films are not intended to represent any "reality"...I get that. My question is what ARE they supposed to represent? I gave this movie a "3"...because we had a bit of fun watching it. Laughing at the outfits...the strutting...the posturing. Macho, manly, masculine men living their lives in a manly way. And without getting too specific, some of the names in the movie were fun to mock in a childish way.

But like I said, I don't think it was intended to be a comedy. So I guess I didn't "get" 300 at all. I wish someone who does would explain it to me....

I guess I have to fall back on my "gay porn" theory.

88 out of 125 people found the following review useful:
My god this is a terrible movie...., 28 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I am not sure where to begin....

Maybe I was a bit lost because I never saw the first "Thor"...and I am not familiar with the character and what he is all about...

But regardless...this movie was rambling and disjointed. All the characters were so superficial and one dimensional that I did not care in the least what happened to any of them. Apparently the entire universe was at risk, and this film managed to make that prospect completely boring and leave the viewer 100% indifferent about the outcome. Impressive.

There were a few attempts at humor thrown into the movie. They were all childish...they failed...and in fact were so "unfunny" they made me cringe.

About Thor. How interesting is a character who is apparently entirely omnipotent....? Near as I can tell, he can neither be hurt nor killed....and can travel the universe at more than the speed of light. Yawn. I have enjoyed Natalie Portman in many films...but even she could not contribute anything useful to this turd.

Having said all of this writing this movie has a 7.6 IMDb rating. I don't get it... I felt I had to post an honest review to counter that nonsense.

26 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
What is the point of this movie?, 30 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a completely biased "slice of life" that is trying to pass itself off as a documentary. It is intended to fan the flames of hatred and rage over a very tragic incident. Why? In the film, Oscar Grant is portrayed as a troubled young man with a heart of gold. I, along with 99.9999% of the other viewers of this movie, have no idea what Oscar Grant was like. But this film was so obviously biased, with so strong of a political agenda, I don't believe one bit of the picture they painted of Oscar Grant. How can I?

Along the same lines, what difference does it make what Oscar Grant was like as a living person? If Mr. Grant had slipped on the train platform and been killed by the train, that would have been an equal tragedy. But would it have mattered what happened in the last hours before his death? I don't see it.

This movie implies that what happened to Mr. Grant was NOT an accident, and that justice has not been done. That to me is a travesty, because every reasonable, thinking person understands how this terrible tragedy occurred. It was not racism. It was not police brutality. It was an accident.

That is why I gave this film such a low rating. It attempts to stir up outrage and hatred, all while completely ignoring the facts about a tragic incident. That is not only poor film-making, it is socially irresponsible.

14 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Very bad, don't waste your money, 14 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The success or failure of this movie was almost entirely dependent on the relationship that develops between the Stallone character and the Kang character. The complete botching of this element of the film, with childlike acting, poor dialog, and completely unbelievable premise, doomed this film to "bomb" status.

The premise of combining a criminal and a cop to solve a major crime is not new..."48 Hours" and "Beverly Hills Cop" come to mind immediately. But the motives behind the pairing have to be moderately believable, and the chemistry between the two protagonists has to be very carefully crafted. In this film, they accomplished neither.

Suffice to say the movie is childish, boring, disjointed, and utterly predictable. The acting in many parts, particularly from Kang, is so bad that it made me cringe.

I will say that Stallone, as a 67 year old man, certainly appears to be fanatical about his workouts and his diet. He is so ripped and cut in the move that he almost looks more freakish than "fit". But whatever, his "look" must require a great deal of effort at his age.

Enough said. Skip this movie. You won't like it.

10 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Entertaining...but definitely beginning to trade substance for spectacle..., 4 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will say upfront that I enjoyed this film. As a definite fan of the LOTR series, it was nice to see many of the characters again in a different adventure. The continuity they achieved in the appearance of the characters was surprising...particularly considering twelve years had elapsed between the productions. That is a long time, and it was fortunate that none of the essential characters had gained weight or changed in other ways that would have destroyed the illusion of continuity, particularly considering that "The Hobbit" was supposed to have taken place 60 years before the first installment of the LOTR trilogy.

This is the basis of my concern about "The Hobbit" and the direction the trilogy appears to be taking. The Hobbit trilogy is based on one Tolkien book, that in its entirety is considerably shorter and a more simple story than the shortest of the three books of the LOTR trilogy. I fear this was nothing more than a blatant attempt to wring the most profit possible from The Hobbit franchise. No matter how poor The Hobbit trilogy may or may not turn out to be, it is virtually guaranteed to be a money maker simply by riding the coat tails of the popularity of LOTR.

While I enjoyed The Hobbit, it did confirm many of the suspicions I explained above. What made the LOTR trilogy such a great series was primarily complex and compelling story, and sympathetic character development. Yes, the spectacular visuals were compelling as well, but they complemented the story without dominating it. Contrary to many viewers, I felt "Fellowship of the Ring" was the best of the LOTR series. The other two films, while strong in their own right, gradually began to trade story and character for eye popping visuals.

The Hobbit takes this trend further still. Some story elements were added that never appeared in the book, which I'm sure was practically essential to pull a film trilogy out of such a short and simple novel. But The Hobbit was also right on the bubble of being a film that was spectacle and little more. Film makers the world over still have apparently failed to learn that spectacular CGI will not carry an audience's interest in a 2+ hours movie. The Hobbit was very close to falling into that trap....but not quite there.

So in summary, I enjoyed The Hobbit but potential viewers (particularly fans of LOTR) should be aware it is a film that is long on spectacle and short on substance when compared to the prior trilogy. And I for one am more than a bit concerned that the next two Hobbit films might slip further down that slope and become little more than bloated CGI extravaganzas....

Time will tell I guess.

24 out of 70 people found the following review useful:
Certainly Controversial, 6 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Reading over the IMDb reviews of "2016", I find it remarkable how opinions about this film seem to be almost perfectly split by the political views of the reviewers. About half the reviews give the movie high marks, half give it low marks, and it winds up with a "5.1" IMDb rating. It is a perfect metaphor for the way the US is currently as completely and destructively divided, politically, as opinions of the film are.

My views on the film: "2016" does a good job of taking a great deal of information and conveying it as clearly as possible in a roughly 90 minute film. Much of what is presented in the movie is simply may not like that the facts are being presented, but they are facts nonetheless. D'Souza's conclusions about the facts are where the propaganda and most of the controversy come into the discussion.

I still consider 2016 to truly be more documentary than propaganda...there has never been a documentary made that was truly, 100% unbiased...they always have an agenda, subtle though it may be...and 2016 is certainly NOT unbiased either.

For my part, I find it astonishing that most of the factual information in 2016 has up to now been either suppressed or completely ignored by the mainstream media. We obsessed as a nation over whether Bill Clinton "inhaled"....and we are currently obsessing over past taxes paid by Mitt Romney.... Yet the undeniable associations President Obama had for decades with far left radicals and revolutionaries has scarcely been given any attention at all.

D'Souza's conclusions are NOT fact, they are his opinions. They are based on the facts as HE presents them in the film. He could certainly be wrong about some or all of them. But 2016 presents the facts about Barrack Obama in such a way so that the viewer can evaluate D'Souza's conclusions and make their own....D'Souza is very clear about his political views and personal political bias.

Because of this, I gave 2016 an "8" out of 10.

22 out of 44 people found the following review useful:
Jumbled mess....not funny at all....not entertaining, 23 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Having seen this movie, I found myself confused as to how it even got made. It would have been apparent from the script that this movie was simply a mess. Perhaps they thought the "humor" would carry things through, but the humor fails almost without exception.

I do think the movie was intended to primarily be a comedy, and that the weak story was introduced because it provided a venue for a lot of jokes. But take my word for it, the jokes fail. For example, they tried at length to dredge humor out of the topic of forcible sodomy. But it wasn't funny, and all that came out of it was three or four very awkward on-screen moments. It honestly looked like the cast even felt awkward trying to act this out.

There is a lot of "Dukes of Hazard" style action in the movie, and that is exactly what it better than what you could have seen in a low budget TV show from the 1970s.

Tom Arnold is in the film as an inept U.S. Marshall...but there is nothing funny in his portrayal....he comes across only as pathetic. The Kristen Bell character is obnoxious, but not humorously so. She is simply pressing and demanding and likely to remind the viewer of the worst part of past failed relationships. Not the funny part, not the learning part, not the dramatic part, simply the maddening and unpleasant part. Who would want to pay to see that? This movie fails, and as I sit here writing about it I think perhaps I was overly generous giving it a "3".

Once the standard IMDb user over-rating of new movies subsides, I honestly think this one would be lucky to remain above 5.0. Do yourself a favor and skip it....

Hugo (2011)
5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Gorgeous Spectacle...but that's all, 8 December 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Hugo" provides a gorgeous spectacle of a 1930s Paris that never existed. The sets and scenery (nearly all computer generated I imagine) are simply beautiful, and I imagine it was the previews of these scenes that prompted me to see the film. An 8.6 IMDb review probably didn't hurt either, although I definitely should know better by now to take that with a grain of salt.

The story however, was painfully weak and boring. I dozed off a couple of times during the movie, simply because nothing was happening. The gorgeous visuals alone are not sufficient to carry a more than two hour long movie.

The imagery and tone of the film suggest initially that something magical and dramatic is eventually going to happen...but it never does. The "story" just plods on and on (did I mention it was loooong?) to a completely disappointing climax. Actually, there really was no climax...the film just sort of "ends".

"Hugo" is really only worth seeing if you think you would enjoy sitting for two hours taking in a portrayal of 1930s Paris that looks like it came from a Thomas Kincaid painting. There are some interesting characters thrown in....I enjoyed Sacha Baron-Cohen's portrayal of the Station Inspector....but there is nowhere near enough substance in the story to support a full length movie. I found "Hugo" on balance to simply be too long, and very boring.

This was yet another film that demonstrates that visuals alone, no matter how compelling, cannot substitute for a decent story.

In Time (2011)
8 out of 26 people found the following review useful:
Marxist Garbage...and bad story to boot!, 1 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is another film trying to force-feed Marxist propaganda down our throats.

I imagine the creators of this film believed that the "clever" concept of time being using as currency relieved them of the need to concoct a decent story, or to at least be subtle about the political message they were trying to convey. They failed, and this movie is about as subtle as a train wreck. A child could see that by substituting the film's concept of time with money, this film was just a vehicle for the producer's message about money, capitalism, and the "unequal distribution of wealth". "If all the time (cough, MONEY) was just divided equally, eeeeverything would be paradise"......oh, please.

Even if you don't care about, or agree with the film's political message, it is simply a bad movie. The story is childlike, the acting wooden and unconvincing, and the sets/wardrobe are basically a "Matrix" rip-off.

Terrible movie, with an offensive political message to boot (at least offensive to me). Skip it!

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