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31 reviews in total 
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1 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely Incredible Spectacle....., 3 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have seen this film twice, and remain completely blown away by the entire spectacle.

Normally I am not at all a fan of movies with little story that try to engage the viewer with awesome visuals and action. Clearly Mad Max: Fury Road is precisely in that category.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due...they made it work.

I almost wish this was a completely standalone film that did not attempt to tie into the "Mad Max" franchise, because it has little in common with the releases from years past, and for me Mel Gibson will always be the only "Mad Max". All this latest film shares with the Gibson releases is the name and a few of the general visuals.

So on to the action....since that is all this movie really is.

I am certain at least some of the scenes in this film had to be CGI, simply because there would be no other way to do them. Despite this, it is seamless. I can normally spot CGI a mile away, and in Fury Road I honestly could not tell which effects were done with actual "hardware" and which were computer generated. This is important because it is key to the amazing visual experience of watching this.

The action scenes were breathtaking...I'm not sure how else to describe them. They were accompanied by audio that on occasion gave me goose bumps, particularly the air horns on the main "war rig" and the surrealistic "music" from the mutant rock and roller on the pursuing rig.

I realize this movie will not be for everyone, but nonetheless I have to say it raises the bar for what can be put on the screen in the action film genre. I am already trying to come up with an excuse to see it a third time.

Highly recommended.

15 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Long, boring, forgettable, even painful., 6 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I suffered more sitting through this film than any I can remember, and I have seen a lot of movies. I was in a group, and unsure how the rest felt about it, otherwise I would have left long before it was over.

I went in with a positive attitude, and was somewhat intrigued with the first 20 minutes or so. But the film just settles into a grinding repetitiveness and lack of depth that quickly sucks the life from the viewer.

All the characters are one-dimensional and impossible to sympathize or identify with, the "story" is drawn out and boring, and the music all has a certain mediocre sameness that blends together into nothing more than an annoying sort of white noise. Here I sit a few days later, and I cannot remember anything specific...lyrics or melody....from any song in the movie. And I would estimate that 2/3 of this film was singing...which is a lot....even for a "musical".

And all of the above just goes on and on and on. After about the 75 minute mark I felt myself mildly panicking because I could not see how the story was going to come to an end (and didn't care) but just wanted out! It really, truly, is that bad....and is very long to boot.

I hope by now word is out about this film and people are avoiding it in droves. I felt I had to write this review as sort of "closure" from the experience of having to sit through it.

I only gave it a two because some of the set design was mildly interesting.

Stay away! Your sanity might depend upon it.

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.

102 out of 155 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.

39 out of 73 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 72 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....

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