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wzevonfan

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19 reviews in total 
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Mitt (2014)
7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
An excellent film about the human side of politics, 25 January 2014
8/10

In one of the earliest scenes of "Mitt," we hear Governor Romney giving a speech at a fund-raiser about the failure of previous presidential candidates: how the loss of an election is irreparable and indelible thing to endure. "Michael Dukakis can't get a job mowing lawns" he says to the crowd, holding up a L sign to his forehead for everyone to see. The comment (which Romney said all the way back in 2008) was a jest made in a climate of optimism and hope-a time when the former Governor of Massachusetts still had a chance at political victory. And yet, it is also an eerily prescient statement of things to come.

Fast forward to the day after the election in 2012. Romney enters into his living room with his wife in tow-slumps down into a chair, and stairs plaintively out the window overlooking his backyard. Though Mitt does not speak in that moment, we know that those words he uttered years before at the convention are resonating in his mind. Aspirations dashed, his life is finished; you could not write a more tragically ironic ending to the failed presidential saga of Willard Romney if you tried.

This is where the documentary "Mitt" is successful: in humanizing a process (and a man at the center of that process) that otherwise seems so sterile, competitive, and polished to the rest of us. It is only a political film in that it captures the world of politics: it takes no sides on the issues of the debate. Indeed, the best moments are those that show Mitt as a man plagued by doubts, anxieties, setbacks, and yes, even sleeve-related wardrobe problems. Just when Mitt Romney is leading in the primary polls of 2008, the Governor of Florida comes out in support of John McCain and quashes his hopes of Republic nomination. Just when Mitt Romney defeats Barack Obama in the first debate, his infamous "47%" video leaks to the public and isolated him from a number of potential voters. Moreover, it shows a man painfully at odds with his public image. "They think I'm a Mormon flipper." Mitt says to his family. Surely, an over-simplified appraisal of a person if there ever was one. Who knew Mitt Romney's favorite movie was "O Brother Where Art Thou" or that he was a fan of David Sedaris, or that he really loves to snack on peanuts. There is a scene in the film where Ann Romney messes up her husband perfectly coiffed hair after a speech. This is essentially the equivalent of what filmmaker Greg Whiteley does to Mitt as well. We cannot help but like him all the more for it. Again, the irony is that this is too little, and too late.

Inception (2010)
6 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Masquerading as a Psychological Thriller... Inception is far from Nolan's best, 16 July 2010
6/10

If you've navigated any of the other pages having to do with Christopher Nolan's "Inception" on this site, there is no doubt in my mind that you have bared witness to its accolades. The action, the cinematography, the exploration of our subconscious as a ghostly apparition to reality (sound familiar Memento fans) seem to be common points of consensus among the film's most vocal fans. Some may even say "Inception" is a groundbreaking film for Nolan; this may in fact be true. But what makes this film riveting, artistic, and perhaps even "groundbreaking" also makes it commercially unappealing, convoluted, and horrendously long (2.5 hours? This isn't The Godfather Part II). Ultimately, "Inception" is very difficult film to watch, even for the most engaged and conscientious moviegoer.

"But wait!," you say. "Inception did well at the box office. All the theaters were packed on the opening night. Not commercially successful? Just check out all of the 10/10 reviews online." While I cannot deny the films popularity, I can, with my sincerest conviction, state that this movie couldn't have sold many tickets had it been marketed for what it truly is. This is not The Dark Knight folks. This movie is not easy to understand and doesn't try to make itself easy to understand. Key plot elements are not repeated, general assumptions are made on behalf of the audience. This film is the pure artistic outpouring of Nolan's pen...a description that may sound appealing but trust me, it isn't. Any attempt by Nolan to give your ears and mind a break comes in the form of action scenes, where he suddenly abandons all of his creativity in a flash of gun-slinging violence, and Matrix-like slow motion fury. Then he picks up again with totems, Fischer corporations, Mrs. Cobb, architects, limbo, and an ethereal dream within a dream within a dream within a dream.

If you doubt my ability to convey the films inherent intricacies, read the Wikipedia summary. My guess is that you will garner little to no understanding of the film beyond the fact that-- Leonardo DiCaprio is in it, and it has something to do with dreams. Well, watching the film wont much remedy that confusion. In fact, you might be left scratching your head even further. That's why I will spare you any form of plot summary in this review. It does little good. Don't get me wrong. It's still a film worth watching. Just keep your eyes glued to the screen and give yourself breaks to sit and soak in all of the information thrown your way.

My closing remarks stand as such: Inception is not a bad film. It raises some well posed explored questions about dreams and preys upon our sense of what is real (like most Nolan films). Where Inception falls short is in consistency. The film lacks a sense of balance and is incredibly self-indulgent. You're more likely to buy into Star Wars than you are this film. Likewise, blink and suddenly you've lost track of what's going on. Inception is good, but HIGHLY overrated, and definitely not Nolan's best. He could have used some advice from an editor on this one. So much participation expected from the audience with such little return.

MacGruber (2010)
7 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, but it has its moments, 23 May 2010
4/10

MacGruber is being touted as better than the Hangover; one of the funniest and original films of 2010. Like its other SNL skit turned cinema brethren, MacGruber falls short. All in all, my laughter probably added up to three minutes total... all of this within the 90 minute duration of the film. MacGruber get's old after the first few scenes. Will Forte's incompetency and 80's mullet aren't enough to amuse you beyond a chuckle or two, and chances are you have already expended such laughter when you watched the TV sketches. The skit seemed to work on SNL because it plays on MacGruber's never ending ability to fail. We watch MacGruber dismantle a bomb and flub it up time and time again due to his idiocy. Sure, we know he's going to fail and perish in a glorious, raging inferno; it's HOW he fails and that's ultimately amusing. Unfortunately, this angle is not exploited in the film (a grave mistake on the writers' part). We get laughs through MacGruber's arrogance, stupidity, and toilet humor. Upper deckers and crappy Mazda Miatas with pull out radios are enough to make us laugh, but not enough to make this movie truly "funny." Hilarity is peppered through the film sparingly, which should certainly not be the case for a comedy film. Like most other SNL movies, MacGruber falls short. Don't see this movie in theaters. At least wait for the DVD. You'll be glad you saved your money.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
It's Good. It's Always Good, 7 August 2009
8/10

This is one of a few shows that I have watched since it's conception, which was 3 or 4 years ago...I can't quite remember; this fact attests to it's (IASIP's) quality and hilarity. For those of you who have watched It's Always Sunny from the beginning, you will remember the original tag line for the show, "Seinfeld on Crack," ; a spot-on description of this crude yet brilliant series. It fits that description in two key respects; every character in the show is a selfish low- life, (thus the term Seinfeld) and the setting and lifestyle of the characters is an urban, dingy, filthy one, filled with glue-huffing, cat food consumption, beer drinking, anonymous sex.. etc. (thus the term crack). But I hope this seemingly disgusting and crass description of the show does not eschew you from watching it. Quite on the contrary, I hope it encourages you to watch it, because it is funny. Well written and well acted, I never get tired of hearing the five main characters, each one of them victims of a major character flaw, attempt to find their way through conflict and success, and fail every time. Just watch one episode, preferably an early 2nd season one, and I promise you, you will be hooked. Charlie, Mac, Dee, Dennis, and Frank never fail to make whatever they are going through into some ridiculous circumstance that exudes comedy.

Knowing (2009)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Knowing is not very good., 11 July 2009
3/10

The first 20 minutes of this film are commendable. There is no time wasted on unnecessary dialogue, and as much as I hate Nicholas Cage and his performance, I still think that the beginning of the film showed promise. As we watch the little girl Lucinda fervently scribble this ominous sequence of numbers, we sit there, knowing (no pun intended) that they hold significance. But precisely what...and more interestingly, why? Fast forward to fifty years later, and we meet an emaciated looking Cage; an MIT astrophysics professor who had lost his wife in a fire and now lives alone with his son. They are obviously both lonely. Cage drinks to forget his past, and his son watches home videos of his mother to help him sleep at night, but neither can find complete solace in their methods. Cage feels he is not yet ready to move on from his loss and meet another woman. In moments of depravity he often forgets to pick his son up from school. In this particular instance at the beginning of the film, he arrives to his son's school late. Today, they are opening up the time capsule from 50 years ago, and Cage's son Caleb happens to get Lucindas number page, his earpiece ringing and clicking as he takes the envelope from the teacher. That is where things start to go downhill. Cage discovers and "decodes" the sequence that very night, maybe two hours after his son brings it home. Too fast for my liking, which means the other hour and a half of the film will be spent on extra "filler" ; new plot devices and characters. Agh...they had a good thing going. Case and point; the aliens, and Lucinda's daughter, and Cage's sister, and the black stones, and etc. The film does not delve into why Lucinda knew the numbers, why it was Cage who discovered them, and if these things are in fact inevitable and sequential (as Cage explains in one of his seminars), or changeable. Is Cage enabling these events or preventing them through his intervention? Well, we never find out. Instead, they show us aliens. Bravo, really.

If you want to see a film with the same idea, watch Signs, which is so much better I cannot even begin to understand why it has such a low rating on this site, nevertheless why Knowing has such a high one. Far more crafty and well acted, Signs has all the elements this film has and more, without all that clutter and silly spectacle.

If you don't compare it to Caddyshack I, you'll be okay., 15 March 2009
5/10

Alright, so Caddyshack I was better in all respects. Perhaps I didn't seem to hate Caddyshack II as much as everyone else because I wasn't expecting all that much and I wasn't comparing it to the original. But please, it is not that bad. I see other people on here giving it a one or a two, and that's uncalled for. There are far worse movies out there, and Caddyshack II has a couple of funny moments, (especially those with Dan Aykroyd). True, the storyline is weak, and Jackie Mason, (although funny), is no match for Rodney, this movie does not deserve all of the criticism it gets. It's still mildly amusing. However, I will agree with others on these following aspects: Randy Quaid was terrible and incredibly annoying in his role, the story with Hartonian's daughter added a sappiness to the story that was so trite and predictable, the carnival idea was definitely not funny, Chevy Chases cameo seemed desperate and detached, and it was too long. At least Aykroyd was funny, and was maybe, dare I say it... as funny as Bill Murray. Thats right, I know it sound like blasphemy to Caddyshack I fans, but when he said " I read you loud and clear Mrs. Esterhouse" I almost fell of my chair. That was funny. The rest of the movie... not so much. Just don't knock it until you try it, but don't expect a homerun, or in this case a hole in one.

Fool's Gold (2008/I)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Only a fool would think this movie is gold., 26 July 2008
4/10

Let me just say, first off the bat, I don't like romantic comedies. I believe that they are all tacked on, corny, and ridiculously predictable. But sure, I still watch the occasional one now and then, hoping that the movie will shatter my preconceived notions. Alas, I have yet to find one that I really enjoyed. Fools Gold is no exception. I watched this film on a plane ride back to the States from Paris, having exhausted all of the other options in the movie selection. In the movie, Matthew McConaughey plays Ben Finnegan an immature, klutzy, treasure hunter trying to find some ancient riches left over from a shipwreck. Kate Hudson, Tess Finnegan, plays his wife who is, guess what? tired of her husbands silly antics. She has given up on her dreams to find the treasure, because Ben has no money and has not found anything. She divorces him. Somewhere along the story Ben gets involved with the Honeycutt family. Donald Sutherland plays Nigel Honeycutt, and obviously wealthy man who is spending a few weeks with his spoiled ditsy daughter on his yacht, touring the beauty of the sea. His daughter acts like little miss perfect to her "daddy" but really hates him. I won't go any further into the story, simply because it is so convoluted and I could spend hours here writing about it. The movie was pitiful. Its only redeeming qualities were the direction and scenery. Thats it. Everything else, the acting, the slapstick comedy, the storyline, was trite and overdone. This is the kind of movie where you don't have to think to enjoy it. If you have an IQ of 45 though, I will tell you to go out and get it, because it might be enjoyable then. Hopelessly predictable, a typical "cute" romantic comedy, that I do not recommend.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Highly Anticipated, Very Enjoyable, 21 July 2008
8/10

There was a high amount of anticipation for this film, one of the reasons being for Heath Ledgers untimely death. With the Joker as his last performance, many flocked to the screens to catch the last time Ledger ever had on the big screen. Christian Bale returns as mysterious avenging Batman saving Gotham city from peril. Gary Oldman reprises his role as police commissioner. However, Aaron Eckhardt and the mentioned Heath play Harvey Dent/ Two Face and the Joker respectively. The Joker becomes involved with Gotham City's mob, using then as peons for his own sadistic purposes. 5 or 6 police are killed in the movie, and The Joker claims he will stop the killings if Batman reveals himself. Through it all, The prospective hero of Gotham, Harvey Dent, is warped into a very different man by the Joker after losing the love of his life. Although I will not give away the ending I will tell you that the story line, although a bit long, ended very well. At the risk of sounding predictable, I will say that Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker was stellar. He made the movie for me. His attention to detail in his mannerisms and clownish attitude was brilliant. If for no reason, see it for Heath. But I promise, that not all the movie has. Brilliant performances, excellent directing, and a solid story line makes this movie as good as expected.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Unlike any other, 26 January 2008
10/10

I will be the first to admit, I didn't understand this entire movie. However, I'm not sure I was supposed to. There was a previous comment claiming that the movie was not as successful as the Sixth Sense because there not 1 final twist that makes everything fall into place and makes the audience gasp to themselves in understanding. No. This movie is much different. Even with the knowledge we obtain in the end of the film, there are still open ends left to the viewer themselves. A very very bold and innovative movie, I think of it as a outstanding cross between Platoon and Donnie Darko. I recommend this movie to anyone with a passion for understanding what really happens in the human mind.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A Classic Retooled for a New Generation, 27 December 2007
7/10

There has always seemed to be success in "odd couple" kind of shows. Abbot and Costello, Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton, Fred Flintstone and Braney Rubble, and now, Drake Parker and Josh Nichols. The show is another hit for Dan Schneider, who has hitting home runs on Nickelodeon for at least 16 years. Both boys seem to offset each other, and their polar personalities allow for the writers of the show to get away with a so so plot, and still have the episode be funny (all they have to do is somehow frazzle Josh, like lock him in a closet or something and everyone is in stitches) Even though,when it comes to TV show's, I'm odd for my generation, I still find moments of the show funny.


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