Reviews written by registered user
mike-ryan455

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108 reviews in total 
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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Not bad but disappointing, 22 January 2015
5/10

I saw The Imitation Game with high hopes. Unfortunately those hopes were dashed. I can't say that it was a bad movie. It just wasn't nearly as good a movie as has been hyped.

First, it is a Hollyweird pro-homosexual club you over the head with their political notions movie. I guess I should have predicted that but it doesn't make it any the less true.

Second, they couldn't get their history right. The way they wrote it, Turing single handed saved Britain during the war. Ah, that's not true. The Poles gave Britain the entire base for cracking Enigma and had cracked the predecessors of it repeatedly. Turing wasn't the only contributor. Turing's group didn't make the only computer during the war for code cracking, etc.

Third, Turing wouldn't have just blabbed to some nobody cop about his war time record. He knew he could have been shot for it.

Rating: 5. It could have been a solid seven but I have to knock off one point for the painful pro-homosexual message and one point for the historical inaccuracy.

47 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
Mindblowingly good!, 11 January 2015
10/10

You already know the subject, animal husbandry. You all know the thesis - that animal husbandry is simply ecologically unsustainable with our current population numbers.

What Cowspiracy does is take one person through a very personal journey to show just how there is only one course of action that will allow this species to have a reasonable chance of surviving at the current population levels. We can change and adapt and go to a more healthy diet or we can wait for a massive ecological change and have our population levels and civilization crash like so many others have before.

Is it perfect? No, but it is still that good. I wish broadcast TV had the guts to run it. I wish it were played in schools. Unfortunately they never will.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
7500 isn't worth 75 cents, 24 September 2014
4/10

How do I phrase it with originality? No, why bother being original when the movie so wasn't. It was dull and predictable, an attempt at a haunted house movie at 35,000 feet flying over the Pacific in a big Boeing. Of course, this is a quickie rip-off of the disappearance of MH-370, you say. No, actually it isn't. It was made a couple of years before but it wasn't released. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7500_(film) to confirm that it was originally scheduled to be released on August 12, 2012, but was delayed to April 19, 2013, and then to an unspecified date in October, 2013, based on a tweet from actress Scout Taylor-Compton, which was pushed back again another year to October 3, 2014 for the US release. Wikipedia even references an article about it that predates MH-370.

Anyway, it being rather similar to what I think actually happened to MH-370 is really its only claim to fame. Wait for this one to come out on cable, or better yet wait for a better movie.

14 out of 18 people found the following review useful:
Gone from about tattoos to about drama, 3 August 2014
4/10

The first season, I really liked this show. It was about a tattoo competition. Some of the ink was even good but even when it wasn't it was focused on the art.

Unfortunately, things began to go down hill in the second season. One of the judges, Chris Nunez, became snarkier and snarkier. He seemed to be trying to humiliate and put down the contestants who didn't measure up rather than pull them up to do even better.

Each season, there was a jerk added to the mix. They were someone who would try to "play the game strategically" to get ahead. It became very annoying to watch the petty politics and insults.

The show completely jumped the shark when they announced in the fourth season finale that everyone on the show would have a rival, someone brought in to fight with. Great, pre-made arguing. What a joke! That was the death moment of the show. As soon as they announced that contestants are going to be chosen not on the basis of their art work but on the quality of their enemies I knew the show was dead.

"Extant" (2014)
90 out of 178 people found the following review useful:
Boring mish-mosh of random elements, 11 July 2014
5/10

I watched the pilot of Extant tonight. I know these shows can get better or worse, but right now this one is not ready for prime time.

I don't rate shows first by the stars or the special effects. I rate them by the script. This one is pretty confused. It was as if they tried to toss in so many elements that something had to stick. Just repeating the stuff I had also seen in the trailers, we have a wife who was alone in space for a year who comes back pregnant, we have a rather creepy husband who made their robotic child and we have a dark and shadowy figure who passed cryptic notes. We got some details on these in the pilot but for every question we got a few details about we got three more balls tossed up in the air. Some feel randomly selected. Others are just too painfully obvious.

Second I'll talk about the cast. It was lackluster. Halle Berry was just out of her depth and she wasn't eye candy. In fact, she looks quite shopworn to me, almost beyond the age to be pregnant. I dislike the husband. He is even worse.

Oh, yes, ahm, the special effects. They were OK. I have seen better on shorts that people with love and imagination do at home but they did the job just fine.

I like Sci Fi and I gave them one extra star just for it being sort of Sci Fi. I really hope they can pull it together but somehow I think it will be another big budget flop.

Chariot (2013)
8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
At first I thought it was good - and then I realized why it wasn't, 30 January 2014
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I got a chance to watch "Chariot" last night and I enjoyed it and then went to bed. At the time I thought it was an imaginative low budget movie with generally decent performances.

Then I woke up and it hit me smack between the eyes just where they had gone utterly wrong.

In the movie, seven people wake up on an airplane. They have no idea how they got there. They learn from a mobile phone that they find that the country is under nuclear attack and that they are in the plane as part of a secret operation to preserve a remnant of humanity. They also learn that their destination (Andrews Air Force Base) was destroyed and that they have to get the pilot to divert the plane. Of course the crew is locked in the cockpit and won't answer.

One of the seven passengers (Genevieve) is a government employee in the program. She verifies everything about Operation Chariot.

Before long, we have one person dead. Genevieve takes the available gun and gets into the cockpit, killing the co-pilot and severely wounding the pilot - who quickly dies from the injuries. One of the passengers is killed by the co-pilot as well.

We later learn that the whole thing was an experiment and that Genevieve knew it. She was on the team trying to figure out how to get people to calmly sit through this flight during a nuclear attack and she shot two people to death. That's three counts of homicide, two people she shot and one count of felony murder for the guy who was shot by the co-pilot - all for a fake experiment she knew for a fact was a fake. If she survived, she'd be going away for life in any state of the union and that's a pretty big if because she just shot the pilot and copilot of the plane and nobody left alive can fly it.

I do applaud some parts of the movie. A thriller set in just an old airplane was a good idea. No other sets whatsoever. The cast was small but quite good, especially Anthony Montgomery. If you're a Trekkie you'll know the name as the black navigator on Star Trek: Enterprise but he acted so completely different he was almost unrecognizable. Unfortunately that logic hole is so big you could ... fly an airplane through it.

"Helix" (2014)
11 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Dreadfully dull and boring, 14 January 2014
3/10

That's a really depressing summary for a TV show, but alas it seems to be true. I have seen the first three episodes by now and really don't know if I'd bother to see a fourth.

The sneak info that was published before the pilot was aired told you that there is some sort of disease outbreak in an isolated research base in the high Arctic. So they call in the CDC from Atlanta, Georgia.

There is the first mistake. They said it was in international territory. Ah, horse hockey. It would be in Nunavut territory in Canada. Why doesn't the Public Health Agency of Canada fly their people in? Maybe we'd be spared the story.

So, this guy flies in with his ex-wife who was sleeping with his brother and this girl he's hot about and this ugly chick to save ... his brother who was sleeping with his ex-wife. Oh Brother - in more ways than one.

The whole thing feels like a bid rip-off of A & E's version of "The Andromeda Strain" - which was such a rip-off of the original movie and book that it hurt. I don't like giving spoilers of any sort but I had every part of the plot pegged very early on and nothing has changed.

Will this one make it past thirteen weeks? Lord, I hope not.

The Neon Ceiling (1971) (TV)
Low resolution copy on youtube available, 18 December 2013
8/10

OK, that's a strange title for a review. But it's true - there is a low resolution copy of The Neon Ceiling on youtube. Search for it! The video claims to be 480x360 resolution but it looks like a VHS rip. However, the tremendous quality of the movie trumps the poor quality of the video.

To think this was done as an ABC movie of the week. I guess the writer kept polishing the script until it sparkled. The cast is excellent, with Gig Young and Lee Grant in the lead but Denise Nickerson stealing the show.

It's a small movie with a very small cast and limited sets. It looks a lot like a G rated Indie art movie about relationships, marriage and growing up, if you can imagine that. It's so simple it doesn't even look very dated. I do not want to spoil it by giving any clues as to what happens but if that mix sounds interesting try it.

21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Rather Disappointing, 29 November 2013
4/10

I don't want to flame South African cinema. I've enjoyed several releases from there. I also love a good World War II flying movie. This one lost credibility with me.

I can forgive the CGI flight scenes that look like they came out of a game. Original planes from that period are far too rare and valuable to use to make a movie and special effects don't make a movie. The story makes the movie. Unfortunately the story is what let me down.

There is a phenomena called "suspension of disbelief" in a movie. Unfortunately they literally shot suspension of disbelief quite early. The cliché evil SS officer just blew it away. His actions were utterly illogical. His men didn't point out how his actions directly worked against the Third Reich winning the war.

The evil SS officer was the worst but it wasn't the only logical failure. Over and over I kept thinking "Why would they do that" and "What a wasted opportunity." I sincerely wish them better luck next time.

8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
I was stunned at how good it was, 22 November 2013
7/10

I looked at this from two perspectives. The first was to compare it against a drama made with a normal multimillion dollar Hollywood budget. It did pretty good. I'd give it a fair six out of ten. It had a good story, passable acting, didn't do anything stupidly wrong or offensive and was generally quite interesting and enjoyable.

Then I considered that it was made for a hundredth of what even a SyFy Channel super cheapie TV movie is made for, a thousandth of what a cheap Hollywood movie like Footloose was made for and one ten thousandth of the budget of a true Hollywood blockbuster turkey like "The Lone Ranger." The New Republic had imagination. It had a good script about a slightly more totalitarian country than ours and it showed that country with very little. It kept you going as our character was sucked away by it.

Was it perfect? No. Was it great? No. It would be about a decent six stars out of ten. But that's not bad - especially when it took $150,000,000 for Mars Needs Moms just to eek out their five stars.


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