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ctomvelu-1

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366 reviews in total 
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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Creepy semi-thriller, 4 July 2009
6/10

A young, pregnant Irish lass (Cassidy) journeys to England to search out her baby's dad, who has left them behind supposedly to work in an English factory. In fact he has joined the army, which she doesn't know. She comes across an apparently sweet old man (Hoskins) who run a catering company in Birmingham. He takes her under his wing, but we soon see his plans for her are not exactly pleasant. Hoskins is terrific as a mild-mannered psychopath, although his unusual accent is off-putting to American ears and not always understandable. Cassidy is very convincing as the naive young mom-to-be. Very dreary setting, understandably so since it take place in dreary Birmingham; also, the time frame is a bit confusing. One would guess it must be set in the 1950s or '60s, based on the attitudes expressed toward abortion. But it is apparently set in the early 1990s. So be it. Not your conventional thriller, this is certainly not aimed at the mass audience and will find limited appeal via TV showings. Tricky flashbacks help tell the whole story and there is an equally tricky and unexpected ending.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Ugh!, 27 June 2009
4/10

One of my favorite "bum" actors, C. Tom Howell, stars in this tepid remake of WOTW. He runs around a lot, while a CGI-generated spider-like machine goes around killing everyone. The budget for this one obviously was pretty low. It also was one of The Asylum productions. Have you seen any of those? Yikes! I am not sure why anyone would have made this while the big-budget Spielberg version was slaying them at the box office. And if truth be told, neither version is all that hot. The George Pal version from the 1950s remains the best representation of the H.G. Wells novel, primitive special effects and all. Perhaps because Gene Barry was much more convincing in the lead than Howell or Tom Cruise.

"Tin Man" (2007)
Back to Oz, 24 June 2009
6/10

What an odd miniseries. Dorothy (Zooey Deschanel) is back in Oz, and is accompanied in her wanderings by a tin man turned human, a scarecrow that isn't a true scarecrow, and a beast-man who vaguely resembles the old Cowardly Lion. Toto isn't really Toto, but a shape shifter named Tutor. Dorothy has an evil sister who has locked away their mom and seeks an emerald to gain ultimate power over the land. I am yet to catch the whole thing but I can see it will certainly appeal to fans of ongoing Oz tales and who don't mind watching a very long story. I am not a big miniseries fan, and would rather see a 90-minute DVD of this, but I suppose that's never gonna happen. So one of these days I will have to watch this to the bitter end. It seems to me Frank Baum wrote several sequels to WIZARD. I wonder why Hollywood hasn't adapted them instead of creating new OZ material periodically. Maybe because the sequels do not all feature Dorothy. Anyway, the CGI work here is pretty good for TV, and there are some lovely torture scenes. And I like Zooey Deschanel in anything.

4 out of 31 people found the following review useful:
OK but boring, 21 June 2009
6/10

Sincere but boring attempt to tell the life story of one of the nation's first black neurosurgeons. The guy faces an uphill battle from childhood due to evil racist whites (what other kind could there be in a story like this?. But with the help of his single mom, he forges ahead to achieve his dreams. Cuba Gooding portrays the surgeon as an adult. I have never been a fan of Gooding's, so suffice it to say he is about as believable as a neurosurgeon as Barack Hussein Obama might be. Actually, Obama might have been more believable. There are some gritty surgery scenes that look they might have been inspired by similar scenes on HOUSE. I suspect this was made for a black audience, who may find it more convincing than I. I really have nothing against HANDS, other than to point out it drags on and on. And I would have cast a much stronger actor in the main role.

1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
OK police drama, 20 June 2009
7/10

It's not LAW & ORDER, but THE CLOSER presents some interesting and quirky characters who comprise a special homicide unit in Los Angeles. The unit is headed up by a transplanted southerner -- a woman, yet -- who gets the hardest of suspects to confess. She also gets in the line of fire from time to time. Her team is made up of two older white detectives who frequently bicker for comedic effect, and several middle-aged and younger detectives who are still learning. One is Asian, one Hispanic and two are black. Talk about diversity. Kyra (Mrs. Kevin Bacon) Sedgwick is the so-called Closer, sporting a very thick southern accent that can be very grating. This is the kind of show, when no LAW & ORDER or BONES or NCIS or HOUSE or MONK or GHOSTY WHISPERER is on, can make for a passable hour.

0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A road trip not worth taking, 20 June 2009
4/10

Family road trip movie revolving around a children's beauty pageant is rated R, so it will not be to everyone's taste. Decent cast -- Greg Kinnear is the dad and and Alan Arkin is the granddad == but few laughs and frankly, I felt everyone tried much too hard. Toni Coillette as the mom is just plain annoying. SUNSHINE is clearly an indie, so it will appeal largely to that mindset, and not the mainstream audience. And again, it is an R, even after it is cleaned up for TV. The finale is bizarre, to say the least, and doesn't come off the way I suspect the directors intended. It is, frankly, embarrassing. After awhile, you kind of wish the dilapidated vehicle the family is riding in from their home in Albuquerque to the pageant in Redondo Beach would blow up. With them in it.

Savage Planet (2007) (TV)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Huh?, 20 June 2009
1/10

I have watched large portions of this movie twice now, and am puzzling over what the purpose of it was. I mainly watched it because Lou D. Philips is listed in the cast, but as far as I could tell, he was nowhere to be found in it. Did I miss something? Otherwise, it has the world's worst cast of generic actors imaginable fighting big bears on a remote planet. Horrible. At one point early on, a woman runs away from one of these big bears and the folks back at camp stand and listen to her scream for help. Suddenly. her head comes rolling into the camp, right up to their feet. But the gal was supposedly quite a distance from camp by then, so all I can think is that bear must have one hell of an arm. I didn't even have to look to know this was a Canadian job. Everybody is doggoned serious. If it were a Hollywood hack job, it would at least be campy.

Deja Vu (2006)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Solid first half, 14 June 2009
7/10

I gave DEJA VU 7 stars because of a slam-bang, tension-filled first half. The second half detracts from the score, as the movie goes off in the wrong direction and comes to an implausible finish, even for a science fiction movie (and make no mistake, this is a science fiction flick). Washington stars as a cop investigating the bombing of a ferry that kills hundreds, including many servicemen. The mystery of the event deepens with the discovery of a woman's charred body miles downstream. A bunch of mad scientists working in a big, expensive lab show DW using their newly developed wayback machine a way to view the immediate past, in an effort to figure out the who and why and when of things leading up to the explosion. OK so far. But then, the movie shifts into time travel, and other than Jim Cavaziel popping up as the mad bomber, interest quickly wanes. Sort of like the second half of EVENT HORIZON, when Sam Neil becomes Pinhead. Not one of DW's best, for sure. You have to see him in his undies, curled up in a tiny box, being flung into the past via the mad scientists' wayback machine. I'd like to say, what was he thinking? But God only know how many millions he was paid for this semi-turkey. Plus, he apparently enjoys working with Tony Scott.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Wow, 9 June 2009
8/10

I doubt we will ever see another TV show as inventive and creative and suspenseful as THE LOST ROOM. This 3-part drama has a detective (Peter Krause) investigating a motel room that is the gateway to alternate dimensions. He loses his daughter in this room and spends the rest of the miniseries searching for a way to get her back. He stumbles upon a series of mundane objects that have been taken from the room and now possess unusual powers. He uses some of these objects, which include a comb, scissors, motel room key and a jewel box, to try and find his way back to his daughter. Many of these objects have ended up in the hands of various wacko elements who are using the objects for their own purposes. One such group believes the objects are a bridge to God, and will kill to have them all. A subplot, which wasn't necessary, has the detective wrongfully wanted for the murder of his partner. Great sets, special effects, direction, acting, etc. Krause is ably aided by a number of familiar faces from TV and the movies, the kind of folks you instantly recognize but don't always remember their names (like the nurse from ER, the demon slayer in IT and Doctor Schnozze from HOUSE). This is one of those movies you stay glued to whenever it is on.

Kiddie flick, 6 June 2009
6/10

Ben Stiller plays his usual nebbiish self in NIGHT, in which he takes on the role of the new night watchman at the Museum of Natural History. Problem is, everything in the museum comes to life after dark, thanks to a mystical gold plate that stands above a pharoah's coffin. Stiller must learn to control the animated figures, which range from a full-scale T-Rex skeleton to a tiny cowboy played by Owen Wilson. Wilson is terrible, by the way. To give this silliness something of a plot while all these creatures and people skitter around the museum, the writers present us with a trio of retiring museum guards who decide to steal the gold plate so they may live a long and rich retirement. Dick Van Dyke is the leader of the evil trio, and he simply is not believable as a bad guy. But that's splitting fine hairs, as the movie is written and performed on a strictly juvenile level, obviously to attract the kiddies. The T-Rex constantly runs around, which I'm sure must have delighted the little ones who saw this in theaters back in 2006. Attila the Hun and his boys are after Stiller's hide, and there is some made-up dialog between Stiller and Attila that obviously is meant to delight the little ones. Some cavemen on the loose act like -- well, cavemen. When Stiller gives them a lighter to start a campfire, one of them sets his hair on fire. Ha ha. Not. The film doesn't really go anywhere and it drags terribly in parts (I hear the sequel is far worse). Stiller spends a good deal of his screen time simply running around the museum. He also trades multiple slaps in the face with a tiny capuchin monkey. Good god. I did enjoy Robin Williams as Teddy Roosevelt in Rough Rider garb and a very nice-looking young miss as legendary Indian guide Sacajewa (Stiller never seems to be able to pronounce her name correctly). But he film is really a misfire, at least for adults. The three LIBRARIAN flicks made for TV and starring Noah Wylie are far superior to this. Hell, JUMANJI was better than this, and JUMANJI is pretty awful -- even with Robin Williams in the lead.


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