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Mr-Fusion

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File this under Movies That Draw You In, 23 June 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An IRA thug who falls for his prisoner's girlfriend. That's about as direct as it gets when it comes to summarizing "The Crying Game" (at least as far DVD cover blurbs go). But it's much more than that. Fate, deception, guilt, love - it's about all of those as well, but to discount it as centering on the twist is completely unfair. To me, the best thing about this movie is that it ended up being entirely different from how it began. And along the way, there are great performances (Stephen Rea and Jaye Davidson, in particular), striking cinematography and engaging direction to its credit.

Note: If you've ever seen a certain Jim Carrey movie, then you know the twist I'm talking about. The reason I bring this up is because the movie stands on its own very well despite this spoiler, and remains absolutely worth seeing.

7/10

"Loved you in Wall Street!", 23 June 2017
7/10

If "Hot Shots" belonged to Lloyd Bridges, then "Part Deux" is entirely Charlie Sheen's movie. He's pure delight here; a funnier sendup of Rambo there hasn't been (at least to my knowledge) and every jab is equally on-point and absurd. And for me, it's even funnier than his parody of Cruise in "Top Gun".

Still, these movies are about the diverse array (and inane) spoofs, which include the classics (Casablanca, Lady and the Tramp) contemporary (Basic Instinct, Terminator 2) to the completely random (say, the sex scene from No Way Out). There's neither rhyme nor reason to a lot of these, and that's mostly what makes it so fun.

7/10

15 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
DC finds its footing, 20 June 2017
8/10

There's a lot that went into "Wonder Woman"; it's partially a romantic comedy, coming-of-age story, period action/superhero movie, but maybe above all, a love story. Diana Prince gears up ultimately out of love - which doesn't sound like something that'd fit very well in a war movie. Part of the reason this movie is so good is that it had big boots to fill. The DC movies haven't been stellar up to this point, and their inherent dreariness hasn't helped matters. And here's a movie with competent direction, gorgeous visuals and a lead actress that's fully up to the challenge. Gal Gadot instills in her character honor, innocence, and the necessary color to really bring a comic book movie to the screen.

In other words, it's everything I was hoping for in a Wonder Woman film. It doesn't feel like it was ground out of a sausage factory, and really manages to do everything right. Just to give context, this is coming from a guy who's pretty burnt out on the genre.

I loved this movie.

8/10

The Winter Soldier, 20 June 2017
8/10

One of the big surprises about "The Manchurian Candidate" is Angela Lansbury in a villainous role. Between "Murder, She Wrote" and her work for Disney, you can't help but entertain a kindly image of the actor.

The other surprise is how potent this still is, even at the 55 year mark. Maybe that's because I lobe '70s movies of the genre, but even still, this is a highly effective political thriller. And that's due in large part to Frankenheimer's skilled direction and a script full of inventive deceit. It even has plenty of time to skewer McCarthyism. Almost everything seen here has been done since, but you're still left unprepared for that one last plot twist. Well-executed, to say the least.

The cast is star-studded, the story's engrossing and there's almost a playful sense of humor to it.

Great movie.

8/10

Hot Shots! (1991)
This flight is loaded down with gags, 20 June 2017
7/10

I'm not really sure how it is that I'd seen "Part Deux" a good five or six times as a teenager but never the first one. The humor in "Hot Shots" is as broad as possible, always trafficking in outright silliness. In that regard, not all of the jokes work, but the ones that do are knee-slappers. And Lloyd Bridges is comedy gold, I mean the man doesn't have one line that isn't a scream.

And the humor doesn't even stop until the credits are done. Gotta respect that.

7/10

Back to the grind, 19 June 2017
8/10

If last week felt like somewhat of a pause from the season's overall arc, breaktime's over; the Pastor Tim fiasco comes roaring back with a vengeance. The guy's missing in Ethiopia, his wife's seeing red and threatening to turn in Philip and Elizabeth. Even after he's been found unharmed, Alice is still a wild card to be addressed. Martha's gone but her disappearance is a nagging hole; and on top of that, another recurring character meets an unfortunate end.

Sadly, the Jennings' cover is under continued threat, and there's no easy way out.

8/10

Smashing up a happy home, 19 June 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where does the season's ninth episode go after its eighth seemingly ties things up so nicely? The answer is a muted installment that ends up making like hell for Elizabeth . She's the detached one in the relationship and it's unusual to see her approach a mission with reservations. In effect she's destroying a marriage and a friendship. Like Philip, she's gotten too close to an agent.

Except for the inclusion of "The Day After", this is a tremendously subtle episode, leaving plenty to be read between the lines.

8/10

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Life goes on . . ., 19 June 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's enough weight and plot thread resolution in this episode that it feels like a season finale. And the real twist here is that, after all of the external threats to the Jennings' cover as spies, the real danger lies within as cracks start to form in their marriage. A fight between husband and wife is one of the episode's most uncomfortable scenes; but so is seeing Martha packing up and boarding a plane in near silence, as well as seeing the epilogue to this arc in a skillfully done time jump. Gaad is out as FBI supervisor and Paige has been put to work as a spy on Pastor Tim and his wife. That scene in and of itself is unsettling, but it's the new status quo in the Jennings house.

It does feel like a finale, which leaves the last third of the season a genuine question mark.

8/10

Swept under the rug, 19 June 2017
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

'Travel Agents' is from start to finish one of the show's most gripping episodes; and it's done without one gunshot, fight, or any violence whatsoever. Put simply, it's both the Jennings and the FBI in a race to secure the rogue Martha. And if ever there was a tragic character on "The Americans", she's the one. Duped and exploited by KGB spies, hunted by the feds, and utterly alone, even on the eve of being put on a plane for Moscow. Used and sent off to a foreign land. And Alison Wright captures the character's abject senses of panic and bewilderment; clearly the MCP of this episode and leaving an undeniable mark on the show. I'd thought for sure she'd wind up either shot of in cuffs, but this is somehow even more devastating.

8/10

The Martha situation, 19 June 2017
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Easily the best of the season thus far, and best described as . . . well, a game-changer. Because it plunges the show into uncertainty. There's an amazingly intense scene early on with both Gabriel and Elizabeth aghast at Philip's decisions of late (especially the move to bring Martha in out of the field). They're a step closer to seeing him as unfit to do the job.

But who the hell knows what'll happen to Martha herself? She took a sick day that her FBI superiors don't buy for a second, her marriage is a shambles, and she's last seen storming out of the safehouse. I didn't honestly think she'd last this long, and while there's clearly no happy ending for her, her presence has thrown this season into chaos. It's a hell of a twist.

9/10


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