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phd_travel

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800 reviews in total 
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Get Hard (2015)
29 out of 53 people found the following review useful:
LOL funny - covers all the current stereotypes, 26 March 2015
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This comedy covers lots of current criminals and racial and class stereotypes. It's quite laugh out loud funny throughout and more clever than crude. Watch out for lots of unexpected one liners. Of course there are some crude moments - what comedy doesn't have them but I think it is more relevant and funny than the Seth Rogan type comedies. After a rising fund manager millionaire gets arrested and convicted of fraud, he hires a black man to get him ready for prison. Will Ferrell is good and makes some painful moments bearable. Kevin Hart is good too not over doing it - his "prison yard" scene is well done. Alison Brie of Mad Men is surprisingly alluring as Will's girlfriend. John Mayer makes a small cameo. You have the white white collar criminal - fund manager of course, black ex prison gang members, neo Nazi white supremacists, gays. It's funny in each different situation especially teaching the gang members about finance.

One of the funnier comedies in recent years.

Enjoyable true story prequel to 'Tombstone', 21 March 2015
8/10

This is a prequel to Tombstone, a quest by Wyatt Earp and his friends including Bat Masterson to avenge the killing of his first love Dora Hand an actress. Because the characters are real you feel for them as opposed to some fictitious Western. Also because it's a true story you don't have to question the story. Shoot outs are not too over the top and they are more realistic and exciting because of that. The Kennedy brothers who are the villains are quite well drawn villains as they sadistically shoot and kill innocent people along the way.

Val Kilmer who is a bit plump now just plays the older Wyatt Earp in the 20th century giving an interview if a San Francisco hotel to a journalist. The younger cast is led by Resident Evil's Shawn Roberts and Matt Dallas of Kyle XY. There also is an appearance by Doc Holliday played by Wilson Bethel. American Idol's Diana de Garmo plays Dora. It is interesting to see other characters besides the ones everyone knows from the OK Corrall story. This movie is a well acted true story that would be entertaining to anyone who liked Tombstone.

Insurgent (2015)
33 out of 62 people found the following review useful:
Grand and exciting follow up, 19 March 2015
9/10

This is a well done sequel that is grander (no more endless training) and more urgent than the first. The simulations are visually inventive and engrossing without being too spectacular to pull apart the story.

Compared to Hunger Games, I prefer the premise and characters in Insurgent. It's less revolting and less irritating. The cast is more attractive too. At least you felt like you were getting a complete enough movie in itself here not chopped off when things started getting interesting.

Naomi Watts is attractive as a brunette and though she looks too young to have a son of Theo James's age, it's just so good to see her on screen. Maggie Q doesn't have enough lines but she is welcome presence and believable. Miles Teller has a few comic relief lines and is quite good as the a******. Ansel Elgort is suitably weak looking as the brother. Sometimes their romantic roles in other movies with Shailene come to mind. Shailene's action is quite convincing here and although she still maintains the vulnerable girlishness that makes her role more sympathetic. Theo James and her do have a good on screen believability as a couple. Kate Winslet plays her character just loathsome enough without being a caricature.

Overall a good part 2 grand exciting and satisfying with a likable attractive cast. Much more palatable than Hunger Games.

"iZombie" (2015)
22 out of 92 people found the following review useful:
Lame, 18 March 2015
3/10

A medical resident turns into a zombie after a party gone wrong one night. She starts to work in a morgue and eat the brains of murder victims gaining insight into their deaths and helps to solve the murders. CW is making a funny version of the zombie shows out there. The problem is the screenplay isn't that well written. The comic parts aren't very funny or witty. The zombie parts with the brain eating are kind of revolting.

The cast isn't terribly well known. Rose McIver who was recently in 'Petals in the Wind' is a bit round faced. She acts well enough given the material. Robert Buckley plays her ex fiancé. After the pilot, don't see it lasting too long. It's not appealing and kind of lame.

The Prince (2014)
B Movie heaven for former A list cast, 15 March 2015
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This B movie action thriller features a Taken like scenario of a father with skills going after his druggie daughter while blasting through New Orleans. The action sequence at the end is laughable with everyone lining up to be shot like some video game. Don't know if the body count was worth saving her. Bruce Willis looked tired and barely able to move around. In the 20 year flashback he looked just as old. Jason Patric doesn't live up to the stature of "the Prince" that everyone is so afraid of. Jessica Lowndes is good at acting skanky. Jon Cusack seems to be popping up everywhere these days. If you want a mindless illogical inadvertently funny action movie to distract you this is fine.

9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
A good cast and a serious topical subject, 14 March 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This TV show about a crime that involves different races is serious and involving. A white couple is attacked in their home. The wife is raped and in a coma and the husband is killed. The suspects are African American and Hispanic. After 2 episodes you can see there is more than meets the eye as the victims are found to have in their house a large amount of the small screen drug of the moment - meth. There are some current themes about race, prejudice and preconceptions. This feels more like a cable show than network TV. Top notch cast. Felicity Huffman is quite transformed as the bitter, grieving mother of the male victim. Timothy Hutton looking bedraggled plays her ex husband. Penelope Ann Miller looks younger again and is the mother of the female victim. It's worth watching to see how things unravel as you look into the lives of the perpetrators and the victims. There is some serious quality TV here.

"The Slap" (2015)
0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Interesting premise - some episodes are good some not so, 14 March 2015
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

At a birthday party a hot tempered guy slaps someone else's kid. The family and friends involved line up on different sides as the incident snowballs. The kid was tearing up flowers and swinging his bat around dangerously. His parents didn't really keep him in check. So the questions are did he deserve to be slapped at all and if so by someone other than his parents? It's interesting because there are some out of control kids these days - so what is the proper way to deal with them and who is going to do it if the parents do not. Is physical discipline right or wrong? Each episode is from a different character's POV and has a different feel. So it depends whether you find that week's character interesting. Don't really care for Hector's (Peter Sarsgaard) character. Seems a bit slimy and unlikeable. Anouk (Uma Thurman) as a single friend was more interesting. So was Manolis (Brian Cox) the patriarch. Harry (Zachary Quinto) as the A type slapper was quite interesting too and he is quite convincing in his role. The baby sitter Connie was a bit of a drag.

Overall worth a watch to see how it pans out by there are some not so good episodes that may cause you to lose interest.

5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Exciting and involving but partly irritating story, 13 March 2015
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This action thriller features quite a lot of exciting action and is quite involving. Apart from a father protecting his son and Albanian gangsters there isn't that much resemblance to 'Taken'. The story is a bit irritating. It concerns two bad guys pals, a boss Shawn (Ed Harris) and his hit-man Jimmy (Liam Neeson). Jimmy's son Mike (Joel Kinnaman) is a limo driver who witnesses Shawn's son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) killing some people. Danny tries to rubout Mike to clean up and Jimmy kills Danny to protect Mike. The action takes you from house to car chase to subway to a pretty good housing project chase and fight to the woods. It's not excessively graphic. There are some nagging things about the story that aren't feel good in a Luc Besson way so it's hard to feel for the characters. Why did Jimmy have to shoot to kill Danny - couldn't he just have shot his arm or something? Why was Mike so ungrateful and uncooperative when Jimmy was protecting him? I get he didn't like what Jimmy did before but still the ingratitude was grating. Why was Shawn so unreasonable didn't he realize it was his own son's fault? It won't go down as a great movie because of the flaws in the story but it's an entertaining enough one watch action thriller.

Cinderella (2015)
8 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Enchanting and beautifully done, 12 March 2015
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a painstakingly detailed and visually sumptuous production which shows every aspect you could want to see of Cinderella from young to the wedding. The effects are delightful namely the transformation of the horse and carriage and slipper and dress. The fairy tale land and palace is suitably picturesque without looking too CGI.

Casting is mostly good with a predominantly British cast. Lily James with her tiny waist delivers an expressive and likable performance. While not the most classically beautiful actress she is fresh and charming. What's with her dark eyebrows though? Stepsisters were well played by the slightly plump Holiday Grainger and Sophie McShera of Downton Abbey. Helena Bonham Carter is quirky as Fairy Godmother. Cate Blanchett was superb - giving a suitably theatrical and quite spellbinding rendition of the wicked stepmother that added top class acting to this movie.

Unfortunately as the prince, Richard Madden wasn't quite dashing enough. He is a bit too short and looks ordinary and dour.

The story is faithful where it counts and has a small twist regarding the stepmother which doesn't spoil things. Some of the dialog was a bit pedestrian and not that well written but it doesn't matter. There is a bit a of a Kate & William hint with the Buckingham Palace like fountain outside the balcony after the wedding.

Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella is a faithful, thorough very well done live action movie that is more delightful than any cartoon could be.

Expecting Amish (2014) (TV)
Another fascinating culture clash Amish movie, 11 March 2015
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Although it might seem this is yet another TV movie about the Amish, for some reason they are endlessly fascinating a subject matter for TV. A group of young Amish people take a trip to LA to see the big city and decide it this is the life they want. No wonder you sometimes see Amish walking around Times Square. Anyway a sort of betrothed girl falls in love there. At first it seems like a light hearted comedy about their experiences with electronics and modern appliances and the big city but things turn more serious when she gets pregnant by her new LA boyfriend hence the title Expecting Amish. AJ Michalka isn't too beautiful so she looks quite okay and believable in the part. Her girlfriends seem a little skanky too fast when they don their city outfits. Her new boyfriend is played by Jesse McCartney who still looks a bit young to knock someone up. The Amish boyfriend is played by Jean Luc Bilodeau of Baby Daddy and he acts serious enough but why he would be such a doormat seems a bit strange. The shunning seems a bit over the top since they were given a chance to go to see the big city anyway. Brian Krause as the father looks a bit silly with the pasted on beard.

Overall worth a watch for fans of Amish culture clash movies.


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