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1071 reviews in total 
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Quite charming and funny, 22 November 2016

This Halloween movie has some acceptable dialog and funny magic. Less annoying than some of those Christmas movies out there.

Ryan McPartlin from Chuck who has a certain goofball charm suitable for this movie plays a warlock who has to marry another witch soon or lose his magic. He meets a mortal psychiatrist, the cute Nikki de Loach and they of course fall in love.

It's quite well done the way things work out for them and for the other couple - the arranged witch and another warlock with no magic. Things wear a bit thin towards the end.

If you are going to watch one Halloween movie this one is an alright choice.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fake enagement turns real, 22 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

An above average Hallmark Christmas movie. Jessica Lowndes of 90210 is an interior decorator who loses her fiancé to her cousin. Later at her cousin's wedding the friend of her fiancé pretends to be her boyfriend and they launch into a charade of a fake engagements. Guess what - true love blossoms.

A major plus point is this movie avoids getting too annoying and avoids fake melodrama just before the end as in many Hallmark movies.

The dialog is okay and it's quite cute how she forgave her cousin and ex fiancé.

The McMansion doesn't look that great after the make over the interior decor could have been played up more. It was no extreme makeover home edition for sure.

Jessica is too beautiful to be dumped but it's okay.

Worth one watch.

2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Fast moving and a likable cast, 21 November 2016

This Neflix show about the Capitol being destroyed with the President et all inside is quite exciting and fast moving. Somehow the premise is done in a fairly believable as the designated survivor a junior politician becomes the President. The subject matter of the episodes is pretty current. It deals with the treatment of Muslims in the country, immigration, States vs the President and fighting terrorists abroad. The subplot about the search for the conspiracy about the bombing keeps one tuned in. There are some weaknesses. Some of the dialog is too simplistic and banal. They keep saying President of the United States too often. President would be enough.

Kiefer whispers a bit too much. He isn't very presidential looking but that is the point. The supporting cast is good and the type of people you like to see on screen. Maggie Q is a convincing FBI agent. Adan Canto is a good sharp Chief of Staff. Like Natasha McElhone as the first lady - beautiful and smart looking. Also Virginia Madsen is suitable congresswoman on the other side of the aisle.

Of the new shows this season this is one worth watching.

Denial (2016/II)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Topical but Rachel Weisz is wrong for the role, 21 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There is so much denying of atrocities that this is an interesting subject to see on screen from the Middle East to Nanjing. In this well made movie a British holocaust denier David Irving sued an American Jewish Historian Deborah Lipstadt for calling him that.

The best parts of this movie are the trip to Auschwitz to investigate and the trial in London.

The worst parts of this movie are the times when Deborah acts stubborn and uncooperative with her legal team. Even though she apologizes it makes her seem unsympathetic. Also the big team against one loon makes the battle seem a foregone conclusion. The climax isn't exciting in the sense that the outcome was so certain, what court would rule for a holocaust denier? It seems a bit of an anti climax.

The acting is good. Rachel Weisz isn't the best for this role. Her accent and manner just don't ring American. There could have been so many more convincing actresses to play the role. Tom Wilkison is good as Deborah's barrister. So is Tim Spall who plays David Irving with a hateful look on his face.

Worth a watch

8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Funny, original and well made, 19 November 2016

Just watched this Netflix comedy and was pleasantly surprised. The production values are high and the writing is funny with lots of laugh out loud moments and good one liners. The story is original with a person who writes a novel about an assassin but his publisher markets it as a true story. Things get quite complicated as he gets caught up in different factions wanting to assassinate the other in Venezuela.

Kevin James as always amazes with lots of physical dexterity despite his size. Zulay Henao plays a female DEA agent and she has some amusing and snappy action sequences and fight scenes. Her dialog with Kevin James is quite hilarious. Andy Garcia gets quite a few comic roles these days and he is good. Liked Maurice Compte - Colonel Carrillo from Narcos in a supporting role.

One of the best Kevin James movies.

Girl in the Box (2016) (TV)
One of the most intense Lifetime true crime movies, 18 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This Lifetime movie is big screen feature film quality. I found it better than Room because the true story is so much more bizarre and horrible than any fictional account could be. It's better than the Lifetime Ariel Castro movie.

The story of Colleen Stan kidnapped raped and brainwashed for 7 years is truly horrific. Her confinement in the box is terrible but quite shocking is how brainwashed she was that she didn't escape given many opportunities. Her visit to her family is so unbelievable it has to be true.

The cast is excellent. Addison Timlin as Colleen is convincing and acts well. Her suffering is shown enough. Zane Holtz is good too as the crazy kidnapper. Zelda Williams daughter of Robin is equally convincing as the wife who has some warped religious rationale.

This movie is better than many big budget fictional thrillers.

Shut In (2016)
3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
The wonderful Naomi can barely save this - it's just too lousy a story, 17 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Firstly I usually enjoy everything Naomi Watts acts in. If not for her this movie would not be worth watching. The plot is in turns predictable, preposterous, clichéd and over simplistic. Although it is quite scary at times.

Naomi who is very pretty and should get better roles than this plays a psychologist who lives in a rural Maine town. Her husband is killed in an accident which leaves her stepson paralyzed. This stepson is played by Charlie Heaton and he does look suitably troubled teen. She has to care for him and looks after children with problems including a deaf boy played by Jacob Tremblay from Room. She starts to think she is losing it when strange things start happening.

The twist from supernatural to slasher is when things get bad. Why would the villain be such a homicidal maniac? You know which one of the supporting cast is toast pretty quickly. The ending is so formula.

Quite a let down.

Christmas Cookies (2016) (TV)
4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Made me hungry for cookies, 17 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There are lots of similar Hallmark movies around Christmas time. Often they involve a bailout of a struggling business in a small town and this movie is no exception. But this one is above average for a couple of reasons. The leads are likable attractive and not annoying. Jill Wagner is lively without being too perky as the corporate executive trying to bail out the cookie company in a quaint town. Wes Brown is the head of the struggling cookie company who wants to keep the factory and the town going. Of course romance ensues in a gradual not too cute way. The little Christmas traditions are quite alright and the rides on the sled look fun. Also the cookies are delicious looking. So there is an appetizing focus to the movie. The weakness is the solution to the problem seems a bit sudden and unconvincing - but what do you expect from this kind of movie.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Clever story., 16 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

2 men who look exactly alike, a teacher and a wealthy business man with a complicated personal life and business in trouble meet. The teacher inhabits the life of the business man who disappears. It's quite delightful and perfectly written how he interacts with the family members and romantic entanglements of the wealth man.

I don't want to go too much into the story because how the story unfolds is the greatest pleasure of this movie. Daphne Du Maurier always has good stories that grab you into the mysteries but I think this movie has some improvements on the original literature on which it is based.

Matthew Rhys of 'the Americans' is a good actor and it's quaint to hear him speak with a British accent since he is more well know internationally always playing an American.

It's hard to praise this movie without stating what a feel good wonderful ending this movie has. It's so neat and satisfying. Liked the country house where it was filmed - stately but not too ostentatious.

An excellent made for TV movie that's better than many feature films.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Exquisitely detailed both grand and intimate - just some miscasting, 15 November 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is a testament to how good this series is that a dramatization of such a well known person and such well known events could be so mesmerizing. The detail is just mind boggling. There is such painstaking detail to recreate each scene from Commonwealth tours to minor ones. The sets are sumptuous and the costumes are perfect. No wonder it cost so much to make. The writing is superb with such good dialog in the intimate scenes that one only imagined before. Just finished season 1, all 10 episodes and each one is better than the last. Quite shocking to see on screen (even though it is known) is the vitriolic hatred Edward VIII had for the rest of the Windsors due to the treatment of Wallis.

Some of the outstanding aspects of this first season are the handling of marriage with divorced persons - both with Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and with Princess Margaret's love for the divorced Peter Townsend. A well handled angle is the difficult position the Queen finds herself in. Even marital conflict is shown with Prince Philip portrayed rather negatively. Do feel more sympathy for the Queen after watching this series.

The flaw in this series is the jarring miscasting of some of the characters. Jared Harris looks too different from George VI and the actress who plays the Queen Mother is also terribly miscast - she should have been a plumper more round looking actress. They don't capture their essences. Vanessa Kirby is a bit indelicate for Margaret - maybe a bit large. Claire Foy does a good imitation of the Queen's accent but she has a rather hesitant look - more suitable for the household staff than the Queen. She doesn't look regal. But maybe she will change later. Physically her face is rather too different. Surprisingly Matt Smith the weird actor from Dr Who although uglier than Prince Phillip does capture his essence. John Lithgow even though too tall acts so well as Churchill it's quite award worthy. But the errors in casting don't prevent this series being outstanding television.

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