Reviews written by registered user
phd_travel

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1109 reviews in total 
Index | Alphabetical | Chronological | Useful

37 out of 67 people found the following review useful:
Crude and unfunny - waste of a talented cast, 15 December 2016
1/10

What a waste of a potentially funny talented cast. This year's big budget Christmas movie has about 10% of it that is funny - the rest is painful crude and unfunny. The premise has some potential but things run out of steam quickly.

The cast performs as well as they can. Jennifer Aniston is probably the reason why someone would choose to watch this movie. She is good at playing the bitchy hard as nails CEO. Olivia Munn has the main female lead role here and she is quite attractive. The other Asian American cast members are wasted. Jamie Chung serves mainly as eye candy and Randall Kim has a painful goofy role. Jason Bateman is okay TJ Miller is the brother and looks suitably stoned.

Save yourself - this one is one for the bargain DVD bin.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Pretty good ghost story, 14 December 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This humorous supernatural Christmas tale is well written with humorous dialog and situations. A young lady travels to a picturesque snowy haunted inn to prepare for it's sale. There she meets a ghost who comes to solid form 12 days a year around Christmas. There is a fairly interesting mystery told in flashbacks about how the ghost had been killed.

The cast is appealing. Jen Lilley has a doll like face - very pretty. Thomas Beaudoin looks and acts suitably like a character from about a 100 years ago.

The only thing is the happy ending is welcome but not really explained well enough.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Groundhog day formula works here, 13 December 2016
8/10

This ABC family Christmas movie is better than some of the recent Hallmark holiday movies. The writing is sharper and the cast is likable - more A list for TV than usual. The Groundhog Day formula has been used in TV movies sometimes unsuccessfully, but here they got the right elements of Groundhog. Each repeated day is different enough and builds upon the last with sufficient humor and inventiveness. A young lady pining for her ex is set up on a blind date.

Amy Smart has enough vitality without being annoying and she pulls the role off quite well. Mark Paul Gosselaar is a likable enough romantic lead.

If you have to pick one Christmas movie to watch this one is okay.

15 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Funny and entertaining - the best of this kind of movie yet, 12 December 2016
9/10

Thoroughly enjoyable, this action comedy has just the right blend of East and West. When Luc Besson is involved you know the story is going to be entertaining. The dialog is funny even laugh out loud funny and the story is well written and structured with a funny part in the mall and home then the Chinese adventure and then a proper conclusion back home. It avoids the silliness of some Jackie Chan movies and the repetitive martial arts of some other crossover movies. The characters all have good lines and action even the Arun the Cruel. The scenery is pretty with an on location heart of China feel.

Acting is above average for this kind of movie. The main protagonist Jack played by Uriah Shelton is quite likable as the bullied video game geek who gets involved in an adventure in China. Chinese actress Ni Ni is pretty and acts well in the comic parts. Her English diction is good. Taiwanese actor Mark Chao is a convincing warrior Zhao.

Well done - the best of this kind of English speaking Asian action comedy so far.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Roselyn Sanchez acts and dances well, 10 December 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a well made and well written true life murder movie based on as the title states, the death of a Vegas dancer.

Roselyn Sanchez displays her talent as a dancer with some very professional looking sequences. Quite amazing for an actress who is over 40 - she is in great shape. She is a moving and convincing actress showing a lot of zest in the beginning and anguish during her troubled times. The actor who played her lover wasn't well cast. He didn't look hot enough to be so obsessed over. And his acting was a bit laid back.

This movie shows some of the sacrifice and hard work behind many of the talented dancers trying to make their way. The victim is a sympathetic character even though you wonder why a pretty talented woman would care so much for an abusive cheater.

Worth watching.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Meaningful and charming, 9 December 2016
9/10

What a treat this TV movie turned out to be.

It's quite fascinating to see the effect in 1977 of the broadcast on TV of Roots on both black and white folk in a small Southern town. Good reminder how much prejudice there was in the 70s.

Maggie Grace is just right for the role - her awkwardness and sweetness are perfect for the role of the simple good hearted hair dresser. Adam Brody plays her construction supervisor love interest. He's a likable actor who should be on TV more. Elizabeth McGovern is quite droll as the bigoted scheming comically villain hairdresser. It's great she gets to show another side from the rather bland Downton Abbey role. Good performance too from Uzo Aduba as Maggie's black best friend and partner. She doesn't overdo her black awareness. Cicely Tyson who was in the original Roots makes an appearance too.

Watch this one - it's a gem.

Appetite for Love (2016) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Yummy romance, 9 December 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This Hallmark romance is above average. The dialog is a little better written than usual and the pre ending drama is more convincing than the usual contrived problem.

Taylor Cole is beautiful and has a kind of 80s model look. She is tasked by her big corporation to make a small town diner restaurant come into line with the standard menu and look of the chain they are launching. She has to go back to the small town she left years ago. And the restaurant is run by her ex boyfriend played quite convincingly by Andrew Walker. The scenery is quite pretty with the lake and such. Also there is a point to the premise with quality food over the bad quality franchise food we get in many chain restaurants.

There are some bits of humor that work like her new name to go in line with her new persona. Her new city boyfriend exemplifies the corporate minded guy you know she won't end up with.

Worth one watch.

La La Land (2016/I)
1 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
An enchanting step in the right direction, 8 December 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In some ways this is a lovely movie with a wonderful homage to old Hollywood musicals and a romantic if slightly derivative and simplistic main musical theme.

The cinematography is nostalgic and the musical numbers are for the most part quite good. I liked them except for the Glee like freeway opening number. Generally they were not over done. Less is more. The romantic Observatory number is a standout.

The story of a the different careers of music and acting pulling them apart is a familiar one. The modern twist is the poignant ending and what if flashback. They could have made things work if she had just gone back to him after her movie. A happy ending would have been too old fashioned I guess. But the story is a bit of a downer.

Ryan Gosling - kudos to him for singing and dancing. Not many successful screen actors of his generation are capable of it. He doesn't have a Broadway caliber voice by any means or snappiness in his dancing but it doesn't matter - it's his screen presence that brings in the crowds. Emma Stone is slim and dances satisfactorily - her voice is acceptable if not that lovely. There are too many closeups of her face. Her face isn't really beautiful. The two performances aren't as high a standard as those of the multi talented MGM stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood - those who could actually sing dance and act. They don't dance for very long.

It's just so good that movie makers of this generation are trying to do this type of musical on screen again - maybe it will pave the way for some successful Broadway actors and actresses to get big screen roles they deserve. The broader audience has missed out on a lot of fine talent the last couple of decades. If only the music was more sophisticated and better written.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Good B movie with a message, 6 December 2016
7/10

For a fictional not big budget WW2 war movie it is good for what it is. An American / British team go behind enemy lines in Prussia and team up with a Russian team and a good Fraulien to stop the 4th Reich from being formed.

The cast isn't very famous except Tom Sizemore and an elderly looking Rutger Hauer. Liked the actress Julie Englebrecht - she's pretty and convincing in her role as a good German.

There is a feel good video game logic to the story but it's actually quite good. Of course there is some unrealistic aspects like the respective kill ratios. But who cares, it's quite enjoyable and the fictional elements are inspired by a factual framework.

The message of this movie is the U.S. and Russia fighting on the same side against a common enemy is a good idea.

3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Familiar concept but well done, 5 December 2016
7/10

Facing some difficulties in her life a woman wishes she hadn't been married. She gets her wish granted and dreams of life without having married her husband and the consequences of having a successful career and no love. The concept is familiar but the execution is quite light hearted and well done.

The cast is likable and avoids the annoying nature of some Hallmark movies. Nikki de Loach is quite bright without being too perky. Andrew Walker plays her husband.

The lesson is to be grateful for what you have. The alternative could be worse.


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