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180 reviews in total 
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This is NOT a good movie!, 5 February 2017
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't understand how so many people could say that this was not only a good movie, but an action packed thriller.

"The Accountant" is so bad on so many levels, it's difficult to understand what it is.

The story involves a leader (JK Simmons) of the Treasury Department is about to retire, he wants to find the person responsible for killing 9 members of a mafia crime family, from 20 years earlier.

The background to this story, and the reasons why he wants to find the killer, is explained during a scene that is approx. 12 minutes long and occurs 3/4 of the way thru the film. To me, anytime that long of a scene is used to explain the first hour of what you've already scene, is a clear indication that the writers are lazy in their writing.

Next, the climax of the film is so damn ridiculous, and stupid, you will want to put a bullet thru your television. It involves two brothers who haven't seen each other for 10 years.

JK Simmons and Anna Kendrick are wasted. The most moving part of Ben Affleck's performance is his hairpiece.

Save yourself the time and the money, and avoid this movie.

4 out of 10

Jesus Camp (2006)
Spreading the word of God, or is this child abuse?, 9 December 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Jesus Camp" is a very good documentary that had me feeling ill at ease throughout the film.

In my opinion, it shows children ages 6 - 13 being groomed to preach the word of the Lord. From an early age these children are taught that they were once sinners, they need to be saved by the Lord and they need to "lead an army" to fight to get God back in the schools and to fight abortion.

I felt uneasy because when these kids go to camp, they learn about the evil world they live in. They are taught about abortion, and to stay away from Harry Potter, because he is the devil. Thought the film kids are "moved" and cry and try to show the leaders of the camp that they are worthy of the word of God. It made me feel that these kids were being abused, and I felt sick to my stomach.

The film does a great job of showing how the Evangelical movement is growing and taking an active role in trying to take over the government.

If you think Trump is scary, catch a load of some of the people in this film that are doing God's work.

Moonlight (2016/I)
4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
A touching film about the need for personal contact, 25 October 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For me, "Moonlight" was the story of a boy, who grows to manhood, who seldom knew the tenderness of another human being.

Raised in the shadows of Miami, Chiron (also known as "Little), lives with his crack smoking mother. He is bullied by boys at his school. The only people who are kind to him is a local drug dealer and his girlfriend. When the dealer finds Chiron hiding from the bullies, he tries to get the boy to open up, and talk. This man, for all of his faults is the only one that the boy comes to trust, and talk to.

As the boy grows, his mother becomes more abusive, and the bullies are even meaner, and subject Chiron to all types of insults. But Chiron has one friend he can talk to, Kevin. Chiron can talk to Kevin, and the two boys share a rare moment of affection with each other. However, the bullies force Kevin to betray Chiron, and Chiron ultimately snaps and takes revenge on the ring leader.

In act three, Chiron is now a man, and he has tried to make a life for himself in the only way that he knows, from what he's seen (no spoiler). He still has issues with his unaffectionate mother, and he meets up with Kevin, whom he hasn't seen in a number of years.

Everything about this film is excellent. The writing rings true, the acting from all three "Chiron's) is wonderful, as well as support from Naomie Harris, Janelle Monae, and Mahershala Ali.

The film dealt with themes about abuse (both physical and verbal), the need for role models, and the need for personal contact / relationships. It shows how just a little love or compassion, early in a person's development can mean so much to their life after they've grown.

8 out of 10

21 out of 28 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful film that should win Bening an Oscar, 9 October 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"20th Century Women" is the story of three women of different generations who help to see a teenage boy learn what it is to become a man.

The three women, (Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, and Elle Fanning)become the primary influences in the life of Bening's son (Lucas Jade Zumann). Being is nothing short of fantastic as the mother, Dorothea, a product of the '40s and '50's, who is leading a bohemian-type lifestyle, and who rents rooms to Abbie (a photographer played by Gerwig, and a mechanic ( Billy Crudup). I would look for Gerwig and Crudup to contend for Best Supporting Oscars. Zumann is refreshing as Bening's son, Jamie.

Mike Mills("Beginners") has created a setting in 1979 that is easily identifiable and relatable. There are no plot twists or surprises, just interesting characters that actually talk and listen to each other.

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Interesting, moody but unfulfilling film, 8 October 2016
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this at the New York Film Festival. I got my ticket at the last minute, and really didn't know anything about it.

Kristin Stewart plays a medium, whose twin brother has recently died of a heart attack. She earns a living being a personal shopper for a female celebrity (it's never made clear). At the beginning of the film she returns to the house of her dead brother, hoping to get a sign from him indicating that his spirit is still on the earth. It seems that she carries the same gene as her brother, and she fears that she may die early in life, as he did.

This is just a small sample of the winding, twisted plot. I'm not sure what the message of this movie was. I think it has to do with how we deal with being alone in the world, but it's also about living the type of life we want to live, but it's also about...well, you get the idea.

Stewart is excellent in the part of Maureen. She is on screen for practically the entire film. The rest of the cast is equally good.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good fun and a wonderful cast, 29 November 2013
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found this movie on Netflix after searching for something "good" to watch.

I have to say that this was one of the more offbeat, and enjoyable films that I've seen all year.

Based on a true story, except for the parts that aren't, "Burke and Hare" stars Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis as two down and outs who are willing to do anything to make a buck. After unsuccessful tries as con men and grave robbers, they stumble into a profession that, will supply bodies to the medical schools of Scotland.

This is a black comedy that is very funny and often hilarious. Some people may feel that the subject matter is not to be made fun of. But in true British humor, nothing is sacred.

The entire cast is terrific. From Simon Pegg to Tom Wilkinson to Tim Curry and Christopher Lee. Special kudos to Ronnie Corbett who is very funny as a Captain of the guard, tracking down his foe.

On a night when you don't know what to watch. Give "Burke and Hare" a go. Highly Recommended.

Not Quite Golden Coach, 5 June 2013
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"The Golden Coach" was an interesting project for Jean Renoir. According to his own biography, this film interested him on more of a design level, than on a story-telling level. He was much more interested in the "look" of the costumes, scenery, wigs and make-up. There have even been stories about how he would have sets built, then when the actors showed up in costume, he would order that the sets were the wrong colors, and needed to be re-painted. And from a technical point of view, the film is a feast for the eyes, and therefore a success.

The cast, especially Anna Magnani as Camilla, is excellent. They play the characters in a commedia dell'arte style production. Since the characters and the actors who portray them are all a little loud and full of energy, I found the "play within a play" structure to be appropriately maddening. I'm not sure what Renoir intended, but I thought that the story, while contrived, was interesting.

7 out of 10

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Too Much Sweetener, 17 August 2012
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Little Women" is a good, early '30's adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic tale about the March sisters and their mother as they struggle without their father/husband, who is off fighting in the Civil War.

There is certainly plenty to recommend about this film. The look of the film, costumes, sets and overall "feel" of the film is quite genuine and fine. The acting is terrific from all involved. From Katharine Hepburn to Joan Bennett, Spring Byington and Paul Lukas.

The problem is that, in my humble opinion, it is an incredibly hard film to watch, due to the extreme sweetness and, at times, corny dialog that is spoken. Now I know that being the early '30's, this is what many, during the depression era needed to make them feel warm and secure. But this is laid on way to thick. As I said, it was very hard to get thru this film. I'm glad I've seen it, but I would not watch it again.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Alexander the mediocre, 29 May 2012
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Alexander the Great" is not, by any means a great film. Let's start off there. Actually, for an "historical epic", it's really pretty boring, without much going for it.

Perhaps the most moving thing about this film is Richard Burton's hair. Burton, looks to be much older than his actual 29 years of age. Fredric March wears a ridiculous looking beard, but fortunately, is killed off half way thru the picture. Claire Bloom is lovely as ever.

I don't know what Robert Rossen intended with this picture, but the fight sequences are pretty boring and the script isn't interesting enough to make it a real sweeping epic (even though it is filmed in Cinemascope).

In the end, "Alexander the Great" is a historical bore. Watch it until Fredric March dies, then turn it off.

5 out of 10

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
So what did we learn?, 31 July 2011
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember seeing Bill Hicks perform on various HBO specials in the early - mid '80's. I'd seen him a couple of times on Letterman, and didn't think any more about him, until I had heard that he died at the age of 32 from pancreatic cancer.

I'll admit, I was never a big fan of his. I thought that other comedians were doing somewhat similar material, and doing it better. So I watched this "documentary" to see if I could learn what I was missing or not "getting" about Hicks.

I'm not sure I was missing anything. This documentary does a fine job of telling you about his origins, and his life and the people he knew. But it does not inform you as to what he believed drove his comedy. It also doesn't discuss the inner demons that he fought or explain why, after working so many years to build a career, he would just walk away from it, just because his act was edited.

His "rants" were not the stuff of Lenny Bruce or George Carlin. His talk of drugs was not as clever as Robin Williams or Sam Kinison. So the viewer is left still not able to understand why people love his comedy.

The film is told thru stop action animation, which is clever at first, but gets old real fast. It is hard to understand who is doing the talking, because actual live faces or names are rarely flashed on the screen.

On the whole, I'm glad I saw the film, but very disappointed with not having any greater insight to the man after having viewed it.

6 out of 10


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