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1406 reviews in total 
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Rogue One (2016)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I laughed, I cheered, I cried for this FABULOUS new entry into the Star Wars Saga, 9 January 2017
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On a remote farming planet, a gentleman named Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) lives with this wife and young daughter Jyn (later Felicity Jones). They are part of the rebel alliance, trying to stay away from the Imperial forces, for Galen is a brilliant scientist and they want him to work for their destructive Empire. Its not known how long this family has been in hiding but they have schooled their daughter on where to hide if the BAD FOLKS come calling. They do. Governor Tarkin (Guy Henry) flies in and Galen tries to face his team alone. All too soon, his wife is shot as she tries to save her husband and Dr. Erso is captured. The forces fail to find Jyn but, instead, a friend of her father's, Saw Herrera (Forest Whitaker) rescues and raises her. Flash forwarding several years, we find that Jyn is in a prison work camp, somehow abandoned by Saw. When a transport she is riding in comes under attack by rebels, she escapes and soon matches up with Cassian (Diego Luna). Initially, they save each other as they maneuver this outpost of a planet. Yet, soon Cassian's plan is spilled. He must go to Saw Herrera's planet so he can FIND details of Dr. Erso and learn the fate of a trader pilot sent to talk with Saw as well. With his trusted "re-programmed" Imperial Droid, K-250 (Alan Tudyk), they are amazed to find that Jyn is his little girl. Off they go. It is on this sacred planet that they discover a monastery is in ruins and the whole place turned into a giant mining establishment, collecting fuel for a new, deadly weapon of the Empire. You guessed it, its for the Death Star. Two monks, one blind, help Jyn and Cassian locate Saw, where Jyn views a holographic message sent from her father, explaining his ultimate triumph. Despite having to build the Death Star, he has put in a secret spot of vulnerability, where the massive weapon can be destroyed. They must go to the planet where video blueprints are housed and retrieve it for the Rebels. Oh, is that all? When they make it back to the Rebel base, Jyn and Cassian are stunned that the group is ready to surrender, having witnessed the power of the Death Star. But, a small group, including the two monks, the rescued pilot, and K-250 are ready to risk all! Will they be successful? There's no question what this answer will be, but there is much sacrifice involved, sadly. This FABULOUS new entry to the Star Wars saga is exceptionally well done. The new characters are amazing, with Jones and Luna making a fine pair, and the rest so endearing, so brave. As the cast boasts a wide variety of alien creatures, as well, it is a great joy. Next, the sets couldn't be better, with an absolutely amazing creation of different planets to feast your eyes upon. Add on the great costumes, superb special effects, terrific story and never-lagging direction and here is a film to cherish indeed. George Lucas himself is most likely thunder-struck at the connection to his own first story, as this one takes place right before the actions of A New Hope. But, a warning, this is probably the most tear-generating entry of the series, so bring tissues. There is even a scene which hearkens back to another great film, Deep Impact, and is equally poignant. But, in truth, don't go rogue and think you can miss this one. Get off your behind now and rush to the theater!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
The angelic winners from Hallmark go on and on and on....., 4 January 2017
8/10

Eve (Kristin Davis) is a workaholic investment counselor. Very successful, she has sacrificed nearly everything to be a partner at a young age. Once close to her brother and his family, she sends her PA out to buy them gifts and squeezes in a few minutes with them here and there. Even after sharing a cab ride with an amazingly handsome man, Max (Eric McCormack), she isn't fazed, even though he seems to have eyes for her. Beyond that, her pushy schedule makes him lose a musical audition, as he arrives too late. Ah, but Eve is about to get a reckoning. One day near Christmas, she slips and falls on the ice. When she awakes, she finds she is in Heaven and being lectured by a talkative angel, Pearl (Shirley MacClaine). It seems that, yes, Eve has landed beyond the pearly gates but, her time on earth is not finished. Pearl instructs her that THEY are going back to bring happiness to a sad gentleman and his young niece. Wouldn't you know the man who lost his sister and singing partner happens to be Max? Can Eve truly change and focus on human relationships instead of work? What if she falls for Max and then has to go back to her Heavenly mansion? Wait, this is Hallmark, so there must be some secrets! What a lovely Xmas romance, another in the long, long line of beautiful, funny, touching Hallmark films. McCormack is one of those handsome, talented guys who is tailor made to play the romantic lead while Davis, very lovely, has a sweetness that belies her pushy role. MacClaine, too, is a treasure at all times while the young lady playing Max's niece does a fine job, too. Naturally, the film has been carefully made with great costumes, sets, a clever script and a touching direction. Maybe you missed this one during the rush up to Christmas? Look for it in the coming year as it is welcome any day, any hour, any month.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Offbeat film, but very interesting; don't go looking for it unless you want something out of the ordinary, 8 December 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rick (Christian Bale) begins this tale by relating a story his father (Brian Dennehy) told him long ago. A prince was sent to look for a pearl in Egypt, but when he got there, the royal son was given a drink which made him forget what his purpose was. Every so often, he is sent hidden reminders, which he may not see. Thus, the Prince's life was thrown off course and has little meaning but to seek pleasure. This is exactly what has happened to Rick. A successful Hollywood screenwriter (although you NEVER see him working on a film), his life is an endless search for meaning. This is especially true of his love life, as he has one night stands and, sometimes, a longer term relationship. Among his women are his ex- wife (Cate Blanchett), a married woman (Natalie Portman), a stunning model (Frieda Pinto), a stripper (Teresa Palmer), a zany Brit (Imogen Poot) and so on. Each serious romance gives promise of a fulfilling commitment but, alas, ends badly. Meanwhile, Rick's brother Barry (Wes Bentley) is a confused and sad gentlemen who lives on the poor side of town where Rick seeks him out, at times. Hanging over the both of them is the death of their brother and their own father's immense grief. Will Rick find happiness? This very unusual film has an approach that might baffle and bore some movie goers. Basically, Rick is ALWAYS on the move, virtually walking through the entire film. Yes, the scenes behind him change yet he continues his stroll. Then, too, there are many water motifs, perhaps connecting the search for the pearl; one notices waterfalls, ponds, fountains, and the Pacific ocean. The cast is quite grand and marvelous. Bale, especially, is an understated joy and because of his stellar good looks, one never tires of his walk through almost every frame. Costumes and sets are equally stunning, as is the unique camera angles and motion. As a fan of one of the top films of the ages, the director's Days of Heaven, this viewer does choose to seek out every movie Malick makes. Although this one again does not eclipse DOF, as that would be infinitely difficult, it is sure to please his fans and all those who wish for a one-of-a-kind film happening.

Arrival (2016/II)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Challenging film, with great performance by Adams; most worthwhile, 6 December 2016
9/10

Louise (Amy Adams) is a professor of linguistics and very well respected. In fact, when the US Army needed some translation of Farsi, she did the task in no time. Yet, it appears she has recently lost her only child, a daughter named Hannah, and the grief is still showing. One day, twelve alien spaceships land on earth, very scattered between the continents. As everyone is apprehensive about their purpose, including those at the university, classes are cancelled indefinitely. Yet, an army officer, Colonel Weber (Forest Whitaker) shows up at Louise's office once more. With him is a recording of the aliens' language and he wants a translation. Whoa. Telling him she would need much more time and additional tapes, the colonel takes Louise to the spaceship that is in Montana. It is there that she meets an astrophysicist, Ian (Jeremy Renner) and the rest of the crew. Weber informs Louise and Ian that every day, a door of the ship opens for a few hours and they are face to face with the aliens, a many legged being. Thus, Louise and Ian will be front and center in finding a way to communicate with the aliens and, more importantly, find out if they come in peace or destruction. After trying to interpret the whale like sounds, Louise gets another idea. Perhaps they could talk via written language so she brings in a dry erase board. IT WORKS! The aliens are soon making their own circular language patterns. But, as they still need to be decoded completely, will Louise succeed before the rest of the world goes into attack mode? In addition, why is she having strange dreams about her daughter at various stages of her life? This exceptionally challenging and intelligent film is a mind-blower. With nary a light saber in sight, its a fearful yet enchanting meeting of two planetary species. The three main cast members, Adams, Renner and Whitaker, are truly wonderful, especially Adams, who owns the movie. It is her determination, smarts, and empathy that contributes to the search for meaning. Then, too, the alien ships and their beings are wonderfully imaginative, in particular the written alien language. Even so, the ending has to be pondered, as it is deliberately vague. But, for all thoughtful movie fans, Arrival is an immense journey that everyone should take.

My Christmas Dream (2016) (TV)
2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
My dream is for Hallmark NEVER TO STOP MAKING FILMS LIKE THIS, 25 November 2016
8/10

Christina (Danica McKellar) is the top manager in a midsize town for a department store called McDougalls. Christmas is approaching and this pretty exec is a bit stressed. For one, she has to develop their annual Xmas window display but has been unable to hatch a good idea. Then, she gets word that the chain store's founder, Victoria (Deirdre Hall) is coming to look things over. Ouch. Thank the Lord for her bright and cheery assistant, Holly (Christine Lee). Normally a workaholic, Christina has no time for a personal life. As Victoria is arriving, Chrissy has an unfortunate accident with a can of falling white paint. The culprit, single dad Kurt (David Haydn-Jones) has been a great worker and instantly apologizes. But, Christina is miffed. When Henry, the custodial manager, decides to let Kurt go, she does nothing to save Kurt's job. This is not the Christmas spirit at all! Two other matters occur at once. Victoria announces that they are seeking a head honcho for a new store in Paris. A Francophile, Christina soon yearns for this job. But, first, she has to deal with an unhappy six year old customer, Cooper (Christian Convery) who gets to Santa's throne a few minutes too late. What's the little boy's wish? To make his Dad happy this holiday season! Christina promises Cooper that she will relay the message to Santa but, ho ho ho, it turns out Cooper's father is the fired Kurt! By hook or by crook, Cooper arranges meetings for Christina and Kurt, for the little lad is smitten with the pretty manager himself. Can love snow down on a Christmas match? But, wait, what about Chrissy's Paris hopes? This lovely film is a new entry in the glorious Hallmark repertoire of Holiday movies. Very welcome it is! McKellar and Haydn-Jones make good love vibrations, being talented and attractive, while Convery is simply a doll. Deirdre Hall never ages and is also very fine as the kind but demanding boss. Other wishes fulfilled are nice sets, costumes, a sweet script and a sure direction. How many fans are there for Hallmark romantic movies? It must be in the billions by now and they will like this one, too!

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Lovely and charming, pace is slow but thoughtful; the two stars are great, 14 November 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Amber (Elizabeth Roberts) is a pretty lady with a checkered past. She married young and the union didn't last long; she has had a few other bad choices in relationships. Whenever the going gets tough, Amber gets going and starts driving away. Running out of gas, she lands in a small Midwestern town and decides to stay. Very quickly, Amber finds a job in a floral shop and rents an apartment above an antique store. The establishment's owner, Clay (Rik Swartzwelder who also wrote the fine script) is a very unusual man. He doesn't "date" and he refuses to be in the same room alone with a woman who is not his wife. Thus, when an appliance breaks in Amber's apartment, she must step outside while Clay fixes it. Clay relates that he is a Christian man and has a firm direction, now, in life. Yet, without a doubt, he thinks Amber is pretty and she believes him handsome. Slowly, something akin to a twosome starts building. Shunning dates, Clay and Amber nevertheless trek to places together, like the hardware store, the library, and the grocery. Yet, Amber is startled to learn that Clay was once a "player" on college and that HE STILL is friends with a radio shock jock who Amber abhors. Most importantly, Amber may go on to another town, for Clay seems unable to declare his feelings. Will it be a happy or sad finish? This very lovely Pureflix film has two great things going in the lead thespians. Roberts is beautiful and funny as the troubled Amber while Swartzwelder is very handsome and compelling as Clay. Not only that, he WROTE the nice script, also. All of the supporting cast, not well known, do a fine job as well, while the scenery, costumes and photography are top notch. There are a couple of scenes that may confuse viewers, as they seem to display not quite Christian values but ultimately do. Released as a foil to the very objectionable Fifty Shades of Grey, this nice romantic drama will please those seeking the same.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Count on a big thrill ride, albeit rather violent; excellent story and cast, 7 November 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) has a storefront accounting office in a small Illinois town. When folks come to ask his advice, his no-nonsense style is a bit offsetting. Ah, but there's secrets. Christian is actually a high-functioning math genius with Autism. Flashing back to his childhood, Chris and his younger brother were raised by their father (Robert C. Treveiler) when their mother couldn't handle Chris' condition and ran off. Although doctors had loads of advice for Mr. Wolff, he, being a military man, had his own strategies. Basically, he trained Chris in martial arts, to diffuse negative energy, and taught him a chant of Solomon Grundy to repeat whenever Chris was troubled. Also, Chris is an expert marksman. Meanwhile, in DC, Ray King (JK Simmons) works for the Treasury Department and enlists a young underling, Marybeth (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) to help him find an accountant who is aiding the criminal elements of the world: drug cartels, mobsters and so forth. According to King, whoever this man is, of whom they have photographs, he is stunningly adept at money laundering and hiding cash. Going back to Christian, he is hired by a major robotics firm, run by Lamar Black (John Lithgow), when a minor accounting department employee, Dana (Anna Kendrick) discovers a discrepancy in the books. All too soon, through a whirlwind night of studying massive data, Christian believes its an inside job of large proportions. But, that's when the bullets start flying. In fact, assassins soon try to knock of Chris and Dana, but they don't know who they are up against. Yes, Christian is THE accountant for the mobsters and his superb training and arsenal of weapons has him prepared for any happenstance. Its going to be a fight to the finish, folks! This excellent story has been described as an unofficial superhero tale. Perhaps it is. There's no doubt that it might stretch some credulity to have a man with Autism learn to be such a genius lethal weapon. Yet, it is wonderful to ponder. Affleck is tremendous in a role of great strength; Simmons, Kendrick, Addai-Robinson, Lithgow and especially Treveiler are also wonderful. The sets and costumes take a back seat here, but are fine, while the violence WILL trouble some viewers. There were times when I had to look away but the saga is just too mighty to resist. Don't skip The Accountant, its a thrill ride and then some.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Still a classic, is Chill; great cast, absorbing drama, 4 November 2016
9/10

In South Carolina, a man named Alex commits suicide. He does it at the summer home of a successful duo, Harold (Kevin Kline) a rising running shoe manufacturer and Sarah (Glenn Close) an MD. As Alex was their friend from college days at U of Mich, they were helping him get back on his feet. Now, at the funeral, more friends poor in. Sam (Tom Berenger) is a television star, Meg (Mary Kay Place) is a fine lawyer, Michael (Jeff Goldblum) writes for People Magazine, and Karen (JoBeth Williams) is a housewife with two small boys. Only Nick (William Hurt) seems somewhat adrift, as he failed to complete a doctorate in psychology and is suspected to be a seller of drugs. All of them are grieving for Alex but, as they gather after the funeral, they begin to pick apart how far they have come in the last ten years or so. Gone are the lofty ideals of the Sixties and reality has set in. For example, Meg wanted to be a public defender until she found out how guilty most of her clients were! Now, she has opted for a more lucrative career in real estate law. In short, most of the clan has soberly fallen into jobs and choices that support a typical lifestyle. They are somewhat freaked out by Alex's young girlfriend, Chloe (Meg Tilly) for she has a more cynical view than these Idealists had when they were her age. In a long weekend together, they grieve, reveal secrets, and try to make sense of their existence. What a concept! This classic movie is still a wonderful experience. The cast is superb, with all of them delivering tour de force turns. Also lofty is the script's general scrutiny of living day to day and needing your friends to pull you through. The soundtrack is likewise wonderful with powerful choices of the best of the 60's. Add on great costumes, scenery, and Kasdan's fine direction and the result is mesmerizing. The Big Chill is big on entertainment and enrichment so get it, get it.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Miss it and you'll miss out on a special film experience, 22 October 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Jake (Asa Butterfield) lives in Florida and is a shy teen who makes friends rarely. Mainly, he is closest with his Grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp), who babysat him a lot when he was younger. Abe's bedtime tales of a home in Wales which housed a bevy of peculiarly talented children were mesmerizing. Now, Jake gets a call from Abe and must speed up to his house an hour away to make certain the old man is okay. He's not. Out in the woods behind Abe's house, Jake finds him dying, with his eyes missing. Moreover, a huge skeleton-monster tries to attack the teen, with the lad only escaping with a well-timed gunshot from a friend. Soon, Jake finds a letter inside a book which directs him to go to Miss Peregrine's Home for PC. A grief counselor thinks its a good idea for Jake to go and his author-biologist father (Scott O'Dowd) has time to take him. Once there, Jake finds that the house was abandoned long ago when it suffered a hit from a German bomber in WWII. Yet, when Dad goes birdwatching, Jake finds that Emma, Olive, and the rest of the Peculiar Children come to lead him into a time warp, where its always the day BEFORE the bombing and the children are safe. Huh. Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) smokes a pipe and takes good care of her charges; she can shape-shift into a bird when it suits her. The other kids have fantastic abilities, too; one can grow giant plants, another is invisible, still another can project his dreams from an eye camera. Yet, two evil groups of folks, the Wights, led by Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) and the Hollows (monster skeletons) are out to find the time warp where Miss P's brood lives. It is there the Jake discovers his own peculiarity; he can see the Hollows where most folks cannot. This will ultimately set up an epic battle between the feisty children, led by Miss Peregrine, and the wicked forces. But, can Jake stay in the time warp to help them? Doesn't he have to go back to Florida? This film is a dazzling visual experience, taken from the YA books by Ransom Riggs. First, the cast is great, with Green, Butterfield, Stamp, Alison Janney, Jackson, Rupert Everett, and all of the rest doing mighty fine work. Then, the film has been shot in near black-and-white, with only a pale shade of color seeping through. Now that's quite an interesting angle! Naturally, the sets on the Welsh island are terrific, as are the historic costumes, and Burton's one-of-a-kind direction of the weird and unusual. So, truly, don't miss this MISS! Nuf said.

4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
Full-steam thriller, great performance by Blunt, who is one of the finest actresses of the modern age, 11 October 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Rachel (Emily Blunt) has had a horrific year. First, she started drinking after receiving terrible personal news and her husband, Tom (Justin Theroux) ran off with Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and divorced Rach. Now, this often tipsy lady rides the train to Manhattan every day, where she seems to do little except gawk at the houses on the Hudson River route. You see, Rachel passes right by the house she shared with Tom, where he now lives with A and their baby Evie. Sometimes Rach gets a glimpse of their new happiness. More important, another couple, two doors down, also interests Rachel, as she feels they are the "perfect couple". This would be Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans). They are often on the back deck embracing, making Rachel believe in true love. Alas, it is false. One day Rachel spies Megan kissing another man, a therapist Dr. Kamal (Edgar Ramirez). Then, all Hades breaks loose. Megan disappears and no one knows where she is. When a detective (Alison Janney) shows up at Rachel's residence, a room in a friend's house, the policewoman tells Rachel that she was seen in an area where Megan was last spotted. The trouble is, Rachel has inebriated blackouts and CANNOT remember what happens in the midst of them, this time included. Could Rachel possibly be a murderer? This very fine thriller has been adapted faithfully from the great book, except in one aspect; its set in Manhattan not London! Even so, Blunt is still a Brit transplant and our Emily is amazingly wonderful in a complex role. She is my FAVORITE ACTRESS of the 21st century and this performance is another winning one in a list growing longer. The other female cast members are likewise wonderful; Bennett as the gorgeous but troubled Megan, Ferguson as the equally lovely, husband-stealing Anna and Janney as the tough police detective. Alas, the male cast members don't fare quite as well. Ramirez is the best, handsome and sensitive, while Evans is rather scary as the explosive Scott. Theroux seems perfect, being a charming guy who can turn dark, but, in this case, he doesn't get a chance to deliver. Perhaps, the director didn't give him enough guidance, as the ladies shine brightly. It's unfortunate. Yet, its not a deal maker as far as the film's overall positive experience. Viewers will love the sumptuous scenery and costumes, as well as the excellent, eerie score by Danny Elfman. All in all, you've got to see GOTT!


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