Reviews written by registered user
tsmithjr

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72 reviews in total 
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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
I had high expectations but was so disappointed, 26 April 2017
3/10

I had high expectations for this movie but was so disappointed with the "Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks". I expected a movie more in the vein of "And The Band Played On" (HBO 1993).

Henrietta Lacks deserved a much stronger depiction of her story. The injustices she received were wrong. Period. Instead, the movie focused more on her descendant family while only fleetingly brushing the injustices she received into the movie.

The folks who wrote and directed the movie should be embarrassed. They had a great opportunity but failed to deliver.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Simply awful the first 80 minutes contain "maybe" 5 minutes of dialog, 10 January 2012
2/10

"Day Night Day Night" was awful. The first 80 minutes of "Day Night Day Night" contained "maybe" a combined total of 5 minutes of dialog and I don't think it had that. The rest of the 95 minute "Day Night Day Night" was filled with tiresome white noise, background noise, showering, sleeping, eating, a self manicure and self pedicure and so many more monotonous activities. It was pure insidious humdrum monotony.

The only positive was that "Day Night Day Night" did capture the pure monotonous (notice a theme in the use of the word) repetitiveness of a suicide bomber as she waits, prepares, waits and waits even more in what surely had to be complete and total boredom. During all this, the arduous and even torturously tedious monotony is transferred onto the viewer over and over and over again.

It was extremely disappointing not to have used some of the 90 plus minute film to explain why or how she became a suicide bomber. Was she unhappy? Was she "brainwashed" or coerced? It didn't require 90 plus minutes of monotonous viewing to convey the tedium as she prepared herself.

Ondine (2009)
2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
So disappointing (accent barrier), 7 December 2011
2/10

Ondine was so disappointing primarily because I couldn't understand 90% of what was said due to the excessively strong accents. The strong accents may have been accurate, but most of the English speaking population aren't familiar with such strong accents.

There were several great actors in Ondine, so I was really looking forward to watching it. Unfortunately, not being familiar with the "strongest" of Irish accents (and I'm part Irish) I just couldn't understand what many and especially Colin Farrell were saying. It sounded like mumbling.

Today movies can easily be made for the general population and incorporate mechanisms to help facilitate the audience easily understanding the message. The subtitling in Avatar is a great example. They did everything possible to make the subtitling easy and quick to read. Many movies "don't care" if you can read the subtitles or see in the dark scene or understand what was said or not.

My point is that it's LAZINESS on the part of the movie maker if they don't put any effort in broadening the appeal to the audience. In the case of Ondine, you can have a "strong" accent but still have it understandable by the general populous.

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
A third rate film. Don't bother with it., 18 October 2011
3/10

Why was this alleged "film" made? "Enemies Among Us" was filmed like you were watching a documentary (no disrespect meant to any documentaries). But there was no feel or emotion or decent flow to the film. The writing was horrid and forced. It was like the script was the first lame script someone ever wrote. And the escape scene was preposterous And the directing was missing in action.

Billy Zane, Robin Givens and Eric Robins are decent actors and should have been given the key roles. I don't understand why one of them didn't get the part of the governor. Instead they gave that part to a no name and part suffered for it.

I don't know what the budget for this was, but this had that low budget feel written all over every minute of this.

And I found that the best acting was when no one was talking. What does that tell you about the poor script? There was even an annoying buzz or whine during one of the non-torture prison scenes which didn't belong there. I assume it was either some feedback or really bad sound work.

My best advice is to read a book or watch something else.

2 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A missed opportunity and a cheap attempt to cash in on genocide, 17 April 2011
3/10

The sickeningly sad lack of the west coming to the defense of the Darfur region of Sudan is an immensely important story that must to be told in as many EFFECTIVE ways as possible. But "Attack On Darfur" was a poor implementation of such an effort. It gets the point across (which is important), but sadly, in a pathetic way that's all it does and it does it so poorly. It could have been a vehicle with a much bigger and much more important and "indelibly imprinted on your mind" message. But for that simple but important goal, Attack On Darfur failed miserably. How many times have we seen a movie which left an indelible imprint on our minds? "Attack On Darfur" completely missed a chance to, without a lot of effort, create an incredibly POWERFUL message which is what the Darfur story needs. The west has never really come to the rescue of Darfur and the UN has been embarrassingly absent.

Good actors like Billy Zane, Matt Frewer and Kristanna Loken did their parts and did them well. The brutality and genocide of Darfur are displayed repeatedly. But this movie isn't seamlessly put together in a moving story that people unfamiliar with Darfur would never forget. It really wasn't well thought out. The creators figured to capitalize by creating a bunch of easy to create and shocking scenes but never considered making a final product for which the world would finally pay attention and notice. While many scenes of what happened are portrayed and they help get across the image of the severe brutality and extremely severe inhumane actions that occurred while the world sat back and looked the other way. The movie doesn't even try to leave a lasting impact on the viewer. Not in the way that it should and easily could have.

The actors do a great job showing the frustration of the journalists with what they see and the fact that the UN and the rest of the world are moving too slowly (if at all) to help the Darfur victims. The journalists are torn between keeping journalistic impartiality and the possibility that they may be able to help prevent some insidious actions. There are many sad moments, but something didn't pull this movie together the way a movie with a good message should have. The story is disturbing and the extreme evils of the Janjaweed militia are exposed. But why didn't the civilized world do something? ANYTHING?? There are many terrific scenes which portray the horror and emotional sadness experienced, but "Attack On Darfur" wasn't as good or have the emotional investment that it could or should have been (so in that regard it was a pathetic flop). Don't get me wrong, there are moving moments and an important message is told. But it was horribly told. I've seen so many better portrayals of lesser important subjects. Why couldn't the director, writer, producer and whoever else have just spent a little time trying to think how to make this movie a success? I don't know if it was the direction, the writing or what. This just wasn't as good as it could and SHOULD have been. It came across as a flat, half hearted, cheap attempt to cash in on the image of a horrible genocide that occurred in Darfur.

This movie was such an important opportunity to help portray the disgraceful inaction of the UN, the west and even the African Union. And this movie simply became a cheap dysfunctional attempt at a serious topic. So I was very disappointed. The makers of this movie should be embarrassed at the way this was put together. They decided to go cheap and WASTED good acting and the chance to have an IMPORTANT say on an incredibly sad indictment of "modern civilization" in their lack of effort to come to the rescue of the needy in Darfur. As far as I'm concerned, the makers of this movie failed just as badly as the UN, African Union and the rest of the west.

4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Save yourself and watch something else., 30 March 2011
3/10

"Just Wright" was "just bad". I'm sorry to say I gave up after watching over 1 hour 20 minutes of the film (there were about 20 minutes left). And I love basketball themed films.

Pam Grier (minimal screen time) is one of my favorite actresses and Queen Latifah is always excellent. But this was as lame as movies get. My guess is that between the poor writing (or was there no writing and the actors were allowed to improvise the whole script) and lack of any direction they couldn't pull off a save.

It was clear that Common has had zero acting classes and it sorely showed. He was un"Common"ly bad and should stick to the music that's making him money. His best acting was when he feigned an injury on the court and when he was flying a toy helicopter. Common should fire his manager for setting him up to crash and burn so badly.

I've always liked Phylicia Rashad as she always does a great job. Unfortunately she didn't have enough screen time to make a difference in this movie either. With Pam Grier and Phylicia Rashad having so little screen time, that left it all to Queen Latifah to carry the weight of the entire failing movie. And she did a truly admirable job of carrying the entire movie. But no one, no matter how good, could succeed when such a poorly written script and bad (or lack of) acting surrounded them, stacking the odds so badly against them.

Honestly, if Pam Grier, Queen Latifah and Phylicia Rashad were allowed to create their own improvised script (since there was no real script anyway) on anything they wanted and with no direction (and it also seemed like there was no direction anyway), I'm sure this movie would have come out better than it did.

If you recorded this, save yourself and hit the delete button. There was a nice concept, but no one wrote a script or gave any direction to this film.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Major disappointment, 1 March 2011
4/10

The 2010 version of The Karate Kid is exactly why I hate remakes. Usually remakes don't work. And in this case The Karate Kid 2010 remake crashed and burned. It was very disappointing. To be honest, going into the move I did lower my expectations – expecting it wouldn't be as good as the original Karate Kid. I'm sorry to say that even those lowered expectations weren't met.

It was nice to see the film change it's setting to China. That made for an interesting adaptation and it fit well with the story. BUT there's a lot of fluff and irrelevant time (don't call it an attempt at character development because it failed), the characters didn't jell and little of the story was believable. The original Karate Kid was 2 hours and it flew by. This remake was only 16 minutes longer but it seemed like it was more than 3 hours. The ending was spectacular.

Jackie Chan is excellent as always, but Jaden Smith is not quite ready for prime time, I'm sorry to say. It's admirable that his dad, Will Smith, is trying to help his son out. And Jaden did have a few modest flashes of good quality acting, but for the majority of the movie I just didn't find his character believable – including for a majority of the fight scenes during the tournament.

Overall The Karate Kid 2010 remake is a major disappointment. I guess it's worth seeing, but don't expect much from it.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A touching and very well written drama., 5 February 2011
7/10

My Sister's Keeper is a very touching drama about a family and the daughter (Kate) who is dying of Leukemia. It is extremely well done and moves you to really feel for Kate and the family.

Cameron Diaz plays the mother Sara and is fantastic as the mother fighting to save her daughter Kate. Early on, after learning Kate had Leukemia, Mom decided to have a third child primarily to help save Kate. But what does a mother do when the third child doesn't want continue with the variety of procedures used to save Kate's life? This is the first I've seen Sofia Vassilieva and she was fantastic as Kate. What a difficult part that was playing a child with Leukemia. Fortunately for Abigail Breslin she has a nice smile because she really can't act. Couldn't her parents or manager recommend her taking some remedial acting classes or whatever beginning actors do? And Joan Cusack is perfectly cast and plays the part well as the judge who must get to the difficult truth. For the most part the casting was terrific.

My Sister's Keeper is very well written and was a true joy to watch. You'll be very happy you saw "My Sister's Keeper".

28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:
A really poor storyline and poor acting, 31 January 2011
4/10

Miley Cyrus fans might hate me for saying this, but the makers of "The Last Song" should have hired a real actress for the lead role. Miley obviously doesn't have the talent or know how to act. I had nothing against her, but in this, the first role I've seen her act in, it seemed like she was just playing herself and not playing any part that was written for her.

That said, "The Last Song" is a bust. It's a set of tired old recycled and clichéd experiences and really isn't worth the 107 minutes it takes to watch it. For the most part the storyline is so tired and old. And after watching it I was also disappointed that Greg Kinnear had signed up for it. That I can remember, I've always liked his acting and the roles he chose. But in this case, the writing was so, so poor that even if the makers of "The Last Song" signed up the best actors in Hollywood it couldn't save this film. They'd have to find some writers who were at a minimum mediocre-ish in order to improve this story.

All I can say is save yourself and watch something else.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
What a great movie! Classy of the Oceans Eleven style, 27 January 2011
8/10

My wife and I loved "Lies & Alibis" it was a terrific, sophisticated, classy movie of the "Oceans Eleven" genre.

My wife and I both had the same, singular complaint. The sound mixing was horrible. There were several occasions where the "background" music was too loud and despite repeated replays, we couldn't figure out what the character was saying.

Despite the sound problems, the movie was FANTASTIC!!! It was a confluence of many disparate lives. It was a combination of the sophisticated "Oceans Eleven" and some of the sophistication of "The Thomas Crown Affair".

The cast (Steve Coogan, Rebecca Romijn, Sam Elliot and James Marsden) were terrific. The script was flawless. It's a complex story of a confidence man who juggles many different "jobs" and all the fallout which can and/or does happen.

If you liked the many faceted manipulations of strategy in Oceans Eleven and the sophistication of The Thomas Crown Affair, you'll love "Lies & Alibis".


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