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Free Fire (2016)
I loved this movie
I suspect that many people won't like this movie but I thought it was one of the best I have seen in a long time. It starts out with some amazing dialogue and some very funny and unique lines. It changes pace several times, throws in some twists and turns and as it gets darker the comedy starts to give way to human nature and reality of being shot and shot at in a close in situation.
As some of us know getting shot at and shot is not funny at all but there is some dark humor that goes with that realm. If you took a civilian and put them amongst Marines in a fire fight they'd have a hard time understanding many of the comments being made. I felt like this movie while it dealt with a different subject matter did in fact capture that dark humor.
Anyhow, it was different it isn't like anything I have seen before and it was refreshing to see that there was no cut and dry villain no stand out good guy either.
It is so good-
I am WAY outside the demographic for this show- read Grouchy mean man that deals with horrible people around the world that do horrible things to good people- I have my wife and family that makes me happy and now this show. My wife says I look like "a skinny version of Rob with the personality of Clint Eastwood in any one of his angry movies".
Anyhow, the idea that I love this show, is this > < close to being earth shattering in a way that could affect all of your lives (collectively devastating) I love the banter and writing, I love how everything is smooth and flows so well. I love that that the supporting cast is so bleepin amazing. Seriously when was the last time that you actually cared about any of the supporting cast- with this show they are all so very good- even the babysitter.
The brother and Chris etc etc all very talented all compelling and all funny. One mark of a good comedy for me is if I don't laugh- As in the script and actors are so tight that i don't want to risk missing something.
My only complaint is 6 episodes per year at 24 minutes?? Really?
Anyhow, check it out you'll love it.
Designated Survivor (2016)
Nothing New Here and Bad Acting to Boot
ABC has merely created another propaganda how that merely rehashes the same old tired tropes. So much so that you cannot ignore the heavy handed way they do it in a review unless you are blind. Republicans/conservatives are evil, greedy people that want to put guns in the hands of babies so that they can grow up and be movie theater, school, mall shooters. All of us that served in war or as Federal Agents or both are potentially broken men slash time bombs.
Why don't these shows ever show broken violent female soldiers with this new type of battlefield they are no longer far from the action. So the message is they can serve with us but don't show them as broken ultra violent vets? Got it
The problem I have is even though I agree in principle with many of the liberal ideals as a Republican I get to the same point on choice, and gay marriage for different reasons. The GOP is the party of Lincoln and Reagan we great width and depth we can say woman's right to choose may not be our cup of tea but leave religion out of it and leave government out and mind your own business. Pro choice I just get there a different way. But these shows never talk about that we are just hateful men that want to abuse your womb... ugggh lazy writing if you ask me.
The background check part really angered me. They mention tough gun control laws in the beginning of the debate and how they can count on those Congressmen/women but they stop short of pointing out that many/most or maybe even all strict gun control states have the highest gun crime. The president's wife on the day of the vote mentions school and theater shootings but doesn't mention Chicago and how we are losing so much potential there with the murder of hundreds of innocent Black men and women. Why does the left and its propaganda writers ALWAYS leave that out?
You know why because it proves background checks don't make a difference when the toughest gun laws in the nation have ZERO benefit there. I won't go so far as to say also because the Dems love to use a certain group. If you can do some unbiased math there- well like I said do the math.
OK Kiefer Sutherland I respected his dad as an actor. Kiefer has the flattest least compelling delivery of any actor out there. He might be a nice guy but the oh shucks I am just a mild mannered HUD secretary act is painful- but then suddenly he is slamming his fist on tables... Seems kind of dual personality to me.
Did I just see the President say if you vote and lose your seat I'll give you a job? Isn't that illegal?
Anyhow, just a lazy show more bent on propaganda then providing good entertainment. At some point I hope the people of this country can look beyond party and say- Look my views on guns or abortion are X or Y I don't need a poorly written and acted drama to show me what I believe in. And I am offended that they would presume that I am so weak that a sort of compelling show can convince me of something. Because in this country we shouldn't have Reich minister propagandist shilling for a party.
Unfortunately, that won't happen the far left and far right are way too wrapped up in their cult- So now couch potatoes get to watch lazy writing and bad acting and as a bonus get taught how to think- Yea USA :(
Sympathy for the Devil?
This documentary reminds me of one reason I am opposed to get rid of the death penalty. Many death penalty opponents say- why kill them why not just lock them up forever as they often do here in California. One of the answers is illustrated in this documentary- We see more and more people putting a sympathetic skew on the idea of solitary confinement and super-max type settings. which is what this show seemed to do.
It carefully shows us how these guys are in so much pain at the thought of being locked up, it shows multiple murderers tearfully recounting their time in prison or showing us how they now realize that their actions were stupid and that if they had just considered the potential future of time in prison things would have gone differently/better for them.
We hear from veterans who tell us how hard life has been for them yet we never hear about the brutal murders they carried out.
We hear from a young gangbanger how he was only 14 when he took a life and he gives us an emotional speech about being locked up forever. If you are not careful while watching this you can get sucked in by these people who aren't coming across as monsters and that is exactly what they are monsters.
Unless I missed it they never came out and said OMG this is horrible thing to do to people but they are far more sympathetic than they need to be with this type of person.
In short, this is a documentary from the same kind of person that is anti death penalty an who will tell us this type of sentencing is much better. and that may sound great until you realize these people are slowly trying to convince us that this too is inhumane.
And while this was not about administrative segregation or solitary confinement- Personally, I don't care if they are in solitary 23 hours a day and that they slowly lose their minds. Good, who cares?
If you are the type of person who doesn't care about the path of destruction these animals left behind. If you are the kind of person who for some bizarre reason feels like these condemned men deserve a better life than you'll love this program. You see a sympathetic portrayal of people who have taken a loved one away from their family, they have killed someone who will leave a massive hole in the lives of those who cared about them.
You won't hear the there side of the story. You won't hear how in the grand scheme of things these guys have it pretty good. Ask a young teenage girl if she'd rather be kidnapped, brutally raped and tortured before being murdered if she would choose that or choose being locked up in a relatively safe and comfortable environment. Ask the parents of that girl which route they'd choose. I bet not 1 of them chooses death over a chill life in prison getting education, food, TVs, housing etc.
So yeah death penalty is a tough topic- the only reservation I have about it is that we don't seem to always have a just system. But I sure don't have any sympathy for these animals who wreck lives of others. I gave this a 3 out of 10 on the merits of editing and direction etc. Technically not a bad film but in content I found it grossly offensive. Just another far left leaning propaganda flick.
Some Good Some Bad
Adding spoiler due to the family discussion and some of the team dynamics not sure if really are spoilers.
Pretty good show as far as weapon handling not a lot of mistakes which is something that typically drives me nuts in shows like this- It is a cheap and easy way to bring realism but when you see people muzzle sweeping each other or other noob mistakes.
The whole family thing I guess is a good way to add dimension but they always go for the stereotypical one nightmare relationship, one amazing relationship, one that is good but the dad is stressed because he isn't there for the family. It is the last one that bugs me. Military wives generally fall in to two categories very supportive and what we consider a valuable asset and the slag that is creating constant issues and is what we consider a consistent detriment to the org. Those wives don't last long and unfortunately can create a significant problem.
A wife that gives you the whole you are never here thing is in the latter category. Those of us in high op tempo units know we are never around and our families do too but it is simply an on off switch- if she is giving you constant hassle well she is the off switch and a problem and again- they aren't around very much.
Also, while I recognize the team and dets within the SEAL community have a more relaxed discipline than we do they went a bit over board here. Members of a high op tempo org do not sit around constantly questioning and griping or talking about the leadership behind their backs. That is poison and is every bit as dangerous as a 30 caliber round to the brain housing group. It may happen on some smaller level but nothing like it does here. The hippy dude or whatever would be a dangerous person to have on a team. The constant doubting and griping is a major disqualifier. He is a whiner and whiners need not apply that is a lack of discipline.
To be clear I am not saying it is always puppy dogs and puffy clouds but it is never and should never be second guessing and questioning. Instant obedience to orders anything less is dangerous. You may for example say- OK my boss told me to take that objective in a certain way but you may adapt as the situation dictates. You don't not stand around saying hey this is BS man that is a long way to run and I don't think you thought this through and besides they are just humans too. You execute your order 100% then after you successfully conclude the evolution when things are over with you may discuss in the after action/debrief but you never do it during or before unless you have a substantial tactical reason.
Bob is in a bad mood lately is not a substantial tactical reason. Anyhow, entertaining- I enjoyed it but it does have a good deal of Hollywood factor.
So so very good
I absolutely loved this! Not sure if the writers or advisors were officers but this is absolutely so much more realistic then any of the super blockbuster budget flicks. Things go wrong and they go wrong all the time (all facets of life) it isn't about funky gear and cool.stuff it is about adapting improvising and overcoming mistakes and sometimes incompetent staffing or briefs, etc. I felt like at times it was almost a tongue in cheek love story aimed at a VERYweird world/profession. It was quirky and fun. Dead pan and dark but also to me at least very special. The best representation of the Ridiculous problems is the social security number. My wife and I howled at that.
Ultimately I haven't finished it yet but I'd love to sit with the writer/creator and have a beer or many and talk.story. I think he'd get it or he has an uncanny ability to imagine.things most people.don't know.about and get it right. There are no super warriors and spooks just hard working dedicated people and this in a very dark way NAILED IT.
Loved it truly...
Hail, Caesar! (2016)
Oh For God's Sake
In a time when we are deeply concerned about wasting the resources of mother earth, this movie wastes everything, including almost 2 hours of my life. I am a simple man, that likes simple things and I generally take people at their word. So when I saw the professional reviews for this flick were ~85% positive, I thought well, this will be a good flick for the wife and I to watch on movie night.
I was wrong, they (the professional critics/hacks) were wrong. The wife made it about 45 minutes before deciding to go upstairs and do some work on her laptop. Yes, the movie is indeed so bad that she chose to do some work on a Saturday night rather than watch the movie. She is usually much more patient but I am more stubborn so sometimes I'll watch the whole movie no matter how bad just to I can feel more like a victim. And that is exactly what I am this movie victimized me and brutalized me- Not in swift way but sort of a long term painful assault.
The only half way decent part of the flick is the part where they try to get Hobie to say his line properly.
So please explain to me how is it that two famous directors the Coen Bros.and several huge movie stars can all conspire together to make such a horrible picture? I am generally not a big environmentalist but this movie made me wonder how is our planet any better for this movie? It can't be any better and it is certainly worse off.
Think of the poor dinosaurs that gave their lives for the fuel to power this massive abortion of a movie. I am not a brilliant man nor a I a dullard and I cannot for the life of me figure out what they were trying to achieve with this garbage. I makes me wonder if the Coen Bros. called up Clooney and the rest of the numpties and said hey- lets all get together, we'll party for a few weeks, have a good time and make some money off of it. We can do a movie so the extras, the people who work on the set, the critics etc can have a pay day and we'll be getting one over on the populace.
I cannot imagine anyone involved in this movie sitting at home one night, looking back over their life and thinking yep that was an honest day's work for an honest day's pay- IP am proud of my effort.
This movie stands for what Hollywood has become. A bunch of self serving artists who prance around in make up all day pretending to be other people. As I write, this I am reminded that movie stars like Clooney, make enormous amounts of money running around in action movies pretending to do things that are similar to what some of us have done in real life. Aside from the danger the biggest difference is they make a ton of money pretending to live the rough life when in reality they can't wait to get home to their fancy digs and complain about world events.
But I digress- essentially this movie is horrible- if you are one of those pretentious people that lives to go to an art gallery and pretend like the artwork in front of you is ground breaking or even worse if you are in real life like the pseudo intellectuals that kidnaps Clooney's character you may like this movie. For the rest of us, just regular people who have simple 'asks' when it comes to a movie- things like being entertained, informed or just plain old escapism you are going to hate it. And you should because this movie is horrible. REALLY bad- pointless and I can't help but think they are playing a joke on people- they make a movie like this and then laugh at the fools who praise it. Hey George, did you see so and so from the Daily Whatever- said, your portrayal was soulful and full of charm? Yeah man I saw that- that guy is an idiot isn't he? Or maybe it is the critics who give it rave reviews that sit back and laugh at us for yet again falling for their garbage.
PS if you saw the movie my review may remind you of it- a bunch of unrelated thoughts and ideas that really don't flow well and seem to be more like a ship lost at seas than a real review- yeah I did it on purpose.
The Hateful Eight (2015)
Lazy and Bad
On the first part of the IMDb page for this movie they have the following:
Anachronisms (9) | Continuity (11) | Errors in geography (2) | Factual errors (5) | Miscellaneous (3) | Plot holes (1) | Revealing mistakes (3) | Spoilers (4)
Except for the spoilers that is a list of basic errors and it speaks towards how bad this movie really is.
Here is my hypothesis as to why Tarantino has put out so many stinkers. At some point Tarantino was praised for the dialogue in his flicks and for sure there were some great back and forth between characters and even some great monologues. This however, is not one of those flicks.
Because of that mindset I believe his movies for the most part now are ego driven, pretentious garbage barges. There is no reason for the movie to be as long as it was and it isn't for any high ideals like not wanting to leave work on the editing floor it is simply this- Tarantino feels his cinematic prowess is so great we are going to love minute after minute of O.B. yelling at the horses, or the horse hooves stepping in to the snow. Or actors stealing glances at each other. I can imagine Tarantino and his lackeys yelling CUT!! and then patting themselves on the back for filming footfalls in the snow or two men struggling against a wind machine to lay out some rope to the outhouse which is where they should have left that horribly painful sequence. Utter pretentious nonsense.
In short, Tarantino got away with wacky dialogue and interesting cinematic displays because in those movies where he received praise they fit and the dialogue for example was part of a good movie. You know I am right- You can forgive the pretentious "look at me" cinematic bloviating when the movie is good or great. This movie wasn't and therefore his self congratulatory garbage is unacceptable. The movie is sooo long and there were many times I uttered "oh for GD sake stoppit!!"
Anyhow, I didn't like the movie-I don't like that someone like Tarantino putting out movies that the film world adores because they think they are supposed to enjoy it. It was a long movie with a boring premise, you kept waiting for something to happen and most importantly it was a long time to listen to a bunch of late 1880s cowboys using words and overly long sentences in a period where most were just regular men who said regular things with no concept of pretentious look at me directors.
Seriously- utter garbage- even with the over the top cartoonish violence was ridiculous especially the post coffee sequence. It just feels like yeah, its been done, stop making movies that are just revisits of previous recipes. Tarantino will go down as one of those directors that should have stopped after his first few successes. A good John Wayne Western stands the test of time as does a Clint Eastwood movie and even spaghetti Westerns stand up- this won't. Seriously the following is just one of many reasons this movie is garbage go check it out it will show you how lazy it is and how he is spending so much time concentrating on his previous 'done goods' that he failed to do some basic research and editing.
Anachronisms (9)+ Continuity (11) + Errors in geography (2) + Factual errors (5)+ Miscellaneous (3) + Plot holes (1) + Revealing mistakes (3) - Spoilers (4)= big fat zero of a movie.
The Crimson Field (2014)
A show that makes me a bit jealous of British TV
I really am enjoying this show and while I am not sure if it is meant to continue I hope it gets another season. I love history especially if there is a military aspect to it. This show is one of the more realistic dramas of any kind that I have seen with a military backdrop. We have all seen shows where something happens that is such a huge gaffe or unrealistic thing or often an over the top portrayal of a stereotypical military member that you realize it is a show and it ruins the moment.
I am about 20 minutes from the end and so far I haven't seen anything that makes me think OK that is garbage can't happen, wouldn't happen or that person wouldn't really be like that. Unfortunately on many occasions shows that are pretty accurate can also be a bit boring. This one isn't
Another reviewer used the word sympathetic and I think for me that is right on the money. Even some of the less likable characters are at least a bit sympathetic. You may not like the person but you get where they are coming from.
Anyhow, great cast, great topic, great story line and thoroughly enjoyable and great to watch. I only wish US made shows would tackle things like this instead of oversexed lawyers or horrible housewives of some godawful place. I feel like these kinds of shows really help us understand at least a bit the life and times of those before us.
A small example of that is most of history's shows put Germans of WW1 and WW2 in Grey uniforms. This is the first show in my memory that correctly shows the color of a German field uniform. Small think but it shows they did their homework.
Whoever produced, directed, and played in this show I hope it continues but even if it doesn't I hope you know you did an amazing job and I was totally engrossed in the movie and I thank you. If a grouchy Marine can enjoy a show with a bit of smooching and a couple character arcs that make you sad and still enjoy it, I think it should certainly be a great show for some of you more cultured folks. Give it a shot I am absolutely certain that if this topic intrigues you, you will enjoy Crimson Field.
Another Period (2015)
Exactly as stupid and over the top as I thought it would be
Within 30 seconds I knew this was going to be a bunch of normally talented people going way over the top and trying too hard..
It is the kind of show that makes me weep for America- The kind of show that sort of says- yep the movie Idiocracy is basically now a documentary. I don't understand why a bunch of normally talented actors would get involved in a project like this. Are we really that stupid as a TV audience?
For the record- if I think it is stupid you got problems.
It feels like, no one really wants to do the project, so they just went over the top and over did every single line every scene. And when they screened it they all said yep that will never fly we can do do other projects now or anything really, like just sit down in a chair and stare at something. It could actually be funny but it is just badly done. And if had to guess everyone will treat this like they are being ironic or it is like garbage modern art where only super smart folks understand that the art part is in it being- really bad. This will be seen as only smart people understand why typically great comedians are running around acting like they have never done TV before and they over sell everything. Sorry if you think the kind of comedy that is way too obvious and not even really all that good- you ain't smart good Sir or ma'am.
BTW suffragette comedy where the gal is fat and gross is an example of boring, lame and easy humor sort of like having a scene about a bad driver and when you finally see the driver it is an Asian- BORING. - Plus- the national tragedy of giving women the vote is never funny and it falls in to the "too soon?" category. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 jokes are less offensive.
Kidding it is always funny watching women vote or use a remote control or drive.
Shame I do think there is room for a spoof or parody of those god awful BBC shows about gentile rich folks.
Comedy central if you run the series PLEASE sit the cast and director down and explain the difference between comedy and acting like buffoons. And please try to do the show in a way that doesn't telegraph every punch line or sight gag. We don't need you to over do it to get that it is funny.
Here is an easy way to do this- right now they are at 11 on the overacting scale- turn it down to a 5 and let these amazing comedic actors do comedy but instead of 3 Stooges with a lobotomy with a dash of 5 year old after too much sugar.