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The Revenant (2015)
Boring and a waste of time
This is a typical revenge movie. But the director was taking out revenge against the audience. Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio gave good performances, though not Oscar worthy. Other actors played their parts, got paid and went home. This 2 1/2 hour movie contained 1 1/2 hours of material and 1 hour of nature scenery that added nothing to the story. His would have seen a fairly decent film if these extraneous scenes were cut. The music droned on and made me want to go to sleep. That being said, many people leaving the theater seemed to like the movie. Though one couple walked out at the 1 1/2 hour point not to return. I would not recommend seeing this movie unless you've seen everything else and are bored.
Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)
Should be renamed "Fifty Shades of Boring"
I didn't read the book. Prior to seeing the movie, I only saw trailers and briefly heard about the movie from news and others. The movie was what I expected in terms of story. But the acting was lackluster from everyone. The directing was minimally acceptable. I almost fell asleep a couple of times. I think the hype was mostly because someone wanted to tell a story of the taboo S&M sexual practices. So it was supposed to be "racy, daring and different". Apparently I missed the memo on how bad it was since I saw it on opening day and the theater was about 15% full. It's sad that I'll never get this two hours and three minutes out of my life back. But there apparently will be more Grey movies as there are three books in the series. I should have spent my money and time on Kingsman".
The Sessions (2012)
It's nice to see some originality from Hollywood.
I like a good action movie, but am continually disappointed in Hollywood's lack on creativity and originality. Movies based upon true stories can provide the originality that I like. If the direction and acting is good, then I find it a great movie. This is almost one of those movies. I'm giving it a high rating because of its originality. The acting and directing were good, but not exceptional. The director could have provided more of an emotional connection with the audience. I would have liked to have known more of the main character's emotional development. Why did he feel the way he did? What provided the need to drive him? This was addressed in a very superficial way. This could have been a movie that would have emotionally stayed with the viewer for quite some time. Instead, it emotionally stayed with me until I left the doors of the theater. Good movie, don't get me wrong. But it could have been Oscar worthy. I don't think it is. It's a great date movie, if you can find it playing in your area. It does seem to have a relatively limited release.
Killing Them Softly (2012)
There are some really good actors in this movie. Unfortunately the quality of the actors were not enough to over come the tremendously horrible writing and directing. I wanted to walk out during the opening scenes. It was painful to watch and hear. It only got worse as the movie progressed. Some people think that just because something it different and not "mainstream", it's artistic and should be praised. I think I'd rather be water boarded than have to watch this movie again. The government should consider forcing detainees to watch this movie. It's legal torture. I have only seen two movies that were worse - "Gods and Generals" and "The Krays". Save yourselves. See something else. Anything else.
A difficult movie to get involved with.
This movie series is based upon the book by Ayn Rand. It is a political movie with a sci-fi, world of the future flair. What is the world like when the "rich pay their fair share" is taken to extremes? What if the most talented people begin to disappear? And who is John Gault? One problem with this movie is that you need to have seen Part 1 first. It is currently available streaming on Netflix. The second problem is that none of the actors/actresses in Part 1 are in Part 2, even though their characters are. This discontinuity is disturbing, especially since the actors in Part 1 were better. The third problem (minor I agree) is that the Foley (sound) artist seems to think that a jet sounds like a WWII propeller plane when it goes by. The fourth and biggest problem is that there is a Part 3 to the story, but no announcement that Part 3 is in production. If this movie does poorly, there may not be a Part 3 and you'd be left hanging unless you buy and read the book. It doesn't look too promising since there were three people in the theater when I saw it (including me). I was pulled into the story (both Part 1 and 2), so I didn't find it a waste of time. But I'm going to have to get the book to find out the ending. My recommendation is that unless you're a die-hard movie goer like me, pass on this movie.
The Thing (2011)
Not worth admission
I've seen the original The Thing, John Carpenter's The Thing and now this third remake of The Thing. This version offers absolutely nothing new. The alien/monster is lame. It's one of the worst aliens I've seen in movies in a long time. The art director probably thought it was cool, but I wonder what he thought when he sobered up. The movie is not scary or suspenseful. The acting is on par with a movie of this type. Not bad, but not Oscar performances either. Direction was mediocre, even for a B sci-fi movie. Save yourself some money, skip this version and rent John Carpenter's version. It's a better movie and the DVD rental cost is much less.
The Debt (2010)
Decent, but not outstanding
This movie is worth watching, but it is slow. There is a lot of bouncing back and forth between past and present day. This is to keep the viewer in the dark until the last minute. Unfortunately, there was not much surprise as the movie and the relationships involved are quite predictable. The acting was superb by all actors/actresses. This is definitely a drama and not an action film. This is not a bad thing, but the trailers do tend to make it look a little more like an action film. I suspect that there will be several Oscar nominations for this film. Mostly due to Hollywood and the subject matter of the film. I do think that some acting is worthy of Oscar nomination. The film itself is good, but not Oscar worthy. Still, I'd put money on its nomination. It's worthy of seeing.
Apollo 18 (2011)
Save your money
The most redeeming aspect of this movie was that it lasted only 1 hour and 26 minutes. It seemed like an eternity. I am not a big fan of the hand held camera style of Blair Witch Project, etc. This movie was not even that good. The plot was weak and predictable. It left you only glad it was over. There was no real acting involved and the acting that did exist was lack luster. This was no fault of the actors (all three of them), but the writer and director gave them nothing to work with. It's portrayed as real events, though we all know that it's simply fiction. Some people might actually believe it. I pity them. My group of 4 saw on (the smart one) walk out after 10 minutes. I need to see another movie just to get the memory of this one out of my brain.