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5300 reviews in total 
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Click (2006)
unlikeable Sandler ruins this, 26 June 2015

Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is an angry family man. He has to deal with idiotic clients at his work as an architect. His family led by his wife Donna (Kate Beckinsale) wants more of his attention. One night, he goes out to buy an universal remote. Only 'Bed, Bath and Beyond' is open, and Morty (Christopher Walken) goes Way Beyond to get him a special remote.

Sandler ruins this movie at every turn with his anger and hatefulness. He doesn't like people and the audience can feel that. It doesn't take long before Rob Schneider plays a racially insensitive character. It's got Sandler's brand of childish humor. All of it is salvageable if Sandler's character is played nicer. It would be better for him to be a lovable loser. The story of a man finding his way to reconnect with his family is a compelling and heart-warming one. It's just that Sandler's character keeps annoying me and stops me from liking this movie.

Lana Turner terrific, 26 June 2015

Frank Chambers (John Garfield) is a drifter hitchhiking from San Fransico to San Diego. He stops outside of L.A. where he inquires about a MAN WANTED sign. Diner owner Nick Smith hires him. Surprisingly, the old plain Nick is married to the glamorous Cora (Lana Turner). After initially trying to get rid of Frank, she has an affair with him and plans to kill Nick. After some failed attempts, both Frank and Nick ride the car off the cliff. Frank survives and prosecutor Kyle Sackett tries to send them to prison. Arthur Keats (Hume Cronyn) is the lawyer defending Cora.

Lana Turner is terrific. She has the desperation for something better. Right from the first moment, she is perfect for the role. I'm not as sold on Garfield. I wish he's more charismatic and more innocent. He has a bit too much of a hard edge. It's fine for a drifter but not so much when he needs to fumble the murder attempts and the police interrogation. Although they do have sexual chemistry which is saying a lot for the time.

Nightbreed (1990)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
great idea with limitations, 26 June 2015

Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer) has disturbing dreams of Midian where monsters live. Psychiatrist Dr. Decker (David Cronenberg) is treating him and convinces him that he committed a series of murders. He tries to go to Midian for real and is rejected by its inhabitants. The police catches up to him outside the gates and Decker tricks the police into killing Boone. Boone is resurrected and he is accepted into Midian. His girlfriend Lori Winston tracks down Boone but she is followed by Decker who turns out to be the real monster.

Clive Barker is not quite good enough to direct this. Cronenberg is competent as a villain but he would have been a far superior choice as the director. This is filled with the grotesque and weird monstrosities. Some of it is very effective gore. Narcisse slicing through his own head is amazing although other creatures are less effective. There's only so much real makeup can do and CGI is rather primitive. The movie attempts for grand horror but Barker doesn't have it in him. He is still stuck in a lot of B-movie horror tropes. The cops are too silly. There are not enough good actors for the minor roles.

Coherence (2013)
an extended Twilight Zone episode, 26 June 2015

A group of acquaintances have a dinner party in L.A. A comet is passing through and things start going wrong. Cell phones break. Power goes out. Hugh and Amir go to a neighbor who still has power. They return with a box that contains ping pong paddles and pictures of everybody. Hugh tells them that there's a very similar dinner party at the other house. Mike, Laurie, Em, and Kevin go over to see for themselves. They encounter four similar people except they're holding red glow sticks instead of blue glow sticks. The group surmises that this is Schrödinger's cat where two possible outcomes both exist.

For a no-budget, no-special effects, sci-fi movie, this works as much as can be expected. The idea belongs more to a hour long Twilight Zone episode. The scene, where the characters are first trying to figure out the situation, has a bit too much gobadigoop. They're pulling in things like the Tunguska event that doesn't add to their situation. The writing needs a little sharpening. The acting is perfectly good. There are a few recognizable faces but they're mostly second tier actors. It would probably help to make Emily Baldoni the single lead actress. Then the movie follows her POV which would make finding people from other realities more shocking. At one point, the characters from different realities get mixed up and I don't much care. Also with so many mash-ups, there should be a few doubles or triples. It's a cute Twilight Zone episode that is not that compelling, not mysterious and not scary at all. It has no thrills and muddied rooting interest.

Cake (2014/II)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Good job but story needs more tension, 26 June 2015

Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston) suffers from constant pain and struggling with a tragic lost. Her housekeeper Silvana (Adriana Barraza) is her constant and mostly her only helper. She goes to a support group where Nina Collins (Anna Kendrick) just committed suicide. After threatening group leader Annette (Felicity Huffman), she gets Nina's address and befriends Nina's husband Roy Collins (Sam Worthington). She's hooked on pain killers and haunted by Nina's presence.

Aniston does a great job. The story isn't much and there is a need for more tension. I am still not sold on Sam Worthington. His character has potential to give Aniston something to play off of but he provides very little. In contrast, William H. Macy has a juicy scene and goes to town on it. This is a simple story that needs something to elevate the danger. It's relying too much on simply will she or won't she.

well made Kung Fu movie, 26 June 2015

Lee (Bruce Lee) is a Hong Kong Shaolin martial artist. His master tells him about a former student Mr. Han who has turned into a crime lord on his own private island. British agent Braithwaite sends Lee to a tournament run by Han. O'Hara is Han's menacing henchman who pushed Lee's sister to her death. Mei Ling is an agent on the island but the agency has lost contact with her. Roper (John Saxon) owes money to gangsters and his 'nam buddy Williams (Jim Kelly) is on the run from racist cops. Both end up entering the tournament.

Bruce Lee continues as a charismatic star with superior action skills. The fights are fun. John Saxon proves to have some good fighting skills while Jim Kelly has a big enough personality to be a compelling actor. It has some slower aspects and the story is pretty simple. Overall, it is a well made action thriller with some great fights especially considering the era. It is a standout among Kung Fu B-movies with many imitators to follow.

Europe '51 (1952)
compelling sainthood story but a bit too melodramatic, 26 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Irene (Ingrid Bergman) is a socialite married to George Girard (Alexander Knox). She neglects her son Michele and ignores his pleads. After his death, she suffers from guilt and starts helping people in need. Her communist cousin Andrea Casatti takes her to the other half of Rome. George is annoyed about her absences and accuses her of having an affair. She tries to help a young man and his parents. He had committed armed robbery and she pushes him to turn himself in. The police accuses her of helping him escape. George puts her in a mental asylum and abandons her. Her need to help others is declared insanity.

I like the idea of a saint in the modern world. The main drawback is that it's a little melodramatic at times. Ingrid Bergman is a glamorous star but her acting can sometimes be a little old school. This is a compelling story. The melodramatic touches may be better served with some simple grittiness. I rather she not break down in the asylum which would make her imprisonment more unjust.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
some problems but a few great touches of 2001, 25 June 2015

In the near future, Earth is devastated by blight where corn is the only surviving crop. Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is a former astronaut pilot who has turned to farming like everybody else. He and his daughter Murph find an underground NASA site run by Dr. John Brand (Michael Caine). Brand calculates that the blight will wipe out mankind in a generation. He is working on plans to save humanity after wormholes have been discovered leading to other worlds. Coop goes on a mission with Brand's daughter Dr. Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), Romilly and Doyle. However the mission runs into problems of relativity and sabotage. Meanwhile Murph (Jessica Chastain) grows up and tries to finish the calculations by Brand.

I have problems with the setup to this movie. The idea that everybody needs to turn into farmers seems laughable. There are all kinds of problems with the start. The blight seems to be a catch-all for Nolan to use as a tool to explain away whatever he needs. It's inelegant and clunky. Apparently, science is not necessary anymore in this world. It's not like this dystopian world has run out of oil. A lot of it seems unlikely.

Once McConaughey goes up into space, the movie gets better. It has touches of 2001 but generally, it is more like 2010. There are still some problems with unlikely human reactions. The whole conflict between Tom and Murph seems overblown. It's trying to up the drama without setting it up properly. I like McConaughey's side of the story. I would have preferred to stay mostly with him and lose some of Chastain's. I'm afraid the time relativity ideas may be lost on some of the audience. Even the best parts of the movie do have some nagging questions. It is still an awesome movie despite its problems. Although, I thought he might turn into a space baby at the end.

Errol Morris documentary, 25 June 2015

In 1976, Dallas police officer Robert W Wood was killed during a traffic stop. His partner was one of the first female police officers in Dallas. The car was stolen and she had problems recalling the event. Randall Dale Adams was eventually convicted for the crime. David Ray Harris had bragged about the killing but later claimed that it was Randall who killed the cop. David had picked up Randall hitchhiking and spend the day together. While Randall claimed to be with his brother, David claimed that he was with Randall who shot the cop.

This is a breakthrough Errol Morris documentary. The case itself is interesting and the fact that it actually helped overturn the case is impressive. There is a hypnotic beauty to the reenactments along with the Philip Glass music. The movie does take a little while to lay down the incident. I think a more straight forward recitation of the main facts of the case with narration at the beginning would be better. This is a ground breaking documentary.

Faust (1926)
technically superior early film, 25 June 2015

Archangel rebukes Satan for the scourge of War, Plague and Famine. Faust is an alchemist trying to turn base metals into gold. Satan wagers that he can turn Faust against God. Archangel agrees to put the world in the balance. Satan brings the plague onto the town and Faust is helpless to stop it. In despair, Faust calls on the evil one and Satan sends Mephisto to tempt Faust. It's an elaborate production from UFA. It is technically superior for its time. I am not sure which version I saw. It's probably the German version. I'm not expert enough to comment on the differences. It is a compelling story from the classic tale.

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