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8289 reviews in total 
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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
limited laughs, 21 October 2016

When ghosts show up in New York, who do you call? Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is looking to get tenure at Columbia. She tries to hide her previous work in the paranormal but her former partner Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) has republished their book. With quirky engineer assistant Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon), Abby is continuing the ghostly research. They finally discover a ghost and get kicked off the campus. Subway worker Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones) follows Rowan North to find him planting a device to attract a ghost. Patty joins the ghostbusters and they hire Kevin Beckman (Chris Hemsworth) as their hot dim-witted receptionist.

There are limited laughs. The girls aren't maximizing the comedy. Hemsworth as a mimbo is worth a couple of chuckles. McKinnon is fine as a weirdo. Leslie Jones is great. There is potential between McCarthy and Wiig. The problem is that they start off wrong. Wiig recounts a childhood story which could have worked much better as a flashback. It would set the duo off on a much better footing. The group works well enough and there are plenty of ghostly action. Most of the cameos don't work except maybe Ernie Hudson. Overall, there needs to be more funny jokes.

worthwhile warning, 21 October 2016

David McKay and Bradley Crowder are friends from Midland, Texas. They start following Brandon Darby who started Common Cause after Katrina. Brandon is angered by the brutality and the callousness of the authorities during the crisis and frustrated by the scrutiny of Homeland Security. Under Brandon's militant leadership, they plan actions against the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. Much of this documentary comes from McKay and Crowder after they got arrested. Shockingly, Brandon Darby is revealed to be the FBI informant.

It is very possible that Darby entrapped these guys into the scheme. It's even more possible that the government is ruthless in its prosecution. Nevertheless, it's not so simple to root for these guys. At the end of the day, they were involved. This is more of a warning to all those would-be revolutionaries. It is interesting that Brandon Darby has gone full Breitbart which only shows the thin barrier between anarchist Marxist revolutionaries and conspiracy-obsessed right-wingers. The two extreme ends of the political spectrum are a lot closer than most people think.

Tango in Vegas, 20 October 2016

Richard Longman (Peter Sarsgaard) is a dot com meteor on the rise. He's alone and depressed. He talks to Florence (Molly Parker) at his coffee place who turns out to be a stripper. He offers her $10k to spend three days in Las Vegas with him. He lays out the terms where they spend four hours each night but with limitation. He starts falling for her. Her local friend Jerri (Carla Gugino) is a card dealer.

This could have been a simple two person erotic play following in the footsteps of "Last Tango in Paris". Sarsgaard and Parker are very capable actors. It wouldn't be breaking any new grounds but it would still be interesting to see the actors try their best. Sarsgaard definitely has the sadness but he doesn't strike me as a nerd who needs to pay for a girl. That guy is too beautiful to not have a dozen girls chasing after him. Director Wayne Wang is unable to deliver anything visually compelling other than some memorable erotica. The mixing of lower grade indie cinematography is distracting. In the end, this doesn't really get there.

better than the original, 20 October 2016

A man tries to destroy a ghoulie in a drum of solvents at a gas station and is killed. Larry and Uncle Ned stop the Satan's Den truck at the gas station and several ghoulies sneak on. They arrive at the Hardin Family Carnival. Business man Phillip Hardin audits his late father's money-losing amusement park threatening to close it down. He gives them one week to turn their fortune around. He tells Sir Nigel Penneyweight that he's turning Satan's Den into a mud wrestling show. Larry and Uncle Ned set up Satan's Den. The ghoulies start their killings and become part of the attraction.

This is slightly better than the original. The most important reason being that any cheesiness is excused by being a carnival setting. It makes everything including the ghoulies more reasonable. The carnival is supposed to be cheesy. This one is also more fun. It's less amateurish in both the scale and the acting. This is simply better.

disjointed disconnecting, 20 October 2016

Nic is 5 year old in 1953 Kenya. Later, he attends an all-boys school in England. Nic (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) catches his drunken girlfriend Susan (Kelly Macdonald) making out at a funeral. Gina McKee and Bernard Hill play her parents. Adult Nic (Julian Sands) drive his wife (Johanna Torell) and son to a country house. There is a black man Adam and a white girl Eve with a white horse. Another story follows Saffron Burrows as separated English and Italian twins running into each other at the airport. The Italian one is picked up by Nic. They and others go off to the Sahara desert.

Writer/director Mike Figgis delivers a disjointed, disconnected story. There is a connection that almost makes sense but never truly delivers any powerful point. It tries to be this big idea starting with the title but ends up with nothing more than a muddled experimental art-house film. It is never emotionally connected. All of the effort is stuck trying to understand the lack of flow.

lurid overstuffed, 20 October 2016

Popular Lt. Gen. Joseph "Fighting Joe" Campbell (James Cromwell) announces his retirement and is expected to be the next VP pick. Warr. Off. Paul Brenner (John Travolta) flirts with his daughter Capt. Elizabeth Campbell (Leslie Stefanson). U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command agent Brenner goes undercover to take down illegal arms trade on the base. When Elizabeth is found striped and killed, Brenner is assigned the case with his ex agent Sara Sunhill (Madeleine Stowe). Col. William Kent (Timothy Hutton) leads the base MPs. They have 36 hours before the FBI sends in a task force. The investigation uncovers Elizabeth's hidden sex dungeon and her commander in psy ops Col. Robert Moore (James Woods) becomes the main suspect.

This thriller is overloaded with hard-boiled performances and sleazy sexuality. There is so much manly posing that Travolta gets to be off-putting. He doesn't need to be the brash overconfident investigator. He is better as a normal human being so that this over-the-top story can actually effect him emotionally. Every performance, every twist, and every turn seem to be raised up to an eleven.

compelling historical drama, 19 October 2016

Ricardo Fernandez (Esai Morales) and his family escaped the Spanish Civil War to Pueto Rico 18 years ago. He wants to write about his childhood hero political writer Federico Garcia Lorca (Andy Garcia). He goes back to Spain to investigate Lorca's disappearance despite his father's concerns. As a child in Granada, Ricardo brought his family to Lorca's play. It is the start of the Spanish Civil War and Lorca is seen as a leftist agitator. Young Ricardo is taken with the charismatic Lorca.

This is an interesting historical drama. There is a bit of melodrama. The acting is good for the most part. It may be more compelling to concentrate more on Lorca and his life instead of the back and forth between the two time lines. It may also have more tension if the movie doesn't basically give away Lorca's end right from the start. I don't know anything about the real life of Lorca and it's nice to get a version of it here. The location shoots don't hurt either.

Ghoulies (1984)
80s B-horror, 19 October 2016

Jonathan Graves inherits his late father's mansion. His father led a cult for Lucifer and tried to kill him as a baby. He was rescued by the caretaker Wolfgang before his father completed the ritual. His girlfriend Rebecca discovers a demonic book in the library. Jonathan discovers the ritual site in the dungeon and his father's notes. Rebecca throws a party with their friends. After the party, Jonathan uses the notes to call up demons and gain demonic powers.

The acting is mostly amateurish. This is notable for a young Mariska Hargitay in a supporting role as one of the friends. Michael Des Barres and Jack Nance are a couple of veteran actors. Nobody is doing great work here. The special effects are somewhat cheesy and not shot that well. The creepy sharp-teethed demons are slimy puppets that are almost funny in their cheesy appearances. Everything screams weak 80s B-horror. All the comedy comes from its cheese.

different tact on marriage cheating, 19 October 2016

Grace Bichon (Julia Roberts) seems to have a happy life with husband Eddie (Dennis Quaid) and daughter Caroline. She dutifully does work with the other wives in the Charity League and runs her father's horse stable. Then she catches Eddie with his mistress on the streets. She leaves with her daughter to stay with her father Wyly King (Robert Duvall), mother Georgia (Gena Rowlands), and sister Emma Rae King (Kyra Sedgwick). There is a horse jumping Grand Prix coming up. As the couple toys with divorce, Grace is pursued by a suitor. Her parents push her to stay in her marriage and her sister joins her in anger.

How one takes this movie depends on how one views cheating. The standard female empowerment would require the wife to overcome the cheating husband and find a new man or find her inner self. This one takes a different tact and it could annoy some people. The actors are solid. Their rom-com personna may not fit the more complicated take on cheating.

some real, some funny, 19 October 2016

Barbara Dray (Louise Bourgoin) is a grad student writing her PHD thesis on her way to being a professor assistant. She encounters video store clerk Nicolas Malle (Pio Marmaï) and they start flirting with movie titles. She gets pregnant. They have a girl naming her Lea, not Martha. Barb's irreverent mom dismisses the perfect mother idea. Barb struggles with raising Lea as it comes to a head.

This has a reality and some funny moments. Bourgoin is a tall gorgeous model with some comedic chops. The story has a little bit of sadness and plenty of the struggles of child-raising. The movie opens with a very pregnant Barb unable to get comfortable. While it's a funny bit, it does indicate the moment when the movie should start to finish, and it's not. After she gives birth, the movie keeps going. It feels run-on. It might be better to foreshadow a moment later on in the movie. Overall, it has compelling everywoman story done with sincerity, comedy, and poetry.

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