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8927 reviews in total 
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fun action crime drama, 18 April 2017

It's 1977 Los Angeles. Porn actress Misty Mountains crashes into a house and dies. Mrs. Glenn is certain that her niece is alive and hires private investigator Holland March (Ryan Gosling) who starts tracking Amelia. Amelia hires professional muscle Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) to stop her stalker. Jackson breaks Holland's arm assuming resolution to the case. Then, two other thugs break into his place. He partners with Holland and his sassy daughter Holly to save Amelia. In the process, they discover a labyrinthine conspiracy involving a porn movie.

This is lots of fun. Shane Black takes us on a wild, irreverent ride. The cherry on top is the connection between Gosling and Crowe. They have great chemistry. Gosling is comically broad without being too broad. The little girl is fun, too. Shane knows this genre and is able to twist it in interesting ways. The story is engaging enough to follow and this is simply fun.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
beautiful and slow, 18 April 2017

It's December 1918. Tom Sherbourne (Michael Fassbender) returns from the war tired and seeking isolation. He takes a job at a remote lighthouse and marries local girl Isabel Graysmark (Alicia Vikander). She has miscarriage after miscarriage. One day, they find a boat washed ashore with a baby and a dead man aboard. She wants to keep her and convinces Tom to cover up the discovery. He learns of Hannah Roennfeldt (Rachel Weisz) who lost her husband Frank and their baby when a mob chased the German to row out into the sea.

This is beautifully filmed but slow as heck. There is limited tension. It is overwrought and a big emotional epic. Being over two hours does not help. The first half hour lacks any tension with the no drama courtship. There is a flatness to the start of the movie that throws the rest into jeopardy. It never picks up enough speed to truly get started. It would be an easy fix but the movie is intentionally without action. Tom is haunted by war but the movie doesn't show any war scenes. Frank's escape from the mob could be heart-pounding but it doesn't show that either. The story-telling seems very old fashion but it's darn beautiful. By the time the movie get emotionally epic, it had already spent almost two hours of bumping around.

Good Kids (2016/I)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
promising premise undelivered, 18 April 2017

Nora (Zoey Deutch), Andy (Nicholas Braun), Lion (Mateo Arias), and Spice (Israel Broussard) are best friends since childhood. They are unflinchingly good kids in the poor side of the resort town and headed for good colleges. They refused to party or do anything bad. Lion teaches martial arts to little kids. One of his students invites him to her birthday party on the rich side of town where they've never been. The group of townie friends decide to go partying and do all the bad things that they missed.

This is a promising premise but newcomer Chris McCoy is unable to deliver on the hard-partying fun. The premise is built to be an one-crazy-night movie. Instead, it's all stretched out and it rambles around. There are some rom-com ideas but they're slapped together haphazardly. Although, it does lead to a surprisingly great friendzone conversation. The characters and actors are perfectly nice. Braun has his great lanky awkwardness. Zoey Deutch could do more awkwardness to help her character. The other two have less to do. They're all nice but this is nothing special or anything that funny.

Meantime (1984) (TV)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
early Mike Leigh, 17 April 2017

Colin (Tim Roth) is unemployed and a little slow. His father Frank is also unemployed and so is almost everyone else he knows. Only his mother Mavis works in the family. His brother Mark (Phil Daniels) and skin head friend Coxy (Gary Oldman) drink their days away. They live aimless, hopeless lives in the jobless underclass of London. Mavis' sister Barbara and her husband John (Alfred Molina) are better off. Barbara gives Colin a job at her house which only turns the family relationships toxic.

This is early Mike Leigh and it is straight into his favorite subject, the English underclass. It's a full length TV movie filled with future stars. It is compelling and not only due to their performances. There is a real sense of these characters and their world. Like most Mike Leigh movies, this is very much a character study. These actors are buzzing with power and soul.

Louis C.K. 2017 (2017) (TV)
9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
abortion is baby murder and we're off, 16 April 2017

Louis C.K. starts this standup special with abortion and we're off. He tackles Caitlyn Jenner, Magic Mike, and sucking dicks with his irreverent takes. Anybody who loves his left turns would find this fun. The formula is familiar to any of his fans. It shouldn't be too shocking although Jenner may not appreciate his take. I've heard worst. He's not really hitting too hard. This is definitely his style even if his knife isn't super sharp. It's good fun for his fans.

As an aside, I like its up-to-date quality without being date specific. I made comments about the last Dave Chappelle Netflix specials that some of it felt dated. This special has none of those problems.

Split (2016/IX)
1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
M. Night comeback gaining speed, 16 April 2017

Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy) has been getting into trouble at school. She and her two young friends, Claire Benoit (Haley Lu Richardson) and Marcia (Jessica Sula), are kidnapped by a mysterious stranger named Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy). Kevin has been getting treatment from Dr. Karen Fletcher (Betty Buckley) for having 23 personalities. Dr. Fletcher fears Kevin has been taken over by the less desirable identities Dennis and Patricia. She dismisses their fears of an emerging Beast in their psyche. The movie also flashbacks to a young Casey on a hunting trip with her uncle John.

M. Night Shyamalan has regained much of his footing. There are some good scenes and the acting is great. McAvoy has the showy acting and he delivers. Anya Taylor-Joy does most of her work with her stone-face and those eyes. There is a nice sequence with a coat-hanger. I wonder if there is more tension to be had. M. Night keeps most of the violence off camera. I would definitely change the number 23 to something more manageable. Six would be more compelling as the audience counts up each identity. This is a solid addition to the M. Night library.

Night Owls (2015/I)
mostly two hander, 16 April 2017

Kevin (Adam Pally) is looking to have a hot drunken one-night stand. Madeline (Rosa Salazar) takes him to a house but he discovers that it's the home of his boss, famed football coach Will Campbell. He calls Peter who informs him that she's Will's mistress. Peter tells him to keep her there until he arrives in the morning. She has taken pills but Peter stops him from calling the ambulance.

This is mostly a two-person play. It's a low budget indie taking place almost entirely in a house. It rely solely on the two actors and their connection with each other. There is a good back and forth, but it never feels unwritten. It probably would serve well to have some music or a traveling montage or an excursion. It starts to feel a bit claustrophobic hanging out in that house for the whole movie. Overall, it's nice work.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
some light fun, some light action, 15 April 2017

Dr. Billy Hayes and Dr. El Lincoln are scientists working for Humanidyne and the military. They get fired after an incident with an iceman. Lincoln is a 7 foot tall black man who can't play a lick of basketball. He's been taking a serum to get smaller but he ends up with a shrinking ability. They have kept other mutants secret from the military. Johnny Bukowski is an electrically powered rock-n-roller with water as his greatest enemy. Gloria Dinallo (Courteney Cox) is a telekinetic teen with anger issues. Her sympathetic probation officer Jane Miller gets her out of the mental institution. Together in an ice cream truck, the Misfits of Science saves the world. Billy and El get back their jobs working under Dick Stetmeyer.

Yeah, I remember watching this show back in the day. It came and went after a few months. I remember the tall black guy who could shrink and the cute angst-ridden girl played by Courteney Cox not long after her Dancing in the Dark breakthrough. The writing is strictly 80's with a manufactured adventure every week. The show needs a consistent villain to give it a serial aspect. It struggles to come up with stories that could incorporate the group's abilities. More than anything, it needs a structure to generate the adventure for the show rather than this random generator from nothing. It has a light comedic feel although the funniest thing may be the naked giant black dude almost every week and the wacky one-liner experiments. It's not really that funny. This is not the best show but it has some passable fun and that unforgettable cute girl who danced with Bruce Springsteen.

jazzy, 13 April 2017

Jazz trumpeter Chet Baker (Ethan Hawke) gains early fame for his West Coast Swing. Miles Davis dismisses him as White Men's Hope. Drug addiction breaks up his marriage to Elaine (Carmen Ejogo). Years later, he is struggling. He meets actress Jane (Carmen Ejogo) who is playing Elaine in his movie. His drug dealer smashes his face for not paying. He loses the movie and his ability to play. Even his producer friend Dick Bock (Callum Keith Rennie) has had enough. With Jane's help, he lives in a van and slowly regains his trumpet playing.

The flow is idiosyncratic like jazz. I also would like more of his early drug addiction downfall. There are some good character work from Ethan Hawke. There isn't a overriding drama but it has good some personal moments. This is solid work from Hawke but the movie is a bit slow as a whole.

more advocacy than story, 12 April 2017

It's 1992 Sarajevo. Reporters are navigating the random everyday violence in the besieged city. Michael Henderson (Stephen Dillane) is a British ITN reporter. Jane Carson (Kerry Fox) and Annie McGee (Emily Lloyd) are the producers. Risto Bavic (Goran Visnjic) is their new fixer. Jimmy Flynn (Woody Harrelson) is the flashy hard-charging American reporter doing big stories. Michael starts doing stories on orphanages to shame the international community. He meets aid worker Nina (Marisa Tomei) who organizes an UN convoy to transport the orphans.

This is more advocacy than story. The real situation is devastating and needs to be told. The movie needs a more compelling cohesive plot. Stephen Dillane is a solid character actor but he's not really a movie leading man. Woody Harrelson is not in this that much and Marisa Tomei is in it even less. There are harrowing things happening in this movie. It uses news footage. It compiles a dark picture but the story is not gripping enough.

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