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5300 reviews in total 
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"Fleming" (2014)
27 out of 32 people found the following review useful:
Great Bond TV show about Ian Fleming, 18 February 2014

Ian Fleming (Dominic Cooper) is a disappointing playboy with a wealthy and well connected family. His brother is the shining star of his mother. He has a great love Muriel Wright (Annabelle Wallis), and a love affair with the married Ann O'Neill (Lara Pulver). His boss is Real Admiral John Godfrey (Samuel West), and assistant Second Officer Monday (Anna Chancellor).

Those who complain about the authenticity really miss the point of the series. His actual career is probably lost forever to time and state secrets. This is a marrying of Ian Fleming and James Bond. Quite frankly, I don't know why nobody has made feature movies about a semi-fictionalized Ian Fleming before. It's a great way to do a Bond movie while skirting the copyright. And you can use Fleming's name right up top maybe even 'The Man who would be Bond'.

This one does it as well as it can be done on TV. The action could be bigger. Dominic Cooper is a bratty playboy writer who turns into a brilliant intelligence officer struggling against the system. All the James Bond ideas are there intermingled with the real Ian Fleming. That's the charming part of this series.

24 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
eerily relevant lesson for today, 5 May 2004

It's a history lesson that many, who did not live through that times, should watch. Like most, I had only a passing understanding of what happened. In fact I listened to those who said Daniel Ellsberg was a traitor, and thought it an acceptable view. Having watched the movie, I now have a better appreciation of the actual story behind the rhetoric. It is a must watch for everybody who thinks history doesn't repeat itself.

James Spader is always good in his films. Sometimes the film is not up to snuf, but the subject matter here elevates everything. It could have been improved if they had a little more money for the Vietnam parts of the movie. Paul Giamatti is also good in this. YOU MUST WATCH THIS.

The Hunters (2013) (TV)
22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:
Not quite enough, 26 December 2013

Brothers Paxton (Robbie Amell) and Tripp Flynn (Keenan Tracey) find their parents (Michelle Forbes, Dan Payne) have gone missing, and they're in a secret society of Hunters who track down legendary artifacts for safe keeping. The brothers and friend Dylan (Alexa Vega) have to track down a secret artifact and save the Flynn parents.

There are some good actors working here including the great Victor Garber. But I'm not sure the material is up to it. While the premise of a secret society is interesting, it's been done better elsewhere. This feels like a TV movie pilot hoping for a series pickup.

I get that they're trying to be a different looking thriller. People with crossbows look silly unless they can explain they're some kind of magical crossbows. The production isn't big enough to get the look right. The action isn't strong enough to be exciting. The CGI is lesser TV level. Everything is just slightly not quite enough.

12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Compelling Doc will Shock You in the End, 1 September 2013

National Geographic photographer James Balog wanted to test his skepticism about climate change. With his Extreme Ice Survey, he was able to photograph undeniable changes in some glaciers.

In this documentary, Balog deploys a series of time-lapse cameras to capture a long term visual record of the world's changing glaciers. The lengths to which this is accomplished is mind boggling.

It's a compelling watch and an important work. But it's the shocking final result that will amaze you. The visual of these glaciers actually melting right before your eyes will shake you to your core as it did to me.

22 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Now We Fool You, 27 August 2013

Four magicians answer a mysterious call to work for an obscure secret society. A year later, they call themselves the Four Horseman, and create havoc with their magic. Their first trick to rob a bank draw the FBI and Interpol into a cat and mouse game.

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, and Dave Franco play the 4 magicians. They have great chemistry and their interactions have great energy. They had a fun time being interrogated by Mark Ruffalo's FBI agent. It was a promising start as a fun interesting movie that gives us a little insight into magicians. Then it turned.

It became all flash little substance. The heists kept coming. It's like the movie was its own trick. They kept pumping up the flash in order to disguise the lack of a good story. And the final twist was just fool's gold. There is no foreshadowing. It was done for its shock value. Sadly, by then I was out of shock. All sound and fury signifying nothing.

13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Not an improvement but I like the Paris location, 16 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After suffering a miscarriage, Rosemary (Zoe Saldana) and Guy Woodhouse (Patrick J. Adams) move to Paris. They have one friend there, Julie (Christina Cole). Guy is a struggling writer who is completely blocked. Soon they befriend Margaux (Carole Bouquet) and Roman Castevet (Jason Isaacs). They take in the couple to their beautiful exclusive apartment building.

I love the Paris location but this is an unnecessary remake. The running time is way too long. The 1968 original is already long. I can accept that since the movie was so well made and also that's the style of that era. This one is even longer, and it's not better for it.

The cast is just as impressive as the original. Zoe Saldana doesn't have the fragility of Mia Farrow but she does frantic very well. I like Patrick Adams as the husband more than John Cassavetes. He's a puppy-face pretty boy. The switch for his character is harsher and more heart breaking. Jason Isaacs is a compelling villain and it's nice to see french beauty Carole Bouquet again. Although I miss Ruth Gordon. There is something about an old creepy witch. It matches.

The last group scene is also not an improvement. The old scene from the original is claustrophobic. It used to be interior and closed off. It is creepier, scarier, and ultimately much more effective. Like many changes from the original, it is neither effective nor an improvement.

20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Dark Grimmy Psychological Thriller... a little too long, 26 August 2013

Sam Rockwell is John Moon, a poacher living in poverty ridden backwoods. His father lost their family farm to the bank. His wife played by Kelly Reilly has left him taking their child with her. He is struggling to accept this.

Then one day on a hunt, he runs across a dead girl, an overturned truck, and a box full of money. He takes the money, and abandons the body. Except somebody comes looking for the money and knows John took it. It becomes psychological combat as the mysterious person try to force John to divulge where the money is.

The gritty grim of overwhelming poverty is well done. Everybody looks like they just did meth. However there are too many scenes of nothing happening as John Moon walks around hunting. It adds nothing that isn't already there. They are better off trimming those scenes to lessen the 2 hours running time and pick up the pace.

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
technically sound but adds little to cinema, 13 May 2015

It's 1300 BC and 400 years of enslavement for the Jews. Moses (Christian Bale) saves Ramesses' (Joel Edgerton) life in a battle with the Hittite. Prophecy suggests that Moses would become the leader. Moses' true origin is revealed and Ramesses becomes leader after his father's death. Moses had discovered Viceroy Hegep's corruption. Hegep reveals Moses' secret to Ramesses and Moses is sent into exile. After having a family, God sends him back to Egypt to lead his people out of slavery.

There are some minor differences from 'The Ten Commandments (56)' that explains the human interactions. Ridley Scott brings the big action. There are great actors doing good work. In the end, this is simply another version of the epic with some changes. It is technically sound. The pace is uneven with some very slow sections. It doesn't add anything to the story or cinema. It can only redo some of the iconic special effects. It doesn't dive into Moses' personality. It tries to make him more human and less icon. It's not as compelling. It leaves me wondering why this movie needed to be made. This movie is made to be forgotten.

Hours (2013)
14 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Paul Walker charming good guy, 12 December 2013

Nolan Hayes (Paul Walker) brings his pregnant wife (Genesis Rodriguez) to the hospital right as Hurricane Katrina is about to hit. His wife doesn't survive and their baby is born needing an incubator. Then the hospital is abandoned and he's left alone without any power.

Paul Walker has that charming regular guy persona. I have no complaints about him. He does a great job in essentially an one-man job for much of this movie.

The script doesn't maintain the tension all the way through. There are too many flashbacks, and too many slow spots. The backstory is somewhat charming but not very compelling. Instead of the flashbacks, the story could have used more special effects from the storm. For a low budget movie, that may be asking too much. For much of the movie, Walker is carrying this all by himself. And he pulls it off for the most part.

"Hostages" (2013)
22 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Sorry I'm Out!, 22 October 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After watching episode 5, I have no choice but to quit. I didn't want to do it, but the writers have forced my hand. This is an intricate thriller. Once the characters become idiots, there is no recovering from that.

Duncan Carlisle (Dylan McDermott) is a rogue FBI in a vast conspiracy to assassinate the President. With his shady ragtag team, he kidnaps Dr. Ellen Sanders (Toni Collette) and her family to blackmail her into murdering the President during his surgery.

Whenever there is a vast and hidden conspiracy, the writing has to be impeccable. Any plot holes or logic problems will shine a glaring neon sign on the show's problems. Seeing how the creator Rotem Shamir has already made the same show in Israel which I have not seen. I would hope that the writers have everything squared away and tight. Despite some clunky moves in the first 4 episodes, I was willing to go along with it. After all, they have Toni Collette, Dylan McDermott, and Tate Donovan. They're terrific experienced actors.

It never made sense that the kidnappers would allow both of the kids walk out of the house. Even if they don't want the secret service to be suspicious, one sick kid at home can't be out of the ordinary. Have one be home sick for a couple of days, then the other. Then kidnappers would have at least one kid at home easily for one whole week. The kids are the ultimate anchors against the parents. No way they let them walk off even with the most powerful tracking devices.

Then episode 5 went off the tracks. When Dr. Sanders was at the bus station, why wouldn't she go talk to her kids? It probably takes as much time to do that than to drop off the package at the info desk. Why? Because if she actually did that, then something even stupider couldn't have happened.

Why would Jake call home? What kind of idiot is he? Is he 5? How big of a pussy is he? The corollary of this-show-can't-be-stupid is that the characters can't be idiots. And calling home???? Where the kidnappers are???? WHY????? While I understand why the writers would want the family together at the house, there were much better ways to achieve that. Sandrine could have easily caught them at the bus stop. They could have made a really fun exciting action sequence out of it. She could easily tranq or tased them. Stuff them in the trunk. It's not that hard.

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