Reviews

9,542 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Shut In (I) (2016)
4/10
no heart pounder
17 December 2017
Steven Portman (Charlie Heaton) is an angry teen and causes his father to drive into a truck. Six months later, Steven is in a vegetative state and his father is dead. His stepmother Mary (Naomi Watts) is struggling to care for him. She's a child psychologist. Tom Patterson (Jacob Tremblay) is a deaf patient who goes missing.

The story telling is muddled but worst than that, it's lackluster. It tries to be a little bit of Shinning with the snowy isolation. There are too many "It's a Nightmare" reveals. A great actor like Oliver Platt gets only fleeting appearances. I actually thought Tremblay would have more screen time. Overall, this movie does a lot of nothing scenes that hopes to build the mood but really does nothing at all. None of it is scary. There is an obvious twist that I fear would happen. Sure enough, it does and it's as lame as that.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
Ladies' Man
17 December 2017
John Casablancas grew up as a free wheeling playboy. It's the tough world of a young guy with plenty of beautiful women. In 60's Paris, he falls into being an agent for a model who would eventually become his second wife. As his agency grows into the 80's, he would compete against legendary Eileen Ford and bring about the age of the Supermodel.

The first part of this documentary does not fill me with hopes of great drama. I didn't follow supermodels so closely as to know the name John Casablancas or even Elite Modeling. In all, the most dramatic part is probably the battle between him and Eileen. That could make for a compelling theatrical movie. The main failing is its fawning treatment of Casablancas. There are serious allegations against modeling agencies and the man himself which is only lightly refuted. A more introspective examination would give this documentary greater depth. When "Eye in the Sky" starts playing, there is a tinge of lost that would be even more poignant if the film could lay out that perfect lost moment and follow it with a more honest portrayal of the downfall. This is really missing the downfall. He broke up his marriage for a 16 year old Stephanie Seymour. It would be compelling to hear the hurt from his ex-wife or his kid. He claims to never take drugs and that subject is not touched upon. His biggest vice is gambling and he tells a story where he ends up winning. I'm sure he had the time of his life with all the money and beautiful women everywhere. This is an one-sided telling which limits the drama.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Equity (2016)
6/10
Tale of three women
17 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Former friends Naomi Bishop (Anna Gunn) and Samantha Ryan (Alysia Reiner) reunite for a power women panel. Naomi is a top investment banker with a hot IPO of internet privacy firm Cachet. She faces a glass ceiling especially after a problematic previous client. She's sleeping with corrupt trader Michael Connor (James Purefoy) who is desperate for inside information and is being investigated by US prosecutor Ryan. A programmer reveals a hack vulnerability to Naomi which Cachet CEO Ed vehemently denies. Naomi gets ambitious underling Erin Manning (Sarah Megan Thomas) for Ed to sign an indemnity clause.

There are moments of greatness especially with Anna Gunn holding the center of the stage. This is almost good except little false notes keep popping up. I'm guessing Blackberry paid for the mention but it's shockingly unreal how every character is playing up their Blackberry phones. I'm fine with people going darker in the end but Naomi needs to be fired as a scapegoat. The movie fails to increase the intensity in many scenes with the exception of the climatic trading day. I love that Erin is secretly pregnant but Ed's pass at her needs to be bigger and more dangerously private. One of the reason I love Naomi being chewed out by her boss is that there is no buildup. He just barges in and starts barking at her. It's very effective. The connection between Naomi and Samantha needs to be tighter so that Samantha's part doesn't drift off so easily. It's obvious when Naomi gets the info that even a rumor could sink the IPO. The way to heighten the drama is for Naomi to lay out the ending of the movie directly to Ed and for the ending to happen nevertheless. She should tell Ed not to fire Marin and he fires her anyways. It's already bad that she's sleeping with Michael and gets blindsided by him. She can come off as a bit naive despite her brilliant smarts. While I get the female position in the professional sphere, the movie is not pushing the drama hard enough.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Episodes (2011– )
7/10
funniest Matt LeBlanc since Friends
17 December 2017
Married British couple, Beverly (Tamsin Greig) and Sean Lincoln (Stephen Mangan), are showrunners to a hit BAFTA-winning TV show, Lyman's Boys. Hollywood network president Merc Lapidus (John Pankow) lures them over to America to adapt their show. Only they find their vision being corrupted at every turn. Carol Rance (Kathleen Rose Perkins) is Merc's long-suffering subordinate and mistress. They are forced to cast self-obsessed Friends actor Matt LeBlanc. Sexy co-star Morning Randolph (Mircea Monroe) has an unknowable age.

Matt LeBlanc is actually funny. The cast is great. Everybody is funny. The premise of a Hollywood show is a good starting point. The fact that the group of characters outlasted the fictional show is a good sign about the chemistry. Only Morning doesn't have the connections. She's an one joke character. The weird friendships of the four main characters are at the heart of the show. They are fun, charming, and biting. I'm happy for Matt's success which shows that he's more than an one-trick pony.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
5/10
ambition exceeds execution
16 December 2017
At a New Jersey school reunion, Nathan Zuckerman (David Strathairn) recalls class football hero Swede Levov (Ewan McGregor) but Jerry tells the writer Zuckerman the full story. Nathan is jewish and marries beautiful catholic Dawn Dwyer (Jennifer Connelly) despite his father (Peter Riegert)'s religious objections. He manages his father's glove factory and moves out into the country. They live a decent life and they send their stuttering daughter Merry (Hannah Nordberg) to psychiatrist Sheila Smith (Molly Parker). A teenage Merry (Dakota Fanning) turns radical over the Vietnam war.

This is Ewan McGregor's directorial debut. It's probably too ambitious. His lack of experience leaves the movie missing a direction and intensity. It's an epic that is beyond his capabilities. First, I would abandon the wrap-around present day story. The stuttering is problematic. I'm sure that it's part of the novel but it stalls the conversational flow. Aside from the stuttering, some of the dialogue is clunky. This wants so badly to be shocking and emotionally sprawling. It would help to give Dawn more screen time especially after Merry's departure. The hotel scene with Rita is almost comical and Dawn should be there. Dawn's deterioration is too abrupt because the movie doesn't follow her down. Nathan is stuck in a frustrating way. By falling short, this fails through setting the bar too high.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Lights Out (II) (2016)
7/10
great visual concept
16 December 2017
Martin is a little boy hounded by a monster in the dark. His dad (Billy Burke) is killed by a woman in the dark. His mother (Maria Bello) seems to be talking to that mysterious being called Diana. Children's Services calls in his step-sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who has commitment issues unwilling to even let Bret keep one sock at her place. Rebecca takes Martin to her home upon seeing her mother in dire mental state.

The visual concept of a lurker in the dark is quite compelling. The movie could have done more with a slower burn. It does a big kill right at the beginning which leaves the shock of discovery less overwhelming. It becomes the same move over and over again. It's a great move but it would work so much better with a gradual ramp up. The mother's madness is intriguing. A little more thought could be used to maximize the story.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Bob Roberts (1992)
7/10
fine political satire
15 December 2017
A filmmaker documents the rise of right wing folk singer Bob Roberts (Tim Robbins) as he runs for the Pennsylvanian Senate seat. Fringe reporter Bugs Raplin (Giancarlo Esposito) is investigating the murky connections of the campaign to drug smuggling. Lukas Hart III (Alan Rickman) is a behind the scenes operator and Chet MacGregor (Ray Wise) runs the campaign. Roberts is well connected to Wall Street inverting the rebel image. His campaign team is often trading stocks on the bus.

The aspect that bugged me most is the folk singer aspect. There is something old and tired about folk singing that shouldn't fit this concept. While I understand the corrupting of 60's idealism, it needs to bring it up to the 90's instead. Roberts never quite feels real. The movie needs him to be real. I do like Giancarlo Esposito and there is a lot in terms of skewering the political system. In general, this is a fine satire of the American political system.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
6/10
is it actually any good?
15 December 2017
Elsa (Idina Menzel) and Anna (Kristen Bell) invite all of Arendelle and Olaf (Josh Gad) to a big Christmas celebration but everybody has to leave early for their own individual family traditions. The sisters are sadden by the lack of family traditions of their own. Olaf sets off to find the perfect tradition for the sisters.

Disney didn't have the highest of expectations for Coco and I'm sure they thought a free twenty minute opening act would help sell it. The backlash is warranted but it doesn't automatically mean that this is a bad short. People are on a schedule especially with little kids. Free doesn't equal love since it costs people time. By itself, is this actually any good? It's not going to be added to any future must-see holiday specials list. On the other hand, there is nothing overtly bad. It's family friendly and about family in this family gathering season. There are new songs and fans would be perfectly happy. Just don't force people. Learn from U2.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Battle of the Planets (1978–1985)
7/10
sweet childhood memories
14 December 2017
Five extraordinary orphans called G-Force fly their spacejet Phoenix to protect humanity from threats across the universe. Zoltar is the main evil villain. They are guided by robot 7-Zark-7 who flies around by flapping its cape in the underwater Center Neptune. There is also the robot dog 1-Rover-1 with a propeller tail and computer voice Susan. The five kids are Mark (Casey Kasem), Jason, Princess, Keyop, and Tiny. Mark flies a plane into the tail of Phoenix. Jason has a race car. Princess rides a motorcycle. Tiny has an all-terrain vehicle. Keyop stutters gibberish.

This was adapted from the Japanese cartoon Gatchaman. There are so many bits that I remember from my childhood although most of it is in the introduction. The stories are a jumble of wild forgettable monster of the week. 7-Zark-7 and 1-Rover-1 are fun robots for little kids but those scenes are disconnected from the rest of the show. So much of this are great childhood memories and problematic adult watch. The episodes are disjointed. One begins to understand how the show was cobbled together. The memories are much sweeter than the reality of watching this show as an adult.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A Muppet Family Christmas (1987 TV Movie)
8/10
so much goodness
14 December 2017
Fozzie Bear drives the gang thru the snow for a surprise Christmas visit to his mom. Unbeknownst to him, she's flying to Malibu, California for the holidays and has rented the home to Doc and his dog Sprocket. She stays to host the growing group of visitors. They watch home films of Muppet Babies. The Sesame Street gang drops by. Kermit and his nephew Robin discover Fraggle Rock. Miss Piggy makes a grand entrance.

There is so much Jim Henson goodness in this one hour TV special. They've brought together so many of his children TV work. There are traditional songs and some reworked ones. It's simple muppet joy and there is something fun about the childhood simplicity.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
loading
An error has occured. Please try again.