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The Fate of the Furious (2017)
While, this movie is still Super-Charged & Adrenaline-Fueled Fun. It did hits some speed bumps with me. It had some engine troubles.
By the end of 2015's 'Furious 7', the franchise was tied together for somewhat a perfect end of the series. After all, the film had everything. Great action, wonderful humor, powerful message, and a beautiful climax ending with two good friends saying goodbye. It should had been 'the last ride'. However, yet again, the leer and greed for more money, mixed with huge egos, pretend that, from ever happening. Instead, we got 'The Fate of the Furious', another notch on the belt for the series of action films, that deals with muscle car chases and little on something else. Don't get me wrong, I do like portions of this movie. After all, it's still high-octane escapism that I can somewhat get aboard with. However, there is parts of this movie, I just couldn't stand. In fact, it's the highly annoying, yet somewhat puzzling overused clichés story that got me, angry. I really didn't like it. First off, seeing Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) betrayed his family and friends at the behest of a mysterious, seductive criminal known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) in order to steal, a government weapon was nothing new. After all, we seen, this story, play out, similar before with Leticia "Letty" Ortiz (Michelle Rodriquez) working with the bad guys in 2013's 'Fast & Furious 6'. Second off, the screenwriter, Chris Morgan left no mystery for the audience to solve on why Dominic would had join her. He just outright reveals it, in the beginning of the film. You would think, he would had learn something about the master of suspense in screen writing 101. Instead, he blew it off for other lame sub-plot revealers that wasn't that surprising. Also, I wouldn't call this movie, a stand-alone film. There is a lot of things you wouldn't get if you didn't watch the previous films. The movie does not really recap those events, besides a few mentions. Another thing that bug me, about this movie is pro-wrestling narrative, when it comes to past heels, turning into babyfaces. Seeing characters like Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), join the team with mostly open-arms in the end, after rescuing a baby, seen jarring; seeing how he killed members of their crew in the past. I get that it was trying to lay the ground work for a new phrase in the franchise, but it came across as awkward and somewhat cheesy. Those moments was not that good, as people may think. I was face palming, the moment, the family supposedly name their kid. These family arches is really getting absurd. Like the previous popcorn flick movies, the action scenes, also in this movie is downright ridiculously, especially the nuclear submarine chasing after the heroes, and the 'Carmageddon', Liberty City moment. However, it's also entertaining, even if it's highly unrealistic to see a hero or villain walk away from a car crash, without any scratches; when in truth, they should be dead or serious hurt. The over-the-top, consequence-free action hasn't gotta too tiresome yet, even if there is parts of the film that has some really awful CGI visual effects and mindless filler like the Havana scene. As for the acting, the cast is indeed 'one-trick ponies'. Nobody, really does anything new; they mostly stick to the norm. Vin Diesel still mumbles and looks tiresome. Dwayne 'the Rock' Johnson is still, playing his role as Luke Hobbs, over the top and too macho. Are you sure, this guy isn't taking Steroids!? Anyways, it wouldn't surprise me, if this is Dwayne Johnson's last movie with Vin Diesel, seeing how public, their backstage feud was. If Vin Diesel is the arguably the head of the franchise, I doubt, Dwayne could be the backbone. I really doubt it, that they would continue to work with each other, after this. They're probably going to make a spin-off of his character or something. Sadly, nobody can replace, actor Paul Walker, as the original backbone. He is sorely missed. At least, the supporting cast was a little friendly with each other. Their acting was OK, for the most part. As the series' new adversary, Charlize Theron brings the proper degree of villainous. Sad to see, that she doesn't fight Michelle Rodriquez in the end. Despite that, Rodriquez still rocks as the hot-headed Latina. I also like, Tyrese Gibson and Ludicrous in their roles, even if they are just the same old comedy relief. If there was anybody that stood out in this film for me, it would be, Jason Statham. I can watch this guy, shot guys, while, making baby talk, any day. One actor that really disappointed me, was newcomer, Scott Eastwood as the no-nonsense, Mr. Little Nobody, a law enforcement agent working under Mr. Nobody (Kurt Russell). Eastwood seems a bit too old to play such a callow character, and the jokey jabs at his expense don't always land. While, the new cast isn't as big a gear-shift as some fans expected in the wake of original cast member Paul Walker's death. The film still delivers exactly what fans have come to expect, for better and for worse, despite, the natured absurdity of how silly, these films are. Overall: If I learn anything about this series, over the years, it's that just when you think it's about to run out of gas, somehow this old car get outfitted with a new parts. Sometimes, it work, and sometimes doesn't. This time, it doesn't. The ride wasn't smooth. It was just bumpy.
What a bad joke! This 1989 biographical film of comedian and actor John Belushi is too blue. It's depressing awful!
Blues Brother, Musician, Confidant, and Comedic Legend, John Belushi deserves better than this tasteless movie, loosely based on the 1984 non-fiction book of the same name by American journalist, Bob Woodward. While, many friends and relatives of Belushi, including his widow Judith Belushi Pisano, Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi, agreed to be interviewed at length for the book, they later felt the final product was exploitative and not representative of the John Belushi they knew. The movie version written by screenwriter, Earl Mac Rauch only made things, worst, by taking took much liberties from the book, and turned it into a non-linear fantasy drama about torturing, berating, and ripping apart Belushi's corpse, played by Michael Chiklis like it was sushi, while showing gloom & doom flashbacks. However, the film doesn't end it there, oh no, while the soul of John is playing a fantasy game for his life with Judith (Lucinda Jenney) on a Blue's Brothers ping-ball machine with his enigmatic, guardian angel, Angel Velasquez (Ray Sharkey). The actor that plays, Bob Woodward (J. T Walsh) goes to the place that John died, Château Marmont, and has a surrealist conversation with the ghost on his death bed, belittled him. This was all, done with real-life Bob Woodward permission and none, from the friends & family of the comedian whom chose to instead, boycott the movie. Honestly, I don't blame them. Other offensive fantasy scenes like the autopsy and the airplane moment, made this movie hard to watch. It no way, matches the original request from John Belushi's family or his manager, Bernie Brillstein. They wanted a fun, but factual book about the actor to counter the speculation and rumors that had arisen after his death. Instead, the book and film spent more time, kicking the man while he's down, without a shred of dignity than praising anything about him, when he was alive. They don't show, much of anything about the guy. No scenes of Belushi upbringings, how he got into comedy, how he met his wife & friends, and most of all, his time in SNL. It only focus on the negative things about him. Hints, why the characters and events of Wired are a mixture of real-life people and obvious facsimiles. Nearly nobody wanted to their depiction or name in the film at all. They all threatened to sue the film for invasion of privacy, if they did. Even, if they could get the film rights to use all of the characters and locations that Belushi belong to, in his life. I still think this movie still would be as offensive as it was. Honestly, I really don't get, what the film's message, was besides being over sensationalized exploitation with a vast ocean of awkward humorless slapstick, and postmodern mindfuckery. I can only guess, that the film directed by Larry Peerce was going for a Frank Capra aura like 'It's a Wonderful Life', or worse, Charles Dickens reworking of 'A Christmas Carol', but they fail badly with the confusing time sequence and mystical scenes. It doesn't help, that this movie also has supporting characters appearing & disappearing, unannounced. It also jarring to see, actors like Ray Sharkey, lecturing to a dead Belushi about the dangers of drugs abuse. Does nobody else, see the weird irony of that!? Yes, I get that John Belushi was a drug addict and made a lot of bad decisions, however, that doesn't give the right for writers to over scrutiny his life like this. He was a human being with good things, about him. Just because, he did drugs, doesn't make him, the worst person in the world. It felt like a mean-spirited one-sided after school special. A miserable PSA. No wonder, why this movie had a hard time, finding a distributor for it. Nobody wanted a movie that exposed the dark side of Hollywood in the late 1980s. The only good thing to come out of this movie was Michael Chiklis. Unlike the other critics, I found his performance to be great. He really gave the role, everything, he has. You see it, with the singing and dancing scenes, the intense drug abuse moments, and the made up SNL skits. He does a bang up job of capturing John's mannerisms and deportment in any of the scenes that he's is. It's sad that he got blacklist in Hollywood for the longest time, after making this movie. It wasn't until, television shows 'The Commish' (1991-1996) & 'The Shield' (2002-2008) kinda save this career. He was a good actor. I can't say, the same with his co-stars. Gary Groomes looks and acts, nothing like Dan Aykroyd & Lucinda Jenney whom, I nearly forgot, was in this movie. For the movie about a comedian that supposed to be funny. It felt a little too dark & serious. In the end, the story of one man's excesses was just a miserable watch. I really can't recommended, watching this awful blue screen of death.
OMG! Ben-Hur is one of the best movies ever made. It's a sweet chariot. That's worth the ride.
Winner of 11 Academy Awards in 1959, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. 'Ben-Hur' remains one of the most inspirational, epic action spectacles ever made by a major Hollywood studio. It was a landmark achievement in grand peplum/biblical genre storytelling. Directed by William Wyler, the film tells the story of a kind, wealthy Jew, Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) whose life is thrown upside down, when he is betrayed and falsely accused of crimes against the Roman Empire by his childhood friend, turn tribune Messala (Stephen Boyd). Spending three years as a galley slave, Judah must find, a way to restore himself to high standing and while, also seeking revenge on his enemies. Without spoiling the movie, too much, while everybody thinks that this movie was the original; it was in fact, the third movie, follow after 1907 & 1925 of the same name to be made from Lew Wallace's successful novel, 1880's 'Ben-Hur: A Tale of The Christ'. It can be argued that a talking picture made from the same story as an earlier silent film is not a true remake, since the storytelling techniques each employ are so radically different, but that's up to debate, but at least, it's more original than the later films that came after it, like the 2003's animation version & the 2016 remake. Anyways, like the book, the movie also has a sub-story running in parallel with Judah's main event narrative; which was the unfolding story of Jesus. While, Jesus does play a more important role in this story more than other films, his cameo presence is still somewhat tangential. It's jarring to see a violent revenge plot, mixed his story about love thy neighbor. Thank God, the film cut the sequences of Ben-Hur faking his death, and raising a Jewish army to overthrow the Romans, as it felt that Christ's message of forgiveness, could be lost. Still, 'Ben-Hur' is the only Hollywood film to make the Vatican approved film list in the category of religion, despite having scenes of him killing an innocent guard. However, the film does have other problems than the mixed messages, it was presenting. The book and the films have always been accuse of being too similar to the book, 'The Count of Monte Cristo" by author Alexandre Dumas to the point that some critics have stated out that the film is 'The Count of Monte Cristo meets Quo Vadis'. While, me, personal, I don't see much of anything comparable; some critics says, the film is ripping off, that premise, way too much. Regardless, I did like the changes by the many screenwriters, did, to couther, being too similar to the novel, like having Messala's vindictiveness be motivated by a sexual and romantic rejection as much as a political one. I'm one of the few people that, kinda like the somewhat hidden homoerotic overtones between Judah and Messala. I also love how Heston didn't know about this; adding an interesting uncomfortable dynamic to the tense dialogue scenes between the two actors. It adds some spice and realism that was really needed for this period film. I also like how the film, add symbolism to the ocean scenes and also cut other things, like the character of Ira from the novel. I always felt that the scenes with her, was time-wasting. On top of that, the other changes like having Judah's sister being the one who dislodge the roof tile & how they treat Messala after the climatic chariot race were equally as important. However, the movie still have pacing issues. 212 minutes running time is way too long. While, I get why, the soul-stirring scenes of Christ's birth and crucifixion was needed, as it provide biblical bookends for MGM's action-packed epic. I think the outdated, theatrical overture & intermission sequence should had been delete in future releases. If anything, scenes like Judah declines the race at times, even after he learns that Messala will also compete, could had been delete as well, as the famous chariot race sequence did happen, later on the film, regardless of Judah wanting to do it or not. It felt like filler. Despite that, the climactic chariot race, which includes collisions, men dragged under chariots, bloody injuries, and intensely suspenseful competition, was so impressive in the stunt work & make up that it set new standards for action-filmmaking without modern cinematic razzle-dazzle. It was very surprising to hear that nobody got kill or seriously hurt. The colorful 1959 version was the most expensive film ever made up to its time, and the most expensive film of the 50s decade. Shot on the grand scale of $15 million, the film took six years to prepare, and over a half year in production, it was a tremendous make-or-break risk for MGM Studios. Luckily, for them, the project, ultimately saved the studio from bankruptcy as it became a box office hit, earning three times more than it took to make. Does it hold up? Yes, while it's slow at times, and some of the acting feels now, mannered, stiff, and awkward like Hugh Griffith in blackface. It still worth the praise and achievements, it got, when it first released. It still has great acting from all the cast, including more physically than emotionally compelling Heston, amazing color widescreen cinematography from Robert Surtees, beautiful music from composter Miklós Rózsa & wonderful costumes from Elizabeth Haffenden and her crew. However, this movie might be too intense to be rated G, even at the time. After all, this movie has a leper colony where two principles characters are shown with open, rotting sores and a few men drowning in the ocean battle. If anything, it could be rated PG or PG-13 now. Regardless of that, I have say, Ben-Hur is one of the ultimate epics movies of all time. A legendary movie that needs to be rewatch, time after time again. Highly recommended.
This pseudoscience documentary miss the boat. It got flooded with lies.
In 1993, CBS fell for a ruse when it decide to aired a documentary titled, 'The Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark', featuring a man named George Jammal who claimed to have discovered Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey and brought back "sacred piece of wood" from it. Soon after the broadcasting, Skeptics Society adviser, Gerald Larue publicly revealed that George Jammal was not only an actor, but a hoaxer, and that Larue himself had played a role in the trick, in order to demonstrate the shoddy research of Sun International Pictures, the studio that CBS bought the television rights, from. Both CBS, Sun, and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) respond to the allegations, by trying to ignore it, and continue to praise the project was genuine. It wasn't until, subsequent events began to undermine the defense. A few months after the broadcast, newsreporters from the Los Angeles Time & others, got Jammal to admit that the project was a hoax, and it was all, a lie in order to convert non-beliefs into the Christian faith. He got the idea by watching 1976 Sun Classic Pictures production, "In Search of Noah's Ark.". With the wood that he found; it was not 'sacred', but old wood taken from railroad tracks near his home in Long Beach, California, and hardened by cooking with various sauces like Teriyaki in a heating oven in order to age it, when finally tested. Jammal also admit that the dramatic mountain expedition to Turkey was also a deliberate hoax. In fact, not only did he get his location, wrong, by stating out that he was in some Russian town, but he hasn't travel, much or any since he came to the United States. His passport was mostly blank, by the time, he was interview for this film. Even the people that he met like Mr. Asholian, Vladimir Sobitchsky, and Allis Buls Hitian, along his supposed journey were bogus. You would think, both CBS & Sun International Pictures would had research more, about the supposedly death of Vladimir Sobitchsky; seeing how they need his family's permission to use his name and likeness. All these errors were intentional, to demonstrate just how bad SIP's fact-checking was. Jammal's story wasn't the only one, that wasn't accuracy. Other personal testimonies in the film were also highly false. One of these was Ed Davis who claims was tested to be positive by a polygraph machine. However, what the Sun program fails to mention is that, by the time, this documentary was film, two thirds of the scientific community who have the requisite background in polygraph procedures considered polygraphy to be pseudoscience. They also fail to mention Davis's test consisted only of six questions with, 3 of them, dealing with the issue of the Ark finding and the other three, dealing with other things. Even with that, one of his answers did showed unusual amount of stress in which Davis's claim of what local tribe took him to Mount Ararat. Over time, he would change his answer, from the Lourds to the Kurds. A third claimed Ark eyewitness was Fernand Navarra whom claimed to have found wood from the Ark. While, it is true, that the wood was tested in three different laboratories to proves that it was clearly in line with the biblical account of the flood. What the show did not say is that, Navarra purchased the wood from natives in town and carried it up the mountain himself, prior to his 1955 discovery. Finally, the show failed to note that Navarra has pointed out several different locations as where he found his wood. Other eyewitnesses' stories like Georgie Hagopian and Ed Behling has also been proved faults, due to their information, not matching with other explorers that visit that region. In fact, even the satellite photographs that the film show, was misleading. For example, the footage at the end of the program showed a photograph allegedly taken from the air by former astronaut James Irwin during his last flight over Ararat was in fact, a mountain in Ohio, taken by Bob Garbe. Even the famous Ark photograph of the Durupinar site that has the natural stone formation resembled a boat; in truth, just ancient volcano circler dome. It's not even from Mount Ararat, but from an area in the Mount Tendürek area of eastern Turkey. This is not the only thing, the film got wrong. The scientific demonstrations were misleading. While, I do like the idea of the hyper plate theory; it lacks much in-depth analysis, has implausible initial conditions, and data is often arbitrarily fitted to the model. Not on that, but this documentary didn't label their experts, correctly. Only six people were in the science community; while the rest were advocates of creationism, posing as scientists. The documentary also didn't study the bible, because, if they did, they would know that 'Ararat' refers to a region, not to a specific mountain. Maybe Noah Ark on Mount Ararat in Turkey, or maybe not, but all I know is all this research by this movie should be taken with a grain of salt. Not even Ark researchers like Bill Crouse & John Morris believe in what, the film is saying. I don't blame them. The program was highly script, with cheesy reenactments, failing badly, due to below standards acting, special effects and make up. The only highlight is narrator, Darren McGavin, but even that, was kinda weak, with his straw man arguments. It got so bad, that 'The Discovery of Noah's Ark', narrative by G. Edward Griffin was made later that year, in order to fix this documentary. Seriously, what were CBS thinking? Do your research, next time! Make sure, the film is legit. It's already hard enough to believe the theory that Noah's Ark could had exist, but 'The Incredible Discovery of Noah Arks' makes the belief, even harder. It probably put the nail on the coffin on the subject. Can't recommended watching.
Like a roller-coaster, WrestleMania 33 has its ups and downs. It was enjoyable, even if the ride is too damn long
WrestleMania has always been considered WWE's flagship event, having been described as the Super Bowl of sports entertainment. Taking place on April 2, 2017 at Orlando, Florida. 'WrestleMania 33' was the first joint-promotion flagship event, since 'WrestleMania XXVII' in 2011, when the original brand split ended. The event was also the second 'WrestleMania' to be held at the Camping World Stadium, which previously hosted 'WrestleMania XXIV' in 2008 under the venue's previous name of Orlando Citrus Bowl, and the third to be held in the state of Florida, the second being 'WrestleMania XXVIII' in 2012. Now that we establish the settings, how was the show compare to the others 'WrestleManias'. Surprising, it wasn't that bad, but it did had some audio and camera problems. Still, it was a huge upgrade from last year's disappointing show 'WrestleMania 32', plus it had a cooler entrance set. Most of the matches were top-notch. Ever the preshow matches, weren't that bad. The first match between Cruiserweight Champion, Adrian Neville Vs Challenger Austin Aries was an excellent opener. It's too bad, that it took place, when fans are still, getting in the stadium. So the fan support wasn't all here, but I did like it, more than the second match on the pre-show card, the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Without spoiling the match, too much, I just couldn't get onboard with the winner. I also dislike the involvement of celebrities. Why can they jump over the barrier, and manhandle the wrestlers, while the common person cannot? I would rather see that female security guard taser him. That would entertaining me, more than seeing Rob Gronkowski in the match. I get that, 'Gronk' just won the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, despite being on injured reserve, but this was WrestleMania, and he wasn't a wrestler. Plus, he was at the Citrus Bowl, home of college football games & alternate-league American football teams. He look so out of place. It was annoying. Worst match of the night. At least, the pre-show main event was alright, with champion, Dean Ambrose defending his Intercontinental Championship against challenger, Baron Ambrose. However, there was nothing special with it. The match should had, some sort of hardcore stipulation added to it, since the build up to the showdown, had a few. I'm deeply surprise, that a forklift wasn't used in any way, during this match. In the end, highly disappointing. This brings us to the opening match on the main show, with AJ Styles fighting Shane McMahon. I know, a lot of people love this match, but for me, I was kinda upset that it was no way, a traditional wrestling match. I would love to see if Shane could pull it off, but no, it quickly became a hardcore match. The ref bump was awkward & the interfering of Shane's drive for hardcore style was disrupted, by McMahon messing with his same baseball outfit, he wore last year, rather than selling, really took away, what could had been a great match. It was not good. The next match between US Champion, Chris Jericho Vs challenger, Kevin Owens made up for the lack of chemistry in the last match. It was by far, the best championship match on the card. Just wish, the ending wasn't so predictable. Fatal-4-Way elimination match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship was next with champion, Bayley defending her belt against Charlotte, Sasha Banks, and Nia Jax. It was alright, but not as good, as the match, last year. This brings us to the other Fatal-4-Way; which was the tag team ladder match for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship between champions, 'The Club' (Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows) Cesaro and Sheamus, and Enzo Amore and Big Cass & the surprising return of one other team. It was good enough match, but it was overshadow by the returns, big time. The match was 'obsolete', mostly. The mixed tag team match between John Cena and Nikki Bella Vs The Miz and Maryse was pretty awful. It's not because, I'm not a Cena fan. It was awful, because the story of the match & the aftermath was very predictable. Plus, I couldn't get behind, seeing weatherman, Al Roker being there. He looks so out of place. The only highlight was the Miz's parodies of Cena. That was awesome. The non sanctioned match was next with Seth Rollins Vs Triple H (with Stephanie McMahon). It was an alright match but could had been better. Surprise, that there was no interferences from Samoa Joe. It also jarring to see a non-sanctioned match, have so many rules. The WWE Championship match follow this. Like the Intercontinental championship match, earlier on the card, I was deeply surprise, that the champion, Bray Wyatt Vs challenger Randy Orton match had no hardcore rules stipulation. Still, I dig the special effects. It made the match, stand out, even if the wrestling wasn't that good. Still, mad with the results. The match for the WWE Universal Championship was another disappointment in wrestling terms. Not only was it short, but it was clear, who was going to be the winner, between the champion, Bill Goldberg Vs challenger, Brock Lesnar match. The Six Pack challenge for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship was better, even if it was put in the toilet break, part of the show, between the undercard and the main event. Naomi Vs Alexa Bliss (c), Carmella (with James Ellsworth), Mickie James, Natalya, and Becky Lynch was wonderfully done. This brings us to the main event, Undertaker Vs Roman Reigns. It was just sad, awkward and slow. It's hard to watch, seeing Taker in the bad shape. He should had retired, years ago. Just glad, it's over, and we can move on. Overall: WrestleMania 33 wasn't the ultimate thrill ride. If anything, it was messy, like Splash Mountain, and not smooth like Space Mountain. Still, it was worth checking out for.
Sometimes, the best portrait are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature. Laura was a good movie, but somewhat dated since the 1940s.
The opening title and credits play atop the haunting pause, yet recognizably poignant portrait of the eponymous title character as the famous atmospheric haunting theme music 'Laura' by composer, David Raksin plays in the background. It's here, where this classic film noir directed by Otto Preminger start to become one of the most stylish, elegant, moody, and witty classic films ever made without one scene with any of the ensemble cast of characters or one sentence of dialogue. It create the interest, by allowing the viewer to fixedly gaze, upon the artist work. By having the portrait in dream-like, high-contrast black and white cinematography, characterized by shadowy, it allows the audience to know, that this movie is a mystery; and a psychological study of obsession. Everybody wants to know, who in the painting, this is, and what happen to her. For some, more than others; this was the case for New York City, police detective, Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) whom investigates the murder of a beautiful and highly successful advertising executive, Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney). Laura has apparently been killed by a shotgun blast to the face, just inside the doorway of her apartment and everybody around her, is a suspect. Among of them is, a dim-witted, parasitic playboy fiancé, Shelby Carpenter (Vincent Price), a cynical, mannered and prickly society columnist, Waldo Lydecker (Clifton Webb), a loyal housekeeper in Bessie Clary (Dorothy Adams) and an aging, well-heeled, matronly socialite, Ann Treadwell (Judith Anderson). All of them, beautiful portrayal by the well-seasoned actors with Andrews doing the best, even if his character is now so clichés. Although, I like his acting, I have to disagree with the Academy, for allowing Clifton Webb to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor that year. I found Clifton to be, one of the weakest in the picture; because how aloof & cartoony, his character was. He was alright, but not Oscar worthy. I get that this was Clifton Webb's first screen appearance since the silent era, but he was a bit over the top. In my opinion, actor, Barry Fitzgerald deserve his win for 1944's 'Going My Way'. Why, because who else, can say, that they were nominated both for Best Supporting Actor & Best Actor in the same year, for the same role in the same movie. Nobody that's who! Despite that, the other Oscar nominates, such as Best Director (Otto Preminger), Best Cinematography (Joseph LaShelle), Best Art Direction and Best Screenplay was truly deserving for the people that work for 'Laura'. Preminger really get mad props from me, because how passionate, he was, for the project. Not only was, he willing to work, with rival producer, Darryl F. Zanuck to produce the film, but he also had to replace two weeks of work from, outgoing director Rouben Mamoulian, including the painting, when Darryl F. Zanuck fired Rouben, for lack of direction. He deserve the nominated. However, the best screenplay nominated could be questionable, since a similar theme movie where, a man fall in love with a woman's portrait was release during the same year, with director, Fritz Lang's 1944's film 'The Woman in the Window'. In the end, it's up to debate, which movie probably rip off, whom, or was it, just all a coincide. We may never know. What we do know is that, the crisply-written screenplay by Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein and Betty Reinhardt was loosely based on the play and novel of the same name by Vera Caspary. A series of changes, happen, such as the five separate voice narrators being drop; the ending of the film, alternate and a number of allusions to a character's homosexuality were cut from the script before filming began, in favor for a hyper-protective character expressed hetero-like jealousy over anyone else's attention toward Laura, particularly by the detective who shows some troubling, signs of necrophiliac. While, the twist toward the end, softened the feelings of the detective, this was still pretty shocking for the 1940s for a lead character to have. As much as I love the twist ending, it does beg the question, why the police officers didn't bother, doing finger prints or body measurements to make sure, who the victims is. While, a lot of people do mistaken Laura as an amoral femme fatale. In truth, her character felt disappointing as she's nothing like it. She just another damsel in distress broad. Don't get me wrong, Gene Tierney is a beautiful creature, but this movie isn't one of best roles. Her character haunting theme song is more famous than her role here. Gene Tierney was right with her, being adequate, here. Overall: While, this movie was badly cut up, due to wartime appeals, during its original run. It has since, been remastered and clean up for future audiences since the 1990s. Even some versions of DVDs has the rare sequence in which Vincent Price sings a song and accompanies himself on the piano. In the end, Laura was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Because of that, it's one film, worth looking out for.
The Boss Baby (2017)
Cookies are for winners, but this movie is not quite a winner. At least, it's not a stinky diaper. It was mostly fine.
I know, that some of you, will shake your rattle at me, because you really wanted me to hate on this movie, but don't be a big baby! The movie wasn't that bad. It deal with relatable real world issues, but through the lens of a wildly colorful and cartoonish fantasy. The animation from DreamWorks was amazing. The voice acting is wonderful and the music score by composter, Hans Zimmler & Steve Mazzaro was beautiful. It was mostly a well-rounded movie. Directed by Tom McGrath, and loosely based on a picture book of the same name by Marla Frazee. The film tells the story a young boy, Tim (Voiced by Miles Bakshi) having his life turned upside down, when his parents, Ted (Voiced by Jimmy Kimmel) & Janice (Voiced by Lisa Kudrow) decide to have a baby (Voiced by Alex Baldwin) who happens to wears a suit and carries a briefcase around. Without spoiling the movie, too much, for the most part, I like how the movie address the issues of sibling rivalry when it comes to the control of the love, from the parent & how much attention is demanded from a new born, however, I did think the film went a little too dark, in certain scenes. Seeing a kid go through a psychological breakdown, and try to kill a baby to win back, his parents seem a bit much. It was somewhat hard to watch, along with some slapstick confrontations between babies and adults. While, most of it is played for laughs. The nick-of-time peril might be, too much for younger viewers. The same, can be said with the mean-spirited cutthroat white collar corporation jokes that the film was going for. The unlikeable prideful tone of Alec Baldwin's imperious sounding voice does get old, pretty quick. However, I have to say, I'm glad, the movie isn't as obnoxious as the trailer, makes it out to be. Don't get me wrong, the 'Boss Baby' is still annoying and disturbing with how insults, the film uses; but there seem to be, some heart to the film as well. I like the character development between the main character & the baby. Seeing them; eventual affirmative to sibling bonding and familial love makes the film, a little bit more bearable. There is a clear message about the value of brotherhood and the fact that there is enough love for everyone in a family. As for the other ridiculous plot points of the movie where the Boss Baby is on a mission to infiltrated Tim's residence because his parents work for Puppy Co; in the secret war between babies and puppies for their love; it can be easily explained when you remember that the story's being told from the perspective of a 7-year old with an overactive imagination. There are a number of heighted reality scenes that makes us, wonder, if this was young Tim's way in dealing with the news, that his parents were having a baby. After all, it's seem to be, some moments that makes us, question if the Boss Baby was even born. It seems almost as if, indeed, we are supposed to believe that Tim is to some degree an Unreliable Narrator, which explains some of the crazier plot-holes stuff we see, later in the film, such as other babies being able to talk, despite not being boss babies, and adults remembering when they use to be, one. After all, there was scenes where Tim and the babies slams into a tree, vehicles blow up, only to find out, through his mother's POV that many of those interactions are quite possibly only in Tim's imagination. While, these scenes don't excuse the other jarring plot-holes of many scenes like the Elvis airport moment; it does help make, the film more surreal, unique, and downright ambiguous enough to keep the audiences, interesting in what's going on. After all, it could be all real or could be, just a story to inspire young children to accept change. The ending to this film was really surprising, regardless. Overall: You don't mind some toddler toilet humor & nudityand some plot issues. The Boss Baby is a fun, if not instant-classic, movie that parents and kids can enjoy together. Like the opening tune to this movie. I'm in heaven. And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak; and I seem to find the happiness I seek. When we're out together dancing, cheek to cheek
Heavy Weights (1995)
It's time to weight in, on this 1990s kid movie. I enjoyed this comedy, even if bits of it was too campy.
In today's highly triggered PC (politically correctness) culture world, Disney films like this, couldn't be made. After all, making fun of fat people is now look down upon. In the 1990s, comedies like this, were a lot more common, provocative & welcome. Directed by Steve Brill, the movie centers on a bunch of overweight children, going to a fat camp in search for some summer fun, only to find that the facility has turn into hellish boot camp run by an insane fitness guru named Tony Perkis (Ben Stiller) whom wants to do whatever possible, even dangerous to get the children to slim down, by summer ends. Without spoiling the movie, too much, while, I do understand the struggles on losing weight for an obese person. After all, I'm not in the best shape, myself. However, I do also see the humor in the progress of trying to sweat it out. After all, I'm a huge fan of the 1996's comedy, 'Nutty Professor' & 2001's 'Shallow Hal'. While, some people might see comedies like this, offensive for fat people trying to slim down. For me, I found the fat jokes to be alright for the most part. I'm willing to take a few jabs about my waistline, as long as the movie has a good message, which I think the film kinda did, even if it kinda send confusing signals about being overweight. For the most part, I can see that the film was trying to send some good intentions morals. However, I did hate the movie for perpetuating negative stereotypes, like fat people, being stubborn about losing weight. The idea that the campers have smuggled in enough junk food to easily stave off the hunger pains and probably counteract any weight loss that the camp programs cause, is a bit over the top; seeing how some of them, feel, about their weight. Also, while it is not to excuse, his deranged behavior, the villain of the film does have a point. Obesity is indeed a chronic health problem. He don't need sugar coat it, while the other camp counselors does. Confiscating food and giving exercise is part of Tony's job as a fitness instructor. Some of his teachings, honestly does work, like the 'buddy system' and stretching before physical activity. When you think about it, he wasn't doing anything wrong, until the last half of the movie. Sometimes, you had to push them to lose weight, which I felt the other camp counselors were too soft to do, at first. In an way, he kinda save the camp. After all, what is fat camp, if you don't show results! Despite that, I do hate, how out of shape, they make the children, are. The idea that they are horrible in every sport, they played is a bit cartoony. Has the writers of this movie, ever saw, a baseball & football game? Those sports has some of the most athletic heavy set players, I ever saw. It's a bit weird to see, a bunch of obese children, not able to play one game of baseball. You would think, at least, one of them, would be, good at that sport. After all, they're kids. How much of a sedentary lifestyle, could they had, if their parents is always, trying to sign them up for things like Summer Camp. It doesn't make any sense. Another problem, I got, with this movie is the ending. It was too unrealistic. I doubt, the jocks from the other camp, would be that much of a braindead, beefcake. At least, one of them, should know the name of the vice presidents and know that the math problem isn't 11, because it isn't a solvable equation. Also, why are they portray so villainous!? Is it the 1980s!? I really hope for more realistic ending to the annual Apache Relay camp competition. Maybe, something similar to how 1976's 'Bad News Bears'. Yet, that wasn't the only thing, I got a problem with, this film. I don't like how they portray women, here. Everybody was attractive trophies. It's really hard to believe, that none of the ladies, had any weight problems. You would think, at least, one of them, would be overweight. Also, the Merycism jokes, the film introduce, were little too dark for a Disney movie. Despite that, there is some heart to this film. Much of the charm of this film, comes from the passion of actor, Tom McGowan as Camp Counselor. His character was so likable, and his acting, throughout this movie is amazing. Mad props goes to Ben Stiller as well. While, he was a bit over the top. He just too funny, with his facial expressions and body language. I glad, Stiller would play another health-obsessed fitness fanatic in the 2004 movie "Dodgeball.". These cartoony characters seem, some of his best works. I also dig, supporting characters like Paul Feid as Tim & Tom Hodges as Lars, even if they were playing one-dimension stereotypes of a foreigner and a gay man. They were a lot of fun. Even the child actors weren't that bad. Each one of them was unique. Overall: While, yes, it's wrong to laugh at people for being fat as there is many complex reasons, why they're overweight: but just because a film like this, might hurt, over-sensitive people, doesn't make them bullies. There is reasons, why uncomfortable comedies like this, are out there. They play important function in society by holding up a mirror and forcing us to confront realities that we would often prefer to ignore. Its films like this that makes the truth pill of obesity being a chronic health problem, easier to shallow. It creates progress. That why, I say hats off, to comedian writers like Steve Brill & Judd Apatow, because, beneath the humor lies somewhat a smart social commentary about what we should do, and what we shouldn't do, when it comes to the health of our children.
Demolition Man (1993)
Oh man, I was blown away, how surprisingly, good this Sci-Fi action movie, was. Demolition Man is worth seeing!
In the ideal 21th century utopia society of the future, an old fashioned criminal, Simon Phoenix from the violent 1990s (Wesley Snipes) was released from cryo-prison, and start reigning havoc on the peaceful, yet simple-minded citizens of San Angeles. Unable to stop the bloodshed, the police force of San Angeles defrosts ex-cop, John Spartan (Sylvester Stallone) to stop him. Can John Spartan adapt to the changing times, and lay down the law on Phoenix before it's too late or will Phoenix lay San Angeles in ruins with his chaotic ways? Watch the movie to find out! Without spoiling the film directed by Marco Brambilla, too much, while, this trailer might seem like a dumb action movie dick flick. In truth, it was much smarter than it seems. After all, it was supposedly deeply influence by two great novels: author Aldous Huxley's dystopian novel, 'Brave New World' & author Kurt Vonnegut's book 'Cat Cradle' that it influence the naming of characters & visuals in this film. While, the movie's story is nowhere as good as those novels. It did told a wonderful satire fish out of water story about what would happen, if PC culture was to run unchecked & anything that seem bad for you is illegal. It made for an interesting watch, even if, Hungarian science fiction writer István Nemere says that movie plagiarism, his novel, 1986's 'Fight of the Dead'; which it could had. Although, the exposition on why John Spartan is sentence for cryo-prison still doesn't any sense; seeing how Phoenix is the one that did the crime. Still, most of the jokes about the clash of culture between Spartan and the folks of San Angeles, throughout the film, landed for me. I love the running gags throughout the film, such as the three seashells or the Verbal Morality Statute machine. Because of this, it made for a lot funnier satire version of the future than 2006's 'Idiocracy'. However, I don't think, the film did a good job at satirical, the machismo action film genre that well. For a film that call 'Demolition Man', you would think, that movie would be, full of over the top explosions. Yet, surprising, the movie rarely used it, besides the beginning. Also, most of the action, throughout the film is pretty grounded with reality in Sci-Fi settling. It wasn't that silly. At parts, it was kinda intense, like the car chase or the battle at the cryo lab. I think, the problem with the movie, came from the fact that 'Demolition Man' doesn't mock any of its tropes. If anything, it seem to me, that mocking part of the story seem abandoned after Spartan is frozen. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the film is still full of 1990s action movie's clichés, such as the angry police chief, villains having lousy aim, saving the world rewards you, a love-interest, and the main character fighting the main villain, alone without much help, however, none of them, seem that, much like satire. I never got the idea, that it was mocking itself, like other Sci-Fi action movies, were, like 1997's 'Starship Troopers'. The same, goes with the odd choice of produce placement, the film was going for. It seems like they were trying to mock, the idea that a fast food place like Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, would be the only remaining restaurant in the world. However, in my opinion, they didn't really delivered on the joke. Instead, the blatant insert of Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, felt jarring and out of place; comparing to what we know, of the world. After all, isn't spicy food, meat, and caffeine, illegal in the future!? So, how in the hell, did Taco Bell/Pizza Hut won the franchise wars? If anything, Subway or Panera Beard, should be, the main restaurant, everybody goes to. However, that wasn't the only thing, wrong about this film. Despite the wonderful visuals and costumes, I also had a hard time, believing the timeline. The movie was made in 1993. So, we're expected to believe that in three years, crime has gone totally to hell in LA, and then go pacifism after the 36 years, time different. It seem a bit out there, even if there was a nuclear war; my bad, 'great earthquake' in 2010. It took 'Star Trek', 100 years to create a near-like utopia. Even with that, they still knew about weapons and violence. It's a bit weird to see the older members of San Angeles society, not know much of Spartan's ways of getting things done; when in truth, they also lived through, most of it. Are they really that ignorant to violence? After all, they seem to know, a lot, when indoctrinating Phoenix's rehab program. It makes no sense. Despite that, Snipes was great in the action scenes. While, Snipes's martial arts kinda look slow and awkward in some scenes. In truth, it was because his kicks and punches were so fast that they blurred on camera. Hence, why the producers asked him to slow them down. Snipes was also great in acting. He really did seem like a maniac. He had some of the best one-liners. Stallone was also wonderful, both physically and verbally even if some of his lines were slurred. A young and gorgeous Sandra Bullock as Lenina Huxley was also great, as she was really charming. Even Denis Leary as himself as Edgar Friendly was fine. I had no problems with most of the acting, in this film, even if most of the actors didn't get along with each other, backstage. However, I did find the unneeded nudity from Penthouse model, Brandy Ledford, a bit, out of place. It really didn't add anything to the plot. She could had been cut, along with the others minor scenes that editor, Stuart Baird, greatly took away. Overall: 'Demolition Man' is a blast. Like Simon, I say, go check it out! Anybody that says, otherwise, can wipe the crap from their mouths with the three seashells.
Power Rangers (2017)
This movie doesn't have quite the power as the original does, but it was decent.
Like the highly popular 1990s show distributed by Saban Entertainment (later Saban Brands), the movie directed by Dean Israelite & written by John Gatins with story by Burk Sharpless, Matt Sazama, Kieran and Michele Mulroney, tells the story of five teenagers with attitude: Jason Lee Scott AKA Red Ranger (Dacre Montgomery), Kimberly Hart AKA Pink Ranger (Naomi Scott), Billy Cranston AKA Blue Ranger (RJ Cyler), Zack Taylor AKA Black Ranger (Ludi Lin) & Trini Kwan AKA Yellow Ranger (Becky G) being recruited by the all-powerful inter-dimensional being named Zordon (Bryan Cranston) to save the Planet Earth from the wicked threats of the evil witch/former Green Ranger, Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) and her horde of monsters. Without spoiling the movie, too much, when, first seeing the trailer, I was somewhat skeptical on how, this movie was being presented. After all, I was very tired of seeing fake-looking CGI, horrible dialogue and heavy broody teenager storyline clichés story writing, whenever Hollywood attempts to reboot a beloved, pre-existing kid's show property onto the big screen. It had all the red flags. However, after watching this movie; I can say, the film was not that bad, but not great, either. A decent film with a really cool 1980s vibe electric synthesizer mixed current popular tunes soundtrack by Brian Tyler. Plus, I like how they fit the retro 'Go Go Power Rangers' theme song. And that's coming from not a huge fan of anything Tokusatsu! Yes, over the years, 'The Power Rangers' TV series has had many incarnations, and with that, came along many big screen movies ranging from 1995's 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie' to 1997's 'Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie'. However, it's safe to say, this 2017's reboot of the hugely popular '90s Fox Kids TV show is probably the best of the film series. It could even be, better than the original show. I know a many of you, are thinking, how could, I say that, since I call this movie 'only decent', but let me explain. The movie will never, outdo the popularity of the original show, the kid show was a 1990s pop culture phenomenon. An enigma that help usher, more Japanese kid's shows to US audiences. Although, this movie did outdo the original, in fleshing out the character, through character development and arches. The original show is full of somewhat racist stereotypes & awful pun-driven jokes, & unrealistic goodie two shoes teenagers who look nothing like their age. At least, in this movie, the characters were all unique and ground-breaking. After all, who ever heard of an artistic & lesbian ranger, before? While, some of their actions is indeed, not family friendly & somewhat clichés; at least, they seem like teenager dealing with angst, unlike the original. I love the redemption storyline, they were forced to go through. It made, some scenes like the camp fire and dock scene kinda heart-breaking. All the actors playing the rangers were great in the roles, even if they can be a bit annoying at times. Also, the acting in this film is a lot better than the original. While, the original cast is all iconic. They're by far, worst actors, then this new crew. However, I do miss, Bulk & Skull. Don't like the generic bullies in this movie. Still, the villains in this new movie was somewhat better. Don't get me wrong, Machiko Soga as Rita was fun to watch, but Elizabeth Banks as Rita was downright scary. She really did seem like a threat to be taken seriously. She was amazing. However, I can't say the same with Bill Hader & Bryan Cranston's performance. Hader's voice work for Alpha 5 seem kinda of jarring and out of place. At least, he wasn't as annoying as the original; while, Cranston seem limited to a few facial expression due to what the animator could animate in a few short months. It explains, why you rarely see his face, but hear his voice in the dark background. That's another problem with this film, it has way too many night sequences. Even with some light & amps up violence, the fake-looking fast-motion CGI action & wired work stunt long jumping looks terrible & sloppy. While, the 1990s 'The Power Rangers' is just as infamous with its very simplistic visual effects, with people in fake-looking rubber suits, cheap fireworks and recycle Japanese 'Super Sentai 'franchise stock footage. At least, it was bright and easy to see. Other problems, this movie has is the choppy editing and lack of exposition. Some scenes just don't go anywhere, or seem abandoned. A good example is how and why everybody got near the cave site in the middle of nowhere at the time. Also, it never really explained how they got from the second car crash of the movie to back to their own beds, since the Command Center does not seem to have teleportation capabilities. Also, the movie doesn't explain, why a ranger can only morph, when only they all can work as a team, but how Rita can still powerful even after betraying her team and built Goldar!? Nor does it explain how crashing multiply cars, and blowing up your locker, led to detention, and not seriously jail time as terrorism. However, the biggest complain, I got about this movie is the blatant produce placement of Kristy Kreme. It feature so much, it borderline into absurdity. There's a certain level of cheesiness, I'm willing to take, and a goal plot of getting to Kristy Kreme is not one of them. Overall: At the end of the day, the movie is just fun. It's a popcorn flick & that's all that matters. Maybe, not good enough to watch in theaters, but good enough to rent. Still, it made me, excited for a sequel!!! I enjoyed the hell out of it.