Reviews written by registered user
HobbitHole

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31 reviews in total 
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20 out of 30 people found the following review useful:
Excellent independent romance that used mainly internet and word of mouth and surprised the movie making world, 17 February 2010

Straight to DVD is usually done for films studios don't think will make it in the theater and so they dump it off (like some of Disney's animated sequels).

However, in this case, the strategy was to involve people who already were searching for a good romance story (not the usual sex comedy that gets called a romance story these days) and also people of faith who would like to show it in groups as well as own a copy themselves and used outlets such as people connector websites, etc. to get buzz going and then released it so people could get it via retailers (like Wal- Mart, Target, etc )and online providers (Amazon.com,etc. which had it as number 1 in both family films and Christian films in terms of sales).

It's not the typical 'hit you over the head' type 'message' film that we've seen so many of or the ones where the actors could barely pass for low budget TV actors.

This was a well thought out and directed story.

In the opinion of a friend who repaired film projectors both military and private for a living and thus has also gotten to watch a lot of films, quite possibly the best made film by Christians that even non- believers will see and not be turned off in the first 10 minutes.

Give it a watch.

I rated it maybe higher than I would just because the early voting (if you can call 15 votes voting) seemed to only be the pessimistic.

Those that watched it and enjoyed it have families with kids and have more to do that write reviews for online sites. I hope many will get to it soon so that even more will seek it out.

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Great biography picture in it's time, 8 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alexander Graham Bell came from a family of elocutionists. His grandfather and father were both published on the subject. He trained also to become a teacher, but having a deaf mother, he came to desire more than just teaching.

In his early stages of teaching, he begins by teaching a young mute boy (Bobs Watson) while being paid by the father of the boy (Gene Lockhart). The money he earns from this, he uses to work on first the telegraph, then the telephone.

The mute boy's father is so pleased with the way his son can communicate using a special alphabet glove,that he introduces Bell to his friend (Charles Coburn) who has 4 daughters, including a daughter who became death after having scarlet fever when she was younger. The father kept speaking of his 'little girl'. Imagine Bells surprise when it turned out to be a grown woman (Loretta Young) who, along with her three sisters, play the roles of the business man's daughters.

Mabel (Young) 'fell' for him at first sight as she accidentally runs into him when he is coming to their house, not realizing he is the man her father invited to help her. Thinking this business man is going to be able to help him finance the telegraph, he begins to tell him of his invention until the father says he wants Bell to help his daughter. They can talk of the invention another time.

The two fall in love, with Young playing a woman who not only backs Alec's (Bell/Ameche) grand ideas and inventions, but encourages him not to give up hope and occasionally puts her foot down when it comes to him not giving up the idea of inventing the telephone and when Bell later is attacked by a firm who claim he stole their invention and sued Bell.

Bell got this news right when it seemed things were going the best for him. Queen Victoria had agreed to wire the castle with the telephone and what the queen did was often imitated throughout the world! Plus Bell finds out he is to be a father. But he also gets a letter from his father in law that a company is suing him for copyright stealing.

He determines to return to the States, fight the lawsuit with truth to defend not only his invention, but his father-in-law, his friend, the mute boy's father (both of whom backed him to the hilt on the telephone), his partner in experiments Watson(Henry Fonda) and for all inventors who are poor and have their ideas copyrighted, only to be stolen by those with less scruples and more money.

When she hears how badly the trial is going due to lack of evidence, Bell's wife and mother come to the trial. It seems that for lack of available paper, Bell had written a love letter to his dear Mabel on the back of an important bit of evidence that could be the key to him winning the lawsuit and keep he and his partners from being robbed of his invention and going bankrupt.

Interestingly, both Lockhart and Coburn also are important players in the story 'Edison, the Man' but with Coburn being the more sympathetic and Lockhart the heavy. In this one Lockhart is usually more sympathetic and Coburn usually more cynical. Both have added beards and mustaches that change the appearance to a degree. This film, I believe, was released first.

Yes, it is likely that Hollywood may have embellished the biography a bit and why not? It is an inspiring film that shows that there is much hunger, pain and even delays in being married when someone follows their dream to invent. But it also is often well worth it if the inventor sticks with it. Of course it's no guarantee all stories will turn out as well as this one and, ironically, in "Edison, the Man", Edison also has to defend his invention of electricity in court.

Not sure if anyone else caught it, but I think they did make one goof in the film. Towards the end, the mother of Bell's wife (Spring Byington) knocks on the door of the room Bell and his wife are in. I believe Bell may ask who it is, but when the mother says it's mom, Bell's wife (deaf) says 'come in Mom'. Either a clever guess on her part, or an error revealing that she can really hear. Nothing had been said (that I could see...)to show if he was somehow able to help her hear or to give her a clue as to who it was at the door.

To the commenter that was deaf and asked about Young's character Mabel being born deaf or becoming it: the father says it was from scarlet fever as a young girl and she was sent to England (I believe) to study how to read lips.

Considering that it was 1875-6 that the story was set in and that the film was release only about 10 years into 'talkies', I thought it was quite a good performance on Young's part.

An enjoyable movie. Even one that older kids can watch and learn about how what is now so taken for granted (not only telephones that can call across countries and around the world, but mobile phones, phones that can send photos and video as well as voice, etc.), but something that would have been quite impossible without someone to invent it.

I hope the incentive to invent things that are beneficial to humanity is never taken away and maybe films like this one will help encourage people to keep trying and to aim for something that will benefit many people as Alexander Graham Bell did.

Great Expectations (1974) (TV)
5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Decent job for TV movie made in UK in early 70s, 17 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With one noted exception to date, it seems that all who rated this only noticed at a later time after viewing that this film was made for TV. Perhaps people in other places are unfamiliar with conditions in 1974 and British TV.

I have heard that budgets at BBC in the early to mid-70s were small and therefore special effects and expensive location shoots had to be dispensed with in favor of trying to use imagination and get the great story across with small budgets.

I got "Great Expectations" on a very inexpensive DVD copy, had looked it up here and saw it was made for TV and enjoyed the work of the cast, so I gave it a shot.

I thought the music and some of the things they did with the sets outdid what most TV films and serials were able to do was remarkable compared to other things on TV from the same time period on the BBC.

It was a wholesome family friendly adaptation and the chief complaint is that it was too short! Yes, it was difficult because it had to cut out so many parts of the incredible Dickens book, but you try to adapt a huge novel into a made-for-TV film that has to fit in less than 2 hours (to accommodate commercials) and see how much better of a job you can do! Many of the best Dickens adaptations whether for the big screen or small are MUCH LONGER and have a MUCH BIGGER BUDGET. Is it the best Dickens adaptation? No, of course not.

Is it on the other hand unwatchable and piece of junk? Not at all.

For TV fare, it is above average and for the time period, it is a real treat to see one of the later great performances from the legendary James Mason, and very good performances by much of the cast.

I disagree that Michael York did a poor job. He purposely underplayed a boy who was by nature not a pushy, scheming character like Miss Havershim, his uncle Pimblebrook(sic?), the relatives of Miss Havershim, the guy that marries Pip's true love-Estelle, and so many more.

Perhaps it was also difficult coming off playing D'Artanian (sic?) in 'The Three Musketeers'.

Maybe he wanted not to play a fearless, reckless youth, but an honest, caring youth, that sometimes made big mistakes - lying to his family about Miss Havershim's activities, telling a snooty London 'friend' that Joe was his blacksmith, etc.

But Pip (when GROWN played by York) was a young man that learned lessons from the heart and never lost sight of his love of Estelle, his uncle and surrogate father Joe, his teacher and later 'stepmom'.

He nearly got caught up in the 'gentleman's snobbery' towards Joe and his benefactor, but showed in the end that both had not wrongly encouraged and put their trust that Pip would turn out alright, each investing in Pips life in their own way to help him not to have to have the struggles that they had.

Joe brought Pip up due to his parents dying, and Joe's first wife was Pip's sister. After Pip's ill-tempered sister died, even though not a blood relation or true father, Joe still regards Pip as a son and marries Pip's kind reading teacher who brings more of a steady and mother-like influence to Pip.

Joe was also well done by Joss Ackland, an underrated British actor who also played C.S. Lewis in the original 'Shadowlands' ((also done for TV and MORE accurate in that it portrayed Joy Gresham with TWO sons...the later film with Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger (nominated for Academy award in the role of Joy Gresham) was adapted from the television screenplay in the movie version...imagine that?)).

Many years later Ackland also played in the fun family film 'A Kid in King Arthur's Court' as King Arthur.

I think it would be great if someone remade Great Expectations for regular film today, just as there was a more recent version of Oliver Twist (which overall was well done though there were parts I didn't like either...) No director can please everyone and NO FILM EVER 100 percent represents a book, unless the author wrote a screenplay and not a book! To those who haven't: read the book! It's the best source of the story in all cases.

To those that prefer lavish productions, big budgets and Lord of the Rings style all out efforts of a book (though fans of the books point out flaws in those too...no director can win with the die hard book folks that can't seem to separate the mediums and, like me, sometimes enjoy both...differently!), then watch one of those versions or films.

For a family friendly couple hours (for those with kids old enough to watch something more than animation), check it out! It's much better than even much of the 'made for cinema' movies put out on cheap DVD release in Europe and the USA.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Effects well done, story is not for kids, 18 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film based on an anti-Christian trilogy trying (weakly) to come up with something on par with C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia or J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

According to reports, the director of the film rewrote parts to try to 'remove some parts offensive to Christian audiences'. I waited until it got to the cheap section of the rental store to see if he succeeded....

He didn't. It is nothing like the series it tries to emulate and basically purposefully makes people that are supposed to be 'good' (but are more like the Pharisees of early A.D. history make up extra rules to keep people in the dark) to be evil and witches and evil things to be 'good'.

Truth is subjective from a device that can be interpreted according to the user rather than from an objective source revealed by our Creator.

Rather than boycotting it, if parents have teenagers, they can use it as a useful teaching device to show just how far from the truth one can go if someone doesn't have a clear, God-given MORAL compass. Without a clear conscious and with a pension by schools to not teach logic or a clear sense of right and wrong, even this film could sound 'good' to them.

Technically well made, yes. Has a few well known voices and actress? Yes. But so did 'The DaVinci Code' which was equally off base and the author of that book has a stated purpose of furthering 'goddess worship' in the world.

Know the source of the material you let your kids and teens watch and be a part of the decision making process to watch or not, to read the books or not. Give them the tools to make a good evaluation.

Otherwise 'whatever feels good, do it' is the philosophy they will absorb and they will put 'entertaining' as a higher value than 'truthful', 'honorable' or 'good'.

Hancock (2008)
1 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Didn't live up to expectations, 18 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing the preview, I admit I was skeptical.

BUT I read others said the preview wasn't really like the film. Coupled with the rare SECOND weekend boom the film had (probably due to competition it's first weekend didn't do well, but sure did phenomenally afterward), I thought it worth risking the rental.

People who reviewed it said it 'wasn't a typical superhero film' ala Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Dark Knight, etc.

I thought that would be good since my wife doesn't like those type films even if I like some of them (albeit there were parts in THIS year's superhero films I didn't like included either and put them in the category of not family films...all the sudden the comics I read as a kid are made in films that are for adults (or at least teens).

So I went into Hancock with an open mindset. When Will Smith is clean, he is a funny comedian and he's made some interesting films in the past.

However, we were both VERY disappointed with Hancock. The humor was NOT even close to funny and it got so disgusting that by the prison scene, we shut off the DVD and gave up.

It was boring, not funny, full of bad language and a pension for repeating a particularly offensive word over and over, by children as well as adults.

We gave it every opportunity to turn around, but it seemed to be a worse than average comic book character with the only twist is that he is a jerk with super powers that doesn't care what he acts like nor does he particularly care about the people he rescues nor their opinion.

If all it intended was to make an anti-hero, I guess it was a success, but a watchable film that a family could watch or learn any lessons from (other than how not to talk and behave...not just the 'super hero', but the kids and adults shouldn't behave as the others in the film did either...), it did not deserve to be rewarded with financial success.

To think they would consider a sequel is baffling. But then in this day and era where any film that makes decent money, sequels will be made until it makes nothing and ruins the franchise, I suppose they'll make sequels even worse than the original. (sort of like the sequels of Disney's 'Pirates of the Caribbean' or part 2&3 of 'Matrix').

Crank out junk on the assembly line and someone is bound to buy a ticket, it seems. This year (perhaps due in part to last year's writer's strike) has been a real weak year in films.

Hancock is a prime example, being one of the big selling pieces of junk.

Maybe the car companies can take lessons from the film industry in how to sell a piece of junk and make people think it's something extra-ordinary. Then our tax dollars won't have to do it. :)

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
This film lacks any redeeming value, definitely not for kids, 26 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you don't want to see something so disturbing that it should be in the "adult" section of the DVD store, don't watch this film.

There is nothing socially 'redeeming' about the film. The version on DVD distributed in Europe may have been worse than the U.S. version. Sometimes they release uncut versions here, so it's hard to know.

Perverse, sick 'humor', racist 'humor', and pornographic 'humor'.

Don't buy the hype. This film is not for kids. It's not for anyone with any sense of morality or any sense of humor.

Don't make the same mistake I did and listen to someone tell you it's funny. It's not. It was a piece of junk with the production values of a bad TV show and complete lack of taste.

11 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Great fun in an era when Disney actually made family films that families could view, 25 June 2008

People who are putting down this film as not good enough to 'show it's face in the theater' are showing their extreme ignorance.

These movies were made for family audiences and rebroadcast on Walt Disney's television program which highlighted family oriented movies with cast members that even signed morals clauses that they wouldn't act up (see Lindsey Lohan, etc. in these days) and trash the Disney image as being a family movie business.

Early on Disney had just made shorts and TV shows. In the late fifties they started making full-length films like 'The Shaggy Dog' with Fred MacMurray. It was so successful, it started something. Fred MacMurray was asked to do more films.

The Absent-Minded Professor (remade later with Robin Williams in the lead role in 'Flubber') was one of the successful movies made by Disney that was then edited for their TV audience.

It not only spawned a sequel, "Son of Flubber", but many more family films and comedies that were designed to help people forget their problems, while at the same time the commercials advertised Disneyland.

Disney was ahead of his time in providing programming in what were essentially well-made advertisements for families to enjoy and be reminded about visiting Disneyland, his 'family fun park'.

This light-hearted, fun comedy featured Kurt Russell in the early days of computers (pre-internet)getting the computer's full knowledge into his head.

In the remake (with Kirk Cameron) they updated it to the Internet infiltrating the student's mind and a 'super-hacker' from the opposing school (who's dean ironically is past Disney star Dean Jones) who seeks to hack Cameron's brain and stop his 'brilliance'.

The first of the three films that revolve around Dexter Riley (Russell), the dean (Joe E. Flynn), and friends is also the best done, though the others are enjoyable too. ('Now You See Him, Now You Don't' and 'Strongest Man In the World' are part of this three movie series)

It also teaches the value of humility. Riley did nothing to gain his knowledge, yet he became proud of how smart he was. He had to learn humility and how to treat his friends if he wanted to keep them. Good lessons to learn.

The Disney television films were made for families and are much better than the stuff made today for 'families' including politically correct films, sexually explicit, nasty language and all the other things that supposedly makes them more 'modern'.

Disney TV temporarily stopped around 1975. They have made some films since then that were still family oriented, though people that followed Walt and then Roy Disney didn't have the same ideas about films and the value of good stories.

Enter the Michael Eisner era...remaking classics and making part 2 stories of classics that have no basis in classic books and WERE released direct to video or DVD. Even marginal animated hits got sequels made. Actual hits like Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, got several (part 2 of Aladdin was a real turkey).

Several of the older Disney films were remade for a 'revived' TV program. The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes was one of the better attempts. I would say only a handful were watchable in their 'updated' form. They made kids have to act like adults while the adults act like kids (this might be a clever plot line in 'Freaky Friday', but when it enters into other stories, it's hard to make out who is supposed to be adult and who are kids.

No wonder kids today are forced to face problems beyond their years. They can't even escape it in the so-called 'escape films' on TV or in the movies these days (with rare exceptions).

It takes exceptions like Pirates of the Caribbean or The Chronicles of Narnia to remind Disney that people still like well-made escape films that are wholesome and uplifting for the whole family.

5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Great film for it's limitations, 17 September 2007

I rated it higher than I normally would because it is a film that deserves to be watched.

Anyone who had the benefit of seeing insider comments from the classic film network I taped it from would know that Grover Cleveland Alexander suffered from seizures do to epilepsy.

Ronald Reagan was quite disappointed at the film company not including that in the film and not naming the disease, though implying some physical problem was involved in Alexander's problems.

The drinking was due to fear (which the film touches on) from NOT UNDERSTANDING EPILEPSY and the seizures that he had.

I think Reagan gave the character life and those who point out his deficiencies as an athlete don't mention that he was an athlete himself, playing football and eventually got a job as a sports announcer. That job helped him land his first role in Hollywood as a sports announcer on screen.

No actor is going to play baseball as well as an actual baseball player. It is a skill that many have tried and few succeed at. 'Knowing' the sport is not the same as being able to play it to the level of a big leaguer.

So, forgiving an actor for not being able to pitch like a real big leaguer is not hard when the main story here is his life, his marriage and his service to his country and to baseball between his very real struggles of epilepsy and drinking.

The film is actually quite ground breaking, covering something from an era where these things were often covered up and if they did make the news, they were public scandals. In this case, Mrs. Alexander (who was played brilliantly by Doris Day here), protected her husband's image at the time by omitting (apparently) some divorces that were designed to help him come to his senses.

Perhaps it was to help protect her as well. She probably felt she made mistakes too in trying to help him the wrong way. It's hard to know how to handle when someone's whole personality changes due to an illness.

The way the media is today, an athlete's whole career could be railroaded with no second chance by an episode of making a bad choice due to pain of getting intoxicated. This doesn't excuse Alexander's bad choices. He should have been honest with his wife and got help (also should have been honest with his baseball team(s)).

But the fact is, Babe Ruth would likely have had a tough time getting in the Hall of Fame in this age when Mark McGuire was overlooked because some people BELIEVE he used illegal steroids. It has yet to be proved and he never admitted it, only to the use of legal vitamin supplements, yet he isn't in the Hall of Fame.

Pete Rose is not forgiven to this day for the gambling which didn't occur as a player, but apparently as a manager.

Yes, baseball as in all of life should have standards. I just see that there have been many double standards as in not giving people a second chance and trying to build up heroes just to knock them down and ruin their lives.

Enough of them do it on their own (i.e. Ken Caminiti, Jose Conseco, etc.) without having to have people who aren't even in the know judging men who have the same weaknesses as us, yet have sought to inspire us to rise above those weaknesses and excel at something to give young people encouragement.

One unguarded moment or comment off the record to a reporter these days is enough to ruin a guy's life and career. Some guys are truly bad characters and deserve it.

Others, like Grover Cleveland Alexander, seem to deserve some understanding and compassion.

Would he have received it in today's journalistic environment?

2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Horrible film making at it's worse, 6 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I, too, was taken in by thinking Cuba Gooding and Helen Mirren might make a good movie together. Wish I had seen the IMDb review FIRST! This film was rotten from start to finish. The only thing I can think it was trying to show is that sons often carry on the sins of their fathers.

Cuba's father killed his mother. Helen's character kills his father before he kills Cuba. Cuba becomes a merciless assassin. Supposedly Helen develops a conscious about killing a woman with a baby. Helen has cancer, so Cuba goes along with it.

This film tried to cross so many 'over the top' lines that it is exactly as one viewer said...a mix of pornography and a BAD b movie.

I will not even dignify the trash with comments, only I advise everyone to skip this one and not waste the time or any money on even renting this piece of trash.

This is the type of film that could hook kids into pornography and violence. Mixing the two together it even makes it seem as it is somehow 'cool' to be a killer and makes you 'sexy' to your spouse (or in some cases step-son...yuck). It would seem to encourage domestic violence or even murder, given the 'right' money or circumstances.

Literally this movie has someone die from immoral sex. That's as much of a spoiler as I'll give.

It's not worth commenting. I only wish to save someone else the pain of watching it and wish I hadn't just kept hitting fast forward, but the stop button.

Some things you should just count as a waste of money and not waste your brain.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Fine acting and story, makes you think. However rating is well earned, 6 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you are like me and are not fond of good thrillers without foul language or graphic sexual depictions or excessive violence, you won't have to edit too much (maybe some of Dennehy's spicy speeches).

A few other things could have had tighter editing for morality, but compared with more recent trash, thankfully they tastefully cut away. Good story telling can leave it to the person's imagination and let you know what type of character the person is without showing all the lurid details.

There were a couple of technical glitches, for example the finding of the mysterious 'Leon' seemed a bit amazing considering the deputy prosecutor is being framed for murder and no one is tailing him? Hmmm But it is really a masterpiece of film making in most cases, up there with Anatomy of a Murder (1959 - James Stewart, etc.) in all time thrillers in the order of an Alfred Hitchcock type movie.

Twists and turns that make it look like it aims at one person then another, dirty cops, a boss that says he'll lie under oath, a judge who seems to care more about a missing glass and a missing 'B' (for bribery) file than the other evidence that seems to lead to the conclusion that it was who they were 'framing'.

The ending makes you stop and think and gives you opportunity to discuss the justice system, the fact that though mostly we think it's the judges that let off criminals, there can be corruption even in prosecution, defense, police and in human beings in general.

If you want lighthearted comedy or family fare, this isn't it. But if you want a hang-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thriller with a first rate cast, you might like this one.


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