Reviews written by registered user

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105 reviews in total 
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"Vikings" (2013)
137 out of 189 people found the following review useful:
A Medieval "Godfather", 17 March 2013

Maybe it isn't real 100 percent history. Some liberties were taken, but for the most part is seems to ring true.At times it almost seems like a contemporary crime drama, but the facts are there-the raids on British monastaries that did occur in the late 8th century, a fairly realistic depiction on what Norse life was probably like at this timeline, the spectacular countryside with its majestic forests and rivers, and the depictions of the Vikings themselves. Savage, eager to loot and plunder, but nevertheless bound by a sort of code of honor. Their acts are savage and the chieftan seems more like a medieval Godfather who uses his power for his own personal gain and who is not above killing somebody on the spot if he is displeased with his actions. The storyline is fairly literate and not the usual mindless adventure that too many of these movies present to us, and the characters are convincingly drawn and likely motivated. The music is good and the full size replicas of the ships are very accurate. Even the deliberate pace works to its advantage, we are never rushed and the story develops as it moves along. It is never dull and there is plenty of interest to engage the viewer. However, if you are put off by graphic violence , don't watch it. Those times were fairly brutal. Fine entertainment . Enjoy it.

59 out of 120 people found the following review useful:
The Running Girl, 21 March 2012

Yet another epic set in a very dystopian not too distant future. A bankrupt,hungry, dysfunctional and soulless North American country called Panem stages a fight to the death epic featuring teenagers from ages 12 to 18 from the 12 Districts to compete. They train all their lives-sort of like former East German Olympians -for this event where they have to face explosions, fires, being shot at and attacks from rabid wild dogs among other things all filmed on a jerky nausea inducing hand held camera. A backwoods teen with the unlikely name of Katniss Everdeen replaces her sister who was "chosen" to compete, and therefore she must train to prepare for the games. Highly deriverative film "borrows" elements from "The Most Dangerous Game", "Lord of the Flies", "Rollerball" ", "Battle Royal" and last but not least "The Runing Man The games themself are a cross between "Gladiator" , "Fear Factor"and "Survivor", and are quite graphc as teen after teen is eliminated while a zombie like population is forced to watch. The set up takes about half the film's lenght to get there, and once the games begin, the violence starts. Film totally misses the mark because it takes itself way, way to seriously. It would have worked a lot better if it was made as a black comedy or a satire on the so called "reality shows" the author Suzanne Collins obviously based these books on, but no attempt is made to correlate the two. Jennifer Lawrence and the mostly no name cast is good, but they don't do very much other than act grim and self determined to succeed at their tasks. As I have already said ,what this film desperately needs is a tongue in cheek sense of humor to help the story move and lighten things up a bit, but the fimmakers totally blew it. I'm sure the 'tween age girl target audience this film is aimed at probably doesn't remember "The Running Man" with Schwarzenneger where condemned criminals had to compete on a game show to fight for their lives. What made that film work was the dead -on satire , a keen sense of humor, the brilliant and hilarious one liners and the utterly improbable scenario that the audience "got" not too long after the film started. This one uses the same premise, but makes very poor use of it. I'm sure it will do good at the box office with all the hype its been getting, but you will definitely leave the multiplex feeling "hungry" for something more satisfying Also, don't be too surprised if you soon start hearing names like Katniss and Peta becoming popular after the drones who watch this overrated piece of drek deciede to name their offsprings as such .Another P-U movie review from Lou!

20 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Twilight Saga Pt 1--Breaking Wind, 18 November 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Where do I even begin? Yet another installment in this never ending franchise. If you are a fan, you pretty much know the deal. They have sex, there's a wedding, an offspring is born ad they wait for the apocalypse between the bloodsuckers and the wolves. Embarrassingly bad and ultra cheesy on all levels. Pitiful non acting by Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and the rest of the cast. Obviously designed for tween and teenage girls, even they were bored during the preview that I got to see for free. As you probably have guessed by now, I'm not a fan of this series. Like the last "Harry Potter", this ender will be done in two separate parts. Why bother? Everything in this film is overacted, the atmosphere looks like a trailer park, the music is probably the most mawkish ever committed to celluloid , and the whole production in general looks like one of those Mexican made velvet paintings with a wolf sitting in frot of a full moon. Does absolutely nothing to advance series that should have ended at part one, it was designed to lure the target audience girls into the multiplexes to spend the hard earned money that mommy and daddy have to work two jobs to give them. Before my review gets pulled for "abuse", heed my warning. Do NOT pay money to see this film. It literally stinks. You can almost see the cloud of its foul stench rising from the screen. I want a refund! Give me back the two hours plus of my life that I wasted watching this rubbish. Another P U movie review from Lou!

83 out of 161 people found the following review useful:
Enjoyable Nonsense, 11 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the newest version of this often made film, the title three have fallen on hard times, but when a plot is uncovered to plunge France and England into war, they get back together to do their patriotic duty. Bearing absolutely no relation to the Dumas novel {except for the names of the characters} this new version seems to have been made for contemporary audiences, and combines elements of "Matrix"' "Pirates of the Caribbean", "James Bond films, Samurai films and even throws in a good deal of steampunk gadgets and weapons. The story has something to do with a plan for Cardinal Richilieu to seize power and set himself up as a dictator. The cast is OK,with Orlando Bloom as the evil Buckingham, Mila Jojovich as a deadly assassin, and Christof Walz as Richileiu. The German locations could easily pass for early 17 th century France and are quite beautiful.There are fine swordfights, improvised weapon systems, secret passageways,a killing chamber, booby traps, an unbelievable swordfight duel on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral and stolen plans from Leonardo Da Vinci's secret vault for aeriel war machines. These are a combination of zeppelins and sail propelled galleons with at least three decks of cannons and flamethrowers! Even if they are at least 200 years ahead of their time, they are magnificent in design . Their battle over Paris is truly spectacular. Film also features many funny and quite quotable one liners. The point of it is that this was designed to be a fun film and if you, the viewer "get it" it will be exactly that. I've never seen an Andreson film, but this one was a blast. Its all non stop action with a keen sense of humor and some spectacular set pieces all in eye popping 3D.Definitely not your 8th grade Dumas book report that you probably faked by reading a "Classic Illustrated" comic version or "Cliff Notes", but its not supposed to be. Just go see it, OK?

Absurdist Fun, 31 July 2011

This film amazed me.I wasn't expecting too much, but sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised. Kevin James is at his best as a mild mannered-and lonely security guard at a shopping mall in the shopping mall capital of the world-New Jersey. He could't pass the physical for the police department, so he took this job. He is divorced, has a teenage daughter and lives with at home with his mother. He takes his job pretty seriously even though the other employees couldn't care less, and has the responsibility of training the new employee.One day at the mall, he meets a beautiful salesgirl at a kiosk, begins to fall in love with her. He also has to compete with her asinine boyfriend who really doesn't care too much about her. His mother and daughter have also signed him up for a computer dating service. Get the picture? After what is probably the most depressing Thanksgiving Day ever seen in any movie, he goes to his room, turns on his computer, puts on Barry Manilows "Weekend in New England" and sees if he has any replies on his on -line dating service. Nothing today, maybe better luck tomorrow.

Next thing you know, on Black Friday, bike riding and skateboarding baddies take over the mall. Since he is not on his Segway scooter and playing a video game at the arcade, he is the last one to know. When he discovers the plot, its like "Die Hard" in a mall. He singlehandedly takes on the bad guys while the local police and a SWAT team wait outside and encourage him not to do anything. The film is fast paced, has some very funny scenes, and is comparitively non violent. You'll recognize all the standard mall stores like" Sharper Image", "Victoria's Secret" and the kitschy "Rain Forest Cafe" which is also used for good measure.The cast is likable and James, with a walrus mustache shows that he is a fine comedic actor. Even if you never watch "The King of Queens", his character is fairly convincing. You can believe that he is real and able to handle any situation that his thakless job hads him. The results are hilarious and heroic at the same time. With far, far too many terrible movies that come our way, this one stood out and delivered a good 91 minutes of fun and laughs. It was pretty heart touching too. You just want Paul to win the girl of his dreams.Definitely worth the rental, you won't be disappointed. Scooby doobie do!

15 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Horrible Movie-Can't Say Anything Else!, 8 July 2011

What could have been a superior black comedy about every white collar workers dream disintegrates into a standard TV style movie thats long on raunch and foul language, and short on laughs. Before my review gets pulled for "abuse",heres the basic premise. In a nutshell, some office workers deceide to murder their bosses cuz they feel that their lives would be a lot better with them gone, then when things take a wrong turn, the desperation of the workers-and the screenwriter begin to show. "Borrowing" elements of some of Hitchcocks best work, the story quickly fizzles out as film takes the shortcut to predictability and mediocrity. . Cast is only so-so, but Kevin Spacey seems to be chanelling his "American Beauty" role. Bateman and others are quite forgettable and Jennifer Aniston-possibly the worst non actress of this decade goes against type and plays a slutty skanky role that the director hoped would give this film some "balls", but all she seems to do is alienate and repel the audience even further. The only way I could recommend this movie to you is to try to sneak into it at some multiplex and wait until the film you really want to see starts, that is, of course if you can find one that is actually worth seeing. If you remember the early 80s "Nine to Five" that movie pretty much had the same premise as this with some funny fantasy sequences too. I'll leave you, dear readers to deceide which is the better one-think Dolly Parton. Thank God that I get to see these movies for free. Being a critic does have its rewards, but unfortunately I have not been rewarded with any decent movies lately. If you must pay good money to see this turkey- especially in this Obama economy -demand a refund!Another PU movie review from Lou!

57 out of 113 people found the following review useful:
Below Average Superhero Movie, 16 June 2011

This is the 4th. superhero movie this year {Green Hornet, X Men, Thor,so far-not including Captain America,and the worst. Total dud misfires from the first frame. A cocky test pilot-whose father was killed in an aircraft crash somehow gets to be a guardian of the universe after a strange green light shines on him. Next thing you know, he has to defend the world from bad evildoers who are much more interesting than the title character. Ryan Reynolds is fairly likable but he seems more appropriate in a show like "Glee" rather than in the title role. Although he tries his one dimensional character really shows no depth, even in the scenes with his lover. The CGI effects are standard issue, and you've probably seen them a million times before. The trouble with this movie is that its just sooooo ordinary. There is absolutely nothing in it to lift it above a less than mediocre level, and the story line can be somewhat hard to follow. Before my review gets pulled due to "abuse", heed my advice and avoid the multiplex showing this disaster. Yes, I know its supposed to be based on a comic book, but even comic books can sometimes show some character development, intelligence, and try to portray their stories in a more realistic and believable way. Unfortunately, this film does not. It will just get lost in the shuffle of superhero overkill and fade from the scene after it predictably makes a fortune on its first weekend. It will be on DVD by summer's end. If you must see it, wait until then. Not worth your time or money, but don't be too surprised if the producers try to "franchise" it and milk it for all its worth. A sad fact in todays Hollywood. The fans claim that the critics killed this film , but thats only partially true. It committed suicide just being made.However, this movie could have been much, much worse-it could have had Jennifer Aniston in it.If that was the case, I would have given it a zero star rating!

Super 8 (2011)
27 out of 54 people found the following review useful:
Pooper 8, 8 June 2011

Something strange is happening in a small town after a train derails . What was supposed to be a nostalgic look at the lives of a few middle schoolers in 1979 turns out to be the biggest movie non event of the year. Something is not right in this movie that fails for three reasons. First, it is entirely too much like the old "Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits" TV shows. Secondly, the predictability factor manifests itself from the beginning. You know exactly what is going to happen before it even does. You just sit there and viola! It happens. Third is the "Lets use every cliché from every sci-fi movie ever made" factor.Self explanatory. The no name cast doesn't have one character you even care about. They look too clean, too polished,and too plastic just like animatronics at a Disney World attraction.And yes, they all have what I like to call the "Spielberg Look"- you know, that dazed, glazed facial expression that was so prominent in "ET". If this turkey bears a resemblance to "Close Encounters", "War of the Worlds", "ET", "Cloverfield", and "The Goonies", thats the idea. There isn't an original idea anywhere in this mess. Its as if director Abrams was told to make a homage to early Spielberg films by Spielberg himself, and thats exactly what he did. Film does have its moments, but they are few and very far between. Film tries to be nostalgic, but 70s nostalgia? A great decade! Disco, Jimmy Carter, the looming Iran hostage crisis, inflation, oil crisses, unemployment, polyester, etc, etc. Kinda of sounds like today, doesn't it? I can go on and on but, dear reader, I think you get the point. This film has the cheesiest ending since "Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull",and the schmaltz in the last two minutes or so seems to have been applied with a trowel.As is, just alright for eight year old kids or undemanding viewers. However, adults who are looking for something with some brains and intelligence should go to another multiplex. However, you gotta admit that Spielberg is pretty smart. He just bought himself a 300 foot long yacht that cost over 200 million dollars.Mediocrity is its own reward,but to call this film mediocre is to praise it to high heaven. This film represents everything that is wrong with today's filmmaking and movies. Save your 11 bucks and the trip to the multiplex. It will be available on DVD before the summers over.Mark my words, you'll see. PS- "Super 8" refers to a type of 8mm film that was used for making home movies in the pre digital film age.

Arthur (2011/I)
25 out of 51 people found the following review useful:
Arthur-Gives Remakes Their Bad Name, 8 April 2011

Why, why, why did they remake the Dudley Moore classic. My guess is that Hollywood has finally run out of ideas. Russell Brand attempts to re create the lovable Dudley Moore drunk playboy character-and fails miserably. Helen Mirren-a fine actress gives what is arguably her worst performance in a role she obviously did for a paycheck. About all she does is scowl and have a mean, exasperated expression on her face.Rest of cast is pretty non descript as is the story, screenplay, and direction. Everything in this wet turd of a movie falls flat on its face, and the director didn't even try to redeem it. Guess he knows the score. He was paid to turn in a movie and he does just that. Only thing is that this waste of celluloid is not a movie. It is just another product of contemporary Hollywood , a heartless and soulless Hollywood that has absolutely no clue on how to make a real movie. About the only good thing in this bomb are some of the on-location New York sites where this was filmed, but Grand Central Station looks like a leftovcer set from Superman II. Do yourself a favor. Save your gas and 11 bucks, stay away from the multiplex playing this atrocity and rent the Dudley Moore original. There is absolutely no comparison between the real thing and the remake. The kind of film that should never have been made in the first place. If you are sucker enough to pay good money to see this Dudley-less dud, demand a refund! Any wonder why movie-going in the US is down by 20 percent? Crap films like this are the reason!

11 out of 35 people found the following review useful:
Tripe, 2 November 2010

Bland, boring, predictable animated pseudo fairytale of two Japanese girls and their father who move to the country to be nearer to their ailing mother's hospital.One day, they meet a forest spirit whom they call Totoro.Looking like an overweight rabbit with short prick erect ears, this non-threatening harmless character leads them through a series of bland, Disney like adventures that makes even "Dora the Explorer" look like Shakespeare's " Mac Beth"-and we don't even get to see Totoro until a half hour into the movie! Thats about it. This is probably the most over rated film from Miyazaki, the uber over rated Japanese anime director.Its all done in a pastel tone animated style that looks like an a painting by a first grader, yet some of the backgrounds do have a certain charm to them.There is no edge, conflict, sense of menace or real emotion or drama in this pablum coated film to engage the audience. Even a 3 year old would become bored-fast. Done by Studio Ghibli-a sort of Japanese Disney studio, this turkey has earned much yen since its release. Not to mention the merchandising it has inspired that, fortunately is not too readily available in the United States. And can anybody please tell me what is so great about Miyazaki? He's just another "in it for the money" artist like Tim Burton, Spielberg, and Murakami. As a matter of fact, I have a hard time distinguishing Miyazaki from Murakami.. Even Spielberg's "ET", a film that I thoroughly hated seems enjoyable and well made when compared to this. Do yourself a favor-watch it only if you have to. Not worth your precious time.For some reason, this was one of the the highest grossing film of all time in Japan until Titanic came along. I can't see why.

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