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Desertman84

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3134 reviews in total 
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Dream Cast Fails To Elevate The Film Into Greatness, 29 June 2016
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman have yet to appear together in a film and this remake of the Argentinian thriller entitled "Secret In Their Eyes" provides us that treat of having the two of these Academy Award winning actresses star in it.

Together with Chiwetel Ejiofor,they all star in a thriller about a team of rising investigators - FBI counter-terrorism investigator Ray Kasten, district attorney's investigator Jess Cobb, and District Attorney Claire Sloan - whose relationship are torn apart after the daughter - Carolyn Cobb - of one of its member - Jess - was found murdered.The screenplay also written by director Billy Ray spans thirteen years wherein Ray left the badge and became passionate in solving the case and the rise of Claire from being a DA assistant to her current position and Jess from becoming an investigator to the DA's chief investigator.Added to that, we also get to witness Ray's obsession of locating the primary suspect Marzin in order to find closure to the case which apparently is different from the direction that Claire's office is headed;the pain and suffering of Jess upon losing her daughter; and the attraction between Claire and Ray.

No question that it had a having a wonderful,astonishing and surprising ending wherein Claire,Ray and Jess are able to resolve their differences after Jess admits killing Marzin and later Ray prove otherwise after finding Marzin locked up in the cage by Jess in her home at Moorpark instead for the past 13 years.But the conclusion nor the dream cast are not enough to elevate this film into greatness considering that the film was somewhat boring in the middle part for nothing much happens as the viewer is subjected too much on Ray's passion for searching Marzin and the psychological impact it has had on him with no little or no development happening at the story progresses but it will only be brought to an end at the conclusion of the film.Added to that,nothing really happens much in the attraction between Ray and Claire expect that we are treated to a "what if" romance and nothing more.Also,it failed to focus on what message it wants to portray particularly about the justice and legal system in the country particularly the life sentence and the death penalty.

The performances of the cast were absolutely delightful but the comparison it will make to the Argentinian original will definitely be unfair considering it definitely is not at par with it.In the end,one would conclude that American remake missed it opportunity of becoming a great film.

The Porn Film That Started It All, 19 June 2016
1/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Deep Throat is pornographic film that definitely started it all.It basically was the iconic and classic porn film that started the Golden Age of Pornography during the 1970's. It stars Harry Reems,Linda Lovelace,Dolly Sharp and Carol Connors.The story involves a sexually frustrated woman who is unable to experience orgasm. It has themes of sexual freedom and liberation.

Watching it now, one would definitely realize how porn films came to be in the years to come.This provided guidelines on how these films should be done. That is why many years after, we get a clue on how porn stars perform in front of the camera when performing different sexual acts.Too bad that with the advent of the internet which provided easy access to these types of films and with more people willing to perform sexual acts in front of a camera, these so-called porn films will never ever duplicate the success it garnered considering it made $600 million within a budget of only $47,000.And any porn film release today will never match its iconic status which makes it special.

Absolutely One Of The Best Sports Documentary, 7 June 2016
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No question about it.This is definitely one of the best sports documentaries ever shown at HBO.Or better yet,the best documentary that tackles NBA legends and hall-of-famers Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics respectively.It gives the sports viewer tremendous information about the players' rivalry that started in college until their careers in the NBA as well as background on the players' humble beginnings from their hometowns until they found success in the NBA that included championships and MVP awards.Erstwhile,it also provides us some history of how these two greats helped the NBA survive the 70's when it was at the brink of its abolition as well as the leagues merger with the ABA.

The sports doc started with the 1979 NCAA Championship between the Indiana State University or ISU Sycamores and the Michigan State University or MSU Spartans that featured Bird and Magic respectively.It highlighted the two college superstars particularly their race and their talent.After the Spartans won over the Sycamores,the rivalry between the two stars carried into the NBA when both got drafted with Bird going to the Celtics and Magic going to the L.A. Lakers.The league capitalized on their said talent and race as well as the renewing of the rivalry between the said teams that occurred mostly on the 1960's and 70's.We get to witness Bird and Magic winning championships on their own like in the 1981 and 1982 season respectively and their meeting in the 1984 NBA Finals where the Celtics won as well as the 1985 and 1987 NBA Finals where the Lakers won.It also addressed on both players helped the league survive the 1970's when it was diminishing popularity before Michael Jordan came and solidified its status of being the most popular pro basketball league in the world. Finally,it brought into the end wherein Magic's career is cut short after being infected by the HIV virus and Bird retiring due to injuries in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

Aside from Magic and Bird,there were a lot of interesting interviews made from the likes of family members such as Magic's sister Evelyn and Bird's brother Mark; sportscasters Steve Springer and Charlie Pierce;and former NBA players such as Kevin McHale, Cedric Maxwell, Michael Cooper and former NBA coach and current Miami Heat President Pat Riley.All of them provided a lot of insights about the players featured.

This is definitely a great sports doc that one should not miss from an NBA fan whether they were old enough to witness these players or young enough not to see them at all.It will provide better appreciation of what they did to the league,the sport of basketball in terms of their greatness and how they revolutionized the game.Added to that,it also will give us better knowledge about them and the fact that the NBA does not consist of Air Jordan alone.Check this one out either on Amazon, YouTube or a DVD.

A Pretty Good B-Movie, 6 June 2016
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Perfect Guy is a thriller about a female lobbyist who starts a relationship with stranger who seems to have all the perfect qualities that a woman is looking for after she finds a lot of unhappiness with her present relationship. Sanaa Lathan,Michael Ealy and Morris Chestnut stars in this film whose screenplay is written by Tyger Williams and whose direction is held by David M. Rosenthal.

Leah Vaughn,a successful lobbyist, has been displeased by her boyfriend,Dave King once again.She is frustrated by the fact that Dave does not want to commit to her fully in relationship through marriage and start a family.She then decides to break up with him. After two months,she meets a charming man who is working in an Information Technology company in Carter Duncan.They become close and start a relationship after Leah seem to find her the so-called "the perfect guy".But as the relationship progresses,Leah discovers some shocking violent qualities that Carter has in the gas station which led her to break up the relationship. Then Dave resurfaces in Leah's life and they decide to reunite. But things become scary as Carter became a threat to their peaceful life and personal space.

No question that this movie earned a lot in the box office despite the fact that it was trashed by a lot of critics.Although it was evidently a B-movie in terms of story and performances,it managed to deliver efficiently.I know that was far from original,high on melodrama and it was definitely predictable especially at the point when Carter started haunting Leah and Dave,I felt that it tried its best being what it is.A viewer should not expect a classic from it like The Godfather nor The Taxi Driver.Evidently,it was influenced by Fatal Attraction with only the man playing a villain instead of a woman.But for what it is,I think that it was a pretty good.A B-movie nevertheless if only we are to categorize it accordingly.The performances,the costumes and the pacing of the story made it a pretty good B-movie.

The Intern (2015/I)
De Niro And Hathaway Have Great Performances, 5 June 2016
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway stars in this film about a 70-year old widower and retired executive of a phone company who got hired in the senior internship program of a fashion company in this film entitled The Intern.Renee Russo co-stars in this movie written,produced and directed by Nancy Meyers.

After retirement has become boring for Ben Whitaker,he applies at At The Fit,a e-commerce fashion startup that employs old people particularly retirees as interns.The office was headed by CEO/founder Jules Ostin.With fortunate luck,Ben is one of the four hired.Ben and Jules struggle to agree at first but eventually develop a relationship as friends wherein they help each other with respect to their careers and family relationships.

While the story is something that is not really original nor something really interesting as it was somehow clichéd and predictable and a bit melodramatic,I admire the performances of De Niro and Hathaway. Cross-generational viewers will definitely appreciate the film focused on them as they have great chemistry together.Young and old people will surely enjoy their characters.

Tootsie (1982)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Watch Tootsie For Hoffman Alone, 4 June 2016
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dustin Hoffman remains popular among movie fans especially when it comes to portraying difficult roles such as the autistic brother of Tom Cruise in the "Rain Man" and that being a woman in this film entitled "Tootsie".

The late Sydney Pollack directed this film about Michael Dorsey,an unemployed actor who is unable to get a job due to being difficult to work with despite the fact that he is extremely talented. When he could no longer find any work,he decided to disguise as Dorothy Michaels,an actress who lands a role in a popular soap opera.Here is where the fun begins.....

No question that the viewer will definitely be amazed by Hoffman's performance considering anyone who does not know would surely never doubt him at all as a drag.Even his voice which is of a Southern accent is pitch perfect.Aside from it, we also are treated to an intelligent comedic screenplay that revolves around Michael/Dorothy from his relationships with his friends Jeff and Sandy as well as his cast mates Les and April.We also get to see how Dorothy's career takes off and how he finally reveals in the end who he really ends. Finally, the development of the relationship between Michael and April was definitely worth watching.

It was a big hit when it was released back in '82.But despite the fact that a lot of things have changed since then particularly when it comes to many themes it made fun with such as the increase of women in workplace together with the limited acceptance of LGBT's which are no longer issues today,it remains one of the most popular comedies at present. Watching Hoffman alone is a big delight.

Ratter (2015)
An Interesting Theme, 3 June 2016
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Ashley Benson starts in a film called Ratter which gives focus on society's effect of our so-called internet-connected or wired lives that may inherently invade our very own private lives. Branden Kramer directed a film that features Benson,who plays the role of Emma,a graduate who moves to New York.In it,we get to see her being hacked by an unknown computer expert who is able to see her all the time through electronic devices such as her phone,computer and video camera.We the story unfold from the point-of-view of the hacker.

It was obvious that the movie had a great theme since our interconnected electronic devices have become a big part of our lives.While it has given us tremendous amount of comfort and convenience, it has also dug deep through our personal space and private lives as well which the film has shown could be extremely dangerous.It did this as the viewer got through the life of Emma especially with the daily activities that she is involved it.It could have been a better film had it provided us better assessment how things have become particularly the evolution of society.Too bad that it just used the theme to provide us a simplistic horror and suspense thriller that ended abruptly without a clear resolution at all leaving viewer confused and practically wondering of the events that transpired in the end.

Failed To Provide Laughter At All, 2 June 2016
2/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While I found the movie that it lampooned "Fifty Shades Of Grey" failing to provide kinkiness on the big screen when I reviewed it on this website,I definitely saw this film "Fifty Shades Of Black" a total failure in terms of providing laughter to the viewer.

This Marlon Wayans-starrer that is directed by Michael Tiddes was loud and clear when it tried to make fun and a parody of the Dakota Johnson-starrer particularly in its unexplored themes of sexuality that made it ultra-popular among many movie fans all over the world.Before reviewing further,let me tell a few things about it.

This screenplay written by Wayans himself and Rick Alvarez was about a college student student named Hannah who interviews a wealthy entrepreneur,Christian Black.Later they get to know each other particularly Black who apparently found financial success through shady means like being a male stripper.Unexpectedly,a relationship develop between them as the story progresses.

I personally found the humor involving sexuality simply unlaughable and unfunny.While it tries to capitalize on involving African- Americans being more vulgar with sexual jokes in order to shock us just as the movie that was based on tried to make use of sadomasochistic sex scenes,it was apparent that Marlon Wayans wasn't effective enough in doing so.Crude and vulgarity weren't enough to make it interesting as it was simply silly and unintelligent. Added to that, it was also clichéd and uninspiring as the characters involved simply were boring and uninteresting. Viewers would probably even not finish the movie on the reasons provided.

The only achievement I think it made was the fact that it definitely deserve not the lowest rating is the fact that it had the guts and the risk it took in making the film.

The Choice (2016/I)
A Fair Nicholas Sparks Novel Film Adaptation, 1 June 2016
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So how does this compare to the films like The Notebook,Dear John,A Message To A Bottle,A Walk To Remember and many other Nicholas Sparks film adaptation that we are familiar with? Before I answer that,I would like to make a few presentation of what The Choice is all about.

This movie is based on Sparks' novel of the same name about two engaged neighbors who fell in love and later faced tragedy during their married life. It stars Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer as Travis Shaw and Gabby Holland as the neighbors who are in a relationship that fell for each other and decided to abandon their present commitments in order to pursue their love for each other.Later,they decided to get married and a tragedy fell on them when Gabby met an accident and was left in a coma confined to the hospital.Will Travis feel enormous pain and be affected severely by it? Will Gabby wake up from her comatose state to the delight of her husband and children? Well,the one who is reading this review already knows the answer to that.

Apparently,the film capitalizes on it being a Nicholas Sparks story and the fact that eleven of the prior film adaptation of his novels have delighted millions of people worldwide.Too bad that alone isn't enough to at least make this film at par with the said films.This definitely was purely clichéd,predictable and melodramatic.Anyone who have witnessed stories like this will not find anything new.Added to that,the lead stars - Walker and Palmer - fail to make their characters interesting that viewers will neither care nor cheer for them as their story unfold as film progresses.It simply fails to entertain which made it basically a fair film adaptation.

Concussion (2015)
Concussion Could Have Been A Better Film, 30 May 2016
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

No question about it.Concussion could have been a better film. Will Smith was obviously disappointed that he never was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal as Dr. Bennett Omalu.While I may say that he did a wonderful performance as the leading character,too bad that the film decided to make safe approaches which unfortunately weakened the film.

The film directed by Peter Landesman was set back in 2002.At this time,a Nigerian forensic pathologist in Dr. Omalu discovered a brain injury known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) which occurs to National Football League players after he did an autopsy on former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster,who was found dead in his pickup truck.After releasing a report on the said findings on the degeneration of the brain that is highly possible for football players,he fights a battle against the league to suppress his research on it.

Too bad that instead of focusing on the topic CTE or the football players who are prone to the said disease,it took safe approaches by dealing more on the life of Dr.Omalu.Unfortunately,viewers are more interested in both the brain injury as well as the most popular sport in the United States.Dealing more on the doctor makes it less interesting.It could have been a better film had it not done that.Also,it would also be more revealing on how the sport could be indeed very dangerous to the brain and one's mental health just like when cigarettes were first discovered as dangerous to one's health decades ago.


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