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43 reviews in total 
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Based on real people of the 60s and 70s so it's cool but ouch..., 2 May 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I ran across this feature and live in Ventura so I wanted to see what it was all about. After watching it initially I was kind of disappointed. It is a typical low budget National Lampoons feature that fell short... but I did a little more research and found most of the characters are real life Venturians that moved and lived in the heyday of surfing and skating in this blue collar surf town, mostly in downtown/midtown near Pierpont.

Mike Mooney, Sparks, Lardo, and others were caricatures of the real people. It turns out Mike Mooney is a fixture in town and still shapes boards and that Sparks, where the story eludes to him riding his last wave at 25, took his own life when he was 25.

Here is the article:

It was fun to see all the local shops and spots, even though most of it was shot on Sea Street near the surf shot and down in the Pierpont condos.

I wish it could have been a sweeter film, more nostalgic and period piece and coming of age film rather than trying to force it into a shallow comedy and dramatic formula. However it was funny to hear people called southies (from LA and The Valley)...

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Nice little movie, 25 February 2016

Pleasantly surprised with the nice story about two strangers whose lives cross paths and they learn more about each other through some unexpected circumstances. Woot giving way anything, I can say my wife and I enjoyed the story and characters... Down to earth yet whimsically silly about how people respond to and develop an understanding about life and it's moments. Bravo, lovely little film. We would recommend this for anyone looking for a movie on a night in. It is a out of the way romantic comedy in a sweet way without the comedians but real folks. Never head of it but it came up on Amazon and thought we would give it a go and glad we did.

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Good time travel paradox movie, 1 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you like time travel movies, this one is on the more dramatic side of things but it's well told and well acted. Don't read any more, go watch this movie and have a good time. Ethan Hawke is solid as usual but Sarah Snook steals the show with her dualistic acting in a dynamic and complex role that would challenge any actor. The story is different and interesting first of all and the technical side of time travel is hardly discussed but the paradox is complex and well developed. But as with most paradox that involves time, the question about the chicken or the egg comes about, but later on this... so now for spoilers. If you don't care about spoilers and little more detail to the movie, read on...

So there subtle hints throughout the film that drop a hint about the perpetual nature of the paradox that takes place in this film, the difference from other time travel paradox being that this is completely planned and man made where the story starts with a baby being dropped off at an orphanage and as the story unfolds it becomes apparent that this is an important part of the paradox... however how the baby is created in the movie is clear, but then the chicken and the egg question comes about... how did the original baby (the same at the beginning) that starts the paradox originally come about to start this whole thing? As usual, there needs to be a parallel universe for something like this paradox to be fully realized. But either way, a good movie from down under and I would recommend it! Surprisingly, there are no Aussie accents in the film.

Rudderless (2014)
0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Good story and perspective, humanizing, 1 March 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

If you want to watch a good drama and story give it a go, we had no idea what we were going to getting into and after watching this film, I'd recommend it and give it a 8 out 10. We took a chance and Rudderless and by the end of the film, we were touched, surprised with the good storytelling, and the content of the film. Firstly, the music base is great, the story that unfolds is told with craft and purpose. What I walked away with is that there's always another side to every tragic story and this film hits upon them delicately and with craft. So now for the spoilers... don't read this if you truly want to have things unfold as the film maker intended. However if you don't care, read on I don't reveal anything so it ruins it.

This film is based on a shooting on campus of a university but that is just the basis of the story, the real drama occurs in the aftermath where the story follows a father in the aftermath who discovers the music their child wrote and created, creating a bond and in the end, hopefully some resolution... this is one of those films I would definitely recommend, sometimes you find an independent jewel and this is one of them.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Indie guerrilla film, decently crafted, 3 July 2011

The film is made in the style of a fictional documentary similar to Blair Witch but about a guy who wants to make a documentary by going to Afghanistan and searching for the truth about the war that has ensued since 9/11.

The style is gritty as if they were using hand held cameras, following around the main character and his interpreter through out the land searching for answers. There is decent FX, the story is easy enough to follow but with major flaw. A documentary is about a subject and not about the documentary maker so that's where the film could lost me and weakened the premise of the film entirely. If the camera were to be the main character, I think the film would have been more palatable for myself.

Even with this weakness the effort to try to make a film of this style is appreciated.

5 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Original documentary was watchable... TV show gets tedious..., 16 May 2009

The original documentary Ghost Adventures is much more entertaining and more interesting than the TV series on the Travel Channel. The TV show is tedious, overly dramatic and difficult to follow through the whole hour. Because this a documentary follows more of the documentary makers more than the subject matter is not good. The guys involved are too melodramatic for anyone to take this show with serious consideration as a level of entertainment or even want to believe what they are doing is valid. The investigative concept is the right one to take, but not in the direction they are taking it. It's like Most Haunted, but at least on that show they are honestly fake right up front.

0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A critique of the book vs. the film lacked delivery and effectiveness, 16 May 2009

This is a critique not a synopsis. I'm a huge fan of the books and of course I will be critical of the delivery on film, but this movie made the book seem bad. Which is not the case, the book is superb and delivered badly on film.

I've read both Dan Brown's books Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code a number of years ago. Upon reading both books, I remember thinking Angels&Demons was much better suited for the big screen before Da Vinci Code. The theatricals were all built into the story... but anyways, I digress...

The book The Da Vinci Code is very very good. It is intelligent enough to form questions, action packed to keep moving, filled with crime, mystery, international intrigue taking place around the famous landmarks and locations around Europe. The story involves a colorful array of characters and is in fact set as an International thriller. The book inquires and stimulates the mind and spirit as the reader follows Robert Langdon's quest for truth. This is really the universal tender that makes the book so good.

The film, directed by Ron Howard. Starring Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon follows the book chapter by chapter, step by step in its execution. To those who read the book, the movie is not bad. Unfortunately, even liking the book, the film becomes tedious and confusing. I found it annoying that they felt they had to over intellectualize the significance of every symbol and pattern in the film. The film is too politically correct when the book was not and challenged what is known as the truth and not a story created by the powers that be.

The film had plenty of funding, plenty of time and some of the most talented to make a really good book into an really good movie but what we got was overly delivered and had little significance. That's my one criticism, it's the one biggest complaint that viewers had who never read the book. They had no idea what was going on and was even more confused at the end. I guess to say in a nice way, the book was so good, it made the film didn't seem as good. But that is not the case with the Angels&Demons.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Much better delivery than Da Vinci Code, worth a watch, 16 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After the disappointing Da Vinci Code film. (I'm a fan of both Angels&Demons and Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown), my expectations were already low but not surprised this film was better than the first. Even though Angels&Demons was published years before Da Vinci Code. Go figure? This film delivers well as the book was written in a fashion that reads like a international action thriller touching on the intellectual and spiritual.

The film takes off with the development in sciences that would have significance in proving the big bang theory but a crime is committed and a sample of the proof is stolen from a large lab in Europe. As the story progresses, they realize there may be a tie to a group who claim to be the Illuminati and who are seeking to bring down the Catholic church with the truth of science. This somehow involves deeply delving into the history of the Catholic church, it's security concerns, hidden treasures and the bits of truth that may be stored away that they don't want the public to be aware of.

From there, the film just gets thicker and faster. Ewan McGregor does a great job and is a refreshing face in the film along with some other good names that round out the cast, unlike Da Vinci Code which had only one mode to the film. Angels&Demons is much more watchable and theatrical. The performances are much better because the book has many bigger than life characters and events. It followed the book better as in the way it didn't water down the controversy and graphic details. The Angels&Demons film is definitely worth a watch and will wash out any of the bad taste left from Da Vinci Code.

43 out of 67 people found the following review useful:
Film was better than I expected after reading the negative reviews, 28 March 2009

This film got a 5 out of me, because in the end I realized this movie is a lower budget, straight to DVD version of other movies in its genre and subject matter. The film itself seemed hastily put together with what scenes they shot to muster up a simple and digestible, even if disagreeable film.

The Pros: I'll name these first to be kind. -Story and characters make sense... more on this later. -It's international, but mostly American. They travel around the world (or so they say in the film but mostly in Prague, Moscow and somewhere in the US).

The Cons: -Too many holes and unanswered questions in the script and story line. -The main character lacks intelligent initiative. -The script itself is lacking in many areas and just assumes things without presenting them to the audience. -They give too much credit to the computer and to the characters without establishing any premise.

Straight to DVD in my opinion and not worth a watch in the theater. However the premise and subject matter is somewhat realistic with the findings of Ghostnet and other information gathering computer attacks found by Canadian and US university researchers.

On-Bak 2 (2008)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Martial Art film with a story and lots of good mixed martial arts MMA., 28 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Again, unsure of what another Asian mixed martial arts film, I heard a few good things and heard about the budget on this film and thought I had to watch it. Ultimately, I found this film an action packed mixed martial arts film with a good story line, costumes and characters. A definite watch for mixed martial arts fans in the world.

I rated this an 8 because of the strong elements that present a good film. Good cinematography, good story, and of course Jaa's strong/impressive martial arts sequences. This film was well shot.

Eventually, I noticed this movie is aimed at the mixed martial arts world and not just a particular following. Jaa exercises his expertise in the action sequences representing Kung Fu, Karate, Jujitsu, Muy Tai boxing, Japanese Sword Play and much more, really making it a variety of martial arts displayed in this film that should be good for audiences around the world and MMA fans alike.

This movie is violent but the representation of their country through the perfect dance and music is also very enjoyable. I would recommend this film to anyone who like MMA, martial arts, south east asia, thailand, cambodia, etc. I was pleasantly surprised by the characters and stories and simply blown away by the martial arts sequences.

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