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The Greatest Abuse of IMDb for 2014. Do Not Be Fooled!
Filmmakers have paid for positive reviews for decades before IMDb, and I can't think of a way for IMDb to protect against false or paid input.
Consider with WHIPLASH, this film proved nothing but limp at the box office, not to be found anywhere in the top 100 for 2014, yet there are 176,500 votes for it on IMDb and most are for 10, 9, or 8.
Then consider this is unoriginal, badly acted, boring film.
The hero wants to be the World's #1 musician. Fine! So he gets J V Simmons to scream obscene language in his face and plays his drums until his hands bleed (Ridiculous!) Let me tell you about course language. Any idiot can excel at it. King size fools like the J V Simmons character have nothing else to offer; else-wise they could communicate without it.
The boy still goes to the movies with his Dad. Sweet! At the movies they distinguish themselves by adding Milk Duds to the large tub of popcorn and blabbing through the show, making other people move away.
Later, he masters the courage to date the pop corn girl and takes her for pizza. Wow! This adds substance to the later scene when he dumps her because he needs the time for his music.
There is just nothing original or interesting going on here.
Whiplash is one of the very worst films of 2014. IMDb would be so much better if it was kept honest and clean. I hope the producers enjoyed the $1.60 we paid to rent the DVD, but next time I'll think twice before choosing anything from Sundance.
Bad news for movie watchers.
Despite the other reviews, this movie is a drab and worthless waste of time.
Focusing on the failed suicide of a beautiful young woman who lost her first child, the story focuses, more or less, on the two parents moving on from grief's damage.
The first thing they do is to rip off a restaurant by running away, stiffing the waiter, and falling into a laugh-out-loud necking spree.
From there we get 2 hours and 5 minutes of mumbling trite dialog and stumbling around ill-lighted often blurred sets; with no intelligent plan, drab dialog, other wastes of time.
The woman was named after Eleanor Rigby in the Beatles song: all the lonely people; and they blab quite a bit of babble about it. But this doesn't stand the test of reality, since Jessica Chastain even in her grunge clothes will never fail to gain attention. Sure, many beautiful people are lonely, but herein she's loaded with friends, family, more than one worthy lover.
Viola Davis playing a teacher is one of the great over-rated actresses of our time.
This film guarantees two hours plus of mumbles and stumbles.
Sea Spoilers (1936)
Seeking "The Sea Spiolers"
This was a good, but not great, action film made by Universal in 1936, about fighting the seal pirates off the coast of Alaska.
As with other films by the #1 star of all time, it obviously has commercial value even today.
The movie was re-issued to theaters in 1949.
Oddly, virtually all Universal pictures from this era were reissued to theaters either by Realart Pictures or by Universal. "The Spoilers" is one example: reissued over-and-over to theaters, then by VHS, DVD, etc. But not "Sea Spiolers."
"Sea Spoilers" was offered a few times in bootleg on eBay; not lately.
Incidentally, Humphrey Bogart is being pushed right now as the #1 star of all time. Love Bogart, but #1 he is not.
The Lawton Story (1949)
Truly a Legendary Movie
I first heard about this movie 60 years ago when I was 14 years old. Last night I found it by channel hop on TV. The movie is 4 hours and I saw just part of it, but I'd like to add Review #2 to IMDb. This played "roadshow" just like "Mom and Dad." With Mom and Dad (reputed to be the only movie to have an actual sex scene, which it DID NOT in fact have) the film is interrupted while they hawk sexual hygiene books to the audience. With "Lawton Story" they did the same think, selling Bibles. My understanding is that each film played only one theater in the US at any given time; along with the book selling scheme.
"Lawton Story" is a beautiful film to watch. The Cinecolor looks way better than you'd expect. The first thing you notice is the acting. You might say it's amateur-like; but that's because 100% of the cast are amateurs, people living in Lawton, Oklahoma; where the film was made. In a few minutes, a person can get used to this. The good point is that the dialog is NOT Hollywood style, but entirely taken verbatim from the New Testament.
After 65 years, this is still a remarkable and unique film. Particularly in light of such dreadful and stupid 2014 flops --- Son of God, Noah, Exodus --- three Bible films which have nothing much to do with the Bible.
Idiot's Delight (1939)
Adolf Hitler would love this piece of propaganda.
It doesn't matter to me about Clark Gable's dance routine or Norma Shearer's horrible over-acting; it's the "message" of the movie that matters. This well-titled film could easily pave the way to Hitler's march across Europe --- which was just beginning in 1939.
It makes me wonder about Robert E. Sherwood (author), the Pultizer committee at Columbia University, as well as Clark Gable and MGM (which lost thousands on this travesty.
Most Anti-War propaganda pieces are empty headed, but not all. "All Quiet on the Western Front" (1930) warned German youth about the false promises of war mongers; and if Germany had listened they would not have wrecked Europe and killed millions, only to have their country reduced to rubble. (Berlin was still mostly rubble when I was there in 1965, ten years after the war.)
The clear message of the film is the doctrine of moral equivalence; that is to say that Nazi Germany was morally and intellectually equal to the countries they attacked; those who fought back. (Gag me, please)
Definitely NOT just for die-hard John Wayne fans.
A very solid good picture from 1931 is finally seeing the light of day via the new TV channel, GET/TV. We watched it last night.
First of all you need to know the picture and sound of this 83 year old film is much better than might be expected. Perhaps withheld because of long term friction between Columbia Pictures and John Wayne.
Set in West Point and later in Arizona, Wayne plays a football hero who finds it necessary to break up with a girl he realizes he doesn't love. He soon finds out she's the b...h from hell, and her reaction will impact on several other people.
The script and acting is just fine.
History Re-write for the Tabloid Trade
Based only on the first half of this film (divided into 2 DVD's) I'd rate the film 9 out of 10. The film brings into focus how Ludwig falls forever in love with Sissi, the Queen of Austria; a girl clearly out of his reach but who ties him into knots with her beauty and personality. Romy Schneider returns from the 3 Sissi movies agreeing to play the part only if she could play it with honesty, including all her disillusion with her marriage as well as being queen.
Ludwig realizes Sissi has caught on to his flaws, that he's a very insecure man who clings to better people to create an aura of stature. His ill-fated solution is to propose marriage to Sissi's sister, Sophie; if you can't get the one you love then grab up her sister. Truly heartbreaking, even for royalty and all their power.
All this is destroyed in Part Two wherein Visconti fabricates a homosexual theme, putting it into graphic terms. In 1972, this was supposed to be daring and brave filmmaking. This theme negates the unrequited love theme we've just spend two hours on. The important thing is that history does not show any hard evidence of Ludwig being homosexual. Because he was lonely from the loss of his true love, and backed away from marrying the sister, he's given a bum rap; here sensationalized by a cinema hack.
Jin ling shi san chai (2011)
The Rape of Nanking --- Cleaned-up Version
The Flowers of War is a gritty and well-made film with a story set in a "protected area" of Nanking during the worst atrocity to occur anywhere in the Pacific war.
With sensitivity to a squeamish audience used to the fake horror of B movies, you'll see the slaughter of many unarmed civilians and the very brutal rape of the schoolgirls hiding in the Safety Zone but broken into anyway by Japanese soldiers. You'll see gang rapes followed by the immediate and pointless murder of the victims. You will see a supposedly "nice" Japanese officer who loves music et cetera but will later enslave all 13 schoolgirls for gang rape at a Japanese celebration.
What you will NOT see is the true depiction of the horrors inflicted on the civilians of Nanking by the Japanese. No depiction of pregnant girls being raped then cut open and having the fetus stabbed, no rapes of little children, cut open if that was necessary to effect the rape. No, it's all cleaned up, or nobody would watch it. (Will this account even survive the IMDb review?)
Witnesses to the Rape of Nanking are/were numerous and diverse. Lots of foreign nationals witnessed the crimes. There is even actual movies taken of the crimes -- at the time they were happening.
Personally, I'm not anti-Japanese. World War II was a long time ago and the leadership of Douglas NacArthur following the war changed the Japanese forever. I've visited Japan as a tourist and purchased five Japanese cars. But history is history. The Flowers of War is well worth your time; but keep in mind this is the cleaned-up version of true and prolonged horror.
The Story of Ruth (1960)
Drab, depressing, and false. A bore!
Given the credits of talented filmmakers involved in this project, how could they have come together to create such a dismal, depressing and downbeat mess; based on one of the happiest stories in the Bible.
OK, so Ruth's story was happy. Why not add a heavy dose of human sacrifice, training little girls to be butchered on the alter of the Moab's silly looking tin god. Then make Ruth a trainee involved in this perversion. (All this nonsense was invented for the movie.) Elena Eden was introduced in this role, and that's where her career ended. Not entirely to blame, nobody could have saved this awful movie.
I thought it was interesting that the Moab's (whose "god" was a stupid-faced metal statue, incapable of doing anything, and often in need of repairs) would question "the invisible God" of the Judeans. How little has changed in 3000 years.
The Grey (2011)
CGI Wolves can't hurt you!
The undemanding, love anything audience of 2011/2012 cheats itself by putting up with too much Bad Movie-making. For one thing, the F word is used between 500 and 1000 times. Lazy writing, but accepted.
CGI wolves can't kill you, can't bite you, can't scratch you, can't scare an intelligent audience. There have been wolves in movies for over 75 years, scary as hell, but only since CGI do they look plastic and silly. Yet many empty-headed moviegoers go mostly for the CGI.
Even CGI wolves would choke on the menagerie of born losers portrayed in this movie. Shallow people, devoid of personality, saying MF-this and MF-that; so easy to write, so easy to portray.
I rated the movie 7 because I was expecting a halfway decent "freezre your butt off trekking through Alaska wilderness" movie. Got just that.