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118 reviews in total 
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Machete (2010)
4 out of 17 people found the following review useful:
Machete: A hatchet job like this turns politics into a love fest, 5 September 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

You can take anything out of this movie and put anything into this movie because that was how it was intended. Rodriguez made a movie that appears to aim its sharp and blunted edge at anyone and anything over anyone and everything, you get to witness the worst at its worst. Don't look for the good, there was no good. The bad people are not on any one particular side. Everyone had their bad side. Honestly, the only thing good that came out of this movie was probably Rodriguez' satisfaction on blowing everyone's mind. Every actor was given a bad line and they all acted badly. It appears to me that was intentional. How can anyone see it any differently? The blood and guts was disturbing, which added to the bad because there was so much of it. And it was what one would call gratuitous, automatic and over-indulgent.

The nudity was what one would call gratuitous, automatic and over-indulgent. Hmm, go figure. No love was lost here, there was none, not ever. The first nude scene was most likely intended to tell you not to hope for a serious love scene.

One can go on and on trying to tell you what was wrong and what was right about this movie. I am not wasting my breath on that. If you were caught off guard, if you like dark humor, if you like blood, guts and gore then you stand a better chance of understanding what this movie was about and maybe you will even like it. Personally, I doubt I will see this movie again. I doubt I will see the sequel(s). Why would I? Once a movie that sets out to tear into morality so completely, successfully rips it to shreds, there is nothing left to see that anyone can add. Well, wait a minute, I didn't notice any aliens from outerspace or monkeys flying out of butts. Maybe something else can be added.

Oh sure, the movie was about everyone being upset by the border battles and the politics and mayhem. But that was just an excuse to expose us all to a wonderfully developed warped imagination that made me laugh while tossing cookies. You have to put yourself above the political messages because both sides were ridiculous and stupid. Neither side wins in this if you don't let stupidity guide your sense of right and wrong. Save your politics for the real world. Just sit down at the movie like you were expecting to see something unreal. Rodriguez outdoes anything Tarantino ever did with Machete.

I give it a 7 because Rodriguez figured out how to shock and repulse us all while making us all feel left out of the fun. I took a point away from it because of the excessive blood, Lohan's character was allowed to live, and because Lohan was in it.

3 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
The Last Exorcism: saved by the farmers daughter, 27 August 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Had I stuck with my intuition after seeing the trailer a couple times, I would not have bothered going to this movie. First impressions too often let me down. I took a chance on reading some reviews from pros and amateurs and found a happy medium that then spirited myself to the theater. Or was I possessed? The movie pretends to be a documentary. We have seen the likes of this style in Paranormal Activity and, as yet unmatched, Blair Witch Project. Believe me, BWP is still unchallenged but Last Exorcism came close. Once again we see innocence and ignorance give way to the evil so often denied until the last moment. Ashley Bell, playing Nell Sweetzer, the most innocent, suffered the most evil excruciatingly believably. The child that Cotton Marcus came to "save" was more than he could handle thanks to his own ignorance in the beginning. I think the movie could have taken more time to focus on his own conversion from doubter to believer. As it was, I have no complaints regarding how he converted(because we are asked just to accept there was a conversion), but the drama of his transference would have added to the suspense.

Characters were believable, especially Nell(Bell) and Marcus(Patrick Fabian). Excellent performances by both. Aside from those two, one more character was just down-right scary as the angry teen(Caleb Sweetzer played by Caleb Landry Jones) who seemed hell-bent to protect his sister from the evil out-of-towners, apparently not aware of the source or evil within his own family.

I subtract points as I normally do for excessive blood (even when we expect it to be there) and slow spots and silly over-indulgence in some places, but in the long run, this movie is well worth seeing.

7/10

Inception (2010)
2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Inception: The epitome of cinematic love, 16 July 2010
9/10

Before going to Inception, I know this much about Nolan, I loved Batman Begins and Dark Knight and I didn't like Memento but I don't remember why - it may have been my state of mind, so I will rent it again to see what happened. I also knew I was excited about seeing Inception thanks to fantastic trailers and reviews.

Arriving at the local, usually "ok" Carmike theater, I was upset they put Inception on the smaller, non-digital screen. I hate you now, Carmike.

Leaving Inception, I was mostly fretting over the ending, not knowing what it was that happened. I will have to get back to figuring that out later. As for the rest of the movie, I can safely say I have never seen a solid, mature movie like this. As one wonders if we leave our brains at the door or bring it ready for action, don't concern yourself. There is absolutely something for all. Where thought seemingly is abandoned and action takes over, we all know what happens when bullets fly...or do we? Because of the varying levels of involvement, you have to analyze the action and the possible consequences of it. Believe me, consequences are always in the middle of the moment.

Visually, I do not see how anyone can be disappointed. I do believe the true adrenaline junkie will be disappointed, however. Despite the amount of action, Inception, to be so truly admired, requires much thought, and that's a much appreciated positive concept these days.

Personally, I am so thankful there are people like Nolan out there. He convinced me that he cares about his creations. Inception is probably one of the most completely respectable movies as far as I am concerned. Nothing lacked except for one thing - the explanation for the ending. I need more time to finish my thoughts on that. Everything else was great. Acting, action, visuals, the cute musical allusion to one of the best performers in Inception, the mystery, and the perplexing concept of the story itself all come together as the key to true cinematic success.

You might think I would give it a 10 but because of the stymieing end, I am going to be stubborn enough to give it a 9. Loved Inception and thanks again Mr Nolan!

Predators (2010)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Predators: Bad guys fight bad guys, making a good movie, 9 July 2010
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The spoilers within should provide no surprising elements. But there is information which you may not want to know because some observations may sway you from wanting to see the movie. None of these observations should keep you from going. However, the non-spoiler comments may be enough to keep you from going.

Getting right to the not-so-revealing spoilers, Adrian Brody would be wise to leave out the faux-"Bale Batman" voice. Brody is not the tough guy he may want his fans to believe. To me, and this is not a slam against his talent, he is always going to appear punkish. Trying to sound like Batman was not wise. Forgetting his voice, he has a grasp on the emotional values of his character. He takes on the role of leader with surprising and unexpected ease. Personally I think he was miscast as the leader but I could not imagine any of the others as the leader either. So he wins by default and he actually comes out of it as a valid winner.

Topher Grace....wow, what can one say? Eddie Brock again?? WTH? Seriously, get past the Eddie Brock phase. Leave Spiderman 3 behind. Bad guys don't have to be whiners! The Brock-like whining was way out of line.

Walton Goggins was, by far, my favorite actor in this movie. His character was not much different from Boyd Crowder in Justified. Sleazy and persistently creepy but interesting and true to life(if you ever knew someone like Crowder).

Alice Braga is as interesting as she is fun to look at. Michelle Rodriguez, make room for Alice.

Two of my complaints were actually near movie killers. While I believe most people pay no attention to it, scoring in this movie was so far off mark throughout most of the movie it was distracting. It often felt like someone lifted the music from another style of movie, maybe a Coen brothers drama. Chase scenes sometimes felt less dramatic thanks to what I felt were musical miscues. Battles almost didn't feel like battles. Those and other scenes would have been better if the music had fit the scenes. And not related to music, in one explosion scene, flames could not have looked more fake if they had hired a grade school art teacher to fill the screen with comic book flames - totally out of place. It may work in cartoons, but the movie was far better than any cartoon.

As far as the movie itself goes, I enjoyed this as a great follow-up to the Predator movies, and was much better than AVP. The Earth people we can all relate to are somehow kidnapped without explanation either to us or even the characters that were kidnapped. They all wake up as they drop in on a planet via parachute. They quickly realize they are the prey on a planet supposedly used as a game preserve. Strangers deal with strangers as potential enemies only to find that they are on the same side whether they like it or not. More ammunition is lost than is love when the actual enemy makes its appearance. This is one of the mysteries for me: once the search for the enemy began, it seemed there would be an army of Predators, but eventually, it seemed more likely there were only a few. By the end of the movie it became apparent a sequel will reveal more of these Predators.

The action, tension, and character interaction were most enjoyable while the plot was simple yet fulfilling. A couple unexpected moments played well.

I am willing to give it a 7 out of 10 despite my complaints because it was better than an adrenaline junkies dream thanks to thoughtful directing, acting, planning and filming.

The A-Team (2010)
40 out of 80 people found the following review useful:
A-Team: a defining moment in crap, 11 June 2010
2/10

It wasn't until I saw A-Team that I realized I never bothered to actually define what a movie is. So I went to Merram Webster online and found this: "a sequence of consecutive pictures of objects photographed in motion by a specially designed camera (motion-picture camera) and thrown on a screen by a projector (motion-picture projector) in such rapid succession as to give the illusion of natural movement." That was a perfect definition and exactly what I felt about A-Team. It was nothing but that. Someone threw images on a screen. There was sound, color, plenty of sensation and exaggeration, absurdity and nonsense. Amid all this I found several delightful performers who had the misfortune of having to portray characters who were forced to fit into a mess of "tossed-salad editing". I really did like the characters. But they could not rise above the crap all around them. Character development was horrible, story development was horrible, and having to change focus on highspeed mood shifts and plot shifts just became way too much of an intrusion on my intelligence. Sorry, I am not going to allow myself to give this trash any respect if I cannot get it from people who don't know how to make movies.

2 out of 10 out of sympathy and sorrow for a missed opportunity

Robin Hood (2010)
18 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Robin Hood: The best thing to come out of the forest ever!, 14 May 2010
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I will begin by stating that I am NOT a history buff and I love a good movie. Knowing what I know of Robin Hood and knowing what I love about movies, I came out of this movie stunned. I was amazed by the story, the great acting, and the heart involved.

This, in my opinion was a brilliant movie. With all that I already said, knowing this was a build-up to a sequel, I already am excited about what is to follow. Crowe and Blanchett were so perfect for the characters Robin and Maid Marian in this interpretation which was somewhat off from the books I read. He was beautiful as a deeply affected man who fell into his destiny and she was more than beautiful who accepted each and every challenge confronting this once privileged lady. I was moved by the old traditional romantic style used. How others were not moved is a puzzle to me. Anyway, both deserve Oscar mention for their efforts.

Ridley Scott, you outdid yourself here. This was the best thing you ever did in my mind and heart. You definitely deserve Oscar mention. I was captivated by the beautiful scenery, the attention to details of the days of yore. The action was a little fast for me sometimes, but the effect was all I needed from what I saw. As the story moved on with all the action and tragedy surrounding everyone, there was plenty to keep me hungry and yet satisfied. Nothing felt forced or trivial.

The casting really could not have been better. Von Sydow was magnificent and the actors playing Friar Tuck and Little John were great fun to watch and even added to the emotional aspect of the story. Godfrey, Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, all of them were so well played, I could not believe my eyes. The Feral Children were odd and mysterious, but I have a feeling they will be a big part of the sequel as they aid Robin and the gang. The children who at first were a threat to citizens because of the starvation and curse of the period reminded me much of the lost boys in Peter Pan. I think that was intentional as there was always some correlation between Robin Hood and Peter Pan.

Before I saw the movie, and I just got back from my second viewing, I was doubtful of romanticism. But there was no denying that romanticism was at the center of this story and movie. It was more than Robin and Marian findig each other. The romanticism was as much about the day and the night, evil and desire fill the hearts of many men and women. Damn, I love this movie!

Thanks again for a beautiful movie and please hurry up with that sequel. I will see Robin Hood at least once more before the DVD.

10/10

Iron Man 2 (2010)
8 out of 16 people found the following review useful:
Iron-Man 2: Stark raving mad over Favreau's folly, 7 May 2010
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All these months of waiting on Iron Man 2 and my worst fears have been realized. You can rest assured that I am not going to glorify any of what I saw because I feel like I owe it to anyone or anything or because I was happy with at least a small part of the movie.

This was like Spider-Man 3 or Superman 4 Quest for Peace. It was only a shell of a superhero movie. Why any time was spent on Tony's ailment, is a puzzle to me. Why? Because so much time is spent showing us that no ego is stronger than his.How can anyone care that he is sick? I know I didn't. Nothing endeared him to me. His self centered, near sighted outlook on life made me sick. His overinflated ego is the near death of my interest in this franchise. It is not Downey's fault, although I still wish he had not been selected as Stark in the first place.

It had plenty of boom and bang tempered with ooh and ahh. Unfortunately for fans of the noise, it was short-lived in two different parts of the movie. For me, I don't care how loud the noise is or bright the flashes are as long as they are used intelligently. In my mind, that was the only thing that Favreau decided to give the fans, apparently not knowing we are not all like he is. To help you understand how much Favreau disappointed me, his presence on the screen repulsed me. When he decided to put his character in one fight scene, all I could think of was how little he must have understood what makes a superhero movie a good movie. I thought it was totally self indulgent and neglecting the attention the moment required. He just couldn't help but rush to a joke throughout the entire movie. Hopefully, this was his last shot at making a superhero movie. But wow, thanks for making money for the studio, eh? I give kudos to Rourke, Paltrow, Cheadle and Johannson. Paltrow's involvement was upgraded to a different level, showing her strengths just as she should have. And although they never got much of a chance to build much, Johansson and Cheadle made their presence very noticeable with hopes of more to expect in what I hope is a recoup of quality in Iron-Man 3(which would mean Favreau-less). My favorite scenes though were with Cheadle, as the denied friend and as War Machine. He was truly the best part of the movie. I hope Johansson comes back as Romanoff again, I liked her in this role. As little time she had on screen, this was one of her better roles. I think this character fits her fine.

Rourke was a great villain. But I felt he was not quite as fearsome as the trailer made me believe. I was entirely engrossed with his character until he died. While his Vanko seemed truly capable of being evil, his demise was almost anti-climatic. His leaving the story made it even more of a disappointment because Rockwell's Hammer was allowed to live. BTW, I never liked Rockwell's Hammer because his character was as much of a joke as Favreua's take on this movie.

Getting back to the loud explosions and bright lights, one scene near the end is the best example of why this Iron-Man is a great example for a weak superhero movie. While a large portion of the city is in flames, where is Iron-Man? Why, he is too busy talking to Pepper about her future. Dying children, women and men, ahhh, too busy here, folks. Iron-Man has a thing for this woman. Can't be bothered now. Give me a superhero who can't be bothered to help mankind and I give you nothing in return. I was hoping throughout the movie to see his ego fade away. Matter of fact, I had thought he learned a lesson near the end of the first Iron-Man. Guess I was wrong.

4 out of 10 - plain and simple. Suggestion: wait til the DVD hits Redbox. And disregard the positive reviews for the movie itself, it sucked.

12 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
Bounty Hunter: I declare a mutiny, 19 March 2010
1/10

The beautiful and fun looking/loving Aniston; the good looking and quirky sometimes funny, sometimes deadly frightful Scot, Gerard Butler. Can't go wrong, can ya? WRONG!!!! How incredibly bad can a movie get when the trailer looks better than half funny? Find out and go see this idiotic romp to disaster. While Aniston and Butler are not at fault, I could not help but feeling totally disappointed by the inept writing and directing presented in another movie that should not have been let out of the production stage in such poor condition.

I have nothing to say in praise. But this was a lesson. Before I go see another comedy, I will check IMDb to see if anyone has any connection to SNL. At that point, I will avoid that movie.

Seriously, while this review does little to critique, I will give direction. This movie should go to hell along with anyone involved with the creative(or destructive) process.

Too bad there is no zero for rating movies. Gets a 1 for Aniston and Butler out of pity and I hope they can find a production team who cares about their product, because Aniston and Butler do show some potential for being a team.

6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Alice In Wonderland: Take it or leave it, sadly, 5 March 2010
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Prior to the movie, I was still holding onto hope. I had read the complaints about Alice In Wonderland. After the movie all I can add is confusion. This is what happens when you feel disdain and admiration. Thankfully the feelings are separated distinctly To cover my butt, I am starting off with what some may consider spoilers. You decide.

***** POSSIBLE SPOILERS***** 3D or not 3D: I opted for the 3D version. What I feared from 3D is that the special attention to 3D might interfere with the attention to story and acting. THat indeed happened. While, for the most part, 3D was done well, so many times, the intricacies which should dazzle were too flittery and fast and sometimes fuzzy so it was not used to the best of its ability. But the staples were used in terrific fashion. Depth, color, stationary backgrounds, and normal motion fit well into the 3D scheme of things, however. So I am guessing that the non-3D version may have a definite advantage over 3D. Given all that, I am sure if you have half a notion, you will still want to see it in 3D if possible. So go, but be forewarned.

Acting: Depp and Carter were beautiful. Mia Wasikowska played an excellent Alice but I think her character was so distorted by Burton's darker desires that it will soon be forgotten who did play Alice. On the other hand, Depp and Carter were so absurd and colorful as Mad Hatter and Red Queen they immediately drew my respect and admiration. However, the Red Queen was the only one of those two characters that I felt remained most closely relevant while Mad Hatter often reminded me of Depp's flaky Jack Sparrow thanks to unforeseen feistiness in some scenes. That takes me back to why I was not too happy with Alice - didn't like the warrior in armor scene at all. As for Glover and Hathaway, neither offered much talent. Hathaway's quirkiness as the White Queen was just too unappealing.

Story: I so wish the story was the original Alice and not a sequel of sorts. While it was definitely Burton's story it was not a great story at all. Again, making Alice a warrior was not what I, personally, wanted to see. Characters seemed too self absorbed. Fast paced humor came and went but only would have worked well if there was enough time to feel some endearment to the character.

Overall: Right down the middle because things felt way too fragmented. I will say that I am thankful that the job of bringing book-true Alice In Wonderland was not given to Burton but I hope we get a version that looks as good artistically as this one did and then some.

5 out of 10

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
Sarah Connor Chronicles - much better than TV deserved, 26 February 2010
9/10

I know it's a bit late but I am tossing my 2 bits in for what it's worth.

This was one of the most fascinating sci-fi TV shows of all time. So grossly under-rated, the characters were fun to watch, especially Summer Glau, whose Cameron was sent to protect John Connor. Trying to behave as a human was some of the best comic sci-fi stuff I can remember. And her fight scenes were often engaging to say the least - especially the catfight in the elevator with another female terminator. John on the run with his mother and Cameron and whatever "friends" appeared throughout the series sometimes caused one to ask far too many questions about the direction and the reasoning. But in the long run, it was well worth it. Coming back for more every week was a treat and a disappointment all in one when the final episode made it clear the series was finished. But that was by far the best finale I had ever seen.

I highly recommend the DVD sets for both seasons. Something about watching them over again from Season one, episode one made the series appear even better than I remembered it.

9 of 10


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