23 Reviews
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Capsule (2015)
Not for me
7 September 2017
Movie are for lack of a better metaphor 'roller coaster rides'. Set up - conflict - resolve. This movie was like getting to the station and just stand there waiting around for something to never happen. No cathartic moment. We're stuck with a few of angles of the actor in a space suit. My mind wandered and I also FF'd a lot. Many writers fall in love with their dialogue which most of the time is garbage. This film is one long monologue that goes no where. The end looks hacked together and results in a very stupid, lazy outcome. I had finished Narcos S3 which was excellent btw and was still thirsty for entertainment. I wonder how Chris Brancato would have approached this project? I'm sure he would have vomited at the notion of 'entertaining' an audience with just a shot of a guy in a space suit for over an hour. The production did give it the 'old college try', but ultimately never delivered. The film in all other ways is very well produced, but I've seen bad Twilight Zones (there're only a few) that had better endings. I just can't get on board because it was such a bromidic experience.
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Anthropoid (2016)
12 February 2017
Anthropoid suffers from a lifeless, unfocused script, claustrophobic framing, and desultory direction . What could have been a fascinating account of the assassination of SS Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich and the reprisals on the citizens of Czechoslovakia turns into a weak melodrama that does not deliver the elements needed for a satisfying motion picture. Almost nothing was really developed or it was thrust upon the audience without any care or preparation. The material is so rich yet most of it was skimmed over. I don't see why anyone would consider this script good enough to be a major motion picture. I was very disappointed.
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The Night Before Halloween (2016 TV Movie)
Stupid poorly executed nonsense
29 October 2016
I don't know if executives bother to read scripts anymore. How could this film have gotten green-lit? The characters are half dimensional, the story doesn't make any sense, everything happens very conveniently for the plot to unfold in a tired, uninteresting, and convoluted way. No tension, no suspense, nothing of real interest at all. Lots of misplaced jump scares, yet the film has absolutely no atmosphere which is essential for a horror film. I give credit to the actors for doing what they could with an exceptionally poorly executed, amateurish script. The dialogue is ridiculously bad. The worst part is that there is no catalyst to invoke the villain, who as it turns out is not very scary at all. SyFy has got to pick up their game. This is garbage.

Junk like this plays better on some YouTube channel.
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Chariot (2013)
A Movie in Search of a Story
10 April 2016
Here is a shining example as to why you don't shoot a picture until the script has been carefully and completely worked out. The lame excuse of using ambiguity as a plot device is just a testament to the fact that many 'filmmakers' still have no idea what makes up good entertainment. For the record the actual story begins and hour and fifteen minutes into the film and cuts off just when we should be breaking into act two. Plus the narrative has a huge glaring error.

There is no tension since we don't care about any of the characters. The actors gave it their best shot, but the script just didn't live up to its promise. As a result there are no cathartic moments of any kind. The story is also missing its thematic element. A raison d'être if you will. It winds up being just a long rambling mess of tired, uninteresting expository dialogue that ends abruptly for no apparent reason. One thing this filmmaker should learn is to never steer the narrative through dialogue. It's not a radio program - it's visual. Ultimately this is a very dull, nihilistic version of 'Airport'. Too bad, if the idea was executed by someone with talent it could have made a very entertaining picture.

Real amateurville.
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Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible, Horrible.
14 February 2016
I think the producers of this film handed an old mini DV camera to two schizophrenics and told them to go make a movie. The film is shot almost all in close up so the audience has no idea where they are or what's going on. The frame is plagued by interlacing issues, the cinematography is amateurish, and a complete lack of filmmaking knowledge. The story is boring and uninspired.

Sample dialogue:

M-"Want to have some sex?" F-"Do I want to have some sex?" M-"Yeah." F-"I don't know."

… I can't even go on.

Pure garbage. I understand how these things get made, but how do they get released?
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The Leisure Class (2015 TV Movie)
The Comedy of Sadness
9 November 2015
Here's a rom-com that's both short on romance and comedy. It does, however, indulge in a lot of blah-blah-blah. Dialogue for the sake of dialogue. Nothing visual. In order for the audience to tune into a character, there needs to be visual cues as to the particular characters inner persona. Most of the film is shot Med Close which is a very big mistake when you shoot a comedy, dark or whatever. The actors gave it their all, and that Bridget Regan is sure easy on the eyes. At the core was a complete lack of understanding of the filmmaking process. A filmmaker must have a rudimentary understanding of what moves an audience in emotional directions. This was just a bunch of drivel on a page that was shot on film. Why film? Haven't a clue. This could have been shot on an iPhone for all the audience gets out of it. Didn't anyone read the script while in pre-pro or is that even done anymore? This truly is a comedy of sadness.
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Infini (2015)
Mega Bad
30 October 2015
I can't believe anyone put money into this monstrosity. From the inane dialogue to the inept direction this picture misfires on every cylinder. The entire film is shot in close-up, so instead of creating a claustrophobic atmosphere it causes confusion. Plus the constant jump cuts don't help. Every actor yells all of their lines and constantly throw props all over the set for some reason. What little drama there is, has no peaks and valleys. Either zero or a hundred. I don't even get a semblance of a story. Just a lot of half-ass, strung together dialogue with nowhere to go. No characters. Not interesting. This is awful. At least the grade Z films of yester-year weren't pretentious. Someone should keep the camera far away from this guy. HE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING!
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Predestination (I) (2014)
A terrible adaptation of Heinleine's "All You Zombies"
29 November 2014
This picture is on par with the high school student versions uploaded to YouTube. In order to adapt Heinlein's "All You Zombies' to the silver screen you have to take into consideration the criteria of a good motion picture. What a writer can successfully accomplish in prose will not translate visually very well unless it is altered for the film medium. The first excruciating fifty minutes of the film clumsily sets up the plot in the worst way possible. The liberties make the narrative lugubrious and boring. This story needs a very big event to support Heinlein's terrific story. The filmmakers shot the pages of the short story and in the process removed all the wonderful nuances that made Heinlein's original story so interesting. For example the original story illustrates how a person can appear to have ulterior motives when in reality they are helping that person. What the filmmakers wound up with is a collection of boring scenes of characters talking at each other with a bumbling narration thrown over it for 'good' measure. The last half of the picture is a convoluted mess that tries to out clever the original story's narrative, but just falls flat and is very unsatisfying. Heinlein's story is about self realization and transcending social prejudices. There's a good reason this picture didn't have a decent release. It is a dull, unimaginative, nihilistic mess that destroys the short story's original thematic elements.
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You're Next (2011)
Tight Little Thriller!
20 January 2014
I found this to be a very enjoyable film. After being jaded by the dreck that has been released lately, this was a ray of light. Adam Wingard has talent and has study his craft well. The picture is a little rough around the edges, but in the same manner as Sugarland Express or Killer's Kiss. The script could have been tuned just a touch more and there are a couple of repeated scenes that come out of nowhere and threw me out of the story. They were so disturbing I thought there was something wrong with the print. The characters are well defined and very strong. The dialogue is believable and the story is logical and thrilling. This is a great little thriller that no one should miss. Kudo's to everyone involved you did a really terrific job!

NOTE TO IMDb - Dialogue is spelled D-I-A-L-O-G-U-E.

NOTE TO VIEWERS - A Thriller is a picture that features suspense. Horror is a thriller with a supernatural twist. This is a Thriller.
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Zombex (2013)
16 December 2013
What a shame. To actually have the gall to present this 'film' to a viewing audience. The democratization of filmmaking is just presenting more and more people that have absolutely no idea to the proper structure of narrative storytelling. This film looks like the editor plopped all the footage into a blender and hit 'high'. Nothing makes sense and I didn't have a clue as to who anyone was or what was going on. I realize that filmmakers like to be innovative and that to me is very welcomed as a viewer, but the narrative structure has to be coherent. If you don't have decent structure and very well defined characters all you'll have is, well… this 'movie'. It's very clear from this presentation that the director, writer, cinematographer, and editor had no idea what they were doing. Projects like this are killing horror films.

Total trashology. Don't waste any more of your time even reading this review.
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Watching paint dry is more entertaining
2 December 2013
This is among the worst films I've ever seen. What gets me is how crappy films like this even get released. I can understand how a 'director' or any other crew member can bluff his way into a job on a movie, but after it's made how does a releasing company have the ethics to release it? This is a case of theft. They are stealing our money by providing 'entertainment' of the shoddiest kind. Currently this is getting so ridiculous that more and more films are being made and released far below the sub par in standards set by Ed Wood. At one time a journey man filmmaker had to know something to the basic principles of entertainment. Now with the democratization of filmmaking due to the lower costs and advancement of technology we have lowered the bar so low that these pictures are equal to what an eight year old makes in his back yard on a Saturday afternoon.

I can't comment on this particular film. There are absolutely no redeeming points. Everything was so bad I'm sure even the craft service was awful. The story is all over the map. Despite what the director may think, his presence was completely absent. Amateur acting. None of the special effects or VFX make any sense, let alone look realistic. They even had the audacity to blatantly steal a character from the original Wolfenstein game.

Note to the production: You didn't just make a bad film. You just stole money from innocent people.
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The Taking (2013)
Incomprehensible mess
4 November 2013
If you enjoy watching a lot of shots of the sun partially hidden by trees over and over this movie is for you! Lots and lots of the same shot repeating over and over.

There is no dramatic structure at all to this film. The filmmakers (if you can call them that) sprinkle in some actors running through the woods screaming, running into houses screaming, and driving their cars screaming. Yes this movie has a lot of sporadic yelling, dissolves, freeze frames, and I do not have a clue what it is all about.

It's got some really weird sound design, I think the sound editor fell in love with a 'pitch control' plug in.

I usually don't care for films that drive the narrative through dialogue, but the complete lack of narrative structure here is ridiculous. Visually it's a complete mess. The films of Stan Brackhage and Matthew Barney are more comprehensible. It's just a film with a bunch of actors covered in fake blood walking around the woods or bound to a tree, and did I say lots and lots of freeze frames, dissolves and the same shot of the sun hidden partially by trees? They also slapped in a disembodied voice saying 'Carl' over and over for good measure.

In stead of Horror it should have been categorized as just plain Horrible.
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Stupid Junk
29 October 2013
Let me start by saying that the "Director" works as an 'electric'. Just because one can carry a 10K doesn't mean they can direct a movie.

First I'd like to point out one of the most stupid, careless methods in visually identifying a plot point I've ever witnessed. After being served by a waitress, a customer runs out of a restaurant to her car and looks at a picture of her sister in order to verify that the WAITRESS IS IN FACT HER SISTER!!!! What the hell? Does this character suffer from some mental disorder that she forgets what her sister looked like? If she did it's never addressed again.

There is no action in this film. It opens promisingly enough, but soon after it just turns into a boring talk fest that has nothing interesting to say.

The acting has the same consistency of cardboard. The director must have spent all of his time at the craft service table because the shot structure is very unimaginative. It's just MED, CU - MED, CU over and over. There are no thrills or suspense. Every moment is telegraphed by one of those Star Trek transporters. Then there's a scene with a sheriff who appears to have been kidnapped from Knotts Berry Farm. I couldn't believe that he had a small dime store tin badge on his vest, which looked like it was cannibalized from some crew members three piece suit.

I'm convinced this picture was edited by a Cuisinart. I'm sure they just plopped all those MEDs and C.U.'s into the receptacle and flipped that switch to high. Pushing buttons on a computer does not make one an editor.

Most of the sets look alike. Nothing appears authentic. I think the filmmakers must have used their bedroom for a all purpose location. Come on guys at least make a little attempt of an effort! That's it this film is too crappy to waste any more time on…

You have a few precious minutes in life. Don't waste any on this stupid junk.
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Zombie Hunter (2013)
27 October 2013
Never before has technology made filmmaking so easy to use just for a bunch of talentless nincompoops. This film has no plot, thus no story. It's highly derivative in a completely non creative or inventive way. I wish these 'filmmakers' would pick up a copy of 'The Poetics' or at least 'Save The Cat' so they could at least make an attempt at good story structure. There is a reason why movies affect us. It takes planning and the understanding of dramatic structure. You wouldn't build a table or a chair and say "Well I like chairs whose legs are different lengths, this way you can't sit on it. It's art." Same goes for motion pictures. Just as you need an understanding of basic carpentry and the comprehension of executing a well designed plan, you need to DO THE SAME THING WHEN MAKING A MOVIE!

I didn't care about any of these characters. The universe in which they live is constantly changing. It's like the director was making soup by throwing into a chicken broth, an apple, an onion, toothpaste, anti-freeze, and an old smelly sneaker. Come on guys! Think about what you're doing. You just can't take Mad Max, Terminator, Snatch, Star Wars, (Danny Trajo's lines are written as if he were some kind of Ninja Yoda) and Dawn of the Dead, jumble it all up and think you've got something remotely entertaining. This is a complete mess! It reeks of sneaker- toothpaste soup for crying out loud!

Why is the blood pink? The creatures look like really bad claymation. We have no idea what is anyone's goal. Most of all there is no theme.

All I have to say is YUCK!
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13 (I) (2010)
Falls very, VERY short
28 June 2013
Jason Statham-wasted, Mickey Rourke-wasted, Emmanuelle Chriqui-wasted, Michael Shannon-wasted, Ray Winstone-wasted, Chuck Zito-wasted, Alexander Skarsgård-wasted, Ben Gazzara-wasted, Ronald Guttman- wasted, 50 Cent-wasted, David Zayas-wasted, Anthony Chisholm-completely wasted, Stephen Gevedon-This was the weirdest thing I've ever seen. They have him walk on a train and walk off. We don't even know who he is and why he's there. Wasted, John Bedford Lloyd-wasted, I can go on but I think you get the picture.

Here's a case where you have an interesting premise, great talent, good crew BUT A REALLY BAD DIRECTOR! This guy hasn't a clue what he's doing. There was absolutely no thought that went into this picture. It's so bland and boring, even aggravatingly stupid at times. Why do you get all of this great talent together just to say a few meaningless lines of dialogue? And the ending is a total bummer. Resolve the story. Too many neophyte directors leave open ended stories for no reason. I suppose they want to give the impression that there is more in the subtext. Fact is those opened ended stories that work actually tie up all the loose ends in their own way. I blame the director for the script which never realizes it's full potential. Maybe English could be a stumbling block for him because his original film '13 Tzameti ' won several awards.

Looks like Coppola's proclamation of modern technology leading to the democratization of the motion picture business will only lead to its untimely death. Making a compelling film takes a lot of hard work which obviously didn't go into this production. People just mill about the frame rambling meaningless dialogue. There are no moments of fear, tranquility, jovial humor, black humor, tension (and believe me there should have been a lot of moments of EXTREME tension) or anything really. It just sits there like a lump of crap. Just one long spewing of sterile narrative when if executed properly, this story could have had a lot of spunk. It's a very sexy story with a myriad of possibilities, but no one was home to get the FedEx. The director phoned it in on this one folks. Avoid like the plague.

Oh yeah, there are no commuter trains that run between New York City and Ohio.
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Pawn (I) (2013)
Pure Junk!
27 May 2013
It should be illegal for this "director' to ever get near a camera again.

Chock full of stars, this 'thing' never gets off the ground. The erratic, haphazard cutting of the narrative makes this a complete mess to watch. The values are all over the place. I figure they had a pretty flat movie when they finished cutting it and figured 'what the hell?' might as well chop it up using a lot of elliptical cuts. The problem is that there has to be a reason - not just for the hell of it. Seeing the same scenes over and over again is just boring.

It looked like it was shot on video. Really bad, horrible lighting; non existent production design; and no sound design. This needed a good music bed pretty badly! The performances were hampered by the lack of it. It's a shame since there is such a waste of fine talent.

The story could have gone through a few more rewrites. A little too much needless exposition in the dialogue. If you go out and sit next to people you learn how they talk so you don't write lines like "I've made mistakes and I've paid for them." Oi vey! It's like someone coming over to your house and greets you by saying "I'm going to shake your hand and say hello."

I could be wrong about this movie since it made a whopping $2,000 at the box office.
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USS Seaviper (2012)
Horrible Mess
18 April 2013
I originally thought this film was made by a bunch of 18 year old's at their parents beach home during the summer. It turns out the director is in his sixties! It looks like he got all of his 'extra' friends and made a 'film' if I can call it that. The acting is so amateurish they should have stayed extras and take an acting class or two. All the actors hair are blown dry, in the forties! The ridiculously banal script is by someone who did absolutely no research about the period or subject matter and looks like she never even met a human being. Characters talk endlessly about nothing to each other or telegraph the narrative in the worst way. The first rule of movie making is not to move narrative through dialogue. I don't think the writer ever studied any of the elements of writing and she plagiarizes a lot of other sources. This mess looks like something you'd see on YouTube. The D.P. knows absolutely nothing about lighting…ah I could go on but ultimately just because someone goes out and buys a Canon 5D doesn't mean you have to go out and make a motion picture. Everyone involved with this catastrophe should find another line of work.

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18 April 2013
Some brain farts should just waft away in the wind.

An hour and a half of pointless yammering. The writers ripped off Blair Witch but didn't have any idea of how plot points work or how to create any kind of atmosphere. The script is so poorly written and phlegmatically directed I wonder if the director ever made it past the craft service table. The lame excuse of being low budget is wearing out its welcome. If you don't have enough money to film what you're written - don't. The film isn't good, it's really terrible and to present this to an audience as entertainment is criminal. This is not a case of subjectivity. Some films are just terrible. Hardly any of the people in the making of this presentation knew what they were doing. Learn your damn craft or find something else to do!

It's so boring! This film is perfect for those who suffer from Attention Surplus Disorder. I was expecting bad, but this went light years beyond awful.

Plus you never get a nice view of the tundra!

I can't honestly recommend this film as it's not scary and quite boring. To have characters talk so much about nothing or mapping out the narrative is ludicrous and wears on an audience.

How do these films ever get released? It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.
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19 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Acting is okay. Dialogue is phony and long winded. Terrible, horrible script - no drama, tension, suspense, or for that matter story. I wonder if the 'director' was ever on set? Editor made the best of what he had I guess. I think they hired Helen Keller to do continuity.

It's a movie about a guy who kills three people. We don't know who he is other than he's standing in for another guy who's hurt. That's it. Boring. You might say it's a character study on the criminal element. Okay. All the characters are very two dimensional. So you wind up with a two dimensional character study. I really had to struggle to finish this. Painful to watch. I don't have the foggiest idea why they continued to play news bites of the financial crisis. Well actually I do, they were being pretentious. They succeeded at that, but failed at everything else.

It's just a bunch of criminals talking. Director should find another line of work or at least read Aristotle's Poetics.
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The next Ed Wood Jr.
16 March 2013
Awful story, amateurish (boarderline absent) direction, terrible acting (what else can you do with cliché ridden dialogue) all of the performances were inconsistent, tele-novella class cinematography, bush league make-up, screwball continuity (that's if they even bothered to hire someone to do the job), incompetent editing, do I really have to go on? It makes me think even the craft service on this picture was bad.

Plus half of the movie is zooming in and out of Google Earth.

All of the people involved with making this picture should consider another line of work.
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How does this happen?
20 January 2012
Do cardiologists operate without having spent a second in Medical School? Do Engineers build bridges without first knowing something about mathematics and physics? Then how the hell did this guy get away with writing and directing this dreck? Because in Hollywood these days it doesn't matter whether you know your craft just be a good friend to someone who can pull a movie together. Zanuck, Mayer, Laemmle, the brothers Warner are all rotating in their respective graves at a very high velocity.

First for a comedy the camera is way too close and many times the geography is all out of whack. It has that poorly lit video sheen. Appears to have been shot at 29.97.

The actors give it their best but the script is such a ludicrous and absurd mess they can not be saved. Plus the dialogue feels lifted right out of the world's worst film school short. There is no drama or comedy. Everything becomes one unfocused blob. It appears they may have shot the first draft of the script.

Direction was non existent(maybe spent way too much time at the craft service table) and I've seen monkeys edit better motion pictures, but considering the footage may not be the editor's fault.

The best thing about this was the subtitles and goofed on this film. At times realizing the picture was so awful they just placed gibberish in place of the dialogue.

A total waste of a germ of what may have been a good idea and a very, very talented cast.

It's so sad...
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Lost: The Constant (2008)
Season 4, Episode 5
When writers put on their thinking caps...
28 February 2008
This episode was probably one of the best moments in modern television. It had all the parts: suspense, intelligence, heart, all intricately woven into a fascinating original story with a beautifully uplifting ending. I literally sat stunned on my couch for minutes after the credits rolled into commercial. Kudo's to the cast, crew, writers, editor, and director Jack Bender for making this a very enjoyable hour on Earth.

99% of todays programming is complete garbage which is why the 18 to 50 year old male demographic has left television.

Episodes like this is a good start in bringing them back.
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Vantage Point (2008)
They must've switched the print on me!!!
23 February 2008
This film is such a monumental failure on so many levels I wonder what company those other reviewers really work for. Interesting idea to tell a story from eight vantage points - as long as they're not the same vantage point! This films fails in so many ways that it is a real wonder if the studio execs ever saw a print before release. The real problem is that the eight perspectives of the 'event' are all from people that were at the same place & time and the audience must suffer through eight dull recounts of the same story with the added bonus of a little piece of the puzzle thrown in at the very end of the eight separate segments. This breaks the cardinal rule of entertainment which is "Don't bore your audience". If you want to tell the same story eight times either tell it from completely different perspectives, or different locations. The problem was that every one of the characters, except one were at the same place. After the third recount the audience started to laugh at the ridiculous idea that they would have to suffer through another segment of the same event once more. You could hear were groans as the cheap rewinding 'device' played. This was the movies main problem. Other issues include complete lack of direction of actors or just plain poor direction, lack of any realism as far as government security agency procedures(i.e. the secret service), believable or at least interesting characters ( I picked out the 'surprise' heavy immediately), even the focus on some shots! (I'm talking about static MED & CUs) The film was dreck. I want my money back.
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