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17 reviews in total 
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Taken 3 (2014)
10 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Better Than The Second, 9 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Better than the sequel but still light-years behind the first, it delivered a solid finish to what hopefully is a finale for this franchise and character.

Much like the second film this effort gets bogged down with near nonsensical action and too much devotion to shaky cam combat. Yet, the movie sings when Liam's character is utilizing his certain set of skills. For the first two acts, the film is actually far more interesting when there's no action. The first big action sequence seems hammered in "just because" and is too dumb to enjoy. It's a highway chase scene involving the police and some extremely endangered innocent bystanders. Forget killing his wife, for these actions alone he should have been arrested and prosecuted.

The rest of the movie is formulaic and predictable but in a 1980's Arnie/Sly kind of way. It's enjoyable if seen in that light. Watching Liam take out a taxiing private jet filled with fuel (AND his daughter) with a Porsche and not killing himself and everyone on board is as 80's as it gets!!!

The Family (2013/I)
12 out of 25 people found the following review useful:
One of the Worst Films of the Year, 9 October 2013

How you make a film this bad featuring Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer is beyond belief.

The Manzoni family is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program because DeNiro turned mafia rat to save his hide. What results is spending two hours with a despicable douchebag and his wife as well as his snotty children. At least the kids were only petty criminals. DeNiro plays a murdering unrepentant scumbag that the film apparently wants you to root for. Why would anyone want this guy to survive and prosper? Plus, the needless carnage at the end of the movie is unsettling and farther makes the entire cinema experience as unpleasant as it gets. This is NOT dark comedy. It's just dark, dumb and unpleasant.

Gravity (2013)
30 out of 58 people found the following review useful:
Wonderfully Visual Event But Not Really A Complete Movie., 6 October 2013

I really do hesitate to call this a "film" or "movie" because there really is no story here. It's an event put to film but there is no heart or plot at all. It's a wonderfully visual, hypnotic and captivating event in orbit. Do spectacular visuals trump the lack of character development and an actual story? Maybe in this case it does. I enjoyed it but all this hype and praise seem like trumped up bandwagon stuff to me. This movie is gaining great praise so the week willed among film fans want to attach their movie wagon to a critical winner?

Again, I give this a big thumbs up as a visual and captivating event but it's not a true movie by definition. It's an IMAX nature event with fictional death and destruction mixed in.

19 out of 39 people found the following review useful:
Very Average and Misses The Mark, 2 March 2013

How many movies can you say are exactly what you expected? This is one of them for me and for those that I saw it with. I was expecting average but hoping for more. As it turns out, there really is nothing extraordinary on display at all. It's a pure violent fairy tale complete with silly plot turns and nonsensical character decisions. I liked the cast well enough but wasn't really drawn to them or in to the story. There's very limited popcorn fun (I was disappointed in the action quite a bit actually and the lack of it) and, like everything else, the CGI wasn't bad but wasn't anything worth getting excited over either. This film will be forgotten sooner rather than later by most that see it.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
It's tremendously quirky and strange but absolutely delightful., 5 July 2012

I can honestly say I knew nothing about this movie before seeing it and the name Wes Anderson means nothing to me. Having said that, I truly enjoyed this film.

Movies like this really should be released more in the summer months. It's a complete pallet cleanser from all the big CGI stuff that hits during blockbuster season. It's tremendously quirky and strange but absolutely delightful. There's no doubt it requires patience to view because I honestly didn't know what to think of it for the first 15 or 20 minutes. Wanting to see where this superb cast would pop up in what amounts to a kids film kept me interested but the overall tone and story swept me away. There really are some stunning camera angles and visuals on display all the way through. There's a warmth to the cartoony and bizarre story that I found to be very appealing and there were many moments where I caught myself smiling as I watched.

6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
Pleasant Surprise! Theron was AWFUL but everything else is well done!, 16 June 2012

Honestly, I don't know what others expected but I had a low opinion of this concept before viewing the film. Maybe lower expectations matter because I found this effort to be an entertaining blend of the Snow White fable and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. To be clear, it's not an epic like LOTR but it really gives off the same flavor (fighting dwarfs, hypnotic scenery, great effects as well as textured fantasy heroes). Some will roll their eyes at comparing the two (an Oscar winning film series versus a Kristen Stewart movie?) but is the overall concept sillier than a long needless trek to throw a magic ring in to a volcano?

I also thought that two-thirds of the lead performances were superb. I've never even seen a Twilight movie so I judge Stewart based on her work here only. She delivers a soulful performance and there was real sadness behind her eyes. Hemsworth was great. It's Charlize Theron that really hurts this film. She really is Razzie Award bad as the over-the-top cheesy evil queen. EVERY scene she chews up made me cringe. Every damn one. The plot isn't grand or even smart and there are character shortcuts but I enjoyed this film quite a bit more than I was expecting.

294 out of 572 people found the following review useful:
Exceptional! Oh my God. Oh. My. God. My mind is blown., 14 April 2012

I just loved Marvel's Avengers. I thought it was smart and the impressive cast really delivered! This movie works on so many levels and makes you draw on just about all of your emotions. I don't remember when I enjoyed a movie this much! Such cool fantasy but what makes it extra special is following this film after all the other solo efforts from each character. I enjoyed the others films quite a bit but they all delivered something different. Seeing them blend together in Avengers and the sparks that resulted was the extra special treat. Example: They blended the grounded futurist (Tony Stark) with the Norse thunder god and his angry brother in a perfect way. Same could be said for every other character. It all works. In fact, it doesn't just fit, it's a symphony and that dyconomy and difference in characters are what makes it truly great. It's why this movie stands so tall above any other franchise at the moment. Things like Transformers, GI Joe and even Star Trek all operate with monotone restrictions. Avengers covers all angles and delivers depth with its fun.

I haven't enjoyed a movie this much in years if not ever!

2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
pretty good but not great... over hyped, 27 March 2012

I'd have to classify this movie as the quintessential "pretty good but not great" film. It's engrossing but yet remarkably superficial in terms of character. It's an odd blend. I've never read the book so, there where no expectations or nuances available to add depth for me. I found the overall premise to be quite silly to be honest but once reconciling that, I bought in to the concept. Jennifer Lawerence is wonderful and really succeeds in making the viewer empathize with the lead character. It's the rest of the ensemble that are shallow as can be. The cartoonish elite government type officials, lack of coherent development and really no stand out action sequences really holds this film back. I'm sure the books deliver more because something this telegraphed really shouldn't be able to inspire the fan base that has rushed out to see and hype this movie.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Emotionally Misses The Mark. It Feels Cheap., 28 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Yet another middle of the road film with Tom Hanks having a role. Yet, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock only appear in about 10% or less of the entire movie. For various reasons, this film hit very limited emotional cords and really had very little impact on me. This subject matter deserved so much more and so much better. The fact that this thing was nominated for any awards at all is indeed baffling. To me, the story of this mentally semi-handicapped kid and how he deals with loss was mostly hallow and mostly lacking. I love the concept of "trying to extend those eight minutes" in reference to how sunlight takes eight minutes to reach earth and even if the sun exploded we'd have eight minutes until it's felt. Anyone that has lost someone close to them knows exactly what that was referring to and how preserving the nuances of lost love grows tougher over time. Some go so far as to delay the catastrophic impact. Still, even with that emotional selling point, this movie just doesn't register in any meaningful way. It's easily forgotten. Maybe it's the fact that they went full gimmick mode to try and reach those emotional beats. To me, it's a pure lazy gimmick to use a mute estranged grandfather and an anxiety ridden semi-handicapped boy just for the sake of unique attachment. It feels so cheap. I expected a 9/11 tribute and some real emotion but got neither with this film.

The Way (2010/I)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful character movie... warm, reverent and congenial, 2 November 2011

A tip of the cap to director/writer Emilio Estevez for this one. He treats faith and spirituality with refreshing respect even though he plays it a bit too safe for my taste. This is a story about a father coming to grips with the loss of his son and does so honoring his memory on a famous pilgrimage, the "El camino de Santiago" in Spain. It's a slowly developing character piece that simply involves pilgrims walking while seeking something along the way. The first half of the film suffers from the attempt to separate spirituality from religion. Nothing moving or profound happens during the first half of the journey. We get walking, LOTS of walking but we also get to know the characters and are rewarded for doing so because the last half of the film really does shine. The varied motivations of his fellow pilgrims all come in to play and nothing really is what it seems with each person on the surface. Faith and purpose means different things to different people and the movie does explore that but does so with the lightest touch possible. There's no preaching or heavy-handed sermon stuff anywhere in site. It certainly is more broadly spiritual than specifically religious. It's a slow paced and ultimately light take on both spirituality and religion because it does play it safe. Audiences of faith will find it warm, reverent and congenial but not as truly satisfying because of the cautious approach. Sheen's character is a professed lapsed Catholic but it's good to see those aspects dealt with in a meaningful and emotional manner. Some aspects of his faith are seen on the journey and certainly during the climactic scene at the shrine itself. As a Catholic, I appreciated the little gestures others may not and especially the influence that St. James' shrine exerted on Sheen's character. Overall, this is a wonderful character movie.

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