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640 reviews in total 
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Prime example of an 8/10 film, 1 July 2015

This is what it is, and for those few who don't know, that means it's high sci-fi adventure with plenty of thrills and great, likable, credible characters in an incredible situation on an island of giant creatures whose means of escape rely on the boat of the ill fated fictional Captain Nemo.

This lives up to everything, mostly because of the comedy and the characters. Done much like RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK in the style of unbelievable adventure, it never fails to show us what a film is supposed to be.

As I stated before, many films try this, but fail to be good films because they try too hard to shove hate down our throats, which unless one is a great writer, results in one dimensional characters.

Here, we have some crazy characters, but none are one dimensional, and all have some degree of dignity. We can travel with them, and laugh with them, because this is a comedy more than anything. The wit is there. Everything is there. It's a joy ride. It isn't classic meaningful theater. It's a joy ride.

Storm and Sorrow (1990) (TV)
A revelation: Climbers are dull, 1 July 2015

Based on a true story, so one allows for that, this is the story of a rookie woman mountain climber going through a sort of normal progression of acceptance from others, much like "initiation" and "hazing" seniors give freshmen.

We learn early on that the people in this business or hobby are very arrogant and self important.

Trouble is they are totally that way, and these sort of people are total bores, especially on screen.

Was Hillary himself this dull and obnoxious? Perhaps. Who knows? Probably not, as he dealt mostly with experienced natives of the Himalayas whom he probably felt lower than. He'd have to in order to survive, I believe.

However, I'm sure most mountain climbers today are simply wealthy people who are super athletic, and feel this sort of superiority, and want to be a superior species to Homo Sapien.

The characters try to act more than one dimensional, but they are one dimensional, and that appears to be the reality of the situation. These are just dull people, and no one cares that they are pushing their limits, because they are dull and obnoxious to insane levels.

It's an ordeal to sit through this movie, though it doesn't have a lot of grating sound effects. You could watch this on an exercise bike or elliptical and not be turned off.

But you won't be turned on one iota either.

Life of Pi (2012)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
"Perception" in modern day Liberty Valence story, 1 July 2015

This can be viewed as a modern day Liberty Valance film, and I don't think that is specific enough to be a spoiler.

It's also a story of "perception".

It's a slow paced film, which usually only works when the characters are credible.

The characters aren't "credible" here, but that might work because all but two of the characters are told from the point of view of a sole ship wreck survivor.

The trouble is that the second of the two characters not told from his point of view, a writer, is not credible. We learn this at the end when he immediately has a revelation of truth that could only come from piecing a puzzle together.

The writer character is poorly written for this reason. His immediate understanding of a puzzle is like a man reading a cryptogram and not even looking at all the letters, but solving it immediately, the first letter, then second, and so forth, in a normal cryptogram puzzle.

Despite this, the story itself has its merits. Another problem is that we sit too long through the two characters droning on in a very dull way. Not that they're dull, but just that they aren't interesting. And it takes too long to get to the "story" part.

I understand that a background is set up for the "point of view" of the sole survivor of a ship wreck, but this background part fails, or at least gets a "D" grade, for being overly long, when it could be just as well described in seconds by a good writer. Also, the character of the story teller doesn't seem credible for his background.

The story teller explains himself in an Agnostic way, and a way that questions everything he sees. And we get this effect in the first story he tells. In the second story, however, he questions nothing, and his description of at least one character looks suspiciously made up.

The dynamic part of the story could also have been better. There are some good cinematic touches, but this is very slow paced.

What does bring this film up a level is the psychology of "survivor" stories. If one ever reads accounts by survivors of battles, wars, disasters, one sees pretty much a common element. The survivor almost never describes himself as nice, and in fact, almost all survivors try to describe themselves as harsh, tough, and a survivor because of natural selection.

We do see that in the survival story here, in a good allegorical way. We also see that the survival story is told in such a way that we feel the survivor does perceive the events in "flash photo" form, which affects his perception of reality. Those aspects are well done.

It's too bad that is about all that was done well. It's a good idea, but just not well written.

8 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Retarded and full of Nazi genocidal brainwashing, 15 June 2015

Trevorrow and Jaffa have joined the ranks of the completely uninspired and completely without strategy in their desire to keep up the Hollywood clichés and the brainwashing.

On the surface, this is a dinosaur sci-fi film with people trying not to be eaten, though it looks like they can't wait to be eaten. The effects are good, which makes it even worse, because it's wasted on the worst and most hate filled control freak script of the series of Jurassic movies.

It's bad enough the characters are all retards, save a few underlings. The hero, his sidekick, and the younger of the boys alone show even a trace of not being retarded, while all of the other characters are not only retarded, and not only do all of them have superiority complexes common with the control freaks who dish this crap out, but all of them are thoroughly boring creeps that make the audience look at watches, like I did, throughout the film.

There's more to alienate the audience, or at least to alienate the young men. Throughout the series, we've been forced to watch dull plain blond women over and over, and we knew no harm would befall them, and just as contrived, Nazi card carrying Trevorrow and Jaffa introduce the first hot chick, the first brunette, for the sole purpose of making her the only female fatality in the entire series.

The selective sex genocidal statement is not only obvious and undeniable, it's pathetic and overt. Oh sure, women may like this idea, but movies present a world, and this world is the most depressing one imaginable to a heterosexual young man. This was all that the control freaks like Coppola and Leone did in the late sixties and seventies, and all their Nazi trainees did in the eighties, and now the genocidal monsters froth at the mouth to go retro to that hate filled era that spawned much of the same in reality. These punks know what they're doing, and they can deny it all they want, but it's all they do.

There is no strategy to anything Jaffa writes or Trevorrow directs. Absolutely no inspiration. They hate inspiration. That should be evident from the poor credibility of how their characters act, and their fascination with poor characters. The older brother, for instance, hasn't one saving grace. Nor does the heroine. They're beyond being mere "creeps". They're absolute human monsters, and what we see here is an acceptance of such monsters to be okay, and to believe they can change.

They can't change. And the maniacs who made this movie prove it. Undeniably the worst of the Jurassic Park series, and a complete embarrassment. All they wasted on the creatures and effects is meaningless with their poor job on human characters and on their desire to produce their Nazi genocidal mission.

I don't know who is sicker. Trevorrow, Jaffa, or the human scum who applaud them and keep them in their undeserved status.

Slither (2006)
Contrived way to combine many horror staples, 29 April 2015

This could have been much worse, because it was a sci-fi movie, which is about as low as the bar gets in the movie world, but it was bad enough as it was.

It's basically a combination of as many horror and science fiction staples as the writer could muster. If any were missed, it was only because of the time element.

It keeps in line with the censorship policy of the sci-fi channel of neo-Nazi propaganda, making movies for American women, most of whom are blond, by perpetuating the myth that men prefer blonds, even though only about one out of ten do, though nine out of ten dare not admit it to women, who rely on the myth for control. It's just easy to be blond. Most people can do it just by hours in sunlight.

Here, we have a creature who prefers a blond, and the whole movie is generated around this brainwashing scheme to make us think it is an animal's nature, when it is exactly the opposite in the animal world.

That's bad enough, and contrived enough, but the contrived script goes so far as to make sure no one in an entire town survives a horror ordeal except a few principles. That's so contrived that only a moron can't be bored by it.

Why is it not 1/10? The actors seem to enjoy it, and looked like they had fun, and did their job well. There are a few things that aren't exactly in line with the horror formula. Not many, but a few.

Still, it's a movie that probably only women will enjoy, and the only men who watch it are those who do so for a project, or to critique it, or to please the women in the group. It's not enjoyable at all for guys. And the women probably won't like the idea that a brunette gets to survive in the end along with the blond.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Not inspired, but full of effort, 19 April 2015

Wyatt, Jaffa, and Silver validated their license to work here, with a pretty decent effort in the tale of how apes became the dominant species, or will become the dominant species, on Earth.

However, while written and directed with efficiency, it doesn't have a lot of inspiration. It looks like a mechanical effort all the way.

Still, the efforts of all involved are likable and well done. It's good to see Gollum as the main ape here, giving Andy a chance to give a different type of performance, which must please him no end. He may be the Boris Karloff or Lon Chaney Jr. of the present.

The iconic lines of the original movie seemed forced into play here, and I'll nit pick at that as part of the lack of inspiration here. It doesn't stand on its own, which is too bad, because there is a lot of good to this.

Insurgent (2015)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Great theatrics + zero motivation + no inspiration=, 14 April 2015

On the scale beloved by the geeks, this is a success, full of theatrics and drama with inane action.

On a scale of Art, it's a failure. It will be hailed as grand by the extreme right wingers for whom this is a huge propaganda movie. I don't think it's very subtle, but those I watched the movie with were fooled, or so they say.

It is great in theatrics and drama and action, but it's full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. I had to have the plot explained to me before I watched it, or I never would have understood it, and for good reason. There is no motivation for the theatrics, and no inspiration.

This equals the look of a stolen idea, probably from a better story maker, but with a truly dangerous trend that publishers had to alter to fit their agenda. The idea that a person who can do many things, and has many skills, being "picked on" is used and abused by the publishers, producers, and elitists who want to keep "underlings" feeling that some people are "demi god" material, and should have all authority and stewardship.

Had the story been the opposite, it would make sense, and at least had motivation, but there is no motivation here. The fact that great theatrics and drama and action are wasted on Republican propaganda that sets humanity and progress back decades at a time makes this worse than it would have been without the attention to fundamental film making.

This story is the problem, and purports that only a few elitists should be able to do anything, and everyone else must be cannon fodder and not allowed to perform or have opportunity. It's a sick movie preaching hate, sickness, and jealousy of true inspiration and talent.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Hastily put together, should have been better, 6 April 2015

There is a lot going for this classic science fiction story.

Maybe too much.

There is a lot of risk taking and breaking of art and movie taboos, and that's good. A lot of credible characters, and that's good.

However, what isn't good is that it spent so much money on effects, and a good story is often better when told a bit simply.

It's also muddled by poor editing of sound, which makes it look like it was hastily put together. One has to adjust the sound up and down throughout, and one misses half of what is spoken, unless one has closed captioning, which I didn't have when I watched it.

Still, one gets the gist of the story. However, there looked to be too much of a desire to make this a grand spectacle, and too much a desire to make the evil creatures completely unbeatable. Their powers make them invincible, quite honestly, and yet with their superiority, their motivations are not credibly given. There are people who are evil, and whose only motives are evil, and perhaps that is the case, but it is not clearly shown.

Perhaps this should have been done more Tarzan style, even if the story is quite different. Tarzan would be in an isolated area, with an isolated group, and we would get great scenery, but not popping too far from place to place with armies of this and armies of that. Sure, there were armies, but not delivered in huge spectacle which took over the story.

The story should have stayed more basic, with the characters interacting more, and less abuse of special effects. But that's the trouble with most film making today. Special effect geeks think they own the movie, and dictate too much, instead of vice versa.

Also, the movie begins poorly. We almost don't even care about the characters in the beginning. This is a common Hollywood ploy, to start with characters we can't like at all, and then control freak directors try to manipulate us into changing our minds. I never liked being manipulated, so I don't rate such movies too high.

Still, there is a lot of good to the movie, and it can be saved with better editing and if someday they cut some of the special effects out and let the story be bigger than the geeks, and if they coordinate the sound better.

Not much to offer, 8 March 2015

The Sci-Fi original movie channel has been a horribly sad joke with no inspiration, and this movie follows suit, though at least it doesn't preach as much as most of the movies.

Still, the story of a bunch of self important big shots making arks to survive a disaster, and saving their precious families, is a bit sick and self righteous.

The movie is pretty dull, to tell the truth. I managed to sit through it without cringing, so I think the present rating which is below 2.5 is a bit low.

It isn't a good movie, mostly because of childish writing and a childish plot, but it could have been much worse.

At best, I can say this is maybe the sort of movie you might watch on the elliptical or treadmill or exercise bike to pass the time.

0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
No risks, no art, 5 March 2015

Can anything be worse than the first Descent? Well, they tried as hard as they could to make a complete formula movie, down to the typical Hollywood neo Nazi idealism.

The survivor of the first descent leads another party in to clear her name of murder. Only this time, the producer knows better than to sacrifice any other blond women. We know it's a doomed group, because these are Nazis making this movie, and the women are all brunettes, save the heroine, who probably will be sacrificed along with them just to save face and provide for a new blond next time.

I won't spoil it to say if this happens, but you already know. It's "no risk". The control freak Nazis can't handle a movie which lets a brunette live in the end. It just gets their gall. And American audiences just can't handle anything that doesn't depress their sane friends.

Too bad people are that sick, and force feed this crap over and over.

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