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9/10
Believable Dysfunction
16 April 2012
No one has any redeeming qualities in this movie. That usually doesn't bother me, but these people are jerks! They all got me really angry. But the believable family dysfunction is what makes this movie so good. Despite disliking everyone, I thought the movie was real good.

That one of my problem with last year's Best Picture Nominee, 'The Kids are Alright.' Everyone in that movie was too likable, so the dysfunction wasn't believable.

This year, many people were rooting for The Help, which is really good, but I just think Descendants was better. An underdog story like The Help is easy to root for.

To pull of a believable dysfunctional family is more difficult.

In the Descendants you eventually do make an emotional investment and gain compassion despite the unlikable characters. This is one of the things 'Precious' had going for it a few years ago.

I know 'The Artist' won, but I think the Descendants was the best picture of all the nominees.
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Inception (2010)
7/10
The Movie Hater strikes again
29 March 2011
Inception is the first movie nominated for Best Picture that I hated on. It's not all that.

My biggest problem was that they couldn't get me to care about the relationship between Leonardo DiCaprio, his wife and his child, which was suppose to be Dom Cobb(DiCaprio character) biggest motivation. I could care less for any of the characters, I wasn't emotionally invested at all.

This isn't the first time Christopher Nolan tried to take Film Art concepts and commercialize it. This is an attempt at making a surrealism commercial. The problem with trying to make a surreal movie for the general public is that you have to make it understandable to the masses. The dreams in the movie was too orderly. Surrealist films like, Un Chien Andalou, are chaotic like dreams.

Big visuals and action sequences aren't enough anymore, if you can't get me care about what drives the story, you're going to lose me.
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9/10
The Human King
29 March 2011
I've really enjoyed all the British Monarchy films, but the Kings Speech is something special. Here is a prince, son of the King, living a life we could only dream of, really out of touch. But because of his struggle through his speech impediment, a King is made a man, some we can relate with. We all share the feelings of parental affirmation, insecurity, weakness, vulnerability and fear in all social economic classes. And just like us, he got through struggle with a honest to life friend, not another YES man that the monarchy is surrounded with. The climactic speech is so intense and suspenseful. The Kings Speech will probably win best picture.
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Avatar (2009)
8/10
Avatar was meah....
29 March 2011
Avatar was meah.... Current mood: hungry Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities I finally went to see Avatar and all I can say it was meah.

I recommend watching it in the Theaters, just so you're not the only one left out, but I always recommend visually intensive movies to be watched on the big screen.

Q: Waited to long to see it and the over-hype got to me.

A: If the movie would have been as good as people make it out to me, it would exceed expectations and live up to the hype.

Q: The visuals and 3D.

A: I'm sure the visuals were amazing, but I wish I would have watched it in 2D. To separate the foreground images in 3D, they blurred out a lot of the background images, which took away from a lot of the visuals.

Q: Characters

A: The characters had no depth. They were all one-dimensional, stereo typical characters. The war mongering general, the insecure male rival, etc.

Q: Story

A: This story has been told a thousand times. Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, etc.

Q: Storytelling

A: I don't mind Hollywood formula files, old stories can be re-hashed, as long as there is good story telling. I never felt torn between the human need for this mineral and now becoming inlighten to what's going on.

Q: Acting/Writing

A: I think my story telling comments are the same for writing. I would like to say that Sam Worthington didn't have much to work with, but a good actor can make bad writing work, and he didn't. I never really care about his character or feel sympathy about his disability, his brother passing, etc. The love story is the only thing I think was well developed.

Q: I'm too old or I see movies to much from a Film Critics point of view

A: That might be so in a small part. But I like big, visual, sci-fi movies. I just like good ones. I love the Matrix, the Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men 2, Iron Man, Spiderman, the Harry Potter movies, the Dark Knight and many others from the last decade. But these were good movies, with good stories, good characters and good storytelling, where visual effects were means to telling the story, not a substitute to a good story.

Rating: B (A=Multi-Theater Viewings/Buy Home Video, B=Theater Viewing, C=Rent it, D=Cable TV, F=Don't watch it)
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Transformers (2007)
3/10
The Stupification of America
29 March 2011
I'm sorry... but you have to be kidding me. The Transformers movie was bad! The transformers themselves were fine. I don't think they needed to be that true to the original. But the story and the story telling was horrible. My friends that watched it with me kept telling me that I expect to much from an action/sci-fi movie. That's not true. I'm not expecting an Academy Awarding winning movie, but there are plenty of action/sci-fi movies that do much, much better in the story telling department. The comedy was fine, the visuals were amazing, but the story was awful. Even the original cartoon movie did a much better job telling a story. Want some examples of action/sci-fi movies with cartoon/comic book origins that had good stories... The Matrix, Xmen 2, Sin City, Spiderman 2, Batman Begins. Other great action/sci-fi movies...: Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, Alien, Terminator 2...etc. It can be done. But we got classic Michael Bay.... Here's another Razzie nomination for you... I think it's your forth.

I just think that they didn't give one bit about a story. I'm not asking for much. I know that a decent story can be thought out for a big clumpy movie like this. I think of The Incredibles. A movies made for children.. but it was great! I just hate Hollywood cookie cutters. I don't like it when audiences are not given any credit to appreciate a good story. They think we are stupid and will enjoy crap. The sad part is that they are right about the majority of people. I get mad. I keep hearing people say that it's the greatest movies they've ever scene. I want to walk up to them and slap the crap out of them.
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True Grit (2010)
9/10
The Duke would be proud!
29 March 2011
The Western is our Great American mythology! True Grit was a great movie, deserving of it's Oscar nomination. The Duke would be proud.

I love the modern gritty westerns, which to my memory go back to Unforgiven. And just like in Unforgiven, the movie is more about realism then the mythology, but just like in Unforgiven, there was one moment that reminded me why I love cowboys and indians, a throwback to the mythical westerns of old.

Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges character) faces four outlaws on horse back from across a baron plain. Then, they rush, Rooster pulls his revolvers, the score swells and an amazing mythological western shootout breaks out in slow motion. I still get goosebumps.

I don't know if it's the best film nominated this year, but it's certainly the one I'm rooting for.
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127 Hours (2010)
8/10
The Will To Live!!
29 March 2011
127 Hours!! WOW!! A thrill seeker searching to experience life to the fullest, does the extreme and his motivation to live is family, the ultimate in life.

James Franco did a great job. I couldn't help but fall for his character right away, just like the likable Aron Ralston did years before when I first saw his story while working in the news television history.

I couldn't help but try to compare his performance with Tom Hank's in Cast Away. Could just watching this guy stock under a rock for 90 minutes hold my attention? Well, this movie was a bit different. There were flashbacks and other movie trickery used to fill time and get us into the mind of Ralston instead of just letting Franco let us in through his performance. But I don't want to take away from Franco's great job.

The heart behind the movie is something real and you can't help but be moved by his courage and will to live.
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8/10
Likable but not believable
29 March 2011
The Kids Are All Right was about gay parents whom have the same family problems as hetero parents. The movie is about their children's search and attempt to have a relationship with their biological father and the problems that come along with introducing another parent into a family.

I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed it a little to much. I felt like the characters were too likable. Annette Bening's character Nic should be have been the person who we should have disliked, but I couldn't. She was too likable. Everyone was lovable. The biggest problem about that is that I couldn't buy into their dysfunction. It wasn't believable. There have been to many good movies about real dysfunction within families. I think they movie creators really wanted the unorthodox family to be liked and accepted.
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Toy Story 3 (2010)
9/10
I love you Pixar
24 June 2010
Those guys at Pixar know how to tell a story! These characters will live in our hearts forever! They really know how to tug at our hearts.

This is more ramblings about the movie then a review.

There are so many movies that can't get me emotionally involved, movies in which I don't care at all about the people whom I'm supposed to be rooting for.

But Pixar knows how to get me. And it's not just a rooting interest, it's a love for characters, a love that hurts. I know I'm not the only one who's fallen in love in Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, Up and most of all in the Toy Story movies.

It's been so long since the first one that the special effects don't distract me in awe of them. The first two movies were so good that the story kept you from being distracted, but I couldn't help but stop and look at how beautiful the animation was. But now that I'm used to it, I was able to just watch the movie.

The first half of the movie wasn't that great. It seemed like rehashed themes from the first two, but the second half of that movie made up for it and much more.

The key to the puzzle of this movie, for me, as a father, was that moment when the mother sees Andy's room empty and realizes that her baby has grown up and he's moving away. That moment captured that whole movie's spirit.

It was time to let go and say goodbye.

Thank you Pixar. I watched 'The Pixar Story' on the Disney Channel this week and after watching Toy Story 3 it makes me so grateful for them. They tell great stories, they make great movies.

Please forgive my spelling and grammar. I am a product of the Miami-Dade Public School System.
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The Messenger (I) (2009)
8/10
Better then The Hurt Locker
21 June 2010
I liked it more then The Hurt Locker. I cared more about these characters. I was emotionally invested. I thought the Hurt Locker was a little cliché. It was good, but not great. I really didn't care about the main character in the Hurt Locker. I felt like it was the same re-hashed story of the soldier that likes war a little to much.

But The Messenger takes a different approach to the Shell Shocked Soldier. This is not a war movie. But it has it's affects all over it. It really made me connect and feel what these characters were going through. They were experiencing their own post traumatic stress disorder after every message they delivered. They were already scared by their past, so their job add in creating these multi-layered characters.

I recommend it.
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5/10
Most Commercial Christian Film Ever
28 September 2001
I don't want to be another Christian that just writes good things about a Christian film because it's Christian. I want to give my honest opinion. In the past TBN and the Christian market has made some really bad films, and it should be said, even by Christians. Why? Because the consumer should decide what is good or bad, and as Christians we should demand good Christian films and not just be satisfied that there are Christian films in theaters, whether they are good or bad. We have to remember that these films will represent our faith and will be seen by non-christians. In my opinion God deserves the best, and if we want these films to witness to the public they most compete with the quality of secular films. The only way that we're going to see good quality Christian films is if we the Christian public demand it and not support bad Christian films. I know that we should support our fellow Christians, but not films that are going to mis-represent our faith. I feel that Left Behind and the first Omega Code were pretty bad movies. I took a non-Christian friend who's a big movie buff to see the first Omega Code and I felt that I had to apologize for the film.

With that out of the way, and after upsetting most other Christians that will read this, I have to say something positive. Megiddo was to my suprised and delight a good film. It was very commercial and main stream. By far it has the best dialog of all Christian films, something that past Christian films have lacked in. The actual film quality is much better and the effects were decent, the film doesn't look like video lit for a newscast. It still is in need of a better score. But with all that it is very commercial. Mind you that I went in expecting the worst and came out very satisfied and with a new hope and expectation that future Christian films will continue to improve and appeal to the main stream and secular market which should be the focus of these films.
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