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Mile 22 (2018)
5/10
Convoluted unengaging ultimately boring
27 September 2018
Even during the moderately engaging opening scene plot cracks were visible. What was that amber fluid about ? Some lethal self destruct system we assume, and one that takes several minutes to do anything. The whole movie was like that. A long time to get nowhere. Despite the on screen mayhem I couldn't help glancing at my watch several times. I watched Black47 immediately after this one so the evening wasn't wasted.
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Conviction (II) (2010)
6/10
More self serving than drama
20 October 2013
Usually I find myself agreeing with the general sway of view reviews here on IMDb but not in this case. This is all the more unusual as I am a fan of Law and Order type movies and (like most of the free world) left of center on the America penal system. Story line points aside Swank and Rockwell are very good and play off each other wonderfully in this film. So why am I not raving about this movie? Well for a start it makes an obvious effort to 'tell the facts' even if that kills momentum, it places the history it wants to record ahead of the drama. There are a few times during the movie when I found myself asking 'why did they bother telling me that?' when it was obvious the film makers wanted me to know something that had little to do with the story being told at that particular moment on screen. Later when reading around the story online the reasons became clearer. I do not know how much of the real story was lost in translation to screen play and I do not know how much was altered to suit individual family members. I do know that if you ignore the 'based on a true story' and simply view this as entertainment giving it 6 out of 10 is more than generous.
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The Unsaid (2001)
7/10
Disturbing but worth watching.
13 April 2004
Based on R1 DVD.

After checking with IMDb I watched Unsaid with low expectations. Fortunately the film appears to be underrated at least in my eyes. Garcia and Kartheiser give strong performances and not withstanding an occasional weakness in a script that favours the 'girls do dumb things' school of thought the movie moves along at a good pace.

During the directors commentary McLoughlin notes that Americans have a much tougher time with the big secret than Europeans. Perhaps this accounts for the weak IMDb rating.

Well worth watching, 7/10.
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Frequency (2000)
7/10
Great yarn and smart to boot.
30 September 2003
While it's probably impossible to make a really coherent time travel movie, that darn paradox thing, Frequency makes a very good attempt - mostly by ignoring the sci-fi as much as possible. I believe it was Asimov who wrote that the best sci-fi stories were built on a single improbable premise with all the rest being probable ['what you you do if ...'].

While there are times when the viewer knows something is amiss the pace of the story keeps one from thinking too much about it while it's happening. After it's all over it's easy poke holes but by that time you've got your monies worth with change to spare.

Solid performances by all concerned, good drama and a smattering of sci-fi.

7/10 well worth watching
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My Little Eye (2002)
6/10
Mostly novelty value
17 August 2003
Based on R1 DVD

Played as a straight movie 'My Little Eye' might appeal to avid Big Brother fans who lean towards the gothic. It certainly has little to recommend it to more balanced viewers. If the acting is any good the webcam approach to cinematography works wonders in concealing the fact, certainly the characters are just plot driven cardboard cutouts.

It might be better to take the interactive route but having watched the movie I left little compulsion to do so.

6/10 with 1 point for novelty, don't pay to watch this one.
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Retroactive (1997)
6/10
Pop morality meets low-fi
16 August 2003
Based on R1 DVD 91 min

A potential interesting time travel idea that's subverted to provide cheap repeats of near identical scenes. It's mildly entertaining to see how the scriptwriters decide who should live and who should not. It is left as an exercise for the viewer to decide if the machine survives the movie.

6/10 of interest to undiscriminating sci-fi fans or people who like to think they are being exposed to novel ideas!
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Road Games (1981)
6/10
A play on wheels
1 August 2003
Based on Anchor Bay R1 DVD 101 minutes.

An interesting little movie that runs like a stage play on wheels. Some of the Aussie touches may be lost on dwellers of smaller countries but they add to the movie, long haul driver Quid keeps meeting the same characters over several days something that would be unheard of in Ireland!

The ending is a little unbelievable but it's exciting to watch.

6/10 worth a rental.
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5/10
Disappointing and confusing.
29 June 2003
Based on R1 DVD 114 min.

Family Business starts out well with all three stars establishing themselves firmly and with conviction. Alas a little past the half way mark the movie loses focus. Important evidence relating to the crime is ignored, things happen for no apparent reason and things that should happen do not. The movie then limps to an unsatisfying conclusion.

5/10 catch it on TV.
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Jason X (2001)
5/10
Dumb & Gory
20 June 2003
Based on R1 DVD

Leave your brain at the door or better yet drown it in alcohol with a few smart ass friends, it's the only way your going to enjoy this one.

5/10 brain dead
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7/10
Still working on it
20 June 2003
Based on R1 DVD

OK I admit I watched Moonlight Mile on the strength of the star cast, having watched it I'm still not sure if I get it but it was an enjoyable diversion.

Gyllenhaal and Pompeo were both very well cast bringing a very tender and credible touch to the movie.

7/10 worth watching
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6/10
Slow and dated
20 June 2003
Based on R1 DVD

Having missed the original theatrical run of ST I looked forward to seeing it and the much vaulted 'improved' effects on the DVD release. Alas the extended sequences seemed over extended and the story was at best the subject of a standard ST-TNG TV episode. It was pleasing to see a still fit Kirk (and crew) strutting between the stars.

6/10 for sci-fi fans anyone else could give it a miss.
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White Squall (1996)
5/10
All look the same to me.
17 April 2003
Based on R1 DVD 129 min.

Maybe I'm getting dumber in my old age but for most of the movie I had trouble putting a character to the faces on screen maybe it's because much of the story takes place off screen. The characters behave in ways unexplained by the story with apparent rivals helping each other as if deep bonds formed within the clips on the cutting room floor.

5/10 catch it on TV.
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7/10
Did I miss something?
16 March 2003
Based on R1 DVD

Williams is very good and plausible as the 'photo-guy' in this dark side look at what could go on in the one hour photo lab. The movie seems to loose the plot in the last 20 minutes or so, and the ending is even more puzzling.

None the less a very fine performance by Williams and an absorbing story.

7/10 well worth watching.
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Merlin (1998)
7/10
Soft and cuddly and enjoyable
16 March 2003
Based on R1 DVD

Sam Neil seems to carry the lions share of this retelling; or is it reinventing; of Merlin. If you can set the many quibbles over details aside this is a soft sell with some nice special effects.

Well worth watching with kids and/or girl friends. 7/10
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A Simple Plan (1998)
7/10
Taut story convincingly told
14 February 2003
Based on R1 DVD 121 min

A Simple Plan is a pretty simple story about 2 brothers and a friend of one of the brothers who stumble across 'the american dream' in a snow swept nature reserve.

The actors make this movie work none more so than Thornton the older, wiser & simplier brother. If you like character movies and can tolerate some violence then this is worth watching.

7/10 well worth watching.
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Gossip (I) (2000)
5/10
The first hour is good...
2 February 2003
Based on R2 DVD 87 min.

Gossip starts off well, an interesting premise, pretty people a suggestion of a good thriller to come. Alas somewhere around the 60 minute mark the script writer must have run out of pencils. The story takes a witless fantasy turn that left me feeling cheated.

The so called alternate ending is just a longer and more unrealistic one.

5/10 catch it on TV
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The Evil Dead (1981)
7/10
Scream 'til you laugh
1 February 2003
Based on R2 DVD

'Evil Dead' goes beyond over-the-top corny into a dim unknown place that gives you an occassional fright but mostly it's good for a laugh. Fans of low budget B movies should be thrilled, being fond of a good horror myself I found the movie most entertaining. Now where's my copy of Evil Dead 2!

7/10 well worth watching - gallons of gore.
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7/10
Great idea lost in a love mush.
24 January 2003
Based on R2 DVD 130min.

Gibson shines as the not quite sane New York cabbie, Roberts is less convincing and more often than not a distraction to the story. For $50 million this less would have been a much better movie.

7/10 well worth watching.
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Tremors (1990)
6/10
Entertaining interlude far from silly.
20 January 2003
Based on R2 DVD 92min.

This is a nice little movie that has the charm of not taking itself too seriously and the wit to take itself seriously enough to keep me happy for the slightly short run time.

Bacon and Ward are a good pairing for the leads, the romantic interest is low key and doesn't slow down the story and Gross [Family Ties] is most entertaining as the survivalist.
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Jennifer 8 (1992)
6/10
no insights here
6 January 2003
Based on R2 DVD 120 min.

Jennifer 8 starts out well but gets slow and flabby a little past the half way mark causing the movie to waste any built up tension while it spins in neutral for 20 minutes or so. Once Malkovich appears things pick up again.

The actors do a reasonable job although Truman seems more than a little in the dark about her character.

6/10 worth watching but could do with some serious editing.
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Enemy Mine (1985)
6/10
Could have been so much more.
4 January 2003
Based on R2 DVD 104 min.

Perhaps the lines uttered in the first few minutes should been taken as a clue - Quade and his navigator are just minutes from their large military base station when they follow an enemy space fighter towards "an unexplored" planet. Such little [and larger] slips permeate the movie.

The alien isn't very 'alien' which is perhaps the greatest failing of the movie, it acts like an eager to please shopkeeper hailing from the Indian subcontinent.

6/10 worth watching for Sci-Fi, Quade or Petersen fans.
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5/10
30 years and nothing gained
28 December 2002
Based on R2 DVD

I recently had the chance to re-view the original Thomas Crown affair (1968) with McQueen and Dunaway. I looked forward to seeing what Brosnan and Russo would do with the story.

While neither film is strong on logic [I never understood why clever Crown believed he should flee] the 99 version is slicker, the dance routine is good [but not as good as the chess routine] and the locations are superior but otherwise the 68 version is a better told story with more tension and the romantic element between McQueen and Dunaway is far more credible than that between Brosnan and Russo.

Overall the '99 movie is mostly clever with a stupid ending.

5/10 average viewing
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Blown Away (1994)
5/10
As flat as the Guinness
4 November 2002
Based on R2 DVD 116 min

Speaking as an Irishman I can say Hollywood and Irish accents never seem to mix well - or maybe 15 minutes on the west side of the Atlantic does something to the vocal chords. Speaking of accents Bridges slips in an out of a rather good Kennedy impersonation throughout the film.

The whole Irish bit is unimportant to the main story of a bomber targeting a bomb squad - a novel idea wasted. Alas the direction focuses on details and fails to present a coherent big picture, we see lots of rolling balls, mercury (looks very cool) and toy gadgets but fail to see what it's all for.

5/10 passable at best.

P.S. Guinness should sue.
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5/10
Apologies to Hitchcock fans.
20 October 2002
Based on R2 DVD 110 min.

No being a Hitchcock fan I had no great expectations from this movie. Just as well as several of the sub themes have dated poorly, most notably that of an otherwise normal man falling for a seductress. Still many films from the 40s and 50s place women in pigeon hole roles. The court room drama plays like a sub plot and there are more than a few weak moments most of the movie concerns itself with Pecks supposed infatuation with Todd.

Peck and Laughton are worth watching and there are a couple of interesting views of post war London.

5/10 passable entertainment.
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Frailty (2001)
7/10
Totally absorbing 'twilight zone' movie
15 October 2002
Based on R1 DVD 99min.

I've read that a really good horror movie has two basic components, (1) it contains credible ordinary people and (2) it looks underneath an otherwise everyday situation to find something dark and dangerous. Frailty is such a movie - it is also totally absorbing for its brief, event filled, 99 minutes.

The 'twist' is not well concealed but it does not need to be - the story and pacing are such that it carries the movie over the occasional credibility pothole with ease.

7/10 well worth watching.
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