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The Money Pit (1986)
10/10
I laughed so hard, my sides ached for two days!
11 December 2019
For me, this was, and will always be the absolute PERFECT COMEDY. Never before or since has a movie filled me with such mirth that I literally lost control. Much has been said about the great acting and indeed, all of the characters put in great performances. As to the sight gags, some had me gasping for air because I could simply not stop replaying them in my heàd, and then howling with gales of laughter. Some of the expressions on Tom Hanks face are just incredibly funny. This is the kind of raw physical comedy that fans of I Love Lucy will surely recognise. For a comedy, this also has some impressive editing and set design. The gags are perfectly choreographed. So, if you need to have a good laugh, give this film a watch.

My date would not talk to me for a week because I had "embarrassed her" in the theatre.
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Unnatural Selection (2019– )
10/10
This is " The History of The PC " but it's WAY BIGGER.
8 December 2019
I came of age during the PC revolution. I remember the incredible excitement of those early days when a PC was something you built. This is what the NEXT revolution looks like. It would not surprise me if practical immortality is developed by some group of smart guys with a CRISPR 2.0 tool. AND THAT WILL BE A GOOD THING. The more democratized a technology becomes, the more talented people who will want to play with it. This series convinced me that humanity will indeed escape the bonds of random evolution and step off into its own destiny. Indeed, AI may actually teach us ways to use this technology in ways we might not immediately think of. I have told my grandkids that they likely will never die. I believe this even more after viewing this series.
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Eli (I) (2019)
7/10
Not a waste of time, and given some of today's fims, that's saying something!
30 November 2019
This movie deals with several interesting concepts. The title character has a rare autoimmune disorder that threatens his life (to say nothing of his happiness). As a rare disease sufferer myself, this portrayal really hit home. Unless you've spent a lot of time hooked up to an IV tube, you can't imagine the ever-present desire an afflicted person has to just be NORMAL. The young actor who plays Eli portrays this VERY WELL, and I could feel my heart racing when he struggled with his flair-ups. All of the actors put in good performances, and the story moves along at an acceptable pace. The ending is clever and unexpected and ties the story's plot line into a satisfying overall package. Not the best movie I've seen this year, but certainly not the utter waste of time so many other films deliver.
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Wild Palms (1993– )
9/10
The future we live in revealed twenty years early!
11 October 2019
When this mini series was first broadcast, most people had never used a computer, the NSCA Mosaic browser (later to become Netscape Navigator) had just been coded. Thus allowing those with a data connection to graphically browse content at glacial speed. But just consider the list that follows which tallies their actual occurrence.

The Web = The web Tony Krietser =Donald Trump Chickee Levitt = Mark Zuckerberg Mimecom = Facebook Mimezine = Oxycontin The Florida Bomb = 9/11 The 90's Depression = The Great Recession The Fathers = Rebublicans with a capital "R" The Friends = Liberal Democrats Josie = Melania? Watch this excellent mini series with your politically astute frienew and you will have a BLAST finding current and near current tie-ins. Then you'll have one final question. "Where did Olivier Stone get a time machine?!"
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5/10
A movie that delivers far fewer scares than real life.
2 October 2019
When I was a young adult in the eighties, Stephen King knew just how to make the everyday world seem very scary. Today, the real world is just a whole lot scarier than King's "monsters." Sadly enough, this renders King's movie, It, Chapter Two more of a black comedy than believable horror.

How exactly does a clown with a silly laugh and pointy teeth compete against a kid who walks into an elementary school, and kills a couple of dozen kids? How do I get afraid of a father who abuses his daughter, when the cop on the beat in my neighborhood can kill an unarmed man running away, and escaped any consequences by saying "I feared for my life"?

The real world has simply become way more scary than the One-Time jump-scares of the seventies and eighties. The one King movie that still retains its horror is The Dead Zone. Today, a dangerous madman really does hold the

King's movie isn't particularly bad, it just comes across like a worn-out carnival fun house.
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4/10
How many tropes can you steal???
23 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Plane take off trope = Thunderdome Dirty weird radiation kids =Thunderdome Runway lights go out = too many 2 name I could go on, but you get the idea. I really like this show, but it's gotten stupid and trite lately.
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10/10
This classic, based upon a story written by the greatest science fiction author of all time, continues to amaze and entertain FIFTY YEARS later.
20 February 2019
I remember watching this as a kid on our old 20" console B/W tv. Even without the significant benefit of technicolor, it was a "family event" that we all gathered in the living room to enjoy. Now, more than fifty years later, I am still dazzled by the ageless quality of this film. Except for "The Time Machine," and Forbidden Planet" no other science fiction film would approach it in production quality until the 1969 release of "2001 A Space Odyssey"

The special effects were revolutionary for the times, and hold up exceptionally well even today. The sounds of the Martian war machines have been used and reused in many other science fiction movies and TV series. The design of the machines themselves was perfect being both believable and menacing. The disintegration effect is still used in conjunction futuristic energy weapons to this very day.

Unlike a lot of science fiction from the 50's, this film does not fall victim to silly special effects, or ridiculous dialog. Like a fine wine, War of The Worlds has aged exceptionally well.
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Bird Box (2018)
8/10
Is There in Truth No Beauty
28 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If you have watched the above episode of Star Trek TOS, you understand the basic premise of this film. Namely, creatures who, if glimpsed, cause dangerous insanity. The movie is the story of one group of humans who manage to avoid looking at these beings, and their fight for survival.

Now that you know the premise, let me discuss the execution. This film is VERY well made, and the actors all give first rate performances. Sandra Bullock does a really superb job of playing a pregnant single-mom-to-be who cannot/will-not form an emotional bond with another human. The rest of the cast also hands how great, believable performance.
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RBG (2018)
10/10
A Compelling Chronicle of Supreme Court's Most Controversial Jurist!
26 December 2018
If you have followed any of the Supreme Court's decisions over the last twenty years or so, the name "Ruth Bader Ginsburg" is likely well recognosed. Known for delivering some of the court's most far reaching decissions, RBG has done more to further the rights of women and minorities than any court justice in the last quarter century. For those looking for a detailed insight I to the history, judicial philosophy, and personal life of Justice Ginsburg, this film does not disappoint. Too many films of this genera are such heavy handed talking head interpretations of the film's subject, that you feel no real connection with that individual. Happily, the producers of RGB have enriched this film with many, many interviews, as well as candid footage of the Justice herself. So rich and detailed is this content, that I came away with a far deeper understanding of what drives this woman of advancing years to maintain a rigorous involvement with one of the most demanding jobs in America. I was also greatly entertained by her wit, and her passion for law as a means of exposing the many truths of American society. I strongly recommend that ANYONE with an interest in government or politics to see this film. Parents should also encourage their children to watch.
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8/10
Not what I was expecting, and that's not all together bad.
24 December 2018
A complex story that tests the attention span at times, and comprehension at others. Do watch this on a video streaming service because you'll want to hit the rewind button when get confusing. The last half hour gets VERY convoluted and unless you follow the story carefully, you're GOING to be confused. I was. The ending reminds me of the movie "Millennium." Play back the last piece of dialog from that film, and you'll understand the ending of this one. That said, I really rather enjoyed this film ( just as I enjoyed Millennium). Just be aware, that this movie deals with very big existential concepts that will either confuse you, or make you say "that was really stupid!"
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9/10
Classic Eli Roth. Like a bottle of Tabasco, you should know what you're getting.
3 December 2018
This is a great fun movie if you like Eli Roth's brand of film making. Unapologetically violent, gory, and at times, hilarious, is what Green Inferno gives us. It was a tad bit slow at the start, but once it got going it was the roller coaster ride I expected. Not as shocking as, say, Hostel, but really fun in that same (bloody) vein. If you like suspenseful AND gory horror, you are really going have a good time with this one. Cook up a nice bloody hamburger, and plop yourself down on your sofa for nice shiny little film.
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The Predator (2018)
1/10
If you like watching someone play a bad video game (badly) with a budget graphics chip, on a 20 year old PC, then this is your movie.
30 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Yet another example of the seemingly endless supply of awful remakes coming out of hollywood. This one has to be one of the worst yet. You know that the CGI is poor quality, because nearly all of it occurs at night. This is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to low budget special effects. The daytime scenes look absolutely awful! I felt like I was watching an early 2000's video game being played on a late 90's PC. The acting was about as one dimensional as an episode of Chips. It tries to throw in some references to the original movie, but all that succeeds in doing is reminding you of how awful this movie is by comparison. Although there are a LOT of characters in this film, they all die so quickly that you realize there is no point in caring about any of them. At the end of the film, the surviving hero gathers up some trash that each of those dead characters was supposedly carrying, and I realized I didn't remember ANY of them. But that pile of garbage is symbolic of this film's entertainment value.
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Goldengirl (1979)
1/10
Gives a new ridiculous meaning to the phrase "good vibes."
8 November 2018
This was a truly awful example of a cheap sexploitation film. The best example come when Susan Anton explains how her coach wired her up with a vibrator as a kind of Pavlovian performance enhancer. "When my coach thought I was doing a good job, I go good vibes." This of course begs the question, "can a woman run an Olympic standing quarter mile with a dildo inserted up her pussy?" Anyone?
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The Gateway (2018)
9/10
A great movie for a thinking, thoughtful hard-sci-fi audience!
14 September 2018
About three months ago, I happened upon a little YouTube scifi short called "This is Andromeda." It deals with a very similar story but it's only 22min long. Still, it totally blew my mind. This movie is that idea very well fleshed out. I was totally taken in by the end of the first twenty minutes. What a great expansion on the parallel universes plot line (with my much deserved nod to Star Trek's TOS episode "Mirror Mirror."). This movie is a fresh reboot of the "what would you do with a time machine" story, but ingeniously solves the obvious problem of paradoxes. So strap in, and get ready to take a really fun thought experiment to a surprising conclusion.
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The Bomb (2015 TV Movie)
10/10
A Great Film for the whole family to watch and enjoy!
31 May 2018
Here's a chance for all you peace loving panty-wastes to see what it was like when men were men, nuclear tests were done in the atmosphere, and weapon yields were in the multi megaton range. Enjoy a comprehensive sampling of high yield thermonuclear tests that turned the useless tropical paradise of the Bikini Atoll, and the Marshal Islands into radioactive wastelands peppered with underwater craters. Watch as the U.S. conducts its lower yield tactical battlefield atomic weapons tests just a quick 90 minute drive from the city of Las Vegas. And for those with a wanderlust for international travel, enjoy tests performed in BOTH Russia and Mainland China.

This film contains no foul language, and absolutly no nudity or violence.
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Tall Men (2016)
8/10
A movie to watch when you're high
25 May 2018
This film was not meant to viewed when one is not high. To do so misses the point of this genera of film. This is the kind of film you watch after cruising around with your friends in a beater car smoking a couple of bowls. You can't expect to be entertained by a 3D movie if you won't put on the silly glasses. Similarly, this will only be wildly entertaining to any stoner. A similar film would be the old Chuck Norris film, Silent Rage. The acting in that film was over the top, and the plot was quite silly. BUT, smoke a bone, and you will laugh so hard you'll hurt the next day.
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8/10
A great film that combines science, humor, and drama that never talks down to the viewer.
8 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Like many who have enjoyed this film as a youngster, I was pleased by its availability on Amazon. Others have written about the high quality of the story, and I completely agree. What really impresses me though, is the faithfulness to hard science. A lot of scientific principles are discussed in this film, and they are all correct! I can't remember the last time I saw a science fiction film that got ALL of its science right. Everything, from the limitations presented by the speed of light barrier, to the action/reaction principle of a photon drive. All of this film's science IS science. No warp drives, no subspace faster than light radio transmission. Everything (except, of coarse the time portal itself) fits within the confines of the universe as we know it today. A science teacher in grammar school could screen this for his class, and then use it as a jumping off point for additional sessions. I wish more of today's firms, that claim to be science fiction, would be as scientifically accurate as this little jewel of a film.
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THIS is where John Landis got his ideas for Jackson's "Thriller."
13 June 2017
Warning: Spoilers
After seeing this film, and then immediately watching Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video, it is plain to see that Landis lifted his entire graveyard scene, and most of his zombies directly from this movie. Children Shouldn't play With Dead things was the first film to feature a mass rising of the dead from a cemetery. If you watch both sequences side by side, without sound, you will know that the earlier one was STOLEN from the other.
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The Fly (1958)
This is a great mix of SciFi and Horror.
11 April 2017
This was one of the first horror movies I saw as a kid (it was made the year I was born). I just viewed it again on Netflix, and I am amazed at how well it has held up. When I first saw The Fly, color TV was a commodity for the wealthy. A 14 inch black and white TV was my first look at The Fly during the ABC 4:30 movie.

On a color screen,the film looks AMAZING! That old Technicolor film process really does this film proud.The sets are very impressive. I'll always remember that sliding door in the lab, and the creepy sound it made when it was opened.

But it is the acting of the female lead that sets this film on a higher level. The actress who plays Elaine really carries the film. Her love for her husband is so authentic and sincere, we have no trouble believing that she would do ANYTHING to help him. When she first sees his horribly transformed hand, her horror is totally believable. The way she regains her strength and composure immediately afterward is exactly how a woman who is completely in love with her husband would react to such a nightmare.

All of the acting is really quite good. The police detective is also a stand out as the "long arm of the law" attempting to make sense of an inexplicable murder. The little boy who plays Phillipe also give a great and sympathetic performance.

Some will argue that there is too much character exposition before the film gets down to the business of scaring us. However I think the character development is a great way to build sympathy for the characters. A lesson all too many of today's special digital effects laden films seem to forget.
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10/10
A truly superb wrap up to a magnificent franchise. What I wish the Matrix trilogy had been!
25 November 2015
So several years ago I heard about this series and how popular the books were. I immediately read books one and two (audio booked them actually) and really enjoyed both of them. After seeing Jennifer Lawrence in the first movie, I was so taken with her magnificent portrayal of Katniss Everdeen, that I very deliberately decided i would not partake of the final novel in the trilogy, but would instead put all of my chips on the last two films.

All of the first three hunger games movies were very well done and quite entertaining. Jennifer Lawrence brought a wonderful authenticity to the staring roll and the supporting cast was genuinely entertaining and gave top notch performances as well. Which brings us to the final installment.

Rare indeed is the story that can cleverly build upon its earlier successes. The Matrix couldn't do it, nor could the old Planet of The Apes franchise or the Jaws films. These series left viewers feeling very disappointed and wistful for what might have been. Happily for fans of The Hunger Games series, the final chapter ties the previous three films into an exceptionally satisfying package that really made me glad that I had devoted my scarce free time to this film series over the last few years. I will not provide any spoilers to my review, suffice it to say that it unfolds like some unexpectedly beautiful flower that will really have you saying "holy s**t!" when it is fully revealed. There are absolutely positively NO loose ends by the conclusion. That said, I will say that I was truly delighted by the way the story utterly surprised me. I think the last time I was so taken aback by a plot twist was the movie "The Sixth Sense." So go and see this movie after your Thanksgiving dinner, and you can have two very satisfying experiences!
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Gem Hunt: Ruby, Sapphire and Jade: Myanmar (2014)
Season 1, Episode 11
10/10
The Gem Hunters Violated U.S. Embargo on Burma Rubies and Jade!
18 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This was a very interesting episode. I have been collecting Burma Jadeite Jade for many years. The information that was presented in this episode was truly fascinating. Clearly there are a lot of hurdles to jump over if you want to buy Burmise gems like Jade and rubies. Historically, most Burma Jade winds up being carved in China where some of the best Jade carvers in the world are located. People might be very surprised at that reality. The part of the show that left me scratching my head was that there was virtually NO MENTION of the U.S. TOTAL embargo on Jade and rubies originating in Burma. It doesn't matter if you but them in China. If they come from Burma, and they are not for your own PERSONAL USE, you may not bring them into the U.S. Many Jade shops in U.S. Chinatowns had to stop selling Burma Jadeite. So, did the Jade hunters knowingly break the law? Did they lie, and tell the customs officials that the Jade was for their personal use? I'm very curious.
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The Fountain (2006)
10/10
Behold!
24 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The Fountain is a film that has a LOT to say. Its scope is nothing less than those two enigmatic topics, love and death. Since these topics really get down to the essence of what it means to be human, we do have some familiar reference points. The girl, the loving husband, and a clock that is quickly winding down for one of them. Then there is the symbolism. It's all over this film. The irrationality of hope when there is none, the desire to cheat death. Those are just some of the more "in your face" symbolic images. There are at least eight or nine more. This film pulls at you from so many directions, that you can feel like you're drowning in it all. The superb acting by all of the characters makes it so effortless to identify and empathize with them. I'll confess that this film made me weep several times. The thematic score is some of the most heart touching sound ever put to music. All of these elements combine to create a sensation of viewing a "very important" film. However, to extract all that this film has to say, it is essential to view it multiple times. Thankfully, there is nothing tedious about this requirement as the film is so hauntingly beautiful, you'll find new dimensions at each viewing. In any case, this is a film that should be watched by anyone with a mind that enjoys a proper challenge.
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1/10
A PAINFULLY Awful Navy Recruiting Film
11 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Let's get one thing out of the way before I begin my review. I did NOT pay to see this film. I downloaded a copy of an Academy Awards preview disk. Many thanks to the housekeeper who intercepted this disk in the mailbox of some Academy reviewer. As is often the case, you saved me ten bucks I would have paid had I mistakenly chosen to see this stinker film in a theater.

American sniper is little more than a film that will, regrettably, encourage many young men whose lives have been stunted by the effects of the Great Recession in to join up with the military. No doubt, thousands of kids for whom the most promising job prospects include "would you like fries with that" will enlist in the travesty against humanity that our military has become.

In some ways, American Sniper is quite accurate. Our soldiers often DO act like mafia thugs who break down your door, rough up your family, and kill you if you don't cough up the requested military intelligence info. Yes, our Army in the 21st century, is little more than a thuggish collection of leg-breakers and hit men. They care not in the least that you are innocent or guilty of anything. You are not American, so your stupid A-rab ways are a target of scorn, and we have the god given right to extinguish your life as we would a cockroach's's.

This truly sickens me. Every time I saw a depiction of violence against civilians in this film, I again wondered why GWB, Dick Cheeny, and Donald Rumsfeld had not been arrested for crimes against humanity. If I EVER had any reason to question why America is so hated in so many parts of the globe, this movie answered all of my questions.

As to the film's production value, editing, and scripting, I found myself laughing at some of the dumbest dialog ever given voice in a motion picture. You'd have to examine the scripts of such Hollywood "gems" as Porkeys, and The Hollywood Knights, to find such trite, adolescent dialog. The banality of it left me speechless (though sadly the same cannot be said of the actors.).
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10/10
A cult classic on dope!
19 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
How this movie became known as a quintessential flop is quite beyond me. Then again, when I consider some of the movies that have garnered "best picture" Academy Awards, the whole flawed process of rating movies becomes clear. There is simply no accounting for taste. For example, consider that, the overlong, pretentious, and painfully boring, Chariots of Fire, actually WON the Best Picture award, and yet all the film gave me (and MANY others) was a bad headache. To each his own.

So, on to my review. I never saw this picture when it debut in 1991, but I clearly recall watching its HBO premiere. I found it to be one of the finest examples of really dark comedy that I had ever seen. The wonderful serendipitous circumstances which allowed Mr. Ackroyd to secure the services of top notch talent like Moore and Chase only served to make the movie seem all the more "believable" and satisfying. I'm sure that all of the headliner performers felt like their agents had consigned them to apply their considerable talents to, what can only be described as, the "circle of hell" that Dante might have envisioned for the bloated egos of self-aggrandizing film stars. The look on Chase's face when he imagines the judge's nose transformed into a penis is so authentic that I was convulsed with laughter. And who can forget that priceless card game between Demi Moore and the delightful "Little Devil and BoBo." Surely Ms. Moore has experienced similar feelings while surrounded by adoring male fans queuing up to the very edge of Hollywood's famed red carpet.

What makes this film even more of a gem is that we, as the audience, KNOW that this was probably not what the actors believed that they had signed up for. It plays as humorously as if, say, Lawrence Olivier had been contracted to star as "Mr. Hand" in Fast Times At Ridgemont High. To their credit, all of the actors are in fine form, and do deliver their very best to the insane plot and dialog. And that, in a nutshell, is why this film belongs on any film buff's "must see" list. It's not "Hamlet," but it delivers solid (if extremely dark) comedic entertainment.
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The Fly II (1989)
1/10
You broke the cardinal rule of film, you KILLED THE GOD DAMN DOG!!!
2 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
What this film did was make me very uncomfortable. That dog scene, really, was that necessary? Haven't the writers ever had a pet that needed put down? Don't you know how bad that feels? Well, this movie brought back all those Awful memories. After that dog scene, I really didn't give a damn what happened to any of the characters in this movie. I'll never watch it again. I don't give too many movies bad reviews, but this one made me feel bad long, LONG after I saw it. All I could think of was the face of every pet I ever had to put down. I don't expect every movie to be a feel-good experience, but this movie was the equivalent of taking a family with a son in a Turkish prison to see Midnight Express.
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