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Bad Samaritan (2018)
Suspenseful and a little predictable
I really enjoyed this film and was mesmerized by Tennant's character. The plot was a little off-balance due to the fact we never really found out why the girl was in captivity and how it occurred. Never the less, I was entertained and enjoyed the film. Though a little erratic in scripting and Robert's (Sean Falco) character was a little too snivling and antiseptic, I found Tennant's characterization a real 180-degree role change for him. a real insane character and his American accent was perfect with only a few slips of that Scottish twang. Recommended thriller.
Death, redemption, reconciliation
Ed Harris (Benjamin Ryder, famed photographer, a fictional character) dominates this movie with excellent acting (adding to his many fine performances during his career), and his displays of both sarcasm and pathos after years of bitterness. He and his nurse (Olsen), who encourages his estranged son Matt (Sudeikis) to accompany them to Kansas to develop Kodachrome film rolls on the last day that that film type will be done by a photo shop in Kansas. Harris is dying of liver cancer and the film revolves around his reconciliation with his son and his son's reconciliation with his failing music career and failed marriage. The film was released in April, 2018, so the 2017 date is incorrect. Harris should get an award nomination at the least for his riveting performance. All the cast was excellently cast and it's an excellent flick dealing a historical event, the end of Kodachrome (see the article in NYT December, 2010 article "For Kodachrome Fans, Road Ends at Photo Lab in Kansas" which was the inspiration for the movie). Director Mark Raso blends three separate reconciliations into one very good movie.
Dog Years (2017)
Pleasantly surprised, emotionally touched
Quite honestly I was prepared to dislike this movie. I couldn't pin down exactly why but was I very wrong. I was extremely touched with this thought provoking look at celebrity and age. I have not seen any actor portray their aging with such honesty in their later movies. Reynolds was fabulous and still as blunt and straight forward in his approach to the part as he has before in most of his movies. Ariel Winter, whose character I detested at the beginning, did an excellent job as Reynolds escort at a film festival in Nashville. His life story was a learning experience for her and a teaching lesson on how growing older comes with trials, tribulations, and regrets which she could learn from as she goes on with her own life. Wonderful acting by both, and a must see movie. Simply put, I think it's the best work Reynolds has ever done.
Excellent docudrama, wonderful acting
I've watched every episode of Victoria and haven't been bored once. Coleman does a wonderful job as the Queen and Hughes is excellent as the Prince. You could see Coleman's potential on the Doctor Who series, she was fabulous in that wonderful series. It's interesting to see them both grow from not liking each other at all, but developing a fervent devotion and love for each other. So far, my favorite episode was the last of Season 2, "Comfort and Joy," a Christmas-themed episode which was appropriate for the scheduling. I'm an Anglophile, so this is juicy meat for me, and so interesting and, at times, riveting. Love history.
The Investigator (2013)
Excellent Christian-based film
I throughly enjoyed this film and it makes a good companion to "God Is Dead," (also an excellent faith-based movie in this genre-type). The acting is well done as is the writing. The storyline is believable (it is from a true story) and flows smoothly while raising and answering questions about Christianity and Jesus Christ. In addition, "The Investigator" shows how a life change can work to the good in ones life if one only has faith. If you enjoyed "God Is Dead," then you most certainly will like this film. It's good to see more Christian-themed films entering the market. God knows we need them, especially at this time of world trials and tribulations. Linda's review, above, is excellent and I can't improve on her review with mine, but it's my two cents worth...
Five Minutes of Heaven (2009)
Compelling film and a must see
Just viewed this tonight and thought it was really an excellent commentary on the difficulty of forgiveness, the helplessness of letting go, and, of course, how hate and regret can meet and be resolved (many times with misgivings and myopic single mindedness). It is said that forgiveness (whether of oneself or another) is the hardest endeavor a human being can face. This film brilliantly portrays the anguish of two men, one who hates and can't forgive another, and one who regrets and can't forgive himself. The brevity of the film (121 minutes) and the abrupt ending belies the volumes of emotion that permeate almost every scene. The movie is both compelling and enjoyable while also being very disturbing.
A part not to be overlooked is played by Anamaria Marinca (Vika), a 'gopher' for the film crew. Her character added quite a bit of depth to the film. Neeson and Nesbitt should both be recognized for their riveting performances.
In most films today the focus is on revenge, blood, and murder. "Five Minutes.." includes these vices but, contrary to the blood and gore in many movies today, this film's focal points are, indeed, letting go, finding your life and living it, focusing on what means most to you, demolishing the demons that haunt you, and, most importantly, discovering that elusive human effort which leads to forgiveness. It's hard...very hard, and most of us can't bring ourselves to that end because forgiveness is many times viewed by society as weakness when it is, in actuality, strength.
Henry Poole Is Here (2008)
Best movie I've seen in many years...
"Henry Poole Is Here" (and the accompanying soundtrack) is absolutely brilliant! The best work Luke Wilson has done thus far in his career. The story itself is beautifully woven throughout with comedy, anger, and pathos, all accentuated with wonderfully chosen music (from indie artists, appropriate since the movie is an indie, itself). While I can't agree with the Catholic-slant of idolic figure worship, being an evangelical Christian, and don't much like the use of the name "Jesus" in the derogatory sense, I can get by those parts since the imagery/usage is rather ironic considering the premise of the story. I don't believe the writer and director truly could, themselves, see the parallels between what they had written/directed since it goes much deeper than just a story of Christ's "picture" on a stucco wall: Henry's (false) belief he is dying equates to "everyman," who is, indeed, dying one way or another everyday, but doesn't realize he is truly alive if he would but see the truth (evidenced by Henry's crying scene when he is trying to see the image the way others do; he just can let himself go and surrender to faith); Millie's lack of speech (due to trauma from a loss) is indicative of ourselves, in many ways, since we, too, can become "speechless" (depression) when confronted with one loss after another, but "regain" that speech (and be filled with joy) after we see the truth and understand it. Those are just two symbolisms I found; more are evident. It's the only movie I've watched several times in many a year and has quickly become a movie from which I can acquire both comedy relief and spiritual enlightenment at the same time. And the music...fantastic.
Star in the Night (1945)
Wonderful! Saw it on TCM, you can get it now...
This is touching vintage short that usually appears between movies on TCM during the Christmas season. Now you can get it with the new DVD release of "Christmas In Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. It's included as a short on the DVD. Now I don't have to try and catch it with my TiVo this holiday season. "Star" is a wonderful Christmas featurette and is highly recommended. Will really get you into the Christmas spirit, guaranteed! The mysterious hitchhiker, Donald Woods, is really interesting. He seems to be guiding each individual through a process of recognizing the real spirit of Christmas. You may remember him from "True Grit" and many other movies. He made no less than 5 features and this featurette in 1945 (although his scenes in "God Is My Co-Pilot" were left on the cutting-room floor).
A waste of film stock, boring to the max
The series is ridiculous! It's disjointed, over-acted, and has absolutely nothing to do with what's in the Book of Revelation (that's "Revelation" with no "s").
As an example, Isaiah 47:13 was used by Sister Josepha Montefiore to Massey during a plane flight (does it seem they're always on a plane going somewhere; their mileage credits must be enormous!), somehow relating this verse to Massey's mission (as a stargazer, i.e. an astrologer). If you look at the context of the Isaiah verse you plainly see that God was chastising the "stargazer's" and "astrologers" for their "predictions" and warning them that (in v.14) "Surely they are like stubble (NIV)." The way it was positioned in the dialog, Massey was being told he was the stargazer and that Isaiah (and God) favored these types. If Isaiah had condoned them, God would have struck him down straight away. If there is no context, there is only pretext.
The series is full of Biblical misquotes and misuse to add "suspense" to a rather mundane project. In particular, the Biblical quotes during the shows are both misplaced, lack contextual meaning, and delude those that take them to be justifiable. The whole reason I disliked "The Passion of the Christ" was there was no background (history) so that the non-Christian would put a man getting the crap beat out of him in a context of "why." "Revelations" is Satan's work through David Selzer, the producer. It is his (Satan's) way to bring those spiritually divided people over to the side that has already lost: Satan and his cohorts.
I only watch this series to see what non-believer's might come in contact with so I can intelligently and factually point out that the series is spiritual "fluff" with no substance but just a lot of misinformation. Sort of like watching the "History Channel" (a notoriously anti-Christian outfit). At least "History International Channel" did a good critique of Dan Brown's blasphemous "Da Vinci Code" as did PAX recently.
"Revelations" is dark, delusional, and would have made a lousy B-movie, which it will when it comes out on DVD and thousands buy into it and waste their money.