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Falling Water (2016)
The show is about 3 strangers who are all subconsciously connected through their dreams. The characters are a mother who is looking for her lost child, whom she is told by the hospital doesn't exist, a man looking for his missing girlfriend & a detective trying to cure his catatonic mother.
The directing is great, it plays out like a movie. Fortuately it does not resemble Inception, except for the fact the the theme revolves around dreams & the subconscious. The acting is also good too, especially by one of the leads, Lizzy Brochere who plays Tess.
This seems like one of those shows that will be a long mini-series, or play out like an extended movie, because it's difficult to see how the plot can carry out more than 1 or 2 seasons without the mysteries being resolved. It's a unique plot and very entertaining to watch. The pilot already had a few twists!
Good - but lacks a little soul
While this film is an improvement on some of the prequil movies such as Attack of the Clones, which were a disappointment, it lacks the soul and character the original 3 had.
The plot was very vague and oversimplified and the character development was also lacking.However there were some great performances from Ridley and Boyega and of course Ford always delivers a good performance.
It felt a little too much like a "Disney" film, although it was nice to see Carrie Fisher & Harrison Ford again. The movie feels too much like a Star Trek film and this is where Abram's influence shows. It was a mistake not to allow Lucas to direct. The movie did have its positive aspects and had great action and special effects. I think most fans are relieved that the movie didn't suck.
7 Kilos (2007)
Good enough for the big screen
I was surprised this movie went straight to video. I wouldn't say it was the best movie I've ever seen, or even one of the top 10, but it was pretty darned good, especially considering it was probably low budget. The movie had a good amount of action, including a shoot-up scene that was well done. The script was also good, allowing some character development and a nice twist at the end. The acting wasn't great all-around, but there were some good performances - Cliff Weeks, who played Cain was particularly good and so was Manuel Garcia (Danny Ortega) & Bratton who played the sheriff.
The movie also has some good location shots and did not feel static. It wasn't a sitting on the edge of your seat kind of movie, but at no time was it boring. Give it a shot, you'll be entertained.
The Inbetweeners (2012)
Painful to Watch
As a fan of the original UK show, I wasn't expecting much, but I never expected it to be this horrible. The acting is just terrible. It's like none of these kids took an acting lesson in their life & just spit out the lines - that were almost word for word rehashed from the original. I couldn't even finish watching the first episode it was so bad.
The main problem with the show other than it was a poor excuse for a copy of the original & the bad acting, was the characters were very unlikeable. Will had no personality, Simon always had a weird expression on his face like he was trying to take a crap, Jay looked a fat, retarded kid, Neil looked & acted like a stoner & Carli couldn't act if her life depended on it. It's no wonder this was cancelled after one season. Do yourself a favor and watch the original on Hulu - you won't be disappointed.
To Die in Jerusalem (2007)
A culture of life vs. culture of death
Part of the reason for the continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, aside from the fact that the Arabs refuse to accept the fact that Jews have a right to live in their homeland is that there are diametrically opposing cultures.
Judaism and western culture value life above everything else - ALL life. Muslim and Arab culture glorifies death and murder as a way of achieving honor. Arab fathers will murder their daughters if they believe they have dishonored the family. Sadly, such "honor killings" happen often. This is unthinkable in Judeo/Western culture. There is also the problem of the constant anti-Israel, anti-Semitic propaganda campaign going on in Palestinian Authority schools and media. This makes coexistence difficult if not impossible when the PA is constantly demonizing Jews. Israelis for their part have always advocated coexistence.
The Arab mother claims her daughter was justified in murdering innocent civilians because of the "occupation" and the humiliation they suffer. Yet who is at fault for the situation she is in? Israelis have made numerous overtures & offers for peace that have been consistently rejected by the PA.
The palestinians are not the only people who want their own state. So do the Kurds, Tibetans, Basque & Chechens just to name a few. The Arabs believe terrorism is the way to achieve this & drive the Jews into the sea.
Piranha 3D (2010)
Not a bad remake
This was an above average remake of the 1978 film Pirhana, which was good for what it was. There was actually some plot and storyline. The acting was mediocre. There were some likable characters such as Jake, although not much character development. The story was pretty unimaginative. Basically, Jake, the son of the sheriff ditches his baby-sitting responsibilities for his brother and sister and goes to the lake to join in the spring break partying, which becomes the site of the feeding frenzy.
My main problem was that the fish. While they looked cool, they did not look at all real. They looked like what they were - computer generated. All in all, it wasn't a waste of time and there was a surprise at the end.
Modern Family (2009)
Good writing, horrible acting
I rarely watch network television anymore, but a friend of mine convinced me to watch this. The writing is sometimes funny, hit and miss. However except for O'Neil & Stonstreet, the acting is terrible. Where do they get these people from? Gould couldn't act to save his life (Ok, he's just a kid, but STILL). And was Haley adopted? She looks nothing like the rest of the family. Maybe we'll find out in a later episode the mailman is her father.
This show strives for the same comedy and edginess of Arrested Development. But it falls way short. Not because the writing is bad, but because the acting stinks and there is no chemistry.
Epic Movie (2007)
Not so bad
Lighten up people! I don't think this film is as bad as everyone is making it out to be. Maybe it's because the movies it was spoofing were not too good. It definitely wasn't as bad as Date Movie.
I found it to be funny. The characters were likable. Also the acting was good. The plot was very simple, but then so was Narnia, the main movie it was spoofing. It also spoofs Willy Wonka & Pirates of the Caribbean to a lesser extent. I wouldn't rank it with some of the great comedies, but if you have a sense of humor you'll laugh. Give it a chance, and don't take it seriously & you'll enjoy it. If you're expecting an academy award winner, keep looking.
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
A Good Tribute to The Brady Bunch
Today's younger generation probably only knows The Brady Bunch from reruns, but it was the most popular sitcom of the 70's. This movie places the Brady Bunch in 1995, but they still act and dress like they were in the 70's.
The movie is very funny and has a typical Brady plot of the family overcoming a crisis. The casting is dead-on. All of the characters looked and acted very much like the original, with the exception of Greg Brady. Barnes did a fine job, but he didn't look just like Greg & acted more dorky, this is the writer's fault. All in all, the film's a good time, even if you're not a Brady Bunch fan.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
Part Documemtary Part Psychotherapy
The filmmaker goes to great lengths to convince the audience the film is based on actual testimony. During many scenes there actual footage of witnesses are shown in a split screen alongside the reenactment. This can be very distracting.
While the concept of alien abduction is very intriguing, the director goes about it in a boring way. Most of the film is reenactments of footage of psychology sessions, sometimes when the patients are under hypnosis. But instead of showing is what the patient may have seen during the abduction, we mostly see them twitching on a couch. The film appears to be very low budget and very little if anything is spent on special effects. No alien is ever shown in any form.
The film would have flowed better if the director had just stuck to the reenactment and maybe shown the interviews at the end. Still, the film was very clinical and there was not a lot of excitement.
The Hard Times of RJ Berger (2010)
Very funny show, clever writing for the most part. Although the mother is a little over the top. The side-kick/best friend Miles is perfect for the role. I have only seen one episode so far. The episode where he has to earn money to buy a gift for a Jenny Swanson (whom he has a crush on) for her sweet 16 birthday party. How he gets the money is hilarious & original.
Even though the nerd in high school bit has been done to death, this is different and refreshing. Maybe it's because we can all relate to high school and those awkward times. Hopefully since it's on MYV and not one of the major networks it'll stay on for more than one season.
A very average film
I was expecting great things out of this film but the action, story and acting was very average, For a film called "Zombieland" you would expect to see a lot of zombies, but you really only saw them for the first and last 10 or 15 minutes of the film. Eisenberg proved once again the only role he is suitable for is an awkward nerd. Harrelson was one-dimensional as usual. The only decent acting came from Stone, which was not great but at least she was a somewhat likable character. The story had no plot or real climax. It was basically, zombies took over America and there were almost no people left. Four people are looking for a place where there are no zombies. That's it. That's the whole story. The ending was not particularly exciting and anti-climactic. Thankfully it seems like they didn't leave any room for a sequel.
Tell Your Children (1936)
Who says there was no fascism in the U.S. in the 30's?
Such a load of propaganda b.s. could only be a product of the isolationist, narrow-minded decade of the 1930's & the great depression. Put together by tobacco executives who felt that the market for cannabis threatened their tobacco crops, the film shows ordinary teenagers who go crazy on marijuana, laughing hysterically & running over people with their cars. In once scene a bureaucrat points to a cabinet full of crimes related to marijuana & describes one where a girl butchered her entire family. Anyone who knows anything about pot knows that it's one of the few substances that can actually calm down a homicidal murderer.
I saw the film as a comedy, because it really is ridiculous. The sound quality is terrible - besides the somewhat muted voices you can hear what sounds like a projector reel running in the background. Also the acting is second-rate at best. But, if you're in the mood for some 1930's tobacco propaganda, this is for you.
More than just a teen flick
It's easy to take a quick glance at this movie & compare it to other teen flicks or dance flicks like Dirty Dancing, but it's much deeper than that.It's about conflicts such as religion & morality and how a small midwest town can take it too far. It's about the struggle of teens for freedom & the difficulty parents have letting go of their children.
The film centers around a town, which led by its preacher (Lithgow) has banned dancing, music & alcohol. The more the town represses the teens, the more they seem to want to rebel & Ren (Bacon), an outsider becomes their leader.
Most people like this movie because of Kevin Bacon & the great soundtrack. But there's also god acting from Lori Singer & others. It's a great film that will leave you feeling good.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
2001: A Space Oddity
The film is really 3 movies in one, with the connected theme of searching for the origin of man & man's destiny. For the first 30 minutes, you'd think you were watching a Discovery Channel special on apes. There's no dialogue for the first 30 minutes. I fast-forwarded through this part.
The 2nd part of the movie deals with the lunar discovery and space mission. It also delves into the subject or artificial intelligence & Dave & Frank's interaction with Hal (the supercomputer). The section of the movie is about 55 minutes long and the only part where there is dialogue.
The last 30 minutes, Jupiter & infinity is a kind of acid trip. This is Kubrick's artistic expression and philosophy about man's existence and his quest for exploration. This was my interpretation. There is no dialogue in this section either & Kubrick seems to leave the message & conclusion up to the audience.
This movie is typical of Kubrick's efforts to go beyond what's conventional & try to be as atypical as possible. The film can be appreciated for its art, vision & philosophical discussions about man, his origins and artificial intelligence, but don't expect a complete, coherent plot.
The Education of Mick
This is an excellent film with a great cast. Jason Ritter gives an outstanding performance. I thought the title should be "The Education of Mick". It's really Mick that we see undergoing a transformation when he visits the college from a thug to a misunderstood kid trying to find a better life for himself. I really didn't find Eisenberg's character Charlie Banks interesting or sympathetic at all. I didn't identify with his character who was mostly cold & distant and very little was revealed about him personally. Part of this is the fault of the writer, but also Eisenberg was just wrong for the part. He was mainly just an observer & didn't get into any conflicts until the last scene.
Mick on the other hand reveals his complex nature and shows he's not just a bully with a difficult upbringing but someone who has compassion and is a loyal friend. Without a doubt Ritter is the star of this film, not Eisenberg.
Hilarious & original
The film is about three high school seniors who visit a college campus to have a good time. One of the students, Kevin is there for an interview for a scholarship. The three end up staying at a fraternity house instead of with a weirdo in the dorms. The frat boys treat them like pledges and humiliate & haze them. The three have some wild fun, hook-up with some girls and get revenge on the frat boys, becoming better friends in the process.
This movie was totally different from other college movies such as Animal House (which is a classic) or Van Wilder. The story is unique in that the main characters are high school students completely out of their element on a college campus. Unlike most college movies the main characters were actually college-age (Caldwell & Covais were both 19 when this was filmed, Bell was 21 but looks 17). The acting was pretty good by most, Andrew Caldwell was hilarious. There were plenty of good laughs & you find yourself guessing what craziness will happen next. In addition to being very funny there was also lots of eye-candy and plenty of partial nudity.
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
A Rip-off of the thrilling 1974 original
In general, I hate remakes because they almost always aren't as good as the original (unless it's ancient from the black & white era). This movie is no exception. It's a rip-off of the 1974 movie "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, which Walter Mathau. The original is a thrilling roller coaster ride. The plot & sequence of each are almost identical. It's like only the actors were replaced. Both films are based on John Godey's novel. Despite the big names, Denzel & Travolta, this film fails to deliver the same excitement. Do yourself a favor & rent the original. If you really need to satisfy your curiosity, wait for this one to come out on DVD.
Great movie, definitely worth seeing
This is one of the most intriguing and largely untold stories of WWII. I've studied the period quite a bit and had heard of assassination attempts, but I never knew about this one and how it almost was successful. The movie was filled with high drama, good action, great directing and acting. From a cinematography point of view it was visually stunning. This was one of Tom Cruise's best performances. I feel he often gets a bad rap because of his Scientology views, and I heard reports that the German government was not happy he was filming Valkyrie because Scientology is banned in Germany & he's not the most popular person there.
My only complaint is that I would've liked to see more German actors. There's a wealth of great German actors who speak English and who would've been more authentic in the main roles, but it seems like in most movies with Europeans the main roles are usually given to Brits. Nevertheless, the acting was superb especially from Cruise & Nighy.
If you're not a Cruise fan, don't let that stop you from seeing this. If nothing less, it gives a good look at the often neglected German side of WWII, showing that most Germans were against Hitler and the atrocities he committed against the world.
Temptation Island (2001)
Best reality show ever!
Take 4 couples whose relationships were already on the rocks and put them on an island paradise where they'll be tempted by 26 singles. This was the premise of the show, simple yet outrageous & funny. Leave it to Fox to throw morality out the window & let the debauchery flow. It was like a real-life version of Melrose Place. The good thing about the show is that it wasn't about people conniving & manipulating each other for a cash prize. It was about lust & temptation, pure and simple & the ultimate test for a relationship.
People either loved the show or hated it. It was kind of like slowing down to look at a horrific traffic accident. You know you shouldn't watch, but you can't help but look. Drama aside, there was a lot of eye candy.
A rip-off of "Rec"
This movie is a rip-off of the Spanish film "Rec" where a reporter & a camera-man shadowing a couple of firefighters on a call to an apt. building find themselves quarantined as the residents are infected with a strange disease. Unlike in "Rec" the camera work is terrible. It really gives you a headache watching it. Even in the parts where there is no fast action, the quick in & out zooms & the poor framing is unbelievably bad. I mean the character is supposed to be a professional cameraman, not some kid with a camcorder. It's kind of like "The Blair Witch Project" meets "Resident Evil".
For some reason, Hollywoood thinks Americans either can't or won't read subtitles, but trust me, "Rec" is 100 times better & there is so much action & twists that you won't even have to look at the subtitles (or you could just watch it dubbed in English). The concept of the film, being trapped in your own home, stalked by a rampaging disease is interesting. However, I suggest you stick to the original.
21 Hours at Munich (1976)
The terror olympics
The film does a good job of depicting the terrorist attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Unlike "Munich" which only spends a few minutes dramatizing the terror attacks & spends the rest of the film on Mossad actions tracking down the terrorists, this film shows the horror of the terror attack.
A much better film on the subject is the documentary "One Day in September" (1999) which won an Oscar for best documentary. The film does a good job of showing the ineptitude of German police forces & the intransigence of the IOC, which would not suspend the games for even one day while the terrorists murdered athletes & held others hostage.