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A great double feature movie would be "Attack the Block," and "iBoy."
Bill Milner, playing an offbeat nerdy looking hero, commands every scene he appears in, which is pretty amazing, since Maisie Williams steals every scene she's in with her own unique beauty and a to-die-for personality. Ya, I've been a fan of hers since day one on "Game of Thrones."
"iBoy" has plenty of action, but it doesn't skimp on taking the time to get inside the character's heads. The special effects look cool, without overpowering the camera work, and the sets are perfect for the story.
Rory Kinnear, who I shall always remember as the Creature in "Penny Dreadful," gives us a near perfect villain, although I really wish they had given him more screen time.
Take a leap of faith and accept that having parts of an iPhone embedded in your brain turns you into a talented cyborg, and you will have a grand time. In other words, don't pick the movie apart. Just enjoy it.
The Edge of Seventeen (2016)
Great, if you can ignore the trailers
The trailers make this look like a bookend for "Sweet Sixteen," and that's a terrible thing to do to an audience. Instead of a laugh-a-minute comedy, we get a rather serious coming-of-age story with some laughs and a few tears.
OK, the reason to see this movie is a standout performance by Hailee Steinfeld and a nice bit of acting by Woody Harrelson, even if his character was seriously underutilized.
Once I got over the disappointment of not being given the type of movie the trailers promised, I was able to settle in and enjoy the movie for what it actually is.
"The Edge of Seventeen" is both funny and touching, with an outstanding performance by Hailee Steinfeld, and should be enjoyed by pretty much everyone.
Better Off Single (2016)
Best Whining by a Single Guy.....Ever!
Great screenplay, great dialog, and a most wonderful collection of sketches tied together by a general theme of whining about not being in a relationship with Miss Perfect.
Aaron Tveit gives a tremendously satisfying performance, as does the entire supporting cast, who play off one another like a seasoned theater group.
I chuckled non-stop, and that says.....It doesn't get any better than this. However, if don't get urban wit, some of this might go over your head. Or, if you expect a romantic comedy to follow a formula, you might be disappointed, too.
Still, I give this a hearty recommendation. "Better Off Single" is witty, probing, and spot-on honest. Enjoy!
Bad Moms (2016)
I laughed 'till I cried, all the way through!
Definitely the funniest movie I've seen in a long, long time. The chemistry between Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn was an absolute delight to watch.
The narrative moves forward at quite a clip, and I'm pretty sure I laughed non stop through the entire film. "Bad Moms" is almost a textbook example of how to write a comedy.
You'll want to own this, and I promise you'll be watching this again and soon. I'm already planning a double feature with "Bad Santa."
"Bad Moms'' is a great comedy, so make sure you don't listen to the anal retentive types who panned it.......and DON'T MISS IT!
Coin Heist (2017)
Good Heist Story with Decent Characters
If you can appreciate a decent heist story pulled of by decent teenage characters, without Hollywood production values, then you should really give this a try.
Emily Hagins wrote and directed and I think she did a fine job with the adaptation from a novel. The narrative had a strong even pace and it never dragged. The young actors gave it their all, and I think they pulled it off just fine.
Don't be too critical of these small indie efforts, and you'll find a gem or two. "Coin Heist" may not have the huge budget that the "Oceans" series had, but the story was just as interesting and just as well told.
War on Everyone (2016)
Two Wild and Crazy Guys who pull out all the stops is what John Michael McDonagh had in mind when he created this totally outrageous over the top masterpiece.
I loved the chemistry between Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena, I think more than any buddy movie I've ever seen, except for maybe "Freebie and the Bean," with Alan Arkin and James Caan. They were just great together, and together they hit this one right over the center field wall.
I'll own this because I definitely plan on watching it again and again. If you like black comedies where they've thrown out the rule book, you're going to love this.
My highest recommendation for pure unadulterated entertainment.
The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
I loved it! Almost as good as "World War Z."
Definitely worth your time. Just goes to prove you can make a darn good movie out of a Zombie story, just like you can out of any other story. Just spend the money, get a good director, good writers, and hire skilled actors.
"Girl" kept me right on the edge of my seat, and it made me think about what was happening and why. I also loved the sets, especially when they got to the city, and I really got into the story.
The big surprise for me was the cast. They were all Pros, especially the young woman who starred in this. She nailed her part.
If you enjoy good Zombie movies, or just unusual stories, you'll love this.
Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016)
Excellent - Loads of Laugh-Out-Loud Moments
"Keeping Up With The Joneses" is a wonderful classic absurdist comedy with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments to go around.
The lead actors have great chemistry, and the script is smart and sassy. If you enjoy this type of comedy, where one character keeps his foot permanently inserted in his mouth, you'll love the movie.
I'm a pushover for good movies, but I get absolutely delighted when I get to laugh out loud.
I can easily recommend this delightful comedy, and I plan to watch it again and soon, too.
When I use IMDb reviews to help me pick out movies to watch, I'm only interested in reading reviews from those who loved the movie. I seriously want to know why they loved it. I couldn't care less about negative reviews. I set the filters for review searches to show me only the reviews where people loved what they saw. Doing it this way, I end up liking better than 95% of the movies I pick.
My only objection to IMDb review rules is the 10 line minimum. A few sentences is all I need. Anything more is a waste of my time.
Der Chinese (2011)
Wonderful Adaptation of a Mankell Masterpiece
If you enjoy reading Henning Mankell, you'll love this. The characters felt real and the plot unfolded just as I hoped it would. I also think the screenplay writer did an amazing job of bringing the screenplay down to a manageable size, otherwise this two part mini-series would have gone to more than six hours.
This adaptation captures the original feelings and focus of the novel, the actors did a good job, and the director had a firm grasp of the material and how to best present it.
I completely enjoyed watching this in one sitting, and the slightly more than 3 hours just seemed to fly by. I have no hesitation recommending this to you at all.
Now I'm looking forward to rereading the novel again, followed by another viewing of the film.
Excellent Science Fiction where Science and Engineering are the Good Guys
Highly entertaining story with wonderful sets, special effects that don't drown the story, and believable solid performances from the cast. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I especially enjoyed seeing Science and Engineering come to the rescue, and that was central to the entire story.
Special effects were used to enhance the visuals, not take the place of them, and the screenplay moved the story forward with some snappy writing. Kept my interest for the entire movie, too.
If you enjoy science fiction, war movies, or action/adventure, this should be right up your alley. I have no difficulty recommending this at all. In fact, I hope we see more just like this.
Swallows and Amazons (2016)
Excellent Movie for Everyone, not just children
If you tell a proper story in a proper way, you end up with a movie that will appeal to everyone, not just one age group. That's why great storytelling always leads to a great movie. "Swallows and Amazons" is a hugely entertaining movie for everyone.
The photography is exceptional, with some absolutely beautiful overhead shots of the lake and forest, and the director handles the material wonderfully. I especially enjoyed how natural the children came off, and they interacted with one another just like real children do.
There are some laugh out loud moments, some touching ones, and enough mystery to keep you guessing.
This is a highly enjoyable movie, regardless of your age, and deserves a place in your movie library. I heartily recommend it.
Microbe et Gasoil (2015)
Honest, funny, and sweet
Excellent adventure/coming of age story that is both honest and very entertaining. The two boys were about as real as you get and quite delightful too.
The pacing of the story was smooth and their different adventures worked well. I laughed out loud quite a few times.
The photography was very natural, and the dialogue between the two boys felt real.
I highly recommend this movie, especially for anyone who has less than fond memories of their early teen years.
Enjoy the show. I know I certainly did.
Perfect Modern Day Fairytale
Exceptional performances from both Evan Rachel Wood, playing a young woman with almost no social knowledge or skills, and Scott Speedman, as a shiftless young man no one will have an easy time liking. Together they pull of an almost perfect modern day fairy tale.
I honestly can't say enough good things about Wood and Speedman's performances. They both conveyed so much emotion through simple facial expressions that their performances were just breathtaking.
This is a movie you should add to your library, because you'll come back to it time and again. I just finished it and I'm already looking forward to seeing it again.
I almost forgot about the rest of the movie. The story is simple but engaging, the supporting actors do their jobs with skill, and the director deserves a pat on the back for a job very well done. I laughed out loud and I'll admit to wiping away more than a few tears. The movie is just that good.
Don't miss this one!
Freakish: Winds of Change (2016)
Teen Angst Soap Opera with a few Zombies
This could have been edited down to an 80 minute movie while still maintaining the full narrative, so you know what happened. Yep, padding. Lots and lots of padding. One minute of action followed by 20 minutes of hand holding, teenage gossip, and plenty of teenage drama.
Hey, Kids. You know there are zombies in the next room, right? The kids go on an emergency search for insulin, because one of them is out of his meds. Two of the boys take one floor of lockers to go through, find a bottle of vodka, and sit down to reminisce and drink. Screw the insulin.
On the bright side, they didn't waste a lot of money on this series, and that's because I'm sure they didn't spend much at all. Almost no exterior shots and everything else was filmed in a school building somewhere.
The actors did OK with their parts, mostly.
If you don't have anything else to do, go ahead and watch this. I did, and it didn't kill me.
Better Things (2016)
Real Life is funnier than fiction
Great comedy is real comedy, and this is as real as it gets.
Pamela Adlon plays one of the best "Moms" I can remember. She seems tired, dragging a bit....you know....just like real moms. And she's sarcastic in a way that cracks me up. I love her.
The kids are fresh and unlike most TV kids. They're as real as kids get, too.
In episode 5, Sam's oldest daughter discovers she's wasted her opportunities and worries that her life will go nowhere. Those lines and her delivery made me cry. Sam takes her to try on business clothes and gives her a pep talk, which also made me cry.
Yeah, real comedy is real life.
Better Life might not be for everybody, though. If you're looking for dumb jokes and mindless humor, you won't care for this.
This is one of the best sitcoms I can remember seeing. Outstanding job by all!
Solid performances and edge of your seat suspense.
Really pleased to discover they're going to work the different layers of the time-lines. Doing that, they can blow this series wide open.
The photography is great and the music fits nicely. They stuck with the main characters for the first episode, instead of watering it down by spending more time with the secondary players.
This may end up being one of the best "about time" stories I've ever seen. I really, really enjoyed the first episode and I'm so looking forward to more.
I can't recommend this highly enough.
Excellent Adaptation - Laugh Out Loud Funny
I was aware of all the negative comments from the He-Man-Women-Haters- Club, but all the clips I saw for this excellent adaptation of "Ghostbusters" were pretty awesome and downright funny. So much for the haters.
This version of "Ghostbusters" has a great script with lots of funny lines, an all women cast who have great chemistry together, and visuals that mimicked the first version.
I'll be adding a copy to my classics library, and I'm sure I'll get to enjoy "Ghostbusters" again, many times in the future.
Now if they'll just do a sequel.
In Your Eyes (2014)
The lead roles seem like they were written especially for Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David. Five minutes with them and I couldn't picture anyone else playing their characters. Zoe Kazan, especially, took my breath away.
The movie captures the magic of the story quite well, and the pacing is excellent. I appreciated the director's willingness to stay with the main characters, instead of trying to develop secondary characters.
Nothing fancy about the camera work or the storytelling. They told the story and they got the job done.
"In Your Eyes" is a great example of this genre, and if you don't see it, the rest of us will know.
Best Zombie Movie Since "World War Z"
Lightning fast action with no wasted energy. An excellent cast playing great characters move the story right along. There are no slow spots, either.
Along with Zombie action, the movie deals with the ethics of emergencies, personal relationships, and what it means to be a father.
Great camera work and a top notch script combine to make this a "Must See" movie, even for those who don't like Zombie movies.
This one is well worth your time, and will earn a spot on your movie shelf.
Again, this is the best Zombie movie since "World War Z."
I laughed through the entire movie.
But the main reason to watch this is Flula Borg. He steals every scene he's in. Just listening to him butcher English is hysterical enough, but the man is naturally funny.
Everything else about the movie is just fine. I enjoyed the photography, and the forest setting was great. The music was better than decent, but speaking of music, make sure you stay through the titles. Flula has a surprise for you.
I really enjoyed this very natural comedy and I think you'll love it as much as I did.
Over the Top Funny
I've rarely seen anything this funny, and there it is....half an hour of non-stop laughter.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge is hysterical as she constantly shares both her innermost and her totally superficial feelings with the audience, even while she's having sex. She is totally bizarre, as are the entire supporting cast, and they won't allow you to stop laughing.
If they can keep up the energy levels of the first two episodes, they will have a major hit on their hands.
I had such a good time watching this, and I can't wait for the next episode.
Don't pass this by. It's one of the best shows TV has to offer.
Our Kind of Traitor (2016)
Great Spy Movie
The "10" is for quality and entertainment value. Spy movies don't get much better than this.
It's unusual to have an entertaining film that also deals with values, character, and honor. It's those qualities that send this movie right over the top.
As suspenseful as "Our Kind of Traitor" is, real sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, it was also fun to watch.
If you enjoy quality spy movies, you will enjoy this. It is a "must see" movie. Plus, you'll want to add this to your movie library. You'll watch this more than once.
I Loved It.
Alison Pil is a hoot.
Very creative. Mixing animation with real life and a movie. Took me a minute to wrap my head around it but then I was off on such a wonderful ride.
The narrative moves forward quickly but you won't get lost. The music is delightful and energetic, and the doll factory is amazing.
The special order guy from Buffalo is definitely creepy, but you'll love him, and you'll really love how changing one story makes changes in the other two at the same time.
Definitely an unusual piece of movie making and well worth your time.
11 minut (2015)
Extremely well done study of how lives intersect.
Unfortunately, this is the type of movie that draws out all those filmmakers who want to weigh in on what the director did wrong. I'm not a filmmaker, so I just sat back and enjoyed this director's efforts.
All the characters were interesting, and I particularly liked the director's decision to cut back and forth between the various players as the narrative moved forward. That choice requires a little more effort on our part, but it's well worth the effort.
All in all, I had a great time, even if I did get most of my anxiety buttons pushed, but that's what happens when a film builds suspense slowly and relentlessly.
If you're the type of person who enjoys most kinds of movies, then you'll enjoy the unusual approach they took with this one, and it has my most hearty recommendation.
Bastille Day (2016)
Outstanding Action Thriller
The director let nothing interfere with the narrative so the story unfolds at breakneck speed.
There's plenty of chemistry between the main characters, and the dialog was sparse and efficient.
The plot had more than enough twists and turns to keep anyone interested, but nothing obscure or confusing to slow things down. I was surprised at the storytelling skills displayed here, and I was overjoyed with the entertainment value.
This is one of the best action thrillers I've seen in years, and you'd do well not to miss it.