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Dune Drifter (2020)
I liked it (I include a few little spoilers)
Dune Drifter is a pretty good space movie. Reminded me of the first short film I produced.
They even used the same alien costuming I used with the black outfits and the gas masks.
One of the funny things about this movie, is during a wide shot of the protagonist crawling along the ground, two cars passing by in the distance are unintentionally filmed in the scene. Who would of guessed they'd have cars on other planets.
The alien volcanic planet with a toxic atmosphere that the movie ultimately plays out on, had a river flowing in it, weeds growing, and a sky with clouds. One would assume that a planet with lots of water, vegetation and clouds would have a breathable atmosphere. Interestingly, the protagonist never decides to explorer or check on whether the river contains water. Why wouldn't checking the river to see if its fluid is water, be a top priority?
The aliens, reminded me of the putty creatures in the Power Rangers t.v. series.
Other things that stand out are the compatibility of the ship parts despite being completely different kinds of ships, designed by two entirely different species, from different worlds. Yet the protagonist walks right up to this foreign ship, knows where to look and finds a needed part to repair her ship.
It almost feels like a major connecting scene was left out between the time it takes the protagonist to walk to and return from the alien antagonists ship. Before leaving the co-pilots body is intact. Upon return the co-pilots head is shown melted, without any reference or explanation.
Something that seemed highly unbelievable is how the alien weapons were unable to penetrate their alien uniforms, yet a stray shot was able to destroy their ship.
My favorite part of the movie is when the protagonist presses a adrenaline button on their suit and becomes super badass. If the writers had implemented more of these kinds of action moments into the movie, it would have been a much better movie. This particular scene was truly epic and the highlight of the movie.
I gave this movie a 5 Star Rating because the effects were well done, the story overall is compelling and kept me interested, it challenged me to put myself in some of those situations and wonder how I might react or handle them, and it has at least one epic scene.
It's worth a watch if you like space movies and it comes up on your favorite video service.
The Final Cut (2004)
Brilliant Dystopia Movie
This is a genuinely brilliant movie, excellent story and concept right up there with Inception. Very well done cinematography. It has a slow but steady pace through out the movie, that some viewers will probably not enjoy, and the ending is rather lack luster, and could have been written better. In film production, the ethos is, the beginning of a movie and the end of the movie are what people remember most and make or break a movie, and for that reason, with the weak ending, it's understandable that many viewers only gave it six stars on IMDB. Ultimately, however this movie is right up there at the top and for that reason, I gave it 8 stars.
Without giving away the story, this is one of those movies, you're not entirely sure where it is going. A definite must watch for anyone who loves futuristic dystopia movies. The inner darkness of Robin Williams benefited him in this role.
100% Recommended if you haven't watch it before.
Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)
Sonic the hedgehog was on par with most movies made for kids, or Saturday morning TV. The weakness of this movie involved the aspects of the story involving live actors, the cast selection and their resulting acting was just average, those parts of the story were generally boring, even though they were used as bump points to advance the story. Jim Carrey pulled off another lack-luster performance. I was really hoping for a Carrey comeback, but this isn't it, he's just not that funny or interesting anymore. He should probably stick to acting in depressing movies, he seems pretty good at those.
I gave Sonic The Hedgehog an IMDB rating of 5 stars. This movie probably should of been done completely in CGI animation, because Sonic the character was really enjoyable, unfortunately his live acting cast were not. I'd like to see more of this Sonic, either with a better chosen cast, or just our 100% computer animation. I'm generally not a fan of cgi movies, but the Sonic character and voice actor work really well together. It's now on my "pretty good movies" list, which are movies that were just above my "stinky baby farts" list.
Star Trek: Short Treks (2018)
Worse than Star Trek Discovery, which is an amazingly difficult challenge to pull off. The only good thing I can say is they are short.
These projects should never have of happened, and certainly not under the family name of the Star Trek Legacy.
I've seen better independent "Star Trek Shorts", but for a series of authorized shorts under the Star Trek license, these are grossly appalling.
I will go as far to say, that I have seen better stories and production pulled off by students in community college film schools, and that is exactly what these shorts remind me of, high budget but poor quality student short films.
Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Sadly disappointing from day one, from casting to story.
A modern scifi daytime soap opera, "as the universe turns".
I really, really wanted to like it, but no life time Star Trek fan should ever be forced to tolerate this tragedy that has been miss labeled as Star Trek.
Even the amazingly funny and non-Star Trek, The Orville is more Star Trek than this fakery.
Discovery has rightfully earned its place on the "Stinky Baby Farts" movie ratings list.
The Orville (2017)
The Orville is the best starship voyage in 2020, it's too bad that Fox was to short sighted to not renew the series by letting it slip away to Hulu. Opps
Charlie's Angels (2019)
Spice Girls Get Physical
What do you get when you mix a solid TV series and movie and mix it with the Spice Girls? You get Charlie's Angels (2019)
This movie, as it's ratings on IMDB indicate, is below the standard set by the original Charlie's Angels TV series and first movie.
Very girl power themed, which will alienate a lot of viewers, with Spice Girls like characters. Over all it's not completely horrible, but it's just not what someone who has any history with the series, will be expecting.
Some of the CGI car chase scenes are really poorly done with the characters stretching and bodies moving in ways that are highly unrealistic.
The over all story is pretty solid and reasonably decent, with a good twist, and it was nice to see Patrick Stewart back on the big screen.
Young girls and teenagers will probably find this movie entertaining.
The 4400 (2004)
Watching it 13 years later for First time - Amazing.
Finished watching this series yesterday, in 2020.
From a film makers perspective and Sci-Fi fan observation, this is one of the best TV series I have seen overall. It's a bit like The X-Files mixed with the TV show Heroes (2006), with a dash of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) and Looper (2012). Really unique.
It lasted four seasons and must have been dropped somewhat suddenly, because the last few episodes try to tie it all up real quick, and it ends leaving questions. I could totally see a sequel reboot of it, and they left the possibility open.
I enjoyed it, because it takes common expectations for this genre of film/tv and messes with it so from the very beginning it misdirects you over and over again.
It was fresh and intriguing, not knowing what was going to happen next. An excellent method of revealed storytelling.
The Cinematography is excellent, the story tight, just a really superior piece of film history.
47 Meters Down (2017)
I Recommend it. Caving Meets Jaws
This is an extremely well done movie, with great cinematography, tight story and great acting.
Underwater film production is some of the most dangerous and challenging to achieve and this film does it.
As a cave explorer, I can fully appreciate so many aspects of this story.
It's a story about two step sisters and an experience that ultimately brings them together.
As a tragic ending story film plot, its it's easy to understand why some people might not appreciate it. It has some seriously intense and thrilling moments that make you hope they never happen to you.
I'll have to admit that the final resolution of the movie took a liberty of creating a double jeopardy that pulls the viewer out of its believability. And that unfortunately is its biggest weakness, because after building a massively real story for two hours, its supply an unlikely ending.
Good Boys (2019)
Perverted Max Keebler for Adults?
This film is an irony, perhaps a tragedy.
From a filmmaker perspective, the cinematography is great, story is tight and characters are well done.
This would have been an iconic film to the degree of the Max Keebler series, had it not been written with wall to wall F-Words, perverted imagery, adult themes, and party drugs.
Why would anyone write an R-Rated Adult themed kids movie is unfathomable.
This movie has eight year olds looking up porn, swinging in sex harnesses, dildos, real sex doll, sex drugs, kids making out in a basement, stealing, buying drugs, black mailing two gay teen girls, all wrapped and twisted around a kids story about friendship, perhaps in order to make it semi-tolerable. It's like giving soda to a diabetic. Its just a bad idea.
As a filmmaker, I watch for film production elements and generally base my ratings on them. This film has these elements, but its not a movie I can recommend anyone watch, and definitely not for kids. This is a gateway film for moral corruption of children.
The Room (2019)
Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, and a dash of M. Night Shyamalan
A really creative Sci-fi about a mysterious room in a house with magic abilities.
It does a good job balancing strangeness with reality, but I think they could of taken it a little further at points.
Reminds me of things I imagined as a kid. Overall a great concept and really interesting, but I'd have liked a little more thrill from it.
This movie could of been really on the edge of the seat suspenseful, but everytime you think it's going to take you to that place, it doesn't quite delivery.
I felt like I was waiting for something shocking or grabbing to occur, but the fact that it ne er does, is a little underwhelming.
The resolution for the ending could of had been written better, It ends with lackluster. I'd have really liked a solid punch that resolved around the house rather than how it actually concludes.
In that regard I feel there was some blur that occurs in the stories objective, it felt like the story ended on the secondary story, rather then the main story of the house. Maybe it was left open for a sequel. If no sequel is planned, then the movies ending failed.
Over all, this movie reminds me a bit like an Outer Limits tv episode, with a dash of Twilight Zone, and a sprinkle of some of M. Night Shyamalan's better work mixed in.
I gave it an IMDB rating of 7, but that may be a little generous.
Right at Your Door (2006)
A disaster movie Mind Screw
Watching Right at Your Door, the same week that PG&E created the 3 Million Resident Power Black Out of 2019 in Northern California, while multiple massive wildfires ironically coincided in Southern California, Los Angeles, creates a perfect back drop to watch this movie.
Overall, this movie crawls along at a slow pace centralized to the confines of mostly one location. It sets you up all along to give you one final mind screw.
By the end of this movie, you'll realize that we have absolutely no power as citizens within California in particular, and all of us better pray this never happens in reality.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Fire the cinematographer
This film has some of the worst camera lighting anomalies of any film that I've seen in the theater or even during Film School. Really strange camera angles and bad lighting made this movie very difficult to watch. I often found myself staring at the reflections and the lighting anomalies, completely distracted from the story.
The film locations are poorly chosen and the script for the story is very mediocre. It was sad seeing Adam Sandler having to appear in such a poorly developed project. This is not a film I could recommend anybody watch.
Goodbye World (2013)
An interesting Off-The-Grid culture sort of end of the world movie.
From a filmmakers perspective, this film has a lot to offer, including excellent Cinematography and an unusual story. One area that this film fails in however, is completing the circle of several of the Characters development. For instance, one Character is introduced and reiterated as the "Christian" several times, but that angle never really develops into something especially significant to that Characters purpose or objective other than being shown as someone who doesn't go with the flow. Some people may not like like its off-the-grid sort of culture theme.
Not recommended for Children or Teens
Igor has enough concerning issues that I'd never recommend it for anyone under 18. As an overall movie and story it is pretty mediocre anyway, without all of the unnecessary negative messages this movie emphasis. This could of been an amazing movie with some story modification and still maintained its "evil" and "Mad scientist" plot.
This cartoon, targeted at children, has a consistent central theme about suicide. That alone is enough for me to not like it. Yet, I also found this film degrading towards women. Women who do not fit into the common social standards due to body size, physical attributes are deemed ugly and shameful in this movie.
While it may depict an alternative reality, the messages of this film that come across the strongest are the devaluation of people due to physical attributes, suicide and how physical appearance contributes to success and failure in ones career choices.
We live in a generation in which self inflicted harm, child and teen suicides, and teens committing violent acts against others are already so prevalent, we shouldn't be encouraging a light halfheartedly perspective or reinforcing it in movies targeted and children and youth.
Of Mice and Men (1992)
It's a good story about a bad story
Having never read the book and seeing it for the first time almost twenty-eight years after its release, I can only approach this movie from the perspective of a filmmaker and audience participant.
Everything about 'of Mice and Men' from a film and production value is great, for the most part, the story and transitions are smooth but several bump points are really harsh.
I wasn't certain exactly sure how this story was going to unfold, and the fact that I am watching it in 2019, a time is US History where any use of the N-Word, historical or otherwise by anyone who isn't black, it seemed a little to close to the triggers of the political culture of this generation. At the same time, it did help set the historical time line that the story was supposed to have occurred in.
This film left me unsure of how to feel about it as a whole, and that is very rare. I like the story's focus on friendship and commitment to friendship which even plays out in its final act. At the same time there is a part of me that just didn't care by the time it wrapped up.
I think my ambivalence towards the conclusion was at least in part due to the lack of empathy and numbness of the character George towards the actions of his friend. The set-up that occurred with the dog that was put down earlier also seemed numb, unsympathetic, and callous.
This set-up for the resolution with the putting down of the old dog really seemed out of place, a harsh "bump point" of story transition, it seemed forced.
It isn't until the final scene and how it unfolds that I made the connection of this part of the story, in which, unlike the old man who allowed someone else to put down his old dog and then regretted it, George makes a similar decision.
These two parts of the story are its worst points for me, because they force a moral decision about life and death, the value of life, the influence of others choices on life and death and whether or not those with mental challenges should be accountable for their actions.
Ultimately, I came away simply not caring at all about this story, its attempt to force moral conclusions and outcomes and its sense of empathy.
I'll Follow You Down (2013)
Not your typical Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure type of Time Travel movie, you'll be a bit disappointed if that is what you are craving.
This is a slow developing story about a boy, his mom, his grandfather and the day his father disappeared.
Pace wise, the story is what one would expect of a good mystery drama, with a strong story and all the essential elements of a solid mystery.
Like the movie Inception, I'll Follow You Down's brilliance is in how the story develops, how the reveal occurs regarding the disappearance of the father, and ultimately in the final resolution of the story.
You really have to be in the right mood and frame of mind to genuinely appreciate the brilliance of this movie, otherwise you'll probably not enjoy it. It is as much a mystery drama and it is a tragic story.
This is a must see for any time travel fan, if for no other reason than the exceptional way that this move brings a whole different spin on the subject and forces you as the viewer to answer some very real questions about destiny, fate and purpose.
The title is as bad as the movie
If the title of this movie didn't turn you off, just wait until you being watching it.
Reminds me of a student thesis film school project.
To be honest, I gave it one star, just because I know how much work and time everyone who works on a movie puts into it.
Its up to the director, cinematographer and editor to make everything work.
One star, for how much I enjoyed it. One star for being able to create a movie that's an hour long and actually convince the cast and crew they wouldn't be wasting their time. For a total of 3 Stars.
It was obvious the second the movie title popped up at the beginning, this was going to be a scary ride, not because its a scary movie, I am speaking metaphorically, as in, this is going to be a painful watch.
I am certain there are probably some Alien Conspiracy movie fans who will love this B-film, and it will probably make it someday on to a film site like Roku, Pop Corn, etc. Maybe even on to a middle of the night antenna T.V. slot, for people with insomnia to watch.
It certainly ranks up their with many to The Asylum movies.
So lets rap this up: Predictable, poorly scripted, nonsensical, quality-phobic, with cheesy aliens.
This worth watching
If you came looking for spoilers, this is the wrong review.
Breakthrough, is an exceptionally well produced movie for this genre of Faith and Inspirational type of movie.
Though at times it felt like many family oriented faith based movies, without out the energy and guns, lots of guns, you might find in a John Wick movie, it ultimately delivers by the end.
Perhaps the greatest challenge of a film like this, is how do you tell this kind of story, without it feeling preachy or coming off like an evangelistic outreach film, when it actually is about a real life story that involves a Christian families tragic experience. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it can feel a bit uncomfortable at moments, especially if it's not an environment that is your normal.
This movie presents some thought provoking questions, like "why did this series of bad events happen in my life", "why did that good thing happen to one person but not for me or someone I care about", and even asks the question about, "does God really care, does God really hear our prayers, and does God use people who do not believe in him". You'll ultimately have to come to your own conclusions, but this true store can be a good starting place.
Recommended for those wanting to be inspired, those wanting a movie the family can watch together, and for those who enjoy stories based on real life events.
A Time for Heaven (2017)
Pretty Good For A Faith Based Film
Having watched and reviewed many Faith Based film, A Time for Heaven, has a good enough story to past the exception test as a pretty good movie.
From a filmmakers perspective, the cinematography, acting, etc reminds me more of a Weekend TV Special, than your typical movie. Maybe even equal to JUNO. It's not spectacular, a little drab color wise, but the over all story holds together quite well.
As for its over all message as a Faith Based Christian film, there are some implications about dying, forgiveness, and how to get to heaven that get a bit blurred. That aside, the story is ultimately interesting, a has a nice resolution ending leaving me satisfied with its conclusion. The acting and casting are pretty good also.
I'd recommend putting A Time for Heaven on your list for an evening you want to watch a movie while your working on a hobby or knitting, or feel like sitting around with a cup of hot chocolate.
Rating wise, it was somewhere between 5 stars and 6 stars for me, so I went with the higher number of 6 stars.
A well produced and edited documentary of accusation and division.
American Gospel: Christ Alone has some real errors with its message.
Anytime an entity, whether individual or corporate entity like a film production, attacks and criticizes another aspect of Christianity, there is always room for great skepticism of its intention as it intentionally breeds division based on a particular doctrinal position. This is not a biblically sound approach.
American Gospel, reminds me of John MacArthur's "Strange Fire" movement which considers anyone involved in the pentecostal or charismatic denominations of Christianity to be false and it's members lacking genuine salvation in Jesus Christ. This is a tragic position.
As both an award winning documentary filmmaker, and a two degree university graduate in biblical theology and biblical character development, I am able to approach this film from both perspectives. As a documentary, the film is well produced, cut and edited, and presents interesting people and their stories.
However, documentaries are always told from a very specific and focused single perspective and American Gospel: Christ Alone is no different in this regard. It presents some interesting perspectives from those who follow a rigid evangelical anti-holy spirit power today, anti-spiritual gifts position. Unfortunately, it lacks genuine balance in the same way that it writers use the film to criticize leaders and churches. It starts off well, but then drifts into to the error laden Hank Hanegraaff, "Counterfeit Revival", and John MacArthur "Strange Fire" erroneous accusations, misrepresented or fact missing details, and a few stories of experiences by disgruntled members of churches.
The real error of this documentary is not in that there are some teachers, and televangelist whose doctrines are in error, but in that the film, its writers and those participating in the film, are unable to distinguish the real from the unauthentic, and therefore lump everything that looks like it, sounds anything like it, or has any connection to it as also being in error. In other words, documentaries and doctrinal positions presented from this perspective have to take the position that the Holy Spirit and God, ceased doing creative and wonderful works when Jesus' apostles passed away. There is a place in the middle where the two meet, and this film's version of Christianity lacks it. It's always dangerous when one group or movement within Christianity points the finger at another in judgement and criticism, not to dissimilar to politics.
Taco Shop (2018)
Full of gender, ethnic and cultural stereo typically bias. Storyline is average, not very funny for a movie trying to be a comedy.
This is what movies are supposed to be
From a filmmakers point of view and story perspective, Special delivers.
A well written, compelling and unique story that satisfies, with is unique blend of drama, adventure, crime and schizophrenia.
I love the raw and dirty film quality, which reminds me of some of the best films I have viewed since I was trained to analyze movies during film school.
A.I. Rising (2018)
101 days of getting freaky with your robot
As a sci-fi fan I wanted to like this, but I just can't. Not sure why the ratings on it were relatively high.
This is a long drawn out movie about a horny sex freak traveling through space screwing a female android, with tons of repetitive scenes. They should have called it, 101 days of getting freaky with your robot. Boring, slow, anti-climatic. Lots of boobs and sex scenes, in fact one could say, that this movie is nothing more than a series of boobs and boring sex scenes. Horrible story development. The only good thing about this film are some of the sci-fi graphics, space ship interior, etc. It reminds me of what film makers who have no money do; we write a script entirely around the budget, cutting costs by shooting in a limited amount of locations and the least amount of cast members possible. I recommend you give this a pass. It's not even a good movie to help fall asleep to, none the less waste your money on.
Doctor Who: Arachnids in the UK (2018)
No No No
This is the worst episode of Dr. Who in its history.
Horrible story, horrible plot, poor acting, a real epic tragedy.