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A Quiet Place (2018)
Unforgettable horror movie that also has its tender moments.
I haven't been to a movie in over a year, mostly because of the utter lack of creativity in the film industry today. It seems the majority of movies produced are remakes, rehashes, roboots, redos, or sequels. Every movie produced is the same as all the others. The unique premise of A Quiet Place intrigued me, and the film did not disappoint. The movie kept me at the edge of my seat almost the entire time and there were surprises throughout. The fact that most of the movie was quiet or nearly so added to its power. The acting was superb.
In many horror movies, there are one or a few actors who are vastly superior to the others. The poor actors are wooden, fake, and flat in their motions and dialogue. With so little dialogue in this film, the actors had to rely only on the power of their facial expressions and purposeful movements to convey their message to the viewer, and they did an excellent job of that. The movie is not a gory one. It uses psychological suspense to capture the viewer's attention. I found myself tearing up during sad moments more than once as well.
If there is one point I would nitpick (and it's a minor one), I would have liked to know how these sound detecting creatures came to be. Where did they come from? For that I deducted a star, because at the end of the movie, that question remained unanswered. Other than that, it's a great film overall, and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys thrillers, good acting, and a film about the power of family.
The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
Funny, Lighthearted, and Appropriate for All Ages!
I'm surprised this film got such a low overall score by users. I thought is was a blast. I am not an animated movie fan in the least. I normally like dark movies, dramas, sci-fi, and horror. This was the first animated film I have seen since Avatar, (which isn't the same type of animation really,) but when I watched the trailer last year, I thought it would probably be good. And it was.
The movie delivered exactly what it promised: laughs. It's not earth shattering, mind blowing, and it doesn't explain the meaning of life in 90 minutes. But it's not that type of movie. It's a summer escape film, one that is a little different from the 1000th superhero movie or Sequel #10 of The Current Film of Mediocrity, and one that you can bring your children to without worrying about covering their eyes and ears every scene. There are a couple of scenes of mild violence or almost violence, but they aren't any worse than Bugs Bunny and his adventures with the Roadrunner (I suppose that reference dates me lol).
What I liked the best about the movie is the way it demonstrates the thoughts and behaviors of the pets to the viewer. As a Great Dane owner, I often wonder what my dogs are thinking/doing, especially when I'm at work, and my ideas are similar to the writers. Their thoughts and conversations were the funniest parts of the film, and the scenes and soundtrack combined with the dialogue to form a lighthearted, enjoyable story.
I don't understand all the Spy bashers. Many of them claim that the movie is lame and stupid. I agree; the movie isn't deep, it doesn't make a person think hard, the plot isn't dark or complex, and there isn't much character development, but that's not what kind of movie Spy is. It is a James Bond spoof; that's all. And it succeeds in this very well.
My wife and I laughed hysterically throughout the entire movie. We watched it in the theater last year, just watched it for the second time last night, and loved it both times. We are Melissa McCarthy fans. She's living proof that you don't have to be stick skinny to be successful, and I think that's pretty cool. We also liked her in The Heat (although we liked this movie more,) and we watch Mike and Molly every week.
I'm taking away one star for the cussing. As others have said, I think they overused it, and they REALLY overused it in The Heat. I'm not a prude, but it does get irritating after a while, and I believe the writers could have omitted quite a bit of it and the movie would have been better, especially toward the end of the film. So if you want a lighthearted, relaxing movie and don't expect something earthshattering, give this one a try. I think you'll find it fun.
War Room (2015)
CAVEAT: My wife rented this through Netflix thinking it was about something completely different, namely, a military codebreaking movie. I am not a religious person anyway, so I would never have willingly chosen to watch this movie, but I agreed to watch it after she encouraged me to "keep an open mind." I take no issue with religious people or people who believe in prayer, but I think this movie taught the wrong message to anyone, religious or not. That said, I am now helping her choose the movies in our Netflix queue :)
First, the old woman should not have pushed her religious views on the realtor so hard. No religious person should be trying to force religion on others (Jehovah's Witnesses come to mind). The husband's abusive behavior and cheating toward the wife and daughter needed to be dealt with not through crying and prayer, but through counseling and/or divorce. The fact that the husband committed larceny, embezzlement, and fraud through his company, lost his job, lied about it, and somehow his wife not only didn't get angry, but instantly forgave him, made me puke a little in my mouth.
And the movie taught that prayer solves all one's problems in exactly the way one wants, which isn't what is taught in the Christian religion. A person has no responsibility toward solving his/her own issues in life; God will fix everything. That, plus the ridiculously over-the-top melodrama, makes this a must miss, even among the most evangelical sort.
Losing Interest Already. . .
My wife and I have watched the first four episodes, and I was really enthusiastic at first, especially since the show is based on a strong female lead character. I don't know why reviewers constantly complain about how such and such show is unrealistic and unbelievable. So what if a show is unbelievable? It's called entertainment. They aren't supposed to be realistic. That's the whole purpose of TV; to entertain you and take you away from reality. If they were believable, it would be real life, and we all know how much fun that is. Smh.
But I digress. The first three shows were really exciting. I loved the action and found it interesting, despite the mega overdose of police dramas on TV, most of which I haven't seen, so I'm at somewhat of an advantage in that this one seems rather unique to me than to many other viewers. But as I watched the fourth episode, I got the feeling I wouldn't be watching the show much longer because every episode would seem the same as all the others. I'm pretty sure I am going to get really bored with the repeated theme underlying the show: following the tattoos on Jane's (Taylor's?) body to Never Never Land. I suspect I will stop watching it soon, despite my initial enthusiasm.
I don't believe the show has staying power despite the drama because of this repetition. I think shows that heavily rely on only one character to build the storyline are more likely to fail because it's too easy for the viewer to lose interest. When the shows include backstories on several different characters in the program, the viewer can get hooked on any one or a few of them and want to continue watching.
Obsession: Dark Desires (2013)
Unique perspective in a true crime show
I am an avid watcher of the Investigation Discovery Channel, so when I heard about this series I thought it would be interesting. I saw the series premiere last night and it was much better that I expected; a show I'll be watching every week. Instead of using a professional narrator or journalist, the victim narrates their own story. Some narrators on these shows overdramatize the story or have annoying voices, which is a dealbreaker for me. With a different person narrating each time, that issue is eliminated, and it will make the show less predictable week after week. I hope they don't change this format. Secondly, this program is about stalking rather than the more frequent murder shows on ID, and it's great seeing the victims triumph over their stalkers and receive justice without tragedy befalling them.
The Anti M William Phelps
True crime shows are my favorite genre. I've watched almost every show on ID. Some are better than others (much better) and Homicide Hunter is one of my favorites. The reason I call Lt. Joe Kenda the anti M. William Phelps is that Kenda is everything Phelps isn't: He is an excellent investigator, he is free of ego, and he doesn't exaggerate the story for dramatic effect (or to sell more books). He discloses the important details without getting bogged down in the trivialities of each case. The only criticism I have of this program is that ID doesn't seem to air many episodes. Maybe it's just my timing, but the network reruns the same three or so episodes repeatedly. I even set my DVR. I will set it again for the upcoming season, and hopefully I can catch more.
Judge Judy (1996)
In the beginning was Judge Judy. . .
Judge Judy knows human nature. Until Breaking Bad, Judge Judy was my favorite television show. Now it is relegated to second (sorry Judge). I have been a faithful viewer since the beginning. To all the naysayers, sometimes the judge is rude. Sometimes she's wrong. Sometimes she cuts people off. But the litigants often deserve it. People who engage in welfare fraud or don't pay child support yet are willing to announce this on national TV deserve sharp words, IMO.
She is always honest, and she doesn't go overboard with the political correctness like on some court shows. Her show isn't psychotherapy like Judge Mathis and Judge Jeanine Pirro. She gets to the truth, and she does it fast. She is also very perceptive about how people behave. She knows human relationships well, and what else is small claims court but a relationship summarized in a few minutes? I will watch her until she goes off the air, and hopefully on DVD as well.
Breaking Bad (2008)
The best show I've EVER seen!
Amazing. Fantastic. Wonderful. Dramatic. Intense. Terrific. Fabulous. Tremendous. I can't come up with enough adjectives to describe how great this show is. I didn't even know what it was about when I started watching it, which made it that much better. I started watching it on Netflix after the system hounded me endlessly to try it, and finished it on cable, since Netflix didn't have the last episodes.
What's so great about it? BB is about family. It's about craziness. It's about corruption. It's about the love of money. It's about the contradiction between our public vs private personas. It's about fear, love, hate, happiness, sadness, and indifference. It's about conflicts, children, and the monotony of suburban existence. It's about being human. Everyone can relate to something in the show. Even if somehow you can't, it hooks you from the very start. This is coming from a person who is very picky about TV. I have never seen a show as awesome as this one. I urge you to give it a try.
SOOOO Boring. Zzzzzzzzz.
Sci-fi is my favorite genre, so when I read the description of this movie on Redbox, I was excited to try this out, despite getting negative reviews from my in-laws. I should have heeded their advice. I watched about 40 minutes of the movie and called it quits, and even that took a lot of effort. To me, it is quite similar to Steven Soderbergh's remake of Solaris, the only movie I've ever walked out on. It is visually stunning, incredibly slow, and going nowhere even slower. It has a lot of dream sequences, which I personally find annoying. It also lacks any clear plot or direction, though I confess I wasn't paying close attention after the first few minutes, so I probably missed something relevant in that regard. I'm just grateful I only wasted $1.20 renting it at the Redbox instead of paying $9.00 to see it at the theater.
Great movie if you can handle gore and an unhappy ending
Human Centipede is not a horror movie for the faint of heart. The haters should have realized the movie is not going to appeal to anyone who doesn't have a strong stomach and an extremely open mind. I liked it because most themes in the horror movie genre have been done repeatedly and are no longer interesting. This one seemed pretty unique. Also, since the setting was in Germany (the characters are German and the location was overseas somewhere, though the movie is in English), horror movies are somewhat different. I thought it carried tension throughout the movie. The plot line was lacking since the synopsis of the video acts as a spoiler. Anatomically, maybe it wasn't realistic. But then again, most horror movies (or all movies for that matter), aren't realistic. That's what makes them an escape, which the victims don't. That is the reason I only rated it a 7.
Under the Dome (2013)
An Unusual Sci-Fi Gem
Don't watch this show if you're looking for the average, boring sci-fi series. Don't watch it if you're looking for the typical meathead hormonal male hero who runs in, gets the girl, and saves the day. Don't watch it if you're looking for fancy spaceships and transporters. I was looking for a different sci-fi TV show and I found it with Under the Dome.
I love, love, love this show. I just discovered it on Amazon Prime and have been binge watching the series all afternoon. It's great because it has an interesting sci-fi premise and there is a lot of tension and action in every episode, with complex relationships between the characters. My favorite thing about the show is the presence of the strong female characters. In almost every TV show/movie I've ever seen, women are crying, useless, hysterical wimps when the going gets tough. Not so in this series. I will definitely be watching every episode.
A big stinking pile of . . . disappointment
How much more hype can a movie get than this one? I went to see it last week since I don't like being trampled to death by going to an over-hyped movie the first weekend it comes out. I should have stayed at home and washed my hair ten times in a row instead. First, the good. The CGI was breathtaking. Every scene was full of special effects that were unparalleled in quality. However, any movie in 2012 can easily have that with a bloated enough budget. Other than that, the movie had absolutely nothing going for it. I am a person who doesn't require every movie to be fast action shoot-em-ups. I also enjoy a simmering psychological drama, but this movie moved along at a snail's pace. It was so slow I seriously considered leaving and doing something else. I waited an hour for something to happen. The first hour was nothing but boring dialogue and scenes which seemed to go nowhere.
The plot was also full of holes large enough for an entire herd of stampeding elephants to trample through (anyone remember M. Knight Shamalan's Signs? I noticed marked plot shortcomings.) Nothing about the storyline made any logical sense if one stopped to consider it for a millisecond. Several of the actors also appeared as though they were only in the film to occupy space. They did not add to the movie at all. It seemed like Ridley Scott crammed preparing this movie using the classic procrastinating college student's tactic of "pulling an all nighter." I generously grade this film a C-.
I was really looking forward to seeing this movie after seeing the trailer, so much that I went to see it at the theater the day it came out. Usually I wait to see new releases until they hit Redbox. The trailer is misleading. It makes the film look like it has a lot of sci-fi special effects, but it has almost none, in reality. It's mostly fight and chase scenes. Lockout is rather predictable. The main thing I enjoyed about it is Snow's wicked sense of humor. Also, one of the main characters is the silent, blond assassin from Fargo, Peter Stormare, which was pretty cool. Lockout is worth wasting 95 minutes of your life on, but not worth spending $8.50 at the theater. Save your pennies and wait for the DVD.
Not as interesting as I expected
As a big fan of Intervention, I was really excited to start watching this show. I thought it would be similar. Although it's OK, it's rather dull compared to Intervention. In the show, two "sober coaches" go to two addicts' homes to try and help them get sober. The addicts are habitual relapsers who have tried to stop (or say they've tried) again and again.
The sober coach, who is a recovering addict him/herself, first meets with the family, who is of course, at the end of their rope with (insert addict's name here). So this is the last hope the addict has to get sober (DRAMA!) The sober coach hangs around the addict for one week. They offer words of support and comfort to the addict, while trying to keep them sober. They suggest ways for the addict to fix the relationships they've ruined because of their substance use. They spend every moment with the addict and eventually get them to see the light and either go to treatment or dry out on their own. They save the day! Yahoo!
Unfortunately, this show has none of the drama of Intervention because the viewer rarely gets to see the actual use of the substances, the strung out people the addict was hanging out with, and the bad behaviors and deteriorating circumstances they endure because of their addictions. That stuff was the exciting part about Intervention. Instead, it is a touchy-feely show full of mini counseling sessions designed to elicit sympathy for all the addict's woes when the people who deserve sympathy the most are the family members. I'll probably give it one more episode, and if it doesn't get any more interesting, delete it from my DVR.
As a big fan of true crime shows such as Dateline on ID, The Investigators, American Justice, 48 Hours, and Forensic Files, I was looking forward to another show of its kind. I was sorely disappointed. In the most bizarre strategy I have heard of, the programs' directors use the victim of the murder to speak about themselves in voice over fashion after the crime occurred, which makes it seem really macabre, weird, and artificial. It is like a crime fighting version of Maury. The show warns the viewer at the beginning that "some of the dialogue and characters have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes." Take that warning to heart, because they have made this TV program so dramatic that what should be a true crime show seems more like a soap opera. Put this show down your garbage disposal. Delete this program from your DVR. Whatever you do, run away! Run away fast! Trust me, you have much more important things to do with your time.
The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
Southwest snooze fest
I saw this movie a long time ago, and it was so boring it stuck in my mind ever since. It's on the order of Solaris (starring George Clooney and directed by Steven Sodenbergh). Sleepy town, underwhelmed characters, boring story, unexciting plot, nothing to catch or hold your attention, just a lot of limp-as-a-dishrag apathy. I'm not a person who has to have fast action shoot em ups all the time, either. I'm just fine with quiet, intelligent, thoughtful films too. But there has to be something. And this movie has nothing. So do yourself a favor. Run away. Run away fast. Or take a long nap. You'll get just as much out of it, and save yourself money too. Or at least a slot in your Netflix queue.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Massive Sensory Overload
This was one of the strangest films I have ever seen. For one thing, it seems like a weird role for Nicole Kidman to take, not her kind of thing at all. The movie was like a bad acid trip: too many sounds, too many blinding bright colors, and too much camera movement, all assaulting the senses simultaneously. The musical style was from the wrong era for the historical time of the film: too modern for it, so it clashed. It reminded me of the country music I frequently hear at the Chinese buffets in my city. Combine that with a lack of plot, and you have a hideous caricature that attempts to imitate a movie and fails. Very bizarre.
What a waste of valuable airtime
I can't believe this show is still on TV. I watched it for a little while to appease my pothead boyfriend and was amazed at how a. boring it was and b. how unrealistic it was. Most pot dealers (and being a former light pot smoker as a teenager myself and being around several pot smoking boyfriends and friends, I should know) are guys in their early to late 20s who smoke enormous amounts of the substance to the extent that it interferes with every other activity in life. Also, I do not think a show should be on TV condoning marijuana use, not because it is deadly like hard drugs, but because heavy use turns people into fat, lazy couch slugs. I've seen it happen to many people. This show is ridiculous and stupid, and I bet potheads comprise most of the loyal viewing audience, since Weeds seems to cater to that group.
This show should have gotten lost long ago
I started watching Lost right right from the start. It seemed like a great show, at first, with a unique approach. I watched every show faithfully each week. But toward the end of season 1, the show started getting weird. New characters with complex stories started appearing with increasing regularity. I kept watching. Then in season 2, more people came, along with more and more stories and the whole show became incredibly confusing, so confusing that I never understood what was going on. It also didn't make sense how all of these people would just appear suddenly on this tiny island when they had never been there before. Since I never could follow the storyline anymore, it wasn't fun to watch so I stopped before the beginning of season 3. I'm glad I did, because I heard it just got worse and worse.
At least I only paid to rent the DVD
This movie was one of the worst I have ever seen. I think the other people who rated it a 9 or 10 must have been watching something else. I'm a person who doesn't require a shoot-em-up action movie. I like to watch movies that are intelligent, quiet, and thoughtful, just as much as the action movies. However, this movie was so deadly boring I kept hitting fast forward on my DVD player,hitting play again, and seeing if anything interesting had occurred in the 20 minutes I skipped. I hadn't missed anything. All I kept seeing is him talking to that ghost or dead woman or whoever it was repeatedly, and pacing around in that empty room. Nothing else ever seemed to happen. A total snoozefest.