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The Penguins of Madagascar (2008)
The best since Rocky and Bullwinkle
I grew up with Crusader Rabbit and was entering junior high school when Rocky and Bullwinkle first debuted. I honestly believe that "Penguins" is as close to Rocky as you can get as far as the humor is concerned. The humor in Penguins is classic and the I have recorded and watched every episode over and over again. The seriousness by which Kowalski comes up with his plans and "options" is hilarious when we see the final product which could have been drawn by a pre-schooler, or his inventions which are made up of sardine tins, etc. It's this type of humor that makes this so special. They think in adult terms but their actions are purely that of a child. It would eventually get boring without the other animals and the mix is just right for it to be effective. Julien's mastery of the English language is great. I really believe we have all known a Julien in our lives. The one person who knew it all and tried to command all the attention and notoriety while at the same time does not have a clue. Rico is perhaps my favorite character. The episodes with his girlfriend doll are great. My grandkids love "Penguins" and I get a kick out of watching them watch the show because it's obvious we are all getting something different from it. Great work. Keep it up.
The Last Templar (2009)
Ranks as one of the Worse
I generally do not find many faults with movies. I enjoy being entertained, even at the expense of plot, acting, and special effects, but this movie has crossed my threshold on all three categories making it one of the worse movies I have ever seen. It's no wonder NBC's ratings are in the tank with productions like this. Even "Days of Our Lives" will keep a person's interest more than this movie. A cast such as this couldn't save such poor writing and directing. If there ever was a case for blackballing writers and directors, this poor excuse for a movie should serve as an example. Part 2 was pre-empted by the Stanley Cup finals and it's only a shame the finals didn't pre-empt both segments. NBC - please spare us any future attempts at TV movies until you clean house!
Taking Chance (2009)
Brought back mixed memories
A very moving and well produced movie. It brought back a flood of memories as in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam war. I grew up with two boys from 1st grade through high school. I went to college, one joined the Marines, and the other became a Navy Seal. I eventually joined the Navy, and after two years my friend who enlisted in the Marines was killed and I along with the other friend was asked to be in his military funeral as a pallbearer. That experience is one that I will never forget. The dignity with which a fallen hero is treated then and now only shows the profound respect the country has towards its servicemen/women. This movie is a must see for all Americans. The cast was excellent and could probably not have been better picked. Even though he only had a short scene as a cargo handler in Philly, Felix Solis seemed so smooth and natural in his role. I have watched this over and over again and each time I have found something more impressive. This was so well done that it almost seemed like a documentary, the acting at all levels was so superb and believable. I'm convinced the subject of the movie brought out the best in the entire cast to present the honor and solemnity of the occasion.
A Fitting End to a Great Trilogy
I have watched all three repeatedly and have enjoyed every minute. These are pure entertainment and looking for a developing love stories or serious plot lines will surely lead to disappointment. I looked for nothing except to be entertained and it delivered. I enjoyed the numerous plots with the constant betrayals, and the characters maintained their basic flaws and attributes developed through out the three movies. In the end we see each characters true traits. That is about as deep as anyone needs to go. I really enjoyed the one line comments and facial expression especially by Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. For pure entertainment pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy every minute.
My kids grew up watching Transformers on TV and took their kids to see it. I waited and saw it on video because I couldn't believe a movie such as this would be treated the way it was. I have about given up on movies because the good ones are few and far between. The so-called stars of today are for the most part self-centered and non-talented. My real complaint with Transformers is the dialogue concerning masturbation. Why in the world was that in there? Is Hollywood attempting to debase the rest of the country so that we will be as immoral as it is? Along the same lines, why do movies designed for kids have to contain at least one fart scene? (Shrek, etc.) What does it add? The visual effects of Transformers were expertly done, and it had the potential to be a really good movie, but the script put it in the gutter. Sorry, but it's not worth the trouble.
Delta Farce (2007)
Don't Overthink this!
After reading the various comments for this, it seems that most viewers have allowed others to do their thinking for them. This movie is not "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "The Sound of Music", it is a movie made by redneck comedians dedicated to our real fighting men and women. Anyone who has ever been in combat knows that humor is where you find it, and this movie has a lot of it, if you keep your mind open. This database is an amazing tool. If you look at other movies commented on by users who didn't like this movie, the majority haven't liked other inane titles with the same bent of humor. I don't pay theater prices to see a movie. They are a ripoff especially when most movie goers are rude, inconsiderate slobs. I guess my point is that if a person doesn't like this type of movie why pay the money to hate something you have predetermined to hate? The trailer was enough to know how the movie would be.
If you like to be entertained and don't want or have to think, this is an excellent movie
A lot of people have compared this to a poor version of Rear Window. I fail to see the comparison. The premise of being confined to his house and ultimately spying on his neighbors is as far as it goes. Notwithstanding his fathers death, his house arrest was the culmination of the run in with his Spanish teacher and from previous troubles. The stage is set as a typical restless teen who one by one has his sources of entertainment either cancelled or has his access blocked, turning to anything that can put off the boredom. I thought the scenes of his transformation from a rebel to being resigned to his fate were realistic. I watched it twice in one weekend and likened the characters to myself and my best friend when I was a teen. It's like the boy who cried wolf once too often. When you're that age you aren't taken seriously, especially if you have been prone to trouble, so you take matters into your own hands not thinking of the consequences. I thought the cast was superb, with David Morse turning in his usual excellent work. Carrie-Anne Moss played the part of a mother who has to balance earning a living and concern over her son and his problems perfectly. This is an excellent movie with no strings attached.
A Total Waste of time
I am glad I waited for this to come out on DVD. It appears to be only a typical money making movie based on toilet humor and racism. If one tries to draw a socially relevant conclusion of the various points this movie attempted to make, they are deluded. This is nothing more than cheap, vulgar humor made at the expense of others and seem to be made OK by Borat's naiveté'. Sorry it just doesn't wash. I will admit I laughed a little, but overall this was a very feeble attempt at some misguided and unforeseen point. It's sad that Hollywood has resorted to films with no substance and character development. Instead, we are subjected to mindless plots, poor acting, and high ticket prices.
Waste of Time
I haven't read the book and after seeing the movie I don't want to. There are too many close comparisons to Tolkien's works which makes this seem like an author trying to cash in on the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The close storyline and similar names to the Lord of the Rings projected this as a cheap theatrical release using the success of another. The only redeeming thing about the movie was the dragon. The special effects were OK but the acting was stiff, with the dialog mainly short, broken sentences. I watched this on PPV and just prior to viewing, a storm knocked my satellite dish out of adjustment and I was frantically readjusting it to regain my signal. Unfortunately I did. For better viewing watch the Veggietale "Lord of the Beans".
I Love It!
Having been force fed countless boring shows featuring the supernatural, here is one that grabs you from the beginning. It is not supernatural but the visions or hallucinations of a police detective. Since the vision, as I'll call it, only knows what Raines knows, we get to see the victims character develop over time. I prefer to think that it is Raine's extremely active imagination and the trauma of being shot and losing his partner, that in thinking through the crime and the evidence that brings the victims to life, but after bringing them to life now he has to deal with seeing and talking to the dead and solving the crime. The constantly changing personality of the victims, sometimes in a matter of minutes, shows us the methodical thinking of Raine's as he runs all the possibilities through his head. My fear is that this show will not attract enough viewers to stay on. Most people seem to enjoy the same boring cookie cutter shows that don't require any thought.
Devil's Pond (2003)
Good Non-Thinking Entertainment
If you are looking for a movie that has a predictable ending and in reality has a pretty far-fetched plot, this one fits the bill nicely. It's not that I didn't like it, I wasn't expecting a blockbuster and I got just what I expected, good cheap entertainment, (I saw it on LMN Network.) Mitch had thought of everything, or almost everything. You can never count on a persons fear to paralyze their actions when their life is at stake. Granted, the acting wasn't all that great at times, but I knew I wasn't watching an Academy Award Nominee. I have read a lot of bad reviews of this movie, one of which stated that the future of America was doomed if someone liked this movie. All I can say is that for me, I can watch a bad movie, which there are plenty of, or I can watch a good movie, and be equally entertained. One doesn't go into a movie such as this looking for answers to solve the world's problem, this movie and others like it are entertainment and entertainment only. Sit back relax and be entertained, even if it's counting the goofs, errors, inaccuracies, etc. Just enjoy.
Here Comes Trouble (1948)
I Want to See More
I just happened to be off and alone at home when I found this on Turner Classic Movies. It is the first time I've seen the characters of Ames and Doubleday and now I want more. Seeing that it was a Hal Roach Production meant that I was in for a good comedic movie and I wasn't disappointed. We will never see comedies such as this again and now I am searching for more of the Ames and Doubleday movies. We get so caught up in modern movies that are called comedies, but rely on foul language and noisy bodily functions for the laughs rather than on the actors ability to make us laugh. This is a really refreshing movies to relax and enjoy and the fact that it is almost 59 years old, only shows the timelessness of real comedy.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)
Excellent Movie with Excellent cast
I have just finished watching this movie two days in a row. A better cast could not have been found. I will not bother watching any other remakes of this as any other cast cannot stand up to this one. I have always been a fan of Alec Guiness and he plays the stoic Earl perfectly, even when Fauntleroy catches him off guard. The plot is predictable and moves swiftly, but it is the honest and precocious way Lord Fauntleroy commits the Earl's money and feelings that make this a great movie. Ceddies life on Hester street and his friends, Dick and Mr. Hobbs, was a good beginning, especially Mr. Hobb's political misgivings. I have never read the book or seen any version of this until now, so I found myself looking forward to the next unplanned method Lord Fauntleroy would thaw his Grandfather.I would recommend this to everyone as a great way to relax with the family.
Wild Hearts (2006)
This is one of my all time favorite Hallmark Movies, and the list goes back into the early sixties. The cast, setting, and overall acting was superb. The one thing that caught my attention was the soundtrack. It played the entire movie and only softened during the dialogues. It reminded me of a movie of the Smoky Mountains I once saw with only music playing while the movie runs. I thoroughly enjoyed both the movie and the unique use of the music. They blended together beautifully. It's refreshing to be able to sit down and relax with a movie that can carry itself without gore, sex, and profanity. This would be a good example of how it's done. Everything flowed easily from scene to scene and the touching moments were done with perfection. The estranged relationship between father and son and the consequences it brings was handled with a sensitivity that makes you stop and think of your own life. The emotions that emerge when Bob finds his fathers scrapbook and his wife's letters to his father was done in such a way that you can't help but reflect on your life. Hallee Hirsh was outstanding as Madison and everything she said and did seemed sincere. Great acting all around, and a highly recommended movie, with excellent cast, scenery, acting, and excellent interaction with animals, especially the wolves.
Though None Go with Me (2006)
Hallmark Has Done it Again
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and was amazed at how Elizabeth's faith and service was the centerpiece of everything. Growing up in the 50's, I appreciate the realism it showed of a previous decade. Having almost lost our house to the bank when my father died in the late 50's,it struck me how different we are now than then. Few mothers worked so if the father died and the house was heavily mortgaged, it was usually not long until it was foreclosed upon. I thought the movie portrayed life extremely well as I remember it back then. The hats women wore, (the nicest were saved for Sundays), the slower pace of life, and faith and religion playing a large part of everyone's daily life, especially in smaller towns. I enjoyed the cast and thought the acting was superb. I tend to overlook the slight irregularities such as mountains in a Midwestern town, and focus on what the actors are trying to present. If I can feel good about that, then nothing else really matters, and in this case I felt really good after this movie. Thank you Hallmark
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
A Tiring, and Clichéd Propaganda Movie
I finally made myself watch this and I wasn't disappointed. I liked the special effects and the cast but that was about it. The storyline was so full of holes that it was evident that this was a Hollywood election year statement rather than a movie offering. The uncanny resemblance of the President to Al Gore, and the Vice-President to Harry Truman had to be part of the mix, along with the diatribe on the Kyoto Treaty. This was a movie designed to attract the extreme environmentalists while providing a token of an action/drama movie for the rest of us. It's no wonder Box Office sales are down when Hollywood has resigned itself to movies such as this and poorly done remakes of earlier movies and TV shows.
The Unit (2006)
Great New Show
Finally an action show that gives credit where not very much was given before. It's the service of the men portrayed here that not many Americans even realize we have, or in some cases would prefer not to know about, but very thankful they are there. I thoroughly enjoyed the cast ensemble especially the wives. The show seems to be equally focused on the covert work as well as the dysfunctional home life. What most women who watch this are seeing for the first time is the necessary loyalty to their husbands work. They too must live the covert life in order to protect their husbands. That submissiveness to their husbands work is something new for a lot of women, and the new member of the unit's wife brought that out brilliantly. Unaccustomed to exactly what it is her husband is doing, she vainly attempts to live her life as if it were just another duty station. The ending of the first episode after they return, creates a multitude of directions their lives at home can take. Coupled with the great action scenes, this almost an insiders view of their marriages makes this a show for everyone. Very impressive all the way around.
Must Love Dogs (2005)
A charming, cute, funny love story
John Cusack and Diane Lane head an excellent cast in a light, predictable love story. The predictability didn't bother me since I wasn't watching to try and find the answers to the universe. I was expecting to be entertained and that's exactly what happened. I enjoyed the slight almost imperceptible one-liners and even though I knew from the beginning how it was going to end, I enjoyed their trip in getting together. I enjoyed the montage of internet entries. That's something that done just to see what the replies are. As evidenced by the various dates, we see what happens when people exaggerate. This is a very good movie to just sit back, relax and have a few good laughs over. I'm a movie junkie and will watch almost every movie unless it has a few certain actors I refuse to watch, and this movie, while far from my favorite, is still a very enjoyable movie.
Hidden Places (2006)
Another great Hallmark Movie
This movie has several great story lines going on at the same time. One shows the "favorite son" politics portrayed by by the school board, another of the lone black principle in a southern white school district, and the free thinking new teacher. I especially like the irony of the black principle who at first seems to have forgotten she is the same color as her students, but as the movie progresses we find she is only able to keep her position if she remains under the thumb of the Deputy Superintendent which in itself is a figurehead position with no authority. It was easy to dislike Frank Langella's role as the superintendent after seeing him in "Dave". All the story lines were tied together very well and contributed to a little suspense in trying to guess where the individuals were heading. The interaction of Conroy with the students and the portly of the island residents was excellent. The added touch of the Stones only deepened the sense of the residents being forgotten as the world passes them by. I can't remember a movie by Hallmark that I didn't like. This one ranks right up at the top.
Flying Leathernecks (1951)
Oustanding Character Study
Watching the interaction between Wayne and Ryan took me back to my days in submarines. A captain who remained distant yet caring and an exec who seemed more crew friendly and down to earth. I thought this was played out very well. Ryan only had to look at his own actions to realize why he had been passed over for command. I believe every command had a scrounger and this was a good addition for realism. I overlooked some location errors and airplane types and focused on what was the real story. Young men were trained quickly and sent into combat and as all young people do even now, feel invincible. This movie portrays war as a reality, men die. As long as the earth is inhabited there will be wars. One reviewer termed this movie as a snuff movie. This was war. Men fought and men died. Guadelcanal was not a pristine resort. We were attacked by an enemy who showed no mercy and as sad as it is, men die in war to protect our freedom. This movie shows how new pilots are forced to face the reality that they may be killed and that they must kill. They were led by a squadron commander (Wayne) who was a veteran and knew what it would take to give his men the highest odds of living. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would recommend it to anyone who has a moral problem with war. The bottom line for the anti-war crowd is, "reality sucks."
The Enemy Below (1957)
An Excellent WWII Movie
Excellent plot, cast,and action make this one of the best WWII naval movies made. Not made for promoting the war effort as "Destination Tokyo" and "Torpedo Run" were, this movie is the story of two veteran Captains and their ships. Having served on submarines, I appreciated the realism of the U-boat, the crew, and the captains tactics. All were very realistic. Robert Mitchums tactics as the Destroyer captain were very realistic. I enjoyed the respect each captain shared for the ability of the other, and I especially enjoyed the realism of the hunt and final attack. To conserve torpedoes it was customary to finish a struggling target with the deck guns only if the target was a cargo or freighter with little weaponry. This tactic was not usually used on a heavily armed destroyer unless a safe position could be taken to prevent becoming the target. The tactic of ramming was also commonly used by all ships in WWII. I enjoyed the ending because in war (not terrorism), when the outcome of a battle is certain, the foes become people once again and the human spirit overcomes the ideological differences, and the victor and the vanquished come to each others aid. There are countless stories of this happening during WWII and if the U-Boat would have been the victor, I would have left with the same feeling.
My Name Is Earl (2005)
The Writers have Delivered a Hit!
I commented after the second show that the writing will have to be exceptional to keep the interest up. They have delivered big time! After last nights show (12/06) I don't believe a cast has been put together like this. Even "Friends" tried my patience after a while. I would rate this cast ensemble with "Seinfeld" or possibly higher, only this ensemble has lower class, which is one reason it's a hit. We're seeing real people with real problems but with very strange ideas on how to fix them. After living in small towns most of my life, I knew a lot of Earls and Joys, and even a couple of Randys. In the process of fixing Joy's Christmas, the secrets Earl encountered were great. This is one show that even the next scene cannot be predicted. I would have to rate this as my favorite comedy of all time, and at my age I've seen a lot of sitcoms.
Kicking & Screaming (2005)
An Entertaining Movie
Robert Duvall, while not near as good as in Secondhand Lions, added a nice touch as Will Ferrells father. The plot was predictable and a little forced at times, but then again, this was not a movie attempting to bring world peace and solve mankind's problems. What it did very nicely was present itself as a good family film. Some of the comedy seem forced at times and some of the kids were really annoying, but after thinking about it, my kids are really annoying at times. We all know kids growing up who never met their parent's expectations no matter how hard they tried. I thought Will Ferrell brought this out really well in the beginning. I rented this movie not expecting a lot after seeing the trailers, but was pleasantly surprised. A good rainy day family movie.
Fear of the Dark (2003)
We Have all Been Here!
Those used to blood, gore and cheap thrills most likely will not enjoy this movie at all. I was never afraid of the dark but after having children who were, this movie provides insight into their fears that I couldn't understand. I like the ending where it is the child who has to conquer his/her individual fear. A parent or sibling can provide support but it is the individual who has to finally overcome. As this movie shows, it is our mind that provides our worse fears. From insects, to dogs, to monsters, we all have something that comes alive in the dark. They don't have to be ghoulish or nightmarish as some viewers would hope to see. They only have to be real in our mind, and that is what I enjoyed about this movie. We saw three peoples fears through their eyes and how they dealt with them. I wouldn't recommend this movie to small children or those who may be afraid of the dark, but besides being entertaining, it may help some parent to understand what their child may be going through. I like movies like this that rely on our minds to provide the scares rather than those which rely on blood and gore. I would have to give this an 8.
Mystery Woman: Game Time (2005)
The High Class Suspense Continues
The suspense of playing along with this mystery series is as much a part of the movie as the excellent cast. I have enjoyed each "Mystery Woman" installment and I have really enjoyed the way the roles have developed and moved towards a mutual understanding of each other. As each movie comes out it is good to see Chief Conners while still as stoic as ever, has a slight soft side towards Samantha. The scenes with Cassie becoming addicted to a video game reminds me of my "Myst" days. I liked the added touch. I only wish Kellie Martin would get the respect she is so long overdue. I have enjoyed watching her develop from the "Father Murphy" days until now. With the loss of her sister and then to give up a role on "ER", although quite understandable, and return to Yale to finish only shows what the term character really means.As long as this cast stays together and Mystery Woman is produced, I will be a faithful follower.