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Chappie (2015)
3/10
A Movie that Fails to Deliver
10 March 2015
Trailers can be a taste of things to come or (in the case of Chappie) a bad taste that you want to spit out and get your money back. The vulgar dialog was annoying to an extreme but worse yet was the countless times I couldn't understand much of the Brit slang and dribble. Then there's the storyline that was so ill conceived and often cartoonish while carrying an "R" rating.

Hugh Jackman and Sigourny Weaver should be required to sit through this manure and explain how they justify such a badly scripted film. I don't usually trash a film unless it's so bad I feel the need to save others and warn them that this film deserves a warning to avid movie goers to avoid this and save your money.

Final point here to share is the believability of the scientific scheme and plot of this Sci-Fi film. It just makes little if any sense. The viewer eventually begins to laugh at the unbelievability of the storyline. This film reminded me of a quality film of similar science fiction. It was called "Short Circuit." Chappie, unlike Short Circuit, has no direction, no characters worthy of praise and no valid merit of lesson.
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7/10
A Movie to Send a Message
20 February 2015
A Capra like film to stir the heart. To be touched by the little guy stuck in the grips of poverty. Still it delivers on man's emotions that touch you deeply if you believe in the goodness of nature. Kevin portrays a teacher on his last legs trying to find his place in teaching field.

While this film attempts to tell a "TRUE" story the film doesn't quite deliver that story without issues. All in all it does send a message to believe in practice & hard work paying off.

Was something missing? Yes!! All in all an entertaining movie with a solid message but the truth is in the fact that it's a true story as is given it's just due.

In order to capture the feeling of "real" storyline the film stumbles along the way trying to nearly get the message of the issues of prejudice and poverty. It is a very ..Feel Good Movie to give the viewer a sense of hope thru hard work.
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Bullseye No - Worth Seeing Yes
3 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I have trusted through the years Keven's selectivity of movie scripts he accepts and devotes his efforts to entertain and motivate the viewer to watch and come away feeling a valued lesson was learned.

The beginning scenes seem awkward and confusing to this viewer. I sincerely felt Eloise never captured her roll. She seemed shallow while dealing with the sudden death of her grandmother who died suddenly and tragically.

The court and the basis of plot actually come full circle in the issues brought to trial. Elliott and Rowena seem to want whats best for the child but seem determined to clash in spite of seeming to get along for the most part. Butting heads continually are Keven's vice (liquor) and Reggie's crack addiction.

Many reviews concur with much of what I found missing in this film. Thus it is a worthy film with some rather limiting flaws. Still I enjoyed it most of the time.
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Unbroken (I) (2014)
4/10
A docudrama that works for 30 minutes
6 January 2015
I had high hopes for this film but it fell into an abyss that turned hopelessly a drag. Unlike the greater film "Fury" this film wanders along slower, and slower to the far too distant end. Angela attempted a major task in the making of this film and it simply was lacking in it's meat of story. It simply became a movie shallow in substance.

Even the audience became watch lookers and ...When is this going to end?

As to what worked, I again praise the opening scenes and storyline thinking it was enlightening as to the dog fights between Jap Zeros and the U.S Bomber Squadrons. It was the highlight of the film. Realizing just how intense the air battles were.

Angela..you have done well but on this film you fell short. Here's hoping you learn from this train wreck.
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Big Eyes (I) (2014)
3/10
A Movie Lacking Many Things
3 January 2015
This movie had so many shortcomings. Amy gets a B grade and she is believable in her portrayal of Margret. Amy obviously is not a regular "smoker" so this distraction that the cigarette industry must have paid dearly to heavily plastered this film with their product was obvious.

The most enjoyable aspect of this film were the large number of vintage era cars down to the "Imperial" that was simply classic.

The script left much to feel shortchanged. Sometimes a movie suffers from the wrong actors playing the wrong parts for a believable story. Waltz was "overkill" in so many scenes that it was comical. Margret's young daughter in early scenes was well portrayed but the older daughter just failed to be convincing.

In an era when men dominated so many aspects of the business world this film did show the futility of a woman's plight back in the 50's & 60's.
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Interstellar (2014)
6/10
Not The Film I Expected By A Long Shot
8 November 2014
The problem is... Stellar is so complex and confusing you are at the mercy of tying together so many scientific issues you get bogged down in the constant slow dialog and the dragging delivery of the twists and turns of what has got to be the most complex multi-plotted movie I've seen in years. I sensed "overkill" of some scenes that seemed constantly drawn out that if I had a remote I would have fast forwarded through many parts.

I am a big Sci-Fi movie lover and as such I will bring huge praise to the writers and producers of well made movies of this kind. Before going to see this much anticipated film that was given spectacular and high praise from several cites such as IMDb, I was dumbfounded by what appeared to be a movie almost impossible to find fault with in those reviews. Whats more this film was much too long (2 hrs 55 minutes) including previews of trailers. No human bladder should be put to such an ungodly test. Lastly I want to again point out that many reviews are suspect in this world of questionable truths of opinion.
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4/10
So-So Predictable Story with Weak Characters
11 October 2014
I went in expecting this comedy to deliver at least fun and laughs to enjoy but, alas, it fell extremely short on almost every aspect of story, comedy and character developments. Who ever did the casting should not have done so. Either that or somebody must have decided to pay up on favors.

The beginning was predictable as was the plot as was the final ending. You know a film is bad when the kids and parents both seem restless at many points during the film. This film lacked substance and creative material not to mention a brief and simple title for average movie goers.
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5/10
No Frozen & No Masterpiece
20 July 2014
This was a huge disappointment from my perspective. It lacked any substance of storyline and fell short on keeping the audience (Kids) interested for the hour and a half. Really boring at points. The only redeeming aspect of this animated film for families was the very impressive look of the film. Great scenery and camera shots putting the viewer right in the cockpit of the planes. This film will fad in time and will only be considered so-so for most viewers. Kids deserve better than this and the level of quality should be more interesting of characters. Disney deserves better material and clever comedy to entertain an audience. Family films coming up short this summer sadly.
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1/10
How Bad Can A Film Be? This Bad!
3 June 2014
There is always a bottom of the barrel and this scraps the bottom of the bottom. When comedy is achieved funny comes through but sadly when it doesn't the movie goer finally gets up looking for the exit in hopes of finding any other film in the multiplex. Fifteen minutes was painful enough.

Bad jokes and bad script make this a competitor for worst film of the year or possibly the worst since "Heaven's Gate." In the movie industry after a Big Grand slam Homer your next movie has the fans anticipating great things but when this movie hit foul ball after foul ball it simply seemed empty of fresh humor or even oldie but goody tried & true humor. Hollywood is throwing money around all too often and insulting the adult movie goer's intelligence with films like this that don't deserve our money. Please say there are better films ahead this summer or it's going to be dismal season as I see it.
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3/10
Something Rotten In Denmark
10 May 2014
I find it hard to trust the 1st dozen or so reviews on some films found at this sight. Of course I could be mistaken but, I saw this film and found it to be full of nonsense and trite cliché dialog. With the mega cast that participated in the making of this film I expected a much better and more interesting story to be explored in this sequel classic.

As I watched the various characters enter the beginning scenes I felt they were very cardboard like. The few comedic scenes seemed almost too childish even for children. As to the animation, it was not to my liking. It seemed that it was taken from generic Saturday morning cartoons. It was bland and even boring to a degree.

Lastly I noticed that production costs of this animated film were surprisingly much more than I expected it to be. Nearly a million bucks a minute. I felt that for that kind of mega bucks this should have been a higher quality of product. The next few weeks will show weather the movie goers buy and or embrace this less than stellar movie.

Not every children's Animated film can be a "Frozen" or a "Finding Nemo" but they should at least aim for that quality and level of product.
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8/10
A Rare Gem of a Film
7 May 2014
Every once in a while a few special people in the movie industry make a film that is unique in several ways that it is a stand out one of a kind film. "Grand Budapest Hotel" is such a film. It takes the viewer on a one of a kind adventure. Great casting makes it even better. So many characters developing a mixed bag of surprises. This film delivers a most unusual story but with a wit and humor not seen in recent years. This movie should be on the minds of Academy Awards pickers next spring for sure.R. Finnes turns in a robust performance through out the entire movie with his portrayal of a slime ball but creative head proprietor of this hotel. Go see it and enjoy a special film of a rare type that seems to be increasing in popularity with movie goers. It could be the sleeper of this year.
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4/10
A major production full of "FX & CGI" Lacking Real substance.
3 May 2014
This could have been a very intriguing film but all the special effects have become so common place that the average movie goer has become numb to the big screen blasts of fx's and the rest. This was a very long movie that had several scenes of mundane dialog having little do with entertaining the viewer. Was this film bad? No, but there were all too many times that I wondered if the story board people realized just how boring the scenes had become.

The characters and plot just fell so short of taking the viewer on an adventure worthy of the comic book. If there should be a 3rd in this series please get the writers of the comic books to put forth a really exciting story. Lastly let the special effects be the secondary hook and let the story be worthy.
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The Nut Job (I) (2014)
3/10
A Forgettable Movie Lacking Any New Storyline
25 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Most of the three stars are devoted to the impressive animation found in the only redeeming quality of this children's film. The kids will overlook much of what is not going on but parents will notice that older kids will fidget around and become restless mid way through this mediocre film.

All in all most children will accept it on it's own simple storyline terms. Much of the time I was wondering when the story was going to draw me in at least a bit to where I cared about the characters. One quality element in this movie was the relationship of two animals that bond and show kids that friendships are a "work in progress" in life and to not give up on a friend in spite of that friend's flaws. Well, parents, there's always Disney to appreciate. Go rent Bambi, Lady & the Tramp or (my favorite) Peter Pan.
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6/10
Less Is More
17 January 2014
A gigantic film with a lot of great performances to an excess. Blatant nudity and overkill foul language. Look folks, I'm no prude but when a film is drowning in "F" bombs and ranting of expletive swearing I get tired of it simply put. Even Clark Gable would yell.. "Enough!!"

Please give the movie goer the benefit of an intermission or at least warn us that the film is going to stretch my bladder to it's extreme limits or ban extra large pop drinks. At over three hours long (don't forget the 8-10 minutes of ads & trailers) there was a constant line of viewers going and coming including yours truly during this marathon film.

One more detail to share. Less is more means that this could have been a great film if the editing left about 30 plus minutes on the floor. Several scenes were over done and dragged the viewer along for the redundant ride.
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Homefront (I) (2013)
5/10
Good But Not Great
6 December 2013
Jason is his usual self. He is solid in his performance but the issue is a predictably inadequate script. Better yet, a dreadful script. Fans of Jason Statham have seen him in mostly worthy films having the right combo of action and scripted dialog but I sat finding either useless dialog and or ridiculous scenes that made no sense. The bad guy in this case failed miserably to develop his character where we, the viewer, could care less whether he lived or met his demise by a slug. I had great expectations for the film. The trailer gave us the highlights of what was to be a thriller and then dumped the viewer a dud of an ending. Let's hope Jason's next film delivers if a script comes with the whole package. I see other reviews contrary to mine and wonder...Did we see the same movie?
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8/10
Twelve Years Stolen
14 November 2013
A bit slow to start and yet a movie with a delivery unlike any other. The story seems to be simple and yet it pulls at your conscience. The outstanding performance of almost all the cast makes this a truly deep and realistic portrayal of the injustices that were an everyday way of life in the slavery states during the PreCivil War era.

I found the dialog all too often difficult to comprehend. Thus, I was lost and frustrated by the script that tried too hard to give the viewer a much too lengthy and confusing scene with language that made little sense to the average viewer. I still found this film full of earthy realism and a true sense of hopelessness for the black man in an era full of racism.
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4/10
Not so Clear To Understand
18 October 2013
I truly went to the theater expecting a quality film but was less than satisfied. Complex scenes. Many difficult exchanges of dialog and an ever so frustrating case of a multitude of much too quick flashes of computer crap. Stick to the true story would help. The confusion was so common that I looked at my wife wishing we had a "DVR" so as to rewind to repeat the scenes. I came to the end of the film just as confused with any sense of appreciation of what I just sat through. There way too many loose ends and questions that left me in deep irritation with the conclusion. I can not recommend this movie. I did come away with a somewhat bit of praise for the lead actors and their attempt to make the best of a lacking film filled with flaws. I sadly can not endorse the film for it's many flaws.
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8/10
A Special Western
11 October 2013
Probably a very low budget film but a great script and a good job of acting by many of the cast. I came away with a deep appreciation for this film.

Burt delivers a surprising well covered Mexican character portrayal as do many of the cast. This is a story about power and ego. The plot centers around justice in a wild west and who has the power can be quite corrupt. The story deals with a last stand by Valdez to make right a wrong. A bit of David and Goliath with Valdez proving that he still has his finally tuned talents from his years of Indian Scouting. I truly liked this movie because it was believable and honest about the pride of a man determined to make things right.

Perhaps somebody in Hollywood has the good sense to try a remake, since that seems to be common play these days. I'd like to see what modern movie industry could do.
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Elysium (I) (2013)
4/10
Been There -Done That
9 August 2013
Remake, redone it, and same 'ol same 'ol. Get my drift? Lots of Hollywood feeding us what they think we will by but, it just ain't so. Visually a stunning FX movie. Lots of C.G. and "Big Bucks" effects. This story has been done so many times before. Corruption of power and the old "Haves & Havenots" are the themes seen here.

Matt does a stellar job delivering his character throughout this so-so film but as for Jodie I'm gonna tell it like it is. Jodie "over-acts" the character and makes me wonder how casting decided on her to be a villain. When will Hollywood come to the realization that copycat films become just another remake film? I was impressed with the filming and camera work.
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9/10
This Year's Best Film
30 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When I think of the mega-millions spent on (at best) mediocre films as of late, I find this gem of a film that grabs your soul and takes you down a path of tragedy. This film tells the true story of a young man's struggle with his past and his dismal future. You pull for him on his travel through the last day (New Years Eve) of his life. You see his genuine want to rise above his existence.

This is a must see "true story" of life on the edge of chaos. Oscar is much like a dog in the wrong place at the wrong time that gets struck down by a careless driver. This is a must see movie. The acting is spot on and the performers give it the realism that it demands. Please watch this limited release film and see what happens when trouble makes it's face known in a moment of happenstance.

I live near Chicago and on almost any given night multiple murders occur on an all too often regularity. Here is the truth as to gritty life in the big cities of America.
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The Purge (I) (2013)
2/10
A Sad Attempt At Thriller Drama
9 June 2013
Don't you wonder who had the audacity to put up the money to fund this piece of horse fodder? I new going in that it was rated low by several reasonably intelligent reviewers, but still a boring afternoon led me and spouse to the afternoon viewing of this stinker.

How bad was it? Well, it was hard not to call it a one star dumper. The story is so out of this world, contrived that you have to consider it a joke of a scenario. The characters are so unbelievable that many audience members would laugh at many of weirdest concocted scenes. I, for one, just could not help the laffability of the stupidly weird members of the cast. Lastly, I would simply avoid this comical farce. Let's hope Hollywood execs start to find meaningful scripts that deserve a shot.
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5/10
Wrapped In Decorative Ribbons but Missing
11 May 2013
This was an amazing film for fx but as for substance there was considerable time to be disappointed. I had high hopes for this classic film, wanting to see how modern day film-makers would bedazzle us with the latest effects and talents. Leo was his usual talented self while some of the other actors seemed miss-cast in their roles. No doubt there will be awards this winter for many catagorys pertaining to this film. After the film ended many patrons felt that after a pause for thought, several agreed that there was an average rating for this eye candy flick. I ask myself quite often...Does the film achieve success when you consider all the heavy money that went into making it? This was borderline but just under the wire in my mind.
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The Call (II) (2013)
8/10
Remembrances of Silence of the Lambs
15 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I must say that this film delivered on the real substance of being a 911 Dispatcher. This film gave us a look into the real moment to moment split second decisions made by these seldom praised messengers of help. Halle was spot on in her portrayal of Jordan. The film was totally believable up to the ending I'm sad to say. I say this with a degree of modesty that I could have scripted a better ending given the chance. Who ever decided on the ending dropped the ball.

I can't praise the cast enough on their solid performances. This movie gave the viewer a great ride and was worthy of 8 stars. As to the "BAD GUY" played by Michael Eklund, He was outstanding and ever so believable. I also think that the directing and cinematography well crafted.

As to a better ending ...I would suggest that the (boyfriend cop) worried as to Jordan not responding to his calls, he comes to the rescue of her and the teenage victim. All because of this electronic age of GPS and cellphone location.
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Alex Cross (2012)
4/10
A Cross to Be Placed on A Grave
19 October 2012
When you make an action crime film please remember to connect all the dots so that we, the audience, can achieve some sense of the story line. The trailer was a slice of many of the best scenes but, unfortunately the real film falls so sadly short of good storyline due to poor dialog and some jerky acting that the viewer struggles to make sense of the various actors.

If this film had been prescreened (proof read) any average movie-goer would have pointed out just how poorly made it was. I sensed that Tyler Perry gave a over acted performance. I really wanted to like this film when it first came out but, it just was so boring and unimaginative I began to realize that it was due to faulty construction of scenes and character's dialog. This was mostly due to the director.
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Taken 2 (2012)
8/10
Satisfying to a Nearly Great Film
10 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
When you enter the theater hoping that the film will not disappoint you put great expectations on the film. I knew that many reviews varied in rating Taken II. Thus, I was perplexed by the wide range of opinions there in.

This sequel and supposedly last film in the theme had to live up to the rave reviews of the first and the first run of reviews definitely were varied. After seeing the movie I was more than satisfied by the quality of all aspects of the film. The acting and script were top notch. The characters were realistic and the plot was mostly believable. The talents of Liam came through as was expected. The believability flowed well up to the last 7 or 8 minutes when the final scene turned sour when Liam gave the ringleader an ultimatum that was just too unreasonable after all he'd been through. Thus, a great film with a thud ending.
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