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2/10
New Moon deserves a Razzie!
23 November 2009
If this is going to be the new norm in Hollywood, I'm going to stop going to the theater. I went and saw this movie with my wife, we just recently saw "Twilight" and have not read the books, so we were at a disadvantage next to the million's of other kids in line with us. The only good mark I can give this film is that it's a new spin on the old Vampire tale. Plus, it's a new spin on the "i'm a girl being chased by two boys, who will fight over me." This formula has been done thousands of times, and it won't be too long before there's another silly teen-craze movie that draws in the current generation of movie goers. The negative marks on this film are too numerous to mention. It's plain and simply bad. It rates up there with Manos: hands of fate, and From Justin to Kelly. This is an example of the junk movies that are made in today's age, and just like the recent Transformer's movie it's made a boat-load of money based on hype. If anyone actually watches this movie more than once needs to be screened for psychological problems.
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Stick It (2006)
6/10
A lot more than just Gymnastics
6 August 2009
First of all my wife and I, love this film. We are both huge fans of Gymnastics and it is difficult to find a movie, or even a documentary which captures the emotion of the sport the way "Stick it" does. On the surface of this film its about young girls flipping around a mat, and flying off of the uneven bars but, it goes deep into the inner workings of the competitive arena. In addition to the competitive insight, this film gives a glimpse into how parents are so influential in the lives of their children. In the scenes between the lead character "Haley" and the adults in this film, clearly shows the struggle that these kids have. All too many times these girls are forced into a sport and expected, by their folks and their coaches, to do extraordinary things. Not too many people who watch gymnastics on TV would know how much pressure these girls have on them from their parents, from their coach, and from their teammates. They have all of this stress and then they compete and the judges don't do the competitors justice.

I thank the writers of this film for finally bringing a quality movie about the reality of the sport. I highly recommend this film.
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Lost (2004–2010)
7/10
A Puzzle?
4 February 2009
I have to admit I got onto the "Lost" bandwagon late. I remember hearing people rave about this cool new show, and how interesting it was. I didn't want to just watch another boring show. Afterall, television now-a-days is quite bland. It seems as if every show has the same cookie-cutter technique of telling a story, where there's no thought involved in watching. I however have been seeking an intelligent show for quite a while. So, in early 2007 I finally caved-in and downloaded the Pilot on iTunes. To my amazement, this show was exactly what I was looking for. To say I was lost, would be very cliché'.

I immediately downloaded two more episodes, just to make sure what I was watching wasn't just a highlighted 1st episode and nothing else. Again, i was amazed. I went to the store that day and bought the first two seasons, and watched them over the weekend.

I cannot say enough good things about this show. Every episode is chalked full of thought provoking delimnas and questions. Every character in this show has a different story, yet they are all connected but, we the viewer, is left with pondering questions. It is remarkable how each storyline is shuffled around, and inter-mixed with other. Even, the island is it's own separate character, which interjects this show with mystery but, not to the point where its over the top. I also, like how you have to watch every episode, in order. This isn't your typical sitcom, you can't just jump into a syndicated episode and understand, you have to watch it from the beginning.

The show seems to be an amalgam of many different genres of modern media. It reminds me very much of the P.C. games Myst and Riven. Of course, there is the touch of Lord of the Flies/Gilligans Island although, this show is clearly not a comedy and I am thankful it's not. All of this is mixed in with a Utopian/Advance Civilization theme, which cleverly gives this show an almost endless future.

All-in-all, this show exceeds all expectations. Please, do not listen to the critics who believe this show is boring, or too slow to follow. This is not your ordinary CSI, or Everybody Love Raymond, this is a show for people with more going for them than just a time to veg-out.
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8/10
What a movie is supposed to be!
2 February 2009
I have, in my 32 years of existence, watched a many, many movies. I've seen classics such as Casablanca, or Metropolis, and have seen the most horrible or horrible films like, Justin Loves Kelly. With that being said watching The Fellowship of the Ring was up there amongst the best.

The film is absolutely captivating, it has some of the best visual imagery I've ever seen. Every scene is crisp, the blacks are black, fire looks like fire, and the costumes and equipment used are so impeccably caught on film, that it's easy to feel as if you (the view) is actually in the scene with the actor's. Of course, in addition to the visual imagery, you have the sound and computer graphics. Again, the sensory overload I experienced was right up there with watching a beautiful sunset. Finally, the direction and acting is first rate. I understand, now, from watching the entire extended cut, trilogy that all three movies, (FOTR, TT, ROTK), were all shot as one and each scene was organized so that when they were filming one scene for the first film, the next scene could have very easily been for the second, or the third film. Amazing. I especially enjoyed the roll of Aragon played by Viggo Mortensen was exactly what I imagined from the book. His roll was mysterious, cold, yet powerful.

All in all, this film is easily one of the best films ever made. There is no way that early Hollywood could have pulled of a film of this magnitude. This is something that only modern technology could have brought to life. So comparing this film to the classics, such as Casablanca, is like comparing Apples to Oranges.
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5/10
The George Lucas effect!
25 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am surprised at how this movie did so well in the box office. The fact that it is an additional film to the already, immensely popular Indiana Jones series, doesn't take away the fact that this film is appalling. I give Harrison Ford credit for coming back to the film, after all he is well into his years now, which is to say that he wasn't exactly young in the first place when he filmed the first three. Harrison Ford also, did his best with the story, and direction at hand because, it appears as if George Lucas has determined to destroy all of his masterpieces from the past. George Lucas has done to this story exactly what he did to his Star Wars saga, he made it so "over the top" un-believable, that he forgot why people liked the first three to begin with. The adventure was there, the story was a continuous mystery that kept the movie-goer hooked. This wasn't the case with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This must be what they call the George Lucas effect.

The addition of Kate Blanchett, and Shia LaBeouf however, is actually what made this film somewhat bearable. Although, this was clearly one of Miss. Blancett's worst rolls, it is clear she was chosen for this roll based on her ability to act but, it fails her previous rolls. Shia LaBeouf seems to be a very versatile actor, and I would like to see him do more adventure-genre films.

I recommend this film only to those who have some time to kill. If you are looking for the same magic, as in the previous three; sorry you won't find it here.
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Fringe (2008–2013)
7/10
A little different!
23 January 2009
The only real compliment that can be given to Fringe, the newest creation from J.J. Abrahms, is that it's a little different. There are so many, "cookie-cutter" shows on the tele these days that having something this weird, and unrealistic is a welcome relief. No one should ever sit down to watch an episode of Fringe, and expect anything that is believable.

The acting on Fringe is a lousy, Josh Jackson and Anna Torv have the constant and annoying habit of pausing achingly long when they aren't sure what their lines are. However, aside for that flaw, this show is sheer entertainment and with the extraordinary John Noble, playing the Dr. Walter Bishop roll, it really is. Leave it the insane-genius of J.J. Abrahms to cast two horrible actors as Josh Jackson and Anna Torv and then cast a well versed, and experienced Shakespearian-stage actor in John Noble.

All in all, I like the show and my fiancé and I, watch the show every week.
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8/10
Perfection
13 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Every now and then a film is made which, encompasses every aspect of film-making. A great story, (with a plot), solid characters, a thorough explanation of events, all of which culminate to a finale which is appropriate for everything have just seen. Of course, this is in addition to a bit of humor scenes, dramatic scenes, even death scenes.

This film reminded me so much of Forrest Gump, which I absolutely admire with all respect. It used the same pacing, same type of storyline, mixed with an amazing score, and breath taking scenery. The characters reflected Forrest Gump as well. Of course not exactly the same but, very similar. Brad Pitt's character was born with a significant set back, which he had to deal with his entire life people saw him as being old and they treated him in the same way, just as Forrest Gump was seen as being stupid, so they treated him as if he was stupid. Both Benjamin Button and Forrest Gump had girls the were amorously engaged with. In this case instead of Jenny, it was Daisy played by the lovely Kate Blanchett. In addition to all of that, their was his little "tour of duty" on a Tug Boat. He saw some time in WWII, and his Capitan, Capitan Mike was killed, this is all very similar to Forrest in Vietnam, and Lt. Dan. This all happened while this girl that he has "loved" since childhood, ran off and lived her adventurous, yet promiscuous life, and only after suffering dearly does she return to the one she loved. Daisy does this, in much the same way that Jenny did it in Forrest Gump.

All in all, this film was spectacular. This is a movie however, that like Forrest Gump is difficult to mass produce, and therefore it stands the test of time. Benjamin Button will be a movie that will be seen, comfortably, by families for decades. It's a story that is a great lesson for children, and a bit of wisdom on the part of the adults. I believe that everyone should approach this film with an open heart, and the mind of child.

I highly recommend this film to anyone.
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7/10
Not as good as the first.
7 January 2009
I went to see the "dark knight" on opening weekend with my girlfriend. Both of us are comic book junkies, and we absolutely loved "batman begins." We went into the theater with the anticipation that we were going to see a continuation of the first movie. Although, the story has evolved since the first film, I was not as moved by the screenplay as I was before. I guess the first and foremost problem is the use of Maggie Gyllenhaal as, Rachel Dawes. Yes, I know that Katie Holmes turned down the roll, (not very smart on her part), however that subtle difference made me think less of her roll and more on the fact that she wasn't Katie Holmes. The second part that I had a problem with is that the trailers of this film, and all the hype leading up to it made Heath Ledger's roll as "the joker" less appealing. Although he does pull of the job of being disturbed quite well, this is in no way what I had imagined him to be. It almost seemed like his character was subdued a bit, and should have been done with greater emphasis. I still contest that Jack Nicholson was the best joker. Anyway, it is still a great movie, I saw it twice in the theater, and own it now on DVD. Inspite of all the flaws of this film, I still recommend it to comic book junkies, like myself, and anyone else who likes a good story.
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The Rundown (2003)
7/10
I'm gonna need your ring.
6 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I remember going to see this movie, in the theater, not expecting much. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) after all didn't strike me as that decent of actor. Sure, he did the Scorpion King but, that wasn't a far stretch from WWE Raw, all it was, was the Rock flexing his muscles. That was until "The Rundown" made it to the big screen.

The opening sequence in this film has got to be one of the best hooks in recent movie history. His cool demeanor, confidence, and the persona of a "closet chef," makes this scene awesome. The way he takes out those players is awesome, and I like to see guy's like the Rock, every now and then, kick some Heine.

The film doesn't stop being good after the first scene though, Sean Willam Scott is better than I thought too. This is definitely not, American Pie. He actually displays some Lead Roll tendencies and dishes out humor that isn't at the consequence of the scene.

The movie moves into the "jungle" scene and again, even the extra's do a decent job of acting. Of course, when you have a film like this the speaking parts are not what you want to watch, films like this speak with action, and the little-tike warriors in the jungle deliver with a punch, (or a kick)! All in all, this film is great, and it's one I do not get bored watching over and over. Not exactly a movie you want to watch with your girlfriend but, not one she will think is completely stupid either.
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Marley & Me (2008)
8/10
Don't listen to the pessimists! Tears are okay!
1 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Please for all those people who are deciding to go see this movie please do not read any of these negative comments. They are wrong and have a totally corrupted view of a great family movie. It is unfortunate to say that too many people out there cannot handle a sad movie.

This movie is ultimately about love, and how insignificant our daily problems are to a dog. When some becomes a dog owner they are in a sense adopting someone into their families, and although, at times, that dog can be a pain ultimately we love our dog's, and cherish our times together. The acting by both Owen Wilson, and Jennifer Aniston was brilliant. They brought a unique real life feel to their characters which is easily understandable to most people.

I do agree though that this movie should have a PG-13 rating. BUT! That is no reason not to bring your children to the theater. I know it's tough for some folks to explain to their children about life but, as for me and my children they understood perfectly. Yes they were crying at the end, and so was I, (men cry too). I really did love this movie, and it reminded me of how appreciative I am of my dog, and my family for sticking together. I am sorry for all those pessimists who haven't experienced life with a Dog the way the characters do in this movie. If you feel this was a bad film, fine, that's your opinion but, in my opinion there should be more movies like this made.
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Happy Gilmore (1996)
7/10
The PGA should be grateful!
30 December 2008
The Professional Golfers Association should define its sport in two era's. That is the time before Happy Gilmore, and the time after Happy Gilmore. Before Happy Gilmore, golf was still the "guy in plaid pants" type of sport. A game meant for people of affluence and social position. Happy Gilmore re-kindled the Caddyshack affect, advertising to the young, and not-so-affluent crowd showing us that golf can be both fun, and colorful. The golfing technique that Happy Gilmore uses is funny, and entertaining. His frustration with the game is understandable and is easy to relate for anyone who plays. I know after watching this movie it made me want to golf more, it especially made me want to try out his unique swing and see if I could actually hit a ball like that, which I didn't.

Adam Sandler uses his unique, SNL type comedy to drive this movie. The story has a defined plot, with defined characters. This is a remarkable difference to many other, comedies with other SNL actors. Sure, there is some definite points, like where he is pummeling spectators or interacting with other SNL cast members, like Kevin Neeland but, this movie actually delivers both good laughs, and good entertainment. It is a great story which takes some "kid" who just wants to play hockey, and ends up being a phenomenal golfer.

It has been a few years now since this film was released but, I know plenty of guy's, and ladies who started golfing after watching this movie. It's not so embarrassing anymore to tell your friends you went golfing last weekend, on top of that it's not so embarrassing to go to he golf course wearing a flannel shirt, and shorts. Golf has become more accessible to the needs of the post, Happy Gilmore crowd, the PGA with it's Tiger Wood's, and Phil Mickelson's should give this film it's due praises.
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300 (2006)
8/10
These are the true heroes!
29 December 2008
Heroes! Heroes from my past were very numerous. Batman, Superman, Captain America, and all the other Marvel, and DC comic greats. I have never before seeing this movie, had heard about the magnificent 300 at Thermopylae. I know this is an actual historic event, where 300 Spartans, which at that time, and now historically, were the fiercest fighting force known through the land.

These chaps went out to certain death, which to them was the social norms of their society, they were threatened by Xerxes or Persia. Xerxes was an unbeatable force of power, and imperial dominance in the Middle East, and Asia Minor. King Leonidas lead his 300 Spartans not blindly but, with a full strategic effort, without any hesitation of defeat or failure. These warriors, true warriors used the land, and team work, (yes team work), to stage what is to this day one of the greatest displays of democracy known.

There resilience and refusal to serve under tyranny is why these guy's are heroes. Just as the film explains, "Remember Us, Remember Us." I hope that anyone who watches this movie remembers that the story that is explained needs to be remembered. Yes, this is a Hollywood production, it is designed to entertain and make money. Yet, the story here is more important than any of that. Forget what the critics say about the production being over-the-top or the story being to violent. We should all give praise to Frank Miller for bringing this story to life in modern form, so that we are not without this lesson.

This movie is a must see for anyone who needs inspiration. King Leonidas is a great symbol of leadership, and how it can be used effectively, even when it goes against the wishes of the masses. This film is a must see, and should be viewed with open eyes.
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7/10
A great story, with great messages.
26 December 2008
I had the pleasure of seeing this movie being made, while I lived in Savannah, Ga. I have to say first off that the visual imagery of this film in impeccable, and nothing other than top-notch. The use of scene's at night, and scene's in the fog, and scene's in the rain bring an emotion to specific points in the story that could not have been told any other way.

A great story is exactly what this film is, despite what some critics have said about this film being cheesy, or not being realistic, what they apparently lack in a sense of imagination and a flair for the art of storytelling. The setting for this film as being after WWI, and entering into the great depression separates the story from being exclusively about money, or an individual character. Although, this movie is titled, "The Legend of Bagger Vance," this film is not about Bagger Vance. Sure, Bagger Vance had a big role in transforming Matt Damon's character. This film is about fear, and personal doubt, and the ability to overcome our own obstacles.

Using Golf as the subject is terrific, being that it is a sport which, is ultimately about competing against yourself. Each shot in golf, from the drive to the putt is about individual concentration, and ability. Being a golf fanatic, I know it can be quite a frustrating game when you let it get the best of you. You get behind on a stroke, you try to over-compensate for your loss, and you end up playing worse because, you're now playing not to screw up.

I give big prop's to Robert Redford for directing this great film, and to the casting director for bringing together a group that has great on-screen chemistry.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a good story, and likes the idea that we can all conquer our own fears.
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6/10
Great but not for everyone!
23 December 2008
I went and saw Burn After Reading, with my girlfriend and her parents. I suggested this movie to them because I like the partnership between Clooney and Pitt. After watching the Oceans 11, 12, and 13 series I knew these two had the necessary, dry comedic timing that is essential for a piece like this. It takes a story which, to most of us, and to Frances McDormand in this film, is an important issue and twists it a little. It is a good example of how something that might seem more important to us, can be blown out of proportion and turned into something that it's not. That's what happens in this film, and I won't spoil it for those who haven't seen it but, it's definitely a classic blend of comedy and tragedy. Having an ensemble cast, and using the soap opera/pulp fiction style story telling, so two seemingly unconnected plots, have an effect on one another makes this film a plus, for anyone pursuing a career in cinema.

Two thumbs up, four stars, and a must see. Bravo!
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Jurassic Park (1993)
8/10
Imagination is still important!
22 December 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I recently watched this film again after not seeing it for a few years, and I still can't believe how captivated I am. Every aspect of this film keeps you interested in what's going to happen next, from the intro-scene where the two title characters are digging up fossils, to the ending-scene where they are flying away over the ocean, I love this movie with absolute certainty.

I remember growing up as a boy, idolizing T-Rex's and Brachiosauri. Watching how the film, (and book which is even better than the movie), explains how the creatures are created, from finding the DNA, to the actual full-sized,(CG), version, it is a visual production of my own dreams. Although, some critics have commented on the amount of gore, and violence associated with a family film. Yet, this is an acceptable level in my eyes and should be acceptable to most other who view this film.

Big props to Spielberg, and Crichton for creating this lovely story. I just hope there is some young boy, or young girl out there who still have not seen this movie, and after the first time they view it they dream about it. That's what this film and story are about, letting us know that imagination is still important.
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Forrest Gump (1994)
9/10
Great Story!
27 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'd like to say first of all, that I absolutely love this film. When I first saw this film in the theater I was taken back by how flawlessly, the Director expressed the story of the title character Forrest Gump. I am surprised however, by all the Forrest Gump haters out there, who view this as some sort of propaganda machine, or film about a man who skates his way through life and achieves everything. Boo hoo, are those haters jealous because he did everything right or because he made "a gazillion dollars"? Well, life is different for everybody. Maybe somehow, these people don't believe that something like this is possible? How could a simple, southern man from Greenbow, Alabama succeed when all he does is follow the direction of others? This films theme after all, (SPOILERS), is whether life is governed by destiny or, by chance? I won't get into a debate about that here but, lets remember this is fictional, and it's for entertainment. Don't take it so seriously...enjoy it! The acting by Tom Hanks is beautiful. It is hard to view Tom Hanks, now, as anything other than Forrest. His character was completely submersed in this role. The accent was spot on, and the journey through the south, (Alabama, Savannah Ga., etc), was remarkable. Forrest is portaied as immediately different from the supporting cast. He goes through the same course of life as everyone around him but, he achieves his milestones in a unique way that only makes sense, but possibly not, to Forrest. The title character always brings his definition of life back to what he was taught by his "Mamma." I think this is a very real, and touching way of showing respect to all the mother's out there who are constantly defining for their children what the world is about. The life of Forrest is logical only to him. He doesn't question the advice given by his mother as being wrong, and he stops at that. No further thought is involved, he takes the advice and uses it as he "floats" his way through life. Every scene in this film is used to convey how destiny and chance usually occur at the same time.

All in all I give this film two thumbs, way up. I recommend for anyone who loves a great story, and wishes their lives could be this easy.
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10/10
The Mona Lisa
18 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Schindler's List is to Steven Spielberg, as the Mona Lisa was to DaVinci. If there ever was an absolute masterpiece of cinema this would be it. All the necessary requirements of film are met: Great story, outstanding cast, flawless camera works, and tempo.

Mr. Spielberg departs from pieces about dinosaurs, aliens, and adventure seeking archaeologists by bringing something personal to the screen.

This film is about the difference between good and evil. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who is a German Industrialist, (not an evil trader), who like all other German's in the 30's and 40's became unwilling supporters of the Nazi's. Like the good industrialist he is, he seizes the opportunity of war to make a profit. Schindler, being the business man that he is, accepts Jewish laborers from the Nazi party. Afterall, what business wouldn't want to reduce labor costs. The money starts rolling in and times are looking good. Schindler is happy with the money and the added bonus of Nazi connections while, the Nazi's are happy with decent Munitions, pots and pans, and the added benefit of putting the hated Jews to work.

However, the Nazi's plans are revealed to Schindler, with the assistance of his accountant (Ben Kingsley), when Amon Goethe (Ralph Fiennes), takes over his workers to put in to play Hitler's evil "solution." The good man, and smart business man realize that the SS are motivated by two things: Power and Money. Schindler realizes the sacrifice of his amassed fortune is the only way to save these Jew's from execution.

In the end the film reveals that Good can come the the least likely of sources.

This piece of cinema cannot be topped by any other. Just as every brush stroke of the Mona Lisa defined it as a masterpiece; The black and white setting, the coldness of each scene, and the highlighting of the little girl in Red, and the flame of the candle set this film apart from the pack.

Congratulations to Mr. Spielberg for giving such a wonderful masterpiece of American Art.
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8/10
Robert Downey Jr.
25 August 2008
This movie is hilarious! The view will immediately know that this movie is not going to win Best Picture but, that isn't the goal of this movie. The goal of this movie is to entertain. Yes, entertain. The forgotten verb in film-making, that is still a major reason why people watch movies.

Ben Stiller did a great job bringing something of quality to a overdone, movie spoof genre. Too often these type of movies substitute production quality to deliver underachieving satire. Not so here.

Robert Downey Jr. is amazing in this movie. I still picture this man as the cocaine addicted, Hollywood problem child. His recent movies, starting with "Iron Man" have definitely helped change this image. He is absolutely hysterical in this film.

In addition to Mr. Downey, the entire cast was hilarious, including the roll of "He who must not be named to those who haven't seen this movie yet!" I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes to be entertained. Just be warned that this movie is a full "R" rating.
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9/10
Thank You Peter Jackson!
11 April 2008
This movie is simply amazing. There are really, not enough words to describe The Return of the King. In particular the extended, director's cut edition is remarkable. Having a movie that runs over three hours is one thing, having a three hour movie that doesn't loose momentum, or attention to detail after those hours are over, is why this movie won best picture.

In addition to this movie being a remarkable piece of art, it is also a treasure for the entire family. I had the pleasure of watching this movie with my kids, both a boy and a girl. They both loved it. It has "violence", yes! However, it's not senseless shoot-em-up violence. My kids were literally glued to the screen, which is saying a lot because most movies don't keep your attention like this one. The story is a sincere, honest, and profound look of how industry and war, were affecting the "little-people" of this world. I'm glad to have my children watch a movie with an actual message. I found it funny hearing my kids say they feel better being small, and that they want to be Hobbits when they grow up.

I'd just like to say thanks to Peter Jackson for making this film.
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3:10 to Yuma (2007)
8/10
Classic Western
2 October 2007
Westerns have been a mainstay of Hollywood since the early years of the motion picture industry. 3:10 to Yuma is a classic story with, clearly defined characters. Russell Crowe having previously proved himself a well rounded actor in movies like "The Gladiator" and "A Beautiful Mind", once again amazes the audience with his role as the antagonist, bad guy, Ben Wade. Ben Wade has a clearly defined, dark edge but, is also portrayed as a thinking man who seems to be more of a victim of circumstance, than evil by choice. However, one thing is to be noted about this film: I am a fan of video games and this film seems be cut directly out of the game, "Gun." Anyway, in spite of this the movie is well worth the price of a ticket and two hours of my time.
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