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Truly Powerful with Superb Performances!
23 March 2018
This is everything it should have been and more. It's a completely textured and riveting tale of the early church and St. Paul and St. Luke's role in the development of Christianity. Wonderfully written, it thoroughly explores the trials and tribulations of what was facing Christians in the early days. It's not hamfisted or cheap in any way and does captivate on an emotional level if you are a person of faith. As presented, the viewer has no idea what was going to happen unless you are already familiar with the story. The performances are simply amazing.

By the end of the film, there is a genuine interest in actually following up and searching out Paul and Luke's writings and words of wisdom...that in and of itself is not only a proper tribute to the men themselves but also to the people that crafted this film. Subtlety as well as conviction wins the day here and I'm better for having watched this film. How many movies can you say that about? Fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith...
8 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
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Death Wish (2018)
Better Than Expected! Smart and Emotional!
2 March 2018
Normally, I hate remakes but in this case it just works. Screw the critics and naysayers because this movie simply delivers. I can't say it delivered what I expected because it is BETTER than I expected.

As much as I like Charles Bronson as an actor and certain wild "who gives a flock" elements of his Death Wish series this incarnation has more emotion and is much smarter. Maybe that's where others might have a problem with this movie but I do not. It's not at all cheesy nor does it feature wild unbelievable action. It's a violent tale about a doctor who is pushed beyond his emotional limits and the revenge path he takes to try and deal with a fractured mental state. It's raw and somewhat believable. I even liked the cuts to modern media debating his role as a vigilante. It's a crisp revenge movie with some actual depth of character.

I even really liked the uncle character played by Vincent D'Onofrio. The way he is written makes the viewer question why exactly is he in this movie but it all works BECAUSE of those questions at the end of the day. Bruce Willis was good and, frankly, this is a better character than those of his last six movies combined.
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Jason Bourne (2016)
blew right off the believability cliff *rolls eyes*
2 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This certainly checked all the Bourne Movie boxes. The action and flavor were the same yet some of it came off as a stale retread. It may have a lot to do with the rather basic and shallow storyline. There was tension at times and probably the best car chase scene in any movie in years. Yet, they took it to the edge and then flat out blew right off the believability cliff. Not since the ending to "Con Air" has the Las Vegas strip been used for such an over-the-top finale. I mean, it's almost the exact same insanity.

The entire film itself felt like a rough running engine. When it was humming, it was intense and vintage Bourne smooth. When it slowed down, it sputtered all over the place.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
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The Avengers (2012)
Simply Superb!
26 April 2012
The Avengers is simply a superb movie in every way that matters. Forget comparing it to other films of the genre. I'll save that for a later date because it really isn't important. Judging it as a stand alone piece of entertainment, it's the best time I've had in theaters in a very long time. First off, forget what you think you know or expect because it operates at a higher level then anyone would have guessed. There is very little clichéd about the film. They establish their own universe by themselves but it is so aided by all the previous solo lead in films. If you've seen them all, you're in for a real treat with Avengers. If you haven't, you'll enjoy them MORE now watching them after Avengers. They fearlessly take the adventure wire to wire but manage to make you really care about every circumstance, character and scene. Every character is believable given the nature of the universe they establish. You really are drawn in to the world and to the each and every character right from the first act. That connection makes the action more meaningful, just like with the best of movies regardless of genre. The dialog has been called superb by fans and critics alike for a reason. The conflict and tension present between EVERYONE (protagonist, antagonist, friend, and foe) absolutely makes the film. The performances that stem off of that are all remarkable. The charisma this film packs, and there's plenty of it, comes from the flawless performances and the dialog. Also, the supporting cast is utilized perfectly. This is as good and as fun of a film that has ever been made. Bold statement, I know. I rarely rely on critics but when nine out of ten of them praise this film they are doing so for a reason. It makes you wonder what those few others saw or how much they were paid not to like an instant classic.
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
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Wonderful & Inspirational Under The Radar Film!
18 November 2011
Until today, I had never even heard of this film and I do consider myself a bit of a film buff. This one flew way under the radar but thank God (literally) for TCM. I stumbled upon this flipping the channels, during one of the fantastic sermons, and it hooked me bigtime. What a wonderful and inspirational film. Sure, the old school cheese was in place but conviction and depth is so refreshing to see in a film compared to what is delivered today. Every sermon rang true even today and this movie truly helps the viewer to contemplate and reflect on what is working and what is not in their life.

The story/example given about a sick child asking his mother about death is truly moving. The child asks his mother what will death be like and, after composing herself and asking for strength from God, she responds. She asks her son if he remembers playing when he was young all day to the point of exhaustion. She reminds him how he was worn out and how he simply collapsed in his parents bed and fell in to a deep sleep. She asked if he remembers waking the next day refreshed in his own bed were he was safe and was tended to. She reminded him that it was because of the love and tenderness of his father that, while he slept, the father took him in his strong arms and placed him where he was safe and were he was suppose to be. The mother remarked that death was very much like that, the FATHER will transport the weary soul home to eternal rest. "See you in the morning" indeed!
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insane liberal rhetoric + cynical views + bad writing = lame film
16 November 2011
This is one poorly structured and out of focus political film that's neither a political thriller nor a think piece. It's just an excuse to lambaste the political process all the while mixing in insane liberal rhetoric at just about every turn. Every stump speech Clooney delivers is filled with the most idiotic liberal platitudes imaginable. I give credit for pointing out Democratic hypocrisy and it's an interesting look in to the mindset of a left wing campaign but it's not interesting enough. A great cast is absolutely wasted here and the movie itself offers no insight or depth to any real issue. This movie is as big of a waste of time as any dumb CGI video game movie and that's the real surprise.
4 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful?
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Great message and Duvall is wonderful as always
6 September 2011
A perfect case of a message adding up to more than presentation in film terms. The story itself sags often, is corny and there is actually limited emotional connection despite the attempt at playing heavily in to character development. Three things elevate this movie to above average for me. One, Robert Duvall... that guy is a treat to watch in just about any performance. Two, I love the game of golf. Finally, the message of altering and living life on your own terms with faith and conviction resonates in a big way. I really loved this line from Duvall's grace before his meal... "Thank You for faith in a world filled with fear."

When reading certain reviews and seeing how many hate filled people attack any film with any type of religious message it helps to remember just how much they are lashing out in fear. Lack of true faith makes all people truly miserable eventually (and afraid) because they have nothing to truly strive for and will always be haunted by their own mortality. We all know misery loves company. They want to drag down and insult those who have a chance at peace. That in and of itself is quite sad.

Regardless, this movie is NOT a pure religious film at all. It's a story about golf and struggling to better oneself by prioritizing what is really important in life.
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The Debt (I) (2010)
frustrating film, feels much longer than it needs to be.
1 September 2011
It's true, this movie feels much longer than it needs to be. It's a very frustrating film because you wait patiently for it to kick in to gear and it never really does. Sure, the performances are all stellar (I'll go out on the limb and say the younger cast outperforms the older cast and Mirren and company are the ones getting all the praise) but the structure of the movie itself feels off and nothing ever hits the mark enough to enjoy or to be thrilled by any of the events depicted. The film really does fizzle out with an unsatisfying ending.

These lines say it best: "We're supposed to be interested in the characters, but we're never really given a chance to know them, and when we're supposed to be engaged in the mission, they'd rather have us trying to focus on the relationships between the characters. If you were looking for a thrilling and immersing story of bravery based on the synopsis of the film, sadly you won't find it here."
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4F Afterall....A Fine Fantastically Fun Film
29 August 2011
The humor, angst and drama are remarkable for a superhero flick. I can't think of a weak moment in the film, as it is strong from beginning to end. Anyone doubting Chris Evans in the role need worry no more. He's Oscar caliber good in this movie. His amazing performance is aided by what can only be called an amazing CG transformation. In this case, it's pre-transformation. Everyone is perfectly cast and perfect in their roles. Hugo gives one of the greatest villain portrayals in modern cinema history.

This easily fulfilled and the exceeded all of my expectations. I can't wait for a solo sequel even though it will be cool to see Cap in Avengers. I like how they handled the modern era and depression era stuff. This really is everything anyone would want in a movie. I know it's everything I had hoped to see.

Captain America is pure fun, a perfect mix of old school dazzle and good old-fashioned charisma. Marvel-ous!
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I found myself trying hard to like the film but failing miserably
25 July 2011
The plot had no cohesion making it difficult for many in the audience to get caught up in the film. That's a big surprise because if you don't empathize with the lead character, what's the point of an adventure film? Because of the director whom I really like, I had hoped that this would be better. I found myself trying hard to like the film but failing miserably. Despite the number of effects, they were very ho-hum as well. Favreau overworked and overthought this movie. What a shame but I guess the pressure was just too great.

This disappointment reduces a collection of normally excellent actors in to roles in which they ham it up in mechanically orchestrated poses and predictable situations, not helped by a story that goes virtually nowhere coherent. There really wasn't smart source material to be had and the final product that hit the screen certainly proves that fact. All they managed to deliver was a mostly unfunny, unentertaining and silly romp in wasteoftimeville.
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Thor (2011)
Incredible Action and Fantasy but with a Superb Story! Best in Years!
26 April 2011
Another outstanding effort, Marvel does it again! It's hard to believe that a movie with this subject matter can make you think and challenge all your movie viewing skills but it does so and more. It's very artistic and you would expect no less from Kenneth Branagh. He presents the entire film in a way that can be savored. Many aspects are classical drama and yet other aspects are just plain old fun kick-butt action scenes. It's a perfect blend and this movie is far deeper then I would've thought. The pacing was perfect as is the link to the Marvel movie Universe... I can't wait to see what Captain America brings us. Overall, a summer movie that's superior to everything else that I've seen in years.

The director's background in Shakespearian themes comes in to play right from the beginning of the film and run throughout. Thor is a super-strong "god" and can travel through space with supernatural powers yet the story is paradoxical and contrary about those elements instead choosing to focus on the human elements. THAT elevates this film far beyond anything I was expecting but I should have known better considering the source material and the director.

The genuine and relatable qualities of these characters are what make it a great film. Sure, the action and fantasy are incredible but the story works so well. The family dynamics between fathers & sons along with sibling rivalry and the price of vanity and lack of humility all resonate. The choices made and the relationships on display are as wonderful as the brawling and action... which are as good as any summer movie that I've seen in years.
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Robin Hood (2010)
overly moody in a bad way = YAWN
12 May 2010
The concept and character of Robin Hood has been done to death on the silver screen. Yet, here we go again. Like the character, this movie doesn't know what it wants to be. It is advertised and sold as a piece of summer popcorn entertainment, but tries to be a complex "Gladiator" type film at the same time and ends up being neither. It's overly moody in a bad way. I always like Russell Crowe and he did the best he could given the material but that doesn't really equal anything special. Was I expecting too much given this cast and director? I haven't been this disappointed since Crystal Skull hit like a bad punch to the gut.

It is burdened with a dialogue-heavy, action-light dark tone that does little to develop the characters. How is this smart in any way? The first hour is a meandering, repetitive mess. Its only redeeming quality is the fact that Russell Crowe is a great actor in any setting. Too bad even that can't save this movie. I can't believe I'm writing this but I enjoyed the Costner Robin Hood movie more than this one. Who woulda thunk it?
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Wonderful Performances Muted By A Poor Script... Disappointing
22 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
If the purpose of the film was to make the viewer relate to the film exactly the way a reader would react to meeting fictional writer Arlen Faber then mission accomplished. I was deeply disappointed in this movie. As it unfolds, you expect the film to deliver something profound and moving. It never does nor even comes close. It's clichéd filled and aimless. It makes no real statement about faith and offers nothing of substance. The movie revolves are three characters and you never really emotionally connect with two of the three. The exception being the alcoholic bookstore owner, that character was well written. Unfortunately, the main leads are disappointingly weak. Jeff Daniels and Lauren Graham deliver wonderful performances as expected but there really wasn't anything extraordinary for them to work with in terms of the script.

A big disappointment.
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Everything you would want in a movie and much much much more!
5 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
An enjoyable film, even for a non fan. I was never a fan of anything dealing with X-Men before the first film. I can't say I even knew anything about it other than a few of the characters, but the first film was good. I also enjoyed the sequels, as the action and plot were very well done. This film was even better. I found Hugh Jackman to give his best performance ever as he commands the screen as an action hero. The whole story, especially the Silver Fox twist, was great. The film also has emotional scenes that may not match the intensity of the action sequences but still are pretty strong. 9/10 Very Very Good.

It is a special, special treat when the sequel to an excellent film franchise surpasses the former trilogy. Such is the case with Wolverine. Imagine if Phantom Menance wasn't crap but was actually better then any of the first three Star Wars films? Such is the case here.
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Evan Almighty (2007)
Sad To Say... Idiotic, Childish and worse NOT FUNNY
18 June 2007
Evan Almighty is an extreme disappointment. I thought the movie would be typical Steve Carrell comedy tone, but it turned out to be a bad SNL skit that would never end. The plot never took off, as it was constantly blocked by idiotic, childish animal gags. It had potential to be a good movie, and at some parts it looked as though it might finally head in that direction, but it never did. Although it did have some humorous highlights, the movie overall was terrible.

I'm sorry but I found a majority of this film to be unfunny and quite dumb. I like Steve but this one just didn't work for me. Morgan Freeman must have just been looking for a paycheck. You can place this movie right next to "Dumb and Dumber" as follow up films post Jim Carrey that should've never seen the light of day.
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a total DULL disappointment
28 July 2004
What a let down! This movie is total boring waste of time hidden as a tarentino film. What the heck happened? Maybe they just shouldn't have split this movie in to two parts? I can't imagine there will be any deleted scenes on the DVD because this film looked like they were searching for screen filler to extend its running time. Most of this incomplete movie felt bloated and unsatisfying. Only a big fan (out of blind loyalty) could call this thing an instant classic. This movie was 95% talk and 5% action. I wouldn't have minded it so much if the talking was stimulating, but it wasn't. There was one scene where Bill was talking about super heroes and their alter egos. I about puked. Kill Bill One was good. I saw it twice in the theater. I will never see this movie again. It was a total disappointment!!
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Huge Disappointment
28 July 2004
Another example of how a big studio prostitutes a story to make it likable to a wide audience, miserably failing in the attempt. It aspires to be much more than what it actually is, almost to the point of being pretentious. I haven't looked forward to a film with this much anticipation since Phantom Menace. And I haven't been this disappointed with a film since Phantom Menace. Half way through, it takes a left turn and just goes right down the toilet. I spent the rest of the movie either annoyed or disgusted by the sloppy and irritating cuts and pans. If you're looking to induce at least 100 seizures by way of its ungodly excess of edits and cuts and shakey hand held camera work then this movie is for you.
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I, Robot (2004)
Flat and Uninteresting
28 July 2004
This thing broke robot rule number one. Never injure a human being, through inaction or interaction. This thing was so bad that it hurt this human being. Stay away for your own mental heath. Just as bad as that other film written by this robot lovin' loser. 'Bicentennial Man' with Robin Williams may have had less action in it then this movie but even that crap wasn't as devoid of thought as I, Robot is.

The robots never looked like they were actually real or interacting properly with the human cast. They never seemed like a real world threat. Even the mob fight and the police station attack seemed to have no real world threat.

You could almost see the wires lifting the cops as the robots 'hit' them. This was a green screen film where you felt the actors looking at nothing as they tried to act. Maybe the humans were really the deficient ones. The effects department and the actors failed here…miserably.
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Very well balanced in every direction. The best fantasy movie ever.
28 July 2004
Simply put, Spider-Man 2 is one amazing film. The complexity, depth, heart and action were off the charts. I honestly can't remember when I saw a better movie. I totally agree with film critic Roger Ebert when he calls this movie the best comic adaptation film of all-time. I echo the high praise his partner Richard Roeper and just about every other critic in the world has given this instant classic…thumbs WAY up from me too! I was stunned by how many times I was actually moved emotionally by the film's plot. I know many movies claim to have something for everyone but this one manages to pull it off while remaining interesting and compelling all the way through. There are spectacular action scenes as well as heartfelt family moments. There is romance and there is humor. I can't imagine anyone age 8 through 65 not enjoying some aspect of this film. Director Sam Raimi, the cast/crew and writers should all be proud of this masterpiece and take a bow.
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anticlimactic ending=what a let down! one fight?
10 July 2004
Kill Bill volume 2 is just a fluffed collection of cheesy dialog as stale characters try and stretch out an ending that's anticlimactic in form as well as deed. The title tells us that Bill will die. The pathetic part is how this happens. After the set up of volume 1, this dull and spectacularly un-clever 'sequel' just whimpers home. It tries to inject depth to the one dimensional killers of volume 1 but fails miserably. Even the introduction of a child into the mix fails to resonate any real emotion. This could be the worst film released this year. If anyone but Tarantino had his name attached to it, critics would be bashing this thing without mercy.

It's no wonder this movie bombed after the first three days of release. I just watched the re-run of Tarantino directing the Jimmy Kimmel talk show. I didn't see it the first time around and I thought it was the dumbest thing I've ever seen. Tarantino is about as clever as a rabid dog. Anyone that saw this must have thought to themselves, 'This is definitely one movie that I'm staying away from.' As I flipped the channels, I came back to watch Tarantino close the show by reading the teleprompter and saying, 'tune in tomorrow… CARL Ripken Jr. will be here.' Huh? Kimmel had to stand up and correct him. This idiot doesn't even know the most famous baseball player of our generation and he's suppose to be a pop culture phenomenon? It's true, Kill Bill volume 2 is just a fluffed collection of cheesy dialog as stale characters try and stretch out an ending that's anticlimactic.
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King Arthur (2004)
dull, flat and uninteresting
10 July 2004
There is absolutely nothing remarkable or spectacular about this film. I've literally seen made for cable TV movies with more depth. This has to be one of the most "blah" movies ever released in the summer months.

It wasn't even an entertaining movie while it lasted, and it sure isn't one of those movies that you'll remember down the road. The acting was OK, for the most part. Arthur lacked the charisma I always imagined him having. Guinevere did nothing but fire a few arrows and the portrayal of her was quite disappointing. Although I'm a fan of Keira Knightley, her character had no depth to her character nor personality, mere show in the movie, and love between Arthur and her never was brought out (the love scene between her and Arthur was a joke), nor the relationship between Lancelot and she other than a few glances. Religion was a big issue in the movie that quickly became annoying...the character was either and ardent skeptic, or a hardcore fanatic, no in-between. The visuals were well done, and the soundtrack was decent.

Historians and true fans of the Arthurian legends will leave disappointed but so will the average movie fan…dull, flat and uninteresting.
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POWERFUL - Oscar-Worthy
10 July 2004
You will not find anywhere in movie-making history a more detailed, accurate, and meaningful movie than this one. Actually, contrary to what many people may think, Gibson held back a bit in showing the graphics of what really happened. I believe the beatings and such were even worse than we see in the film. Hats off to Mel & company for the wonderful work that was done. It's about time someone from Hollywood stepped up and proclaimed the truth. There is so much trash coming out of Hollywood these days, that this was nice change. Folks, if you have not seen this movie and want a real life visual of what your Saviour did for you, I challenge you to view this movie. If you are not emotionally effected, you may be lacking a heart. Acting was second to none.

I wondered why everyone had to actually watch this film to understand what Christ went through, isn't faith and understanding of his death enough? Then I saw it and I knew. It's as close to actually being there as possible. I'll never look at the crucifix the same way again. Even from a strictly artistic standpoint, I thought it was excellent.
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The Punisher (2004)
Highly Recommended!
10 July 2004
This is one very entertaining revenge movie. I was surprised by its depth and surprised by the performances. This wonderful revenge film was acted and directed with complete conviction but still found the time to kick butt. I knew Travolta could bring it but I was stunned at how good the performances were from the new guy (Tom Jane) and from Rebecca. Very sad at times, but the comical relief is well placed. It's definitely the most action packed movie that I've seen this year. Highly Recommended! If you're looking for a butt kicking movie, you should enjoy it! There was some good humor thrown in too, so you can look forward to the comedic relief between the explosions and killings!!!
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Man on Fire (2004)
Depressing & Overrated In Every Way
10 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
The first part is fine as that adorable little actress steals the show. After her abduction, Man on Fire takes a left turn and just goes right down the toilet. I spent the rest of the movie either annoyed or disgusted by the sloppy and irritating cuts and pans. Also, the ending leaves a lot to be desired.

Denzel spends a good part of this movie moping around like a sad refugee from a 70s war flick. (drinking and crying) the film is an overblown revenge short story after the first hour spends the time to snap him out of his fog.

The next half hour of the film is spent enduring flashes and crazy cuts by the director. SPOILER ......... After, Denzel just passes out and on in the back seat of a car. Yawn. Although, I envied him because I wanted to pass out myself but I wanted it to happen much earlier in the film. It would've made my movie going experience better.
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Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Absolutely fantastic! A must see!
10 July 2004
It transcends summer blockbuster status and becomes just a totally mindblowing motion picture in its own right. Wow...it made you laugh, it made you cry, and it made you appreciate the simple things in life, as well as the struggles we all go through. You really feel for Peter, because I'm sure we can relate to hardships in our life. The chemistry between Mary Jane and Peter is great. There were many touching parts! I'm sure it's been said, but the story in this particular film really makes it stand out. Not to mention the great special effects. If you have even a remote interest in Spider-Man, or none at all, I would still recommend you to go. Your g/f will love you for it, and you will love it too. Trust me on this. Go see it now, and you won't be disappointed.
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