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10/10
This is Art!
6 July 2019
The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a beautifully photographed, well-acted film with a sumptuous musical score. Filmed in San Francisco, cinematographer Adam Newport-Berra captures the essence of the city by shooting in the neighborhoods versus the typical tourist locations most commonly covered in every other SF-based film. As a viewer, I appreciated the great attention given to creating unique shots that emphasize shadows, light, and especially the gorgeous color-grading of this film.

Every actor delivers outstanding and memorable performances. Jimmie Fails is so natural as a brooding protagonist, but Jonathan Majors who plays Montgomery Allen steals the show in the third act.

The premise of the film seems simple, but the storytelling is complex, featuring stretches of dialogue that some audiences might not have the patience to handle. There is a lot to take in, and you'll likely reflect on the film immediately after viewing it and again in the days that follow.

On a personal note, I want to thank the filmmakers for making a beautiful film about my hometown and recognizing all there is to both love and hate about the city in the year 2019.
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The Predator (2018)
1/10
Don't waste your time
28 May 2019
Unbelievably bad. Shane Black has lost his touch. Poor acting. Throw away dialogue. Bad CGI. No plot. Might as well have been produced by Disney and would've likely been better.
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Unsane (2018)
4/10
Soderbergh has lost his edge
18 August 2018
What starts out well gets very muddled. Many plot holes. This is what happens when you resort to a gimmick like shooting a feature on an iPhone just for the sake of hype. The last 30 minutes were painful and amateurish.
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The Beguiled (2017)
3/10
The Beguiled is a yawn-fest. Or, act two is a great time for a nap
8 July 2017
Honestly, I can appreciate a slow building drama that takes its time to build characters. Unfortunately, this remake of the film gives us very little in the way of conflict or tension after the setup and introduction of the characters.

There is some decent acting here from the cast, but I found it nearly impossible to see any detail in their faces due to the choice of shooting in very low light or artificially creating the effect in post. While I can't place blame entirely on the film as our local theater may have had issues with their projection system. Still, I prefer to see the expressions in actor's faces, otherwise I might as well be listening to a radio play.

The film could have been a full stop brighter and adding some fill light on the faces still would have allowed the look to be dark and drab as it was apparently intended.

By the time we get to the third act we still aren't rooting for our protagonist and frankly it's not completely clear until the climax that it's supposed to be Kidman's character. The editing is unimpressive.

This remake of "The Beguiled" isn't anything special. I suspect the jurors who awarded Coppola "Cannes Best Director Award" must have not have seen the film. For me it was best summed up by a phrase I overheard by a nearby audience member, "Is that it?". Yes... I'm afraid so.
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Willow Creek (2013)
1/10
WTF?! You'll never get back the time you lost watching this crap!
26 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This "thing" can't even pass for a movie. I think people on IMDb got paid to give it a good review. It is so, so so bad. Wooden performances, unlikable characters and no plot!

Ultra-low budget film with no redeeming value. I take that back. The location was beautiful. Beyond that the so-called "slow burn" was just a bunch of unrelated interviews and visits with people in the area.

Much of the last 20 minutes consists of scary noises and... something that may or may not be a Sasquatch.

I suspect this movie took a weekend to shoot and couldn't have cost more that a few hundred bucks to make.
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Jobs (2013)
2/10
Steve would not have approved
31 July 2014
Terrible film all around and a waste of two hours.

Ashton Kutcher's portrayal of Jobs never reaches a believable level. Whenever he's on screen he's simply Ashton Kutcher evoking some Jobs mannerisms. Even the seasoned character actors seemed out of place here delivering some very poor dialogue.

The script is a mess, but worse is the look and feel of the film. Zero creative cinematography and the editing looks like a rough cut. The whole film plays like a movie made for the Lifetime channel.

Lastly, if you happen to be interested in Silicon Valley history or Apple, don't look to this film for accuracy. Jobs is an abysmal film.
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