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Jurassic Park (1993)
Great movie despite the fact that the book was far superior
Doctors and paleontologist/paleo biologist Ellie Sattler and Alan Grant are invited by one John Hammond to inspect a biological reserve that is "right up their alley". Reluctant at first, Hammond makes them a monetary offer that they cannot refuse and they join up with Hammond's lawyer Gennaro and a mathematician Ian Malcolm. They are whisked away to a small Island by Costa Rica where Hammond's scientists have cloned dinosaurs. The team is at first swept up in the magic of the place, but a disgruntled employee with designs on getting rich by selling pilfered dinosaur embryos soon sets events in motion that sees the dinosaurs freed from their enclosures. What follows is a edge of your seat thrill ride as the cast tries to avoid becoming dinner to a host of carnivores.
This movie still holds up even though it is approaching three decades since it was released. The special effects are phenomenal and the cast is superior. It is easy to get sucked into the story even if you have seen this movie thirty times.
If you have read the book but never seen the movie, you will be disappointed by some of the choices that were made when adapting the screenplay, but it does hold pretty close to the source material. Overall one of my favorite movies.
A History of Violence (2005)
Great character study
We are introduced to Tom Stall, played with greatness my Vigo Mortensen, a mild mannered owner of a small restaurant in a small town. He is married to a lawyer named Edie and played by the lovely Mario Bello. They have two kids and seem like the perfect nuclear family. One day a duo of would be robbers come into the restaurant with more than taking money and goods on their minds. Thinking that the pair means to ends everyone's lives, Tom leaps into action and dispatches the pair, with seemingly unbelievable ease. This brings the unwanted attention of the press as Tom is lauded as a hero. Gaining national attention it is not long before someone shows up in town, calling Tom by a different name and alleging that Tom had wronged him. It is clear that this man had malice in his heart. Could this be a simple case of mistaken identity or has Tom been hiding a secret past where he led a life of violence?
This movie is a gripping thriller with an excellent cast. I have only seen this a few times and once I am done writing this review will seek out an buy a copy. The acting is on point and the pacing is just slow enough to keep it interesting without the action being the central theme. Highly recommend this movie.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts best movie
If you have not seen this movie, I assume that you live under a rock. This is the mostly factual story of Erin Brockovich. She is a struggling single mom of three kids. The story starts out with her getting into an accident and hiring a lawyer. Ultimately she loses her case because of her surly attitude and foul mouth. Unable to find work and flat broke from her accident, Erin begins to pester her lawyer Ed Massery until he agrees to hire her in a minimalistic role in his small firm. When Erin is given a seemingly simple task on a real estate case she stumbles upon one of the biggest cases of industrial poisoning and the ensuing cover-up. As they dig further and further the depth of PG&E's negligence becomes massive.
This is a great movie on so many levels. Ms. Roberts shines in this role as never before and the supporting cast is equally as amazing. What this company did, and what so many more like it have done, is beyond reprehensible, yet they are still allowed to operate and make money. This is a great movie and everyone should watch it at least once.
Black Rock (2012)
I do not get the terrible reviews
This is the story of three women that were once really close friends that decide to get together on a remote island in Maine to reconnect. Very swiftly their idyllic trip falls apart when they run into some men with nefarious intentions. The women must come together like never before to survive and outwit their hunters.
This is not a great movie, but it is definitely good. As other reviewers pointed out, it is formulaic, but aren't 95% of the movies out there? The three lead actresses do a great job and there are some legitimate tense moments.This is a great movie for you to shut down your brain and go on a thrill ride.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
What? I found it funny
I have always liked Tom Green and thought this movie was quite funny. It is not a 10 star film as others would have you believe, but is certainly is not a one star film either. If you enjoy Adam Sandler in his earlier movies, then you should like this one just fine.
I enjoy this just as much today as I did 25 years ago.
James and Kat Harvey played by Bill Pullman and Christina Ricci, head to Maine. Dr. James Harvey has made a name for himself as a psychiatrist to the dead and helps ghosts move on. They arrive at Whipstaff manor and find it haunted by fours ghost, only one of whom is friendly and his name is Casper. The joke is that up until this point the good doctor had never actually encountered a ghost before. Kat and Casper become friends while the doctor tries to work on the three other ghosts to help them move on. It is discovered that there is a treasure hidden within the walls of Whipstaff and the rightful owner of the house, a "delightful" woman named Carrigan wants it and nothing will stop her from getting it, not even murder.
This is a delightful film that is suitable for most ages. This movie was the first to use CGI for a leading character and for the most part that animation holds up. I have watched this quite a few times and always enjoy it. I do not understand the low rating here.
Heavenly Sword (2007)
This is my favorite game of all time-no really
This is the story of an evil ruler, Bohan who is on a quest to collect mystical weapons as trophies. He will slaughter all who stand in his way. This quest leads him to the clan of Nariko and her people. They have been guardians of the Heavenly Sword, once wielded by a deity and known to claim the life of any mortal that uses it. Nariko is the daughter of the leader Shen and tasked with protecting the sword. When given the choice between handing the sword over to Bohan or surrendering her father's life, Nariko decides to use the sword instead. She is helped along the way by Kai, a catlike woman that is an expert with a bow that is a lot like a mini gun. When Nariko ultimately loses the sword she must fight to not only regain it but also save the lives of the rest of her clan.
This game is perfect in every aspect. It is a wonderful and layered story. As such, even though you know the ending you will want to revisit it often. The animation, especially on the PS3 is phenomenal and I can honestly say that in the cut scenes I have not seen the equal, even to this day. Ninja Theory designed the crap out of this and the best feature they came up with is the after touch. This allows you to slow down projectile weapons and by tilting the controller direct them where you want them to go. This comes in quite handy with the catapult and the bow.
I have played through this game more times than I can remember and it is the only reason I still have a PS3. Everyone that I told about this game and let borrow my copy ended up buying their own. Yeah it is that good. If you have a PS3 still and have not yet played this, then do it. If you do not have a 3, go get one along with this game.
Mr. Popper's Penguins (2011)
Great for all ages.
Jim Carrey plays Mr. Popper, a man that has little joy in his life. He is separated or divorced, I do not think this is specified and sees his two kids infrequently. We learn from the start of the movie in flashback form that his father was some kind of explorer and never home. Sadly he never came back. This sets the believability stage as to why Popper is such a failure as a father.
One day a mysterious box shows up and within it is a penguin. After much hullabaloo in trying to rid himself of the bird, Popper reaches out to the company that delivered it and in a misunderstood conversation gets five more. His kids, of course fall in love with the birds and his ex Amanda starts to see Popper in a different light. There is a subplot thrown in here about how Popper works to buy real estate cheap and then sell it off for a huge profit, but that has little to do with the story until the ending.
The only part of this that I had a problem with was the "evil" zoo guy trying to get the penguins for his own purposes, but I suppose every story needs a villain.
This is a great comedy that works for all ages. It is a great story of redemption and second chances as well. Pop in Mr,. Poppers Penguins whether you have kids or not and enjoy a funny story that just might tug at your heart strings as well.
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Before Tom Holland, this was THE Spider-Man
The sequel to the smash Spider-Man could not come fast enough for me. It did not disappoint. This movie deals with the inner turmoil of Peter Parker as he tries to ignore his desire for love and happiness in an effort to be the hero that New York needs. Peter's jobs are suffering, his college work is suffering and his personal life is non-existent as he rushes from one crime to the next. He is still pining away for MJ, but is firm in his belief that to keep her safe she must stay at arms length from him.
Harry Osborn has taken on a project led by Otto Octavius to create a source of renewable energy akin to a small star. Ocatavius employs a device that plugs directly into his mind and outfits him with an additional four arms that can withstand the reaction in his device. When things go wrong, the inhibitor chip in the arms gets fried and Octavius become corrupted and is now the super villain Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man starts to lose his powers as he fights his inner demons ans Peter hangs up the suit and tries to live life as a normal man. Fate would prove to be against him and he is forced to once again don the suit and take on the guise of Spider-Man in order to defeat Doc Oc.
This is probably my favorite of all the entries into the world of the web slinger. It does a tremendous job exploring the human side of the superheroes we all admire. Doc Oc was always my favorite villain and Alfred Molina breahtes him to life in a far better fashion than I could have hoped. I highly recommend this movie to anyone that is a fan of Spider-Man,
Definitive action movie
When some American diplomats are taken hostage, the army calls in a elite team of soldiers led by Dutch (Arnold) to go a retrieve them. They are air dropped into the thick of a Central American jungle as a team of six with a forced upon them seventh, Dillon (Carl Weathers). Before long they find a green barret team that has been killed and skinned. It does not take them long to discover that they are being hunted by something that is not human and next to impossible to kill. As Dutch tries his best to lead his team to the extraction point, it becomes clear that the hunted need to become the hunters.
At the time I write this, this movie is 33 years old, and it still holds up. This is a great action movie, a great sci/fi movie, a great guy movie, it is just great. Forget what has come along with the Predator name attached to it and watch the grandpappy of them all, you won't regret it.
Interesting side not, this movie features two future Govenors, Arnold Swarzeneggar and Jesse Ventura.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
A sad and somber look at humanity
This is the story of Monica and Henry Swinton, a couple that loses their son to a disease. In their despair they turn to a company that makes robot children, to help fill the void of grieving parents. They get David, and he bonds heavily with his new mother. In a twist though their son Martin makes a miraculous recovery and this causes David to be left out. The robot children are highly sensitive and adaptive, so as to make them seem more human. In a gut wrenching turn of events, David's mom decides to abandon him in the woods so that her real son feels neither neglected nor like he is second fiddle.
David begins a quest to find his mother that leads him into eternity. Along the way he encounters many like him, though they are not children, that have been discarded by the humans that created them. This movie puts out the ultimate question to me; What right do we have trying to create intelligent machines that love us when we will ultimately abandon them?
This is a very sobering look at the human condition and our range of emotions and greed. This always makes me feel a little worse about humans as a whole. Very good movie and it should be seen by all.
Not great, but far from bad
Let's just get this out of the way, there is a lot of unsimulated sex in this movie. This is definitely on par with porn, but since it was shot with "real" actors it was allowed in theaters. I did see somewhere online that there is a super cut of all the sex scenes from this and it comes in at just under 30 minutes, so let that inform your decision to watch or not.
This is a story of a couple that are in a very sexual relationship and decide to invite their beautiful neighbor to join them. This causes problems.
If you like 9 Songs then you will most decidedly like this. Love probably features more sex but does offer a lot more plot as well.
Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013)
Porn with a depressing plot
I did not like volume I, and I liked this one just as much. People are more worried about whether the penises were really those of the actors and the same for the vaginas. Were they really having sex or was it CGI? This is little more than pretentious porn with a depressing plot line. Go to a website and get your jollies there and save yourself some time.
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Never understood the draw
I saw this in the theater when it came out, and the only thing I got out of it was a migraine. This movie deals with a local legend about a witch that haunts some woods and a group of people that try to find evidence of her. It was the first in the "found footage" genre, and that is about the only good thing that can be said about it.
I sat through the entire run of this waiting for something scary or even creepy to happen and it never did. In fact, just when the movie started to show promise it ended.
Hated this then, still hate it now.
The Thing (2011)
This is why you leave perfection alone
I am not going to lie, when they announced this movie, I was pretty excited. Carpenter's The Thing is not only a classic, but is pretty damned near perfect, but it started off abut halfway through the story.
This movie tells the tale of how the Norwegian team finds the thing and the ultimate destruction of their camp unfolds. There are some interesting pieces to the puzzle that are added, but outside of that the movie did not really meet the mark. This could all well be because we all knew how this had to end, I am not sure.
I gave this 5 stars because the greed of Hollywood should have just not made this movie. Sometimes there is no need to revisit something that is almost perfect.
2001 Maniacs (2005)
Not even Freddy could save this.
Eight people, in different groups, are heading south for spring break when they encounter a detour sign. They end up in a tiny town that has no power or running water and the residents are about to throw a jubilee. It seems that these eight people are to be the unwilling guests of honor. It slowly becomes obvious (if it wasn't already) that the town folks mean to kill all of the outsiders in a vendetta against northerners.
I remember seeing the original film a very long time ago and this one pales in comparison. Robert Englund does his very best to carry this movie, but alas it was not meant to be.The director throws in plenty of very nice gratuitous nudity but as soon as that passed I found my interest lagging.
Don't get me wrong, it was not all bad, but it was far from good. Maybe I would have liked it better if I had never seen this original.... Go ahead and watch this if you are a fan of Englund and B movies.
Sister Act (1992)
Before Whoopi lost her mind
This is the story of Deloris Wilson who grows up to be a Reno lounge singer and takes on the last name Van Cartier, played by Whoopi. She is dating the married casino owner named Vince and played with a suitable amount of menace by Harvey Keitel. After Deloris decides to leave both Vince and the casino to seek her fortunes elsewhere she overhears him order the killing of a man. Deloris is placed in protective custody by a cop named Eddie and played by Bill Nun.
She ends up staying in a convent, much to the chagrin of the mother superior, under the guise of being a nun, Marie Clarence. It swiftly becomes evident that Deloris cannot conform to the life of a nun and is put to work to occupy her time. She ends up running the choir and turns them into a sensation. The mother does not agree with Deloris's choices with the music arrangements, but everyone else is thrilled with the new sound of the choir and it even helps bring more people to the church.
On the day that the Pope is set to visit and see the new choir it comes out that Vince has learned of Deloris's hideaway. His thugs capture her and the nuns launch a plan to save her.
This is a total feel good movie and all the parts are played excellently. The musical numbers are both fun to watch and hear. I invite you to go back and visit or revisit this film and forget the fact that Whoopi is now psych.
Until Dawn (2015)
This is a horror movie where you get to play as almost every single character, need I say more? OK. The game opens with the unfortunate death of two sisters. Their brother Josh calls all of the friends back together one year later. They gather in his family's cabin up in the snow covered mountains. There is something or someone sinister about, trying to or succeeding in killing off the characters (results will vary depending on your choices).
This game was a blast. I am on my third trip through and let me tell you, the tension is still there. Granted it is a little less than the first trip through, but it's there. This kind of game where you do more choosing that taking part may not appeal to a lot of gamers, but if you're a fan of all things horror you would be crazy not to play it.
Cat People (1982)
A definite classic
This story centers around Irena and Paul Gallier, played by Natassja Kinski and Malcolm McDowell. They are an estranged brother and sister as she was raised by adoptive parents. The day after Irena arrives Paul goes missing. We are then introduced to Oliver Yates played by John Heard as the head of the local zoo. He is called in when a black panther is discovered with a dead hooker in a hotel. By pure happenstance Irena and Oliver end up meeting and she starts to date him. When Paul returns he makes sexual advances on Irena, insisting that they can only mate with each other or they will turn into the black panther and kill others. Irena tries to hide from the truth but she is inexorably drawn to Oliver.
Back when I first saw this movie, what seems like forever ago, it was quite creepy if not scary. I just had the chance to rematch this and I can say that it seemed to drag on a bit. This was one of the entries into the horror genre that tried to tell a story, and it did indeed tell one. I would say that it seemed like McDowell over acted a bit, but that could have been the director's decision.There is not a lot of sex or nudity in here, but Natassja walks around the entire movie without a bra and wearing transparent clothing. She is in a couple of nude scenes, one with a very explicit full frontal shot where her genitals are clearly seen. Annette O'Toole also has a rather lengthy topless scene. This is a solid thriller that does take some concentration to make it through when viewed through the lens of modern movies.
The Golden Child (1986)
A good movie, despite what you might read.
Eddie Murphy stars as Chandler Jarrell, during the height of his popularity. Chandler is a detective that has an uncanny skill at finding missing children. When a young boy known as the Golden Child is kidnapped by a nefarious group, he is approached by Kee Nang, played by Charlotte Lewis, with the hopes that he can find the child before he is killed. Referred to as The Chosen One, Chandler accepts the case and finds out that there is a lot in this world he does not understand.
This is a great movie, though not without some flaws. Having Charles Dance as the villain was absolutely the right choice.This is essentially a toned down version of Murphy's character from the Beverly Hills Cops movies.Be warned though if you have never seen it that the special effects do not all hold up.
Mr. Young (2011)
If the basic premise of a show is to portray all adults as idiots to kids, then the kids watching these shows will always think that they are smarter than their parents. There is a good idea. This show is full of racial stereotypes and I loved Blazing Saddles, and this show bothers me. Stop putting out this trash that we parents must subject ourselves to because for whatever reason our children think it is funny.
Sam & Cat (2013)
From the point of view of an adult
This is rubbish. I have a kid that is 26 and one that is 7, so I have run the gambit of television directed at children. One thing I have noticed is that they are getting dumber and dumber. I love the music that Arianna Grande puts out, but the stupid affectation she adopted for her role as Cat makes me want to rip my eardrums out. I understand why the older kids (teens) like this; there are a couple of very pretty young ladies on it, but I do not understand the interest of the younger kids, because beyond Arianna's voice there is nothing even remotely funny here, not that I was saying her voice is funny. There are shows directed at kids that I can watch and not wish for myself to have a stroke, there are some that are enjoyable, this is NOT one. Nickelodeon used to have some funny shows on it, but those days are long past. Nick, get some new writers...
Avoid this rubbish like you avoid the plague.
House M.D.: Everybody Dies (2012)
Parting is such sweet sorrow
This is the end. Aptly entitled "Everybody Dies", death is the central theme to this episode. In it we see House trapped in a building that is ablaze and facing all of his inner demons. He must come to grips with all of his maxims, of which we are all familiar; "Everybody lies", and "People never change". Weighing heaviest on House's mind is the fact that his best friend, Wilson, has been diagnosed with cancer and has only around 5 months left to live. Can House survive without his anchor, or will it be his ultimate destruction? House is also facing a return to jail for parole violations and knows that that is where he will be when Wilson dies. Be it by design or not, House uses the fire to fake his own death and embraces the fact that he wants to change. There is a very touching funeral scene where many of the past stars come back to speak kind words about the hard man that shaped many of their lives. Then we get the final scene, House and Wilson riding off together. More on this in a bit.
This was a very solid send off to what is my favorite TV character of all time. House spoke to me on a real level and I related to him more than anyone real in my life, ever. As sad as I was to see this show end, I was more than satisfied with how they ended it. Throughout its run, the show had some amazing episodes and some not so amazing, but they were all great, this was just the most amazing of all those episodes. I remember watching it when it first aired and I was riveted to my TV.
Now, back to House and Wilson riding off into the sunset together. Perhaps, just perhaps this was the writers being coy, as we all know they can be on this show. Perhaps in an effort to provide us all with a semi happy ending, they engaged in some trickery. It is my thought that instead of us seeing House and Wilson ride off to spend the last months of Wilson's life together, we saw them after Wilson had already passed, at the beginning of their eternity together because House really did die in the fire. I could be wrong, but I think this a more eloquent and fitting end to the show that I held so dear.
Dark Waters (2019)
Even after movies like this, we the sheeple still sleepwalk
This is the true story, with minor embellishing, about a corporate defense attorney named Rob Bilott that took on the monster corporation that is DuPont. During a meeting one day, a farmer that knows Rob's grandmother stops in to enlist his help. It seems that all of his livestock has become mysteriously ill and he has put most of them down. Once Rob starts down the rabbit hole, we see how giant corporations like DuPont only care about themselves. DuPont ends up exploiting the fact that a chemical they use to create Teflon is not listed with the government as hazardous and have spent years dumping it into the area surrounding this farmer's land. A quick side not, when the EPA set up their list of hazardous chemicals they relied on the companies that made them to submit lists to the government. This movie does tend to drag a bit at spots, but where we end up in the end is that DuPont ignored their own findings and kept pushing out products with this chemical in it, C8, knowingly poisoning the world. This is because of the fact that they made billions from its production. They ignored a court mediation decision and refused to help the people of the town that they poisoned. It is disgusting to say the least. I knew some of this story before watching this movie and have long tried my best to boycott anything made by DuPont. I encourage you all to do the same and to dispose of your Teflon coated pots and pans. It is estimated that 99% of all life forms on Earth now contain this chemical, which never breaks down. In other words it lasts forever..... Think about that one.
It Follows (2014)
Good but not great
The premise of this movie was quite unique and that is what drew me into watching it, six years after it was released.
For unknown reasons and unexplained force seeks out a young man. The only way to rid himself of this force is to let it kill him, or to have sex with someone, thereby passing the curse along to them. The latter is his choice and we meet Jay, an odd (to me) young lady that goes out on a date with this guy. They end up having sex and he shows her "it". Jay is at first traumatized because she feel violated, he knocks her out and ties her up to prove "it" is real. She soon realizes that "it" is real and the chase is on. She gets help from her sister and some friends, but the question of whether she can escape is never far from your mind.
This is a well done entry into the newer horror genre. It is quite creepy at times, but not outright scary, unless you have not seen a lot of horror movies. Though the main premise of this movie is sleep with someone to be free, the sex is not explicit and the nudity is quite obscured and fleeting. So yeah, not great but a very good movie.