Movie Reviews

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These aren't all the movies I've watched, they're just often ones that I felt enough about to review. That's not all good or bad. There are movies I liked more or less, but they were just expected, and something that I didn't seem to be motivated enough to write on. One of my favorite movies was 6th Sense, but I wasn't going to say anything about it, because of spoilers.


We went and saw 10 Cloverfield lane. On Rotten Tomatoes it was getting a 90/84% -- so the kiddies and reviewers really liked it. I liked it, but it had Hitchcockian pacing. My wife didn't at all. One reviewer summed it up perfectly, "If Hitchcock had ever directed an episode of The Twilight Zone, it might have looked something like this." I could tell you more about it, but it would all be spoilers. So this a movie best to watched without any taint.


One of the best movies, I've seen all year. (I caught this on HBO in 2017).

It's a bit of a downer, using tragedy to remind people of what's important in life -- but the messages are beautiful and on-target, if you can handle a movie that's showing the human spirit through the trials that life (and death) throws at it, and a child's shock and frustrations at the powerless of human condition.


Bored on a Saturday, wife is flying, why not get a hot dog and catch a flick? Did I mention it was a bad flick? It wasn't supposed to be, but it worked out that way. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 97/87, so I figured something fresh and interesting, in the suspense/thriller/horror genre. Yeah, not-so-much.

While it was reasonable acted, shot, and so on... the premise of the dumbest people alive, kind of ruined it for me. There's no way to kvetch on this one without spoilers, so if that matters to you, stop here.

Reviewers seemed to hate it (11% approval). But it was much better rated by viewers (36%). And I thought it was about as good as the Star Trek movie. Not as good of action, or even pacing, but the story was much more unique. And made some effort to be original with their view of Tech Advances, and coming up with original lines. That isn't to say it was great, it was barely good. But it was a watchable way for Will Smith to help his son advance his floundering acting career, that seems to be going nowhere.


A completely predictable, but not unwatchable super-spy movie.

You've seen the story line so many times, you know it by heart. Mitch Rapp loves his fiancé, who is killed by terrorists in front of his eyes (if this is a spoiler, you haven't watched the trailer). So of course he decides to become the baddest mo-fo in the world to get them back. You can practically hear "Eye of the Tiger" playing, while he's doing one-handed clap pushups and beating people up in his MMA classes. Then CIA Deputy Director is impressed by his moxy, and so brings him into a super-secret double-good special ops group, under the tutelage of Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton). And you know Stan is good, because he doesn't fear liability lawsuits when he disregards all common sense safety practices, like playing with live ammo and real knives. Lastly, they're going after a super-duper good ghost, who has to be Hurley's ex-protige.

You don't go to see Ant-Man to see a deep and meaningful movie. You go to see zany comic-book action and special affects, littered with one-liners and silly comedy. And that's what you get.

Ant-Man and the Wasp, is the long anticipated sequel to Ant-Man (2015). I'm not sure who was really waiting with baited breath, but I'm sure some fan was. These are silly, zany super-heroes with an absurd abilities: to shrink and grow and most fights involve a lot of both in something that makes other super-hero movies sedate and followable in contrast. They aren't bad, and you know you're getting a lot of slapstick type super-hero stuff, with a screw-up super-hero and his sides cracking one-liners: but sometimes movies are just an excuse to get out of the house.

A good but slow “first contact” sci-fi thriller, written about a cunning linguist who slowly discovers how to communicate with aliens. The movies style is very first person, and doesn’t explain a lot as you go — you have to let them leak reveals in dribs and drabs. It gets there, but it’s certainly no Independence Day or Aliens action sci-fi film. There was some Hollywood clichéd stereotyping, but the larger arch of the story made up for it.
I recommend it with reservations. How much you like it will be influenced by how much you liked the Book (and how high your expectations are). Basically, it's long-winded Animal Farm or the inverse, what happens if the producers stop producing. Ayn Rand never believed in saying in a sentence, that which could fill a chapter, and the movie follows suit by taking a Trilogy to fill out a 90 minute storyline. Not as bad as the Hobbit at that, but it's certainly not an action flick.

Infinity War is a superhero film based on the Marvel's superhero team the Avengers. It's either really pretty good or pretty bad, depending on how many of the other 19 Marvel films (and TV shows), you've seen. I'm glad I saw it, my wife felt completely ripped off: she hadn't seen all the other Marvel films, and was constantly, "who is that", "what's that ability", "why isn't Cap'n America in Red, White and Blue", and so on. And it was a 2 1/2 hour long continuous fight scene, with a couple separate simultaneous adventures thrown in... but the graphics, visuals, fights, and so on were glorious. One of the most expensive films ever made (≈$400M), it's really part 1 of a 2 part epic, which you figure out at the rather abrupt end.

If you know superhero canon (authoritative scripture), and want to see the greater story arc, it's really pretty good. If you're going to see a single super-hero movie, save your money and see one that is a less tangled web of 100 intersecting plot-lines.

It certainly won't be up for any awards or offer many surprises. But it wasn't quite AS bad as the reviews. If you go in expecting a shallow plot, a few laughs, and fluffy stoner humor -- and that's exactly what you get. I wouldn't exactly recommend it, but it was an excuse to ride to a theater and better than top-chef reruns.

It wasn't as bad as I'd imagined it would be. But it wasn't good enough that I'd voluntarily pay to see it either. So between the 27/68 reviewer to viewer ratio on Rotten Tomatoes, I leaned more towards the reviews, but not AS harsh. It would be something to watch if you were bored on an airplane. And it is a setup for "the Justice League", hence the subtitle of "Dawn of Justice".
Deeper than Independence Day, has a plot, but still, "another Alien invade earth" total shoot 'em up movie. Since it is L.A., I'm always kinda rooting for the Aliens to win. In the end, it didn't pound on every cliché, and fi you go in with low expectations, it should easily exceed them.
My wife’s birthday, and she wanted to see Beauty and the Beast, though I wanted to go too: the live action version of an animated classic was sort of on the must see list. It did not disappoint. It got a 71% by reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes but 85% viewer scores, and the reason both were that low is likely that the snowflakes were melting over traditional gender roles, and others got bent over some gay references. Puhlease.

The first Marvel film of 2018. I was almost scared off by the SJW's and BLM types ranting about how groundbreaking this was, or saying retarded things like the first Black Superhero film (other than all the others). The more they hyped it, the more I wanted to skip it over concerns it was going to be filled with Afrocentrist stupidity.

But I did see it, and despite having a bit of Superhero burn-out, it wasn't bad, and slightly fresh and only a little shallow. I thought it was definitely in the top 1/3rd of Marvel films, about equal to Thor: Ragnarok. Though Black Panther took itself a lot more seriously than funny.

Some movies hold up better as a memory, than in rewatching them. Blade runner did that for me. It wasn't bad, and was iconic for its day. But it's nearly 2019 and I'm not sure how they thought we were going to advance that fast, or how mega-buildings would look 50 years old, only 27 years in the future. It was also wrong on a lot of futurism. But it's both entertaining for its day, and a great story and visual today. If you don't mind a bit of noir. The sequel (2049) took all the worst parts of the first (plodding, dark, self-indulgent: visually and plot-wise), with none of the freshness. It was an hour longer than it needed to be. So while won't be the worst movie I see all year, it won't break the top 20 either.

This is kind of the opposite of your normal kids coming of age and seeking to get laid films of yesteryear. Instead of boys going on an adventure seeking to get laid -- this was 3 teen girls making a sex pact to lose their virginity on prom night.... but this movie really isn't about them. It's more about their incompetent parents trying to cock-block their plans, which is why all the promotional posters have a rooster next to the title "Blockers". Yeah, as subtle as the movie. The movie had its moments, unfortunately most of them were in the trailers. Watchable, and funny in spots... but you could miss it, and not really miss much either.

Nice retro-Bond almost complete reboot. Definitely worth the price. (93/86 on Rotten Tomatoes). I was getting tired of wall-to-wall action filled with more and more absurd stunts, and this reboot back to having some plot, backstory and depth (at the sacrifice of absurd stunts) was a pleasant surprise.
Some reviewers whined that it was a nostalgic backslide, as if that's a bad thing. Viewers disagreed and liked it. Since I was a viewer, I was in their camp. The Daniel Craig reboot was far better than any in the last 20 years, with mostly believable action, and a lot darker tone like the books.

Book of Henry is not everyone's "cup of tea". Basically, a precocious genius Henry (and his younger brother, Peter) are being raised by their perpetually self-absorbed and immature Mom (Susan), when Henry witnesses the symptoms of abuse, he decides that since the system is broken and unjust, that he'll create some of his own justice, and sets in motion his rube goldberg perfect crime.

Being that I was a genius kid (who held myself back in school because I too felt that socialization with kids my own age was more important that "academic accomplishments" as measured by a system that I felt wasn't very fair or wise), and I also had a somewhat self-absorbed Mom, was on the receiving side of abuse (and so had an over-developed sense of justice): thusI could relate to the teasers on this movie. While is was getting only 25% approval from reviewers, it was getting 71% by audiences (and I tend to associate more with audiences than reviewers): so I went to see it. It was interesting. I liked it more than most will, but that still puts it as barely better than half the movies I'll see this year. And that, only because it was at least somewhat original, despite how hackneyed everything felt.

A good, slow, historical drama-thriller type movie. Almost a monologue. While based on real events, Hollywood took liberties with the timeline/truth (as usual).

Rented two movies this weekend. I picked Capt. America -- wasn't bad for a Alternate Universe Steam-punkish Super-Hero flick. You have to like the genre, but if you're looking for a Buck Rodgers type retro-futuristic super-hero / alternate universe kind of film, you'll like it. If that doesn't sound appealing, then save your redbox money and watch something else. For me, it was worth every penny of the $.99 spent, but not a penny more.

Captain Marvel character was in DC and Marvel Universes, and do to legal issues, was a series of characters. In 2012, they made Ms. Marvel into Captain Marvel and the screenplay was started soon after. There was a ton of politics around creating Feminist Superman -- and the reviews were getting trashed before the film came out. But out of curiosity, I went and saw it, and despite a few flaws -- it was one of the better Marvel movies. (I preferred it to Black Panther (2018) which was also the obviously Black Justice Warrior).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was a classic movie done in 1971, with Gene Wilder. (Technically, it was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory -- but the book was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, so that's what most people know it as, even if wrong). Just to cut to the chase, this is a classic, and while a bit creepy and weird, it is seared in my memories from youth, and so it's cemented in nostalgic feelings of love for my childhood.

I remember hearing that Crash was a great movie that won all sorts of awards (back in 2005) and I'd never got around to seeing it. It was on Amazon Prime, so I watched it. What a craptastic mashup of moronic plots, clichéd angry racists, and absurd dialog. It was anti-American propaganda written by cluelessly pretentious Canadian Marxists, who never lived in the city but stitched together every racist ghost story that anti-Americans tell each other at parties, into one implausible week of events. Which is why Hollywood loved it: it's what they imagine L.A. to be, from behind the locked gates of their Brentwood estates.
Saw Dark Knight Rises. I thought it was good (or slighly better than OK), but a lot less than I hoped for. My wife hated it. It got 87/90 on Rotten Tomatoes. At least it wrapped up the story arc / trilogy nicely -- but I far preferred the first two, they were darker and more nightly.
If you want to see Planet of the Apes, this is the best reboot you'll see all year. Of course you could fit all the depth of the movie into the plot holes, and still have room for all the smug and partisan rhetoric in Hollywood. But come on, if either Romeo or Juliet weren't hormone addled teens lacking in common sense, the play wouldn't have worked either. Sometimes you just have to suspend disbelief and try to enjoy the show.
This tied for my favorite Marvel movie with Guardians of the Galaxy -- though you couldn't find two more polar opposite films on the planet. This was more sort of Dogma meets Kick-ass, with an X-Men backdrop (along with 2 X-Men I've never heard of). And actually, it feels a little out of place in X-Men Universe: like watching Disney characters doing porn. But it works.

If you liked Deadpool, you will like Deadpool 2. Sequels are never as "fresh" as the original, but you're going to watch them for more of the same, and that's what you get. Lots of snark, dark humor, occasional talking to the camera, fast talking and fast action, with hysterically inappropriate humor that appeals to the 14 year old boy in all of us. Loaded with adult innuendo, language, and so on, if you want 2 hours of immature escapism, this movie is for you.


Dinesh D'Souza's latest movie is "Death of a Nation". And it perfectly exemplifies the bias in movie reviewers. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0/90. Not a single reviewer liked it, 90% of the audience does - and that shows how of our touch or biased the reviewers are. Remember, this is the first of his movies to open in over 1,000 theaters, and his documentaries easily out-earn most (usually putting him in the top handful of documentaries of all time).

In fact, it would have been the best this year, if not for Deadpool way back in Feb. It merged the Matrix, Mysticism (eastern), and Marvel (maybe a little bit of inception thrown in). Basically a mind/reality bending martial arts film. And that’s it, it’s sort of a rehash and mishmash of a few stories that you’ve seen before — but it’s so derivative, that it’s unique.
This wasn't bad, but it was a bit of mismanaged expectations. Many will go in expecting a Historical War and action movie -- what they'll get is a vignette movie telling 3 different stories, with overlapping timelines. A British soldier pooping and fleeing from the pending german advance (over a week), a British guy with a boat coming to save them (over a day), and a RAF pilot (over an hour), and how those stories intersect. If it sounds overly complex, it is, but the stories individually aren't bad -- the same with the movie.
Matt Damon does space propaganda for Obamacare. Other than the incongruities, lack of plot, and sanctimonious smug lessons, it was almost interesting. The visuals weren't bad. Reviewers liked the preachiness, but the 67/58 felt a little generous to me.
I’m not a huge J. K. Rowling or Harry Potter fan: I found the movies entertaining enough. Normally, Harry Potters get caught up in the tech of magic, and the heavy ensemble cast of characters. This had more plot. So I liked it... for the genre.
I always thought the movie was named after Vin Diesel's sex life: he's fast, and she's furious. But no, it's about cars, just like the first 5. The first one was kinda fun as an homage to the tuner culture, each one after that just keeps getting progressively more absurd as they go on in the franchise, trying to milk the gullible for another dime bag. If you're not OK with that, then this isn't your movie. My wife loves the series, so I know way more about it than I wish I did.
OMG that was like Leaving Las Vegas without the happy ending. I can't believe it got 77/75% good reviews? We often disagree on what makes a watchable movie. Other than the fact they didn't get anything right technically on flight operations (or know how fly an airplane)... and I had my wife (the Flight Attendant) saying, "That's WRONG!" for any sequences that involved crew. It was a rehash of a rehash. And one with kind of an obnoxious message.
Gosnell is the Citizen Cane of our generation. Not that I think it was the best movie ever made (but then I don't think that of Citizen Cane either), nor just because one of the lead actors in the movie is Dean Cain. But that the forces of collectivism and certain powerful personalities tried to suppress it being made, and it told an important story about that suppression. As it stays truer to the facts, and is almost a reenactment documentary, it's even better than Citizen Cane. As the director (Nick Searcy) said, "There are three aspects to this story that are fascinating. What happened; why it was allowed to happen; and why no one wanted to talk about it after it happened." So no matter what side the Abortion issue you come down on, and whether you support Roe v. Wade or not (I'm pro-choice myself), this was a fascinating story on how much the "abortion at any cost" crowd allowed, in the name of their agenda. Since I value truth more than a political agenda, I found it very worthwhile, I suspect many that put their agenda above bad behavior will hate the movie.

In a crime-ridden Detroit neighborhood, that has converted a white working-class neighborhood into an Asian (Hmong) enclave, a grumpy and recently widowed old Korean War veteran and hold-out Walt Kowalski (Clint Eastwood) confronts a troubled Hmong teen attempting to steal his prized Gran Torino: the car that represents his happier days working on the Ford assembly line. Walt is dealing with lingering resentments, a willingness to hurl racist epithets, and yet the old dog is willing to learn new tricks, and expose his humanity to those that treat others well and a community that treats the elderly with a certain respect. And he shows everyone what it means to protect your country and community from wrong-doers: while being wise enough to know the difference between little wrongs and big wrongs. It's touching, a little slow, but has a great message, and I feel like a better person for loving the film.


OK. Completely predictable, simple plot, nothing too racy. But nice effects, and entertaining. Great for kids/teens. I preferred XMen much more and Thor a little more to it, but those were both really good for the genre. So worth the money if you like the genre.


Saw it. Meh. I was expecting something between kick-ass and born identity. Right idea, but a lot slower and nothing vaguely related to a surprise. I wouldn't rate it as bad, and I don't feel ripped off for my $7. But I think the reviewers definitely mismanaged expectations. It got 77/66 on Rotten Tomatoes, and I think the 66 was a little high. I would have been perfectly happy to wait for video or see it on a plane going somewhere. A friend summed it up as: "I was looking forward to a 17 year old kicking ass and raging all over the place. Instead they spent over half the movie being all touchy feeling and focusing on the 'plot'. Normally, that wouldn't be bad, except there was no plot." The first 20 minutes were definitely the most entertaining.

Dreamworks animated viking saga that I would recommend to people who like animated kid friendly movies, that can also appeal to adult. Very visually interesting, with somewhat simplistic plots, but well enough done story lines to just the time and price.
Better than expected. If you go in expecting a bad Timberlake film, and then you'll be pleasantly surprised when you get a mediocre one. A cliché'd plot and premise (oppressed poor, fighting for minutes more of life, in a caste oriented future). Despite the not-subtle premise, there was more depth, character development, well done visuals/directing and better acting for yet another robin hood meets the hydraulic empire type movie.
I dragged my wife to see this, as I do many/most Pixar movies. This one was strong on originality, a little slow in the middle, with some neat messages, and empowers parents to talk to kids about their emotions and feelings more. It was my least favorite of the Pixar Genre, but that's still pretty good.
We went and saw this for XMas. Imagine Mama Mia, with better singers and worse music, done to 4 original (darker) versions of fairly tails, then an extra 30 minutes of filler to tie it all together at the end. Fairy tails are too dark for young kids, and not enough action for older ones. It was a swing and a miss.
Saw it. Liked it. Thought it was better than any other Ironman, and gave more backstory. 3D was done well, as were the visuals. Did well on Rotten Tomatoes (79/79). Tony Stark always hit me as an annoying douche. He still is, but you at least have some empathy, and see him trying to realize there are other people in the world. They give him personal struggles, and that gives him more depth.
Matt Damon is a flaming douchebag and hypocrite, but is not the worst actor that ever became popular. This one is better than the rest of the series (other than the first), and the series started good, and had been declining ever since. It's 55/66 reviewer/audience score seems about right. You probably won't hate it, if you want an absurd action film. But it isn't great.
Honestly, as someone with a bit of training in both combat shooting and martial arts, the first movies gun-fu scenes were the best I've ever seen in the movies, and the behind the scenes stuff shows that Reeves really put in the time to get trained and took it seriously. I watched it for the shooting (and martial arts), and it was the best ever: in an over the top sorta way. But by the 3rd movie, any freshness is long gone.
I wasn't that interested in seeing the new live-action Disney Jungle Book: the original books being creepy and dark, with singing. But it was all the rage in India,so I checked Rotten Tomatoes and it was a high 95/92% approval, and I figured, I might as well see it, for social value. It was over-rated, but not bad.

This got 27/75 on Rotten Tomatoes. I agreed with the viewers more than the reviewers on this one. Some of the movies the reviewers love are mediocre, and then ones like this, that I thought was pretty good, they pan.

I caught this on regular TV, and it seemed like an attempt at an intelligent action flick (as far that can go). You didn't know who you wanted to win, but in some ways that made it a bit deeper than most action flicks.

One long, slow movie -- but probably one of the best and most touching movies of the year for me. This kind of movie is why I'll suffer through mediocre movies until the end, in the hopes that they have and ending and message as worthy as this. My wife doesn't have the patience, and 9 out of 10 times, a slow movie results in a bad clichéd ending. But every now and then, you get redemption. This was that movie for me.
We went and saw the Olympus/London has fallen set. Die Hard in the WhiteHouse, and Die Hard on the run. You don't watch for believability, but for good ol action. We don't know why they're doing it, or care. Some squealed ray-cism (because the bad guys weren't white), but yawns. It's an action flick and someone's gotta be the bad guys.
You can't trust Reviewers. They gave this a 56%, and gave Star Trek an 87%? (82/92 by viewers). Star Trek: into Darkness (e.g. Wrath of Kahn) was derivative and it didn't have to be. While this threw in a lot of original twists and new ways to tell the story, which was harder to do. So I give Man of Steel writers a LOT more credit for story than the latest Star Trek Movie.
Reviewers liked it more than viewers, which is unusual for action films, where it's usually the other way around. This replaced the ensemble cast in a caper film, with "Look at me, I'm Tom Cruise/Ethan Hunt", but since I'm not a fan of overly complex caper films, this kind of worked, once we get past the obligatory mocking.

The Mummy got lousy ratings at 16/43 (Reviewers/Viewers) on Rotten Tomatoes. While I wouldn't exactly call it good, I'm not sure it stank quite that badly either. It sort of the opening salvo in Universal's, "The Dark Universe", which is basically Frankenstein (+Bride of), Wolfman, Dracula, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Creature from Black Lagoon. All the old horror film classics. This one tries to modernize the story, and use a big action name (Tom Cruise) as a douchebag (not a stretch). But there while it was horrible, there was a lot for snowflakes to get offended by.


I was never a fan of the Ocean's series, partly because I'm not a caper-heist movie fan (too much artificial complexity), and most ensemble films substitute star power for good writing, acting and plot. Plus, it had George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, the trifecta of clueless-but-sanctimonious douchebaggery. So the Ghostbuster's Girl-Power remake of THAT wasn't high on my priority list for films I gotta see. But my wife wanted to see it, and she sees enough of my stupid movies that a little quid pro quo was in order.

Maybe it was my lowered expectations, but I really liked it. It was far better than the others, though that's a low bar. It was one of the better heist movies I've seen, probably because it didn't go over the top with an elaborate 400-stage, everything has to go perfect, sorta bullshit complexity that is crammed into most. There were whiffs of that, to keep the heist-plot pages filled and continue the genre... but a lot was leading up to the theft, or afterwards, and that played better for me. And while it had some plot holes with over-complexifying a snatch a grab, the holes weren't as in-your-face as in the average episode of The Walking Dead. So I liked it better than some other recent films I'd seen, such as Avengers: Infinity War. It was mostly just a heist film, with a few twists -- where criminals are the heroes, and James Corden plays himself as carpool insurance investigator. There were a few subtle undertones of Girl Power, without beating you over the head with it. While it's not deep, it was an afternoon of escapism.


Wife rented Redstate because it was a Kevin Smith movie and she thought it might be funny. Wow. Not funny. Not good drama. Just depressing homophobic religious serial-killers get taken out by the even worse government.

Only about one movie a year (or less) gets my stinker award: this earned one.


Not bad. Predictable but entertaining. I don’t usually like remakes — but this prequel worked well.


This movie wasn't worth its salt (despite the 62/59 it got from Rotten Tomatoes). Sometimes it's the little plot devices that annoy in movies like this, in this move it's all of them. More cliche's than a Piers Anthony book. Less depth than a playboy centerfolds interview. The ham-handed dialog of an Arnold movie: without the humor. If Mystery Science Theater 3000 did action flicks, they would pick this one to pan. It probably wasn't the worst movie of 2011, but it would take work to guide low enough where people would come out thinking, "it wasn't THAT bad'.


Searching is a 2018 American thriller film that came from the Sundance Film Festival (Jan 2018), and went into limited release (like only 9 theaters?) recently, and will be one of the most memorable movies of the year for me. As a thriller it's pretty good (not great) story about a father (John Cho / Harold of Harold and Kumar), trying to find his missing teenage daughter, with the help of a police detective (Debra Messing). What makes it fresh and interesting is that it's a story about a Dad learning about his daughter through her social media and computer accounts, and is shot from the point-of-view of watching someone's life play out via Social Media. So everything is seen through the computer screens/windows or smart phones (video chat, video and news clips, search results, and so on). This isn't as disruptive as one might think, at least for people that are used to doing this stuff regularly. I'm not sure I'd want every film shot in this style, for but this one movie it worked well for me, and my wife -- and wasn't disruptive or disjointed at all. It made it fresh, with good enough acting and story to get a 91/86 on rotten tomatoes -- and I felt it deserved more than that, just for a unique take on a well worn genre, as well as the messages contained within.

I can't believe this was highly rated on RottenTomatoes (87/90%). On a 1-10, I'd give it a firm 3.5. It wasn't quite, I threw up and left bad -- but if it was any more derivative, it would have had TJ Hooker and Wesley Crusher busting bad guys in their Red and White Gran Torino, with Fred the Cockatoo cracking one liners at the end.
This movie seems to be a vehicle not only for rampant merchandising of goods by Disney, but also a vehicle for people to peddle their rants and opinions about the movie and everything else -- like cynical observations about that merchandizing, or how derivative this movie is (failing to observe that's true of 98% of what comes out of Hollywood). Viewers were mostly happy, which makes sense, while derivative, it wasn't bad.
I'm not going to do rehashed reviews that covers the basics: Lucas is a hack that ruined the series after Episode V, and stuff like that. It wasn't THAT bad, it was just a shallow shell of what it could have been, if George was deeper than a kiddie pool. These are just some links to amusing theories, links and info around the movies, instead of staring into them (and reviewing them) directly.
For me, this was the best movie in the Star Wars franchise. Called Rogue One because Episode 3.5 was a bit awkward. But while I liked it, I was never a super-fan of the genre. It was always a bit campy, inconsistent, and they lost me at the Ewok orgy, and I almost tuned out completely at Jar-Jar. But despite being shallow escapism, it wasn’t bad shallow escapism: I liked the effects and wanted to see how the story arcs progressed. This one closed a lot of arcs, and was well done to boot. The best of the pretty good.

I went and saw "the Accountant". Rotten Tomatoes gave me low expectations with a 51% reviewer rating, but the 86% audience score gave me some hope that it wouldn't be horrid. It was a completely watchable semi-action thriller. In fact, it's probably the best Assassin with Aspergers film you'll see all year. Think Rain-man meets The Professional, without the academy award performances, and half the intensity, and a little more shlock and clichéd.


Really good movie, better than the 66/85 on Rotten Tomatoes (in my opinion). Best of this list of 2011 flicks, by far.

Some people got bent about the cliche's of white family saving a black kid, or the black kid turning out to be a star athlete. (Playing to some stereotypes). And there is that. But this one is more or less a true story. Race is a part of the story, mostly in overcoming different worlds -- but it's more just a human interest story about how people from dramatically different realities can impact each other (in good ways).

If a Chinese Production company, watched too much Jack Bauer (24) and too many American Revenge films, then made an action movie about that happening with the IRA in the UK, this is exactly what that movie would look like.
I'm not a huge fan of the horror genre, at least not the slasher type films -- this is old style non-slasher horror, and one of the best ones I've seen in decades. It earned its 88/84 on Rotten Tomatoes. I wouldn't want to mismanage expectations too high. But it's a very solid normals meet neo-Nazi skin-head type horror-suspense film.
The Hobbit.jpg
I won't say I hated these films, but I'll never watch another thing by Peter Jackson. This was a simple one movie story... that could have been dragged into 2 movies, kicking and screaming, with enough filler. So they did at as a monotonous Trilogy instead. Worst of all, I went into it not knowing that. Frankly, you could throw away the first two, just watch the 3rd and get the gist.... or someone could splice/edit the shit out of it, and make a pretty good 2 hour movie out of it. But 474 minutes of travel saga is about 354 minutes too damn long. It comes off as a regurgitated rehash of Lord of the Rings.
Really good for a Hollywood war movie. Still tarted up in a few spots, but at least warriors in tough situations was recognized, without too much of the usual Platoon type craziness or sociopathy that Hollywood usually has to inject. Just a lot of folks in shitty situations, doing the best they can.
DirecTV gave me a free 4K movies to watch and home (with limited choices), and this was one of them. My wife said her Aunt thought this was one of the best books, "she'd ever read". So we tried it. It was overpriced. A rom-com survival film, with not a shred of comedy or believability, pounding every cliché into the ground with awkward acting and dialog, which left me bored and feeling like I'd survived something harrowing, by making it to the syrupy abrupt ending.
The Mule is a LATE 2018 American crime film (that I saw in early 2019), produced, directed and lead acted by Clint Eastwood. The move is based on The New York Times article "The Sinaloa Cartel's 90-Year-Old Drug Mule": a true story an octaganarian World War II veteran who became a drug courier. Clint does a good job of sort of the early Breaking Bad type amoral anti-hero, someone you kind of want to sympathize with, and sort of like, but is a bit of a self-centered dick, with a lot of regrets in life.
The Muppets were once iconic, innocent puppets, saying silly/naive things, that were cute and adorable. Then Jim Henson died, Disney acquired the franchise and tried to make them woke little Social Justice Warriors. And shock of shock, Parents slowed the rate of taking their kids to see them -- and kids didn't want to watch sanctimonious little know-it-alls, any more than adults. Ratings tanked. They failed in theaters. Then failed on TV. By politicizing them, they ruined them. If they try to reboot back to what they once were, both of their current snowflake fans will lose their minds over their new/old identities. And if they don't, then they're more like a going to school indoctrination than being entertained. So bye-bye muppets, you're only for meme's and mocking, unless Disney sells the rights to a better curator, or they wait it out, and reboot it back to something more fun and less preachy.

This isn't about a basketball legend, it's an introspective about the origins of faith and religion (specifically Christianity). The Shack is a story about loss and suffering. It is about the arrogance of holding on to anger/resentment, and judging others (or judging God) with your partial understanding of everything around you — it is a reminder about letting go and forgiving. Good people die. Bad people sometimes get away with it. Most people have burdens you can’t understand. Stop judging: resenting others for their flaws and failures is a waste of both your time. Accept who they are (warts and all), and either let them in, or avoid their toxicity — but pick a path and move on. While I'm an atheist, I liked the messages.

I was hoping Depps acting could counteract Jolie's. I didn't like any of the characters, and figured out the plot in about 5 minutes. It was an action, drama, romance, thriller that managed to achieve none of the above for me. Watch it if you're stuck on a plane, but there'd have to be very few other options before I'd recommend it. My wife liked it more than I did. But I didn't hate it. To me it was like neopolitin ice cream: it isn't great ice-cream... but it's still better than no ice cream at all.
This was "Left Behind", as re-written by some stoner-slackers, and starring Hollywood Narcissists, starring and mocking themselves. Foul, crass, occasionally some funny one-liners. At least it isn't pretentious and the purpose is to make fun of Hollywood types. While funny, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if I was 20 years old and drunk or stoned while watching it. (Which describes the enthusiasm of the college aged audience I saw it with). As a fifty something, I felt it wasn't bad, but there were many movies in the foul-mouthed genre that I preferred (Up in Smoke, Porky's, Dogma, the Hangover).

Went and saw this (rode over). Wasn't horrible. Wasn't deep or great. Lots of backstory, and really predictable dialog -- but I didn't go expecting the 6th sense or anything. And actually the lack of over-action throughout the entire movie made it better than some crazy, flying place-to-place non-stop movies that just tire you out. It will keep the kids entertained. So for pretty fluff, with some action, it was good. I don't know if I'd give it the 77/76 it got on Rotten Tomatoes, but if you want a super-hero movie, it probably won't be the worst one you'll see this year.


We went and saw Tower Heist: surprisingly, not horrible

Amusing, cliché, and about as believable as Beverly Hills Cop, but some funny lines and entertaining.

Better than the movie of the week on TV. (A lot better than Red State was). If you go to a matinee with low expectations (as I did), you'll walk away feeling you got more than your money's worth.

Dan Rather tried to swiftboat George Bush right before the 2004 election with fraudulent documents about his service, and got caught and fired in what I refer to as the Rathergate fiasco. So in sympathy for their compatriots (liars in the media), Hollywood far lefties ganged up to try to distort history with 2015 propaganda film name "Truth", (ironically, I assume). Of course it starred far-left Robert Redford, and tried to make Rather/Mapes sympathetic victims that got caught in technicalities of journalism, and not the sell-outs to their professions that they were. Dan Rather loved it, claiming, "I think it's the best thing that's ever been up on the big screen". Everyone else thought it smelled like a New Delhi outhouse in summer. It only cost around $15M and still managed to lose money.
Unplanned is a prophetic name, as I had no real intentions of seeing it. But after Twitter blocked them (since removed), music labels wouldn't license songs, most TV stations refused their benign advertising, and it was unfairly given an R rating. Later Google "Accidentally" mislabelled them as "propaganda", how does a non-genre accidentally get added anyways? And Canada banned it via their theater monopoly. I knew I had to see what was the Citizen Kane of our day. (Remember the studios/powerful tried to block Orsen Welles from telling the Hurst truth as well, even in allegory form). Here, take my money! Gosnell last year and Unlplanned this year are probably the most important movies of the year, not because I agree with everything in them (I'm pro-choice), or they're the best production (they aren't), but they tell powerful, mostly true stories that the rich, powerful and intolerant want to suppress. And if you hate bullies, you want to see the little guy succeed, even if you're not 100% in agreement with their message. That and it's a pretty good story, and I want to see the best arguments the other side can make to challenge myself/my beliefs -- so whichever side you're on, you should see it to be informed. But of course, that view is not for everyone.

If you're looking for a slowly paced, poorly supported documentary that trashes the American School system with all the lack-of-balances of "An Inconvenient Truth" director can muster, then this will be the best option for the year.

The premise is the failure of the American school system, as told from a far left-of-center director, which will go for tugging at the heart-strings (and person interest stories), instead of offering facts and data to support them.

I did my husbandly duty of seeing the chick-flick (romantic comedy) with my wife... and it made Something about Mary or a Kevin Smith dialog seem G-rated. Funny movie, with some real hysterical lines, and quite a bit better than I expected... but very adult shock-humor type jokes.

Plot, with the help of her man-whore neighbor, the lead character (Anna Faris) browses back through the past 19 mistakes she's made (failed relationships) and ponders if she missed, "the one". It works, if you like the crass humor genre.

On one hand, it's just a younger prettier version of Die Hard in the WhiteHouse: Campy one liners, predictable plot, humor, actions, and entertaining. I would say, if you ignore the primary story-line, it's a pitch-perfect 4th of July film. On the other hand, you can't ignore it. They beat you over the head with it, then drags it's corpse around for 3 days. It's not a bad movie for watching on a plane, but if I'm not trapped, I'm watching something else.
I went and saw Wolverine. This review tries to give it more existential depth than I think it deserves: e.g. the movie was more cliché than it deserved. Every superhero (superman especially) had the reluctant hero who wants to change who and what he is, but ultimately has to accept his lot in life (even if it is for eternity). Which is almost how long it took to get to the point. Not horrid, but too much teenage angst for an immortal.
Wonder Woman was a cheesy over the top 70’s TV show with Linda Carter. DC and Warner Brothers do their best to go after the Marvel Franchise with Gal Gadot playing the hero. Reviews are audiences gave it a 92/92 on Rotten Tomatoes, and it quickly exploded to $600M in sales, so I figured I should see it. And while it as good, it wasn’t quite as good as its sales numbers or reviewers would have me believe.
Wasn't great, wasn't bad. A lot of running. From reading the book synopsis, it sounds like it was a lot more interesting than the movie. But reasonably well acted and story. I preferred every other Zombie movie or TV series more.
The movie poster sums up the premise: yesterday everyone knew the Beatles. Today, only aspiring musician Jack Malik remembers their songs. What does that mean about fame, art, and what does it say about pop-culture? Every year or two (or three) a movie comes along that hits all the right notes for me (pun intended), this was one of those movies. I went in only vaguely hearing about it, and fell in love with the film. It's not that deep, fairly predictable, syrupy and even clichéd in a few parts.... but it just the right tone, twists, and characters. I walked out feeling better that finally something that came out of Hollywood this year that didn't feel derivative or a sequel... even if It was a throwback film that borrowed from a dozen movies/books before: it still felt like an up-to-date sleeper film of the year.