Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Martian (2015)
Very Interesting and Entertaining
I love this movie and have watched it several times. The whole case is terrific and the science is better than most, as several scientists have pointed out.
True there are some conceits here, but a movie without conceits is either a documentary or very boring or perhaps both.
The design of the spaceships and the other hardware was first rate; I don't know that there was hardware we saw that couldn't actually exist in the near future.
Mark's emotional progression was very well done. There would definitely be some very high highs and some very low lows during that ordeal!
I did end up hating the NASA director (Jeff Daniels) because he seemed to embody the worst of the recent NASA managers with his decision making. If I had been Mitch Henderson, my response to being asked to resign by the NASA director would have been to say 'I'll put my resignation on top of yours'. Not sure if future space travel will include a NASA manager in charge. Might be more realistic to have a corporate person in that position.
I do wonder about the reviewers who tried to point out inconsistencies. One being that Mark could have just replanted everything after the storm destroys his crops. I think this statement completely ignores the fact that when Mark established his 'farm' he was working off the food supply left from the original mission with only some slight rationing. His energy levels would have been at their highest. Existing off mostly potatoes by the time the HAB was compromised he would not have had the energy or the will to re-establish the farm. With a supreme effort he was able to get to the Aries IV MAV. There he got better food (you can see he is having an actual meal) before he had to strip down the MAV for his launch. So there were certainly some conceits made as this was a movie, but his inability to restart his farm was not one of them. I think it was certainly a satisfying movie and will undoubtedly watch it again.
The Wedding Video (2012)
My wife picked this film...
My wife picked this film based on the trailer and the fact she knows I like Lucy Punch. If you haven't seen the first three Vexed or the first six Doc Martins, you're missing something!
Anyway, this film started like some others, but quickly veered into its own lane. While some was a bit stupid and perhaps even predictable, major portions were laugh-out-loud funny and completely unexpected. The competing wedding complete with Titanic entrance and fancy port-o-let, the dancing sequence, Raif's greeting of the river boat tourists, the Mother of the Bride's speech...but most of all, Lucy and Raif's video tour of the private rooms at the "Hall". That last one will stay with us for quite a while!
Everyone was well cast and did a superb job. Much better than it had a right to be, I guess. But I do love Lucy!
A Gathering of Eagles (1963)
The Scenes with Planes are the Best
Saw this movie at the drive-in when it first came out. The flying scenes looked terrific on the big screen and even now on DVD they don't disappoint. I think "The Strategic Air Command" made in 1955 with Jimmy Stewart did a much better job of showcasing the B-36 and B-47 aircraft of the time than this movie did with the B-52. But all-in-all, I enjoyed seeing the B-52s taking to the air with the thick clouds of black smoke trailing behind them. We didn't pay that much attention to the smoke at the time.
However, the non-flying drama of this movie certainly has become more relevant in the recent past. Even though SAC ceased 24/7 operations when the Cold War 'ended', we still require the dedication and efficiency extolled in this movie today. Without it, we have bundles of nuclear weapons shipped from one base to another unknowingly by the crew, stacks of nuclear bombs left unguarded on AFB tarmacs, 'special' weapons misdirected, misstored and forgotten. These incidents resulted in the dismissal of various AF commanders, but should never have happened. The country deserved the kind of professionalism strived for by the characters depicted in this movie and we didn't (always) get it.
David and Olivia? (2018)
Makes you want to have more
Interesting concept and script for a TV movie, packaged into three very short episodes. The movie was entertaining and funny, and not something that you could find on US TV, which is sad. I thought the acting was terrific, but I have the distinct impression that re-takes were not in the budget. I thought it only hurt during one action scene, though. My wife and I would both like to see more episodes with these characters, but understand that the original concept has run its course. David and Olivia at Home (or more properly on the Lam), would be a different idea entirely.
This is a Comedy, not a RomCom
Early in the movie my wife and I were aghast at the actions of the three women who had been burned by the same guy and briefly wondered why the lead woman refused to take her partner Ty's advice to forget and move on. Then it became clear. This was strictly a comedy. We couldn't take seriously what any of the three exes did or said.
From that point on, we found the movie actually pretty funny; perhaps not as funny as a Marx Brothers movie, or the three stooges, but definitely funny, right down to a little slapstick. Everyone around the girls plays it straight, but just like the Marx brothers, they play it all for laughs. This is actually very good escapist fare, all things considered. But don't compare it to the RomComs like Hallmark and others turn out. I think it succeeds quite well as a comedy so we rated it accordingly.
Falling Up (2009)
The First half hour or so was Torture!
They said this guy was in nursing school because he couldn't afford medical school. But they didn't say much about how old he was. On a maturity level, I would guess 17 maybe. The sister is obviously older and much smarter. My wife and I debated turning this off for the first 45 minutes or so. This kid is so immature and downright stupid. Can there really be someone that dumb? In New York City?
Anyway I won't give it away, but the female lead is terrific. And beautiful. The sister is the brains of the family and the mother is the heart. The kid is just a poor smuck trying to grow up. He has a hard time 'getting it.'
Special shout-out to Annete O'Toole, the mom, Rachel Leigh Cook, the sister and Snoop Dogg as the co-worker.
Darrow & Darrow (2017)
Reasonably entertaining and I hope they make more. Tom and Kimberly are good together and very watchable. The story had its highs and lows, but my wife and I enjoyed it. There needs to be some better writing for Wendie because her character is not terribly likeable. If that was what was intended, they succeeded.
Actually a bit above the regular Hallmark mystery movies; somewhat less contrived anyway.
I hope they make more just so we can see what happens with Tom and Kimberly, if nothing else.
Wedding Planner Mystery (2014)
Cast Good; Script Bad - my own 2 cents
I love Erica Durance; the other cast members were good and believable. However, the script was the worst. I see others came to the same conclusion. I, unfortunately, cannot suspend enough (belief, logic, you name it) to enjoy this movie as a murder mystery. I finally figured out the only way to enjoy it was as a comedy. And that worked. It's amazing that Hallmark airs this because most of their murder mysteries, in addition to having good production values, are fairly well written. This is a major bump in the road from that angle.
Note that I absolutely believe there are people out there who are dumb enough to act this way. But no one should make a movie about them! It just gets viewers upset over nothing.
SGU Stargate Universe (2009)
Lost Fans Early but Actually Got Quite Good Later
After reading my summary, it should be quite easy to predict a quick death for the show. Other shows have started slowly and yet stayed around long enough to turn into fondly remembered classics, STNG comes to mind. So why not SGU? In looking through other reviews, talking to friends and co-workers, and to stars of other SG shows (for some reason no SGU stars have come to my local Con), and in watching the complete SGU series on DVD several times (most recently finishing last night) I have to say responsibility lies with the writers and the character of Colonel Young. I can safely say that I never saw anything this Colonel handled well or was good at: military command, strategy, discipline, dealing with civilian authority, husband, boyfriend, space battles, first contact, you-name-it. If a humor-less loser is your idea of someone you want to spend an hour with every week, you're welcome to him. To me, he's a character better left to a play or a movie you see once. Rush was also a problem character, but Rush didn't put himself in charge. He needed to be dealt with in the harshest way possible every time he stepped out of line. But almost as bad were the other people. These 'scientists' had to be the dregs of the SGC. Not only did they have one, but it seemed like every scientist was mistrustful of military authority...on a survival situation. Where did they get these people? The producers took some hits on the continuing plot lines versus the shows that reset every week. I do like story arcs, many series have done them well. The problem? If you miss a week or two, you won't know what's going on. That hit me with this show when it initially aired. I missed a couple of weeks and tried to watch when I got back. No idea what was going on. I got so tired of pointless arguments between Rush and Young, I gave up. However, I did buy both seasons on DVD and have watched several times over the years. So what did they do right? The sets and props were terrific! The Destiny design was first rate. The new 'old' stargates were interesting. Alien designs were very good. Space battles and other CGI were well done. Plot lines got very good (over time). I didn't mind the jerky camera shots so much (I think they're much worse in other shows and movies). But the biggest missing factor? Humor. They had two stand-up comedians in the cast who weren't given really funny material until the second season. Why was this needed earlier? To offset the blind rages of Rush and Young. Eli was it and he wasn't enough by himself. We know Carlyle can do humor; did you see "Full Monty"? Ferreira was hilarious in the behind-the-scenes shots. And so on; but it seems instead the humor was sucked out of each script. This is the writers' fault. They say it was supposed to be more serious, dark even. Okay, case in point. SG-1, early episode, O'Neill and Carter stuck in a frozen cave on an 'ice planet' and Carter can't get the Stargate to work. O'Neill is badly injured and they're freezing to death. They huddle for warmth and O'Neill says to Carter, 'I swear that's my sidearm'. Couldn't get more serious, but O'Neill has a joke to make us smile. This is real life, not all the doom and gloom on this show. However, I do hope they someday bring the show back. If it continues like it was when it was canceled, I will watch it. Update Finally someone from the show came to my local con: Mike Dopud came this year. He's one of the nicest people I've met! Great stories, funny, engaging, and willing to listen to me while smiling. He also had little Jodelle Ferland horrified with some stories about stunt work. Anyway, would still like to see a miniseries or movie to put a decent ending on this show.
No Strings Attached (2011)
Better than you might think
I saw this film in a theater while on vacation. I think we saw another movie after this one, so there was a choice. Now, I love Natalie Portman but I don't love every movie she ever made. I hate Ashton Kutcher, but I don't hate every movie he ever made. That said, I thought this movie was watchable and somewhat amusing. I saw it later on TV and nothing changed my mind. There are some really good comedy moments, some really goofy moments, and some really cringe-worthy dialog. No spoilers there. The cast is terrific, even Kutcher did a decent job; Lake Bell can be hilarious. I believe any short-comings (and there are a few) are the result of the script and not the cast. So if you're not someone who absolutely hates rom-coms (and if you are you have no business watching this move or reviewing it - you've been warned) than there is a good chance you will find some things to like. That's about the best you or the movie can hope for.
Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)
From the Trailer expected a decent movie; the Movie did not disappoint.
Saw the trailer in theaters and on TV and was intrigued. However, for one reason or another did not get to see it when it was out. Now have seen it several times on cable, in HiDef on a large flat screen TV and with enhanced sound. Not exactly like the theater, but pretty good. Before seeing, I had seen some of the reviews here so I was probably more critical when watching it then I might have otherwise been. But my wife and my reaction after repeated viewings is, what was all the fuss about James Franco? He was exactly what the part called for. He was a smarmy con man who, as an unlikable small-time carnival magician, was out to get his due. Miscast? Puleeze, he was dead on. He presented the character as it was written and much closer to how it was written in the original books, and we thought he was fine in it.
Remember, you're not supposed to like him for the first third to half of the picture. Over time, his character changes and adapts to his situation, but he certainly leaves some destruction in his wake. Not the least of which is the broken heart of the one who becomes the Wicked Witch of the West. "She's worse than the other one", as we're told in the MGM movie and now we know why! Scorned women and all that.
Speaking of Mila Kunis, we thought she was quite good as Theodora, the younger of the two sister witches. The only thing that I would like her to have changed was that her anger sometimes devolved into shrieking that sounded a little too much like Jackie from 'That 70's Show'. But although she had anger management issues, you still feel for her as OZ strings her along.
The older and most evil sister (at the start anyway) is Rachel Weisz as Evanora. Rachel was terrific and wonderful as all have said. She always is and anyone should be able to tell you that the third Mummy movie desperately needed her, even though it did have Michelle Yeoh.
But speaking of a Michelle, it seems the one person so often overlooked in this OZ movie is Michelle Williams, who played Glinda. This Glinda was wonderful! I was transfixed at how far Michelle has come from her Dawson Creek Days. As someone who read all the OZ books in elementary school in the later '50's, I think she came the closest to the character as written on the page (except for lacking red hair).
Michelle to me was every bit as perfect as Rachel. And Sam Rami's version of an OZ prequel comes the closet to any OZ book I have read. I fervently hope Disney has a sequel in mind with this cast. Just remember folks, if they ever do a version of Dorothy's story, it's Rachel who gets the house dumped on her head!
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Even After 50 Years, It's Still The Best Political Thriller Out There
There are simply not enough letters in the Summary to cover what this movie achieves. Angela Lansbury, in an interview on the DVD, says that everyone (all the actors) has at least one great scene in the movie. I would go a bit further than that and say everyone has great scenes...all of them. That is near to impossible to do, but John Frankenhemier did it.
Quick Note: If you are watching on the DVD, absolutely DO NOT watch the interviews or specials before watching the movie; they are filled with spoilers!
This is considered by many to be Frank Sinatra's best movie; I agree. I'm not a fan of Frank, but he gives a very deep and believable performance in this picture. He also was instrumental behind the scenes in getting the picture made. John Frankenheimer says so in an interview, with George Axelrod's agreement and Angela Lansbury also says she wasn't aware of Frank's crucial efforts at the time, but indicates she is now (1988).
Be prepared to watch all the way through, at least once. If you must take a kitchen or bathroom break, pause the movie. The suspense and tension, maintained throughout, come from several sources, but chief among them is that very little is explained before it happens. In many ways, you learn at the same time as the characters.
And yes, there is a twist in the climax, so don't blink. Just an excellent movie.
New York Minute (2004)
Why did this film tank at the Box Office?
This is a silly movie that's also funny. With all the crap out there, why did it set a record for lowest opening day box office for a movie in 3,000 theaters? Perhaps it was simply not appropriately advertised. I see other reviewers using words like 'for teen girls' and for 'pre-teens.' I don't believe that those demographics were the actual target for this movie. A silly comedy with attractive teen girls starring in it also appeals to boys (although they might not be completely honest about it) and 17 is middle-aged teen, not pre-teen. Also, while there is no bad language in the movie that I noticed, there were definitely situations of a suggestive nature that I would not recommend for "pre-teens." I can't believe their other movies had this level of 'sophistication.' If you make a movie for older teens and young adults and movie-goers get the idea it's made for pre-teens, perhaps that is part of the disconnect that explains the box office failure.
My wife and I have no children, but really laughed out loud at parts of the movie, especially "the speech." I'm not saying who said what so this is not a spoiler. We have not seen other Olsen Twins movies, other than about 2 minutes in a Costco that had a special on their videos. Personally, I thought the girls were fine and the other stars solid. In fact, for my money, the worst actor in the movie by far was Jack Osbourne; not bad, just the least polished of the bunch. And yes, I have seen him in Ozzie Osbourne's family's reality show.
The bloopers, billed as "Hilarous Bloopers" were in fact pretty funny, especially watching the twins' reaction to each other's issues. Certainly, it might have helped to show those in the theater. As it happened, we rented the movie while on vacation. If you're looking for a change of pace from SciFi and Bourne-esqe thriller movies, you could do a lot worse.
Absolute Zero (2006)
A Bad Ripoff
Some movie makers can take another person's idea and make an entertaining movie of their own out of it. That does not describe these movie makers, though. The Day After Tomorrow was a very watchable movie, even if the science did take a back seat to story. In this mishmash, many scenes, including the opening on the ice shelf and the climactic scene where they all finally took shelter in the lab (re: in the NY Library in Day After Tomorrow) while the walls froze up to and including the door, were copied and poorly done at that. The acting was sub-par, the special affects were laughable, but basically the writing was horrid. Hardly anything anyone did made sense. Case in point: Why on Earth would Bryn leave her child alone while attempting to rescue a man trapped in an elevator, when she could have simply told him she would see that he was let out when the men returned? She could never have opened those elevator doors by herself. Also, didn't him not stopping the elevator when she was on top tell her that this is not someone she would want around her child? What good is a movie when all you do is yell at the idiots on the screen? Not much. Give it a skip, even if you like Erika Eleniak. You won't be sorry.
Rip-off of Predator? Impossible
It is impossible to rip off a movie made 18 years later than yours. DNA was made in 1969, Predator was made in 1987. Who was ripping off whom? However, all other comments are undoubtedly valid. Monster movies from this period were notorious for their lack of believability and in many cases the acting and sets were in fact on a par with a bad High School production. 1969 was really an interesting time to make schlock. There was no instant video market like there is now. But there were drive-ins! I saw many bad monster movies at a drive-in where the audience was more forgiving. However, I have to admit I don't remember seeing this particular movie.