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All reviews - Movies (19) - Games (2)

Roman J. Israel, Esq. review

Posted : 2 weeks, 1 day ago on 26 November 2017 11:10 (A review of Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

Boring. That is the one-word answer to summarize this movie. The protagonist was a weirdo and unrelatable and the pacing between scenes of interest dragged. Intentions of the main character were also questionable. Well, whatever, I enjoyed the popcorn bucket, so there's that, I guess. 6/10

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Blade Runner 2049 review

Posted : 2 months ago on 10 October 2017 12:37 (A review of Blade Runner 2049)

This was a fun, interesting story revisiting the world of Bladerunner full of impressive imagery and special effects, marred by a number of scenarios that didn't have a satisfactory reason behind them and an unsatisfying conclusion. 7/10

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The Fifth Element review

Posted : 2 months ago on 9 October 2017 01:52 (A review of The Fifth Element)

When I first saw this one in theaters, back in 1997, I thought it was great, except for the annoying DJ played by Chris Tucker. I hated that character. So, imagine my surprise when, this time, I found the movie to be pretty meh, but the DJ character was OK.

Generic, poorly thought out action flick, with weak action and rubber-masked aliens. The reasons why things are happening and the motivations of the villains are confusing. Just a bunch of poorly thought out events happening one after another. 6/10

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Rio Bravo review

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 1 October 2017 11:49 (A review of Rio Bravo)

A classic western from 1959 about a murderer being held in a small town until the marshal could come collect him and the gang that wants to free him.

It is clearly a movie from a different era, where even a western needed to have a musical number shoved into it. Regardless, it was enjoyable, if somewhat long.

The characters were clever and the interactions between them were engaging and interesting. It had sufficient action via shoot-em-ups as well as comedy that didn't feel forced. The love interest felt a bit tacked on, but not terribly so.

I also enjoyed that the protagonists weren't untouchable; they made mistakes and sometimes the bad guys got the jump on them or outsmarted them.

Why it was called Rio Bravo, "Brave River," is beyond me. Maybe it just sounded sufficiently "western" at the time. Always nice to see some of these old ones on the big screen. 7/10

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Flatliners review

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 30 September 2017 10:06 (A review of Flatliners)

This was a remake of a movie from 1990 that I only thought was OK. Hopefully, I thought, they will add to the original story and improve upon it. Instead, they just retold the original story with new characters.

The concept and story was fine for a movie in 1990, but didn't really work for me now. I had a hard time believing that there was no research done anywhere on near-death experiences available online that they could have referenced instead of making it up as they went along. And, why are they special? No one that has had a NDE has woken up with improved abilities, nor were haunted.

And, their planning was terrible. That it was such an ordeal to resuscitate the person every time makes you wonder how these fools ever got into medical school in the first place, since that they kept undergoing their procedure was clearly a sign that they were all stupid.

Realism in little areas annoyed me a bit, too. For example, they needed to do chest compressions every time, and a ton of them, and that they never broke any ribs was hard to swallow.

Not really scary, the "sins" they were being punished for were weak, and just a rehashing of the original movie had me waiting for the movie to be done. Better than "Friend Request" but let's not pretend that is high praise. 5/10

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American Made review

Posted : 2 months, 1 week ago on 30 September 2017 02:37 (A review of American Made)

Our protagonist is a criminal, and one that made a big, negative impact by transporting drugs, guns, and contras. Yet, the character is separated from these actions and is presented as a decent, likable family man. Despite myself, I found that I was rooting for his criminal exploits to succeed. In the end, though, crime doesn't pay, and I am content with that.

Based on a true story, it was interesting to see how it worked itself into the events that were occurring in the late 70's and early 80's. It humanized some of the well-known names from that time, again glossing over their terrible aspects.

Dealing with success was a funny theme. The storing of tons of cash, as well as the local investments, community improvements, and in-laws added to the story.

Though the laughs and charm is front and center, there is a tragic tale throughout. A man, bored with his hum-drum life as an airline pilot, makes one decision that could be seen as patriotic, but leads to a bunch of developments that seem inescapable. 8/10

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To Catch a Thief review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 24 September 2017 08:39 (A review of To Catch a Thief)

This movie won the Academy Award for cinematography and it shows. The scenery of the French Riviera is shown throughout and is done beautifully.

This was a romantic thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. It was amusing enough, but not the caliber of movie that I normally associate with Hitchcock.

The romance was odd and seemed to really be one-sided, with Francie pursuing relentlessly, and John never really seeming all the interested.

The mystery portion wasn't all the convincing, either. The limited number of characters in the movie makes it a pretty easy guess. The behaviour of the police, first chasing him for so long, then letting him go didn't make much sense, or at least why so much time was spent developing the chase only to have it not matter.

Still, it was a decent watch, and it was fun to see an older film on the big screen. 6/10

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 23 September 2017 11:23 (A review of Kingsman: The Golden Circle)

What an epic start to a great movie. It reminded me of the old school James Bond openings, but with modern effects and action. Really, the entirety of the Kingsman movies are the updated Roger Moore era James Bond films and I couldn't be happier. I definitely enjoy the Daniel Craig Bond, but there is definitely room for this style of spy movie as well.

After the great start, it continued strong. Action packed, funny, and over-the-top, it developed its story and villain and as well as new allies to the Kingsman seamlessly.

I appreciated Eggsy's relationship with his girlfriend. To me, it softened the poor lesson at the end of the first movie of seeing sex as a reward by making her more of a person than simply a trophy.

If I had to find fault, the climax felt weak, especially in comparison to the epic battles fought prior in the movie. Especially the needless sacrifice, considering they supposedly had equipment to detect and avoid the predicament. Additionally, it felt all too easy once they arrived at the final battle.

The villain was clearly evil, but also with a purpose, though it was selfish and for personal gain. The introduction of the secondary villain that would push for the more dire consequences of the evil plot escalated the stakes to a level approaching that of the first movie and made for an unexpected surprise. 8/10

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Friend Request review

Posted : 2 months, 2 weeks ago on 22 September 2017 11:49 (A review of Friend Request)

What can be said about this movie? Though it was only 92 minutes, it felt like an eternity. If I was dying, I would watch this movie over and over, filling every minute of my day with it, like Dunbar from Catch-22, making my last moments seemingly last forever. The pacing was poor, with some elements getting too much screen time, and other, more interesting parts mostly being ignored.

Not really very scary, though there were a couple of jump scares that managed to actually startle me. The imagery used was good at being disturbing, but often created more questions than it answered. The story was not really captivating and the characters were terrible.

Sometimes, in horror movies, it is easy to look at a mistake the characters make, or some action they should take and wonder "why don't they just" do something obvious. This movie did a good job of showing why these scenes are often not included, as they were laughably terrible. Trying to delete their accounts, they failed with generic errors. When looking at the code, they see it is magical. Ugh. When confronted by police and the dean of the school, she says she cannot get control of her account, and they offer no assistance, though you'd expect the police department and the IT department of the university to at least be interested in trying something. The most ridiculous part of this was when the dean sat our heroine down and said, "Even if you don't have access and can't remove the video, or delete your account, I'm getting a lot of pressure from the students, so I'm going to have to suspend you for the rest of the semester." Lol. Then, it goes on to have a mostly typical horror movie ending.

Of course, it also suffered from the typical horror movie "whys" as well, like, for instance, why were only some of the friends on her friend list targeted, but not the others? Why could some unfriend her, but others not? Maybe they were closer, real friends? Who cares?

The real tragedy with this movie was that I appreciated the concept. The graphical social media element built into some scenes of the movie was cleverly done. The idea of modern witch was clever. Truly, I am inspired to take the general idea and try to work it into a better story myself. It was an interesting enough concept, maybe it would have been better to not try to tell it as a typical horror story, but a supernatural drama?

The only redeeming quality this movie could have had was that I was going to watch with my pal, Dave, and we could have mocked it together. Unfortunately, there was unexpected traffic, so I was left to deal with the suffering alone. 3/10

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Doctor Zhivago review

Posted : 2 months, 3 weeks ago on 17 September 2017 10:23 (A review of Doctor Zhivago)

This was a fantastic depiction of the events of the Russian Revolution as seen from the eyes of the people affected by it. In short, Dr. Zhivago got a pretty raw deal, as well as most of the Russians. It is concerning how quickly even a little bit of power goes to the head of those who wield it.

The romance of the story is tragic, and not completely a pure thing. For instance, Zhivago's wife is devoted, loyal, and loving, yet he cheats on her. Regardless, the characters do what they must to survive in a dreadful time and it is compelling to watch. 8/10

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