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503 matching reviews. Last updated 2024-03-16

 Review Type  Name  Date  Review  Rating
TV Prohibition (2011) 2011-10-09 Like any pure history story, this is not a thrill-a-minute production. But, it's just about the right length (Burns' National Parks story was much too long) and an important US story. A few details are interesting, like the relationship between taxation and booze, but the Prohibition debate was pretty much only about booze, so there are no shockers to earn this a 10/10. 9/10
TV Spartacus: Blood and Sand: Season 01 (2010) 2011-11-12 Lots of sex and video-game violence, very little plot, cheap costumes and boring scenery. I only watched the first one-hour episode. 2/10
TV Tabloid (2010) 2011-12-17 This is a documentary about the crazy actions of a crazy woman and her Mormon boyfriend. As a documentary, it's well done, aside from not getting an interview with the boyfriend, and after interviewing a former Mormon there is no balancing interview with a current Mormon. Otherwise, no unanswered questions. You won't learn much, but it is an entertaining look at total irrationality. 7/10
TV The Gospel of Judas (2006) 2013-04-14 It drags a bit for over an hour before finally divulging the scholars' conclusions, but an objective treatment of a topic that probably irks many Christians. 8/10
TV The Queen's Gambit (2020) 2020-11-10 - 2020-11-20 This is alternatingly dark and glorious. Yes, it is too fantastic that a young girl can gain such international prominence in the chess world, and I wish there could be more technical discussions of chess. Some plot directions could be guessed, but the details were, as I said, glorious. 9/10
TV The Royal Wedding of Will and Kate (2011) 2011-04-29 The family members looked great and the crowd behaved well. The Church of England let us down by not including a female priest. 8/10
The Tudors: Season 01 (2007)
The Tudors: Season 02 (2008)
The Tudors: Season 03 (2009)
The Tudors: Season 04 (2010)
Quite stylized with its ornate costumes and settings. In season 1, I didn't see much of peasant life outside the Court, and according to other reviews, there are historical inaccuracies. If you like soap opera melodramatics, you'll like this. Lots of fornication, but the language is not too bad. Season 1 ends as a cliffhanger with major issues unresolved.
Season 2 is darker and better than season 1. Costumes remain lavish. Watch for a hilarious brief encounter between the Pope and Michelangelo (a welcome break from the grim storylines). I remain disappointed that there are no depictions of peasants and others outside of court, and it's hard to understand how much time is passing (which must be months between each episode). The season is overall 7/10, but the season 2 finale is one of the greatest hours of TV that you will ever see.
I'm glad that season 3 has many scenes with commoners, and not just nobility. Season 3 is as good as previous seasons, except nothing can compare with the final episode of season 2.
Light on the history and political intrigue, heavy on the s-e-x.
TV The Walking Dead (2010) 2013-03-23 I watched season one and do not care to continue. There is no promise that the apocalypse can ever be truly resolved, only that these poor schlubs will trudge on from one zombie horde to the next, and from one useless survivor to the next. Battlestar Galactica is a better apocalypse series. 6/10
TV UFO: Season 01 (1970) 2011-03-07 Episode 1 showed great promise. 2-6 are OK, but many sloppy plot devices. Like, Straker complaining about security, but all locks are easily picked with a paper clip. The writers want to show the advances in race relations of the '60s, but women are treated like dirt. Still, there are some cool glimpses of the future from the eyes of the '60s, and it's so much fun to watch sci-fi TV without the Sci-Fi networks's constant commercials. Final disk was disappointing. 7/10
TV Vicar of Dibley: The Immaculate Collection (1994-2007) 2011-05-15 Lots of funny moments in each episode, with quirky (sometimes unrealistic) characters. Lots of racy humor and 1990s British pop culture references. Active churchgoers will find good church humor, and an occasional jab at the politics of the Church of England. 7/10
Movie 88 Minutes (2008) 2011-03-06 This was so violently twisted that the characters had to be unbelievable, and even a guy like Pacino has to overact in a movie like this. An unrealistically large amount of stuff happens in what is supposedly 88 minutes. 6/10
Movie A Dirty Shame (2004) 2012-11-03 This didn't seem NC-17. This has some funny, over-the-top stuff, and Ullman is perfect for this. This would have been a 6/10, but it could have used more graphic sex and the ending was just stupid. 5/10
Movie A Haunting in Venice (2023) 2023-11-02 Finally, Branaugh escapes his annoying persona from "Much Ado About Nothing", and in this Haunting he is all Poirot. A fantastic plot with fantastic twists and great performances. The only point off is that in the end, the movie tries to make us believe there was a bit left unsolved, but there really wasn't. 9/10
Movie A Serious Man (2009) 2012-12-21 The movie does a good job keeping you wondering what eventually will happen, but nothing really happens. For most of the movie, I didn't feel it was only for Jews, but then comes the ending only a Jew could love. 5/10
Movie A Simple Plan (1998) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK, but there were no standouts. There were a few spots that came off as unbelievable, and it moved slowly in that north country sort of way. But it was all interesting enough to make you wonder how it would turn out. 6/10
Movie A Single Man (2009) 2012-12-16 This is great if you like artsy fartsy snoozers about the trials and tribulations of aging gay guys. 5/10
Movie A Star Is Born (2018) 2019-07-14 Good acting, great music (even if unrealistic in these times of lousy pop music). Gaga and Cooper have good chemistry. But, the story moves slowly because there really isn't much to it, and we have seen it before. The final ten minutes were overly schmaltzy with loving flashbacks for a person who was kind of a jerk. 7/10
Movie ABBA: The Movie (1977) 2011-03-07 Good selection of music not often heard in the USA, otherwise this movie is awful. The DJ looking for an interview is too stupid to deserve one. If ABBA was in fact satirizing the press, now that would be kind of cool. They were good musicians, but I don't think they were cool enough for that. This is a self-made ABBA love fest. 4/10
Movie Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012) 2013-01-11 This is not great art, but maybe the most entertaining movie of the year. Definitely an R rating for blood. Just when you think it seems really goofy, you say, THAT'S ABE LINCOLN! The Confederacy is portrayed as a bunch of vampire collaborators, but I suspect the filmmakers think that's an innocent part of the fantasy. 8/10
Movie Affair in Trinidad (1952) 2011-03-07 You really have to put yourself into an early Cold War mindset to even begin to understand why any character does anything. So, we have rocket scientists leaving their blueprints lying around a Caribbean guest house for high-heeled sexpots to read. I understand why the Ford character falls for Hayworth - she's a bombshell. Not at all clear why Hayworth falls for Ford. Overall, I kind of liked Hayworth, and she's worth the 98 minutes, but the script is formula. 5/10
Movie Aladdin (1992) 2011-03-07 I love this movie as an adult, but I can't help thinking that Robin Williams is too over-the-top for young kids, and I don't want my own kids to be like that. Still, this movie is a blast. 9/10
Movie Alice in Wonderland (2010) 2011-03-07 This is a sequel to the original AIW story, taking place in old England. But I liked this story a lot. Wasikowska plays a smart young woman in a traditional society without being annoying. Every character is well developed and constantly "doing something", whether in the background or foreground. The story moves quickly, but there are no plot holes. The violence is fantasy-like, but there definitely is violence, otherwise very clean. Burton brings a fantastic vision to life along with a good story. 9/10
Movie All the King's Men (2006) 2011-03-07 There were a few confusing spots that we had to replay, and still couldn't figure out the lines. Men commit suicide over vague accusations (I guess that means the accusations were even worse than stated, but it was vague). But overall, a good portrayal of mid-20th century power politics in Lousiana. 7/10
Movie Allied (2016) 2018-01-27 The plot keeps you wondering about the outcome all the way, and the mood is profound and tense, but the bottom line for the motivations of the characters were not all the exciting. So, only a 7/10. 7/10
Movie Amarcord (1974) 2011-03-07 Supposedly perceived as warmly nostalgic. It's a wonder anyone from this town grew up to be able to do anything smarter than to count to three before farting. However, the music is nice, and I agree with the description that Fellini did look back warmly on his childhood. But, a tedious two hours for a modern American audience. 6/10
Movie Amélie (2001) 2011-10-23 A bit too quirky to be a 10/10, and there are a few blunt spots that might not be good for a first date, but this is cute and romantic and funny and sentimental. 8/10
Movie American Hustle (2013) 2014-04-19 A well paced and interesting story. Although some parts are obviously based on actual events, it's hard to know which parts are not. 7/10
Movie American Made (2017) 2018-06-16 Cruise normally saves movies, but in this case, I felt he played it a bit too goofy. Drug running is a tough, serious business (as if I know), and he and his family and cohorts are just too flippant. But, but the timeline is tight and clear. 7/10
Movie American Pie Presents Band Camp (2005) 2013-02-16 The story and acting are lousy and offensive, 3/10, but extra points for the substantial use of legitimate background marchers. Nothing earth shattering, but real marchers doing sophisticated moves, and the music is decent. If you are a band geek, it's OK to watch this movie. 6/10
Movie Amish Grace (2010) 2011-08-14 Made for TV. Amish stoicism was overplayed in order to contrast with sudden rushes of emotion. The theology of forgiveness was well represented, aside from never mentioning the name of Jesus. "Shunning" was mentioned, but only briefly questioned by a character. The wife of the killer was well played. The ending was too happy. 7/10
Movie An American Carol (2008) 2011-03-07 The original Christmas Carol works because we believe that Dickens thought that Christmas is actually a good thing. I don't know what the makers of this movie actually think. So, it becomes a comedy vehicle, and there were a few good jokes. But overall, nothing great. 5/10
Movie Angels & Demons (2009) 2011-03-07 The action constantly had to stop while the characters explained what they were doing, because this Illuminati stuff is just so obscure. In the end, the apparent goal of the bad guy is unrealistic. The cops are stupid, as they must be in so many movies for anyone to get away with this stuff. I suppose if scientists can capture antimatter in this movie, they can predict the failure of a battery to the minute. The acting and settings are good, but not good enough to carry the story, and Hanks' "Oh my God" lines have little Ronnie Howard written all over them. 5/10
Movie Animal Crackers (1930) 2011-03-07 This movie introduces "Hooray for Captain Spaulding" (I must be going...), and any movie that can slip in that "shot an elephant in my pajamas" joke has to be good. For some reason, the movie insists on trying to tell a mediocre story, and some of the actors just aren't very good. But, classic, rapid fire Marx Brothers. 7/10
Movie Arbitrage (2012) 2021-04-03 Little about this movie stands out. There is star power, but for all the drama, Gere and his women have no chemistry, the financial scam provided little interest and the portrayal of cops didn't help. 5/10
Movie Arn: The Knight Templar (2007) 2011-03-07 This is not a Hollywood movie. Hollywood mixes in occasional lighthearted moments between the tragic moments. This movie, while well done, has no lighthearted moments. It is tragic from start to end. It is not always clear why Swede #1 thinks his sheep are so much better than Swede #2's sheep that they much fight each other to the death. Also, the Crusades are presented but not explained. Some English, many subtitles. 7/10
Movie Arrival (2016) 2017-02-17 I wanted to rate this movie higher because of good acting, a moving ending and realistic motivations of the military. But, the ultimate premise (which I won't give away here) was too fanciful. 7/10
Movie Australia (2008) 2011-03-07 This turns out to be like one of those goofy westerns where children end up driving the herd across deserts while fighting off bad guys. The Kidman character is overdone, and Jackman's main contribution is his physical attractiveness. Some plot elements were confusing, IMHO, while others were annoyingly predictable. Nicely filmed on location. 6/10
Movie Avatar (2009) 2011-03-07 What movie did the rest of you see? As screenplays go, this movie had great special effects. The script was awful. Awful sci-fi, just awful period. I can't explain too much without being a spoiler. Often in movies, a character is put into what seems like a bad position, but somehow the writers find an intelligent way out. Not this time. I don't mind the theme of imperialism versus innocents, and I don't mind that one side has to lose. But this was a nasty piece of work. 4/10
Movie Babel (2006) 2014-03-15 Good acting and sophisticated story, but each scene seemed long. The writers couldn't decide what to preach about, so they picked a whole bunch of issues - immigration, guns, discrimination, etc. 6/10
Movie Babette's Feast (1987) 2014-04-04 A bit slow to start, and subtitled with multiple spoken languages. But a glorious middle, and a cute if predictable ending. Sort of like Ratatouille, without the rats. 8/10
Movie Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) 2011-03-07 This movie is tough to watch. Just about everyone is scummy, and anyone good gets stomped on. But I felt that all the actors did a good job of acting scummy. 7/10
Movie Bad Teacher (2011) 2012-01-01 I think what happened was, a Hollywood writer was at the local cheerleader carwash, and thought it would be funny if it was erotic. Then he wrote a whole script around that and flattered actresses until he found 39-year-old Diaz, looking for her last hurrah. Only a non-parent could make this movie. The main characters are not likable and the ending is unsatisfying. Look for three alumni of Freaks and Geeks and a Joan Jett track during the credits. 5/10
Movie Barbie (2023) 2023-12-17 The laughs ended about 15 minutes in. After that, it was a long diatribe on feminist empowerment in the face of mindless men. At the very end, we learn the true theme, which is the theme of almost all movies no matter what politics the writer believes: Barbie (in Barbieland) can do any important job or live in any cool house, but what she really wants most of all is a ... 7/10
Movie Basic Instinct (1992) 2023-08-09 Infamously raunchy for an A-list movie, but really only for the sake of the infany. I found the ending to be an uninspired attempt at a twist. 6/10
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Wonder Woman (2017)
Justice League (2017)
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)
The Batman (2022)
I didn't hate this as much as everyone else. Batman was especially complex, both vengeful and merciful. It would have been cool if Batman and Lois hooked up. Superman defies earthly physics, and the appearance of Wonder Woman made no sense (except to titillate teenagers and advertise future movies).
The story was coherent, even if an all-female society doesn't make sense. But hey, the chicks were hot.
The super powers are just too super. Wonder Woman can almost stand up to Superman, again defying earthly physics. All the characters seem to magically know where all the other characters are, all the time. Bad guys exist to be bad for no explained reason. However, unlike Batman vs. Superman, I liked the use of Lois Lane in this followup movie.
The only story was to stop the bad guy trying to take over the world, which he essentially did just by wishing. And there was a bad woman who also got what she wanted just by wishing. But hey, the chicks were hot.
As I have complained before, the super powers are just too super. Wonder Woman can almost stand up to Superman, but not the bad guy. I still like Adams as Lois Lane. After all my complaints, I enjoyed this 4-hour movie, maybe because of the extra attempts at explaining everything.
I enjoy watching the vigilantism of all the Batman reboots. However, while Michael Keaton was an inspired casting choice in 1989, Pattinson in 2022 is a lackluster pretty-boy who is given no chance to be just Bruce Wayne. Even when out of the Batman suit, Bruce Wayne is skulking around mob clubs.
Movie Battleship (2012) 2012-09-10 Let me see if I have this right, the aliens are from a planet just like earth, but they're lizard people who can't tolerate sunlight? Hollywood insults the Navy by suggesting that it's the place to go for lowlife goofballs, and proves once again that all the good sci-fi writers are dead. Great special effects and you feel good when it's done, but it's not a good movie. 4/10
Movie Beach Party (1963) 2011-03-07 This movie invented the ultra-B beach/music movie formula ("Where the Boys Are" is different and better). Avalon figures out that he must totally ham it up, but Funicello was apparently held back by Disney, being barely past her Mouseketeer days (these movies immortalized her for a mediocre job). FA & AF's songs are forgettable, but the awesome Dick Dale plays a significant musical role. The comedy is hit or miss, although the characters don't give Deadhead credit for his great cough drop joke. Forgive me, but I love Lembeck's Von Zipper gang leader role. And there is a pie fight. The wait for Big Daddy's "word" was a nice touch in a lackluster script. SPOILER QUOTES: Deadhead: "If he had a twin, he'd make a good cough drop." (Think Smith Brothers.) Big Daddy (Vincent Price): "The pit. Bring me my pendulum, kiddies, I feel like swinging." 6/10
Bedazzled (1968)
Bedazzled (2000)
Some scenes were a bit drawn out, but some very funny ideas. With a young Dudley Moore and a young Raquel Welch, can't go wrong.
Fraser perfected his doofus-ness later as his career progressed, but in this movie he is bearable. We watched the 1968 version with Dudley Moore (when Dudley was still bearable) and then this 2000 version. I'll take Raquel Welch over Liz Hurley, but the 1968 version drags a bit, while the 2000 version keeps you awake and there are some pretty funny bits. I'd like to see someone remake this movie with a female selling her soul.
Movie Bedtime Stories (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie starts off with bathroom humor. It has a few funny bits, and Sandler has good chemistry with the kids. Not good chemistry with Keri Russell. Most of the humor is low-brow Sandler stuff. Not a total waste, but if you don't already love Sandler, you won't love him after this. 5/10
Movie Behind the Candelabra (2013) 2013-12-07 Michael Douglas was great, and yet, no matter how groundbreaking this may be, it was disturbing. Also, as schmaltzy as Liberace was, some of the movie's schmaltz was misplaced. 7/10
Movie Belfast (2021) 2022-12-14 It is good to be reminded that most people in northern Ireland want to live peaceful, productive lives. The intertwining story lines are not novel, even somewhat schmaltzy, but moving and magnificently enjoyable. 9/10
Movie Bell Book and Candle (1958) 2019-10-13 I loved this movie. Reviewers tend to fault how the famous actors played different sorts of characters than they are known for today, but this is a fun movie with its magic and some wackiness. I was proud to recognize Howard McNear who would go on to play Floyd the barber in the Andy Griffith Show. 9/10
Movie Black Panther (2018) 2018-09-29 A rather typical tale of good and evil. Regardless of its comic book history, the film was made in 2018, when it makes no sense that a country with unlimited natural and intellectual resources is ruled by a hereditary king who can be challenged only by an individual fight to the death. And the technological marvels are designed single-handedly by a 20-something. Celebrate African heritage, but is a theme of "might makes right" the best they could do? 7/10
Movie Black Swan (2010) 2011-07-04 Most fan reviewers are missing the connection between the movie story and the Swan Lake story. This is not just a story about a stressed diva and her whackjob mother, it IS Swan Lake, with an adjusted ending. This is very graphic (sex and violence), but that's not gratuitous; it's integral to the story. Only fault is that Portman's character is a bit too innocent. 9/10
Movie Black Widow (2021) 2022-04-16 A miserable two hours of hot women beating the crap out of each other, among mean, ugly men. 4/10
Movie Blade Runner 2049 (2017) 2018-03-03 In what future is it snowing everywhere, especially given this movie was made during real-world arguments over climate change? In any case, I liked the first half of the movie, but then practically nothing happened for over an hour. 6/10
Movie Blazing Saddles (1974) 2011-03-07 This is mostly funny, but I'll bet that when it first came out, even some of Mel Brooks' fellow Jews thought some jokes were overdone. Now as I write this in 2010, the constant barrage of N-word jokes is a bit too much. Still, the campfire scene is a classic and Gene Wilder is great. 8/10
Movie Blinded by the Light (2019) 2019-12-15 An enjoyable portrayal of teen obsession. I wanted to love this movie even more, but let's face it, expat Paki fathers are annoying, and the ending was schmaltzy. In the final "true stories", Javed turns out to be ACTUALLY obsessive; teens are obsessive by nature, but real-life obsessive adults cause a movie to lose a rating point. I have visted Luton and I'm a Boss fan and the music was great, so my rating is still pretty good. 8/10
Movie Body of Lies (2008) 2011-03-07 From a terrorism and anti-terrorism perspective, the violence and ideologies depicted were realistic. And fortunately, DiCaprio was able to hack a laptop password and upload gobs of data all in less than a minute. Yeah, right, they can't even keep the Middle East power grid running all day. I hate it when filmmakers use sloppy plot devices like that just to get through a scene. But it didn't ruin the movie. 8/10
Movie Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 2019-07-20 The music was great, but the acting was emotionally superficial, until the very end, including Malek. Life is more complicated than determining which songs are included on an album. 7/10
Movie Bokeh (2017) 2023-05-13 A well done study of a couple in a hopeless, apocolyptic situation. Of course, the situation being what it is, nothing happens. 7/10
Movie Bottle Shock (2008) 2013-06-22 A very cute and well-acted dramatization of the rise of Napa Valley wines in comparison to French wines, and even the realization in the 1970s that good wine can come from all around the world. I suspect the ultra-hot blonde intern and brunette bar owner were added to the true story. 8/10
Movie Brexit (2019) 2019-01-19 The main point is to explain how the Brexiteers reached 3 million previous non-voters. I guess that's important, and the movie does touch on the middle class frustrations that led to the vote to leave, but American audiences don't care enough about Brexit itself and don't know enough about British personalities to care how one side or another swung the referendum. 8/10
Movie Bright Day (2010) 2013-02-10 This is funny as a satire of The Secret, but don't go out of your way to see this if you've got something better to do. 6/10
Movie Bringing Up Baby (1938) 2023-02-04 Fantastic high speed comedy, especially from Hepburn. The embarassments of the Grant character wore on me after a while. The ending was telegraphed early in the movie, even the final slapstick destruction. 8/10
Movie Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) 2011-10-23 The premise is ingenious. C'mon, Elvis battling a mummy, you can't make this stuff up, but someone did. Some scenes are breathtakingly hilarious. 8/10
Movie Bullets Over Broadway (1994) 2023-09-16 Very cute, occasionally very funny. Unfortunately, I never developed a liking for the main character (the John Cusack character.) 7/10
Movie Burnt (2015) 2016-02-13 The restaurant business is not really that interesting to the general public. But, it can be, if the characters are tatooed, bisexual, grudge-holding drug addicts with mob debts. 7/10
Movie Candleshoe (1977) 2011-03-07 Good family fare. Great acting. Storyline is as old as the hills, but a good rent if you're looking for a Disney you've never seen before. 7/10
Movie Captain Phillips (2013) 2014-03-09 It is the Somalians whose motives are well explained, nasty as they may be. The Americans' motives are rather assumed. Just doing their jobs, and that's why this is so unnerving. 9/10
Movie Casino Jack (2010) 2011-09-17 I suspect that this was reasonably true to the facts. The problem with these high-roller true stories is that the characters say that they're broke, but still making multi-million dollar deals, and it's not always clear where all the money comes from. The filmmakers leave us wondering if Abramoff is genuinely religious or just nuts, and they lose a point for not picking a side. 7/10
Movie Cats (2019) 2020-10-17 Lots of other bad reviews for this one due to the extreme constuming, but I LIKED how the characters swapped between humans dressed like cats versus cats dressed like humans. I liked the musical interpretations. It's a musical, so no car chases or sex, but I enjoyed it all. Cats played by black actors looked less catlike than cats played by white actors, what's up with that? 8/10
Movie Chappaquiddick (2017) 2019-01-01 Sure, we know how it all works out, but the filmmakers did not find a way to add any excitement at all. A couple interesting points are made, such as the moon landing grabbing all the headlines and the lavish adulation paid to the Kennedy family. But, given Teddy escaped a charge of DWI and involuntary manslaughter, the film is overly friendly to Ted, as if there is any possibility he never slept with Mary Jo. One extra star any time a film casts Bruce Dern! 7/10
Movie Chef (2014) 2018-02-05 This is well done, I just don't care about cooking and the everyman who has multiple hot lovers. 6/10
Movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) 2012-04-07 Lots of cliche scripting with the fatherly pride angle, romance angle and jokes, but I could see takeoffs on Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and other movies. Little kids won't get this, but OK for most of the family, and a few good laughs. 7/10
Movie Cloverfield (2008) 2018-06-16 I liked this a lot. I might have given it another star, but everyone (aside from the soliders) is about 21 years old, and their lives really aren't that interesting. But, the story is clear, the monster is well portrayed, and there is a good resolution. 6/10
Movie Coherence (2013) 2019-03-16 The premise (a passing comet causes strange effects on earth) leads to much viewer confusion, so a couple rating points are lost, but the premise is innovative. The lack of a final explanation and resolution cost a rating point. 7/10
Movie Complete Thin Man Collection [7 Discs] (1934, 1936, 1939, 1941, 1945, 1947, 2005) 2011-03-07 I have a new fave actress and it's Myrna Loy. Love the series. Story lines not fantastic, but Powell / Loy have enough material for ther rapid fire lines and drinking and debauchery. "After" slightly toned down (except for a cute recurring bit with the dog). Great scene in "After" with Powell with the men after dinner. James Stewart in "After" but didn't stand out. "Another" introduces the baby, but the script ignores him when the adults need to solve crimes. Shemp Howard in "Another". I liked "Shadow", especially the wrestling match scene. "Goes Home" without the kid, not sure why a baby was ever introduced. I liked "Song", the dog was funny, the story was coherent, the boy was present but the parents were always traveling. "Alias" is not a movie - bio materials, TV and radio stuff. 7/10
Movie Contagion (2011) 2011-08-27 It is not lost on the makers of this movie that people don't watch Jaws before going to the beach. Likewise, don't watch this when you're coming down with a cold. This is dark, but could be even darker. Realistic technical writing. Wash your hands. 8/10
Movie Cowboys & Aliens (2011) 2011-08-27 The human characters were great. But somehow, a bunch of cave dwelling, flesh ripping, carnivorous monsters with no apparent language skills desired and developed the technology for interstellar travel. The one helpful alien just happened to take the form of a major hot babe. But the whole idea of it all is just so cool. 7/10
Movie Crazy Heart (2009) 2012-12-02 Great acting. The story line is depressing with a little brightness at the end. This is yet another movie where a likable woman inexplicably falls for a scumbag guy. 8/10
Movie Crazy Rich Asians (2018) 2019-04-20 She dates him for a year and doesn't know he's rich, but a random customer in a restaurant posts a photo of him and the world shares it within a minute. I guess this was destined to be formulaic, and Mahjong could not differentiate it (since practically no one watching this movie knows how to play Mahjong). 6/10
Movie Crossing Delancey (1988) 2019-01-06 Some reviewers dislike Izzy because they say she's self-centrered and unworthy of a nice guy, and some dislike Sam because they say he's a plain, old fashioned whiner. But, it's more complicated, as Izzy softens to Sam's wooing (her word) and Sam sees the value under Izzy's beauty. All along, Bubbie is the magical center. Saw it in 1988 in the theaters and again at an art house theater in 2019. Maybe a little harsh toward the intellectuals, I guess we needed a villain. 9/10
Movie Cry Macho (2021) 2021-10-01 Not offensive, but stereotypical, predictable and slow. Pleasant, that's about the best I can say. 6/10
Movie Cruella (2021) 2021-09-20 Parts were great when the visuals were over the top fantasies, but parts were unsatisfying when too adult or too gritty. Ultimately, they took a child’s villain and made an adult movie, and they convinced you to like the main character who becomes the future villain the kids will fear or hate. The antagonist character was more evil than Cruella. 7/10
Movie Curse of the Golden Flower (2006) 2011-03-07 Visually stunning, and in an Asian way that is different than Western films. The story developed gradually and it was good, but there were a couple of issues, especially with the emperor, where it was never made clear why characters acted the way they did. 8/10
Movie Damsel (2024) 2024-03-16 This wants to be a teen movie, because Brown is not yet an adult leading lady, but then people are brutally killed in an environment that supports human sacrifice. The stepmother is alternatingly stupid and perceptive. The ending is schmaltzy. But, Brown was the right choice for this and makes the most of a plot that can't be fully embraced. 6/10
Movie Date Night (2010) 2011-05-14 I'm not a big Carell fan, but he was OK and Fey was great. Great car chase, and I loved the scene where Carell and Fey return to the restaurant and argue with the hostess. 8/10
Movie Deadwood: The Movie (2019) 2019-06-08 This continues the gritty but probably true portrayal of the Old West. But as with any series finale, much of the story dwells on wrapping up some story lines. In real life, our stories just drag on, so a finale always seems contrived. 7/10
Movie Death on the Nile (2022) 2022-04-05 Overall a good mystery with lots of twists. Branaugh plays a typical Poirot. Gadot is just boring, to the point we forget she is gorgeous. 7/10
Movie Death Race 2000 (1975) 2011-04-02 A cult classic in which we learn the answer to the great question: Who would win a fight between Kwai Chang Caine and Rocky? 6/10
Movie Deceived (1991) 2017-11-11 I liked Hawn in a dramatic/suspense role. The extra wife near the end of the story made no sense. 7/10
Movie Defiance (2008) 2014-12-06 If this is even remotely based on a true story, it's an amazing story, but it's unfortunate that 60 years after the war, a WWII movie needs to be so one-sided. 7/10
Movie District 9 (2009) 2011-03-07 Pretty gory, lots of profanity. This apparently sets up a sequel, but a sequel to what? Will another shipload of dumb scavengers visit earth? And if the next batch are not dumb, why were all the aliens in THIS movie so dumb? I liked the dark tone of all this, but it leaves many questions unanswered, or even unasked. 7/10
Movie Donovan's Reef (1963) 2018-09-29 I love this movie. John Wayne is too old for Elizabeth Allen. The script does good, anti-racist things, but white men still win white women by kissing them forcibly. But, Wayne and Marvin and Lamour are their classic selves. 8/10
Movie Don't Look Up (2021) 2022-03-05 Very satirical from both sides of the argument about how politics and science collide. But, lots of funny moments. The serious moments were hard to take seriously. Some of the science was great, but some supposedly serious science was concocted just so a silly counter-science could be presented. 7/10
Movie Doubt (2008) 2011-03-07 It was interesting to look at priestly misbehavior through the nuns' eyes. Well acted. Not much scenery to speak of, but you're left to wonder what the priest is doing and what will happen. Some low customer ratings from viewers who require a definitive ending where the good guys win, but I liked the whole thing. 8/10
Movie Downton Abbey (2019) 2020-04-18 Downton Abbey fans will like this, but it doesn't stand alone. Not quite as dramatic as the series, but lots of funny spots, and fun to see how everyone reacts to the king and queen, and how the king and queen react to everyone else. Nothing earth shattering, from a series that was often earth shattering. 7/10
Movie Dressed to Kill (1980) 2011-03-07 I liked the kid (Gordon) in this, and Caine was OK, but Dickinson and Allen were both mediocre. Franz is very familiar as a detective. This is softcore porn that pushed the R rating to its limits in 1980, and Dickinson was showing her age but apparently out for one last hurrah. The final sequence is simply gratuitous. Worthwhile as a period piece, but put the kids to bed. 5/10
Movie Dune (2021) 2021-10-30 The screenplay is stuck with some issues from the original books. These intelligent races have achieved interstellar travel, but they fight battles with swords, their machines and homes are gray, society is patriarchal and a single emperor is supposedly capable of ruling the infinite of expanse of the universe. The visuals are nonetheless good and the acting is good, but nothing much happens except to set up a future movie. 6/10
Movie Duplicity (2009) 2011-03-07 There were so many duplicities that I think the writers were just trying to annoy me. I loved the supporting roles - the CEOs and their corporate espionage personnel. Owen and Roberts (or at least the parts they were given) were the weak links. I understood the motivations for the supporting roles, but Owen and Roberts didn't convince me. 6/10
Movie Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 2014-12-06 A rare movie incorporating time travel that doesn't go overboard with the paradox (well, except for a sappy ending). Very exciting, Cruise and Blunt work well together. 8/10
Movie El Conde (2023) 2024-01-11 I found this slow and not horrific, aside from a few blender scenes. The nun character seemed interesting for a while, then appeared to miss the crucial treasure and had no final impact. The plot line using famous historical figures is novel, although used with better results in "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". The novelty could not save me from dozing off a few times. 6/10
Movie Elvis (2022) 2022-10-01 Great portrayal of Elvis the performer and substance abuser. I'm sure he was patriotic, but that seemed over the top at times. 8/10
Movie Empire of the Sun (1987) 2011-03-07 All along, I thought, wow, I should be thinking that this is a great movie. But I just never felt that way. Great acting, well constructed, but there was just never a moment that left me feeling satisfied. Watch it for sure, but it won't be in your top ten of all time. 8/10
Movie Enemy at the Gates (2001) 2011-03-07 Even the Vassili character's first rifle shot is anticipated with great suspense. This is a great war flick from the eyes of individual, battlefield soldiers. It wasn't 100% clear how the young shoeshine boy was able to move freely between his Russian family and the German soldiers, and the ending was a little schmaltzy for all the darkness that preceded it, but overall a great film. 9/10
Movie Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022) 2023-01-14 Everything happens in this movie, but, aside from a big bagel, what was the point? This movie was made to win awards. 7/10
Movie Falling for Figaro (2020) 2024-02-20 The opera music is great and this movie is hilarious. Lumley is just as funny as in Ab Fab, except with the added benefit that she is not acting drunk. It is a bit of a stretch that the main character has two hot men hopelessly in love with her, but I suspect this plot and her looks are supposed to be like an opera. 8/10
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
Not as likable as Harry Potter.
Certainly high quality, for what it was, which was miserable. And, I didn't know what was happening or who it was happening to, most of the time.
Movie Father Christman Is Back (2021) 2022-01-15 Some really cute scenes, and a twisty ending that wraps everything up. But for most of the movie, just a bunch of characters who hate each other and then suddenly don't. 6/10
Movie Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) 2016-01-06 Generally bad script and acting. Who would like the main characters? No one has any personality, aside from being fetishist whack jobs. 3/10
Movie First Man (2018) 2019-07-20 This is a great portrayal of frail humans (physically and emotionally) achieving awesome things. For all its length, a little light on the tech. I wish we had seem more of the events AFTER the landings. 8/10
Movie Flash of Genius (2008) 2011-03-07 The inventor spent 12 years fighting the corporations, and you'll think that the movie is about that long, too. It is well written and acted, assuming it's accurate, so I made it all the way through. For all the talk about cars, maybe they should have thrown in a car chase to liven it up. Just kidding, but still, it's a half hour too long. 6/10
Movie Flawless (2007) 2011-03-07 Pretty good, but it moved a bit slow. The movie touches on the role of diamond companies in Africa, and seems to hint at a resolution involving that role, but that resolution was anti-climactic, and the resolution for the Demi Moore character was also unfulfilling for me. 6/10
Movie Flickers (1981) 2011-03-07 Good acting and a good story line with an interesting look at the silent movie industry. This is not "ha ha" funny like American sitcoms, but it's a really good British comedy. (Note that de la Tour gains fame as Hagrid's tall sweetie in the Harry Potter series, and Hoskins has many credits, too.) I have watched all three DVDs (6 episodes). The final episode is shocking and rewarding. My wife enjoyed this, too. 8/10
Movie Flight (2012) 2013-08-04 A profound portrayal of substance abuser. SPOILER: The pilot was sleeping with and abusing substances with a hot stewardess. That was the extent of their relationship. In the end, a soliloquy was necessary to explain how this motivated him to come clean. I'm not convinced he loved her enough to quit boozing, and I wish some other motivation could have been devised. 8/10
Movie Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) 2017-11-23 Cute, with some small surprises, but you know how it will end, and overall there is little suspense. 7/10
Movie Focus (2015) 2015-11-21 The physical and intellectual workings on cons were well portrayed (I assume since I don't really know about cons). On the other hand, the movie was very unrealistic, or, people are really stupid and don't notice when tight-fitting jewelry has been removed. 7/10
Movie For the Bible Tells Me So (2007) 2011-03-07 The well known, individual stories of gays are very moving, and it's important to see the extreme hatred of some homophobes. However, you won't find a well balanced approach in this. The pro-acceptance people are thoughtful and intelligent, and the anti-acceptance people are violent and crude. Quite a bit of time is spent on debating the interpretation of Bilblical verses, and I kind of think no one can win those arguments, and this documentary does not settle those debates. 6/10
Movie Four Christmases (2008) 2011-03-07 There are funny spots, but when it gets slow, Vaughn says something insulting that is supposed to be taken as funny, or, someone gets beat up. There is a cute twist at the end, but Vaughn can't let it go at that and finds it necessary to act like an idiot. I have always liked Witherspoon and she does not disappoint. Vaughn needs to drop 20 pounds. 6/10
Movie Frozen (2013) 2014-03-22 Music is good, especially Let It Go. Some funny stuff, I loved the shop owner. The "curse" is never really explained, and other elements are too complicated for really young children. 8/10
Movie Gary Has No Pants (2010) 2014-04-06 Rapid fire, dry humor from "Gary", who we learn early is not actually Gary. Not un-funny, but nothing hilarious, and very low budget and it just got old after a while. 6/10
Movie Georgetown (2019) 2022-09-15 Hard to imagine that leaders of countries gave any credence to such a hapless person, and that his old wife suddenly turned visiously against him. 7/10
Movie Get Smart (2008) 2011-03-07 Steve Carell is 20% brilliant, and 80% dumb toilet humor. Some really funny stuff in this movie, but occasionally, some lousy attempts at humor. I know Carell was immitating Don Adams, but Adams was dry-but-funny, and Carell is dry-and-boring. I liked the two geeky CONTROL analysts. Hathaway was pretty good. James Caan was pretty good, too. 7/10
Movie Ghost Rider (2007) 2011-03-07 The movie wasn't a total loss, but the script was just miserable. The final lines from Nicolas Cage made no sense - I could not imagine why the character would go in that direction. 3/10
Movie Ghost Writer (2010) 2011-03-07 The whole premise of this movie is that it is leaked that a former British PM turned over a couple of terrorists to the CIA for (unconfirmed) torture. The whole world goes into convulsions, except the Americans who don't seem to care. The same British PM sent soldiers into wars, etc., but protesters froth at the mouth over this unconfirmed torture. There was nothing bad about this movie, but it was a bit slow, and no actor stood out. Brosnan remains the mediocre, but oh so pretty, actor. 6/10
Movie Glass (2019) 2019-10-19 The premise related to comparisons between extraordinary (fictional) people and comic book superheroes is novel and earns points, but the stereotypical presentation of an insane asylum is annoying. And, Samuel Jackson is just boring. 7/10
Godzilla (2014)
Godzilla (1954)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)
Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)
2014-07-01 - 2014-07-11
A great monster movie, with modern effects and a classic story flow. The trailers cleverly hide the plot twists. Godzilla fans from the old days are held in suspense and are not disappointed. Not for little kids, OK for pre-teens. CONS: big name actors trying to say something profound, but you're never sure what it is. Technical issues with countdown timers and nuclear weapons, because the military apparently has never considered the problems of EMP during a nuclear exchange. IMAX 3D OK, but could be enjoyed in 2D. Wish there was one more Godzilla roar for those of use who watch the credits to the end, but no such luck. The guy next to me yawned out loud several times, but he's a jerk. See this movie.
The original Japanese version, subtitled. Interesting use of traditional Japanese cultural relationships. Interesting use of the Japanese relationship to radioactivity.
The monsters are great, but there is no story. The science and tech are nonsensical throughout; note to the writers, "radiation" is bad, never good. Fortunately for the movie, the scientists built a laptop that just happens to have the correct ports to hook into the Fenway Park PA system. The characters stumble from one arbitrary scene to another, without any real relationship. One fun thing was the homage paid to "Stranger Things", when Millie Bobbie Brown screams at Monster Zero.
The monsters are great, and they are the only story. The science and tech are nonsensical throughout, the typical movie premise of radition effects is changed, and everything hinges on a little girl. Millie Bobbie Brown makes the best of it.
Movie GoldenEye (1995) 2018-12-01 - 2018-12-10 Pretty good, as Bond movies go, but I wish they would pay a little more attention to basic items. Like, Bond is in a tank watching a train roll away, then all of a sudden the tank is in a tunnel in front of the train. And, Natalya wore the same clothes through a Siberian blizzard and for some days thereafter. 7/10
Movie Gone Girl (2014) 2015-03-28 Violent and twisted. My main complaint is with main characters who spoke so fast I wasn't always sure what they were talking about or when it would be important. 8/10
Movie Gone in the Night (2022) 2024-02-12 Nothing profound here. There is a twist in the middle of the movie, but then you know which character will provide the next twist. But, we get Wynona Ryder, always a plus. 6/10
Movie Good Night, and Good Luck (2006) 2011-03-07 Great acting and a well crafted movie, thankfully short because ER Murrow just wasn't a very exciting guy. I wonder if Murrow's off-air personality was copied from his on-air persona. The movie captured the loathing of McCarthy's tactics, but those tactics grew out of something (fear of Communism, etc.) that was not well captured. Maybe this film's makers want me to feel that the good and bad guys are as obvious as black and white - but that's never obvious in real life, and the B&W thing is lost on me. 7/10
Movie Good On Paper (2021) 2021-07-14 - 2021-07-15 Funny at times and moves at a good pace. This is specifically made to appeal to women, but it's a good movie. 7/10
Movie Gosford Park (2001) 2011-03-07 Fantastic depiction of upper class England. Sometimes so realistic that the story slows down. Not sure why the cop had to be so bungling. But overall, very good. 9/10
Movie Gran Torino (2008) 2011-03-07 A family like the Hmong family doesn't suffer through a war and become refugees, and then smile through the barrage of racist insults poured out by the Eastwood character. He's like Archie Bunker with a house full of guns. Most of the relationships between characters were exaggerated. It's good to watch people defending their homes, and it's good to try to portray a group like the Hmong as caring citizens. But some of the performances were stiff. The priest was either a terrible actor, or a great actor portraying a terrible priest. 6/10
Movie Gravity (2013) 2014-04-26 This film provides an amazing portrayal of early 21st century space travel and working in space. The choice of ultra-beautiful A-list actors does not detract from something so technical, and the focus is appropriately on the personal side. But, there are technical weaknesses, such as the premise that a single satellite explosion destroys all other satellite communications within an hour. 8/10
Movie Green Lantern (2011) 2011-12-23 This is lightweight science fiction. No matter how many billions of people the Guardians think they control, they have no clue how to beat the bad guy, and one lowly human is thrust into an impossible situation. His only hope of winning is to trick the much smarter bad guy into making impossibly stupid decisions. At least the chick is hot. 5/10
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Some really funny stuff, but nothing truly innovative, many rehashes of old sci-fi devices.
Some really funny stuff, but nothing truly innovative, many rehashes of old sci-fi devices.
Movie Halloween (2018) 2019-06-01 There is nothing innovative or interesting about this movie. It gets a couple stars because it was good to wrap up the series. Let's just say Jamie Lee's character (old and ugly and neurotic) has a daughter (herself a typically stressed parent) and a granddaughter (cute but jail-bait), and now you can write the whole, miserable script. The cops, doctors, neighbors, schoolkids and reporters are all useless. 2/10
Movie Hancock (2008) 2011-03-07 For about 1/4 of the movie, at different times, I started to get to like the Hancock character. And then something would happen, not even necessarily something done by the character, and I would drop back into not caring about Hancock. The explanation about why he had his abilities never satisfied me. But overall, the acting was pretty good and the approach to superheroes was novel, just maybe a bit overdone. We go from a movie like Superman where the hero is just too good, to Hancock where the hero is just too drunk and too uncaring and too much of a jerk. 7/10
Movie Hannah (2011) 2012-05-13 The plot has holes (sometimes the girl is too strong and too smart, so only a 7/10), and very violent, but the cast pulls it off very well and I liked this a lot. Eric Bana is his usual brooding self, but Ronan (playing Hannah) and Blanchett are great. 7/10
Movie Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) 2013-07-27 The violence gets in the way of the humor, but worth watching. 7/10
Movie Happy Endings (2005) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK, but there are some heavy themes (abortion, underage promiscuity, illegal immigration) presented in debatably humorous ways. But the mix of seriousness and humor was jarring. I didn't love this. 5/10
Movie Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, Vol. 1 disk 1 (1920s) 2011-03-07 Not much could be done to improve these movies. I suppose they're not "profound", but Lloyd invented the concept of the funny "everyman". Split-second timing leads to amazing gags. Five feature length movies on disk 1. I wish one of them had used organ music instead of an orchestra. 9/10
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
The acting is very good. All the movies have attracted great performances for such quirky roles. The special effects are great, always something happening to the side or in the background. But ultimately, we like Harry because, well, because he's the good guy. Valdemort is the bad guy because, well, we wouldn't call him the "Dark Lord" if he wasn't bad, now, would we? It's not at an adult level, and Rowling is just a wannabe Tolkein, so I just can't give this a top rating.
I don't begrudge Rowling her billion dollars, but the series remains a story for adolescents. The use of magic is inconsistent; sometimes the wizards can do anything, other times they're helpless. One scene was great, the "not a witch" courtroom scene, a brilliant twist on actual human history. The acting and production quality is great, but watch for more legends of powerful forces that the wizards inexplicably forgot about earlier in the series. If your kid is too young to READ the books, then he or she is too young for this movie.
This movie is well done, and if you're an adolescent, it's the best you'll see this year. But when Harry is accused of childishness due to his trust of Dumbledore, Harry simply insists that he trusts D-dore anyway. That's because Rowling doesn't get any deeper than that.
Movie Hawaii (1966) 2021-02-20 For its time, this provides a pretty raw look at imperialism, evangelical Christianity and racism. It's unclear why the natives are so happy and healthy but the white people long for a New England blizzard. Or why the sea captain spent two years deflowering native girls but still claims to love Jerusha. 8/10
Movie Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) 2011-03-07 Cool special effects and an irreverent demon, nothing profound, but fun. Worth keeping for a bit longer to catch all the action. 7/10
Hocus Pocus (1993)
Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)
A likable teen story with novel witch characters, even if they have inexplicable powers.
Good slapstick and song & dance from Midler and company, but a childish story with witchcraft powers and legends that are invented as needed by each scene. And in this woke age of political correctness, there was no cultural sensitivity to neo-pagans.
Movie Holiday Inn (1942) 2011-03-07 The official review is pretty accurate. The plot is simple and sometimes implausible, and Crosby, while pleasant onscreen, is kind of bland. And you always wonder with these movies why plain looking goofs like Crosby and Astaire always have hot babes gushing after them. However, the simple plot flows very pleasantly, and after all, this is really about the music and dancing, and the music and dancing are great. Skip the sequel "White Christmas", this one is much better. 8/10
Movie Hollywood Homicide (2003) 2011-08-13 Many reviews of this movie are correct: if you don't expect much, it will be slightly better than expected. Slow at first, better at the end, big name actors do OK. 7/10
Movie Horrible Bosses (2011) 2011-11-19 There were some genuinely funny scenes and lines, with big name stars, but overall, this was vulgar and immature. I understand that it was supposed to be exaggerated, but it was mostly in bad taste. 5/10
Movie Houdini (1953) 2011-11-26 Tony Curtis provides a good performance, but as much as Hollywood tries to impose happiness and beauty on us, the obsession and darkness of Houdini's life are apparent. So, it's a fluffy 1950s presentation and just not a great film. 6/10
Movie How To Be (2008) 2011-03-07 You have to let yourself feel the aimless angst of a young adult in today's world. This is billed as a surreal comedy, and parts of are surreal, I suppose, but I didn't find much of it funny. Still, I think it portrays a sense of confusion we often see today. 6/10
Movie Hugo (2011) 2012-12-22 Ultimately a charming movie, but a bit melancholy at times. Great for adolescents. 7/10
Movie Human Trafficking (2005) 2011-03-07 Good coverage of an important topic of our times. The cop actors are a bit understated at times, I mean, they don't ham it up like NCSI goth investigators. Disturbing topic, but this is a not a porno film. However, after watching this for three hours, it's unclear to me what the typical citizen can do to spot trafficking or help law enforcement. 8/10
Movie I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA (2007) 2011-03-07 I was left wondering what the impact of PETA has been. I'm trying to rate the documentary and not Ingrid. Is there more recognition of cruelty now than 20 years ago? This was not one sided; the slaughterhouses are awful, and Ingrid is a whack job. But is she having an impact? She says she is, because some clothes designer no longer uses fur, but are we eating fewer turkeys at Thanksgiving? That wasn't made clear. 6/10
Movie I, Frankenstein (2014) 2014-07-12 Hollywood writers are not smart enough to invent mythologies that don't fall apart when depicted in a live-action film. Lousy story, lousy characters, lousy acting. 4/10
Movie I Served the King of England (2007) 2011-03-07 I'm not sure if Kaiser was trying to be Chaplin-esque, but he was, even to the point of ridiculing WWII-era Germans. Czech with English subtitles. Lots of stunning images of the over-indulgences of the rich, and this is definitely not for the kids. I am disappointed with the reviewers that found no theme - this is at least about how money doesn't buy everything. I would not call this an exciting movie, but it was a treat to watch. 8/10
Movie I've Loved You So Long... (2007) 2011-03-07 If you like long, emotional glances into the artsy fartsy distance, you'll love this movie. Zylberstein is great, KST is sad and silent most of the time and I can't say I loved her. There are many film-school techniques jammed into this. Overall a pretty heavy movie, but there is some lightness, so if you can stand the subtitles, it's worthwhile. 7/10
Movie I Care a Lot (2020) 2012-02-20 A novel story about a lot of people you just don't like, and the bad guys don't really lose in the end. 6/10
Movie In the Loop (2009) 2011-03-07 I liked this a lot, although the satire is so over-the-top that I ultimately didn't feel like real politicians could actually act like that. There is a LOT of profanity, don't get this for your kids. Ignore the reviews that complain about the British accents, but you really have to pay attention. And any movie that has a Bugsy Malone reference gets an extra star from me. 8/10
Movie Inception (2010) 2011-03-07 I liked DiCaprio (and I usually do not like him). People compare this to The Matrix, but I understood how people entered and left the The Matrix. The Matrix had rules. This movie Inception has no rules, except what the characters made up as they went along. 6/10
Independence Day (1996)
Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
Lots of fun characters, but not good science fiction. One extra star for the funny introduction of a virus into the alien system.
The fun characters ran their course in 1996. This is bad science fiction with depictions of totally unprofessional military people.
Movie Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) 2023-07-12 (Spoilers.) The stunts were non-stop and, not suprisingly, defied the laws of physics. Several new characters that no one will remember. Time travel never works well IMHO, and was particularly inexplicable in this movie. The character reunions that wrapped up the I.J. series were cute, but not profound. 6/10
Movie Inglourious Basterds (2009) 2012-02-01 A bit fantastic, and not necessarily historically accurate. Intricate, yet not confusing. 8/10
Movie Inkheart (2008) 2011-03-07 The premise that certain people can cause certain parts of books to come alive by reading aloud is childish - it's a crutch for the screenplay writers who can use any book ever written to get out of any plot complication. And, Fraser's hairstyle is stupid like in every other movie he's in. However, the movie was quite enjoyable and generally well acted (even Fraser). 7/10
Movie Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) 2023-11-24 Great music, considering it's all based on the '60s Greenwich Village folk scene. Otherwise a slow drama about a loser and his loser friends and family members. 7/10
Movie Interceptor (2022) 2022-05-30 This is just a stupid story about shooting down ICBMs, with impossibly stupid failures of duty and impossibly stupid derelictions and treasons. 3/10
Movie Interstellar (2014) 2014-11-30 Some technical elements were well done and the movie successfully utilizes classic sci-fi plot devices. But, some technical elements were inexplicably stretched (and broken). McConaughey can't help but to be more pretty boy than actor. 6/10
Movie Intolerable Cruelty (2003) 2023-12-09 A lighthearted look at divorce legalities with a satisfying ending and unusual characters. 7/10
Iron Man 2 (2010)
Iron Man 3 (2013)
I must be getting old, but I always hope for a story when I see a movie. No such luck with this one. Decent acting, hot babes, lots of action, but forgettable.
Apparently, the only reason these supervillains exist is to fight the superheros. Decent acting, hot babes, lots of action, but just a vehicle for Tony Stark's ego.
Movie It (2017) 2018-09-07 The use of the clown is startling, but why all the super-powers? A big knife would have been evil enough. If "It" dresses like a clown to attract children, why live in a repulsive sewer? What town builds sewers like that anyway, where children can inexplicably float for decades in suspended animation? What is "It", after all? The similarities to "Stranger Things" are undeniable, but at least S.T. made an attempt to explain the origin of the monster. 6/10
Movie It Happened One Night (1934) 2011-03-07 Gable starts off snappy and never lets up. Colbert overacts annoyingly for the first hour, but eventually straightens out. There are some classic scenes - the donut dunking lesson, the trapeze song on the bus, the scene where Gable meets Colbert's father. This movie invented the notion of a woman lifting her skirt while hitchhiking. Audiences probably laughed at the celebrity worship - if only they coulda seen Anna Nicole's death. A few moments were too over the top (a lot of sneaky thieves in this movie). But, a very worthwhile rental. 8/10
Movie It's Complicated (2009) 2011-03-07 Funny scenes in this movie make it worthwhile, but it's also full of rich California people making fools of themselves. No twists, it's all predictable. Not much redeeming value, here. 6/10
Jack Reacher (2012)
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
The storyline develops a twist to a seemingly cut-and-dry case, but the details are rather convoluted. In the end, Cruise makes the movie, as he always does.
I like Tom Cruise a lot, but this series of movies is too formulaic to get better than a 6/10. Super fighter beats up dozens of people, but manages to hit on women and befriend children along the way.
Movie Jennifer's Body (2009) 2023-10-04 I liked this more than I should have. This is a gory horror flick, no nudity, with some name actors and a little bit of an actual plot. 5/10
Movie Jojo Rabbit (2019) 2020-08-08 I liked this a lot, but a storyteller can get away with a lot when the main character is a little boy. War sucks. 8/10
Movie Joker (2019) 2020-05-16 Really dark, but not inappropriately violent. My complaint is that so many private citizens become violently enraged, essentially over a garbage strike, and somehow a whack job dufus becomes their crime lord. 8/10
Movie Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) 2011-03-07 Brendan Fraser is a fluff actor, and this is a fluff movie. Nothing profound here, but it's fun, especially for a family, and Briem is a babe. 6/10
Movie Julie & Julia (2009) 2011-03-07 Great acting, great sets. If you're a foodie, you'll just gush. Julie and Julia are both somewhat drama queens, though. 8/10
Movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) 2018-06-02 This movie was fun and well-paced, with likable characters, but it's a rehash of 20th century ideas and never comes across as a 21st century story. A cameo by Molly Ringwald would have been cute. If Gillan sticks with the Rock, she'll make a lot of money, but she'll never get a great script. 7/10
Movie Jupiter Ascending (2015) 2015-09-07 After a million years of technological advances, they still have royalty. It's as good as most sci-fi these days, with lots of special effects, but an unsatisfying story line. 6/10
Jurassic Park (1993)
Jurassic World (2015)
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)
An ingenious action story, generally well acted.
The special effects have evolved with the times, but the script is mediocre. The original used children in an ingenious way; this sequel uses children in an annoying way. The adult characters are also exaggerated and annoying. I don't remember seeing a professional review that explained how bad this movie was.
Another bad story with great special effects. Everyone is either idealistic to the point of human extinction (including the kid), or bloodthirsty and greedy to the point of, well, human extinction.
Lots of people running away from lots of dinosuars that can run for miles at 60 mph. Flashy, but aren't we tired of asking the question, "Just because we can, should we?"
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Very violent, but a great, quirky flick that clearly would become a cult favorite. Some scenes are just interminable, and if you ever encounter an international assassin sword-wielding Samurai, um, just shoot her. Twice.
I was disappointed by the final explanation for the wedding party massacre, but the cemetery scene was great. The last two views of Uma, just before the credits and then the outtake, are great. Combine these two movies into a single two-hour flick and it's a 9/10.
Movie Kill Switch (2008) 2011-03-07 I was going to give this 2 out of 10, until the final inexplicable scene, so I dropped it to 1/10. Endless, senseless police brutality. Even the serial killers are unusually senseless. Every fight scene (and there are many) just happens to take place where there is lots of glass and fragile furniture, but the bad guys, no matter how badly beaten, just keep getting up. The acting is awful. 1/10
Movie Killer Elite (2011) 2013-02-15 I wish those British guys would learn to speak English. Leaps of logic keep the story moving from one fight to the next. 6/10
Movie King Kong (1976) 2023-04-01 Jessica Lange becomes a respected actress, but here she isn't even good as a dumb blonde, plus miserably racist indigenous depictions even for 1976. 5/10
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)
The King's Man (2022)
This would have been a 0, but Elton John and Halle Berry each score a point. A big pile of cages, each containing a fully paralyzed person who is about to gush blood from every orifice (if they don't get shoved into a meat grinder). Yeah, that's how bad this movie is.
Over the top, physically impossible fight scenes, fought by old geezer Fiennes. A prequel to Kingsman made sense, but it's still just a group of people who like to fight.
Movie Kiss Me, Stupid! (1964) 2011-03-07 There are a bunch of recognizable comedic actors in this, but it's not quite funny enough. In particular, Martin (who I normally love) doesn't shine without his usual movie companions (although the relatively unknown Farr does a good job). I wanted to feel good about this movie, but it takes a couple serious turns and I could hardly believe the characters do what they do. I disagree with one other reviewer - this is not "cutting edge", it's just unfunny. Finally, the song that the Dino character finally performs on national TV, after the story pushes the song so relentlessly, is just a lousy song. 5/10
Movie Knight and Day (2010) 2011-03-07 Funnier than expected. Lots of action, but the chemistry between Cruise and Diaz, and the humor, make this enjoyable. The action is overdone at times, and the timeline of scenes doesn't always make sense. Worth two hours of your life. 8/10
Movie Knives Out (2019) 2019-12-07 For me, this was all about the individual characters and the actors. I loved Plummer, Craig, Johnson, Evans. Jamie Lee was lackluster. The mystery and the final hook that caught the killer were interesting, but it's also a bit of a schmaltzy Cinderella story. 8/10
Movie Kong: Skull Island (2017) 2017-11-25 There was no believability to the Samuel Jackson character, nor to the various discoveries on Kong's island, nor to Kong's motivations. The visuals score a few points, but the script is ridiculous. 4/10
Movie K-PAX (2001) 2017-11-18 Some of the astronomy questions were not answered, and I was hoping for a more fantastical ending. It's not clear why a bunch of psych ward residents would believe anything said by any other resident. But, well acted across the board, and it kept my attention. 7/10
Movie La La Land (2016) 2017-04-29 By Hollywood, for Hollywood, about Hollywood. A very realistic story of a romantic relationship, which means, it dragged. The music was good, but not memorable. 7/10
Movie Last Chance Harvey (2008) 2011-03-07 A bit of a chick flick and a bit predictable, but Hoffman and Thompson work well together. 7/10
Movie Last Christmas (2019) 2020-07-11 A bit weird in spots, but feels good in the end. You might guess the twist in advance but you won't believe it until you see it. Always good to see Emma Thompson. 8/10
Movie Last Vegas (2013) 2014-03-16 Old geezers get young hotties ... unoriginal and condescending. Final resolutions are implausible. Gee, I hope there's a sequel. 5/10
Movie Les Misérables (2012) 2013-04-06 Hugo's original story is very long, so when the movie stretches a single emotion into a five minute song, much is left out and character motivations aren't always unclear. The music and performances are great, this is a must-see for musical lovers. 8/10
Movie Let Him Go (2020) 2021-03-14 Yeah, yeah, Costner in another big-sky locale. This probably takes place in the '50s so the writers could ignore any complications that could be caused by law enforcement. But, the cars were cool. 6/10
Movie Letters to Juliet (2010) 2011-03-07 The first 80% of this movie was great. It's unfortunate that Seyfried's solid "Big Love" experience is now squandered on fluff roles such as in this move and Mamma Mia. Redgrave is great, and the search for Redgrave's long lost love is well done (with a very funny deleted scene). But in the end, the schmaltz factor takes over and the various resolutions are unsatisfying. 7/10
Movie Libeled Lady (1936) 2011-03-07 Myrna Loy and William Powell are the classy characters, but a hilarious Jean Harlow steals the scenes. 7/10
Movie Life With Father (1947) 2011-03-07 Muddy soundtrack, but intelligible. A bit of overacting by William Powell, but funny. A very pretty Elizabeth Taylor. 7/10
Movie Limitless (2011) 2013-02-23 Interesting story, but about undeserving characters getting too much. 7/10
Movie Logan Lucky (2017) 2029-05-01 - 2020-05-01 This moved slow throughout, and the writers worked very hard to make every character look as dumb as rocks, until they actually did something ingenious. The saving grace is that the movie is funny. 7/10
Movie Lola Montès (1955) 2011-03-07 I suppose to get the most out of this you need to watch it at least twice (once with the commentary), but we only watched it once. However, we could follow it very well - good writing, acting, costumes and settings. 8/10
Movie Looking for Eric (2009) 2011-05-08 This movie starts off as mostly depressing, with a few goofy post office moments. Then, the crime boss gets involved, and it gets really nasty. Then, the beer swilling English football fans get involved, and it becomes a buddy comedy. But, it has a satisfying ending. Heavy English accents and F-bombers. 7/10
Movie Love Happens (2009) 2011-03-07 The problem with inventing a best selling self-help method is that the method has to be good enough to be believable, but the method invented for this movie, and Eckhart's presentations, were awful. Aniston and Martin Sheen were decent, and I usually don't like Aniston. Some good original background music, some bad. 5/10
Movie Lucky Lady (1975) 2011-10-16 Hackman and Benson are OK, Minelli and Reynolds are awful. Good use of Prohibition era slang. But overall, not worth your time. 4/10
Movie Mad Money (2008) 2011-03-07 Feel-good about massive scale grand larceny. Katie Holmes is cute as a button. Diane Keaton is the queen of middle aged characters, although I'm not sure that's a compliment. 5/10
Movie Mad Monster Party (1968) 2011-03-07 This is one of my favorites from childhood, but I own this as an adult and give it a watch once every couple years around Halloween. Wouldn't you like to be that guy Felix who inherits the leadership of all monsters? Great flick. 10/10
Movie Magic in the Moonlight (2014) 2015-01-17 I didn't see much chemistry between Firth and Stone and don't understand why their characters would like each other, but the acting was OK and there was a nice twist at the end. 6/10
Movie Magic Mike (2012) 2013-03-03 This movie was fun to watch, McConaughey was suprisingly good. I decreased the rating when in the final scene the pothead con artist male stipper gets the girl because he says he's sorry. Yeah, the girl he whistled at like a dog. 6/10
Movie Maleficent (2014) 2014-07-05 Great job by Jolie, and great fairyland scenery, but the story was not well crafted. Characters seemed to exist because someone invented a cool character, even if they didn't help the story. The story was simply unpleasant. 6/10
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018)
I love ABBA, but not all parts of this movie. The songs are musically complex, but most are not lyrically profound, so half the movie is really bad with hammy acting and a forced plot line to match some random song. However, "Slipping Through My Fingers" is one of the greatest songs ever written and Streep/Seyfried do a great job with that. "Does Your Mother Know" was fun, too. They pulled off a reasoanable ending given that much of the beginning was lousy. I always pictured ABBA as being an urban band, where love songs let you escape from the office grind, so the Greek Isle thing seemed wrong. This movie was produced by chicks for chicks, and even some chicks will think it's junk.
I liked the first movie better, but I can't give this a 5. ABBA fans will love this. The little drama that's introduced is resolved quickly and simply. James is a star, but I find Seyfried has little charisma and was outshone in this movie by many other characters. Cher was fun, but old. The musical arrangements were restrained, mostly not as good as the ABBA originals (but a few including "Andante Andante" and "Fernando" were well done).
Movie Man in the Attic (1953) 2013-12-07 The setup for this movie is great, and we get to meet Frances Bavier as she creates her legendary Aunt Bea. But, after all is revealed near the end, the finale is unsatisfaying. 6/10
Movie Man of Steel (2013) 2013-11-30 The Kryptonians have mastered interstellar travel, and after Jor-El's body armor automatically puts itself on, Jor is killed by ... a knife. How many buildings can two super guys throw each other through? So many, it turns out, that it becomes boring. 6/10
Movie Margin Call (2011) 2012-10-21 Considering it took me months to close on a mortgage, it's amazing these brokers can trade mortgage based securities with just a phone call. Little technical background is provided for the impending financial disaster faced by the characters, so it's not always clear what to get excited about or who the bad guys are. In the end, no consequences are described. But, well acted. 7/10
Movie Marie Antoinette (2006) 2011-03-07 Ah Marie, doting wife, loving mother, gracious queen. I think that's supposed to be dripping with sarcasm, but Dunst does not do sarcasm. Fantastic costumes and sets. Schwartzman is a robot (that's a bad thing for this movie). 6/10
Movie Marry Me (2022) 2022-07-05 Wilson plays his usual doofus character and there is no reason for J Lo to sacrifice anything for him. The rest of the movie is just to remind us how hot J Lo is in her old age. 6/10
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Marvel's The Avengers (2012)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
The first 3/4 of the movie was slow and boring. The action picked up at the end, but even then it was barely mediocre. The character motivations were just silly and unbelievable. Reminiscent of Raiders of the Lost Ark, except, a bad imitation.
Very entertaining, great story if you can suspend disbelief in an over-the-top comic book world catastrophe, well acted. Minor faults are that Iron Man becomes too altruistic, The Hulk becomes too manageable, and Nick Fury is inexplicably in charge.
Too much going on with too many characters, most of whom I dislike.
You either love this movie sight unseen, or you hate it. Too many characters, each of which with earth shattering powers, fighting an even stronger bad guy. All that high tech, and the big battle scene is between wild animals and humans with spears.
I can't be specific about why I don't like this movie without spoilers, but it seems like the writers just make up superpowers and scientific advances to provide a story result, because they wrote themselves into a mess in the previous movie. Good special effects.
The multiverse only exists to allow filmmakers to write outlandish scripts for the sake of visual effects. Every superhero movie has a more powerful villain who is finally destroyed in the end, usually with a countdown timer in play. Superhero powers are alternately infinite and useless, and somehow every movie leads to another outlandish movie.
Movie Megamind (2010) 2011-08-20 Lots of fun, cute stuff. I didn't love the Roxanne character, all that sass but no apparent goal. The "bad turns good" theme was telegraphed early on, but they did what they could to make it less predictable. 8/10
Movie Milk (2008) 2011-03-07 Many reviews complain that this was a one-sided glorification of Milk, and it was. The man-on-man kissing and the nude parade marchers are important because that was all part of the scene. This movie isn't a schoolboy's documentary. I am not an expert on Milk or the events depicted in this movie, but my guess is that the acting and writing are right on. 9/10
Movie Midnight in Paris (2011) 2012-09-16 This is an enjoyable fantasy, and I like how the fantastic stuff is kept simple and well explained so that the focus is on the story and characters. The city of Paris is portrayed beautifully. However, Wilson is not a guy who can carry a movie, and all the characters are over-acted. Woody Allen is apparently famous for giving his actors free reign, but maybe he should have kept a tighter leash. 7/10
Movie Midsommar (2019) 2023-12-18 - 2023-12-20 I was pointed to this by a reviewer commenting on notable horror movies of the last several decades. Midsommar was boring and nonsensical. People die, but for no apparent reason, not even to scare viewers. I gave it a few points for its novel premise of being about a Swedish commune's medieval ceremonies. 3/10
Movie Mirror Mirror (2012) 2013-03-31 I didn't love any actor, and I never really love Roberts, but this is a great revisiting of the Snow White tale. I had this at 7/10 until the end, but the "first kiss" scene was classic. 8/10
Movie Miss Sloane (2016) 2018-02-17 I didn't love the characters, but very intricate with a particularly intricate twist at the end. 8/10
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation (2015)
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One (2023)
I continue to like Tom Cruise. This story wasn't perfect, but suspenseful and with enough action that I didn't worry too much about why the bad guys actually wanted to blow up the world.
Cruise saves another movie. Action packed but formulaic.
The production, acting and stunts are excellent, but the technical aspects of the plot are maddeningly illogical. Cruise's "Hunt" character climbs through a skylight onto an airport terminal roof, runs around, and magically appears in Rome. He rides a motorcycle off a cliff, opens a parachute, radios in that he won't catch the train, then magically crashes through the train window. "Gabriel" jumps off a runaway train into a stationary dump truck and magically does not break a bone. Tech expert "Luther" refers to AI "source code", but the source code for AI is well known and not the critical part of the omniscient "entity". "Luther" is magically able to hack every satellite around the earth. The train magically never burns down its shovel full of coal. Pickpockets are, well, magicians. Having removed all logic from the plot, the movie is still 2.5 hours excluding the credits. I hope there are only two parts to this.
Movie Molly's Game (2017) 2018-08-25 This movie is very well done, but it's about poker (which isn't really all that interesting as a spectator sport) and rich people (which I am not). The Molly character never gets my sypathy because she is ultimately a criminal preying on gambling addicts. 7/10
Movie Moneyball (2011) 2012-10-14 I wanted to like this movie more, but I just never fell in love with the characters. If you like baseball, this provides an interesting look at team building, trading strategies, the tension between the field guys and the office guys and the differences between ball clubs. Even the soda machine is in play. Maybe this movie is too technical for actors to dramatize in a likable way. 7/10
Movie Money Monster (2016) 2021-03-14 I liked Roberts in this, but Clooney never excited me, nor the gunman character. The storyline was satisfying, but not novel. 6/10
Movie Monster (2003) 2011-03-07 Theron is great. The movie does an OK job of developing the relationship between Theron and Ricci, but sometimes Ricci overdoes the naivety of a woman who actually picks up other women in bars and then runs away with a street person. The movie is very rough edged. There is a love story in there, but it's tough to watch. 8/10
Movie Moon (2009) 2011-03-07 Not exactly a thriller, and it is somewhat predictable. But, it has some good sci-fi twists, and not too many techie mistakes. Acting is very good. 8/10
Movie Morning Glory (2010) 2011-09-10 Some weak points in the story, especially the romantic aspects, and McAdams is not nearly strong enough to carry it. Ford is great, but not the lead. Some really funny stuff in the second half. 6/10
Movie Mr. Brooks (2007) 2012-04-01 This is a writer's fantasy. How disturbed can we make this guy, and how much can we mess up others's lives? Brooks' ability to hack into electronic police files was also a bit much, but otherwise well done and well acted. 7/10
Movie Mr. Monk's Last Case: A Monk Movie (2013) 2023-12-08 If you like Monk, this is OK. An unnecessary action by the killer near the beginning sends Monk on the path to solving the crime. Repeated appearances from Trudy annoyingly show Monk to be more messed up than ever before. SPOILER: there was no reason for the truck driver to be on the bungee jumping bridge, and Monk identified him, so Monk wins as long as Monk doesn't commit suicide. 6/10
Movie Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (2022) 2023-04-29 Heartwarming with reasonable melancholy, but there are some predictable plot complications, such as missing an appointment due to late night partying. 8/10
Movie Mrs. Washington Goes to Smith (2009) 2011-03-07 This appears to have been made for TV. All the acting is highly exaggerated, as if the movie is really for teens who relate to the Zoe character. The story is very simplistic. As soon as the professor is introduced, you know the whole plot. Don't bother, unless your young daughter will watch. 3/10
Movie Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021) 2021-10-29 Some funny bits, so this is worth the time at 51 minutes. But, a preachy theme definitely geared toward young viewers. 7/10
Movie Murder by Death (1976) 2011-09-25 This is, of course, a parody of murder mysteries. A better parody would have been a mystery that was actually solvable, unlike many serious mystery stories (as the parody notes, near the end). This is quite funny at times, but the humor is dated. 6/10
Movie Murder by Decree (1979) 2011-03-07 Started off in that slow but quaint British way, then ground to a halt. I watched the whole thing, but that second hour seemed interminable. If you love Holmes, it's OK, but not great by any means. 5/10
Movie Music and Lyrics (2007) 2021-09-05 This movie always skirted around schmatziness, but it had lots of funny twists and I just really liked this. I thought the characters had real human weaknesses. A 10 for cuteness. 8/10
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3 (2023)
Most of the ethnic stuff was cute, a few things were just stupid. Like, the Windex.
Less cute stuff than the first movie, with all the stuff that wasn't cute the first time around. Like, the Windex.
I never really laughed during this comedy. Some of the characters are likeable, some are useless, the rest are annoying for no reason that advances the plot (except, the mayor character is interesting). Like a home movie of my family, but I don't expect anyone else to watch my home movies.
Movie My Dinner with Hervé (2018) 2018-10-20 A miserable story about miserable people. Did someone say we needed a movie about the life of Hervé Villechaize? Well, OK, there are hot women. 6/10
Movie My Favorite Spy (1951) 2011-08-19 A few cute jokes here, but many are just mediocre. Lamarr is gorgeous, but the action and comedy are sort of flat and predictable, and some sets looked cheap. Not terrible, but not Hope's greatest work. 5/10
Movie My Old Lady (2014) 2015-04-25 This starts off a bit slow but with a promise of becoming a cute rom-com for middle aged viewers. Then, it degrades into a depressing drama. And what's with Maggie Smith's eyes, are they about to pop out? Acting and screenplay are good, and I like K S Thomas, and it's hard not to like Paris, but I wouldn't call it "enjoyable". 7/10
Movie Mystery Train (1989) 2011-12-18 Intelligent and well acted views of different cultures, but ultimately an unsatisying, artsy drag. Unlike some reviewers, my disk did indeed have English subtitle for the Japanese story (but my disk was bad for most of the third stiory). 5/10
Movie New York, I Love You (2008) 2011-03-07 Only a couple of the short stories were compelling, maybe they were just too short to build the characters. I thought that the ending retrospective assumed that I actually enjoyed all the stories so much that I would want to see bits again, but I didn't like the stories that much. 5/10
Movie Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie is fun. Some moments of dull acting and implausible character actions, but moments of brilliance. Nothing profound, but only 90 minutes, so it won't blow your whole night, and you'll have a few laughs. 7/10
Movie Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) 2011-03-07 Goofy movie. I just don't care for Stiller or Gervais. Amy Adams was cute in this. Not much of a story, just special effects. 5/10
Movie Nights in Rodanthe (2008) 2011-03-07 Gere & Lane are nice together, and overall the acting is well controlled. That's a feat considering the awful script. This is a romance with nothing funny or heartwarming, not even the meaningless final beach scene. Christopher Meloni is a bad actor and it appears he was (thankfully) edited out of some scenes. 4/10
Movie Nine (2009) 2011-03-07 Whew, this was a snoozer. The choreography was good, but some of the music was just boring. The storyline was completely un-interesting. '60s Italian cinema wasn't all that interesting the first time around, and a 75-year-old Sophia Loren doesn't fix that. 5/10
Movie Noah (2014) 2014-08-17 This is a weird, fanciful description of how a guy could actually build the ark and get the animals aboard. I get the comparison to modern-day concerns about human activity causing environmental problems, but this was over the top. 5/10
Movie No One Will Save You (2023) 2024-01-14 As with many alien/horror crossovers, the aliens are advanced enough for interstellar travel, but annoyingly and inexplicably barbaric monsters. Seems like it would be a lot easier to raise a chicken than travel through space to hunt potentially dangerous prey. Also, the special secret is revealed to be a barbaric act as well; I guess this IS a horror movie. But, the movie was exciting and it was easy to like the main character, which is almost embarrassing considering her flaws. 8/10
Movie No Time To Die (2021) 2021-12-11 A fitting end to Craig's stint as Bond. The evil weapon is interesting, and fortuneately was developed on a remote island that could be bombed. 8/10
Movie Now You See Me (2013) 2013-12-15 This has so much promise, and magic is always fun, but then the good guys commit actual crimes. As usual, Morgan Freeman is annoying. 7/10
Movie Oblivion (2013) 2013-09-22 I love Tom Cruise, and this was visually nice, but the ending was predictable. They could have ended this with an incestuous, polygamist bang, now that would have been cute. 7/10
Movie Olympus Has Fallen (2013) 2013-09-15 The intricate terrorist plan that took over the White House was sort of believable, but everything related to Cerberus was badly scripted and technically flawed. Better than White House Down. 7/10
Movie Once (2006) 2013-07-07 A realistic portrayal of modern, working class, urban relationships. Considering the music was important to the plot, they did a pretty good job of providing good songs. 7/10
Movie One Missed Call 2 (2005) 2011-03-07 There's about 10 minutes of action in this whole movie. There are suspenseful moments, but ridiculously stupid actions by the characters, and no particularly good acting jobs. 2/10
Movie On the Basis of Sex (2018) 2020-02-22 This movie was well done and well acted, but the story of finding the legal technicality that convinced the justice system to stop gender-based discrimination was just not that exciting. 7/10
Movie Oppenheimer (2023) 2024-02-24 The acting and structure of intersecting story lines are great, but Hollywood could not resist making this movie half about the bomb, and half about sex. Lots of sex. So much sex that I did not feel the crushing dread of what was just unleashed on the world. Well, maybe that's the point, maybe the moviemakers believe we are all too busy with petty squabbles (and sex) to feel the dread, but I am hopeful that outside the theater, we do feel the dread. 8/10
Movie Oscar (1991) 2018-06-04 I laughed while watching this movie for the first time in 2018. The goofy twists were very enjoyable, one after the other. 7/10
Movie Our Souls at Night (2017) 2018-09-22 Fonda and Redford are great in this portrayal of realistic but excruciatingly boring situations experienced by aging Americans. 5/10
Movie Oz the Great and Powerful (2013) 2013-04-20 The big battle scene is fun. Storyline OK. Franco makes a good con man but does not pull off great and powerful. The music was particularly boring. I liked all the witches. Munchkins underutilized. 7/10
Movie Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) 2018-11-24 There was no story, and no reason the humans could have survived any of what was happening. 4/10
Movie Page Eight (2011) 2013-08-03 This is one of those movies that provides a long string of irritating mysteries, and enough characters to be confusing, but all wrapped up at the end. Lots of familiar actors. 7/10
Movie Pandora's Box (1929) 2011-03-07 I agree that this is a good piece of early cinema art, but there are a couple of scenes that are annoyingly implausable (the end of the courtroom scene, and the invitation to the stranger near the end). 7/10
Movie Paris (2008) 2011-03-07 My personal ratings usually come pretty close to the BB ratings, but this was not a 7/10. This was a snoozer. I had no trouble following with the subtitles. Nothing happens in these pitiful lives and then they die, and I don't care. BTW, Paris is not beautiful in this movie, it's just a city with a tower in the middle. 4/10
Movie Passion in the Desert (1997) 2011-03-07 This movie is pretty strange. The movie is not overly explicit, but it's not for kids as the soldier has an erotic relationship with a leapord. The writeup does not suggest how unforgettable the artist is and how much time the soldier spends with the leopard. 5/10
Movie Philomena (2013) 2014-06-08 Well acted, and Dench in particular was good and just a little different than her usual, typecast character. But, it just wasn't all that exciting. 7/10
Movie Pirate Radio (2009) 2011-03-07 The soundtrack contains all the great songs we remember, but as such, it's predictable and uninspired. The good guys were too cool to believe, and the bad guys were too evil to believe. I had some fun with this, especially the deleted scenes, but overall it was not great. 6/10
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)
The characters are each great, but they don't meld together into a story. I liked the mermaid love story, hated the zombie shipmates, and hated the hero music for Jack Sparrow (who is not a heroic character). Some sections were boring and useless. Quite violent and lots of innuendo, not a kids' movie.
Exciting, but a complicated mish-mosh of concocted supernatural stuff. The love story with the young couple is lackluster, and Jack Sparrow's drunken antics still do not deserve the heroic music. Quite violent and lots of innuendo, not a kids' movie.
Pitch Perfect (2012)
Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)
The music is fun and well done, with some innovative moments. The plot is predictable, but good enough. There are some funny lines, but much of the humor is disappointing, at a college freshman level. Multiple scenes with profuse, projectile vomiting invite a low rating.
Nothing exciting to see here. I don't really remember the music, but it probably wasn't all bad.
Movie Pizza (2005) 2011-03-07 The acting was OK. You'll really want something special to happen to the characters, but the overall grossness of it gets in the way. Yeah, maybe people really do live like the guys in the bachelor pad, but even they don't want to see it on film. The unpopular girl character is just so over-the-top annoying that you eventually don't even want something special to happen. 5/10
Movie Pompeii (I) (2014) 2014-07-12 The film does a great job of depicting an ancient city full of people being destroyed by a magnificent volcano, but the backstory is devoid of historical accuracy. 5/10
Movie Pontypool (2008) 2011-03-07 Most of the horror/suspense movies released each week show a low rating, usually 4/10 or worse. When something comes along that is even mediocre, it immediately gets 8s and 9s. Pontypool is worth a watch, although after all was said and done, not that much happened, and the movie's explanation for all the trouble was quite implausible. This is not a slasher flick (although there is a bit of bloody violence). 6/10
Movie Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) 2011-03-07 Alfred Molina is great. The story moved quite fast, at times hard to follow. This is one of those fantasies where a different legend pops up to explain every plot twist. I always find sassy females in traditional societies to be annoying, and no character was lovable. LOTS of people die in this movie. Action packed, not bad, but formulaic. 6/10
Movie Princess Kaiulani (2009) 2021-08-04 I figured at least there would be beautiful scenery, but there was none, not in Hawaii nor England. I learned very little about the history of Hawaii or of role played by the colonial powers, and then all of a sudden the Americans were in charge. The princess waffles between giggling girlie and manipulative stateswoman, all presented in a boring way. The British boyfriend was worthless. 5/10
Movie Public Enemies (2009) 2011-03-07 Exciting movie and well acted, but there is not much of a story. Steal money, shoot people, hook up with some floozy, repeat until the cops get you, the end. 7/10
Movie Purple Violets (2007) 2011-03-07 One reviewer complained about the NR rating, This is not a racy movie, but there is bad language. The behavior of the characters is silly. They slept around in their college days, and now that they're mature adults, they want to turn those long dead, meaningless, youthful relationships into something meaningful. Real adults figure out that they were just silly kids at the time, but not these characters. This is not a terrible movie, and a few scenes are cute with popular actors and worth the watch, but you won't be a better person for it. 5/10
Movie Puss in Boots (2012) 2012-09-02 I just don't enjoy nursery rhyme characters turned into lascivious soliders of fortune. There is indeed a plot and Puss's life story is weaved in nicely, but this is more GI Joe than Mother Goose, and it's not a kids' movie. 6/10
Movie Rambo (2008) 2011-03-07 Amazingly, I think this movie was too short. I wish more time had been spent on convincing the reluctant Rambo to finally agree to help the missionaries. Beyond that, there are a lot of bad guys doing bad things and we root for Rambo to make it all better. Quite bloody, but not outrageous. 6/10
Movie Ratatouille (2007) 2011-03-07 It's tough to really love rats. However, the pay-off scene with the restaurant critic was a classic way to show his reaction to the food. 8/10
Movie Raw Faith (2010) 2013-06-29 The story this tells is great. But, we also realize, in between tears, Marilyn Sewell is just trying to sell a book. Her sermon excerpts are interesting and progressive, and I like the way she thinks about the divine, but her impact on her congregation beyond listening is not clear. 6/10
Movie Ready Player One (2018) 2018-12-22 Why do all 'tween movies have to have multiple characters yelling, "No no no no no no?" Nothing bad about this movie, with lots of good effects, but there are no name actors and the premise of the story is a basic cynicism about how we all ignore our fellow humans while we stare at our phones, The End. 7/10
Movie RED (2010) 2011-04-10 When he's being serious, Willis can't act his way out of a paper bag, but when he's being funny, he's really funny. Morgan Freeman, ho hum. One extra star for Ernie Borgnine! The script was too fantastic to be a 9 or 10, and the ending leaves things unresolved, but great stunts and lots of fun. 8/10
Movie Red Dawn (1984) 2021-06-27 Fun to see all the up and coming stars, and a few bright spots such as when the girls assert their place in the group. But, all in all, it was just too easy for the Russkies to take over half the USA, and too easy for the untrained group to wreak havoc on an army that just took over half the USA. 6/10
Movie Red Joan (2018) 2021-01-23 This story seems so fantastic, and yet, the story is based on true events that are not much different. I never felt sorry for Joan as a young woman nor as an old lady, and never rooted for the authorities. 6/10
Movie Red Notice (2021) 2021-12-04 Lots of implausible twists that cancel out the previous implausible twists. Johnson is a goofball as usual, Gadot is maybe the hottest actress of all time. Entertaining, if not profound. 7/10
Movie Righteous Kill (2008) 2011-03-07 Fun to see DeNiro and Pacino together. The story was intentionally contrived, just to annoy me (rather than to make me feel like I was solving the case), but still a good movie. 7/10
Movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) 2012-01-14 Good special-effect ape action, and a decent story. To be picky, intelligence only goes so far. Some things have to be taught, but the apes simply know too much that they could not possibly know. But, any movie with a Freaks and Geeks alumnus (Franco) gets extra points. 7/10
Movie Robin Hood (2010) 2011-03-07 I'm not a Crowe fan. He seems kind of monotonous to me. However, this is a new take on the old story, with some surprises, and it's generally pretty good. I did not like Marion's role and Robin's reactions at the end, a bit schmaltzy. 7/10
Movie Rock 'n' Roll High School (1979) 2011-03-07 Many comedies make the mistake of having good guys who are normal, and bad guys who are exaggerated goofballs. But not RRHS, in this movie, everyone is a whack job, including the Ramones. The scene with the motorcycle with the sidecar is one of the great scenes in movie history, reminiscent of Eric Von Zipper in Beach Blanket Bingo. The 1970s consumer technology makes RRHS funnier in 2010 than in 1980. 8/10
Movie Rocket Science (2007) 2019-11-28 - 209-11-28 I was not a debater, but I was a geek, and I was not able to relate to any of the characters. I especially did not relate to the adults, including the unnecessary narrator. And, the best jokes were cheap shots at New Jersey. The music was suprisingly interesting and I watched the whole thing. 5/10
Movie Rocky Balboa (2006) 2011-03-07 There was one good scene, when Rocky begins training and the trainer tells him what he has to do. Otherwise, little else was logical. Rambo was better. 5/10
Movie Room (2015) 2016-11-20 This movie seems to be the complete exploration of the captivity of a young woman and her son, from captivity to escape to re-entry into society. Intense, but not all that exciting. And it seems like in five years she could have guessed the door code. 8/10
Movie Rounders (1998) 2019-11-02 The problem with gambling movies is that gambling is boring, at least for spectators, because good poker hands are rare. There are technical merits to the movie and one can imagine all the characters being based on real types of people. 7/10
Movie Royally Ever After (2018) 2019-06-02 The reviews for this are harsh, but I don't think it was so awful. We don't look to Hallmark for great literature, and they have provided us with a few movies matching a royal with a commoner and the conflicts that arise. The final resolution was romantic but anticlimactic. The actors were cute and the situations were humorous, even if cliche and formulaic. 5/10
Movie Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer (1989) 2011-03-07 A trailer park innocent marries a rich guy. The later half chronicles the break up and divorce. The problem with the movie is how the husband is portrayed; nothing he demands makes any sense, at least as far as the movie explains. Phillips does a decent job of portraying the girl who comes of age, but as sensational as the real life story is supposed to have been, it comes across as pretty common and slow. I caught this on a "free movies on demand" channel from my cable company. You probably don't want to waste a disk rental on this. 5/10
Movie Safe House (2012) 2012-08-26 Action packed with non-stop fight violence. The plot had twists and surprises, but in the end there wasn't really much to it. Washington plays his character like always, as if you should like him, but there wasn't much to like or dislike. 7/10
Movie Safety Not Guaranteed (2012) 2013-03-24 Very enjoyable, you feel for every character and want the best for them, until the very end. The filmmakers just couldn't resist the cutesie ending. 7/10
Movie Salt (2010) 2011-04-17 "RED" is good because it recognizes that all these secret agent stunts are a farce, and it had good characters. With Salt, I didn't care as much about the characters, and it took itself too seriously. And, who cares about the Russkies any more? 6/10
Movie Samaritan (2022) 2022-09-15 Washed up superhero beats up street punks. 5/10
Movie Secret in Their Eyes (2015) 2019-02-09 Great cast, but an extreme storyline resulting in extreme character actions that have no real consequences. 6/10
Movie Season of the Witch (2011) 2012-06-30 If you can suspend disbelief in all sorts of superstitions, and excuse Cage for his usual deadpan delivery, this really wasn't too bad. A formulaic story about demons taking over the world, possession, and exorcism. 7/10
Movie Secrets of the Dead: Blackbeard's Lost Ship (2009) 2011-03-07 You can't beat the technical and historical details, but there is no personal touch, and the narrator was kind of boring. It would have been nice to know who these people are that spend their careers cleaning barnacles off shipwreck salvage, and who funds all this. 6/10
Movie Serenity (2005) 2011-03-07 I have not seen Firefly. As for the movie, if you like watching cute pre-adolescent girls twirl around, well, you'll be all set. Some strange dialog: " 'Twixt my nethers." Yeesh. This is kind of like Star Wars mixed together with Soylent Green (and maybe some dialog from A Clockwork Orange), which of course means we've seen it all before. 5/10
Movie Setup (2011) 2013-03-31 The story is bad, even Bruce Willis does a bad job playing Bruce Willis. 4/10
Movie Seven (1995) 2011-03-07 I really liked this movie until the end. I didn't really get the "envy" part. After all those long, drawn out crimes, the final crime was a quickie. Morgan Freeman plays basically the same character in about 50 movies per year. 9/10
Movie Seven Years in Tibet (1997) 2011-03-07 Considering that the story took sooooo long to tell, it ended with me wishing that I knew more about a few characters (like wife and son back in Austria, and the Dalai Lama), but overall a good movie and story. 8/10
Movie Sex and the City 2 (2010) 2011-03-07 Liza was great, and the movie gets off to a good start. Parker, Nixon and Davis exaggerated their characters, but are bearable. Cattrall is unbearable and embarrassing. The "I Am Woman" scene reduced this movie by a star. 5/10
Movie Shade (2003) 2020-05-22 I just don't love mmovies where everyone is cheating everyone. There are no good guys, and it makes no sense to play the game in the first place. What's the theme? Best cheater wins? 6/10
Movie Shakedown (1988) 2016-04-30 Most of the action and dirty cop stuff was OK, but Peter Weller can't act. The final scenes with the airplane jumped the shark and the rating lost a point. 5/10
Movie Sharpe's Rifles (1993) 2011-03-07 My wife and I will watch more in this series ("Rifles" being the first of many). However, Bean is a made-for-TV pretty boy. The story wasn't too bad until the end when the true nature of the mission was revealed, and it was made-for-TV goofy. The music was cheesy. We'll see how the series continues, although they're all "long wait" and tough to get. 4/10
Movie Shaun of the Dead (2004) 2023-09-23 This movie is unremarkable, but not terrible and others rate this much higher. There are a few funny moments, and the acting really is not bad, and the chicks are hot. But, a lot of UK slang talk that implies a boring life for people who have no interest in making their lives better, including the girlfriend who breaks up with Shaun because he is such a social loser. How do these guys get girlfriends in the first place? 5/10
Movie She Done Him Wrong (1933) 2011-03-07 The story was so simple that it didn't work well, and I didn't like the ending. The presentation of the 1890s in this 1933 movie seemed very stereotypical, even though at the time there were people who actually remembered the 1890s. However, West is a blast, and the young Grant does a great job. The scene in which West pulls Grant forward and then opens the door in front of him is great. Lots of period music that you won't hear in any modern production. A few bad acting jobs. I liked the choice by writers of innuendo rather than direct raunch. 7/10
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)
If you want a story about a superhero, then make one up - why use Sherlock Holmes? In this movie, Holmes is not only the most briliiant genius, but also the greatest bare-knuckles fighter of all time. The Holmes role overshadows all other roles (but I liked McAdams in this). Certainly a good flick, but over-the-top in some ways.
In the 2009 movie, McAdams was almost up to the task of costarring with Downey. But with this movie's early departure of McAdams, Downey runs wild with no one to slow him down. There is practically no plot, just lots of annoying, stop-action fight scenes with convoluted explanations and unshaven men.
Movie Shutter Island (2010) 2011-03-07 Can't beat the cast, but I get annoyed by movies that explain what is happening, then you find out it's something else, and then you find out it's something else, etc., etc., etc. And it's all justified because it takes place in an insane asylum. 7/10
Movie Skinamarink (2022) 2024-01-18 Nothing happens until about 40 minutes in, aside from some minor weirdness like a toilet that disappears. Then some weirdness with a couple characters. Nothing is ever explained. Just because no one on the internet can figure out what this movie is about doesn't make it good. Yeesh. 1/10
Movie Skyfall (2012) 2012-12-08 I love Daniel Craig as Bond and the action and locales are great, and there is some brief but very cute comic relief. M and Q are portrayed as totally inept, but are allowed to try to fix their mistakes. Only Bond can save them with a very high body count. 7/10
Movie Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 2011-03-07 About the only fault I can find with this movie is that the theme is old and familiar - young love lost and found and lost and found (etc.). But, it is pretty well done and the movie got a great set of performances in an R rated setting from young children. (I've heard that the young actors have not benefitted from the success of the movie.) So, reduced by 1/10. 9/10
Movie Smash His Camera (2009) 2011-07-02 Very well made documentary about an important celebrity photographer. This loses 1/10 because young viewers in 2011 won't know who the celebs are, and out of his millions of photos, only his couple dozen favorites have lasting artistic value. Lose another 1/10 because the guy is so personally schlocky that he plants artificial flowers in his outdoor garden. 8/10
Movie Snowpiercer (2013) 2023-03-01 Concocted technology (a chemical that completely destroys the whole atmosphere worldwide, and a train that must keep moving with no mechanical maintenance to regenerate power, and fortunately, there just happens to be such a train that can also grow crops). But, the movie kept my interest. 6/10
Movie Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) 2012-10-27 My personal reviews are usually right on with the Blockbuster customer average, but I give this one an extra notch. I liked Stewart in the role of Snow, I liked the bits of Christian references and imagery, and I liked the darkness of the tale without losing too much of the traditional fantasy. 8/10
Movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) 2011-03-07 Heigh ho! The best of the best. The classic which all others fail to match. As the long description states, it's so cool that each dwarf is different. Not just two or three, but seven identifiable guys. The music is great. The old fairy tale is told in a fantastic way. And there are even some scenes in which we can find double-entendre. 10/10
Movie Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961) 2011-03-07 I wanted to give it a 10, but it's actually not very good, but a childhood favorite that twists the classic movie in a way that could only be accomplished by Curly, Larry and Moe. 8/10
Movie Spectre (2015) 2015-12-12 There was no plot. Bad guys want to kill James Bond. He wants to kill them back. Oh wait, we need a countdown timer! 6/10
Movie Spinning Into Butter (2007) 2011-03-07 Not sure if this was an honest exploration of racism, or just a ruse to write a script with a bunch of racist epithets. Parker actually does a nice job, good to see her in something so different than SATC. But all the characters are overblown caricatures, in which smart people say stupid things so that the filmmaker can make some sort of point, which is not clear to me. 5/10
Movie Spotlight (2015) 2018-12-01 I imagine this is a realistic portrayal of the media investigation of an important topic, which means you are not going to be glued to your seat. The most suspenseful moments are when the Boston Globe is trying to beat the Herald to the courthouse to get a court transcript. One wonders how the Boston Globe survived with the lackadaisical management in place before the arrival of Baron. 7/10
Movie Stand Up Guys (2012) 2014-03-01 Fun to watch, although generally not beautiful. Mobsters do not live beautiful lives, but the situations were all somewhat extreme in a stereotypical way. 7/10
Movie Stardust (2007) 2011-04-15 Some really novel fantasy elements in this movie make it entertaining and worth your time. The romance is not novel, just cute. The relationship between the princes is funny, and yet achieved in a way that makes this rather inappropriate for kids. 7/10
Star Trek (2009)
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
On its own, it's a great movie, a 9/10. But why call it Star Trek if you're going to pull the old "black hole time warp" thing out of the bag and change the past? Good special effects, except every scene seemed to have someone about to fall from a great height. Good characters and good actors.
Lots of fun, a lot like an original TV series episode, and only a couple major plot holes. Good special effects, except every scene seemed to have someone about to fall from a great height.
Movie Startup.com (2001) 2012-07-28 I liked this, but it focuses more on personal relationships than business or technical details. The business story is about the struggle to get venture capital, so it's not clear how they grew to over 200 employees in months. It's not a lesson on how to grow a business, it's a lesson on how you'll feel about your HS buddy after the business you start together falls apart. 6/10
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
Rogue One (2016)
Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
A bit simplistic in its approach to the battle between good and evil, and the sci-fi is not all that profound. But, it's wildly enjoyable story, with innovative characters and film techniques.
Good overall story, but some weaknesses. In real life, warfare has changed drastically since the original movie, but in the new movie, Stormtroopers still march around. Where are the autonomous drones? I loved the Rey character, but she was annoyingly referred to as "girl" (not "woman") throughout. Finn was too wishy washy. Nice homage to the first move (maybe too much).
The visuals and set designs are great, but I didn't come to "like" any of the characters. The couple of Star Wars throwbacks were lame. Why do the rebels even have a "princess"? I just didn't love this movie.
I liked the Jedi lore a lot, even the slow parts. Many of the battle scenes were rife with bad strategy and unprofessional fighters. Cute homage to "Hardware Wars".
Movie Steve + Sky (2004) 2014-07-19 It's hard to rate these indie, European flicks. All the characters are just so gritty and flawed, almost like real people, but as with real people, they are born, they die, and in the middle nothing notable happens. 6/10
Movie Strangers on a Train (1951) 2011-03-07 I agree with others that there are so many obvious prop devices that we can't rate this among Hitchcock's best. The Bruno character is a bit too nuts to believe. Even in 1951, if a total stranger approaches you to commit a double murder, you go to the police. Still, some nice Hitchcock touches and quirky characters. And who was that guy with the big string bass? 7/10
Movie Strictly Ballroom (1992) 2023-04-01 A funny parody, and yet, almost real enough to believe. The extreme personalities and physical appearances distract you just enough to accept it all. The characters grow and change. 9/10
Movie Summer Stock (1950) 2011-03-07 On the down side, the storyline is lackluster, and I just didn't find Judy very attractive. But this is a fun movie. Gene Kelly is great, and his "squeaky floor" solo number is a classic. Phil Silvers is hilarious. Judy does a great job on "Get Happy". 7/10
Movie Super 8 (2011) 2011-12-24 This movie has some serious violence, but there is a lot of cute fun interspersed, and the young characters are very tolerable to older viewers. I don't love the ultraviolent monstrosity of an alien who, for some reason, travels alone through space. 8/10
Movie Superman (1978) 2019-05-11 I love the campiness of the Christopher Reeve series. The subsequent reboots between 2000-2020 try to be more serious, but how many heroes and villains with the power to destroy Earth can do battle before Earth is actually destroyed? Those writers are in a bind. This 1978 movie pits Superman against a human, and Superman's powers are significant, but you never get the impression that the Earth is doomed. The phone booth moment is classic, but my wife likes the shirt-shedding moment that immediately follows. 8/10
Movie Suspicion (1941) 2013-12-29 I am a Hitchcock fan and a Cary Grant fan, but this is a slow moving bore with unattractive British characters. In the end, nothing happens, and it's unclear why any character in the movie cared about anything. 6/10
Movie Swing Vote (2008) 2011-03-07 You have to get past the simplistic treatment of the US voting system that allows the election to come down to one vote. And the movie is billed as "feel good", all based on drunken, felony voting fraud. But the kid is cute, and a lot of big name actors bring good humor. 6/10
Movie Sword of Trust (2019) 2021-01-23 In real life, conspiracy theories seem far fetched to most people but are very real to a few. This quirky and funny parody never touches on why the few become true believers, and the fictional conspiracy is simplistic, but it is not outright disrespectful. The ending was unsatisfying. 6/10
Movie Synecdoche, New York (2008) 2011-03-07 Two hours of well-acted, artsy fartsy misery. The story is very intricate and very carefully constructed. From the artsy fartsy perspective it's really good, but it's practically unwatchable. 5/10
Movie Tag (2018) 2019-01-26 Very funny at times, but ultimately, as it is based on a true story, it's hard to imagine how anyone but the game-players put up with it. 6/10
Movie Taken (2008) 2011-03-07 The beginning and end were much too melodramatic. The action in the middle was great. I would not say that the movie was unrealistic, but the criminals were not seedy enough considering the crime being committed. 6/10
Movie The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972) 2020-09-27 Cute, my wife loved it. 7/10
The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
Maybe if this was the first Spiderman movie, it would have been OK, but we've seen all this melodrama before. Emma Stone is hot, but she was 24 in 2012 and sure doesn't act like a HS teenager.
Emma Stone is still hot, but really, still as a HS kid? However, good chemistry with Garfield. The plot was as comic-book-ish as any comic-book movie we have seen.
Movie The American (2010) 2017-06-03 Slow moving, never quite sure who knew what or when they knew it. I didn't hate it, but not much to love. 6/10
Movie The American President (1995) 2017-04-07 Oh, if only. 10/10
Movie The A-Team (2010) 2011-06-11 Lots of action and some very funny bits. Serious violence in this movie, inexplicable ability of escaped convicts to travel internationally using fake passports, and lots of traitorous US government and defense personnel. 7/10
Movie The Artist (2011) 2012-09-22 This is a good movie with a good story, with great acting. The story is too time worn and predictable to be worthy of a best picture Oscar, but it's about Hollywood and they honor their own. 8/10
Movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) 2019-06-09 Most of the shorts were great, especially the one about panning for gold. A few moments were dumb or unclear. 8/10
Movie The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) 2023-01-11 A great presentation of a practically unimagineable story. This was produced and directed to win awards, even to the point of including cute and credited livestock, but you won't be uplifted. 7/10
Movie The Beaver (2011) 2011-06-11 Well acted, but depressing throughout with no comic relief, even with a hand puppet. In the end, a schmaltzy scene as the camera pulls away. 6/10
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015)
This will bore anyone under 50 years old, but for oldsters, this has an unpleasant start but comes to an enjoyable conclusion. The slight weakness in the cast is Dench playing the exact same character she always plays in everything else she's in. Maggie Smith, in particular, enjoyably twists her Downton Abbey persona.
Some funny goofiness on the part of the young people, some boring romance on the part of the old people, and typically understated elegance from Gere.
Movie The Big Lebowski (1998) 2017-08-25 I understand why this would be a cult favorite, but I didn't love it. Slow moving in parts. Maybe the viewer needs to be high to enjoy this. Why is Sam Elliot or his character even in this movie? 6/10
Movie The Big Wedding (2013) 2014-05-31 The star-studded cast cannot save this collection of annoying and unbelievable characters and situations. 5/10
Movie The Black Rose (1950) 2011-03-07 Welles was great, and as the description says, the cinematography was good. Power and Aubrey had no chemistry, she came across as barely a teenager, there was no reason for their characters to fall in love, and their acting was awful. The story itself was not well written. 5/10
Movie The Blind Side (2009) 2011-03-07 Too schmaltzy and dramatized to be a 9 or 10, but well acted and constructed, and enjoyable. 8/10
Movie The Bourne Legacy (2012) 2013-07-07 I liked the action and the acting, but the previous movies set up a complicated background, and this sequel does not fully stand alone. 7/10
Movie The Bucket List (2007) 2011-03-07 Well acted, and as good as can be expected from a script that was very predictable and not particularly profound. 6/10
Movie The Cabin in the Woods (2011) 2013-05-11 This is worth the time to watch it, if you can stand the blood. Creative and ironic twists, but after all that, the very end was a letdown. The cameo appearance of a big name actress invited even more ironies, but the filmmakers missed that. 7/10
Movie The Children's Hour (1961) 2011-03-07 This movie is quite intense. You have to put yourself back into 1961 to imagine what the big deal is. But it's over the top to think that a rotten little brat can tell a lie that so destroys lives and that doesn't get exposed even in court. Ultimately, I had to knock off a couple of stars. 6/10
Movie The Christmas Chronicles (2018) 2018-11-27 A rather madcap series of misadventures, ultimately with Santa being nice to everyone. But in the end, it's tough to put Santa into a modern environment without wondering, what about all the poor kids who go to bed hungry every night? 7/10
Movie The Circle (2017) 2018-06-02 We all want to like this movie with its big-name actors, and we want Stone and Gillan to shine, and it could have been an interesting exploration of the pros and cons of ubiquitous social media. But, the script just keeps 'jumping the shark', over and over. 4/10
Movie The Comedy of Terrors (1963) 2020-08-01 Price, Karloff, Lorre and more in a comedy, this was a lot of fun in a deadly sort of way. 8/10
Movie The Contract (2006) 2011-03-07 Is Freeman in every movie being made today? However, his monotone is well suited for the role. Overall, not too bad, with occasional lousy writing and the occasional mysterious character whose motivation isn't clear. 6/10
Movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 2011-03-07 Good acting and screenplay structure keep you watching for over 2 1/2 hours. Very moving, emotionally. The concept (man grows younger) is intriguing, but ultimately unrealistic, and it really was pretty long. Not sure what the point was of placing this at the start of hurricane Katrina. So, only 4/5 stars, but all actors were good with lots of varied scenes and characters. 8/10
Movie The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) 2011-03-07 I watched the extras on the DVD and they had a bunch of alternate artist renderings of GORT. They were cool. The GORT they finally chose was boring. The first half was pretty suspenseful, but the second half just did a lousy job of justifying the actions that the alien(s) did and did not take. Acting was OK, nothing special. 6/10
Movie The Dead (1987) 2011-03-07 You really have to watch for the portrayal of a realistic, wide range of emotions among a group of family members and friends. In a sense, not much happens, but really, it's packed with emotion. 7/10
Movie The Descendants (2011) 2012-10-13 The acting is outstanding across the board, but the story introduces a number of melodramatic situations that are resolved very slowly, in anti-climactic ways. I suppose that's true to life and the story is sad because we know real people who experience similar events. But, my true life isn't very exciting and neither is this movie. 6/10
Movie The Double (2011) 2013-03-16 Grace is OK, but I must admit, I always like Gere and I like him here. This reminds me of a Russian spy incident that occurred in real life around the time this movie came out, although this movie stretches the idea to the max. Good pace, fun to watch. 7/10
Movie The Expendables (2010) 2011-04-22 Extremely violent, action packed, and almost plot-less. The acting wasn't bad, it's just that no acting skill is necessary when there is no story. 5/10
Movie The First Purge (2018) 2019-03-16 This is (probably intentionally) the most racist movie the general public will ever see. As always, one side is good and one side is bad, but if the good/bad had been reversed, this would be an underground snuff movie. As it is, HBO broadcast it in prime time. If you can suspend disbelief in the premise of a 12-hour lawless period, the acting and screenplay aren't bad, but you need to suspend a lot of disbelief here. 2/10
Movie The Ghost Writer (2010) 2011-03-07 The whole premise of this movie is that it is leaked that a former British PM turned over a couple of terrorists to the CIA for (unconfirmed) torture. The whole world goes into convulsions, except the Americans who don't seem to care. The same British PM sent soldiers into wars, etc., but protesters froth at the mouth over this unconfirmed torture. There was nothing bad about this movie, but it was a bit slow, and no actor stood out. Brosnan remains the mediocre, but oh so pretty, actor. 6/10
Movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) 2012-07-14 Good story, although a few loose ends. Daniel Craig is great, Rooney Mara also very good for a character that is too smart for her age. Mumbly dialog in the beginning, and very violent in unusual ways. But, the story kept me interested throughout. 7/10
Movie The God Who Wasn't There (2005) 2013-02-22 It's just not that big a deal to make a documentary about how the existence of God cannot be proven. I agree there are problems with the ways Christianity has been practiced over the centuries, but this one-sided film does not give credit to "progressive" practices and to the good that Christianity does. 6/10
Movie The Golden Compass (2007) 2011-03-07 Better than Narnia, nice in BluRay, but confusing at times, and it's always annoying when the fate of the world is in the hands of withces and snot nosed little kids with British accents. Other renters whine about the storyline being about killing God, but it seems more like it's about killing the authority of the church (that's different). BTW, Nicole Kidman rules. 7/10
Movie The Great Gatsby (2013) 2013-10-20 I like DiCaprio, but I don't love him, and I don't know why any female characters love his characters. Every character in this movie has one trait, played to the extreme. I liked the music and visuals. 7/10
Movie The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 2011-06-19 All movie fans should watch this to understand the history of big budget entertainment. The story is not profound, it's just a New York producer and his pretty girls. Some of the musical production bogs down, after 3 hours. But also some ingenious choreography, and a great Ray Bolger dance scene. As nasty as he seems now, Eddie Cantor in blackface was a big star. Lots of familiar stars from the 1930s and earlier. 7/10
Movie The Greatest Showman (2017) 2018-09-08 It was smart to tell this story in the form of a musical, and I liked the music. However, partly because it was a musical, we didn't learn ALL that much about Barnum, his story or the others around him, except that they were racists and otherwise closed-minded. 8/10
Movie The Guardian (2006) 2011-03-07 I thought the movie was over after 90 minutes and the teacher had sent the student on to the big world. But nooooo, the student's drama lived on, and the teacher's drama lived on, blah blah blah. Not bad, but I was waiting for Kutcher to say, "I GOT NO PLACE ELSE TO GO!" 6/10
Movie The Hitman's Bodyguard (2017) 2018-04-28 There is lots of action, humor and even romance, but nothing we haven't seen before in a hundred other movies. And, the key witness in a trial is a serial killer, because that makes sense. 6/10
Movie The Hundred Foot Journey (2014) 2015-02-28 It was all very pleasant, and some cute scenes, but only a foodie (not me) cares about some kid who has a special ability to taste food. 6/10
Movie The Hunger Games (2012) 2013-01-13 As for the actors, Lawrence is amazing, Tucci is great as always, Harrelson is good when limited to this supporting role. I understand novelist Collins is trying to make a statement about our American culture of violence, trashy reality TV and government deception, but I felt dirty after watching this child-on-child violence and Collins should be ashamed to market this to teens. 6/10
Movie The King's Speech (2010) 2011-06-26 As Firth's character says in the movie, if he were a normal person, no one would care. Everyone suffers through some adversity. A movie was made about THIS guy because he was born into the right family. So, the premise isn't very exciting, but the acting and visuals are great. 8/10
Movie The Ides of March (2011) 2013-01-05 We learn from this movie that the work of a political consultant is pretty boring, aside from the occasional fling with a nymphomaniac intern. Big name actors do a good job, and it's a relevant commentary on 2012 American politics, but it's not a thriller. 7/10
Movie The Illusionist (2010) 2011-06-05 Colorfully animated, this is a good story about an everyman. A happier ending would have earned another star from me. 7/10
Movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) 2011-03-07 One of those movies for which the trailer explains nothing. The dreams of Terry Gilliam overtake the story. Too bad they aren't related. 6/10
Movie The Imitation Game (2014) 2016-01-23 Well scripted and acted, for what was provided. Not enough technical stuff. The most moving part of the movie was the final text that tells what happens to Turing after the movie ends. 8/10
Movie The Incredible Hulk (2008) 2011-03-07 Overall, a pretty good movie for a comic book story, if a bit predictable. Norton is very good, Tyler just doesn't excite me and I think she's a weak spot. Why is it that Hollywood thinks that science lab security can be thwarted with a free pizza? And who has live security guards any more, in the first place? 7/10
Movie The Informant! (2009) 2011-03-07 The only reason this movie makes any sense is that it is based on a true story, Otherwise, the storyline is just crazy. But this is not a bad flick. 6/10
Movie The Intern (2015) 2016-05-13 Not exactly De Niro's most profound work. Cute at times, and not totally predictable, but never surprising. 6/10
Movie The International (2009) 2011-03-07 On the plus side are interesting locations and a suspenseful puzzle. But, a key event requires a greedy scumbag to suddenly get a conscience. The Watts character is useless to the story, and Watts herself is awful. Owen is monotonous and I didn't care about his character. Maybe I'm naive, but I just don't see bank CEOs spending their days deciding who to whack. 6/10
Movie The Invisible Man (2020) 2020-09-26 I did not love this movie. The technical explanation was kind of cool, but it was just dumped on the viewer without much prior explanation. I took a while to figure out what the victim was afraid of. And the invisibility was used to confuse the viewer about the eventual ending. 6/10
Movie The Island (2005) 2020-02-21 Lots of pretty people, but a lackluster science fiction story. 5/10
Movie The Irishman (2019) 2019-12-28 With this all-star cast, you figure it's got to be a 10, right? But pretty early in the movie, I just didn't care what mobster killed which other mobster, and what code of silence they adhered to, and how the family members felt about it. 7/10
Movie The Kennel Murder Case (1933) 2011-04-22 This is a top-notch detective film, even accounting for its age. The logic is complex, but it all makes sense, and I loved the quirky characters and even the cardboard models of the houses used to prove the case. 9/10
Movie The Last Duel (2021) 2022-05-20 There are not really any characters with redeeming characteristics except for the lead female who was at the mercy of the medieval system but refused to admit it. 6/10
Movie The Legend of Hercules (2014) 2014-05-26 I didn't hate this movie. It was sneaky to put this in Redbox just before the Dwayne Johnson version. If you like "300", you'll like this Hercules. Kellan Lutz looks like the witless Rocky in Rocky Horror PS. After all the mysterious predictions of Herc's divine destiny, the movie ended with no suprises, so I dinged it a rating point. 5/10
Movie The Legend of Tarzan (2016) 2017-02-19 The more realistic you make a Tarzan movie, the less believable it is. Americans were actually slow to eliminate slavery, so the American envoy character is an impossible fiction. Even if the child Tarzan could survive in the ape colony, the returning adult could not. The Jane character was annoying. 4/10
Movie The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) 2012-05-06 Many customer reviewers seem to miss the wicked satire of showing the old generals complaining about being pushed into the lowly Home Guard while sleeping their days away in the Turkish Baths, as the war and youth rage around them. Also, consider that this was made while England was being bombed and before the outcome of WWII was known. Only the British can mock the British this well. Great stuff. 8/10
Movie The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) 2011-07-16 Good story, mostly good acting. I'm not sure what the big deal about the Lincoln is supposed to be, it is apparently just a product placement. Also a little preachy about innocence and guilt and justice blah blah blah. 7/10
Movie The Little Mermaid (1989) 2021-08-06 I have watched this a few times over the years. Yes, it's 2D animation, sexist in that Disney-fairy-tale way and quite Caucasian. However, it has one of the greatest soundtracks of any movie musical, ever, so I forgive the political incorrectness. 8/10
Movie The Lobster (2015) 2020-02-29 I know it's a satire, but some elements were just too weird, like, two people are made for each other because they're both short-sighted. 6/10
Movie The Lone Ranger (2013) 2014-02-01 This movie is about an hour too long, but the funny bits are pretty funny. This film does a good job of presenting Tonto without insulting native Americans too badly. 7/10
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
All three movies of the trilogy are great. I have heard some complaints from purist Tolkein fans, but for the video format, these are all 10 out of 10.
Regardless of how true the movie is to the book, the look of the movie captures Middle Earth as Tolkein wrote it. For three hours, a few elements are unexplained, even though everyone knows all the explanations.
This second installment of the Hobbit trilogy does not stand alone, and simply fills in some details between the first and last. That wouldn't be so bad, but the cliffhanger ending will not be resolved for a year. These Tolkein movies are well acted and produced, but Smaug desolated nothing in this movie except a few dollars from my pocket.
This third installment of the Hobbit trilogy also does not stand alone. The long real-time break between movies ruins the very important plot element of how the dragon can be killed. Basically, just a two hour long action sequence, good action but no new character development.
Movie The Lost King (2022) 2024-02-16 It seems hard to believe the Richard III Society had 3500 people on its contact list in 2012 and none had previously overlaid historical maps over modern maps. Apparently, they were too busy getting boozed up at their respective locals. However, I loved the quirkiness and perseverence of the Phillipa character. 8/10
Movie The Lovely Bones (2009) 2011-03-07 I rather liked this. I don't quite agree with the heaven presented in this movie, and I have no clue how Tucci got the safe into his car, but the acting was good and moving. 7/10
Movie The Maldonado Miracle (2002) 2011-03-07 The ending twist was telegraphed quite early in the movie. The miracle is hammered home by an annoyingly stereotypical Mexican religious woman. Fonda is good at times, but often slips into a monotonous tone as if he just wants to get his check and go home, and his assistant is a goofball. HOWEVER, it's a feel-good movie with some interesting sub-plots, OK to fold the laundry by. 6/10
Movie The Man (2005) 2011-03-07 Entertaining, and my wife just guffawed at certain parts, but I thought it was just OK. 6/10
Movie The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015) 2015-12-05 There were some funny lighthearted breaks in the action, but the character relationships and plot were unrealistic. 6/10
Movie The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017) 2019-12-08 This is a fun twist on A Christmas Carol. In the movie, Dickens has a lot of trouble devising Scrooge's final conversion, but it seems like the real Dickens would have known about that from the start. Also, the movie struggled to compare Dickens to Scrooge, and the finale was mediocre. But, one can believe Dickens was obsessive. 7/10
Movie The Matrix (1999) 2022-02-01 The technology is difficult to imagine actually working and has not held up well into the 21st century. The Oracle is portrayed as critically important but doesn't really change anything, maybe she's just the notion that we are not doomed to any one fate. However, the story masterfully weaves the tech with the humanity, and the final conflict between the two takes us back to our fairy tales. And so many memorable images, even in 2022. 9/10
Movie The Menu (2022) 2023-01-13 What writer thinks up characters who would put up with the unthinkable stuff thought up by the other characters in this movie? 6/10
Movie The Merchant of Venice (2004) 2011-03-07 Pacino and Collins were great. They made Shakespeare seem almost like regular conversation. Many of the actors just seemed like they were reading the script for the first time. Great scenery and costumes. Even for Shakespeare, a couple scenes and plot developments were unclear, and the treatment of Jews is brutal. If you want to introduce yourself to old Will, this one is pretty good. 8/10
Movie The Muppets (2011) 2012-07-07 Good family fare, but failed to meet expectations. The premise is that Kermit and the Muppets have not wanted to perform for a long time, but it isn't clear why, or who should care, or why the Walter character is not an obsessed whack job (the DVD extras contain a deleted scene with Walter that explains part of the movie). Segal is as unlikable as he was on Freaks and Geeks. Adams is cute but doesn't have much to work with. The choice of a celebrity host is mediocre and his contribution is restrained. A few good chuckles, but that's about it. 6/10
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
The Mummy (2017)
The music is good, the acting is mediocre, and the story is bad. They tried to base some of this on actual Chinese mythology, but Fraser is just such a doofus and Bello has the worst British accent of all time, and then the Yeti field goal was absolutely uncalled for.
The action is unrealistic to the point of annoyance. Big stars in the cast can't save a mish-mosh of a story with ridiculous mythology and technologies. Dr. Jekyll, seriously?
Movie The Mystery of the 13th Guest (1943) 2021-03-12 A serious murder mystery, but campy humor sprinkled throughout. No big names, but an unusual formula that works. 7/10
Movie The Nanny Diaries (2007) 2014-07-19 This is a formulaic Hollywood flick that exaggerates the good parts of the characters we are supposed to like, and the bad parts of the characters we are supposed to dislike. But, in between, it was enjoyable and there are some feel-good moments. 7/10
Movie The Natural (1984) 2011-03-07 This plays on our traditional adoration for the National Pastime very well. When the kid brings the hand-engraved bat, wow, that's so cool. Watch it over and over just to feel good. 10/10
Movie The November Man (2014) 2015-01-31 Another moview (like the recent James Bond movies) about an aging agent's melodrama. The twists in finding out who is who, and who did what, just weren't very twisty. 5/10
Movie The Nugget (2002) 2011-03-07 Saw it on cable, would not have been worth renting. A number of scenes were fantasy-ish (see the sunlight in the trailer), and the ending was particularly unrealistic. This is not all about greed, which is a plus, but rent "Danny Deck Chair" instead. 6/10
Movie The Nutty Professor (1963) 2023-04-01 Mysoginist and sexist even for the day, but otherwise a funny and well constructed takeoff on Jekyll and Hyde. 7/10
Movie The Old Man & the Gun (2018) 2019-06-23 OK, there was a car chase or two to give this a little interest, and Tom Waits is always worth a point. But, it's yet another movie about old people doing things they shouldn't be doing, and we're supposed to like them because they're old. 7/10
Movie The Opposite of Sex (1998) 2011-03-07 The customer reviews for this are all over the place. I felt that the script was OK. I didn't like Kudrow in this, Donovan was nothing special. Ricci was good and this was a good part for her. This movie's take on homosexuality is a bit dated as I write this in 2010, so you have to take Galecki's part with that perspective. You won't miss much if you skip this, but I watched the whole thing. 5/10
Movie The Oxford Murders (2008) 2011-07-15 The screenplay presents a bunch of bogus mathematical statements and pretends that they're somehow related to a series of murders, but none of it makes much sense. I was disappointed in Wood; he plays his math genius character like a simpleminded Hobbit, and he cannot save the illogical plot, and I predict he will never shine again. But, two women fall in love with his character on the first day he arrives at the location. The police share all evidence and clues with two philosophy academics. Leonor Watling shows up with her great rack, and viewers will not be disappointed. There are suspenseful moments and interesting scenery, and it almost comes together, but, not quite. 6/10
The Pink Panther (2006)
The Pink Panther 2 (2009)
The problem with a remake is that it must be compared to the original. Martin is like a bumbling comedian who thinks that he's great (kind of like Clouseau). There were a couple of very funny scenes in an hour and a half, but no standout performances.
Like the first one, mostly mediocre with a few great laughs (the opening wine-bottle scene is a classic). Martin is still that wild and crazy guy, but that gag is pretty old (as are the 3 Stooges takeoffs). Cleese is restrained, probably because he would have stolen the movie. Reno is a good straight man. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan of Bollywood fame is not a comedian. Most of the movie is comprised of scenes about Clouseau's love life, apparently because Martin and the writers couldn't think up enough detective gags.
Movie The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012) 2012-11-25 This is funny, the animation is good and we liked the characters. This is pretty family friendly, but there are a few racy lines and images. 7/10
Movie The Post (2017) 2018-10-27 The Graham character (Streep) is portrayed as wishy-washy for most of this preachy movie, with some heroics dragged out of her at the end. I'm not sure why we should trust a rich newspaper tycoon more than the political oligarchy, especially when they are all friends. Hanks is good, as always. 8/10
Movie The Princess Bride (1987) 2011-03-07 I love this movie. An absolute blast. 10/10
Movie The Raven (2012) 2013-03-10 A little slow to start, but a good story in the end. I didn't care for most of the acting, I think they were trying to provide some sort of period effect, but I didn't love it. 6/10
Movie The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (2016) 2018-03-18 This movie seems to be a look by church people at how the unchurched view the Bible, and Christ in particular. The actors do a good job portraying various levels of talent. However, it's a stretch for the bad-boy celeb to suddenly become a God-fearing romantic. And, that church is gigantic. 7/10
Movie The Rhinemann Exchange (1977) 2011-03-07 It really wasn't terrible. It's unfair to compare this to Bourne. This TV miniseries was half WWII suspense (because viewers in the 70s still cared about WWII), and half about pretty boy Stephen Collins. It was fun to see all those actors from the 70s, and the Roddy McDowell character was really good. But some of the acting and scripting is pretty mediocre. 5/10
Movie The Road (2009) 2011-04-21 A very dark look at a presumed nuclear winter. Well acted and it seems realistic, with some attempt to suggest that there will be bright spots. 8/10
Movie The Runaways (2010) 2011-03-07 Some of the acting was very good. None were terrible. Considering the groundbreaking accomplishments of The Runaways, the script was not profound, it was just sort of straightforward. The soundtrack was fantastic. Stewart was great, Shannon was hit-or-miss. Fanning tried to mix the scared naive girl and the naughty singer girl, but she mostly came off naive, which was surprising since the real Currie worked with Fanning. Unfortunate that Lita Ford and Sandy West were not given a bio at the end, and Jackie Fox wasn't even named but replaced by a fictional "Robin". 7/10
Movie The Sandy Bottom Orchestra (2000) 2011-03-07 G-rated and family friendly, but it's hard to imagine that it took two people to write the novel on which this is based. The story is bland and predictable and as un-exciting as a Keillor radio show, except not as funny. Tom Irwin is OK, but the rest of the acting is mediocre, and Glenne Headly is just awful. Zima was a cute kid in 2000, and it's unfortunate that she had such poor adult examples to learn from. 5/10
Movie The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012) 2012-05-19 The plot was confusing and the acting was not stellar, with a cast of ... dozens. This sequel does not use the original cast, and in this movie, they went for campy rather than action and suspense. I watched the whole thing, and was rewarded with one laugh, when the guy who looks like Ogre from Nerds steals the guard's uniform. The violence and romance are pretty mild, safe for pre-teens who might get more laughs. Don't rent this, but if you do, it's not a total waste. 5/10
Movie The Shape of Water (2017) 2018-09-28 Innocent women having sex with monsters. For Hollywood, by Hollywood and about Hollywood. 5/10
Movie The Social Network (2010) 2011-03-20 Very well done, but moves so fast that it's hard to follow every detail. As a s/w developer, sure I'm jealous of the guys who invented social networking. Still, Facebook is a lowest common denominator, so simple that anyone can use it. So, a movie about Facebook is not that profound, and neither is Zuckerberg. 8/10
Movie The Soloist (2008) 2011-03-07 Very well written and very well performed. However, the story really isn't that deep, and it drags a bit. 8/10
Movie The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) 2011-03-18 Considering the fluffy fantasy premise, the writing was pretty good, with some cute lines all around. I'm not a Cage fan, but he wasn't terrible. The score was forgettable. Baruchel and Palmer worked well together in a Disney sort of way. 7/10
Movie The Sound of Music (1965) 2011-03-07 This movie is just so cute and happy that you just gotta love it. Throw in some Nazis for suspense, and you can't go wrong. 10/10
Movie The Station Agent (2003) 2023-08-10 Watchable with likable characters, but not a lot happens. 7/10
Movie The Sting (1973) 2011-03-07 So engrossing while it's running that you just aren't trying to figure out what will happen in the end. One of the greatest movies. 10/10
Movie The Three Musketeers (2011) 2011-10-29 I didn't mind that this movie is nothing like the novel. Great action and costumes. But, a boring plot, lousy acting, and not enough sex to make it interesting. 6/10
Movie The Time of Their Lives (1946) 2018-10-20 Typical Abbott and Costello, which is a good thing, quite funny is spots. There is a moment where Lou turns on the radio and hears a gangster show, and I think it's the same show used in Home Alone ("Angels With Dirty Faces"). 8/10
Movie The Time Traveler's Wife (2009) 2011-03-07 Good acting, but time travel movies always introduce some sort of rule. Either they CAN change the past and everything goes wrong, or they CAN'T change the past for some unknown reason. Or they can sometimes change the past, whenever the writers get stuck. 6/10
Movie The Tomorrow War (2021) 2021-07-02 The IMDB rating is a 7; were all those people watching the same movie? The technical aspects of the plot are just awful. Good effects and scary monsters, but (spoiler alert, but skip this movie because it's lousy) why would any interstellar travelers include such predators? And as with any time-travel movie, paradoxes abound. 5/10
Movie The Town (2010) 2011-10-02 I liked this a lot. Some dialogue in a few scenes was difficult to understand, and the technical aspects of the robberies were just too complex, too well executed, and too brutal. I have just never heard of a real life robbery like these. But the action and acting were great. 8/10
Movie The Ugly Truth (2009) 2011-03-07 No nudity, but the point of this movie is to be raunchy throughout. Sometimes, a comedy hammers on a theme that isn't funny at first, but eventually becomes funny after 90 minutes. This movie almost made it a couple of times, but in the end I didn't see why the Heigl and Butler characters would be attracted to each other. 6/10
Movie The Vast of Night (2019) 2021-06-12 The begining is clunky, then I was quite interested for 75 minutes. Think "War of the Worlds meets Twilight Zone", but you'd think a full length motion picture could add a twist. The ending makes sense, but is unsatisfying. 7/10
Movie The Wackness (2008) 2011-03-07 Aren't the dreams and aspirations of stoners exciting? And didn't we all know high school hotties who have "done it" like, a hundred times, and want to teach lovemaking to drug dealers? Well, no and no. The music is pretty cool even if you don't care for rap. 5/10
Movie The Wolfman (2010) 2011-03-07 Early in the movie, Del Toro's character insists that he won't get involved. In the next scene, he's on his way to get involved. The writing was consistently illogical. Blunt has nothing to work with and is forgettable, although she studies some mysterious books about lycanthropy that turn out to be useless. Props are ominously introduced, but aren't used in any interesting way. Hopkins plays a deranged character, go figure. Visually, the movie is a great update from the B horror movies of the past. 6/10
Movie The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) 2014-04-19 Extremely graphic with drugs and sex. It's hard to imagine that more than a handful of people can work and play this hard without crashing and burning almost immediately. 8/10
Movie The Woman in Black (2012) 2012-12-30 I don't love Radcliffe, he just doesn't have enough personality. The story was mostly predictable, although I didn't quite guess the ending. Still, if you don't watch many thrillers, this one is watchable and not very gory. 6/10
Movie The Zookeeper's Wife (2017) 2018-02-17 It is important to remember the Holocaust, and this sort of movie, based on a true story, help with that. But they are all sort of the same; lots of secrets and hiding among the violence for most of the movie, and then it ends as well as it can. There aren't any new stories to tell. 7/10
Movie This Means War (2012) 2012-06-30 I always love Witherspoon. 7/10
Movie Thor (2011) 2012-01-21 I liked the action and heroic storyline, but Portman sucked, and there was no reason to believe the godlike Thor would fall in love with her character. 7/10
Movie Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021) 2021-11-06 Jolie's job in this movie is not just to be a hottie, and I liked her, although she's still too hot to play a drunken survivalist. I felt like some scenes added nothing to the overall story, but the story made sense even if ulta-violent. 7/10
Movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) 2018-08-05 Too many violent crimes are committed in the face of too many cops who are alternately brilliant or just don't care. Otherwise, a well told story by great actors. 8/10
Movie Timeline (2003) 2011-03-07 The historical scenery and equipment seemed well done. The story is about a pretty-boy slacker who is inexplicably in love with a billiant pretty-girl scientist, who cries and screams because, well, because she's a woman and that's what women do. Time travel is involved, which is always a bad plot device (although they explain it with a worm hole, which is sort of smart in a sci-fi sort of way). 6/10
Movie Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011) 2012-11-18 The story is OK, but it's not clear why a 2011 remake would still take place in boring old 1973. The characters on the screen literally move and speak slowly and the story drags in many places. Ultimately watchable, but not a thriller. 6/10
Movie Tower Heist (2011) 2012-09-08 Some funny moments. I've never been a big fan of Stiller, and if the big artistic actor is Alda, well, he's no George C. Scott. I'm trying to convince myself that this movie isn't intended to be realistic, but I just can't get past how the goofballs tricked the FBI into bringing a criminal to court on Thanksgiving Day. 6/10
Movie Toy Story 3 (2010) 2011-03-13 This is a great franchise, but a franchise it is. It's been done before. I can only take so much of toys that can read their own instruction manuals, as if the manuals can even be found. And yet, some funny stuff here. 8/10
True Grit (1969)
True Grit (2010)
Great cinematography, and the Duke is great. Some of the dialog and acting is annoyingly stereotypical. Regardless of the title and the number of people who get killed, this movie is not especially gritty, and I didn't care for Glen Campbell. But, the two-gun attack with reins in teeth is a great scene.
I was hoping for something different than the 1969 version with The Duke. 1969 had a quirky appeal that 2010 doesn't have. Many scenes were duplicated. The acting in 2010 is great, practically all roles better than 1969, and I liked the 2010 ending better. Still a good story.
Movie Twilight (2008) 2011-03-07 This movie is for half-witted teenage girls who just like to look at Pattinson. This is not for adults. Nothing much happens. 5/10
Movie Unconditional Love (2002) 2018-06-02 This movie is very well made and scripted and acted, but I found it to be depressing. I'm just not sure how hard the movie was trying to be funny. 7/10
Movie Uncut Gems (2019) 2020-12-26 This is a very dark movie, so don't expect any Sandler humor. No character in this movie has any redeeming qualities, even the people who suffer. It is difficult to relate to anyone, even the kids. But, it's a great study of greed. 8/10
Movie Undercover Blues (1993) 2011-09-11 Not a terrible flick, but not funny enough. Also, not good enough to be a serious action movie, not "bad" enough to be a parody of action movies, and not smart enough to be a remake of the Thin Man franchise. Kathleen Turner looked good back in the day. 5/10
Movie Unhinged (2020) 2021-05-14 Very intense, so intense it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to make this movie. Acting is good across the board, except for the cop whose aim is worse than a stormtrooper. 7/10
Movie Unicorn City (2012) 2014-01-16 Ok, so it's a movie about geeks only a geek could love. Amazingly, it is not insulting to geeks. All in all, it was fun. 7/10
Movie Unstoppable (2010) 2011-07-31 The story is a bit contrived in order to set up all the suspense and heroics, but Pine and Washington work well together. Very entertaining, with a peak at the railroad industry. 8/10
Movie Up (2009) 2011-03-07 There's a lot of real-life sadness in this movie, but life goes on and there is a lot of happiness, too. I guess I don't feel that "Up" is fantastic enough to deserve a second bonus DVD, and we hurried through that in about a half hour. 8/10
Movie Up in the Air (2009) 2011-03-07 Interesting and well acted, but I felt like I had to suspend some disbelief. 7/10
Movie Valkyrie (2008) 2011-03-07 The story of getting the internal Berlin guard to block off the SS was kind of a neat twist, but all was said and done, not that much happened. It was never clear why Cruise's character became the ringleader of all those generals, or why he kept getting invited to Hitler's strategy meetings. Still, a pretty good movie with a pretty good cast. 7/10
Movie Vanity Fair (aka Indecent) (1932) 2013-07-06 Poorly written and cheaply produced, but the actors did their best, and I just can't rate anything badly when it stars Myrna Loy. Myrna plays the golddigger in this version of the novel. All bad girls get what's coming to them. Not so much the bad boys. 6/10
Movie WALL-E (2008) 2011-03-07 I can come up with minor issues, like wondering why robots would giggle like humans, but this is sooooo cute that it's a blast. 9/10
Wall Street (1987)
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Very realistic. Looking back from 2011, it seems they were showing off the cool technology of 1987, which now seems so quaint. Oh, for the days when a crooked night office cleaner could find secrets on real paper in a filing cabinet.
Shia LaBeouf could ruin Citizen Kane. Michael Douglas' haircut looked silly in the '80s when people actually wore their hair like that, and it looks no better now. All the subplots were about revenge, as if these multibillionaires get emotional about this stuff. Gekko's daughter was invented in this movie as a romantic interest for LaBeouf and emotional interest for Douglas, but both roles were poorly developed.
Movie Wanted (2008) 2011-03-07 Great special effects, and Angelina is a babe, but the whole "father" thing has been done before. 6/10
Movie War, Inc. (2008) 2011-03-07 I thought this was funny and well acted. The writing was not perfect, but it was madcap. 7/10
Movie WarGames (1983) 2021-02-24 The scientist who invents the computer that starts the war simulation comes off as almost goofy, but I suppose the whole movie is never very heavy. One extra point for Sheedy stretching in her exercise tights. 8/10
Movie We Bought a Zoo (2011) 2012-12-16 The drama with the son was a bit drawn out and I'm not sure I was left with the true difficulty of owning a zoo, but it was a fun flick. 7/10
Movie West Side Story (2021) 2022-04-04 Great story, great music, great performances, and it was all done before in 1961, pretty much exactly like they did it in 2021. 8/10
Movie What Just Happened (2008) 2011-03-07 A few moments of humor and other interesting stuff, and well acted, but that's hard to tell because I just didn't care about any of the characters. The only people who could like this are people who are in the movie industry. 5/10
Movie When in Rome (2010) 2011-03-07 This is a profound love story, if you're 12 years old. Duhamel is OK. Bell is cute but otherwise has no charisma. Even the bloopers weren't funny. 5/10
Movie Where the Boys Are (1960) 2011-03-07 This is a well done precursor to the Avalon & Funicello formula. Characters are developed, dramatic stuff happens. Gorshin, Hutton, Prentiss, Francis all do fine jobs, and no one is bad. Go see the Elbo Room, it's a real place. 8/10
Movie Where the Wild Things Are (2009) 2011-03-07 Parts of this movie were a bit slow, but for a reason. This was not supposed to be a high-tech special-effects showcase. Characters learn important lessons, not the least of which is that a mother's love outlasts the sun. This was not all cuteness, but nothing that a child Max's age could not handle, especially with discussion afterwards. I liked it. 7/10
Movie Whip It (2009) 2012-08-30 The first half hour is great. Page is great as the debutante tuned alt roller derby skater. Later in the movie, the personal relationships get heavy and just aren't as fun to watch. Barrymore's self-deprecating humor is great. 7/10
Movie Whiplash (2014) 2024-02-27 The jazz is great, but the theme is that you have to suffer a lot, at the hands of other suffering jerks, to surpass your jazz potential. Jazz is sort of like religion; most people don't really get it even though they swear they do, and a few people suffer for us because they think it's their jobs to make sure the rest of us dummies get it, even though they know we never will. 7/10
Movie White House Down (2013) 2013-11-17 Lots of action, but schmaltzy character relationships and too many insider double crossers to be believed. Not as good as Olympus Has Fallen. 6/10
Movie Widow's Peak (1994) 2011-03-07 If you like the British shows on PBS and if you like "Murder She Wrote", you'll like this movie (although this is not exactly a murder mystery). This is a chick flick, but it's not about the romance, so men can watch this without cringing. There were some unusual lines and acting as the twists unfold, and I was not totally satisfied with the ending. Richardson is gorgeous and her real-life fatal skiing accident is so unfortunate. 7/10
Movie Wild (2015) 2015-06-13 Long distance hiking is not very exciting, and this movie is realistic. However, it's a great presentation of someone fighting off her demons. Witherspoon and Dern do not disappoint. 8/10
Movie Wise Blood (1979) 2011-03-07 The trailer implies that this is a comedy, but it's not. Everyone in Macon, GA must cringe when they see that the credits mention Macon. Only a big name like Huston gets away with this artsy stuff. The acting and technical work are good, but the story is thoroughly un-enjoyable and formulaic. Hazel Motes is born unhappy, Everyone around him is in costume, pretending to be something else. Everything Hazel does causes more unhappiness and pain for him and everyone else. You the viewer won't care. The End. 3/10
Movie Wonka (2023) 2024-03-14 Surprisingly bad. Nothing in this Wonka prequel is explained in any detail, aside from a laundry room. Wonka makes chocolate out of thin air under inhospitable circumstances with no scientific or magical explanation for the chocolates' effects. Well, there were four unremarkable cocoa beans and a giraffe was milked. The music is mediocre. Chalamet is a scrawny, sentimental imp with little charisma, and the "Noodles" backstory is a weak version of Little Orphan Annie. Grant was good as the sole Oompa Loompa. Atkinson was unfortunately held back from his usual lunacy. For some inexplicable reason, the writers figured it would help to include multiple assassination plots in this otherwise childish story. 3/10
Movie World's Greatest Dad (2009) 2012-05-26 The first half of this movie is practically unwatchable, very offensive with unlikable characters. But, this sets up a funny second half and a satisfying ending. Overall, an annoying treatment of a sensitive topic. 5/10
Movie World War Z (2013) 2014-07-26 I just didn't care about any character in this movie. Zombie movies fail when they try to explain zombies. 4/10
Movie Wreck-It Ralph (2012) 2013-07-21 I liked the Glitch character and the twist with Turbo, but this isn't the "10" that everyone else seems to think. Kind of a ripoff of the plot of Toy Story. 8/10
Movie Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006) 2011-03-07 How does the doofus get such pretty girls? A decent indy film with some nice quirky-ness. A bit predictable at the end. 8/10
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
X-Men: First Class (2011)
There were times when this was not action packed, and just when you think Wolverine is going to pound someone, he gets all sulky and walks away. Some scenes were a bit telegraphed, but all is not what it seems. The action was good, and the acting was decent within the bounds of a acting out a physically impossible reality. Nice blu-ray scenes, although no special features on the disk I watched.
Mutants are kind of like vampires. If they really were as powerful as they seem, they'd wipe out mortals in a minute. The plot needs holes and unrealistic characters in order to keep that from happening. Good action and effects.
Movie Yesterday (2019) 2020-03-14 This is a top-rate production with good acting, but the premise is implausible even for sci-fi and the love story is lightweight and obvious. There should have been a cameo with Paul McCartney, no matter what the cost, which suggests that Sir Paul was also underwhelmed. I had hoped for more. 6/10
Movie Zero Dark Thirty (2012) 2013-04-05 The historical aspects are unverifiable. The CIA women waffle back and forth between ruthless torturers and giggling girlies. It's a story of tedious intelligence gathering, so don't look for much action even when bin Laden's house is raided. 7/10
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